John Walker Ambrose was born July
21, 1798, in
Ligonier Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA, and died August 7, 1880, in Forest Twp.,
Richland Co., WI, at age 82. Buried in Old Hopewell Cemetery on Hopewell Ridge
near Viola, WI. He is the son of August Henry Ambrose of Frederick
Co., MD, and Susanna Walker of Frederick County, MD.
Salome "Sally" Knable was born
December 30, 1804, in Milford Twp., Bedford (now Somerset) Co., PA, and died November 27, 1882, in
Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI, at age 77. Buried in Old Hopewell Cemetery on
Hopewell Ridge near Viola, WI. She is the daughter of Jacob Kanable
of Clear Spring, Washington Co., MD, and Magdalena Enos of Lynn, Northampton Co.,
John Walker Ambrose and Salome "Sally" Knable were married January
in Somerset Co., PA.
John Walker Ambrose and Salome "Sally"
(Knable) Ambrose had nine children:
- Caroline Amanda Ambrose: Born November 16,
1824, in Somerset Co., PA; Christened May 8, 1825, in Sanner Lutheran Church,
Somerset Co., PA; Died April 7, 1903, in Forest Twp., Richland Co.,
WI (age 78). Married (1) October 10, 1847, in Howard Co., IN,
to John S. Counts, a Physician: Born about 1812 in
Bourbon Co., KY; Died about 1855.
Married (2) October 4, 1857, in Wisconsin to Ruel Thayer (possibly Ruel's
brother, Edwin Thayer): Born August 20, 1820, in New York; Died January 2,
1901, in Wisconsin (age 80).
- Hiram William Ambrose: Born September 15,
1826, in Somerset Co., PA; Died October 18, 1901, in Richland Center, Richland
Co., WI (age 73). Married (1) November 25, 1852, in Indiana
to Mary Ann Gifford:
Born Unknown; Died 1853. Married (2) December
5, 1858, in Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI, to Caroline Amelia Austin: Born
November 14, 1837, in Boliver, Allegany Co., NY;
Died November 5, 1899, in Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI (age 61).
- Jacob Knable Ambrose: Born April 4, 1829,
in Somerset Co., PA; Died August 1, 1904, in Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI (age
75). Married June 25, 1857, in Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI, to
Rachel Ewing: Born April 22, 1839, in
Cranberry Twp., Venago Co., PA; Died January 6, 1923, in Unknown (age 83).
- Susannah Ambrose: Born August 22, 1831, in
Somerset Co., PA; Died April 26, 1850, in Indiana (age 28). Married
March 3, 1850, to Bedford Gifford:
Born about 1827 in Unknown; Died Unknown.
- Mariah Ambrose: Born December 13, 1833, in
Somerset Co., PA; Died April 26, 1912, in Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI (age
78). Married February 20, 1853, in Indiana to
Levi C. Gochenaur: Born May 8, 1826, in
Pennsylvania; Died May 8, 1866, in Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI (age 40).
Ambrose: Born April 30, 1836, near Ligonier, Westmoreland Co., PA; Died
May 11, 1909, in the City of Richland Center, Richland Co., WI (age 73). Married January
18, 1855, in Richmond (later Orion) Twp., Richland Co., WI, to
Simon S. Blake: Born October 29, 1829, in Martinsburg, Bedford (Blair) Co.,
PA; Died March 5, 1904, in the City of Richland Center, Richland Co., WI (age
- Harrison Ambrose: Born June 15, 1839, near
Ligonier, Westmoreland Co., PA; Died June 16, 1863, in Gettysburg, PA (age 24).
- Samuel Ambrose: Born March 16, 1842, near
Ligonier, Westmoreland Co., PA; Died January 26, 1928, in Viola, Richland
Co., WI (age 85). Married (1) December 15, 1870,
to Rachel Bender:
Born December 22, 1847, in Somerset, Co., PA; Died July 21, 1880, in Wisconsin
(age 74). Married (2) February 1, 1883, in
Wisconsin to Emma May Short: Born April 16, 1861, in Marshall Twp., Richland
Co., WI; Died March 2, 1930, in Unknown (age 68).
