William Paul Gerhardt

Age: 57 years, 6 months, 1 day


DOB: Jan. 17, 1897
Carbon Cliff, IL USA

DOD: July 18, 1954
At home, Beecher, IL USA



Moline High School 1915 Paul Gerhardt. I'm not sure if this really is William Paul Gerhardt or not

Moline High School 1915 Paul Gerhardt. We’re not sure if this really is William Paul Gerhardt or not

Son of William F. and Nellie (nee Nelson) Gerhardt

Brother to: Margaret and Gertrude (Edward Erickson) Gerhardt

Attended Augustana College & University of Illinois

Worked at R & V Wagner Ordinance Co, E. Moline, IL June 1918

Husband of Mary Stella Coffman, married August 18, 1918 in Chicago, IL

Served in WW1 Naval Reserves, June 19, 1918 through Sept 15, 1919

Born January 17, 1897, in Carbon Cliff, Illinois, Mr. Gerhardt had been a resident of Beecher for 20 years and was superintendent of Beecher Schools for 16 years. From 1951-1954, he taught social science and acted as guidance director for the schools.

He was a member of Chicago Heights American Legion Post 131, secretary of Beecher Lodge 1087; president of the Beecher Community Church board; a Bible class instructor; a member of the Royal Neighbors of America; a member of Kappa Delta Phi and Phi Delta Kappa, and a member of the National Education Association and Illinois Education Association. He was a graduate of Augustana College and had received his master’s degree from the University of Illinois.

August 18, 1949   – Beecher Herald


8-18-1949 Gerhardt - Wisc ResortAnnounces That Schools Will Open Here On The Day After Labor Day

Paul Gerhardt, our genial Supt. of Schools, who is vacationing in Wisconsin, has the following to say in a letter dated Aug. 10 at Summitt Lake, Wisc.:
School will start the day after Labor Day – perhaps Labor Day will be a school holiday this year. The State Legislature passed the bill, but as yet, the Governor has not signed it. Perhaps he soon will.
An announcement will be made later as to the time, perhaps two days during the week before Labor Day, when parents may procure the books and supplies rented to the pupils for next year. These may be procured at the school at that time. All rentals will be CASH, as credit will involve too much confusion and bookkeeping. Rental fees will be published before that date.
Have you seen the newly remodeled grade school rooms and home economics department? After they are cleaned up, come in and see what can be done to an old room with a reasonable amount of work and expense. Compare the sound effects and lighting with those in the new addition and see the difference. We sincerely hope you will inspect the building before school begins, also the new desks.

 the article continues:     HIGHWAYS

8-18-1949 Gerhardt - HighwaysSince we are becoming road or highway conscious in Illinois, as well as education conscious, I want to comment on the excellent condition of the highways all over Wisconsin. There has been extensive improvements over a year ago, and the detours all over concrete or black top only indicate the fact that Wisconsin is doing a lot of road work. Even her off-roads are far better that our trunk lines. How can a poor state, relatively speaking, like Wisconsin be so progressive as far as all its highways, county as well as state, are concerned, and the richest state, with due apologies to California, be so hesitant to improving its highways much less building new ones? Perhaps we should not even mention our county roads at all. A year ago, in driving 600 miles of Wisconsin’s main highways and county roads, the writer hit only a few miles of bad roads, and it was awful. However, it was a stretch of highway passing a federal explosive storage area and the Federal Government had control of the upkeep of that strip of road.
Another sister state that is doing a great deal towards road building and road repairs (black-topping) is our neighbor state of Indiana – another state not especially known for its wealth. But somehow it is finding money with which to build and repair highways. IF there is some secret that these states and especially Wisconsin have perhaps they would share that secret with Illinois. Perhaps it would help in our extensive planning for a state highway system at this time. Certainly it would do no harm for us in Illinois to make a study of the methods used in financing both state and county road construction in some of our sister states.

January 1, 1953  – Beecher Herald


1-1-1953 Gerhardt

A standard Course in First Aid to be taught by Paul Gerhardt, is now being organized under the sponsorship of the public schools. This class, which is open to all adults in this and the surrounding area, will be offered if enough people are interested.
This training is especially important now because of the program of civilian defense underway.
Study materials for the eight evening meetings at the Beecher Public School will include the Red Cross First Aid textbook, the Civilian Defense Supplement, and the bulletin on the new method of administering first aid.
The first meeting will be held Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m., at which another more suitable evening may be chosen.
Those interested should notify the school by calling 3671 or 2781. Because the course has not been given here for several years, most of the Red Cross First Aid cards are no longer effective. These cards are effective for three years.

July 20, 1954 – Chicago Heights Star


Paul Gerhardt obit-the starFuneral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. today for Paul Gerhardt, 57 an instructor and guidance director for Beecher Schools, who died Sunday morning at his home on Prairie Avenue in Beecher after a long illness.

