AUGUST F. WEINEL.
It has been proved beyond possibility of doubt and in many different localities of this country of ours that any community possessing the German element in any appreciable numbers is assured of its prosperity and of a high standard of citizenship. August F. Weinel is a native of the Fatherland and possesses in himself all those fine characteristics for which his nationality is synonymous. Mr. Weinel was born near Merxheim, near Bingen on the Rhine, August 5, 1837. His parents were G. P. Weinel and Caroline Heintz Weinel. He received his education in the excellent German schools and at the age of fifteen left his desk in the village school room and became an apprentice in the mercantile business, a position occupied by him until the age of nineteen years. Meantime the idea of coming to America, of whose opportunity for the ambitious young man he had heard glorious report, had found a secure place in his imaginings and in the fall of 1856 he severed old associations and crossed the Atlantic, landing in New York city some time in the month of November. He remained but a short time in that great metropolis and then came on to Columbia, Monroe county, Illinois, where his brother Jacob had preceded him by several years. He made himself useful in various capacities for some time and then went to St. Louis, where he secured a position as clerk in a dry goods store. In course of time, however, he concluded to return to Columbia, of which place he retained pleasant memory, and this time he worked for Wilson & Weinel (the latter his brother), who were engaged in the retail mercantile business in Columbia. For two years he worked as clerk, but at the end of that time a new partnership was formed, consisting of himself and his brother and John S. Morgan, and in this fashion the business was carried on for five years.
Mr. Weinel soon gained the confidence of his fellow citizens by his honest and admirable business methods and his pleasing personality and in 1865 this received open and unmistakable expression in his election as surveyor of Monroe county. In 1875 he embarked in a new line of business, opening a lumber yard in Columbia, and he has conducted this business for the ensuing thirty-seven years. It has increased continually and substantially and now stands as one of those industries which contribute most effectively to the general prosperity of town and county.
In October, 1866, Mr. Weinel was united in marriage to Miss Bertha Grosse, a native of St. Louis and a daughter of Ernest Grosse, who some time after her birth took up his residence in Columbia and for a number of years ending with 1874 was proprietor and host of the Columbia tavern. This union has been blessed with the birth of ten children, only one of whom is deceased, these sons and daughters having taken their places as valuable members of society. An enumeration is as follows: Catherina, deceased; Bertha; Ernst; Emily; Louise, now Mrs. A. E. McKee; Adelia, wife of Dr. William Rose; F. W.; Edwin; L. P.; and Elsie. In the matter of politics Mr. Weinel has ever given heart and hand to the men and measures of the Democratic party, to which he has given his allegiance since his earliest voting days, and he is a member of the German Evangelical church in whose affairs he is characteristically useful and active.