History of Lebanon, Dodge County, Wisconsin
From: Dodge County, Wisconsin Past and Present
By Homer Bishop Hubbell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1912


This town is situated on the southern line of town 13 north, range 13 east. It is bounded on the south by Waukesha county, on the west by Emmet, on the north by Hustisford and on the east by Ashippun. It is devoid of villages, so called. The little postoffice named Lebanon, on section 29, is but a hamlet. The Milwaukee, Sparta & Northwestern cuts across the township diagonally and leaves it at section 24. Rock river traverses the eastern portion and an irregular branch or streamlet waters the northern part of the town. Lebanon is essentially a farming community and its inhabitants are composed mainly of the German element. There are splendid farms as will be evidenced by the visitor who will notice the many finely cultivated and fertile fields.

The town was settled by Germans and as early as 1845 they had organized a church of the Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel society. Rev. Mr. hinderman came here in that year and settled among them as their first pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. L. Geyer. That year they built a log church and in 1861 this structure was replaced by a more handsome edifice. Rev. Geyer was followed by Rev. George Link and he in turn by Rev. Allwardt and others.

As early as 185o St. Matthias Evangelican Lutheran church was organized. The first meetings were held in a schoolhouse, the pastor being Rev. John Bading. He was succeeded by Rev. A. Lange and he in turn by Rev. F. Ziegler and others.

Previous to the organization of St. Matthias, St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran society was organized in 1848. The pastor, Rev. Erdman Pankow, held religious services in the schoolhouse. A substantial brick church was erected in 1854. In 1849 a German Baptist society was organized and a small log church was built. The first pastor was Rev. Mr. Guinn.

The Moldenhauer family consisted of the parents and ten children, of which Henry Moldenhauer was the eldest son and a twin sister, Sophia. They came here from Hamburg, Germany, in 1843, and located in this town, building a rude wigwam in the start, but soon thereafter a frame shack took its place - the first building in Lebanon. As one of the pioneer colony of this town, this family is identified with its early history, Henry Moldenhauer taking possession of the homestead in 1857. In June, 1878, he built the only store in the town and was made postmaster at the same time. In 1855 he married Wilhelmina Hartman, who died in 1879, leaving ten children.

John G. Schley was born in Prussia in 1830 and came to America with his parents and settled with them in Lebanon in 1843.

Rev. Erdman Pankow was a pioneer of this town and one of the earliest settlers in the county, coming here from Prussia in 1843, and first locating in Milwaukee. where he worked at his trade of tailoring about five months. He then spent a short time in Watertown, where he built and sold a house. Soon thereafter he bought eighty acres of government land on Sugar Island, Lebanon. Here he built a log cabin, 14 X 20, and with the aid of his wife cleared about four and a half acres of small timber, while the wolves howled around their cabin. On January 1st, 1846, Mr. Pankow began teaching the Lutheran school in Lebanon, which he continued just thirty two years. He preached his first sermon as pastor of St. Paul's church, the seventh Sunday after Trinity, 1848. He also attended charges at Milwaukee, Mayville, Swartzburg Station, Germantown and Sugar Island. His wife died in 1859, leaving six children, and lie married for his second wife, Mary L. Daumbach, and to this union were born nine children.

Ferdinand Gnewuch immigrated to this country from Germany in 1847, coming with his parents to Lebanon. He went on the great lakes as sailor and continued as such until the fall of 1858, when he settled on the homestead in this town. He married Miss Ernestina Maas. He held several township offices. In 1876 he was elected county clerk. He was also a member of the legislature and served on the board of supervisors for several terms.

Ferdinand Petsch came from Germany to America with his parents in 1845. In 1850 the family removed to Lebanon, locating on a farm.

Thomas Baker, a native of England, settled in the town of Lebanon in 1853 on a tract of land, consisting of seventy five acres, about fifty acres of which were cleared and had upon it a small house.

Theodore Tesch immigrated to America from Prussia in 1853 and located on a farm in this town. There were about twelve acres of the eighty cleared and on this was an old log cabin.

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