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Researched, written and contributed by:
Gloria A. Olson

Dr. Herman F. Ohswaldt

Dr. Ohswaldt was one of the pioneer doctors of Oconto County.  He came to the area of Stiles in 1881 residing there until 1899 when he moved to Oconto Falls. He spent the majority of the balance of his life in the county, except for a period of six and one half years, commencing in circa 1914 until 1920.  During this time he resided in Sagola, Michigan before returning to Oconto Falls.

He suffered the hardships of being in a developing area, the hardship and grief of some personal problems and the mixed emotions all medical doctors go through. He start his practice in the area at a time of dirt roads, if there were any; operated on people with only the light of kerosene lamps; and during a time when medical bills were many times paid by the barter system, if at all, instead of cash.

The developing area did not have any of the conveniences of the day, which were enjoyed by people in larger cities in the east and there was no hospital when he started his practice. He went through personal problems in his marriage as evident by his divorce from his wife Jessie. Divorce is always a traumatic situation and was not accepted as it is today. As a professional man who is supposed to not get emotionally involved with his patience, the death of his wife Julie’s nephew’s, Art Matravers, wife and infant twin sons had to be emotional. With the medical knowledge of the time it was unavoidable. The most helpless feeling had to be when he was admitting his son to a hospital to have him die instantly while next to him.  For a man who dedicated his life to his medical practice and was proud of his skills these had to be among the more stressful times, to loose family members and be unable to do anything.

In the process of researching for this a Paul Ohswaldt/Oshwaldt was found in Oconto vital records, recorded as being a farmer.  No connection has been researched to Dr. Ohswaldt.

Following 2 generations of this family as researched in Oconto county records, obituaries and newspaper articles. The surname was found spelled Ohswaldt, Ohswald and Oshwaldt in records and newspapers.

(Additional Note: Dr. Ohswaldt death certificate is in Vol 16, pg. 102. Julia LaCourt Ohswaldt; correct date of death is 13 Sept. 1949, Death certificate is in Vol 17, pg. 97. On both death certificates, show his parents unknown and her certificate showed only her fathers first name.)


First Generation

             1.  Dr. Herman F. OHSWALDT was born in New York, NY
          4/17/1857.  Dr. died 10/22/1946 Oconto, Wisconsin, at 89 years
          of age.  Obit from the Oconto Falls Herald, 10/27/1949

Dr. Oshwaldt, 89, Dies at Home in Oconto Falls

                        Dr. Herman F. Ohswaldt, 89, an Oconto county physician for the past 65 years, died at his home in Oconto Falls Tuesday after an illness of four months.  He had practiced medicine until he  became ill of a heart ailment, and had hoped to recover sufficiently to round out another year  in his profession.

                        He was a barber's apprentice before starting his medical studies at Bellevue hospital in New York. He received his degree in 1879, and began his practice in that state, later 2 moving to Green Bay.  In 1881 he came to Stiles, later moving to Oconto Falls.  Except for six and one-half years as company surgeon for the Sagola Lumber Co. and the Milwaukee Road, he lived in Oconto County.

                        The "Ohswaldt Friendship club" organized by many of Dr. Ohswaldt's patients, celebrated "Ohswaldt Day" in Oconto Falls in 1941 with the rest of the community, in honor of the country doctor who had attended five generations in that area.

                        Dr. Ohswaldt performed, with another physician, the first appendectomy in Oconto County on a kitchen  table in a log cabin.  During his long practice he brought several thousands babies into the world.  He seldom bothered to send bills, but often scolded patients for delaying treatment because of a lack of funds.  He was also known as a musician and poet in this section.  His hobby was gardening and he spent may hours working in the yard of his home

                       Surviving are his wife and two daughters. Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon at the Methodist church.


              He married twice.  He married Jessie L. PERRY in New York, New York, circa 1879.  Jessie was born Smithsboro, Laga Co.,  N.Y..  Jessie was the daughter of A. A. PERRY and (?) PERRY.  Jessie died 09/18/1933 Greshen, WI..  Death certificate filed in Shawno and Oconto Co. Oconto VR Vol. 11 pg. 780.


The Oconto Falls Herald followed up with the following item.

                     Death Notice: Dr. Herman F. Ohswaldt, Oconto Falls had a sister, Mrs. Franklin (Ruby) H. Nicholas who lived in Binghamton, N.Y. Herman F. Ohswaldt was born April 17, 1857 in New York City. Went to school in New York and Louisville, KY. Buried Evergreen Cemetery, Block 46, N1/2 of Lot 11.


