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,


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,


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

Help Please

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





Fred Bernard Rohe

Age: 77 years, 7 months, 19 days


DOB: August 20, 1874
Crete, Will County, IL, USA

DOD: April 8, 1952
St. Francis Hospital, Blue Island, Cook County, IL, USA

Fred B. Rohe 1913


Son of Henry and Maria (nee Hinze) Rohe
Brother to: Herman (Mary S. Behrens), William (Elizabeth K. Beckman),  Karl Charles J. (Sophia Saller), Maria (Clarence H. Hannaca) Rohe

Husband of Sophie Steege, married July 2, 1898.
Father to: Otto F. (Lorine Behrens), Estella (Walter F. Sheetz & Paul J. Monahan) Rohe

Husband of Johanna Jaeger, married after 1930.


March 7, 1913 – Beecher Herald


Gives Good Reasons for Aspiring for Legislative Honors

Every Voter Should Turn Out Next Tuesday and Help Elect Him

Why Rohe is a CandidateIn last week’s issue of the Joliet News, the Crete correspondent to that paper gave Mr. Rohe’s reasons for becoming a candidate for the legislature to succeed the late J.H. Alexander, and for which a special election will be held next Tuesday, March 11. Following is the clipping verbatim:

“Crete, Feb. 26. The candidacy of F.H. Rohe for the legislature to fill the vacancy caused by the death of J.H. Alexander, is the first in twenty years from the eastern part of Will County. This part has not been represented since Fred Wilke of Washington was elected. This is one of the reasons why Mr. Rohe, the candidate on the republican ticket, concluded to make the race. Mr. Rohe, however, has other reasons which he gave to the correspondent of the News in an interview last Monday, and which should receive consideration.”

“The county east of Joliet, he says, has more than double the number of townships than the entire county of DuPage, which is represented by Mr. Miller. By electing him to represent the east and McCabe of Lockport the west of the county, the district will be divided as it should be.”

“Referring to his record as a member of the county board, Mr. Rohe claims credit for having been a member of the special committee appointed for the purpose of forcing the Sanitary drainage district to pay its taxes as assessed against it, which means the payment of $8,000 to the town of Lockport, and establishes a precedent that the Sanitary district will have to pay such taxes in the future.”

“Rohe says he is and always was in Help Please…..

(Editor’s note: We seem to have lost the rest of the article. If anyone is reading the 1913 Beecher Herald, maybe you can help us finish this piece.)


April 11, 1952 – Chicago Heights Star


Fred Rohe death noticeFred B. Rohe, of 1561 Main Street, Crete, former president of the Crete Village Board and former Crete Township Supervisor, died Tuesday at St. Francis Hospital, Blue Island, after a long illness. He attained the age of 77 years.

Funeral services were held yesterday afternoon at the Trinity Lutheran Church, Crete. The Rev. A.T. Kretzmann officiated, and burial was at the Beecher Mausoleum.

Photo from a book "Crete Remembered" by Carol Triebold and Phyllis Monk

Photo from a book “Crete Remembered”
by Carol Triebold and Phyllis Monk
Fred Rohe Realtor




A lifelong resident of the Village, Mr. Rohe was born April 20, 1874. He served four terms as village president and was township supervisor for 12 years. He operated a real estate and insurance business in the village for 45 years.Surviving- are his wife Johanna; one son, Otto of Blue Island; one daughter, Mrs. Estelle Sheetz of Detroit; one sister, Mrs. Maria Hannaca of Warren, Ohio; and two grandchildren, Mrs. Marilyn York of Crete and Carl Rohe of Blue Island.

Three brothers, Herman, William ad Charles preceded him in death.

April 17, 1952 – Beecher Herald


Fred Rohe, buried hereFuneral rites were held, last Thursday afternoon, at Crete Trinity Lutheran Church for Fred Rohe, former mayor of Crete. Burial was in the Mausoleum here.

