The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad passes through the town following the course of the Wisconsin river. A station called Wauzeka is situated on sections 8 and 17, in towns 7, of range 4 west, and on north bank of the Kickapoo river about half a mile from the junction with the Wisconsin river.
The general surface of the town is very broken being a series of ridges and intervening valleys, which lead to the Kickapoo and Wisconsin rivers. The soil is a heavy clay on the ridges with more of a loam mixture in the valleys.
About three-fourths of the town was formerly heavily timbered by the various varieties of oak, maple, hickory, elm, walnut, with much basswood and ash. The greater part of the more valuable timber had been consumed previous to 1880, although in places there may still be found many of the original forest trees. The best timber to be found as this date was that of a second growth.
The Kickapoo river flows in a very crooked channel through the eastern part of the town, and along its banks grows a fine quality of sugar maple.
The Grand Gris (Grand Gray) is the next stream of importance. This flows through the southwest part of the town, and in an early day, was noted for the abundance of speckled trout which it contained. The little Kickapoo river enters the northwest corner of the town, and flows southeast, emptying into a slough of the Wisconsin river, on section 23, town 7, range 4 west. Plum creek enters section 36, in town 8 of range 5 west, flows through that section and enters the Kickapoo river on the same section.
From the most reliable information to be obtained, Jackson Foster was the first settler of what is now embraced in the town of Wauzeka. He came from Ohio in 1839 and settled on Grand Gris creek, and lived there several years. Both he and his wife died on the place they first settled on.
Henry Stuckey was the next to settle in the town. He came to Prairie du Chien sometime during 1838 and not long after made a claim, the greater part of which is on section 13, town 7, range 5 west. He was a single man at that time, but he began the improvement of his land, soon after erecting a log house in which he kept "bachelor's hall." In 1841 he married, and remained on the place till his death.
George Schlund settled on section 15, town 7, range 5 west, soon after Mr. Stuckey came, probably in 1839.
About 1840, Maj. William Wright, who was a major in the Black Hawk war, settled in the town with Judge Lockwood, and established Wright's Ferry, on the Wisconsin river. A number of years later, he married, and he and his wife remained at the ferry, till their death. He died in 1856, and his wife, about one year previous to that time.
But few settlers came in for the next few years. Previous to 1847, however, L. Geitz settled on Grand Gris creek, where he built the first grist mill within the town in 1853. He died in the town some years afterward.
John Thomas, Stephen Tainter, Harvey Green, and perhaps a few others, made settlement before 1847.
In 1847 came L. L. Lathrop, who located on section 10, town 7, range 5 west, where he still lived in 1884.
Bernhard Herrold located on section 13, town 7, range 5 west. He afterwards lived in the village of Wauzeka.
In 1849 Ralph Smith settled on Plum creek, where he engaged in milling.
Morton Seeley, was another settler of 1849; he located on section 2, town 7, range 4 west. The same year he built the second saw-mill in the town. The following year, 1850, he removed from the county.
At about the same time of Mr. Seeley's coming, John Thomas settled on section 15, town 7, range 5 west.
The same season, came John Miller, who settled on section 10, town 7, range 5 west. He had been a soldier in the regular army. Several years after his settlement here, he died.
John McHarg located lands by warrant in 1849, which embraced the present site of the village of Wauzeka, but he did not settle till 1855.
Phillip Steinbach settled on section 32, town 7, of range 5 west, in 1850, where at the present time (1884) he still lives. He was a Mexican.
In 1851 Herman Stuckey settled on section 15, town 7, range 5 west. He purchased of John Thomas; he resided in the town till his death. The family still (1884) own the homestead.
John Berry was an early settler in the town.
From about 1852 the town settled very rapidly; the population being mostly of a German element.
The first white child born in the town of Wauzeka was Mary L. Stuckey, daughter of Henry Stuckey. She was born August 21, 1842. She became the wife of Frank Chapek.
The first school was taught in the summer of 1850 by James E. Lockwood, on section 36, town 8, range 5.
The first regular school house was built of logs in the summer of 1853, in what is now known as district No. 3.
The first postoffice was kept by Henry Stuckey; this was established in 1854. Mr. Stuckey was the first and only postmaster, as the office was discontinued as soon as the railroad was built and the village of Wauzeka started, which was in 1856.
The first saw-mill was built by John Thomas and A. M. Miller, on Plum creek, as early as 1848. The only grist mill ever built in the town was erected by L. Geitz, in 1853, on Grand Gris creek; it was destroyed by a flood in 1876, and rebuilt by Mr. Oswold. The first goods retailed in the town were sold by Ralph Smith on section 36, in town 8, range 5 west, in 1849. Those goods which came from St. Louis by way of Prairie du Chien, were sold to those in the neighborhood, and also to log men in the pineries above.
