Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Trenton Haunting of Warren Quinn

On August 17, 1912, the Trenton, New Jersey, Evening Times featured a story whose opening paragraph read:  “‘The House of Mysteries’ is the name given to the two-story brick building at 728 Cass St., owned by Warren A. Quinn, a well known liquor dealer at 703 Cass Street.  The house, it is said, has been infested with ‘ghosts’ for many years….”  Although Quinn laughed off such suggestions about the house, shown here, he could not avoid being haunted by the racketing “spirits” of prohibition that would prove to be much more troublesome.

The complaint about ghosts came from Quinn’s tenants, John Nickold and his family, who said they had been forced to move because of the nightly visitation of spirits who pulled the sheets from their beds and turned down lamps in the house.   Neighbors whispered to a reporter that the building had once been an illegal drinking establishment where a fight ended with a man being stabbed to death and the murderer fleeing.  “The superstitious declare that the ghost of the murdered man haunts the building and is responsible for all the ghostly outbreaks.”

Quinn scoffed at the idea.  He refused to answer a letter from a Baltimore “spiritual medium” who offered to occupy the house, communicate with the spirits and see what the problem was.  Nevertheless, he soon tore the house down and on its ample lot built a row of houses.  Clearly of more concern to him was maintaining the prosperous liquor business he operated down Trenton’s Cass Street in a three-story building, shown below, that he had built and in which he and his family lived.

Warren Arthur Quinn was born in 1862 in Dryden, in upstate New York, the son of Northern Irish immigrants farmers, Henry Quinn from County Tyrone and Isabel Morrison from Donegal.  It would appear that two brothers died in infancy and Warren was an only child.  When he was still young the family moved ten miles north to Groton, New York, and subsequently to Harford, New York, another short distance.  

Details of his early education and employment are scant.  In the 1870 census he was seven years old, identified as “Arthur” and in school.  In the 1880 census he was still at home, called “Warren” and had no occupation.  Six years later city directories found him in Trenton working as a bartender.  About the same time Quinn met and married Helen Davids Enoch of New York City.  Warren was 25 and Helen was 24.  Their nuptials took place in August 1887 at the Hotel Stephens on Broadway, presided over by Alderman Fitzgerald.  The couple would have one daughter, Isabel, born in June 1889.

Quinn’s marriage appears to have triggered a significant change in his career.  Listed as a barkeep in 1886-1887, by 1895 in directories he already was a successful merchant, conducting a saloon and wholesale and retail liquor business in a building that still bears his name at 701-703 Cass.  Quinn’s letterhead declared he dealt in “bonded wines and liquors” and Bass dark and India pale ale. His flagship liquor brand was “State Seal Rye Whiskey.” 

For his wholesale trade he was receiving whiskey by the barrel and decanting it into ceramic containers, many of them attractive jugs of about gallon with his name in cobalt blue script.  As time went on Quinn chose less flamboyant ceramics for his whiskey, moving to all-white Albany slip containers and two toned jugs with stenciled cobalt labels.  The Irishman also issued blob-top bottles with metal closures that likely held beer or soft drinks.  Like the one shown below, they came in clear glass but also are found in amber.

Quinn advertised vigorously in local newspapers where he was not shy about making claims.  In the ad shown here he boasted of having the largest wine and liquor warehouse in New Jersey, and that he carried in stock “the finest selection of pure goods which the world can produce.”  Not satisfied with those assertions, Quinn added that his liquor house was the only one to have “the endorsement of each and every physician in the city of Trenton.”

The Irishman’s emphasis on physicians indicated the concern he shared with other whiskey dealers and saloon keepers:  the growing specter of National Prohibition.  He with others believed that emphasizing the medicinal benefits of alcohol would provide protection against the “zombies” of temperance. That proved to be an idle hope.   Although New Jersey stayed “wet” to the very end, National Prohibition was imposed in 1920 and Quinn was forced to shut down his liquor business.  Thoughtfully, the City of Trenton returned to him the $259.59 he had paid for his saloon license.

A national ban on alcohol sales, however, was not sufficiently discouraging to Quinn.  Although advertising that he had converted his establishment to soft drinks and cigars, stronger spirits continued to be available under his bar.  As this became more widely known, in December 1821 prohibitionists set a trap.  They sent 18-year-old Edmund Mason into the Cass Street establishment where bartender William Jones sold him a pint of whiskey.  Mason called the authorities who conducted a search of the premise where they found two quarts of what they declared was whiskey and one quart of gin.   They arrested Jones and Quinn on possessing liquor illegally.

