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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


ROTTGER, JOHN, who is one of the prosperous merchants of Jacksonville, and proprietor of the Furniture and Undertaking establishment on South Main street, is a native of Prussia, and was born in the year 1839. He is the son of William and Wilhelmenia (Taylor) Rottger, who were born in the same country. The father of our subject was a butcher by trade. In the year 1847 he came to the United States, leaving his family in Germany until he had determined whether to make this country his home or not, and if so to make full provision for their comfort before their arrival. He made his way to this county, and in 1852 he sent for his wife and four children, and before long the family was re-united. He continued to follow his trade in Jacksonville, but afterward went to work on the Mississippi River, and met his death by drowning near New Orleans, about the year 1852.

The other members of the family to which our subject belongs are: Wilhelmenia, now Mrs. Knollenberg, of the city of Jacksonville; Eliza, who is the wife of H. H. Knollenberg, of the same city, and Frederick W., whose home is at Mt. Sterling, Ill., where he is engaged in farming, is the owner of a lumber yard, has a well established stock and grain business, and is also a banker. The mother of our subject, who has reached the advanced age of ninety-two years, makes her home with her eldest daughter.

The subject of this sketch, commenced, in 1857, to learn the furniture trade, engaging with Mr. Cyrus Saunderson, with whom later a partnership was formed, which continued for some time. Later he was joined by the firm of Becker & Degen, and it became that of Becker, Rottger & Degen. In the course of time this was changed, and the same business is now carried on by our subject alone. He is doing quite an extensive business, and in 1879 was compelled to put up his present store building; it stands 20x110 feet, and is three stories in height. The material employed in its construction is the best brick, with stone dressings. He has in his employ two skilled workmen, a saleslady, and his daughter, Mamie E., who is his bookkeeper.

Mr. Rottger was married in the year 1860, the lady of his choice being Miss Emma L. Entrikin, of Murrayville, Ill. To them have been born three children, whose names are recorded as follows: John F., their first-born, whom, however, they were only privileged to have with them for about five years, when he was removed by death; Curtis H., now the manager of the telephone exchange of this city, and a graduate of Jacksonville Business College; his wife was Jessie A. Wilbur, of Jacksonville; Mamie E., who received the best education obtainable in the city, and is a graduate of Washington High School. Mrs. Rottger died in the year 1872, on January 8. Mr. Rottger was again married, Nov. 27, 1884, the lady being Annie M. Carlile, of Pisgah, Ill., who has presented him with five children, viz: Maude H., John F., Wilhelmenia, Ula B. and Jessie C.

Our subject is, in matters connected with governmental questions, guided by the principles of the Republican party, which are in harmony with his own position, and usually he votes the ticket of that party. He is an extensive stockholder in the coal shaft of the city, and sustains a reputation for business integrity and enterprise, of which his embarking in this venture, with the hope of benefitting the district, is but a case in point. In the fraternities of the city he is well known and heartily received, being a member of the Untied Order of Workingmen, the I. O. O. F. and Masonic orders.

1889 Index
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