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

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twice married, Mrs. Brust being a child of the
second marriage. The children of Mr. Brach by
his first wife were named: Julia, Mary Elizabeth,
Jacob, Nicholas and Susanna Marie. Mary was
married to Peter Golzer and Susanna to Jacob
Fritsch, and both sisters reside in Brazil. Jacob
immigrated to America and died in Nebraska in
the fall of the year 1891. The others remained
in Germany. The children of Mr. Brach by his
second wife were named as follows: Susanna,
Emma, Peter, Anna E., Mary and Michael.
Peter is the subject of a biography in this volume.
Mary married Rudolph Bowman, a wagon maker,
and lives in Racine, Wisconsin. Their children
are: Emma, Clara, Albert and Charles. Michael
married Miss Katherine Thomas, while in Ger-



many, and the children born of this marriage are
Louisa and Arthur. By his second wife, Annie
Nelson, Michael Brach became the parent of two
children, Leo and Ellis, by name. He is propri-
etor of a gentlemen's furnishing store in Racine.
Mrs. Peter Brust came to America alone in 1851,
and traveled directly to Kenosha, Wisconsin, but
two years later removed to Chicago. Her elder
sisters died in their native land.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Brust are ac-
counted for as follows: Charles resides in Wood-
lawn, on Sixty-third Street, near Cottage Grove
Avenue, Chicago; Frank lives at No. 6125 Ellis
Avenue; Louisa, who is an instructor in the Ray-
mond school, lives at home; Ellen married H. R.
Orriny, further mention of whom appears in this
volume; Katy died at the age of eighteen months;
Mollie married Benjamin Stitcher and lives on
Fullerton Avenue; Elizabeth died at the age ol
fourteen months; William died when one year
old, and Edward lives at home.

Mr. Brust was a valuable and influential mem-
ber of the German Lutheran Church. Although
he never sought public office he was a strong up-
holder of the principles of the Democratic party.



JOHN WELANDER.



(lOHN WELANDER, who was born of the
I land and nation of health and strength, is a
O true representative of his native country, and
still has a worthy regard for the land of his birth
and childhood days. He was born November i ,
1869, in the factory town, Kungskogen, Verm-
land, Sweden. His parents were Eric and Carrie
(Olson) Welander and his father emigrated from
his native laud in early days, intending to locate
in America. His fate is still one of wonder, as he
was never afterward heard from.

John Welander was the first of his father's



family to emigrate to the United States. He
reached New Jersey June 20, 1883, and went
directly to Duluth, Minnesota, where he was
employed in a saw mill one year. He then went
to Ontario, Canada, and for two years worked on
the completion of the water works, in that city.
He returned to Duluth for one year, subsequent
to which time he remained two years in Ontario.
In July, 1888, he located in Chicago, his first
work being in the Goose Island stone quarries.
He was derrick man two years. He then opened
a grocery and milk depot at No. 150 Milton



NICHOLAS SINGLER.



653



Avenue, which business he retained eighteen
months. He was later employed at the depot of
the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad
one year, and has since been repairer for this
company. He is a valued and trusted employe
and seeks to give satisfaction to those he is in
the service of.

Mr. Welauder was married July 5, 1890, to
Miss Sophia, daughter of Eric and Margareta



(Swauson) Ericsou. Mrs. Welander was born
May 15, 1865, in the factory town of Long-
banhyttan, Vermland, Sweden. The only child
of Mr. and Mrs. Welander is Elmer John
Leonard, who was born September 28, 1891.
Mr. Welander is not a seeker after public honors
or recognition in the form of public office, but
strongly upholds the rights and principles of the
Republican party.



NICHOLAS SINGLER.



JJJICHOLAS SINGLER was a well-known
\j florist of the city of Chicago, who was en-
I LD gaged in this business a quarter of a cen-
tury, and during that time demonstrated his
knowledge and ability to the tastes of all lovers
of flowers in the western metropolis. He was
born May 23, 1846, in Altdorf, Amt (County) of
Attenheim, Baden, Germany, and was a son of
John Baptist and Ursula Singler, who were de-
scended from old Baden families. The family,
including Nicholas, who was eight years of age
at this time, immigrated to the United States in
1859 and settled in Chicago, Illinois. At this
location the parents died. For many years the
father was a vegetable gardener in Englewood.
The mother died in 1872, in the last-named sec-
tion, and the father in April, on the Wednesday
previous to Easter Sunday, in 1897, at the home
of his son, Nicholas.

