"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.


Wittman M. D., Adolph R. who for 32 years has been engaged in the general practice of medicine and surgery in Merrill, and who has been identified at various times with other useful activities, notably as an educator was born in Manitowoc, Wis., Feb. 6, 1859, son of Adolph and Anna Christina (HEINEMAN) WITTMAN. The parents, who were born in Germany - the father in 1825 and mother in 1832 - were both remarkable for a variety of talents, and a brief review of their personal history will prove interesting as well as instructive. They came to the United States in 1848, settling in Chicago, where they were married in the following year on November 4. In Germany Adolph WITTMAN had followed the trade of printer and had also been a member of the King's Theatre Company in Berlin. His dramatic tastes and experience led him to present the first German play ever put on the boards in Chicago. This he did in 1848, the year of his arrival in the city, and it was on the night of its first presentation that he became acquainted with the talent of the lady who soon afterwards became his wife. Shortly before the rising of the curtain the lady who had been cast for the leading part was taken ill, to the consternation of the manager and company, and it looked as though a fiasco was inevitable. While all were in a state of extreme agitation, Miss Anna C. HEINEMAN came forward and offered to play the role if Mr. WITTMAN would give her 15 minutes to look over her part for the first act. Having no alternative except to abandon or postpone the presentation, and the audience being already in the house, he embraced the forlorn hope, though with some forebodings, as it seemed as though she were attempting an impossible task. But at the end of the 15 minutes Miss HEINEMAN was ready to go on and the curtain was rung up. It may well be imagined that there was some nervousness on the part of both the manager and of the other members of the company as the performance began; but to the surprise and relief of everyone, she not only spoke the lines correctly but gave a very good presentation of the part. She memorized her part for the other acts in the internals between them, her ability to do this and quick intuition thus saving a very disagreeable situation. Her achievement on this occasion was merely one evidence of her naturally brilliant mind, which was exercised not only in the dramatic field, but in poetry, general literature and scientific research. During her lifetime she published several books of poetry which elicited warm praise from able critics, and at various times she and her husband played leading roles in the standard German plays of Schiller and Goethe. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Adolph WHITTMAN settled on a farm near Manitowoc, Wis., but gave it up after a year and moved into the city. There Mr. WITTMAN worked as clerk in a general store for while, but he was not the man to remain long in a subordinate position, and after awhile, having accomulated some capital, he built a hotel and theatre in Manitowoc, of both of which he was manager for years. He also founded a drug business which he doncuted until 1864, in which year he went into the army, being commissioned captain of Companies I and F., 48th Wisconsin Volunteers. Toward the close of the war he was stationed at a fort in Kansas and had some experience in fighting Indians on the frontier. After his discharge from the army and his return home, he founded a manufacturing business for the making of flour barrels, staves and headings; but in 1874 his factory, with its contents, was burned, and disaster being a serious reverse to him, as he had no insurance on the plant. He then turned his attention to journalism, founding the Manitowoc Post, which he conducted as proprietor and editor for eight years, at the end of which time he sold it to Ex-Lieutenant Governor BAENSCH and retired. The paper is now edited by Walter WITTMAN, the doctor's brother. Adolph WITTMAN, Sr., was for eight years president of the Wisconsin German Press Association. In addition to his other activities, he served eight years as city treasurer of Manitowoc. He and his wife Anna were the parents of ten children, of whom there are five now living: Herman and Walter of Manitowoc; Adolph R., of Merrill; Otillie, now Mrs. John MOELLER of Milwaukee; and Rudolph, who is secretary of the Cream City Brewing Company of Milwaukee. Adolph R. WITTMAN in his boyhood attended the public schools of Manitowoc until 1884. He then entered the University of Wisconsin, and after being a student there for one year, took up school teaching, a profession that he followed for 11 years subsequently, during the last four of which he was principal of the high school at Chilton, Wis. Through his own efforts and without the aid of tutors he gained his "life certificate" for teaching. Having in the meanwhile decided to enter the medical profession, in 1886 he became a student at the Rush Medical College, Chicago, from which institution he was graduated M. D. in 1888. Beginning practice at St. Wendel, Manitowoc County, Wis., he remained there a year and then moved to Kiel in the same county, where he followed his profession until 1891, when he came to Merrill. He was by this time provided with a wife, having been married at Kiel, August 2, 1884, to Helen M., daughter of Charles and Dorothy (JENSEN) HEINS, her parents, natives of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, having been married in this country. Since coming to Merrill Dr. WITTMAN has built up a good practice and made many friends. He served the city nine years as alderman, and was for six years a member of the board of education, serving two years as president of that body, his experience as a teacher rendering him a particularly efficient member. He is a keen and sympathetic student of nature, studying the habits of birds and plants, and is also well versed in Indian lore. His collection of Indian artifacts and other relics numbers over 1,500 specimens and is one of the largest in the state, as well as one of the most interesting. He also has an herbarium of 500 wild plants and a large collection of wild bird specimens. Dr. and Mrs. WITTMAN have been the parents of six children, as follows: Herman, born Sept. 29, 1885, now residing at Superior, Wis.; Thea, born in September, 1887, who died at the age of two years; Gerda, born May 9, 1889, who is a high school teacher in Milwaukee; Arthur, born September 4, 1891, who is principal of the high school at Cavite in the Philippine Islands; Walter, born March 14, 1893, now engaged in the real estate and insurance business in Merrill; and Carl, born Feb. 28, 1897. By enlistment all four sons served 15 months in the World War, though none of them went overseas. Dr. WITTMAN himself was accepted as a member of the Medical Reserve Corps but was not called on for service. He owns a nice modern residence at No. 117 Cottage Street.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 734-735, History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

You are our    [an error occurred while processing this directive]    Visitor --Thanks for Stopping By.

© Copyright: All files on this website are protected by the US Copyright Law, Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, they are not to be copied or altered in any way for commercial use. Individuals may copy the information for their personal use. WIGenWeb Oneida and Vilas County Coordinator Judy Groh.