Recollections of Columbia, Wisconsin
by Mabel Schlender Jonkel
Contributed by Sarah Poertner
transcribed by Crystal Wendt & Michelle Harder.
*Mr. and Mrs. Joe Malek, Sr., came from Chicago about 1900 to start farming three miles west of Columbia. He returned to Chicago each winter to earn cash with which to improve the farm. Of the three boys, Charles passed on at the age of twelve years; Joe Jr., went to Montana where he had a large ranch; and Frank went with his mother to Wisconsin Rapids after Mr. Malek passed on. Mrs. Malek passed on there. Frank was married. He still owns the farm and uses it for a hunting lodge.
Charles and Frank Malek took their cousin for a ride with the ox team.
*Mrs. M.A. McKinney was a widow from Fennimore and a sister of Mr. Bliss and Mrs. L. B. Varney. She came in 1902 with three sons and two daughters. Bessie lived in Chicago part time. Her daughter, Irene Graham, lived with Mrs. McKinney part time. Flossie was a music teacher in Columbia and Neillsville for a few years and then passed on. Bernard lived in Columbia a short while and then moved to Iowa where he married. Paul did the farming. Leat had previously bought a forty acre plot and built a home on it. When his mother came here, he sold and built across from her farm three miles east of Columbia. Leat later married Eva Schumway whose parents lived five miles east of Columbia. Several years later they moved to South Dakota. Mrs. McKinney gave up the farm and lived with her daughter, Bessie, in Seattle,Washington. Paul moved to Thorp where he passed.
*Mr. And Mrs. Otto Wetzel bought the McKinney farm and after farming a few years moved to Levis. In 1940 Ruby Jonkel, a widow, with three children, bought the place and farmed until her remarriage.
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