Bio: Plisch, Robert (1845 – 19??)
Surnames: Plisch, Grosse, Schroeder, Mathurig, Zilsdorff, Kukfahl, Rollenhagen, Zastrow, Newman, Brantd, Riechel, Radloff
---Source: History of Marathon County Wisconsin and Representative Citizens, by Louis Marchetti, 1913.
Plisch, Robert (7 April 1845 – 19??)
ROBERT PLISCH who was born in Prussia, April 7, 1845, came with his parents to America in 1856 and to Marathon County, through many hardships, in the same year, and there are few men better known or more highly respected in this section. His valuable farm of 160 acres is situated in section 29, town of Berlin, his residence being nine miles north and east of Marathon City. His parents were Gottleib and Caroline (Grosse) Plisch, who left their native land with their children and came to the United States, taking passage on the ship Delmach, commanded by Captain Schroeder. Although many hundreds of individuals crossed the Atlantic ocean at that time, the usual carrying vessels were not fitted up for human beings as well as are the cattle ships of the present day and what the voyagers endured during the ten long weeks of the voyage would take many pages to tell. After finally landing in the harbor of New York, they were able to secure conveyance to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, but still were far from their eighty acres of government land which was situated in section 32, town of Berlin, Marathon County.
In their own land Mr. and Mrs. Plisch, had been accustomed to comfort and were prepared for lack of luxury but it is doubtful if they ever imagined the hardships they would have to endure in the pioneering which they had undertaken. As there were no conveyances to be secured the parents and the children had to walk, not along the fine highways that is now provided in every direction, but through a pathless tract of timber and six weeks was required to cut a road.
At first they made cakes of flour and water but the flour gave out and for two days parents and children kept alive on bass wood leaves and an occasional berry. Fortunately the first winter proved mild as their house was one of Indian style, made of boughs and poles and covered only with leaves. Gottleib Plisch was a well educated man and immediately began to agitate the starting of schools and for several years taught school in Marathon County and may, possibly, have been the first county superintendent of schools, and was chairman of the town of Berlin when its territory reached to Lake Superior. He lived into his eighty-third year, his wife passing away in her seventy-sixth year and their burial was in the Lutheran cemetery one mile east of their son's farm. The following children were born in Europe: Emelia, Oswald, Robert, Bertha, Mary, Paulina and Emma, while two more, Eda and Albert, were born in Marathon County.
Under such conditions as above indicated, Robert Plisch, spent his early years in Wisconsin. The first school he attended was at Fond du Lac and the next one was in a cabin in which three families lived. In the morning the beds occupied were piled in a corner so that school sessions could go on and at night the cabin became again the sleeping place of the families. The benches were made of rough bass logs and a half window admitted light. Afterward Mr. Plisch worked in saw mill and on farm, teaching school during the winter season, probably about twelve terms. His first land purchase was in the town of Stettin, which he subsequently traded for his present farm which was then owned by his parents, this has been almost entirely improved by Mr. Plisch. He makes a specialty of growing thoroughbred Holstein cattle.
On April 14, 1872, Mr. Plisch was married to Miss Augusta Mathurig who was born in Europe and after coming to the United States lived for five years in Ohio prior to coming to Wisconsin. The following children have been born to them: Albert, who lives at Hamburg; Bertha, who is the wife of Adolf Zilsdorff, of Swift County, Minnesota; Emma,, who is the wife of Henry Kukfahl, of Pine River; Eda, who is the wife of William Rollenhagen, of Sunset, Marathon County; Lena, who is the wife of Edward Zastrow, of Stettin; Anna, who is the wife of Edward Newman, of Hamburg; Mary, who is the wife of Edward Brantd of Hamburg; Minna, who is the wife of Paul Riechel, of Wausau; Clara, who is the wife of William Radloff; and Lydia, Ernest and Walter are at home.
Ever since attaining his majority Mr. Plisch has been a Democrat and served six years as chairman of the Town of Berlin, and was honored by his party and fellow citizens of the First District of Marathon County by election to the General Assembly, in which he served with credit in 1895-6, being a member of several important committees. He filled various township and district offices, was deputy sheriff during 1893-1894, and was employed in the legislature in 1893. He has served also acceptably as president of the Marathon County Agricultural Society, is a member of the Berlin Insurance Company, and for the past forty years has belonged to Wausau Lodge No. 215 Odd Fellows.
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