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Prominent Citizens of Madison County, Illinois



Portrait and Biographical Record of Madison County, Illinois, Biographical Publishing Company, 1894 (Book in Public Domain)




Henry Epping is a prominent and representative farmer of Madison County, now making his home in Edwardsville Township, where by his good management he has become the proprietor of a productive estate, including over three hundred acres.  Like many of the best residents here, he is a native of Germany, having been born near Berlin, Germany. The father of our subject, G. H. Epping, was also a native of the above place.  There his mother, who was formerly, Miss Oenning, died when Henry was only three months old.  The remainder of the family came to the New World in 1844, setting sail from Bremen on the vessel, "Leontine", which landed them nine weeks later in New Orleans.  Then they came north to St. Louis, Mo., by way of the water route, arriving there July 10, 1844. In the spring of the following year, G. H. Epping came with his family to this county and for three years farmed on rented land.  Then returning to the Mound City, he spent the succeeding year working in a brick yard, and after his next removal, we find him located in Madison County.  He then purchased forty acres of land on Pleasant Ridge, where he soon built up a comfortable home, residing there for fifteen years.  Then being advanced in years, he retired from active labor, and removing into the city of Edwardsville, was a citizen of that place until his decease, in 1877, when in his seventy-sixth year. The parental family included three children, and by the second marriage of his father, our subject had four half-brothers and sisters.  Our subject was reared on a farm and remained at home until a year after attaining his majority, when he began the battle of life on his own account by working farms near his home on shares.  He was thus employed for a year and a half, and the next event of importance in which he played a conspicuous part was his marriage with Miss Elizabeth Shaningman, the date of which event was November 6, 1858.  Mrs. Epping, who was born in the same locality as was her husband, came to the United States with her parents.  Of the twelve children of whom she became the mother, six are still living, namely:  Henry, Barny, Lena, Maggie, Minnie, and Katie. After his marriage, our subject rented land for thirteen years in this locality and for four years in Mo.  After that he purchased one hundred and thirty-six acres in this county, and at the same time was the owner of a one hundred and thirty acre tract in Nameoki Township, thirty-five acres pleasantly located near Edwardsville and eighty acres on Pleasant Ridge.  His estate is embellished with a substantial set of farm buildings and contains all the improvements necessary to modern agriculture. In his political relations, Mr. Epping is a strong Democrat, having cast his first vote for James Buchanan. His entire family are members of the Catholic Church and are regular attendants at the same.  Our subject is well known throughout the section, where he has lived for years and may well be accounted one of the self-made men of this locality. The father of our subject was a weaver in the Old Country, which business he followed in the connection with farming, as also did the sons of the family.  He also served as a soldier in the German army, rendering efficient service for three years.



William F. L. Hadley was the senior member of the law firm of Hadley & Burton of Edwardsville. He was born June 15, 1847, on a farm near Collinsville, Illinois to William and Didama [McKinney] Hadley. At the age of 16, he was sent to McKendree College at Lebanon, Illinois, where he graduated in June 1867. In the fall of 1870, he entered the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he graduated in 1871. He returned home in November 1871, and opened a law office in Edwardsville. In 1874 he formed a law partnership with Judge Krome, which continued until 1890, when the latter was elected County Judge. In 1892 he formed a partnership with Charles H. Burton. In 1886, Mr. Hadley was nominated by the Republican part for State Senator from the Forty-first District, receiving more than eleven hundred votes over his opponent. During the first session of his term, he was placed on several committees, and was Chairman of the Penal Reforms and Militia Committees. During the second session, he was made Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He was instrumental in securing the passage of a bill increasing the powers of the Board of Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners, authorizing them to investigate the causes of accidents, and inspect the trestle work and bridges. Mr. Hadley was nominated for a second term during his absence from the state, but was obliged to decline the honor on account of sickness in the family.  William F. L. Hadley was married June 15, 1875 in Edwardsville, to Mary West, daughter of Edward M. and Julia [Atwater] West.  Mr. Hadley belonged to the Masonic, the Odd Fellow, and Knights of Pythias fraternities.



William H. Hall, former Mayor of Edwardsville, descended from old Revolutionary stock. His great-grandfather, William Hall, was a soldier in the struggle for independence. W. H. Hall, our subject, was a child of only four years when he came to this county with his father, Isaac Hall, in 1818. He entered upon his business career as a school teacher for two years, then employed in the County Clerk's office, and in April 1887, was elected City Clerk, which position he held for six years. In 1893, he was elected Mayor of the city. On April 6, 1870, Mr. Hall married Jennie Chapman, daughter of Joseph and Rachel [English] Chapman. Mr. Hall is a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows' societies. Aside from his official duties, he is engaged in the abstract business with George Leverett.



