Biography of Andrew Charles Wirth

This biography appears on pages 167-168 in
"Men of Progress. Wisconsin. A selected list of biographical sketches and portraits of the leaders in business, professional and official life. Together with short notes on the history and character of Wisconsin."


WIRTH, Andrew Charles, a resident of Milwaukee, is the son of John Wirth, who was engaged in the shoe business in Syracuse and Utica, New York, from 1848 to 1859, but came to Wisconsin in the year last named, and was engaged in the same business in Kenosha and afterward in Racine. He enlisted for the army in 1863, but the examining physicians rejected him, and he returned to Kenosha. In 1871 he moved to Fond du Lac, where he died, in 1891, at the age of seventy-one years. A. C. Wirth's mother was Margaret Rock, a descendant of the Rock family, prominently identified with the mail service in Germany before the days of railroads. She died in 1875, at the age of forty-six.

A. C. Wirth was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, November 24th, 1864. He attended the public schools and a German Methodist school until he was eleven years of age, when he was adopted by a farmer in Lomira, Dodge county, his parents having previously moved to Fond du Lac, where his mother died. Not liking his foster-father he ran away the following year, and found employment with a farmer in Markesan, at five dollars per month. In the course of the summer he earned thirty dollars, with which he bought clothes and books, and attended the district school during the winter, doing chores for his board. With this farmer, one James Quick, he remained until he was sixteen years of age, when he went to Fond du Lac and served an apprenticeship, in the meantime attending a night school and also studying music. He learned to play and prompt for dances, and in this way earned money, which he saved in the hopes of eventually entering the university. He went to Madison with this end in view, but sickness soon took all of his accumulated means, and he gave up his purpose of securing a liberal education. Having acquired some proficiency in playing and prompting for dances, he determined to fit himself for teaching dancing, and with this purpose he visited many prominent teachers of the art in the United States and Canada; and, finally located in Milwaukee as a master of dancing. He has now, for some years, been very successful in the work; having classes in Milwaukee, not only, but in other leading cities of the state. He has, during the season, had three adult and two juvenile classes in Milwaukee, and they have sometimes numbered as high as three hundred pupils. He is a member of the National Association of Masters of Dancing, and has held all the offices within its gift. He is considered one of the most successful teachers of the art of dancing in the state. He is a composer of dance music, and has written a book on dancing, which has been extensively sold.

Mr. Wirth was married on the 8th of October, 1889, to Miss Jennie E. Keyes, a descendant on her mother's side of the Carpenter family, one of the oldest in New England. They have had two children, one of whom died when fifteen months old.

He is a member of the Independence Lodge, No. 80, and Wisconsin Chapter, No. 7, of the Masonic order. He is also a member of the Iroquois club. Agreeable in manner, an enthusiast in his vocation, popular with those with whom he comes in contact, he is a good example of what one may accomplish with energy and a definite purpose.



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