Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Biography of Abraham Storle

Among the prosperous farmers and representative citizens of Norway Township is Abraham Storle, who owns and operates a well improved and valuable farm of two hundred and seventeen acres on section 32. He was born in that Township August 10, 1857, and is a son of Ole and Anna Storle, both natives of Norway, though they were married after coming to the United States, in Racine County, Wisconsin. The father was born in 1805 and lived to a ripe old age, passing away in 1891. It was in 1844 that he became a resident of this County and for a number of years was employed in the pine woods, making shingles. He was living in Norway Township when his first wife was accidentally shot by the discharge of a gun and he subsequently married the mother of our subject, who had also been previously married, her first husband being Mr. Engberson, by whom she had three children: Betsy, now the wife of Halber Knutson, of Minnesota; John, who is living with our subject and Ole Engberson, who is living retired in Blair, Wisconsin. There were two children born of the second marriage: Angeline, the wife of Frank Lapen, a farmer of Waterford, and Abraham. The parents were prominent members of the Lutheran church and Mr. Storle assisted in building the church of that denomination at Muskego. He was living here at the time of the cholera epidemic and helped to make the coffins for those that died of that dread disease. In politics he was a republican. In 1852 he purchased what became the family homestead and made all...

Biography of John Pugh

John Pugh, of Racine, who is filling the office of state game warden of Wisconsin, was born September 1, 1847, in the city in which he still makes his home. Almost three score years and ten have since come and gone and he has witnessed remarkable changes as the state has become thickly settled and the work of progress and improvement has been carried forward. His parents were James and Jeanette (Hughes) Pugh, both of whom were natives of Wales, but they were married in this County. The father on coming to the United States settled first in Utica, New York, afterward removing to Ohio and in 1842 arrived in Racine, where he resided until 1850. He then went to California, attracted by the discovery of gold on the Pacific coast, and for two years remained in that district, but in 1852 returned to Wisconsin. He died May 30, 1890, while his widow survived until 1892, and in their passing the County lost two of its representative and honored pioneer residents. John Pugh was educated in the common and high schools of Racine and was a youth of but seventeen years of age when, in 1864, he responded to the country’s call for aid, enlisting for one hundred days’ service. He was stationed on guard duty at Memphis and when his term of enlistment had expired he returned to Racine. During the succeeding three years Mr. Pugh worked as a boiler maker in the railroad shops and then became a sailor on the Lakes, devoting his time to that pursuit from 1868 until 1894. The vessel on which he...

Biography of Frank L. Mitchell

In taking up the personal history of Frank L. Mitchell it is unnecessary to tell to Racine and her people the place that he occupies, for his position has been established by the consensus of public opinion, and in considering his career one is led to the reflection that opportunities slip away from the sluggard, tauntingly play before the dreamer, but surrender to the individual with high purpose, undaunted courage and indefatigable determination. It is through the wise use of his opportunities that Frank L. Mitchell has reached the prominent position which he now fills. Born in Kenosha on the 4th of December, 1852, he is a son of Henry and Margaret (Mitchell) Mitchell, natives of Scotland and representatives of one of the old families of that country. Henry Mitchell’s parents, William and Elizabeth (Jackson) Mitchell, were of that Scotch type of earnest, industrious people who held to the Presbyterian faith and guided their lives according to their strong religious convictions. The father carried on an express business between Edinburgh and neighboring towns. To him and his wife were born eleven children, seven of whom reached adult age and became heads of families. Henry Mitchell was born in Fifeshire. Scotland, March 10, 1810, and early was thrown upon his own resources, for it was necessary that he aid his father in the support of a large family. His education was therefore largely acquired in night school. He possessed natural mechanical ability and early displayed much efficiency in drafting. When a youth of fifteen he entered upon a seven years’ apprenticeship to the wheelwright’s trade and at the close of...

Biography of Judge Elbert Osborne Hand

Judge Elbert Osborne Hand, long a distinguished member of the Racine bar and for thirteen years occupying the bench of the County court, passed away June 19, 1915, an occasion which carried with it a sense of deep regret and sorrow to many who have been his associates and contemporaries. He was then nearing the eighty-fifth milestone on life’s journey and there came to him “the blessed accompaniments of age-honor, riches, and troops of friends.” Judge Hand was a native of New Lebanon, Columbia County, New York, born November 29, 1830, and came of English ancestry in both the maternal and paternal lines. His grandfathers were natives of New York, and John S. Hand, father of the judge, was born in New Lebanon, in 1804. He became a mechanic and was employed along that line until after his removal to the west, when he became connected with agricultural pursuits. Before leaving New Lebanon, however, he married Miss Emma J. Cowells, who was there born in 1810. She too was of English descent and her grandfather served in the War of 1812. It was in 1841 that John S. and Emma Hand arrived in Wisconsin, settling in Walworth County, where the father entered land and with ‘characteristic energy began the development of a farm. He lived a quiet and unassuming but useful life, never seeking to figure prominently in public connections. He gave his political allegiance to the Whig party until the question of slavery became a foremost one in the minds of the public, when he supported the abolition party. When the Republican Party was formed to prevent the...

Biography of William Turnor Lewis

When death called William Tumor Lewis on the 30th of December, 1915, Racine lost one of its prominent pioneer manufacturers and capitalists, a man who was freely accorded honor and respect, not only because of the success which he had achieved, but also on account of the straightforward and commendable business principles which he always followed and the spirit of helpfulness which he manifested throughout his entire life. He never deviated from a course which he believed to be right in all of his relations with his fellowmen and his memory remains both as an inspiration and a benediction of those with whom he was associated. A native of New York, Mr. Lewis was born in Utica on the 10th of March, 1840, and received his early education in that city. In 1855, when a boy of fifteen, he became a resident of Racine and at an early age studied telegraphy under the guidance of his older brother, James F. Lewis, who afterward became chief justice of the supreme court of Nevada. At the outbreak of the Civil war Mr. Lewis was manager of the Racine office of the Western Union Telegraph Company and handled hundreds of messages relative to the great conflict. He soon enlisted in the Federal Military Telegraph Corps and was stationed at Cartersville, Georgia, at the headquarters of the Fifteenth Army Corps as military telegraph operator and railroad agent. On the 27th of October, 1864, Mr. Lewis was united in marriage to Mary Isabel Mitchell, a daughter of Henry Mitchell, deceased, who was the founder in 1834, of the business which later was incorporated as...

Biography of Judge William Smieding, Jr.

Judge William Smieding, Jr., who for the past fifteen years has been the municipal and juvenile court judge of Racine County, is a native son of this city and his life record stands in contradistinction to the old adage that a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, for worth and ability have gained him professional recognition and he is regarded as one of the representative members of the Racine bar. He was born September 9, 1868, a son of William and Mary (Wustum) Smieding. The father’s birth occurred at Lübbecke, in western Prussia, November 11, 1831, and he was a son of August and Amelia (Mix) Smieding, who were likewise natives of that country, while his paternal grandfather was a brewer and baker of Germany, where he owned a small shop. He and his wife both died in Germany at an advanced age. Their son August followed in the footsteps of his father, acquainting himself with the trades of brewing and baking, but afterward went to Holland, where he secured a situation as clerk in a store. He was engaged in military duty under Napoleon I in the year 1815. His death occurred in 1850, when he was fifty-six years of age, while his wife passed away about six years before. Their family numbered seven children, including William Smieding, who obtained his education in the public schools near his home and at the age of fourteen was apprenticed to a general merchant for a term covering about five years. The reports which he heard concerning the opportunities of the new world led him to the...

Biography of W. A. Crane

W. A. Crane is now living retired, his home being at No. 1654 College Avenue in Racine. For many years, however, he was actively identified with farming and dairying interests in this County and his persistent and intelligently directed efforts constituted the foundation upon which he built his success. He was born in the town of Mount Pleasant, Racine County, September 11, 1844, a son of Augustus B. and Lavina (Baldwin) Crane. The father was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and was early left an orphan, after which he was reared by an uncle. It was in the year 1839 that he arrived in Racine County, at which period the work of progress and development seemed scarcely begun here. At the Rapids, in January, 1843, he wedded Lavina Baldwin, who was born near Syracuse, New York, and whose parents removed with their family from the Empire state to Kalamazoo, Michigan, making the journey around the Lakes with ox teams and in 1842 coming from Kalamazoo to Wisconsin. The young couple began their domestic life in Mount Pleasant Township, where they spent their remaining days. Mr. Crane secured a tract of new land from which he cleared the timber and then turned the furrows, whereby the place was converted into productive fields. Throughout his remaining days he continuously and successfully carried on general farming up to the time of his death, which occurred February 15, 1908. He was quite prominent in the community and was frequently called upon to fill public offices, the duties of which he discharged with promptness and fidelity. His widow survived him for little more...

