Fred Heldt

Age: 93 years, 2 months, 12 days


DOB: September 24, 1876
Beecher, IL USA

DOD: December 6, 1969
South Suburban Hospital, Hazelcrest, IL USA

Son of Ernst and Lisette (nee Stadt) Heldt

Brother to: William F. (Emma Blievernicht), Amelia (Henry Seehausen), Karl “Charles” (Charlotia Klemme), Emma (Heinrich Fick), Sophia Marie, Lisette Mina, Ernst Jr.(Elisabeth Rosenbrook), Ludwig “Louis” (Clara Bergmeier) , Robert (Louise Wolkow) Heldt

Husband of Ida Elizabeth Johanna (nee Peters) Heldt, married Dec. 16, 1900 in Beecher, IL


Father of Violet (Henry T. Meeter) Heldt ( Can you see Violet sitting on her mother’s lap?)


1909 Halloween postcardMr. and Mrs. S.R. Stites and Mr. and Mrs. Fred E. Heldt entertained about 50 of their married friends at a Halloween party, Saturday evening. The party gathered at the home of Mrs. H. Bielfeldt at 7:30 o’clock and from there ambled around in an effort to locate where the function proper would take place. When they arrived at the Stites home they were directed through the dimly lighted rooms, following a narrow roped passage to the basement. Before reaching their destination, however, they heard weird and hideous noises that fairly made the cold chills creep up and down their spinal columns. The basement was in utter darkness, but a match was brought into play and jack-o-lanterns and lighted candles soon illuminated the room, when it was found tables were set with plenty of good things to eat that would even tempt a ghost. Unique and appropriate decorations adorned the tables. Large jack-o-lanterns were placed in the center of the tables, while at each plate there were small candles with carrots as candlesticks. Alongside of each plate were also small turnips filled with assorted candies. Even the paper napkins were adorned with a pumpkin face and a witch, appropriate to the occasion. After satisfying the inner man – at which the writer must confess we overdone it – 1909 Halloween Good Witchthe happy throng were escorted to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred E. Heldt, where they found the rooms tastily decorated with corn stalks and autumn leaves. Here games, vocal and instrumental music, dancing and general merriment prevailed and each guest seemed to enjoy an equal share of the fun. At midnight the good witch made her visit with a kettle of sparkling grape juice just to put on the finishing touch, and shortly afterward the party dispersed, regretting that it had “got late late so early”. The ladies, Mesdames Stites and Heldt, are charming entertainers and are deserving of much praise for their party on Saturday evening, which was so successfully carried out.
Mr. and Mrs. E.B. Lake of Chicago were the only out-of-town guests.

January 1910, Fred resigned his position as rural mail carrier and was succeeded by his brother Louis E. Heldt.

May 1910 Fred E. and his brother Charles E. Heldt purchased the Cloidt grain elevator for $8,500. They also purchased the Cloidt residence for $5,000.

1915 to 1923 Fred managed the Farmers Grain Company.

He was also Justice of the Peace in the Beecher area for 15 years, a deputy sheriff of Will County for four years, a policeman in Lansing for two years, central committeeman for the Republican party for many years, first president of the area chapter of the Modern Woodmen of America, and president of the former Beecher Commercial Club.  Mr. Heldt also served St. John’s United Church of Christ in many capacities.


Fred Heldt and Family Return From an Enjoyable Vacation

Gives Interesting Story of His Trip and Country, Visited

Fred Heldt Iowa visit 1911Fred E. Heldt and family have returned from a week’s vacation spent in Iowa. They report having immensely enjoyed their visit. Mr. Heldt relates his experience during his stay: “We left Beecher on May 13 and arrived at Waverly, Iowa, at 6:13 Saturday evening, where we were met by our cousin, C.C. Treaton, who is a noted farmer of Bremer County, Iowa. The following Monday we went with Mr. Treaton to a farmer’s creamery at Artesian, of which Mr. Treaton is secretary and manager. The creamery handled 540,000 pounds of milk last month and has 80 milk customers. They pay 89 cents for milk and receive 22 cents a pound for butter. From there we went to the homes of Carl, Louis and John Pries and August Thiemann, who are engaged in hog raising, They have from 20 to 60 brood sows each, and it is considered no trick at all to ship from one to fifteen cars of hogs a week by buyers at this point. On Friday, May 19, we left for Sumner to make a short visit with our uncle, Mr. Carl Priece, and on Saturday we left for West Union to visit our Aunt, Mrs. H. Schroeder, and cousins, Wm. Schroeder and Emil Heldt. The latter is well known in this community and sends his regards to all enquiring friends. The country at West Union, Fayette County, is more rolling than that at Bremer. Mr. Heldt and Mr. Schroeder are engaged in raising cattle and sheep. Crops looked good at all points we visited. Corn had already been worked once and oats, wheat and hay were knee deep. Prices for wheat was $1.05; corn .55c; hay $13; hogs $7.90; butter, 23c, and eggs, 13c.”                     Fred E. Heldt





