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Kenosha County Biographical Sketches



C. A. DEWEY, hardware merchant, is a native of Newton, Chittendon Co., Vt; he came with his father to Paris, Kenosha Co., then Racine Co., and located on Section 13. His father, John M. Dewey, died in Somers Township, in January, 1877. Mr. Dewey came to Kenosha in 1848, and was for ten years engaged in farming, then began his present business; he was Clerk of School District in Paris for many years, Director and Treasurer at the same time; was Alderman of the First Ward in Kenosha for six months, when he resigned. He married Delina P. Hale, June 27, 1860 ; she is a native of Ohio; they have one child -C. Ernest.

WILLIAM J. DICKHAUT, barber; born in Germany in 1848, and came to Wisconsin in 1855, locating at Kenosha, where he worked for his brother, Adam Dickhaut, seven years; in 1869, went to Harvard Junction and opened a barber-shop, continuing one year, when he returned to Kenosha and opened a barber-sbop on Main street, moving to Park street, his present location. Married, in 1872, Miss Maggie Giltzen, a native of Germany; had two children - one son and one daughter; the son died at Kenosha March, 1878. Members of the Catholic Church; Republican.

LOUIS NAPOLEON DeDIEMAR, Lighthouse-Keeper; born in Toronto, Canada, Jan. 27, 1840; came to Wisconsin, December, 1847, locating at Somers; June 29, 1872, came to Kenosha and was appointed principal Lighthouse-Keeper; Sept. I4, 1861, he enlisted in Company E, 1st Wis. V. I. at Kenosha, and joined the regiment, at Milwaukee ; was mustered out October 8, re-enlisted and was present at the battle of Lamb's Ferry, Ala. : wounded at Perrysville Oct. 8, 1862, by a minie ball; mustered out Nov. 1, 1862, having seen about fourteen months' service. Married Oct. 14, 1873, Miss Eliza Timme, a native of Kenosha Co., Wis.; they have had four children, three boys and one girl. In 1864, was appointed Collector of Somers for two years ; Special Collector Bounty Tax 1872-73; was also Deputy Sheriff of Kenosha County; members Methodist Episcopal Church.

HARVEV DURKEE a native of Burlington, Vt.; came to Kenosha in 1836 he carried on the mercantile business for two or three years, beginning in 1839 ; that year, at the land sale, he bought a farm, put in 100 acres of wheat, and realized enough from the crop to pay for raising it and to fence in 160 acres; when he first came there were only about one hundred people here; he early engaged in the lumber business, which he continued fifteen years; he now owns a dock., warehouse, etc , and deals largely in coal, hay, pig iron, and furnishes supplies to the lumber regions. He married Martha E. Dana, in Cabot, Vt., her native place, Sept. 3, 1839; they have six children -Catherine P. (now Mrs. F. H. Head); Medora; Edward H. (in California); Henry R. (in Chicago); Charles (associated with his father), and Clara D. Mrs. Durkee is a member of the M. E. Church.

SETH DOAN, merchant; was born in Medina Co., Ohio; came from Cleveland to Kenosha, June 1, 1843, where he has been engaged in the mercantile business ever since, except for two intervals of one year each. Mr. Doan has been Alderman for one or two terms.


WALTER L. DEXTER, farmer, Sec. 34; P.O. Kenosha; born Dec. 19, 1844, in Pleasant Prairie. His grandfather, Mr. John Dexter, located here in the Spring of 1837, pre-empted more than a section of wild land and built one of the first log houses in the township. Mr. John J. Dexter, father of Walter, came to Pleasant Praire in 1836, and on arrival of his father, they all located as above. John J. Dexter died in 1845, and John Dexter, the original owner, in 1862, when Walter L. Dexter came into possession. His grandfather built a handsome homestead in 1843. The farm now consists of 207 acres of the best of land, and on it he raises all kinds of stock and grain. He establised a dairy about 1868, and keeps for that purpose thirty-five head of cattle. Married Miss Catherine Johnson, of Pleasant Prairie, June 5, 1861, and has six children, three boys and three girls. He has been Town Treasurer of Pleasant Prairie three years; Road Supervisor one year; Chairman of Board of Supervisors seven years, and still holds that office; he holds the position of Under Sheriff of Kenosha Co., for 1879. Mr. D. is a member of St. Mark's Catholic Church.

JAMES C. DOWSE, farmer, Sec.34; P.O. Kenosha; born Oct. 26, 1815, in Lincolnshire, England; landed in America on Oct. 25, 1835, and located near Rochester, N.Y., for about eighteen months, then went on a tour through the Western country and the Southern States, and returned to England in February 1838; came back to America in October of the same year, to Rochester, N.Y.; bought a team and started for Chicago in the winter of that year, and arrived in Pleasant Prairie Township in 1839, just as lands were in the market; bought his farm and built his homestead, barns, etc.; he owns 180 acres of land, and has carried on a dairy business for about eight years; he returned to England on a visit in 1864. Married Miss Abigail Lovejoy, of New York, June 24, 1840; she died Oct. 26, 1847. They had four children - William, born April 3, 1841; married in 1864; James, who died in the army; Sarah, deceased; Ernest, born July 6, 1846. Mr. Dowse married Mrs. Sarah R. Dexter, of New York, in 1848; they have one child - Byron C., born Jan 15, 1849. Mr. D. was Director of District Schools for about nine years, and was Supervisor of Pleasant Prairie for five years.


