3 Dec 2005
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County
Originally published 1885
Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL
Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society
Mathias Spang, a promininet and enterprising farmer, on section 11, Genesee Township, was born April 1, 1837, Prussia. John Spang, his father, was of the same nativity, and was a stone cutter. He died in 1843, at 45 years of age. He had been twice married, and was the father of three sons and a daughter by his first wife: John is a stone-cutter in the land of his birth; Peter is an officer in the French rmy, and resides at Paris, France; William is a farmer in Racine Co., Wis.; the daughter is married, and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. The senior Spang was married about two years after the death of his first wife, to Lucy Mergan, daughter of a German farmer. She had become the mother of three children when she became a widow. Anthony, her second child, is a farmer in the Province of Ontario, Canada; Margaret lives in Ontario.
Mr. Spang is the oldest of the children born of the second marriage. The three little ones were such in very fact, and the mother managed to keep her little flock together until her son was old enough to maintain the family. He had learned the trade of molder, and followed it as a business until he was 20 years of age, when he became liable to the conscription. To avoid being drafted into the German army, he came with is mother, brother and sister, to America. They landed at Quebec, and proceeded at once to Toronto, where Mr. Spang obtained employment as molder. He had testimonials from his employers in is native land, of whom he acquired a knowledge of his business and with whoom he remained until he left Germany. The evidence of his qualifications procured him a situation, which he filled until his marriage.
He entered into a matrimonial alliance with Mary Morden, Jan. 8, 1865. Mrs. Spang is the daughter of Jacob and Lydia (White) Morden, and was born June 1, 1848. Her parents were farmers in the Province of Ontario, and still reside in the Dominion. Their family included four sons and five daughters, Mrs. S. being the oldest of the latter. She was reared to womanhood in her native province, and is the mother of nine children, born as follows: Lucy, Oct. 25, 1867; John, Nov. 17, 1869; Anthony, Aug. 7, 1871; Mathias, June 27, 1873; Lydia, June 7, 1876; Mary, Nov. 19, 1878; Anna, March 19, 1880; Lucinda, Oct. 25, 1881; William, Sept. 27, 1883. The oldest child was born in Ontario Co., Canada.
The family came in 1868 to Chicago, where they remained through the winter. They were three individuals - father, mother and an infant child. In the spring ensuing they came to Whiteside County, and purchased 50 acres of land in Genesee Township, near Coleta. This was the beginning of the career of Mr. Spang as a farmer under the fostering influences of a republican government. He has increased his estate to 98 acres in extent, and made creditable and valuable improvements.
Among the people of his own nationality he is in a sense a leader, ever holding himself in readiness to give counsel and general information as he may be qualified to do, and for which he has frequent applications. He is a Democrat in his political views, and actively interested in the progress of the party in local avenues. In religious belief he is a Catholic. He wife was brought up under the tenets of the Methodist Church. The mother of Mr. Spang died at her home in Ontario, Canada, aged 84 tears and five months.