Biography of John A. Giedeman
Erie County, OH Biographies





JOHN A. GIEDEMAN. A man of keen foresight, vigorous will, possessing an undoubted capacity for business, John A. Giedeman is intimately associated with the banking interests of Sandusky as president of the American Banking and Trust Company, being at the head of one of the leading financial institutions of the city. A native of Germany, he was born at Kappel am Rhein, Baden, which was likewise the birthplace of his father, John Giedeman, and the village in which his paternal grandparents spent their entire lives.

Born in 1822 John Giedeman was left an orphan when quite young, but was fortunate enough to find a good home with relatives. Leaving school at the age of fourteen years, he served an apprenticeship at the shoemaker's trade, one of the most remunerative of all trades at that time, when all shoes were made by hand. He subsequently worked as a journeyman shoemaker in the fatherland until 1851, when, accompanied by his wife and only child, he came to America, crossing the ocean in a sailing vessel, for ninety three days battling with wind and wave before touching the shores of New York. Coming from there to Ohio, he proceeded first to Buffalo, where he secured passage on a schooner for Sandusky, his point of destination. Very soon after his arrival he opened a shop on East Jefferson Street, and was busily employed at his trade until 1862. Enlisting then in Company G, Sixth fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, he went south and was in active service under Generals Buell. Sheridan, Rosecrans and Thomas. With his regiment he participated in many of the more important battles of the Civil war, including these at Shiloh, Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, and was with Sherman's command in the Atlanta campaign, taking part in all the engagements en route to Atlanta, and assisting in the siege and capture of that city. Subsequently, going with General Thomas's command in pursuit of Hood's army, he took part in the battles at Franklin and Nashville, and continued with his regiment until the close of the conflict, when he was honorably discharged from service.

Returning to Sandusky, John Giedeman entered the employ of Stoll & Koch, and served as foreman of their store on Columbus Avenue until the firm was dissolved by mutual consent. He then continued in the same position with Mr. Stoll, who became sole proprietor of the business, until another change was made in the personnel of the firm, Mr. Koch selling out to Mr. Stoll, his former partner, and John A. Giedeman, the subject of this sketch. With the new firm, Koch & Company, John Giedeman continued as foreman of the shop until his death, September 27, 1882.

John Giedeman married Theresa Faist, who was born in Baden, Germany, in the same locality that the birth of her husband occurred, in 1822, and died in Sandusky, Ohio, March 17, 1908. Her parents were life long residents of Baden, and in the Village of Kappel their nineteen children were born, sixteen daughters and three sons. Eight of the daughters came to America, and all married and reared families. Mr. and Mrs. John Giedeman reared but two children, namely: John A., the subject of this sketch, and Sophia, wife of Hon. Philip Buerkle.

A child of fifteen months when brought by his parents to this country, John A. Giedeman was educated in the parochial and public schools of Sandusky. At the age of twelve years he began life as a wage earner, becoming cash boy in the dry goods store of H. Converse & Son, who sold out a year later to George March & Brother. Continuing with the new firm six years, Mr. Giedeman was advanced during that time to the position of salesman, and when March Brothers sold out to E. H. and R. M. Wilcox he continued as salesman for them for a period of eight months.

Engaging then in business on his own account, Mr. Giedeman formed a partnership with William Koch, and as junior member of the firm of Koch & Company opened a boot and shoe store on the south side of Water Street, between Columbus Avenue and Jackson Street. Seven years later he purchased his partner's interest in the establishment, and for a time run the business alone. He then sold a half interest to John Homegardner, and continued as head a the firm of Giedeman & Homegardner until 1904, when he bought out his partner, and again became sole proprietor. In 1909 Mr. Giedeman admitted George H. Uberle and Frank Sheably into partnership and withdrew from the active management of affairs, although he still retains an interest in the business, which is being successfully carried on under the firm name of George H. Uberle & Company. In the meantime he had become financially interested in the Commercial National Bank, and served as one of its directors until July, 1909, when he resigned to accept his present position as president of the American Banking and Trust Company, the affairs of which he is administering very successfully, and to the eminent satisfaction of all concerned. He is likewise officially connected with various other corporations, being a director in both the Sandusky Telephone Company and the Dauch Manufacturing Company and the president of the Saving, Building and Loan Company.

Mr. Giedeman has been twice married. He married, first, in 1875, Miss Katherine Homegardner, who was born in Sandusky, where her parents, John and Mary Homegarduer, were pioneer settlers. She died November 20, 1901, leaving three children, namely: Cora, now wife of Thaddeus Green; Edith, and Catherine. Mr. Giedeman married, second, September 27, 1904, Mrs. Katherine (Wagner) Crotty, widow of Thomas Crotty. She was born in Cleveland, where her father, John Wagner, located as a pioneer on coming to this country from Germany, his native land.

Religiously Mr. Giedeman and his family are members of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. Fraternally he is a member of Sandusky Council No. 546, Knights of Columbus; of St. George Court No. 238, Catholic Order of Foresters; of Sandusky Aerie No. 444, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and of Sandusky Branch No. 27, Catholic Mutual Benefit Association.

From:
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio
By: Hewson L. Peeke
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1916


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