Christian Schoon was for many years enrolled among the active and vigorous farmers of Champaign County, but from the fruits of his industry long continued he is now enabled to enjoy a life of comfortable retirement in his home in the Village of Gifford.
Mr. Schoon, like many other of the most capable men who have tilled and cultivated the soil of Champaign County, is of German origin. He was born at the Town of Reepshold in the Province of Hanover, a son of George and Sophia (Burns) Schoon. He was the oldest of three children, the other two being John and Mattie. Christian Schoon grew up and received his education in Germany and he served three years in the German army in the Seventy-eighth Regiment of Infantry, being a corporal. He was in the army while Emperor William, the first, was on the Prussian throne and while Prince Bismarck was counselor to the German Empire. This Emperor William was grandfather of the present Kaiser. Mr. Schoon obtained an honorable discharge from the army, and though he rendered faithful and loyal service to the land of his birth, since coming to America he has been equally loyal to the flag of his adopted land.
In 1875 Mr. Schoon married in Germany Miss Mary Monck. She was a daughter of George and Katrina (Ennen) Monck. Seven years after their marriage they determined to better their fortune by coming to America. They took passage on the ship Oder, which on a later voyage was lost at sea. After landing at New York they came direct to Champaign County and for twenty-one years they farmed for that prince of landlords, Azro Arms, on one of Mr. Arms’ fine places near Penfield. Mr. Schoon is one of the men who made a success as a farm tenant, and was able eventually to retire with an ample competence for his needs. During all those twenty-one years Mr. Arms never asked him for a contract, feeling assured that he was dealing with an honest man. They depended upon each other’s word and there was never a time when a misunderstanding arose which could not be quietly settled. Their relationship indicates how two congenial and honest men may get along in business affairs with mutual satisfaction and esteem.
Mr. and Mrs. Schoon are the parents of two children, George and John. Both were well educated in Champaign County, and besides what they learned in books they acquired habits of industry and principles of moral integrity from their parents. George is a successful farmer living on the A. A. Arms place near Penfield, and he married Miss Mattie Booher. They have four children, named Alberta, Mary, George and Virgil. John Schoon, who is a mechanic living at Gifford, married Elizabeth Johnson, and they have two children, Christian and Flossie.
When Mr. Christian Schoon came to America he possessed very little money. He was unable to speak a word of the English language, and it was fortunate indeed that his industry and good common sense early attracted the attention of Mr. Arms and brought about that long and continuous employment which has been mentioned. Mr. Schoon has always enjoyed the respect and confidence of his neighbors and friends, and is now serving his fifth consecutive term as a member of the school board and is clerk of the board. He believes in securing the best instruction for children, and has been instrumental in bringing the Gifford High School to its present high state of efficiency. His family are all active members and supporters of the German Lutheran Church at Gifford. Wherever the public has required his services Mr. Schoon has performed them with conscientious ability. At one time he served on the jury during Judge Cunningham’s administration, and has always been a great admirer of that noble man.
On coming to America Mr. Schoon made a close study of political problems in this country, and determined to give his support to the Republican party and has always followed the principles he thus early acquired, though he supported Mr. Eoosevelt during the Progressive movement. Mr. Schoon gives much credit to his capable wife as a sharer in their mutual joys and sorrows and the accomplishments which now enable them to live without care and anxiety in their home at Gifford.