"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Bentz, Gust a well known and respected citizen of Eagle River, where he is successfully engaged in business as a contracting mason, was born in New York City, June 17, 1871, son of August and Mary BENTZ. The parents were natives of Germany in which country they were married in 1869. In 1870 they came to the United States, locating in New York City, where they spent about two years. Then in 1872 they came west to Wisconsin, settling in Wausau, Marathon County, where for the next two year August BENTZ was engaged in railroad work. At the end of that time he went to work in the Clark Mill, which was the first saw mill started in Wausau, and there he was employed for about ten years. For the next eight years he followed the occupation of well drilling, which he had done in his native land. In 1892 he bought 120 acres of cut-over land and started to clear a farm. This task proved a hard one, especially that of stump removal, but after that had been accomplished the work proceeded faster, and included the erection of buildings and the cultivation of the soil. There he followed general and dairy farming until 1917, when he sold the farm and retired. He and his wife now residing in Wausau, where he owns a fine residence and other property. They have been the parents of 15 children, of whom 13 are still living, namely: Gust, subject of this sketch; Emil, a farmer in Marathon County; Martha, now Mrs. Edward PIERCE of Wausau; Emma, wife of Charles BERKELS of Wausau; Anton of Wausau; Laura, wife of John FREDERICK of Milwaukee; Lena, now Mrs. Charles REINKE of Wausau; August of Park Falls, Wis.; Stella of Wausau; Fred of Minneapolis; Elsie, wife of Paul STEDMAN and a resident of the state of Washington; Ida, who is married and lives in Wausau; and Mary, who is Mrs. Frank DUNHAM of Duluth, Minn. Gust BENTZ was educated in the schools of Wausau, the first schoolhouse he attended being built of logs, as Wausau was then - in the early 70's - but a small hamlet. After finishing school he took up saw mill work which he followed for six years. He then helped to build the branch railroad of the Chicago & Northwestern from Marshfield to Wausau, which job took about a year and a half of his time. After that he spent four years in learning the mason's trade which he perfectly mastered, following it subsequently at Wausau until 1902, when he came to Eagle River, and established himself in business here as a general contractor for mason work. He has made a specialty in the building of brick, cobblestone and other fireplaces and has been very successful. His business has expanded until it extends over a radius of 60 miles and his reputation as an expert in this line of industry is fully assured. Mr. BENTZ was married Jan. 13, 1905 to Anna MAUHL, who was born at Jefferson, Jefferson County, Wis., and he and his wife are the parents of one child, Orvel C., who was born May 23, 1915. Mr. BENTZ and his family are members of the Lutheran Church, and he is also a member of the F. R. A.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 770-771, History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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