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Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
Collected and posted by  RITA
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The series of biographic information found on this page was published
in the Oconto County Reporter starting in 1895.
It was then picked up and carried in the Milwaukee Journal later that year, and contain short sketches about successful citizens from all walks of life.
Researched and prepared for posting by - Cathe Ziereis

  "The Oconto County Reporter is printing short sketches of Pioneers of the county that will be valuable to future generations, as well as interesting to the present".......... Milwaukee Journal Sep/1895

Oconto County Reporter

April 1, 1898 Berndt Hansen

When but 15 years of age Berndt Hansen embarked from his home at Frederickstad, Norway, as a sailor lad upon the North sea. He followed that avocation seven years in the old country and continued is six years after arriving in America, when he abandoned sailing and found employment in the shipyards at Buffalo. He then came into Oconto county, where his wife’s brother, Gustave Anderson, resided, and purchased 160 acres of land of Icelanders who removed to Dakota, paying $500 for in. He afterward sold 27 acres of it to William Underhill. Mr. Hansen is now serving his fourth term as treasurer of the town of Underhill.

In 1857, N. S. Chase arrived at Janesville from the state of Maine, resided there one year and then came to Pensaukee, where his parents lived and where his father had entered 160 acres of land. He 40 acres of wild land of William Delano for $125 and how has 30 acres clear. He is the father of four girls, all married except one - Nettie to Reuben Moody, and Alberta to William Windross, both couples residing at Big Suamico. Lottie is the wife of Dell Barker of Abrams.

J. R. Lawe

J. R. Lawe was born in Outagamie county, this state. At the age of 18 years, desiring to become a school teacher, he attended a teachers’ examination at Appleton and received a third grade certificate. Salaries then - 1860 - in that section of the country, were $8 a month and "board around." The inducement to teach not being sufficiently enticing he looked about for other employment and embarked as a deck hand on a Fox river steamboat. One month later he was promoted to pilot. In June of that year he came into Oconto county and tallied lumber for Augustus Cole. He afterwards worked in a mill. When the war broke out he enlisted in George C. Norton’s company - Co. F, 12th Wisconsin. He went in as a private, was promoted to corporal and afterwards advanced to sergeant, serving throughout the war. He again "took to the water" and became first mate on a steamboat; then he engaged in lumbering in Oconto and Marinette counties. He is now woods superintendent for Jacob Spies, a resident of Breed, a Mason, a member of Ramsey post, and an ardent republican.

Oconto County Reporter

April 29, 1898

O. F. Chamberlain

O. F. Chamberlain came into Wisconsin from Pennsylvania in 1871 and settled in Outagamie county. He paid $400 for 40 acres of land, lived on it seven years and sold out for $800. In 1878 he entered a homestead in the town of Little River Oconto County, and resided on it until eight years ago. That farm is now owned by Michael Reandeau. Mr. Chamberlain was four years side-supervisor and one year chairman of the town of Little River. He then moved to Tomahawk, in Lincoln county, bought some timber land and went into the pulp-wood and lumber business. After a four years’ residence there he returned to Oconto county and became a farmer in the town of Spruce, where he no resides. Last wee he was re-elected chairman of the town.

Mr. Chamberlain was one of the "boys in blue" during the war for the Union. He enlisted in 1864 with Co. G, 97th Pennsylvania volunteers, and served until peace was restored.

Oconto County Reporter

May 13, 1898

Samuel Couillard

When Samuel Couillard first entered Oconto county he was a babe in his mother’s arms. This was in 1848. When he grew to man’s estate he married Miss Tillie Matravers and bought 60 acres of land of Holt & Balcom for $200. He has 15 acres clear and besides his own he has worked neighboring farms. He has seven children, has been side-supervisor of the town of Oconto, and was a juryman at the late term of court.

Warren Rice

Warren Rice is a "Deown East Yankee," his home in Vermont was between two ranges of mountains, and he was but 16 years of age when he accompanied his parents to this state, in 1870. There were but five or six hourse at Oconto Falls when they decided to make that place their home. Warren worked in the woods and on the drives, and 23 years ago he entered the state of matrimony with Miss Florence Andrews. They have four children living; three dead. He was on the town board five years and is now serving his tenth term as road commissioner. He lives on a farm of 20 acres, which his boys assist him in tilling - he working mostly at the carpenter trade. He is a republican, and very much eleated over the fact that his town has again voted no-license.

A. F. Blaser

A. F. Blaser was born in Little Suamico, March 8, 1859, and lived with his parents until he was old enough to vote. He worked out until he was 28 yesrs old, when he bought 40 acres of land of the Hof Land Company for $450 and the same acreage from his brother for $1,300 - the latter partially cleared and containing several buildings. The 80 acres are now divested of trees and underbrush and make an excellent farm. His present home is in the town of Chase. He has owned an interest in a sawmill, selling out to his brothers. He now conducts a warehouse for farm products and deals in Lumber and shingles. His post office address is Clark. He has been town treasurer five years, assessor two years, side supervisor three years, and is still in office. Eleven years ago he married Miss Tillie Tallman of Chase and they have had six children of whom four are still living. He was a republican up to the time of the passage of the Bennett law, whereupon he voted with the democracy, but tiring of the policies of that party he returned to the republican fold and voted for McKinley.

