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 Philip Hummel

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


PHILIP HUMMEL. This gentleman, who is widely and favorably known throughout the township of East Bend, came to this section in the pioneer days, and has been one of its most industrious, intelligent and public-spirited citizens. He owns a good farm on section 28, besides property in the present village of Dewey, where he proposes to retire in due time and spend his declining years in the case and comfort which he has justly earned.

Mr. H. is a fine representative of the substantial German element which has assisted so greatly in building up the western country. He was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, June 13, 1815, and at an early age commenced attending the public schools, continuing his studies until fifteen years old. Afterward he remained with his father for some years, working on the farm of the latter, and in 1853 took possession of a tract of land which he inherited from the parental estate. In the meantime he had been married and become the father of three children, and believing that he could better his condition and that of his family in the New world, he sold his property in Germany and set sail from Havre for the United States. He landed with his family in New York city on the 4th of July, 1853, after a voyage of thirty-nine days. He proceeded directly westward, and after reaching Kane County, this State, was employed as a laborer for two years following, in the meantime having purchased a home in Kaneville, where his family were comfortably located. At the expiration of this time he rented a tract of land which he operated on until 1859.

During the latter-named year Mr. Hummel came to this county and purchased 120 acres on section 28, in East Bend Township, which are now included in his present farm. The land at that time was unenclosed and uncultivated, and the embryo town of Rantoul was the nearest trading-post. Deer and wolves still roamed over the prairie, which was unsettled, save here and there, where a lonely cabin would be seen. Mr. Hummel, however, with true pioneer courage set about the improvement of his land, which in due time responded generously to his labor and yielded excellent crops. He had the land enclosed with good fences and put up all necessary farm buildings. He also added to his estate as his means accumulated, and is now the owner of 320 acres under a good state of cultivation.

Mr. Hummell [as listed] was first married, in 1843, to miss Lizzie KELL, a native of his own Province in Germany, and they became the parents of two children—Philip, now living in East Bend Township, and Mary, the wife of Frank BRUSH, a resident of Oregon. The mother of these children died at the home of our subject in Germany, in 1848. His second wife, who in her girlhood was Miss Kate BLOSS, was also a native of Hesse-Darmstadt. Of this later marriage there were born five children, of whom the record is as follows: Henry is a resident of East Bend township; Dora married John CLARK, a farmer of Rantoul Township; Christian lives with his sister Dora; William is at home with his father, and Annie, the youngest, also resides in Rantoul with her sister. Mrs. Kate Hummel died in East Bend Township in 1872.

Our subject was again married, the following year, to Mrs. Amelia HERZBERG. Mrs. Hummel was born in Prussia, and was the daughter of Frederick RUSCH, a native of the same country, and she was first married there, in 1861, to Herman Herzberg, with whom she came to the United States five years later. They located in Bloomington, Ill., where Mr. H. died in 1870. The children of her first marriage were Frank, now a resident of Bloomington, and Hannah, who lives with her mother. Mr. Hummel is a decided Republican, politically, and both he and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church. He is a wide-awake citizen, having contributed $1,000 toward securing the narrow-gauge railroad, and also having with a few others put up the school building in his neighborhood.

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