Julius K. Widder is a well known contractor and builder in Sheboygan county and is sole proprietor of a flourishing business which he has personally built up and developed. He is also widely known is real-estate circles throughout Sheboygan county as a builder of homes and improver of property. He was born in Sheboygan Falls township, April 20, 1874, and is a son of Frederick and Johanna Widder, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father left his native country in 1845 and crossed the Atlantic to America and settled in Sheboygan Falls. Later he removed to Milwaukee and spent one year in business in that town, but at the expiration of that time returned to Sheboygan. Subsequently he went to Green Bay, where he worked for a short period, and in the year 1850 again returned to Sheboygan Falls township, where he married and purchased a farm of eighty acres, upon which he resided until 1895. During his active life he engaged in general farming and cheese making and was a prominent and influential factor in the life of his section. He retired from active work in 1895 and removed with his family to Sheboygan, where he lived until the time of his death, which occurred on March 17, 1901, two weeks after that of his wife.
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Widder became the parents of ten children: Herman, who is now deceased; August, who resides in Sheboygan Falls township, where his wife died in 1905; Fred, who is married and lives near Clintonville, Wisconsin; Henry, who resides on the old homestead on section 12, Sheboygan Falls township; Wilhelmina, the wife of August Specht, of the same township; William, who makes his home in Sheboygan; Emil, who is married and follows the occupation of cheese making in Sheboygan township; Ernest, who resides with his wife in Sheboygan Falls township; Annie, a resident of Sheboygan; and Julius K., the subject of this sketch.
He was educated in the district schools of his native section and was also for some time a pupil in the night school in Sheboygan. He put aside his books at the age of seventeen to learn the carpenter's trade. Two years later he became interested in contracting and building and has followed that line of occupation ever since. In 1899 he built a little shop and moved his business into it. Upon this humble foundation he has built up one of the largest businesses of its kind in Sheboygan Falls township. He was the contractor for many of the important buildings in this section of the county and has gained a reputation for thorough workmanship and efficient construction. He is constantly adding to his building until now the original shop has been transformed into a large and modernly equipped industrial plant. He has installed gasoline engines to aid him in the manufacture of all kinds of building materials, and along this branch of his business he has built up a large and still developing trade. He specializes in the manufacture of cow stanchions and window and door frames. He makes tanks, cisterns and silos and is doing a constantly increasing business in all kinds of farm buildings. He was active in the organization of The Falls Stanchion Company, in which he is a stockholder and, furthermore, has occupied the offices of secretary and treasurer of the company from the beginning.
Mr. Widder has accumulated through his industry and energy a moderate fortune which he always invests in local enterprises. He has been largely interested in real-estate transactions in Sheboygan and vicinity, being one of the organizers of and a stockholder in the River View Park Land Company. He owns property in Riverside, having four lots and a house there. He has made a business of purchasing tracts of unimproved land, dividing it into lots, making improvements, erecting dwelling houses and selling the property to those desiring modern homes. In the majority of instances the houses have found purchasers before they are even completed. He has built for his own use a fine home with six lots in connection and upon this land he has expended much labor, filling up the low ground and causing the whole place to present a fine appearance. In the fall of 1911 he purchased thirteen acres on the Green Bay road and of the three dwellings thereon erected he has already sold two, having one still remaining to be disposed of, the house being situated upon a two-acre lot. He is a large stockholder in the State Bank of Sheboygan Falls and is deeply interested in everything which promotes the welfare of his section of the country.
On February 27, 1901, Mr. Widder was united in marriage to Miss Dora Schuldt, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joachim Schuldt, both natives of Germany who came to Sheboygan county in 1872 and settled in Sheboygan Falls. Mr. and Mrs. Widder are the parents of four children, Joseph, Reno and Clara and Clarence, twins. Mr. Widder was reared under the influence of the Lutheran church and in his youth was instructed in its faith. He is essentially a public-spirited citizen. He gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and has occupied positions of trust in the township, having served as assessor for two terms and member of the village board for a like term and township trustee for two years. He belongs to the Sheboygan Falls fire department and holds membership with the Beavers and the Sheboygan Falls Accident Association. He is well and favorably known in business circles of Sheboygan county, a master workman and a man thoroughly acquainted with every detail of the business in which he is engaged.
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