Calumet County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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This Information was contributed by: Karen Frank Hull

1839 - 1910

Nicholas Frank was born 12 Jan. 1839 in Losheim, Rhein Province, Prussia. He was the 2nd child of Peter and Anna Pauls Frank. In 1840 his parents emigrated to the United States with Nicholas and his brother Mathias. They arrived in New York June 1840 and settled on an 80-acre farm his parents bought in Mequon, Wisconsin where he grew up. He went to school there and worked on his father's farm.

In July 1855 Nicholas read an article in the Menasha Advocate that the government had opened the land for what is now Calumet County to settlers at .50 cents an acre! They described the land as "some of the finest the sun ever shown upon, embracing all kinds of valuable timber and containing springs of pure sparkling and never failing water." Settlers flocked from as far as Europe by the thousands to buy this wonderful land. In 1859 Nick left home and purchased a large homestead 95 acres in Woodville near St. John.

He worked very hard clearing land for farming and for a house that he later built. He was just 21 at the time. He also sold off cleared timber to meet expenses. On April 20, 1860 Nick married his first wife, Catherine Gavelinger (Born 3-19-1835 - died 1-20-1869) At St Jacob's Church in Mequon, Wisconsin. Catherine was born in Holland. They had four children together all born in Woodville.

1. Peter 1861 - 1861

2. John 1862 (Married Emma Holdorf)

3. Mary Anna (Margaret) 1864 (Married Gus Pflugradt)

4. Anna 1866 (Married Joseph David who later married Theresa Frank)
Catherine died Jan. 20, 1869 and on 29 November 1870 Nick married his second wife, Theresia Kneisel in St. John. Theresia was born in Austria in 1848 and died 27 Sept 1887 in St. John. With Theresia, Nick had five more children.

5. Elizabeth (Lizzie) 1871-1944

6. Ida 1873 (married a. Peter Vandenberg)
b. John Micke
c. Teodore Micke

7. Theresa 1875 (married Joseph David)

8. Wilhelmina (Minnie) 1881 (married Daniel Platte on 17 June 1911)

9. Joseph Francis 1884 - 1948 (married Olga Wolf (1887 - 1980) in June 1909)

With the death of Theresia in Sept 1887, Nick was single for four years until 2 Sept. 1891 when he wed his third wife, Mary Krueger Roemer, at a Justice of the Peace. Mary was supposedly a mail order bride from Germany. When she arrived she had her 3-year-old son Willie with her! Willie was the same age as Joseph. His sisters mostly raised Joseph since the stepmother had her own son as her favorite. Mary returned to Germany in 1910 to visit relatives. Just a few days later, on April 26, 1910 Nick died. The news did not reach Mary until she was in New York or Germany. She apparently never returned to Wisconsin.

Nick had built a beautiful home, barn and silo and ran a very successful farm. He held the position of Assessor for many years and held the office of Justice of the Peace. He had an active part in the up building of the community (especially the building of St John's The Baptist Catholic Church) and opened his home for the first public school in Woodville. He was highly regarded by all who knew him. (See obituary for more details) Nick was buried at Breed Cemetery in Chilton.

Nick was the first of the Frank family to leave Mequon and settle in Calumet County. He was soon followed by his brother Peter, then John, and then their sister Mary (Frank) Bruehl and her husband John Bruehl. They helped one another and ran businesses together, namely the limestone quarry and the blacksmith shop in Sherwood.

This Information was contributed by: Karen Frank Hull

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