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Location: Alton Illinois

The Kribs Family of Prairie du Rocher Illinois

The best teacher, it is said, is experience. C. J. Kribs, circuit clerk of Randolph County, has had varied experiences. He was born February 19, 1867, in Belleville, Illinois. He attended the parochial and public schools, after which he learned the trade of harness maker in St. Louis. After a residence of five years in this city he went to Chicago and worked for four years as assistant store-keeper in the Illinois Steel Works. Then he went to Prairie du Rocher, and after a short stay went to St. Louis, working for the Metropolitan Insurance Co. He was promoted...

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Biography of William Emil Sauer, M.D.

Dr. William Emil Sauer, a St. Louis physician now limiting his practice to diseases of the ear, nose and throat, was born in Evansville, Illinois, April 17, 1875. His father, Nicholas Sauer, also a native of that state, belonged to one of the old Illinois families of German descent, the first of the name in America being Philip Sauer, who on crossing the Atlantic made his way at once to Illinois, where he followed farming and stock raising. Nicholas Sauer became a successful flour manufacturer, carrying on business first at Evansville, Illinois, and later at Cherryvale, Kansas. He died in Evansville in 1908 at the age of sixty-seven years. In politics he was a republican and took quite an active interest in political and civic matters, standing at all times for progress and improvement in public affairs. He married Elizabeth Gerlach, who was born in Virginia and belonged to one of the old families of that state of German lineage. She is still living at the old home in Evansville. By her marriage she became the mother of five children, four sons and a daughter: John, residing at Cherryvale, Kansas; Magdeana, Philip and George, who make their home in Evansville; and William E. In the acquirement of his education Dr. Sauer attended the public schools of Evansville, the high school at Sparta, Illinois, and Shurtleff College at Upper Alton,...

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Biography of S. W. Wilkinson

S. W. WILKINSON. This prominent general merchant of Willow Springs, Missouri, was born in Alton, Illinois, January 6, 1856, son of Simon and Anna (Lea) Wilkinson, both natives of England. The parents came to the United States about 1850 and settled in the Prairie State, where the father followed farming until his death in 1859. The mother is now living in Missouri. Their family consisted of five children, and our subject is the only one now living. S. W. Wilkinson passed his early life in Missouri, whither his mother had moved before the war, and when he was about thirteen years of age began clerking in a store. In about 1883 he embarked in business for himself at Leesburgh, this State, continued this for one year, and then in 1884 came to Willow Springs. Here he engaged in general merchandising, and in 1890 he erected the large commercial house in which he now carries on business. This is one of the best business buildings in the city, 28×90, two stories in height and a basement. Mr. Wilkinson carries a stock of goods valued at from $6,000 to $7,000 and his trade extends over a wide scope of country. He employs two clerks, is doing a good business, and is a young, energetic business man. Mr. Wilkinson started for himself in a small way, but by industry and close attention...

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Biography of W. S. Ferguson

W. S. Ferguson is secretary and treasurer of The Locomotive Finished Material Company of Atchison, one of the most important industries of the city. Mr. Ferguson had been identified with Kansas and Atchison for over thirty years, and throughout that time had been connected with the foundry and manufacturing business in different capacities. He is now the oldest executive official in point of continuous service of The Locomotive Finished Material Company. He represents an old and honored family name in the City of Alton, Illinois, where he was born January 16, 1861. The Fergusons for several generations were linen drapers in Belfast, Ireland, From that city Mr. Ferguson’s grandfather crossed the ocean and settled in New York State. F. H. Ferguson, father of W. S., was born in New York in 1838, and when a boy removed to Alton, where the family were old settlers. He grew up and married in that historic city and for a number of years was a merchant. For several years he served as recorder, city clerk and comptroller, and later was connected with the Hapgood Plow Company, one of the largest plow manufactories in the Middle West. He is still living at Alton, being now retired. He is a democrat, a member of the Masonic fraternity, and a Knight Templar. In 1858 he married Julia E. Sneyd, who was born in Philadelphia in...

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Biography of Henry Baden

Henry Baden. A successful business career like that of Henry Baden of Independence indicates that persistence together with good judgment and enterprise is practically sure to win its goal. Mr. Baden is the pioneer merchant of Independence, had been in business in that city forty-six years, ever since the town was placed on the map in that part of Southern Kansas, and he is now distinguished as being the largest retail and wholesale merchant in that section of the country and one of the largest in the entire state. A history of the life of Henry Baden is not only valuable for its individual detail but also as a part of the commercial record of Independence. He is of German stock and ancestry, and was born in the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, April 22, 1844. His parents were J. P. and Mrs. (Luebmann) Baden, both natives of Hanover, the former born in 1795 and the latter in 1798. The father died there in 1871 and the mother in 1851. They were substantial farming people. They had five children: Diedrich, who came to America in 1868 and was employed in the tobacco factory at Hannibal, Missouri, until his death; Maria, wife of Hammond Dittmar, living on their farm near Independence; John W., who was associated with his brother Henry in the mercantile business at Independence and who died there in...

