Richland County, Wisconsin History - Chapter 33

Chapter 33 - Town of Westford.

The town of Westford forms the northeastern corner of Richland county, embracing the territory of township 12, range 2 east. On the north and east it is bounded by Sauk county, while the towns of Henrietta and Willow lie to the west and south. The general surface of the town, in common with the rest of the county, is of a hilly nature, although but a small share of the land is unfit for cultivation. The town is well settled with a good class of people, who are well to do, thrifty and intelligent. The town is watered by the upper Willow and in town is watered by the Little Baraboo river and its tributaries. Both of these streams head in this town.

Early Settlement.

The honor of the first settlement in this town belongs to Allen Perkins, a native of Madison Co., NY. He came here from Walworth Co., Wis., in 1848, and entered a large tract of land in Westford, including the present site of the village of Cazenovia. He settled here in 1853 and erected a house on the southeastern part of section 12. In 1865 he sold all his interest in the village of Cazenovia, and moved to Missouri. In 1867 he settled in Laclede county, that State, where it is thought he still lives engaged at farming. Allen Perkins was an honest man, and held the respect of all who knew him.

Henry Fuller, a native of England, came from the State of New York, in 1853, and entered land in this town, claiming the south half of northwest quarter of section 12. He settled here in 1856 and remained until about 1880, when he rented his farm and removed to Sauk county.

William Y Barron, a native of England, and his father-in-law, Thomas Woodford, also came in 1853. Mr. Barron entered land on section 14. He sold out as early as 1867 and removed to Cazenovia, where he opened a wagon shop. Two or three years later he went to Lime Ridge. He is now a resident of Eau Claire, Wis.

Thomas Woodford entered the east half of the northwest quarter of section 14, where he erected a house and lived until the time of his death in 1856. He was buried at Ironton.

In 1854 there were many more arrivals than in the previous year. Cyrus Stowe came from the State of New York, by way of Dane county, early in the winter of this year, and settled on the present site of Cazenovia, erecting a house on what is now block 8. He was a blacksmith by trade and opened the first shop in Cazenovia. He now lives, retired from business, on Sun Prairie, Dane county, where he followed his trade for many years.

Levi and Asa Lincoln, natives of the town of Westford, Otsego Co., NY, also came early in the winter of 1854, and settled upon block 1, of the present site of the village of Cazenovia. Here they erected a log building and put in a small stock of merchandise. They continued in trade for about three years, when Asa went back to Dane county. Levi went to Sauk county and engaged in farming. Later he went to Dakota, where he died, in 1882.

O L Gleason was also one of the arrivals in 1854. He was a native of Massachusetts, but came here from Dane county, and entered land on section 13, taking the east half of the southeast quarter. He now lives in Cazenovia.

George Dennis came early in the spring of 1854 and entered the north half of the northwest quarter of section 12. In the fall he sold to Joseph Dann and moved away. Mr. Dann spent the winter here and then returned to Whitewater, Wis.

In the fall of 1854 four families of native Tennesseans, John Frye, John H Clary, James French and William Smelier, came from Indiana. They came overland, with teams, bring their household goods with them. Mr. Frye entered the southeast of the southwest quarter of section 36; Mr. Clary the west half of the southwest quarter of the same section, and Smelier and French located in the town of Willow. Mr. Frye still owns the land he first claimed; Mr. Clary joined the army toward the close of the war and died in the service. His son, Isaac M Clary, is now living in Willow. The widow married again and now lives in Iowa.

N R Kline, a native of New York State, came here from Ohio, late in 1854, and bought the northeast quarter of section 15. In 1883 he sold his place and moved to Dakota. Another arrival of 1854, was William Davalt, a native of Trumball Co., Ohio, who came from Dane Co., Wis. He settled on section 32, where he still resides.

Frederick Deitelhoff, a German, came here in 1854 and settled on the west half of the northwest quarter of section 14. He lived here until the time of his death, and his widow, having married again, still occupies the old homestead.

In the fall of the same year (1854) John Donahue, a native of Ireland, came from Ohio, and entered land on sections 22 and 27. He then returned to Ohio and spent the winter, returning the following spring with his family and locating upon the place he had entered, where he still lives.

G W Montgomery, a native of New York State, came in 1855 and entered the southwest quarter of section 9. He remained there for about three years, when he sold out and removed to Sauk county. He now resides inWalworth Co., Wis. During the war he served in the 3d Wisconsin Cavalry.

Allen Tinker, also a native of New York State, came during the same year as did Montgomery, from Jefferson Co., Wis., and located on section 9. He now lives in Cazenovia, where he is following his trade, blacksmithing.

S S Moon, a native of Indiana, came here in 1855, and entered land. He lived upon the land about two years, then sold out and removed to the village of Cazenovia, where for a time he worked in Perkin's mill. He then went to Sauk county and purchased a mill. He is now dead.

Edward West, a native of New York State, came from there in 1855 and bought the northwest quarter of section 12. He improved the farm; but now lives Cazenovia.

Jesse Carpenter, a native of Ohio, made his appearance in the town of Westford in 1855 and entered the northwest quarter of section 21, and the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 28. He erected a house on section 21 and remained two years when he sold out and returned to Ohio.

