Simon Simpkins Blake


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Simon Simpkins Blake was born October 29, 1829, in Martinsburg, Bedford (later Blair) Co., PA, and died March 5, 1904, in Richland Center, Richland Co., WI, at age 74. Buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI. He is the son of Burdine Blake Sr. of Washington Co., MD, and Mazey Ann Simpkins of Hagerstown, Washington Co., MD. 

Mary Magdalena Ambrose was born April 30, 1836, near Ligonier, Westmoreland Co., PA, and died May 11, 1909, in Richland Center, Richland Co., WI, at age 73. Buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI. She is the daughter of John Walker Ambrose of Ligonier Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA, and Salome Knable of Milford Twp., Bedford Co., PA.

Simon Simpkins Blake and Mary Magdalena Ambrose were married January 18, 1855, in Richmond (later Orion) Twp., Richland Co., WI. Certificate No. 1-62 at Register of Deeds, Richland Center, WI.

Simon Simpkins Blake and Mary Magdalena (Ambrose) Blake had ten children:

  1. Sylvester Fremont Blake: Born July 10, 1856, in Richmond Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died October 18, 1921, in the Wisconsin State Hospital for the Insane, Westport Twp., Dane Co., WI (age 65). Buried in East Side Cemetery, Dodgeville, Iowa Co., WI. Married January 23, 1881, at the Methodist church, Oak Ridge, Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI, to Ida A. May Halsey: Born August 1, 1862, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died Friday, June 4, 1920, in Dodgeville, Iowa Co., WI (age 57). Buried in East Side Cemetery, Dodgeville, Iowa Co., WI.
  2. Ida Elmira Blake: Born September 17, 1858, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died Monday evening, October 6, 1941, in the hospital, City of Waupaca, Waupaca Co., WI (age 83). Buried in East Side Cemetery, Dodgeville, Iowa Co., WI.  Married October 1, 1874, in Grant Co., WI, to William Searle Abbey: Born April 12, 1853, in Hope Twp., Durham Co., Canada West; Died Saturday, June 22, 1935, at his home in the City of Dodgeville, Iowa Co., WI (age 82). Buried in East Side Cemetery, Dodgeville, Iowa Co., WI.
  3. Viola Genoa Blake: Born April 14, 1861, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died October 13, 1956, at Pleasant View Rest Home, Manheim, Lancaster Co., PA (age 95). Buried in Bismarck Cemetery, Quentin, West Cornwall Twp., Lebanon Co., PA. Married February 20, 1881, in Woodstock, Richland Co., WI, to James Edward Mason: Born March 1, 1861, near Galesville, Trempealeau Co., WI; Died November 14, 1955, in a Paradise Valley rest home, National City, San Diego Co., CA (age 94). Buried in Glen Abbey Memorial Park, Bonita, San Diego Co., CA. Divorced.
  4. Mary Estelle Blake: Born May 14, 1863, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died March 27, 1940, in Viola, Richland Co., WI (age 76). Married (1) March 18, 1883, in the Simon S. Blake residence, Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI, to Elbion Alexander Ewing: Born May 25, 1860, in Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died August 21, 1883, in Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI (age 23). Buried in Bender Cemetery, Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI. Married (2) July 26, 1886, in Grant Co., WI, to Joseph E. Davis: Born October, 1852, in Janesville, Rock Co., WI; Died April 6, 1923, in Madison, Dane Co, WI (age 70). Buried in Boscobel, Grant Co., WI.
  5. Salome Caroline Blake: Born July 28, 1865, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI: Died September 15, 1948, in Richland Co., WI (age 83). Buried in Button Cemetery, Buena Vista Twp., Richland Co., WI. Married October 11, 1885, at the Methodist parsonage in Sextonville, Richland Co., WI, to Luzern "Lou" Pugh: Born June 20, 1862, in Cobb, Iowa Co., WI; Died June 19, 1943, in Gotham, Richland Co., WI (age 81). Buried in Button Cemetery, Buena Vista Twp., Richland Co., WI.
  6. John Ambrose Blake: Born September 7, 1868, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died July 21, 1870, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI (age 1 Year, 10 Months and 14 Days). Buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI.
  7. Grant Burdine Blake: Born about 1871 in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died about 1872 in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI (age Infant). Buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI.
  8. Cora Jane Blake: Born October 30, 1870, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died July 30, 1918, in Richland Center, Richland Co., WI (age 47). Buried in Richland Center Cemetery, Richland Center, Richland Twp., Richland Co., WI. Married March 15, 1899, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI, to Wallace Edwin Pratt: Born July 31, 1848, in Jericho, Chittenden CO., VT; Died August 9, 1919, in Richland Co., WI (age 71).
  9. Dora Belle Blake: Born January 22, 1873, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died October 17, 1941, in Madison, Dane Co., WI (age 68). Buried in Roselawn Memorial Park, Monona, Dane Co., WI. Married September 27, 1891, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI, to Charles Herbert Lovell: Born February 6, 1869, in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., WI; Died June 27, 1948, in Madison, Dane Co., WI (age 79). Buried in Roselawn Memorial Park, Monona, Dane Co., WI.
  10. Edna Pearl Blake: Born September 5, 1876, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died August 10, 1973, at a nursing home in Richland Center, Richland Co., WI (age 96). Buried in Sextonville Cemetery, Buena Vista Twp., Richland Co., WI. Married May 26, 1914, in Richland Center, Richland Co., WI, to Wallace Alonzo Lawton: Born September 26, 1858, in Forest Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died April 10, 1926, in Richland Center, Richland Co., WI (age 67). Buried in Sextonville Cemetery, Buena Vista Twp., Richland Co., WI.



TIMELINE


Simon Simpkins Blake and Mary Magdalena (Ambrose) Blake are buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI. Also buried there are their infant sons: John Ambrose Blake and Grant Burdine Blake, and their granddaughter, Ruth Elizabeth Abbey.

Oak Ridge Cemetery, Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI; June 30, 2003

Grave marker of Simon and Mary Blake

Grave marker "MOTHER", presumably Mary Magdalena (Ambrose) Blake (partially submerged)

JOHN A. G. SON OF S. S. & M. M. BLAKE, DIED July 21, 1870, AGED 1 Yr 10 m's 14 d's

This grave possibly contains Grant Burdine Blake and John Ambrose Blake, both of whom died in infancy.


Simon S. Blake was born October 29, 1829, in Martinsburg, Bedford (Blair) Co., PA.

The 1830 U. S. Census shows Bordyne Blake (age 30 to 40) is living in Woodbury Twp., Bedford Co., PA. Living with him is his wife (age 30 to 40). Also living there are their children: 1 male under 5, 2 males 5 to 10, and one male 10 to 15, 1 female under 5 and 1 female 5 to 10. Also living there are a male age 60 to 70 and 1 female age 50 to 60.

Mary Magdalena Ambrose was born April 30, 1836, near Ligonier, Westmoreland Co., PA.

The 1840 U. S. Census shows Birdine Blake (age 40 to 50) is living in North Woodbury, Bedford Co., PA. Living with him is his wife (age 40 to 50). Also living there are their children: 2 males 5 to 10, and one male 10 to 15, and 1 male 15 to 20, 2 females 5 to 10, 1 female 10 to 15, and 1 female 15 to 20. James Blake (age 70 to 80) is living next door with his wife (age 50 to 60). Also in the household are: 1 male 10 to 15; 1 female 15 to 20, and 1 female 20 to 25.

The 1840 U. S. Census shows John Ambrose is living in Westmoreland Co., PA. Males: under 5=1, 5-9=1, 10-14=1, 40-49=1; Females: under 5=1, 5-9=2, 15-19=1; 30-39=1. George Ambrose, Susana Ambrose and William Ambrose are also listed as heads of households living nearby.

The 1850 U. S. Census taken on August 28, 1850, shows James Blake (age 28) born in Pennsylvania is a Blacksmith living in Martinsburg Borough, Blair Co., PA. Living with him is his wife Margrett Blake (age 23) born in Pennsylvania. Also living there are: John W. P. Blake (age 2) born in Pennsylvania; and Burdine Blake (age 5/12) born in Pennsylvania. Also in the household are: Simon Blake (age 20) born in Pennsylvania, a Blacksmith; and William Blake (age 26) born in Pennsylvania, a Blacksmith.

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 (age 4).

Simon S. Blake and Mary Magdalena Ambrose were married January 18, 1855, in Richmond (later Orion) Twp., Richland Co., WI.

The 1855 Wisconsin State Census for Richland Co., WI:

    Ambrose, Jacob: Richwood Twp.; 1 Male, 0 Females

    Ambrose, John W.: Forrest Twp.; 3 Males, 2 Females

    Blake, James D.: Richwood (Forrest) Twp.; 3 Males, 2 Females

    Blake, Simon: Richmond (later Orion) Twp.; 1 Male, 1 Female

    Blake, Thomas Charles: Richmond (later Orion) Twp.; 2 Males, 0 Females (Leigh Larson note: these are probabbl brothers, Charles Blake and Thomas Blake)


On November 10, 1855, Simon S. Blake of Blair County, Pennsylvania, was granted a Land Patent for 80 acres of land in the West 1/2 of the NW 1/4 of Section 17, T9N in Orion Twp. Leigh Larson note: This is the land that was foreclosed upon and sold at a Sheriff's Sale in 1858.


On November 10, 1855 Simon S. Blake of Blair County, Pennsylvania, was granted a Land Patent for 40 acres of land in the NE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Section 18 T9N in Orion Twp.


Richland County Observer, Richland Center, Richland Co., WI, January 2, 1858

SHERIFF'S SALE

Richland County, Wisconsin, Circuit Court. Foreclosure of Mortgage.

Arthur Cook against Simon S. Blake.

By virtue of a decretal order made by the Circuit Court of Richland county, Wisconsin, at the November Term, on the 11th day of day of November, A. D. 1857, I shall, on Wednesday, the 20th day of January, A. D. 1858, at 10 o'clock, a. m., at the front door of the Court House, in the town of Richland, in said county and state, sell, at public auction, to the highest bidder, for cash, the following mortgaged premises, to wit: The west half of the north-west quarter of section seventeen (17), in town nine (9) north of range one (1) east, in the county of Richland and State of Wisconsin, or so much thereof to satisfy the sum of eighty-eight dollars and fifty-five cents, and interest thereon from the date of said decree, together with costs of said court and of this sale.

Sheriff's Office, Richland Center, November 24th, A. D. 1857.

L. M. THORP, Sheriff

The above sale is adjourned, by the request of the parties, until the 24th day of February, 1858. Sale at the same hour and place.

L. M. THORP, Sheriff

Leigh Larson note: Arthur Cook in 1860 was a Farmer (age 39) born in Pennsylvania, with a wife and family, living in Marshall Twp., Richland Co., WI. He died December 15, 1890, in Richland Co., WI.


By 1860 the 80 acres of land in the West 1/2 of the NW 1/4 of Section 17, T9N in Orion Twp. was owned by Mary M. Blake. The original Land Patent was by someone else.

The 1860 U.S. Census taken on June 19, 1860, shows Simon S. Blake (age 30) born in Pennsylvania with real estate of $1,000 and personal estate of $140 is a Farmer and is living in Richmond Twp., Richland Co., WI . Living with him is Mary M. Blake (age 24) born in Pennsylvania. Also there are two children, both born in Wisconsin: Sylvester F. Blake (age 4); and Ida Blake (age 2).


Simon S. Blake spent recuperation time at the Harvey Army Hospital in Madison, WI, shown below. Cordelia Harvey, the widow of Wisconsin governor Louis P. Harvey, established the hospital in 1863. After the war, it was converted into the Soldier's Orphans Home, which provided shelter for 200-300 children at a time until it closed in 1874.


The 1870 U. S. Census taken on August 3, 1870, shows Simon Blake (age 41) born in Pennsylvania with real estate of $2,000 and personal estate of $556 is a Farmer and is living in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI. Living with him is Mary Blake (age 34) born in Pennsylvania, who is Keeping House. Also there are five children, all born in Wisconsin: Sylvester Blake (age 14); Ida Blake (age 11); Viola Blake (age 9); Estella Blake (age 7); and Salme Blake (age 5).

John Ambrose Blake died July 21, 1870, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI, at age 1 Year, 10 Months and 14 Days. Buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI.


John Ambrose Blake Mortality Census Record, shows he died of Cholera Morbus. Acute gastroenteritis occurring in summer and autumn and marked by severe cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. No longer in scientific use.


Between 1860 and 1874, Simon Blake must have purchased the 80 acre Land Patent parcel from his brother Burdine Blake, located in the W 1/2 of the NE 1/4 of Section 18 T9N (80 acres).

By 1874, S. S. Blake owns three parcels of land in Orion Twp. totaling 200 acres for land: the W 1/2 of the NE 1/4 of Section 18 T9N (80 acres); the NE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Section 18 T9N (80 acres); the NE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Section 18 T9N (40 acres); and the West 1/2 of the NW 1/4 of Section 17, T9N (80 acres). This mortgage was satisfied on March 10, 1882.

The 1875 Wisconsin census for Richland County shows Simon S. Blake is living in Orion Twp.,  Richland Co., WI There are a total of 2 Males, 6 Females.

On December 30, 1876, Simon Blake and Mary Blake, his wife, took out a Mortgage from A. W. Bickford in the amount of $900 for two parcels of land totaling 120 acres for land they already owned: The NE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Section 18 T9N (40 acres in Orion Twp.), and the West 1/2 of the NW 1/4 of Section 17, T9N (80 acres in Orion Twp.). This mortgage was satisfied on March 10, 1882.


Simon S. Blake Family, about 1878.

 Front Row (L to R): Ida, Dora Belle (on father's lap), Simon Blake, Mary Blake, Pearl (on mother's lap); Middle Row: Salome, Cora; Back Row: Viola, Sylvester, Estella


The 1880 U. S. Census taken on June 1, 1880, shows Simon S. Blake (age 50) born in Pennsylvania of Virginia and Maryland-born parents is a farmer living in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI. Living with him is his wife, Mary M. Blake (age 44) born in Pennsylvania of Pennsylvania-born parents. Also there are their children: Sylvester F. Blake (age 23) helping on the farm; Salome C. Blake (age 14); Cora J. Blake (age 9); Dora B. Blake (age 7); and Edna P. Blake (age 3). All children were born in Wisconsin. Simon was the census enumerator for Orion Twp. this year.


The Observer, Richland Center, Richland Co., WI, Thursday, April 22, 1880

RICHLAND COUNTY CORRESPONDENCE

The high winds of Sunday last did some damage. S. S. Blake had an outbuilding and the well frame busted. Others suffered loss.


On March 7, 1882, Simon S. Blake and Mary M. Blake, his wife, sold by Warranty Deed to Sylvester F. Blake 80 acres of land for $350 described as: West 1/2 of the NE 1/4 of Section 18, T9N (Orion Twp.). This is the the 80 acre Land Patent parcel that Simon Blake bought from his brother Burdine Blake. The Mortgage of $400 of this date was between Sylvester F. Blake and Ida A. M. Blake, his wife, and Mr. W. Bickford of Richland Center, WI.

On March 7, 1882 Mary M. Blake sold by Warranty Deed to William Abbey 80 acres of land for $600 described as: West 1/2 of the NW 1/4 of Section 17, T9N (Orion Twp.). That same date William Abbey and Ida Abbey, his wife, took a Mortgage on this same parcel for the sum of $525 from: A. W. Bickford of Richland Center, WI. This mortgage was satisfied on June 11, 1884.


Richland County Republican, Richland Center, Richland Co., WI, March 29, 1883

Married.

At the residence of the bride's parents in the town of Orion, March 18, 1883, by Rev. J. Medd. Mr. Elbion Ewing, of Forest, and Miss Mary Blake, of Orion.


On April 13, 1884, William Abbey and Ida E. Abbey his wife sold by Warranty Deed, 60 acres of land in the amount of $655 to Martina and Ferdinand Bender: The NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 (40 acres), and the East 1/2 of the SW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 (20 acres) of Section 17, T9N (Orion Twp.). This included 60 acres of an 80 acre parcel that Simon Blake owned in 1874.

The 1885 Wisconsin State Census for Richland County:

    Abbey, William: Orion Twp.; 2 Males, 4 Females

    Blake, Simon S.: Orion Twp.; 1 Males, 6 Females

    Blake, Sylvester: Orion Twp.; 1 Male, 1 Female

On April 6, 1885, Simon S. Blake and Mary M. Blake, His Wife, sold 40 acres of land in the amount of $400 to C. Vandewarf in the NE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Section 18, T9N (Orion Twp.). The mortgage was for 8% per year. This is the Land Patent land from 1855.

On November 17, 1886, Ida A. Blake and Sylvester her husband deeded 40 acres of land to Luzern Pugh for the amount of $155: The SW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 18, T9N (Orion Twp.). Part of a parcel previously owned by George Halsey, Ida's father.


Simon S. Blake 1890 Census.


By 1895 S. S. Blake is again shown as owning 40 acres of land in the NE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Section 18, T9N (Orion Twp.). This is the Land Patent land from 1855 that was sold to C. Vandewarf in 1885.

The 1895 Wisconsin State Census dated June 20, 1895, shows Simon S. Blake is living in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI. There are 2 Males and 2 Females, all born in the United States.


Simon Simpkins Blake Family, about 1896/1897 (Photo courtesy of Raymond Lawton)

Back Row (L to R): Estelle Davis, Cora Pratt, Ida Abbey, Pearl Blake, Salome Pugh; Front Row (L to R): Belle Lovell, Simon Blake, Mary Blake, Sylvester Blake

A daughter, Viola Mason, had already moved west, and did not get in this group picture.


The 1900 U. S. Census taken on June 16, 1900, shows Simon S. Blake (age 70) born October 1829 in Pennsylvania to Virginia-born parents is a farm owner living in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI. Living with him is his wife of 45 years, Mary M. Blake (age 64) born April 1836 in Pennsylvania to Pennsylvania-born parents. Eight of Mary's ten children are still living. Also living there is their unmarried daughter, Pearl Blake (age 23) born September 1876 in Wisconsin of Pennsylvania-born parents, who is a school teacher.

About 1900 or 1901, Simon and Mary Blake moved to the City of Richland Center, Richland Co., WI, where they lived out the remainder of their days.


Simon Simpkins Blake and Mary Magdalena (Ambrose) Blake, about 1900.


JPG Blake Ambrose 3.jpg (99880 bytes)

Simon Simpkins Blake and Mary Magdalena (Ambrose) Blake, about 1900.


    Iva (Abbey) Mayfield, Melva Mayfield, Mary (Ambrose) Blake and Ida (Blake) Abbey, about 1902.


By 1903, S. S. Blake is still shown as owning 40 acres of land in the NE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Section 18, T9N (Orion Twp.). This is the Land Patent land from 1855 that was sold to C. Vandewarf in 1885.

Simon Simpkins Blake died March 5, 1904, in the City of Richland Center, Richland Co., WI, at age 74. Buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI.


Republican Observer, Richland Center, Richland Co., WI, March 10, 1904

DEATH OF S. S. BLAKE

Pioneer Citizen of Richland County Passes Away.

Simon S. Blake, one of the pioneer citizens of Richland county, died at his home in this city Saturday last after an illness of some time. Mr. Blake was born in Pennsylvania and at the age of seventeen enlisted in the service of the United States for the Mexican war. Owing to his being under age he was not taken into the army. He came to Richland county in 1854 and settled in the town of Orion, where he entered 120 acres of land on Oak Ridge. Mr. Blake was married in 1855 to Mary Ambrose who was a native of Pennsylvania. In August 1862 he enlisted in the 25th Wisconsin regiment, and going south spent the time in fighting for the union until 1864, when his company joined Sherman at Resaca, Ga. and fought their way on to Atlanta. He was severely wounded at Decatur, Ga., the 22nd of July 1864, and was sent to the hospital at Madison. In 1865 he was discharged from the service and returned home. Mr. Blake has been in poor health for some time and his death was not unexpected. The funeral services were held Monday morning and the body laid to rest in the Oak Ridge cemetery. The funeral services were held at the Methodist church in this city. Six members of his old regiment, Co. B of the 25th Wisconsin infantry, acted as pallbearers.


