Wisconsin Genealogy Trails
Racine County, Wisconsin
Biographies 

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Hon. William C. Allen
RACINE:  William Cheney Allen, for many years a leading citizen of southern Wisconsin, was born in the town of Hoosick, Rensselaer County, New York, February 2, 1814, and is the son of Jacob and Lucy (Cheney) Allen. They were both of pure New England (originally English) stock. His father was a farmer, and in early life was in easy circumstances, but unfortunately he entered into speculations which proved disastrous. His misfortune preyed upon his health, and the result was that his children at an early age had to struggle for bread and raiment. Both parents were tender, industrious and religious, and discharged their mission in life well. His mother, who was a scion of the old Cheney family of Pomfret, Connecticut, was quite an intellectual woman, and to her training and influence he owes whatever success in life he has achieved. She early imbued his mind with a love of study and an unconquerable desire to obtain an education. To her, also, he owes his first religious impressions. She was from her childhood a member of the Methodist Church, and continued in the faith till the day of her death. Kinder people never lived than the father and mother of William C. Allen. Their heart and their home were ever open to all, and their bread was divided with the hungry to the last morsel. Their pure and unselfish lives are remembered by their son with the most lively and tender affection; and although they had no worldly goods with which to endow their children, yet the legacy of a high and holy example, of deep religious and moral culture which they bequeathed to them was a thousand-fold more precious than all the wealth of the Indies, and will endure when "gold and silver" shall be "cankered," and the most costly garments "moth-eaten."
The ancestry from which our subject is descended settled at an early period in the colony of Massachusetts. Many of them became Quakers or Friends, and followed Roger Williams to Rhode Island, in order to enjoy religious freedom not accorded them in Massachusetts. From this detachment a branch moved into Dutchess County, New York (to what is since known as "Quaker Hill"), many years before the revolution. The grandfather of our subject, Samuel Allen, was married on Quaker Hill to a lady named Hammond, born in Dartmouth, New Hampshire. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War; fought at the battles of White Plains, Long Island, and many other hotly contested fields of that memorable struggle. In the year 1793 he removed to the neighborhood of Hoosick Falls, where he took up a six-hundred-acre tract of land, then covered with heavy timber, on which he lived during the remainder of his life. He died in the year 1819.
Our subject was early impressed with a deep sense of morality, the observance of the Lord's day, a reverence for the Holy Scriptures, ministers of the gospel, and old people, which he has never forgotten. He never went fishing or hunting, or engaged in any of the common sports or amusements, on the Sabbath. He received the rudiments of his education in the common schools, and remained under the parental roof till the age of seventeen, when, owing to the misfortune above alluded to, he was obliged to launch out in support of himself He was employed as a "hand" by a neighboring farmer named Wheeler, at a salary of ten dollars per month. His employer was a college-bred gentleman, of large heart and great benevolence, who proved as kind as a father to the hapless youth thus placed in his care. He took great pains to encourage young Allen in a course of study, and gave him free access to his large and well-selected library. Among the first volumes which he read was Paley's "Natural Theology," from which he first learned how to frame an argument. Here he also read Milton's "Paradise Lost, "Good's" Book of Nature," Volney's "Ruins," "The Spectator," "Rambler," and some volumes of history. He worked nine months for this gentleman, commencing on the 20th of March 1831. He afterward attended for four months a select school, taught by a graduate of Union College, where he commenced the study of the Latin language and the higher mathematics. He also kept up a course of miscellaneous reading, still having access to the library of Mr. Wheeler. When the school closed in the spring he resumed his engagement with his former master at the old figures, ten dollars per month. The latter continued the kindly interest which he had previously manifested, taking special pains to encourage him in his studies, and explain to him things that seemed incongruous. Among the volumes which he placed in his hands was "Josephus," explaining at the same time who the author was, and many things relating to Jewish history. He also gave him "Rollins' History" to read. He thus became fascinated with the histories of the Medes, Persians, Babylonians, Greeks, Egyptians and Romans, and when at work he was always thinking or talking of them with some one. The knowledge thus obtained became indelibly fixed upon his memory, and the names, dates, characters and battles are all as fresh in his mind today as on the day they were read. Through the influence of his employer he was appointed to teach the district school during four months of the succeeding winter. After this he put himself under the tuition of a learned mathematician, where he rapidly gained an idea of numbers and magnitudes. He next entered an academy at Jefferson, Schoharie County, New York, in which he continued for two and a half years, studying natural and moral philosophy, history, Latin, algebra and the higher mathematics generally. The curriculum, however, did not include Greek, a circumstance which has since been a source of deep regret and disadvantage to our subject, as the want of a knowledge of this ancient tongue, through which the Greeks still preside over human action as its nomenclatures, is a serious privation. In the opinion of our subject a thorough knowledge of the old classics cannot be over-estimated. During all these years of struggle and adversity his excellent and pious mother was his guardian angel and best counselor. She always encouraged him to persevere, telling him the clouds would sometime break away and a brighter light would shine upon his pathway. She told him of many poor boys who, in spite of more adverse circumstances than those with which he had to contend, had attained to learning, wealth, eminence and usefulness. Among the many illustrations which she named was the case of Benjamin Franklin, whose life he read and reread, so that the compositor who brought down fire from heaven became his beau ideal. Her advice and counsel were always wise, as though spoken by an angel of God. The memory of this sainted parent is still cherished with a deep religious affection, and is among his best enjoyments in his declining years.  His original purpose was to go through Union College, but having had a great love for the exact sciences, in the study of which he had spent considerable time, and being now twenty-one years of age, he was advised to give up the idea of a university course and enter at once upon the study of the law, which he had determined to make his life work. He accordingly entered the law office of Cornelius Putman, Esq., in Montgomery County, New York, where he remained four years, and was admitted to the bar in 1840.  On the 7th of October of the same year he married Miss Mary A. McConkey, a daughter of John McConkey, of Voorheesville, Montgomery County, New York, who has since been his faithful companion, friend and counselor, sharing his trials, no less than his triumphs, throughout his long and eminently happy life. In the following year he moved to Wisconsin and settled at the town of Delavan, Walworth Counties, where he resided for twenty-nine years. The town then consisted of only a few rude houses partially completed, while the surrounding country lay in its primitive state, as it came from the hand of the Great Architect of the universe, save here and there a rude beginning at the border of some timber patch. The entire country was an open wilde, and yet marvelously beautiful, unmarred by roads or fences. The prairies adorned by a profusion of wild flowers, which perfumed the summer air with their fragrance, while the groves of giant oaks seemed to furnish a suitable dwelling place for the gods. All around was a solemn stillness, - "sublime, but sad. The loneliness loaded the heart ; the desert tired the eye. And strange and awful fears were wont to press The bosom with a stern solemnity." But man, civilized man, entered and overturned the fair but hitherto unproductive face of nature, and where the buffalo and the red man ranged uncontrolled, towns, cities, farm houses, school houses, churches, factories, railroads, fences, etc., are now to be seen, presenting a striking contrast to that which met the gaze of the traveler forty years ago. Our subject has seen the growth of it all, and borne his full share in bringing about the wonderful change.
In 1842 he was elected probate judge of Walworth County, and was reelected for three consecutive terms, making six years in succession. During the same period he practiced his profession, and always had his full share of the business of the courts. In the winter of 1849 he was appointed by the legislature as a member of a committee of lawyers to codify the statutes of the State, and bore a conspicuous part in that important work. In the autumn of the same year he was elected county judge of Walworth County for a term of four years, the title and duration of the incumbency having been changed in 1848. In 1853 he was elected to a second term of the same office, but after serving two years of the last named period he was induced to resign the office in order that he might devote his whole time and energy to the building of the Western Union railroad, an enterprise of which he was one of the originators, and of which he continued a director and vice-president until the road changed hands in 1869. In 1866 he was elected a member of the lower house of the Wisconsin legislature, and was appointed chairman of the committee on railroads, a very responsible position, in view of the fact that a large land grant was to be disposed of by that legislature, and there was great rivalry among competing companies; but Judge Allen was found equal to the emergency, and so well did he act his part that he was reelected in the following year, and served as chairman of the still more important committee on federal relations. In 1852 he was one of the charter members of the State Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, and continued a member of its board of trustees for nineteen years — serving as chairman most of the time — when he resigned. In 1850 he organized the Walworth County Bank, of which he continued the president until its dissolution and reorganization under the banking law of 1863. He removed to Racine in 1870, and was soon after appointed a member of the board of State charities and reform, which position, after four years of faithful service, he was obliged to resign on account of failing health.
Soon after settling in Racine he became impressed with the necessity for a larger volume of capital to accommodate the business men of the city, and after securing the concurrence of several of the leading citizens, he obtained, through Senator Carpenter, a charter from congress for the organization; of the Manufacturers National Bank at Racine, of which he was made a director, which position he still retains. This is one of the most substantial and; useful monied institutions of the State.
He was raised under Methodist training, and in early life was a member of that church, but on settling in Delavan he united with others in the organization of a Congregational society; aided liberally in building its first church in 1843, and was a member and trustee of the congregation for twenty-eight years. On removing to Racine he united with the Presbyterian Church, of which he has since been a member and an officer.  His political views may be inferred from his record. He was an abolitionist from the outset, and the first newspaper he ever subscribed for was the "Emancipator." The sentiments he then imbibed clung to him through life, and he is thankful to God that he has lived to see slavery overthrown; for while he does not believe that the African is in all respects the equal of the white man, still his inferiority is no reason why he should be enslaved. Consequently he gave his whole influence and support to the cause of the government during the late slaveholders rebellion, and was among the foremost of the loyal citizens in his district in every work for the aid of the government and the benefit of the fighting soldiers and their dependent families. He is a strong advocate of a metallic currency as a basis, and paper money only when on par with gold. He is an ardent believer in free trade, low rates of interest for money, and the enactment of such laws as will give every man a full share of the profit of his toil. He is not a believer in caste, save only such as God has made among men in brains, virtue and the various factors which make up a good character.  For many years past he has been a sufferer from a painful malady that has somewhat circumscribed his usefulness and activity. Vet, notwithstanding this very serious disadvantage, he has always been a gentleman of a genial and social spirit, bringing sunshine into every circle which he enters, and communicating the same spirit to others. It has been a cause of surprise to his friends how he could gain such mastery over pain, and in spite of it maintain such cheerfulness and equanimity of temper. This characteristic, together with his conversational powers, renders him always a most welcome acquisition to any social circle. He is a man of wide and varied information, which, by constant study, he keeps within practical reach, and is therefore able to make it of value to himself and those with whom he associates.  As a Christian he is thoroughly sincere and earnest. Indeed, earnestness and sincerity may be said to be the leading traits of his character, but they show their greatest development in his religious life. He has been for years, in a marked degree, a growing Christian, putting on the mellowness and flavor of ripeness, a man not living for himself but for others, and evidently striving to imitate his Redeemer in daily life - his Christianity having the breadth which springs from large intelligence, broad charity, and an extensive intercourse with mankind.  The even balance and steady on-flow of Judge Allen's character renders it the more difficult to portray, and makes his excellencies less striking. In a word, he is not a man of protuberances of character, but a Well-rounded and full-orbed man. [Source: The US Biological Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

