This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Janet Wilkinson Schwartz. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of John Dresback

SOURCE: "The Biographical Record of Champaign County, Illinois," The S. J. Clarke Publishing company, Chicago, 1900


JOHN DRESBACK. St. Joseph, Champaign county, has many thoroughly patriotic and enterprising citizens, none more so than the gentleman of whom the following lines are penned. He has done everything within his power to promote local interests, and by the judicious expenditure of time, energy and means, has accomplished much for the town with which he has been identified for several decades.

Mr. Dresback is of German extraction, and his paternal grandfather, Jacob DRESBACK, was born in Pennsylvania and spent a portion of his life there. Our subject's parents, Jacob and Catherine (HOY) DRESBACK, were natives of Luzerne county, Pennsylvania. The father removed to the Buckeye state in early manhood and was married in Fairfield county. About 1830 he settled in the heavily timbered section of Logan county, Ohio, and cleared a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in the forest. He was a carpenter by trade and found plenty of employment at that calling in the intervals of his farming duties. In 1853 he came to St. Joseph township and there passed the rest of his life, his death occurring in August, 1855. His wife lived until 1882, and both were placed to rest in the Patterson cemetery. They were Presbyterians in religious belief, and in political creed Mr. Dresback was a Democrat. Their three eldest children are deceased. Irvin, whose death occurred in 1851, was in his twentieth year. Ira and Olive departed this life in childhood. Elizabeth, born April 2, 1836, became the wife of I.M. KUDER, of St. Joseph, and died November 18, 1899. Sarah A., born May 22, 1837, and widow of Isaac BROWN, resides in Arlington, Oklahoma. Amanda C., born May 25, 1838, is the widow of Reuben C. KOCH, and her home is in St. Joseph township. Mary, born February 29, 1844, died in January, 1856.

The birth of John Dresback took place in Logan county, February 15, 1843. He was a boy of ten years at the time that the family came to this township, and was soon bereft of his father. Being the only son left to his widowed mother the cares of the family early devolved upon him, and he manfully performed his tasks. In the meantime he gained a fair education, and when about twenty years of age he applied for a certificate to teach, and for several years he devoted the greater share of his time and attention to that line of work. In 1865 he took a course at Bryant & Stratton's Business College, in Buffalo, New York, thus qualifying himself for a commercial career.

The marriage of Mr. Dresback and Jennie TREECE was solemnized at Vanlue, Ohio, December 17, 1865. She is a daughter of Cornelius and Hettie (MYERS) TREECE, and was born June 26, 1849, in Amanda township, Hancock county, Ohio, and was reared in Vanlue, where her father resided after retiring from active cares. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dresback. Orrin D., born October 22, 1866, married Sophia K. GEIBEL, and is engaged in the poultry business at Ogden, Illinois. Alfred L., born September 12, 1871, died August 20, 1872. Pearl Gertrude, born February 5, 1877, is the wife of Charles PEABODY, a dealer in implements at Longview, Illinois.

For about four years after his marriage Mr. Dresback continued to engage in teaching school, and returned to St. Joseph in August, 1867. In 1869 he opened a general store in the old part of the town, and when the railroad was put through here he removed to the new village. Here he erected the building now occupied by George C. Swofford, and here he was actively engaged in business until 1878, when he sold out. Since that time he has given his attention to his present line of business, dealing extensively in poultry, game and eggs, and shipping to the city markets in large quantities. In 1893 he erected the brick building which he now occupies, and, altogether, he has built about half a dozen of the substantial residences and business blocks of this place. For many years he has been director and secretary of the St. Joseph Building, Loan & Investment Association and is one of the most enthusiastic workers in the organization. To his efforts are due many of the substantial improvements which our citizens enjoy, and he is considered one of the most public spirited citizens of the place. As great confidence is placed in his fidelity and good judgement, he has been called upon to serve in the capactity of town clerk and township commissioner, and for the past twenty-six years he hs been the treasurer of the township schools. Fraternally, he is a charter member of St. Joseph Lodge, No. 222, Modern Woodmen of America, and at present holds the office of master of finance in St. Joseph Lodge, No. 222, Knight of Pythias. He also belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, as, in 1862, he enlisted in Company K, Sixty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, but on account of temporary disability he was placed on detached duty, and was stationed on guard duty at Camp Douglas, Chicago, where he remained four months. Both himself and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and at present he is officiating as steward. Politically, he is identified with the Republican party.

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