The town of Breeze is located in a township of the same name in Clinton County, Illinois, about forty miles from the city of St. Louis on the line of the B. & O. S. W. Railroad. This township was so named in honor of its prominent citizen, the distinguished jurist, Judge Sidney Breeze, late of the Supreme Court of Illinois. The village is situated about the center of the township in the heart of a most fertile agricultural region, abounding in rich coal deposits and well watered.
It contains a population of nearly 1000 souls, mostly German or of German extraction. There are two extensive coal mines operated, one Breese Future Coal and Mining Company which is essentially a local enterprise, worthy of note as its promoters are principally business men of the town. This company was incorporated under the Illinois state law in 1887 and has for its executive officers, Messrs. Theo. Klutho, president, and F. Koch, secretary and treasurer, merchants of influence, whose special notices appear in another part of this work.
The other mine is owned and operated by the Consolidated Coal Co. of St. Louis. These mines give employment to about 200 men and are worked upon the most approved modern system of coal mining; aggregating a daily out put of about 1000 tons which finds a ready market in St. Louis.
The town of Breese was surveyed, platted and recorded February 3rd, 1855. The original town consisted of twenty-four blocks, north and south of the O. & M. Railroad. C. H. Kaune, Koch and Marks, C. F. Stark and Benedict Haar afterwards laid out additions.
The first house was put up by Robert S. Donne in which he carried a small stock of merchandise. Mr. Donne was also the first railroad agent and Postmaster at Breese. Other business houses and residences soon followed. A grist mill was built in 1865 by C. H. Kaune and operated by the Kaune Bros. the same which is now owned by the Breese Mill and Grain Co., all of which special mention is made elsewhere in this review.
At this period, 1865, Breese was assuming commercial importance and made rapid strides for a decade or two following. The elegant St. Dominic Catholic Church was erected in 1867. This edifice is built of lime stone in handsome medieval style and is one of the finest church buildings in this part of the state. An appropriately designed and appointed school building and parsonage are also attractive features of the Catholic establishment of Breeze. The Evangelical, St. John's Congregation , also have a fine substantial church building which was erected in 1871, and a public school building that would do credit to a much larger town, further attests the progressive tendencies of this community. A hotel which is mentioned specially elsewhere, and several boarding houses and places of public resort for amusement and refreshments are not lacking in Breese.
The great social feature of the town, however, is the Concordia Saengerchor, a well organized and trained band of vocalists who are under the leadership of Prof. Pesolt, of Lebanon, Ill. This organization is composed of the leading citizens of the village. Breese has also a fine Brass Band whose members are connected with the Saengerchor. Both these musical bodes meet in their hall designed and built expressly for the purpose.
The village hall is a neat modern structure in the .middle of beautifully shaded grounds, with granitold walks; the interior appointments being in keeping with the best methods conducive to health, comfort and safety.
Breese City Hall
The streets of the town are broad, run at right angles north, south, east and west, and are profusely shaded.
The main portion of the town is north of the railroad. The streets running north and south are named in the following order commencing on the west: Plum, Cherry, Clinton, Main (from R. R. Station), Walnut, Chestnut and Elm. Those running east and west are numbered Main, First, etc., north, and Main, First, etc., south of railroad.
The people of this town are sociable and intelligent as a whole, and its business and professional men are eminently enterprising and progressive. The German conservative principle prevails to a degree among the older citizens, but the present generation of its inhabitants is fully up to the standard of American ideas of modern progress in the widest sense, and the future of Breeze is in their keeping. The president of the Village Board is Mr. Henry Hummert. He is also superintendent of the Breese Future Coal and Mining Co.
Newspaper and printing facilities are lacking in Breese. but Prof. Arthur Oehler’s Trenton "Sun'" and complete printing establishment amply make up for this defect in point of supplying current local news items and rendering prompt and efficient service in this wise.