The first town meeting in Wauzeka was held April 26, 1858, at which time the following were elected as town officers for that year: John C. Berry, chairman; John McHarg, L. L. Lathrop, side board; Joseph Burlingame, clerk; Loren Barnes, assessor; Jesse R. Pratt, superintendent of schools. The above are the only officers on the records of the first election.
Officers of 1883: O. P. Vaughan, chairman; Christopher Walters, George Benner, side board; Charles Brandes, clerk; Jacob Wilhaber, assessor; Chris Rice, treasurer; L. C. Halstead, Patrick McKillip, Jasper Wayne, and John Steinbach, justices of the peace.
At this date (1884) there are three full and five joint school districts in the town of Wauzeka.
District No. 1, joint with the town of Marietta, has thirty-seven pupils, and school property valued at $320. The building is in a poor condition.
District No. 2 comprises the village of Wauzeka. The first cost of the school house in this district was $4,500. Number of pupils of school age, 149.
District No. 3 is a full district; it has a poor school building, valued at $45. Number of pupils, thirty-four.
District No. 4 has thirty-three pupils. This district is provided with a fair log house.
District No. 5 is a full district, which is provided with a good frame building valued at $350. Number of pupils, thirty.
District No. 6 is a full district, having fifty-two pupils. The school house is a log building in a fair condition, valued at $100.
District No. 8 is joint with the town of Eastman. Number of pupils, thirty-four. This district has a log house in a good condition, valued at $300.
District No. 11 is joint with the town of Marietta. It is provided with a frame school house valued at $150. Number of pupils from the town of Wauzeka, seventeen.
The only regular cemetery within the town of Wauzeka, was established on section 18, in 1872. There were a few private burying places; but most of the remains were removed to this cemetery.
The first mill built in the town was erected by John Thomas and A. M. Miller, in 1848; they operated this mill a year, and sold to Ralph Smith, who run it ten years, during which time he cut large amounts of native lumber, together with the pine timber found on the head waters of the Kickapoo river.
Morton Seeley built a saw-mill in 1849. This mill was operated till 1880.
A small grist mill was built in 1853, by L. Geitz, on the Grand Gris creek, which a Mr. Oswold bought in 1865. This mill was burned in 1876, and rebuilt the same year.
In 1860 copper ore was discovered by C. N. Mumford, on the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 26, town 8, range 5 west. The plant was not developed very extensively till 1884, when Messrs. C. N. Mumford, A. Eaton and J. J. Hollister, formed a company, and were mining a paying grade of "float" copper. Ninety tons of this ore, was shipped to Baltimore, and yielded about forty per cent copper.
Wauzeka is the only village within the limits of the town. The original plat of the village is located on the north half quarter of section 17, town 7, range 4 west. This land was located by land warrants held by John McHarg in 1849. The warrant being obtained by Mr. McHarg for services in the war with Mexico. About the time of the completion of the Prairie du Chien division of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad, to this point, the above mentioned quarter section of land was purchased by H. L. Dousman, who, the same season, 1856, caused the plat to be surveyed. In 1857 an addition was made to this plat, on the west, by John McHarg. This part of the village plat being on section 18. The first dwelling house on the plat was built by the milling firm of Markham, Foster & Co., in the summer of 1856. This was a two and one-half story frame building. It was owned by the company till 1880, when it was sold to Isaac Johnson. Markham, Foster & Co., also erected the first store building in the place, and sold the first goods; this store was open, ready for trade, in the winter of 1856-7. It was located on block 19, and was occupied by the above named firm for many years, and finally purchased by John Chestnut, who removed it to a location near the depot. In 1884 it was used as the postoffice building.
A steam saw-mill was completed in 1856, by Markham, Foster & Co., which had a sawing capacity of 15,000 feet of lumber per day. This mill worked up pine logs, which were rafted down the Kickapoo river, as well as the native timber which was found in great abundance at an early day. Markham, Foster & Co., run this mill about seventeen years, when they disposed of the machinery. In 1865, a steam-power saw-mill was built by Esterly & Kiser, of Whitewater; the mill was finally removed to Michigan.
The Wauzeka Manufacturing Company was organized in May, 1871. B. F. Fay was made its president; George L. Scott, secretary; B. F. Fay, treasurer; Captain Ira Bisbee, superintendent. This company engaged in the manufacture of staves and other cooper stock. The mill was completed and in operation in July, 1873. It is run by steam-power, given by a forty-five horse-power engine. The full capacity of this stave mill, is about 5,000 cords of stave bolts per year. They manufacture from the native timber, oak being principally used.
