Wilhelm F. Liekweg, my Great Grandfather, was born June 27, 1850 in Lubbecke, Westfalen, Preussen, Germany.He was born of rather poor but very religious farming parents. He was baptised in the Evangelical Church of Germany when he was 10 days old.At the age of 7 he went to school where Bible study was the subject most emphasized by his parents.At age 14 he was confirmed in the Evangelical Church and did not go to school after that. He worked on the family farm but did not like this work and dreamed of America and learning the skill of rope making. The next year he began to learn the art of making ropes and halters and at age 19 in 1869 he came to America arriving in new York on Oct 18. He did not stay long there and went directly to Madison, Wisconsin.He had relatives there- an aunt and uncle and his older brother Fritz who had come to the US before him. In 1869 William( as he was now called) and Fritz went to St. Louis, Mo.Fritz took a job with a rope company but William did not.William worked as a bartender in several St. Louis area bars and in 1873 went to Memphis Tn. but did not remain there either. He returned to St. Louis again and worked as a bartender. He returned to Memphis after a yellow fever epidemic was brought under control and got a job on a steamship, the West Wind, working his way up to first mate.William was especially interested in life of the Negro. Having been raised in Germany he was able to view their situation openmindedly void of prejudice and therefore could not understand the way they were treated. He maintained his attitude that since they were freed,they should be treated as equals. William remained on the West Wind for four years going from New Orleans to St. Louis on the mississippi River. He probably would have remained there longer but he fell overboard and neary drowned so he left the ship at St. Louis and took a job working with his brother at the rope works.He became reacquainted with Friederike nee Halwe Indermark who was a confirmation classmate in Germany. Her first husband, Herman Heinrich Indermark,had died and left her with two small sons, Herman Jr., and Louis. On May 01, 1879 he married Friederike.They had eight children: Amelia, Louisa(my Grandmother) who married Fred Rinderknecht, Marie, William Jr., Fred C., Lena, Anna, and Clara.William continued working as a ropemaker for several years and finally in 1882 he acquired some property and was able to build his own factory and a house for his family beside it. His business prospered.In1903 he purchased 80 acres of farmland near Sparta, Il. and later added to this another 150 acres.Although his sons usually worked this land, William still had a rural feeling in him and visited the property quite often.He ws also interested in education and took night classes, beconing a rather intelligent, self educated man.During WW1 William became a victum of circumstance, his birth and although he had lived in the Us for nearly 50 years,because he was raised in Germany, he became "the enemy" to people who had previously thought of him as an American with an accent. After 1900 with the invention of the automobile, the war, and labor unions, his business greatly declined. He was growing older too. His sons and daughters ran the business for a time, but even they had to search for other jobs as business continued to decline. However, the business never completely ended until long after his death as his daughter and grandsons continued until about the 1950's. My Great Grandmother, Friederike, died on Jul 27, 1924 and William died on Jun 14, 1939. My Grandmother married Fred G. Rinderknecht on Aug 29, 1906 in St. Louis. They had three children: Hermen, Helen, and Herbert. herman died in infancy. Helen died at age 27 and was an accomplished organist. Herbert, my father, became a minister with the Evangelical and Reformed Church.. He attended Elmhurst College and Eden Seminary. My Grandmother Louisa died on Jan 7, 1972 and my Grandfather Fred died on Jan 22,1950. Herbert, who was born on Feb 27, 1911. Herbert served churches in Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois. He married my Mother, Loraine Scheffel, on Jan 20, 1944 in Brighton, Il where he was serving as pastor. They had two children Diane Helen(me) and Kenneth Herbert. Herbert died on Aug 8, 2000 and Loraine died on Oct 16, 2004.Diane, who was born on March 24, 1946,married Charles Presnell on April 2, 1966 in St. Johns United Church of Christ in Pana, Il.They had four children: Mark, Tami, Cory, and Ajia. Diane is a Certified Nursing Assistant/Geriatric Care Specialist at a nursing home in Pana and helps her son Mark in their concession business and Tropical Sno stand.Charles died on Oct 3, 2004 from lung cancer.