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Robert Preussler, Page 709
ROBERT PREUSSLER, Vice-President and Manager of the Sheboygan Novelty Company, has made Sheboygan County his home for forty-three years. Born in Schlesing, Germany, September 28, 1844, he accompanied his parents, Ernst and Caroline (Frempter) Preussler, who were natives of the same locality, to the United States. His father was a shoemaker by trade, to which he devoted his energies as long as he lived in the Fatherland, conducting a shop of his own. In 1850 the family, consisting of the parents and three children, sailed from Bremen to New York City. Coming immediately to Sheboygan County, the father purchased forty acres of land near Plymouth, but for five years worked at his trade in the latter place. Then moving to his farm, he began its cultivation and improvement, and by additional purchase increased it to one hundred and twenty acres. On the farm both he and his wife spent their last days. Industrious and frugal, they sought to make a good home for themselves and their children, all of whom are still living, as follows: Robert, of this sketch; Adolph, Treasurer of the Sheboygan Novelty Company, spoken of elsewhere in this work; and Matilda, who is the wife of Ferdinand Steinhardt, of Sheboygan.
Being the eldest child, Robert Preussler early became familiar with farm work. During the winter seasons a short time was spent in the district schools. A short time prior to reaching his majority, on the 18th of June, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Katie, daughter of Henry and Mary (Schmutzler) Russler. Mrs. Preussler was born April 12, 1840, in Ober Franken, Bavaria, Germany, and at about the age of fifteen years came with acquaintances to the United States. In 1869 her parents visited this country, but soon returned to Germany, where the mother died. In 1876 the father returned to America and lived with his daughter, Mrs. Preussler, until his death, in 1886. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Russler were seven in number, but only two are living, Mrs. Preussler, and Anna, wife of Paul Rossmann, a resident of Clark County, Wis.
Some two years after his marriage, Mr. Preussler moved to Plymouth and learned the trade of carpenter, at which he worked for about fifteen years, the last eight or nine years taking contracts. In 1881 he and his brother Adolph began the manufacture of furniture in Plymouth in a small way, employing some fifteen hands. Those were hard times for the brothers. Having very little capital, they used every legitimate means to raise money to put the business on foot, even mortgaging their homes. Their faithful efforts were rewarded with success, and they had the satisfaction of seeing the business outgrow the capacity of their quarters. Some years ago they organized a stock company, known as the Preussler Brothers' Manufacturing company, with a capital of $50,000, the subject of this sketch being Vice-President and Manager. A large factory was erected, and some seventy-five hands employed. In 1890 the Preussler brothers sold their interest, and the name of the company has been changed to the Plymouth Furniture Company. Prior to disposing of their interests at Plymouth, the Messrs. Preussler came to Sheboygan and were the leading spirits in organizing the Sheboygan Novelty Company, with a capital of $30,000. They employ about eighty hands in the manufacture of a combined book-case and writing-desk. The officers of the company are: C. B. Freyberg, President; R. Preussler, Vice-President and Manager; A. Freyberg, Secretary; and A. Preussler, Treasurer.
Politically, Mr. Preussler of this sketch is a Republican, but takes no active part in political affairs. Unto himself and wife have been born three sons. William, who assisted in the office, is now a traveling salesman for the company; and Otto and Charles are also employed in the business.
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