Wilhelm Friedrich August Lemke was born 14 November 1846 in Heydebreck, Plathe, Regenwalde, Pommerania, Germany, to Johann Friedrich August Lemke and Wilhelmine Caroline Kühl. Plathe is now called Ploty and is part of modern Poland. He was probably the oldest of at least 4 children. His known siblings are Carl August Lemke, born 28 Jun. 1849, Hanne Auguste Lemke, b. 5 Sep. 1853, and another sister whose name is unknown. Family stories tell us that he had a brother who died young, a sister who remained in Germany, and a sister who married A. Albricht and died on the way to America and was buried at sea.
While Wilhelm Friedrich lived in Germany, he worked on a sheep ranch. He was also probably in the military at some point as we have a picture of him wearing a military uniform, although a close look at the picture reveals that only the face is his. The rest is just painted on.
He married Bertha Oestreich and came to America about 1879. They had 6 children, the first two of whom were born in Germany before coming to the USA. During the 1880 census, they lived at Hollywood, Carver, Minnesota. Bertha's parents must have come to America as well, as Charles and Frederica Estrich, Bertha's parents were living with them at that time. Sadly, Bertha died in 1891, just a few weeks after the birth of their 7th child.
On 23 March 1892, he married Friederike Feldmann. They lived in Hollywood Township, Carver County, Minnesota. They lived there until 1900 when they moved back to Johnson, Minnesota. They bought a 160 acre farm and lived there until 1910 when they moved to Glencoe to a 37 acre farm.
Fred and Friederike Lemke had 6 children: Friederike Wilhelmine Louise (Frieda) b. 12 Dec. 1892, Elsie Alvina Emily b. 23 April 1895, Louisa Agnes Tabardant (Louise) b. 12 July 1897, Ernest Frank Herman (Ernie) b. 17 Oct. 1899, Paul Richard Gustaf b. 5 Jan. 1902, and Emma Juliana Pauline b. 4 August 1904.
Fred Lemke died 9 November 1920.