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Charles Ferk, Page 247
CHARLES FERK, one of the early settlers of Sheboygan County, who is now living on his farm on section 10, Sherman Township, has the honor of being a native of the Badger State, his birth having occurred in Milwaukee County, August 21, 1847. His father was a native of Prussia, and in that country learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed until his emigration to the New World. He was also a German soldier, and served for three years in Berlin. In 1846, he bade adieu to home and friends, and crossed the briny deep with his family, reaching New York after a voyage of nine weeks. His destination was Milwaukee, and by way of Albany, Buffalo and the Lakes he proceeded thither. Soon after, he located on a farm of twenty acres of timber-land, built a log cabin, in which his family was soon installed, and began the development of a farm. They had to go to Milwaukee for flour and provisions, and experienced the usual trials and hardships of frontier life. After residing upon that farm for five years, the father sold out and came to Sheboygan County, purchasing eighty acres of land on section 24, Abbott Township. A small clearing had been made here and a log house erected. After five years the father again sold, and removed to the farm on section 3 where he and his wife still make their home. It comprises one hundred and twenty acres of rich land and is under a high state of cultivation.
In the Ferk family were five children, four of whom are still living: Frederick, who is a farmer of Sherman Township; August, deceased; Minnie, wife of Ernest Schriber, an agriculturist of Sherman Township; and Tena, wife of Gustave Krause, also a farmer of the same township.
No event of special importance occurred during the childhood and youth of Charles Ferk, which were quietly passed upon the home farm. To his father he gave the benefit of his services until twenty-five years of age, when he started out in life for himself, in 1872. On the 14th of October of that year, he was married to Miss Louisa Shruber, and the young couple began their domestic life with a capital of about $1,600. He purchased of his father eighty acres of land, the farm upon which he now resides, and at once began the development of his place. Ten children came to bless the home, and eight of the number are still living, namely: Henry; Clara, who is working in Adell; Emma and Ella, who are working in Milwaukee; Hulda, Martin, Willie and Louisa, who are at home. In 1886 Mr. Ferk was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who passed away on the 19th of July, and was laid to rest in St. John's Cemetery, where a beautiful monument has been erected to her memory. She was a lady of many excellencies of character and had a wide circle of friends throughout the community. On the 16th of December, 1888, Mr. Ferk wedded Mrs. Augusta Koch, widow of Henry Koch. They have a bright little son of three years, Oscar, and an infant son, Walter.
Mr. Ferk is numbered among the pioneer settlers of this county, and has watched its growth and development from an early day. He has seen its wild land transformed into beautiful homes and farms, and its hamlets into thriving towns and cities. Churches and schools have been built, industries introduced, and the county has taken its place among the best in the State. In politics, Mr. Ferk cast his first vote for Horatio Seymour, and is now a Democrat. He has served as Township Treasurer for one year, was Supervisor for three years, Chairman of the Board for two years, and Assessor for one year. He has also been Clerk of his school district for ten years, and in this, as in all other offices, has discharged his duties with a promptness and fidelity that have won for him high commendation. He holds membership with the Lutheran Church, and is a man of sterling worth and strict integrity, whose upright life has won for him universal confidence and esteem.
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