Biography - Christian Bengert

CHRISTIAN BENGERT, dealer in stoves, tinware and groceries at Vienna, is numbered among the progressive business men of Johnson County who have been instrumental in extending its commercial interests for several years. He is a Bavarian by birth and was born in that far-away German kingdom January 12, 1857. His father, whose name was Joseph Bengert, was also a native of Bavaria and was there married to Barbara Ermantraut. Ambitious to improve his fortunes, Joseph Bengert left the land of his birth in 1869, accompanied by his wife and children, crossed the waters on a steamer, landed in New York, and made his way Westward as far as Evansville, Ind. He designed to establish himself in the transfer business in that city, that having been his occupation in the Old Country, but his health failed, and in a short time he died. Five children of the family are living: Joseph and John, who reside at Evansville, Ind.; Elizabeth, wife of Michael Knaebel, who is in business at Vienna; Lena, wife of John Mauch, of Evansville, Ind.; and Christian.
The subject of this biography obtained a good education in his native land, where the public schools were of a high order, and attendance on them compulsory. He was twelve years old when the family left the pleasant scenes where they had been born and had always lived to seek a new home in a strange land. After the untimely death of his father, the sturdy, self-reliant, helpful lad gladly did all that he could to support his mother. He first worked in a stove foundry, in which he was employed for a year, and by steady application he gained a good knowledge of every detail of the business, working at various things in connection with it. He then served an apprenticeship at the trade of a tinner, and has engaged at it to some extent ever since. He was very diligent, and with the economy and thrift characteristic of the Germans, he saved something from his earnings, and leaving Evansville, where he had been at work, he with his mother came to Vienna, where, after working at his trade a short time, he bought Mr. Perkins' tinshop. He formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, Michael Knaebel, and they were conducting a satisfactory business, when our subject was obliged to sell his interest to his partner, as his wife was out of health and her physician advised a change of climate. He took her to Frederickstown, Mo., where he established himself at his trade. The removal to other scenes did not have the desired effect on his wife's health, and death soon ended her sufferings, April 9, 1888, and her body was brought back to Johnson County and tenderly laid to rest in its native soil. Her maiden name was Julia Dwyer, and her parents were from Ireland. Her mother is living, but her father is dead. Her marriage with our subject was solemnized August 13, 1885.
After the death of his wife Mr. Bengert sold out his business in Missouri, and returning to Vienna, bought his present establishment, of which he is sole proprietor. He carries a complete stock of stoves and tinware, and also has a full line of groceries, and commands a profitable trade, having his share of the patronage in the village and county, as he is a good salesman and his customers are sure of good treatment and satisfaction at his hands. Mr. Bengert occupies an important position in social circles in the village as leader of the band, which under his guidance has become one of the best musical organizations in the county. He has a decided talent for music, and with but little instruction has attained wonderful proficiency in the art by close application to the study of its principles.

Extracted 23 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 218-221.

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