Wisconsin Genealogy Trails
Vilas County, Wisconsin
Biographies


N. A. COLMAN
This gentleman, one of the busiest and most prominent citizens of Vilas county, is a native of Wisconsin, born in Greenbush, Sheboygan county, May 4, 1860. His father, Charles B. Colman, was born February 4, 1822, in Warren, Litchfield Co., Conn. The family is of English origin, the ancestry being traced back to three brothers who came from England to America in an early day, one of them making his home in Warren, Connecticut. Hon. C. B. Colman received his education at the Warren Academy. After finishing his education he taught school for some time, and in 1842 started out to see "the West." He was pleased with Wisconsin, and took up a homestead in Sheboygan county, twenty miles west of Lake Michigan. Thus he came alone to Wisconsin leaving father, mother, one brother - Fredrick - and three sisters - Lucia, Sarah and Elizabeth - in Connecticut. After being successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits for some time, he married Miss Emma Carter, of the same county, but after a brief married life she died leaving an infant daughter, Orpha E. Mr. Colman took for a second wife Miss Anna S. Stoddard, a native of New York, whose parents, Jonathan and Phoebe (Carter) Stoddard, were natives of Canada. By this marriage five children were born, viz.: Florence, Niles A., Henry J., C. Francis and Emogene. The father of N. A. Colman is a stanch member of the Democratic party, and has always taken an active part in political affairs. He has filled many town and county offices, besides serving as member of the Assembly from Sheboygan county. He is a man of well-known ability and mental activity. Hon. C. B. Colman and wife now make their home in Dunn county, Wisconsin. In June, 1892, N. A. Colman was married at Eagle River to Miss Bessie B. Shank, who died March 8, 1894, leaving, a daughter, Bessie D., nine days old. Mrs. N. A. Colman was a native of Michigan, born, in 1874, in Osceola county, and a daughter of Alonzo M. and Essie Shank, who had four children - Cora, Byron, Bruce and Bessie B. Mr. Shank is a lumberman by occupation. During the youth and early manhood of Mr. Colman he remained on his father's farm in Sheboygan county, attending the schools of Greenbush up to the age of eighteen when he commenced to teach in the district schools, continuing thus two years. After this he attended school at Oshkosh, and in the fall of 1884 entered the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In 1887 he entered the Law Department of the University, attending until June 19, 1889, when he graduated - being admitted to practice in all courts. Mr. Colman educated himself, teaching and studying alternately, and while in Madison was in the office of William F. Vilas. In July, after being admitted to the bar, he came to Rhinelander, Oneida county, remaining there four months in the office of Alban & Barnes, and on December 1, 1889, opened a law office at Eagle River under the firm name of Alban, Barnes & Colman. This partnership continued two years, Messrs. Alban & Barnes withdrawing at the end of that time. Mr. Colman has since practiced alone, meeting with flattering success in his chosen profession, a success which he well deserves. Like his father before him, he is public-spirited, and the people, recognizing in him one who would attend to their interests with all the zeal and ability at his command, have chosen him to various offices of trust, the duties of which he has ever faithfully discharged. In 1893 his assistance was proven valuable in the work of getting Vilas county set off from Oneida. His wide acquaintance with public men making him a strong ally; he spent much time at Madison, and finally, with others equally interested, succeeded in having the new county of Vilas formed and the county seat fixed at Eagle River. On the organization of the county he was made district attorney, resigning the position of superintendent of schools of Oneida county (to which he had been elected in 1892) to accept. In the fall of 1894 he was elected district attorney on the Democratic ticket, although the county otherwise went strongly Republican, a compliment which he did not fail to appreciate. [Source: "Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawno" 1895, transcribed by Mary Saggio]

LYMAN J. COOK
