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Dodge County Wisconsin Genealogy
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Biographical sketches from the book
"History of Dodge County Wisconsin 1880"

This book was originally published in 1880 by the Western Historical Company, Chicago, and was reprinted in 1985 by the Affiliated Historical Societies of Dodge County, Wisconsin. Here is an excerpt from the book jacket: "The Dodge County section covers industries, schools, churches, towns, local and county governments, and the people who made it all happen. There is also a history and biographical section by townships. The biographical section includes some of the more prominent people of that time, but not everyone."

Many thanks are due to Kathy Smith for her help in typing up these biographical sketches

Surnames beginning with O and P:

O' Brien, J. N., M. D.
page 629
J. N. O'BRIEN, M. D., physician and surgeon; born in West Chester, Penn., Sept. 15, 1838; Dr. O'Brien entered Notre Dame College in 1856 and graduated in 1859; commenced the study of medicine at the Rush Medical College in 1861; eminent among the profession there at that time Prof. Brainard, James Adams Allen, Prof. J. W. Freer, Prof. Ray; Dr. O'Brien, after a thorough course of study, commenced the practice of medicine in Plymouth, Sheboygan Co., Wis., and, in 1878, came to Waupun; he is a member of the State Medical Society and a prominent member of the American Medical Association; also a member of the County Medical Society; he has a large and constantly increasing practice. Dr. O'Brien married, in May, 1866, Anna J. Smith, daughter of Col. H. N. Smith, late Warden of the Wisconsin State Prison and who for many years was a prominent Democratic politician of the State; the children are Daisy, born July 4, 1869; Sarah, born Oct. 24, 1872; Harold N., born in April, 1877. The Doctor is a man of genial temperament, and, although his valuable time is mostly occupied with his studies and practice, he occasionally finds an opportunity to follow the sports of the field, and game from mud-hens to deer have to suffer.

Oliver, R. L.
page 629
R. L. OLIVER, attorney; born in Scotland, May 4, 1834; son of Theo. Oliver, a hardware merchant; he came to the town of Alto, Wis., in 1848; came to Waupun and engaged in the manufacture of plows; was successfully engaged till 1858, when he went into the hardware business and carried it on till the time of his death, Dec. 29, 1868. Robert enlisted in Co. D, 3d W. V. I.; was in all the battles that that regiment engaged in; was appointed Sergeant Major after the battle of Antietam on account of bravery; returned to Waupun in 1864; commenced the study of law in 1865 and now has a successful practice. Married Grace Sampey, daughter of Theo. Sampey; have had three children--Ada Belle, Gertie and Grace.

Ordway, Alvin F.
page 592
ALVIN F. ORDWAY, millwright, manufacturer of and dealer in mill-furnishing machinery, etc., Beaver Dam; born in Bradford, Orange Co., VT, Oct. 3, 1833; came to Wisconsin about twenty-five years ago, having been engaged for a few years prior to that time in the construction of mills in the Easter States; since he came West, he has been extensively engaged in the same business, being on of the best-known men in his department of work in the entire West. He was married in Milwaukee, Dec. 7, 1857, to Miss Ellen Maher, a native of Derby Line, Orleans Co., VT; they have three sons--Guy M., Eddie A. and Bennie F.; Mr. Ordway located in Beaver Dam in the spring of 1858.

Owen, Warren A.
page 610
WARREN A. OWEN, farmer, Sec. 20; P. O. Juneau; born in New York May 3, 1841; son of Arad Owen, who was an old settler in New York, and a soldier in the war of 1812. Arad and his family moved to Burlington, Wis., in 1842, and to Oak Grove in 1843; there were only a log tavern and a log store in Watertown, when his father came here. Warren enlisted in the 12th U. S. A. Infantry, April 19, 1862; was in the battles of Cedar Mountain, Antietam, second Bull Run, and was wounded at Gettysburg, and afterward served at headquarters; was honorably discharged April 19, 1865. Married, in October, 1865, Sophronia McGuire, of Beaver Dam; have had eight children--Clarence H., Eugene E., Emma A., George W., Alice E., Elizabeth E. (died in infancy), Martha M. and Mary A.

