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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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C. Henry Pape

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 670 - 671

C. Henry Pape, who has for many years been identified with the dairy interests of Sheboygan County, was born December 22, 1839, in Benginson, Hanover, Germany. His parents, Conrad and Caroline Pape, were natives of the same place. While in Germany, the father earned a livelihood working as a whip-sawyer. In 1848, the parents and six children, three sons and three daughters, sailed from Bremen to New York. The voyage was a long and tedious one, consuming forty-nine days. Coming direct to Sheboygan, both parents died in the house in which C. H. Pape now lives, the father aged eighty-nine, and the mother eighty-seven years. Of their children, five are now living.

Mr. Pape of this sketch was the fifth in order of birth of the above family. His chance for an education was very meagre, and all told he attended school not more than a year. His first experience as a wage-earner was with Frank Stone & Co. When about eleven and a-half years of age, he engaged to unpack some crockery for that firm, and remained with them three and a-half years. For the succeeding seven years he was employed as clerk by C. T. Moore.

About that time, December 22, 1862, Mr. Pape wedded Miss Lizzie J., daughter of Newcomb J. and Martha (Wescott) Van Arnani, both of whom, as well as Mrs. Pape, were natives of New York State. After marriage, our subject farmed a year in Illinois, and then returned to the Evergreen City, and clerked aboard the propeller "Union," running between Chicago, Duluth and Superior. At the same time he dealt in grain and produce. In 1864, he and J. B. Cole started the first exclusively boot and shoe store in Sheboygan. In January of the following year, he and Joseph Keseberge engaged in the dry-goods and grocery business. After four years of hard work, they found that they had made practically nothing, owing to the constant decline in prices, resulting from the close of the war. In 1869, Mr. Pape rented a farm of two hundred and fifty-two acres, and commenced the dairy business, continuing the same until the present time. He has rented that same farm during all these years. For the last five years he has also run the Albert Smith farm, consisting of eighty acres. He keeps about one hundred milk cows, of the best grade. In 1891 he removed to Sheboygan, where he has a comfortable home.

Mr. and Mrs. Pape have a family consisting of four children: George N., who assists his father in conducting the dairy business; Martha W., who received a musical education in this country, and is a singer of recognized ability; Jennie M. and Carrie L., who are yet in school. All of the children are still under the parental roof.

Until four years ago Mr. Pape was a Republican in politics, but since that time he has affiliated with the Democratic party. Socially, he is connected with the Masonic fraternity. He is manager and one of the Directors of the Sheboygan Exposition and Driving Park Company, of which he was President three years. For five consecutive years he was President of the Sheboygan Agricultural Society, and to the people of Sheboygan County, among whom he has lived for forty-five years, he is well and favorably known.

Mr. Pape has seen the rich and highly improved county of Sheboygan when it was almost an unbroken forest. He need not be told of the incidents of pioneer life, for he has passed through them all. When his parents first came to this county, they lived in a shanty of quite an inferior sort. Where stood the frontiersman's log cabin and the Indian's wigwam, have been erected elegant homes; the forests have been cleared away, swamps drained, cities and villages built, and all this transformation has taken place within the memory of our subject.

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