W. P. Herget, President Herget Bank Dies In Chicago; Rites Friday
Pekin learned with sorrow this morning of the death last night at Henrotin hospital in Chicago, of Wm. P. Herget, president of the Herget National Bank of this city. A heart ailment, aggravated by asthma, and growths in the nose which made it difficult for him ti breathe, brought an end to Mr. Herget's life shortly after his 73rd birthday, July 6.
Because of hay fever, Mr. Herget used to go to North Michigan summers; and even after he quit going up there, it was his custom every few years to have an operation on his nose to ease his breathing. However, this summer when he went to Chicago for his usual operation, heart specialists feared that his heart would not stand the operation. Mr. Herget returned to Pekin, and resumed his usual chair just inside the door at the left in the bank which his father, the late George Herget founded.
To Chicago in Ambulance
It was plain that he was not well, and that he was failing, although for a time after his return from Chicago he gained in weight. But a week ago Friday was his last day at the bank. He became worse during the week and by last Saturday sundown his breathing was so difficult that he was put in an ambulance with an apparatus to administer oxygen, and was hurried to Chicago, arriving at the hospital shortly after midnight. Pneumonia developed within a few hours, and the end came last night. The body was brought back to the Noel funeral home on Pekin, and as friends viewed it there today it was difficult for them to believe that Pekin's most influential, active financial man was gone. His home was at 725 Park Avenue.
Brother Lies Ill
One of the sad features of Mr. Herget's death is that it comes while his brother, Henry G. Herget, now in his 80th year, lies an invalid. Two years ago Henry Herget suffered a stroke from which he has not recovered. The brothers had been closely associated in many enterprises for two generation, and while Henry lay ill, W.P. Herget had been carrying on. Neither man as a son.
Father From Germany
Herget is a great name in Pekin. It started when John and George Herget came to Pekin in 1853 (this number is a misprint). John and George were the sons of Phillip and Margaret Reuling Herget. John was born in 1830 and George was born in 1833 in Hargerhausen, near Darmstadt in Hesse, Germany, the village presumably being named after the family. When 19, John (father of Carl G. Herget, Mrs. Martha Steinmetz, Mrs. Lene Velde, and Mrs. Bertha Conzelman) sailed for America. Three years later, in 1852, George became 19 and he embarked at Harve, France, for the new world. Both the youths had learned from their father the trade of wagonmaker; and after reaching America they found jobs at Gettysburg, Pa. But they stayed there only briefly and in 1853, they floated down the Ohio, then came up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Pekin.
Herget Boys "Get On"
Here they got jobs in the old T.&H. Smith carriage works. This factory was operated by Tels and Henry Smith and employed many young Germans coming from the old country. Latter it became the Pekin Wagon Works and was one of Pekin's leading industries for years.
The Herget boys "got ahead" in 1858, only five years after coming to Pekin, George Herget started on the retail grocery business. Two years later, when still only 27, he was joined by his brother, John, forming the partnership of J.&G. Herget." In 1870 they erected the store building at the corner of Court and N. Fourth street for which a long time they conducted a wholesale grocery and liquor business.
Expanding, they built the Little Star Distillery, and later other distilleries from which have blossomed the major share of Pekin's industries Earliest Business memories of Will Herget, are of him and his brother, Henry, going from store to store in Pekin and by train out thru mid-Illinois, as traveling salesmen for their wholesale store
Bank Is Started
An important change in the old building at the corner of Court and Fourth was made in 1906 when George Herget and Henry and Will established a private bank known as George Herget and Sons. Five years later, it was changed from a private to a national bank, named, as at present, The Herget National bank. William P. became president pf the bank on Mar. 25, 1914.
One Of Four Children
William Phillip Herget was born July 5, 1868, the son of George and Caroline Goehner Herget. He was born at the old Herget home which still stands at the northwest corner of Washington and Seventh. He was one of four children. Henry G survives as does Mrs. George (Mary) Ehrlicher Sr., who now lives in the old Herget homestead. A sister, Mrs. Adolph (Carrie) Harnish, died some 30 years ago. He was married on Oct. 21, 1897, to Miss Agnes Velde, daughter of Mrmrs John Velde, at the old Velde home on N. Capitol. No children were born to this union. Mrs. Herget survives.
Mr. Herget was a trustee of the Union Mission, which owes much to the Herget family. He belonged to the Tazewell club which will miss him greatly because he usually went directly from the bank to the club afternoons.
Funeral services will be held at 3:30 o'clock Friday afternoon at the Noel funeral home. Services will be in charge of Rev. A.A. Zimmerman and burial will be in Lakeside cemetery. The body will be removed late this afternoon to the residence, 725 Park Avenue, where friends may call until 11 o'clock Friday morning.
He Liked The Land
Altho Mr. Herget was known to this generation mostly as a financial man, he was a great lover of the country. Few, even of his close associates, knew how many farms he owned. He owned hundreds of acres of good farms in Tazewell county and also, farms elsewhere in the state. Altho he did not claim to be a good farmer himself, he thought he knew when he had a good farmer on one of his farms; and he was sometimes heard to say that a good thrifty housewife was more essential than the man as farm operators.
Loved Fine Horses.
Mr. Herget did not undertake to operate the new "gasoline buggies." He liked the carriage days. Didn't his family come of a line of carriage makers? And wasn't part of the family's fortune built on the good Pekin Wagon? Old timers all remember the splendid rigs that Mr. Herget used to have - a span of spirited horses hitched to a shiny carriage. When auto days came, Mr. Herget tried for a while to use an electric auto. But speed of the modern auto antiquated the electric "buggy" and Mr. Herget from then on employed a chauffeur to drive his car. Mr. Herget was a link with the good old days in Pekin. He came of that honorable, industrious, thrifty German stock that has built the city of Pekin. Thousands lament his passing.