Bio: Runge, Frederick (Commemorative Bio - 1895)

Poster: Crystal Wendt

Frederick Runge

Frederick Runge, who is now conducting a general store in Merrill, Lincoln County, has for fifteen yeas there made his home, and is numbered among the most progressive business men. He came to this country from Germany, his birth having occurred in Prussia, February 3, 1843, and is a son of Jacob Runge, who was born in the same province April 27, 1881. The latter was one of the family of four children, and the others being John, Christopher and Jane; Christopher died in 1845, at the age of eighteen years.

Jacob Runge, the father of our subject was a shoemaker by trade, and in his native land wedded Charlotte Genrich; by whom he had nine children, as follows: Matilda, Frederick, Charles, Amelia, Gustina, Ferdinandiana, Albert, Welhelmina and Alvina, the latter of whom is now deceased. On leaving the Fatherland of the New World in 1865, the father was accompanied by all his family (with the exception of our subject who was then in the German Army), located in Oshkosh, Wis., where he passed away February 14, 1879; his wife was called to the final home in 1892, while a resident of Merrill.

The subject proper of these lines during his boyhood received the education that was afforded by the common schools of Germany, and as soon as old enough began learning the shoemaker’s trade with his father. In August, 1863, he entered the Prussian Army, serving in the infantry for nearly three years and a half, and participating in the war between Prussia and Austria. His time having expired in December, 1866, he was mustered out, and in the following April, started for America, the sailing vessel on which he embarked occupying more than six weeks in making the voyage across the Atlantic. After landing on the shores of this country he went direct to Oshkosh, Wis., where he worked at his trade until 1873. In that year he removed to Escanaba, Mich., where he was similarly employed for one year, when he returned to Oshkosh and purchased a shoe shop, which, however, was destroyed by fired in 1875. He then emigrated to Missouri, locating in that city of Macon, where he opened another shop, but was again burned out three years later. He immediately resumed business, however, continuing to the same until 1880, when he sold out and retuned to Wisconsin. This time he located in Merrill; where he established a similar line of business and in 1885 added a harness shop. This he carried on until 1894, when on selling out he built his present store building, in which he is carrying a general line of merchandise. He is always pleasant and accommodating, and attends strictly to the wishes of his customers, for which reason he is receiving a liberal patronage.

In Oshkosh, Wis., in November, 1878, Mr. Runge married Miss Anna Puestow, who was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, in 1848, and came to the United States with her mother in 1867. Her father had died in his native land, leaving a widow with six children, namely: Sophia, Anna, Dora, Mary, Charles and Henry; the mother is still living and has now reached the ripe old age of eighty years. To Mr. and Mrs. Runge have been born eleven children, four of whom are now deceased: Paul, Elsie, Oswald and Elizabeth. Those living are Mary, Charles, Anna, Frederick, William, Christine and Gustave; of these Mary, now the wife of Williams Johonas, resides in Merrill. Mr. Runge is entirely a self-made man and deserves much credit for the success he has achieved. On landing in America he had only six dollars in his pocket, and from this small beginning he has steadily worked his way upward until he is now a well to do man, the proprietor of one of the best general stores in Merrill. He and his family are communicants of the German Lutheran Church, while in politics he is independent.

---Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin Counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawano. publ. 1895 by J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago 1110 pages, illustrated; Page 405-406


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