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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"Trempealeau County" by Clarence J. Gamroth:

Volume 1B:

Biographical Data:  
Surnames N through R:

The following information was gathered from various sources - mostly newspapers.  Many of these biographical items are obituaries.  This data was compiled in 1975 and includes biographical data on the following people:

NELTON, Mary (Mrs. Peter)
PAMPUCH, Mrs. Thomas
PASSON, Andrew
PASSON, Edward
PIERCE, Eben Douglas M. D.
PIETREK, Barbara
PIETREK, Frances
PIETREK, Valentine
RAETZ, Charles A.
REID, George John
REID, Margaret
REID, Mary

NELTON, Mary (Mrs. Peter)

Source - Independence News Wave, Friday, 16 Nov 1928

Mrs. Peter Nelton of Chimney Rock dies after long illness.

Mary Olson was born in Nested, the Island of Sjaeland, Denmark on May 28, 1847.

Died at her home in Chimney Rock, Trempealeau County, Wis. on Nov. 15, 1928.  Her age at time of death was 81 years, 5 months and 17 days.

After death of her parents she came to this country in 1873 locating in Arcadia where her two brothers Chris and Andrew Olson were living.  They having come to this country several years before.

In 1874 married to Peter Nelton and for a year lived in Arcadia.  The following year moved to the Town of Chimney Rock and engaged in farming. 

Three children were born to the union - Mrs. Mamie Winsand and Nora, both at home, and one son, Earl, practicing law at Balsam Lake, Wis. 

Husband Peter Nelton also survives.


PAMPUCH, Mrs. Thomas

Source - Independence News Wave, 29 Apr 1948

Mrs. Thomas Pampuch died at age 94 last Tuesday.  She was born Mary Klink on Nov. 5, 1860 in Schalkowietz.  At age 11 years came with brother Urban Klink.  She married Thomas Pampuch Jan. 21, 1884.



Source - Independence News Wave, 14 Apr 1939

Thomas Pampuch recalls European Wars.

He was born in 1853 in Poppelau, Germany and came to the United States at age 15.  His parents settled on a farm in Travis Valley, Trempealeau County (near Independence).

Mr. Pampuch told the News Wave editor that he remembers preparations for war between Germany and Denmark for the Province of Holstein.  The war broke out in 1864.  Germany had induced Austria to join the fight.  Denmark was defeated and Austria demanded its share of the gains but was refused.  Austria then resorted to war against Germany in 1866.  Austria lost.

(Comment by Clarence J. Gamroth - Thomas Pampuch was the son of Lawrence who in the early 1870s owned 280 acres of land on both sides of present day Bugle Lake [Elk Creek, Independence, Wis.].  Lawrence Pampuch raised wheat where Independence now stands.  At the time Bugle Lake did not exist.  The Pampuch's came to the United States in 1868.)


Source - Independence News Wave, 06 May 1948

Born in Poppeleau, Germany on Dec. 16, 1853.  Died April 27, 1948, aged 94 years, 4 months, 16 days.  Came to America at age 15 years.  Son of Lawrence Pampuch.  Married Mary Klink on Jan. 21, 1884.  She was born in Germany.  Farmed in Travis Valley.

Their family operation started on a small scale, there being much grubbing to do and tillable soil was few in acres to start with.  A fence came, a team of horses, some geese and a few chickens was the extent of their livestock.  As the years passed more and more land was available for cultivation, their personal holdings increased until they were known as progressive and well-to-do farmers when they retired.

Mr. Pampuch was active in church and civic affairs.  He served as director of the New City school for 10 years, treasurer of SS Peter and Paul Church for 15 years and was a member of long standing in the Sodality of the Living Rosary.


PASSON, Andrew

Source - Independence News Wave, 10 Feb 1922

Andrew Passon was born in Germany on Sept. 11, 1869 and came to this country with his parents that same year.

They settled in the Town of Arcadia where he lived until his death.  He died Jan. 30, 1922.

On Jan. 27, 1891, he married Sophia Maciocek.

Twelve children were born to this union, ten of whom are living;  Mrs. William (Elizabeth) Andre, Mrs. George (Anna) Slabik, Mrs. Bert (Mary) Slaby, Peter, Edward, Henry, Isador, Adolphe, Esther and Candidine.

