Franklin Risse, one of Sheboygan county's native sons, within whose borders he has spent his entire life, is now successfully operating an excellent farm of one hundred and ninety acres located in Sherman township and is meeting with gratifying success in his agricultural enterprise.
He was born on the farm which is yet his home on the 25th of April, 1856, a son of Henry and Christina (Junge) Risse, both natives of Germany. The father's birth occurred in Saxony on the 10th of March, 1817, and in 1847 he came to the United States, locating in Sheboygan county, where he entered a tract of eighty acres which became the nucleus of the present fine property of his son Franklin. Later he added another eighty acre tract, becoming the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land within the first two years of his residence in this county. He continued to make that his place of residence, subsequently adding to it from time to time until he owned about two hundred acres. Later he sold lots for a schoolhouse and a cemetery, and at the time of his death his farm consisted of one hundred and ninety acres.
He passed away on the 10th of February, 1904. He had come to the new world alone, his parents always remaining residents of Germany, but after his settlement here he had been joined by his half-brother, who continued to make his home with him. In Wisconsin Henry Risse had married Miss Christina Junge, who was born in the fatherland on March 25, 1825, and with her parents had come to the United States in 1849. The family home was established in Ozaukee county, Wisconsin, and there the daughter gave her hand in marriage to Mr. Risse. She passed away on May 8, 1905. In their family were fourteen children but only four are now living: Morris, residing in Grinnell, Iowa; Franklin, of this review; Max, of Appleton, Wisconsin; and Oswald, who resides on the old homestead with his brother Franklin.
In the home of his parents Franklin Risse spent the period of his boyhood and youth, and with the exception of one year his entire life has been passed upon the old home farm. He acquired his education in the schools of Sherman, while his practical training which was thorough and comprehensive, was received under the direction of his father. After putting aside his text-books he devoted his entire attention to agricultural pursuits and when his father withdrew from active life he took charge of. the homestead, which he has since continued to operate. It consists of one hundred and ninety acres of finely cultivated land and in addition to his general farming pursuits he engages in the dairying business, keeping in his pastures an excellent herd of cattle. Both branches of his business, have proved very profitable for he has directed his affairs with great care, at all times manifesting keen sagacity and sound judgment, and utilizing modern and up-to-date methods.
Mr. Risse was married, April 11, 1880, to Miss Alvina Gessner, a daughter of William and Rosa (Bittner) Gessner, natives of Germany. The father, whose birth occurred in Saxony April 5, 1822, was a shoemaker by trade, and after coming to the United States in 1851 followed that pursuit and also engaged in farming to a limited extent, owning a farm of about twenty acres. He died on September 26, 1900, while his wife survived until 1911, passing away on the 18th of March of that year. Mrs. Risse was one of seven children, of whom six now survive, the others being: Emil, William, Fred, Frank and Paulina, all of this county. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Risse have been born the following children: Louis, who was born on the 27th of August, 1881, and married 'Margaret Wolf, now making his home across from his father's farm; William, born September 16, 1883; Charles, May 11, 1886; Theodore, December 25, 1888; Otto, June 7, 1891; Tilly, August 31, 1893; Selma, February 11, 1897; and Walter, March 13, 1899.
The parents are members of the German Evangelical church of Silver Creek, in the work of which they are deeply interested, and are held in high esteem in the community in which they reside. Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Risse has given his political allegiance to the republican party and at one time served as treasurer of Sherman township, proving a faithful custodian of the financial interests of the town. He is progressive in his citizenship, giving his influence to those projects which have for their object the upbuilding and development of the community. He possesses also those sterling qualities of manhood that win confidence and esteem, and many of his best friends are those who have known him from childhood, an indication of his genial nature and high principles.
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