Probably no citizen of Peru is better known or more popular with the
general public than is Jerome C. Koons, whose position as agent for the
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad brings him into contact with
multitudes daily. Moreover, he is one of the native sons of the town, and
has passed his whole life here, winning the esteem of every one, both as boy
The paternal grandfather of our subject was of German descent. Born in Pennsylvania, he was reared in Ohio, and was a farmer by occupation. He reared a large family, and was a worthy, upright man. William Hicks, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was of English extraction and was a painter by trade. He removed from New York to Ohio, and finally came to Peru, where he died about 1855, at the age of seventy-two years.
Joseph Koons, father of Jerome C., was born in the Buckeye state. About half a century ago he became a resident of Peru, where he was engaged in the jewelry business until 1895, thus being one of the oldest business men of the place in years of active enterprise. He was a stanch Republican, and served as an alderman for one term. Death summoned him to his reward, when he was in his seventy-third year, July 14, 1898. His widow, who survives him, is still making her home in Peru. She was a native of New York state, and bore the name of Harriet Hicks in her girlhood. Of her four children — three sons and a daughter — one is deceased, and the others are Jerome C., Edward and Carrie.
Jerome C. Koons was born March 10, 1854, and after completing his public-school education he began learning telegraphy, with the railroad he is now employed by, and his first station was at Princeton, Missouri, where he remained for eight months. Then, returning to Peru, he was appointed operator here and has filled the responsible position ever since. In 1887 he was made ticket agent also, and is still serving as such.
On the 9th of June, 1886, Mr. Koons married Helen M. Gardner. Mr. and Mrs. Koons occupy a comfortable home on Fourth street, it having been erected by Mr. Koons some six years ago. Mrs. Koons, who is a lady of good education and attainments, is a member of the Christian church, and is identified with the Order of the Eastern Star. Mr. Koons likewise belongs to the order mentioned, is a Mason in high standing, being a member of St. John's Lodge, No. 13, A. F. & A. M.; Peru Chapter. No. 60, R. A. M.; and Peru Council, No. 12, R. & S. M.; and he is also connected with the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a stalwart Republican in his political views, and uses his ballot in favor of all measures which he deems worthy of support.
Extracted 22 Dec 2017 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 547-548.