The history of the settlement of America is a record of hard work and unconquering determination. In the upbuilding of no section of this country is this more true than in the progress and development of Sheboygan county and its outlying districts. The owners of the large and well cultivated farms which make the country prosperous are to a great extent the sons of hardy pioneers who wrested the land from the wilderness.
Charles Martch is prominent among men of this class and a prosperous farmer of Scott township, Sheboygan county, Wisconsin. He was born November 13, 1867, in the district in which he is now living. His father was Peter Martch, who was born in Germany in 1845 and died in America in 1908. His mother was Frederika (Haag) Martch, of German lineage, but American birth, who was born August 24, 1845, and was a daughter of one of the early settlers of Ohio. Phillip Haag left for Wisconsin in 1850. The grandfather of the subject of this review, Conrad Martch, was the first of the name to come to America, landing in this country in 1853 and locating almost immediately in Scott township, section No. 1, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of timber land which he cleared and cultivated.
The little log cabin in which he began his life in the new country is still standing. To him were born five children: Katharine, who is now the wife of Peter Riedelberger, of Chicago, Illinois; Peter, the father of the subject of this sketch; Elizabeth, who married Charles Goehring, of Silver Creek, Wisconsin, whose sketch appears on another page of this work; Christina, the wife of Louis Illian, a prominent farmer of Scott township; and Mary, who married Robert Muehlberg of Port Washington, Wisconsin.
Peter Martch, the father of the subject of this review, was only eight years of age when he came to America with his father. He grew up on the farm which his father bought and helped in the clearing of the timber. Although a mere child of fifteen years when the Civil war broke out he promptly enlisted in Company E, Thirty-Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He was wounded in the battle of the Wilderness, was taken prisoner and spent several months in the famous Libby Prison. At the close of the war he returned to Scott township and spent some years on a farm of eighty acres which he had bought on section No. 1. The land was entirely unimproved and covered with timber which he was obliged to clear before he was able to put it under cultivation.
He built several log buildings in one of which he resided for a long time, improved the place extensively, added eighty acres to his holdings and in 1896 sold the farm to his son and retired from active business, moving almost immediately to Milwaukee where he died in 1908. His wife was Frederika Haag, by whom he had nine children: Louisa, who is now living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Mary, the wife of Fred Wedermann, also residing in Milwaukee; Charles, the subject of this review; Elizabeth, who married Frank Balk, of Juneau county, Wisconsin ; Caroline, who resides iri Milwaukee; Angeline, the wife of Edward Fallson, a prominent business man of Milwaukee; Minnie and Fred, both of whom are residents of Milwaukee; and Annie, the deceased wife of Frank Kahn, of Cedar Lake, Wisconsin.
Charles Martch was educated in the public schools of Sheboygan county and grew up on his father's farm, gaining a knowledge of the details of the life and a love for its many branches which are valuable aids to him in his present agricultural occupation. He bought the home farm from his father in 1896 and has since made it his home. He has made his dairy the most prominent branch of his business and the personal attention and skill which he has brought to its management have increased its efficiency and outlook with each year. It is well stocked with Durham and Polled Angus graded cattle, in which he takes a great pride. The raising of cattle for the markets is also a prominent feature of his farming, and this branch of industry has added materially to his means since he became owner of the paternal homestead and the acres adjoining it. He has improved and modernized the farm with new buildings. He erected a beautiful home a few years ago in which he is now living and at the same time added a barn and a concrete double silo which was a great help to his dairy facilities.
On December 18, 1900, Mr. Martch was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Backhaus, a daughter of Frederick and Gusta Backhaus, both prominent pioneer settlers of Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. Martch are. the parents of four children: Clara, Freda, Arthur and Selma, and the entire family are devoted members of the Evangelical church of Batavia, Wisconsin. The beautiful home in which they now live stands in the center of two hundred acres of splendidly improved and well cultivated land. The past success and the present prosperity of Charles Martch were the natural results of his hard work, keen discrimination and dominating mind.
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