"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.


Wenzel, Wilhelm a notable pioneer of Oneida County who passed away Jan. 4, 1907, was born in Germany, March 1, 1845, and received his education in that country. He subsequently followed farming there until 1881, in which year he came to the United States, proceeding direct from New York to Toledo, Ohio, where for the next four years he was employed in sawmills. He came to Wisconsin in July, 1885, and for two years made his home at Fremont, in Waupaca County; he was next at Oshkosh for a short time, working in a packing house there, and in 1887 he came to Oneida County, where he first stopped at Pratt Junction and was one of the first men employed in the construction of the old Lake Shore & Western Railway north of that place. The following year he took a homestead of 160 acres at Enterprise and on this property he proceeded to establish a permanent home, erecting a small log cabin to serve as a residence until he could hew the logs for a more commodious structure. Here he went through the long, hard struggle of the pioneer in building up a farm from the wilderness. He cut cordwood to sell to the railroad company, and in every other possible way eked out his finances until the farm could be put on a producing basis. As soon as he had a few acres of the land cleared he purchased live stock in proportion, and as the tillable area increased he improved his equipment and herds, and so, through years of toil, a prosperious farm was built up to add to the greatness of the agricultural Northwest. Mr. WENZEL made his home on this farm until his death in 1907. On Nov. 20, 1874, in Germany, he married Amelia LAMPKE, and to this union six children were born, as follows: Emma, who is now Mrs. Fred GROPENGIESER of Rhinelander; Alvina, now Mrs. SMITH of Rhinelander; Amelia, who is Mrs. Louis KELLY of Rhinelander; August, also a resident of Rhinelander; William, now engaged in farming in the town of Pelican; and Fredericka, who is Mrs. Otto KRANTZ of Rhinelander. After the father's death the family lived on the homestead for one year; in 1908 they moved to the farm in the town of Pelican which Mr. WENZEL had purchased in 1902, and this property the sons operated for the mother until 1914, when William assumed charge of it. The property consists of 160 acres in Section 21, equipped with good buildings and having 35 acres cleared, and the son William is now carrying on general farming and dairying there and is building up the farm from year to year. William WENZEL is a prominent member of the community, and served during 1918 as supervisor of his township; he is a worthy successor to the father whose career meant much to the development of Oneida County.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 357-358; History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others; H.C. Cooper Jr. & Co, 1924

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