Sunday, November 6, 2011


Henry Toase was born in Lancashire, England about 1798.  He came to America in May of 1846.  He was married to Miss Mary Croft, daughter of John and Dorothy Croft.  They had a son, William, and a daughter Mary Ann.  They lived in Mt. Pleasant Township, Racine County.  Henry died December 10, 1868.  Mary (called Ann) married again to George Haigh, a recent widower, on July 16, 1871 in Racine County.  Mary died on September 2, 1893.  Both Henry and Mary are buried at Sylvania Cemetery.
Children of Henry and Mary:
William Toase.  Born April 24, 1836 at Lancashire, England.  He married Sarah Maria Longwell who was born December 2, 1840 at Yorkshire, England.  Sarah was the daughter of Hugh and Letta Maria Longwell of Somers Township.  William registered for the Civil War in June 1863. He was very musical and organized many programs in the community.  William adopted Sarah's sister's child May, who was born November 22, 1878, who married Horace Lee as his first wife on September 10, 1898.
Sarah died September 2, 1893 and William died March 28, 1903 of diabetes, which caused gangrene to set in.  Both are buried at Sylvania Cemetery.
Mary Ann (called Ann) Toase.  Born July 15, 1838 in England.  She married William Drinkwater (his second wife) on December 26, 1860.  She died April 28, 1893.
(Source:  Mary Ann Culshaw Falk and Sylvania Cemetery Trustees)

Partial 1887 Somers Township map, Kenosha County
Section 2 shows S. Toase.  Notice the Toase property is adjacent to 2 parcels owned by the Longwell's.
More About Toase
"The woods owned by the later William Toase was swept by a fire on Sunday afternoon supposed to have been started by some careless hunters.  The wind was in the south which fact alone saved the surrounding timber from one of the most disastrous fires that could take place.  As the flames worked against the wind the progress was not very rapid although several acres were burned over during the afternoon.  Help arrived in the evening when thru hard work the fire was extinguished."
(Source:  Racine Journal, publication date November 13, 1903)

"Professor William Toase wishes to announce he has leased his farm and will devote his time to his profession.  Professor Toase is one of our ablest singing teachers.
(Source:  Racine Journal, publication date November 17, 1898)

"Prof. William Toase, of the town of Mt. Pleasant, one of the oldest residents of the county and who has been a singing master for over 40 years, is dying at his home a few miles southwest of Corliss, of blood poisoning.  One of the professors feet has become so bad that it has nearly rotted off.
Prof. Toase is about 70 years old.  He came to this county over fifty-five years ago, his father having settled here when the county was only a wilderness.  Early in life the son took to music and became famous as a singer and organizer of singing classes.
Almost every singing class of note in Racine and Kenosha counties the professor has organized handled in competition.  He has also arranged hundreds of concerts and sang times without number at the annual reunions of the Racine Count Old Settlers' society and Kenosha County society.
He is, or was, a very large and powerful man, of fine appearance and known to every farmer in the southern section of Wisconsin.  His large number of friends will be pained to learn of his condition."
(Source:  Racine Journal March 27, 1903)

"At 2 o'clock this morning, William Toase, the oldest and best known singing master in Racine County, in fact Southern Wisconsin, died at his home of blood poisoning. Prof. Toase was born in Yorkshire, England, April 24, 1835, and with  his parents settled in Racine County when but 8 years old.  When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted September 21, 1864, in the First Wisconsin, Heavy Artillery, and was promoted to Corporal of his company, in a very short time.
Mr. Toase served three years and made a good brave soldier.  After the War he returned to his home and resumed the study and teaching of music, principally vocal lessons were given.  He possessed a remarkable clear voice and he was in demand at every gathering of note where a musical program was to be given. One daughter survives.  Funeral will take place on Monday afternoon at 1 o'clock from the house in Mt. Pleasant.
(Source:  Racine Journal)

