FRANK BARTMES. The moving spirit in one of the most active municipal administrations the city of Johnston City, Illinois, has ever known, Frank Bartmes, mayor of the city, is establishing an enviable reputation for himself. He does not belong to the pioneer element of Williamson county, but during the six years that he has resided here has made his influence felt. He was reared on a farm in Iroquois county and educated in the high school at Watseka.
Abraham Bartmes, the father of Mayor Bartmes, was born at Tiffin, Ohio, and as a mere child accompanied his father to Loda, Illinois, and there came to maturity and married. His father was of German blood, passed his life as a merchant and farmer, as he did, and passed away in Iroquois county. Abraham Bartmes married Harriet Miller, who was a child of thirteen years when she accompanied her parents to the United States from Germany, and she is now residing with her daughter in Beloit, Wisconsin, her husband having died in 1908, at the age of seventy-three years. They had these children: Richard, who resides at Harrisburg, Illinois; Alice, who married W. M. Cox, of Beloit, Wisconsin; Frank; Orpha, who married Shelby Gamer; and Roy, who is in the employ of the Johnston City Gas and Water Company.
When Frank Bartmes left the farm he entered the services of a firm of engineers engaged in construction work and applied himself to the task of learning steam, electric and hydraulic engineering. He was a correspondence school student for a time and received his practical experience with the firm of W. C. Thompson and Company, of Chicago, out of which city he worked for nine years in the building of water works, light plants and other mechanical engineering. During this period of intense application he mastered the subject of engineering as it came within the realm of his activities, and when he left the company he came to Johnston City and organized the company which built, owns and operates the light and water plant in Johnston City.
Mr. Bartmes inherited his politics, and from a study of conditions and principles justifies the inheritance. He is a Democrat and holds to party loyalty where real politics is necessary to good government. He was chosen mayor without regard to politics in 1909 and was reelected upon his record for a second term in 1911. His administration opened an active building campaign and has continued it throughout the three years of its incumbency. Twenty-two miles of concrete walks answers for its share in the movements for public improvement, streets have been put in prime condition, a considerable city debt has been paid and the city treasury is supplied with funds to pay for the new city hall as soon as it is completed, a building costing five thousand dollars.
In addition to his other interests Mr. Bartmes does a heavy automobile business. He has represented the Maxwell car for some time, the machine which won the endurance race of 1911, and which is one of the popular sellers. He handles also the Studebaker and the Overland and his interest in the modern mode of travel has stimulated business in this line materially about Johnston City. He is one of the stockholders of the Citizens State Bank here and of the Johnston City Building and Loan Association.
Mr. Bartmes does not belong to any of the old fraternities, his connection with secret orders being confined to membership in the Elks' Tribe of Ben Hur and the Modern Woodmen of America.