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Biography of Franklin Barry Simms

Franklin Barry Simms. During a residence of thirty years or more in Topeka, a thoroughly public spirited citizenship had been one of the chief characteristics of Franklin Barry Simms. He had also administered his private affairs with success, had built up and made a name and repntation for one of the largest laundries and eleaning houses in the city, and had devoted himself with utmost unselfishness to the welfare of the community. He started life as a printer and it was in that capacity that he was first known in Kansas. He was born at Alton, Madison County, Illinois, April 9, 1851, being one of the eleven children of Doctor David and Sarah (Manley) Simms. His parents were both of the same age and were both natives of Derbyshire, England. They were married in England in 1844, and on the same day set out for America, coming with a party of relatives. David Simms was a physician and also an excellent business man. On coming to America they located at what was then called Frenchtown close to the City of St. Louis. Later he established himself in the City of Alton, and enjoyed a large practice as a physician there for many years. He also built up an extensive wholesale drug house. For a number of years this house furnished the oil for the Chicago and Alton Railroad. One...

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Biography of David Prager

David Prager. It was the influence of his personality and character as much as his successful business activities that made David Prager so useful and valuable a citizen of Fort Scott, where he resided for over forty years. His carcer illustrates the fact that the successful man is not necessarily the selfish man. He did not keep the resources of his heart nor of his material means to himself, but dispensed them with free hand among his family, his friends and the entire community. He was one of Fort Scott’s most beloved and best known citizens. David Prager was born in a village in Bavaria, Germany, June 7, 1834. He lived in Kansas from territorial days until his death at his home, 224 South Crawford Street, in Fort Scott, November 26, 1911. His death, due to heart failure, came suddenly, and though in his seventy-eighth year at the time, it was a heavy blow to the community. His early education was acquired in his native land. At the age of fifteen he came to the United States and joined an older brother at St. Louis. He also lived for a few years in Peoria and Alton, Illinois. On coming to this country he began an apprenticeship as a jeweler and goldsmith. He finished the apprenticeship at Alton, and in 1858 arrived at Lawrence, Kansas, then the chief center of...

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Biographical Sketch of W. H. K. Pile

W. H. K. Pile, real estate, collecting and insurance agent, Mattoon; was born in Breckinridge Co., Ky., Feb. 17, 1819; he was reared on a farm, and learned his trade, that of a wagon-maker, during his minority; at the age of 20, he began life for himself, following his trade and that of a carpenter, till 25 years of age; he then engaged in farming for five years; in1855, he came West to Illinois, and settled south of Charleston, Coles Co.; in 1856, he came to Mattoon, and engaged in operating a hotel; in 1857, he was elected Police Magistrate of the city; in 1858, he was chosen Associate Justice of Coles Co., with Judges Edwards and Leach; in 1859, he was elected School Commissioner of Coles Co., and served two years; in the winter of 1862, he removed to Charleston and operated a hotel, and, in 1863, located in Alton and engaged in the same business; in 1867, he returned to Mattoon, and engaged as traveling salesman for a firm in Louisville, Ky.; in 1869, he was again chosen Police Magistrate, and held the office four years; in 1873, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and remained in office four years; during the years of 1875, 1876 and 1877, he traveled for a firm, loaning money on real estate; for the past year he has devoted his...

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Biography of Grant Waggoner

Grant Waggoner is a specialist in mining law with office and practice at Baxter Springs, Kansas. He has claimed his home at Baxter Springs since 1909, but did not open his law office in that city until 1912. While most of his practice is connected with some phase or other of the mining industry, he also handles a general civil and criminal practice. In 1914 Mr. Waggouer was elected from his district as representative in the State Legislature. He proved an able champion of all progressive legislation enacted during his term, and was particularly at the front in all matters concerning his particular district, which is largely a mining and industrial section. He was chairman of the Mines and Mining Committee and a member of the Judiciary Committee, Railroad Committee, Private Corporation Committee and Roads and Highways Committee. He was very active in securing the passage of the dynamite bill which regulates the sale of dynamite and other high explosives in Kansas. Mr. Waggoner was born in Montgomery County, Illinois, May 29, 1888. His family had lived in Illinois since pioneer times. The original seat of the Waggoner family was at historic Bingen on the Rhine in Germany. From there three brothers of the name crossed the ocean and in colonial days settled in Delaware. Mr. Waggoner’s grandfather George W. Waggoner was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, in 1826,...

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