Biography of Joseph E. Hennings
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JOSEPH E. HENNINGS. One time owner of the Grand Hotel of Anderson and now manager of the Grand Opera House and the Anderson Posting Advertising Company, Joseph E. Hennings has been identified with the business interests of this city since 1890. His first connection with the commercial affairs of Anderson was as salesman and solicitor, and he gained a local reputation for progressive ideas and genuine business capacity that has stood him in excellent stead through all the years of his operation.
Born in New York City, May 10, 1865, Joseph’ E. Hennings received his early training in the schools of the American metropolis. During his hours out of school the boy practically supported himself by selling papers in the streets. His education was limited to the briefest training, and he was but ten years old when he left scho0l to engage in regular work. He was employed as an office boy for a time, and then left New York and landed in K0komo, Indiana, where he became a bell boy in the Clinton House. He was also a newsboy in that city. He came to Anderson in 1890. He was attracted to this town during the days of the Indiana State Baseball League. In his loyalty to the Kokomo team he was landed in the grand stand for all his spare change, and the Anderson boys advertised him as lost. He remained in Anderson, as he says, rather than walk back, besides facing the humiliation of defeat. However, he possessed the wit and independence which would prosper anywhere, and it is said of Mr, Hennings that no matter what convolutions of experience he might go through he would land on his feet. Though he had only brains with which to contend against both brains and capital, his native shrewdness won out and he thus became well established in Anderson within a few years. In 1894, he engaged in the hotel business, becoming proprietor of what was kn0wn as the old Anderson Hotel, a place he c0ntinued to operate with success for the ensuing ten years. In 1905 he became interested in the Grand Opera House, and in the same year leased the Grand Hotel, then the principal hotel in Anderson and new and modern in all its appointments. In this hotel he brought to bear all his early acquired knowledge of the business as well as that he had gained in later years, and carried on the management until the Grand Hotel became the most popular hostelry in the state. In the meantime he had become manager of the Grand Opera House, which he operated profitably in connection with his activities as landlord of the finest hotel. In February, 1913, Mr. Hennings disposed of his interests in the Grand Hotel, but continued as manager of the Opera House. For five consecutive years he was president of Indiana Hotel-keepers Association. Since retiring from the hotel business, Mr. Hennings has bought a neat and substantial residence on Central Avenue, and now devotes his entire time to those interests which have gradually accumulated during his active business career. He is a stock h0lder in the People’s State Bank and the Farmers Trust Company, is’ also 0wner of the Bill Posting Plant, the best equipped concern of its kind in the state. He owns valuable grounds opposite the post office, covering an area of seventy-two by one hundred and forty-four feet. The Anderson Posting Advertising Company is well known throughout this section of the state. Mr. Hennings was director general in the most important commercial event in the history of Anderson, and als0 the most successful affair ever brought about for boosting home interests. This was the “Made in Anderson exhibit” held under a mamm0th canvas during the first week in June, 1913, and attracting visitors, business men and industrial representatives from every part of the country. He was chairman of the finance committee in this County. His fraternal relations are with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and at the present time he is grand district deputy of the Grand L0dge of that Order, while he served as chairman of the committee appointed to provide for the Elks State Convention which met in Anderson in May, 1912. That was the best state convention in the history of the order. He is likewise a member of the Loyal Order of Moose, the Knights of Pythias, is interested in the Travelers Protective Association, of which he is a director, and is a director of the Antlers Club.
Mr. Hennings as a successful man credits no small share of his progress and prosperity to his capable wife. On August 8, 1891, soon after he located in Anderson, he married Miss Josephine Morey, of Adrian, Michigan, a daughter of Max Morey. They have one daughter Eva. The family residence is 1222 Central Avenue.
Mr. Hennings has long since demonstrated the character of his citizenship to be above reproach, and his public spiritedness and open- mindedness has been of the greatest benefit of the city which represents his home, and where he displays a wholes0me interest in every enterprise calculated to enhance the community welfare.
Mr. Hennings retains his office in the Grand Opera House block and while he has opportunities in other cities where a larger field for operations are offered him, he still stands by the ship that carried him over and believes in loyalty to good old Anderson.