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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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William Joachim Rietow

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 703 - 704

William Joachim Rietow, Treasurer of the Crocker Chair Company, is a representative of one of the earliest families of this county, being a son of Ernst and Anna (Kurt) Rietow, who were born in Mecklenburg, Germany, and came to the United States in 1848. The voyage from Hamburg to New York was made in ninety days. Having spent three months in Buffalo, N. Y., the family came to Sheboygan County. The father, who was a cabinet-maker by trade, carried on a furniture business from 1848 to 1852 in the Chair City. Disposing of his business, he removed to a farm in the town of Wilson, where, in connection with farming, he engaged in fishing. In 1855 he returned to the city, and built a furniture store at No. 812 Eighth Street, which he conducted until his death in 1868. He was a man of good business ability and one whose course in life was marked by strict integrity and honorable dealing. In the prime of manhood he was called from his earthly home. His widow survives, making her home in Sheboygan. They had five children, one of whom has joined the father in the spirit world. The survivors are Mrs. H. A. Herbst, a resident of Sheboygan; Mrs. Louis Gutsch, of the same city; George H., a grocer of Sheboygan; and the subject of this sketch, who was the second eldest child.

W. J. Rietow was born on a farm in Wilson Township, August 22, 1855. Being left fatherless at the age of twelve years, he early in life had to depend upon his own resources for a livelihood. For several years he worked at the cabinet-maker's trade, but desirous of becoming a civil engineer he pursued such studies as would best fit him for that calling in the Northwestern University at Watertown, Wis., for three terms, in 1873-74, hut, on account of delicate health, he was advised by his physician to abandon that calling. Too young to decide for himself, he followed the suggestions of his adviser. Soon after, he completed a commercial course at the Spencerian Business College at Milwaukee, and on his return home clerked three months for J. H. Plath & Co. In February, 1876, he accepted the position of book-keeper for the Sheboygan Carriage Company, remaining with that concern four years. In 1880, at the organization of the Crocker Chair Company, he associated himself with the new enterprise and was chosen Treasurer of the company, which position he has held continuously since, with the exception of two or three years, when he was engaged in the grocery business with his brother, George H.

For a companion Mr. Rietow chose Miss Amelia Telgener, a native of this city, where their marriage was celebrated June 6, 1883. They have three children: Florence, Rhoda and Annakurt.

Mr. Rietow takes quite an active part in political affairs, being a stanch Republican. For three terms he has served as a member of the City Council, in 1884, 1885 and 1892. He is at present a member of the Board of Cemetery Commissioners. Socially, he is a Knight-Templar Mason, belonging to the Lodge and Chapter at Sheboygan, and to the Commandery of Fond du Lac.


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