Henry W. Oehlman is well known in real-estate circles in Sheboygan and his business has assumed extensive proportions owing to his thorough understanding of property conditions, his knowledge of that which is marketable and his ability as a salesman. He was born March 8, 1848, in the Hartz mountains, Prussia, Germany, a grandson of Christian Oehlman, who was engaged in the lumber business in the fatherland.
Our subject is a son of Henry Christian Oehlman, who was born November 14, 1815, and remained a resident of his native land until after his marriage. He came with his family to the United States in 1851 and continued his westward journey to Sheboygan county. Here he cast in his lot with the early settlers who were reclaiming a wild region for the purpose of civilization. The land was covered with its native forest growth and the trees had to be cleared away before fields could be plowed and crops cultivated. Mr. Oehlman became identified with agricultural interests in which he continued until 1889 when he sold his farm and retired from business, thereafter making his home with his son Henry until his death which occurred March 2, 1902. For almost a half century he had survived his wife, who bore the maiden name of Christiana Koehne, and died in 1856. In the family were three children but two sons died in infancy.
Henry W. Oehlman was but three years of age when his parents came to the new world and since that time he has resided continuously in Sheboygan county. He early became familiar with the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life and with the duties and labors that constitute the chief features of farm work. He continued to farm with his father until he reached the age or forty-two years. He then turned his attention to commercial pursuits as a dealer in wood and coal, in which business he remained for nine years. He next entered the real-estate field in which he has operated to the present time, and in addition to handling property in Sheboygan and the surrounding country he is also interested in the land business and in farming in North Dakota. He is thoroughly conversant with realty values here, and an enterprising spirit and unassailable business probity are important elements in his continued success, bringing to him a large clientage.
In 1875 Mr. Oehlman was married to Miss, Maria Meves, who was born November 21, 1855, in Mosel township, this county, a daughter of Ernest and Frederica (Nordhausen) Meves, who were natives of Prussia and came to America in 1848, settling in Mosel township where the remainder of their lives was passed, the father giving his undivided attention to general agricultural pursuits. Mrs. Oehlmaa spent her early days upon the home farm, living with her parents to the time of her marriage, and the careful training which she had in the duties of the household well qualified her to take charge of a home of her own. She was reared in the Lutheran faith in which she died May 21, 1909, after a very brief illness. She was one of seven children, four sons and three daughters: Johanna, now the wife of Fred Kellner; Ernest M.; Bertha, the wife of August Thiel; August M.; Robert; Otto; and Mrs. Oehlman. They are all living in Sheboygan with the exception of August M., who, however, is also a resident of Wisconsin.
Mr. Oehlman is a member of the Sheboygan Mutual Aid Society. He belongs to the Reformed church and is interested in those activities which look to the welfare of the community along charitable and moral lines. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party and for three terms he has held the office of supervisor, beginning in 1895. While he keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day he prefers to leave office holding to others that he may concentrate his energies more largely upon business affairs, knowing that unremitting diligence and close application constitute the source of success.
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