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Genealogy: Family Histories

Youngbauer family still in Sussex

by Fred H. Keller, Sussex Village Historian,

Source: Retrospect, Living Sussex Sun, Tuesday,  July 22, 2009

Notes in ( ) added by Editor Mike Reilly

Last Revised 07/24/2009

In the preceding four weeks, Retrospect has had a series of stories about the Russell-Youngbauer-Caesar home. There is an added chapter as today the Youngbauer family is still a serious contributor to the fabric of the community.

John and Idabelle Youngbauer, with three of their five children, came to the Sussex Painted Lady house (N64 W241321 Main St.) in 1943, a 32-year occupation of the house that was built back in 1870-71. John (b. 16 Apr. 1895 in St, Lawrence, Washington, Wisconsin, son of Alois Youngbauer and Anna Lischka) died in 1955 (2 Mar 1955 in Sussex) and Idabelle (nee Bird, b. 25 Mar 1897 in Colgate, Washington, Wisconsin) in 1977 (9 Jan 1977 in Sussex), and now in 2009 one can look back to the contributions of two of their three children, Charles Youngbauer and his sister Jeanne Schmidt.

Charles married a local farm girl, Ruth Bogue, and their eight children resulted in many outstanding contributors to the Hamilton High School athletic field. First son Scott set so many Hamilton defensive school records that there was something of a joke, as it was said the linebacker did a "Youngbauer" on an opposing runner. Scott went on to play four years as a defensive halfback at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

No less than five of the eight children earned varsity letters in basketball at Hamilton. The youngest, Richard, also known as "Rich" more famously "R.J.", won his letter the hard way as a manager, as he was afflicted with a type of Parkinson 's disease in grade school. He would go on to coach high school basketball in Iowa and later at Hamilton, also sandwiching in some time coaching at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

However, the star was Terry Youngbauer, who was chosen a few years ago as one of the 100 all-time Wisconsin high school basketball players. Terry twice took a Rich Ludka-coached basketball team to the state tournament, as a sophomore in 1977 and as a senior captain in 1979. His teams took the Braveland Conference title in 1979, and got to the final four at state. His teams won three regional titles and two sectional titles, and with 1,004 career points, Terry was the Hamilton all-time leading scorer for 29 years, 1979-2008, his record was later broken by Cameron Cerroni.

Terry, who made MVP of the Braveland and MVP of Waukesha County, was chosen as the first team all-state in 1979. He was a crowd favorite and record setter when he played at Drake University, and he later played professional basketball in Australia before his long coaching career in Muscatine, Iowa. He is now in his final teaching years there, but he came back to Hamilton in January 2003 when his #15 uniform was retired in an impressive ceremony at a basketball game, pulling in standing-room only crowds.

Charles Youngbauer joined the Sussex Fire Department April 1, 1958, just as he was starting his family in a new home on Elmwood Avenue and Old Mill Lane. He climbed from fireman to lieutenant to captain, and in 1982 he was appointed an assistant chief after 24 years of service. However, it was only a short promotion as Charles died suddenly of a heart attack March 5, 1982. He passed away while being transported in the Sussex Fire Department ambulance while it was making the turn on Custer Lane from Highway 74 for the final run to the Menomonee Falls Community Memorial Hospital. He was only 52 years old.

Charles was not the only Youngbauer family member to receive Sussex Fire Department honors. His 13-year-old son Tom performed a fast-thinking, intensive rescue of a 2-year-old boy, Ted Ray Holmes, on Dec. 26, 1972. Ted was sleigh riding with a group at the Sussex Mill Pond hill, but he went too far across the pond and into the central core where his sled broke through the ice and he went under water. While everyone else just watched, Tom Youngbauer ran down the hill, jumped into the freezing water up to his waist, and pulled young Ted from below the water line, saving him from the current that was starting to carry him away under the remaining ice. The Sussex Fire Department made a big deal out of the rescue, and Tom became the second person ever to be made an "honorary Sussex fireman," receiving a framed citation from Fire Chief Robert Stier in early 1973.

Meanwhile, Jeanne Youngbauer married Richard Schmidt and built a home on Hillview Drive in Sussex. Two of their three boys, Mark and Rick, became outstanding swimmers and longtime lifeguards at the Sussex swimming beach at the Mammoth Spring Canning Company back acre ex-quarry. Their youngest son, Stephen, was the only Hamilton cross-country runner to win the conference title for both himself and his team. Jeanne is now a forever valued and award-winning volunteer at the Sussex Library, before and after it became the Pauline Haass Public Library. She has contributed 29 years of volunteer work and she's still going strong. Today, Stephen is still going strong for Hamilton, serving as coach for the boys track team and cross country team. The extended Youngbauer family is still a big factor in the local community.


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