Among the citizens of Toluca who are of German birth is the gentleman of whom this narrative is written. He was reared in his native land, and there learned the traits of economy and frugality which have been the source of his present competency. Many of the best citizens of Marshall county are his countrymen, and they almost invariably merit and receive the esteem and respect of the community to the same degree that he does. For several years he was actively engaged in farming, but is now living a retired life.
Mr. Wink was born in Kur Hassen, Germany, July 19, 1832, a son of Herman and Elizabeth (Eigenbroedt) Wink, and was reared in the usual manner of farmer boys. Until fourteen years of age he attended school, and then began learning the tailor's trade, but did not follow the same long as his services were needed upon the home farm. At the age of twenty he entered the German army, in which he valiantly served for three years, and at one time his regiment was ordered to the front in the Crimean war, but the order was countermanded before they started.
In 1856, Mr. Wink bade good-by to the friends and scenes of his youth, and at Bremen took passage on a sailing vessel bound for America, which it reached after a voyage of eight weeks and four days. Landing at New Orleans, he came up the Mississippi to St. Louis, a trip that required twelve days, and near that city worked on a farm for one year. Subsequently he was similarly employed for the same length of time in Putnam county, Illinois, and then operated a rented farm for a couple of years.
In Putnam county, November 19, 1858, Mr. Wink was united in marriage with Miss Anna Henn, with whom he was acquainted in the fatherland, she too being a native of Germany. Four children came to bless their union: Joseph is a well educated man, having attended school at Lacon, Rutland and Chicago. Henry J., who is living on the old home farm, is married and has one son, George. Lizzie is the wife of Henry Falk, a farmer of Bennington township, Marshall county, by whom she has two children, William and Dora. Annie is the wife of Conrad Leesge, also a farmer of Bennington township, and they have one child, Edgar, born July 4, 1895. Mr. Wink has been called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who passed away on the ist of August, 1896, and was laid to rest in the German burying ground near La Rose. She was a highly esteemed lady, and a member of the Lutheran church, to which her husband and children also belong.
In 1863, Mr. Wink came to Marshall county, and for five years cultivated a rented farm in Belle Plain township, after which he purchased one hundred and twenty-frve acres in Bennington township, that he still owns. Later he added to this another eighty acres, and continued the cultivation and improvement of his land until December, 1892, when he removed to Toluca, where the year previously he had established the fourth store in the place, then being conducted by his son. He is now, however, living retired, enjoying the fruits of his former toil. After taking out his naturalization papers he voted for Lincoln in 1864, but is now independent in politics, supporting the man whom he considers best qualified for the office, regardless of party ties. He has served as a delegate to various conventions, and has held the offices of assessor for three terms and collector once. Coming to this country in limited circumstances he has been the architect of his own fortunes, and is deserving of the highest commendation. Possessing the esteem and respect of the entire community, he may well be ranked among the honest and representative German citizens of Marshall county. His honor and integrity are unimpeachable, his word being considered as good as his bond.
Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois published in 1896, page 534.