John Frambach Stoveken was born as John Frambach in Herkimer, New York on November 15, 1841. Shortly after John’s mother died, his father moved the Frambach family to Racine, Wisconsin. After the death of his father, John was adopted by Bernard and Francis Stoveken. John gained work experience in a flour mill in Milwaukee and then in the early 1860s he moved to Kaukauna to build and operate a flour mill on the Fox River. In 1871 a fire destroyed much of this mill.
In partnership with his brother Henry Frambach, John built and operated a paper mill variously called the Stoveken and Frambach mill or the Eagle Paper mill. This mill incorporated the new process for grinding wood that had been invented by Keller in Germany. This very successful mill was also destroyed by fire in 1881. It was later rebuilt and sold.
In 1886, John and his brother Henry started Badger Paper Company. It was the largest of the many mills in Kaukauna at the time. Shortly thereafter John started the Northern Pulp Company in Niagara, Wisconsin to supply groundwood pulp to the Badger mill in Kaukauna. In the ensuing years the Niagara mill was enlarged a number of times and eventually grew into the Quinnesec Pulp and Paper Company, a subsidiary of Badger Paper Company. The Niagara mill was purchased by Kimberly-Clark Corporation in 1898.
Stoveken was a cornerstone in the development of the Fox River area as a center for pulp and paper production. Along with his bother Henry Frambach, he built and operated a number of pulp and paper mills in the area. The legacy he left is evident from the historical records of early Kaukauna, Wisconsin.
In addition to his pulp and paper interests, Stoveken was also involved in gold mining operations in Colorado. He held a number of patents that describe methods for extracting gold from ore. Although he lived for a few years in Colorado, he returned to Milwaukee in 1915.
In 1921, John Stoveken moved to Los Angeles, California where he died in 1926.