Bernard Meinerling has been a resident of Madison County since 1871. His farm, which is located on section 4, Nameoki Township, comprises two hundred and sixty-two acres. Germany is his native land, and he was born in April 1849. He is the youngest in the family of Abel and Mary [Kuter] Meinerling, also natives of the Fatherland, where they spent their entire lives. Bernard attended school in his native land for ten years, completing his education when sixteen years of age. He became an apprentice to a carpenter, whom he served for four years, and then worked at his trade for a period of six months. In 1869, Bernard embarked on a sailing vessel, which landed him in America after a voyage of a few weeks, and coming directly to this state, located in Clinton County, where he resided for two years. In 1871 he made his advent to Madison County, and in 1878 he purchased property. In addition to raising various cereals, Mr. Meinerling makes a specialty of potatoes. He became wealthy.   He married Margaret [Sagenschneider] Zellerman in 1878. She was the mother of four children by a former marriage: August, Elizabeth, Francis and Anna.



Abraham Prickett was born in Georgia in 1793, a son of George Prickett, native of Maryland. George Prickett came to Illinois about 1808, settling in Madison County, and was followed some years later by his brother, Jacob, who located in Bond County. The father followed farming until his death in 1846. Abraham Prickett was reared on a farm, and early in life began trading and selling goods in Edwardsville, he being one of its first merchants. He married Miss Kirkpatrick, by whom he had two children: George and Ethelinda. He later married Martha, daughter of John Harris of Connecticut. They had twin boys, Thomas J. and John Adams, who were born in Edwardsville May 4, 1822.  Abraham took a contract to dredge Red River, and while there was taken ill with fever, passing away in 1836. His wife died about 1823. In politics he was a Democrat, and was a member of the first Constitutional Convention of Illinois, which assembled in 1818. In 1828 he was nominated for Congress, but was defeated by the Whig candidate. In 1827 he went to Quincy and laid out an addition to that place. In 1836, he started with his brother-in-law, E. A. Wheelock, for Texas, and while enroute made a contract for dredging Rev River. He died and was buried in Macagdaches.



John A. Prickett, son of Abraham Prickett, was born May 4, 1822, a twin of Thomas J. Prickett. He was reared under the parental roof, and began his education in a log school house with dirt floor and slab seats. At the time of his father's death, he was living with his grandfather, but left home and took a boat down the Mississippi to St. Louis, where he was overtaken by his brother, George, who wanted him to return, and agreed if he would do so, that his Uncle Isaac would send him to school, for he desired an education. When he arrived, he found that the family was large and concluded to go to Alton and learn the saddler's trade, following it until 1846, when he enlisted for the Mexican War as a member of Company E of the 2nd Regiment. John took part in the battle of Buena Vista, and was severely wounded in the shoulder by a musket ball and was ordered home. He arrived in Edwardsville in 1847. Soon after, he was elected Recorder, and later was County Clerk, serving for fourteen years. He tired of official life, and bought a steam flouring mill, which he operated until it was burned down, about 1869. He then organized the J. A. Prickett & Sons Bank, with which he has since been connected. John Prickett was married November 4, 1847 to Elizabeth M., daughter of Julius L. and Polly [Gonterman] Barnesback. The mother's family were relatives of Martha Washington.  When Madison County was changed into township organization, John Prickett was elected Supervisor, serving two years, and when Edwardsville became a city, he was elected its first Mayor, serving two terms. He owned mining interests in Murray Gulch, Idaho, and a large ranch about forty miles east of Spokane, Washington.



William Russell Prickett was born in Edwardsville, Illinois in September 1836. He is of southern ancestry. His mother was from Kentucky, and his father, Col. Isaac Prickett, a native of Georgia who migrated to Illinois and was prominently identified with its history.  William Russell Prickett has spent his life in his native town, with the exception of the years that he was a student at the Western Military Institute in Kentucky, and afterward at the Illinois College in Jacksonville. He entered the latter institution in 1855, and there laid the foundation for a business life of activity and usefulness. He entered the Union army as Lieutenant in the 150th Illinois Infantry. Before leaving Camp Butler, he was made Major of the regiment. May 1, 1865, Major Prickett was assigned to Brevet Brigadier-General Salm's Second Brigade. He was appointed Judge Advocate of a court martial, which convened in Augusta, Georgia. After his return from Augusta to Atlanta, he was made Provost-Marshal. He was honorably mustered out of the service at the close of the war in 1866. In 1868, Major Prickett engaged in the banking business in Edwardsville. In February, 1885, he was appointed United States Commissioner for Illinois by Judge Samuel H. Treat. During the Senatorial contest of 1885, when Gen. John A. Logan was re-elected Senator, Major Prickett received several votes for U. S. Senator, as an expression on the part of his friends of their high regard for him as a representative of the great commonwealth of Illinois. He was selected for his district as Presidential elector on the National Democratic ticket for 1892. Major Prickett has been twice married. His first wife, whom he married in 1859, and who died in 1874, was Virginia F., daughter of Hon. Edward M. West. Three children born of the first marriage are: Edward Isaac (served as Consul at Kehl, Germany); Virginia R. (wife of William A. Burrowes); Mary W., (wife of Harrison I. Drummond).  Major Prickett's second marriage took place in 1888. He married Josephine M., daughter of Judge Joseph Gillespie.



