Monday, February 20, 2012

Bailey, Alexander Price

Alexander Price Bailey
"Alexander Price Bailey was born in Auburn, Cayuga, New York on March 25, 1846 to Norman and Lavina (Remington) Bailey.  He came to Somers Township in Kenosha County with his parents in 1848.  At the age of 23, he began to farm on his own, and continued to farm until 1905.  He married Isabella Lee, daughter of Richard and Ellen Lee, in 1868 in Kenosha County.  They had two children.  In 1905, they moved to the Village of Somers, where they lived for the rest of their lives.  Alexander Price Bailey died September 1, 1923 and his wife, Isabella Lee Bailey, died February 26, 1928.  They are buried at Sylvania Cemetery.
Children of Alexander Price Bailey and Isabella Lee Bailey:
William Norman Bailey.  Married Alice Bush, daughter of William Bush.  They lived on the father's farm.
LeRoy Frank Bailey.  Married Etta Bush, daughter of William Bush.  They had one child:  Orilla Alice May."
(Source:  1991 Mary Ann Culshaw Falk and the Sylvania Cemetery Board of Trustees)

More About Alexander Price Bailey
"Alexander Price Bailey is a retired farmer living in the Village of Somers and the rest which he is now enjoying has been well earned.  He has reached the seventieth milestone on life's journal, his birth having occurred in Auburn, New York, on the 25th of March, 1846, his parents being Norman and Lavina (Remington) Bailey.  In the year 1841 the father became a resident of Kenosha County and in 1848 brought his family to this locality.  The work of development and improvement had scarcely been begun at the time of his first arrival here.  Much of the land was still in possession of the government and was covered with the native prairie grasses or the original forest growth.  He purchased eighty acres of land at the usual government price of a dollar and a quarter per acre and afterward added to his farm by the additional purchase of forty acres.  His was a well spent life characterized by integrity, by energy and laudable purpose.  In politics he was a Republican and filled the office of district clerk.  His religious faith was that of the Methodist Church.  In his family were four children:  Alexander price, Jay Le Roy, Sophronia, and Frank Ney.
The first named attended the public schools until he reached the age of twenty years, after which he continued to work upon the home farm to the age of twenty-three.  He then began farming on his own account upon a tract of  rented land of one hundred and seventy-five acres, upon which he lived for two years.  He afterward rented other land and made his home thereon for two years.  He afterward purchased seventy-three and one-half acres and subsequently thirty-two and five-tenths acres and still later further investment made him the owner of another tract of one hundred and seventy-five acres.  He thus became one of the extensive landowners of the community and was actively and successfully engaged in general farming until 1905, when the success that had attended his efforts enabled him to put aside further business cares.   He then purchased a place in the Village of Somers and has lived there continuously since, having an attractive and comfortable home in which he has not only the necessities but many of the luxuries of life.
In 1868 Mr. Bailey was united in marriage to Miss Isabelle Lee, a daughter of Richard Lee, a native of England, who came to the United States in early life.  To Mr. and Mrs. Bailey have been born two children.  William Norman married Alice,  daughter of William Bush, and is living on his father's farm.  Le Roy Frank married Etta Bush, daughter of William Bush, and they have one child, Orilla Alice May.
In his political views Mr. Bailey is a Republican but at local elections, where no issue is involved, does not feel himself bound by party ties and casts his ballot for the candidate whom he regards as best qualified for office.  For several years he filled the position of Justice of the Peace, his decisions being strictly fair and impartial.  He has been a member of the School Board and served as its clerk for twelve years.  His religious faith is that of the Methodist church and he ever endeavors to follow the Golden Rule.  In his business affairs he was strictly reliable as well as enterprising and his success is the merited reward of energy and integrity.
(Source:  City and County of Kenosha, Vol. II, S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1916)

Jay LeRoy Bailey
Jay LeRoy Bailey, a representative farmer of Somers Township, whose success is largely attributable to his earnest effort and indefatigable industry, was born in Paris Township, Kenosha County, December 4, 1854, his parents being Norman and Lavina (Remington) Bailey.
He obtained a common school education, dividing his time during his youth between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the work of the fields.  His father died when his son Jay was twenty years of age, and the young man then assumed the management of the home place, which he operated for a year for his mother.  He then rented the land and began farming on his own account.  In addition to the cultivation of the old homestead he cultivated forty acres which he purchased and was busily engaged in the further development and improvement of that property until 1904.  At the present time he owns two hundred acres of rich and arable land, one hundred and twenty acres being on Section 18, Somers Township, and eighty acres of the old homestead in Parish Township, and he rents one hundred acres of this to L.J. Prang, who has resided thereon for eight years.
The old Bailey homestead was purchased from the government at the usual price of one dollar and a quarter per acre and has since been in possession of the family.  Upon the place are fine buildings, including a modern residence, substantial barns and good sheds, furnishing ample shelter for grain and stock.  he secures the latest improved machinery to advance the work of the fields, practices the rotation of crops and does everything necessary to make his farm profitable.  He built a new barn thirty-four by seventy-four feet.  In addition to raising the crops best adapted to the soil and climate he conducts a dairy business and for the past thirty years.
(Source: City and County of Kenosha, Vol. II, S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1916)

