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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  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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FREDERICK KOCH, Sr., who is living a retired life in Columbia, was born in the kingdom of Prussia, Germany, August 7, 1828, and is a son of Frederick and Christina Koch. His boyhood days were spent in his native land, and its public schools afforded him his educational privileges. He learned the trade of carpentering with his father. When a young man of twenty-two he determined to seek a home and fortune beyond the Atlantic, and has never had occasion to regret the fact that he carried out his resolution.

In 1850 Mr. Koch sailed for America, and took up his residence in Waterloo, where for one year he worked at his trade. In 1851 he came to Columbia and embarked in business as a carpenter, continuing operations along that line until 1876, when he began farming. He had previously purchased land in the American bottoms, where he now owns eight hundred acres. All is under a high state of cultivation and well improved, and to the raising of grain his time has been devoted. His first purchase of land was a tract of three acres near Columbia. In 1864 he bought one hundred and seventeen acres, and to this he has added from time to time as his financial resources would permit, until he is now one of the extensive land owners of the county.

In 1851 Mr. Koch was united in marriage with Miss Johanna Genzel. The lady is a native of Prussia, Germany, and came to America in the year of her marriage. A family of six children has been born to them, namely: Frederick, who is now a contractor and builder of Columbia; Annie, wife of Fred Meyer, a prominent merchant of this place; Louisa, now the wife of George Young, a representative farmer of Columbia Precinct, Monroe County; Harriet, wife of Albert Kuener, who is employed as a traveling salesman; Henrietta, wife of Joseph Southof, who is clerking in Columbia; and Emma, wife of Charles Rey, a resident farmer of Hanover Precinct.

Mr. Koch has a pleasant home in Columbia, which stands as a monument of his enterprise. On all sides are seen his handiwork, for he has erected many buildings in this place. In his business dealings he has met with prosperity, for he carries forward to a successful completion whatever he undertakes, and by his own efforts he has worked his way upward from an humble position to one of wealth and affluence. In politics he is a supporter of the Democratic party and its principles, but has never been an office-seeker. He and his family are all members of the Evangelical Church, in which he has served as Trustee. A public-spirited and progressive citizen, he manifests a commendable interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community, and well deserves representation in the history of his adopted county.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

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

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