Jacob Henry Etta, 1858

stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org on Sat, 10 Feb 2001


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

JACOB HENRY ETTA, proprietor, with his two sons, Elmer and Oscar, of the flour and feed mill at Loyal, Clark County, was born on the farm of his parents, Andrew and Esther (Reynolds) Etta, in Arbun Township, Fond du Lac County, Wis., Mar. 11, 1858. The father came to the United States from Germany in 1848 with his parents, he being then a boy of Ira years. After spending forty days on the ocean in a sailing vessel, they landed in this country and proceeded to Fond du Lac County, where they settled.

Andrew subsequently struck out for himself and engaged in steamboat work, visiting points in Ohio, in which state he was subsequently married to Esther Reynolds, who was a native of that state. Returning to Fond du Lac County with his wife he took an eighty-acre tract of land and began pioneer farming. Later buying twenty acres more. His farm lay in the forest and he had to perform years of hard labor in clearing it, using the customary ox team in early days and erecting a log house for a residence. He often had to carry flour twelve miles through the woods on his back and he and his wife suffered many hardships until prosperity gradually smiled upon them. They were religious people and attended the Methodist Church, though she had been brought up in the Presbyterian faith. Their children were: Jacob H., Jane, Thomas, Elizabeth and George, all of whom are now living. Jacob H. Etta acquired his education in the common or district schools.

In 1882 he came to Clark County, and at Spencer engaged to work for Joe Marsh at Blakesley camp and Maple-works, and was in his employ for two winter months, or until the camp broke up, when he went to Fargo, N. D. Returning subsequently, he again entered Mr. Marsh’s employ at Heathville, as cook, and worked for him, and for William Rose at Spokeville, for two years.

He then came to Loyal and took up the carpenter’s trade, which he had previously learned, and followed it here and in the vicinity, building many of the houses and the majority of the business blocks in Loyal. After being occupied in this manner for some years, Mr. Etta bought eighty acres of wild land in Sherman Township, built log buildings on it and began the work of clearing the land. After two years on this place, however, he returned to Loyal and in 1891, with his brother Thomas, started a shingle and planning-mill, which they operated together until 1911, when the partnership was dissolved, and Jacob H. started for himself in the flour and feed business and built his present three-story mill, 32 by 52 feet in ground dimensions, which he and his sons are successfully operating. In 1901 he erected a storehouse, 24 by 50, with full basement and store room, with living rooms upstairs. Under the name of J. H. Etta & Sons, the company does a general milling business, and manufactures strictly pure buckwheat and wheat flours. Mr Etta has served as a member of the village council, and has attained a position as one of the most substantial citizens of the village. His faternal relations are with the Woodmen, the Beavers and the Equitable Fraternal Union.

Mr. Etta was married July 4, 1888, to Anna Stange, a native of Germany, and daughter of Charles and Minnie (Arndt) Stange, of Clark County.  He and his wife are the parents of six children: Elmer, Oscar, Esther, Mabel, Maud and Florence. Oscar is in the United States service with the band of the 12th Regiment National Guard; Elmer was elected treasurer of Loyal village in 1917; both are graduates of Wausaw College. Esther is the wife of Harold Stabnow, of Greenwood. Mabel is a student at the State Normal School at Oshkosh. Maud and Florence are at home.



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