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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Source: Sheboygan Press December 5, 1910

Sheboygan Press March 2, 1911

Historic Event In Life Of Mrs. Burk

In the Sheboygan County News this week appeared the following bit of history concerning the late Mrs. Katherine Burk who died here last week:

An Early Day Adventure

The passing of Mrs. Burk recalls a chapter of adventure in her early life that her intimate friends have heard her relate. It was in 1842 that her father Jacob Schenkelberger and his daughter, Kathrine, then a girl of fifteen years, emigrated from Mayence, Germany, to America, intending to have his wife and mother with several younger children follow them when a suitable location for a home had been found. On the way they fell in with a community of Germans who settled at Fort Winnebago, near Portage, Wis. The powers in control of the community objected to Mr. Schenkelberger sending for the rest of his family until the children were old enough to become an earning power or at least self supporting in the community. This arbitrary ruling did not set well with Mr. Schenkelberger and he resolved to withdraw, but he found much difficulty in doing so.

On one occasion he started away with his daughter but they were overtaken and forced to return to the Community. Later they made an escape and by traveling afoot by night and remaining in hiding in dense woods during the day time, they finally succeeded after much hardship and endurance in reaching Milwaukee, nearly one hundred miles distant, and over territory in which bear and wolves roamed at will. Once free from the hold of the Community, they took passage via the Great Lakes for Buffalo, where they were finally joined by the rest of the family from the fatherland.

Therefore, although Mrs. Burk did not settle in Sheboygan permanently until 1857, she was for a time one of the early pioneer residents of Wisconsin.

Transcribed by Kay R.

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