Padgeham, E. A.
page 629-630
E. A. PADGHAM, merchant; born in Madison Co., N. Y., Sept. 6, 1840; son of John Padgham, who was born in Sussex, Eng., Feb. 21, 1799; he was a miller by trade, and was also a local Methodist preacher of celebrity; he married, Oct. 11, 1824, Miss Charlotte Hobbs, of St. Peter's Isle, Thanite, Eng.; she was born May 6, 1798; the family came to America in 1830, and Mr. John Padgham engaged in farming, which he carried on successfully till the time of his death; his wife is now living in Randolph, Wis., at the good old age of 81; she has in her possession some of a celebrated brand of flour that her husband made, the week they were married, in the old Northwood Windmill at St. Lawrence, Eng. Edward A. Padgham came to Waupun in 1861 to take charge of Ewen's Prison City Item office; he shortly after entered Co. K, 10th W. V. I.; was in all the engagements with his regiment; served his time faithfully, and was mustered out Nov. 3, 1864, after having served three years and three months; returned to Waupun, and married, Jan. 3, 1865, Miss Addie Moore, daughter of Mills Moore; have had one child--Jessie A., born Dec. 29, 1872. In 1865, Mr. Padgham was engaged with Phelps Moore, and then with Sykes & Nichols; then accepted a position with Mr. Van Valkensburg, and, shortly after, went to work for I. V. Preston, druggist; in 1867, Mr. Padgham loaded all his worldly possessions on wagons, and, with ox-teams, took his march with his family for the great West; they traveled many hundred miles, and suffered some hardships; after getting into Iowa, and not finding the prospect pleasing, they retraced their way to Waupun; Mr. Padgham is now successfully engaged in business in Waupun; has one of the neatest and handsomest stores in the city, and carries a very complete and well-assorted stock of groceries, crockery, etc. Himself and wife are members of the Congregational Church.

Palmer, Benjamin
page 648
BENJAMIN PALMER, farmer; P. O. Mayville; born in New York City May 20, 1818; was reared to the mercantile business, and came to Mayville in June, 1847, with the first stock of goods in the place; was in business with a brother eleven years; retired from business and made an extended tour through the West; settled on his present farm of thirty-eight acres in 1858. Mr. Palmer is closely identified with the early history and subsequent growth of Mayville, and is one of its few remaining early settlers; he is a stanch Republican, and has been twice Chairman of his Democratic township; was also County Commissioner of the Poor under the old law.

Partridge, Prindle
page 592
PRINDLE PARTRIDGE, farmer, Sex. 35; P. O. Beaver Dam; is a son of Reuben and Diadamia Partridge; born in Essex Co., NY in 18200, and lived there with his parents until about 35 years of age; in 1854, he, with his wife and three children, started via Ohio, where they spent the winter with relatives, for Wisconsin, where they arrived in the spring of 1855; they first settled in Sauk Co., and made that their home for five years; they next moved to Richland Co., WI, where he followed farming for three years; in 1863, he purchased the Roxy Hive farm of forty acres, in Sec. 35, town of Beaver Dam, Dodge Co., which has since been their home. Sept. 17, 1846, he married Miss Lucinda, daughter of Seth and Olive Bunnell, she being a native of Claremont, NY; they have had three children--Caroline (deceased), Alonzo P. (who married Miss Annie Holister, of Beaver Dam, and has two children--Royal A. and Arthur S.) and Lucretia, now of Milwaukee. Mr. and Mrs. Partridge were among the seven original members of the Arlington M. E. Circuit of Sauk Co., WI.

