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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Edward Henze

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 297 - 298

Edward Henze, a farmer of section 20, Plymouth Township, is a son of Christian W. and Augusta (Bierbach) Henze, who were among the first German settlers of the town of Herman. The parents were born in Arden, Saxony, Germany, where the father followed farming and teaming for a livelihood. In 1847, with his wife and five children, he set sail from Bremen for New York, on a new three-mast vessel called "The Edwards" in fact, they had to wait fourteen days for the vessel to be completed. When all was in readiness, they set sail, and forty-six days later landed in New York. On coming to Sheboygan, the family stayed there for about four weeks, or until a piece of land could be selected. On section 10 of Herman Towmship, the father purchased eighty acres for $150. To clearing and improving this, he gave his untiring efforts, being assisted in his endeavors by his son. Though a poor man when he landed here, he became a well-to-do farmer. His death occurred in 1863, and that of his wife in 1882. Of their children, three are living. Mrs. Adelaide Kent, a daughter, resides in California; and Mrs. Theresa Kessel in Sherman Township, of this county.

Edward Henze is the second child in the family. He was born November 7, 1830, also in Arden. His education was received in his native land, and when seventeen years of age he accompanied his parents to this country. He well remembers the hardships of the pioneers, as he often assisted in carrying provisions from Sheboygan to his home, a distance often miles. In 1848, when the timber was cut away in order to build the old Plank Road, he took a contract to perform a portion of the work. He assisted his father in erecting their first dwelling-house in America, which they built of logs, without any outside assistance. Wages were extremely low in that day, as may be learned from the fact that young Edward chopped in the woods for $4 per month. Not long after the house was completed, it was destroyed by fire, and nearly all their household effects also wrent up in smoke. This was no inconsiderable loss to those trying to make a home in a wilderness. The first wheat crop that Mr. Henze attempted to raise proved equally unfortunate. With hoes the father and son hacked up four acres of ground, and after it was sown to wheat they dragged a brush over it with their hands, in order to cover the grain. When harvesttime came not a grain of wheat was to be found. The first crop of oats they raised was hauled to Sheboygan and sold for fifteen cents a bushel. It required two days to take them to market, and our subject had to work nine days for the use of the ox-team and driver to haul them there. As there were but eighteen bushels, his nine days' work would have brought more money7 than the entire crop of oats. To Mr. Henze, farming seemed an uphill business. In 1849 he went to Superior, and for two years teamed at the Cliff Mine. Returning to this county, he purchased forty acres of land in Herman Township, adjoining that of his father.

In the same town, Mr. Henze was married, on the 17th of September, 1853, to Miss Charlotte Michalies, who was born March 10, 1832, in Germany. When four years old she was left motherless, and when fifteen years of age she was deprived of a father's protection. About 1852 she emigrated to America. Mr. and Mrs. Henze had ten children, of whom six are living: Robert, Edward, Frank and Frances (twins), Otto and Hulda.

Until 1865 the gentleman whose name heads this record continued to farm in the town of Herman. Subsequently several removals were made, he living at different times near Sheboygan, in Cascade, and in the town of Lima. In 1870 he moved to section 20, in the town of Plymouth, where he owns a farm of two hundred and forty acres and carries on dairy-farming quite extensively. Mr. Henze has met with good success in his business undertakings, wdiich is well deserved, as few men have worked harder than he. In political affairs, he supports the principles of the Democratic party.

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