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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Ernst Kaestner

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 446 & 449

Ernst Kaestner, of Plymouth, is an early settler and the pioneer boot and shoe dealer of the city, he being one of the very earliest, if not the first, to engage in that line of business here. He was born in the city of Erfurth, Prussia, Germany, May 27, 1824, and is a son of David G. and Mary L. Kaestner.

Mr. Kaestner came to the United States with his father in 1839, and made his home in Utica, N. Y., where he learned the trade of shoemaker. In 1847 he removed to Milwaukee, Wis., and for many years was employed by Bradley & Metcalf, the pioneer boot and shoe manufacturers of Wisconsin.

In Milwaukee Mr. Kaestner was united in marriage with Catherine Schneifer, September 27, 1849. Mrs. Kaestner was a native of Germany. She died April 16, 1855, leaving three children: William C, who died in October, 1887; Louis J., of whom see sketch; and Mary, who became the wife of W. T. Kirkland, of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

In 1848 Mr. Kaestner removed to Sheboygan, where he conducted a shoe shop for a time, but later returned to Milwaukee. In the latter city he continued until 1850, when he removed to Plymouth and opened a shop.

Mr. Kaestner was married a second time in Milwaukee. This wife, whose maiden name was Lucy Bodien, bore him one child, a son named Theodore, who died when nine months old. Mrs. Kaestner died August 16, 1857. On the 27th of June, 1858, Mr. Kaestner was married to Johanna Albrecht, a native of Germany. Of this marriage there were two children born, a son and a daughter. Gustav wedded Frances Lintz, and resides in Sheboygan; and Amelia is the wife of Godfried Kegler.

Mr. Kaestner carried on the shoe business at Plymouth from 1850 to 1863, when he removed to Sheboygan Flails, where he bought an interest in a tannery business. The tannery was burned in 1866, and he again returned to Milwaukee, where he was engaged in the shoe business for a year. At the expiration of that time he returned to Plymouth and re-opened business here, which he continued until 1877, when he sold out to his sons, William and L. J. In 1882 he again took the business and continued it until 1885, when he again sold out and is now retired from active business.

In politics, Mr. Kaestner is a Democrat, and has served his city as Town Treasurer two terms. Socially, he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a citizen who is much esteemed and respected.

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