Bio: Albert Degener (1869  - ?) on Thu, 15 Feb 2001


----Source: 1918 History of Clark County, Wisconsin

ALBERT DEGENER, a well-known business man of Chili, Fremont Township, Clark County, where he is proprietor of a flourishing hardware business, was born in Hanover, Germany, Nov. 8, 1869, son of Frederick and Louisa (Plathner) Degener. The parents were natives of Germany, where they passed their lives and died, the father being a Lutheran minister. They had a large family of eleven children: Conrad, Johanna, Julius, Augusta, Dora, Frederick, Albert, Johannas, Mariechen, George and Ludwig. Of these children Albert was the first to come to the United States, which he did in September, 1892. He was followed the next year by his sister, Dora, then single, but now the wife of Emil Bosselmann, of Fremont Township.

Albert had attended school in his native land, and had taken a grammar course of study under his father's instructions. He began industrial life as a clerk in dry goods and other stores and was thus occupied until he came to the United States. After landing in this country he set out for Marathon County, Wis., but on reaching Milwaukee he decided to remain there for awhile and stayed about two months, obtaining employment. He then proceeded to Marathon County, where he had an uncle living, and locating in Spencer, worked as clerk in a store there for two years. From there he went to Green Bay, Wis., where he worked at anything he could find to do, that period-1894 to 1896-being times of financial stringency. Sometimes he worked for as low as $6 a month and board. In 1896 Mr. Degener came to Neillsville, reaching here Nov. 9, and from that time until 1900 he was in the employ of Luethe Company, the business being then dissolved.

In April, that year, he came to Chili, where he established a branch store for Walk Bros., of Neillsville which he conducted for a year and a half. He then engaged in the same line of business for himself, being proprietor of the general store in Chili, until December, 1904, when he sold out to Mr. Reichardt. Then, in March, 1905, he opened a hardware store, which he has since conducted, dealing also in farm implements. In 1900 Walk Bros. erected the first warehouse in Chili, which was conducted until 1903 or 1904 by O. E. Counsell. In 1914 the Chili Co-operative Produce Company was formed, which tore down the old building and erected the present elevator on the same site. Mr. Degener became interested in the enterprise, served on the building committee and is now a stockholder in the concern. He is also manager of the potato warehouse built in Chili in 1911, by the Starks Company.

Mr. Degener was married, 1901, to Hulda Walters, daughter of O. F. Walters, a retired farmer from Grant Township, now residing in Neillsville, and he and his wife have one child, Vivian Freda.



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