Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 491
Henry Riess, the fifth child of John Riess, who is spoken of again in this sketch, was born in
Neujabel, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, September 19, 1830. In his native land he
received a common-school education. Until 1849 he assisted his father on the farm, then
worked a short time on a railroad. The following year, in company with his parents, he took
shop at Hamburg for New York, which city was reached after a voyage of sixty-seven days.
It was not a very pleasant trip, as severe storms were encountered, one of which tore away
a mast and so badly damaged the pumps that it was almost impossible to keep the vessel
from filling with water. By the heroic efforts of crew and passengers the pumps were mended,
the water removed, and a grave in mid-ocean escaped. By reason of the long voyage the
passengers were subjected to many privations, which, however, were soon forgotten in the
excitement occasioned by reading a new country. The Riess family spent the New Year of
1857 on board the vessel, and soon after took a boat for Albany, thence to Buffalo, where
they remained during the winter, as they were unable to proceed farther because of the ice
on the lakes. The account of the father's coming to this county and purchasing land in Rhine
Township is more fully given in his biography elsewhere in this volume.
While his father came West to purchase land, Henry Riess chopped wood near Buffalo at fifty
cents per cord. A home having been secured, he came on with the other members of his father's
family to the town of Rhine, which has been his home since. There. on the 23rd of October,
1853, Mr. Riess wedded Caroline Wissbroker, a daughter of Jacob and Louis Wissbroker, who was
born in Saxony, Germany, March 15, 1839, and accompanied her parents to this country in 1852,
arriving on the 2nd of July.
Mr. and Mrs. Riess have a family of six children, as follows: John and Frederick, who are
farmers of Rhine Township; Carl, who is employed by the Kohler, Hayssen & Stehn Manufacturing
Company, of Sheboygan; Amelia, the wife of Otto Leonhardt, a painter of that city; William, a
painter in the same city; and Mary, who also makes her home in the Evergreen City.
Frederick N.C., the third son, was born July 3, 1865, in the town of Rhine, and there grew to
manhood, receiving a good practical education. On the 12th of April, 1890, he was married to
Louise, daughter of Peter Burkhart. The daughter was born in Herman Township, December 26,
Mr. Riess whose name heads this record is well known to the people of his township, where he
has made his home for over forty-three years. All the family are members of the Evangelical
Church, and, politically, he is a staunch Democrat. In 1858, he purchased sixty acres of the
old homestead, of which all except twelve acres are cleared. In 1892, he sold his farm, and
is now living practically retired.
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer