Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
NEEF, FRANK W. - It is easy to identify a man of energy and enterprise from one who is content to remain in obscurity, by simply watching the course of their business careers. The industrious man will grow and develop, his establishment will enlarge and enter better quarters, and his business will branch out and embrace other lines. Such as been the career of Frank W. Neef, of 207 North Eleventh Street, Springfield, progressive son of a progressive father. He was born August 29, 1881, on Washington Street, Springfield, and is a son of Mathew J. and Sophia (Heitle) Neef.
Matthew J. Neef was born in Germany in 1852, a son of John and Lizzie Neef, who came to the United States in 1871 with Matthew J. and Mary, the only surviving children of their family of six. They traveled from Bremen to New York and went immediately to Chicago, where they remained but a short time, owing to the great fire of that year. Both died in Springfield. Matthew J. Neef attended school in Germany until fourteen years of age, and after coming to Springfield followed farming for two years, then started a business on Washington Street, between Fourth and Fifth Streets. Five years later he removed to Fifth Street, between Washington and Jefferson streets, and after five years at that stand came to his present location, No. 1157 North First Street, at the corner of Grand Avenue, where he bought a substantial two story brick building, and there has since continued in business. He is a member of SS. Peter and Paul Church, and is a stanch Democrat in politics. He was married in Springfield, in 1880, to Miss Sophia Heidler, daughter of Joseph Heidler, and to this union there were born four children: Frank W.; John, at home; Joseph, who died at the age of twenty-one years; and Frances.
Frank W. Neef first attended the SS. Peter and Paul German School and later went to the Trapp school and the high school for two years, finishing the latter at the age of seventeen years, and then assisting his father in business for one and one-half years. For nine years he was engaged in the grocery and meat business, and later conducted a business at Eleventh and Mason Streets, but eventually sold out to re-enter the grocery business at Eleventh and Madison Streets. Finding that his business warranted removal to larger quarters, he erected his present place at No. 207 North Eleventh Street, where he has since carried on a flourishing business, carrying a full line of fancy and staple groceries and fresh and salted meats. Mr. Neef's success has been due not only to his shrewd business nature and progressive ideas, but to his fair dialing with his customers, his own personal popularity, and his prompt delivery of orders. His patrons include some of the best people in Springfield. Like his father, Mr. Neef is a Democrat in politics and a member of the SS. Peter and Paul's Church. Fraternally he holds membership with the Owls, St. Vincent's Society and butchers' and grocers' organizations.