John P. Goelzer is the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of finely improved land, located on sections 19 and 20, Plymouth township, and here he is engaged in dairy farming.
Mr. Goelzer was born September 7, 1852, on a farm in this township, a son of Philip and Katherine (Dilling) Goelzer, both of whom were natives of Germany, the former born December 1, 1828, in Rhein Bayern, while the latter was born in Neu Bayern, September 25, 1835. The father was a lad of five years when he was brought by his parents to the new world, the family home being maintained in New York city for ten years, after which they removed to Germantown, Washington county, Wisconsin, and located on a farm. The mother likewise came with her parents to the new world, the family home being established in Germantown, and it was there that she formed the acquaintance of the man whom she subsequently married. This event took place December 16, 1851, and a year later they took up their abode upon a tract of government land near Plymouth, Sheboygan county. This the father developed into a well improved farm and here spent his remaining days, passing away June 15, 1884, when nearly fifty-six years of age. The old homestead is now in possession of Henry J. Goelzer, brother of our subject whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume, and in connection with which a complete record of the family is given.
John P. Goelzer was reared in much the usual manner of farm lads, assisting his father in the work of the fields during the plowing and planting season, and in the winter months he attended the district schools. He remained at home until he had reached the age of twenty-six, and then, in 1878, purchased his present farm of one hundred and twenty acres located on sections 19 and 20, Plymouth township. It, however, today presents a vastly different appearanc from what it did when it came into the possession of Mr. Goelzer, for at that time it had but few improvements on it.
In 1886 Mr. Goelzer erected substantial buildings on the place and in the years that have come and gone he has also improved the land, so that it is now a valuable farm. He gives his time exclusively to dairying but has recently begun to raise thoroughbred Holstein cattle. He has made a close study of his work and this, combined with his energy and excellent management, is bringing to him success.
On the 8th of October, 1878, occurred the marriage of Mr. Goelzer and Miss Mary Liese, a daughter of Conrad and Christina Liese, natives of Bavaria, Germany, the former of whom was born in 1822. His death occurred September 29, 1905, when he was eighty-three years of age. He was a shoemaker by trade. In 1848 he emigrated to America, having previously been married in his native land. He came direct to Plymouth and here worked at his trade for five years, when, believing that he could better provide for the support of himself and family by following agricultural pursuits, he purchased sixty acres of land a mile and a half northeast of Plymouth and there took up the work of farming through the summer months, while in the winters he worked at his trade. However, when the Civil war broke out he enlisted as a member of Company K, First Wisconsin Cavalry, with which he served till the close of hostilities. Returning to his home in Plymouth township, he once more resumed farming, which he continued until the time of his death, which, as before stated, occured in the year 1905. In his family were but two children, the brother of Mrs. Goelzer being Louis Liese.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Goelzer has been blessed with six children but the youngest died in infancy, while the eldest, Arthur, died in 1902, at the age of twenty-one years. The surviving members of the family are: Alma, the wife of William Schuette, of Waldo, Wisconsin, by whom she has three children, Velma, Milton and Lester; Roland, who is with his parents; Conrad, who is a high-school student at Plymouth; and Amo, also at home.
Mr. Goelzer gives his political support to the republican party and his fraternal relations are with the Modern Woodmen of America. He is also affiliated with the Holstein-Friesian Association of Wisconsin. The family attend the Reformed church. They have many friends in the locality in which they have long made their home, and in business circles, too, Mr. Goelzer is honored for his straightforward and upright dealings.
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