Carl G. Herget
CARL G. HERGET, 80, DIES; LAST OF SONS OF PIONEERS
Pekin Times, April 4, 1946
Carl George Herget, 80, on of Pekin’s best known and respected native born citizens, died last night at 6 o’clock in his lovely home at 420 Washington street.
Mr. Herget had been in failing health throughout the winter months, but at times had seemed much improved, and was able to be out, greeting his friends not too long ago. However, about 10 days ago his condition became serious, and he died Wednesday, after a long life of adventure and business and social activities. His death saddens the entire community, as his active years he had done much for Pekin, both in business ventures and charitable projects, being born of a family which figured prominently in every phrase of the town’s growth.
Carl George Herget was a part of the greatest era in Pekin’s history. He and his father span nearly a century of Pekin’s steady growth, and the story of Carl’s life emerges from the biography of his sire.
Family From Germany
Carl’s father, John Herget, the son of an officer in the German army, was born in 1830 in the same European area from which the Ehrilichers, Birkenbuschs and other fine Pekin came from. It was 97 years ago the John came to America when only 19 years of age. For four years he worked as a wagonmaker in Pennsylvania, and then moved westward to Pekin in 1853. In 1860 he started a wholesale grocery business with his brother George (who became the father of Henry G. and William P.) – a business which continued until 1891. Soon after immigrating, John had gotten his brother, George to come over and in1869 he returned to Germany and brought his father and other relatives to the broad new world which was then a booming in the post Civil war days. (One if the oldest dates in the Pekin cemetery is on the stone that recounts the birth of Carl Herget’s grandfather.
From the grocery business, which was conducted on the present site of the Herget bank, the Hergets went into the liquor business. The Star distillery was built on the river bank north of the old Hamburg. The Crown distillery was built north of the present Moffett lodge and shooting place. The Crown burned in 1886 and was rebuilt. Then the Hergets built the Crescent distillery where the Corn Products Refining Co. plant is now located. Presently the Hergets sold the Crown and Crescent distilleries and, to quote an old clipping, “In 1892 the Majestic Globe distillery was erected.” Carl worked at the Globe for many years. In fact, he continued to manage it for 20 years after it was sold.
Born In Pekin
Carl had been born into this illustrious family Aug 30, 1865 – 80 years ago last August. He was born at the corner of N. Sixth and Margaret streets in a day when Broadway was the south city limit (and in the year that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.) His mother was Ernestine F. Schreck, who had been born in 1832 near Saxe-Weimar in Saxony, Germany, and who lived until Aug 7, 1907 – eight years after the death of her husband.
One of the earliest memories of C.G. Herget’s life was the family moving to the grand new home at 800 Washington street – the home that still stands at the southeast corner of Eighth and Washington and is now owned by Mr. Herget’s sister’s son, Alvin Conzelman, who will move into it shortly. Carl was 5 years old when the family moved into this home. He recalled that the house had a hot air furnace, something unusual for that day, and it had a copper bath tub built inside a wooden frame. Guests still comment on the spacious rooms and 12-foot ceilings. Neither Carl nor anyone else who attended the great functions in that home could ever forget them.
Worked In Store
As a boy Carl worked at the John and George Herget grocery store at the northeast corner of a muddy Curt and Fourth streets, in a day when German was the prevailing language in the stores of Pekin,
When 20 years old adventurous Carl Herget and Will Aydelott armed themselves with revolvers and many rounds of ammunition and headed for old Mexico, where they had scores of interesting experiences in the state of Durango.
Later, emerging alive from below the Rio Grande, C.G. found plenty of things to do in the States, for his father was interested in the Sugar Refining Co, the Pekin Steam Cooperage, the Pekin Gas and Electric Co, the Turner-Hudnut Grain Co., the Globe Cattle Co. and various Chicago interests. C.G. gave his major interest for many years to “the Majestic Globe.”
Build Lovely Home
During this time he met and on Oct. 12, 1904, wed Miss Olga Josephine Commentz. After their marriage at Appleton, Wis., they started housekeeping at 611 Park avenue, but in 1912 they moved into the lovely nw home at the head of Buena Vista, which to this day is the showplace of Pekin. To the couple were born John C. Herget, and 13 years later, Doris – now Mrs. Vernon Rohrs. Pekin. Mrs. Herget died Feb 26, 1936.
In his later years Mr. Herget gave his attention and his sound business advice to the Pekin Wagon Works, the Cooperage, the Herget National bank. Besides his business and industrial contribution, Mr. Herget, who was one of the most friendly men who ever trod the streets of Pekin, added much to the social and civic life of the city. He was a member of Empire lodge No. 126, F and AM of Pekin; he was a 32nd degree mason and Shiner and Knight Templar; he belonged to the Elks, Pekin Country club, Creve Couer club of Peoria, and St Paul Evangelical and Reformed Church
Wide Business Interests
Mr. Herget was vice-president and member of the board of directors of the Herget National band; president and member of the board of the Pekin Public Hospital; vice-president and member of the board of the Pekin Union Mission; treasurer and member of the Herget Co., and in the past years he had been associated with the Globe Distillery, the American Brewing Co., The Pekin Cooperage Co., the Pekin Wagon Co., the Globe Cattle Do., and the Lakeside Cemetery association.
Across four score years, the impact of Carl G. Herget upon the business, civic and social life of Pekin was great because it was directive, and the memory of Carl G. Herget will be cherished because he was so kindly.
Surviving Mr. Herget are his two children, John and Mrs. Vernon Rorhs; his only grandchild, two year-old Pamela Ann Rohrs, who had given him much happiness in her babyhood, and his sister, Mrs. Martha Steinmetz, now the only living member of the John Herget family. Four sisters and one brother preceded Mr. Herget in death: Mrs. Lena H. Velde, Mrs. Bertha Conzelman, Mrs. Emma R. Nolte, Mary A Herget and John H. Herget.
Friends may call at the Noel Funeral Home where services will be conducted by Dr. Arno A Zimmerman at 2 p.m. Saturday. Commitment will be in Lakeside Memorial mausoleum, where Mrs. Herget was interred following her untimely death in 1936.