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

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parents were early settlers of Germantown. She died the following year,
leaving no children. He married in 1866 Elizabeth Lampe, who died in
1867, leaving one child, Elizabeth, who is now in a convent in Chicago,
where she is known as Sister Angelina. He married for his third wife
Mary Wieter, and of their union ten children have been born, as follows :
Fred J., the subject of this sketch ; Kate, deceased ; Antone ; Mary, wife
of Henry Westerfelhaus ; Herman ; John ; Henry ; Edward ; Clara ; and

Obtaining his preliminary educational training in the parochial
schools of Germantown, Fred J. Koch subsequently completed the com-
mercial course at the Saint Louis University. Beginning work then as
a cabinet maker, Mr. Koch gradually drifted into the business of build-
ing, contracting and construction work, all of which he is following today
in connection with other lines of industry. With his brother John and
brother-in-law, Henry Westerfelhaus, he is located in New Baden, where
he deals extensively in lumber, hardware and building material, having
established a substantial business. Mr. Koch is likewise prominently
identified with two safe and sound financial institutions, being president
of the Germantown Savings Bank and a director and vice-president of
the Bartelso Savings Bank. He is also connected with the Southern Coal
and Mining Company of New Baden. In 1910 Mr. Koch was chosen to
represent the Forty-second senatorial district in the Forty-seventh Gen-
eral Assembly of Illinois, in which he is serving ably and faithfully.

Mr. Koch married, in June, 1885, Josephine Westerfelhaus, of Ger-
mantown, and to them five children have been born, namely : Gertrude,
Adeline, Leona, Joseph and Francis. Politically Mr. Koch is a. steadfast
Democrat and an earnest supporter of the principles of his party. Re-
ligiously both Mr. and Mrs. Koch are members of the Catholic church.

GEORGE W. ANDREWS. One of the venerable but still vigorous and
active members of the bar of Jackson county is Judge George Washing-
ton Andrews, who established his home in Murphysboro and here en-
gaged in the practice of his profession nearly half a century ago. The
intervening years have been marked by large and distinguished accom-
plishment along the line of his profession, of which he has long stood as
one of the leading representatives in Southern Illinois, and he has also
been called upon to serve in various offices of distinctive public trust,
the while he has guided his course upon the highest plane of integrity
and honor and .thus has well merited the unequivocal confidence and
esteem in which he is held in the prosperous community that has so


long been his home and in which he is a citizen of prominence and in-

Judge Andrews takes a due measure of pride in reverting to the
fine Old Buckeye state as the place of his nativity and he is a scion of
one of its sterling pioneer families. He was born at Dayton, Mont-
gomery county, Ohio, now one of the most beautiful cities of the state,
and the date of his nativity was February 22, 1842, so that he was con-
sistently given the name of the great American on whose birthday an-
niversary he was ushered into the world. He is a son of Samuel A.
and Margaret (Ramsey) Andrews, who passed the closing years of
their lives at Dayton, the father having been actively identified with
agricultural pursuits during virtually his entire career and having been
a man of the highest character, so that he ever commanded a secure
place in the confidence and esteem of his fellow men, the while his
forceful individuality and broad mentality made him a local leader in
thought and action. Judge Andrews is indebted to the common schools
of his native state for his early education and he gained his due quota
of youthful experience in connection with the work of the home farm.
He continued his studies in a well ordered academy at Fairfield, Ohio,
and in the Presbyterian Institute at Hayesville, that state, after which
he entered with characteristic vigor and earnestness upon the work of
preparing himself for the profession of his choice. He was matriculated
in the law department of the celebrated University of Michigan, at
Ann Arbor, in which he completed the prescribed curriculum and was
graduated as a member of the class of 1865. After thus receiving his
well earned degree of Bachelor of Laws Judge Andrews came to Illi-
nois and sought for an eligible field of endeavor. He remained for a
brief interval at Jonesboro and in May, 1865, he established his perma-
nent home at Murphysboro. the judicial center of Jackson county, where
he has continued to reside during the long intervening period and where
he has been most successful in the general practice of his profession, to
which he still continues to give close attention. He has been identified
with much important litigation in the courts of this section of the state
and is now worthy of designation as the dean of his profession in Jack-
son county, where he commands the highest vantage ground in the con-
fidence and esteem of his confreres and also the general public.

