To attain through self-exertion a position of affluence is ever a highly creditable achievement, but when this is accomplished in a foreign land by one handicapped by ignorance of the language and customs of the country he is deserving of still higher commendation, as it argues the possession of diligence, perseverance and a tenacity of purpose known to but the few. Of such as these is Jens P. Jensen, of the firm of J. P. Jensen and Son, general merchants, engaged in business at 1501 South Twelfth street, Sheboygan.
Mr. Jensen was born in Denmark on the 11th of May, 1849, and is a son of Jens Jensen. The first twenty years of his life he passed in the land of his birth, but at the expiration of that time he came to the United States seeking his fortune. He was not a dreamer nor an idler, but a hardworking, thrifty, ambitious man, who not only aspired to make a success of his life, but determined to accomplish his desire. He came direct to Wisconsin upon his arrival in this country, locating in Oshkosh, where for a time he worked as a day laborer.
After acquiring a knowledge of the language and customs of the country, he sought other employment and finally obtained a position in the Neenah Stove Works, at Neenah, this state, remaining in their service for seventeen years in the capacity of a moulder. During that period he accumulated sufficient capital to enable him to engage in business for himself, so he came to Sheboygan and opened a general mercantile store at his present location. He encountered the usual difficulties and obstacles experienced by every man who attempts to establish a business without credit on a limited capital, but he possessed keen discernment and readily utilized to his advantage opportunities that would not have been recognized by one of less perspicacity. His store is located in a good trade district, though removed from the business section of the city, and although competition is not so keen, it has required judicious buying and a close and careful study of the needs and circumstances of his customers to build up the excellent patronage he now enjoys. In all probability his is the largest general mercantile business in the outlying portions of the city, which fact must be attributed to the policy he has adopted in the conduct of his enterprise, as well as his energy and progressive methods. He has other business interests and is one of the stockholders of -the Citizens' Bank and the Miller Piano Company.
For his wife and helpmate Mr. Jensen chose Miss Mary Frederickson, who passed away in 1896, at the age of fifty-six years, and to them were born four children. William married Dora Krambrink, and has three children. Edward married Jane Stoker and has two children. Both sons are engaged in business with their father. John living in Sheboygan is employed in the post office there Anna, the youngest makes her home with her parents.
Mr. Jensen is a member of the Methodist church, as was also his wife, and in politics he is a republican and served for four years as supervisor in his township. His success should be an incentive to every enterprising youth, as it is the result of personal effort intelligently concentrated on the achievement of a definite end.
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