Frederick Sternitzky (1806 - 1901)                     

Sitting: Helena, Frederick and Katharine Sternitzky

Standing: William Sternitzky

Biography of Frederick Sternitzky


Frederick Sternitzky, one of the pioneers of Lynn Township, now deceased, was born in Klein Ujeschuetz, Germany, Oct. 26, 1806. His father died when Frederick was 11 years old, and the latter grew up and became a laborer. About 1831 he married Helena Dietz, who was born July 13, 1813, and for some years he continued to reside in Germany, where four children were born to him; Charles, Gottlieb (or James), Susan and William. On June 24, 1840, the family left Germany for America, where they landed after a three months' passage in a sailing vessel. Mr. Sternitzky had no particular place in view when he came, merely wishing to establish a new home in a country of wider opportunities. His first location was at Buffalo, N. Y., but in the following spring he came west to Milwaukee, Wis., and there, or in that vicinity followed the occupation of laborer on farms or otherwise until 1856. While residing there his family was increased by the birth of six more children, John, Ernest, Wilhelmina, Henry, Edward and Albert, the last mentioned of whom, however, died young.

In 1856, in company with the Yankee and Kleinschmidt families, Mr. Sternitzky, with his own family, set out for Clark County, driving with a four-ox team and bringing with him two cows and a few household goods. The trip occupied three weeks and for the last three miles the party had to cut their way through the woods, arriving at last at the site of what is now Lynn Village. They located on a tract of 200 acres in Section 8, the oldest son, Charles, buying the land from the Government. Eighty acres of this tract lying in the village of Lynn became the family homestead. Here Mr. Sternitzky built a log house of two rooms, 18 by 28 feet, making his own split shingles and floors and sawing lumber with a rip saw. Their nearest neighbor was two miles away by trail, and Neillsville, Black River Falls and Sparta were their trading posts. From Neillsville supplies had to be carried on the back to the farm. There Mr. Sternitzky made his home for the rest of his life, becoming in time one of the prominent citizens of the township.

In religious faith he was a German Lutheran and services were often held in his log house. He also helped to establish the church of that denomination in Grant Township. In his early days he had served in Poland as a soldier in the Germany army, but was a quiet home-like man, of thoroughly honest character, and of great patience in times of trouble and adversity. His life was prolonged to the advanced age of 95 years, terminating Oct. 25, 1901. His wife died Feb. 20, 1900.

Source: Curtiss-Wedge, Franklin. History of Clark County. Chicago & Winona: H.C. Cooper, Jr & Co., 1918. Pages 532 - 533.


Additional Information:

Frederick (in German Friedrich) and Helena were married (on October 26, 1831) in the village of Klein Ujeschütz in Trebnitz County, in the Prussian Province of Silesia.  From: Nowak, Lorraine D. (Sternitzky) and Lila (Sternitzky) Schmitz.  The Sternitzky Journey to the Land of Opportunity.  Granton, Wisc.: 2003.

In 1832, Friedrich Sternitzke inherited farmstead  number 11 in Klein Ujeschütz from the estate of the Krusche family. 1832 was the same year their first child Karl (Charles Sternitzky) was born in Klein Ujeschuetz. The Trebnitz land register shows that Friedrich Sternitzke sold house number 11 in Klein Ujeschuetz to a David Tischer in 1840.   From: The Family History of the House of Sternitzke (German with English translation of the Familiengeschichte des Geschlechts Sternitzke aus dem Kreis Trebnitz / Schlesien).

The Friedrich Sternitzky family left Silesia during the nineteenth century period of religious unrest, according to a two volume German study titled Die altlutherische Auswanderung um die Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts (The Old Lutheran Emigration Around the Middle of the Nineteenth Century).  Clifford Neal Smith translated this work and published it as "The Nineteenth-Century Emigration of 'Old Lutherans' from Eastern Germany (Mainly Pomerania and Lower Silesia) to Australia, Canada, and the United States".  In his book, Smith lists the following emigrants from Trebnitz County (the county containing Klein Ujeschütz) Silesia in 1840.


