The growth and prosperity of a city do not depend so much upon the machinery of government or even upon men who fill public offices as upon those who are active in business circles. No longer is the history of a country the record of wars or conquests but the record of mind over matter, and those who are foremost in a community are those who are capable of establishing and developing important business projects which push forward the wheels of progress.
In this connection Otto Aldag deserves more than passing mention. He is prominent as a merchant of Sheboygan and as the secretary of the Business Men's Association is doing much to promote commercial and industrial relations at large and to exploit the advantages of the city. He was born in this county November 7, 1867, and is a son of Ernst Aldag, who is living in Sheboygan at the age of sixty-eight years.
The family is an old and prominent one in this part of the state, the name ever having been a synonym for honor and activity in business and for progress in citizenship. Otto Aldag is the eldest in a family of twelve children, of whom eleven are yet living, those beside our subject being: Emma, the wife of M. Burhop; Carolina, the wife of R. Arndt; Henry, who is proprietor of a saloon in Sheboygan; Minnie, the wife of William Seifert, of Detroit; Clara, the wife of Fred Sinz, of Detroit; Ernst, who is engaged in the hardware business in Sheboygan; Sarah, at home with her father; Edwin, who is conducting a plumbing business in Sheboygan; and Hilda and Edna, also at home.
In the public schools Otto Aldag pursued his education and subsequently took a course in the Sheboygan Business College. He then took up the butchering trade, which he followed for a time but later turned his attention to black smithing, in which he was engaged for four years. He next formed a partnership for the conduct of a general mercantile business. and later with his brother and brother-in-law purchased his father's store. He is now successfully engaged in general merchandising, theirs being a large and well appointed establishment, supplied with an extensive line of goods in their various departments.
The firm have always held to a high standard in the personnel of the house, in the line of goods carried and in the character of the service rendered the public. They demand that courteous attention shall be given by all employes to the patrons of the store and that the most straightforward methods shall be followed in all transactions. The business is conducted under the firm style of Aldag and Burhop and for many years the name of Aldag has figured prominently in connection with commercial interests here.
Since 1896 Otto Aldag has also been engaged in the insurance business. He writes a large number of policies each year and thus adds materially to his income.
In 1899 Mr. Aldag was united in marriage to Miss Mary Sinz, who was born in Sheboygan county and is a daughter of Valentine Sinz. They have one child, Loraine, twelve years of age. The family attend the Lutheran church, in which the parents hold membership, and Mr. Aldag is also a member of the Sons of Veterans camp and of two benevolent organizations, the Sheboygan Aid Society and the United Aid Society. His broad humanitarian spirit prompts his active cooperation in those organizations and in many other ways he extends a helping hand to those in need of assistance.
He is deeply interested in everything relating to the welfare and progress of the city and his cooperation can always be counted upon to further any movement for the general good. It is not surprising, therefore, that he is an active member of the Business Men's Association and his fellow members, appreciative of his worth and ability and his devotion to the high ideals of the society, have elected him its secretary. He is splendidly qualified for the position, for few men are in closer touch with business conditions and possibilities here or have a more earnest desire to advance the county in all lines contributing to its permanent upbuilding and improvement.
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