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Washington Joseph Pech

PECH, Washington Joseph, who is successfully engaged in the manufacture of pottery in Macomb, Ill., was born at Akron, Ohio, February 22, 1855, a son of Joseph and Anna Sterba Pech, natives, respectively, of Vienna, Austria, and Prague, Bohemia. His father was born June 27, 1827, and his mother February 2, 1834. Joseph Pech, the father, came to the United States in 1850, and settled near Green Bay, Wis., where he was married in 1853. Thence he moved to Madison, Wis., and there engaged in the pottery business. In this venture he was not successful, on account of the poor quality of the clay, and he then moved to Akron, Ohio, and conducted a pottery at a small place in that vicinity called Atwater. He devoted a portion of his time to farming, and this, with the pottery work, occupied his attention until 1882. At that period he came to Macomb and continued in the same line of work until his death on June 30, 1890. Washington J. Pech attended the public schools at Atwater, Ohio, until he was fourteen years of age, meanwhile helping his father at intervals, and after he left school still worked with the latter in the pottery business. In the spring of 1878 he came to McDonough County, Ill., and stopped at Macomb for a visit. In the fall of the same year he came again and went to work in the Macomb Pottery, which was then in course of completion, remaining with that concern until 1882, when he built the pottery establishment which he has operated ever since. He began in a small way, the capacity of his plant in 1882 being about 4,000 gallons per week. This was gradually increased until the output reached 25,000 gallons per week in the spring of 1898. In that year he bought all the stock in the concern held by other parties, and the capacity of the plant has since been enlarged to 50,000 gallons weekly.

On May 6, 1880, Mr. Pech was married in Macomb to Lucinda Stocker, who was born November 23, 1862, and this union has resulted in one son, Charles Arthur Pech, born September 6, 1882. Politically, Mr. Pech is an earnest Republican, the confidence reposed in him by his fellow-citizens being indicated by the fact that he nas served three terms as Alderman (1896-1901, inclusive), and one term as Mayor (1901-1903). He was a member of the School Board from 1894 to 1896, and is now serving as President of that body. Fraternally, Mr. Pech is affiliated with the I. O. O. F., A. F. & A. M. (being a member of Macomb Lodge No. 17, Morse Chapter No. 19, and Macomb Commandery No. 61), and the K. of P. He joined the first-named order in 1876 and the second in 1881, and his connection with the third began about 1886. The high degree of success in life attained by Mr. Pech is attributable to his plodding industry, unflagging perseverance and rigid integrity. He stands at the head of one of the most important industries of Macomb — an industry which he created, solely through the exercise of these virtues — and his career furnishes a strong incentive to all who, under like circumstances, would triumph over adverse conditions.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 975-976, extracted 17 Mar 2020 by Norma Hass.

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