Arthur Graham

Age: 77 years, 9 months, 12 days


DOB: September 20, 1913
Beecher, Will County, IL, USA

DOD: July 2, 1991
Oak Forest, Cook County, IL, USA


Son of William S. and Ida (Leising) Graham

Brother to: Ruth E. (William C. Konow), Chester L., Lloyd E. (Gladys A. Erdman), William H. (Arlene Hopkins) and Martin Graham

Husband of Charlene Marilyn Saller, married November, 1945.
Father to: Susan Kay (Ronald L. Clausing), Charles Arthur (Susan G. unknown), Nancy (Jack Fenske) Graham.

November 22, 1945          “POPULAR COUPLE WED IN CHICAGO”

Graham-Saller Wed 1945

November 17, 1945

Miss Charlene Saller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Saller, and Mr. Arthur Graham, son of W.S. Graham, were united in marriage, Saturday afternoon, in a ceremony performed by Dr. Williamson, former pastor at Chicago Heights and of the Beecher Community Church, at the residence of the pastor in Chicago.
The bride was attired in gray with black accessories and carried a bouquet of mums and pom poms. The couple were attended by Miss Shirley Cooper, roommate of the bride, and Mr. Richard Hiatt.
Mr. Graham operates the Graham Service Station on the Dixie Highway, and his bride, a former student at the U. of Illinois, is at present employed in Chicago.


Graham Town Collector 1947The Town Board met, Monday morning, and appointed Arthur Graham to fill the unexpired term of Mrs. Gertrude (Hack) Haltenhoff as Town Collector.
Graham will serve until the election in 1949. Actually he will make the collections, if the books are available for the next three years.
Mrs. Haltenhoff resigned when she moved to Chicago, last summer.


Village Trustee Graham, since the discovery of the historic marker, site of the old Hubbard Trail, now known as the Dixie Highway, has in process of preparation an article or perhaps a series of articles touching on this historic trail. This will also include the trail known as the Ox Trail, which was in use long before the survey was run for the present Dixie Highway and which passed through approximately 20 rods west of the present highway. This, on the north side of the village, would be between the residences of Dr. H.H. Hiatt and Wm. Wiggenhauser. It crossed Indiana Street at a point where the present Catalpa Street is located. The trail wound its way through the prairie to Vincennes, Ind.
This article or series will appear in the Herald as soon as sufficient data has been collected. Anyone having any information on this old Hubbard Trail is kindly requested to get in touch with Mr. Graham. He will be glad to receive it and use it if possible.
Graham is also contemplating another project, the complete history of Beecher, which would be a valuable work, and would probably be coveted by many local citizens.

Editor’s note: no historical articles written by Arthur have been found to date

Editor’s note: 1965  Art worked hard for the improvement of the Beecher Community. He donated his personal labor to help install the two tennis courts in 1965 and offered the use of his private family in-ground swimming pool to give the Beecher community’s children swimming lessons. The swimming lessons were taught by his two daughters, Nancy and Sue, along with Yvonne Squire.

Arthur Graham


Art Graham Obit 1991Funeral services were held Saturday at Hack Chapel for Arthur Graham who died July 2, 1991, at Oak Forest Hospital in Oak Forest. The Rev. Kenneth Lueke officiated at the service. Entombment was at Beecher Mausoleum.

Arthur Graham was born Sept. 20, 1913, in Beecher. His parents were Ida (nee Leising) and William Graham. He was the owner operator of Graham Trucking for many years and served as trustee on the village board 20 years.

He is survived by one daughter, Susan Clausing, and one son Charles Graham, both of Beecher, eight grandchildren, and one brother, William Graham of Beecher.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Charlene; daughter, Nancy; three brothers and one sister.

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

Wife: Charlene (Saller) Graham
Daughter: Nancy (Graham) Fenske
Father & Mother-in-law: Herbert C. Saller & Dorothy (Bahlman) Saller
Wife’s Grandparents: Charles H. Bahlman & Sophia M. (Schweer) Bahlman
Wife’s Great Uncle & Aunt: Henry F. Bahlman & Emma (Wehmhoefer) Bahlman
Wife’s Great Uncle & Aunt: John H. Bahlman & Anna L. (Wehrmann) Bahlman
Wife’s Great Aunt: Lena C. Bahlman
Wife’s Great Uncle: William F. Bahlman
Wife’s cousins 1x removed: Lillian (Bahlman) Wegert & Henry H. Wegert
Wife’s cousins 1x removed: Lora (Bahlman) Hinze & Arthur A. Hinze
Wife’s cousins 1x removed” Marguerite (Toleson) Bahlman & Henry W. Bahlman DDS
Wife’s cousin 1x removed: Carolyn M. Bahlman
Wife’s cousin 1x removed: Donald W. Bahlman
Wife’s cousins 1x removed: Ferne (Bahlman) Hildeman & William R. Hildeman

