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Henry C. Wiegand is today one of the oldest jewelry merchants in Racine in years of connection with the trade, having established his store about 1896. Throughout the intervening period the establishment has largely set the standard for activity in this line in the city, for he carries a large and attractive stock and his business methods are such as will bear the closest investigation and scrutiny. Born in Racine on the 1st of May, 1872, he is a son of Conrad and Anna (Haas) Wiegand, both of whom were natives of Germany, whence they came to the new world, arriving in Racine in the late ’50s. The father was a miller by trade and devoted his entire life to work of that kind, passing away about 1898. His widow survives and is now eighty years of age.
Henry C. Wiegand attended the parochial school of the German Lutheran church and also the public schools of Racine, and when his textbooks were put aside began preparation for a business career by learning the jewelry trade, being employed by C. C. Lovell and later by James W. Spence. In those connections he thoroughly acquainted himself with the business and about 1896, having in the meantime carefully saved his earnings, he embarked in the jewelry business on his own account in connection with Herman Proehl, who was a music dealer. Three years later Mr. Wiegand bought out his partner’s interest and his brother, Charles A. Wiegand, came into the firm. This association has since been maintained and the Wiegand Brothers’ jewelry store at No. 420 Main Street is one of the oldest establishments of the kind in the city.
On the 14th of February, 1898, Mr. Wiegand was united in marriage to Miss Anna Burkert of Racine, her parents being George and Sophia Burkert, early settlers of this city. By occupation the father is a machinist. Mr. and Mrs. Wiegand now have three children. Henry B. Emil C., and Sophia Anna, who are sixteen, fourteen and eleven years of age respectively. The parents are members of the German Lutheran church and in social circles they occupy an enviable position. Mr. Wiegand belongs to the Deutscher Club and Deutscher Maenner Verein and to the Commercial Club and in politics maintains an independent attitude, voting for men and measures rather than party. He has made an excellent record in business circles and possesses in large measure that quality which for want of a better term has been called commercial sense. In a word, he recognizes the value of opportunity and readily discriminates between the essential and the non-essential in all those things which bear upon the development and success of the trade.