GEORGE JOSEPH MONKEN.
Numbered among the prominent and influential citizens of New Baden is George Joseph Monken, who has long taken an active and intelligent part in the management of public affairs, and as mayor of the city aids and encourages the establishment of all enterprises conducive to the advancement and growth of the community. A son of the late John B. Monken, he was born February 26, 1865, at Columbia, Monroe county, Illinois, of thrifty German stock.
Born at Frankfort, Germany, January 12, 1830, John B. Monken remained in the Fatherland until eighteen years old. Immigrating then to America, he spent a year in Greene county, Illinois, being employed on a farm, and was afterwards similarly employed in Saint Clair county, near Belleville. In 1863 he established a vinegar factory in Belleville, and managed it for a year and a half. Moving then to Monroe county, he resided there a short time, but in 1865 a longing for the sight of his early home seized him, and he went back to Germany to visit friends and kinsmen. In the spring of 1868 he returned to Illinois, and in 1869 settled at New Baden, where for nineteen years he was a teacher in the public schools. He was active in public life, being a loyal supporter of the Democratic party and for a period of twenty years was assessor of Clinton county. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; and both he and his wife were members of the German Catholic church. At the age of twenty-one years he was united in marriage with Annie Gundlach, of Belleville, Illinois, and they became the parents of four children, as follows: Ida, wife of Rudolph Herdenstein; Mary, deceased; George Joseph; and Melinda, deceased. The mother of these children died in 1884, and Mr. Monken, who survived his wife, passed away January 27, 1896, in New Baden.
Brought up in New Baden, George J. Monken attended the rural schools until fourteen years of age, when he began learning the art and trade of a painter. Instead, however, of following the craft with which he had become familiar, Mr. Monken was employed in a hotel at Belleville for awhile, and in 1890 entered the employ of the New Baden Milling Company, with which he has since been actively associated, his efficiency in the different departments having won him the position of bookkeeper of the mill.
True to the political faith in which he was reared, Mr. Monken is a zealous advocate of the principles that govern the Democratic party, and is a most useful and highly esteemed member of the community. He is now filling the mayor's chair ably and acceptably, having been elected to the position by a handsome majority, and is also supervisor of Clinton county and a trustee of the township schools. Fraternally he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to the Knights of Pythias, and to the Modern Woodmen.
On July 1, 1897, Mr. Monken was united in marriage with Louisa Butzow, of New Baden, and their union has been blessed by the birth of seven chldren, namely: Arthur, George, Alfred, Fred, Edmund, Laura, and one that died in its infancy.