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

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1884, and died at the age of three weeks; George
Washington, born February 22, 1885; Elma, Jan-
uary 8, 1889, and Edward William, December 8,
1887.

Mr. Heckler is in favor of silver as a medium
of exchange, and his arguments in its favor are
very strong. He is descended from a line of
Roman Catholics and is not delinquent to the
church of his fathers. His name is one respected
in all circles, and his influence is used in all cir-
cumstances for the right.



ALONZO BRYAN.



<3| LONZO BRYAN, who has passed through
LJ a varied career and has finally entered into
| I a profitable business in Chicago, was born
in Washington, Pennsylvania, a son of Benjamin
Bryan, who was born in the same state as his
son.

Alonzo Bryan lived eighteen years in the city
of his birth, and attended school at Pittsburg.
He then became employed in a physician's office
and was subsequently in the St. Charles Hotel
four years. He spent three years in the Monon-
gahela House and reached Chicago August 9,
1868. He went to work at the Sherman House,
and was waiter one week at this establishment.
After two years in the Richmond House he en-
tered the employ of Mr. Green, who has kept a
restaurant on Clark Street, opposite the Court
House, many years. Mr. Bryan was but six
months in this service, and was one year at the
old Palmer House, at the corner of Quincy and
State Streets.

He was one season at the Cataract House,
at Niagara Falls, and returned at the end of the
season to the Palmer House, Chicago, which was



in 1871. He was subsequently one year in the
old Palmer House and later accepted a position
as porter for the Pullman Palace Car Company,
which he occupied two years. After a few months
at Woodman's bakery, on Washington Street,
he was two years in the Brevoort House. He was
head waiter two years in the Ocean Oyster
House, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and fifteen
months porter on a sleeper of the Chicago, Mil-
waukee & St. Paul Railroad. He spent four
seasons at the summer resort of Waukesha, Wis-
consin, and returned to the Palmer House for
six months.

Having been economical and prudent at all
times he was then able to go into partnership at
that time with John B. Johnson and J. Whiting,
the firm name being Johnson, Bryan & Whiting,
located at No. 311 South Clark Street. This was
in 1882, and the business that of saloon and
billiard hall. The business thrived and Johnson
purchased Whiting's interest and continued with
Mr. Bryan until 1892, when the latter purchased
his partner's interest and hag since continued
alone.



F. C. GEBERT.



631



Since the spring of 1890 Mr. Bryan has re-
sided at No. 5622 Dearborn Street, which is prop-
erty that he owns. He was married in the fall of
1879, to Miss Emma Pash and their children are
named: Alonzo, Junior, Anna Elizabeth, Will-
iam Henry and Walter James. Mr. Bryan was



made a Mason in John Jones Lodge in 1884. He
is independent in political ideas, voting for the
man best suited for the office, rather than for
party. He was reared in the faith of the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church, and is true to the teach-
ings of his fathers.



FREDERICK C GEBERT.



f~ REDERICK CHRISTIAN GEBERT, one
ry of Chicago's retired business men, is a promi-
| nent land-owner in the city, and takes an
admirable interest in the welfare of his fellow-
citizens. He comes of a stanch old race, born in
Germany, and is a typical representative of the
sturdiness and strength of character of his people.
He was born February 19, 1848, in New Caliss,
Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany. His parents
were George and Dorothea Elizabeth (Rohlk)
Gebert. His maternal grandfather was John
Johachim Rohlk, who married Katharine Louise
Rohr.

George Gebert died in 1849, having reached
the age of forty-nine years. He crossed the
Atlantic Ocean three times in a whaling vessel,
and subsequently sailed in local German waters,
and commanded small boats. He was twice mar-
ried, his first wife being Miss Akoff. His second
wife was the mother of the man whose name
heads this article. Dorothea E. Rohlk was born
September i, 1811, at New Caliss, Mecklenburg-
Schwerin, Germany. She died April 18, 1891,
and her remains were interred in Oakwoods
Cemetery.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. George Gebert
were six in number. Mary Elizabeth, born Sep-
tember 4, 1828, died April 4, 1875, her remains
being buried in Oakwoods Cemetery. She left a
husband, Henry Sal to, to mourn her loss. George



Charles, the next in order of birth, was born
October 4, 1831, and died September 14, 1898.
He emigrated from his native land in 1856, ar-
riving in Chicago in the spring of that year, and
resided here until his death. Henry John is
spoken of on another page of this work. Fred-
erick Christian is the youngest of his father's
family.

