JOHN E. ROEPKE, member of
the firm of Roepke & Meisner, prominent merchants and real-estate dealers
in Birnamwood, Shawano county, was born in Newton township, Manitowoc county,
Wis., January 16, 1859. His parents were John Roepke and Mary (Schloeter)
Roepke, natives of Hanover, Germany, in which place they were married in
John Roepke came to America in 1847, and settled upon a tract
of wild land in Manitowoc county, his wife joining him the following year.
They had five children: Anna, Lizzie, Diedrich, Herman and John E. Mr.
Roepke soon after his arrival in this country built on his farm a sawmill,
which was run by water power, and was the first mill in that section. He
operated this some eighteen years, then sold it and bought a saw and grist
mill in the same county, dying in 1868 soon after making the latter purchase.
He was a well-educated man, popular in his community, and was a stanch
John E. Roepke, the subject of this sketch, was educated in the
common schools and remained at home until he was twenty-five years old,
learning the trade of a miller, and working in his father's mill. (After
the latter's death the business was carried on by his widow who was a good
manager). Mr. Roepke was married June 11, 1884, to Minnie Pleuss and to
them have been born three children: Walter, Edna and Otman. Mr. Roepke
is the head of the firm of Roepke & Meisner, general merchants and
lumbermen who came to Birnamwood in 1884. They also deal largely in real
estate, owning some 4,360 acres of pine and farm lands. They bought out
a store when they first came to the place, although they had no experience
as merchants, and have been remarkably successful in all their enterprises.
Mr. Roepke looks after the store, Mr. Meisner attending to the outside
business. Mr. Roepke has a fine residence, and is a man well-to-do
in the world. Politically he is a Republican, and although he has held
some minor town offices he is too much occupied with his own business to
care for office; in religious faith he is a member of the German Lutheran
Church, socially he is identified with the Modern Woodmen, in which order
he holds office and takes a prominent part. He is a public-spirited man,
ever ready to assist in all projects which have for their object the welfare
of the town and county.