J. U. STEICHEN.
J. U. Steichen, an enterprising and promising young citizen of Hutchinson county and South Dakota, has served as cashier of the Dimock State Bank since its organization and is likewise a director and stockholder of the institution. His birth occurred in Alexandria, Hanson county, South Dakota, on the 8th of March, 1891, his parents being James and Lena Steichen. The father came to this state about thirty-four years ago and located on a homestead near Alexandria. Subsequently he embarked in business as a general merchant of Salem, McCook county, and later conducted a similar enterprise at Emery, in Hanson county. Elected to the position of county auditor, he held that office for two terms and then engaged in the grain business at Emery. In 1896 he embarked in the grain business at Parkston, Hutchinson county, and afterward conducted business as a dealer in implements until he entered the Hutchinson County Bank as cashier, in which capacity he has since remained. His wife is also yet living and they enjoy a very extensive and favorable acquaintance throughout their home community.
J. U. Steichen attended the parochial, graded and high schools in the acquirement of an education and after putting aside his textbooks entered the Security State Bank at Ethan, Davison county, remaining with the institution for two years. On the expiration of that period he came to Dimock to take the position of cashier of the newly organized Dimock State Bank, of which W. H. Shaw is the president. Mr. Steichen is also one of the directors and stockholders of the institution, the business of which is constantly increasing, and his efforts are a factor in its growth, for he is a capable, courteous and popular official.
On the 16th of September, 1913, Mr. Steichen was united in marriage to Miss Flora Turgeon, a daughter of Phil Turgeon. He gives his political allegiance to the democracy and is a devout communicant of the Catholic church, while fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Columbus, belonging to Maher Council, No. 1076. He is fond of outdoor sports and enjoys enviable recognition as a progressive and esteemed young citizen of his community and a worthy native son of South Dakota, in the development of which he is deeply and also helpfully interested.
GEORGE H. KATTELMANN.
George H. Kattelmann, proprietor of the Boston Restaurant at Sioux Falls, has a wide acquaintance in that city, where he has conducted his present business for about eight years. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, April 11, 1856, his parents being William and Mary (Richardson) Kattelmann. The father, a native of Bremen, Germany, was born May 27, 1827, and came to America with his parents in 1837.
George H. Kattelmann had but limited educational opportunities, and whatever success he has achieved in life is attributable entirely to his own labors. In the spring of 1879 he came to Dakota territory, spending one summer at Valley Springs, where he worked as a farm hand. He later went to Hutchinson county, where he entered one hundred and sixty acres of land. He also entered three hundred and twenty acres in Hanson county and there he engaged in farming for about five years, or until 1889, but on account of drouth and other discouraging circumstances he did not win much success. In 1889 be removed to Sioux Falls and secured a position in a restaurant, being thus employed until 1894, when he embarked in business on his own account. He has now a large and popular place, the business prospering from the beginning. The restaurant was originally called The Gem, later the Klondyke, afterward The Mint, and under that name he Bold out in 1905. The following year he established the Boston Restaurant, of which he is now proprietor, making it one of the popular eating places of the city, accorded a liberal and well deserved patronage.
Mr. Kattelmann was married in Chicago to Miss Lillian D. Bliss and they have a son, George W. They attend the Christian Science church and fraternally Mr. Kattelmann is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. His political allegiance is given to the republican party. He is truly a self-made man in all that the best sense of the term implies, for he has worked his way upward undeterred by obstacles and difficulties, his energy, persistency and unfaltering will having been the keynote in the success which he has achieved.
