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 Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of John Grein

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois," by J. O. Cunningham, 1905


JOHN GREIN (deceased) was born in Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany, June 27, 1835, and was educated in the public schools of his native town. In 1851 he came to America with his parents, locating at Buffalo, N. Y., and six years later moved to Champaign County, Ill., taking up his residence in the city of Champaign, where he lived for twenty-four years, being in the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad Company. Early in life he learned the boat-building trade. In 1886 Mr. Grein rented land for farming, and in 1888 he purchased 200 acres of Dr. Samuel Birney, and added to his possessions until he had 725 acres, 360 of which are located in Urbana Township, 225 in Philo Township, and 140 in Champaign Township. Mr. Grein made a study of agriculture, and was one of the scientific farmers of Champaign County. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Champaign, and held all the offices in the subordinate lodge. Politically, he supported the Republican party. In his religious faith he was affiliated with St. Peter’s Evangelical Church in Champaign, in which he was a trustee, and one of its earliest secretaries, having been the first to begin keeping the church records.

Mr. Grein was married October 20, 1857, to Miss Ann Mary, a daughter of Adam HOFFMAN, and they were the parents of the following eleven children: Mary (Mrs. Charles GULDENFFENNING); Elizabeth, who died at the age of twenty years; John, a carpenter, of Champaign; William, railroad-bridge carpenter; Lottie (Mrs. Herman AHRENS), who lives on Fred Pellis’ place; George and Fritz, at home, Carrie (Mrs. George MYERS), of Philo, who resides on the father’s farm; Henry and Charles, also at home; and Annie (Mrs. Frank DILLMAN), of Savoy, Ill.

The parents of Mr. Grein were Conrad and Katherine (GREB) GREIN, the former of whom died two years after arriving in Buffalo. The mother died in 1876, about the age of seventy-six years; both of them are buried in Buffalo. A sister, Mary Elizabeth, was married to Henry LANG, a wagon-maker, who is deceased. A brother, Christ GREIN, resides in Arkansas.

John Grein died April 16, 1905, and was buried April 19, 1905, at Mount Hope Cemetery, Champaign, Ill. At the time of his death he was sixty-nine years, nine months and nineteen days old.

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