Joseph Speckart, son of Carl Ludwig Speckart and Genevera Lajer, was born in Langenbrucken, Baden, Germany on May 26, 1830. Joseph was listed as a resident of Highland in 1850.
In 1853, he married Carolina Bellm, the daughter of Carl and Magdalena Kamer Bellm. Joseph and Carolina had eight children.
Joseph was employed as a butcher and tanner in 1873, according to the Atlas of Madison County from that year. (We will have this big, illustrated encyclopedia and atlas of 1873 in our book file in the Highland Home Museum Office. At present, it is at the book bindery of Belleville, being restored, along with seven other Highland and Madison County books, thanks to Lee Ann Jakel Head.)
Later in 1873, Joseph had his own butcher shop in the old “Market House” that was in the middle of Broadway, at Laurel. The stalls of the Market House were to be used mainly for the sale of beef, pork, fish and fowl. They could open as early in the morning as they wanted but closed by 10 a.m.
Never miss a local story.
By 1879, only four butchers operated the stalls; the city’s rent made it a bad money venture. Being in the middle of Broadway, many people complained about it, and it was voted down and declared a nuisance. It was sold in January of 1880.
By that time, Speckart Butcher Shop was located at 1000 Pine Street, near the intersection with Main. This brick building is still standing, with a few additions.
I do not have a record if Joseph came with his family, but his mother, Mrs. Christina Speckart, presented St. Paul Catholic Church with a gold Monstrance, worth $110, in memory of her deceased daughter, Verona Speckart, in 1875.
In 1882, Christina Speckart presented St. Joseph Cemetery with the figure of the Crucified Lord for the cemetery cross. There’s an 1882 framed photo of the cross and it’s dedication in Art Hall at Highland Home Museum. This same Crucified Lord is still on the cross at St. Joseph Cemetery, having been restored several times.
In 1885, Christina Speckart presented a chalice to St. Paul Church in memory of her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Carolina Bellm Speckart. The 50th anniversary booklet, on Page 41, has the following: “Her daughter, Sister Paula Speckart, was the first American, Provincial Supervisor and another daughter, Sister Bonaventure Speckart, had just died in 1896.”
Also in 1885, Joseph’s wife, Carolina, died. He would remarry in 1889 to Josephine Brensinger, also of Baden, Germany; they had one son, Joseph Jr., in 1891.
By 1886, Henry Utzinger of Berlin, Illinois, in Sangamon County, had purchased the Speckart Butcher Shop, business and building. A few years later, Henry Utizinger would come to own the Western Hotel, which was on the south side of Sixth Street, between Laurel and Walnut.
Many businesses have used the 1000 Pine Street building. For years, it was Eddie Young’s Tavern; then it was Rusty’s Smokehouse of Rusty Ames; Ron Schneider Accounting, which is now Scheffel Boyle; Ed Potter’s law office; and others.
(On a personal note, Lorna and I still love to play bridge. If you are interested in playing bridge, give us a call, 618-654-5005 or 618-303-0082. Thanks.)