Biography - Michael Probst

MICHAEL PROBST, farmer of Witt, Montgomery County, Ill., is a prominent agriculturist and one of the representative men of the county. He and his family occupy an assured position in the social life of the community, and always lend substantial aid to the advancement of any social, educational or moral enterprise that arises. Mr. Probst was born near Lawrenceburg, Dearborn County, Ind., April 4, 1845, being the third in a good old-fashioned family of eleven children born to John and Julia (Kizer) Probst, the former of whom was born in Bavaria, Germany, but was brought to this country when quite young by his father, William Probst, locating with him on a farm in Dearborn County, Ind., where he breathed his last in the year 1858, his wife having passed away some years before, or when the subject of this sketch was about eight years of age.
From the death of his father young Michael was obliged to work his own way in life, and for some time was a farm laborer, during which time he obtained but few opportunities for securing an education. Seven members of the above-mentioned family are residing in Illinois, but the others are residing in Indiana, in which State Michael continued to make his home until 1869, when the fertile prairies of Illinois induced him to settle in this State, and for two years after locating here he rented land in the vicinity of Witt. He was then a single man, and almost every cent that he earned was put carefully by for a "rainy day," and when he had accumulated a sufficient amount of means, he, in 1873, purchased a part of his now fine farm, to which he has since added from time to time until his estate embraces two hundred and forty acres of magnificent land, which he devotes to the raising of the usual agricultural products, as well as to the propagation of enough stock to successfully carry on his farm. His land is cultivated in a very intelligent manner, and everything about his place indicates that he is a man of far more than ordinary ability, whose views on agricultural matters are sound and exceedingly practical. There are excellent buildings upon his place, the family residence is a neat and attractive one, well-furnished and well supplied with many conveniences, and the barns and outbuildings are kept in excellent repair, and are characterized by the thoroughness of finish that distinguishes his entire place.
Just prior to purchasing his farm in 1872, he married Miss Annie Hand, a daughter of Joseph Hand, one of the wealthiest farmers in this section of the county, and an Englishman by birth. To this union three children have been born: Clara, Mary, and John, all three of whom are attending the public schools. Mr. Probst is quite a factor in the local politics of his party, and has always been a strong Republican, by which party he was elected a member of the County Board of Supervisors from his township in the spring of 1892. Mr. Probst has been very successful in all his undertakings, and having ever been dependent upon his own exertions, his efforts have been crowned with success to a gratifying degree. Personally an unassuming and modest man, he yet commands the esteem and liking of his neighbors.

Extracted 04 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 169-170.

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