John W. BENNINGHOFEN, one of the most highly respected citizens of Hamilton, and a prominent woolen manufacturer, was born on the 12th of March, 1812, in Wuelfrath, in Prussia. His parents had six children, of whom he was the eldest. Their names were John P. BENNINGHOFEN and Wilhelmina RIFFELTRATH, and the occupation they followed was that of weavers of silk. When he had reached fifteen years of age his school education ceased, and he was apprenticed to the dry-goods trade. He remained in this till he was twenty-nine years of age, or the year 1841, and came to the United States in 1848, landing in New Orleans. No sooner had he arrived there than he took passage for Cincinnati, coming immediately to Hamilton. Here he peddled for three years, and then acted as clerk for John W. SOHN in his leather and brewery business, staying in this occupation for about seven years. At the expiration of this time he entered into partnership with Asa SHULER as a woolen manufacturer, and remained in that occupation, under the firm name of SHULER & BENNINGHOFEN, until his death, which occurred on the 19th of April, 1881. He was then aged sixty-nine years, one month and seven days.
Mr. BENNINGHOFEN was twice married. The first marriage was to Gertrude HISS in Germany, in 1832, who bore him two children: Robert, who died in 1872, and William, who died in 1867. His second marriage was to Miss Wilhelmina E. KLEIN, on the first of October, 1854, at Cincinnati. She was born in Wirtemberg, Germany, December 14, 1832, but came to America when a child with her parents, John U. and Wilhelmina KLEIN. The father died in Stark County, in November, 1859, aged seventy-three years, and the mother, whose maiden name was NISS, died in March, 1876, aged eighty-two years. Mr. and Mrs. BENNINGHOFEN had five children. Christiana was born September 25, 1855; Wilhelmina, March 29, 1858; Peter, September 29, 1860; Pauline, March 11, 1863, and Caroline, April 8, 1866. In the late war Robert, his son by the first marriage, served three years, and Mrs. BENNINGHOFEN had a brother Christian in the hundred-days' service.
Mr. BENNINGHOFEN was very highly esteemed. He was a Democrat in politics, and voted first for Franklin Pierce. In appearance he was above the medium size, and somewhat inclined to obesity. He had a large head and a very prominent forehead.
A History and Biographical Cyclopaedia of Butler County Ohio, With Illustrations and Sketches of its Representative Men and Pioneers Cincinnati Ohio. Western Biographical Publishing Company, 1882.