Americo Joseph Semento, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Americo Joseph Semento


Americo Joseph Semento, Jr., is the son of Americo Joseph Sr. and the late Theresa Semento. The senior Sementos, who were born in Italy, moved from Chicago to Valparaiso in 1920 to escape the Mafia. Americo and Theresa first operated a clothing and fur tailoring store where the present J. C. Penney store is located. They also purchased land for a farm. 1939 opened their restaurant on U.S. 30, which is still operating. Americo Sr. is at present the oldest living merchant in Valparaiso.

Americo Joseph Jr. ("Joe") was born October 9, 1926, in Valparaiso, where he graduated from St. Paul's School and Valparaiso High School. While serving in the U. S. Navy during World War II, he used the tailoring skills learned from his father. After an honorable discharge, he built and operated the Villa Court Motel on U. S. 30 adjoining his father's restaurant. He also helped to operate the family business.

Later, Joe moved to Los Angeles where he owned and operated a dry cleaning establishment in 1953 and 1954. There he met Delia Haro, whom he married in Valparaiso on January 15, 1955. Shortly after their marriage, Joe and Delia purchased land for their own farm and Joe worked for several years at Indiana General. Delia became employed at Porter Memorial Hospital, where she has worked ever since.

At present, Joe Jr. is a partner with his father, brother and three sisters in "Semento, Inc.," which operates the restaurant, motel and farm on U. S. 30. Joe and Delia also maintain their separate small farm along with several home rentals. Recently they acquired and rebuilt Baum's Bridge Inn near Kouts. The landmark site of the Inn at Baum's Bridge, which was built in 1863 to replace Etons Ferry of 1836, is that of an old Indian trail and post.

On March 28, 1956, a son named Americo Joseph Semento, III, was born to Joe Jr. and Delia at Porter Memorial Hospital. In 1973 Americo Joseph III ("Joe III") married Robin Stalbaum, who was born in Valparaiso on April 1, 1956. The Stalbaum family has resided in Porter County for several generations. Joe III owns and operates the Semento Construction firm in Valparaiso. A half-brother, Harry James Semento, is also employed with the firm.

Americo Joseph IV (" Rico") was born on September 24, 1973, to Joe III and Robin, becoming the fourth generation of the Semento family in Valparaiso. The accompanying photo of the four generations was taken August 13, 1974, at the annual picnic at the farm of Joseph Jr., held to celebrate the birthday of his father. At the time of this photo, Americo Joseph Sr. was 81 years old.

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 158

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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