Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


William M. Lill

Unusual energy and resourcefulness brought success to William M. Lill, whose well cultivated fann of two hundred and eighty acres on section 9, Soldier township, was convincing proof of his ability as a business man.

He was a native of Germany, whence so many of the thrifty citizens of Iowa have come, and was born November 9, 1847, a son of August and Cardine (Prauske) Lill. The mother died when the subject of this review was eight years of age, and of the six children in the family one died in Germany, while the other five came to America, namely: Ernestine, the widow of John Merring, of Chicago; Henrietta, now the widow of Charles Denhard, also of Chicago; William M., of this review; August, deceased; and Caroline, the wife of Fredd Topp, of Chicago. The father was again married in Germany to Miss Minnie Toorick. He came to America with his family in 1870 and died in this country, January 4, 1894, his second wife passing away in 1908.

William M. Lill pursued his education in his native land and continued there until twenty-one years of age. In 1868 he crossed the ocean to America and for eight years worked in Chicago at any honorable occupation that he could find. He saved his earnings and after acquiring a moderate capital came to Crawford county in 1876 and purchased eighty acres of land in Charter Oak township, which he cultivated for twenty years. He then sold that farm and bought two hundred and eighty acres on section 9, Soldier township, which he developed until it became one of the best improved farms in the neighborhood. It is provided with a comfortable residence, ample outbuildings and all conveniences for modem farming. Mr. Lill cultivated his land to good advantage and live-stock interests also constituted an important factor in his success.

On the 21st of December, 1873, he was united in marriage to Miss Henrietta Wage, who was born in Germany, May 9, 1852, a daughter of Adam and Julia Wage, who were the parents of two children; Rose, now the widow of Carl Miller, of Detroit, Michigan; and Henrietta, now Mrs. William Lill.

Nine children came to brighten the home of Mr. and Mrs. Lill, five of whom are still living: Emma, the wife of Albert Bartels, of Crawford county, Iowa; John, also of Crawford county; William, who lives on the family homestead; Otto, who also cultivates a portion of his father's farm; and Fred, who is married and engaged in farming in Ida county.

The son Otto was married October 25, 1905, to Miss Clara Clausen, who was born in Crawford county, May 10, 1881, and they have three children: Walter, who was born July 3, 1906; Sadie, born August 31, 1908; and Edna, born July 15, 1910.

Mr. Lill, like his family, was a firm adherent of the German Lutheran church and politically he gave his support to the Democratic party. As a patriotic and wide-awake citizen he took an active interest in public affairs and served as township trustee for eight years and as road supervisor for a similar length of time. He was a resident of Crawford county for thirty-five years and assisted very materially by his influence and example in advancing the general welfare. He was known as industrious, enterprising and thoroughly capable and no man in the county stood higher in the estimation of friends and acquaintances than William M. Lill, who passed away on the 11th of March, 1911.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.