Wisconsin Genealogy Trails
Kewaunee County, Wisconsin
Biographies


Peter J. Altmeyer
It can without doubt truly be said that a successful and efficient hotel manager is born not made and this applies with peculiar force to Peter J. Altmeyer, proprietor of the Sheboygan Falls Hotel, which he has been successfully running for many years. He was born in Two Rivers, Manitowoc county, Wisconsin, August 5, 1847. His parents, who were both natives of Germany, emigrated to the United States in the spring of 1847, settling in Two Rivers Township, were they lived and labored for many years. They subsequently removed to Appleton, Wisconsin, where they resided for two years and where the mother's death occurred in 1885. After her death the father made his home with his son, the subject of this review, until he passed away in 1894, his remains being interred in Alaska cemetery in Kewaunee County.

Peter J. Altmeyer attended the public schools of Two Rivers until he attained the age of fourteen years, after which he became actively engaged in agricultural pursuits for twenty-five years. He then removed to Algona, Wisconsin, where he served in the capacity of engineer for three years in a furniture factory. He then went to Door County on White Fish bay, where for six years he was engaged in the timber business, getting out cedar ties, posts and hemlock bark. From there he removed to Pierce, Kewaunee County, where for several years he conducted a cheese factory. He then went to Manitowoc County, where he conducted a hotel until 1906, when he came to Sheboygan Falls and opened the present first-class hotel which he is successfully and ably managing.

In 1875 Mr. Altmeyer was united in marriage to Miss Mary Klotz, a daughter of John and Lizzie (Baughmann) Klotz, natives of Bavaria, Germany. To Mr. and Mrs. Altmeyer nine children have been born. Albert, who resides in Sheboygan, is married and has four children. Carrie is the wife of William Boldus, who conducts a meat market in Two Rivers. Matilda, who is the wife of Charles Kurtz, has three children. Elizabeth is the wife of Guy Hurst, foreman of a chair and tub factory at Two Rivers, and the mother of four children. Lawrence, who is also married, resides in Sheboygan Falls, where he is engaged in the feed and wood business. Catharine is the wife of Ed Fessler, the proprietor of a grocery store in Sheboygan, and the mother of one child. Alvin is married and lives with his father. Henry resides at home and runs the barber shop connected with his father's hotel. Adeline, who completes the family, resides at home and is attending school.

Since removing to this county and becoming connected with the hotel business here Mr. Altmeyer has become widely known as a hospitable, genial and efficient hotel man. His house is conducted with a view to giving his guests homelike and comfortable surroundings and the heating and all its appurtenances are always kept in excellent condition. The house is patronized by a large number of people of the county who chance to be temporarily in Sheboygan Falls as well as by many commercial travelers who call at this city. [Source: History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, past and present Volume 2; By Carl Zillier; Publ. 1912; Pg. 249 submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]

George Barstow
Prominent among the rising young attorneys of Menominee County is George Barstow, of Stephenson, who is fast winning for himself a lucrative practice and an honorable name in the legal profession. A son of Adolph Barstow, he was born September 6, 1882, at Algoma, Kewaunee county, Wisconsin, being the third child in a family of ten children, of whom seven are now living. Born in May, 1847, in Hungary, Austria, Adolph Barstow came with his parents to the United States when ten years of age, locating at Ahnapee, Wisconsin, where after completing his school life he learned the blacksmith's trade. Beginning work for himself on attaining his majority, he followed his trade in Algoma, Wisconsin, until 1886. Coming then to Menominee county, Michigan, he established himself as a blacksmith at Menominee, where, with the exception of four or five years spent at Little Cedar, now Fox, Michigan, he has since resided. He is held in high respect throughout the community as a man and a citizen, being a loyal Republican in politics, a member of the Baptist Church, and belonging to the Knights of the Maccabees. His wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Haige, was born in La Porte, Indiana. Ten children have been born to them, seven of whom are living, as above stated. Attending the district schools as a boy, George Barstow spent his summer vacations from the age of thirteen years until nineteen in pound-net fishing, subsequently sailing the lakes one season. Entering the Northern Indiana Law School at Valparaiso in 1902, he was graduated from that institution with the class of 1905, and admitted to practice in the courts of Indiana. Going then to Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Barstow took a post graduate course at the Detroit College of Law, and on June 14, 1906, was admitted to the bar of Michigan. Locating in Stephenson in January, 1907, he has been quite successful in his work, and has already built up a large and remunerative clientele.

