|R. K. WEBER.
The subject of this sketch occupies a prominent place among the representative men of Mount Vernon and his career, which thus far has been one of great activity and usefulness, presents a striking illustration of what can be accomplished by a young man of character and energy, when directed and controlled by principles of integrity and honor. His rise from the humble position of a country pedagogue to the honorable station he now holds with one of the leading industrial establishments of Southern Illinois, indicates a worthy ambition and abilities of a high order and in view of his continuous advancement and his present influence in the world of affairs, his many friends are justified in the prediction that he is destined to fill a still larger place in business circles than the one he now holds.
R. K. Weber, vice-president of the Mount Vernon Car Manufacturing Company, is a native of Illinois and dates his birth from the 13th of September 1870, having first seen the light of day in the town of Fairweather, Adams county. John Weber, his father, who was also born and reared in the same county, was in early life a farmer but later engaged in merchandising at Barry, Pike county, where he still resides, holding at this time the position of cashier in the State Bank of that place. The Weber family is of German origin and its first representation in the United States was John Weber, the subject's grandfather, a native of one of the Rhine Province and by occupation a tiller of the soil. He came to this country when a young man and spent the remainder of his days in Adams county, Illinois, where his death occurred a number of years ago.
Before her marriage the subject's mother was a Miss Rose Perkins, a native of Adams county, and a lady of many estimable traits. Her people came from England in Colonial times and at the breaking out of the war of the Revolution several of her ancestors entered the American army and rendered valiant service in the cause of Independence. Her father who is still living, is a businessman and for some years has been engaged in banking in David City, Nebraska.
John and Rose Weber are the parents of four children, namely: H.P., a lawyer, of Chicago; Jeanette, wife of L. E. Crandall, of Aurora, Illinois; R. K., subject of this review, and Cora, who died in 1898: when eighteen years of age.
R. K. Weber spent his childhood and youth at Barry and after receiving a preliminary education in the public schools of that town, entered the State Normal School at Normal, Illinois, which he attended three years with a creditable record. Completing his studies in that institution he devoted the following year to teaching in a cow'try school district of Adams county, and then took a course in a commercial college at Springfield with the object in view of fitting himself for a business career. Leaving the latter institution with a mind well disciplined by intellectual and professional training, Mr. Weber in 1890 came to Mount Vernon and accepted a clerkship in the general office of the Mount Vernon Car Manufacturing Company in which capacity he served until the reorganization of the company some years later, when he was made secretary, his promotion to that important position being by the unammous vote of the board of directors. His survives as secretary proving eminently satisfactory to the management of the enterprise as well as highly creditable to him-self, he retained the place until 1908, when he was further honored by being elected vice-president, succeeding W. C. Arthurs, who, in June of that year, was elected to the presidency which office he still holds. Since becoming identified with the Mount Vernon Car Manufacturing Company Mr. Weber has labored earnestly for its success and making his employers' interests his own, his services have been eminently creditable and satisfactory, contributing much to the growth of the business and to the honorable reputation which the company enjoys among the leading industrial establishments of the state. He has been devoted to the duties of his office and in the discharge of the same has demonstrated a high order of ability as an executive and rare judgment and foresight in his relations with the patrons of the company and in extending the range of its influence. While ever manifesting an intense interest in the growth and success of the enterprise with which he is officially connected he has not been negligent in matters relating to the prosperity of the community or in the duties of citizenship, being in touch with everything calculated to benefit the city of his residence and abreast of the times on questions and issues concerning which men and parties divide.
Mr. Weber is an earnest advocate of the principles of the Republican party, and an active worker and judicious adviser in its ranks and COUnCilS and though not a partisan in the sense of seeking office he has been honored from time to time with important local positions, having represented his ward in the Common Council of Mount Vernon and served the city very efficiently as treasurer. In addition to his connection with the large industrial establishment previously mentioned he has other interests of a business nature in the city, including the Mount Vernon Jewelry Company, of which he is vice-president. Mr. Weber also has a vital interest in the social life of Mount Vernon and in various ways has labored for the advancement of his fellow men, being an active and influential member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks through the medium of which excellent organization much good has been accomplished for the poor and indigent of the city to say nothing of the splendid fraternal spirit which prevails among the membership.
He is also identified with the Pythian Brotherhood, in which he has held important official positions at intervals, while worthy charitable and humanitarian enterprises, regardless of order or designation enlist his sympathy and support.
The domestic life of Mr. Weber began in 1893, when he was united in the bonds of wedlock with Miss Iva Hill, daughter of Sanford Hill, one of the well known and highly esteemed citizens of Jefferson county. Mrs. Weber was born and reared in this county, received a good education in the public schools and is a lady of estimable character and sterling worth, whose friends in the social circles of Mount Vernon are as the number of her acquaintances. Two daughters bless and grace the Weber home, in whom are centered many fond hopes and bright anticipations, their names being Rose Mildred and Bernadine. Mr. and Mrs. Weber reside at 712 East North street.
Walls History Of Jefferson County 1909 Pages 525-528
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