"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.


Draeger, William J. who is successfully engaged in the garage and auto repair business in Tomahawk, which he entered three years ago after a long career as a locomotive engineer, was born on a farm in the town of Wolf River, Winnebago County, Wis., Oct. 8, 1872, son of William and Hermina DRAEGER. The father was born in Germany, from which country he came to this when five years old, subsequently residing with a brother in Chicago until he was 17. It was then that he settled in Winnebago, where he engaged in farming. On Jan. 28, 1872, he was married to Hermina DRAEGER, a native of Oshkosh, Wis. Twelve years later, in 1884, he and his family became pioneers of Antigo, Wis., where for a number of years he followed the occupation of gardener, at times also being engaged in railroad work. In 1922, Jan. 28, he and his wife celebrated their Golden Wedding-a privilege granted to few married couples, and one which he did not long survive, as he passed away in the following year. His wife is still living and makes her home with her daughter, Mr. Ed FROELICH of Antigo, whose given name is Verona. Of the other children in the family two died in infancy, Alfred is employed by his brother William in Tomahawk, Jake resides in Minneapolis, Charles is in Antigo, and William J. is the subject of this sketch. William J. DRAEGER was reared on his parents' farm in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and acquired his education in the district school. He was 12 years old when he accompanied his parents to Antigo, in which place he finished his schooling. He began railroad work as a water-boy at the age of 16. When 17 he became a locomotive fireman and at the age of 21 a locomotive engineer on the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railway, which is now a part of the Northwestern System. In 1897, Mr. DRAEGER came to Tomahawk as an engineer on the M., T., & W. Railway, known as the Bradley railroad, and that position he subsequently held for 22 years. Then in 1920 he engaged in the automobile business and is now proprietor of the Draeger Garage, providing storage, carrying a general line of accessories and doing general repair work. He belongs to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and also to the local lodge of Elks and that of the Masons. It was in this city that Mr. DRAEGER was married in 1900 to Cora HICKEY, daughter of James and Alice HICKEY, her father being a native of Canada and her mother of Prairie Farm, Barron County, Wis. Mr. and Mrs. HICKEY were residents of Prentice, Wis., for a time, and later of Rice Lake, Barron County, from which place they moved to Tomahawk, where Mr. HICKEY died in 1921, being survived by his wife, who is still living. Mr. and Mrs. DRAEGER are the parents of four children, Evelyn, Alice, Moebell and Henry.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 547-548, 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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