Many of the best class of citizens of Marshall county have come from over the sea, particularly from the empire of Germany. They have transported to this country the industry, thrift and economy of their native land, and have been important factors in the development and upbuilding of this section of Illinois. Of this class of honest, hard-working alien born citizens, there are none who occupy a more prominent place than Mr. GROSSCUP and his family. He was born in Prussia, Germany, June 16, 1842, there received his education, and later came with his parents to America in 1857. Ten days after the arrival of the father in Chicago he there died. The mother still makes her home in that city at the advanced age of eighty-nine years, and four of the children are also living – Frederick, W. C., Charles L., and Mrs. Caroline GORK, of Chicago.
In November, 1857, our subject started out in life for himself, coming alone to Marshall county, where he worked for three years on the farm of S. G. ALLEN, now deceased, and for two winters he attended the public schools of Wenona, thus gaining a good knowledge of the English language. After working by the month for two years on a farm on Sandy creek, he returned and rented the farm of S. G. ALLEN for the following year. He next leased the farm of Chris BROADDUS for several years. In 1867, however, he purchased eighty acres of his present farm, then wild prairie land, and the first year put in a crop of wheat. He boarded near his farm in 1869, and engaged in its cultivation and improvement, but for the next two years rented it and was again with Mr. BROADDUS for a year.
In 1872 Mr. GROSSCUP was joined in marriage with Miss Isabel PHILSON, who was born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, September 10, 1841, and is the daughter of Thomas and Charlotte (McCARTY) PHILSON. Her parents were born, reared and married in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, whence they removed to Tuscarawas county, Ohio, and after a ten years’ residence there came to Putnam county, Illinois, in 1846, locating on Ox Bow prairie in Magnolia township. There the father died in 1878, and the mother departed this life on the 12th of January, 1896. In their family were six children, five still living – Mrs. Mary CHAMP, Mrs. GROSSCUP, John, and Alex H. and Mrs. Lydia J. NEWBY, twins. Our subject and his estimable wife have five children – Jennie Pearl, Lawrence W. and Clarence P., twins; Dora Charlotte, and Charles F.
For two years after his marriage, Mr. GROSSCUP lived upon the farm of his father-in-law, but at the end of that time built his present residence, into which the family moved in 1873, and there remained for five years. After the death of Mrs. GROSSCUPS’s father they removed to Ox Bow prairie, where the following eight years were passed, and since that time have resided upon their present farm. The place comprises one hundred and sixty acres of excellent land, on which our subject has made the various improvements, erecting good buildings, fencing the land and tiling it. He raises principally corn and oats. Although he began life with no capital or aid from any source, he has by persistent effort gained a handsome property.
Politically, Mr. GROSSCUP is identified with the republican party. Taking an active interest in educational matters, he has done effective work as a school director for fifteen years, and has supplied his children with good educational privileges. Earnest members of the Methodist church, both himself and wife are regular attendants on the services of both church and Sunday school.
Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois published in 1896, page 495.