Washington County Biographies

Part of the Wisconsin Biographies Project

Fritz Prien

Fritz Prien, blacksmith, Hartford; was born in Mecklenburg, German, Jan. 27, 1829; learned his trade in his native country, working at it six years. He was married, April 28, 1841, to Anna Pierstorf, daughter of Andrew and Mary Pierstorf, who was born in Mecklenburg. He came to America immediately after his marriage in 1841, and made his home in Albany, N. Y., nearly two years; then moved to Milwaukee; remained only a short time and then went to Middleton, Dane Co., where he bought some land; spent the next four years on a farm; then returned to Milwaukee and was foreman for Jacob and John Eaglehoff, blacksmiths; continued with this firm three years; May 6, 1857, he moved to Hartford and opened a blacksmith shop, where, by steady industry and economy, and the assistance of his wife, he soon accumulated a snug fortune, when his shop was burned with the contents, causing a loss of $5,000, on which there was no insurance; a new shop was built, a new start made with a prospect of good fortune. Mr. Prien has lost seventeen children out of nineteen. The children were named as follows: Eliza M., William, Frederick, George, Emma, Andrew, Augusta, Henry, Rudolph, Helena, Ferdinand and Julius; seven died unnamed; of those named, only Frederick and Julius are living. May 12, 1873, Mrs. Prien received a stroke of paralysis from which she has never fully recovered. Mr. Prien has served two terms as Supervisor of the town of Hartford.