Fred S. Engelbrecht, Among the many important interest of Rock Island county, manufacturing claims attention and an immense amount of capital is invested. At Sears, Ill., is situated the Black Hawk Clay Manufacturing plant, which is amply financed and which has been profitably operated ever since it was started in 1907. The output of this plant is vitrified and pressed brick and the market covers a wide territory, including the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and employment is afforded sixty men. The plant is situated on the bank of the Rock River and occupies twenty acres, and is modern in all its equipments, having ten kilns, with a capacity of 5,000,000 bricks a year. In addition to this the company has purchased two other plants at Lehigh, Iowa, known as the Lehigh Manufacturing Company. At Lehigh they manufacture hollow blocks, silo blocks and stiff mud brick. In addition to making brick, the plant at Sears sells a great deal of moulding sand for foundry use. A large part of the prosperity which has visited the Black Hawk Clay Manufacturing Company, undoubtedly must be attributed to Fred S. Engelbrecht, who, for six years, has been superintendent of the plant. He, with other members of his family, is interested as a stockholder, while one brother, Charles S., is general manger and also vice-president of the company.
Fred S. Engelbrecht was born near Cassell (also known as Kassell), Germany, in 1864, and is a son of Henry and Mary (Livingston) Engelbrecht. Both parents were born in Germany and the father died there in 1872. In 1876, the mother and five children came to the United State and located in Iowa City, Iowa. With one exception, Henry, the second born, who died at the age of thirty-eight years, all survive, namely: Simon, who is located in the Black Hills; Lizzie, who is the wife of C. Shermer, living in the Black Hills: Charles S.; August, who is an instructor in Wadborough College, Waverly, Iowa; and Fred. Mr. Engelbrecht attended the public schools of Iowa City, Iowa, and afterward learned the carpenter trade. In the fall of 1885, Mr. Engelbrecht left Iowa City, Iowa, and went to the Black Hills, S.D. and began contracting. He built the first house at Buffalo Gap on the completion of the railroad to that point. He homesteaded a claim in Custer county, and engaged extensively in the stock business, but during the time he was on the ranch continued building operations, having had contracts for many of the leading buildings at Hot Springs, S.D., among them being the Soldiers’ Home of South Dakota. In 1893 he drove across country to Minneapolis, Minn., and there engaged in contracting until coming to Rock Island county. He continued to give attention to carpenter work until 1906, when he started in the brick business.
In 1892 Mr. Engelbrecht married Miss Clara Hiney, who was born at Iowa City, Iowa, and they have two children: Adell and Carl. In his political affiliation, Mr. Engelbrecht is a republican, and has been active in the affairs of the town, serving five years as a trustee of Sears. Fraternally he belongs to the B.P.O.E.
Transcribed by Denise Border
Historical Encyclopedia of llinois
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