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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



GUSTAVE A. ENSENBERGER, one of the go-ahead men of Bloomington, is extensively engaged in the retail furniture business, and has been a resident of this city since the spring of 1868. He is a native of Bavaria, and was born Aug. 31, 1851. When he was two years old his parents, George and Catharine Ensenberger, emigrated to America. After reaching New York City they proceeded to Vincennes, Ind., whence, after a short time they removed to Aurora, the same State, where Gustave attended school. In 1868 George Ensenberger, with his family, moved to Bloomington, through the influence of Dr. Schroeder, the expert horticulturist of Bloomington, whose circulars and advertisements had attracted his attention.

After arriving here young Gustave was employed in the vineyard of Dr. S. a few months, and was then employed by the Bloomington Manufacturing Company, with whom he learned the carpenter's trade and the fitting of sash, doors and blinds. With this company he remained eleven years, and having accumulated quite a little capital, in the fall of 1879 went into the furniture business for himself in the building known as the Bee Hive store. Here he commenced the manufacture of furniture on a small scale, at the same time doing a retail trade. He was prospered in his undertakings, and in due time his business became too large for the old store and he then removed to the Gridley Building, which he occupied until 1886, and then located in his present quarters, having purchased the building formerly owned by Harwood Bros. and which is one of the oldest business houses in the city. He now carries on a general manufacturing business, to which he has added upholstery, and gives employment to seven or eight men. His building is 25x100 feet, and three stories in height with basement under the whole. The wareroom and shop is 31x100, the building running through from street to street. Mr. E. carries a large and well-selected stock, and besides his own manufacture buys largely from other houses.

The subject of our sketch was married, in 1878, to Miss Lizzie Reisch, of Springfield, Ill., and they became the parents of three children -- Frank G., Gustavus S. and Elnora S. Mr. and Mrs. E. are members in good standing of St. Mary's (German) Catholic Church, and their attractive home is the resort of the first-class citizens of Bloomington.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 255. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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