Biography of Jens C. Jensen
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Jens C. Jensen, president and treasurer of the Jensen Brothers Dry Goods, was active in incorporating this business in 1912, but for many years before had been closely associated with commercial activity in this city. He had come to the United States in 1872 when a young man of nineteen years and in the spring of 1875, when twenty-two years of age arrived in Racine.. His birth occurred in Denmark, September 11, 1852, his parents being C. and Maria Jensen, who were natives of that country and there spent their entire lives. Reared and educated in Denmark, Jens C. Jensen determined to seek his fortune in the United States when nineteen years of age and in 1872 sailed for the new world. He spent six months in Connecticut and then removed westward to Kenosha where he obtained a clerkship in a dry goods store, continuing there until the spring of 1875 when he arrived in Racine. Here he also engaged in clerking until 1881 but it was his firm purpose to engage in business on his own account and with that end in view he carefully saved his earnings until he was able to form a partnership and establish a store. He became associated with Jacob Stoffel under the firm style of Jensen & Stoffel and they opened a store, which they conducted until 1887. In that year Mr. Jensen disposed of his interest to his partner and removed to California, where he spent five years as a dry goods clerk. In 1892 he returned to Racine and again opened a store on his own account at No. 1006 State Street, being joined by his brother H. P. Jensen as a partner. Their relations continued until 1910 when the brother sold out and retired from active business. In 1902 the firm erected a building fifty-two by one hundred feet at No. 1012 to 1016 State street. This is a two-story structure. The dry goods business occupies a store with thirty feet frontage, while the remainder is rented to the Farmers & Merchants State Bank. In 1912 the business was incorporated under the name of the Jensen Brothers Dry Goods Company with Jens C. Jensen as the president and treasurer: George Jensen as the vice president and Kate Jensen as the secretary. They carry a large line of dry goods, carpets and rugs and their patronage has been steadily growing as the years have gone by, their business being now large and profitable.
In 1880 Mr. Jensen was married to Miss Maggie Williams, of Racine, a daughter of Owen Williams, who was one of the pioneer residents of this city and of Welsh descent. Mrs. Jensen passed away in California in 1888 leaving three daughters: Jessie C., Louise M., and Kate, all yet at home. Mr. Jensen belongs to the Danish Society of Racine and for the past forty-three years has been a loyal member of the, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He votes with the Republican Party when national questions are involved, but at local elections where there are no political issues before the people, he casts an independent ballot. He is a loyal American citizen. There is none of the “hyphenated” spirit in his allegiance to his adopted country. He feels that he owes much to this land and its opportunities and it has been through the wise and earnest use of these opportunities that he has been enabled to work his way upward to success, being now one of the prosperous merchants of his adopted city.