HEIMLICH, DAVID T. , formerly the proprietor of a fine barber shop in Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., but later widely known as a poultry expert, was born in the village of Geimmeldingen, Rhenish Bavaria, December 3, 1853, the son of Michael Heimlich and his wife Christina, both natives of Rhenish Bavaria. In May, 1860, David T. Heimlich came to the United States with his parents, landing at New Orleans. Thence the family went to St. Louis, where David obtained employment for one year in the Government Arsenal, and afterward in Dr. Coyle's patent medicine laboratory, where he remained until 1867. In that year he removed to Springfield, Ill., to learn the barber's trade with his only brother, John. While thus engaged he took advantage of the opportunity afforded by the German Lutheran Parochial School, and also at intervals attended a night school. In October, 1869, he removed to Jacksonville, and after being employed at his trade by several persons, formed a partnership with H. Frank Strickling, which lasted three and one-half years. Mr. Heimlich then carried on the business successfully until October 1, 1904, when he sold it to Cully & Ross.
In the fall of 1883, Mr. Heimlich became interested in poultry culture. He spent much time in investigating the matter and read all the publications devoted to the subject. The results of his research soon became manifest, and since 1890 he has enjoyed almost a national reputation as a poultry expert. His services have been in demand by associations in fourteen different States and in Canada, as a judge of their most important poultry exhibits, and he has often been recalled on like occasions. Requests for his services during the season are more numerous than he can accept. At the St. Louis exposition in 1904, he was one of the twenty poultry judges selected out of 285 who had made application, and the only successful applicant of the eight candidates from Illinois. Mr. Heimlich is a regular and highly appreciated contributor to the several poultry magazines and his articles on poultry topics are in great demand, widely copied and quoted. He is a member of the Executive Committee at Large in the national legislative body of the American Poultry Association, and also Vice-President and a member of the Executive Committee of the Barred and White Plymouth Rock Club, a national organization. He is a broadminded and diligent religious student, and after attending a three years' course of lectures and sermons under Rev. D. F. Howe, was elected to the Board of Stewards at their first quarterly conference, and has since served in various capacities on the church board.
In 1875 Mr. Heimlich was one of the first sixteen, who, under Capt. William Harrison, organized the Morgan County Cadets, as Company F, Fifth Regiment Illinois State Militia. He served three years as Corporal and his service covered the period of the memorable strike disturbances at St. Louis, in 1877.
On January 2, 1879, Mr. Heimlich was united in marriage with Jennie C. Richmond, a daughter of James Madison and Sarah (Nixon) Richmond, and born near Canton, Ohio. Three children have resulted from this union, namely: Laura L., born October 16, 1880; Ida F., born January 7, 1881; and Edgar C., born September 3, 1883.
In politics Mr. Heimlich is connected with the Socialistic Labor party. At first he was independent, leaning toward the Republicans. Party methods, however, became repugnant to him. In 1896 he voted the Democratic ticket, but his subsequent study of political, social and economic problems resulted in his present partisan attitude. In 1902 he was the Socialist Labor party candidate for Mayor of Jacksonville, and received sufficient votes to give his party official recognition at the next election.
Fraternally, Mr. Heimlich has been a member of Urania Lodge, No. 243, I.O.O.F., since 1874, and was twice honored with the office of Noble Grand. He is also a member of Ridgely Encampment, No. 9, I.O.O.F., in which he is a Past Grand officer.