Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
MICHAEL HILGERS has been successful
in at least two lines of endeavor as will be noticed in the outline given
below. At the present time, he resides eight miles west from Sprague
where he owns a section of fine wheat land. His residence is a tasty
five-room cottage beautifully surrounded with shade trees. The farm
is supplied with everything needed as barns, windmills, fences, a fine
large orchard and so forth. On the farm adjoining the home place,
Mr. Hilgers also has erected good buildings. He handles some stock
and is a very prosperous man.
Mr. Hilgers was born in Prussia, Germany,
on January 7, 1848 , being the son of John and Gertrude (Gantz) Hilgers,
natives of Germany. The father was an inn keeper and died in Germany
in 1849. The mother came to America in 1851 and her death occurred
in Maine in 1900. Our subject was brought to America when an infant
and received a good common school education in Wisconsin. While very
young, he wrought in the lead mines; then was apprenticed to a blacksmith
and for three years gave his attention to learning that trade. After
that he followed the trade in St. Louis for three years and then returned
to his home in Wisconsin and there married. In 1903, he journeyed
to California but left that country and came to Nevada and wrought at Carson
City for two years. At the end of that time he went back east and
railroaded. In 1885, we find Mr. Hilgers in Spokane in the blacksmith
shop of Pete Sungraft. A year later, he came to Sprague and opened
a shop for himself and for five years was steadily engaged at the forge.
During that time, he homesteaded his present place and made extensive improvements.
He bought other land until he has the amount mentioned above and now is
retired entirely from the blacksmith business and gives attention to farming
in which he has made a good success.
On August 16, 1873, occurred the marriage
of Mr. Hilgers and Miss Matilda W. Sickles. The wedding took place
in Wisconsin. Mrs. Hilgers' parents are Jacob and Elizabeth (Burger)
Sickles. They both died in Wisconsin sometime since. The father
was a native of Alsace, France. To our subject and his wife five
children have been born, Emma, Albert, Jessie, William and Earl V.
Jessie is attending the Northwestern business college in Spokane, and is
very proficient in her studies.
Mr. Hilgers has a very bright and interesting
family and his place is one of the pleasing and promising ones of this
section. He and his wife belong to the Roman Catholic church and
have reared their children in the faith.