"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.


Sorenson, John C. was born at Sturgeon Bay, Door County, Wis., June 26, 1866, son of John E. and Elizabeth (STEPHAN) SORENSON. The father was a native of Denmark and the mother of Hassen-Darmstadt, Germany. After coming to the United States when young people, they were married in Wisconsin and settled at Sturgeon Bay, being among the early settlers there, and until 1881 the father, John E. SORENSON, followed farming there, after which he retired. In his younger days he had a somewhat extensive military experience, having served as a cavalry-man in the Danish army in the war of 1840 between Denmark and Prussia; and after coming to America he became a private in the 21st Regiment Wis. Vol. Inf., and as such took part in the Civil War, his regiment being attached to the army of General SHERMAN. He was thoroughly attached to the country of his adoption, a good soldier in war and a good citizen in peace. Both he and his wife are now deceased. John C. SORENSON was given a public school education, and remained at home residing with his parents until he was 18 years old. He then served an apprenticeship to the wagon-maker's trade, though he never followed it, but instead took up millwright work, at first on grist mills and later in connection with sawmills, helping to build the large sawmill of the Cook & Vandervene Lumber Co. of Sturgeon Bay. In the spring of 1889 he came to Rhinelander and helped to build the sawmill of the Rhinelander Lumber Co., and after that he followed mill work and was a contracting millwright in various places, such as the Robbins Lumber Co. of Rhinelander; the Wood Lumber Co., of Woodboro, Oneida County, and others in various parts of the state. He also operated mills. In 1913, when the Rhinelander Box & Lumber Co. was started, Mr. SORENSON built the box factory and remodeled the sawmill, and he later became superintendent for the company. He has a patent of his own on friction set-works on horizontal resaw; this contrivance he manufacturers in Rhinelander and sells and installs them. He also owns a tract of 1200 acres of land in the town of Newbold, Oneida County, 50 acres of which are under the plow. At Sturgeon Bay, in the Fourth Ward, he has a small orchard, four acres of which are set out in cherry trees, and he supplies the merchants of Rhinelander with cherries in the season, from which fact he is sometimes called the "Sturgeon Bay Cherry Man." His varieties of this favorite fruit are known respectively as "Early Richmond" and "Montana." Mr. SORENSON is a stockholder in and member of the Door County Fruit Growers Union of Sturgeon Bay. He is fraternally affiliated with the Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen, Elks and Equitable Fraternal Union. On March 22, 1889, Mr. SORENSON was married to Alice BATCHELDER of Sturgeon Bay, Door County, and he and his wife are the parents of five children, all of whom have made a good start in life. These are as follows: Ray, who was graduated from the Rhinelander High School and Ripon College, then took short courses at the Stout Institute and the University of Wisconsin. After being graduated from Ripon College he was manual training teacher for a while in Rhinelander before taking the additional courses mentioned, and subsequently resumed that kind of work, being now teacher in the manual training and vocational department of the Merrill High School. Leslie J., also a graduate of the Rhinelander High School, was a student two years at Wisconsin State University and is now employed in the Street Bureau of the city of Chicago. Esther was graduated from the local high school and from the Oshkosh State Normal School. Floy, with the same school record, is now doing X-ray and office work in the offices of Dr. C. D. PACKARD of Rhinelander. Arthur D., having also been graduated from the Rhinelander High School, is a student at Marquette University, Milwaukee, where he is studying law. Mr. SORENSON and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 700-701; 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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