- Elizabeth Ambrose: Born September 24, 1845,
in Clinton Co., IN; Died April 24, 1924, in Des Moines, IA (age 78). Married
about 1868 to Morton Weston:
Born August 12, 1843, in Unknown; Died June 26, 1892, in Unknown (age 48).
John Walker Ambrose was born
July 21, 1798, in
Ligonier Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA.
Kanable was born
December 30, 1804, in Milford Twp., Bedford Co., PA.
John Walker Ambrose and Salome "Sally" Knable were married January
in Somerset Co., PA.
The 1850 U. S.
Census taken on August 17, 1850, shows John W. Ambrose (age 52) born in Pennsylvania
is a Farmer living in Ross Twp., Clinton Co., IN. Living with him are the
following Ambrose members, all born in Pennsylvania: Sarah Ambrose (age 46);
Jacob Ambrose (age 21), a Farmer; Mariah Ambrose (age 16); Mary Ambrose (age
15); Harrison Ambrose (age 10); Samual Ambrose (age 8); and Elizabeth Ambrose
The 1855 Wisconsin
State Census shows John W. Ambrose is Head of Household with 3 Males and 2
Females living in Forrest Twp., Richland Co., WI.
The 1860 U. S.
Census taken on July 21, 1860, shows John Ambrose (age 62) born in Pennsylvania
with real estate worth $2,000 and personal estate worth $500 is a Farmer living in
Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI. Living with him are the
following Ambrose members, all born in Pennsylvania: Sarah Ambrose (age 56);
Samuel Ambrose (age 18); and Elizabeth Ambrose
(age 15). The Hiram Ambrose, Levi Gouchenour, Jacob Kanable, Jacob Ambrose and
William Ewings families live nearby.
The 1870 U. S.
Census taken on July 1, 1870, shows John W. Ambrose (age 71) born in Pennsylvania
with real estate worth $2,000 and personal estate worth $775 is a Farmer living in
Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI. Living with him are the
following Ambrose members, all born in Pennsylvania: Sarah Ambrose (age 65), who
is Keeping House; and Samuel Ambrose (age 28), a Farmer. Also living there is Clarts Cassie (age 16) born in Indiana, who is Staying. The Hiram Ambrose, J. K.
Ambrose, Maria Gochenaur, William Ewing, and Eliza Ewing families live nearby.
The 1880 U. S.
Census taken on June 7, 1880, shows John W. Ambrose (age 81) born in Pennsylvania
to Pennsylvania-born parents is a Farmer living in Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI. Living with him
is his wife, Siloam Ambrose (age 76) born in Pennsylvania to Pennsylvania-born
parents, who is Keeping House. The J. K. Ambrose family lives nearby.
John Walker Ambrose
died August 7, 1880, in Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI, at age 82. Buried in Old
Hopewell Cemetery on Hopewell Ridge near Viola, WI.
Salome "Sally" (Knable)
Ambrose died November 27, 1882, in Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI, at age 77.
Buried in Old Hopewell Cemetery on Hopewell Ridge near Viola, WI.
Walker Ambrose was born July 21, 1798 near Ligonier, PA, and died Aug. 7, 1880
in the Town of Forest, Richland Co., WI. He married Salome Knable (7), Jan. 22,
1824 in Somerset County. She was born Dec. 30, 1804 in Milford Township, Bedford
(now Somerset) Co., PA., and died Nov. 27, 1882 in the Town of Forest, Richland
County, WI. Both are buried in the Old Hopewell Cemetery on Hopewell Ridge near
Ambrose and Knable families were originally neighbors in Somerset Co., PA, but
John's father moved to Ligonier Valley in Westmoreland Co. about 1790. Their new
home was about twenty‑five miles distant, over Laurel Hill on the Forbes
Road to Pittsburgh ‑ not too far to maintain contact with friends and
relatives in Milford Township but a rugged trip over the mountains nevertheless.
