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George J. Wanstrath, president and treasurer of the George J. Wanstrath Real Estate Company and also of the Wanstrath Investment Company, is a self-made man of St Louis whose record should serve as a source of encouragement and inspiration to others, for when he arrived in America as a young man of twenty-one years his cash capital consisted of but five dollars. Since then he has steadily worked his way upward until he is now at the head of business enterprises the capitalization of which Is four hundred thousand dollars. He was born January 29, 1866, at Bersenbruck, Hanover, Germany, and is the son of Henry and Minnie (Budke) Wanstrath; His youthful days were spent in his native country and on attaining his majority he sought the opportunities of the new world and made his way across the country to Kansas where he arrived practically empty-handed. For a time he was employed by others but was ever ambitious to engage in business on his own account and carefully saved his earnings until in 1888 he was able to establish a restaurant in Topeka, Kansas, which he conducted for about a year. In 1889 he removed to St. Louis where he again engaged in the restaurant business for three years and then established a grocery store of which he was proprietor until 1901. Every business enterprise with which he has been associated has been wisely and carefully managed and his enterprise, economy and progressiveness have constituted salient features in his growing success. After withdrawing from the grocery trade he turned his attention to the real estate business and in this field has made notable progress, having developed expensive business interests under the name of the George J. Wanstrath Real Estate Company of which he is the president and treasurer and the Wanstrath Investment Company. These two organizations have an aggregate capitalization of four hundred thousand dollars and conduct business of extensive proportions. They have handled many of the large real estate transfers of the city and Mr. Wanstrath is prominently known in this connection. He is a member of the St. Louis Real Estate Exchange, of the North St. Louis Business Men's Association, and an old time member of the City Club. In 1907 Mr. Wanstrath subdivided six city blocks in the O'Fallon Park district in*North St. Louis, which community is now known as Wanstrath Place.
On the 16th of April, 1891, in St. Louis, Mr. Wanstrath was married to Carrie Alfeld and they have two children, George B. and Minnie. George B. the son, is a progressive young man, engaged in the real estate business for himself. He was married June 12, 1918, in St. Louis to Alma Naber, a daughter of Henry Naber, of the Naber Lumber Company. Her grandfather in the maternal line was president of the Bremen Bank for forty-eight years. Immediately after his marriage George B. Wanstrath Joined the army and on the 24th of July, 1918, was sent to Camp Funston, where he was assigned to the Tenth Division. He was discharged December 23, 1918, as a sergeant of the Headquarters Company of the Tenth Sanitary Train.
In politics Mr. Wanstrath is a republican. He belongs to the Perpetual Help Catholic church and is a member and trustee of fourth degree assembly of the Knights of Columbus and member of Marquette Council of the Knights of Columbus and for many years has been trustee and later vice president of St Vincent Orphans9 Home. His business record is indeed enviable and he is today one of the prominent real estate dealers of the city.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


Rev. Joseph R. Watson, pastor of the Catholic church of Our Lady of Good Counsel at Eleventh and Destrehan streets in St. Louis, was born March 20, 1866, in the city which is still his place of residence, his parents being Henry R. and Mary (Murray) Watson, both of whom were natives of Ireland whence they came to the United States in young manhood and womanhood. For a time after, crossing the Atlantic Mrs. Watson was a resident of New Orleans but Mr. Watson came direct to St. Louis, being a member of the Watson family that is numbered among the early Settlers of this city, taking up their abode on what was known as Watson's Fruit Hill. The first brick house in St. Louis county was built by John Watson, a cousin of Henry R. Watson. The latter was a practical miller and was employed as head miller at Tolle's mill on Cherry and Collins streets for many years. He was drafted into the service during the Civi war but was exempted on account of the need of the government for expert millers.
Joseph R. Watson began his education in the St. Lawrence O’Toole's parish school and subsequently attended the Jesuit school and afterward St. Vincent's College and Seminary at Cape Girardeau, where he completed his studies and on the 25th of April, 1891, was ordained to the priesthood in St. Anthony's church of St. Louis by Archbishop Kenrick. 
Father Watson served as assistant priest at the Holy Name church for a short time and was then transferred to St. Lawrence O’Toole's church. Later he was made assistant at the old cathedral and from there was transferred to St. Matthew's church as assistant. In 1906 he was appointed pastor of St. Columbkill's church at Byrnesville, Missouri, and also had charge of St. Philomena's church at House Springs, Missouri, where he remained for three years. In May, 1909, he was made pastor of the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel at St. Louis, over which he has since presided. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and keeps in close touch with the interests of his parish and his people, doing everything in his power to advance the spiritual growth of the latter and the needs of the former as a factor in the religious upbuilding of the community.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


Martin Wenzel, president of the H. Wenzel Tent & Duck Company, was born in St. Louis, January 29, 1881, and has made for himself a creditable position among the younger business men of his native city. He is a son of Herman Wenzel, who was born in Germany in 1849 and who came to America in 1870, when twenty-one years of age, settling first in Springfield, Massachusetts. He arrived in St. Louis in 1873 and here engaged in the manufacture of tents, awnings and canvas. In 1887 he organized the H. Wenzel Tent & Duck Company and continued active in the business until on account of age he retired. He started in a small way but developed the business to one of the largest enterprises of the kind, displaying at all times keen sagacity, sound judgment and indefatigable enterprise. He married Emma Buch, a native of St. Louis, in which city their marriage was celebrated, and to them were born two sons and three daughters.
Martin Wenzel, whose name introduces this review, was educated in the public schools of St. Louis and after his textbooks were put aside he began learning the business with his father. It is true that he entered upon a business already established, but in enlarging and controlling this many a man of less resolute purpose and of more restricted ability would have failed. He has on the contrary improved methods and promoted his interests until his concern is one of the foremost of the kind in the middle Mississippi valley. They are now making a specialty of automobile tents and goods of similar character and their output is shipped all over the United States and. Canada. Upon his father's retirement Martin Wenzel was elected to the presidency of the company in 1915 and has since remained its directing head, shaping its policy and promoting its growth. He is also a director of the Briell-Rodgers Cotton Goods Company and of the Detring Real Estate Company. During the war period the factory of the H. Wenzel Tent £ Duck Company was utilized almost entirely in making tents and tarpaulins for the government
In 1905, in New York city, Mr. Wenzel was united in marriage to Miss Adele Wenzel, a cousin, and they have become parents of three children: Esther, Edith and Adele. In his political views Mr. Wenzel has always been a stalwart republican since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and has attained the Knight Templar degree in Ivanhoe Commandery. In religious faith he is a Protestant. He belongs to the Midland Valley Country Club, to the Tower Grove Turnverein, to the National Tent & Awning Association, to the Chamber of Commerce and the Credit Men's Association, and he is widely and favorably known in both social and business circles.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


Lucille E. Wepfer
There is scarcely a field of business into which woman's activities have not penetrated within the last few decades, and in no field where intellectual effort, concentration and sound judgment are required has she failed. Occupying a unique position in connection with the productive industries of St. Louis are Miss Lucille E. Wepfer and her sister, Miss Marion J. Wepfer, the latter being the president and the former the vice, president of the C. Damhorst Socla Water Company. Miss Lucille E. Wepfer was born in St. Louis, June 9, 1900, and mention is made of her parents in connection with the sketch of her sister, Marion J. Wepfer, on another page of this work. She spent her girlhood days under the parental roof and pursued her education in St. Mark's parochial school, while later she attended the Visitation Academy. She then entered her father's establishment, for he was for a long time the president and treasurer of the C. Damhorst Soda Water Company, with which he had been associated at an early day as an employe. Gradually, however, he had worked his way upward until he acquired the ownership of the business and remained at its head until his demise. His daughters were trained to this work and gained comprehensive knowledge of and familiarity with the business, so that they were well qualified to take over its control when the father passed away. Both are recognized as young women of excellent business ability, of keen sagacity and sound judgement and they have made for themselves a very creditable name and place in manufacturing circles.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


Miss Marion J. Wepfer is the president and treasurer of the C. Damhorst Soda Water Company of St. Louis and is a business woman of excellent executive ability and of unfaltering enterprise. She was born in this city October 22, 1892, a daughter of Augustave A. Wepfer, whose birth occurred in Hamburg, Missouri, but who came to St. Louis when a young man. Here he engaged in business in connection with the Casper Damhorst Soda Water Company and became thoroughly familiar with every phase of the trade. Eventually he became general manager and afterward purchased the plant. In September, 1901, the business was incorporated under the name of the C. Damhorst Soda Water Company, of which Mr. Wepfer was the president and treasurer until his death, which occurred on the 27th of August, 1910. This is one of the oldest established business enterprises of the kind in the city. The mother, Albertina (Faessler) Wepfer, was born in Zurich, Switzerland, and was brought to the United States at the age of ten years by an aunt, who settled in St. Louis. In 1890 she became the wife of Augustave A. Wepfer and she passed away in this city May 8, 1905.
The daughter, Marion J. Wepfer, was educated in the Sacred Heart convent at St. Louis, Missouri, and in the Loretto Academy of St. Louis, from which she was graduated in 1911. After leaving school she became associated with the C. Damhorst Soda Water Company as the secretary and in May, 1914, following the death of her father, she was elected president and treasurer of the company. In the meantime she had gained a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the business in every particular and is well qualified to manage this concern, which is today one of the oldest of the kind in St. Louis. The business is of very gratifying proportions and the success of the undertaking in the past few years is attributable in very large measure to the efforts, the understanding and the executive ability of Miss Wepfer.
During the World war Miss Wepfer was a member of the Red Cross. She belongs to St. Mark's Catholic church, in the faith of which she was reared. She has always lived in St. Louis and has a wide acquaintance here, being highly esteemed by many friends who have known her from her early girlhood, while her business experiences have brought her the respect and esteem of many with whom commercial transactions have brought her in contact.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