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



DOB: APRIL 18,1908
Chicago Heights, IL USA

DOD:  AUGUST 3, 1986, St. James Hospital Medical Center, Chicago Heights, IL USA

Son of William F. and Jane (Dennison) Hildeman

Brother to: Edward Thomas and Gene Frederick Hildeman


Ferne with her father on her wedding day.resizedFerne & Robert Hildeman Wedding DayHusband of Ferne (Bahlman) Hildeman,
married June 18, 1938, First Presbyterian Church, Chicago Heights, IL USA

Father to: Robert E. (Linda Lyon) and  Mary (Louis Bryant) Hildeman

Grandfather to: Dana Hildeman


Memorial rites for Hildeman set tomorrow

A World War II veteran, William R. Hildeman of Scottsdale, Arizona, died Sunday at St. James Hospital Medical Center.






1943 Through  1945 US Navy – Seabees – LT. Commander, UNIT CBMU 515

The Rev. Gordon Reif, pastor will conduct 1:30 p.m. memorial services tomorrow at First Presbyterian Church in Chicago Heights. Burial will be in the Beecher Mausoleum.

Mr. Hildeman was born April 18, 1906 in Chicago Heights and lived in the south suburbs until 1981. He was graduated in 1925 from Bloom High School and in 1930 from the University of Illinois, Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. ADVERTISEMENT

He was former owner of Hildeman Plumbing and Heating Company, Chicago Heights, which he took over after his father, William F. Hildeman, passed away.



He was a 32nd degree Mason and member of the Medina Temple.


He is survived by his wife, Ferne; one daughter, Mary Bryant of Poughkeepsie, NY, one son, Robert E. Hildeman of Boise, Idaho; one brother, Gene of Chicago Heights and one granddaughter.



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

Wife: Ferne (Bahlman) Hildeman
Father & Mother-in-law: Henry F. Bahlman & Emma (Wehmhoefer) Bahlman
Sister-in-law & Husband: Lillian (Bahlman) Wegert and Dr. Henry H. Wegert
Sister-in-law & Husband: Lora (Bahlman) Hinze & Arthur A. Hinze
Brother-in-law & Wife: Henry W. Bahlman, DDS & Marguerite (Toleson) Bahlman
Sister-in-law: Carolyn M. Bahlman
Brother-in-law: Donarld W. Bahlman
Aunt of Wife: Lena Bahlman
Uncle & Aunt of Wife: John H. Bahlmann & Anna L. (Wehrmann) Bahlmann
Uncle of Wife: William F. Bahlmann
Uncle & Aunt of Wife: Charles H. Bahlman & Sophia “Minnie” (Schweer) Bahlman
Cousin of Wife: Dorothy (Bahlman) Saller & Herbert Saller
1st Cousin 1x removed of Wife: Baby Son Saller
1st Cousins 1x removed of Wife: Charlene M. (Saller) Graham & Arthur Graham
1st Cousins 2x removed of wife: Nancy (Graham) Fenske

Other, more distant family include: Bahlman, Batterman, Bergmeier, Beseke, Bielfeldt, Bohl, Cloidt, Dunlap, Engleking,  Fenske, Fick, Freerking, Frobose, Graham, Guritz, Hack, 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,


Donald W. Bahlman

Age: 55 years, 8 months, 27 days


DOB: March 24, 1906
Beecher, Will County, IL,  USA

DOD: December 21, 1961
Virginia Beach, VA,  USA


Bahlmann Family Coat of Arms

Son of Henry F. and Emma (Wehmhoefer) Bahlman

Husband of Martha Jo Mitchell Bahlman, married March 17, 1945 in Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg, VA.

Father to:
Carol L. Bahlman (John Evans), Donna R. Bahlman (Dr. Joseph Killen), Donald W. Bahlman, Jr.

UOI-Urbana Theta XI - Donald WGraduated from the  University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign. A member of THETA XI Fraternity.

Worked as a Junior Accountant at a Chevrolet assembly plant in St. Louis, Missouri after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1930.

Automobile salesman of Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs while waiting to be commissioned in the Navy at the start of WWII.