On September 8, 1909, Mr. Barstow married Bessie Woessner, who was born in Stephenson, Menominee County, a daughter of the late Jacob Woessner. Mr. Woessner was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, and when about six years old was brought by his parents to this country. Reared and educated in Ohio, he remained in that state until nineteen years of age, when he became a pioneer settler of Marquette, Michigan, where he was profitably engaged in the shoe business for thirty-four years. Coming from there to Stephenson, Menominee County, Michigan, in 1875, he bought land, and was here actively engaged in general farming until his death, in 1903. A man of good education and superior business ability and tact, he took an active part in public affairs, serving as a member of the Stephenson Board of Education and Board of Review; as county superintendent, and as a Commissioner of the poor; and for a number of years was postmaster, filling the office at the time of his death, when he was succeeded by his widow. The maiden name of his wife was Louise Thoney.

She was born in Coblentz, Prussia, and came to this country when young. She bore him a large family of children, of whom six survive, Mrs. Barstow being the youngest child. Politically Mr. Barstow is a sound Republican, and fraternally he belongs to the Menominee Lodge of Knights of Pythias. [Source: A History of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan and its people; By Alvah Littlefield Sawyer; Publ. 1911; Pg. 965; submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]

Louis Bruemmer
LOUIS BRUEMMER (Dem.), of Kewaunee, was born in Juergensdorf, Mechlenberg Schwerin, Germany, March 14, 1841; received a common school education; is engaged in general business; came to America in 1853 and settled at Trenton, N.J., removing to two Rivers, Wisconsin, in 1854, thence to Ahnapee in 1867, and in 1873 to Kewaunee; enlisted as a private in Co. G, 1st regiment Wis. Vol. Inf. on August 28, 1861, and was promoted to sergeant; participated in the battle of Perryville, Ky., October 8, 1862, and was wounded, necessitating his discharged, February 19, 1863; was town clerk in 1863, ’64 and from 1873 to 1883 was chairman of Ahnapee and of the county board in 1870, ’71, ’72 and was elected member of assembly in 1883, as an independent candidate, receiving 1,782 votes, against 510 for William Rogers, regular democratic nominee. [Source: Wisconsin Blue Book (1883) transcribed by Tammy Clark]

Joseph E. Darbellay
JOSEPH E. DARBELLAY (Dem.), of Kewaunee, Kewaunee county, was born August 1, 1815, in Ledde, canton of Valois, Switzerland; had a common school education; is a merchant; came to Wisconsin in 1836, and settled in Manitowoc county; removed to Kewaunee in 1869; has held various local offices, and was clerk of circuit court for Kewaunee county in 1870, '71, '72 and '73; was elected assemblyman for 1880 by 982 votes, without opposition. [Source: Wisconsin Blue Book (1880) transcribed by RuthAnne Wilke]

Edward Decker
While visiting Mr. Hitchcock, I was interested to learn that an old friend of mine, Mr. Edward Decker, of Casco, Wisconsin, is the postmaster who has served the longest time of any in the state of Wisconsin, and is also the oldest in years; he will celebrate his eightieth birthday in May, 1907, and still has the distinction of supervising one of the best post offices of its kind in the country. Mr. Decker is one of the early pioneers of Wisconsin, having blazed the way fifty-two years ago when he went to the place which is now his home. In order to reach it, it was necessary to cut a road twelve miles through the forest. Soon after Mr. Decker settled in Casco, the first mail route and post office were established, and the office was named by him in honor of his native place in Maine. Since that time, either he or some personal friend of his has been postmaster of Casco, which is considered, for its size, one of the best managed offices in the state, for Mr. Decker has always made it a point to give both the department and the patrons of the office the best possible service. [Source: National Magazine Volume 26; By Arthur Wellington Brayley, Arthur Wilson Tarbell, Joe Mitchell Chapple; Publ 1907; Pg. 10; submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]

