No history of Holland township would be complete without a record of the life of Garret Lammers, who is largely responsible for the early settlement of the district and whose constructive and organizing skill have since made him a great individual force in its upbuilding and development. He is at present president of the village of Cedar Grove and his public service is distinguished by high and broad-minded ideas of personal responsibility to his constituents. He was born in the village of Alten, in the province of Gelderland, Holland, November 12, 1845. His father, Henry J. Lammers, died in his native country in 1846, when our subject was only ten months old, and his wife later married his brother, G. J. Lammers, and he it was who founded the family in America. He came to the United States in 1854, bringing with him his wife and family. He located at Gibbsville, Lima township, Wisconsin, and spent his entire life in America as an agriculturist. He died in 1875. when he was sixty-seven years of age. The mother of our subject, who was in her maidenhood Miss Antoinette Tubrinke, was also a native of the province of Gelderland, Holland, and came to America with her second husband. Her death occurred in February, 1892, when she was seventy-five years of age. She was the mother of five children: A. J., who is now living at Cascade, in Lyndon township; Garret; Hattie, who is deceased; James, who was a resident of Gibbsville and is deceased; and Jane, the wife of Peter Kommers, of Franklin, Milwaukee county, Wisconsin.
Garret Lammers was educated in the district schools of Gibbsville and assisted his stepfather in the work of the farm until he was eighteen years of age. In that year G. J. Lammers was drafted into the service of the Federal army but his stepson went to the front in his stead. On the 4th of November, 1864, Garret Lammers enlisted in Company C, Wisconsin Volunteer Cavalry, under command of Captain William Howe, and served until July 25, 1865, when he was mustered out at Milwaukee with his honorable discharge. He immediately entered the employ of J. J. Sherman, of Rockford, Illinois, for whom he traveled as a salesman of nursery stock throughout the state of Iowa and the surrounding territory for three years. In 1868 he made the journey to his native country, visiting the village in which he was born and making an extended tour throughout Holland. He visited his old friends in that country and gave glowing accounts of the marvelous opportunities which the new country of America offered. On his return he brought with him one hundred and thirty-two Holland emigrants, all of whom settled in what is now Holland and Lima townships.
Mr. Lammers remained in America for one year and, seeing the prosperity of his fellow countrymen who had made the journey to the United States at his instigation, he determined to make another trip to Holland and this he did in 1869 and returned with three hundred and forty-one emigrants. The greater part of this number settled in Holland and Lima townships with their compatriots, and only a few left Wisconsin for Iowa. All are now successful agriculturalists in the places where they began their American careers.
In 1871 Mr. Lammers brought his organizing and developing skill to bear upon transportation problems. He contracted with the Northwestem Railroad Company to do the grading on their new line then being built through Cedar Grove. Mr. Lammers eventually became active as a grain buyer and was the first man to erect an elevator in the district lying between Sheboygan and Milwaukee. He shipped the first carload of grain over the new railroad and was prominent and successful in this line of business for twenty-five years. At the end of that time he disposed of his interests in the grain elevators and has since lived in Cedar Grove in comparative retirement. He has, however, not given up his intelligent and liberal interest in the affairs of his community. For the past seven years he has served with distinction as president of the village of Cedar Grove and is still holding this office and meeting with the approval of his fellow citizens, who have 'entrusted it to him.
Mr. Lammers has been four times married. He first wedded Miss Anna C. Veit, of Cedar Grove, and to this union were born two children: Henry, who met death by drowning at the age of twenty years; and Loraine, now a resident of San Jose, California. In 1879 Mr. Lammers married Miss Anna Huisheere and some years after her death he was married to Miss Anna "Clarebaugh, by whom he has one child, Antoinette, the wife of Orlando Lewis, of Cedar Grove. Mr. Lammers fourth union was with Miss Alaida Jentink, whom he wedded in 1891, and unto them has been born a son, John, now living at home.
Mr. Lammers is a consistent democrat in his political views but has never been an office seeker, although he is doing his duty ably and efficiently in his present public capacity. He gives his allegiance to the Presbyterian church and is the only charter member of that organization still living in Cedar Grove. No man has done more for the development and upbuilding of Holland township than has Mr. Lammers. He is a loyal citizen of the old country and a stanch supporter of the institutions of the new. His career has been a valuable contribution to the development of this section of America, which country in its capacity as a melting pot of the nations finds few such earnest, loyal and broad-minded citizens.
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