Name Age Place of Birth > Place of Death Newspaper Publication Date Submitter
HARPSTRITE, Edward 84  Ettinheim BAD,DEU>Decatur IL,USA  Decatur Daily Review  2 Mar 1911  Marilyn Luebbers Morrison 


Came to Macon County as Farmer in 1853


Acquired It All Through His Own Efforts

Edward Harpstrite, one of the best known of the older residents of ths city, died at 12:16 Thursday morning (Mar 2) at his home, 545 West Main street. His death was due to arterial sclerosis. He was eighty-four years old a week ago last Saturday. He had been in failing health for a long time.


He was born Feb. 18, 1927, at Ettinheim, in the grand duchy of Baden, Germany. He came to America with his parents John B. and Sophia M. Harpstrite, in 1833. The family located in New Jersey and afterward lived in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and in 1844 moved to Clinton county, Illinois. Edward Harpstrite came from Clinton county to Macon county in 1853 and engaged in farming in South Wheatland township. He moved to Decatur in 1859. For the last thirty years he has lived a retired life. His wife was Dorothea Ruesamen of Clinton county. She was born in Bavaria, Germany, Aug. 15, 1835, and died in Macon county Oct. 19, 1876.


The following children survive: Catherine, wife of Peter Ullrich of Omaha, Neb.; Bertha, wife of Dr. Alonzo Garwood of New Braufels, Tex.; Charles W. Harpstrite of Wichita, Kan., Edward J. Harpstrite, Miss Mary A. Harpstrite and Miss Emma F. Harpstrite of Decatur. One brother, Charles Harpstrite of Sangamon, also survives.

Mr. Harpstrite led a quiet, uneventful life. He was eminently successful as a farmer. His parents were poor and he early had to make his own way. All that he acquired was through his own efforts. He invested his earnings in farm lands and city property. He did not buy as many men do now, with the idea of selling at an increased price. He was a good judge of values, and the properties he purchased he held on to. He watched them grow in value. He improved them and made them revenue producers. It is said that he never sold but one or two pieces of real estate. He was able to hold them, and he did.


He had an abiding faith in the future importance of Decatur and was not afraid to invest his money here. He always took great interest in everything that was for the betterment of the city and was always well informed on what was going on in the business world. Even after his eyes failed he had his children read to him the news of the day. Besides his farm lands in Macon county and city property in Decatur, he also owned a section of land in Sedgwick county, Kansas, and business property at Omaha, Neb.

Mr. Harpstrite was for years connected with the Decatur Brewery. He purchased it in 1860 for $3,600. At that time the plant had a capacity of only six barrels a day. Two years later he took Henry Shlaudeman into partnership and this connection continued for twenty-five years, Mr. Harpstrite retiring in 1884.

Mr. Harpstrite served one term as a member of the city council. Mr. Harpstrite was a good citizen in every sense of the term, and he was held in high regard by all. He was upright and honorable and his life was well spent. 

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Database table Obit_Index modified: 14 Jul 2015
Page modified: 15 Nov 2011