WILLIAM WALLBAUM. - One of the largest landholders of Sangamon county is William Wallbaum, of Cartwright township, whose possessions aggregate over eighteen hundred acres lying in Sangamon, Morgan and Cass counties. His property is well improved and returns to him a splendid income and moreover it is the visible evidence of his life of thrift, of enterprise and of honesty. He has been a resident of this county since 1855 and his record is an indication of the opportunities afforded in the new world to men who are ambitious, determined and energetic.
Mr. Wallbaum was a native of Germany,, his birth having occurred in the Province of Prussia, on the 9th of July, 1837. He is a son of Ernest Wallbaum, who was born and reared in the fatherland and there married Sophia Riling, also a native of Germany. In the year 1858 the father emigrated with his family to the new world and joined his son William, who had already located here. He spent his last years in Randolph county, Illinois, where he died in the summer of 1859, and his wife and oldest son also passed away within a month of that time.
William Wallbaum spent the first seventeen years of his life in Prussia, receiving the advantages of the public schools, being instructed in the Latin as well as the German language. When a young man he resolved to seek a home and fortune in the new world. He was just seventeen years of age when in 1854 he took passage at Bremen on a westward-bound sailing vessel, which made for the harbor of New Orleans. He thence proceeded up the river to St. Louis and spent his first winter in that city. In the spring fo 1855 he came to Sangamon county, where he began working on the farm of Jacob Foster. He was employed by the month at farm labor for five years and then began farming on his own account.
At that time Mr. Wallbaum was married in Morgan county, Illinois, on the 12th of February, 1860, to Mrs. Elizabeth Robinson Wood. He rented some land and his wife also had a little place of ninety acres, upon which he engaged in farming until about 1867. He then purchased his present farm and has resided upon it continually since. At first he became the owner of eighty acres, only a part of which was broken. He afterward added one hundred and sixty acres, which is the tract upon which his home and many substantial improvements are now found. As the years passed and his financial resources increased he added to his property from time to time until he was the owner of eighteen hundred acres, which he purchased with money acquired through his own labor. A part of this he has since given to his children. There is no incumbrance on all this property and his success is well deserved because he has led a life of industry guided by honesty and sound judgment and his labors have done much to improve farming property in this portion of the state and thereby to increase its value. Upon the home place he has a large modern residence, good barns and other substantial outbuildings, an extensive orchard and a forest of evergreen trees. There is also the latest improved machinery and all the equipments and accessories necessary for the conduct of a model farm.
In 1895 Mr. Wallbaum was called upon to mourn the loss of his first wife. She had three children by a former marriage. Unto Mr. Wallbaum by his first marriage there were born five children, three sons and two daughters. Two of the sons are yet living, E. A. Wallbaum being a supervisor of Cartwright Township; and Fred C., the other son, is a resident farmer of Cass county, Illinois. One son, William, was married but died about a year later. A daughter, Lizzie, died at the age of sixteen years; and Emma, the second daughter, died when twenty-two years of age. For his second Mr. Wallbaum chose Emma Love, the wedding taking place November 6, 1897. The lady was born in Morgan county, Illinois, a daughter of Archer Love, one of the early settlers of this state. He was born in the north of Ireland and was of Scotch descent. IN 1902 Mr. Wallbaum was called upon to mourn the loss of his second wife, who died on the 30th of October, leaving a daughter, Emma May, who is now four years of age. Two children of this marriage died in infancy. On the 16th of September, 1903, Mr. Wallbaum wedded Mrs. Martha Virgin, of Jacksonville, who was a native of Kentucky, her father being Dr. William Conway, who was for many years engaged in practice in Louisville, that state.
Politically Mr. Wallbaum is a stanch Republican, as are his stepsons. He has never sought or desired office, preferring to give his attention to his business affairs. He belongs to the Missionary Baptist church of Ashland, having been identified therewith since 1858, and his children and his stepsons are likewise supporters of the Christian religion. His wives were also earnest Christian women, his second wife having been a member of the Baptist church. Mr. Wallbaum has been a resident of the county for nearly a half century and has therefore witnessed much of its growth and development. He is a man of upright character and worth and his many friends hold him in high regard. Self-made, his prosperity, which is certainly most gratifying, has come entirely as the well merited reward of earnest labor and his example should serve as a source of encouragement and inspiration to others, for it shows what can be accomplished if one has the will
to dare and to do and the resolution to persevere in a course which has been marked out as the best one in which to direct individual effort.