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Kenosha County Biographical Sketches



EDWARD T. WALCOTT, Superintendent of the Insulator Co. Fanning-Mill and Cheese-box Factory, born in Wethersfield, Wyoming Co., N. Y., in 1840; came to Wisconsin March 18, 1872, locating at Kenosha, taking charge of the Insulator Company's works, afterward, the fanning-mill and cheese box factory. Married, in August, 1865, Miss Marinda M. Jones, of Jonesburg, Wyoming Co., N. Y.; had three children-Ned, born 1869, Olive M., died at the age of 10 months; Queen, born in 1876. Republican.

GEORGE W. WARVELLE, attorney; was born in Kenosha May 3, 1852; he was admitted to the bar in 1876; his father, who came to Kenosha in 1847, was a native of England. Mr. Warvelle is Secretary of the Kenosha County Historical Society. He and his partner, Mr. Myron A. Baker, are City Attorneys.

A. F. WELLS, photographer.

R. B. WHITAKER, Superintendent of the Whitaker Engine & Skein Co.; came to Kenosha in 1848 engaged in the manufacturing business for the last twenty five years; Mr. W. is a native of England; resided in Vermont two or three years previous to removal to Wisconsin.


WARD C. WHITE, farmer, Sec. 17; P.O. Pleasant Prairie; born Jan 18, 1810, in Berkshire Co., Mass.; kept store there for seven years, and was also a farmer; moved into Tompkins Co., NY.; bought a farm and worked on it for six years; in 1857, came to Pleasant Prairie and bought a farm of 240 acres; he now owns 390 acres; he built the house, barns, etc., himself, there being but few improvements on his arrival; Mr. White was the first man in Southern Wisconsin, if not in the State, to go into the dairy business, being much pitied at the time for what was deemed his rashness, but which proved to be the keenest foresight, and was the cause of the development of one of the largest and most lucrative industries in the State; Mr. W. at present keeps eighty-four head of cattle for dairy purposes, and thirty head of young Aryshire for that and for sale; in addition, he raises a large quantity of corn and oats for home consumption; he was the first to introduce the cattle-stable with the cattle ranged on each side, and a road through the center for cleansing purposes; the measurement of his farm buildings are: Horse barn, 34 X 48 feet; cow barn, 38 X 114 feet; stock barn, 24 X 116 feet; shed, 22 X 42 feet; cheese-house, 20 X 46 feet, and an "L", 22 X 30 feet; wagon shed, 24 X 32 feet; hen house, 12 X 24 feet; Mr. White has just completed a handsome homestead on a principle of his own, to gain the greatest amount of fresh air and sunlight; the furniture is unique and elegant. Mr. White has seven children.

JOSHUA M. and M.J. WHITELEY, farmers, Sec. 6; P.O. Kenosha; A duplicate of marriage certificate of the head of the Whiteley family, old settlers of Pleasant Prairie, Kenosha Co., Wis.: "This is to certify; that in the city of New York, on the 9th day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred and twenty-eight, the rites of matrimony were solemnized according to law, between Mr. Joshua Whiteley and Miss Mary Roberts, by me, James Davis, Pastor of the Welch Church in this city." Mrs. Whiteley was born in Carnarvon Co., North Wales; came to this country with her parents when but ten years of age; summer of 1817, they landed in New York City; Mr. Roberts and his family subsequently settled in the township of Steuben, Oneida Co., N.Y.; Mrs. Whiteley will be favorably remembered by the olders settlers of this section; few have met life's responsibilities with more fidelity or fortitude than Mrs. W.; she was a Christian and maintained her Christian integrity to the close of life's journey; consumption, that gradually wore her out, carried her to her grave; her life was useful, her end peaceful. Joshua Whiteley, Sr., was born Oct. 29, 1805, in Yorkshire, England; came to Albany, N.Y., in the summer of 1826, and to Wisconsin in 1838, with his wife and one child; four others were born in this State; two are now dead; on arrival in Racine, Wis., they had to cross the wild land to Pleasant Prairie; bought the claim before land was deeded; they moved into a rough log cabin in Bristol Township, without door, windows, or floor; wolves and rattlesnakes quite plentiful, and deer were frequently seen half a dozen at a time; they afterward built one of the first log houses in Pleasant Prairie, and their present homestead they erected in the spring of 1846; their mother was a representative pioneer wife, and worked in the dairy, making butter for the market; she died Dec. 27, 1863; Mr. W. was Roadmaster of Pleasant Prairie for three years; held office when the new bridge was built over the creek, in 1874; he has been Steward of the Methodist Church for seventeen years, of which he and his sister are members.

