J. E. Pritchard has in various ways been connected with the interests of Racine, having previously served as postmaster, while in business affairs his activity has contributed to the general commercial development. Since 1915 he has been engaged in the real estate, insurance and loan business. He was born in this city, March 18, 1872, a son of Elias J. and Martha (Evans) Pritchard, the former a native of North Wales and the latter of South Wales. The paternal grandfather, David Pritchard, who came to Racine in 1845, was a woodworker by trade. He established his home on Grand avenue, between Eighth Street and Ninth Street, and there resided until his death, which occurred when he was eighty-six years of age. The maternal grandfather, James T. Evans, arrived in Racine in 1850 and worked at the molder’s trade in the employ of the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company. Elias J. Pritchard was also a molder and for many years was employed by the Case Threshing Machine Company, but at the time of the Civil war he put aside all business and personal considerations and responded to the country’s call for troops, enlisting as a member of Company F, Twenty-second Wisconsin Regiment, with which he served from 1862 until 1865. On retiring from the service of the Case Company he secured an appointment as letter carrier in Racine and so continued from 1885 until his death, which occurred in March, 1886. His wife, who was born in 1845, died in February, 1911.
When a little lad of six years J. E. Pritchard became a pupil in the public schools of Racine and passed through consecutive grades until a high school education qualified him for life’s practical and responsible duties. He started in the business world as a machinist in the shops of the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company, there remaining for five years, and his initial experience in insurance lines was received as an employee of the David G. Janes Company between the years 1895 and 1897. In the latter year he was appointed assistant postmaster of Racine and so served for four years under J. I. Case and for four years under II. J. Smith. He resigned under Postmaster Gittings and in 1909 entered into the retail paint and oil business as a member of the firm of Moers, Pritchard & Brandow. On the 1st of November, 1910, he was appointed postmaster of Racine and sold his interest in the paint company, continuing to serve as postmaster for more than four years. On his retirement from that office, in which he made a most creditable record, he opened an insurance, real estate and loan office at No. 852 Washington boulevard and is now active along that line, having won a liberal clientage that already makes his business a profitable one.
On the 19th of June, 1903, Mr. Pritchard was married to Miss Harriet Klinkert, a daughter of E. Klinkert, who was one of the early settlers of this County. He was born in Germany, November 11, 1844, a son of J. and Mary Klinkert, who spent their entire lives in the fatherland. E. Klinkert came. to the United States in 1866 and settled at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Germany he had learned the brewing business and when in 1873 he removed from Milwaukee to Racine he here opened the Klinkert brewery on the 1st of March of that year, the location being at Nos. 800-832 Washington Boulevard. He started the business in a small way but his patronage has steadily grown and the sales now cover a broad section. In 1871 he was united in marriage to Miss Sophia Walter, a native of Germany the wedding being celebrated in St. Louis. They became the parents of the following named: Louis, who is now foreman in the brewery; Harriet, now Mrs. Pritchard; Frank, who is with his father in business; Mrs. Ella K. Von Bories, a resident of Chicago; George, who is with his father in business ; and Jennie, the wife of R. T. Williams, living in Kenosha. Mr. Klinkert is a member of the Deutscher Club and also of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, while in politics he maintains an independent course, never allying himself with any party.
Mr. Pritchard is identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and is a prominent Mason, belonging to lodge, chapter and commandery. His father was eminent commander of Racine Commandery, No. 7, at the time of his death and he was the leader of the Belle City male chorus, being recognized as one of the prominent musicians of the state. J. E. Pritchard holds membership in the Baptist church, of which his grandfather was one of the founders, and his political allegiance is given to the Republican Party. He stands for those things which are, most worth while in the life of the community and his influence is on the side of progress, reform and improvement.