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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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EMIL BERGER, of Percy, after a well spent life, is living retired, enjoying the rest which he has so truly earned and richly deserves. As he is favorably known in this community, we feel assured that this record of his life will prove of interest to many of our readers. A native of Germany, Mr. Berger was born in Baden, in 1832, and is the eldest son of Valentine and Caroline (Izey) Berger, who were also natives of Baden. His parents never left the Fatherland, but continued there to reside until called to the home beyond. Mr. Berger passed away in 1892, and his wife died on the 18th of July, 1893, at the advanced age of eighty-three years.

Emil Berger, in accordance with the laws of his native land, attended its public schools until fourteen years of age, when he began learning the brewing business. This work he followed for several years, after which he determined to seek a home and fortune beyond the Atlantic, believing that he might thereby benefit his financial condition. It was in 1851 that he sailed for America and located in Philadelphia, where he remained for six years engaged in the brewing business. He then started westward and located in St. Louis, Mo., where he made his home for a period of three years. The year 1860 witnessed his arrival in Illinois and saw him located in Red Bud, where he purchased a brewery, carrying on business along that line for about twenty-two years. For some time he met with large sales and thus acquired a handsome competence. After disposing of his brewery, he engaged in the retail liquor trade in Red Bud for a time, and later went to Burksville, Ill., where he engaged in general merchandising. Five years of his life were spent at that place, after which he came to Percy, in 1887, and has since here made his home.

Mr. Berger was married in 1854, the lady of his choice being Sarah Eck, whose parents were natives of Pennsylvania. They had one child, Jacob V., who died at the age of thirty-one. Mrs. Berger died in St. Louis in 1857, and some time afterward Mr. Berger was again married, his second union being with Christina Fike, of St. Louis. They have one child, a daughter, Matilda, now the wife of Herman Fey, a prominent foundryman of Hanau, Germany.

Mr. Berger was reared in the faith of the Catholic Church, and his wife is a member of the Lutheran Church. Socially he is connected with the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Lodge No. 427 of Red Bud. In his political views, he was formerly a Democrat, and cast his vote in support of the men and measures of that party until the breaking out of the late war, since which time he has been a stanch supporter of the Republican party. During his residence in Red Bud, he served as Alderman, but he has never been a politician in the sense of office-seeking, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to his business interests. He is now living retired in Percy, resting after many years of labor.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Randolph County, Illinois family biographies here: Randolph County, Illinois Biographies

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