CHARLES WILLERTON, farmer, Sec. 27; P.O. Kenosha; born May 25, 1820, in Kirby Lathorpe, Lincolnshire, England; went into the dry goods and grocery business in Ramsey, Huntingdonshire; came to Log City, Madison Co., N.Y., in 1853, and was in business as a butcher; came to Wisconsin in 1855; located in Pleasant Prairie Township, buying two and one-fourth acres of land, later increasing it to five; he returned to England on a visit in 1864, and, in 1865, purchased his present farm of eighty acres, on which he raises all kinds of grain and stock, making a specialty of sheep; in the fall, he butchers cattle for the Kenosha market. He entirely remodeled and enlarged his homestead in 1866, and in that and the following year planted about two hundred apple trees, which are now yielding handsomely. Married Miss Mary Ann Saunders, of Cork, Ireland, May 27, 1868. They are members of the Methodist Church.

LAFAYETTE D. WOODWORTH, farmer, Sec. 4; P.O. Kenosha; born May 13, 1823, In Chittenden, Essex Co., Vt.; went to Hartland, Niagara Co., N.Y., for eighteen months; in his 20th year, gave his father $60 for his time, and in 1844 came to Bristol Township, Kenosha Co., Wis., and worked for Harmon & Marsh for eighteen months, then bought a farm of sixty acres, which he gradually increased to 184 acres. During the years 1851-52, Mr. W. was in California, successfully gold mining; was in Beloit, Wis., from 1868 to 1870; bought ten acres of land and a house and lot, which he afterward sold; went back to Bristol Township in 1872, and stayed until 1875, when he sold his property, moved to Pleasant Prairie and bought his farm of 305 acres, upon which he raises all kinds of grain and stock. Married Miss Eliza Smith, of Kenosha Co., Nov. 31, 1846, and have eight children - Francis A., born Oct. 9, 1847; Mary, July 12, 1850; Joel N., March 11, 1852; Emily, Sept. 27, 1859; Harvey P., April 26, 1861; Lilly May, Oct. 17, 1864; William, Oct. 7, 1867; Lafayette D., May 31, 1872. He was Roadmaster for several years, both in Bristol and Pleasant Prairie Twonships, and School Clerk for both Townships. He and his family are members of the Free Methodist Church.


DAVID WARREN, farmer, Sec. 25; P.O. Kenosha; born in 1815; came West in 1837; located in Kenosha Co. in 1840, and engaged in brick-laying and plastering; some of the first work he did was on the old Academy, the first brick building erected in Southport (now Kenosha); it is now part of the Water-Cure. He married, in Southport, in 1842, Miss Sarah Weed, a daughter of Mr. Sephas Weed, one of the earliest settlers, who assited in building the first log cabin erected in Pike River (now Kenosha). Mr. Warren has one son - Edwin; is owner of ninety acres.

GEORGE WHEATON, farmer, Sec. 22; P.O. Kenosha; born in Michigan in 1843; in a872, came to Kenosha and located on a farm in Somers, where he is at present. Oct. 11, 1875, he married Mrs. Phebe Graham, formerly Miss Phebe Wheaton, a native of Michigan, but raised in the State of New York, her family having removed to the latter State when she was but a child; she has a family of four children by Mr. Graham - George H., Nettie J., Mary E. and Marcus L. They own 140 acres of land.


