"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.


Kraft, Gust P. one of the best known resident of Lincoln County, owner of a good farm in the town of Merrill, and who for many years rendered public service in important offices, was born in Germany in 1869, son of Gottlieb and Wilhelmina KRAFT. The father was a farmer and blacksmith, who came with his family to the United States in 1888, locating in Marathon County, Wisconsin, where he started a new home, buying 120 acres of land in the town of Maine. It was a wild tract which needed much labor to be expended on it before it could be rightly called a farm. Gottlieb cleared and improved 50 acres, after which he moved to Merrill, where he died in 1919. He was then a widower, his wife having passed away in 1916. They had nine children, six of whom are now living, namely: Gust, Anna, Emma, Mary, Margaret and Lola. Anna is the wife of George BUTTON of Kentucky; Emma, who married Ernst LEMKE, resides in Spokane; Mary, Margaret and Lola, the last mentioned being married, reside in Chicago. The three who died were Rudolph, Frank and Adelia. Gust P. KRAFT was a youth of 18 when he accompanied his parents to this country. He remained on the home farm for two years, spent one winter working in the woods, and then started logging on his own account, an occupation that he has followed every winter since. In 1913 he bought 80 acres of land in the town of Merrill, to which he has since added until he now has 200 acres. When he bought it, it was all cut-over land with about five acres cleared. At present time he has 135 acres under cultivation and has erected a good set of buildings, including a nice modern frame house of eight rooms, with hot and cold water, sewer, furnace heat, and electric lights operated by his hown plant. His barn measures 36 x 90 feet and is installed with the James equipment, and he has also a good garage, work shop and machine shop. All the buildings are electrically lighted. Mr. KRAFT does general farming and dairying, keeping 25 head of grade Holsteins, with a pure bred sire. He also owns a house in Merrill which is the winter home of his family when he is working in the woods, during which time a hired man takes care of the farm and stock. His public service included six years on the county board as a member from Merrill, during two years of which time he was chairman, and he also served two years as county sheriff. His fraternal affiliations are with the Eagles and Elks. Mr. KRAFT was married April 15, 1896, to Mary KALLAKOWSKY, daughter of Fred and Antonia KALLAKOWSKY, her parents being natives of Germany who came to the United States in 1889, locating in Merrill, Wis., where the father found miscellaneous work for a while and later became a mail carrier. He died in 1910 but his wife is still living in Merrill. Of their ten children five are living: Herman, who is a baker in Milwaukee; Mary; George, engaged in railroad work in the state of Washington; Hattie, wife of George WASHBURN of Stockton, Calif.; and Freda, wife of Fred DETERT of Merrill. The other five died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. KRAFT are the parents of eight children; Margaret, Clara, Harry, Alfred, Ella, Raymond, Marion and LeRoy, and have also an adopted son, Robert. Margaret is now a teacher in Fond du Lac, Wis., and Clara is the wife of Ben THIETZ of Kalamazoo. Mich.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 630-631; 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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