(Comment by Clarence J. Gamroth - Andrew Passon was my uncle by marriage to my mother's sister Sophia.  He and his family lived on a farm 4 miles south of Independence, Wis., now owned by the estate of Peter Passon who died in 1970.  He bought the farm from Mr. Arnold, one of the early pioneers.  The original farm and house were east of Hwy 93 directly across from the Arnold place.  Andrew Passon owned a steam engine and grain threshing machine and did much of the threshing in the county, particularly in and around Wickham Valley.  The Passon farm is at the intersection of Hwy 93 and Hwy XX between Independence and Arcadia.)


PASSON, Edward

Source - newspaper clipping dated Thursday, 03 Oct 1968 (name of newspaper unknown)

Edward Passon, 71, Passes Away Monday

Edward J. Passon, 71, Independence, died Monday at Tri-County Memorial Hospital, Whitehall, six hours after being admitted.  He had been ill two months.

He was born February 4, 1897, to Andrew and Sophia Maciosek Passon, Town of Burnside.  He married Emma Oxendorf in Milwaukee in 1930.  He operated a gas station here 16 years, working 18 years for a Milwaukee construction company and had lived here three years after retiring.

Survivors are:  His wife; one sone, Richard, Minneapolis; three grandchildren; four brother, Peter and Adolph, Independence, Henry and Isadore, Milwaukee, and five sisters, Mrs. William (Elizabeth) Andre Sr., Mrs. George (Anna) Slabik, Mrs. Bert (Mary) Slaby, and Mrs. Tom (Esther) Skroch, all of Independence, and Mrs. Howard (Connie) Kanitz, South Milwaukee.

Funeral services were Wednesday at 10 a.m. at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, the Rev. Chester Moczarny officiating.  Burial was in the church cemetery.

Pallbearers were:  Cliff Kampa, Clarnec Gamroth, John Sonsalla, Bill Andre, Pete Kampa and Edward F. Kulig.  Honorary pallbearers were:  Joseph Roskos, Aloizy Halama, Ed Pientok, Ephraim Slaby, Carl Matchey and Ray Pietrek.

(Comment by Clarence J. Gamroth - Edward Passon was my first cousin, his mother Sophia was the sister of my mother, Agnes.  Both were daughters of George and Susan Sluga Maciocek.  Edward was born on the parents farm about four miles south of Independence at the interseciton of Hwy 93 and X.  At this juncutre in the pioneering days was located a postal station in a store.  There was also a blacksmith shop.  The place was known as Williamsburg because the names of the settlers were Williams.  The farm was taken over by Edward's brother, Peter.)


PIERCE, Eben Douglas M. D.

Physician, historian, poet and nature lover.

Born Williamsburg, Arcadia Township (Hwy. 93 and Hwy. X) August 13, 1874, son of Henry E. and Mary M. Morrow Pierce, the pioneers.  Lived on the home farm until 10 years of age and was then taken to Arcadia where he was reared on a small fruit farm owned by his father.

Attended district public school at Williamsburg and passed thru Arcadia Public Schools.  Graduated from Arcadia High School in Jun 1895.  Took a two year course at the University of Michigan.  Completed Medical course at University of Oregon in 1899.

In Fall of 1899 began practice in Pickwick, Minn.

In Summer of 1900, toured Scotland, and returned to Winona, Minn. in the Fall.

In 1901, moved back to Arcadia and did journalistic and other litary work until 1904.  The following two years practiced his profession at Arcadia in partnership with Dr. George N. Hidershide.  The year of 1906-1907 practiced at Hillsdale, Wisconsin.

In 1907 went to Vancouver, Washington where he practiced madicine.

In 1911 married Hettie M. Carsley, daughter of G. A. and Samaria Grant Carsley, an artist and newspaper illustrator.

The young couple settled in a beautiful spot at Trempealeau, Wisconsin.  Both were lovers of nature and the out of doors.

The doctor devotes his time to the practice of his profession and research and to his literary and historical writing.  Mrs. Pierce follows her art career and took charge of the village library.

Dr. Pierce is the author of several historical papers.

