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George Bodenstein, Page 217
GEORGE BODENSTEIN, deceased, was a pioneer business man of Sheboygan, of prominence and responsibility. He was born in Saxony, Germany, April 14, 1821, learned the tailor's trade in his native country, and was married there, on the 13th of April, 1847, to Miss Ernestine Hophf. Mrs. Bodenstein was also born and reared in Saxony, and is a daughter of John and Savina (Reckrod) Hophf. In 1854, Mr. Bodenstein, with his wife, emigrated to America, and settled in Sheboygan, Wis., being one of the early German pioneers of that city. On reaching Sheboygan, Mr. Bodenstein, being a poor man, worked at his trade as a journeyman tailor until 1860, when, having accumulated a small capital by industry and frugality, he opened a store for himself. Starting in a small way, he gradually increased and extended his business, and to secure more room for his growing trade, he erected the two-story brick building at No. 516 Eighth Street, where he carried on business until his last illness. His death occurred January 24, 1877.
Seven children, four sons and three daughters, were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bodenstein. Charles, the eldest, married Alvina Winter, and resides in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Martin A. married Jennie Roenitz, and is the senior member of the firm Bodenstein Bros., of Sheboygan; John G. is single, and is the junior member of the firm just named, of which see sketch elsewhere in this work; Louise became the wife of William Jung, of Sheboygan; Adolph married Carrie Berles, and is a resident of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Augusta is the wife of H. C. Prange, a leading merchant of Sheboygan (of whom see sketch); and Amelia lives with her mother. Mrs. Bodenstein survives her husband, and still makes her home in the Chair City, where she is held in high esteem by a large circle of acquaintances.
Mr. Bodenstein was a Democrat in politics, but never had time or desire for public office. He was a consistent member of the German Lutheran Church, as is also his family. Mr. Bodenstein led an active and a useful life. He sought a home in the New World, where he hoped to receive a better return for his labor than was possible in the old, and where he could rear his children under the broader privileges of a free government. By patient industry and fair dealing he built up a large and prosperous business, and accumulated a good property. In his life he was plain and unassuming, of strict integrity, and devoted to his wife and children. He was the founder of a large family in this country, and had the satisfaction of seeing his children grow to be useful and respected members of society. As years go by, his descendants may turn to this brief sketch of their common ancestor with interest and pleasure.
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