About 1875, Parker, Hilderbrand & Co., erected a factory, for the manufacture of tight barrel staves; this was located on railroad land below the depot, on the south side of the track. John Parker, of the firm, had charge of the works; this mill was operated about four years, doing an extensive business; but in 1882 was removed to Aiken, Minn., on the Northern Pacific railroad.
In the winter of 1883-4, a steam saw mill was built by Curry & Co., which had a capacity for cutting 4,000 feet per day. It was propelled by a thirty horse-power engine.
A postoffice was established at this point in 1856, and Dr. Hutchinson was appointed postmaster; after several years he was succeeded by George Parker, who, after a few years, was followed by Jane Walker, and she, two years later, by Leo Oswold. Then came L. M. Culver, station agent; he was succeeded by Charles Brandes. It became a money order office Aug. 1, 1882. At the present date, 1884, Charles Brandes is postmaster, having been in office two years.
Markham, Foster & Co. opened the first store in the village. They also owned and operated the first blacksmith shop; it was located on the mill lot, block 14.
The first shoemaker was H. W. Silga, who came in about 1859. In 1882 he moved to Esterville, Iowa.
The first harness-maker was John Steinbach, who opened his shop in 1882.
L. M. Culver started the first general hardware store, also acted as station agent, and afterward was appointed station agent at Esterville, Iowa.
Charles Ozeos kept the first hotel of the place, in a building erected by John McHarg for a residence. Dr. Hutchinson afterward kept the same house, which he purchased of Ozeos. About 1865 Benjamin Wolf built a hotel, which was burned in the fall of 1871. Ira Lawrence built a hotel, which was destroyed by the fire just mentioned. James Mallery built a hotel about 1873, which was destroyed by fire a short time after it was completed. The hotels at the present time (1884) are the Ranney House and the Wauzeka House.
A boat yard was established at this place, on the Kickapoo river, about 1862, by Joseph Reynolds, proprietor of the Diamond Joe line of steamers, which ply the waters of the Mississippi river. The hulls of several steamboats were built here; also a number of barges. It was continued for a number of years, and was, indeed, quite an enterprise for the place, giving employment, as it did, to so many men who lived in the immediate vicinity.
In April, 1864, Dr. L. C. Halsted and Capt. H. Hubbel began the building of a steamer of quite large dimensions, the length being 265 feet. Mr. Hubbel failing to fill his part of the contract, the project was abandoned, and the incomplete boat sold to the Diamond Joe company, who used it as a wharf boat at the city of Dubuque.
In 1884 the village contained two church edifices --- those were the German Lutheran and Roman Catholic. The former was built as a German Evangelical Methodist church, by that denomination, aided by liberal outside donations, with the understanding that it should be open for services to other denominations. By reason of removals, the Methodist class grew small, and in 1882 the building was sold to the German Lutherans, who number quite large. The first cost of this building was $900.
A Roman Catholic church was finished in the fall of 1881. This is a frame building with a neat steeple surmounting it; the cost was about $600. This church is supplied from Prairie du Chien.
The village of Wauzeka is within school district No. 2. The first school was taught by Miss Gould, of Prairie du Chien. She commenced in a private house, owned by William Sinks. A school house was completed, however, before the term closed, and the school removed to it. The date of the commencement of this school was in May, 1858, and the school house was built by Ralph Smith. Among the early teachers in this school house were Jane Scott, sister of Robert Scott, of Prairie du Chien, Electra Washburn, James Roach, Mr. Wood, Miss Jefferson, W. A. Vaughan, Dr. Halsted and Manly Mumford. The old pioneer building, in which these just mentioned taught, constituted the town hall in 1884. In 1871 the present school house was built; it is a frame structure, 30x45 feet, with twenty-two foot studding. The building is a neat looking one, being provided as it is with a belfry and bell; it is the first object that meets the eye of the stranger as he enters the place. This school has for years been looked upon as one of the best in Crawford county. The school is not as large as at one time in its history, but still it sustains a good reputation for its excellence. Two teachers have always been employed; the first in the new building were James Malcolmson and Emma Comstock. The former was employed two years as principal, and then followed by James Smith. James Bedicheck was principal for four years, and was accounted one of the most successful teachers ever had in the village. Lizzie McHarg, Mrs. Bedicheck and Helen Smith were teachers in the primary department during the time Mr. Bedicheck was principal.
E. W. Farnham succeeded Mr. Bedicheck, and was retained for three years; he was a graduate of Lawrence University, Wisconsin, and was a successful teacher. Under Mr. Farnham were Helen Smith and Mattie McDonald. In 1883 the schools were in charge of J. F. Burgess and Miss Mattie McDonald.