James Gerber
Gerber James J, Minneapolis.  Res 3140 Lyndale av S, office 128 6th av S.  Manufacturer.  Born Dec 13, 1860 in Ryan Wis, son of William and Minnie (Friday) Gerber.  Married Aug 27, 1885 to alice O Whitney.  Educated in common schools; learned trade of sheet metal worker Milwaukee 1876-80; sent by U S govt to For Assinniboine to take charge of metal work; moved to Minneapolis and followed trade 1880-89.  Began business for self as J J Gerber sheet metal work 1889 to date.  Member B P O E. [Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Nancy Overlander]

David Alexander Gibson
David Alexander Gibson, commander of T. O. Howe Post, No. 124, G. A. R., at Green Bay, Wisconsin, is exemplifying in his conduct of the affairs of that organization not only his well proved loyalty and patriotism but also a spirit of fellowship and good cheer which make him popular with his comrades. He was born March 4, 1841, in a house located on the present site of the old county office building in Green Bay and is the son of Robert and Esther (Mahon) Gibson, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of England. The grandfather of our subject on the paternal side was David Gibson, who followed farming through life and died in Scotland. His son, Robert Gibson, was born in Berwickshire, Scotland, October 10, 1817, and was educated in the public schools there. When he was twenty years old he came to America and located near the Green Bay settlement, in what is now Scott township, Brown county. On landing in New York he proceeded up the Hudson river and by the Erie canal and the great lakes to this locality, the journey being entirely made by water. For a time he lived with an uncle, Robert T. Gibson, who had preceded him to Brown county. In early life he served an apprenticeship to the wagon-maker's trade and followed the same for seven years in his native land, but during the greater part of his life he devoted his time and energies to farming. In 1840 he married Miss Esther Mahon, a native of England, who came to America with her parents, John and Esther Mahon, the family first locating in Menominee, Michigan, and later removing to Green Bay. Mr. Gibson lived to the ripe old age of ninety-two years and passed away on the 12th of January, 1910. His wife had died February 5, 1884, when past sixty-six years of age. To them were born eleven children, of whom six survive, namely: David Alexander, of this review; Robert E., who lives on the old home farm in Scott township; Anderson P., whose home is in the same locality; James H., who is a practicing physician of Green Bay; Thomas R., a resident of Scott township; and William H., of Green Bay.

David A. Gibson was educated in the public schools of this county and made wise use of every opportunity in this direction. Later he taught school in Brown county for four or five years. When the country became involved in civil war he enlisted October 1, 1864, in Company B, Forty-fourth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, under command of William Rousch, and served for eleven- months in the Army of the Cumberland under General Thomas, as a member of the Fourth Army Corps. He participated in the battle of Nashville and from there went to Paducah, Kentucky. At the close of the war he was mustered out at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in September, 1865, and returned to Green Bay. He then resumed his education, attending Ripon College for a year, and during the following year filled various positions. In 1871 he left home to go to Kewaunee county, Wisconsin, to accept a position as bookkeeper for Schofield & Company, who were engaged in the lumber business and also conducted a general store. He remained with them for seventeen years, two months and twenty days, being a man of general utility, running a sawmill, acting as bookkeeper, etc. He was an expert bookkeeper and accountant. For a short time following the year 1888 he engaged in farming in partnership with his brother but abandoned that field of activity to resume his bookkeeping in the employ of the Menominee River Shingle Company, where for eighteen years he did his usual work in business accounting. Mr. Gibson has a record of thirty-five years as a bookkeeper and during that time was in the service of one man. He retired from active life in 1909 and is now making his home in Green Bay, where he has many warm personal friends.

On November 25, 1879, Mr. Gibson was united in marriage to Miss Fannie M. Campbell, a native of Scott township and a daughter of John and Mary (Smith) Campbell. By this union were born two children, one of whom died in infancy. The other, Ward A. Gibson, is now living with his father being by profession an engineer. Mr. Gibson's first wife died August 5, 1888, when she was thirty-five years of age, and some time afterward he was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Magdalena Woelz, a daughter of Anton and Barbara (Bauer) Goetzman, both natives of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Goetzman came to America, settling first in West Bend, Wisconsin, where the father followed the trade of a locksmith, and later removing to Scott township, this county.