PHILLIP DRISSAL, farmer, Sec. 18; P.O. Kenosha; born in Prussia in 1844; his family came to Milwaukee Co. in 1846; and in 1851 to Kenosha Co., locating on a farm in Somers on Dec. 20, 1862. Phillip enlisted in the 31st Wis. V.I., serving with the regiment and participating in all the battles fought by this regiment; was mustered out with the regiment on July 20, 1865. He married at Kenosha, May 7, 1868, Miss Ellen Smith, a native of Prussia; he has five children - Ellen, Jacob, Margaret, John and Mary. Members of the Catholic Church. Mr. Drissal is owner of 111 acres of land.


None with the letter "D"


JASON DAVIS, farmer, Sec. 1; P.O. Sylvania, Racine Co., born in Jefferson Co., N.Y., June 19, 1815; he came West in 1846, locating in the town of Somers, Kenosha Co., and engaged in farming; remaining there until March 1, 1851, when he removed to Paris Township, where he has since remained, cultivating his farm of ninety-seven acres. Mr. Davis was married in Jefferson Co., N.Y., in 1845, to Miss Mary J. Flansburgh, a native of Jefferson Co., N.Y. Mr. Davis has a family of six children, named respectively - Louise, born July 25, 1850; Martha J., May 22, 1854; Nina, Oct. 12, 1856; Charles, Oct. 17, 1858; Clarence, May 22, 1861; Lucelia, Sept. 15, 1869.

E. D. DUNNING, farmer, Secs. 19 and 20; P.O. Paris; he was born in Essex Co., N.Y., Feb. 15, 1814; came to Wisconsin in 1839, locating in Paris Township and engaged in farming. He married on Oct. 15, 1843, Miss Clarissa L. Brayton, a native of Wayne Co., N.Y.; they have had five children, two living - Brayton, born June, 1848; Frank, May, 1850. Brayton married Miss Rhoda Wheeler; they have three children - Frederick, Wentworth and Charlie. Mr. Brayton Dunning has been an active member of the School Board, and he is at present Director of same. He owns 120 acres of fine, fertile land, in Paris Township. His father, Mr. E. D. Dunning, has led an active, energetic life, and he has accumulated a valuable property, owning altogether 200 acres of well-improved land, in two farms.


OBIL DEUEL, farmer, Section 33; Section 4; P.O. Salem; he was born in Washington Co., N.Y., April 10, 1808; came to Wisconsin in 1842, located in Brighton Township, and engaged at farming, He married, in Bennington Co., Vt., in January, 1830, Miss Irena B. Stanton, a native of that place; they had two daughters - Mary J., born Sept. 4, 1842; she married G.J. Pease; had two daughters - Ida and Jennie, and died May 16, 1860; Mr. Pease and his daughters now reside in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he is a hardware merchant. Mr. Deuel's other daughter, Electa J., was born Nov. 2, 1834; she married, in November, 1856, Mr. E. Vance; had two children - Clarence and May. Mr. Deuel's wife taught the first school in Salem Township, in 1844; at the organization of the school there were thirty-two pupils, some of them 12 years of age, made their first appearance in a schoolroom; some of the neighbors well remember Mrs. Deuel's school. Owns 160 acres of land, well improved.

JAMES DIXON, farmer, Sec. 13; P.O. Paris; born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1815; he came direct to Wisconsin and located in Brighton Township, Kenosha Co., where he engaged as a farmer, which occupation he has energetically been following up to the present time. He married Miss Mary Whitaker, born in England, in May, 1853; have had ten children - Mary Jane, Joseph E., James, John, William, Sarah A., Alice M., Robert; Mary H. died at the age of 3 years; Mary Jane, the second, died in infancy. He has been a member of the School Board of Brighton Township for two years; he was also elected and served as Supervisor in 1856. One of his sons is a member of the Odd Fellows' Fraternity; another son is a Freemason. Mr. Dixon owns thirty-seven acres of improved land and a pleasant, comfortable home thereon. He and his family are attendants of the Baptist Church.


PHIL DARLING, farmer, Sec. 30; P.O. Genoa Junction; born in New York, in 1808; came to Wisconsin in 1849, locating at Randall; purchased a farm of eighty-four and one-half acres, where he now lives. Married, in 1838, Miss Elizabeth Harrington, of New York, who died August, 1872, aged 62 years 7 months and 5 days. Had six children - Pattie, born August, 1839; Sarah, February, 1842; James, September, 1844; Augusta, October, 1848; Jane, November, 1850, and Frank, January, 1854. Members of the Baptist Church.


None with the letter "D"


JOHN DYER, farmer, Sec. 30; P.O. Burlington; was born in Shelby Co., Ind., in 1840; came to Wisconsin in 1852. Married, in 1863, Miss C.A. Bunth; she was born in Wheatland. They have two children living; have lost one. Mrs. Dyer is a member of the Free-Will Baptist Church. Mr. Dyer owns 130 acres of land.

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