Wednesday, November 30, 2011


John Feest
John Feest, a well known agriculturist of Somers Township, owns and operated an excellently improved farm of one hundred and twenty-five acres on Section 12.  His birth occurred in Racine, Wisconsin, on the 4th of September 1856, his parents being Frank Mat and Frances (Hammer) Feest.  The father, who was born in Baden, Germany in 1819, attended the common schools until fourteen years of age and in 1844, when a young man of twenty-five years, crossed the Atlantic to the United States.  He resided in Toledo, Ohio, for a few years and subsequently made his way to Racine County, Wisconsin, spending the remainder of his life there and in Kenosha County.  For several years he was employed in the lumber yard of Murray & Kelley at Racine.  Though empty handed when he arrived in the new world, he wisely utilized his opportunities and eventually became a substantial and well to do citizen.  He gave his political allegiance to the democracy and attended Mt. Mary's Church in Racine.  His demise occurred on the 5th of May 1903, while his wife was called to her final rest on the 17th of February, 1907.  To them were born nine children, three of whom are deceased.  The surviving members of the family are Theresa, Katherine, Caroline, John, Frank, and Joseph.

John Feest was a pupil in the common schools until fourteen years of age but had begun work when a youth of about twelve.  In the winter time he frequently walked six miles from Racine in order to clear the brush and stumps from his father's farm.  General agricultural pursuits have claimed his time and energies throughout his entire business career and he now owns and cultivates a farm of one hundred and twenty-five acres in Section 12, Somers Township, which he has improved in a most creditable manner.  The well tilled fields annually yield golden harvests as a reward for the care and labor which he bestows upon them, and his present prosperity is the direct result of his industry, energy and perseverance.

On the 5th of May, 1885 Mr. Feest was united in marriage to Miss Magdalena Lotz, daughter of George Lotz and Maria Anna Mueller Lotz.  This union had five sons, namely: Frank, George, Sylvester, Joseph and Raymond.  Mr. Feest gives his political allegiance to the democracy and has served for one term as a member of the school board and has also been Pathmaster.  He is a devout communicant of St. George's Catholic Church.  His entire life has been spent in this part of the state and he has long enjoyed an enviable reputation as one of the substantial agriculturists and representative citizen of his community.
(Source:  Kenosha City and County Wisconsin Record of Settlement by Frank h. Lyman, Vol. II, Chicago, S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1916)

1880 Federal U.S. Census
Home in 1880:  Somers
Mathias Feest:  Born about 1819
Birthplace:  Baden, Germany
Spouse Name:  Frances
Son:  John born about 1856
Son:  Frank born about 1857

1900 Federal U.S. Census
Home in 1900:  Somers
Head of Household:  John Feest born about 1857
Spouse Name:  Magdalina born about 1865
Son: Frank M. Feest, born about 1890
Son: George H. Feest, born about 1893
Son: Sylvester J., born about 1894
Son: Joseph L., born about 1897
Son: Raymond J., born about 1900
Mathias and Frances (father and mother) lived with family in 1900.

More About the Feest Family
Frank Matthias Feest, aged 84 years, died at his home in the Town of Somers, Kenosha County, where he had resided 32 years.  Before that, he lived in Racine twenty-five years, and occupied what was known as the Feest vegetable gardens on the north side of the river.  He was born in Germany, and was of the very earliest German residents.  There survives him four daughters and three sons.  The funeral will take place from St. Mary's Church at 10 o'clock Wednesday morning.
(Source:  Racine Journal publication date May 3, 1904)

One of the oldest residents of southeastern Wisconsin, Mrs. Francesca Feest, of Somers, passed away at her home in Kenosha County yesterday, aged 87 years.  Mrs. Feest came to Racine over fifty years ago, living for some time in this city, although then but a small cluster of houses marked the present site of Racine.  Later they moved to Kenosha County where she has since resided.  Deceased leaves three sons and four daughters, all well known residents of this community.  The funeral will be held at 10 o'clock Wednesday morning from St. Mary's Church.
(Source:  Racine Daily publication date February 17, 1908)

Mr. and Mrs. John Feest of Somers are celebrating their silver wedding day today.  Twenty-five years ago they were married at the St. Mary's Church of Racine by Rev. Father Alberts.  The young couple immediately left for Somers where they have lived ever since.  They are among the best known people in the county.  Mr. Feest is a progressive farmer and owns one of the finest farms in this section of the country.  Friends from Chicago, Milwaukee, Kenosha and Racine are assembled at the cozy farm house to assist in making the occasion one long to be remembered.  Many beautiful silver presents were given to the happy couple by their many friends.  Mr. and Mrs. Feest are still hale and hearty and confidently expect to be able to celebrate their golden wedding in twenty five years.
(Source:  Racine Daily publication date May 5, 1910)

"The George Feest family have sold their home on Berryville Road and bought a farm on Highway 43.  A farewell party was given by a number of neighbors.  A pot luck lunch was served a gift was given."
(Source:  Racine Journal Dec. 24, 1945)

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