Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
WIRTH, CONRAD (deceased) - There are those in Springfield today who well remember the days when the city was the home of the immortal Lincoln, who saw him pass daily on his way to his offices and learned to know and love the kindly, homely face that was so soon to bear the impress of the nation's tragedy. These old residents of Springfield are proud of their memories of Lincoln and Douglas, and enjoy talking about them whenever occasion offers. Among the retired business men and capitalists of the city was the late Conrad Wirth, who had lived there since 1854. He was born in Wittenberg, Germany, October 16, 1827, a son of Conrad Wirth, also a native of Germany, who with his wife spent his life in his native land, dying there. He was a farmer, but early in life served in the great struggle with Napoleon.
The boyhood of the younger Conrad Wirth was spent on the home farm, and he received a good education in his native tongue, but in 1853 left Germany, coming to America via New Orleans. After two months spent in that city he went on to Cincinnati, and after a year there came to Springfield, which was his home until his demise. Being a young man of sound business sense, Mr. Wirth became associated with some of the substantial institutions of the city, including the Springfield Dairy, of which he was at one time owner. As he grew older, however, he gradually withdrew from business activities, retired although he retained his realty holdings, which were considerable, including his pleasant home at No. 114 Elliott Avenue.
The marriage of Mr. Wirth occurred at Springfield, February 7, 1864, when he was united with Mary Bierbaum, born in Germany, May 16, 1840. Her parents came from Germany to La Porte, Ind., in 1852, living there for two years, when they came on to Springfield, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. and Mrs. Wirth had three children: David, married Della Whitlock, two children: Edna and Clara, and is a member of the firm of Wirth & Gaupp, florists; Conrad, married Johanna Mester, four children: Marie, Elizabeth N., Conrad and David; and Elizabeth, who died in 1886. Mr. Wirth was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, of which he was a substantial contributor, and in politics was a democrat. Through hard work and frugality he succeeded in amassing a comfortable fortune, and was enjoying the fruits of his labors. Mr. Wirth died February 14, 1911, and is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery.