Wood County, Wisconsin - Daly Family

Transcribed By: Marla Zwakman (unless otherwise noted) --- Biographies Index
Births -- Obits -- Marriages -- History -- Marathon County Wisconsin Biographies

Elizabeth Nancy Daly (1923)
Source: History of Wood County, Wisconsin (1923) compiled by George O. Jones, pages 382-383

Elizabeth Nancy (Smith) Daly was born in Bloomingdale, Rasaic County, N. J., Sept. 12, 1845, daughter of William G. and Martha Ann (Cooper) Smith. She had no sisters, but six brothers, of whom the only one now living is Mahlon, who resides in Friendship, this state. She attended the village academy at Bloomingdale until she was 13 years old, when she moved with her parents to Newark, N. J., where she finished her education at the high school. She then learned the milliner's trade and was employed in millinery shops in Newark and also in New York City. In 1864 her father traded his New Jersey lands for a farm in Wisconsin, six miles west of Friendship, and moved to the new western country. Elizabeth remained in the East until the following year, when she came to this state with her brother Edward, who had been discharged from the U. S. navy at the close of the Civil War. The journey was made by rail from New Jersey to Kilbourn, Wis., and from there to Grand Rapids the stage coach was driven by J. K. Searles, who carried passengers and mail between Grand Rapids and Friendship for several years. During the journey, which was long and tedious, one of the horses became ill, and the passengers took turns at walking to relieve the situation. The destination was reached at nine o'clock in the evening. Miss Smith arrived in Grand Rapids weary and hungry and went directly to the home of Mrs. Monroe Huntington, by whom she was engaged to assist in her millinery store, which was located on the site of the present Eugene Miller garage. She remained in Mrs. Huntington's employ for two and a half years, during which time the Huntingtons bought the property about half a block east of the Hotel Witter, to which place they moved their millinery stock and household goods. Both Mr. and Mrs. Huntington have passed away and the property is now owned by their heirs. At the end of two and a half years Miss Smith resigned her position with Mrs. Huntington and opened a millinery business on her own account in a small shop located in the second story of the old Spafford building, which still stands and adjoins the armory on the west. During the same year a big fire started in the night in a saloon located where the Wood County Reporter now stands, destroying all buildings for nearly half a block on the same side of the street, and the Miller store building located just opposite. As there was no fire department, a volunteer pail brigade was formed by which the fire was finally extinguished. In the following year Elizabeth moved her millinery stock to the second story of the old John Hamm building, located on the site of the Weisel store, where she continued the business for three years, when she again moved, this time to a small building located where the John E. Daly Drug Co. now have their store. She continued in the millinery business until the fall of 1878, and on Feb. 24, 1878, was joined in marriage to John Daly, one of the oldest and most successful lumbermen in the Wisconsin valley, and with whom she lived in happy wedlock for over 13 years, or until his death Dec. 28, 1891. Mention of their children may be found in Mr. Daly's personal biography. After his death Mrs. Daly disposed of the old family home at 637 Baker Street, which had been built by him and erected a new residence opposite to where she now lives. She is a member of the Congregational Church and of the Woman's Association of the church. She is an enthusiastic suffragette, embracing the long sought opportunity when she cast her first ballot in the fall of 1900. As an early settler and long resident in this city, she is universally known and as widely respected for her personal record as a wife and mother and a ready helper in every good work.

John Daly (1923)
Source: History of Wood County, Wisconsin (1923) compiled by George O. Jones, page 382

John Daly, in past years one of the leading citizens of Wood County, which he did much to develop, was born in Smethport, McKean County, Penn., Dec. 18, 1840, son of Eugene and Martha (McDowell) Daly. The parents were natives of Ireland, but were married in Pennsylvania, in which state they spent the remainder of their lives as farmers. Their son John, who was one of 15 children, was educated in the common schools of his native town, and was reared in habits of industry and perseverance, which proved of incalculable benefit to him in his business life. He first earned his living by work on neighboring farms and subsequently embarked in the butchering business. On attaining his majority, he made up his mind to seek his fortune in the great Northwest, and came to Wisconsin, entering the employ of an uncle at Watertown, Jefferson County. From there, after awhile, he came to Wood County, where he found work in the pineries, and to some extent was engaged in running logs on the river in spring. For awhile he relinquished that occupation to conduct a butcher shop in Grand Rapids. Then he became associated with Henry A. Sampson and the firm carried on a logging business, working both for themselves and on contract for others. Their business interests gradually grew to large proportions and embraced various lines of enterprise. They organized the Oberbeck Furniture Co., the plant of which they built, and which is now the plant of the Ahwagam Paper Products Co. They also founded the present Merrill Iron Works, and Mr. Daly was vice president of the Merrill Street Railway and Lighting Co. of that city. He was also president of the John O'Day Logging Co., of Merrill, a director of the Grand' Rapids Pulp & Paper Co. of Grand Rapids, and an officer of the Thief River Falls Lumber Co. At the time of his death he was president of the Biron Mills. Mr. Daly was fatally injured in a runaway accident Dec. 28, 1891, while visiting one of his logging camps near Dancy. He was a man of great energy and enterprise, honest in his business dealings and respected by his fellow citizens. In politics he was a Democrat and in religion a Catholic. Mr. Daly was twice married; first to Mary Little. He was married secondly, Feb. 24, 1878, to Elizabeth Nancy Smith, who was born in Bloomingdale, N. J., Sept. 12, 1845, daughter of William G. and Martha Ann (Cooper) Smith. Of this marriage four children were born: Edward John, Nina, Mary Elizabeth and Percifer C. Edward John is now engaged in the automobile and real estate business at Buhl, Idaho. Nina died at the age of seven years. Mary Elizabeth is the wife of John Roberts, a prominent attorney of Wisconsin Rapids. Percifer C. is a leading business man of this city, being the head of the Daly Ice & Coal Co.

