"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.


Thielman, Julius present chairman of the Lincoln County Board and an outstanding figure in the political and commerical history of the county, was born at Watertown, Wis., Sept. 20, 1860, son of Gottfried and Julianna (BAUM) THIELMAN. The parents were natives of Prussia, Germany, the father having been born there in 1829; they were married in that country and came to America in 1852, settling at Watertown, Wis., where Gottfried THIELMAN subsequently followed contracting and building, being in the employ of the C. M. & St. P. Railway for 25 years. The family removed to Merrill from Watertown in 1888 and both parents died in this city. They had 11 children, all of whom were American-born, namely, Alwina, Lizzie, Julius, Emil, Albert, Louis, Robert, Amanda, Helen, Theodore and Mollie. Alwina is married and lives in Chicago; Lizzie is Mrs. Herman SCHMIEL of Merrill; Emil also resides in Merrill; Albert is city electrician of Spokane, Wash.; Louis lives in the town of Harrison, Lincoln County, and is engaged in the mercantile business; Robert is in the mercantile and lumber business at Tomahawk; Amanda is Mrs. John TEELING of Milwaukee; Theodore is engaged in the drug business in Superior, Wis.; Helen and Mollie are deceased, the former having been the wife of Henry HAASE of Nebraska. Julius THIELMAN attended school at Watertown and at the age of 14 commenced to learn the butcher's trade. When 18 years old, in 1878, he went to Grand Rapids (now Wisconsin Rapids), where he followed his trade until the spring of 1881, at which time he came to Merrill and established a market of his own. Being possessed of great capability even as a youth, he speedily achieved an excellent reputation in the business world here and built up an establishment that has been a landmark throughout the progress of Merrill. From the wooden building which first housed his business and which is still standing, he progressed to a brick structure, in 1899, and later on established a branch house in another section of Merrill. He continued in business until the fall of 1922, selling out at that time to the Smith Meat & Grocery Co. While this business may be termed the backbone of his success, Mr. THIELMAN's exceptional ability has led to his being called upon to take part in many diversified interests. In the early days of his residence here he took his part with the pioneers in the lumbering industry, doing logging and lumbering on his own resources. From 1905 to 1907 he was president of the American State Bank, resigning in the latter year because of the pressure of his other business interests. At the same time he was vice president of the Citizens National Bank. He was one of the stockholders of the latter institution and an original stockholder in it as well as in its predecessor, the National Bank of Merrill, from which the Citizens National Bank was rechartered. He was secretary of the Central Manufacturing Co., which was one of the leading enterprises of Merrill previous to 1894, when its plant was destroyed by fire. Perhaps his most remarkable record, however, was achieved in the field of political leadership. His first service on the Lincoln County Board was in 1886; at various times he has been elected chairman of that body and is now serving in that capacity. His last election as chairman was in 1922 after he had declined the nomination and withdrawn his name entirely from the field. He has also served in various other political offices. He was mayor of Merrill for three terms and was also postmaster of the city, and he declined the nomination as congressman for his district. He has always been a Democrat in politics and for three years was chairman of the Democratic County Central Committee. Mr. THIELMAN was married at Grand Rapids (now Wisconsin Rapids) April 20, 1879, to Wilhelmina PLAHMER. Mrs. THIELMAN was born in Germany, daughter of John and Caroline (KNUTT) PLAHMER. Her parents came with their nine children to American in 1870, locating at Grand Rapids, Wis., where the father was engaged in farming for many years. Mr. and Mrs. THIELMAN have had three children: Amanda, born Nov. 15, 1880, who married George W. PURVIS and is now a widow; William, born Jan. 15, 1882, who died Dec. 25, 1911; and Lillian, born Jan. 19, 1895, who is now the wife of Dr. H. E. BODE of Merrill. Amanda became Mrs. PURVIS while a resident of Merrill and lived here for some years subsequent to her marriage. William was married, his wife having been Margaret PASTOR in maiden life, a resident of Green Bay; he left besides his wife one child, a son, Julius, born Sept. 19, 1906, who now make his home with Mr. THIELMAN senior. Mrs. William THIELMAN remarried and is now Mrs. Louis ZIMMERMAN of Green Bay. Mr. THIELMAN is a prominent member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and always finds time to fulfill his many social obligations. A thoroughly able man, his is a success which it is accorded to few to achieve, and not the least of it lies in the universal esteem in which he is held by his fellow citizens and his host of friends throughout the community.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 775-776, 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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