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Johann Hommerding

County map of Wisconsin
Counties where Johann Hommerding & descendant settled are noted.


Map of Marathon County, showing Cities and Towns (shaded) and Townships
The names of many Townships must reflect their German settlers.

Johann Hommerding (1837-after 1910) was the last of Johann Peter's sons to leave Germany. He arrived in New York City with his wife and seven children in 1885. Subsequently Johann and some of his children show up in U.S. and Wisconsin census records, and Wausau city directories.

In the 1895 census Johann's daughter, Margaret and her husband, Otto Poch, were living in Wapauca County. [See Wisconsin County map above]
1900 census record shows Johann and his wife, Magdalena, living with their son, Michael, in Harrison. [Upper right on Township Map]
The 1905 state census lists Johann's sons, Michael and Jacob in Harrison.
1910 census--Johann is widowed, and living in Clintonville, Waupaca County, Wisconsin, as a boarder.
[Clintonville is 60 miles southeast of Wausau. ]
Later Wausau city directory indexes show that Margaret and Otto Poch were still in Wausau in 1914.
Otto's occupation is "laborer."


Marathon County

Marathon County was created in 1850 when it was split off from Portage County. The county seat is Wausau, situated on the banks of the Wisconsin River. This is "watery" country--there are 194 lakes in the county.

The county is located in the heart of Wisconsin and also in the heart of the state's dairy industry.

Left: Marathon County Dairy Farm
Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation


Harrison, Marathon County

Harrison is a small town (pop. 418 in 2000), and is part of the Wausau Metropolitan Area. It was founded in 1888 and the Marathon County Historical Society in Wausau published its Centennial Book in 1998. In that book a Hommerding family is mentioned:

"Michael Hommerding married Margaret. Children Phil, Lena, James and Alvin. They raised Holstein cattle. They owned 3 parcels of land, two 80's and one 120 acre on or near Highway G in the Town of Harrison (near Antigo). The 1912 plat showing the name as M. Hamerding."
--Farmers' Directory of Harrison Township, Atlas and Farmers' Directory of Marathon County, Wisconsin.


Wausau, Marathon County

Left: Map of Wausau.
Right: Wausau from "Rib Mountain"

Map provided courtesy of Wisconline® Used by permission.


Wausau is about 100 miles west of Green Bay, which is on Lake Michigan.

In 1990 the city had a population of 37,000.

When the railroad arrived in 1874, Wausau was more accessible to settlers and industry. This allowed the city to continue to grow and flourish, even as other villages and towns in the area were forced to close because of the rapidly vanishing forests and closing of the lumber mills.

Today it is an industrial, commercial, insurance, and agricultural city in the heart of Wisconsin's dairy region. Its many manufactures include wood and plastic products, electric motors, knives, machinery, and steel. Nearby Rib Mountain has both a state park and ski area.

The Wausau Insurance Company put Wausau in the minds of people across the country. Its logo, first introduced in 1954, was the downtown Milwaukee Road railroad depot, set against the backdrop of the community's skyline. The company is now called Liberty Mutual.


Wausau Background

Wausau Insurance Co. Building

Granite Peak Ski Area on nearby Rib Mountain. The 700-foot mountain is the highest skiable mountain in the state and the second highest vertical drop in the Midwest.

Another valuable family history resource is the Wisconsin Historical Society which maintains an excellent genealogy section.

A Family Tree Maker Genealogy Report (pdf. file) for Johann and all his descendants can be viewed and printed out if desired.

If you would like more information on Johann Hommerding and his descendants, please contact R. Atwell at: 

To print this chapter, open the PDF file and click on printer icon in upper left corner.


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Unless otherwise noted, text and photos are the property of Barbara Halliday, © 2013