Biography - John W. Falk

JOHN W. FALK fills multifarious offices of usefulness at Herborn, Shelby County, being its merchant, Postmaster, express agent, freight agent and carrying on a fine business in the manufacture of tile. His business ability and thorough going, progressive character, are giving a push to this young town, which will tell upon its future.

Mr. Falk was born in Germany, September 7, 1856, his parents being John and Anna (Franke) Falk. The family came to the United States in 1858 when our subject was scarcely two years old. Their first home was in Chicago, but they did not tarry there many years, as they thought best to devote themselves to agricultural pursuits. Accordingly they sought out some of the rich but unbroken prairie soil where they might make their home and by industry gain the wealth which was hidden under its surface. The father was not a man of means and felt that in order to secure for his children the best advantages of this new world he must place them where they might rise more readily than in a great city.

Shelby County was chosen as the home of the family and here the father purchased forty acres of land. He was hampered in his work by poor health, but still by earnest endeavor and industry, coupled with economy he became the owner of two hundred and forty acres of land and placed upon it excellent improvements. His death occurred in 1877 when he was fifty years old. He was an earnest and devout member of the Lutheran Church in which his wife was in sympathy with him. The worthy widow still survives and is making her home in Shelly County on the old homestead.

Five of the children of John and Anna Falk grew to man's and woman's estate. These were Joseph; Dora, wife of William Rozene; Elizabeth, wife of John Scheef; Caroline, the wife of Henry Zalman and our subject who was the fourth in order of birth in the family. He was but five years old when the family removed to Shelby County, and therefore feels that almost his entire life has been identified with the growth and progress of the community in which he lives. He received the usual thorough drill and instruction given to a farmer's boy and was educated in the district school. Although his school advantages were extremely limited he availed himself thoroughly of all opportunities which were placed within his reach and has acquired a good business education by independent study and endeavor.

At the age of twenty-one years, John Falk engaged in merchandise at Stewardson, an enterprise which he conducted for one year, after which time he decided to go upon a farm and establish a home of his own. He was married in 1878 to Anna Giesler, daughter of Adam and Mary Giesler who was born in Elkhart County, Ind., November 16, 1862. After following agriculture, for some eleven years, he established a mercantile business at Herborn in 1889, and soon afterward became a partner in the tile factory, and later took up dealing in grain. The tile business at Herborn was established about ten years ago by Hunt and Gallamore. The present firm does business under the title of the Herborn Tile Manufacturing Company and is composed of the following gentlemen: Joseph Falk, John W. Falk, and A. T. Weber. Mr. and Mis. Falk own together some one hundred and forty acres of excellent land. Our subject is identified with the Republican party and works for its prosperity, although he devotes only a limited portion of his time and interest to political matters. He has been placed in the office of School Trustee in which he is efficient and active, and is actively forwarding the educational interests of the township. He feels these to be among the most vital and necessary matters which should engage the attention and zeal of every worthy and broad-minded citizen.

The attention of the reader is invited to a view on another page of the residence and store of Mr. Falk.

Extracted 12 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 416-419.

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