In addition to the work of his profession Judge Andrews has given
most loyal and effective service in various offices of public order. He
was master in chancery for Jackson county for eleven years and served
on the bench of the county court for five years. For two years he held
the office of postmaster of Murphysboro and he served one term as mayor
of the city, as well as one term as city attorney, preferments which
well indicate the high regard in which he is held in his home commu-
nity, in the furtherance of whose civic and material progress and pros-
perity he has ever shown the deepest interest. For four years Judge
Andrews was connected with the government department of the interior
in the capacity of inspector of surveyor generals' and land offices, and
his service in this office covered the entire United States. His career
has been one of signal activity and usefulness and has been crowned
with well earned honors. He is president of the Jackson County Bar
Association, is a staunch and effective advocate and supporter of the
cause of the Democratic party, is affiliated with local organizations of
the Masonic fraternity and the Benevolent and Protective Order of
Elks, and he has long been a zealous member of the Presbyterian church,
of which his cherished and devoted wife likewise was a most earnest ad-
herent for many years prior to her demise.

On the 19th of December. 1867. was solemnized the marriage of


Judge Andrews to Miss Jennie Slocum, of Norwich, New York, in which
state she was born and reared, and this loved and gracious companion
and helpmeet remained by his side for nearly forty years, she having
been summoned to the life eternal on the 25th of January, 1905, and
her name and memory being revered by all who came within the sphere
of her gentle and kindly influence. Mrs. Andrews is survived by two
children : Myra M., who is the wife of Harry 0. Ozburn, cashier of the
Citizens' State & Savings Bank of Murphysboro; and Eugene S., who
is agent for the American Company at Murphysboro. He married Miss
Ethel McClay, of Carbondale, this state.

Living in a community in which his circle of friends is coincident
with that of his acquaintances and enjoying the well earned rewards of
many years of earnest endeavor, Judge Andrews may well felicitate
himself upon the smiling plenty and fair, prosperous days which mark
the course of his life during the period in which he looks back upon a
record of conscientious application and faithful service as one of the
world 's productive workers, and no citizen is more worthy of special and
cordial recognition in this history of Southern Illinois.

ZENAS CARROLL CARSON. Noteworthy among the successful educa-
tors of Southern Illinois is Zenas Carroll Carson, superintendent of the
schools at New Baden, who is doing much towards advancing the effi-
ciency and scope of the public school system of this section of the state,
heartily agreeing with Charles William Eliot, LL. D., president emer-
itus of Harvard University, who says ' ' The standard of education should
not be set at the now attained or the now attainable. It is the privilege
of public education to press toward a mark remote." Mr. Carson was
born June 2, 1878, in Washington county, Illinois, on the farm of his
father, William Kendrick Carson. His grandfather, Samuel Carson, a
Kentucky frontiersman, lived on a small farm in the backwoods, partly
supporting himself and family by cultivating small patches of land. He
had a better education than the most of his neighbors, and spent a part
of his time each year in teaching school, and occasionally added some-
what to the family exchequer by working at the cobbler's trade.

A native of Kentucky, William Kendrick Carson was born De-
cember 12, 1832, in New Lexington. He grew to manhood beneath the
parental roof-tree, being brought up amid primitive scenes and in true
pioneer style, never even having a pair of shoes until he made them
himself. At the age of twenty-five years he came to Southern Illinois,
locating in Washington county, where he began farming on forty acres
of land, splitting the rails with which to enclose his small estate. He
was successful in his undertakings, and subsequently bought one hun-
dred and forty acres of land from the Government, and on the home-
stead which he there improved is still living, a venerable and esteemed
citizen. He is a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Methodist

William K. Carson has been four times married. He married first,
in 1858, Mary Anne Ragland, of Washington county, Illinois, who died
in 1876, having borne him nine children, five of whom survive. He mar-
ried in 1877 a cousin of his first wife, Amanda Ragland, who bore him
four children, two of whom are living, Zenas Carroll and Benjamin W.
She passed to the life beyond in 1884, and in the ensuing year, 1885,
he married her sister, Viana Ragland, who died in 1898, leaving three
children, all of whom are living. In 1899 he married for his fourth
wife Mrs. Polly Carson, widow of his brother, Robert Carson, and they
are enjoying life on the old home farm.

