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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Gottlieb Hillger

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 331 - 332

Gottlieb Hillger, one of the extensive land-owners of Sherman Township, who follows farming on section 13, came to Sheboygan County from Germany. He was born in the Kingdom of Prussia, July 9, 1836, and is the youngest in a family of seven children whose parents were Gottlieb and Ann (Helwich) Hillger. The surviving members are Anne Rose, wife of Fred Winter, a farmer of Shawano County; Mary Rose, now Mrs. Bittner, of Watertown, Wis.; Dorothea, wife of John Detlif, a gardener of Good Hope, Milwaukee County; and Johanna Elizabeth, widow of Fred Hartwig, a farmer of Sherman Township. The parents were farming people of Germany, and the father, who was also a mason and shoemaker, spent five years in the German army, taking part in the Napoleonic Wars. He served in twenty-one battles, and was afterwards pensioned by the German Government.

In 1841, the family decided to come to America, and on the sailing-vessel "Huron" made the voyage. They encountered a severe storm, which nearly wrecked the ship, but at length the harbor was reached in safety. By way of Albany to Milwaukee, they came to Wisconsin, and the father purchased eighty acres of Government land at $1.25 per acre in Milwaukee County. They began life in a log cabin in true pioneer style, and for seven years the father and sons cleared and improved that land. They then sold out and came to Sheboygan County, in the year in which Wisconsin was admitted to the Union. It was almost an unbroken wilderness; the only roads were Indian trails, and they had to cut their way through the forest in many places. Mr. Hillger purchased five eighty-acre tracts, which he afterwards sold to his children, in order to have them around him. In 1881, both father and mother passed away, and their loss was deeply mourned by their family and many friends.

Amid the wild scenes of frontier life our subject was reared to manhood, experiencing the hardships and trials of the pioneer. As a companion and helpmate on life's journey he chose Miss Caroline Wiresig, of Sherman Township. Their union was celebrated July 1, 1860, and has been blessed with eleven children. The family circle yet remains unbroken by the hand of death. Of these children, Gottlieb, a teacher of Milwaukee, who was educated in Edison, Du Page County, Ill., is now married and has four sons; A. G., a blacksmith of Adell, is married and has one child; Frederick, who is married and has two children, follows carpentering in Adell; Caroline is the wife of Gustav Schmitz, a farmer of Sherman Township, by whom she has two sons; August, who is preparing himself for the ministry of the Lutheran Church, is attending college in Springfield, 111.; Julius follows farming; William is preparing himself for teaching in Edison College; Otto, Paul, Gustav and Martin complete the family. The children have all been provided with good educational privileges, which have fitted them for the practical and responsible duties of life.

Mr. Hillger owns and operates one hundred and ninety acres of land in Sherman Township, and he also has two hundred acres in Shawano County. He has a pleasant home; the barns and outbuildings upon his place are models of convenience, and the fields are highly cultivated. His life has been a busy and useful one, yet he has found time to serve his fellow-townsmen as Supervisor for four years, and as Treasurer two years. He has also been School Director for six years. As he could not go to the army, he sent two substitutes, a fact which shows his patriotism and love of country. He cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and at each election supports the man whom he thinks best qualified for the office, regardless of party affiliations. He and his family hold membership with the Lutheran Church of Sherman Township.


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