Paustian, F.
page 648
F. PAUSTIAN, miller, Mayville;

Perkins, John P.
page 610
JOHN P. PERKINS, blacksmith and carriage-maker, Juneau; born in County Cornwall, England, Sept. 21, 1843 (the anniversary of the Church of England); son of John Perkins; for five generations, the oldest of the family (all Johns) have been blacksmiths and worked in the same shop; John came to America in May, 1864; first to New York, and then to Chicago, and then to Hustisford, Wis., June 11, 1864, and started a blacksmith-shop with his father, who came over with him; bought his father's interest out in 1868, and carried on the business very successfully till March, 1878, when he found a favorable chance to sell, and came to Juneau and build the largest establishment for horse-shoeing and carriage-shops in the village, and has been carrying on a good and constantly increasing business; has accumulated a competency through his industry. Married Miss Josey Knowles, of Hustisford; have had eight children--John, born March 9, 1868; Susan, Jan. 9, 1870; Alice, died in infancy; George, born April 6, 1861; Charley, July 2, 1873; Arthur, June 9, 1875; Mary, May 15, 1877; William, April 9, 1879. Mr. Perkins was elected a Trustee of Juneau in May, 1879; was brought up in the Church of England faith. [transcriber's note: George's birth year probably 1871, but text says 1861]

Perry, C.
C. PERRY, nurseryman, Beaver Dam; born in Columbia Co., PA, March 15, 1830; came to Wisconsin May 22, 1854, locating at Beaver Dam; he received his early education in Columbia Co.; he leased his father's farm, in that county, and farmed for four years, after which he came to Beaver Dam and engaged with Mr. Gould as Superintendent of his nursery; in this position he remained seventeen years; after Mr. Gould's death, the heirs ran it for awhile, when Mr. Perry bought out the heirs, one at a time, until he now controls the whole nursery, which is still known as the Gould Nursery, and carries a full line of nursery stock and greenhouse plants. He married, Nov. 10, 1850, Mary R. Horne, of New Jersey, who died in April, 1861. He again married, in October, 1862, Mary E. Robbins, of Maine; he has five children--Harriet E., Frank W., Eugene, Charles and Kate. Mr. and Mrs. Perry are members of the Baptist Church.

Perry, John W.
page 610-611
JOHN W. PERRY, Superintendent of Dodge Co. Poor-House, Juneau; P. O. Juneau; born in Windham Co., Vt., April 13, 1822; son of Mr. Perry, a prominent physician, and a descendant of the renowned Commodore Perry. John remained at home till he attained the age of 18, when he went to Boston and clerked three years in a bookstore; returning to his native town, he operated a sash and blind factory from 1844 to 1849, and, shortly after, became hotel-keeper, and was thus engaged till 1855, when he went to Wisconsin and settled in Oak Grove; he selected a fine section of land and engaged in farming for ten or twelve years; then went into the lumber business at Minnesota Junction; carried that on successfully seven years, and, Jan. 1, 1876, was appointed Superintendent of Dodge Co. Poor-House. Mr. Perry enjoys the confidence and esteem of his fellow-ctiizens, and has been the recipient of public favor most of the time he as been in this State; has held office from School Director to County Treasurer. Married, Aug. 24, 1844, and had three children--John II, (married Eva Rich), Lute (is living at home), Frank (died when 17 years old). Mr. Perry and his estimable wife deserve great credit for the management of the institution; everything is in perfect order and scrupulously neat; the Insane Department is well ventilated, and one can safely say that, under their good management, they have the best kept, most complete and finest establishment of the kind in the county.

