|Birth: ||Sep. 24, 1863|
|Death: ||Mar. 21, 1957|
The sudden death of J. P. Altheide early last Thursday morning at the age of 94 brought to an end the career of the oldest merchant in this area. During the 68 years he had operated a general store in New Haven, customers who in time became intimate friends came from as far south as Japan, MO, and across the river into Warren county.
As the years passed, Mr. Altheide called most of his customers by their first names. He was affectionately called "J.P." Even after he retired in 1933 and his son, Edward, took over the management of the store, he continued to visit the store daily to meet his friends. If the need arose, he went behind the counter and sold merchandise. These daily visits continued until he was past 90 years of age.
A man of robust health and vigor, "J.P." never missed a day from his business and was never ill. Indeed, he said that during his long, busy life he never remembered having had a headache. He liked to walk and was a familiar figure with his cane and sprightly step as he climbed the hill. He was temperate in his indulgences, never drank, never smoked and never used profanity.
Born in this community on September 24, 1863, Mr. Altheide was a member of a large farm family where work and thrift were essential virtues. He attended Central Wesleyan College at Warrenton for a year and started his career as a merchant when he took a clerkship in the store of the late S.H.Schleef at New Haven. In 1889 he opened a store in partnership with the late Robert Grubbel. Later he operated the store himself with the late L.G. Grannemann a silent partner in this venture until 1913. Henry Altheide, a brother, came to the store in 1892 as a clerk and in 1913 purchased a one-fourth interest. Edward Altheide, son of J.P. Altheide, who now operates the store with Cecil Smallfelt, started his career as a merchant when he was big enough to look over a counter. He and Mr. Smallfelt took over its active management in 1933.
J.P. Altheide was widely recognized as a capable merchant who was not afraid to take risks. He often bought merchandise such as flour, apples and potatoes in carload lots and sold them from the car. In the early days, his warehouse was filled with quarters of beef and dozens of cured hams. He sold wild ducks, killed along the river at 15 cents each. In the late summers when farmers from far and wide hauled their wheat to the Wolff mill here, they would stay overnight to buy large supplies of needed articles from the Altheide general store and fill their wagons.
Widely known and widely liked it was but natural that "J.P." was a soft "touch" for acquaintances seeking donations for roads, churches and other community developments. While Mr. Altheide gave liberally to the church of his choice, for years he contributed regularly to one or two other religious groups in the town. A teacher himself at Gerding school in early manhood, he believed formal education a prime necessity for good citizenship and success and saw to it that his children went to college. Three of them became teachers too.
Surviving Mr. Altheide are two sons, Edward of New Haven and Dr. John Paul of St. Louis; two daughters, Mrs. Cecil Smallfelt of New Haven and Miss Helen Altheide of Quincy, IL. A surviving brother, David lives at New Haven and a granddaughter, Betty Sue Smallfelt is attending the University at Columbia.
Funeral services last Sunday afternoon were conducted by Rev. J.J.Livingston of Emory Methodist church here, in New Haven and Rev. Earl Statler, former pastor of this church, who is at present past of the Methodist church at St. Clair. Burial was in the family plot at New Haven cemetery.
(newpaper obituary and picture from the Alvin Rohlfing collection)
Kate F Ernst Altheide (1865 - 1931)*
Catherine Ernst Altheide (1865 - 1931)*
New Haven Cemetery
Maintained by: Jude Sedich
Originally Created by: Dennis Hellebusch
Record added: Jan 24, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 64613772