Mr. Rohe passed away, last Tuesday, at St. Francis Hospital, Blue Island, following a lingering illness. He attained the age of 77 years.

The deceased, a native of Crete, served as mayor there for sixteen years and was a member of the Board of Supervisors for many years. He was engaged in the real estate and insurance business.

He is survived by his widow, Johanna; a daughter, Mrs. Stella Sheetz of Detroit; a son, Otto of Blue Island; and a sister, Marie Hannaca of Warren, Ohio.

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

1st Wife: Sophie (Steege) Rohe
2nd Wife: Johanna (Jaeger) Rohe

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, Kilborn,  Kirchhoff,  Klocksieben, Koch, Langreder, Leder, Maass, Matthias, Mc Carty, Meyer, Monk, Niedert, Ohlendorf, Pansa, Peters, Pralle, Riley, Ristenpart, Rust, Saller, Selk, Struve, Thielman, Vagt, Von Engeln, Wegert, Wehmhoefer, Wiechen, Westphal, Wilkening.


Henry F. Bahlman

Age: 83 years, 11 months

“Henry Frederick Bahlman”

DOB: October 6, 1862
Eagle Lake, Will County, IL, USA

DOD: September 6, 1946
Chicago Heights, Cook County, IL, USA


Hans Heinrich Christoph (Henry) & Dorothea (Harste) Bahlman resizedSon of Hans Heinrich Christoph and Dorothea (nee Harste) Bahlman

Bahlmann Family Coat of Arms

Bahlmann Family Coat of Arms

Brother to: Mary (John Herman), Caroline “Lena” Bahlman, Johann H. (Anna L. Wehrmann), William F. (Ora M Robinson), Charles H. (Wilhelmine Sophia M. “Minnie” Schweer) Bahlman

Husband of Emma Wehmhoefer Bahlman,
married May 25, 1890,  Eagle Lake, IL

Father to:  Lillian (Dr. Henry H. Wegert),  Lora  (Arthur A. Hinze), Henry W. (Marguerite Toleson Greenfield),  Carolyn Marie Bahlman, Donald W. (Martha Jo Mitchell), Ferne (William R. Hildeman) Bahlman

Lifelong member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Eagle Lake, IL. He also served as Church Deacon.

Henry F. Bahlman

Henry was the first man in Will County to import thoroughbred Percheron Horses directly from France.

His reputation as a judge of horses and his knowledge of veterinary matters was known throughout the county, and his advice was sought by hundreds of people.

In addition to his many accomplishments, he was a member of the School District Board, Washington Township Supervisor, Assessor and Justice of the Peace, an Officer and member of the Board of The Crete Mutual Fire Insurance Co. and Director and President of the Eagle Lake Brick & Tile Works.



 JULY 29, 1910


Is Meeting With Gratifying Encouragement in Every Section

Will Undoubtedly Receive Solid Vote in Washington

H.F. Bahlman, candidate for the Republican nomination for county clerk, is just about Henry F. Bahlmanthe busiest man in Will County, just now, canvassing in the interest of his campaign, he reports that he is meeting with gratifying encouragement in every section he visits.

Mr. Bahlman is too well known to our readers to need an introduction as to his life’s history. He is known for his honesty and integrity, and is well qualified to assume the duties of the office he aspires to.

Every voter in the town of Washington and Village of Beecher–Mr. Bahlman’s home–should favorably consider his candidacy, not for the one reason that he is a home candidate, but because he is the only candidate for a county office in the eastern part of Will County, and because he is admirably fitted for the office of county clerk.



H.F. Bahlman transports farmers 1913In August of 1913, about 350 farmers listened to a representative from the Will County Crop and Soil Improvement Assoc. Speakers urged farmers to plow under their clover crop instead of harvesting it, thus providing fertilizer to the soil for higher corn yields. H.F. Bahlman, H.F. Thielman, Ed Rump, and Welton Ehrardt were among the Beecher farmers who filled 75 automobiles for a tour of Will County farms that day.



 MARCH 27, 1914


Defeats Salzman in Caucus for Supervisor Last Saturday

Bernhard Wins as Collector and Wehrman as Assessor

H.F. Bahlman will represent Washington Township on the county board, winning by a large majority at the Republican caucus held, Saturday afternoon, at the Clark-Struve hall. The contest for which great interest and the result was eagerly awaited. Both gentlemen ran on a Republican ticket and both asked the support of the Republicans. Mr. Bahlmann promises to work to the interest of the township on the board and in accord with the wishes of those who voted for him. The caucus is the only one held in the township and the choice is usually decisive.

Here are the results of the caucus:
H.F. Bahlman……….202
R.G. Salzman……….161
Fred Wehrman Sr….180
Fred E. Heldt……….167
Fred Bernhard………198
Rudolph Pomrehn…159
Clerk – Frank Hunte (no opposition)
Commissioner of Highways – William Buhr (no opposition)
Constables – Fred Hartman, Henry Hack (no opposition)

Carl Ehrardt, chairman of the caucus, gave a short talk explaining the proposed bonding of the township for hard roads, which was intently listened to by the citizens and evidently met the approval of a large majority present, as many voluneered to sign the petition.

The caucus was one of the largest held in Beecher in years, nearly all voters of the township participating.

 BEECHER HERALD – AUGUST 19, 1920 Henry F Bahlman 1920



SEPTEMBER 12, 1946


Death marked the finish to the careers of two men, whose aggressiveness and resulting accomplishments are vividly recalled by citizens of this community. They were men of action and pioneers in many respects in their activity in civic and business life in this community.

Series Of Strokes Prove Fatal To Henry F. Bahlman At 83

Funeral services for Henry F. Bahlman, outstanding farmer and prominent citizen of this community for many years, Sunday afternoon, at the Hack Funeral Home and following at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church at Eagle Lake, were conducted by Rev. Carl F. Selle. Interment was in the Beecher Mausoleum.

The deceased, who had been making his home with his daughter in Chicago Heights, suffered a stroke two years ago. A second stroke, March 3, made hospitalization necessary; and a third stroke, six weeks ago, finally brought a close at 8:00 o’clock, Friday morning, a long, full life, at the age of 83 years and 11 months.

He is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Henry Wegert, Chicago and Mrs. Arthur Hinze and Mrs. William Hildeman of Chicago Heights: two sons, Dr. Henry and Donald W., four grandchildren and a great grandson; also a sister, Miss Lena Bahlman; and the following in-laws: Mrs. M. Bahlman, Mr. & Mrs. Gust Hahn and Ferdinand Oberheide. Preceding him in death were a daughter, Carolyn, who died in 1924; and his good wife, who passed away in Sept. 1934.

Henry F and Emma's farmhouse Eagle Lake before 1922Mr. Bahlman was united in marriage with Emma Wehmhoefer, May 25, 1890. For many years he successfully operated a farm in the Eagle Lake community. Throughout his career, he was active in both church and civic affairs, having been a member of his district school board and supervisor and justice of the peace of Washington Township. He also served for a long period as an officer and member of the board of the Crete Mutual Fire Insurance Co.

In closing, we quote a member of his family in the tribute: “Dad will live in our memories always for the inspiration he was to us in our formative years, with his progressive ideas, the courage with which he met the challenge of life, his readiness to help a friend in trouble, and finally for his unwavering confidence to his very end in our integrity and ability.”

Editor’s notes: The other citizen mentioned in the headline was: Henry G. Wehrmann 1902-1946. Another prominent citizen in the young automotive dealership industry.

