Record of the Upper Wisconsin counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon,
Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawano, containing Biographical Sketches
of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of many of the Early Settled
Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co 1895
Copied & transcribed by our dear friend, Elaine O’ Leary
- One of the most prominent and substantial business men of Pulcifer, Green
Valley township, Shawano county, is Mr. Bergner. He was born in
Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Germany, July 2, 1843, and is a son of George and
Elizabeth (Machleith) Bergner, who was born in the afore-mentioned place.
George Bergner was well educated, and when a young man learned the trade of a
mason, which he followed all his life. He came to the United States in 1868 with
his wife and two of their children, the majority of their family having preceded
them. They landed in New York and there located. About five years later, when
sixty-seven years of age, Mr. Bergner died at the home of his son Louis, who is
the subject proper of this sketch. His wife, who survives him, still resides in
New York, at the age of eighty-four. Their children were as follows: Julia
Anna, deceased; wife of Fred Koch, of Fort Howard, Wis.; Emma, now Mrs. Richard
Walter, of New York; Richard, deceased; Charles, a contractor, residing in
Germany; Henry, a dentist, in New York; Augusta, now Mrs. De Buse, of New York;
Louis, and Christian, a resident of Pulcifer, Wisconsin.
Louis Bergner received a good common-school education, and at the age of
fourteen commenced to learn the trade of a mill-wright. He served an
apprenticeship of three years, worked one year at the trade, and then started to
learn the trade of a miller, at which he worked for four years. In July, 1866,
he sailed from Hamburg for the United States on the steamer "Germania," and
landed in New York after a voyage of fifteen days. He worked there one year as
cabinet maker and carpenter, having acquired considersable knowledge of both
these trades in Germany. In the fall of 1867 he went to Fort Howard, Brown Co.,
Wis., and procured work in a sash and door factory, at which business he
continued for nine years.
In the year 1868, Louis Bergner was united in marriage, at Fort Howard, with
Miss Augusta Steuk, who was born in Prussia, August 9, 1847, and they have had
the following named children: Albert, born February 2, 1869, married Annie
Krueger, and resides in Pulcifer; Henry, born March 20, 1871, married Mary
Hanson, and they reside in Pulcifer; Louisa, born May 20, 1873, and Hermina,
born February 20, 1877, both at home. Miss Augusta Steuk, now Mrs. Louis Bergcr,
came to the United States about 1867. Her parents, Ardman and Wilhelmina (Geske)
Steuk followed her a few years later, and first settled on Long Island,
afterward removing to Fort Howard, Wisconsin.
In 1876 Mr. Bergner removed with his wife and family to Duck Creek, Brown
county, where he worked a gristmill for one year. He then removed to Bonduel,
Shawano county, rented a store there, and put in a stock of general merchandise.
The first year in Bonduel he ran a gristmill, and his wife attended to the
store. At the end of two years he disposed of his stock, came to Pulcifer,
bought his present site on the Oconto river, and put up a gristmill the same
fall which was in 1880. His family joined him the following spring. In 1882 he
built a sawmill at the side of the gristmill, and in 1883 built a planing-mill.
Mr. Bergner owns and carries on a farm of sixty-eight acres, fifty of which are
cleared. He is a Republican in politics, but has never sought office. Both he
and Mrs. Bergner are members of the German Lutheran Church. Mr. Bergner began
life a poor boy, and was penniless when he landed in New York. He now has a
large and extensive business, is very popular, and has many friends. He has an
able assistant in his daughter Louisa, who attends to the books and looks after
his business in general.