Biography - Peter Diddea

PETER DIDDEA. The gentleman whose name is at the head of this sketch is a member of the well-known firm of Mautz & Diddea, of Stewardson. A biographical sketch may be seen of the senior member of the firm under the name of T. P. Mautz. Mr. Diddea is a wide awake, progressive business man. His interests are involved in several directions, in all of which he is successful. He was born in Schuylkill County, Pa., June 1, 1849 and is a son of Christian and Margaret (Gumahley) Diddea, who were natives of Germany, and in 1847, emigrated to the United States and settled in Pennsylvania and were there married. In 1857, they came to Illinois and first located at Sheffield, where the father worked as a coal miner, that being his trade; while at Sheffield he held the important post of road boss in the mine. In 1865 the family came to Shelby County and settled on a new farm in Prairie Township, their farm comprising eighty acres. Here the father died in 1871 while yet in middle life, being only forty-six years of age. The mother still survives and lives in Stewardson having attained sixty-four years.

Our subject was one of nine children, seven of whom lived to be grown. Their names are Peter, Margaret, Jacob, Elizabeth, Frank, Carrie and Amelia. All of the children are respected members of society, being useful and intelligent men and women. The original of our sketch was a small boy when the family settled in Illinois. His first school days were passed in the public schools of his native place after which he attended the private schools of Sheffield, and finished at Teutopolis. In 1865 the family came to Shelby County, and he assisted in the improvement of the farm on which the family settled. He resided at home until 1871, when he was married to Elizabeth Leffler, a daughter of Jacob and Catherine Leffler. She was born in Hocking County, Ohio, in 1849.

After marriage our subject rented some land and followed the calling of farming until 1881 when he came to Stewardson, and was for a space of two years, partner in the implement establishment of G. S. Baldwin. After this time he became a member of the firm of York & Mautz, and later, the business was carried on under the firm name by which it is at present known. Mr. Diddea and his wife are the parents of six children, two of whom are living. They are Ida B. and Emma E. Our subject erected the finest residence in the town of Stewardson in 1888.

The original of our sketch is a follower of the Democratic party, believing in the tenets of free trade and sovereign power. He has been awarded several local offices under his party, having been Constable from the time when he cast his first ballot, nine consecutive years. He also occupied the position of Township Clerk for three years. Socially Mr. Diddea is a member of the Masonic fraternity, also the Modern Woodmen of America. He has with his other business, been engaged in the livery business since 1886, and is now a member of the firm of Diddea & Turner. The firm has the finest livery stable in Shelbyville; they also have a good barn at Stewardson. Our subject also owns one hundred and twenty acres of land, and the firm of Mautz & Diddea owns land which they cultivate.

Extracted 27 Sep 2020 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 703-704.

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