History of Idaho, Volume 2, by Hiram T. French, M.S.
The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago and New York 1914, Page 757-758
Prominent among the active and prosperous business men of New Plymouth, Idaho, is Louis Wachter, the pioneer lumber dealer of that village and also the first to open a hardware store there, who with the characteristic energy and thirst of his Swiss forebears has builded up a thriving business enterprise and has been no less forceful and valuable as a citizen, contributing of his energy and influence to promote general progress and development in the new community.
On June 23, 1858, he was born at Belleville, St. Clair county, Illinois, to Anton and Margaret (Richar) Wachter. Anton Wachter, a native of Switzerland, came to America in 1857 and settled at Belleville, Illinois, where shortly afterward he was married to Margaret Richar, whose birthplace and girlhood home in the German province of Alsace Lorraine had not been far distant from that of her husband. They removed from Illinois to Washington county, Nebraska, in 1872, and there the wife and mother passed away in July, 1887. The senior Mr. Wachter, who is a blacksmith by trade but gave the most of his active career to farming, has been quite successful in a business way and is yet living, a retired resident of Washington county, Nebraska.
Of the eight children of these parents, Louis Wachter is the eldest. His schooling was concluded in St. Clair county, Illinois, at the age of eight when he took employment as a farm hand at $8 per month, and after attaining manhood he engaged in farming independently, following that vocation for seventeen years. On June 13, 1899, while a resident of Herman, Nebraska, a cyclone swept the place and wiped out everything Mr. Wachter owned, but he had begun business life on his own resources and as the years had passed he had grown but stronger in ability and self-reliance. Therefore, undaunted, and with determination and courage, he set about to build anew. On May 1, 1902, he removed with his family to New Plymouth, Idaho, where with his son, William, he opened up a small hardware store, the first of its kind in the town and with which business he remained identified eight years. In 1903 a partnership was formed with Arthur Meyer and about 1904 they opened up a lumber business in connection with the hardware store. About 1908 Mr. Meyer purchased the Wachter interests in the entire business, but a year later resold the lumber yard to Mr. Wachter, who has since owned and conducted that branch. His is a thriving business and one that is rapidly increasing as the town and community develops.
He is a Democrat, but not active in political work, and fraternally he affiliates with the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America at New Plymouth, Idaho, and with the Ancient Order of United Workmen in Nebraska. In religion he favors the Roman Catholic church but is not a member and attends all denominations. Mr. Wachter has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Anna C. Bree, whom he wedded April 15, 1883, in Burt county, Nebraska. She was born in Wisconsin June 14, 1861, a daughter of William Bree, and died at Herman, Nebraska, July 19, 1899, as a result of the shock received in the terrific cyclone that swept that section that year. Five children were born to this union: A. William, now a resident of Portland, Oregon; Laura, unmarried; Pearl, the wife of John Herfurth, of Boise, Idaho; Mardell Wachter, and one which died in infancy. His second marriage occurred October 24, 1911, at Pocatello, Idaho, and united him to Miss Mary McVitty, whose native state is Pennsylvania.