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Joseph G. End, Page 645
JOSEPH G. END, a prominent merchant of Sheboygan, is a native of Wisconsin, born in Milwaukee, November 8, 1846. He is the youngest of a family of eleven children born to Alois and Mary (Urberger) End. His parents were natives of Alsace, France, now Germany. They emigrated from Europe to America in 1836, settling at first near Buffalo, N. Y. In 1838 they removed to Joliet, Ill, thence to Chicago in 1839, and to Milwaukee in 1841. In 1855 they removed to Mayville, Dodge County, and in 1867 came to Sheboygan, where they spent their declining years. The father was born in 1797, and died in 1872. The mother's birth occurred in 1804, and her death March 5, 1891. Mr. End, Sr., was a merchant for many years. There were eleven children in his family, of whom three sons and two daughters, only, are living at this date, Joseph G. being the youngest of the family.
The subject of this sketch received his primary education in the public schools of Milwaukee, which was supplemented by a term at St. Francis' Seminary, at South Milwaukee. In 1855, he accompanied his parents to Mayville, Dodge County, Wis., where he resided until June, 1861, when he came to Sheboygan. He began his business career as a merchant's clerk in 1860, and on coming to Sheboygan he was employed in the same capacity with his elder brother George, and so continued until August, 1872, when he and Joseph F. Kent formed a partnership, under the firm name of End & Kent, purchased a stock of goods, and engaged in general merchandising. Their business prospered and was largely extended. This connection continued until terminated by the death of Mr. Kent in 1884. Mr. End, who purchased the business a few days before Mr. Kent's death, has since conducted it alone.
Mr. End was married in Sheboygan, July 2, 1868, to Miss Josephine Kent, a daughter of Alban and Wallburga Kent, and a native of Sheboygan. Mrs. End died June 16, 1881, leaving two sons, William George and Edgar Alban. William G. is a cashier in his father's store, while Edgar Alban is clerking for his father. On the 24th of November, 1883, Mr. End was married to Miss Mary Brenkle. Mrs. End was born in Buffalo, N. Y., and is a daughter of Leopold and Catherine Brenkle. One child was born of the latter marriage, a son named Arthur A.
For several years Mr. End did business in a building 19 x 75 feet. In 1889 he moved to his present commodious and elegant storeroom. He occupies a double store on the east side of Eighth Street, Nos. 521 and 523. The dry-goods department occupies a storeroom 40 x 100 feet on the first floor, fronting on Eighth Street, and the second floor is of the same size. The grocery department occupies an annex, 20 x 70 feet, fronting on Center Street, and extending back of the German Bank, and connecting with the rear of the dry-goods store. Taken together, they form the largest and most complete mercantile establishment in the county. Mr. End carries an average stock according to the season, amounting to from $25,000 to $30,000. This is the most important mercantile house in Sheboygan County, and the oldest dry goods house in continuous and uninterrupted business.
Mr. End is one of the organizers of the Sheboygan Merchants' Association, that had a existence in the grain business for twelve years. He was also one of the incorporators of the Sheboygan Coal Company, but has sold out his interest in that concern, and he was one of the incorporators of the Ackermann Institute in Sheboygan, of which he is President. That institute is a popular and successful inebriate asylum, having already accomplished much good for the unfortunate victims of the alcoholic and opium habits. (See sketch of the Ackermann Institute.)
In politics, Mr. End is a Republican, but has had neither time nor inclination for service in public office. He has devoted his energies to his business interests, and with marked success, as he stands to-day unquestionably the leading merchant in the county. His course in business has been distinguished by correct business principles, strict integrity and enterprise. It is to the influence of such men in committees that the feeling of safety is due that attracts capital to seek an investment, and tends to build up the varied interests that go to make up a prosperous and thriving commonwealth.
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