Diana HESER MORSE
Olson Century Farm
LCpl Dennis Senz USMC
Herman Richter Family History
This is from a typed family history by Herman Richter. It was written in 1972. It has been retyped exactly like
the original. When reading this, please note that there is frequent variation in the spelling of names.
Selected Surnames: Brueggen, Butzler, Demars, Doering, Ewalt/Ewelt, Flock, Hagen, Hegenbarth,
Kern, Jacobson, Levenhagen, Lusson, Michaelson, Richter, Rumphy/Rumppe/Rumphe, Schaub, Schieffer,
Soger, Stodola, Tschernach, Von Ruden, Wacker, Wahlstrom, Wilgrubs, Willger
The history of the Richter family as I know it. I was born Herman Anton Richter in the year 1888, on the sixth day of March, at Saint Mary's Ridge, Monroe County, Wisconsin. Doctor Miller, who drove all the way from Norwalk through Ontario to the head of the big rock in the upper brush creek valley to the right hand branch, better known as Heiser Valley, delivered me. He kept no record
of my birth. The only record of me being a Monroe County citizen in the State of Wisconsin was when I was married. I was baptized at Saint Mary's Church in Saint Mary's Ridge, Wisconsin. My god-parents were Miss Antonia Bunciel who later moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Bernard Ewalt.
I attended the Catholic school for three years and made my First Communion and was confirmed by the Bishop of LaCrosse Diocese. I attended school with Fred, John, and Sylvester Cole. I stayed with their grandmother, Mrs. Bugby, for three years, as I had seven miles to walk to get to Catholic School.
I went to the same school as my mother had attended for four terms. This school was located on the Stephen Doering homestead on the left side as you get to the top of the hill. My grandfather had been school clerk at the time my mother attended school. This was a log school house and a new frame school was built later. The school was built on Olery Wilgrubs and Rumphy line as each one
donated half of the land. Henry Wilgrubs then became school clerk. When I started school I could not speak English. Each class of people spoke the language of the country they came from. Our parents came from Muenster, Germany, and this was called Low German. The third school was built around the corner on Highway 33, one half mile away and the land was bought from Jib Willgrubs and Rumphy which used to be on the south side of Highway 33 but today it is on the north side since the centering of all schools.
I went to school until fourth grade and had some very good teachers and Leonard Kimbirk was one of the best. Some of the teachers had to come by bicycle or walk six miles. They started there school fires in a box shaped stove, corrected school papers, swept the school-house floors all for the sum of sixty-five dollars a month. The boys carried in the wood and piled it in the hallway.
I went to the upper brush creek school June 10, 1904, Monroe County, Wisconsin. Miss Lillie E. Dunning was teacher. M.F. Quinn was school clerk. Some of the pupils were: Bertha Merchant, Francis Merchant, Rosy Kuffer, Osmund Bakkum, Bernard Richter, Peter Kuffer, Anna Brohmer, Martin Richter, Phoebe Langon, Laura Kimbirk, Helmuth Manlzk, Eugene Langon, Henry Manlzke, Lizzie Kieffer,
Henry Richter, Fred Knoll, Einar Berg, Barbara Geir, Paul Knoll, Esther Koehler, Verna Gamerdinger, Albert Willgrubs, Joe Kieffer, Ernest Willgrubs, Arthur Brohmer, Walter Kimbirk, George Merchant, Lester Rumphy, Ray Langen, Emma Brohmer, Nora Merchant, Earl Rumphy, Emil Mantze, Leo Kieffer, Lena Mantzke, May Quinn, Herman Richter, Gusta Knoll, Annette Wasrude, Tilda Geir, Christina Kieffer, Johnny Masterson, and Mary Masterson.
My grandfather homesteaded 160 acres in the town of Jefferson in Monroe County. Grandfather was born in Gurold Hausin, Germany, Stephen Doering, on December 26, 1820. He past away and was buried at Saints Peter and Paul Church cemetery, Pine Hollow, Wisconsin on December 20, 1901. My mother and I saw a vision of his death as we left church one Sunday. Upon leaving the church we saw his casket floating up the center isle of the church. There were no pall bearers by its side and he was buried less than two weeks later.
My grandfather first came to Saint Louis up the Mississippi River. He worked in the flour mills at Saint Louis for about six years. The go west notion hit them. They came by Overland Train to Ontario on the Kickapoo River up Highway 33 to the big rock that leads to the Saint Mary's church. The distance of which was eight miles. Later Saints Peter and Paul church was built at Pine Hollow and the stones for the building were donated by the John Tschernach Stone Quarry.
