William F. Verheyen was born on 15 November 1866, the first of nine children of Herman and Mary (Crancer) Verheyen. He was baptized on 18 November at St. Joseph Catholic Church at 11th and Biddle in St. Louis, Missouri. His baptismal sponsors were his maternal grandfather, John Crancer, and paternal grandmother, Bartholomea (Zadelaer) Verheyen.

On 2 April 1882, he was the baptismal sponsor for his cousin, Charlotte Elizabeth, the daughter of his aunt, Margaret (Verheyen) Braun, at St. Liborius Catholic Church. In 1886, he was a witness at the marriage of his cousin, Frank Verheyen, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The 1884 St. Louis city directory lists him as a carpenter and, two years later, as a clerk at St. Louis Manufacturing Company, all the while living with his parents and paternal grandmother at 5229 Conde Street in St. Louis. In 1889, he was a clerk at Simons Hardware Company. He was elected the first treasurer of the Urban Dramatic Club of College Hill and he helped provide music at a birthday party in May 1889.

On 25 May 1892, he married Mary K. Zirkel at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church at 20th and Linton Avenue in St. Louis. Their first son, William Herman, was born on 10 May 1893, followed a year later, on 27 September 1894, with the birth of his second and last child, Paul Henry. According to the city directory, William was a bookkeeper at Mullanphy Manufacturing Company while residing at 2025 Alice Avenue where he lived the rest of his life. The 1900 Gould’s Taxpayer Directory valued his real estate at $1,600 and personal estate at $40. In 1896, he was the bookkeeper at Crescent Planing Mill Company where he become secretary in 1904 and president by 1907.

At the 1907 Mardi Gras, he and his wife were given a surprise “Hard Times” party at their residence, attended by his parents, siblings, and friends. There were games, dancing, and music plus a meal served before midnight, before Lent began.

Both of their sons played baseball and soccer. On 22 January 1911, their eldest son, William H., died of typhoid and pneumonia after being sick only a week.

William Verheyen
William Verheyen
Photo from Who’s Who in North St. Louis and in the Public Domain

In addition to his duties as president of Crescent Planing Mill Company, he was also a board member and later director of Lowell Bank per the 1925 Who’s Who of North St. Louis. When the Depression hit with a run on the banks in 1933, Lowell Bank, along with many others, was taken over by the state.

At the time of the 1930 census, William retired from the Crescent Planing Mill and selling real estate. He died on 9 January 1934 at the age of sixty-seven. He had been a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Men’s Sodality and the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. His wife survived him by nineteen years, passing away on 20 May 1953 with both buried at Calvary Cemetery.

(Information from church records, censuses, city directories, and newspaper articles)

Written by Joe Armour
July 2020

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Last Modified: 04-Feb-2021 12:34