Article - Walter Fuerst Huthsteiner - Ancestry and Family

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WALTER FUERST HUTHSTEINER. Bearing an old family name that is honorably identified with Tell City almost from the time of its beginning, Walter Fuerst Huthsteiner, banker, manufacturer, civil engineer and progressive, broad-minded citizen, is one of the outstanding business men of this section of the state. His interests are extensive and important and some of these, from their germination in Tell City's early village days, have expanded side by side with the city's growth.

Mr. Huthsteiner was born at Tell City, Perry County, Indiana, September 23, 1876, and is a son of Gustave and Paulina (Webber) Huthsteiner. His father, who was born in Germany, April 5, 1844, was brought to this country by his parents at at an early age, the family settling at Cincinnati, Ohio. Gustave Huthsteiner was among the earliest residents at Tell City, where he arrived at the time of the Swiss colonization movement, the community being named in honor of the Swiss patriot, William Tell. Mr. Huthsteiner from modest beginnings rose through industry and keen judgment to be one of the leading citizens of his adopted place. He was one of the founders of the Tell City National Bank, in which he was a heavy stockholder, and was interested largely in a financial way in the insurance business. A man of great foresight and progressiveness, he was a leader in movements that assisted the little town to grow and prosper, and in his death, which occurred February 1, 1902, Tell City lost one of its most valuable and highly respected citizens. He married Paulina Webber, whose father, John Webber, was one of the early settlers of the Swiss community, and died in 1881. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Huthsteiner: Eugene, deceased, who married Amalia Fricke, of Tell City; Ella, who married Charles F. Herrmann, the latter now deceased, and has five children; Edward, of Tell City, who married Dora Wittmer and has two children; Robert, who married Hedwig Duenwig, resides in El Paso, Texas, and has four children; Alfred, who married Dora Ahlf, resides at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and has two children; and Walter Fuerst, of this review. The mother of these children, Mrs. Paulina (Webber) Huthsteiner, died December 25, 1883. In August, 1885, Gustave Huthsteiner married Louisa Ludwig. To this union were born five children: Hans, of Schenectady, New York, who is married and has two children; Gustave, of Cleveland, Ohio, has three children; George, a captain in the United States Army, is married but has no children; Louis, of Kingston, New York, has two children; and Helen, wife of Harry A. D. O'Connor, of New York City, has no children.

Walter F. Huthsteiner attended the public schools. Tell City at that time had no high school and, after finishing the work of the grades he attended the Weiley High School at Terre Haute for one year and had one year of work in Indiana State University. At this time he received an appointment to West Point Military Academy; but after one year left that institution and entered the Rose Polytechnic Institute at Terre Haute. Here he completed his work in civil engineering in 1901. During his years in the Rose Polytechnic, while he stood only a little more than average in his academic work, being on the honor roll once, he was especially active in extracurricular movements. He was captain of the football team, captain of the track team, president of the Athletic Association, president of the Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association, which included all the larger schools in the state, and president of his class and of the Student Council.

On leaving college Mr. Huthsteiner became an employee of the Tell City National Bank, as assistant cashier, with which he has been identified for thirty years. He was made cashier upon the death of his father, and beame president, an office he still holds, in January, 1919. In 1906 he became identified with the Tell City Furniture Company as president, and in 1924, upon the death of his brother, Eugene Huthsteiner, became active manager as well as president of the company, positions he still retains. In addition to the above he is president of the Tell City Creamery Company, president of the Knott Manufacturing Company, secretary and manager of the Tell City Canning Company and a member of the board of directors of the Citizens National Bank of Evansville. On January 1, 1931, he was elected a director of the Louisville branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis. He is also treasurer of the Tell City Hotel Company, operating one of the most popular hotels in Southern Indiana.

A friend of the public schools, he has done much to raise educational standards at Tell City as president of the local board of education. He served one term in the City Council, although he has never sought public office. Politically he is a Democrat. Fraternally Mr. Huthsteiner is a York Rite Mason, is a member of Hadi Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Evansville and also belongs to the Knights of Pythias. His religious connection is with the Episcopal Church. Mr. Huthsteiner is the foremost business man of the community, and has lived up to the splendid traditions of the family, the members of which have long been the backbone of the city's prosperity.

For an adequate picture of his character as a business man and citizen. some other items showing his unselfish service to the community should be noted. During the World war he served as chairman of the Liberty Loan organization of the county. Much of the population of the county was strongly pro-German in character. There was only a weekly paper for publicity, with poor roads to facilitate meetings in the county, and under these circumstances it is highly creditable to the energy and understanding of the committee that each quota assigned was over subscribed, so that an indispensable service was rendered to the nation at that time. The record of the committee still remains unrecognized by any of the usual patriotic memorials given to those who served their country in time of need.

Mr. Huthsteiner also served as a director of the Tell City Chamber of Commerce for twenty years, and for two years was its president. In this connection he has been very active in efforts to secure new industries. He has also fathered the good roads movement in Perry County for over twenty years, and his part in this work has made his name known throughout the state.

Mr. Huthsteiner married Miss Edna L. Clark, whose father, Charles R. Clark, was a pioneer settler and pottery manufacturer of Cannelton, Indiana. To their marriage were born two children. Dorothea, who lives at Tell City, and Walter Clark Huthsteiner, who was graduated from the Staunton Military Academy at Staunton, Virginia, in the class of 1931. He had the honor of being fourteenth cadet in military rank in a corps of over 500 boys, holding the rank of lieutenant.
Click here for photo of Gustave.
Click here for photo of Walter.

By Charles Roll, A.M.
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931