DEATH'S DOINGS IN THE CITY

Simon S. Blake, a pioneer

SIMON BLAKE

Simon S. Blake, a pioneer citizen of the town of Orion, died at his home in the third ward Saturday morning last, after an illness extending over several weeks. Death was caused by a general breaking down, deceased being nearly seventy-five years of age. Funeral services were held Monday morning, interment taking place at the Oak Ridge cemetery, in the town of Orion.

Mr. Blake was a native of Pennsylvania, born in Blair county. The early part of his life was spent in eastern states and he came to Richland county in the spring of 1854, entering on a 120 acre piece of land in the town of Orion. He was married the following year to Mary Ambrose and together they took up their residence on the land, where they lived for many years. Mr. Blake was a soldier in the civil war, having enlisted in the 25th Wisconsin in August, 1862, and served until the close of the war, being discharged March 20, 1865. He was severely wounded at Decatur, Ga., July 22nd, 1864, and to this wound is ascribed his ill health of recent years. He was a good citizen, an active church worker, and will be mourned by a long list of close friends. A wife and eight children, all grown to manhood and womanhood, survive him.


The Death Certificate of Simon S. Blake: White Male, White Race, Retired Farmer, Age 74 Years 4 Months and 6 Days, Father was Burdine Blake, Mother was Mazy Ann Blake, Simon born in Martinsburg, PA, Married to Mary M. Blake, Simon was born October 29, 1829 and died March 5, 1904, Died in Richland Center, Wis. where he also lived. Primary cause of death was a gunshot wound of right lung "also in my opinion affecting his liver". Secondary cause of death was Juandice of a severe type. He had been a soldier. Buried in Oak Ridge, Wis. with the undertaker or person conducting the burial was Fred Pratt. The physician was Geo. R. Mitchell, MD, who lived in Richland Center. Burial Permit dated March 9, 1904 Date of Certificate March 9, 1904 by Dr. Mitchell.


The 1905 Wisconsin State Census taken on June 11, 1905, shows Mary M. Blake (age 69) born in Pennsylvania to Pennsylvania-born parents, is a widowed Landlord, and who owns her own home free of a mortgage, and is living in the City of Richland Center, Richland Co., WI. Living with her is her unmarried daughter, Pearl Blake (age 28) born in Wisconsin to Pennsylvania-born parents, a Groceries Clerk.

Mary Magdalena (Ambrose) Blake died May 11, 1909, in the City of Richland Center, Richland Co., WI, at age 73. Buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI.


Mary M. Ambrose was born in Pennsylvania April 30, 1836, and died in Richland Center, Wis., May 11, 1909. When a child her parents moved to Indiana, where they lived for several years and then moved to Wisconsin. She was united in marriage to Simon S. Blake January 18, 1855. They lived on a farm on Oak Ridge for about forty-five years and then moved to Richland Center, where they spent the remaining years of their life. To this union were born ten children, eight of whom are now living: Sylvester F. Blake and Mrs. Wm. Abbey, of Dodgeville, Wis., Mrs. J. E. Mason of Spokane, Wash., Mrs. Joe Davis of Boscobel, Mrs. Luzern Pugh of Ash Creek, Mrs. Chas. Lovell, of Muscoda, Mrs. Wallace Pratt and Miss Pearl Blake, of Richland Center. There are also thirty grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren living. Mrs. Blake was a faithful wife and mother, beloved by her family and those who knew her. She lived a quiet, consistent Christian life and although her death is deeply mourned yet we are comforted in the thought that she has exchanged this life for a higher and better one. She was laid to rest by the side of her husband on Oak Ridge, at which place the funeral service was held. The children were all present with the exception of Mrs. J. E. Mason, of Spokane, Wash.


The Death Certificate of Mary M. Blake: White Female, Born April 30, 1836, Age 73 Years 11 Days, Widowed, Born in Pennsylvania, Father was John W. Ambrose, born in Indiana; Mother was Salome Kanable, born in Pennsylvania. Mary was a farmer's wife. Date of Death was May 11, 1909, last seen alive at 1 PM by Gideon Benson, MD. Burial was at Oak Ridge Cemetery on May 14, 1909. The Undertaker was Pratt Bros. of Richland Center, Wis. The cause of death is listed as Lobar Pneumonia after an illness of nine days.


       

   Ida Elmira Blake Age 66; Viola Genoa Blake Age 88; Edna Pearl Blake Age 72


Pearl, Ida and Cora


Pearl and Ida


Plat Maps of Orion Twp. (formerly Richmond Twp.), Richland Co., WI

1842 Original Survey

       

1860, 1874 and 1880

       

1895, 1903 and 1915

           

1919, 1931 and 1936

1949

1874 Map of Simon Blake's Land

1895 Map of Simon Blake's Land


Simon S. Blake was born in Martinsburg, Bedford (later Blair) Co., PA Oct. 29, 1829, and died in Richland Center, WI March 5, 1904. Mary Magdalena Ambrose was born near Ligonier, Westmoreland Co., PA April 30, 1836 and died in Richland Center, WI May 10, 1909. They were married in the town of Orion, WI Jan. 18, 1855. Both are buried in the Oak Ridge cemetery there.

As a youth Simon's experiences were many and varied. Until he was fourteen he was in school or helped his father on the farm. Then he tried his hand at learning the trades of merchant tailor, blacksmith and ax-making, but finally engaged in teaching. When he was seventeen he tried to enlist in the service of the United States for the Mexican War. As he was under aged and his parents withheld their consent, he returned to ax-making until he was twenty one. In the fall of 1852 he visited relatives in Ironton, OH, then went on to Arkansas where he worked in the lumbering business for seven months. Returning to Pennsylvania he taught school for a four-month winter term.

It is not certain that Simon's brothers, Thomas and Charles, accompanied him to Richland County, WI when he went there to take up land in 1854, but it was not long before they, as well as his sisters' families, the Brennemans and Hamiltons, joined him. Land at $1.25 an acre enticed many from the east to settle in this part of the frontier. At this time the Ambroses arrived from Indiana. The land was still virgin forest so these first settlers established their homes in the same fashion their fathers had made homes in the forests of Pennsylvania by clearing the land, building log cabins and planting crops.

Simon entered 120 acres of land on Sections 17 and 18 of the town of Orion then went to work in the village as a clerk in a store. Quite possibly it was there he met Mary Ambrose, now a girl of nineteen, and he lost no time in proposing. They were married the following January. He left the store in the fall and taught a 3-month term of school at Pleasant Hill in the town of Eagle. The next spring they settled on his land on Oak Ridge and continued to live there until their latter years when they moved to the city of Richland Center.

They had three small children, Sylvester, Ida and Viola, when Simon responded to the call of Abraham Lincoln and enlisted on August 20, 1862 in the Wisconsin Volunteers 25th Regiment Infantry Company B for a term of three years. He was wounded at Decatur, GA on July 22, 1864 on Sherman's march to the sea. He used to tell his children how the ladies from the plantation mansion brought him food and water until he was taken from the battlefield to the field hospital. As his wound was serious he was sent from there to the Harvey General Hospital in Madison, WI and remained there until he received a disability discharge on March 20, 1865. Simon continued to receive monthly disability payments for his chest wound until his death.

Simon Blake was interested in public affairs and held several town offices. In politics he was a Republican, and Viola would often be his companion in attending political rallies. He was deeply religious and helped to establish the Methodist church on Oak Ridge. This log church is no longer in existence but nearby in the cemetery Simon and Mary Blake lie buried.

Note: John returned to Somerset Co. to get his bride, and remained there near her family. When Jacob KNABLE sold his farm in 1845, he had fifteen living children, and all of them and their families moved with him to Clinton Co., Indiana. There were 52 family members who made the trip, and John and Sally were among then with their eight children. In 1854, some of the KNABLE family, including John and Sally AMBROSE, moved on to Richland Co., Wisconsin, but three of their grown children stayed in Indiana. John moved to the northwestern part of the county and built a house large enough to be used as an inn. The town of Forrest was organized in 1854, but a year later split into two towns. One part kept the name of Forest, and the first town meeting was held at John Ambrose's home. In 1857, John was elected town chairman, which made him a member of the County Board of Supervisors. He was not reelected the following year.

Mary Magdalena Ambrose was nine years old when her parents moved from the old homestead near Ligonier, PA to Clinton Co., IN. They settled on land near Russiaville and remained there until 1854 when they migrated with their relatives, the Kanables, to Wisconsin.

Mary is remembered as a quiet, unassuming person busy with the care of raising a family of ten children, two of whom died in infancy. She seldom attended church as she was usually preparing dinner for the preacher who still had one, perhaps two, appointments yet to make. Their home was not a home of plenty, but they were hospitable and willing to share, a characteristic of most frontier people.

Their children were:

Sylvester Fremont Blake 1856 - 1921. Married Ida Halsey

Ida Elmira Blake 1858 - 1941. Married William S. Abbey

Viola Genoa Blake 1861 - 1956. Married James Eddy Mason

Mary Estella Blake 1863 - 1940. Married 1) Elbion Ewing, 2) Joseph Davis

Salome Caroline Blake 1865 - 1948. Married Luzern Pugh

John Ambrose Blake - died in infancy

Cora Jane Blake 1869 - 1918. Married Wallace Pratt

Grant Burdine Blake - died in infancy

Dora Belle Blake 1873 - 1941. Married Charles Herbert Lovell

Edna Pearl Blake 1876 - 1973. Married Wallace Lawton


Taken from History of Crawford and Richland Counties, Wisconsin - Union Publishing Company - Springfield, IL - 1884

Rev. Thomas Mason, (deceased) one of the pioneer preachers of Richland county, was born in Pennsylvania in 1818. He commenced preaching in Richland Co., Ill., and was married there in 1847 to Almira Bradshaw, a native of Wayne Co., Ill. He continued preaching in Illinois until 1855, when he came to Richland Co., Wis., and settled on section 30, of town 12, range 1 east, in the present town of Henrietta. He immediately joined the Northwestern Conference, and was appointed to the West Branch circuit. In 1857 he went to Salem, La Crosse county, and preached one year, then to Mendota, where he remained two years, then to Augusta, in Eau Clair county remaining there two years, next to Galesville in Trempeleau county. He then enlisted as private in the 14th Wisconsin, company D, and went to the front. He was killed at the battle of Corinth. He had been appointed chaplain of his regiment, but had not taken the position at the time of his death. He left a wife and six children to mourn his loss. The children are --- Shadrach, Elijah, Sarah, Mahala, Maggie and James E. The two eldest sons, Shadrach and Elijah, were in the same regiment and company with their father. Shadrach was severely wounded in the same battle in which his father was killed. He was discharged on account of disability, and returned home. He soon re-enlisted and died in the service. Elijah served till the close of the war, and is now living in Illinois. Mrs. Mason is now the wife of Henry T Walser, a resident of Woodstock.

James Edward, son of Thomas and Almira (Bradshaw) Mason, was born in the town of Henrietta, Feb. 28, 1861. He attended the district school, and later, the seminary at Elroy, and the high school at Sextonville. At the age of twelve he entered the employ of William Bradshaw as clerk. He continued in the same employment, excepting the time spent in school, until 1881, when he purchased the stock and good will of William Bradshaw and has since been engaged in trade. He keeps a good stock of dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, glass ware and crockery, notions, etc. He was married in 1881 to Viola, daughter of Simon S and Mary (Ambrose) Blake, who was born in the town of Orion. They have three children --- Ray and Roy, twins, and Chester.


Tales The Tombstones Tell - The Republican Observer, September 15, 1955

A Grave With Two Markers

In the Oak Ridge cemetery in the town of Orion a neglected grave bears two government markers evidently for the same person and the question is why? A bit of mystery creeps into the matter as the names on the two stones is spelled differently though there is no doubt but that the two spellings are both wrong.

On one stone, note the spelling, it says "P. B. Wellsher, Co. B. 33 Wisconsin Infantry."

On the other stone, and again note the spelling, it reads: "Philip Welcker, Co. B. 33 Wis. Infantry."

Noting the slight difference in the spelling of the last name we wondered if perhaps a government marker had been set up when it was discovered a mistake bad been made and a second stone ordered and set up  upon the grave of the departed Civil War veteran. The matter interested us as to the correct spelling so we looked the name up in the official roster as published by the government. It did not help a bit for we found the name had been spelled differently upon both markers.

According to the roster there was only one person in Co. B. 33 Wis. Infantry who had a name at all similar to those on the markers. The government lists the name and again note the spelling, as Phillip B. Welcher. He enlisted August 14, 1862, at Boscobel and was mustered out of service August 20, 1865, serving a bit over three years. It might be of interest to note the first name; on one stone it is P. B., on another Philip and the government puts another letter in, making it Phillip.

That is a sample of interesting things you find upon the tombstones.

Neglected Graves

The Oak Ridge cemetery is another one that is neglected and almost forgotten. However a part of the cemetery is kept up in a way; brush is cut, grass mowed and an effort made to keep the last resting place of old settlers in an orderly way. But for the most part berry bushes, poison ivy, weeds and tall grass run riot. The cemetery is quite an old one, the date of its coming into being is not known. Like many of the old time burying places, it was connected with a church. The church which stood on the site was a hewn log building erected in 1871. It is now gone, having been torn down and no trace of it left. Its site is now part of a hay field which also hides from the view of those who pass along the highway the little cemetery. An odd tree, a dead hickory, is used as a fence post on the south side of the cemetery. It was probably not very large when the church was built, not large now but quite a sight, one worth looking at. Flickers and woodpeckers have been at work on the tree for quite some time and have it carved to perfection.

A Pioneer Sleeps There

One of the pioneers of the county, S. S. Blake, is buried in the Oak Ridge cemetery. He came to Richland county, in the spring of 1854 and entered land in the town of Orion and went to the village of Orion where he clerked in a store, later taught school. His farm was heavily wooded and in 1856 he started to clear the land; built a log house which stood for many years. It has now been torn down.

Mr. Blake was a veteran of the Civil War, a member of Co. B, 25th Wis. Infantry, enlisting on August 2, 1862. On the 22nd of July, 1864, he was seriously wounded in a battle at Decatur, Georgia. On March 20, 1865, he was discharged and sent home. Mr. Blake was married on January 18, 1855, to Mary Ambrose, who was also a native of Pennsylvania. She, too, is buried in the Oak Ridge cemetery not far from the hickory tree mentioned above.

Mr. Blake had been an officer of trust and honor in the town of Orion. He was for a time chairman of the town, and so, like many pioneers, his last resting place is in a neglected cemetery. He died on March 5, 1904, and was buried in the Oak Ridge cemetery March 7th. "Ashes to ashes" said the minister as the body was lowered into the grave.

A Forgotten Cemetery

Down on Oak Ridge there is a forgotten cemetery of which little is known. It is a small plot located near the Stibbe farm at the junction of two town roads, one coming up from Hoosier Hollow where it join the main ridge road. One would not notice the three or four tombstones standing or laying there. So obscure is it and so far forgotten that relatives of those buried there "had never heard about it" until told a number of years ago by the writer of this article of its location. A tall hickory tree stands as a marker for the spot.

One of the stones, which now leans up against a fence post reads:

  "Jasper W., son of A. M. and M. A. Breneman, died,
   Dec. 30, 1874, aged 4 months and 18 days."

The little boy was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Breneman who will be well remembered by older citizens of this area. Another child is buried in this little spot. A grandparent also sleeps away the years "where the cross roads meet."  Strange how folks become separated, with two children buried on Oak Ridge, Mrs. Breneman and her son Mart, are down in the Indian Creek cemetery near the village of Orion, yet Mr. Breneman was laid to rest in the Richland Center cemetery where a flag flies over his grave on each Memorial Day. Anthony was a Civil War veteran. We knew him well.

S. W. Fogo


Life on the Farm: February 10, 1899, to July 29, 1912

by George Mathew Suda

I was born and reared on a farm owned by my grandparents, Francis and Katherine Suda, located in the township of Orion, Richland County, state of Wisconsin.

My mother, Theresa Suda, was divorced from her husband, my father, Frank Brunslich. They were married in 1896 and lived at Richland Center. My brother, Charles, was born about 1897 and died when only a few months old. He was buried in the Muscoda Catholic cemetery. He lies beside my mother. A headstone marks the graves which was erected in October, 1957.

Mother, when divorced, forsook her married name and used her maiden name, Suda, and of course I was always called George Suda, and never used the name Brunslich.

My father never contributed to my upkeep or paid any alimony to my mother. The grandparents took my mother and me, and gave us a good home and proper facilities.

The home in which we lived was a log-type house about twenty feet wide and thirty feet long, with an upstairs. For a kitchen, there was a lean-to about ten feet by twenty feet.

Considering modern facilities as of today, this home was very inconvenient, with no running water, heating plan, etc. I remember Grandma and Grandpa had a bed downstairs; mother and I slept upstairs. There was a small cellar under the house, where such items as potatoes and canned fruits were kept.

About 1903, Uncle Joe Suda married Antonia Parizek. A frame house was built just west of the log house for them. An old friend and part-relative, Joe Peska, was the carpenter, and I can remember the folks talking about him.

As I grew up and started to remember from childhood, my mother worked with housework, and helped with the minor chores, as feeding the chickens, milking cows, sewing for us and practically all of the relatives. She was very proficient in sewing making dresses for her nieces, sister, and other apparel for us and possibly neighbors and friends.

On April 28, 1903, Uncle Joe Suda and Aunt Toni had their first arrivals: twin boys, Joe and Tony. Later on Vandy, Louis, Madeline, Agnes and Helen were born. Helen died very young and was possibly six or seven years old.

I started the Oak Ridge country school in 1905 when I was six years old. A Miss Kate Stafford was my first teacher.

The next year a Miss Belle Collard was my teacher for a year or two. She later married Jess Miller, a farmer near her home on what is county trunk "0" in Orion township. Miller has been State Senator for the past twenty years, representing Sauk, Richland and Columbia counties. He was also a prominent auctioneer in those parts. Up to this time, he is still State Senator. His home is in Richland Center.

My next teacher was Willard Manley, one of the better country school teachers in the country. He taught there from 1908 to 1912. At one time, fifty-four pupils attended. Usually school started about September 1st. Thanksgiving vacation and Christmas were always looked forward to. March was always a vacation period, due to the cows becoming fresh or calving, and the kids were needed on the farm to help with the calves.

Under Mr. Manley, I reserved a lot of knowledge from school work. He was a fine teacher and held the respect of his students, as well as the parents.

Mr. Manley was discharged by the school board in the spring of 1912 or thereabouts. A Miss Carrie Wheaton took his place, but she was later replaced by Lola Cornwall. A Mr. J. B. Logue was superintendent of schools in Richland County. He visited school about every year.

From memory I can recall these boys and girls: Stella and Pearl Rella; Earl, Bernard and Leon Smith; John and Louie Williams; Tom, Ike and Martha Thayer; Leo, Mary, Joe and Jim Manning; Glen Snyder; Glen, Hazel, Pearl, Effie, and Ed Radel; Charlie, Bernice, and Leon Fulfing; Ed and Mary Koss; William, Ben, Otto, and Mary Bomkamp; John, Henry and Frank Bomkamp; Albert, John Carl and Paul Leuscheird; Gertie and Ann Leuscheird; Willie and Alfonse Leuscheird; Elmer, Grace, Blanche, Herman and James Conhart; Stefla Landou; Gladys and Hazel Landon; Chet Bulesh; Walter Robingson; Mary and Agnes Komurka; Maggie, Joe, Mabel, Theodore, and George Rue; Austin Rue; Ed, Mary, Frances and Katie Suda; the Sherman's; McLanen's; and Charles Frye.