Lyman J. Cook, member of the firm of Dickinson & Cook, the leading general merchants and real-estate dealers of Eagle River, Vilas county, is a native of New York State, born September 17, 1850, in North Norwich, Chenango county. Lyman D. Cook, father of our subject, first saw the light in Dutchess county, N. Y., being a son of Joseph Cook, who was of English descent. The latter was by occupation a farmer and carpenter, and during the war of 1812 served as second lieutenant. In an early day he established a colony in Chenango county, purchasing a large tract of river flats, now part of the "Chenango Valley," no little sport being excited by his investing in such low land; but he lived to see his purchase become very valuable. He and his wife both died there, the parents of a numerous family: Lyman D., their son was reared to agricultural pursuits, which he made his life vocation. He was twice married: First to a Miss Fannie Fisher, by whom he had eight children who lived to maturity, viz.: Egbert, Alonzo, Almon, Thompson, Mary, Olive, Philena and Rachel. After the death of the mother of these, Mr. Cook married Mary A. Bacon, by whom he had one child - Lyman J. This Mrs. Cook was a daughter of Horace and Mary (Rommer) Bacon, the former of whom was of English descent, the latter of French, her more immediate ancestors, whose names were Chevalier, having come over to America from France with La Fayette during the Revolutionary war, and served as soldiers under him. Lyman D. Cook participated in the Mexican war. In 1867 he came to Wisconsin, purchasing a farm in Black Creek township, Outagamie county, whereon he passed the rest of his days, dying in 1875; he was a strong Democrat in his political predilections, but voted for Lincoln. The widowed mother, after her husband's death, lived with her son Lyman J. up to her death, which occurred in 1889. The subject proper of these lines was reared on the farm, receiving his elementary education at the common schools, which was supplemented with two terms at the Union schools, and one term at select school. Early in life he assisted materially in the support of his parents, employing himself at both farming and lumbering until he was eighteen years old, when he went into the woods and for one winter wielded the axe in felling the trees. During the following eleven years or so he was engaged for his own account, alternately at farming in the summers and lumbering in the winters, which brings his life history down to 1879, in which year he moved to Marathon county, and in the village of Norrie built the second frame house, where he made his home nearly four years, conducting a general mercantile and drug business in partnership with George P. Dickinson. In the spring of 1884 the firm removed to Eagle River, Vilas county, hauling their goods and chattels by wagon from Three Lakes, and for some time carrying on their business, which consisted of general merchandise, drugs, etc., in a tent, to which, later, they added real-estate dealings. Not long afterward a postoffice was established at Eagle River, Mr. Cook being appointed the first postmaster, and holding the position up to the time of Cleveland's first election; he had previously been post-master at Norrie, and was filling the incumbency at the time of his leaving that village for Eagle River. The firm of Dickinson & Cook conduct the largest general store in this rising, hustling place, and are largely interested in lumbering, buying pine lands quite extensively. Mr. Cook has been twice married, first time to Miss Anna Eliza Butler, who was born in Sandusky, Ohio, daughter of Manara and Sarah Butler, natives of Ohio, who came to Wisconsin in an early day, and who had a family of two sons and four daughters: Daniel E., Nathan S., Dell, Emma E., Ettie C. and Anna Eliza. To this marriage were born three children: Grant D., Jay B., and one that died in infancy. The mother of these dying in 1877, Mr. Cook married, for his second wife, in 1883, Miss Florence P. Thompson, who was born in Maine, near the city of Augusta, daughter of George W. and Charlotte Thompson, and this union has been blessed with five children: Paul L., Lawrence (deceased at the age of seven years), Morton, Mary and Florence. In politics our subject is a stanch Republican; served as town treasurer of Eagle River six years, and was chairman one year; was active in securing the organization of Vilas county, spending nearly an entire winter at Madison for that purpose. Socially he is a member of the F. & A. M. and I. O. O. F. Prior to embarking in mercantile pursuits Mr. Cook passed some two years in the South, with the view of locating there, but not liking the country returned to Wisconsin. He is one of the most influential business men in the county, and in a large measure enjoys the respect and esteem of his fellow men. [Source: "Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawno" 1895, transcribed by Mary Saggio]

ALBERT A. DENTON
