One of the attractive commercial houses of Rock Springs is that owned and conducted by Joseph Schott, who carries a well selected line of hardware, furniture, paints, oil, etc. From a humble position in the business world he has worked his way steadily upward and all days in his career have not been equally bright, but his rich inheritance of energy and pluck has enabled him to turn defeat into victory and promised failure into success. His strict integrity and business conservatism have always been uniformly recognized and he has enjoyed public confidence in an enviable degree.
He was born in Baden, Germany, February 20, 1864, a son of the late Andrew Schott, who was also a native of that country, where he successfully followed farming until his death, which (occurred in 1867, when he was fifty years of age. His wife bore the maiden name of Helen Ochs and she, too, was born, reared and educated in Germany, passing away in 1905 at the age of seventy-two years. Their family numbered five children, two of whom have passed away.
Joseph Schott, who was the fourth in order of birth, pursued his education in the schools of his native land and when sixteen years of age started out to provide for his own support. Thinking that he would have better business opportunities on this side of the Atlantic, he came to America in the year 1879 and located with his mother and the other members of the family at Buffalo, New York. He remained there, however, for but a short period, after which he removed to Farmers Valley, Pennsylvania, where he was employed by his cousin, Ervin Schott, a local brewer, into whose employ he entered with a view of learning the brewer's trade. He remained there for eighteen months, but not liking the business, he abandoned his position and returned to Buffalo, where he began work at the butcher's trade. He followed that pursuit in Buffalo and in St. Louis, Missouri, for a number of years, after which he removed westward, taking up his abode at Green River, Wyoming, on the 7th of March, 1885. His financial condition rendered it imperative that he secure immediate employment. Which he did with George B. Spinner, a pioneer butcher, with whom he continued for seven months. He was afterward with the Union Pacific Railroad for a similar period, beginning in the fall of 1885, and later he took up his first trade with Karl Spinner, proprietor of the Green River Brewery, for whom he acted as assistant brewmaster, and later became brewmaster in that establishment. He next went with William Weimer and took charge of thee Big Horn Hotel at Green River, which he conducted for a year, beginning in 1889. He then left Wyoming and went to the Pacific coast with Seattle, Washington, as his destination. For eighteen months he was engaged in the liquor business in that city and then sold out, removing to Nelson, British Columbia. There he engaged in mining and prospecting but met with no great measure of success in that locality and from Nelson he afterward returned to Spokane, Washington, where he spent the winter. He was later engaged in railroad construction work between Spokane and Canada and in the summer of 1893 he located in Walla Walla, Washington, where he worked in the harvest fields. He also spent some time in North Yakima, Washington, as an employe in the hop fields and later he engaged in construction work on the Northern Pacific Railroad in Washington. Settling in Tacoma, he there spent the winter and in the spring of 1894, when Coxey's army was removing eastward, he returned to Green River, Wyoming, and for a time was employed in the Overland Hotel. He next took work in the repair shops of !he Union Pacific Railroad at Green River, where he remained from 1895 until 1900, when he resigned his position and returned to Europe, visiting relatives and friends. When he again came to the new world he regarded Wyoming as his only possible place of residence and made his way to Rock Springs, where he again became connected with the interests of William Weimer. He purchased an interest in the business, which had been originally established in 1895 and which was then conducted under the partnership relation until October, 1910. At that date Mr. Schott purchased Mr. Weimer's interest and has since carried on the business alone.
In his political views Mr. Schott is a socialist. Fraternally he is connected with "the Woodmen of the World. In 1895 his mother returned to Germany, where she remained until her death. Mr. Schott, however, has taken advantage of the business conditions of the new world and the opportunities here offered and, step by step, he has worked his way upward until he is now one of the prosperous merchants of Rock Springs.