John Morley.

Album of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) online

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ential member, passing through the successive
offices to the chair of Noble Grand. Later he
became a charter member of American Lodge of
the same order. He was also connected with
the National Union and the Royal Arcanum.
He passed away March 13, 1894.

Mrs. E. L. Morrison survives her husband,

and has been for several years superintendent of
the Odd Fellows' Orphans' Home at Lincoln,
Illinois, which, under her efficient management,
has been a great source of good to the homeless
children of deceased members of that order. Mr.
and Mrs. J. W. Morrison were the parents of
three children: Charles, who on account of his
health resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico,
where he is employed in the postoffice; Fred-
erick W., of whom this sketch is written; and
Lillian, wife of Joseph Warner Brown, who is in
the employ of S. T. Fish & Company, in South
Water Street, Chicago, and is one of the most
noted whist players in the state. Mr. and Mrs.
Brown reside at No. 2199 Washington Boule-

Frederick W. Morrison received his elementary
education in the Washington, Hayes and Skinner
Schools of Chicago, and then took up a course in
pharmacy in the Illinois College of Pharmacy, a
department of Northwestern University. After
completing his studies he had practical expe-
rience in various drug stores of this city. He
was with C. B. Wilson, at the corner of Madison
and Robey Streets five years; with R. M. Barber,
at the corner of Laflin and Van Buren Streets,
over four years, and conducted a branch store for
the latter two years. Wherever he was engaged
he made himself valuable to his employers and
became popular' with patrons, besides gaining a
valuable experience in the dispensation of drugs.



About fifteen months he was in charge of sub-
station No. 27 of the Chicago postoffice, at the
corner of Garfield Boulevard and Wright Streets,
where he owned and conducted a drug store dur-
ing that period.

In April, 1895, he opened a pharmacy at the
corner of Oak Park and Windsor Avenues in the
new suburban village of Berwyn. Since that
time his interests have been united with those of
his home village, and he has been active in every
movement for its improvement. His excellent
business methods and genial personal qualities
have made him one of the most popular citizens
of Berwyn, and as he has been a life-long Repub-
lican, it was very natural that on the expiration
of the term of the Democratic postmaster, his
name should be mentioned favorably for that
office. After a spirited contest between the
members of the two parties, Mr. Morrison. was
appointed through the influence of Congressman
Lorimer, and took charge April i, 1898. He
has since conducted the office in a business-like
and considerate manner, which has been satis-
factory to all parties.

On September 14, 1892, the subject of this
sketch was married to Miss Caroline Esther
Dodd, daughter of Francis Dodd and Boadicea

M. Hurssell. Francis Dodd was born in London,
England, February 4, 1835, and died in Toronto,
Canada, on the 5th of December, 1894. He was
a manufacturer of shirts and the pioneer gen-
tlemen's furnisher of the west side of Chicago,
his store being located in Madison Street, near
the corner of Morgan Street. Boadicea M. Dodd
was born in York, Canada. She is still living,
in Greenwood Avenue, Chicago. Five children
were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dodd, as follows:
Caroline E., Mrs. Morrison; Ethel is the wife of
Dr. William J. Brownlee, of Ottawa, Canada;
Genevieve; Francis, who died in October, 1895,
at the age of twenty-one years, and Lewis Hurs-
sell. Mr. and Mrs. Morrison have two children,
Genevieve Lyman, born September 8, 1893, and
Elizabeth Ethel, June 13, 1897. The family is
connected with the Protestant Episcopal Church
of Berwyn.

Mr. Morrison has taken part in many of the
social and fraternal organizations of his commun-
ity. He is a member of Berwyn Lodge, Ancient
Free and Accepted Masons, Berwyn Council of
the Royal League, Garden City Council of the
Royal Arcanum, the Berwyn Republican Club,
the Berwyn Improvement Club, and the Church
Club of Berwyn, of which he is treasurer.


N. TOFT. Mr. Toft has been a

b resident of Chicago for over thirty years.
Coming here in 1868, he witnessed the all-
devouring conflagration of 1871, and has since
seen the upbuilding of the great metropolis from
its ruins. Better than this, he has seen his own
fortune rise from the slender resources with
which he reached the city to the comfortable
competence which he enjoys to-day; a competence
which he has achieved through his own unaided

effort. The story of his life is not only interest-
ing in itself, but at the same time instructive,
as punctuating and emphasizing the possibilities
which the Great West holds out to every intelli-
gent, earnest worker.

