FRANK SICHER, who has been a resident of Staunton for eighteen years, was born in Austria, on the 21st of March, 1866; his parents were Joseph and Brigardo (Asoun) Sicher, who spent their entire lives in the old country. He grew to manhood in his native land, where he acquired a meagre education, early being compelled to become self-supporting. He began his wage-earning career as a laborer, but subsequently learned the stone mason's trade, following this occupation until he emigrated to the United States.
Mr. Sicher arrived in Staunton, Illinois, on the 6th of April, 1893, and for six years thereafter he worked in the mines and followed various other occupations. In 1898 he made a visit to his people in Austria, and while crossing the Atlantic met with an experience that falls to the lot of but few people. He took passage on the French liner, "La Burgoyne," and several days after leaving port they were struck by a merchantman loaded with sand. The boat immediately began to sink, and within an incredibly short length of time had gone down with more than seven hundred people on board, all of the passengers and crew with the exception of fifty-nine people having been lost. When the boat began to sink Mr. Sicher leaped overboard and soon found himself struggling in the waters with many fellow passengers, all of whom with the primal instinct had no thought save of self-preservation. He was at least able to clamber aboard a small boat and after being tossed about for six or eight hours they were picked up by the crew of the merchantman that had caused the disaster. Upon his return to the United States in 1899 Mr. Sicher engaged in the saloon business with which he has ever since been identified. He has met with good financial success and owns the building in which his business is located as well as another store building and several residences in Staunton.
In 1902, Mr. Sicher was married to Mrs. Theresa Rizzie, the widow of Joseph Rizzie, by whom she had two sons: Joseph, who is a bartender for Mr. Sicher; and Herman, who is at home.
He is a member of the Catholic church and he also belongs to the Western Catholic Union. His political support Mr. Sicher always gives to the men and measures he deems best adapted to subserve the interests of the majority, irrespective of party affiliation. He has never been an aspirant to official honors, however, although he is a public spirited citizen and takes an active interest in all community affairs.