Happy Birthday Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner




Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner (1839-1935)

Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner was born on 14 Feb 1839 in Hansfelde, Posen, Prussia, as the second child of Friedrich Samuel Aschbrenner and Wilhelmina Mathwich. He had five siblings, namely: Gustav Edward, Adolph Friedrich Wilhelm, Herman August Ernest, Mathilda Alvine, and Albertina A. Aschbrenner. Hansfelde is now called Gieczynek, Wielkopolskie, Poland.


In Prussia, Frederick began apprenticing as a tailor. But, August Kopplin, a relative who had immigrated to America, encouraged others to come. Frederick’s parents sold their farm for less than it was worth and brought their family to American in 1856, when Frederick was a teenager. The parents sacrificed in order for their children to be able to have their own farmland in America. The family first went to Marquette County, Wisconsin. Then in 1857, traveled over crude roads to Marathon County. Frederick helped his father clear land and set up a farm. The first winter, the family lived in a dug out. The next spring, they built a log house. They also built a barn for their  yoke of oxen, cow, and chickens.

Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner.

When the Civil War broke out a few years after his arrival in America, Frederick went to fight. He volunteered and was mustered in on 04 Dec 1862 at Camp Washburn in Wisconsin. He served with Company I of the First Wisconsin Calvary and with them fought in thirty battles. But, probably lucky for us, Frederick missed the bloody Battle of Chickamauga. Frederick was sick at the time and on detached service in Nashville, Tennessee.

He was honorably discharged at Edgefield, Tennessee on 10 July 1865. In a speech that Frederick gave decades later, he described his service, “It was the civil war that caused interruption in our peaceful occupation ___ then in the spring of 1862 President Lincoln issued another call for volunteers it not take me long to make up my mind to answer this call by enlisting. In the company of twenty four young men who had also answered the invitation to enlist. I was sent to Madison where after drilling for several months we were sent south. Cheering that followed the announcement of the order to proceed south will always remain vividly portrayed in my mind. Many of the most enthusiastic on this occasion among whom were numbered not a few of my newly found friends, never returned to tell the tale of the next three years. The almost continual warfare we encountered in our campaign in Tennessee for the next two years convinced me more than all else that war is hell. Placed under the leadership of General Sherman we entered upon our final successful march thru to the sea, cutting off General Lee’s source of supplies and means of retreat and as history now records was the real cause of the south’s defeat. I was mustered out at Nashville and though I escaped injury I was now possessed with an indescribable longing to be home again in the free and open country.”

Frederick Aschbrenner, enlistment.

Less than a year after his discharge from the army, when he was 27-years old, Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner married Anna Teske, daughter of Johan Teske and Rosiana, on 07 Mar 1866 in Marquette, Wisconsin.

Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner and Anna Teske had the following children:

  1. Amelia Emilie Aschbrenner was born on 11 Nov 1868 in Little Chicago, Hamburg, Marathon, Wisconsin. She married Carl Raduechel in 1891 in Wisconsin. She died on 22 Feb 1955.
  2. Emma Albertina Aschbrenner was born on 15 May 1870 in Little Chicago, Hamburg, Marathon, Wisconsin. She married George Salyer on 17 Sep 1900 at Chicago, Cook, Illinois. She died on 07 May 1907.

Anna Teske Aschbrenner died on 26 Nov 1870 at the age of 29. Frederick became a widower with two very young daughters.

Anna Teske Aschbrenner, grave at Friedenshain Cemetery.

Within months of his first wife’s death, Frederick married again. When he was 32, he married Bertha Auguste Henriette Kluender, daughter of Heinrich Klünder and Louise Prechel, on 03 Mar 1871 in the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin.

Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner and Bertha Auguste Henriette Kluender had the following children:

  1. Heinrich Frederick Franz Aschbrenner was born on 09 Aug 1872 at the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. He died there on 23 Oct 1872.
  2. Carl Albert Emil Aschbrenner was born on 14 Jun 1873 at the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. He died there on 06 Sep 1873.
  3. Frederick A Helmut Aschbrenner was born on 03 Aug 1874 at the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. He married Alice Rosalie Fehlhaber on 26 Nov 1902 in Evangelical Lutheran Church, Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. He died on 12 Mar 1968 in Wausau Memorial Hospital, Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin.
  4. Otto Emil Valentine Aschbrenner was born on 21 May 1876 at the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. He married Martha Radant on 30 Jul 1904. He died on 16 Mar 1965 in Wisconsin.
  5. Martha Anna Mathilda Aschbrenner was born on 03 Sep 1878 at the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. She died on 28 Jul 1891 in Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin.
  6. Edward Albert Reinhart Aschbrenner was born on 08 Feb 1881 at the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. He married Laura Fehlhaber on 31 Oct 1906 in Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. Laura was a sister to his brother Frederick’s wife, Alice, and a daughter of our ancestors Emilie Friedericke Luise Draeger and Carl F. Fehlhaber. Edward died on 08 Nov 1972 in Merced, Merced, California.
  7. Bertha Hulda Marie Aschbrenner was born on 22 Apr 1882 at the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. She died on 30 Apr 1882 in Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin.
  8. Henry Herman Heinrich Aschbrenner was born on 21 Jan 1884 at the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. He married Emma M. Lillge on 12 Jun 1910 in Stratford, Marathon, Wisconsin. He died on 24 Feb 1960 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield, Wood, Wisconsin.
  9. Laura Amalia Henrietta Aschbrenner was born on 28 Feb 1886 at the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. She married Herman Radant on 16 May 1908 in Stratford, Marathon, Wisconsin. She died on 06 Sep 1954 in Stettin, Marathon, Wisconsin.
  10. Frank George Wilhelm Bernard Aschbrenner was born on 22 Apr 1888 at the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. He married Sarah Schroeder on 18 Jun 1918 in Rib Falls, Marathon, Wisconsin. He died on 06 Mar 1963 in Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin.
  11. Samuel Conrad George Aschbrenner was born on 07 Mar 1890 at the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. He died on 23 Oct 1977 in Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin.
  12. Hulda Amanda Alvina Aschbrenner was born on 10 Apr 1892 at the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. She married Fritz Herrmann Robert Poeske on 10 Feb 1917 in Marathon, Wisconsin. She died on 21 Feb 1973 in Kerrville, Kerr, Texas.

