George Washington Smith.

A history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.3) online

. (page 35 of 98)
Online LibraryGeorge Washington SmithA history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.3) → online text (page 35 of 98)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

and unproductive. Modern methods, however, have done much for
this property, and it is nearly all now black soil. Mr. Smith is a Re-
publican in politics, cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864,
and for ten years has served as supervisor of his township. He is a
popular comrade of Loomis Post, Grand Army of the Republic. On
the breaking out of the Spanish-American war in 1898, a regiment
was organized and Virginius W. Smith was appointed captain, await-
ing the call of his country, but the service was not required, there being
no more calls necessary for troops.

In 1875 Mr. Smith was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Mc-
Dermott, who died less than two years later, leaving one child : Joseph,
who is now engaged in cultivating a part of the home farm. In 1900
he was married to Orvilla Shain, a native of Gallatin county, and three
children have been born to them : Susie, Eliza and Virginius, Jr. Mr.
and Mrs. Smith have numerous friends in this part of Gallatin county.
He is remembered as a brave and faithful soldier during the war, and
he has discharged his duties just as faithfully as a private citizen.
His success has been the result of his own efforts and his career is
typical of the successful American agriculturist.

ANDREW JACKSON WEBBER. Among the prominent and highly
esteemed citizens whom Saline county has been called upon to mourn
within the past few months none will be more greatly missed than
Andrew Jackson Webber, one of the leading men of Galatia, who was
familiarly known among his acquaintances and associates as "Jack"
Webber. A native of Southern Illinois, he was born September 11,
1845, on a farm lying two miles southeast of Galatia, a son of the late
Henry Webber.

His paternal grandfather, who was also the grandfather of his
widow, Mrs. Annie J. (Webber) Webber, was John M. Webber, the
immigrant ancestor of the Webber family of America, the name hav-
ing been spelled in the old country "Weber." John M. Webber was
born in Holland, on the banks of the Rhine, November 10, 1794. When
twelve years old he came with his mother to the United States, and
for several years lived in Philadelphia, where he was educated. Go-
ing to Tennessee in 1823, he lived in Rutherford county until 1830,
when, with his family, he came to Saline county, Illinois, and purchased
land near Galatia where he improved the fine estate now known as
the Webber homestead. He was there prosperously employed in till-
ing the soil until his death, in 1867. He married, in Philadelphia,


Elizabeth McQueen, who was born in Virginia, in 1793 and died on
the home farm in 1869, having survived him but two years.

Henry Webber was a small lad when he came from Tennessee to
Saline county. He grew to manhood on the homestead, as a boy and
youth becoming familiar with all branches of agriculture. He was a
man of great energy and enterprise, and in 1855 erected the first steam
mill in Saline county. The following year he located in Galatia, and
here erected the first steam mill in this section of the county. lie had
previously operated a threshing machine while living on the home
farm, and for several years after settling in Galatia he was engaged
in milling. Finally making a change of occupation, he disposed of
his mill and, in company with his son "Jack," opened a general store
under the firm name of H. Webber & Son, and in addition to selling
general merchandise handled tobacco on an extensive scale, selling
about a million pounds annually. In 1888 he disposed of his store,
which had become the largest mercantile establishment in the county,
although he retained ownership of a second mill which he had erected,
placing his son "Jack" in charge of that plant, which is still owned by
the Webber estate. After selling his store, Henry Webber established
the Bank of Galatia, which was owned by the old firm of H. Webber
& Son, and placed the son in charge of the institution, while he, him-
self, devoted his time and attention to the care of the home farm, liv-
ing on the place until his death, April 18, 1899, at the age of seventy-
six years, five months and four days, his birth having occurred in
Philadelphia, September 14, 1822. His wife, whose maiden name was
Mary Jane Rhine, died in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where she had gone
for her health, April 20, 1884.