In the fall of 1855 another batch of natives of Tennessee came. They were: Moses Bible, Zachi Clary and Jonathan Smelier. Like the former party they all came from Indiana, overland, with horse teams, bringing their families and household goods with them, and also drove some stock. They were about three weeks on the road. Moses Bible entered the southwest quarter of section 35 and the north half of the northwest quarter of the same section. The last piece was for his son, Rufus M Bible. He erected his house on the southwest quarter of section 35 and still lives there. Zachi Clary entered the east half of the southwest quarter of section 23. He made his home there until he died. His son, William, still occupies the old homestead. Smelier settled in Sauk county.

Ludger Phoenix, a Canadian, came here from the State of New York in the fall of this year and bought land on section 11.

Elijah Williams came at about the same time, in 1855, and entered the west half of the northwest quarter of section 23. He died there in 1867 and the family are scattered.

Cornelius Sweeney, a native of Ireland, came in the spring of 1855 and entered the north half of the southeast quarter of section 22, and the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 22. He erected his dwelling on section 23 and still makes that his home.

Peter Jax, a German, came here from Fond du Lac in 1855 and bought State land on section 15 --- the southwest quarter. He has improved the farm and still lives there.

William Duren, a native of Prussia, came from that country in 1856 and entered land on section 3. He lived there until 1866, when he bought land on section 14 where he still lives.

Theodore Moll, a native of Germany, came during 1856, and set his home stakes on section 2. He improved the farm and made it his home until his death in 1877.

William M Beeson, accompanied by his brother and William Mann, came from Indiana at an early day. Beeson settled on section 1. The Mann family settled in Sauk county, and Lewis Mann located on section 2. The latter sold out in 1880 and removed to Nebraska.

First Events.

One of the first marriages in the town was that of William Burman to Eliza Russell. The ceremony was performed in 1856, at the residence of the bride's parents on section 14, by Frank Jones, justice of the peace. 'Squire Jones was "new at the business," and fearing he might have made some mistake, he afterward called on the parties at their home to rectify the mistake if any had been made.

The first birth in the town was that of George Barron, son of William and Charlotte (Woodford) Barron, in January, 1857. He was killed at Otter creek, Eau Claire Co., Wis., when about sixteen years old, by a stroke of lightning.

The second marriage that took place in the town, was that of Simeon Lincoln to Jane Kline, which took place in 1857, at the residence of the bride's parents. Rev. Augustus Hall officiating.

In the earlier days it was a great hardship to go within a mile of Baraboo to mill, a distance of thirty miles, and many tell of taking six and seven days to make the trip, having such poor cattle from want of fodder, that no faster time could be made. Wild grass, and that of a poor quality, would not make cattle strong enough for hard work, and it was all the hardy pioneers had to give them.

In 1858 breadstuffs became scarce in this region. Allen Tinker and Cyrus Stowe, members of the school board, took money from the school treasury, giving their notes for the same. They then employed a man to go to Spring Green for corn, which was then selling for eighty-seven cents per bushel. This relieved the wants of the people and all was settled up satisfactory.

Dr. J M Flautt, a native of Ohio, was the first physician to locate in the town. He came here in 1858 and located on section 15, where he remained until during the war.


The town of Westford was organized in April, 1857, at a meeting held at Lincoln's store, in the village of Cazenovia. The following were the first officers elected: William Burman, clerk; Allen Tinker, chairman of town board of supervisors; Moses Bible and John Russell, associate supervisors; Zachi Clary, treasurer; Allen Perkins and Frank Jones, justices of the peace.

At the annual town meeting held at Cazenovia, in April, 1883, the following town officials were elected: John Keane, clerk; Henry Mitchel, assessor; board of supervisors, B M Jarvis, chairman, (he moved from the town and Allen Tinker was appointed); John Donahoe and Andrew Johnson; Converse Pierce, Allen Tinker, Andrew Johnson and John Frye, justices of the peace; Thomas Moody, constable; Converse Pierce, treasurer.

Duren's Mill.

In 1868 William Duren erected a saw-mill on the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 14, on the Little Baraboo river. The mill is equipped with an up and down saw, a circular saw for cutting off, a rib saw and a felly saw, making three circular saws and a band saw. A turning lathe was also put in. The mill manufactures stock for wagons, sleighs, harrows, etc. A dirt and stone dam was thrown across the river, giving eight feet fall of water. Upon the completion of the saw-mill, Mr. Duren put in one run of stone for grinding feed.


The first school house in the Woodman district, was commenced in 1857, and completed during the following year. Theressa Carr was the first teacher in this house. The old building remained in use until 1878, when the present structure was erected near the old site on the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section 32. Lettie Smith was the first teacher in this building.

The first school in district No. 2 was taught in a log house belonging to John Donahoe, on section 22, in the winter of 1856-7. The teacher was George Flautt. In 1857 a log school house was built on the northeast quarter of section 22, in which James Brown taught the first school. During the war a frame house was erected upon the same site, and in this building Peter White taught the first school. A few years later this school house was moved near the church, and has since been moved to its present location on the southeast quarter of section 22.

The first school in district No. 8 was taught in Allen Perkin's log building across the stream north of Cazenovia, by William A Perkins. In 1857 a frame school house was erected upon block 4, in the village of Cazenovia, which is still in use.