He was born in Schleswig-Holstein, August 9,
1848, and was the fifth of the six children born
to Andrew and Mattie C. (Andersen) Toft, of
the same duchy. His father, who was a farmer,
died at the age of sixty-eight years; his mother



entered into rest after passing her seventy-second
milestone. Three of their offspring reside in

George N. Toft received the usual school
training given to the boys of his native village,
and at the age of sixteen years he began active
life as clerk for a grocer. For three years he
devoted his time and energy to familiarizing him-
self with the business. Then as has been said
he bade adieu to his native land, to seek fortune
in the great republic of the Western Hemisphere.

For a short time after reaching this city he
worked for a firm at the corner of North Wells and
Kinzie Streets, and then resolved to acquire the
trade of a mason. Such was his industry and so
resolute his application that within two years he
was able to command journeyman's wages.
Later he was able to take contracts in his own
name, and through industry and thrift he began

to accumulate capital. His tastes, however, in-
clined him toward mercantile pursuits, and he
chose the business of a grocer. For seven years
he conducted a store at Des Moines, Iowa, but
returned to Chicago in 1892. In that year he
erected the three-story brick building, which he
yet occupies, at No. 5649 Cottage Grove Avenue,
where he still carries on a prosperous business.
He had previously invested in real property
in Des Moines, having built a store and three
dwellings, which he still owns.

He was married, at Chicago, July 24, 1875, to
Katharine Hansen, a lady born in Denmark.
They have one son James A. Toft who is in
business with his father.

Mr. Toft has been a member of the society
" Walhalla " for twelve years, and is also a
member of the Danish Brotherhood and of the
Independent Order Odd Fellows.


(JACOB H. HOLDT was born in North
I Schleswig, Denmark, on March i, 1873.
Q) He was the youngest of a family of seven
children, trained in the public schools, and re-
ceived those early impressions, which go so far
toward moulding character, among the rugged
landscapes and amid the sturdy, stalwart, honest
peasantry of the peninsula which gave him birth.
In 1890, when but a boy of seventeen, he set out,
with firm resolve and a courage beyond his years,
to shift for himself in a field which, though yet
to be explored by himself, had yielded an ample
harvest to many of his countrymen who had pre-
ceded him.

His brother-in-law, Anders Skau, was already
in Chicago conducting a livery business, and it
was to this city that he came immediately after

landing. For the first seven months after his
arrival here he worked for him, and at the
end of that time became private coachman for a
lumber merchant, in whose service he continued,
with occasional intermittent interruptions, for
two and one-half years.

A subservient position, however, was not con-
genial to him, and he resolved to invest his sav-
ings in the establishment of a milk depot and
delivery route. The location which he selected
was at No. 2914 Vernon Avenue. From there
he removed to No. 4217 St. Lawrence Avenue,
and thence to his present situation at No. 3816
Alden Court. To the conduct of his business
he brought pertinacity and pluck, qualities
which, when joined to sterling honesty, ensure



Not until 1897 did he take to himself a wife.
In that year he married Miss Johanna Nielsen, a
young lady of Danish birth. She died Septem-
ber 8, 1898, leaving a baby daughter of six
months to his care.

Mr. Holdt has been a member of the Walhalla
Society since 1890, the year of his arrival in Chi-

cago. He is modest, unassuming, and in no
sense a self-seeker, yet his native worth, which
cannot be concealed, has made him many friends,
while those who know him best hold him in the
highest esteem. He has been the architect of
his own fortunes, and his success is attributable
to his own undaunted efforts.


GILBERT FOELSCH. Of .only two crucial
LJ facts is any son of Adam sure that he has
/ I been born, and that he must die. He
may or may not rejoice as he thinks of the
former; he may, perhaps, shudder if he ever takes
time to direct his thoughts toward the latter.
Yet the wings of the Angel of Death are never
folded. He kisses alike the golden curls of the
sleeping child and the wrinkled brow of old age.
But to the mourning friends about the couch
where rests all that was once precious comes the
earnest promise of the future, "I am the resur-
rection and the life."