In the resulting trial in Magistrate’s Court, Quinn pleaded “no contest” to the charges and was fined $250 (equivalent to more than $6,000 today).  Jones was ticketed for $100.  Chastened by the experience and subsequent bad publicity when he tried to keep the arrest secret from the press, Quinn appears to have stuck to sodas and stogies for a short time, shutting down his business totally in the mid-1920s.

Quinn lived long enough to see Prohibition repealed, dying in 1943 at the age of 81.  His substantial estate was willed to his daughter, Isabel, his only direct heir. He was interred in Trenton’s Riverview Cemetery next to his parents and his wife, Helen, who had died 31 years earlier in 1912.  The family monument is shown here.

Today in Trenton the Quinn Building on Cass St. still stands with the whiskey man’s name emblazoned on top.  At the site of the reputedly haunted dwelling, the row houses Quinn erected are themselves now are more than a century old and said to be in dire need of maintenance.  Apparently no sign of the ghost or ghosts who plagued 728 Cass St. has been detected around the neighborhood in ensuing years.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Crawford Fairbanks: Distilling Made “Indiana’s Richest Man”

Although characterized as a poor boy with limited education who studied by candle light, Crawford Fairbanks, shown here as a young man, had the advantages of a distinguished ancestry and a father who was mayor of Terre Haute.  Cited as “Indiana’s greatest financial genius,” Fairbanks seized every opportunity, beginning with owning distilleries, to amass his fortune.

Crawford’s pedigree included an ancestor, Jonathan Fairbanks, who came from Sowerly in Yorkshire, England, to Boston and settled in Dedham, Massachusetts.  There Jonathan built the noted “old Fairbanks House” in 1636 that is still standing as the oldest dwelling house in New England, shown below. 

Crawford’s father, Henry, shown here, was born in Massachusetts and moved to Terre Haute in 1835, considered an early settler.  A farmer, the father eventually became “a strong factor in the political and general development in that part of the state,” according to a biography, serving as both Vigo County treasurer and mayor of Terre Haute.  

Crawford Fairbanks was born in 1843 near Terre Haute.  Despite his family’s prominence he was educated in local schools, said to have studied at night by candlelight after finishing farm chores.  He left school and home at the age of 17 to work as a clerk in town for $5.00 a week but soon was advanced to bookkeeper and given a raise.   

When the Civil War broke out, young Fairbanks answered the call and on March 1, 1864, at the age of 19, was mustered into the 129th Indiana Infantry Regiment and became a lieutenant.  His unit,  employed on Sherman’s march on Atlanta, saw some hot fighting along the way, including the Battles of Resaca, Decatur, and Franklin.  The last, shown below, was a crushing blow for the Confederacy resulting in devastating losses and 14 rebel generals either killed, wounded or captured.

At war’s end Fairbanks returned to Terre Haute to begin a business career, starting in the grain business, an enterprise that was a huge success.  When his partner left for the California gold rush, Fairbanks moved into making whiskey.  A major distillery in town had its beginnings about 1840, operated by a series of owners until Herman Hulman bought it in 1870.  [See my post on Hulman, June 23, 2012.]   Fairbanks became an associate of Hulman who, embarking on a long holiday trip to Europe, sold him the distillery.  When Hulman returned, having decided to re-enter distilling, Crawford sold him back a half interest.

The two men were partners in the distillery they now called “The Phoenix,” a name that might have been prophetic given the multiple times the facility had to come up from ashes.  In 1878 a fire destroyed a significant portion of the cattle pens and livestock on the property where cows were being fed the spent mash.  The cattle feeding operation had no sooner been re-established when in January, 1879, an explosion occurred that killed two employees and did considerable damage to the facility.  The partners quickly rebuilt.

Meanwhile Crawford Fairbanks was having a personal life.  In December 1872 at the age of 29 he had married Clara T. Collett, a local girl born in Indiana.  The 1880 census found them living in Terre Haute with a daughter, Sarah, and an Irish servant girl. 

