Hudson County & Bergen County Biographies





HENRY PUSTER is a fine example of the German-American citizen, one of that large class whose industry, economy, intelligence, and sturdy integrity have done so much toward the development of our country, and whose solid qualities and valuable services in all departments of private and public life have been valuable services in all departments of private and public life have been recognized in every portion of the republic. He is a native of Jersey City, N. J., where he was born March 10, 1858, and where he has always resided. His father, Valentine Puster, a native of Bavaria, came to America about the year 1850, and located in Jersey City, where his son enjoyed the advantages of the public as well as the German private schools.

While but a youth he made choice of the jewelry business as his life work; but after a short apprenticeship he became convinced that his tastes, abilities, and natural aptitudes pointed to a very different sphere of action. Hence, with more mature judgment revising his former decisions, he resolved to make the law his profession. In the light of subsequent events no one can doubt that this was a most fortunate change. Mr. Puster now entered the law office of Hon. William D. Daly, since State Senator and Congressman. For four years following he received kindly advice and instruction from Mr. Daly, as well as from his partner (at that time), Mr. Wynkoop, who took a lively and warm interest in him, seeing his aptitude and industrious endeavors, and coached him through all the intricacies confronting the law student. Mr. Puster also found a warm friend in the lat Hon. Bennington F. Randolph, Judge of the Jersey City District Court, who did much for him while pursuing the rugged course of the law student, and he afterward had the extreme pleasure of succeeding his benefactor and friend on the District Court bench.

At the close of this period Mr. Puster took his examination in company with a number of fellow students from the same building (Flemming Building), and to-day is the only living and successful lawyer of all those who took the journey to Trenton bent on attaining the same goal. After becoming regularly admitted to the bar of New Jersey, he at once entered upon the practice of his profession in his native city, where his courtesy, ability, and knowledge of the law, his tireless activity, with prompt and thorough attention to business, rapidly added to his circle of friends and steadily built up for him an extensive and valuable practice. He is a man of kind and generous impulses, as is evidenced by the fact that he is known as a friend of the proorer classes, who often receive the benefit of his legal services and advice with little remuneration or quite gratuitously.

So bright and energetic a man could scarcely fail to become a leader in politics. He comes of Democratic stock and has always been true to the Democratic standard, and hence enjoys the fullest confidence of his party. As early as 1881, when but twenty-three years of age, he was elected Alderman of his district, the Sixth, and received the cognomen of "the School-Boy Alderman," which position he held for two years, and labored assiduously for his district with good effect. In 1890 he was chosen Assemblyman for the same district by a large majority over his opponent, Hon. James S. Erwin. The duties of this office he discharged with ability till the Hon. Leon Abbett, having discovered his fitness for the honors and responsibilities of the bench, in April, 1891, appointed him to succeed William P. Douglass as Judge of the First District Court of Jersey City. As a jurist he fully met the high expectations of his friends, presiding with marked dignity, ability, justice, and decision.

Judge Puster is a member of Grant Lodge, No. 89, K. of P., of Unique Council, R. A., and of the order of Good Fellows; Past Grand of Lincoln Lodge, No. 136, I. O. O. F.; and representative to the Home for Aged Indigent Odd Fellows of New Jersey, of which institution he is a Director and formerly President. He has also served several years as the representative to the Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows of New Jersey. He is one of the managers of the Aged German Home, known as the Raymond Roth Altenheim, under the management of the German Pioneer Verein, as well as counsel for the same institution. He is also counsel for five different building and loan associations.

On the 24th of January, 1883, Judge Puster was married to Miss Julia A. Wenner, daughter of John C. Wenner, for many years past a leading business man and manufacturer of Jersey City. They are blessed with four daughters, in whom Judge Puster has a great and fatherly pride.

He became associated in partnership with Hon. Robert S. Hudspeth, ex-Presiding Judge of the Hudson County Court of Common Pleas, and has a suite of finely appointed offices in the Davidson Building, Jersey City. Judge Puster is still a young man, having only reached the prime of life, and has every prospect of a brilliant future before him.

Source: Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, Editor, Cornelius Burnham Harvey, The New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900, pages 170-171.

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