The rites will be conducted in the Hack Chapel, with Dr. John Williamson officiating. Burial will be in the Beecher Mausoleum, with Beecher Lodge 1087 conducting the graveside rites.

Born January 17, 1897, in Carbon Cliff, Ill., Mr. Gerhardt had been a resident of Beecher for 20 years and was superintendent of Beecher schools for 16 years. For the past four years he taught social science and acted as guidance director for the schools.


Old Main Building Augustana College, Rock Island, IL

He was a member of Chicago Heights American Legion Post 131; secretary of Beecher Lodge 1087; president of the Beecher Community church board; a bible class instructor; a member of the Royal Neighbors of America; a member of Kappa Delta Phi and Phi Delta Kappa, and a member of the National Education Association. He was a graduate of Augustana college and had received a master’s degree from the University of Illinois. kappa-delta-phi-educational-foundation-edward-f-we-66

Mer. Gerhardt is survived by his wife, Mary; one sister, Mrs. Edward Erickson of Carbon Cliff, and five nephews and seven nieces.

July 22, 1954 – Beecher Herald


7-22-1954 Gerhardt

The many friends, both young and old, deeply mourn the passing of Paul Gerhardt, 57, at his home on Prairie Avenue, early Sunday morning, following several months’ illness.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. today for Paul Gerhardt, 57 an instructor and guidance director of Beecher Schools, who died Sunday morning at his home on Prairie Avenue in Beecher after a long illness.
The rites will be conducted in the Hack Chapel, with Dr. John Williamson officiating. Burial will be in the Beecher Mausoleum, with Beecher Lodge 1087 conducting the graveside rites.
Born January 17, 1897, in Carbon Cliff, IL, Mr. Gerhardt had been a resident of Beecher for 20 years and was superintendent of Beecher schools for 16 years. For the past four years he taught social science and acted as guidance director for the schools.
He was a member of Chicago Heights American Legion Post 131; AmerLegioncolorEmblemsecretary of Beecher Lodge 1087; president of the Beecher Community church board; a bible class instructor; a member of the Royal Neighbors of America; a member of Kappa Delta Phi and Phi Delta Kappa; and a member of the National Education Association and Illinois Education Association. He was a graduate of Augustana College and had received a master’s degree from the University of Illinois.
Mr. Gerhardt is survived by his wire, Mary: one sister, Mrs. Edward Erickson of Carbon Cliff , and five nephews and seven nieces.

July 29, 1954  – Beecher Herald


7-29-1954 Gerhardt

A group of representatives of the Alumni, P.T.A. and faculty met in the Beecher High School on Monday, July 26th. Members present included Mrs. Shirley Wille, chairman; Miss Garneta Ehlers, treasurer; Mrs. Charlene Graham, Mrs. Kiedaisch, Norman Holdt and Alfred Pirtle.
Plans were discussed regarding the promotion of a memorial fund for Mr. Paul Gerhardt, who was a teacher and superintendent in the Beecher schools for twenty years. The general consensus of opinion would indicate that something useful and permanent should be donated to the school from the fund.
Donations for this fund should be given or sent to Miss Ehlers at the Farmers State Bank. Plans for another meeting of this committee has been set for 8 o’clock August 20th, at the high school. Anyone interested in attending this meeting, please feel free to come.

November 25, 1954  – Beecher Herald


11-25-1954 Gerhardt

At last Tuesday night’s P.T.A. meeting, the members and guests were permitted to watch a regular school board meeting. The able president of the board, Carl Peterson presided, with Wilmer Selk acting as secretary Pro-Tem, due to the absence of the board secretary, Arnold Brands. Printed sheets of the business to be considered were given to the PTAers so they could have a clear understanding of the board procedure.
One point was discussion of the necessity of increasing the education tax rate. Right now, Beecher’s pay for new teachers is on the average about $300 less than communities like Beecher, which means the difficulty in getting more teachers will be increasingly more acute in the future. This year the sate funds for education aid will be about 10 percent less which means a loss of several thousand dollars to this area. Another item pointed out in the discussion is the fact that the tax rate for education is the same as it was when the unit system was organized although the expenses have risen yearly.
Board members present were Pres. Peterson, Wilmer Selk, John Weber and Ray Wassman. The treasurer, Henry Ohlendorf and Superintendent French were also present.
Rev. H. Wunderlich gave a prayer of Thanksgiving at the beginning of the PTA meeting. Mrs. James Franks presided in the absence of Mrs. Zehr.
The Paul Gerhardt memorials were presented to the school by Mrs. Willard Wille, chairman of the Gerhardt memorial fund for the school and were accepted by the Sr. class president, Walter Schultz. A fitting tribute was paid to the late Paul Gerhardt by coach Welton Stedt, who spoke as a student, a subordinate, a co-worker and as a friend.
The high school chorus under the direction of Miss Torri, sang a Thanksgiving Medley that was well received.
Refreshments were served by the members of the Freshman and Sophmore classes.