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

Wife: Emma Wehmhoefer Bahlman
Daughter & Son-in-law: Lillian Bahlman Wegert & Henry H. Wegert
Daughter & Son-In-Law: Lora Bahlman Hinze & Arthur A. Hinze
Son & Daughter-in-law: Henry W. Bahlman & Marguerite Toleson Bahlman
Daughter: Carolyn M. Bahlman
Son: Donald W. Bahlman
Daughter & Son-in-law: Ferne Bahlman Hildeman & William R. Hildeman
Sister: Lena Bahlman
Brother & Sister-in-law: John H. Bahlmann & Anna L. Wehrmann Bahlmann
Brother: William F. Bahlmann
Brother & Sister-in-law: Charles H. Bahlman & Minnie Schweer Bahlman
Niece & Nephew-in-law: Dorothy Bahlman Saller & Herbert C. Saller
Grand Niece & Grand Nephew-in-law: Charlene M. Saller Graham & Arthur Graham
Great Grand Niece: Nancy Graham Fenske

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


John Kaczynski

Age: 51 years, 10 months, 22 days


DOB: May 4, 1890

DOD: March 26, 1942
at home, Sollitt, IL USA

Parentage Unknown

Husband of Scholiasika Butviliate, married before June 1928

Scholiasika “Tillie” married again to John Gausis after John’s death in 1942. Tillie died at age 94 in T or C New Mexico in 1996.

John Kaczynski.Center.resized(Editor’s note: We know Scholiasika, aka Tillie, departed Copenhagen, Kobenhavn, Denmark on May 2, 1928 and arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on May 12, 1928.
On June 20, 1928, Scholiasika and John crossed the border into Detriot as a married couple, destined for Chicago, IL)

John Sr. was father of John Kaczynski Jr., 

April 2, 1942  –  Beecher Herald


John Kaczynski obitJohn Kaczynski, a Lithuanian by birth, who came to America in 1914 at the age of 28 years (correction, 24 years), was unexpectedly called out of this life, Thursday, March 26, 1942 at 12:30 p.m. at his home at Sollitt. Not quite well, yet without alarming symptoms, his departure deeply shocked his loved ones as well as those who had learned to know and esteem him. His funeral was held, Monday, March 30 at 2 p.m., at the Hack Funeral Home with Rev. G Horst officiating. The following trio: Mrs. Herman Seitz, Mrs. Ervin Albers and Mrs. George Ostermeyer, rendered two appropriate songs, and a lady friend of the family sang two numbers, one in Lithuanian for the many Lithuanian friends of the bereaved family present. The funeral, largely attended, and the beautiful floral pieces gave evidence of the esteem in which the departed was held.

Interment was made in the Beecher Mausoleum, where the above mentioned singer again sang in both English and Lithuanian.

He leaves to mourn, his wife Tillie, nee Butvilaite, one son John; one sister-in-law, Mary Kaczynski: one brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Ddimidos, and family; and many other relatives and friends.

Sollitt Tap, unknown if this is the same building John owned, can you help?

As a tavern operator in Sollitt for a number of years, John was well known and respected among local business men. His shrewd business ability and upright and aggressive tactics were an asset to the community. He was probably the pioneer of the popular night softball games in this vicinity when he erected the first lighting plant in this area in Sollitt some years ago.

(Editor’s note) I found the photo to the left on Facebook, I am not sure if it is the same building John used to own or not. Can you help ?


John also served on the Beecher volunteer Fire Department. The most valuable of the civic organizations in Beecher, it is also the oldest organized group in Beecher.

John’s son, John Kaczynski, Jr. owned the “Farmers Inn” on Gould Street. It was formerly known as “Up the Street Bar.”

