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Below is a family biography included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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F. D. CALLSEN, Justice of the Peace, Notary Public and general collection agent, Gridley; was born in Haltsee, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, June 28, 1833. He was intended for the military service, and educated accordingly. When the revolution in Schleswig-Holstein collapsed and that country failed to secure its independence from Denmark, Mr. Callsen, not wishing to serve in the Danish army, left the service, and was employed in a store in Altona until 1855 when he came to this country. The first six months he clerked in a drug store in New York City, after which he went to Canada and obtained a situation in a general store. In 1858, he came to Illinois, and, with H. E. Sieberns, carried on business in Farnisville, until the war broke out. He then enlisted in the 17th I. V. I., and was made Second Lieutenant of Co. G. He took part in the battles of Ft. Donelson, Pittsburg Landing, Iuka, Bolivar, the campaign in Northern Mississippi, battles of Port Gibson, Bayou Pierre, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hill, Big Black and the siege of Vicksburg. After the battle of Pittsburg Landing he was promoted to First Lieutenant and transferred to the U. S. Signal Corps, and after the fall of Vicksburg was made an officer on the staff of Gen. Leonard F. Ross, and later of Gen. John D. Stevenson, of Missouri. Returning from the war, he engaged in mercantile business in Gridley, the firm being Sieberns & Callsen. In 1865, he opened up a new farm in the vicinity, and farmed until 1872. when he and Mr. Sieberns started in the grain and coal business and continued that until 1878, since which time he has been in his present business. He was elected Justice of the Peace in 1877, has served three years in succession as Supervisor, and two years as Treasurer of the township besides holding various other town offices. He was married in December, 1863, to Miss Julia Niergarth, of Woodford Co., and has one child — Caroline E. Mr. Callsen came to this country with nothing, has been successful, and now owns a good farm of 160 acres, besides a good dwelling and other property in Gridley.

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This family biography is one of 1257 biographies included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of McLean County, Illinois

View additional McLean County, Illinois family biographies here: McLean County, Illinois Biographies

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