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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Henry L. Gerlach

History of Door County, Wisconsin : The county beautiful Chicago: by Holand, Hjalmar Rued; S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1917, Pages 204 - 205

Among the progressive and energetic farmers who are contributing to the agricultural development of Sevastapol township is Henry L. Gerlach, who owns an excellent farm on section 25. A native of Wisconsin, he was born in Herman township, Sheboygan county, January 8, 1882, and is a son of Christian and Louisa (Hartman) Gerlach, both of whom were born in Germany. The mother, however, came to the United States when six years old with her parents, who resided in Wilson township, Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, until married and then removed to Herman township. There the father engaged in farming and won a substantial competence. Christian Gerlach was educated in Germany and remained there until he was twenty-two years old, when he came alone to the Unites States. He also made his way to Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, and established one of the first blacksmith shops in Herman township. Both he and his wife passed away in that township and were there buried. To them were born six children, namely: Herman, who died in Milwaukee in 1909; August, a resident of Appleton, Wisconsin; Albert, who passed away in Milwaukee in 1917; Otto, who is a resident of Milwaukee; Henry L., of this review; and one who died in infancy.

Henry L. Gerlach received his early education in the district schools, which he attended until he was fourteen years old, and then entered the Mission House Academy, near Franklin, Wisconsin, where he took a two years' course. Upon leaving that institution he secured work as a cheese maker in Sheboygan and was so occupied until 1900, when he entered the State University of Wisconsin at Madison, which in 1902 granted him a certificate showing that he had completed the course in the Dairy School. For about ten years he was employed as a cheese maker by L. M. Washburn, of Sevastapol township, and in 1911 he purchased the cheese factory. The following year he built the cheese factory at the institute and operated both factories until 1913, when he sold them and bought the south half of the southeast quarter of section 25 and two hundred and forty-eight acres on section 31, Sevastapol township. He now gives his undivided attention to the management of his extensive farm holdings and has manifested the same progressiveness, sound judgment and business insight that characterized him in the direction of the affairs of the cheese factory. His farms are excellently improved and the work of cultivating the fields and caring for the stock is facilitated by substantial buildings and thoroughly modern equipment.

Mr. Gerlach was married February 8, 1906, to Miss Louisa Bartel, a daughter of William and Margaret Bartel, early pioneers of Sevastapol township. The father died in 1915 and is buried in the Bayside cemetery. The mother survives and makes her home with Mr. and Mrs. Gerlach. The Bartel homestead, which comprises the south half of the southeast quarter of section 25, was wild land when it came into the possession of Mr. Bartel but in the course of years he transformed it into a highly cultivated and well improved farm and it is now owned by our subject. To Mr. and Mrs. Gerlach has been born a son, George Christian, whose natal day was January 10, 1910.

Mr. Gerlach gives his political allegiance to the republican party and for the past three years has served as township clerk, making a highly creditable record in that capacity. He is identified with the Loyal Order of Moose and in religious faith is a Lutheran. Although he began his independent career empty handed he is now financially independent, which indicates that industry and the ability to recognize and take advantage of opportunities constitute a sufficient foundation for success.

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