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Biography - Eberhard Bucher

EBERHARD BUCHER. Among the growing industries of Cairo that represented by Eberhard Bucher, the packing and provision business, is a positive factor in the force gradually driving the city forward. This industry was conceived in many years of application to the retail meat business by Mr. Bucher, and is the outgrowth of a demand for an establishment where fresh meats could be supplied to a retail trade that promised to sustain a considerable plant and thereby open a new market for hogs, cattle and sheep. Mr. Bucher 's experience as a butcher and his knowledge of the whole scheme of operating a successful packing house has been vast, and at his suggestion of the promotion of such an industry capital came forward and formed the E. Bucher Packing Company in 1904, erected substantial buildings of brick, capitalized the company at thirty thousand dollars, and opened the plant with a capacity of two hundred and fifty cattle a month, six hundred hogs and sheep. An ice plant in connection furnishes a cold storage department for the company and for the public use and the management has developed a healthy trade and achieved such results as prove the wisdom of its promoters in making their investment. Mr. Bucher is president of the company, Joseph Bucher is the vice-president, and Wilbur B. Thistlewood is the secretary and treasurer.

Eberhard Bucher first came to Cairo in 1881. He was then unable to speak our language without difficulty, and had been in the United States only one year. He was born in the town of Gravensburg, in the Grand Duchy of Wurtemberg, Germany, March 4, 1857. He was brought up on a small farm in the community where his ancestors had resided for many generations, and received the school training required under the German laws. His father was Alois Bucher and his mother Maria Miller, and Eberhard was the first child born in a family of eleven, among them being: Silas, a farmer at Mounds, Illinois; Joseph, of Cairo; Stephen, a farmer of Freeport, Illinois; Carl, who is one of the firm of wagonmakers of Cairo, Maloney & Bucher; Theresa, the wife of William Becker, of Freeport, Illinois; and Mary, the wife of J. P. Love, of Cairo. Four are deceased.

When Eberhard Bucher had finished his education he was put to learning the trade of butcher and sausage-maker, and was in Switzerland at this time, the scene of his labors being in Wintertur, Canton of Zurich. He remained there until his trade was completed, and came to the United States in 1880, sailing from Antwerp for Philadelphia, and being thirteen days at sea. He was bound for Cincinnati, and when he had reached that city he had but ten dollars left, but secured work as a sausage-maker and after a year came on to Illinois and located at Cairo. Here he resumed his trade in the employ of Jacob Walter, but only a few months elapsed before he became a joint proprietor of a small meat business in Clinton, Illinois, but he shortly disposed of his interests at that point and returned to Cincinnati to resume his trade of sausage-making with his old employer. On again returning to Cairo Mr. Bucher took his old position with Mr. Walker, and for a few years thereafter changes were frequent, for he joined in the purchase of a saloon with John Johnson, and the two conducted it a year, when he disposed of his interest and resumed the meat business in partnership with John Hege. However, he soon became sole proprietor of the firm and conducted this place some nine years, counting the period one of the most successful eras of his life. At this juncture the packing idea took possession of him, and he engaged in the business as a member of the firm of Bucher Brothers & Company. At the end of six years he had purchased all the other interests and conducted the business alone until ill health caused him to seek a partner. He took in R. B. Woodford, and Bucher & Woodford were associated together for a year, when Mr. Bucher again came into full possession of it. It was about this time that he conceived the idea of enlarging the packing industry in Cairo and promoted the E. Bucher Packing Company, as above detailed.

On April 14, 1883, Mr. Bucher was married in Cairo to Miss Dora Dunker, daughter of Henry Dunker, who came to this country from Hesse, Germany, was a carpenter and then a member of the Cairo police force, and lost his life in the performance of duty. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Bucher are as follows: Carl E., who lives in Cairo and is connected with the E. Bucher Packing Company; Maria Theresa, who married Carl Karcher, of Cairo; Anna, who is bookkeeper for the E. Bucher Packing Company; Eberhard, Jr., who is the salesman for the concern; and Doris. His politics Mr. Bucher exhibits only at election time, when he usually votes the Democratic ticket. He is a Knight of Columbus, and is a faithful member of the Catholic church.

Mr. Bucher's business is his monument. It is the result of quick foresight, practical energy and much ability, which have marked his whole career and are characteristic of the man. His success is but the logical result of ability turned along proper channels, and he is worthy of the respect and esteem which are generally tributes paid to the self-made man.

Extracted 15 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, Volume 2, pages 789-791.


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