BREESE MILL & GRAIN CO. - Southern Illinois has long been famous for its milling and kindred lines of industry, its vast grain fields and enormous coal deposits have largely contributed to the fostering of them. The village of Breese claims one of the best mills in the state. The plant was built in 1864, by Kaune & Dehner, subsequently Kaune Bros. The present company purchased the plant and grounds from the latter, November 11, 1891. The business then assumed corporate form under the Illinois state law and with an ample paid up capital, and the following directing the company's affairs: - C. C. Hofsommer, president; J. O. Koch, treasurer and W. H. Koch, secretary. At the same time they improved the plant which is now provided with the latest improved roller process system operated by a 100 h. p. steam engine and having a capacity output of 160 barrels per diem, employing twelve men outside the office staff which is composed of the Company's officers and Mr. Henry Schmidt, the confidential clerk and superintendent. The Company also operate a grain elevator, storage capacity of 10000 bushels. They also deal extensively in all kinds of live stock, owning themselves two stock farms of 160 and 300 acres. They raise high bred horses, cattle, sheep and hogs. In the raising of full bred horses their stallions have obtained a wide reputation at home and abroad. This company's mill products comprise a high grade flour which finds a ready market South and East, a considerable export trade being controled and the demand active. The fuel product is also in large and increasing demand and they are contemplating doubling the capacity. The president of the Company, Mr. C. C. Hoffsommer has resigned and until the election of his successor the company will remain content to continue in the even tenor of their way. The Messrs. J. O. and W. H. Koch are brothers, born and raised in Breese and are business men of ability and push. They jointly own and operate an extensive brickyard and considerable other property. Their father was a pioneer settler of this locality. Mr. W. H. Koch is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and President of the Concordia Saengerchor. He was educated at the public schools and the College at Carbondale Ill. Mr. J. O. Koch has been selected candidate for county treasurer.
THEO. KLUTHO. Among various commercial enterprises that have contributed to the material growth of the village of Breese the lumber business has and still does play an important part. The old house of Mr. Theo. Klutho stands in the front rank of commercial enterprise in Southern Illinois. Mr. Klutho established the business here in l862. He carries in his extensive yards a very comprehensive stock of lumber in the rough and dressed, also manufactured lumber, including doors, blinds, interior finish in all woods, and building materials of every kind, lime and cement, builder's hardware, etc. He also makes contracts for building, furnishes plans and estimates, being himself a master builder of many years practical experience. Mr. Klutho is a Prussian by birth, came to America in 1853 and spent one and a half years in Frankfort, Kentucky, where he was apprenticed to the carpenter trade. He subsequently worked at his trade in St. Louis and vicinity and came to Breese in 1858. He owns a fine residence, a substantial two story modern structure in which his office is located, on Main Street. His lumber yard which is adjacent thereto on the south comprises two lots 50x150 feet each in area, upon which his lumber and lumber sheds are conveniently arranged and equipped for the proper and expeditious receipt and delivery of goods. The trade extends to the neighboring towns and farming districts. Mr. Klutho has been Post Master of Breese and Justice of the Peace for upwards of twenty years. He is a member of the Concordia Saengerchor, and was a soldier in the German army. During the war of the rebellion he was appointed Captain of the Southern Illinois Home Guards. Although past the age of sixty years he still preserves a vigorous physical constitution and unimpaired mental power.
JOHN H. GROTE, Carpenter. -- The occupation of carpenter is perhaps one of the oldest and most important known among civilized men. In all ages where the habitations of the human species were designed for shelter and safety the carpenter's avocation was brought into requisition. In these modern days, the highest skill is required in the construction, appointments and interior finish of our residences and as a consequence the carpenter's trade is one of more than ordinary importance. Among those who may justly claim eminence in the carpenter's craft, Mr. John H. Grote deserves special mention in this review. He is highly skilled and experienced in all branches of carpentry. His services are constantly in demand and his work bears the stamp of the master-hand. Mr. Grote has been a resident about seven years. He is a German by birth but has been in this country since early youth. He served as a Union soldier in the war of the rebellion and attests his valor in defense of his adopted country and the perpetuation of this great Republic, by wounds received in action, resulting in his partial incapacity for hard work. The government appreciating his services, has allowed him a pension, for that courage that characterizes the brave and true. Mr. Grote endeavors to add to his worldly possessions by working at his trade, using what is left of his physical energy to promote and comfort his declining years. He is highly esteemed by his comrades and is popular among all classes of the community. His shop is located in the North side in the vicinity of the lumber yards and has a complete equipment for all kinds of carpentry work.
