Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

CHARLES WERNER - Charles Werner, deceased, was a resident of Sangamon County for nearly fifty years, having settled here in 1854. He was born in Germany on the 5th of June, 1829, and his parents came to America and settled in New Haven, Connecticut. Later they came to Sangamon county and died here. The father followed the occupation of cabinet making. Charles Werner was educated in the common schools of his native country and while a young boy began to learn the machinist's trade, which he followed in Germany until 1852. The business possibilities of the new world, attracting him, and hoping to more rapidly win a competence in the United States, he sailed for America in 1852, landing in New York city. There he worked at his trade for about a year and it was during his residence there that he was married. Later he removed to New Haven, Connecticut, where his parents were living and where he also followed the machinist's trade for a year, and in 1854 he came direct from New England to Springfield, and was followed by his parents. Here he accepted a position with the Wabash Railroad Company as a machinist in its shops here. He worked at his trade for that company for nine years, when on account of ill health he was advised by his physician to abandon the business. He then purchased a small farm in Clear Lake township, making improvement thereon and afterward adding more land until within the boundaries of his farm were comprised about two hundred acres. He carried on general agricultural pursuits with good success until 1895, when he returned to the city of Springfield, but did not sell his farm. Here he lived a retired life, enjoying a well earned rest until called to his final home. His entire business career was characterized by unfaltering industry and perseverance and by the utmost justice in his dealings with his fellow men. He possessed a strong purpose that enabled him to carry forward to successful completion whatever he undertook and as the years passed he accumulated a very desirable competence.

In New York city Mr. Werner was married to Miss Mary Scharp, who was born in Germany on October 28, 1828, a daughter of Phillip Scharp, who was a farmer in that country throughout his entire life. Several children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Werner, but four died in infancy. Those still living are Charlie, who married Lizzie Fitzgerald and now resides upon his mother's farm in Clear Lake Township; Amelia, who is the widow of William Curry and resides in Springfield; and Augusta, the wife of William Black who is employed in the plow works of Springfield, and resides on North Seventh street near her mother's home.

Mr. Werner was never an office seeker and took little active interest in politics, but voted with the Democracy. Both he and his wife were members of the SS. Peter and Paul German Catholic church of Springfield and he died in that faith August 5, 1902. He owed his prosperity entirely to his own efforts and he was a self made man who had no capital when he came to Springfield, but by hard work and persistent energy saved enough to purchase his farm, and in its operation he won success. His widow now owns the property in Clear Lake township and also a nice residence at No. 1102 North Seventh Street, where she makes her home. This was purchased by Mr. Werner upon his return to the city. During a residence of almost a half century in Sangamon county he became well known and gained the respect and friendship of many with whom he came in contact.

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