Page 429 Peoria Co. Biographical and Portrait Album 1890
Schlink, Valentine L. The life of this prominent dealer in real estate at Peoria affords a fine example to young men, of what can be accomplished by the combination of energy and thrift with tact in business affairs. Mr. Schlink was born in Bensheim, Germany, August 25, 1830, and brought to the United States by his parents in July, 1832. In 1836 the family removed to this county, the father buying a farm on the Kickapoo Creek near the village of Kickapoo. there Valentine Schlink, Sr. lived until 1872, when he purchased a fine prairie farm in McLean county and with one of his sons lived upon it until his death, May 12, 1890, at the age of eighty-four years. He was the twelfth settler in Rosefield Township, this county.
On the Kickapoo farm, he of whom we write lived until 1844, when he came to Peoria to work out an education. He hired out to William H. Fessenden for four years for his board, clothes, and school tuition, fining Mr. Fessenden quite liberal toward him. Obtaining a good education, but having no money, young Schlink put his shoulder to the wheel determined to succeed in securing a home and a good reputation. He found employment in the store of Curtenius & Griswold, with whom he remained a year, next entering the employ of William E. Mason, a dry goods dealer on Bridge St. He left that establishment after working therin a year and a half, ceasing his labors there on the day of the death of Zachary Taylor. The savings garnered during his employment in the two stores named, furnished the capital on which Mr. Schlink began his real-estate transactions in a small way.
In 1852 our subject engaged in the hotel business, running the Peoria Lake House, on Water St. which was at that time a first-class hotel. As "mine host" he made money until 1858, when he sold out to devote his entire attention to real estate. He made his beginnings principally in the Second Ward, being a prime factor in building up that part of the city. His own residence property, seven blocks from the courthouse, was owned by him when it was a cornfield. In point of residence he is the oldest real estate agent in the city, having been the first to engage in what is now included under that head. He now onws land in all the prominent older additions to the city and is building and selling twenty-three residences, worth from $1,500 to $3,000 each.
Mr. Schlink carries on quite an extensive business in house renting, both for himself and others, and he is likewise engaged in loaning for outside parties, his transitions in that line being quite heavy. He has no political aspirations, giving his undivided attention to business, but has, nevertheless, been Assessor two terms. The same ability which has led to his success in real-estate transactions was exhibited in the valuation of property for the municipality. He is respected for the persistent industry, good citizenship and uprightness which have characterized his life.
Sept. 18, 1854, Mr. Schlink was united in marriage with Miss Sophia Schaff, of this city, with whom he lived happily until March 18, 1875, when she was called from time to eternity. She was a worthy woman, to whom her children owe much for her good counsel and careful training. She was a native of Germany. She bore six children of whom five now survive. They are Mary, widow of William A. Zindel; Tilly, wife of Henry Rath, of Peoira; Emma wife of Henry Lammers; and Frank and William, the second and fifth in the group who also reside in this city. After having lived a widower until November 18, 1882, Mr. Schlink was again married, his bride being Miss Margaret H. Brutcher. To them has been born one son-Charles.