BENJ. H. DONNE, General Merchandise, Corner Clinton and Second Streets. - In a review of the important commercial enterprises of Southern Illinois, the dealer in general lines of merchandise is an almost indispensable factor in subserving the community of which he forms a part. A leading house of Breese thus engaged is that of Mr. Benj. H. Donne. This gentleman established the business in 1881. He was formerly a merchant of St. Louis, but having been born and raised in Breese, he returned to his native village to give his fellow-townsmen the benefit of his valuable experience in the great city. Mr. Donne's wide experience and intimate relations with wholesale houses and manufacturers enable him to provide the many goods he handles, groceries, notions, dry goods, clothing, shoes, etc., in proportions and duality to fully meet the requirements of his numerous patrons - carrying at all times a large reserve stock. Four intelligent assistants are employed. The premises are designed expressly for the business, and consist of a substantial two story and basement brick building 28x64 feet in area. A separate warehouse adjacent to the main store is utilized for the storage of country produce, etc. This establishment is a model of its kind and would do credit to a more pretentious community than that of the village of Breese. Mr. Donne's successful business career is due to care and commendable foresight in the management of his affairs supplemented by fair dealing in his relations with patrons. He owns considerable property in the village including premises occupied for business purposes. He also holds valuable mining stock. He is village treasurer and township clerk.
DR. W. G. BECHTOLD, Physician and Surgeon. Office: Main Street Opposite
Church . - A professional man of this village who has gained a solid
position among his patrons and holds the confidence of the medical
fraternity of Clinton County, is Dr. W. G. Bechtold, graduate of the
Missouri Medical College, class 1884. Upon receiving his degree, Dr.
Bechtold at once entered upon the practice of his profession at Breese.
He soon became popular by reason of his skill and conscientious care in
the treatment of patients, and as a consequence his professional
services were sought for. Dr. Bechtold commenced the practice with but
scanty means and during his professional career of one decade he has
amassed a fair competence. He owns a fine residence and other valuable
real property in the village. He is president of Clinton Medical
Society and an active member of the Concordia Saengerchor, a notable
band of vocalists of Breese. He is very favorably recognized in social
as well as professional circles at home and abroad.
F. KOCH, General Merchandise. - One of the most reputable business men of Breese is Mr. F. Koch. The business was inaugurated by Mr. Koch eight years ago upon the dissolution of the firm of Hofsommer & Koch. The premises occupied for business purposes comprise a substantial two story and basement brick building, 30x80 feet, filled with a carefully selected stock of dry goods, notions, clothing, men's furnishings, staple and fancy groceries, country produce, light hardware and household necessities. Such a miscellaneous array as to claim for the establishment the name of a modern Bazaar. Employment is given to three polite assistants, Mr. Koch personally supervising every detail of the business. Mr. Koch was born and raised in Breese. He is popular among all classes of the community, controlling a large trade in the village and among the farmers of the vicinity. He is secretary and treasurer of the Future Coal & Mining Company. He is an active member of the Modern Woodmen of America, of the Concordia Saengerchor and the Breese Brass Band. Of the latter he was the leader six years.
HOFFMANN & HELWIG, Dealers in Dry Goods, Groceries, Hardware, Boots, Shoes and General Merchandise, Main Street North Opposite Church. - This old and reliable house was founded by Mr. Casper Hofsommer about the year 1878. He was succeeded by his son, Wm. H. Casper; Mr. G. A. Hoffmann of the present firm succeeding the latter in 1891, and was soon after joined by Aug. J. Helwig. These gentlemen have materially added to the stock originally carried, at the same time increasing their facilities and extending the scope of their trade territory which embraces besides a considerable local patronage, a very large trade among the farmers and in surrounding towns. Their store has dimensions 50x70 feet, a substantial two story building centrally located on Main street, the first floor and basement devoted to the business; the upper floor Mr. Helwig's residence. A very full and comprehensive stock of goods is carried in all the lines usually embraced in a first class general store. Mr. Hoffmann hails from the neighboring city of Carlyle. He has been a resident of Breese five years, and was formerly clerking at Carlyle and in St. Louis. He is at present the village clerk, a member of the Concordia Saengerchor, and Fire Department, a K. of H, and a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Helwig was born and raised here. He took a course at Jones' Commercial College in St. Louis and clerked in Breese three years before embarking in business on his account. He is an active member of the Concordia Sangerchor and of the Evangelical Church Choir. He carries large insurance in the New York Mutual Life Company. Both gentlemen are young and enterprising merchants whose success is well deserved and their continued prosperity is assured.
HERMANN NIEMANN, Baker and Confectioner. Corner Main & Second Streets, North. - The baker is an important factor in the domestic economy and follows an avocation that requires more than ordinary skill. A representative man thus engaged in the thriving village of Breese, is Mr. Hermann Niemann who established business here in 1890. Mr. Niemann has been a resident of Breese fourteen years; he is a German by birth and has been in this country twenty-eight years, landing in the City of Baltimore. He was formerly in butchering business in Germantown and here. Mr. Niemann is a young enterprising man whose popularity in the community has led to his appointment as Postmaster under Mr. Cleveland's administration. In the equipment of his bakery which is a separate building from his store, the most approved modern methods and processes are in vogue and the product of his bakery comprises fine family bread, pies and table delicacies. He also deals in fine confectionery and stationery. During the summer months a very neat and cozy ice cream parlor is maintained and the best attention and accommodation is afforded the patrons of this house at all times. Mr. Niemann is an active C. K. of I.
JOHN SCHWARTZ, Dealer in Hardware, Tinware, Stoves, Etc., Opposite Village Hall. - A man's success in business life is dependent upon his ability and persistent effort to excel in all he does. An example of this class has come under our notice in the person of Mr. John Schwartz who succeeded his father-in-law, Mr. John Schaffner, in this business in 1888. The latter had carried on the business twenty-five years, and during his lifetime was recognized as an honorable man and an influential citizen. Our subject, Mr. John Schwartz, possesses in a marked degree those gifts of genius and adaptability that go to make up the successful business man and useful citizen. He has been a resident of Breese off and on since 1883. He learned the trade of copper and tin smith here, in Dayton, O., and in St. Louis. He left his home at the age of 18 years to shift for himself and the sequel will show how well he has succeeded. His shop is equipped with all appliances utilized in the manufacture of copper, tin and sheet iron work of every description; steam heating and cornice work is done, Mr. Schwartz also carries a very comprehensive stock of heat and cook stoves, cooking utensils in tin, copper and iron ware, hardware, kitchen furnishings, etc. He can make anything from a tin cup to a house front in the line of his craft, and guarantees entire satisfaction. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., K. of H., Modern Woodmen of America and the Concordia Saengerchor. Mr. Schwartz was one of the original organizers of the Local Fire Department and was its chief until he resigned on account of the pressure of his business occupation. He is of German extraction, and like most all our citizens of that nationality, he is progressive and ingenious, and always striving to excel. His trade extends to all the neighboring towns.
J. C. SCHROEDER, Blacksmith and Dealer in Farm Machinery, Main Street. - With the farming community there is certainly no more useful adjunct than he who can fashion the plow-share, shoes the horse and repairs agricultural machinery. A representative mechanic of this class and one who is an acknowledged adept in his craft is Mr. J. C. Schroeder. This gentlemen established business here in 1881 and has well and faithfully performed his work. Mr. Schroeder's shop is well equipped with all necessary machinery and tools; in area it is 40x44 feet, one competent assistant finds constant employment, Mr. Schroeder giving his personal supervision to important details. A leading specialty is made of repairing farm machinery, carriage and wagon work. Mr. Schroeder was born and raised in Breese, learned his trade here and is very popular. He is a K. of H., a member of the Modern Woodmen and of the Concordia Saengerchor. His success is largely due to his reliability in the execution of work supplemented by skill and good judgment in designing and repairing. He owns the property occupied for business purposes and other property in the village.
HOFSOMMER & SCHROEDER, Cor. Main and Fourth Streets North. -- There are few more enterprising as and well conducted lumber concerns in Southern Illinois than that of Hofsommer & Schroeder who established here in 1892. Through care and energy this young house has developed a prosperous business and obtained wide popularity among property owners and builders in this section. The yards are conveniently situated on Main street, comprising four town lots in area upon which are located office and lumber sheds, stocked with all kinds of lumber dressed and in the rough, sash, doors, blinds, interior finish, builders supplies and materials of every description. The members of the firm Emil G. Hofsommer and Henry W. Schroeder are practical men. Besides their lumber business they are carpenters, builders and contractors, make plans and estimates and contract for building, guaranteeing the highest satisfaction to those who engage their services. Jobbing in their line is also attended to. The members of this firm were born here and possess every facility essential to the execution of work and the supply of material. They own one lot of the four occupied for business purposes. Mr. Hofsommer was engaged in farming prior to embarking in the present enterprise. He owns several valuable farms that are under high cultivation in close proximity to Breese. Two of these are in charge of a trusty agent whose duties involve the raising and care of livestock after the most approved modern methods. Mr. Hofsommer's live stock farms are models of their kind in this part of the state. Mr. Schroeder is a carpenter and builder by trade. He was engaged in the business at St. Louis. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.