Adam Apple
ADAM APPLE (Dem.), of North Cape, was born in the Rhine province of Bavaria, Germany, November 28, 1831; received a common school education; is a farmer by occupation; immigrated to the United States in 1849, and was apprentices to a cabinet maker in Philadelphia; after learning his trade he went to California, but soon returned and settled in the town of Norway, where he still resides; has been chairman of the town board for five years; was elected member of assembly for 1882; and re-elected for 1883, receiving 1,591 votes, against 1,075 G. J. Ellis, republican. [Source: Wisconsin Blue Book (1883), page 502; transcribed by Susan Geist]

Robert H. Baker
RACINE:  As an example of energy, enterprise and manly effort, he whose name heads this sketch is worthy of most honorable mention. His life-career thus far, full of varied experiences, has been marked with that success that invariably follows persevering and honorable endeavor, and he now stands among the front ranks of the prominent businessmen of his State. A native of Geneva, Walworth County, Wisconsin, he was born the 27th of June 1839, and is the son of Charles M. and Martha L. Baker. After completing his primary education in the public schools he pursued a collegiate course of study in Beloit, and in March 1856, first engaged in business on his own account. Going to Racine he accepted a clerkship in a hardware store where he remained two and a half years, and at the expiration of this time spent one year in the employ of Thos. Falvey, reaper manufacturer.  In 1860 he became general agent and collector for J. I. Case, in which capacity he continued to act until the 1st of January, 1863, when he purchased a one-fourth interest in the business, an interest which he still holds, taking a most active part in the entire management of the concern.  Aside from his business relations he is an influential man and has held many positions of honor and public trust. He was elected school commissioner in 1867, alderman of Racine in 1868, and reelected in 1871. In the following year he was elected to the State senate of Wisconsin, and in 1873 was candidate on the republican ticket for lieutenant governor, but defeated in election. In 1874 he was elected mayor of the city of Racine, and in November of the same year to the State senate. Besides, he is a director of the Racine Hardware Manufacturing Company, a director of the Manufacturers National Bank of Racine, also of the National Iron Company of De Pere, Wisconsin, and a director in several other manufacturing institutions, and president of the Hampton Coal Mining Company. He also takes an active part in the Centennial work, as is shown in the following appointment:

JUNE 14, 1875
Office of The Wisconsin State Board of Centennial Managers.
R. H. Baker was appointed sub-committee to supervise and arrange for the Centennial Exposition of 1876, the products or interests specified in class 16 of the classifications herewith enclosed, to wit; Agricultural machinery and implements.
(Signed) J. B. Parkinson, President.
VV. W. Field, Secretary.

Personally and socially Mr. Baker possesses most excellent qualities, and having traveled extensively throughout the United States he has gained a fund of information that renders him a most agreeable companion. Though not a member of any church, he believes in the truth of Christianity, and is a regular attendant upon the Episcopal service. He was married on the 20th of December 1859, to Miss Emily M. Carswell, by whom he has one daughter and four sons. [Source: The US Biographical Dictionary and Pictorial Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

Lucias J. Blake
RACINE: The subject of this sketch, a native of Burlington, Vermont, was born on the 14th of March 1816, and is the son of Captain Levi Blake and Mary nee Sandford. His paternal ancestry is of Irish origin, and was first represented in America by Theophilus Blake, who left the "ould sod" and settled in New Hampshire about the year 1710. Whether driven by fate Theophilus left the Emerald shores, actuated by the same spirit which prompted those other members of the family whom Moore thus addresses, "YE BLAKES AND O'DONNELLS WHOSE FATHERS RESIGNED THE GREEN HILLS OF THEIR YOUTH AMONG STRANGERS TO FIND THAT REPOSE WHICH AT HOME THEY HAD SIGHED FOR IN VAIN,"
or whether for the good of his country, does not now appear. He evidently possessed a desire for adventure, a characteristic prominent in some of his descendants, and which he doubtless inherited from the originator of the name, one Launcelot Ass Lake, i.e. Son of the Lake (since corrupted into Blake). Sir Thomas Malory in his collection of stories published in 1845, says of this Launcelot, that he was one of those wandering knights whom tradition makes to grace "King Arthur's Round Table," and that following his liege lord in a victorious campaign into Ireland; and that for his valor and as an emblem of royal favor, he was vested with an estate from the conquered lands, and lived upon it to become the founder of the distinguished family of Blakes, of County Galway, Ireland, containing two titles of nobility, lord and baronet ; the lords known by the name of Walscourt. This restless spirit of Launcelot took some of his descendants back to England, and from them sprang the younger branches of the family, made famous by Admiral Robert Blake, who secured to England much of her naval supremacy. Again, we find it cropping out in Levi, the father of our subject, who early in 1817 left his home in Vermont and settled in Erie County, New York. During the eleven years that he remained here, Lucius attended the district schools, and was at one time under the tuition of Millard Fillmore, afterward President of the United States. His father next removed to Crawford County, Pennsylvania, where the family remained seven years, engaged in farming. But the country becoming too old for the father, he, in 1834, took two of his sons, Lucius and Sandford, and went to Chicago, Illinois, then consisting of Fort Dearborn and a small village. Here with his sons he engaged as contractor and builder, and assisted in erecting many buildings, some of which long remained as vestiges of old Chicago. Returning in the fall, he brought his family as far as Cass County, Michigan; and leaving them took three sons, and again started westward, arriving in Chicago on the l0th of February, 1835. There providing themselves with supplies and blankets, started northward. After a perilous and tedious journey of several days, exposed to snows and bitter cold, they, on the 15th of February, made a claim six miles northwest of the present site of Racine, and built a shanty without a window in it. Returning to Michigan they soon brought the family to Chicago, and during the next two years Lucius and a younger brother lived alone on their claim, breaking and fencing. Captain Blake's capacious log house, built in 1837, was a landmark in the country, and the hospitality of its proprietor gave to it the appropriate name of "Our House."
Lucius contracted to remain on his father's farm after attaining his majority, for a compensation of twenty-five dollars per month, and at the expiration of that time engaged himself as a carpenter and joiner to General Bullen and Samuel Hale, of Kenosha (then Southport), receiving a compensation of one dollar and fifty cents per day in "store pay." He was afterward engaged at Racine in the employ of Mr. Charles S. Wright. At the age of twenty-three years he began contracting and building on his own account, and soon had a small force of men in his employ, one of whom, Charles S. Bunce, has remained with him during a period of thirty-five years, and is now at the head of his manufacturing establishment. In 1843, having accumulated a small capital, Mr. Blake began the manufacture of farming implements, making fanning mills a specialty. Beginning on a scale proportionate to his capital and the demands of the farming community, he has added to his business year by year, until from his establishment, now the largest in the world in this specialty, shipments are made to Vermont on the east and California and Oregon on the west: and 1875 witnessed the establishment of an agency in Pesth, Hungary, the center of wheat-growing countries of central Europe. One great secret of Mr. Blake's success has been his continuity: while every member of his father's has family gone further west, he has remained steadily employed in the place of his early adoption, and has seen it grow from the wild woods into a thriving city. As his means have increased he has sought opportunities for investment, associating with himself partners of ability and integrity. Aside from his manufacture of agricultural implements, he is at the head of the largest woolen mill in the West, which has gained a wide reputation for its manufacture of shawls. He has dealt extensively in real estate, and is now one of the largest property-holders in Racine, owning several public buildings, manufactories and numerous dwellings.
His political sentiments are republican, and he was a delegate to the convention that nominated General Grant for the second term. In all his active business career he has shown public-spiritedness, and has done as much as any other man to make his city what it is today. He was one of the first trustees under the village government, and succeeded his father as treasurer of Racine County. During1863 and 1864 he served as poormaster of his county, and has been city councilman for several terms, and is now president of the council and chairman of the finance committee. In 1870 he represented his city in the State legislature, and secured the passage of several important bills. He is not, however, ambitious for political honors, but is willing to occupy a position when by so doing he can work for the public good. He is satisfied to enjoy the prosperity with which kind Providence and his own toil and honorable dealing have blessed him, and grateful for the assurance that his labors have resulted in good to others as well as profit to himself. Mr. Blake was married on the 26th of December 1843, to Miss Caroline Elliott, a young lady of English descent, and daughter of William Elliott, of England. Their union has been blessed with five children, of whom three are now living. [Source: The US Biographical Dictionary and Pictorial Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

John Bosustow
JOHN BOSUSTOW (Rep.),---post office address Yorkville, Racine county, was born December 28, 1817, in the town of Paul, Cornwall, England; had a common school education; is a farmer; came to Wisconsin in 1844, and settled at Yorkville; has held various local offices; was elected assemblymen for 1880, receiving 1,035 votes against 919 for Orlando Secar, Democrat, 136 for John Roach, Greenbacker, and 217 for John Trumbull, Independent. [Source: Wisconsin Blue Book (1880) transcribed by RuthAnne Wilke]

Stephen Bull
RACINE:  The elements of a nation's greatness are the growth of her industries and the development of her natural resources. These produce individual wealth, and the aggregate of the wealth of individuals constitute the wealth of the nation. Those who have taken an active and successful part in these important branches of human progress rank among the eminent men of the land, as they have contributed to both the wealth of the country and also to its renown. Stephen Bull, of Racine, has been an active worker and is now a partner in an important manufacturing concern, perhaps the greatest of its kind in the world, and hence is entitled to a place among the great men of the West.
Stephen Bull was born in Cayuga County, New York, March 1822; son of Degrove and Amanda M. Bull, respectable farmers. Stephen received his education, as is usual in country places, by attending school in winter and doing at all times what he could to help his parents on the farm. He left home when he was thirteen years old and worked on a farm until he was seventeen; he then went to New York city, and engaged as clerk in a grocery store, where he remained to years. He then started a store on his own account and remained five years, when he concluded to go west. In October 1845, he arrived at Racine, Wisconsin, where he remained two years, and then moved to Spring Prairie, Walworth county, and engaged in a mercantile business, where he remained ten years. In 1858 he sold out and entered the threshing machine manufactory of J. I. Case, of Racine, and in 1863 became a partner in that extensive and well-known concern. This business is so extensive that it requires all the time and attention of those interested. They have not only an American demand but have furnished machines in Europe and Asia. Mr. Bull is a thorough businessman and is indefatigable in his labors. In 1849 he was married to Miss Ellen Kellogg, and has a family of six children, four daughters and two sons. Mr. Bull is a member of the Universalist Church, and in politics has belonged to the republican party since its organization. Mr. Bull owns a farm within the city limits, on which he has raised some very fine-blooded horses. He is the owner of the celebrated horse Phil Sheridan, which has a record of two-thirty. Mr. Bull is a man of great public spirit; is a director of the First National Bank of Burlington, and has fine social qualities. He is always ready to give a helping hand where help is needed. He is highly respected, and one whom the city could ill afford to lose. [Source: The US Biographical Dictionary and Pictorial Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