     Schneider, Christian, age 54, farm owner from Zantkau

     Schneider, Anna Rosina, born Roder, age 44, wife

     Schneider, Ernst, age 20, son

     Schneider, Anna Rosina, age 18, daughter

     Schneider, August, age 16, son

     Schneider, Karl, age 10, son

     Schneider, Johanna, age 6, daughter

     Keil, Silvius, age 21, journeyman tailor from Zantkau

     Kammer, Christian Gottlieb, age 54, ceramic painter from Schlottau

     Kammer, Anna Rosina, born Sattler, age 53, wife

     Kammer, August, age 16, son

     Kanther, August, age 20, journeyman shoemaker from Luzine

     Nitschke, Daniel, age 38, miller and inhabitant from Schawoine

     Nitschke, Helene, born Stahr, age 36, wife

     Nitschke, Daniel, age 6, son

     Nitschke, Dorothea, age 2, daughter

     Garbsch, Georg, age 41, gardener from Klein Ujeschuetz

     Garbsch, Mary Elizabeth, born Riedel, age 36, wife

     Garbsch, Gottlieb, age 18-1/2, son

     Garbsch, Georg, age 15, son

     Garbsch, Johanna Helene, age 12, daughter

     Garbsch, David, age 10, son

     Garbsch, Daniel, age 8, son

     Garbsch, Gottfried Hermann, age 6, son

     Garbsch, Johann, age 4, son

     Sternitzke, Friedrich, age 33, houseowner from Klein Ujeschuetz

     Sternitzke, Helene, born Vietz, age 28, wife

     Sternitzke, Karl, age 8, son

     Sternitzke, Susanna Helene, age 6, daughter

     Sternitzke, Gottlieb, age 3, son

     Sternitzke, Wilhelm August, age 1/2, son

     Hillert, Rosina, age 62, widow of inhabitant of Klein Ujeschuetz


Source: Smith, Clifford Neal.  Monograph Number 7.  Nineteenth-Century Emigration of "Old Lutherans" From Eastern Germany (Mainly Pomerania and Lower Silesia) to Australia, Canada and the United States.  McNeal, Arizona: Westland Publications, 1980.


Passenger List of the Washington: listing the Frederick Sternitzky family's emigration from Germany in 1840.


 The 1848-1849 Milwaukee City Directory (page 125, Ward 2) lists Frederick Staneske, laborer, living on Eighth Street.

The August 24, 1850 Census for Milwaukee 4th Ward (page 459) lists Frederick's occupation as laborer.

The 1851-1852 Milwaukee City Directory lists Frederick Steirnetz, laborer, house at the corner of Eighth and Cedar.  The block containing the 8th Street and Cedar Street intersection is now in the block containing the Milwaukee Public Museum.

During the time they lived in Milwaukee (1841-1856) Frederick and Helena bought forty acres of land near Milwaukee.  From the biography of Charles Sternitzky, "Biographical History of Clark and Jackson Counties, Wisconsin", Lewis Publishing Co., 1891, pages 377-378.

On September 21, 1844, Friedrich Sternitzki filed an intention to become a Citizen of the United States. It was filed at the Territory of Wisconsin in Milwaukee County. His signature spells Friedrich Sternitzki, but the clerk spelled his name as Fredrick Starntzki.  His naturalization was approved on April 7th of 1847.

In 1852, the family moved to a farm near Milwaukee in the Town of Lake.  They lived there for four years before moving to Lynn.  The Town of Lake existed from 1834 to 1954.  That area is now located on Milwaukee’s south side, within the following boundaries:

  • North side: Greenfield Ave.

  • East side: Lake Michigan

  • West side: 27th Street

  • South side: College Ave.

General Mitchell Airfield, Village of Cudahy and City of St. Francis are included in that area.

Death Certificate of Frederick Sternitzky:  front side view, reverse side view

Photo of the Tombstone of Frederick and Helena Sternitzky.


Web page prepared by  James W. Sternitzky PhD.

July 10, 2006

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