Biography - John Scheef

JOHN SCHEEF, who is one of the most substantial farmers in Prairie Township, Shelby County, dates his residence in the county, from December, 1877. His thorough-going German characteristics of thrift, industry and steadfastness have been a help not only to himself, but also to the community where he has lived and labored for so many years, and these traits are worthy of the study and emulation of the young, who are apt to be led astray by the flash and brilliancy of less worthy but more showy qualities. For this reason we are pleased to present a record of such a life as we have here before us.

John Scheef was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, February 13, 1853, and is a son of Henry and Dora Scheef, who brought up to man's and woman's estate eighl children, five of whom came to the United States, while three remained in their native land. The following is the record of the offspring of this worthy couple: Anna, who married Henry Froham and resides in Chicago; Amelia and Hannah, who remained in Germany; Fred and William who reside in Chicago; John, our subject; Dora, who is still in the Fatherland and Christian, who died in Chicago, leaving one child. It was in 1884 when the parents of this family came to America and they have both now passed away, the mother being called home while Chicago was the family residence, and the father died in this county.

Our subject was a lad of sixteen when he came to this country and his first home was in Chicago, where his brother Fred was living. He there worked as a laborer, following various lines of business until he came to Shelby County which was not until after the great Chicago fire, through the tragic experiences of which he passed. After that tremendous disaster the young man thought best to get out into the country, where there would he a better opportunity for him to do well for himself, and leaving the city he came to this county and for five years worked upon a tract of eighty acres which he rented. Thrift and economy supplemented the untiring energy and zeal with which he worked, and being now able to purchase the land upon which he had been living, he decided to give the rest of his life to agricultural pursuits. He now owns one hundred and twenty acres of land and upon it he has erected good substantial farm buildings.

The union in marriage of two true hearts and two honest hands is an event which deserves not only congratulation, but the most serious consideration of the biographer, for it is the great event in the lives of those who are thus united, telling upon their future more practically and efficiently than it is possible for any other event to do. This important union which joined our subject to Elizabeth Falk, took place December 5, 1875, the bride being the daughter of John and Anna (Frank) Falk of whom more is told at length in the sketch of their son, Mr. John W. Falk, of Herborn. Mrs. Scheef was born in Germany, December 11, 1853. She is the happy mother of six children, namely: Anna, born October 10, 1876; Maggie, January 29, 1879; John, January 24, 1881; Lena, March 21, 1883; Henry, September 27, 1887, and August, October 18, 1889. The religious views of this family are in accordance with the doctrines and practices of the Lutheran Church with which they are connected and in it they are esteemed highly, as faithful helpers in the vineyard of the Lord. The political preferences of Mr. Scheef have led him to affiliate with the Democratic party, and he believes that in its declarations is found the true wisdom of political economy. While residing in Chicago, Mr. Scheef was for one year a partner in a grocery business, but he did not continue long in this line of work as his training and his preferences inclined him to a farmer's life.

Extracted 16 Feb 2019 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 617-618.

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