Bio: Braatz, Richard

Contact: stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org

 

Surnames: Braatz, Kurton, Scholz, Baker, Riedel, Treichler


----Source: Biographical History of Clark and Jackson Counties Wisconsin, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1891; 1918 History of Clark Co., WI, by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge

 RICHARD BRAATZ. - Prominent among the thrifty sons of Germany that have sought a home in Clark County, Wisconsin, we find the man whose name heads this sketch. In 1869 he bought a quarter of section 22, Grant Township, and has since made this place his home.

Mr. Braatz was born in Germany, May 17, 1842. When quite young he came to America with his parents who settled in Washington County, Wisconsin, where he obtained his education. He was one of a family of six sons, His father's death occurred in Washington County in 1882. When the war came on the subject of our sketch tendered his services to help save the Union. He enlisted in 1861, in the Second Wisconsin Battery, arid was assigned to Fortress Monroe. He was an eye witness to the fight between the Monitor and the Merrimac, and battles of Norfolk and Portsmouth, and Point Lookout, Maryland, which he describes as being the most interesting sights of his life. He was honorably discharged in 1865. In 1873 he was united in marriage to Emilie Scholz, in Clark County, Wisconsin. Six children have been born to them. His wife's death occurred in Clark County in 1891. Mr. Braatz affiliates with the Republican party.

Richard F. Braatz, 1841

RICHARD F. BRAATZ, who is successfully engaged in the pursuit of agriculture on a farm in section 22, Grant Township, was born in Prussia, Germany, May 17, 1841, son of Michael and Wilhelmina (Baker) Braatz. The father was a wagon maker, who emigrated to the United States in 1849, accompanied by his wife and six sons, Louie (now deceased), Henry, Richard, William (of West Bend), Emit, and Anton, the last mentioned now residing on the homestead in Washington County, Wis. The voyage across the Atlantic occupied eleven weeks and three days, being made in a slow sailing vessel. On landing Michael Braatz and his family made their way to Milwaukee and resided at a point near there for about two weeks. He then bought forty acres of land, thirty miles from the site of that now flourishing city, but which then was mostly a swamp with a few scattered houses in the vicinity, and on his tract built a log house, into which he and his family moved.  Starting with nothing but his hands to work with, he made at first slow progress, and had to walk to Milwaukee for his supplies; but in course of time he developed a good farm, erecting on it a substantial brick residence, with other buildings. There he died many years afterwards at the age of 84, his wife passing away at the age of 78 years.

They were members of the German Lutheran Church. Richard F. Braatz was eight years old when he accompanied his parents to America. He had attended school two years in Germany, but afterwards had no further chance to improve his education except by Occasional attendance at evening school. Brought up on his parents' farm he learned the science of agriculture as then practiced and was familiar with pioneer conditions as his father's assistant for years before he started in for himself. When he did so start he bought 160 acres in section 22, Grant Township, this being in 1866, when he was 25 years old, and still single. He had served three years and ten days as a soldier in the Civil War, having enlisted in 1861, in the Second Battalion of Wisconsin Light Artillery. His battery had been stationed successively at Fortress Monroe, Hughes Pine, Yorktown and around Richmond. He had escaped wounds or captivity and was in good physical condition. Building a log shanty on his land, it standing about fifteen rods west of the present house, he began the arduous labor of improving and developing a farm.

For some time he remained a bachelor, but in 1873 he changed his condition, being united in marriage with Amelia Scholz, who was born in the vicinity of Milwaukee. She died when about 40 years old, having borne him five children: Clara, now living on the homestead; Almina, wife of William Kurton; Henry, of Grant Township; Herman, also residing in Grant Township, and Carl, now living on the homestead. As the sons grew up they assisted their father in clearing the farm and in making the improvements on it, and in time they received their reward, as he accumulated some 320 acres of land, of which they got a share. Among the buildings erected on his place by Mr. Braatz were a good substantial house of ten rooms; three barns, two of them 62 by 30 feet in size, and one 30 by 40 feet, and a silo 14 by 40 feet. In early days he often walked to Neillsville after supper, carrying butter and eggs to market, for which, prices being then very low, he received only a few cents, the stores then paying about eight or ten cents a pound for butter and about ten cents a dozen for eggs.

Since those times Mr. Braatz has seen great changes, mostly for the better, so far as the farmers-are concerned; but the road from poverty to prosperity was long and tedious. He now has a fine and flourishing farm, raising, besides the usual crops, a good grade of Durham cattle and horses. At one time he also raised sheep. In addition to his farming interests, he is a stockholder in the Pleasant Ridge Cheese Factory, in the Farmers' Co-operative Elevator and Lumber Co. of Neillsville, and in the First National Bank of Neillsville.

Mr. Braatz married for his second wife, Christiana Riedel, April 24, 1892, daughter of John Riedel, a pioneer of Clark County. She was born in Germany, Dec. 5, 1849.

1880 Federal Census, Grant, Clark, Wisconsin, United States, pg. 382

Richard Braatz, white, married, American male
age: 34
occupation : Farmer
birthplace : Germany
birthdate : 1846
spouse's name : Amelia Braatz
spouse's birthplace : Wisconsin, United States
father's birthplace : Germany
mother's birthplace : Germany

Household Members
self Richard Braatz M 34 Germany
wife Amelia Braatz F 24 Wisconsin, United States
daughter Clara Braatz F 6 Wisconsin, United States
daughter Elvira Braatz F 4 Wisconsin, United States
son Henry Braatz M 2 Wisconsin, United States
daughter Anne Braatz F 1 Wisconsin, United States

1900 Federal Census, ED 20 Grant town, Clark, Wisconsin, United States, page: 13, sheet letter: A, family 238

Richard Bratz, white, married, male
father's birthplace: Germany
mother's birthplace: Germany
years married: 8
estimated marriage year: 1892
mother how many children:
number living children:
immigration year: 1850

Household Members
head Richard Bratz M 58 (May 1842 Germany)
wife Christina Bratz F 51 (Dec 1849 Germany)
son Henry Bratz M 33 (Dec 1867 Wisconsin)
son Herman Bratz M 19 (Mar 1881 Wisconsin)
son Charles Bratz M 18 (Dec 1882 Wisconsin)
daughter Clara Bratz F 26 (May 1874 Wisconsin)
stepdaughter Clara Treichler F 27 (Mar 1873 Wisconsin)

1930 Federal Census, Grant, Clark, Wisconsin, enumeration district number: 0012, family number: 20, sheet number and letter: 2A, line 6

Richard Braatz, white, widowed, male
immigration year: 1847
relationship to head of household: Father
father's birthplace: Germany
mother's birthplace: Germany

Household Members
head Carl R Braatz M 47 Wisconsin
wife Louise Braatz F 49 (1881 Germany), immigration yr. 1883, married, white, female, parents b. Germany
daughter Helen E Braatz F 18 Wisconsin
son Clarence R Braatz M 17 Wisconsin
son Norman Braatz M 14 Wisconsin
son Robert Braatz M 5 Wisconsin
father Richard Braatz M 88 Germany
sister Clara Braatz F 56 Wisconsin

 

 


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