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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Otto Gaffron

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 260 - 263

Otto Gaffron is the publisher and proprietor of the Plymouth Reporter, which newspaper was established in 1872, by C. D. Wells. It began its career as an advocate of the principals of the Democratic party, and has always been along that line of politics. In 1876 the paper was sold by Mr. Wells to A. F. Warden's partner in the ownership of the paper. In August, 1890, Mr. Gaffron purchased Mr. Warden's interest, and on January 1, 1892, he became sole owner. While the paper is Democratic in tone, it is not radically partisan, but aims honestly to advocate true Democratic principals. Under its present management, it has been steadily increasing its circulation and influence.

Mr. Gaffron was born at Milledgeville, Carroll County, Ill., November 21, 1859. His father, Anthony Gaffron, was a native of Germany, where he grew to manhood and married Anna Birkner. In 1849, during the revolutionary period in Germany, he emigrated to the United States. After a residence for a time in New York City, the family removed to Rahway, N. J., and thence to Illinois, and settled in Carroll County. In 1864 the father entered the army for service in the War of the Rebellion, as a member of the Ninety-second Regiment Illinois Infantry. In the spring of 1865, and before the return of the father from the army, the mother, with seven children, came to Sheboygan County and settled in the town of Scott, where the father rejoined his family on his return from the army, in the fall of 1865.

In 1875 the family removed to Plymouth City, where the father died August 18, 1892. He was born in Neise, Prussia, Germany, in 1814. He served four years in the Prussian army, was married in 1843, and came to the United States, as before stated, in 1849, and in 1854 removed to Illinois. Mr. Gaffron was about fifty years old when he entered the military service of his adopted country, and therefore not legally subject to military duty. He was a trained soldier, and fought as bravely for the preservation of the Union as he had done for the king. He took part in the famous battle of Nashville, under Gen. Thomas. After that event he was transferred to the East, and was present at the surrender of Gen. Johnston. At the time of his death he was a member of P. H. Davidson Post, G. A. R., at Plymouth. He and his wife were the parents of ten children, nine of whom are still living. The eldest son died in Germany, before the family came to America.

The subject of this sketch lived on a farm until fourteen years of age. He attended the public schools of Plymouth City, and supplemented his public-school education by an attendance at the summer school at Madison. He began teaching in 1879, in the town of Scott, and in the fall of 1880 engaged in teaching the grammar department of the Plymouth School. He taught in that department for six years, and since the fall of 1887 has been principal of the Plymouth High School, being still engaged in the occupation of teaching.

Mr. Gaffron was married on the 3d of December, 1888, to Miss Lois Mae Martin, who was born in Sheboygan County May 4, 1860, and is a daughter of Mark Martin. They have a daughter, Martha Otelia, born June 9, 1892.


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