WILLIAM A. RODENBERG.
When it is stated that Mr. Rodenberg is serving his fifth term as a representative from Illinois in the United States Congress, adequate evidence is given of his strong hold upon the confidence and esteem of the people of his native state as well as of his ability and sterling integrity of purpose. He has honored. the state of his nativity through his worthy services in public office of high order; he has been in the most significant sense the artificer of his own fortunes; and, maintaining his home in the city of East St. Louis, St. Clair county, he is known as one of the representative members of the bar of Southern Illinois. Prior to entering the legal profession Mr. Rodenberg had gained
definite success and prestige as a teacher in the public schools of Illinois, and his career has been marked by consecutive and well ordered endeavor, the while his influence has at all times been given to the furtherance of those things which represent the best in the scheme of human existence. Animated by high ideals, sincere and firm in his convictions and principles, broad-minded and progressive as a citizen, he has achieved success worthy of the name, and as one of the representative citizens of Southern Illinois, a section to which this publication is dedicated, he well merits specific recognition in these pages.
Hon. William A. Rodenberg was born at Chester, the judicial center of Randolph county, Illinois, and the date of his nativity was October 30, 1865. He is a son of Rev. Charles and Anna (Walters) Rodenberg, both of whom are deceased, and his father was in active service as a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal church for forty-two years,—a man of exalted character and high intellectual attainments and one whose life was one of zealous consecration to his calling. To the public schools of his native state William A. Rodenberg is indebted for his early educational discipline, which was supplemented by an effective course in Central Wesleyan College, at Warrenton, Missouri, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1884 and from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He gave his attention to the work of the pedagogic profession for seven years, and his success in this field of endeavor was of unequivocal order. For five years of the period noted he was principal of the public schools at Mount Olive, Macoupin county. In the meanwhile he had taken up the study of law, and he continued to prosecute his technical studies, under excellent preceptorship, until he proved himself eligible for admission to the bar, in 1901. Aside from his service in public office he has since been engaged in the active practice of his profession, in which he has gained prestige as an able and versatile trial lawyer and well fortified counselor. He has maintained his home in East St. Louis, and here his law practice has been of broad scope and importance involving his interposition in many important litigations.
In 1898 Mr. Rodenberg was elected to represent his district of Illinois in Congress, as candidate on the ticket of the Republican party, of whose principles and policieshe is a stalwart and effective exponent. He made an excellent record during his first term, but, owing to normal political exigencies, was defeated for re-election in 1900. In the following year he was appointed a member of the United States civil service commission, but he resigned this office in 1902, to become again a candidate for Congress, to which he was elected by a gratifying majority. Through successive reelections he has since remained the incumbent of this distinguished office and he has proved one of the active and valued working members of the lower house of the national legislature, in which he has served on various important house committees and taken a prominent part in the deliberations of the floor and the committee room.
Mr.. Rodenberg is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias and other representative civic organizations, and both he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church.
On the 30th of April, 1904, Mr. Rodenberg was united in marriage to Miss Mary Grant Ridgway of Asbury Park, New Jersey, and they have one child, William Ridgway.