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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Gustav A. De Wilde

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 655 - 656

Gustav A. De Wilde, of Sheboygan, President of The F. G. Lintz Land Company, and wholesale dealer in wine and liquors, was born on the frontier of France and Germany in 1844, and was reared and educated in his native country. He emigrated to the United States in 1866, coming to Sheboygan, which he made his home.

His father, Edward De Wilde, was born in Belgium, on the German border, and was descended from Norman nobility. The court record of the nobility of Germany and France gives the genealogy of our subject's family back to 1679. His father was a wine-grower, a vintner and wine merchant of the "blue Moselle," and his paternal grandfather was a Collector of Customs between Belgium and Germany, and was descended from a family distinguished in official, literary and scientific circles. The grandfather and the great-grandfather of our subject held the position of Lieutenant-Governor of the Island of Sumatra, under the Dutch rule. The great-grandfather was an author of religious works, and a historian of note. The grandfather of our subject, Jean Michael De Wilde, was one of the highest and most distinguished Free Masons of Germany and France, of his day. He was a member of the Royal Lodge of Berlin (the "Thru Weldkugeln") and of the Oriental Consistory of Paris. He had the honor of being the first to receive Gen. Blucher on German soil after his return from the victorious field of Waterloo, and of introducing him to the Masonic Lodge of Aix-la-Chapelle. Our subject has the regalia and jewels of his distinguished ancestor. They are rich and rare relics, and as a worthy member of that ancient order he is justly proud of them.

Mr. De Wilde's father died in 1867, aged fifty-seven years, and his mother, whose maiden name was Catherine Kornreich, survived her husband some ten years. Mr. De Wilde left his home for America against the wishes of his parents, and on reaching Sheboygan found employment at various things until 1869, when he opened a wholesale and retain liquor house at No. 89 Washington Street, Chicago (where now the United States Express Company Building stands), and two years later was burned out in the great fire of October, 1871, whereby he lost all of his property and found himself $10,000 in debt besides. By the aid of good credit he was enabled soon to resume business as a wholesale liquor dealer and importer, which he carried on successfully until 1886, when he returned to Sheboygan and established his present business, which he has operated since, and in which he has been attended with prosperity.

On the 4th of October, 1869, Mr. De Wilde was married in Sheboygan to Miss Annie Lintz. Mrs. De Wilde was born in Sheboygan, and is a daughter of F. G. Lintz, a sketch of whom is found elsewhere in this volume. Seven children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. De Wilde, six of whom were born in Chicago, and one, Annie, here. Rose, the eldest, is the wife of William Meyer, Superintendent of the Globe Foundry Works; Edward, Frederick, Adolph, Gustav, Felix and Annie are the younger members of the family.

Mr. De Wilde is a Royal Arch Mason, a member of Lessing Lodge No. 557, A. F. & A. M., of Chicago; of Harmony Chapter No. 11, R. A. M.; of Schiller Lodge No. 68, I. O. O. F.; and of Sheboygan Lodge No. 81, K. of P.

Mr. De Wilde is the largest importer of wines and liquors in the district, outside of Milwaukee. His cellar is 20x90 feet, and well stocked. He makes a specialty of Rhine and Moselle wines, and handles also a select assortment of American, especially California, wines. His average stock amounts to about $25,000, which is partly in bonded warehouses in Kentucky and California. Besides his business building, a double brick, two stores high, he owns a fine residence near the lake, on the corner of Fifth and Ontario Avenues. Mr. De Wilde was the first of his family to make a settlement in America, and since coming here has been back and forth across the Atlantic nine times.


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