Succeeding to the ownership of the old homestead the mill and the
bank established by himself and his father, Andrew Jackson Webber
became very active in the commercial world, and was identified with
various enterprises connected with the development of the resources
of Saline county, including the Galatia Coal Company, one of the lead-
ing industrial organizations of this part of the county. He carried on
a substantial business, and through legitimate channels of industry,
trade and finance accumulated property which at the most conserva-
tive estimate is valued at a million or more dollars. As a banker, a
miller, and a farmer he met with eminent success, fortune smiling
upon his every effort. Mr. Webber made a part of his fortune through
the increase of land values in Saline county, where he owned thousands
of acres, while the Bank of Galatia, the mill and the farms, brought
him in handsome annual returns, and his large investments in town
property were of great value. In 1876 Mr. Webber erected several
business houses in Galatia, one of which, the two story brick building
in which his store was located, having been burned in 1896. He im-
mediately rebuilt it, and in May, 1911, that structure was destroyed
by fire and is being rebuilt by the estate for store and hotel purposes.
The death of Mr. Webber, which occurred on the old Webber home-
stead near Galatia, November 4, 1910, was a loss not only to his im-
mediate family, but to the community, and was a cause of general

Mr. Webber married, March 20, 1875, his cousin, Annie J. Webber,
a daughter of John Webber one of the leading supporters of the Meth-
odist Episcopal church, as was his father, John M. Webber.

John Webber was born January 24, 1819, in Philadelphia, and at
the age of four years moved with his parents to Rutherford county,
Tennessee. In 1830 he came with the family to Saline county, and
until nineteen years of age assisted his father in the pioneer labor of




clearing and improving a farm. Soon after attaining his majority he
married Eliza Powell, who was born in Gallatin county, Illinois, in
1824. In 1844 he migrated to Phelps county, Missouri, and having
purchased a tract of land near the present city of Rolla, built the first
house erected in that vicinity and donated the site of Rolla. He met
with great success as an agriculturist, and likewise became one of the
leading merchants of Rolla. He gave a tract of land lying on the north
side of the town on which Fort Webber was built, the site of the old
fort being now occupied by the Missouri School of Mines. His wife
died in 1859.

Annie J. Webber was born in Phelps county, Missouri, on her
father's farm, and well remembers many of the thrilling incidents
connected with pioneer days in Missouri. She recalls when the city
of Rolla was started, and has distinct recollections of the precau-
tions which the farmers had to take to prevent the destruction of cat-
tle and stock by the wild animals that held nightly carnival near her
home. During the Civil war she came to Saline county to complete
her education in the Raleigh schools, and there became acquainted
with "Jack" Webber, who wooed her ardently, followed her to her
Missouri home, and brought her back to Illinois to become his bride.
They were married at Eldorado, Illinois, March 20, 1876. She is still
living in Galatia, where she is held in high respect for her many vir-
tues and charms. She has two children, namely : John Henry Webber,
of Galatia, born December 28, 1877, and Mrs. May Olive Burns, of
Thompsonville, born September 18, 1885. Another son, William Jack-
son, died in infancy. He was born February 8, 1880.

JOHN M. BURKHABDT. Waterloo, Illinois, has several contractors
whose operations are upon a very extensive scale, and whose work is
known not only in the immediate vicinity of their home city, but
throughout the southern part of the state. One of the best-known and
most busily employed of these men is John M. Burkhardt, whose con-
tracting is in well drilling, and whose activities have gained him more
than a local reputation in his chosen line. Mr. Burkhardt was born
November 14, 1861, near Renault, Illinois, and is a son of Conrad and
Mary (Fauerbach) Burkhardt, natives of Germany. John M. Burk-
hardt has one brother, Phillip Burkhardt, and half-brothers and sis-
ters as follows: Conrad, Theodore, Henry, Lottie, Sofia and Lena.
The father, came to the United States in 1842, settling at Renault Grant,
Monroe county, where he became engaged in agricultural pursuits and
followed that line until his death. Phillip Burkhardt now serves as
superintendent of the Alms House at Waterloo.

John M. Burkhardt was educated in the public school at Renault,
after leaving which he engaged in farming for a number of years.
Machinery has always interested him, however, and he eventually be-
came engaged in well drilling, building up a large business from a very
humble start. He now employs a small army of men, and carries on
his business throughout Monroe and the adjoining counties. One of
the leading Republicans of his section, Mr. Burkhardt served as con-
stable of Renault in 1894 and as sheriff of Monroe county from 1906
until 1910, and displayed much executive ability in discharging the
duties of office. He and his family attend the German Evangelical
church, and have been active in its work. Mr. Burkhardt gives a good
deal of attention to the cultivation of his farm, a finely improved prop-
erty of one hundred acres in the American Bottoms, twenty miles
south of Waterloo, which is principally devoted to corn. His hand-
some residence, however, is located at Waterloo. Mr. Burkhardt has
vol. m 15


been prominent in fraternal work, and now belongs to the Masonic or-
der and the Modern Woodmen of America.