John has no direct / immediate family resting in the mausoleum
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, 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, Westphal, 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



Age: 65 years, 9 days


DOB: June 30, 1871
Chicago, IL USA

DOD: July 9, 1936
North Chicago Hospital, Chicago, IL USA

Henry Wehmhoefer


Son of William and Maria (nee Seegers or Siegert) Wehmhoefer

Brother to: Marie S. (Herman F. Claus), William, Edward J. (Charlotte Thiesfeld), Lydia (Leonard S. Cole), Matilda (William A. Westphal) and Clara (Martin W. Peters)



Husband of Augusta J Wehling, married September 24, 1895 in Zion Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL

Father to: Ethel (Arthur J. Hack), Lawrence (Magnetta L. Kurth), Harold G. and Howard H. (Marian L. Hinze) Wehmhoefer

Henry Wehmhoefer.third row, first person.resized

Henry Wehmhoefer, third row, first person left


Illustrated Prospectus of Beecher, ILL.

Compiled by A. Gordon, Publisher of Prospectuses for Towns on the C. & E. I. R. R. and Frisco Systems

BEECHER, ILL., July 1905



Leading Hardware Merchant Has Many Business Interests

Wehmhoefer Hardware store adH. Wehmhoefer, Beecher’s leading hardware merchant, was born in Chicago, remaining in the city for twenty years, when he moved to Beecher. Ten years ago in August he started his hardware business, and it speaks well for its management that during all these years Mr. Wehmhoefer has had no competition. This fact is the highest monument to the liberal and honorable treatment always accorded by Mr. Wehmhoefer to his patrons, and though the rapid growth of Beecher is now introducing competitive business, Mr. Wehmhoefer may be counted on to retain his old patrons who have known him for years and who know him for what he is worth. Having lived in Beecher for 15 years and enjoyed the success that comes from a busy life, Mr. Wehmhoefer believes in Beecher and believes in Beechers’ institutions. He is one of the men who will do his part in bringing about a larger expansion of Beecher’s industrial activity. Mr. Wehmhoefer is one of the directors of the Eastern Illinois Brick company, the leading industry, and he would be among the first to welcome additional industries. He is unalterably opposed to any stand-still policy. In the matter of new educational facilities his vote is already recorded on the side of progress, and he will do his utmost to bring about the desired end. Mr. Wehmhoefer is a member of St. Lucas Church, and both he and his family take interest in all the social circles of the town.

Deering equipmentIn addition to his large hardware business Mr. Wehmhoefer is exclusive agent for many of the leading farm implement firms, including the Deering Company. In a word, the tenth year of the establishment of his business sees Mr. Wehmhoefer at the head of two of the most important business enterprises that an agricultural community can have, and it is the wish of his fellow-townsmen that he may long continue to attract people from far and near to the village of Beecher.


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 the Beecher 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 Voorhis, vice-president; Arthur Struve, secretary and treasurer; Hendy Stade, superintendent. The directors consist of all the above with H.F. Wilke and H. Wehmhoefer.

In fact, the best brains and capital of the town is at the back of this industry, and the ambition of the company is to enlarge the meaning of the motto, “Beecher for Brick” into the higher and broader motto of “Beecher for Best Brick.”

Eastern Illinois Brick Co. 1902 "Beecher for Brick"

Eastern Illinois Brick Co. 1902 “Beecher for Brick”

July 16, 19369 – Beecher Herald


Henry Wehmhoefer

Henry C. Wehmhoefer obit 1Henry Wehmhoefer, son of the deceased William and Mary Wehmhoefer, was born in Chicago June 30, 1871. Being the child of fine Christian parents he was soon after birth, baptized by the Rev. Wagner in Zion’s Church, Chicago. When in the fall of 1884, his parents became residents of our community, ample opportunity was given the departed to complete a course in religious instruction at St. Paul’s Church, northwest of Beecher where, on March 29, 1885, he was confirmed by the Rev. A.H. Brauer. Filled with the enthusiasm, hope and energy of youth, he soon sought and found employment in Chicago, first as clerk in a wholesale grocery store and later as painter and decorator.

On September 24, 1895, he was united in holy wedlock to Miss Augusta Wehling, the ceremony taking place in Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chicago, Rev. J.G. Nuetzel officiating. This happy union was blessed with four children, one of whom, Harold, in 1905, preceded the father in death. The surviving children, who together with the mother deeply mourn the loss of a loving husband and father are; Ethel, Mrs. Arthur Hack; and Lawrence and Howard, all of Beecher.

