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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Source: Sheboygan Press April 29, 1927

Elkhart Lake - Rhine

First Families Chose Beauty Spot For Their Homes In Year 1877


Elkhart Lake, the only village in the town of Rhine, now has a population of about 600. It is a beautiful summer resort, and is (?) with water works, electric service and excellent educational and religious institutions. It is the terminal of the interurban which runs between the village and the city of Sheboygan.

The village sprang up after the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad was built through that section. It was incorporated in the year 1865 (?), the first president elected being T. C. Sharpe and the first village clerk G. A. Kramer. August (?) was elected the first supervisor.

The first families to settle within the village limits were those of (?) Sharpe, T. C. Sharpe, Dan and Henry Carver, William Rein?), Edward Daniels, August Reiss, (?) Hayden, Jacob Krummenauer, Adam Mathes, and John Muth. All of which resided there in 1877. The first postmaster was Dan (?), the office being located in the train depot. Other postmasters in order of their succession were Adam (?), Valentine Raeder; A. G. Goldammer, George A. Kramer; Rob(?) Herrick/Horneck and Clyde Ellis, who has been in office since August, (?).

First Merchants

The first merchant was Jacob Krummenauer, and the second was August Reiss. The latter started a general store in 1879, in a small (?) building originally built for a (?) shop. In 1880, Mr. Reiss owned a large building to which an addition was built a few years later. He retired in 1899. Joseph (?) having purchased the stock of merchandise. During the recent years the building has been occupied as the Michael's hotel.

The first school was a private institution taught by a Miss White and later by Theresa Hayden. In (?) the school district was organized and a public school was erected. This was replaced by the present frame building, which soon was abandoned, a modern brick school house being in course of (?) to be completed in time for the opening of the fall term of session.

In 1875(?), Clements Tillmann, of Milwaukee, drove into Elkhart Lake with a horse and buggy for the purpose of buying cattle and (?) farm products. One year later he formed a partnership with (?) Kirst and a man named (?) also of Milwaukee, and together these men started a lumber yard, a slaughter house and other enterprises. Six month after the firm started, the business failed. Kirst took over the grocery in which business he remained for several years, selling out to Hor?) Bros. A continuance of the history of this business will be under the business review of the firm Wippler & Brost.

The first blacksmith in the village was James Hayden.

Queen Ann Hotel

The first commercial hotel was owned by Hugo Sattler, father of (?) Sattler, former ice man of Sheboygan, about 40 years ago. It was known as the Queen Ann hotel and for many years was very popular with the traveling men. The building was located directly (?) of the railroad and for many years past has been conducted as a saloon and restaurant.

The first summer resort hotel was erected by William Schwartz. In 1882, despite the discouraging advice of his friends who declared the venture would prove a failure. When the first unit of the resort was opened it was filled to capacity, and it was during many subsequent years when the hotel was considerably enlarged. Later William Schwartz sold the property to his brother John who carried on the business until a few years ago.

Prior to the opening of the Schwartz hotel, E. Talmadge's Rural Home, located on the south shore of the lake, accommodated a few travelers during the summer, as had Peter Sharpe, who was located on the south shore of the lake. E. M. Marsh conducted (?) was known as the Swiss Cottage located in Section 30. This delightful little resort derived its name from the typically Swiss arrangements of the cottage. A large cedar tree grew up through the center of the dining room. The cottage, which was situated at the outlet of the lake, was later destroyed by fire.

Build Resorts

The third resort hotel to be built was Pine Point, erected for C. V. Pettibone, of Fond du Lac, at an approximate cost of $80,000. This property was later acquired by George Diefenthaler and Walter Stark. Mr. Guignet is now proprietor of this hotel.

The next hotel to be built at Elkhart lake is the Osthoff. In connection with the hotel proper, several inviting summer cottages are rented to families coming here during the summer. The Osthoff hotel and surrounding cottages are now owned by Paul O. JUST.

The T. C. Sharpe hotel is another popular resort. It is located on the south shore of the lake and in proximity are several cottages belonging to the resort which are well patronized by residents of the city of Sheboygan. Since the death of Mr. Sharpe this hotel has been under the ownership and management of Carl Krumrey and John Arndt.

Other smaller hotels at this popular summer resort are the Elm Park and the Siebken.

