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Gustavus Köerner



Of the German-American leaders in Illinois politics none deserves more general recognition than Gustav Koerner. Coming to Illinois in 1833 as a result of the revolutionary uprising in Frankfort, he never lost his affection for his fatherland. Yet he was equally loyal in the service of his adopted country. He insisted always that it was the duty of the German-American to work with his neighbors for the promotion of sound ideals in politics and higher standards of civilization. This attitude won him the respect of the community in which he lived and he held a series of important public appointments. He was successively a member of the legislature, judge of the State Supreme Court, lieutenant governor, and United States minister to Spain.

During his long public career he gained a wide acquaintance among the public men of his time in Illinois and elsewhere. He was an active correspondent and left to his family an interesting collection of letters, some in English and some in German, written by many of his most prominent contemporaries. Through the courtesy of his daughters, Mrs. R. E. Rombauer of St. Louis and Mrs. Henry Engelmann of Lakewood, Ohio, I have been able to present for the annual volume of the transactions a few of the letters written to Koerner in English. The copies were carefully prepared for this purpose by his grand-daughter, Miss Bertha E. Rombauer, of St. Louis.

Brief accounts of Koerner's life may be found in Ratterman, Gustav Koerner, Ein Lebensbild; in the Illinois Historical Society's Transactions, 1904 (article by R. E. Rombauer); in Deutsch-Amerikanische Geschichtsblätter, April, 1907, (article by E. B. Greene); also in Koerner's Deutsche Element, Chicago, 1884. Koerner's autobiography, which contains much matter of great interest, still remains unpublished.



Illinois Republican State Central Committee.

State At Large.
N. B. Judd, Chicago Chairman
Wm. H. Brown, Chicago, Treasurer
Ebenezer Peck, Chicago
Julian S. Rumsey, Chicago
Gustavus Koerner, Belleville


1. Cornelius Lansing, Marengo
2. Calvin Truesdale, Rock Island
3. David Davis, Bloomington
4. Chas. B. Lawrence, Prairie City
5. Wm. A. Grimshaw, Pittsfield
6. M. H. Cassell, Jacksonville
7. T. A. Marshall, Charleston
8. Willard C. Flagg, Moro
9. John T. Jones, Shawneetown

Horace White, Chicago,