DEFRATES, MANUEL - While there are some large farms in Sangamon County, many others which are smaller in extent are so highly cultivated that they are almost priceless in value, and produce magnificent crops that yield a handsome income to their owners. The climatic conditions of the county make it an ideal place for fruit and truck farming, and many of the farmers devote themselves to one or both of these special lines, with very gratifying results. One of the men who have proven the value of Sangamon County farm land and one who has succeeded far beyond his hopes, is Manuel DeFrates, residing on his ten acre farm in Clear Lake Township. He was born on the island of Madeira in 1850, being a son of Frank and Joanna (Fernandes) DeFrates, natives of the same place. Realizing that their home place afforded few opportunities, the parents left it and came to America in 1857, selecting Springfield as their destination. Arriving in the city they located there, and made it their home until they passed away, the father dying in 1900, and the mother in 1906. They had three sons and four daughters and three children still survive.
Manuel DeFrates received a good common school education in Springfield, and after he left school worked at teaming for several years, when he left that occupation and for thirty years carried on farming northwest of Springfield, then moved to his present place of ten acres, in Clear Lake Township.
The marriage of Mr. DeFrates occurred in Springfield, November 18, 1872, when he was untied with Elizabeth DeFrates, born in Springfield, November 14, 1853, but her parents came from the Island of Madeira to Springfield in 1850. Her father was a farmer and he and his wife both died in their new home, where they had made themselves respected by all who knew them. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. DeFrates: six daughters, including mrs. Manuel DeFrates, and four sons, of whom five children survive. Manuel DeFrates and his wife have had three children: Maude, wife of Kenneth Polk, a carpenter of Springfield; Ralph who is in the employ of C. A. Power, and one who is deceased. There are three grandchildren in the family, who are the pride of their grandparents' hearts.
Mr. DeFrates is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and contributes liberally towards its support, for he believes in the good influence exerted by religious bodies. In political faith he is a Republican, but has never aspired to public honors. Hard-working, earnest and conscientious, Mr. DeFrates has made the success of his farming which he deserves and it has been gained through his own efforts intelligently directed.