Biography of LEVI FINK
Excerpt from "Portrait and Biographic Album for Racine County", pages 784-785, publ. 1892, residing in the University Archives and Research Center, University of Wisconsin- Parkside, Kenosha, WI.
Transcribed by Jan Payne. Thank you, Jan!
LEVI FINK, one of the early settlers and a retired farmer of Kenosha County, now residing on section 10 in the town of Somers, is a respected citizen of the community, and a sketch of his life will undoubtedly be received with interest by his friends, who are many. He was born in the Mohawk Valley in the town of Palatine, Montgomery, County, NY., May 6, 1816. His grandfather, John Fink, was of German descent and was a farmer of the Mohawk Valley. William I. Fink, the father of our subject, was there born and reared and married Catherine Kaiser, a native of the same locality and a daughter of Esquire Kaiser. After their marriage they settled upon the old homestead and in connection with that Mr. Fink also owned another farm in Montgomery County, until his death which occured in 1824. Mrs. Fink survived her husband many years and reared a family of eight children. Betsy, the eldest child, became the wife of Adam Snell, and they resided in Montgomery and Oneida Counties until called to their final home. Margaret married Christian A. Fink, and they also located in the Mohawk Valley. Benjamin, after attaining to mature years, was married, engaged in farming and also carried on the hotel business. At length he removed to Racine County, Wis., first locating in the town of Mt. Pleasant, but his death occurred at his home in the city of Racine. John, after his marriage, located in Syracuse, NY, and subsequently started for Wisconsin, but the vessel in which he sailed was wrecked, and he was drowned in Lake Michigan. Nancy became the wife of John Tubb, of Oneida County, NY, but both are now deceased. James is a resident farmer of Somers Township. Levi is the next younger, and Mary, widow of John Harris, resides in Little Falls, NY.
Our subject grew to manhood in the county of his nativity and received but limited educational advantages, for at the age of ten years he began life for himself, working for neighboring farmers until seventeen years of age, when he was employed bya a railroad contractor, with whom he remained eleven months. He then became a porter in a hotel in Fultonville, where he remained for two years. He there acquired good business ideas and the experience of which he stood in need. Later we find him employed in a wholesale and retail liquor house of Troy, where he remained for three years.
In Fultonville, NY, July 29, 1840, Mr. Fink led to the marriage altar Miss Caroline, daughter of Peter M. Vrooman, a native of the Empire State, who engaged in farming, in Schoharie County, where Mrs. Fink was born. In 1842 the young couple determined to try their fortune in the West, and by way of the Erie Canal and Great Lakes came to Wisconsin, arriving at Racine on the 8th of July. The previous year Mr. Fink had come West and purchased land in the town of Mt Pleasant, Racine County, upon which they located. A partially completed log cabin was finished and made a comfortable home for the family. For twelve years they resided upon that farm and in that period the once wild land was greatly improved. Renting his farm in 1848, Mr. Fink and his family returned to New York, where they spent the summer in visiting old friends and again viewing the scenes amidst which their childhood days were passed. On again coming to Wisconsin, Mr. Fink resumed farming and in 1855 bought and located on a farm in Somers Township, Kenosha County. Subsequently he purchased another improved farm and one of those he carried on for some years, but has now given them to his two sons, he, himself, removing to his present home in Somers Township.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Fink were born four children: Albert J., who died in
infancy, James H., who married Olivia Leonard, and is a resident farmer of
Somers Township. He served as one of the Hundred Day men during the late
war. Martha is the wife of Joseph F. Bishop, who is engaged in farming in
Somers Township. John W., who wedded Orrie J. Stonebreaker, resides in
Racine. The cause of education has ever found in Mr. Fink a friend and he
gave his children good advantages, thus fitting them for the practical duties
of life. Since the organization of the Republican party he been found among
its supporters, and is a staunch advocate of its principles. Of the Somers
Mutual Fire Insurance Company he is President and has been one of its
officials since its organization. Both Mr. and Mrs. Fink are faithful
members and active workers in the Somers Presbyterian Church, with which they
have been connected since 1844. He is now steward, trustee, deacon and
church treasurer. His life has been well and worthily spent, devoted to the
interests of his family and the cause of right. The Fink household is a
hospitable one and our subject and his estimable wife are held in high regard
by all who know them.