"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.


Ketz, Herman owner of Pine Grove Farm in the town of Washington, Vilas County, was born in Germany, March 27, 1869, son of August and Minnie (BALK) KETZ. The parents were natives of Germany and came from that country to the United States in 1885, settling at Chicago and spending the remainder of their lives there; the father died on Jan. 19, 1897 and the mother on May 27, of the same year. Eight children, of whom four are now living, were born to these parents; the full list is as follows: Herman, subject of this sketch; August, who died in Germany; Carrie, deceased; Minnie, deceased; Gottfried, who is engaged in farming in the town of Washington, Vilas County; Augusta, who died in Cleveland, Ohio; Tillie, now Mrs. PELKE of Cleveland, Ohio; and Rudolph, who is also residing at Cleveland. Herman KETZ received his education in Germany; on first coming to America he worked at farm labor near Bensonville, Ills., for one year, after which he became private coachman for Isaac RUBLE of Chicago. After two years of this work he was for four years with the Anderson Press Brick Co. of Chicago, and he was next in the employ of the Atkinson Car Spring Manufacturing Co. for about two years. After leaving this company he was with the Deering Harvester Co. until 1892, when he entered the employ of the West Chicago Street Car Company, with whom he remained until 1901, driving a horse car at first and later becoming a motorman. In 1901 he went to Niles Center, Ills., where he worked in greenhouses for two years, and he next went to Morton Grove, Ills., where until 1907 he worked in greenhouses and in a pickle factory. He then conducted a retail business for his own account for 10 years, and in 1917 he came to Vilas County. Here he purchased 104 acres of wild land in Section 2, town of Washington, established his home, and proceeded to develop a farm. Ability and hard, persistent effort brought him success in the great task of clearing and improving his property; he now has about 30 acres in tillable condition, and has erected a good set of buildings. He carries on general farming, and intends working more and more into the dairy business. He is one of the solid and reliable citizens of the community, highly thought of by all and has served as treasurer of his town since 1919. He is a stockholder in the Eagle River co-operative creamery, and takes a deep interest in all problems which affect the development of this section of the country. Mr. KETZ was married at Chicago, Ills., Aug. 4, 1894, to Miss Anna PLANEKOVSKE, and Mr. and Mrs. KETZ have had seven children: Elsie, now deceased; Hattie, who is Mrs. Robert KUBENIK of the town of Washington, Vilas County, where her husband is engaged in farming; Edna, now Mrs. John LENZEN of Niles, Ills.; Della who is Mrs. Roy MAYO and is living at home; and William, Ruth, and Arthur, also living at home.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 519; History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others; H.C. Cooper Jr. & Co, 1924

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