Biography - John Fireman

JOHN FIREMAN, a prominent resident of Pitman Township, Montgomery County, is a native of Brunswick, Germany, and was born December 18, 1841. He was the son of Jacob and Elizabeth Fireman, both natives of Germany, who spent their lives in that land and never ventured across the blue waters of the Atlantic.
Our subject was reared in his native place and obtained a good German education, and since his arrival in America has learned our tongue with surprising quickness. In 1858, he decided to bid adieu for a time to his native shores and make his way to America. Hither he came, and from his embarking at Bremen until he landed at New Orleans the boy of eighteen was receiving new impressions. Nine weeks were spent on the ocean, and when he landed he found still quite a journey before him. He came up the Mississippi River to Montgomery County, Ill., and began work for a farmer at $12 a month. Here he labored until the call came for volunteers in 1861, and, like so many of his countrymen who had found a home on these shores, he immediately enlisted in Company E, Forty-ninth Illinois Infantry, in the Sixteenth Army Corps, under Gen. A. J. Smith. He participated in the battles of Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, Little Rock (Ark.), the Red River expedition, Tupelo, the siege and battle of Nashville, and other engagements of minor importance. During the service at times he became incapacitated and received an honorable discharge September 21, 1865.
Our subject returned from the war not quite as strong and well as when he set out, but he felt that he had won a right to the country which had invited him to her shores. His old home was still in Montgomery County, and there he returned, and in the spring of 1873 he settled on his present farm and purchased two hundred acres of land. The marriage of Mr. Fireman was celebrated in November, 1869, with Bridget Leonard, a native of Ireland, and the daughter of Patrick and Catherine Leonard, both of whom are deceased. In the fall of 1865, Mrs. Fireman emigrated to America by way of Queenstown, and by steamer reached New York City in eleven days, and came to Sangamon County. Here she lived for several years and then came into Montgomery County, where she met Mr. Fireman. The children who have resulted from this union are Elizabeth, who is the wife of Arthur Brown; Katie, Mollie, William, Nora, Rosa, Michael, Henry and Albert. Louis is deceased.
Mr. and Mrs. Fireman are connected with the Roman Catholic Church, and are regarded in that connection with great respect. Mr. Fireman has been a very hard-working man all his life and has earned his fine land and sleek cattle by his honest toil. Our subject is fond of seeing his friends, and his good wife assists him in showing hospitality. He has a good record as a soldier and is kindly remembered by many of his old comrades in arms. The ranks of these brave men grow smaller and smaller every year, and the time will come when such records as this will be highly prized by the friends and families, who will turn to the truthful tale of the old soldier with pride. Mr. Fireman is regarded as one of the most prosperous and progressive of the German-American citizens of Montgomery County.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 457-458.

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