Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
CHARLES W. HENSEL, who resides
five miles north from Waterville, was born in Prussia, on August 25, 1839.
His parents, Gottfried and Christian Hensel, both natives of the same place,
came to the United States in 1850. Settlement was made in Wisconsin
where the father labored in clearing the land and there lived until his
decease, in 1865. The mother died in 1900, being nearly ninety years
of age. Our subject gained a good education in Germany, before coming
to this country and labored at home until he was twenty-two years of age.
He went to Minnesota, bought land and farmed for nearly twenty years in
Waseca county. In March, 1887, he came to Spokane, and October 10th
moved to Douglas county and took up a pre-emption, where he now resides.
He later changed it to a homestead and has bought a quarter section in
Mr. Hensel has devoted himself with energy
and assiduity to diversified farming and stock raising since his settlement
here and without doubt he has one of the finest places in the state of
Washington. The quality of land is no better than that of others.
The only difference lies in that Mr. Hensel has made a study of horticulture
and has put into practical demonstration the knowledge he has obtained.
No man in Douglas county is better posted
on what this section will produce and how to handle it to get the finest
yield, than is Mr. Hensel. He raises brome grass, alfalfa, the cereals,
fruit and vegetables, also has a fine band of registered cattle, and some
of the best Poland-China hogs in the county. He is erecting a new
residence and is to add larger barns to his estate. Mr. Hensel has
not only gained a good success for himself but his farm stands as an object
lesson in the Big Bend country and it has induced hundreds of settlers
to make this their home. Too much cannot be said in favor of the
excellent work which he has accomplished in Douglas county and it is with
great pleasure that we are privileged to chronicle these items in the history
of the county. We also wish to note that Mr. Hensel is a great reader
and keeps his library well stocked with the latest journals on general
subjects and especially horticulture and stock raising.
Mr. Hensel has three brothers, Ernest, Otto
and Albert, and three sisters, Tena Snell, Emilie Kletzine and Ida Burke.
On November 25, 1865, at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin,
Mr. Hensel married Miss Minnie, daughter of Frederick and Rosetta (Buch)
Lawrence, both natives of Prussia as was also Mrs. Hensel. The father
died when Mrs. Hensel was nine months old. The widow later married
R. M. Wahlegmuth, who died in 1891, leaving two children, Bertie and Eustino.
Mrs. Wahlegmuth died in Wisconsin in 1902. To Mr. and Mrs. Hensel
ten children have been born, named as follows: George A., a farmer adjoining
our subject; Charles F., a miller on Puget Sound; Levi H., at Rosalia,
Washington; Samuel W., deputy treasurer in Douglas county; Alfred B., a
postal clerk on the railroad; Arthur T., a clerk in Waterville postoffice;
Alice, wife of R. P. Webb, proprietor of the Invale farm at Wenatchee;
Ida, residing in Spokane; Winnie and Rosetta at home.
Mr. Hensel is a Republican and always takes
an active part in political matters. He has been a delegate to nearly
all the county conventions and the state convention of 1902. He materially
assisted in organizing the first school in the district and has been a
hearty supporter of education during his stay here. He has been either
clerk or director for seventeen years, occupying both positions now.
Also he has been justice of the peace for the same length of time.