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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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John E. P. C. Prigge

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 308 - 309

John E. P. C. Prigge, the only son of Frederick Prigge, owns a fine farm of two hundred and twenty acres on section 36, Herman Township. He was born in a log cabin built by his father in Hermantown, and was the second white child born in that town, the date of his birth being June 12, 1848. The father was born in Rothenburg, Prussia, Germany, in October, 1810, and until his emigration to America resided in his native place. In the spring of 1846 he sailed from Bremen to New York, coming to Sheboygan County the same season. For ten shillings he bought half of section 36, which was then all in timber. In this wilderness he erected a rude log cabin, which was the home of himself and family for years, and in which the subject of this article first saw the light of day. Ernst Schlicting {sic}, a character well known among the early settlers; Peter Meyer, also an old-timer in Herman Township, and Christian Wehe became godfathers to the babe.

The mother of our subject was born in the same village as her husband and in the same year. In 1840 she married our subject's father, in the city of Hanover, Germany. Vast was the change on coming to her Western home, where the dark-visaged Chippewa might be expected at any time to make a friendly call or to offer his furs for sale. Numerous are the incidents related by Mr. Prigge of the gatherings of the Indians in council and at his home. Upon the encroachment of the white men the friendly Chippewas have drifted away, until there are but few left. Where they once roamed through the forests all is changed, and beautiful homes and cultivated farms have succeeded the wigwam and hunting ground. The onward march of progress has converted the wilderness into a valuable farming and manufacturing section. The mother of Mr. Prigge met with a serious accident, which finally resulted in her death, January 5, 1865. She was thrown from her cutter as she was on her way to church, sustaining injuries from which death resulted in a short time. The father died in 1874, having reached the age of sixty-four years. They were both consistent members of the German Methodist Church, commanding the esteem of all who knew them. In their family were six children, four of whom were natives* of Germany. Two of the family survive: John, the gentleman whose name heads this article, and a daughter, Mary, who became the wife of Adolph Heilman, a resident of El Dorado, Fond du Lac County. One child was buried on the voyage to this country, its death occurring far out on the Atlantic. Thirteen weeks were consumed in making the passage between Bremen and New York.

John Prigge received a common-school education, such as the district schools of pioneer times furnished, and which was supplemented by a course of German in Sheboygan. On January 11, 1871, he was united in marriage to Caroline Groth, daughter of Carl and Johanna (Shult) Groth. Mrs. Prigge is a native of Brandenburg, Prussia, Germany, born on the 23d of October, 1848. In 1857 she came with her parents to the United States. Of this marriage there were ten children bora, nine of whom are living, namely: Helen, now Mrs. Fred Stuerwald, of Milwaukee, her husband being a merchant of that city; George, at home; Anna, with her sister in Milwaukee; Emma, Alvina, Mary, Ida, Hedwig, and William, who are yet under the parental roof.

Mr. Prigge belongs to a pioneer family that helped to convert the forest of Herman Township into highly cultivated farms, thickly dotted with comfortable and happy homes. Though comparatively a young man, the subject of this memoir has borne his part in accomplishing this splendid result. He has never been an office-seeker, but since 1872 has served continuously as Treasurer of his school district. Like his father, he has ever been a stanch Republican and an active worker in the German Lutheran Church.


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