HENRY HORN, SR. Much of the credit for the growth and up-building of DuQuoin may justly be attributed to the labors of Henry Horn, Sr., and as one of the makers of history in this section he takes prominent rank. He is one of the few men who are today identified with the commercial, industrial and financial interests of DuQuoin and vicinity who began their career previous to the Civil war period, and from the beginning of his business career until the present time his position has been pre-eminent and his influence and activities have been strong factors in the life of DuQuoin. The development of the rich coal properties in and adjacent to DuQuoin is due in great measure to the business enterprise and foresight of Mr. Horn, and he was a leader in the establishment of wide-reaching commercial interests at various times, while to his wisdom and initiative is due the credit for the founding of the pioneer banking house in the city.
Henry Horn was born in the village of Schwadorf, about tbree hours walk from Cologne, Germany, on August 2, 1831. He is a son of Henry Horn, the first, a laborer whose antecedents had formed a part of the life of that community for many generations. His mother was Catherine Gottschalk, and she was one of a family of twelve and was also the mother of twelve. As might be expected, the chief characteristic
of the Horn family in the Fatherland was unfailing industry. Economical conditions there existing made it necessary for all German folk not possessing financial independence to work in and out of season, thereby inculcating traits of thrift and industry which account for almost invariable success of the German immigrant to the United States in a financial way. As a boy in the homeland Henry Horn attended the schools provided for the youth of his class until he reached the age of twelve years, at which he went to live with an uncle who conducted a high class saloon in Cologne, and there he worked for eight years. This fact explains why, when in recent years he was asked by a friend where he was educated, he replied "In a beer saloon." At any rate, he occupied the menial position of a waiter in his uncle's establishment, and later in a hotel at Broel. He saved enough money from his wages in his position in the latter named place to bring him to America, and he sailed from Antwerp on a two master, being thirty-seven days at sea without incident. His first work after landing was in a stove-brick factory, where he worked for a pittance of seventy-five cents per day, remaining in that place for eighteen months. It was then he decided to come west and visit his uncle, John Horn, at La Salle, Illinois, and in that city he secured work at his old trade, that of a waiter in a hotel. Subsequently he came to Dixon and Princeton, looking the ground over for a suitable opening, it being his intention to get into some business of his own which would yield him more than a bare living. It was in this location that he met the man who was directly responsible for his first success in business life. The acquaintance who played so important a part in his life was a young Jew then engaged in the brewing business, and he urged his young German friend to come to DuQuoin and open a liquor house. Mr. Horn was persuaded into making the venture, and when he first stepped into DuQuoin it was the merest country town. He had been but three years in the United States, and spoke scarcely enough English to make himself understood, but his courage was high and his belief in himself and the future would not be shaken. For a man, a stranger in a strange land at that, to establish a business without a penny of available capital required two things: First, that he have a goodly amount of "nerve," and second that he be the sort of person who will inspire confidence. Henry Horn fulfilled both conditions. He arranged with a shoemaker already located in DuQuoin to buy a lot and erect a small building, better described by the word "shack;" for their combined use; one side to be a shoeshop and the other a saloon, or rather a retail and wholesale liquor house. His stock of liquors was furnished him on credit, and having learned the business under the careful eye of his uncle in Cologne, the young merchant was able to conduct the business from the first without any of the losses incidental to the beginner in any line of business. Lack of space does not permit of a detailed account of the rapid strides he made in the matter of money-making in this one line of endeavor. It suffices to say that as rapidly as his fortunes would permit he entered other lines of business, branching out here and there until in a few years Henry Horn was the acknowledged head of the big business interests of DuQuoin, a position which he has steadfastly maintained since that time. In 1877 he engaged in the banking business in partnership with P. N. Pope, as one of the firm of Horn & Pope, and when this firm was dissolved ten years later he became the head of the DuQuoin Bank of Henry Horn, one of the chief financial institutions of the city today, and in which his sons took their early lessons in finance.
The presence of coal in Perry county finally interested Mr. Horn to the extent that he made a substantial loan upon some property then
being developed and operated at DuQuoin, and the failure of the company to make good on the deal threw the property upon his hands. From that moment to the present time Henry Horn has been a powerful factor in the coal mining interests of the district. Soon after he became the owner of the then unproven property upon which he had advanced money he opened the Brilliant mine upon the property, and the mine is today one of his principal assets. The merchandise business set in motion by him forty years ago is still a live asset, and in addition to his commercial, financial and mining interests Mr. Horn has gone in to farming, both extensive and intensive, and on a purely scientific basis. In this connection his efforts with pure bred live stock as an adjunct to profitable farming has added another field to his already broad list of enterprises.
Wherever the eye reaches in DuQuoin may be seen the evidences of the handiwork of Henry Horn as a material developer of the city. As his family attained years of maturity and set up for themselves in life new homes were necessary, and these form a considerable item in the collection of handsome residences to be seen in the city. At frequent intervals the Horn interests have brought into existence fine brick business blocks, and Mr. Horn was a party to the erection of the St. Nicholas hotel some years ago. In earlier years Mr. Horn was an adherent of the Democratic party, but when James G. Blame became a candidate for office he supported that administration and since that time has acted with the Republican party. He was an intimate acquaintance of General Logan, as well as many of the leaders associated with "The Black Eagle," and his intimate knowledge and fund of incidents touching the lives of men of this section who made important history and have passed on is one of the many pleasant features of association with him.