In reviewing the locality in which we lived, there were quite a few log houses and barns used up to about 1908. As mentioned, mother and I lived in a log house. The Alves Rue, Wes Rue, John Rue, Ed Sherman, Frank Shedivy, Frank Komurka, Sylvester Blake, Touschek, Simon Abbey and George Snyder homes were log, and a few afterwards were covered with siding.

The roads were wagon trails up to about 1915 when the autos started being used. In winter time, snow blocked the roads and many fences were out or gates opened to go through the fields to enable people to make their destination.

About 1904, when the new Oak Ridge School was built, the old school was moved to what was called the crossroads, about one-half mile from the new school. A cheese factory was opened by Schmidt Brothers of Byrds Creek, later of Blue River. These opened up dairying to this locality, and farmers hauled their whole milk here instead of separation or hauling to the Oak Creek factory.

The cheese factory was sort of a community center where farmers met every morning to sell their milk and secure whey for the hogs. Many arguments were in evidence with the patrons over butterfat tests, whey price per-hundred weight, and prices paid for cheese. Some of the cheese makers at the factory were Will and Carl Schmidt, Carl Matthews, Charlie Roberts, Joe Dalskey, Leo Manning, Frank Sherman and Sam Vogel.

Aunt Mary Manning died in December, 1907, and Grandma Suda in February, 1910. Amelia Suda, Uncle Frank's daughter, died in about 1906 of diphtheria. They lived on the ridge about three miles from the Oak Ridge school - east.

After Grandma Suda's death, Uncle Joe Suda traded farms with Uncle Frank Suda, who lived near Basswood. A transfer was made November 1, 1910. Mother, Grandpa Suda, and I lived here until July 29, 1912, and moved to Muscoda.

Recollections of my early boyhood were enjoyable as school was interesting; life on the farm gave me plenty to do and I could live among the birds and the bees. The woods were beautiful in the summer and fall, in those days a great portion of the country.

Now barren, were woods. Game was plentiful, such as rabbits, squirrels, coon, skunk, fox and some deer. Rabbit hunting was by far the greatest fall and winter sport. They were so plentiful that hunters from Milwaukee came to the Manning farm and shipped them back to the city in barrels. In those days, ferrets were used to secure rabbits, but later the state passed laws to eliminate this unsportsmanlike manner of securing game. I recall that game wardens came to the Manning farm and arrested a group of hunters and confiscated ferrets and guns and fined these men a good deal of money.

From a social standpoint, the folks on the Ridge entertained themselves with house dances, with music usually furnished by my Uncle Frank Komurka, who played an accordion. Our neighbor, Henry Sigrist, many times joined and played his fiddle in accompaniment. John Peska, who played base violin, also helped furnish music. These three usually put up a good tune at house parties. Young folks from around Oak Ridge, Hoosiun Hollow, and Ash Creek would come and join in the fun.

Card playing, such as euchre, was a very popular pastime, with some rival contests being fought over the kitchen tables at Mannings, Suda's, Komurka's and Sigrists. Only once did I ever see a man get euchred by holding the right and left bower and ace. This was James Miller playing against Willard Manley, the school teacher. Many of the fellows would walk two or three miles on cold winter nights to play cards, and snow was a foot or more deep. Some would hitch up a horse and cutter and make their trips that way. Games got so interesting that midnight was the usual time to terminate a most enjoyable evening.

Threshing time in the late summer and fall was another community affair. The farmers exchanged services. Women helped in cooking for the threshers. The usual thresher crew consisted of an engineer, water boy, separator man and weigher. Steam engines were of terrific sizes and grain separation too. We would prepare a week or two in advance for the threshers, hauling wood for the steam engine, preparing a place for the straw stack, and checking up on the food supply. Some of the men operating threshing machines and owning the outfits were Joe and Bill Yarrow, Bill Hillesheim, Henry Emshoff and Joe Conkle.

Another thing that I remember well were the gypsies that used to travel through our vicinity. They engaged mostly in horse trading, begging and stealing crops along the highways. On one occasion, a gypsy train passed by our farm home with fifty or more wagons, many horses, cats and dogs. The people traveling this gypsy caravan were dark skinned. The women wore colorful scarves and men bright shirts.

While still living on the farm, I was required to go to Muscoda for Catholic instructions. Usually, Leo Manning and I went together. We left about 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays during June, July and August, and got to Muscoda about noon. Mother usually gave me a quarter. This bought me a ring of baloney, crackers and a bottle of pop for lunch. About 4:00 p.m. we'd go back home, walking the six miles and getting home about 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. Very seldom did we get a ride. Our first auto ride was when coming home on Saturday. Someone with a Model T Ford with top, brass head lights and leather straps gave us a ride up to the crossroads. We were certainly excited about that, as we had it over some other kids who never had an auto ride.

What you have read so far were some of the recollections while living on the farm. Many amusing things happened, and as one looks back to years before July, 1912, they were growing years.

Although people never had autos, radios, television, movies, and other modern conveniences and gadgets, they entertained themselves or saw to it that entertainment was made. An enjoyable day was always the Fourth of July where a picnic was always held at Grandma and Grandpa Sudas. A beautiful dinner was always served and a keg of beer on tap kept up the spirits of the older folks.

We kids played games and picked cherries from the large number of cherry trees aside of the old log home. There were lots of fire-crackers to set off and hear them crack or go boom.


Declaration for Invalid Pension

"That while in said service and in the line of his duty at Decatur in the State of Georgia on the 22nd day of July 1864 he received the following wound by the enemy, to wit: He was wounded by gun shot by the enemy, with Minne Ball. The Ball entering at the right hand side of the Back Bone, below the shoulder dropping through the Body lodging near the right breast betwixt the Bone and the Skin and extracted by Surgeon."

Raymond Lawton recalled on July 23, 2003 that Simon liked to take that "minnie Ball" with him when he went to town to get together with his friends, and carried it in his pocket. On one trip he found that the minnie ball he had was missing...he had a hole in his pocket and it had fallen out!


Ogle Co. Portrait and Biographical Album, by Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL, 1886

William S. Blake, a farmer of the Township of Mt. Morris, came to Ogle County in 1869. He was born in Blair Co., Pa., April 25, 1821. Burdine Blake, his father, was a farmer, a native of Washington Co., Md., and was of German extraction. His ancestors, who were farmers, came to this country prior to the period of the Revolution, and settled in the same county which has been named as the native place of the father of Mr. Blake. Burdine Blake learned the trade of a moulder, and was occupied in that business in Washington Co., Md. He operated as mechanic until he married. He formed a matrimonial alliance with Miss Mary Simpkins, Dec. 15, 1818. She was a native of Washington Co., in the State of Maryland, and was of American parentage. Her ancestors were Scotch. After their marriage they removed to the part of Pennsylvania which is now included in Blair County, and where their nine children, seven sons and two daughters, were born. One of the latter is deceased. Mr. Blake is next to the eldest of the first family of children, his father having married after the death of the first wife, which occurred April 1, 1867. Mrs. Barbara Stiffler became his second wife Nov. 3, 1867. She is now deceased. She had been married, and by her first husband was the mother of several children, but none by the second marriage. The father was a local preacher in the interests of the Methodist Church, and lived in Blair county until his death, which transpired Aug. 26, 1874. He was born in 1800.

Mr. Blake was educated in the common schools, and was married in the county in which he was born, May 18, 1843. Miss Catherine Gearhart became his wife. She was born in Washington Co., Md., Oct. 28, 1824. Her parents, Daniel and Elizabeth (Mong) Gearhart, were both natives of the same county, and of unmixed German descent. Her father was a mechanic. The lives of both were passed from first to last wholly within their native county. They were members of the German Lutheran Church. Of seven children, of which Mr. and Mrs. Blake have been the parents, only three survive. Laura is married to Scott Kennedy, of Mt. Morris. He is a mechanic and an Elder in the Christian Church. Millard F. married Miss Jennie Angell, and they live at Mt. Morris; he is a carpenter by trade and is also an Elder in the Christian Church. Franklin is living in Iowa and is a telegraph operator.

Mr. and Mrs. Blake resided in Pennsylvania until 1853, when they went to Washington Co., Md., and Mr. Blake operated there as a farmer until 1869, when he removed to Ogle County. In 1870 he purchased a farm which contained 120 acres, and has since been its owner and occupant. The dwelling occupied by the family is a fine brick structure, and the barns on the farm are of a suitable character, and in keeping with the other buildings on the place.

Mr. Blake is a Republican of decided principles, and has served in several local offices, being now a School Trustee. He and his wife are active workers in the interests of the Christian Church, in which he is a Deacon.


Taken from History of Crawford and Richland Counties, Wisconsin - Union Publishing Company - Springfield, IL - 1884

Chapter 28 - Orion Township

The town of Orion lies in the southern tier of towns the second from the east line of the county, and is bounded on the north by Richland; on the east by Buena Vista; on the south by Iowa county, from which it is separated by the Wisconsin river, and on the west by Eagle. It embraces the territory of congressional township 9 north, range 1 east, except the eastern tier of sections; and also that portion of township 8 north, range 1 east, which lies north of the Wisconsin river. The surface of the town is rather broken and inclined to be hilly; yet there are many fine farms here and an abundance of natural timber. A large part of the town is upon the rich bottom lands of the Wisconsin river, and no finer scenery, nor more fertile, fruitful land can be found. The census of 1880 gave the town a population of 733. There are 102 farms here in a good state of cultivation.

 

Early Settlement.

The first settlers within the limits now comprising the town of Orion were: John R Smith and his son-in-law, Thomas Mathews, the former a native of Kentucky, the later of Tennessee. They came from Grant county, in October, 1842, and claimed fraction No. 6, town 8, range 1 west, and fraction No. 5, town 8, range 1 east, entering the land two or three years later. After they had entered the land, they sold a half interest to Orrin E Barber, and laid out the village plat of the present village of Orion. The plat then laid upon fraction No. 5, town 8, range 1 east, and contained fourteen blocks of eight lots each. This was the initial step of founding the village. Its history is treated at length in the proper place.

R.J. Darnall, a native of Kentucky, came in 1843, and located in Orion, entering land on section 19. He engaged in mercantile trade and also improved his farm. In 1856 he removed to the town of Forest, and for some years kept a hotel. He now lives in Illinois.

William Thompson, a native of Kentucky, came here from Missouri, in 1846, and made a claim on sections 14 and 15. He did not prove up on this place, but entered land on section 2, where he erected a saw-mill. In 1858 he sold out and removed to Kansas. He now lives at Blue Rapids, Marshall Co., Kan., where he is engaged at farming.

William Mathews, a native of Illinois, came at about the same time as did Mr. Thompson. He entered land on section 32, where he lived for several years. He now lives in Missouri.

Green Mayfield, a native of Tennessee, came here from Iowa county in 1847, and made a claim on section 4, entering the land a few years later. He settled there in March, 1848, and still occupies the place.

David Mayfield, also a native of Tennessee, came from Grant county in June, 1847, and entered land on sections 3 and 10. He improved the farm and made this his home until 1883, when he sold out; he now lives at Richland Center.

Carlos Joslyn, a native of Vermont, came here from Mineral Point in 1847 and settled on the southeast quarter of section 9. In 1848 he sold this place and removed to the southwest quarter of section 10, remaining a resident of the town until 1853. He now lives with his son-in-law, L Renick, in the town of Henrietta.

W H Joslyn, a son of Carlos Joslyn, came here in 1848, and was a resident of the town until 1852. He now lives in Richland Center. He has held many positions of public trust and responsibility, and is a prominent man in county affairs.

In July, 1848, a party of Germans, consisting of Henry Sigrist and Henry and Frederick Scherman, came prospecting for land. After selecting land they returned and brought their families in August, of the same year. Henry Sigrist entered the south half of the southwest quarter of section 3. Henry Scherman selected land on sections 2 and 3, where he cleared a farm and lived until the time of his death. Frederick Scherman purchased land of Carlos Joslyn, on section 9, where he remained until the time of his death.

Walter Gage, a native of the State of New York, came here in 1849 and entered fraction No. 2, on section 34. He started a ferry there which, in 1850, he traded to James Law. Mr. Law erected a large frame house upon the land, which at that time was the largest house in the county. The place took the name of "Law's Ferry," and for years this was a landmark to all settlers in this region.

Levi Houts, a native of Indiana, came here in 1849 from Muscoda, and entered land on sections 3 and 10, town 9, range 1 west. He now lives on section 31, town 9, range 1 east.

John Mainwaring, a native of Wales, in company with his two sons, Daniel and John, came here from England, in 1849. Daniel died in April, 1850. The son, John, bought a claim from John Mathews on the southeast quarter of section 33, and entered the land. He lived there two years, then returned to England. In 1865 he came back and bought land on section 27, where he now lives. The father settled on John's land, on section 33, where he lived until 1865 when he went to live with his son, where he died in 1876.

Charles N Kneefe, a native of Germany, came here in 1849 and settled on sections 14 and 15, having entered the land previous to this time. He lived there for several years and is now a resident of Dane county.

Alanson Hurd, a native of the State of New York, came at about the same time and settled on the northwest quarter of section 3. He lived there a short time and then removed to the southeast quarter of section 10. He now lives in Vernon county.

Reason Barnes, a carpenter, by trade, came here in 1849, but in a short time removed to Boaz.

Dr. Jacob Brimer, a native of the State of New York, came here in 1851 and located on section 21. His home is now on section 2.

John Henry Demmer, a native of Germany, came here from Milwaukee in 1853 and purchased a claim of Alanson Hurd on section 3. He entered the land from the government and still makes it his home.

Peter Bobb, a native of Maryland, came here from Pennsylvania in 1854 and purchased land on section 32, where he still lives.

Hezekiah Jones, a native of Kentucky, came here from Indiana, in 1854. He selected land on section 10, where he still resides.

In the spring of 1854 Abram Miller, a native of Kentucky, came from Indiana and bought land of the Joslyns, on section 10. He still occupies the place.

Henry Wilson, a native of Butler Co., Ohio, came from Indiana in the spring of 1854 and bought land on section 9, where he still resides.

Frederick Schmidt came from Germany in 1854 and bought land on section 16, where he lived until the time of his death.

Simon S. Blake, a native of Pennsylvania, came at about the same time and entered 120 acres of land on sections 17 and 18. He erected a log house on the latter section, improved a farm and still lives here.

James Lewis, a native of Ohio, came in 1854 and located on section 7, where he still resides.

John Bobb, a native of Pennsylvania, came here in the spring of 1855 and bought land on section 32, where he cleared a farm and erected a neat house and barn. When the war broke out, he enlisted, and died in the service. The only child he left, a son, now lives in Nebraska.

John Hamilton, a native of Pennsylvania, came from there in the spring of 1855 and located in the village of Orion, where he still lives.

After this time the settlement became more rapid, and the vacant land in the town was soon taken by an enterprising class of pioneers who have all done their share toward developing the natural resources of the town. Many of these are noticed elsewhere, so it will be unnecessary to make further reference to them in this connection.

 

First Things.

The first birth in the town of Orion, as well as the first in the eastern portion of the county, was that of Mary Mathews. She was born Nov. 13, 1843, and was a daughter of Thomas and Catharine Mathews. She married Sanford Miller, and remained in Orion for a number of years, then removed to the town of Forest, where she died in 1870. She left three children, two of whom are now living at Reedsburg.

The first child of German parentage born in the town, was Henry, a son of Henry and Caroline Sigrist, born April 24, 1849. He is now married, and is still a resident of the town.

The first marriage in the town was that of Joseph Parrish to Catharine McClellan, the ceremony being performed by J R Smith, a justice of the peace. They were a runaway couple from Muscoda. They lived in Orion for a time, then moved to Muscoda. The husband finally died in the town of Eagle, where he had been keeping a saloon.

One of the first deaths in the town was that of John Nipple, who died in about 1850. The remains were buried in the cemetery at Orion.

 

Educational.

The first school in district No. 1 was taught by Mrs. David Mayfield, at her house, in 1851. Mrs. Alanson Hurd taught the next term of school. In 1853 a log house was erected on section 10. This school house was in use for several years, and was then replaced by a neat frame building.

The school house in district No. 4, which is located on section 8, was erected in 1858. David Wacker was one of the first teachers in this building.

The first school in district No. 5 was taught in 1858 by Simon S Blake, in a frame building erected during the same year on the eastern part of section 19. During the war the organization of the district was abandoned and the territory was attached to other districts. In 1865 the district was re-organized and a hewn log school house was erected, in which Sarah Gaston was the first teacher. In the winter of 1881-2 a new building was erected in which Julia Thompson taught the first school.

The first school in district No. 7 was taught by Lucita Law during the war. The district had purchased a building that had been erected for school purposes on section 34, but there were then but few settlers in the neighborhood, and they could not support a school, so the building was sold to district No. 7 to raise money to pay the teacher. The building was moved to the southwest quarter of section 32, where it was used for school purposes until 1880, when a neat frame building was erected a quarter of a mile east of the old site. Ada Bobb was the first teacher in the present house. Minnie Lawrence is the present teacher.

 

Religious.

The first religious services in the northern part of the town were held in the old log school house on section 10, by Rev. Mr. Pryor, but no organization was effected at that time.

Rev. Josiah Burlingame preached in the same building and held protracted meetings in an early day. He organized a Methodist Episcopal class, among the first members of which were: Green Mayfield and wife; Alanson Hurd and wife; Charles Frye and wife and David Mayfield and wife. Charles Frye was chosen class leader. For a time the class met for worship in a building on section 4, which belonged to Green Mayfield, and later in the school house on section 8. Revs. Hall, Cook and Chase were among the pastors who served the class. During the war some of the members went into the service, while others moved away and, for a time, meetings were discontinued. Some years later Rev. Brakeman re-organized the class at a meeting held at the school house on section 8. The following were among the members who joined at that time: Simon S Blake and wife, Charles Bobb, Charles Frye and wife, Randolph Sandlin and wife, Andrew Crawford and wife and Andrew Shane and wife. Charles Bobb was chosen class leader. The class met for worship in the school house until 1871, when they erected a hewn log church edifice on the southeast quarter of section 7. Among the pastors who have filled the pulpit for the class are: Revs. Jackson, Smith, Crouch, Waldron, McGinley, Sackett, Burnett, Clifton and Med. The last named is the present pastor.

At an early day a Sabbath school of this denomination was organized at the school house on section 8, of which Charles Frye was the first superintendent. J W Shane is the present superintendent.

The first meetings of members of the German Evangelical Church were held at the house of Henry Sigrist, in about 1852. Rev. Riegel, from Sauk county, was the preacher. Rev. Schnake organized a class in the log school house, soon after it was built. Among the first members of the class were: Henry Sigrist and wife, Henry Scherman and wife, Charles Kneefe and wife, Fred Scherman and wife and William Scherman and wife. Henry Scherman was the first class leader. Meetings were afterward held in a vacant log house on section 3, which was purchased. In 1869 the frame building which they now occupy was erected on the old site. Rev. Nesh is the present pastor.

A Sabbath school was organized at an early day, of which Henry Scherman was the first superintendent and held the position for many years. Henry Flemme is the present superintendent. The school meets every Sunday, and has a large attendance.

There is also a cemetery under the management of this society, which is located near the church.

The German Lutheran Church was organized in 1857, at the Ash creek log school house, by Rev. Rolock. Among the first members were: Philip Daniel Berger and wife, Henry Demmer and wife, and Frederick Smith and wife. Several others joined soon after the organization was effected, and services were held in the school house for a number of years. A substantial log church, however, has been erected, in which services are now held.

