|Birth: ||1821, Germany|
|Death: ||Jul. 14, 1879|
(Wisconsin: its story and biography, 1848-1913, Volume 6 By Ellis Baker Usher)
William Finkler. No state in the Union owes more to the German element of population than does Wisconsin, and in this state the pioneers of this sterling stock were foremost in laying broad and deep foundations upon which has been reared the great superstructure of opulent prosperity and progress. Colonel Finkler was one of the distinguished citizens of Wisconsin and honored the commonwealth by his character, his fine poise, his civic loyalty and his high achievement. He was a gallant officer in the Union service in the Civil war and was called to various offices of distinguished public trust. He was a man of most generous and considerate nature, numbered his friends by the number of his acquaintances, and long played a prominent and influential part in the social and business activities of the Wisconsin metropolis. He left an unblemished reputation and in recognition of his character and accomplishment it is altogether consonant that a tribute to his memory be entered in this history of Wisconsin, of which state he was one of the leading pioneers of German birth.
Colonel Finkler was born in the duchy of Nassau, Germany, in the year 1821, and was a scion of one of the old and honored families of that part of the great German empire. He was reared to maturity in the fatherland and there received excellent educational advantages of most liberal order, including thorough training of his admirable .musical talent. In 1849, at the age of twenty-eight years, he severed the ties that bound him to home and native land and was swept into the tide of immigration that was steadily pouring from Germany to America at that period. He disembarked in the port of New York city and thence came direct to Wisconsin, where he established his home in Milwaukee. Soon after his home had been established in America and he had become a naturalized citizen he received marked recognition and distinction, in that he was appointed United States consul to Germany, the place of his birth. He held this post a number of years and then returned to Milwaukee. Before the war he became associated with the late Mr. Townsend in the real estate and banking business. Impaired health finally caused him to seek release from the cares of business and in 1857 he returned to his native land, for an interval of rest and recuperation. Upon his return to the United States he resumed his activities in Milwaukee and at the inception of the Civil war he promptly and enthusiastically gave evidence of his loyalty to the Union and to the land of his adoption. He received appointment to the office of quartermaster and recruiting officer, and the older citizens of Milwaukee today will recall his office in the Kirby House block, where he had charge of the mustering in of the Ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. With this gallant command he proceeded to the front, and he proved a most able commanding officer, having been advanced to the rank of colonel and having continued in active service until the close of the war. He participated in many of the important engagements marking the progress of the great internecine conflict and lived up to the full tension of that dark and stormy epoch in our national history. He ever retained a vital interest in his old comrades in arms and signified the same by his affiliation with the Grand Army of the Republic. 'While he was with his command in the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, his wife received tidings that he had been wounded in battle and lay at the point of death. She forthwith started for the front, her only thought being that she must make her way to the loved one and be present at his burial. She was so moved by fright and grief during this experience that she proved a ready victim to fever when she reached the side of her husband, and she soon afterward died, at Vicksburg, where devolved upon her grief-stricken husband the melancholly duty of seeing her laid to eternal rest,—the last sad office which she had anticipated to be her portion in connection with him.
In 1876 Colonel Finkler was appointed United States consul to the city of Barmen, Rhenish Prussia, but he declined to assume this post, owing to the exactions of other and personal interests.
Colonel Finkler was a most liberal and progressive citizen and commanded the highest esteem in the city and state of his adoption. His political allegiance was given to the Republican party. He was a most popular factor in the social and musical circles of Milwaukee and did much to promote the development of the city in appreciation of the higher forms of musical interpretation. He served for some time as president of the Milwaukee Musical Society and also held the position of treasurer of the same for a number of years. His name and memory will long be cherished in the city that was long his home and in which his death occurred on the 14th of July, 1879, his mortal remains being laid to rest in beautiful Forest Home cemetery. He was survived by three sons and one daughter of his first marriage,—Charles C, William, Bertha and Gustav,—and two sons and one daughter of the second marriage,—Henry, Adolph and Lillie. Only three are now living,—-Charles C., who is a resident of New York city; Henry P. M., who maintains his home in London, England; and Adolph, who is the youngest of the children and who is secretary of the Albert Trostel & Sons Company, one of the important industrial concerns of Milwaukee. The first wife of Colonel Finkler bore the maiden name of Heyl, and she died at Vicksburg, Mississippi, as previously noted. For his second wife he wedded Miss Kroener, the ceremony having been performed in Germany, where he was at the time giving his attention to certain business transactions. Mrs. Finkler still survives her honored husband and maintains her home in Germany.
Charles C. Finkler (1852 - 1916)*
William Finkler (1855 - 1909)*
Gustav Finkler (1857 - 1903)*
Lilly Finkler (1871 - 1879)*
Forest Home Cemetery
Created by: Kent Salomon
Record added: Sep 14, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 58665602