Martin J. Schott, President of the Highland Brewing Company, was born November 19, 1830, in the Duchy of Nassau, where his father owned a farm. His father was Gerhart Schott, who came to America in 1855 and located in this city, where he and Charles L. Bernays established a brewery. Martin J. Schott entered the brewery business in his native land, and became an expert in his business. Martin and his father purchased the interest of Charles L. Bernays, and then took his brother Christian, into the company. This connection lasted until 1866, when his father sold out to his sons and that year returned to Germany to join his family. Gerhart Schott died there January 15, 1881. Martin J. and Christian built a brewery in 1866, and four years later Martin purchased the interest of his brother, and from that time until 1884 was sole owner of the enterprise. In 1884 it was incorporated and he then took his sons into the firm. It was one of the largest breweries in the southern part of the state, and had the capacity of turning out fifteen thousand barrels per annum, about two-fifths of which was sold in Highland, and the remainder in the surrounding towns. Martin J. Schott was married November 19, 1857, to Miss Bertha Eggen, who was born in this city September 9, 1838. They had 8 children: Emelia (wife of Samuel Leutweiler); Otto G.; Nellie (wife of Louis Suppiger); Alice; Albert H.; Eugene G.; Bertha; and Martin J. Jr.



Adolph Suppiger, who was formerly Superintendent of Schools of Madison County, was born in Highland, Illinois January 27, 1843, a son of Anthony and Monica [Wickenhause] Suppiger. His father was born in Sursee, Canton Luzerne, Switzerland, and his wife was a native of Baden, Germany. Anthony Suppiger came to the United States in 1831, locating in Highland, and in connection with his brothers, Joseph, Bernard, Godfrey M. and David, established the first flouring mill in the county. It was known as the Suppiger Mill. Adolph Anthony Suppiger was reared on the farm and acquired his early education in common school. He later attended the State Normal University and graduated in 1865. He engaged in teaching for two years in Marine, Illinois, after which he was appointed Principal of the schools of Highland, serving for six years. He also conducted a book and music store at that place. In 1873 he was elected County Superintendent of Schools of Madison County for four years. In 1877 he moved to Pierron, where he devoted his time to mercantile pursuits for several years. He then came to Edwardsville, and continued in the same business until 1886, when he was again elected to the office of County Superintendent, serving until 1890. Next, he engaged in the hardware business, which he followed for two years, then engaged again in the merchandising business in connection with N. E. Bosen at his old place. Adolph Suppiger married Leah P. Baer, a native of Switzerland and daughter of Jacob K. and Louisa [Faesy] Baer. Six children graced their union: Louisa; Albert E.; Edwin O.; Nina L.; Theodore and Orville.



Howard T. Wharff, M. D. physician and surgeon of Edwardsville, was born in Calais, Me., September 20, 1846. His father was Thomas E. Wharff, merchant and lumber dealer in Portland, Maine. The Wharffs were originally princes of the royal family of Denmark, but during an insurrection they sided with the people and were banished to England. Later, one married into the house of York, and from this line the Doctor is descended. Dr. Wharff was educated in private schools, an academy and Haverill (Mass.) College, in which he was a student at the time of the Civil War. He enlisted in Company B, 8th Massachusetts Regiment, under Gen. Butler, for three months, and was discharged in July. On the 1rst of June 1865, with endorsements from General Sherman, he went to Washington, passed an examination before the board and was appointed Second Lieutenant. After one year's service on the frontier he resigned. After his resignation, he went to Tennessee and took a position on the staff of Governor Brownlow. He was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the State Militia. After a year he resigned, went to St. Louis, and traveled in the west. He then studied medicine in the St. Louis Medical College, then went to Troy, Illinois and studied under Dr. T. B. Spaulding for two years. He also studied with Dr. Pogue of Edwardsville for two years, and in 1879 opened an office. The Doctor was married in 1873 to Mary A. Carney. They have three children: Edith W.; Howard E.; and Emma L. The Doctor is a stalwart Republican and member of the Grand Army post, Masonic fraternity, and Odd Fellows' and Knights of Pythias lodges.


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