Yet the silent dead mutely demand the last
offices of love, and to the appropriate rendering
of these the task of the undertaker sad and sol-
emn is an indispensable adjunct in modern civ-
ilization. It is to this profession (for it is vir-
tually a profession) that Albert Foelsch had de-
voted himself.

He was born in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, April
24, 1848, the son of Carl Foelsch, who emigrated
from Germany and settled in Chicago in 1854.
At that time the coming metropolis o'f the West
gave little hint of its potentialities. It was
marshy, dirty and altogether unpleasant. Such
as it was, however, the sturdy German resolved
to make the best of it. For two and one-half
years he found employment in a brick yard at
the northwest corner of Jackson and Clinton

Streets. From Chicago the elder Foelsch removed
to Palos, Cook County, whence he went to Le-
mont (then called Athens), where he worked
seven years. He was overtaken by two great
misiortunes: his wife died, and he became totally
blind, in which pitiable condition he remained
about thirty years, when death came to his relief.
He was the father of three sons and three daugh-
ters, Albert being the second child in order of
birth, but the oldest son. A brief notice of the
other children will be found of interest.

Hannah died and was buried at sea while the
family was en route to New York, and only three
days before landing Christina married Joseph
Windhausen, but is now a widow. Charles died
at Chicago when only one year old. Philipina
was taken from earth's troubles at the age of
four weeks. William died before he had seen
his eighth birthday.

Albert was in his fifth year when his parents
brought him across the ocean. He attended
school at Palos and Lemont, but after his moth-
er's death (1872) came to Chicago to look for
work. He was not a stranger. Before going to
Lemont he had worked for several parties here,
and had already established a reputation for in-
dustry, sobriety and honesty. On his return to
the city he found a place with Fairbank, Peck &
Company, at the corner of Eighteenth and Black-
well Streets. Finally he found congenial employ-



ment with Mr. Schneider, at No. 2125 Archer
Avenue, who was engaged in directing funerals,
and Mr. Foelsch remained with him three 3 T ears.

Meanwhile, June 15, 1875, he had married
Miss Bertha Feldman, who was born on Long
Island in the state of New York. Their union
has been blessed with nine children, of whom six,
four sons and two daughters, are yet living:
Albert J. is a well known physician; Charles C.
is a bookkeeper and cashier, holding a position
of high responsibility and trust; Arthur is attend-
ing school; Robert, Bertha and Maria are at
home with their parents.

For seven years after his marriage Mr. Foelsch
worked as a car driver on the West Madison
Street line, under the superintendency of James
K. Lake, after which he returned to the employ
of Mr. Schneider, who had removed to No. 3825
State Street. He remained with him three years
and nine mouths, when he started in business for

himself. For three years he had a partner, but
for the eight years continued alone. He estab-
lished himself at his present location, No. 261
Thirty-fifth Street, May 4, 1886. That same year
he suffered the loss of all that he had, including
a considerable sum of money, through a fire. He
carried no insurance, but he contrived to repair
his fortunes and start in business anew. Since
then he has greatly prospered. In 1900 he ad-
mitted 'a partner, and the business is now con-
ducted by Foelsch & Morton.

He is a member of Apollo Lodge, No. 642,
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; of the
American Order of United Workmen ; a deputy
in the Independent Order of Canadian Foresters;
and belongs to Apollo Tent, No. 63, Knights of
the Maccabees. He is a graduate of the Lafayette
College of Embalmers, and holds a certificate
from the Chicago Undertakers' Association, at-
tested by the Chicago Board of Health.


Gl UGUST WILKEN. Mr. Wilken has been
I I a resident of Chicago for nearly forty-five
/ I years, having taken up his residence here in
1855, when it required strong faith to believe in
the city's future. At that time he was a mere
boy of but fifteen years, baffling against the world
and hewing out, with patient industry and untir-
ing effort, the first steps on his road to success.

He was born August 12, 1840, in Schleswig-
Holstein, which principality was then tributary
to Denmark. For this reason he calls himself
(and with natural and legitimate pride) a Dane;
and among the Danish-American colony of
Chicago he is highly esteemed. It is a trite
saying that "nothing succeeds like success," yet
it is no less true than trite.

