For the past thirty-four years the community of Tecumseh had profited by the business activities and progressive citizenship of the Bergmann family. It was late in the year 1882 that Wilhelm Henry Bergmann came here and purchased a property, and subsequently he became one of the locality’s substantial men and continued so during the remainder of a long and useful life. The reputation for solidity and integrity which he made is being perpetuated by his son, Curt Bergmann, present postmaster of Tecumseh and proprietor of one of the city’s leading mercantile establishments.
The late Wilhelm Henry Bergmann was born in the kingdom of Saxony, October 26, 1836. He was the son of a poor man, but managed to secure an excellent education, which was completed by several years of attendance at the great University of Heidelburg. As a young man he mustered the trade of tailor, a vocation which he made his life work, and, like everything he did, perfected himself thoroughly in every branch of the business. Mr. Bergmann remained in his native land until 1881, when he decided to seek the opportunities offered energetic and ambitious men in America. Accordingly, in the antumn of that year he came here and from Castle Garden proceeded to Philadelphia, where he secured employment at his trade. In the spring of 1882 he came to the West, locating for a short time at Manhattan, Kansas, and subsequently going to Topeka, where, on August 22d he was joined by his wife and seven children. Mr. Bergmann’s fine workmanship gained him ready recognition among leading merchant tailors, as shown in the fact that he was employed by such firms as Koester & Trapp, George Hammel and Fred Renker. Toward the close of the year 1882, he, with his son Curt, walked to Tecumseh to look over some property belonging to Mrs. Kringel, whose husband had died a short time before. When she sold to Mr. Bergmann, Mrs. Kringel returned to her old home in Germany. Mr. Bergmann became so well pleased with conditions at Tecumseh that he never thereafter desired to reside any place else, and throughout the remainder of his life was happy and contented with his surroundings and did not even express the desire to go back to his native Saxony. He was a man possessed of the qualities that attract lasting friendships and make for the highest type of citizenship. He was a Lutheran in religious belief and lived his religion every day. Fraternally, he belonged to the Odd Fellows. In his death, which occurred in October, 1897, Tecumseh lost one of its best men, who had been always a supporter of educational and moral movements, Mr. Bergmann had ten children, seven born in Germany and three in the United States, all of whom lived to maturity except the last born, who died in infancy. They were: Lena, Fanny, Helen, Curt, Antonio, Selma, Elsie, Lillian and Ella.
Curt Bergmann was born near Dresden, the capital of the Kingdom of Saxony, May 21, 1872. He was ten years of age when he came to the United States, and his education was completed in the public schools of Kansas. Under the teaching of his father he learned the trade of tailor, which he followed for seven years, then accepting a position with the Santa Fe Railroad as the first agent of that line at Tecumseh and later serving the company in the same capacity at Scranton, Atchison and Kansas City. When he left the Santa Fe he engaged in newspaper work, which retained his attention for 2 ½ years in New York City, but, at the time of his appointment to the postmastership he returned to Tecumseh, where, in connection with discharging the duties of his office, he had since conducted a mercantile establishment. Under his able direction, the Tecumseh office is giving the people excellent mail service, and his business, at the same time, had grown and prospered. Mr. Bergmann is a Mason of high standing, belonging to Golden Rule Lodge No. 90. Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Valley of Topeka Consistory; Scottish Rite; and Orient Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He takes an active part in all progressive civic movements and had earned the right to be named as one of Tecumseh’s representative citizens.