Fred Heldt A&p 1923Fred E. Heldt, former manager of the Farmers Grain Company of Beecher, but who resigned as such several weeks ago, has accepted the position as manager of the A&P store in the Bockelman building on Gould street. He assumed his new position on Monday morning, and is rapidly becoming familiar with his duties.
Melvin G. Durgy, who assumed management of the store at its opening, returned, Monday, to his home at Beardstown, where he will resume his position of manager of the A&P

Photo from Beecher Quaquicentennial book, gentlemen in the photo are not Fred Heldt, but, Oscar Knuth and Arnold Knuth

Photo from Beecher Quaquicentennial book, gentlemen in the photo are not Fred Heldt, but, Oscar Knuth and Arnold Knuth

store there. Mr. Durgy made many friends during his short stay in Beecher. Mr. Heldt is too well known to our readers to need introduction. He has been engaged in various business in Beecher and the buying public will welcome his pleasing and courteous ways in his chosen vocation.



Golden Wedding Fred & Ida Heldt 1950Mr. and Mrs. Fred Heldt celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, Saturday, Dec. 16th. They received many cards, flowers and lovely gifts. The couple were the guest of their son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Meeter and children, Patricia and Dudley, at a dinner in the Colonial Room Chicago 1950Colonial Room in Chicago. A quartet of costumed carolers rendered several Christmas songs at their table. As the dessert was served, a cake with lighted candles was placed before the honored couple while the organist played “I Love You Truly”, “The Anniversary Song” and “Because.”



Rites Held in Beecher Tuesday for Fred Heldt

Rites for Fred E Heldt 1969Funeral services were held Tuesday at the Hack Chapel in Beecher for Fred E. Heldt, 93 of 705 Woodward Street, who died at South Suburban Hospital, Hazelcrest on Saturday. The Rev. Walter C. Coffey officiated and interment was in the Beecher Mausoleum.

Mr. Heldt who was born September 24, 1876 in Beecher, was Central Committeeman of the Republican party for many years, served as first president of the Modern Woodman of America and was president of the former Beecher Commercial Club. He was a policeman for two years in Lansing, deputy sheriff of Will County for four years and served as justice of the peace in this area for 15 years. He served in many capacities as a member of St. John’s United Church of Christ.

Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Henry (Violet) Meeter, two grandchildren, Major Dudley Meeter of Omaha, Neb. and Mrs. Robert (Pat) Burgess of Springfield, and 3 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ida, in 1962 and by five brothers and four sisters.

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

Wife: Ida (Peters) Heldt
Father & Mother: Ernst Heldt & Lisette (Stadt) Heldt
In-laws: Martin Peters & Fridericka (Barmann) Peters
Brother & Sister-in-law: Rudolph Peters & Elizabeth (Eckhoff) Peters
Brother & Sister-in-law: William F. Peters & Helen (Wehling) Peters
Cousin: Henry Heldt Sr.

Other, more distant family include: Bahlman, Batterman, Bergmeier, Beseke, Bielfeldt, Bohl, Cloidt, Dunlap, Engleking,  Fenske, Fick, Freerking, Frobose, Graham, Guritz, Hack, Hager, Haltenhof , Heine, Hildeman, Hinze, Hoffman, Hoppensteadt, Horn, Hunte, Kaczynski, Kappe, Kilborn,  Kirchhoff,  Klocksieben, Koch, Langreder, Leder, Maass, Matthias, Mc Carty, Meyer, Monk, Niedert, Ohlendorf, Pansa, 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


Albert F. Kilborn

Age: 54 years, 5 months, 18 days


DOB: August 10 1878
Indiana USA

DOD: January 28, 1933
Hammond, IN USA

Son of Charles J. and Emeline “Lucretia” (nee Perry) Kilborn

Kilborn Family before 1919

Kilborn Family before 1919


Brother to: Ardella F. (Albert F. Baker), Sarah and Gertrude R. (Harry V. Klein) Kilborn

