Joseph works at his shop...

Joseph Villiger, Blacksmith

March 15, 1874 March 20, 1945

     Joseph was born in Meienberg, Switzerland to Anton and Verena Ritter Villiger.

     He was united in marriage with Miss Catherine Arnold of Menzingen, Switzerland in Zurich, Switzerland on March 30, 1897. Two children were born to them, Carl Villiger and Elsie Villiger Reising.

     Joseph came to Metamora in early 1906 and leased a local blacksmith shop from Sam Gauteche. After several months of business, his wife and 2 children joined him from Switzerland. For 32 years he worked as a blacksmith and farrier. He developed many new inventions and applied for patents; one being an improved wagon bolster. In 1938 he disposed of the business and retired to working around the house and garden. The blacksmith shop rebuilt in the 1920s still stands today at 308 E. Partridge in Metamora, Illinois.

From the Metamora Herald dated March 23, 1945

Jos. Villiger is Dead After an Illness of Two Weeks at Home. Joseph Villiger, 71, retired blacksmith and an esteemed citizen of Metamora for 39 years, died at his home in Metamora at 6:50p.m. Tuesday. Though he had been suffering from a heart ailment for some time, he became seriously ill only two weeks before his death.

     He was a progressive citizen, much interested in the upbuilding of Metamora, during his years here erecting a new residence and a shop building and being a large contributor toward the paving of the two blocks west of the north side of the square to the railroad.

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