Stephen Doering's homestead was one mile north of Viron County Line along Sheldon Township Line past the Methodist Cemetery, one mile northwest along Henry Wilgrubs Homestead. My grandpa gave my father the first two forties acres west of the Town of Sheldon Line as shown on the Wilgrubs Homestead. He bought forty acres of his neighbors as he couldn't get to it as the Big Rock was in the way. We called this field the nine acres flat. He also had thirty acres of marshland in early days. The hay was cut with a scythe, put in big hay shocks and it froze over. This hay was sold to the Kickapoo Logging Company. The best of all was the clear spring water which had to be ditched sometimes 1000 feet to the Heiser Creek. A big barn was built near the Heiser Creek road with a stone foundation under it, thirty six by seventy feet, and was rebuilt in 1904 by Helfry and I. This land was given my father when he married my mother.
My grandfather Herman Richter and Anna Katarina Brinkman were married in Cosefelt Muenster, Germany, and were buried at Saint Mary's Ridge east of the log church. The first church at Saint Mary's and a frame church was built and was followed by the large brick church they have today. The sisters house was east of their graves and rectory was east of the Sisters house.
My Grandfather Herman Richter was sick for several years with what was then known as dropsy, and at that time very little was understood about it.
My Grandparents had four children. The oldest Paulina, then Louis, Anna and the youngest Henry. Paulina was born December 13, 1862 and married John Tschernach May 4, 1886. She died February 9, 1937. John was born January 13, 1856 and died June 28, 1900. They had seven children; Anna, Gertrude, Frank, Herman, Louis, Mary and Kate.
Anna married Leo Schaub, Gertrude married Hystad Schaub, Frank married Lyda Wiesner, Herman never married, Louis married Anna Lastufka, Mary married Bernard Von Ruden, and Kate married Peter Willger
Herman Tschernach after he had moved to Rice Lake, one day was cultivating corn and got kicked by a horse and was taken to the hospital. They figured this was possibly the start of cancer in his leg. He had a forty acre farm in the town of Stanfold with the new dairy barn, he sold this farm and used the money to buy the Petersen farm of eighty acres on Highway 25, north of Barron, one mile south of the Stanfold Town Hall, this was to have been Alphonse Willgers farm after Herman passed away. Mary got the house Mrs. John Tschernach lived in as she had taken care of her mother.
Louis, the second oldest was born on February 20, 1865 and died February 19, 1938. He was married to Fredericka Doering on October 26, 1886 at Saints Peter and Paul church at Pine Hollow by Reverend Haverstadt. The wedding was witnessed by John Schmitz and Bernard Ewelt. She was born June 1, 1860 and died April 3, 1934. They had four children; Herman, Henry, Bernard and Martin.
Herman Richter married Gertrude Willger on October 4, 1910. They had seven children; Agnes who married Oswald Hegenbarth, George married Helen Stodola, Martin married Wilma Hagen, Joseph married Rose Michaelson, Edward married Rita Lusson, Norbert married Kay Soger and Gertrude married Svend Jacobsen.
Gertrude died May 3, 1910 (handwritten correction changed it to May 6, 1927). Herman remarried to Catherine Willger and they had four children; Herbert married Violet Kern, Clarence who died two days after birth, Catherine married Richard Wahlstrom and Theresa married Charles Levenhagen.
Henry married Paulina Schieffer May 29, and they had three children; Catherine married Art Ackerson, Viola married Fred Wuetrich, and Elrita married Bob Lathrop.
Bernard married Mary Willger, they had ten children; Frieda married Hans Buchman, Lawrence married Leona Demars, Bernice married Clarence Demars, Sylvester married Josephine Holub, Marie married Bill Bar be Coby, Louie married Lorraine Marshall, Veronica married Bob Jilek, Francis married Shirley Frizinger, Magdalene married LeRoy Marshall, Irene married Raymond Flach.
Martin was born at Pine Hollow November 15, 1897. At the age of sixteen he drowned at Ontario June 9, 1912 in the Kickapoo River. This river disappears under large rocks for fourty or fifty feet and has many whirl pools. Martin was swimming and was caught by one of the whirl pools, Dr. Johnson tried to revive him, but he had been under too long. He was buried at Pine Hollow on a lot my father had for his family, which he later gave to Anton Sperk family for taking care of this lot. My father had his family stone set on this lot so he took a smaller stone and placed it there and used the large stone on his and Grandma's lot on a St. Joseph's cemetery at Rice Lake. My parents share a lot with Bernard Richter and I own the next lot north where my wife Gertrude is buried. My wife Catherine and I are to be buried the two graves north of Grandpa's grave, this leaves one grave on the north edge of my lot.
