Emil Koch

Age: 82 years, 10 months, 19 days


DOB: May 10, 1857
Saxe Weimar, Germany

DOD: March 29, 1940
at home, Beecher, IL USA

Son of Gottlieb (Gilbert) & Wilhelmine (Putterson) Koch

Brother to: Edmond (Barbara M. Hoffman), Albert (Mathilda Lau) Koch

Husband of Louise Fick, married July 12, 1883, St. John’s UCC, Beecher, IL.
Father to: William G. (Louisa Bodenvias), Emil Jr. (Louise Hussman), Henry (Erna Schweer) Koch

Beecher Prospectus – 1905


Proprietor of a Handsome New Hardware Store

Emil Koch - Beecher Prospectus 1Among the new buildings in  Beecher, none will be more appreciated by the trading public than the hardware store erected by Emil Koch, Beecher’s well known contractor. Mr. Koch saw an opening for another hardware store in the village and the establishment is being specially built for the conducting of a modern hardware business on a larger scale. It has a 27-foot front, with handsome plate windows, is 66 feet deep and 26 feet in height. It has a pressed brick front and of brick throughout, with a handsome metal ceiling and felt roofing. The second story will be used as a dwelling and fitted in modern style. A carbine light plant has been installed.

Emil Koch - Beecher Prospectus 2Mr. Koch will put in a very large and expensive stock of heavy and shelf hardware, oils and paints, The new store will be an acquisition to the town and will attract its share of the trade. Mr. Koch needs no introduction to the Beecher public, for he has been in the public eye for 32 years, and is the oldest carpenter contractor in town. He was born in Germany, and came to the United States with his parents when an infant, the family first settling in Lake County, Indiana. When a boy he moved to Beecher. He has built many of the buildings of the village. Mr. Koch is a trustee of the St. Lucas Church. Success is sure to be his, as the people all know they will receive liberal treatment at his hands.

April 1, 1910  – Beecher Herald


Touch Matches to Dead Grass in Rear of Emil Koch’s store

Three Kerosene Barrels of Oil Catch Afire and Make Things Lively

Emil Koch - Fire 1910While townspeople were at church, Friday morning, two young boys set fire to the dead grass in the alley in the rear of Emil Koch’s hardware store, while playing with matches. The alarm was sounded and people rushed to the scene. The flames had extended to three kerosene barrels and it was with much hard and desperate fighting that the fire was extinguished.

It was just in niche of time that the blaze was subdued, as the oil barrels had just burned through and the kerosene was oozing out. There is no telling what would have happened had it burned a few minutes longer.

Parents should be more careful in leaving matches in reach of small children, and at least in his instance, the incident of Friday has been a warning to one family.

July 20, 1933  – Beecher Herald


Koch Anniversery 1933On last Wednesday, July 12, a well-planned successful surprise was tendered Mr. and Mrs. Emil Koch, Sr., highly esteemed couple of this community. The children, gratefully mindful of possessing heaven’s gift in their parents, lovingly planned and arranged to link this memorable day with the unforgotten day of 50 years ago.

Desiring to make it a surprise, about 85 immediate relatives and friends gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Kirchhoff at 2:30 p.m., Mrs. Kirchhoff being an only sister of Mrs. Koch – and from there marched over to the home of the unsuspecting and fully unprepared couple.

Following the happy expressions of greetings and congratulations, all motored to the Community Hall, where later, in the basement, beautifully decorated for the occasion, a tasty luncheon was served to the happy celebrants. Rev. G. Horst, serving as toast-master, first read numerous congratulatory cards which during the day had been spirited away from the post office, and then called on various relatives and friends for a word of greeting and felicitation, all responding readily in giving due honor to the worthy groom and bride in their midst. Following an address by the Rev. G. Horst who, basing his words on Isaiah 45, V.4 brought out the loving kindness shown the aged couple throughout the years of their married life, a fine basket containing a beautiful bouquet of yellow tea roses, as a combined gift of the St. Lucas Ladies Aid and Sewing Circle, in both of which organizations Mrs. Koch holds active membership, was presented to the couple by the respective secretaries of said organizations. Rev. J.H. Koenig, father of Mrs. Horst, in well chosen words concluded the happy hour at the festive board.

Since everyone loves a bride and tolerates a groom, an additional surprise was tendered the couple later in the day by the appearance of the so-called “Hungry Five” a misnomer, unless it means musical hunger for more opportunities to display their extraordinary talents, who together with their leader, R. Wegert, rendered pleasing and suitable selections. With the lengthening shadows of evening enfolding the day the invited guests bid farewell to the honored couple in wishing them many happy returns of the day.

April 4, 1940  – Beecher Herald


Emil Koch obit 1Death closed the career of one of Beecher’s oldest and most distinguished business men, last Friday morning, when Emil Koch Sr., died suddenly at 8 a.m., of a heart attack. News of the passing of Mr. Koch was a distinct shock to the community.

Funeral services were conducted, Sunday afternoon at the residence and at St. Luke’s Church with Rev. G. Horst officiating. Interment was in the Mausoleum.

The deceased started his career in Beecher as a carpenter of extraordinary ability. In 1905 he established the hardware store on Gould Street, known as Koch’s Hardware, which he operated successfully until about two years ago, when old age and ill health forced his retirement. He attained the ripe age of eighty-two years.


