Charles Zarnke

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Charles F. Zarnke (July 19, 1868 - May 16, 1931) was a farmer, janitor and Socialist state legislator from Wisconsin.


Zarnke was born in Germany on July 19, 1868. He immigrated to America at age fourteen and farmed in the town of Flieth (later Rib Mountain) for 28 years. He served as Town Chairman from 1904–1909 and as town treasurer from 1914-1917.[1]

Elected office[edit]

Zarnke was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1918 to represent the first district of Marathon County for the 1919–1920 session, defeating incumbent Republican Herman Hedrich by 1763 (56.2%) votes to 1374 (43.8%).[2] He served on the Committees on Fish and Game and Enrolled Bills.[3]

In 1920, he was defeated for re-election by Republican Joseph Weix, who received 3717 votes, to 2296 for Zarnke and 915 for Democrat Jerry Bradley.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

On June 27, 1891, he was married (at Colby, Wisconsin) to Nora Smart. They had twelve children. Zarnke died on May 16, 1931. He is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in Wausau.[6]

When he retired from farming in 1923, he moved to Wausau, and worked as a janitor at the Wausau School District Central School Building.