Biography - JOHN DOLDER
France has contributed a host of sterling citizens to Illinois, and none more worthy and patriotic than the family represented by the subject of this biography. For fifty-five years the Dolders have been numbered among the residents of LaSalle county, actively interested in its progress, and materially aiding in the development of its resources. Their lives have been models of good citizenship, and in the multiplicity of their own private and business affairs they have still found time to faithfully discharge their public duties.
The father of the subject of this memoir, John Bolder, Sr., was born in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, in 1816, and married there Martha Bolder, a native of the same locality. After the birth of their first child, the worthy couple decided to cast in their fortunes with the people of the United States, and in 1844 crossed the Atlantic. Coming direct to LaSalle county they located upon a farm in Northville township, whence they later removed to Serena township. For about half a century the father was actively and successfully engaged in agriculture, and bore an enviable reputation for uprightness and integrity of word and deed. His long and useful career came to a peaceful close in 1895, when he was in his eightieth year. His faithful helpmate passed to the better land when she was in her eighty-fifth year. They were the parents of seven children, all but one born in the United States. Two of the number died in infancy, and William, the eldest, and Frederick, the third child, are deceased. Magdalene is the wife of George Lentz, and Elizabeth married Aaron Knight.
John Bolder, Jr., was born on the old farm in Serena township, LaSalle county. May 1, 1856, and in his boyhood received a liberal education in the common schools. He remained with his parents, giving his time to his father until he reached his majority, when he was given charge of the farm, as he had already given proof of his competence to manage the place. He continued to cultivate the farm until 1890, when he came to Sheridan and succeeded J. W. Wedding in business, buying that gentleman's interest in the already established firm. At first Mr. Bolder dealt only in lumber and coal, but he soon added farm implements and carriages to his stock in trade, and has steadily prospered, his business growing rapidly from year to year. He is eminently deserving of success, for he is energetic and businesslike, giving his full time and mind to meeting the desires of his customers, and treating every one with whom he has dealings in a uniformly kind, courteous, fair manner. His reputation for integrity and faithful execution of all of his contracts is something of which he has reason to be proud, and without exception his customers are his warm friends.
In 1881 Mr. Bolder married Alice Morel, a daughter of Charles and Marie (Bloom) Morel, natives of Alsace-Lorraine, France, and in 1866 came to the United States and became early settlers of LaSalle county. Mrs. Bolder was born in Belmont, Alsace-Lorraine, France, May 23, 1857, and came to the United States in 1866, with her parents, who settled in Serena township, this county. Two sons and four daughters have been born to our subject and wife, their names in order of birth being as follows: Emma Elizabeth, Henry George, Samuel Alfred, Ida May, Laura Ellen and Evaline Alice.
Since becoming a voter, Mr. Bolder has given his allegiance to the Republican party. He has capably officiated in several minor local positions, and is an ex-member of the Sheridan village board of trustees and a present member of the school board. He is deeply interested in the cause of education and all movements calculated to benefit and elevate the race, and he and his estimable wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is a trustee, and are esteemed in social circles of the town.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 221-222.