Alexander C. Finkler, who is recognized as quite an important factor in the local politics of LaSalle county, is now serving as city clerk of LaSalle. He is one of the native sons of this place, his birth having occurred here February 16, 1869. Thus he is in the prime of early manhood and ambition, and judging from what he has already accomplished in his brief career he has a most promising future.
Alexander Finkler, the father of the subject of this article, was born in Westphalia, Germany, and came to the United States with his parents when a young lad. His two brothers, Frank J. of Dixon, Illinois, and John A., who died at Streator, this county, and his only sister, Mary, who became the wife of Isaac Robinson, of Peru, LaSalle county, were all born in America. The parents located at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where they continued to reside until death. When he had arrived at man's estate, Alexander Finkler, Sr., came to this county, and after living at Peru for some time went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was employed in the United States arsenal. In that city he formed the acquaintance of Miss Johanna McKnight, who was a native of Ireland. They were married in LaSalle, began their domestic life here, and their happy home was blessed with eight children, namely: A. C.; Frank (who is deceased); Mary; Eliza; Margaret; Agnes; Josephine; and Emily. The father died in 1883, at the age of fifty-six years, at his home in Ottawa, where he had been living for five years previously. His widow returned to LaSalle, where the greater part of her married life had been spent and where she is still a resident.
With the exception of five years spent in Ottawa with the rest of the family, Alexander C. Finkler has always dwelt in LaSalle, and received his education in its public schools. He was a youth of fourteen when his father died, and he at once took up the more serious realities of life. His father had been for years engaged in the manufacture of soda-water, and with energy and wisdom far beyond what could be expected of such a child, young Alexander took up the reins of the business and successfully carried on the undertaking for eleven years, finally selling out in 1894. In the meantime he pursued a course of study in the Dixon (Illinois) Business College, in order more fully to equip himself for his commercial career.
For several years Mr. Finkler has been active in the Democratic party, and in 1893 he was honored by election to the office of city clerk of LaSalle. Two years later he was re-elected, and again in 1897 and 1899, now serving his fourth term in this capacity. In 1898 he was his party's candidate for the more responsible position of county clerk, and, with the rest of the nominees on that ticket, was defeated at election.
In 1895 Mr. Finkler married Miss Nellie Lehan of LaSalle, and one child blesses their happy home, namely, Alexander. In his social relations Mr. Finkler belongs to the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Independent Order of Foresters, and the Turn Verein. Religiously he and his wife are identified with the Catholic church.
Extracted 26 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 2, pages 437-438.