 

Mill.

In 1848 William Thompson erected a saw-mill on section 2. The power was derived from Ash creek, and the mill was equipped with an old fashioned "up and down saw." Machinery for grinding corn was soon added. It was a small affair, but was a great convenience to the settlers in those days. Caleb Merris, a resident of the town of Ithaca, once came to the mill to have some corn ground, and, on his return, he told the neighbors that it was the "smartest" mill he had ever seen. He said that "as soon as it got through with one kernel, it would go right to work on another." Mr. Thompson sold out in 1858 to Jacob Krouskop, who erected a carding mill, and in 1864 Jacob Brimer purchased the property.

 

Official Matters.

The town of Orion was first called Richmond, the name being suggested by Thomas Mathews. In 1856 the name was changed to Orion.

The first election in the town of Richmond was held at the house of Mathew Alexander in the fall of 1848.

The town of Richmond was organized at a town meeting held at the house of Thomas Mathews in April, 1849, at which time the first officers of the town were elected. John R Smith, Myron Whitcomb and R J Darnall were chosen inspectors of the election. The following officers were elected: Supervisors, John R Smith, chairman, Adam Byrd and William Kincannon; clerk, John Nipple; collector, Stephen Finnell; assessor, Walter B Gage; superintendent of schools, Marvin White; justices of the peace, William Thompson, E H Dyer, B B Sutton and Mathew Alexander; constables, Nathaniel Green, William White and Daniel H Byrd; overseers of the highway, L B Palmer and William White.

At the annual town meeting held at the school house in district No. 1, on the 3d of April, 1883, W M Brimer, Abram Miller and Christopher Ford were chosen inspectors, and Levi Houts and William H Dooley clerks of the election. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: Supervisors, W M Brimer, chairman, Herman Bremmer and Henry Emshoff; clerk, Levi Houts; treasurer, W H Dooley; assessor, John Emshoff; justices, W H Palmer and John Flamme; constables, Chris Berger, Lewis Miller and Thomas Owens; sealer, W H Palmer. At this meeting it was voted that a town house be erected, but no money was appropriated for the purpose.

 

Village of Orion.

The first settlers on the plat of the village were John R Smith and his son-in-law, Thomas Mathews; the former a native of Kentucky, the latter, of Tennessee. They came from Grant county in October, 1842, and claimed fraction No. 6, town 8, range 1 west; and fraction No. 5, town 8, range 1 east, entering the land a few years later. After they had entered the land they sold a half interest to Orrin E Barber, and they laid out the plat of the village of Richmond, now Orion. It was then located on fraction No. 5, town 8, range 1 east, and contained fourteen blocks of eight lots each. About one year later Mr. Barber sold his interest to Smith & Mathews, and shortly afterwards Thomas Mathews purchased his partner's interest and became sole proprietor. In the fall of 1842, Smith & Mathews started a ferry. The first boat was a platform on two canoes, and for some time the only business the ferry had was the transportation of hunters. When it was necessary to convey a team across the river, the horses were made to swim and the wagon was loaded on the boat.

In 1843 they built a flat boat, and a number of years later, when travel increased, a more expensive boat was built by Mr. Mathews, which was run by horse power. He continued to operate the ferry until the bridge was built, in 1870.

The first man to sell goods on the site of the village was Ephraim Dyer, who kept a small stock of groceries, notions and whisky; the latter being a staple article in those days. Mr. Dyer had in 1849 erected a one story frame building for the purpose --- the first store building in the village. He remained in trade about one year, when he sold his building and moved a small portion of his goods to Highland, Iowa county.

Molbry Ripley and Dr. D. L. Downs purchased the Dyer building. They made an addition to it and put in a large stock of general merchandise, including groceries, dry-goods, hardware, crockery, glassware, drugs, and, in fact, everything in general use in this region at that time. They continued in business for a number of years. Dr. Downs now resides in Richland Center, and is probate judge of Richland county. Mr. Ripley after leaving Orion engaged in trade at Boaz and died there.

The first building erected on the village plat was put up by Smith & Mathews in October, 1842. It was a log building about 16x18 feet in size and stood on fraction No. 6. Main street is now located over the site.

The first frame dwelling house in the village was erected by Thomas J Dayton in 1847-8. He opened the first hotel in the village and kept it for a number of years. The building is still standing, having been greatly improved by additions, and has been run as a hotel the most of the time since its erection. Jefferson Miller is the present proprietor.

The first blacksmith was John Nipple, who opened a shop in 1844. Thomas Mathews furnished him with a shop and the necessary tools. A few years later Nipple died and was succeeded by Thomas Palmer, who continued in business about two years, then sold out. Since that time there have been various parties here in this line, but at present the village is without a blacksmith.

About 1854 William Roush started a tin shop. He remained in business until the war broke out, when he enlisted, and later settled in Iowa.

The first school in the village was taught by Mary Melanthon (now Mrs. Joseph Elliott) in a log building erected for the purpose. The second school was taught by Levi Houts in the same building.

The first religious services in the village were held at the house of Thomas Mathews, as early as 1845. The first preacher was Moses Darnell, a Baptist clergyman from Grant county. He preached here but a few times and was followed by a Methodist preacher from Pedlar's Creek. The first organization was effected by the Methodists.

The inhabitants of Orion were at first supplied with mail from Muscoda until 1851, a messenger being employed to carry the mail and leave the same at Downs' & Ripley's store. In 1851 the post office was established with M Ripley as postmaster. The following have served as postmaster since that time: Messrs. Roush, Byrd, Sims, Miller, Clinginsmith and Dawson. The latter is the present postmaster.

The village was first named Richmond, but when application for the establishment of a post office was made it was found that there was another post office of that name in the State, and the name of Orion, which was suggested by Judge A B Slaughter, was adopted.

 

Personal.

While the following personal sketches are not made up entirely of pioneers of this county, you will find among them some of the oldest settlers in the county.

Capt. John Smith was born in Kentucky, about 1790, and there grew to man's estate. While yet a young man he moved to Illinois. He there enlisted in the Black Hawk War and served as captain. He was married to Elizabeth Holliday, who was also a native of Kentucky. He worked at his trade, which was that of millwright, in Illinois until 1838, when he moved to Wisconsin and located in Iowa county, and there engaged in the lead mines, remaining there until 1841, then removed to Grant county, and settled in Muscoda, where he worked at his trade. He was employed on the first mill ever erected in Richland county, on Mill creek, to which county he came in 1842, remaining here till the time of his death, which occurred in 1851. He left a wife and two children --- Catharine, the wife of Thomas Mathews, and Benjamin M, who now lives in the town of Forest. Mrs. Smith afterwards married K J Darnall, and died in the town of Forest.

Thomas Mathews, son-in-law of J R Smith, and with him the pioneer settler of Orion, was born in Tennessee May 7, 1814. When he was three years of age, his parents moved to Illinois and settled in Montgomery county, where they remained but a short time, then removed to Morgan county, and thence to McDonough county. Thus, as will be seen, his younger days were spent in a new country, where the opportunities for acquiring an education were very limited, yet such as there were he improved, and, being naturally studious, improved his evenings, which he spent at home, and in that way acquired sufficient knowledge for practical purposes. He lived with his parents until 1836, then came to Wisconsin and worked in the lead mines in that part of Iowa now known as La Fayette county. He remained there two years, then to Platteville, Grant county, and engaged in mining one year, and from there to the Pickatonica diggings, Iowa county. In the year 1840 he was married to Catharine Smith, and moved to Muscoda. In company with J R Smith he took a contract to build a dam across Mill creek for Parish Mill. They continued to live at Muscoda till 1842, moving from there to Richland county, settling on the site of the present village of Orion, and built the first log cabin in the town. Their cabin, though an humble one, was where strangers ever found the 'latch string out,' and many procured food and shelter there. Mr. Mathews has been engaged in various enterprises. Among others he has kept a hotel for several years. He was the first white man to go up Pine river in a canoe as far as the natural bridge. He also, in company with J R Smith, cut the first road from the Wisconsin river to that place.

William Dooley was one of the first explorers of the Pine river valley. This was in the spring of 1845 and he was engaged at Galena by one Coles, to come to Richland county and assist in building a mill. At this time he was but eighteen years old, and was thus starting out in life, full of vim and energy and bent on securing if possible a fortune, or at least a competence. He was promised $18 per month for his services, and faithfully performed his part for one year, when to his dismay he found himself cheated out of every dollar so honestly earned. This was discouraging for a beginning, but with characteristic pluck he commenced work in the woods getting out lumber and rafting down the river. By this sort of perseverance and with commendable economy under adverse circumstances, he succeeded in accumulating enough money, so that in 1848 he was able financially to enter some land, and at once sought a location, making selection on section 32, town 9, range 1 east, now known as town of Orion. He continued at work in the lumber regions until 1852. When Mr. Dooley first landed in this section of country, it was indeed a wilderness, inhabited by Indians and wild beasts of the forest. A man's life was not always considered safe, particularly when offense had been given the "noble red man." On one occasion the Indians concluded to go to Muscoda, and stealing a "dugout" at Orion, crossed the river. The whites followed to the town and got into a quarrel with them which resulted in the killing of two Indians and wounding three others. The shooting was done by the McLoud boys from Richland Center. Mr. Dooley received information immediately concerning this unfortunate occurrence, and well knowing the nature of the Indian, was troubled as to the best course to pursue. Every settler except Dooley and Petty left their homes and went to Muscoda, remaining four or five days. These two parties, not knowing what moment a return might be made, or what time the Indians might proceed to wreak vengeance by destroying life and burning property, bringing desolation and disaster to the settlement, were not in a desirable situation, yet they "held the fort," and came out all right. In 1849 the Swinehart's, Hazeltine's, Hesler's, Hawkins and Waters brothers came, which made quite an addition to the settlement, making life more safe and pleasant. Mr. Dooley was married June 9, 1852, to Sarah, daughter of James and Lucinda (Calhoun) Laws, and settling on his land, devoted his time to clearing and farming. The same season he purchased more land adjoining, located on section 5, town 8, range 1 east, which had been previously entered by John Nipple. He now has a large, well improved farm, a commodious frame house, a large frame barn, and is in the full enjoyment of a nice home, honestly and fairly gained. He was born in Madison Co., Ky.., May 9, 1827. When he was six years old his parents removed to Missouri, where he remained until his eighteenth year, when he went to Galena and spent two months in mining, then came to this county as before stated. Mr. Dooley is a man much respected by the community, and his reputation for honesty and integrity is second to none. Mr. and Mrs. Dooley are the parents of eight children --- William Henry, Lucinda, Mary Ella, Adella A, Eldred S, Ida A, Lu Etta and Gilbert E. Mary Ella is now the wife of Patrick Fay, a teacher in the schools at Richland Center. All the other children are still living at home.

David Mayfield and wife, on the 20th day of June, 1845, located on the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 3, town 9 north, range 1 east. They had just removed from Platteville. The only neighbors they had on Ash creek at this time were William Thompson and family, but they had chosen this as their future home, and concluded to make the best of it. It being late in the season when they arrived in the county, they could not raise any crop but potatoes, but this was a very important crop to the pioneers, as it furnished them a goodly portion of their winter supply of food. In the fall of 1845 Green Mayfield and family, a brother of David Mayfield, arrived from Platteville and settled where he now resides but there was no further increase in the settlement until 1847 when the Joslin family arrived. Mr. Mayfield continued farming until 1883, when as he found himself advancing into old age he sold his farm of 164 acres for $2500, removed to Richland Center and retired from active life. David Mayfield was born near Nashville, Tenn., in August 1807. In 1811 the family removed to Indiana and one year later to Illinois where the mother died in 1818. The subject of this sketch then came to Wisconsin, and followed mining until 1834 then engaged in farming at Platteville. In 1837 he married Martha Arterbury, she died in 1841. He subsequently married Almira Woods and by this union five children have been born, two now living --- Rosa, now the wife of August Larson and Delia Mayfield, now in Nevada.

Green Mayfield a representative man and early settler of Richland county began his pioneer life in infancy, his parents having emigrated to Illinois while he was quite young and when that was a new country. Here they remained but five years when they again took a journey westward locating in that part of the territory of Michigan since embraced in the State of Wisconsin and in Grant county, where he grew to manhood. In 1832 when he was fourteen years old he enlisted in the service of the United States and served through the Black Hawk War, returned to his home at the close of that conflict and engaged in mining. He was joined in marriage with Maria Keister Aug. 9, 1841. She was born in Posey Co., Ind., Nov. 9, 1823. They settled near Pedlar's creek and engaged in mining a few months, then moved to Bee town at which point he followed the same business, his wife assisting. Mining here not proving a remunerative enterprise they soon moved and settled on a claim he had previously made near Platteville. Here they were unfortunate in that both were attacked with fever and ague, and it took all their earnings to pay the doctor's bills, and he at last sold out to close up. In July, 1846, he came to Richland county in company with his brother David, being pleased with this section of the country he concluded to make a settlement and returned for his wife. The great trouble with him was a lack of money, and he hardly knew which way to turn to make necessary arrangements, finally he went to a merchant with whom he was acquainted in Platteville told him he was going to Richland county and wanted enough supplies to last him until fall when he would pay him with venison and honey. The merchant knowing him to be an honest man provided him with the necessaries of life and they started for a new home in Richland county, using his brother's team to move a few household goods, their only possessions. Arriving at the ferry kept by Mr. Mathews he told him he did not have any money to pay his way over, "Never mind" said Mathews, "I will put emigrants across for nothing for we want this country settled." They then made their way to his brother David's where they spent the summer. He made a claim on section 4, did not immediately move to it, but made their home with this brother until the following March, when having erected a small log cabin they moved into it on their own place. Meanwhile he had been successful in his hunting expeditions, and had paid up his store bill, but as yet had no money with which to enter his land; therefore he continued hunting, killed large numbers of deer and bear, and for them found a ready market at Platteville, the saddles of venison bringing two dollars and a half and the pelts from fifty cents to one dollar. He tanned and dressed deer skins with which he made clothing throughout --- coat, pants, cap and moccasins. Many incidents of thrilling interest are remembered in connection with the early experience here of Mr. and Mrs. Mayfield. Starting out one day for the purpose of killing a deer, his dogs started a large bear which ran up a hill the canines in close pursuit. When on the summit the dogs caught and furiously attacked "old bruin," and in the fight both bear and dogs came rolling down the hill together. At the bottom foothold was again secured and the bear and dogs seemed bent on getting away. Finally they drew near where Mayfield was standing, and one of the dogs caught the bear by the ear, when he raised up embraced the dog and began to hug as only a bear can. Finally they fell to the ground, when Mr. Mayfield approached and with a knife, having a blade twelve inches long, stabbed the bear on the opposite side, when he released his hold and started away with the knife in his side. The gun was empty and there was no other way than to use a club, which weapon was used with good effect, and securing the knife cut his throat putting an end to his existence. This is one among the many similar adventures of this pioneer. In the course of a few years he had accumulated money enough to enter his land, when he devoted more time to clearing a farm. In August, 1862, he enlisted and joined company B, 25th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war. The principal battle in which he was engaged was at Kinston, North Carolina. While he was in the service of his country, his wife, assisted by her two daughters and a small son carried on the farm raising good crops. He was discharged with the regiment in June, 1865, and returned home. His industrious family, had already planted the farm in corn, and in the fall he gathered 1500 bushels. For some years he did not have a team of his own and used his brother's. At the present time we find him with a well stocked farm, comfortable frame house, large frame barn and 445 acres of land, besides other claims. He has always been enterprising, and among the first and most influential in establishing schools and Churches. Mr. and Mrs. Mayfield both joined the M E Church at the time of its organization in Orion. They are the parents of three children --- Sarah M, now the wife of Jeff. Wilson, who lives in Crawford county; Maria A, now the wife of Joseph McMillen and Elijah G. The latter was born in the town of Orion, Jan. 16, 1853, and was married in 1875 to Dreatz Powells, and two years later settled on his present farm on section 9. They have three children --- Cyrus L, Miles and one not named at this date.

Frederick Sherman (deceased) a pioneer of Richland county, is a native of Germany, and was born upon the banks of the Rhine, May 11, 1812. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, spending his younger days in school. On attaining his majority he joined the army and served in the cavalry four years. He came to America in 1848; landed in New York and came directly to Milwaukee and was there married to Carolina Banner, who was also a native of Germany. He immediately started with his bride for their new home. He purchased eighty acres of land and entered another eighty on section 9, town 9, range 1 east, now known as Orion. Here they endured the hardships of pioneer life, and lived to clear a good farm and build a comfortable frame house. His death occurred in March, 1879. Mrs. Sherman died in 1856, leaving three children, two of whom are now living --- Louisa and Herman. He afterwards married Maria Rilling. She has one son --- August. Herman was born in the town of Orion, April 30, 1852. He received a common school education, and lived with his parents until 1870, when he enlisted in the 17th regiment, United States Infantry, and served on the frontier five years. He was in the campaign on the Big Horn river, in 1873. After his discharge from the service he returned home and resumed farming, and in 1876 was married to Leah Lewis, who was born in the town of Richland. He then settled upon his present farm, which is a portion of the old homestead. He has improved the place and built the frame house which they now occupy. They have one child --- Jennie.

Henry Schuerman was born in Germany, upon the banks of the Rhine, March 22, 1818. His younger days were spent in school, where he acquired a liberal education, after which he engaged in farming. He came to America in 1848, landed at New York and came directly to Richland county, thus becoming one of its pioneers. He entered a large tract of land there on sections 2 and 3, town 9, range 1, town of Orion. In the spring of 1849 he went to Watertown and was there married to Sabilla Jorris, also a native of Germany, and started immediately with his bride for his new home in the wilderness, where he had already commenced clearing. The nearest point at which they could obtain provisions was in Iowa county, and also the nearest mill. He was obliged to cross the river in going there, and sometimes the water would rise while he was upon the other side, and he would be obliged to wait several days before he could cross to return home. At times the neighborhood would become short of breadstuff and they were obliged to grate corn to make it into meal. Mr. Schuerman was an industrious man, and cleared a large farm. His pioneer log cabin, which was sixteen feet square, he remodeled by building an addition to it, and weather-boarding and painting it, so that it has the appearance of a frame house. It is probably the oldest building used for a dwelling, in the county. He built a frame barn, 40x60 feet, with a stone basement, and planted an orchard, and was one of the few successful fruit growers in the county. His death occurred April 26, 1877. Mr. and Mrs. Schuerman were the parents of six children --- Katie, Annie, Eliza, Emma, George and Henry. Mrs. Schuerman and her two sons now live at the homestead.

Henry Sigrist was a pioneer of Richland county, coming here in 1848. He entered land on section 3, town 9, range 1 east, in what is now the town of Orion. He built a log cabin 16x32 feet in which he lived till 1862, when he built the frame house in which he lives at present. He is a Prussian by birth, born Oct. 12, 1823. He attended school until fifteen years of age, when he engaged in a wholesale house to learn the business, serving two and a half years, at the end of which he received a certificate, showing him to be a proficient clerk. He then secured a situation in that capacity at a town 200 miles distant, where he was employed two years, then was employed upon a farm two years after which he entered an agricultural school, which was under control of the government. He studied there for two years. In 1848 he was married to Caroline Shulte, a native of Prussia, and immediately sailed for America, landed in New York and came directly to Milwaukee. Here Mrs. Sigrist was taken ill. He took care of her until she was convalescent and then started forth in search of a suitable place to locate. On reaching Richland county, he made a selection of land and returned to Milwaukee for his wife who was sufficiently recovered to bear the journey, and they started for their new home in a wagon, and reached their destination at the end of five days. They have lived to witness a great change in the country. What was then a wilderness, is now a cultivated and prosperous neighborhood, occupied by an industrious and thrifty class of people. A good school house and church are close at hand. He at first built a log cabin, 16x32 feet. Sept. 28, 1861, he enlisted in the 6th Wisconsin Battery and the spring of 1862 went to the front. He took part in many of the most important engagements of the war. Among them were: Jackson, Champion Hills, Port Gibson, siege of Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge, and Corinth. He was honorably discharged at the expiration of the time for which he enlisted. During his absence his wife had the frame house, in which they now live, built. Mr. and Mrs. Sigrist are the parents of six children --- Henry, Eugene, Emma, William, Ida and Bertha. Since coming to America Mr. Sigrist has learned the English language and by extensive reading in that, as well as his own language, is enabled to keep posted upon all subjects.