Wehmhoefer Hardware.resized

Wehmhoefer Hardware

Henry Wehmhoefer garage off Dixie Highway

Henry Wehmhoefer garage off Dixie Highway

Immediately after their marriage the young couple established their home here in Beecher, where the departed bought and successfully operated the former Charles Hack hardware store. Gifted with rare business acumen he, 18 years ago, also acquired the Tatge garage on the Dixie Highway, which also proved a good investment.

About the same time he realized the fulfillment of a long cherished dream in calling a beautiful home on the northwest end of Gould Street his own. Because of his many sterling qualities and his deep interest in the welfare of the community which he had learned to love, he not only served as president of the School Board, but also for many years, up to the time of his death, as president of the Farmers State Bank, which positions of honor and trust he filled to the full satisfaction of all concerned.

Henry C. Wehmhoefer obit 2Beginning to ail some six years ago his life gradually and increasingly became filled with intense pain and suffering. In his quest for relief and possible cure he consulted the best of medical skill here, and in many of the hospitals of Chicago, always bearing himself with Christian patience and fortitude. During all these years, when at home or in the hospitals, the best of loving attention and care and most skilled and untiring nursing was given him. This applies especially to his stay in the North Chicago Hospital, where he had stayed the longest and where he had gone again some five weeks ago when his suffering became almost unbearable. While there his ailment took a decided turn for the worse so that all hopes of recovery had to be abandoned. Fully realizing his critical condition, suffering patiently as always, his end in the presence of his family came peacefully Thursday, July 9, at 10:45 p.m., at the age of 65 years and 9 days.

Those who deeply mourn his departure are his wife, the children already mentioned, one son-in-law; one grandchild, Geraldine Hack; three sisters, Minnie, Mrs. H.F. Claus, of Beecher; Lydia, Mrs. L.S. Cole, of Steger; Clara, Mrs. Martin Peters, of Monee; one half-sister, Carrie Hoffman; one step-brother, John Hoffman, of Grant Park; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Henry C. Wehmhoefer obit 3Funeral services were conducted, Sunday afternoon, beginning at 1:30 at the home and continued at St. Lucas Church, where his pastor, Rev. G. Horst, spoke fitting words of comfort in both the German and English languages. A temporary installment of a microphone and loud-speaker making it possible to reach the vast number of relatives and friends who had come to pay their last respects to an honored friend. The many beautiful floral pieces also evidenced the high esteem and regard in which the departed was held by all who knew him. He was laid to rest in the Beecher Mausoleum.

In the passing of Mr. Wehmhoefer whose high ideals, integrity, fair-mindedness, and uprightness ever evoked confidence and trust, the community has suffered a distinct loss. By his loved ones and immediate relatives he will always be remembered as a wonderful husband, father and brother, whose every thought and effort was centered upon their happiness and comfort. His house was his castle, and his family the choicest possession within that castle. As a most faithful and loyal member of St. Lucas Church, he always stood ready to do his share; his memory will be cherished by all who still believe in Church and Kingdom work as he did. His faith, hope and love, deeply anchored in God’s words, enabled him to live and prove himself a true child of God, of whom it may be well said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

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

Wife: Augusta J. (Wehling) Wehmhoefer
Mother: Maria (Seegers or Siegert) Wehmhoefer Hoffman
Brother & Sister-in-law: Edward J. Wehmhoefer & Charlotte (Thiesfeld) Wehmhoefer
Sister: Matilda “Tillie” (Wehmhoefer) Westpahl
Daughter & Son-in-law: Ethel E. (Wehmhoefer) Hack & Arthur J. Hack
Uncle & Aunt of daughter (Ethel’s) husband: Charles J. Hack & Anna D. (Schroeder Schmaedeke) Hack
Uncle & Aunt of daughter (Ethel’s) husband: Henry Hack & Mary Minnie (Bielfeldt) Hack
Uncle & Aunt of daughter (Ethel’s) husband: Herman Hack & Eva F. (Ruge) Hack
Nephew: Edwin D. Wehmhoefer

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, 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, Wiechen, Wilkening.


