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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Vogel, Frederick 1823 - 1892

Definition: tanner, businessman, b. Kirchheim, Wurttemberg, Germany. He migrated to the U.S. in 1846, settling first in Buffalo, N.Y., where he worked in the leather business. In 1848 he moved to Milwaukee and there built a small tannery, marketing his leather through Guido Pfister's (q.v.) store. In 1853 Vogel and Pfister became partners; with the aid of J. F. Schoellkopf and Gottlob Bossert, they built their tannery (known as the Pfister and Vogel Leather Co. after 1876) into one of the largest west of the Alleghenies, and, prior to World War I, the largest in the world. Vogel was the bark-tanning expert in the company, and served as its vice-president and general manager. A Republican, he was state assemblyman (1874). He died while returning from a European vacation, and the Vogel interests in the firm passed into the hands of his sons. FRED VOGEL, JR., b. Milwaukee, and educated at the Polytechnic School in Stuttgart, Germany, had been connected with the tannery from an early age. He was a director and general manager (1883-1893), and served as president of the company from 1893 until his death. He was also president of the First National Bank of Milwaukee, and was a director of the Northwestern Life Insurance Co., the Allis-Chalmers Co., the Western Leather Co., and numerous other concerns. Active in local philanthropies, he donated money to schools and hospitals, and to the Layton Art Gallery. His brother, AUGUSTUS HUGO VOGEL, b. Milwaukee, graduated from Harvard Univ. in 1886, and also entered the leather firm as a young man. He was secretary and general manager (1893-1907) and vice-president from 1907 until his death. He was connected in executive capacities with several other business enterprises and with local educational, governmental, philanthropic, and business organizations, and was a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (1914-1930). After 1930 the Pfister and Vogel Leather Co. was reorganized and known as the Pfister and Vogel Tanning Co. Who Was Who in Amer. (1943); J. G. Gregory, Hist, of Milwaukee (4 vols., Chicago, 1931); H. L. Conard, ed., Hist. of Milwaukee (3 vols., Chicago [1896]); Milwaukee Journal, Feb. 18, 1930, Jan. 3, 1936.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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