ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Wilbur R. Eske

1923 - 2007

09 24 2007


Wilbur R. Eske, 83, passed away on September. 22, 2007, at his home after a brief battle with cancer, with his loving family by his side.


Funeral services will be held on Thursday at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lebanon at 11 a.m. with the Rev. James O'Reilly-Christiansen. Burial will be in Pilgrim's Rest Cemetery.


Friends and relatives may call to pay their respects on Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Pederson Funeral Home in Watertown, and on Thursday at the church from 9 a.m. to the time of the service.


Memorials may be directed to the family or your choice of charity.


“Will” was born on Oct. 15, 1923, at the Eske homestead in Lebanon to Carl and Louise (Hackbarth) Eske. Wilbur was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel of Lebanon. He attended Immanuel Lutheran School and graduated from Watertown High School in 1941. Will married Marilyn Chipman on April 22, 1945. They had three children, Cheryl, Robert and John.


In 1975 Will built the Home Plate Inn in Lebanon. It soon became a place of many cherished memories for a lot of people. Dixieland was played every Friday night and on Sundays during Lent, which became a family event. Their fish fries became a hit and they received an award from Milwaukee Magazine for best fish fry.


Will had a great love of baseball. He had the great privilege of being the manager of a talented group of baseball players. He managed the Lebanon A's and won grand championships seven out of eight years in both the Rock River League and the Tri-County Night League, a record that still stands today. He was inducted into the Rock River Players Hall of Fame and given the 2002 Rock Diamond Award.


Will's passion for music knew no bounds. His trombone could be heard playing polkas, waltzes, or Dixieland, etc. He played in the Watertown High School Band, Lebanon Band and the Oconomowoc Legion Band. He then started his own dance band in the late ‘50s, playing for many weddings, anniversaries and parties throughout the state of Wisconsin. He held many offices in the local musician's union.


He was the maestro of the Yankee Dutchmen Solar Powered Precision Marching Band seen all over Wisconsin in parades and taverns. They brought much joy and laughter to all who saw them. He was a staple in the Watertown Fourth of July parade for over 30 years. The band will continue marching for many years to come.


Will was a member and held various offices at Immanuel Lutheran Church of Lebanon, Lebanon Recreation Association, Lebanon Lions Club, and Local Chapter of AARP. He was chairman of Lebanon Town Board. Will was also an honorary member of Lebanon Fire Department and one of their first EMTs. He enjoyed volunteering countless hours to improving Lebanon's parks and playgrounds, especially its baseball diamonds.


He was a carpenter and a cabinet maker. He could build a small cradle for a doll or a large cradle for his grandchildren.


Will leaves behind his loving wife, Marilyn; two sons, Robert (Barbara) Eske, John, and son-in-law, Gerald (Elaine) Baumann. His cherished grandchildren, Kim (Paul) Lang, Patricia Baumann, Sarah (friend Greg) Eske, Krista (Ryan) Schuett, Rebekah Eske, Kayla Eske, and Korey Eske.


He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Louise Eske; his sister, Helen Eske Stiles; a brother, Harold Eske; and daughter, Cheryl (Eske) Baumann.


He will be fondly remembered for his smiley face, his silly jokes and his many hugs and kisses.


Time for rest Mister Music Man until we meet again.


Love, Your family.


Pederson Funeral Home 213 S. 5th St. Watertown


Cross reference:

               The music man and much more” In Times Square, Watertown Daily Times, 09 29 2007



Harold Baumann

1929 - 2007


One of the original members of the Yankee Dutchman Solar Powered Precision Marching Band . . . Dear friend of Will Eske, band leader who passed days earlier


Harold A. Baumann, 78, of Watertown, passed away on Sunday morning, Sept. 30, 2007, at his home.


Funeral services will be held on Thursday at 11 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church of Lebanon with the Rev. James O'Reilly-Christensen officiating. Burial will be in the Pilgrims Rest Cemetery of Lebanon.


Relatives and friends my call at the Hafemeister Funeral Home in Watertown on Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. and at the church on Thursday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church or the charity of one's choice.


Harold Arthur Baumann was born on Sept. 15, 1929, in Lebanon, son of Fred W. and Louise (Minning) Baumann. He attended Immanuel Lutheran Grade School in Lebanon and was a graduate of Watertown High School. On Sept. 23, 1950, Harold married the former Marjorie Kuehl at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Lebanon.


Harold farmed until his retirement at the age of 62. He had also been employed part-time at Holz Motors Inc. in Watertown for 15 years. He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Lebanon, where he held many offices in the church and school. Harold was vice president of Watertown Musicians Association Local No. 469. He enjoyed playing softball and was a mean pitcher in Watertown, Lebanon and Ixonia. He bowled the Lebanon Spot League at Ashippun and Hustisford as well as the Saturday Night Couples League and Tuesday Senior League. They won many championships in all their leagues. Harold had also been a member of the Lebanon Fire Department.


Music was a big part of Harold's life. He was blessed with the ability to play a wide variety of instruments and musical styles, some instruments with formal training and others self taught, from clarinet and saxophone, to the bass drum and stump fiddle.


From its very beginning over 40 years ago, Harold was one of the original members of the Yankee Dutchman Solar Powered Precision Marching Band, participating in parades across the state. His dear friend, Will Eske, who passed just last week, was the leader of the band, and Harold was the heart beat, ever present on the bass drum. We can hear them together now, playing “Jingle Bells” in the middle of summer.


For many years, Harold played with the Oconomowoc Legion Band, participating in numerous national award winning competitions, playing in major events across the country to include the 1959 Rose Bowl Parade. In his earlier years, Harold played with the Lebanon Band, the Will Eske Orchestra, the Jimmy Hartwig Orchestra and many others.


Survivors include his wife, Marjorie of Watertown; four children, Joan (David) Oestreich, Joyce (Howard) Gutzdorf and John (Lynn) Baumann, all of Watertown, and Jane (Craig) Bentz of Park Falls; eight grandchildren, Aaron (Catherine) Oestreich, Michael (Jessica) Oestreich, Rebekah Oestreich, Karrisa (Michael) Hurtgen, Rachel Gutzdorf, Brent Baumann, Courtney Baumann and Kylee Bentz; five great-grandchildren, Zachary, Margaret, Jayda, Jasmyn and Carsten. He is further survived by a sister, Meta Turke, and a brother, Waldemar (Gladys) Bau-mann of Watertown; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.


Harold was preceded in death by his parents and a brother-in-law, William Turke.


The family would like to thank the Johnson Creek Cancer Center, Dr. Michael Eastman, Dr. Deepak Khuntia and staff, Dr. Fred Gremmels, Watertown Memorial Hospital, Rainbow Hospice, Pastor Jim and all of Harold's friends and neighbors for their visits, cards and prayers.