John Balkansky, dealer in furs, seeds, tallow and iron, has an establishment on Eighth street in which he is doing a thriving business. He was born August 5, 1862, in Russia. He was educated in the schools of his native country and after putting aside his text-books he became a farmer, a business which he followed until he attained the age of thirty years. At that time, becoming convinced that the United States offered superior advantages, he emigrated to this country and settled in Sheboygan, and began traveling through the country selling dry goods. He followed that business until 1898, when he opened his present store on Eighth street which he has since conducted. The father and mother are still living in Russia.
Mr. Balkansky was married in Russia to Miss Mary Schwartz, and to this union have been born nine children, all of whom are living, namely: Bertha, who married Louie Phillips, a general merchant at Thorpe, Wisconsin, by whom she has two children; David, a grocer at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, who is married and has two children; Julius, a resident of Sheboygan, who is also married and has one child; Rosa, the wife of N. P. Blumfield, of Milwaukee; Harry and Lena, twins, residing at home; Simon, a high-school student; and Morris and Hester, both attending the graded schools of Sheboygan.
Mr. Balkansky is an adherent of the republican political faith, having long since become a patriotic American citizen. Both he and his wife are members of the Jewish church at Sheboygan, being actively interested in that denomination and assisting in making it potent for good in the community. During his twenty years' residence in Sheboygan county he has not only succeeded in building up a large and profitable business, but has become extensively acquainted with the people of almost the entire community. He gives very careful attention to his business, looking personally after all of its details and striving to the best of his ability to give entire satisfaction to his large number of customers. He is well known in business circles, has an excellent commercial rating and is enjoying a constantly increasing trade.
Sheboygan has long been an important industrial center in Wisconsin and one of the large enterprises that sustain its reputation in this connection is that conducted under the name of the Globe Foundry and Machine Company, of which Paul Klumb is the secretary. This is a carefully organized and systematically conducted business at the head of which as its officers are men of well known enterprise and reliability, of whom Mr. Klumb is one.
He was born in Washington county, Wisconsin, March 9, 1855, and is a son of Jacob Klumb, whose birth occured in the village of Ellern, Koblenz, Germany, and who about 1841 came with his family to America, settling at Germantown, Wisconsin. In that locality he engaged in farming. From 1872 until 1883 he was a resident of Plymouth, where he owned and operated a grist mill. His last days were spent at Appleton, Wisconsin, where he died in 1901 at the age of seventy-seven years. He had for a considerable period survived his wife, who passed away in 1888 at the age of sixty-six years. She bore the maiden name of Maria Regina Bast and was also a native of Koblenz. Her parents were Jacob and Catherine Bast, who came to America some years after Mrs. Klurnb, who made the voyage to the new world with a brother and sister in 1848. At the time when Jacob Klumb emigrated to the United States his parents also came.
His father likewise bore the name of Jacob and was a farmer and teamster in Germany, while the son, Jacob, Jr., was a moulder. The opportunities of the new world attracted them and they settled in Washington county, Wisconsin. Unto Jacob and Maria Klumb there were born eight children, the subject of this sketch being one of the six who survived: Peter, living in Appleton, Wisconsin; Jacob, a resident of Wiggins, Mississippi; Christina, who is the widow of Peter Brueckbauer, of Plymouth; Margaret, who is the widow of John Brueckbauer, of Milwaukee; and Emma, the wife of John Meyer, of Port Washington, Wisconsin.
With the completion of his education Paul Klumb turned his attention to the milling business which he followed in connection with his father for twelve years. He then removed from Plymouth to Appleton, Wisconsin, where he was associated with the Willy Milling Company for fifteen years. In 1897 he came to Sheboygan and has since been interested in industrial pursuits in connection with the Globe Foundry and Machine Company of which he is the secretary. The business was formerly owned and conducted by the Philip Meyer Company and under that organization Paul Klumb was president for five years. On the reorganization of the business under its present ownership and management he became secretary and has since been active in its control and administration.
They are engaged in the building of gasoline engines, feed cutters and other machinery, and their constantly growing trade now covers much of this county for their output is regarded as standard in the lines which they manufacture.
In 1882 Mr. Klumb was married to Miss Minnie Meyer, who was born in Whitewater, Wisconsin, in 1858, and is a daughter of Phil and Minnie Meyer. Mr. and Mrs. Klumb now have a family of three sons and a daughter, Oscar, William, Elmer and Mabel. The eldest son, twenty-five years of age, married Theressa Stenger, of this city. Mr. Klumb and his wife are members of Zion Reformed church and he is also connected with the Modern Woodmen of America at Sheboygan, the Equitable Fraternal Union at Neenah, and the Fraternal Reserve Association at Oshkosh. He is likewise connected with church activities and beneficent associations and throughout his life has manifested a spirit of helpfulness that finds its root in his recognition of the obligations of man to his fellowmen.
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