Bio: Geldernick Family, Howard
Contact: Stan


----Source: Town of Fremont History - 1973

Geldernick Family, Howard

My grandfather, Frank Geldernick, remembered as a horse trader, was born Feb. 21, 1870, in Washington Co., Wis. He was married in 1896 to Elizabeth Coffey and was blessed with three children, James, John and Margaret. Margaret died when 1 1/2 years old. My father, James, born Aug. 31, 1886, in Freedom, Wis., moved with his parents to the town of Fremont, Clark County, Wis. at an early age. He lost his mother in 1905. James and his brother John were sent to the Green Bay Orphanage until he, John, was 14 years old, when he came back to live with his father and work in the woods and sawmills. Feb. 29, 1916, he married Gertrude Croell at St. Stephen's Church, Chili.

They farmed in the vicinity, moving to different places until they bought the home place in 1917, where my brother Willard and family now live.

James and Gertrude were parents of eleven living children, Elizabeth, Francis, William, Howard and Harold (twins), Lorraine, Pauline and James (twins), Richard and Willard (twins), and Robert.

On April 1, 1940, when I was sixteen, my father died. Nov. 11, 1943, I went to work at the Chili Milk Pool, which was managed by Roman Brill. It was hard work. The plant was taking in 9,000 lbs. of milk a day. The boiler was hand fired, and the can washer was hand operated. But, I wanted to buy a new car.

On Sept. 1, 1945, I married the former Bette Jean Gauger from Stratford. In the fall of 1947 we left Chili and went to manage a factory at Marathon, Wis. We lived there only seven months when we decided to come back to Chili. On March 5, 1948, I purchased the Café from Adolph Foemmel. Bette managed it, and I went back to work at the Chili Co-op. On Nov. 1, 1950, I was hired as manager of the factory. Bette got hired to do the bookkeeping, and we leased the Café to Edward and Marion Lindow. 1951 was a very good year. I finally managed to buy that first new car, and on Nov. 9 we were blessed with a daughter, Peggy. After that our family grew. David was born August 4, 1954, Fay Ann, July 15, 1958, and Thomas, March 27, 1960. On Aug. 28, 1971, Peggy married Gerald Marg Jr.

Like my family grew, so did the Chili Co-op. From 9,000 lbs. of milk a day to over 100,000 lbs. a day. From coal and wood, to automatic oil and gas. From patrons sending their milk in cans to bulk tanks. From 70# Cheddar cheese to 500# drums of Cheddar and Colby cheese. The Good Lord willing, may we all continue to prosper.



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