Perry, William Voorhees
page 593
William Voorhees Perry, Beaver Dam; was born May 25, 1831, in the town of Lysander, county of Onandaga, New York; at 1 year of age, he was removed by his parents to Allegany Co., of the Sate aforesaid, where he resided till 1856; from 1850 to 1856, he worked in harvest, taught district school in winter, and manufactured maple syrup in the spring, by which means he earned money sufficient to defray the necessary expenses for completing the regular four-years course at the Alfred Academy and Teachers' Seminary, and graduated in 1856, having completed the full scientific course. For the two following years, he taught the High School at Carrollton, which is the upper portion of New Orleans City, having gone to New Orleans as a sailor "before the mast," from the city of New York. The political climate becoming too warm in that section for a person of Abolition proclivities to remain with safety, he returned to his home in Almond, Allegany Co., York State, and in the summer of 1858, emigrated West with his parents and settled in the town of Burnett, Dodge Co., Wis., where he was married to Miss Maria K., youngest daughter of Alexander McConnell, Esq. Alexander McConnell was on of the earliest settlers in the Wisconsin Territory, and settled where he now lives in 1843. W. V. P. and wife lived with his parents until April, 1861, when he enlisted in the three-months service and served four months in the 1st W V. I., under Col. Starkweather; in 1862, he again enlisted in the three-years service, and served as Second Lieutenant in Co. K, 29th W. V. I., under Col. Charles R. Gill, but, being stricken down with the army diarrhoea, and that followed by the typhoid and congestive brain fever, he was compelled to resign his commission, during the winter of 1863. When he left Helena, Ark., his weight, avoirdupois, was but ninety-six pounds, and when it is taken into consideration that he weighed 207 pounds at the time of his enlistment and was a very strong and healthy man, it tells a story of suffering not excelled only by those whose life paid the price of loyalty and patriotism. From the said illness and prostration, he has never fully recovered and probably never will. After returning from the army, he followed such occupation as his broken health would allow. In 1871, he engaged in the sale of agricultural implements, at Beaver Dam, in which he did not succeed financially, owing to circumstances over which he had no control. As early as 1854, Mr. Perry witnessed a fatal accident to a brakeman, while in the act of coupling freight cars, and ever afterward sought to find a preventive to such oft-recurring and fearful accidents. In 1871, he invented and patented a safety freight coupler, very crude indeed, yet possessing the one feature of safely lifting and handling the ordinary car-coupling link. During the winter of 1874, he gave himself up entirely to the task of perfecting a freight-car coupler, which should answer every and all demands asked of such an invention. A joint-stock company, for the purpose of completing and introducing on to railroads the Perry Safety Coupler, was organized at Kokomo, Ind., in 1874, and re-organized with a larger capital stock at Beaver Dam, in 1877. The Perry Safety Car-Coupling Company have spent a large sum of money in carrying forward the necessary experiments in order to perfect the invention, until it now stands without an equal in its great and humanitarian effort to save life and prevent the most frightful accidents that are constantly occurring on the railroads throughout the world. At a casual glance, this coupler does not look unlike an ordinary draw-bar used on freight cars, but its construction is such that the gauging of the common coupling link to the different height of cars is done at the side or from on top of the car, without exposing the operator to the least danger whatever. The ordinary coupling-pin is worked automatically by the incoming link, and by the construction of the draw-head the strain on the pin is reduced to one and a half inches, which so greatly increases its strength that it cannot be broken by any link which may be used in connection with it. The pin is also so constructed that it cannot be lost or separated from the draw-head to which it is attached; besides, if raised and turned a quarter of a turn to the right or left, it will not drop home unless so desired by the operator. The draw-bar, in its peculiar shape, is so strong that it will withstand a greater strain or shock than any of the freight cars which are made at the present time on any road. This coupler is indeed a very great benefaction to the railroad employes [sic], who are compelled to follow the hazardous business of coupling freight cars. The couplers which have already been put to work on the cars warrant the fact that it is all and will do all that its friends have sought or asked of it.

Peters, Joseph
page 685
JOSEPH PETERS, farmer, Sec. 1; P. O. Beaver Dam; was born in Bavaria in 1843, and is the son of Peter and Magdalena Peters; in 1846, he came with his parents to America, and settled in Chicago, which was his home till 1855, whence they removed to the town of Calamus, Dodge Co., Wis., which has since been his home; in 1861, he bought a farm of 80 acres in southwest quarter of Sec. 1, to which he removed ten years after. In 1874, he was elected Town Treasurer of Calamus; was re-elected in 1877, 1878 and 1879. He was one of the originators of the Mutual Insurance Co. of Calamus in 1872; was a Director and agent of the Company for three or four years. Politically, Mr. Peters is a Democrat. In 1871, he married Miss Catharine, daughter of John and Theresa Rosenmeier, of the town of Beaver Dam, she being a native of Germany. They are members of St. Mary's Catholic Church; Mr. Peters has also been Secretary of the Church for two years, and was re-elected, Jan. 5, 1880, for the third term.

Phillips, H. D.
page 611
H. D. PHILLIPS, farmer, Sec. 18; P. O. Oak Grove; born in Monroe Co., N. Y., May 7, 1821; son of Isaac Phillips, who was originally from Massachusetts, and died in 1834, about 34 years old; his father was a brave soldier in the Revolutionary war; H. D. was left at the death of his father at an early age to take care of the farm, which he did with credit to himself; in 1855, he came to Oak Grove, Wis., settling on 120 acres, and, through his good management and own persevering effort, now has a fine farm of 177 acres; has one of the prettiest residences to be found in the county, and the best of improvements and good general stock. He married Agnes Seely, daughter of John G. Seely, who was an old and respected settler in New York State. Mr. Phillips gave his aid and support to the patriotic sons of the North during the war.

Pratt, E. C.
page 593-594
E. C. PRATT, lawyer, Beaver Dam; was born in Castile, Wyoming Co., NY, Sept. 12, 1842, and came to Wisconsin May 10, 1856, locating in Trenton Township; Mr. Pratt attended school at Castile; he moved to Trenton Township, where he assisted his father in farming; he finished his education at the Wayland University, and taught music awhile at Markesan, Green Lake Co.; in 1869, came to Beaver Dam and commenced the study of law with A. Scott Sloan and J. J. Dick; on March 10, 1872, he was admitted to the bar, and about this time he assisted Judge Sloan with the county records; on Jan. 1, 1873, he formed a law-partnership with Judge Sloan's son, under the firm name of Pratt & Sloan, which continued for three years; Mr. Pratt has since been practicing on his own account. He enlisted, Aug. 14, 1862, in Co. K. 1st Wisconsin Volunteer Calvary; was discharged for disability in 1863, and re-enlisted in Co. H., 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Col. Allen, and was on detached service; he was mustered out July 4, 1865. Mr. Pratt is a member of the First Presbyterian Church. c

Pritchard, John
page 592
JOHN PRITCHARD, farmer, Secs. 5 and 6; P. O. Beaver Dam; is a native of Monmouthshire, England; is the son of Henry and Mary Pritchard, born in 1827; in 1853, he came to America and settled in the city of Beaver Dam for one year, then worked Messrs. Geoggele & Brecher's farm for five years; in 1863, he returned to England and stayed two years; in May, 1865, he came again to Beaver Dam and bought a farm of 190 acres, in Sections 5 and 6, town of Beaver Dam, which has since been his home. In England, in 1863, he married Miss Annie, daughter of J. Rees and Jane Jones, of Monmouthshire; they had one daughter--Elizabeth M., now in England. Mrs. Pritchard died in England in 1866. In July, 1868, he married Mrs. Catherine, widow of Dr. Melhoron, of Beaver Dam; they have one son--William. They are members of the First Presbyterian Church.

Puls, D.
page 648
D. PULS, liveryman, farmer, and proprietor of the American House, Mayville;

Putnam, John J.
page 758
JOHN J. PUTNAM, farmer, Secs. 20, 21 and 28; P.O. Neosho; born in Vermont in 1821; came to Wisconsin in June, 1847, locating in Milwaukee Co.; remained for two years, then moved to Rubicon, where he purchased eighty acres, afterward adding forty-five acres. Mr. P. is a very large dealer and breeder in fine sheep; in the year 1857, he built a saw-mill at Neosho, which has done a very large business. Married, in 1849, Miss M. L. Case, a native of Connecticut. He enlisted in the 39th W. V. I., and was present at the Forrest raid on Memphis; was mustered out after 100 daysí service, and returned to Rubicon; was Supervisor one term, member of the School Board and Treasurer six years in succession. Independent.







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