AARON WALKER, farmer, Secs. 14,15,21 and 23; P.O. Woodworth; born March 18, 1844, in Bristol Township, and has lived here all his life, working as a farmer; he owns 370 acres of land in above sections, and raises all kinds of grain and stock; his father, Joel Walker, was born about 1799, in Vermont; came to Wisconsin in 1836, and bought the farm; at that time, it was all woodland; he was one of the first settlers in Bristol, and was about the first man to build a log house west of the Aux Plaines River; he died in 1868, leaving four children - William, Julia, Aaron and Emmie.

CORNELIUS WILLIAMS, farmer, Sec. 18; P.O. Bristol; born Sept. 16, 1819, in Columbia Co., N.Y., where he was a farmer on leased land; in the spring of 1854, he sold his lease and came to Wisconsin; located in Bristol Township, and bought his farm, which consists of 331 acres in Sec. 18 of cultivated land, and twenty-one acres of woodland in Sec. 8; he has been raising all kinds of grain and stock, but is now giving special attention to cattle, with the idea of enlarging his butter dairy, which he started in the spring of 1878, and for that pupose will keep fifty cows. Married Miss Kate S. Trafford, of Columbia Co., N.Y., June 14, 1843, and has one child living - Clarence E., born June 24, 1860. He was Chairman of the Board of Supervisors six years; Assessor one year; is Treasurer of School District, and has been for twelve years previous. Mr. W. and his wife are members of the Methodist Church.


DANIEL WILLIAMS, farmer, Sec. 27; P.O. Paris; born in Wales, Feb. 14, 1824; and came to America in 1842, locating in Southport, now Kenosha; he engaged in farming in Paris Township, where he has been engaged since in cultivating and improving his land, of which he has 412 and one half acres. He married, in Paris Township, Kenosha Co., Oct. 16, 1857, Miss Jane Edwards, a native of Wales. Mr. Williams has had two children, one still living - Sarah J., born Oct. 8, 1858; died Nov. 23, 1858; Annie L., born Oct. 10, 1859.

LEWIS WILLIAMS, farmer, Sec. 18; P.O. Paris; born in Wales; came to Wisconsin July, 1842. located in Paris, and engaged at farming, and, by his efforts and strict attention to his business has accumulated a large amount of valuable property in Paris Township. He owns 1,200 acres of fertile land, making in all four farms. Where he lives, he has 580 acres of fine land, most of it under cultivation, with large barns and a comfortable home. He owns 160 acres of land in Iowa, also 160 acres of land in Nebraska. He married Miss Margaret Evans, a native of Wales; she died in 1876. They had eight children, five living - Sarah, Belle, Lewis, Nellie and Margaret. Mr. Williams is taking pride in giving his children a first-class education. He was a member of the School Board in District No. 6, for three terms, and filled that office in a most satisfactory manner.


NICHOLAS WAGNER, farmer, Sec. 25; P.O. Brighton; born in Germany, April, 1815; came to Brighton Township, where he immediately engaged at farming, which occupation he has followed since, with success. He married, in 1844, in Germany, Miss Elizabeth Novittoe; they have six children - Mathias, Peter, John, Mary, John and Nicholas. Mr. Wagner owns eighty acres of fertile and productive land, most of it under cultivation; a good barn and comfortable house. Members of the Brighton Roman Catholic Church.