A large number of young ladies have been prepared for teaching at this school; among those are: Dora Jefferson, Maggie Smith, Flora McHarg, Helen Smith, Carrie Smith, Lizzie McHarg, Mamie McDonald, Mattie McDonald, Lillie Culver, Ester Lester, Fanny McHarg, Lottie McHarg, Agnes McHarg, Cora Rosencrantz, and perhaps others whose names have not been recalled. Also the following young men have received a like preparatory course: John Fryer, William Lester and Asael Larson.
An organization of the Temple of Honor was founded at Wauzeka in December, 1877. The following were the charter members: Dr. L. C. Halsted, J. N. Wayne, George Beier, Chester A. Pratt, W. J. Dougherty, E. M. Farnham, E. A. Bottom. The first officers were: Dr. L. C. Halstead, W. C. T.; J. N. Wayne, P. W. C. T.; E. M. Farnham, W. R.; George Beier, W. T.; C. A. Pratt, W. F. R.; W. J. Dougherty, A. R.; E. A. Bottom, W. V. T.
This lodge numbered at one time seventy members, and has been the cause of much good; a large number of confirmed drunkards have been rescued and reformed, who still remain true to their obligations, and many moderate drinkers have been restrained from further indulgence; while others have remained faithful for a short time and then broken their obligations and gone back to their cups. But on the whole the influence of this lodge has been for general good. Jan. 1, 1884, the lodge numbered twenty-three members; meetings were then held semi-monthly, on Saturday evenings.
Emery Lodge, of the order of Good Templars was organized at Wauzeka, Aug. 3, 1865. The first officers were as follows: S. J. Foster, W. C. T.; M. Washburn, W. V.; O. B. West, W. S.; S. Perry, W. T.; O. Washburn, W. M.; J. J. Austin, P. W. C.; G. W. Clark, W. C.; S. Rosencranz, I. G.; G. Racey, O. G.; Hellen Ormsby, R. H. S.; E. Burlingame, L. H. S.; M. L. Smith, A. M. This order had a charter membership of about twenty. The lodge continued about two years, the last officers of this lodge were elected in July 1867. Their names appear in their records as follows: J. McMillin, W. C. T.; H. Smith, W. V. T.; S. Clark, W. S.; J. Smith, W. F. S.; B. McMillin, W. T.; E. Ward, W. M.; E. McMillin, Jr., W. I. G.; R. Moore, W. O. G. The lodge suspended soon after this election.
Wauzeka lodge No. 33, of the I. O. of G. T. was organized Oct. 20, 1879, by Bro. J. A. Johnson, State organizer. The charter members were as follows: R. Smith and wife, James McMillin and wife, M. Priest and wife, Mrs. N. A. Wright, Mrs. N. Johnson, George Beck, Mrs. H. Rosencrantz, Mrs. L. Lester, Rev. A. F. Thompson, F. Priest, Mrs. Jennie Walker, Mattie McDonald, Thomas Burlock, Mrs. S. Rosencrantz, Mrs. F. Lindig, L. Hayse, and Lucy Lawrence. The total membership from the date of the organization till 1884, was 290. The present membership is thirty-five. The success of this lodge has been very good. There is also a juvenile lodge of this same order at this place, which is also doing a good work.
The following directory will show the business and other interests of the village of Wauzeka, Jan. 1, 1884:
Fay & Bisbee, manufacturers of loose and tight barrel staves and heading.
John Rausin, manufacturer of and dealer in hoop poles.
W. A. Vaughan & Co., dealers in general merchandise.
J. N. Feldman, dealer in general merchandise.
George Beier, dealer in boots and shoes.
J. G. Widmann, hardware.
Daniel Volmar, restaurant.
G. W. Ranney, proprietor of the Ranney Hotel.
Robert Moran, proprietor of the Wauzeka House.
W. G. Bailey, wagon-maker and carpenter.
Joseph Berren, blacksmith.
W. E. Hazelwood, blacksmith.
John Steinbach, harness shop.
Curry & Ranney, saw-mill.
Hattie Rosencrantz, milliner.
