now Mrs. Edward Fitzgerald; and Frederick,
who is married and in the employ of the Deering
Company. Mr. Nusser and his family are
members of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran
Church, where they are highly honored by all
others of the congregation.
JOHN S. DELSING.
(JOHN SERVATIUS DELSING, one of the
I retired of Chicago's once active business
O men, was born May 13, 1832, in the village
of Dingden, Westphalia, Germany. His parents
were Hermann and Gertrude (Bargrafer) Delsing,
and the family name was for many genera-
tions Barking, the name being a very old one.
Hermann Delsing was born in 1804, and died
December 26, 1858, at the age of fifty-four years.
He kept a family resort and hotel at Dingden and
the mother of John S., his first wife, died in 1839,
when about thirty years old. Her children were:
John S., Bernhardt and Ignatius. Hermann
Delsing married for his second wife Christina
Terhart, who died November 14, 1866. She was
born January 18, 1803, and became the mother
of three daughters.
John S. Delsing reached Baltimore, Maryland,
in 1852. He was a brush-maker by trade and
spent some time at this occupation in that city.
In 1856 he came to Chicago and did some house
painting, because there was not much business
being done in the making of brushes. In 1858,
however, he was employed by Gertz& Lombard,
brush manufacturers, and was superintendent of
their factory ten years.
He then established a hardware business at
No. 282 West Twelfth Street, remaining oc-
cupied thus five years. He then went into the
bristle business with Gertz & Lombard, on Archer
Avenue, near Sanger Street. He was with this
firm two years, later being nine years .in the
bristle business with Armour & Company. He
subsequently established a saloon at the south-
east corner of Root Street and Wentworth
Avenue, which he conducted four years. Since
that time he has lived retired. In 1889 he
erected a residence at No. 6710 Wabash Avenue,
and has since resided at that location.
Mr. Delsing was married in Baltimore August
J. L. STORMS.
30, 1854, to Rosa Unkelbach, daughter of Matthew
and Margaret (Unkelbach) Unkelbach. Mrs.
Delsing was born April 28, 1831, in Bavaria. Her
parents, with ten children, emigrated from their
native land in 1842, and located in Baltimore,
Maryland, and remained there. Her father was
a musician and was master of the violin.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Delsing are ac-
counted for as follows: Frederick, born April n,
1856; Charles, August 23, 1858; Mary, February
2, 1861; Katharine, February 19, 1863; Rosa,
March 13, 1865; Louise, March 10, 1867; Anna,
March 4, 1869; Minnie, March 3, 1871; Winifred,
August 31, 1873; John H., born June 23, 1876,
who died at the age of six days; and Harry
Leonard, born April n, 1878.
The Delsings are connected with St. Bernhard's
Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Delsing is inde-
pendent in politics, voting for the men who, in
his estimation, are best fitted to fill offices for the
interest of the public at large. He is a very con-
scientious and high-minded man, and is honored
by all who know him, whether in a business or
JOHN L. STORMS.
(JOHN LOW STORMS was among the enter-
I prising and ambitious citizens of Chicago,
G) who, by their own efforts and ideas gained a
name and competence worthy of emulation. The
name was originally Storm, without the final "s"
but the persistency of the people in spelling it as
it is now induced the bearers to add the final let-
ter in all cases. John Low Storms was christened
without the middle name, but to prevent further
confusion in getting his mail matter he adopted
this for the initial it gave. He was born Febru-
ary 25, 1830, in Urquhart, Murrayshire, Scot-
land, and was a son of James and Margaret
(Brown) Storms. For further ancestry see biog-
raphy of James Storms in this work.
J. L. Storms emigrated from his native land
after receiving a good education and becoming
efficient in the trade of a painter and decorator.
He landed in Quebec in May, 1854, and was occu-
pied at his trade in that city four months. In the
fall he removed to Medinah, Ohio, and in a short
time went to Cleveland. He arrived in Chicago
in November of the same year and immediately
entered the service of Thompson & Alston, re-
maining in their employ a year and one-half.
He subsequently took up residence in Lock-
port, Illinois, and since this time has been occu-
pied by his own interests. He removed his family
to that town, but in the spring of 1865 moved
back to Cook County and purchased a quarter
interest in a tract of ten acres of land in what is
now Grand Crossing. He built a residence at
the corner of Cottage Grove Avenue and Seventy-
third Street, and this house was afterward moved
to Langley Avenue, where it still stands.