Thomas W. Whinnery, attorney at law of St. Louis, was born April 9, 1871, at Newry, Ireland, a son of William and Anna M. Whinnery. The father was a newspaper man of Ireland and came to the United States in 1890, settling in Chicago, where he became an employe of the Michigan Central Railroad, with which he remained until a recent date when he was to retire upon a pension. Both he and his wife are still living in Chicago, and celebrated their golden wedding, the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage, in that city on the 14th of July, 1920, the event being a news item in all of the Chicago papers. There were ten children in the family, and theirs is a notable record as all are yet living.
Thomas W. Whinnery, the eldest of the family, attended the schools of his native country, and after the emigration of the family to the new world became a high school pupil in Chicago, being graduated on the completion of his course. In 1910 he came to St. Louis and was made manager of the Barnes-Crosby company of this city. Thinking to win more rapid advancement in other connections he then attended the Benton Law School of St. Louis from which he was graduated in 1914 with the degree of LL. B. He at once entered upon the practice of law in this city and in 1918 was made attorney for the American Security Credit company, since which time he has looked after the legal affairs of this corporation. He belongs to the St. Louis Bar Association and his fellow members of the profession recognize in him one thoroughly capable of handling the interests now in his charge,
Mr. Whinnery was married in Chicago, December 31, 1895, to Miss Grace Edna Evory, a daughter of Henry and Mary Evory, who had removed from New York city to Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. Whinnery have three children: Cecil H., who is twenty-two years of age, and who is a contractor and builder of St. Louis; William W. and Edward H., respectively eleven and nine years of age, both in school. The family residence is at No. 4235 Holly avenue, where they enjoy the quiet and comfort of the country and have all of the advantages of city life.
Mr. Whinnery is a democrat in his political belief and has always faithfully supported the principles of the party but has never sought nor desired office. In his business career he has been actuated by a laudable ambition and has made substantial progress. In social life he displays qualities which cause those who know him to wish to meet him again.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


H. Edmund Wiedemann, consulting chemist of St. Louis, was born in Harrisburg, Saline county, Illinois, April 1, 1882, a son of Edward W. and Sarah (Dietrich) Wiedemann, the former a native of Germany who came to America in 1849, and first settled in Pennsylvania, whence he removed to Illinois in 1868, establishing his home in Harrisburg where he resided to the time of his death, which occurred in 1919, he having reached the advanced age of eighty-two years. He was a merchant and successfully followed business for an extended period. His widow is a native of Pennsylvania and a representative of the old families of that state of German lineage, founded, however, in America prior to the Revolutionary war. The ancestry can be traced back to John Heiser, who was the great great grandfather of Mr. Wiedemann of this review, and who served as a soldier in the War for Independence, and Mrs. Wiedemann is still a resident of Harrisburg. By her marriage she became the mother of three sons and two daughters of whom H. Edmund of this review is the fourth in order of birth.
At the usual age he began his education in the public schools, passing through consecutive grades to the high school of Harrisburg, while later he became a student in Rose Polytechnic Institute at Terre Haute, Indiana, from which he was graduated in 1903 with the degrees of Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Chemical Engineer. Following his graduation he entered upon the practice of his profession in St. Louis in 1905, the interval having been spent as a chemist with the firm of Morris & Company of Chicago. Since coming to St. Louis he has continued in private practice and has been very successful. In 1912 he was employed as state chemist by the food and drug department of Missouri, and has since filled that position. He was also lecturer on chemistry in the manual training department in the Washington University from 1909 until 1911 inclusive, and since 1910 has been the treasurer of the Academy of Science in St. Louis. He has contributed many articles to scientific Journals having to do with his profession. At the time of the signing of the armistice he was manager of the explosive section of the St. Louis district of the ordnance department, his territory extending to the Pacific coast.
In East St. Louis, Illinois, on the 24th of November, 1910, Mr. Wiedemann was married to Miss Amy L. Buchanan, who was born in St. Louis a daughter of Samuel and Laura E. (Jacobs) Buchanan, representatives of one of the old families of St. Louis. Mr. Wiedemann and his wife are members of the Second Presbyterian church. Politically he is a democrat when national questions and issues are involved but in local elections casts an independent ballot. He belongs to University Lodge, A. F. & A. M., is also a member of the University Club of St. Louis, the Sons of the American Revolution, the American Chemical Society, and the Engineers' Club of St. Louis.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


Frank J. Wiget, vice president and trust officer of the Farmers & Merchants Trust Company is a well known figure in the financial circles of St. Louis, having filled his present position for a period of more than thirteen years. - He was born in this city May 21, 1882, his parents being Xavier and Amanda (Nadig) Wiget both of whom were natives of Switzerland, the former born in 1848 and the latter in 1843. Mrs. Wiget came to America with her parents in 1848, the family home being established in St. Louis and here in 1878 she gave her hand in marriage to Xavier Wiget They were the parents of four sons. Mr. Wiget had crossed the Atlantic in 1871 and he, too, became a resident of St. Louis.
Frank J. Wiget was a pupil in the public and parochial schools of his native city and also attended business college before entering the Benton College of Law from which he was graduated in 1904 with the LL. B. degree. He then entered at once upon active practice and continued to follow the profession from 1904 until October, 1919, when he was elected trust officer of the Farmers ft Merchants Trust Company and has since largely given his attention to the duties of this office. He is also the president of the South St. Louis Investment Company, secretary and treasurer of the Prospect Investment Company, secretary and treasurer of the General Investment Company and director of the Gravois Bank of St. Louis county. He has thus become extensively and actively interested in investment projects many of which have led to the development and upbuilding of St. Louis and his name is also a most honored one in banking circles in this part of the state.
On the 26th of November, 1907, Mr. Wiget was married to Miss Ottilia, Laux, a daughter of Anton and Adelheide (Korman) Laux. Three children have been born to them: Marcella, Lester and Francis. Mr. Wiget is a republican in his political views and keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day, but has never sought nor desired office, preferring to concentrate his attention and his activities upon his business affairs which have been most carefully and wisely directed and have brought him a substantial measure of success.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