James Laws, for many years proprietor of the well known Laws' ferry, was born in North Carolina in 1801. When he was seventeen years old his parents removed to Illinois, and were early settlers in Richland Co., Ill. He was there married to Lucinda Calhoun, who was born in South Carolina and was a relative of John C Calhoun. Her parents moved to Kentucky when she was about one year old, and a few years later to Indiana, thence to Illinois. In 1845 Mr. Laws moved to Wisconsin and located in Iowa county, where he entered and improved land until 1849, when he traded it for the ferry he managed so long. His death occurred in April, 1865, while in Illinois on a visit. His wife died three years later at the home of her daughter, Mrs. William Dooley. They were the parents of eleven children, six now living --- Sarah, Henrietta, Ida, Gilbert L, Lucetta and Caroline.

John Mainwaring, one of the pioneers of Richland county, was born in the town of Swansea, Glamorganshire, South Wales, May 28, 1821. Here he attended the public schools until he was fourteen years of age, when his parents moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was sent to an advanced school for some time. His father, who was a stone mason by trade, and master of the art, was engaged upon the Edinburgh, New Haven and Leith railroad, then in process of construction, as superintendent of the mason work, and the subject of this sketch was called from school to assist his father in his work. He was employed there for two years, when his parents moved to Caermarthen, South Wales, where his father, by the death of an uncle, had fallen heir to property, consisting of a stock of marble, a shop and tools, his uncle having been a marble engraver. The father carried on the marble business for a while, then, having a call from a railroad company, left the business in charge of his son, who continued it till he was twenty-five years of age. He then joined his father, who had taken a contract to construct a piece of railroad, which they completed in 1848. In the spring of 1849, in company with his father and brother Daniel, he left his native land and came to America, coming directly to Wisconsin and entering land on section 33, town 9, range 1 east, now the town of Orion. After remaining here two years, he returned to his native land and remained till 1861, being there employed as road master on the railroad that he helped to construct. In 1861 he started on his return to his western home, crossing the Atlantic in the noted steamer, Great Eastern, and making the trip in nine days. He left England May 1 and arrived in Orion on the 15th. He lived upon his land on section 33 until 1865, when he sold it and purchased 160 acres on section 27, upon which were about twenty acres of cleared land and a log cabin. He immediately began clearing and putting out fruit trees, and otherwise improving. He has been successful as a farmer, has purchased adjoining land, and now has 320 acres, of which 125 are cleared. He has erected a frame barn and a commodious stone house. He was married June 4, 1854, to Eliza Rees, who was born in Caermarthen, South Wales, Dec. 13, 1831. Nine children have been born to them --- John, Lillian, Edward, Mary, William, Thomas, Frank, George and Laura Eva. The older four children were born in England. Mr. Mainwaring is a man of intelligence, well educated, and well informed upon all subjects.

William Henry Dawson, the present postmaster of Orion, was a pioneer of the town of Eagle, where he settled in the woods in September, 1849, entering the northeast quarter of section 26. He was born in Switzerland Co., Ind., June 19, 1825. When he was four years of age his parents emigrated to Indiana and settled in Clinton county, where they were among the pioneers. Here his father purchased a tract of heavy timber land from the Government, with the intention of clearing a farm, but in one month after his arrival there he sickened and died, leaving a widow with five small children to maintain. She proved equal to the emergency, and, with the aid of her children, raised corn, wheat, oats and flax. The latter she spun and wove into cloth, selling what she did not need in her family. The subject of this sketch, as soon as he became old enough, assisted his mother in her laborious task. He took advantage of the time in winter by attending a subscription school, and acquired an education sufficient for the duties that have followed. His mother died when he was eighteen years of age. After that time he was engaged in the manufacture and sale of tobacco until the fall of 1849, when he was married to Sarah, daughter of William and Charlotte Miller. One week after marriage they started for their new home in Wisconsin with a pair of horses and wagon, taking with them household goods and provisions. They camped out by the way, and after arriving at their destination, lived in their wagon until a log cabin could be built. That being completed, he immediately commenced clearing a farm. The following winter, provisions being scarce, he took a job of chopping and splitting rails, and split 2000 for $10 and paid the whole sum for one-half of a hog, the whole hog weighing 200 pounds, obtained at Avoca, or the site where Avoca now stands. In July, 1861, he enlisted in the 11th regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, company D, and was mustered into the service as second lieutenant; went south and served nine months, then, on account of disability caused by an attack of pleurisy, he resigned and returned home and resumed farming. In 1865 he came to Orion, bought a small stock of drugs and commenced mercantile business. The following year he was appointed postmaster, and has held the office since that time. In 1873 he bought a store building 24x40 feet and two stories high, and having an ell 18x24 feet. The ell is used for a dwelling. He has greatly increased his stock of goods, and now keeps a stock of general merchandise. He still owns his farm in Eagle, which he rents. Mrs. Sarah Dawson was born in Kentucky, March 24, 1823, and died Jan. 13, 1880. He was again married in June, 1881, to Sarah Rebecca, daughter of Peter and Margaret Bobb.

Henry Emshoff, an early settler of Richland county, is a native of Germany, born in Hanover, June 26, 1826. He was sent to school until he was fourteen years old, then was engaged in tilling the soil of his native land until the year 1852, when he emigrated to America, coming directly to Waukesha Co., Wis. Here he hired out to work upon a farm, and remained till 1854. In August of that year he started with his hard earned money to seek a home for himself, and coming to Richland county, purchased timber land on section 14, in that part of the town of Buena Vista now known as Ithaca. He then returned to Waukesha county, and was married on the 19th of August to Mary Handel, a native of Wurtemburg, Germany, born Dec. 7, 1836. They started for Richland county immediately, traveling by rail to Hanover, Ill., where they procured a team and finished their journey. He moved into a vacant log house, in which they lived till spring, then upon his own land he erected a booth, in which they lived while he built a log cabin. He cleared a portion of his land and lived there until 1865, when he sold out and purchased land on sections 14 and 15, town of Orion, where he has since lived. As a farmer he has been very successful. On his arrival here, his sole capital consisted of good health and willing hands. He now owns 400 acres of land, 150 acres of which are under cultivation, also a large stock of cattle, horses, sheep and hogs. He has built two frame barns and a neat frame house, and made other improvements, and is one of the most extensive farmers in the town of Orion. Mr. and Mrs. Emshoff have six children --- John H, William C, Emily L, Charles G, Henry A and Matilda M. Mr. Emshoff is a member of the town board, and has been twice re-elected. Their son, John H, is the present town assessor. He was born in the town of Ithaca Dec. 11, 1857. His younger days were spent in assisting his father upon the farm and in attending school. He was married in 1880 to Etta, daughter of Hezekiah and Sallie (Marsh) Jones, and settled at that time on his present farm on section 11. He has built a good frame house and has a pleasant home. They have one child.

William A Hitchcock, son of Jason and Polly (Hurd) Hitchcock, was born in Boone Co., Ind., July 14, 1844. When he was but six years old his father died. He came to Richland county, with his mother, in 1853, and here grew to manhood. He lived with his grandparents, with the exception of one year, until 1860, when he went to Texas and was there engaged in railroading and blacksmithing till 1866. In that year he was married to Zizina Edwards, who was born on Galveston island Oct. 2, 1846, and returned to Orion with his bride. They lived upon his grandfather's place one year, then removed to his mother's farm on section 8, where he built a blacksmith shop and worked at the trade, and helped to carry on the farm. In 1874 he settled on his grandfather's place and has since made that his home. His farm is well improved and he has a good frame house and barn. Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock are the parents of four children --- Nellie M, Myron L, Georgia E and Jason W.

James Lewis, an early settler of Orion, was born in Preble Co., Ohio, May 9, 1820. His father was a native of Delaware and his mother of Kentucky. They were pioneers in Preble county. Here the subject of our sketch grew to manhood taking advantage of such opportunity as afforded in those days to acquire an education. His mother died when he was but fourteen years of age. Four years later his father married again and removed to Indiana, but he still remained in Preble county and was there joined in marriage to Anna E Nelson. She was born in Salem Co., NJ, March 14, 1824, but for several years lived in Philadelphia. They removed to Illinois and settled in Mason county where they remained until 1854, then came to Richland county and bought land on section 7, town 9, range 1 east, now known as the town of Orion. Game was at that time quite plenty and included deer and bear. He was quite a hunter and killed many deer. One morning his two sons, John and Joseph, went out to look for the oxen and run across seven bears, one of which took after them. Their father had told them that a bear could not climb a small tree and so they made for a sapling and both made quick time in climbing it. The bear came to the tree and gnawed the bark. The children called aloud for assistance but did not attract attention for some time as danger was not apprehended; but as their cries continued their mother called the dogs and started. At the approach of the dogs the bears left, the mother running up in season to see them in their retreat. The children then came down from their lofty retreat more scared than hurt. Mr. Lewis has since cleared a good farm, erected a good set of buildings and now has a comfortable home. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis are the parents of three children --- John M, Joseph W and Sarah E.

Hezekiah Jones, one of the well known early settlers of the town of Orion, came here in the fall of 1854 and purchased land on section 10 of Carlos Joslin and his son William H. At this time there were two log cabins and a small clearing, which constituted the entire improvement. Since that time a great change has been wrought, a large farm has been cleared, a commodious frame house erected, a large frame barn built, and at this time Mr. Jones has one of the best improved farms in the town. He is a native of Kentucky, born in Harrison county, Sept. 26, 1815. When he was eighteen years old his parents emigrated to Indiana and located in Boone county, where in fact his pioneer life began. His father had purchased eighty acres of timber land on which they settled, but only remained there a short time when he purchased 160 acres near by and moved on to it. He made his home with his parents until of age, when he was married to Sallie Marsh, a native of Harrison Co., Ky. Her parents were also early settlers in Boone county. They settled on the land his father had first purchased. In 1849 he sold this farm and purchased improved land, consisting of eighty acres, upon which they made their home until 1854, when he sold out and started west with five horses and two wagons containing their household goods. They camped out on the way, and after three weeks on the road arrived in Richland county. They stopped with Robert Hurd a few days and then moved into a log cabin which was their home for a number of years. Mr. and Mrs. Jones are the parents of thirteen children, eight of whom are now living --- Eliza J, Louisa A, Lorinda M, Martha E, Mary E, Melissa A, William Jasper and Jonathan P. Mr. Jones is not a politician in any sense, but votes the republican ticket when, in his judgment, good men are nominated.

Abram Miller, an early settler of Orion, began his pioneer life in infancy. When he was but one year old his parents moved to Marion Co., Ind., where they were among the pioneers. Here his early life was spent, and as soon as large enough, he assisted his father in clearing a farm. He lived with his parents until 1854 when he came to Wisconsin to seek a home, and purchased land on section 10, town 9, range 1 east, now in the town of Orion. He commenced immediately to fell timber preparatory to clearing a farm. He was unmarried at the time, but in 1856 he was married to Louisa A, daughter of Hezekiah and Sallie (Marsh) Jones. He enlisted in 1862 in the 25th Wisconsin, company B, and went to the front, participating in many important battles. He was with Sherman in his "march to the sea," and through the Carolinas to Washington. He was twice wounded at the battle of Atlanta, on the 22d of July, 1864, and was honorably discharged with the regiment, June 7, 1865, when he returned to his home and resumed his work at farming. An humble log cabin was their home until 1871, when he built the commodious frame house now occupied by the family. He has been largely engaged in raising grain and stock. In 1883 he engaged largely in raising poultry, building a henery at a cost of $500 and enclosing a yard of four acres. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have four children --- Martha J, Mary E, Elizabeth A and Emma L. Mr. Miller always has been identified with the republican party.

Simon S. Blake, an early settler in the town of Orion, is a native of the Keystone State, having been born in that part of Bedford now known as Blair county. Until he was fourteen years old, his time was spent in school and on the farm. He then engaged with a merchant tailor to learn the trade, here he served three months, then part of the time went to school and part of the time worked with his brother at the blacksmith business until about seventeen, then enlisted in the service of the United States for the Mexican war. His parents was opposed to this and as their consent could not be obtained he was sent back. He then engaged with his cousin to learn the trade of ax-making and was thus employed until twenty-one years old, when he engaged in teaching. In the fall of 1852 he went to Ohio and spent the winter in Ironton and vicinity, then went to Arkansas and engaged in the lumbering business for seven months, and then returned to Pennsylvania, and taught a four months term of school during the winter. In the spring of 1854 he came to Richland county and entered 120 acres of land on sections 17 and 18 of the town of Orion, and went to the village of Orion where he engaged as clerk in a store. He was married Jan. 18, 1855, to Mary Ambrose. She was born in Westmoreland Co., Penn. He left the store in the fall of 1855, teaching a three months school at Pleasant Hill, town of Eagle. The following spring they settled on his land and commenced to clear a farm. He early paid attention to fruit culture and now has a fine apple orchard, consisting of Tolman sweets, Golden russetts, Snow apples and Red Astrachan. His farm is pleasantly located on Oak Ridge, and is well improved. He was a soldier in the Union army, having enlisted Aug. 20, 1862, in the 25th Wisconsin, company B, and going south spent his time in different places until May, 1864, when they joined Sherman at Resaca, Ga., and fought their way on to Atlanta. He was severely wounded at Decatur, Ga., the 22d of July, 1864, was sent to the field hospital and later to the Harvey hospital at Madison. He was discharged March 20, 1865, and returned home. He has been elected to offices of trust and honor, at different times; has been chairman of the board, at different times; has been chairman of the board, justice of the peace and was once elected assessor but refused to serve. He was United States census enumerator for the town of Orion in 1880.

John Miller settled in Richland county in 1854. He took a homestead on section 31, town 10, range 1 east, in the present town of Richland. Here he cleared a farm and resided till 1874, when he sold out and moved to section 5, now Orion. He is a native of Germany, born in Mecklenburg Swerin, and was reared to agricultural pursuits. He came to America in 1847 and located in Waukesha county, where he remained till 1854, when he came to Richland county, as before stated. He has been twice married. His first wife was Helena Bonsash, who died in 1874 leaving three children --- Mary, Lewis and Sarah. Their son, Lewis, now owns and occupies a farm in Ash creek valley, section 6, town of Orion. He purchased the land in 1866. It was then heavily timbered, but he has now the greater part of it cleared and in a good state of cultivation. He built a large frame house which, with all its contents was burned in 1877. He then built another, two and a half story frame house, which is probably the largest house in the town. The family moved into this house July 4, 1878, and dedicated it with a party on that day. He was born in Mecklenburg Swein, April 18, 1841, and came to America with his parents, with whom he made his home until 1861. In August of that year he enlisted in the 6th Wisconsin Battery, and went south. He participated in the following engagements: Corinth, Jackson, Champion Hills, Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. After serving three years and one month he returned home and resumed farming. He was joined in marriage in 1867 to Catharine, only daughter of John Henry and Eva Demmer. He first purchased land on section 31, of the town of Richland, but did not improve it as he soon sold it and bought his present farm, which is one of the best on Ash creek. Mr. and Mrs. Miller are the parents of seven living children --- Mary A E, George F, Dora E, Clara H, William H, Ella M and Jacob W.

Frederick C Schmidt (deceased), was one of the pioneer settlers of Orion. He came here in 1854 and purchased land on section 16, and commenced clearing a farm, but his life was spared only a few years and he died on the 19th of April, 1860. He was a German by birth and was reared to agricultural pursuits. In his youth he learned the milling trade, which he followed for some years. He was married Feb. 13, 1835, to Christina Kruger. Four children have blessed this union --- Frederick C, August, Annie and Emily. Mrs. Schmidt occupied the homestead a few years, then moved to Richland Center where she bought property, and lived till the time of her death, May 28, 1883.

John Henry Demmer, a pioneer of Ohio, was born in Germany in May, 1808. When a young man he learned the trade of ship builder, in which business he was engaged until 1848, when he left his native country and came to the United States. He first located in Milwaukee where he was employed as carpenter and joiner. In 1853 he came to Richland county and purchased a claim of Alanson Hurd on section 3, entered the land and immediately began clearing. He has since devoted the greater part of his time to his farm, working occasionally at his trade. He was married in 1833 to Eva Engleman. She died in 1870 leaving five children --- Herman, Frederick, Catharine, John and Jacob. Their oldest son, Herman, was born Nov. 14, 1835, and came to America with his parents and continued to live with them till 1861. That year he was joined in marriage to Annie, daughter of Frederick and Christiana Schmidt. He enlisted in September, 1861, in the 6th Wisconsin Battery, and served three years and one month. He participated in the following engagements: Corinth, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hills, Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. After his discharge he returned home and settled on section 17, where he had purchased a tract of timber land. He cleared a farm and built a log house, which he weather-boarded and painted, giving it the appearance of a frame house. In 1882 he rented this farm and moved to his wife's parent's home on section 16, the place formerly owned by Frederick C Schmidt. Here he erected a fine frame house. Mr. and Mrs. Demmer are the parents of five children --- Emma, Henry, Frank A, Mary and Ada. Mr. Demmer has held the office of treasurer in his school district since 1867.

Philip Daniel Berger, one of the early settlers of Orion, was born in West Baden, Germany, Aug. 24, 1815. He was united in marriage with Catharine Elizabeth Miller, in the year 1828. In 1848 they emigrated to America, and first settled in Wyoming Co., NY, and bought a farm in the town of Bennington, where they remained two years and then decided to remove farther west, so he sold his farm and came to Wisconsin, locating on Rock prairie, in Rock county. In 1855 he decided to make another change, and coming to Orion purchased land on section 10. On this place there was a log cabin, constructed after the most approved back woods fashion. The roof was covered with "shakes" fastened on with poles and withes, no nails being used. He cleared a farm and built a more substantial dwelling, and made this his home until his death, which occurred in 1871. Mrs. Berger died in 1867. They left seven children --- William, Phebe, Christian, Sophia, Henry, Mary and Margaret. William was born in West Baden, June 14, 1829. He came to America with his parents and made his home with them until 1860. In that year he was married to Euphemia Laing, a native of Scotland, and settled on land that he had previously purchased and where he has since resided. He has good frame buildings, including house, barn and granary. Christian also was born in West Baden, May 22, 1839. He was sent to school in Germany four years, and at nine years of age came to America with his parents, with whom he lived till 1861, when he enlisted September 9th, in the 6th Wisconsin Battery, which was stationed at Racine until February, 1862, when it moved south. Among the more important engagements in which he participated are the following: Riddle's Shop, Champion Hills, siege of Corinth and Vicksburg. At the siege of Corinth he was severely wounded in the knee and spent nearly six months in the hospital. He rejoined the regiment at Memphis. He was again wounded at Vicksburg, and in consequence suffered the amputation of his left arm and the thumb of his right hand. He was honorably discharged on the 29th of August, 1863, and returned home. In 1865 he was married to Elizabeth Brewer, a native of Highgate, Vt. Although unable to perform any manual labor, Mr. Berger has carefully and successfully managed the farm, and now has one of the finest improved places in the county. It is the homestead where his father first settled. He has built a nice frame house and a large frame barn. They have one child --- Letha Annie. Christian Berger politically belongs to the democratic party.

