One of the old established business houses of Waterloo, Illinois, which has been doing business here for more than half a century is the general merchandise concern of George C. Gauen, still being conducted under the original name, although its founder is now deceased and the business is owned by his son, Albert Gauen, one of the younger generation of business citizens, who is also the owner of a finely cultivated tract of farming land and a large lumber yard. Albert Gauen was born at Waterloo, Monroe county, Illinois, July 23, 1876, and is a son of George C. Gauen, who for a number of years was prominent in this county. George C. Gauen was born in Hildesheim, Germany, and when a child of three years was brought to the United States by his parents, who settled first in Baltimore, Maryland. In the following year, 1834, they came to Monroe county, and here spent the remainder of their lives.
Albert Gauen was educated in the public and high schools of Waterloo, and after graduating from the latter spent some time studying at the
St. Louis Law School. He succeeded to his present general merchandise business in September, 1910, it having been founded in 1857 by his father, whose name he still uses as the firm style. Mr. Gauen's farm of two hundred and twenty acres is located eighteen miles southwest of Waterloo, is bottom lands, and yields large drops of corn and wheat. It is rare that one finds a man who has the necessary attributes to successfully carry on more than one line of endeavor, but Mr. Gauen has been a merchant, a farmer and a lumberman, and made a success of whatever he has engaged in. He has also acted in various official capacities, and from 1902 until 1910 served as clerk of Monroe county to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons and the Odd Fellows, where his genial manners have made him many warm friends.
In 1899 Mr. Gauen was united in marriage with Miss Lena Pinkel, of Waterloo, and they have three children: George, who is ten years old; Albert, who has reached the age of seven years; and Gladys, who is two years of age.
Under Mr. Gauen's management his enterprises have prospered, the store has expanded and the business put on a basis that insures continued success. Progressive ideas and enterprising spirit have combined to add new features to his establishment, while those who had dealings with his father recognize in the son the same sterling characteristics of honesty and integrity on which the business was founded.