The neat and systematic arrangement of the drug store of Auris Finstad, of Sioux Falls, the excellent line of drugs and druggists' sundries which is carried and the enterprising methods of the proprietor, have made him one of the wide-awake, alert and energetic merchants of a city which is rapidly developing along substantial and broadening lines. His surname indicates his Norwegian ancestry. A native of the land of the midnight sun, he was born at Stavanger, Norway, February 25, 1870, a son of Claus and Goneld Finstad. For six years he was a student in the public schools of Norway and in 1883, when a youth of thirteen years, came with his parents to the new world, the family home being established at Mitchell, in what was then Dakota territory. He continued his education in the schools of that city, passing through consecutive grades until he completed the high school course. At the age of seventeen years he entered the drug store of L. O. Gale and there learned the business with which he became familiar in principle and detail. In 1891 he removed from Mitchell to Emery, South Dakota, where he opened a drug store, conducting the business successfully for five years. In 1897 he went to Hetland, this state, where he was in a drug store for two years. He afterward spent a year in a drug store in Yankton and in 1900 came to Sioux Falls, where he entered the employ of R. F. Brown, a druggist, with whom he continued for three months. He next purchased a drug store in Arlington, South Dakota, which he conducted until March, 1912, and then returned to Sioux Falls, where he is now proprietor of one of the best drug stores of the city.
It was on the 23d of May, 1910, at St. Paul, Minnesota, that Mr. Finstad was united in marriage to Miss Matilda Lundin. His parents were of the Quaker church and he was reared in that faith. Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Pythias and with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and he has been a close student of the questions and issues of the day but has no desire for office as a reward for party fealty. The industry, perseverance and reliability characteristic of the people of his nationality find exemplification in him and constitute the salient features in his growing business success.
Patrick Driscoll, who has witnessed the growth and development of South Dakota for more than a third of a century, figures in financial circles as cashier of the Emery State Bank, which he organized in 1902 and of which institution he is also stockholder and director. His birth occurred in Ireland on the 17th of March, 1869, his parents being Jeremiah and Susan Driscoll. The father passed away in that country, but the mother's demise occurred in the United States.
Patrick Driscoll acquired a public-school education in his youth and was not yet eleven years of age when in. February, 1880, he arrived in South Dakota with his widowed mother, who took up a homestead claim in Hanson county, adjoining Emery and comprising the southeast quarter of section 25, township 102, range 57. This farm Mr. Driscoll cultivated successfully for a number of years. In 1889 he was elected register of deeds and held the position until 1902 inclusive, making a highly satisfactory and most commendable record in that connection. Subsequently, having been employed for some time in the First National Bank of Alexandria, he organized the Emery State Bank at Emery and in 1903 was chosen cashier of the institution, in which capacity he has served continuously since. The business of the bank has steadily increased with the development of the community and its continued growth and success is attributable in large measure to the ability and sagacity of its popular cashier.
On the 9th of August, 1905, in Scotland, South Dakota, Mr. Driscoll was united in marriage to Miss Anna Wanek, a daughter of Joseph and Rosa (Leitheiser) Wanek. Mr. and Mrs. Driscoll have two children, Edmund P. and Marie L. In his political views Mr. Driscoll is a democrat, while his religious faith is that of the Catholic church. Fraternally he is identified with the Catholic Order of Foresters, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Knights of Columbus, belonging to Maher Council of Mitchell, South Dakota, of the last named organization. Throughout his community he enjoys an enviable reputation as a progressive, prosperous and valued citizen.
REV. WILLIAM KROEGER, M. D.- A unique and distinguished position is that occupied by the honored subject of this sketch, who is a member of the priesthood of the Catholic church, one of the leading physicians and surgeons of the state and one who has accomplished an admirable and noble work for the good of humanity in connection with both vocations to which he has given his attention and great ability. He is the founder, and virtual owner, of the attractive little village which bears his name, in Hanson county, and has there established a sanitarium and medical institution and hospital which have attained a wide and noteworthy reputation.