This gentleman, who is well known as a prominent and enterprising citizen of Eagle River, Vilas county, was born in Kent county, Mich., near Grand Rapids, June 18, 1847. His grandfather Denton was a British soldier during the Revolutionary struggle, and at one of the battles received a bullet in his leg, which memento of the war he carried to his grave. John W. Denton, father of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania, of English ancestry, and had four brothers - Samuel, George, William and Daniel - and three sisters - Mary Ann, Caroline and Joanna. He married Minerva Bartholomew, by whom he had six children: Mary J., L. Bradley, Albert A., Charles F., Ella M. and John W., Jr. In 1839 he moved to Michigan, for a time making his home in Kent county, near Grand Rapids, whence, in 1850, he moved to Mill Point, Ottawa county, same State. In 1852 he built a large store and hotel at Eastmanville, also in Ottawa county, Mich., known as the "Denton House," which in 1861 he sold, and then removed to Grand Rapids, purchasing an elegant dwelling there; but in 1862 he moved to a farm south of Lowell, Kent county, which and his city property, however, he soon afterward traded for a fine farm in Keene township, Ionia county, also in Michigan. In the fall of 1868 he and his two sons took a canoe trip up the Muskegon river to Houghton Lake, a distance of some two hundred miles, hunting, fishing and looking up pine lands, after which he made annual trips to the same locality, ultimately locating a homestead at Houghton Lake, renting his Keene township (Ionia county) farm and moving his family to his new property. In the fall of 1877 he returned to the farm, and passed the rest of his days thereon; he died in 1885, while on a visit to his son Albert; his widow is still living. He built the first logging railroad in Michigan, which was known as the "Barbers railroad." In his political leanings he was a strong Democrat, but never aspired to office, and he had the reputation of a worthy, honorable citizen, kind-hearted and charitable.
Albert A. Denton, the subject proper of these lines, was educated at the common schools of the locality of his boyhood home, and remained under the parental roof until his marriage. In 1870 he went to Houghton Lake, and for ten years was there engaged in lumbering, taking a homestead. In 1880 he sold out and bought property at East Saginaw, Mich., whither he removed his family, and then took a trip to Central America for the purpose of looking up valuable timber, coming direct from there to Eagle River, Wis.; but this was not his first visit to Wisconsin, as he had already, some years before, traveled considerably throughout the State. Here his family rejoined him, and in April, 1884, he bought property, built the "Denton House," which he conducted six years, or till July, 1890, when he sold it. Mr. Denton then went on an exploring expedition to northern Minnesota, passing three years there, having located government land, and then returned to Eagle River, where he has since made his home, his chief occupation being that of land broker and timber estimator.
In 1868 our subject was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Hart, who was born in 1848, daughter of Lewis and Nancy (Sherman) Hart, natives of Herkimer county, N. Y., where they were married, and whence they came to Michigan about the year 1845, settling in Keene township, Ionia county, where their daughter Elizabeth was born. They were the parents of eight children, their names being: Henrietta, Mary, Phebe, Elizabeth, George, Franklin, Mayland and Milo. The father of these died in 1888; he was a Republican in politics, and served his county as treasurer, also holding many minor offices. The mother is yet living. The family are descendants of German immigrants who settled in the Mohawk Valley many years ago. To Mr. and Mrs. Denton has been born one child, a son, Louis, at present attending school at Valparaiso, Ind. In politics our subject is a Democrat, and has been chairman of the town; was assessor and also postmaster under the Democrat administration; while a resident of Michigan he served as postmaster, was county treasurer, also sheriff, and held various other offices; he assisted in the organization of Roscommon county, Mich.; was also a member of the county board at the time of the setting off of Oneida county, Wis. He is and has been all his life a typical frontiersman, and is recognized as a useful citizen and member of the community. [Source: "Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawno" 1895, transcribed by Mary Saggio]

MART. HIRZEL
