LaSalle County


Arthur J. Herrcke, bookkeeper in charge of the purchasing and disbursing department of the Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Company, LaSalie, Illinois, was born in Prussia, Germany, May 6, 1861.

He is a son of Ernest and Henrietta (von Wellatovski) Herrcke, both natives of Danzig, Prussia, Germany. The father had in his veins a mixture of German and French blood. His paternal ancestors being purely German while on the maternal side they were French, some members of the family having gone from France to Germany in the time of the reign of Napoleon the Great. On his mother's side the immediate subject of this sketch is of Polish origin, his great-grandfather having been Graf Von Wellatovski. Arthur J. is the second of a family of four children, the others being Charles, Robert and Max, all natives of Germany. The mother with her children came to America in the year 1867, and joined the father in Janesville, Wisconsin, he having come to this country the previous year. His original intention was to go to South America, but on arriving at Cuba he changed his plans and came to the United States, locating first in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From there he went to Janesville and came thence to LaSalle, Illinois, in the year 1869. He came to LaSalle to take charge of the sales department of the Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Company, a position he held up to the time of his death, in May, 1885, at the age of fifty-one years. His widow is still a resident of LaSalle.

Arthur J. Herrcke was six years old when he was brought to America. He was reared in LaSalle. Illinois, and educated in its public schools. At the age of fourteen he entered the employ of the same company with which his father was connected, the Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Company, and as messenger boy began his service in this establishment. During the years he served as messenger boy he attended night sessions in a business college and thus learned practical bookkeeping. That was from 1878 to 1880. At the same time he had charge of the company's printing office. He was transferred from the messenger position to one in the sales department, and was promoted to his present position, that of bookkeeper in charge of the purchasing and disbursing department, in 1886. His entire service with the company has been characterized by promptness and fidelity, and that his faithfulness has been appreciated is evidenced by his promotion and continuance with the same concern.

Mr. Herrcke was married in LaSalle, in 1888, to Miss Adela Moeller, daughter of Frederick and Bertha Moeller. Her father was born in Saxony, Germanv, and when fourteen years of age was brought to this country by his parents who located in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, whence they subsequently came to LaSalle, Illinois. Mr. Moeller was a brother of Mrs. F. W. Matthiessen, of LaSalle. Mrs. Herrcke's grandparents resided many years in LaSalle and her grandfather was an ore purchaser for the Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Company. Mrs. Herrcke's mother was born in Pennsylvania, of German parentage, and is the mother of eight children, two of whom are deceased; and she now resides in LaSalle. Mrs. Herrcke's father died in 1892. Her maternal grandfather, Fredrick Ehemann, went west during the gold excitement of 1849, prospered, returned home, and then went west again and was never heard from. It is believed he was murdered for his money, for he had a large sum. Mr. and Mrs. Herrcke have five children — Ernest, Otto, Hildagard, Ralph and Florence. Mr. Herrcke is a Republican.

Extracted 18 Aug 2017 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 511-513.

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