About Frederick Wilhelm Fout
Medal of Honor recipient. Frederick W. Fout, a successful claim and pension attorney was born in the little town of Meissen, near Buckeburg, Germany. His father, Frederick Wilhelm, was the village blacksmith of the little town of Meissen. His parents were thrifty and economical, and fully comprehending the benefits of a good education, kept the boy in steady attendance at the school of his native village, which he left at the age of fifteen to go out into the world and seek his fortune. Sailing for America, his journey ended at New Palestine, Indiana, where an uncle lived, and with whom he made his home. There he continued his studies until he decided to become altogether independent, and engaged himself with a carpenter to learn the trade. After his apprenticeship was completed he worked at his trade in Indianapolis and in Franklin, Indiana, but he laid aside his saw and plane to enter Franklin Academy. This was in 1859, and he attended school in the winter and returned to his carpenter work in the summer, until spring 1861. He was filled with an intense patriotism for his adopted country's cause and at the beginning of the war in April 1861 enlisted at Indianapolis as a private in Company O, Seventh Indiana Infantry. The regiment participated in the battles of Philippi, Laurel Hills, and Carrick Fort, all in West Virginia, but as the men had only enlisted for three months, they were ordered back to Indianapolis and mustered out in August. But the young Fout had enlisted in the beginning with determined and patriotic motives, which were not in the least abated by the service he had seen, and he accordingly at once re-enlisted in an artillery regiment. The latter was broken up by internal dissensions but each battery entered the service as an independent organization. In January, 1862, Fout was made an orderly Sergeant of the 15th Indiana Independent Battery, and in August the same year was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. On September 15, 1862, Fout voluntarily gathered the men of the battery together, remanned the guns (which has been ordered abandoned by an officer), opened fire on the enemy and kept it up until after the surrender of his command.
For this action, he was awarded the Medal or Honor on November 2, 1896. In January 1864 he was made 1st Lieutenant and after that time was continuously in command of the Battery. He served under Generals McCleland, Miles, Burnside, Schofield, Sherman, and Cox; and was mentioned incidentally by Sherman (in his papers) that it was Lieutenant Fout's guns that fired the first shell into Atlanta. Fout became a United States Citizen in 1865 and married his former German school master in New York in 1866. After the honeymoon the young couple returned to Indianapolis, where he became interested in the glass manufacturing business. He and three other men started the first glass manufacturing business in the West (Indiana).
After a number of years owning other commercial businesses after leaving the glass company he came to St. Louis, Missouri in 1881. For seven years was considered by the Missouri Glass Company as their most valuable traveling salesman. However, he resigned the work so he could spend more time with his wife, two sons, and a daughter.
Surveying the field after his resignation, he decided to go into the claim and pension business. He trained for this position and was admitted to the practice before the governmental departments in Washington. He headed one of the most extensive and successful pension and claim businesses in the West.
In addition to his large practice, he spent considerable time building houses and business in the city of St. Louis (In 2005, two of his buildings still stand)