Fire Imperils Farm Building
Somers Volunteer Firemen Extinguish Blaze On Bailey Farm
The Somers Volunteer fire department was called out at 6:00 o'clock last night when a fire originating in defective wiring threatened the large dairy barn on the Norman Bailey farm, located on Highway 41, two and one-half miles from the village of Somers.
The blaze started in a two story building used by Bailey as a hog pen.  When the firemen arrived at the scene of the blaze, flames had spread to a large quantity of straw stored in the upper section of the frame building and threatened to destroy the large dairy barn to which the hog pen was attached.
Workers at the farm has closed off all ventilation in the hog pen immediately after the fire was discovered preventing rapid spread of the flames and thus permitting the firemen to gain control of the blaze almost immediately after their arrival at The Bailey Farm.
The loss which might have mounted to several thousand dollars, was confined to a comparatively small sum.  A large number of chickens were lost in the fire and an undetermined amount of straw was destroyed.  None of the hogs were lost in the fire and the building although badly scorched can be repaired."
(Source:  Racine Journal, Feb. 14, 1935)

Bisher, John

(Source:  Photo courtesy of City and County of Kenosha, Vol. II, S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1916)
John Bisher
"John Bisher, who is one of the most esteemed residents of Somers Township, has reached the advanced age of eighty-seven years and can look back upon a long life of honorable and useful activity.  He followed the carpenter's trade for twenty-five years and was known as a skilled and conscientious worker.  He is also entitled to mention as a veteran of the Civil War, having served throughout the entire conflict.
Mr. Bisher was born on the Isle of Guernsey, in the English Channel, in April, 1829, a son of Peter and Mary Bisher.  He received a common school education there but when fourteen years of age came to the United States and located in Kenosha County, Wisconsin.  For a number of years he worked as a farm hand, but in 1861 he proved his loyalty to his adopted country by enlisting in the Union Army, becoming a member of Company B, Seventeenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.  He was at the front with that command for four years and took part in a great deal of hard fighting.  After being mustered out of the Army he returned to Kenosha County and for a quarter of a century he worked at carpentering.  He erected many residences in the county, and, as he managed his business affairs well, his capital grew steadily.  At length he retired from active life and is now residing on twenty-two acres of land which he owns in Somers Township and is enjoying a well deserved leisure.
In 1876 Mr. Bisher married Miss Annie Lawson.  He supports the Republican Party at the polls and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, whose teachings have guided his life.  He began providing for his own support at an early age and throughout his active career was dependent entirely upon his own efforts for success.  He is widely known and the honor in which he is held is fully deserved as he has measured up to high standards of morality in all relations of life. 
(Source: Photo courtesy of City and County of Kenosha, Vol. II, S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1916)

15 acre parcel located south side of Berryville Road just east of the North Shore RR across street from Lindstoth

Hannan, John

John Hannan

John Hannan is the owner of a fine farm situated about a mile and a half from Kenosha, on Section 35, Somers Township, Kenosha county, where he engages in farming and breeding horses.  He was born in the town which is still his home, March 4, 1846, and is a representative of one of the earliest families of the community.  His father, John Hannan, was born in County Dublin, Ireland, in 1798, and was a self-made man, both as regards education and finances.  He crossed the Atlantic to America in 1833, and in 1835, came to Kenosha County, Wisconsin.
Few were the settlers in this community at that time, the entire county being almost in its primitive condition.  He made a claim of a half-section of timber land and after clearing away the trees and digging up the stumps, plowed and planted the fields, which were soon made to bloom and blossom as the rose.
In Kenosha County, John Hannan, Sr. married Bridget Conny, and unto them were born six children, three sons and three daughters.  The eldest, James, a man of superior education and intelligence, is Assistant Superintendent of the schools of Chicago; Kate is engaged in teaching in that city; John, of this sketch is the next younger; Mary is also a teacher of Chicago; Robert is living on a ranch in New Mexico; and Fannie is the wife of J.P. Healy, a wealthy merchant of Chicago and one of its most prominent citizens, dealing in musical instruments.  The father of this family was a man of good judgement, was sagacious and enterprising and lived an upright life, which won him universal esteem.  He always supported the men and measures of the Democratic party in national elections but at local elections voted for the man whom he thought would best fill the office.  He died August 17, 1865, and in his death the county lost one of its best citizens.  His wife survived him many years and departed this life in May, 1889.
The subject of this sketch has spent his entire life in Kenosha County.  In the summer months, when a boy he worked upon his father's farm and in the winter season attended the common schools, but his educational privileges were limited.  He remained with his father until his death, and after attaining his majority operated the old homestead.  In connection with general farming he engaged in dealing in horses and cattle, which business he yet continues.  He has owned some noted fast trotters and the stock now seen upon his farm is of the highest grades.   He laid aside agricultural pursuits, however, in 1888, when he was elected Sheriff of Kenosha County.  He has taken quite an active part in local politics and was nominated on the Democratic ticket for County Sheriff, to which office he was elected by a majority of fifty-six, over a strong republican candidate and in a Republican County.  He made one of the best sheriffs Kenosha County has ever had, discharging every duty with promptness and fidelity.  On the expiration of his term of service he returned to the old homestead.  The estate was divided in 1890, and Mr. Hannan is now the owner of a well-improved and valuable farm of one hundred and ten acres, situated about a mile and a half from Kenosha.  A commodious and substantial residence has lately been erected; there may be seen good barns and outbuildings and the well-tilled fields indicate the industry of the owner.
(Source:  Portrait and Biographicl Album of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Lake City Publishing Co., 1892, Chicago.)