Mart. Hirzel, a prosperous and representative business man of Vilas county, is a native of New York State, born in Erie county, March 26, 1864, of German descent. Grandfather Hirzel was born in Baden, Germany, where he married and whence he came to the United States, settling in an early day in Buffalo, N. Y., where he was proprietor of a meat market. This honored pioneer couple had five children, named respectively: George, Fred, Martin, David and Sarah. The parents of these and also their son George subsequently returned to Germany, and there died. Another son, David, father of our subject, was born at Williamsville, Erie Co., N. Y., in 1834, and for many years was a stock man in the Buffalo (N. Y.) stock yards. He there married Mary Sturt, who was born, in 1836, in Philadelphia, Penn., of German parents, who emigrated to this country shortly after their marriage, and died in Philadelphia the parents of three children: Martin, Godfrey and Mary. To David and Mary Hirzel were born ten children, named respectively: Mary, David, Emma, Godfrey, Martin, Albert, Alvin, William, Ella and Emil. Mr. Hirzel, in 1874, left Buffalo, and made his last earthly home on a fruit farm at Williamsville, N. Y., where he passed the rest of his days, dying in 1883. The widowed mother sold this farm in 1893, and now lives with her daughter, Mrs. Schaffer, at Clare, Mich. David Hirzel's brother, Fred, died at Yorkshire, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., and the other brother, Martin, lives at Whitehouse, Ohio, with the sister, Sarah. Mart. Hirzel, the subject proper of these lines, received his education at an academy at Williamsville, both in English and German. When seventeen years old he moved west to Michigan and worked in the woods, lumbering, until coming to Eagle River, August 28, 1885, where during the first summer he was employed in a sawmill - in the winter in the woods, and in the spring on the "drive." In the spring of 1888 he embarked in his present wholesale and retail coal, wood, ice, lime, brick, hair and cement business, in addition to which he is also agent for the Pabst Brewing Co. of Milwaukee. On July 22, 1891, Mr. Hirzel was married, at Eagle River, to Miss Rosa B. Allen, who was born at Norfolk, Va., August 18, 1871, daughter of Perry C. and Fannie (Wise) Allen, natives of Pennsylvania, who were the parents of three daughters: Lettie, Rosa B., and Hattie. The mother of these now lives at Eagle River. Mr. and Mrs. Hirzel have no children. They have an elegant and attractive home in Eagle River, in addition to which our subject owns other city property, besides land in another part of the county. In his political predilections he is a Democrat, and he has served his city as supervisor and as superintendent of the water works. Socially, he is a member of the I. O. O. F., Lodge No. 109, Eagle River, of which he is recording secretary. As a typical self-made man, one who has, unaided, "hoed his own row," Mr. Hirzel stands conspicuously in the front rank of the successful ones. [Source: "Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawno" 1895, transcribed by Mary Saggio]

FINN LAWLER
The Province of New Brunswick, Canada, has given to the United States, and to the State of Wisconsin, especially, a goodly number of her stalwart, industrious and loyal citizens, among whom the subject of this sketch stands prominent. Mr. Lawler was born in Douglas, Northumberland Co., New Brunswick, May 8, 1845, a son of John Lawler, who was of the same nativity, having first seen the light about the year 1825. The family are of Irish descent, grandfather Patrick Lawler having been born in Queen's County, Ireland, where he married Miss Margaret Finn. In 1824 they came to Canada, settling in Northumberland county, New Brunswick, where they died, the grandfather in 1877, the grandmother in 1880. They had a family of seventeen children, of whom only the names of the following six are remembered: John, James, Mary, Margaret, Jane and Elisha. Patrick Lawler and his wife were employed some thirty years in the Marine Hospital which was established in Northumberland county, N. B., by the British Government. John Lawler, father of Finn Lawler, is at present living at Newcastle, N. B., four miles from where he was born. He was educated at St. John, same province, and became a licensed school teacher, a profession he followed many years, some of his old scholars now holding government offices in both the United States and Canada, not a few of them being members of Parliament. In 1862 he was appointed register of deeds for Northumberland county, which office he still holds, and is also a magistrate by government appointment, his commission, which is dated 1863, bearing the signature of Queen Victoria. On November 6, 1844, Mr. Lawler was married to Miss Sarah Landy, who was born on the ocean, daughter of John and Sarah Landy, natives of Ireland, the former of whom worked in the shipyard at Douglas, N. B., and was drowned in the river Miramichi. Mrs. Sarah (Landy) Lawler had one brother - John - and three sisters - Ann, Mary and Betsy. To John and Sarah Lawler were born thirteen children, as follows: Margaret, Jane, Finn, Richard, James, Rogers, John, Eliza, Mary Ann, and four that died in infancy. On November 6, 1894, the parents celebrated their "golden wedding." The subject proper of these lines, whose name appears at the opening of this sketch, received his education under his father's able tuition, and when the latter became register of deeds he took his son, Finn, into the registry office with him. Here the lad remained about three years, or until October, 1863, when, at that time eighteen years old, he went to New York City, where he found employment with a lumber company for the first three days as common laborer; but his employer, discovering his aptitude for figures, at once promoted him to the position of tally-keeper. In February, 1866, he came to Wisconsin, spending a few months among relatives at Shullsburg, Lafayette county, then in the spring moving to Chicago, whence after a short time he returned to Wisconsin, and in the then village of Oshkosh found employment in a clothing store some sixteen months. The proprietors of the store, concluding to open a branch establishment at Neenah, sent our subject there to take charge; but in 1868 he left that business, and moving to Shawano, Wis., clerked in a hotel there one winter, in the following spring taking up his residence in Portage, where he was once more employed by the clothing firm he had previously worked for. At the end of eighteen months the firm dissolved, and our subject, then turning his attention to the Wolf River Valley, in December, 1871, set out via the military road for Rice Lake (on the Wolf river), a place boasting at that time of but one house, and here, in company with William Johnson, he commenced trading with the Indians, so continuing some two years. During this time he had considerable experience as a woodsman, and in 1875, in company with one Perry, he came to Eagle River, where he has since resided, his chief occupation being connected with timber lands - prospecting, estimating, surveying, etc. - and for several years he served as deputy county surveyor. He handles hardwood, pine and spruce timber, and timber is estimated and sold on commission, taxes also being paid for non-residents. In this he is in partnership with A. A. Denton, the style of the firm being Denton & Lawler. They are also considerably interested in land in Wisconsin and Minnesota. In his political preferments Mr. Lawler is a Democrat; was the first chairman of the town, first school clerk, and in the spring of 1895 was elected assessor. Much thought of by his neighbors, he enjoys the respect and esteem of many warm friends in Eagle River, in which rising young city he takes an active interest. Mr. Lawler has two brothers living in New Brunswick, the one, Richard A., a lawyer in Chatham, the other a commission merchant in Newcastle, who is also deputy registrar of deeds for the county of Northumberland; he has also two brothers, John and James, both residing at Eagle River, lumbermen by occupation. Our subject is the only one of them, no doubt, who can boast of being able to speak the Chippewa (Indian) language. He has just completed a cosy residence on the bank of Eagle river, in a grove of maples and balsams, among the trees which he loves and where he has spent a large part of his lifetime. He owns some village and considerable outside property which will in time no doubt become valuable. Mr. Lawler has not yet married, but unless all signs fail he may in the near future. [Source: "Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawno" 1895, transcribed by Mary Saggio]

GEORGE E. O'CONNOR
George E. O'Connor, the popular and efficient sheriff of Vilas county, with residence at Eagle River, is a native of Wisconsin, born August 31, 1865, a son of John O'Connor, who first saw the light, in 1833, near the city of Newcastle, New Brunswick, Canada. Edward O'Connor, grandfather of our subject, was born in Tipperary, Ireland, whence, when a young man, he emigrated to New Brunswick, where he married Miss Catherine Welch, by whom he had seven children, named respectively: John, Timothy, Kate, Richard, Mary, Maurice and Alice, the last two dying when quite young. In the spring of 1845 the family came to Wisconsin, locating in Milwaukee, where the father took up a homestead, near where the city hall now stands, and there remained some three years; but, thinking to better himself farther west, he abandoned his first Wisconsin home, and after a brief sojourn in Oshkosh settled on a farm in Brown county, whereon he passed the rest of his days, dying in 1859; his wife survived him till July, 1883, when she, too, passed to the "great unknown." He was a farmer and lumberman, prominent in politics as an ardent Whig and Republican. His ancestry in Ireland