Obit: Sommer, William F. (1845 - 1914)

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----Sources: Colby Phonograph (Colby, Clark County, Wis.) 08/13/1914

Sommer, William F. (9 SEP 1845 - 6 AUG 1914)

The ever busy reaper death has brought boundless sorrow to our community. Many familiar faces are by him fast being claimed as victims. Several departures have recently been published, another however was soon to follow. The whole community was overcome with anxiety on Wednesday when informed of the serious illness of William Sommer, and lost in sorrow when told on Thursday of his sad and speedy death. He died Thursday morning, Aug. 6th, 1914, of apoplexy.

William F. Sommer, well known throughout this community and one of our earliest settlers, was born in Eissedt, Province Brandenburg, Germany on the 9th of Sept. 1845. Here he grew to manhood and was tendered the training which was later to enable him to fight the hard battle of life. When he had reached the required age he joined the German Army and remained in service for 3 years. He took an active part in the war of 1866 and was honorably rewarded for his services at the decisive battle fought at Koeniggraetz on July 3rd. In the spring of 1867 he left his native land and with 11 friends sailed for America. He finally stayed with friends in the town of Meeme, Manitowoc Co., Wis. After a year he left for Michigan and to Chicago. At the latter place he purchased a team and with several companions traveled to Nebraska. Later he took up a homestead, which the city of Beatrice now stands, but soon left his claim and the company of a friend walked back to Chicago. Here after the big fire he worked as a contractor. In 1874 he entered holy wedlock with Paulina L. Olm of the town of Meeme, Wis. Leaving Chicago he started a cheese factory on his father’s-in-law farm in 1876 and three years later, in 1879 he moved to Clark Co. and settled in the town of Green Grove. He saw this community develop from a wilderness to a prosperous farming country. Last fall he sold his farm to his son Theodore and built a house on the home place for himself. In this new home he had just lived on month when death called him to his eternal abode.

William Sommer was a good and faithful husband and a kind father who ever made every effort to make his home cheerful. He was devoted to his family and spared to endeavor in assisting his children in gaining success. He was a loyal and peaceful friend and neighbor, ever trying to make friendship perpetual. He was social and under all conditions was always found cheerful. He was a good and conscientious citizen and was generally active in the public affairs of his community. For 12 years he served as chairman of his town and for over 30 years he was the authorized agent for the Lynn Mutual Fire Insurance Co. in this community. He was a man who will be remembered and missed by all who knew him.

The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon. At 2 o’clock the services took place at the house where the deceased had spent his last happy days. The funeral procession was over a half mile long and many had already assembled at the church. The entire community, as well as people from Colby, Unity, Neillsville, Spencer and Greenwood joined the numerous relatives in paying the last tribute to one most dear. At the church Rev. A Behrends delivered the funeral address based on Psalm 23: 1-4, and the church choir sang the favorite hymn of the departed. The remains were laid to rest in the Green Grove Cemetery.

The following came to attend the funeral: Mr. and Mrs. Willie Sommer and sons Raymond and Sylvan of Thorp; Mr. and Mrs. Otto Sommer and daughter Anita; Mrs. J.P. Galles and sons John and William of Little Falls, Minn.; Rev. G. Sommer of Frederic; Rev. and Mrs. R.E. Heschke of Botavia; Mrs. Robert Dietrich and daughter Gertrude of Little Falls, Minn.; Mrs. Fredericke Olm and Mrs. Siemers of Cleveland; Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Olm of Collins; Mr. and Mrs. G.J. Olm of Reedsville and daughter Hildegarde; Mrs. F. Engel of Chicago; Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Sommer and daughter Veris of Middleton.

The deceased was 68 years, 10 months and 27 days old and is survived by a widow, four sons, 4 daughters, 13 grandchildren. One daughter died in infancy. The eight children living are Mrs. Lydia Laabs, W.H. Sommer, Otto Sommer, Mrs. J.P. Galles, Theodore A. Sommer, Rev. August G. Sommer, Mrs. R.E. Heschke, Mrs. Robert F. Dietrich.

Biographical Information

 Parents: Christian E Sommer (1816 - 1895) & Wilhelmine Sommer (1820 - 1892)

Spouse: Pauline Olm Sommer (1855 - 1954); Children: Lydia Sommer Laabs (1876 - 1962)

Sibling: Wilhelmine Sommer (1820 - 1892)

1900 Federal Census, Hoard & Green Grove township, Clark, Wisconsin, United States

William Sommer, 55 yr. old white married male
Immigration Year 1868
Father's Birthplace Germany
Mother's Birthplace Germany

Household Members

William (F.) Sommer Head M 55 (Sept 1845) Germany
Pauline Sommer Wife F 45 (Jun 1855) Germany
William H Sommer Son M 13 (Mar 1877) Wisconsin
Otto Sommer Son M 20 (Jan 1880) Wisconsin
Louisa Sommer Daughter F 17 (Jan 1883) Jan Wisconsin
Theodor Sommer Son M 14 (Feb 1886) Wisconsin
August Sommer Son M 12 (Apr 1888) Wisconsin
Selma Sommer Daughter F 10 (Mar 1890) Wisconsin
Panlina Sommer Daughter F 3 (Feb 1892) Wisconsin



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