Biography - John Wiegers

John WIEGERS, grocer, Litchfield, son of Bernard and Elizabeth (KONNIG) WIEGERS, was born in town of Lugde, Prussia, on August 10, 1831. He left school at the age of fourteen years and entered upon an apprenticeship to the blacksmith's trade in the town of Pirmont, continuing three years, after which he worked three and a half years in Hanover. He came to the United States in 1853, leaving the seaport of Bracke, Wurtemberg, on May 27, and sailing seven weeks, landing at New York, stopping three days in the city; n his arrival, he had $600. Leaving New York City, he came direct to Chicago, Ill., remaining two days; thence to St. Louis, Mo., remaining four days, going thence to Edwardsville, Ill., where he worked at his trade a year, his remuneration being $14 per Month; after this, he went to Alton, where he stayed four months, during which time he acted as waiter in the Franklin House. He next moved to Manchester, Mo., where he worked nine months at blacksmithing, going thence to Iowa, where he worked four months at farming; there he met with an accident with a threshing machine, resulting in a broken leg, which disabled him for thirty-three weeks, at the end of which time he was in debt for $37. As soon as he was able to do so, he commenced as waiter in a hotel, continuing eight months, and then returned to Edwardsville, Ill., where he drove a mill team two months, and subsequently, in his twenty-seventh year, entered a cooper-shop there for the purpose of learning the trade; he served eight months' apprenticeship, during which time he gained the ability to do good work and receive full wages. He next removed to Staunton, being in the cooper business for himself until March, 1864, when he came to Litchfield, Ill., on the 27th day of the month, having accumulated a capital of $900. On coming to this city, he purchased, for $400, a barn, of Perley & Co., which he turned into a cooper-shop on the site of his present store and residence; the first year he employed fourteen men, and afterward as many as twenty-six men; from the first, he had the confidence of all, and his credit was always good. He continued with good success until 1873, when his shop and stock burned, with a loss of $4,000; the property was insured for $1,600, but $1,000 being paid. He immediately began to rebuild the shops, and continued in the cooper business until 1881, when he gave his entire attention, instead, to mercantile pursuits. In the spring of 1879, he changed into storerooms his two-story brick building, which had been used as his cooper-ship, and, with Mr. Joseph BARTMAN, under the firm name of Wiegers & Co., he engaged in the grocery and liquor business, at which he still continues, with good success. Mr. WIEGERS was married, in Staunton, Ill., on August 28, 1862, to Miss SPOVLEDER, of that place; they have five children living, namely, John, Frederick, Lisse, Christ and Anna.

Extracted 19 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from 1882 History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois, Part 2 Biographical Department, pages 180-181.

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