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 Eli Halberstadt

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


ELI HALBERSTADT, who has been a resident of this county for a period of over thirty years, among other business interests, is the proprietor of the Union Roller Mills at Urbana, which he established in 1866.  In 1884 he remodeled the mill building and put in new modern machinery so that in the patent process for the manufacture of flour it is not excelled by any institution of the kind in Central Illinois.  Our subject bears upon his countenance the index of his character as an honest man, a good citizen, and one who has assisted materially in the building up and development of this section.

Mr. Halberstadt was born in Frederick County, Md., Sept. 15, 1820, and is the son of Peter and Susan C. (MAUS) HALBERSTADT, who were natives respectively of Maryland and Pennsylvania.  The father of our subject, a well-educated man, was a carpenter by trade, at which he worked in the summer and taught school in the winter.  He removed from his native State to Ohio in 1829, settling in Darke Cunty, where he died.  The mother died in Maryland in about 1830.  The parental family included three children; only one, Eli, of our sketch, is now living; Eliza, Mrs. PLAIN, of Frederick County, Md., died in april, 1887.  The parents belonged to the German Reform Church.  Peter Halberstadt served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and the paternal grandparents of our subject were both soldiers in the Revolutiionary War.  The first representatives of the family on the mother’s side came from Hanover, Germany, and on the father’s side from Prussia, at an early day.  The paternal grandfather of our subject’s mother emigrated in his boyhood and after his arrival here was sold for his passage.  He afterward paid the price, and upon arriving at a suitable age was married and raised a family, of whom his eldest son served in the Federal army during the Revolution.  The maternal grandfather of our subject, dring his early manhood, farmed extensively in the State of Maryland but spent his declining years in Pennsylvania, where his remains are buried.

Eli Halberstadt was a lad of but ten years when he was deprived of the affectionate care of his mother.  After her death he was taken into the home of his uncle, Jacob GROVE, with whom he lived two years, and then went to live with another uncle, Jacob MAUS, on a farm, where he remained until seventeen years old.  He then served an apprenticeship of three years at the tailor’s trade, and afterward worked as a hourneyman for three years in Carroll and Washington Counties, Md.  At that time, on account of poor health, he determined to abandon his former occupation, and opened a store in the same place, which he operated two years.  He then sold out and removed to Miami County, Ohio, where he resumed the tailoring business two years, and thence came to Urbana, this county.  In the spring of 1856, in company with two others, he opened a store which they operaed one year when Mr. H. bought out his partners and continued business alone until 1865.  That year he put up his gristmill on Ray street, and subsequently changed it to a rolling-mill.  The capacity of this at the present is seventy-five barrels per day.  During the period of his extensive business operations in this county, Mr. Halberstadt has firmly established himself in the confidence of his friends and patrons, and for years has been one of the leading business men, esteemed alike for his integrity and ability.  He was elected Mayor of Urbana in 1868, in which office he served four erms, and while the custodian of the interests of the city exercised the same conscientious care and forethought which he has always shown in the transaction of his own private business.  He is Democratic in politics and with his excellent wife is a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he has been Steward and Trustee, and to the spport of which he has always contributed liberally and cheerfully.  He is also an honored member of the Masonic fraternity and of the I. O. O. F.

Our subect was married in September, 1842, to Miss Rebecca LEGORE, a native of Maryland, and the daughter of Jacob and Rachel (HULL) LEGORE, of the same State, where Mr. L. in early life worked as a stonemason and bricklayer.  Of this union there were born five children:  Frances A., Mrs. SHILLING, of Urbana; David B., of Washington, D. C.; George H., of Urbana; Susan C., Mrs. DAY, of Washington, D. C., and Douglas E., of Chicago.  The family residence is a handsome structure finely located, and our subject and his wife enjoy the society of hosts of friends.

Return to Links Page

Return to Main Page