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Biographical Sketch of John S. Hart Sr.

From an early period in the development of Racine the name of Hart has been closely connected with its history. John S. Hart was the representative of the family in the first generation living in this city. A native of Meredith, New Hampshire, he was born March 13, 1823, and upon his removal westward from New England in the early ’40s he settled at Baraboo, Wisconsin. After about a decade there passed he came with his family to Racine in the early ’50s and engaged in the woolen mill business as one of the founders of the enterprise of which his grandson, Harold H. Hart, is now the head. Through three successive generations the name has been closely and prominently associated with the development of the district in its manufacturing and commercial interests. John S. Hart was a very successful business man, watchful of all opportunities pointing to advancement, and he used his time and talents wisely and well. It was on the 21st of May, 1851, that Mr. Hart was united in marriage to Miss Susan Piper Hawkins, and his death occurred on the 7th of February, 1901, when he had reached the age of seventy-eight years. His life work proved of value to the community in which he long resided. He was one of the principal contributors to the erection of the Young Men’s Christian Association building and was a most public-spirited citizen, co-operating in many plans and measures for the general...

Biography of Herman O. Wadewitz

Herman O. Wadewitz, secretary and treasurer of the Racine Trunk Company identified with this industry for more than three decades and has contributed much to the success which has made it an important business concern of Racine. He was born in Port Washington, Wisconsin, July 26, 1865, a son or John F. Wadewitz, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work. With the removal of the family to Racine he obtained a public school education here and was twenty years of age when he started in the trunk manufacturing business, becoming one of the organizers of the Racine Trunk Company, which was established April 1, 1885, by J. F., T. C. and H. O. Wadewitz and A. B. Augustine. Upon the incorporation of the business ten years later he became secretary and treasurer and has so continued to the present time. Not only each year but also each month and day has brought him broader knowledge of the business and its opportunities, and in the line of manufacture the company has kept abreast with the tendency of the age in making improvements which add much to facility and comfort in traveling. They put forth the latest and best that is to be found in trunks and traveling bags of every description and the excellence of their product is demonstrated in the continued growth of their patronage, their output being today found in all sections of the country. On the 25th of November, 1902, Mr. Wadewitz was united in marriage to Miss Adeline Schneider, of Madison, Wisconsin, and they now have a son, Donald, born May 2, 1904. Mr. Wadewitz exercises...

Biography of Michael N. Freeman

No history of the industrial development of Racine would be complete were there failure to make reference to Michael N. Freeman and his associates, whose important and extensive interests are conducted under the name of the S. Freeman & Sons Manufacturing Company. With this business Michael N. Freeman, who is now the vice president of the company, has been continuously connected since reaching the age of thirteen years and there is no phase of the undertaking with which he is not familiar. He was born in Centralia, Illinois, January 14, 1860, and is a son of S. Freeman, the founder of the business, and a brother of Charles Freeman, who is president of the company and who is mentioned at length on another page of this work. When a youth of seven years Michael N. Freeman was brought by his parents to Racine, where the father soon afterward established a boiler and machine shop which was the nucleus of the present great enterprise. The son was put in school and pursued a public school course until he reached the age of thirteen, when, desirous of becoming a factor in business circles, he was set to work by his father and acquainted himself with the trade. He gradually worked his way upward, not only becoming familiar with the practical processes of the business but also with the management and control of a constantly and rapidly growing enterprise. He was admitted to a partnership and following the death of his father, in 1889, was elected vice president of the company after having previously served as treasurer during the intervening period which...

