Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
KOCH, CASPER - Those who served their county as brave and gallant soldiers during the Civil War are regarded with special veneration by the people who are now enjoying the fruits of their endeavors. The Government does all it can to express its gratitude, although it is insufficient and whenever possible confers government positions upon its veterans. A man now residing in Springfield who has proven his bravery in both war and peace, is Casper Koch, one of the German-Americans of the city. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, December 5, 1834, being a son of Casper and Barbara (Pope) Koch, both born in Bavaria, he in 1807, and she in 1809. The father was a shoemaker by trade, as is his son, and came to America July 4, 1849, his wife joining him in September, 1854. They came to Springfield, where they resided until the father enlisted in the Union Army and met his death on the battle field of Bull Run. The mother continued to reside here until her death in 1883.
Casper Koch, Jr., was educated in the public schools of Germany, and learned his trade from his father, working at it until 1865, with the exception of the time he served in the war. In that year he was made Chief of Police in Springfield, and for two years very efficiently discharged the offices of that position. Following this he worked again at his trade until 1869, when he was appointed to the capital police force at Washington, D. C., serving on it until 1881. He then came back to Springfield, which has since been his home. Here he has continued working as a shoemaker, and has a large and reliable trade. Mr. Koch enlisted in 1862, under Colonel Campbell and General Balsch, and was made watchman of the government stores at Springfield. He was also policeman at the State House, then was made first door janitor, and still later was appointed to oversee the heating plant. For forty years Mr. Koch has been a member of Mr. Vernon Lodge No. 5, Knights of Pythias, which he joined in 1870, while residing in Washington. A strong Republican, Mr. Koch takes pride in the fact that his first vote was cast for John C. Fremont.
On January 26, 1856, Mr. Koch was married in Springfield to Barbara Will, born in Germany in 1833. After the death of his first wife he married, on April 1, 1872, Laura Groes, of Baltimore, Md. Mr. Koch has children as follows: William, Frank J., Adeline, Katherine, are living; Edward; Ellis; Sofie, deceased and one died in infancy. His wife died in childbirth with twins. William lives in Washington, D. C., where he conducts a plumbing and gas fitting business; Frank J. is a brick mason of Springfield; Adeline (or Mary), married Walter Murray, a clerk in a grocery store, and Kate married Richard Douglas, a molder by trade. Mr. Koch owns his home at No. 129 West Carpenter Street, which he bought in 1855, as well as other city realty, and is in comfortable circumstances. His prosperity is due to the fact that he had always tried to do his full duty, to give every man a square deal and to live up to the obligations placed upon him.