Happy Birthday Carl Friedrich Fehlhaber (1803-1885)



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Carl Friedrich Fehlhaber (1803-1885)

Birth and Marriage

Happy birthday to Carl Friedrich Fehlhaber who was born 213 years ago on 15 March 1803. Carl’s mother’s name was Mary, but his father’s name is not yet known to us. As a young man, Carl married Ernestine-Caroline Neuman. Little is known about his early life.

Pomerania, Prussia, Germany or Poland

Carl’s birth and marriage occurred in Pomerania or Prussia or Germany or Poland… With boundaries moving often, the area of his origin has changed names through the years. The Fehlhabers considered themselves Germans. When he was born, his town was in Pomerania. Situated between the German Empire and Russia, the area had been fairly stable until 1806 when Carl was about three years old and Napoleon decided to fight against Russia and Prussia. Borders changed. From 1806 to 1815 their town was very close to the border of Prussia and South Prussia. In 1813, Prussia declared war against France and in 1815, they won victory over Napoleon at Waterloo. This changed the borders again. In 1815, South Prussia was renamed to Posen. Strife continued through Carl’s life as revolutions occurred and struggles erupted between those areas wanting to be independently governed and those that wanted a unified Germany. Prussia was involved in many of those conflicts.

Hint: The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has a good map on their web site that shows the changing boundaries. See http://collections.lib.uwm.edu/cdm/ref/collection/agsmap/id/113. (You’ll want to use the + above the map to make it bigger and more readable.)

Carl came from the town of Prossekel, Kreis Filehne, Posen. Today that village is in Poland and is called Przesieki. It is in the administrative district of Gmina Krzyż Wielkopolski, within Czarnków-Trzcianka County, Greater Poland Voivodeship, in west-central Poland.



Carl Friedrich Fehlhaber and Ernestine-Caroline Neuman had the following children:

  1. August Fehlhaber was born on 05 Sep 1833 in Prossekel, Kreis Filehne, Posen, Prussia. He married Emelie Plish on 03 Aug 1862 in Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin (Town of Berlin). He died on 02 Apr 1922 in Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin (Town of Berlin).
  2. Ottelie Emilie Fehlhaber was born on 21 Nov 1836 in Prossekel, Kreis Filehne, Posen, Prussia.She married J. Ludwig Zamzow on 01 Apr 1861 in Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin (Town of Berlin).  She died on 22 Dec 1916 in Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin.
  3. Herman Fehlhaber was born in Feb 1839 in Prossekel, Kreis Filehne, Posen, Prussia. He married Maria Plish about 1869 in Wisconsin. He died on 26 Mar 1924 in Wisconsin.
  4. William F. Fehlhaber was born on 03 Feb 1842 in Prossekel, Kreis Filehne, Posen, Prussia. He married Maria Böning about 1873 in Marathon, Wisconsin. He died on 06 Dec 1901 in Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin (Town of Berlin).
  5. Carl F. Fehlhaber was born on 11 Feb 1845 in Prossekel, Kreis Filehne, Posen, Prussia. He married Emilie Friedericke Luise Draeger on 21 May 1872 in Marathon, Wisconsin (Town of Maine). He died on 01 Jul 1922 in Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin (Town of Berlin).
  6. Augusta Fehlhaber was born in Nov 1845 in Prossekel, Kreis Filehne, Posen, Prussia. She died between 1920–1922 in Easton, Marathon, Wisconsin.


Like many other families from their home area, the Fehlhabers decided to leave Prossekel and make a new life in Wisconsin. When Carl was 53 years old and his wife 48, they and five of their children ranging in age from 8 to 20, boarded a ship bound for America. Their oldest son, August, had made the voyage on the Orpheus two years earlier. The family sailed on the Shakespeare from Bremen to New York, arriving on 20 August 1856. By the time they got to Wisconsin it was late fall. Leaving the women and children behind near Green Lake in Dodge County, Wisconsin, Carl Fehlhaber and other men traveled north to purchase land. Carl went to Stevens Point and secured 320 acres of land at the Town of Berlin, near Wausau, Wisconsin. It was too late in the season to begin work establishing his homestead, so Carl returned to Green Lake and stayed with his family in a rented house for the winter. As soon as the snow was gone in the spring of 1857, Carl and his ox team headed for Wausau. It took two weeks to make the trip from Stevens Point to Wausau because of the high waters in the spring. There were no bridges and only a trail for a road. Conditions were not any better getting from Wausau to the Town of Berlin. The Fehlhaber family brought one cow with them and immediately went to work. They made a brush tent for themselves. The women slept in their canvas covered wagon until they finished building their first rough shed which had a birch bark roof. The following spring, the Fehlhabers brought the first sheep to the settlement.

Carl and Ernestine-Caroline established a farm in Wisconsin and helped their children establish themselves in the new country as well. In the US, Carl’s name was often listed as Charles rather than Carl. Ernestine-Caroline passed away on 23 July 1873 at age sixty-one. Carl Friedrich Fehlhaber died on 25 Feb 1885 in the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin at the age of eighty-one. They are both buried at Friedenshain Cemetery.

Carl Friedrich Fehlhaber (1803-1885)
Carl Friedrich Fehlhaber (1803-1885)

Where is he in the tree?


Berlin’s memories in 1976. The State of Wisconsin Collection. Web. 15 March 2016. http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/WI.Berlin

“History of Prussia” History World. Web. 15 March 2016. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?groupid=502&HistoryID=aa54&gtrack=pthc

“Prussia – 1740, 1806, 1915, 1866” University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, American Geographical Society Library Wall Map Collection. Web. 15 March 2016. http://collections.lib.uwm.edu/cdm/ref/collection/agsmap/id/113.

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