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Louis Goeppinger


Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 5/8/2010 at 18:15:20

For many years Louis Goeppinger has in various ways participated in the development of Boone, of which city he is a pioneer. Here he founded what is now the oldest saddlery firm in the state and also participated in other enterprises which contributed to the up building of the city, Mr Geoppinger was born in Reutlingen, Wurtemberg Germany on June 9, 1829, and as the second child of Johannes and Katharine (Ammer) Goeppinger. During the period of his boyhood he acquired a good education in the schools of Germany and then took up the tanner’s trade, an occupation that had been followed by his ancestors for more than three centuries.
The reports which he heard concerning the opportunities of the new world, however, attracted him to America and in the spring of 1849, accompanied by his brother Frederick, he sailed for the United States, landing at New York on April 19, after forty-nine days spent as a passenger upon the sailing vessel Luconia. This length of time for the crossing was in marked contrast to the voyage which he made in 1896, when he returned on a visit to his old home in Germany, taking passage on the Columbia, of the Hamburg-American line, which made the trip in six days. On first coming to America Louis Goeppinger made his way to Dauphin, Pennsylvania, where he remained for six months, and then went to Allegheny city, That state, where he followed his trade for some time. He carefully saved his earnings until economy and industry had brought him sufficient capital to enable him to embark in business on his own account. He ten went to Malvern, Ohio where he opened a tannery, which he conducted successfully until 1866. He then disposed of his pant at that place and removed to Boone, Iowa, where he opened a leather store in a modest frame building with a small stock of goods, conducting the business under the style of L & H Goeppinger, which name has ever since been used. This is the oldest saddlery firm in the state and its business has been one of growing importance, bringing to the owners a most gratifying return. Mr Goeppinger is one of the pioneer residents of Boone and when he arrived here he could buy land at his own price. The town was very small and for hundred of miles around and to the west there stretched a vast sea of billowy green the waving prairie grasses. He saw lots sold on Story street, now the principal business thoroughfare of Boone, at two hundred and twenty-five dollars each, while today some of the same lots would bring ten thousand dollars. From the time of his arrival he took active and helpful part in the development and up building of the city and for many years figured as one of its most prominent business men. He was one of the first stockholders in the City Bank and for many years was its vice president and later president. His firm built the first three front, substantial business block on Story street, and he was otherwise connected with the improvement of real estate. He also aided in building the German Lutheran church and for many years has been one of its consistent and helpful members. On April 1, 1912, he was elected city trustee.
It was on July 9, 1857, at Malvern, Ohio, that Louis Goeppinger was united in marriage to Miss Catherine LeBeau, who as born at that place February 10, 1840 a daughter of Charles LeBeau, a native of Landau, Germany, who, emigrating to Ohio, there carried on the cooper’s trade until his death at the age of seventy-five years. Mr Goeppinger was for many years a member of the school board of Boone, and the cause of education always found in him a friend. To his children he gave good opportunities in that direction.
John L Goeppinger, their son, is today at the head of the saddlery business in Boone. He is a man of strong purpose, alert and energetic, and his success has come to him as the merited reward of intelligently directed effort. He was born in Malvern, Ohio June 5, 1862, and removed with is parents to Boone, being graduated form the Boone high school at the age of nineteen years. He was the only male member of the first class to complete the course. He afterward became a student of Duff’s College at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was graduated there from in 1881. He next entered in to active connection with the wholesale leather and saddlery business which was established by his father and uncle and with which he has since been connected. This is today one of the most important business enterprises of the city and under the guidance of John L Goeppinger it has grown and developed to its present extensive and profitable proportions. It is true that he entered upon a business already established, but in conducting this he has met the changing conditions of the times and proven his ability to cope with the problems that a different age has brought. He too, has become an active factor n financial circles. He was one of the organizers of the Security Savings Bank, of which he remains a director, and he was one of the organizers of the City Trust & Savings Bank, of which he is also a director. He owns large real estate interests, including both farm land and city property, and in all of his business affairs he displays sound judgment, unfaltering energy and marked persistency of purpose. His life ahs ever been one of usefulness and well directed activity. In company with his father and others, constitution a party of six, he went to Wurtemberg, Germany, and other parts of Europe. This proved a most delightful experience in his life.
On June 24, 1896, John L Goeppinger was united in marriage to Miss Ella Groetzinger, a daughter of Julius and Elizabeth (Shauwecker) Groetzinger, the wedding being celebrated at Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. Her father was a native of Reutlingen, Germany, born February 6, 1831, and is still living. Her mother born July 31, 1837, at Columbiana, Ohio died March 29, 1890, at the age of about fifty-three. John L Goeppinger’s marriage has been blessed with the birth of five children: Julius Louis born May 9, 1898, Alfred Henry born December 25, 1899, Katharine Louise, born January 2, 1902, Helen Elizabeth born March 8, 1908, and Walter William born September 11, 19111. Mr and Mrs Goeppinger are members of the Evangelical Lutheran church. They take a very active and prominent part in the church work. Mr Goeppinger gives his political allegiance tot eh republican party but has found little time to full matters of citizenship, however, eh is never remiss and has cooperated largely in many measures relating to the public good. He ahs served as one of the trustees of the Public Library, for ten years has been a member of the school board and for two terms was its president. Few men have done as much to advance the interests of education in Boone. His life has, indeed, been fruitful of good along many lines and all who know him entertain for him the highest regard by reason of what he has accomplished and the honorable methods which he has pursued in every relation of life.

1914 Boone County History Book


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