W. B. Burton
W. B. BURTON, a native of Burlington, Wisconsin, was born June 04, 1866, being a son of Henry J and Elicta A Burton. He was married February 22, 1888, to Anna Davison, daughter of John and Jennie Davison. They have two children: H. Byron, born December 28, 1888; Edna Verna, March 18, 1897. Mr. Burton came to Adair County with his parents in 1871, and has since lived and farmed in this county. He now owns 320 acres of land near Millard. He is a Republican and a member of the Presbyterian church. [Source: "A History of Adair County Missouri" by E.M. Violette (1911) submitted by Desiree Rodcay]

Henry Nathaniel Cary
Henry Nathaniel CARY, journalist; born in Racine, Wis., Feb. 11, 1858; son of Lucius C. and Emile (Kenea) Cary; public school education, La Cygne, Kan.; married at Kenosha, Wis., Sept. 9, 1885, Susie L. Wustenfeldt. Learned printer's trade on La Cygne Journal, 1872-76; removed to Milwaukee, Wis., 1876; reporter, 1880-82; managing editor, 1882-83, Milwaukee Sentinel; managing editor Chicago Times, 1889-92; general western manager, New York Associated Press, 1892; managing editor new York Times, 1893-96; managing editor St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1897; in Cuba in charge of field staff New York World, Spanish American War, 1898; publisher The Verdict, New York, 1899-1900; managing editor New York Morning Telegraph, 1903, later publisher same; general manager Detroit Free Press, Jan. 1, 1907, to Feb. 22, 1908; since Jan. 1, 1908, general manager St. Louis Republic. Democrat. Clubs: Detroit, Lotos, Pen (New York), Athletic Association (Chicago). Address: St. Louis Republic, St. Louis, Mo. [Source: "The Book of Detroiters". Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis, 1908 - Submitted by Christine Walters]

Jerome I. Case
RACINE: The small city of Racine, sixty miles north of Chicago, on the lakeshore, is today, perhaps, the largest manufacturing town of the West. The location has no advantages over other western towns; it has no waterpower, no natural resources of coal or iron or lumber, yet the city of Racine has developed a manufacturing enterprise which resembles the activity of older States of the East. This wonderful growth of industry may, in great part, be attributed to Mr. Jerome I. Case, a sketch of whose life we here present.
Jerome I. Case was born in Williamstown, Oswego County, New York, December 11, 1819, and is the youngest of four brothers. His father was in humble circumstances, but having a family to support, he bought the right to use and sell a one-horse tread power threshing machine, and the boy Jerome was selected to manage the machine. This trifling event determined the career of young Case. He managed the machine with skill, and felt proud when the work was well done. He followed this pursuit until he was of age. Thus brought up to work, his education had been much neglected, yet he had acquired as much as the country schools of New York, at that time, usually taught. But Jerome had a desire for knowledge, and he now toiled with heartiness and perseverance to obtain money to go to an academy. He was now of age and working for himself, and with the profits of the first year he entered the Academy of Mexicoville, New York. The study of mechanics seemed to come to him naturally; the levers, screws and inclined planes were all familiar to him, they were parts of the threshing machine with which he had become so intimately acquainted. He made good progress in his studies, but they had raised a spirit within him that would not let him rest. Daily over his books, and nightly in his dreams, his inventive genius was busy, and the old threshing machine was ever present in his thoughts; it seemed to include, or might include, all that pertained to mechanics. There were ratchets, clamps, screws, springs, levers simple and compound, wheels beveled and wheels cogged, rollers, belts, carriers, and an infinite variety of contrivances, which would seem to satisfy even a devotee to mechanism. And so thought young Case; he devoted himself to the improvement of these machines with a success that distanced all competitors. He soon found that he had a calling as fixed as even destiny itself could make it - at the end of the term he left the academy to enter upon his life work. He was now twenty-two years of age, without capital, but he was known to be smart, and thought to be honest. In the spring of 1842 he obtained six threshing machines on credit, to take to the West, He went to Wisconsin, then a Territory, and located at Racine; it was only a village. He sold all his machines but one, and with that he set out through the country to thresh grain, managing the machine himself, and constantly studying and devising some improvement. In the spring of 1843, finding that his tread machine was much worn, and conscious of his ability to improve it, he set to work, and with the aid of such tools and such mechanics as he could get he rebuilt the machine, and upon trial found that he. had made great improvements. His machine did better work than any machine that could be bought East. His success becoming known, he soon found himself able to quit threshing, and turn his attention to the manufacture of machines. Up to this time invention had only succeeded in making what was called an open thresher, the grain, chaff and straw being delivered together, requiring an after process of winnowing to separate them. In the winter of 1843-4 Mr. Case succeeded in making a thresher and separator combined, embracing ideas of his own, which upon trial proved a great success, and was probably best appreciated by the man who had devoted so much time and thought to its invention.He rented a small shop, and determined to build six machines on the new model. One of the most experienced agriculturists of the State, when Mr. Case told him that he was building six machines, said: " If they do the work satisfactorily, there will be more than are needed in the State." Mr. Case had them built, nevertheless. Mr. Case persevered; the country was fast developing, the wild prairies were being converted into cultivated farms, the demand for machines increased, and every year witnessed some new triumph of the skill and thought which was ever active in the invention of improvements. Mr. Case has ever been impressed with the fact that to be permanently successful it is necessary to maintain surpassing excellence, and at the same time to economize the cost; he has therefore been constantly devising new machinery to save labor and effect the highest perfection at the least cost. In 1847 he built the shop near the site of the present extensive manufactory. It was a brick building, thirty feet wide, eighty feet long, and three stories high; he thought then it would be larger than he would ever need, but he determined to put up a good building, that would be a credit to the town.
In 1855, only thirteen years after his arrival in Wisconsin, he felt that his success was assured; he had triumphed over many obstacles, and realized a perfection of mechanism beyond the dreams of his youth. His manufactory had been extended, from time to time, until it occupied several acres, with a river front and dock for vessels, paint shops, belt factory, furnace and moulding rooms, and vast workrooms filled with costly and complicated machinery, all systematized and in perfect order, until it stands a monument of the genius and industry of its founder, in 1843 it was a great struggle to build one machine; in 1863 two hundred and fifty, and in 1875 eighteen hundred highly finished machines were manufactured, keeping in active employment a vast amount of machinery and three hundred and seventy-five hands. In 1863, the business having assumed such magnitude, additional talent and business experience was needed, and Mr. Case received into partnership Mr. Stephen Bull, Massena B. Erskine and Robert H. Baker, under the firm name of Jerome I. Case and Co., which remains unchanged to this day.
Mr. Case was married in 1849 to Lydia K., daughter of DeGrove Bull, Esq., of Yorkville, Wisconsin, a lady of whom it is sufficient to say, that in the practice of the domestic virtues which grace the wife and mother, and in that open-handed charity which adorns the female character, she is an ornament to the social position which her husband's eminent success has called her to occupy. It is not to be supposed that so eminent a citizen should not have been pressed into the service of the public. He has been three times elected mayor of Racine, has served two years in the State senate. There are many industries in the city of Racine in which Mr. Case has a personal and pecuniary interest. He is a member of the State Agricultural Society of Wisconsin, president of the Racine Agricultural Society, was one of the founders and life member of the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters. Mr. Case attributes his success to a strict observance of two principles: first, he must himself be sure that the article he made was needed; second, that the article he made should be as perfect as possible. These are noble principles, and well deserve success. They cannot be too widely adopted. [Source: The US Biographical Dictionary and Pictorial Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

Champion S. Chase
CHAMPION S. CHASE, Omaha, Nebraska, was born in Cornish, New Hampshire. In early life he worked on a farm, but subsequently received a liberal education at the Kimball Union Institution at Meriden, New Hampshire, and commenced life for himself as teacher of the academy at Amsterdam, New York. He studied law at Buffalo with Barker & Sill, and was admitted to the bar at Canandaigua, in the same state, in 1847. Like many other young men, he went west, and commenced the practice of law at Racine, Wisconsin, about the first of May 1848. On motion of Daniel Webster he was admitted to the supreme court of United States in 1851. Two years later the governor of Wisconsin appointed him brigadier-general of the state militia. He was in the same year – 1853 – elected president of the Racine board of education. He took an active part in politics. In 1855 we find him at Philadelphia as one of the delegates to the national republican convention that nominated Fremont for the presidency. He was in the same year elected to the state senate, in which he served as chairman of the judiciary committee, and in 1858 supervised the revision of the statutes of the state. In 1857 he was elected state attorney of the first judicial district. In 1862 President Lincoln appointed him paymaster U. S. A., and in 1865 he was promoted to the rank of colonel, in acknowledgment of his distinguished services during the Gulf campaign. He came to Nebraska in 1866, and settled down in Omaha as an attorney. In 1867 he was appointed attorney general, an office he held for two years, and in which he gave general satisfaction. In 1869 was elected for six years one of the regents of the State University. In 1874 he was chosen by an overwhelming majority in every ward mayor of Omaha, and was in April, 1875, re-elected to the same post for a term of two years, thus becoming centennial mayor. To say anything about his career as mayor would be superfluous, for every German-American citizen agrees that Colonel Chase was the best mayor Omaha ever had. Colonel Chase was elected mayor of Omaha for the third time in April, 1879, for the term of two years, and is known throughout the Northwest as the "veto mayor." [Source: The Bench and Bar of Wisconsin History and Biography; by Parker McCobb Reed, Milwaukee (1882) transcribed by Rhonda Hill]

William Everett Chipman
WILLIAM EVERETT CHIPMAN (Rep.) of Burlington, Racine county, was born in Brockville, Canada, September 27, 1822; received a common school education, and is a farmer by occupation. Removed to Cicero, Onondaga county, New York, at the age of twelve years; came to Wisconsin in 184x, and remained until 1852, when he went to California and remained until 1856, and then went to Illinois, where he resided until 1865, since which time he has resided in Racine county. Has been treasurer of the Racine county agricultural society since 18x2, and president of the farmers’ mutual fire insurance company. He was elected to the senate for 1879, ’80, receiving 3,206 votes against 2,177 for Charles Jonas (Greenbacker), of Racine. [Source: Blue Book of Wisconsin (1880) transcribed by Rhonda Hill]

