Biography of Henry J. Frick

The life record of Henry J. Frick, the subject of our present sketch, is that of a self-made man; a man who through his unflagging industry and undaunted perseverance has achieved for himself not only a comfortable competence, but an enviable reputation for unswerving integrity and uncompromising honor.

He was born August 31, 1858, at Rock Island, and this city has been his home ever since, with the exception of one and one-half years spent in Scott County, Iowa. His parents were William and Caroline (Dietrich) Frick. Both were natives of Germany. They emigrated to the United States in 1851. The first four years after coming to their new home they spent in Utica, State of New York. They moved to Rock Island in 1855 where his father took out his papers in 1856. Here the father was connected with the Rock Island Railway, being in charge of the local baggage and freight department. The death of the mother occurred in 1878, and that of the father in 1882.

Their son received a common school education in the Rock Island public schools. At the age of fifteen years he decided to follow the plumbing trade and with that end in view he entered the employ of Fred Hass as an apprentice for a year and one-half, after which he abandoned his intention of becoming a plumber, and entered the employ of the Rock Island Railway as a locomotive fireman at the age of seventeen years. This occupation he followed for eight years, residing part of the time in Buffalo, Scott County, Iowa, where he served one year as a township officer. He then decided to embark in the livery business and together with Gottlieb Zwicker formed the firm known as Zwicker & Frick at Rock Island. Their partnership continued for seven months, when Mr. Zwicker disposed of his interest in the business to Chas. Hansgen. Upon this business change the firm was known as Frick & Hansgen. Mr. Frick and Mr. Hansgen continued the partnership for about three years. Then Frank Kautz purchased Mr. Hansgen’s share in the enterprise, and the firm name was changed to Frick & Kautz. The business association of Mr. Frick and Mr. Kautz continued for more than ten years. Then Mr. Frick purchased his partner’s interest, and has since continued the business alone. Largely through Mr. Frick’s individual efforts the business has constantly grown in size and importance, and today Mr. Frick possesses one of the largest and most completely equipped livery establishments in the Tri-Cities.

On February 21, 1884, Mr. Frick was united in marriage to Miss Susanna Kautz, a daughter of Fritz and Barbara Kautz, of Buffalo, Iowa. Two children, both daughters, were born of this union, Adelia E. and Bertha C. Mr. Frick was deprived of a devoted wife and his daughters of a loving mother by the death of Mrs. Frick, which occurred December 26, 1888. May 16, 1891, occurred the marriage of Mr. Frick and Miss Mary E. Kautz, daughter of Christian and Christina Kautz, also of Buffalo, Iowa, she being a cousin of Mr. Frick’s first wife. To them three daughters have been born, Marie J., Edith M. and Henrietta N.

In political affiliation Mr. Frick is a Democrat. In the April election, 1907, he was chosen as alderman of the Fourth Ward upon the ticket of the Citizens’ Non-Partisan Association. The contest in election was not won without a struggle, as both the Republican and Democratic parties had placed strong men .in nomination. Mr. Frick’s popularity with men in both of the old parties was so clearly demonstrated by the election, that upon the sending in of the returns it was shown that he had been elected by a handsome majority over both opponents. The Fourth Ward, which Mr. Frick now represents as alderman, is the ward in which he was born, and in which his business has been located for many years.

In religious conviction Mr. Frick is a consistent member of the German Catholic Church of Rock Island. Fraternally he is connected with the Elks, the Western Catholic Union and the Knights of Columbus.

From what has already been said of the life of Mr. Frick, and from the personal knowledge which almost every one residing in Rock Island or vicinity has of the man, it is a fact beyond dispute that he is one of Rock Island’s best citizens who is constantly working for the advancement of his native city.



Biographical Publishing Company. Portrait and Biographical Album of Rock Island County. Illinois; Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co.

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