were all well-to-do agriculturists. John O'Connor, father of our subject, was twelve years old when the family took up their residence in Milwaukee, at the common schools of which then village he received a somewhat limited education, having in his boyhood to assist his father in getting out square timber and clearing the farm. At about the age of eighteen he commenced to work away from home, finding employment in mills and at lumbering, when nineteen years old having charge of a mill as foreman. In 1855, in the meantime marrying, he moved to Oconto, having been offered, and accepted, the position of head sawyer in a mill at that place, also following the logging business. Here he remained till 1866, in which year he took up his residence in Green Bay, where in connection with his lumbering interests he conducted a hotel, and was also interested in a sailing vessel, which, however, was wrecked. After about eight years' residence in Green Bay, he removed to Eau Claire, where he resided some nine years, with the exception of three years passed in Texas and Arkansas, erecting there a mill which turned out a failure. In Eau Claire he followed lumbering, and in April, 1883, he came to Eagle River, buying a tract of one thousand acres of land, in August, same year, platting the town of Eagle River, which was described as the plat of the N. E. quarter of the N.W. quarter of Section 33, Town 40 North, of Range 10 East, being the first plat of the town. Afterward he added two additions known as the Original Plat, and then one called the Ann O'Connor Addition. He came to be known as "the father of Eagle River." Here he logged one winter, and then embarked in the real-estate business, including the buying and selling of city property and pine lands, in connection with which he carried on a general supply store. He died July 4, 1889, a stanch Republican in his political affiliations. He was a typical self-made man, one who was favored with few school privileges, but was a great reader and a close student of human nature. At the time of the Pike's Peak excitement, he passed some six months in that region. Although reared a strict Catholic, yet he was liberal toward all denominations, and was particularly charitable to the poor. He was never called upon to serve his adopted country as a soldier, but he had two brothers in the army - Timothy and Richard. In 1855, at Green Bay, Wis., John O'Connor was married to Miss Anna Golden, a native of County Sligo, Ireland, born in 1835, a daughter of William and Mary (Flatley) Golden, farming people, both also of Irish nativity, who came to America about the year 1838. For a time they sojourned in New York City, thence proceeding to Rome, N. Y., whence after three years passed in that city they came to Wisconsin, settling at Wrightstown, Brown county, on wild land, where they passed the rest of their days, the father dying in 1860, the mother in 1868. They were the first settlers of Wrightstown, and the old log cabin wherein they lived is still standing. They had nine children, to wit: Thomas, Peter, Patrick, Mary, Martin, James, Margaret, Ellen and Anna. The father was a "dyed-in-the-wool" Democrat. To John and Anna O'Connor were born ten children, named respectively: Mary, Edward, Ellen, Anna, George E., Matilda, Henry C, Don and Walter F. (twins), and Harriet. George E. O'Connor, the subject proper of this memoir, was reared and educated in Eau Claire, and there at the early age of eleven years commenced learning the trade of printer, which he followed four years, after which he worked for a time in a shingle mill, then learned the trade of plumber. In 1883 he came to Eagle River with his father, whom he assisted in the latter's extensive lumbering interests - sometimes working in the woods, at other times running the river - so continuing some three years. At the age of twenty he entered the Northwestern Business College, at Madison, which institution he attended two summer terms, working in the woods winters, for a time keeping books for a lumber camp. In the fall of 1888 he commenced the management of his father's store, and after the latter's death he was appointed administrator of the estate. Politically he is a stanch Republican, and in 1894 he was elected to his present position of sheriff of Vilas county; for two years he served as town clerk, was secretary of the school board, and filled several minor offices. Socially he is a member of the I. O. O. F. and K. of P. He has two brothers attending school at Detroit, Mich., while another brother, Henry C, is studying for the profession of dentist, at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (at one time he was register of deeds for Oneida county. Wis.). Our subject has not yet joined the noble army of Benedicts. [Source: "Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawno" 1895, transcribed by Mary Saggio]

