This has always been one of my favorite photos that I scanned from my grandmother’s collection. This is Mathias Firmenich, my great-great-great grandfather on my father’s side. From what I gathered from research and from obituaries, Mathias was born in Cologne, Germany, February 11, 1840. He came to Milwaukee in May 1847 and settled with his parents on a farm located in the wilderness 25 miles from that city. (I have yet to find this information even though I’m still in this area.) He later moved north and married his wife, Pauline, in the Green Bay area. They then moved on to the Ashland, Wisconsin area where he lived the rest of his days, which was a long time since he died at 91.
I like the photo since it’s such a great head shot and I love his big beard. He just looks like he spent a lot of time working outside in the wilderness, which Ashland was and still is in a way. I wish I could have met him, though my grandma may have some small memories since she was 5 or 6 when he passed away.
See: Wisconsin Pioneer posting