Bio: Hankwitz, Ferdinand (Commemorative Bio - 1895)

Poster: Crystal Wendt

Ferdinand Hankwitz

Ferdinand Hankwitz, proprietor of the leading furniture and undertaking establishment in Merrill, Lincoln County, is a native of Prussia, Germany, born July 23, 1847, a grandson of Ferdinand Hankwitz, a nobleman in the Fatherland, who lost all his property during the revolutionary struggle of that period. This Ferdinand had a numerous family of children, the names, however, of only three – Ferdinand, Edward and Carl – being recorded.

Ferdinand Hankwitz, father of our subject, was born in Germany in 1808, and was there married to Dorothy Boscowitz, daughter of well to do farming people, and by her he had nine children, all sons, of whom Carl, Ferdinand, Herman, Emil and Theodore were born in Germany, and are yet living. In 1866 the family, including the parents, came to the United States, settling on a farm in Fond du Lac County, Wis., where the mother died in 1885, the father in 1888; in his native land he was a soldier for some years, but his regular business was that of carpenter and dealer in furniture.  

The subject proper of this sketch received his education at the schools in his native place, and then entered upon a three year’s apprenticeship to the grade of cabinet maker. As will be seen, he was nineteen years old when the family came to the United States, and on his arrival in Wisconsin he at once went to work in C. L. Myer’s sash factory at Fond du Lac, of which, at the end of a year, he was made foreman, and here he worked fourteen years; then was foreman in C. Mihill’s factory one year, and late, until 1883, served in the same capacity in various other factories. In that year he came to Merrill, Lincoln County, to accept the position of foreman in the Merrill Manfg. Co.’s sash factory, but this business closed up in the fall off that year, and he was again thrown on his resources, but found employment through the winter building the Comstock Sawmill. In the spring of 1884 he commenced work in Wright’s factory as foreman, but at the end of a year, in partnership with C. W. Mihill, he rented what is now the Stange sash, door and blind factory, conducting same one year, during which time he gave employment to thirty-five hands. In the spring of 1887 he opened out his present furniture store and undertaking establishment, at the same time manufacturing a good deal of his stock in trade, and he has since met with well merited success. He has just completed one of the largest and best brick blocks in the city.

In 1872 Mr. Hankwitz was married to Miss Mary Dusell, who was born February 27, 1849, in Oswego, N. Y., daughter of Carl and Elizabeth (Fehrer) Dusell, who, when young, came from their native land, Germany, to America with their parents, both locating in the State of New York, where they were married in 1841. From there they came to Wisconsin, settling on a farm at Beaver Dam, in Dodge County, and prospered well, and where the mother died in 1892; in October, 1891, they visited Merrill and celebrated their “golden wedding.” Seven children were born this honored couple, named, respectively: Adam, John, Charles, William, Anna, George and Mary. To Mr. and Mrs. Hankwitz were born four children – Carl, Clara, Mary and Ida – of whom Carl is in the store assisting his father. In politics our subject is a Democrat, and was twice elected to the office of supervisor by the county board. In the spring of 1895 he was nominated for mayor of Merrill, but was defeated by a small majority. Socially, he is a member of the I. O. O. F. and the encampment, Sons of Hermann, and Ancient Order of the Maccabees; in religious faith he and his wife and the family are identified with the German Lutheran Church.

---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 733-734


**This Lincoln Co., WI Internet Library, ALHN & AHGP website is dedicated to the free sharing of information by researchers, local historians, genealogists and educators.  Because of our non-profit status, submissions are not to be used for profiteering of any kind.   Our representatives cannot accept gratuities beyond the basic expenses (i.e. postage, copying, courthouse or rental fees) for obtaining requested information.  We reserve the right to ban the involvement of anyone who intentionally disregards these policies.  Promotion of research services or publications is not permitted on these pages, or by our representatives without the prior endorsement of the site overseers.  If you need professional help, we recommend contacting an accredited genealogist.   Please show your appreciation for this database by Becoming a Lincoln County History Buff.


*** This copyrighted Lincoln Co., Wis. genealogy and history material is used on this nonprofit site with permission of the submitter.  Contact us if you are personally aware of anyone using this submitted data inappropriately.  It may not be copied and posted on any commercial genealogy sites such as Family Tree Maker or the merged companies Ancestry.Com/RootsWeb/MyFamily or sold for personal profit.

Report Broken Links



This page is a part of the Lincoln County, WI Internet Library Project

Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.