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George Thies, Page 609
GEORGE THIES, of Sheboygan, is one of the well-known pioneers of that place. He was born in the kingdom of Hanover, March 24, 1815, and is a son of Henry and Leonora (Helms) Thies. His father was a musician and turner by occupation. The parents of our subject died in their native land, Germany, the father at the age of seventy-five years, and the mother some three years later. Their family consisted of seven children, five sons and two daughters, of whom George Thies is the only one who has come to America. The eldest of the family was Frederick, who died January 23, 1893, at the age of eighty-two years, and was buried on his birthday, having died three days previously. He left three daughters, his only son having died at the age of seven years. Caroline was the second in order of birth, she married, and at her death left two sons. George was the third. Louis died in 1892, and was buried on the day that the feast of Pentecost was celebrated. Carl, the next in order of birth, served in the army for a time, when he was discharged because of sickness, after which he held some official position for a time, and is now a pensioner for service in the army under the King of Hanover. William was a baker by trade, who died suddenly a number of years ago, leaving one son. Sophie became the wife of a Mr. Balke, but is now a widow.
George Thies received a good education, and was engaged in teaching in his native country from the age of eighteen years until he was thirty-three years old. At the end of that time, in 1846, he decided to come to America. He had contemplated such a course for a number of years, but his parents would not give their consent, and in deference to their wishes he waited, until finally they consented.
He landed in New York in July, 1846, after a passage of fifty-six days. His objective point was Missouri, where he had an acquaintance living, and where he intended to engage in teaching, and also in preaching. However, he was taken sick on the way between Chicago and Ottawa, Ill. At the latter place he lay sick for about three weeks, and when he recovered was induced to work in a candle factory. He worked there for a time, but did not like the business, and so went to Chicago, where he remained until coming to the Evergreen City. In this city he gave private lessons in German, tuned pianos, etc., and also paid especial attention to learning the English language. He came to Sheboygan from Chicago in 1847, and engaged in this city as a clerk for Charles Moore in a general store. About two years later Moore discontinued business, and Mr. Thies was employed in the same capacity in the hardware store of William King. In the fall of 1853, he was elected on the Republican ticket as Sheriff of Sheboygan County, and served two years.
Mr. Thies was married in Sheboygan, June 28, 1849, to Wilhelmine Zoerner, who was born in Saxony, on the 3d of October, 1823. On May 1, 1861, Mr. Thies with his wife and their only child, Minnie, left Sheboygan for a visit to his old home in Europe, and was absent over a year.
For a short time after his return, Mr. Thies was engaged as clerk for John Bertschy. In the fall of 1863 he was elected Clerk of Sheboygan County, and served a term of two years in that capacity. After the expiration of his official duties, he was engaged for a length of time in giving instruction in music, and also taught German for one year in the High School. He was variously employed for a number of years, when he retired from active business.
Mr. Thies was bereft of his wife, whose death occurred September 18, 1889. They had but one child that grew to mature years, Johanna Minnie Sophie, born July 13, 1850. She married Hans Scheer, and died April 23, 1885, leaving a son and a daughter, George and Gertha.
In his religious beliefs, Mr. Thies is a Lutheran. He is a well-known citizen, and has ever had the respect and confidence of his fellow-men.
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