"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.


Heineman, Sigmund whose gigantic lumber operations here during his lifetime earned him the appelation of "the lumber king of the Wisconsin Valley", and whose name is closely interwoven with the history of the industrial development of the city of Merrill, was born in Germany Oct. 8, 1852, son of Samuel and Yetta HEINEMAN. He acquired a common-school education in Germany, and having heard of the wonderful business opportunities to be found in America he decided at the age of 18 years to seek his fortune here. Landing in New York in 1871 he came west at once and settled first near Appleton, Wis., where he found employment in a general store. Even at that early age he was typical of the great leaders who have made the West; he dreamed of success far beyond the lot of the ordinary man; dreamed of it not vaguely or as a hope, but as an actuality toward which his every faculty must be strained, a concrete thing which he was called upon to bring about. Toward this fulfillment the first step was acquisition of sufficient capital to enable him to launch forth, and accordingly he cast aside all thoughts of pleasure and easy times, and carefully saved his earnings. In 1880 he was ready to take the second step. Coming to Merrill, which was then the village of Jenny and was without railroad facilities, he opened a small general store. The field of his enterprise proved a well-chosen one; the following year the coming of the Wisconsin Valley division of the C. M. & St. P. Railroad started a great development of the little village, the name of which was changed to Merrill in the same year. Taking full advantage of this development, Mr. HEINEMAN soon made his store one of the leading business houses of Merrill. In 1890, wider interests calling him as the fulfillment of his dream of success unfolded, he sold his store to David LIVINGSTON. Then began the period of his most striking success. In 1892 he was a prime mover in the organization of the National Bank of Merrill, and he was president of this institution during its entire life and of its successor, the Citizens National Bank from 1912, when the latter was organized because of the expiration of the charter of the National Bank of Merrill, until his death, Nov. 26, 1913. Mr. HEINEMAN'S association with the lumber business, in which perhaps his most striking success was achieved, began in 1893, when he formed a partnerhip with George E. FOSTER. From that time until his death he was closely connected with the lumber industry, and the story of his operations, especially in his connections as organizer and president of the Heineman Lumber Co., will always be a part of the history of the lumbering period of the Northwest. In addition to the enterprises mentioned above, Mr. HEINEMAN was president of the Wisconsin Dairy Land Company, a corporation maintaining offices in Chicago and Merrill and selling farm lands throughout Wisconsin but principally in Lincoln and Langlade counties; he was an officer and director in the Hemlock Lumber Co., the Hardwood Land Co., the Evansville Sash and Door Co., and the Land & Loan Co. Three brothers, Benjamin, Solomon, and Nathan were also prominently in the business life of this section. On June 1, 1879, Mr. HEINEMAN married Miss Tena STRASSER of Appleton, Wis., and to this union four children were born, Harry H., Estelle, Edgar E., and Mae. While Mr. HEINEMAN's extensive business interests drew heavily upon his time and energies, yet he was always interested in all movements for the betterment of the public welfare of the city and community in which he resided. He was a popular member of the local lodges of Masons, I. O. O. F., and the Elks. Though but 61 years of age to the time of his death, he had accomplished by his superlative qualities of energy and character a success in which the splendid dream of his youth was completely fulfilled. His name and his achievements remain to do him lasting honor.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 616-617; 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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