20 Aug 2005
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County
Originally published 1885
Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society
William Wahl, farmer, section 35, Genesee Township, was born Feb., 26, 1843, in Wurtenberg, Germany. His parents, Matthew and Rosena (Schwartz) Wahl, were also natives of the “father-land,” and were weavers and flax-hatchelers in Germany. The family emigrated to the United States in 1854, arriving in April. They located in Warren, Trumball Co., Ohio, where they were engaged in farming until the fall of 1856, when they proceeded farther West and located on a farm four miles north of Sterling. The family included six children, who are all living, surviving the mother, who died in Genesee Township, about 1862. Since 188, the senior Wahl has resided in Sterling.
Mr. Wahl is the fourth child, and he spent his youth and early manhood at home, obtaining his education in the public schools of the township of Sterling. March 11, 1866, he was married in the city of that name to Dora, daughter of Michael Smith. Mrs. Wahl was born in Germany about 1845, and came with her parents when she was two years of age to the United States, locating in the city of New York, whence they subsequently came to Tecumseh, Lenawee Co., Mich., settling there about 1860. Her parents are still residents there. She came to Sterling to spend a short time with relatives, and was married there. She died at her home in Genesee Township, Dec. 10, 1876. Her six children were born as follows: C. Henry, Nov. 1, 1866; Carrie L., Jan. 28, 1868; Emma, July 13, 1871; Albert A., Aug. 27, 1872; Nettie M., June 23, 1874; William M., March 11, 1876.
Mr. Wahl was again married March 1, 1881, in the village of Empire, Hopkins Township, to Mary C., daughter of Lewis and Susannah (Etter) Diehl, descendants from the sturdy class known as “Pennsylvania Dutch.”They were farmers and were residents of St. Thomas, Franklin Co., Pa. Mrs. Wahl was born Aug. 31, 1857, near Chambersburg. She was nearly 18 years of age when she accompanied her parents to Illinois, who fixed their residence at Empire, in Whiteside County. They have since moved to Clark Co., D.T., where her father is engaged in the livery business. Mrs. Wahl is the oldest child of her parents and is the mother of one daughter, Lydia A., born March 20, 1882.
Mr. Wahl made his first purchase of land in Genesee Township in April, 1867. The tract at first comprised 80 acres, and he has since added 80 acres more, which he purchased in 1876. The homestead exhibits the best quality of agricultural effort. Mrs. Wahl is a member of the Lutheran Church. In political affiliation Mr. Wahl is a Republican.