Fairbanks and Hulman found themselves in legal trouble with a grand jury in Indianapolis in April 1879, accused of 1) illegally operating on Sunday; 2) hiding untaxed whiskey under a corn pile, and 3) owing the State of Indiana $57,000 for unpaid liquor taxes.  The partners either denied the charges or offered explanations, agreeing nonetheless to pay any delinquent taxes.  The grand jury dismissed the charges holding that the evidence presented did not prove fraud by Hulman & Fairbanks.

Again exiting the distilling trade, Hulman sold his half ownership to Robert S. Cox and the company became Cox & Fairbanks, in 1800 claimed to be “the world’s largest distillery.”  The four story main building was capable of mashing 5,600 bushels of grain daily and operated on an aging steam system.  One afternoon in October 1880 a boiler exploded and catapulted into the malt house, destroying the rear of the main building.  Although local firemen with the aid of citizens soon put out the fire, the blast killed seven employees, six immediately and one later died from burns.  An inspector from Cincinnati also was killed.  A similar number of people were severely injured.  The concussion was heard for miles around.

Reeling from the 1880 disaster, Cox sold his half interest to Louis Duenweg and the company became Fairbanks & Duenweg.  The disasters kept coming.  Although no human casualties occurred, in June 1884 the the original four-story distillery burned to the ground.  Three hundred hogs were roasted when the fire spread to a nearby barn.  At that point Duenweg sold out to Fairbanks who turned to John H. Beggs, a distillery executive from Peoria, for help. [See my  post on the Beggs family, Oct. 17, 2017.]  Together they organized the Terre Haute Distilling Co., reputed to have been the world’s largest at the time.

By now immensely wealthy, Fairbanks expanded his entrepreneurial abilities into other areas.  In 1889 with Beggs and other minor investors he purchased the Terre Haute Brewing Company, one of the Nation’s largest.  At about the same time, Crawford built a strawboard factory in Elgin, Ill., which later became part of the American Strawboard Co., a $6 million concern known as the “Strawboard Trust.”  Fairbanks was elected president of the company on Feb. 4, 1897.  In addition, he had investments in and served as an officer and director of Diamond Paper Co., of Anderson, Ind.; Haverhill Paper Co. of Massachusetts.; Chicago Paper Co. of Illinois; Piedmont Paper Co. of New York; and Southern Indiana Gas Co., of Greenfield and Shelbyville.  He also owned Terre Haute’s principal newspaper, The Tribune, shown left.

Fairbanks liked owning hotels, buying the Denison in Indianapolis, the Terre Haute House, shown above, and was co-owner of the French Lick Springs Hotel, a resort popular for its warm springs and reputed healing waters, shown left. At one time he also was the principal investor in Indiana Sonora Copper & Mining Co., and president of the Terre Haute Water Works and Terre Haute Street Railway Co.  At the time of his death Crawford was the principal owner of Standard Wheel Co. and president and major stockholder of Wabash Realty & Loan Co., which held title to most of his real estate, including several farms where he raised race horses. 

Along with his growing wealth, Fairbanks was generous to his home town.  After the Terre Haute Distillery was torn down, he gave the Henry Fairbanks Memorial Park to Terre Haute on the former site. To honor the memory of his mother, Crawford donated the Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library to the city.  Both are shown here.  After his wife’s death in 1911 Crawford built the Clara Fairbanks Home for Aged Women in her honor.  A family history said of him:  “In his natural make up, the selfish and the small are absolutely left out, while all flash and extravagance…are as far removed from his nature and conduct as it is possible to have them.”

As he aged, Fairbanks’ health declined.  Described as “a man with few intimate friends,” he was close to his personal physician, Dr. Henry Jennings of Indianapolis, who apparently prescribed that the millionaire spend his winters in Florida.  When Fairbanks continued to worsen as he approached 81 years, Dr. Jennings accompanied him by train back to Terre Haute.  Crawford died in his suite at the Terre Haute House in May 1924.  After a private funeral he was interred in the family mausoleum with his late wife and daughter, Sara, who had died in 1915.

Obituaries of Fairbanks ran in newspapers throughout Indiana and beyond.  One state journal hailed him as “Indiana’s greatest financial genius.”  Another reporter declared him “Indiana’s Richest Man.”  What too frequently was ignored was the original driving source of Crawford’s wealth and entrepreneurship — making and selling whiskey.  

