Charles Monnier



This gentleman is a native of Jo Daviess County, and one of the enterprising citizens of Scales Mound, in which place he conducts a meat-market. His paternal grandfather emigrated to this country from Switzerland in 1823, locating in the valley of Red River, British Possessions, remaining there two years, when he started overland to St. Louis, but died while on his way there, in 1825. The maternal grandfather of our subject was Peter Rendisbacher, born in Switzerland in 1810. He became a farmer in his native country, but later emigrated to the United States, and also located in the Red River Country, going thence to St. Louis, where he remained but a short time, however, and coming from there to Jo Daviess County about 1827, settling on a farm near the City of Galena. Later in life he removed to Stockton, and lived with one of his sons until his death.

The father of our subject was Charles A. Monnier, born in Neufchatel, Switzerland, in 1806. He accompanied his parents to this country in 1823, and started with his father on the fatal trip to St. Louis. After his father's death he continued on to the latter place, where he found employment in a mill, working there until 1827. In the latter year he removed to Galena, this county, and for the two succeeding years was engaged in mining. From the latter place he went to Guilford Township, this county, where he entered 260 acres of raw land. In this place he made his home until his death, which occurred in October, 1880. In the many years of his residence in that place he had from the prairie developed a fine farm, on which he had made many valuable improvements, and where he had successfully carried on general farming and stock-raising. He had during his life-time taken an interest in public matters, and was a Republican in politics. He and his wife were both members of the Presbyterian Church. The maiden name of his wife was Christine Rendisbacher, daughter of Peter, already mentioned. She was born in Switzerland in 1810, and is yet living on the old homestead. They were the parents of ten children, namely: Emily, Elizabeth, Charles, Julia, Philip, and Edward living; and David, Fred, Fred 2nd, and Christine deceased.

Charles Monnier, the subject of this sketch, was born in Guilford Township, this county, June 30, 1839. He was reared upon his father's farm, and had but such opportunities of education as were afforded by the typical log school-house of the day. On reaching his majority he engaged in business on his own account by renting a farm, on which he lived until October, 1864, when he joined the ranks of his country's defenders, enlisting in Company A, 39th Illinois Infantry. The company was mustered in at Dixon, Ill., and joined its regiment, then in the Army of the Potomac, under Gen. Grant. The winter of 1864-65 was spent in front of Richmond. On the resumption of active operations, they took part in the maneuvers in front of Richmond; were in the battles of Five Forks, April 1 and 2; in the fight at Appomattox, which led to the surrender of Gen. Lee and the close of the war. For two months the regiment was in camp at Richmond, when they removed to City Point, and two weeks later to Norfolk, where they did guard duty until the fall of 1865, when they were sent to Fortress Monroe, where they were mustered out in October, 1865.

Coming back to peaceful pursuits, our subject again engaged in farming until 1870, when he commenced mining on the old homestead, successfully following that vocation until the spring of 1880, acquiring an extensive experience and a thorough knowledge of the business. In the latter year he abandoned mining, and removing to Scales Mound, brought out the meat-market of J. McDonald, the leading business of its kind in the place. This he has successfully conducted ever since, still, however, retaining his interest in the old homestead.

February 15, 1872, Mr. Monnier was married in Elizabeth Township, to Miss Dorcas Reed, who was born in Cornwall County, England. Three children have blessed their union: Josie R., Mabel A., and Frederick W. Our subject has taken a warm interest in improving the breed of horses in this region. He is President of the Horse Breeders' Association, and has an interest in several imported Percheron stallions. In politics he is a Republican, and has served on the Town and School Boards and done duty both on the Grand and Petit Juries. He is a member of the A.O.U.W., and has passed the Chairs of the lodge at Scales Mound. His wife is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and at their home on Mason street dispenses a generous hospitality.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess Co., IL (1889)