Husband of Elizabeth “Lizzie” Dole, married June 3, 1906, Lake County, IN, USA
Father of: Charles “Albert” (Mildred Thielman), and Marguerite (Carl Schau) Kilborn

January 28, 1933  – THE GARY EVENING TIMES

Albert Kilborn obit 1Albert F. “Biddy” Kilborn, 55 a well-known baker, and 30 year resident of Hammond, Indiana, formerly of Crown Point, died tragically Saturday January 28, 1933 at his place business. “Biddy” and two other colleagues started the Hammond Modern Bakery in 1912 at 34 State Street. From its small beginnings the bakery became one of the most modern plants in the Midwest, occupying three floors at the State Street address.

Upon coming to Hammond, “Biddy” worked at the Wells-Fargo Express Company prior to his becoming a baker. The Kilborn family is one of the oldest in Lake County, Indiana.Albert Kilborn before 1919


Albert Kilborn Biddy Bread


“Biddy’s Bread” for years has been the trademark of the company. The name just grew on the company, his partners said. Years ago, mothers sent their children to the bakery to get “Biddy Bread.” And so the name gained prominence throughout the region as the company expanded.

Albert Kilborn obit 2“Biddy had been in charge of the business office of the bakery since the start. He managed the drivers and was also in charge of the sales.

Throughout his life the deceased had been noted for contributions to numerous charities in the city. When the Great Depression became acute and necessitated the establishment of various relief agencies. “Biddy” willingly contributed bread and money while at the same time his own bakery was suffering heavily in the Hammond bank closures.

The deceased is deeply mourned by his widow, Elizabeth; a daughter, Marguerite, 15 years old, and a son, Charles, 24 years old, a grandson Richard, and two sisters, Mrs. Dell Baker, of South Chicago, and Mrs. Gertrude Klein, of Burdett, Kansas


He was active in the Elks, Moose and Modern Woodmen of America fraternal lodges.


(Editor’s note: Albert & Elizabeth Kilborn were moved to the Beecher Mausoleum after the Mausoleum where they were originally interred, located in Indiana, was so badly vandalized it was ordered demolished by the city. I believe it was in Crown Point, IN.)

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

Wife: Elizabeth “Lizzie” (Dole) Kilborn
Brother & Sister-in-law of son (Charles): Walter L. Thielman & Paula M.(Kuhlman) Thielman
Father & Mother-in-law of son (Charles): Henry F. Thielman & Minnie K. (Bielfeldt) Thielman
Nephew: Loren W. Thielman
Nephew’s Wife: Dollie J. (Johnson) Thielman

Other, more distant family include: Bahlman, Batterman, Bergmeier, Beseke, Bielfeldt, Bohl, Cloidt, Dunlap, Engleking,  Fenske, Fick, Fiene, Freerking, Frobose, Graham, Guritz, Hack, Hager, Haltenhof , Heine, Heldt, Hildeman, Hinze, Hoffman, Hoppensteadt, Horn, Hunte, Kaczynski, Kappe, 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, Westphal, Wilkening,







Arthur Struve

Age: 62 years, 1 month, 16 days


DOB: June 11, 1870
Monee, IL USA

DOD: July 27, 1932
at his office in Chicago Heights, IL USA

(Editor’s note:  Arthur’s headstone was broken by vandals back in the 1980’s. We are in the process of raising funds for the replacement of all the damaged marble)

Son of William and Rosamond (nee Van Jordens) Struve
Brother to: Rosemunda and Emma C. Affolder Struve (Paul J. Weigand)  (Emma Affolder was adopted by the Struves)

Husband of Caroline “Carrie” L. (Kappmeyer) Struve, married  May 10, 1895, Beecher, IL USA