The symbol on William’s headstone indicates he was a member of the freemasons.


William Paul Gerhardt’s family members also resting in the mausoleum are:
Wife: Mary Stella (Coffman) Gerhardt West

Help Please

Does anyone have a photo of William Gerhardt or Marry Stella (Coffman) Gerhardt West ?





Edmund C. Hack

Age: 66 years, 2 months, 1 day


DOB: January 13, 1888
Beecher, IL USA

DOD: March 14, 1954
St. Margaret’s Hospital, Hammond, IN USA

Son of Henry Hack and Mary (Bielfeldt) Hack

Brother of Albert B. “Pat” Hack.

Husband of Margaretha Schwarz Hack, married November 20, 1912.

Father to:  Henry R. Hack, Thoedore A. (Charlotte Paul), Robert (Sara Funkhouser) and LeRoy (Lucy Jean Emry) Hack


Two Young Beecher Boys Become Full-fledged Doctors

Both Have Locations and Will Begin Practice at Once

Dr Hack & Dr. Wegert 1911Two of Beecher’s young men have become full-fledged doctors, having received their “sheepskins” from the Bennett Medical College at Chicago at their graduation on last Monday. Ed. Hack, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hack, and Henry H. Wegert, brother of R.H. Wegert, our tonsorial artist, were the two who were honored. Both young men are well and favorably known, and their many friends will join us in wishing them success in their chosen professional vocation.Loyola School of Medicine 1911

Those from Beecher who attended the graduation exercises were: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hack and son, Arthur, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hack, Herman Hack and family, Mr. and Mrs. H.F. Thielman and children, Dr. and Mrs. D.D. Van Voorhis, Mrs. Henry Bielfeldt and son, Elmer, Mr. and Mrs. R.H. Wegert, Albert Hack and Miss Marie Deneke.

Dr. Wegert has accepted an interne at the West Side Emergancy hospital at Chicago, and Dr. Hack and his college friend Dr. Methrow, who also graduated, Monday, have accepted a like call at the Rockford hospital.

All three young doctors are thrifty, ambitious and full of vim and no doubt will become popular and successful in their profession as physicians and surgeons.


Young Beecher Doctor Married at Chicago Wednesday Afternoon

Will Make Their Home in Wisconsin, Where Groom Will Practice

Dr. Hack Takes a Chicago Bride 1912Dr. Edmund C. Hack, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hack of Beecher, was married, Wednesday afternoon, at 3:30 o’clock, to Miss Margaret Schwarz, at 2335 California Avenue, Chicago, Rev. Krohn, a Lutheran pastor, officiating.
The bridesmaids were Miss Marie Deneke of Beecher and Miss Anna Miller of Chicago, and the groom’s attendants were Mr. Ernest Hummer of Chicago and Mr. Albert Hack of Beecher, brother of the groom. Only near relatives and friends were present at the ceremony. Those from here who attended the wedding were Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hack, Mrs. H.F. Thielman, Miss Marie Deneke, Albert Hack and Miss Hilda Tillotson of Crete.
After the ceremony and elaborate wedding, dinner was served and a very pleasant time was had.
The bride is a highly esteemed young lady and has a large circle of friends in her neighborhood in the city.
Our readers are all too well known to the groom for us to comment on his excellent traits. He was born and reared in our midst and is a popular, honorable, ambitious young gentleman. Having recently graduated from the Bennett Medical College at Chicago, he is a full-fledged physician and surgeon, and promises to be a rising young doctor.
Dr. and Mrs. Hack will spend a couple of weeks here at the home of the groom’s parents. In the first week in December they expect to go to their new home at Symco, Waupaca County, Wisconsin, where the doctor will assume an office and begin the practice of his profession.
We join with the many friends in extending congratulations to the newly wedded couple, and wish them success and happiness through life.




Dr. Edmund C. Hack Laid to Rest 1954Dr. Edmund C. Hack, 66, of 7147 Olcott Avenue, Hammond, Ind. died suddenly early Saturday morning, at St. Margaret’s Hospital there. Although ailing for some time with a heart condition, news of his death came as a shock to relatives and his many friends in this community.

Dr. Hack was born January 13, 1888, at Beecher. A graduate of Valparaiso University and Loyola Medical (Bennett) School, he had been a physician in Hammond for the past 30 years. He was a staff member at St. Margaret’s hospital and a member of the American and Lake County Medical Associations. He was also a member of Beecher Lodge 1087, AF & AM, Orak Shrine and South Bend consistory.St. Margaret's hospital

Immediate survivors are his wife, Margaret; three sons, Theodore and Leroy of Hammond and Robert of Indianapolis; one brother, Albert of Beecher, and two granddaughters.

Funeral services were held Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at the Burns Funeral Home, Hammond, with Rev. Joyce officiating. Interment was in the Beecher Mausoleum.

