Page 430

JOHN E. ROEPKE, member of the firm of Roepke & Meisner, prominent merchants and real-estate dealers in Birnamwood, Shawano county, was born in Newton township, Manitowoc county, Wis., January 16, 1859. His parents were John Roepke and Mary (Schloeter) Roepke, natives of Hanover, Germany, in which place they were married in 1846.

John Roepke came to America in 1847, and settled upon a tract of wild land in Manitowoc county, his wife joining him the following year. They had five children: Anna, Lizzie, Diedrich, Herman and John E. Mr. Roepke soon after his arrival in this country built on his farm a sawmill, which was run by water power, and was the first mill in that section. He operated this some eighteen years, then sold it and bought a saw and grist mill in the same county, dying in 1868 soon after making the latter purchase. He was a well-educated man, popular in his community, and was a stanch Republican.

John E. Roepke, the subject of this sketch, was educated in the common schools and remained at home until he was twenty-five years old, learning the trade of a miller, and working in his father's mill. (After the latter's death the business was carried on by his widow who was a good manager). Mr. Roepke was married June 11, 1884, to Minnie Pleuss and to them have been born three children: Walter, Edna and Otman. Mr. Roepke is the head of the firm of Roepke & Meisner, general merchants and lumbermen who came to Birnamwood in 1884. They also deal largely in real estate, owning some 4,360 acres of pine and farm lands. They bought out a store when they first came to the place, although they had no experience as merchants, and have been remarkably successful in all their enterprises. Mr. Roepke looks after the store, Mr. Meisner attending to the outside business.  Mr. Roepke has a fine residence, and is a man well-to-do in the world. Politically he is a Republican, and although he has held some minor town offices he is too much occupied with his own business to care for office; in religious faith he is a member of the German Lutheran Church, socially he is identified with the Modern Woodmen, in which order he holds office and takes a prominent part. He is a public-spirited man, ever ready to assist in all projects which have for their object the welfare of the town and county.

Back to the Biographies Index Page
Back to the Shawano County Index Page