Ernst Heldt

Age: 75 years, 2 months, 18 days


DOB: January 20, 1841
Kupenhagen, Mecklenburg, Germany

DOD: April 7, 1916
at home, Washington Township, IL USA

Son of Christoph and Margaretha (nee Viter) Heldt

Brother to: Wilhemina (Carl F. Engel), Wilhelm (Joanna Stadt), Sophia (Frederick Yacke & Adolph Baer), Henrica Maria, Lizette (Carl Selk), Dorothea (Karl Pries), Anna Maria, Christina (John H. Meyer), Julian Christina Heldt

Husband of Friederika “Lisette” Stadt,  married October 26, 1862 at Franken Church, Addison, IL USA
Father to: Emilie Marie ( Henry Seehausen) Karl “Charles” (Charlotia Klemme), Emma (Heinrich Fick), Sophia Marie, Lisette Mina, Fred E. (Ida Peters), Ernst Jr. (Elisabeth Rosenbrook), Ludwig “Louis” (Clara Bergmeier) , Robert E. (Louise Wolkow), William F. (Emma Blievernicht) Heldt


E. Heldt. Among the respected enterprising farmers of Washington Township, the name of our subject deserves mention as that of one who in a comparatively short time has accumulated a fine property and secured a good position among the substantial men of the county. He owns and occupies two hundred acres of fertile land on section 27, and thereon has erected a full line of excellent farm buildings, including every convenient and necessary structure. Industrious and zealous in whatever he undertakes, upright in all relations of life, and manifesting an intelligent interest in the advancement of the section in which he has made his home, Mr. Heldt is highly respected by his fellow citizens.

The parents of our subject were Christoph and Margaretha (nee Viter) Heldt, natives of Mecklenburg, Germany, in which Province their ten children were also born. Two sons and six daughters lived to accompany their parents to America, to whose shores they set sail from Hamburg in May 1856. German Immigrant Sailing VesselsTheir passage was secured on the sailing-vessel “Oregon,” which made a landing in New York City after a voyage of seven weeks and four days. The family soon afterward came to Chicago, and then located in Du Page County. They were very poor and at first had a hard time to get along, but they were industrious and determined, and soon their labors were rewarded by their ability to rent land on which they made a good living. The parents were members of the Lutheran Church, and not only led upright lives, but endeavored to instill into the hearts of their children the principles of right living. The mother died in Du Page County, in September, 1864 when upwards of three-score and ten years of age. The bereaved husband came to Will County some months later, and died at the home of his son, William, in Washington Township, in 1868. He was seventy-five years old.

The natal day of our subject was January 20, 1842. In his native land he obtained the education which Germany ensures to all her sons, and labored with other members of the family as his growing strength would permit. After the removal to America, he settled with the others in Du Page County, Ill., remaining there until 1868. In the meantime he had passed his majority and had taken unto himself a companion in life, with whom he established his home in Will County on eighty acres, which forms a part of his present homestead. To this he added according to his ability, until the landed estate reached two hundred acres and all was placed in a fine condition. For nine years Mr. Heldt served as Road Commissioner, giving general satisfaction to the traveling public, and particularly to the agriculturists. His political adherence is given to the Republican party. He and the members of his family belong to the Lutheran Church.

