John T. Riemke, one of the leading grain and elevator men of southwest Champaign County, began his career in humble circumstances, and has raised himself by sheer force of will and determination to a position of independence and influence.
Mr. Riemke was born in Pesotum Township of this county August 29, 1877. His parents were Henry and Anna (Richmond) Riemke, his father a native of Germany and his mother of England. Henry Riemke came to America fn 1854, spending two years in LaPorte, Indiana, before he joined the early settlers of Champaign County. He cleared up some of the land in this county and was successfully engaged in farming until his death in 1905. His wife passed away in 1904. They had nine children: Catherine, deceased; Henry of El Reno, Oklahoma; Mary, wife of Matthew, Miller, of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Jane, wife of Joseph E. Lustig, of Champaign County; Edward of Pesotum Township; Alice, wife of John Magsam, of Monroeville, Indiana; Anna, wife of M. J. Maley, of Fort Wayne, Indiana; John T.; and William, of Douglas County, Illinois.
John T. Riemke grew up on the home farm, attended the local schools, and at the age of nineteen went to work on a farm for J. A. Cramer as engineer with the threshing outfit and later as traction engineer with Dosey Brothers. He followed threshing as an occupation for eleven years. Later he served the firm of Condon & Kleiss in the elevator at Pesotum until 1905, when he bought Mr. Kleiss’ share in the business, and since 1907 has conducted this elevator under his own name. He buys a large amount of the grain raised around Pesotum, and altogether is at the head of a prosperous business.
On February 4, 1904, Mr. Riemke married Judith Lieb, a native of, Champaign County. They have one son, Charles Henry, born January 17, 1916. Mr. Riemke is a Democrat in politics. He is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and he and his family are members of the St. Joseph Catholic Church at Pesotum.