Section 28, Somers Township, 40 acres
"John Hannan, well known as a breeder and raiser of fine stock, has long been identified with the farming interests of Kenosha County.  He was born in Somers Township on the 4th of March, 1846, a son of John and Bridget (Conney) Hannan, who were natives of County Dublin, Ireland, the father's birth having there occurred in the year 1798.  He obtained a common school education in his native country and in 1833 sailed for the new world, hoping to have better business opportunities on this side the Atlantic than he could secure on the Emerald Isle.  The voyage was made in one of the old-time sailing vessels and week after week was passed upon the broad Atlantic ere he reached American shores.
In 1835 he arrived in Kenosha County, at which time Wisconsin was still under territorial government.  He took up a claim of a half section of land and became identified with the early pioneer development of the district.  He was a self-made man, owing his advancement entirely to his own efforts.  Gradually he worked his way upward and the success which he achieved was the merited reward of industry, perseverance and unfaltering determination.  He gave his political support to the democratic party and in religious faith was a Catholic.  He died August 17, 1865, respected by all who knew him, for he possessed many sterling traits of character that made him well liked.  His widow long survived him, passing away in May, 1899.  Their children were six in number, namely:  James, Kate, John, Mary, Robert and Fannie.
In the common schools of Somers Township John Hannan pursued his education, and while his opportunities of mastering the lessons that one seeks in books were somewhat limited, he learned many valuable lessons in the school of experience and was early trained to the best methods of tilling the soil and caring the farm in every department of its work.  After attaining his majority he did not seek to change his occupation but has always concentrated his energies upon agricultural pursuits and has spent much time in raising high grade stock, especially fast horses, in which connection his farm has become noted as a breeding place for fine driving stock.
On Thanksgiving Day of 1874 Mr. Hannan was united in marriage to Miss Maria Broderick, a native of the Town of Brighton and a daughter of Dominick Broderick, one of the old settlers of this county.  To Mr. and Mrs. Hannan have been born five children, as follows:  Frank, at home; James, who is deceased; Winnifred, who has also passed away; and Walter and William, both at home.
Mr. Hannan was reared in the Roman Catholic Church and has always adhered to that belief.  Upon the Democratic ticket he was elected sheriff of Kenosha County and made an excellent record as an officer during the two years of his incumbency in that position.  He has many attractive social qualities which have rendered him popular and his circle of friends in the community is almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintance.
(Source:  City and County of Kenosha, Vol. II, Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1916)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Music in Somers

Music in Somers
Somers, from its start and early development, has taken and held a prominent place in the music field.
Perhaps many of us residing in Our Town today have almost forgotten those native sons and daughters whose musical talents added much to the artistic world.
Somers' own prima donna, Miss Charille Runals, known as Lily Runals, was born March 14, 1855.  Her early life was lived on the Runals Homestead, known as the Willowbrook farm in Our Town, and attended school at District No. 2, now Hillcrest School.
In early life she developed a sweet soprano voice and following her graduation from the Kenosha High School, she studied voice in Ohio, later going to New York, where she rapidly rose in public favor as a singer and poetic reader, and soon joined the Metropolitan Opera.  She charmed vast audiences with her rendition of her own arrangement of "The Sky Pilot", "Black Rock", and other beautiful stories.  As she sang the beautiful sacred songs and those immortal hymns, she made a lasting impression on her hearers.  Many of the older people of Our Town may recall when this prima donna came home on a visit and gave a concert at the Methodist Church.  Her rendition of "The Holy City" on this occasion has never been forgotten by those who listened.  She sleeps in a cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Florence Spencer Owen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Spencer, who came from the East in the early days, was  a school teacher, a teacher of music and was talented with a sweet soprano voice that thrilled her hearers for years.
The Jordan family was a family of music.  Miss Ann Jordan, a singing school leader, started many young people on a musical career.
John G. Mitchell, a son of a sturdy Scotch family, who came early, was a baritone of renown.  One of his favorite solos was "Rocked In The Cradle of The Deeps."  For years he was leader in the male and mixed quartet's Somers was so proud of.  He was a singing school master and started many of our young people in the music world.
And so on down the decades, our people have added much to the field of music.  The descendants of those pioneers are carrying on in the field of music - Mrs. Mabel Yule Longmore, Jay W. Rhodes, Mrs. Mabelle Cook Rhodes, Mrs. Eunice Bradley Bullamore, Mrs. Elizabeth Flett Felton."
(Source:  Photo of Lily Runals and information above, My Memoirs by Minnie A.G. Ozanne.  Copyright 1948 - Minnie A.G. Ozanne.  All Rights Reserved.)

(Source: Photo of Lily Runals and information above, My Memoirs by Minnie A.G. Ozanne. Copyright 1948 - Minnie A.G. Ozanne. All Rights Reserved.)