             He married twice.  He married Jessie L. PERRY in New York, New York, circa 1879.  Jessie was born Smithsboro, Laga Co.,  N.Y..  Jessie was the daughter of A. A. PERRY and (?) PERRY. Jessie died 09/18/1933 Greshen, WI..  Death certificate filed  in Shawno and Oconto Co. Oconto VR Vol. 11 pg. 780. Occupation housework. Buried Oconto Falls, Woodlawn cemetery  in Ohswaldt plot.

Oconto County Reporter, May 10, 1895. STILES.

                     Mrs. H. F. Oshwaldt and children will leave for a month's visit with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Perry.


             He married Julia LACOURT in Iron Mountain, MI, 9/28/1914. Julia was born in Little River, WI. 10/23/1869.  Julia was the daughter of Jean Joseph LACOURT and Mary Elizabeth PENSIS. Julia died 10/22/1949 in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin, at 79 years of age.  Oconto VR, Vol. 17, pg. 97.  Her obit appeared in the Oconto Falls paper on Sept. 15, 1949.

Mrs. Ohswaldt Dies Tuesday at Hospital

Mrs. H. F. Ohswaldt, 80, wife of the late Dr. Ohswaldt, died at 7 o'clock Tuesday morning at the Oconto Falls hospital.  She submitted to surgery Monday evening at 9:30 and never regained consciousness.

The former Julia Margaret LaCourt was born in Little River, Oconto county, Oct. 28, 1868.  She was engaged in dress making for a number of years in Menomonee and also operated a beauty shop in Appleton for two years before her marriage Sept. 28, 1914 at Iron Mountain, Mich.  The couple lived at Sagola, Mich. for six years before settling in Oconto Falls in 1920.

Mrs. Ohswaldt was very active in fraternal affairs.  She was a member of the Royal Neighbors and served as marshal for a number of years.  She was a member of W.B.A. and honorary member of the W.S.C.S. of the Methodist church.

The body was removed to the O'Neil funeral home and will remain there until 12:00 o'clock Friday noon when it will be removed to Methodist church where services will be conducted at 2 o'clock Friday afternoon. Rev. R. L Greene will officiate with burial in the Evergreen cemetery, Oconto.

Survivors are one sister, Mrs. Lucy Matravers, Couillardville, two step daughters, Mrs. Susie Miller, Manitowoc; Mrs. Agnes Yahr, Chicago, a niece, Mrs. Allie R. Allen with whom she made her home; one great grandson, Frederick Ohswaldt and several nephews and nieces.  Her husband preceded her in death Oct. 22, 1946.  The day, hour and place of death were identical with that of his wife.  They were also attended by the same nurse.

Buried Evergreen Cemetery, Block 46, N1/2 of Lot 11.

Oconto Reporter
 H. F. Ohswaldt : Next to the oldest in years and experience in the county as a practicing physician is H. F. Ohswaldt of Stiles. He was born in New York City in 1857, and after graduation from medical college, and two years practice he came west; was stranded in Green Bay, by reason of a great snow storm, during winter of '80'  '81', and located in Stiles in May, '81, where three children have since been added to his household and an extensive practice and acquaintance acquired. He is an active member of the K. P. and M. W. A. lodges of Stiles.


Oconto Falls,
April 21, 1939:
 Members of Older Generation Still active at Oconto Falls. A number of older residents of Oconto Falls and vicinity who 4 have watched and helped this section of the state grow and develop are still quite active in the affairs of this community. Following are thumbnail sketches of some of the better-known members of Oconto Falls elder generation.......

Dr. Herman Frederick Ohswaldt, 82, one of Oconto Falls' leading physicians and surgeons despite his advanced age, is very active and enjoying good health.  He still answers all night calls and travels all over the county on relief work. He has for the last 60 years practiced medicine in and around Oconto Falls.  After the first year of practice in the community he began to perform surgical operations in company with Dr. O'Keefe, one of the most noted surgeons in Oconto County. These two performed the first operation for appendicitis in this part of the state.  Dr. Ohswaldt is active in fraternal circles, belonging to the Odd Fellows, Woodman and Blue lodge of the F. and A. M. of Crystal Falls, Michigan.  He has been at various times health officer and city physician and is at present county physician. Dr. Ohswaldt was born April 17, 1857 in New York City. He came to Green Bay in 1881 and was associated with the elder Dr. W.H. Bartran until May of that year, when he came to Oconto County.


