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Champaign County, Illinois
Biography of John Reimund
SOURCE: The Biographical Record of Champaign County, Illinois, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1900
SURNAMES: BUSHMAN, CAVENDISH, CHARNI, COFFMAN, FAUST, HARCLAY, HESSHEIZER, HORN, INGERSOLL, LANE, LOGAN, NAWGEL, NICODEMUS, REED, REIMUND, RIDEBAUGH, WEISEL
Born in Bedford, Pennsylvania, January 24, 1821, he was a son of Solomon and Elizabeth (HESSHEIZER) REIMUND, likewise natives of the Keystone state. The father, who died about 1872, when eighty-one years of age, was a manufacturer and dealer in furniture, and was favorably known in Bedford, where he made his home for almost a life-time. He was an earnest member of the Lutheran church, and led the coir for a long time. His wife also was a devoted member of the church, and their home was noted for hospitality and good cheer. She departed this life in 1852, loved and mourned by everyone who knew her. Their eldest child, Mary, first married William WEISEL, whose death occurred about a year subsequently. His widow later became the wife of Henry NICODEMUS, who survives her. She died when in her sixty-third year, and her husband now is approaching his ninetieth year. Of their five children John and Mary are unmarried, and the others are William, whose wife, formerly Julia REED, is deceased; Ellen, wife of Harry HARCLAY; and Frank. Henry, youngest child of Solomon Reimund, makes his home in Beatrice, Nebraska. He was married, in Bedford, Pennsylvania, to Mary Ann RIDEBAUGH, and three sons were born to them, namely: Ambrose, William and Alfonzo.
John Reimund, whose name heads this sketch, was educated in the Lutheran schools at Bedford, and when he had completed his studies he commenced learning the jeweler’s trade. He was thus employed for about six years, one year being in the employ of his brother-in-law, Mr. Weisel. Going to Hagerstown, Maryland, the young man was there engaged in business for four years, after which he returned to his native place and continued to conduct a jewelry store on his own account until 1853. At that time he located in Princeton, Illinois, and three years later he went to Wabash, Minnesota, where he pre-empted a claim, and fulfilled the conditions of the law in regard to the property. At Red Wing, in the same state, he was employed at his trade until August 18, 1862, when he offered his services to his stricken country.
Then, as we all know, were the days that “tried men’s souls,” and for three years John Reimund was ever found at the post of duty, though how often did his thoughts return to the happy little family he had left in the north, and who he was not to see for the entire period of his army life. He had enlisted in Company F, Sixth Regiment of Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and from October, 1862, until the following fall, his regiment was kept in the home state, guarding the settlers from threatened Indian outbreaks. During the winter of 1864 Mr. Reimund was kept on guard duty, having charge of prisoners, and then was sent to Helena, Arkansas, on that rigorous campaign, where great numbers of his comrades died of illness contracted in camp. At the time of Lincoln’s second election, he was stationed at the St. Louis barracks, and voted for the great American who was so soon to fall by the hand of an assassin, and here it may be stated that our subject always was a loyal advocate of the Republican party. He took part in the military operations around New Orleans and participated in the last battle of the war. At Ft. Ridgely, in Minnesota, his regiment was disbanded, and in August, 1865, just three years from the date of his enlistment, he was granted an honorable discharge from the army.
Imagine the happy re-union of John Reimund and his family, who for three dreadful years of anxiety and suffering had been separated. The brave wife, whose part had been no less difficult than his own, had returned to Bedford with their five children, and had nobly performed her duties. Now she tenderly cared for her husband for nearly a year, as his health was broken down in the arduous campaigns of the southwest. In December, 1866, the family removed to Urbana, where Mr. Reimund’s brother Henry was a resident. Buying the stock and good will of his sister’s husband, Mr. Ridebaugh, our subject continued to carry on the business here until his death, which occurred June 5, 1882. He had won the respect of the people of Urbana, and had identified himself with all of their interests. For a number of years he served as steward in the Methodist Episcopal church, besides being chorister for a long period, and a teacher and leader of the singing in the Sunday-school.
The marriage of John Reimund and Rebecca NAWGEL took place March 29, 1849. Her ancestors were numbered among the old and honored pioneers of Bedford county, and to-day she has some documents in her possession which were written there one hundred and three years ago, and yet are well preserved. Her grandfather, Anthony NAWGEL, came from Baden, Germany, and was one of the first treasurers of Bedford county. He married Sarah FAUST. Her father, Frederick NAWGEL, who was born January 18, 1791, and died Mary 15, 1880, was a prosperous farmer, owning upwards of seven hundred acres of valuable land. He was very prominent in the Lutheran church, and besides being an elder until late in life he served as superintendent of the Sunday-school for a score of years. His wife, whose maiden name was Eva OTT (and who was daughter of Michael OTT) was born May 8, 1795, and died May 15, 1863. She, too, was a zealous church member, and carried her religious faith into her every-day life. Her two eldest children, Anthony and Phoebe, died in infancy. Michael, born in June, 1819, died in 1897. He married Maria HORN, now deceased, and several children blessed their union. Sarah, born October 15, 1821, became the wife of the Rev. P. P. LANE, and the mother of ten children. Both parents and seven of their children have passed to the better land. Elizabeth, deceased, was the wife of George LOGAN, and three of their children survive. Frederick, now seventy-five ears of age, married Henrietta CAVENDISH in his youth, and of their large family seven survive. Anna, widow of David COFFMAN, of St. Louis, Missouri, has four living children.
Mrs. Rebecca Reimund was born and reared in Bedford, Pennsylvania, the date of her birth being January 5, 1831. By her marriage she became the mother of seven children, one of whom is in the silent land. Her daughter, Levanda, lives with her, and her youngest child, Solomon J., a confectioner, has a store in Urbana, in one wing of his mother’s house on Main street. Frederick B., a jeweler by trade, resides in Iowa. George A., whose home is in Sullivan, Illinois, married Agnes BUSHMAN, and has one child, Grace A. Wilbur O., of Lawrenceville, Illinois, and a tobacconist by occupation, married Gertrude INGERSOLL, and has one child, Harold R. Clara, wife of J. L. CHARNI, of Crawfordsville, Indiana, has four children, Guy, Dean, Hazel, and Fred. Almeron A., the third child of Mr. and Mrs. Reimund, died at the age of three years, as the result of an attack of the croup, his illness lasting only three hours. Many heartbreaking sorrows and lesser griefs have befallen Mrs. Reimund, but she has borne them patiently and with the fortitude of true Christian, believing always that “all things work together for good to them that love the Lord,” and feeling happy in the faith that some day she shall join her loved ones who are waiting her on the other shore.
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