The pioneers of any section are responsible in a large measure for the character and conditions of the country which they help to upbuild. They must be hardy men, capable of working and suffering hardship and perils for the sake of putting the section which they founded upon a solid basis of commercial and social progress.
Charles Goehring is a Wisconsin pioneer, exemplifying in his life the sturdy virtues of industry, strength and broad intelligence which are coming to be recognized as national German characteristics. He was born on June 6, 1844, in Merseburg, Prussia, Germany. His father and mother were natives of the fatherland.
The family is of ancient lineage and has been engaged in the occupation of farming for many centuries. Charles Goehring is the son of Christopher and Leonora (Hartwig) Goehring. His father was born in 1808 and lived until 1878, having been an active and prosperous German farmer during his life. His wife was born on December 25, 1812, and died in 1892.
Christopher Goehring with his wife and family crossed the Atlantic to America in 1847 and came direct to Wisconsin, locating for two months in township 9, Milwaukee county, that state, and in the same year pushing on to Sherman township, where he took up a grant of eighty acres of timber land on section 31. The life which he lived during this period made a constant call upon his qualities of endurance, capacity for work and power of living up to an emergency. The conditions which he found in Sherman township were primitive in the extreme.
He had to build his own buildings, erecting little log cabins on a small portion of land which he cleared of timber at first. Within a few years his native industry and the compelling power of necessity had enabled him to have his entire ground cleared of trees and under cultivation. He never left the farm upon which he settled, and died there in 1878. He figured in the history of Sherman township as one of its very first and most prominent settlers. He was well known in his native country before his emigration and served his time as a soldier of the cuirassiers in Prussia. He was married in Germany and became the father of six children of whom three were born in the fatherland: Fred P., now living in Silver Creek, Wisconsin; Amelia, who is the deceased wife of Jacob Haas, a prominent citizen of Sherman township; Charles, the subject of this sketch; Anton W., now a citizen of Manitoba, Canada; Louis, deceased; and Emma, who married Andres Fox, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where she now resides.
Charles Goehring was only two and a half years old when he came to America. His education was limited to that of the common schools of those days and he grew up on his father's farm, learning to love the occupations which farm life called for. He became thoroughly acquainted with the various details incident to carrying on successful agriculture in a new country. He learned the value of hard work and continuous endeavor and these qualities are the foundation of his success today.
When he was fifteen years of age he left school to assist his father in the work of clearing and cultivating his land. He amassed a small amount of money by much saving and in 1867 bought the home farm of one hundred and sixty acres where he has since resided. He has improved the land, built many new buildings and installed modern equipment in all parts of his holdings.
His farm today presents splendid examples of the modern comforts and luxuries of agricultural life as it is carried on in America today. He has three large and commodious brick houses, many barns and outbuildings and employs a number of men on his land today which his father would never have dreamed of when he cleared the little tract around his first log cabin. One of the principal pursuits in which Charles Goehring is engaged and the one to which his personal attention and time are to a great extent given, is that of dairying. He is very proud of his magnificent herd of Holstein cattle. He takes a personal interest in the quality of his milk and butter, and his dairy and its products are well known throughout the township.
Beyond his interest in this branch of his work Mr. Goehring is living retired from active life and has turned over his farm to his son. In 1868 Mr. Goehring was married to Miss Elizabeth Martch, who was born in Buffalo, New York, August 9, 1847, a daughter of Conrad and Ernestina (Krasmig) Martch. Mrs. Goehring's father was born in Kurhessen, Germany, and came to America in 1846, locating immediately at Buffalo, New York, where he lived for two years. He then removed to Ohio, farming there for five years, until 1853, when he joined his son-in-law in Scott township, Sheboygan county, Wisconsin.
Mr. and Mrs. Goehring are the parents of eleven children, ten of whom are living: Henry, residing in Emmons county, North Dakota, and a prominent farmer of that district, who married Rosie Siederman, by whom he has six children; Louis, a carpenter of Naperville, Illinois, who married Franey Mechtle, by whom he has four children; Charles, Jr., a carpenter of West Palm Beach, Florida, who married Clara Bergean, who passed away leaving one child; Frank, a farmer of township 12, Ozaukee county, Wisconsin, who married Jane Miller, by whom he had five children; Levi, also following the carpenter's trade at Naperville, who married Ophelia Mechtle and has three children; Moritz, engaged in farming in Emmons county, North Dakota; Oscar, a carpenter of Naperville, Illinois, who married Lilly Meyer, by whom he has two children; Anton, operating the old farm in Sherman township, who married Ella Nitchke and has one child; Amelia and Ida, both of whom make their home in Naperville, Iliinois.
Charles Goehring and his entire family are members of the Evangelical association. He is now sixty-eight years of age, resting after the labors of an active and worthy life on the farm which his father founded and in the upbuilding of which he contributed his energies and talents.
Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL