George Kleinschmidt, 1825

Contact: Janet

 

Surnames: KLEINSCHMIDT, RETZLAFF

 

----Source: History of Clark County, Wisconsin (1918), by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge, pg. 366 - 377.

 

                 Mr. & Mrs. Geo. Kleinschmidt

GEORGE KLEINSCHMIDT, a pioneer settler of Lynn Township, now deceased, was born in Pommern, Germany, March 24, 1825. On April 25, 1850, he was married in that country to Wilhelmina Caroline Louisa Retzlaff. It was not long after their marriage-being in the early part of the fifth decade-that they emigrated to the United States, landing in this country after a voyage of forty-four days and proceeding West to Milwaukee. Mr. Kleinschmidt was a farmer by occupation, and after coming to Wisconsin, worked w farms near Cedarburg, not many miles north of Milwaukee. The winters, however, he spent in logging. In 1856 he and his family, with two other families, left for Clark County, making the journey with wagons and ox teams. After arriving at Pleasant Ridge, Mr. Kleinschmidt had to chop his way to Section 1, Lynn Township, where he had obtained eighty acres of land. The first winter he and his wife lived with the Yonke family, and he fed the cattle on brush. He chopped ten acres of timber on the Yonke place that winter at $10 an acre.

The next spring he erected a log building on his place, he and his wife moving into it May 10, 1857. Besides their ox team they had one cow. Provisions had to be obtained at Neillsville, and carried on the back through the woods. Mr. Kleinschmidt shaved shingles by hand and sold them at La Crosse, to which place, and to Black River Falls, he used to drive. He was often obliged to grind wheat in the coffee-Mill to get flour. The first year he put in spring wheat, but the chipmunks were so numerous that they destroyed much of the grain. The mother helped to work in the fields when not busy with her household duties. The first winter a son was born, who, was named Fred, and after that came other children, including Charles, who died young; Anna, who subsequently married John Barth, of Fremont Township; Leo A., now of Lynn Township, and F. Louis, on the old homestead in Lynn Township.

Mr. Kleinschmidt's first wife died about 1893, and he subsequently married for his second, Mrs. Anna Gorbush. He was an active and enterprising man who in the end conquered success. Starting with eighty acres of land he in time became the owner of nearly 500 acres. He built a good ten-room residence and a barn, 38 by 72 feet in size, and when the latter burned down he rebuilt it. At various times he held township offices, being a member of the township board for many years and serving as treasurer of the district school board. He also helped to build the German Lutheran Church at Granton. Mr. Kleinschmidt died after attaining the age of 83 years, in December, 1908. His second wife died in November, 1904.

 

 


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