Served in World War II as Inspector at the U.S. Norfolk Naval Ship Yard – Retired Lieutenant Commander



DECEMBER 22, 1961


VIRGINIA BEACH – Donald William Bahlman, 55, husband of Martha Jo Mitchell Bahlman of 200 75th Street, died in a Virginia Beach hospital Thursday at 11:50 a.m. after a long illness. A native of Beecher, Illinois, he was a son of the late Henry F. Bahlman and Mrs. Emma Wehmhoefer Bahlman. He lived in Virginia Beach seven years. He was a sales engineer with American District Telegraph Corp.

Besides his widow, surviving are two daughters, Miss Carol Lynne Bahlman and Miss Donna Reid Bahlman of Virginia Beach: two sisters, Mrs. Lora Hinze and Mrs. Ferne Hildeman of Chicago Heights; and a brother, Dr. H.W. Bahlman of Chicago Heights.

The body was sent from Maestas Funeral Home to Hack Funeral Home, Beecher, where a private funeral service will be conducted Saturday at 4 p.m. Entombment will be in the Beecher Mausoleum. The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the American Cancer Society.

(Editor’s note: Mr. and Mrs. Bahlman were expecting their third child. Donald W. Bahlman Jr. was born four months after his father’s death)

Donald’s family members also resting in the mausoleum are:
Father: Henry F. Bahlman
Mother: Emma Wehmhoefer Bahlman
Sister & Brother-in-law: Lillian Bahlman Wegert & Henry H. Wegert
Sister & Brother-in-law: Lora Bahlman Hinze & Arthur A. Hinze
Brother & Sister-in-law: Henry W. Bahlman & Marguerite Toleson Bahlman
Sister: Carolyn M. Bahlman
Sister & Brother-in-law: Ferne Bahlman Hildeman & William R. Hildeman
Aunt: Lena Bahlman
Uncle & Aunt: John H.Bahlmann & Anna L. Wehrmann Bahlmann
Uncle: William F. Bahlmann
Uncle & Aunt: Charles H. Bahlman & Minnie M. Schweer Bahlman
Cousins: Dorothy Bahlman Saller & Herbert C. Saller
Cousins: Charlene M. Saller Graham & Arthur Graham
Cousin: Baby Son Saller
Cousin: Nancy Graham Fenske

(Note: Some family members maintained the original spelling of Bahlmann while others omitted the last “n”)


ARTHUR HACK (800x510)

Age: 59 years, 7 months, 18 days


DOB: June 8, 1896
Beecher, IL USA

DOD: January 26, 1956
Hazelcrest Hospital,
Hazelcrest, IL USA

Son of Frank Gustav Hack and Emma (Katz) Hack.

Arthur’s mother, Emma Katz Hack, married Edward Heller in 1919 after Frank Gustav Hack’s death in 1912. Emma was the step mother of Herman & Elmer Heller.  Herman & Elmer’s mother was Bertha (Ristenpart) Heller who died of the flue epidemic in 1919.

Husband of Ethel E. (Wehmhoefer) Hack, married January 1, 1920.

Father of Geraldine A. Hack (Philip G. Imholz)


Arthur & Ethal MatrimonialArthur Hack and Ethel Wehmhoefer were married Jan. 1, 1920 at St. Luke’s parsonage, Rev. G. Horst officiating.  Mr. and Mrs. George Heiden were sponsors. Following the wedding the couple boarded a train for Chicago.
The wedding was a surprise to all, even the parents of the bride, who were not informed of the event until the newlyweds arrived in Chicago, when they wired back the glad news.
Both bride and groom are well known in Beecher, where they were born and reared. They are popular and Arthur Hack and Ethel Wehmhoeferesteemed young people and their many friends wish them the best there is in their wedded life.
The groom is the son of Mrs. Ed. Ohlendorf of near Goodenow, and the bride the daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Henry Wehmhoefer of Beecher.
We understand the young couple will make their home in Chicago Heights, where Mr. Hack has employment as city mail carrier.
The Beecher Herald extends congratulations.

Editor’s note:  Arthur’s mother is listed in error; she was Emma (Katz) Hack Heller, not Mrs. Ed Ohlendorf.

[1925]   Arthur Hack took over the general merchandise store of Herman Hack at 734 Indiana Avenue. Mrs. Arthur Hack introduced her line of millinery. Her 1925 fall selection was “exceptionally modish, stylish, and with pleasing combinations, sure to suit the individual tastes of the Beecher Ladies.”

Editor’s note: My grandmother told me she used to buy her penny candy at Arthur’s store.


