Biography - E Gross

E. J. GROSS. In compiling an account of the different business enterprises of the county of Montgomery, we desire particularly to call attention to Mr. Gross, who is one of the successful hardware merchants of the thriving little town of Coffeen. The thrift and energy displayed in the management of his affairs are apparent when you enter his store, and his pleasant, genial manner and upright, honorable conduct have won him many friends and patrons. He is one among the prominent men who have largely contributed toward building up the mercantile fame of the above-mentioned town, and whose establishment affords an apt illustration of the progress and development of the place.
Mr. Gross was born in Freeport, Ill., June 14, 1859, and is a descendant of sturdy German stock, his father, Joseph Gross, being a native of that country. When a young man, the elder Mr. Gross decided to cross the ocean to America, and after reaching this continent he located in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he subsequently met the lady who became his wife. Miss Sarah M. Messenger, a native of the Keystone State. After marriage they located near Pittsburgh, on a farm, and there carried on agricultural pursuits in connection with the carpenter's trade, which Mr. Gross had learned in his native country. Later, he and his wife moved to Freeport, Ill., where they located on a farm, but shortly afterward decided to move to Tower Hill, Ill., where they located one and a-half miles south of the town, on a farm, but later sold that and are now living in Tower Hill. They are retired from the active duties of life and are enjoying the comforts obtained by previous years of labor. Thirteen children were given them, eleven of whom grew to mature years, but only six are now living, four daughters and two sons.
The original of this notice, who was tenth in order of birth of the above-mentioned children, was but thirteen years of age when he started out to fight life's battles for himself. He was without means, but had a pair of willing hands and any amount of courage and determination. He learned the tinner's trade and then went to Tower Hill, Ill., where he worked for two years. Thinking to better his condition, he went to Pana, this State, remained there a year and a-half, and then returned to Tower Hill, where he remained for some time. Later, he settled at Litchfield, and from here went to Sorento, Ill., and then to Shelton, Neb., where he remained four years. In 1890, he came to Coffeen and has since been engaged in business here. He has identified himself with the interests of Montgomery County, and has shown himself to be a public-spirited, enterprising and useful citizen.
Mr. Gross selected his companion in life in the person of Miss Susan Farrington, a native of Hillsboro, Ill., and their marriage was solemnized in May, 1881. One son, Roy, has been born to this union. In politics, Mr. Gross is an advocate of the principles of the Republican party, and has held a number of prominent positions in the city. He was elected Mayor of Coffeen in 1892, and is now discharging the duties of that position in an able and satisfactory manner. Socially, he is a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Gross is full of energy and ambition, has displayed unusual judgment in the management of his affairs, and has all the requirements for a successful business career.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 376-379.

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