7 May 2005
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, IL
Originally published 1885 Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL
Transcribed by: Becky Jones
Henry E. Helms, a farmer on section 3, Lyndon Township, was born Oct. 12, 1833, in Hanover, Germany. He was educated under the compulsory laws of his country, and on the fulfillment of the period required, was, under the same regulations, placed at an apprenticeship to acquire a knowledge of shoemaking. His next lot would have been the conscription, which would have made him a soldier for three years: but in 1853 he left his native land for America. He came from Hamburg to New York on a sail vessel, and was on the ocean six weeks. He landed at the port of New York, May 2, and went with his uncle to Hartford, Pa., where he became a farmer, and worked through one season. During the winter succeeding he traveled in Illinois and Wisconsin, spending the next summer also in those States. In August, 1854, he came to Lyndon. He spent six years subsequently in farm labor.
Nov. 8, 1860, he married Lucy, daughter of Thos. and Sarah (Locke) Gould, Whiteside County pioneers. In the spring of 1861 Mr. and Mrs. Helms removed to Ustick Township, and took possession of a rented farm. On this they operated with success six years.
In 1867 Mr. Helms bought a farm lying partly on section 35 of Mt. Pleasant Township, and section 2 of Lyndon. On this he resided and made some improvements, and selling it two years later at an advance on purchase money. He made another investment on section 9 of the same township, on which he lived eight years. In 1878 he sold again, and went to the village of Lyndon, and was there a resident until 1880. In April of that year he took possession of the farm he now occupies on section 3, which he had bought some years before. It had practically no improvements at that time, but the owner has since put it in a valuable and attractive condition. He is now engaged in mixed husbandry.
Mr. and Mrs. Helms have four children—Theora, Albert, Cora and John; one child, Daisy, died in infancy. The eldest was married June 23, 1881, to Charles A. Hamilton, grandson of Deacon A. Hamilton, thus uniting in the grandchildren two of the oldest pioneer families.