JOHN BEHRENDS GERKEN
Lifelong experience in any one line gives thoroughness of action and profitable results as is proven every day by many of the prosperous farmers of Rock Island county. One of them who has been particularly successful in his work is John Hehrends Gerken of Coe township. He was born in the north of Germany, March 26, 1855.
After receiving a pullic school education during which time he was taught farming in all its details, Mr. Gerken engaged in farming in his native land. In 1883 he came to the United States and settled in Rock Island county. For two years there after he worked for farmers in Zuma township, and then bought 160 acres on sections 15 and 22, Coe township. When he purchased the land there were no improvements upon it, but since then he has built the house, barns and other outbuildings, set out an orchard of 100 trees and put up all the fences except a hedge which was on the place. He feeds all his grain to the sixty hogs of Poland-China breed, twenty- six head of cattle and seven head of Horses he raises annually, and he takes a pride in the quality of his product.
On October 15, 1887. Mr. Gerken was married to Dorothy Kehannes, born in Saxony. Germany, who came with her parents. Fred and Elizabeth (Schultz) Kuoskuunud, to the United States in 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Gerften have become the parents of children as follows: Louisa; Ernest, who married Myra Richard, has one son, Glenn E.; Dena; Alma; Bern hardt; Lillie; and Fannie. They belong to the German Lutheran church, and are active in forwarding its good work.
Having always been a hard worker, Mr. Gerken has never had much time to devote to public matters, but is in favor of good government and reasonable improvements and is one of the solid, conservative citizens of the township in which he has lived so long. In 1906 Mr. Gerken made an enjoyable trip of three months' length to Germany, where he visited his old home and other points of interest.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois
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