GEORGE WINDLE, a thoroughly progressive farmer and stock raiser, residing on section 15, Mt. Morris township, was born in Shenandoah county, Virginia, November 18, 1841, and is the son of William and Mary (Kretsinger) Windle, the former a native of the same county and state, born in 1807, and the latter in 1806. His father was the son of George Windle, a wagon manufacturer, also a native of Shenandoah county, Virginia. His father, the great-grandfather of our subject, was a native of Germany, who emigrated to this country, located in the Shenandoah valley, and there spent the remainder of his life. George Windle died at the age of eighty-nine years in Shenandoah County. He was the father of nine childrenWilliam, Samuel, Joseph, Amos, Richard, Branson, George, Elizabeth and Margaret.
William Windle received his education in the common schools of his native county, and after leaving school took his regular place upon his fathers farm and assisted in its cultivation. Later he became the possessor of a farm known as the Cedar Creek farm, which he continued to cultivate until his removal to Ogle county in 1855. On coming to this county he rented land for about nine years, and in 1864 purchased two hundred acres of Mrs. Hess, in Pine Creek Township, and there resided until his death in 1879. To William and Mary Windle, ten children were born, all of whom are yet livingJohn, Cornelius, Lydia, Maggie, George, William, Joseph, L. W., Jackson and Isaiah. The father died in July, 1879, and the mother in 1875. They were both members of the Lutheran church. In politics he was a Jacksonian Democrat.
In his native state the subject of this sketch began his education in the common schools, attending during the winter terms. He accompanied the family to Ogle County, arriving here at the age of fourteen years. Here he also attended the district schools during the winter and in the summer giving his entire time to his father in the cultivation of the farm. After attaining his majority, he entered Rock River Seminary, which he attended three terms, closing his school life in that institution. At the age of eighteen years he commenced to learn the carpenters trade under Isaiah Speaker, and served an apprenticeship of two years. He then worked at the trade as a journeyman until 1866. In 1863, in company with twelve others, he started from Mt. Morris for Pikes Peak, Colorado, going overland with a team, being thirty days en route. Arriving at Denver, he commenced work at his trade and continued there about ten months. He then concluded to return home, and started back with a mule team. Arriving at the Missouri river, he took the stage for State Center, Iowa, and from the latter place he came as far as Polo by railroad, and from there to his home in Mt. Morris township in a buggy. During the winter of 1865-6 he taught school in Mt. Morris township, and in the fall of 1866 he purchased eighty acres of Mrs. Annie Rine, and to that farm he removed and there lived until 1872, when he went into the mercantile business at Mt. Morris, in which he continued two years. He then traded his stock of goods and his eighty-acre farm for his present farm of two hundred and forty acres, on which he has since continued to live.
On the 20th of September, 1865, Mr. Windle was united in marriage with Miss Mary E. Sprecher, born in Ogle county, Illinois, June 6, 1843, and the daughter of Philip and Catherine (Houk) Sprecher, natives of Washington county, Maryland. Her father was a farmer by occupation, and came by teams to Ogle County, Illinois, in 1839, settling on section 25, Mt. Morris township, where he purchased three hundred and sixty acres of land, to which he later added one hundred and sixty acres, giving him a valuable farm of five hundred and twenty acres. Philip and Catherine Sprecher were the parents of eleven children, five of whom died in early childhood, the remainder reaching years of maturityDaniel, George, John, Adasale, Ann and Mary E. Both parents are now deceased.
In politics he was a Democrat. Both were reared in the Lutheran faith, but later united with the Advent church.
To Mr. and Mrs. Windle six children have been born: Charles Elmer died August 24, 1881, his death resulting from an accident, being injured by a traction engine, and only living thirtysix hours after the accident occurred. Mary Catherine married J. H. Harnly, of Auburn, Illinois, and they are now living in Eldora, Iowa, where both are employed as teachers in the Industrial school; Addie married Prof. Ira R. Hendrickson, by whom she had two children, one, Ruth Mary, now living. He is engaged in teaching in Lamar, Missiouri; Orpha Irene is teaching in Mt. Morris township; William, teaching in Mt. Morris township; Philip W. is living at home; Thurlow died at the age of sixteen days. Mr. and Mrs. Windle have adopted a little boy, taking, when but five months old, Clifford Neff Windle. They have also made a home for a young miss from Chicago, Clara Fallaskson, thirteen years old. These deeds speak well for the kindly disposition of Mr. and Mrs. Windle.
In politics Mr. Windle is a Democrat, and as a member of the Democratic party he has taken an active interest in its well being, attending the various local conventions and giving of his time to advance the cause. He has served as a delegate to the state convention of his party, and is now serving as a member of the congressional committee. Interested in educational affairs, he served for twelve years as a member of the school board. Religiously he is identified with the Methodist Episcopal church, being one of the trustees. He takes an active interest in the work of the church, and does his full duty in maintaining its services.
