FINK, Henry
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FINK, Henry. The business solidity and commercial prosperity of Harrisburg is due to those men who have achieved success for themselves and by their generous public spirit have made the community sharers in the fruits of their enterprise and ability; and among this class of men stands Henry Fink, proprietor of the Keystone brewery. His parents, Conrad and Helen (Bischof) Fink, were natives of Germany, and residents of the province of Hesse Cassel, where Henry was born September 7, 1835. Besides this son they had two others, Volpert and Frederick C., for all of whom they made the most ample provision in the way of education and business training. Desirous of seeing their sons started in business where there would be open to them the broadest fields and the fullest opportunities for enterprise and achievement, they resolved to come to the United States. This purpose they accomplished in 1854, in which year they settled in Harrisburg. The parents did not long live to enjoy the benefits of the new country, and were not permitted to see how wisely they had chosen for their sons. Mr. Fink died at Harrisburg in 1855 and his faithful wife died in 1867.

Henry Fink had richly profited by his education in the German schools and was enabled to discern the business situation and the needs and possibilities of the community in the line along which he desired to act. But among the most valuable and practical of his German attainments were his knowledge of his trade and his acquaintance with all the details and methods of the brewing business which enabled him to take advantage of one of the most inviting opportunities for skill and enterprise. The possible improvement and indefinite enlargement and the absolute certainty of resulting profits of the business to anyone of the capacity to conduct it wisely were clearly in his view. There must be a beginning, and it might be a small one, but no matter for that, for the growth was certain.

The first work of Mr. Fink in Harrisburg was in the Barnitz brewery, which was not a very large establishment, but was a place where honest work was done, and where reliable and excellent products were made. While working here, Mr. Fink was doing good service for his employer and was every day learning the business more thoroughly. He was industrious and frugal, and was gradually accumulating means to enter business for himself. In 1862 Mr. Fink found that the time had come for his own venture. He secured a lease of the brewery where he had been employed, and at once engaged in brewing ale and porter. He resolved that the quality of his products must first be established so that his brands would have indisputable standing in the markets, that this grade must be maintained at any cost and that all increase in the capacity of his brewery and the output of goods must be made in consistency with this high quality. He has pursued this course wisely and carefully, and has made enlargement and improvement from time to time, all the while maintaining his reputation for manufacturing the best beer and ale on the market. In 1881 he was obliged to have larger buildings and proceeded to erect the magnificent structure which now accommodates his business and which is the largest brewery in the city, equipped regardless of cost with all known and most modern appliances for his manufacture. In his progress in business Mr. Fink has added the manufacture of lager beer, and has provided his plant with every facility for making this popular beverage of the highest degree of excellence.

Mr. Fink was united in marriage in 1857 to Christina Katharine Beyer, a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, who came to America in 1852. Seven children have been born to them: Frederick J.; Katherine, wife of James Q. Handshaw, of Harrisburg; Bertha Helen, Henry C., who renders his father most valuable assistance in the office as an accountant; Robert B.; Christina K., wife of Milton Plank, and Henrietta, deceased. In his political views Mr. Fink is in accord with the Democratic party. The family attend the services of the Lutheran church. While Mr. Fink congratulates himself on the success of his private business he also regards with great gratification the growth and prosperity of the city and is a recognized leader among the many public-spirited citizens who are planning and promoting the common welfare.

Historical Review of Dauphin County

Transcribed by Linda Mockenhaupt for The Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project -

Date of Transcription: 22 May 2001

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