Ernst Aldag, Sr., a veteran of the Civil war, who has spent his active life in the blacksmith and carriage business and in the grocery and hardware trade, has since 1907 been practically living retired, although he is handling a real-estate and insurance business. He was born in Milwaukee county, town Nine, Wisconsin, May 18, 1844, and is the son of Ludwig Aldag, a native of Germany, who passed away in Milwaukee county when the subject of this review was but two years of age.
The mother, Sophia (Bahr) Aldag, came with the family to Sheboygan in 1846. In 1848 she married Henry Rodemarker, with whom she lived until 1854, when she was stricken with cholera and died. Ernst Aldag continued to live with his stepfather until the latter passed away in 1862. Mr. Aldag then enlisted in Company E of the Twenty-seventh Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, as a private and as he showed ability as a soldier he was made corporal in 1863. His enlistment in the army had been opposed by his stepfather but the spirit of patriotism was so strong that he was no longer able to turn a deaf ear to his country's call, even though obliged to go counter to the wishes of the man who had been so kind to him. His enlistment occurred June 18, 1862, and his period of service extended until October, 1865, or until the close of the war. He was present at the battle of Vicksburg, participated in the siege of Spanish Fort and in the battles of Saline River and Prairie de Aun, and numerous skirmishes around that section of the country.
Prior to his enlistment he had learned the blacksmith's trade and after the war was over he returned to Sheboygan and engaged in the blacksmith and carriage business, with which he remained connected for twenty-eight years, doing a successful and satisfactory business. He then went into the grocery and hardware trade in 1893 and his retirement from active labor occurred in 1907.
Mr. Aldag was married on February 3, 1867, to Miss Caroline Knocke, a daughter of Henry Knocke, an old settler of Sheboygan county, having here taken up his residence in 1860. To Mr. and Mrs. Aldag twelve children have been born. Otto, who is engaged in the grocery business in Sheboygan, is married and has one child. Emma is married to Martin Burhop and of her family of three children one is deceased. Lena is the wife of Rudolph Arndt, a miller, and they reside at Pigeon river. Henry is conducting a saloon on Eighth street in Sheboygan. He is married and has two children. Mena is the wife of William Sieffert, of Detroit, Michigan. Clara is married to Fred Sinz and they reside in Detroit, Michigan. Ernst Aldag, Jr., who is engaged in the plumbing and hardware business, is married and has two children. Bertha is deceased. Sarah is engaged in clerking and resides at home. Edwin, who is a plumber, is married and has one child. Hilda and Edna, who complete the family, both reside at home.
Mr. Aldag belongs to Gustave Wintermeyer Post, No. 187, G. A. R. His religious affiliation is with the German Lutheran church of Sheboygan and he was for five years president of its cemetery committee. His political allegiance is given to the republican party, in the affairs of which he takes a lively interest. In connection with the municipal government he has many times served on different committees and was for one year a member of the city waterworks commission, that being the year in which the waterworks system was taken over by the city. He has been a very active and helpful citizen of Sheboygan, always lending his assistance toward any cause looking to the betterment of the city and community. For four years he served in the city council representing the sixth ward. He was one of the leading spirits who assisted in organizing the city hospital and was one of the originators of the public library in 1903. For eleven years he was a member of the Volunteer Fire Company and has always been ready to help in any work which seemed necessary for the advancement of the city of his adoption. He has well earned the years of retirement he is now enjoying in his own comfortable home, surrounded by his family and by a large circle of friends by all of whom he is held in high esteem.
Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL