1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois Knox County, IL


A. W. Berggren

      August Werner Berggren is emphatically a self-made man.  He has risen from the service of an apprenticeship to exalted stations of honor and trust.  He was born in Amots Bruk, Ockelbo Socken, Sweden, August 17, 1840, and is the son of Johan and Karin (Hanson) Berggren.  His father was a self-educated man, winning his way to success by his shrewdness and native ability.  He was a great reader, but he learned his most valuable lessons in the school of experience.  He held several minor offices and looked after cases in courts, administering estates and the like.  For thirteen years he ran a flouring mill.  Afterwards he purchased a farm on which he lived until he emigrated to this country in 1856.

            Mr. Berggren is an example of the accomplishment of much in spite of limited educational advantages.  He attended the village schools in Sweden, until he was 14 years of age, living at the same time on a farm.

            Then he was apprenticed to learn the tailorís trade.  The contract drawn by his father provided that for the first three years he should work for his master without remuneration; for the fourth year he was to receive thirty-five riksdaler; and for the fifth, forty (a riksdaler being about equal to 27 cents in American money).  The father was to furnish the cloth for the tailor to make the apprenticeís clothing.  In case of the death of the apprentice during the first year of his apprenticeship the father should pay the tailor fifteen riksdaler.  When the father decided to emigrate to this country he was obliged to pay the master tailor fifty riksdaler for the release of his son.

            Mr. Berggren first came to Oneida, and then went to Victoria, where he found employment in the tailoring establishment of Jonas Hallstrom, at eight dollars a month and board and washing for one year. 

            He then came to Galesburg and worked at his trade, where opportunities were presented.  In 1860, he moved to Monmouth, Warren County, and worked for Captain Denman, a merchant tailor of that place.  About the close of the war, he returned to Galesburg and became a solicitor of life insurance.

            During this time he devoted considerable attention, with fair success, to music.  He played the violin, became a leader of string bands in Galesburg and Monmouth, and arranged music for the same

            Mr. Berggren has no military record.  At the first call for volunteers to put down the Rebellion he went to Knoxville and joined the Swedish company, commanded by Captain Holmberg.  Two companies were there: one composed of Americans; the other, of Swedes.  The former was mustered into service; the latter, disbanded.  He then went to Monmouth, where he remained until his return to Galesburg in 1864.

            Mr. Berggren has held many important offices.  In 1869, he was elected Justice of the Peace in the City of Galesburg.  While holding that office he was nominated by the republican convention for the office of Sheriff, and elected in the Fall of 1872.  With great credit, he held the office for four terms, and his books and reports are spoken of to this day as models worthy of imitation.  In 1880, while yet Sheriff, he was nominated and elected Senator from the Twenty-second District, composed of Knox and Mercer counties.  Four years afterwards, he was re-elected from the new district, composed of Knox and Fulton counties.  When the Senate was organized in 1887, he was chosen President pro tempore of that body.  On May 1, 1889, the Governor appointed him Warden of the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet, which position he resigned to take active supervision of the Covenant Mutual Life Association of Illinois, with principal offices in this city.

            His public spirit is fully shown by his connection with various public enterprises, such as the Galesburg Stoneware Company; The National Perefoyd Company; The Galesburg Paving Brick Company; the Galesburg National Bank, having been a Director of the same since its organization.  He was a member of the Berggren and Lundeen firm, later the J.A. Lundeen Company, and still later the Berggren Clothing Company.  From its organization, for twenty years, he was President of The Covenant Mutual Life Association, and for the last two years has been its Treasurer, still holding that position.

            Mr. Berggren is both an Odd Fellow and a Mason, joining the former order in 1868; the latter, in 1869.  He is a member of the several Masonic bodies in this city, and in the Order of Odd Fellows has taken a very active interest, filling every office of the subordinate bodies and the principal offices of the Grand Lodge.  He was Grand Master and presided over the deliberations of the Grand Lodge at Danville, Illinois in 1880, and represented the Grand Lodge in the Sovereign Grand Lodge, at Baltimore, Maryland.