George R. Cook
GEORGE R. COOK, one of the most prominent men of Gardner, Cass County, is closely identified with the financial interests of that locality, and has won an honorable name as a citizen and able business man. He is one of the directors of the Gardner Farmers' Elevator Company and is also engaged in the drug business and meat business in that thriving city, and is the owner of an extensive tract of land in Gardner and Wiser Townships. Our subject was born in Columbia County, Wisconsin, December 18, 1855, and was the fourth in a family of eight children, five sons and three daughters born to Samuel and Mary (Williams) Cook, both natives of Radnershire, England. His parents now reside in Wabasha County, Minnesota. Our subject removed to Racine County, Wisconsin, with his parents when he was two years of age and after five years removed to Wabasha County, Minnesota, where he grew to manhood and received a common school education. He remained there till the spring of 1880, when he went to Cass County, North Dakota, and settled in Wiser Township, where he took land as a homestead in section 8. He remained there fourteen years and then purchased the town site of Gardner and removed there, where he has since been a resident. He owns seven hundred and twenty acres of land and is one of the substantial men of his community. He has erected a fine residence in Gardner and is recognized as one of the leading citizens of Cass County.
Our subject was married, in St. Paul, Minnesota, December 3, 1879, to Miss Evelyn C. Mitchell, a native of Maine, who was reared in Wabasha County, Minnesota. Mrs. Cook was born August 14, 1860, and was the youngest in a family of seven children, two sons and five daughters, born to Joseph and Lovina (Hazeltine) Mitchell. Her parents were born in Maine and died in Wabasha County, Minnesota. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cook, named as follows: John Claude, Iva Maude, Erma Ann, Roy Gould, Maidie Blanche and Glen Mitchell. Iva M. died in Gardner, North Dakota, aged thirteen years. Mr. Cook is interested in a large degree in the improvement and development of the community in which he resides and he has been a potent factor in the financial and social welfare of that part of the county. He has held numerous local offices and is always found on the side of right and justice. He is identified with the Republican party, being postmaster at the present time, and has been a member of the Cass County Republican central committee. He holds membership in the Ancient Order of United Workmen. [Source: History Biography of North Dakota. Transcribed by Laurel Durham]

George L. Buck
GEORGE L. BUCK (Rep.) was born on a farm in Shaftsbury, Vermont, and attended the country schools until 14 years of age, then entered the North Bennington high school and later graduated from the Fort Edward Collegiate Institute. He taught school several years in Vermont and in Racine county, was appointed railway mail clerk in 1891 and later promoted to postofflce inspector. In 1903 he resigned to engage in the manufacturing business which has grown from a small plant to the present Racine Iron & Wire works of which he is president and treasurer. He is also vice-president and director of the American Trades & Savings bank and The Bank of Franksville, president and director of the Racine Building & Loan Association, chairman of the trustees of the First M. E. church and member of several fraternities and other organizations working on the problems to better the conditions of the working people of Racine. He was elected to the senate in 1918, receiving 6,364 votes to 4,886 for R. M. Hurley (Dem.), and 1,146 for W. F. Goodman (Soc). [Source: The Wisconsin Blue Book (1919) page 462]

Patrick G. Cheves
NORWAY: Patrick Gray Cheves, son of James and Elizabeth (Morrison) Cheves, was born in the town of Frasersburg, County of Aberdeen, Scotland, May 20, 1820. His father was a stone-mason, and wages being low and employment unsteady, he remained poor all his lifetime. He was a man of the strictest principles of morality, upright and honors able in all his dealings, frugal and temperate in his habits, and, moreover, an exemplary member of the Episcopal Church of Scotland. His mother was a meek and gentle Christian, of delicate constitution, and a great sufferer during a large portion of her lifetime, but bore her afflictions with fortitude and resignation. Owing to the indigence of his father and the ill health of his mother, Patrick was sent at an early age to live with his grandmother, Mrs. Christian Cheves, with whom he remained till the age of eight years. From this excellent old lady, then over eighty years old and almost blind, he received the greater part of the education which fell to his lot. He stood by her side while she turned her spinning wheel and read to her from the Bible, so that before quitting the care of this good woman he had read the Old and New Testaments over many times, and committed to memory large portions of them, which he was required to repeat at Sunday school, of which he was a regular attendant. From the home of this good grandmother he was removed to that of an uncle, with whom he remained till the age of fourteen, attending school occasionally and working on the farm, or serving as a herd boy. Although his uncle was a kind and indulgent man, yet the experience of young Cheves under his government seemed rigorous, when contrasted with the loose rein and comparative freedom which he had enjoyed in the house of his grandmother. His services were next transferred to another uncle, who carried on the business of farming and merchandising on a small scale, and with whom he remained for two years. Here he was governed by a still tighter rein, and the restraints of the family chafed and fretted his young heart, so that he considered his burden intolerable, and resolved to quit the home of his relative and seek employment in the city of Aberdeen. Accordingly, gathering together his scanty wardrobe, which comprised a small bundle, he stealthily left in the night, and started on foot for his destination — some thirty miles distant — with only one half-sovereign (two dollars and a half) in his pocket. After traveling all night he arrived at Aberdeen in the morning, and as the sun arose and gilded the tops of the lofty spires of the city he thought he had reached the goal of his ambition, and that henceforth his course would be smooth and free from trial; but alas, he soon found that his troubles had only commenced, and that in fleeing from the ills he knew, he had but flown to others he knew not of. He went from shop to shop in the city trying to find employment as a merchant's clerk; but every one to whom he applied seemed to cast a suspicious look at him, and coldly informed him that they needed no help just then. Wearied out and almost heartbroken, he at last found a house that seemed to promise employment. The master asked him some questions as to his proficiency as a clerk, where he had been employed, and then inquired if he had a letter of recommendation from his last master, to which he was obliged to answer "No." The next question was, "What church do you belong to?" "To the Episcopal." "I presume," added the interrogator, "you have your minister's certificate.?" Being again answered in the negative, he turned his back on the would-be clerk, saying, "I do not need your services." At this crisis his fortitude well nigh forsook him, and bitterly did he rue his flight from the house of his uncle, but he was not yet ready to return. He still had five shillings left, and resolved that he would seek employment lower down in the social scale, where "recommendations" and "certificates" were not considered essential. The following day was what was known as the "Halloween Fair," at which the farmers of the neighborhood would "hire" their hands for the next six months. He accordingly placed himself in the position of a candidate for employment in this capacity, but his youthful look and very delicate frame were but poor recommendations in this direction. No one accosted him during the day. Toward evening he saw a farmer trying to hire a man; but noticing that they did not agree, he approached the former, offering his services. Eyeing the stripling, he remarked: "You are not just the kind of person I want, but if you can thrash grain with the flail I will give you a job at a shilling a quarter," about eight bushels. The terms were accepted, for the poor lad was glad to find anything to do, if only to feed swine. The home of the farmer was some thirty miles from Aberdeen on the river Dee. He worked very hard all winter, often when the blood ran down the handle of the flail, realizing not more than a shilling a day (twenty-five cents). Thus his early experience in the home of the stranger, that at first seemed so promising, was fraught with bitterness, and deeply did he repent the step which, in an evil hour, had taken him from his uncle's home, which, contrasted with later experiences, seemed a paradise. For some time after completing this engagement he was unable to procure other employment. He had neither money nor friends; his clothes were worn out; his case was desperate. He had been away six months; to return to his uncle in that plight was not to be thought of; he had not entirely "come to himself" yet. Returning to Aberdeen he again sought employment in vain. He practiced the utmost economy; bought his loaf daily, which he ate dry, and hired a bed at night. At last he was employed to drive a coal cart, for which he was to receive a shilling a day; but his employer, who was a worthless villain, not only did not pay him for his services, but borrowed from him the few shillings he had left on entering his service, which he spent in a drinking house. Driven to desperation, utterly dispirited and sick of life, he determined to cast himself into the river, and thus be rid of an intolerable burden. Going under the bridge to carry this design into execution, he was suddenly startled by a rough voice commanding him to get out of there. It was that of a policeman, whose duty it was to prevent persons from trespassing on those premises. Young Cheves made an humble apology, and was allowed to go free. Thus saved, in the providence of God, from self-destruction, he resolved to make another effort to find work. He met an elderly gentleman, to whom he made known his situation, who spoke encouragingly and gave him introductions that led to his being employed at larger wages than he had previously received. His industry, good conduct, and previous experience soon gained for him the confidence and esteem of his new employers, who increased his wages and promoted him to greater responsibilities. But the close confinement of the counting-room soon began to tell on his health, and a vacation became necessary. Well-clothed and provided with money, he now sought the house of his uncle, where he was received, as indeed, a returned "prodigal." His ingratitude and folly were forgiven, and he was prevailed upon to remain at Longside, the home of his friends, where he soon regained his health and found remunerative employment, and began to save money. But he had been reading of America, and of the wonderful opportunities which that great country offered to industrious young men to become rich, and became impatient of the slow process of accumulation peculiar to his native Scotland. While in this transition state he met with a Mr. Wm. Smith, a native Scotchman, who for a number of years past had been a resident of Pike Grove, Kenosha County, Wisconsin, who was then home on a visit to his friends. This gentleman offered to aid young Cheves with money to pay his passage to America, and to give him employment when he reached there. The offer was accepted, and in company with three others namely: Miss Margaret, a sister of Mr. Smith; Mr. James Smith, a nephew, and James Duguid, a relative of our subject — he started for the western world. They sailed from Liverpool in April 1840, and after a passage of thirty-five days landed in New York. Thence they traveled by land and lake to Southport, now Kenosha, Wisconsin, which point they reached on the 1st of June of the same year. On landing here he was possessed of a single dollar bill, which he had obtained in trade from the colored barber on the lake-boat, but which proved to be worthless, the bank by which it was issued having failed several years previously. He now went to work for his benefactor, and remained with him until his claim was fully met. He subsequently worked for a short period on the Illinois and Michigan canal, where he earned fair wages.
In 1842 he went to the lead mines then opened at Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Here he was employed in a brewery during the winter, while the summer was mainly spent in washing copper ore. During the last-named season there occurred an incident which made a lasting impression on his mind, and gave shape and tone, in a large measure, to his after career, and which is well worthy of record. Up to this time he had taken no interest in politics, nor had he formed any political opinions. Slavery was then in the ascendant and was ruling the country with a rod of iron, and to be even suspected of abolitionism was little less than infamy. A Baptist clergyman, of English nativity, named Mathew, visited the place, and announced that he would deliver a discourse on the subject of slavery in the log courthouse on Sunday afternoon. The announcement excited the indignation of the villagers, and a mob was organized to resist the lecturer. Cheves and a few companions were drawn to the place from curiosity. The mob were clamorous. The sheriff was obliged to refuse the use of the courthouse. Whereupon the abolitionist resolved to speak out-of-doors at his own risk, the sheriff having withdrawn his protection. The speaker was accompanied by an old gentleman named John Martin, also an Englishman, an ardent disciple of the great Wilberforce, who had lived to see the end of slavery throughout the British dominions and had come to devote the remainder of his days to the cause of freedom in America. The speaker had scarcely opened his discourse when he was encountered by a storm of yells and a volley of rotten eggs. He stopped for a moment and again proceeded, but was soon silenced by another yell, while rotten eggs and missiles fell thick and fast. In the crowd, however, there happened to be quite a number of English and Scotch miners, to whom the condition of the slave had hitherto been a matter of indifference; but the speaker was their countryman, he had violated no law, had only exercised his constitutional right of free speech, and yet he had been outraged by a mob. This element of the meeting solidified in a few minutes, and resolved that the speaker should be heard. Five of them, of whom our subject was one, took positions beside him on the platform, while the others formed in solid phalanx in the crowd. On discovering the situation of affairs the speaker addressed those on the platform, saying: "Friends, risk nothing for me, my life is devoted to this cause." This speech, though short, was telling.  It appealed to their manhood, and they resolved to die with him if need be. He proceeded with his speech. One more missile was thrown, but the coward who threw it was soon collared, dragged to the outside, and by a vigorous application of sole leather was admonished to better behavior in future. This silenced the opposition and the lecturer was permitted to finish without further interruption. The good old man left the place, and from that time to the present has not been seen or heard of by our subject. He has probably gone to his "reward above" long since, but the words which he spoke sunk deep into the heart and bore fruit in the life of Patrick Gray Cheves, who from that day forward was an uncompromising enemy of slavery. During the following winter he worked in a sawmill in the neighborhood of Racine. In the spring of 1845 he purchased some eighty acres of land in what was then the town of Yorkville, now Norway, where he has since mainly resided. He began in a very humble way and struggled along for years, as many others have done, being barely able to make a living. There was no money in the country, and storekeepers bartered clothing and groceries for country produce. A circumstance that occurred in the year 1847 will serve to illustrate the condition of matters in this respect at that date. Mr. Cheves was informed that a Scotch letter was in the post office addressed to him, on which there was due twenty-five cents. He was anxious to get the missive, but that was more money than he could raise. After two weeks saving of eggs and butter he started to the village in the hope of being able to realize as much as would release his dearly prized letter, only to learn that no cash could be given for eggs or butter. This was a terrible disappointment, and he was reluctantly obliged to return without his letter. After two weeks more he set out for Racine with an ox-team laden with produce, which he was able to barter for some goods and one single dollar in money. On his way home he released his letter, which had lain just one month in the office, and felt as proud and happy at the result as when afterward he was elected to represent his county in the State legislature. He sat down and wrote back to his friends in Scotland that America was a fine country to live in, he had eighty acres of land, two cows and an ox-team, with which to farm. In 1847 the township of Yorkville, in which he resided, was divided, and the town of Norway was cut off from it (so called from the circumstance that a number of Norwegians resided in it). This made the election of new officers a necessity. The town contained at the time just nine legal voters, none of whom had ever held office of any kind; but officers were indispensable, and a ticket was accordingly made up, Jacob Jacobia being elected chairman of the board, and our subject secretary or town clerk. This office he held for three years, and was afterward elected to the chairmanship of the town board, and as such represented his town in the county board. At that time the Norwegian character was not as well known as now, and his constituency, which was principally of that nationality, was often made the subject of sneer and innuendo, but they are now known as men of sterling worth and strict integrity.
Prior to the nomination of John C. Fremont for the Presidency in 1856, Mr. Cheves acted with the free-soil democratic party, and was elected on that ticket to the legislature in the fall of 1855, and served one term. Since then he has supported the principles of the republican party. In the autumn of 1856 he was elected by the new party as clerk of the board of supervisors of Racine County, which position he retained two years. During his term of office he did considerable business in the way of discounting notes, and by this and other means increased his capital; but there were still misfortunes in store for him. In the summer of 1859 he was compelled to pay a note for fifteen hundred dollars which he had been induced to sign some years previously; and in the autumn of the same year his barn, which contained all his crops and farming implements, was consumed by fire, with all its contents. This was a serious loss and hard to repair. Still later a flaw in the title to some of his land brought upon him a lawsuit which involved him in thousands of dollars of expense, besides several years of vexatious litigation. This, however, was his first and only lawsuit.  In 1863 he was again elected clerk of the board of supervisors of Racine County, a position which he held four years. He subsequently purchased the soap and candle factory of Isaac Burback, of Racine, which he conducted successfully for several years. He also gave attention to some other branches of business, and notwithstanding the difficulties and obstacles of his early life, and the trials and misfortunes of maturer years, he has accumulated a competence, and is spending the autumn of his days in ease and quiet at his beautiful home in Norway, Racine County. He is a man of the strictest integrity, simple and affable in manners, buoyant and cheerful in conversation, wise and prudent in counsel, generous and benevolent to the needy, and respected and esteemed by all who know him. In June 1845, he married Miss Elizabeth Smith, a resident of Pike Grove, Kenosha County, Wisconsin, who has since shared with him the burdens and successes of life. They have had six children, two of whom, William and Robert, died in infancy. The survivors are Mary, Evaline, Anne and John. [Source: The US Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

