Pg. 933 - 934

HERMAN R. SCHWANKE has for the past several years been a leading miller of Tigerton, Shawano county, where he has resided for about ten years. He was born in 1860, at Ripon, Fond du Lac Co., Wis., son of John and Louisa (Baubultz) Schwanke, both of whom were born in Germany, in which country they married.

John Schwanke was a day laborer in a distillery in Germany, and worked as such for a number of years. He had been a soldier in the German army, and subsequently worked in a distillery until he had money enough together to bring himself and wife to America, whither they came in 1859, locating first in Illinois. They were obliged to remain long enough to get sufficient money to enable them to continue their journey to Wisconsin, and on coming to this State located in Ripon, Fond du Lac county, where Mr. Schwanke was employed as a day laborer for two years. He then rented land and began to farm, following this occupation three years, after which he engaged in brick-making in Winnebago county for two years, and then resumed farming. He bought land in Fond du Lac county when that region was in a primitive condition, and was one of the earliest settlers in that vicinity. Engaging to quite an extent in wheat speculation, he met with gratifying success in that line, becoming known as one of the shrewdest business men in Ripon, and he continued his wheat speculations until 1894, when he retired from the business. His farm of 160 acres was conducted by the members of his family and hired help, and he now, at the age of sixty-two years, makes his. home there. Politically he is a Republican. His wife is now sixty-six years old. They have had six children; as follows: Herman R., the subject of this sketch; Minnie, who became the wife of Jake Letz, a farmer, living near Ripon, and has two children; John, Jr., a farmer at West Rosendale, Fond du Lac Co., Wis., who has a wife and two children; August, married who is engaged in farming in Winnebago county; Gusta, at home with her parents on the farm in Winnebago county; and Henry, who died at the age of two and a half years.

Being the eldest in his father's family Herman R. Schwanke was kept away from school more than the others; and when he was eight years old was following the plow. They had a large farm, and at the age of twelve he received twenty-five cents a day during harvest time to lead men that were getting two dollars and a half a day. He remained at home until others could take his place, and then engaged in the wheat business with his father, but he was very ambitious, and worked at almost anything at which he could make a dollar. When seventeen years of age, being desirous of seeing more of the country, Mr. Schwanke went west and traveled through Iowa, Minnesota, Dakota and Montana. He served on the police force in Omaha and in Council Bluffs for two years, and on his return to his home in Wisconsin engaged in the threshing business, remaining there until 1885, when he came north and located. He had been north previously, in connection with railroad business, cutting out rights of way, etc., but on coming to Tigerton in 1885, he embarked in the lumber business, and was one of a company of four who at a cost of three thousand dollars built a mill there, where a general milling business was conducted. Tigerton was then a vast wilderness, with but a few settlers, and he has not only seen the place built up to what it is today, but has also been instrumental in its development, having taken a prominent part in a number of movements for improvements of the town. The mill was burned out once, and rebuilt at an expense of ten thousand dollars, at present having a capacity 45,000 feet per day, and giving employment, in all, to forty men. Mr. Schwanke owns a half-interest in this concern, and is also interested in two other mills, one at  Whitcomb, Shawano county, and the other near Tigerton, one of which is larger than the mill here. He has been very successful in all business undertakings. In politics he is a Republican, and he has served as a member of the county board. 

In 1892 Herman R. Schwanke was united in marriage with Lizzie Roemer, daughter of Bernard and Catherine (Glickstein) Roemer, people of German descent who located in an early day in Manitowoc county, Wis.; here they died, leaving a family of five children, as follows: Bernard, Mary, Joseph, Anna, and Lizzie (Mrs. Schwanke). Mrs. Schwanke died November 16, 1893, leaving one daughter, Irma L. She was a Catholic in religious faith.

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