His obit says he came to the USA as a youth and I would assume with his family.
You might find more info on his death record. the Stephenson County Clerk & Recorder of Deeds has births and deaths starting in 1878.
You can also find death certificates 1878-1954 and 1878-1915 at the IRAD County Listing (do a Google search on the name and then page down to Stephenson County.
The Stephenson County Genealogical Society, www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ilstephe/HISTORYandMUSEUM
also has deaths 1879-1915. They might be easiest contact for a death record. Successful Searching!