In district No. 4 the first school was taught in 1856 by a Mr. Crisp, in a log carpenter shop belonging to N R Cline. In 1857 a log school house was built on the northeast quarter of section 15. In 1869 a two story frame building was erected on the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 11, at a cost of about $1500. This building is still in use.

About 1860 a school house was erected in district No. 5, on the northeast quarter of section 19. Kate McCarthy was one of the first teachers in this building. Several terms of school were taught in this house when the district was split up, and the territory annexed to other districts. In 1875 another house was erected in the southwestern part of the northeast quarter of section 20. Hugh Fitch was one of first teachers in this building.

The first school in district No. 7 was held in a log house belonging to John Clary, on section 36, in 1865. Katie Krouse was the teacher. The next school was held in Mr. Bible's tannery. In 1867 a hewn log school building was erected on the northeast quarter of section 35. W C S Barron was the first teacher in this house. This is known as the "block school house."

In 1864 a school house was erected on the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 7, in which James McVees was the first teacher. The house is still in use.


The first mass for the German Catholic Church in Westford, was held at the house of Jacob Marts, and said by Father Gaertner, then a resident of Sauk City, who had charge of several counties in this part of Wisconsin. The first resident priest was Father Bernerd. He was succeeded by Father Beau, then came Father Metzler and finally Father Grosse, the present priest. For a time the German Catholics worshiped in the Irish Catholic Church; but in 1858 and 1859 they erected a church on section 14. In 1883 the society were making preparations to build a frame structure, with brick vaneer, 40x90 feet in size, to cost about $5000. The congregation now numbers about seventy German families.

St. Bridget's Catholic Church, of Westford. Father Sthale was the first priest to visit the Catholics that form the congregation of this church. He was here first in December, 1855, and held mass at the house of John Donahoe. He induced the people to build a church. In 1856 the erection of a log church on the northwest quarter of section 22, was commenced which was completed in 1857. Father Sthale was the first to say mass in this edifice. The log church was in use until the present edifice was completed in 1881. It was dedicated in September, of that year. Father John B. Metzler was the first to hold mass in this church, and it was mainly owing to his exertions that the new church was erected. The congregation now numbers about fifty Irish families.

Near the church is the cemetery of this congregation. Dennis Murphy, who died in April, 1856, was the first buried here. His wife was interred near him in July, following. The land originally belonged to John Donahoe, who donated five acres to the church, and the cemetary was regularly platted in 1863. It was dedicated by Father Bernard a few years later.

Cazenovia Village.

The land upon which the village of Cazenovia is now located was entered in 1848 by Allen Perkins. The village was surveyed in February, 1855, by Solon Rushmore, for Mr. Perkins. The first frame house upon the site was erected by Samuel Colby, in 1854. The first log house was erected by the Lincoln brothers the same year. In this building they opened the first store in the village. They remained in trade but a few years.

Richard Mann was the next to engage in trade here. He remained but a short time, when he sold out and removed to Sauk county.

Alois Ficks bought out Mann and carried on the business alone for one year, when he sold a half interest to Sebastian Wenker. They continued in trade five months, when Wenker bought the Stowe property. This was in 1866. Mr. Wenker took his share of the stock and set up the business on his newly acquired premises. In 1877 he erected a building, 22x46 feet in size, two stories high.

The first blacksmith in the village was Cyrus Stowe, who opened a shop here in 1855. He remained here but a few years, when he removed to Sun Prairie. Allen Tinker was the next blacksmith. He opened a shop here in the spring of 1858, and is still in business.

For many years Cazenovia was without a hotel, and the traveling public were taken care of very satisfactorily by Allen Tinker. In 1875 J W Thompson opened the first hotel. He was landlord until March, 1876, when he sold to Mrs. Carrie M Atkins, who is still the proprietor.

Andrew J Stibbins was the first shoemaker to locate in Cazenovia, opening a shop here in 1855. He remained but a few years. Henry Bushman, the present shoemaker, commenced business in 1868.

The first millinery establishment here was opened in 1867 by Addie Boyd, at the house of Allen Tinker. She ran the shop but a short time. This branch of trade is now represented by Ida Nuss, who opened her shop in 1881.

Dr. J J Worthy, was the first resident physician at Cazenovia, locating here during the war. He remained a number of years.

Industrial Enterprises.

Allen Perkins erected a saw-mill in 1853, the power being derived from the south branch of the Little Baraboo river. The mill was equipped with an "up and down saw," and for several years did a good business. The dam was built with log cribs, filled with dirt and stone. The first dam was washed out before the war. It was replaced by another dam, which soon followed the first dam down the stream. Mr. Perkins then sold the power and mill to George Jarvis.

In 1854 Allen Perkins started a grist-mill, erecting a large building and equipping it with one run of stone. Mr. Jarvis bought this mill with the other property. While Mr. Jarvis owned the mills the dam went out once; but he quickly repaired it. In 1866 Mr. Jarvis completed the present mill. The building is 30x50 feet in size, two stories high. It is furnished with two run of stone, and all the necessary machinery for the manufacture of first-class flour, while the water power is one of the best in the State. B M Jarvis is the present proprietor.

Cazenovia Postoffice.