Dr. Herman F. OHSWALDT and Jessie L. PERRY had the following children:

i. Susie Belle OHSWALDT was born in Stiles, Wisconsin Prior to 1885.  Her name appears as sibling on brother Frank's birth record. She married (?) MILLER. Information from step-mother's obit.  Lived in Manitowoc, WI in 1949. 2   ii. Frances Albert "Frank" OHSWALDT was born 10/05/1885. iii. Ida L. OHSWALDT was born in Stiles, Wisconsin 20 April 1890.  Ida died 28 Sept. 1891 in Stiles, Wisconsin, at 1 year of age.  Gravestone found at Stiles City cemetery.  Dates from gravestone. iv. Ruth Agnes Esther OSHWALDT was born in Stiles, Wisconsin 14 Nov. 1892.  Oconto VR, Vol. 3, pg. 223.  Known as Agnes, living in Green Bay in 1944 when her brother died and living in  Chicago when her stepmother died in 1949. She married (?) YAHR.

Second Generation

2.  Frances Albert "Frank" OHSWALDT (Dr. Herman F.1) was born in Stiles, Wisconsin 10/05/1885.  Oconto VR., Vol 2, pg. 259. Frances died 10/13/1944 Oconto Falls, WI., at 59 years of age.  Oconto VR, Vol. 15, pg. 442.  Occupation paper mill forman.  Buried Woodlawn Cemetery Oconto Falls.  The informant and physician signing the certificate was his father. The death certificate indicates he was divorced at time of death. The will of Frank is case #9384 in Oconto County.

His obituary appeared in the Oconto Falls newspaper on 16 Nov. 1944.

Rites for Frank Ohswaldt To Be Held Saturday

While he was being registered at the local hospital on Monday noon, by his father, Dr. H. F. Ohswaldt, Frank Ohswaldt collapsed and passed away instantly following two months of ill health. Death was due to a cerebral hemorrhage.  He had suffered a stroke about two months ago.

Mr. Ohswaldt had been a resident of the city since 1899 when the family moved here from Stiles. He was born there October 5, 1885.  He had been employed at the paper mill for years as foreman.

Besides his father, who is 87 years of age, Mr. Ohswaldt is survived by five sons, Francis of El Paso, Texas, Norval of Portland, Oregon, S/Sgt. Robert of Camp Swift, Texas, Corporal Ralph in France and Ambrose who is in the Navy last stationed in Rhode Island, and two daughters, Mrs. Clark Pyle (Ruth) of Los Angeles, California and Lieutenant Beatrice with the Army Nurses Corps in Belgium.  Two sisters Mrs. Susan Miller of Manitowoc and Mrs. Agnes Yahr of Green Bay also survive.

Robert and Francis are expected home for the rites, but none of the others will be able to come, unless the message reached Ambrose when he was not on sea duty.  Norval and his family spent part of the summer here and have just moved to Portland from Texas will not be able to come.

Funeral rites will be conducted at the O'Neill Funeral Home, where the remains lie in state, on Saturday afternoon at two o'clock.  The Rev. Marvin Schilling will officiate.

Sincere sympathy is extended to the bereaved, and special prayers are being said for the children who are so widely scattered at this time.


He married twice.  He married Beatrice LIFEBER (LEFEVRE) circa 1904.  No marriage record found in Oconto County. Beatrice was born in Canada May 1887.  Her name is also found spelled Lefebre on some records. Beatrice was the daughter of Leau LIFEBER. Beatrice died May 18, 1916 Oconto Falls, WI., at 29 years of age.  Death certificate Oconto VR, Vol 7, pg. 51. Informant Frank Ohswaldt.  No obit found in Oconto Falls newspaper. He married Elle BUSKE circa 1917. Elle was born in Appleton.  No Record of this marriage found in Oconto County.nd. The second wife's name and place of birth taken from son Ambrose's birth record. There is some indication they were divorced circa 1924. Frank's second marriage was obviously a major problem based on records in the Oconto County court house.   There is a number of cases in the probate court records involving some of his children from his first marriage.  None of these records have been checked. Elle was born in Appleton, WI..

