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Samuel Furst Biography (1821-1886)
Posted by: Jaymi Johnson (ID *****8053) Date: December 07, 2007 at 17:37:16
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Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, IL, 1888: 505-506:

Samuel Furst, deceased, was formerly a prominent citizen of Lancaster Township. He was the son of George and Rachel (Snyder) Furst, and was born in Clinton, Allegheny Co., pa., and died at his home in Lancaster Township, Dec. 21, 1886. The family is of German extraction, although his father, George Furst, was of American parentage.

George Furst removed with his family from Pennsylvania to Illinois in 1839, and settled in Lancaster Township, which was then in a crude and formative condition. He purchased a farm of wild, unbroken land, and began the life of a pioneer in the far West. The scattered homes of the settlers were at that time separated by wide stretches of lonely prairie, which in the summer was covered with a growth of high, coarse grass and wee4ds, and in the winter presented a vast expanse of bleak and desolate snow. The country was entirely wild and gave little promise of its future prosperity, but hope was strong in the hearts of the early settlers, who applied themselves diligently to the work of clearing and cultivating the fields form which their children were destined to reap rich harvests. Mr. Furst established himself successfully on his farm, and passed the remainder of his life there, his death occurring Aug. 1, 1854. His widow passed away in December, 1859. Both were members of the Lutheran Church, and were actively interested in advancing the cause of religion on the western frontier.

Samuel Furst was eighteen years of age when he removed with his family to Illinois. Prior to that he had received a food common-school education, and possessing a vigorous physique, was of great assistance to his father in clearing and improving the farm. He remained at home until his father's death, shortly after which, Dec. 5, 1854, his marriage to Miss Harriet S. Grimes took place. Mrs. Furst is the daughter of Milton and Eliza (Houghey) Grimes, her parents being natives of Ohio. Mr. Grimes was a prosperous farmer in Holmes County, Ohio, until 1850, when he removed with his wife and family to Illinois and located in Cedarville, where they remained a short time, subsequently changing their residence to Iowa and thence to Kansas, where Mr. Grimes died near Osawatomie in 1859, at the age of forty-eight. His widow then returned to Stephenson County, and has since lived with her children here. She has reached the age of seventy-five. After a long and eventful life, checkered with light and shade, she is now enjoying a period of restful ease. Her family consisted of nine children, three sons and six daughters, of whom six are now living. Mrs. Furst, the eldest daughter, was born Aug. 31, 1837, in Millersburg, Holmes Co., Ohio. She came with her parents to Illinois, and resided at home until her marriage with Mr. Furst. Her family consisted of eight children, and the following is their record: Mary R., wife of William McGrath, resides in Harlem Township; Lillian M., a gifted and accomplished lady, is engaged in teaching of the public schools of this county; Oliver J. resides at home and assists with conducting the farm; Nellie F. and Frank E. reside at home, the former having charge of the domestic affairs of the household; Eddie M. died at the age of six, Alice C., at the age of nine , and Lida A. D. in infancy.

Immediately after his marriage Mr. Furst settled on the farm which is now occupied by his widow, and contains 164 acres of well-improved land, located on section 18, Lancaster Township. The estate has been well managed and is now brought to a high degree of cultivation. Mr. Furst was an active, enterprising man, whose genial disposition and uprightness, and integrity of character, won a large circle of friends, both in business and social life. He was a republican in politics. With his wife he was for many years a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in his daily life evinced the sincerity of Christian faith. Mr. Furst ever exerted big influence in the advancement of measures tending to promote the interests of the community. He was liberal-minded, generous and hospitable, and his death was deeply mourned by his family and a wide circle of sympathizing friends.


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