CHARLES HEINZ, SR., a manufacturer of plows and other agricultural implements at Meredosia, was born in Gladenbach, Hessen Darmstadt, Germany, on Jan. 20, 1828. The village mechanic is essential to the success of the farmer. It is he whose skill lightens the labor of the tiller of the soil, and when implements are broken, or for any cause fail to perform their work, then the mechanic steps to the front and promptly starts the disabled machinery again. Mr. Heinz has attained an enviable record as an ingenious and painstaking workman.
The main part of his shop is 22x82, to which an addition has been erected for blacksmithing purposes which is 22x36, and contains three forges, which are busy at work most of the time. Mr. Heinz is the owner of these buildings, and he finds them none too large.
Mr. heinz is a son of Jacob and Louisa (Baier) Heinz, both natives of Germany. When Charles was three years old his mother died, and in 1839 his father emigrated to America, his three boys being left in Germany; they followed him two years later. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to a cooper, but only remained at this trade for three years, when he began to learn blacksmithing. He had worked at this trade but fourteen months when he enlisted as a volunteer in the Mexican War in the 1st Illinois Cavalry under Capt. Adam Dunlap. Arriving in Mexico, this organization became a part of Gen. Taylor's army and subsequently was under Gen. Wool. Mr. Heinz was principally engaged in detailed duty as a scout, and while in this department of the service he had many narrow escapes. His regiment was a part of the guard to the Government property, which was transported from Mexico to Texas. Mr. heinz was also detailed as a bugler. After a service of eighteen months he was discharged.
In 1849, Mr. heinz first established himself in business at Meredosia. He was a blacksmith of great skill and as a result soon built up a large and lucrative trade. When the Civil War broke out he first enlisted, and was elected First Lieutenant in Company A, the 101st Illinois Infantry, and after a service of over eight months he resigned and re-enlisted in Company K, of the 28th Illinois Infantry and was commissioned as First Lieutenant. With the last organization he remained one year. He then returned to Meredosia and settled down to his former business, enlarging it to its present proportions. He has now an engine of 10-horse power, which drives machinery needed in the business that he now carries on. He is now successfully engaged in making plows as an addition to his former business; the "Diamond Plow" being a specialty. He also manufactures cultivators, riding plows, and other farming implements, in all of which may be seen the maker's skill and ingenuity.
Mr. Heinz married Elizabeth Anderson, a native of Virginia, who bore him six children: Caroline, wife of F. M. Davis, of Coffeyville, Kan.; Louisa, wife of A. S. Boles, of Garwin, Iowa; Frank; Ella, wife of John Lange; Charles and Mary. Mr. Heinz is a member of John York Post, No. 123 G.A.R. He is also a member of both the A.F. & A.M. and I.O.O.F. orders, having been a member of the latter society since 1854. He has held all the offices in that organization. Politically, he is a Democrat, and has served six years as a County Commissioner, of Morgan County, and with credit to himself and his constituents. He has also served as a School Director, and has been a member of the Meredosia Board of Village Trustees. Mr. Heinz is not a member of any church organization, but is a liberal contributor to the cause of religion. He is a leading man of Morgan County, and has attained this position by reason of his integrity and skill as a business man. His success is directly traceable to his own efforts and when his proper epitaph shall have been written it will embrace the simple words, "Here lies a man."