DR. CHAS. E. GISSY, Pure Drugs, Medicines, Chemicals, Stationery, Druggists' Sundries, Perfumery, Soap, Toilet and Fancy Articles, Etc. - Dr. Gissy, who established business here in 1879, is a physician by profession and a graduate of the St. Louis Medical College. He practiced medicine for a number of years in Morrison Missouri and in Breese continued the practice in connection with his pharmacy but was compelled to partially relinquish the practice on account of ill health in 1880. He is a regular registered pharmacist. His store is appropriately appointed and equipped with complete laboratory and prescription department. He gives his personal attention to details and is very prompt and obliging in his relations with patrons. Dr. Gissy is a native of Alsace, but came to America with his parents when but a year old and was raised in Germantown a neighboring village of Clinton County. His is the only pharmacy in Breese and for all intents and purposes the only one needed as Dr. Gissy is thoroughly familiar with the needs of the people and the requirements of the medical profession. He is treasurer of the Clinton County Medical Society.
L. VANDER PLUYM, North Second Street, West of Main Street. - There is always room for the mechanical genius in a progressive community and the village of Breese has a strong representative in his line in Mr. L. Vander Pluym who succeeded his partner, Mr. H. Detmer, in business one year ago. The premises occupied are owned by Mr. Pluym and embrace an area 25x75 feet, completely stocked and equipped for the conduct of the business, which consists of dealing In hardware, farm machinery, stoves, ranges, wall paper and miscellaneous household articles. Tin smithing and the repairing of fire arms is a specialty of Mr. Pluym's. He is an adept mechanic in the latter department and controls a large patronage among sportsmen and enjoys the possession of a handsome village residence. Mr. Pluym formerly clerked for Mr. Benj. H. Donne of Breese. He was born and raised in Breese. He is an active member of the Breese Benevolent Society, a worthy local organization that has for its object the relief of the deserving destitute and the helpless sick. Mr. Pluym is a young married man industrious and progressive and takes an active interest in all measures that have in view the commercial and social development of the village.
THEO. DEEBEN, Dealer in Cut Meats and Sausages, North Second Street.--There is no line of business so important to the public generally as is that which provides us with what we eat and the most essential of these is the one that supplies us with meat. A market where one may always be sure of getting fresh, clean meats and have the different kinds to select from is that conducted by Mr. Deeben. Mr. Deeben established the business in 1870 and for nearly twenty-five years has received a liberal patronage from the citizens of Breese and vicinity, delivering orders in Aviston four miles westward from this village, He does his own butchering having a well equipped slaughtering house and cattle pasture outside the village limits. He also deals in hides and has one trusty assistant. Mr. Deeben is a German by birth, came to this country in 1867, and after traveling extensively through the west finally located here to embark in his present successful business enterprise. He owns his place of business and residence. He is a member of the Concordia Saengerchor and was formerly in the Town Board. He is recognized as a public spirited citizen and an honorable merchant.
FRED BUSLEY, Exchange Saloon, Corner of Main and Second Street, North. -- A review of the business interests of Southern Illinois discloses the existence of many places of public resort which compare favorably with those of any part of the country. Enjoying an enviable position among this class of public entertainers, the name of Fred Busley of Breese stands out conspicuous. He has been established two years, succeeding Mr. Herman Fasnacht. He does a flourishing business, dispensing fine wines, liquors and cigars. The ever refreshing lager beer is a specialty of the exchange and in this department of Mr. Busley's business the very best facilities are possessed in the way of cold storage and the most popular brews. Mr. Busley presides at the bar in person so as to insure the highest satisfaction to his numerous patrons. The premises are commodious, supplied with card tables, pool and billiard tables, the bar equipment and design being in keeping with the best metropolitan style. The place is lighted on all sides. The location is central, directly across the way from the Post-Office and the genial host is always a hail fellow, well met. Mr. Burley is a native of the city of St. Louis, but was raised in Davenport Iowa. Although still a young man, he has had much experience in business affairs and conducts his establishment upon the most approved plan.
BEN. J. SCHWARZ, Cigar Manufacturer. - It is a well recognized fact that the favorite form of smoking is and always will be the cigar and the great demand for this luxury has led to the establishment of numerous factories tortes that sell to the consumer and dealer alike by the box. In Breese we find a representative of this important industry in the person of Mr. Ben. J. Schwarz who established the business September 22nd, 1893. Receiving his certificate October first of the same year, he opened up his factory, with a force of five cigar makers and produces from fifteen to twenty thousand cigars monthly. Of the special five-cent brand, No. 66, Little Cuban and Gold Standard are favorites with old smokers. Mr. Schwarz' Key West ten cents straight finds a ready market at home and is in large and growing demand among St. Louis dealers by reason of its purity and high flavor. Mr. Schwarz uses the best imported Havana and Sumatra leaf and is an excellent judge of the qualities, in these as well as in the domestic leaf used in the manufacture. He occupies very neat quarters and in filling orders he is very prompt and accurate. He was born and raised in Breese, and is a member of the Concordia Saengerchor. He is of that class of young business men in Breese who hold the destinies of the future village and city in their power. Mr. Schwarz makes other brands of cigars, notably the Young Queen a fifteen cent cigar that is not excelled in any market.
L. W. SCHROEDER, the Tailor. Custom and Ready Made Clothing, Hats, Caps, and Gent's Furnishing Goods, Main Street North. - Among the arbiters of correct taste and leading styles in men's apparel, Mr. L. W. Schroeder ranks among the foremost. He came here in November 1881, introducing the "Push" line of business, in tailoring. He is an expert and has had a long practical experience in the business and served as a journeyman tailor several years in St. Louis, where he learned the trade. Although so recently established, Mr. Schroeder has realized gratifying success. He carries a very select stock of foreign and domestic suitings and in the make-up and fit, perfect satisfaction is always guaranteed. He also carries in stock stylish and reasonable ready made clothing, hats and caps, gent’s furnishings etc. Mr. Schroeder is of German decent, born and raised in Breese. He is an enthusiastic member of the Concordia Saengerchor and his social standing is of the highest order. His place is neatly and appropriately appointed, in dimensions 22x50 feet and centrally located. He is a young enterprising business man who is destined to achieve well deserved success and add another link to the commercial progress of the village of Breese.
HERMAN SCHROEDER, Manufacturer of and dealer in Harness, Briddles, Saddles, Robes, Lap Dusters, Whips, etc., North Main Street. - Mr. Herman Schroeder is an adept at his trade which he learned in Highland, Ill., and subsequently worked as a journeyman two years - in St. Louis and eight months in Great Bend, Kas., finally establishing himself in his native village of Breese seven years ago. His shop on Main street, north, is fully equipped and employment is given to experienced workmen, Mr. Schroeder personally giving close attention to details so as to insure the highest satisfaction to his numerous patrons. A sample and stock room adjoins the shop where is carried harness, bridles, saddles, robes, lap-dusters, whips, horse clothing etc. In the manufacture, none but the very best materials are used and satisfaction guaranteed. The prices quoted being as low as is consistent with first class work. Mr. Schroeder's trade is obtained from the farming classes principally and it has experienced a steady growth from year to year. He makes a leading specialty of repairing and in this department of the business saves his patrons considerable outlay each season. He is a K. of H., and a member of the Concordia Saengerchor and the Breese Brass Band. In conjunction with his regular business he also does mattress making, carriage trimming, upholstery.
COMMERCIAL HOTEL, Chas. Rickher, Proprietor, Opposite B. &O. S.
W. Railroad Station.-The most important change that has occurred within
recent years in the commercial and social development of the village of
Breese, is the new proprietorship and management of the old Commercial
Hotel. It was leased about seven months ago, by Mr. Charles Rickher.
This gentleman with an eye to business and possessing in a marked
degree those sterling qualifications of the genial host, set about
renovating and completely refurnishing this old landmark. It had fallen
into a delapidated and unsightly condition through neglect but at
considerable expense and pains on the part of Mr. Rickher it looms up
to-day as one of the most inviting public places of resort in this
section of Southern Illinois. Mr. Rickher was born of German parents in
Madison County, Ill., and prior to engaging in his present enterprise
was farming in the vicinity of Breese. He served during the war of the
rebellion in the 43d Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Co. I, and is an
active member of the Grand Army of the Republic.