Somers Band Stand - Mitchell Park
Our first park was in the Village of Somers, and for many years band concerts and social activities were enjoyed at "The Mitchell Park" where a fine band stand was built.  The Third Somers Brass Band, under the direction of John G. Mitchell, and these musicians, Fred W. Leet, Adam Lytle, Robert and Burdette Burgess, Elmer Cooper, Sherman Gibbon, Anton Nelson, William Munroe, Maurace Gould, Delbert Bishop, and Ray Mitchell, the drummer boy, offered many fine entertainments.
Ray Mitchell later became leader of an Illinois State Military Band.  A story of the first and second bands organized in Somers is not available.

(Source: My Memoirs by Minnie A.G. Ozanne. Copyright 1948 - Minnie A.G. Ozanne. All Rights Reserved.)

Bullamore Forks School

School District No. 8 - Bullamore Forks
"The early history of this school is not available, but in a review we find that the first building was constructed by James Petrie about 1850 and the substantial building served the district some eighty years when it was sold and moved a short distance away and remodeled into a dwelling house.
In 1929 a new two-room modern red brick building was erected on the original site and accommodates some 90 pupils.
John Umland served the district as its clerk for twenty years.
Among the earlier students were the seven Flett brothers.  James taught school many years.  David studied law and later was appointed Judge of the first Municipal Court, Racine.  George was, for many years, a minister in the Presbyterian Church.  Charles followed teaching for some years, later studying medicine, locating in Milbank, South Dakota.  Among other students were the Winslow's, the Hermann's, the Bullamore's, the Eick's, the Murray's, and the Ozanne's."
(Source: My Memoirs, by Minnie A.G. Ozanne.  Copyright 1948--Minnie A.G. Ozanne.  All Rights Reserved.)

Kids at Bullamore Forks School, about 1924.
The boy in the back on the extreme right is Oren S. Bullamore, born 1912.
If anyone can identify any other children in this photo, please click here to email Jackie.
(Source: Original Photo Courtesy of Robert Swartz.)

Bullamore Forks School, Town of Somers
Bullamore Forks neighborhood was a "v" on Highway 158
Teacher on the right is Ione Smith Kreamer (sister of Merlyn Smith)
Photo taken September 15, 1939
(Photo courtesy of Jim smith)

Kids at Bullamore Forks School, about 1920.
Lucille (Bullamore) Swartz is the 3rd from the right, in a big hat.
Allan Bullamore is front, ceneter.
(Source:  Original Photo Courtesy of Robert Swartz.)

Kelloggs Corners School

School District No. 14 - Kelloggs Corners School
(A joint district of Pike (later Somers), Mt. Pleasant, Yorkville, and Paris Townships)

"A meeting was held at the house of Chauncey Kellogg in Mt. Pleasant on Saturday, the 18th day of May 1844, to have and organize a school district composing the following sections in Mt. Pleasant, Section 31 and S.W. 1/4 of Sec. 32, T. 3 R. 22; and in the Town of Pike, Sec. 6 and W. 1/2 of Sec. 5, of T. 2, R. 22; and in Paris, Sec. 1and the E. 1/2 of Sec. 2 of T. 3, R. 21, and Sec. 36 and the E. 1/2 of Sec. 35, T. 3, R. 21, to be called the Sylvania School District, and known as such.

"Mt. Pleasant, Pike and Paris, May 18, 1844.
Gordon Secor, E.W. Washburn, George W. Parker, School Commission of Mt. Pleasant.
C. Marsh, S.C. Bacon, School Commission of Pike.
The above is a true copy of the original on file.
Oscar Hurlbut, Town Clerk"

The first school building constructed of logs and timbers hewn from the woods nearby, was built about a quarter of a mile south of The Corners.  After a time this building was sold and moved to the Daniel Coughlin farm.  A new site near the Methodist Church was purchased, and a new building was erected, which still stands.  This school was long known as the Sylvania School, and for many years had a large attendance of pupils.  Among the early teachers were Miss Adeline Wilson, M.P. Barry, who received $28 per month for three months, Miss Perkins, Miss Esther R. Shepard, E.W. Malone, Mary E. Spence, Helen Allan, Marinda Gager, Lorin Gould, Lavinia Goldsworthy, Will H. Spencer, David Powderly, Mary Burgess, Robert Pollock, Alice Murray Heidersdorf, and Nancy Murtagroyd.
Judge Roy Burgess, now of Racine, was a student at the Sylvania School.  Attorney Peter Meyers was an early student also.
Among the early settlers of this part of Our Town, then called Pike, following the coming of the Kellogg families, were the Peter Meyers family, who came in 1855, Christian and William Heidersdorf, and Eliza Heidersdorf, who came from Germany in 1848.  Christian Heidersdorf married Margaret Myers in 1857.
Their descendants are carrying on the homestead taken in the early days.  There were five girls and five boys in the Heidersdorf family.  Other families, the Alonzo Burgess', James Buckleys, the Fosters, the Holmes, the George and Horace DeLong families, the Coughlins, John and Jacob Haney, A.T. Gould, the Martins, and the Jason Davis's.
The water system at the Sylvania School was "The Old Oaken Bucket, the Moss Covered Bucket that hung in the well" at the rear of the A. T. Gould home.  How we children loved to "go for water" and stop at the blacksmith shop to and from, and watch the sturdy smith as he pumped the rude bellows, or put a shoe on the farmer's horse.  A.T. Gould loved the school children and they loved him.  A.T. Gould's blacksmith shop stood at The Corners for 70 years.
It is said, from these little rural school houses in Our Town, that more boys and girls laid the foundation for higher things in life, than in any locality of like area.  Many professionals were born and reared, descendants of those early pioneers, teachers, preachers, doctors, lawyers, missionaries, musicians, in fact, professionals in every walk of life.
Among the missionaries sent to foreign fields of work were Lucian Lee, who spent years in Turkey' Katherine Schaeffer (see below) devoted more than thirty years of useful labor in China; Herbert G. Ozanne did work in India for several years."
(Source: My Memoirs by Minnie A.G. Ozanne.  Copyright 1948 - Minnie A.G. Ozanne.  All Rights Reserved.)