Frederick Christian Gebert reached Chicago
June 28, 1857, ar >d attended school in this city
until he was seventeen years of age. He was
employed in the flour and feed business by his
brother, John, subsequently, for a period of four-
teen years. October i, 1879, he established a
feed store at No. 3031 State Street, which he
conducted eighteen months. He was later oc-
cupied in a seed store, under the conduct of Wal-
lace & Kingman. He was successively with the
American Seed Company and Albert Dickinson
Seed Company until April, 1891, when he re-
tired from active business life, to enjoy a well-
earned rest and the comforts of a very pleasant
home.

He married, June 14, 1888, Miss Mada Marie,
daughter of John and Christina (Hasenmeyer)
Krohn. She was born in Peotone, Illinois, No-
vember 18, 1859. Her father, John Krohn, was
born November 17, 1825, in the village of Little
Zein, Mecklenberg-Schwerin, Germany, and emi-
grated to Lombard, Du Page County, in 1857.



632



C. A. ORNBERG.



He later removed to Peotone, Illinois, where he
was one of the earliest settlers, and where he
still resides. He occupied the position of coach-
man in his native land.

Mrs. John Krohn was born January 27, 1836,
in Wenn, Hanover, Germany. Her children are
accounted for as follows: Mrs. Gebert is the old-
est; Mary, born May 4, 1861, died at the age of
eighteen months; Henry John, born July 18,
1865, resides at No. 7257 Lexington Avenue,
Chicago; Federick, born February 25, 1867,
makes his home with Mr. Gebert; and Dena,
born June 16, 1868, resides at home with her
parents. The grandfather of Mrs. Gebert, Joseph
Krohn, married Miss Marie Miller, and her chil-
dren are accounted for as follows: Joseph, born
in 1822, never married; John and Christian are
deceased, as are also Christopher and Frederick;
Marie and two younger, whose names are not re-
corded.



Mr. Gebert has been very successful as a busi-
ness man, and in 1867 built a house at the cor-
ner of Twenty-ninth Place and South Park Ave-
nue. In January, 1872, he moved his house to
No. 3036 Vernon Avenue and has resided at this
location since that time. In 1891 he built a flat
building at Nos. 114-116 Thirty-first Street,
which is four stories in height, of brick, and con-
tains six flats and two stores. In 1870 he erected
a two-story brick building at No. 3031 State
Street, which he has since disposed of. He owns
a frame building located at No. 3034 Veruon
Avenue.

Mr. Gebert is a descendant of Protestant peo-
ple and has ever been true to the teachings of
his fathers in regard to religion. He is not an
office seeker, but upholds the Republican party
at all opportunities. He is a man of influence
and ability, and is well known and respected in
the vicinity where he resides.



CHARLES A. ORNBERG.



EHARLES A. ORNBERG is a native of
Sjaland, Denmark, having been born at
that place, January 17, 1854. He is the
son of P. A. Ornberg and his wife, Catherine C.
Bensen. Their family consisted of six children,
four of whom were sons, and all grew to maturity.
Charles was the fourth child and third son. His
father was a prominent teacher and was em-
ployed in the schools of his native place. He
passed away in 1897, at the age of seventy-eight
years. The mother was the daughter of a priest
and a member of a notable family. She died in
1881, and was sixty-seven years old at the time
of her death.

Mr. Ornberg attended school in his native
town until he reached the age of fifteen years,



when he took an active part in caring for a farm
owned by his father. He was nineteen years old
when he began the practical study of farming,
and at the end of two years he became manager
of one of those hugh estates such as only exist in
the old country and are quite different from what
we style farms. This one contained between eighty
and ninety thousand acres, and furnished employ-
ment to over eighty men. He held this position
three years and then served in the army seventeen
months, and was promoted to the rank of cor-
poral.

He then sailed for the New World, reaching
New York May 18, 1881, and came direct to
Chicago. He was first employed in the lumber
business for a short time, when he went to New



BERNARD KOTZ.



633



Mexico and was in the employ of the Santa Fe &
Pacific Railroad. He remained here until the
spring of 1882, when he returned to Chicago and
was again in the employ of a lumber company.

