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Riess, John R. (1853-1906) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Riess, John R. (1853-1906)

Historical Note:

John R. Riess was born in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania on May 10, 1853. In 1859 the Riess family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After attending the German and English Academy of the city, Riess decided to pursue a career in law. He began his studies at the law firm of Carter, Pitkin & Davis. Once admitted to the Bar, Riess joined his mentors as a partner in the law firm in 1872. With two of the lawyers of the original firm withdrawing, the law firm became Davis & Riess. The firm changed once again, becoming Shepard, Riess, & Shepard. By 1882 Riess left the firm to begin a career at the J. J. Vollrath Manufacturing Company, in which he became Secretary and Treasurer of.

Riess was a republican who actively served in both county and state councils. He was a member of the State Central Committee and was Chairman of the County Central Committee. He served as a delegate to the National Convention of the Republican League of the United States in 1893.

On a personal level, Riess married the Sheboygan native, Marie Vollrath, daughter of Jacob J. Vollrath. Together they had two children, Minnie and DeWitt Frank. Riess passed away on October 20, 1906.

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