Alexander County

Biography - Christian Koch

CHRISTIAN KOCH, manufacturer of and dealer in fashionable boots and shoes, at No. 90 Commercial avenue. Cairo, Ill., was born in Germany August 21, 1835. He is the youngest of a family of five children of Christian Koch and Margaretta Hubochneider, of Germany. His father died in 1846, while in the prime of life, and the mother in 1853, at the age of sixty-three years. Mr. Koch was educated in Germany, where he also served an apprenticeship of four years to the trade of shoe-maker. In 1854, became to the United States, landing at New York, and first located at Louisville, Ky., where for some time he worked at his trade, receiving a weekly wage of $1.50. From Louisville he went to New Albany, Ind., where he worked about two years, thence to St. Louis, where he remained until coming to Cairo, Ill., in 1861. In that year, he opened a shop for the manufacture of boots and shoes at Cairo, to which he added a small stock of ready-made goods. He returned to St. Louis after the war, where he did business during the year 1866, coming to Cairo a second time at the close of that year, and in the fall of the year following sustained a loss by fire of $3,500. He now has a two-story brick building comprising two store rooms, Nos. 88 and 90 Commercial avenue, which he erected in 1875, at a cost of $8,500, in one of which he is carrying a $7,000 stock of boots and shoes. Mr. Koch was married in St. Louis, Mo., on the 19th of August, 1860, to Miss Frances Gerst, a daughter of Wentel and Catherine Gerst, the former deceased, and the mother a resident of St. Louis. His wife was born in Bavaria, Germany, on the 6th of August, 1841, and came to America with the parents when a child. She died in Cairo, Ill., March 14, 1880, leaving a family of five children living, two having died previous to the death of their mother — Christian Koch was born August 13, 1861; Louisa, born March 25, 1863, and died April 28, 1865; John G. was born February 15, 1865, and died on the 1st of June, 1865; William F. was born February 21, 1867; Henry P., born June 4, 1869; Matilda R., born in May, 1871, and Augusta L., was born July 30, 1878.

Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 25-26.


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