Bio: Detruit, Emanuel (Commemorative Bio - 1895)

Poster: Crystal Wendt

Emanuel Detruit

Emanuel Detruit, who came to this country from the beautiful land of the Alps, is now one of the industrious and progressive citizens of Merrill. His birth occurred in Switzerland on the 13th of December, 1827. His mother was called to her final home in 1845, leaving him an orphan.

The education of our subject was received in the common schools of his native land, and at the age of sixteen he entered a banking house as an apprentice, remaining there two years. He then entered the military service of Switzerland during the war of 1847, and became secretary of a brigade of artillery. After the close of the war he joined the artillery as a cadet, being made lieutenant in 1848, and thus served until this removal to America in April, 1850.

On landing in New York City on the 1st day of May, Mr. Dutruit proceeded at once to Illinois, making his first location in the town of Highland, Madison County, where he carried on a general store until 1855. In that year he sold out and came to Wisconsin, making his home in Centralia when that place had only about one hundred inhabitants. There he conducted a boarding house, and also engaged in the manufacture of shingles, but later opened a store in partnership, which business they continued until 1862.  In the fall of that year he met with an accident while out hunting with a party, receiving a gunshot which caused the loss of his left arm. He then gave up the mercantile business, and in November of the same year was elected county treasurer of Wood County, which office held fourteen consecutive years, or until 1876. It is needless to say that his duties were always discharged faithfully, as his long retention in that position indicates that fact. During this period he also spent much time and money in the cultivation of cranberries, doing more to promote that enterprise than almost any other man in the State, but his labor did not meet which success, and on his failure he gave up his entire property, including his homestead to his creditors. On the 1st of July, 1880, he removed to Merrill, entering the employ of the T. B. Scott Lumber Company, where he remained for seven years, giving entire satisfaction. He was elected county treasurer of Lincoln County in November, 1886, and at each successive election was again chosen to fill that office, servicing in all eight years, his last term expiring on January 1, 1895.

On the 11th of June, 1851, Mr. Dutruit married Sophia Mennet, also a native of Switzerland, born in October, 1829. She is one of a large family which came to America the same year as our subject. Her father, Emanuel Mennet, who was a land owner in Switzerland, and receiver-general of his district, died in France. His widow came with her children to America, and now makes her home in Centralia, Wis., and honored and respected old lady. Mr. and Mrs. Dutruit have no children of their own but adopted three, one of whom died when young, while the others are now married and have families of their own.

Mr. Dutruit is a stalwart Democrat, having ever been an active worker in support of the principles of his party. He always proved a popular and efficient officer, giving close attention to the duties of the office, and wins the respect of all with whom he comes in contact, either in a business or social way. He is a Master Mason, being a charter member of the lodge at Merrill, and has belonged to that order since 1858, when he joined at Grand Rapids, Wisconsin.

---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 692-693


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