Note:  The information for this article came from two principal sources:  An article of March 15, 2014, by Mike McCormick to the Terre Haute Tribune-Star and a Vigo County Library Historical Biography by Dr. Dipa Sarkar.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Whiskey Men in Mormon Land

Foreword:  For every fourth post on this blog I currently am consolidating brief stories of whiskey men previously profiled who have similar characteristics in order to obtain a broader picture of them and their times.  This post is devoted to those who were involved with liquor in a seemingly unlikely place — Mormon Utah.

Terming the Mormon leader Brigham Young a “whiskey man” might strike some as an absurdity, given the injunction against strong drink that has been a traditional teaching of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.  The facts seem otherwise.  For example, in 1873 at Young’s request the Utah territorial legislature granted him the exclusive right to manufacture and distribute whiskey and other spiritous liquors.  “Valley Tan” was the name of his principal brand.

Young seems to have been of two minds on the subject of strong drink.  Although indications are that he drank beer when polluted water was an issue, he is said never to have tasted whiskey.  Brigham is recorded saying:   “If I had the power, I would blow out the brains of every thief in the territory, and I despise the whiskey maker more than I do the thieves.”  Strong words indeed from a religious leader and sometime distiller.  

Valley Tan predates Young’s monopoly over Utah whiskey.  The name itself was associated with a range of goods produced by Mormons in Utah.  One of the first industries they introduced into Salt Lake Valley was leather tanning.  Because their tanning process often was done crudely, the term became associated with any article of home manufacture done in a rough-hewn way, including distilling liquor. 

Another link from Brigham Young to Valley Tan was its sale in the department-like store the leader had established to provide necessities to Mormons in Salt Lake City, ostensibly because non-Mormon local merchants were gouging his people.  Called Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution (ZCMI), the store, shown here, sold Valley Tan.   That could never have occurred without the leader’s blessing.   Because Young died in 1877, however,  his whiskey monopoly may have lasted only a short four years.

After Young’s death,  number of liquor stores were established in Salt Lake City, among them Henry Sadler’s emporium, just a little over a block way from the spires of the Mormon Temple.  There Sadler, an immigrant from England, successfully ran a saloon and sold whiskey to both the wholesale and retail trade, beginning after 1880.  Shown above is the front window of Sadler’s Mercantile Company.   It was located on South Main Street, a major thoroughfare that originates immediately south of Temple Square.  Note that the window contains full a display of “Old Ripy,” a well-known Kentucky bourbon.

Sadler’s sales room occupied the front portion of the building and was 24 by 75 feet in dimensions.  The center was the saloon portion of the establishment where Budweiser could be had on draught.  In the rear was the bottling and shipping departments.  The Deseret News, a Salt Lake daily owned by the Mormon Church, enthused:  “The company [is] extensive bottlers of fine wines and liquors and have every modern facility for bottling, corking and labeling, the packages they put up are noted for their neatness as well as purity and excellence of contents.”  

Sadler saw his liquor business slowly dwindle as Prohibition forces took the offensive.  Both Idaho and Colorado voted bans on distilling or selling alcoholic beverages in 1916.  Utah followed in August of the following year.  The Mormon Church itself remained largely neutral on a liquor ban, reputedly fearing a backlash by non-members.  As will be seen later, however, other forces were at work that eventually would cause Sadler to close his doors. 

To quote one observer:  “It is a sight you would never encounter today: liquor bottles proudly displayed to the public in a big shop window, only a couple of blocks from Temple Square, right out there on a bustling thoroughfare for the whole world -- Mormon and gentile alike -- to admire.”  He was talking about the picture shown above of the Salt Lake City store where Jacob (“Jake”)  Bergerman sold whiskey.  Bergerman called his firm the Utah Liquor Company.

Bergerman’s liquor store and saloon first shows up in Salt Lake City directories in 1898. From the outset,  he was not shy about selling whiskey in the heartland of the Mormons.   For example, he issued a metal token good for 12&1/2 cents in trade that had an image of the Mormon Tabernacle on the reverse.  

Bergerman also showed considerable imagination in the containers he chose for his liquor.  Among them are patterned molded gray canteens with cobalt decoration that depict on one side a scene of men drinking and on the other has the address of his firm.  They were made by White’s Pottery in far off Utica, New York.