Dr. Kroeger is a native of the city of Cincinnati,
Ohio, where he was born on the 25th of January, 1853, being the
eldest of the eight children of August and Elizabeth (Sexton)
Kroeger. both of whom were born in Germany, the former in Clopenburg
and the latter in Westfald. They came to America when young and
their marriage was solemnized in the city of Cincinnati, where for
many years the honored father of our subject followed his trade,
that of carriage painting. He is still living in the "Queen City,"
being seventy-four years of age at the time of this writing, in
1904, while his wife passed to the life eternal when the subject of
this review was a child of two years and five months, having been a
devoted member and communicant of the Catholic church, as is also
her venerable husband, who is a man of sterling character and one
whose life has been one of signal usefulness. Dr. Kroeger received
his preliminary educational discipline in the parochial schools and
other church institutions of his native city, and at the age of
eighteen years was matriculated in the Ohio Medical College, of
Cincinnati, where he completed the prescribed course and was
graduated, with high honors, as a member of the class of 1871,
receiving the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He was thereafter for
three years engaged in the practice of his profession in Cincinnati,
and in the meanwhile had determined to prepare himself for the
priesthood of the church in whose ancient and inviolate faith he had
been reared. He completed his divinity course in St. Meinrad,
Indiana, and on the 26th of January, 1880, was ordained to the
priesthood by Rt. Rev. Joseph Dwenger, of the diocese of Fort Wayne.
His first parochial charge was in Elkhart, Indiana, but as his
health had become impaired he entered a request that he might be
sent to some other climate, and this led to his identifying himself
with South Dakota, to which state he came March 25, 1893. Here he
was placed in pastoral charge of the Church of the Epiphany, in
Hanson county, twelve miles north of Spencer, and here he
accomplished a most excellent work, infusing both spiritual and
temporal enthusiasm and finally brought about the erection of the
attractive church edifice, which is one of sixteen which have been
built through his efforts. With the work of the church here he has
ever since been closely identified, while the town of which he is
the founder is built up about the church edifice, which was
practically its nucleus, the postoffice bearing the name Epiphany,
while that of the town is Kroeger. While still actively engaged in
his sacerdotal duties here he continued his medical studies and also
made any original researches and experiments in the line. Rt. Rev.
Martin Marty, bishop of the diocese, became aware of the attainments
of Dr. Kroeger as a physician and surgeon and in 1894 suggested to
him the propriety of bringing his professional knowledge into
requisition in connection with his pastoral duties in view of the
impoverished condition of many of his people, and he thus carried
the double burden of responsibility, the result being that he
finally became convinced that there lay before him the maximum of
duty in relieving the physical suffering of humanity, for his
reputation as a physician and surgeon soon far transcended local
limitations and the suggestion of the church authorities was thus
the direct cause which led to his retiring from the work of its
priesthood to devote himself to the medical profession. He had given
special study to the treatment and cure of diseases of neurotic
order and those peculiar to the female, and in the great sanitarium
which he has established particular care is given to the treatment
of cases of these orders. His latest discovery for the treatment of
epilepsy, St. Vitus dance, nervous debility, consumption, kidney
disease, catarrh of the stomach and cancers, through which he has
accomplished wonderful results, has brought him into recognition
throughout the entire medical world. He has in his finely equipped
laboratory three of the largest X-ray machines, of his improvement,
in the state, and in 1903 his sanitarium had patients from every
state in the Union and all over the world. In August, 1899, Dr.
Kroeger tendered to the bishop his resignation as rector of the
Church of the Epiphany, and this was accepted by that prelate in the
following month, since which time Father Kroeger has given his
entire attention to his professional work and the management of the
various institutions which he has established in the town which
bears his name. His allegiance to the church remains of the most
devoted order and in his professional work he draws no
denominational lines, giving the benefit of his services and great
abilities to all who come to him for succor from pain and suffering.
He is imbued with that deep humanitarian sympathy which transcends
mere emotion to become an actuating motive, and thus his work as a
physician is certain to be the more potent and far-reaching. The
location of Epiphany is well chosen, being on the height of ground
between the Big Sioux and James rivers, while from the town the land
slopes gently in all directions, making the site an ideal one both
in matter of beauty and sanitary conditions. The town is known as
Kroeger and is situated ten miles from Canova, which is on the
Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, and twelve miles from Spencer,
on the Omaha division of the same road. Dr. Kroeger started the town
without funds and has today an investment representing fully two
hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The population at the time of
this writing is about one hundred and fifty people, and the town has
besides its large and finely equipped sanitarium, two good hotels, a
drug store, two general stores, hardware establishment, grocery,
livery, lumber yard, etc., all being under the direct
superintendence of Dr. Kroeger. The village is supplied with
electric lights, water-works and artificial ice plant, while in
April, 1903, the Doctor established a weekly newspaper, the Kroeger
Echo, installing a fine modern plant for the purpose. In 1900 he
established the Bank of Kroeger, of which he is president, cashier
and sole owner, while in 1904 he also put into operation a plant for
the manufacture of paper boxes, which he utilizes in connection with
his medical preparations, this being the only factory of the sort in
the state. He has made two trips abroad in recent years and took
post-graduate courses in leading medical institutions on the
continent. The Doctor is a man of gracious and genial personality,
winning and retaining strong friendships and having the high regard
of all who know him. He has great power of initiative, much
administrative ability and high intellectual attainments, so that he
is stanchly fortified for the great work which he has undertaken,
even as he was for that which he accomplished in his sacred office
as a priest of the great mother church. It is a pleasure to the
publishers of this history to include in the same this brief tribute
to his labors and his noble character as a man and citizen. He has a
great many employes and if it were not for him the people would have
starved as he has always been willing to assist them in need.
LOUISE M. MENTELE.-Dr. Kroeger has a very able
assistant in the person of Miss Mentele, concerning whose life we
are permitted to incorporate the following data. She was born in
Kaltbrunn, Baden, Germany, in the famous Black Forest district, on
the 13th of May, 1873, being a daughter of Anton and Antonia
(Heitzmann) Mentele. She received her early education in the
excellent national schools of her native land and when she was nine
years of age accompanied her parents on their immigration to
America. The family first located in Halstead, Kansas, where she
attended the English schools for some time, and in 1881 removed with
her parents to Dubuque, Iowa, where she continued her educational
work in the Academy of the Sacred Heart. In 1883 the family came to
South Dakota and took up their abode near Howard, Miner county, and
here Miss Mentele continued to attend school until she had attained
the age of sixteen years. In August, 1894, she came to Epiphany,
where she became housekeeper for Rev. William Kroeger, M. D., being
housekeeper for the three pastors previous for a short time, while
through his kindly care and guidance she has since been advanced to
a position of marked responsibility. She served for a time as his
bookkeeper and stenographer, and under his direction then took up
the study of medicine and anatomy, devoting special attention to
cancerous and exterior tumors, or any diseases of that nature, and
she is now the main and the only partner in the institution,
hospital and business, to which work she gives her special time and
at tension, being an expert in the operation and therapeutic
utilization of the X-ray machine. She has the sympathy and
capability which makes her a most grateful companion, doctor and
nurse, and is held in affectionate regard by all who have come under
her kindly ministrations and she has received her diploma with great
honors from Rev. Dr. William Kroeger. She is a communicant of the
Catholic church and deeply interested in its work in the local
parish of Epiphany, South Dakota, and is always ready to give a
helping hand and always fulfills the duties of the church.
BENJAMIN RIPPERDA is associated in an intimate way
with Rev. William Kroeger, M. D., whose career is briefly narrated
in a preceding sketch, and it is but consistent that he be accorded
recognition in this connection. Mr. Ripperda was born in Jamestown,
Wisconsin, on the 13th of February, 1872, and is a son of Bernard
and Caroline (Lager) Ripperda. He received his early educational
training in the public schools of Lewisburg, that state, and then
entered St. Joseph's College, at Dubuque, Iowa, where he was
graduated as a member of the class of 1890, while three years later
he was graduated in Baylies' Business College, in the same city,
having there completed a thorough commercial course. After leaving
this institution he was employed in a clerical capacity in a general
merchandise establishment in Dubuque for one year, at the expiration
of which he went to the city of St. Louis, Missouri, where he
remained for fourteen months in the employ of the Plant Seed
Company. The climate made such inroads on his health that he then
returned to Wisconsin, locating in Cuba, where he had charge of the
implement department of the hardware establishment of M. Hendricks
& Company until the autumn of 1897, when he came to South
Dakota. Here he was for one year engaged in teaching school for
Father Kroeger, in the parish, of the Epiphany, and then took charge
of his office affairs, in the capacity of secretary to the Doctor.