I. Ray L. Wiles, president of the Wiles-Chipman Lumber Company, belongs to that class of thorough-going and representative business men whose efforts have been a vital force in the upbuilding of St. Louis. He was born in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, August 2, 1877, a son of Captain Isaac Wiles, who became a pioneer settler of Nebraska, where he followed farming and stock breeding, also engaged in importing thoroughbred cattle. He was first lieutenant of Company H, in Colonel Robert W. Furnas' Second Regiment, Nebraska Cavalry, organized in the fall of 1862 as a nine months' regiment which served about one year. During the greater part of the time it was attached to General Sully's command and participated in the campaigns of that general against the hostile Indians in western Nebraska and Dakota. At the battle of White Stone Hill, in Dakota, in September, 1863, the casualties in the Second Nebraska were seven men killed, fourteen wounded and ten missing, five horses killed, nine wounded and nine missing.
Isaac Wiles was also commissioned captain of Company B of the First Regiment, Second Brigade, mustered into service August 13, 1864, and served six months of similar warfare. His prominence in the public life of the community was manifest in the fact that he served in the seventh and twelfth territorial and second, third and fourth state sessions of the legislature of Nebraska. Among other things of which he and his family may be proud, he entered the bill which provided for the Great Seal of Nebraska, of the design and device following: "The eastern part of the circle to be represented by a steamboat ascending the Missouri River, the mechanic arts to be represented by a smith with hammer and anvil in the foreground, agriculture to be represented by a settler's cabin, sheaves of wheat and stalks of growing corn; in the background a train of cars heading toward the Rocky Mountains and on the extreme west the Rocky Mountains to be plainly in view; around the top of the circle to be in capital letters the motto 'Equality before the Law' and the circle to be surrounded with the words 'Great Seal of the State of Nebraska, March 1, 1867.'"
Session Laws of the State of Nebraska, 1867, Page 57.
House Journal of State Legislature of Nebraska, Friday, May 31, 1867, Page 123: "Mr. Wiles introduced House Roll No. 41, an act to provide for the seal for the State of Nebraska, read the first time." He was also very active in framing the state constitution and in many ways he left the impress of his individuality and ability upon the new commonwealth taking active part in shaping its destiny and directing its progress. He married Nancy Elizabeth Linville, a native of Missouri, born at Robideaux Landing and a representative of one of the pioneer families of the state. She died in 1918, at the age of seventy-eight years.
I. R. L. Wiles was the youngest in a family of five sons and five daughters. He pursued his education in the public schools of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, and his early life to the age of twenty years was, spent upon a farm, with the usual experiences of a farm bred boy. He then started out in the world on his own account, and was first employed in the supply department of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company at Plattsmouth. He continued in railroad service for twelve years and during a part of this time was with the Chicago,- Burlington & Quincy, with the Wabash and with the Missouri Pacific Railroads, and when with the last named he was supply agent continuing in the position for a year. He then returned to St. Louis and became a stockholder of the O'Neil Lumber Company, while subsequently he was elected to the position of vice president. In 1916 a change occurred in the organisation of the business, leading to the adoption of the name of the O'Neil-Wiles Lumber Company, in which Mr. Wiles was retained in the office of vice president. Another change in the personnel of the house led to the adoption in February, 1918, of the firm name of the Wiles-Chipman Lumber Company, at which time Mr. Wiles became the president. This is today the largest capitalized lumber business of St. Louis and its volume of trade exceeds that of any other lumber firm of the city. The development of the trade is attributable in no small measure to the efforts of Mr. Wiles. When he became connected with the lumber industry he studied it from every possible standpoint and his enterprise, sound Judgment and careful management have been dominant factors in the continued growth of the business and its constantly expanding success.
Mr. Wiles was married in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, on the 1st of September, 1899, to Miss Grace Ethel Kew, a native of Michigan, and a daughter of William and Sarah D. (Place) Kew. To them has been born a daughter, Thelma Delphine, whose birth occurred at Plattsmouth, May 26, 1901.
Mr. Wiles was very active in support of the various Liberty Loan drives during the war, and also engaged in the manufacture of material for the government. Politically he has always been a republican. He belongs to the Algonquin Club, to the Missouri Athletic Association, and to the Christian church, associations which indicate much of the nature of his interests and the rules which have governed his conduct. His life record is that of notable advancement from a humble position, for he started out as waterboy on the railroad, in connection with railroad construction work, between Union, Nebraska, and Omaha. Along the lines of steady progression he has reached his present place of prominence as the head of the Wiles-Chipman Lumber Company, the leading lumber concern of the city, and in 1919 he was honored with the presidency of the St. Louis Lumber Trade Exchange. There is no man in St. Louis who is more familiar with the lumber industry nor has done more in recent years to promote progress in this field of business than has I. R. L. Wiles, whose opinions are accepted as expert and whose activity has done much to make St. Louis an Important lumber center.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


