Frank LAUF, engaged in the insurance business in Wenona, was born in La Salle county, Illinois, about eight miles from Wenona, on the 19th of August, 1867, his parents being William and Catharine (HERKENRETH) LAUF, both of whom were natives of Coin, Germany. The father came to this country when fourteen years of age and the mother when a maiden of twelve summers. They met and were married in Peru, Illinois, and Mr. LAUF was an insurance man, connected with the German Insurance Company of Freeport, Illinois, for thirty-seven years. He entered the service of that company when they employed but three men and advanced with the growth of the company, which is now a very large concern represented by large policies and with a constantly increasing business. During the first fourteen years of his connection with the insurance company of Freeport he did not have a loss in his district. He also represented the North German Lloyd Steamship Company for thirty-seven years and sold more passages at one time for this company than all other companies combined. He owned a farm in Richland township and nineteen lots in Peoria. At one time he conducted the Clifton Hotel at Wenona, removing to this place in 1887. He thus led an active and useful life, characterized by enterprise and successful accomplishment. He died May 8, 1903, while the mother of our subject passed away twenty-six years before. The father was afterward again married. The living children of his first marriage are Frank, William, Lena, Anna, Charles and Belle. By his second marriage there are two children, Mamie and LeRoy. He served as supervisor while living in Richland township, La Salle county, for a period of twenty-one years-, was also school director, deputy sheriff and constable. He held other offices and in these various positions discharged his duties with promptness and fidelity.
Frank LAUF was reared upon a farm and educated in the public schools of what was known as the Swamp college. He remained on the farm until he came with his father to Wenona in 1887 and for some time was in the hotel here. However, he has practically been in the insurance business since twelve years of age, having been trained in the detail work of the business by his father. He represents the German Insurance Company of Freeport, the German National Company of Chicago, the Security of New Haven, Connecticut, the American of Newark, New Jersey, the Germania of New York, the Concordia and the Connecticut North American Accident Insurance companies, likewise the Phoenix of Hartford. He also represents the North German Lloyd Steamship Company. His thorough knowledge of the insurance business in principle and detail and his energy and unflagging industry have been the leading concomitants in his success, making him one of the most prominent representatives of the insurance business in this part of the state.
Mr. LAUF was married on the 9th of January, 1900, to Miss Veronica EIRICH, a native of Mount Palatine, Illinois. They are members of the Catholic church and Mr. LAUF holds membership with the Knights of Columbus. He is now serving his second term as alderman of the city and was formerly water commissioner. A resident of Wenona for almost twenty years, he is deeply interested in local progress as well as national advancement and is a public spirited man, who stands for all matters pertaining to general improvement and who is the champion of the varied interests of civic virtue and of civic pride.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.