A worthy representative of one of the honored pioneer families of Rock Island, was for some years on the police force, and from 1895 to 1897 served as marshal and chief of police. He is a man who has ever been found in the foremost ranks of citizens who are devoted to their country's best interests and to the welfare of their fellow men; in private life and in official positions ahvays laboring for others with an unselfish devotion that well entitles him to the respect which is so freely given him and to a place among the honored and valued residents of Rock Island.
Mr. EtJtel was born in the city where he still continues to reside, on the 22nd of May, 1850, and is a son of George and Margaret (Strifflcr) Etzel, natives of Bavaria, Germany, who came .to America in 1847, first stopping in St. Louis, but the following year located in Rock Island, where the father first worked as a blacksmith and later as a teamster. He died in 1886 at the age of sixty-seven years, and his wife passed away November 11, 1894, at the age of seventy-four. For six years he served as a soldier in the regular army of his native land, and whs a consistent: member of the Lutheran church, to which his wife also belonged. They had a family of seven children, four still living George L., Andrew, Peter and Charles. The grandparents of our subject spent their entire lives in the fatherland, where the maternal grand father worked as a blacksmith.
During his boyhood Andrew ELzel attended the public schools of Rock Island, and at the early age of twelve years commenced working in a sawmill, following that business continuously until he had attained the age of twenty-three. He next worked as ship calker a:id carpenter in the shipyard, and in 1880 was first appointed to a position on the police force, where he most acceptably served for five years. For a short time he was then employed as fireman at the water works, later was assistant health inspector, and subsequently engaged in teaming for awhile.
For three years he served as guard at the government arsenal, and when that post was disbanded returned to the police force, with which he was connected until the spring of 1897, most efficiently serving as chief of police for the last two years.he was a terror to all evildoers, and the law-abiding citizens had the utmost confidence in his ability to preserve order.
On the 4th of February, 1874, was performed a wedding ceremony which united the destinies of Mr. Etzel and Miss Rose Imhoff, a daughter of Nicholas and Martha (Blair) Imhoff, and ten children bless their union, five sons and five daughters, namely: Emma, Josephine, Elnora. Lavtue, Lucy, George, Robert, Arthur, William and Clarence. All are still with their parents except Emma, who died at the age of seven years. Socially, Mr. Etxel affiliates with the Modern Woodmen of America, and politically is identified with the Republican party
Biographical Record of Rock Island
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