"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.


Habrich, Joseph F. of Eagle River, Vilas County, who for some yars has been prominent in colonization enterprises in this vicinity, especially those in connection with his own race, the Croats, was born in Croatia, Eastern Europe (now a part of Jugo-Slavia) on May 18, 1892. His parents, Joseph and Marie HABRICH, were also natives of that country, the father being a farmer and the operator of the grist-mill for many years, but now retired; and the paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was for many years the only doctor in his village, and is still living, being now 93 years old. At the age of eleven Joseph F. HABRICH was sent to Fiume, Croatia, to attend school, and there he remained until he had reached the age of eighteen. He then resolved to seek his fortune in the United States, and in May, 1910, sailed for this country, landing at New York, April 1. A few days later he continued his westward journey to Chicago and from that city went later to Indiana Harbor, where he found employment with the Portland Cement Co. He was with them but a short time, however, when he received a severe injury, and for six months was confined to a hospital at Gary, Ind. After he got out the company gave him a job as private detective, in which capacity he worked for them three years. By 1914 he had become well known and popular among his countrymen in that vicinity and was elected a delegate to the National Convention of the Croatian League of Illinois held in Chicago, and at the first session of the league was elected assistant secretary of the supreme board, with offices in Chicago. In the following year, 1915, Mr. HABRICH came to Eagle River and entered the employ of the Sanborn Land Co., being placed in charge of the colonization. He remained with that company until 1920, since which year he has been in business for himself. He has brought 100 families of his countrymen to Vilas County, locating them in the Anvil Lake district. They have shown a ready capability of adopting ideas and customs and hold an annual picnic each year. On one of these occasions, held July 3, 1921, Mr. HABRICH delivered a speech, reminding them of their privileges and obligations as American citizens and congratulating them upon having settled in a country of freedom and opportunity, and upon the progress they had made, their regard for law and order, and for their moral behavior, thus gaining the respect of their neighbors of other races. Mr. HABRICH also organized, under the state laws of Wisconsin, the Farmers Welfare Association, of which he is now president. He has made some material progress since he came to this country and owns some improved and cut-over land in Vilas County, and also lake frontage. In 1922 he sold the Flambeau school their camp site on Otter Lake. He is a good linquist, speaking several different languages, which proves an advantage to him in his chosen line of work. Mr. HABRICH was married in Eagle River, June 1, 1918, to Marie SAWYER, daughter of John and Anna SAWYER, who are residents of Wausau, Wis. He and his wife are the parents of three children, Nola, Josephine and Marjorie.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 626-627; 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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