Ironically, the man principally responsible for prohibition in Utah, Gov. Simon Bamberger, was a close friend of Bergerman.   On August 1, 1917, the governor, a Jewish immigrant from Germany,  pushed through a law making it a crime to manufacture, sell or consume alcohol.  The local press estimated that the law would affect four thousand persons in Salt Lake City alone who were dependent on the liquor trade.  Among them obviously was Jake Bergerman.  As the deadline approached, he and others sold their stocks at bargain prices. The Salt Lake Tribune estimated that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of liquor had been so acquired and was stored in the cellars of Salt Lake residents.  

After a young manhood of restless wandering through America, another German immigrant, Frederick “Fred” Kiesel,  settled in Ogden, Utah, where in 1887 he established a liquor house and became known for his staunch opposition to Mormon church rule in the state.  Although he was frequently involved in politics and served a term in the Utah Legislature in 1901-1902,  Kiesel, shown here,  was primarily an entrepreneur.  He incorporated his business in 1887 under the name of Fred J. Kiesel and Company,  of which he was both president and manager.

Kiesel’s willingness to tweak the nose of the religious advocates of prohibition and the Mormon Church was epitomized by an 1909 ad that he placed in a magazine called The Western Monthly.  Claiming that “Uncle Sam Is Our Partner,” Kiesel boasted of being able to reach into “dry” Idaho Counties and other parts of the West where alcoholic beverages had been banned.  He said he was able to supply all demands of the thirsty, including “Ministers, Bootleggers, or even Politicians, from the Governor down to the least official.”
Among Kiesel’s jabs was issuing his own Valley Tan whiskey and advertising it with a picture of the Brigham Young monument that stood in downtown Salt Lake City.  Shown here is a celluloid match safe with an ad touting Valley Tan as “Pioneer of Whiskies.”  The other side of the safe advertised “Brigham Young Tonic Bitters” with a picture of the Mormon leader.  As with Sadler and Bergerman, Kiesel was forced to shut down when Utah went dry.

The history of whiskey in Utah is far more complicated and interesting than it might seem at first glance.   Events took several interesting twists and turns — from Brigham Young as a state-sponsored whiskey dealer, “Gentiles” running thriving liquor houses in the shadow of the Mormon Temple, a Jewish governor  responsible for the state going “dry,” and Young’s name, figure and face being appropriated for a whiskey and a highly alcoholic bitters.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

How the Hergets Shaped Pekin, Illinois

The Hergets, two immigrant brothers from Germany and their sons, enhanced the economy of Pekin through their enterprise and investments encompassing eight decades.  At the center of their local business empire was making and selling whiskey.  Nonetheless, a 1910 history of Illinois described the Hergets this way:   “The members of the family stand high in the social circles of the city, and are universally respected for worth and nobility of character.” 

The Herget brothers, John and George, hailed from Hergershausen, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, the sons of Philip and Margaret (Reuling) Herget.  Their mother died while both boys were very young. Their father married again and had five more children. A former soldier, Philip was a wagon-maker who taught both sons the trade. 

John, born in 1830, was the first to immigrate to the United States, arriving in 1849 and finding his way to Gettysburg where he was engaged by a local wagon-maker.  His brother, George, born in 1933, followed three years later sailing from Le Harve, France.  He joined John in Gettysburg and was employed in the same wagon factory.

After a year George in 1853 decided to move west, traveling via the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.  He fetched up in Pekin, Tazewell County, Illinois, where he took a job with a local retail grocer.  Shown above, Pekin was a city with a large German population where George would have felt comfortable.  John lagged behind.  He had fallen in love with Ernestine Schreck, who had been born in Saxony near Saxe-Weimar.  After they wed in Gettysburg, John with his new bride joined George in Pekin.  John and Ernestine would go on to have eight children, five girls and three boys.  George Herget was married in Pekin in 1861 to Caroline Goehner, a native of Pekin and the daughter of George Goehner, characterized as an old settler and prominent farmer of Tazewell County.  This couple would have four children, two sons and two daughters.  

About 1860 (dates differ) the brothers opened their own grocery business on Court Street, called J. & G. Herget.  From the outset an emphasis was on liquor sales. Meeting with rapid success, by 1870 the brothers erected
a store twice the size of their original quarters.  It was located diagonally northwest from their first site and provided ample space for their wholesale grocery and liquor business.  The profits allowed the brothers — shown here, John is left — to branch out into other enterprises.

