This is a book of family stories, of pioneers who immigrated to central Illinois from a variety of locations in Germany. They dared to leave the Old World and seek their fortune in the New World and strove every day of their lives to improve the quality of life for their children and descendants. They left a part of Europe, Germany, comprising a radius of about a hundred miles, and settled in America, in central Illinois, within a radius of about twenty-five miles. Between 1845 and 1869, some came as families, some as individuals , but they all chose to inhabit the villages of Danvers, Minier, Petersburg, or the surrounding farmland. Of the pioneer generation, there were sixteen people whose stories are like little jewels embroidered onto the warp and woof of the historical tapestry of their time. The second-, third-, and fourth-generation folks are likewise described within the context of their times and always leading in a straight line of lineage to Mary and Bill Oehler, the author’s parents. Every life has a story. It has been a pleasure to delineate these thirty-one lives.