Various business interests have benefited by the efforts and cooperation of Hugo Frederick Gaensslen, who has been prominently identified with mercantile, banking and stock raising interests. Step by step he has worked his way upward and today is among the most valued and prosperous citizens of Green River, Wyoming.
He was born in Chicago, Illinois, September 21, 1869. His father, Charles A. Gaensslen, was a native of the kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, and came to the United States with his parents when ten years of age. He afterward became active in mercantile pursuits and in financial circles. His wife was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, and bore the maiden name of Lina Siegel.
Hugo F. Gaensslen pursued his early education in private schools of Chicago, from which he was graduated in 1886. The following year he attended the Powers Business College of that city and was graduated in 1887. He afterward became a pupil in the United States Brewers Academy in New York, where he won the M. A. B. degree upon graduating with the class of 1891. He started out in the business world in the humble capacity of shipping clerk and afterward served as bookkeeper, as brewer and as brewmaster, thus steadily working his way upward in the business world. Step by step he progressed along commercial lines and eventually became proprietor of a brewery at Green River, Wyoming, in the fall of 1891. This business he is still conducting, being its principal stockholder, its general manager, secretary and treasurer. He is also engaged in banking, in mercantile interests and is prominently known as a dealer in live stock, raising both cattle and sheep. He is the president of the State Bank of Green River, vice president of the Big Island Cattle Company, president of the Green River Live Stock Company and vice president of the Green River Mercantile Company. All this indicates the nature- and variety of his interests. He is a forceful and resourceful business man, ready to meet any emergency, and the wise use which he has made of his time, his talents and his opportunities has resulted in the attainment of a substantial measure of success.
At Green River, on the 18th of October. 1897, Mr. Gaensslen was united in marriage to Miss Nellie B. Whitmore, a daughter of Tom and Mary (McClure) Whitmore, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. To this union have been born four daughters, Helen L., Julia A., Alice W. and Frieda E. The wife and mother passed away in 1912. Quite recently Mr. Gaensslen surprised his friends when he again entered into matrimony, the ceremony being solemnized in Chicago, Illinois. A local paper writes of the occasion:
“On January 19, 1918, at 2 P. M., in Chicago, Illinois, ended a boyhood love affair and two hearts were united in the holy bonds of matrimony, when at the homeof the bride, Mrs. Emma (Hage) Bach and our fellow townsman Hugo F. Gaensslen, took the vows that made them man and wife, Rev. R. A. John of the St. Paul’s Lutheran church of that city performing the ceremony. Their attendants being Miss Elsie Bach, niece of the bride, and Mr. Carl A. Gaensslen, a brother of the groom. Those present were Mrs. Lina A. Gaensslen, mother of the groom; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Neff, daughter and son-in-law of the bride; Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Bach, son and daughter-in-law of the bride.
“The bride is of one of the best families of Chicago, where she is highly respected by a host of life long friends. Her first husband, Mr. F. A. Bach, was founder of the Bach Brick Company, one of the largest firms of its kind in Illinois. Mr. Bach died in Germany in 1914, while on a visit with his family.”
Mr. Gaensslen is a member of the Protestant Episcopal church and he is a prominent Mason, having been identified with the order since 1901. He is a past master of Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 6, A. F. & A. M.; past high priest of Baalbec Chapter, No. 5, R. A. M.; a past eminent commander of Ascalon Commandery, No. 5, K. T., and is a member of Korein Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S. In community affairs Mr. Gaensslen has taken a most active, helpful and prominent part. He served the town of Green River as a member of the city council and as mayor for twenty-one consecutive years. He was elected to the town council in 1893 and served for four terms, or eight years, after which he was chosen to the office of mayor, acting in that capacity for eight terms, or for thirteen years, from 1891 until 1914. He has also been a trustee of the Carnegie Public Library at Green River since its organization in 1906 and he was a member of the building committee at the time of the erection of the present library building. He is also a director of the Green River Commercial Club.
There is perhaps no man in the city who has for so long a period occupied public office and the record of none has been more fearless in conduct, faultless in honor and stainless in reputation. He has been most watchful of every opportunity to promote the public good and has exercised his official prerogatives in support of all those plans and measures which have to do with the betterment of the community, the upbuilding of its business interests and the upholding of its civic standards.