This gentleman, although beginning his active career under unfavorable circumstances, is to-day one of the leading agriculturists of Henry County . He resides on section 33, Colona Township , and is engaged in general farming. He was born in Bavaria , Germany , Dec. 15, 1813 . His father, Mike Durmann, was a German farmer, and died in his native country when Joseph was 17 years of age. In 1839, in order to secure better advantages for accumulating a competency, young Joseph Durmann left his native land and sailed for the United States . After a time we find him located in Ohio , and later on in the city of Rock Island . While living here he was married, on the 21 st of April, 1845 , in the city of Davenport , to Miss Amanda Killing. His wife was also of German nativity, but had come to America with her parents, who located at Davenport , when she was quite young.
After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Durmann settled in Rock Island city, where for several years Mr. Durmann followed the trade of cooper. This he had learned when a young man in the native country. He was a successful and skillful workman, and by perseverance and economy had accumulated a little means, so that by the year 1867 he was ready to assume the quiet, peaceful life of a farmer. At that time he came into Colona Township , where he purchased 320 acres of land. This he has brought to an excellent state of cultivation and made upon it splendid inprovements. He has also been enabled to increase his landed estate of 540 acres, and now has one of the best improved and most profitable farms in Henry County . He is one of the honest but shrewd and hard-working farmers we find scattered throughout the Northwest, who came here with the honest and worthy purpose of securing a home. He is a highly respected citizen of the community in which he resides, and has served it in some of the minor official positions. Politically, he is a Democrat. He has visited his native country since living in Henry County , but much prefers, as a place to live, the home offered by his adopted country.
Mr. D. visited his native country in 1873, traveling through it, visiting his relatives in Bavaria , thence by the River Rhine to Prussia , his wife’s native country. During this visit he received from his brother a rare present in the way of a cane, it being over 350 years old.
The children that have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Durmann are five in number, viz.: Frank, who is married and is one of the farmers of Colona Township , as is also John, the third child; Joseph, the second, lives at home, as also do William and Mary.
1885 Portrait & Biographical Album of Henry County, Illinois page 513
Transcribed by Jan Roggy
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