FORTMAN, JOHN - Many retired business men of Springfield formerly gained their living from the soil, and are now enjoying the fruits of their labor there. One deserving of special mention, owing to his industry and thrifty habits, is John Fortman, who was born in Germany, September 20, 1833, a son of Henry Fortman, also a native of Germany, who was a carpenter by trade.
Mr. Fortman was educated in his native land and there learned the carpenter trade, at which he worked and on a farm. Believing that in the United States he would find better opportunities, he left his native land, and landed at New Orleans in 1858. After a two years' residence there he came to St. Louis, and a year later to Springfield, arriving there in 1861. He then bought a tract of six acres adjoining Springfield, and on it raised vegetables, which he hauled to the city, selling them to dealers. This business increased until he was able to accumulate a competency, upon which he retired about 1902. The frugality and industry which are so characteristic of the German, were present with Mr. Fortman, who, although now retired, occupies himself with work about his pleasant home.
Mr. Fortman was married in Springfield, March 17, 1874, to Minnie Shoultz, born in Mecklenburg, Germany, January 1, 1833. Her parents lived and died in Germany. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Fortman of whom two survive: Fred, of Christian County; Minnie Price, whose husband is a brass molder for the Wabash Railroad. The family belong to Trinity Lutheran Church. Mr. Fortman is a Republican but has never came before the people as a candidate for political office. He is sober and reliable, and is well known in the community in which he has made his home for so many years.