----Source: History of Clark County, Wisconsin (1918), by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge
John Dietrich and Family
JOHN CHRISTIAN DIETRICH, a well-known and successful farmer of Grant was born on his parents' homestead in section 22, this township, May 5, 1862, son of Christian and Anna (Rausch) Dietrich. Both parents were natives of Germany, the father born in Wurttemberg and the mother in Byron. Christian Dietrich was taught the miller's trade in his youth, his father having an old-time grist-mill. He was the only one of the family to come to America, which he did at the age of 23 years, finding work in the lumber camps of Clark Township. He also worked on farms and after being thus engaged for some years, purchased a quarter section of land from the Government, paying for it $200. It was covered with timber, not a-tree having been cut. On this place he built a log house, just a little east of where the present residence stands on the farm. It was about this time that he gave up bachelor life and married Anna Rausch who had come here from Wood County with her father, her mother having died in Germany. They began housekeeping in the log dwelling, which, however, after awhile burned down, and Mr. Dietrich had to construct another, stilly later building the frame residence that is now standing. Often he and his wife walked six miles to and from the village, bringing home flour on their backs. While he cleared the land, she spun wool for caps and mittens. In time, after much hard work and some privations, they became fairly prosperous. He helped to build the German Lutheran church and was for a number of years and until his death one of its leading members.
He and his wife both reached old age, the former dying in 1913, when 84 years old, and the latter at the same age in 1911. Their children, an born in the log cabin, were: John, Henry, Ernest, Charles, Fred and August, of whom the last mentioned died at the age of nine months.
John C. Dietrich acquired his education in the log schoolhouse and grew up on the home farm, which he assisted his father to clear. In the winter he worked in the woods, but has never left the home farm, on which he has made a number of improvements, having erected a barn 40 by 66 feet, a silo 14 by 35 feet and a brick house of ten rooms, the latter preventing a contrast with the old cabin his parents started in, which had just one room, with a stove in the center and a bed in one corner. His present farm consists of eighty acres of his parents' old homestead, combined with forty acres adjoining, which he purchased. Mr. Dietrich raises Durham and Shorthorn cattle, also horses and Poland-China hogs, all his stock being of a good grade.
He has also other financial interests, being a stockholder in the Neillsville Co-operative Farmers' Elevator & Lumber Co., the Wausau Canning Plant and the Granton Bank. As a responsible citizen he has been called upon to serve in public office and was supervisor one year, being at present a member of the school board. His religious affiliations are with the German Lutheran Church. Mr. Dietrich was married June 3, 1891, to Augusta Strey, who was born in Washington County, Wis., August 6, 1869, daughter of Edward and Wilhelmina (Buckhouse) Strey. Her parents were born in Germany and emigrated to the United States about thirty-five years- ago, taking land in section 23, Grant Township, this county, where for some time they lived the life of pioneers. Edward Strey is still living at the age of 74 years, but his wife died in 1902 at the age of 53. They also were of the Lutheran faith. Mr. and Mrs. Dietrich are the parents of eight children living: Emil, Bernard and Minnie (twins), Emma, Rollie, Oneida, Edwin, Arnold and Luella. Emil died young. Minnie is the wife of Herman Handt, of Granton, and they have one child, John H.
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