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Multiple-Generational Wisconsin Badgers: Caryl Louise (Chandler) Herziger

There must be an astonishing number of multiple-generational families who are a part of UW-Madison’s history. As a part of this group, I think you will find my family to be an interesting and unique member. Its uniqueness is due partly to the fact that my grandmother was a co-ed when women were a rarity on the campus and partly to the fact that for three of the four generations both the husband AND the wives of the couples were Wisconsin graduates. The following is our story.


My grandfather, DR. FREMONT E. CHANDLER graduated from the University in 1886 with a B.S. degree. Fremont was a star pitcher for the university baseball team as was attested by his framed picture, which hung in the Rathskellar in the years I was on campus. Baseball was the chief athletic activity in the 1880’s and 90’s. I am not sure whether he attended medical school at Wisconsin or at Rush Medical School in Chicago for his medical degree. The 1849-1919 university records list him as Physician and Surgeon. He practiced medicine in Chicago and later moved to his home territory, which was Waupaca. Here he was to become Waupaca’s lone doctor and mayor for many years. He married Mary Saxe.

My grandmother, MARY REBECCA SAXE, was a dentist’s daughter from Whitewater, who attended college in Madison, a rarity for a female. She lived in either North or South Hall (I have forgotten which). Mary graduated in 1886 with a B.L. degree. After graduation she taught for a short time and then became Fremont Chandler’s bride. She bore 8 children, two of whom died in infancy. All the other six children graduated from college, not all at Wisconsin.


My father, WILLIAM STEPHEN CHANDLER, second eldest of the children of Fremont and Mary Chandler, graduated from UWMadison in 1918 with a BSA Degree (I think the A was for Agriculture). “Bill” was a star basketball player. He was team captain all four years. He was senior class president which meant he was prom king for the last prom which was held in the state capitol building. He lived in the old red gym along with Harold Olson who later became coach at Ohio State. Bill went on to coach basketball at River Falls, Iowa State, and finally at Marquette University 1930 to 1952. He was a personal friend of Dr. Naismith, basketball inventor.

My mother, VIOLA ELFRIEDA PLEUSS, a “townie”, was born and raised in Madison so it was just assumed she would attend college locally. Viola graduated in 1919 with a B.A. degree. She briefly taught girls’ Phy Ed. at St. Olaf College , then married her sweetheart and raised three children. Her picture in the 1918 BADGER labels her as an “outstanding Wisconsin coed”. During her lifetime she was active in civic and church affairs. She lived to be 103 years old.


I am CARYL LOUISE CHANDLER, eldest child of Bill and Viola. I graduated from Wauwatosa High School and received my B.S. degree from UWMadison in 1942. I taught high school English in Oregon, WI and at Sheboygan North. After our four children were grown, I returned to teaching, now in remedial reading at the elementary level. I was selected as Elementary Teacher of the Year in 1970. Now, at the age of a 92, I find myself widowed, living alone, but still driving my van, cooking, signing my own checks and playing bridge regularly with 6 different groups. I am making an effort to enter the computer/electronic age.

My husband, WILLIAM FREDERICK HERZIGER, spent his college years living at Turner Hall in the men’s dorms. He received his B.S. degree from UWMadison in 1943. Bill began teaching at Sheboygan Central and it was here he and I met. We discovered we had been at functions together at Madison but had never met while there. Bill and I moved to Neenah, Bill’s hometown. Here we became active in civic and school affairs. Bill was WFT president until he was appointed Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Menasha schools. After our retirement Bill and I traveled widely.


DR. JOHN WILLIAM HERZIGER, now retired, graduated from UW Madison in 1970 and from University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974. He practiced internal medicine in a clinic in Alhambra, CA. In his retirement he has become a worldwide traveler. He lives in Sierra Madre, CA.

THOMAS LOUIS HERZIGER, now retired, graduated from UW in 1971. He received has Masters Degree from UW Menomonie. He served as Media Specialist in Antioch (IL) High School. He is a war-gamer and trivia expert. He owns a home in Bristol, WI and a cottage in Tomahawk, WI.

MARK (Frederick) CHANDLER HERZIGER graduated from UWOshkosh in 1975. He spent many years restoring one of Neenah’s historic homes. This year, when he sold the home, he moved to Costa Rica. Our family had hosted a Costa Rican exchange student in 1970.

HELEN CARYL HERZIGER, social worker in Tucson, AZ graduated from UWMadison in 1976. She received her Masters Degree from Arizona State U. She married Rodney Plimley but continues to use her maiden name. She serves as a Director at Easter Seals Blake Foundation. Helen and Rod adopted two children both of whom graduated from the University of Arizona.

None of our sons ever married. There are several UW graduates we claim as members of our multiple-generational family. My father’s brother, Dr. Fremont A. Chandler (1917); my mother’s sister, Anita Pleuss Nelson (1916) and her husband, Byron C. Nelson (1916); my brother Dr. William Warren Chandler, who graduated from Marquette but had the good sense to marry a UWMadison graduate , Paula Cornish Chandler (1953); my brother, Stanley Pleuss Chandler (1944) and his wife Elizabeth Bemis Chandler who graduated from UW Superior at the age of 65; and my husband’s sister, Phyllis Herziger Krueger,who graduated from the University Library School in 1939.

With a direct line reaching back to1886 and with four generations of University of Wisconsin graduates, we truly are a multiple-generation Badger family. (Some of the dates of attendance or graduation I have not been able to verify.)

War affected the lives of most of the Wisconsin graduates of our generations.

During World War I William Stephen Chandler (1917) was stationed at the Great Lakes Training Center in Illinois. He played on the Great Lakes basketball team and was released just before his orders to go overseas were issued.

William Warren Chandler and Stanley Pleuss Chandler were both in service in World War II in the Pacific. William was on the outstanding Navy Basketball team.
Stanley saw action in many of the battles in the Pacific arena. Bill Herziger and Caryl Chandler were both on campus when Pearl Harbor occurred. Life in Madison ,WI was greatly affected, with a shortage of men and with care-free college days in short supply.

John and Tom Herziger were both on campus in the late 60’s when there were riots and confusion among students and their lives were sidetracked by the conflicts.

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