"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.


Foelkner, Phillip prominent farmer in the town of Arbor Vitae Vilas County, was born in Germany Oct. 17, 1870, son of Mr. and Mrs. Philip FOELKNER. The parents were natives of Germany; the mother died in that country in 1874, leaving four children, as follows: William, now living at Aberdeen, Wash.; Mary, also of Aberdeen, the wife of Ed. TRUDO; Phillip, subject of this sketch; and Christ, who resides in Oregon. The father came to the United States with these children in 1875, settling at Hartford, in Washington County, Wis. After two years at that place he removed to Allenton, in the same county, where he resided for the following 14 years. He next worked in the stave factory of Ripling and Christman at Hewitt, Wis., in Wood County, and later went to Harrison, Lincoln County, following the lumber industry at the latter place for about two years. In 1895 he came to Arbor Vitae and here worked for the Ross Lumber Co. until he met death through an accident in their mill in November of 1897. Phillip FOELKNER received his education in the schools of Hartford and Allenton, and subsequently worked with his father in the stave factory at Hewitt and in the mill at Arbor Vitae, remaining in the latter connection until 1900, when he purchased 80 acres of cutover land in Section 34 of Arbot Vitae Township. He later bought an additional 40-acre tract in order to have access to a good road and to make school facilities more easily available for his children. Out of this property, by dint of courageous and incessant toil, Mr. FOELKNER has built up a fine farm. As soon as he was able he replaced the log cabin which was on the land when he purchased it and which served as his first residence, with a more suitable dwelling, and from time to time he has added other buildings. In 1902 he erected a good eight-room house, and in 1908 he built a fine barn, furnished throughout with modern barn equipment. He has cleared 100 acres of land, and the entire development is a splendid achievement, the fruit of a long, hard struggle. Mr. FOELKNER raises a large acreage of potatoes each year; he carries on general farming and dairying, having gone into the latter branch in 1914; he now possesses a fine herd of Holstein and Guernsey cattle with a pure-bred Guernsey sire at the head, and he operates a milk route by means of which he disposes of all the product of his herd in the village of Minocqua. He occupies a place of great prominence in the community and has often been called upon to serve in publi office; he was assessor of Arbor Vitae township for two years and served for nine years on the school board as clerk and director; for six years he was a member of the Vilas County Agricultural Committee. Mr. FOELKNER was married at Tomahawk, Wis., Aug. 18, 1895, to Theresa BAYER, who was born in Germany Jan. 5, 1878, daughter of George and Theresa (SNYDER) BAYER. Mrs. FOELKNER'S parents came to America in 1893 and after living for two years at Harrison, Wis., settling at Arbor Vitae, spending the remainder of their lives here; Mrs. BAYER died Dec. 13, 1897, and Mr. BAYER March 2, 1912. Mr. and Mrs. FOELKNER have eight children: Christ, Phillip, Jr., Ernest, Ruth, Lila, Arthur, Susan, and Robert. Christ is now employed in the Wisconsin state fish hatchery; Phillip in living at Eau Clair, Wis.; Ernest is in the United States Navy, with headquarters in Constantinople for the past 2 years; the other children are living at home. The family are members of the Catholic Church and are very highly respected members of the community in the development of which Mr. FOELKNER has taken so useful a part.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 536-537, 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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