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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Louis Kerl

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 686 - 687

Louis Kerl, who for a number of years has been identified with the business interests of Rhine Township, is a representative of one of the pioneer families of Sheboygan County. His father, Ludwig Kerl, was born February 22, 1806, in Brownschweig, Prussia, Germany, where he was reared to manhood, and received a common-school education. When a youth, he engaged as a postillion, in which capacity he served until twenty-one years of age, when he was enrolled as a soldier in the cavalry service. Having completed his term as a soldier, he returned to the pursuits of civil life. In his native land, Mr. Kerl was married to Miss Louise Kumlehn, who was born in the same locality as her husband, on the 19th of April, 1815. This worthy couple had a family consisting of three children: Augusta, who was born in Brownschweig; Herman, who is deceased; and Louis, who was born on section 25, Herman Township.

In 1847, Mr. Kerl, accompanied by his family, sailed from Bremen to New York. From the latter city he continued his course westward to Milwaukee, where a short stop was made, and in the fall of the same year he arrived in the town of Herman. At that time there had been but few improvements made in that part of the county. The Indians still hunted deer and other wild game in the almost unbroken forest, and not infrequently a bear would carry off a pig or a lamb to remind the settler that he too enjoyed the fruits of civilization. Mr. Kerl first purchased eighty acres on section 25, where he erected such a cabin as the pioneers usually built, and began to clear and make a farm. Through the industry of himself and wife other tracts of land were bought, until he became one of the well-to-do farmers of his township. Mr. and Mrs. Kerl are well remembered by the early settlers for their kindness and hospitality. In his business dealings he was honorable and upright, and always enjoyed the full confidence of his fellow-townsmen. On the 5th of July, 1885, Mrs. Kerl was called to her home beyond the grave. A faithful wife and a loving mother, her vacant chair was never filled. Mr. Kerl survived his wife but a few years, joining her on the 29th of June, 1890. Thus two more of the pioneers were laid to rest, but the fruits of their labors still abide, and are enjoyed by their children.

Louis Kerl, the only surviving son in the above family, was born October 1, 1851. His primary education was received in the district schools of his native town, and was supplemented by an attendance of two terms at Watertown. Having prepared himself to handle intelligently the practical problems of life, he began a business career in which he has made a signal success.

On the 23d of March, 1876, was celebrated, in the town of Sheboygan Falls, the marriage of Mr. Kerl and Miss Theresa Bormann, a native of that township, her birth having occurred January 5, 1854. Of this union there are five children: Bertha, who was born November 27, 1876; Louise, January 24, 1878; Herman, December 1, 1879; Antonio, December 26, 1882; and August, July 15, 1886. All the children, like their father, are natives of Herman Township.

Mr. Kerl's energies have been divided between farming and mercantile pursuits. Having lived in Herman Township until a few years ago, he moved to the village of Rhine, and engaged in keeping a saloon, store and post office. That business he carried on successfully until 1893, when he traded his interests at Rhine for a farm in the town of Meeme, Manitowoc County.

In business affairs, Mr. Kerl is energetic and enterprising, being always ready to do his part in promoting anything that is for the public good. A warm friend of the free schools, he did much for their support while a resident of Rhine Township.

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