Otto Albert Hantke, 1840 on Fri, 16 Feb 2001


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

OTTO ALBERT HANTKE, a respected resident of Grant Township, engaged in operating the old Hantke farm, was born on that part of the farm which lies in section 27, and which was the homestead of his parents, Ernest and Amelia (Thrum) Hantke. Ernest Hantke was born in Germany, Aug. 12, 1840, and came to the United States with neighbors when only about 12 years old, the voyage lasting twelve weeks. He attended school in Milwaukee and was subsequently married in that city to Amelia Thrum, who was born in West Prussia, Germany, Oct. 27, 1845, daughter of Henry and Lenora Thrum, who were farming people. Her father died in Germany and his widow subsequently married August Schaldach. Coming to this country, they settled first in Milwaukee, but a short time after moved to La Crosse. The children of Henry and Lenora Thrum were Lena, Gotlieb, Minnie, Amelia, Tina and Ferdinand. The children by Mrs. Thrum's marriage with August Schaidach were William and Fred, born in Germany,
and Carl and Herman, who were born in Wisconsin. The parents spent the rest of their lives as farmers in La Crosse County. Ernest Hantke and wife also moved to La Crosse and resided there for awhile, coming to Clark County in 1863, with three children--Liza, Louis and Paulina. This journey they made by train to Black River Falls and then drove with their own team of oxen to Neillsville. They settled on 120 acres in Grant Township, moving into the log shanty which stood on the place. Besides their ox team they had two cows and half a dozen chickens.

Within a few years Mr. Hantke had erected a new and more commodious log house. His wife spun wool and knit socks and mittens, while he worked in the woods two winters in order to get a little money in hand. They often drove in their ox team, or walked, to the Fischer German Lutheran Church, and Mrs. Hantke sometimes walked to Neillsville, a basket on each arm to sell farm produce. She received only 10 cents a pound for butter and the same price for a dozen eggs--a big contrast with the prices that prevail at the present day.

Ernest Hantke died on that farm at the age of 50 years, after making good progress in its development. He was a worthy and respected citizen and served both on the school board, and on the board of his church, of which he was a leading member and strong supporter. His widow is still living. Their children were: Elizabeth, Ida (deceased), Louis, Pauline, Otto, August (deceased), Ernest (deceased), Anna, Minnie and Oscar. Otto A. Hantke was educated in the old McPherson district school in Grant Township and grew to manhood on his parents' farm, where he acquired a competent knowledge of agriculture in assisting his father.

When a young man he also spent two winters in the woods. In time he came into possession of the homestead, which was then a tract of 120 acres, but to which he has since added an improved tract of eighty acres, lying across the road in sections 28 and 33. He is carrying on general farming successfully, raising a good grade of stock and has served as supervisor of the township and as a member of the school board.

Mr. Hantke was first married to Mary Lazotta, daughter of Mathias Lazotta, a pioneer settler in Grant Township. She died at the age of 32, leaving four children: Leo, Reuben, Anthony and Lillian. Mr. Hantke married for his second wife, Mrs. Otellia Jacobt, daughter of Joseph Jacobt, and widow of Gustaf Wolf. Of this second marriage no children have been born. By her former marriage Mrs. Hantke had one child, Elsie.



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