Biography of Theodore L. Block
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Theodore L. Block. To accomplish as much as Theodore L. Block accomplished in Champaign County demands not only phenomenal energy but a ruggedness and integrity of character that in no small degree accounts for the esteem in which he is held as a citizen as well as a business man.
Mr. Block was born in Poland, October 3, 1850. He is a son of William and Minnie (Cornelius) Block. Several generations before he was born the ancestor of the family moved from the district bordering on the Baltic Sea into Poland, and thereafter the family was identified with the agricultural interests of that unhappy country until William Block sold his possessions there and immigrated with his family to America in 1857. On the 18th of May in that year they landed in New York City and proceeded directly West until they arrived in Champaign County. Here William Block bought a farm three miles south of Sidney, and though a stranger in a strange land he was successfully identified with farm management and local affairs. He spent the last fifteen years of his life retired at Champaign, where both he and his wife died. Theodore L. Block was the only child of his mother, and his father by a previous marriage had a son August, who is still living at Sidney in Champaign County.
Theodore L. Block was six years old when the family came to America, and he practically grew up in Champaign County and profited by attendance at the local schools. At the age of twenty-one he showed his energy and ambition by renting a farm from his father and entering actively into the ranks of agriculturists. One success led to another, and by years of toil, accompanied by shrewd business management, Mr. Block was in a position where he might have retired with a liberal competence a number of years ago. He did in fact retire from active farming in 1901. However, his business interests have been wonderfully prospered, and at the present time he owns 760 acres of the fertile soil of Champaign County, while in Vermilion County in this state he owns 390 acres and 1,440 acres in the State of Arkansas. He is also half owner in a bank and elevator at Indianola in Vermilion County. In 19023 Mr. Block built his fine home at 301 East Park Avenue in Champaign and he lives there with his family and has every material comfort and every congenial association which he could desire.
Mr. Block married Mary P. Block, a native of Germany. They are the parents of five children: Clara D., wife of L. E. Hartzig, of Lafayette, Indiana; Richard A., of Indianola, Illinois; Rosa A., wife of Rev. George S. Gerhold, of Hamilton, Ohio; Edgar W., of Indianola, Illinois; and Nora A., wife of Roy Zenke, of Indianola. Mr. Block is independent in his political affiliations. While living in the country in Champaign County he was a school director for over thirty years. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and his church is the German Evangelical.