Christian Ackerman, Sr.
(written by Sam Ackerman in the 1980s)

Christian Ackerman, Sr. Born Dec. 25, 1813 Died Mar. 29, 1903
Married 1839
Anna Belsley Born May 1820 died May 2, 1903

Christian Ackerman, Sr. came to this country from Bavaria in 1838. He went directly to Ohio where he lived for six months and then moved to Spring Bay.

In 1839 he was married to Anna Belsley.

Two years later they moved to Groveland and lived there until approximately 1852. They then moved to a farm north of Morton, part of which is now owned by Mrs. Esther Aupperle Getz

A temporary shelter was built and water for domestic use was obtained from a cold water spring nearby. Rails were split and placed around a 4cre tract that had a stream running through it. This fence was built to keep livestock from roaming too far.

After they were pretty well settled a perma ouse was started. This was a brick home. Bricks were manufactured on the farm. Sloppy timber clay was put into brick molds to dry and set, and then removed and cured by green wood fires, the firewood being cut from timber on the farm.

Rough lumber from trees from the woods was used for the framework. Finish lumber, windows and doors were obtained by hauling wheat to Chicago with oxen and returning with the needed wood and items for finishing the interior.

The Christian Ackermans were the parents of 12 children as follows:

3/17/1840 Peter Ackerman
3/5/1842 Jacob Ackerman
2/12/1844 Christian Ackerman
10/15/1845 Katherine Ackerman
2/13/1847 John Ackerman
4/3/1849 Barbara Ackerman
12/26/1850 Joseph Ackerman
2/22/1853 Mary Ackerman (Mrs Henry Rassi)
6/9/1855 Anna Ackerman (Mrs John Wittmer)
2/28/1857 Lydia Ackerman (Mrs Samuel Hirstein)
8/15/1858 Lena Ackerman
8/22/1860 Samuel Ackerman

Peter, Jacob, Katherine, Joseph and Samuel all died early in life.  All lived in Morton with the exception of Mary who moved to Cissna Park after marriage, and later to Milford, Indiana, and Lydia who moved to Fairbury, Illinois after marriage.

Two of the Senior Christian Ackerman’s sons, Christian Jr. and John remained to farm in the Morton area.

John Ackerman lived on a farm east of Morton and this farm has continuously farmed by Ackermans since 1872. C.W. and his son Bruce Ackerman now live on this farm.

Christian Ackerman, Jr. married Mary Gerber in 1867. The Gerbers were of Swiss descent. After marriage they moved to a farm one—half mile east of where the Linctin School now stands.

In the spring of 1871, Mr. & Mrs. Christian Ackerman, Jr. and their first born son, John C., moved to a farm north of Morton. This farm is still in the Ackerman family and. at present is being farmed by John C. (Jay) Ackerman, great great grandson of Christian Ackerman, Sr. The farm east of Morton where they had first lived was sold to Rev. George Welk who came to Morton to serve as Minister of the Morton Apostolic Christian Church.

Nine children were born to the Ackerman family . Four of these children died while still young. The five who lived all stayed in this area. They were:

John C.
Lydia (Mrs. Henry Bauman)
Anna
Sarah
Christian S.

Christian Ackerman, Jr. was one of the people who died as the result of the Cider and Sorghum Mill explosion in 1884.

Mrs. Mary Ackerman stayed on the farm with her family and farming was still carried on after her husband’s death. John C., the oldest boy, with the help of hired men, carried on the work of farming.

Dairying was one of the main farm enterprises. By this time horses were used for farm power. Threshing separators and corn shellers replaced the flail and animal treading that were formerly used for grain separation from the straw and for the shelling of corn.

All members of this family settled in Morton.

John C. Ackerman was the oldest member of the Christian Ackerman, Jr. family. He was born October 15, 1869, and died January 5, 1951. He married Eliza Welk, daughter of Rev, and Mrs. George Welk. She was born January 29, 1871, and died August 24, 1948. They were married on January 21, 1894 and lived on the farm north of Morton.

John C. was a farmer but he was civic minded and interested in Morton’s growth, In 1903 he and William Moschel bought 40 acre tract of land for a subdivision.

John C. and Eliza (Welk) Ackerman were the parents of 8 children:

Hannah
Mary (Mrs. Emanuel Jacob)
George
Lydia
Ann
Joseph
Eliza
Samuel

By 1911 the Ackerman family decided to build a more modern house. The old house was placed on rollers and moved off the foundation to Morton on a lot in the Mosehel and Ackerman subdivision and still stands at the corner of Harrison and North Second Street.

The first rural electric line in Morton was built to serve the farm house built by the Ackermans.

All members of this generation remained to live in Morton except Joseph, who lives in Elmhurst, Illinois.

George was the member of the family who carried on the farming tradition. The Ackerman farm today is being farmed by his son, John C.

It is interesting to note that four generations of the Ackermans attended school in the same rural district, and four generations have lived on the same farm north of Morton .

John C., Christian S. and Lydia (Mrs. Henry Bauman) all lived on adjoining farms north and northeast of Morton.

 

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