Distinguished as the foremost citizen of New Baden, and one of the ablest business men of Clinton county, Fred John Koch is an important factor in advancing the industrial and financial prosperity of this part of Southern Illinois, and as a representative to the State Legislature from the Forty-second district he is as faithful to the interests of his constituents as it is possible for any man to be, performing the duties devolving upon him in that capacity in a praiseworthy


manner. A native of Clinton county, he was born September 16, 1870, in Germantown, where he grew to manhood.

His father, Herman Koch, was born in Neuenkirchen, Germany, October 10, 1839, and was there bred and educated. Leaving the Fatherland when nineteen years old, he crossed the ocean to the United States, and for nearly two years followed his trade of a cabinet maker in Saint Louis, Missouri. Migrating to Clinton county, Illinois, in 1860, he became one of the pioneer settlers of Germantown, and one of its first cabinet makers. When the railroad became assured in that locality, he embarked in the lumber business, with which he has ever since been prominently identifled, and also engaged in mercantile pursuits, his stock at the present time consisting of lumber, hardware and furniture valued at nine thousand dollars. He is a Democrat in politics, and for twelve years served as justice of the peace. Religiously he is a member of the Catholic church, and has reared his family in the same faith. He has been three times married. He married first, in September, 1864, Elizabeth Frerker, whose parents were early settlers of Germantown. She died the following year, leaving no children. He married in 1866 Elizabeth Lampe, who died in 1867, leaving one child, Elizabeth, who is now in a convent in Chicago, where she is known as Sister Angelina. He married for his third wife Mary Wieter, and of their union ten children have been born, as follows: Fred J., the subject of this sketch; Kate, deceased; Antone; Mary, wife of Henry Westerfelhaus; Herman; John; Henry; Edward; Clara; and Alphonse.

Obtaining his preliminary educational training in the parochial schools of Germantown, Fred J. Koch subsequently completed the commercial course at the Saint Louis University. Beginning work then as a cabinet maker, Mr. Koch gradually drifted into the business of building, contracting and construction work, all of which he is following today in connection with other lines of industry. With his brother John and brother-in-law, Henry Westerfelhaus, he is located in New Baden, where he deals extensively in lumber, hardware and building material, having established a substantial business. Mr. Koch is likewise prominently identified with two safe and sound financial institutions, being president of the Germantown Savings Bank and a director and vice-president of the Bartelso Savings Bank. He is also connected with the Southern Coal and Mining Company of New Baden. In 1910 Mr. Koch was chosen to represent the Forty-second senatorial district in the Forty-seventh General Assembly of Illinois, in which he is serving ably and faithfully.

Mr. Koch married, in June, 1885, Josephine Westerfelhaus, of Germantown, and to them five children have been born, namely: Gertrude, Adeline, Leona, Joseph and Francis. Politically Mr. Koch is a steadfast Democrat and an earnest supporter of the principles of his party. Religiously both Mr. and Mrs. Koch are members of the Catholic church.

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