PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  1184

JOHN MARTIN GOMPPER,  an old and highly esteemed citizen of Stafford Springs, Conn., was born Nov. 23, 1834, in Laufen, Wittenberg, Germany, a son of Christian Gompper, born and bred in Germany to a farming life, and the proprietor of extensive landed property.  The father married Margaret Shick, and died when his son, John M., was only about ten years old, his widow dying in her native German home about 1870.  They had the following children:  Christina;  Anna;  Ludwig, who was drowned in a flood in Germany;  Jonas, who died in Germany;  George;  Christian; and John M.  All these children remained in Germany, except the youngest.

John Martin Gompper was born in Germany, as noted above, and had his education in the schools of his native community.  When he was about fourteen he was employed by scientists in securing the petrified remains peculiar to certain sections of Germany.  In this work he was very successful, and was employed in it until he reached the age of twenty years, when rather than join the German army, he came to this country, sailing from Harve, France, Aug. 30, 1854.  The voyage, which was made on the sailing vessel, “Emma,” lasted about thirty-five days, and was very rough and stormy from start to finish.  On his arrival in New York city, Mr. Gompper immediately made his way to Glastonbury, Conn., where he had secured a position as a die sinker in that place.  For a year and a half he was employed by Supt. Dart, and then going to New Britain, he worked in the stockinet factory in that city for several years.  There he learned the spinning trade.  At Rockville he worked in the American Mill for a year, and was employed in Hilliard’s satinet factory at Manchester several years.  At Thompsonville he was working in the carpet factory when it was closed down; and in 1858 he came to Stafford to work for Charles Fox & Co., remaining a year or more, and for the same length of time was employed by the New England Mill, at Rockville.  In the Hockanum mill he was employed for two years.  In 1861 Mr. Gompper entered the Stafford Hollow Mill, and was in charge of the dye room for some four years, and at Wilbraham, Mass., he was engaged in the Ellis mill for some five years.  After the expiration of that period Mr. Gompper came back to Stafford, and has maintained his residence here to the present time, living a retired life, and looking after his real estate and building investments.  Several very pretty and convenient houses have been built by him, and they yield good rentals.  Mr. Gompper attends the Congregational Church, and votes for the best men at election time, having at one time been a Democrat, but now taking an independent stand.

Mr. Gompper was married July 4, 1859, to Catherina Betz, a daughter of Joseph and Mary Ann (Nagle) Betz, of Stafford, and a native of the same German town with her husband.  To them have come two children:  Louisa, born June 24, 1860, in Rockville, died in Stafford Hollow, Nov. 7, 1863; and Otto, born Oct. 29, 1864, in Stafford, was drowned Aug. 13, 1879, in a pond at Wilbraham, Mass.  Mr. Gompper has always been a hard working man, never neglecting opportunity to acquire information, and is now remarkably well posted on all subjects of current interest.  

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel – great-great granddaughter of Cyrus White of Rockville, Ct.


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