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Abraham Paulus. It is a distinction such as pertains to few living Champaign County residents that Mr. Paulus enjoys by reason of his continuous residence in the county since 1856. That was an early year in the pioneer history of this county and was a notable one in national affairs, since it saw the first entrance of the Republican party into national politics. Mr. Paulus has witnessed a remarkable development going on under his eyes during the past sixty years, and he and his good wife have borne their shares of labor and responsibilities in this community. Champaign County in 1856 was a broad stretch of prairie land, open only here and there by the industry of the early settlers.
Mr. Paulus was born in Darke County, Ohio, September 9, 1843. He was one of a family of thirteen children, four sons and nine daughters, whose parents were Daniel and Louisiana (Treon) Paulus. Five of this large family is still living. Lydia, the oldest, resides in Indianapolis and is the widow of Jacob Ware. Lucy Ann lives at Mansfield, Illinois, the widow of John Hollihand. Sarah, a resident of Billings, Montana, is the widow of Levi Brooks. The next in the family is Abraham Paulus. Jonathan Francis, who served in an Illinois regiment in the Union army during the Civil War and was granted an honorable discharge, is now living at Marion, Indiana.
Daniel Paulus, father of this large family, was born in Maryland, January 12, 1807. He lived a long and useful life and passed away in 1902 in Indiana, at the age of ninety-five. When he was one year old his parents removed to Ohio, crossing over the mountain barriers and journeying westward in true pioneer style. They lived for some years in Preble County. Grandfather Paulus had the offer of ten acres of land gratis provided he would locate in Cincinnati, then a raw and unpromising community. This offer was given him because he was a blacksmith and men of that trade were sorely needed in Cincinnati. However, he chose Preble County instead. Daniel Paulus was a self-educated man and made farming his chief vocation. He owned 120 acres of land in Darke County in western Ohio. In 1856 he gave up his land there and came farther west into Champaign County and bought 160 acres in Newcomb Township. For this land he paid $25 an acre. At that price it had more improvements than many other of the newer farms of the township. It was located on the east side of Newcomb Township. Later Daniel Paulus sold this land and returned to Ohio about 1864, and remained in that State until the death of his wife. He was a Democrat in politics and a member of the Lutheran Church.
His good wife was born in Pennsylvania, February 9, 1810, and died December 1, 1877. She was a young woman when her parents removed to Ohio. Both she and her husband were interred in the Union City Cemetery in Ohio, where a monument marks their last resting place.
Mr. Abraham Paulus was only thirteen years of age when his parents came to Champaign County. While living in western Ohio he attended a log schoolhouse. Its seats were made of slabs held up from the floor by wooden pins, and he had all the experiences of a pioneer school boy, including the writing of a copy set by the master and with the old goose-quill pen, which was fashioned with a real “pen knife” by the schoolmaster himself. Mr. Paulus more than most people in Champaign County is able to appreciate the vast contrast between modern schools, their fine equipment and furniture and their course of instruction, and the temples of learning where he gained his first instruction. After getting his education Mr. Paulus took up farming as a practical pursuit and he was not yet twenty-one years of age when he married and set up housekeeping for himself. His marriage occurred in Champaign County, April 7, 1864. Miss Mary Jane Lane was the bride. They have been married now over half a century. Ten children have been born into their home, six sons and four daughters. Eight are still living. William was educated in the common schools, has been a Democrat in politics, and was formerly engaged in agricultural vocations, but is now a resident of Champaign City and pursuing his favorite work as a mechanic. Oliver is a successful agriculturist in East Bend Township. He married Miss Alice Robinett, and they have a little daughter, Ruby. Oliver is a Democrat and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and he and his wife are Christian Scientists. Cora lives in Pontiac, Illinois, the widow of Morris Haines. She has two children, Orville and Verla. She and her daughter are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Louisiana married William Sheppard, a resident of Champaign. Mr. Sheppard is a Democrat. They have three children, Vern, Ray and Mary. Clara is the wife of Lee Mulvane, who lives near Saunemin, Illinois, where he is engaged in farming. Mrs. Mulvane is a member of the Methodist Church. Joseph is an agriculturist at Breckenridge, Michigan. He married Miss Ida Taylor, and they have a young son, Richard. They belong to the Methodist Church. Stella was educated in the common schools and married Walter Fielder. Mr. Fielder died in April, 1917. He left one son, Virgil, who was educated in the common schools and is now taking the second year of work in the Fisher High School and is one of the brightest students in his class. Mrs. Fielder now lives with her parents. She is a member of the Methodist Protestant Church. Frank, living near Proctor, Illinois, on a farm, married Miss Emma Adams, and they have three children, Evelyn, Harriet and Wilbur. They are members of the Lutheran Church.
Mr. and Mrs. Paulus also reared in their home their grandson Jesse, educating him in the common schools, and he is now a practical farmer. He married Miss Marie Adams and they have two small daughters, Helen and Bernice, who afford the greatest delight to their great-grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Paulus.
Mrs. Paulus was born in Clinton County, Indiana, December 1, 1845, a daughter of William and Catherine (Blacker) Lane. She was one of six children, three sons and three daughters. She is the oldest of the three now living. Her sister Cynthia is the wife of Abram Ater, a resident of Urbana. Her brother John was formerly in the sales and livery business and is now living at San Diego, California, and is married.
Mrs. Paulus’ father was born in Ohio and when young moved to Indiana and was married in that State. In 1857 he came to Champaign County and spent the rest of his life here. He was a Republican and a member of the Methodist Church. Mother Lane was also a native of Ohio, but grew up in Indiana. Mrs. Paulus’ parents are both now deceased, and they were laid to rest in the City Cemetery at Mahomet, Illinois, where appropriate stones mark their last resting place. Mrs. Paulus was educated in the common schools.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Paulus started out to make their own destiny in the world without special help from anyone and relying almost entirely upon their own efforts and industry, inspired by their ambition. For a number of years they were farm renters. Their first purchase was eighty acres, and later they bought 160 acres in Newcomb Township. Half of this has since been sold, and they retain the rest of it as their attractive country home. Mr. and Mrs. Paulus began heavily in debt. They were able to make their first payment on their land only $100. By industry and rigid economy they pulled out of debt and at the present time they owe no one a dollar and have in addition to their farm a good town home in Fisher. They have enjoyed the highest esteem of their community throughout their residence in this county.
Mr. Paulus is a Democrat. He has passed all the chairs in Fisher Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He and his wife are active in the Methodist Protestant Church of Newcomb Township. He has been one of the trustees since the church was built and for years was superintendent of its Sunday school. He is also president of the Township Sunday School Convention, and year in and year out has worked earnestly for the upbuilding of church. Sunday school and every worthy movement in the community. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Paulus is known as the Maple Lawn Farm. It is the abode of hospitality, and their many friends find a hospitable welcome within its bounds. In 1910 Mr. and Mrs. Paulus made a delightful tour of the far West, including Montana, San Diego and Portland, Oregon. It was a journey that brought them to some of the greatest natural wonders of America, and they returned home all the better satisfied with Champaign County and with the place which their own earnest efforts had given them to own and to possess in this rich garden spot of the world.