Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
Henry G. Garms, who is engaged in market gardening, was born in Oldenberg, Germany, December 8, 1842, and is a son of John D. Garms, who was a farmer and spent his entire life in Germany. The mother of our subject bore the name of Etta Margaret Tiarks and she became the mother of seven children, but the subject of this review is the only one who ever came to America.
In his youth Henry G. Garms attended the common schools of his native country and also assisted in farm work. The father and his sons operated three hundred acres of land, on which they raised sheep, cattle and horses. The land belonged to the grand duke of Oldenberg and the father became possessed of a comfortable competence through his well directed business affairs. Henry G Garms remained in his native country until twenty-three years of age, when attracted by the opportunities of the new world he severed all relations that bound him to his native land and sailed for American in 1867. He first located at Iron Mountain, Missouri, and afterward in Marion county, Illinois, coming thence to Springfield in the spring of 1868. For two years he was here employed in the shops of the Wabash Railroad and for three years was employed at the Bettie Stuart institute as janitor and general man. He was afterward with Governor Madison for one year as janitor and in 1872 he began market gardening, which he has now followed for more than thirty-two years. He owns his own home and five lots at No. 1050 West Grand avenue and rents land for gardening purposes. Thoroughly understanding his business, he produces excellent vegetables noted for size and flavor and upon the market they find a ready sale.
On the 28th of May,1 871, Mr. Garms was united in marriage to Miss Caroline Sophia Harford, who was born in Macoupin county, Illinois, and they are now the parents of seven children, who are yet living: Ernest Edward, who was born June 30, 1872, and is now serving as alderman of Springfield from the new third ward; Gustave W. S., was born December 28, 1876, and is now in Utica, Illinois; Henry G., born September 21, 1878; Bertha, the wife of Gustave Jorns, of Los Angeles, California; Christine, who was born December 15, 1889; Anna, born March 16, 1892; and Elmer, born December 31, 1894.
At the time of his marriage Mr. Garms possessed a capital of four hundred dollars, which he had saved from his earnings. Gradually he has added to this and all that he possesses is the outcome of his earnest labor and careful management. He deserves great credit for what he has accomplished and may truly be called a self-made man. He belongs to the Trinity German Lutheran church and is very active and helpful in looking after the ill and needy in the church. A man of benevolent and moral spirit he has done much for those in distress and has won the gratitude of many to whom he has rendered timely assistance. His political support is given to the Republican party.