Fred H. Keller | Retrospect
Lillian Hornig recalls the 1800s in Lisbon
In the 1880s, the Germans were coming in a wave to Lisbon. One of the families was Ludwig Hornig and his wife, Margaret Eisenhauer. She had come to America because her older sister, Anna Marie Eisenhauer Stier, had come nine years earlier.
The Eisenhauer girls were from Altripp, Germany near Heidelberg on the Rhine River. Dwight Eisenhower also had his family come from Altripp and it is a family tradition that the Eisenhauers were related distantly to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower.
The Hornigs arrived in Lisbon in May of 1892. They bought a small farm near the corner of Howards Lane and Hillside Road when Margaret Hornig delivered her first American-born child, Lillian, on July 29, 1893. Lillian later had four sisters: Barbara and Anna who later married Haass boys. Then there was Elise (Tavernia), and Wilma (Gerken), and a brother, Ludwig.
At age 6, it was time for Lillian to go to the local one-room school, Sixteen School. Today it is a home on Good Hope Road across the street from the Lisbon Fire Department.
In 1983, at age 90, Lillian shared the story that she was apprehensive about going to school. Her mother, known as "Mutter" or "Gretta" pointed out the school in the distance and let Lillian walk to it by herself. Lillian stopped at a neighbor's, the Harris place, and sat in the kitchen to get up the courage to go to school for the very first time. Finally, she had enough courage to go and got to school rapping on the door. The teacher opened the door and Lillian announced, "I am going to school." This was her introduction to Mr. Randall, the teacher. At age 90 she could not recall Randall's first name, but she did remember a very important visiting teacher, Mr. Will Edwards, who was principal of Sussex Main Street School. He was also a politician serving as Lisbon Town Chairman, County Board member, and for more than 30 years in the state legislature as a representative and senator.
Lillian said, "Mr. Edwards was a senator in Madison for awhile, and he was the one who was strict. I knew they were so disappointed when they took a school picture and when it was done, lo and behold I was in the front row looking back at everybody."
She added, "Oh yes, I was a stupid little girl. I always had to say something about everything."
Lillian described the games they played on the playground. Her description of subjects at Hillside and later Sussex Main Street School included reading, writing, arithmetic and spelling. Her favorite was reading and all her life she read a lot. What she missed mostly was there was no drawing or art.
Meanwhile her parents moved to a farm on Silver Spring Drive, just a short distance east of the Wisconsin Central Soo-Line Railroad tracks. The farm was the former David Bohrham-Hardiman farm and the most famous latest farm site is the northern reaches of undeveloped land at the Vulcan Materials Quarry.
At age 16, she left Sussex for a job at the Milwaukee County Grounds (actually the mental hospital). Her job was to sew with the help from the matron. She earned $20 a week plus room and board. Lillian was a beautiful, red haired girl who was leading a sheltered life at the Milwaukee County grounds, but there was a problem. Her parents and sisters all spoke German. In 1917, America was at war with Germany and working adjacent to Lillian was a handsome naturalized German man.
Next week, we'll continue more about these families.
- Lawler signed Sussex incorporation
- Basement storage yields a historic letter
- Sussex-Lisbon Death Book documents local history
- A sign is all that remains of dam site
- The great snow of 1881
- 1981 Hamilton state champion summer baseball team
- Sussex 1922 basketball team
- Lisbon's first town meeting was held April 5, 1842
- Sussex clinic building once housed 'secret' business
- Lisbon was in line to inherit more than Haass land
- More on the Butler, Hornig family
- German immigrants meet, marry in U.S.
- Lisbon German immigrants had ties to Eisenhower family
- Sussex founding father, Richard Weaver, died 100 years ago
- Lisbon's first school was Lisbon Plank
- Jeffery farm ledger details family expenses in the 1920s
- The Schlichers of Lake Five Road Photos from the collection of Sussex Village Historian Fred H. Keller
- Lake Five, a speck on the Wisconsin map
- Cottages pop up around Lake Five in the 1800s
- Sussex horse trade gives way to auto era
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