George R. Cook
GEORGE R. COOK, one of the most prominent men of Gardner, Cass County, is closely identified with the financial interests of that locality, and has won an honorable name as a citizen and able business man. He is one of the directors of the Gardner Farmers' Elevator Company and is also engaged in the drug business and meat business in that thriving city, and is the owner of an extensive tract of land in Gardner and Wiser Townships.
Our subject was born in Columbia County, Wisconsin, December 18, 1855, and was the fourth in a family of eight children, five sons and three daughters born to Samuel and Mary (Williams) Cook, both natives of Radnershire, England. His parents now reside in Wabasha County, Minnesota. Our subject removed to Racine County, Wisconsin, with his parents when he was two years of age and after five years removed to Wabasha County, Minnesota, where he grew to manhood and received a common school education. He remained there till the spring of 1880, when he went to Cass County, North Dakota, and settled in Wiser Township, where he took land as a homestead in section 8. He remained there fourteen years and then purchased the town site of Gardner and removed there, where he has since been a resident. He owns seven hundred and twenty acres of land and is one of the substantial men of his community. He has erected a fine residence in Gardner and is recognized as one of the leading citizens of Cass County.
Our subject was married, in St. Paul, Minnesota, December 3, 1879, to Miss Evelyn C. Mitchell, a native of Maine, who was reared in Wabasha County, Minnesota. Mrs. Cook was born August 14, 1860, and was the youngest in a family of seven children, two sons and five daughters, born to Joseph and Lovina (Hazeltine) Mitchell. Her parents were born in Maine and died in Wabasha County, Minnesota. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cook, named as follows: John Claude, Iva Maude, Erma Ann, Roy Gould, Maidie Blanche and Glen Mitchell. Iva M. died in Gardner, North Dakota, aged thirteen years. Mr. Cook is interested in a large degree in the improvement and development of the community in which he resides and he has been a potent factor in the financial and social welfare of that part of the county. He has held numerous local offices and is always found on the side of right and justice. He is identified with the Republican party, being postmaster at the present time, and has been a member of the Cass County Republican central committee. He holds membership in the Ancient Order of United Workmen. [Source: History Biography of North Dakota. Transcribed by Laurel Durham]

A. P. Dickey
RACINE: Nothing has added more to the renown of American industrial productions than the ingenuity displayed in the manufacture of articles of utility and labor-saving machines; and among these stand preeminently the fanning mills and separators now so universally used, and which effect with such precision the separating grain and seeds, and preparing them for market. One of the foremost manufacturers of these ingenious devices is A. P. Dickey, of Racine, Wisconsin. These machines were much needed. Mr. Dickey has devised an excellent machine, and hence his success; he has manufactured thousands, received prizes in all the principal exhibitions, and the sales are still increasing.
A. P. Dickey was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, March 24, 1818; is a son of John and Rhoda Dickey. His father was a merchant.
Young Dickey was educated at Geneseo, New York. He worked on a farm, and received a common school education, until he was sixteen years of age, and then went to work in a fanning mill manufactory at Vienna, Ontario County, New York. He was one of seven brothers, who were all employed in the manufacture of fanning mills. He remained at Vienna two years, then moved to Sandusky, and after a year went to Pine Hill, Geneseo County, where he remained twelve years. He made many experiments, and the result of his labor and genius is the fanning mill, which is now known as the Dickey Fanning Mill, and has gained a worldwide reputation. He was colonel of the 164th regiment, 6th brigade and 27th division of the National Guards of the State of New York at Batavia. He held his commission under Governor W. H. Seward. In 1846 he located at Racine, Wisconsin, where he has continued the same business up to the present time. In 1840 he was married to Miss Sarah Babcock, by whom he had three children, all of whom are now married and residing at Racine. In 1854 his wife died. In 1855 he married Miss Lucy Ann Patterson; they have had two children - a daughter and a son. The history of the fanning mills would be the history of Mr. Dickey, for these have been his life work, and he has accomplished much, and adapted his work to all the multifarious uses that can require the winnowing and separation of grain and seeds, whether on a small or large scale. The capacities of these mills are from forty to four hundred bushels an hour. The fans excel in the simplicity with which they separate the pure grain from every mixture, and the ease with which they deliver the several grades of wheat by themselves, as well as the rapidity of the work. His extensive business has called into practice facilities for transportation. His fanning mills are sold by all the dealers in the West; he has filled orders from New York, Massachusetts, and even from Germany and Japan. To accommodate this distant trade, they are made in such a manner as to be readily taken to pieces, and can be set up again in a few minutes by anyone competent to use them, so that the freight is reduced at least one half No wonder that with such completeness and such facilities Mr. Dickey's trade has assumed large proportions. But Mr. Dickey's enterprise does not stop here, he has added a foundry business, also a machine shop. He manufactures steam engines and everything connected with farming implements; his trade has become great and is still growing, and does honor to American genius and industry. Mr. Dickey, in politics, has been a whig, but has voted with the republicans since that party has been organized. In religion, he belongs to the Congregational denomination. [Source: The US Biographical Dictionary and Pictorial Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

