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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Christian Forsterling

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 419 - 420

Christian Forsterling, whose farm is situated on section 18, Sheboygan Township, is well known as a man of integrity and honor, and has been a citizen of the county for nearly forty years. A native of Saxony, Prussia, he was born November 22, 1834, and is the only son of Christian and Sophia (Wilke) Forsterling. The father was a farmer by occupation, and was a soldier in the German army for three years. He was born in 1811, and died in 1886, at the age of seventy-five years.

Our subject was reared to farm life and was given a good German education. He bade his native land adieu in May, 1854, when nineteen years of age, and came direct to America. Setting sail from Hamburg, he was thirty-five days in crossing the Atlantic Ocean, but at length reached his destination. On landing in New York City, he immediately started for Wisconsin, the journey taking a week. Sheboygan was a town of not more than five hundred inhabitants, and the entire country was a forest, in which Indians, deer and wolves were still numerous. He at once set to work, being employed in a sawmill at $7 per month. He continued working in this county for three years in sawmills, after which he was employed for a year on a farm. He then went to Rockland, Mich., where he obtained work in the copper mines, and did quite well financially during his stay there of six years.

Responding to the call of his adopted country, Mr. Forsterling enlisted in Company A, Sixth Wisconsin Regiment, under Gen. Bragg, being enrolled in September, 1864, in Sheboygan. He was sent at once to Madison, Wis. and was ordered to the front. Going to the vicinity of Richmond and Petersburgh, Va., he was assigned to the Fifth Army Corps, and placed in the Army of the Potomac. He participated in five battles, and was in the hot engagement at Hedges Run. In this battle he narrowly escaped, a ball grazing the fingers of his right hand, and one lodging in his right ankle. The last battle in which he took part was that of Stony Creek. On the 1st of April, 1865, while fighting near Richmond, he was wounded in the left arm, which necessitated his being in the hospital for three months. He witnessed the Grand Review at Washington, D. C., and was discharged at Lincoln Hospital, in that city. He performed his soldier's duties valiantly and was always faithful to his post.

In 1857, Mr. Forsterling married Miss Albertina Walter, who was born in 1837, in Switzerland. They have had a family of eight sons and four daughters, all but one of whom are living. They are as follows: Emma, Herman, John, Albert, Ernest, Benjamin, Sophia, Edith, Jennie, Christ, and Willie. The older children have good English and German educations, and the younger ones are still diligent at their studies. The mother was a maiden of thirteen years when she came with her parents to America, and for thirty-six years she has proved a faithful wife and helpmate to her husband.

The farm operated by our subject comprises one hundred acres of arable land, which was formerly a dense wilderness, Mr. Forsterling himself cutting the first road through to his place. He cleared his land, and has made many substantial improvements upon the place. His home is a good brick residence, substantially built, and the farm is a model of thrift in every respect. The family is numbered among the best of the county, and its members are active in upholding all good measures and public improvements. They are members of the Congregational Church at Sheboygan. In politics, our subject is a Republican, and cast his first Presidential vote for the first nominee of that party, Gen. John C. Fremont. He has been a valuable citizen, officially, having served as Supervisor for two years, and he is always in favor of the promotion of educational facilities and advocates good teachers.


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