At the end of the summer he went to New
Orleans and was a sub-contractor on the levee,
and at the end of two months started by boat for
Vicksburg. In the night he was robbed of all
his little savings, one hundred and eighty dollars.
It was stolen by the negroes employed on the
boat. This mishap did not daunt Mr. Oruberg.
Landing at Vicksburg without any money, he
was able to get work there and at the end of two
months returned to Chicago. He then engaged
in the teaming business, which he followed two
years. He was variously employed until April
i, 1886, when he started in business for himself
locating first at No. 273 Milwaukee Avenue.
One year later he sold out and started afresh on
West North Avenue. One year later he sold
this place and returned to and bought the old



place on Milwaukee Avenue. At the expiration
of four years he again disposed of his business
and purchased his present place at No. 468 West
Erie Street.

He was married in Chicago, April 10, 1886, to
Miss Carrie Hansen, a native of Schleswig, Den-
mark. They have four children, namely: Elna,
Aage, Erig and Dagmar, all born in Chicago.
Erig is a mute and is attending the Englewood
School for Deaf and Dumb, where he will receive
all the benefits that it is possible to bestow on
those who are in a measure shut out from the
ordinary advantages of school and business life.
All the other children are at home.

Mr. Ornberg is connected with the following
organizations: Singing Society Harmouien, Dan-
ish Veterans and the Danish Brotherhood. He
has filled all the offices in the latter, from the low-
est to president. He is highly esteemed by all
his associates, whether business or social, and like
most of his countrymen is an admirable citizen.



BERNARD KOTZ.



Q ERNARD KOTZ. Among our most worthy
|C\ and influential citizens are those of Teutonic
d/ blood. They are hardy by nature and are
equal to all the hardships which it is in the power
of man to overcome. Persistent and persevering
to an extreme, they succeed financially, invari-
ably surmounting all difficulties. Bernard Kotz,
born February 7, 1855, in Germany, spent his
early years in the village of Brecht. His par-
ents, Bertien and Mary (Ludes) Kotz, removed
to the last-named village, when their son, Ber-
nard, was but eighteen months of age.

In 1872 his mother and sister, Margaret, emi-
grated from their native land, and he came to
America with them. For six months after his
arrival he was employed on the farm of his



cousin, John Ludes. He remained in the vicinity
of Gross Point, Cook County, two years, engaged
in farming and gardening. He then was occupied
with section work for the Chicago & Northwest-
ern Railroad Company, one year, and later with
teaming six months. After speuding six years
in a tannery, four and one-half years with T. F.
Wheeler, in Waukegan, a short time with Sharp
& Clark, in Chicago, he was engaged five years
in expressing, and a short time in firing a boiler
for T. F. Wheeler, a former employer. He then
entered the employ of the Chicago City Railroad
Company and is among its force at the present
time, being valued and honored by those to whose
interests he is ever true.
July 26, 1882, he was married to Miss Barbara



634



G. A. WOOD.



Schucker, daughter of John and Katharine
Schucker. Mrs. Kotz was born April 14, 1865,
in Bavaria, Germany, and is a worthy helpmate
and companion. In 1888 Mr. Kotz erected a



the first house in the block on the east side of the
street. This was raised to height of two stories,
above a high basement, in the year 1899, making
of it a valuable and handsome residence prop-



residence at No. 6327 Evans Avenue, this being erty.



GEORGE A. WOOD.



iEORGE ALBERT WOOD. Of the rising
generation of prominent and highly-es-
teemed business men of the present time in
the city of Chicago, how many are the result of
excellent training and rearing of the teachings of
their fathers in a business manner, and of their
mothers in the way that they should go; and yet
they are given the honor when the fathers and
forefathers are forgotten. George Albert Wood
was at one time well known among the business
world of this city, but has retired from active life
to give place to his sons, who do him credit in
every sense of the word. He is to be honored
and esteemed, as he truly is, for his part in the
welfare of the world.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, January 13,
1827, he is the son of Calvin and Mary (Bond)
Wood. He was left an orphan at the extremely
youthful age of six years. Calvin Wood was
born in America, but of English parentage. He
was barber, musician and correspondent for a
local paper. He died in 1833, at the age of forty-
two years, in the prime of life. His wife died
when her youngest child, the man whose name
heads this article, was six months of age. She
was the mother of three children: Jesse was
married and resided in California; he died at the
age of forty years, leaving one child. Henrietta
married Eldon H. Sigler and resides in Brook-
lyn, New York; she is the mother of two chil-
dren.

At the death of his mother, George A. Wood



was adopted by Mrs. Hannah Norris, widow of
John Norris, and lived with her until he was
seventeen years of age. When he was ten years of
age she removed from her home in Poughkeepsie,
New York, where she had lived but six months, to
New York City. George A. Wood started to
learn the cigar business in Poughkeepsie and
kept at it for some time. After eight years in
New York City he removed to Burlington, Ver-
mont, where he continued at his trade. At one
time he conducted a prosperous retail shoe busi-
ness in that city. He subsequently decided to
locate in Chicago, and arrived in that city in the
fall of 1856.

