Wisconsin Genealogy Trails
Forest County, Wisconsin
Biographies 


Harry P. Keith
HARRY P. KEITH is one of the industrial upbuilders of Crandon, a man who, as vice president of one of the leading lumber concerns of the city, has proven himself eminently efficient both as an executive and an organizer. A college man, educated for a professional career, he has preferred to devote his activities to the keen competition of the lumber trade, and although he has been in business but ten years has during this time achieved results that would have satisfied most men after a quarter of a century of industrious and well-applied effort. Mr. Keith was born in the city of New London, Waupaca county, Wisconsin. November 20, 1882, and is a son of M. D. Keith, a sketch of whose career will be found on another page of this work.
Reared in his native city, Harry P. Keith attended the public schools and high school there, following which he became a student in the Hill school, at Pottstown, Pennsylvania, a preparatory institution. Upon leaving that academy he enrolled as a pupil in the law department of the University of Wisconsin, at Madison, and after his graduation was admitted to the bar in 1903. Mr. Keith's inclinations, however, did not ran to the law and instead he associated himself with the Page & Landeck Lumber Company, of Crandon, in which he became a stockholder, and for some years spent a good deal of his time with the company 's cruisers in the woods, looking after the thousands of acres of timber lands which this concern owned. Subsequently, he, with his father, organized the Keith & Hiler Lumber Company, of Crandon, of which he has since been actively associated. He is also secretary and a director of the Page Mercantile Company of Crandon, has numerous other interests of a business and financial nature, and is considered one of the most progressive and energetic business men of the younger generation in Forest county.
On October 29, 1907, Mr. Keith was united in marriage in Chicago, Illinois, with Miss Edith C. Brubaker, of that city, and to this union there have been born two sons: Marshall W. and Harold P. Mr. Keith has been interested in fraternal matters for some years, being a member of the college fraternity of Sigma Chi, while in Masonry he is a Knight Templar, member of this consistory and a Shriner. He is at all times ready to lend his support to any movement tending to advance his community, and at this time is serving as a member of the Crandon School Board. [Source: "Wisconsin: Its Story and Biography, 1848-1913", Volume 8 by Ellis Baker Usher, 1914 - Submitted by Therman Kellar]

M. D. Keith
The industrial and commercial development of Forest county has largely been brought about through the advent of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, which was completed to Crandon in September, 1901. Up to that time there had been no market for the lumber resources of the county except a small local demand, and comparatively few farmer settlers had moved in until the railroad came. The largest concern engaged in the development of the lumber and land resources of this section has been the Keith & Hiles Lumber Company, formerly the Page & Landeck Lumber Company. The original company was organized in 1890, and was incorporated with capital stock of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Mr. M. D. Keith was president of the old company, as he is also of the present organization. The company established its steam sawmill at Crandon in 1900, before the completion of the railroad line, and all the heavy machinery was hauled through the forests over a most difficult trail from Pelican. Besides Mr. Keith the other officials of the Keith & Hiles Lumber Company are: Vice President, H. P. Keith, a son of the president; secretary, A. E. Germer; treasurer, J. L. Haile.
Mr. Keith has been actively identified with the lumber industry in Wisconsin since 1881, and is one of the largest and most successful lumber manufacturers in the state. He operated lumber mills at Marion, New London, Deerbrook, and Crandon. He began his career in Wisconsin as a merchant, and with a keen appreciation of the great industrial opportunities gradually extended his enterprise and has gone from one success to another until he now stands in the front rank in industrial leaders in the state. The original company was organized for the manufacture of Wisconsin hardwoods, hemlock and pine, and the company also deals extensively in southern hardwoods and in general merchandise. They operate a large department store at Crandon and handle everything needed in the surrounding country. The mercantile business is carried on under the name of the Page Mercantile Company. Some further knowledge of the operations of this company may be gained from the statement that they employ about two hundred men during the summer season and from five hundred to six hundred during the winter; in sawmills, lumber camps, the various woods operation, and logging railroads and in other departments. Like many of Wisconsin's leading lumber men, Mr. Keith comes from the New England states. He was born at New Bedford, Massachusetts, April 7, 1856, a son of Marshall B. and Eliza J. Keith. Reared at New Bedford, where he attended the public schools, he was about nineteen years old when he first became identified with this state. He located at New London in 1875, and soon afterwards entered the dry goods and grocery business in that place. From merchandising he gradually drifted into lumbering, and has been actively connected with the latter industry for more than thirty years. Besides other important business concerns, Mr. Keith is now president of the First National Bank of New London. At New London in 1879, he married Nellie E. Page, who was born in the state of Maine. They are the parents of one son, Harry P. Keith. Mr. Keith is an active member of the Christian Science Church. [Source: "Wisconsin: Its Story and Biography, 1848-1913", Volume 8 by Ellis Baker Usher, 1914 - Submitted by Therman Kellar]