Arthur Hack Comm. ChestArthur Hack has been named chairman of the local Community Chest drive. This effort to collect contributions for charitable organizations is an annual affair on a nation-wide basis. It provides a single unified opportunity for each individual to contribute to charity and provides a unified effort on the part of organizations which benefit from the collections.

As in the past, a portion of the funds remain at home and the balance is divided among Community Chest agencies or institutions that have been carefully selected and their needs accurately analyzed.

Herman C. Grassle, county auditor, has accepted the position of chairman of the county division of the Joliet-Will County Community Chest campaign to be held, Oct. 16 to Oct. 27th. The local drive will coincide with the county, and Mr. Hack is our representative on Grassle’s committee. A meeting of all township chairmen will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, in the Woodruff Hotel, Joliet, at which campaign supplies will be distributed and instructions given to workers. Shortly after this session, the local organization will be formed.

The county goal this year is $131,700.00.


By Mrs. Arthur Boyens

Arthur Hack St.Luke officer 1-28-1948The annual meeting of St. Luke’s Evangelical and Reformed Church was held Sunday after noon in the church parlors with the vice president Alfred Haseman presiding as chairman. Minutes of the previous meetings were read by Secretary Arthur Hack and the treasurer’s report was read by Howard Paul.

Fred F. Heldt and Frank Hunte were elected elders to succeed Walter F. Boysen and Wilmer Selk. Irving F Stelling was elected secretary to succeed Arthur Hack and Mrs. Irwin Stelling was elected corresponding secretary to succeed Mrs. Arthur Hack.

Fred E. Thomas was re-elected sexton and Mrs. Clara Schultz was re-elected janitor. Mrs. Rose Hunte was named organist. A Committee of three: Howard Paul, Byron Hunte and Wilmer Selk was elected to manage the affairs of St. Luke’s cemetery.

Fred Thoms was elected delegate and Arthur Hack alternate to the annual conference. The date of the annual mission festival was left to the discretion of the pastor. It was announced that the roll of membership numbered 353 including the junior members of which 217 were voting members. Installation of officers will be held in the Sunday morning service.


Arthur Hack death noticeFamily members and fiends of the community were saddened by the passing of Arthur Brands, last Wednesday afternoon, at the home of his sister, here in Beecher, and Arthur Hack, who died early last Thursday morning at Hazelcrest Hospital where he had been confined since returning from a Florida visit. Both Mr. Brands and Mr. Hack had been ill for some time.


Arthur Hack, 59, died last Thursday, January 26, at Hazelcrest Hospital, following a long illness. He had been hospitalized ever since his return from Florida.

Mr. Hack was born in Beecher on June 8, 1896 and lived here practically all his life. Long associated with the business and civic affairs of the community, he operated a general store for thirty years at the corner of Indiana and Woodward Streets. He served the village as clerk for thirteen years and as president for eight years. He was a member of Beecher Lodge 1087, A.F. & A.M.

Surviving are his wife, Ethel; one daughter, Mrs. Geraldine Imholz and husband and two grandchildren.

Funeral services were held, last Sunday, at 2:00 p.m., at the Hack Chapel with Rev. Edwin Otte officiating. Masonic rites were also held. Burial was in the Beecher Mausoleum.


Arthur Hack ObitArthur Johann Heinrich Hack, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hack, was born June 8, 1896. He was baptized on August 23, 1896 by the Rev. Gustav Koch. He was confirmed in the Christian faith in St. Luke’s Church on April 9, 1911 by the Rev. Roth. His confirmation verse was Proverbs 23:26: “My son, give Me Thine Heart, and Let Thine Eyes Observe My Ways.”

He was united in marriage to Miss Ethel Wehmhoefer on January 1, 1920 by the Rev. Gustav Horst. One child, a daughter, Geraldine, came to bless this union.

Mr. Hack spent his entire lifetime, with the exception of two years spent in Crete, in Beecher. He was well-known in this community. He operated a general store for 30 years. He was village clerk for 13 years, and president of the village board for 8 years. He was a member of St. Luke’s Church and served on the Church Council for two terms.

He was in poor health for the past several years. During the past several months his health failed rapidly. In hopes that a warmer climate might be beneficial to his health Mr. and Mrs. Hack went to Florida in December. However, his health continued to decline and on Thursday, January 12 they returned to their home on Hodges Street. On Monday, January 16 he was taken to Hazelcrest Hospital where he passed away quietly on Thursday morning, January 26 at 4:00 a.m. He was 59 years, 7 months, and 18 days of age at the time of his passing.

He is survived by his wife, Ethel, and daughter, Mrs. Geraldine Imholtz of Peotone. He is also survived by his son-in-law, Philip Imholtz and two grandchildren, Pamela and Thomas Imholtz. Two step-brothers, Herman and Elmer Heller, also survive.

Funeral services were held on Sunday, January 29 at the Hack Funeral Home at 2:00 p.m., Rev. Edwin Otte, pastor of St. Luke’s Evangelical and Reformed Church, officiating. Interment was in the Beecher Mausoleum.

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

Wife: Ethel E. (Wehmhoefer) Hack

Father & Mother-in-law: Henry C. Wehmhoefer & Augusta J. (Wehling) Wehmhoefer

Uncle & Aunt: Herman Hack & Eva F. (Ruge) Hack

Uncle & Aunt: Henry Hack & Mary W. (Bielfeldt) Hack

Uncle & Aunt: Charles J. Hack & Anna (Schroeder, Schmaedeke) Hack

Cousins: Dr. Edmund Hack & Margaretha B. (Schwarz) Hack

Wife’s (Ethel’s) Uncle & Aunt: Edward J. Wehmhoefer & Charlotte (Thiesfeld) Wehmhoefer


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

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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,



Asa James Dunlap

Age: 60 years, 5 months, 28 days


DOB: April 6, 1891
Ashburn, IL, USA

DOD: October 4, 1951
Hammond, IN, USA

Son of John and Elmira (nee Hagens) Dunlap

Brother to: John H. (Netty Williamson), Harriett/Hattie, Elmira “Ella”, Roy Uriah (Eunice L. Cox), Mary (William F. Sutherland), Emma (Harry Scoonover), Ada M. (William C. Sunter), Samuel Jay, William, Julia (Frank J. Garrett), Dunlap

Husband of Rose W. (nee Hack) Dunlap, married July 12, 1919

Father to: Rose E. (Carl F. Morganthaler) Dunlap


Beecher Herald July 17, 1919


Matrimonial Hack-DunlapAbout forty relatives and friends witnessed a very pretty home wedding, Saturday afternoon, at the residence of Mr. C.J. Hack, 1132 Emerald Ave, Chicago Heights, when at 5 o’clock, his daughter, Miss Rose, was united in holy wedlock with Asa Dunlap, Rev. H. Parkinson of the St. Ambrose Episcopal Church officiating.

The groom’s sister, Miss Ella Dunlap, and Henry Haltenhof of Chicago, a cousin of the bride, were the attendants.

The bride was clad in a beautiful gown of white georgette and crepe de chine and wore a bridal veil. She carried a shower bouquet of white roses, while Miss Dunlap carried pink roses.

A lap luncheon was served to the relatives and friends, after which Mr. and Mrs. Dunlap departed on the 8:26 train for Muskegon, Michigan, where they will spend a week. The traveling suit of the bride was of navy, with which she wore a becoming hat of black.

The bride is the only daughter of C. J. Hack and is well and favorably known in Beecher, having lived here with her parents until a few years ago. She is a charming young lady and has many personal traits. The groom is a thriving young man, with a genial and pleasing disposition. He has a host of friends in Chicago Heights, with whom the Beecher friends join in wishing him and his bride all the joys of wedded life.

Mr. and Mrs. Dunlap will make their home with the bride’s father at Chicago Heights.

1930 Census shows Asa J. as a veteran of WW1 , Branch of Service unconfirmed, but believed to be the Army 




Rites Monday for Asa J. Dunlap, 60

Chicago Star Publication Oct. 5, 1951

Rites Monday for Asa J. Dunlap, 60Asa J. Dunlap, 60, of 18307 Oakwoods Avenue, Lansing, former Chicago Heights resident and theatre manager, died yesterday morning at St. Margaret’s Hospital, Hammond.
Funeral services are set for two p.m. Monday at the chapel at 3227 Ridge Road, Lansing, where his body will lie in state from tomorrow noon. Interment will be at Beecher.
Born April 6, 1891, Mr. Dunlap came to Chicago Heights with his parents when he was three years old. At one time he was manager of the old Illinois theatre, now the Rio.
He was a charter member of American Legion Post 131 and a member of the Masonic lodge at Calumet City.
Mr. Dunlap was married July 12, 1919, to the former Miss Rose Hack, who survives him.
Also surviving are one daughter, Mrs. Carl Morgenthalor of Lansing: six sisters, Miss Harriett and Miss Ella Dunlap of Chicago Heights, Mrs. William F. Sutherland and Mrs. Wiliam Sunter of Lawrence, Michigan, Mrs. Harry Scoonover of Steger and Mrs. Frank J. Garret of Midlothian: and one brother, Roy of Tucson, Arizona.