He launched into the commission business and
opened an office on Dearborn Street. He was
later one year a clerk in the service of Mr. Pot-
ter, on Randolph Street. He then established a
grocery store and meat market at the corner of
Market and Madison Streets. October 20, 1864,
he enlisted in Company A, Seventy-second Illi-
nois Volunteer Infantry, remaining with this
regiment nine months, when he was transferred
to Company G. After three months he was
mustered out at Vicksburg. He was in the bat-
tles at Nashville, Jackson, Franklin and Mobile
Bay.

Mr. Wood returned to Chicago and became an
employe of Jameson & Morse, printers, located
at Nos. 10-12 La Salle Street. He was thus oc-
cupied eight years, and four subsequent years
was with Culver, Page, Hoyne & Company, re-






CHRISTIAN LARSEN.



635



turning to the old employ, to be in that service
five years. He then succumbed to the injuries
received in the war, and for the past twelve years
has been practically an invalid.

October 28, 1851, Mr. Wood was married to
Miss Mary Elizabeth, daughter of George Wash-
ington Allen. Mrs. Wood was born July 13,
1829, in Burlington, Vermont. Mr. and Mrs.
Wood are the parents of seven children. Guilford
Sigler, born in Burlington, Vermont, July 12,
1852, married Miss Carrie Stanton, and has a son
and daughter, Chester Guilford, born in Novem-
ber, 1884, and Gladys Marie, in June, 1891. Heis
one of the most popular and well-known sales-
men of the firm of W. H. Salisbury & Company,
dealers in rubber goods and leather belting.
Eveline Almina, born in Burlington, Vermont,
May 21, 1854, is not married. George Allen,
who was born in Burlington, Vermont, May 8,
1856, lives in Kansas City and is married.
Leonard Jameson, born December 7, 1858, in
Chicago, died September 3, 1859. Henrietta



Sigler, born April 2, 1862, in Chicago, married
J. H. Barnette, an electrotyper. She resides in
Austin, and her children are: Fannie Eckler,
Joseph H. and Dorothy. Emma Frances, born
June 15, 1867, married Charles H. Morgan, a
traveling salesman, and their one child is Eveline
Wood. Lilian May married W. E. Wood, a man
who is no blood relation to the family, and they
reside at No. 3518 Ellis Avenue. He has charge
of the Douglas Club House, and his children are:
Douglas and George Washington.

Mr. Wood was very successful financially,
and being an economical and energetic man, suc-
ceeded in building a residence for himself and
family at No. 1201 Sixty-seventh Street, in 1891.
He has since been located at this number. He
never sought public office, but favors the Repub-
lican party with his vote and sanction. He is a
highly respected man in the community where he
resides, and has been recognized as an actor in
the great business turmoil of Chicago who will
never be forgotten.



CHRISTIAN LARSEN.



CHRISTIAN LARSEN, a well-known and
I ( highly esteemed member of the Danish
\J colony in Chicago, is a man in the prime of
life, having been born August 17, 1848, at Saug-
laud, Denmark. His father, Anselm Larsen,
was a wagon-maker by trade, and died at about
the age of forty. Of the four children born to
his father, Christian is the youngest, and only two
are yet living.

At the age of fourteen he quit school to begin
the more hazardous, more exciting life of a sailor.
His life aboard ship commenced in the capacity
of a cook, a post more important than dignified.
Within a year, however, he had learned enough
of the mysteries of a sailor's craft to become an



ordinary seaman. His first voyage to America
was made in 1864, and it was in the autumn of
that year that he first landed in Boston. At that
port he shipped as one of the crew of a coasting
vessel, the "America," and sailed with that craft
for six months.

Tiring of short voyages which such a life ne-
cessitated he joined the crew of the United States
man-of-war, "Canandaigua," as an able seaman,
and sailed with that vessel under Admiral Far-
ragut three years and four months, making all
the principal ports of Europe. Returning to the
United States he set out for Buffalo, to try navi-
gating the Great Lakes. He sailed on these in-
land seas every summer until 1870, when his in-



6 3 6



PETER BUHL.



born love of adventure impelled him to seek a
new clime. In that year he sailed on the "Can-
andaigua" to Santiago, Cuba, where he re-
mained for nearly two months, quite long enough
to become acclimated, having nearly died of yel-
low fever under the tropical sun.