(Source: My Memoirs by Minnie A.G. Ozanne. Copyright 1948 - Minnie A.G. Ozanne. All Rights Reserved.)

Friday, February 17, 2012

School History of Somers Township

Establishing Schools
"The establishing of our public schools in the Township of Somers (formerly called Pike) began more than a century ago, as the first school was kept in the winter of 1836, in the Longwell house (still standing), on the old Indian Trail, later the Green Bay Road, and was taught by Miss Brozee.  From this humble beginning, developed our present beautiful modernized state graded, and rural schools.

(Source:  My Memoirs by Minnie A.G. Ozanne, Copyright 1848 Minnie A.G. Ozanne.  All Rights Reserved.)
Somers Township has (1948) five State Graded Schools and three modernized one-room schools, employing 16 teachers for approximately 412 students.  The majority of students of our schools follow on into higher fields of learning.

School District #1 and Washington School
Organized in the early 1840's, School District #1 has been most prominent as an educational center in Our Town.  The first building was erected on the Green Bay Trail, where it stood until 1886, when a new site was purchased one-half  a mile west on the Somers highway.  Of this first school but little history is available, still we know that out from its doors came many of Our Town's professional men and women.  Among them were:  Rev. James Buswell, Congregational Minister; Rev. Moses Buswell, Jr. Baptist Minister; Ezra Buswell, Leader and Teacher in the Christian Science faith; Miss Belle Spence, teacher for many years, later becoming City Missionary of Chicago.  Among others who became prominent teachers were Mrs. Mary Spence Booth, William and George Spence.  Isaac T. Bishop, an early student, served as State Senator for some years.
This building was in use until 1925 (when it was sold to John Yunk and is a dwelling for his son's family), when a two-room State Graded School was erected on this site, which became known as the Washington State Graded School.  Two teachers are employed.
Note:  Moses Buswell was Clerk of District No. 1 for many years."
(Source: My Memoirs, by Minnie A.G. Ozanne. Copyright 1948--Minnie A.G. Ozanne. All Rights Reserved.)

Schools of Somers Township
"Schools of Somers Township were among the first to be established in Kenosha County.  The township now has five state graded schools and three modernized one-room rural schools.  Three of the units are joint districts - Hannan and Stephenson with Pleasant Prairie, and No. 14 Garfield-Columbia, at Kellogg's Corners, occupied jointly with Paris, Mt. Pleasant, and Yorkville.

Burr Oak School, District No. 5, was organized November 14, 1845, the first building being erected some time later in a grove on what is now the Thomas Birchell farm.  This building was sold about 65 years ago and moved to the Albert Hughes farm, where it is still in use as a granary and tool shed.  In the fall of 1869 a new site was selected, and a new building erected.  The building was enlarged in August, 1892.  Within the past year the schoolhouse has been entirely remodeled through the FERA and is now one of the township's modern buildings.  Officers of the district are Ernest Tabbert, director, J.W. Rhodes, treasurer, and John Haigh, clerk.

Records of Pike River School, No. 7, date back to November 30, 1846, when the district was organized.  Modifications and changes have taken place in the district several times.  In 1860 it was made a joint district with Mt. Pleasant.  The first building was completed late in the fall of 1848.  When the new building was constructed in 1905, its predecessor was moved to the L.E. Ozanne farm, where it is still being used as a granary.  The officers of the district at present are Arthur C. Bohm, director, John Klinkhammer, treasurer, and Mrs. L.E. Ozanne, clerk.

The original school at Kellogg's Corners, now the Garfield-Columbia district, was built in 1841.  After a decade of service the school was replaced by a new building, and the first structure converted into a granary on the Daniel Coughlin farm.  The new building stands east of the site of the first Methodist Church in the state of Wisconsin.  Officers of the district include Wiliam E. Tucker, director, Stanley Coughlin, treasurer, and Hardy Helding, clerk.