In 1878 Mr. Burkhardt was united in marriage with Miss Louisa
Wood, of New Design, Monroe county, Illinois, and they have four
children, namely : William, Olga, Sofia and Armin. Mr. Burkhardt is
a skilled machinist, and has been able to give his attention to every
little detail of his business. This careful management is largely re-
sponsible for the success which has attended his efforts, and he is now
ranked among the stable and prosperous citizens that go to make up a
stable and prosperous city.

JOHN HUEGELY, JR., is one of the successors of the founder of the
Huegely Milling Company of Nashville, Illinois, and was born in this
city February 25, 1858, his father being John Huegely, the pioneer
industrialist of the place whose substantial achievement is reflected
in the live and vigorous flouring mill whose management he sur-
rendered more than a score of years since, and whose retirement from
the activities of life came only after years of devotion to a purpose and
the accomplishment thereof.

John Huegely was born November 11, 1818, in Hassloch, Bavaria,
Germany, and after a limited education was called upon to face the
stern realities of life alone at a tender age. Having reached his ma-
jority March 9, 1840, he came to America, landing in New Orleans,
and as his finances were at a low ebb he worked there sawing wood
until the opportunity came to continue his journey further north. He
made his first stop in Monroe county, Illinois, where he obtained work
with Mr. Sauers, father of the gentleman now conducting the Sauers
Milling Company at Evansville, Illinois. Two years later he found
employment with Mr. Conrad Eisenmayer in his water mill, located
at Red Bud, Illinois, where he received wages at the rate of twelve
dollars per month and board. From Red Bud he removed to a farm
near Mascoutah, Illinois, but soon after entered the employ of Ph. H.
Postel, with whom 'he remained until 1853. In that year, in partner-
ship with Ph. H. Reither, he bought the saw and grist mill located at
Nashville, Illinois. Being quite successful, in 1860 they built the pres-
ent mill, which then had two hundred barrels' capacity, and in 1871
Mr. Huegely purchased the interest of Mr. Reither. Prosperity con-
tinuing, the mill was enlarged and remodeled from time to time, so
that it is now an up-to-date mill of over five hundred barrels capacity.
In 1890 Mr. Huegely retired from the active management of the busi-
ness and was succeeded by his sons, John Huegely, Jr., and Julius
Huegely, and his son-in-law, Theodore L. Reuter, who are conducting
the business along the lines established by Mr. Huegely and they also
are meeting with his success in the undertaking.

Mr. Huegely served the county as associate judge, and was dele-
gate to the Republican National Convention in Baltimore in the year
1864, which nominated Mr. Lincoln for his second term as president.
For more than sixty years he has been a consistent member of the
Methodist Episcopal church. Now past ninety-three years, he is still
in comparitively good health, and is fond of reading and enjoys look-
ing after his farms. He takes a lively interest in the events of the
day, and bids fair to round out his century. Mr. Huegely is a man
of rugged, sterling character, kind of heart, with an open hand for all
needing assistance, and is respected and admired by all who know
him and that means the entire population of Washington county, one
of whose villages bears his name.

John Huegely, Jr., was aducated with the means at hand and pro-


vided by the public and while his training was not extensive it has
proved ample for the demand made upon him through subsequent
years of business. When he was through school he entered the office
of his father's mill as a bookkeeper and his talents have been em-
ployed in behalf of the industry since. When his father left the com-
pany as an active factor in its management John became one of the
trio of new blood which has been responsible for the success of the
plant for twenty-two years. As a citizen he has manifested a dispo-
sition to perform whatever public service to which his fellows called
him, chief of which has been that of alderman of Nashville. He has
reared his family under righteous influences as a Methodist, and has
equipped his children with educations more liberal than his own.
He follows the example of his venerable father in his political ac-
tions and has supported Republican policies at every opportunity.

