Phillip Mohr arrived in Champaign County in 1874. He was then a young man, only a few years over from Germany, possessed a fair education, knew how to work, but was without friends of influence and without a personal fortune. Hard work and good judgment have been the route which he has followed on the road to success. He is widely known over the county, is a progressive and up-to-date farmer, and has earned all the competence which he and his family now enjoy.
Mr. Mohr is a native of Germany and represents that sturdy class of old country people who perhaps to a greater degree than any other nationality have proved successful and enterprising farmers in America. Like most of his fellow citizens, Mr. Mohr came to this country without money, but he availed himself of the wonderful opportunities of the new land and has been a factor in the progress of Champaign County for over forty years.
He was born in the village of Kultsee, not far from Stettin, in the province of Pomerania, on January 3, 1851. He was the youngest of six children, five sons and one daughter. His parents were Karl and Mary (Rosenthai) Mohr. His father was a native of the same province and cultivated a small tract of land there, where he lived and died. His death occurred about 1884. His wife was also born and spent her years in the same country. Both were active members of the German Lutheran Church.
Phillip Mohr grew up on his father’s farm, was educated in the German language, and when about twenty he said goodbye to his friends and family and started for America. This was in 1871. The vessel that brought him from Hamburg was seventy-two days in crossing the Atlantic and he did not land in New York City until the month of December. He then paid his fare to Chicago, and arrived in that city with only $2.50 left. Here he found himself in a strange land, among a strange people, and unable to speak the English tongue. He bravely adapted himself to circumstances and sought every opportunity to earn an honest dollar. During the first winter he worked at putting up ice at $1.75 a day and afterwards found employment in lumber and brick yards. He remained in Chicago until 1874, in which year he came to Champaign City, which was then a small town with unpaved streets and with few of the buildings or other improvements that have since been made.
Here he did his first work as a farm hand at $16 a month. In this way he continued for eight years and put away nearly all his earnings with a view to the future. His next experience was as a renter in Mahomet Township, and he farmed land owned by others for six years. In the meantime he married, and the aid and counsel of his good and capable wife were no small factor in his success.
Finally he made a purchase of 100 acres, going in debt $2,200, and since then he has bought and sold and improved several farms. He finally traded his first tract and then bought 207 acres in Stanton Township, and there again assumed an indebtedness of $7,000. This he also sold after a time and moved to Somer Township, where he acquired 125 acres and kept it four years before selling. In 1898 Mr. Mohr came to Mahomet Township and bought 185 acres. To this he added eighty acres and now has a total of 265 acres, in addition to 118 acres in Scott Township. His home farm is almost a model in management and improvement. In 1908 he built a beautiful home, modern in every detail, and one of the best residences in that section of the country.
In March, 1884, Mr. Mohr married Miss Ida Reyburn. To their marriage were born six children, all sons, and four are still living. These sons are all home and all of them received good advantages in the way of home training and discipline and the privileges of the local schools. Ernest J., the oldest, is a practical agriculturist on the home farm, is a Republican and a member of the Methodist Church. Louis is also a successful young farmer and a member of the same political party and of the same church as his brother. The two younger sons are Fred and Carl, the latter still attending school.
It would not be possible to speak too highly of the good and capable companion that Mr. Mohr chose for his wife and whose industry and thrift were such important factors in their success. She was born in Champaign County in 1863, a daughter of R. G. and Isabel (Herriott) Reyburn. She was reared and educated in this county and possessed more than ordinary ability and wisdom. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and in that faith she passed away in October, 1915. Her remains are now at rest in the Riverside Cemetery.
Mr. Mohr has been, a Republican since he acquired his American citizenship, and while always interested in the welfare of his community has never held any office. He is of the German Lutheran faith and is in every way a true and loyal American and has reared his sons to cherish the principles of his adopted land.