The postoffice at this place was established in 1856, with Cyrus Stowe as postmaster. He kept the office at his house. It was then a special office, and the mail carrier was paid by subscription from the citizens. Mail was received once a week from Sextonville, and later from Ironton. In 1883 mail was received three times each week from Richland Center and daily from Le Valle. Allen Tinker succeeded Mr. Stowe as postmaster. Then in succession came: M O Tracy, George Jarvis, Edward Kimber, J C Spencer, B M Jarvis and Wenzel J Hanzlik. Mr. Hanzlik is the present postmaster, and keeps the office at his store. He was appointed June 28, 1883.


Religious meetings were held at the house of N R Kline as early as 1856. Rev. Wood, a Wesleyan Methodist, was the first minister, but he did not organize.

The first Methodist Episcopal preacher was Rev. Augustus Hall, who, in 1857, preached at Lincoln's store. He organized a class there with twenty-six members. Among the members were --- Ludger Phoenix and wife, Allen Tinker and wife, Andrew Tinker, John Russell, Mrs. Henry Fuller, Nathaniel Camp and wife, George Perkins, George Montgomery and wife, William Y Barron and wife, Mary J Russell, Mary J Tinker, W C Osborne and wife, Sarah J Low, N R Kline and wife, Clara Perkins, Levi Lincoln and wife, and James Kinney and wife. Allen Tinker was the first class leader. Rev. Augustus Hall was the first pastor. He lived in Sauk county and had several charges in this region. The following named ministers have at different times preached for the class at Cazenovia, since Rev. Hall: Rev. E Yocum, the first presiding elder; Revs. S D Bassinger, W D Atwater, R M De Lap, Mathew Bennett, M F Chester, W W Wheaton, J T Bryan, Mr. Conway, J J Walker, Mr. Dudley, George Tyacke, R W Nicholas and H D Jencks. Rev. Jencks, the present pastor, resides at Ironton and has charge of four classes: Ironton, Cazenovia, Sandusky and Washington. He holds services at Cazenovia once every two weeks. The Cazenovia class met at the school house for worship until 1878, when they erected a frame church on the southeast quarter of section 12. Rev. George Tyacke was the first minister to hold services in this building. Allen Tinker was the first leader of the class, and held that position for many years. Ludger Phoenix is the present leader. The class now has fourteen members. A Sabbath school was organized at about the same time as the class, with Allen Tinker as superintendent. The school meets every Sunday. Frank Phoenix is the present superintendent.

In 1857 a Wesleyan Methodist class was organized, at Lincoln's store, by the Rev. Mr. Wood. It had about twenty members, among whom were --- Jonathan Wright and wife, Cyrus Stowe, Henry Fuller and wife, and Daniel Carr and wife. As none of the members of this class are now living in the town, a full history of it cannot be collected. The class only continued in existence a few years.

Iron Interests.

In 1874 Joseph Culver, from Madison, came to Westford, secured the services of Joseph Moll, and leased land from him and also Joseph Dresen and John Cobbledick, on sections 2 and 3. Mr. Moll was employed to prospect for iron ore, commencing first on the northwest quarter of section 2. They soon found ore sixteen feet below the surface of the earth. In the fall of 1875 a shaft was sunk on section 2, about forty-eight feet deep, and afterward several other shafts were sunk near by. In 1876 a company was formed, consisting of Joseph Culver, Gen. Lund and James Gunn. The company continued operating the mines, and piled up the ore upon the ground. The vein became larger as they progressed, and finally Culver, Lund & Gunn sold out their interests to the Iron Ridge Iron Company, of which Leonard Bean was president. This company built a furnace at Cazenovia, and during the summer of 1877 erected a foundry. Numerous shafts were sunk on sections 2, 3, and 4, and large quantities of good ore were taken from these shafts. The Iron Ridge Iron Company carried on the business until 1879, when they stopped work, and about one year later sold the buildings to C E Bohn, of Ironton, who converted it into a stave factory, for which purpose the buildings are still used.

Cazenovia Cemetery.

The cemetery at Cazenovia was laid out in July, 1862, by Josiah McCaskey, surveyor. It was laid out under the supervision of the town board of supervisors. The land was donated to the town by Allen Perkins. Mrs. Gad Pomeroy was the first person buried here.

Biographical Sketches.

Otis L Gleason, one of the first settlers of Cazenovia, was born in Northampton Co., Mass., Oct. 26, 1811. When he was but four years old his parents emigrated to York State and settled in Ontario county, town of Ogden, making the journey thither with teams, in the winter. He made his home with his parents until eleven years old, when he started out traveling in company with an older brother, selling jewelry and notions, visiting several different States. At twenty-two years old he engaged at work on board a boat, and run the river two seasons. He afterward went to Cleveland, Ohio, and there engaged to learn the mason trade. Here he worked until 1846, then went to Michigan and bought government land in Ingham county. Eight months later he sold this and went to Kalamazoo, and worked at teaming on the railroad, and thence to Chicago, where he engaged to go to "Big Bull" pineries, Wisconsin, making his way there with a team. In 1848 he went to Dane county and took government land in the town of Burke, remaining there until 1854, when he came to Richland county. He is a natural mechanic, and since coming here has worked as brick mason, and plasterer carpenter and joiner, etc. He is now living a retired life at Cazenovia. He was married in 1849 to Mila Butterfield, widow of David Fuller. They have one child --- Effie May. Formerly Mr. Gleason was a democrat, but since the war has been a republican.

