Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gottlieb Utz Passes Away

Fulton Journal: May 14, 1915

Gottlieb Utz, an old, esteemed and respected citizen of Fulton, died at his home on Tenth avenue Wednesday at twelve o'clock, noon. He had been in failing health for the last year and this spring was confined to his bed for over six weeks.
Mr. Utz was born in Waldenbronn, near Esslingen, Germany, January 19, 1831. When he was seven years of age his father died, leaving him, his mother and a sister, both of whom are dead. A few years later Mr. Utz started to learn the butcher's trade and after his three years of apprenticeship went to Switzerland, where he was employed a few years.
At the age of nineteen he came to America and landed at Philadelphia where he worked for one year. In 1852 he went to Chicago and engaged in the meat business, and four years later he was married to Miss Margaret Schnedt. In 1860 they moved to Dixon and engaged in business there two years, and from there moved his family to Fulton, where he had been a continuous resident for the past fifty-three years. For over forty-five years he was actively engaged in the meat business in this city, and in 1870 erected his first brick store building on the west side of Lincoln Way, and later built a double brick store building on the opposite side of the street.
Mr. Utz was an honest and a reputable man, respected by all and esteemed by many who knew him. He was a public spirited man of good principles, and led an industrious, busy life, always contributing to the building up of Fulton. The worthy and needy were often substantially remembered by him. Years ago he was one of the best known men in our city and the large brick residence he built in 1875 was for many years the best in the city. The spacious lawn was always artistically decorated with his favorite flowers, with a large fountain of running water in the center.
Four years ago he, in company with his son, Charles, and wife, went back to Germany to visit the scenes of his childhood, where he spent five months. There he saw the old home still standing in which he and his father were born. The home is an old land-mark, now being over 100 years old.
Mr. Utz was eighty-four years and five months old at the time of his death, which succeeeded that of his wife by eleven years. He had a family of seven children, of whom four are dead and three are living. Those surviving him are three sons, Charles, William, and Fred, all of Fulton.