The lady with whom Mr. Heldt was united in marriage in Du page County, bore the maiden of Lucetta Stedt (correction: Lisette Stadt). She was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, January 8, 1843, and was fourteen years old when her parents came to this country. She remained with them in York Center Township, Du Page Country, until her marriage. She is a women of intelligence and genuine worth, who looks well to the ways of her household and endeavors to faithfully discharge every duty. (A full history of the family of which she is a member will be found in the biography of William Stedt). Mr. and Mrs. Heldt have had eleven children and mourn the loss of Rosetta, Sophia, and an infant unnamed. The survivors are: William, a farmer in Washington Township, who married Emma Blevening (correction: Blievernicht); Amelia, Wife of Henry C. Hausen (correction: Seehausen) , whose home is a farm in Crete Township; Charles, Emma, Fred, Ernst, Louis and Robert, who are yet at home.


Ernest Heldt obit 1Ernest Heldt, Sr. whose death was briefly mentioned in last week’s Beecher Herald,  was born January 20, 1841, at Kupenhagen, Mecklenburg, Germany. In 1852 the family came to America, landing at New York, and working their way through to Lombard, near Elmhurst. October 26, 1862, he was married to Miss Lisette Stadt at Franken Church, Addison.

Mr. and Mrs. Heldt lived in York Crete Township, DuPage County, up to 1868, when they moved to Yellowhead Township on a farm they purchased. In the fall they sold that farm and purchased the farm which has since been known as the Heldt homestead, three and one half miles southeast of Beecher.

Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Heldt, three having passed away at an early age. The surviving children are: William, Charles E., Fred E., Ernest, Jr., Louise, Robert, all of Beecher; Mrs. Seehausen of Crete and Mrs. Henry Fisk of near Beecher.

Ernest Heldt obit 2Mr. and Mrs. Heldt moved to Beecher in 1906, taking up their home in a new residence on Indiana and Maxwell Streets. On October 27, 1911, the couple celebrated their golden wedding.

About eight weeks ago he was taken ill, growing weaker and weaker until on April 7, 1916, when he succumbed at 10:45 p.m., his family being at his bedside when he breathed his last.

The mourners are his devoted wife and children, thirty-five grand children and four great grandchildren and a very large relationship. At the time of his death he was 75 years, two months and 17 days of age.

The funeral was held on Wednesday, April 12 at 1 o’clock p.m. at the house and at 1:30 o’clock at the church. Rev. G. Horst officiated at the services and Rev. H Siegfried, who had known the deceased many years and who had been his pastor when he lived on the homestead, also paid a tribute in a few well chosen words. The funeral was one of the largest ever held in Beecher and the floral offerings were numerous. Burial was at the Beecher Mausoleum.

Those from out of town who attended the funeral were. Mr. and Mrs. Carl Priece, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Treatow, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Priece and Mrs. Charles Manthis of Waverly, Iowa, Emil Heldt and son and Mrs. Reaka Schroeder of West Union, Iowa, Mr. and Mrs. William Berry of Joliet, Mrs. Theasin of Grant Park, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Koenning and mother of Peotone, and Mrs. George Miller of Chicago.

Mr. Heldt was an honest, conscientious citizen, a beloved husband and father, an ideal neighbor, and a man of pleasant disposition. He was esteemed by all who knew him, and in public life he had held the office of highway commissioner for Washington Township for 12 years. To know him was to like him, and although he had reached a good age he will be missed in the home and community. His many friends extend heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved relatives.

Ernst’s family members also resting in the mausoleum are:
Wife: Lisette (Stadt) Heldt
Son & Daughter-in-law: Fred E. Helt & Ida E. (Peters) Heldt
Nephew: Henry Heldt Sr.
Nephew & Niece: Willaim M. Selk & Anna M. (Thiede) Selk
Sister of son’s wife (Louis & Clara Bergmeier-Heldt) Ida Bergmeier
Father & Mother of son’s wife (Ida Peters-Heldt): Martin Peters & Fridericka (Barmann) Peters
Brother & Sister-in-law of son’s wife (Ida Peters-Heldt): Rudolph Peters & Elizabeth (Eckhoff) Peters
Brother & Sister-in-law of son’s wife (Ida Peters-Heldt) William F Peters & Helen (Wehling) Peters