It seems that John Walker was the only one of the family to return to Somerset
Co. for his bride, and according to the baptismal records of Sanners Lutheran
Church they remained near their Knable relatives.
1845 they joined Sally's parents in moving with their entire family to Clinton
Co., IN. All but the four youngest of this family of fifteen were married at
this time. Nine years later, Levi Kanable with nine of his sisters and their
families migrated to the frontier in Richland County, WI. They had been preceded
by other Clinton Co. residents who had returned and told them of this land which
was now available and so much like their earlier home in Somerset County. Did
they long for the wooded hills during their stay on the plains of Indiana?
Farming may have been easier there, but clearing the land of trees and building
log cabins had been the heritage of these families for three generations.
on the Wisconsin River was the center of settlement and supplies. The Ambroses
remained here for a few months, then went into the woods to take up land in the
Town of Forest whose village settlement came to be called Viola.
first town meeting was held at the home of John Walker Ambrose April 1, 1856.
The following year he was elected a supervisor of Richland County. He was known
as a successful farmer and held an honored place in the community.
children of John Walker and Salome (Sally as she was known) Kanable were:
Amanda 1824-1903 Mar. 1) John Counts 2) Ed Thayer
William 1826-1901 Mar. 1) Mary Ann Gifford 2) Caroline Austin
Kanable 1829-1904 Mar. Rachel Ewing
1831-1850 Mar. Bedford Gifford
1833-1912 Mar. Levi Gochenaur
Magdalena 1836-1909 Mar. Simon S. Blake (3)
1839-1863 Died of wounds during Civil War. Buried at Gettysburg.
1842-1928 Mar. 1) Rachel Bender 2) Emma Short
1845-1924 Mar. Morton Weston
Early History of Forest
By Salma Rogers
In the years 1854 and 1855, the town of Forest was comprised of the towns
11 and 12, range 2 west, now known as Sylvan and Forest. The first town meeting
of the joint towns was held at the house of William Ogden, in Sylvan, April 3,
1855; fifteen votes polled at that meeting; was duly organized by the election
of the following officers of the meeting: Elijah Austin, chairman; Silas
Benjamin, William Wood, associates; E. B. Tenny, Asahel Savage, clerks. At the
same meeting the following officers were duly elected for the ensuing year: E.
B. Tenny, chairman; R. J. Darnell, William Wood, associates; Levi C. Gochenaur,
clerk; William Ogden treasurer and Asahel Savage, assessor.
In the year 1855, the town was divided; the geographical town 12 retained
her political name of Forest, and town 11 assumed the political name of Sylvan.
The first town meeting held in the town after the division was made, was held at
the house of John W. Ambrose, on the first day of April, 1856. R. J. Darnell,
presided as chairman; Salma Rogers and Cyrus D Turner, as associate supervisors;
Levi C. Gochenaur, clerk. At said election the following officers were duly
elected for the ensuing year: Jesse Harness, chairman; William Mathews and J. V.
Bennett, associate supervisors; Hartwell L. Turner, clerk; Levi Kanable,
assessor; Andrew Carpenter, treasurer; Harvey C. Goodrich, Jeremiah D. Black,
Salma Rogers, justices of the peace; William Clift, Emanuel P. Bender and George
In the year 1852, in the month of April, the first piece of land was
entered, it being the southeast corner of section 33, town 12 north, range 2
west, by Alexander Barclay, now owned by Charles Marshall. On July 2, following,
Mr. Barclay was drowned in the Wisconsin river at Orion. The first settlers in
the town were Daniel and William Bender. Daniel Bender entered his land, it
being the northwest quarter of section 33, town 12 north, range 2 west, in the
month of April, 1854, and built his house, the first that was built in the town,
on the 12th day of May, the same year, and moved with his family into the house
on the 15th, and buried his wife on the 24th day of May, 1854, this being the
first death that occurred in the town. Ten persons were present at the burial
and only two of that number were resident of the town. The fall of 1854 the town
was settled very rapidly.
