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Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.

Page 859

BROCKER, WILLIAM, for a number of years a skilled carpenter of Cass County, but now living retired at Beardstown, is one of the men who has helped, in his own ways, to make this city what it is today, a busy industrial center. He was born in Germany, March 19, 1837, a son of Samuel and Sophia (Hofer) Brocker. these parents came to the United States on a sailing vessel via New Orleans, and from thence up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, arriving in 1849. There the father and three daughters died of cholera. The mother, with the five living children, went on to Watertown, Wis., where she died in 1850, and the children were thus left orphans. the eldest, Fred, went to Beardstown, where the others joined him in 1851, and they tried to keep house together, but in a short time William was bound out to learn the carpenter trade. he continued with the same party for six years, and then, at the age of twenty-one years, began working at his trade by the day. After several years he entered the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and after working as a carpenter for several years took charge of the pattern shop, thus continuing for twenty years, when, in 1904, he retired.

On October 13, 1863, he married Dorothy Cratz, born in the southern part of Germany, a daughter of George and Catherine (Getta) Cratz, who were early settlers of Beardstown. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Brocker have been: Frank, who is at home; Sophia, who is Mrs. William Duffelmeier, of Beardstown; Catherine, who is at home; William, who is of Beardstown; Minnie, who died July 4, 1908, was the wife of Oscar Finning, and left a daughter Lurenna, whom Mr. Brocker is rearing; Amelia, who is at home; and Samuel, who is of Beardstown. Mr. Brocker is an excellent example of the self-made man, for he certainly had no assistance after his arrival in this country, and his educational advantages, which were scanty, were confined to those afforded by his native land. the Lutheran church holds his membership. In politics he is a Republican.

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