Anna Richter married Christ Brueggen on June 19, 1888, and she died June 26, 1944. Christ Brueggen was born November 1857, and died April 1, 1929, they had nine children; Anna, Elizabeth, Martin, Anthony, Francis, Louis, Mary, Lena and George. Anna married Henry Butzler, Elizabeth married Johnny Bruggeman, Martin married Theresia Schirer, Anthony married Marie Jensen, Francis married
Christ Marx, Louis married Olivia Dorcey, Mary married Raymond Jensen, Lena married Henry Conrad, George married Agnes Wynard.
It is believed Henry died at a very early age as there is no record of him.
When my grandfather died my grandmother, Anna Katharina (Richter) Brinkman married again to Anton Ewelt on May 29, 1869. Anton was born November 5, 1840 and died April 4, 1906. Grandmother died on August 28, 1914. They had seven children; Bernard, Bernadine, Gertrude, Mary, twins who died at an early age, and Cecelia.
Bernard married Apollina Brueggen and they had seven children; Anna, Anton, William, Bernard, Gertrude, Mary and Loretta.
Anna married Michael Schaub, Anton married Francis Wacker, William married Ida Meseberg, Bernard never married, Gertrude married Ed Rapp, Mary married William Meseberg and Loretta married Alvin Grill.
Bernadine married Martin Brueggen April 3, 1894. She died January 1, 1941. She was born July 10, 1872. They had nine children; Anton, William, Henry, Herman, Anna, Regina, Bernard, Elizabeth, and Alois.
Anton died at the age of five. William was married to Catherine Dahl, Henry married Mamie Butzler, Herman married Margaret Mlsna, Regina married Fred Wideman, Bernard married Nora Schmitz, Elizabeth married William Mlsna, Alois married Millie Kapeller, Anna died at the age of eleven. Alois died February 6, 1968, he was born June 30, 1911. Herman was born March 6, 1901 and died February 26, 1971 at St. Mary's Ridge.
Gertrude was born October 4, 1874, and married Albert Willman April 14, 1896. She died July 23, 1965. Albert was born March 2, 1865 and died March 22, 1935. They had six children; Anna, Ferdinand, Emma, Tony, Mary and Rose.
Anna married Joe Albrith, Ferdinand married Mary Zaahn, Emma married John Gessert, Tony married Eva Payne, Mary married Louis Cherney and Rose married Venzel Hoffman.
Mary was born November 7, 1877 and died March 4, 1960. She married Louis Wacker September 19, 1898. Louis was born July 24, 1871 and died September 17, 1953. They had eight children; Gertrude, Anton, Herman, Anna, Rosina, Mary, Catherine, and Veronica.
Gertrude married Bill Albright, Anton married Eva Paine, Herman married Lucille Schaitel, Anna married Hugo Kotten, Rosina married Hubert Butzler, Mary married Henry Kotten, Catherine married August Lueck and Veronica married Sylvester Shroeder.
Cecilia was born March 29, 1882 and died July 9, 1968. She married John Hemmersbach May 13, 1902. They were married at St. Mary's Ridge and died at Marshfield, Wisconsin. They had only one son Hubert Hemmersbach who was born at St. Mary's Ridge August 12, 1908 and died October 14, 1967 at Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. They also had four daughters; Mary, Anna, Regina, and Leona. Mary
married Lawrence Mayer, Anna married Bill Arndt, Regina married Bill Welch, and Leona married Leroy Timkin.
The first timber cut came on the Mutuch Moore forty acres. My father bought this land after a big storm in 1898 broke down a lot of this timber. The stump of this timber had to be thirty-six inches. My father and I cut down this timber had to be thirty-six inches. My father and I cut down this timber and hauled it down the Pepole Valley to a place one half mile down the creek from the
Anton Leis trout pond so that they would have water for the steam engine that was used for power to saw these big logs. The rest of the material was sawed at Oscar Williams, owner of the corner in the upper brush creek valley when you pass the Wilgrubs homestead and the Heiser Road Bridge by Andrew Draver, the millwright who built our house at the head of the rock.
This rock was one hundred and ten feet high and shaped like a cap. To the part that is left there was a space of three feet between the part that dropped to the ground on the east side. This part has been estimated to be about ten ton and we used to jump across it when we were young. There was an Indian fire place on the west side and all around there were lots of letters by people who came to see the rock.