Charles E. Williams, president of the C. E. Williams Shoe Company conducting business at Sixth street and Franklin avenue in St. Louis, was born in Edinburg, Illinois, July 29, 1873, his parents being Benjamin F. and Anne Eliza Williams, both of whom were natives of Illinois where they were born, reared and –married. The father was of Welsh descent, while the mother belongs to one of the old American families. The father was a farmer of Fayette county, Illinois, for a number of years, but through the Influence of many friends he was induced to become a candidate for the position of circuit court clerk and was elected to that office, so that he retired from agricultural pursuits and continued to serve as circuit clerk for a number of terms, in fact he was continued in the office tor eight years or until his death, which occurred in 1895. His widow survives and is now making her home in St. Louis. Their children were six in number, four sons and two daughters, of whom but three are living, these being: Mrs. Frank Eardley, the wife of Frank Eardley, living at 6026 McPherson avenue in St. Louis; a brother, J. Bertram, also makes his home in St. Louis. He was with the Pierce Oil Corporation of this city for seventeen years and at the present time is an automobile salesman.
The other surviving member of the family is Charles E. Williams, whose name introduces this review. He was educated in the public schools of Fayette county, Illinois, and in the high schools of Vandalia, Illinois, after which he pursued a special business course at Terre Haute, Indiana. He started out in the business world as a general utility clerk with the C. B. Hilt Shoe Company at Sixth and Franklin avenue, at the small salary of five dollars per week. Gradually he worked his way upward as his knowledge and experience in the business increased, becoming shoe salesman, bookkeeper, and at length secretary of the firm. On the retirement of C. E. Hilt in 1918 the business was reorganized under the name of the C. E. Williams Shoe Company and in March, 1913, Mr. Williams was instrumental in instituting plans whereby each manager of the various departments became a stockholder in the business and was manager of his own department, looking after the buying and selling of such stock as appealed to him. The system instituted by Mr. Williams has proved very successful in building up the trade and the business is steadily increasing. Today the C. E. Williams Shoe Company is one of the foremost enterprises of the kind in St. Louis and Mr. Williams attributes his present prosperity to this plan of organization. It largely solved the problem of unrest which is manifest in many houses by the employes. It gives each man an interest in the business with a stimulus to put forth his best efforts to the upbuilding of his department and make it one of thorough success. The company handles everything in the general line of footwear, carries an extensive stock and is now doing a business of very gratifying proportions. It handles a popular line of shoes, and its thoroughly reliable business methods, combined with its enterprise and energy, have brought most desirable returns. Mr. Williams has been at his present location as a salesman and as proprietor of the store for more than twenty-eight years. The company owns and occupies a building fifty by eighty-five feet, three stories in height with basement, and the entire space is utilized by the firm and is well stocked with a most attractive line of goods. The salesroom is on the first floor of the building and the retail trade is now very extensive. In the year 1900 the store had the distinction of serving one out of every seven of the population of St. Louis as indicated by the census of that year. The firm specializes in popular price footwear and keeps on an average of thirty-five employes.
On the 18th of September, 1906, Mr. Williams was married in Vandalia, Illinois, to Miss Hallie M. Eshleman of that city. They occupy a beautiful home at No. 7100 Pershing avenue in University City, which is a lovely, quiet suburban town where the business man can spend his evenings away from the noise and confusion of the city. The Williams household is a most hospitable one, its good cheer and cordial welcome being greatly enjoyed by many friends. Mr. Williams is a member of the Masonic fraternity and also is connected with the Knights of Pythias and the Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis, as well as with the Associated Retailers Organization for which he has been the vice president. He is likewise president of the Missouri State Retailers Salesmen Association. In politics, he is a republican but without ambition to hold public office. For twenty-eight years he has made his home in St. Louis and throughout the entire period has steadily progressed in his business life. Determination and energy have been the crowning points in his career and the integrity of his purpose has ever been above question.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


William Leonard Wimmer, general contractor, whose skill and efficiency are manifest in a number of the large and substantial structures of St. Louis, was born December 26, 1875, in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, a son of William and Theresa Wimmer. The former was a cabinet-maker and worked at his trade in Germany until 1881, when he came to America, settling first in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he continued in business until the time of his death in 1912.
William Leonard Wimmer was educated in the public and high schools of Milwaukee and after his textbooks were put aside he took up the study of architecture and through practical experience became more and more qualified for business of this character and at length entered the fields of general contracting. In 1897 he came to St. Louis and for a time continued as an employe in an architect's office. Later, however, he entered into partnership with C. L. Gray for the conduct of a contracting and building business and the firm became well known as the Southern Illinois Contracting Company. This company erected the Pierce building at Fourth and Pine streets in St. Louis, also the Municipal Courts building, the Coliseum building and a number of other buildings of the State University at Columbia, Missouri.* For about fifteen years Mr. Wimmer was associated with that firm but in 1914 organized the Wimmer Contracting Company, of which he has since been the president. This company erected the building of the Mercantile Trust Company in St. Louis, also the plant of the Western Cartridge Company at East Alton, Illinois, and a number of manufacturing plants in various cities of the country. In fact their work has been of a most important character and makes constant demands upon the time and energy of Mr. Wimmer. During 1917 and 1918 Mr. Wimmer was president of St. Louis Master Builders Association.
On the 26th of June, 1901, Mr. Wimmer was married to Miss Mary O. Garwick, a daughter of John Garwick of East St. Louis. They have become parents of three children: Gladys, who is eighteen years of age and is attending the Washington University; Carl and William, aged respectively eleven and nine years, and both now in school. Mr. Wimmer and his family occupy a beautiful home at 5634 Bortmer avenue where their friends are most delightfully entertained, and in social circles they occupy an enviable position. Mr. Wimmer is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, also of the City Club, the Automobile Club and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


