Transcribed by Patty Gaddis
RODEMS, CHARLES E. - proprietor of a blacksmith shop at Cotton Hill Station, Ill., is a native of Sangamon County, having been born at New City, January 15, 1885, a son of Peter Rodems. His grandfather was a native of Germany, who spent his entire life in the Fatherland.
Peter Rodems was born in Germany and first came to the United States in 1859, but returned to his native land in 1860, only to come again to this country the year following. His occupation was that of a machinist, and after coming to America the second time he settled in Sanagamon County, where he spent the remainder of his life working at his trade, his death occurring December 13, 1890, in Springfield. He was born October 30, 1829, and was married to Marie Lederbrand, who was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, September 18, 1848, and whose father came from Germany to Sangamon County, where he died. She died November 25, 1909, in Springfield. Both she and her husband were buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Charles E. Rodems received his education in the public schools of his native city, and was always an active, healthy boy, delighting in all manner of out-door sports. At an early age he started working on a small Illinois farm for his father, and he so continued until he was sixteen years old, when, deciding that he could better use his abilities in another field, he started to learn the trade of blacksmith, and being bright and quick to learn, soon mastered this occupation and began to find ready employment in various shops in the vicinity of Springfield. When he was eighteen years old he went to Bloomington, where he worked for six months in the shops, but returned to Springfield and continued working at his trade for three and one-half years. During the next year he was engaged at his trade in Chicago. After his return to Springfield secured a position with the Illinois Central Railroad Company as a blacksmith, and worked all along their line for ten months. Once more he returned to Springfield, and ten months later decided he was capable of conducting a business of his own, and accordingly invested his savings in the shop and equipment at Cotton Hill Station. He does a flourishing business and his excellent workmanship has given him a high reputation in his trade. He is a Republican in political views, is a member of the German Lutheran Church, and holds membership in the Illinois Life Insurance Company.
On November 18, 1908, Mr. Rodems was united in marriage with Annie Gritens, at Springfield, Ill. Mrs. Rodems was born at Deer Plain, Calhoun County, Ill, August 7, 1891, daughter of Henry and Ida Gritens, natives of St. Charles, Mo., and Calhoun County, Ill, respectively. To this union there has been born a son, Peter Henry, born at Cotton Hill, November 25, 1909.
Mr. Rodems is one of the energetic young business men of Ball Township, and is immensely popular with all who know him. In addition to his business he is the owner of the residences and lots at Nos. 1228 East Stuart Street and 2000 South Thirteenth Street, in Springfield.