In 1898 he took up the study of medicine under the able
preceptorship of the Doctor, and is now the consulting physician of
the sanitarium and has charge of the office affairs. He is one of
the graduated pupils of the sanitarium and has proved an able
co-adjutor to Dr. Kroeger. He is a Democrat in politics and his
religious faith is that of the Catholic church. He is a young man of
much force and individuality and is held in high esteem in the
community with which he has cast his lot.
WILLIAM I. MURRAY, of Hanson county, is a native of the Empire state of the Union, having been born in Erie county, New York. He was reared on the homestead farm and received a common-school education, and he continued to be identified with agricultural pursuits in his native state until 1880, when he came to what is now the state of South Dakota and took up a homestead claim in Hanson county, where he has ever since resided, now having a valuable and attractive landed estate, the major portion of which is under a high state of cultivation, yielding large returns for the labors contributed. Mr. Murray also raises an excellent grade of cattle and other live stock, and his efforts have been directed with such discrimination and good judgment that he has been very successful in both departments of his farming enterprise. He is the oldest member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen in the state, having affiliated with this fraternity in 1876, and is also a member of the Free and Accepted Masons, and of the Grand Army of the Republic. From his retaining membership in the Grand Army it will be understood that he was one of the brave "boys in blue" who aided in the preservation of the Union. He enlisted as a member of the Seventy-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and with which he saw much active and arduous service, having participated in many important battles and in the Atlanta campaign, while he was three times wounded in action.
Mr. Murray was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Plunket, and she passed away, being survived by two children. Mr. Murray consummated a second union, by which he has become the father of four children.
GEORGE BEATCH, one of the successful representatives of the agricultural and stockgrowing industries of Hanson county, is a native of Houston county, Minnesota, where he was born on the 16th of October, 1871, being a son of John and Annie (Goetzinger) Beatch, both of whom were born and reared in Germany. The father of the subject came to America in 1854 and located in the state of Ohio, where he was engaged in farming for four years, at the expiration of which he removed to Minnesota, taking up government land in Houston county and becoming one of the successful pioneer farmers of that section, where he continued to make his home until 1882, when he came with his family to Hanson county, South Dakota, where he and his sons took up government land under the homestead laws, being now associated in the ownership of a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres, of which one hundred and ten are under cultivation. The subject is also one of the successful stock raisers of the county, where he has been indefatigable in his efforts, assisting in developing the great resources of this section of the state. His boyhood days were passed on the homestead farm in Minnesota, in whose public schools he secured his early educational training, later attending the schools in South Dakota. He is one of a family of eight children, the others being Philip, Maggie, Kate, John, Mary, Minnie and Annie, and the parents and all the children are residents of South Dakota. Mr. Beatch is a Democrat in his political proclivities; fraternally is identified with Spencer Lodge, No. 47, Ancient Order of United Workmen, at Spencer, South Dakota, of which his brother John is likewise a member, while the family are valued members of the Lutheran church.
EDWARD E. WAGNER, one of the representative members of the bar of Hanson county, was born in Lyon county, Iowa, October 22, 1870, a son of James H. and Louisa E. (Conklin) Wagner, of whose six children four are living, namely: Orville S., of Rock Rapids, Iowa; Fred B., of Pasadena,California; Hulbert D., of Hawarden, Iowa, and Edward E., subject of this sketch. The father of the subject was born in Pennsylvania, on the 8th of February, 1840, and as a boy accompanied his parents on their removal thence to Iowa, the family locating in Linn county, where he was reared to manhood on the homestead farm. He was there married in the year 1860, and in the following year enlisted as a private in Company G, Twenty-fourth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with which he remained in service until the close of the great conflict which perpetuated the integrity of the Union. He was captured by the enemy at Sabine Crossroads, Texas, and later was again taken captive in a spirited engagement, passing about fourteen months in rebel prisons. He was with Grant in the siege of Vicksburg and participated in many of the important engagements incident to the progress of the war. After receiving his honorable discharge he returned to his home in Iowa, where he continued to be identified with farming until 1870, when he removed to the northwestern part of that state, where he took up government land. He was one of the organizers of Lyon county, in 1871, and was chosen the first treasurer of the county, while for many years thereafter he was a member of the county board of supervisors, being a man of influence in that section and a prominent figure in the local ranks of the Republican party, of whose principles he was an ardent advocate. He passed the remainder of his life in the county which he aided in organizing, his death there occurring on the 15th of November, 1884, while his cherished and devoted wife entered into eternal rest on the 7th of October, 1901, both having been consistent members of the Congregational church, while he was a Royal Arch Mason.
