WILLIAM PETERS - William Peters, who was connected with the productive industries of Springfield, as a broom manufacturer, was born in Germany, July 4, 1850, his parents being William and Frances Peters, who were also natives of Germany and there spent their entire lives, the father following the occupation of farming upon a large tract of land which he owned.
William Peters was the only member of their family that came to America. He was educated in the public schools of Germany and in 1881, when about thirty-one years of age, he bade adieu to friends and native land and sailed for the United States. He settled first at Stanton, Illinois, where he was engaged in mining for seven years and then came to Springfield, where he secured employment as a machinist in the coal mines, but his eyesight began to fail and after fourteen months he was almost blind. He then decided to go to Jacksonville for treatment and did so. He remained there for several years and during that time learned the broom manufacturing business, and upon his return to Springfield he established a factory of his own and continued to conduct it for several years, during which time he had several men in his employ and conducted a successful enterprise, but at length ill health overtook him and he was an invalid for a year and a half prior to his death, which occurred on the 4th of June, 1897.
Ere emigrating to the new world Mr. Peters was married in Germany to Miss Annie M. Alawelt, who was born in that country December 25, 1848, a daughter of Frank and Elizabeth Alawelt, both of whom were natives of the same country. The father was a tailor by trade and both he and his wife died in their native country. Nine children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Peters: William, at home; Frederick, who married Nettie Gamble and resides in Springfield; August, deceased; Mary, the wife of Joseph Streb, of Springfield; Henry, John, August, and Frank, at home; and Francis, deceased.
Mr. Peters was prominent among the German-American citizens of Springfield and his life record was a credit to the land of his birth and the land of his adoption. He belonged to St. Boniface Council, of Springfield, and was a communicant of the Sacred Heart German Catholic church, to which Mrs. Peters also belongs. His political allegiance was given the Democracy, but he had neither time nor inclination to seek public office, content to do his service in behalf of the public as a private citizen. Mrs. Peters owns a nice home at No. 121 W. Laurel Street, and is now building another residence at 1612 South Spring Street, which she and her children will occupy.