L. J. WALLICH,
the present editor and proprietor of the Altamont News, claims Pennsylvania as the State of his nativity. He was born
in Franklin County on the 20th of February, 1828, and when
a lad of eight summers removed with his parents to Richland
County, Ohio. This was in 1836. The family located upon
a farm in the Buckeye State, and in the usual manner of farmer lads
our subject spent his youth.
During the winter season he attended the common schools,
where he acquired his education, and in the summer months he aided in the labors of the farm. After eleven years
spent in Ohio, the family again made a journey Westward.
On the 27th of June, 1847, they started for Illinois, and located in Knoxville, where our subject pursued a full course
of study under the direction of Prof. I. S. Lemmon. The city of Galesburg was not then incorporated, and in that
city was located the first school of note in Knox County.
In February, 1851, Mr. Wallich went to Morgan County, Ill., and engaged in teaching school until the following
September. In the meantime, on the 4th of May, 1851, he married Miss Christiana Long, and in September removed
to Knoxville, where he engaged in carpenter work. In
a few years he had gained an excellent reputation in his business and had become a prominent contractor, often
employing as many as twenty-five workmen, but unfortunately he was overcome with the heat in the summer of 1867,
and this so prostrated him that he was unable to work for some time. After two years of intense suffering, he and
his wife removed to Arenzville, Cass
County, Ill., and he engaged in teaching school in June,
1869. After a few years he opened a small furniture store, and in 1874 embarked in newspaper work. Ten years later
he established the Arenzville Advance, the first paper established in that place.
It was a successful enterprise, but he later contracted for the Altamont News, of which he took charge August 2, 1885.
The patronage was then very small, and the advertisers could be counted on the fingers of one hand. The town numbered
six hundred and fifty inhabitants, and did a business of about $50,000 per year. Owing to the business ability
and enterprise of Mr. Wallich, the News has now a good circulation and is crowded
with advertisements. The village has a population of sixteen hundred and fifty, and its business amounts to $1,500,000
annually. It is the only place of its size in the State where the inhabitants have no village taxes to pay, and
at this date, May 5, 1893, it has no outstanding debts and has $3,500 in the treasury.
Mr. Wallich has held a number of public offices of honor and trust. He was elected Sunday-school Superintendent
when he was only seventeen years of age, and has filled that position for almost a quarter of a century. He formerly
belonged to several secret societies, but now holds membership with only the Ancient Order of United Workmen. At
this writing, Mr. Wallich is sixty-five years of age, and his health is now better than it was at any time between
the years 1867 and 1886. He is recognized as one of the valuable and prominent citizens of Altamont,
and is held in the highest esteem by his fellow-townsmen. He uses the News for the benefit of the community, and under
his guidance that paper has played an important part in bringing to a successful issue many important questions
and interests which have been up before the people.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and
Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors
of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 203. Transcribed by
Judy Rosella Edwards.