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 Leonhard Guenther

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Leonhard Guenther

  • Birth 30 Nov 1828 Germany
  • Death 1 May 1876 Knowlton, Marathon County, Wisconsin, USA
  • Burial Knowlton, Marathon County, Wisconsin, USA
  • Plot Near back.
  • Memorial ID 20551084

The Death of Leonard Guenther by
His Own Hands

On Monday evening news reached the
city that Leonard Guenther had killed
himself in the forenoon of that day, and
on Tuesday morning, after ascertaining
that the report was current, we proceeded
to Knowlton, via the Central and Valley
Roads,* in order to gather the minute par-
ticulars of the affair. On arriving at
Knowlton, which we did a little before
1 o'clock, we found the body of Mr. Guen-
ther lying in the little hall over his store,
while the coroner's jury, consisting of
Justice Chas. Robinson, Louis Sattiff,
Joseph Tonguey, Daniel Meehan, H. L.
Pierce, Milton Teeter and Rudolph Noffy,
was making out its verdict to the effect
that the deceased came to his death by
his own hand, and while, in the opinion
of the jury, laboring under mental de-
rangement. We were not in time to attend
the examination of witnesses at the
inquest, but from conversations with Mr.
Guenther's relations and neighbors we
gathered the following particulars: Leonard
Guenther was born in Germany, November,
30th, 1828, and so sequently was
at the time of his death in the 48th year
of his age. He came to this country in
1846 and settled in the town of Knowl-
ton, Marathon county, in or about 1854.
For several years he made shingles and
run the river, but in 1861 opened the
Knowlton House, a hotel which he had
kept from that time until his death.
Before the advent of the Valley Road,†
this was one of the best paying hotels be-
tween Berlin and Wausau. The stages
used to stop there for dinner, and it was
also a favorite stopping place for team-
ster's and traveling men, Mr. Guenther not
unfrequently having 35 to 40 teams in his
barn in a single night. As a landlord he
was very popular, and the result was that
he soon accumulated a handsome property.
When the Valley Road† went through, how-
ever, teaming and staging between here
and Wausau at once came to an end, and
consequently Mr. Gunther's place as a
hotel became practically valueless. And
right here is where the trouble which ul-
timately led to his death seems to have
commenced. [article continues]
... Mr. Guenther had a large circle of ac- quaintances, and was universally respected.
He has for several years been regarded
among the substantial men of Marathon
County, and has done a good deal to ad-
vance her interest, he having been a mem-
ber of the Board of Supervisors for a good
many years. As stated before, he had ac-
cumulated a handsome property. Beside
his store, he owned 800 acres of land,
some of which is improved and quite val-
uable, was well supplied with stock,
sleighs, wagons and farming utensils,
owed nothing worth mentioning, and un-
doubtedly had considerable ready money
besides $7,000 in government bonds. He
leaves a wife and five children, four boys
and one girl.
—excerpt from Stevens Point Daily Journal; Saturday, May 6, 1876

* Wisconsin Central R.R. west to Junction City; then Wisconsin Valley R.R. north to Knowlton.

† Wisconsin Valley Railroad


Knowlton Was Once Stage
Coach Point and Important
Lumber Center

...The Knowlton House was then a
popular hostelry near the Portage-
Marathon county line. It was
owned by the late Leonard Guen-
ther, who was born in Baden, Ger-
many, and came from Beaver Dam
to Drake's mills, four miles north
of Knowlton, and worked as head-
sawyer, remaining there four years
and then going to Knowlton where
he made shingles, followed the lum-
ber business and ran the river. He
was married in 1854 in Portage
county to Miss Rosalia Stark,
daughter of Thomas Stark. He
founded the Catholic church at
Knowlton and served as a member
of the county board several years.
He purchased the hotel at Knowl-
ton from J. K. Brands in 1854 and
called it the Knowlton House....
—excerpt from Stevens Point Daily Journal; Friday, March 4, 1932


Inscription

A native of Rust Baden Germany.


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  • Created by: Keith
  • Added: 20 Jul 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20551084
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Leonhard Guenther (30 Nov 1828–1 May 1876), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20551084, citing Knowlton Cemetery, Knowlton, Marathon County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by Keith (contributor 46875326) .