|The Nicholas Thomas Barn|
Wood Road, unpaved, in front of barn.
(Source: Original photo courtesy of the Robert Thomas Family)
One way we can document the settlement of Somers Township is knowing when our pioneers built houses and barns. We know by the biographical sketches I have provided in this blog, settlers in the early 1830's built log cabins and lean shelters as their first homes and shelters. These structures provided temporary shelter while our first settlers cleared the land so planting could begin. Once the pioneer became settled and earned money, a more modern and permanent house and barn were constructed.
When were the barns in Somers Township built?
To answer that question I researched the "Neighborhood News" columns, published by the Racine Journal News or Racine Daily Journal. The "Neighborhood News" column was written by Minnie Ozanne, the news reporter that represented Somers. This list represents information I could find - not a complete list. The date in parenthesis represents the date the post was published in the newspaper.
Who built the barns?
Most of the barns in this area were built by Mr. Lauer or Mr. Yule. They also were Somers pioneers and you may find their biographical sketches in this blog of interest.
What makes old barns so appealing?
Could it be that it represents a hardworking, gritty way of life. A visit inside an old barn immediately draws you in and captures a way of life that no longer exists. The hand hewn timbers, the smell, the odds and ends that have been hanging on a old nail for the past eighty years all peak the interest of those who visit a barn. Somers Township, still today, has some fine examples of old barns.
I would welcome an invitation to take photographs of some of our old pioneer barns still standing, inside and out. This is the perfect place to preserve and share history.
Anderson (05-05-1908) "M.A. Anderson received a car load of lumber for a new barn. William Lauer will do the carpenter work."
Anderson (04-18-1911) "M.A. Anderson had a large barn raising Monday morning. This barn, when completed, will be one of the largest in this section of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Rasmussen served dinner to about 40 men."
Barrows (01-06-1905) "Jacob Barrows has received a car load of brick for a basement under his barn."
Biehn (03-15-1907) "Jacob Biehn is unloading brick at Somers for the foundation of his new barn."
Boelter (03-02-1906) "Mr. Herman Boelter has received his lumber for a new barn he will build in the spring."
Bohm (03-29-1904) "August Bohm is drawing sand from Kenosha for the foundation of his new barn."
Bush (03-21-1901) "Emory Bush received two car loads of lumber last week for his new barn."
Bush (05-30-1901) "Emory Bush's barn was raised Thursday afternoon."
Chaffee (06-13-1900) "William Miller is drawing stone from Mr. Chaffe's farm for the foundation of his new barn."
Christensen (05-23-1917) "A barn dance will be held at Theodore Christensen's new barn on Saturday evening."
Corbett (09-15-1914) "James Due of Racine is building the foundation of Thomas Corbett's new barn."
Drew (09-21-1909) "Eric Jensen met with a distressing accident Monday afternoon while at work on William Drew's new barn. It seems while he, with other carpenters, were moving a barrel of oil which slipped and his hand was caught between the building and barrel. Two fingers were badly crushed. Dr. Belting put four stitches in one finger and three in another."
Fink (02-24-1921) "Edward Fink expects to build another new barn."
Fink (10-31-1911) "Edward Fink is building a new barn. William Lauer and his force of carpenters are doing the work on the County Line Road."
Gitzlaff (03-27-1907) "Mr. August Gitzlaff received a car load of lumber last week for his new barn. The barn will be 30 x 70. B.F. Yule has the contract for the building."
Gross (04-06-1909) "William Lauer and his carpenters are building a barn for William Gross."
Hamilton (08-16-1909) "William Lauer and George Hamilton visited Chicago recently where Mr. Hamilton will purchase lumber for his new house."
Hansche (05-16-1899) "Carpenters are at work at the Hansche Bros. storehouse."
Hughes (02-08-1911) "Marvin Hughes had a large barn raising Tuesday afternoon. William Lauer and his carpenters are doing the work. Mr. Hughes will build an addition to his house this spring."
Jensen (05-07-1914) "Chris A. Jensen had a barn raising on Saturday afternoon. About 35 of his neighbors and friends were there to assist. A bountiful dinner was served after the raising. Erick Jensen is doing the carpenter work."
