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