Richland County

Biography - Caleb F. Wieland

The prominence of the subject of this sketch in connection with the industrial and civic affairs of Richland county is such that he is recognized as one of the leading business men and influential citizens of this locality, being identified with enterprises of wide scope and importance, and being known as a progressive and public spirited citizen. The apparent ease with which he has mounted to his present commanding position in the commercial world, marks him as the possessor of talents beyond the majority of his brethren, and, being a close and critical student of men and affairs, he experiences no difficulty in sustaining the high reputation which his business talents and marked success have earned for him.

Caleb F. Wieland, a member of the hardware firm of Jolly, Wieland & Richardson, one of the best known and extensive firms of this nature in Southern Illinois, was born in Muscatine, Iowa, June 25, 1858, the son of Frederick and Mary (Eberhart) Wieland, natives of Canton Berne, Switzerland, where they were reared and married, soon afterward coming to the United States, locating in Muscatine. The subject's father worked there for many years, then moved to Jefferson City, Missouri. He enlisted in a Missouri regiment in the Union army, and served for more than three years until the close of the war. He saw much active service and was in numerous engagements, but was not wounded. After the war he returned to Jefferson City, Missouri, and in 1866, came to Olney, Illinois, where he lived until his death in 1873, at the age of fifty years. His wife survived him several years, dying in 1896, at the age of sixty-five. They were people of much sterling worth and highly honored wherever they lived. They were the parents of six children, four of whom grew to maturity, the subject being the oldest in order of birth.

Caleb F. Wieland was a boy when he came to Olney, where he was reared and where he received a limited education, having been obliged to go to work when young and help support the family. He was ambitious and fought against every obstacle and early in life decided to take up the hardware business, consequently when seventeen years old he entered the hardware store of William Rhode as clerk in the same building where he is now interested, and he has continued in this line ever since at the same location, having been with different firms until the present firm was organized in 1904, when he became a partner. They carry a stock of about twenty thousand dollars, consisting of all kinds of hardware, carefully selected and they also do an extensive plumbing, heating, tinware and galvanized iron work, their trade extending to all parts of the county and is always on the increase, having been built up to its present large proportions very largely through the efforts of our subject. The firm occupies a substantial and convenient building twenty-two by one hundred and eighty-five feet, three stories in height. The entire building is occupied. It is one of the largest and most successful lines of business in the county.

Mr. Wieland was united in marriage in 1888 to Lulu St. John, a native of Olney, who was born, reared and married in the same house, the affable and genial daughter of M. M. and Mira Louise (Cralle) St. John, who were among the pioneers of Richland county, and people of many praiseworthy traits.

Five children have been born to the subject and wife, namely: Esther Alean, Bernice May, Gerald Hazen, Mary Louise, Frank Clifford, all bright and interesting with promise of successful futures.

In politics Mr. Wieland is a loyal Republican. He very ably and creditably served as Alderman for one term of two years, from the second ward.

Mr. and Mrs. Wieland have earned and occupy a position of high regard in their community, being numbered among the most prominent citizens of Olney and whose efforts are always directed toward the moral, social and material uplifting of society.

Extracted 26 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 114-115.

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