Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
AUGUST F. PRUGGER. It was the great philosopher Bacon who admonished us thus: "Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider." Whether August F. Prugger, foreman of the motor car room in the North Side Frisco shops, Springfield, was made acquainted with the above advice when a boy or not, he has always followed the proper course in his wide miscellaneous reading, believing with our own Benjamin Franklin that "reading makes a wise man," although our subject does not claim to be such. However, those who know him well have observed that he is well informed and is a close observer of everything that is going on about him. His honored father before him was such a man and evidently transmitted to his son many of his commendable characteristics.
Mr., Prugger was born August 18, 1863, at Whitewater, Wisconsin. He is a son of Joseph Prugger, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, where he grew to manhood, received a good education and there learned the trade of cabinet maker under his father, becoming an expert in the same. He remained in the Fatherland until he was twenty-nine years of age, then, about 1859, came to America in an old-fashioned sailing vessel, which required many weeks to make the long voyage. He landed in New York, and from there made a tour of the Southern states, finally locating in Walworth county, Wisconsin, where he continued his trade of cabinet maker, also worked at the: Esterly Reaper Works, and later removed to, Indianapolis, Indiana, where he worked at cabinet making for sixteen years. He then went to Illinois and worked at his trade in Mattoon and Marshall. We next find him in West Superior, Wisconsin, where he lived retired, later removing to. Milwaukee and made his home with one of his sons, dying there in 1910, at the age of eighty-six years, and was buried in that city.
The mother of our subject was known in her maidenhood as Mary Anna Ostermeyer. She was born in Bavaria, Germany, where she spent her girlhood and attended school, emigrating to America with her parents when fifteen years of age. The family located first in Milwaukee, later removing to Jefferson, Wisconsin, and there she resided until her marriage, at the age of eighteen. She is now living with her daughter, Theresa Prugger, and is now about seventy-six years of age.
Four children were born to Joseph Prugger and wife, three sons and one daughter, namely: Albert G. is employed by the Pawling & Harnishfeger Electric Crane Works at Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Frank, a contractor and builder of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was for some time vice-president of the Milwaukee Construction Company; August F., of this sketch; and Theresa, who has remained single and lives in Milwaukee, was connected with the knitting industries of Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and was long head forelady and very expert in her line; she is now connected with a large wholesale fur house.
The paternal grandfather of our subject was a well-to-do factory owner in Bavaria, Germany, making cabinets, furniture, etc. He spent his life in his native land.
August F. Prugger grew to manhood in Wisconsin and received a common school education, leaving school when sixteen years of age, and began working at the Esterly Coffin Works, but not taking to this line of business he turned his attention to the manufacture of furniture and then to machine work for the Esterly Harvester Works as machinist apprentice, at Whitewater, Wisconsin. After serving his apprenticeship he worked as journeyman for six years, then went to Beloit, Wisconsin, with the Williams Engine Works, building stationary engines. He worked in the Berlin Machine Works at Beloit, assembling sand paper machinery. On January 28, 1891, he went to work for the St. Louis & Frisco Railroad Company at Springfield, Missouri, and has been in constant service with this company ever since. He first worked as machinist, keeping machinery in repair, also worked in the pump department in the north side shops. He had become familiar with millwright work while at Whitewater, Wisconsin. At Beloit he helped install the machinery and worked there as millwright, and he has been working at this line for the Frisco here many years. He has installed machinery in many places over the Frisco System, such as Ft. Scott, Memphis, Birmingham and other points. He was appointed foreman of the north side shops about 1904, under Michael Carney, and he is now foreman of the motor car shops there, having about fourteen hands under his direction. Nearly all of the millwright work over the entire system is under his direction. He is an expert in his line and faithful in the discharge of his every duty.
Mr. Prugger was married in 1896 to Eva Sprohs, a daughter of John Sprohs, a native of Germany, but now living in Springfield.
To our subject and wife four children have been born, namely: John Joseph is a student in Conception College at Conception, Missouri; Clara, Theresa, and Henry are all at home, the Prugger residence being on Summit avenue.
Mr. Prugger is independent in his political views. He is a member of the Catholic church, and fraternally belongs to the Knights and Ladies of Security and the Improved Order of Red Men.
Springfield-Greene County Library