Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
BIESENTHAL, CHARLES A. - In the second generation of the German characteristics blend well with those of American origin, so that the offspring of the Fatherland are among the most prosperous in the land. Proud indeed may a man be who can trace his ancestry back to a sturdy son of Germany who, coming here, developed into one of the thrifty German-American citizens of which the country has had such need in times gone by. If it had not been for them during the Civil War, the outcome might have been entirely different. Charles A. Biesenthal, of Capital Township, is of German parentage. He was born in New Berlin Township, January 5, 1872, being a son of Frederick and Sophia (Kuhn) Biesenthal, the former born April 14, 1846, and the latter born October 14, 1842, both being natives of Germany. In 1863 Frederick Biesenthal came to America, landing in New York, whence he came west to Wisconsin, but remaining there only a short time, he moved to Springfield. From there he enlisted in the service of the North and fought during the remainder of the war, participating in many hard-contested battles. The parents of Charles A. Biesenthal were married in Springfield and had eight children, six of whom survive. While the father died October 14, 1896, the mother survives, making her home in Springfield.
Charles A. Biesenthal attended school in Curran Township and worked on his father's farm. Later he worked on a farm owned by his father, in New Berlin Township, and conducted it until the latter died. At this time he began farming for himself in Curran Township, but in 1901 moved to Capital Township, where he now owns eighty-five acres of rich farm land. This he devotes to general farming, and has succeeded in amassing a comfortable property.
The marriage of Mr. Biesenthal occurred in Gardner Township, February 2, 1894, to Julia Kohl, born in Springfield, April 9, 1873. Her father was born in Germany but her mother was a native of Springfield. Mr. Kohl came to America in 1863, settled on a farm in Sangamon County, and worked at the city water works for six years, after which he devoted himself exclusively to his farming, and is now thus engaged. He and his wife had two daughters and three sons, all of whom survive. The grandfather and grandmother, Mr. and Mrs. John Kohl, also live at North Seventh Street, Springfield. Mr. and Mrs. Biesenthal have had six children: Frieda, Carl, Sophia, Godfrey, William and Earl, all at home.
Mr. Biesenthal is a Democrat and has served very acceptably as School Director of the Sand Hill School. He is a consistent member of the Lutheran Church, being highly regarded in that organization, as he is throughout the county where he is so well and favorably known.