L. C. Halsted, justice of the peace and physician and surgeon.
Ralph Smith, one of the pioneers of Crawford county, was born in 1811, in Berlin, Washington Co., Vt. In 1831 he removed with his father's family to Plainfield, in what was then a part of Cook, now Will Co., Ill., when he was appointed postmaster in 1837, and held the office three years. Soon after the arrival of the family at Detroit on their journey west, Mr. Smith, accompanied by his father and a hired man, started out on a tour of exploration on foot, with a view of finding a suitable place to locate, traveling the entire distance on foot from Detroit to Chicago, in 1831. There were no roads from Ypsilanti west, an Indian trail being the only guide to travelers, not a frame house having then been erected on the present site of the city of Chicago. His father located in Will county, and engaged in the mercantile business in Plainfield. Mr. Ralph Smith was engaged in business with his father; also built by contract a half mile of the Illinois and Michigan canal in the years 1833, 1834 and 1835. He settled in Crawford county in 1840, coming to Prairie du Chien. Soon after he leased the hotel in Lower Town, known as the Granite House, and owned by Alexander McGregor. Conducting this for about one year and a half, he leased for one year a farm of Judge James H. Lockwood. He then engaged in mercantile trade also took a contract from the government for transporting Indian annuities from Prairie du Chien to Fort Atchison, Iowa. During these years Mr. Smith was associated in business with different individuals. The firm being first known as Thomas & Smith, then Bugbee & Smith, and afterwards Savage & Smith. A. Savage succeeded Savage & Smith. Mr. Smith engaged in the lumber business, which he followed for twenty years. In 1849 he came to Wauzeka, and purchased the saw-mill on Plum creek near its entrance into the Kickapoo. In 1846 this mill was erected by Thomas and Miller, and was the first mill erected in Wauzeka. After two years he abandoned this mill and built one further down Plum creek and nearer the Kickapoo, which he run for ten years, manufacturing lumber from the pine logs, which floated down the Kickapoo from the head waters of that stream. At the end of ten years he moved from Plum creek to the village of Wauzeka, where he and Markham Foster built a steam mill, continuing in the lumber business till 1876, when he closed out his milling business, and in September, 1877, took a residence in Dakota, Moody county. During his long residence in Crawford county, Mr. Smith has been known as a successful business man, also an honorable, upright citizen. He has been twice married, first to Betsy Goss, born in Montpelier, Vt., Sept. 18, 1814, and who died in 1845 at Prairie du Chien, leaving six children, all have since died except two --- Charles and Hanor. In 1847 he married Sarah L. Lockwood, born in Champlain, Clinton Co., N. Y. They have eight children --- Maggie L., John L., Hardedine, Helen M., James H., Carrie H., Marian G. and Mary N. In 1874 Mr. Smith was appointed by the Chicago & Tomah Railway Company (narrow gauge) as a trustee and still holds that position.
Frank Chapek, who resides on section 14, is a son-in-law of Henry Stuckey, who made a claim of this farm in 1838. Mr. Stuckey was a native of Prussia, born Dec. 13, 1811. He was the oldest child of his parents, and came to the United States when quite a young man. He resided for several years in the State of New York, moved from there to Pennsylvania, then to Galena, Ill. From here he went to St. Louis, coming to Prairie du Chien in 1837 or 1838. He was married in Prairie du Chien, Aug. 15, 1841, to Mary L. Herdelbrink, a native of Hanover, Germany. Immediately after his marriage he located on the farm now owned by his son-in-law, Mr. Chapek. He had erected a house and made other improvements previous to that time, being one of the well known early settlers of this town. His general business was farming and dealing in live stock, though he kept a hotel and store for some time, doing quite an extensive business during the construction of the railroad through this vicinity. The first hotel and store here were kept by Mr. Stuckey also the first postoffice, being called the Stuckville post-office. The office was discontinued when the office at Wauzeka was established. He died Nov. 20, 1880, at the homestead. Henry Stuckey from his habits of industry and frugality acquired additions to his farm, until it numbers 720 acres, the income of which supplies all his wants in his declining years. He was among the first settlers of the town, and assisted in the organization of the first school district in the town, and did what he could to foster and support the common school in which he always took a deep interest. His oldest child, wife of Mr. Chapek was born Aug. 21, 1842, at the homestead, and was probably the first white child born in the town. Mr. Chapek was born in Bohemia in 1851, and came with his parents to the United States in 1869. They have six children --- Caroline Lily, Caroline Louise, William H., Frank J., Emma M. and Matthias F.
L. L. Lathrop was born Jan. 9, 1818, in Rutland Co., Vt. For some time prior to coming to Wisconsin he lived in Canada. Coming to Grant county from Canada, in 1837, one year later he took up his residence in Prairie du Chien. In 1847 he removed to Wauzeka, locating where he now lives, and owns a tract of 800 acres of land, on which has been found considerable lead ore, and investigations which he is now making promise further developments. He was married Nov. 3, 1844, in Prairie du Chien, to Samantha McCappee, born in Chatauqua Co., N. Y. They have nine children --- five girls (only two living) and four sons. In politics Mr. Lathrop is a republican, and a warm advocate of the principles of that party. He is a man of extensive reading, and though he has to a great extent lost his hearing, he is well informed on the general topics of the day.