(Comment by Clarence J. Gamroth - Williamsburg was a little hamlet near Hwy 93, half way between Independence and Arcadia.  Dr. Pierce edited "The History of Trempealeau County", compiled by Franklyn Curtis-Wedge and published in 1917 by H. C. Cooper Jr. and Company of Chicago and Winona.)


PIETREK, Barbara (Mrs. Valentine)

Mrs. Valentine Pietrek was Barbara Sluga, daughter of Frank Sluga and Barbara Killian Sluga, both immigrants from Prussia.

Barbara was born Jan. 1, 1872 near the little hamlet of Elk Creek, Township of Hale, Trempealeau County, Wis.  She died July 19, 1967 at the age of 95.

Barbara was the sister of Susanna (Mrs. George Maciocek) and Mrs. John Bill.  Brothers were Peter, Frank and John.

(Comment from Clarence J. Gamroth - Mrs. George Maciocek was mother of my mother, Agnes.)


PIETREK, Frances

An Early Settler by Helen Marsolek, 1947

My grandmother was born in Germany in a small town called Apal (Poppeleau).  This was part of Poland taken by Germany.  To them one mile in the U. S. was five miles.  Her name was was Frances Pietrek who came to this country with her parents, three brothers and one sister when she was 8 years old in 1868.  One of her brothers was quite small and died a little ways on the ship from New York.  There was no time to stop for the funeral, so a man took and buried him someplace in New York.  The ship was run by an engine and it took 13 days to get to this country.

From New York they went to Chicago and from Chicago they went by train to Milwaukee.  From Milwaukee they tooka boat to Trempealeau and from there they hired a man who took them to Independence.

While in Independence she married John L. Bautch in 1876 on June 27, when she was 16 years old.

Then they moved to live on a farm near Arcadia in what is known as North Creek where they lived for 12 years.  From there they moved back to Independence and lived there for 4 years.  From there they moved back to North Creek where they lived for another 4 years.  Later they moved here to what is known as New City and lived there for 18 years.  After living there in New City, they moved to what is known as Wickham Valley.  Here they lived for 3 years.  They sold this place to their son Lewis who is still living there.  Then they moved back to Independence and lived there for 18 years.  While in New City, they had a mill which they operated for 8 years.  In the Spring, high waters would come and one year a [sic] of the mill was taken with it.  They then discontinued the mill at New City and farmed for a few years on a farm now owned by their grandson Jerome Bautch after retiring from farming.  Then they built a house near the Catholic school where they lived for the past 26 years, until my grandfather died in 1942.  My grandmother is still living there at the age of 87.

Frances Pietrek - Father, Andrew Pietrek - Mother, Frances Susa
born 1861
died March 18, 1958 at 87 years
married June 27, 1877 at 17 to John L. Bautch, age 24 years.


PIETREK, Valentine

Valentine Pietrek, proprietor of a large and flourishing farm of 560 acres in section 15, Arcadia Township, was born in Posen, Germany, Feb. 9, 1863, son of Andrew and Frances (Susa) Pietrek.  In 1870 the parents came to the United States with their family, located in section 15, Arcadia Township this county (Trempealeau), their farm lying about four miles north of the village.  This property, which was known as the O'Rourke farm, consisted of 200 acres and was partially improved.  Here Valentine Pietrek was brought up and trained to farm work, and here he has resided ever since, having added 360 acres to the farm.

June 6, 1890, Mr. Pietrek was married to Barbara Sluga of Independence Township, and he and his bride set up housekeeping on the Pietrek homestead.  Andrew Pietrek and his wife moving across the railroad to a location east of the old hom.  The father died in 1889 and was buried at North Creek; his wife survived him and is still living, being now 84 years of age.  In 1902 the subject of this sketch built a modern two-story, brick veneer house of ten rooms; also a frame barn, 38 x 78 feet in dimensions.  The latter burned down in 1898, but was rebuilt the same Summer.  Mr. Pietrek has also built a third barn, together with woodsheds, hog houses, granary and a garage, all the buildings being substantially constructed and in good shape.

He now has 350 acres of his farm under cultivation, the balance consisting of post and timber.  The property is located on Independence road, midway between Independence and Arcadia, just at the foot of Lewis Valley.