Father of Rosamond (William J. Orr) Struve


The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago  1907


Arthur Struve, whose name is an honored one on commercial paper throughout Will County, and who is now a worthy representative of financial interest, being president of the First National Bank of Beecher, is a native of the country, having been born in Monee, June 11, 1870. His father, William Struve, was a native of Brunswick, Germany, born December 15, 1832. He acquired a good education in his native country and early displayed business qualities which later made him a successful man. His father was engaged in the manufacture of linseed oil and it is said that after the workmen were gone for the day that William Struve would gather up the scatterings, manufacture oil therefrom and make a little money for himself. His mother was in poor health, so that in 1848 the family decided to emigrate to the United States, hoping that the change would prove beneficial to her. It was their plan to go west to the Mississippi River, where the father might get work as an architect and builder, for he had carried on business as an architect in his native country as well as the linseed oil manufacture. On the ocean, however, the father died and the mother was thus left with six children. They proceeded on their way to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where they had friends. The mother then invested the money which she had in one hundred and sixty acres of land for each of her four boys and put a similar amount in the bank for the two daughters. In less than a year her death occurred. The six children and two hired men, who came with them from Germany, lived together for one year. An older brother died a year after the mother’s death and another brother still older was married and was drowned while trying to save the life of a comrade. Thus in course of time the family became broken up.

When eighteen years of age William Struve went west to the Mississippi river and for two or three years engaged in buying wood and selling it to steamboats. He found this to be quite profitable and when twenty-one years of age he returned to Sheboygan and sold his land, after which he bought lumber which he shipped by vessel to Chicago and thence on the Illinois Central, which had just been completed, to Monee. In this place he established the first lumber yard and engaged in business there for fourteen years. He likewise bought lots in the village and also bought and sold farms, and his real estate manipulations as well as in his commercial interests met with success.

William Struve Hecker's regiment 1

William Struve , Hecker’s regiment Company D, Eighty-second Illinois Volunteer infantry

In July, 1862, he answered the call for volunteers to aid in suppressing the rebellion, enlisting in Company D, Eighty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, known as Hecker’s Regiment. He participated in the memorable march to the sea and was a faithful and valorous soldier. He was mustered out and honorably discharged at the close of the war in June, 1865.  About 1869 or 1870 he removed to Beecher, which had just been established following the building of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad. Here he established a lumber yard and conducted it for twenty-five years, when he turned the business over to his son. While not a member of any church, he attended and contributed liberally to its support. In politics he was a republican, and he took an active interest in advancing the welfare and growth of the party, but never sought or desired office for himself. He was a good businessman and one well educated. While in Wisconsin he worked for his board and the privilege of attending school.  He was anxious to learn the English language and he not only mastered the text books, but read much beside. He also taught school in that state after returning from the west. In his business life he eagerly improved his opportunities, making steady advancement along well directed lines of labor, and as the years passed he became a prosperous citizen. He died December 1, 1894, and is still survived by his widow.

Mrs. Struve bore the maiden name of Rosamond Van Jordens and was born near Dusseldorf, Germany, January 25, 1837. When twelve years of age she accompanied her parents on their immigration to America, the family settling at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Her father, Peter Van Jordens, became a farmer and lived at Manitowoc until his death. On the 4th of June, 1857, the daughter gave her hand in marriage to William Struve and went to Monee with her husband, who had been in business there for some time. She is still living in a comfortable cottage in Beecher, and is a member of the Roman Catholic Church, in the faith of which she was reared. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Struve were born five children. Rose, a sister older than our subject, died at the age of twenty-four years, while three younger children died in infancy.

Arthur Struve was only a year old when he came to Beecher and here he was reared, attending the public schools. At the age of eighteen years he took charge of his father’s business and on attaining his majority became the owner of the lumberyard which he conducted with success until 1895, when he disposed of that enterprise and turned his attention to banking,

Arthur Struve Bank Block 1905

Arthur Struve Bank Block 1905

establishing a private bank, which he conducted from 1896 until the 11th of May, 1905. At that time the First National Bank of Beecher was organized and Mr. Struve became president. It is capitalized at fifty thousand dollars, with Hon. Fred Wilke as vice president and Carl Ehrhardt as cashier. Mr. Struve is half owner of the brick block where the bank is located and which was built by him in 1906 in association with Thomas Clark. He is also treasurer of the Eastern Illinois Brick Company of Beecher and his business enterprises and activity have contributed in substantial measure to the upbuilding of the village.

In 1895 Mr. Struve was united in marriage to Miss Carrie Kappmeyer, a native of Will County and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kappmeyer, her father now living retired in Beecher. Mr. and Mrs. Struve have a daughter, Rosa. Theirs is one of the finest homes in Beecher, built in attractive style of architecture and tastefully and richly furnished, and its hospitality, too, is one of its most attractive features. Mr. Struve is a valued member of the Masonic fraternity at Crete, the Elks Lodge at Kankakee and the Modern Woodmen camp at Beecher. In his business life he has made steady progress. Keen and clear headed, moving slowly and surely in every transaction, he possesses that determination and perseverance which ultimately reaches the objective point.

masonic elblem

Elks-Logo-EmblemModeran Woodmen of America

Illustrated Prospectus of Beecher, ILL.

