Biography - Conrad Wellar

CONRAD WELLAR, a successful farmer and highly respected citizen of Harvel Township, Montgomery County, is a striking example of the success in life always won by the honest, hard-working emigrants who come to this country to make their homes and fortunes. Our subject was born in Argenmesen, Hanover, Germany, December 16, 1842, and is the son of Henry and Elizabeth Wellar, both natives of Germany. This worthy couple were reared and married in the Fatherland, and were content to spend their entire life among the friends and neighbors of early youth.
Conrad, the son, belonged to a more progressive age. He had received a fair education in the home schools, and it was his ambition to rise in the world, to become a landholder, and occupy a higher position in life. Tidings of success came from the far-off United States; America was the land of promise, and hither our subject resolved to come at the earliest opportunity. However, he remained with his parents until he arrived at man's estate. Reared in a frugal German household, early taught lessons of honest self-reliance, and accustomed from childhood to do his share of labor, he was well fitted to become a true American citizen.
In 1864, full of hope and confidence in the future, Mr. Wellar bade his parents and friends goodbye, and taking passage on a steamer at Bremen was soon on his way to the New World. Among his fellow-passengers was a goodly number of his countrymen, and in their society the time passed swiftly away. In thirteen days the uneventful voyage across the Atlantic was ended, and our subject landed, a stranger in a strange land. He did not tarry long in New York City, but, advised by others, went almost directly to St. Louis, which was at that time the headquarters for the vast influx of emigration.
Not knowing at first where he might obtain the employment to -which he was best adapted, Mr. Wellar remained in St. Louis a short time; then, having been informed of work in the farming district of Illinois, came to Montgomery County. Experienced farming hands were in great demand, and Mr. Wellar readily obtained a situation. He did his work faithfully and well, and giving great satisfaction to his employer, remained four years in his service. He received $20 per month during the busy season, and in the winter from $16 to $18. Reared to frugal habits, his wants were few, and he carefully laid by each month a modest sum for future investment.
Plowing, sowing, reaping, caring for stock, and the general work of the farm gave Mr. Wellar but few hours of leisure, but he made some acquaintances, mostly among his own countrymen. From the family of one of the oldest German settlers in that portion of the State he selected his wife. Mrs. Wellar was born in Germany October 26, 1840. She is the daughter of Henry and Anne M. Wucherpfenning, and emigrated to this country with her parents when she was only five years old. They settled in Madison County at an early day. Their home was a little log cabin in the woods, and the hard-working father industriously cultivated the forty acres of ground which surrounded it. When Mrs. Wellar was nineteen years of age she removed with her parents to Harvel Township, Montgomery County. Her father died there, but her mother passed away at Edwardsville. The living children of this worthy couple are two in number, Mrs. Elizabeth Wellar, and Christoph. Mr. Wuchererpfenning left property in Raymond, and eighty acres of land in Raymond Township.
By a former marriage, to Antone Munstermann, Mrs. Wellar has five living children, John, Annie M., Mary E., Carrie M. and Louisa. Mr. and Mrs. Wellar have five children, Minnie, Henry, Joseph, Elizabeth and Rosa. These sons and daughters are intelligent young people, and have profited by the advantages obtainable in the community. The members of the family are identified with the same church to which their ancestors belonged, and are constant attendants at the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Wellar is not a politician, but he is an ardent Democrat and votes that ticket. He has enjoyed many prosperous years in this country, and now owns a valuable estate of two hundred and forty acres in the home farm and one hundred and sixty acres in Zanesville Township, beside a brick business house and dwelling in Raymond. His property increases each year in value, and financial success has rewarded his exertions.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 440-443.

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