Bio: Stoflet, Stephen Sr. (1923)

Contact: Ken Wood.

Surnames: Stoflet, Groff, Mercer, Blaschke

----Source: History of Wood County, Wis. (1923) pages 545-546

Stephen Stoflet, Sr., a pioneer of Wood County, now living retired in Arpin Township, was born March 22, 1852, in Bavaria, Germany, son of Bernard and Clara (Groff) Stoflet. The parents were natives of Bavaria, and came to America when Stephen Stoflet was two and a half years old, settling in Dodge County, Wis., where the father died after only six months' residence. The mother remained in Dodge County and provided a home for the family of nine children until all had reached maturity; she passed away in 1876. Stephen Stoflet, Sr., received his education in the district schools of Dodge County and remained at home until 21 years of age. He then worked by the month for three or four years, after which he bought a 70-acre farm in Dane County, Wis. He came to Wood County in 1897 and bought 220 acres of land, consisting of 140 acres in Section 3 and 80 acres in Section 11, Arpin Township. On this land he fought the good fight of the pioneer against the hardships of life in a primitive country, toiling incessantly in the mighty struggle of converting the forest into agricultural land-a struggle on which the greatness of the Northwest today is founded. There were no roads, and to reach his land Mr. Stoflet chopped a path through the wilderness. He lived at first in an old logging camp on the 80 acres in Section 11 until he could get a clearing made and enough logs cut and sawed to erect a frame house and barn. During the first years of his residence he obtained money to live on and to enable him to carry on the work of developing his property by selling logs and cordwood, of which latter he cut several hundred cords, selling it for from $1.50 to $3.00 per cord at Auburndale. Overcoming all these obstacles, Mr. Stoflet built up a splendid property. He cleared and broke 90 acres, and erected a fine set of buildings, which, with the modern equipment he installed and the rich soil which makes up the region, constitutes an exceptionally fine farm. He added to his holdings from time to time, and during one period owned 380 acres of Arpin Township land. Mr. Stoflet operated his farm here until 1916, when he sold it to his son Bernard; he then lived for a time with his son-in-law, James Mercer, of Marshfield, and for some time past has made his home with his son Stephen. The years of his active life here have been of incalculable value to Wood County. Besides building up a piece of property that will continue to add to the agricultural greatness of the region, he has done much for the general development of his township and county, in which he has always been a prominent figure. He helped to erect three different schoolhouses in his district, and was active in encouraging new settlers to come in and in building roads and securing other improvements. Mr. Stoflet was married in Dodge County, Wis., in 1873 to Martha Blaschke. Mrs. Stoflet was his loyal partner through the years of hardship and of prosperity alike, and was well loved throughout the community; her passing, in 1916, was deeply mourned by all who knew her. Mr. and Mrs. Stoflet were the parents of eight children, of whom seven are now living, as follows: Edward, Albert, Frank, Charles, Ella, Bernard, and Stephen. Edward, Albert, Bernard and Stephen are farming in Arpin Township; Frank is a merchant in the village of Arpin; Ella is now Mrs. James Mercer, of Marshfield; Charles is living in Dodge County, Wis.



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