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The Story of John and Maria Lemke

by Edna Hathorne
John Lemke
BIRTH:13 May 1843 - Belgard, Pomerania, Prussia
DEATH:03 Aug 1913 - Wausau, Marathon, WI
BURIAL:Aug 1913 - Wausau, Marathon, WI
John was married abt. 1865 in Belgard, Pomerania, Prussia to:

Maria Scherbert
BIRTH:23 May 1845 - Belgard, Pomerania, Prussia
DEATH:20 Sep 1921 - Wausau, Marathon, WI
BURIAL:Sep 1921 - Wausau, Marathon, WI
John A. Lemke who married Maria Charlotte Sherbert, lived in Pomerania, (also known as Belgard), Prussia.  John was born in 1843 and Maria in 1845. They married around 1860? [Updated to 1865].

The John Lemke Tree as published

Children of John and Maria Lemke:

Carl (02 Nov 1866 - 22 Sep 1934)
August (02 Sep 1868 - 30 Jun 1946)
Frederick (25 Feb 1871 - 10 Nov 1950)
Wilhelmine (02 Jan 1873 - 12 Jan 1925)
William (11 Aug 1875 - 06 Oct 1945)
Edward (7 Mar 1877 - 02 Jul 1945)
Henry (10 Oct 1878 - 29 Mar 1956)
Herman (18 Aug 1880 - abt. 1880) [Added. Died young]
Maria (08 Dec 1881 - 05 Nov 1961)
Robert (12 Sep 1883 - 28 Oct 1964)
Albert (2 Sep 1885 - 23 May 1890) [Added. Died young]
Henrietta (02 Oct 1886 - 10 Jul 1962)
Paul (27 Nov 1888 - 22 Aug 1957)
The son of John and Maria, in whom we are most interested, is Carl. He was my grandfather and also the grand or great grand father of many of you. In the family picture, Carl is the fifth from the left in the back row. The others, in birth order, are August, Fred, Minnie, William, Edward, Henry, Marie, Bob, Hattie, and Paul.
Prussia was a section of Germany before WW I. At that time, young men had to go to the Prussian Army for the Franco Prussian war, so John Lemke and family left Germany in 1871 and came to Wausau, Wisconsin. They decided to come to Wausau as a Mr. Kickbush, a merchant from Wausau, had returned to visit at his home in Pomerania and encouraged them to come to Wausau.

When the family came through Chicago in 1871, the city was smoky and smoldering from the big Chicago fire. What was it? Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked the oil lantern over and set the barn on fire starting the big fire!

It is not quite clear where the John Lemkes lived in the first seven or eight years that they were in Wausau, but in 1880, they built the brick house at 626 Kickbusch Street in which Arlene Durand still lives. They had three plots of land of 10, 20 and 40 acres on the east edge of town, probably up on what we call the east hill. (Wausau is in the valley of the Wisconsin River and is enclosed by hills, especially to the east.) They had a barn, pigpen, chicken house, smoke house and also a smaller home on the property at Kickbusch Street. Cows were driven up on the east hill to pasture, and hay and corn were grown to feed the stock. Horses were the only mode of travel so no doubt they had at least one team. The horses would also be used to work the land. Some people had a lighter weight team for driving and a heavier team for work.

There were in all eight boys and three girls in the family. I remember some of them and now have more or less lost contact with them and their children except for Arlene Durand whose mother was Hattie, one of Carl’s sisters.

John and Maria Lemke family picture, probably taken about 1888.
John and Maria Lemke near the end of their lives.
Taken on Kickbush street.