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Biography - OTTO T. PROELSS

Otto T. Proelss, foreman of the sulphuric-acid department of the Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Works, LaSalle, Illinois, came to this city October 12, 1889, started to work in the laboratory of the factory and for ten years has been in the employ of the establishment.

Mr. Proelss was born in Viviez, France, August 9, 1870, a son of Dr. Otto and Anna (Eckhort) Proelss, both natives of Germany. Dr. Otto Proelss was educated at Heidelberg University, at which institution he graduated with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. For twenty years he was the superintendent of the Gladblach Zinc Works, and held the position at the time of his death, in 1890.

Otto T., the subject of this sketch, also had excellent educational advantages in his youth. He spent four years in the gymnasium at Freiberg and later was a student in the gymnasium of Mulheim, where he completed his course. The father's occupation tended to lead the son into the zinc business, with which he became familiar in the old country, and in 1889 he came to the United States to enter the employ of the Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Works, as above recorded.

Mr. Proelss was married in 1894 to Miss Alvine, daughter of Charles Seepe, a prominent dry-goods merchant of Peru, Illinois. Charles Seepe is a native of Prussia, born near Ham, June 9, 1842, one of the seven children of Gerhard and Maria (Kemper) Seepe, both natives of Prussia. The family came to America in 1849 and settled at Peru, Illinois, where both parents died. Charles Seepe was reared in Peru from his seventh year and at fourteen became an apprentice at the dry-goods business. Since 1872 he has been in business for himself. He was married October 23, 1864, to Miss Sophia Beckley, daughter of John Beckley, and to them were born three sons and six daughters, namely: Jennie, Julia (deceased), Clara, Alvine, Albert, Charles, Harry, Etta and Edith.

Extracted 26 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 2, pages 411-412.

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