Nicholas Singler was educated in the public
school of Englewood, in which village he thor-
oughly learned the trade of a carpenter. He
worked in shops where- cars were manufactured
until he became established in the florist's busi-
and was successful from the start. His



ness,



wife was of great assistance to him, being an eco-
nomical and careful manager. He began with



two greenhouses, occupying fifty feet of ground,
and continued at the carpenter's trade until the
increase in his business demanded his whole at-
tention.

In September, 1875, he removed to Morgan
Park, where he had previously purchased three
double lots, and to which he added more as time
progressed. He removed the material of his old
greenhouses, with which he helped to construct
the new buildings, and he owes somewhat of his
rapid success to his ability as a carpenter. He
was very industrious and watched his plants
grow, careful that on long winter nights they
were not subjected to frost. He even sat up, to
better attend the fires and keep his treasures from
freezing. The family is continuing the business
established by the father and prospering.

Mr. Singler chose for his wife and helpmate
Miss Josephine, daughter of Londoline and Sa-
bina (Kemph)Segar, natives of Baden, Germany.
Mrs. Singler was born in the same village as her
husband and came to America in April, 1865,
and located in New York for one year. After re-
siding in Pennsylvania four years, she came to
Chicago in May, 1870. Mr. and Mrs. Singler
were blessed with nine children, all of whom are
living at home, with her mother. They were



654



MATTHIAS THEOBALD.



named as follows: Joseph Albert, Lucy Sylva,
Henry Kobert, Sophia Margaret, Elizabeth Lau-
retta, Frank Aloysius, Edward, Charles and
Rosalie.

All members of the family are connected with
St. Margaret's Roman Catholic Church of Wash-
ington Heights. Mr. Singler was a kind hus-
band and father, and was honored and respected,
for his dealings with his fellow-men were above



reproach. His life is well worthy of emulation
by the generation of the day, and he was alike
beloved by friend and neighbor. He was never a
seeker for public office, believing he could better
serve his country as a private citizen.

A short time previous to his death, which oc-
curred August 20, 1893, Mr. Singler joined the
Independent Order of Foresters, and was held in
high esteem by every member of the order.



MATTHIAS THEOBALD.



IATTHIAS THEOBALD. Many of the

most enterprising and eminent of the citi-
zens of the United States are foreign born
and bred and owe much of their success to the
severe teachings and stern rearing of their fathers.
They are often possessed with a stubborn will
power and steadfastness found only in those
taught to face hardships that are not to be met
with in this land of ours. The German-born
citizens who have made fame and fortunes for
themselves are a good example for the youth of
the United States, and their constitutions are to
be envied them. Matthias Theobald is a typical
German- American and is among the foremost and
active of the young men of Chicago. He was
born February 22, 1857, in the village of St. Barb,
Alsace, Germany, and his parents were Johann
and Mary (Cornelius) Theobald.

Mr. Theobald was the first of his father's fam-
ily to emigrate from his native land and came to
AmeYica May 15, 1880. He came by way of New
York and Philadelphia to Chicago. He had
learned the trade of a carpenter in the land of his
nativity and his first work in this country was
done for Julius Miller, after which he worked for a
short time on the Keeley Brewery and subse-
quently on the South Side for Mr. Rosenthal.



He has continued to be employed by different
men since that time and is at present in the serv-
ice of John Bernreiter, of Burnside.

He was at Pullman thirteen months, occupied
on buildings in that locality, and has built a num-
ber of residences on contract. In 1892 he erect-
ed a residence for his own use at No. 7439 Lang-
ley Avenue, having previously built one at Park-
side, which he sold.

Johann Theobald died in 1869, at the age of
fifty years, having been a stone cutter. His wife
died in 1867, at the age of forty-eight years.
Her children are accounted for as follows:
George, deceased; Nicholas; John, deceased;
Jacob;. Mathias; Katharine; Peter; Martin, in
Harrison, New Jersey; Anton, John and Michael
in New Jersey, also.

Mathias Theobald was married October 23,
1883, to Miss Caroline, daughter of Joseph and
Caroline (Reis) Walker. Mrs. Theobald was
born April 8, 1855, in Baden, Germany, and
came to America in April, 1882. The members
of the family are connected with the Roman Cath-
olic Church and Mr. Theobald belongs to the Car-
penter's Union. He has never taken any active
part in politics, but votes the Democratic ticket at
every opportunity.



C. W. WILLARD.



655



CHARLES W. WILLARD.