On Sept. 20, 1854, H. L. Turner, William Turner, Cyrus D. Turner, Salma
Rogers and J. Lyman Jackson, settled at Viola, in the Kickapoo valley; Laal and
William Clift came to the Kickapoo valley, June 8, 1854, where Laal Clift now
resides. Cyrus D Turner laid out and platted the village of Viola. In October,
1854, Levi Kanable and David Johns settled in the southwestern part of the town,
and in the same month, John W. Ambrose, Jacob K Ambrose, Levi C. Gochenaur,
Jacob P. Neher and R. J. Darnell, settled in the southeast part of the town.
Chapter 24 - Town of Forest.
The town of Forest forms the northwest corner of Richland
county, being composed of congressional township 12 north, range 2 west. It is
bounded on the north and west by Vernon county, and on the east and south by the
towns of Bloom and Sylvan respectively. The surface of this town is very broken
and uneven, the Kickapoo river traversing the northwestern portion. Some
portions of the valley of this river is excellent farming land, having a soil of
rich black loam, made up chiefly of washings from the surrounding hills. It is
well adapted to raising all cereals common to this latitude, and being well
watered it makes excellent pasturage for stock. The Kickapoo river enters the
town by way of section 6, and passing through sections 6, 7, 18 and 19, leaves
through the latter section. This stream furnishes splendid water power
privileges, which have to a large extent been improved. South branch of Bear
creek has its source on section 2, and flowing northward leaves the town by way
of the same section. Camp creek enters the town from the east and flows across
the center of the town to empty into the Kickapoo. These streams have many
spring tributaries, some small, while others are of considerable size, which
abundantly water territory more remote from the larger streams. Upon the higher
and more uneven lands the soil is made up of a clayey loam; the original soil of
black loam having by the action of the elements been largely washed into the
The first settlement in this town was made in April, 1854, by Daniel and
William Bender, two brothers who came together from Pennsylvania. Daniel entered
160 acres of land on section 32, where the first house in the town was erected
and where he still lives. William entered 160 acres of land on section 29, where
he still lives.
In the following June (1854) the Bender brothers were joined by Laal
Cliff, who entered forty acres on section 7, where he still lives; and William
Cliff, who selected eighty acres on section 8. William now resides in Minnesota.
The Cliffs were natives of Vermont.
Jeremiah D Black came during the same year and entered eighty acres on
section 15. He is now dead.
On the 17th of September, 1854, quite a party of pioneers arrived,
consisting of Cyrus D Turner, Salma Rogers, Hartwell L Turner, William Turner, J
L Jackson and John Fuller. Cyrus Turner entered 320 acres of land on sections 18
and 19. He is now dead. Mr. Rogers selected the forty acres of land on section
19 which he still occupies. H L Turner entered 320 acres on section 19, but now
resides just over the line in Vernon county. William Turner entered forty acres
on section 18. J L Jackson entered land in the town of Liberty, Vernon county.
John Fuller remained only a short time and then went to California, where he
John H Crandall, a Baptist preacher, came here from Indiana in 1854, and
entered 320 acres of land on sections 19 and 30. He lived here a few years, then
removed to the town of Eagle. He is now dead.
E P Fay came in 1854 and entered land on section 18. He settled there in
1855. He is now dead.
Jacob Bennett came here in 1854, and the year following located on
section 7. He is dead.
George Fruit and James Guthrie came at an early day and located on
section 12, where they still live.
Levi Knable also came in 1854, and entered land on section 30, where he
David Johns came in October, 1854, and entered eighty acres of land on
He was followed the same year by J K, H W and J W Ambrose. J K entered
120 acres of land on section 34, where he now resides. H W entered 120 acres on
section 28, where he still lives. J W selected 120 acres on section 34, where he
died in 1881.
