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Stephen Janssen, Page 333
STEPHEN JANSSEN is the owner of a beautiful and attractive country home and farm on section 6, Wilson Township, where he has been an honored citizen since 1858. he is a native of Holland, born near the Maas River, January 13, 1839, and was reared in his native land to agricultural pursuits until reaching the age of nineteen years.
Christian Janssen, our subject's father, was born in 1803, and died in 1889. He was always devoted to farming duties, and was married in his native land to Hannah Apps, by whom he had two sons and two daughters. With his family he set sail for America in 1858, leaving Antwerp, and for thirty-eight days they were on the briny deep, where they encountered severe storms and at one time very nearly went to the bottom with the three hundred and twelve passengers on board. Landing in New York City, the family at once proceeded to Sheboygan County, where they arrived June 8, 1858, with only about $80 in money. The father purchased twenty acres of land on section 6, Wilson Township, on which not an improvement had been made. He built a little log cabin and there remained until two years before hi death. The family suffered all the hardships incident to pioneer life, and frequently Indians stopped at their humble door to beg for food. The mother was a native of Holland, and died in 1869. Both parents were members of the Catholic Church.
On starting out on his life's career, Stephen Janssen had only $5.60 in money, but he had strong and willing hands and a determination to make his life a success. In December, 1860, he married Miss Gertrude Sanders, a native of Germany, born on the 8th of February, 1837. Unto this worthy couple have been born three sons and six daughters. Seven of the children are living: Henry, who is married and lives near the old home; Allie, who became the wife of John Bolan, of Calumet County, Wis.; Willie, who died at the age of three years, in 1872; Christina, wife of Henry Aanslens, of Calumet County, where he is the owner of a foundry; Mary, Anna, Kattie and Hanna, who live at home with their parents. Jo, the youngest of the family, who was a bright lad of thirteen years, was drowned March 12, 1893, at the Sheboygan Falls. He was an intelligent boy, the light and joy of the household, and his death was a terrible blow to his loving parents, brother and sisters. Mrs. Janssen received a good education in the German and English languages, and was about nineteen years of age when she came to this county. She was a daughter of Matthew and Alice Sanders, who are both now deceased.
Mr. Janssen cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln and though a Republican for many years, he cast his ballot for Grover Cleveland. He has not been active in politics, but gives his support to the man whom he considers best qualified, regardless of party. Though often tendered municipal offices, he has ever declined the honor, and has attended strictly to his business affairs. For years his influence has been given to the support of good schools and teachers in this State. With his family he belongs to the Catholic Church of the township, and assists in all benevolences worthy of his consideration.
The farm owned and cultivated by Mr. Janssen comprises one hundred and three acres of fine, arable land under the best of cultivation. It is indeed a model farm, with modern improvements and equipments. Good buildings and an attractive and pleasant home are on the place, which is one of the most valuable farms of the township. Our subject and his courteous wife are kind and hospitable people, who have an interesting and pleasant family, and number many warm friends in this locality.
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