LaSalle County

Biography - FRANK B. ZWICK

An enterprising, wide-awake young business man of LaSalle, Frank B. Zwick may be justly termed self-made and self-educated. Starting into business here a few years ago, he has steadily advanced financially and in every way, winning the respect and high esteem of all with whom he has been associated or had dealings.

A native of Germany, our subject is a son of Casimer and Anna (Loerke) Zwick, of the same country. The father emigrated to the United States in 1871 and in the spring of the following year sent for his family, who arrived in LaSalle April 22. The eldest daughter, Rosa, with her husband, John Waszkowiak, had located in this place in 1870, and it was largely through her influence that the others concluded to cast in their fortunes with the citizens of this state. Pauline, the second daughter, is now deceased, as are Anton and one who was born in this county and died when young. Augusta is married, Wynoa. Casimer is a merchant in this city, and Anna is married and lives in Chicago. The parents are still living here, the father being seventy-six years of age and the mother in her sixty-seventh year.

When he was but eleven years of age, Frank B. Zwick was obliged to leave school, which he had attended but three years, and from that time to the present he has been one of the world's busy workers. He was fourteen and a half years old when the family came to the United States, and though he obtained a position in a general store in LaSalle soon after his arrival here he had no knowledge of English and had a very difficult experience in being initiated into the language and customs of our people. He was bright and ambitious, and ere long had acquired familiarity with these necessary things. He now speaks, reads and writes English well, and is well posted in general affairs. For three years he worked in a grocery, after which he was employed in a cement works for two years. Then, for six months he was with the Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Company, and subsequently with the Illinois Zinc Works. At length, in November, 1883, he embarked in business for himself, opening a dry-goods and gentlemen's furnishing goods store. His capital was small at first, but his ambitious undertaking has been very successful, and he has branched out quite extensively, keeping a well selected stock of goods and meriting the large patronage he enjoys.

On the 12th of June, 1887, Mr. Zwick wrote his first fire-insurance policy, and since that time has been the local agent for about all of the leading fire-insurance companies in this country. He is active in the support of the Democratic party. For a time he served as deputy county clerk; in 1890 he was made a notary public; the following year he was elected to the office of justice of the peace, and at the expiration of his term he was re-elected, and again, in 1897, was honored with the position. His marriage to Miss Julia Mathys was celebrated January 29, 1894. They belong to St. Hyacinth's Polish church, and, as both have musical talent, they give their services to the congregation, he leading the choir and his wife acting as organist.

Extracted 19 Dec 2018 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 556-557.

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