Sadly, several of the children born to Bertha and Frederick died young.

Heinrich and Carl Aschbrenner, grave at Friedenshain Cemetery.
The Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner family. Seated, from left, Frederick Wilhelm, Samuel, and Bertha. Standing, from left: Emma, Frederick A. Helmut, Otto, Amelia, Edward, Henry, Hilda, Frank, and Laura.

Fred started out farming in the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin. He farmed his father’s original homestead that he had helped erect. Farm life was not always easy and was sometime fraught with danger. It was reported that Frederick survived a tornado in about 1890. “One day, while returning home from Wausau, he noticed a black cloud coming towards him and he quickly jumped off the wagon and the only thing that saved him was to clench to the grass until the hurricane disappeared, while the team and wagon ran into a stump field, the provisions being scattered. On arriving home he found his eighty acre field and building were damaged severely besides few of the older pioneers being killed.”

In 1902, encouraged by his brother-in-law, Ferdinand Quade, Fred and Bertha moved to Stratford, Marathon, Wisconsin. They let their son, Frederick, take over the original farm while they cleared land for a new Stratford farm and, using 16,000 bricks, built a new house. Later, in 1915, son Henry took over the Stratford farm when Fred and Bertha retired and had a home built on what is now highway 97 at Stratford.

Aschbrenners at the Stratford brick house, from left, Henry Herman Heinrich Aschbrenner, Laura Amalia Henrietta Aschbrenner, Hilda Amanda Alvina Aschbrenner (front), Bertha Auguste Henriette Kluender Aschbrenner, and Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner, circa early 1900s.
Postcard from Hilda Aschbrenner to her sister-in-law, Alice Fehlhaber Aschbrenner.

Fred and Bertha both lived long lives. They were married over 64 years, enjoying many birthday and anniversary celebrations. Their last years were not without symptoms of old age. In 1932, for example, they did not have a 61st anniversary party because Frederick had “fell two months ago while walking on crutches and injured his hip,” and was confined to a wheel chair while Bertha was ailing with varicose veins.

Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner died on 29 Dec 1935 in Stratford, Marathon, Wisconsin. He was 96-years old at the time of his death. He was buried at Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery, Stratford, Marathon, Wisconsin. Bertha died a week later on 7 Jan 1936, at age 87, and was buried with her husband.

Three generations of descendants, visiting the grave of Bertha and Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner, 1995.
Frederick Wilhelm Krueger, Civil War marker.

Where is he in the tree?

Relationship chart, Selma Cornelia Aschbrenner to Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner.
Pedigree chart, Frederick Wilhelm Aschbrenner.

How do I Learn more?

The Aschbrenner Family

Selected Sources:

Alice Aschbrenner, “Aschbrenners Came to Marathon County With the Pioneers: Born in Germany in 1839, Frederick Aschbrenner Came to U.S. in 1856,” Wausau Daily Herald (Wausau, Wisconsin), 20 Aug 1932, page 3, Newspapers (https://www.newspapers.com/image/272909324/?terms=Aschbrenner : accessed 11 Feb 2018). Note, the author was the daughter of Henry Herman Heinrich Aschbrenner and his wife Emma M. Lillge.

“Conduct Rites for Stratford Resident: Mrs. Frederick Aschbrenner is Buried Friday,” Marshfield News-Herald (Marshfield, Wisconsin), 13 Jan 1936, page 2, Newspapers (https://www.newspapers.com/image/267457410/?terms=Aschbrenner : accessed 11 Feb 2018).

“Family Honors Aged Stratford Civil War Vet: Frederick Aschbrenner Observes Ninety Second Birthday Anniversary,” Marshfield News-Herald (Marshfield, Wisconsin), 16 Feb 1931, page 5, Newspapers (https://www.newspapers.com/image/268699609/?terms=Aschbrenner : accessed 11 Feb 2018).

“Pioneer Settlers of Town of Berlin Celebrate Event: Sixtieth Wedding Anniversary of Stratford Couple, Significant Occasion,” Wausau Daily Herald (Wausau, Wisconsin), 3 Mar 1931, page 7, Newspapers (https://www.newspapers.com/image/272607916/?terms=Aschbrenner : accessed 11 Feb 2018).

“Stratford Couple Married 61 Years: Frederick Aschbrenner Came to Marathon County Seventy-five Years Ago,” Wausau Daily Herald (Wausau, Wisconsin), 05 Mar 1932, page 5, Newspapers (https://www.newspapers.com/image/273027605/?terms=Aschbrenner : accessed 11 Feb 2018).

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