Michael Grasser, 1849

stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org on Fri, 16 Feb 2001


Source: 1918 History of Clark Co., WI, by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge

MICHAEL GRASSER, a prosperous farmer of section 2, Grant Township, was born near Salzburg, Germany, Sept. 26, 1849. The father, Joseph Grasser, was a farmer in Germany; the maiden name of his wife, mother of Michael, was Catrina Halter. Both of them died in their native land. Michael Grasser served in the French army in the War of 1870, between France and Germany, and was captured at Salzburg, but escaped at dusk, while on the march with other prisoners, being forced to swim the river three times that night to elude pursuers. In 1871 he came to the United States, locating first in Chicago, where he arrived with one dollar, which the drayman took for hauling him to a friend's house. He had a brother, Louie, in Sheboygan County, Wis., who had come to America ten years before, and on communicating with him, Louie sent him ten dollars and he went to his brother's farm, where he stayed two months. This brother, after living twelve years in Sheboygan County, went back to Germany, where he is now conducting a butcher's shop.

After leaving Louie's farm, Michael Grasser went to Hayden, Calumet County, Wis., where he learned the blacksmith's trade, remaining there three years. His next move was to Potterstown, Wis., and there he worked in a blacksmith's shop for five years.

In 1878 he came to Clark County, locating at Mapleworks, which was about half a mile southeast of where Granton now stands. There he conducted a blacksmith shop for thirteen years, during which time he formed a wide acquaintance. He had purchased in 1882 the farm of which he is now the owner, consisting of forty acres of land, of which ten acres had been cleared, and in 1891 he moved onto it.

The advent of the railroad caused fhe abandonment of Mapleworks, the residents and merchants moving to what is now the village of Granton, and Mr. Grasser about the same time moved his house and barn to his farm, which was only a half a mile west. Here he has since been engaged in general farming with profitable results. He served on the township board for a number of years and is numbered among the reliable and substantial citizens of the township. Mr. Grasser was united in marriage, Nov. 7, 1876, to Mary Browneacker, at Potterstown, Wis. Her parents were Florin and Mary Browneacker, the father being a farmer of Calumet County, Wis., the other children in the family being Stephen, Annette and Elizabeth. The daughter Mary was born in Austria-Hungary, Oct. 28, 1851, and came to this country with her family in 1856, the vessel being three months on the ocean.

Mr. and Mrs. Grasser have been the parents of five children: Stephen, who went to Alaska and from whom no news has been received since 1904; Louie, who is an electrician, living in Seattle; Mary, who lives in Minneapolis, and travels for the Robert Straus millinery concern; Mollie, who is a trained nurse, and travels from coast to coast, and Alma, now Mrs. John Harien of Glendive, Mont. Although Mr. Grasser never went to school he has picked up the elements of an education and is a good linguist, speaking English, French and German.



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