JOHN F. BARTCH
JOHN F. BARTCH, deceased, occupied a worthy place among the members of the farming community of Jo Daviess County, who have been instrumental in developing her great agricultural resources and in his decease Stockton Township lost a citizen whom all held in honor for his honesty of purpose, manliness, and genuine kindness of heart. He was born in Germany, Oct. 12, 1829, his parents being Mr. and Mrs. Bartch, natives of Germany.
Our subject was reared in the Fartherland (sic) to a sturdy manhood, and there learned the blacksmith's trade, which he abandoned entirely after coming to this country. In early manhood he emigrated to the United States; and coming to this State and County, settled on Jewell's Prairie, in Woodbine Township and turned his attention to farming. He was a hard-worker and by skill and thrift improved a good farm and became quite prosperous. He continued to live in Woodbine Township until the spring of 1875, when he settled on the farm on section 28, Stockton Township, now occupied by his family. The homestead comprises 160 acres of land whose exceedingly fertile soil is capable of producing abundant harvest. It is under excellent tillage and has many valuable improvements, and is in all respects a most desirable farm and yields a profitable income to the owner.
Our subject was greatly aided in his life-work by a capable, sagacious wife, who, besides being a good counselor, was a willing helper and an important factor in the upbuilding (sic) of their comfortable, cozy home. They were united in marriage in 1862. Her maiden name was Mary Reber, and she was born in Lancaster County, Pa., April 19, 1840. Her parents were Samuel and Lydia (Phillips) Reber, natives of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Bartch was a widow when she contracted a matrimonial alliance with our subject, her first marriage having been with Christopher Widerhold. Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Widerhold removed to Texas County, Mo., where he was murdered by the rebels in June, 1861. After that sad event his widow returned to this county with her young son born of that marriage, William C. Widerhold, and she has resided here every since. Seven children 'were born of her second marriage with Mr. Bartch, four of whom are living: George, Charles, James, and Sarah. One son, Samuel, died at the age of sixteen years. Mrs. Bartch is highly esteemed in this neighborhood, and is a valued member of the Methodist Episcopal Church; the conduct of her daily life shows her to be a sincere Christian. She has an excellent capacity for business, possesses shrewd common sense, and is managing her affairs with judgment and discretion.
February 18, 1881, the subject of this sketch closed his eyes to the scenes of earth, thus ending a busy and honorable career ere the shadow of old age fell around him. He left to his wife and children the precious legacy of a life well spent, wherein he had gained the respect and the esteem of his fellow-men by his industrious, exemplary habits, his many kind acts and generous deeds to the poor and downfallen whenever such crossed his pathway.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess Co., IL (1889)