Frank W. Margenau, who is engaged in the real-estate and insurance business in Sheboygan, has practically been a lifelong resident of this place, although he was born in St. Louis, Missouri, August 20, 1854. His father, Frank H. Margenau, was a native of Westphalia, Germany, and came to America in 1847. He was for a time a resident of St. Louis but in 1854 came to Sheboygan, where he was living at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war. Patriotic attachment to his adopted country led to his enlistment as a member of Company D, Fifty-third Wisconsin Infantry, which command was afterward consolidated with Company I, Fifty-first Wisconsin Regiment, and he completed his service with that company, proving a brave and loyal soldier. He married Catharine Margaret Meyer, whose parents were natives of Hanover, Germany, and lived and died there. In early life their daughter Catharine came to the new world and on the 13th of April, 1851, was married to Frank H. Margenau.
Frank W. Margenau was but two months old when brought to Sheboygan, where in the public and parochial schools he pursued his education. As he grew to manhood he was employed in different ways and ultimately learned the trade of harness making but, losing several fingers in an accident, it became necessary for him to abandon that line of activity and he secured an appointment as clerk in the office of the register of deeds in Sheboygan under Ernst Clarenbach, which position he fil1ed continuously for eight years. In 1879 he established a grocery and saloon but at the end of two years sold out and for four months thereafter was employed by Val Detling as his assistant. In September, 1883, he began conducting a saloon on his own account and for three years carried on the business, at the end of which time he was elected to the office of register of deeds. He served in that capacity for two terms with such capability that in 1891 he was elected to the office of city comptroller, in which connection he continued for one term. Through the succeeding two years he had no business connections but returned to the saloon business in 1895 and so continued until 1907, when he engaged in the real-estate and insurance business, which he still follows. He has thoroughly informed himself concerning property values and is thus able to meet the requirements of his clients in furnishing the kind of property desired. He also writes considerable insurance each year and both branches of his business are thus proving profitable.
In 1878 Mr. Margenau was united in marriage to Miss Anna S. Zurheide, a daughter of Fred Zurheide, who was a native of Westphalia, Germany, and came to America about 1851, when twenty-seven years of age. For a brief period he remained in Buffalo, New York, but the same year came to Sheboygan, where he engaged in brick making. He enlisted as a member of Company A, Sixth Wisconsin Volunter Infantry, during the Civil war and served until its close. After returning from the front he opened a brickyard and engaged continuously in the manufacture of brick until his death. He married a Miss Strohmeyer and they became the parents of several children, of whom Mrs. Margenau was the third in order of birth. By her marriage she became the mother of seven children: Alfred F. F., who died at the age of eight years; Frank W., who attended the common and high schools and is a machinist by trade, having served in that capacity in the United States navy; Alma, who died in infancy; Thekla, who died when six years of age; Arno H., who is now learning the machinist's trade; Esther F., at home; and Elmore R., who is attending school.
In his political faith Mr. Margenau is a stalwart democrat. He has in addition to the offices already mentioned served as supervisor of Sheboygan for two terms. He belongs to the National Union, the Turn Verein, the Concordia Singing Society and the United Aid Society-c-associations which indicate much of the nature of his interests and the rules which govern his conduct. He also has a military chapter in his life history, inasmuch as he was at one time a member of the old Evergreen City Guards, which later became Company C of the Second Wisconsin Regiment, and he is still connected with the Veteran Corps. His activities have brought him prominently before the public in various lines and he is well known at the present time as a progressive business man, while socially he has also gained wide recognition.
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