WILLIAM C. SOMMER, senior member of the prominent jewelry firm of Sommer & Pierik, at No. 112 east side of the Square, has been in business in Springfield many years and is well known and honored. He is a native of New York State and was born in Buffalo January 27, 1849. He is a son of G. B. Sommers, who was born in Frankfort, Germany, and came to the United States about 1848, having previously married in the Fatherland Miss Fredericka Swartz. He was a jeweler by trade and worked at that in Rochester, N. Y., where he located in 1850. He remained there seven years and then went to St. Paul, Minn., whence he came to Springfield in 1859. He passed the remainder of his life here, dying October 24, 1874, and was actively engaged at his trade up to the time of his death. His wife did not long survive him, but died November 4 in the same year. They left an only son, our subject. The gentleman of whom we write grew to maturity in this city and completed his education in the Springfield Business College. Thus equipped he, with his father, worked for John B. Mayo, and our subject subsequently learned his trade of L. A. Allen, a prominent watchmaker. He then worked for nine months for Franklin Thorp and afterward for G. W. Chatterton, Sr., until 1868. In the month of December that year he went into business with his father, and after they closed out he established himself on his own account. In 1881 he sold out to accept the position of Superintendent of the Illinois Watch Company, which he retained till 1886, when he gave it up and established himself in business with Mr. John Pierik the 8th of the following November. They carry a large line of watches, diamonds, jewelry, etc., and have the largest and most prosperous trade in the city, amounting to about $35,000 or $40,000 a year. The marriage of Mr. Sommer with Mary A. Pierik, daughter of John and Mary Pierik, was solemnized May 9, 1871. Mrs. Sommer is a native of this city. Her union with our subject has been blest by the birth of two children—L. Allen and Carrie M. Mr. Sommer is a member of the Masonic fraternity. belonging to the Knights Templar and also to the Knights of Pythias. He is interested in the German American Loan and Building Association, and in whatever will forward the welfare of the citizens of Springfield or Sangamon County. He is a man of unquestioned honor and integrity and his standing in financial circles is of the highest.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Sangamon County, Illinois - 1891