Spending his earlier years on the home farm in Washington county,


Zenas Carroll Carson attended the country schools until sixteen years
of age, when he entered the Nashville High School, where he fitted him-
self for a professional career. An ambitious student, however, enter-
prising and progressive, he has since kept apace with the times by close
study, and has taken post graduate work at the Southern Illinois Nor-
mal School, in Carbondale. Immediately after leaving the high school
Mr. Carson began teaching in the rural districts, and has since taught at
Hoyleton, Illinois, New Minden and Smithton, and at New Baden, where
he is now superintendent of the schools. He is an indefatigable laborer,
and it is largely through his influence that the present school building
is now, in 1912, being enlarged to such an extent that when it is com-
pleted it will be one of the best buildings of the kind in Clinton county.
Mr. Carson married, December 24, 1901, Lulu D. Smith, and into
their pleasant home four children have been born, namely : Herbert M.,
Greorge Saint Clair, Dean M., and Cyril W. In his political affiliations
Mr. Carson is a Democrat. Fraternally he belongs to the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows and to the Modern Woodmen of America. Re-
ligiously both Mr. and Mrs. Carson are members of the Methodist church.

ROBERT L. RICH. The gentleman whose name stands at the head of
this paragraph is one of the successful men of Union county. He is by
primary vocation a farmer and by admirable example has done much to
advance ajid promulgate scientific agriculture. His small but valuable
farm of fifty-five acres has been utilized to marvelous advantage and
there is admiration and respect for a man who can raise six hundred
and thirty bushels of corn on nine acres, which Mr. Rich succeeded in
doing in 1911. He also manages his father's farm of two hundred acres.
However, he does not limit his energies to agriculture, and since 1899
has engaged in the commission and brokerage business in Cobden.

Robert L. Rich was born October 30, 1864, on a farm a mile and a
half from Cobden. He is the son of John M. Rich, who was born in
1828, in Alabama, and the grandson of Thomas J. Rich, a native of
North Carolina. The Rich family came originally from England and
are of Puritan stock, three Rich brothers having been of the brave and
pious little company who crossed the Atlantic in the Mayflower and
landed on bleak Plymouth Rock in 1620. Mr. Rich is thus a Pilgrim
son and one of the oldest and most honored stock in America. One of
these brothers went south, one to the northwest.

The father of the subject married Annie Uffendale, who was born in
England and came to America with her parents, the father 's name being
Michael Uffendale. He subsequently found his way to Anna, Illinois,
and there engaged in mercantile business until his death. John M.
came with his father and the rest of the family from his native state
in 1832, as a little lad, the journey being made by ox team. They lo-
cated on government land in Union county and were of that fine pioneer
stock which laid the foundations of Southern Illinois' present prosper-
ity. Thomas, the subject's grandfather, fought in the Black Hawk war
and lived until 1869, having in his lifetime witnessed other American
wars. He departed this life in the old house which he had built on
his pioneer farm. Mr. Rich's father and mother are both living at ad-
vanced age, serene and respected in the pleasant sunset of life. They
make their home on the original homestead, which still remains in the
family. This consists now of two hundred acres, and the old gentle-
man still cultivates several acres in fruit and vegetables. He has been a
prosperous farmer and has reared the following family of eight chil-
dren : Thomas J., deceased; William C., residing at Anna; Michael M.,
a farmer located near Cobden ; George D., also located near Cobden and



a farmer; Delia, now Mrs. Randleman, of Alto Pass; Annie M. (Cox),
living in Tennessee; Robert L. ; and Carrie (Parks), who makes her
home at Anna.

