Christian W. Braun, one of the oldest residents of Wilmette and probably the oldest resident born here, passed quietly away following a two weeks' period of declining health at the age of 80 years at his home, 2135 Lake avenue, on Monday of this week. Simple and impressive rites were conducted from the St. Joseph church last Wednesday and Mr. Braun was laid to rest in the St. Joseph cemetery.
Christian W. Braun was born on February 27, 1847, in a log cabin located on what is now Blum street in the old Gross Point section of the village. His parents, Christian and Madelaine Braun, had come to this country from Baden Baden, Germany, and had erected their home in what was practically a wilderness. Three of Mrs. Braun's four brothers, Leapold, Bernard and Joseph, were born in Germany and came to this country with their parents, while the fourth brother, John, was born in this country. These members formed the little family group that wrestled its livelihood from the country and dwelt among the Indians and early settlers who broke the way for the subsequent building of the north shore. This was long before the construction of the North Western railroad or the great Chicago fire.
At the age of seventeen years Mr. Braun began a period of travel that carried him throughout the great northwest territory, particularly through the district now contained in the state of Minnesota, and to Montreal and Quebec in Canada. Throughout thirteen years or until he had reached thirty years of age, he lived among the Indians as a representative of the United States government, trading and trapping.
At the age of thirty years he returned home and took as his wife Catherine Rasbach. The newly weds established their residence in the community near the old homestead and lived a busy life, farming, building--whatever the demand in those early days. In subsequent years there were born to this union seven children, Margareth, now Mrs. Margareth Bauer; Gertrude, now Mrs. Gertrude Schultz; Barbara, now Mrs. Barbara Herbon; Anna, now Mrs. Anna Nilnikel; Joseph, Herman, and Leo. All of these children have since made their homes in this immediate vicinity and are now living. In addition there are 23 grandchildren and one great grandchild surviving Mr. Braun's passing.
Mr. Braun had lived at the present home address, 2135 Lake avenue, for over 45 years and during that period aided in the building of many projects that are now taken for ganted [sic]. Among these are the North Western railroad, the New Trier High school, and the Kenilworth sanitarium. It will be remembered that during the earlier years of his residence it was necessary to drive to Winnetka in order to get to Sheridan road--the only direct route to Chicago. Mr. Braun also operated one of the few early threshing machines and was employed in Chicago t the time of the great Chicago fire.
All of Mr. Braun's brothers had passed away several years previous to his death. His wife also had died, having preceded him two years ago in April at the age of 68 years.