Obit: Zassenhaus, William (1838 - 1912)

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----Sources: Colby Phonograph (Colby, Clark County, Wis.) 03/14/1912

Zassenhaus, William (28 DEC 1838 - 9 MAR 1912)

William Zassenhaus, for thirty-five years a resident, was stricken with paralysis in the early part of December 1911, but was able to be out and around until near Christmas time, since which time he was confined to the house, and the last few weeks to his bed. He passed from this life Saturday evening, March 9th, 1912, at 7:30. It was the writer’s good fortune to have known William long and well, and we only knew him to esteem him more highly as the years passed by. But his is gone! Another name is stricken from the ever lessening roll of our old settlers, and the widow, children and many friends will sadly miss him. It must be so; those tender human ties cannot be severed without a pang. Yet in such a death there is really no cause for grief. His life work was done, and well done.

The following biography was furnished by Mr. Zassenhaus, in 1891, to the publishers of the Biographical History, Clark and Jackson Counties:

"William Zassenhaus, Register of Deeds for Clark County, Wis., was born in Germany, Dec. 28, 1838, the son of Frederick and Louise (Luecke) Zassenhaus, natives of Germany. The father was an extensive merchant at Mettmann, Germany, and continued the same until his death in 1866; the mother died in 1863. They were members of the Evangelical Church, and had a family of five children, three sons and two daughters, four of whom are still living, viz: Wilhelmine, Eigen, William, Carl and Helena. All the children were natives of Germany except our subject.

He attended school until nineteen years of age, and graduated in chemistry and mining. He then served as a soldier two years and six months, after which he went to Australia, where he remained five years in the gold fields, which proved very satisfactory financially. In 1865 he returned to Germany on a visit, and after three months came to America, , landing in New York City. He then set out for the western world, stopping first at New Vienna, Dubuque County, Iowa, where he was engaged in farming for a short time. In 1866 he went to Superior City, Wisconsin, and engaged in exploring for minerals one years; next he went to the copper mines of Michigan, and engaged in mining ten years, with the exception of one years spent in the silver mines of Nevada. In 1877 Mr. Zassenhaus came to Clark County, Wis., and settled in the Township of Green Grove, where he started the first store and post office in the township, there being only four settlers there at that time. The land was covered with timber, consisting of pine, hardwood, and the only railroad was at Colby, distant six miles. He conducted the store and post office until 1889, when he was elected to his present position, after which he sold his goods and rented his building. He was the first Chairman of Green Grove, Clark County, which position he held two years, and has also assisted in the building of churches and the schoolhouse. Since moving to the city of Neillsville, he has purchased stock in the large furniture plant.

Mr. Zassenhaus is a Republican politically, and a member of Knights of Pythias. He is one of the prominent men of Clark County, and takes an active interest in the growth and development of the county and state."

William Zassenhaus was married in 1866, to Miss Maria Orth, a native of Germany, and the daughter of John and Wilhelmina (Lachmann) Orth. There were born to them eight children, Louisa R., Mrs. J.F. Steinwand of Colby; Joseph W. of Margie, Minn.; Agnes M. Mrs. C.H. Gay of Marshfield; Helena (deceased); William of Minneapolis, Minn.; Mary, Clara, and Frederick W. of Colby.

The surviving children were all present at the funeral, except Joseph, who owing to poor railroad connections, didn’t arrive here until Wednesday morning.

The funeral was held from St. Mary’s Church, at ten o’clock Tuesday morning, Rev. H.J. Artmann officiating. The high esteem in which he was held was in a measure evidenced by the immense concourse of people, form his home and neighboring towns, that attended to pay their last tribute of respect.



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