Paul Knauer who is successfully engaged in general farming and dairying on section 17 Plymouth township is one of the capable and enterprising agriculturists of Sheboygan county, of which he is a native. His birth occurred in Plymouth township on the 28th of February, 1860, and he is a son of Louis Knauer, one of the highly esteemed and honored pioneer farmers of the county.
The father was born in Brandenburg, Germany, June 25, 1821, and was one of the six children of Carl Knauer, an extensive landowner. The family were all given the advantages of a good education, and the son Louis, who was implicated in the rebellion of 1848, was the only one to become a citizen of the United States. He emigrated to America in 1849, and for eight years thereafter he was employed in the copper mines in the upper Michigan peninsula in the vicinity of Lake Superior. At the expiration of that time he came to Sheboygan county and purchased some land on section 16 of Plymouth township and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits.
His tract had been partially cleared and cultivated by the Indians, who had a burying ground located there, and was a most desirable holding. Mr. Knauer was a man of more than average capability and foresight and met with success in the cultivation and improvement of his farm, upon which he lived until 1893, when he retired from active business and removed to Plymouth, where his death occurred on the 3rd of November, 1900. He was married twice. His first union was with Miss Agatha Zimmerman, who was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, in 1829. She came to the United States alone and here she met Mr. Knauer to whom she was married in 1857, the event being celebrated in Sheboygan. Six children were born to them, one of whom died in infancy. Those who lived to attain maturity were as follows: Carl, who was a resident of Milwaukee, now deceased; Paul, our subject; Minnie, who died at the age of eighteen years; Mary, who is living in Los Angeles, California; and Otto, also a resident of Milwaukee, now deceased.
The mother passed away in 1868, and two years later the father married Miss Sophia Dunkwardt, and to them were born several children, all of whom died in infancy. Mr. Knauer was a man of excellent standards and unquestionable integrity, who was held in high esteem in his community in the progress and development of which he took an active interest.
The boyhood and early youth of Paul Knauer were passed in a manner similar to those of other lads reared in the country at that period. He attended the public schools in the acquirement of an education and assisted his father with the work of the farm at such times as he was not engaged with his lessons. After leaving school he gave his undivided attention to agricultural pursuits and at the age of twenty-three years he rented the old homestead and began farming on his own account. He continued in this for six years, and at the expiration of that time he removed to Plymouth, but a few months later he resumed farming west of Plymouth, where he rented a place that he cultivated for a year
In 1891 he purchased his present farm, located on section 17 of Plymouth township, and here he has ever since resided. He has wrought extensive improvements on this place during the period of his ownership, having erected a large, commodious barn and substantial outbuildings, while he has cleared and placed under cultivation forty acres of land. He engages in diversified farming and in connection with this he makes a specialty of dairying, raising such cattle as he requires to replenish his herd, which is comprised of graded Holsteins. He is also extensively engaged in the raising of hogs, confining his attention to the Chester White breed.
Mr. Knauer has brought eighty acres of his farm under high cultivation, and annually gathers there from abundant harvests that amply reward him for his intelligent care and labor. His place is equipped with everything necessary to its cultivation, and the general appearance and condition of the property manifests the life of activity he leads as well as the competent supervision he exercises in the direction of his undertakings.
On the 9th of November, 1882, Mr. Knauer was united in marriage to Miss Henrietta Fritz, a daughter of Gottfried Fritz, a native of Wurtemberg, whose birth occurred in 1824. He emigrated to the United States in his early manhood and came direct to Sheboygan county. He located in Lima township during the pioneer days and there for many years he engaged in agricultural pursuits, his death occurring in 1891. Mrs. Knauer is the second in order of birth of the four children born to her parents. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Knauer numbered six, but one died in infancy. In order of birth the others are as follows: Ella, the wife of Arthur Isenloth of Rhine township, this county, who has one daughter Leila; Alma, who married Joe Faas of Plymouth township by whom she had one child, Pearl; F1ora, the wife of Otto Schultz, also of Plymouth, who has one child; Arthur, who married Mabel Brown and has one child, lone, also a resident of Plymouth township; and Alfred, who is living in Alberta, Canada. The wife and mother passed away on the 2nd of March, 1912.
The entire life of Mr. Knauer has been passed in the vicinity of his present homestead, where he is accorded the esteem and respect he merits by reason of his well spent years and high standards of citizenship.
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