Samuel Shaw
Those individuals who have given of their energy, skill, ambitious vigor and enthusiasm in the building up of a community are benefactors of humanity, and their names cannot be held in too high esteem. In every undertaking there must be a logical beginning, and the man who lays the foundations of what afterwards may become a nourishing city must have the courage of his convictions and unlimited confidence in the future of the location which he selects as the scene of his endeavor. Samuel Shaw, the "father of Crandon," is a man whose keen mind and boundless enthusiasm allowed him to look far beyond the narrow horizon of his day and to easily read the signs of a dawning tomorrow. To him belongs the honor of founding Crandon, and through his planning and public-spirited labor this has become one of the flourishing cities of Northern Wisconsin.  Samuel Shaw was born November 25, 1842, near Kirkpatrick village, in the Lowlands of Scotland, and came to the United States in the summer of 1852, locating in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in the fall of the same year. After finishing the full course in the high school at Oshkosh, he began teaching school in that city and continued as an educator until the summer of 1862, when he visited Great Britain, and remained in that country until the spring of 1863. On his return to Oshkosh, he resumed his educational labors, and in December, 1863, was called to take charge of the public schools of Omro, Wisconsin, where he continued for four years. In 1867 Mr. Shaw was elected superintendent of schools of Winnebago county, a position to which he was re-elected in 1869, and resigned in the summer of 1871 to take charge of the Berlin (Wisconsin) high school. In 1871 he passed the examination and received a life certificate to teach in any public school in the state, and steadily rose in the ranks of his profession until in 1873 he was appointed city superintendent of schools and principal of the high school at Madison, Wisconsin.  In 1883 ill health compelled Mr. Shaw to resign his position at Madison, and he removed with his family to his present home, although he was obliged to remain in charge of the Madison work for another year as the board of education of Madison could not agree upon his successor. In the spring of 1885 Mr. Shaw engaged in a memorable struggle for the organization of Forest county, which was brought to a successful conclusion mainly through his efforts, and the same year he founded the town of Crandon. He studied law and was admitted to practice, and in addition to holding numerous town offices since that time, has served three full terms as district attorney of Forest county. In many respects Mr. Shaw is a remarkable man, having been successfully engaged in numerous and varied business enterprises, in which he has shown his versatility. On first coming to this section he recognized the fact that Forest county lands were to increase wonderfully in value, and he accordingly labored unceasingly and placed every dollar he possessed in land.. His faith in this section has been justified by the gains he has made from his investments in early days.  Mr. Shaw was married July 17, 1865, at Pond du Lac, Wisconsin, to Miss Mary Louise Webb. They have had three children: Lula P., at home; Birdie, who died at the age of fifteen months; and Grace L., wife of M. M. Ross of Crandon.
Throughout his long and useful career, Mr. Shaw has at all times manifested a commendable willingness to contribute of his means, his energy and his time, to furthering the interests of the county and its people. Now, in the evening of life, he is surrounded by the comforts which come as a reward for long years of industrious labor, satisfied that his life has not been lived in vain. [Source: "Wisconsin: Its Story and Biography, 1848-1913", Volume 8 by Ellis Baker Usher, 1914 - Submitted by Therman Kellar]

Edson O. Woodbury
In the earlier history of this country, there are many accounts of the trials and brave sacrifices of those who are numbered among the pioneers of certain districts. The tide of civilization was then ever moving westward, and as soon as a section was fairly well developed there would be some venturesome souls eager to press still further towards the frontier, making new boundary lines for the outposts of civilization. The State of Wisconsin has been largely settled and developed by pioneers from the Empire State, and in this class stands Edson O. Woodbury, of Crandon, who, while not one of the earliest pioneers of Wisconsin, still came here prior to the coming of the railroads, and who has the distinction of being the first sheriff elected by the people of Forest county. Mr. Woodbury's life has been one of almost continuous public service while in Wisconsin, although he has also been largely interested in business matters, and both in public and private life has a record for conscientious and straightforward dealing that has won him the unqualified confidence of his fellow citizens.  Edson O. Woodbury was born in Cattaraugus county, New York, September 9, 1855, and is a son of David and Frances Woodbury. The family came West to Wisconsin when he was but two years old and settled first in Shawano county, the father taking up land in Belle Plaine township, and there Edson O. received his primary educational training in the country schools. When he was eight years of age the family went to the vicinity of Omro, Winnebago county, and there the parents continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits until their retirement, when, late in life, they came to Crandon, and here both passed away.  Mr. Woodbury completed his schooling in Winnebago county, this having been subsequently supplemented by close observation and study. Reared amid agricultural surroundings, he drifted into the occupations so common to the youth of that day, lumbering and river driving in the timber. In 1877 he was sent to Crandon to develop a cranberry marsh, but found no roads or settlements, and was compelled to make his journey over an old Indian trail. Being favorably impressed with the community and its opportunities, Mr. Woodbury settled permanently here, and engaged in logging and cruising, and through his own efforts became a surveyor and an expert cruiser and estimator of timber.
During his residence in Forest county Mr. Woodbury has been the incumbent of numerous responsible offices, although he has modestly accounted for this by referring to the scarcity of people in the county in the early days. However this may be, his services have at all times been decidedly satisfactory, and through them he has won a well established position in the confidence of his fellow-citizens. In addition to serving as assessor, clerk and chairman of the town board, he was the first sheriff of Forest county elected by the people, and served two terms in that office, and for three terms was county treasurer. From 1897 to 1902 he was state timber agent, and since the organization of the city he has been alderman from the Fourth Ward. For a number of years Mr. Woodbury has been engaged in real estate dealings, and in this connection has been largely instrumental in building up the city of his adoption.
Mr. Woodbury was married in 1891, at Sparta, Wis., to Miss Mabel McPherson, of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and to this union there have been born three children: Charles, who is a resident of Los Angeles, California; and Ethel Joy and Paul, who live with their parents. For some years Mr. Woodbury has been interested in fraternal work, and at present, among others, is a member of the local lodges of the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America. He leads a rational life,. works hard, has a friendly feeling for others, and possesses a broad understanding of life's complexities, being, all in all, just such a citizen as each community should have. [Source: "Wisconsin: Its Story and Biography, 1848-1913", Volume 8 by Ellis Baker Usher, 1914 - Submitted by Therman Kellar]