WILLIAM WHEELER, farmer, Secs. 18 and 7; P.O. Burlington; he was born in Somersetshire, Eng., in February, 1838; came to Wisconsin in 1849, with his parents. They located in Burlington Township, where they engaged in farming. His father was born in Somersetshire, Eng., Sept. 13, 1805; his mother, Jan. 22, 1800. His father was a carpenter and house-builder, which business he followed until his death, June 1, 1871. His son William is located in Brighton Township, engaged at farming and house-building. Married in December, 1864, in Mt. Pleasant Township, Racine Co., Miss Hester C. Gadd, a native of the same place; they have four children - Irving G., born Nov. 14, 1866; Sarah M., Dec. 10, 1870; Nettie A., March 21, 1876; Hattie C., July 7, 1877. Mr. Wheeler was elected Clerk of the School Board in 1862, and re-elected and served every year till 1866, inclusive; he was also Justice of the Peace at one time; he filled those offices in a satisfactory manner. He owns 320 acres of fertile land, most of it under cultivation. Members of the Bible Christian Church.

JAMES WHELTON, farmer, Sec. 27; P.O. Brighton; he was born in County Cork, Ireland, in October, 1819; he came to Kenosha Co., located in Brighton Township in 1842, and engaged in farming ever since. He married, in December, 1848, Miss Mary O'Neil, a native of the same county as himself; they have six children living - Cornelius, Julia, James, Mary, John, William; Fanny died when 3 years of age. Mr. Whelton owns 120 acres of land; the soil is very fertile, and most of it under cultivation. Members of the Brighton Roman Catholic Church.

THOMAS WHITLEY, farmer, Sec. 12; P.O. Union Grove; born March 12, 1821, in Bingley, Yorkshire, England; he came to Wisconsin in 1843; located in Brighton Township, Kenosha Co.; he engaged at farming, which occupation he has followed since, and by his energy, tact and steady attention to his own business, has succeeded well. He married, in 1861, Miss Mary Ann Leach; she was born in Keighley, Yorkshire, England; they have five children - Joseph E., born Dec. 7, 1861; Sarah A., Dec. 29, 1862; Mary J., Jan. 19, 1866; Thomas W., Aug. 22, 1867; Harvey, June 19, 1869. Mr. Whitley was a member of the School Board, Town of Brighton, at divers times. He owns 320 acres of land in Brighton Township; the farm is well improved, and stocked with a number of fine Durham cattle; he has a cozy home.

MRS. ANN WILSON, Sec. 7; P.O. Burlington; born in Scotland, Aug. 10, 1811. Married in Scotland Mr. William Wilson; he was born in Scotland in September, 1811. They were married in May, 1835; they went to Chautauqua Co., N.Y., where he engaged at farming; lived there till 1841; then they came to Wisconsin; located in Brighton Township; engaged in farming; followed it up to the time of his death, April 15, 1870. they had six children, only four now living - Anna, born August, 1837 (married Andrew Patterson, a resident of Salem Township); William, born February, 1840; was killed in the army at the battle of Chickamauga; James, born 1842 (married and living in the State of Missouri); John, born July, 1845 (he died in the late war, in 1865); Margaret, born June 3, 1849 (she is now teaching school in Brighton Township); Robert, born Dec. 28, 1851. They own eighty acres of fine land, barns, comfortable house and pleasant home, etc.


EDWARD SAVAGE WARREN, machinist, Sec. 17; P.O. Genoa Junction; born at Troy, N.Y., Sept. 17, 1819; lived there the early part of his life, then removed to Lockport, N.Y.; thence to Kalamazoo, Mich.; lived there three years; moved to Davenport, Iowa, thence to Chicago; moved to his present property, which he purchased of Mr. W.S. Benson, in the spring of 1878; machinist by trade. Married, May 15, 1849, Miss Maria Spaulding, daughter of Rev. V. Spaulding, of Three Rivers, Mich.; have three children, two boys and one girl - Elizabeth, born in Lockport, N.Y., Sept. 30, 1850; William Spaulding, Kalamazoo, Mich., May 27, 1853; Edward Savage, April 21, 1859. Owns 157 acres on the banks of Powers Lake.

ARCHIBALD H. WEIR, farmer, Sec. 27; P.O. Bassett's Station; born in New York in 1835; came to Wisconsin in 1865; located at Randall; purchased a farm of 120 acres, his present homestead. Married, in 1857, Miss Caroline Reynolds, of Washington Co., N.Y. Held the offices of Pathmaster and Town Treasurer a number of terms. Republican.