Hammond Times, October 5, 1951

Asa Dunlap, Hammond Times 10-5-1951Asa Dunlap, 60 of 18307 Oakwood Ave., Lansing, died yesterday in St. Margaret hospital.
Masonic services will be held on Monday at 2 p.m. in the Schroeder funeral home, 3227 Ridge Rd., Lansing, with Rev. Paul Schaeffer officiating. Burial will be in the Beecher cemetery.
He was a member of Arcadia Lodge 1138, F and A.M., Oriental Consistory and the Craft Club of the Continental Roll & Foundry Co., East Chicago. He was a past master of Arcadia lodge.
Survivors are the widow, Rose; one daughter, Mrs. Rose Morganthaler of Lansing; one brother Roy of Tucson, Arizona and six sisters, Misses Harriet and Ella Dunlap of Chicago Heights, Mrs. Emma Schoonover of Steger, Mrs. Adeline Sunter of Bangor, Michigan, Mrs. Mary Sutherland of Bangor, and Mrs. Julia Garret of Midlothian.

Editor’s Note: The Illinois Theatre was opened in 1914 and closed in 1922. It was reopened in 1937 as the Rio Theatre. According to the Film Daily Yearbook of 1945, the Rio Theatre seated 750 people. The Rio Theatre was closed in 1954 and was demolished in the early 1970’s.

Asa’s family members also resting in the mausoleum are:
Wife: Rose W. Hack Dunlap
Father-in-law & Mother-in-law: Charles J. Hack & Anna D. (Schroeder-Schmaedeke) Hack
Uncle & Aunt of wife: Herman Hack & Eva Friedricke Ruge Hack
Uncle & Aunt of wife: Henry Hack & Mary W. Beilfeldt Hack 
Uncle & Aunt of wife: William Haltenhof & Sophia Schmaedeke Haltenhof
Cousins of wife: Arthur Hack & Ethel E. Wehmhoefer Hack
Cousins of wife: Edmund C. Hack & Margareta B. Schwatz Hack







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




Age: 63 years, 9 months, 1 day


DOB: April 15, 1870
Beecher, Will County, IL USA

DOD: Jan. 16, 1934
Beecher, Will County, IL USA

Son of Carl and Lora (nee Wagner) Beseke

Brother to: Conrad (Ellen Langreder), Carolina “Lena” (Louis Kirchhoff), George C. (Sophia C. Knust), Henry and Ella (Henry Kappe)

Husband to Margreta (nee Tobeck) Beseke, married Feb. 15, 1894 in Chicago.

Father to: Louis (Ruth Robertson), Fred (Alma S. Koelling), Mary, Carl G. Jr. (Opal Abbot), Frieda (John A McCarty) Meta D. (Martin W. Paul), Elmer (Audrey M. Selk) Beseke




Charles (Carl) Beseke obit 1-25-1934The departed, Charles Beseke, was born April 15, 1870, one mile southwest of Beecher. On June 6, 1870, he was baptized in the name of the Triune God by Rev. Gotlieb Reinecke and thus received into the family of the children of God. Following a period of instruction in the great fundamentals of the Christian religion, he was confirmed by the Rev. G. Koch, March 31, 1895.

On Feb. 15, 1894, he was married to Miss Margreta Tobeck, the ceremony taking place at Chicago. This happy union was blessed with seven children, one of whom, Mary, in infancy preceded the father in death. The surviving children, who together with the mother deeply mourn the departure of a faithful, loving husband and father, are: Louis, Fred, Charles Jr., Frieda, and Elmer of Beecher and Meta, Mrs. Martin Paul of Grant Park. Following their marriage the young couple engaged in farming opposite the old Beseke homestead. Diligently and faithfully applying themselves to their chosen work, their labors were bountifully blessed, bringing them peace and contentment. Always in the best of health a slight stroke some twelve years ago slowly began to undermine and sap his strength. Within the last six years, while making their home here in Beecher, his physical and mental condition became such that he was practically an invalid. About two weeks ago his condition gradually grew worse, and although everything possible in the way of medical skill and loving care was done, he peacefully closed his eyes in death, Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 3:30 a.m., at the age of 63 years, 9 months and 1 day.  In honor and to the great credit of his family it must be said that during his many years of illness he was given the very best of attention and care by his loved ones especially by his wife, who was untiring in her loving ministrations. He leaves to mourn, his wife, the children already mentioned, one sister, Mrs. Kirchhoff, Sollitt; two brothers, Henry, Alpha, Minn., and George, Beecher, three grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends. Funeral services were conducted, Friday, Jan. 19, beginning at 1:30 o’clock at the home and continued at St. Luke’s Church, where his pastor, Rev. G. Horst, spoke words of comfort in both German and English. Offerings of sympathy in the form of flowers and a monetary gift, in memory of the departed, by his brother, George, for charitable purposes, featured a new way of showing esteem of the deceased. Burial was in the Beecher Mausoleum.

