John Gondring, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of John Gondring

JOHN GONDRING was born April 15, 1831, in Treves, in Rhenish Prussia. He is one of six children born to Michael and Catharine (Pfiffer) Gondring, the former a native of Luxemburg, and the latter of Alsace. The elder Pfiffer was a subaltern officer in the French Army in 1812. The elder Gondring was a Prussian Government contractor. When Squire Gondring was thirteen years old, he left Loraine, in one of the French Catholic pilgrimage companies, to Treves, and went to Paris, and was employed in one of the large railroad car-spring manufacturing companies of Paris as errand boy for four years. He then made application to the French Government to go to Algeria to join a colony; he was successful, and went through Marseilles, across the Mediterranean, and was given charge of twenty Spanish jacks, to carry merchandise, etc., and was often called out to fight the native tribes. After about nine months, he went back to France and worked for his old company until the Revolution of 1848; he joined the Paris temporary guard until Napoleon was elected President, in 1849, when he went to Italy, intending to go to Rome to join Garibaldi's army, but stopped in Piedmont. Here he joined the Italians, but after the defeat at Novara, they were given choice of passes to Hungary or Baden, where there were revolutions, and they went to Baden. He joined the German revolutionists. He was taken prisoner at Rastadt, and sentenced to over three years at isolated labor at the spinning wheel. After his release, he was compelled to join the Huzzars, but in about three days he deserted and went to Antwerp, where he was engaged as hotel porter, on account of ability to speak French and German, until he made enough to take him to America, three months later. He soon went to work on the Sault Ste. Marie Canal at Lake Superior, then soon to Detroit, Chicago, then to different places, and on steamers on Lake Michigan. In 1854, he began work for Hiram Joy, the Chicago ice king, remaining nine years when he bought land near Chesterton; for a year was in Chicago, also at Lake Superior, where he made considerable money. For some time, he was Deputy Sheriff in Houghton, Mich., near Lake Superior. He is the originator of the present brick-yards at New Porter. Since 1875, he has farmed. For four years before, he kept store at New Porter. He has been a member of the I.O.O.F. Lodge. Since 1876, he has been Justice of the Peace. He was married November 15, 1855, to Elizabeth Foederath, a German. She died exactly ten years after her marriage. In 1868, he married Theresa Kuhn, also a German. He has five children living. He is Independent in politics, a public-spirited citizen and a live business man.

Source: Goodspeed, Weston A., and Charles Blanchard. 1882. Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana: Historical and Biographical, Illustrated. Chicago, Illinois: F. A. Battey & Company. 771 p.
Page(s) in Source: 296-297

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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