"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.


Nibler, Frank a well-known pioneer of Lincoln County, whose farm, carved from the wilderness, is in Section 13, town of Bradley, was born in Bavaria, May 19, 1861, son of Frank and Ida NIBLER. The parents were natives of that country, where both lived and died, having been occupied in farming during their active career. Of their four children, three are now living, Josephine, Henry and Frank, the one deceased being Leopold. Frank NIBLER was reared in Bavaria, where he attended school. Later, as every German youth must, he served several years in the German army. In 1884 he came to the United States, locating first in Milwaukee, where he lived for three years. Then he came to Lincoln County and buying 40 acres of land covered with hardwood timber near Gleason, began to develop it into an agricultural property. He was among the first settlers here and had to deal with primitive conditions, his work during the early years being constant and strenuous. His first task was to make a clearing and build a log house and barn. There were no roads but over an old trail through the woods he hauled shingles on a hand sled for his house and barn, and also proceries from Bloomville, a distance of 11 miles. At one time the family ran out of matches and were obliged to keep fire burning two weeks until he could get to town again. They had no well and had to get their water from a water-hole with a cup and pail. At another time Mr. NIBLER walked to Merrill and back, a distance of 52 miles in one day, in some places wading knee keep in mud, to get a pair of boots, and in place of wagons he had to use crotched poles for hauling purposes. He was the first man to hire a mule team and wagon to paul with, which was a wonderful and unaccustomed sight to his neighbors' children, not one of the neighbors having a wagon and some of the children never having seen one. In spite of hardwhips endured, however, he and his family kept health and needed no doctors. In clearing his land Mr. NIBLER burned the logs of maple and yellow birch to get them out of his way, though in these days he would be able to get a good price for it. The brush was piled up around the house and the deer used to come and feed on it. After living on his farm for 20 years Mr. NIBLER made a trip to Germany to revisit his native land and see such of his old Friends and relations as yet remained alive, and no doubt the story of his experiences found ready and eager listeners. After his return to the United States he spent a winter in North Dakota and then went to the Land of Dreams in Oklahoma, where he remained a year. From there he went to Colorado and in 1906 came back to Lincoln County and bought 160 acres in Section 13, town of Bradley, the place on which he is now living. In some respects it was also like beginning over again, as there were only 10 acres clear and the house on the place was a mere log shanty; but he was now a man of some means and could make faster progress. He soon built a nice frame house of nine rooms, together with barns and other buildings. Up to date he has cleared 50 acres of this farm and has 60 acres under cultivation. He is doing general farming and dairying, keeping a herd of Jersey and Holstein cattle. He also has a fine lake on his place well stocked with fish which furnish many a good meal for his table. For one term he served as clerk of the town of Bradley. Mr. NIBLER was married in Milwaukee in 1885 to Katherine FISHER, daughter of Carl and Anna (BOELER) FISHER. Her parents were natives of Bavaria, Germany, where the father died, Katherine subsequently accompanying her mother to this country, and it was at the home of Mr. and Mrs. NIBLER, her daughter and son-in-law, that Mrs. FISHER died. There were five children in the Fisher family, of whom those now living are Mrs. NIBLER and a step-brother, Jacob SCHMIDTBAUER, son of Mrs. FISHER by her second husband, Anton SCHMIDTBAUER. Mr. and Mrs. NIBLER have had eight children, one of whom, Josephine, is deceased. The living are Margaret, Frances, Rose, Ida, Henry, Benjamin, and Antonia. Margaret is the wife of Jacob SCHMIDTBAUER, Frances the wife of Fred SHORES, and Rose the wife of George COLLINS. The family are members of the Lutheran Church.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 669-670; 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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