H. L. Richmann, of the village of Wauzeka, is the son of Henry Richmann, an early settler, having settled in 1852 on section 13, town 7, range 5 west. He is one of the large farmers of this town, owning about 1,000 acres of land. H. L. Richmann is proprietor of a saloon in Wauzeka. He was born in Prussia in 1848, living at the homestead till May, 1880, when he came to the village and engaged in his present business. He married Julia Bower, of Marietta. They have one daughter, Jennie, born Jan. 6, 1883.
John McHarg, one of the prominent and well-known early settlers of Wauzeka, was born in 1815 in Scotland. His mother died when he was a child, and soon after her death his father, with the family, moved to Ireland. When nineteen years of age, he emigrated to Canada, making his home with a brother who had preceded him by several years to America. In 1846 he went to Chicago. At that time the Mexican war was in progress, and enlistments were being made for service in the conflict. Mr. McHarg enlisted, Feb. 23, 1847, to serve till the close of the war. He was assigned to the 6th regiment, United States Infantry, and was honorably discharged, July 31, 1848, having participated in the battles of Cherubusco, Molino del Rey, Contreras and was present at the capture of the city of Mexico by Gen. Scott. He was a non-commissioned officer, filling the position of color guard. At the close of the war, he re-enlisted in the same command, which was stationed at Prairie du Chien. In 1849 his regiment was transferred to Fort Leavenworth, Kan. During his second term of enlistment, which was for five years, he held the position of sergeant, and was connected with the quartermaster's department. When his time expired, his regiment was stationed at Fort Riley, which was built by the command to which he belonged. The captain of his company, Charles Lovill, gave him, on his discharge from service, the following letter, which illustrates his life as a soldier: "He has always been a faithful, steady, and excellent non-commissioned officer, in which capacity he has served his entire term of enlistment, five years. Every confidence may be placed in his integrity.
"Signed, Capt. Charles L. Lovill,
"Fort Riley, August 1, 1853."
Mr. McHarg has been a resident of Wauzeka, since May, 1855. In 1849 he had secured by a land warrant, obtained for service in the Mexican War, 160 acres, which includes the present site of Wauzeka, but on the building of the railroad n 1856, he sold this quarter section to Mr. Dousman, who laid out the town. He then settled on section 17, where he has since lived, engaged in farming. In politics he is a republican. He was chairman of the town board of Wauzeka for ten years, and in 1880 was census enumerator for his district. He was married at Fort Leavenworth, while a soldier, to Fanny Ormsby, a native of Ireland, but reared in New Orleans. They have had twelve children, ten of whom are living --- Ann, Rebecca, Lizzie, William, Agnes, John, Fannie, Cottie, Ormsby and Ella. Mr. McHarg and family removed to Dakota in the spring of 1884, a number of their children now residing in that territory.
Christian Rice was born in 1829, in Wurtemburg, Germany. When twelve years old, he lost his father, and in 1855 came to the United States, first living for two years in Fulton Co., Ohio, then moving to Green Bay. From there he went to Grant county, coming here in February, 1856, where he still resides. He was engaged in milling for many years, and for eighteen years has been head sawyer in the saw mill of Ralph Smith. Mr. Rice was married in Germany to Margaret Schuld. They have seven children, three sons and four daughters. He has been treasurer of Wauzeka since 1874, except an interval of two years. No present resident of the village was here before Mr. Rice.
James Degnan, Jr., was born Aug. 4, 1842, in Ireland, and came to the United States, with his parents in 1848. They lived in New York, five years, and removed to Jo Daviess Co., Ill., in 1853, where they resided till the spring of 1860, when they came to Crawford Co., Wis., and they settled on section 35, in the town of Eastman. In 1866 Mr. Degnan bought the farm where he lives, located on section 2, town 7, range 5 west, from Emily E. Lemons. He is one of the prominent citizens of Wauzeka, being elected town clerk in 1869, he served six years; was also chairman of the town board of Wauzeka, two terms. He married Mary E. Dunne, of Eastman. They have eight children, two sons and six daughters.
