Charles Bernard Freyberg

On June 27, 1908, there died in Sheboygan a well known and widely loved man. His life had been for many years closely connected with the development of his section of the country and his activities had been a dominating factor in its growth. Charles Bernard Freyberg was a native of Germany, having been born in Pomerania, that country, August 16th 1844. His parents were Louis and Caroline (Weinschlager) Freyberg, both natives of Germany. His father was a blacksmith by trade and followed this occupation until his emigration to the United States in 1852. He came from Hamburg with his wife and five children, making the voyage on a sailing vessel and arriving in New York nine weeks after his departure from Germany. He lived in Milwaukee for six months, removing from that city to Sheboygan county, which was then in a primitive and undeveloped state. He opened a little shop at Howards Grove, this county, and continued in this connection for seven years. For a portion of this time he also operated a shingle mill in the same section. He removed to Meeme, in Manitowoc county, in 1859, and engaged in the saw milling business for six years. At the expiration of that period he moved to Sheboygan, where he built one of the first flouring mills in the city, operating this in conjunction with a shingle mill until his retirement. His son succeeded him in the business and looked after his interests until the father's death, at the age of sixty-five years.

Charles B. Freyberg came to the United States with his parents and received his education in the English and German schools of Sheboygan county. He worked in his father's blacksmith shop for some time and engaged in this line of occupation until he reached the age of twenty-one. His first business enterprise on his own account was a little store at Howards Grove, which he operated for one year. He then purchased the old sawmill of his father in Manitowoc county and ran it with much success for six years, when he sold out and in partnership with his brothers, Albert and Herman Freyberg, bought the flour mill which his father had founded in Sheboygan county. This he operated for four or five Years and in the meantime opened a lumber yard in this city. Some two years later he and his brothers purchased a sawmill from A. L. Weeks, in Manitowoc county, and operated it until it was destroyed by fire two years afterward.

Subsequently they built a mill on Washington island, where they also opened a store and had charge of the dock. They then engaged in the lumber business and opened a yard in this city, with which they have since been continuously connected. They removed to their present quarters at the foot of Pennsylvania avenue in 1888 and have developed their business along modern and progressive lines since that time, At the time of Charles B. Freyberg's death he had attained a position of prominence in the industrial world of this city. The plant consists of two large four story buildings equipped with the most modem and efficient milling machinery. The lumber yard covers one and one-half blocks and has three hundred and thirty feet of dock frontage. The buildings upon it are occupied by a planing mill, which is also operated by the Freyberg brothers, and the plant of the Sheboygan Novelty Company which was incorporated in 1890 with a capital stock of thirty thousand dollars. Charles B. Freyberg was the president of this organization from its foundation.

Mr. Freyberg was married at Howards Grove, Wisconsin, in 1865, to Miss Caroline Kestner, a daughter of William Kestner, a pioneer of Sheboygan county, who came to this district from Germany at an early date. Mr. and Mrs. Freyberg were the parents of five children: Lisetta; Clara, now Mrs. William Waterman; Norma, the wife of Guido Nehrlich; Alma, the wife of Walter Piper; and Carl, who died at the age of five.

Charles B. Freyberg's sudden death on June 27, 1908, was a great shock to his numberless friends in this city. He was one of the most prominent citizens of Sheboygan county, actively interested in his business, and a dominant factor in the commercial life of the city. He was one of the organizers and a director of the Citizens State Bank and was elected president of that institution on the day of his death. While he lived he gave his hopes and his accomplishments to the promotion of the welfare of his native section and to the prosperity of his fellow citizens; when he died he left behind him as an incentive to the coming generation the story of a remarkable and successful business career and the record of a life well lived.


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