Steady advancement has brought Fred Schnellen, Jr., to his present responsible position as superintendent of the American Hide and Leather Company of Sheboygan, in which connection he is active in control of a business of large proportions that constitutes one of the important industrial and commercial concerns of the city. He was born in the township of Herman, Sheboygan county, May 8, 1860, and is a son of Captain Fred Schnellen, Sr., whose birth occurred in Prussia, Germany, November 27, 1827.
The father won his military title by service under Kaiser Wilhelm. He was one of a family of ten children and the only son. In April, 1851, he married Miss Wilhelmine Freinatis, who was born in Germany in 1831. They came to America in 1852 and in 1854 took up their abode in the city of Sheboygan but afterward removed to Howards Grove in the township of Herman. In 1862 the father raised a company for service in the Civil war known as Company C, of the Twenty-seventh Regiment, and while he was at the front defending the Union cause his family resided in Milwaukee. In 1875 he again took up their abode in the city of Sheboygan and for ten years was assessor of his town.
Fred Schnellen, Jr., acquired a public-school education and then entered the tanning business, with which he has always been identified. Thirty-five years ago he became connected with the hide and leather business as an apprentice and continuing in connection therewith to the present time. Gradually he has worked his way upward by reason of his ability and fidelity to the office of superintendent of the American Hide and Leather Company of Sheboygan, which position he now acceptably fills.
The business was originally conducted under the name of the C. T. Roeintz Leather Company, having been organized in 1853 by C. T. and William Roeintz. In 1875 the latter died, at which time the former became sole owner. On the 1st of January, 1881, Frank L. and C. H. Roeintz became associated with the business under the firm style of C. T. Roeintz and Sons. In 1888 the business was incorporated with a capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars, with C. T. Roeintz as president; Frank L. Roeintz as vice president, and C. H. Roeintz as secretary. The first named died in 1892, at which time Frank L. Roeintz became president. In 1899 they sold out to the American Hide and Leather Company, of which Frank L. Roeintz became a director. He is now the third vice president of the company, with Thomas H. Hall, of New York city, as president.
Long experience has made Fred Schnellen, Jr., particularly well qualified for the position which he now occupies. He mastered the business in principle and detail and his increasing skill and ability along his chosen line have well qualified him to direct the labors of those who serve under him.
In 1905 Mr. Schnellen was married to Miss Emma Heyn, a daughter of H. F. A. Heyn, who was a tanner by trade. He settled in the town of Wilson, Sheboygan county, in 1850, and there followed farming until he took up tanning. Both he and his wife are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Schnellen are well known in Sheboygan, occupying an enviable social position, while his business prominence places him among the representative and leading citizens of the community.
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