Recollections of Columbia, Wisconsin

by Mabel Schlender Jonkel

Contributed by Sarah Poertner

transcribed by Crystal Wendt & Michelle Harder.


*L.B. Varney of Minneapolis, came to Columbia about 1905. Mrs. Varney was s sister to Mr. Bliss and Mrs. McKinney, of Columbia. In a short while Mr. Varney passed on. The son, Frank, came to live with his mother. He had been an actor and talented in the Arts. Often he wrote home talent plays to fit the characters. He also did painting. Mrs. Varney had been very active in club work, being a delegate to conventions all over the U.S.A. They returned to Minneapolis about 1915. Mr. and Mrs. Sollberger, Sr., later bought the home and spent their retirement there. Albert Sollberger later bought it for a hunting lodge. *Henry Schendland also bought lots at the Columbian Exhibition. He had been an electrician in Germany and returned in 1893. In 1898 he sent his wife and four children Alfred, Rudolph, Edwin and Hertha to Columbia and he followed two years later. They could not speak English and had no place to move. They stayed with the Schlenders until the Lamon home or "black house" as it was known, could be rented. It was a block south of the school near the tracks. Mrs. Schwendland furnished the place and they lived there until Mr. Schwendland came. In the meantime she bought forty acres of land south of the school. A small home was built and later enlarged. A farm was cleared and developed where Mr. and Mrs. Schwendland stayed until their passing. They were buried in the Columbia cemetery.

The Schwedland children had their picture taken in Germany before coming to the states.  They are Edwin, Alfred, Hertha and Bruno Schwedland.

Alfred never married. Rudolph, who was known as Bruno, traveled throughout the west where he married. Edwin lived with Sam Hutchins at Day Corners in Levis. Later he went to Milwaukee where he married. Hartha married and lives in Chicago. Leo was born in America. He stayed with his folks until the age of eighteen they he worked for the Ford company in Detroit where he married. After his wife passed on and in retirement he returned to Columbia to visit. Here he married the former Frances Poertner; the widow of Albert Sollberger. They retired to Cherokee Village, Arkansas.

*C.A. Winton came form Iowa in a covered wagon in 1897 to his farm two miles west of Columbia. There were four daughters. Jennie married Julius Winters of Columbia and they farmed in Levis. Later they bought a farm two miles west of Columbia. They raised eight children.

Bernice married George Kopp of Columbia and lived with his folks for awhile. Then they bought a farm on Black River road in Levis. They had four children. Bernita, a twin of Bernice, lived in Canada many years. Hattie accidentally drowned in the Black River at the age of thirteen. Mr. Winton passed on in 1917.





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