The growth of the city of Kenosha in recent years has brought about the absorption of one of the school districts formerly existing in Somers Township.  The old Grant School District No. 14 was organized in 1907, drawing from portions of the Berryville, Wood Road, and Hillcrest districts.  The district was in existence until 1924, when the new Grant School was constructed in the City of Kenosha.  The old rural school building, which stood one block north of the MacWhyte Company offices, is now being used as a storehouse by the C.J. Werwie Company.  Although there is no longer any schoolhouse in the district, a school board is still in existence.  This includes John Murray, director, Nick Schackmuth, treasurer, and W. J. Craney, clerk.  All of the officers now live within the city limits and direct the payment of funds for the tuition of the 15 pupils in the district who now attend the new Grant School.  Schackmuth has been treasurer of the district for the past 22 years.

According to W.S. Dearsley, one of the oldest settlers on the Lake Shore Road north of Kenosha, the first school in Berryville District No. 11 was built about 1835.  In 1855 an addition was built.  A new building was constructed in 1872, when 35 pupils were in attendance.  Both buildings occupied sites on the east side of the highway.  The first is being used as a granary on the J.W. Hansche farm, and the second is now part of the home of Emil Julius on the Dearsley Road.  A new two-room brick state graded school was erected in 1923, being enlarged to a four room structure in 1928, when a second story was added.  An auditorium is also provided in the building.  The present school board consists of Axel Mikkelson, director, W.L. Williams, treasurer, and Frank C. Van Thiel, clerk.

One of the five state graded schools in Somers Township is the Wood Road School.  The present modern red brick building was constructed in 1926 on the site purchased for the original school building in early days.  The first school building was sold in 1877 and is still being used on the Joseph Huck farm.  A second building constructed in that year was sold to George P. Thomas in 1927, after the present school was completed.  The board now consists of Harry C. Thompson, director, John F. Swartz, treasurer, and Frank P. Thomas, clerk.  Swartz has been treasurer for the past 23 years.

Prominent as an educational center in Somers Township is the Washington state graded school which has been in existence since the early Forties.  The first building was erected on the Green Bay Trail, where it stood until 1886, when a new site was purchased a mile west on the Somers Road.  The second building erected in that year, served until 1925, when a two-room state graded building was constructed.  The affairs of the district are now supervised by the following board: William Lauer, director, C.D. Christensen, treasurer, and George P. Leet, clerk.

The story of Hillcrest School, district no 2, is more than usual interest.  The site of the first building erected in 1841, about a mile east of the present structure, is still marked by the old foundation stones.  The original building was known as the Ridge School, and the first trustees included some of the best known of Kenosha's pioneers, Cephus Weed, Jonathan H. Talcott, and Jonathan Pierce.  In 1852 the log school house was superseded by a new structure on the present site.  About 10 years ago this one-room building made way for a modern two-room state graded school.  Members of the district board at present are Rudolph Haubrich, director, Harry S. Rogers, treasurer, and Frank Newman, clerk.

It was about 1850 that the first Bullamore Forks School was constructed, to serve the district for about 80 years, when it was moved away to be converted into a dwelling.  The present two-room brick building is thoroughly modern and a great asset to the township's educational facilities.  Roy O. Bullamore, treasurer, Russell Bullamore, director, and Mrs. Elizabeth Umland, clerk, comprise the board.
(Source:  Kenosha News, June 1935 Centennial Edition, Civic and Social section)

1955 Berryville School 100 Year Anniversary

A new addition, shown at left, has been added to Berryville School.  Open house is being held in conjunction with the school's celebration of its 100 anniversary.
(Source:  Photo and Text below Kenosha News November 8, 1955)

"It was a big day, 100 years ago, when a log cabin in the berry path, was completed.  That cabin was Berryville community's first schoolhouse, located in the small community named by Minnie Paine because of the large variety of berries growing in the area.  On Thursday the school will observe its 100th year of service.
The same year the original school was built the last rail of the revolutionary Lake Shore Railway, going right through Berryville, was completed.  The railroad station, where farmers took their berries for shipment to Milwaukee or Chicago, was only a short distance north of the Berryville Road.
The neighborhood looked quite different from today, with 40 acres of additional land extending out into Lake Michigan.  The land since has been worn away by erosion.
Other dramatic changes in the Berryville community also have taken place.
The church (Berryville Methodist Episcopal "ME" Church) on Highway 32 and County Line Road near the old school house, has been made into a three-family apartment house.  The old log cabin, attended by the early settler families of Mrs. Minnie Paine, David Doolittle, Charles and William Smith and John Graig, since has been turned into a grainery on the John Hansche farm.
Among other families, shown on the early rosters, are E.G.  Witing, Hugh Longwell, Benjamin and Alice Field, William Braid, Allen Bradley, John Hansche, A.J. Piper, William Curtis, Herman Krueger, William Dearsley, John Gehring, Charles Paine, Bill Wensing, Herzil Dorey, Charles Barrows, William Bose, Ernst and Rudolph Hansche, Frank Swingle and Mrs. Minnie Ozanne.
After the first log cabin became obsolete for the thriving Berryville community, a second school house was constructed in 1872 on the same site.  The second building later was used as an onion storage center, but was torn down about six years ago.
Berryville's third, and present, school building was constructed on Berryville Road and Highway 32.  As the population increased, additions were made.  The newest addition is the second to be added to the original structure, and school officials report that a third addition already is being discussed.
Berryvile School, which was considered among the most progressive in the county made its gradual mark on the community."

