Friday, December 2, 2011


John Breaid (name later changed to Braid)
John Breaid, who is engaged in general farming on Section 6, Somers Township, Kenosha County, has for forty-one years made his home in this locality. He was born near Edinburg, Scotland, November 20th, 1820. His father, Thomas Breaid, was also a native of that land and a man of superior intelligence, well educated.  By occupation he was a contractor.  He married Ellen Greig, also a native of Scotland and they crossed the Atlantic to America in 1853, joining our subject in Kenosha County, where they spent the remainder of their lives.
John Breaid was also well educated for the times and when a youth learned the flax dresser’s trade, which he followed for several years. He was married in Scotland in 1843, to Jane Whitelaw, daughter of John and Anna (Drummond) Whitelaw, who was born in Scotland. The young couple began their domestic life in that land but after several years Mr. Breaid came to America leaving his family behind. He arrived in New York in May, 1850, and by way of the Hudson River to Albany, Erie Canal to Buffalo, and the Great Lakes to Racine, he reached the state which has since been his home, in June of that year. Nearly all of his means had been exhausted in paying the expenses of his journey and he was willing to engage in any honest labor. He stopped for a short time with a Scotch family on the lake shore near Racine and worked by the day at anything he could do. By industry and economy he had saved enough to send for his family at the end of a year and Mrs. Breaid crossed the Atlantic with her three children, the oldest a lad of six and the youngest a child of eighteen months, joining her husband in the fall of 1851.
Mr. Breaid had built an humble dwelling for his wife and family in the shape of a log cabin, located in the town of Mt. Pleasant, Racine County, and they began life in the New World in true pioneer style. The husband and father engaged in cutting cord wood and also raised a few vegetables for the market. He there made his home for two years, during which time his financial condition was somewhat improved, after which he located on a farm on the county line, where was a comfortable home. He cleared and fenced about forty aces of land and upon that farm made his home for about three years; during which time he saved about $800. In Kenosha County we next find him after his purchased of 20 acres of land on Section 6, Somers Township. This was a timbered tract but with characteristic energy he began to clear and improve it and where once stood the monarchs of the forest were soon seen fields of waiving grain. From time to time he made additional purchases until he now has a valuable farm of one hundred acres, the greater part of which is under a high state of cultivation. It is improved with a commodious brick residence, an orchard, good barns, and all the other accessories of a model farm.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Breaid have been born seven sons and three daughters; Thomas, a railroad engineer, is married and resides in Savanna, Illinois; John is married and engages in merchandising in Waukesha, Wisconsin; Andrew was married and went to North Carolina, where he did an extensive business, shipping lumber to the North. He is now deceased. The three children just mentioned were born in Scotland and the remaining members of the family were born in Wisconsin. Katie is the wife of Charles Windsor, of Racine; Nellie is the wife of William Bose, a farmer of Kenosha County, James who is married and lives in Savanna, is also a railroad engineer; William died in infancy; George is a telegraph operator and real estate dealer of Chehalis, Washington; William, the second of that name is married and resides on the home farm; and Maggie (Margaret) is the wife of Chester Barrows, an agriculturist of Mt. Pleasant Township, Racine, Wisconsin.
Mr. and Mrs. Breaid are prominent members of the Methodist Church and in politics he is a stanch Republican. He has supported each Presidential candidate since casting his first vote for John C. Fremont, but has never sought or desired public office for himself. However, he served for two years as Assessor and has been an efficient member of the School Board for a number of years. In the earlier days, he and his family endured many hardships and privations but industry, perseverance and good management on the part of Mr. Breaid have secured him a comfortable competence and he is numbered among the well-do-do farmers in the community.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Racine and Kenosha Counties. Lake City Publishing Co. Chicago. 1892. Text and Photo)

More about the Breaid's
"Mrs. John Breaid, who has been very sick, was a little better this last week."
(Source:  Racine Journal publication date July 27, 1899)

"Mrs. Jane Breaid, wife of John Breaid, died at her home in Berryville at 11:30 last night.  Besides a husband she leaves three sons and five daughters, and a large number of relatives and friends to  mourn her loss.  The funeral will take place Friday afternoon at one o'clock from the house and the remains will be interred in Mound Cemetery, Racine."
(Source:  Racine Daily Journal publication date November 29, 1899)

"The funeral of Mrs. Breaid was held on Friday last at the residence.  The services were conducted by Rev. Coldstead after which the friends tenderly laid the aged form to rest in Mound Cemetery at Racine.  Mr. and Mrs. Breaid were among the first to settle at Berryville and have spent a long and useful life among us.  She leaves a host of friends, her husband, eight children, twenty-four grandchildren and one great-grandchild."
(Source:  Racine Journal publication date December 7, 1899)

About William Braid (spelling of named changed from Breaid)
Among the successful farmers of Somers Township is William Braid, who is operating the family homestead on Section 6.  He was born upon that farm on the 5th of October 1862, a son of John Braid, who birth occurred in King Horn, Scotland, on the 8th of November, 1820, and who received his education in his native country.  In 1850 he emigrated to the United States and located in Kenosha County where he worked at ditching and as a farm hand for two or three years.  He then rented land, which he cultivated for a similar period of time, and next bought seven acres of land in Somers Township, to which he added as he was able from time to time.  At his death, in 1904, his farm comprised one hundred acres.  He was united in marriage to Miss Jean Whitelaw and they became the parents of eight children.  Thomas, who married Mary Joerey and has four children, is a resident of Savannah, Illinois.  John, deceased, married Agnes Casey, who, with her four children, is living in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  Andrew married Olive Commander and both are deceased.  Their daughter married Lewis Markeson of Somers Township and has two children.  Katherine, who married Charles Wensing (Wensing family of Somers), deceased, has six children and resides in Racine.  Nellie married William F. Bose of Somers and they have five children.  James married and his wife passed away, leaving two children.  he resides in Milwaukee.  George, who is married and has one child, is a resident of Portland, Oregon.  William, of this review, is the youngest of the family.  The father, who is a stalwart Republican, served as a member of the School Board, was a member of the Town Board and also held the office of Road commissioner and proved very efficient in these capacities.  He was a member of the Presbyterian Church.  His wife preceded him in death two years, her demise occurring in 1902, and his in 1904.
William Braid attended the common schools until he was eighteen years of age, when he gave his entire attention to assisting in the operation of the farm.  He worked for his father at a wage of two hundred dollars a year until he attained his majority, when he purchased the homestead, which he has since operated on his own account.  The place comprises one hundred acres and is one of the well improved and valuable farms of Somers Township.  He is progressive in his methods and receives a good financial return from his land.
On the 13th of June, 1889, Mr. Braid was united in marriage to Miss Mary Sorensen, a daughter of Nels Sorensen.  Mr. and Mrs. Braid hava a son, Roy W., who is connected with an automobile tire manufacturing concern in Racine.  Mr. Braid is a stalwart Republican in politics and for ten or twelve years has been a member of the School Board.
(Source: City and County of Kenosha Record of Settlement by Frank H. Lyman, Vol II, Chicago, S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1916)

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