John Naumann, one of the largest landowners of Putnam county, is living upon a finely improved farm on section 23, Granville township. He started in business life here as a farm hand, working by the month for the usual wage that was paid at that time. Gradually he has advanced in his business career, and through his frugality, industry and careful investment he has become one of the prosperous men of the county, with extensive realty holdings.
Mr. Naumann was born in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, July 7, 1848. His parents were Henry and Margaret (Ott) Naumann, both of whom passed away in Germany several years ago. The father was owner of a farm, but, as was the custom in that country, lived in the village. His son, John, spent his boyhood days under the parental roof and attended the village schools until fifteen years of age, when in 1863 he emigrated to America, taking passage at Bremen on a sailing vessel which was six weeks in completing that voyage. Mr. Naumann was influenced to come to America by the fact that his sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Brontz, both now deceased, were then living in Putnam county. On the journey to the new world he was accompanied by his brother, Tobias, now living in Mount Palatine, Illinois, and a sister, who has since departed this life.
Mr. Naumann began work on the farm belonging to his brother-in-law and for two years was employed by Joseph Rhinhart, an early settler of the county. He also spent one season in the employ of John Whitaker and for three years worked for Joel Hopkins. All during this time he lived economically and thus saved enough money to purchase teams, after which he rented land from Mr. Hopkins and farmed thereon for seven years. Again he practiced economy and industry in order to make further advancement in his business life, and in 1879 he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land, whereon he has since resided. Upon the place were poor improvements, including an old house and barn, both were in rather dilapidated condition. He now has a good frame residence, a substantial barn, granaries and corn cribs and, in fact, none of the accessories of a model farm property are lacking. He has been very successful in his work of tilling the soil and has added to his possessions until he now owns five eightyacre tracts of land in Granville township and three hundred and twenty-four acres in La Salle county. The secret of his success lies not in any fortunate combination of circumstances, but due to the fact that he has worked persistently and earnestly and his unremitting toil has brought to him his prosperity.
In 1872 Mr. Naumann was married to Miss Katie E. Pletch, a native of Germany, who came to America with her brothers in early womanhood. Six children have been born of this marriage, of whom two died in infancy, while four are still living: Fred, who resides on one of his father's farms in Granville township; Theodore, who is upon his father's farm in La Salle county; and Henry and John, both at home.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Naumann were reared in the Lutheran church and they hold membership in the church of that denomination on the county line. In politics he is a republican, but has never aspired to office. He served, however, as school director for several years. In manner he is plain and unassuming, entirely free from pride and ostentation, yet a degree of pride would be pardonable in consideration of his successful business career. Although a man of nearly sixty years, he looks ten or fifteen years younger and gives little indication of the hard work that he has done. All who know of his record, however,' recognize that lie has been a most energetic, hard-working man and that to this is due his present prosperity.
Source: Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois authored by John Spencer Burt and W. E. Hawthorne in 1907, page 504.