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Celebrating the Life of Martin Boerner, Sr.

February 9, 2013
Martin Boerner, Sr.

Martin Boerner, Sr.

My great-grandfather, Martin Boerner, Sr. was born on this day, 9 Feb 1866, in Gaulsheim, Mainz-Bingen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. He was the youngest of Adam and Anna Mariae (Janz) Boerner’s seven children.

As a young man he was in the “Kaiser’s Army” and did not like the direction the Kaiser was taking Germany, so he followed his brother to the United States. According to the 1900 U.S. Census, his brother, “Bartel” (Bartholomaus) came to Kaukauna, Wisconsin in 1886. Martin left his wife and three young sons in Gaulsheim and sailed on the Southwark, arriving at Ellis Island on 1 Dec. 1897.

He expected to work with Bartel at the Badger Paper Mill but the mill burned so they went up to Niagara, WI to work at the Kimberly-Clark paper mill. Bartel returned to Kaukauna but Martin made his home in Niagara, continuing to work at Kimberly-Clark. A family story tells of Martin being among the first employees of K-C in Niagara to receive a pension when he retired–a sum of $25 per month.

In 1899, his wife Katharine and their three sons immigrated to the United States. Young Karl died at Ellis Island but the other two boys survived. The family lived in one of the homes “behind the mill” and had four more children. Katharine died when she was only 45 when surgeons cut another organ while doing an appendectomy on her and she bled to death, leaving three young children at home for Martin to raise on his own. He did not remarry, but when his youngest daughter, Anna Marie, married Oscar Aderman, they bought the house from Martin and he lived with them for the rest of his life; Oscar and Ann and their sons lived upstairs and Martin continued to live on the ground floor.

Martin was a faithful Roman Catholic and made a big impact on his young grandsons. He is remembered for making apple cider each fall, for his strong work ethic, and his straight, deliberate, “military” stride. He lived well until his death in 1944 at the age of 78.

From → Boerner/Storch

  1. judy Boll permalink


    My name is Judy (Boerner) Boll. Martin Boerner Sr. was my great grandfather. I am the granddaughter of the Jacob Boerner of Niagra, WI that you have written about! My father was Jacob and Rose (Simon) Boerner’s eldest son. His name was Martin John Boerner. I completely stumbled onto your blog by randomly searching my grandmother’s name. I knew my beloved grandpa Jake came from Germany and Rosie came via Austria, but did not have our family history. I am sooo excited to read all about my family and follow your links. I have heard the names but had no stories to go along with them!

    I have the best memories of visiting my grandparents behind the mill in Niagra. My father built a barn/garage that still stands next to the old KC, by taking rocks out of the bluffs! My grandpa was a lone hold-out and refused to sell his home to the mill.

    Thank you so much for the time spent compiling this data. I cannot tell you what a gift it is! I will be sure to add our family history and stories if the opportunity presents itself!

    Judy (Boerner) Boll

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Martin Boerner, Sr. and His Apple Press | Whence We Come
  2. Oscar and Ann Aderman family in 1940 Census | Whence We Come
  3. A Look at the Life of Roland Occhietti | Whence We Come
  4. The Marriage of Oscar D Aderman and Anna M Boerner | Whence We Come

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