One of the most enviable characteristics which a man can have is a capacity for making and holding friends. Business success or even an honorable public life is barren unless prosperity is enjoyed by others. Robert Horneck is a conspicuous example of the power of personality in a man. He is one of the most popular citizens of Sheboygan county, for his qualities of joviality and good nature have made him liked and respected by his many acquaintances and have made each acquaintance a firm friend. He was born in the town of Rhine, Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, November 12, 1873.
His father was Phillip Horneck, a native of Germany, who was born in that country February 16, 1830, and came to Wisconsin in 1848 and worked on a farm in Germantown, this state, for fifty dollars a year. He came to Sheboygan county in 1850 and married Cathrina Hartman on January 1, 1854. He took up a homestead of forty acres in the town of Rhine and died there May 11, 1907. During the course of his life he became prominent in local politics but never held office outside of the township. He was chairman of the town board and held the position of town treasurer for several terms. He was a prominent member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and kept up this connection until the time of his death. He and his wife were the parents of twelve children, seven sons and five daughters. Cathrina Horneck, the mother of our subject, is still living.
Robert Horneck received his early education in the district schools of this county and later attended business college in Sheboygan and Milwaukee. Immediately after leaving school he obtained a position in a general store in Plymouth and continued in this occupation for two and a half years, until 1896, when he came to Elkhart Lake and engaged in a similar line of activity until 1899. By much saving he acquired enough money to buy the store of Charles Griem, in which he was a clerk, and in partnership with his brother conducted this enterprise in conjunction with a saloon until August, 1910, when they sold the merchandise department to J. Vick and Son, the brother of our subject still retaining charge of the saloon.
On March 2, 1899, Mr. Horneck was united in marriage to Miss Sophia Stoltzman, a daughter of August and Eliza (Siemers) Stoltzman. The father, a native of Germany, came to America in 1855 and settled in Manitowoc county, Wisconsin, where he lived for many years. He came to the town of Rhine in 1894, where he engaged in the merchandise and saloon business for thirteen years, removing to Sheboygan in 1907, where he still lives. He is a prominent figure in county affairs and during the course of his life has held many town offices. To Mr. Horneck and his wife have been born three children: Elda. eleven years old; Roma, aged eight; and Edgar, now in his sixth year.
Mr. Horneck gives his political allegiance to the democratic party but beyond voting for the men and policies for which it stands at each election, he takes no very active part in public affairs. The only office which he has held is that of village treasurer, in which capacity he served for many years. He is prominent in the Order of Eagles and gives much of his time and attention to the affairs of that organization. He is popular in his home city and well liked by all who know him. He is a good-natured, genial and lovable man and his honorable business career has won him the esteem and respect of his fellow citizens.
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