John Flamme came to Orion in 1857. He purchased a tract of land on section 3, upon which there was a small clearing and a rude log cabin. Since that time he has cleared a large farm and erected a neat stone house and now has a comfortable home. He is a native of Prussia, born Feb. 3, 1823. He attended school until he was twelve years old, and was then apprenticed to a blacksmith to learn the trade; after serving three years he worked as journeyman till 1852, when he left the old country and came to America, and first located in Naperville, Ill., where he worked at his trade till 1857, when he came to Richland county. He was married in 1844 to Elizabeth Rassmiller. They have five children living --- Henry, Gertie, Daniel, Mary and Eliza. Henry was born in Prussia, March 4, 1849. While a boy he attended the district school and assisted his father in clearing his farm. When a young man he learned the carpenter trade, living with his parents until 1872, when he went to Nebraska, and worked at his trade for two years, then returned to Richland county. He was joined in marriage June 12, 1878, to Bertha Groth, and settled on the farm where he still resides, on section 2. From that time until 1883 he divided his time between the farm and his trade. Since that date he has devoted his whole time to the farm. Mr. and Mrs. Flamme have two children --- Charles and Lydia Amelia.

Christian Burwitz is a native of Germany, born in Mecklenburg Swerin, May 20, 1829. He spent the time until the age of fourteen in attending school, and then assisted his father in herding his large flocks of cattle and sheep, which he continued to do until the year 1857, when he left his native home and came to America, landed at New York and came directly to Wisconsin and engaged in farming in Waukesha county for two years. He then moved to Milwaukee and bought stock two years, then returned to Waukesha and resumed farming. In March, 1865, he enlisted in company I, 48th Wisconsin Volunteers and went south. He was discharged in February, 1866, returned home and remained in Waukesha until the following April, when he came to Richland county. He was married in 1858 to Mary Niles, also a native of Mecklenburg. They have one child --- Richard. Mr. Burwitz's farm is pleasantly located in Ash creek valley. He has comfortable buildings and altogether a pleasant home.

 

Early Days in the Town of Orion.
[By Levi Houts.]

Richland county was held by Iowa county until organized as a county. Was sub-divided by Iowa county into two towns: 1st, Richmond, which includes all the territory from the Wisconsin river north on the congressional line, range 1 east, of the 4th principal meridian, to the north line of the county; thence west along said line to the northwest corner of township 12, 2 west; thence south from said corner on the congressional line to the Wisconsin river; thence east along said river to the place of beginning, including now, Orion, Richland, Rockbridge, Henrietta, Bloom, Marshall, Dayton, Eagle, Richwood, Akan, Sylvan and Forest. 2d, Buena Vista, which included all the territory from the Wisconsin river, commencing at the congressional line on said river, range 1 east, of the 4th principal meridian; running thence east along said river to where the congressional line, range 2 east crosses said river; thence north along said line to the northeast corner of township 12, range 2 east; thence west along said line to the northeast corner of township 12, range 2 east; thence west along said line to the congressional line, range 1 east of the 4th principal meridian, thence south on said line to the place of beginning, including what is now Buena Vista, Ithaca, Willow and Westford.

The first election held for town officers in the town of Richmond, was on the first Tuesday in April, 1849. The said election was held at the house of Matthew Alexander, on section 33, town 6, range 1 west, now in the town of Eagle. The house (a log one, or double log) was situated on the bank of the Wisconsin river near the place where the Pilling's saw-mill later was situated. The officers who conducted said election were John R Smith, Myron Whitcomb and Reason J Darnell, as inspectors of said election; George C White and Nathaniel Green, clerks. The following were the town officers elected at said election: John R Smith, chairman; Adam Byrd and William Kincannon, supervisors; John Nipple, town clerk; Stephen Finnel, collector or town treasurer; Walter B Gage, assessor; Marion White, superintendent of schools; William Thompson, E H Dyer, B B Sutton and Matthew Alexander, justices of the peace; Nathaniel Green, William White and Daniel H Boyle, constables; L B Palmer and William White, overseers of highway. The persons elected were all qualified as such officers. John Nipple, town clerk, died before the expiration of his office, and A B Slaughter was appointed in his place. Also Mr. Slaughter resigned and Levi Houts was appointed to fill the unexpired term of said office and made out the first tax list for said town.

The record of the first county officers elected, you have in the county clerk's office, therefore will not give their names here. After their election they had to go to Mineral Point in Iowa county to qualify. Your unfortunate subscriber hired a team and took the said officials to Mineral Point to be qualified, and it is needless to say that they, the said officers, had to stop at Highland over night on going, in order to view the beauties of the place, inspect the whisky and buck the faro bank. On the next day we got to Mineral Point and it took them two days to qualify and inspect that village, etc., therefore I was four days making the trip, and $3 out of pocket. I had agreed to take them for a fixed price. John J Matthews was the sheriff and he collected the tax on the list I made out.

As to the first settlers in the then town of Richmond, it will be hard to determine; I would refer your honorable committee to John Comb and Myron Whitcomb. I believe that they come as near giving that point of information as any person. I came into the county Sept. 10, 1849. I must say like the man fiddling told the Arkansaw traveler: "These hills were here when I came and so were men, women and children, situated here and there in the forest in log houses, and seemed happy and contented." Their meat they had in abundance by killing the bear, the deer and moose, and for sweet they had the bees and had all the honey by cutting the trees; corn they raised for meal and homony; potatoes and garden vegetables they raised. The flour they used was generally bought at Galena, in Illinois, and hauled here. One of these pioneers would start to Galena with an ox team loaded with honey, bear and deer, trade his load for flour and groceries, and that would supply a number of families for a time. There was a sociability between those pioneers that is now gone among the things that are past. There was no lawing one against the other. The people held as a sacred law to themselves to follow the golden rule one toward the other. Now and then a little bad whisky helped a fight and that settled the matter. I would like to here give the name of some of those pioneers; some are dead and some are still living, who, in the pioneer settlement of this county, were men whose characters were not blemished, and we still have some of them living with us, and the golden light of justice and right between their fellow men is still shining. But I suppose when they let their minds wander back to the early settlement of this county, and think of the times then in the wilds of nature and then pass on year after year, change after change to the present time, they will express --- the wilderness is blooming and turned as by magic into beautiful fields and costly houses instead of the log houses, and the great strife now is to get money --- honest or dishonest. He says in his mind, where is the sociability we had in the early days? Then if a man killed a deer or bear, and if his neighbor was out of meat, he would divide and in turn it was paid back without laws. But now it is law and confusion, compared to what it was in the early pioneer days. The man who has a few more dollars than his neighbor looks on him as a poor a scamp, and that sociability existing in early days without regard to wealth is gone. Methinks you will behold a deep sigh heave in the breast of that pioneer. For fear of making this a personal matter, I forbear giving names.

As to the history of the first roads and mills, at now Rodolf's mills, Rockbridge mills and a corn cracker at now Brimer's woolen factory, I will not give in this. The first school house in the then town of Richmond, was located in now Richwood, not far from M. Whitcomb's. I leave them to Combs or Whitcomb to report that and their first teacher. The next was in the now village of Orion (all log houses). The first teacher in the school house in the village of Orion was Mary Malanthy (now Mrs. Joseph Elliott, of Port Andrew). In the summer of 1846, and in the fall and winter of 1849, your writer taught three months' school in the same house and enrolled eighteen scholars, a few of them over twenty years of age.

As I have already written considerable matter, such as it is, I will stop, hoping others will furnish more and better information than I have given. Should I endeavor to make a personal matter of all the pioneers at a certain time, and then go on to describe the continued changes of persons coming into the county so far as my knowledge would permit, and their usefulness in building up the county, I might leave some out and then they would be offended; or if the locating and building up of villages in the county and their now delapidation, cause, etc. I do not expect to be able to attend your meetings. It matters but little to me in the future if I am permitted to live in seclusion among the hills of Richland county the remaining days of my life.

 

More About Orion.
[By William Wulfing.]

Before the town of Orion was organized and adorned with its present name, it was, at the time I came to Wisconsin, May, 1849, a part of the town of Richmond, and after the adjoining towns in the east, and Eagle in the west, had taken considerable, and not the poorest part of the territory that should by right belong to her, left it, as it is at the present day, one of the smallest and poorest towns in the county. Probably to compensate for the wrong done to the new town, the name of one of Heaven's brightest constellations was adopted. Its history to the present day would likely be one of troubles and difficulties, occasioned by the many miles of roads and numerous bridges, but the energies of some of her earliest settlers has conquered the same, and the town has never, to my knowledge, been involved in lawsuits on account of the condition of her roads and bridges.

The ferry across the Wisconsin near Avoca, was at that time run by a Mr. Gage, who, with his family and one Dr. Hartshorn, resided on the bank of the river in this county, near the place where James Laws, a few years after, settled, and who succeeded Gage as ferryman; it was from this place that I struck out for Ash creek, and found there a small settlement, and tired of travel, bought a piece of land and made one of the number of early settlers. I found then here about twenty residing in the town; now, about ten have gone to their resting places and the balance taken Greeley's advice.

It is perhaps superfluous to say much of the life we have led in those early days; the hardships in a newly settled country are almost alike in all places; our troubles were not who should sell our produce but where to buy. We had no grist mill nor stores on this side of the Wisconsin river, neither a postoffice, and our nearest trading point was Franklin, in Iowa county, now Highland, until a store was started in Orion and Jacob Krouskop built his grist mill on Willow creek. This gave us at the same time a bridge across Pine river near the mouth of Ash creek, and Mr. Banks, of Sextonville, took a contract from government to run a weekly mail from Sextonville to Prairie du Chien and back, and an office was established at Ash creek and Orion, so that we once more were in communication with the outer world. The clearing of land and chopping and hauling saw logs to the mill, constituted the most work in winter, and hunting deer and other game during the fall, of which most settlers in a new country are fond of, was much practiced and gave a great deal of sport and some profit to the settlers, who late in fall generally took their deer to Platteville and other places to trade for their winter provisions. There was great harmony among the first settlers and it did not require much to make them feel contented; it seems every one was inclined to be sociable. I remember once we had a gathering at my home, when the whole settlement was present, and although we had only a room of 16x18 to dance in, with Jeff Shaver as musician, sitting in one corner on an empty saurkraut barrel, and assisting the fiddler with his feet, the smaller children by the dozens laying up stairs on beds and floors, you can hardly find a jollier set than there was that night in the humble cabin. Among the hunters occurred sometimes laughable incidents. On a general election day, in November, a crowd of us went to the village, also a bear which one of our number, a tall and easy going fellow, had shot the day before; the man starting for the woods and leaving his dog, who was too young to be of any service, at home, ran up all at once to Mr. Bear laying under a fallen tree, he fired at him instantly and retired quickly. The dog who had followed unbeknows to his master hearing the report of the gun, came running towards him, and the man thinking he had missed his game and was pursued by the bear, made long strides towards home, where man and dog arrived at the same time. Not being sure how things really were, he got one of his neighbors to go with him to the spot where the shooting took place and there found bruin dead in his lair, being shot through the brain. The man was rallied a great deal on the way the next day, especially by the fellow who went with him after the bear. In a few days we had a light sprinkling of snow, and both these men being out with their guns, after having killed a deer, struck the track of a bear, which following, they found their game in a small cavern. Holding a council of war, they agreed that one should take a pole and rake Mr. Bruin in the ribs, thereby inducing him to come out, when the other standing on the rock above, would shoot him. Following this plan they got the bear to rush out and the man on the rock firing instantly, hit him, breaking his lower jaw. The enraged brute went for the man who had done the poking, who run lustily down hill and finding the bear was gaining on him, took to a small ironwood tree, hollooing and screaming all the time for help, until the other, who was the same man who had been bored about his running away from his own dog, came up and shot the brute, thereby releasing the prisoner and having the laugh on his own side.

Of physicians, we had only a small supply in 1849, namely the aforementioned Dr. Hartshorn who stayed only a few years and then left, looking for a place where the folks were less hardy. Later the town had some good physicians, D. L. Downs, Dr. Howe, J. H. Tilly and Jacob Brimmer. Lawyers did not fare very well in the town of Orion. A P Thompson settled in the village at an early day, and although the adjoining towns kept him more than Orion, he at last left in disgust and has had no successor.

It was several years before a preacher came among us to show us the way we should go. The first offer we had came from a lawyer residing in an adjourning town, who volunteered to come over every four weeks and preach to us and save us if possible. We held a council, and being a little dubious if the pulpit be the right place for an attorney, concluded not to accept his kind offer and take our chances. In a few years several churches were established and some worthy preachers came among us. Five buildings were erected and used as places of worship; one of them is situated near the northern town line for the use of the United Brethren Church, and Jacob Brimer, Durfee Bovee and James Howard are the men who contributed mostly the means necessary. On section 3, near Henry Segrist, the German Methodists have a nice building for worship, their pastor residing on the east side of Pine river. Next is the Christian church near Henry Wilson on Ash creek, whose pastor is Rev. J. Walworth, through whose exertions, aided by David Wiker, Hezekiah Jones, Abram Miller and others, the church was built and is flourishing. The elder is much respected by his followers, but we owe it to posterity to record that they accuse him of baptising and catching fish at the same time on a certain Sunday, but if the truth has to be told, the fishing was accidental and only the suckers, which came up the Elder's leg, between pants and lining, is to blame. The German Lutherans have a substantial building near D. Wiker's; their pastor residing at Boaz. The members of the Methodist Church have erected a house of worship on Oak Ridge, near S. S. Blake's, who is one of its leading members.

The schools in the early days of Richland county and under the system then in vogue, did not give the scholars the advantages they now enjoy. The few children were scattered over a large territory, roads often bad and the means of the settlers limited. Then the method of giving the examination of teachers to the chairman of the town board did not work well in many instances, and was often light on the teachers and hard on the chairman. The method of requiring the teacher to "board round," as it was called, was also often annoying to both parties. I know of one instance where the teacher had to sleep with five of his scholars in one bed, the mother claiming that this would greatly assist the young ones to acquire knowledge, and the teacher could not convince her of her error.

Of industrial establishments, the town has only the woolen factory of Jacob Brimmer, on Ash creek, which is a great accommodation to wool-growers and of benefit to the whole community. W H Stewart is one of the best mechanics and has a widespread reputation, is also very successful as a raiser and keeper of bees. Thomas Mathews and Levi Houts have expended much time and labor digging for lead mineral, and although they had some success, the quantity found was too small to make it a paying job and so abandoned it. In the mercantile business were engaged in the village of Orion, Downs & Ripley, Rodolf & Graham, Berry Ferries, Clements & Wait, Miller & Edwards, St. Randall, Dan Clinginsmith, Jacob Dosch, and at the present day, A. Crosby and W H Dawson. Orion had at one time a lively trade, but the building of the M & P C railroad, and the erection of the bridge across the Wisconsin river, took the largest part away and left her struggling in the sand. She also had the misfortune to lose the court house, and was only lucky in declining the proposal of Mr. Moore to make a donation of several thousand dollars, towards erecting the bridge.

It speaks well for the town of Orion that in a space of thirty years no serious crimes are to be recorded. The only instance of an aggravated nature, was the burning of the dwelling house of C. G. Rodolf, by a deluded German, whereby the family of Mr. Rodolf, he himself was at the time a member of the Assembly in Madison, was brought in great danger, and the German was sent to Waupun for seven years. Of the men who watched over the interests of the town as supervisors thereof, I name D. L. Downs, Jacob Brimmer, J. H. Tilly, David Wiker, W. H. Stewart, Dan Clinginsmith, but for the faithful service rendered the town, Levi Houts stands at the head, who for the last thirty years, almost without interruption, has served as town clerk, and who at the present day, would give a more comprehensive history of the town than any other man.

I have tried to give a brief sketch of Orion's history, and as I write from memory only, omission of many things of interest are natural, and I hope will be excused and errors corrected.

 

 

It was several years before a preacher came among us to show us the way we should go. The first offer we had came from a lawyer residing in an adjourning town, who volunteered to come over every four weeks and preach to us and save us if possible. We held a council, and being a little dubious if the pulpit be the right place for an attorney, concluded not to accept his kind offer and take our chances. In a few years several churches were established and some worthy preachers came among us. Five buildings were erected and used as places of worship; one of them is situated near the northern town line for the use of the United Brethren Church, and Jacob Brimer, Durfee Bovee and James Howard are the men who contributed mostly the means necessary. On section 3, near Henry Segrist, the German Methodists have a nice building for worship, their pastor residing on the east side of Pine river. Next is the Christian church near Henry Wilson on Ash creek, whose pastor is Rev. J Walworth, through whose exertions, aided by David Wiker, Hezekiah Jones, Abram Miller and others, the church was built and is flourishing. The elder is much respected by his followers, but we owe it to posterity to record that they accuse him of baptising and catching fish at the same time on a certain Sunday, but if the truth has to be told, the fishing was accidental and only the suckers, which came up the Elder's leg, between pants and lining, is to blame. The German Lutherans have a substantial building near D. Wiker's; their pastor residing at Boaz. The members of the Methodist Church have erected a house of worship on Oak Ridge, near S. S. Blake's, who is one of its leading members.

 

 

Twenty-Fifth Wisconsin Infantry.

 

Company B.

Captain, W H Joslin (promoted to major and brevet lieutenant-colonel).

Lieutenants: William Roush, W H Bennett (promoted to captain) d.

Orderly Sergeants: W C S Barron (promoted to captain), E A Houstein (promoted to 1st lieutenant), John A Mark c, E A Clark c, Adam Albaugh c.

Corporals: W M Gault c, Edward B Waggonner (promoted to 2d lieutenant), Robert D Robinson, Robert M Classin, Abram Miller, Edward Morris, Ansley Wallace c, James R McMahan c.

Musicians: Norman Collins, John W Basye.

Teamster, G Laymon.

Privates: Harry Austin, Simon S Blake, John Bolenbaugh c, Peter Bolenbaugh, Israel Breese, W S Breese a, L D Browning, Jesse G Bunnell (to sergeant), Newton Chesemore, Ole Chistophson c, Stephen V Craig c, Lewis Craigo, J J Crandall c, W Crandall c, Jacob Dickason c, Jacob Dix, Shadrach Dix c, Ellridge Dodge c, John Fitzgerald (promoted to adjutant), Isaac Fish c, William Fisher, George W Freeman c, David Graham c, Benjamin Gray c, Enoch Gray, Charles C Higgins c, Walter A Holbrook c, W M Hough c, Robert F Hurd, David Hough, Thomas D James c, Benjamin B Jewell c, John Johnson, Jesse Jones c, Alexander Jones c, O Klingler, Samuel Kramer, John M Lewis, Samuel Q Lewis c, Franklin E Lyons, Henry W Marden, Samuel Marshal, Greene Mayfield, John McKay, John McNelly c, Ira W Merrill, Charles Mills, George Miller, John Sherer, Francis T Skinner, Albert W Stockton, Emanuel Taylor, Jabob Van Pool, Daniel Wallace c, Stephen J Wallace c, John W Wildemouth c, Jacob Yonder, Horace Alby, Peter F C Bartle, George Myers a, Joseph Moody, John D Nicks, Robert J Nimmick, Ole Oleson a, E E Ottaway, Ole Paulson c, E Pierson, W R Peckham, Charles W Peckham, Peter Penny, George E Perkins, George L Ramsdell, John Reeves, c, W F Rose, Frank E Seeley, Thornton J Smith, David R Taplin, Albert Truesdell c, William Waddell, Hiram Wallace c, M J Welton c, DeWitt C Wood, John Young, O M Byington, John D Brockover, James A Blair, John C Bock, William E Classin, John Craig, Edmund Dosch, Darius P David, Martin Gray, Ansel Hurlburt, Thomas Harris, Ole Hangeson, Albert J Hoyt, James Lewis, George T Logue, Adam J Logue, John M Logue, John L S Logue, Warner C Moore, Robert C McKinney, Neal Pettygrove c, Samuel J Robinson, Cutler Salmon, Albert W Willetts, William Racy a, William E Booth, R F Carver, Dolas Colwin, John Cove, Cassius C Dean, Marcus P David, David G Gillis, William Willoughby, James M Waldeck, George W Wilsey, Andrew Young, M Bennett, J Lafayette Hoyt c, James W Joslin, Timothy Manning b, J M Sutton c, H S Milner, Joseph C Privet, James K Purcell, C C Sutton, William Wright c, Henry Gear b, Seth Rogers, Andrew E Oleson c, Christian Munson, c, Julius C Jenks c, George W Breese, William Brown c, J M Keepers, William Perrigo, W W Sanborn.

