HERMAN HACKER -
Among those whose industry and honest worth contribute largely to
the welfare of the community, and thus to the honor and prosperity of the
State at large, is Herman Hacker, of Pella township, Shawano county.
Mr. Hacker was born on his father's homestead in Pella township,
December 3, 1861, son of John and Wilhelmine Hacker, the former of whom
was born June 22, 1832, in the city of Waldeck, Germany, received a common-school
education, and was a shepherd in Germany. He came to the United States
in 1858, and here married Wilhelmine Preppernow, who was also born in Germany.
They both came to America before marriage, and were married directly after
their arrival. They came to Wisconsin, and located in Mayville, Dodge county,
where Mr. Hacker worked land for others for three years. In 1861 he came
with an ox-team from Dodge county to Pella, where he bought eighty acres
of land in Section 18, which forms a portion of the farm now owned by his
son, Herman Hacker, the subject of this sketch. No roads were cut through
here at that time, and there were only Indian trails for paths. They built
a shanty, which was covered with grooved logs and floored with boards.
It had half a window and a door. Thus they made a beginning. In this house
Herman Hacker was born, and he can well remember it, as it remained long
after he grew up. The work of clearing was begun at once and provisions
had to be brought from New London, Waupaca county, in a scow on the Embarrass
river. They had to work out in harvesting time on Ripon prairie, Winnebago
county, and then resumed the clearing, so continuing to labor until the
farm was sufficiently cleared to be of some service as a means of support.
Thus father and son, by their own efforts, hewed a home from the wilderness.
They also bought land to the extent of 160 acres, some seventy of which
were cleared. In 1865 John Hacker, together with the rest of the settlers,
bought cemetery grounds, building a Lutheran Church on same. In 1866 he
erected a log house, where the rest of his family were born, and in 1885
he put up a good frame house, which is the dwelling of today. No water
for drinking or general house purposes could be got within half a mile,
and had to be carried through the woods from a creek; there being
no threshing machines, grain had to be threshed with a flail, in the cold
winter days, on hard-frozen ground, before they had a barn or floor of
any kind. In 1870 John Hacker dug and curbed up a well near the dwelling
house, 130 feet deep, where he found good, pure water in plenty, and it
remains there yet. In 1879 the first big stones were blasted by Herman
Hacker on the homestead, out of which the fences were built, and in this
way very stony fields were cleared and prepared for all farm machinery.
John Hacker died October 28, 1889. His widow is still living on the homestead
with her son Herman. Mr. and Mrs. John Hacker had four children, namely
Herman, the subject of this sketch; Minnie, wife of August Grunwald, of
Clintonville, Waupaca county, who is a carpenter by trade (they have one
daughter, Lydia); Louise, who married Fred Kroll, of Clintonville, also
a carpenter, and has one son, Arthur; and Anna, who does dressmaking
in Clintonville, and lives with her brother Herman.
At the time his father died Herman Hacker owned the farm, and
he had for some time been the head of the family. On October 28,
1890, he was united in marriage with Amelia Worm, and they have had a daughter,
Louise, who was born May 28, 1894. The parents of Mrs. Hacker, John and
Augusta (Worm) Worm, distant rela-tives of Mr. Hacker, were from Germany,
came to New London. Waupaca Co., Wis., in 1859, and, locating there, cleared
land on which they made their home, where both are now living, and where
they expect to spend the remainder of their lives. They have had seven
children, as follows: William, on the homestead in New London; John
in New London ; Albert and Mary (twins), at home; Amelia, Mrs. Hacker;
Matilda and Louis, at home. Politically, Mr. Hacker is an Independent.
Both he and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church. In addition to
his farm work Mr. Hacker engages in selling farm machinery and windmills,
in which he has made a decided success, as he is an industrious and hard-working
man, and is well liked by all. He and his wife received a good common-school
education in both German and English.