On the list of Sheboygan county's honored dead appears the name of Herman Heinecke, who was not only a reliable and trustworthy business man but also a recognized leader in republican circles, appreciation of his good qualities on the part of his fell ow townsmen and of his progressive citizenship leading to his election to the state legislature. The worth of his service in public connections was widely acknowledged and made him one of the valued residents of his city.
He was born November 14, 1859, in Sheboygan. His father, Gustave Heinecke, a native of Germany, settled in this city on coming to the new world and here followed the tanner's trade, being the pioneer in that branch of business in this city. He died November 19, 1905, at the age of seventy-five years, his birth having occurred on the 7th of July, 1830. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Wilhelmina Weisse, was, like her husband, a native of Saxony, Germany, born November 16, 1836. She was a daughter of Frederick and Theresa Weisse, who on crossing the ocean established their home at Lake Superior. Later they became residents of Milwaukee and thence came to Sheboygan.
The Weisse family were in charge of the first toll-gate on what is now called Calumet road. Herman Heinecke, reared in Sheboygan, acquired his education in the schools here and afterward clerked in a store managed by his father for one year, and later learned the painter's trade in Sheboygan Falls, to which place he walked from his home once each week. In 1881 he left Wisconsin for Iowa, where he followed the carriage painter's trade for three years. Subsequently he located at Hancock, Michigan, where he spent two years, and in 1884 he came again to this city, where he was engaged in the butchering business to the time of his death. He made a creditable record as an industrious, energetic and persevering business man and his honorable dealing was a feature in his success.
On the 23rd of January, 1884, Mr. Heinecke was married to Miss Augusta Kaufmann, who was born September 24, 1858, in Sheboygan, a daughter of Frederick Kaufmann, who came to America in 1857. He at once made his way into the interior of the country, settling at Sheboygan, where he followed farming and also assisted in the building of the Northwestern Railway. In 1864, however, he withdrew from other business connections to become proprietor of a meat market, opening one of the first stores of that kind in this city. He continued in that business for a long period and when he retired there from he resumed farming, which he continued to the time of his death, on the 17th of November, 1894.
In religious faith he was a Lutheran and he lived an upright, honorable life, in harmony with his professions. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Augusta Bollmann, died August 18, 1884. She was a daughter of Christian and Fredericka (Schultze) Bollmann, who were early pioneers of this district.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Kaufmann were born the following named: Johanna, now the wife of R. Firtzlaff, who is living retired at Sheboygan; Mrs. Heinecke; Sophia, who is the wife of Christian Hoppert, a retired shoemaker living in Sheboygan; Minnie, the wife of G. Moehlman, who was formerly a teacher but is now living retired; William, who is proprietor of a meat market; and Otto, who is assistant cashier of the German Bank. There were also two sons who have passed away: Ernest, who was the twin brother of William and was drowned July 3, 1881; and Frederick, a twin brother of Mrs. Hoppert, who was scalded by hot water May 11, 1867, his injuries causing his demise.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Heinecke have been born six children: Ernst, who is proprietor of a meat market and married Lydia Guehldorf, by whom he has three children, Edna, Herman and Gertrude; Otto, a partner in the meat market, who married Emma Littman, and has one child, Hildegard; Gustave, who died when three years of age; and Walter, Frederick and Carl, all of whom are in school. Mrs. Heinecke holds membership in the Frauen Verein of the German Lutheran church, to which she belongs.
Mr. Heinecke was a prominent figure In political circles, giving stanch support to the republican party. He was elected alderman from his ward and in 1903 was chosen to represent his district in the state legislature. He was one of the most prominent citizens of Sheboygan county, well fitted for leadership, and thus he took active part in political affairs as well as in business life. To know him was to esteem and honor him, for he was ever diligent, determined, reliable and progressive. He died on September 11, 1900.
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