PROFILE -- John Joseph Sussmuth
Born in Oberalstadt, a
suburb of Trautenau, now known as
He was orphaned at an early age. His
father, August, died in l884 and his mother, Catharine, in 1885. Foster parents
by the name of Alios Tautz and later, his aunt Agatha Hellert Schmidt of
Gellanau, saw to his upbringing and schooling in the town of
He completed his advanced schooling in
From all we know, he became deeply committed to his interest in textiles, including their design, their manufacture, pertinent machinery and the marketing of finished textile products
Soon after his arrival in the
Our records indicate he became a
Naturalized Citizen on October 13, 1913 in
Unfortunately, through a series of market miscalculations and the widespread textile recession of 1926, the businesses were lost and eventually dissolved.
In the late twenties, he became associated
with a textile machinery manufacturer in
In the mid-thirties, he took a position as
General Manager of a textile manufacturing operation in
After the War began, which involved
HOBBIES AND FAVORITE ACTIVITES
To distinct causes occupied much of his
adult time. One was being part of the ESPERANTO LANGUAGE movement, founded by
Dr. Zamenhof of
An early' interest in his life, the welfare and lifestyle of North American Indians, developed into a deep involvement with the Indian Association of North America. His efforts on their behalf led to his being named Junior Great Sachem, the highest position that could be held by a non Indian. He was adopted by the Mohawk Indian Tribe of Brantford, Ontario and in a ceremony conducted by Mohawk Chief Joseph Montour, was given the name Chief Happy Beaver, a descriptive he loved.
By the early forties, the onset of the War, as well as his return to the States, led to a declining active interest in these organizations. The press of personal economic factors caused the end of further work on behalf of Esperanto and Indian causes.
His hobbies were quite varied, ranging
from extensive reading to stamp collecting, to opera appreciation and to
gardening. He was also interested in current events and the political side of
local and national life. During his textile manufacturing days, he made a
published proposal to unify the many local towns of
While not exactly a hobby, he was very interested in history and philosophy and always enjoyed good conversations with people of comparable interests. He was an excellent teacher in the subjects he knew best and since we as a family always ate together, many of the table conversations were quite constructive and helped us children have a better grasp of topics we may not have had from school instruction.
He had a very serious attitude, but his mind never ceased to tell a good story or an amusing joke at the right moment. He also was a good listener. He enjoyed a good cigar and a schooner of beer, as well as good food and a Sunday night family game of pinochle.
He stood about 5'9" and in later life was bald and overweight. A truly interesting man to know.