John Engel, formerly Postmaster of Hackensack, and one of the most popular hotel proprietors in Bergen County, was born in Prussia, Germany, on the 16th of April, 1845. His parents, Charles Engel and Agustia Kuehn, ere both born and married in Prussia.
Major Engel received his education at the military school at Schloss, Annaburg, Province of Saxony, and in 1860 came to this country, arriving in New York City on the 16th of October. His first business here was as a barber in New York. In 1868 he removed to Hackensack, N. J., where he has since resided, and where he was for some time engaged in the barber business. He became Postmaster of Hackensack in 1888, and served one term. Afterward he engaged in the hotel business in Hackensack, in which he has since continued, becoming one of the most popular and best known hotel keepers in Bergen County.
As a soldier in the Civil War Major Engel made an enviable record. He enlisted, in 1862, in the One Hundred and Sixty-fifth New York Volunteers and served until the close of the war in 1865, receiving an honorable discharged after a long and active service at the front. In 1898 he enlisted for active service in the War with Spain, becoming Major of the Second Battalion, Second Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers, and going into camp with his regiment at Jacksonville, Fla. He was mustered out in November, 1898. He is Past Commander of James B. McPherson Post, No. 52, G. A. R., and also Captain of Major John Engel Command, No. 56, Spanish War Veterans. He served twenty-seven years (1872-1899) in the National Guard of New Jersey, rising from a private to the command of the same battalion in which he enlisted in 1872.
Major Engel is a man of great energy, ability, and enterprise, and during his entire career has maintained the respect and confidence of all who know him. He is one of the most public spirited citizens, deeply interested in the affairs of the community, and thoroughly identified with every movement which has for its object the general welfare. He is a member of Lodge No 177, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Hackensack, of the Improved Order of Red Men, of the Hackensack Wheelmen’s Club, and of the Hasbrouck Heights Field Club.
On October 31, 1867, he married Miss M. H. Gehrels, of Charleston, S. C. Their children are Charles W., George S., John A., Augusta, Herbert B., Frank P., Emma T. B., and Daniel C.
Source: Harvey, Cornelius Burnham, Editor; Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, New York: The New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900.