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 William Neu

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


WILLIAM NEU.  This gentleman who occupies a prominent position among the business interests of Tolono, deals in agricultural implements, in Norman and Percheron horses, and also carries on a thriving livery.  He is a wide-awake, energetic member of the community, just such a man as is needed in every department of business to insure that competition which is the life of trade.  He was born in Peru, this State, on the 7th of June, 1857, and is the son of John and Christina NEU, natives of Prussia.  The birth of the father took place Oct. 18, 1822, and he is the son of Anthony and Christina NEU, who became the parents of ten children, six of whom grew to mature years, and three emigrated to the United States.  Of the latter, Theodore remained here about two years, then returned to Germany and died there in about 1873; Joseph is a resident of Peru, La Salle County, this State, and John lives in the city of Champaign.

Our subject remained with his parents in his native town until twelve years of age, when the family came to this county and located on a farm in Colfax Township.  Afer four years they took up their abode in Tolono, where William completed his education at the High School in 1878.  Then, in company with his father he engaged in the agricultural implement trade until 1884, when the latter removed to Indianapolis, leaving he son in charge of the business.  Previous to this, however, the elder Neu had become proprietor of a livery stable at Tolono, which our subject also conducted after his father had removed.  John Neu returned to this county in 1887, and is now a resident of Champaign City.  He is a man of fine business capacity.  Upon coming to La Salle he was not only without any property, but was $23 in debt.  He carried on a furniture business until 1869, and from the first was successful in his operations.  He still owns the farm in Colfax Township, and the livery business at Tolono, including a number of fine horses.  On coming to this country, he made the ocean trip in a sailing-vessel, the voyage occupying thirty-two days.

John Neu was married, in 1856, to Miss Christina MIEBACH.  She was also born in Prussia, and came to the United States with her parents when a young woman, in 1854.  The paternal family consisted of five children, of whom Joseph died in 1882, when twenty-two years old.  Those surviving are, William of our sketch, Louise, Emma and John.  The family are loyal adherents of the Catholic faith, and politically the sons affiliate with the Democratic party.

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