It is a well authenticated fact that success comes not as the caprice of
chance, but as the legitimate result of well applied energy, unflagging
determination and perseverance in a course of action once decided upon by
the individual. Only those who diligently seek the goddess Fortuna, find her
- she never was known to smile upon the idler and the dreamer. The subject
of this sketch clearly understood this fact early in life when he was
casting about for a legitimate and promising line to follow, and in tracing
his life history it is plainly seen that the prosperity he enjoys has been
won by commendable qualities, and it is also his personal worth which has
gained for him the good standing among his fellow citizens of Richland
Christian Hasler, the well-known harness and saddle manufacturer, and dealer in hides, fertilizers, etc., of Olney, Illinois, is a citizen of the United States by adoption only, being one of that thrifty class from the little Republic of Switzerland, who has done so much toward promoting our institutions, for he was born in the Canton of Berne, September 20, 1845, the son of Peter and Margaret (Von Alman) Hasler, also natives of that place. The father was a small farmer and gardener and died when the subject was a child. The Von Almans were also farmers. The mother came to the United States and brought a family of five children with her, having come direct to Olney, Illinois, in 1857. She passed to her rest here in 1865. Our subject was twelve years old when he came to Olney. He worked on a farm in the summer and attended school in the winter. He had limited opportunities to attend school, but he gained a fairly good foundation for an education which he has since added to by home study and contact with the business world.
Mr. Hasler early decided to learn the harness business and in the fall of 1863 he was apprenticed to a harness maker at Claremont, where he worked faithfully until the spring of 1865, when he felt it his duty to no longer repress the feeling that he should stand by the Union in its hour of sore trial, consequently he enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, and served until the close of the war in a most gallant manner, having been mustered out at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in September, 1865. He did duty at Nashville, Tullahoma, and Murfreesboro, having been on guard duty the major part of the time on the railroads.
After the war Mr. Hasler returned to Claremont township, and finished learning his trade, and in 1867, he opened a harness shop in Olney, which he has conducted continuously since that time. It is among the oldest established businesses in Olney, and the oldest in this line in the county. It has become generally known throughout the locality and his trade has been lively from the first, numbering his customers by the hundreds all over the county. He has not only made a comfortable living from his shop from year to year, but has been enabled to lay by a competency for his old age.
Mr. Hasler was united in marriage in 1869 to Susan Bohren, a native of Berne, Switzerland, who came to the United States with her father, Christian Bohren, when six years old, locating in Olney. Her father was a carpenter and died here. Her mother died in Switzerland and Mr. Bohren remarried in the United States. Nine children have been born to the subject and wife, three of whom died in infancy. Those living are: Sue; Robert, who is in the harness business in Vandalia; Laura, the wife of E. S. Hoog, who resides in Chicago; Rosilla; Ellen is the wife of J. W. Mayhood, of Chicago; Charles Edward.
Mr. Hasler always handles a good grade of material and the work he turns out is high-class. He has a carefully selected stock and never loses a customer as a result of handling inferior goods or unfair treatment.
In politics our subject is a Bryan Democrat. He served as Supervisor on the County Board for two terms, from the third ward, which is strongly Republican; this fact shows that the subject is popular and well liked in his own neighborhood. He was the only Democrat ever elected from that ward to that position. In his fraternal relations he is a member of the Masonic Blue Lodge and Chapter, also the Modern Woodmen of America. He and his wife are members of the German Reformed church and no members of that congregation stand higher in general favor than they, for they are regarded as scrupulously honest, kind and worthy citizens in every respect, numbering their friends by the score.
Extracted 26 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 108-110.