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One of the progressive and broad-minded journalists of LaSalle county is William Ackermann, of Streator. He is one of the native sons of this county, his birth having occurred in Ottawa, March 14, 1857. His parents, Christian W. and Cordula (Kempter) Ackermann, were natives of Wurttemberg, Germany, and emigrated to the United States in 1848. They first located in Cincinnati, Ohio, thence went to Davenport, Iowa, and ultimately became well known residents of Ottawa, Illinois. The father departed this life in 1894, and the mother is still living, her home being in Pekin, Tazewell county, Illinois.

After he had completed his elementary education in the common schools, our subject attended the Logansport (Indiana) high school for some time, and, being an intelligent, ambitious youth, found little difficulty in obtaining employment in the office of the Logansport Journal and other local papers, when he sought to learn the printing business. In 1880 he engaged in the publication of the Deutsche Zeitung in Leadville, Colorado, and four years later he came to Streator and established the well and widely known Volksblatt, which has attained an extensive circulation among the German citizens of this section of the county. It is a five-column quarto with a six-column supplement, and is issued weekly, on Friday morning. Until September, 1894, the politics of the paper were distinctly Democratic, but at the time mentioned, the tariff issue assuming such grave importance to the people of the commonwealth, it was deemed advisable to follow a different course of tactics, and to advocate protection of the products of American industry. This course has been maintained since, and though some subscribers demurred, and, "like the laws of the Medes and Persians, changed not," the majority have conceded the wisdom of the editor and loyally praise him as a man possessing the courage of his convictions. The paper is of and for the people, working always for what it believes to be the good of the majority, and for this immediate section of the county. It presents in a clear, concise form, the important news of the day, and matters of local interest.

Upon the 10th of August, 1884, Mr. Ackermann married Miss Adolphine Hoebel, a native of Germany, but who, for a number of years had resided in Colorado. This worthy couple have numerous friends and well-wishers in Streator, among both the German and English citizens.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 57-58.

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