Withers, John William, educator, college president and author of St. Louis, Mo., was born Sept. 23, 1868, in Ben Lomond, W.Va. Since 1905 he has been president of the St. Louis teachers' college. He is the author of Euclid's Parallel Postulate.
[Herringshaw's American Blue-Book of Biography by Thomas William Herringshaw and American Publishers' Association, 1914, Transcribed by AFOFG]


F. Alexander Witte is one of the native sons of St. Louis who has risen to prominence in connection with the commercial interests of the city. He was born here October 2, 1868, his parents being Frederick A. and Cornelia (Lieber) Witte. The father was well known in commercial circles in St. Louis for many years and passed away December 4, 1880. The son obtained his early education in the public schools and afterward attended Smith Academy of St. Louis until May, 1881. He was then sent to Germany where he attended the Real Gymnasium of Oldenburg and was there graduated in April, 1885.
Upon his return to his native land Mr. Witte initiated his business experience by entering the employ of his uncle who was head of the Witte Hardware Company, a wholesale concern, founded by his father, the late Frederick A. Witte, and ranking the third largest in St. Louis. He accepted a clerkship in this establishment on the 1st of November, 1885, and closely applying himself to the work his diligence, industry and determination brought him various promotions until on the 1st of January, 1896, he was elected to official position, being made secretary of the company, while in January, 1910, he became the vice president and in 1919 was chosen president since which time he has been the chief executive officer directing the policies and shaping the further development of the business. There is no phase of the trade with which he is not thoroughly familiar. He has studied every feature of the business and is continually broadening the trade relations by a most efficient method of thorough organization and systematization and by earnest effort to please his patrons for he has ever recognized that satisfied customers are the best advertisements.
On the 10th of April, 1900, in St. Louis, Mr. Witte was united in marriage to Miss Lillian T. Gehner. They are well known socially and Mr. Witte holds membership in the Sunset Hill Country and the Missouri Athletic Clubs, and of the latter he is a member of the board of governors. He is likewise a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Missouri Historical Society and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for he is a great lover of music and is prominently known in musical circles. He is a director of the United States Bank of St. Louis, the Traffic Club of St. Louis, the St. Louis Art League and the St. Louis Zoological Society. He is a protestant in religious faith and all of these associations indicate the nature of his interests and the rules which govern his conduct. His political faith is that of the republican party but the duties of business have left him no time nor inclination for public office. He turns to horseback riding and golf for recreation and diversion and his has been an active life in which his interests have been well balanced. While a most successful merchant he has also been active in the support of music and the fine arts, in fact in all those interests which are of cultural value and he has done much to promote and support the highest musical tastes of the city. At the same time in fill business affairs he is most practical, formulating his plans readily and carrying them forward to successful completion and thus he has become a power in the mercantile circles of the city.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


William F. WoernerWilliam F. Woerner, an active member of the St. Louis bar for more than a third of a century, having completed a course in the St. Louis Law School in 1885, was born August 20, 1864, in the city which is still his home, his parents being J. Gabriel and Emilie (Plass) Woerner. In the acquirement of his education he passed through successive grades in the public schools of St. Louis until graduated from the Central high school in January, 1883. He then became connected with the work of the courts through a clerkship under his father in the probate court during the spring and summer of that year. In the autumn of 1883 he enrolled as a student in the St. Louis Law School, from which he was graduated magna cum laude in 1885 with the degree of LL. B., this serving as admission to the bar without examination. He entered upon the practice of his profession in connection with Charles W. Bates, the partnership continuing until 1887, after which Mr. Woerner practiced alone until January, 1895. He then entered into partnership with his father upon the latter's retirement from the probate bench and the firm association was maintained until the father's death. He materially assisted his father, J. G. Woerner, in the preparation of his monumental work, 'The American Law of Administration" and "The American Law of Guardianship/' and prepared the subsequent editions of the former work.
Mr. Woerner has from time to time been called to public office. In 1898 he was the democratic candidate for judge of probate and received the highest vote given to any democratic candidate that year but was defeated by a small majority. On the 23d of February, 1901, he was appointed police commissioner by the governor and occupied that position until March 9, when he resigned.  On the 24th of January, 1902, he was appointed by Mayor Wells to fill out an unexpired term as associate city counselor and was reappointed in April, 1903, remaining id the position until September 26, 1905, when Mayor Wells appointed him to prepare the official revision of the city ordinances and annotation of the charter and ordinances. This work was completed in a year and subsequently adopted under the name of "The Revised Code of St. Louis, 1907." In the spring of 1909 Mr. Woerner received the mayoralty nomination of his party, but his entire ticket went down to defeat in the landslide of that year. On the 3d of July, 1913, he was appointed by the governor as one of the original members of the Public Service Commission of Missouri and remained on the commission until November 18, 1914 when he resigned to again enter upon the practice of law.
While active in the work of the courts, Mr. Woerner has conducted much important litigation both in private practice and as representative of the city of St. Louis. He succeeded in effecting legislation of prime importance, always in the public interest. After prior attempted reforms had been held unconstitutional by the supreme court he turned his attention in 1903 to the reform of the then prevailing antiquated fee system of compensation of the probate judges, which had become highly excessive, and formulated and drafted the bill providing for the payment into the public schools revenue of the excess of probate fees when such ran beyond the compensation of a circuit court judge; and after obtaining the approval of the bill by the Bar Association of St. Louis, he put it through the legislature of 1903, thereby securing not only a fair compensation to the probate judge but also a permanent increase in the public school fund of St. Louis of over twenty-five thousand dollars annually. This law was upheld by the supreme ^court against repeated attacks and is still in force. It was Mr. Woerner who also conceived, (grafted and made effective the famous "mill-tax" ordinance, providing for one mill per passenger revenue tax payable into the city treasury by the street-car companies. This ordinance, which was enacted in 1903, became effective January 1, 1904, although fiercely assailed by the street-car corporations. Mr. Woerner, although no longer in office and acting wholly without compensation and for the public good, completely vindicated the validity of this law in the supreme court of the United States, as reported in the case of St. Louis vs. United Railways Company, 210 U. S. 266. This decision, which was rendered in 1908, established a principle of law of great value and involved millions of dollars in the result. Though there was later resistance on the part of the railways, the decision above referred to was in every case held to be a final bar to the Railways Company under the doctrine of "res adjudicata" from making any successful attack upon the validity of the ordinance. Under this enactment the city has collected several million dollars and is receiving a revenue of but two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per annum. The examples cited are about two out of the many instances that might be given of his activities in public affairs for the general good.
In 1912 Mr. Woerner prepared and published a volume of one hundred and twenty-nine pages entitled "J. Gabriel Woerner—A Biographical Sketch” which is a memorial to his honored father. In 1917, at the time of the entry of the United States into the World war and before this phase had begun to be discussed, he published a pioneer book on the subject of a world organization, a question which he had.been studying for many years previous. The work was brought out under the title of a word first coined by him, but since frequently used, "Supernationalism." In former years Mr. Woerner was and now again is professor of wills and administration on the faculty of the St. Louis University Institute of Law; and for the use of the law students on this subject he prepared, as co-editor, an abridgment of his father's great work "American Law of Administration," which was published in 1913 under the title "Law of Decedents' Estates." He is now devoting his attention to private practice and has an extensive clientage of an important character.
Mr. Woerner was married to Miss Agnes T. Judge and they have three children: Ruth J., Qabriel, and William F. Mr. Woerner is identified with the Masonic fraternity and is connected with a few clubs and social organizations, including the City Club, the Public Question Club, the Triple A and the Missouri Athletic Club. He is also a member of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, while along strictly professional lines he is identified with the St. Louis, Missouri and American Bar Associations. His entire life record has upheld an untarnished family name that figures most prominently in connection with the history of the bar of Missouri.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


