Joseph B. Kalvelage - Kavleage Mansion

Joseph B. Kalvelage was born in New York city on August 20th, 1850, the son of immigrant German parents , John B. and Ann M. Trenkamp, who came to America in 1845 from Oldenburg, Germany. In 1851, the Trenkamp family moved to Milwaukee where John B. used his entrepreneurial skills to start a soap manufacturing business, called F Trenkamp & Company, that grew and became quite successful.

Young Joseph attended the German-English Academy, graduating in the class of 1864. He began his business career with Price Brothers and Goodrich, , Rumsey & Company. He moved up a notch, becoming the replacement of his father's partner in F. Trenkamp & Company, for ten year period. He moved onto a position with the Michigan Salt Agency for 3 yrs. In 1877, Joseph fell in love with and married Miss Dorothea Hoffman, a daughter of John C. Hoffman, who founded Hoffman and Billings Manufacturing Company. Joseph was of course offered a job with his father-in-law's company. After a short time, his many fine qualities and gifts were discovered, and he was promoted, becoming treasurer at Hoffman & Billings Manufacturing Company in 1878. All his experiences with business and the training of his personal character through the years made him a very valuable asset to his father-in-law's company. He did such a good job, that he was elected Secretary as well, just a year later.

Joseph and Dorothea raised a family of 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls; John B., Clements, Dorothea and Emily, all of which turned out very well. For Joseph cared about his family as he did for his business affairs, and civic obligations.