Emil Widder is one of the well known residents of Sheboygan township, where for twenty-one years he has owned and operated Pigeon Ridge cheese factory, which was founded by his father and is one of the oldest and best known enterprises of the kind in the county.
His birth occurred in Sheboygan Falls on the 23d of November, 1866, and he is the seventh in order of birth in a family of ten children. His parents were Frederick and Anna (Hamman) Widder, natives of Germany. They emigrated to the United States during their early years and located in Sheboygan county, where the father engaged in agricultural pursuits. He subsequently purchased a farm in Sheboygan township and after cultivating this for a time extended the scope of his activities by acquiring a cheese factory that he operated in connection with his farm. He continued to give his entire attention to both of these enterprises until his son, our subject, was old enough to relieve him of the responsibility of the factory, when he removed to Sheboygan and lived retired until his death in 1901. The mother passed away the same year, her demise occurring a few weeks prior to that of the father and both are buried in St. Lucas cemetery, Sheboygan Falls township.
Reared on a farm, Emil Widder was educated in the district schools and also the high school, terminating his studies at the age of eighteen years. His father then placed him in the cheese factory, where he learned the trade and subsequently assumed the management. He has been the sole proprietor and manager of this enterprise now for twenty-one years, and as he manufactures an excellent quality of cheese his brand has become known and he enjoys an extensive patronage that has come to him entirely unsolicited.
On the 29th of March, 1890, Mr. Widder was married to Miss Lena Herbort, a daughter of Henry and Anna Herbort, natives of Germany, and to them have been born three children: Paul, who is a music teacher in Sheboygan; and Melitta and Meta, who are at home. He attends St. Lucas church and to it gives his hearty support. In political matters Mr. Widder displays his broad-mindedness, casting his vote for the man best fitted to represent and serve the best interests of the majority of the people, and for the past two terms he has been elected to the office of town treasurer. He is a man of sterling worth and integrity and in the discharge of his official duties manifests the same promptness and reliability that have always characterized his business transactions.
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