EagleHerald/Penny Mullins
The John and Jewell Henes home at 602 18th Ave., Menominee, will be open Sept. 18 to view items being sold in an online auction to benefit the couple’s charitable foundation. The beautiful stucco home was built in 1924 by the Prescott family, and was later purchased by John B. Henes’ parents, Pearl and Othmar Henes. Othmar was the son of John O. Henes, who donated the land for John Henes Park in Menominee.
EagleHerald/Penny Mullins
The John and Jewell Henes home at 602 18th Ave., Menominee, will be open Sept. 18 to view items being sold in an online auction to benefit the couple’s charitable foundation. The beautiful stucco home was built in 1924 by the Prescott family, and was later purchased by John B. Henes’ parents, Pearl and Othmar Henes. Othmar was the son of John O. Henes, who donated the land for John Henes Park in Menominee.
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MENOMINEE — John B. Henes spent his life celebrating and preserving Menominee’s history, and now, almost a year after his death, his legacy will continue.

Items from Henes’ estate at 602 18th Ave., Menominee, have been sorted and catalogued by his family — and especially his niece and personal representative, Johanna Lewis. Now, 11 months after John Henes’ death at age 91, many of those items are being sold at auction — and some of the proceeds are going to the John and Julie Henes Foundation, which has, and will continue to, support worthy projects in Menominee.

It is fitting that the grandson of John O. Henes, who made his fortune in the area and was known for his philanthropy, would also be known throughout the area as a supporter of history and the arts. John O. Henes made his fortune as a partner with his father-in-law in the Leisen & Henes Brewing Co., and, among other things, donated the almost 50 acres of land in 1907 to the City of Menominee known locally as John Henes Park.

John Baptist Henes, the son of Pearl and Othmar Henes, grew up in Menominee and followed in the footsteps of his parents and grandparents. John B. Henes spearheaded the development of the Menominee County Historical District in the 1970s and was instrumental in saving many of Menominee’s beautiful and historic buildings.

“He had a huge collection,” said Lewis, who has worked with local auctioneer and appraiser Nellie Beland at Superior Auction & Appraisal, Menominee to set up a current online auction of much of her Uncle John’s things. Another auction house was brought in for the sale of Henes’ collection of first-edition books and some of his fine art collection.

The decision to use Leslie Hindman Auctioneers of Chicago for the fine art and first-edition books was discussed with Beland, and she worked with the family to select items. “Leslie Hindman is known for their expertise in that type of merchandise,” Beland said of the first-edition book and fine art market.

John B. Henes loved many things, his niece said, from art to books, to travel and music. Most of all, “He loved Menominee,” she said.

An online auction is already up and running at www.superiorauction.net, and features more than 600 items still located at Henes’ home. Those items, and the beautiful 1924 home, will be open to the public Sept. 18 at a three-hour open house that starts at 1 p.m.

Included in the auction are some of Henes’ favorite possessions, everything from antique furniture to Baccarat crystal candelabras and stemware sets and Moser stemware sets; Tiffany & Co. pieces to a stained lead glass awning and American Stained Glass/leaded lamps and Waterford crystal.

And there are books — art, poetry, antiques, music, travel books and more. “There are lots of cookbooks,” Johanna said. “He and Jewell loved cookbooks.”

Jewell passed away in 2007. The couple did not have children.

Johanna’s husband, Tom Lewis, said John Henes’ home was filled with books and paintings, from floor to ceiling on every level. Four of Henes’ large paintings — three of Yosemite and one of Fountainebleau, France, have been donated to Spies Public Library. The Yosemite paintings are by Thomas Hill, a famous 19th century artist.

“He loved those paintings, and talked about them daily,” Johanna said the Yosemite paintings. John Henes was a member of the Spies Public Library Board of Directors, so it was only fitting that he wanted the large paintings to go there, she said. “The (Henes) family left a considerable amount to the city and he followed that,” she said of her uncle’s generosity in life and now.

Other works of art in the local auction to benefit the Henes Foundation include several original hand-signed and numbered colored etchings by Luigi Kasimir & many other historical etchings, as well as a collection of prints showcasing many different printing techniques from artists like Fumio Kitaoka, Hide Kawanishi, Ansei Uchima and Kimura Koro.

Johanna Lewis said that there are also paintings from local artists, from whom her uncle often purchased works to support their art. One such painting is a life-sized portrait of Jacob Leisen, commissioned from a local artist named Demille.

Johanna and Tom Lewis said Uncle John also loved posters, and collected many from the old Lloyd Theater on 1st Street, where the owners would give them to Henes right after a movie ended. Many of those posters and others he gathered over the years are in the online auction.

There is a watercolor print of the Menominee County Courthouse, one of the first historic buildings he and his wife, Jewell, helped save from demolition. Johanna Lewis said her uncle “wanted to renovate everything,” and was a supporter of the Historical Society, Spies Public Library and a founder of the Menominee Opera House Committee, which is still working to renovate the historic building in Menominee’s downtown. Many historic photos and postcards of old Menominee and Marinette are in the auction, including buildings no longer standing, like Hotel Menominee and Hotel Marinette.

Then there are the boxes of LPs, everything from the Beatles to Broadway.

Johanna Lewis said her uncle saved everything, so the last 11 months have been a lot of work. As his personal representative, “You know you have lots to do — but you don’t know how much,” she said.

But as his niece, she smiles thinking of her uncle when she goes through all of his many pieces of paper.

“He always had a smile,” she said, “and he was a kind and caring man. Very well-spoken, but modest and shy. A true gentleman.”

Lewis said her uncle had a phrase she wants to remember to say as often as possible.

“He would always say, “It’s my pleasure.’”