Freemason-symbol half inchThe Beecher Masonic Lodge conducted graveside rites.

Edmund’s family members also resting in the mausoleum are:

Wife: Margaretha B (Schwarz) Hack
Father & Mother: Henry Hack & Mary Wiebke (Bielfeldt) Hack
Uncle & Aunt: Herman Hack & Eva F. (Ruge) Hack
Uncle & Aunt: Charles J. Hack & Anna (Schroeder, Schmaedeke) Hack
Cousins: Rose W. (Hack) Dunlap & Asa James Dunlap
Cousins: Arthur Hack & Ethel (Wehmhoefer) Hack
Parents of cousins wife: Henry Wehmhoefer & Augusta (Wehling) Wehmhoefer
Cousins: William Bielfeldt & Minnie (Baumgartner) Bielfeldt
Son of cousins: Raymond J Bielfeldt
Cousins: Minnie K. (Bielfeldt) Thielman & Henry F. Thielman

Other, more distant family include: Bahlman, Batterman, Bergmeier, Beseke, Bohl, Cloidt, Dunlap, Engleking,  Fenske, Fick, Freerking, Frobose, Graham, Guritz, Hager, Haltenhof , Heine, Heldt, Hildeman, Hinze, Hoffman, Hoppensteadt, Horn, Hunte, Kaczynski, Kappe, Kilborn,  Kirchhoff,  Klocksieben, Koch, Langreder, Leder, Maass, Matthias, Mc Carty, Meyer, Monk, Niedert, Ohlendorf, Pansa, Peters, Pralle, Riley, Ristenpart, Rohe, Rust, Saller, Selk, Struve, Thielman, Vagt, Von Engeln, Wegert, Wehmhoefer, Wiechen, Wilkening,






Dr. Michael Miley, Olive Miley, Alice Miley

Age: 80 years, 2 months, 4 days

(Swiss spelling: MEULI)

DOB: November 28, 1858
Alma, WI USA

DOD: February 1, 1939
at home, Beecher, IL USA

Son of Theodore and Anna Maria (nee Ruetter) Meuli

Brother to: Mathias, Mary (Christian Wilhelm), Louisa (husband Vollmer) , Christine (Andrew J. Wilhelm), Caroline (Frank A. Masterson) and Julia (Louis Blum) Meuli

Husband to Anna Emeilie (nee Manz), married October 14, 1899.

Alice Olive  Bernice 19XX  Olive is the baby in the center

Alice Olive Bernice 19XX
Olive is the baby in the center





Father to: Alice A, Bernice E. (Albert A. Anderson Jr.) Mary, Milton and Olive M. Miley




 1907-1914  Henry Thielman and Dr. Miley were strong advocates for Hard Roads (gravel roads) and wrote many interesting newspaper articles on the subject. If you would like to read some of their articles, click on the link below.


October 22, 1909 – Beecher Herald

Some Observations Made On a Trip Through the Great Northwest

Dr. Miley's Some obersavations made on a trip through the great northwest

Dr. Miley’s article is a little on the long side, if you would like to read the full article, click on the linkpdf2-1.00 to open a PDF version of the full article


Volumn 2, Published 1928

Michael R. Miley, M.D., of Beecher, is a representative member of the medical profession of Will County and a leading citizen of the community in which he lives. He was born in Wisconsin, Nov. 28, 1858, the son of Theodore and Anna (Ritter) Miley.

Both Theodore Miley and his wife were natives of Switzerland. Their marriage took place at Madison, Wisc., where they had both located early in life. Mr. Miley was a successful farmer until the time of his death, which occurred about 1886. His wife died in 1880. Both are buried at Alma, Wis. Mr. and Mrs. Miley were the parents of seven children, two of whom survive: Michael R., the subject of this sketch; and Julia Blum, who lives at West Palm Beach, Florida.

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University

Mr. and Mrs. Miley

Dr. M. R. & Anna Miley

Michael R. Miley spent his boyhood in Wisconsin and was educated in the public schools there. He later attended Valparaiso University and in 1896 was graduated from Rush Medical College. He spent a year in private practice in Chicago, and then located at Beecher, in August, 1897.


On Oct. 14, 1899, Dr. Miley was united in marriage with Miss Emily Manz, a native of Wisconsin. They had the following children: Alice, Bernice, and Olive, all at home; and Milton, who died in infancy.

Dr. Mileys house built 1901

Dr. Mileys house built 1901

Dr. Miley is a republican and has served as mayor of Beecher for two terms. He has been a member of the school board for 27 years. He is identified with the Will County Medical Society, and Illinois State Medical Society. He is a member of the Lutheran Church, and is affiliated with A.F. and A.M. No. 1087, Beecher, and Modern Woodmen of America. Dr. Miley is widely known in Beecher and takes an active interest in the social and civic life.




