I hope you got my note about Bertha... My internet has berrn acting up for a week. I was given this info by Joanne Ikeda. That site has the family info you really need.
FREDERICK BALMER, who owns and operates a farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 6. Claremont Township, four miles east of Olney, is recognized as one of the enterprising and prosperous agriculturists of Richland County. He has here made his home for twenty-seven years, and is well known. He was born in Switzerland, July 28, 1839. His father, Frederick Balmer, Sr., was also a native of the same county, and there grew to manhood and married. He was a shoemaker by trade, and followed that business in his native land. In 1859 he bade adieu to his old home, and taking passage on a sailing-vessel at Havre, France, on the 1st of November, crossed the broad Atlantic, arriving in New York harbor on the 2d of December. He at once made his way Westward to Indiana, locating in Greene County, where he bought land and engaged in farming for seven years. In 1864 he sold out, and the following year came to Richland County, Ill., where he purchased an improved farm, the same upon which our subject now resides. He here spent his last years, and departed this life on the 9th of December, 1871. His wife, having survived him for many years, passed away November 3, 1890, and was laid by his side in the Lutheran Cemetery, of Olney Township, where a substantial monument marks his last resting-place. The subject of this sketch is the eldest of a family of four sons and four daughters who grew to mature years. Elizabeth, the next in order of birth, is the wife of Pete Hostetter, of Richland County; Margaret became the wife of Peter Mover, and both are now deceased; Anna is the wife of Jacob Schlitt, of Olney; John is a merchant of Sumner, Ill.; Peter operates a farm adjoining that of our subject; Henry died in 1874; and Mattie is the wife of Cliff Bailey, of La Fayette, Ind.
Until the age of seventeen years, Frederick Balmer remained in Switzerland, and enjoyed fair school privileges, but in the English tongue he is almost wholly self-educated. Emigrating to the United States, he joined his father in Richland County in 1865, and aided him in the development of the farm until the death of the latter, since which time our subject has carried it on alone. As a companion and helpmate on life's journey, he chose Miss Sophia Schwab. The lady is a native of Germany, and remained in that country until fourteen years of age, when she came to America with her father, Carl Schwab, who located in Terre Haute, Ind., where the union of our subject and his wife was celebrated on the 18th of November, 1868. Unto them were born five children: Carl, who is employed in the railroad shops in Terre Haute, Ind.; Elizabeth, at home; William Tell, who aids in the operation of the farm; Bertha and Otto. They also lost one son, Oscar, who died in infancy.
After his marriage, Mr. Balmer located on a part of the old homestead which he had purchased of his father. Subsequently he became owner of the whole farm, buying the interest of the other heirs, and his tract of valuable land of one hundred and sixty acres is one of the best farms in this locality. He has built upon it a large barn, a substantial residence, and all the improvements found upon a model farm, and the place is neat and thrifty in appearance, indicating the careful supervision of the owner. We see that Mr. Balmer deserves great credit for his success in life, for he started out to make his own way in the world empty-handed, and unaided has worked his way upward to a position among the substantial fanners of Richland County.
Our subject is an advocate of Democratic principles, and votes with that party on all questions of State and National importance, but at local elections he votes independently, supporting the man whom he thinks best qualified to fill the office. He has been honored with several positions of public trust, including that of Commissioner of Public Highways, in which he served two terms. He has also been School Director and School Trustee for a number of years, and has done effective service toward advancing the standard of schools in this locality. During his long residence in Richland County, he has become widely known as a man of sterling worth and strict integrity, and he and his wife have the respect and esteem of all with whom they have been brought in contact.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p.461 - Submitted by Judy Edwards
Birth Date:Aug 1839
Home in 1900 Claremont, Illinois
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Sophia Balmer
Marriage Year: 1868
Years Married: 32
Father's Birthplace: Switzerland
Mother's Birthplace: Switzerland
Fredrick Balmer 60
Sophia Balmer 56
Bertha Balmer 20
Otto Balmer 17
Max Balmer 7
Hope this helps.