On May 24, 1884, Mr. Huegely was united in marriage with Miss
Annie S. Keller, who died September 1, 1892, having been the mother
of two daughters : Ella C. and Florence. In September, 1894, Mr.
Huegely was married to Miss Setta E. Weihe, daughter of Fred Weihe,
and two children have been born to this union, namely: Olive and

HARVEY C. VISE. Probably no citizen of Pranklin county has been
more closely identified with conditions in the monetary and commer-
cial fields than Harvey C. Vise, of Macedonia, and few have demon-
strated their ability in as many different fields. Country bred, and
reared originally for agricultural pursuits, he has been successful alike
as farmer, merchant and financier, and has been educated for one of the
professions. Today he is one of the leading capitalists of Franklin
county, president of the Farmers Exchange Bank of Akin and of the
Bank of Macedonia, and a worthy representative of an old and honored
family. He was born in Hamilton county, Illinois, October 17, 1856,
and is a son of Eliphas H. and Ester (Choiser) Vise.

Hosea Vise, the grandfather of Harvey C., one of the most renowned
Missionary Baptist preachers the state of Illinois ever knew, was born
in 1811, in the Spartanburg district of South Carolina, the seventh of
the nine children of Nathaniel and Dorcas (Meadows) Vise, the former
of Welsh descent and the latter of English and descendants of Poca-
hontas. His grandfather served with Washington at Braddock's defeat,
and subsequently fought during the Revolutionary war at Eutaw Springs
and Guilford Court House, as captain of the famed Virginia Blues. He
died at the age of one hundred and three years, and his wife when
one hundred and seven. In 1835 Hosea Vise moved to Posey county,
Indiana, but a short time later came to Illinois and settled in Hamilton
county, where he commenced farming and expounding the Gospel. In
1864 he established a general store at Macedonia, which he owned until
his death, and which is now being conducted by his grandson. In
1861 he enlisted as a captain in an Illinois regiment, served therewith
for twenty months, and on his return again took up merchandising, farm-
ing and preaching. He served for twelve years as postmaster at Macedo-
nia and for ten years as pension agent. In 1871 he sold his Hamilton
county farm and purchased a tract in Franklin county, on which he
lived until his death. He preached forty-eight years and during that
time filled all of his appointments but four, was moderator of his district
for a period covering thirty-eight years, during which time he missed
but two meetings ; delivered the first temperance lecture in the counties
of Hamilton and Franklin, and organized more churches than any man
in Southern Illinois. He cast his first vote for Andrew Jackson, as a


Democrat, but at the time of Lincoln 's nomination became a Republican
and so continued throughout the remainder of his life. Fraternally he
was connected with Governor Yates Lodge of Masons, and was buried by
the order at the time of his death, February 11, 1897. His wife, Lettie
Moore, was a daughter of Ellsworth Moore, and was born in 1814 in
South Carolina and died in 1886. Their son, Eliphas H. Vise, was
born in the Spartanburg district, October 11, 1835, and died May 25,
1888, having been a successful farmer and merchant all of his life. He
married Ester Choiser, daughter of William Choiser. The latter was
born in Illinois and lived in the state all of his. life, serving in the Black
Hawk, Mexican and Civil wars, and dying at the age of eighty-six years,
at Eldorado, Illinois. His father, also named William Choiser, was
born in Canada and came to KaskasMa, Illinois, later removed to Shaw-
neetown, where he reared a family of fourteen children, and eventually
removed to Saline county, where until his death he maintained a tavern
on the road for the accommodation of travelers headed west.

Harvey C. Vise was educated in the common schools and Ewing Col-
lege, and after studying law for some time was admitted to the bar.
His tastes did not run towards the legal profession, however, and in
1872 he turned his attention to the operation of the store at Macedonia,
where he has been a merchant ever since. He now has the largest
stock of merchandise in Franklin county, and in addition owns a fine
farm of three hundred and twenty acres. He is president of the Farm-
ers Exchange Bank of Akin and of the Bank of Macedonia, the latter
of which was organized in 1897, with a capital of eight thousand dollars,
and has a surplus of five thousand dollars, with annual deposits averaging
fifty thousand dollars. Mr. Vise has been too busy looking after his busi-
ness interests to engage actively in politics, but he supports Republican
principles and has served as supervisor of his township. Fraternally,
he is connected with Royal Lodge, No. 807, Macedonia, in which he
has served as master, and belongs also to H. W. Hubbard Chapter, No.
160, R. A. M., Mount Vernon. As a member of Oddfellowship he has
been noble grand of Macedonia Lodge, No. 315.

