Bio: Hetzel, Henry C. (Commemorative Bio - 1895)

Poster: Crystal Wendt


Henry C. Hetzel

Henry C. Hetzel, is one of the leading attorneys of Merrill, Lincoln County. In the legal profession, which embraces some of the finest minds of the nation, it is difficult to win a name and place of prominence. May aspire to it, but do not reach it. It commercial life one may start out on a more advance plane than others; he may enter a business already established, and carry it forward, but in the legal profession the ambitious tyro must commence at the beginning and work his way upward. This Mr. Hetzel has done until he is now ranked among the foremost lawyers of this portion of the State.

Our subject was born in Raymond, Racine Co., Wis., August 4, 1856, and is one of a family of eleven children, of whom eight yet survive – David, John, Elizabeth, Mary, Michael, Andrew C., Barbara and Henry C. Those deceased are Jacob, who died in 1892 at the age of fifty years; Amelia, who died when about fifteen; and one deceased in infancy. They were born in Germany, with the exception of Henry C. and one daughter, and nearly all now follow agricultural pursuits; David is a merchant of Racine, and Elizabeth (now Mrs. Lichendeldt) makes her home in the same city, where her husband is engaged in the manufacture of soap. The father of this family, John Hetzel, also a native of Germany here his birth occurred in 1810, was there married to Barbara Schmidt. For a time he served as a soldier in the German Army, and in 1852 brought his family to America, locating in Raymond, Wis. On his arrival here he was in limited circumstances, but by industry and good management he has accumulated a nice property, having now a comfortable competence. He and his wife are still living, making their home in Portage County, whither they removed in 1868.

Henry C. Hetzel, whose name opens this review, remained upon the home farm until he had reached his thirteenth year, when he attended the high school at Racine, taking a three year’s course. He then began the study of law with E. L. Bump, of Wausau, Wis., but in the fall returned home and engaged in teaching for three terms. In the spring of 1874 he entered the law office of E. L. Brown, studying with that gentleman until his admission to the bar in September, 1877. In company with E. P. Perry, he then opened a law office of his own at New London, Waupaca Co., Wis., where he remained until April, 1879. At that time he went to Wausau and became a partner of E. L. Bump, but this connection only continued until the following October, when he removed to Merrill, Lincoln County, where he has since resided. In that city, in 1881, he wedded Sadie Dorn, a native of Pennsylvania, and daughter of John I. and Sarah (House) Dorn, who are the parents of five children: Adela, Gay, Byron, Orin and Sarah. Two children have come to bless the union of Mr. and Mrs. Hetzel: Ralph, who is now (1895) twelve years of age; and Harry, aged five.

In politics our subject is a stalwart Republican, taking an active interest in everything pertaining to his party, and for one year was city attorney of New London, Wis. Since coming to Merrill he has been chairman of the county Republican committee with the exception of two years, and was city attorney two terms; served as postmaster under President Harrison’s administration, and for two years was a member of the school board. He has been a delegate to the State conventions of his party, in which his influence is widely felt, and was elected, in 1886, to the General Assembly, serving in that body for one term. He is very popular in public affairs, always supporting enterprises best calculated to benefit the community. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, holding membership with Merrill Lodge, F. & A. M., and also belongs to the I. O. O. F. Mr. Hetzel now has a lucrative practice, and to some extent deals in real estate.

---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 654-655


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