Biography - Abram Bourquin

ABRAM BOURQUIN, though still comparatively a young man, has become well-known in agricultural circles, and is recognized as a careful, energetic farmer, who, by his advanced ideas and progressive habits, has done much to improve the farming interests of this section. He is not only prominent as a tiller of the soil, but as a citizen and neighbor is held in the highest esteem. He has one of the finest and best improved farms of Montgomery County and is one of its wealthiest and most influential men. He is a native of the Buckeye State, and was born in Tuscarawas County, October 15, 1854, being the youngest of three children born to A. L. and Mary A. (Beichenot) Bourquin.
The father was born in Switzerland, near the French frontier, August 20, 1809, and continued to reside there until 1837, when the advantages to be derived from a residence in America induced him to emigrate to the United States, he crossed the ocean and located in Ohio, where he soon amassed a fortune. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary A. Beichenot, was a native of France, but came to this country early in life. She died in 1857, when our subject was about three years of age. Mr. Bourquin passed away on the farm in Ohio where he had first settled, April 21, 1879. He was a worthy and much-esteemed citizen. By industry and close attention to his chosen occupation he had gathered around him many of the comforts of life, and at the time of his death left a competency.
The subject of this sketch, being the son of wealthy parents, received every advantage for a good education, and can read, write and speak the French and English languages with equal fluency. When twenty-one years of age he was ambitious to start out to “hoe his own row” in life, and had no desire to fall back on his wealthy parents for a start. He came to the Prairie State, and for a time was engaged in a sewer-pipe manufactory. Later, he went to work on a farm, but when his father died, in 1879, he came into possession of one third of the estate, which gave him a goodly fortune. Soon after this he bought his fine farm of four hundred acres, near Nokomis, began improving and developing it, and now has one of the best estates in Montgomery County. He built his elegant residence, one of the best in the county, in 1888, and everything about the place indicates the owner to be a man of energy and ambition. It must not be inferred that Mr. Bourquin, having inherited a fortune, is engaged in spending it, for this is far from the truth. He is one of the most pushing and ambitious fanners of the county, and has steadily increased his fortune from the start.
Edward, the brother of our subject, is a prominent merchant of Independence, Kan., and his sister Adellie is the wife of Benjamin J. Rickets, of Colorado. In 1882, Mr. Bourquin made an extended European tour, visiting England, Scotland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and other countries. While traveling through Switzerland he was impressed with the beauty of the Swiss cattle, and after returning to this country purchased a small herd. He has made a great success in breeding them, and two of his thoroughbred cows, at the blooded stock show in Chicago, took the premium for making a greater amount of butter in one and three days than any cows in this country, that is, in a public test. As his is one of the few herds of this stock in the country, Mr. Bourquin is very proud of it.
Our subject is a strong advocate of the principles of the Republican party, as was his father, but he has too much to do on his extensive farm to give much of his attention to political matters. He was married in 1886 to Miss Augusta Cagnet, a native of Wayne County, Ohio, but of French ancestry. One child has blessed this union, a bright little girl, Jessie, who is now about five years of age.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 370-373.

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