"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.


Nichols, Charles L. proprietor of the flourishing business conducted under the name of Nichols Hardware Co., of Rhinelander, was born in Austria, Nov. 20, 1869, son of Frank and Johanna NICHOLS. The family came to America in 1875, locating at Cleveland, Ohio, where they remained for three or four years. Then they moved to Port Clinton, Ohio, where for two years Frank NICHOLS, the father, operated a stave factory for the Bobs & Busch Co. Afterwards he was employed in a similar manner at Rocky Ridge, and about 1882 they all came to Wisconsin, settling at Antigo, where Frank NICHOLS died in 1917; Mrs. Johanna NICHOLS is also deceased. Their children are: Joseph, now conducting a meat market in Waukegan; Mary, wife of Jacob KALISHER of Antigo; Anna, wife of John WALKIWICK of Antigo; Amelia, who is Mrs. Charles LOCKE of Antigo; and Charles L. of Rhinelander. Charles L. NICHOLS, who was about 12 years old when he came to the United States, attended school for awhile in Antigo. Then he and his brother Joseph engaged in railroad construction work for the "Soo" line when it was built to Rhinelander, and also for the Central Railway near Besmer. In 1885 he gave up railroad work and became clerk in a stationery store in Antigo, remaining in that position two years. In 1887 he became an employe of the J.C. Lewis Hardward Co. in Antigo and so remained for three years, or until 1890, when he came to Rhinelander as clerk for the Lewis Hardware Co. here. After filling that position until 1905, he started his present business, in which he has achieved a decided success. He has a fine large store, well stocked with light and heavy hardware and deals in all kinds of farm machinery. He is also a stockholder in the Rhinelander Telephone Co. and the Oneida Hotel Co., and owns a well improved 80-acre farm, with good buildings in the town of Pelican, two miles from the city, where he makes his home during the summer months. He is a member of the Catholic Church, and belongs also to the Catholic Knights and the local lodge of Eagles. Mr. NICHOLS was first married March 11, 1892, in Rhinelander, to Anna FIALA, who died Oct. 9, 1902, leaving three children, Leon, Harold and Clyde, of whom Leon is now conducting a gagage in Rhinelander; Harold is a salesman for the Shadbolt & Boyd Hardware Co. of Milwaukee; and Clyde, residing in Rhinelander, is salesman for the Marshall Wells Hardware Co. of Duluth. In 1910 Charles L. NICHOLS married Mrs. Frances GARDNER, of which marriage seven children have been born: Charles, Esther, Anna, Paul, Mary, Evelyn and Thomas. Mrs. NICHOLS has also a daughter, Frances, a child of her first marriage, who is now acting as bookkeeper for the Nichols Hardware Co. The Nichols family are well and favorably known and occupy a high social standing in Rhinelander.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 318-319, 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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