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this disaster he set cheerfully to work to repair
his losses, as far as possible, without wasting any
time in repining. He began on Twenty-second
Street, whence he removed in June, 1872, to
North Franklin Street. His business continuing
to grow until he was again compelled to move,
he built the brick buildings now occupied by him
at 209 to 215 Superior Street, in 1879. Here he
turns out daily five thousand cigar boxes, beside
from one to two thousand other light packing
boxes. The establishment is equipped with the
latest improved machinery, much of which is the
result of Mr. Merz' inventive genius.

Mr. Merz is the founder and builder of his own
fortune, and his example is commended to the
youth of the land. His success is the result of
no sudden turn of fortune, but to the persistent



pushing of his enterprise, which is the only real
"luck" in the world. Sometimes a fortune is
rapidly accumulated, but an examination of the
case will show that, with rare exceptions, the
foundation of such success was laid by long years
of patient preparation which fitted the individual
for seizing the opportunity when it came. Mr.
Merz labored patiently many years at his trade
to secure a start in the way of a small capital and
a business experience and knowledge of the En-
glish language, which fitted him for the promi-
nent position he now holds in the business world
of Chicago, that typical city of American enter-
prise.

While he has been energetic in business, Mr.
Merz has also fulfilled his duty to society. He
has long been an active member of the Grutli
Society, an organization of Swiss-born citizens,
of which he was treasurer for ten years. He is
a member of the Schweitzer Maennerchor, the
North Side Turners' Society, and was for many
years identified with the Sons of Herman. He holds
membership in Miethra Lodge, No. 410, in the
Masonic Order, beside that of the Consistory and
Shrine of the same order. In religious faith he
adheres to the German Lutheran Church, and
has usually affiliated with the Republican party
in matters of public policy.

Mr. Merz was married, in 1864, to Miss Jo-
sephine Boppart, who is a native of St. Gallen,
Switzerland. Two sons and a daughter of this
family died in childhood. The living are, Emilie,
widow of Henry Kallemberg; Louise, Mrs.
Charles Stierlin; Edward G., who is associated
with his father in business (the firm now being
G. Merz & Son) ; and Lily, still in the home of
her parents. Ah 1 reside in Chicago.

By his uniform courtesy and fair dealing, Mr.
Merz has won the confidence and good will of all
with whom he comes in contact, and he is unan-
imously voted one of the most popular of the
North Side citizens. He has never aspired to
public station, but has been content to fill his
place as a gentleman among his fellows and at his
own fireside, where he is the center of conjugal
and filial regard.



I . ARV

' THE
I'NIVERSi.. OF ILLI v



S. H. MELCHER.



SAMUEL H. MELCHER, M. D.



QAMUEL HENRY MELCHER, M. D. Few,

j\ if any other Chicagoans, bear the triple dis-
\!~) tinction that attaches to the well-known
name of this soldier, citizen and pioneer of the
medical profession. As a veteran of the Civil
War, his record for nearly four years' hard
campaigning under the flag of the North would
redound to the credit of the most gallant son of
Mars; as a resident of Chicago he has held place
among the ablest professional men of the Western
metropolis; as an original exponent and practi-
tioner of the new school of surgery without
amputation, he has achieved fame both in mili-
tary and civil life.

Son of Woodbury Melcher a soldier in the
militia of New Hampshire in 1812, and whose
ancestors, of English and German descent, came
to America in the "Mayflower" on one of the
first trips of that famous ship Samuel Henry
Melcher was born in the town of Gilmanton,
New Hampshire, October 30, 1828. His father,
the son of Nathaniel Melcher, a shipbuilder at
Portsmouth, where the family first settled in
America, was a well-known merchant and manu-
facturer of cotton goods at Laconia, whither he
moved with his family, and where he died in
1870. Colonel Melcher's mother, Rebecca French,
was a daughter of Capt. Samuel B. French, of
Amesbury, Massachusetts, who served in the
state militia during and after the war of 1812.
He was a hotel proprietor and upon removing to
Gilmanton, his subsequent home, became promi-
nent in business there. Thus the lineage of the
family can be traced back a long way on both
sides.



Colonel Melcher was educated at Laconia and
Gilmanton academies and studied medicine at
Dartmouth College, graduating from the medical
department of that institution in 1850, with the
degree of Doctor of Medicine. He practiced first
in Grafton County, New Hampshire, and later
went to Boston, Massachusetts, where he built
up a thriving practice. In 1859 he traveled
South, going through Texas, and settled in Mis-
souri, making his home in the town of Potosi,
Washington County.

