Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
NELCH, Adam (deceased) - It is always a matter of public regret when a man who is in the prime of life is removed from his useful sphere, just at a time when his family and community have need of his services and influence. When such a man has proven during his whole life, his fitness to occupy a high position in the estimation of his fellow citizens; has established a record for integrity and honest business dealings; when he is beloved in his family, and trusted among his associates, then such an untimely loss appears all the harder to bear. The late Adam Nelch, one of the best known contractors and builders of Springfield, was a man whose business probity was never called into question, an whose personality was of such a character that he attached men to him and carried their friendship with him through life. Mr. Nelch was born February 26, 1850, at Beardstown, Ill., being a son of John Nelch, one of the sturdy German-Americans who located in Springfield early in the sixties.
Adam Nelch was apprenticed, in the good German way, to Contractor Kane to learn the bricklayer trade, and his education was obtained in the schools in the vicinity of Petersburg, and those of Springfield. After leaving Mr. Kane, he was employed in the Springfield Rolling Mills for nine years, when he began contracting for himself. Later he continued to conduct his own business, and was ultimately associated in the construction of some of the most important buildings in Springfield and vicinity, including the St. Nicholas hotel, the annex to it, the Springfield boiler works, both the Booth and Baker buildings, the Trinity Lutheran Church, Salzenstein livery, the Johnson building, the Dresser block, the Lanphier building, the Reisch building, the Academy of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, the Million building, the Keys block, the Buck building, the Myers Bros. block, the Ferguson building, the new Bressmer building, as well as countless of the finest residences here. His work of all kinds was of such a character that it stands as the best monument he could have, and will as long as the city endures.
Mr. Nelch was married on March 26, 1873, to Anna E. Tipton of this city, daughter of J. P., and they had nine children, seven of whom with the widow survive, they being: Mrs. Barnum, wife of Dr. Lee Barnum of Illiopolis; Mrs. Charles Patterson of No. 1425 East Adams Street; Annie; Mary, wife of Raymond McClelland, 1401 Lowell Avenue; William T., George and Adam, Jr.; all of Springfield. The fraternal affiliations of Mr. Nelch were extensive, including membership in Elwood Commandery, No. 6, Knights Templar; Sangamon County Lodge of Perfection; Springfield Chapter of Royal Arch Mason, No. 1; Central Lodge A. F. & A. M., No. 71; Flower City Chapter Order of Eastern Star, No. 152; Liberty Camp, No. 1534, Modern Woodmen of American; Springfield Council No. 136 Yeomen of American, and Abe Lincoln Lodge, I.O.M.A., now called the American Home Circle.
The death of Mr. Nelch occurred on August 26, 1909, at his residence, No. 713 North Fourth Street, after his having been ill for a period of three months. His funeral was in charge of Elwood Commandery and Central Lodge A.F. & A.M., No. 71, the Rev. F. A. DeRosset officiating. The services were sublimely affecting, and his remains were laid to rest in beautiful Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Mr. Nelch was essentially a self-made man, whose remarkable success in life was due to his own unaided efforts, intelligently direct y a brain that was ever busy. His business activity gave him but little time for public life, but he was always intelligently interested in current events, and supported his political convictions with that strength of purpose which was so characteristic of all his actions. His place is empty both in his home and business circles, but his influence remains, and those who were associated with him are the better for his example, and his family appreciate more fully, day by day, the love and devotion he ever gave them.