Key among those investments were distilleries.  In the fall of 1888 the Hergets built the Star Distillery in Pekin and two years later opened a second they called the Crescent Distillery.  In 1892 the family sold its interest in both plants to Samuel Woolner, one of the founders of the Illinois-based “Whiskey Trust.”  With the proceeds they erected the Globe Distillery, at the time the largest distilling facility in Pekin, having a capacity of mashing 5,000 bushels of grain daily.

By this time the Herget brothers had been joined by their sons in their enterprises.  George’s son, Henry, born in 1833, had been educated in both private and public schools in Pekin before being sent for secondary education at Elmhurst, Illinois.  Upon his return Henry, shown right, worked in the Herget brothers grocery, rising to manager.  In 1890 he was entrusted with supervising the erection of the Crescent Distilling Company and became its president.

John’s son, Carl, while following a slightly different career path, also was employed to further the family liquor interests.  Born in 1865, he was educated in local schools and subsequently entered the employ of J & G Herget.  After continuing there for some years, Carl, shown left, was dispatched to Mexico to look after his father’s extensive mining interests. Upon his return to Pekin he worked for the Star Distillery until it was sold and then supervised the construction of the Globe Distillery.  He managed that facility even after its 1898 sale to the Standard Distilling and Distributing Company. 

Having shut down their grocery and liquor business about 1891, the Herget brothers were free to pursue their many other business interests.  John was involved with the Pekin Steam Cooperage Company, Pekin Gas and Electric Light Company., Turner-Hudnut Grain firm, Globe Cattle Company, Farmer’s National Bank, the beet sugar factory, and was a large landowner in Tazewell County.  George was a major investor in the founding of the Illinois Sugar Refining Company; the Globe Cattle Company, and the Pekin Stave and Barrel Manufacturing Company, of which he was president. In 1905, with sons Henry and William, he founded the Herget & Sons Bank, shown right.

Additionally, the Herget brothers were active in Pekin’s community life.  John, a Republican, at various times was a city alderman, county supervisor, and mayor of Pekin in 1874 and 1875.  George served as alderman, supervisor, and a member of the Pekin Board of Education. He was elected the first president of the Pekin Park District.  He also assisted the city’s efforts to open a public library by contributing the land for the building.  Both men were among the founders of St. Paul’s Evangelical Church, shown here, and accounted generous contributors to its work.

Said to be “a man of stalwart physique” with excellent habits and good health, John Herget reputedly was struck down in September 1899 by malaria, a disease that was believed to brling on paralysis, causing his death at the age of 69.  In obituary it was said of this Herget:  “His life furnished an example to be emulated by all who wish to attain ideals of honest and manly citizenship.”  George lived another 15 years, dying at 80 in 1914.  “…His position in the financial world has been reached only by the exercise of sound business principles and unswerving integrity,” said one account.  John and George both are buried in Pekin’s Lakeside Cemetery, their gravestones shown here.

As the fathers moved off-stage, the Herget sons ably filled their roles in Pekin.  Henry became the president of Pekin Gas and Electric and secretary and general manager of Pekin Stave.  He also was vice president of the Doud Stock Car Company, shown here, operating 2,000 train cars for hauling livestock on multiple railroads.  He also had interests in beet sugar, a paper mill, two wagon companies, a leather product manufacturer, a race track, a daily newspaper, and large timber holdings.  Stricken with a stroke at 77, he died in 1943.  Of him an obituary said:  “Henry G. Herget was the builder of modern industrial Pekin.  Many believe that if he had not lived, Pekin would be a town of less 10,000 today, instead of the thriving, industrial city of 20,000.”

Henry’s first cousin, Carl, was equally involved in Pekin’s industrial life.  While continuing to manage the Globe Distillery even after its sale, he also was director of many of the enterprises fostered by his father and uncle as well as the American Brewing Company, a Pekin brewery founded in 1900. He also became a large landowner in the region of Tazewell County.

This Herget is best remembered in Pekin for his mansion built in 1912 at 420 Washington Street.  Now on the Register of Historic Places, the house, shown here, was designed in the Classical Revival style and occupies an entire city block.  Carl Herget died in 1946 at age 80 and is buried with other family members in Lakeside Cemetery.

The importance of the Herget family to Pekin can hardly be overestimated during the period of eighty years when they were actively involved with the city’s economy and growth.  Although little spoken of at the time, it is important to remember that profits from distilling and liquor sales fueled the growth of their Illinois business empire.