Biography of A. Cary Judd

A. Cary Judd, who has occupied various public offices, the duties of which he has discharged with promptness and fidelity, has a most creditable record. He was born in Frankfort, New York, April 16, 1850, a son of George. B. and Margaret Ann (Cary) Judd, the former a native of Connecticut, born March 26, 1801, and the latter born in New York hi 1806. The father came to Racine in 1856 in search of a favorable location, for he desired to become identified with the growing middle west. In March, 1857, he brought his family to Racine and entered upon the practice of law, for which he had previously prepared, remaining an able- member of the bar here until his death, which occurred January 23, 1883. His widow survived him for about five years, passing away January 12, 1888. George B. and Margaret Ann Judd had seven children, three girls and four boys, of whom A. Cary was the youngest. A. Cary Judd supplemented his public school education by study in Racine College in 1861 and 1862. Determining upon the practice of law as a life work, he began reading with his father on the 28th of March, 1870, and was admitted to the bar June 18, 1872, before Justice William P. Lyon. He is today the oldest representative of the Racine bar in active practice, having for forty-tour years been connected with the work of the courts. In 1874 he was made court commissioner and occupied that position for thirty-six consecutive years-a most notable record, not only owing to the length of the term but also owing to...

Biography of Mortimer Eugene Walker

Mortimer Eugene Walker, whose prominence in the profession of law entitles him to more than passing notice as a representative of the Racine bar, is today well known as a member of the firm of Simmons & Walker. Endowed by nature with keen intellectual force, he has so directed his energies and developed his talents that he is found adequate to the solution of most intricate legal problems. Racine County numbers him among her native sons. He was born in the town of Mount Pleasant, June 25, 1872, and represents an old New England family. His paternal grandfather, Nelson A. Walker, was a native of Vermont and on foot made the long journey across the country from the Green Mountain state to Wisconsin, where at one time he owned a farm on the present site of Racine, which was then known as Sagetown. For a number of years he occupied that place but two or three years prior to his death removed to Chicago, where he passed away at an advanced age. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Lucinda Taggart, died at the age of sixty-five years, leaving four children. That number included Robert M. Walker, who was born in Vermont but was yet a young lad when his parents came to Wisconsin, so that he was reared in Racine County-then the western frontier. The occupation with which he became familiar during his youth he made his life work and became the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of very rich, productive and valuable land pleasantly and conveniently situated about three-quarters of a mile west of...

Biography of W. J. Theis

W. J. Theis is a self-made man, who front the age of fifteen years has made his home in Racine County and through the intervening period has been closely associated with its commercial development. He now resides in Raymond Township upon a farm which he purchased in 1902. He was born in Eberfeld, Germany, September 19. 1865, and is a son of William and Mary (Miller) Theis, who were likewise natives of Germany, the former born in Nassau in 1837 and the latter in Renarode. Their family numbered ten children, of whom two are living: William J., and Henry, who is now engaged in the fruit business in California. The father was foreman in Weber’s planing mill in Racine for many years and is an expert cabinetmaker. W. J. Theis obtained his education in the schools of Germany and was a youth of fifteen when he accompanied his parents on the voyage across the briny deep to the new world. The family at once came to Racine County and from that time forward he has been dependent upon his own resources, for he at once began to earn his living by working as a farm hand by the day. He was thus employed for about three years and then went to Racine, where he secured a situation in a factory, having previously learned the cabinetmaker’s trade in Germany under the direction of his father. For a time he occupied a position in a carriage factory and still later secured a clerkship in a hardware store, where he remained for five and a half years. Afterward he was engaged in...

Biography of George T. Caystile

George T. Caystile, who has been treasurer and manager of the Carroll Coal Company since its organization in 1910, was born in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, December 13, 1868, a son of Robert and Hannah (Nield) Caystile. The father was a native of the Isle of Man and in his boyhood was brought to the United States, after which he learned and followed the moulder’s trade. At an early period in the development of Racine he removed westward to this city. He married Hannah Nield, a daughter of James Nield, who was one of the first meat packers of Wisconsin and at one time conducted a prospered as the years passed on and later he retired from that field of activity, turning his attention to agricultural pursuits. At a subsequent date, however, Mr. Nield again took up his abode in Racine, where he lived retired from active business cares throughout his remaining days. He was, however, retail meat market on Main Street in Racine. Mr. Nield’s business affairs a prominent factor in the building operations which brought about the development of the northwestern part of Racine and in many ways was closely connected with the progress and improvement of city and County. Robert Caystile served throughout the Civil war, having enlisted at Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, as a member of Company K, Twenty-second Wisconsin Infantry, with which command he rendered signal service to his country in defending the Union. He died at Racine, December 8, 1886, and Mrs. Caystile is still living, being one of the oldest residents of the city. Although born in Sheboygan Falls, George T. Caystile has spent...

