John Christian Friederich (deceased) was a native of Germany, his birth occuring in Hessen-Darmstadt (Sandbach), November 19, 1838. His early education was acquired in the public schools of Germany, after which, with his parents, he came to the United States, and at the age of fifteen located at Pekin, where for a short time he worked on a farm. Later he learned the trade of a harness maker, which he followed until the outbreak of the Civil War.
At the first call for volunteers, in 1861, Mr. Friederich enlisted in Eighth Illinois Infantry, Company F, and, after three months’ service, returned to Pekin at the urgent request of his parents. Realizing the needs of his adopted country, however, he was unable to remain home long, and again enlisted, this time in Company A. Forty-fourth Illinois Infantry, which was organized in Chicago and sent for duty to St. Louis. Mo. Mr. Friederich served through the Missouri campaign under General Sigel, taking part in several skirmishes and the battle of Pea Ridge. He was in the battle of Corinth, Miss., after which he went with his company to Covington, Ky., to head off Morgan’s invasion, participating in several skirmishes on the way. He was severely wounded at the battle of Chickamauga on September 20, 1863, and was left for dead on the field. Upon recovering consciousness he found himself a prisoner, in company with the regimental surgeon, to whose skill in treating his wounds Mr. Friederich owed his life. The prisoners were taken to Atlanta and for twenty days were confined in a bull pen. They were then removed to Libby prison, later to Danville, and in March, 1864, were transferred to Andersonville, where they underwent all the now well-known tortures of prison life in that fearful place. For eighteen months he was an inmate of Rebel prisons. He served his country well and faithfully, and was honorably discharged in 1865.
Returning to Pekin Mr. Friederich again resumed his trade of harness making, which he continued until 1890, when he was elected Sheriff of Tazewell County, and served with honor and distinction during the coal strike of 1894. He was a stanch Democrat, and besides holding the office of Sheriff, served his town as City Marshal and Alderman. In his religious faith he was a Protestant.
Mr. Frederich had been twice married, his first wife being Miss Anna Marie Ahrens, who was born October 19, 1848, and died in Pekin July 21, 1877. William was their only child, his birth taking place September 21, 1869. He is now proprietor of the Eagle Bottling Works, of Pekin. Mr. Friderich’s second marriage was celebrated May 14, 1878, at Pekin, when he was united to Miss Josephine Hoefi Ludwig, born February 7, 1842. The children of this union were Walter and Morris, the latter being deceased. The grandfather of our subject was Mathias Friederich, a native of Germany, and his parents were Leonard and Elizabeth Friederich, both being of German birth. The father was born in 1800 and died in 1868, the date of his mother’s birth being 1801. Mr. John C. Friederich’s death occurred September 14, 1901.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Tazewell County - page 1003
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