Bio: Stahl, Frank (1923)

Contact: Stan.

Surnames: Stahl, Caspar, Thomas, Perkins, Webb, Kuntz, Bruderli, Scheibe, Rice, Schmeling, Morse, Burt, Abel, Whitrock

----Source: History of Wood County, Wis. (1923) pages 309-311

Frank Stahl, an ex-sheriff and ex-treasurer of Wood County and a resident of Wis. Rapids, is one of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of the county. He was born at St. Nazianz, Manitowoc County, Wis., Nov. 30, 1857, son of Joseph and Walburga Stahl, and resided there until he was 15 years of age. During that time he attended St. George's Catholic School, and after finishing there he went to Milwaukee and entered St. Francis College, where he studied for two years. He then returned home and taught in the German Catholic School at Steinthal, a small town near Nazianz. In 1879 Mr. Stahl went to Marshfield and bought a tract of land located four miles east of that city. He cleared the land and built a small home. The entire surrounding country was then a dense forest inhabited by wolves, bears and other wild animals. Mr. Stahl had no shades for the windows, and on arising one morning saw 16 wild deer within 100 feet of the house. When they caught sight of him they looked him over and ran away. While teaching in Steinthal Mr. Stahl boarded at the home of Christian Caspar and family, which included a charming daughter, Elizabeth, whom the young school teacher wooed and won. In October, 1880, she became his bride and returned with him to his farm near Marshfield where they resided for six years. In 1886 Mr. Stahl was elected a delegate to the Wood County Democratic Convention, which was held in Grand Rapids (now Wis. Rapids) and returned home a candidate for sheriff to which office he was elected in the following November. In the latter part of December he moved his family to the sheriff's apartments in the basement of the court house. Mr. Stahl appointed Nic Thomas as under-sheriff. Business at the court house was not so brisk in those days as it is now, and the officials, most of them at least, had plenty of spare time on their hands. It was no uncommon thing in summer to see them playing croquet on the court house grounds, while in winter they would congregate in one of the offices and tell thrilling stories and experiences of bygone days. At one time, while Mr. Stahl was sheriff, among the prisoners awaiting trial in the jail was one who was too stubborn to feed himself, and Nic Thomas was assigned the duty of feeding him. One cold day Mrs. Stahl had prepared some nice hot soup for the prisoners, and when Mr. Thomas conveyed the first spoonful to the mouth of the prisoner above mentioned, it scalded his tongue, which so enraged him that he blew the soup in Mr. Thomas's face. A lively scrap followed in which chairs and other articles were used as weapons. The prisoner was finally conquered and Nic left the cell vowing that he would never again serve as waiter. It was also during this term of office that one of the few murder cases ever held in this county was tried. Miner Perkins, a cook in one of the lumber camps near Pittsville, was being held for trial on the charge of murdering his wife. The case was never brought to court, as on the day previous to the opening of the term, Perkins sent for Mr. Stahl and made a full confession of the crime, asking to be taken before Circuit Judge C. M. Webb and be taken away as soon as possible, as he feared lynching by a mob. His request was granted, he was given a life term and was taken at once to Waupun. Thirty-two years later he was released on parole. At the expiration of his. term as sheriff Mr. Stahl decided to remain in Grand Rapids. Accordingly he formed a copartnership with "Billy" Kuntz and engaged in the harness business. under the firm name of Stahl & Kuntz. They located in the building now occupied by G. Bruderli as a shoe shop. Mr. Stahl sold his interests in the business in November when he again appeared on the Democratic ticket as a candidate for the office of sheriff. Elected for the second time, he again appointed Nic Thomas. as under-sheriff. At the end of his two years' term he engaged in the brewery business with Richard Scheibe in the brewery located on the premises of the Daly Ice & Coal Co. This venture was unsuccessful, however, and Mr. Stahl lost practically all the money he had invested. After this misfortune, through the advice and with the aid of his many friends, he was elected city treasurer, which office he held for seven successive terms. He was the first city treasurer following the consolidation of Centralia and Grand Rapids. Mr. Stahl also owned a small grocery store near the Green Bay and Western depot, which he conducted for three years, when he sold it. For the past eight years he has been in the employ of the Nekoosa-Edwards Company. Recently he met with an accident at the mill, injuring his left hand and arm, from the effects of which, however, he is recovering. He is a member of SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, and also of the Catholic Knights of Wis., and the Catholic Order of Foresters. Politically a staunch Democrat, he has always voted the straight ticket. He is a quiet, refined, industrious man who made a good record in public life and whose name is permanently inscribed on the annals of Wood County. To Mr. and Mrs. Stahl were born seven children, six daughters and one son, all of whom are still living and are married. They are: Elizabeth, now Mrs. J. D. Rice of Chicago; Mollie, who is Mrs. Frank Schmeling of Wausau; Matilda, wife of Robert W. Morse of Stevens Point; Minnie, wife of C. O. Burt; Lydia, who is Mrs. F. D. Abel; Loretta, Mrs. M. C. Whitrock; and Louis Stahl, all of this city. Mrs. Elizabeth Stahl passed away Sept. 18, 1898.



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