The history of his long and faithful service in
the Federal cause during the Civil War is best
presented in the following extract from a biog-
raphy compiled by Capt. William Badger,
United States Army, and which appeared in the
Gilmanton Messenger of November 15, 1881,
under the head of "Famous Sons of Gilmanton:"

"On the outbreak of the Civil War Dr. Melcher
offered his services at once to General Lyon at the
St. Louis Arsenal and was mustered as assistant
surgeon of the Fifth Regiment, Missouri Volun-
teers, for three months, May 7, 1861. He was
with his regiment at the battles of Carthage, Dug
Spring and Wilson's Creek, where he was the
last officer on the field after the forces fell back,
and brought off the body of General Lyon and
delivered it to General Schofield the same night.
By order of General Schofield he remained a
prisoner in the hands of the rebels, to take care
of our wounded, and was subjected to great
indignities. He was saved from being murdered
only by the more moderate rebel officers. *He



*Under these conditions the indomitable will and magnificent
courage of the man challenged the admiration of friend and foe.



352



S. H. MELCHER.



was in Springfield, Missouri, when the "Fremont
Body Guard" made their terrific charge, and
attended the wounded on both sides; was fur-
nished with wagons by General Sigel, and moved
the wounded in all that region to Rolla, thence
by rail to St. Louis, arriving November 24, 1861,
thus ending his first campaign.

"He was commissioned brigade surgeon, De-
cember 4, 1861, reporting to General Schofield,
and during the spring and summer of 1862 was in
charge of the Hickory Street Hospital and Gratiot
Street Hospital for rebel prisoners, f and United
States Marine General Hospital at the same time.
By request of Governor Gamble he received tem-
porary leave of absence to organize the Thirty-
second Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia; was
commissioned colonel, and commanded the regi-
ment six weeks, during which time he dispersed
the guerrilla bands in Washington and adjoining
counties, captured several rebel mails and large
quantities of arms, horses and medical stores.
October, 1862, he returned to his proper duty as
. medical director of the army of the frontier. Jan-
uary 8, 1863, he was engaged in the battle of
Springfield, Missouri, against the forces of Mar-
maduke, turning out four hundred hospital con-
valescents, thereby saving millions of dollars
worth of property, the winter supplies for Gen-
eral Schofield' s army. About this time he per-



Always genial, and with seemingly no effort, he met and con-
quered every difficulty. After weeks had passed by, and the larder
was low, the treasury empty, Dr. Melcher borrowed, on his per-
sonal note, thousands of dollars with which he bought food for the
wounded in his care. He was the personal friend of each patient,
and with the heart of a Nemian lion he was gentle as a woman.
Bending over the wasted form he gave words of comfort, and
treasured up messages for the loved ones at home, as he caught the
last sigh of the passing soul. The hundreds he restored to health
and home, carried him with them in loving memory and lifelong
gratitude.

(Extract from a letter of Mrs. Lulu Kennedy, who, with her
mother and sister and several other ladies of Springfield, were un-
ceasing in their devotions to the wounded Wilson Creek soldiers.)

t The records of the Western Sanitary Commission show that the
Hickory Street Hospital was most favorably reported; that a testi-
monial was awarded the United States Marine Hospital and the
hospital at Jefferson Barracks, as the two best hospitals, all things
considered, that were in the Department of the Mississippi. The
Marine Hospital, in charge of Surgeon S. H. Melcher, and Jef-
ferson Barracks Hospital, the committee could not decide between,
and so gave certificates to both. The awards made were fully
approved and concurred in by the medical director of the Depart-
ment and Assistant Surgeon General Wood. Extract from report
of Hon. James E. Yeatman, president Western Sanitary Commission.



formed a celebrated operation on the shoulder
joint of Gen. E. B. Brown, saving his life and
giving him a good arm, by removing five inches
of the shaft of the humerus by excision. (See
Medical and Surgical History of the War of the
Rebellion; part 2, volume 2, Surgical History,
page 522.) Another successful case was that of
Corp. Mason Carter, Second United States In-
fantry, whose leg was badly shattered at the battle
of Wilson's Creek, Missouri, August 10, 1861,
and was saved from amputation by Surgeon
Melcher's conservative surgery, enabling the
soldier to remain in active service for thirty-eight
years. At present writing he is Brevet-Major,
Fifth United States Infantry, retired.

