|..the late FREDERICK BRANDES (William's father), was born in the kingdom of Hanover in the year 1803. Like all German youths of his class Frederick Brandes acquired educational advantages which qualified him for both civil and military service. He also received thorough training in the manufacture of boots and shoes and was a master mechanic in the Fatherland, having charge of many artisans in the custom made boot and shoe trade, and he remained there until he was over fifty years old. He married Sophia May Boton, whose birth took place in Hanover in the year 1800, and she became the mother of nine children, eight of whom lived to maturity. Early in the year 1854 he took passage on the ship "Sephilda" for the United States, accompanied by his entire family, and from New York, where they landed on May 1, 1854, they proceeded direct to Webster, where the paterfamilias found immediate employment in the textile mills operated by the Slaters, whose father, Samuel Slater, was the pioneer cotton manufacturer in the United States. He subsequently went to Wisconsin, where he availed himself of the liberal inducements offered to prospective settlers, and located upon land alloted him by the government. He died in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, in 1860. The children of Frederick and Sophia May Brandes who grew to maturity are: Sophia, Johanna, Mary, Louise, Fredericka, Frederick, William and Henry, all of whom were born in Germany.
HENRY BRANDES. (William's brother) This well-known German-American citizen of Webster, civil war veteran and ex-member of the Massachusetts legislature, belongs to the first German family to settle in that town, and he possesses in a superlative degree that genuine sympathy for republican principles which has induced so many of the Teutonic race to seek new homes in the United States. His ancestors were of the potent industrial class, which for years has constituted the real bulwark of the German confederation,
Henry Brandes, son of Frederick and Sophia May (Boton) Brandes, was born in Germany, January 23, 1848. He attended school prior to emigrating and continued his studies in the public schools of Two Rivers and Webster. In May, 1864, when in his seventeenth year, he enlisted as a private in a division known as the Twenty-fifth unattached division, which was afterward consolidated with the Fourth Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, and under A. A. Oliver, company commander, was mustered into service on Gallops Island, Boston Harbor. He participated in some of the important events which transpired during the closing year of the rebellion, and was honorably discharged at Readville in 1865.
Returning to Webster Mr. Henry Brandes attained his majority in this town, casting his initial vote for Governor William Claflin in 1869, and his first presidential ballot was for Grant and Wilson in 1872. He is a well known figure in the shoe manufacturing industry of this locality, having for a number of years held the position of foreman of the Corbin factory, and he recently retired. From the time of his majority he has steadfastly adhered to the principles of the Republican party, and his upright character and profound interest in civic affairs have made his especially eligible to the public service, in which he has acquired an honorable record. For several years he was a member of the board of selectmen, and chairman of that board during his last year's incumbency, has served as assessor, constable, police commissioner and trustee of town property. He was one of the incorporators of the Five Cent Savings Bank, Webster. He represented Webster in the lower branch of the legisature in 1887, being assigned to the committee on labor, which, owing to the serious labor troubles existing at that time, was one of the most important house committees of that session. In 1902 he was again a member of the lower house and rendered valuable service upon the committee on counties. He is now (1906) serving his third term as commander of Post No. 61, Grand Army of the Republic.
Mr. Brandes is chairman of the committee elected by the town of Webster for the erection of a Soldiers' Monument to be erected on town land between Main and Negus streets, opposite the high school building, at a cost of $15,000. Mr. Brandes was the active factor in causing the development of the plan of this memorial and in the subsequent raising of the fund therefor. He is a member of the local lodge, Ancient Order of United Workmen, in which he has occupied all of the important chairs, and is a member of the grand lodge of Massachusetts.
Mr. Brandes married Laura Ann Klebart, born in Webster, December 24, 1853, daughter of Frederick and Caroline Klebart. Mr. and Mrs. Brandes have had twelve children, one of whom died at birth. The others are:Emma Louise, born June 23, 1872; married, June 1, 1897, Alois Elsner, of Webster, and have a daughter, Amanda Evelyn
Amanda Amelia, September 6, 1874; married Robert Straube, also of Webster, and has one daughter, Mabel B., born June 4, 1899, two other children having died in infancy.
Frederick August, March 17, 1876; who is now a druggist in Webster, has passed successfully the state boards of pharmacy in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, and is therefore legally qualified to compound and dispense medicine in three different states. On September 6, 1898, he married Bertha Regel, of Newport, Rhode Island, who died April 13, 1899. He married (second), June 17, 1903, Anna Malloy.
William Henry, February 18, 1878; died November 20, 1880
Carrie Laura, September 24, 1880; died November 1, 1882
Nellie Bertha, October 14, 1882;
Etta Agnes, June 5, 1884;
Alfred Walter, March 30, 1886;
Alice Laura, December 27, 1887; died May 11, 1889
Minnie Lillian, November 1, 1889; and
Henry Robert, March 18, 1893. (military service in WW I.)