Complied by A. Gordon, Publisher of Prospectuses for Towns on the

C. & E. I. R. R. and Frisco Systems

BEECHER, ILL., July 1905


President of the First National Bank

Arthur Struve, president of the First National Bank of Beecher, and founder of the Bank of Beecher, the first institution of its kind in the Township of Washington, was born in Monee, Ill., and first saw Beecher when only a year old, his parents moving to Beecher at that time.

At a very early age he began his business career, first joining his father in the lumber business. At the age of nineteen he controlled the entire lumber business, at which time, after establishing a large trade, he sold out to H.F. Wilke. He then started the Bank of Beecher, and made such a signal success that this spring the “First National” was incorporated. The First National is therefore the offspring of the Bank of Beecher.

Arthur Struve Residence, Beecher

Arthur Struve Residence, Beecher

Mr. Struve is thirty-five years of age, is married and has one daughter. His residence, as seen by the illustration, is one of the finest to be seen in any town along the line of the C. & E.I.



One of the Best Manufacturing Plants of its Kind

Supremacy in the brick industry was the goal of the incorporators of the Eastern Illinois Brick Company when the plant was established some three years ago (1902), and with the strength of purpose characteristic of Beecher push and enterprise, the business has been exploited until now this goal has been reached, and the euphonious slogan “Beecher for Brick,” is being surely raised as the banner cry of the brick industry. This is no vain or empty boast, for the company owns over thirteen acres of the finest brick land in the state, and, after some experimenting, the top notch has been reached in the product turned out. Every foot of the land is available, and the plant is being extended rapidly, more machinery is being installed, and, before the summer wanes, the plant will give employment to from 75 to 80 skilled workmen. At present the demand for Beecher Brick is in excess of the supply, but with the rapid growth of the works the facilities will soon be such as to meet all requirements.

The above is, in brief outline, a synopsis of the history of Beecher’s brick industry.

The stock is all held by local capital, the leading business men of Beecher being the directors. The following are the officers:  Thomas Clark, president; Dr. Van Voorthis, vice-president; Arthur Struve, secretary and treasurer; Henry Stade, superintendent. The directors consist of all the above with H.F. Wilke and H. Wehmhoefer.

Eastern Illinois Brick Co. 1902 "Beecher for Brick"

Eastern Illinois Brick Co. 1902 “Beecher for Brick”

March 25, 1910 – Beecher Herald

example of a Halladay automobile

example of a Halladay automobile

Arthur Struve brought home a brand new, “Spank-up” Halladay automobile from Streator, Ill., Saturday. It is a four-cylinder, five passenger car and is equipped with electric lights and all the latest improvements.

(Editor’s note: In 1917, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Struve and daughter, Rosemond, and Miss Esther Hack ventured on a four month trip through the south and to the Pacific coast)

December 30, 1910 – Beecher Herald


Arthur Struve Disposes of His Interest in the Beecher Bank

Was Head of Institution Since Its Organization

The First National Bank of Beecher this week made a change in the personnel of its officers and directors, by the resignation of President Arthur Struve. Thos. Clark succeeds him as the head of the bank, Henry Stade succeeds Mr. Clark as vice president and Cashier Carl Ehrhardt has been selected to fill the vacancy on the board of directors.

Mr. Struve has disposed of his shares in the bank, he informs us, for the purpose of entering the banking business in a larger field.

Ever since the organization of the First National Bank of Beecher nearly six years ago Mr. Struve has been its president and held the confidence of the people through all those years, and through his careful handling of the funds entrusted to the bank, has sustained it as a safe and sound institution. He was also president of the Bank of Beecher for over nine years before the organization of the First National. Mr. Struve, in severing his connection with the bank, makes the following statement:

Beecher, Ill., Dec. 28, 1910

I desire to announce that I have severed my connections with the First National Bank of Beecher, having sold all my holdings. I hereby desire to earnestly thank all my friends for the many favors done and shown me in the past. You having entrusted me and associates with your money and confidence these many years. I assure you it is the happiest thoughts in my life you know and tell you I have not abused that confidence and trust. I also desire to bespeak the same confidence for the new management as you have bestowed upon me. The officers and directors are well known and capable and there is no reason why the First National Bank should not prosper. I shall continue to make Beecher my home and hope to continue your confidence and friendship. Again thanking you all and wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year, I am,

Yours truly,

A. Struve

As Mr. Struve states above, there is no reason why the First National Bank should not prosper. The officers are well known and are capable gentlemen, and we know they have the confidence of the community.

