Biography - John F. Mautz

JOHN F. MAUTZ. The gentleman whose biographical sketch we take pleasure in here writing, resides on section 31, of Rural Township, Shelby County, and also owns land in section 32. He belongs to the nationality which is beginning to tinge American life so largely with its sterling qualities, and to show in a better physical development which has resulted from the commingling of the American and Teutonic nations. Our subject was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, April 3, 1840. He is a son of George and Rosina (Shantz) Mautz, the former born in Wurtemberg, in 1802, and the latter, February 18, 1808.

Our subject's father was a farmer by calling and he of whom we write early learned the best methods of making the ground produce the best in fruits and vegetables, cereals and stock. After the marriage of the parents of our subject, they devoted themselves to the rearing of their large family, which numbered eleven children. They were brought up under the best conditions, having received that best of inheritances from their parents, robust constitutions, blood that flowed through their veins in swift purity, and intelligences that were undimmed by vicious associations or habits. The brothere and sisters of our subject are in name as follows: Gottleib, Rosina, Christian, George, Barbara, Lewis, John F., who is our subject, William, Jacob H., David and Thomas. Gottleib died in Shelby County in 1879; Rosina married Christian Eberspacher; she died in November, 1866, and left four children to her bereaved husband; Christian was for many years a prominent man in Rural Township; he was for sixteen years Justice of the Peace, and now resides in Prescott, Nevada County, Ark.; George died in Shelby County in 1863; Barbara married John Haberlein, and died in 1865, leaving one daughter; Lewis was killed by a bull in Cowley County, Kan.; William resides on the homestead; Jacob H. and David live in Rural Township; Thomas resides in Shelby County.

All of the family of children of which our subject was one were born in Germany. Our subject was but eleven years when, in 1852, the family emigrated to the United States, landing in New York harbor April 1. The journey across the three thousand miles of water required only nineteen days. The family at once went to Zanesville, Ohio, and soon after settled in Fairfield County, Ohio. In 1854 they came to Shelby County, this State, first settling in Rose Township, where they rented land which they operated for some years. They then purchased section 32, in Rural Township, and later purchased one-half of section 31. Success followed their agricultural efforts, and as the young people matured they were encouraged to start out in life for themselves. The father died February 3, 1872. The mother followed him January 15, 1891. They were kindly, Christian people, and their simple, honest lives infused a spirit of kindliness and generosity into all with whom they came in contact. They were members of the Swedenborgian Church.

Our subject, J. F. Mautz, came with his family to Shelby County, and in 1861, he enlisted in the War of the Rebellion to fight for the flag, which had already become dear to him as a symbol of freedom, which he could not enjoy so fully in his native land. He was mustered into service, and joined Company H, of the Fifty-fourth Illinois Infantry, and remained with his company for four years, re-enlisting at the end of his first term. During his military career he was neither wounded nor taken prisoner, nor was he confined to the hospital. He was a participant in many battles, and the side of military life, which, to one who has never seen battle, but only read and dreamed of the glorious display that is an accessory, had a seriousness to him, which was an outcome of bitter personal experience. He was in the battles of Jackson, Tenn., at the siege of Vicksburg and at Little Rock, Ark. In 1864 eight companies of the regiment to which our subject belonged, were taken prisoners, only Companies H and F escaping. Our subject was mustered out of service in October, 1865, and he returned to Shelby County November 19, 1867, he was married to Matilda Kull, who was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1847.

After marriage Mr. Mautz settled with his wife upon the land whereon he now resides, at that time raw prairie. Now it is one of the finest places in the county, comprising one hundred and sixty acres of beautifully cultivated land, and upon it are fine buildings that are in the best of order. The original of our sketch and his wife have four children, whose names are as follows: William, Albert, Julius and George. Mr. Mautz casts his vote and influence with the Democratic party, under which he has held several positions. He has been Supervisor for three terms, and indeed, has held all the local offices. Both our subject and his wife are members of the Evangelical Church.

Extracted 29 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 623-624.

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