JOSEPH B. KALVELAGE - History of Milwaukee, Volume II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1922

Joseph B. Kalvelage - Kavleage Mansion

Joseph B. Kalvelage, secretary and treasure of the Hoffmann & Billings Manufacturing Company, manufacturers and jobbers of plumber's supplies, was born in New York city, August 20, 1850, his parents being John B. and Ann M. (Trenkamp) Kalvelage, both of whom were natives of Oldenburg Germany, whence they came to America in 1845, settling in New York city. The year 1851 witnessed their arrival in Milwaukee, where the father engaged in the soap manufacturing business under the name of F. Trenkamp & Company, the plant being located where the electric power house now stands, while later a removal was made to 209 Michigan street. The concern built up quite a business to the time of his death in 1870. HIs wife long survived him and had reached the notable old age of ninety-one years when she passed away in 1902.

Joseph B. Kalvelage was educated in the German-English Academy, now the Milwaukee University School, from which he was graduated with the class of 1864. He started on his business career with the Price Brothers, a brokerage firm, which was afterward merged in the firm of Goodrich, Rumsey & Company. Mr. Kalvelage remained with the latter concern for about three years and then became the successor of his father's partner in the soap manufacturing business, with which he was associated for a decade. On the expiration of that period he accepted the position of bookkeeper with the Michigan Salt Agency of Milwaukee and so continued for three years. His identification with the Hoffmann & Billings Manufacturing Company dates from 1878, He had been with the concern for but a brief period when he was made treasure of the company and about a year later was also elected secretary, since which time he has filled the dual position, covering a period of about forty-two years. His enterprise, his cooperation and progress of this undertaking. He has long enjoyed a most enviable reputation as a progressive and thoroughly reliable business man, one whose business methods have at all times been such as would bear the closest investigation and scrutiny.

On the 27th of May, 1877, Mr. Kalvelage was married to Miss Dorothea Hoffman, a daughter of John C. Hoffmann, the founder of Hoffmann & Billings Manufacturing Company. To them have been born four children: John B.; Clements; Dorothea, who is the widow of Dr. Richard Schoprse; and Emily, the wife of C. G. Ortmayer of Milwaukee. The second son, Clements, was with the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Engineers under Major Green during the World war. He went overseas to France, serving for two years with the rank sergeant, and was under bomb fire. For a time he was with the Army of Occupation in Germany. The family resides at No. 305 Prospect avenue. Mr Kalvelage is a member of the Old Settlers Club. At the present, however, his is not identified with club organizations, confirming his attention to his business affairs, his civic obligations and the pleasures of home life.