Frank L. Bessinger is the successor to the livery business established by his father in Sheboygan in 1873. He enjoys the distinction of having been presented by the Wisconsin Livery Association with the gold medal of 1888 for owning and conducting the livery stable having the finest stock, with the best accessory equipment for the business, in the entire state of Wisconsin. His livery barns are located on North Eighth street, where the business was first established.
He was born in the city of Sheboygan, August 29, 1862, his parents being Hubert C. and Barbara (Lauer) Bessinger. His paternal grandfather was John Bessinger, a native of Germany, who served as a lieutenant in the war against France in 1815, following the guidon of Marshal Blucher, whose command, retreating from the battle of Ligny appeared with true Prussian valor on the field of Waterloo in time to complete the destruction of the French army, which resulted in the permanent overthrow of Napoleon Bonaparte, the terror of Europe. Hubert C. Bessinger, the father of our subject, was born in Gruessenheim, near Aschaffenburg, in the province of Unter Franken, Bavaria, Germany. He served as an orderly sergeant during the uprisings in 1848 and 1849. In March, 1851, he emigrated to America and settled in Sandusky, Ohio, where he worked on the railroad and on steamboats. Retiring from that work he purchased a horse and dray and with this modest equipment engaged in the teaming business. In 1851 he wedded Miss Barbara Lauer, daughter of Dr. John Lauer, who was a native of Ottingen, Germany.
Miss Lauer, in company with her parents, made the journey to this country on the same vessel in which her future husband emigrated to America. She was a member of the German Lutheran church, distinguished for the beauty of her religious life and highly esteemed by all the people in the community in which she lived. She passed from this life October 13, 1892. Hubert C. Bessinger was a consistent and faithful member of the Catholic church. He died on the 22nd of May, 1903, and was buried in Wildwood cemetery, Sheboygan, where the remains of his wife had also been interred. They were the parents of eight children.
Frank L. Bessinger was reared at home and educated in the public schools of Sheboygan, later pursuing a commercial course in Spencer's Business College of Milwaukee. After graduating from this institution he was identified with his father's livery business until 1886, at which time he purchased the enterprise and has since continued in its conduct, enlarging and improving the business in all its departments.
Mr. Bessinger has been twice married. On the 7th of November, 1889, in Sheboygan, he wedded Miss Martha Gunderson, a daughter of Captain James Gunderson, an early settler of Sheboygan. Unto Frank L. and Martha ( Gunderson) Bessinger were born two children, Sadie and Frank, both at home. The wife and mother died on the 27th of December, 1893, and her remains were interred in Wildwood cemetery. She was a member of Grace Episcopal church and enjoyed the high esteem of all who knew her.
On the 15th of June, 1898, Mr. Bessinger was again married, his second union being with Miss Eugenia Theirkauf, the daughter of Captain John Theirkauf, of Chicago, Illinois. Captain Theirkauf sailed the schooner St. Lawrence, which in 1880 foundered and sunk off the shore opposite Lincoln Park, Chicago, carrying to her watery grave nine sailors of her crew whose bodies were never recovered. Mrs. John Theirkauf, who was the mother of Mrs. Eugenia Bessinger, was a daughter of Casper Schneider of Sheboygan Falls Road, now known as Riverside. Casper Schneider was a farmer by occupation. Both he and his wife passed away some fifteen years ago.
Frank L. Bessinger is the proprietor of one of the oldest livery stables in the state, his business having been established by his father in 1873. By careful study of his business, in which he maintains a just and enthusiastic pride, he has succeeded in making his establishment one of the most perfectly equipped and directed institutions of its kind in the entire state of Wisconsin. He is a member of several social and fraternal orders in Sheboygan.
Mr. Bessinger is not only a citizen of long residence in Sheboygan but one of her ideal and model business men. He is widely and favorably known throughout this portion of the state. He has recently erected a very fine residence on the corner of Seventh and St. Clair streets, in which he and his family now reside. and which is in every way a compliment to the industry, economy and business ability of Mr. Bessinger.
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