One of my favorite stories is from Howard Paul’s Book : Reflections of our Small Town, published 1995:

Dr. Miley and his 1909 metz runabout
With Alice and Bernice

“The doctor was always interested in any new mode of transportation and when the invention of the automobile was announced, he was one of the first to order a Metz Runabout in 1909.

There were no such firms as garages and so he ordered the 14 separate packages, each costing about $25. Completely constructed automobiles were not available, and so the put-it-together-yourself kits were sold.

Dr. Miley read the instructions carefully and produced his car; however, he missed one important instruction. The chain that propelled the vehicle was installed backwards and, when the doctor started the car, it would only go in reverse.

Fritz Hinze, the town constable, told him: ‘You can’t go backing around Beecher. That’s against the law. Don’t see why you bought one of them newfangle things. They will never be accepted by the people.’

The doctor re-read the instructions and put the chain in correctly… spinning around town at three miles per hour.”


March 17, 1911 – Beecher Herald


Dr. M.R. Miley’s Modern Two-Story Concrete House

One of the Most Beautiful and Substantial in Will County

Dr. Miley's New Home 1911

We print herewith a photographic reproduction of Dr. M. R. Miley’s new residence, which was completed last fall and is now occupied by the doctor and his family.

Dr. Miley Beautiful Residence


The residence, which is one of the most beautiful and substantial in Will County, is situated on the northwest corner of Indiana and Catalpa streets. It is a two-story building. 40×52 feet, has 12 rooms and a basement, besides a generous number of closets, halls, etc. The house is modern in every way, having hot and cold water, bath, furnace heat, individual gas plant and everything essential for convenience and comfort.

On October 31, 1909, the firm of Hoff and Wiggenhouser were ordered to manufacture during the winter enough panel-faced concrete blocks to build a good sized house, the exact number and special forms of blocks to be determined after an architect had drawn up plans and specifications. In February, H.F. Balgemann of Eagle Lake was engaged to draw up the plans and specifications, which were furnished in the later part of May and according to which the present structure was erected. Wm. Osterneier started excavation for the basement on June 15th and Wm. Ohlenkamp and Wm. Ruwaldt dug the necessary drains, cesspool, and ditches for concrete footings. Hoff & Wiggenhauser kept making the different blocks for basement, and up to the water table, the water table itself and the sills and caps for doors and windows, and on July 2nd began to lay the footings and erect the building. Their work and the painting and varnishing proved the most satisfactory of all the work connected with the building.

Dr. Miley's House @ 1909 , Painting at the Beecher Historical Society museum. Artist: Norma ?

Dr. Miley’s House @ 1909 , Painting at the Beecher Historical Society museum. Artist: Norma ?

The carpenter work was done by Henry Hunte, assisted by Herman Siems and his two sons, Albert and Carl Hunte, and was begun August 4th.

The roof was made of Asbestos Century shingles, made by Keasby & Nattison of Ambler, Pa., and so far proved very satisfactory, giving a pleasing effect and making a good roof.

The plastering was done with wood mortar and a hard finish by Fred Lorbach of Peotone and Wm. Warneke. Instead of the laths, Sackett plaster board was used and thus far has proved quite satisfactory.

Emil Koch and Henry Wehmhoefer did the work and supplied the material for the metal required, such as tin gutters, tin decks, cresting, etc.

The plumbing and installing of the hot water heating plant was done by Jirtle & Somes of Chicago Heights. The Plumbing as far as in use, has been satisfactory, but cannot be put to a proper test until the village has installed its water works. The heating plant (Spence hot water heater) has not been properly installed and hence one cannot tell what kind of satisfaction it will ultimately give. The painting and varnishing was done by Chas. Adolph, assisted by his two sons and Charlie Cook, and is of excellent workmanship.

Wm. Schultz did part of the outside painting, but illness kept him from completing it.

The lumber and mill work was secured from Wilke & Ruge, the latter being supplied by True & True Co. of Chicago, and very good material was supplied throughout.

By erecting this fine residence in Beecher, Dr. Miley has shown confidence in the future of our village. He believes that in the course of a few years Beecher will be a suburb of Chicago and that it will be the home of those who desire to get away from the whirl and noise of the city.

The residence is a credit to the village and a most comfortable home for the doctor and his family.

(Editors note: Henry, Carl & Albert Hunte, Emil Koch & Henry Wehmhoefer are also resting in the mausoleum with Dr. Miley and his family)

October 22, 1925 – Beecher Herald


Dr. Miley's house 2015, Photo by Don Sala

Dr. Miley’s house 2015, Photo by Don Sala

While trimming a tree at his residence, Monday afternoon, Dr. M.R. Miley sustained an injury which will probably incapacitate him for some time.

Dr, Miley Injured




He was in the act of cutting a limb from the tree and was coming down from the ladder to change his position, when the limb gave way and knocked him off the ladder to the ground. He was discovered by a passerby laying on the ground unable to get up. He informed the man he had been hurt in the fall and was taken in the house, where Dr. Hiatt was summoned and given first aid, after which he was taken to the hospital at Chicago Heights. At the latter place he was subjected to an X ray examination which showed he had incurred a fractured hip in the fall.

While resting easy at last report, he will be laid up for some time, it is believed, his advanced age being an impediment to an early recovery.

August 6, 1936 – Beecher Herald


The regular monthly meeting of the Village of Beecher was held at the Village Hall, August 3, 1936, at 8 o’clock p.m.

Dr. Miley relected health officerMeeting was called to order by Pres. Batterman.
Roll call.
Trustees present – Guritz, Riechers, Wehling, Klein, Tramm, Wiggenhauser.
Absent – None.
Minutes of the last regular meeting were read and upon motion by Trus. Klein, seconded by Tramm, the same were approved as read, upon the call of the ayes and noes, all voting aye.
The following bills were read:
W. J. Hinze, mdse. $1.02
Beecher Herald, minutes $2.00
Washington Twp., road oil $234.55
Wm. Paul, electric work $20.00
F.H. Ayers Mfg. Co., pump repair $15.32
Worthington Gamon Meter Co., meter repairs $1.26
Public Service co., street lighting $82.26
B.A. Harms, work on water main $55.85
Arthur Hack, mdse. $1.71
L. Steben, street labor $5.43
H. Wehmhoefer, mdse. $11.36
C.W. Tramm, labor $3.00
Emil Koch, Jr. spl. police $10.00
Motion by Wehling, seconded by Riechers, that the Board take a recess to allow finance committee to consider bills and also to compare Clerk’s and Treasurer’s books. Carried.
The finance committee reported verbally in favor of paying the above bills.
Motion by Tramm, seconded by Guritz that said bills be allowed and that warrants be drawn for same. Carried.
Motion by Guritz, seconded by Wiggenhauser, that Clerk’s and Treasurer’s books be certified as being correct, Carried.
Motion by Klein, seconded by Tramm, that Building Committee be given power to act with regard to painting and papering Village Hall. Carried.
Motion by Klein, seconded by Wehling, that Levy Ordinance No. 261 be accepted and adopted, Carried.
Motion by Klein, seconded by Riechers, the Dr. M.R. Miley be appointed Health Commissioner for the fiscal year. Carried.
Motion by Tramm, seconded by Klein, that meeting adjourn, Carried.
Meeting Adjourned.
Arthur Hack – Village Clerk

February 2, 1939 – Beecher Herald


Dr. Michael R. Miley Passes Away Peacefully At Age Of Eighty Years At Residence Here

Served Community For Forty-one Years

Dr. Miley obitOne of the most outstanding citizens of this community peacefully passed into the great beyond, when Dr. Michael R. Miley closed his eyes in death, Sunday morning, at about 8 o’clock, at his home here. Due to advanced age, the doctor had been in failing health for some time, and for about a week before his death, he was unable to take nourishment. The end was imminent when he took to his bed, last Wednesday, and calmly awaited the final summons. He attained the age of 80 years, 2 months and one day. His sorrowing wife and daughters, Misses Alice and Olive were at the bedside. Another daughter, Bernice, (Mrs. A. Anderson), of Idaho was unable to attend the funeral. She visited her father during a recent illness, however, when she submitted to a blood transfusion in order to prolong his life.

The funeral services were conducted. Wednesday, with Rev. G. Horst officiating at the residence. The local Lodge No. 1087 A.F. & A.M., of which he was an active member, was in charge of a service at the Beecher Mausoleum, where the remains were laid at rest.

The deceased was born in Wisconsin, Nov. 28, 1858, the son of Theodore and Anna Maria (Ritter) Miley, natives of Switzerland. Of a family of seven, one sister, Julia Blum, of West Palm Beach, Florida, survives to mourn his passing. He spent his boyhood in Wisconsin and was educated in the public schools there. He later attended Valparaiso University, and in 1896 graduated from Rush Medical College. In the meantime be had taught school for fifteen years in Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan, and held a life teachers certificate from Wisconsin. He located in Beecher in August 1897, and was united in marriage with Miss Emily Manz, a native of Wisconsin, October 14, 1899. This union was blessed with the three daughters, already mentioned, and a set of twins; Mary and Milton C, who died in infancy.

Woodward Street early 1900

Woodward Street early 1900, Dr. M.R. Miley arrived in Beecher on a bicycle in 1897


As we look over the career of Dr. Michael R. Miley, he may well be termed a philanthropist in local circles. Arriving in Beecher on a bicycle in 1897 is typical of the man with iron nerve, who, it has been said, ‘slept with one eye open’; who thrived upon surmounting obstacles, especially in the early days of his career. As a physician in those early days, Dr. Miley gained the love and respect of this community by untiring efforts to conquer the many handicaps in travel and communication in an effort to best serve the medical requirements of the sick. In order to further his efforts in this direction he installed a private telephone system and built up a practice covering a territory some ten miles in extent, which was a wide expanse in those days. Throughout his long career he maintained his arduous efforts to serve by active practice and persistent study.