"The adopted daughter, Mrs. Horace Lee, objects to Probating that of late Professor William Toase.  In the county court this morning objection was made to probating the will of the late Prof. Toase, of the town of Mt. Pleasant.  The objections were made by Mrs. Horace Lee, an adopted daughter, through her attorneys.
In his last will Prof. Toase, after the customary provisions for his funeral expenses, makes the following bequests: First - To Fanny Blackburn, his niece, he wills his farm of 80 acres, and all personal property except mentioned later.  To George Blackburn, his horse, cart, harnesses and carpenter tools.  Second - To his adopted daughter, Mrs. Horace Lee, $300 in cash, one bureau and its contents and other household goods.
The farm willed to Mrs. Blackburn must not be sold for a period of ten years after his death.  Fanny Blackburn is named as the executrix.
The step-daughter objects to the allowance and probate of the instrument propounded by Fanny Blackburn as the last will and testament of William Toase, upon the following grounds:  First - That said instrument was not duly executed by the said William Toase, deceased, as his last will and testament in the manner provided by law.  Second - That at the time of said execution of said instrument, the said William Toase was not of sound mind and had not sufficient mental capacity to make a will.  Third - That the execution of said instrument was procured by undue influence exercised over and upon the said deceased by said Fanny Blackburn.
Some testimony was heard by Judge Heck, but the hearing was adjourned to May 14.  It is said that in the bureau willed to the nice there was found certificates of deposit amounting to $1,200.  The 80 acre farm is worth $50 per acre.
(Source: Racine Weekly, publication date May 8, 1903)

More About Ann Toase
Obituary for Wm. Drinkwater.
"Wm. Drinkwater died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Henry Blackburn on April 28, 1902, aged 77 years, of cancer of the throat, and was interred in the Sylvania Cemetery on May 1.
Mr. Drinkwater was one of the earliest settler in Racine County, having come to this county from England, in 1844.  He was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Smith in 1847, and her death occurred four years later, one child, now Mrs. M.J. Smith was born of this union.
In 1851 he traveled across the then hostile country to California in the search for gold, returning three years later, being only partly successful in the gold fields.  In 1858 he married again, his bride being Miss Ann Toase, sister of Prof. Wm. Toase of Sylvania.  They made their home on a farm northwest of Windsor Station, now Sylvania, for over twenty years, going from there to a large farm on the County Line Road, formerly owned by Jerry Slater.  Here several years ago, Mrs. Drinkwater died.
Eight children were the fruit of the second marriage, viz: Mrs. Albert (Mary Rosette) Murgatroyd, Mrs. Geo. (Fanny Ida) Blackburn who married a second time to Samuel Bowers, son of Isaac Bowers; Mrs. Henry (Ella May) Blackburn, Miss Cora Drinkwater who married Paul Wilkins in Milwaukee, and William H. married Laura Blaine, Charles who married Margaret Myers, James Abraham married Marie (Mame) Rasmussen, and Frank R. Drinkwater who ended up living in Atwater, Ohio.
(Source:  Racine Weekly May 13, 1902 and Mary Ann Culshaw Falk and the Sylvania Cemetery Trustees)

More About Drinkwater, Bowers, Lee, Myers
James Drinkwater was born in Manchester, England in 1798.  He married Jane Phelps and had a son William.  They came to America in 1842 and took up a government claim in Yorkville Township, Racine County.
William Drinkwater was born at Manchester, England on November 8, 1824.  He came to America with his parents in 1842 and settled at Sylvania.  On december 25, 1847 he married Elizabeth Smith who was born April 8, 1830 in England.  She was the daughter of Samuel Smith of Mt. Pleasant Township, Racine County.  They had one daughter Sarah Jane.
William left for the Gold Rush in California with Isaac Bowers and Richard Lee and Edward Lee.  While he was there, he received word that his wife was very ill and he should hurry home.  She died on Septembe 22, 1857 before he arrived home.  William married again on December 26, 1860 to Mary Ann Toase, daughter of Henry and Mary Toase.
Sarah remained with her grandparents and later became a schoolteacher.  William and Mary Ann had 8 children. 
(Source:  Mary Ann Culshaw Falk and the Sylvania Cemetery Trustees)

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