William Schwartz known to his host of friends and acquaintances as Captain Schwartz, for many years has owned and operated a boat line on Elkhart Lake. In addition to a large passenger boat capable of carrying 76 persons, Captain Schwartz maintains a fleet of smaller boats including row boats, canoes and launches.

One of the outstanding features of Elkhart lake is Camp Brosius, a recreational camp owned and operated by a normal school organization of Indianapolis, Indiana. This camp, which is located near the outlet on the southwest shore of the lake, is opened every season in May, at which time two classes of juniors from the normal school arrive for a season of training. About July 1, the seniors from the same school take possession of the camp for the remainder of the season.

The splendid grounds of the Quit Qui Oc Golf club are located a short distance south of the village, the course lying directly east of the interurban right-of-way.

Bank Of Elkhart Lake

The Bank of Elkhart Lake was organized in 1907 with a capital of $25,000, and the modern brick two-story building now occupied by the institution was erected in the same year, the banking business being temporarily transacted in another building. Later the capital was increased from $25,000 to $35,000. Surplus and deposits at the present are $380,076.73.

The first president of the bank was former Senator George Wolff, and the first cashier was Robert Hugo.

The present officers are as follows:

President - Robert Horneck
Vice-president - Dr. A. Loos
Cashier - Joseph P. Wink
Board of directors - Charles Goldammer; Orlo Stevens; John Wolff; Herbert Horneck; Jacob Strub; Milton Jung; William Goetsch; and Victor Jaenty

George E. Fenton

George Fenton, the popular barber at Elkhart Lake, followed in the footsteps of his father, Frank Fenton, who opened a barber shop in that village about 25 years ago. He served his apprenticeship in his father's shop and four years ago took over the business.

Mr. Fenton maintains a modern barber shop under perfect sanitary conditions, specializing in the bobbing of women's hair.

A pool hall in which all kinds of soft drinks are served, is operated in connection with the tonsorial parlor.

Elkhart Lake Motor Co.

A. W. Gaubatz, proprietor of the Elkhart Lake Motor company, started a garage and automobile sales office in Elkhart Lake about four years ago. He purchased the modern brick building in which he is located from George Kraemer and since he started in business has won the confidence of the people and built up a steadily growing trade.

He is the authorized agent, in that locality, for Oakland and Pontiac automobiles, and deals extensively in Firestone tires.

The service department, which is under Mr. Gaubatz's personal supervision, employs expert auto mechanics who give prompt and efficient service.

Prior to his taking over this garage, Mr. Gaubatz was employed as an assistant engineer in the department of the state highway commission.

The Elkhart Electric Co.

The Elkhart Electric company of Elkhart Lake, was established in May, 1924, by A. P. Kissinger, who opened a store for the sale of electrical fixtures and appliances in the Gessert building located on Lake street.

By adopting a conscientious business policy and by constantly striving to better his services to the public, Mr. Kissinger, with the able assistance of his associate in the business, F. F. Zeh, has gained the standard of a well-established and modern electrical shop.

The Elkhart Electric company is now a general contractor and is well equipped to handle any and all kinds of electrical work.

Louis Moersch

Louis Moersch, pharmacist, at Elkhart lake, started in business at the famous summer resort in 1913, purchasing the drug store established many years ago by Robert Shaw. Prior to his coming to Elkhart Lake, Mr. Moersch resided in Milwaukee, where he served his apprenticeship as a pharmacist.

This drug store is located in the heart of the business district of the village.

Besides carrying a complete line of drugs and medicines, Mr. Moersch deals extensively in kindred lines including toilet articles, toilet preparations, novelties, confectionery and cigars. A soda fountain is operated in connection with the business, at which cool and refreshing beverages are served.

H. W. Matthias

H. W. Matthias has been identified with the hardware and sheet metal business at Elkhart Lake since 1914, at which time he purchased the Termaat interest in the firm Termaat & Nametz. The business was then carried on under the firm name of Nametz & Matthias for about four yeas when William A. Brieske bought the Nametz interest, and the firm name was again changed from Nametz & Matthias to that of Matthias & Brieske. Five years ago Mr. Matthias became sole owner of the business.

Besides dealing in a general line of heavy and shelf hardware, Mr. Matthias does all kinds of sheet metal work and installs plumbing and heating systems. He started in the hardware business about 26 years ago, learning his trade in the store established many years ago by A. LaBudde.

C. J. Johnson

C. J. Johnson, plumber at Elkhart Lake, has been engaged in business there since March, 1926, at which time he bought the shop established by the late J. F. Willinger.

Prior to moving to Elkhart Lake, Mr. Johnson was engaged in the plumbing business at Plymouth for eight years. He carries a state license which is a guarantee that he is a competent workman in his particular trade.

Henry G. Plate

Henry G. Plate, electrician and electrical contractor at Elkhart Lake, has been engaged in this line of work for the past eighteen years, during which time he has established a reputation as a competent and conscientious workman.

At his home, which is located one block south of the Catholic church , at the corner of Osthoff and Lincoln street, Highway 57, he has a large display of electrical appliances and electric light fixtures.

Harry L. Gessert

Harry Gessert, proprietor of the popular ice cream parlor and grill room a Elkhart Lake, started in business there four years ago, purchasing the store established many years ago by a man named Rietz. Rietz sold the business to E. E. Brotz, who in turn sold it to Henry Brockmann. After conducting the business for a few years Brockmann sold to Guido Stemper and Stemper disposed of the business to Henry Kirst.

Mr. Gessert is a native of Elkhart Lake and for a number of years was employed as manager of the grocery department in a general store in that village. A year ago he had the building he now occupies remodeled and enlarged, adding a grill room equipped with several inviting booths. He also installed an automatic refrigerating plant which is connected to the soda fountain, maintaining a uniform temperature at all times.

The interurban station at Elkhart Lake is located in this building.

Wippler & Brost

The Wippler-Brost company was organized in February of this year, being the successor of the company which started one of the first general merchandise stores in Elkhart Lake.

The business originally was started by Charles Griem, of New Holstein, in a small frame building which formerly stood at the corner north of the present store. Griem sold out to William Kirst who conducted the business for a number of years before selling out to Robert and Arthur Horneck. The latter firm erected the present modern two-story building, which, when completed, was occupied by J. Vick & Son as a general store. Later Al. Wippler and Charles Pfrang purchased the stock of merchandise and continued the business until last February when W. J. Brost bought the building of Mr. Horneck and also Pfrang's interest in the firm of Wippler-Pfrang.

The Wippler-Brost company carries a large and diversified stock of merchandise, consisting of dry goods, notions, men's furnishings, groceries and crockery.

A. G. Goldammer Co.

The A. G. Goldammer company was established by A. G. Goldammer in 1886. The business was originally carried on in a comparatively small frame building, but the rapidly increasing volume of business made it necessary for Mr. Goldammer to erect a larger building, in order to increase the stock of merchandise and to properly handle the trade. The building now occupied by the company was completed in 1900. Since the death of Mr. Goldammer, which occurred eight years ago, his two sons, Charles and Terrett have carried on the business. The company carries a large stock of general merchandise, including dry goods, notions, novelties and groceries.

Charles Goldammer, during the summer season, also manages the Schwartz hotel, of which he is part owner.

Henry Nametz

Henry J. Nametz, hardware dealer and sheet metal worker at Elkhart Lake, entered the employ of John Arndt of that village, with whom he learned the trade as tinner and acquired his knowledge of the hardware business. After having worked for Arndt for eight years, he accepted a similar position with the firm of Wensink, Stolper company, of Plymouth, where he remained until 1912, when he formed a partnership with John Termaat, and together they established a hardware store in Elkhart Lake. One year later, Termaat sold his interest in the firm to Henry Matthias, and the firm name was changed from Termaat & Nametz to that of Nametz & Matthias. In 1916, Nametz sold his interest in the business to William S. Brieske, and in 1918, bought out the hardware business then owned by A. Loos & Co., which store he has owned and conducted ever since.

Mr. Nametz carries a large stock of general hardware, and in connection with the store, maintains a tin shop and sheet metal department.

Elkhart's Oldest Resident

Picture Of W. H. Fremy


One of the oldest, if not the oldest, resident of the village of Elkhart Lake is W. H. Fremy whose likeness appears above. This grand old man was born in Germany in 1836, and came to this country in 1882. He lived in Milwaukee for four years after coming to the United States, after which he established a permanent home in Elkhart Lake.

Mr. Fremy is a carpenter by trade and followed this occupation until his advanced years forced him to retire from active manual labor. His wife passed away ten years ago, at the age of 83, and was buried in he Kiel cemetery.

Despite his age, Mr. Fremy retains all his faculties and takes a keen interest in the affairs of the community in which he resides.


Transcribed by Kay R.

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