Robert L. Rich was educated in the Public schools and subsequently
matriculated at Champaign University. He engaged in farming for a
time and in 1882 removed to Alto Pass, where he clerked for several
years in a store owned by his father and brother-in-law. This estab-
lishment was the property of John M. Rich for a decade. In 1889 the
subject removed to his father's farm and conducted its affairs until
1894, in which year h'e was appointed postmaster of Cobden, and he
served faithfully and efficiently for four years and four months under
the Cleveland administration. In the years 1898 and 1899 he traveled
for the commission company of C. P. Love & Company of Chicago, and
since the year last mentioned he has engaged in the commission and
brokerage business on his own account. He also manages his farm
and that of his father, the acreage under his cultivation being utilized
as follows: Apples, thirty acres; asparagus, twenty acres; rhubarb,
twenty acres ; tomatoes, eight acres ; melons, five acres ; fifty acres in
corn and the remainder in pasture and hay land.

Mr. Rich was married in November, 1888, at Alto Pass, to Emma B.
Abernathie, daughter of William C. and Mary Abernathie, of Alto
Pass, the father a prominent farmer. The demise of this admirable lady
occurred May 18, 1909, at the age of forty-two years, and her only child,
a son, Raymond Lee, died at six months of age.

Fraternally Mr. Rich belongs to the Knights of Pythias at Cobden
and he is a member of the Congregational church, to whose tenets his
Pilgrim origin predisposes him. He is a Democrat in politics and is in-
fluential in party councils. He is serving at the present time as precinct

EDWARD GEORGE SCHMITT, D. D. S. A prominent and popular resi-
dent of New Baden, Edward George Schmitt, D. D. S., is a fine represen-
tative of the dental profession, which -is, mayhap, one of the most im-
portant branches of surgery, its application being required at some
period of life by almost every member of the human family. Intelligent
study, patient investigation, and careful experiment have within recent
years elevated dentistry to a distinct and separate science, in the valu-
able and important discoveries made, America taking a foremost place.
A son of Henry Schmitt, Dr. Schmitt was born November 23, 1880, in
Belleville, Illinois.

Born at Kaiserslautern, Germany, in 1830, Henry Schmitt was there
bred and educated. Coming to America in 1849, he located in Belle-
ville, Illinois, where he entered the employ of an uncle, a hotel keeper,
whom he afterwards bought out, becoming himself proprietor of the
hotel. He was a man of unquestioned business ability and judgment,
energetic and enterprising, and became actively identified with the up-
building and growth of Belleville, and the establishment of valuable
industries. He was one of the original founders of the Belleville Stove
and Range Works, and a valuable member of the Belleville Building and
Loan Association. He was an ardent supporter of the Republican
party, but was never an office seeker. He was very popular with the
traveling public, successfully managing his hotel until his death, Febru-
ary 26. 1886.

Henry Schmitt was twice married. He married first a Miss Kramer,
who died in early womanhood., leaving two children, Mrs. Lizzie Metz;
and John, deceased. He married for his second wife, in 1862, Clara
Voegle, who still resides in Belleville. She was born in Switzerland,



and at the age of twelve years came to America with her parents, cross-
ing the ocean on a sailing vessel, and being ninety days on the water.
One of her brothers was born on the ocean, but he died while on the
way from Saint Louis to Belleville, during the time of the plague. Of
the seven children born of the marriage of Henry and Clara (Voegle)
Schmitt all are living, as follows: Henry; Sigmond; Lena, wife of J.
W. Miller; Walter; Freda; Edward George; and Ida, wife of W. H.

Acquiring his rudimentary education in his native city, Edward G.
Schmitt was graduated from the Belleville High School with the class
of 1899. Turning his attention then to the study of dentistry, he re-
ceived the degree of D. D. S. at the Marion Sims Dental School, in
Saint Louis, Missouri, in 1902, being there graduated with honors. To
further equip himself for his profession, Dr. Schmitt subsequently took
special work two summers at the infirmary connected with that insti-
tution. Beginning the practice of dentistry in Belleville, he remained
there three years, during which time he was for two years chief deputy
coroner of Saint Clair county, under Dr. E. M. Irvin. Locating at New
Baden in 1906, Dr. Schmitt opened a dental office, and has since met with
eminent success in his professional career, having built up an extensive
and remunerative practice.

The Doctor is an active and useful member of the Republican County
Executive Committee, and takes a warm interest in local affairs. He is
now serving as police magistrate of New Baden, and is president of the
New Baden School Board. In the latter capacity he has made a good rec-
ord, having been largely instrumental in securing the erection of a fine
new school building, in the regrading of the schools, and in the intro-
duction of a high school course of two years. He is a member of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, also of the Encampment of the I. 0.
O. F.

