JOHN B. HEYDE.
An essentially prominent and influential citizen of Marion, Illinois, is John B. Heyde, who is here most successfully engaged in the musical instrument and agricultural implement business. He is strictly a self-made man and his citizenship has ever been characterized by those qualities which make for progress and good government. He is a native of Mascoutah, Illinois, where his birth occurred on the 5th of November, 1860. His father was Albert Heyde, who came as an immigrant from Saxony, a province of the German empire, to Illinois, in 1848. The senior Heyde was born in 1800, and as a youth he received a very liberal education, being a fine linguist. He was a harness maker by trade and spent a number of years in early manhood in traveling in Europe in the interest of his employers. After coming to the United States he located at Mascoutah, Illinois, where he was most successfully engaged in business as a harness maker during the greater portion of his active career. With the approach of old age he retired from that line of enterprise and for some time prior to his demise was keeper of the toll gate at Mascoutah. His death occurred on his farm near town in the year 1877. At Louisville, Kentucky, was solemnized the marriage of Albert Heyde to Miss Annie Weber, who was born near Bingen on the Rhine, in Germany, and who died at Mascoutah. To this union were born the following children: Henry resides at Mascoutah; Fred maintains his home at Marion, Illinois; Philip is a retired miller at Jackson, Missouri, and he won the prize for having the model mill of the age at the Atlanta Exposition; John B. is the immediate subject of this sketch; and George C., is engaged in the hardware business at Marion.
Albert Heyde, father of the above children, was no ordinary man. His strong and marked characteristic was his deep human sympathy for his fellow men. A neighbor in trouble could ever depend upon his aid and his personal attention to those in sickness gained to him a popularity beyond that which comes to most men in the ordinary walks of life. He did not participate actively in public affairs but affiliated with the Republican party when naturalized, and in religious matters was a stanch supporter of the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal church.
In the public schools of Mascoutah, Illinois, John B. Heyde received
his preliminary educational training. In early youth he learned the trade of blacksmith and he came to Marion in 1885, here establishing a blacksmith shop on North Market street. For the ensuing twelve years he continued to devote his attention to blacksmithing and at the expiration of that period he was induced to engaged in the implement business. He gained a commission contract on certain lines of machinery and with the passage of time succeeded in working up a large and prosperous business during the warm months of the year. The cold months, however, produced dullness in this particular line and in 1895 he put in a stock of musical instruments—pianos and organs—in order that he might keep his salesmen employed throughout the entire year. Succeeding well with those two departments, he subsequently added harness and vehicles, which line made it necessary that he engaged still more help, and it was soon discovered that his foresight and business acumen had built up one of the important mercantile enterprises at Marion. In 1904 he erected his beautiful, two-story brick building, whose dimensions are 42 by 100 feet. This modern and well-quipped store holds his instruments, his vehicles and his stock of harness. In 1911 Mr. Heyde erected another fine brick building on Madison street, this one being 38 by 96 feet in lateral dimensions and two stories in height. The latter structure is used as a warehouse.
In addition to his above business Mr. Heyde is financially interested in a number of other important business enterprises at Marion. He owns a fourth of the street front in the block directly across from his store and upon the same has instituted improvements for the most modern nature. His attractive home, adjoining the city and upon the line of the electric railway, comprises a tract of forty acres of land, which is laid out in extensive lawns surrounding an artificial lake and a large grove of fine trees. In a quarter of a century Mr. Heyde has advanced from a simple mechanic to the active ownership of a live, flourishing business, with ramifications out over Williamson county, and to a sterling citizenship which has been prolific of much good for Marion and the surrounding country.
In the month of September, 1888, Mr. Heyde was united in marriage to Miss Ella Sophia Fisher, who came to Marion from St. Clair county, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Heyde are the parents of five children, as follows: Mattie is the wife of Newt Owen; Louise is Mrs. Fred Sanders, of this city; and Walter, Flossie and Theodore remain at the parental home. Mr. Heyde was brought up under Christian influence and came to believe in and cherish the atmosphere of sacred things. He holds to Methodism and his family has been taught to honor and to participate in the work of the church. In a fraternal way he is a Master Mason and he is also affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and with the Knights of Pythias.