Henry Steinhauer Biography


This biography is from "Memorial and biographical record; an illustrated compendium of biography, containing a compendium of local biography, including biographical sketches of prominent old settlers and representative citizens of South Dakota..." Published by G. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1899. Pages 884-885 Scan, OCR and editing by Maurice Krueger,mkrueger@iw.net, 1998.


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HENRY STEINHAUER, one of the representative businessmen of Groton, Brown County, has been a conspicuous figure in the development and advancement of that thriving city. He is engaged in the business of photography and was the first artist to establish in the town. He now has an excellent trade, and aside from his gallery, which he personally conducts, he has enlarged his business and now has five galleries in different parts of the state. His extensive business has been the outcome of judicious management and from a limited start he has become one of the substantial men of his locality.


Our subject was born in Koln, Germany, in 1853. His father, Peter Steinhauer, served three years in the German army and was by trade a locksmith. He came to America in 1865 and was accidentally killed in 1867. A heavy bucket used in well digging fell sixty-six feet to the bottom of the well, striking him and causing his death. The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Catherine Sunday, was the daughter of a wagon maker. Her death occurred August 28, 1899, aged seventy-six years, and she was laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery at St. Paul.


Of a family of five children our subject was the second in order of birth. He attended the German Catholic schools of his native village, and his English education was acquired through his own teachings. He came to America with his parents and the family settled on a farm at Hastings, Minnesota. At the age of fourteen years he left home and learned the harness maker's trade. He worked at this seven and a half years in Minnesota, and then engaged in the restaurant business at Cannon Falls, Minnesota, remaining in the business nine months and then spent one year tending bar. He started to learn photography in 1879, and after completing the course traveled in Minnesota as an artist for a year and a half, and in the fall of 1881 went to Groton, South Dakota, and established a business. He rented rooms on the second floor above a store, and remained in that location five years. He then purchased property where he conducted his business until January, 1888, when he sold his interests, but began business again later in the spring of the same year. He built a car with the intention of traveling, but established permanently in the city, and later purchased the site of his present building, and erected a two-story block, 20 x 30, with an addition 14 x 28 feet. He has residence property in the city, which he rents at a good figure, and also owns business and residence lots and the entire possessions, including the photographing outfits, are without indebtedness. In 1897, in partnership with C. T. Hilldahl, he purchased a building in Pierpont, Day county, South Dakota,and established a department store, stocking it with a four-thousand-dollar stock of general merchandise, and in connection I they also conduct an implement business. He has made a success in both the mercantile business and the photograph studio, and he and his wife are kept busy with the business in their Groton gallery.


Our subject was married October 20, 1877, to Miss Emma Janette Miller, daughter of William Miller, a hotelkeeper and farmer. Mrs. Steinhauer was born in Goodhue County, Minnesota, and was of English parentage. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Steinhauer, as follows: Mattie died in infancy; William R., born at Whiterock, Minnesota, in October, 1881; Mattie, born in Dakota, in 1883; and Janette, born in Dakota, in 1897. Our subject is a member of the Knights of Maccabees and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in the last named he has been a representative to the Grand Lodge. Politically he is a Democrat, and has attended numerous county conventions of his party. He takes an active interest in local affairs and has served as a member of the city council. He is a man of much energy and uprightness, and deserves a prominent place in the minds of the citizens of Brown County.