Charles Louis Jacob Herrlich

Charles L. J. Herrlich was born at Indianapolis, Indiana, July 12, 1884, the son of Max and Mary (Bechert) Herrlich. Max Herrlich was born in Saxony, Germany, October 3, 1857, the son of Ferdinand and Johanna (Teufel) Herrlich, who were also natives of Germany. By occupation Ferdinand Herrlich was a weaver and dyer, learning both trades in his native country and following the same for some years after coming to America, which was in 1865. He worked for some time in Philadelphia and later moved to Indianapolis, where he resided until his death, which occurred on December 20, 1881. His wife, Johanna (Teufel) Herrlich, died on January 21, 1891. The were the parents of ten children, of whom four grew to maturity, Herrman, Emil, Emma and Max.

Max Herrlich was a small boy when he came to this country with his parents and settled in Philadelphia. There he learned painting, paperhanging, decorating and frescoing, and worked in that line for some time after the family moved to Indianapolis. Later he engaged in business for himself in Indianapolis, but sold out in 1885 and came to New Palestine. In 1886 Mr. Herrlich purchased the business of two undertaking establishments in New Palestine, combined them and enlarged the stock and added fine funeral equipment. Max Herrlich soon became known as an able and reliable man in his line of business and his patronage steadily increased, his skill as an embalmer and his tact as a funeral director enabling him to secure the business of a large territory in Hancock and adjoining counties. His energy, industry and integrity of purpose mad him one of the best-known men in Hancock county, and he was always interested in the welfare of the community. In 1902 Mr. Herrlich furnished the capital for the New Palestine waterworks system and he aided many other public enterprises.

On September 9, 1877, Max Herrlich was united in marriage to Mary Bechert, daughter of John Bechert, formerly a prominent business man of Indianapolis. To this union were born seven children, Emma, Lulu, Charles, Anna, Nellie, Julia and Luciel. Lulu is the wife of Frank H. Rafferty, of New Palestine, and they had three children, Maxine, who died in infancy; Lillian and Lenore. Anna is the wife of Shirley Hendryx and resides in Indianapolis. Max Herrlich died on April 27, 1909. He was a stanch supporter of the Democratic party and a member of the German Evangelical church.

Charles L. J. Herrlich was only ten months old when with his parents he came to New Palestine. He spent his childhood and youth here and attended the common schools and high school, graduating with the class of 1903 from the New Palestine high school. As an evidence of good scholarship it might be noted that owing to illness he was prevented from taking the final examination in the grammar school and a vote of the class was taken exempting him from taking the examination, which shows a high degree of proficiency in his studies. As a boy he helped his father in his undertaking establishment, assisting in the many and varied tasks which fell to his lot. At twelve years of age he began driving the hearse for his father and from that time on he assumed an increasing share of the responsibility. In May, 1908, he took a course at the Barnes Training School at Indianapolis. After completing this course he resumed his work at New Palestine. In May, 1909, he took a course in the Askin Training School of Indianapolis and on the completion of which he took the state board examination, which he passed successfully. After he received his state license he again resumed his profession as a funeral director.

On May 16, 1909, Charles L. J. Herrlich was married to Bessie May Breedlove, who was born in Moral township, Shelby county, October 23, 1885, and who was the daughter of Jasper Alonzo and Nancy (Creed) Breedlove. Jasper Breedlove was born in Shelby county, where he resided until 1900, when he moved to Indianapolis, where he now resides. His wife was also born in Shelby county and still survives. They were the parents of eight children, of whom the wife of the subject of this sketch is next to the eldest.

The business of Mr. Herrlich is now conducted under the firm name of Max Herrlich & Son, funeral directors, but Charles L. J. Herrlich is ably assisted by his sister, Emma Herrlich, also a member of the firm, like the subject of this sketch, since childhood, has grown up in the profession of her father, starting to assist him at the early age of thirteen years. At the age of sixteen, in November, 1895, she took a course in embalming under the auspices of the Massachusetts School of Embalming held in Indianapolis. After completing this course she again took her place with her father. Later, in March, 1900, she took another course with the Massachusetts College of Embalming and then took the state board examination in July, 1901, which she successfully passed, and she was the first female embalmer in the state. Her practical experience under the able instruction of her father makes her work a valuable adjunct to the success of the business.

Charles L. J. Herrlich, since assuming the direction of his father's business has almost completely remodeled their establishment. Among many up-to-date features is a modern office and a chapel which will seat a hundred and twenty-five people, also a well arranged garage and carriage repository. Among a few of the special features that might be mentioned is his automobile equipment. He has recently added a magnificent hearse, ambulance and casket wagon, each built to order on his own specifications and are among the finest in the state. He carries a complete line of caskets, ranging from the lowest in price to the most costly, in lead-coated steel, copper and brass, as well as a complete line of vaults. He also carries a complete stock of wearing apparel for burial purposes. The firm is composed of Mrs. Max Herrlich, Emma Herrlich and Charles L. J. Herrlich.

Charles L. J. Herrlich is a Democrat in politics. He is a member of the German Evangelical church and his wife is a member of the Friends church. He has been at different times presiding commiteeman for his party. He is a Mason, member of Lodge No. 404 of New Palestine; a member of the Knights of Pythias, Improved order of Red Men and Modern Woodmen of America; and has held the highest chairs in all of these lodges except in the Masonic lodge. He is a past chancellor of the Knights of Pythias, past sachem of the Red Men, past venerable consul of the Modern Woodmen of America and a junior deacon in the Masonic body. Mr. Herrlich is also a director of the New Palestine Telephone Company and was formerly president and director of the New Palestine Cemetery Association. He is one of New Palestine's most prominent and progressive citizens.

Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 1032-1034.

Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 31, 2001.

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