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Frederick Dittus, a retired farmer residing in Mount Pulaski, is numbered among the early settlers of Logan county as he came to this section of the state among those who laid the foundation for its prosperity and progress by braving the hardships of pioneer life and thus opening the way to civilization. Throughout the long years of his residence here his career has been an upright, honorable one, gaining him the unqualified confidence and regard of his fellow men.

Mr. Dittus was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, January 28, 1833, and is a son of John and Mary A. (Rentschler) Dittus. The former, a farmer by occupation died in his native land and the mother afterward became the wife of Erhardt (sic) Stoll, who in 1847 brought his wife and her children to the new world crossing the Atlantic in a sailing vessel, which completed the voyage in forty-seven days. Arriving in New York they proceeded directly by steamboat, canal and wagon to Springfield, Illinois, and in the spring of 1848 removed to Logan county, locating in Laenna township, where Mr. Stoll purchased eighty acres of land. He added to this place until he had two hundred acres at the time of his death, which occurred in 1860. His wife survived him and continued to make her home on the old farm until called to her final rest.

Frederick Dittus is the oldest living child of his mother's first marriage. He attended common schools of Germany between the ages of six and fourteen years and with the family he crossed the Atlantic in 1847, arriving in Logan county the following year. Here he assisted in the cultivation and improvement of the home farm until he was 26 years of age, when he made preparations for a home of his own by his marriage to Miss Sarah Hagenbuch a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter of Amos and Sarah Hagenbuch, who were early settlers of Logan county, coming to this state from Pennsylvania in 1859.

After his marriage Mr. Dittus purchased eighty acres of land in Chester township and locating thereon began its improvement with characteristic energy. In course of time the entire amount was under a high state of cultivation and as the years passed and his financial resources increased he made other purchases until within the boundaries of his farm is comprised four hundred and fifty acres of valuable land. He successfully engaged in the raising of grain, hogs and cattle and in his farm work prospered from year to year, thus, annually augmenting his income. At length, in 1891, he put aside the more arduous duties of the farm, to which he had given his earnest and unremitting attention for so many years, and removed to Mount Pulaski, where he is now practically living a retired life, merely supervising his investments.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Dittus has been blessed with five children: George F., who is engaged in farming; William, who follows the same pursuit; Charles F., who is operating the old homestead; Anna, the wife of Fred Meyer of Baker & Son department store, of East St. Louis, Illinois; and Edward a well-known lumber merchant of Mount Pulaski. The family is one of prominence in the community, the sterling worth of its members being widely acknowledged. While actively carrying on his business interests Mr. Dittus has found time to faithfully perform his duties of citizenship and has rendered efficient service to his fellow men in public office. For many years he was a member of the school board and was clerk of the board in Chester township. He was also supervisor of Chester township for eight years and retired from office as he had entered it -- with the confidence and good will of his constituents. He is now a Gold Democrat and has long advocated the principals of Democracy.

Throughout the greater part of his life he has been a member of the Lutheran church, has served on the board for more than thirty years and has been church treasurer for the past eight years. His home is a fine substantial residence in Mount Pulaski, a monument to his thrift and enterprise in former years. His life record proves most conclusively that success is not a matter of genius, but the outcome of earnest effort, carefully directed by sound judgement and his example should serve to stimulate and encourage others to press forward along the highway to prosperity.

Source: Biographical Record of Logan County. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1901. p. 320.

Submitted by the late Penny Husler