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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Theodore Moenning

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Page 399

Theodore Moenning is one of the worthy German-American citizens who have been pioneers of Wisconsin and the founders of her present prosperity. For nearly forty years he has been well and favorably known in the region of his present home, which is situated on section 16, Wilson Township. He also owns a good farm in the same township on section 10.

The birth of our subject occurred July 13, 1847, in Prussia, Germany. He is the youngest in a family of eight children, five of whom are living. His father, Frederick Moenning, was also born in the same part of Prussia, August 10, 1801, and died April 26, 1883. His wife, whose maiden name was Caroline Hirsh, was also a native of the Fatherland, and died in 1873. The father was a merchant in Prussia, but at an early day determined to try his fortune in the New World, and, accordingly, took passage in a sailing-vessel bound from Bremen to New York. At the end of a voyage of forty-two days, he arrived safely in the United States, and at once set his face Westward, starting for Wisconsin. Arriving here, he invested his small means in fifty-three acres of new land, on which was a frame house. This was in 1855, and after remaining at his first location for two years, he bought eighty acres of land, densely covered with trees. The farm which he there developed is now the home of our subject.

When Theodore Moenning bade adieu to his native land he was a mere lad of eight years. Since casting his lot with the inhabitants of Sheboygan County, he has always lived on a farm, and was early inured to the hard work and unremitting toil of the pioneer. When he was at home he gave his time to labor in the fields, and aided his parents in every possible manner. When he commenced life on his own account, therefore, he had scarcely anything, but by the assistance of his industrious wife, he is now well-to-do.

The marriage of Mr. Moenning was celebrated June 1, 1871, the lady of his choice being Mrs. Mena (Lehmann) Fritsch, a native of Prussia, Germany, born November 20, 1847. She was formerly the wife of Frank Fritsch, to whom she was married June 6, 1868. He was likewise of German birth, and died of typhoid fever in 1871. They had two children: Fred, who is married, and is a farmer of Juneau, Wis.; and Theresa, wife of Gustave Roehrborn, son of the old pioneer, Carl Roehrborn, and a resident of the Sixth Ward of Sheboygan. The father of Mrs. Moenning died November 7, 1892, but her mother is still living, at the age of seventy-four years. They were both members of the Lutheran Church. Unto our subject and wife have been born the following children: Mena, wife of Dietrich Burhap, of Sheboygan; Albert, a farmer of this county; Charles, August, Alma, Emeline and Otto, who are at home; and one who died in infancy. The mother was only five years old when she came with her parents to America, and was reared to womanhood in Sheboygan County.

For twenty-two years Theodore Moenning has engaged in cultivating his present farm, which comprises eighty acres of good land, on which he has made valuable improvements. In addition to this, he owns a tract of twenty acres on the same section, and forty acres more, located on section 10. He is numbered among the representative farmers and practical business men of the township. From early life he was obliged to work hard, and his education was therefore neglected, but by reading and observation, combined with his practical experience in fighting life's battle, he has become well informed on general topics, and is thoroughly at home with agricultural details. His wife has been of great assistance to him and is a lady of good education and refinement. In politics, our subject has been a Republican since the time when he cast his first ballot for the Martyr President, Abraham Lincoln. He has never aspired to public office, but has kept strictly to his farm duties. It is his intention to give his children the best of school advantages, as he is a friend to the cause of education. He and his wife are worthy members of the German Lutheran Church, and are active in church and benevolent work.

This Biography was contributed by Jerry Head

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