George Jarvis, an early settler in Richland county, was born in Staffordshire, England, in 1817. When a young man he came to America and settled at Columbus, Ohio, where he was married to Sarah Brockelhurst, and settled in Delaware county, where he was station agent at Orange station, remaining there until 1852, when he removed to Sauk county and lived until 1855, then came to Richland county and located at Richland City. In 1866 he removed to Cazenovia and made that his home until 1883. He is now at Redfield, Spink Co., Dak., where he has a land office. He was an attorney by profession, having been admitted to the bar in Ohio, and practiced in Richland county. He served as postmaster at Cazenovia. He has six children living --- George, Birney M., Sarah, Martha, Emma and Fannie. Birney M., the owner of the flouring mill and water power at Cazenovia, was born in the town of Africa, Delaware Co., Ohio, in 1846, and was nine years old when his parents moved to Richland county. His early education was received at the district school and advanced at the State University at Madison. He enlisted in August, 1862, in company A., 23d Wisconsin, and served with the regiment until the close of the war, participating in the following battles: Arkansas Post, siege and battle of Vicksburg, Jackson, Miss., on the Red River expedition, and with Banks and Fort Blakely, near Mobile. He was discharged with the regiment at Madison July 25, 1865. The following fall he bought the mill property at Cazenovia, where he has since made his home. He has greatly improved the property by building a new mill. He was a member of the Wisconsin Legislature in 1881. He was married in 1869 to Janette Moore, of Michigan. They have five children --- William, Birney, Moody Sankey, Carrie and Fannie.

John M Jax, deputy sheriff, was born at Fond du Lac, Wis., Feb. 5, 1852, and was three years old when his parents came to Richland county and settled in the town of Westford. Here his childhood and youth were spent. His education was obtained in the public schools. He was married in 1875 to Annie Timlin, a native of Ireland. He settled in Cazenovia and engaged in farming two years, and then in the manufacture and trade of hoop-poles and hand shaved hoops, in which he is still engaged at Cazenovia and Lavelle, doing a business of about $12,000 per year. He has served as town clerk of the town of Westford, and is now serving his second term as deputy sheriff, having been first appointed in 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Jax are the parents of four children --- Theodore T, John R, George P and Joseph F.

John Donahue, one of the pioneers of the town of Westford, was born in county Cavan, Ireland, Dec. 28, 1818, where he was reared to agricultural pursuits, receiving his education in a private school. He came to America in 1845, landing in Boston May 10 of that year. He there worked in a chemical factory till the fall of 1846, when he went to New Orleans, returning to Boston in the spring. He continued to spend the summers in Boston and winters in New Orleans until the year 1849, when he was married in the latter city to Mary Murphy, a native of county Fermanagh, Ireland. He had a contract there to construct a levee and ditch, and employed men on this work until 1852, then removed to Perry Co., Ohio, and bought a farm, living there until 1855, when he removed to Richland county and settled upon the farm where he now resides. He immediately began clearing, and built the log house in which they lived until 1868. In that year he built the good frame house now occupied by the family. He enlisted Nov. 11, 1861, in the 3d Wisconsin Cavalry, company F, serving with the regiment until his discharge, Feb. 17, 1865. His regiment participated in many engagements and skirmishes. Among the more important are the following: Prairie Grove, Cabin Creek, Little Blue, Kansas City and Lexington, Mo. For the past few years Mr. Donahoe has devoted his attention to stock raising. Mr. and Mrs. Donahoe are the parents of five children --- John J, Ann, Owen, Mary and Dennis. Mr. Donahoe has been prominent in public affairs, has held offices of trust, having served as assessor and supervisor, and has been clerk and treasurer of the school district.

Ludger Phoenix, one of the early settlers of Westford, is a native of Canada, born at Richelieu, province of Quebec, Sept. 29, 1831. When he was seventeen years of age he came to the States and engaged in farming near Troy, NY, for one year. Then for one season he was employed in running a ferry-boat across the Hudson, between east and west Troy. He then worked at lumbering till 1855, excepting one season that he was engaged in rafting lumber from Oneida lake to Albany. In the spring of 1855 he came to Wisconsin and engaged in farming with Richard Frost, near Madison, remaining there until September of that year, when he came to Richland county and purchased the southwest quarter of section 11, town 12, range 2 east, now known as Westford. He built a small log house and then returned to Madison, and was there married to Mary Tooley, and came back to his new home with his bride, who shared with him the hardships of pioneer life, ever ready to assist him in every way that she could. She died in January, 1869. Seven children had been born to them, three of whom are now living --- Franklin P, George E and Alice E. His second wife, to whom he was married in 1870, was Eliza Lutz. She has three children --- Charles E, Rosa N and Lillie M. In 1865 Mr. Phoenix became agent for the AEtna Insurance Company, of Hartford, Conn. He now represents the Home and Continental companies, of New York; Hecla, of Madison; Rockford, of Illinois; Boston Underwriters, and Northwestern Mutual Life, of Milwaukee, and is now farmer and insurance agent. Mr. and Mrs. Phoenix are members of the M. E. class at Cazenovia, as was also his first wife.

Moses Bible, one of the pioneers of Westford town, is a native of Tennessee, born in Green county, April 5, 1808. He was brought up on a farm. At twenty years of age he engaged with a blacksmith to learn the trade, with whom he remained five months, then followed that business one year with another party, when he resumed farming. In 1834 he erected a gristmill, doing the work himself, which he continued to operate until 1846, when he sold out and removed to Indiana, taking his family, and traveling with a four horse team. They located in Clinton county, rented land and there remained until 1855, when he again started to seek a new home in the northwest, came to Westford and settled on the site of his present farm. He was married in 1830 to Catharine Clary, who was born in Jefferson Co., Tenn., Dec. 14, 1812. She died June 8, 1873, leaving seven children --- Martha, Rufus, George, Joshua, Newton, Moses and Sarah. Francis, Darius and Susanna were also born to them, but are now dead. Mr. and Mrs. Bible were both members of the United Brethren Church, and were consistent Christian people. He was a member of the first board of supervisors for the town of Westford.

Edward West, an early settler of Westford, was born in Schenectady Co., NY, on the 17th of January, 1824. Here his childhood and youth were spent in going to school and working upon a farm. He was united in marriage with Sarah A Fuller in April, 1848. She was a native of Oneida county. The same year he came to Wisconsin and located at Janesville, smithing until 1850, when he started for California overland, and arrived at his destination at the end of six months. He worked in the mines there until 1853. In that year he returned to New York State by the way of the isthmus of Panama, remained five months, then went again to California and resumed working in the mines, which he continued until 1855, then came back to New York, and after stopping there a short time came to Richland county and settled on section 1. In 1863 he bought a house and lot in Cazenovia and moved his family there. After making them comfortable in their new home he enlisted in company I, 3d Wisconsin Infantry, went south, joined Sherman at Chattanooga, was with him on his march to the sea and to Washington, participating with his regiment in the many important battles of that campaign. He was discharged at Madison, Wis., at the close of the war, and returned to Cazenovia. Since that time he has worked as brick mason, and plasterer also as carpenter and joiner. Mr. and Mrs. West have three children --- Thomas, Warren and Birtsle.

Allen Tinker, one of the pioneers of Richland county, was born in Chenango Co., State of New York, April 2, 1815. When he was but ten years old his parents died. He made his home in the same county until sixteen years of age when he moved to Otsego county and was there married in 1835 to Betsy Montgomery who was born in that county Dec. 29, 1812. Here he engaged in farming until 1843 then worked with a blacksmith at Cannonsville, Delaware county, to learn the trade and there continued until 1849 when he emigrated to Wisconsin and settled in Jefferson county, erected a shop at Koshkonong, where he worked at his trade till 1855, when he came to Richland county and settled on section 9, township 12, range 2 east, now known as Westford with the intention of becoming a farmer. He built a blacksmith shop for his own convenience, but people came from miles around with work and he was kept busy at his trade. In February, 1857, he went to La Crosse and spent a few weeks. During his absence the town of Westford was organized and he was chosen chairman of the board. In the spring of 1858 he moved to Cazenovia built a shop and has since worked there at his trade. He has been prominent in public affairs and filled many offices of trust and honor, and is at this time justice of the peace. He has always taken a great interest in school and Church affairs, and was among the first members of the M. E. Church at this point and for many years class leader. Mr. and Mrs. Tinker are the parents of three children now living --- Andrew M, Mary J and William Henry. The oldest son, Andrew M, was born in York State, Feb. 24, 1839, and came to Wisconsin with his parents. When a young man he learned the trade of carpenter and joiner. He was married in 1859 to Mary J Russell and settled in Cazenovia. He served during the war in the 42d regiment, company I. He now lives in Eau Clare county. Charles M was born in York State, Oct. 4, 1845, and made his home with his parents until 1861, when he enlisted in the 3d Wisconsin, company F, and went south. He died in the service at Fort Scott, Kan., Nov. 24, 1862. William Henry was also born in York State, March 27, 1847, and was eight years old when he came to Richland county with his parents. He commenced when quite young to learn the trade of blacksmith with his father. He enlisted in March, 1865, in the 50th Wisconsin, company H and went south. He was discharged July 25, 1865, from the hospital, where he was sick. He then returned home and resumed work at his trade, which he has since followed, excepting eight months in 1881, during which time he was in the employ of a Milwaukee firm selling groceries on the road. He was married Nov. 5, 1871, to Nellie Nichols, a native of York State. They have five children --- Amasa L, William H, Fred A, Maud I and Luella. They also have a daughter Mary J, the wife of Joshua Bible, who lives in Sauk county, near Cazenovia. Allen Tinker politically belongs to the democratic party, but is not so bound by party ties, as to always vote for any candidate regardless of his personal fitness for the position, but is among those who exercise the right of suffrage intelligently, and always votes the democratic ticket, when good men are brought forward. He cannot be considered a politician in any sense, and never solicited man's vote, either for himself or other persons. Electioneering for office is a thing of which he never was guilty, although an honest public servant whenever entrusted with public office in any capacity.

