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History of Milwaukee, City and County


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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-

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