Edward E. Wagner was reared on the homestead farm and after attending the district schools completed a course in the high schools at Rock Rapids, Iowa. In February, 1891, he began reading law in the office of H. G. McMillan, of that place, his former preceptor being now United States district attorney for the northern district of Iowa, while he was for several years a prominent member of the Republican state central committee of Iowa. Under the able direction of this honored preceptor the subject continued his technical studies until his admission to the bar, on the 13th of May, 1893. He then came to Mitchell, South Dakota, where he was associated in the practice of his profession with D. A. Mizener until November, 1895, when he returned to Rock Rapids, Iowa, and became associated in practice with his former preceptor, Mr. McMillan, who had lately been chosen chairman of the Republican state central committee. About one year later Mr. Wagner formed a law partnership with C. J. Miller, of Rock Rapids, and this professional alliance there continued until April, 1899, when the subject came again to South Dakota and located in Alexandria, where he has since been established in practice, having gained a high reputation as an advocate and being one of the prominent and successful members of the bar. He is a staunch Republican, and in 1900 was elected state's attorney of Hanson county, serving one term. He was the nominee of his party for representative of his district in the state senate in 1903, but met the defeat which attended the party ticket in general in this section. He is a member of Celestial Lodge, No. 37, Free and Accepted Masons; of Mitchell Chapter, No. 16. Royal Arch Masons; and St. Bernard Commandery, No. 11, Knights Templar, of Mitchell, while he also is affiliated with the Alexandria lodges of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He has served as a member of the county central committee of the Republican party and is a zealous worker in the cause of the same. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, at Alexandria.
On the 10th of July, 1894, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Wagner to Miss Alice E. Tresler, of Rock Rapids, Iowa, and they are the parents of three children, Hazel L., Ruth N. and Robert Edward.
REV. CHARLES AUER.
Father Charles Auer is well known as the beloved pastor of the Catholic church of SS. Peter and Paul at Dimock, which in 1885 was known as Rome, then Starr and since 1912 as Dimock. His birth occurred in Germany on the 11th of January, 1867, his parents being George and Josepha Auer. In the acquirement of an education he attended the parochial schools of Hamilton, Ohio, and his theological training was received in St. Meinard Seminary of St. Meinard, Indiana. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1892 and was assigned to his first mission in the counties traversed by and adjacent to the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers in southwestern Kentucky with headquarters at Paducah, Kentucky. In 1906 he came to South Dakota and was assigned to the mission at Farmer, where he remained in charge for about eight years. In 1913 he was appointed pastor of the church of SS. Peter and Paul at Dimock, his immediate predecessor, Rev. J. L. Wulf, passing away on the 6th of September of that year. The latter had charge of the parish from 1894 to 1896 as a young man, was subsequently transferred to Milbank but eventually returned to Dimock and spent the last five years of his life as pastor of the church of SS. Peter and Paul. He erected the beautiful brick church at a cost of thirty-five thousand dollars and had begun the building of the new brick school house at an estimated cost of sixteen thousand dollars, but the latter structure was completed by Rev. Auer and represents an expenditure of thirty thousand dollars. The school course covers eight grades and the students are taught by six Sisters of St. Francis of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Rev. Auer is identified with the Knights of Columbus, belonging to Paducah (Ky.) Council, No. 1055. He enjoys the cooperation of his parishioners in unusual degree and his consecrated labors have been an appreciable factor in the growth and spread of Catholicity here.