In his political views Mr. Gibson is a consistent republican. For nine years he filled the position of assistant postmaster at Red River, Kewaunee county, and later became postmaster, an office which he creditably filled for many years. He was reared in the Presbyterian religion, while his wife affiliates with the Lutheran church, holding membership in the Ladies Aid Society of that denomination. He has held membership in T. O. Howe Post, No. 124, G. A. R., for many years and is now serving his second term as its commander. He is one of the constantly lessening band of men who are representing in the present day the great Federal army of 1861-1865. Still hale and hearty, he continues to superintend his farm in Scott township. He is now in his seventy-second year and his patriotism and loyalty are as firm now as they were fifty years ago and he seeks no greater title than that of an honored veteran of the Civil war. [Source: History of Brown County, Wisconsin: past and present Volume 2; By Deborah Beaumont Martin; Publ. 1913; Pg. 17; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

George Grimmer
GEORGE GRIMMER (Rep.), of Kewaunee, was born in the parish of St. Davids, New Brunswick, February 28, 1827; received a common school education; is by occupation a lumberman; came to Wisconsin in 1850, and settled at Shawano, thence removed to Kewaunee in 1853; has been chairman of the town of Kewaunee three years, and of the county board two years; state senator for 1877 and 1878, and re-elected for 1879, ’80, receiving 3,814 votes against 3,335 for H. M. Loomer (Democrat), of Shawano. [Source: Blue Book of Wisconsin (1880) transcribed by Rhonda Hill]

John Lewis Haney
During more than fifty-five years John Lewis Haney has been a resident of Wisconsin, and his business activities have gained him a substantial position among the influential men in commercial, industrial and financial lines in the Badger state. As the directing head of large and prosperous business enterprises, he is contributing materially to the welfare of the cities of Algoma and Kewaunee, and his ever-ready assistance in the promotion of beneficial movements has gained him the name and reputation of an excellent citizen. Mr. Haney was born at Batavia, New York, August 6, 1856, and is a son of Thomas and Margaret (Clancy) Haney. The family came to Kewaunee county, Wisconsin, in 1858, and settled on a farm in Kewaunee county, but the parents later moved to Manitowoc county, where both passed away. They were the parents of three children: Michael C., who is deceased; John Lewis; and Mary, a resident of Manitowoc, Wisconsin.John L. Haney spent his boyhood on the home farm, and secured a good education in the district schools and the Green Bay Business College. A thrifty and industrious youth, by the time he reached the age of twenty years he had saved $175, and with this capital entered into a partnership with his brother, Michael Haney, and embarked in the farm implement trade. This association continued until the death of the brother in June, 1907. The business was but two years old when a branch was established at Algoma, where Michael C. Haney remained in charge, and for ten years a branch was also maintained at Sturgeon Bay. When the automobile became so potent a factor in the business world Mr. Haney was a pioneer in handling machines of this nature, thus evidencing their business foresight and acumen. They branched out also in various other fields, being among the organizers of the Ahnapee Veneer and Seating Company, at Algoma, Michael C. Haney being president of this concern until his death, when he was succeeded by John L. Haney. The latter is now a director of the Citizens Bank of Algoma, president and treasurer of the Haney-Gasper-White Company, dealers in automobiles at Algoma, president of the Haney Piston Company of Kewaunee, Wisconsin, a director of the State Bank of Kewaunee, the oldest bank in the city, and treasurer of the Kewaunee Manufacturing Company, of which he was one of the organizers. He has valuable real estate holdings, and business interests in Kewaunee have benefited greatly by his activities.

