Herman H. Henning, 1870

stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org on Fri, 16 Feb 2001



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

HERMAN H. HENNING, proprietor of a well-equipped grocery store at Chili, and one who has taken an active part in the development of Fremont Township, was born at New Holstein, Calumet County, Wis., April 26, 1870, son of John and Catherina Henning. The parents were born, reared and married in Schlesswig-Hoistein, Germany, the father being a carpenter by trade. They left Germany for America with two children-John and Jacob-being sixty-nine days on the water, and on landing proceeded to Calumet County, Wis.

In 1874 they came to Clark County, locating in section 27, Fremont Township, where John Henning took up eighty acres of wild land. There were no roads and he and his family were driven to the place from Marshfield, arriving Oct. 4. He had made a previous visit to the land, when, with Mr. Snow, George Waterman, Geo. Kleinschmidt and Jason Phillips, he had built a log house of one room, measuring 14 by 22 feet. The first summer they got a cow and grubbed in the first crop by hand, which when harvested, he threshed with a flail. He got ninety bushels of wheat off two acres of land, which was- sewn among the stumps, and this was hauled to Marshfield on a jumper, though he often walked to and from that place. The floor for their cabin was carried home on his back. Those were the days when luxuries, and superfluities were unknown and when the art of living was reduced to its lowest terms. A pound of sugar lasted the family two years, so it may be inferred that they seldom tasted it; a silver dollar lasted h similar length of time. Mrs. Henning spun wool to make clothes for the seven children, and when clothes were badly needed Mrs. Henning sometimes sat up till after midnight at the same occupation, though she was up at four o'clock in the morning to get breakfast. By the time his land was about cleared he bought forty acres more and continued the work of improvement.

In 1884 he built the frame house of nine rooms that is now the family residence, and built a barn, planning the lumber himself. He made the shoes for the family and also made the bedsteads, and it was not until twenty years ago that they saw a spring bed. John Henning was also one of the organizers of Fremont Township and for many years one of its foremost citizens.

He and his wife are both now living at Marshfield, the former being 76 and the latter 73 years old. Truly they did their part in the days of their youth and strength and are now enjoying a well-earned rest from their former labors. Being members of the Lutheran Church, services were often held in their log house in early days. They had eight children: John, Jacob, Herman H., August, Anna, Mary, Kate and Bertha, the last mentioned of whom is now deceased. Herman H. Henning grew to manhood on his parents' farm, his early conditions of life being such that he had no opportunity of obtaining an education, attending school only about twenty days in all. At the age of 14 he began working in the woods in winter, being employed on the farm in summer from an earlier age. He remained at home until about 1894, when he took part in establishing the village of Chili, being now the only survivor of those who took part in that work. He had at the time $15 in money, and with that small capital he started selling farm implements. The railroad had been constructed the year before, Mr. Sawyer had the post office, and Mr. Henning carried the mail from the depot across the stumped land. Mr. Henning succeeded in the implement business and continued in it until 1913, when he sold out and started the general grocery store of which he is now the proprietor.

In 1915 he again entered the implement business in connection with the grocery. He also took an active part in many other enterprises that have helped to develop the town, among them, helping to establish the bank, of the examining committee of which he is now a member. He aided in building the side-tract and schoolhouse and the Chili Co-operative Produce Company had him for one of its promoters, he being now a stockholder in the concern.

Mr. Henning was married in 1900, to Cora Frazier, daughter of John Frazier, of Marshfield, Wis. He and his wife have three children: Gladys, Curtiss and Maynard, all of whom are residing at home.



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