Frances Albert "Frank" OHSWALDT and Beatrice LIFEBER (LEFEVRE) had the following children:

i. Francis C. OHSWALDT was born Oconto Falls, WI. 05/02/1906.  Oconto VR, Vol. 5, pg 235.  A correction was made to this one on 10/15/1956 to indicate twin birth. No record found of twin. Francis died April 1997 at 90 years of age. Information from Social Security Death Records. No last residence listed.  Birth same as from Oconto VR.  Card issued California. Francis living in El Paso, Texas at time of father's death. ii. Norval OHSWALDT was born Oconto Falls, WI. 14 Dec. 1907.  Oconto VR, Vol. 6, pg. 10. Norval died 15 Aug. 2000 in Portland, OR, at 92 years of age. Dates from SS death records.  Last residence zip 97213, Portland Multnomah, OR.  Card isued Wisconsin. He married Sylvia BARTZ Mountain, WI., Aug 28, 1933.  Oconto VR., Vol 9, pg 41.  This is a Michigan license with a copy recorded in Oconto Co. Married by Pastor Neil Martin, with witnesses Mrs. Clara Martin and Mrs. Jessie Bartz. Sylvia was born Mountain, WI..  Sylvia is the daughter of Albert BARTZ and Jessie HERMING. Living in Oconto Falls in 1935 and Portland, Oregon in 1944. iii. Ruth Evelyn OHSWALDT was born Oconto Falls, WI. 15 April 1909.  Oconto VR, Vol. 7, pg 105. She married Clark PYLE.  Ruth evidently had a second marriage as she is listed as Ruth Pyle Gibbons, age 38, living in Los Angeles, Calif. in the list of descendents in her fathers probate records. iv. Clarice Antonette OHSWALDT was born Oconto Falls, WI. 3 June 1910.  Oconto VR, Vol. 7, pg 924. Clarice died 1933 at 23 years of age.  Buried Woodlawn cemetery Oconto Falls in the Ohswaldt plot # 109.  Date from gravestone. Probate court case 5193, TB sanitarium committment circa 1933.  This would indicate Clarice's cause of death is probably TB.  Buried Woodlawn cemetery, Oconto Falls. v. Robert Tyrus OHSWALDT was born Oconto Falls, WI. 19 May 1912.  Oconto VR, Vol. 9, pg. 21. Stationed at Camp Swift, Texas in father's obit. Address in pobate records indicate Los Angeles, California. vi. Ralph Anthony OHSWALDT was born Oconto Falls, WI. 08 May 1914.  Oconto VR, Vol. 10, pg. 23. Ralph died July 1978 in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, at 64 years of age.  Dates from SS death records.  Last residence 53916, Beaver Dam, Dodge, WI.  Card issued Wisconsin.  In father's probate records address listed as Madison, WI. vii. Beatrice OHSWALDT was born in Oconto County, Wisconsin 01 Mar. 1916.  Oconto VR, Vol. 11, pg. 134.  Beatrice was an adopted daughter. Beatrice died 17 May 2001 in Ozaukee Co., WI., at 85 years of age.  Ozaukee Country Register of Deeds.  Last residence 53092, Thiensville, Ozaukee, WI. Social security card issued Wisconsin. Article from Oconto Falls Hearld newspaper in 1940.

 Article from Oconto Falls Herald newspaper in 1940.

Oconto Falls-Miss Beatrice Ohswaldt, R.N., who spent last week at the Dr. H.T. Ohswaldt and Frank Ohswaldt homes, left for Cleveland, Ohio, where she has a nursing position at the Marine hospital.  Since graduating from the local high school with the class of 1934, Beatrice has graduated from Milwaukee County Hospital, Wauwatosa, and was a member of the nursing staff at Columbia hospital, Milwaukee, for a year and a half.  Beatrice not only enjoys her profession, she wholesomely enjoys life, and she has many friends in her home town who are wishing her continued success and happiness in her chosen work. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At the time of her father's death was station in Belgium with the Army Nurses Corps.  In her father's probate records her address is listed as Milwaukee.

Frances Albert "Frank" OHSWALDT and Elle BUSKE had the following child:

viii. Ambrose Bertram OHSWALDT was born Oconto Falls, WI. 24 Sept. 1917.  Oconto VR., Vol. 11 pg. 958. Ambrose died 5 Dec. 1992 Tucson, AZ., at 75 years of age.  Dates from SS death records.  Last residence Zip 85746, Tucson, Pima, AZ.  Card issued Michigan. In his father's probate records residence listed as Chicago.