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Eugene Henry Harms, president and treasurer of the Hesse Envelope & Lithograph Company of St. Louis, was born in this city May 16, 1883. His father, the late Henry Harms, was a native of Cole Camp, Cole county, Missouri, and belonged to one of the old families of this country, descended from ancestors from Saxony. The first of the name in America was Henry Harms, who took up his abode on this side the Atlantic in 1830, becoming a resident of Cole, Missouri, where he resided to the time of his demise. His son, Henry Harms, was reared and educated in Cole, attending school to the age of sixteen years, when a removal was made to St. Louis, where he became a pupil in Bryant and Stratton’s Business College. Subsequently he entered a real estate office and later was employed by the grocery firm of Fienup & Velde, there remaining for about ten years. He afterward entered the Peter Hauptman establishment as a bookkeeper and eventually became vice president, treasurer and president of the company, working his way steadily upward through various clerical and official positions until he became head of the house. He continued in that business to the time of his death, which occurred July 4, 1909, when he had reached the age of fifty-four years. During the Civil war he was a member of the Missouri Home Guards, stationed at St. Louis.
He married Marie Grosse, who was born in this city, a daughter of Moritz and Wilhelmina (Schuessler) Grosse, both of whom were natives of Saxony and early settlers of St. Louis. The mother died September 14, 1920, in St. Louis at the age of sixty-three years. In the family were eight children, four sons and four daughters, of whom two daughters died in early childhood.
Eugene Henry Harms, the second in order of birth in the family, was educated in the parochial schools of St. Louis, in Concordia College of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in Concordia Seminary of St. Louis. Later he accepted a position as an instructor in the Walther College of St. Louis and while thus engaged also attended Washington University, from which he was graduated in 1910 with the Master of Arts degree. He afterward became president of Walther College and continued as head of the institution until 1916, when he took over the interest of the late Frank Hesse and became president and treasurer of the Hesse Envelope & Lithographing Company. He has since conducted a large and growing business, the success of the enterprise being attributable to his thorough early training, his close application and careful management. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Peter Hauptman Tobacco Company.
On the 5th of August, 1908, Mr. Harms was married in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Miss Hulda Lange, a native of Valparaiso, Indiana, and a daughter of the late Rev. W. J. B. Lange, a Lutheran clergyman, and Phoebe (Smith) Lange. Mr. and Mrs. Harms have become parents of two children: Norbert, born in St. Louis, August 17, 1909; and Ruth, born in St. Louis, July 21, 1915.
In his political views Mr. Harms is a republican when national issues and questions are involved but at local elections casts an independent ballot, considering only the capability of the candidate for the office which he seeks. He belongs to the Bethel Lutheran church of Clayton, Missouri, of which he is the president and he is well known in club circles, having membership in the Missouri Athletic Association, the St. Louis Advertising Club, the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the Sunset Hill Country Club. He works earnestly for those organizations which are looking to the benefit and welfare of St. Louis and also greatly enjoys the social amenities of life, highly prizing warm friendship, which at all times he holds inviolable.