The work done at my father's house was the first work in the carpentry line I had done and I continued this kind of work from then on. The stone that was used to build my father's basement was sandstone, and was gathered up the Heiser Valley to a branch that ran off to the right side to near Grandpa Anton Sparek's house, and I helped them haul them out. The wall was laid by Johnny Dickau, who lived near Oil City or near Ontario, Wisconsin. The house was started by Johnny and Ed Baumber, and Andrew did all the finish work, all the window frames we made by hand as parting strips plowed out by hand.
The first barn I built in Barron County, Andrew's (Draver added by hand) father came to Rice Lake to help me put on a raising bee. The second barn I built for Christ Ness in Barron County. I built over two hundred hip roof frame barns in Rusk and Barron County. We used wooden pins for nails. Then we started a plant to make Gothic type roofs with no interframe in the center of the barn and a double wall. The silos when connected to the barn with the heat of the cattle kept the filled silos from freezing. I built over two hundred and thirty of these barns in Barron, Washburn, Rusk and Chippewa County. We got saw mill planing from south west of Bloomer which was set on Samdall forty acres. Freeman Ritter did the sawing and planing and my barn rafters and silo rings were built at this plant, and latter lumber was sawed to build a house for Edward Richter.
Hans Peter Willger, who was the grandfather of Gertrude Willger, and who I had a chance to meet through a friend of mine, offered to take me over and show me a nice girl. So one warm Sunday afternoon Johnny Willger and I started out with three feet high snowbanks. We started for his Uncle John Willger's home and I met Gertrude for the first time. Shortly after her and I went to dance at Melvina and her brother Peter went along, we had borrowed a cutter for the trip. Gertrude worked for Charlie Sturdvent that summer and the next year she worked for Patrick Dolan. The next summer her and I attended a basket social held at the Brady school house on Clinton Ridge. The teacher at that time was Nellie Luedke. While they were selling baskets a shot came through the window and landed in Eddie Quinn's leg. He carried this bullet for the rest of his life. The reason was he was not supposed to have taken Goldie Potts to the dance and he did not marry her after all as later he married Theresa Bates, who still lived at Cashton. Eddie passed away and is buried at the Cashton cemetery.
That same fall on October 4, 1910, Gertrude and I were married at the St. Mary's Church by the Right Reverend Monsignor J. L. Kaiser Dean, and we lived at the Helfry eighty acres we bought laying along side of the Mutuch Moore forty acres.
That winter father and I cut 2000 white oak railroad ties which were hauled through Ontario up Moorse Creek valley to Norwalk, as the Northwestern railroad paid twenty cents more than the Milwaukee at Cashton, for railroad ties. A sawmill was set near the well on the Helfry farm, this farm had fifty apple, plum, and cherry trees in full bloom at that time. Anna Brueggen who later on became Mrs. Henry Butzler, helped my wife put in the meals for the saw mill men. Then my brother Henry and I hauled these ties to Norwalk. We had two covered bridges we had to cross and we first had to haul snow on the bridges in order to get our load of ties across.
The woods had a lot of flying squirrels also the big black squirrels. I didn't do any hunting but did like to catch those speckled beauties, some fourteen to sixteen inches long, when fried they were the best of eating.
I was a member of the band that used to do a lot of marching on May Day, the Fourth of July, and labor day, and also on church picnics, which there were a lot of in those days. We hired a teacher to get us started. Next we needed uniforms, I still have my cap. I was the treasurer for many years, and could not give them their share of money if they did any drinking. They were to be on duty, no beer or hard liquor was allowed. My father paid for the first set of uniforms. They were all wool with a gold braid trimming. It cost eight hundred dollars for sixteen uniforms. The band consisted of: Herman Richter, Oscar Larsen, Oliver Dobson, Otto Slatten, Isaac Slatten, Louie Torgerson, Henry Hansen, August Manskie, Iner Berg, Theodore Torgerson, Christ Rose, Einar Hove, Eddie Allison, Elmer Hove, and Matt Hove, who took care of the violin parts at dances.
My grandfather helped Al Sandon put in the first flour mill in Ontario, and helped them to get started to grind flour, as they could grow the smooth shelling wheat from the start and afterwards had to grow the beared wheat to get wheat flour.
My grandmother could bake very good bread, and she would give the Indians a loaf of bread in exchange for deer meat. I remember the Indian burial ground. To bury the Indians three large white oak logs were put in the ground about fourteen feet long and taned buck skin tied to the top of these posts. All the good Indians were hoisted to the top of this buckskin and the wicked Indians were left at the bottom of this triangle for the wolfs to devour. The State soon put a stop to this, and all the Indians were marched North of Sparta where their home was to be later on with Captain Hunt and his men.
