Biography - Christian H. Altag

CHRISTIAN H. ALTAG, the well-known and efficient Commissioner of Highways of Prairie Township, Shelby County, whose pleasant home is on section 9, dates his residence in the county from 1867 when he removed here from Madison County, this State, where he was born November 19, 1854.

The honored parents of our subject are Henry and Eliza (Sponeman) Altag,who were born across the seas in Germany. Before their marriage, and indeed in early life, they came to the United States and both settling in Madison County there learned to know each other and were united in marriage. They resided in said county until 1867, when they came to Shelby County and making their home in Prairie Township felt that they had found a permanent place of abode.

The father of our subject was twice married, three children being born by the first marriage, namely: Henry; Hannah, the wife of Charles Dochney; and Sophia, wife of Henry Buesking. By his marriage with Eliza Sponeman, Henry Altag has had four children, of whom Christian is the eldest, and following him came Eliza, the wife of Charles Ostemeier; Harmon and Fred who died at the age of twenty-two years.

Thorough and systematic training upon the farm and the intellectual drill which maybe received in the common schools were, in the case of Christian Altag, supplemented by attendance upon the old Shelbyville Academy, which proved so profitable as to fit him for teaching, which he pursued for one season only as he preferred to devote himself entirely to farming.

April 20, 1876, young Altag was united in marriage with Ida Junkey, daughter of Charles and Minnie Junkey. This lady was of foreign birth, having first seen the light in Germany, but her training and education have made her a thorough American, as her parents left the old country for the New World when she was only six weeks old. Soon after marriage this young couple made their home where they now reside, purchasing eighty acres of land to which they have added until they now own one hundred acres, upon which they have elected a good residence, excellent barns and convenient and commodious outbuildings necessary to carrying on farms with system and success.

To Mr. and Mrs. Altai; have been born five children, in whom they take a just pride and for whom they cherish an honorable ambition. These promising children bid fair to realize in the future all that their devoted parents desire for them. They are by name Emma, Lizzie, Ida, Clara and Bertha. The religion in which the family has been reared and which they have espoused is that of the Lutheran Church, in which they are faithful and devoted members.

The political views of Mr. Altag have led him to ally himself with the Democratic party but he is not in any sense a politician, being content to quietly cast his vote in the direction which he believes will be most useful to his neighborhood and State. He is now the incumbent of the office of Commissioner of Highways but does not desire to he among those who manage the affairs of the county.

Extracted 25 Apr 2020 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 672-673.

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