No more loyal American citizen can be found in Ottawa than this son of
the German Fatherland; for though his affections cling tenderly to his
birthplace he realizes the greater blessings and advantages which he now
enjoys under this flourishing republic, and has instilled into the hearts of
his children the same patriotism and love for the Union which he feels.
Born in Hesse Cassel, Germany, in 1837, C. D. Wilhelm is one of the four children of George and Dora Wilhelm. His sister Dorothea is the wife of Lawrence Romer, of Ottawa, and his sister Elizabeth married A. Carver, while the youngest of the family, Gertrude, is unmarried. In his youth our subject was employed first in farming; then, for three years he served in the German army, in compliance with the law compelling able-bodied young men of that nation to give a certain period of time to the support of the military system.
In 1868 young Wilhelm took one of the most important steps of his career, for he decided to come to the United States. Sailing from Bremen, he landed in Baltimore, and thence proceeded to Chicago, where he spent some time. In 1868 he came to Ottawa, with whose business interests he has since been connected. He is now the proprietor of one of the largest and best equipped meat markets in the place, and, owing to the neatness of the shop, the courtesy and desire to please manifested by himself and his employes, and on account of the strictly first-class meats which are to be found here at all times, he enjoys a large and representative patronage.
The marriage of Mr. Wilhelm and Miss Julia Saulman was solemnized August 24, 1875, in this town. They have two sons, of whom they have reason to be proud — Walter W. and Fred C. — both of whom are now serving as members of Company C, Third Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry, being under command of Colonel Bennett. When their country called for men in the late war with Spain, they immediately responded and accompanied their regiment to Camp Chickamauga, where they were drilled and prepared for active duty in the field should their services be required; but, greatly to their regret, they were not sent to Cuba, but were sent to Porto Rico, returning to Ottawa in November, 1898; but they suffered the numerous discomforts and hardships of camp life, just the same. Besides these sons, Mr. and Mrs. Wilhelm have two daughters, Gertrude and Dorothea.
In his political relations Mr. Wilhelm is a stalwart Republican, and never fails in discharging his duty as a voter. He favors schools and churches, and all worthy public institutions and enterprises, and has a good word and helpful sympathy for the poor and unfortunate.
Extracted 13 May 2019 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 625-626.