Biography of Tobias Engle

Tobias Engle, one of the early settlers of Freeport, is a native of Lancaster, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, where he was born May 9, 1829. He is the son of Jacob and Nancy (Myers) Engle. Jacob Jingle was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. In early days he ran a clover huller, later. a grist mill, and afterward took charge of his father’s farm in Lancaster county, residing there until 1851 when he removed to Stephenson county, Illinois, locating in Freeport where he remained two years. Deciding to return to Pennsylvania they started eastward but stopped in Montgomery county, Ohio, where Mr. Engle purchased a farm on which he spent the remainder of his life. His wife was a native of Lebanon county, Pennsylvania. They had eleven children, as follows : Benjamin, who died in Kansas ; Tobias; Jacob, who resides in Montgomery county, Ohio, on the old homestead; Abram, who lives on part of the old farm in Montgomery county, Ohio ; Betsy, wife of Jacob Huntzbiger, both deceased; Annie, wife of Adam Hocker, a farmer in Montgomery county, Ohio; Leah, wife of Jacob Castle, of Montgomery county, a farmer; Martha married Eli Boyer who runs a boarding house in Dayton, Ohio, and three others deceased.

Tobias Engle received a limited education in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, where he worked on his father’s farm until 1851, removing at that time with the family to Freeport, Illinois. Here he embarked in the hardware business in company with John Slope, who later sold his interest to Jacob Stibgen, who in turn sold to Henry Strohm. With these three partners he remained in business about nine years, then selling his interest, he purchased a farm in Lancaster township, Stephenson county, where he still owns 400 acres. In 1890 he returned to Freeport, built his present home, 24 High street, and made all other improvements.

In 1854 Mr. Engle was married to Mary A., daughter of Samuel and Anna M. Myers, who was born in York county, Pennsylvania, in 1828. Her father was a mill owner and farmer in York county, Pennsylvania.

Mr. and Mrs. Engle were parents of eleven children, all living: Albert, married Fannie Craft and is a farmer in Lancaster township, Stephenson county; Jacob M., married Miss Jessie Washburn, and now resides in Lancaster Township on a farm; Tobias S., Jr., a farmer in Lancaster township, married Miss Lydia Clark; Charlie C., also a farmer in Lancaster township, married Alice Deemer; Rose, wife of George Watson, a retired merchant of Rock Rapids, Iowa; Mary, lives with her father; Emma, who lives in Oak Park, near Chicago, is the wife of Frank Hoover who is associated with Bold & Rogers in the hide business; Lillie, wife of William E. Craft, attorney, resides in Oak Park, Illinois; Cora, lives with her father; Jeannette, who resides with her father is now taking painting lessons in Chicago; and Ida, wife of Will Eichelberger who resides in Freeport, and sells oils, etc., etc.

Mr. Engle has, been school trustee in Lancaster township, and was also on the school committee for funds, etc., but is not an office seeker. He was a republican in early years but is now a prohibitionist. His family are members of the Embury M. E. church of Freeport.



Fudwider, Addison L. History of Stephenson County, Illinois: a record of its settlement, organization, and three-quarters of a century of progress. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910.

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