Charles N. Mumford was born in Lewis Co., N. Y., in 1816, and is the youngest son of a Revolutionary soldier. When three years of age, his parents removed to Fredonia Chautauqua Co., N. Y., where Charles grew to manhood. In October, 1836, he married Clarrissa Blackney, born in Columbia Co., N. Y. In 1839 his father's family, accompanied by himself, wife and babe, removed to McDonough Co., Ill., and followed farming there about three years. His father died the first year of their residence there; his mother died the same week. In 1841 Charles N. moved his family to Lafayette Co., Iowa, remaining there until 1845, when he came to Wisconsin, locating in town of Highland, Iowa county. During his residence in Iowa county, Mr. Mumford kept hotel at Mineral Point, and on Blue river. He did some mining, and served as sheriff of Iowa County being elected to that position, in 1852. Mr. Mumford was postmaster for several years at Blue river, and was one of the active men of that time and locality. He came to Wauzeka in 1860, settling on section 36, town 8, range 5, where he still resides; owns 160 acres of land, and is a much respected citizen. Mr. and Mrs. Mumford have nine children --- Henry W., born in New York, April 16, 1838; Manley E., born in Illinois, Jan. 2, 1841; Corelelia, born in Iowa July 20, 1843, married Amos B. Foster, and died in Illinois, April 16, 1880; Adeline, born in Iowa Co., Wis., Sept. 17, 1846, wife of Jacob Lemons, of Missouri; Edward born in Iowa Co., Wis., Sept. 9, 1848, died June 12, 1872; Frank, born in Iowa Co., Wis., July 16, 1850, resident of Idaho; Mary C., born Oct. 16, 1852, wife of J. P. Kendall, of Iowa; Jane, born Aug. 18, 1855, wife of J. F. Beardsley, of Lone Rock, Wis.; Marian A., born Nov. 25, 1859, and is residing at home.
W. A. Vaughan is one of the two general merchants at Wauzeka, the firm name being Vaughan & Co. The business was established in August, 1876. He is a son of J. A. Vaughan, who settled in the town of Wauzeka, in September 1860. J. A. Vaughan was born at Whitehall Vt., in 1803, where he lived till about twenty-five years of age. Then he removed to New York, and from thence to what is now Corry, Penn. From Pennsylvania, he removed to Cleveland, Ohio, and from thence, in the fall of 1845, to Kankakee, Ill. He came to Wisconsin in 1855, and located at Black Earth, Dane county, where he lived five years. He came to Wauzeka in 1860. He located near the village of Wauzeka, where he resided till his decease, Nov. 26, 1876. He was twice married; his first wife was a Miss Clark, also a native of Vermont; his second wife, Sarah Coon, whom he married in Pennsylvania. She was born and reared in New York, and died in this town in March, 1874. Mr. Vaughan had four children by first marriage, who grew to maturity, two of whom are still living --- Annis, who lives in Kansas, and Esther, in Pennsylvania. He had six children by his second wife, five of whom are living --- Sarah, Harriet, Washington A., Orlando and Lorenzo, all of whom are residents of this town, excepting Lorenzo, who lives in Dakota. W. A., was born in Ohio, in 1845. He enlisted in the War of the rebellion, in company A., 11th regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, serving the last two years of the war. He participated in all the campaigns and battles in which his command took part, after he entered the army, including the siege and capture of Mobile; and was wounded in the charge on the defences of that city. After the war, he was engaged in teaching and farming for a number of years. In 1872 he was elected register of deeds, for Crawford county, and at the expiration of his term of service, was elected clerk of the court, serving one term. His wife was Miss M. L. Koch, a daughter of John Koch, of Prairie du Chien. Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan have three children --- Walter, Irving and Grace. He has also served as town clerk, and treasurer of this town.
O. P. Vaughan was born in Kankakee Co., Ill., in 1848. His father J. A. Vaughan removed to Black Earth, Wis., in 1855, and in 1860 moved to Wauzeka. In 1872 O. P. Vaughan married in De Soto, Wis., Delia Cutting, of Lansing, Iowa. They have five children --- Orla P., born in 1874; Roy A., born in 1876; Lulu, born in 1878; Florence, born in 1880, and H. Leon, born in 1883. Mr. Vaughan resides on section 12, town 7, range 5, where he owns 160 acres, and also forty acres on section 18. He was chairman of the town board of supervisors in 1883, and is one of the most active men in public affairs in his town. He served in the 49th regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, for about nine months in the last year of the war, being but sixteen years of age when he enlisted.