J P Neher came in 1854 and entered eighty acres on section 34. He now
resides in California.
Jeremiah Clark came in 1854 and entered 160 acres of land on section 26,
where he still lives.
R J Darnell was also one of the settlers of 1854. He bought a farm of
eighty acres on section 36. He removed to Kansas from here, but now lives in
Levi Gochenour came in 1854 and entered 160 acres of land on section 27.
He remained there until the time of his death, in 1861. His widow still lives
In 1855 George Croninger, Andrew Carpenter, John Booher, Isaac Phifer,
James Rockwell and Mr. Todd all came. Mr. Croninger bought land on sections 8
and 17, erecting a house on the former section, where he still lives. Mr.
Carpenter settled on the southeast quarter of section 10. John Booher located on
section 11. Mr. Rockwell located on section 10. He is now dead. His son, H L,
who came with him, now lives on section 3. Mr. Phifer settled on section 11. He
now lives in Iowa.
Alfred Loveless, a native of the State of New York, came here in 1856 and
bought forty acres of land on section 18, where he lived until the time of his
death. He was a prominent man in the county and held many positions of trust and
responsibility. His son, J A Loveless, still occupies the old homestead.
SAMUEL AMBROSE is the owner of a fine landed estate in Forest and
Marshall townships and is one of the representative farmers of the county. He is
a native of the old Keystone State, having been born in Westmoreland county,
Penn., March 16, 1842, and being a son of John W. and Salome (Kanable) Ambrose,
both of whom were likewise born in Pennsylvania, whence they came to Richland
county, Wis., in 1853, first settling near Orion and removing to the town of
Forest in 1855, here passing the remainder of their lives. The father was a
successful farmer, reclaiming his land from the forest and being one of the
honored and influential citizens of his township. He was a member of the town
board in an early day and identified himself with the Republican party at the
time of its organization, thereafter continuing a stanch supporter of its cause.
Samuel Ambrose, the immediate subject of this review, secured his rudimentary
education in Pennsylvania, having been eleven years of age at the time of his
parents' removal to Wisconsin, and having continued his studies in the district
schools of Forest township, where he was reared to manhood on the home farm.
Save for a period of a few years, during which he was engaged in the general
merchandise business at Ash Ridge, this county, his vocation has been that of
farming, and he is now the owner of a fine farm of 200 acres in Forest township
and 160 acres in Marshall township. In politics he is a stanch supporter of the
Republican party and he has been called to serve in various offices of public
trust, having been township treasurer four years and having served as assessor,
as postmaster at Ash Ridge, as notary public and as census enumerator in 1900.
Dec. 15, 1870, Mr. Ambrose was united in marriage to Miss Rachel Bender, who was
born Dec. 22, 1847, and who died July 21, 1880. Of this union were born five
children, whose names, with respective dates of birth, are as follows: Pearlie
Gilbert, Oct. 25, 1871; Susannah Maria, Apr. 30, 1873; Marvin Custer, Jan. 16,
1875; Ninetta C., Jan. 13, 1877; and Mary, Feb. 14, 1879. Pearlie and Marvin are
deceased; Susannah is the wife of Charles Hall; Ninetta is the wife of Aaron
Fruit; Mary is the wife of Tracy Benson. Feb. 4, 1883, Mr. Ambrose married Miss
Emma Short, who was born in Marshall township, this county, April 16, 1861, her
parents having been pioneers of Richland county. They were born in Germany and
first settled in Pennsylvania, whence they came to Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs.
Ambrose have six children, whose names and dates of birth are as follows: Martha
E., Dec. 7, 1883; Irwin J., Nov. 16, 1885; Prudence F., May 18, 1888; Clyde,
Jan. 12, 1891; Bonnie B., June 15, 1893; and Zuey Zelma, March 27, 1895. Martha
E. is now the wife of James D. Winter. Mrs. Ambrose is a member of the United