The above is an illustration of one of the principal business houses on DeSiard street, that of Henry Kindermann, the popular family grocery merchant. The building was erected in 1873 on the site of a large wooden store burned down the same year, has a front of 44 feet with a depth of 100 feet, and is provided with an elevator and a cellar. The cost of erection was $7,500.
A brief sketch of the business career of Mr. Kindermann will not be amiss in this connection.
Henry Kindermann came from Prussia in 1855, landing at New Orleans. He had, in cash, only one Prussian thaler -- about 70 cents -- and of a knowledge of the English language, none. Neither had he any relatives, or any acquaintances in this country, but was, in sober truth and stern reality, a stranger in a strange land. But Henry had determination, and was willing to take anything, as he has expressed it, that would offer itself to him in the way of honest work. He had $2.00 advanced to him in New Orleans to go out on the Jackson railroad in search of work. Four miles from Ponchitoula station Kindermann found employment on a farm at $6.00 a month, at which he worked five months longer, and then returned to New Orleans to work in a store.
In December, 1857, Mr. Kindermann came to Monroe, and was employed as a clerk by Mr. E.S. Austin. The year following, he embarked in business for himself with a capital of $150, doing a grocery business, in which he was "boss," clerk, drayman, and porter. His first year's sales amounted to perhaps $1,000. But energy and strict attention to business brought custom, and Kindermann began rising, not rapidly, but by steady steps, and at the outbreak of the war was comparatively prosperous. Not being a citizen, either by birth, or naturalization, he returned to Germany during the war, not wishing to enter the army, or to remain and engage in business speculations, opportunities to do which were then abundant.
The war closing, Mr. Kindermann returned, and, with Mr. J.G. Sanders, again embarked in business. In 1867, Mr. K. purchased the lot upon which the building shown in the engraving stands, and erected thereon a wooden storehouse. It was then away out on DeSiard street, and stood alone. There was not then another business house on that street, proper, from grand street to the woods -- or, rather, the cemetery, then the limit of the street -- and now there are thirty, or more. Kindermann's foresight and the city's development, it would seem, were members of the same conspiracy. The wooden building was destroyed by fire in May, 1873. In November following, Kindermann's present store (which is, also, his residence where he is comfortably at home) was erected. Mr. Kindermann has been steadily and quietly attending the wants of his customers and the demands of trade since the erection of his new house, losing none of his energy or his urbanity, nor abating in push and vim a particle since the days when he would sell a few articles and trundle them to his customer's home in a wheelbarrow. In fact, he will do it now, although his annual sales cannot fall far short of $25,000. In business, he is liberal, just and accommodating; as a citizen, he is public-spirited and enterprising, but very retiring; and as a neighbor or friend, large-hearted, charitable and steadfast. The TELEGRAPH might say more; it could not say less of a citizen whose career in business in this city for a number of years has earned for him the esteem and confidence of all who know him