Abler, Phillip J. (History - 1869)







----Source: 1891 History of Clark & Jackson Co., Wis.

PHILLIP J. ABLER, who is doing a thriving business as proprietor of a general store in Owen, Clark County, is a man who has had an adventurous and romantic career. He was born in Fond du Lac County, Wis., June 20, 1869, son of John and Mary K. (Wagner) Abler, the father being a native of France and the mother of Germany. Both parents came to America when young, those of John Abler settling at Detroit. John's life was spent in farming until 1894, when he went to live at Mt. Calvary, Wis., where he died in November, 1914, at the age of 82 years. His wife had previously passed away in November, 1909, age 69. Their children were: Mathew, Kate and Henry, now residing in Mt. Calvary Phillip, subject of this memoir Barbara, who resides in Fond du Lac, and Anna, who is living in Chicago.


Phillip J. Abler started out in life on his own account at the age of 18 years as telegraph operator in the employ of the Chicago North Western Railway, and was thus occupied at various places for nine years. He then went on a prospecting trip to Nome, Alaska, shipping from Seattle on a sailing vessel, which in twenty-two days made Dutch Harbor. There they were laid up on account of floating ice until the boat had made a return trip, after which they sailed to St. Michael. In the following spring, 1899, he sailed for Nome, which was his place of residence for eight years. During that time, besides prospecting for gold, he operated a store and a trading schooner, the "P. J. Abler," plying between Seattle, Wash., and various mining camps in Alaska. For three years he served as supercargo of the vessel, and during that time experienced several bad storms. He carried a number of hunting parties to the frozen north, suffering many hardships. At one time the vessel was caught in an ice flow and driven on the Beach at Good News Bay, being given up for lost, in which case the party would have faced the necessity of "mushing" 400 miles through the Alaskan wilderness but courage and good seamanship finally brought the vessel to port. From May 3 to Oct. 8 Mr. Abler sailed with his schooner on a scientific expedition in charge of Frank Kleinschmidt, returning to Seattle, Oct. 8, 19-. On this trip the party made a collection of birds, mammals and game trophies for the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh, Pa. At his home in Owen Mr. Abler has a large collection of curios, including gold nuggets, that he acquired during his Alaskan experiences.


In 1906 he returned to the States, spent one year in California, and then came to Wisconsin, establishing his present business in Owen in 1907. He has served as councilman on the village board for six years. Fraternally he is affiliated with Goldsmith Lodge, No. 794, K. of C., of Chippewa Falls, Wis. Mr. Abler was married, Sept. 9, 1907, to Christy M. Stollenwerk, who was born at Mt. Calvary, Wis., daughter of William and Margaret (Enders) Stollenwerk. Her father and mother were natives respectively of Germany and New York State, Mr. Stollenwerk coming to this country when young, and subsequently engaging in agriculture near the farm of John Abler in Marshfield Township, Fond du Lac County, Wis.



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