Willis T. Friganza, commercial manager of the Central Union Telephone
Company, of Cairo, Illinois, is a son of the late Commodore Friganza, one of
Mound City's best known men of affairs and a prominent figure there during
the Civil war period.
Mr. Friganza was born at Mound City, June 8, 1881, and is the only son of his parents, Commodore and Mary A. (Herrington) Friganza. He acquired his education in the public schools of Mound City and began his independent career while yet a youth as a laborer for the electric light plant of Mound City. Later he became an employe of the local telephone company, and during the eleven years he remained with this company he mastered every detail of the business. Success in any line of occupation, in any avenue of business is not a matter of chance but is the result of well-directed efforts. Faithful, thorough and efficient service in the behalf of these employers was not only to their advantage but to his own as well, for when his opportunity came for an advanced position he was qualified and prepared to avail himself of it, and on January 1, 1911, he came to the Central Union office in Cairo as local manager for the Bell Company.
In Mound City Mr. Friganza was united in marriage to Miss Alice B. Mertz, a daughter of Charles W. Mertz and a granddaughter of one of the prominent merchants of Mound City, a citizen there during the ante bellum days and a bosom friend of Commodore Friganza. Charles W. Mertz was reared in Mound City and is a well-known merchant of that city. Mr. and Mrs. Friganza have one son, Gilbert, born in 1907.
Mr. Friganza is a member of the Alexander and Commercial Clubs of Cairo, and fraternally affiliates with the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Extracted 05 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, by George Washington Smith, volume 3, pages 1393-1394.