GEORGE REISS, who has practically retired from active life, but still resides in his fine residence in Big Grove township, owns four hundred acres of well improved land. He was born in Lee county, Illinois, October 8, 1848, son of Jacob and Julia (Aschen-burner) Reiss, both deceased; Jacob Reiss died of cholera, in 1850, aged about thirty-five, and his widow died in 1871, aged sixty-three. They came from Chrieseschway, Germany, where they were married, after which they emigrated to America. They came to Chicago by water, and thence by ox team to Lee county, which was then very sparsely settled. He worked one year, and in payment received an eighty-acre tract of land, on which he built a home. He died the same fall, leaving a widow and six small children, three being sons and three daughters. The family resided on this farm until George was about twelve years old, the children working and caring for themselves as soon as old enough. Of the six children but three survive, namely: George; Mrs. Martha Krug, of Lee county, Illinois; and Jacob H., of Guthrie county, Iowa.
George Reiss received a very limited education, and has earned his own living since twelve years of age. In his youth and early manhood he studied during his leisure hours, and to such good advantage that he became a well-informed man. When twenty-three years old he began farming on his own account, having by that time saved up some fifteen hundred dollars. After carrying on a farm in Lee county, Illinois, he sold out to good advantage and decided to move farther west. After looking through Nebraska and Iowa, he decided to locate in Benton county, and purchased two hundred and forty acres in Big Grove township, to which he has since added as he was able. He has erected substantial buildings on his farm, and it is well tiled, containing some four thousand rods of tiling. He is a self-made man, and has been very successful in all his enterprises.
Politically Mr. Reiss is a Republican, and has filled various local offices. He is a member of the Modern Brotherhood of America, and he and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Garrison.
Mr. Reiss married, in Lee county, Illinois, Minnie Anthes, born in Henry county, Illinois, but reared in Bureau county, that state, daughter of Reverend J. C. and Louisa (Just) Anthes, who were early residents in Illinois. J. C. Anthes died in 1884, in Illinois, and his widow died in Nebraska, where the family had resided several years, in 1907, in her eighty-first year. Mr. Reiss and his wife have seven children, as follows: Anna and Emma, twins, the former the wife of W. F. Cline and the latter of S. E. Robinson; John F., who married Miss Brandt, operates a valuable farm of two hundred and forty acres in Big Grove township; Martha, wife of C. H. Martin, of Des Moines, Iowa; Mary, living at home; Ezra C., who married Miss Baumer, and lives on the home farm; and Josephine, wife of Earl Mariette, living on a farm in Big Grove township.