John Hermann is now in the seventy-first year of his age and is living retired in Sheboygan Falls after more than sixty years of honorable activity in this section of the country. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, January 12, 1842. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. John Hermann, both natives of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, who came to the United States at a very early date and settled in Indianapolis. They remained in that city until 1854 when they came to Sheboygan county and settled on a farm. The father died in 1869 and was survived by his wife until August 12, 1897. They were the parents of ten children, five of whom are still living: John, the subject of this sketch; Elizabeth, the widow of William Hanshon of Sheboygan; William and Conrad who reside in that city; and Mary, who is the wife of Charles Kerskamp of Sheboygan falls.
John Hermann received his early education in the public schools of Sheboygan county and followed the occupation of farming and occasionally carpentering until 1864. In that year he enlisted in Company E, Twenty-seventh Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served during the remaining period of the war. He took part in several engagements in Alabama and was present at the capture of Fort Brickley in the spring of 1865. On July 14, of the same year, he was mustered out with honorable discharge and returned to Sheboygan county. Here he rented forty acres of farm land, built upon it a log house and made such improvements as were possible at that time. He and his family lived upon his holdings for twenty years. In 1888 he tore down the little cabin which was his original home and built a new house upon the same site.
During the years of his active life John Hermann improved and cultivated the farm upon which he lived, made many additions to his barns and outbuildings, erected sheds for the protection of his grain and stock and installed modern and up-to-date farm machinery. He was a practical agriculturist and keenly interested in anything which tended to put the occupation of farming on a more scientific basis.
When John Hermann enlisted in the Federal army in 1864 he had been married but five days to Miss Caroline Fommell, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fommell, natives of Germany, who came to the United States at an early date and settled on a farm near Sheboygan Falls.
Our subject and his wife became the parents of twelve children, of whom ten are living: Anna, the deceased wife of August Horne, who lived in Sheboygan county until her death in 1903; John, Jr., a resident of Spokane, Washington; Louis, who makes his home in Sheboygan; George and Valentine, also residents of that city; Lena, the wife of Louis Scheller, and a resident of McMillan, Marathon county, Wisconsin; William, who operates a farm in Sheboygan township; one who died in infancy; Henry, a resident of Sheboygan; Emma, the wife of William Gram bow of Marshfield, Wisconsin; and Paul and Conrad, both of whom reside in Sheboygan.
John Hermann operated his farm and gave his personal superintendence to its management until his wife's health failed in 1891. After twelve years sickness she died January 5, 1904, and was buried in the Wildwood cemetery.
In 1897 Mr. Hermann rented his farm and later, in 1904, sold it to his son Valentine and went to Sheboygan Falls where he made his home with his brother-in-law, Charles Kerskamp. Here he is still living in retirement after more than half a century of active agricultural life. He is well known in this section of the country where his courageous service during the Civil war is still remembered. He is an active member of the Sheboygan Post, No. 12, G. A. R.
Mr. Hermann like his father has always voted the republican ticket and is a stanch adherent of that political faith. For three years he served efficiently as road master of Sheboygan township. He was raised in the faith of the German Reformed church and all through his life has been a loyal follower of that denomination. Mr. Hermann can look back upon his past life quietly and without regret, with a consciousness of work well done and of opportunities which have never been unworthily used.
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