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Biography of James L. English

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One of the most substantial residents of Norway Township is James L. English, who owns and operates a fine farm on section 35. In that Township he was born December 4, 1871, his parents being John and Mary (Quinn) English. The birth of the father occurred in Ireland, June 18, 1831, and in that country the paternal grandfather of our subject spent his entire life. He was a weaver by trade. Coming to the new world when a young man without capital, John English worked his way steadily upward until he was possessor of a good farm in this County. In 1867 he was able to purchase a quarter section of land and later added to this a tract of eighty-seven acres. This he placed under cultivation and at the time of his death, which occurred December 21, 1905, he was one of the well-to-do citizens of his community. He was married in Waterford, Wisconsin, June 27, 1867, to Miss Mary Quinn, who was born January 2, 1850, in Norway Township, and died on the 2d of February, 1909. They became the parents of eight children, namely: Lila, living on the home farm; James L.; Fannie, deceased; Harry and Frank, both at home; Kittie, a public stenographer of Milwaukee; and Benjamin and Maude, both at home. The family is identified with the Catholic Church and in politics the father was an ardent democrat. Our subject’s maternal grandparents were James and Katherine (Kearnen) Quinn. The grandfather came west by canal to Erie and thence by boat to Milwaukee in 1842. After remaining in the latter city for three nights he proceeded to Waterford and purchased a tract of land in Norway Township, upon which he made his home until his death in 1860.

James L. English pursued his studies in the district schools of Norway Township and in early life became thoroughly familiar with agricultural pursuits. He has met with marked success in his chosen occupation and in connection with his brothers and sisters is the owner of an excellent farm. Since their father’s death they have added two hundred and forty-seven acres to the property left them and they now have a very- valuable tract of four hundred and ninety-two acres. Mr. English follows general farming, also does some dairying and raises stock of all kinds. Upon the home place he erected a large two-story residence in 1901, built a silo in 1914 and has other good buildings which stand as monuments to his thrift and industry. His fields are under a high state of cultivation and the neat and thrifty appearance of his farm plainly indicates the care and attention which he devotes to it.

In religious faith Mr. English is a Catholic and he holds membership with the Knights of Columbus, No. 1578, at Burlington. The Democratic Party has always found in him a stanch supporter of its principles and he has taken quite an active and influential part in public affairs. Before he was able to vote he was elected Township clerk and for two years served as Township chairman. He is now a member of the ditch commission of Yorkville and Raymond, which position he has filled since 1906. All worthy enterprises receive his hearty endorsement and he may be counted upon to further any enterprise which he believes will prove of public benefit.


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