From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 287, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
William A. Broker was born in Lippe-Detmold, Germany, March 19,
1837. He was a boy of eleven years of age when his parents, Samuel and
Sophia (Haupfer) Broker crossed the Atlantic in the spring of 1849, to
New Orleans, and thence up the Mississippi river to St. Louis. This was
during the year of the great cholera epidemic in that city, and within
a few days the father and three of the children died, the mother and
William having it severely, but recovering. When they were able to
leave, the mother and her four small children moved to a farm near
Watertown, Wisconsin. About one year later the mother died of cholera
morbus, she being then fifty years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Broker had
always been members of the German Reformed Church.
Mr. William Broker is the youngest of the children yet living.
He is now pattern maker for the St. Louis division of the Quincy
railroad, which is located at Beardstown. He has been a resident of the
same city since 1851. He was only fourteen years old when he arrived at
Beardstown, and learned the trade of a practical carpenter mechanic
under C. A. Bushman. After learning his trade he worked on his own
account, and later became a carpenter for the old Rockford company. In
1869, when the railroad was bought up by the Quincy company, he became
their pattern-maker in 1879. He has ever since been regarded as a good,
reliable workman, and a true, straightforward man, and his long
association with the railroad company is a recommendation of him as a
He was married Beardstown to Miss Dorothea Kratz, who was born
in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, in 1844, and was twelve years of age when
her parents emigrated to this country. They have seven children: Frank,
living at home, is a machinist; Sophia and Katie are at home, they
having been well educated in the high school of the city; William is
learning the machinist trade; Minnie, Amelia and Samuel are at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Broker attend the Lutheran Church. Mr. Broker is a
Republican, and a member of the A.O.U.W. He is highly respected by all.