Dr. Schmitt married, September 12, 1905, Dorothy G. Kraft, a
daughter of George W. Kraft, a foreman in the nail factory at Belle-

JOHN WESLEY MILLER. Entering upon the struggle for advance-
ment among men as a school teacher, and conducting his work in that
occupation in such a manner as to tell to his advantage in a substan-
tial way and give him a strong hold on the confidence and regard of
the people, and now a leading lumber merchant, with an extensive trade
and an excellent name in business circles, John Wesley Miller, of Car-
bondale, has known and obeyed a stern sense of duty, been wise to the
ways of the world, and used all his opportunities greatly to his own
advantage and essentially for the benefit of the communities in which
he has lived, labored and made his progress.

Mr. Miller is a native of Indiana, born at Fort Wayne on Judy 30,
1863, and a son of Emanuel J. and Noima (Maxwell) Miller. The
father was a preacher in the United Brethren church and died in his
work of benevolence and improvement, and while the objects of his
care were rejoicing in his pronounced usefulness. He preached the
gospel of Christianity with fearlessness and fervor, and performed all
the pastoral duties of his high calling with great fidelity, industry and
zeal, leaving his family an excellent example, a good name and the rec-
ord of a well spent life.

His son John Wesley began his education in the public schools and
completed it at Ewing 'College in Ewing. Illinois. After leaving that
institution he taught school ten years, and while engaged in this im-
portant but largely unappreciated occupation served as principal of


the schools in Benton, Thompsonville and other towns. He made a
good record and . a high reputation in his work as a teacher, but found
his progress too slow to suit his desires, and turned his attention to
the more active and promising field of mercantile life.

During the next three years after he quit teaching Mr. Miller car-
ried on a lively and flourishing business in- the lumber trade. At the
end of that period he sold his business, which was located at DuQuoin
in Perry county, this state, and moved to Carbondale, arriving and lo-
cating here in 1883. He at once started again in the lumber business,
and with this he has been connected ever since, expanding his trade
and growing into popular favor as the years have passed, until now
he is one of the leading business men of the city, and one of its most es-
teemed and representative citizens from every point of view.

In addition to his lumber interests he has stock in the Carbondale
Mill and Elevator Company and the Carbondale Building, Loan and
Homestead Association, and is one of the directors of each of these
worthy and beneficial enterprises. He takes an earnest interest and
an active part in the management of the public affairs of the city and
has rendered it good service as a member of the school board for six
years. In matters of public improvement he is always one of the fore-
most and most effective aids, and in connection with everything that is
designed to promote the general welfare of the people, or their ad-
vantage in any special way, the benefit of his intelligence in counsel
and his help in material assistance are to be relied on at all times, what-
ever may be the issue.

Mr. Miller was married on October 10, 1902, to Miss Kate Snider,
a daughter of Michael and Martha (Brewster) Snider, widely re-
spected residents of Carbondale and farmers of Jackson county. Mrs.
Miller is a graduate of the Southern Illinois Normal University and a
highly cultivated lady. Her husband is a Freemason of the Knights
Templar degree and a past master of his lodge, Both have the regard
of the whole people.

E. GILBERT LENTZ. The popularity of the Marion schools, especially
that of the high school, and the general excellence of the work accom-
plished is due in large measure to the efforts of the superintendent of
schools, E. Gilbert Lentz, the son of a mechanic. From his youth Mr.
Lentz's ambitions lay along the lines that he has followed. Much of his
education was paid for out of his own pocket, and the energy and per-
severance and self denial which this necessitated may only be imagined.

E. Gilbert Lentz was born in Williamson county on the 27th of May,
1881. He is the son of Eli Lentz, who settled in the Wolf Creek neigh-
borhood in the ante-bellum days. The latter was born in 1831, near
Saratoga, Illinois, where his father had settled when the land was al-
most an untrodden wilderness. The latter belonged to that sturdy group
of people who, along with the Scotch-Irish, formed the backbone of the

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 4 of 98)