Biography of William Horlick, Jr.

It is too often true that successful business men seem to find no time for public affairs and lightly regard the duties and obligations of citizenship. A notable exception to this rule and one whose example is well worthy of emulation is that of William Horlick, Jr., who, while actively connected with the management and interests of the Horlick Malted Milk Company, has also found time and opportunity for co-operation in those plans and projects which have to do with the development and upbuilding of the community in which he lives. He was born in Chicago, in 1875, a son of William and Arabella Horlick, and after attending the public schools continued his studies in Racine College, which constituted his preliminary preparation for life’s practical and responsible duties. Soon afterward he began his life work as an assistant of his father in the development of the business known the world over under the name of the Horlick Malted Milk Company. Resuming his studies he spent several terms as a student of applied science, division of engineering, at King’s College, London, England, during 1898, 1899 and 1900, thus splendidly equipping himself for the further conduct of most extensive and important business interests. In 1900 William Horlick made an extended European tour, also visiting Egypt and the Holy Land, and soon after his return, as recognition of his industry, close application and resourcefulness in business, he was elected secretary of the Horlick Malted Milk Company, and to the duties of that position, manifold and intricate, he has since devoted his attention. Mr. Horlick is well known in fraternal circles in Racine,...

Biography of John Stott Blakey

John Stott Blakey has for many years been prominent in the town of Union Grove, where he is identified with the milling business, with banking and with civic and moral progress. A native of Racine County, he was born within a mile and a half of Union Grove, on the 23rd of September, 1847, a son of Thomas and Mary (Stott) Blakey, both of whom were born in Rochedale, Lancashire, England. The father, whose natal year was 1826, was a son of John and Mary Blakey, the former a butcher by occupation. Thomas Blakey learned the shoemaker’s trade, which he followed for some time in England. In 1844 he came with his family to America and after remaining in Lowell, Massachusetts, for a year, removed to Southport, now Kenosha, Wisconsin. A short time later he took up his residence in Yorkville, Racine County. He traveled over the County, making shoes for the early settlers. but at length turned his attention to agricultural pursuits and purchased eighty acres of land, to which he subsequently added eighty acres more. He passed his last years in Ackley, Iowa, his death occurring in 1896. His wife was born in 1822 and was a daughter of John Stott. a spinner by trade. She passed away in 1886 and following her demise Mr. Blakey married Mrs. Rebecca J. Hussey, who still survives. The children of the first marriage were: Emma, the deceased wife of Eugene Rice; Harriet, the widow of John Smith and now a resident of Dover, Racine County; John Stott; Austin, who is successfully engaged in mining in Leadville. Colorado; Alvin, a real...

Biography of John H. Smith

John H. Smith, a farmer of Kansasville, is one of the native sons of the County, his birth having occurred in Dover Township, March 14, 1851. His parents, William and Mary (Welsh) Smith, were natives of England and Ireland, respectively, the former born June 17, 1824, and the latter in 1826. They were married in Racine County, but the parents of neither ever came to America. It was in 1842 that William Smith crossed the Atlantic and established his home in Dover Township, Racine County, after remaining for a short time in the east and for a brief period in Milwaukee. On reaching this County he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land from the government for a dollar and a quarter per acre and upon the farm built a log cabin, after which he began to clear his land of timber, for it was a wooded tract. In 1875 he purchased forty acres more and he continued to reside upon the old homestead and devote his attention to its cultivation up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1898. For twelve years he had survived his wife, who died in 1886. He was well known and well liked and left behind him many warm friends. His wife was a member of the Catholic Church and Mr. Smith gave his political allegiance to the Republican Party. In their family were eight children, of whom Robert, the eldest, a carpenter of Union Grove, died in 1914. Those still living are: Amelia, the wife of William Donald, a retired farmer, living in Union Grove; John H.; Eliza, the...
Page 1 of 4312345678910...2030...Last »

Pin It on Pinterest