One of the leading agriculturists and progressive citizens of Caledonia Township is E. J. Botting, whose splendidly improved property indicates the spirit of enterprise that actuates him at every point in his career. He was born in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, July 4, 1858, a son of James and Caroline (Blake) Botting, who were natives of Kent, England. The former was a son of Edward Botting, who (lied in that country. James Botting was born in 1824, and in his native County of Kent married Caroline Blake, whose birth occurred in 1829. They came to the United States in 1857 and settled in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, where they purchased ten acres of land, but after cultivating that tract for a time Mr. Botting sold the property and bought a farm of fifty-seven acres, on which he lived for twenty-nine years. To the farm he added twenty acres and met with success through the progressive manner in which he developed and cultivated the property, living upon the place until 1892. He and his wife had but six cents when they reached Milwaukee, and the prosperity which they won was the merited reward of their energy and well directed industry in later years. The wife and mother died in 1892, at which time the father went to live with his son, E. J. Botting, passing away at his home in 1895. They were the parents of seven children of whom but three are living: Fannie, the wife of Herbert Cheeseman, a farmer residing near Milledgeville, Carroll County, Illinois; Esther, the wife of Dan Lowers, of Milwaukee, who was section foreman for a number of years; and E. J. The parents held membership in the Episcopal Church, in the work of which Mr. Botting took a very active and helpful part. His political allegiance was given to the Republican Party, and he was a man of considerable influence in the community, liberally educated and well informed on current questions and possessing, moreover, many sterling traits of character which gained for him high regard.
E. J. Botting attended school in South Milwaukee, but from an early age devoted much of his time to the work of assisting his father in the development of the home place, and he early learned the value of industry and perseverance as factors in the attainment of success. He has made good use of his time and opportunities and is now carrying on general farming on one hundred and twenty acres of land in Caledonia Township. The place is now well improved, for he has put up good buildings and has added to the productiveness of his fields by laying seven miles of tiling. He was one of the first to establish a route from this locality to ship milk to the Horlick factory and he now has eighteen brown Jersey cows, some of which are full blooded. He has always been a very progressive man and employs the latest improved methods of farming. A large silo on his place enables him to furnish green fodder for his stock through the winter months and he does everything possible to advance the worth of his farm, realizing that an immediate expenditure of money in improvements or for the introduction of advanced methods will often mean a most substantial return in the future. His home is one of the fine residences of Caledonia Township.
In February, 1879, Mr. Botting was married to Miss Ella Stearns, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Dudley) Stearns. The father was born in Massachusetts in 1824, and the mother in Vermont in 1834. They were married in Oak Creek Township, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, where they settled in early life among the pioneer residents of that locality and there they spent their remaining days. The father died in 1889, while the mother passed away in 1870. They were the parents of four children, of whom three are living: Hannah, the wife of William Dallmann, a farmer of Montana; Mrs. Botting; and Harry, who served in the Spanish-American war and are now living in the state of Washington. The parents were members of the Episcopal Church. Mr. and Mrs. Botting have become the parents of nine children: Sylvia, the wife of George Cooke, a poultry man of Caledonia Township; James, a resident farmer of Oak Creek Township, Milwaukee County ; Grace, the wife of Joe Guckenburg, of the same Township ; Harry, who follows carpentering; and Carrie, Lester, Rowland, Herbert and Ella, all at home.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Botting hold membership in the Episcopal Church and do all in their power to promote its growth and extend its influence, Mr. Botting having served as senior warden for a number of years. In politics he is a republican and has served as roadmaster, while for nine years he was a member of the school board. He is interested in all that pertains to the welfare of the community, and the cause of education finds in him a stalwart champion. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the new burying ground. His entire life record is commendable and the sterling traits of his character are such as insure for him the warm and enduring regard of all with whom he has been brought in contact.