Biography - Christian F. Rincker

CHRISTIAN FREDERICK RINCKER. A quarter of a century of honest, industrious, upright living in any community is worthy of record from the standpoint of the biographer who takes a broad view of his theme. It is also somewhat remarkable in Illinois to find a record of this kind as it is so young a State in comparison with the older part of our country, as to have comparatively few of such experiences. The effect upon a community of a residence of this length is potent for good or evil and has a cumulative force. This force in the ease of our subject has been for good.

Mr. Rincker is a prosperous farmer residing on section 22, Prairie Township, and he has been in the county since 1865. He was born in Chicago, Ill., November 18, 1854, being a son of the Rev. Henry W. and Anna M. (Gans) Rincker, both of whom were natives of Germany, the father being born in Nassau, and the mother in Byron. They came to the United States about 1846 and were married in Cook County, this State and about the year 1859 they removed to Terre Haute, Ind., whence they came to Illinois again and settled upon section 23, Prairie Township, where the father purchased some six hundred acres of land which was at that time entirely unbroken.

Henry W. Rincker was twice married, the first time in Germany, and by this union there were two children born who grew to maturity, namely: Amelia, who married Fred Fathauer and died in Cook County, and Theopholis died in February, 1891. The parents of our subject had eight children, four of whom grew to be men and women. They were, our subject; Odelia, who married John Hemmann; Martin and Theodolinda, now the wife of Theodore Kircher. The father of this household died in November, 1889, and the mother is still surviving.

The father of our subject was a bell-maker by trade and followed this calling both in the old country and in Chicago. He also carried it on after coming to Shelby County. He was an expert in this fine art, and was called to St. Louis, Mo., to make over bells, a work which required great care and to which he brought an unfailing enthusiasm, a practical knowledge of the trade and a quick ear to detect false tones in the musical quality of the instrument. He made the bell at Strasburgh and the church bell at Sigel, both of which are still musically speaking the praise of their maker. He also cast the famous bell which was upon the Chicago court-house at the time of the fire, and he will long be remembered as its maker. He loved his trade devotedly and always regretted that none of his children joined him in its pursuit. His bell foundry in this county was located at Sigel.

The harmony of the life of this good man was akin to that between two bells pitched upon harmonious tones as he carried on two lines of thought and work, one being in the making of musical bells and the other in developing the harmony of Christian life among the people with whom he lived. He was a minister in the Lutheran Church and preached at Terre Haute and also established the first congregation in Prairie Township.

The subject of this sketch was reared upon the farm and attended the district school. He has been twice married, his first union being in 1877 with Miss Louise Luker who died in 1878, leaving one child who had been named Henry in honor of his grandfather. In 1881 Mr. Rincker was married to Ida Dietrich who was born in Illinois August 6, 1864. She became the mother of five children, namely: Matilda, Martin, Frederick, Ida and Paul. Mr. Rincker owns nearly four hundred acres of land upon which he has erected fine buildings and has made many improvements, as when he became its owner it was nearly all virgin prairie. The political preferences of our subjecl are for the Democratic party, and his intelligence and thorough understanding of educational matters have placed him upon the School Board. The Lutheran Church in which he was brought up receives his warm endorsement and support and he is one of its most earnest and active members.

Extracted 26 May 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 540-541.

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