Abel Hensel, a leading farmer of Grant Township, residing three miles southwest from Fairport, was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, on October 23, 1833. He was the fifth of twelve children born to John and Rachel (Barton) Hensel, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, the former born in 1800, and the latter in 1801. The paternal grandfather was John Hensel, who was killed while serving in the War of 1812. The maternal grandfather was Eli Barton, who was a Revolutionary soldier. John the father removed to Ohio in 1820, and was one of the first settlers of Tuscarawas County. At the time of his death, in 1870, he was one of the largest farmers of his county. The mother died in Ohio in 1856. Both parents were Christian people and church members. Abel was reared on the farm, and acquired a fair education in the public schools. When eighteen years of age, he began an apprenticeship at the blacksmith's trade. When twenty-one years of age, he immigrated to Bureau County, Ill., where he worked at his trade for a number of years. April 20, 1861, he enlisted for three months as a private in Company I, of the Twelfth Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry. At the expiration of his term of service he re-enlisted for three years. Before the expiration of the latter period, however, he was given an opportunity, and re-enlisted as a veteran, and served as such until discharged for disability in March, 1865. He was wounded four times-at Shiloh twice, once before Atlanta, and at Altoona, where he was left for dead on the field of battle. At the close of the war he spent two years with his parents in Ohio, being unable to work on account of his wounds. In 1867 he returned to Illinois, and in 1879 came to De Kalb County, and purchased his farm of 325 acres, upon which he resides. He is a member of Maysville Post, G. A. R. On February 11, 1864, he was united in marriage with Kate Fribley, who was born in Ohio September 17, 1845. She is the daughter of David Fribley, also a native of Ohio. They have six children. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hensel are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Source: History of Andrew and DeKalb Counties, Missouri (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1888), pp. 565-566.