On February 27, 1889, Mr. Haney was married to Miss Laura Grimmer, daughter of George Grimmer, deceased, who was a pioneer sawmill man of Kewaunee, where he settled in 1858. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Haney: Olga and Ruth. Mr. Haney enjoys membership in the local lodges of the Independent Order of Odd, Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. [Source: Wisconsin, Its Story and Biography, 1848-1913, Volume 6; by Ellis Baker Usher (1914) pages 1693-1694; submitted by FoFG]

John Karel
Hon. John Karel was born in the village of Hromice, near Pilsen, Bohemia, on March 26th, 1851. While most of his boyhood was spent at home, his scholastic education he received in the cities of Prague and Pilsen. For a while his parents wanted him to enter the priesthood and as a result he was given more careful educational facilities. However, John Karel had ideas of his own and on the 1st day of May, 1868, he left the city of Bremen on the Steamer Berlin and landed at the. City of Baltimore three weeks later. He came almost directly to the town of Carlton in Kewaunee County and in the month of August of that year went to work as a clerk in the store of Dean & Taylor. Late in the year 1869 Messrs. Joseph Duvall and W. H. Upham induced Mr. Karel to enter the employ of Slauson-Grimmer & Company at Kewaunee. In April, 1871 John Karel and Elizabeth Metzner were married. In the spring of 1872 they moved to Schuyler, Nebraska, where Mr. Karel and Frank Folda entered into partnership in the general merchandise business. In 1873 that partnership was dissolved and Mr. Karel continued in the mercantile business for himself, which later he sold to the Grangers in 1874 and with his wife and son returned to the city of Kewaunee where he purchased the hotel known as the Steamboat House. In the spring of 1876 he sold the hotel to John Erichsen and built the first bank building in Kewaunee County on the northeast corner of Ellis and Milwaukee streets and in August of 1876 opened to do a general banking business. In 1878 Mr. Karel was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly. In 1880 he was nominated as the Democratic candidate for the State Senate from the First Senatorial District. In 1881 he sold his bank to Rufus B. Kellogg of Green Bay and removed with his wife, two sons and one daughter to Bohemia, where they resided until May, 1883, when they again returned to Kewaunee. Mrs. Elizabeth Metzner Karel died in the city of Prague on April 15, 1883. John Karel then formed the mercantile partnership with Frank Kwapil of Algoma but shortly after disposed of that interest and formed a partnership-in-law with M. T. Parker under the firm name of Karel & Parker. In 1886 Mr. Karel was nominated by the Democratic State Convention at Madison for State Insurance Commissioner. In 1888 he formed a partnership with W. Kaspar in the city of Chicago and started the private bank of Kaspar & Karel.
In 1893 he was appointed by President Grover Cleveland as United States consul at Prague, Bohemia, and that year withdrew from the banking business. In October, 1894, President Cleveland appointed him United States Consul at St. Petersburg, Russia, and there he remained for several years. When Mr. Karel returned from Russia his health was not of the best and he spent several years in the city of Denver. He returned from Denver and took up his residence in the city of Chicago in 1910 and the following year organized the American State Bank of Chicago of which institution he was elected president. To his friends John Karel is known as a traveler and student. An accomplished linguist, he speaks, reads and writes six or seven languages but pays more particular attention to the study of banking and financial problems. He is one of the best known of the Bohemian nationality in this country. Such success as he enjoys is due to his own efforts and integrity without publicity he contributes liberally to many business and charitable institutions in which the Bohemian people are interested. [Source: Wisconsin: its story and biography, 1848-1913 Volume 8; By Ellis Baker Usher; Publ. 1914; Pg. 2207; submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]