Mr. Storms opened a decorating establishment
at the present location of the Fifty-third Street
Station of the Illinois Central Railroad. At this
time there were only seven houses in sight of the
station (then known as Hyde Park) and those
who occupied six of them were Messrs. Bogue,
Hibbard, Cornell, Noble, Merrill and Mrs. Waite,
who conducted a female seminary. The other
building was the First Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Storms drove to and from his place of busi-
ness, which was about three miles from his home,
and la ter took up his residence on Jefferson Ave-
nue between Fifty-second and Fifty-third Streets,
where he died June 2, 1898. From the fall of the
year 1871 to 1875 Mr. Storms kept an establish-
meiit on Wabash Avenue, near Harrison Street,
employing as many as forty men at times. He
subsequently conducted a store at No. 5213 Jeff-
erson Avenue and was very successful in the en-
J. L. Storms was married in 1862, to Letitia A. ,
daughter of John Nicholson, of Lockport, Illinois.
She is a native of Chatham, Canada, and was the
widow of John Harvey. Her children by her
first husband were named: Alexander; John G. ,
now located on Sixty-seventh Street; and Robert
who resides on the North Side. Mr. Storms was
first married when he was but twenty-one years
of age, to Miss Isabella Low, of Scotland, and
their only child was named Eugene, but is now
deceased. The child and its mother died in Que-
bec, of cholera. The children of John L. and
Letitia A. Storms were ten in number: William
H. is an engineer and resides in Windsor Park;
George is a painter by trade and was associated
with his father in business interests, but is now a
policeman; Henry is married and resides in
Englewood, on Sixty-ninth Street, near Halsted;
he is a first lieutenant in the Knights of the
Maccabees; Oriole married Frederick Harber, a
grocer located on State, near Fifty-eight Street;
Irene married Harry W. Russell, who is employed
by the Denison Manufacturing Company and re-
sides on Monroe Avenue, near Fifty -fifth Street;
Frank is married and resides on Fifty-fifth Street
near Kimbark Avenue; he conducts a livery busi-
ness in Englewood; James and Marion are twins;
Delia died at the age of a year and one-half.
Mr. Storms' first presidential vote was cast in
favor of Abraham Lincoln and since that time he
held himself independent of party, voting for the
man who, in his estimation, was most likely to
serve the people to their advantage. He served
as judge of election, and though much interested
in political matters never held an elective office.
RARL SCHMIDT, who is pastor of St. James'
Evangelical Lutheran Church, at the corner
of Garfield Avenue and Fremont Street,
Chicago, was born July 21, 1859, m Hessen-
Darmsdat, Germany. He is a' son of Rev.
Henry and Elizabeth (Bastian) Schmidt, who
came to America in 1862 and located in Illinois.
Rev. Henry Schmidt was pastor of a church at
Schomburg, Illinois, fourteen years. He died in
Elgin, Illinois, in 1897. Mrs. Henry Schmidt
still resides in this city.
Karl Schmidt was educated at the gymnasium
at Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and Concordia Seminary,
at St. Louis, Missouri. He was graduated from
the last- mentioned institution in 1881, and was
ordained the same year, in September, at Roch-
ester, Minnesota. He was called by the con-
gregation of that place and was pastor of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church of that city, where
he remained two years. He was then called to
Crystal Lake, Illinois, and was there fourteen
successive years, when he received a call to his
present charge, in Chicago. He began his duties
in this church August 15, 1897.
Mr. Schmidt is a very studious man, devot-
ing himself assiduously to his mission and pursu-
ing his work with the idea that one is never
possessed with too much knowledge. He is a
refined gentleman, and has been educated in the
practical school of experience, as well as in
colleges, and has profited by all his chances to
obtain knowledge in the ways of the world and
cultivation of his mind.
In 1885, on July 25, Mr. Schmidt was married
to Miss Louise, daughter of Rev. H. Wunder.
(For further ancestry of Mrs. Schmidt, see biog-
raphy of H. Wunder, on another page of this
work.) The children of Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt
were named as follows: Otto, Emil, Herman
(deceased), Hugo and Dora.
Mr. Schmidt is a member of the Evangelical
Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other
states. He is a man of genial temperament,
pleasant in address and hospitable in manner.
He is recognized as one who is interested in the
furthering of the education of the youth of to-day
and his efforts in their behalf are admirable and
serve as an example worthy of a following. He
is honored and respected by all who know him
and alike beloved by family and friends. His
teachings are so successful that one cannot but
believe that he was sent to this world to accom-
plish a good work and his energies are put forth
to fulfill his mission.
P^ETER BRACH, one of the most influential
yr and respected of Chicago's retired citizens,
\5 was a tailor by trade and one of the finest
workmen in his line of business of the day and
generation. He was born June i, 1828, in
Prussia, and is a son of Johann Peter and Susanna
Elizabeth (Berlges) Brach.
