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Biography of William E. Lewis

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Although William E. Lewis was long associated with agricultural interests of this County, he is now residing retired in the city of Racine, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves. He has passed the seventy-fourth milestone on life’s journey, his birth having occurred in Putnam County. New York, June 6, 1842, his parents being Alfred and Jane (Barrett) Lewis, both of whom died during the early youth of their son, William. In the year 1834 William E. Lewis, then a youth of twelve years, and his brother, Alfred L., came west with Nathan Howes, one of the pioneer settlers of Racine, who became a large property owner, having extensive interests in both farm and city real estate. He brought with him three other children-Jackson: Emeline, who became the wife of J. S. Bouton, and Ann.

The educational opportunities which William E. Lewis received were quite limited, but he has learned many valuable lessons in the school of experience. He started out in life as a farm hand and was thus employed until he had managed to save from his earnings, as the result of his industry and frugality, a sum that enabled him to purchase sixty acres of land near Corliss. This purchase was made in 1872. To the property he added from time to time until he had nearly three hundred acres, which he converted into a rich and productive tract, bringing his fields under a high state of cultivation and developing one of the best farms in Racine County. Year after year he carefully and systematically tilled the soil until 1891, when he sold that property, although he continued to reside at the old home for two or three years longer. In the fall of 1896 he removed to Racine and rebuilt the dwelling at No. 1511 College Avenue, which he now occupies.

On the 26th of October, 1865, Mr. Lewis was united in marriage to Miss Emelie M. Clemmons, of this County, a daughter of Ashel and Jane Clemmons, both of whom were natives of New York, whence they came to Racine County in the fall of 1849. They, too, were farming people and Mr. Clemmons met with substantial success in the conduct of his farm. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Lewis were born five children: Laura M., who became the wife of William Cooper, and died in 1893: Edith A., at home; Edward D., who is a resident farmer of Mount Pleasant Township, where he is now serving as Township clerk; Jennie J., the wife of. F. H. Hammill, assistant general superintendent of the Northwestern Railroad Company, and William E., who follows farming in Mount Pleasant Township. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary October 26, 1915.

In politics Mr. Lewis is a republican, having supported the party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He has filled the office of Township treasurer and served in other local positions, including that of member of the school board. He is a director of the Taylor Orphan Asylum, is a member of the Baptist church, and is interested in all those forces which work for the development and improvement of the community and uplift of the people. His life has ever been upright and honorable and all who know him entertain for him warm regard.

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