While attending closely to the medical requirements of the community, he also found time to serve Beecher in a most auspicious manner in municipal and educational affairs. In 1902 he was elected president of the Village Board, and during his administration the village made more progress than ever before in its history. It was during Dr. Miley’s administration that Beecher built the greater portion of her cement sidewalks, the ordinance against wooden sidewalks being passed at this time. Over a mile of macadam streets were also built during this period.

Many other improvements including the installation of a lighting system were introduced, and he advocated water works and sewer systems. Although he declined re-election at that time he served another term as head of the Board in later years and always maintained an active interest and persistent desire for a better Beecher. He held the office of Justice of the Peace for many years up to the time of his death.

In educational affairs, he served as a director on the school board for thirty-four years, and was clerk at the time of his demise. He was always strongly in favor of a new school building, and gave much of his personal time and effort in not only conducting the affairs of the local district, but also in beautifying the school property. The large grove of trees on the school grounds is a specific example of his great personal interest in the local public schools.

In passing of Dr. Michael R. Miley, Beecher and community mourns a citizen who dedicated his life to the betterment of his community, to whom the community will ever be indebted; who never failed in his efforts to help his fellow man; whose works will ever be a model to stimulate the efforts of future citizens.

His life was not spent in vain. May his reward be great!

Dr. Michael R. Miley’s family members also resting in the mausoleum are:

Wife: Anna E. (Manz) Miley
Daughter: Alice A. Miley
Daughter & Son: Mary E. and Milton C. Miley
Daughter: Olive M. Miley



79 years, 9 months, 7 days


DOB: July 29, 1855
Hohenphiegel, Mecklenburg, Germany

DOD: May 6, 1936
at home, Beecher, IL USA

Son of John Christian Hack and Friederika Sophia (Luth) Hack

Brother to: Herman (Eva Ruge), Charles (Annie Schroeder Schmaedeke), Frank G. (Emma Katz), Emma (Sherman R. Loitz)

Husband of Mary Wiecke (Biefeldt) Hack, married May 1, 1883
Father to: Edmund C. MD (Margaret Schwartz), Albert B. (Marie Deneke) Hack


On May 1, 1883, he was married to Miss Mary Bielfeldt, who in every way proved herself an ideal helpmate. Soon after their marriage the young couple took possession of and successfully operated the well-known Bielfeldt hotel.

Henry Hack Livery Stable 1880



In connection with the Bielfeldt Hotel he was also engaged in farming and in the livery business.


HENRY HACK – Proprietor of the Bielfeldt House Makes Business Hum.

IMG_3669“Nothing adds so much to the reputation of a town as a good hotel. The reputation of a town is due in a large measure to the word of the traveling men who visit the town, and who generally voice their sentiments in regard to the house they stop at.

In respect Beecher is much indebted to the Bielfeldt House. The reputation of Beecher as a good town all along the line is due, in a large measure, to the hospitable treatment received at the hands of the host of the Bielfeldt House, Henry Hack.

 On the first of March this year Mr. Hack celebrated the twentieth year of his connection with the house. He is proprietor also of a large livery with 17 head of horses – the only one in town, and he is also interested in the undertaking business.

Henry Hack is essentially a self-made man. He was born in Germany and came to the United States in 1866. At the age of 28 he was united in marriage to Miss Bielfeldt, a daughter of one of the best known families in the township. It was Miss Bielfeldt’s father, Henning Bielfeldt, who was the founder of the Bielfeldt House 34 years ago. Mr. Hack has two sons, chips off the old block, and inherited their father’s character for hard work.

Mr. Hack has made some very wise investments in land; and though he is now just 50 years of age he is still a young man to all appearances, both an energy and vigor, and he carries his years like a man of 35.

Hard work has not killed Henry Hack. It has made him what he is today. His philosophy has been to look on the bright side of everything. He was always regarded health as the most important blessing and he has lived a clean, healthy life.

In his hotel and livery Mr. Hack has one of the best businesses in the village, always conducted and managed on modern, up-to-date principles. In fact, Henry Hack is the embodiment of a useful citizen, and he well deserves the regard and esteem in which he is held by all who know him.

He assisted in undertaking with Wollenberger, Fred G Hunte and William F. Hinze.



Henry Hack Funeral home ad


In 1912 he established his own funeral parlor under the name Hack & son.