The deceased, Emil Koch Sr., was born May 10, 1857, at Saxe Weimar, Germany. The child of Christian parents he was soon after birth, baptized and thus enrolled in the family of the children of God. When two years old his parents immigrated to American and located at Marville, between Hammond and Crown Point, Indiana. Here in addition to a fine home training, the departed was further blessed in receiving a thorough religious education in preparation for his confirmation. On July 12, 1883, he was married to Miss Louise Fick, the ceremony taking place in St. John’s Evangelical and Reformed Church with Rev. G Koch officiating. This happy union was blessed with three sons, of whom William, preceded the father in death, September 16, 1935. The surviving sons, who together with the mother, deeply mourn the passing of a true loving husband and father are: Emil, Beecher, and Henry, Chicago Heights. Immediately after their marriage the young couple made their home in Beecher. Here in Beecher and surrounding territory the departed soon became known as one of the outstanding carpenters, plying this trade for twenty-two years.

Emil Koch obit 2He, in 1905 established and successfully operated the so-called, Koch’s Hardware store on Gould Street.

In 1933 the grateful children secretly so planned it that time was taken out in their busy life for the celebration of their Golden Wedding Anniversary, an event that filled their hearts with deep lasting happiness. Beginning to ail more and more due to a heart condition, the departed, two years ago, retired from active work. Although enjoying the quiet and peace of his home, this enjoyment was interspersed with short and longer periods of intense suffering. However, following a life’s habit, he never murmured or complained at such times, but carried his cross in Christian faith and hope. Fully realizing that the days of his earthly sojourn were numbered, his sudden death, Friday, March 29, at 8 a.m., nevertheless came as a distinct shock to his loved ones and the whole community. His age, reached beyond the Biblical span of years, was 82 years, 8 months and 16 days.

He leaves to mourn, his wife, the two sons already mentioned, two daughters-in-law, three grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were conducted Sunday, March 1, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the home and continued at 1:45 o’clock at St. Luke’s Church where his pastor, Rev. G. Horst, preached in both the English and German languages to a very large assemblage of relatives and friends. The ladies of the St. Luke’s choir rendered three appropriate songs. Many beautiful floral pieces attested to the high esteem in which Emil Koch, Sr., has always been held by all who ever came in contact with him. Interment was made in the Mausoleum.

The departed, one of the most distinguished and honored citizens of Beecher, was always a true, kind and loving husband and father, who found his greatest happiness at home with his loved ones. As a former member of the Evangelical and Reformed St. John’s Church and as a charter member of the Evangelical and Reformed St. Luke’s Church he ever showed his interest and loyalty in the up-building of God’s kingdom. The work of God and regular church attendance were blessed necessities in his life.

As a memento of his interest in his church he made and presented the Altar, still in use in St. Luke’s Church. Deeply anchored in spiritual things, richly blessed with many fine characteristics, his life a garden wherein the fruits of faith, hope and love aboundeth, his memory may well be cherished by his loved ones and friends alike.

(Editor’s note: the alter can still be seen today at St. Luke’s Church)

September 9, 1954 – Beecher Herald


Koch Harware award 1954Koch’s Hardware has recently received an award of merit from The Lennox Furnace Company. The award is in the form of a handsomely encased bronzed plaque. It was presented to Koch’s Hardware in recognition of having met the exacting requirements and qualifications to install and service Lennox indoor comfort systems.

Koch Hardware store ad 1953Gilbert Koch of the local heating and air conditioning firm accepted the plaque from Lee Tewanger of the Lennox Furnace Company, which is the largest concern of its kind in the world.

In making the presentation, Mr. Tewanger said, “We have always been pleased with our association with Koch’s Hardware. During the 10 years they have handled Lennox products, they have demonstrated their ability to create true indoor comfort through proper heating and cooling methods. We congratulate Koch’s Hardware upon winning this award. We know their conscientious service will continue to win friends for them and for Lennox.

Koch Hardware store ad 1954Koch’s Hardware has been in business in Beecher for the past 49 years. Presently it is located at Gould St.

(Editors note: Gilbert Koch is the grandson of Emil Koch, Sr.  Gilbert took over ownership of the hardware store after his father, Emil Koch Jr., in 1958)

The tradition that Emil Koch started carried on for many years.



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

Wife: Louise (Fick) Koch

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, 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,




3 thoughts on “EMIL KOCH

  1. I just stumbled on this piece while searching for a place to send some historical documents from Gilbert Koch’s treasures. I am Rosabelle Boderius’ daughter, Gillaine StJohn Olsen. My mom married Gilbert there in Beecher in 1979 or 80. And I was baptized there initially in the fall 1937.
    I have golden jubilee booklets, Robert Paul Reflections pamphlet and other historical booklets and newspaper articles. Some really good Beecher history that I would like to see preserved. Would you please direct me to the appropriate entity for this to happen. Many thanks. Gillaine Olsen

    • Gillaine, Thank you. You can send them to me, one of my board members is also part of the Beecher Historical Society. I’ll make sure they get it
      I’ll E-mail you my address directly
      Sandra Lee Thielman

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