WILLIAM MEYER, whose intense and well directed activity caused his business career to prove so successful that he is now enabled to live retired and yet enjoy many of the comforts and luxuries that go to make life worth living, was born in Hanover, Germany, October 18, 1833. His father, also a native of Hanover, was an architect and was a very successful man of his day and locality. Mr. Meyer has nephews in Germany who are now extensively engaged in the manufacture of fancy goods, conducting a very profitable enterprise.
After leaving school William Meyer began learning the trade of a watchmaker and jeweler and later he went to Switzerland to perfect himself in that work among a people who are the acknowledged leaders of the work along those lines. When twenty-one years of age he came to America, landing at New York in 1855. He had heard favorable reports concerning the business opportunities of the new world and hoping that he might benefit his financial condition he crossed the Atlantic and established his home in Zanesville, Ohio, where he followed his trade for a year. He next located in Springfield, Illinois, but after a few months removed to Jacksonville, Illinois, where he remained for a year. He then came to Petersburg, on the 7th of September, 1857, and established a jewelry store, which he conducted for fourteen years, following the business until failing health caused his retirement. He has since traveled extensively and has practically regained his health, besides deriving much pleasure and gaining much useful and interesting information from his travels. He is now living retired in an elegant residence on the elevation south of Court Square.
On July 28, 1879, at Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Mr. Meyer was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Goucher, by Rev. S.C. Thomas. They lost their only daughter, Elsie, and their only living child is Fred W. Meyer. The hope that led Mr. Meyer to seek a home in America has been more than realized for he here found the business opportunities he sought and by improving business conditions he won for himself a place among the substantial residents of his adopted city. His personal characteristics, too, are such as have gained him warm friends and strong regard, and in Petersburg and Menard county he is highly esteemed.
Fred W. Meyer, the only child, was born in Petersburg, July 23, 1880, and at the usual age entered the public schools, wherein he advanced through successive grades until he had completed the high school course by graduation with the class of 1898. He then entered Notre Dame University, at Notre Dame, Indiana, as a student in the law department, and was graduated from that institution in 1902. In the fall of the same year he was admitted to the bar and entered upon active practice in Petersburg. Already he has secured a good clientage, and his thorough preparation, laudable ambition and unfaltering energy speak well for a successful future as a representative of the legal fraternity of his native city. Mr. Meyer was married in January, 1904, to Miss Lynn Greene, a native of Menard county and a daughter of Gaines Greene, of an old family of that name. The young people are popular in Petersburg, where the hospitality of the best homes is cordially extended them.