Pat Hack's new auto hearse.1913


1906 Past and Present of Will County (pages 639-640) Henry Hack

Henry Hack, proprietor of the Bielfeldt Hotel of Beecher and also of a well equipped livery barn, was born at Mecklenburg, Germany, July 29, 1855. His father, John Hack, was a native of Mecklenburg, born in 1825. By trade he was a shoemaker and thinking to enjoy better business advantages in the new world he emigrated to the United States in 1864. Here he gave his attention to agricultural pursuits, locating on a farm of eighty acres in Washington Township, Will County, Illinois. For about twelve years he followed farming and in 1876 removed to the village of Beecher, where he engaged in general merchandising in partnership with William Peck. Three years later he sold out and two and a half years conducted a store at Eagle Lake, where he was postmaster for two years. He then returned to Beecher and again engaged in general merchandising, also conducting a market until a few years prior to his death, when he retired. His last days were spent in the enjoyment of a rest which he had truly earned and richly merited. He sustained injuries in a runaway accident in 1879, from which he was a sufferer for many years, but the immediate cause of his death was paralysis and he passed away in Beecher, February 1, 1898. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Sophia Luth, was also born in Mecklenburg, Germany, and is still living in Beecher at the age of seventy-eight years. She holds membership in the German Evangelical Church, to which Mr. Hack also belonged. When they came to the United States they were in very limited financial circumstances and knew well what hard times were. They lived on the prairie in a little board shanty, the wind blowing a gale across the country with nothing to break its force and often sifting the snow through the cracks of the pioneer home. As the years passed, however, all this changed owing to the industry and enterprise of the father and the able assistance which he received from his wife and children. The family numbered eight children, of whom three died in infancy, while five are yet living: Herman, who resides upon the old homestead in Washington Township; Henry: Charles J., who is living retired in Beecher; Frank, who succeeded his father in business and is now conducting a general store; and Emma, the wife of Sherman Loitz of Peotone.

Henry Hack was a youth of nine years when the family came to the United States. He was reared to farm life, being connected with the work of field and meadow until 1885, when he engaged in the hotel and livery business. He has since given his time and energies to these lines with the exception of an interval of sixteen months. He owns forty acres of land adjoining the village, which he farms. He also owns a hotel property, livery barn and a residence in the village, together with residence property in Chicago. The Bielfeldt Hotel is the best in Beecher and Mrs. Hack personally superintends the kitchen, being an excellent cook. Everything possible is done for the comfort and convenience of their guests and the hotel is well patronized. Mr. Hack is also a partner in the undertaking business conducted under the firm name of Fred Hunte & Company.

On the first of May, 1883, occurred the marriage of Mr. Hack and Miss Mary Bielfeldt, who was born in Schleswig-Holstein and is the daughter of Henning Bielfeldt, whose birth also occurred in the same place, August 12, 1817. In 1866 he emigrated to America and for a year he followed the trade of wagonmaking at Thornton, Illinois. He then engaged in farming in Washington Township. When the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad was built in 1870 and the village of Beecher sprang up his farm lay partly within the corporation limits. He built one of the first houses in the village and conducted the hotel for many years. He was one of Beecher’s most prominent business men and engaged in various enterprises which constituted an important element in the development and growth of the little village. He died in 1890, while his wife, who bore the maiden name of Catherine Dethlefs and was born in Germany. September 21, 1821, survived until the 30th of May, 1906. They were the parents of six children: Annie, the wife of Fred Bielfeldt, a resident of South Dakota; Mrs. Hack; Minnie, the wife of M.J. Tillotson, a merchant of Crete; Simon, who died about ten years ago; Henry, who died two years ago; and one who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Hack have two children, Edmund and Albert, both at home.

In Politics Mr. Hack has always been earnest and unfaltering republican and was a trustee of the village when it was incorporated. He served in the capacity for seven consecutive years and later was again elected and acted as trustee for six years. He was also deputy sheriff of the county for eight years and is now filling the office of constable. He and his wife attend the Congregational Church. He is one of the representative business men of Beecher, prominently  connected with various business and public interests, and his labors have been a direct and beneficial influence in promoting the growth and development of the town.


Henry Hack – numbered among the solid and responsible businessmen of Will County, Henry Hack has long been connected with the business life of Beecher. He was born in Germany, July 29, 1855, the son of John and Sophia (Luth) Hack.

John Hack, deceased, was a pioneer settler of Will County. He came to this country early in life and purchased a farm of 160 acres in Will County. Later, he became interested in the meat business at Beecher and also conducted a general mercantile business. He was well known as a dependable merchant in this community. He died in 1908 at the age of 71 years. His wife died in 1918. Both are buried at Beecher. The business, established by Mr. Hack, is now carried on successfully by his grandson, Arthur Hack, and is one of the oldest business houses in the county. To Mr. and Mrs. Hack were born the following children; Herman, died in 1926; Henry, the subject of this sketch; Carl, retired, lives at Hammond, Ind.; Frank, deceased; and Emma, married to Sherman Loitz, lives at Peotone, Ill. Continue reading