Recollections of Columbia, Wisconsin

by Mabel Schlender Jonkel

Contributed by Sarah Poertner

transcribed by Crystal Wendt & Michelle Harder.

Columbia Pioneer Folk

 The annual Columbia reunion draws people from far and wide.

The 1962 reunion was held at Snyder’s Park.


Columbia Pioneer Folk

*Indicated family names

Having written a history of the town of Columbia, I will now endeavor to write a little about its fine folks who once resided there. *Joseph Kopp, who was a Civil War Veteran, was the first to move into the wilderness in 1880. He was born in Germany in 1838 and came to the United States in 1862. First he worked on a farm in Illinois for two years before he enlisted in Company D-64th regiment. He served until the end of the war, having taken part in seventeen hard battles. Known as a sharpshooter, he came through the war without a scratch. After returning to Illinois for few months, he then went to St. Charles, Minnesota, where he bought a farm. After eight years of farming he sold out and bought a restaurant business in St. Charles. In 1876 he sold and came to Clark County.

He had married Louisa Shock in 1876. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1848. After coming to Clark County he worked on a farm in town of Washburn, four years. In 1880 he began homesteading a 120 acre tract three miles southeast of Columbia. Here he built a nice home and a barn with no clearing and no accessible roads. The nearest being two mile away. His possessions included a horse, a cow and a few chickens. Just a few years later all burned to the ground and they had to start over again. The buildings, were replaced with a six room house and a 42 x 66 foot barn. It was built up into a nice dairy farm known as the "West Levis Farm."

Their six children were: Fred, Frank, George, Clare, Joseph and Frances. Fred, the oldest, was home on the farm part of the time and also worked elsewhere. Frank lived in South Dakota where he had married. Clara married Mr. Cook of Merillan. She passed on a few years later leaving one child. George married Bernice Winton of Columbia. They stayed at the farm a few years and then moved to their own farm where they raised three children. Joseph carried on with the home farm until he married Mary Seims of Levis in 1919 and went to their own farm. They had three children. Frances passed on in infancy.

Mr. And Mrs. Kopp passed on, on the home farm. Mr. Kopp in 1917.





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