Biography of William J. Beffel
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Racine is lacking in none of those advantages which offer a broad field to the energetic young business man and William J. Beffel is among the native sons who in legitimate lines of trade have worked their way upward to success. He became the successor of his father, Mathias Beffel, and reorganizing the business, is now the president of the Beffel Furniture & Undertaking Company, in which connection he controls an important commercial concern of the city. He was born July 27, 1873, a son of Mathias and Johanna (Brehm) Beffel. The father was born in Chicago in 1837 and the mother, a native of Germany, was brought to the United States in her girlhood by her parents, Frank and Agnes Brehm, who became residents of Burlington, Wisconsin, at an early period in the settlement of Racine County, arriving, here in the opening years of the ’40s. The paternal grandfather of -William J. Beffel was John Beffel, who in the ’40s became a resident of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and in 1854 removed to Racine, where he followed the cooper’s trade. In the year in which the family home was established in Racine, Mathias Beffel entered the employ of the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company, with which he continued for twenty-one years, or until 1875, when he embarked in business on his own account., establishing a retail furniture and undertaking business, which he successfully managed and conducted until 1901, when he retired, being succeeded by his two sons. He was one of the founders of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and is a member of the German Catholic, Young Men’s Association. He and his wife still reside in Racine.
On the 19th of -Tune, 1895, W. J. Beffel was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Salentine, who was born in Sacramento, California, a daughter of M. J. and Clara (Arnold) Salentine, who removed with their family front the Pacific coast, to Milwaukee and later to Kenosha, but have now returned to Milwaukee. Mr. and Mrs. Beffel have become the parents of a son, Robert M., now seventeen years of age.
The parents are members of St.. Mary’s Catholic Church and Mr. Beffel is identified also with the Knights of Columbus. He likewise has membership with the Modern Woodmen of America, the Moose and the. Royal Arcanum and in politics he is non-partisan, voting for the man and not for the party. He gives his undivided attention to his business interests. He supplemented his public school education by three courses in undertaking and is an expert embalmer. He belongs to the Wisconsin State Funeral Directors’ Association and the Wisconsin Retail Furniture Dealers’ Association and in trade circles is prominent and popular, his contemporaries and colleagues recognizing him as an alert, energetic man, who expresses in his interests and activities the spirit of modern business progress.