Among the veterans of the Civil war now living in Poweshiek county is numbered Henry Illian, whose birth occurred
in the duchy of Waldeck, Prussia, Germany, on the 19th of January, 1838. He is a son of Frederick and Louise' (Willis)
Illian, also natives_ of the fatherland, the mother there passing away in 1846. The father again married, his second
union being with Miss Caroline Rummell. He was a farmer by occupation and in 1853 brought his family to the United
States, establishing his home in Davenport, where his death occurred in 1858. By his first marriage there were
five sons and two daughters, of which number Henry Illian, of this review, was the third in order of birth, while
by the second marriage there were two children, a son and daughter. With the exception of one daughter, who is
married and resides in Germany, all of the children came to the United States.
In 1853, when a lad of fifteen, Henry Illian left his native country and came to the new world. After arriving
in Iowa he gave his father the benefit of his assistance upon the home farm until July 25, 1862, when, in response
to the call of the Union for more troops, he enlisted at Davenport as a member of Company G, Twentieth Iowa Volunteer
Infantry, and served for three years. He participated in all of the engagements of his regiment, including the
siege of Vicksburg, the battles of Forts Morgan and Blakely, and various minor skirmishes, and bears the scars
of three flesh wounds received during his term of service, one a bullet wound in the breast, another in the back
and the third in, the arm. He was mustered out at Clinton, Iowa, in August, 1865, after a most honorable and creditable
Returning to Scott county, Iowa, Mr. Illian there engaged independently in farming for a number of years, and in
the spring of 1883 came to Poweshiek county, purchasing his present home of eighty acres on section 23, Malcolm
township. It is a well improved farm, its neat and thrifty appearance indicating the supervision of a practical
owner, and he is widely recognized as one of the enterprising and prosperous agriculturists of the community.
In 1870 Mr. Illian was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Tissin, who was born in Holstein, Germany, in 1847,
and in 1854 came with her parents to Iowa, the family establishing their home at Davenport. On the 4th of March,
1894, Mr. Illian was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, and eight children have also passed away, as follows:
Henry, William, Fred and Tillie, all of whom died in Cleona township, Scott county, inside of three weeks, their
deaths resulting from diphtheria; Lulu, who passed away at the age of four years; Barnard, at the age of two and
a half years; Adam, at the age of four years; and Ellen, at the age of five years. One daughter, Genevieve, survives,
and is now the wife of James B. McKeag. She has a daughter, Irma Marguerite, and a son, Kenneth Henry, and with
her husband resides with her father on the old home farm.
Mr. Illian holds membership in the Lutheran church and also belongs to John T. Drake Post, G. A. R., at Brooklyn.
He gives his support to the republican party and although not a politician in the sensed of office seeking, is
a public spirited citizen, deeply interested in the substantial improvement of his home locality. He served, however,
as road supervisor two years and as school director the same length of time. He is honorable and straightforward
in his business dealings and is highly esteemed wherever known.
History of Poweshiek County, Iowa
A Record of settlement, organization
progress and achievement
By: Prof. L. F. Parker
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Poweshiek County, IA
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