Knudsen (03-27-1903) "Hans Knudsen has completed his barn and as soon as the weather permits he will begin building his new house."
Leet Bros. (09-07-1910) "The Leet Bros. are hauling lumber from Racine for anew barn they expect to build this spring. B.F. Yule and Fred Heddle have the contract for carpenter work."
Lichter (10-9-1912) "George Lichter is going to build a new barn on the farm he recently purchased, known as the Soens farm. William Lauer has the contract on the carpenter work."
Mutchie (05-10-1910) "John Mutchie had a big barn raising Thursday forenoon. About 75 men was present and assisted in the raising. At noon a bounteous repast was served. Mr. Mutchie will have one of the largest and most convenient barns in this vicinity when it is finished."
Newman (06-30-1898) "A large company of men aided at the barn raising at Mrs. Marcia Newman's on Monday afternoon. Tables were set and a bountiful supper was served."
Pedley (02-21-1902) "John Pedley is hauling lumber from Racine for a new cattle barn."
Porter (11-06-1898) "The barn on the Porter farm is undergoing repairs. B.F. Yule is doing the work."
Rhodes (01-05-1909) "Mr. Jay Rhodes had a barn raising Wednesday."
Lavin (04-13-1906) "Mr. Lavin is drawing lumber from Racine for a new barn."
Lee (12-21-1906) "Rollie Lee expects a barn raising Friday afternoon."
Leet (06-07-1901 "Mrs. Jessie Leet had her barn raising Saturday."
Leet (04-06-1909) "The Leet Bros. are hauling lumber from Racine for a new barn they expect to build in the spring. B.F. Yule and Fred Headie have the contract for the carpenter work."
Lichter (04-10-1914) "Mr. Frank Lichter built a new barn. Will Lauer and his men did the carpenter work."
Miller (05-31-1900) "Wm. Miller received two car loads of lumber for his new barn last week."
Miller (06-27-1900) "Dan Pedley began work on Wm. Miller's new barn Tuesday. B.F. Yule and F. Heddle are building a large barn at Milburn, Illinois."
Miller (07-17-1900) "Wm. Miller barn raising will happen today."
Mutchie (05-10-1910) "John Mutchie had a big barn raising Thursday afternoon. About 75 men were present and assisted in the raising. At noon, a bouteous repast was served. Mr. Mutchie will have one of the largest and most convenient barns in this vicinity when it is finished."
Ozanne (06-16-1905) "Pierre and L.E. Ozanne received a car load of lumber for their new barn last week. B.F. Yule will do the carpenter work."
Ozanne (07-04-1895) "Perhaps it would be a little interesting to the readers of this journal, especially to those of the eastern part of Kenosha County to know that the first barn ever built in the Town of Somers was until recently, still in existence. The barn was built about the year 1838, and now owned by E.G. Ozanne, who has taken it down, using some of the hard wood timbers for a new building. On June 18, 1842, James Ozanne and family arrived at Racine from the Isle of Guernsey and on July 4th following, purchased the farm of 335 acres, on which the barn stood. The farm was afterward's divided up into three."
Rasmussen (02-25-1907) "Matt Rasmussen received a carload of lumber on Monday morning for a new barn to be erected on farm No. 2. The building is to be 54 x 40. William Lauer will do the work."
Rasmussen (07-29-1920) "William Lauer and his force of carptenters are building a barn on the M.A. Rasmussen north farm."
Rasmussen (12-08-1905) "Mr. Martin Rasmussen is building an addition to his barn. William Lauer is doing the carpenter work."
Smith (05-02-1911) "Samuel Smith is building a new barn iin which a large dance will be held next month."
Spencer (09-15-1910) "James E. Spencer received a car load of crushed stone last week for the concrete work in the new barn he recently built."
Spencer (10-27-1910) "James E. Spencer is having concrete floors built in his barn."
Swartz (07-18-1911) "William Lauer and his carpenters will soon begin work on a barn for Jacob Swartz."
Thompson (06-23-1916) "Thompson Bros. are building a large barn. William Lauer and his force of carpenters are doing the work."
Woodward (06-10-1914) "Woodward Bros. are hauling gravel for their new barn."
Yonk (02-24-1921) "John Yonk is installing a water system in his dairy barn."