A. J. Vollrath, familiarly known as Jake Vollrath, president of The Porcelain Enameling Association of America, has for many years been identified with the manufacturing interests of Sheboygan and is recognized as one of the city's foremost business men, by reason of his fine powers of organization and executive ability. He was born in the city of Milwaukee on the 20th of January, 1850, and is a son of Jacob J. and Elizabeth Vollrath.
The father was born in Doerbach, near the Rhine, Germany, whence he emigrated to the United States in 1848. Upon his arrival in this country he first located in Albany, New York, whence he removed to Milwaukee in 1849, coming from the latter city to Sheboygan five years later. He was not only a capable business man but possessed unusual mechanical skill and opening a plant here he engaged in the manufacture of farming implements on a small scale. His enterprise thrived and he later extended the scope of his activities by establishing several similar concerns, operating under the firm name of Jacob J. Vollrath and Son. They subsequently incorporated under the name of The Jacob J. Vollrath Manufacturing Company, with the father as president and our subject vice president. After the death of the father in 1898 the son became president, and the company which has been in existence for over forty years and was numbered among the well established and prosperous enterprises of the city, continued operations under the old name until 1907.
Mr. Vollrath was educated in the public schools and when only twelve years of age began to work, and after laying aside his text-books became associated in business with his father. His training was both severe and hard, as the father was an exact man, and while it seemed very rigorous to the recipient at the time he has had many an occasion to be thankful for it in later years. Following the death of his father, Mr. Vollrath was president of the Jacob J. Vollrath Manufacturing Company until August 7, 1907, when he organized and established the enterprise that is now being operated under the name of The Porcelain Enameling Association of America.
Their plant is located at Fifteenth street, north of the city limits, where they own twenty acres of land. The factory is thoroughly modern in construction and is equipped with nearly every device and appliance that will expedite the work. Although the company has only been in existence for four years, under the capable management and systematic direction of Mr. Vollrath it has developed until their pay roll now carries the names of three hundred and twenty-five people. The business of the sales department has shown a marked annual increase from year to year ever since it was organized, and the stockholders are realizing a good dividend on their investment.
In this city in February, 1877, Mr. Vollrath was united in marriage to Miss Anna Liebl, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Liebl, the father one of Sheboygan's pioneer business men. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Vollrath, as follows: Carl Jacob J.; Magdalena, who is at home j .Walter, the treasurer of The Porcelain Enameling Association of America ; A. J ., who is secretary of the same company; William, who died in 1886 at the age of six years and is buried in Wildwood cemetery; and Jacob John and John Jacob, twins, who are attending school. The family home is located at 2125 North Sixth street, where Mr. Vollrath has recently erected a very beautiful, modern residence.
Fraternally, Mr. Vollrath has attained the rank of a thirty-two degree Mason and he also belongs to the Shrine and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, while his connection with organizations of a more purely social nature is confined to his membership in the Country Club. In his political views he is a republican and gives his unqualified support to the men and measures of this party. Mr. Vollrath is a man of marked efficiency and has the additional advantage of possessing the foresight and sagacity that enables him to recognize and create opportunities not discernible to the less perspicacious, and these qualities united with his concentration and unremitting energy are the secrets of his success.
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