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Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd. ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 467-468.

JOHN L. ZACHARIAS, the popular President of the village of Blue Island, and prominently connected for many years with its commercial and official interests, was born in Bremen Township, Cook County, Ill., on the 26th of June, 1862, and is a son of Frederick and Christina Zacharias. Frederick Zacharias, who was born in Saxe-Weimar, Germany, came to America in 1851, settling on a farm in Bremen, where he resided for twenty years. In 1871 he removed to the village of Blue Island, and dealt in flour and feed until 1883, when he retired from business. He served three terms as Supervisor of Worth Township, and was an active business man and public-spirited citizen. His death occurred on New Year's Day, 1894, at the age of nearly seventy years. Mrs. Christina Zacharias is still living at Blue Island.

John L. Zacharias, who is the youngest child and only son of his parents, attended the public school, and subsequently took a course at Bryant & Stratton's Business College in Chicago. In 1883 he succeeded to his father's business, in which he is still engaged, doing an extensive trade in flour, feed and hay. He was married on the 29th of November, 1884, to Louisa, daughter of George Luchtemeyer, a well-known citizen and magistrate of Blue Island, where Mrs. Zacharias was born. Four children grace the home of Mr. and Mrs. Zacharias, named respectively Frederick L., Myra, Emily and Helen. The family residence at the corner of York Street and Greenwood Avenue, now in process of completion, is one of the most substantial and ornate in the village.

Mr. Zacharias is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is an earnest and enthusiastic supporter of the Republican party. He was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace in 1887, and has since continuously and conscientiously dealt out even-handed justice to the denizens of the village, his fair and unprejudiced decisions inspiring the confidence and respect of litigants and the public generally. He has always taken a lively interest in all enterprises calculated to upbuild and improve this locality, in which he has important real-estate interests. He was one of the corporators of the Cottage Building and Loan Association, which has done much to advance the growth and prosperity of the town, and has been one of its Directors since its organization. In the spring of 1894 he was chosen by a large majority to fill the office of President of the Village Board, and upon his inauguration was presented with a magnificent gold star as a token of the high regard in which he is held by his fellow-citizens. In the serious crisis precipitated by the great strike of railway workmen in the summer of 1894, he maintained a calm and impartial attitude, striving to protect alike the rights and property of workmen and corporations. While his actions were adversely criticised by some of the metropolitan press, it is conceded, in the light of subsequent events and calm consideration, that he pursued the only safe and dignified course.


– Submitted by Sherri Hessick on November 23, 2008.


DISCLAIMER:  The submitter is not related to the subject of this biography nor is she related to anyone mentioned in the biography.