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

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was not to his taste. He was naturally of a roav-
ing disposition, and his life and adventures on
the plains had not tended to alter or curb it.
Leaving the business in the hands of his partner,
he went to New York, and after spending most
of his ready money, took passage to Australia.
After a voyage of one hundred and thirty-nine
days he landed at Melbourne, and set out for the
gold fields, about eighty miles distant. For the
first month he worked for a miner, earning fifteen
dollars. He then started to prospect on his own
account, but not meeting with the hoped-for suc-
cess, at the end of a year he shipped before the
mast on the vessel "Red Jacket," reaching New
York after a passage lasting one hundred and
forty days. On her homeward voyage the ship
touched at Saint Helena, where he visited the
grave of Napoleon. His spirit of investigation
led him to climb down into the vault, but on be-
ing discovered by the guards he was forced to
beat a hasty retreat. A stop of four weeks was
also made in London.

On returning to Chicago, Mr. Martens resumed
the bakery business with his brother-in-law, Val-
entine Ruh. The partnership continued for
about three years, when Mr. Martens opened a
grocery store at Nos. 591-93 Wells Street, which-
he conducted until 1890, establishing a record of



thirty years of success as a retail grocer. In the
year last mentioned he retired, and having erect-
ed his present residence at Franklin Park, he re-
moved to that suburb, which has been his home
ever since.

September 18, 1860, he was married to Miss
Elizabeth McCormack, the daughter of James
McCormack and Mary Jane (Lind) McCormack.
Mr. McCormack was born in County Down, Ire-
land. He was a hatter by trade, and was reared
in the Church of England, although in later life
he became a Presbyterian, out of deference to the
wishes of his wife. He died in 1841, at the age of
thirty-nine years. His wife had preceded him to
the grave in the spring of 1838, aged thirty-eight
years. She was born in Belfast and was the
mother of Violet Isabella, who was born Novem-
ber 14, 1829, died March 29, 1887, and was
buried at Graceland Cemetery. She was the
wife of John Gilmore, a brass finisher, and lived
both in Chicago and in New York. Their
daughter, Margaret, was born February 14,
1852, and married Richard Houlihan. Their
home is at No. 865 Osgood Street, Chicago.
Their children are: Richard, Henry, John and
Edmund. The second child of Mr. and Mrs.
McCormack was named George Lind. He was
born in 1831, is a glass blower by trade, and lives
at Homestead, Pennsylvania. He was three
times married. His first wife was Esther Corbit,
who bore him two sons, George and William.

Mrs. Elizabeth (McCormack) Martens is the
youngest child. Three others died in infancy.
Mrs. Martens' paternal grandfather was a glass
worker and blower in Belfast. His son, Thomas,
also a glass worker, reared a large family; his
daughter, Margaret, married a Mr. Thompson
and now lives in Toronto, Canada. Mrs. Mar-
tens' maternal grandfather married Violet Milli-
ken, by whom he had two children, James and
Mary Jane. James was a lieutenant in the Brit-
ish army and fought at Waterloo. He married
Isabella Harrington, but the couple had no chil-
dren. Mary Jane was the mother of Mrs. Mar-
tens. She made her home with her brother be-
tween the ages of four and eight years. Mrs.
Martens' great uncle on the maternal side was



596



AMOS SMITH.



named Israel Milliken, a man of no little note in
Belfast. He began life as a linen manufacturer,
but converted his factory into public baths, and
came to be familiarly known as "Doctor. " He
erected the first illuminating gas plant in Belfast,
which he operated himself. He voted with the
United Irish Party.

Mrs. Martens herself was born September 8,
1838, on Peters Hill, in Belfast. She came to
New York with the family of John Greenlees,
consisting of father, mother and a daughter,
Mary, who married John Calvert.

The following children have been born to Mr.
and Mrs. Martens: Johanna Martin, born July
12, 1862, died February 6, 1865; Dora Violet,
born October 25, 1863, and living at home; Char-
lotte Fredericka, born March 8, 1865, died April
27, 1866; Elizabeth Caroline, born January 26,
1867, married Julius Grubb, a postal clerk, and
lives at Franklin Park; Henry George, whose bi-
ography may be found elsewhere; Helena Isabella,
born April 29, 1870, graduated from the Chicago



North Division High School in 1888, is a teacher
of nine years' experience and for the past seven
years has been employed as a teacher of the fifth
grade at the Ella Mitchell School, Chicago; Vio-
let Louise, born September 29, 1871, died Sep-
tember 7, 1873; John Frederick Albert, born No-
vember 28, 1875, died August 18, 1876; and
Alice Maggie, born September 14, 1873, married
William H. Kirchhoff, whose sketch appears on
another page.