Andrew Miller was born in Genesee Co., N. Y., Feb. 8, 1827. When a child, his parents removed to Trumbull Co., Ohio; his father, Peter Miller, died there. Andrew was married in November, 1848, to Clarinda Courtwright, also a native of New York. In 1825, Mr. Miller went westward to Genesee Co., Mich., and followed farming there two years, then removed to Ingham county in the same State, and lived in that and Wayne counties until November, 1859, when he came to Wisconsin, and located at Mt. Hope, Grant Co., two years. In 1861, Mr. Miller came to Wauzeka, and bought land on section 7, town 7, range 4 west, improved it, making a good home, where he still resides. His mother, Betsy Miller, lived with him until her death, which occurred in 1865. They have two children living --- Jay, born in Ohio, in 1853, and Emma, born in Michigan, in 1858. Margaret was born the year after they came to this town, and died in 1864; two infant children were buried in Ohio. Emma resides near her parents, and is the wife of William Atcheson. Jay married Ocena Seely, Jan. 3, 1881. One child has been given to them --- Stella, born Jan. 16, 1883. Jay lives on the old homestead with his parents. Andrew Miller is one of the striving men of Wauzeka. Mr. Miller and son Jay, own 177 acres of land, fifty of which are under cultivation.
Jacob Jetter was born Oct. 19, 1820, in Wurtemburg, Germany. He came to the United States in 1853, residing in New York a short time, then going to Canada. In 1859 he went west to the Pacific coast, visiting California, and the other States and territories. He settled in Carson valley, Nevada, where he erected a hotel and hot spring bathing house, living there six years. In 1867, he returned to Europe, visiting his old home in Germany, and came back in the spring of 1868, making his home in Wauzeka, and engaging in the saloon business. He married Mrs. Johanne F. (Keler) Christ, widow of George Christ, who died Jan. 24, 1880, leaving her with seven children --- five sons and two daughters. Four of the sons live in Marietta and one in Boscobel. The oldest daughter lives in Illinois, the younger at home. Mrs. Jetter has lost three children, from her first marriage.
William Atcheson, Sr., resides on section 12, town 7, range 4 west. He owns, on this section, 210 acres of land, of which ninety acres are under cultivation. His son, William Jr., married Emma Miller, Jan. 4, 1881. They have one child --- William A., born July 2, 1883. William Jr., lives with his father and conducts the farm; father and son are both intelligent and enterprising citizens. William Atcheson, Sr., was born in County Antrim, Ireland, June 26, 1823. In 1847, he embarked at Belfast for Quebec, and from there he went to Erin, Canada West, buying and clearing 100 acres of heavily timbered land. He was married in March, 1859, to Jesse Harris. They had born to them four children --- William, born in 1860; Jane, born in 1862; John Henry, born in 1864 and James, born in 1867. Mr. Atcheson was bereaved by the death of his wife in 1869. The spring of the following year he came to Wauzeka, and made his present location. Jane was married Feb. 4, 1884, to Theodore Lamere, who owns a farm in the town of Eastman.
George Beier was born in 1850, in Mechlenburg, Germany, and came with his parents to the United States in 1865, they settling in Waukesha, Wis. He learned his trade, that of boot and shoemaker, in Waukesha, coming to Wauzeka in 1873. In 1874 he established a general store of ready made goods, but still manufactured custom work, and does repairing. He is the only exclusive boot and shoe dealer in the place, carries a good stock of goods, and has a good trade. He was married April 4, 1874, at Waukesha, to Minnie Timmerman, born in Germany. They have four children --- May, Walter, Salma and William.
John Nicholas Feldmann was born Nov. 18, 1843, in Schleiswig, Germany. When a boy he went to sea with an uncle, following the life of a sailor for seven years. In 1864 he came to the United States, accompanied by a sister and her four children, her husband having preceded his family to this country by four years, and engaging in Boscobel, Grant county. Mr. Feldmann engaged in ship building at Manhattan, near Boscobel for a time, after which he was employed on the Wisconsin and Fox river improvement enterprise. He came to Wauzeka in 1871, and was employed in the boat yard for a time, but did not come here permanently until 1876. Mr. Feldmann has one of the two general stores at Wauzeka, engaging in business Dec. 27, 1877, as successor to Leo Oswold, deceased. He is a wide awake, successful business man, and has a prosperous trade. He has been twice married. First, to Mrs. Anna (Schevert) Oswold, widow of Leo Oswold, who died Dec. 22, 1878, leaving one son --- Alexander. His present wife was Maggie Harold, daughter of Bernard Harold, one of the early settlers of Wauzeka. They have two children --- Charles and Mary.
John G. Widmann was born in 1851, in Wurtemburg, Germany. He learned his trade, that of tinning, in Lowell, Dodge county, with Henry Stokes, and came here in the spring of 1878. He is the hardware dealer of Wauzeka, including in his stock, general hardware, such as stoves, tinware, farming implements and sewing machines. His wife was Maggie Wagner, born in Saxony, Germany. Mr. Widmann was previously married to Dora Schmalenberger, who died in 1879, leaving two children --- Louis and Emma. He also has one son by his present wife --- John G.