Aside from general farming, he is engaged in dairying, having a fine herd of 18 graded Holsteins, with 45 to 50 head of young cattle.  His equipment is all modern and in first class condition, and his horses and wagons the best of their kind.   Mr. Pietrek is a stockholder in the Glencoe Co-operative Creamery Company of Arcadia.  Politically, he is a Democrat, but has held no public office.

He and his wife are the parents of ten children:  Sophia, Mrs. John Gandera of North Creek, this county, Roman, unmarried, who is employed by the Chicago & Northwestern Railway; Theresa, unmarried, residing at home, and Paul, Andrew, Joseph, Martha, Mary, Benjamin, and Anna, all of whom reside with their parents.

The family belong to St. Michael's (Polish) Catholic Church.

-Transcribed from "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin", compiled by Franklyn Curtis-Wedge, edited by Eben Douglas Pierce, M.D., 1917


Born February 9, 1863 in Posen, Germany, son of Andrew and Frances Susa Pietrek.

In 1870, came with parents to the United States and settled in Section 15, Town of Arcadia, Trempealeau County, Wis.

June 3, 1890, Valentine married Barbara Sluga of the Town of Hale, near Independence.

Took over the farm of Andrew Pietrek who moved with wife across the tracks.

Andrew died Jan. 233, 1899.  Buried in North Creek.

Valentine's farm of 560 acres was between Independence and Arcadia.

Their children:  Sophia (Mrs. John Gandera)


RAETZ, Charles A.

Machinist and blacksmith, Independence.

Born in Bader, Germany, June 7, 1845.  Came to America with parents in 1847 and to Wisconsin in 1857, where he lived with them on a farm in Buffalo County.  Enlisted December 24, 19863 in the 6th Wisconsin Co. H, Volunteer Infantry and served until the close of the war (Civil War).  In 1866, started to learn his trade in Fountain City, Wisconsin.

Married in Buffalo County in 1873 to Emelia Linse.  They have three children; Henry A., Charles E., and Della.

In 1877 came to Independence and started a blacksmith shop which was the second one in the village.

(Transcriber's note - this biographical material was copied in part from the book "History of Northern Wisconsin" which was published in 1881 by the Western Historical Society, Chicago.  For an exact transcription of this biography, including references to page numbers, etc., 
go to here.)


REID, George John

Source - Independence News Wave, 10 Sep 1920

George John Reid was born in Utica, New York, May 2, 1841 of Scotch parents who came to the U. S. the year before.  The family then moved to Wesfield, Wisconsin where it settled on a farm.

On October 13, 1867 was married to Mary S. Slade of Packwaukee, Wisconsin.  They moved soon to Trempealeau County and took up a homestead one and a half miles west of Elk Creek, adjoining the farm of his brother James.

There were few neighbors in those days.  Took grain to the nearest market which was at Trempealeau.  The nearest mill was at Coral City, east of Whitehall.  There was also a store at the place.  Sometime trading was done in Arcadia but the roads were poor and rough.  Failing health caused him to leave the farm.  He built a small home in Independence where he died on August 29, 1920 at the age of 79 years, 3 months.

Is survived by his wife and one brother, Robert A. Reid of Minnesota and a number of nephews and nieces.


REID, Margaret (Mrs. James)

Source - Independence News Wave, 06 Jul 1928

Mrs. Margaret Reid enjoyed a visit one day last week from her cousin, Judge William A. Cant of Duluth.  This is the first meeting of the two in 52 years.  The parents of Mrs. Reid and Judge Cant came to this country together from Scotland and settled farms near Westfield, this State.  That was more than 75 years ago, and for the past 50 years the two cousins have been widely separated.  Mrs. Reid is past 81 years of age, but is in good health and cares for th ehouse and duties on the farm where she and her son Robin and daughter Eva reside.


Source - Independence News Wave, 30 Sep 1932

Margaret (Laing) Reid was born in the Village of Guildtown, Perthshire, Scotland, July 23, 1847 and died at her home north of Independence on September 19, 1932 at the age of 85 years and one month.

Came to America at age 7 and settled near Grand Rapids, Wood County, Wisconsin.  Five years later, the family bought a farm 4 miles south of Westfield, wis. where she lived with her parents, 3 brothers and 4 sisters until coming to her present home.

On March 10, 1864, she married James Reid of Westfield, Wis.  They came to the township of Burnside, Trempealeau County.  Her husband died 12 years ago at the age of 81.  Seven children were born to this union.  Evelyn died in infancy and Mary Josephine died October 22, 1924.

Suriving are three daughters and two sons:  Allie Myers, Winona, Minn.; Mable Steig, Esmond, N. D.; Eva Mae at home, George Reid at Cleghorn and Robert at home.


REID, Mary

Source - Independence News Wave, 27 Mar 1936

Mary Reid Laid to Rest on Sunday

Mary Samantha Reid, daughter of Lumen Reed Slade and Roxy Pomeroy Booth was born on May 30, 1846 and [died] at her home in Independence March 18, 1936 at the age of 89, 9 months and 18 days.

At the age of 11, she went to New York State where she lived with paternal grandparents while attending school for 3 years.  When she returned to Wisconsin, she attended school in Packwaukee where her parents then lived.  They later moved to Westfield, Wisconsin where she lived with her parents until the time of her marriage to George Reid, October 13, 1867.  Two weeks later they journeyed northwest to their homestead near Elk Creek which then a wilderness in Trempealeau County, to join his brother James Reid and family and his brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Michael White, and children who settled there the previous year.

In 1902, she and her husband moved to Independence where she since resided.  Her husband passed away in 1920, since which time she has been cared for by his niece, Eva Mae Reid and guardian Dr. G. F. Stack.



Meat market, Independence, Wisconsin

Born in Germany, March 22, 1849.

Came to America in 1871.

Worked in Chicago at his trade for 14 months.  In Fall of 1872 went to Eau Claire and in 1874 started in business for himself there.  In 1877, moved to Independence and started his present market, it being the first one in the village.

Married in 1876 to Maggie Cramer.  She was born in August 1858 in town of Rubin, Wisconsin.  Have one son, John J.

(Transcriber's note - this biographical material was copied in part from the book "History of Northern Wisconsin" which was published in 1881 by the Western Historical Society, Chicago.  For an exact transcription of this biography, including references to page numbers, etc., 
go to here.)



Furniture and Undertaker.

Born in Prussia June 2, 1847.

Came to America with his parents in 1856 first locating on a farm in Buffalo County where he remained until 1870.  he then went to Fountain City and started in the mercantile business with L. E. Danuser and continued for one year and sold to his partner and went back to his farm.

In 1877, moved to Independence and started on his present business, his being the first furniture store in the village.

Was elected Justice of Peace in Spring of 1881.  Is member of Evangelical Church.

In 1870, married Maggie Steiner who was born in Milwaukee.  Have four children:  Lewis, Sarah J., Helen C. and Eugene E.

(Transcriber's note - this biographical material was copied in part from the book "History of Northern Wisconsin" which was published in 1881 by the Western Historical Society, Chicago.  For an exact transcription of this biography, including references to page numbers, etc., go to here.)



Source - Independence News Wave, Friday, 16 Mar 1934

Paul Rybarczyk Dies in 92nd Year After 4 Months Illness

Was born in Warsaw, Poland in the year 1842.  There he grew to manhood and leared the blacksmithing trade in which he was engaged until he came to this country.

On January 17, 1871, he married Magdalen Wieczor, she a blacksmith's daughter was born in Klonowo, Poland.  She died March 16, 1923 at the age of 73.

Upon arrival in this country, he secured employment in the coal mines near Chicago.  The death of his brother John in the mine where they worked side by side, changed his outlook about the mining industry and he moved to New London, Wisconsin.  here he was engaged in the laying of the Green Bay and Western Railway between Green Bay, Wisconsin and Winona, Minnesota.  It was hile working at this that he picked the site of the homestead he took in Plum Creek in the year of 1876.  In 1891, he purchased a farm between Independence and Whitehall upon which he spent the rest of his life.

Surviving him are six children:  Edmund, Flint, Michigan; Leonard, Graceton, Minnesota; John, Arcadia; Mary (Mrs. Andrew Jaszewski), Independence, Wis.; Kate (Mrs. John Jaszewski), near Whitehall, Wis.;  and Roman, on the home farm.  Stanley and Theodosia died in Europe before the family came over.  Anne, Joe, and Magdalen also preceded him in death.


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