Louis Sonntag

During a residence of twenty-seven years in Sheboygan Louis Sonntag has made continuous advancement in commercial circles and is now senior partner of the firm of Sonntag and Son, conducting a plumbing and steamheating business at No. 1101 North Eighth street, since 1908. The date of his arrival in Sheboygan is December 10, 1885. He was then about thirty-one years of age, his birth having occurred in Alsace-Lorraine, April 16, 1854. His parents, Sebastian and Marian ( Zehler) Sonntag, died in the city of Bergheim and were there laid to rest. In that city Louis Sonntag was reared and attended school until he reached the age of fourteen years, after which he assisted his father in the vineyard and in the farm work generally until 1871. He then sailed for America, arriving at Dayton, Ohio, on the 15th of August. There he entered St. Mary's Institute, of which his uncle, Professor Zehler, was president, continuing his studies in that school until the spring of 1872, when he went to Hamilton, Ohio, where he was employed in the Niles Tool Works until November, 1872.

At that time he once more entered St. Mary's Institute, continuing his studies there through the winter. In the spring he secured a position with the Brownell and Kilmeier Manufacturing Company, with which he remained until January, 1877, when he removed to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he availed himself of any employment that offered that would yield him an honest living, for at that day times were hard and it was difficult to obtain lucrative employment. In 1880, however, he began work in the shops of the Kerr-Murray Manufacturing Company and after a time was sent. out by the firm as constructing engineer, setting up machinery in connection with contracts which they had secured.

During his travels he visited Sheboygan where he remodeled the gas works and installed a new water plant. He was so well pleased with the city that in 1885 he severed his connection with the firm and took charge of the gas works here. He also established a shop of his own and as his business grew in that direction he left the gas plant in 1887, feeling that he could not do justice to both. He was sole proprietor of the plumbing and steam-heating business which. he established until 1908, when he admitted his son, Joseph Sonntag, to a partnership under the firm name of Sonntag and Son. Excellent results have attended his labors through the period of his residence here and he now has a business of large volume, bringing to him gratifying returns.

Mr. Sonntag was married in Fort Wayne, Indiana, November 7, 1882, to Miss Katherine Myers, a daughter of George and Rosa (McBennet) Myers, her father a pioneer architect and contractor of Fort Wayne. His last days, however, were passed in Chicago and since his death his widow has become a resident of Sheboygan. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Sonntag have been born eight children: Mary C., who is the wife of William Fessler, a Joseph, who is his father's partner in business; Louis F., also interested in the business; Julia A., residing at home; Max N. A., who is bookkeeper for the firm of Sonntag and Son; Margaret C., at home; and Fabian A., who is a pupil in the Holy Name school. The family reside at No. 1101 North Eighth street.

In politics Mr. Sonntag votes independently, supporting men and measures rather than party. He holds membership with the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Order of Foresters, the Catholic Knights of Wisconsin, the Catholic Relief and Beneficiary Association, the Arbeiter Verein and the Concordia Singing Society. In some of these he has been honored with office, serving as state treasurer of the Catholic Order of Foresters and was the first president of the local organization here. At the present writing he is financial secretary of the Catholic Knights of this city. Mr. Sonntag's success may be attributed to in defatigable labor and fair dealing. He gives honest service and full return for value received. He has never regretted his determination to come to America for here he found business opportunities which he sought and in their improvement has made continuous advancement.


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