by Joyce Huntington

Third generation, sixth child of Wilhelm and Hermine Tornow

David Tornow
BIRTH:06 Apr 1896 - Bear Creek, Waupaca, WI
DEATH:17 Nov 1961 - Wausau, Marathon, WI
BURIAL:Nov 1961 - Wausau, Marathon, WI

David was married 10 Jun 1924 to:

Olive Weinegarden
BIRTH:02 Jun 1899 - Waupaca County, WI, USA
DEATH:25 May 1946 - Wausau, WI, USA
BURIAL:May 1946 - Wausau, Marathon, WI

Children of David and Olive Tornow:

Dorvin(27 May 1926 - 01 Jul 1957)
Kenneth(28 Jan 1930 - 15 Oct 2008)
Truman(1 Nov 1931 - 07 Jan 2007)
Ardyce(17 Jul 1933 - 16 Nov 2013)
Arlene(14 Oct 1935 - 20 Nov 1937)

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Written by Joyce (Tornow) Huntington
from things told to her by her parents and relatives,
and her own memories.

David Tornow was born on April 6, 1896 in the township 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 then worked on the family farm. He developed stomach ulcers at the age of fourteen, and spent time in the hospital, existing on milk and cream. 

Dave met Olive (Ollie) Winegarden when she came to apply for a teaching job in his district (he was Town Clerk at the time). He courted her for five years and they were married on June 10, 1924 at the home of her parents in Waupaca, Wisconsin. Prior to their marriage, he took a course in landscaping at Madison, Wisconsin and did the original landscaping for the new Four-Wheel Drive plant in Clintonville.

He and Ollie lived in Clintonville for a few years. Dorvin (1926) and Joyce (1928) were born there. They then moved to the township of Plover, on CTH Y, where he worked for his brother Alfred for awhile. Kenneth was born there in 1930. He also sold McNess products and was a state dairy farm milk inspector. After living in homes in the township of Easton on CTH N, where Truman (1931), Ardyce (1933) and Arlene (1935) were born, he and Ollie purchased a farm near Wausau in the township of Rib Mountain and moved there in April 1937. He was employed at Marathon Rubber Plant in Wausau.

On November 1, 1937, Dorvin contracted Scarlet Fever. As it was contagious, Joyce and Kenneth were also removed from Trinity Lutheran School and a quarantine sign put on the house. All the children became ill with Scarlet Fever, Truman having to be hospitalized for a time. On November 25, 1937, Arlene passed away at home, succumbing to Scarlet Fever and double Pneumonia. On March 1, 1938, Dorvin, Kenneth and Joyce were allowed to return to school and they passed their grades. David was let go of his job at Marathon Rubber, because of the quarantine. He became a truck farmer (with a few cattle, horses, pigs and chickens), worked as a foreman on the WPA government project for a time and then was hired by the Marathon Corporation in Rothschild. He was employed there until his retirement in 1958. Dorothy (1938) and Inez (1942) were born here. He also served as Clerk of the town of Rib Mountain in the 1940’s.

Dave and Ollie grew and sold produce to grocery stores in Wausau, and to the pickle and bean factories. At one time, they had seven acres of beans growing. In 1945, Ollie developed breast cancer and passed away on May 25, 1946.

They have often talked of building a small grocery store on one corner of their property some time in the future. In 1947, Dave and his children built a small grocery store and locker plant on the corner of what is now Rib Mountain Drive and Robin Lane. He sold the farm buildings and some of the land. Some of the remaining land was plotted and sold for building sites. The store was added on to over the years.

In 1951, he purchased the large house across the street from the store and moved his living quarters over there. In 1952, he sold the store to his three sons, Dorvin, Kenneth and Truman. Dorvin passed away suddenly on July 1, 1957, while at work at the store and Dave had a mild stroke a month later. He recovered and retired in April 1958. He helped out at the store, after retirement, was active at the church, becoming president of the congregation for a time, and enjoyed fishing. He had a beautiful voice and loved to sing. Many times, as children and later as adults, the family would gather around the piano for sing-a-longs. 

Dave had health problems and on November 4, 1961 suffered a major heart attack. He passed away on November 17, 1961. 

Dave loved the following poem, and tried to pattern his life after it:

Let me live in my house by the side of the road –
It’s here the race of men go by.
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish -so am I;

Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat
Or hurl the cynics ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

– Sam Walter Foss

Select (click) items in the following collage to scroll to:

David on piano.  Rudy on violin.
David as a Young Man
University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1923
David is the last person on the right.

With cousins and Grandma Tornow, 1938

David Tornow, about 60

Last update: April 19, 2022