"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.


Grill, Vit a retired farmer living in Rhinelander, after an industrious career of 30 years in agriculture, which he begun as a pioneer, was born in German, June 15, 1857, his parents being natives of Bohemia. He was educated in Germany in Catholic schools and at the age of 16 years came to America, locating at Eau Claire, Wis., at which place, or in which vicinity, he was at different times engaged in railroad work and in farming. On August 22, 1888, he was married at Chippewa Falls, Wis., to Pauline RADEL, who was born in Germany, May 19, 1866, and came with an aunt and uncle to this country when 16 years old. In 1890 Mr. GRILL came with his family to Oneida County and bought 40 acres of brush land in that part of the town of Pelican that is now the town of Crescent; it being located on Section 23, Range 8. The situation was sufficiently desolate; there were no roads and he had to cut a trail to his place through the brush. Nor was that the only difficulty he had to encounter at the outset, for while hauling a load of lumber from Rhinelander with which to build his house, he lost the trail and drove into a big swamp, being obliged to leave his wagon and lumber there until the next day, when he could get help. While he and his wife were busy during the day in hard work, trying to get their place into shape and lay the foundations of a comfortable home, they were able to keep cheerful and light-hearted; but when night drew near and evening shadows began to deepen, their spirits were sometimes oppressed by the solitude of the wilderness, the stillness being suddenly broken by the weird hooting of some melancholy owl, or in winter by the dismal howling of the wind accompanying some arctic storm. In those days there were many Indians about who often passed their house, whenever there were a number, going in single file according to Indian custom. These often frightened Mrs. GRILL, though not intentionally, as they never molested the family; but it was a long time before she could get used to them. The first years on the farm were hard ones, but radual progress was made; a frame house was built, and acre by acre, the land was cleared and developed. Then another tract of 80 acres was added to the place and the work of clearing and cultivating went on. They had attained a fair degree of prosperity when they suffered a serious setback in the loss of their barn by fire on Nov. 6, 1913, all they had and straw being also consumed and their machinery ruined. But the fire could not wipe out all the results of their many years' labor, and soon another barn, 36x52 feet, with full basement, was built to replace the old one and others things were restored. After farming until October, 1920, Mr. Grill sold his place and retired, he and his wife coming to Rhinelander, where he bought a residence at No. 415 Conro Street, which they now occupy, comfortably provided for in their declining years as the result of their own energy, frugality and foresight. They have had 12 children, namely-Louis, Alfred, William, Walter, Reynold, Lena, Emma, Clara, Ella, Alvina, Martha and Olga. Three are now deceased and of those living all but one are in Rhinelander. Louis entered the United States army for service in the recent World war, and was one of the great number of victims of influenza, being taken sick on board the boat while on his way overseas and dying before he could be landed. William served in the war in Co. L, 127th Regiment of Voluntry Infantry. Walter is now a member of Co. B, W.N.G., of Rhinelander. Lena is now Mrs. Earl LOGO of Goldboro, Wash.; and Emma the wife of Henry WINQUIST of Rhinelander; Martha and Olga are deceased. The others are residing with their parents. All are members of the Lutheran Church.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 299-300 (with picture), 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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