Benjamin A. WoodBenjamin A. Wood, a St. Louis lawyer whose professional ideals are high and who puts forth every effort to raise himself to the level of these ideals, was born in Johnson county, Missouri, November 18, 1876. His father, William L. Wood, was a major in the Confederate army during the Civil war. His birth occurred in Virginia but removing from the Old Dominion he became a resident of Missouri and made large investments in land. He was descended from English ancestors who fled to America to escape the wrath of Cromwell for they were devoted adherents to the cause of Charles I, and thus the family became founded in Virginia. In the maternal line Benjamin A. Wood comes of Holland ancestry. His mother bore the maiden name of Laura Helen Smith and was a daughter of Benjamin F. Smith whose birth occurred near Crawfordsviile, Kentucky, and whose forefathers came from the land of the dikes prior to the Revolution.
Benjamin A. Wood acquired his early education in the public schools and was graduated from the high school of Holden, Missouri, while later he attended the State Normal School at Warrensburg and then entered the University of Missouri, from which he was graduated in 1903 with the Bachelor of Arts degree. During his college days he became a member of the Phi Delta Phi fraternity. His LL. B. degree was conferred upon him by Washington University, although he had previously been admitted to the bar upon examination. He at once entered upon the active practice of his profession in St. Louis and after a brief period entered into partnership with Thomas S. McPheeters, a relation that was maintained until 1916, since which time Mr. Wood has practiced alone. His tendency is toward office and business practice and he has been successful both as a business lawyer and a business man. With his younger brother, Louis R. Wood, he formed a corporation under the name of the William L. Wood Estate Company, for the purpose of investments and it has had a prosperous growth.
Mr. Wood is calm and very deliberate, accurate, farsighted and always considerate of others with whom he has business dealings. He is a lawyer who believes that laws were made to be enforced and lived up to. He is a business man who has the courage and energy to force success, backed up by integrity of purpose. When he becomes financially interested in any project he is sure to direct it to success, nor will he enter into any enterprise unless he has an understood agreement that he shall hare something to say about its guidance. His capabilities are of diversified nature and he never stops short of the successful accomplishment of his purpose, nor does he sacrifice his honor in the slightest degree in winning hfs point In the practice of law or in the statement of business affairs he has the quality of saying the right thing in a few convincing words, so that his utterances are most forceful. All of these characteristics have made him a dynamic factor in the business and professional life of St Louis.
On the 25th of September, 1909, in this city, Mr. Wood was /married to Miss Edith Trotter Smith, a daughter of S. Jenks Smith, who had removed to St. Louis from Philadelphia where he had been president of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. The family came from Maryland, although one of the great uncles of Mrs. Wood, Andrew Jackson Smith, was postmaster of St Louis in an early day. He also served in the northern army during the Civil war. The mother of Mrs. Wood belonged to the Newbold family of Philadelphia and one of her direct ancestors was a captain in Washington's army in the Revolutionary war and went through the memorable winter at Valley Forge with all of its hardships and discouragement His personal diary, kept during that time, is now preserved in a church at Valley Forge and is one of the most interesting narratives of personal, military and political affairs of that period. To Mr. and Mrs. Wood has been born a daughter, Laura Emily Newbold, whose birth occurred March 15, 1911.
In politics Mr. Wood is an independent democrat He has taken an active and prominent part in all public affairs but not as an officer seeker—simply as a citizen who holds to high standards in regard to civic interests. He was secretary for several years of the Municipal Voters League, is active in the Civic League and is also prominent in connection with the movement for a new constitution, for reform in election methods and in all fine public projects. When he speaks upon questions of this character he is forceful, clear and convincing, recognizing that strength lies in a direct utterance. He was for several years attorney for the St Louis Bar Association. He belongs to no secret societies and no social clubs but is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. During the World war as government appeal attorney of the twenty-sixth ward he gave up most of his time to the general service. An Episcopalian in religious faith his membership is in the Church of the Ascension in St. Louis of which lie has been treasurer and vestryman since 1916. He is now residing at 5059 Waterman avenue and has recently purchased an estate of one hundred and thirty acres on the Conway road in St. Louis county and is looking forward to making that his permanent home. He is a man of quiet domestic taste, finding his greatest happiness at his own fireside, and is a delightful companion at all times according to the testimony of the many who are proud to call him friend.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)


