Lake Erie Islanders: John Sandersen of North Bass
Sketches from the 1917 History of Northwest Ohio
(reference 4a in the Bibliography)
JOHN SANDERSEN. It is more than likely that if a youth of inquiring mind should approach a man like John Sandersen, a prominent and substantial citizen of North Bass Island, with the question as to the best way to get on in the world, he would receive the practical answer, “go to work.” Mr. Sandersen would speak from experience. When the necessity for self support confronted him very early in life, he did not question long nor did he seek the easiest tasks. Neither did he stand and wait for opportunity to come up with him, on the other hand he found it and seized it, and probably from that day to the present he has passed few idle moments. Hence, while yet in middle life, he is practically independent and not only does he own many acres of fine, productive island land, but he also enjoys the respect and esteem of those with whom he has lived in neighborly relationship for almost forty years.
Sandersen was born June 8, 1861, on the Isle of Foehr, off the coast of
Schleswig, Germany, in the North Sea. His father's name was Nels
Sandersen. He grew to the age of sixteen years in his native island, but
after a sister had come to the United States and settled at Sandusky,
Ohio, he bent every energy to secure the means to also cross the ocean and
use his strength and skill in employments that would bring adequate
returns and enable him to provide for the future. In 1877 he reached this
country and after a short visit with his sister at Sandusky, came to North
Bass in May of that year. He worked for one month for Albert Smith and
then entered the employ of Edwin L. Keeney and continued with him for
three years. Still later he was employed by Simon Fox and Rudolph Siefield
at work in the vineyard and fisheries for some twelve years. Mr. Sandersen
then went into business for himself, entering into a partnership with Fred
Ernst and and they conducted a fishery for six years, when it no longer
was profitable as an individual enterprise on account of the organization
of the Sandusky Fish Company, which corporation bought their outfit. Mr.
Sandersen, however, continued in the employ of this company for eleven
years, when it went out of business. In the meantime he had acquired land
for vineyard purposes, purchasing twelve acres at first to which he has
added and now has a fortune in his thirty acres of vineyard, owning in all
50 acres. This is the result of persistent industry and excellent
Sandersen was married to Miss Jennie Gorey, who was born in Erie County,
Ohio, and is a daughter of John Gorey and a granddaughter of Devlin Gorey,
who came from New York to Erie County with the first settlers. Mr. and
Mrs. Sandersen have six children, namely: Elizabeth, who was born July 16,
1898; Clarence, who was born February 16, 1904; Dollie, who was born March
10, 1906; Theodore, who was born November 24, 1907; Rudolph, who was born
July 3, 1910, and Nellie, who was born March 5, 1912.
politics Mr. Sandersen is a republican. He has never accepted any public
office except membership on the school board, which he has held for twelve
years and has been a very efficient official. He is a member of the
fraternal order of Maccabees.
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