In his business relations Mr. Windle has been quite successful, and in addition to the home farm he owns one hundred and seven acres southwest of Mt. Morris, and also three hundred and twenty acres in Buena Vista County, Iowa. His farm is well stocked and is kept in excellent condition and under a high state of cultivation. In 1876 he set out a large number of shade and ornamental trees which add to the attractive appearance of the place. His dwelling house has been remodeled, making it a fine country residence. In stock he is making a specialty of Durham shorthorn cattle, Chester white hogs and Norman horses. In addition to his farm work, he is agent for the Aultman & Taylor Company, and the Rumely Company, manufacturers of steam engines and threshers, and is also dealing to some extent in real estate. He is a very busy man, very industrious, and it is no wonder that success has crowned his efforts. While he is not numbered among those who claim to be pioneers, he has yet resided in Ogle County for about forty-four years, and it is but just to say that in that time he has done what he could to advance the business and commercial interests of the county, and is deserving of the high honor and respect in which he is held.
"History of Ogle Co., Illinois" by Munsell Publishing Co., Chicago, IL, 1909
GEORGE WINDLE-- A residence of more than one-half century in Ogle County has given to Mr. Windle a thorough knowledge of the agricultural and commercial possibilities of his portion of Illinois, and also has brought to him a wide acquaintance with the people of the county among whom he has lived and labored. General farming and the merchantile business have engrossed his attention, but at this writing he has relinquished his activities and has retired from heavy responsibilities, enjoying in the afternoon of life the comfort accumulated in early manhood through a course of industry, perseverance and determination. Since 1901 he has rented his country property and has resided in Mount Morris where he owns a modern residence near the college.
Born in Shenandoah County, VA., November 18, 1842, George Windle is a member of an old and honored family of that State and a son of William and Mary (Kretsinger) Windle, Virginians by birth and training. The family came to Illinois in 1855, flattering reports received from relatives in Ogle County having induced them to settle here. At first the rented land in Pine Creek Township, but after ten years as renters, they invested their savings in land in the same township. Meanwhile the father took a warm interest in local affairs and gave his support to the Democratic party in national elections. About 1875 he suffered a sad bereavement in the death of his wife, and in 1879 he passed away at the age of seventy-two years. There were ten children in his family, namely: John, now living in Nodaway County, Mo.; Cornelius, a minister in the United Brethren Church and a resident of Toledo, Iowa; Lydia, who married Charles Baker and now lives at Cameron, Mo.; Margaret Ann, Mrs. William Kemp, of Chico, Cal.; George, of Mount Morris; William, who died at the age of sixty years; Joseph, a stock dealer and grain buyer at Salem, Neb.; Washington, who settled near Polo, Ill. and there operated a large farm; Andrew Jackson, who represents the Standard Oil Company in Richardson County, and Isaiah, who owns and conducts a store in Missouri near the city of Cameron. At the age of thirteen years, George Windle accompanied his parents to Illinois who settled on a farm in Ogle County. After attending the country schools he became a student in the old Rock River Seminary, and had the advantage of thorough instruction under proficient tutors.
For a time he taught school and, also, for some years, gave his attention to the carpenter's trade, but after his marriage at the age of twenty-four years, he either farmed or conducted mercantile pursuits. His first land property comprised eighty acres two and one-half miles northeast of Mount Morris in the township of that name. After five years on the farm he removed to Mount Morris, and for eighteen months conducted a general store; but at the expiration of that time he exchanged his store for a farm two miles north of the village, where he still owns 240 acres, improved with good buildings erected under his supervision. From this place he returned to town and resumed his general merchandising, but later went back to the country estate. Some years afterward he bought business property in town, rebuilt the store and opened up another stock of goods, this being his third venture as a merchant and continuing from 1893 to 1897; then until 1901 he remained on the farm, since which time he has resided in Mount Morris. In addition to the farm mentioned, he owns a farm of 220 acres in Pine Creek Township, six miles south of town, and both of these properties are kept in excellent condition under his personal oversight. A visit to the great Manitoba country convinced Mr. Windle of the opportunities offered by the cheap lands of Canada, and he purchased one-half section there, since which he has induced other Illinois investors to secure lands in that growing country, and still handles such property in large tracts.
In religion he is identified with the Dunker Brethren Church. Secret Societies have never won his sympathy; from his viewpoint of the general brotherhood of man, he has little sympathy with organizations for that purpose, but believes that, if all were to show kindness to those in need, a helpful spirit to a fallen man, a generous treatment of the unfortunate and a practical relief of the poor, there would be or no need of Secret fraternities. In early manhood he voted the Democratic ticket, but of recent years he has been active in prohibition work and a voter for the party pledged to the abolition of the saloons. He has been a delegate to County and State conventions of his party and also a delegate to the National Convention of 1908. By his marriage to Mary, a daughter of Philip and sister of Daniel Sprecher, Mr. Windle has four children now living, namely: Minnie, who married John Harnley of Zion City, Ill.; Addie, who married Ira R. Hendrickson of Mount Morris College; Orpha, Mrs. Henry Bibler, of Guckeen, Fairbault County, Minn.; and Philip, who operates the old homestead. The eldest son, Charles Elmer, died at the age of nineteen years while a student in college.
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