Biography - JOHN BRAUN
A highly respected German-American citizen of Peru is he of whom this sketch is penned, his residence here dating back half a century. His paternal grandfather followed the same calling, that of tailor, in Germany, as does our subject. The latter's father, George Braun, who was one of six children, four of whom were sons, likewise was a tailor by trade, though he gave some attention to farming also. He was a soldier under the great general, Napoleon Bonaparte, and died when in the prime of manhood, aged about forty-nine years. His widow, whose maiden name was Katherina Diedewig, came to America in 1852, bringing with her their four younger children. For some time she made her home in Peru, and in 1853 the dread scourge, cholera, swept her away. She was an only daughter, but had three or four brothers. Her father, who was a shoemaker by trade, died in Germany, at an advanced age. George Braun and wife were devout members of the Lutheran church, and were upright, honored citizens, as their ancestors were before them.
John Braun of this sketch is the twin brother of Peter Braun, born April 15, 1819, in the village of Nieder Saulheim, on the river Rhine, in the province of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. His other brothers and sisters who grew to mature years were George; Andrew; Katherina, who married Jacob Kreis, and is now deceased; Appolonia, wife of Mr. Graeber, of Lawrence, Kansas; and Lorena, wife of Clemens Young, of Kansas.
When he was young John Braun attended the public schools of his native land, and as soon as old enough he commenced learning his father's trade. In 1843 he came to the United States, and for one year lived among the Indians and forests of Washington county, Wisconsin. Then, going to Chicago, he worked at his trade for six years in that infant metropolis, and in 1850 came to Peru, which has been his abiding place ever since. At first he was employed as a journeyman, but in 1860, growing a little more ambitious, he opened a shop of his own. The beginning of the civil war the following year, however, interfered materially with his business prospects, and he gave up his independent enterprise. For the next fifteen years he was employed as a cutter in tailoring establishments here, but during the Centennial year he opened his store, which has been conducted ever since under the firm name of Braun & Son. It has enjoyed the patronage of the leading citizens of Peru, and only first-class work and the best of material are confidently expected to emanate from this well known business house. Many minor concerns have waxed and waned since Braun & Son opened their shop, but their popularity has continued unabated, and they have always been kept very busy in meeting the demands of the trade.
On the 2d of June, 1847, John Braun married Katherine, daughter of Adam Betz, and though this worthy couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary two years ago they bid fair to live to enjoy many happy returns of the festal day. Since 1851 they have resided on Center street, near the city hall, and are much attached to their home, around which the associations of almost half a century cling. In religious faith they are Lutherans.
Two of the eleven children born to John and Katherine Braun died in infancy. The eldest son, Charles A., who has been engaged in business with the father since early manhood, married Julia Van Horn, and has two children, — Ora and Fred. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of our subject, is the wife of L. A. Williams, a well known Ottawa lawyer, secretary to the Old Settlers' Society, and they have two children, Charles and Lorena. George married Annie Wilson, and died about three years ago in New York city. Mary E., who is unmarried, is a teacher in the Englewood (Illinois) schools. Fred W. married Mrs. Kate E. Standiford, and has one child, June Elizabeth. They reside in Los Angeles, California, where he is engaged in the wholesale drug business. John, his next younger brother, is employed by him in the drug store mentioned. John married Linda Hill, of Los Angeles, California. L. Gustav, the youngest of the children, is a mail-carrier in Chicago. He married Marian E. Van Sciver, and has two children, — Harold and Ida. Anna, wife of Frank Crawford, is the mother of four daughters, and is a resident of Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Emma married John Klinger and lives at the corner of Second and West streets, Peru. John Braun, our subject, and his sons, are affiliated with the Democratic party.
Extracted 26 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 2, pages 421-422.