Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Kankakee County
FALTER, GEORGE- Among the German-American farmers whose years of practical industry have resulted in retirement in Kankakee, none deserves more credit for the success which has rewarded their efforts then does George Falter, whose capable sons now are managing his finely improved farm of four hundred acres in Limestone township. Born in the Fatherland across the sea, February 23, 1845, Mr. Falter is a son of Louis and Gertrude Falter, also natives of Germany, as were their parents before them. When George was three years old, in 1848, the elder Falter brought his family to America, settling near Columbus, Ohio, where he operated a rented farm for some time. In his native land he had been a stone mason, and in America, in addition to farming, he was a watchman in the Ohio state capitol building during its process of erection. Eventually he was able to purchase a farm of his own, and in 1866 he came to Illinois, settling on land in Will county. Later he bought a place in Troy, Ill., and engaged in merchandising for a year, then disposed of his stock and property and bought a half section of land in Ford county, upon which he lived some years. Then he bought eighty acres near Chebanse, settled in the town of that name, and there his death occurred in 1887, at the age of seventy-seven years. He was a member of the German-Lutheran church, and a man of energy and resource. His wife, who died in 1889, at about the same age was a member of the Catholic church. Besides George, who is the fourth oldest, the parents had eight children: Mary, the oldest; Louis, who died September 28, 1902 at the age of 65 years; Mary who died at the age of thirteen years; John, who enlisted in the Eighteenth Ohio regiment, was wounded at the battle of Murfreesburo, and has since never been heard from. Frederick, also a soldier, lived on a farm in Livingston county, Ill.,; Amelia, the wife of Mat Fadling, lives in Grundy county; Caroline is the wife of John Heller of Iroquois county; and Catherine H. is the wife of Carl Schultz, of Kankakee county.
Mr. Falter was educated in the public schools of Columbus, Ohio. January 6, 1867, he was united in marriage to Mary Heil, a native of Columbus, and daughter of Michael Heil and Elizabeth (Schileker) Heil, the former of whom died April 8, 1903, and the later, August 6, 1899. Mrs. Heil was born in Darmstadt, Germany, August 11, 1822, and came to the United States in 1838, settling in Columbus, Ohio, where her marriage to Michael occurred in 1844. The family located in Kankakee county in 1868, where they became prominent farmers and active workers in the Lutheran church. Mrs. Falter is the second oldest in a family of nine children. Kate, the oldest daughter, is the wife of George Butz, Jr.; John is a farmer of Limestone township; Charles W. is a resident of Kankakee; Barbara died at the age of two years; Michael lives in Kankakee; Elizabeth is the wife of Gustave Goodknecht; Adam is a farmer of Kankakee county, and Frederica is the wife of Charles Byers of Ohio.
For three years in Ford and nine years in Kankakee county, Mr. Falter operated rented farms, before he was able to purchase, but in 1880 he bought his present farm, to which he lent the good judgement and best energies of his life, transforming it into one of the best properties in the township. To himself and wife have been born seven children, all of whom have had practical home trainings, and the best education he was able to give them. Of the children, Charles F. William, a farmer of North Dakota, married Nettie, Lashuay, and has eight children; Lora, Archie, Pearl, Flossie, Myrtle, Arthur, Carrie, and Bessie; Micheal, who lives on his own farm, married Cora E. Bratton, and has two children, Gladys and Albia; Geroge Adam, who also lives on his own farm, married Elizabeth Carl, and has a daughter, Edith; Ann Gertrude, the wife of William Hartung, living on their own farm in Limestone township, and has a son, Earl Edward; Albert Henry married Susie Hertz, lives on Mr. George Falter's farm in Limestone township, and has three children, Lillie, Louella, and Eunice Isabella; Frank M., who lives on a part of his father's farm in Limestone township, married Lizzie Karl; and Flora C. K. is the wife of Walter W. Holmes, lives in Kankakee, and is engaged in the livery business and has a son, Dernwood Vern. Mr. Falter has not only won a competence during his many years of toil, but has the esteem and good will of a large circle of friends and associates.