History of Milwaukee, City and County


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650 HISTORY OP MILWAUKEE of putting together a superstructure that will serve the designated purpose. As a marine contractor Mr. Gillen introduced the granite capped rubble mound breakwater on Lake Michigan, the first breakwater of this type being constructed at Milwaukee for the board of park commissioners. He has likewise been identified with the construc- tion of the rubble mound stilling basin enclosure for the Milwaukee Electric Railway ft Light Company’s new Lakeside power plant and the State Street bridge at Racine, Wisconsin, is likewise one of the features of his life work. In 1914 he organized the Edward E. Gillen Company, now one of the foremost marine contracting concerns of the middle west. On the 29th of December, 1915, in Racine, Mr. Gillen was united in marriage to Miss Mary O’Laughlin, a daughter of John O’Laughlin, who was one of the first of the big tunnel contractors in the city of Chicago. He opened the extensive quarries at Ives, Wisconsin, four miles north of Racine, about 1897 and after disposing of these opened the immense quarry properties at Waukesha, Wisconsin, now operated by the Waukesha Lime ft Stone Company. Mr. and Mrs. Gillen are of the Catholic faith and he is a charter member of Racine Council, Knights of Columbus, in which he held the office of lecturer for two terms, while he has served on various committees in the organization. He likewise belongs to the Milwaukee Athletic Club and to the Wisconsin Club and has appreciation for the social amenities of life when opportunity affords him leisure therefor. His business interests, however, have long been of an extensive character, involving many of the most complex and intricate construction problems, and with the passing years Mr. Gillen has developed and strengthened his powers until he may well be called a master of the line of business to which he has ever devoted his energies. It is a wonderful record when a man occupies a position of power and responsibility for long years, his reputation unclouded and his capability widely recognized. Snch was the career of H. August Luedke, who for forty-five years was closely identified with the growth and progress of the John Pritzlaff Hardware Company, of which he became vice president and general manager. Other business activities too claimed his attention and profited by his cooperation and sound judgment. He won a substantial measure of success but the attainment of prosperity was never the sole end and aim of his life, for he ever recognized his duties and obligations in other directions and stood with those men who uphold and promote civic righteousness and civic progress. Mr. Luedke was born in Zimders, Prussia, May 24, 1850, and his life span covers the intervening years to the 26th of September, 1917. His parents were August and Caroline Luedke, who came to the United States with their family in 1861, making their way direct to Milwaukee. H. August Luedke acquired his education in the public schools of this city and in the Spencerian Business College and after a brief experience in other lines became identified with the H. F. Dunn Wholesale Millinery Company, being thus engaged to the age of twenty-two years, when he became associated with the John Pritzlaff Hardware Company. Prom that time forward he was a contributing factor to the continued growth and success of the business and through almost a half century his labors were a valuable asset in the profitable conduct of* the enterprise. His other business connections too were numerous, for his counsel and advice were considered most valuable and his co- operation was eagerly sought by many firms. He became the vice president of the Con- cordia Fire Insurance Company and also of the National Hardware Association. He was likewise a director of the First National Bank and of the Milwaukee Gas Light Company. His name was also on the directorate of the National Enameling ft Stamping Company, and there were still other business enterprises with which he was associated. He was regarded as a wise and conservative counselor in business affairs, readily recognized and utilized opportunities, and at all times manifested not only justice bat kindliness and helpfulness toward employes. On the 11th of June, 1873, Mr. Luedke was united in marriage to Miss Emma Pritzlaff, a daughter of John and Sophia (Blume) Pritzlaff, both of whom were natives of Germany, the former born at Triglaff and the latter in Roxburg, Saxony. Her father arrived in New York in 1839 and in Milwaukee in 1841. In the former year Mrs. Pritzlaff reached Milwaukee, and they were married in this city in 1844. The father died in 1900 after long years of residence in this city, where he was most highly honored. Mr. and Mrs. Luedke became the parents of three sons and three daughters: Walter J., who died at the age of thirty-six years; Fred F., with the John Pritzlaff Company. August J.; Helen, the widow of Gustave Wollaeger; Amalie, the wife of William P. John, a resident of Milwaukee; and Sophie, the wife of Irving Ott of this city. Mr. Luedke was widely known and honored by reason of his public spirit and his devotion to the general welfare. He served as one of the trustees of the Milwaukee- H. AUGUST LUEDKE.

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