L. Albert Karel
L. Albert Karel, second son of John Karel and Elizabeth Metzner Karel, was born in the City of Kewaunee April 17th, 1875. With the exception of a few years traveling with his parents in Europe his boyhood was spent in the City of Kewaunee. Before he completed the High School he went to Chicago and accepted a position in one of the City Banks where he remained for four years and then went to Madison to attend the College of Law at the University. He graduated with the degree of B. L. in '96. In 1907 he came to Kewaunee to take charge of the Bank of Kewaunee and the following year the Bank of Kewaunee and the State Bank of Kewaunee were merged and Mr. Karel has been associated with the State Bank ever since. During the past seven years he has been President of that institution. Mr. Karel is interested in a number of business enterprises in the Northeastern section of the State. He is the President of the Bank of Luxemburg, Fidelity Land Company, Enterprise Printing Company, and is a director in a number of other institutions. On August 16th, 1898, Mr. Karel was married to Miss Hattie Read, a daughter of John M. Read, who prior to his death was State Senator from the First Wisconsin District, and Caroline W. R"ad. To Mr. and Mrs. Karel were born four sons, John Read, Louis A., Karl Francis and Sidney L. Mr. Karel is a member of the Wisconsin Consistory, the Elks No. 46, and the Milwaukee Press Club. In politics Mr. Karel has been City Attorney, Member of the County Board, Member of the State Assembly in 1903 and has been a member of several school boards. [Source: Wisconsin: its story and biography, 1848-1913 Volume 8; By Ellis Baker Usher; Publ. 1914; Pg. 2207; submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]

William H. O’Brien
W. H. O’BRIEN (Dem.) was born June 17, 1871, in the town of Franklin, Kewaunee county. He received his education in the common schools, began teaching when seventeen years of age and continued teaching for twenty-four consecutive years, in the public schools of Brown and Kewaunee counties. He now owns and operates a farm of 120 acres in the town of Franklin. He served as town clerk of Franklin for three years. In 1901 he was elected chairman and continued to represent the town of Franklin on the Kewaunee county board for ten years. During three of these years he was vice chairman of the board. In 1910, he was elected county treasurer of Kewaunee county and reelected in 1912. In 1914 he was elected to the assembly and reelected in 1916, receiving 1,854 votes as against 1,094 votes for O. J. Ahnert (Rep.) [Source: Wisconsin Blue Book (1917) submitted by FoFG]

William H. O’Brien (Dem.) is serving his third term in the assembly. He was elected in 1914 and 1916 and re-elected in 1918, receiving 1,445 votes to 1,094 for M. J. Smithwick (Rep.). Mr. O'Brien was born in the town of Franklin, Kewaunee county, June 17, 1871, was educated in the common schools and at 17 began teaching. For 24 consecutive years he taught in the public schools of Kewaunee and Brown counties and then purchased a farm in the town of Franklin which he has since operated. He was town clerk for 3 years, chairman for 10 years and county treasurer 4 years, retiring from that office when elected to the assembly. [Source: The Wisconsin Blue Book (1919) page 487; transcribed by FoFG]

M. W. Perry
M. W. Perry (Rep.) was born at Racine, Wisconsin. Feb. 20, 1804. His parents at that time were residents of Wolf River, Wis., afterwards called Ahnapee, and now Algoma. Attended common school until 14. Worked as a carpenter and millwright from 1879 to 1880. Then located at Sheboygan, starting in the veneer business as a common hand. Advanced to a superintendency. Returned to Algoma in 1892, and promoted the Ahnapee Veneer and Seating Co., the firm he is now manager and secretary of, with factories at Algoma and Birchwood. Has always been active in Republican politics. A delegate to state conventions of 1898, 1902 and 1904. Alternate to national Republican convention in Chicago, 1904. Elected mayor of Algoma 1910. Elected state senator in 1910, receiving 3.258 votes against 2.865 for Leo. J. Evans (Dem.), 2,298 for Dr. A. J. Kreltzer (Ind. Rep.), and 600 for Dr. N. Z. Wagner (Soc. Dem.). [Source: State of Wisconsin Blue Book; By Wisconsin Legislature; Publ. 1913; Pg. 638; submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]

William Rogers
William Rogers (Dem.), of Carlton, was born June 12, 1848, in the parish of Inkerman, New Brunswick; received a common school education; is a farmer by occupation; came to Carlton, Wisconsin, in 1850, but returned to New Brunswick in 1855, where he remained until 1863, when he again came to Carlton, where he now resides; has been chairman of town board since 1879, and was chairman of county board in 1881; was elected member of assembly for 1882, receiving 831 votes against 545 for Dennis Sullivan, republican. [Source: Wisconsin Blue Book (1882), page 550; transcribed by Mary Saggio]