My father helped start a Co-Op Creamery at Ontario and this went over big. They started skimming stations as the creamery could not take care of all the cows that came into existence. We used to take milk to old style cellars and skim the cream off and churn butter and sell it for five cents a pound. Dad got tired of some of the cows and started to raise tobacco. I helped build a tobacco shed for six acres of tobacco, which I worked at six years of age, picking tobacco worms off the tobacco and putting them in boiling water. The grasshopper was the worst of the two, we had to poison the grass along the edge of the field or keep on plowing it all summer long. Tobacco is a year around crop, as you must start your plants in March or April for early planting. When the first machine planter came out, I set millions of plants with a left handed planter and a right handed planter.
I worked a full year for Godfrey Dorsey near the Brody schoolhouse. Jose Dorsey and I set the plants. I worked for him as the man that took care of his tobacco. A neighbor by the name of Tuplick left or died and he had a large tobacco shed that called for that year crop as acreage was let out by the government. My brother Henry worked for him the following year. I helped plant four pine trees that we got off Ed Hauser's farm, as he later moved to Tony, Wisconsin, east of Ladysmith on a very nice farm, and today lives in Rice Lake.
After all the pole ties had been hauled to Norwalk, we started to get ready to move th Rice Lake. We sold the Helfry eighty acres and the forty timber we bought from Match Moore and my father and I and Uncle Martin Brueggen went to Rice lake. At that time my father bought 160 acres from Mrs. Ritter and children, as part the Ritter estate. Mr. Ritter came from the State of Ohio where he had lost his first wife and a girl was left back there. This girl came to Rice Lake for her share of the estate and wanted to see where her father was buried. I took her to the Meadow Creek Cemetery to see her father's grave, and she went to church with us, as she was of a Catholic family.
We then went back to Cashton to pick up the rest of the family. We loaded our car at Wilton. I had a team of horses, a high wheeled wagon, Oliver plow, seeder, a light sleigh and one cow. I had to buy some more cows at Rice Lake which I did at Albert Haughians sale on the Ernest Gohr farm north of Stump Lake. These cows were infested with a disease and soon all my cows were infested, as my father followed soon after and had them tested.
We got here the middle of March. I started to plow and had the grain sowed by the end of March. Gertrude and I went to Mud Lake to get bull heads, as it was all the meat we had to eat. At that time there was sixty acres of cleared land. That was one of our dry summers, and I got only four loads of timothy hay off of sixteen acres, and the corn was only hip high.
Bill Cox and I went to the narrow gauge, an old logging road on the north side of Bear Lake township, we cut the blue giant grass and carried it out to the logging road where we hauled it home to feed the horses. We had hay shipped in from Iowa, which was mostly corn stalks, and paid twenty eight dollars a ton. The following winter we had a good crop of everything and William Wille worked for me on the farm as I had brought my tools from Cashton and was building barns and houses. We hauled our milk to the Good Hope Cheese factory, and the cheesemaker was Mr. Brinkman. The milk brought over one cent a pound. I still own shares in that cheese factory, and days of work in the storage cellar built at that time. Bazar Lake that Hubert Willger now owns, has very steep banks and is very deep, as I used to swim in it. There is where Carl Melanek drowned.
The home we moved in was built by the Ritter boys, and William Cox had plastered the walls. They had put potatoes in the basement and when we went to live there the potatoes were all frozen as hard as rocks, which gave us all plenty of work to do.
Gertrude and I had seven children; Agnes, George, Martin, Joseph, Edward, Norbert and Gertrude. When the baby was six weeks old Gertrude got very sick and she died on the sixth of May, when she was thirty-seven years old. I was left with the seven small children to care for, I also had a debt of fourteen thousand dollars on the farm we then lived on, east of stump lake. School clothes and food had to be provided for, taxes and interest had to be paid, also a home for my father and mother had to be provided, so I had to look for someone to raise my children while I worked out to earn the living. My wife's sister, Catherine, who was still living at home with her parents, consented to take on the job, so on November 3, 1927, at the Holy Trinity Church, Haugen, Wisconsin, we were married.
Catherine and I had three children; Herbert, Catherine and Theresa.
Agnes was married to Oswald Hegenbarth, and they had seven children: Joseph, Mary, Oswald, Agnes, Alice, Margaret and Bernadette.
George married Helen Stodola and they had five children; George, Susanne, Daniel, Linda and Ronald.
Martin married Wilma Hagen and they had eight children; James, Evelyn, Carol, Charles, Robert, Marian, Michael, and Jacqueline. Martin passed away on October 28, 1967, and was buried at the cemetery in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
Joseph married Rose Michaelson and they had eleven children: Larry, Carol, Ronald, David, Arvid, Robert, Diane, Brian, Dawn, Gregory, and Sonya.
Edward married Rita Lusson and they had four children: Dale, Dennis, Cindy, and Liza.
Norbert married Kay Soger in Kentucky and they had four children: Kenneth, Steven, Karen, and Kathryn.
Gertrude married Svend Jacobsen and they had five children: Jeanette, Judy, JoAnn, James and John.
Herbert married Violet Kern and they had eight children; Barbara, Michael, Jeffrey, Kathlyn, Debra, Scott, Mark and Anthony.
Catherine married Richard Wahlstrom and they had eleven children: Twins, Patricia, and Michelle, Steven, Duane, Richard, Bruce, Anita, David, Patrick, Mary and Robert.
Theresa married Charles Levenhagen and they had six children; Connie, Susan, Robert, Bonnie, Catherine and Thomas.
My wife, Catherine has made woven rugs for over fifty years, which would run into thousands of yards. After we were married we lived on the farm east of stump lake and were forced to farm to be able to feed the family, pay back taxes and interest, we also had to buy fertilizer. I put up three stove silos and kept thirty milk cows and grew alfalfa and hay. I bought the necessary machinery from Jacob Boehmer, an eight foot grain binder, eight foot grain drill, grass seeder, a nine foot disk corn binder and planter. I also bought the Andrew Tally forty acres north edge of stump lake, where we caught all the bull-heads we cared to take home, and all was paid for.
In the year 1937, I built a house for Otto Mullenberg and two barns at Bloomer, and five barns at Tilden, Wisconsin, which helped pay back taxes, back interest, the machinery and gave me a new start. Then along came Harry Myers, who had gotten too old to run his store at Barron and told me to cut my timber and we built homes on Lee Street so there would be more homes for people to live. With all the high prices today it is very hard to come out even at the end of the year. Gertrude and Catherine Willger's parents were Agnes Flock and John Willger. There were five boys and four girls. The oldest was Peter who married Kate Tschernach and had four boys, Joseph married to Francis Dostal, Alphonse who never married, Peter who married Zita Sirek, and Paul who married Francis Uchytil.
John married Margaret Wavrunek and they had three daughters; Margaret, Veronica and Helen. Veronica was the only one who married.
Caspar who married Agnes Lexa and they had four children; Rudolph who married Wilma (blank space), Adeline who married Kenneth LeJeune, Shirley who married Lowell (blank space), Robert who married (blank space).
Hubert who married Margaret Haughian and they had one daughter; Eleonor who married Bob Heinz.
Alois married Mary Lexa and they never had any children.
Mary married Bernard Richter and they had ten children named on an earlier page.
Theresa married Lawrence Prock and they had three children; Laura married Victor Schneider, John married Francis Uchytil, and Angeline who never married.
Catherine Willger went to school at St. Mary's Ridge and some of her classmates were: Peter, John, Casper, Mary and Theresa Willger, Aggie, Tony, Casper, Elizabeth, and Pete Flock, Aggie, John, and Joe Von Ruden, Agnes and Hubert Hemmersbach, Hiloris, Eddie, Francis Rundorf, Paulina, Joe, Albina Esser, William, Henry, Herman, and Bernard Brueggen, Anna, Tony, and Willie Ewalt, Appolina Shier, Francis and Tony Sheir, John Frankie and Theresa Schrier, Tony, Eddie and Herman Smith, Jack, Frank, Florence, and Joe Raddermacher, Joe, Mamie, Rosy, Jake, John Mlsner, Willie Dohl, Willie Butchler, Anna, Emma, Ferdinand, Tony Willman, Jake and Pete Steidel, Theodore Steidel and many more which are very hard to remember.
Catherine's Grandpa Flock served in the Civil War for several years and at that time anybody who would desert or did not want to go was shot on sight and would be buried as a good for nothing. After Grandpa Flock got home from the war, he had gone to a wedding one day leaving his wife to take care of the farm. A buck sheep had been tied in the orchard and had gotten loose, grandma went to gather up the eggs and was bunted to death by the sheep. She was buried at St. Mary's Ridge where Grandpa later joined her.
In 1918 war was declared on the Kaiser of Germany and my brother-in-law, John Willger was selected to go. Also my brother Henry was supposed to go, but as he was on a large cleared farm he didn't have to go. John was gone for two years, they were threshing grain when he left, and after the Kaiser was beaten he came home just in time for them to be threshing grain again.
We build Tom Lastufka's first barn which burnt as Freeman Ritter was blowing the straw in the barn. He pulled away just in time to save the machine, and then a new barn was built where it is still standing today. We built the Joseph Stodola barn, and Grandpa Charlie Lastufka's house, and we slept in the barn on the hay, and the girls used to take a bath in the stock tank.
There was a nice log house built on the east side of Mud Lake by J. C. Smith. Mrs. Smith was a sister to Mrs. Ritter, and was buried on the cemetery across the road and the Collins girl was buried there too. Jake Powl who married Mary Talke, who came from Cashton and worked for Jake, owned the Mud Lake eighty acres and had a house built and a barn on the west side of Mud Lake. The next house was August Pepke, whose wife later lived at 227 Reuter Ave.
The dam by Joseph Subert's farm, where they used to float logs down Bear Creek to the mill. Then there was fish lake, where we caught many good sized fish. I owned eighty acres of timber forty rods west of this lake and as years went by we cut all the material for the homes I build in Rice Lake. I got this eighty acres for putting up a beautiful home for Charley Henske. I put up a very big barn for Dan Kritch and got the money to build it with from a man by the name of Andrew Noll, who came here from Chilton, in Calumet County. I also built a very big barn for Charlie Krizenesky, and a very nice barn for William and Leo Wielip, about the year 1914. There was a matched fir floor laid there for dancing, which partly paid for the barn. Harp furnished most of the music which was played by Hickox and Melby, who was a great violin player, who came from Cashton, Wisconsin.
I also built a barn for Charlie Petersen from Cashton, there was a cemetery on the line of Kanak and Kickhoeffer of several acres for old settlers north and west of Rice Lake not accepted by the Superior dioceses. Mr. Collins was a Catholic and was buried in this cemetery. There were five graves and they were later moved to a Rice Lake cemetery.
On Lake 30 where Roy Kimbirk and Barbara Willger's home was, I caught the largest Northern pike that weighed fourteen pounds. It took dad and I and Mary Tschernach some four hours to get it pulled in. I had fourty acres of land on this lake and worked around Silver Lake a lot of the time. Silver Lake is a very nice lake with sand bottom. There was a nice house and well. The forty acres of Louie Petersen which later I traded for a house in Rice Lake where Gaumitz lived for many years. Mrs. Gaumitz worked for us when Theresa was born and Agnes stayed with ma when Gertrude was born, and Frieda stayed one week when Catherine was born.
There were two large hewed log barns on the Ritter farm which were sawed in two square timbers and framed by John LeJeune, and I had built a very long dairy barn, these barns were twenty feet square so there was very little waste in the square timbers.
Peter Willger married Kate Tschernach during this time and made his home on the farm that was to have been Peter and Mable Willger's but Mable did not want to move up north out of Cashton. A large hay shed that stood in the center of the field was moved over to where the cowbarn now is, with the moving equipment we had then we had to add the side barn later.
We shingled the Catholic church in Haugen as we had scafolds to take us to the top, and years later a new Catholic church was built, and a rectory was built by Lawrence Urbanek. Grandpa and Grandma Willger were buried in the Catholic cemetery at Haugen.
A few years ago Joe Stodola, who had spent the winter in Florida, came home and forgot to take off the cover to the chimney, they started the gas furnace and the next morning both of them were found dead in their home by Father Bauer and their son, no one was allowed in until the house was aired out.
When my children went to Catholic school there was a brick schoolhouse just west of the present church, and on this block was an old hotel which had to be moved and I helped to tear it down myself. There were also four houses on this block that were moved and years later, after all my children had finished grade school, there was a new school built in the far north west corner. The old school building was tore down and the parking lot was blacktopped. In 1970 a new rectory was built east of the church, on the late Ed Demars' lot.
I have belonged to the Forster's since 1912, when the State of Wisconsin had them write a new policy for me. I was chief ranger of the men Forster's for fourteen years and have been a trustee ever since. I was a north-west district Treasurer for four years. I also had a policy with New World Life Insurance for many years and was given a final settlement. My father paid for thirty-three years to the Catholic Knights of Wisconsin and when he moved to Rice Lake he lost all his payments as there were no Catholic Knights Insurance in Rice Lake.
My mother's sister Margaret had three boys, Jess, Bert and Clifford. These boys were cowboys and could ride any horse that came along. Bert branded a calf one time that did not belong to them and as was the law of the cowboy they shot on sight and asked questions later.
My grandmother had some five acres fenced off for a garden, and orchard. It was also style in the southern states then to have your own cemetery, so on a sandy knole three of my mothers sisters and their husbands lie. They were marked with little crosses.