John Dickson
RACINE:  John Dickson was born in Chautauqua County, New York, in what is now the town of Ripley, on the 8th of September 1814, and is the son of John and Elizabeth (Sutphen) Dickson. His parents were natives of Somerset County, New Jersey. His father was descended from original Scotch ancestors, who emigrated to the north of Ireland and settled in Londonderry, whence they emigrated to America. His mother was of Holland-Dutch origin, of the same stock that settled New York and Albany. After their marriage in 1796 they moved to Cherry Valley, Otsego County, New York, which was then a wilderness. In 1810 they removed still farther westward and settled at the place where our subject was born, and where his childhood and early youth were passed. He still entertains the most kindly feelings toward the place of his nativity, calling it, in fond remembrance, "Old Chautauque." His early education was obtained mainly from private schools, for the district school was not as yet either a regular or permanent institution. While a pupil his great ambition was to "graduate," as he facetiously termed it, at the head of the first class in spelling, a distinguished honor, in those good old primitive days, at a country school. The geographies in use in the schools at that time had no maps, and it was not easy to locate and describe the boundaries of the different geographical divisions of the earth, so that the students of those days labored under very great disadvantages as compared with those of the present day. Our subject commenced his business life at the age of fourteen as clerk in a "country store" in the village of Westfield, Chautauqua County, New York, where he remained about six years, when he obtained an appointment as cadet in the Military Academy at West Point, which institution he entered in June 1834, remaining until December 1835, when his mind having undergone a change in regard to his purposes in life, he resigned. In after years, however, he deeply regretted this step, and in his dreams has many times been reinstated in the academy, and spent long nights of laborious study to make up for lost time, but awoke only to find that it was but a dream. At that time there was a mania for business speculations in the country, and as he already had some business experience as a clerk he thought it better to renounce his profession, enter at once into business and get rich, than to "bone" those knotty problems, as the expression was, and, after spending years in study, to live on a lieutenant's pay of seven hundred dollars a year, with prospects of slow advancement. On resigning and quitting the academy he supposed that his connection with the institution was severed, but a considerable time after he had entered into business he received a remittance of a sum of money for back pay, his resignation not having been accepted when tendered, and the place being held open in the expectation that he might wish to return, his pay had been running on.  In the spring of 1836 he entered into partnership with an old mercantile establishment, under the firm name of Camp, Dickson and Co., in Mayville, the county seat of Chautauqua County, New York, and remained in business there for five years. He was one of the first, if not the first, to purchase the dairy products of that now famous dairy county for shipment to the New York and Boston markets. But during these years his mind yearned for the great West and its larger possibilities. He had been for a considerable time a reader of the "St. Louis Republican," and had become familiar with western business.
Accordingly, in the year 1841, Oliver Lee, Esq., a banker of Buffalo, New York, desiring to establish his nephew, the late Alanson H. Lee, in business, requested our subject to unite with him and establish a business somewhere in the West, stipulating at the same time to take a third interest in the concern, and if necessary to advance capital; and as he (Mr. Oliver Lee) was largely interested in vessel trading on the lakes, and as Wisconsin had just commenced to ship her surplus wheat to the eastern market, and Racine had been the first port to engage in this trade, they chose that city as their location, and soon after established the firm of Lee, Dickson and Co., which during its entire existence was the leading one in Racine ; it is no exaggeration to say that this establishment exercised a most important influence upon the future growth and prosperity of the city. They gave tone and character to its business, while their capital and influence were generously given toward the promotion of every enterprise for the public good. They were the leaders of public sentiment, and their opinion was sought and their example followed generally. What they indorsed was sure to succeed, and what they discountenanced was just as sure to fail, but no worthy object ever sought their aid in vain. The business of Lee and Dickson was continued until the death of the former in 1861, altogether for a period of twenty years of the most happy relations that could be desired; the testimony of Mr. Dickson in regard to his late partner being that Alanson Henry Lee was "An honest man, the noblest work of God."
In the early days before the advent of railroads, and previous to the establishment of manufactures, towns upon the lake shore were in a great measure dependent for success upon the lake commerce, and this of course was largely contingent upon the character of the harbor accommodations. With a lively appreciation of the importance of this feature in the development of the city, an appropriation had been asked from congress for the purpose of improving the harbor of Racine, but after waiting patiently but confidently for several years, the citizens were not only disappointed in their expectations but chagrined to find that their more sturdy rival on the north, Milwaukee, had been preferred before them and had received the aid which Racine so much needed. This was a heavy blow and sore discouragement to the citizens, whose hopes and aspirations were all centered and exhausted in their city; but though cast down they were not in despair, neither did they waste time in useless regrets. They saw that the time to either "do or die" had come, and they accordingly assembled in mass meeting and resolved to build a harbor with their own means. To this end they asked the legislature to authorize them to levy taxes on the property of the village for that purpose. This, with subscriptions from some of the more wealthy citizens, was applied under the direction of the board of trustees of the village, and the result is that Racine has a harbor second to none on Lake Michigan, and to this circumstance is due, in no small degree, the success of this beautiful and flourishing city. In all the struggles and efforts connected with this enterprise and its successful completion, Mr. Dickson bore a leading part. He was a member of the board of village trustees, and an indefatigable worker in the cause both in season and out of season, and he now looks with pride and satisfaction upon one of the most beautiful and prosperous cities of the West.
In 1848 he was one of the promoters and a charter member of the Racine and Delavan Plank-Road Company, a road about forty miles in length, and costing the company about one hundred and twenty thousand dollars; and although it was soon after, in a great measure, superseded by a railroad, yet it was for several years a very great accommodation to the public trading between the cities which it connected. In 1852 he was one of the organizers, a charter member, and for many years after a director and vice-president of the Racine and Mississippi Railroad Company, now the Western Union Railroad Company. The labor of all these years, together with a large sum of money, was bestowed for the benefit of Racine. He was also a commissioner and charter member of the first railroad company organized in the Territory of Wisconsin, the Lake Michigan and Mississippi Railroad Company, subsequently changed to the Milwaukee and Prairie du Chien Railroad Company, but he has never held and never expects to hold an office not accompanied by hard work and pecuniary loss.
He has never associated himself with any religious denomination, but regards religious associations as organizations of great value in connecting and binding society together, and in securing associate action upon any desired object. He believes that there is a governing intelligence in the universe which he calls God, and with whom he holds direct relation, but he has adopted no creed, nor does he observe any formularies in his worship.  He was so deeply absorbed in schemes for the public benefit and the general welfare that for many years he had not time to bestow a thought upon himself. He was, however, one day startled and brought to a realizing sense of his situation by reading a carefully prepared table setting forth the ages at which it was most probable men would marry, and beyond which the probabilities of matrimony diminished at a large percentage. He concluded that the time for action had come, and that he would disarrange the figures in the table referred to by taking to himself a wife. Accordingly, at the age of forty-three, on the 4th of August 1857, he married Miss Helen, daughter of the late Seth W. Holmes, formerly of Mayville, Chautauqua County, New York, then a resident of Paw Paw Grove, Lee County, Illinois, a very worthy and accomplished lady, several years his junior. Their union was blessed with a family of three children, all boys. The eldest, a very promising lad, died at the age of six years. The survivors are being carefully educated for lives of usefulness and honor.
From an early period Mr. Dickson has taken a deep interest in political matters. At the age of ten he was an enthusiastic admirer and supporter of Andrew Jackson for the Presidency. On coming of age he voted with the democratic party, which in those days had an honorable record. He gathered his political inspiration largely from the New York "Evening Post," edited by the venerable William Cullen Bryant, and deeply did he sympathize with that noted philanthropist when the arrogant demands of the slave power became so exorbitant as to make it necessary for him to break away from former associates and declare for freedom. He joined the free-soil party at its organization, and remained with it till it merged into the republican party, with which he has since acted. He is in accord with the policy of President Hayes as developed in his southern measures, and considers it in harmony with the eternal fitness of things that the South should make terms with the republican party rather than regain power under the old Bourbon banner. He considers that the South, in its innermost heart, must feel thankful that it was not permitted to consummate the terrible crime of breaking in pieces this glorious country, and must feel like the prodigal son when he was restored to his father's house. [Source: The US Biographical Dictionary and Pictorial Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

James R. Doolittle
JAMES R. DOOLITTLE, Racine, was born in Hampton, New York, January 3, 1815, was a graduate of Geneva College, New York, afterward studied law, was admitted to the bar by the supreme court of New York in 1837, entered upon its practice in that state, and was several years district attorney of the county of Wyoming. In 1851 he came to Wisconsin and settled at Racine in the practice of his profession, was elected judge of the first judicial circuit in 1853, which office he resigned in 1856. In 1857 he was elected United States senator for a full term, in which body he served on the committee on foreign affairs, commerce, military affairs, and was chairman of the committee on Indian affairs. He was a member of the peace congress of 1861, was reelected to the senate in 1863, his term ending in 1869. During the summer recess of 1865, as a member of a special committee of the senate he visited the Indian tribes west of the Mississippi. He was a delegate to the national union convention held at Philadelphia in 1866, was its president, and took an active part in its proceedings. At the close of his career in the senate of the United States, Judge Doolittle resumed the practice of the law in Chicago, where he continues it to the present time, while continuing his residence at Racine. During the war Judge Doolittle did much in sustaining the government by acts and addresses; since the close of that contest has been a prominent and active member of the democratic party, and in 1871 was its candidate for governor, but his party was too largely in the minority to effect his election. [Source: The Bench and Bar of Wisconsin, by Parker McCobb Reed, Milwaukee; P. M. Reed publisher (1882) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

Reuben Doud
RACINE: The subject of this sketch, a native of McGrawville, Cortland County, New York, was born on the 20th of January 1830 and is the son of Reuben G. Doud and Betsey nee McGraw. He passed his boyhood in his native place, attending the common school; and in 1849, being then nineteen years of age, removed to Racine, Wisconsin. Remaining there but a short time he went to Delavan, and thence to Green Bay. Later he engaged in the transportation business at Kaukauna, in connection with the boats on Fox River, and continued thus employed during a period of five years. At the expiration of this time he went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, purchased a steamer and went thence down the Ohio River, up the Mississippi, to the Wisconsin, and was the first to pass with a steamboat through the locks on the Fox River, after the improvements on the Wisconsin in 1856. Returning to Pittsburgh in 1857, he built the steamer Appleton Belle, and taking her by the same route to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, there sold her. In the winter of this same year he built a steamer at Berlin, Wisconsin, which plied between that place, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac and Green Bay, until 1860. During this year he built the steamers Fountain City and Bay City, and ran them on the same route. In 1861 he closed out his steamboat interest on this route, and engaged in the warehouse business at Gill's Landing; and during the same season ran the steamer Berlin City from Green Bay to New London, in connection with the Wolf River boats. In 1863 and 1864 he built the steamers Northwestern and Tigress, and several others; and continued thus employed doing a prosperous business until 1866, when he closed his affairs at Gill's Landing and removed to Racine, his present home. Associating himself with Mr. Martin E. Tremble, under the firm name of Tremble and Doud, he engaged in the lumber business, which has proved eminently successful. The business of the firm is very extensive, their annual sales amounting to twelve million feet of lumber and twelve million shingles, besides a large amount of lath, pickets, posts, etc., most of which is cut from their own lands, which are located with their mills on the Big Suamico river near Green Bay. Mr. Doud is also largely interested in vessel property, having built the Reuben Doud at a cost of thirty-three thousand dollars, the schooner M. E. Tremble at a cost of sixty-five thousand dollars, and also acquired by purchase the schooner Rainbow.  His career from the beginning has been one of constant energy, activity and of entire success in all his undertakings; consequently he has amassed an ample fortune. He has also been honored with positions of public responsibility and trust, all of which he has filled with great credit to himself. In 1864 he was elected to the State legislature on the republican ticket; in 1872 became mayor of Racine, was reelected in 1873, and again elected to the same position in 1875. He was married on the 15th of September 1864, to Miss Katharine Reynolds, of Cortland, New York, by whom he has one daughter. He is now making preparations to start on an extended tour in Europe with his family, and after a few years he will return to make his permanent residence in the city of Racine, where, among the many elegant and costly residences which adorn the "belle City of the Lakes," the home which he has designed and built stands preeminent for its elegance and tastefulness. [Source: The US Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