EHARLES WRIGHT WILLARD was born
January 31, 1826, in Deerfield, Worcester
County, Massachusetts, and is a son of Hez-
ekiah and Sultana (Fisk) Willard. He is a di-
rect descendant of Maj. Simon Willard, who was
born at Horsmonden, England, in 1605. A gen-
ealogy of the Willard family, a copy of which is
in possession of the subject of this sketch, was
compiled by Joseph Willard in 1858. David
Willard, grandfather of C. W. Willard, married
Rebecca Pratt, a native of Winchester, New
Hampshire, and had the following children : Hez-
ekiah, Amos, Rebecca, Thirsa, Seraph and Olive.

Hezekiah Willard, father of Charles W. Wil-
lard, was born September 30, 1803, in Winchester,
New Hampshire. Sultana Fisk, his wife, was
born December 21, 1792, in South Deerfield, Mas-
sachusetts, and was of Scotch descent. Their
children were: Amos Fisk, Charles Wright, Hez-
ekiah Oscar and John Peters.

The business life of Charles W. Willard began
at the age of sixteen years, in Alstead, New
Hampshire. From there he went to Nashua, in
the same state, and worked as a blacksmith two
years. Going thence to Dorchester, Massachu-
setts, he there learned the trade of steam forger,
having as companion, his brother, John P. Wil-
lard. Together they went to Bridgewater, Mas-
sachusetts, where they worked the hammer which
turned out the armor for the first monitor, the
old Roanoke, comprising one hundred and sixty
tons of armor plate. They subsequently dupli-
cated this order for twenty-three gunboats, and
also filled various other government orders.



In 1862 they came to Chicago and engaged in
business with the firm of Pynchon, Willard &
Company. They established a forge at Archer
Avenue and Twenty-fourth Street, which was
known as the Chicago Steam Forge Works. Mr.
John Pynchon was the recognized head of the
concern, and had its financial management until
he was bought out by Charles W. Willard. They
started with one hammer, and by the help of in-
ventions perfected by the Willard brothers, and
which are protected by patents, the volume of
business was increased until it employed ten
hammers. The first of these patents covered an
improved valve-gear, and the next invention,
which proved the more valuable of the two, was
an iron-helve hammer. In course of time Mr.
C. W. Willard bought out all his partners, the
first one to sell being Mr. James W. Maxwell,
who left the firm in 1868, the next being Mr.
Willard's brother, and the last Mr. Pynchon.

In 1878 a charter covering the business was
secured, with the title of Willard Sons & Bell
Company. The plant was moved to South Chi-
cago and located on the Calumet River, fronting
on Ninety -eighth Street, in 1882, at which time
its capacity was quadrupled. The product con-
sists chiefly of car and locomotive axles, and
includes all kinds of forgings for railroad work.
Since the World's Fair, Mr. Willard's sons, Frank
and Lemuel, have assumed the practical manage-
ment of the business, thus giving the father a
much-needed rest after a long life of useful
activity. The two brothers, Charles W. and
John P. Willard, are now enjoying a competency,



6 5 6



C. F. SODERBERG.



which they have earned by a life of hard labor
and honest endeavor.

September 28, 1846, Charles W. Willard was
married to Miss Martha Ann Babcock, a daughter
of Lemuel E. and Sarah Emmeline (Buell) Bab-
cock. Martha A. Babcock was born October 22,
1832, in Windsor, Vermont, and died September
20, 1883, at South Chicago. She was the mother
of eight children. The eldest of these, Charles
Edward Willard, was born May 22, 1849, at Dor-
chester, Massachusetts. He married Ellen,
daughter of Charles E. Felton, of Chicago, and
has one child, named George Gale. Martha Emma
Willard, born April 12, 1851, at Dorchester, Mas-
sachusetts, married Kossuth H. Bell, March n,
1879, and has five children.

Frank Eugene, third child of C. W. Willard,
was born November 10, 1854, m East Boston,
Massachusetts. In March, 1885, he married
Anna, daughter of John Moran, of Cleveland,
Ohio. Their children are: Frank Valentine,
born February 14, 1894; Dorothy, April 26, 1895;
and Gladys, March 22, 1896. After graduating
from the Chicago High School in 1870, Mr. Wil-
lard was employed six years at the forge. He
then went into the offices of the Chicago Steam
Forge Works, and since July i, 1889, he has had
entire charge of these offices.

Freddy C., the fourth child of C. W. Willard,
born February 17, 1855, in Dorchester, Massachu-
setts, died July 30, 1857. Harriet Emmeline,
next, was born May 30, 1859, in Bridgewater,



Massachusetts, and died in Chicago May i, 1877,
having just graduated from the Chicago High
School.

