H. J. Westhues, filling the office of prosecuting attorney of Cole county and a well known resident of Jefferson City, was born in Westphalia, Germany, June 6, 1889, but in 1892, when only four years of age, was brought to America by his parents William and Teresa Westhues, who settled in Howard county. The father was a farmer, living a most active and useful life and becoming recognized as one of the prominent agriculturists of his community.
H. J. Westhues obtained his education in the Catholic school of Glasgow and when his textbooks were put aside assisted his father on the farm for a time. Desiring, however, to enter upon a professional career he went to St. Louis to 1908 and took up the study of law in the St. Louis University, from which he was graduated with the class of 1912, winning the LL. B. degree. However, he was admitted to the bar in the previous year upon successfully passing the required examination at Jefferson City. He entered upon the general practice of law in Jefferson City in 1912 and was elected soon afterward to the office of city attorney. In 1918 he was elected prosecuting attorney for Cole county by a majority of more than a thousand, notwithstanding he is a supporter of the republican principles and Cole county normally gives a strong democratic majority. In 1920 he was reelected by a majority of over two thousand, a fact which indicates clearly how strong he is with his fellow citizens, who recognize his capability as an office holder and his devotion to high American ideals. Only four years of age when brought to the United States, he has known no other home than America, has been taught no other principles than those which underlie the government of this country. He served as secretary of the draft board during the World war and was very active in all the important drives, making speeches in their behalf and doing everything in his power to secure the necessary support for the American army.
At Jefferson City in 1916 Mr. Westhues was married to Miss Helen Roer, who belongs to one of the old Missouri families. Her father is engaged in the insurance business in Jefferson City and is quite active as a business man and in connection with public affairs as well. Mr. and Mrs. Westhues have become parents of two daughters: Rosemary and Marie.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church and Mr. Westhues is at the head of the local council of the Knights of Columbus. He is very fond of hunting small game and turns to the open for recreation and diversion. He has always been a reader of good books and possesses a studious nature, while his straightforwardness and his sincerity have established him high in the opinion of his fellowmen.