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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Henry Foeste

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 652 - 653

Henry Foeste, one of the pioneer settlers and wealthy citizens of Sheboygan County, claims Germany as his native land. He was born in Altstederfeldmark, Herford, Westphalia, Germany, May 17, 1827. His father, August Foeste, was a wagon-maker by trade. His mother, who bore the maiden name of Isabella Cook, died in the Old Country. They had seven children. The following are living: Johanna, widow of Peter Landwehr, a resident of Sheboygan; Frederick, in Germany; Fredericka, the widow of Henry Wide; and Mr. Foeste, of this sketch, who is the youngest.

Until fifteen years of age young Henry spent his time in school and in his father's shop, then commenced in earnest to learn the trade of wagonmaker, continuing the same until his departure for America. In 1847, accompanied by his father, he sailed for America, arriving the same year in Sheboygan, which then consisted of about twenty-five houses. After working about a year at his trade, he secured employment in the old Globe Foundry, his part being to set up plows. He continued to work in the foundry until it burned, when he, Philip Meyer and Albert Schmidt, the three best workmen in the foundry, bought what was left of it, and began Business for themselves. Mr. Foeste had accumulated some money, but the other two had to sell their small homes to raise the necessary funds to put the foundry in running order. All three were industrious, hard-working men, and, as a result, success crowned their efforts. For some-thirteen years this partnership continued, when Mr. Foeste purchased the interests of his partners, but later took in Mr. Meyer as partner again. In 1881 Mr. Foeste sold his interest in the foundry, and has since devoted himself to the care of his extensive property interests. Mr. Foeste has always had faith in the permanent growth of Sheboygan, and as his means would allow built or purchased stores and residence property. He has put up two stores on Eighth Street, has built about a dozen residences, and has erected a fine hotel at the corner of Eighth and Ontario Streets, thus adding not a little to the growth and prosperity of the city.

Mr. Foeste was married May 27, 1850, to Miss Marie Prange, a native of Wietzen, Neuemburg, Hanover, Germany, born April 25, 1830, and in 1845 came to the United States with her parents, Henry and Marie (Diers) Prange, who were among the first German settlers of Sheboygan County. Her father died in 1849, and her mother in 1881. Of their six children, four are living, three sons and a daughter.

Mr. and Mrs. Foeste had seven children, but death has claimed two of them. The living are all residents of Sheboygan. Emma is the wife of Herman Rakow; Sophia married Herman Schreier; Otto is Assistant Cashier of the German Bank; Arthur looks after his own and father's property interests; and Alvine is at home. Both Mr. and Mrs. Foeste were reared in the faith of the Reformed Church.

Mr. Foeste has never taken any part in political affairs, preferring to devote himself to his own business interests, and from a financial standpoint, he has been a marked success. Starting here a poor man, he has by industry and judicious investment become recognized as one of the wealthiest men in Sheboygan County.

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