ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Joseph J. Plasil


Frank F. Plasil




Joseph J. Plasil.


A native of Dodge county and the son of one of its most prominent pioneers and at the present time active and successful in the development of one hundred acres of land on section 2, Shields township, is Joseph J. Plasil, who was born in Watertown, May 3, 1865.  His father, Joseph Plasil, was a native of Bohemia and grew to maturity in that country.  Influenced by the hope of a better fortune in America, he crossed the Atlantic in 1861 and landed in Maryland, where for some time during the Civil War he engaged in teaming in the government service.  In 1863, however, he left Maryland and journeyed westward to Wisconsin, locating in Watertown, where he worked at carpentering, which he had learned in Bohemia, and at any other work which would add to his income.  Being thrifty, ambitious and energetic, he saved out of his earnings enough money to buy forty acres of land and this now constitutes a part of the family homestead.  


When it came into Mr. Plasil's possession it was a tract of uncultivated timber land and not an acre had been under the plow.  With characteristic energy he cleared the trees from a small space and with the lumber cut down built a log house in which he made his home.  Acre by acre he extended the work of development and finally had his entire farm cleared and improved.  Gradually he bought more land and finally owned two hundred and ten acres.  Upon this property he erected a fine modern residence to replace his log cabin, built a good barn and other substantial outbuildings and made general improvements about the place.  He planted a number of acres in orchard and carried on general farming and stock-raising with great success until his death, in 1895, when he was seventy-three years of age.  


His widow, who was in her maidenhood Miss Barbara Kutchers, survives him and has reached the age of seventy-six.  She makes her home with her son, Frank F. Plasil, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work.


Joseph J. Plasil grew up on his father's farm and when he was little more than a child assisted in the hard work of clearing the timber and grubbing up stumps.  He remained upon the homestead until after his father's death and carried forward the work of development.  After his marriage, which occurred in 1902, he settled on his present farm, which constitutes one hundred acres of fertile and productive land.  At this time very little of the property was improved and the only building upon it was a dilapidated house.  Mr. Plasil, however, erected a substantial, two-story modern dwelling and began to improve and cultivate the soil.  At the present time most of the land is cleared and under cultivation and the excellent condition of the farm shows the owner's careful supervision.  He has built a fine barn with a good basement, has erected a silo and made other general improvements.  He gives his attention to general farming and specializes in dairying, keeping a fine herd of cows for this purpose.  An important branch of his activities is stock-raising, in which he is extensively engaged, breeding and fattening for the market fine grades of Holstein cattle.


As Mr. Plasil's farming operations have succeeded he has extended his interests and become connected with the business life of his section.  He was one of the promoters of the Liberty Cheese & Butter Association and is a stockholder and treasurer of the controlling company.


In 1902 Mr. Plasil married in Shields township Miss Anna Dobyschek, who was born in Bohemia and who came with her parents to Wisconsin when she was four years of age.  She was reared and educated in Dodge County and remained at home until her marriage.  Mr. and Mrs. Plasil have four children, Agnes. Paul, Barbara and John.  The family are devout adherents of the Catholic religion and attend St. Joseph's Church in Richwood.


Mr. Plasil's farming has been practical and productive of good results.  He stands steadily for progress in standards and improvement in methods and has upon his property all equipment and accessories necessary to the conduct of a modern farm.  By well directed and persevering work he has attained success which has not only made him prosperous but also constitutes an element in the general agricultural development of this section.


Frank F. Plasil




Click to enlarge

Frank F. Plasil.


The Spring Brook stock farm, comprising two hundred and thirty acres of well improved land, is located on sections 6, 2 and 11, Shields township, and in its equipment fully meets every requirement for a model agricultural enterprise.  Its owner, Frank F. Plasil, is known throughout Dodge County as an exceptionally able farmer and stock-raiser, progressive in his methods and exacting in his standards, and he has won a distinct and substantial success, which places him in the front rank of prosperous agriculturists.


A native of Dodge County and a son of one of its most prominent pioneers, Mr. Plasil was born in Shields township, on his present farm, December 4, 1868.


Joseph Plasil

His father, Joseph Plasil, was a native of Bohemia and grew to manhood in that country.  After he had attained his majority he was attracted by the opportunities which America offered and crossed the Atlantic to Maryland, settling in that state in 1861. 


In Bohemia Mr. Plasil had learned the carpenter's trade and had worked at it for some time, but he abandoned it in Maryland to engage in teaming, acting in the service of the Federal government during the Civil War.  In 1863 he pushed westward to Wisconsin and settled in Watertown, where he worked at his trade and at anything else which would bring him an income.  By economy and hard work he saved out of his earnings enough money to purchase forty acres of land, which forms a part of the present homestead. He located upon this property and cleared the timber from a small portion, upon which he built a log cabin, in which he resided while carrying forward the work of development.


As his financial resources grew and his harvests increased he bought more land, adding to his holdings from time to time until he owned two hundred and ten acres.  Upon this property he erected a fine modern house to replace his original cabin, built barns, granaries and silos and in every way possible added to the excellent condition of the farm.  A large portion of it he planted in fruit trees and upon the remainder carried on general agricultural pursuits, gaining added prosperity and success with every year.