"April, 1863, the army being re-organized, Col-
onel Melcher was assigned to duty in charge of
the hospital at Ironton, Missouri. May 24, 1863,
he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel Sixth
Cavalry Missouri State Militia, and assigned to
duty as Assistant Inspector General of the De-
partment of the Missouri. He served in this
capacity until Price's raid, in 1864, when he was
ordered to the field as aide-de-camp to General
Pleasonton, commanding the cavalry; and, in his
report of the destruction of Price's army General
Pleasonton mentions Colonel Melcher for gal-
lantry and fidelity.

"Colonel Melcher's last service in the army
was in command of the post of Jefferson City,
Missouri, where he was active in forwarding
troops to General Thomas at Nashville, Tennes-
see. Much debilitated from hard service, he re-
signed December 24, 1864.

' 'After the war he resided four and one-half
years in Tennessee, and was in the Freedman's
Bureau. May, 1870, he was appointed surgeon
United States Marine Hospital, at St. Louis,
Missouri. February, 1871, he was appointed by
the governor of Missouri a manager of the state
lunatic asylum."

In 1873 he came to Chicago. He engaged in
the practice of his chosen profession, and by his
method of surgery, without amputation, whereby
his skill has saved the limbs of numberless per-
sons who might otherwise have suffered the need-
less loss of legs and arms, he soon won his way



MICHAEL CARROLL.



353



to well-merited fame a distinction that was more
than local. He never performed a primary am-
putation during the war. Colonel Melcher re-
mained in Chicago practicing medicine until
1883, when he removed to Crow Lake, Jerauld
Count y, South Dakota, where he again engaged in
the practice of medicine, and, purchasing several
large land holdings which he still has carried
on farming as well. He was one of the first county
commissioners appointed in Jerauld County.

It was 1897 before he again returned to Chi-
cago, and he has lived here continuously since>
residing at No. 2 1 7 La Salle Avenue. He has but
two children. The elder of these is Charles W.
Melcher, who was born in Boston March 4, 1857.
He is a graduate of polytechnics of Washington
University and is manager of the Chicago branch
of the Ingersol-Sargent Drill Company of New
York. Colonel Melcher's other child is Miss
Anina Rebecca. She was born at Crow Lake,
South Dakota, and lives with her father at their
home on La Salle Avenue. For the last ten years
Miss Melcher has been literally the sight and
soul of her father for he is totally blind, having
lost the use of his left eye in the battle of Spring-
field by the concussion of a bursting shell, and



the right became sightless through a sympathetic
affection. The complete blindness came upon
him in 1890, and since then his daughter has
been his constant and devoted companion,
amanuensis, entertainer and leader in his daily
walks.

Colonel Melcher is a member of the Indepen-
dent Order of Odd Fellows. He was initiated in
Cardigan Lodge at Alexandria, New Hampshire,
in 1 852 and the same year was elected noble grand
of Promise Lodge. In the year 1871 he joined
St. Louis Lodge No. 5, at St. Louis, and still
holds membership in that society. He also holds
membership in Penacook Encampment of the
same order of Concord, New Hampshire, which
he joined in 1854, and by virtue of his three
score and ten years, bears the distinctive title of
being the oldest living member of that organiza-
tion. He wears the veteran badge of the order,
having been a member in good standing forty-
seven years. He is also a member of U. S. Grant
Post No. 28, Grand Army of the Republic, hav-
ing been mustered into that body in 1880. In
politics Colonel Melcher has always been an
ardent and constant Republican and an active
worker for his party.



MICHAEL CARROLL.



| ICHAEL CARROLL was born in County
Tipperary, Ireland, in October, 1838. He
is one of a family of six children, all of
whom emigrated to this country. John crossed
the ocean in 1850, and at present resides in
Englewood. Johanna is the wife of John Har-
man. Alice married Bryan Donnell. Thomas
lives on Bickerdike Street. Catherine, now Mrs.
Patterson, has her home in New Jersey. The



father of the family died in Ireland in 1867, but
his widow came to Chicago the following year,
and died here in 1891.