Quartermaster: W H Downs.

 

Rev. Thomas Mason, (deceased) one of the pioneer preachers of Richland county, was born in Pennsylvania in 1818. He commenced preaching in Richland Co., Ill., and was married there in 1847 to Almira Bradshaw, a native of Wayne Co., Ill. He continued preaching in Illinois until 1855, when he came to Richland Co., Wis., and settled on section 30, of town 12, range 1 east, in the present town of Henrietta. He immediately joined the Northwestern Conference, and was appointed to the West Branch circuit. In 1857 he went to Salem, La Crosse county, and preached one year, then to Mendota, where he remained two years, then to Augusta, in Eau Claire county remaining there two years, next to Galesville in Trempeleau county. He then enlisted as private in the 14th Wisconsin, company D, and went to the front. He was killed at the battle of Corinth. He had been appointed chaplain of his regiment, but had not taken the position at the time of his death. He left a wife and six children to mourn his loss. The children are --- Shadrach, Elijah, Sarah, Mahala, Maggie and James E. The two eldest sons, Shadrach and Elijah, were in the same regiment and company with their father. Shadrach was severely wounded in the same battle in which his father was killed. He was discharged on account of disability, and returned home. He soon re-enlisted and died in the service. Elijah served till the close of the war, and is now living in Illinois. Mrs. Mason is now the wife of Henry T Walser, a resident of Woodstock.

James Edward, son of Thomas and Almira (Bradshaw) Mason, was born in the town of Henrietta, Feb. 28, 1861. He attended the district school, and later, the seminary at Elroy, and the high school at Sextonville. At the age of twelve he entered the employ of William Bradshaw as clerk. He continued in the same employment, excepting the time spent in school, until 1881, when he purchased the stock and good will of William Bradshaw and has since been engaged in trade. He keeps a good stock of dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, glass ware and crockery, notions, etc. He was married in 1881 to Viola, daughter of Simon S and Mary (Ambrose) Blake, who was born in the town of Orion. They have three children --- Ray and Roy, twins, and Chester.

 

 

History of Richland County
Judge James H. Miner - 1906

  

Chapter 21 - Town of Orion.

ORGANIZATION OF RICHMOND - CHANGE OF NAME - LOCATION AND SURFACE - FIRST SETTLERS - PIONEER EXPERIENCES - EARLY RELIGIOUS SERVICES.


The town of Orion was first called Richmond, the name being suggested by Thomas Mathews, but in 1856 it was changed to Orion. The town of Richmond was organized at a town meeting held at the house of Thomas Mathews, in April, 1849, at which time the first officers of the town were elected. John R. Smith, Myron Whitcomb and R. J. Darnall were chosen inspectors of the election. The following officers were elected: Supervisors, John R. Smith, chairman, Adam Byrd and William Kincannon; clerk, John Nipple; collector, Stephen Finnell; assessor, Walter B. Gage; superintendent of schools, Marvin White; justices of the peace, William Thompson, E. H. Dyer, B. B Sutton and Mathew Alexander; constables, Nathaniel Green, William White, and Daniel H. Byrd; overseers of the highway, L. B. Palmer and William White

The town of Orion lies in the southern tier of towns, the second from the east line of the county, and is bounded on the north by Richland, on the east by Buena Vista, on the south by Iowa county, from which it is separated by the Wisconsin river, and on the west by Eagle. It embraces the territory of congressional township 9 north, range 1 east, and also that portion of township 8 north, range 1 east, which lies north of the Wisconsin river. The surface of the town is somewhat broken and hilly, yet there are many fine farms there and an abundance of natural timber. A large part of the town is upon the rich bottom lands of the Wisconsin river, and no finer scenery, nor more fertile fruitful and can be found. The census of 1900 gave the town a population of 962.

The first settlers within the limits now comprising the town of Orion were John R. Smith and his son-in-law, Thomas Mathews; the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Tennessee. They came from Grant county, in October, 1842, and clamed fraction No. 6, town 8, range 1 west, and fraction No. 5, town 8, range 1 east, entering the land two or three years latter. After they had entered the land, they sold a half interest to Orrin E. Barber, and laid out the plat of the present village of Orion. The plat then laid upon fraction No. 5, town 8, range 1 east, and contained fourteen blocks of eight lots each. This was the initial step in founding the village, which is frequently mentioned in this volume.

R. J. Darnall, a native of Kentucky, came in 1843 and located in Orion, entering land on section 19. He engaged in mercantile trade and also improved his farm. In 1856 he removed to the town of Forest, and for some years kept a hotel, and later went to Illinois. William Thompson, a native of Kentucky, came from Missouri in 1846 and made a claim on sections 14 and 15. He did not prove up on this place, but entered land on section 2, where he erected a sawmill. In 1858 he sold out and removed to Kansas, locating at Blue Rapids, in Marshall county, where he engaged in farming. William Mathews, a native of Illinois, came at about the same time as did Mr. Thompson. He entered land on section 32, where he lived for several years and then removed to Missouri.

Green Mayfield, a representative man and early settler of Orion, began his pioneer life in infancy, he parents having migrated to Illinois while he was quite young and when that was a new country. There they remained but five years, when they again took a journey westward, locating in that part of the territory of Michigan which has since been embraced in the state of Wisconsin, and in Grant county, Green Mayfield grew to manhood. In 1832, when he was fourteen years old, he enlisted in the service of the United States and served through the Black Hawk War, returning to his home at the close of that conflict and engaging in mining. Mining not proving a remunerative enterprise he soon moved and settled on a claim he had previously made near Platteville. There he and his wife (whom he had married in 1841) were unfortunate, in that both were attacked with fever and ague, and it took all their earnings to pay the doctor's bills, and he was at last obliged to sell out. In July, 1846, he came to Richland county in company with his brother David, and being pleased with this section of the country he concluded to make a settlement and returned for his wife. The great trouble with which he had to contend was a lack of money, and he met with difficulties in making the necessary arrangements. Finally he went to a merchant with whom he was acquainted in Platteville, and told him he was going to Richland county and wanted enough supplies to last him until fall, when he would pay with venison and money. The merchant knowing him to be an honest man provided him with the necessaries of life and he and his wife started for a new home in Richland county, using his brother's team to move a few household goods, their only possessions. Arriving at the ferry kept by Mr. Mathews he told the gentleman he had no money to pay his way over. "Never mind," said Mathews, "I will put immigrants across for nothing, for we want this country settled." They then made their way to his brother David's, where they spent the summer. He made a claim on section 4, did not immediately move to it, but made their home with his brother until the following March, when having erected a small log cabin they moved into a home on their own place. Meanwhile he had been successful in his hunting expeditions and had paid up his store bill, but as yet he had no money with which to enter his land, therefore he continued hunting, killed large numbers of deer and bears, and for them found a ready market at Platteville, the saddles of venison bringing two dollars and a half and the pelts from fifty cents to one dollar. He turned and dressed deer skins, with which he made clothing throughout - coat, pants, cap and moccasins. Many incidents of thrilling interest are remembered in connection with the early experience of Mr. and Mrs. Mayfield. Starting out one day for the purpose of killing a deer, his dogs started a large bear which ran up a hill with the canines in close pursuit. When on the summit the dogs caught and furiously attacked "old bruin," and in the fight both bear and dogs came rolling down the hill together. At the bottom a foothold was again secured, and the bear and dogs seemed bent on getting away. Finally they drew near where Mr. Mayfield was standing, and one of the dogs caught the bear by the ear, when the latter rose up and embraced the dog and began to hug as only a bear can. Finally they fell to the ground, when Mr. Mayfield approached, and with a knife having a blade twelve inches long, stabbed the bear on the opposite side, when the bruin released his hold and started away with the knife in his side. The gun was empty and there was no other way than to use a club, which weapon was used with good effect, and then securing the knife, Mr. Mayfield cut the bear's throat, putting and end to the latter's existence. This is only one of many similar adventures of this pioneer. In the course of a few years he had accumulated money enough to enter his land, and he then devoted more time to clearing a farm. In August, 1862, he enlisted and joined Company B, Twenty-fifth Regiment of Wisconsin volunteer infantry, and served until the close of the war, the principal battle in which he was engaged being at Kinston, N. C. He was discharged with the regiment in June, 1865, and returned home. His industrious family had already planted the farm in corn, and in the fall he gathered 1,500 bushels. For some years he did not have a team of his own and used his brother's but he finally became the possessor of a well-stocked farm and added to his holdings until he had 445 acres. He was always enterprising, and was among the first and most influential in establishing schools and churches.

David Mayfield and wife, on June 20, 1845, located on the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 3, town 9 north, range 1 east, having just removed from Platteville. The only neighbors they had on Ash creek at the time were William Thompson and family, but they had chosen this as their future home, and concluded to make the best of it. It being late in the season when they arrived in the county, they could not raise any crop but potatoes, but this was a very important one to the pioneers, as it furnished them a goodly portion of their winter supply of food. Mr. Mayfield continued farming until 1883, when as he found himself advancing into old age, he sold his farm and removed to Richland Center, where he spent the remainder of his life in retirement. David Mayfield was born near Nashville, Tenn., in August, 1807, and in 1811 the family removed to Indiana, and one year later to Illinois, where the mother died in 1818. David then came to Wisconsin and followed mining until 1834, after which he engaged in farming at Platteville.

Carlos Joslin, a native of Vermont, came from Mineral Point in 1847 and settled on the southeast quarter of section 9. In 1848 he sold that place and removed to the southwest quarter of section 10, remaining a resident of the town until 1853, when he took up his residence in the town of Henrietta. W. H. Joslin, a son of Carlos Joslin, came in 1848, and was a resident of the town until 1852. He now lives in Richland Center.

In July 1848, a party of Germans, consisting of Henry Sigrist and Henry and Frederick Schuerman, came prospecting, and after selecting land they returned, and brought their families in August of the same year. Henry Sigrist entered land on section 3 and built a log cabin 16x32 feet, in which he lived till 1862. He was a Prussian by birth, born Oct. 12, 1823. He attended school until fifteen years of age, when he engaged in a wholesale house to learn the business, serving two and a half years, at the end of which time he received a certificate, showing him to be a proficient clerk. He then secured a situation in that capacity at a town 200 miles distant, where he was employed two years, then was employed upon a farm two years, after which he entered an agricultural school which us under control of the government, and studied there for two years. In 1848 he sailed for America, landed in New York and came directly to Milwaukee. Leaving his wife in that city he continued his journey to Richland county, and after making a selection of land returned to Milwaukee, and he and wife then started for their new home in a wagon, reaching their destination at the end of five days. There they lived to witness a great change in the country, for what was then a wilderness became a cultivated and prosperous neighborhood, occupied by and industrious and thrifty class of people. On Sept. 28, 1861, Mr. Sigrist enlisted in the Sixth Wisconsin battery and in the spring of 1862 went to the front. He took part in may of the most important engagements of the war, among them being Jackson, Champion's Hill, Port Gibson, Siege of Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge and Corinth, and he was honorably discharged at the expiration of the time for which he enlisted. After coming to America Mr. Sigrist learned the English language, and by extensive reading in that, as well as his own language, was enabled to keep posted upon all subjects.

Henry Schuerman was born in Germany upon the banks of the Rhine, March 22, 1818. His younger days were spent in school, where he acquired a liberal education, after which he engaged in farming. He came to America in 1848, landed at New York and came directly to Richland county, thus becoming one of its pioneers. He entered a large tract of land on sections 2 and 3 in the town of Orion. The nearest point at which he could obtain provisions and the nearest mill were in Iowa county. He was obliged to cross the river in going there and sometimes the water would rise while he was upon the other side and he would be obliged to wait several days before he could cross to return home. At times the neighborhood would become short of breadstuff and be obliged to grate corn to make it into meal. Mr. Shuerman was an industrious man and cleared a large farm, also became one of the few successful fruit growers in the county. He died Apr. 26, 1877.

Frederick Schuerman was a native of Germany, and was born upon the banks of the Rhine, May 11, 1812, being reared to agricultural pursuits and spending his younger days in school. On attaining his majority he joined the army and served in the cavalry four years. He came to America in 1848, landed in New York, and then came directly to Milwaukee, where he was married, and immediately started with his bride for their new home in Richland county. He purchased eighty acres of land and entered another eighty in section 9, in the town of Orion, there enduring the hardships of pioneer life, and living to clear a good farm and build a comfortable home. His death occurred in March, 1879.

Walter Gage, a native of the state of New York, came here in 1849 and entered fraction No. 2, on section 34, starting a ferry there which, in 1850, he traded to James Law. Mr. Law erected a large frame house upon the land, which at the time was the largest house in the county. The place took the name of "Law's Ferry," and for years it was a landmark to all settlers in that region. Levi Houts, a native of Indiana, came in 1849 from Muscoda, and entered land on sections 3 and 10, of the town of Eagle, but afterward took up his residence on section 31, of the town of Orion.

John Mainwaring, another of the pioneers of Orion, was born in the town of Swansea, Glamorganshire, South Wales, May 28, 1821. There he attended the public schools until he was fourteen years of age, when his parents moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was sent to an advanced school for some time. His father, who was a stone mason by trade and a master of the art, was engaged upon the Edinburgh, New Haven & Leith railroad, then in process of construction, as superintendent of the mason work, and his son John was called from school to assist in the work. He was employed there for two years, when his parents moved to Caermarthen, South Wales, where his father, by the death of an uncle, had fallen heir to property, consisting of a stock of marble, a shop and tools, the uncle having been a marble engraver. The father carried on the marble business for a time, then, having a call from a railroad company, left the business in charge of his son, who continued it till he was twenty-five years of age. He then joined his father, who had taken a contract to construct a piece of railroad, which they completed in 1848. In the spring of 1849, in company with his father and brother Daniel, he left his native land and came to America, coming directly to Wisconsin and entering land on section 33, in the town of Orion. After remaining there two years, he returned to his native land and remained till 1861, being there employed as road master on the railroad that he helped to construct. In 1861 the started on his return to his western home, crossing the Atlantic in the noted steamer, Great Eastern, and making the trip in nine days. He left England May 1 and arrived in Orion on May 15. He lived upon his land on section 33 until 1865, when he sold it and purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 27, upon which were about twenty acres of cleared land and a log cabin. He immediately began clearing the property, setting out fruit trees, and otherwise improving the property, and became a very successful farmer. Mr. Mainwaring was a man of intelligence, well educated, and well-informed upon all subjects.

Charles N. Keefe, a native of Germany, came in 1849 and settled on sections 14 and 15, having entered the land previous to that time. He lived there for several years and then removed to Dane county. Alanson Hurd, a native of the state of New York, came at about the same time and settled on the northwest quarter of section 3. He lived there a short time and then removed to the southeast quarter of section 10, and later took up his residence in Vernon county. Reason Barnes, a carpenter, came in 1849, but in a short time removed to Boaz. Dr. Jacob Brimer, a native of the state of New York, came in 1851 and located on section 21, but later made his home on section 2.

John Henry Demmer, another pioneer of Orion, was born in Germany in May, 1808. When a young man he learned the trade of ship builder, in which business he was engaged until 1848, when he left his native country and came to the United States. He first located in Milwaukee, where he was employed as carpenter and joiner, and in 1853 he came to Richland county and purchased a claim of Alanson Hurd on section 3, entering the land and immediately began clearing. He afterward devoted the greater part of his time to his farm, working occasionally at his trade.

Peter Bobb, a native of Maryland, came from Pennsylvania in 1854 and purchased land on section 32, where he still resides. His brother, Charles, came at about the same time and settled on the southeast quarter of section 7, but finally removed to the village of Orion, where he died.

Hezekiah Jones, one of the well known early settlers of the town of Orion came in the fall of 1854 and purchased land on section 10 of Carlos Joslin and his son William H. At that time there were two log cabins and a small clearing, which constituted the entire improvement. But later a great change was wrought, a large farm was cleared, and Mr. Jones became the owner of one of the best improved farms in the town. He was a native of Kentucky, born in Harrison county, Sept. 26, 1815. When he was eighteen years old his parents migrated to Indiana and located in Boone county, where in fact his pioneer life began. He made his home with his parents until of age, then married and made his home in Indiana until 1854, when he sold out and started west with five horses and two wagons, containing household goods. They camped out on the way, and after three weeks on the road arrived in Richland county. They stopped with Robert Hurd a few days and then moved into a log cabin which was their home for a number of years.

In the spring of 1854 Abram Miller, a native of Kentucky, came from Indiana and bought land that had been entered by the Joslins on section 10. Mr. Miller began his pioneer life in infancy. When he was but one year old his parents moved to Marion county, Ind., where they were among the pioneers. There his early life was spent, and as soon as he was large enough he assisted his father in clearing a farm. He lived with his parents until 1854, when he came to Wisconsin to seek a home and purchased land in section 10, now in the town of Orion, where he commenced immediately to fell timber preparatory to clearing a farm. He enlisted in 1862 in the Twenty-fifth Wisconsin, Company B, and went to the front, participating in many important battles and was with Sherman on his "march to the sea." He was twice wounded at the battle of Atlanta, on July 22, 1864, and was honorably discharged with the regiment, June 7, 1865, when he returned to his home and resumed his work at farming, continuing so engaged until the fall of 1890, when he removed to Richland Center, and still resides there. He was largely engaged in raising grain and stock while on the farm, and later engaged extensively in raising poultry.

Henry Wilson, a native of Butler county, Ohio, came from Indiana in the spring of 1854 and bought land on section 9.

Frederick C. Schmidt was also one of the pioneer settlers of Orion. He came in 1854 and purchased land on section 16, where he commenced clearing a farm, but his life was spared only a few years, and he died on Apr. 19, 1860. He was a German by birth and was reared to agricultural pursuits. In his youth he learned the milling trade, which he followed for some years.

Simon S. Blake, an early settler in the town of Orion, was a native of the Keystone State, being born in that part of Bedford now known as Blair county. Until he was fourteen years old his time was spent in school and on the farm. He then engaged with a merchant tailor to learn the trade, served three months, then part of the time went to school and part of the time worked with his brother at the blacksmith business until about seventeen, when he enlisted in the service of the United States for the Mexican War. His parents were opposed to that, and as their consent could not be obtained he was sent back. He then engaged with his cousin to learn the trade of ax-making, and was thus employed until twenty-one years old, when he engaged in teaching. In the fall of 1852 he went to Ohio and spent the winter in Ironton and vicinity, then went to Arkansas and was engaged in the lumbering business for seven months, and then returned to Pennsylvania and taught a four-months term of school during the winter. In the spring of 1854 he came to Richland county and entered 120 acres of land on sections 17 and 18 of the town of Orion, and located in the village of Orion, where he engaged as clerk in a store. He left the store in the fall of 1855 and taught a three months term of school at Pleasant Hill, in the town of Eagle. The following spring he settled on his land and commenced to clear a farm. He early paid attention to fruit culture and reared a fine apple orchard, consisting of Tolman Sweets, Golden Russets, Snow apples and Red Astrachan. He was a soldier in the Union army, having enlisted on Aug. 20, 1862, in the Twenty-fifty Wisconsin, Company B, and going south spent his time in different places until May, 1864, when his regiment joined Sherman at Resaca, Ga., and fought its way on to Atlanta. He was severely wounded at Decatur, Ga., on July 22, 1864, and was sent to the field hospital and later to the Harvey hospital at Madison. He was discharged Mar. 20, 1865, and returned home. He was elected to offices of trust and honor at different times, serving as chairman of the board, justice of the peace, and was once elected assessor, but refused to serve. He was United States census enumerator for the town of Orion in 1880. He afterwards removed to Richland Center, where he died, Mar. 5, 1904.