Ozanne Old Mill

The Old Mill, built in Somers by the Rev. James Ozanne in the early forties.
(Source: My Memoirs by Minn A.G. Ozanne, Copyright 1948 - Minnie A.G. Ozanne. All Rights Reserved.)

The Old Mill
"Another relic of those pioneer days of Our Town, is gone, when farmers carried their grain to the "Old Mill" in bags, and returned home with the same bags filled with the same grain, ground into flour.
This "Old Mill" was built by the Rev. James Ozanne, an experienced miller and baker, as well as preacher, who came to Somers, then called Pike, from the Isle of Guernsey, In 1842, and established his home on the Green Bay Trail.  Soon after his arrival he began the construction of this mill on his acquired property, one mile west of his home.
The "Old Mill" was an octagonal tower five stories high, built of heavy hand-hewn timbers, and beams, from the Ozanne woods.  The foundation stones were gathered from a nearby quarry.  Much time also went into the motive power, which as a huge windmill wheel also made of wood and strips of iron, while the sails on each arm were of adjustable canvas, that might be spread full to gentle breezes, and furled against threatening gales, thus controlling the speed of the wheel.
After all the timbers and the beams were methodically fitted and put together, and the mill ready for use, Rev. Ozanne hesitated to trust the selection of the grinding stones to anyone, so he journeyed to Boston, Massachusetts, where he knew desirable mill stones could be purchased.  This journey required many weeks.  Upon his return, he carefully placed the mill stones in position for the grinding of the farmer's grain.  These mill stones were imported from France.
The grain was carried to the fifth and upper floor of the tower by a rope windless turned by a hand crank.  Here it was emptied into a large hopper, and fed into the mill stones on the second floor.  The grist, as it came from the mill stones, was caught in bags on the floor below.  Here it was weighed on a Fairbanks-Morse scale, with a capacity of 1200 pounds, built in the Vermont factory, in 1850.  The scale is still in use.
Rev. James Ozanne operated the "Old Mill" until 1868, when he sold it to Joseph Nelesen, who took it down and moved three stories of it to his farm at St. Martin's, Milwaukee County.  It was reassembled, and until 1892 the heavy wheels kept turning.  It required 33 heavy horse-drawn wagons to carry the "Old Mill" and its machinery, including the mill stones, from Somers to St. Martin's.  For more than fifty years, the worn mill stones have lain idle.  The winds, and the rains, and the winter snows have preyed upon the heavy structure, and brought decay, and the birds have nested and found shelter among its beams.
Joseph Nelesen was a native of Holland, and came to America in 1851, when a boy of 14 years.  When your narrator (Minnie Ozanne), he was 93 years of age.
Note:  A large oak stump on the high hill (now in Petrifying Spring Park) served as a view point in those early days, upon which the farmers over east would climb to see if the Ozanne Mill was working.  This high spot overlooked the dense woods."
(Source: My Memoirs by Minnie A.G. Ozanne, Copyright 1948 - Minnie A.G. Ozanne. All Rights Reserved.)

Partial 1861 Somers Township Map
Section 10, See Ozanne parcel showing a notation marked "Windmill"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Thomas Piper Homestead
Somers Township
Location:  Southeast corner of Lathrop Avenue and Racine/Kenosha County Line Road
(Source:  Original Photo Courtesy of Annette Piper Hartung.  Copyright March 2012.  All Rights Reserved.)

William Piper and Eliza Hansche Piper
Wedding Portrait
(Source: Original photo courtesy of Carol Pattison, great-granddaughter of William Piper)


Augustus Piper
(Source: Original photo courtesy of Carol Pattison, great-granddaughter of William Piper)

J.I. Case tractor from William Piper's farm
(Source:  Original photo courtesy of Carol Pattison, great-granddaughter of William Piper)

William Piper's first car.  1908 Pierce made in Racine, Wisconsin
(Source: Original photo courtesy of Carol Pattison, great-granddaughter of William Piper)

William Piper dynamiting trees to clear more farm land at the Piper Bros. farms.
(Source: Original photo courtesy of Carol Pattison, great-granddaughter of William Piper)

Piper Threshing
(note cabbage field)
(Source: Photo courtesy of Warren and Lyla Kramer. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Piper potato harvest
(Source: Photo courtesy of Warren and Lyla Kramer. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Piper sugar beet harvest
(Source: Photo courtesy of Warren and Lyla Kramer. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Piper planting
(Source: Photo courtesy of Warren and Lyla Kramer. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Piper farm field looking west.  Home on left is Thomas Piper home.
(Source: Photo courtesy of Warren and Lyla Kramer. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Thomas Piper farm, planter and horses
(Source: Photo courtesy of Warren and Lyla Kramer. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Piper oat hay mound.  Notice man standing next to mound.
(Source: Photo courtesy of Warren and Lyla Kramer. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Sylvester Piper
(Source: Photo courtesy of Warren and Lyla Kramer. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Sylvester Piper, son of Thomas Piper, at age 22
(Source:  Original photo courtesy of Annette Piper Hartung.  Copyright March 2012.  All Rights Reserved.)