Lemuel Clifton Willard was born October 17,
1862, in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. December
12, 1885, he was married to Miss Ellen, daugh-
ter of Anton Kahl, of Chicago. Their children
are: Ella Martha, born May 2, 1887; Harriet
Emmeline, December 12, 1893; and Wright
Clifton, September 6, 1896. At the age of six-
teen years he left school, and entered his father's
employ. In 1888 he took charge of the mechanical
portion of work of the establishment, and has con-
tinued in this position ever since.

The last two children of C. W. Willard and
wife were twins, Willie and Winnie, born in Chi-
cago, October 10, 1865. The former died on the
following day, and the latter September 30, 1867.

November 19, 1888, Charles W. Willard was
^married the second time, the bride being a sister
of his first wife, and the widow of his younger
brother, H. O. Willard. Hezekiah Oscar Wil-
lard was born February 13, 1827, in Winchester,
New Hampshire, and died March 22, 1886, at
Alstead, in the same state. January 28, 1846,
he was married to Sarah Emmeline Babcock, and
they became the parents of nine children.

Mr. Charles W. Willard was made a Mason, at
Bridgewater, Massachusetts, in 1861, becoming a
member of Bridgewater Lodge of that city. He
is a steadfast Republican in political principle,
but has never aspired to political offices or honors.



CARL F. SODERBERG.



EARL FREDERICK SODERBERG, who is
one of Chicago's representative citizens, is
one of the sturdy, hardy constitutioned na-
tives of Sweden, and though true to the memory
of his native land, he is loyal to the interests of



his adopted country. Born in the city of Hede-
mora, province of Dalarne, Sweden, September i,
1838, he is a son of Andrew and Annie (Ers-
dotter) Soderberg.
His father died in 1849, at the age of fifty-three



EDWARD REEHOFF.



657



years. He was a dyer and learned his trade in
Turkey. He conducted a very large business
and his son inherited the same. Mrs. Andrew
Soderberg was born in 1800, and died in the
year 1884. Her children were: Karin, who is
married, as is also Andretta, Carl Frederick and
two sisters who are still residents of their native
land.

Carl Frederick Soderberg conducted the busi-
ness of dyeing, inherited from his father, while
he remained in his native land. He is the only
one of the family who came to America, and
reached Chicago May 17, 1880, and was em-
ployed by the South Park Board for some time.
He has spent two years in the service of John
Berg & Brother, located at the corner of Fiftieth
Street and Fifth Avenue. During the interval
between the date of his leaving the service of the



South Park Board and entering the employment
of John Berg & Brother, he was fourteen years
in the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
Company's shops.

March 6, 1866, he was married to Miss Augusta
Hockert. Mrs. Soderberg was born January 18,
1840, in Jefle, Jestrikland, Sweden.

Her children are: Gustav Frederick Julius,
born December 10, 1867, and died August 9,
1869; Axel Frederick, born November 13, 1870,
and died April 19, 1872; Anna Rosa Euphrosene,
born May 28, 1874, and is now the wife of Carl
Hammor, and resides in Pullman. Mr. Soder-
berg resides at No. 5424 Weutworth Avenue. He
is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, and is honored and respected by all
other members of the congregation. In political
principle he is a Republican.



EDWARD REEHOFF.



[TOWARD REEHOFF was born at Copen-
r3 hagen October 26, 1860, the son of Edward
I and Johanna (Jensen) Reehoff, of that city.
His father was a merchant and died in 1878; his
mother still lives in that city, where she has
passed through the joys and sorrows of her life,
and where her five sons and five daughters were
born. Not one of these ten children has passed
away, and all but Edward are still living in the
old country. He is the second son and the third
child in order of birth.

He was naturally of a studious disposition,
and his parents, recognizing this circumstance,
as well as his native mental ability, gave him
educational opportunities above the ordinary.
He received diplomas from two schools; yet at
the age of fourteen found himself confronted with
the stern realities of life. Not so stern for him,



perhaps, as they may have been for lads of his
acquaintance, for he entered the employ of his
uncle, a wine merchant, who undertook to teach
him the business. This connection lasted for
twelve years. The young man, however, was
ambitious. Life in Copenhagen would always
be the same. Others had succeeded in the New
World; why not he? So in 1886 he emigrated
to America. From New York he went to Bay
City, Michigan, where he remained for six
months. Then he started out for the lumber
camps, where his education and his physical
strength stood him in equally good stead. He
could keep books or chop wood with like facilit3%
and he led the life of a lumberman for two years.
Tiring of his surroundings he came to Chicago.
For a time his occupations were varied. He was
bookkeeper and barkeeper, a waiter in a restau-



6 5 8



ANDREW JOHNSEN.



rant, and, in short, a man of general utility.
Finally he determined to make a new departure.
He learned to pack cigars. After three years of
hard work in this line he was able to buy out the
Jacobson cigar factory, at No. 192 Grand Avenue.
Under his practical skill and sound judgment the
business assumed constantly increasing propor-
tions. May i, 1897, he moved his factory to No.
843 West Division Street, where he still carries
on his business. His success has been pro-
nounced as it is deserved. His sales (1899) ag-
gregate more than half a million per year, and
are chiefly of a good quality. The "Pride" and



the "Perfection" are his leading brands. He
may well be proud of the first and plume himself
on the perfection of the second.