In politics Mr. Martens is a Republican,
though he never held or sought office. He was
for many years an earnest and active member of
Grant Place Methodist Episcopal Church, Chica-
go, toward the building of which he contributed
liberally, both in time and money, and of which
he was for many years a trustee. He is a man
of clear and vigorous intellect, keen insight
and accurate judgment; generous and charitable.
His tastes are artistic and refined, a fact which is
abundantly attested by the furnishings and sur-
roundings of his delightful home.



AMOS SMITH.



Gl MOS SMITH, one of Chicago's well known
LJ business men, and a gallant soldier of the
/ I Civil War, first saw the light in New Jersey,
having been born in Elizabeth, that state, Feb-
ruary 7; 1847. His father, Louis R. Smith, was
a sea captain, and in the course of his life visited
nearly every important port on the globe. Both
he and his wife, Louisa, were natives of Ger-
many.

The early opportunities for study which young
Amos enjoyed were very meager. Until he
reached the age of fourteen years he accompanied
his father upon his voyages, attending school
while at home, but only after desultory fashion.
In his fifteenth year he went to work in a tan-



nery, but the employment was not to his taste,
and he set himself to learn the trade of an uphol-
sterer, at Newark, New Jersey.

The outbreak of the Civil War aroused his
patriotic impulse, and September i, 1861, al-
though a mere boy, he enlisted in Company F
of the Thirty-fifth New Jersey Infantry, for ninety
days. At the expiration of that time he re-en-
listed for the war, and served until its close,
being mustered out at Washington in August,
1865. He shared all the fatigues and trials of
his regiment, taking part in all the battles and
skirmishes in which it was engaged, and at
Gettysburg receiving a slight wound.

After receiving his discharge from the army



J. L. WAGENBERGER.



597



he came to Chicago, where he worked at any
honorable labor that presented. He found em-
ployment in various upholstering establishments,
and was for eleven years at ' ' The Fair, ' ' where
he was in charge of the window shade depart-
ment. In 1895 he started in business for himself,
at the same location where he now is, No. 405
North Clark Street, where he has built up a
large and remunerative business.

Mr. Smith is a member of Lake View Lodge
No. 774, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons,



and of Court America, Independent Order of
Foresters. In politics he is independent in
thought and action.

April 5, 1874, he was married to Carrie, a
daughter of Mr. Jacob Miller, and an old settler
and highly esteemed citizen of Chicago, a more
detailed mention of whom may be found in the
biographical sketch of George B. Miller, on
another page. To Mr. and Mrs. Smith have
been born three children Emma, Fred and
Robert.



JOHN L. WAGENBERGER.



(I OHN LOUIS WAGENBERGER. Thisven-
I erable man, now looking back upon sixty
Q) seven years of a well-spent life, has been a
resident of Chicago for more than half a century,
having accompanied his parents hither in 1847,
when but a boy of fifteen years.

His parents were John and Katharine (Paul)
Wagenberger, natives of that portion of Bavaria
which lay upon the frontier of France. There;
in the village Schweisweiler, he was born, May
31, 1832. His father was a farmer, and emi-
grated to America in 1842, bringing with him
his wife and three children, Katherine, John L.
and Margaret. The family first settled near
Allentown, Pennsylvania, where the father found
work as a farm hand, and where Joseph-, the
youngest child, was born. The mother died in
Chicago in 1853, six years after the removal to
this city, her husband surviving her until 1888.
Of other members of the family it may be re-
marked that Katherine is now the widow of
Henry Miller, living in Chicago; Joseph has his
home in California; and Margaret, widow of
William Miller, resides in Chicago.

Of scholastic training John L. Wagenberger
received but little. He attended school for a



short time in Pennsylvania and for a few months
in Chicago, at the corner of Clark and Harrison
Streets, but the straitened circumstances of the
family forced him to encounter the stern realities
of contact with the world before his boyhood
was completed. Before leaving Pennsylvania he
worked on the Lehigh canal and, for five years
after coming to Chicago he toiled at any honest
labor that he could find to do. In 1852 he be-
came an apprentice to John L. Gerber to learn
the trade of a carriage painter, serving a term of
three years. To-day Mr. Wagenberger enjoys
the distinction which he justly values of being
the oldest carriage painter in Chicago who has
learned his trade in this city. For a time he
worked as a journeyman, and for many years
conducted a shop of his own, but in 1897 failing
health necessitated his retirement from active
business cares.

Sitting now in the richly earned quiet of his
own home, he looks back upon the changes which
he has witnessed since coming here, a poor boy
of ten years. They have been as marvelous as
they have been numerous, and in not a few of
them he has played an important part. In his
early days of hard work, before learning his



598



HENRY KIRCHHOFF.



trade, he worked on the Illinois & Michigan
Canal and in lumber yards, and in 1851 operated
a ferry boat at Rush Street. He joined the old
Volunteer Fire Department that same year, being
a member of Metamora Engine Company No. 2,
and was its foreman at the date of the disband-
ment of the volunteers in 1859.

Mr. Wagenberger was originally a Democrat,
but immediately after the firing of Fort Sumter
he transferred his political allegiance to the Re-
publican party, and has acted with that organi-
zation ever since. Since 1864 he has been a
member of the Ancient Order of Druids, and also
belongs to the Ancient Order of United Work-
men. On joining the Volunteer Fire Department
in 1857 he became a member of the Firemen's
Benevolent Association, with which he yet retains



his connection. He is a man of quick percep-
tions and remarkably clear memory.

He was married January 5, 1859, to Miss Lydia
Roemer, the ceremony being celebrated at Osh-
kosh, Wisconsin. Mrs. Wagenberger was born in
New Jersey. They have had three children, one
of whom, George, died in childhood. The other
two, John and Julia, grew to maturity. The
former died, leaving a widow, in 1897, from dis-
ease resulting from an accident received while
rendering gallant service as a fireman, he having
inherited his father's love for the risks, the dan-
gers and the glory attending such a life. Julia
became the wife of Mr. Charles Thiele, a con-
tracting mason, and lives in Chicago.

The family is connected with St. Paul's Evan-
gelical Lutheran Church.



HENRY KIRCHHOFF.



HENRY KIRCHHOFF is a retired and repre-
sentative German- American citizen, a thor-
ough business man, and loyal to the inter-
ests of his adopted country. Born March 30,
1835, in the village of Bennevos, near Hanover,
Germany, he is a son of Henry and Christina
(Pingston) Kirchhoff.

The paternal grandfather died when his son,
Henry, was two years of age, and he was still a
young man. His widow supported their two sons
after his death and both grew up to fight for their
country against Napoleon. Henry, the father
of the man whose name heads this article, fought
at Waterloo, and his brother went to Russia and
was never heard from again. The latter was not
married.

Mr. Pingston, the maternal grandfather, be-
came the father of two daughters. His wife died
the day her grandson, Henry, was born. Mr.
Pingston was a distiller and farmer in his native



land and became wealthy. One daughter mar-
ried and remained in her native land.

Henry Kirchhoff, Senior, born February 20,
1796, opened his eyes for the first time in the
town of Lelute, Hanover. This town was then a
small village, but has grown a great deal since.
This worthy gentleman died April 5, 1870, and
was buried in St. John's Lutheran Cemetery in
Addison, Du Page County. He was ten years in
the army and later farmed until he emigrated
from the Fatherland. With his wife and eight
children, on a sailing vessel, he left Bremen for a
strange land, and arrived in Chicago October 5,
1846, coming by way of New York and Buffalo,
by canal and boat.

The first home of the family of which Henry,
Junior, was a member, was a small frame build-
ing of four rooms, 20x36 feet in dimensions.
Mr. Kirchhoff brought lumber from Chicago and
ripped out the shingles himself. The land was






HENRY KIRCHHOFF.



599






seminary land and located in section 21, Leyden
Township. In 1864, when this land came into
market, he purchased it. Later he bought eighty
acres in section 27, of Mr. Blanchard, making his
possessions ninety acres, all told. A man of
splendid physique, Mr. Kirchhoffwas five feet,
eleven inches in height, and weighed two hun-
dred pounds. He spent his last days in the
home of his son. It may be said of him that he
was ever devout and a worshipper in the Lutheran
Church, of which he was a member. He was a
Republican in politics.

Mrs. Christina (Pingston) Kirchhoff was born
February 20, 1801, in the village of Vesburg,
Hanover, Germany. She died August 14, 1880,
and her remains were interred by the side of
her husband's. The children of this union were
nine in number, and brief mention is made of
each.

