Bio: Schleh, John (Commemorative Bio - 1895)

Poster: Crystal Wendt

John Schleh

John Schleh The region in the State of Wisconsin, of which Lincoln County forms an interesting portion, has been the scene of many a man’s contact with all kinds of difficulties, and his final triumph over all. Among these there have been persons of various nativities, all alike struggling to acquire a competence, and all developing into excellent citizens, public-spirited and alive to the best interests of the community. In this connection it is a pleasure to here present a brief outline of the life of Mr. John Schleh.

He is a native of Southern Germany, born at Wurteemberg October 16, 1851, a son of Benhart and Elizabeth (Finkbeiner) Schleh, who had a family of eleven children, named, respectively: Elizabeth M., Catherine, Eva, Benhart, Johann F., Christian, Carl, Rosine, Johannes, Caroline and Gottlieb; of whom, Johannes, Caroline and Elizabeth were the only ones to come to America. One of the sons, Johann F., served in the Franco-German war of 1871. The father, who was a dealer in lumber in Germany, was a well educated man and one of prominence holding various offices of trust, and he served as a soldier during the revolutionary movement in Europe of 1848; he died in April, 1880. The mother was called from earth in 1887.

John Schleh, the subject proper of this sketch, received his education at the public schools of his education at the public schools of his native land up to the age of seventeen years (1868), when eh came to the United States, whither he had been preceded by his sister, Elizabeth, in 1857. John resides in Canada one year, working on a farm, then moved to Grand Rapids, Mich., where he was laid up on account of an affection of the eyes until April, 1870, when he came to Wisconsin, locating first at Fond du Lac. Here for a short time he worked in a sash and door factory, then on a farm near that city for about a year, and later in the Wolf River pineries two seasons. In 1874 he was employed in the locating and estimating of pine lands, making arrangements for their purchase, etc., and here it was that he laid the foundation for her profession as surveyor, which, by close study and with the aid of a few books, he succeeded in making himself a thorough mater of. Since then he has followed it consciously with the exception of two summers – 1876, 1877 - when he was working on a farm, and has been so frequently employed by lumber companies, locating lines and estimating timber, that he has become a pronounced expert in the profession; but the weakness of his eyes compels him to restrict his work, and frequently to reluctantly decline lucrative offers. He has invested quite extensively in pine lands, has always one his own logging, and during the winter of 1894 – 95 he was running two camps. In Lincoln County he owns 5,000 acres of pine lands. In 1871 he came to Merrill (at that time called Jennie), Lincoln County, where he has built himself a comfortable and commodious home.

In 1876 Mr. Schleh was married at Fond du Lac to Miss Elizabeth Beauprey, who was born at Omro, Wis., and six children were the result of this union, to wit.: John B. (bookkeeper for a lumber firm at Wausau, Wis.), Rosa Lee D., Elizabeth C., Carl W., and two that died in infancy. The mother of these died in January, 1891, and Mr. Schleh’s sister, Caroline, who came from Germany in 1880, has since kept house for him. Politically our subject is a Democrat, and has declined serving in minor offices to which his friends would often have elected him, but he has filled such positions of trust as county surveyor (from 1882 to 1892), a ten-years’ service), city engineer one term, and city treasurer two terms. Socially his is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen and Son of Hermann; he is district deputy. No one in the county stands higher in the esteem and respect of the community than Mr. Schleh, and no one is more deserving of the exalted social position in which he and his family stand.

---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 806-807


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