August Deeke

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Address in MP: 

Birth Date:  5/30/1884

Death Date: 9/01/1971

Spouse: Mathilda “Tillie” Engel  3/04/189-11/15/1974


Interesting information on life, career, accomplishments:

August Deeke was the grandson of Christian Henjes and Johanna Busse Henjes. Christian Henjes had immigrated to America, from Hanover, with Henry Busse, the first of the Busse’s to come to America. The two of them had set off in 1849 to make their fortunes as prospectors in California. Henry Busse may have been a bit more successful, returning after only seven months with enough money to purchase a 150 acre farm, however Christian Henjes did make it back with enough money to establish a farm. It took him five years in the harsh conditions of the California gold rush, but he came back and purchased an established farm with a barn, a chicken house, a pig house, a smoke house and an outhouse. In 1857, a few years after returning, he marries his co-prospector’s sister, Johanna. Their daughter Louise married William Deeke and they were the parents of August Deeke, also buried in lot 36.

Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, August had an eventful life for the time period. As a young man he and his brother William moved to Amarillo, Texas to make their fortune in cattle ranching. Unfortunately, they were accused of being cattle rustlers and had to spend some time clearing their names. Luckily, it all worked out and the sheriff stated that the entire situation was “a tiny misunderstanding.” August and William returned to Illinois shortly thereafter. The good part of August’s trip to Texas was that he met his wife, Tillie Engel, there. She was originally from Farina, IL, so the move back to Elk Grove wasn’t too much of a shock.

After returning to the area, August worked as a farmer, raising crops for the Campbell’s Soup Company and selling produce at farmers markets. His brother William, had a bit of a harder time. He moved to Grayslake to operate his own farm and while he was out plowing the fields he was struck by lighting. He was knocked off his tractor, which then rolled over him with the spring tooth harrow attached. Miraculously, he lived although covered in burns and scars. He kept the red hat he had been wearing, that had been shredded by the tractor, as a souvenir. August had an easier time and eventually sold his farm to Shell Oil Company and then moved their house to a new lot on Linneman road.

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