Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 534 - 535
Charles T. Roenitz was one of the worthy German pioneers who came to this country poor in everything save industry
and perseverance, and by his own efforts accumulated a fortune. He was born in Saxony, Germany, May 12, 1823. Having
received a good common-school education in the schools of his native land, he commenced to learn the tanner's trade
at the age of eighteen, serving five years as an apprentice. After completing his trade, he traveled and worked
thereat for some four years. The year 1850 witnessed his emigration to America. Landing at New York City, he at once
went to Milwaukee, Wis., where he worked about six months, and then worked some eighteen months in Racine. In the
former city he was married, July 6, 1852, to Miss Lena Maas, a native of Holstein, Germany, who came alone to the
United States in 1851, stopping in Milwaukee.
Soon after his marriage, in 1853, Mr. Roenitz moved to Sheboygan, which has been the home of the family since. It
was then a small village and gave little promise of becoming the second manufacturing city in the State. The same
year of his arrival, he, in connection with his brother William, established the Roenitz Tannery. Their capital
consisted of the few hundred dollars saved from their hard earnings after coming to this country. The building in
which the business was started was in keeping with their capital, being a two-story frame, 25x40 feet. Besides
themselves they employed only one man. Their trade increased rapidly, which necessitated a corresponding increase
in the capacity of the plant. Upon the death of his brother in 1873, Mr. Roenitz of this sketch became sole
proprietor. The output of the tannery for the following year was seventy-seven hundred sides of leather. In 1880
Mr. Roenitz associated with him his sons, Frank L. and Charles H., and eight years later the C. T. Roenitz Leather
Company was incorporated, with a capital stock of $100,000, which has since been increased to $200,000. The first
officers were C. T. Roenitz, President; Frank L. Roenitz, Vice-President; and Charles H. Roenitz, Secretary. The
only official change w&s made at the death of the father in 1892, when Frank L. became President.
The Roenitz Leather Company is recognized as one of the substantial and important industries in Sheboygan. The
grounds comprise a whole block, and the main building is 100x471 feet, with an addition 77x126 feet, all four
stories in height. Besides, they have a pump-room, boiler-room and engine-room. Some idea of the business done may
be gained from the statement that about three hundred hands are employed, turning out a finished product of three
hundred and fifty thousand sides of leather for 1893. From a very small beginning, this vast enterprise has been
built up by the Roenitz family, father and sons.
Mr. Roenitz was as indefatigable worker, as honest as he was industrious, and as enterprising as honorable.
Politically, he was a stanch Republican, though he never cared for official distinction. On the 10th of February,
1892, he was called to his final rest, and on the 17th of July following his estimable wife joined him in the spirit
world. Of their eight children, five are living, as follows: Frank L.; Charles H.; Emma, who is the widow of C. H.
Stieglitz, and lives in Sheboygan; Ida, the wife of George Oberreich, of La Grange, Ill.; and Louis T., who resides
Of those who have built up the manufacturing interests of Sheboygan, none is more worthy of mention than C. T.
Roenitz. For nearly forty years he labored perseveringly to build up his business, and the result is one of the most
extensive industries of the kind in the State.
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