Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 687 - 688
William A. Bartels, painter, paperhanger and decorator, was born August 22, 1836, in Torgelow, Pomerania, Germany.
His parents, Frederick and Frederica (Koenig) Bartels, were natives of the same province, where they spent their
entire lives. The father was a wagon-maker by trade, carrying on business on his own account. Of their nine
children, five are living, three having come to the United States: Charles, who is a resident of Sheboygan; Augusta,
who is the widow of Charles Wackrow, and lives in Portland, Ore.; and our subject.
Mr. Bartels whose name heads this record is the youngest of those who crossed the ocean. Having attended the
schools of his native land until fourteen years of age, he commenced a four-years apprenticeship to the painter's
trade, receiving only his board for his services. The city in which he learned his trade was Pisewalk. The
succeeding four years he traveled and worked at his trade, visiting Berlin, Stettin and Breslau. In 1861 he began
business for himself in his native town, continuing the same until his emigration to the New World. He was married,
February 9, 1860, to Miss Bertha Krause, a native of Eggesin, which is located a German mile from her husband's
birth-place. She was born May 28, 1838, being a daughter of Charles and Wilhelmine (Wettenberg) Krause. Mrs.
Krause died in Germany, and her husband, who accompanied Mr. Bartels to this country, still makes his home with
The family of our subject consisted of nine children, all of whom were born in Germany: Katie, who was born
December 11, 1861, is at home; Marie, who was born October 17, 1863, married Oscar Rhewaldt, of Sheboygan; Eliza,
who was born October 6, 1865, became the wife of John Schmidt, of the same city; William, who was born August 26,
1867, died on the 12th of December following; Bertha, who was born March 3, 1869, is the wife of William Hoenke, of
Sheboygan; Gustav, who was born March 24, 1870, is in business with his father; Helen, who was born November 29,
1872, is still under the parental roof; Martha, who was born August 29, 1874, died November 19 of the same year; and
George, who was born July 26, 1876, died in infancy.
On the 7th of August, 1876, Mrs. Bartels passed from among the living. She was a woman of estimable character,
being much beloved at home and by her neighbors. She was a consistent member of the German Baptist Church, as is
her husband and her daughters. In 1882, accompanied by his children, Mr. Bartels sailed from Bremen to Glasgow,
Scotland, thence to New York, and on to Sheboygan. The same year he established himself in business in this place,
having since carried it on profitably, employing from five to ten hands. From his native land he brought about
$1,500, to which he has added by industry and good investment, until he is comfortably situated from a financial
standpoint. In the line of his calling he ranks among the leading workmen of the city.
Politically, he is a Democrat, though he takes no further interest in politics than to inform himself on the issues
of the day and cast an intelligent vote.
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