by Nick Stephens, Fifth Grade
Triopia Elementary School
Francis Arenz was an immigrant from Germany. He was born in Blackenburg, Rhein, Prussia, October 31, 1800. He came to America in 1827, spent two years in Kentucky, and settled in Arenzville in 1839.
He was married to Louisa Boss and had nine children. Their names were Henrietta, Louisa, Francis, Mary Ann, Oscar, Susan, Albert, Laura and Henry. Francis Arenz also became a good friend with Thomas Beard.
Thomas Beard founded Beardstown. Together Mr. Arenz and Mr. Beard built a church-school in Beardstown. It was very successful. Mr. Arenz and Mr. Beard were such good friends that Mr. Beard named his first son Francis Arenz Beard.
While Mr. Arenz was in Beardstown he was a merchant and a newspaper editor for the "Beardstown Chronicle" and the "Illinois Land Register" which he founded in 1833. He was also a contractor for guns during the Black Hawk War. He statyed in Beardstown until money was hard to make. Then he was forced to move to some land about 8 miles from Beardstown, which would soon be Arenzville. He already owned land so he built a house. He bought a gristmill in 1833 and the land his house is on was part of the purchase.
In 1849 he laid out the plan of Arenzville. Then in 1852 he visited Germany. When Mr. Arenz came back in 1853 he organized Arenzville as a village. He spent his last few years in Arenzville and then died in 1856.
His house is currently owned by Janette Huey. The gristmill is now the lumberyard.