For more than sixty years the Heckert family has been prominently identified with the best interests of Washington county, of which the subject of this review, Henry F. Heckert, a prominent agriculturist of Venedy township, is serving his sixth year as clerk. He is a native of this township, and was born December 2, 1861, a son of Rudolph and Mary (Luebke) Heckert. Mr. Heckert's father, a Hanoverian, born in 1825, was seventeen years of age when he came to the United States from the Fatherland, and stopped first in St. Louis, where he remained until his advent in Washington county in 1850. He adopted readily the modes and practices of the New World, took a stand with the Republicans in politics, and participated in local affairs with his fellow citizens without being drawn into a fight for personal success. He died in 1899, and his wife, who was a daughter of Rudolph Luebke, passed away in 1868. Of their nine children, three grew to maturity, viz: Mrs. Caroline Vortman, of Venedy township; Henry F.; and Louisa, who died as Mrs. Henry Heitland and left


one child. Mr. Heckert married for his second wife Mrs. E. Hodde, widow of Chris Hodde, and two children were born, Rudolph and William C.

Up to fourteen years of age Henry F. Heckert was a pupil of the parochial schools, then spent a year in a public school of St. Louis, and to round out his education took a course in Jones Business College in that city. Having been brought up on the farm and learned its successful principles, he applied himself to that sphere of industry for nearly a quarter of a century in the community of his birth and bringing up. His fascination for local politics, in which he took an interest even before he attained his majority, led him into a race for public office for himself, and he was nominated for county clerk as a Republican in 1906. His former participation had given him experience in county and congressional conventions as a delegate, and when he sought the tangible results of political activity for himself he was equipped to make his candidacy worth while. He was elected without dangerous opposition and took office as the successor of H. F. Reuter, and succeeded himself in 1910 without competition in his own party, at present having completed his sixth year as an efficient and conscientious public servant.

On November 15, 1883, Mr. Heckert was married in Johannesburg township, Washington county, to Miss Mary Van Stroh, a daughter of Henry Van Stroh, a settler from Hanover, Germany, who married Minna Holland. Mrs. Heckert is the only child of the four born to her parents who reached maturity. She and Mr. Heckert have had three daughters, namely: Laura, Ida and Ella. Mr. Heckert maintains his interest in agriculture, owning a handsome, well-cultivated property in the west end of the county. He holds no other affiliations or connections save his membership in the Modern Woodmen of America. He has many friends in this section, where his genial, jovial personality has made him a general favorite with all who know him.

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