Marshall County

LENZ, Louis A.

Louis A. LENZ is the present efficient treasurer of Marshall county, and although a young man, he has been tried in various official capacities, and has ever proven himself worthy of public trust. He is a native of the county, born in Belle Plain township, October 2, 1865, and is the son of Jacob and Augusta (KEMNITZ) LENZ, now residing in Roberts township, to which place they removed in the early childhood of our subject. On the home farm in Roberts township, Louis grew to manhood, receiving his primary education in the common country schools, and finishing his course in a private German school. Form the time he was old enough to engage in manual labor, he assisted in the cultivation of the home farm, attending school principally during the winter months.

At the age of twenty years our subject left the parental roof and embarked in the grocery and farm implement trade in the village of Varna. In that business he was fairly successful, and while much of his time was given to public duties, he continued in the trade until December, 1894, when his entire stock was consumed by fire, entailing upon him a loss of three thousand five hundred dollars. For something over a year he continued out of the mercantile trade, but in January, 1896, in company with his cousin, he embarked in the general furniture and undertaking business at Lacon, under the firm name of Lenz & Lenz. They carry a full line of staple furniture, and will always keep abreast with the times with respect to their trade, introduction such novelties as may seemingly be in demand. While in trade but a short time, they have been encouraged by the reception given them by the public in general.

Mr. LENZ was but twenty-two years of age when first elected clerk of Roberts township. That position he continued to fill until the fall of 1890, when he resigned to accept the nomination on the democratic ticket to the office of sheriff, to which he was duly elected and served four years, or until January, 1895, when he took possession of the office of county treasurer, having been elected as such in the previous November. To this office he was likewise elected on the democratic ticket, being the regular nominee of the party. From the time he was first qualified to vote, he has acted with the democratic party, and has warmly advocated its principles. He has ever taken an active interest in political affairs and his influence is always felt in the primaries of his party and at the polls.

While serving as sheriff of the county the most delicate and difficult duty Mr. LENZ was called upon to perform was in connection with the strike of the coal miners in 1894. To protect the property, and incidentally the lives of many persons, in his official capacity, he had to assume control of the coal mines of the county, and for that purpose he had constantly employed for over one month from twenty-five to one hundred men as deputies, sworn to assist in keeping the peace. During the strike the deputies came into collision with the miners but once, and that was at Wenona. No special damage was done. The militia was called for at Toluca, but fortunately their services were not needed and the order was countermanded.

On May 6, 1893, Mr. LENZ was united in marriage with Miss Minnie LENZ. One child has come to bless their home, to whom has been given the name of Charles.

Mr. and Mrs. LENZ are members of the German Lutheran church, Lacon, and are held in the highest esteem in the social circles of the city. Few men are better known, or who have more warm personal friends than the subject of the sketch, whose lifework bids fair to bring him other and higher honors in the future.

Extracted March 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.

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