The popular and efficient manager of Born's Park and Sanitarium is Carl August Born, who was the founder of that institution which was opened in 1882. He was born in the tow of Rhine, Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, November 21, 1851. The father, Carl A. Born, a native of the Rhine province, Germany, emigrated to the United States in 1848, his purpose in becoming a resident of this country being not only to take advantage of the better business opportunities which the new world offered but also to escape the consequences of the German revolution. Soon after coming to this country he made his way to Sheboygan county and settled in the town of Rhine, where he bought a section of land partly on section 26 and partly on section 35. He also embarked in the general merchandise business.
In the fatherland he had been a silk merchant and manufacturer. His business enterprises brought excellent results, both in Germany and in Sheboygan, and he became affluent in his circumstances. He sold the business in Sheboygan and opened a store at Franklin, but after conducting it for a time sold it in 1856. In 1854 he had been the proprietor of the Wisconsin House for about a year during the cholera epidemic. After disposing of his store he went to Germany on a visit and on returning home the steamer Austria, on which he bad taken passage, was destroyed by fire and he lost his life. This catastrophe occurred on the 13th of September, 1857, when he was about thirty-two years of age. The mother, Wilhelmina (Koch) Born, was also a native of Germany, passing away in 1887. While residents of Germany the parents had been members of the German Lutheran church. In their family were five children, the other members of the family beside Carl August being: one who died in infancy; Wilhelmina, whose death occurred at the Wisconsin House in Sheboygan when she was five years of age, as the result of cholera; William F., who was born in Rhine and while hunting was shot in 1876, at the age of twenty-two years; and Louis, whose birth occurred in Franklin, Herman township, and who passed away when one year of age.
Carl August Born was partly educated in Peoria, Illinois, a city to which his widowed mother had removed after the death of her husband. From Peoria she returned to the town of Rhine, where she made her home and where the subject of this review attended the district schools, while later he pursued his education in the Herman schools. Afterward he became a pupil in the Mission House and still later was a student in the Sheboygan high school. On laying aside his text books he was engaged as a clerk for the Frank Geele Hardware Company, a position which he accepted at the age of nineteen years. He worked for that company for two years, then removed to Nebraska where he resided for a time, and subsequently secured employment as a traveling salesman for the Gray Brothers, wholesale hardware dealers of Chicago. He then traveled for a gun and sporting goods house of Minnesota for some time, after which he returned to Sheboygan where he went into the implement business, in which he remained until in 1880. In that year he went to Germany to settle an estate left him by his uncle, and shortly after his return opened, on the 1st of January, 1882, the Born's Park of which he has since been manager.
This was conducted as a park only until in 1905, when water containing medicinal properties was discovered in a well which had been drilled in the park, at which time he opened a sanitarium. The properties of the water were such as to attract a large number of patients, which is increasing year by year. The business grew to such proportions that it was thought wise to incorporate the business, which is now known as Born's Park Company. In connection with the establishment fine buildings have been erected, a swimming pool installed and the park grounds and surroundings have been beautified until the place has become noted.
Mr. Born was married in 1887 to Miss Minnie Brauer, a native of Mosel, Sheboygan county, her birth occurring in 1852. Mr. Born has taken an active interest and been prominent in municipal affairs of the city of which he has been the mayor, chief of police and alderman at various times during the past twenty-five years. In his fraternal relations he is a member of the Eagles, the Turnverein, the Concordia Singing Society and the Sheboygan Arbeiter Verein. In 1869 he organized the Evergreen City Cadets, being elected their captain. He resigned this position in 1876, after which he was again elected captain.
Mr. Born has also an interesting military chapter in his career. When the Wisconsin Militia was reorganized the company which he had founded as the Evergreen City Cadets became Company C of the Second Wisconsin Regiment, and in 1893 he was made major in this regiment. A year later he became lieutenant colonel and in 1895 he was promoted to the rank of colonel of the regiment and in that capacity served until after the Spanish-American war, when he retired. The Second Wisconsin was embarked at Charleston, South Carolina, and was sent with General Miles' expedition to Porto Rico. The force landed in the Bay of Ponce and the regiment was the first to set foot on the island and remained there until the peace protocol was signed. The regiment was engaged in action with the Spanish troops at Coamo, Porto Rico, in July, 1898, and acquitted itself with credit. On September 1st the regiment returned to the United States and at once was ordered to Sheboygan where it arrived September 9th and there was discharged on November 15th.
Mr. Born has been actively connected with the business and public life of the city for so long that he is known as an enterprising citizen to practically every resident in his community and to a large number of people of Sheboygan county. He has been and is one of the most prominent citizens of Sheboygan and has been of great service in the progress of this section. He is respected by all who know him and held in high esteem by a large circle of friends which he made in business, social and fraternal relations.
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