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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Martin Frederick Winter

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 258 - 259

Martin Frederick Winter, on of the intelligent and highly respected farmers who reside on section 28, Sherman Township, is classed among the pioneers of the county. He has watched its growth and development since the days of its early infancy; has seen its wild lands transformed into beautiful homes and farms, and the work of civilization carried forward until it takes front rank among the counties of the State.

Our subject was born in Prussia, February 27, 1823, and is one of a family of eight children, four of whom are now living. John Daniel Frederick is a retired farmer living near Siessel, Wis.; Wilhelmina is the wife of Ferdinand Sholz, a farmer of Sherman Township; Martin Frederick is the next younger; Michael Fred, deceased, was engaged in the lumber business in Sheboygan; and Hannah is the wife of J. Watkins of Whitehall, Mich. Our subject was a lad of sixteen when, in 1839, the family came to America, landing in New York on the 7th of September, after a very stormy voyage of nine weeks and three days. They sailed from Hamburg, by way of Hull and Liverpool, and on reaching New York, went to Buffalo, locating in Genesee County, where the father worked on the canal for two years. They then went to Buffalo, and after five months came by water to Milwaukee, in the fall of 1842.

Mr. Winter, whose name heads this sketch, went to Michigan and worked on the Lakes for some time. He was afterwards employed in a sawmill in Milwaukee for three years. He had now reached the age of twenty-four, and had saved enough money to buy a yoke of oxen and eighty acres of land. This he did, and then he began the development of a farm. Forty years ago he came to the place where he now resides, purchasing a soldier's claim of one hundred and sixty acres. It was entirely unimproved, and the wild tract showed little evidence of becoming the rich and well-cultivated farm which we see it today. Mr. Winter worked early and late, until acre after acre was placed under the plow and made to yield him a golden tribute.

On the 1st of December, 1848, the marriage of our subject and Miss Augusta Benter was celebrated. Unto them was born seven children, but only three are now living, David, Daniel and Reuben, all of whom are farmers. The mother was called to her final rest in 1859, and in 1861 Mr. Winter wedded Miss Amelia Benter, a sister of his first wife. They became the parents of eleven children, of whom six are yet living: Marie, wife of Moritz Miller, a farmer; Emma, wife of Louis Benn, a farmer in Sherman Township; Bertha, wife of Leopold Zinkover; Amanda, Augusta, and Martin F. Mr. Winter has reared a large family, and his children are now well situated in life, and are an honor to their parents.

Since casting his first Presidential vote, Mr. Winter has been an inflexible adherent of Republican principles, and his sons have followed in his footsteps in this direction. His fellow townsmen, appreciating his worth and ability, have elected him to various political offices. For three years he served as Assessor; was Treasurer one year; Under Sheriff for two years; Pathmaster for three years; Constable for fifteen years, and School Director during his entire residence here. His frequent re-elections tell of his faithful service and the confidence reposed in him. During the late war he endeavored to enter the service, but was rejected on account of his eyes. His life has been a busy and useful one, and although he is now well advanced in years, he still operates the farm of one hundred and sixty acres. Upon it are fine buildings, and the place is one of the valuable and desirable country residence of Sheboygan County. Mr. Winter is a man of sterling worth, and true to every trust reposed in him, whether public or private.


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