John E. Daly (1923)
Source: History of Wood County, Wisconsin (1923) compiled by George O. Jones, pages 496-497

John E. Daly, proprietor of an old established drug store in the city of Wisconsin Rapids, was born in this city July 21, 1868, son of Timothy and Martha (Wright) Daly, who came to Grand Rapids (now Wisconsin Rapids) in 1866. Timothy was a merchant occupying at one time a small building north of the Hotel Witter near the old Spafford store. He was killed in a railroad accident while on a trip to the East in 1886. His wife survived him many years, passing away Oct. 19, 1908. John E. Daly, who was the only child of his parents, was graduated from the Howe High School in 1885. He then entered the Wood County Drug Store to learn the business, later taking a course in pharmacy in Wisconsin University. Subsequently he worked in drug stores in Portage, Wis., and Escanaba, Mich. In 1889 he came back to Grand Rapids and went to work for the Slocum Drug Co., which concern he later bought in company with H. A. Sampson and John Daly, Sr. In 1891 our subject sold his interest and opened a store in the new Wood County Block, which he operated until 1898, in which year he erected his present store on First Street North. In 1908 Mr. Daly bought the William Scott show house, later known as Daly's Theatre, of which he was the proprietor and manager until it burned down on Jan. 14, 1922. He has attained a prominent place among the business men of the city and is respected as a reliable and useful citizen. He is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Daly was married June 18, 1894, in Grand Rapids, Wis., to Grace E. Balderston, who was born in this city, daughter of William J. and Sarah Jeanette (Wood) Balderston. Mrs. Daly was graduated from the old Howe High School in 1886. She is a member of the Federation of Women, a charter member of the Women's Club,-the Women's Association of the Congregational Church, and of the Daughters of the American Revolution, in all of which she is an active worker. She was the originator of the slogan," Grand Rapids the Heart of Wisconsin." She was also the first librarian of the T. B. Scott Library and is now serving in her seventeenth year as its secretary. Mr. and Mrs. John E. Daly are the parents of four children: Janet B., born Sept. 18, 1895, who is the wife of Chester Ridgman and has two children, Jean and Barbara; Donald J., born June 20, 1898, who is in his father's employ; Esther M., born Sept. 5, 1904, who is attending high school; and Barbara F., born Aug. 25, 1908, who is also in high school. Donald served in the U. S. navy in the World War, being overseas nine months.

Percifer C. Daly (1923)
Source: History of Wood County, Wisconsin (1923) compiled by George O. Jones, page 482

Percifer C. Daly, one of the leading business men of Wisconsin Rapids, was born in this city, then known as Grand Rapids, on Sept. 15, 1889, son of John and Elizabeth N. (Smith) Daly. A sketch of the father, John Daly, who was one of the men who helped to make Wood County, being the originator or promoter of many important enterprises, may be found elsewhere in this volume. Percifer C. acquired his early education in the local schools, being graduated from the high school in 1909. In February, 1910, he entered Wisconsin University as a student in the commercial course, and was graduated in June, 1914. He then went to Merrill, Wis., to become manager of the Merrill Street Railway & Lighting Co., a position which he retained for two years. In 1916 he returned to Grand Rapids and bought the ice and coal business of B. E. Jones, which is now known as the Daly Ice & Coal Co., and of which he is the sole owner and manager. Mr. Daly is one of the active and enterprising young business men of Wisconsin, and as such is effectively bearing the burden of obligation which rests upon the shoulders of the present generation to carry on the work of upbuilding which was started by his father and others and which has already borne splendid results. He takes a prominent part in civic work and is rendering material aid in the further development of the city and county. It is natural therefore, that he should be one of the leading spirits in the Rotary Club. He is also a prominent member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, which he served as exalted ruler for one year. He is a director in the First National Bank and the Ahdawagam Paper Products Co. Mr. Daly was married Jan. 20, 1915, at Madison, Wis., to Dorothy Hogan, daughter of John and Martha (Jones) Hogan of Madison. He and his wife are the parents of two children: Mary Ellen, born July 21, 1917, and James F., born Oct. 23, 1918.

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