Johann Peter Brach, father of the man whose
name heads this article, died at the age of fifty-
four years, in the year 1837. He was twice mar-
ried, and the children of his first wife were
named as follows: Juliana, Mary Elizabeth, Jacob,
Nicholas, Susan and Maria. After the death of
his first wife he married Susanna Elizabeth
Berlges. By this marriage he had five children
viz.: Susanna Katharine, Peter, Anna, Mary and
Michael. Mrs. Brach died December 18, 1866,
having been born in December, 1829, and her re-
mains were interred in Racine, Wisconsin.
Peter Brach, of this sketch, left his native land
in 1852, and landed in New York May 2 of the
same year. His brother Michael, sister Mary,
and his mother made up the party. They came
in a sail boat which left Antwerp March 13, 1852,
and immediately settled in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In that city Peter Brach worked at his trade,
that of a tailor, ten years. He was employed
by Frank Comstock, and when that gentleman
removed to Chicago, Mr. Brach moved with him
and remained in his service. He did the finest
and most particular of the work and commanded
the best salary of any of the men employed while
he was with Mr. Comstock.- In 1890 Mr. Brach
retired from active life, and has since enjoyed a
well-earned rest from business cares.
Mr. Brach married December 25, 1855, Miss
Mary Brust, daughter of Mathias and Anna
Marie (Meurer) Brust. She was born December
26, 1837, in Prussia. Mathias Brust was born
in February, 1805, and died in June, 1869. He
was a farmer and also worked at mining. Mr.
Brust lived his entire life in his native land.
Mrs. Mathias Brust was born in 1805, and died
in 1871. Her children were: Jacob, Peter,
Susanna, Mary Elizabeth, Katharine, Anna and
Charles. Jacob Brust lives in New Ulm, Min-
nesota. He is married, and has two children, the
elder being named William. He is a farmer
and also conducts a hotel. Susanna lives in
Texas; Katharine did not come to America; she
married John Hahn and has no children. Anna
married Frederick Weyher and resides at No.
164 Archer Avenue. Charles Brust is now in
New Ulm, Minnesota, and is extensively inter-
ested in politics, and with his brother, Jacob, is
very prominent in the community where they re-
side. Anna, Mrs. Brach, and her sister, Susanna,
emigrated from their native land at the same
time, in December, 1854. The others of the
family came later.
The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Brach was
Michael Brust, the owner of extensive lands, the
cultivation of which he superintended personally.
His children were: Mathias, Susanna, Marie,
Jacob and Michael. The maternal grandfather
was Michael Meurer, and his children were:
Michael, Anna Marie, Susanna and Dora. The
children of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Brach were eleven
in number: Peter, born November 21, 1856, died
February 15, 1892. He married Marie Drink-
burg and their children are named Elsie and
Robert. Charles, who was born November 17,
1858, died June 28, 1882. Frank, born January
17, 1861, died January 25, 1892. Florentina,
born April 2, 1864, died August 20, 1866. Lou-
isa was born December 28, 1866. Edwin, born
February 25, 1868, died March 8, 1887. William,
born July 2, 1870, died March 15, 1871. Ma-
tilda, born February 3, 1872, died in childhood.
William, born June 20, 1876, died June 28, 1893.
Emma, born October 29, 1878, resides at home,
and is an expert stenographer. Arthur, born
February 15, 1883, died November 4, 1883.
Peter Brach was a supporter of the principles
maintained by the old Whig party, but at the
organization of the Republican party, joined its
ranks and has since been loyal to its principles.
He is much interested in political matters, but
has never sought public favor in the form of
election to an office. He erected a residence at
No. 33 Elston Avenue in 1866, and has since
that time resided at this location.
HENRY RUSSER is a native of Chicago
and a member of an old pioneer family.
He was born August 7, 1838, where he now
lives, at No. 214 Rush Street, then the old Dutch
settlement, called New Buffalo. His parents were
George and Catherine (Mock) Russer. George
Russer was born in Baden Weil, Germany, but
his parents died when he was small, and a friend
of the family, a Rev. Mr. Hagel, a Lutheran
preacher, adopted him, his sister and his brother,
Joseph, and took them to Basle, Switzerland, and
they were well reared there and received a fair
education. George learned the trade of a shoe-
maker and became prominent, being an inspector
for a regiment of soldiers in Carlsruhe, Baden.
Catherine Mock was born in Weiseburg,
Germany, and came to the United States in 1831.
