A notable business record is that of John Stoffel, who for forty-one years has been at the head of a cigar factory in Racine and today has the largest establishment of the kind in the city. His commercial career is as an open book which all may read. His trade has developed along legitimate lines of business and his success has been built upon honorable methods and the excellence of the product turned out by the factory. Mr. Stoffel was born in Racine, April 10, 1855, a son of Nicholas J. and Juliana Maria (Schmidt) Stoffel, born respectively in Neierkirch and Leidneck, in the district of Koblenz, Germany, where they were married. At an early age they came to the United States and Mr. Stoffel engaged in the cooperage business in Racine, devoting ten or fifteen years to that line of work. He then entered the employ of the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company, with which he was continuously connected until his retirement from active business. He died about ten years ago and in his passing the community lost a substantial citizen.
John Stoffel obtained his education in the German Lutheran school and a afterward was employed in a sash, door and blind factory for seven or eight years. Subsequently he spent a few years in the employ of the Case Threshing Machine Company, at the end of which time, with the capital which he had saved from his earnings, he embarked in business on his own account, organizing the John Stoffel cigar factory forty-one years ago. In this connection he has developed a large business, in fact has the most extensive cigar manufactory in Racine, employing about eighteen men. He built his own plant at No. 1436 North Erie street and his factory is well equipped with the latest improved devices and machinery for carrying on the work. He has also engaged to a greater or less extent in the real estate business and has bought, erected and sold ninny buildings, now owning a number of buildings in the city.
It was about forty-one years ago that Mr. Stoffel was married to Miss Anna Christensen, a native of Denmark and a daughter of Soren and Marian (Jensen) Christensen, who came to the United States in an early day and took up a homestead in South Dakota, where they lived for forty years. Both have now passed away. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Stoffel are seven children: Albert Jacob, who is associated in business with his father and is traveling for the company; Ida, the wife of Ole Olsen, of Racine; Elma, who died at the age of sixteen; Mattie, the deceased wife of Archie Langlois; Louise, the wife of Alexander H. Anderson, a clothing merchant of Racine; John, a resident of Detroit, Michigan; and Lena, the wife of Herbert Warner, of Racine. The family was reared in the faith of the Episcopal Church. Mr. Stoffel has a fine residence, which he erected, and he has found his greatest delight in his success in that it, enables him to provide an attractive home and the comforts of life for his family.
In politics he is a republican but votes for men and measures rather than party. He has always been interested in the public welfare and for two terms served as a member of the city council. He was one of the first to agitate the question of securing a police patrol and after the bill was passed he and other supporters thereof purchased a team of horses, which was used on the police patrol for fourteen years. Mr. Stoffel does everything in his power to support the best interests of the community, his influence being always on the side of improvement and progress. He is a charter member of the Traveling Men’s Protective Association and he is well known in commercial circles, enjoying the confidence and good will of colleagues and contemporaries.