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Jacob Stoffel, Jr., figures prominently in commercial circles as a member of the firm of Stoffel Brothers, owners of two well appointed dry goods stores in Racine, but while active and energetic in this connection he does not allow individual interests to preclude the possibility of his co-operation in public affairs and he has rendered to his city valuable service as alderman and as a member of the school board. Racine claims him as a native son, his birth having here occurred on the 2d of July, 1861, his parents being Nicholas J. and Juliana Maria (Schmidt) Stoffel, both of whom were natives of Germany, the former born at Neierkirch, in the Rhine province, mid the latter at Leidneck. In the year 1851 they arrived in Racine and the father, who was a cooper and wagon maker by trade, conducted a shop on his own account for a few years, but was afterward connected with the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company for thirty-five years, being one of the oldest and most trusted representatives of that corporation.
Spending his youthful days under the parental roof, Jacob Stoffel was sent to the German Lutheran parochial school, also attended public school and then finished a course in bookkeeping at Parsons’ Business Academy. He afterward learned the shoemaker’s trade and still later accepted a clerkship in the dry goods store of Clancy & Tracey on Sixth Street in the year 1877. He followed this occupation for some time and it was the initial step which he made toward entering mercantile circles on his own account. He carefully saved his earnings and in September, 1881, formed a partnership with Jens Jenson under the firm style of Jenson & Stoffel, opening a store at No. 618 State Street. That connection was continued until 1887, when Mr. Stoffel purchased the interest of Mr. Jenson and then, admitting his brother, Peter T., to a partnership, the firm of Stoffel Brothers was formed and has since been maintained. Something of the growth and success of the business is indicated in the fact that in 1900 they opened a branch store on High street. They have a large and substantial trade, carry an attractive line of goods and have built up a business which is growing in volume and importance year by year. In connection with his other business interests Jacob Stoffel is also a director of the First National Bank, in which capacity he has continued for twenty years.
Mr. Stoffel was married to Miss Emma Savall, of Melvina. Wisconsin. His children are: William, who is now a dealer in dental supplies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Annette, the wife of Roy Martin, a prosperous manufacturer of surveying instruments, also a resident of Milwaukee: Earl, who is a practicing dentist of Racine; Arthur, who is engaged in business with his father; Elmer, who is a graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and who is now in business in Delaware; Selda, who is attending the Wisconsin University at Madison; and Leona, a high school pupil in Racine.
Mr. and Mrs. Stoffel are members of the English Lutheran church, loyal to its teachings and generous in its support. Mr. Stoffel belongs to the Elks, the Eagles and the German M. V. His political endorsement is given to the Republican Party and in the ’90s he represented the Fourth ward on the board of aldermen. The cause of education finds in him a stalwart champion and for ten years he has served as a member of the school board, acting as its president for two years of that time. He was appointed commissioner on the army board by Mayor Thiesen, July 18, 1916. At the present time he is serving as a director on the board of St. Luke’s Hospital and he is chairman of the city committee of the National Security League. Those who know him entertain for him warm regard and his business relations and public service have brought him a wide acquaintance. Moreover, he has always lived in Racine and his life history is an open book. Those who have known him longest speak of him in most creditable terms and acknowledge his right to be classed with the representative and progressive citizens and business men of this County.