Doenges, Adam MAGA 2000-2011
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Page 763

ADAM DOENGES. - Adam Doenges, now deceased, lived a life of industrial activity that was not without good result and, viewed from a financial standpoint, it was also a success, and at the same time his career was characterized by all that is honorable and upright in man's relations with man. He thus left to his family not only a comfortable competence but also an untarnished name and well does he deserve mention in this volume. For nearly thirty-eight years he occupied the position of head janitor of the state capitol and his residence in Springfield dated from 1858. He was a native of Germany, born June 10, 1830. His parents spent their entire lives in that country. His father, following his service in the war with France, became an invalid and both he and his wife died in their native country.

Adam Doenges acquired only a common-school education. About 1836 his brother Henry Doenges came to America, settling in Springfield, where he is now living a retired life. It was through the favorable reports which he sent back to his native country that Adam Doenges determined to come to America. He sailed for the new world in 1857 and made his way at once to Springfield where he soon afterward secured the position of night watchman in the old capitol. After the erection of the new state house he was promoted to the position of head janitor and had several men under his charge. He was most faithful to the duties of the place and was well known to many of the prominent men who were called to the capitol by official business.

In 1859 Mr. Doenges was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Mentemeyer, a native of Holland, born June 28, 1838. Her parents were Charles and Catherine Mentemeyer, also natives of the same country. Her father came to America in 1846 and established his home in Springfield, at the corner of Capitol avenue and Spring street. Here he engaged in business as a landscape gardener throughout his remaining days, his death occurring in 1866. His first wife died in 1857 and he afterward married Mrs. Mary LaFene, who is also now deceased. Twelve children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Doenges: Mary is the wife of John D. Richardson, of Clear Lake township and they have nine children. Lydia is at home with her mother. Emma was married December 15, 1892, to George O. Hamel and they reside with Mrs. Doenges. Mr. Hamel is an expert machinist with the A. L. Ide & Son engine works and is also an accomplished musician, being formerly connected with the Frist and Second Regiment bands of Chicago and also with big Canadian bands, while he is now identified with all the musical organizations of Springfield. His father was a professor of music and several members of the family were very proficient in that art. Henry W., the next of the Doenges family, married Iley Wymer and is a printer with the State Register of Springfield. Charles died at the age of twenty-four years. Albert W. married Louise Fore, and conducts a saloon in Springfield. Catherine is the wife of George Kinehan, an expert watch repairer with Summer Pierik of Springfield. Julius R. married Birdie Dowling and is employed as a salesman in Myers Brothers' clothing store of this city. Minnie died at the age of three years. Wesley S. married Lizzie Summers and is a printer with the Ed Hartman Printing Company of Springfield. Louis A. married Birdie Carter and is also a printer in the employ of the Ed Hartman Printing Company. Mattie Frances is at home with her mother.

Mr. Doenges continued to occupy the position of head janitor in the state capitol until, on account of advanced age, he resigned the position. After that he engaged to a limited extent in the life insurance business for a few years. He was also a local minister of the Methodist Episcopal church and he engaged in preaching in various churches in the summer season in Springfield for many years. Both he and his wife had their membership in the Second Methodist Episcopal church of Springfield and he was untiring in his efforts to advance its work. His influence was ever on the side of right, reform and improvement and his efforts in behalf of his denomination were not without good result. His political allegiance was given to the Republican party, for he believed strongly in its principles and he was also an exemplary member of the Masonic fraternity. In his business career he met with a very fair measure of success and through his industry and fidelity to duty was enabled to accumulate a competence that leaves his family in comfortable circumstances. He died February 10, 1891, and his death occasioned deep and sincere sorrow to many friends as well as his immediate family. His widow now resides at No. 1229 North Third street, where he recently erected a comfortable residence that she now occupies with her unmarried children.

1904 Index