Charles Spencer Duncombe, M.D.
RACINE:  Charles S. Duncombe, a native of Middleburgh, Schoharie County, New York, was born on the 18th of November, 1821, and is the son of Elijah E. Duncombe and Catharine Bouch Duncombe. His ancestors have been somewhat noted for their longevity. His great-grandfather, a revolutionary soldier, was killed at the battle of Bunker Hill. His grandfather removed to Canada in 1819, whither his father went three years later. He was a prominent man in his community, highly respected by all, and for more than forty years a practicing physician in Saint Thomas. Two of his uncles, Charles and David Duncombe, also physicians, served in the provincial house of parliament during a period of twelve years. Charles, therefore, being raised under such influences, naturally inclined to the medical profession.
During his boyhood he attended the common schools of his adopted home in Canada, whither his parents had moved when he was one year old, and besides had the advantages offered by a seminary in London. At the age of seventeen he engaged in teaching, and two years later began the study of medicine, under the supervision of his father, and soon afterward pursued a course of study in the Medical College, at Geneva, New York, attending two courses of lectures, and graduating on the 23rd of January, 1844. In the ensuing spring, drawn by the superior inducements which it offered to young men, he removed to the West, and settled in Walworth County, Wisconsin, and there established himself in his profession. He remained there four years, meeting with good success and building up a fair practice, but at the end of that time returned to Saint Thomas, Ontario, and there resumed his practice, following it for a period of twelve years, attending during that time a course of lectures at the Toronto University and one at Geneva College. Returning to Wisconsin in the spring of i860, he settled at Racine, his present home, and opened an office in partnership with Dr. Rufus B. Clark, a homoeopathist. During this year he attended a partial course of lectures at the Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago, and graduated with honor from the same. His practice has been constantly growing, and he is now widely known for the care and skill with which he treats his cases; he has made his profession financially successful. His political sentiments are republican, though in the midst of his professional duties he has found no time to devote to political affairs. In his religious communion Dr. Duncombe is identified with the Episcopal Church. He was married on the 24th of January, 1844, the day after his first graduation, to Miss Susan A. C. Baker, and by her has one son and two daughters. [Source: The US Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877); transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

Henry S. Durand
RACINE: Henry S. Durand was born in Cheshire, Connecticut, February 13, 1817. Is a son of Samuel and Eloise Durand. He received a common school education at Berlin, Hartford County, and at the age of thirteen entered as clerk in a store at Hartford, and was there two years. He then returned to Berlin, and was apprenticed to Mr. E. Brandegee until he became of age. His compensation was simply his board and clothes, and although at eighteen years of age he was offered eighteen hundred dollars a year by another firm, he declined and served out his time. When seventeen years old he was sent to New York to purchase goods and transact other business, which indicated great confidence in him, and was regarded as an honor in those days. From that time he purchased all the goods, kept the books, had the chief management of the store and two cotton mills. When he was of age he became agent for the Hartford and New Haven Railway, in whose interest he acted for several years. In the spring of 1843 he removed to Wisconsin, and settled at Racine, where he has ever since resided. He commenced a mercantile business, and then added that of produce and commission, then lumber and coal; also the manufacture of lumber in Michigan, in connection with which he had a fleet of five first-class vessels on the lakes, and was uniformly successful in his various enterprises. In connection with three others he purchased the land and laid out the city of La Crosse. He opened a store, built a hotel, schoolhouse, church, courthouse, jail, steam sawmill, and a large number of dwellings. The town grew rapidly, and is today one of the most prosperous cities of the Northwest. Mr. Durand was vice-president of the Racine County Bank, and afterward president of the Commercial Bank of Racine; was also president for thirteen years of the Racine and Mississippi Railway Company. His connection with that enterprise brought him in business relations with many banking, manufacturing and mercantile firms, which gave him a great reputation for his business talents, energy and industry. In 1844 he commenced the insurance business as agent of the Aetna Insurance Company, and issued the first policy ever written in Wisconsin. This Racine office is still in existence, and is the oldest insurance agency in the State. In i860 he established an insurance agency in Milwaukee, which was successful. In 1845 he commenced the adjustment of losses, his first effort being for the Aetna, in Milwaukee, after the memorable fire of that year, and during the thirty-one years that have elapsed since, he has probably adjusted upward of ten thousand claims. In May 1859, he became the special agent and adjuster of the Home, of New York, for the States of Wisconsin and Minnesota, but in 1867 he was appointed general adjuster for that company for the northwestern States. It may be said that Mr. Durand initiated the special agency system, and has had under his supervision upward of one hundred agencies, more than ninety of these agencies showing profitable results. He is familiar with the law of insurance, and, it is said, can cite any adjudication that has ever been made on the subject in this country. His library contains all the books on the subject of insurance that have been printed since 1800, and is probably the most extensive in the world on that subject. Notwithstanding the multiplicity of his occupations, he has found time for much mental culture. Has great admiration for works of art, and his home abounds in gems in this department. He has also a fondness for livestock, and on his farm may be found some of the best blooded cattle in the country. His sympathies are humane and generous; the churches, the colleges, the public institutions, as well as the poor of the city, bear grateful testimony to his kindness and generosity.
Mr. Durand has a well-developed physical organization, indicating activity and endurance. He has a large brain, without idiosyncrasies, which would have distinguished him in any profession to which he would have directed its energies. His mind is far-reaching, all-embracing, and while it delights in the investigation of elementary principles, the details are never so minute as to escape its observations. His self-knowledge, acquired by long and patient study, has given him accurate knowledge of others. His calm judgment, unclouded by passion and unwarped by prejudice, enables him to perceive the truth, which is the source of all true greatness, as well as of happiness. To have given full occupation to his large brain, his profession should have been that of a statesman whose business it is to make laws for the government of men, success in which is the most difficult thing in the universe, for man himself is the universe in miniature. Circumstances turned Mr. Durand's mind in a different direction, and no one subject being found sufficient to occupy all of his thoughts and energies, they have been directed in a variety of channels, and happy results have followed. His life thus far has been one of endless toil and beneficent influences, social, moral and religious. His example is calculated to inspire the idle boy with the love of industry, and the struggling boy with the hope of distinction. Nature never intended that such powers as she gave to Mr. Durand should be wasted upon the desert air, but that upon whatever theater these powers may have been exerted, her purposes should not be disappointed.
Mr. Durand was married in 1838, to Caroline B. Cowles, of Meriden, Connecticut. Has three daughters, all of whom are members of Vassar College. His wife died, and he married the daughter of the late Dr. V. White, of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She was educated at the Troy Seminary of the late Madame Emma Willard, and for some time a successful teacher in Brooklyn, New York. Nature endowed her with capabilities of a high order, and her mental faculties have been cultivated with great care. She is not only familiar with the philosophies as taught in the ancient classics, but has kept pace with the modern writers upon science, art, literature and taste. She has been a close student, is an accurate thinker, a skillful painter, an accomplished reader. With her mind thus stored with ancient and modern lore, with her cultivated taste and retentive memory, she is, as a conversationalist, brilliant, fascinating and instructive. Her domestic qualities are equally remarkable. She presides over her household with womanly tact and grace; is a loving wife, an affectionate stepmother, that ‘ara avis in terris’ a hospitable hostess and a genial companion. Her deep sense of Christian piety and her devotion to religious duty are her crowning characteristics. [Source: The US Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

Hon. Charles E. Dyer
RACINE: Charles E. Dyer, judge of the United States district court for the eastern district of Wisconsin, was born at Cicero, Onondaga County, New York, October 5, 1834, and is the son of Dr. Edward G. Dyer and Ann Eliza nee Morse. His father was a physician, and at an early period in the settlement of  Wisconsin removed to Burlington, Racine County. He was the first medical man who settled in that locality, and came with his family in 1839. He had first visited the place of his future home in 1836, and had on the night of his first arrival slept in a shanty on the bank of Fox River. He walked most of the distance from Chicago, following Indian trails, guided occasionally by a stray settler, whose hospitality he sought and received, thus making his first journey to the State by the traces of obscure footpaths in the woods and on the prairies. After many years of arduous and successful professional labor he has retired from active practice as a physician. The mother of the subject of our sketch was the daughter of William Morse, who was born in Massachusetts in 1780, removed to Ohio in 1834, and died in 1845. Coming to Wisconsin at the early period before mentioned, and sharing with her family the vicissitudes and hardships of pioneer life, Mrs. Dyer has lived to see the wilderness of the West transformed into a region which now constitutes the center of American civilization, and with advancing age retains her health and natural buoyancy of spirits.
Our subject was educated in a country school, and by himself, with the aid of such private instruction as he from time to time obtained. He studied the common branches, received also some instruction in the higher mathematics and in Latin, and was a diligent student and reader of history and general literature. He left his home in 1850 at the age of sixteen years, and went to Chicago to learn the trade of a printer, engaging as an apprentice in the office of the " Western Citizen," an anti-slavery paper then published by Z. Eastman. He continued in this employment about a year, but not developing a fondness for the business he abandoned it. Meantime he had commenced the study of short-hand writing, which he afterward pursued, and became able to report speeches. In 1851 he removed to Sandusky, Ohio, where he entered the office of Rice Harper, Esq., who was clerk of the court of common pleas of Erie County, and a family friend, whose kindness and assistance will never be forgotten. Here he followed up with assiduity a course of reading and study, taking private lessons in the classics and the higher mathematics during spare hours. He had a strong taste for historical reading, and is perhaps as well acquainted as any other man of his years with the events and facts respecting nations and states in the order in which they happened, with their causes and effects, and the lives and actions of distinguished men. He also took a deep interest in the political events then transpiring, and stored his mind with facts pertaining to the issues of the times, which have proved of the utmost importance in later years. While in this office he became acquainted with the Hon. Ebenezer Lane, then a resident of Sandusky, and previously one of the judges of the supreme court of Ohio, who took a deep interest in his welfare and prospects, advised him to prepare for the legal profession, and admitted him to the free use of his large and well-selected library. He commenced his legal studies in the office of this excellent gentleman by copying briefs and other legal instruments, and was soon after received as a student in the office of the firm of Lane, Stone and Lane, of which the judge was the head. He pursued a course of law reading under the special guidance and instruction of Wm. G. Lane, son of the Hon. Ebenezer Lane, then one of the members of the firm, and since judge of the court of common pleas of Erie County, Ohio; and after a thorough course of preparation, covering a period of three years, he was admitted to the bar in 1857. He at once entered into partnership with Walter F. Stone, Esq., since one of the judges of the supreme court of Ohio, and began the practice of law at Sandusky, where he remained till December 1858. But having a desire to move farther west and establish himself independently in his profession, he came to Wisconsin in January 1859, and located at Racine (where he has since resided); he opened an office and was at once admitted to practice in the supreme court of the State. He soon obtained business and continued to practice alone for several years, and until he formed a co-partnership with Henry F. Fuller, Esq., survivor of the firm of Strong and Fuller, which continued until January 1875.
He has held the following public offices, to wit: city attorney of Racine during the years 1860 and 1861; member of the State legislature from Racine County, 1867 and 1868, serving through two sessions; and on the 10th of February 1875, was appointed judge of the United States district court for the eastern district of Wisconsin, which position he now holds.
As assistant clerk of the court at Sandusky, Ohio, he early attracted the notice of the judge and bar by his fine taste and talents as a reader, for he not only wrote but read the journals of the court, and from the very outset developed an aptness for the business and an acquaintance with every detail of the records that was considered extraordinary. Judge L. B. Otis (now of Chicago), who was then presiding in the Sandusky court, predicted a brilliant and honorable future for him, and every step of his after life has tended to prove the correctness of those early portends. As a student he seemed to take in the science of jurisprudence by intuition, and instead of plodding his way to success by years of perseverance, he seemed to ripen into a full-orbed barrister in a day. Nor were his high moral character, good habits and integrity less conspicuous. Everyone who knew him placed implicit confidence in him. His word was beyond question, and no business was considered too momentous or intricate to intrust to his care, even at that early age.

