John Q. Rote


Here and there in traveling from one point to another the biographer discovers in the quiet of the country, sometimes where least expected, the evidences of high culture, education and refinement. The subject of this sketch and his family are truly the exponents of this idea, being reading and thinking people, keep themselves well informed upon matters of general interest, and have not permitted the machinery of the mind to rust, although the city library is not accessable (sic) and the lecture hall may be far away. They are people, too, regarded in the highest esteem by the community as belonging to its best element. The homestead comprising a fine farm of 200 acres, is pleasantly located on section 28, supplied with good buildings, a comfortable dwelling and an especially fine barn. The latter is not excelled by anything of the kind in this part of the county.

Our subject received his first impressions of life in the Keystone State, having been born in Clinton County, Pa., Dec. 16, 1836. His parents, Henry and Catherine (Wagner) Rote, were also natives of Pennsylvania and the father, a farmer by occupation died in Clinton County at the age of sixty-two years. The mother later, in March, 1855, removed with her family to Green County, Wis., where she lived two years, then with her two eldest sons, Levi and John Q., changed her residence to Stephenson County, this State, purchasing land in Oneco Township. Afterward the mother removed to Buckeye Township, where her death took place about 1882.

The parental family included nine children, four daughters and five sons, of whom John Q. was the second born of the sons. He lived at the farm in his native county until seventeen years old, and then commenced an apprenticeship at carpentering, serving one year. He later completed his trade in Stephenson County, after coming to this State and followed it more or less thereafter for a period of eight years. He then turned his attention to agricultural pursuits which he has since followed.

In Buckeye Township, Stephenson Co., Ill., Mr. Rote was married, Feb. 28, 1864, to Miss Annette Epley, who was born in that township July 29, 1840. Her parents, Peter and Mary (Heckman) Epley, were natives of Pennsylvania, and emigrated from Centre County, that State to Stephenson County, Ill., in 1839, settling in Buckeye Township. The father constructed a farm from a tract of uncultivated land, and passed to his final rest in the fall of 1873. The mother subsequently made her home with her children and lived in Clay County, Neb., in September, 1885. The parental household included seven sons and three daughters of whom Mrs. Rote was the second born.

Our subject and his estimable wife commenced their wedded life together on a farm in Buckeye Township, Stephenson County, where they sojourned for a period of eight months. The Civil War being in progress Mr. Rote then enlisted, Nov. 17, 1864, in Company G, 42d Illinois Infantry, serving until the close of the war, participating in three active engagements, at Spring Hill, Franklin, and a two days' fight at Nashville, and receiving all honorable discharge. Soon after his return home he removed with his family to Green County, Wis., where he carried on farming about seven years. Thence they returned to Illinois, locating in West Point Township, Stephenson County, where Mr. Rote purchased a farm and also spent seven years. He sold this property in March, 1880, and, coming to this county, purchased his present farm of 200 acres in Nora Township. He gives considerable attention to stock-raising, is the proprietor of an unimcumbered (sic) estate, and with his family is surrounded by all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.

Seven children graced the union of our subject and his estimable wife, the eldest of whom, Mary C., is the wife of John Heiser, and lives in Clay County, Neb. The others were named, respectively: Ermina E., Isadora S., Armilda A., Alvin (who died in infancy), George W. and John E.., all living at home with their parents. In Wisconsin Mr. Rote officiated as School Director and Justice of the Peace, holding the latter office a number of years. In Stephenson County he was School Director and Highway Commissioner. In Nora Township he has been for the last six years School Director and Trustee, and socially belongs to Goddard Post, G. A. R., in which he officiates as Chaplain. Both he and his estimable wife are members in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Rote cast his first Presidential vote for Lincoln, and has been a member of the Republican party since that time. In addition to his farming interests, he operated a thrashing machine, and a machine for hulling clover for five years in Jo Daviess County, Il.

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