Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Page 351
Jacob Brehm, One of the oldest pioneers of Sheboygan County is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He is
engaged in operating his valuable farm, which is located on section 4, Wilson Township. He came to Wisconsin in
1847, and to Sheboygan when it was a small village, and when game of all kinds, as well as Indians, was plentiful.
Deer have been killed in our subject's orchard, and it is within the memory of several of his older children when
Indians came to their door and begged for bread. There was not a railroad in the whole county at the time of his
The birth of Mr. Brehm occurred near the city of Cassel, Germany, November 7, 1817, and from his boyhood his life
has been passed on a farm. He is one of a family of four sons and a daughter, the latter being the only one,
besides himself, now living. His parents were Valentine and Eva Brehm, the former of whom engaged in farming, and
passed his entire life in Germany. Our subject was a young man when he bade adieu to the Fatherland and set sail
from Bremen to try his fortune in the United States. At the end of seven weeks he arrived in New York City. When
he came to this county he had about $200, with which he embarked in business. He invested his capital in a tract
of eighty acres of wild land, and during the time he was clearing and improving it, he slept in a pile of brush by
night, building a fire to keep the wolves away. He is one of the oldest pioneers of Wilson Township, and for some
years his home was a typical log cabin, the cost of which would not exceed $25.
On Christmas Day of 1852, Mr. Brehm married Miss Reike Schubert, a daughter of Johann and Eva Schubert. She was
born May 15, 1833, in Germany, and came to America at the age of eighteen years. Eleven weeks were spent on the
briny deep, the vessel in which she sailed being entirely unseaworthy. She crossed the Atlantic with her father,
sailing from Hamburg, and landing in Quebec, Canada. From there she proceeded to Sheboygan, arriving here in
September, 1852. Eleven children have been born of her marriage, eight sons and three daughters, ten of whom are
living. Herman is a resident of Marathon County, Wis.; Ferdinand is a farmer of this county, and his sketch appears
elsewhere in this volume; Edward is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Marathon County; Hugo is a speculator and
resident of East Superior; Otto carries on the home farm for his father; Albert is at home at present; Richard lives
at home; Tillie is now in Chicago; Aurelia is the wife of Urban McLellen, a farmer; and Ida, the youngest of the
family, is the wife of William Grasshorn, of Sheboygan. Otto has been a student in Sheboygan and is well educated
in the English and German languages. He devotes his time to agricultural pursuits and is an enterprising young
business man. He is Vice-President of the Wilson Gun Club, organized in 1890, which numbers about thirty members.
In politics, he has been a Democrat since casting his first Presidential vote for Grover Cleveland.
As the years passed on our subject increased his possessions, until he is now a wealthy man, owning two hundred and
seventy acres of valuable land in Wilson Township, and seven hundred acres in Marathon County. The value of his
property is placed at $25,000. He has risen to his present position through the exercise of the characteristics
common to German citizens, and is known far and wide as an honest and upright man.
In his political views, Mr. Brehm is a Democrat, having supported that party since casting his first Presidential
vote for James K. Polk. For five years he has served as Supervisor, but has never aspired to official positions of
trust, preferring to spend his time in carrying on his farm. He and his wife are adherents of the German Lutheran
Church, and are always in favor of good schools and competent teachers. He is influential in this locality, where
his home has been for so many years.
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer