Wednesday, September 26, 2007

An Eccentric Wisconsin Man


The Milwaukee (Wis.) Sentinel says: Capt. William Plocker, of Brandon, is a peculiar man — quite peculiar.

He was educated for a banker, but never adopted the profession. Thirty years ago he located in the town of Metomen, Fon du Lac county, having purchased a large tract of land. Previous to that he had spent some years as a steamboat official on the western lakes. His was one of the best managed farms in Metomen, yet he found ample time to do an immense amount of reading.

His library is one of the largest in the county, embracing many of the choicest works, and every one of the thousands of books has been read and reread by the captain. He is well posted on any subject, almost, that may be named. At times when thinking or reading he is oblivious to everything about him.

In his early days, his farm-house, near Fairwater, was converted into a public house, with himself as proprietor. While the captain was in one of his brownest of brown studies, a traveler stepped in and asked if he could get accommodations. There was no answer. A second, third and fourth time the question was propounded, with a like result. By that time the would- be patron's patience had departed, and he gave the captain a slap on the cheek which sent him whirling to the floor. Imagine the surprise of that traveler when Plocker gathered himself up, reoccupied his chair, and proceeded with his thinking, without as much as a "thank you."

On one occasion, when the hired man was away, the captain had ten cows to milk. It took him until nearly midnight, and when the task was completed he deliberately poured the eight pailsful of milk into the swill barrel, detecting the mistake just as the last pail was drained.

One day, at Brandon, he went to the house of a friend when the house was full of visitors. Going to the library he picked up a book and returned to the parlor, filled with happy guests, stretched himself at full length on the lounge, read an hour or more, and then, without having said a word or looked at a person, took his departure.

After serving his district in the Assembly in 1875, he sold his farm for $12,000, visited the old country, and is now a resident of Brandon, whose people talk of making him their first village president.

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