His parents, Jurgeu and Henrietta (Halter-

mann) Welken, were also natives of the same
principality. The life of the elder Welken had
more than the ordinary tinge of romance. As a
sailor before the mast he spent his youth. On
one of his voyages he touched at New Orleans.
Finding a promising opening at that port he
turned landsman and engaged in business. His
venture proved prosperous, and from New Orleans
he went to Charleston, South Carolina, where he
was also successful. Gradually he accumulated
a competence, yet he never lost his inborn love
for the "Fatherland," and after a while once
more returned. The outbreak of the war of 1848
turned the current of his thoughts, and he re-
turned to America, bringing his family with him.
He was a man of considerable financial means,
and his first venture after reaching Chicago was


the purchase of a farm in Elk Grove Township
upon the advice of Mr. Trussing. After five
years of successful farming he tired of the life,
and came back to Chicago, where he died, in
1873. His wife followed him to the grave four
years later.

Of their seven children, August was the second
in order of birth. Two died in infancy, but five
are yet living: Doris (widow of Andrew Gill),
August, Emil, Theodore and Ernst.

The early school advantages of Mr. Wilken
were not of the best, although he improved them
fairly well. A few years in the public schools of
Denmark comprised the course which the judg-
ment of his parents permitted him to take,
although the curriculum covered English as well
as German. He began the battle of life early,
and for many years he earnestly combated adverse
circumstances. The first seven years which he
passed in active business were spent in the con-
duct of a grocery at Bridgeport. From that
locality he moved to West Chicago Avenue,
where he also succeeded, his industry, honesty

and ' 'grit' ' always aiding him in forging to the
front. After some twenty-three years spent in
the grocery trade he opened a wine store, at No.
49 L/a. Salle Street, which has proved successful
for the reason that he has brought to its manage-
ment the same sterling qualities which have
made him the earnest, successful man that he is

While affiliating with the Republican party in
national issues, he is in no sense a bigoted parti-
san. In local elections he votes without regard
to party dictation. His nature is generous and
his temperament genial; his heart always sympa-
thizing with the poor, and his purse strings never
tightly tied against a true friend. His voice is
rich and sympathetic in tone, and he is in request
for both chorus and solo singing in the several
singing societies of which he is a valued member.

On December 6, 1888, he was married to Miss
Minnie Tegge, a maiden of German birth. Four
children have been born to them. Edward,
Amanda, Dora and Alma. In religious faith the
family is I,utheran.


resident and tradesman of Franklin Park,
was born at Chicago, August 20, 1868, his
birthplace being the premises at Nos. 591-93
Wells Street. For a somewhat extended account
of his ancestry, the reader is referred to the bi-
ography of his father, also named Henry Martens.
As a boy he attended the Chicago public
schools, and supplemented the education obtained
there by a twelve months' commercial course in
the Metropolitan Business College. He entered
his father's store, and remained with him until
the elder Martens removed to Franklin Park.
Thereafter he continued to conduct it on his own
account for three years, when he sold out and

went to live with an uncle, Valentine Ruh,
where, for three years, he devoted himself
chiefly to acquiring a knowledge of, and profi-
ciency in, the plumber's trade. A severe attack
of pleurisy forced him to abandon this line of
work, and he gradually picked up a familiarity
with house painting and decorating, calcimining
and paper-hanging, and he has followed these
branches of business ever since.

October 23, 1897, he was married to MissEffa B.
Sibert, a daughter of James and Delilah (Snyder)
Sibert, who was born at Shannon, 111. , August 26,
1869. Mr. and Mrs. Martens have one child,
Sibert William, born October 7, 1898. In politics
Mr. Martens affiliates with the Republican party.



(From Photo by W. J. ROOT).



engaged in fire insurance in Chicago
ever since the year 1865, is an honored
pioneer of this city, well known for his shrewd
intellectual endowments, integrity of moral
character, suavity of manner and painstaking
care in the conduct of his business. A common-
wealth made up of such men as he would be a
"State" indeed.

