Curtenius, Alfred G.

Born: 1807-02-16 New York, New York

Died: 1857-03-09 Peoria, Illinois

Flourished: Peoria, Illinois

Alfred G. Curtenius was a businessman, merchant, landowner, and civic official in Peoria, Illinois. He received his education at Colonel Alden Partridge's Military Academy in Middletown, Connecticut. He subsequently operated mercantile establishments in New York City and Pulaski, New York. He first ventured to Peoria in 1835, returning to New York after a short visit. In 1836, Curtenius returned to Peoria, remaining there for the rest of his life. In July 1838, he won election to the Peoria Board of Trustees, remaining a trustee until 1839. In October 1840, Curtenius formed a partnership with John L. Griswold, and in 1841, Curtenius & Griswold commenced purchasing wheat for export, making them pioneers of the wheat trade in Peoria. In October 1841, Curtenius married Antoinette O. Tracy. In addition to their wheat business, Curtenius & Griswold became proprietors of large tracts of land west of Peoria, which became known as the Curtenius & Griswold's Addition. In 1843, Curtenius received appointment as colonel in the Illinois State Militia. In 1845, Curtenius built a large pork-packing establishment on the banks of the Illinois River, which Curtenius used in cooperation with Gurdon S. Hubbard in packing pork for the New York market. Curtenius was a strong advocate for a bridge across the Illinois River at or near the outlet of Peoria Lake, and he became president and a leading stockholder of the company created to construct the bridge. Curtenius was among the first trustees of the Second Presbyterian Church of Peoria. In 1850, he owned real property valued at $15,000. He died from typhoid fever.

Newton Bateman and Paul Selby eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Peoria County, ed. by David McCulloch (Chicago and Peoria: Munsell, 1902), 2:252, 341, 358, 447-48; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Peoria, Peoria County, IL, 150; Gravestone, Springdale Cemetery and Mausoleum, Peoria, IL.