The United States can boast of no better or more law abiding class of
citizens than the great number of German people who have found homes within
her borders. Though holding dear and sacred the beloved mother country, they
are none the less devoted to the fair country of their adoption. Among this
class is the subject of this sketch, who for a number of years has been one
of the foremost citizens of Marion county, Illinois, where he has labored
not only for his own advancement, but also for the good of the community,
his efforts having been amply repaid with abundant financial success and the
esteem of his fellow men.
Adam H. Bachmann, the well known and popular president of the Salem National Bank, was born in Saxony, Germany, November 28, 1845, the son of George Bachmann, a man of sterling qualities, who was also a native of Germany, and who died there in 1860. The mother of the subject was known in her maidenhood as Mocklin Sputh, also of the Fatherland, who was called to her rest in 1866. Of the six children born to the elder Bachmann, there are living the following in 1908: Mrs. Lizzie Sputh and Ernest Bachmann, both of Germany, and the subject of this sketch. These children received every care and attention possible by their parents who were people of industry and uprightness.
Adam H. Bachmann left Germany in March 1866, landing in America the following April, having barely attained his majority. He had received eight years of schooling in his native land, receiving a fairly good education for he was an ambitious lad and diligently applied himself to his school books and this careful foundation has since been greatly strengthened and built up through his contact with the world and his habits of home reading, so that Mr. Bachmann's conversation is at once learned, interesting and instructive. Our subject located at Lebanon, Illinois, shortly after coming to the New World, where he worked as a cabinet maker. In the spring of 1868, he came to Salem, this state, and engaged in the furniture business with which he has since been identified, and which was a successful venture from the first and by reason of the subject's careful attention to duty, his natural ability as a farsighted and cautious business man, coupled with his kind and courteous treatment of customers, his trade has gradually grown all these years, his place of business being generally known as one of the safest, most reliable as well as up-to-date furniture establishments in this locality. After building the business up to its present high state of efficiency, Mr. Bachmann turned it over to his two sons, Frank and Charley, both very able and progressive young men, who are conducting a modern and well stocked store, being numbered among the leading young business men of the county, to whom the future holds unbounded success and honor, since they are not only young men of sound business principles, but also of the finest personal traits.
Mr. Bachmann was united in marriage November 15, 1868, to Mary Alkire, the representative of a highly respected and influential family of Lebanon, Illinois, who was born in Pennsylvania. Eleven children have been born to the subject and wife, seven of whom are living at the time of this writing, 1908, named in order of their birth, as follows: Mrs. Lizzie Kolb, of Lebanon, Illinois; Frank, of Salem, this county; Mrs. Amy Stonecipher, also of Salem; Maud, living at home: Charley, Adam H., Jr., and Paulina, all live with their parents in Salem.
Mr. Bachmann deserves much credit for the well defined success he has attained since casting his lot among Americans, partly because he has been the architect of his own fortunes, beginning his business career absolutely empty handed, and with no one to encourage or assist in any way, and partly because he has made his competency by honest, straight forward business methods that no one can question. When he first landed on our shores he had a capital of only three cents and today he is the wealthiest man in Marion county. He had the insight, the rare sagacity and perceptive instinct to grasp situations as they arose and the splendid business acumen to turn seeming obstacles into ultimate success. Such men are born leaders in the financial world and they are not any too frequently met with.
Mr. Bachmann is president of the Salem National Bank, president of the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank at St. Peter, Illinois; besides being an extensive land owner, having nine large farms in Marion county. They are all very valuable, well drained, securely fenced, the soil being highly productive and the buildings on each modern and convenient. Besides these he has much other real estate. Also owns about as much property in East St. Louis as he has here. Mr. Bachmann has large property interests at Mattoon and Oakland, this state. His large real estate holdings and financial loans occupy the major part of his time and attention, however, he finds time to assist in forwarding any movement for the betterment of his community. In fact, he is a pioneer in the development and progress of Marion county. He came to Salem, when there was only one brick house here, but he had the sagacity to note the possibilities in the place and soon decided to cast his lot here with the result that he has benefited not only himself, but also the entire community, more, perhaps, than any other man has done or is likely to do in the years to come. In other words, the wonderful things that the future held seemed to be within Mr. Bachmann's horoscope, and he began on the ground floor, developing with the country, which is wonderfully rich in resources and possibilities. While Mr. Bachmann has been too busy to devote much time to political matters, never having entertained an ambition for political preferment, he has ever assisted in any way he could the development of the community whether political, educational, moral or civic, and he did much in making the city a clean and desirable place in which to live, principally while ably serving it as Alderman. In his fraternal relations our subject is a Mason.
The Bachmann residence, which is one of the finest, most modern, substantial and beautiful in Salem, is elegantly furnished and a place where the many friends and admirers of this popular family delight to gather, being presided over with rare grace and dignity by the subject's wife who is a charming hostess, congenial and talented.
Mr. Bachmann is a pleasant man to meet, jovial, and at all times agreeable, never pompous or phlegmatic. His is a well rounded character, in which the different interests of life are given their due proportion of attention. One line of thought or work to the exclusion of all others produces an abnormal development and makes the individual narrow in his views of life. Mr. Bachmann has never followed such a course for while giving his chief attention to his business, as do the majority of men, he finds time and opportunity to take an interest in matters pertaining to the progress and growth of his county, state and nation, and to mingle with his friends, enlarging the circle of his acquaintance and broadening his mind through the interchange of thought with others.
Extracted 05 Jun 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 273-276.