Braun, Anna (Golden Wedding Anniversary--1896)




----Source: Haigh & Braun Family Albums,
**Contributed by Duane Horn:  

Courtesy of Owen Haigh

June 13, 1896

A write-up taken from a German newspaper published in Neillsville, WI and translated by Mrs. Emil Noah, a granddaughter of the happy couple.

Seventeen years ago when Clark County had trails but no roads, a family from Sheboygan County arrived here to face the work and hardships that combine trying to make a home in the wilderness. This family consisted of parents Wilhelm and Anna Thorotea Braun and four sons, Gottfried, Wilhelm, Christian and Friedrich and three daughters, Louisa, Christina and Eva.

They settled in the northwestern part of the county, where the townships of Warner, Hixton and Reesburg meet, about 24 miles from Neillsville where they had bough land. Grandfather Braun and two sons, Gottfried and Wilhelm in the Town of Hixton, Christian in the Town of Warner, and Friedrich in the Town of Reseburg. Though the farms were in three townships, it was only a (cat's leap) minor distance from one to the other.

Through hard work and hardships they finally got the land cleared which became their home, while roads and streets were still but a dream.

No one at this time can imagine how things looked 17 years ago that had not lived and slaved through the work. At present leaving Greenwood, a person would expect the same impassable trails of yesteryears, but no trace of them remains. The streets are nice and wide and as a person turns North towards Hemlock, roads have been built. At Hemlock a high steel bridge somewhat like the one on 5th Street in Neillsville spans the Black River. After crossing this bridge a few farms are seen, but also beautiful hardwood forests. The roadsides are lined with raspberry bushes loaded with luscious fruit. The wonders of this beauty is finally changed when our eyes behold in the distance some clearings.

To the left of the road lies the farm of Frank Horn, a son-in-law of the Grandparents Braun, to the right the farms of Gottfried and Wilhelm Braun with their large barns, houses and gardens. It is a picture a person will never forget. A short distance to the west and south from here lie the farms of Friedrich and Christian Braun and Robert Horn, the latter also a son-in-law of the Grandparents, John Warnke, related to the Brauns, also has a nice farm.

As most of the land in the community was in the hands of the Brauns or relatives of the Brauns, it got the name of "Braun Settlement."

The elderly couple, who on Saturday, 50 years ago were wed, lived in the house of the oldest son, Gottfried.

The paternal love often written about by writers is here portrayed in its fullest extent. Seldom does a person find families that live together as peacefully as the ones in "Braun Settlement." Year in and year out they have been helping each other and the main factors are the aged parents.

It is, therefore, no wonder when it was decided that the Golden Wedding of the parents was to be celebrated in due honor as this also was the first Golden Wedding amongst the German Settlers in Clark County.

Many guests were invited to attend the celebration and many arrived already in the forenoon.

The ceremony was at 2:30 P. M. and began with the singing of choral anthems. The marriage ritual was solemnized by the Rev. John Schmalz, of the Town of Warner. He visualized on the many blessings of the honored couple and they again repeated their marriage vows and their hand clasps to signify the same.

After the ceremony Rev. Schmalz performed the baptismal rites of a grandchild of the honored couple, a child of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Horn. The celebration was very touching and at the closing the grandchildren came and congratulated the couple in verse and song.

It was a wonderful sight to see the honored couple as they were surrounded by their seven children and nineteen grandchildren. Their thankfulness shown in their eyes.

After this the honored couple received their congratulations and opened their gifts received from relatives and guests. During this time the wedding dinner tables were set and the entire attendance settled down to enjoy the food prepared by the many cooks. Everyone enjoyed themselves to the utmost, judging by the time it took them to eat.

Mr. photographer Clement of Neillsville, who was also a guest, had brought his coveted photographic apparatus along. He took several pictures of the entire group and also of the Braun's relation. The photos turned out good and will be cherished mementos of the first Golden Wedding in Clark County.

The guests having satisfied their innerselves and the happy occasion now visited. Some spent the rest of the day playing cards, refreshing themselves with cool beer and extra fine wine. Amongst the men the County Board proceedings was the main topic and many opinions were expressed to keep up the conversation.

After the evening meal, it was good to rest in the shade. The younger generation was anxious for the time of the dance. A person can but wonder at their stamina, because it was 5 o'clock in the morning before the party broke up.

The usual wedding music was also supplied when old saws, tin horns and cowbells were the instruments used. This "orchestra" consisted of some of the young people from the German Settlement in the Town of Warner and they were real respectful as is deemed of well raised boys of German parents.

Many guests started for home at daybreak, some stayed for the next day, finding shelter for the remainder of the night at homes of some of the relatives.

The honored couple were the last to retire. It was a joy to behold how they cared for all, so no one could complain of being bored.

Mr. Wilhelm Braun was born May 11, 1821, in Riecenkeirch, Byirk Marienwerder, West Prussia Germany.

Wilhelm Braun and Anna Thorotea Torsh were married on the 13th of June, 1846. In 1872 they and their family came to America and lived in Sheboygan County until 1879 when they moved to America and lived in Sheboygan County until 1879 when they moved to Clark County.

Blessed and happy they have lived the 50 years in Christian wedlock and look at their children with Joy and Pride, hoping to make their remaining years one of help to all. Many thanks and congratulations follow them in their work and hope is they may spend them in health.

Amongst the guests from as far away as Chicago and Sheboygan and the surrounding area were the following from Neillsville:
Mr. and Mrs. Mable Kapellen, Mr. and Mrs. F. Wolff, Mr. and Mrs. H. Korman, Mr. and Mrs. C. Rabenstein and Mr. F. G. Clement.

Grandfather Braun died September 18, 1915 @ 94 yrs.
Grandmother Braun died December 30, 1897 @ 77 yrs.



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