In the spring of 1871 he came back to Chicago,
and once more tempted the waters of Lake Michi-
gan. For nearly eight seasons he led this ad-
venturous, fascinating life, and in 1878 he mar-
ried Miss Gorten Rolsen, a maiden from Norway.
Thereupon, for some reason (perhaps remem-
brance of the young wife, perhaps because he had
tired of roving and adventure) he determined to
settle down. Accordingly, he located himself at
No. 322 West Ohio Street, where he still makes
his home. His first venture in business as a
landsman was the purchase of a milk route. In
1887 he established himself in the grocery trade,



and has continued in that line of business ever
since, building up a prosperous clientage through
industry and integrity. The same year in which
he embarked in this new venture he built a small
store, and ten years later, in 1897, he erected his
present handsome three-story, stone-front flat
building. In addition to this fine property he
also owns a three-story frame building at No.
370 West Erie Street. It would not be surpris-
ing if, deep down in his heart, he rejoiced over
the success which he knows that he owes to his
own enterprise.

Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs.
Larsen, and all on the spot to which he first led his
bride, twenty years ago. They are named: Fred,
Julius, Mamie, Harry, Gertie and Christian.

Mr. Larsen is a prominent member of the So-
ciety Dania, and of the Danish Brotherhood,
having held office in the latter organization.



PETER BUHL



P\ETER BUHL. This well-known member
LX of the Danish-American colony is a striking
J5 illustration of the success which may be
achieved through perseverance and well-directed
effort. He conducts a well-stocked establishment
at No. 909 Milwaukee Avenue, where he deals
in oils, paints, glass and wall paper, doing a
prosperous business and enjoying the esteem of
a wide circle of acquaintances.

He was born in Fredericia, Denmark, May 3,
1865. His father, Frederik Buhl, was a hotel-
keeper in his native town, where he died, at the
age of threescore years. His mother's name be-
fore marriage was Christine Hansen. She bore her
husband eight children (seven of whom grew up)
and died at the ripe old age of seventy-two years.

Of this large family Peter was the youngest.
He attended the Latin school in his own town



until he reached his fourteenth year, when his
parents sent him to Copenhagen, to pursue his
studies at a military academy, an institution
analogous to our own academy at West Point,
from which institution he was duly graduated.
On leaving the academy he was assigned to the
Fifth Regiment at Nyborg. At the end of eight-
een months he took an examination, passing
third in a class of seventy-four, and was made a
second lieutenant, and transferred to the Seventh
Regiment, doing duty with that body of troops
for one year. Having won a reputation for mil-
itary qualities, and being endowed with mental
abilities of a high order, he was sent to the mili-
tary high school. This appointment was a rare
distinction, having been given solely because of
merit and being one of twenty which were made
by the government out of the entire army. What



W. G. FISCHER.



637



his career might have been cannot be told, had it
not been that ill health compelled him to resign
from the school at the end of eighteeen months.
For half a year afterwards he once more served
in the Fifth, and then left the army. He then
accepted a position as instructor in the Fred-
eriksberg Latin and Real School, at the same
time attending a technical school for one term.
During the same period he gave instruction in
several Copenhagen institutions. Later he spent
two and one-half years in Germany, as a decora-
tor, and then came to America.

Chicago was his first halting place. Here he
readily found employment as a sign painter and
decorator, sometimes working for day wages, as
a journeyman, and sometimes being paid by the
piece. In 1893 he first opened a shop of his



own at the same location where he is to-day.
At first he confined himself to sign-painting and
work on contract, carrying no stock for sale.
Gradually, however, his business expanded, and
he began to deal in the accessories of his trade.
At present he has one of the best equipped estab-
lishments in that section of the city, and is able
to point with pride to the success which has
crowned his own unaided efforts.

He was married in November, 1892, to Miss
Agnes Rasmussen. Mrs. Buhl was born in Den-
mark. She has no children. Mr. Buhl is presi-
dent of the Danish Veterans, and a member of
the Singing Society Harmonien. From 1891 to
1897 he was teacher of the Danish Turners, an
organization which disbanded in the last-men-
tioned year.



WILLIAM G. FISCHER.



G. FISCHER is one of eight
children born to Christian and Melusine
Fischer, of Schmidburg, in the province of
Brandenberg, Germany. Both his parents died
in the Fatherland, and sleep beneath the shadow
of the hills they loved so well. All their children



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 96 of 111)