Grandpa's granary had four hundred bushels of oats and the second night after grandpa died this oats was all shoveled out on the ground as it was rumored there was supposed to be seventy-two, twenty dollar gold pieces in this oats. As there were very few banks in those days money was hid wherever possible. The truth was my mother and grandfather had taken it to a bank in another town quite awhile earlier.
My mother also had a sister by the name of Eliza, she had only one son who had died and her husband had passed away also. She had no relative to take her in, so she came to Rice Lake and resided with our family for four years until her death in September 12, 1950.
Agnes and Oswald Hegenbarth lived on the Joe Urbanek farm where Eddie Severson now lives. Then they moved to a farm owned by Hans Clausen as I built a barn several miles closer to Rice Lake. I also built a dairy barn on the Donald Lefevre farm and took a labor lien for the work as I also repaired the grainery and house. The cows produced very little, so Rubier foreclosed on Oswald and sold the farm to Ted Owens for one year. I still had a lien on the place and I made them pay for it. I had thousands of dollars in liens that my attorneys were unable to collect for me. Oswald and Agnes then took over the farm I was living on and I built a house on the Samdahl forty acres, which is now Richters addition to the city of Rice Lake. I gave George three lots to put a house on, Norbert a lot to put a house on Richter Street. I also gave Svend Jacobsen several lots and later on he bought the low land by the barn. The barn was used to build a house for Edward and Rita, when they moved from Joe Lusson's farm at Dobie and they now live on the home. There were approximately twenty nine homes built in Richter addition. In 1970 they started to put in water and sewer for Richter addition and the cost was very expensive lot.
George was left an eighty acre farm in the town of Stanfold with a new house and barn. There were no cattle in the barn for several years and frost broke the walls down, this place is now owned by Lester Watrud, who's father I built a barn for several years before and furnished the timbers and built his barn for seven hundred dollars, with cement floors, stalls, ready to put the cows in.
Over the years my family has increased very rapidly. As of 1972 there are sixty-nine grandchildren and approximately forty great-grandchildren.
Agnes's son Joe married Lucille Catlin and had three girls; Mary Ann and Lucinda. Mary married Bernard Koehler and had two children; Donny and Debbie. Ozzie married Irma Michaelson and had one girl; Christine. Agnes married Arnold Brueggen and had two children; Bob and Janet. Alice married John Bauer. Margaret married Bill Marsh and had two boys; Neil and Gregory. Bernadette married Jerry Hazlewood.
George's son George married a girl from up north and had two children. Suzanne married David Scheurer and had two children. Dan and Linda have not married as of yet. Ronald married Sharon Dowd and has one little girl.
Martin lived in North Carolina all of his married life and not to much is known by us as to whom there children married. Jimmy married and had two children. Evelyn married Kleve Paul and had two children. Carol married John Musgrave and has one child. Charles has not married as of yet. Robert is married and has one child. Miriam, Michael and Jackie are still in school.
Joseph has lived for years in Rockford, Illinois. His oldest son Larry is married and has six children. Carol married Ronald Lutafsky and has two children. Ronny is married and has no children. David is married with one child. Arvid is not married as of yet. Robert is married with two children. Then is Diane, Brian, Dawn, Gregory and Sonya who are still at home.
Edward's oldest son married Gloria Boecher and his name is Dale, they have one little girl. Dennis is not married. Cindy married Dean Johnson and has one little girl. Liza is still at home. Norbert has lived away from Rice Lake most of his adult life, and not too much is known about his family as he and his wife were separated. He had four children Kenneth, Steve, Karen and Kathy. Gertrude's oldest daughter Jeanette married Stanley Galoski and they have two children; Kathy and Joey. Judy married David Ruffledt and they have no children. JoAnn married Bill Lammers and have no children. James and John are still at home.
Herbert has eight children; Barbara, Michael, Jeffrey, Kathlyn, Debra, Scott, Mark and Anthony and none are married as of yet.
Catherine's twins Michael married Philip Haskins and has one little boy Philip with another one expected before the end of 1972, Patricia married Tom Tallant and is expecting any day. Steven, Duane, Richard, Anita, Bruce, David, Patrick, Mary, and Robert are still in school.
Theresa's six children; Connie, Susie, Bobbie, Bonnie, Cathie, and Tom are still young enough to be in school.
Halley's comet appeared in 1531, reappeared in 1607, and again in 1749. When it appeared in 1910, I was a young man, at that time and used to see it for many nights in a row.
(Added at the end)
There he met Miss Fredericka Pingel, who he married at St. Louis.
This information has been been graciously provided by
[Eric and Laurie Borreson].
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[Eric and Laurie (Newburg) Borreson Genealogy].
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