In the period of pioneer development Wisconsin largely derived its income from its lumber interests and the state yet remains one of the great centers of the lumber industry of the country. Its great forests have given splendid opportunities to those who wish to engage in the lumber business and kindred industries, and Robert C. Ebenreiter is numbered among those who have utilized this field of labor in the attainment of success which places him among the substantial citizens of Sheboygan. He not only deals in lumber but also does mill work and his capable management and unfaltering enterprise have made his undertaking not only a source of individual revenue but also a factor in general prosperity here. He was born in Sheboygan Falls, June 5, 1861, a son of August Ebenreiter, who was born in Saxe-Weimar, Germany, where he remained until after his marriage and the birth of three of his children.
He then came with his family to the new world with Sheboygan Falls as his destination. In this district he cleared a tract of land and developed a farm upon which he continued to reside throughout his remaining days. His death occurred in 1894 when he was seventy-two years of age. He married Susanna Schuler, who died in October, 1908, at the age of eighty-three years. In their family were four children who are yet living: Herman, a retired farmer who makes his home in Sheboygan; H. J., of Plymouth; Minnie, the wife of Christ Carthaus, of Plymouth; and Robert C., of this review.
Upon the completion of his education Robert C. Ebenreiter began learning the cabinet-maker's and carpenter's trades, and after working along those lines at Sheboygan Falls for three years he left home for Chicago in 1881, spending six years in that city. On the expiration of that period he returned to Sheboygan, where he again worked at his trade until 1888, when he entered into partnership with William E. Hildebrand in the contracting business. They were not long in acquiring a liberal patronage and in 1894 they broadened the scope of their activities by establishing a lumberyard. Later they also became owners of a sawmill and with the rapid growth of their lumber business they at length decided to retire from the field of contracting, which was done in 1905. Their trade has constantly reached out along broadening lines and on the 5th of March, 1912. Mr, Ebenreiter took over the entire plant and business, operating under the name of the Ebenreiter Lumber Company. They are conducting general lumber and mill work, their manufacturing interests of that character being very extensive. In addition to his other interests Mr. Ebenreiter is a stockholder in the Farmers & Merchants Bank, in which he became interested on its organization.
In 1887 occurred the marriage of Mr. Ebenreiter and Miss Ottilie Hamann, who was born in Mosel township in 1866, a daughter of August and Augusta (Rehbein) Hamann. The father was a German teacher in early manhood and afterward engaged in the insurance business and in the conduct of a general store. He was serving as justice of the peace at the time of his death. Mr. and Mrs. Ebenreiter have become the parents of six children: Norma, at home; Erna, who is a graduate of a commercial college of Sheboygan and is now acting as bookkeeper and assistant to her father; Harvey, who is also his father's assistant; Ottilie, a graduate of the high school; and Aurelia and Esther, both in school. The parents are members of the German Reformed church and Mr Ebenreiter is also connected with the Mutual Aid Society. In all of his business career he has manifested a progressive spirit which, however, is none the less dominant than his devotion to the public good and his advocacy of high ideals of citizenship.
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