Obit: Fessler, Charles (1853 - 1913)

Contact: Robert Lipprandt

Surnames: Fessler, Heiting, Kalk, Smith

----Source: The Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, WI) 01/13/1913

Fessler, Charles (23 MAY 1853 - 13 JAN 1913)

Meets Death In Flames

Word was received here today announcing the death of Charles Fessler, a former business man of this city, who had made his home at Dorchester, Wis., for the past thirty years.

The message was received by Henry Fessler, a brother of the deceased, stating that he had been burned to death.

Up to the time of his departure, Mr Fessler conducted a shoe repair shop on Center avenue. He moved with his family to Dorchester, where he purchased a shoe store and resided there ever since.

He is survived by his wife and several children, three brothers, Anton, Henry and William of this city (Sheboygan, Wis.) and three sisters, Mrs. Charles Smith, Lenhorst, Wis.; Mrs. Fred Kalk and Mrs. John Heiting, Kaukauna.

The funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

Note: Birth and death information was extracted from the Dorchester Memorial Cemetery index.


----Source Unknown


1913 - Fire Brings Death To Charles Fessler: Last Monday morning January 13, about one o’clock in the morning, fire was discovered in the upstairs of the building occupied by Charles Fessler’s Shoe Store and residence. The first ones to notice the fire were Fred Martens and Andrew Leiders who with several others were returning from a party. Mr. Fessler was also present at the party but had left for his home about an hour before. Efforts were at once made to arouse Mr. Fessler but as no answer was received, the fire alarm was given and the building was broken into by Mr. Leiders who found the building completely filled with smoke. Lighting a lamp Mr. Leiders made his way to the top of the stairs where he found Mr. Fessler’s body lying. The body was held at the top of the stairs by a trap door which it appears had fallen on Mr. Fessler when he tried to get downstairs and as is supposed he was so far overcome by the smoke und fire that he did not have the strength to release himself and died there. Mr. Leiders lifted the trap door and pulled the body part way down the stairs but had to leave it as he could not stand the smoke any longer. Attempts were made to reach the body again but the smoke was too dense. On account of the cold, some trouble was had in starting the fire engine and it appeared doubtful the building could be saved so the doors were broken open and the stock carried to a safe place. As soon as the doors were opened, the smoke lifted and the body was then taken out. By this time, the fire had gained a good headway and it was only by the hardest work that it was got under control. Credit is due to a few of our citizens for doing more than their share in extinguishing the fire. Hadn’t it been for the risks taken and the hard work done a considerable portion of our village would no doubt have been destroyed. The origin of the fire is not certain but is thought to have started from an oil stove which Mr. Fessler kept burning at the side of his bed at night. As Mr. Fessler was badly burned about the head and hands it is generally thought that he was so far overcome by the fire and smoke before he awoke that he got to the trap door; he lost consciousness and could not help himself no more. Fessler’s Shoe Store was located to the east of Dr. Foley’s Office but west of the alley way.


Charles A. Fessler’s Obituary Follows: C.A. Fessler was born at Sheboyan on May 23, 1852 and was 60 years, 7 months and 20 days old at the time of his death. He lived at Sheboyan for 30 years and then moved here where he has since resided. Mr. Fessler was one of the few who are left of the earliest settlers in Dorchester and the news of his death was a painful shock to the entire community. He was a man who had many friends and few enemies and was one of those who lend a helping hand whenever he could. He leaves to mourn his death three brothers; Anton, and Henry of Sheboyan and William of Arizona. One sister, Mrs. Frances Schmidt of Lindherst, three sons, George and Frank of Abbotsford and William of Jacobson, Minnesota. Four daughters, Mrs. Mary Poole of Schiocton, Mrs. H. Miller of Minneapolis, Mrs. W.B. James of Eveleth of Minnesota and Mrs. Wm. Knopp of International Falls, Minnesota. The funeral was held from the Evangelical Peace Church on Thursday afternoon with the Rev. A. Janke preaching the funeral sermon. The attendance at the funeral was one of the largest in the history of our village.


Two Weeks later in the February 7, 1913 edition of the Dorchester paper was this ad: Fire - Smoke - Water - Big Shoe and Rubber Sale - Commencing Monday Feb. 10th, 1913.


----Source Unknown


1911 - A newspaper article said that Charles Fessler’s shop burned down on March 12; but that George Koehn’s Shop next door was saved. This was the General Mercantile Store called “The Milwaukee Store” where Groceries and Dry Goods were sold and which was operated by Sophie Fessler. It was located where Larry and Marge Oehlers lived for many years and today is the residence of Ken Mohan.


The "Milwaukee Store" (Dorchester, Wis.) to the far right sold Groceries and Dry Goods.

Photo from the Jim Jantsch Collection



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