Bio: Madsen, Christ (1868 - 1964)

Contact: Pat Skubis


----Source: Family Records




The reverse side of this Silhouette of Chris Madsen, indicates it was done at Withee, Wis., Aug. 26, 1917 by Saxtopd Mikkelsen. 

CHRIS MADSEN, president and manager of the Withee Construction Co., one of the most important business enterprises in Clark County, was born in Kolding, Denmark, Feb. 22, 1868, son of Mathias and Anna M. (Hansen) Madsen. The father was a laboring man who died in 1895. In April, 1901, his widow came to America, residing for a short time in Minneapolis, and later coming to Withee, Clark County, where she died in 1914. Chris Madsen came to this country in 1891, locating first in Minneapolis. He was a cabinet-maker by trade and was employed in Minneapolis as car builder for the Twin City Rapid Transit Co., remaining with them for two years. He then went to Pullman, Ill., and was with the Pullman Palace Car Company, constructing Pullman sleeping cars there until 1894, when he went to Sheboygan, Wis., for a short time working for the Winter Lumber Co., making office fixtures. Then he returned to Minneapolis, where he went into the building trade, working as carpenter for several of the largest contractors such as Leighton Brothers and others. While working ten hours a day at this work, Mr. Madsen took the architectural course of the International Correspondence School, of Scranton, Pa., to better qualify himself in construction of buildings, completing this course in 1901.

Mr. Madsen came to Withee the sixth day of May, 1901, and started in business for himself as contractor and builder. In this enterprise he achieved a pronounced success, leading up to the establishment of the Withee Construction Company, which was organized Mar. 13, 1913, for building and construction purposes. The first officers were: Chris Madsen, president Lewis C. Meyer, vice president, and Henry Bartholomay, secretary. The same officers are still serving and there has been no change in stockholders.

 Mr. Madsen, either when alone, or as head of the above mentioned company, has executed contracts for some of the largest churches, schools, depots, libraries, and residences, in Clark and adjoining counties, such as German Lutheran Church, Pittsville, Wood County, 1908, costing $9,000; Soo Line Depot Medford, Tyler County, 1913, costing $6,000; Carnegie Library, Neillsville, Clark County, costing $10,000 Sniteman Ree., 1914 and 1915, costing $10,000 Methodist Church at Colby, Clark County, 1915, costing $6,000; Soo Line Depot and Annex, Stevens Point, Wis., 1917 and 1918, costing $53,000. The Withee Construction are dealers in hollow building tile, Mr. Madsen having been the that tile in Clark County. He is also a stockholder in Withee and Fuel Company and secretary of this company.


In 1907 he was elected assessor of the village of Withee, serving for seven years, and then in 1914 became a member of the county board, on which he served one term. His fraternal affiliations are with the Equitable Fraternal Union, Fraternal Reserve Association, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Danish Brotherhood of America, of which last mentioned order he is secretary.

On Mar. 6, 1904, Mr. Madsen was united in marriage with Caroline Jessen, who was born in Schleswig, Denmark, Mar. 12, 1883, daughter of Ludwig and Caroline Jessen, who came to America with her parents in 1888. The family settled at Pullman, Ill., where Mr. Jessen was employed by the Pullman Palace Car Company moved on a farm with the family in 1894, near Longwood, where he died in 1909. His wife, who survives him, is making her home with Mr. and Mrs. Madsen. The latter have five children: Adaline Vivian, born Nov. 3, 1905 Leonora Elvira, born Sept. 5, 1907 Ethel Theresa, born April 7, 1909 Clarence Ludwig, born Feb. 5, 1911 and Agnes Irene, born Sept. 18, 1913. Mr. Madsen's career up to the present time is a good example of what may be accomplished by industry and intelligence, united with a laudable ambition to rise in the world. Possessing these qualities he has not only advanced his own fortunes in a notable degree, but has benefited the community in which he has made his home, by the establishment of a useful and flourishing industry, which gives employment to a number of men.

Photo of Chris & Caroline (Jessen) Madsen

Madsen Company Constructs the Neillsville Carnegie Library



1900 Federal Census, Northern Hospital for Insane, Winnebago, Wisconsin


Name: Christ Madsen
Birth date: May 1868
Birthplace: Denmark
Father's birthplace: Denmark
Mother's birthplace: Denmark
Race or color (expanded): White
Head-of-household name:
Gender: Male
Marital status: Single
Immigration year: 1891
Enumeration district: 0164
page: 2
sheet letter: A


1905 Wisconsin State Census, Withee, Clark, Wisconsin


Name: Christ Madsen
Age: 37y
Estimated birth year: Abt 1868
Birthplace: Denmark
Race: White
Gender: Male
Marital status: Married
Place of birth: parent 1: Denmark
Place of birth: parent 2: Denmark
Family number: 31
Page number: 575
Line number: 13
Household Members
Head: Christ Madsen M 37y
Spouse: Caroline Madsen F 22y


1910 Federal Census, Withee, Clark, Wisconsin


Name: Christ Madsen
Birthplace: Denmark
Marital status: Married
Race : White
Gender: Male
Immigration year: 1891
Father's birthplace: Denmark
Mother's birthplace: Denmark
Family number: 91
Page number: 4
Household Gender Age
Head: Christ Madsen M 42y
Spouse Caroline Madsen F 27y
Child Adaline Madsen F 4y
Child Leonora Madsen F 2y
Child Ethel Madsen F 1y

Wisconsin Death Record


Name: Christian Madsen
Death date: 12 Jun 1964
Residence: , Wisconsin
Gender: Male
age: 96
certificate number: 022609



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