Martin Carroll received his early education in
Ireland, and was raised upon a farm. In 1859,
having reached the age of twenty-one, he deter-
mined to seek a home in a land where the yoke
of British misrule did not grind his countrymen
to the dust, and to woo fortune where so many



354



FREDERICK WEHRHAN.



of his countrymen had won her smiles, in the
free republic of the New World. He sailed
from Liverpool, and after a voyage of twenty-
eight days landed in New York. He remained in
that city for a year, working as a day laborer.
At the expiration of that period he came to Chi-
cago, where for several years he followed the
same occupation. He was industrious, energetic
and economical, and, about 1867, he found him-
self able to start in business for himself as a wool
fuller. He bought a property on Braddon Street,
where he built a shop. This he afterward sold
to the Standard Oil Company, and purchased the
premises at No. 376 Noble Street. He remained
at his first location, however, until 1891, when,
having through hard work, strict attention to
business and unwavering integrity, accumulated
a competence, he retired.

It is difficult to speak too highly of the perse-
verance and pluck, the resolute purpose and un-
flinching courage which have marked Mr. Car-



roll's career since early manhood. Starting in
life in the humble capacity of a laborer, without
money or influence to aid him, his motto has
ever been ' ' Onward and Upward. ' ' And to-day,
at the age of sixty-one years, he is resting from
his labors, looking back upon the past without
shame, and his soul is illumined by Christian
faith, gazing into the future without misgiving
or fear.

Politically he is a Democrat, although never
taking any active part in politics. In local issues
he votes according to his own best judgment,
without regard to party lines.

In 1863 Mr. Carroll married his country-
woman, Miss Mary Kennedy. Their union has
been blessed with seven children Catherine;
Mary Ann, wife of William O'Brien; Alice, now
Mrs. James Clancy; Margaret; Elizabeth; Ann,
a school teacher; and John. The family is de-
voutly Catholic, active in membership, and lib-
eral in the support of the church.



FREDERICK WEHRHAN.



I"" REDBRICK WEHRHAN, a wealthy re-
rfl tired German- American business man, and
| * a prominent citizen in the northwestern sec-
tion of the city, was born February 28, 1828, in
Hameln, near the city of Hanover, Germany.
He is the son of William and Sophia Wehrhan,
and was educated in the parochial schools of his
native country, where, also, he learned the trades
of wagonmaker and wheelwright. He followed
the latter in the old country until 1858, when he
emigrated from Germany, on the advice of his
sister Frederica, who had come to America four
years before. The voyage from Bremen to New
York consumed ten weeks, the vessel encounter-
ing head winds during the entire passage.

Immediately upon landing Mr. Wehrhan



turned his face toward Chicago. After working
at his trade here for a few years he went to Tol-
leston City, Indiana, where he remained six
months. While there he invested in two lots.
From Tolleston he went to Gibson City, where
he bought ten acres of land and a two-story
house. After a residence of two years he re-
turned to Chicago, but did not remain here long,
going to Champaign, Illinois, near which city he
went to work upon the very large farm of M. L.
Sullivan, with whom he remained five years. It
was his duty to keep the farm machinery in
order. He had not, however, settled down to the
peaceful pursuits of a farmer's life, without
making an attempt to witness more stirring
scenes. He had attested his patriotism by enlist-



GEORGE L. TAYLOR.



355



ing, in 1862, in the Union Army. For six months
he was stationed at Camp Douglas, when he was
honorably discharged because of ill health.

Once more coming back to Chicago, he built a
house on leased land, on Lake Street, near Lin-
coln. This was the pioneer structure on the
block, and is still standing. Four years later he
sold this property and bought more at the inter-
section of Robe}' Street and Milwaukee and North
Avenues. Here he built a house on what was
then virtually unbroken prairie, there being but
one house standing in the district now known as
Wicker Park. His was a small lot, but it was
on a corner, and here he opened a saloon in his
dwelling house. A few years later he rented the
saloon, and devoted his attention wholly to real
estate speculation and investment, buying and
leasing land, and erecting houses which he
rented or sold. The fine block on Milwaukee
Avenue in which he resides at present was erected
in the summer of 1898. Mr. Wehrhan has done
much toward building up the section of the city



in which he lives, and has at all times shown
himself a useful, public spirited citizen.

He has been twice married. His first wife was
Anna Bisbing, to whom he was united May 12,
1867, and who bore him three children Bertha,
Henry and August. Bertha married John
Young, and is now deceased. The two sons are
plumbers in Chicago. In 1874 Mr. Wehrhan
visited Germany, accompanied by his wife and
family, and remained one year. Mrs. Wehrhan
died January 28, 1878, and October 7, 1879, Mr.
Wehrhan married Louise Preuss, a daughter of
August and Amalie (Umlauff) Preuss, who was
born February n, 1837, at Koenigsberg, Prus-
sia. The issue of the second marriage has been
one daughter, Emma.

