Bio: Meller, August and Maryanna Gappa
Surnames: Meller, Gappa, Bloczynski, Milkowski
----Source: 1880 - 1980 Rietbrock, Marathon Co., Wis. Centennial, pg. 45 - 46.
Among the early immigrants, who were under the German rule in the old country to arrive in Milwaukee and later settle in Section 36-Township 29-N Range 4-E., between 1878-1880, were August and wife Maryanna (Gappa) Meller. Their cousin Peter Teusz, who came along with them, settled on an eighty-acre tract of land across from them in Section 25. August was born on August 24, 1839, to Thomas and Barbara Meller; and Maryanna Gappa was born September 1, 1844, to August and Rosalia Gappa.
In these early years, they experienced a lot of hardships. They had to clear land to build a home and also a log barn, to house a few animals. Trees were felled with an axe. The stumps were burned out to prepare the land for their crops. The grain had to be cradled by hand. August, being a carpenter, built the home which was remodeled when son Paul took over the interests. In those times, the houses were not built too warm. The wood burning stove was used for cooking meals and to heat the home. Kerosene lamps and lanterns were used for light.
August and Maryanna (Gappa) Meller had ten children. The first three were born in the old country, namely: John, one child name unknown-lost at sea due to illness; Stanislaus; Paul; Theodore; August; Joseph; Julianna (Bloczynski); Anna (Pietrowski) and Nicholas.
When August and Maryanna Meller came here between the years of 1878-1880's, from Milwaukee, Paul was but three years old. They worked and cleared the land, as the homesteaders had to live here a few months-even years-before they could purchase lands. Records show, in the court house, they owned an 80 acre tract of land August 17, 1881. Records also show that in the year of 1881, August Meller was the first supervisor and Matthew Milkowski was the second supervisor for the Town.
As the sons grew up and helped with clearing the land, the two oldest sons-John and Stanislaus-found interests elsewhere and left home. Their whereabouts became unknown. Paul, the oldest at home, with all the other younger brothers helped the parents with the work. After getting married, they settled elsewhere. Theodore settled on a farm nearby, Section 35 (now owned by Marie Miller); while August, Joseph and Micholas (a former "Green schoolhouse" teacher) all settled in St. Paul, Minn. Julia married Stan Bloczyn- ski and lived in Chicago; and Anna married Valorie Petrowski and lived in Wausau.
Paul married Pelagia Myszka October 22, 1906. She was the daughter of Jacob and Anna (Bloczynski) Myszka. They had then taken over his father's home place on December 13, 1906, taking care of his aging parents until their deaths. His father August died at 71 years of age, leaving Maryanna to live with Paul and Pelagia until she passed away at the age of 72. Three daughters were born to them: Irene (Jesko); Adela (Nowicki); Salomea (Sally Wisnewski). A son died in infancy. They farmed with the help of their daughters. A new barn was built to replace the log barn, machine shed, granary, summer kitchen; and they cleared the rest of the land. In 1922, a Delco light plant was put in the home along with a few other improvements. Paul owned his first car in 1923. As the Clover Belt cheese factory was organized by the farmers in 1927, he was one of the stockholders and also treasurer for many years. His age and ailing health forced him to retire and take up residence in the former Thomas Myszka home in Poniatowski. He lived there with his wife until April 20, 1948, when he passed away at the age of 72. Pelagia continued living there until the death of her son-in-law John Jesko in 1959, when she sold the home to Tony and Agnes Nowicki. (Now David and Janice Schreiner's home). She then went to live with her daughter Irene Jesko living to a nice old age of 92, she passed away on May 23, 1975.
Their son-in-law and daughter, Frank and Sally Wisnewski, purchased the farm Dec. 23, 1941. Many improvements were made-new electric lights and water systems to the house and barn were installed. To house more livestock, the barn was completely remodeled and a new 60 ft. addition was built in 1972; the old milk house was replaced; an old wooden silo was torn down and replaced by a Madison Stave silo; another silo was built; and a bunk feeder was added on in 1975. During the course of the years, and with the help of their son Ralph-and changing times-more land was needed. After the death of John Jesko, in 1959, the 80 acre farm (formerly the Albert Jesko farm in Section 35), was purchased in May, 1960, to make the original Meller farm of 160 acres. More modern machinery was needed; so the old wooden machine shed was torn down in the summer of 1978, and a new steel shed 50 x 136 ft., was built the same year. For the last three years, the farm has been rented to their son, Ralph.
Meller pioneer Farm, now owned by son-in-law and daughter, ? (Meller) Wisnewski. To Frank and Sally Wisnewski were born the following children: Robert, who died in infancy; Mary Kay, deceased who died at the age of 23; and Ralph.
1900 Federal Census, ED 94 Rietbrock town, Marathon, Wisconsin, United States, pg. 4, family 58
August Meller, white, married male
marital status: Married
years married: 32
estimated marriage year: 1868
mother how many children:
number living children:
head August Meller M 61 (Aug 1839) Poland Ger
wife Mary Meller F 56 (Sep 1844) Poland Ger
son Paul Meller M 25 (Nov 1875) Wisconsin
son Joseph Meller M 18 (Feb 1882) Wisconsin
daughter Julia Meller F 16 (May 1884) Wisconsin
daughter Anna Meller F 14 (May 1886) Wisconsin
son Nicodem Meller M 13 (Jun 1887) Wisconsin
Wisconsin Birth Records
birth date: 09 May 1886
birthplace: Poniatowski, Marathon, Wisconsin
father's name: August Meller
father's birthplace: Poland
mother's name: Mary Gappa
mother's birthplace: Poland
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