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John Christian Stripe

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

JOHN CHRISTIAN STRIPE, a retired farmer living in Oquawka, is numbered among the early and honored settlers of Henderson County, and for many years has not only witnessed the growth and progress of this region, but lias also aided in its advancement and upbuilding. He is a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, born November 6, 1832. His father, Jacob Stripe, was also a native of the same country, and w r as a cloth-weaver by trade. He married Miss Catharine Smith, and they became the parents of eleven children, four of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. Annie became the wife of George Hofflich, of Wurtemberg, Germany, but is now deceased; John C. is the next younger; Barbara is the wife of Charles Shoemaker, a merchant of Philadelphia; and Ursula is the widow of Fred Windolph, of Dover, Del. Mr. Stripe is an only son, as were his father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Our subject obtained his education in the common schools of Germany. He was left an orphan when quite young, and in 1847, when a youth of fifteen years, he bade adieu to his native laud and started for America, crossing the Atlantic in a sailing-vessel, which, after a voyage of forty-one days, dropped anchor in the harbor of New York. He immediately proceeded to Philadelphia, where he completed his trade, that of carriage-making, which he then followed for ten years, becoming an expert workman along that line. In the fall of 1857 he emigrated westward, and cast in his lot with the early settlers of Oquawka, where for six years he followed carriage-making in the employ of others. In 1863 he embarked in the carriage and wagon- making business for himself in Oquawka, and his time was thus passed for fifteen years. In 1878 he rented land and began farming, continuing its cultivation for five years. He then purchased a farm, and carried on agricultural pursuits until 1891, when he retired from active business life.

Mr. Stripe has been twice married. On the 21stof May, 1855, he wedded Miss Rebecca A. Eckley, and by their union were born nine children: Mary A., now the wife of J. L- Thomas, who is engaged in farming in Mercer County; Harry, who is employed in a restaurant in Monmouth; Arthur and Wilbur, who are engaged in the livery business in Oquawka; Maud, at home; John C. and Frank, who have passed away; Lucy, who became the wife of Robert Hattou, but is now deceased; and one child who died in infancy. The mother of this family was called to her final rest September 27, 1877, and on the 10th of November, 1881, Mr. Stripe was united in marriage with Mrs. Almira Fames, widow of Pern Fames, of Oquawka.

Our subject exercises his right of franchise in support of the Republican party, and on that ticket has been elected Road Commissioner, School Director and School Trustee. He is a member and one of the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and also belongs to Tranquil Lodge No. 193, I. O. O. F. His life has been well spent, and an honorable, straightforward career has won him high regard. From a financial standpoint he has also been successful, and he is now the manager of five hundred acres of valuable land, the income derived therefrom enabling him to live retired.