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Adolph Berger scrapbooks

Identifier: BC52


  • 1854 - 1912

Biographical Sketch

Adolph Berger, a German physician who practiced medicine in Lebanon, Illinois, was born about 1820 and educated at Heidelberg, Germany. While a student, he became attracted to the 1848 revolutionary movement. Following the failure of the revolutions in Germany, a number of political refugees – “Forty-eighters” – emigrated to the United States. Frederich Hecker, one of the refugees who had been a hero of the German revolution, had settled in the Belleville, Illinois, area. His presence attracted a number of young Germans to the Belleville-Lebanon area. Berger arrived in Lebanon in 1848 and began his medical practice on June 13, 1850. He continued to practice medicine in the same locality for the next fifty-three years.

Berger was active in civic affairs. He was a member of the St. Clair County Medical Society, Lebanon Chapter No. 62 of the Royal Arch Masons, Lebanon Town Board, Lebanon Board of Education, and a committee that coordinated the financing of the Mascoutah and Lebanon Railroad. Berger also supported the Lebanon public library and the local German singing societies. Like many of the 1848 German immigrants, he resisted the temperance and prohibition movement. Berger belonged to the Presbyterian Church. Berger married Cecelia Adams, the daughter of retired sea captain Lyman Adams. Berger’s first medical office was in the Mermaid Inn, a Lebanon hotel that Adams had opened during the 1830s. The Bergers had four children who grew to maturity. Julia married August Meyer of the St. Louis tobacco family in October 1887. They became the parents of three sons – Adolph, Lyman, and Louise.

Lyman Adams Berger graduated from McKendree College and studied medicine in Bonn and Vienna. He became a professor of obstetrics at University Medical College in Kansas City, where he was also secretary of the faculty. He married Lilly Dausman, a member of a prominent St. Louis real estate family, and they became the parents of three daughters – Hedwig, Lilly J., and Grace. When his wife died, Lyman married a Mrs. Sheldon from Syracuse, New York. Lyman was murdered in Kansas City in July 1897.

Albert L. Berger became a prominent Kansas City attorney. He served for a brief time as county auditor and was a delegate to the Fort Scott Convention. As a lawyer, he argued cases involving the Union Pacific Railroad and various insurance claims and once defended medical students who were caught robbing a grave. Albert also served as a professor of medical jurisprudence at the University Medical College in Kansas City. He married Estella J. Hecker, the only daughter of Arthur Hecker and a granddaughter of Colonel Frederick Hecker. Two children, Homer and Marie, were born to the couple.

William Elmer Berger was the cashier of the Jefferson Bank of St. Louis. He married the former Viola Richards of Lebanon in 1890. When Dr. Adolph Berger became ill in his later years, he made his home in St. Louis with his son and daughter-in-law. Until a few years before his death, the elder Berger collected newspaper articles concerning a variety of topics that interested him and pasted the clippings into large scrapbooks. These scrapbooks, which were compiled between 1892 and 1909, were probably a retirement project.

Adolph Berger died in 1912.


25.92 Linear Feet (109 volumes)

Language of Materials



German-born physician who practiced medicine in Lebanon, Illinois.

Scrapbooks of newspaper clippings relating to international and national events, local politics, famous personalities, and family matters. Topics include the Franco-Prussian War, Russo-Japanese War, Boer War, Spanish-American War, Cuba, Panama Canal, German unification, the Dreyfus case, McKinley assassination, San Francisco earthquake, the silver issue, temperance, Missouri machine politics, and the 1897 murder of Dr. Lyman Berger.
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collection Repository

112 North Sixth Street
Springfield IL 62701 US
(217) 558-8923