LaSalle County


Possessing the love and talent for music which seems to be the special heritage of the German people, Professor Werner, of Ottawa, has devoted much of his time to the art and figures conspicuously in all local events of a musical nature. He is looked up to and consulted in matters pertaining to music, his opinions being considered authority on the subject.

John George Werner, the father of our subject, was a native of Spangenberg, near Cassel, Germany, who for several years served in the standing army of that government, holding during his term of service several military positions of high honor. He was with the famous Hussars and saw six years of active service, during which the battle of Schleswig-Holstein against Denmark took place, in 1848. He often related reminiscences of his military experiences, in which he took great pride. He settled in this county in 1856, and departed this life in 1895, when in his seventy-first year. For his wife he married Anna Eliza Kerste, who is a devoted Christian and earnest co-worker with the German Lutheran congregation of Ottawa, her parents having been very religious and brought her up in their faith. Professor Werner's parents both often spoke of the eight weeks' voyage on the sailing vessel on which they crossed the Atlantic ocean to the New World. When they arrived here in LaSalle county the Indians were still numerous in the vicinity. Mrs. Werner is still living, being now sixty-seven years of age. These parents had twelve children, of whom four have passed to the silent land. The survivors are: Charles G., the subject proper of this sketch; Christine; Henry G., successfully engaged in business in Ottawa as a boot and shoe merchant; Mrs. Minnie Poltrock, of Ottawa; Herman, a groceryman in Aurora, this state; Mrs. Martha Gasser, of Ottawa; Conrad, who is clerking in his elder brother's shoe store; also George.

The birth of Mr. Werner took place on the Atlantic ocean, May 26, 1856, and he passed his boyhood in Ottawa, receiving his education in the excellent public schools of the place. His musical ability was noted at an early period, and he received a thorough training from competent teachers. In 1884 he entered into business relations with C. A. Genold, a well known manufacturer of pianos in Chicago and has represented the firm as an agent here ever since, selling various musical instruments and enjoying an extensive patronage as a piano-tuner, in which line he is proficient, having made a special study of the difficult art. His diligent attention to the needs and wishes of his customers, his fair and courteous treatment of them and his thorough knowledge and experience in his chosen field of enterprise, have resulted in financial success; and whereas he was a poor man a few years ago he now enjoys a remunerative trade, etc.

The modern, beautiful residence of Professor Werner is situated at No. 1002 Ottawa avenue, - elegant in all its appointments, - and was erected in 1892, at a cost of twelve thousand dollars. Mrs. Werner, who presides over this attractive home, bore the maiden name of Eva L. Pope; and her marriage to Mr. Werner took place in 1881, at the home of her stepfather, John Brundage, of Miller township, this county. The youngest daughter of Mr. Werner and wife, Clara L., who died at the age of ten years, was a bright, promising girl, and her loss seems specially severe. Adaline L., another daughter, now eighteen years of age, is attending Ferry Hall Seminary at Lake Forest, being naturally a talented musician and a skilled artist as a pianist.

Politically Professor Werner is a Republican, and socially is identified with several of the Masonic bodies, in which he is deservedly popular.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 361-362.

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