In April, 1862, Mr. Horn married Miss Mary Flauaus, formerly of Ashley, Illinois, and of German extraction. Thirteen children were born to them, seven of whom are still living and have been reared to positions of worth in the activities of life. They are Frank, Mary, Thomas, Kate, Lottie, Minnie and Henry, Jr., named in order of their birth. Mr. and Mrs. Horn have fifteen grandchildren.
Frank Horn, the eldest son of Henry Horn, Sr., was born at DuQuoin on February 19, 1863. He was educated in the parochial schools and in Christian Brothers College, St. Louis, and began his business career in the store of his father. This was followed by a season of training in the bank of which his father was the head, and he later entered the coal business as an operator. His mining experience started with the Miller-Horn Mining Company and he has been active and prominent in the coal mining industry since the beginning of his connection with the business. He possesses many of the valuable and admirable traits of his father, and his success in life is mainly attributable to that fact. He was married on June 30, 1887, to Miss Maggie Kelley, a daughter of Timothy Kelley, and the children of their union are Loretta, Lottie and Frank Jr.
The second child of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Horn, Sr., is Mary, the wife of Emanuel Buerkle, of DuQuoin. They have four children, three sons and one daughter. The eldest son, Henry, is fifteen years of age and attending high school, as is also the second son, Frederick, fourteen years old. They both attended parochial school until their first communion. The daughter, Mary, is eight years old and the youngest son, Frank, is six. Both are attending parochial school.
Thomas Horn, is the second son and third child of his parents. He was born in DuQuoin on May 4, 1866. He received his education in the public and parochial schools, and later took a comprehensive course
in agriculture in the University of Illinois. He opened his business career by spending four years in the DuQuoin Bank of Henry Horn, where he was thoroughly trained in the mysteries of financial operations. He then went with the Berry-Horn Coal Company, in St. Louis, Missouri, where he remained two years as a clerk. Returning home, he entered the coal business with his father as a mine operator, continuing in the business for two years, and in 1895 engaged in the merchandise business, conducting a business alone until 1904, when the firm became Horn & Grossman, which name it retained until in September, 1911, when Mr. Horn retired. During these years Thomas Horn engaged in the real estate business to a large extent, handling mining lands, developing coal lands by prospecting, and in 1905 his company founded the town of Christopher, Illinois, and he still has large interests there. He helped in the organization of the First National Bank of that city, the first bank the town boasted, and he is a director of it. He later associated himself with Mr. Jesse Diamond, of Rockford, Illinois, in the real estate business and in the development of the Horn-Diamond Coal Company and the West-Frankfort Coal Company of Franklin county. The latter named company came into existence in 1910, and a large tract of land under their ownership and control furnishes the basis of the industry. This company sold the first coal lands in that locality, and were the means of opening up a new district in the coal mining area of this section. The Brilliant Coal & Coke Company, which is owned by them, produces an average of a thousand tons daily, and employs one hundred and fifty men when running at its capacity.
On May 10, 1893, Thomas Horn and Rosalie Zrotz, daughter of Mrs. Catherine Zrotz, were married in St. Louis, The Zrotz family were of Swiss birth, coming to America in early life. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Horn are Thomas, Sylvester and Ernestine. Mr. Horn is a Knight of Columbus, being of the accepted faith of his family, and is a Republican in his political adherence.
Kate, the fourth child of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Horn, Sr., is the wife of Watt Parks of DuQuoin, a son of Judge Parks. Mrs. Parks has a daughter, Catherine, eighteen years of age. Since leaving the parochial school at her first communion she has attended the public high school. Miss Lottie is yet sheltered by the parental roof. Minnie married Theo Gill, and they have one son, Theodore, ten years old.
The seventh child of the elder Horns is Henry Horn, Jr., born September 22, 1876, at DuQuoin. He was educated in the schools of DuQuoin, completing the full course of study, and followed it with a business training in a Chicago college. When ready for business he entered the DuQuoin Bank of Henry Horn. He was nineteen years of age at that time, and has since then become so closely identified with the affairs of the bank and other interests of his father as to have become, in a large degree, the very life of the business. He shares in the responsibilities and benefits of the allied interests of the varied Horn estate, and has entered into the concerns of the business in a manner which has made him an essential part of the machinery of the combined enterprises. His intense application to duty and his splendid ability mark him as the worthy son of a worthy father, and one in every way fit to carry on the family name. Like the other members of his family, he is without political ambition, taking but a cursory interest in affairs of that nature. On June 21, 1899, Mr. Horn married Miss Helena Beck, a daughter of Louis Beck, one of the old residents of DuQuoin and well known there as a market man and a butcher; the family are of German origin. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Horn are Helen, Adelaide and Rosalie.