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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Hon. John Dassow

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 263 - 264

Hon. John Dassow is one of the most prominent citizens of Sheboygan Falls Township, and is a gentleman who is well known in all parts of the county. A native of Mechlenburg, Germany, he was born August 10, 1845, being the eldest of the eight children of Hans and Anna {Witt} Dassow. Five of the number are living. Henry resides in Sheboygan Falls Township, where he is engaged in farming: his sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. William carries on a farm in Taylor County, Wis.; Louis is a butcher by trade and lives in Minnesota; and Frank is a cabinet-maker of Milwaukee. The father was born 1823, in Germany, and is still living in the township. He was reared to the pursuits of a farmer, and received a common-school education in his native land. In 1861, with his family, he set sail from Hamburg, and after a voyage of forty days arrived in New York. They were in very meagre circumstances, and were compelled to borrow money to come to the West. On arriving in this county, the father and elder children worked at anything by which they could gain an honest livelihood, and by economy at the end of four years were enabled to purchase one hundred and thirty acres of partially improved land. This has since been the home our subject. His parents are members of the German Lutheran Church. The father is a Democrat in politics, and is respected and honored by all who know him.

John Dassow was a lad of sixteen years when he landed with his parents in Sheboygan County, and his education has been almost entirely owning to his personal application. He has always been active and ambitious, and commenced life at the bottom round of the ladder. He was industrious and economical, and at the time of his marriage had saved about $1,800.

On the 26th of June, 1871, our subject wedded Miss Sophia Schoenrock, a native of Germany, and a daughter of John Schoenrock, who came to America in an early day. Both he and his wife are still living and are residents of Sheboygan Falls Township. Mrs. Dassow, who received an education in both English and German languages, has been a devoted wife and mother. Their family of five sons and three daughters are all living. They are as follows: Emma, wife of Gustave Blanke, a farmer of this township; William, who is engaged in the milling business with his father, and lives at home; August, a merchant of Sheboygan Falls; Herman, a cheese-maker, who conducts the business for his father, Johnnie, Minnie, Alice and Eddie, who complete the family circle.

Among the valiant soldiers of the late war was Mr. Dassow, who enlisted in Company G, Thirty-sixth Wisconsin Infantry, under Col. Haskell, in the spring of 1864. After being at Camp Randall, at Madison, for a short time, he was ordered to the front and assigned to the Army of the Potomac, "the flower of the Federal forces." He participated in the battle of Cold Harbor, which was a hard-fought engagement in which the Federals were defeated. This was June 3, 1864, and the next engagement was the battle of Hatchie's Run, in which his regiment was under constant fire most of the time. At this time they went into winter quarters, and in the spring of 1865 followed up the enemy until the famous surrender at Appomattox. Our subject was an eye witness of the notable event of handing over the sword, in token of surrender, to the illustrious general, U. S. Grant. He was present at the Grand Review in Washington, one of the greatest military spectacles ever witnessed. In July, 1865, having received an honorable discharge at Jeffersonville, Ind., he returned to his home. During his service he was always present at his post, with the exception of three months when he was in the hospital. His record is a good one, and shows that he was true to his duties.

Officially, Mr. Dassow has served as Supervisor of his township seven years, and six years of the time has been Chairman of the Board, which office he now holds. He has been School Treasurer for twelve years, and is known to be a friend to universal education. He is now representing the Second District of Sheboygan County as an Assemblyman, and has faithfully used his influence for the good of his constituents, receiving therefore the unanimous support and encouragement of the people. It was on the 8th of November, 1893, that he was chosen to fill this important position. Fraternally, he is a member of Richardson Post No. 12, G. A. R., of Sheboygan Falls.

The farm owned by Mr. Dassow is a beautiful homestead of one hundred and ninety acres, most of which is under a high state of cultivation. It is improved and has a comfortable residence upon it. Our subject is proprietor of the Sheboygan County Mills, which have a capacity of about eight thousands barrels annually, the product being disposed of in Sheboygan. The plant was purchased in 1884 at a cost of $6,000, and to it has since been added valuable machinery, which will make a total cost of $10,000. The mill operated during the entire year, his son William taking entire charge of the business. It is run by water power and has a practical miller at the head. In addition to these enterprises, Mr. Dassow owns a half-interest in the feed store of Sheboygan Falls, and also owns a like amount in four cheese factories, one in connection with Fred Widder, another with August Twitchell, in Lima Township, a third with Henry Klemme in Sheboygan Falls Township, and another in Lima Township. He also owns and operates a factory on his own farm. His present transactions in the cheese factory business amount to $75,000 in money received, which shows that this is one of the lucrative enterprises of Sheboygan County. His various undertakings show that he is a remarkable energetic and active business man, full of energy and determination. In politics, he is a Democrat, and has been active since the time he cast his first Presidential vote of Hon. Horatio Seymour, in the campaign of 1868.

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