"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.
Danfield, Hjalmar J. born june twenty-ninth, eighteen-hundred and fifty
-two in the city of Roskilde, Denmark. He was educated in the district
school, town of Jydstrup. At the age of fifteen years he became
interested in business and was thus engaged with different firms in
Soro and Slagelse, 1867-81, except during sixteen months, 1875-76,
when he served as a soldier under the Danish flag, with the 17th
Battalion, First Company "Infantry", at Copenhagen and "Leiren ved
Hald" near Vigorg, Jutland.
A virulent epidemic of the "American fever" swept over the land
(Denmark). He with his cousin, Julius JAPPE, were among the (lucky)
victims. The only "successfully tried" cure for said malady; this the
recipe: lift the anchor--forward--course west across the great seas,
meet with Uncle Sam, live under the Stars and Stripes--and tread upon
They therefore, on April 30th, Eighteen-hundred and eighty-one, with
some other six hundred Viking--Norsemen secured passage on the
historic steamer Thingvalla bound for the U.S.A. landed in New York on
May 17th: for a few days took in the sight's of this giant
metropolis, then proceeded via the Niagra Falls to Wisconsin.
Mr. Julius JAPPE (watchmaker) secured employment at his trade on their
arrival in Racine--later conducted a jewelry store of his own on
Sixth Street. For some years and up to the time of his death (which
occurred January 9th--1922, his age then sixty-one years) Mr. JAPPE
was acting member of the county board of Racine.
Mr. DANFIELD'S objective point being Waupaca, where he was met and
welcomed by a countryman and friend Mr. Albert BREIT. With a sincere
intent and will to be a useful and loyal citizen of his adopted
country, Mr. DANFIELD made his initial "dig in" on the farm of Mr. Alf.
MINTO'S, Lanark; next as a worker at the Racine Wagon & Carriage Co.'s
plant; during the Winter as a lumber Jack near Iola; then brickmaking
on the banks of the Waupaca River, where for some days during the
month of April, 1882, the horizon would be darkened by flocks of the
beautiful traveling pigeons, millions of them; a few years later
this species were declared extinct. He also worked as a section hand
on the "auld" Wisconsin Central Road (his boss Mr. Ole BEE) in the
days when he, with other railroad workers received the cash from the
pay-car. By diligent study he had by this time (1883) made some
progress with the English language, and was offered and accepted a
position as clerk with Mr. Richard LEA and sons Hugo and Fred
(general store) fact was, created and built entirely of this grand
color scheme, even nestling everywhere on the boat. The portals into
the land of promise could not be more inspiring.
On June fifth, Eighteen hundred and eighty-six, Mr. DANFIELD was
united in marriage to Miss Ellen MOSHER, at Antigo, her home. The
stork made frequent visit's at their home in Rhinelander and blessed
them with two daughters: Minnie, now Mrs. John REYNOLDS of Merrill;
Ruth, now Mrs. Earl J. KRUCKEBERG of Appleton and four sons: Albert,
mechanic, law-filer and A. E. F. veteran. Grover, printer, Ex-member
of Company L. and a U.S. Mail clerk; Ralph, painter, paper-hanger and
decorator and Webster Mosher DANFIELD, a high school student.
As a citizen of Rhinelander, since March first, Eighteen hundred and
eighty-six, Mr. DANFIELD has, with the exception of two years work in
the shipping department of the Wisconsin Veeneer Co. devoted his time
to mercantile pursuit as clerk with the following firms: Messrs.
John DE VOIN, the Brown Brothers, Spafford & Cole and David JACOBSON.
March 19th, Nineteen hundred and twelve he was (after passing civil
service exam.) appointed by Mayor Fred ANDERLE, as city sealer of
weights and measures. Mr. F. P. DOWNING, chief in Waupaca. The
season of 1884-5 this firm had on sale, a small consignment, of
the very last bison (buffalo) robes that could be procured in the
New Year's Day (1885) received tidings from his mother (whose home was
in Copenhagen) that she was sick and also expressed a desire to see
him "her only son". Being at the time so situated that he was able
to fulfill his mothers wish, he started the next day for New York,
from there with the Hamburg-American Liner "Wieland" this boat
delivered mail at Plymouth, England, where at that time it was quite
cold and the coast snow-covered: by crossing the channel to Cherbourg
(Sunny) France, not any snow and considerable warmer, a mail-boat
(lighter) coming out from this harbor had on-board a few ladies' and
men (thus late in January) dressed in summer customes.
Steaming up the River Elbe the Wieland encountered inpregnable ice
floes and the passengers had to be transported, the last few miles,
to Hamburg on ice breakers (such a diving and racket) from there by
rail to Kiel (Germany) by boat through the Baltic sea via Korsor (a
Danish port) to destination.
Certainly, after years of absence, a meeting like this between family
members is truly wonderful, and on this occasion given credit for a
speedy return of perfect health to his dear mother; four years later,
preceded by a brief illness, she passed into her last sleep and rest
on February fifth, Eighteen hundred and eight-nine in the sixty-eighth
year of her age. When he (Hjalmar) was about three years old, his
father was called by a disease contracted (during the war 1848-50)
while helping to defend his country against the invading Teutons.
The Jappe, Zimmerman, Darre and Westphal family's (near relation of
Danfield) and friend too numerous to memtion (in the old home capitol
city) contributed spontaneously with kind deeds to make his forty-five
day visit filled with pleasant reminiscence only, the hardest task
imposed upon him being to say the farewell. Leaving the mother country
, about March 7th, on the liner Iceland for the U.S.A. is only to
relate that the return trip became a delightful but stormy voyage
(anybody having made the route wil appreciate what this implies).
When off the coast of Newfoundland the passengers became witness to
a superb panorama--sailing for hours through myriad arches of rainbows,
the surrounding atmosphere seemed to be, and in state inspector of
weights & measures, inspecting Mr. DANFIELDS work in a general way,
says in the "New North": Mr. DANFIELD is one of the most conscienctious
and competent city sealers in Wisconsin.
At the inception and start of the herein named local enterprises his
name has been identified, on a small scale, as that of a member to
help promote the welfare of his community; the Rhinelander Advancement
Association, Rhinelander Refrigerator Co., Rhinelander Paper Co.,
Rhinelander Telephone Co., the Armory, etc. He is a past Noble Grand
of the I. O. O. F., Oneida Lodge No. 48, a wearer of the veteran jewel,
presented to him by his lodge brethren.
Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 248-250;
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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