Patrick J. Rooney
Patrick J. Rooney, born in County Down, Ireland, February 14, 1839; died in Kewaunee, Wis., February 3, 189:2. Came to America with his father in 1846. The family settled on a farm in the town of Pierce, Kewaunee County, in 1849. Served in Company A 27th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, from 1862 to the close of the war. In 1874 was elected clerk of the circuit court of Kewaunee county, which office he held for twelve years. In 1889 was elected county judge. [Source: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the State Historical Society; State Historical Society of Wisconsin; Publ. 1922; Pg. 26; submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]

Richard B. Runke
The Lincoln county bar suffers none by comparison with other counties of the state, and among its members one whose record of practical success has won him distinction and leadership in the local profession is Richard B. Runke, who would be readily named one of the first if not first. Mr. Runke grew up on a farm in northern Wisconsin, gained his Bachelor's degree in the State University, and for ten years since admission to the bar has been working industriously and with success. Richard B. Runke is now practicing at Merrill, with offices at 402 West Maine Street. Besides his large law practice he is president of the Lincoln Farm & Timber Company, of which Thomas H. Ryan, formerly his law partner, but now practicing at Wausau, is secretary and treasurer. He is also president of the Lincoln County Normal School, having succeeded his former partner, Mr. Ryan to the presidency of this training school when Mr. Ryan moved to Wausau. Mr. Runke has been engaged in practice at Merrill since 1903, at which time he formed a partnership with Thomas H. Ryan, and they maintained a prosperous association until 1912. Mr. Runke was born on a farm in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin, March 13, 1877, a son of Henry and Minnie (Bruemmer) Runke, both of whom still reside on their farm in Kewaunee County. The father was a native of Germany, emigrated to America, and located in Kewaunee County, being then four years of age, his father having died in Germany. Richard B. Runke grew up in Kewaunee County, had the wholesome environment of a farm, and attended country schools. His early ambition was directed to professional life, and through his own efforts and earnings he entered the University of Wisconsin at Madison, obtaining entrance by examination, never having had the opportunity to prepare through a High School. He was graduated there in the literary department in 1900 with the degree of Bachelor of Science and later entered the law school in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, but did not graduate in the law, finishing his reading by private study. He was admitted to the Wisconsin bar in 1903 by examination and in the same year located at Merrill, where his success has been exceptional. Mr. Runke does a general law business, but specializes in real estate law and titles.  In 1906 occurred his marriage to Miss Anna Peacock, of Argyle, Wisconsin. They are the parents of three children: Glenn, Richard, Ruth Jane and Robert. Mr. Runke has served as president of the public library board of Merrill, and fraternally is affiliated with the Masonic Order, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Knights of Pythias, at this writing being chancellor commander of the local lodge of Knights of Pythias. He is a member and an elder in the Presbyterian Church. [Source: Wisconsin: its story and biography, 1848-1913 Volume 5; By Ellis Baker Usher; Publ. 1914; Pg. 1382; submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]

Chris Schroeder
Chris Schroeder, who upon the foundation of broad, practical experience in agriculture has built his life work-that of disseminating useful knowledge concerning improved methods of farming and live stock breeding-is now live stock editor of the Wisconsin Agriculturist, published at Racine. He was born in Kewaunee, this state December 31, 1880, a son of Frederick C. and Margaret (Hoeltz) Schroeder, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father was born in 1842 and with his parents came to the United States in 1853, the family home being established in Manitowoc county, Wisconsin, where they followed the occupation of farming. The life record of Frederick C. Schroeder covered seventy-two years, his death occurring in 1914. His wife was born in 1846 and was brought by her father to the new world in 1850, the Hoeltz family being also established in Manitowoc County. Three years after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Frederick C. Schroeder removed to Kewaunee County, where they became pioneer settlers and farmers. Previous to his marriage Mr. Schroeder served for three years as a federal soldier in the Civil war, from 1862 until 1865, fighting in the Western Army at Vicksburg, along the Rio Grande and at Mobile. Chris Schroeder, reared on the old homestead farm, obtained his education in the public and high schools of Kewaunee and afterward followed the profession of teaching for two years. A contemporary biographer, writing of his youthful days, said: "He received his early farm training under the guidance of his thrifty parents, and too, by working primarily before and after school hours. Many a 5 a. m. alarm saw the boy at chores and milking, and it is not unusual for him today to show visitors the sixty-acre farm where stood the young forest which was leveled to the ground with the help of his axe during vacation time. There was comparatively little so-called recreation for the boy Schroeder. The farm was paid for through the thrift of his parents and older brothers, but there were improvements necessary. He was anxious to help make it a success and he loved farming and work too much to idle long. The outdoors seemed to call him continually. He thrived behind the plow and mowing machine-the live stock seemed to know they were being handled by one who appreciated their qualities. His constant desire for knowledge led him into teaching at the rural school, for he has always contended that to know a thing one must be able to teach it.

