Biography - Nicholas Singer

NICHOLAS SINGER. Among the prominent business men of Montgomery County, Ill., who have attained to the highest round in the ladder of success, and are counted among its most worthy and honored citizens, may be mentioned Mr. Nicholas Singer. No name stands more properly placed in the history of the county than his, for he is not only one of the most successful and popular business men, but is of such a social, genial nature, that he has made many friends. While a German and born of German parents, he hardly knows whether he was born in Germany or in France. The facts are as follows: He was born in Lorraine, Germany, March 9, 1840, but just at the time the line had been drawn, so that his birthplace was on the French side of the line. Therefore, while a German in every sense of the word, he was born on French soil, and under the laws that then governed France.
His father, Nicholas Singer, Sr., was the owner of a small vineyard near his native town, and for forty years was a policeman for field and village, and was the first man to enter the army from his native village in the conflict against France. The father is still living in his native land, and in the village where he has spent his long life, being now ninety-three years of age. For many years he has been on the retired list of ex-policemen. The subject of this notice attended school until thirteen years of age in his native village, but being of a progressive, enterprising temperament was not satisfied to settle down at home. He wanted to see more of the world. At that tender age he took passage for America, and after touching United States soil began searching for employment. Later he found his way to Dubois County, Ind., and commenced learning the cooper's trade.
Afterward he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, and there finished learning his trade, but the restive spirit again taking possession of him he went down to New Orleans, where he remained for some time. From there he went to Alexander, Tex., thence to Hamilton, Ohio, from there to many different places, and when twenty years of age this wandering but unusually precocious young man settled in Peoria, Ill., where he worked at his trade. He was a member- of the Peoria Fire Company, as well as of the Peoria Rifle Company. In 1862 he enlisted to go to the war, but on account of a lame arm was rejected. After this he went to St. Joseph, Mo., became foreman in a pork-packing establishment, and made a trip for this firm to Pike's Peak and another to Denver. He remained in St. Joseph until July 13, 1864, when he volunteered to go into the country to assist in routing the guerrillas. Later he went to Jersey City, lost what money he had in wild speculations, and then took to the Mississippi River, following rafting for a time.
In August, 1866, after having been in nearly all the States east of the Rockies, he settled down to business in Nokomis, where he started a cooper shop. He prospered in this, accumulated considerable money, and two years later engaged in the stock business in connection with his other business enterprises. In 1870 this wide-awake, thorough-going business man started a pork-packing establishment, and in 1871 he was one of the organizers of the Nokomis National Bank, in which he is now a large stockholder and one of the Directors. Since he came to this city nearly everything he has touched has turned to money, and he is one of the substantial men of the county. In 1874 he made an extended trip to Europe, visiting Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, and other countries on the continent.
The original of this notice was married in Nokomis, August 19, 1871, to Miss Mary A. Tuoliy, a native of this country, but of Irish ancestry, and nine children have been born to this union, eight of whom are now living: John A., Alice M., Berta R., Charles N., Mary (deceased), Catherine, Andrew J., William W. and Arthur F.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 408-411.

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