In 1872 Mr. Vise was married to Miss Sarilda Plaster, daughter of
John Plaster, an old resident of Franklin county, and she died in 1886,
having been the mother of three children : John, an implement dealer of
Macedonia ; Nellie, who married J. W. Johnson, of this city ; and
Hosea A. On October 16, 1888, Mr. Vise was married to Miss Ellner
McGuyer, daughter of William McGuyer, and a sister of John B. Mc-
Guyer, Mr. Vise 's business partner. Four children have been born to Mr.
and Mrs. Vise, namely : Ava, who became the wife of B. F. Sparks and
lives at Mount Vernon, Illinois; Orrie A., at home; and Clyde H. and
Evan H., who also reside with their parents. The family is connected
with the Missionary Baptist church, and its members are well and
favorably known in religious and charitable work. Mr. Vise during
his residence in Macedonia has been active in almost every movement
for the public good, and the benefit that the city has derived from his
activities in the financial and commercial world cannot be estimated.
His business ventures, however, have been conducted in such a manner
that he has earned the reputation of being a man of the highest in-
tegrity, and as a consequence he has the respect and esteem of a wide
circle of friends and well wishers.

WILLIAM ALBERT PERKINE. The man to whom all Herrin turns in
gratitude for the prosperity which has come to her, largely through the
work of his brain, started out in life in a modest way, as a country
school teacher, and now he is president of two mining corporations,


handling an output of three thousand tons of coal a day. This is in
brief the remarkable success of William A. Perrine. Aside from the
leading part he has played in the industrial world he has been almost
equally active in the political world, the long list of public offices with
which he has been honored culminating in his election as a delegate to
the National Republican Convention in 1908.

William Albert Perrine was born only a few miles from Herrin, in
Bainbridge Precinct, on the 17th of October, 1858. His father, the ven-
erable Daniel Perrine, was one of the ante-bellum settlers of the county
of Williamson. He was of rural stock, his parents living in Mercer
county, Pennsylvania, at the time of his birth in 1831. With commend-
able energy he acquired enough education to make him capable of
teaching a country school. When he came to Illinois this, therefore, was
his first undertaking until the inpouring rush of settlers offered such a
rich field of the carpenter that he abandoned the blue-backed speller for
the hammer and saw. Later he returned to the simple life of the farm,
and save for his absence during the Civil war, has been content to re-
main a modest farmer. So for fifty-five years he has been an influential
member of that large body of sincere and high principled citizens who
make Williamson county their home.

In his political alliance Daniel Perrine is a strong Republican, and
in the election of 1860 was an enthusiastic partisan of Mr. Lincoln, hav-
ing the distinction of being one of the three men in his precinct to cast
a ballot for the martyred president whom we have all come to almost
worship. In 1862 Mr. Perrine enlisted in Company G of the Eighty-first
Illinois Infantry, and his command formed a part of General Sherman 's
army, operating in Mississippi. In the engagement at Guntown, on the
10th of June, 1864, he was taken prisoner, and after undergoing many
hardships reached the dreaded stockade at Andersonille, where much
worse things than hardships had to be endured. Six months of this
existence had to be borne before he was exchanged and was enabled to
rejoin his command and to take part in the last sad scenes of the fall
of the Confederacy and the surrender of gallant Lee and his army. He
was mustered out after the Grand Review at Washington, and visited
his parental home in Pennsylvania before returning to his family in
Illinois. For twenty-four years he has acted as justice of the peace, a
long and faithful service. He is a Master Mason, belonging to a family
noted for its strong Masonic allegiance. In religious matters he has been
a member of the Missionary Baptist church since 1866.

Daniel Perrine married, in Williamson county, Illinois, December 10,
1857, Susan Reeves, a daughter of William and Mary P. (Moore) Reeves,
of Robinson county, Tennessee. Mrs. Perrine was born there in 1833,
coming to Illinois with her parents as a baby in 1835. She lived to
witness the success of her sons, dying on the 18th of September, 1911.
Mr. and Mrs. Perrine had three children, William A., of Herrin ; George
H., also a citizen of this city; and Melissa, who married Samuel Evetts
and died on the 3rd of November, 1880.

Online LibraryGeorge Washington SmithA history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.3) → online text (page 35 of 98)