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 From the Portrait and Biographical Record of Sheboygan County, Wis., 1898:

Joseph Hammes, Jr., Page 451


JOSEPH HAMMES, Jr., is a native-born citizen of Sheboygan County, the date of his birth being January 11, 1865.  He is the eldest in a family of twelve children, of whom six sons and three daughters are still living.  His parents were Joseph and Theresa (Graetzer) Hammes.  The former is a native of Germany, his birth occurring September 6, 1827.  He was a miller by trade, and followed that business in his native land, but on coming to America he took up agricultural pursuits.  He is still living, as is also our subject's mother, who was born May 2, 1839, in Germany.  The father became a resident of the United States in 1854, when Sheboygan county was quite new, he being the first settler in the northern part of Sheboygan Township.  His voyage from his native land consumed three weeks, he having crossed from Antwerp, Belgium, to New York City.  The Indians were numerous, and there were no railroads in the county on his arrival.  He later aided in the construction of the first railroad built through these parts.  His first purchase of land was a tract of ten acres, held at $25 per acre, and the little cabin occupied by the family was 18 x 25 feet and only eight feet high.  There were only three or four houses in the northern part of the township for several years, and there was still plenty of wild game.  Mr. Hammes was possessed of no capital, with the exception of the sturdy German characteristics which almost always achieve success.  He is a Democrat, and with his wife holds membership with the Catholic Church of which Father Thill is pastor.  His farm comprises sixty acres of land, valued at $125 per acre.

    The brothers and sisters of our subject are as follows:  Katie, Theresa, John, Constant, Nellie, Tony, Peter and Frank.  Joseph Hammes received a good education, in both the English and German languages, in this county, and was given a practical business training, which has served him in good stead.  In a889, he started in life for himself as a contractor and builder and has been very successful in his undertakings.  Evidences of his skill and good workmanship may be seen in various parts of Sheboygan and adjoining townships.  He is a man of wonderful push and ambition, and at the present time gives employment to ten men, while he oftentimes supervises as many as eighteen.  He contracts for brick, stone, wood, and, in fact, all kinds of work, which is performed and completed in the most creditably manner.  He is kept constantly busy, and is known to be a man of the strictest honor and integrity.

    In his political sentiment, Mr. Hammes is a man of the Jeffersonian type, and has been very active in the political arena.  His first Presidential vote was cast for Grover Cleveland, and in 1892, at the solicitation of his many friends, he was made a candidate for Assemblyman of the Second District of this county.  He proved a formidable adversary, and had he canvassed the field as did his opponent, the latter would undoubtedly have met with defeat.  He would have succeeded anyway had the townships of Mosel and Holland been represented in the convention.  He is Supervisor of Sheboygan Township, the other members of the board being Charles Reis and A. Dragnet.  Charles Grasshorn is Clerk, and Fred Gotter is Treasurer.  At this writing, Mr. Hammes is Justice of the Peace of his township, and is a man in whom his people have full confidence.  Religiously, he is a member of the Catholic Church of Sheboygan.  He is interested to quite an extent in real estate in the city, owning six lots and three good residences.  His future is one of great promise, for, though young in years, he has already shown himself to be one who is bound to succeed in the various walks of life.