She located in Buffalo, New York. George
Russer came about the same time and settled in
the same location. In that city he worked at
his trade and she was for a time in the employ of
a Mr. Sherman, the man who kept the first
Sherman House in Chicago. Mr. Russer became
acquainted with his wife in Buffalo and they were
married there about the year 1832.
In 1837 Mr. an d Mrs. Russer came to Chicago,
bringing with them their children, Charles,
George and Valentine. They came on the old
steamboat, "Madison." Mr. Russer had previous-
ly traded property inBuffalo, at the corner of Main
and Genesee Streets, for property on La Salle
Street, in Chicago, between Randolph and Lake
Streets. He there kept the "Farmers' Home,"
and his wife being possessed of some money he
purchased property in what was known as New
Buffalo, locating a residence there. He opened
a shoe store and at one time carried on a very
profitable business. In 1841 George Russer
went to St. Louis and died in that city a few
months later. He left his widow with six chil-
dren and she struggled along the best she could,
keeping her children as well as was possible and
training them to go in the paths of right. She
died in Chicago July 4, 1882, at the age of eighty
years. All her children are deceased except the
man whose name heads this article and May,
who is now Mrs. Mock, of Fulton, Ohio.
Henry Russer grew to manhood in Chicago
and received his education in the McKinzie
School. At the age of fifteen years he began to
serve an apprenticeship at the trade of a tinner
and after having learned the trade, worked at it
for a time. He then entered the employ of the
North Branch Rolling Mill, under O. W. Potter,
and was thus occupied nine years. Nearly all of
this period he was in charge of the furnace of the
mill and his services were valuable and he re-
ceived financial recompense accordingly. For a
short time subsequently he conducted a catering
establishment, after which he was employed by
Gen. Fitz Simon, superintending the filling up
of the lake front, also being occupied in the
same capacity for J. V. Farwell, N. K. Fair-
bank and the Newberry Estate. For the past
ten years he has been in the service of the
Newberry Library, having the entire manage-
ment of the grading and filling up the lake
Mr. Russer is an ardent Republican and voted
for Lincoln in 1860, having since supported that
party's candidates. He is a member of the order
of Ancient Order of United Workmen. In 1859
he married Caroline Kern, daughter of Peter and
Caroline (Gibe) Kern. Mrs. Russer was born at
the Summit, on Archer Road, where her parents
were very early settlers. Mr. and Mrs. Russer
are the parents of three children and three died
in infancy. The living are: Emma, Louise and
Henry. The members of the family are com-
municants of Mr. Moody's church and are pos-
sessed of religious views and the highest of
Mr. Russer has witnessed the growth of the
city from a small town and in the time of his
childhood his family had Indians for neighbors
and wild game was abundant.
GlNDREW SPOHRER, now living retired,
LJ is a native of Chicago, born of German
I | parents January i, 1838, on Rush Street,
near the waterworks. His parents were Andrew
and Katharine (Schremp) Spohrer and were both
born in Baden, Germany, of old German families.
Andrew Spohrer, senior, was a mason by trade
and came to America with his family in 1834.
They spent two years in Buffalo, New York,
where Mr. Spohrer worked at his trade. In 1836
they came to Chicago and he still worked at his
trade and claimed a tract of land on Rush Street,
at Chicago Avenue. At this location he raised
vegetables for the market and also kept cows and
sold the milk. He was a frugal and industrious
man, and accumulated much property.
He purchased two and one-half acres of land
on North Clark Street, and cultivated this tract
also, succeeding remarkably until 1865, the year
of his death. His wife survived him until 1879.
They were the parents of sixteen children, only
two of whom are now living: Christina, the wife
of Patrick O'Connor, and Andrew, of this notice.
The latter received a limited education in the
F. M. JOHNSON.
public school, and while growing to manhood car-
ried on gardening, assisting his father until the
fire of 1871, when they sustained a heavy loss.
After the fire they divided the property among
the members of the family and since that time
Mr. Spohrer has not engaged in any business but
has taken care of his large property interests. In
1882 he purchased a farm near Chicago Heights,
which is still in his possession. He has never
sought public office of any kind, but has taken
an interest in the affairs of his native city, which
he has seen grow up twice. He is independent
in politics, supporting the man whom he thinks
best qualified for office.
September 5, 1871, he married Miss Katharine,
daughter of Mathias and Anna Reich ert, who
came to Chicago from Wurtemberg, Germany.
The parents of Mrs. Spohrer came to Cook
County in early days and after their marriage
lived on a farm three miles from Chicago
Heights, in the Town of Bloom. Mr. Reich-
ertdiedin 1865, and Mrs. Reichert is still living.