William married Sophia Prelbing and became
the father of one son, William, and a daughter,
Katharine. His widow lives with her son. Mary
became the wife of Henry Korthauer. She was
born July 13, 1824, and died May i, 1873, and
was buried at the same place as her parents. Her
husband survived her until January 8, 1891,
when he also died and was buried with his wife.
The children of this union are accounted for as
follows: Herman H. is a dealer in hardware in
Bensenville; Caroline mairied Edward Avers, a
farmer in Du Page County ; George and an infant,
twins, died young; William is a single man and
lives in Bensenville. Louis, the third child of
Henry Kirchhoff, Senior, was born April 8, 1827,
and married Mrs. Sophia Bender. He is a capital-
ist, and resides in Astoria, Oregon, and is the fa-
ther of Alvina and Paulina. Christina was the
fourth child and died in Germany. Doretta died
at sixteen years of age. She was an invalid and
lived only two years after the emigration of the
family. Henry, Junior, is the next. Ernestina
married George Korthauer and lives at Whatcom,
Washington. Her children are: Martha, Henry,
Ernest, Alvina, Laura and George. Sophia,
born October 22, 1840, died April 18, 1892, and
was buried in Rosehill Cemetery. She married
Frederick Schule, of whom further mention is



made on another page of this volume. August,
the youngest, was born April 5, 1843, and died in
July, 1856. His remains were buried with those
of the family, interred at the Addison Lutheran
Church.

Henry Kirchhoff, for whom this article is com-
posed, remained at the home of his parents until
he reached the age of twenty-five years. He
subsequently undertook the cultivation of two
hundred and forty acres of land in section 21.
He purchased this land from the Agricultural
College, and later bought eighty acres of his fa-
ther in section 27, the land all adjoining. In 1873
he erected a brick residence in which he lived
seventeen years. This building still stands, but
is unoccupied. In 1890 Mr. Kirchhoff built his
present home in Manheim, and has been located
there since 1891. He sold two hundred and
eighty acres to Lester Franklin, which became a
part of the Franklin addition, and retains the
balance. Since 1890 Mr. Kirchhoff has lived re-
tired, but has given some attention to investments
and different enterprises since. Among these
may be mentioned the Elgin Breakfast Food
Company, located at Spalding, Illinois. Mr.
Kirchhoff is the financial backer and practically
the owner. The concern was established in Au-
gust, 1898, with a capacity of one hundred and
twenty- five barrels of oatmeal in twenty- four
hours. George Ward is the manager and is also
a small stockholder.

May 17, 1 86 1, Mr. Kirchhoff married Mary
Ann Franzen, daughter of John Henry and Eliza-
beth (Diekoff) Franzen. The family of Fran-
zen is mentioned further on another page of this
volume. Mrs. Kirchhoff was born January 20,
1840. Of each of the twelve children of Mr. and
Mrs. Kirchhoff brief mention will be made.

Herman Henry, born January 27, 1862, lives
at Hampshire, Illinois. He is a dealer in flour
and feed. He married Maggie Scheddin and their
only child, Florence, was born January 17, 1895.
Of August Bernhardt, born May 13, 1863, further
mention is made in an article headed by his name.
Emma Katharine, born November 16, 1864, mar-
ried Thomas Henry Tiedmann, October 29, 1890.
Her husband is a son of Peter Theodore and



6oo



JOHN SCHMELTZ.



Anna (Fortman) Tiedmann, and was born Jan-
uary 23, 1864, on Wells Street, Chicago. In
June 1889, he went into the employment of Guth-
mann, Carpenter & Telling, as cashier, and is
with this concern at the present time. The chil-
dren of Mr. and Mrs. Tiedmann are: Elmer,
Henry, Arthur and Theodore, the last two being
twins, born December 17, 1891, and Peter
Thomas, born May 6, 1896.

Henry George, the next in order of birth, was
born July 19, 1866, and is further mentioned in
an article headed by his name. William Her-
man, born January 24, 1868, is also mentioned
elsewhere. Frederick Gustavus, born November
3, 1869, is a partner with his brother, Herman,
at Hampshire, Illinois. Albert Gustav, born
November 8, 1871, resides with his parents. He
has charge of the Elgin Breakfast Food Com-
pany at Spalding, Illinois. Julius George, born



September 14, 1873, died September 25, 1890.
Frank William, born July 25, 1875, is head mil-
ler at the works at Spalding, Illinois. Carl Ed-
ward, born March 30, 1878, is a bookkeeper for
Schultz & Lemly, on Indiana Street, and resides
with his parents, as do also Mary Dorothea,
born March 16, 1880, and Robert Frank, born
April 8, 1883.

Mr. Kirchhoff is a member of the Evangelical
German Reformed Church. He is a Republican
and has served as Road Commissioner of Leyden
Township, twenty-four years as school commis-
sioner of the sixth district and township trustee
of Franklin Park three years. He is one of Cook
County's influential citizens and it can truly be
said that his word is as good as his bond. His
success is due to his sagacity and integrity, in a
large measure, and his income is founded on sub-
stantial ground.



