AUGUST SIEVERS, one of the leading and influential citizens of Staunton, who for many years was prominently connected with its business interests, but is now living a retired life, came to Illinois from New York, whither he has arrived from Germany, his native land. He was born September 22, 1823, in the province of Brunswick, and is a son of August Sievers, Sr., a small German farmer who grew to manhood in his native land, and married Willhelmina Beinling. Two of their children came to America in 1849, and the following year with the other members of the family they crossed the Atlantic and came on to Illinois. In the Empire State they were joined by our subject and Henry and in Olive Township, Madison County, the father secured his first eighty acres of land. The mother was not long permitted to enjoy her new home, her death occurring in 1851, after which Mr. Sievers made his home with his children. He died near Staunton in 1881, at the age of eighty years, and both he and his wife were members of the German Lutheran Church.
The subject of this sketch is the eldest of six children. In the Fatherland the days of his boyhood and youth were passed, and he learned the trade of a mechanic. Believing that he could better his financial condition by so doing, he emigrated to the United States when twenty six years of age. In the autumn of 1849, accompanied by his brother Henry, he took passage on a sailing vessel at Bremen, and after sixty days spent upon the bosom of the Atlantic, set foot on American soil. Going to New Jersey, the brothers secured positions as farm laborers, working thus until the arrival of their parents in this country. They then came to Illinois. August Sievers began his life in the West as a farmer in 1867, purchased a tract of land in Staunton Township which he increased in extent until it now comprises two hundred and sixty five acres. It is a valuable tract under a high state of cultivation and well improved and in addition he owns one hundred acres of timber land. He resided thereon for a number of years and by industry and close attention to his business acquired a good capital, becoming one of the successful and substantial farmers of the community. There being evidences of coal upon his land in 1876 he sunk a shaft, the first in that locality. As a partner in this enterprise, he was associated with his brother-in-law, Fred Maxe, and they operated the mine on a small scale until 1880, when in connection with Mr. Voge, Mr. Sievers sank a shaft, now known as No. 6, near the depot. At that time it had an output of twenty cars per day. In 1882, they sold to the Elsworth Coal Company who worked it until 1888, when it became the property of the Consolidated Coal Company. It now yields an average of sixty car loads daily, and is the best mine in this part of the State on the Wabash line. In the meantime Mr. Sievers embarked in general merchandising, built up an excellent trade which forced him to largely increase his stock, and in 1886 he erected a fine store building. Two years later he sold out to his son, who had been associated with him for some time, and A. G. Schnaare, since which time he has lived a retired life.
As a companion on life's journey, Mr. Sievers chose Miss Louisa Miller, and their marriage was celebrated in Madison County, Ill. The lady was born in the same locality as her husband in 1832, and alone she crossed the water to America in 1853. Her parents lived and died in Germany, her father passing away in middle life, but her mother reached an advanced age. Mrs. Sievers has proved a true helpmate to her husband, and his success in life is due in no small degree to her able assistance and encouragement. Unto them has been born one son, August H., who is one of the leading and wide-awake business men of Staunton. He was for two years chief clerk of shaft No. 6, and later was associated in business with his uncle, R. Swenker. This partnership existed for about three years, when he became connected with the firm of Jones, Newman & Co., and to their business he devoted his energies until with his father he aided in establishing one of the leading business houses in this place. The building which was erected in 1886, is situated on East Main Street, is two stories high with a basement and the dimensions are 48x60 feet. It is arranged as a double store, being divided into two rooms of equal size, one of which is occupied with groceries, the other being well filled with a good line of furnishing goods, boots and shoes and dry goods. When the father retired, the son formed a partnership with Mr. Schnaare, and he has a reputation of being one of the wide-awake and leading young business men of the place. He married Minnie Voge, and they reside in Staunton, where they are widely and favorable known. In social circles they figure prominently, and their friends are many.
August Sievers, Sr., and his estimable wife are likewise held in high regard for their sterling worth. Their upright lives have won them the confidence and good-will of all, and none are more worthy of a representation in this volume.