The Cyclopædia of American Biography/Haberkorn, Christian Henry

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HABERKORN, Christian Henry, manufacturer, b. in Detroit, Mich, 27 July, 1856; d. in Detroit 2 June, 1915, son of Henry and Margaret (Kolby) Haberkorn. He was of German ancestry, the descendant of an old Bavarian family which moved to Hesse Darmstadt early in the fifteenth century. His father (1831-1908), born in Altenburg, Hesse Darmstadt, the youngest son of the mayor of that city, came to America in 1851, and settled in Detroit, Mich., where he became a prominent builder. His mother was also a native of Germany. Henry Haberkorn was educated in the public schools of Detroit, and in his young manhood followed his father's trade. Early in the seventies he went to California and engaged in the construction of several of the first pretentious buildings erected in San Francisco. Then returning to Detroit, he began the manufacture of furniture, and in 1878, started his first independent business venture by establishing the firm of C. H. Haberkorn and Company. The business was incorporated in 1904 with Mr. Haberkorn as its president, a position which he retained until his death. From the time of its inception he had been the leading spirit and guiding genius of the enterprise, which under his management grew to be one of the largest concerns of its kind in the United States, Mr. Haberkorn held a prominent place among the business men of the country, and although his energy was mainly devoted to the building up of C. H. Haberkorn and Company, he was identified with a number of other interests in Detroit. He early saw the possibilities of real estate investment in and about Detroit, and owned considerable property which he improved and developed. He also invested largely in various manufacturing and banking activities throughout the country. He was vice-president of the Pressed Steel Manufacturing Company in 1908-11; president of the Universal Motor Truck Company in 1910-11; treasurer of Grosse Pointe Park Corporation in 1913-15; and president of the Haberkorn Investment Company in 1914-15. He was never interested in politics to any great degree, and never held or desired public office. He was a member of the Detroit Club, the Detroit Country Club, Detroit Golf Club, the Old Club, Wayne Club, the Detroit Board of Commerce, and the Geographical Society of America. He married, in 1884, Frances Harriet Ruehle, daughter of Frederick Ruehle, a prominent figure in the early city government of Detroit, who had been president of the board of public works and one of the four founders of the old “Michigan Democrat.” She died in 1910, and Mr. Haberkorn married, in 1913, Helen Hortense Harvey, daughter of Fred C. Harvey, an attorney of Detroit, who died the following year. He was the father of two children by his first marriage: Christian Henry Haberkorn, Jr., and Adelaide Dorothea Haberkorn. By his second marriage there was one child, Henry Harvey Haberkorn.