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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Ancestor of Gregory Eck

JOSEPH ECK - Joseph Eck was one of the leading business men connected with the wholesale trade of Springfield, in which city be took up his abode in 1853. He was a native of Germany, born at Hernsbach, Baden, on Christmas day, 1831. His parents, natives of the same country, spent their entire lives there. Mr. Eck was reared and educated in the fatherland attending its public schools. He spent his boyhood days under the parental roof, and in 1853, when about twenty-two years of age, he bade adieu to friends and fatherland and came to the new world, hoping that he might have better business opportunities than were afforded in the old country. Crossing the Atlantic to the United States, he first settled at St. Louis, Missouri, where he remained for only a few months, coming then to Springfield. Here he entered a bakery in order to learn the trade, but he did not find the business entirely congenial, and after a short time he began operating a dray line, in which business he co ntinued for two years. He next entered the employ of Mr. Sheldon, who was engaged in the wholesale wine and liquor business in Springfield, continuing in his employ for fourteen years, a fact which indicated his absolute fidelity to duty. As the years advanced he steadily worked his way upward and became very familiar with the business in all its departments, and with the demands of the trade. At the end of the period designated he bought out his employer and continued in the wholesale liquor trade up to the time of his death. His business was capably managed and his enterprise, keen discernment and perseverance enabled him to take rank with the leading wholesale merchants of the city.

Mr. Eck was married in Springfield, October 10, 1857, to Miss Catherine Kaiser, a native of Aispel, Baden, Germany, born January 10, 1835. Her parents spent their entire lives in that country and Mrs. Eck came to America with her brother and sister. The latter, Mrs. Lederle, now resides in Springfield. Her brother, Frank Joseph Kaiser, was a shoemaker of Springfield for a number of years, but is now deceased. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Eck were born nine children, of whom five are living as follows: Pauline, wife of Oscar Weisenberg, of Jacksonville, Illinois; Joseph A., who married Bertha Meisenbach and resides in Springfield, where he and his brother are engaged in the wholesale wine and liquor business as successors to their father; Edward J., who is a partner in the business and married Miss Rosa Franz; Louis P., who married Rachel Booth and is clerking for his brothers; and Francis C., at home. One son, August Eck, died September 20, 1901, when about thirty years of age. He was born in Springfield, and with the e xception of a few years spent in Jacksonville always lived in this city. He was a cigar manufacturer and had built up a business of some proportions on Madison street opposite the Illinois Central depot. His education had been acquired in a parochial school connected with SS. Peter's and Paul's Catholic church, the Springfield Business College and St. Joseph's College

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