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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Edward H. Rummele, Sr.

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 684 - 686

Edward H. Rummele, Sr., Chief Engineer of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railway Company, formerly Superintendent of Construction for that corporation, has been in charge of building the company's lines from the beginning of the road.

Mr. Rummele is a native of Austria, born in Dornbirn, in the Tyrol, July 23, 1831. He is a son of John and Rosa (Sutter) Rummele. He was educated in his native country, taking a course of practical instruction in civil engineering under the direction of an elder brother, who was a civil engineer by profession. He also learned the machinist's trade, at which he was employed for seventeen years, six years of which time were spent in work in the shops. In 1864 he emigrated to America, coming direct to Sheboygan, where he arrived July 6 of that year. On locating in that city, Mr. Rummele engaged in mercantile business, which he continued until 1871, when he engaged with the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railway Company as Superintendent.

On the 4th of September, 1865, Mr. Rummele was united in marriage at Sheboygan, with Miss Sarah Zierath, a daughter of William F. and Elizabeth Zierath. Mrs. Rummele was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and came to Sheboygan with her parents when three years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Rummele have four children, two sons and two daughters: Alfred, the eldest, who married Miss Agnes Thompson, and is a jeweler and watchmaker of Manitowoc, Wis.; Jennie; Edward H., Jr., who is engaged in the jewelry business in Sheboygan; and Hilda. The three last named are all residing at home.

In 1871, Mr. Rummele entered the service of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railway Company as engineer and Superintendent of Construction of its various lines and branches. That year he built from Sheboygan toward Milwaukee a distance of twelve miles, and from Manitowoc westward. He built to Appleton in 1873, thence to New London" in 1876, to Clintonville in the following year, and to Norrie in 1879. The next year he built the Wausau Branch to Wausau, and as far as Aniwa on the main line. In 1881 he continued it to Sunset Lake, in 1882 to a point sixty miles north, and the same year built a branch from Monica to Rhinelander. In 1883, the road was constructed to Gogebic, Mich., and the following year three miles west of Hurley, Wis. They also graded from Ashland east twenty-three miles, and on June 15, 1885, connected the tracks at Cadar. About the same time they built several spur branches, and in 1887 completed the line to the northern terminus at Ashland. In 1889, the road was extended from Rhinelander northwest toward Hurley, a distance of twenty-eight miles, being completed the next year to Hurley, a total distance of seventy-four miles. A delay of about a year was caused by a difficulty in securing the right of way across Indian reservations. In 1891, the road was extended from Wausau to Marshfield, forty-one miles distant. From Watersmeet, Mich., the company constructed a branch northward several miles, as an outlet to a number of sawmills in that lumber region. Including sidetracks, this company has a total of seven hundred and eighty-seven miles of track, the greater part of which has been built under the direction of Mr. Rummele, who began with them in 1871 as Superintendent, and since October 1, 1885, has held the responsible position of Chief Engineer.

The building of this line, with its several branches, has opened up to settlement and made tributary to Milwaukee a large area rich in lumber and minerals, and possessing many thousands of acres of valuable agricultural lands. Many important towns have come into existence in consequence of the building of the road, and consequently much employment has been furnished to laborers, and many comfortable homes established. Sheboygan has derived much benefit, not only from a rail communication with Milwaukee, but from a market northward and westward, and the opening of communication with the great lumber and timber regions, from which a large supply of raw material is derived, with which to feed her many important factories.

From the foregoing it will be seen that Mr. Rummele has led an active and useful life, and has aided materially in the upbuilding and development of not only Sheboygan, but of many other towns and a wide region of country. He is a man possessed of superior ability and large experience in his profession, and of good executive ability in the discharge of important duties. That he has proven himself capable and faithful, is shown by his long retention in the responsible position he holds.

Socially, Mr. Rummele is a member of Sheboygan Lodge No. 13, I. O. O. F., and of Oak Council No. 502, R. A. He is a man who enjoys in a marked degree, the confidence and respect of his fellow-citizens, as well as of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances throughout this State and Michigan.

* * * * * * * *

Since the above was written, a sad accident resulting in the death of Mr. Rummele occurred, an account of which is taken from the Sheboygan Daily Journal;

"E. H. Rummele, late Chief Engineer of the Lake Shore Road, met his death at Parrish, Saturday, September 2, 1893, in a heroic attempt to save the life of a child.

"Mr. Rummele was a member of a party of officials who were making an inspection of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Road, now known as the Ashland Division of the Chicago & Northwestern. The special train was at Parrish, one hundred and ninety-two miles north of Sheboygan, on a small branch of the road. The train was there slowly backing up on a side-track, when two children were seen playing on the track. All the officials were standing on the back platform, and they called to the children. One of them got up and ran toward the slowly approaching train. Mr. Rummele, regardless of danger, jumped from the platform, and in some unaccountable manner struck on his head. The train ran several feet further, passing over him, but the child was saved without injury.

"The nearest surgeon was at Antigo, forty-five miles away. The injured man was taken to Summit Lake, where the doctor was brought by special train. But the injuries were so severe that he died several moments after the arrival of the physician.

"His wife and children were informed of the sad accident, and were stricken with grief upon receiving the news of his death. The remains were at once brought to this city, arriving here at four o'clock yesterday morning. "He had been in the service of the Lake Shore Road for many years, was well known all along the line, and greatly esteemed as an engineer of ability and a man of high character."

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