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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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William Wildgrube

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Page 385

William Wildgrube is one of the model farmers of Wilson Township, where he came as a pioneer in 1856. He owns a valuable estate on section 21, and has made substantial improvements upon his farm. He is now numbered among the wealthy and enterprising agriculturists of Sheboygan County. A native of Prussia, Germany, he was born near the city of Wurtemberg, September 19, 1853. He is the eldest of seven children, three sons and four daughters, born unto Ertman and Christina (Wachsmuth) Wildgrube. Four of the family are living. Emma is the wife of Charles Schultz, of Sheboygan; Anna became the wife of Henry Hahn, formerly of Sheboygan, but now a resident of Ranville Station, Minn.; Mena is the wife of Henry Schleiter, a farmer of Wilson Township.

The father of our subject was born in 1830, and is still living. He has been a life-long agriculturist. His wife died January 5, 1892. The family set sail from their native land in 1856, from Bremen to New York, the voyage consuming seven weeks. When he landed in New York City the father did not have quite $40, and on his settlement in Sheboygan County he was therefore obliged to rent land for some time. He continued as a renter for five years, but at the end of a year became the owner of forty acres of partially cleared land. The old barn which was then erected is still standing. Until they could build a cabin, the family lived in a rudely constructed brush shanty. Coming to a strange land and locating among people speaking another language, though they had no capital, they were industrious, and in a few years under their hands the wilderness was cleared and made to blossom like the rose. Before leaving the Fatherland Mr. Wildgrube had served for three years in the German army. He has always loved the land of his adoption, and was ready to go to her defense at the time when President Lincoln was assassinated. He has served as Supervisor of the township, is a Republican in politics, and cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. He is an adherent of the Lutheran Church, in which he reared his children.

We will now proceed to take up the history of William Wildgrube, who was only three years old when he was brought by his parents to Wilson Township. He was reared in the pioneer home and has spent his entire life as a farmer. After obtaining a fair knowledge of the German and English languages, and giving his services to his parents until arriving at manhood, he started out to fight life's battles empty-handed. On the 27th of October, 1881, he wedded Miss Louisa Froehlich, daughter of William and Theresa (Huyer) Froehlich, who are still living in Wilson Township. Mrs. Wildgrube was born December 29, 1855, in the same township, and is one of six children. She has become the mother of two sons and four daughters: Freda, Wanda, Esther, Walter, Anna and Willie, aged, respectively, ten, nine, seven, five and two years, while the baby is only three months old.

The valuable estate owned and operated by Mr. Wildgrube is considered one of the best improved farms of Wilson Township. It has one hundred and fifteen acres within its boundaries, and is under a high state of cultivation. The beautiful home is of substantial brick and built in a modern manner. Like so many of Wisconsin's German citizens, our subject is the architect of his own fortune, and has acquired his wealth through the exercise of his native characteristics, entirely unaided by any one, with the exception of his estimable wife.

In politics, Mr. Wildgrube has been a Republican since casting his first Presidential vote for Rutherford B. Hayes. For a year he has been one of the Supervisors of his township, and is a member of the School Board. He is friendly to good schools and competent teachers, and with his wife holds membership with the German Lutheran Church of Wilson Township.

This Biography was contributed by Jerry Head


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