Joseph Moody, an early settler in the State of Wisconsin, was born in Summit Co., Ohio, Sept. 12, 1821, where he received a common school education. When he was seventeen years old, his parents moved to Hancock county and he made his home with them until 1841, in which year he was married to Sarah Milledge, who was born in Franklin county. In 1844 he came to Wisconsin and settled in Waukesha county, purchased forty acres of land which he occupied until 1848, then he traded it for a land warrant, which he placed on land in Mt. Pleasant, Green county, which was at that time a new country. He improved a farm, which, in 1858, he traded for timberland in the town of Westford, on section 34. here he cleared a valuable farm, planted an orchard, and is one of the few successful fruit growers in the town. He built a two story log house, a large frame barn and was engaged in raising both grain and stock. He enlisted Aug. 14, 1862, in company B, 25th regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, and went to Minnesota to meet the Indians, remaining there until February, 1863, then went south and joined the 16th Army Corps. He was with Sherman on his march to the sea, and through the Carolinas to Washington, participating in the many battles of that ever memorable campaign. He was discharged with the regiment at Washington June 7, 1865, and returned home. He was an exemplary citizen and prominent in town affairs, filling many offices of trust --- having served as assessor and chairman of the board. Mr. and Mrs. Moody were the parents of eight children --- Sophronia, Elizabeth J, Lewis C, William B, Louisa V, James B, Thomas F and Ephraim L. In the early part of December, 1883, Mr. Moody was stricken down with a complication of diseases, and suffered greatly from the outset, until the night of Jan. 25, 1884, when surrounded by many friends and relatives, the soul took its departure, and on the 27th, the body was conveyed to its final resting place, under the auspices of the IOOF, assisted by the GAR.

Wenzel J Hanzlik, postmaster at Cazenovia, received his appointment, June 28, 1883, which position he had filled, as deputy, for six years previously. he is a native of Bohemia, born in September, 1838. When he was twelve years of age, his parents emigrated to America, and located in New York city, where he lived six years, then came to Hillsborough, Vernon county and worked upon a farm till 1861; then at the first call for three years men, enlisted in the 6th Wisconsin, company I, and with the regiment, joined the Army of the Potomac. He was discharged at Arlington Heights, Jan. 16, 1862, on account of disability. He returned to Ironton, Sauk county, and, as soon as able to work, engaged to learn the trade of moulder. Feb. 15, 1865, he re-enlisted in the 12th Wisconsin, company H, and went to Raleigh, NC, to join Sherman's army, and served till after the close of the war. his regiment was discharged Aug. 9, 1865, when he returned to Ironton and resumed working at his trade as moulder. He remained there until 1877, when he came to Cazenovia to take charge of a store for E & N G Blakeslee. He has continued in the same business until the present time, and has built up an extensive trade. He was married on the 10th of February, 1861, to Kate M Dressen, a native of Prussia. They are the parents of eight children --- Joseph W, Annie T, Martin H, Frank W, Hattie E, Eva M, Katie M and William A.

John Keane, town clerk of Westford, first came to Richland county in 1862, and purchased land on section 36. At that time much of the land of the town was owned by speculators, who employed him to act as agent for their sale. Being extensively acquainted, he soon disposed of considerable land, and in the meantime partly improved his own, which he sold in 1867, and purchased his present farm on section 25. Mr. Keane is a native of Ireland, born in county Clare, in December, 1829. here his younger days were spent on a farm and in school. He spent two years attending the graded school, at the village of Kilkee. At the age of nineteen, he left his native soil and came to America, and at first located at Montpelier, Vt., where he engaged in farming. After remaining there four years, he came to Wisconsin and was employed for six years as clerk in the executive department at Madison, under Govs. Bashford and Randall, continuing there until 1862, when he came to Westford. He was married to Bridget Faren, in 1851. Eight children have been born to them --- Mary, James, Kate, Jane, Margaret, John, Edward and Simon. Mary is a native of Vermont; the other children of Wisconsin. Mr. Keane has been in office the greater part of the time since coming to Westford, having served as clerk several years, and also as assessor and chairman of the town board. Mrs. Keane is a native of county Clare, Ireland. They were married at Burlington, Vt., by the Rev. Father O'Caligan. Mr. Keane's parents always lived at the place of his birth. His father died April 22, 1863, at the age of eighty-seven. His mother is still living. The town of Westford owes much of her prosperity and early settlement to Mr. Keane, through his earnest and upright manner in selling lands and bringing in settlers.

Sebastian Wenker, merchant in Cazenovia, came to this village in December, 1865, and purchased a one-half interest in the store of A. Fix. In March, 1866, they dissolved partnership, Mr. Wenker becoming the sole proprietor. He is a good business man and has been successful in building up a large trade. He still continues business here and carries a good stock of goods. He was born in Alsace, when it was a part of France, Aug. 20, 1833. When he was twelve years old his parents emigrated to America and located in Dodge Co., Wis., where they were among the early settlers. His father took government land and he assisted him in clearing a farm. He was joined in marriage when twenty-four years old, with Eva Derr, a native of Bavaria. He then settled on the old homestead and remained until 1862, then removed to Dane county and engaged in farming there until 1865, then came to Cazenovia. Mr. and Mrs. Wenker have had six children, four of whom are now living --- Mary, Teressa, Anna and Sebastian. A daughter, Ellen, was born May 5, 1861, and died Jan. 11, 1875. Eva was born June 3, 1862, and died Jan. 26, 1875. Mr. Wenker has always thus far adhered to the democratic party.

