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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Henry Dockstader

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Page 473

Henry Dockstader, a resident of the village of Greenbush, Sheboygan County, since 1846, is one of the very few surviving pioneers of his day. He is a native of the Empire State, having been born in the town of Palatine, Montgomery County, October 7, 1816. His parents, John and Lena (Ecker) Dockstader, were natives of the same county, and were descended from the original Mohawk Dutch. His father was a farmer, and was a hard-working, industrious man, much respected among his fellow-townsmen.

Henry Dockstader received a common-school education, and at an early age began learning the blacksmith's trade in his brother's shop at Palatine. Having perfected himself in the craft, he worked as a journeyman until October, 1845, when he set out for the great West. On reaching Wisconsin Territory, he located in the village of Rochester, Racine County, where he worked at his trade until the spring of 1847. That year witnessed his removal to this county. On the 6th of April he stuck his stakes in what is now the village of Greenbush, but was then a wilderness of forest. He there opened a shop, and as the country became settled, secured plenty of work. Greenbush is on the line of the old Plank Road between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac, which road became a great thoroughfare between the lake port at Sheboygan and the interior of the State, very soon after our subject established himself at Greenbush; and soon the travel became so great that the little town was constantly thronged with strangers, mostly home-seekers and freighters. After the building of the Plank Road, and until the completion of the railroad between the two points, the road literally swarmed with stages and private conveyances. Emigrant wagons carried some of the home-seekers, while numerous loaded wagons bore grain and other products to the lake port, and returned loaded with all kinds of freight. Those were times of great activity, and Mr. Dockstader found much demand for his bellows and hammer, realizing a good return for his labor. On section 3, not far from the village, he purchased a one hundred and sixty acre tract of land, which he improved and cultivated, but still maintained his residence in the village. In 1863 he discontinued his blacksmithing and devoted his attention to the care of his farm and the loaning of surplus capital. For many years his sister, Mrs. Nare, has presided over his home, as he has no family of his own. In fact, the brother and sister have lived under the same roof ever since they came to this county. Mrs. Nare, who came with her husband to Greenbush in 1846, was left a widow in 1863. For fuller mention of Mr. Nare and herself, see sketch of G. S. Putnam.

Mr. Dockstader has been an industrious man of exemplary habits, and has accumulated valuable property. He is widely known throughout Sheboygan and adjoining counties, being held in high regard by those who know him best.

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