The departed, always a respected citizen of the community, was fair, honest and upright in all his dealings, dependable and loyal to all his friends. In the role of a husband and father he was lovingly concerned about the welfare and happiness of those whom God had entrusted to him. Blessed with earthly means the departed always stood ready to uphold the church and charitable institutions fostered by the church.

Freemason-symbol half inchCarl was a member of the Freemasons which is the symbol you see on his headstone.

Carl’s family members also resting in the mausoleum are:
Father: Carl W. Beseke
Wife: Margareta Tobeck Beseke
Daughter & Son-in-law: Frieda Beseke Riley McCarty & John J. Riley
Brother: Conrad E. Beseke
Sister & Brother-in-law: Caroline “Lena” Beseke Kirchhoff & Louis Kirchhoff
Nephew: Harry Kirchhoff
Nephew & Niece-in-law: George Kappe & Minna Kappe



Albert L Hunte

Age: 44 years, 7 months, 23 days


DOB: September 18, 1888
on a farm near Beecher, IL USA

DOD: May 11, 1933
Hammond Hospital, Hammond, IN USA

Son of Henry and Minnie (nee Rust) Hunte

Brother to: Carl F. and Herman (Linda Fiene) Hunte

Husband of Vera (nee Matthias), married October 2, 1926, at the parsonage of the Salem Evangelical Church, Chicago, Rev. Joseph A George officiating.

June 27, 1918  – Beecher Herald – MORE BOYS TO GET KAISER

Eight Farmer Boys From Washington Township Are Called

Will Entrain Today From Joliet For Camp Wheeler, Georgia

6-27-1918 More Boys to Get KaiserEight more Washington Township boys have been called to the colors and went over to Joliet, yesterday, to make up a unit of 518 Will County men from class one, which will join Uncle Sam’s great army in the fight for a worldwide democracy. They are: Albert Hartman, Wm. Matthias, George Ostermeyer, Elmer Tatge, Albert Guritz, Louis Beseke, William Riechers and Louis Matthias.

Camp Wheeler Macon

Camp Wheeler, Macon, GA

This morning, the selected men, headed by a couple of bands, paraded the streets of Joliet, and at 10 o’clock they boarded a Chicago & Alton special for Camp Wheeler, Macon, Ga., their destination. It is expected the contingent will reach the cantonment at about 4 o’clock on Saturday morning.

Herman Hunte, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hunte, was called in the Kankakee County call, last week, and left, Monday, with the Grant Park contingent for Kankakee, where they entrained with boys from the company for some southern cantonment, the place we were unable to learn. The Red Cross and citizens of Grant Park gave the boys a grand send off and farewell reception, Saturday evening, at which the Red Cross presented each of the boys with a sweater and complete kit. Herman is the third and last son in this family to be called, Albert and Carl having gone south a couple of weeks ago.

September 7, 1926  – Beecher Herald  – HUNTE-MATTHIAS

Hunte-MatthiesAlbert L. Hunte, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hunte of this village, and Miss Vera Matthias, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Matthias of Chicago, were quietly married at 4 o’clock, Saturday afternoon, Oct. 2, at the parsonage of the Salem Evangelical Church, 6820 Emerald Avenue, Chicago, the Rev. Jos. A George officiating. Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Bornhoeft, brother-in-law and sister of the bride, were the witnesses.

The groom is a well known Beecher young man, who was born and reared to manhood here and has a long list of friends. He is a contractor and carpenter and works at his trade at Chicago. “Al” as he is usually called by his friends is a steady young man, whose chief devotion is attending church and lodge meetings. He is an active member of both the Modern Woodman of America and the Masonic lodges.SalemEvangelical church

The bride is an esteemed young lady, and while she is not quite as well known as Mr. Hunte, she has a number of relatives and acquaintances here who will be pleased to learn of her new step in life.

The Beecher Herald joins with the many friends in extending best wishes for their health, happiness and prosperity.

