"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.


Wecks, William H. a prominent and successful lumberman with headquarters in Racine, and who is also proprietor of the Hereford Farm in Section 8, town of Harrison, Lincoln County, one of the best stock farms in this region, on which grain also is raised, was born in the city of Munster, Westphalia, Germany, April 13, 1880. His parents were William and Antonette (HAUNES) WECKS, the father, now deceased, being at one time superintendent, and later the owner of coal and potash mines. The mother is still living in Germany. There were four children in the family, Eleanor, Josephine, William H. and Antonette, the last mentioned of whom is now dead. William H. WECKS acquired a good education in his native land, attending school and college, and spending one year in a unversity. He then entered the employ of a firm of importers in Munster, with whom he remained for three years and a half. Then he spent one year and a half as a manufacturer of hardwood lumber, but let that business to enter the employ of Flosbach & Co., at Duesseldorf, who were importers of American lumber. At first he held an office position with them, but showing himself capable and trust worthy, he was promoted and sent by them to the United States to inspect their purchases here, which were made from mills in several southern states, including Mississippi, Louisiana, western Texas and Arkansas. While pursuing the work of an inspector he became acquainted with some of the leading lumber firms in the South, and among them the Crosset Lumber Company of Crossett, Ark., perhaps the largest in this country, by whom he was employed in 1906 as assistant sales manager, and he soon became one of their stockholders. In 1909 he made a visit to his native land and home city, being away six months, and after his return, on Oct. 27, the same year, he was united in marriage to Lena, daughter of William A. and Susie LAWSON of Hamburg, Ark. He and his wife began home making in Mendota, Ill., where they remained three years, during which time he was manager of a retail lumber business for J. C. Simpson & Co. of Galesburg, Ill. In the fall of 1912 Mr. WECKS established the Wecks Lumber Co., of Racine, Wis., of which he is now president, and which is doing a large business. It was in the spring of 1920 that he began the development of his present farm, buying 840 acres of wild land on Highland Flats, lying in the towns of King and Harrison, Lincoln County, and equi-distant between Tomahawk and Rhinelander, it being about 12 1/2 miles to either city. The only building then on the tract was a log cabin. Mr. WECKS began improvements at once and since then has carried them on energetically, accomplishing some remarkable results. In 1921 he called his place the Hereford Farm, an appropriate name, as he has stocked it with pure-bred Hereford cattle, having now 100 breeding cows, with four pure-bred sires in the herd. Forty of his cattled are registered animals, and with this latter herd he uses the best of registered bulls. He breeds solely for beef and has a good set of substaintial farm buildings. Nearly all his cleared land is sown to corn and oats. As befits a farm conducted on such modern and extensive lines, he has a very complete equiment of all necessary machinery. In his employ as superintendent and manager of the Hereford Farm is Henry HACKBARTH, who for eight years was herdsman for Adam MILLER of Gleason, and two other families are on the place, the heads of which are in Mr. WECKS' employ. Mr. WECKS personally spends the greater part of his time looking after his lumber interests in Racine, his family living on the farm. He and his wife have three daughters, Elizabeth, Eleanor and Catherine. All are members of the Presbyterian Church at Racine. In politics Mr. WECKS is practically independent, though generally favoring the Republican party.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 732, 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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