STIEREN, WILLIAM. - To those of foreign birth seeking better opportunities to earn a living and secure land of their own, America has always offered advantages that are hard to resist. For many years Germany has sent some of her best citizens, who have adopted this country as their own, and realized many of their dearest hopes and given to their communities much that is good and true. A prosperous and progressive farmer of Sangamon County, who has brought his sixteen acre truck farm to a high state of cultivation, is William Stieren, of Spaulding, Clear Lake Township. He was born in Germany March 1, 1845, being a son of John and Lena (Schmidt) Stieren, also born in Germany. The parents did not share the enthusiasm of their son with relation to the United States, living and dying in their native land. All of their eleven children are now dead, with the exception of William.
Receiving a thorough German training and education, Mr. Stieren grew to manhood on his father's farm, but having resolved to broaden his scope, came to America in 1883, sailing from Hamburg and landing in New York City, whence he came direct to Springfield, arriving there on December 29th. After a short stay in the city he moved to Riverton, where he spent eight years, then began mining, thus continuing until he located at Spaulding in 1898. His truck farm is one of the most highly developed in the township, and from it Mr. Stieren gains a good income. He purchased it in 1896, and his house, which is a comfortable one, has been largely rebuilt. During his residence in Germany Mr. Stieren served his term in the German Army, participating in the Franco-Prussian War.
On April 20, 1872, Mr. Stieren was married in Germany to Catherine Holtzer, born in Germany. Like the elder Mr. and Mrs. Stieren, Mr. and Mrs. Holtzer never came to America, dying in Germany. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Stieren, five sons and five daughters, six of whom survive: Lena, wife of Otto Ketzenberger, a gardener, lives east of Springfield; Sophia, wife of Michael Raylotts, lives in Springfield, as do William and Charles; Louis lives at home, as does Mary, wife of Harry Pittman, a civil engineer. There are seventeen grandchildren in the family. In religious faith Mr. Stieren is a Roman Catholic, belonging to St. James parish, of Riverton. He is a Democrat but has never sought office. Conservative and thrifty, Mr. Stieren has carefully saved his earnings, invested them wisely, and is proud of what he has accomplished since arriving in this country. Honorable in all his transactions with his fellow men, he has firmly established himself in the confidence of his community and is regarded as representative of the best interests of his township.