SAMUEL W. SMITH
Samuel W. Smith, the genial and courteous "mine host" of the "Denton House," Eagle River, Vilas county, and present postmaster, was born April 16, 1850, in Marquette county, Wisconsin. Judge A. D. Smith, father of our subject, was a native of New York State, born in 1813, in Ulster county, a son of John Smith, who had a family of seven children, as follows: Robert, Doll, Benjamin, Angeline, Susan, Rachel and Abraham D. The parents of these both died in New York State, and the father was well known as a great lover and successful breeder of fast horses. Judge A. D. Smith was a well-educated man, a carpenter by trade, becoming superintendent on the construction of the docks and locks for the Lehigh Valley waterway. He was married, in 1834, at Wilkesbarre, Penn., to Miss Pollie Bennett, who was born there in 1819; she had two brothers: Samuel and Josiah. To Judge and Pollie Smith were born children as follows: Angelina (Mrs. L. B. Best), Susan (Mrs. O. N. Hillyer), Addie (Mrs. Henry Douglass), Rachel (deceased), Eliza and Sarah (both deceased in infancy), Josiah B., Robert N. (deceased), Samuel W., Benjamin F. , John A., Clara (Mrs. Gal- braith), and Charlotte O. (Mrs. McDonald), Judge Smith came with his family to Wisconsin in 1846, the journey from Pennsylvania being made with a covered wagon drawn by horses. They remained in the southern part of the State two years, and then established a homestead near Briggsville, Marquette county. The judge owned some 300 acres of land, partly in Marquette and partly in Adams county, and hereon he died in July, 1890, his wife following him to the grave in 1892. He was a loyal, patriotic American, but would never accept public office; a firm temperance man, yet never obstrusive in his opinions on that subject, and was strong in his likes and dislikes, a sincere friend and a generous enemy. Samuel W. Smith, the subject proper of this sketch, was reared on a farm, and educated at the district school, remaining at home most of the time till he was twenty-three years old, working in the woods, winters. After his marriage, in 1873, he commenced for his own account, his first venture being cranberry raising, and for three years he followed agricultural pursuits, after which he commenced lumbering as a jobber. Taking up his residence at Grand Rapids, he there, with the exception of two years, worked a farm. For six years he logged for the Sherry & Cameron Co., and, having both a logging and railroad outfit, filled railroad contracts during the summer seasons. In 1889 he came to Eagle River and bought his present property, known as the "Denton House," the leading hotel in the young city, which he has considerably added to and greatly improved since assuming charge of it. He has taken an active and prominent part in the building up of Eagle River, particularly, also, in the organization of Vilas county, much of his time being spent in Madison for that purpose. In politics he is a Democrat, and he was appointed postmaster at Eagle River by President Cleveland. He is a strong advocate of temperance, and a useful, popular citizen. Samuel W. Smith was married to Miss Alice Walsh, who was born in Quebec, Canada, daughter of Patrick and Bridget (Murphy) Walsh, both of whom were of Irish nativity, the father born in Athlone. They were married in Canada, and had eight children, as follows: Jennie, Alice, Thomas, William, Patrick and James, living; and Mary and Sabina, deceased, the former when thirteen years old, the latter when fifteen. In 1868 the family came to Wisconsin, settling at Grand Rapids, Wood county, whence, in 1893, the father, who was a farmer by occupation, moved to Eagle River, Vilas county, where he died December 4, same year; his widow is yet living. John Walsh (father of Patrick Walsh), an only child, born in 1789, married Sabina Finn, by whom he had eight children - three sons and five daughters. In an early day the family emigrated to Canada, moving from there to Wisconsin, where John Walsh, the father, died in April, 1874. Mrs. Bridget Walsh, mother of Mrs. S. W. Smith, was fifteen years old when she came to Canada with her parents, who both died there; she had one brother, Thomas Murphy (who was a soldier in the British army twenty-one years), one sister, Alice, in Australia, and another, Mrs. Mary Crowe, in San Francisco, Cal. Mrs. Bridget (Murphy) Walsh's mother was a Barry; she had two brothers - Luke and Timothy - who were educated for the Church, and were professors. [Source: "Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawno" 1895, transcribed by Mary Saggio]

WILLIAM F. VILAS



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