F. R. Green

Twelve years ago F. R. Green moved from the city of Waupun to this county, located in the town of Gillett, and later in Armstrong. He served his country in the ‘60s, going out with the 160th New York volunteers, and at the end of two years and six months he was discharged for disabilities and returned to New York. He afterwards wandered to Kentucky, thence to Illinois and later to Wisconsin. He first employment in this country was in the sawmill of Mills Bros., two miles from the present village of Gillett. Whe th mill shut down he went to the town of How and bought 80 acres of land of Frank Mabram, on which there was a house, and 4 or 5 acres cleared. He burned out in May, ‘91, and did not rebuild. He then preempted 40 acres near Mountain, where he now resides. He was side-supervisor last year, has been secretary of the school board, school clerek, and overseer of highways four or five years. He has been married three times and is the father of ten children, eight of whom are living. He served on the jury at the last term of circuit court.

J. N. Bowers

J. N. Bowers was born in Wilson county, Tenn., and went with his parents to Illinois when a youth. When 12 years of age he came into Wisconsin, and in 1853 to Oconto County. He first worked in the Eldred mill at Stiles and afterwards for Huff Jones’ father, and in the same mill the late Thomas Millidge had charge of one of the old-fashioned up and down saws. At the close of the sawing season he located in Oconto, chopped cordwood, did carpenter work and performed such other jobs as were to be obtained in those primitive days. Since four years ago Mr. Bowers has been a resident of Lena, where he is serving his fourth term as constable. His wife and four of his children rest side by side in the Oconto cemetery, and two sons reside in Michigan. He helped to put down the rebellion and came home with disabilities from which he has never recovered. He will be 71 years old next September.

Oconto County Reporter

May 20, 1898

George A. Wilson

Thirty-six years ago George A. Wilson came into Oconto County from Canada. His father had a brother in Michigan whom he joined en route, and together they located in Little Suamico, in the territory now included in the town of Chase, where his father entered a homestead. Here they resided 24 years, when they disposed of their property - one 40 to Granville Lampman, another to Mrs. Hannah Rymer, and an 80 to Thomas Rymer. George lived on the homestead until he was 25 years old and then engaged in lumbering and farming. He bought several pieces of land, caught the "western fever," sold out, drifted to Washington territory, California, and Oregon, and finally back to Oconto county, when he disposed of other property and retraced his steps westward, where he worked in sawmills awhile and again returned to this county. Deciding that Oconto county offered better inducements for permanent residence than any locality he had tried, for one year he managed a farm on shares in the town of Chase and afterwards bought 80 acres of the Green Bay Dredge Company and 40 embraced in the Clark homestead. There he remained three years and engaged in lumbering during the winter months. Next he went into the town of Underhill and bought 240 acres of various owners, on which he is now living. He has been side-supervisor of the town two years and assessor one year. He married in ‘75 in the town of Pensaukee, to Miss Delia Harteau. Seven children blessed their union, five of whom are living. Since 1882 Mr. Wilson had voted with the democratic party.

Oconto County Reporter

June 24, 1898

Syver Anderson

Syver Anderson has been a resident of this county fourteen years. When but seven years of age he sailed with his parents from Sweden and they settled in Dane county, where they remained three years and removed to Maple Grove, Shawano county, were Mr. Anderson grew to man’s estate and married. In ‘85 he became a farmer in the vicinity of Gillett. HIs farm is leased to Strombert brothers, and he is now one of the influential men of the town of Armstrong. He bought 80 acres of state land at $1.25 per acre, has a good-sized farm cleared, is a log-jobber during the winter months, has been chairman of the town for three years and assessor one year.

John D. Moody

John D. Moody was but 12 years of age when he accompanied his parents from McKean county, Pennsylvania, to the town of Oconto. That was 31 years ago. An Aunt - Mrs. Schuyler Tuttle - resided where John Caldwell now lives, the first house east of Cook Bros., famr. Another aunt, Mary Jane Kent, accompanied them, who afterward married Thomas Simpson of that town.

John’s parents made their home in that vicinity about four years, his father being employed in Comstock’s sawmill. Removing to Brookside they settled upon 80 acres of land purchased of Mrs. Annie Avery, paying therefor $700. The farm is 1 3/4 miles south of the village. There John lived until he married Miss Abbie Classon in the town of Oconto, soon afterward buying 40 acres of land of Edward Bell in the town of Pensaukee where they remained six years. He then sold out and went back to the old homestead to care for his parents in their declining years, and were they have since resided. His mother died two years ago.

He has been side supervisor two or three years, and director and treasurer of School Dist. No. 6 eight or nine years. He is a staunch republican, "as was his father before him," and been a subscriber to The Reporter for twenty years. Oconto County Reporter 9 September 1898

William Schrubbe

William Schrubbe, when a lad of 13 years, accompanied his parents from Germany to America and landed at New York on the 7th of July, 1858.  A few years previous, acquaintances of the Schrubbes arrived in this country and settled in Jefferson county, this state, and Mr. Schrubbe, sr., bought a farm near his former neighbor's and began farming.  William remained at home until he was 23 years of age, when he went to Minnesota and worked one year in a sawmill.  For several years thereafter, with periodical visits home, he lived in Iowa, Fond du Lac and Green Bay, and in the latter city he married Miss Wilhelmina Wagner in 1872.  They have had five children.  Clara is the wife of  Charles Wach and they reside in Stiles.  Removing to Little Suamico in 1873, Mr. Schrubbe was employed in A. C. Conn & Co.'s sawmill until it burned in 1886 when he was given charge of the farm, which position he retained until '94, when he removed to Stiles and tallied lumber in the Eldred mill one year and then took charge of the company's boarding house, which he is still conducting.  "No," said he, "I do not take much interest in politics.  I occasionally go to Oconto as a delegate to a democratic county convention and always vote with my party in all elections.This is an ongoing project until all that was written about the Oconto County Pioneers has been found and posted.