They had eleven children, all of whom are now
living. Mathias resides at Shannon, Illinois.
Helen is the wife of Stephen Thometz, of Shan-
non. Henry is on a farm near Chicago Heights.
Mrs. Spohrer is next in order of birth. Barbara
is Mrs. Michael Kloss, of Will County. Mary is
the wife of Valentine Marthaler, who conducts a
hardware store in Chicago Heights. August is a
farmer residing on the old homestead. Maggie
is Mrs. Charles Miller, of Chicago Heights.
Joseph resides in the same region, and is a tiller
of the soil. Anna is the wife of Henry Marthaler
and resides in Lakefield, Minnesota. Rosa is
now Mrs. Joseph Loehmer, living on a farm in
Mr. and Mrs. Spohrer have had eight children,
those living are: Anna; Mamie, who was married
June 29, 1898, at St. Joseph's Church, to Dr.
Augustine A. Flick, who has an office at No.
448 North Clark Street, and resides at No. 454
North Clark Street; Margaret, Josephine and
Edward, and three died in childhood. Mr.
Spohrer and his family are members of St.
Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, and the family
is highly respected and honored by all who be-
come acquainted with any of its members.
FRANCIS M. JOHNSON.
|~~RANCIS MORTIMER JOHNSON, who
r^ was born on Sunday, May 8, 1842, in Hick-
| * ory Lane, Niles, Michigan, is one of the
most valued and highly respected employes of
the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad
Company, having been in the employ of that
company since 1865. His parents were Alfred
Wells and Dezire (Howe) Johnson, and both
came from very old families. The paternal
grandfather was John Johnson, and the maternal
grandfather of F. M. Johnson was Frederick
Howe. Mr. Howe was a tiller of the soil and he
was born in Vermont. He settled in Syracuse,
New York, subsequently, and later removed to
Michigan, being one of the first settlers in Ber-
Mr. Howe traveled through the country with
horse teams, there being no steam railway at that
time. His children were named as follows: Alonzo,
Dezire, Lucinda, Francis, Hezekiah, Adeline,
Mary, Nancy, Charlotta, Charles and George.
His wife's name was Polly Bliss before her mar-
riage to Mr. Howe. Alfred W. Johnson was
born June 26, 1810, in Burlington, Vermont. He
came to Michigan in 1831. He had learned the
trade of a carpenter and joiner, and erected a res-
F. M. JOHNSON.
idence in Niles, Michigan, in Hickory Lane. All
his children were born in this house. Mr. John-
sou did a great deal of contracting in the vicinity
of Niles, for building of residences and other
erections. He was a Democrat as to political
views and served in the legislature two years
about 1847-1849. He died June 9, 1889. His
wife was born at Truxton, New York, Friday,
May 5, 1815, and died October 18, 1896. Her
children were nine in number: John Frederick
was born Monday, December 17, 1838, .and resides
at No. 5140 Wabash Avenue; Richard Marian
was born Wednesday, May 13, 1840, married
Hattie L- Barker, at Chillicothe, Missouri, and
now resides at No. 5140 Wabash A venue, Chicago;
Francis M. is the next in order of birth; Julia
Estelle, born Saturday, March 9, 1844, married
Henry T. Kimmell December 14, 1865. Her
children are: George Alfred, born February i ,
1867, and Edna Estelle, born December 3, 1869;
George Franklin, born Thursday, March 5, 1846,
died August 5, 1893. He married Annie C.
Cook, at Tiskilwa, Illinois, December 22, 1885;
Oliver Howell, born February 12, 1848, died
March 24, 1848; Helen Isabella, born Saturday,
August n, 1849, married John A. Montague
October 6, 1873, an< ^ nas one child, Charles M.,
born March 23, 1876. Her 'home is at Niles,
Michigan, where her husband is a hardware
dealer; Mary Francis, born Friday, November 3,
1853, married Orson McKay October 2, 1883.
Mr. McKay is an employe of the Santa Fe Rail-
road Company and they reside at No. 4735 Evans
Avenue; Charles Alfred, born Friday, February
8, 1856, was married at Marshall, Michigan,
August 20, 1883, to Bertha Hopkins Perritt. He
is the father of one child, Alfred Hopkins, born
September 6, 1892. The family resides at Niles,
Michigan, where C. A. Johnson is cashier at the
First National Bank.
Francis Mortimer Johnson occupied himself at
the same trade as his father until sixteen years of
age. He enlisted in the army October 17, 1862,
in Company E, Twelfth Michigan Regiment.