Francis Humphry William Woolrych, whose name is widely known in art circles not only in St. Louis but throughout this and other countries, is the possessor of many awards from art exhibits, while his pictures are seen in many of the finest private collections in various countries. A native of Australia, he was born in New South Wales, February 1, 1864, his parents being Francis Benson William and Frances Emily (Sherrington) Woolrych. The mother, who was born in England, died July 1, 1908. The father was the second son of Humphry William Woolrych, Esq., of Croxley House, Herts, England, one of the last sergeants at law. Francis B. W. Woolrych became a civil engineer. He was educated at Putney College and became the metropolitan district surveyor at Sydney, New South Wales. He retired in 1887 and passed away on the 16th of July, 1907.
F. Humphry W. Woolrych obtained his early education under private tutors and also attended the Sydney Grammar School, where he pursued studies equivalent to early college work. He was afterward under private tuition in Heidelberg, Germany, and later entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Berlin, from which school he was graduated. He then continued his studies in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the Atelier Colorossi under Gerome, Raphael Collin and Gustave Courtois until 1888. He also studied under Puvis de Chavannes in Paris. His life in early manhood was that of artist, teacher and illustrator. He became a member of the Hellas Art Club of Berlin and since coming to America in 1889 has been admitted to membership in the St. Louis Artists Guild, the Brush & Pencil Club, the St. Louis Architectural Club and the American Federation of Arts. His entire life has been devoted to art, including figure painting, portraits and landscapes in oil and water colors, and he also specializes in architectural renderings in water colors. His awards have been numerous. He received the bronze medal at the Portland exposition in 1905, also a medal for portrait and medals for water colors at the Sedalia State Fair of Missouri in 1913. His work is seen in the St. Louis public library and he has made water color renderings of the State Normal schools of Missouri, the Missouri University of Columbia for the World's Fair at St. Louis and the Filipino reservation for the World's Fair exposition for the United States government. He has pictures in prominent private collections in London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Berlin, Germany, Sydney, Australia, and New York and other cities of the United States.
On the 1st of October, 1887, in Paris, France, Mr. Woolrych was united in marriage to Miss Bertha Hewit, a daughter of Orson and Laura (Fenton) He wit, of Conneaut, Ohio. Her father was a member of the Hewit-Sharp Commission Company of St. Louis and also vice president of the American Exchange Bank of this city. He died in 1907. To Mr. and Mrs. Woolrych have been born two children. Francis Humphrey William Woolrych, Jr., born in Compiegne, France, was married June 12, 1916, to Naomi Harman. Edmund Hugh Woolrych, born in Upper Alton, Illinois, was married April 17, 1917, to Sue Monemaker. The elder son is an architect of St. Louis and the younger is a mining engineer, now instructor in the Rolla School of Mines of the Missouri University. Mrs. Woolrych, like her husband, possesses marked artistic talent. She was born in Conneaut, Ohio, and was a pupil in the St. Louis School of Fine Arts and also studied under Morot, Collin and Courtois in Paris. She is a member of the St. Louis Art students Association and also of the St. Louis Artists Guild, of which she was treasurer from 1905 until 1909. She was awarded a medal at the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland in 1906 and has won gold and silver medals at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts and a silver medal in 1908 at the St. Louis District General Federation of Women's Clubs. Both Mr. and Mrs. Woolrych have frequently been mentioned in the press by reason of their contributions to art circles, whereby they have gained prominence and well won distinction.
They reside at No. 3855 Hartford street in St. Louis and have an attractive summer home at Sherman, Missouri. In religious faith Mr. Woolrych is an Episcopalian, while Mrs. Woolrych attends the Unitarian church. Mr. Woolrych belongs to the Two by Four Society and also to the Missouri Athletic Association as well as the various different artists' associations previously mentioned. He is perhaps most widely known through his specialty of architectural renderings in water colors, In which connection he has gained wide and well merited fame.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)



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