James Lewis, an early settler of Orion, was born in Preble county, O., May 9, 1820 and there he grew to manhood, taking advantage of such opportunity as afforded in those days to acquire an education. Upon reaching manhood he married, removed to Illinois and settled in Mason county, where he remained until 1854, then came to Richland county and bought land on section 7, in what is now known as the town of Orion. Game was at that time quite plentiful, including deer and bear, and as he was quite a hunter he killed many of them. One morning his two sons, John and Joseph, went out to look for the oxen and ran across seven bears, one of which took after them. Their father had told them that a bear could not climb a small tree, and so they made for a sapling and both made quick time in climbing it. The bear came to the tree and gnawed the bark. The children called aloud for assistance, but did not attract attention for some time, as danger was not apprehended, but as their cries continued, their mother called the dogs and started. At the approach of the dogs the bears left, the mother running up in time to see them in their retreat, and the children then came down from their lofty perch, more scared than hurt.

John Bobb, a native of Pennsylvania, came in the spring of 1854 and bought land on section 32, where he cleared a farm and erected a neat house and barn. When the Civil War broke out he enlisted, and died in the service.

William Wulfing arrived in Richland county on May 25, 1849, and soon purchased the west half of the northwest quarter of section 16, town 9, range 1 east, of the fourth principal meridian. There he erected a log cabin and commenced pioneer life, and continued tilling the soil with considerable success until 1876, when he rented his farm to his son, removed to Richland Center, and during the remainder of his life gave his attention to the office of justice of the peace. He was a Democrat in politics, and while a resident of Orion served as town treasurer nine years, and for several terms as justice of the peace. He was born near the river Rhine, in Prussia, was bred to mercantile life, and in 1849 migrated to the United States and settled as above stated. His widow still resides in Richland Center.

The first religious services in the northern part of the town were held in the old log schoolhouse on section 10, by Rev. Mr. Pryor, but no organization was effected at that time. Rev. Josiah Burlingame preached in the same building and held protracted meetings in an early day, organizing a Methodist Episcopal class. For a time the class met for worship in a building on section 4, and later in the schoolhouse on section 8, and services were held there until 1871, when a hewn log church edifice was erected on the southeast quarter of section 7. At an early day a Sabbath school of this denomination was organized at the schoolhouse on section 8, of which Charles Frye was the first superintendent. The first meetings of members of the German Evangelical church were held at the house of Henry Sigrist, in about 1852, Rev. Riegel, of Sauk county, being the preacher. Rev. Schnake organized a class in the log schoolhouse soon after it was built, and Henry Schuerman was the first class leader. Meetings were afterward held in a vacant log house on section 3, and in 1869 a frame building was erected on the same site. A Sabbath school was organized at an early day, with Henry Schuerman as the superintendent, and he held the position for many years. There is also a cemetery under the management of this society, located near the church. The German Lutheran church was organized in 1857, at the Ash Creek log schoolhouse, by Rev. Rolock, and a substantial log church was later erected in which services were held.

 

JAMES W. LAWTON is known as one of the leading farmers and stock-growers of his native town of Forest and is the owner of the fine homestead farm which was the place of his nativity, his birth having occurred Aug. 27, 1860. He is a scion of one of the honored pioneer families of Richland county, being a son of Isaac R. and Melissa (Southworth) Lawton, both native of Cattaraugus county, N. Y., where the former was born in 1829 and the latter in 1831. Isaac R. Lawton came to Wisconsin in an early day, with his parents and Jennie (Green) Lawton, who first located in Waukesha county, whence they came to Richland county in the early fifties, locating in Forest township, on the farm now owned by the subject of this review. Here they passed the remainder of their lives, both having been laid to rest on the old homestead. They maternal grandparents were Edward and Huldah (Stearns) Southworth, both of whom were native of the state of New York, where the latter died, Mr. Southworth having been a resident of McHenry county, Ill., at the time of his death. Isaac R. Lawton came to Richland county in 1855, in which year his marriage was solemnized, and Mar. 10, 1856, he located on a tract of 160 acres of land, in the town of Forest, and here he continued actively engaged in agricultural pursuits during the remainder of his active career, his death occurring April 26, 1903. His wife still survives, as do three of their four children. In politics Isaac R. Lawton was a stanch Republican and he served a number of years as justice of the peace. He was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Grand Army of the Republic, and his proclivities in church matters were liberal. In 1864 he enlisted in the Forty-sixth Wisconsin volunteer infantry, with which he served about five months, when he received his honorable discharge, on account of physical disability. Seven of his brothers were likewise soldiers in the Civil War, and all of them survived the great internecine conflict, the greater number having been in service during the entire course of the war. The subject of this sketch was reared to manhood under the sturdy discipline of the homestead farm and is indebted to the public schools of the locality and period for his early educational training. He has never severed his allegiance to the vocation to which he was reared, and is now the owner of a finely improved landed estate of 200 acres, devoted to diversified agriculture and to the raising of high-grade live stock, including Holstein cattle. He also makes a specialty of raising fine poultry and is a successful apiarist. His political influences and franchise are exercised in support of the principles and policies of the Republican party, and he has been called upon to serve in various public offices of local trust and responsibility. He has been treasurer and constable of his township and represented the same on the county board of supervisors, having been chairman of the town board for one term. He is affiliated with the Lafarge Camp, No. 5168, Modern Woodmen of America, and with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He and his wife are liberal in their religious thought and are prominent in the social life of the community. In 1883 Mr. Lawton was united in marriage to Miss Sarah E. Saubert, who was born in Vernon county, this state, Nov. 13, 1864, being a daughter of Carl and Christina (Glassel) Saubert, who took up their residence in that county in 1855. Mr. Saubert became a successful farmer and continued to reside in Vernon county until his death, in 1895, at the age of eighty-three years. His widow is now eighty-two years of age. Of their seven children five are living. Mr. and Mrs. Lawton have two sons: Alva Ray, who was born May 30, 1884, completed the curriculum of the public schools and was thereafter graduated in the agricultural department of the University of Wisconsin, being now a successful farmer in his home township. June 15, 1906, he was united in marriage to Vesta Greenwood, a native of Sauk county, Wis., daughter of Robert and Evaline (Miller) Greenwood, honored pioneers of Wisconsin. Jay W., who was born Mar. 7, 1891, is a member of the class of 1907 in the high school at Lafarge.


WALLACE A. LAWTON is a worthy representative of one of the well known pioneer families of Richland county and is now the owner of a well improved farm in Orion township. He was born on the parental homestead, near Viola, Forest township, this county, Sept. 26, 1858, and is a son of Richard and Melissa (Southworth) Lawton, both natives of the state of New York, where the former was born in 1829 and the latter May 31, 1831. Of their three children the subject of this sketch is the eldest; James Walden resides on the old homestead in Forest township; and Carrie May is the wife of Thaddeus Huffman, residing near Rock Bridge, this county. Richard Lawton was sixteen years of age at the time of accompanying his parent on their removal to Wisconsin, about 1845, and the family first settled near Waukesha, where he was reared to manhood, there remaining until about 1855, when he came to Richland county, and passed the greater portion of the first year at Kickapoo Center, after which he located on a tract of wild land north of Viola, Forest township, where he developed the farm which ever afterward continued his home, his death occurring in April, 1903. His widow still remains on the homestead and is held in the same high regard in the community as was her honored husband, who endured his full quota of the trials and vicissitudes which fall to the lot of the pioneer. Wallace A. Lawton passed his boyhood days on the farm, early beginning to aid in its work and securing his rudimentary education in the district school, after which he completed a course and was graduated in the high school at Richland Center. He supplemented this discipline by a thorough course in the Brown and Holland Business College in the city of Chicago, in 1883, becoming an expert stenographer. After leaving this institution he was employed as a stenographer about eleven years, principally in the office of the Winona Wagon Works, at Winona, Minn., and he then returned to his native county and purchased his present farm of 113 acres, in the town of Orion, the place having substantial improvements and being under effective cultivation. Mr. Lawton devotes his attention more particularly to the raising of poultry and fruit, but utilizes his land to good advantage in the propagation of the various products best suited to the soil and climate. He has achieved success through his personal efforts and is a progressive and able business man. That he commands the esteem and confidence of the community is evident from the fact that he has held various local offices of trust, having served seven terms as township clerk and eight years as treasurer of his school district, showing at all times a lively concern in all that touches the general welfare of his native county. He is a Republican in his political allegiance and both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. On Jan. 1, 1880, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Lawton and Miss Elizabeth B. Reed, who was born and reared in this township, being a daughter of George W. and Sarah (McCulloch) Reed, honored pioneers of Orion. Mr. and Mrs. Lawton have five children: Burke R. is a student at Lawrence University, Appleton, this state; Georgia M. is the wife of Harry Ghastin and they reside on the home farm of her father, having two children, Harold Leslie and Ruth Mildred; Leslie I., third child of Mr. and Mrs. Lawton, is attending a college at Berrien Springs, Michigan; and Alice Helen and Dorothy M. are the younger members of the attractive home circle.

From: Richland County Wisconsin, Published by The Richland County Historical Society, 1986

BLAKE-AMBROSE-LAWTON

The date: July 22, 1864. Private Simon S. Blake, 34, 25th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, lies critically wounded outside Atlanta (Decatur, Georgia). Fortunately for this writer, "the ladies from the plantation mansion brought him food and water until he was taken from the battlefield to the field hospital". That was followed by Harvey General, Madison, and a medical discharge. He missed General Sherman's "March to the Sea".

At 17 Simon had tried to enlist for the Mexican War, but his parents would not consent. Born October 29, 1829, in Pennsylvania, he moved to Richland County in 1854. He married Mary Magdalena Ambrose (born April 30, 1836, in Pennsylvania.) on January 18, 1855, in the Town of Orion. He clerked at a store in the village, taught school at Pleasant Hill (Town of Eagle), then moved to 120 acres on Oak Ridge. Besides farming, Simon held several town offices and helped establish the church on Oak Ridge. After retirement they lived on South Church Street, Richland Center, at the site of the present Lincoln School playground. They are buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Simon having died March 5, 1904, followed by Mary on May 10, 1909. Their youngest child, Pearl, lived with them at the time of their deaths.

Pearl married Wallace A. Lawton May 26, 1914; they had a son, Wallace Raymond, born September 29,1917. (Helen Breeden will submit the Lawton side of this family's story - see No 211.)

Pearl had six sisters and three brothers. Of the latter, only Sylvester reached adulthood; he married Ida Halsey in 1881. The sisters were Ida (William) Abbey, Viola (Eddy) Mason, Estelle (married Elbion Ewing and Joseph Davis), Salome (Luzerne) Pugh, Cora (Wallace) Pratt, Belle (Charles) Lovell. Before marriage Pearl taught at rural schools, did bookkeeping and clerking in Richland Center businesses, and attended the Chicago Training School. After marriage she served on the school board and participated in church and civic activities. She died August 10, 1973, three weeks before her ninety-seventh birthday.

Raymond graduated from RCHS in 1934, was in the Civilian Conservation Corps as a company clerk in 1935, did office work 1936-1942, Signal Corps and Air Force 1942-1946. He married Ruth Ida Marquardt May 18, 1946. Her parents, Julius and Hertha (Oft) Marquardt, had moved to Milwaukee from Germany in the mid 1920's. Ruth worked for Dun & Bradstreet before her marriage. Raymond worked at Saffell's Music & Electronics (thirteen years), Martens Manufacturing (one year), and was elected city clerk in 1960. He was re-elected each even-numbered year through 1986. Ruth has been a deputy clerk for twenty years.

There are five children and six grandchildren in this family: Sandra is employed by Richland County at the Veterans Service Office and Commission on Aging. Dale is a drivers' license examiner in Madison and a U.S. Navy reserve officer; he married Jean Snorek, and their children are Patrick, Kelly, Ryan and Kimberly. Dennis is a hydrogeologist in Nebraska; he married Rebecca Miller, and their children are Amelia and Abigail. Kent is a landscaper in Richland Center. Kevin is a geophysicist in Texas; he married Mary K. Davis.

Submitted by Raymond Lawton

 

Thompson's

Oak Ridge Cemetery, Orion Township, Richland County, WI

(Updated to November 30, 2002)

 SURNAME   Given Name  MAIDEN-OTHER           Report: WEB-1    
================================================================================
ABBEY, Ruth C.                          1888-1894, 10-31-1888 09-22-1894
     Daughter of William & Ida (Blake) Abbey. Aged 5Ys 10Ms 22Ds
BLAKE, Joshua G.                        1868-1870, 09-07-1868 07-21-1870
     Son of Simon S. & Mary M. (Ambrose) Blake. Aged 1Ys 10Ms 14Ds
     Died of cholera morbus.
BLAKE, Mary M. AMBROSE                  1836-1909, 04-30-1836 05-11-1909
     Married Simon S. Blake on January 19, 1855.
     Daughter of John W. & Saloma (Kanable) Ambrose.
BLAKE, Simon S.                         1829-1904, 10-29-1829 03-05-1904
     Private Co B 25th Wis Inf - Civil War
     Married Mary M. Ambrose on January 19, 1855.
     Son of Burdine & Mazy Ann Blake.
 

HALSEY, Salome                     1883 1886 03-05-1883 03-07-1886
     Daughter of Rev. A. G. & K. Halsey. Aged 3Ys 2Ds
 

Thompson's

Bender Cemetery, Forest Township, Richland County, WI

(Updated to October 5, 2001) 

                        Surnames A-Z

SURNAME   Given Name  MAIDEN-OTHER           Report: WEB-1
================================================================================
AMBROSE, John W.                        1798-1880
     Married Saloma Kanable.
AMBROSE, Marvin C.                      1876-1877
AMBROSE, Perley D.                      1871-1877
AMBROSE, Rachel BENDER                  1847-1880
     1st wife of Samuel Ambrose. Married December 15, 1870.
AMBROSE, Saloma KANABLE                 1804-1882
     Wife of John W. Ambrose.

GOCHENAUR, Flora M. MORRIS              1862-1886, 11-27-1862 08-02-1886
     Wife of Rufus Gochenaur. Aged 23Ys 8Ms 6Ds
GOCHENAUR, Levi C.                      1825-1866 05-08-1825 05-08-1866
     Married Mariah Ambrose.
GOCHENAUR, Mariah AMBROSE               1833-1912, 12-13-1833 04-26-1912
     Wife of Levi C. Gochenaur. Daughter of John & Elizabeth Ambrose.

KANABLE, Barbara SHULTZ                 1812-1885, 12-03-1885
     Wife of Levi Kanable. Aged 73 years.
KANABLE, Clarence C.                    1860-1864, 03-31-1860 08-31-1864
     Son of Simon S. & Hannah C. Kanable. Aged 4Ys 5Ms
KANABLE, Levi                           1811-1905, 11-19-1811 09-06-1905
     Married Barbara Shultz. Aged 93Ys 9Ms 17Ds Son of Jacob & Magdalene (Evas)
     Kanable.
 

 

RUFUS GOCHENAUR is one of the native sons of Richland county who stands as an exponent of its best agricultural interests, being one of the prominent farmers and stock growers of Sylvan township. He was born in Forest township, this county, Sept. 16, 1860, and is a son of Levi and Maria (Ambrose) Gochenaur, both of whom were born in Pennsylvania, whence they came to Wisconsin in the fifties, becoming pioneers of Forest township, Richland county, where the father purchased the homestead now occupied by his widow, his death having occurred in 1866. He secured 120 acres of government land, clearing and improving the same and becoming one of the well-known citizens of the county. The subject of this sketch was the fourth in order of birth in the family of five children; Ephraim is a farmer of Forest township; Virginia, who is the widow of Jesse Baker, resides with her mother on the old homestead; and Elmer is deceased. Rufus Gochenaur passed his boyhood and youth on the homestead, which was the place of his birth, his educational advantages being those afforded in the public schools of the locality. He continued to assist in the work and management of the home farm until he was twenty-four years of age, when he purchased eighty acres of his present farm, clearing forty acres and making good improvements in the way of buildings. Seven years later he bought an adjoining tract of eighty acres and six years thereafter he added another tract of forty acres, so that now he has a fine landed estate of 200 acres, the greater portion of which is under effective cultivation. He is one of the stockholders in the effective creamery at Sylvan and furnishes to the same a considerable portion of its milk supply, having a fine herd of twenty dairy cows, a number of which are registered Galloways. He is a Republican in his political allegiance and is affiliated with Camp No. 5188, Modern Woodmen of America, at Sylvan. At the age of twenty-four years, Mr. Gochenaur was united in marriage to Miss Flora Morris, daughter of John B Morris, and she died eighteen months later without issue. Four years later he wed his present wife, who maiden name was Effie Matthews. She was born June 25, 1865 in Wisconsin, and is a daughter of Henry and Jane (Williams) Matthews, who were born in Ohio, whence they came to Wisconsin and settled in Sylvan township, this County. Mr. Matthews died in 1880 and his widow is now living with her only son. Mrs. Gochenaur is the second of three children, Daniel being a successful farmer in Sugar Grove township, Vernon county, and Hattie being the wife of Albert Hull, who resides in the little hamlet of Sylvan, Richland county. Mr. and Mrs. Gochenaur have three children, - Mabel, born Nov. 1, 1891; Sheldon, born Oct. 16 1894; and Bessie born Dec. 6, 1901.

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 Brethren church.

 

 

  1. Mary Elizabeth Blair: Born November 10, 1849, in Lewistown, Fulton Co., IL; Died September 28, 1933, in Alexis, Warren Co., IL (age 83). Buried in Unknown. Married (1) September 18, 1869, in Mercer Co., IL, to William James McClean: Born December 31, 1849, in Baltimore, MD; Died Unknown. Married (2) November 12, 1891, in Adair Co., IA, to James W. Bachus: Born January 22, 1847, in Oxford, Henry Co., IL; Died February 4, 1915, in Alexix, Warren Co., IL (age 68).

  1. Louis Robert "Lew" Blair: Born March 24, 1857, in Unknown; Died November 12, 1941, in Matherville, Mercer Co., IL. Buried in Oxford Cemetery, Rivola, Mercer Co., IL.
  2. Blanche Adele Blair: Born April, 1856, in Illinois; Died April 1, 1941, in Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., MN (about age 84). Married March 6, 1872, in Louisa, IA, to John A. Haines: Born Unknown; Died Unknown.
  3. Mary Elizabeth Blair: Born November 10, 1849, in Lewistown, Fulton Co., IL; Died September 28, 1933, in Alexis, Warren Co., IL (age 83). Buried in Unknown. Married (1) September 18, 1869, in Mercer Co., IL, to William James McClean: Born December 31, 1849, in Baltimore, MD; Died Unknown. Married (2) November 12, 1891, in Adair Co., IA, to James W. Bachus: Born January 22, 1847, in Oxford, Henry Co., IL; Died February 4, 1915, in Alexix, Warren Co., IL (age 68).
  4. William Nathan Blair: Born about 1859 in Lewiston, IL; Died 1928 in Unknown. Married June 22, 1892, in Adair, IA, to Anna S. Doane: Born 1869 in Leon, IA; Died December 29, 1945, in Iowa (age 77).
  5. P. Franklin Blair: Born about 1853 in Fulton Co., IL; Died Unknown.