Introduction by Bob Gruling
During a ceremony at the Merrill Fair on Friday, July 22, Warren and Lois Latzig, owners of the farm located at W3193 Hillview Rd. in the Town of Pine River were presented the Merrill Historical Society Century Farm Award. The certificate was presented by Merrill Historical Society president, Bea Lebal, and Century Farm committee chairperson, Bob Gruling.
To qualify for this award, the farm (in whole or part) must be in continuous family ownership for 100 years. Also, the title of the property must be held by a blood relative of the original owner, or a legally adopted child of a descendant. Continuous residence on the property is not required, but the title to the property must be continuous. Families qualifying for the award also receive a certificate from the state.
At the ceremony, the Latzig family, with the help of a large photograph/information board, told the audience of over 50 friends, relatives and neighbors about the history of their farm. After the presentation, it became obvious that knowledge of the past can very well give us a greater understanding and appreciation of ourselves and our lives today.
The following account about the Latzig century farm was written by Lois Latzig and her daughter Debra (Latzig) Borelli:
The Warren Sr. and Lois Latzig Century Farm Story
By Lois and Debra Latzig
The 125-year-old Latzig farm, owned by Warren Sr. and Lois Latzig, is located at W3193 Hillview Road in the Township of Pine River. The homestead fields lie along the Pine River in a mixture of flat land and small hills. The east and south sides of the property are surrounded by large hills covered with forestland.
History of Ownership
Heinrich and Johanna (Denow) Latzig: May 23, 1891 – Jan. 8, 1909
Henry and Augusta Latzig: Jan. 8, 1909 – Sept. 2, 1929
Walter A. and Elly Latzig: Sept. 2, 1929 – Feb. 11, 1970
Warren E. and Lois Latzig: Feb. 11, 1970 – Present
First Generation – Heinrich and Johanna (Denow) Latzig
In 1882, Heinrich and Johanna Latzig emigrated from Bremen, Germany to the United States. On May 18, 1882, they arrived in Baltimore, MD, on the ship S.S. Leipzig with their six children. They had three sons, Henry, Julius, William, and three daughters (names unknown).
They homesteaded 80 acres in the Township of Pine River. The Homestead Certificate was signed on May 23, 1891 by President Benjamin Harrison.
The first home and barn they built were destroyed by the Pine River fire on Sept. 14, 1893. Henry tried to fight the fire while his parents Heinrich and Johanna went to the river for safety. A new barn and cement block home were then built at a different location on the homestead.
On Jan. 8, 1909, ownership of the Latzig homestead was transferred to their son Henry. Heinrich and Johanna continued to live on the farm with Henry and his family until their death.
Second Generation – Henry and Augusta (Krueger) Latzig
Henry Latzig, also known as Emil August Heinrich Latzig, was born on April 30, 1866 in Germany. Henry came to America in 1882 with his parents, whom he lived with on the Latzig Family Farm, helping with clearing the land and dairy farming.
He married Augusta Krueger and together they had three children, Walter A. Latzig, Erna (Latzig) Streich, and Doretta Latzig.
Augusta died on March 11, 1902 at the age of 23 from childbirth. The baby, Doretta, died 54 days later on April 10, 1902. Henry later married Minnie (Danker) Latzig who helped with the farm and raising Henry’s two young children.
In 1924, the barn was destroyed by a fire and a new one was then built. Henry would continue to live on the family farm until his death on Sept. 2, 1929. After Henry’s death, the farm was transferred to his son, Walter A. Latzig. Minnie later remarried and moved away from the farm. She passed away on July 7, 1975.
Third Generation – Walter A. and Elly (Krajewski) Latzig
Walter A. Latzig was born on Oct. 27, 1899 in Merrill. He was the son of Henry and Augusta (Krueger) Latzig. He dairy farmed and logged with his father Henry on the farm.
Walter married Elly Krajewski on June 2, 1926 in Merrill. Elly emigrated from Germany in 1923 with her parents, Carl and Ida Krajewski, and siblings, Fred and Erna.
Walter and Elly moved to Milwaukee for a short time after their wedding. They returned to the Latzig Family Farm to live and dairy farm with Henry and Minnie.
Walter and Elly had four children, Frederick Sr., Walter Jr., Warren Sr., and Joyce (Latzig) Peterson.
On March 9, 1933, their cement block house was destroyed by a fire. A new brick house was built on the same foundation and is the house that remains today. During Walter Sr. and Elly’s time on the farm, they purchased 280 acres and the “Julius Latzig” farm, an additional 120 acres located adjacent to the property. This increased the size of the farm to a total of 480 acres for growing crops and dairy farming.
Walter Sr. and Elly continued to farm until his death on Jan. 7, 1951. After his death, Elly continued to dairy farm with her son, Warren Latzig Sr. until 1959 when she moved to a house in Merrill. Warren and his wife, Lois, continued to live on the farm after Elly moved. On Feb. 11, 1970, Warren and Lois purchased the family farm from Elly.
Fourth Generation – Warren E. Latzig Sr. and Lois (Bennett) Latzig
Warren E. Latzig Sr. was born Feb. 10, 1931 in Merrill. Before he was married, he worked on the family farm, logging and dairy farming with his father and mother.
On June 18, 1955, Warren married Lois Bennett at St. Stephens United Church of Christ in Merrill. The wedding reception and dance were held on the Latzig Family Farm.
Warren and Lois lived on the family farm with their three children, Warren A. Jr., Douglas, and Debra (Latzig) Borelli. The land was used for raising beef cattle and growing winter wheat, sunflowers, potatoes and Christmas trees. Some of the land was also rented for growing ginseng.
While growing Christmas trees, Warren also worked construction, was the owner of Warren Latzig and Sons Excavating, co-owner of Peterson and Latzig Company, and co-owner of Merrill Pavers. Lois worked for the Merrill School District as a teacher, aide, secretary, and, after retirement, as a substitute teacher.
In 1971, the barn was destroyed by a tornado and a new barn was built in the spring of 1972. A new garage was built attached to the house in the fall of 1972.
Warren Sr. and Lois are both retired and still living on the farm. Warren Sr. has lived on the property his entire life – 85 years and counting. They are blessed with six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Warren and Lois have passed on some of the farmland to their children who continue the tradition of growing Christmas trees on the homestead.