Hon. Egbert Wyman
Perhaps the highest type of character is displayed by the judicial mind. He who can carefully weigh evidence and dispense justice evenly, especially among his friends and neighbors, must possess that clear insight into the groundwork of human right which sooner or later appeals strongly to the people, and to maintain the judicial office with such dignity and efficiency as did the Hon. Egbert Wyman is the best evidence of true worth and integrity. Judge Wyman has been a resident of Crandon since 1885, and during these years has occupied an honorable position at the bar and an honored place on the bench, has acted in various official capacities and engaged in various business transactions, and at all times and in all places has enjoyed the profound respect and esteem of his fellow citizens. He was born on a farm near Baraboo, Sauk county, Wisconsin, November 3, 1852, a son of Ezra and Emeline (Seymour) Wyman. His father, a native of Vermont and a member of a stanch old family of the Green Mountain State, moved as a young man to New York, where he met and married Emeline Seymour, who had been born in that state. In 1847 they came to Wisconsin and settled on a farm in Sauk county, near Baraboo, Mr. Wyman entering government land. When their child, Egbert was but four years of age the parents returned to Jamestown, New York, but after four years there again came to Wisconsin and located on a farm located on the line separating Vernon and Juneau counties. There Mr. Wyman was engaged in agricultural pursuits up to the time of his death in 1877, while his widow survived him until 1893.
Judge Wyman was eight years of age when his parents returned from Chautauqua county, New York, and his early education was secured in the country schools of Juneau and Vernon counties. Following this he secured a license and began to teach, and while thus engaged read law in the offices of Rusk & Wyman, at Viroqua, Wisconsin, and was admitted to the bar in 1883. L. J. Rusk of this firm was a son of Governor J. M. Rusk, the other member of the firm being the late Judge O. B. Wyman. In 1885 Judge Wyman came to Crandon. He had already had public office experience as county surveyor of Vernon county, police justice of the city of Viroqua and clerk of committee on engrossed bills in the Assembly of 1882, and here became engrossing clerk of the Assembly in 1885 and 1887. He was the first district attorney of Forest county, having been appointed to that office by Governor Rusk, and was twice elected to the office afterward. He was chief clerk of the State Land Office during the years of 1895, 1896, 1897 and 1898. From 1885 until 1905 he was engaged in the abstract business in connection with his law practice, and made the first abstract of title of Forest county, beginning work on it in 1885, when the county was first organized. Subsequently he made transcripts of the records of Oconto county, affecting the territory in Forest county, and assisted C. C. DeLong to make the transcripts from Langlade. He also surveyed the original plat of Crandon when there was not a building on the land now included in the original plat or any of its several additions. For some years Judge Wyman has had extensive dealings in real estate, and at this time has some valuable realty holdings. He served one term as chairman of the town board of supervisors, and was first appointed municipal judge in May, 1901, and served as such until 1907 when he resigned from that office. As a lawyer, Judge Wyman has represented the highest and best in his profession; he has stooped to no meannesses; he has never taken an unfair advantage; he has united the graces of the gentleman with the profound knowledge of the trained legist. In many respects he is the leader of the Crandon bar. As a judge, he at all times upheld the dignity of the bench, possessing large legal knowledge, wide experience, the judicial temperament, unsullied integrity and a high sense of honor. As a citizen he has been ever foremost in advancing movements which have made for the betterment of the city of his adoption, in which he has labored so long, and where he is held in such high esteem.
Judge Wyman was married in 1892 to Miss Jennie Whitley, of Union Grove, Racine county, Wisconsin, and to this union there have been born three sons: Roy, Ralph and Lee. Judge Wyman has for many years been connected with the Masonic fraternity, having passed through the chairs of the local lodge, in which he is past worshipful master, being a Shriner and Knight Templar, and having attained to the thirty-second degree of Masonry. [Source: "Wisconsin: Its Story and Biography, 1848-1913", Volume 8 by Ellis Baker Usher, 1914 - Submitted by Therman Kellar]

 


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