JOHN SCHMELTZ.



flOHN SCHMELTZ is one of the Gerrnan-
I American citizens of the city of Chicago,
Q) whose industry and integrity reflect credit
alike upon the land of his birth and the country
of his adoption. Upon a rather slender founda-
tion he has reared a superstructure of success,
built upon the corner stones of his own energy
and fidelity. He was born in the city of May-
ence, Germany, May 21, 1829. His father's
name was Andrew and his mother was Barbara
(Blum) Schmeltz.

He attended the public schools until he was
fourteen years old, when he was apprenticed to
learn the wall paper printer's trade. His quick
perception and ready adaptability to surroundings
stood him in as good stead here as it has in after
life. His apprenticeship lasted three and one-
half years. Then came the Revolution of 1848,



with its accompanying disturbance of the coun-
try's industries. The paper printing houses were
closed, one and all, and he found himself forced
to seek a new field of industry. An apprentice-
ship of three years at the blacksmith's trade fol-
lowed. This was succeeded by work in the rail-
road shops of the Taunus Railroad Company, in
the employ of which corporation he remained five
and one-half years. At the end of that period
circumstances combined to stimulate, if not to in-
spire, his wish to emigrate. His sympathies had
been with the Revolutionists, and he had written
many articles for the liberal journals, the publi-
cation of which had given great offense to the
government, and he became unpopular.

He was born within the pale of the Roman
Catholic Church, and had been reared in that
faith, but had abjured the tenets and teachings



JOHN SCHMELTZ.



601



of the church, and had advocated unlimited free-
dom of thought and its expression. His change
of views and fearless championship of new ideas
involved him in a conflict with the ecclesiastical
authorities, whose hostility assumed the form of
positive persecution. The struggle was long and
wearisome, but in the end he decided to abandon
it and emigrate to a country where no restriction
is placed on either thought or speech. To obtain
a passport was not easy for a man in his position,
but he secured one through aid of political
friends. He had been cited to appear before a
civil tribunal, but on the day set for the hearing
of his case, when he was expected to be person-
ally present, he was serenely floating down the
Rhine, a passenger on an American sailing ves-
sel, bound for New York. The name of the ship
that bore him was "Helicon," and her command-
er was Captain Goodwin.

The voyage occupied fifty-two days, and not
until he set foot on American soil, at Bangor,
Maine, did he feel fully assured that his personal
liberty and freedom of conscience were to be for-
ever inviolate. He landed March i, 1854, with
a cash capital of five dollars, in the shape of an
American half eagle. For a few months he
worked at his trade in the east, and as soon as
his purse permitted came to Chicago, which city
he reached September 5, 1854, with eight cents
in his pocket and an utter stranger. Here he
readily found employment at his trade.

He was frugal and saved his earnings, but his
slender means suffered depletion through an at-
tack of illness induced by a cold contracted while
shoeing horses in the rain. After his recovery
he went to Downer's Grove, where he remained
a few months, and on his return to Chicago was
made foreman over twenty-two men, in a shop
where horseshoeing and the building and repair-
ing of wagons was carried on. He received high
wages, but they were paid in the "wild cat" cur-
rency of the times, and one hundred dollars were
frequently worth but seventy-five dollars.

His health beginning to fail, he was advised
by a physician to try the climate of Pennsylvania,
and he accordingly removed to that state, where
he remained four years. While in Potter County



he bought fifty acres of land, on which he paid
one hundred and ten dollars, and erected a log
house which is still standing. It was while liv-
ing in Pennsylvania that he was married, his
bride being Margaret C. Schaus, who was born
in Wies Baden, Germany, October 26, 1827.
She died in Chicago, September 7, 1898.

In 1862 he returned to Chicago, bringing his
wife and two children with him. He found em-
ployment with the Eagle Iron Works, a concern
which was succeeded by the firm of Fraser &
Chalmers. He was with them four years, at the
end of which time he went into the shops of the
Illinois Central Railway Company, where for two
and one-half years he worked by the piece and
earned large wages, being able to save about fif-
ty dollars per month, which he invested in Gov-
ernment bonds. In 1864 he leased property on
Brown Street, paying an annual ground rent of
twenty-four dollars. Here he built a cottage,
which in 1869 he moved to the premises which
are now No. 304 Blue Island Avenue, and which
he purchased, from Samuel J. Walker.

In 1866 he became a canvasser for the Ameri-



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 91 of 111)