1910 – 1932

(Editor’s note: Arthur continued his business ventures after he left the Banking Business. We found many ads in the newspapers showing that Arthur had entered the Real Estate Business)

Arthur Struve ad 1919

Arthur Struve ad 1927

Arthur Struve ad


The construction of the Beecher Mausoleum

(Editor’s note: Arthur is attributed with helping to finance the construction of the Beecher Mausoleum. The pre-sale of crypts was to be the primary source of funds to pay for the construction of the mausoleum. We can’t find any financial accounting as to the cost of the construction, nor how much money was raised by the pre-sale of crypts. According to the Struve family’s historical accounting records, it appears that a note of over $5000 remained held by Arthur Struve even after his death)

Click on the links below to read the newspaper articles about the construction of the mausoleum:

03-12-1912 Mausoleum for Beecher

03-22-1912 Beecher’s Proposed Mausoleum

10-25-1912 Beecher’s New Mausoleum

02-27-1914 Now Ready for Visitors

06-19-1914 Mausoleum Dedicated

August 4, 1932 – Beecher Herald


Arthur Struve obitBeecher friends were shocked last Wednesday to hear of the sudden death of Arthur Struve at his office in Chicago Heights.

Mr. Struve died so quickly and quietly that friends who were with him in his office scarcely realized what had happened. It was known by a few that he had been a sufferer of angina pectoris and recurrent attacks had weakened his resistance, but on each occasion he rallied and refused to take to bed.

On Wednesday he appeared to be feeling exceptionally well. He appeared at his office at the usual hour both in the morning and afternoon. After lunch he was seated at his desk in his office, chatting with Ray Schultze, his business associate and Dr. Frank J. Haessler, a friend. Schultze left and the conversation between Dr. Haessler and Mr. Struve continued. Glancing up from a newspaper he had consulted, Dr. Haessler observed Mr. Struve’s head had fallen limply against the back of his chair. Both he and Miss Marion Oliver, clerk in the office, rushed forward to offer aid, but it was useless. Dr. Spencer Blim was summoned and pronounced Mr. Struve dead and gave the organic heart disease as the cause.

Arthur Struve was born in Monee June 11, 1870, but came with his parents a the age of two years to live in Beecher. Here he lived continuously until he moved to Chicago Heights in 1917. For many years he was president of the First National Bank of Beecher. He was married to Caroline Kappmeyer on May 10, 1895. To this unions one child was born. Rosamund. (Mrs. Wm. J. Orr) of Chicago Heights. Besides his widow and daughter, he is survived by one grandchild Margaret Caroline Orr.

In Beecher, he was the possessor of a large number of friends and during his residence and business career in Chicago Heights, he was linked with innumerable admirers. He was on of the foremost realtors in the Heights.

Funeral services were held, Saturday afternoon, at the Orr home in Chicago Heights and his remains were laid at rest in the Beecher Mausoleum.

The Beecher Herald joins with the many Beecher friends in extending profound sympathy to the grief stricken relatives.


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

Wife: Caroline “Carrie” (Kappmeyer) Struve
Mother: Rosamond (Jordens) Struve
1st cousin of wife: Caroline (Kappmeyer) Horn
2nd cousin of wife: Clara (Horn) Hager
2nd cousin of wife: Walter L. Horn
2nd cousin of wife: Reinhold W. Horn
2nd cousin of wife: Arthur H. Horn

Other, more distant family include: Bahlman, Batterman, Bergmeier, Beseke, Bielfeldt, Bohl, Cloidt, Dunlap, Engleking,  Fenske, Fick, Fiene, Freerking, Frobose, Graham, Guritz, Hack, Haltenhof , Heine, Heldt, Hildeman, Hinze, Hoffman, Hoppensteadt, 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, Thielman, Vagt, Von Engeln, Wegert, Wehmhoefer, Wiechen, Westphal, Wilkening.