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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Jakob Karlen Cheese King

My 6th Great-Grandfather
On my Maternal side.

When Jakob Karlen was born on January 18, 1840, in Boltigen, Bern, Switzerland, his father, Christ, was 33 and his mother, Maria, was 26. He had six sons and five daughters with Maria (Mary Ann) Zwahlen between 1863 and 1878. He died on January 10, 1920, in Monroe, Wisconsin, at the age of 79.

Jakob Karlen moved from Switzerland to the United States at a time when immigrants were expected to quickly assimilate into American society.

He arrived in America in 1869 he was 29 years old in New York, New York. 


Jakob Karlen lived in Monroe, Wisconsin, in 1880.
Age: 40; Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Self

In 1913, Jakob Karlen was living in Wisconsin when a devastating storm furiously slammed the Great Lakes.

When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, Jakob Karlen was probably living in Wisconsin.

The Jacob Karlan block, built in 1893 on the north side of Monroe Street. The Karlan block was erected on the site of the old United States Hotel, adjoining First National Bank. The old frame hotel building was divided into two sections: one portion moved to the north on Payne (9th) Street and was used as a livery stable for many years; the other section moved a half-mile to the west and was faced with brick to become a residence. The latter section of building is now on Russell (10th) Street and is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Maurer (1973). Jacob Karlan Sr., pioneer cheesemaker and Monroe cheese dealer, erected his business block as an investment and housed his cheese firm offices in a portion of it. The first floor corner section was formerly occupied by the famed Headquarters Saloon for 50 years. The block was razed in 1954 to make way for the new First National building. Karlan had also built an annex to his block for his cheese operations. This unit, connected by a tunnel, was razed in the 1960's.

Jacob Karlen, who is widely known as the Monroe cheese maker and dealer, was reared to manhood in his native community. He attended the Swiss schools, and had an education as good as the circumstances of his family could command. In November, 1862, Mr. Karlen and Miss Maryanna Zwahlen, the daughter of Christ and Anna (Beetschen) Zwahlen, were united in marriage, and to his union were born eleven children; Mary Ann, Magdalena, Jacob, Jr., Rosina, David, Anna, Gottlieb, Louisa, Samuel, Fritz, and Louis. The first five of these were born in Switzerland, and the others in this country. Mary Ann married John Becker, and lives in the town of Jefferson; they have five children, Mary, John, Jacob, Emma and Herman. Magdalena married John Werren, and lives in South Wayne, Wis.; they have one child, Edna. Jacob, Jr., married Kathrina Hefty, and has three children, Lillian Kathrina, Herman Jacob and Florence; Jacob, Jr., is in partnership with his father. Rosina is Mrs. Fred Schumacher, and lives near Browntown, Wis.; they have three children, Louisa, Lena and Fritz. David married Miss Malie Hoesli, and is the father of three children, Sylvia, Myrtle and Arthur. Anna is the deceased wife of John Karlen, of Buffalo, N. Y., and was the mother of three children, David, Hulda and Lilly. Gottlieb married Miss Kathrina Becker, and is a grocer in Monroe; they have one child, Marie. Louise and Samuel died about the same time, children of seven and five years, from diphtheria. Fritz, in business with his father, married Sophia Hoehn. Louis died when twenty-one years old.

In 1869 Mr. Karlen, his wife and five children, came to this country and located at Booneville, Oneida, Co., N. Y., where they spent about a year, and then came on West to Wisconsin. They stopped for some months at Hanover, and presently arranged to have their permanent home in Green county, and for the last twenty years of more Mr. Karlen and his interesting family have been residents of the city of Monroe. He was reared a mason, but when he came to this country he saw an opening in the cheese business and was quick to take advantage of it, with marked success. His business extends to all parts of the United States, and with every passing year it is increasing. Mr. Karlen is an independent in politics. His home is on Farmer street, in Monroe.

The Broadhead, Wis., Independent Register Says :
“Jacob Karlen, Sr., pioneer of this country in the cheese industry, passed away at his home in Monroe on Saturday morning, January 10. He came to this county in 1869, when the cheese industry was in its infancy, and was one of the first to establish a wholesale business. He erected the Karlan block several years ago in Monroe, which is one of the finest business structures in the county.”

Jacob Karlen, the Pioneer Cheese Dealer of the Community.
not an affair of six or seven days on luxurious ocean liners. They came on a sailing vessel, 155 persons in all, and were on the ocean forty-six days before land was sighted. They came most of the way from Baltimore by river steamer, and where that form of transportation was not available they marched on foot. This expedition finds scarcely a parallel in history. Switzerland, from a farmer's point of view, is one of the most sterile countries of Europe, more than half of its surface being unfit for cultivation. From that country in 1845 twenty seven families started for the promised land in the new hemisphere, and after many hardships and thousands of miles of travel, settled in the little valley of New Glarus, near the northern border of Green County. Judge Fridolin Streiff and Judge Nicholas Durst were the pioneers of the colony. They came on before, arriving in March, sent by the council at Canton, Switzerland, to look up a location in this country for the colony it was proposed to send out.

Photo taken by Jenean Hamilton
Greenwood Cemetery 
Green County
Wisconsin, USA
Plot: Row 1/2 Block 24 Lot 47

Created by: Cynthia Claytonroberts
Record added: May 15, 2013 

Find A Grave Memorial# 110614254

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