Major Charles PETRI, born July 27, 1826, in Braunschweig, was a graduate of the high school in Bernburg. He then studied architecture and engineering at the polytechnical college in Munich. Owing to the revolutionary disturbances in Europe he decided to come to America, and left Bremen June 24, 1848, on the sailing vessel Emerald, landing in Philadelphia August 15. Coming west, he spent the fall and winter with a German farmer in Breckenridge County, Kentucky. The following fall he bought 250 acres of land near Cloverport, Kentucky, and went to farming for several years. This not being a success, he decided to come to Quincy, where he arrived in March 1853. Here he, with Dr. Frank DRUDE, rented a farm fourteen miles southeast of Quincy. The crops proving a failure, Charles PETRI decided to quit farming and devoted himself to his calling, that of a civil engineer. He was engaged as surveyor on the line of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, which was completed in 1856. Then he returned to Quincy and became assistant to B. I. CHATTEN, city engineer and county surveyor. In 1858 he was appointed engineer on the Quincy & Toledo Railroad. In 1859 he was elected city engineer, serving for three years. When the Civil war broke out, Charles PETRI was elected as captain of Company H, the German company of the Sixteenth Illinois Infantry. December 1, 1862, he was promoted as major, and was attached to the staff of Gen. James D. Morgan, as topographical engineer. January 2, 1865, he was honorably discharged, and in the following April received his commission as lieutenant colonel. In June 1865, he bought the Quincy Tribune, a German daily, and weekly paper, which he published and edited for some time. He also was county surveyor, engineer of the Quincy, Missouri & Pacific Railroad, again elected as city engineer, and finally assistant engineer of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railraod, a position which he occupied from 1877 until his death, November 11, 1887. Charles PETRI aways took a great interest in the welfare of his adopted county, a fact which was proven by his service in the army during the days of the Civl war. Although a republican, he was six times entrusted with a public office in a democratic community. He was married three times and left three children, one son, Thomas H. PETRI, an attorney, and two daughters.
QUINCY AND ADAMS COUNTY, HISTORY AND REPRESENTATIVE MEN by David F. Wilcox. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919. p. 410-411.