LEVI P. WILCOX, farmer, Sec. 34; P.O. Wilmot; born in Rhode Island in 1830; came to Wisconsin in 1845; located at Brighton for one year; he then moved to Michigan; returned to Wisconsin, locating at Randall in 1863, and worked a farm in Sec. 26 for a short time, then started a wagon-shop in Wilmot, and continued for sixteen years. In 1877, moved to Sec. 34, where he is at present, farming 320 acres. Married, in 1849, Miss Eliza Curtis, a native of Ireland; they have had seven children - four boys and three girls; one girl died in 1874.

WILLIAM HENRY WILCOX, Jr., farmer, Sec. 28; P.O. Bassett's Station; born in Randall, Kenosha Co., in 1856; the early part of his life was spent on his father's farm. March 27, 1879, formed partnership with his brother, Willis H., to cultivate Dr. McClennan's farm, of 280 acres. Married, November, 1868, Miss Emeline Brown, a native of Wisconsin. Republican.

J.L. WILLIAMS, farmer, Sec. 16; P.O. Bassett's Station; born Dec. 5, 1814, in Washington Co., N.Y.; emigrated and settled in Kenosha Co., June 1, 1842; owns 180 acres of land; general stock-raising and farming. Married Miss Elizabeth Howlett, daughter of William P. Howlett, of Rochester, N.Y.; she was born 19th of October, 1828; had seven children, six sons and one daughter - Edwin A, born 9th November, 1847; Julius P., born 7th September, 1852; Lyman A., born 14th April, 1857; Charles E., born 17th October, 1859; Willis M., born 16th December, 1861; Herbert J., born 19th April, 1863; May Lillian, born 7th November, 1868. Is at present Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

WILLIAM W. WINCHELL, farmer, Sec. 26; P.O. Bassett's Station; born in New York in 1828; came to Wisconsin in 1867; located at Bloomfield, where he purchased 252 acres of land; sold and removed to Randall Township, where he purchased his present farm of 160 acres. Married Miss Maria Kellogg, of New York, in 1850; have three children - Charles, born 1851; George, born 1854; Addie, born 1856. Was Supervisor two terms. Politics, Democrat.


HENRY WATSON, farmer, Sec. 33; P.O. Wilmot; born in Newark, N.J., in 1841; came to Wisconsin and located at Salem, in 1850. In 1864, went to California; lived there three years; returned to Salem in 1872, and purchased a farm of 180 acres, his present homestead. Married, in 1873, Miss Julia A. Brown, of Salem, Kenosha Co. Was Pathmaster two years; Republican.


BERNHARD WEHMHOFF, farmer, Secs. 26 and 27; P.O. Burlington; born in Westphalia, Prussia, Sept. 27, 1827; came to Wisconsin, with his parents, in 1845; he is the son of Henry and Gertrude Wehmhoff; his father was born in 1793. Married in Prussia, in 1822, Miss Gertrude Wissing, who was born in Westphalia, Prussia, in 1800; they had six children, three are living - Bernhard, Josephine and Eugene; the latter is proprietor of a jewelry store in Burlington, and doing a good business. Their father died in Wheatland in August, 1845; their mother died in December, 1875. When they first came to this county, his father bought 280 acres of land; Bernhard worked energetically; about 1858, he purchased 128 more acres of land, adjoining; he is now sole owner of 408 acres of good land, well improved. Mr. Wehmhoff takes much interest in raising and dealing in cattle and sheep; he has on his farm 650 head of improved Vermont Merino sheep; they average about six pounds of wool per sheep annually. Mr. Wehmhoff says that he finds raising sheep a pleasant and very profitable business. He married in Burlington, May, 1876, Mrs. Anna Wehmhoff, the widow of Henry Wehmhoff, by whom she had one child - Henry.

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