LOUIS BERGNER -
One of the most prominent and substantial business men of Pulcifer, Green
Valley township, Shawano county, is Mr. Bergner. He was born in Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt,
Germany, July 2, 1843, and is a son of George and Elizabeth (Machleith)
Bergner, who was born in the afore-mentioned place.
George Bergner was well educated, and when a young man learned
the trade of a mason, which he followed all his life. He came to the United
States in 1868 with his wife and two of their children, the majority of
their family having preceded them. They landed in New York and there located.
About five years later, when sixty-seven years of age, Mr. Bergner died
at the home of his son Louis, who is the subject proper of this sketch.
His wife, who survives him, still resides in New York, at the age of eighty-four.
Their children were as follows: Julia Anna, deceased; wife of Fred Koch,
of Fort Howard, Wis.; Emma, now Mrs. Richard Walter, of New York; Richard,
deceased; Charles, a contractor, residing in Germany; Henry, a dentist,
in New York; Augusta, now Mrs. De Buse, of New York; Louis, and Christian,
a resident of Pulcifer, Wisconsin.
Louis Bergner received a good common-school education, and at
the age of fourteen commenced to learn the trade of a mill-wright. He served
an apprenticeship of three years, worked one year at the trade, and then
started to learn the trade of a miller, at which he worked for four years.
In July, 1866, he sailed from Hamburg for the United States on the steamer
"Germania," and landed in New York after a voyage of fifteen days. He worked
there one year as cabinet maker and carpenter, having acquired considersable
knowledge of both these trades in Germany. In the fall of 1867 he went
to Fort Howard, Brown Co., Wis., and procured work in a sash and door factory,
at which business he continued for nine years.
In the year 1868, Louis Bergner was united in marriage, at Fort
Howard, with Miss Augusta Steuk, who was born in Prussia, August 9, 1847,
and they have had the following named children: Albert, born February
2, 1869, married Annie Krueger, and resides in Pulcifer; Henry, born March
20, 1871, married Mary Hanson, and they reside in Pulcifer; Louisa, born
May 20, 1873, and Hermina, born February 20, 1877, both at home. Miss Augusta
Steuk, now Mrs. Louis Bergcr, came to the United States about 1867. Her
parents, Ardman and Wilhelmina (Geske) Steuk followed her a few years later,
and first settled on Long Island, afterward removing to Fort Howard, Wisconsin.
In 1876 Mr. Bergner removed with his wife and family to Duck
Creek, Brown county, where he worked a gristmill for one year. He then
removed to Bonduel, Shawano county, rented a store there, and put in a
stock of general merchandise. The first year in Bonduel he ran a gristmill,
and his wife attended to the store. At the end of two years he disposed
of his stock, came to Pulcifer, bought his present site on the Oconto
river, and put up a gristmill the same fall which was in 1880. His
family joined him the following spring. In 1882 he built a sawmill
at the side of the gristmill, and in 1883 built a planing-mill. Mr.
Bergner owns and carries on a farm of sixty-eight acres, fifty of which
are cleared. He is a Republican in politics, but has never sought
office. Both he and Mrs. Bergner are members of the German Lutheran
Church. Mr. Bergner began life a poor boy, and was penniless when
he landed in New York. He now has a large and extensive business,
is very popular, and has many friends. He has an able assistant in
his daughter Louisa, who attends to the books and looks after his business