Captain Lengacher is a native of that ambitious
and prosperous little republic, Switzerland, born
in Diemtiten, canton of Bern, June 26, 1833.
His parents, David and Magdalena (Knute)
Lengacher, were also natives of that canton, and
members of very old and honored Swiss families.
The captain's mother passed to the invisible
world at the comparatively early age of forty-
seven years; but his father reached the venerable
age of eighty-five years. They had eight chil-
dren, namely: David, who was clerk of the circuit
court in his native place for many years and is
now deceased; Johann, also deceased; Jacob, of
this sketch, who is next in order of age; Samuel,
who still resides in Switzerland; Christian;
Gottfred; Magdalena, who is now Mrs. Karlen;
and Rudolph, who is a prominent citizen in his
native canton, being now sheriff of his district.

Capt. Jacob Lengacher, the only member of
his father's family who emigrated from his native
land, received a common-school education and
after tha close of his school days was occupied as
a coachman, for a time driving the mail coach
between Bern and Kirchberg. Conforming to
the laws and usages of his country, he served his
time in the national militia.

Influenced by a friend who was coming to the
United States, he decided to cast his lot in the
New World, the land of opportunity, and accord-
ingly, in April, 1857, launched from Havre on a
sailing ship, and after a voyage of forty-two days
was landed at New York. In June he arrived in
Chicago, and here was employed as a day laborer
for about two years; next he was engaged in a
brewery at La Porte, Indiana, until August 24,
1861, when he demonstrated his patriotism and
love for his newly adopted countr}' by enlisting
for the term of the war in support of the regular

Joining Company I of the Thirty-second
Indiana Volunteer Infantry, a German regiment
commanded by Colonel Willich, he was in the
Army of the Cumberland and participated in all
the engagements in which that regiment took
part. May 26, 1864, in the battle of Kenesaw
Mountain, he was very painfully injured in one
of his lower limbs just below the knee, which
wound laid him up in the hospital for two months.
Recovering, he rejoined his company, at Atlanta,
Georgia, and served until January 28, 1865, when,
after the close of the war, he resigned, at Chatta-
nooga. He was so brave and faithful that he was
promoted from the ranks as a private through the
various positions in line to that of captain.

After leaving the army he returned to La Porte,
Indiana, where he was married. Coming again
to Chicago, he was employed for a time by
George Schneider, who was then collector of
customs. In the fall of that year (1865) he
engaged in fire insurance, in the employ of the
Garden City Fire Insurance Company, which in-


stitution was wiped out in the great conflagration
of 1871. His own residence also, at No. 366
Sedgwick Street, was entirely consumed in the
same fire. The following year he erected another
building, this being the first cottage built after
the fire, and he resided at that number for eight-
een years, when he sold the property and located
at his present home, No. 277 Fremont Street.
He has continued in the fire insurance business
until the present time, representing a number of
the best American and English companies and
enjoying that success which follows industry and
good judgment.

On becoming a citizen of the United States the
captain espoused the cause of the Republican
party and in 1860 voted for Abraham Lincoln for
president of the United States, and ever since
then, in state and national elections, he has
uniformly supported that party. In 1871 he was
elected alderman of the Sixteenth Ward, which
section of the city is now embraced within the
Twenty-second Ward, and he was re-elected in
1873 and again in 1875. During all the six years
of his service in the city legislature he served his
constituents satisfactorily. He has been a
delegate to many district and state Republican
conventions, also attended others, and has always
been influential in the interests of his party.

In 1866 Captain Lengacher became a member
of Robert Blum Lodge No. 58, Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, and was one of the
charter members of Lincoln Park Lodge No.
437, on its organization in 1873, and passed
through the various chairs, and was its repre-
sentative at the Grand Lodge for many years.
Fraternally he has been a member of Mithra
Lodge No. 410, Free and Accepted Masons, ever
since 1867, and is a member of U. S. Grant Post
No. 28, Grand Army of the Republic, and of the
Sharpshooters' Association. In 1890 he visited
the land of his nativity, spending four months
among the scenes of his childhood and among
friends and relatives there.

March 5, 1865, is the date of the captain's
marriage to Miss Margaret Haffer, a native of
Indiana and of German parentage, her parents
being Kasper and Margaret (Kesselmann) Haffer.
Captain and Mrs. Lengacher have three sons,
viz.: William, Robert and Oscar F. The last-
named is associated with his father in business,
the firm being Lengacher & Son. All the
members of the family are highly respected by
everyone who is acquainted with them. Sociall}'
the captain is an exceedingly pleasant man, with
whom it is a great satisfaction to hold con-

Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 4 of 111)