Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Piper, Augustus

(Source of Photo:  Album of Racine and Kenosha Counties.  Lake City Publishing Co. Chicago, 1892)

Augustus Piper
Augustus Piper was an enterprising farmer and self-made man who was born on the 19th of August, 1825 in Prussia and a son of Conrad Piper, a native of Germany.  Conrad Piper was a carpenter by trade and died when Augustus was a babe of six months old.  When Augustus was 14 years of age in 1840, he accompanied his widowed mother and friends to America.  The vessel on which they sailed was wrecked off the Island of Haiti and the passengers and crew were saved by being taken to the shore in small boats.  They were then sent to San Domingo where they remained for 5 months, while during the winter of 1840-41, his mother was stricken with yellow fever and died.

Mr. Piper left San Domino and went to New York, from whence he made his way to Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked as a farm hand, making his home with Mr. Hansche, an old friend.   He remained in Ohio for three years, went to new Orleans for six months with an older brother, where he had an attack of yellow fever.  He returned to Ohio, engaged in farming.  In 1846 married and soon after started with a team for Wisconsin but stopped in Indiana and for a year in Michigan City where he engaged in farming.  His wife died during that time and Augustus suffered much with fever and ague that he resolved to seek a home elsewhere and drove across country to Racine.  When he arrived in November 1847 he worked as a farmhand to improve his economy.  Again he had to contend with sickness and the many hardships and trials of pioneer life fell to his lot.  He lived with his old friend, Mr. Hansche until his health was restored.  He exhausted his entire earnings for the following year, paying off his indebtedness. He worked by the month for two years and in course of time his financial resources improved.  When by his industry and economy, he had accumulated a sufficient sum of money, he purchased a small farm on the County Line in Kenosha County, paying for it on time.  He worked hard until every dollar was paid, nor did he cease his activity then, but continuing his untiring labors he was enabled to add to his farm by subsequent purchases and is now the owner of 350 acres of fine land, which he has purchased from time to time and all of which is situated near his home.  Great credit is certainly due him, for his success in life has all been achieved through his own efforts.

On November 8, 1852 Augustus married Miss Margaret Braid, a native of Scotland and daughter of Thomas Braid, who was from an early Somers pioneer family.  Unto Mr. and Mrs. Piper, six children were born of this union, namely: William, a farmer in Racine County; Ellen, the wife of August Williamson a farmer in Racine County; Thomas, who lives on the corner of Country Club Road and County Line operates the home farm; Frank, engaged in farming in the same County; August J. or "Gus"engaged in farming; and Jane who is the wife of W.F. Hansche and resides in Kenosha County.

Mr. Piper cast his first Presidential vote for John C. Fremont and has since been a supporter of Republican nominees and the party principles.  He has been called upon to fill several local offices, served as Supervisor for the Town of Somers, and was a Member of the School Board.
(Source: Album of Racine and Kenosha Counties. Lake City Publishing Co. Chicago, 1892)

1861 Partial Map of Somers Township
A. Piper parcel in Section 6 (Berryville neighborhood)
Location today:  Lathrop Avenue/Country Club Road and Racine Kenosha County Line Road

1908 Partial Map of Somers Township
Sections 5 and 6, Piper parcels

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