History of the Frank Kraft Farm Under the General Land Grant of 1850, veterans of the War of 1812, were given parcels of land for their service. Rawley Chinn, a private in Captain Ellis' Company in Kentucky, was given 81 acres of land in Towanda Township in McLean County, Illinois. He returned the acres he received and the land was then assigned to Kersey Fell, brother of Jesse Fell. This parcel of land was owned by several individuals until it was eventually purchased by Frank and Pauline Kraft. Frank Kraft and his brother, Timothy, sons of Joseph and Anna Marie Kraft of Germany, immigrated to America in 1854. They worked their way across the country, from New York to Dayton, Ohio, doing farm work. Timothy remained in Dayton for four years while Frank continued on and arrived in McLean County in 1856. He worked on various farms until his marriage to Pauline Fiebig, on March 13, 1859. They rented a farm and after four years accumulated enough money to purchase their first 80 acres in Towanda Township (section 17). Frank continued to purchase additional land and eventually owned the 330 acre farm. Frank and his wife Pauline, also an immigrant from Germany, built a large home (no longer standing) and had two sons, Oscar and Luis. Oscar, the older son, owned and farmed land in Towanda Township. Luis, the younger son, stayed on the home place and helped his father farm. Luis married Lucy Sutter on October 1, 1888. They had six children, Frank, Leo, Pauline, Walter, Raymond and Edith. In 1916, Luis and Lucy built a "modern" home, with electricity and indoor plumbing, for their oldest son Frank and his wife Bridget. This house is still located on the Towanda Barnes Road (1920 Towanda Road). Frank and Bridget eventually inherited the 330 acre farm and lived there with their four children. Their son, Louis, farmed the 330 acres for himself and his three sisters, until his death in 1994. Today the land is in a trust and is farmed by Mark Kraft, the oldest son of Louis. The farm is located on very fertile land and continues to be a grain and livestock farm.
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Illinois State University, Milner Library, Normal, IL, 61790 - for the Towanda Area Historical Society/Towanda District Library
Towanda Area Historical Society/Towanda District Library
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