FREDERICK IHLENFELDT - Frederick Ihlenfeldt, now deceased, was numbered among Springfield's business men for many years and conducted a flour and feed store fore more than two decades. Throughout this period his straight-forward business methods, unwearied industry and persistent effort brought to him a very desirable measure of success, for when he came to this city he was in limited financial circumstances and at the time of his death he was the possessor of a comfortable competence. Mr. Ihlenfeldt was born in Germany on the 5th of January, 1845, his parents being John and Wilhelmina Ihlenfeldt, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father was a miller by trade and worked at that calling until his later years, when on account of advanced age he retired from business life. He and his wife then came to America to visit their children, with whom they resided until called to their final rest. Both died at the home of their sons in Springfield.
In the common schools of Germany Frederick Ihlenfeldt acquired his education and then began to learn the miller's trade with his father with whom he worked until 1870. At that time, when twenty-five years of age, he came to America and made his way direct to Bloomington, Illinois, where he began work as a laborer in a brickyard, owned by the father of Governor Joseph Fifer. There he was employed for a short time and subsequently he worked at his trade in a mill in Bloomington for a few years. He then came to Springfield and for several years was employed on the mills of the city, after which he entered into partnership with Frank Weidlocher and they purchased a flour mill, which they conducted for several years. About sixteen years ago they erected what is now known as the Weidlocher Building at the corner of Fourth and Jefferson streets. There they engaged in the wholesale and retail flour and feed business until the death of Mr. Ihlenfeldt on the 30th of December, 1896.
In 1874, in Springfield, occurred the marriage of Mr. Ihlenfeldt and Miss Barbara Musselman, also a native of Germany, born November 24, 1847, a daughter of John and Susan (Heer) Musselman, both of whom are natives of Germany, where they spent their entire lives, the father devoting his energies to agricultural pursuits. Six children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Ihlenfeldt, of whom four are now living: Louisa, at home; Bertha, the wife of Harry Hufflecamp, who is employed as a salesman in a clothing store in Springfield; Anna and Carl, yet with their mother. Those who have passed away are Rosa, who died at the age of one year and eight months; and Frederick, who died in infancy. After her husband's death Mrs. Ihlenfeldt sold the business to his former partner, Mr. Weidlocher, who is still conducting the enterprise. The family home is still maintained at No. 1130 South Second street. The residence was built by Mr. Ihlenfeldt and was one of the first of the neighborhood. In addition to this property Mrs. Ihlenfeldt owns three houses and lots on College street, which bring to her a good rental.
Mr. Ihlenfeldt was a member of the German Lutheran church of Springfield, to which his wife and children also belong. His political allegiance was given to the Democratic party, but he was never an aspirant for public office. He belonged to the Ancient Order of United Workmen and was a man who in all life's relations gained the respect and confidence of those with whom he was associated. His business record was particularly commendable, for it was through the inherent force of his character, his adaptation to his changed conditions when he came to the new world and his strong and resolute industry that he advanced steadily from a humble financial position to one of affluence, winning at the same time the unqualified regard of his fellow men by reason of his honorable business methods.