John Hollenstein Sr. was born in 1840 in St. Gallen, Switzerland, where he learned the wagon maker’s trade. In 1868 he married Dominica Zuest and they came to the United States in 1869, settling in Woodland, Wisconsin. In 1873 they came to Mayville; the house was purchased in 1876. It was originally of frame construction but was later veneered with locally made cream brick. As the family grew, it became necessary to enlarge the home to the north. The Hollensteins had eight children; Jacob, Caroline, John Jr., Frances, Adolf, Alvina, Lena and George.