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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Philip H. Wolff

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 494 - 496

Philip H. Wolff, deceased, was a native of Mommenheim, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, where he was born November 17, 1820. His parents, John P. and Catherine (Bitz) Wolff, were also natives of the same place, their births occurring, respectively, in 1788 and 1792. The father, who was a small farmer, served as a soldier with Napoleon during the time from 1806 to 1813. However, after his return from the wars, he was employed in a wine manufactory, where, by the displacement of barrels, he accidentally met his death, while comparatively a young man, being but fifty-two years old. His wife survived him a number of years to care for the family thus bereft.

Philip H. Wolff was the second in order of birth in a family of ten children, consisting of eight sons and two daughters, of whom two survive. Jacob H., bora April 5, 1833, is a foreman for the Sheboygan Manufacturing Company, and Christina is the wife of Henry Roedel, a farmer of Manitowoc County. Mr. Wolff whose name heads this sketch was married before leaving his native land to Miss Maria Philpine Leib, who was born November 7, 1823. In March, 1848, with his young bride, Mr. Wolff sailed from Rotterdam, and after a stormy voyage of sixty-six days landed in New York. The journey was made sad by the death of his sister, who was buried in mid-ocean. Continuing his way Westward to Sheboygan, he there left his wife, while he walked to what is now Herman Township, and purchased eighty acres of timbered land on section 6. This was in June, 1848, hence Mr. Wolff is numbered among the earliest settlers in that town. On this tract he erected a log house and began to clear and make a farm. Having spent ten years in hard work on that place, he traded forty acres for an equal amount on the old Calumet Plank Road, where he built a storehouse and saloon. Many of the early settlers well remember the genial host who attended to their wants. In 1860 he disposed of this property and bought one hundred and sixty acres in the town of Rhine, but his experience as a farmer there was brief, as he soon turned his attention to conducting a store and saloon in the same town. This business was then sold, and he engaged in the same line in Manitowoc County about two months, when he again returned to Rhine Township, built a house, and transferred his base of operations to that place. In 1868 he sold that property, and bought a like place in Johnsonville, in the town of Sheboygan Falls. To that he added a fine, large hall and store, and did a prosperous business. At the last three locations named, Mr. Wolff served as Postmaster. At Johnsonville this pioneer spent his declining years, his death occurring October 27, 1873, he having reached about the same age as his father. His wife, who had been a faithful companion, survived her husband a number of years, dying in Sheboygan, June 3, 1884.

Unto this pioneer couple eight children were born, as follows: Philip, born June 2, 1849, resides in Plymouth, Wis.; Frederick, born February 22, 1851, is a member of the firm of Wolff & Korman, wagon-makers, plumbers and machinists, of Neillsville; Annie Marie, born March 14, 1853, married Martin Roedel, a retired farmer of Herman Township; Wilhelmine M. E., born March 10, 1855, died September 20, 1857; Henry, of whom further mention will be made, is the next; John P., born February 27, 1859, resides at Vesper, Wis.; Catherine C , born February 25, 1861, married Otto Twick, of Sheboygan; and the youngest of the family died in infancy.

Henry Wolff, the fifth child in order of birth in the above family, is a native of Herman Township, born on the old homestead April 20, 1857. Having attended the common schools, he was apprenticed, at the age of fourteen, to Theodore Flentje, to learn the shoemaker's trade, which occupation he has followed continuously since. On the 1st of May, 1881, he was married to Miss Carolina Mahloch, a daughter of Philip H. and Catherine Mahloch. The daughter was born in the town of Rhine, on the 13th day of December, 1862. Of this union were born three children. Philip H. C. was born March 6, 1882; Bertha Henrietta, April 4, 1885, and died February 27, 1891; and Martin J., the youngest of the family, was born October 19, 1887.

Mr. Wolff's first home was an old log house on section 14. Near by stood a cooper-shop, in which for a time he carried on his trade, and then had it rebuilt. While the new shop was being erected, he used his dwelling as a workshop. On the 5th of April, 1880, he purchased the place where he now does business, and had his shop moved from section 14 to the new location on section 11, Rhine Township. There on the 2d of March, 1889, he established a shoe store, which he has carried on successfully since. He is the genial Postmaster of Rhine, having been appointed to that position July 31, 1893. Mr. Wolff is well known in the community where he resides, as his business interests have brought him in contact with many. Like his father, he is a supporter of the principles advocated by the Republican party.


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