In 1893 he took to himself a wife, a Danish
lady, Miss Sophia Jacobsen. Five children were
born to them, four of whom are yet living:
Edward, Ellen, George and Valborg.

Mr. Reehoff takes little interest in politics, be-
ing thoroughly independent in the exercise of his
franchise. He is, however, an active member of
several societies Denmark Lodge No. 112,
Knights of Pythias; of the Society Dania; and
the singing society, Harmonica.



ANDREW JOHNSEN.



(31 NDREW JOHNSEN, who conducts a flour-
J I ishing business as a butcher at No. 658
/ I North Campbell Avenue, is a native of Den-
mark, having been born at Veiby, in that king-
dom, September 15, 1852. The death of his
father left him an orphan at the tender age of
seven months, and he was cared for and reared in
the family of Lars Jensen. At the age of four-
teen years he had completed the ordinary cur-
riculum of the common school, and it was thought
best that he should go to work. For nearly a
year after leaving school he worked as an errand
boy in a news store, but his adventurous inclina-
tions could not be thus easily tamed. Accord-
ingly he shipped "before the mast." The life,
although hard, suited him so well that he followed
it twenty-five years for five years as second
mate sailing over nearly the entire globe, visit-
ing not only the ports of England, France and
the Mediterranean, but also those of the East and
West Indies, as well as of Africa and Oceanica,
and doubling Cape Horn.

He came to Chicago, after a brief visit to Den-



mark, in 1882. For a short time he sailed the
lakes, and on becoming a landsman found em-
ployment with the leading wholesale firm of
Headstrom & Company, dealers in coal, as fore-
man. His chief duties were the responsible ones
which attach to the loading and unloading of
coal, and for four years he discharged them with
the same fidelity with which he has met all the
other obligations of life.

He left Headstrom & Company to engage in
business for himself. He opened a meat market
at the corner of North Halsted and Ohio Streets,
which he continued to conduct about seven years,
building up a large and profitable trade. In 1894
he erected the four-story building at the corner
of North Campbell and Potomac Avenues. His
shop occupies the lower floor, the upper stories
being arranged as flats.

Miss Getta Haavaldsen became the wife of Mr.
Johnsen in 1886. She first saw the light of
day in Norway. They have one daughter,
Bertha.

Mr. Johnsen is a strong Republican in politics.



P. F. ROFINOT.



659



He was initiated into the Masonic order at the
little town of Ardrossen, Scotland, and is an act-
ive member of Denmark Lodge, Knights of



Pythias, in which he has attained the dignity of
Past Chancellor. He is also a member of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church.



PETER F. ROFINOT.



QETER FRANCOIS ROFINOT, who comes

yr of a very old and respected family, is one of
\S Chicago's retired citizens, having gained
enough of this world's goods to satisfy his per-
sonal demands during the remainder of his life.
He was born January 14, 1815, in the village of
Dambelin, France, a son of John Francois and
Josette (Contin) Rofinot. The people of France
are well known to be a race of happy, graceful,
refined people, genteel and proud to a fault, and,
though gay and dashing, are probably the most
harmonious and contented of the human race.

The Rofinots were in Napoleon Bonaparte's
army, and the name is traced back many gene-
rations. The grandfather of the man whose
name heads this article, Claude Rofinot, died in
1832, at the age of eighty-eight years. He mar-
ried for his first wife Cecile Guenot, and her
children were: Francis, John and Ceretine. By
his second wife he became the father of one child,
Thomas. None of this family ever emigrated
from their native laud. Claude Rofinot was a
contractor, with immense business interests, and
his son, John Francois, inherited these interests.
The maternal grandfather of Peter Francois
Rofinot was Philip Contin, who had eleven chil-
dren, Josette being the youngest. Mr. Contin
was of a very aristocratic family, and owned and
cultivated extensive lands.

John Francois Rofinot and his eleven children
emigrated from their native land in 1834, and
reached New York June 30 of that year, having
spent seventy-two days on the trip. After ar-



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 99 of 111)