Mr. and Mrs. Hunte will be “at home” after Oct. 16 at 5549 N. Spaulding Ave., Chicago.

May 18, 1933  – Beecher Herald – OBITUARY


Albert Hunte obit 1The deceased, Albert L Hunte, was born on a farm near Beecher, September 18, 1888. A few weeks later he was baptized in St. John’s Church by Rev. G Koch. Growing up in a fine Christian home, the training he thus received helped to prepare him for thorough religious instruction which culminated in his confirmation by the Rev. D Bierbaum, April 5, 1903. Following his graduation from the Beecher grammar school he continued his education at the university of Valparaiso, Indiana. Having learned carpentry under his father he, after the latter’s retirement from active work, became a contractor in his chosen work, erecting with his men many buildings in and around this locality. Not only did he become well known in this way, but also well liked by all who came in contact with him.


During the World War, he laid aside his peaceful occupation and entered the service June 1, 1918, at Montgomery, Alabama.  He was granted an honorable discharge Feb. 11, 1919, at Camp Grant, outside of Rockford, IL.Camp Grant, Rockford 2

(Editor’s notes: In the Montgomery, AL, Anniston Army Depot, the men repaired vehicles and weapons. Camp Grant, outside of Rockford, was  an Army Infantry Base in World War One.)

Returning to his former trade for which he saw better opportunities in Chicago, he made that city his home. It was here that he met, and on October 2, 1926, married his now deeply sorrowing wife, Miss Vera Matthias, Rev. Joseph George of Evangelical Salem’s Church, officiating. This happy union, although childless, resulted in much happiness for both of them. Finding great pleasure and satisfaction in frequently visiting his mother, brothers and friends in Beecher, it was on such a visit, last Saturday, May 6, that he became quite ill. When on Sunday no improvement was felt a call was sent to his friend and chum, Dr. Edmund Hack of Hammond, Indiana, who diagnosing the trouble as appendicitis, suggested an immediate operation. The operation was performed the same day, Sunday, May 7, at 3 p.m. at the Hammond Hospital. Finding his condition more serious that anticipated, no fear of ultimate recovery was entertained until Wednesday, when alarming complications began to sap his strength and resistance. Although everything possible known to medical science was done, and with two nurses and his loving wife his steady attendants, the angel of death silently approached him and closed his eyes in peaceful death, on Thursday last at 9 a.m. at the age of 44 years, 7 months and 23 days.

Albert Hunte obit 2Those who deeply mourn his sudden death are his wife; mother, Mrs. Henry Hunte; his brothers, Carl and Herman; his parents-in-law; two sisters-in-law; one brother-in-law; and a large host of other relatives and friends.

(Editor’s note: there was only one sister-in-law, Herman’s wife, Malinda Fiene. Albert’s other brother, Carl, never married)

Funeral services were conducted last Sunday, beginning at 1:30 p.m., at the Mrs. Henry Hunte residence, and continued at St. Luke’s Church at 2 o’clock, where Rev. G Horst spoke consolingly in both the German and English languages to a very large gathering of relatives and friends. The many beautiful floral pieces attested to the high esteem in which the departed was held by all who knew him. He was laid to rest in the Beecher Mausoleum.

The departed, as loving husband, dutiful son and faithful brother, deeply implanted himself in the lives of those who always found him worthy of their love. Upright, honest and loyal toward all he could not help but make friends wherever he went. His genial, kindly nature drew him to children as they were drawn to him. Fully realizing the need and worth and blessings of religion, he remained true and loyal to his Master and Savior to the end. As a former member of St. Luke’s Church, severing his connection only as he definitely settled in Chicago, he never failed to worship with home folks whenever visiting here over the week-end. Having shared with us the blessed faith and hope of salvation in Christ Jesus, the comfort may well be ours that all is forever well with “Al.”

free mason.50Although not mentioned in Albert’s obituary, the symbol on his headstone indicates he was a member of the fraternal organization of Freemasons.

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

Father & Mother: Henry Hunte & Minnie (Rust) Hunte
Brother: Carl F.W. Hunte
Uncle & Aunt: Henry F. Rust & Emma (Meyer) Rust
In-laws of Uncle (Emma Meyer Rust’s parents) Diedrich Meyer & Wilhelmina (Bock) Meyer
In-laws of his brother Herman; Malinda (Fiene) Hunte’s parents: Heinrich Fiene & Emma (Ristenpart) Fiene
Aunt & Uncle of brother Herman’s wife, Malinda (Fiene) Hunte: Fredricke Minna (Ristenpart) Kappe & George Kappe

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