            Mr. Berggren has broadened his life and added greatly to the storehouse of information by quite extensive travel.  He has visited almost every State in the Union, and in 1882, took an extensive trip through England, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland, and Ireland.  His charities have been of a practical kind.  He has given to the Swedish M. E. Church and parsonage, to several other churches, Knox College, Lombard Gymnasium, and Cottage Hospital.

            His religious affiliations are with the Swedish M. E. Church, although in 1856, he was confirmed in Sweden in the Lutheran Church.  He served as lay delegate to the General Conference at Cincinnati in 1880.

            In politics, he is a staunch republican.  He is not only a worker, but has been one of the leaders in his party.

            He was married March 8, 1866, to Christina Naslund, whose parents came to this country in 1854, joining the Bishop Hill Colony.  Six children were born to them, Capitola Maud, Guy Werner, Ralph Augustus, Claus Eugene, Jay Valentine, and Earl Hugo, Ralph Augustus was run over by a train of cars and killed in 1887.


            James Buchanan Boggs, Attorney at Law and Master in Chancery, was born in Greencastle, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, October 20, 1828.  His parents were John and Isabella Craig (Allison) Boggs, and were natives of Franklin County, Pennsylvania.  Both the father and the mother were intelligent and painstaking people and exhibited marked traits of character.  They were of Scotch-Irish ancestry and seem to have inherited the stern morality of that race.

            John Boggs was a physician, and at an early age, was left fatherless.  He was adopted by his motherís brother, Dr. Robert Johnson, a man of wealth and influence, and under his supervision, rose to prominence.  He received his medical diploma from the University of Maryland, and for thirty years practiced medicine in his native country.  In the War of 1812 he was appointed surgeon of Franklin County Volunteers, and in 1819 he married Isabella Craig, daughter of William Allison.

            Dr. Robert Johnson, the adopted father of Dr. John Boggs, was a surgeon in the Revolutionary War from the beginning to the end.  He was also one of the original members of the Society of Cincinnati, whose first president was George Washington.

            J. B. Boggs availed himself of such opportunities for schooling in his youth as the district schools afforded.  This preparation was supplemented by a thorough training at the academy.  He studied law at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and in 1852, was admitted to the Bar.  After leaving school, he was first engaged in teaching, and afterwards took charge of the Chestnut Grove Iron Furnace.  His first law practice was at Loudon and McConnellsburg.  In 1856, he came to Galesburg, where has been his home ever since.

            Mr. Boggs is a man of ability and of fine presence.  In forming opinions, he is cautious, and is not biased by prejudicial instincts.  His nature is benevolent and open, to be read of all men.  To him, right doing and right living are instinctive.  The places of honor that he has been called to fill have been deservedly won.  He filled the office of City Attorney in 1862-65-66-67-68-69, and was elected Alderman from 1879 to 1884.  He was appointed Master in Chancery in 1871 and has held the office ever since.

            According to his means, he has favored every public enterprise that has been for the interest of the city of his adoption.  For several years, he has been the president of the Galesburg Printing Company, and a charter member of the Homestead and Loan Association and its attorney.  He belongs to the Masonic Order, though not an active member at present.  He has also been connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since 1849.

            Mr. Boggs is a firm believer in the tenets of the Presbyterian faith and his life has always been in harmony with that church.  All its laws and ordinances are to him sacred and these he has kept blameless.  His political affiliations are with the republicans.  Although his time is employed principally in the Chancery Court, yet he has never failed to do his duty as a worker for the success of republican principles.

            He was united in marriage at Galesburg, October 5, 1858, to Susan Cornelia Weeks, daughter of Benjamin Weeks.  Eight children were born to them, three of whom are living, Isabel Allison, Elizabeth Wharton (Dunn), and Henry Hurd.

These are the 1899 Encyclopedia Link Bar are all typed by "Kathy Mills"

and then emailed to me for processing

Thanks so Much "Kathy".......

Knox Hme Page 1899 Bio Index 1899 Index E--K 1899 Index S -- Z Babcock Berggren/Boggs Captain Burkhalter Carr & 3 others Colton Family Ferris/Flynn+ Frost/Gale Davis/Field+ Boyer/Brown

Created Sunday nite, May 22, 2005

Sunday, October 09, 2005 09:04:53 AM  updated & uploaded

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