Biography - Louis Dudenbostel

LOUIS DUDENBOSTEL, who is one of the representative citizens and prominent residents of Randolph County, is at present residing in Chester. He has distinguished himself in various walks of life — as a prominent civilian, an able statesman and a successful man of business. He has long been influential in the political and social life of this section, and has been a potent factor in advancing its commercial and material interests generally.
A native of Germany, our subject was born March 29, 1836, in Hanover, and was the son of John H. and Mary Dudenbostel, also natives of the Fatherland. The elder Mr. Dudenbostel, who was born in 1791, was prominent in public life, and for thirty years occupied the position of Mayor of Basse. He was very popular, a great friend to the poor, and spent his entire life in Germany. His good wife, who survived him many years, also departed this life in Germany, and was born about 1814.
Our subject was the third child in order of birth of his parents' large family of seven children. He was educated in the model schools of his native land, and was a lad of eighteen years when he determined to try his fortunes in the New World. Crossing the Atlantic, the trip occupying seventy-two days, he first stopped in New Orleans, whence he came up the Mississippi River to this state, selecting Chester as his future home. Being desirous of becoming familiar with the English language, young Dudenbostel attended a private school during the winter, and soon obtained a position as clerk in the general store. Saving his money, he was soon enabled to launch out in business for himself, and in company with Ernest H. Schemmer, established a general store at Ellis Grove, which he continued to run for three years. At the expr ration of that time he sold out his interest in the business, and removing to Evansville, this county, opened a general store, which he operated for the following three years. Then on account of ill-health he was again compelled to sell out, and this time began clerking for M. C. Crissy in Chester.
Mr. Dudenbostel stands high in political circles, and always voted with the Democratic party. In 1869 he was appointed Deputy County- Clerk with John R. Shannon. Upon the expiration of his term of office he assisted John T. McBride in the discharge of his official duties as County Clerk, and in all positions never failed to give the utmost satisfaction. In the year 1875 our subject formed a partnership with his brother, George Dudenbostel, and opened up a general store in Steeleville. In the year 1877, he became candidate for County Clerk, running against Robert J. Halmer. He was defeated, but in 1882 was elected to the above office, receiving one hundred and sixty-five votes over Mr. Halmer, who was his opponent at this time also. He was the incumbent of that position for four years, and on the expiration of his term was re-elected. He was elected Mayor of Chester in 1891, which position he held until 1893.
April 25, 1870, Mr. Dudenbostel and Miss Mary C. Knapp were united in marriage. She was the daughter of John J. and Mary (Hartenberger) Knapp. Of the family of seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Dudenbostel five are living, namely: Edmund, a graduate of the Chester High School; Naomi, Louis, Albert and Lydia.
Our subject has been instrumental in advancing the interests of the section, and is one of the organizers and stockholders of the Jackson Pipe Organ Company. He also aided in the organization of the Chester Boot & Shoe Manufactory, of which he is Manager and President. The Chester Stock & Agricultural Association also owes its origin to our subject.
In social affairs Mr. Dudenbostel is a Mason and a member of Alma Lodge No. 497, at Steeleville. He is connected with H. G. Reynolds Chapter No. 84, at Chester. He is Recorder of Randolph Council No. 44, and an influential member of Commandery No. 50, K. T., at Belleville, this state. The beautiful residence of our subject is located on Sparta Street, where it is presided over by his estimable wife, and where they entertain hosts of warm friends, who delight in their success.

Extracted from Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois, published in 1894, page 412.

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