He passed away when he was seventy-three years of age, and his death was widely regretted in the section to which he came as a pioneer and where his sterling qualities of mind and character had endeared him to a large circle of friends.  His wife survives him and makes her home with her son, the subject of this review.  She has reached the age of seventy-six.


Frank F. Plasil is one of a family of two children. His elder brother, Joseph J., is a successful and prominent farmer in Dodge County.


Frank Plasil

Mr. [Frank] Plasil of this review was reared upon the family homestead and from an early age was identified with the arduous labor of clearing timber and grubbing up stumps.  He received his primary education in the public schools of his district and supplemented this by a course in the Watertown High School.  After his father's death he succeeded to a portion of the home farm, which included the family residence, and he purchased more land and steadily carried forward the work of improvement and development.  Nothing in the way of modern equipment is lacking upon the property and the excellent improvements which Mr. Plasil has made are all of a substantial and lasting kind. 


His residence is one of the finest in Dodge County and fitted with all modern conveniences and accessories.  It is heated by hot water, has hot and cold water in the bathroom and other parts of the house, and the light is furnished by gasoline.  All the other buildings upon the property are of the same modern and substantial kind. 


Upon this property Mr. Plasil does general farming, specializing in the raising of high-grade Holstein cattle.  In addition to this he has for some years been engaged in the dairy business, his dairy products commanding a ready sale and a high price on the market.  He was one of the promoters and is the president of the Liberty Cheese & Butter Association and has other important business interests.


Mr. Plasil married, in St. Henry's Church in Watertown, in October, 1905, Miss Alice Hrobsky, who was born and educated in Shields township.  She is a daughter of Wenzel Hrobsky, who resides in Watertown.  Mr. and Mrs. Plasil have four children, Francis, Alta, William and Joseph.  The family are devout adherents of the Roman Catholic church and regular attendants at St. Joseph's Church in Richwood.


Mr. Plasil gives his allegiance to the democratic party and is a stanch supporter of the principles and policies for which the party stands, although his public spirit never takes the form of office seeking.  He has won a creditable position in farming circles of Dodge County.  His steady work, his well-tried integrity and his progressive business methods have won their natural reward and he is respected and esteemed wherever he is known.


Joseph Plasil

1911 - 2004




Joseph J. Plasil, 93, of Hillside Manor in Beaver Dam and formerly of 405 N. Eighth St., Watertown, died on September 18, 2004, at the manor.


Funeral services were held at the Hafemeister Funeral Home in Watertown with the Rev. Bernard Rott of St. Henry’s officiating. Burial took place in St. Bernard's Catholic Cemetery.


Joseph was born April 21, 1911, in Richwood, son of Frank and Alice (Hrobsky) Plasil.  He married the former Catherine Theresa Poehnelt on Feb. 23, 1952, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Richwood.  She preceded him in death on Oct. 28, 1985.


Joseph had been a farmer in the town of Shields and had been employed as a machinist at Seaman Andwall Company in Ixonia and in security at Weyenberg Shoe Factory in Beaver Dam.


Joseph was a member of St. Henry’s and the National Rifle Association for more than 50 years.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing, coin and stamp collecting.


He was the last member of his immediate family.




Daughter          Ruth A. (William) Shier of Watertown

Daughter          Sherry (William) Rake of Beaver Dam

Son               Bruce (Joyce) Plasil of West Allis


Five grandchildren, James (Jessie) Clark of Watertown, Cheryl (Brian) Ohrmundt of Watertown, Justin Rake and Aaron Rake, both of Beaver Dam, and Jennifer (Matthew) Dirks of DePere; and two great-grandchildren.





Brothers          Francis and William Plasil

Sisters           Edna Stuntebeck, Alice Stuntebeck and Alta Langer



Cross Reference:

Alice L. Stuntebeck, age 85, passed away on Tuesday, October 19, 1999 at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison.  She was born on April 12, 1914 in Watertown, the daughter of Frank and Alice (Hrobsky) Plasil.  On January 5, 1944 she married Joseph Stuntebeck at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Richwood and he preceded her in death on May 16, 1990.  She had farmed with her husband in the Marshall area for many years.  She was a member of St. Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church in Marshall and she was an avid gardener and loved music.  Survivors include two daughters, Bernadette (James) Blank of Marshall and Pat (John) Eustice of Marshall; two sons, Kenneth Stuntebeck of Marshall and Warren Sluntebeck of California; five grandchildren, Monica Casey, Misty Ferguson, Josephine Eustice, Matthew Eustice, and Philip Eustice; four great-grandchildren; two sisters, Edna Stuntebeck of Marshall and Alta Langer of Phoenix, AZ; a brother, Joseph Plasil of Watertown; nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.  In addition to her husband, she was a preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, William and Frances Plasil.  Funeral services will be held on Thursday, October 21, 1999 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Marshall with Monsignor Raymond Klass officiating.  Burial will be on Friday at the parish cemetery.  Hart-Vick Funeral Home in Marshall is serving the family. WSJ 10/21/1999




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin