Third generation, second child of Wilhelm and Hermine Tornow

William TORNOW

BIRTH: 18 September, 1886 – Town of Bear Creek, Waupaca Co., WI
DEATH: 11 November 1955
BURIAL: Appleton, Wisconsin

William was married on 8 December 1908 to:


BIRTH: 11 February 1890 – Belle Plain, Shawano Co., WI
DEATH: 31 July 1960
BURIAL: Appleton, Wisconsin

Children of William and Lydia Tornow:


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Norma, Wilma, Julius
contributed by Gertrude (Tornow) Sager
William Tornow was born on September 19, 1886 in the Town of Bear Creek, south of Clintonville, Wisconsin on CTH O.  He spoke German at home and when he started school, had to learn to speak English, plus his school work. He completed 8th grade and worked on the family farm.  He was handy at carpentry and mechanics.

He met Lydia Kruse through Max and Alma Tornow and they were married on December 8, 1908.  They went to their wedding in a horse and buggy. The weather was like a perfect summer day.  They moved to Hatley, Wisconsin, where Julius, Wilbert and Gertrude were born.  They were at the fair, when World War I was declared. All the men were rounded up and put in a bull pen.  Bill was released, because he had three children and the farm.  They moved to a farm in the town of Norrie, after the war, where he built his own house. They sold the farm and moved to a farm five miles west of Shawano in the early 1920's, and lived there until a terrible hail storm destroyed all the crops.  They then moved to Montello, where he was foreman on a truck gardening farm – J R Williams. He became tired of working for someone else. They moved to Weyauwega in 1930 and bought a 50 acre farm. They built a filling station, roadside market, restaurant and cabins to rent overnight.

They had the only 24-hour gas station between Milwaukee and Stevens Point. When prohibition was repealed, part of the restaurant was converted into a tavern.  They drove to Stevens Point and were the first in line to buy half barrels of beer from the Stevens Point Brewery.  The following spring, a 100' open beer garden was built and a fountain was dug in front of the tavern.  Bait was sold 24 hours a day, as this was the main stop between the fisherman's home and Fremont.  In 1934, they rented Gil Myse's tavern on College Avenue in Appleton, and ran both places until 1940, when they sold the place in Weyauwega.  In 1943, part of the family moved to Appleton, as some had already married and left home.  They purchased a tavern on Walnut Street, and after a short time bought property on the corner of Memorial Drive and Foster Street.  They first built a custard stand and then a roadside market.  Fourteen additions were added and it became a wholesale and retail supermarket.  The family operated the business, until 1965 when it was sold to the State for a freeway that never developed.

Bill had prostate problems and developed pneumonia before surgery could be done. He passed away on November 11, 1955.

Logging: 1914
Lydia, Bill, Julius
Farming: 1915
Julius, Bill