Edo DUDEN is the owner of a valuable farming property of two hundred acres in Bennington township, which he has placed under a high state of cultivation. He has other valuable farm property in Iowa, and his holdings are so extensive as to render further active labor on his part no longer a necessity, for his income from the land is sufficient to supply him with all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. A native of Germany, he was born in Oldenburg on the 29th of January, 1832. His father, John G. DUDEN, also a native of Germany, was born in 1808, and in that country he engaged in farming a small tract of land of twenty-four acres. There he continued to reside until called to his final rest in 1884, when he was about seventy-six years of age. His wife, Mrs. Anna Elizabeth DUDEN, was born in 1808 and passed away in 1882. They were the parents of six children: Mary, who is living in Minonk, Illinois; Kate, a resident of Iowa; Anna, who is located in Nebraska; Olmet, living in Germany; and Margaret, deceased.
In the schools of his native land Mr. DUDEN of this review acquired his education. He spent his minority in the fatherland and in 1853 crossed the Atlantic to America on a sailing vessel named the Columbus. After a voyage of nine weeks he landed at New Orleans, whence he proceeded northward to Missouri, where he secured employment at a wage of ten dollars per month. Among his duties was the milking of forty-five cows. He remained with his first employer for about six months, after which he went to Peoria, Illinois, and worked on the canal. He also did other labor, scorning no work that would yield him an honest living. About five years were passed in Peoria, on the expiration of which period he removed to Nebraska township, Livingston county, Illinois, and invested the money which he had saved from his earnings in forty acres of land. He was married at that time and later he purchased the place upon which he now resides, first becoming owner of eighty acres, but from time to time he has extended the boundaries of his farm until it now comprises two hundred acres of richly productive land in Bennington township. The soil is very alluvial and the farm responds readily to the care and cultivation which he bestows upon the fields. In addition to this he has made extensive investment in real estate in Iowa, where he now owns ten hundred and forty acres. He has given to each of his children a farm and yet retains valuable holdings which supply him with an income sufficient to obviate any necessity for further active work.
In 1862 Mr. DUDEN was united in marriage to Miss Johanna SIEFKES, who was born in Germany in 1845 and was three years of age when brought to the United States by her parents. Their children are: Fannie, who is now living in Illinois; Bertha, living in Iowa; Anna, Johanna, at home; Betty, who is living in Nebraska; Henrietta, who resides in Lee county, Illinois; Mary, who is living in Benson, Illinois; Kate, at home; and John, who is operating the home farm.
Mr. DUDEN gives his political allegiance to the democracy. His wife is a member of the German Lutheran church. He has never had occasion to regret his determination to seek a home in the new world, for in this country he found the opportunities he sought, which, by the way, are always open to ambitious, energetic young men. As the years passed he made good use of his advantages, early realizing that in America "labor is king," and in the face of difficulties and obstacles he has worked his way steadily upward, his position today, however, being an enviable one, proving, as it does, the possibilities for successful accomplishment to those who are forced to start out in life empty-handed.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.