Lee County Biography


F.W. Meyer, sole proprietor of a general store at West Brooklyn, displays in his business career, a close conformity to high commercial standards, and his unfaltering diligence and perseverance have been the chief factors in winning for him the creditable place which he occupies in business circles today. For eleven years he has been a resident of this county, arriving in 1902. His birth occurred in Arlington, Bureau county, Illinois, March 4, 1869, his parents being Baltazaar and Catherine (Kurtenbach) Meyer, who were natives of Germany. The father came to the United States about 1845 and took up his abode upon a farm near Arlington. He was fifty-two years of age, when in 1879, his labors were ended in death. His widow survives and now makes her home with her son, F.W. Meyer.

At the usual age F.W. Meyer began his education, passing through consecutive grades until he became a high-school student. He left school, however, at the age of sixteen, but later pursued a course in a business college and thus prepared in large measure for the responsible duties which have since devolved upon him. His early practical business training came to him as clerk of the Western Supply Company at Ladd, Illinois, where he remained for seven years, his only connection with the business being incontrovertible proof of his capability and fidelity in that connection. He was promoted to the position of manager of a store and thus served for six and a half years. On the expiration of that period he came to West Brooklyn and bought out the business of F.D. Gehant & Company, at that time occupying a small frame building. Today Mr. Meyer has the largest store of the kind in the town and occupies a large and substantial brick building. The store is splendidly equipped with an extensive and pleasing line of general merchandise and earnestly desiring to please his patrons, Mr. Meyer has won a substantial measure of success. He has never been known to take advantage of the necessities of another in a business transaction, and the reliability of his methods has been one of the potent forces in the growth of his trade.

The community recognizes him as a public-spirited citizen and one whose efforts in behalf of the general welfare have been far reaching and beneficial. He votes with the democratic party and upon its ticket was elected township clerk of Hall township, Bureau county, while at the present time he is president of the town board of West Brooklyn. His fraternal relations are with the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Order of Foresters, serving as chief ranger in the latter.

At Ladd, Illinois, on the 16th of April, 1891, Mr. Meyer married Miss Isabella Rennie, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rennie, the former a stationary engineer of Iowa, where he met death by accident in 1879. His widow survives and is now living in Canton, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Meyer have five children: Sylvia and Zita, who are graduates of the West Brooklyn high school; Frances and Otto, who are attending school; and Thais, two years of age. The family are well known and have a large circle of warm friends. Mr. Meyer is affable and genial in disposition, courteous in manner, and his fair treatment to all in business has made him the leading merchant of his adopted town.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.


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