The career of Herman W. Hostman is a story of a man's rapid rise from a humble position to one of great responsibility. He is a son of a German cabinet maker who came to America about 1851 and in his early life had only such advantages as his father could afford to give him, yet he is now at the age of forty-nine cashier of the State Bank of Plymouth, one of the oldest institutions of its kind in the county. He is a native of Sheboygan county, having been born in Plymouth, January 14, 1863. His parents were August and Maria (Scheibe) Hostman, both natives of Germany. The father was born in Mecklenburg Schwerin, and followed the trade of cabinet-making in that section until 1851, when he crossed the Atlantic to America and settled in Sheboygan county, where he remained for two years, coming to Plymouth after a short residence in New Holstein. Here he engaged in selling furniture which he made to order and continued in that occupation until his death in 1883.
The mother of the subject of this sketch was born in Muehlberg, Saxony, and came to America with her parents, living first in Milwaukee and later in Sheboygan county, where she was married to August Hostman. They became the parents of eight children, three of whom are now living. One is a resident of Sheboygan, and the other two, Herman W., of this review, and his sister, are residents of Plymouth.
Herman W. Hostman attended the parochial school but left it at the age of thirteen years to start in the printer's trade, which occupation he followed for some time, until he had acquired enough money to buy an interest in a local newspaper. He continued his connection with journalism until 1892. A few years previously, in 1889, he accepted a position in the Bank of Plymouth and was appointed its assistant cashier. He found himself unable to carry on his work as a journalist and also his duties as a banker, and this led to his selling his interest in the newspaper in the year mentioned.
In 1890 the bank was reorganized under the name of the State Bank of Plymouth and six years later Herman W. Hostman was appointed cashier, in which office he still continues. Mr. Hostman's position as its cashier makes him an important influence in the business life of the city. He is prominent along various lines and his cooperation in any movement to promote the welfare of his native city is never asked in vain. He is vice president of the Plymouth Furniture Company and president of the Schwartz Manufacturing Company. He also holds the position of treasurer of the local telephone company. He is also prominent and active in the political affairs of this district. He is a stanch democrat and held the position of member of the executive board of the gold democrats of Wisconsin in 1896 and had previously taken a leading part in all conventions of his party, acting as state delegate tor many years. He was appointed postmaster of Plymouth under Cleveland's first administration in 1885, and started upon his duties in this capacity January 1, of the following year, serving with much ability and energy for four years. He is a member of the Sheboygan Chapter of the Masonic order, is prominent in the Modern Woodmen of America and has always taken an active part in the affairs of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
On June 14, 1887, Mr. Hostman was married to Miss Pauline A. Karpe, a daughter of Gustave and Friedericka Karpe, natives of Germany, who came to the United States at an early age and settled in this county. Mr. and Mrs. Hostman have become parents of two children: Lillie L., born April 9, 1890; and Milton H., whose birth occurred on the 12th of January, 1894. Mr. Hostman is now recognized in Plymouth as an influential and successful man. His rise has been rapid and his success rests upon the firm foundation of honorable methods, sterling integrity and strict honesty in all the various relations of his life.
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