Bio: Happe Family, William R. (Born 1859)

Contact: Stan


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

Happe Family, William R. (Born 1859)

William R. Happe, the son of Carl and Mary (Hill) Happe, was born in Cooperstown, Wis., on March 20, 1859.

In 1873 the Carl Happe family moved to Lomira, Dodge Co., Wis., to an improved 120-acre farm.

William attended a log school house in his district, Mayville High school, and for a time Oshkosh Normal after he taught school one winter.

Following the lengthy visit with relatives in New York State, he returned to Wisconsin to teach school for eight winters and to farm in the summers. He gave up teaching to devote all of his time to farming.

On Nov. 16, 1887, he married Lydia Messner, who was born in Lomira on May 25, 1862, to John and Barbara (Bitzer) Messner.

Four children were born to the couple: Alma, Irene (Mrs. Albert Lindow), William Jr., and Elda, all now living in Chili.

William bought a 60-acre farm four miles northwest of Chili. There being no house on the property, he had one built before the Happe family moved to their new home late in the fall of 1900. He rebuilt and enlarge the barn and later added a large granary and machine shed and other buildings. In time he added 80 acres to the original plot.

He contracted for considerable unlogged timberland a half-mile west of his farm from the Starr Lumber co. After the company completed its logging activities, he acquired the title to his land and started having it cleared for cultivation. In time he and his son built a large dairy barn, a modern frame house, and a machine shed on the 240-acre farm to which his son moved after his marriage.

Both father and son engaged in farming, specializing in dairying.

William had various outside interests. He was the secretary for the Lynn Telephone Co. for Clark County, the local secretary and treasurer of the Chili Equity Stock and Shipping Association, secretary-treasurer of the Riverside Cheese Factory, clerk of the Town of Fremont, Clark County, Wis. for 14 years, and treasurer of the town for a number of years.

The Happe family are members of the Chili Immanuel United Methodist Church (formerly the E.U.B. Church), in which they have been active throughout the years.

Mr. and Mrs. Happe retired from farming in 1930 and moved to Chili fo a home they built there.

His death occurred on Aug. 15, 1944, and his wife died on Sept. 26, 1947.



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