Recollections of Columbia, Wisconsin

by Mabel Schlender Jonkel

Contributed by Sarah Poertner

transcribed by Crystal Wendt & Michelle Harder.

SWISS COLONY FIRES

There seemed to be nationality groups which came to Columbia. In the 1890ís there was a colony of Swiss people-sixteen families, as I recall:

John Sollberger, Fred Moser, Captain Bryner, John Ryner, Fred Christian, John Greub, Sam Bruine, Jake Laager, Mr. Eggiman, Mrs. Emilie Frye, John Immberstag and five bachelors. They were Andrew Schaer, Alfred Yordi, Jack Bachee, Fred Guetzow and S. Smoky.

Albert Sollberger, Frank Lockman, Smoky, and Paul McKinney were the crew digging drainage ditches in the state.

Most of them were born in Switzerland and were cheese makers. They had come to Green County, for a few years and then to Columbia. The Sollbergers, Mosers, Laagers and Schaer stayed on in Columbia. Four bought farms in Humbird and the others moved away to other parts of the states.

FIRES

Because of two fires in 1885 and 1896 and another in 1893, the country was denuded of tress. One could look for miles and see homes.

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