JOHN GOSCH, who for thirty-one years has engaged in the boot and shoe business in Bunker Hill, was born in Schlezwig-Holstein, Germany, March 16, 1844, and is a son of Clause and Christiana (Kolb) Gosch. They both belonged to families that for generations had resided in Germany, and in their native province both the father and mother lived and died, the former passing away at the age of seventy years and the mother's death occurred when she was fifty years of age. They were members of the Lutheran Church and were worthy and respected people. Their family numbered ten children, eight sons and two daughters, seven of whom grew to mature years and were married, while four brothers still survive. A daughter and four sons came to America. Our subject was the first to cross the ocean and several years later the others of the family sought homes in America. One brother, Thomas A., is now a resident farmer of Bunker Hill Township.
John Gosch, when a youth, learned the trade of a shoemaker in Harndurf, a little village near his home, and afterward worked as a journeyman for about three years. With the hope of bettering his financial condition he resolved to emigrate to America, and when, on the 7th of April, 185, the three-mast American sailing vessel "Onward," left the harbor of Hamburg, he was on board. The voyage lasted seven weeks and at length the ship dropped anchor at New York. From that city Mr. Gosch went to Brooklyn, N.Y., and after two weeks' stay continued his journey to Davenport Iowa, from whence he came to Bunker Hill after two years. In 1861 he led to the marriage altar Miss Julia Roettger, daughter of Henry Roettger, who with his family sailed from Hamburg to New Orleans in 1857. Coming up the Mississippi River they halted at St. Louis, and then traveled across the country to Bunker Hill, where the parents spent the remainder of their days, Mr. Roettger dying at the age of seventy and his wife at the age of sixty-five years. Mrs. Gosch was born in Braunschwig, Germany, March 16, 1834, and reared in her native province. She had reached womanhood when with the family she came to America, and a few years later her marriage was celebrated.
Three children have been born of this union who are yet living and they have lost three - Minnie, Julia and Henry, all of whom died in childhood. Herman, is now assisting his father in his business; Otto is engaged in business in Webb City, Mo., and John is clerking in Huber's store in Bunker Hill. The family all attend the Methodist Church of which Mrs. Gosch is a member. Socially, Mr. Gosch is a member of Encampment No. 31, and subordinate lodge No. 258, I.O.O.F., of Bunker Hill, in which he has filled all the chairs and is now Treasurer of both lodges. He is also a member of the German Lodge of Bunker Hill, the Harrigari, No. 402, and has filled all the offices in that order. In politics he is a stanch Republican who does all in his power for the interest and success of the party, and has been honored with public offices of trust. He has for seven years served as Councilman of Bunker Hill, and for one term filled the position of Mayor.
The year after his arrival in that city Mr. Gosch established business as a manufacturer of boots and shoes, and from the beginning had an excellent trade which constantly increased. Often he had as many as seven employees working under him. In 1883 he abandoned this branch of business and established his present boot and shoe store, located on Warren Street, where he carries a full and complete stock and now has a thriving trade. He possesses thrift and industry, perseverance and good management - qualities essential to success, and is accounted a wide awake and successful business man and a public spirited citizen.