Thursday, April 7, 2016



F is for Frederick C Wilkowski (1852-1923)






Frederick C Wilkowski

Fred Wilkowski was the fourth child of Gottlieb and Louisa Doering Wilkowski and a great uncle. He was born in Prussia, now Poland, in the town of Mrotschen (Mrocza). When he was three years old, his parents emigrated to the United States and settled in Watertown, WI. 

He learned how to make cigars at the age of ten, probably at the Wiggenhorn factory. In 1882, he opened his own company, Wilkowski Brothers along with brother William Wilkowski. Later, a third brother, Louis, joined them as the travelling salesman. I suspect that Fred was not the easiest person to work with. By 1893 he had assumed full ownership of the factory and Louis was running a saloon in Watertown. William had moved to Chicago to work for another cigar manufacturer. 


Lid from a box of High Life cigars


Fred married Wilhelmina Schroeder and was the father of four children, Rose, Carl, Gertrude and Emma. He died in 1923 in Watertown and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.


Wilkowski plot in Oak Hill Cemetery. One of the last pictures I took in the good old film days.