Biography - John Woltmann

JOHN WOLTMANN. There is in the development of a successful life a principle which is a lesson to every man, a lesson leading to higher and more honorable positions than the ordinary. Let a man be industriously ambitious, and honorable in his ambitions, and he will rise, whether having the prestige of family or the obscurity of poverty. These reflections are called forth by the study of the life of John Woltmann, who is one of the most enterprising and prosperous merchants of Nokomis.
Mr. Woltmann is a German by birth and education, and was born at Norden, on the North Sea, August 27, 1858. Although young in years, he has accumulated considerable property, and not only is he a very successful business man, but one whose career has ever been upright and honorable. His father, Arnedt Woltmann, for nearly thirty years a miller in the Fatherland, was a man of excellent judgment and great honesty. Our subject inherited much of his enterprise and industry from his father, and early in life became desirous of getting a liberal education. When ten years old he was possessed of more zeal than the majority of boys at that age, and was inclined to spend too much time with his books. In 1868, he came with his parents to the New World and settled with them at Nokomis, Ill., where he pursued his studies closely and with much earnestness, his aim being to become a preacher in the Lutheran Church, of which he and his parents were adherents.
At the age of nineteen years, young Woltmann was delving in the classics in Concordia University, Springfield. He continued there for two years, when his health failed, and he was compelled to give up his studies and the cherished plan of becoming a minister. He tried teaching the German language in the public schools for a time, as well as instructing a private class, but this proved too trying upon his weak constitution and was abandoned. Afterward he began clerking in the store of Charles Auwater, of Nokomis, but he was not long contented with a clerkship, and early in 1882 he established himself in the grocery business on a small scale. From the start his business prospered, until now he is the head of one of the leading general stores in the thriving town of Nokomis.
For three successive years Mr. Woltmann was a member of the Town Board and has held other local positions. In all these he has discharged the duties in a very satisfactory manner and is competent to fill almost any position. In politics, he is a strong supporter of Democratic principles, and his vote has ever been cast with that party. He is an exemplary member of the Lutheran Church, a liberal contributor to its interests, and an earnest advocate of all good work. In him the community has a faithful and unswerving friend, ever alert to serve its best interests, and one who can be relied upon at all times. He is a man of more than the ordinary intelligence, and is a representative citizen of the county. He was married in the fall of 1884 to Miss Minnie Nantkes, the daughter of a prominent and wealthy farmer, and they have two children, Arnold and Jesse.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, page 318.

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