As an advocate, during his career at the bar of Wisconsin, he was recognized as both able and accomplished, familiar with the rules of equity and common law pleading, and in all places and under all circumstances faithful alike to his profession and his clients; and at the time of his promotion to the bench his professional prospects were of the most flattering character. Yielding to the urgent solicitation of his brethren at the bar, he went upon the bench, with a degree of hesitation as to his fitness for the place which disclosed that conscientiousness in the discharge of duty which is one of his leading characteristics. Bringing to the discharge of judicial duties the learning, ability and laborious habits to which he was largely indebted for his success at the bar, he has exhibited patience, impartiality and an equable temper, eminently befitting the bench. No man ever held a judicial office in Wisconsin in whose integrity the bar and the people had greater confidence, and we are safe in saying that no man of Judge Dyer's age ever earned a better reputation in so short a time for judicial fairness and ability. His decisions command respect, for they are always the result of careful study and profound knowledge. Few men can perform more labor, for few have trained their minds to better methods of both reading and thinking. He is, moreover, a man of pure mind and purity of taste. His language is always appropriate, ornate and even classic in construction. There is nothing turgid or labored about his style; his logic is clear, pointed and indubitable. On the bench his industry is proverbial; every question, important or otherwise, receives the most thorough investigation, and is disposed of with an honesty and conscientiousness which command the respect that they deserve.
As a citizen he is self-sacrificing and public spirited, always lending a helping hand to whatever tends to promote temperance, education and prosperity. He served his fellow-citizens in the legislature so efficiently and ably that they sought to secure his services in other and more prominent public positions, but he felt it necessary to decline. With little taste for public life he feels that it is not necessary to be conspicuous in order to be useful. His clear perceptions, amiable temper and extensive information would make him a useful member of either branch of the national legislature; and those who know him best regret that he has refused to accede to the wishes of his party in this regard.

As a neighbor he is esteemed for his kindness and courtesy. His home is a center of refinement and culture. His best characteristics are best known by those who have crossed his threshold as guests or friends. He is a man of superior conversational ability, and is always tolerant and charitable toward those who oppose him, but firm in his convictions and free to express his opinions. Frank, generous and transparent, he despises all trickery and fraud. He is true and lasting in his friendships, always recognizing and honoring worth, whether arrayed in the habiliments of wealth or clad in the humble garb of poverty.

He was married on the 6th of April 1859, to Miss Sarah E. Root, daughter of Hon. J. M. Root, of Sandusky, Ohio, a distinguished lawyer and prominent citizen of that State. Mr. Root was a member of congress during the Mexican war and subsequently, and has long been known through the country as a leading participant in the anti-slavery agitation which shook the halls of congress in the days of John Quincy Adams, Giddings and others. Mrs. Dyer is respected and beloved by all who know her for her estimable qualities, practical usefulness and her abundant good works. Devoted to her home and the training of her children, she still finds time to help the poor and minister to the afflicted.  They have three children - two sons and one daughter — named, in the order of their birth, William B., Joseph M. and Cornelia, who repay in affection and obedience the solicitude of their parents. [Source: The US Biological Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

CHARLES E. DYER
CHARLES E. DYER, Racine, was born in Cicero, Onondaga county, New York, October 5, 1834, and is the son of Dr. Edward G. and Ann Eliza Morse Dyer.  His father, in 1839, removed from the State of Ohio to Burlington, in this state, where he yet resides, having several years ago retired from the active practice of his profession, which was that of a physician.  Mrs. Dyer, the wife of Dr. Dyer, died in 1880. Judge Dyer was educated in a country school, and by himself, with the aid of such private instruction as he from time to time obtained.  He studied the common branches; received also some instruction in the higher mathematics and in the languages, and was always a diligent student and reader of history and general literature.  He left his home in 1850 at the age of sixteen years, and went to Chicago to learn the trade of a printer, engaging as an apprentice in the office of the "Western Citizen," an anti-slavery paper then published by Z. Eastman.  He continued in this employment about a year, but not developing a fondness for the business he abandoned it.  Meantime he had commenced the study of short-hand writing, which he afterward pursued, and became proficient in reporting. In 1851 he removed to Sandusky, Ohio, where he entered the office of Rice Harper, who was clerk of the court of common pleas of Erie county, and a family friend, whose kindness and assistance will never be forgotten.  Here he pursued with assiduity a course of reading and study, taking private instruction in the classics and the higher mathematics during spare hours. He had a strong taste for historical reading, and is perhaps as familiar as any other man of his years with the historical events of nations and states and with their causes and effects, and the lives and actions of distinguished men.  He also took a deep interest in the political events then transpiring, and stored his mind with facts pertaining to the issues of the times, which have proved of the utmost importance to him in later years.  While in this office he became acquainted with Ebenezer Lane, then an eminent lawyer residing in Sandusky, and previously one of the judges of the supreme court of Ohio.  Judge Lane took a deep interest in his welfare and prospects, advised him to prepare for the legal profession, and admitted him to the free use of his large and well selected library.  He commenced his legal studies in the office of this excellent gentleman by copying briefs and other legal instruments, and was soon after received as a student in the office of the firm of Lane, Stone & Lane, of which Judge Lane was the head.  He pursued a course of law-reading under the special guidance and instruction of W. G. Lane, son of Ebenezer Lane, then one of the members of the firm, and afterward judge of the court of common pleas of Erie county, Ohio, and now deceased; and after a thorough course of preparation, covering a period of three years, he was admitted to the bar in 1857.  He at once entered into partnership with Walter F. Stone, since one of the judges of the supreme court of Ohio, and began the practice of the law at Sandusky, where he remained till December 1858.  But being ambitious to establish himself independently in his profession, he came to Wisconsin, in January 1859, and located at Racine, where he has since resided.  He opened an office and was at once admitted to practice in the supreme court of the state.  He soon secured an excellent business and continued to practice alone for several years, until he formed a copartnership with Henry T. Fuller, which continued until January 1875. He held the office of city attorney of Racine during the years 1860 and 1861; was member of the state legislature from Racine county in 1867 and 1868, and, February 10, 1875, he was appointed judge of the United States district court for the eastern district of Wisconsin, which position he now holds. As assistant clerk of the court at Sandusky, Ohio, he early attracted the notice of the judge and bar by his fine taste and talent as a reader, for he not only wrote but read the journals of the court, and from the very outset developed an aptitude for the business and an acquaintance with every detail of the records that was considered extraordinary.  Judge l. B. Otis, who was then presiding in the Sandusky court, predicted a brilliant and honorable future for him, and every step of his after life has tended to prove the correctness of those early portends.  As a student he takes in the science of jurisprudence by intuition, and instead of plodding his way to success by years of perseverance, he seemed to ripen into a matured barrister in a day.  Nor thus early were his high moral character, good habits and integrity less conspicuous.  Every one who knew him placed in him implicit confidence.  His word was beyond question, and no business was considered too momentous or intricate to intrust to his care, even at that early age. As an advocate, during his career at the bar of Wisconsin, he was recognized as both able and accomplished, familiar with the rules of equity and common law pleading, and in all places and under all circumstances faithful alike to his profession and his clients; and at the time of his promotion to the bench his professional prospects were of the most flattering character.  Yielding to the earnest solicitation of his brethren of the bar, he went upon the bench, with a degree of hesitation as to his fitness for the place which disclosed that conscientiousness in the discharge of duty which is one of his leading characteristics.  Bringing to the discharge of judicial duties the learning, ability and laborious habits to which he was largely indebted for his success at the bar, he has exhibited patience, impartiality, and an equable temper, eminently befitting the bench.  No man ever held a judicial office in Wisconsin in whose integrity the bar and the people have had greater confidence, and it is safe to say that no man of Judge Dyer's age ever earned a better reputation in so short a time for judicial fairness and ability.  His decisions command respect, for they are always the result of careful study and profound knowledge.  Few men can perform more labor, for few have trained their minds to better methods of both reading and thinking. He is, moreover, a man of pure mind and purity of taste.  His language is always appropriate, ornate, and even classic in construction.  There is nothing turgid or labored about his style; his logic is clear, pointed and indubitable.  On the bench his industry is proverbial; every question, important or otherwise, receives the most thorough investigation, and is disposed of with an honesty and conscientiousness which commands the respect that such qualities deserve. As a citizen he is self-sacrificing and public spirited, always lending a helping hand to whatever tends to promote temperance, education and prosperity.  He served his fellow-citizens in the legislature so efficiently and ably that they sought to secure his services in other and more prominent public positions, but he felt it necessary to decline.  With litttle taste for public life he feels that it is not necessary to be conspicuous to be useful, and that it would not be propriety for a judicial officer to become a candidate for political preferments. He was married on April 6, 1859, to Miss Sarah E. Root, daughter of J. M. Root, of Sandusky, Ohio, who in his time was a distinguished lawyer and citizen of that state, and for several years was a prominent member of congress. [Source: The Bench and Bar of Wisconsin, by Parker McCobb Reed, Milwaukee; P. M. Reed publisher (1882) transcribed by Liz Dellinger]
 


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