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Biography of Augustus Piper

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A large proportion of Racine County’s substantial citizens have been of German birth or of German descent, and the enterprise and efficiency which have characterized that country have been manifest in these sons of the fatherland who have sought to enjoy the opportunities of the new world. Such was the record of Augustus Piper, a native of Prussia, Germany, who was born on the 19th of August. 1825, and lost his father when but six months old. In 1840 his mother, with her children, took ship for the United States, but the vessel was wrecked at the island of Haiti and the family remained in San Domingo for several months. The mother died there of yellow fever. Augustus Piper at length came to the United States and settled at Cleveland, Ohio, where he made his home with an old friend, Mr. Hansche. After remaining in the Buckeye state for three years he went to New Orleans, where he spent six months, at the end of which time he returned to Ohio. In 1849 he drove from that state to Wisconsin and for two years thereafter worked in this state as a farm hand. He carefully saved his earnings and as soon as possible bought a tract of land on time, making a payment with the capital which he had saved. Gradually, as his resources increased, he added to his holdings until he owned in all three hundred and fifty acres of good land. This he brought to a high state of cultivation, carefully tilling the soil and displaying marked industry in the development of his crops.

On the 8th of November, 1852, Mr. Piper chose as companion and helpmate for life’s journey Miss Margaret Braid, a daughter of Thomas Braid, a native of Scotland, and to them were born four sons and two daughters, namely: William, Ellen, Thomas, Frank, Augustus J. and Jane. The death of the father occurred in 1896 and in his passing the community lost one of its substantial and representative citizens. He was a republican in his political belief, casting his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont and continuing an active supporter of the party principles until called to his final rest. He served in several local offices, including that of supervisor, and he was a member of the school board, doing effective work to further the interests of public education in his locality. He was a man of unusual energy and business ability and those qualities enabled him to win substantial success although he started out in life empty handed.


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