Then again it gave him the opportunity of trying out his theory that farm children should be taught by one who knows farming and could intelligently interpret the lessons in a language they understood. Two years of this and he became hungry for a college training, so in 1902 he entered the Long Course in agriculture at the University of Wisconsin, graduated with honors, and remained at the university farm for a year, specializing in the care "of beef cattle and breeding horse stock, assisting also in class work and live stock judging. Still intent upon making the teaching of better live stock his vocation, he accepted the position as instructor in animal husbandry at the Minnesota Agricultural College, and in June, 1908 assumed the responsibility of live stock editor with the Wisconsin Agriculturist," in which connection he has since continued, making his department of the paper one of extreme interest and value to the breeders and raisers of live stock. In this connection he has also served as the secretary of the Holstein-Friesian Breeders' Association of Wisconsin since March, 1913. On the 9th of June, 1908, Mr. Schroeder was united in marriage to Miss Lillian Jordens, of Milwaukee, who passed away on the 2nd of March, 1912. On the 1st of July, 1913, Mr. Schroeder was again married, his second union being with Beulah R. Sherburne, of Palmyra, Wisconsin. By his first wife he had one child, Gerda Leone, who was born on the 10th of December, 1909. Mr. Schroeder exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican Party and, while not an office seeker, keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day. He belongs to the Equitable Fraternal Union and his life standards are drawn from the teachings of the Congregational church, his membership being now in Plymouth church of Racine. He belongs to the Commercial Club and is deeply interested in all of its proposed plans and projects for the improvement and development of the city. Of him it has been said: "All through his life a tireless worker, a consistent thinker and a loyal friend, he numbers among his acquaintances most of the best farmers of the state. He seeks no glory other than that which is the natural result of helping others, and is acknowledged by many as being one of the best posted young men in animal husbandry in the state." Advancement has been his watchword and his entire life has been a stimulating influence for benefit in connection with every work that he has undertaken. [Source: Racine, Belle city of the lakes, and Racine County, Wisconsin Volume 2; By Fanny S. Stone; Publ. 1916; Pg. 322; submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]

A.D. Shimek
Mr. A. D. Shimek was born on a farm near the village of Casco, Wisconsin, April 23, 1873. He attended public school until he reached the age of twelve, when he was obliged to leave to help his father on the farm. Mr. Shimek always had a desire to get an education and become a teacher, so at nineteen, although he wasn't fit for second grade work, back to that same school he went. From the public school, he went to the Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Normal School, and after spending two years in that institution, he taught in a district school in his native county. He remained there three terms of nine months each, with an enrollment of 85, 90 and 95 respectively. At the end of three years, Mr. Shimek entered Green Bay Business College, and remained until he got the theory in bookkeeping. He then went back to the Normal and graduated from the full course in 1904. After graduating, he took the principalship of a first class state graded school at Hazelhurst, Wisconsin. The following June, he went back to the Green Bay Business College, and received a diploma from the commercial department before his second term at Hazelhurst opened. At the end of his second term, Mr. Shimek went to the Ferris Institute, Big Rapids, Michigan, to take a special course for a commercial teacher. At the end of six months, he was retained at Ferris Institute as an instructor in the commercial department. [Source: The Blue Book; By L. E. Stacy; Publ. 1907; Pg. 122; submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]



HOME

Wisconsin Genealogy Trails
© Copyright by Genealogy Trails