The family attends the services of the German
Lutheran Church, and contributes largely to its
support. In politics Mr. Wehrhan has always
been a Republican since becoming a citizen,
although never, in any sense of the word, a pol-
itician.



GEORGE L, TAYLOR.



@ EORGE L. TAYLOR. Like many of Chi-

b cage's veteran firemen, George L- Taylor,
Captain of Engine Company No. 70, belongs
to a family of the city's pioneers.

His father, Ezra Taylor, was a business man, a
citizen universally and deservedly held in the
highest esteem, and a soldier whose record for effi-
ciency, gallantry and daring was unsurpassed. He
was born at Avon, Jefferson County, New York,
but removed to Chicago in 1834, and soon after
his arrival became partner of Gordon S. Hubbard,
in the provision trade. In 1840 he married Miss
Sabina Langan, a native of Ireland, who accom-
panied her parents to America as a child of seven
years and came to Chicago in 1836.. On the



breaking out of the Civil War Governor Richard
Yates requested Ezra Taylor to accept the post
of recruiting officer for the artillery quorum
of the service. Mr. Taylor accepted, and so
much energy and so high an order of executive
ability did he bring to his responsible task that
within two days after the capitulation of Fort
Sumter he had dispatched Company A, of the
Chicago Light Artillery, on its way to the front.
This was Saturday, and on the following day he
enlisted Company B, and a few weeks later left
Chicago with them. He was not without some
knowledge of military tactics, having been
Colonel of a militia regiment before the outbreak
of the rebellion. His promotion was rapid,



356



J. P. ANDERSEN.



until he attained the rank of Brigadier- General
Volunteers. He was General Sherman's chief
of artiller}', and participated in all the hard
fought, successful campaigns of that brilliant and
intrepid commander. In the battle of Dallas, on
the day before the lamented McPherson fell,
General Taylor was severely wounded, the same
ball that passed through him striking General
John A. Logan. His injury incapacitated him
for further service, and he could win no further
military honors. At the close of the war he was
appointed Government Inspector of provisions,
at Chicago, and at the same time chosen to fill a
similar position for the Chicago Board of Trade,
enjoying the distinction of being the first to hold
the last named office. He filled both posts, until
his death, with rare ability and unquestioned in-
tegrity. He passed away from earth on the i8th
of October, 1885, the wife of his youth and
mother of his children having preceded him in
July, 1883.

George L. Taylor was born at Chicago, De-



cember 28, 1846, and is the only survivor of a
family of nine children. He was educated in
the public schools, and at Bryant & Stratton's
Business College. He inherited the dashing,
daring spirit of his father, the General, and
February i, 1864, before reaching the age of
eighteen years, he became a member of the Fire
Department, jn which he has ever since served,
with courage and distinction. He was promoted
to a lieutenancy in 1872, and to a captaincy in
1880. He was originally a member of Company
No. 3, but now commands No. 70.

He is a member of the Firemen's Benevolent
Association, of the Mutual Aid Association, and
of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

May 3, 1868, he was married to Miss Sarah
Donovan. Two sons and three daughters have
been born to them. The oldest son, William, is
deceased. The names of those living, are May,
Margaret, George and Ezra. Mr. and Mrs.
Taylor, with their children, are communicants
in the Catholic Church.



JAMES P. ANDERSEN.



(I AMES PETER ANDERSEN was born near
I Copenhagen, Denmark, March 4, 1857. For
O several generations his ancestors have lived
upon the same farm, where he first saw the light,
his father being Anders Larsen, and his paternal
grandfather, Lars Christensen. His mother's
name before marriage was Maria Willadsen. She
was the daughter of a farmer living in the same
locality, and was born in the same house as her
father. In a comparatively new country, where
kaleidoscopic shifting of scene and place is the
rule rather than the exception, these tangible
demonstrations of stability and conservatism
should be especially valued. Mr. Andersen's



father is still living (1899), but his mother en-
tered into rest at the comparatively early age of
forty-five years. He is one of a family of nine
children, of whom seven are living, and five are
residents of Chicago. Peter is a coachman em-
ployed at the corner of Michigan Boulevard and
Thirty-third Street; Mariane is the wife of Niels
Hansen, of No. 4747 Kimbark Avenue; Tina
married Peter Thompson, a milk dealer of No.
3827 Armour Avenue; Mary is unmarried.

James P. Andersen is the third in order of
birth. He grew up on his father's farm, attend-



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 54 of 111)