Converse Pierce, town treasurer and justice of the peace, came to Cazenovia in 1866 and engaged in mercantile trade in company with M O Tracy, continued in that business one year, then sold out and engaged in farming. In 1869 he purchased Perkins' addition, consisting of twenty-four lots, where he built the frame house he now occupies, and has also erected a good frame barn. He was born in the town of Hamburg, Erie Co., NY, Oct. 11, 1832, where he grew to manhood. His early education was obtained at the district school, supplemented by two terms in the Oberlin University, at Oberlin, Ohio. In 1859 he moved to Wisconsin, lived in Green county one year, then moved to McHenry Co., Ill., where he bought a farm of 120 acres. In 1866 he sold out and came to Cazenovia, as before stated. He was married in 1855 to Ellen E Coon, also born in Erie county. They have one child --- Glen Irving. His father, Dryden Pierce, was born in Hartford, Conn., in 1805. When he was two years old his parents emigrated to York State and settled in the town of Hamburg. When a young man he went to Vermont, where he was married to Melinda Hamblin, who was born in Utica, NY. They now live with their only son, Converse, in Cazenovia.

James Moyes came to Richland county in 1867 and opened a blacksmith shop at Cazenovia. In 1870 he bought a lot in block 2, and built the frame dwelling in which he now lives. He sold his blacksmith shop in 1875 and purchased a farm of eighty acres, on section 7, of the town of Ironton, Sauk county, and has since that time engaged in farming. He was born in Devonshire, England, in 1842, and brought up on a farm. At the age of seventeen he engaged with a blacksmith to learn the trade, served four years, and then went to South Wales to work at his trade, remaining there till 1867, when, as before stated, he came to America and to Richland county. He was married in 1865 to Mary Marshall, also a native of Devonshire.

Mrs. Carrie M. Atkins, the proprietor of the hotel at Cazenovia, was born in the town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., NY, and Dec. 7, 1842. She was joined in marriage in 1858 to Sanford Collins. He was born in the town of Orleans in April, 1839. Eight children blessed this union, six of whom are now living --- Sanford, Chloe L, Sturgis F, Birney A, Burton and Lula M. He was a machinist by trade, at which he worked in York State until 1867, when he came to Wisconsin and purchased a farm on section 7, town of Ironton, Sauk county. Here he made his home until the time of his death, which occurred Nov. 30, 1874. Her second husband, to whom she was married Oct. 11,1877, was Thornton Lee Atkins. One child --- Nellie May --- was born. Mr. Atkins was born in the town of Garnavillo, Clayton Co., Iowa, in 1848. His father, whose name was Elial Atkins, was a native of Vermont, settled in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1845, and moved from there in 1848 to Garnavillo. In 1852 he went to California, and his wife, with her two children, returned to Vermont and lived there five years, then returned to Garnavillo, where the subject of our sketch grew to manhood. When he was sixteen years of age he engaged in the brick city machine shop at Claremont, Iowa, and there learned the trade. The past few years he has been engaged as engineer. In the summer of 1883 he run the engine of the steamer Red Star, at Minnetonka, in Hennepin Co., Minn.

Father Herman Grosse, resident pastor in Westford, was born in Saxony, Germany, April 24, 1842. He attended a common school until the age of eleven, then entered the college at Heiligenstadt, where he studied for nine years. He then passed examination and entered the university at Munich. After completing the course there, he attended at Vienna, and afterward at Munster in Westphalia, Paderborn. He was ordained by the Right Reverend Bishop Martin in 1865, and came to the United States, where he received the last ordination at Milwaukee, from Bishop Henni, and was sent to Kansas City, Mo. He remained there five years, then returned to Wisconsin to take charge of St. Mary's Church in Monroe county, remaining there seven and a half years. He was then at Sauk City four and a half years, after which he came to Cazenovia. He now has charge of four Churches, including the two in Westford, one in Henrietta and another at Ironton. He is a gentleman of pleasing address and one who commands the respect of all.

Oscar B., son of Levi J and Fanny (Allen) Lincoln, was born at North Windham, Windham Co., Conn., Aug. 31, 1854. He came to Wisconsin with his parents, a sketch of whom appears in the history of Ithaca town. Oscar B. remained at home until twenty years of age, alternately attending school and working on the homestead farm. He then went to Madison, Wis., and was employed by his uncle to assist him in well drilling. He remained there two years, and then procured a set of drilling tools and returned home, since which time he has made a business of well drilling in Richland, Sauk and Juneau counties. In 1881 he came to Cazenovia, July 1, and established the "Yankee" blacksmith shop, employing a man to attend to the custom. Since becoming a resident of Cazenovia, he has been engaged in selling agricultural implements, and in connection with the business of well drilling, keeps on hand a good stock of pumps and pipe. Mr. Lincoln is energetic and enterprising, and has been fairly successful in business. He was married at Muscoda, Wis., July 3, 1879, to Nannie Adams, a native of Crow Wing, Minn. Two sons have been given to them --- Burr T and Buford G. The former was born at Neptune, Sept. 8, 1880, and died in April, 1881. The latter was born at Cazenovia, June 5, 1883.

If you have resources for Richland County and would like to volunteer to help with look-ups, please e-mail me at Tim Stowell
You are our [an error occurred while processing this directive] visitor since 7 May 2000 -- thanks for stopping by!

Last updated: 9 May 2000

Top of Page
Back To Richland County History
Back To Richland Co., WI Page