Obit: Henkel, John (1835 - 1895)

Contact: Stan 


----Sources: Colby Phonograph (Colby, Clark County, Wis.) 10/24/1895

Henkel, John (9 MAY 1835 - 19 OCT 1895)

Last Saturday afternoon, as John Henkel and his wife and son Gust started for home and just after turning the corner onto the Wausau road, the horse became frightened and started to run; just after crossing the bridge the four tugs became loosened and the horses broke away. They ran to Paul Firnstahl’s corner where they were caught and brought back. The tongue of the wagon had been broken and this was lashed together with straps, then the horses were, again, hitched to the wagon and started, this time with only Mr. Henkel and Gust as occupants. The horses at once started for another run and this time threw out both of the occupants. Mr. Henkel struck on his head and was picked for dead, but soon showed signs of returning life and was carried into the house of Wm. Happle. He became conscious but complained about a numbness in the limbs and arms. Dr. LeSage was called but from a superficial examination came to the conclusion that he would be all right in a short time and that he had better be taken home. Gust took the team, borrowed another wagon and drove home, (and, by the way, had another runaway that came pretty near landing him on the other shore), he then go Ed Brehm with his team and light wagon, loaded in some bedding and drove back. Mr. Henkel was then feeling quite comfortable and anxious to get home. He was made comfortable as possible but died about ten minutes after his arrival home.

The funeral occurred Tuesday afternoon at the St. John’s Evangelical Church, Rev. C. C. Hartenstein officiating.

John Henkel was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, May 9th, 1835; came with his parents to America in 1853, settling in the town of Rhine, Sheboygan Co., Wis., where he was married to Miss Alvina Fischer, May 6th, 1858; five children was the result of this union, 3 sons and 2 daughters, all of whom, except the oldest daughter, who was burned to death, in 1863, with the wife to mourn his sudden and untimely death Besides these he leaves two brothers, Andrew of Milwaukee and Phillip of this city, and two sisters, Mrs. Gust Cooley of Sheboygan, and Mrs. Herman Ecke of Hilbert.

John Henkel’s life was an eventful one and he passed through accidents and trials that few men could have stood. While yet living in Germany he received a fall of several feet, striking his head and lay for weeks in a nearly comatose state, hovering betwixt life and death. He was drafted in the first draft of Wisconsin to fill her quota in the war of the rebellion; while in camp, and before he was mustered into the United States service, his eldest daughter, then three years of age, was burned to death and his second daughter, Katy, now Mrs. Ed Brehm, lost the sight of one eye. Friends took the mater in hand, got up a petition, which was forwarded to Madison and Gov. Salomon discharged and sent him home. After his arrival home he first learned of the death of his oldest daughter and the injury to Katy; he was so grief stricken that, for a time, friends feared he would lose his reason.

The following spring he enlisted in the 9th Wis. regiment and served until Jan. 30th, 1866.

When discharged from the army he was taken down with typhoid fever for more than a year was unable to do anything. After getting about and able to work he fell and broke his arm and for nearly a year was laid up with that and, in fact, never fully recovered the use of it.

In the spring of 1878 he came to Colby, Clark Co., Wis. and settled on the farm where he has since resided an accommodating neighbor, a kind husband and an indulgent father.

What ever imperfection he may have had let them be buried in the narrow tomb that holds the clay form of the body, but let us cherish that which was worthy of emulation.



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