"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.


Fechtner, William J. proprietor of a flourishing meat business in Merrill, Lincoln County, was born at Wausau, Wis., Aug. 8, 1868, son of Julius and Ernestine Fechtner. The parents had settled in Wausau on coming from Germany in 1866, and there the father followed the combined trades of carpenter and cabinet-maker. He died at the age of 59 years and his wife died at the age of 87 in 1922. They had five children: Frank, now in Los Angeles, Calif.; William J., of Merrill, Wis.; Herman, a farmer at Lemon, N. D.; Emma, wife of Richard HORSTMEIER, a farmer at Faith, S.D.; and Robert, of Merrill, Wis. William J. FECHTNER was reared in Wausau, where he attended school. In 1884, at the age of 16, he went to work in a meat market there, and it was there that he learned the business, remaining in Wausau until the spring of 1887, when he came to Merrill. Here until 1894 he was in the employ of A. THEILMAN and later, until 1917, in that of Julius THIELMAN. The next two years he spent in farming, and at the end of that time, in the spring of 1921, bought the meat business of R. MASS and has since conducted it, making a specialty of sausage manufacture for the wholesale trade, his high grade summer sausage being known far and wide. His meat is bought from the packers. Mr. FECHTNER was married in Waukesha, Wis., in 1890, to Mary HUFERT, whose parents, now deceased, came to this country many years ago, settling in Wauksha. To Mr. and Mrs. FECHTNER five children have been born: Elmer, a graduate of Wisconsin State University; Herbert and Leonard, who are associated with their father in the meat business; Harold, a graduate of the local high school, and Norman, who is attending a parochial school. In 1917 Elmer entered the United States army for war service, being first a member of Company H. W. N. G., which went to Camp Douglas as a cavalry troop and was there transformed into Battery F, 120th Field Artillery. He trained at Waco, Texas, went to France in March, 1917 with the first troops, being rated as a musician and bugler. He was attached to the 32d Division and saw service with it at Chateau Thierry and in the Argonne, being stationed with the headquarters troops. In 1919 he returned to the United States and was honorably discharged. The Fechtner family are members of St. John's Lutheran Church.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 606-607; 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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