Biography of William Smith

William Smith, of Union Grove, has been identified with various business interests and his acumen and initiative have enabled him to gain financial independence. He is now largely living retired but still engages in the real estate business to some extent, holds title to one hundred and eighty acres of fine land and also owns the hotel in Union Grove. He was born in Dover, Racine County, on the 10th of September, 1853, a son of William Smith, Sr., whose birth occurred in County Norfolk, England, on the 17th of July, 1817. He emigrated to America in 1839 and after spending three years in New Jersey came west in 1842. He resided in Milwaukee during that summer but in the fall located in Dover, Racine County, entering land which he purchased as soon as it was placed on the market. He improved and developed that place, making it one of the hest farms of his locality, and as the years passed his resources steadily increased. He was married in this County to Miss Mary Welsh, a native of Ireland, in which country her father, John Welsh, passed his entire life. Mr. and Mrs. William Smith, Sr., became the parents of eight children, as follows: Robert. W., a carpenter of Union Grove; Amelia, who is the wife of William Donald, a substantial farmer of Dover Township; John H., who owns and operates a farm adjoining the homestead; Eliza, the wife of John Crane, a farmer of this County; William; Anna, who married Hugh Dardis, of Antioch, Illinois; Carrie, now Mrs. James Bell of Waukesha, Wisconsin; and Hattie, the wife of...

Biography of John H. Liegler

John H. Liegler, who for fifteen years has engaged in law practice in Racine, having been admitted to the bar in 1899, has made steady progress in a profession where advancement depends entirely upon individual merit, effort and ability. Racine numbers Mr. Liegler among her native sons. He was born March 12, 1874, his parents being John and Fanny (Pollock) Liegler. The former was a son of John Liegler, who was born in Bohemia and was of French descent, the ancestry being traced back in Bohemia to the year 1730. It was in 1854 that the grandfather crossed the Atlantic to the new world, settling in Racine. He was a man of scholarly attainments, speaking eight different languages. By trade he was a furrier and established one of the first houses of this city, a business which is still continued by his son and namesake, John, who has long been prominent in business circles of Racine. Mrs. Fanny Liegler died in June, 1891. At the usual age John H. Liegler became a pupil in the public schools of Racine, passing through consecutive grades to his graduation from the high school, after which he attended McMynn Academy. He afterward entered the University of Wisconsin, from which he was graduated in 1896. For two years thereafter he was a student in the law department of that school and for five years served as a clerk in the municipal court, which greatly promoted his knowledge of legal principles and practice. At the same time he read law and in 1899 was admitted to the Wisconsin bar, opening an office in Racine, and...

Biography of John D. Rowland

John D. Rowland. a member of the real estate and insurance firm of Carpenter & Rowland, was born in Racine, March 8, 1863, a son of David and Elizabeth (Davis) Rowland. The father, who was born in north of Wales, was a son of David Rowland, Sr., who brought his family to the United States in 1842, settling in New York where he died. His widow afterward became the wife of David Morgan and about 1853 they removed to Racine, Mr. Morgan establishing a carpenter shop at the corner of Columbus avenue and Twelfth Street. David Rowland. Jr., when a youth of seventeen years, went to sea on a sailing vessel and spent several years in that way, visiting all parts of the world. He afterward served as a member of Company F, Twenty-second Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers, through the period of the Civil War, having enlisted in 1862, while in 1865 he was mustered out. Following the close of hostilities he learned the carpenters’ trade and spent the greater part, of his business life in connection with the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company, being first employed as a workman and later as a contractor. He married Elizabeth Davis, who was born in South Wales and both are now residents of Racine. Mr. Rowland living retired at the advanced age of seventy-nine years. J. D. Rowland was one of a family of five children, but three of the number have passed away, his surviving sister being Mrs. E. E. Cahood of Racine. He obtained a public school education and afterward attended McMynn Academy. For a few years he...
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