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Fred Koehn, Jr., Page 694
FRED KOEHN, JR., President of the American Manufacturing Company, is one of the leading merchants and progressive business men of the Chair City, in which he was born December 8, 1860. His father, who also bore the name of Fred, was born in Lenzerselge No. 3, Brandenburg, Germany, January 5, 1837, and with his parents came to the United States, landing at Sheboygan in 1853. This gentleman is a son of Fred Koehn, the pioneer fisherman of Sheboygan, who record is given elsewhere in this work.
Mr. Koehn, the father of the subject of this sketch, received his education in his native land. In the Evergreen City he was married in 1857 to Miss Sidonia Seifert, who was born in Saxony, Germany, and came to this country the same year as did her husband. In 1860, he opened a general store on the south side of the Sheboygan River, at No. 735 Indiana Avenue, where he continued the business for some thirty years, and where his sons, Henry and Martin, are still conducting the same line of trade. In 1865 Mr. Koehn also established a store at No. 428 Eighth Street, where the gentleman whose name heads this record now does business. He was an acknowledged leader in business circles, and in his death the city lost one of its best financiers and citizens. His death occurred October 22, 1890. A few months prior to that time he disposed of his business interests to his sons. In persona appearance Mr. Koehn was of stout and rugged build; of medium stature, he weighed two hundred and eighty pounds. Politically, he voted with the Republican party, though he gave himself little concern about political affairs. In the Lutheran Church he was an active worker, as is also his wife, who still survives. In all his dealings with his fellow-man he was liberal and just. Conservative in all things, conscientious to a high degree, modest in his demeanor, he was a great lover of home and of all those refining influences which tend to make life worth living.
Mr. Koehn had eleven children, ten now surviving. Emily married Prof R. Pieper, an instructor in Concordia Seminary, at Springfield, Ill.; Minnie wedded Dr. Franz Pieper, a leading light in the Lutheran Church; Fred Koehn, Jr., is the next in order of birth; William is an engineer of Sheboygan; Henry and Martin are merchants of the same city; Sidonia is the wife of Gustav Gunderson; Paul is a traveling salesman for the Crocker Chair Company; Hattie assists in the store of our subject; and Walter is book-keeper for the American Manufacturing Company.
We now take up the personal history of Fred Koehn, Jr., who is recognized as one of the energetic business men of his native city. Until fourteen years of age he attended the parochial schools, after which he clerked in his father's store until 1882. The succeeding five years he was traveling salesman for the Phoenix Chair Company, having a large field to work and making an exceptional record. In 1887, he helped to organize the American Manufacturing Company, of which he is now President. From 1888 until June, 1890, he was with the Sheboygan Chair Company, but at the expiration of that period bought his present store, where he conducts one of the largest mercantile establishments in the city, giving employment to some fifteen clerks. In 1892, he helped to organize the F. Koehn Fish Company, of which he is Vice-President.
Mr. Koehn was married May 16, 1888, to Miss Beatrice, daughter of Carl Zillier, whose record will be found upon another page. Of this marriage has been born one child, Julia Sidonia. The husband adheres to the faith of the Lutheran Church, and the wife to that of the Episcopal Church. Mrs. Koehn is a lady of superior mental endowments, and as a business woman has no peer in this part of the State. With every detail of her husband's business she is thoroughly acquainted, and every day may be found in the store working by his side, advising or superintending affairs.
In his business undertakings Mr. Koehn has been remarkably successful, for having commenced on a salary of $20 per month, $15 of which were paid for board, he has accumulated valuable property through his own push and business enterprise. Both his father and grandfather were able to set him up in business, but they thought, as many others do, that one who establishes himself in any calling is more certain of ultimate success than he who receives assistance from others.
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