Country Club Road/Lathrop Avenue near the Kramer farm looking north toward Racine Kenosha County Line Road
(Source: Photo courtesy of Warren and Lyla Kramer. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Thomas Piper
(Source:  Original photo courtesy of Annette Piper Hartung.  Copyright March 2012.  All Rights Reserved.)

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Piper
(Source:  Photo courtesy of Warren and Lyla Kramer.  Copyright February 2012.  All Rights Reserved.)

Wedding Invitation
of Thomas Piper and Emma DeGaris
(Source:  Original invitation courtesy of Annette Piper Hartung.  Copyright March 2012.  All Rights Reserved.)

Thomas Piper homestead
Corner of Racine Kenosha County Line Road and Country Club Road/Lathrop Avenue
(Source: Photo courtesy of Warren and Lyla Kramer. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)
Piper:  In the News
"The Berryville Aid Society will give a picnic at Piper's Park on Saturday, August 26.  Supper and other refreshments will be served at the the grove.  Everybody is invited to come and have a good time.  Games and other amusements will be in progress.  The Rawson Band will furnish the music."
(Source:  Racine Journal August 24, 1899)

"Miss Ruth Piper of Milwaukee Downer and Harold Piper of Lawrence College are spending their holiday vacation with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Piper on Lake Shore Drive."
(Source:  Racine Journal December 23, 1916)

"Mrs. Thomas Piper of Berryville left this morning for Canada where she will visit her sister."
(Source:  Racine Journal News October 5, 1912)

"For Sale-41 acre farm known as the Jackson farm.  Thomas Piper, Berryville, Tel. black 22."
(Source:  Racine Weekly April 22, 1904)

"ENORMOUS ONION YIELD. Thomas Piper Gathered 1800 Bushels From One and Three-Quarters Acres.  Market prices for cabbage took another jump today, $4 and $4.50 being quoted.  The crop is larger than ever before is admitted.  The total amount will run about 1,500 rail cars, 12-1/2 tons to the car.  The onion crop in Racine and Kenosha counties is also very large this year.  Thomas Piper, living a few miles south of the city, has the distinction of having broken the record.  Off from one and three-quarters acres of land he raised 1,800 bushels, and they were bought and stored by the Hansche Bros.  It is estimated that in the two counties 90 car loads of onions have been grown this year.  The prevailing price is 50 cents a bushel."
(Source:  Racine Journal October 28, 1904)

"An attempt was made to steal the horse and buggy of August Piper of Berryville some time during last night.  The thief broke into the barn, harnessed the horse, hitched it to a buggy, and drove it away.  The animal being rather high spirited drove into a ditch, threw the thief out, and dragged him a short distance and then ran into the premises of John Hansche where it was found this morning with the buggy badly wrecked.  Nothing could be found of the thief."
(Racine Daily October 15, 1900)

"For Sale or Rent - Farm 70 acres 3 miles south of city limits, and one mile from Berryville, Address F.K. Piper."
(Source:  Racine Journal January 25, 1900)

"The season of picnics has arrived.  Racine and Kenosha people have been enjoying themselves in Mr. Piper's and Mr. Krueger's groves during the last two weeks.  There was a large picnic held in Mr. Krueger's grove one day last week.  Everybody seemed to have a good time."
(Source:  Racine Daily July 25, 1899)

"Mr. Gus J. Piper is having his house remodeled, making it the most handsome house on the road."
(Source:  Racine Journal May 18, 1899)

"Mrs. Gus J. Piper and children have gone to Chicago for two or three weeks."
(Source:  Racine Journal June 21, 1899)

"Piper Bros. who reside near Berryville, are the inventors of the new onion cultivator.  Three hundred acres of land is devoted to the growing of onions this season in what is known as the Chicory and Berryville district.  It is by far the largest acreage ever known for that industry in the history of the county.  Farmers are devoting their time to onions rather than cabbage.  Besides, they are growing many acres of sugar beets.
To harvest and grow onions at the very lowest figures is one of the problems of farmers.  The cultivating has been done by hand and was slow and not satisfactory for the reason that the strength of a man would not permit digging deep in the earth.    They have made a machine that will do the work of 15 men.  The idea was suggested from the best cultivator.  By adding and improving the elements of several farm machines they have the cultivator operated by gasoline and it is a wonder.  This machine will cultivate six rows at a time and turns up the earth to such an extent that it retains moisture for weeks.
Usually one man can cultivate an acre per day.  This machine cultivates 15 acres.  The cost of operation is less than 75 cents a day for gasoline and oil, and one man can operate it.  Thus the services of fourteen men are done away with.  These men are usually paid $2 per day and so the saving in labor alone is around $25 a day.
It is estimated that an acre of onions will yield from 400 to 500 bushels, and the price fluctuates from 30 to 50 cents a bushel.  Most of the onions grown are shipped to the west and the south."
(Source:  Racine Journal July 10, 1915)
"Grave fears are expressed among the farmers of Kenosha county, that an epidemic of tuberculosis is prevalent among the cattle of the county, and especially in this true with the farmers residing in the town of Somers.   The State Veterinarian was called to Somers to make an examination of a herd of cattle on the farm of Frank Piper of Berryville.  The examination proved that more than twenty of the herd were suffering from malignant tuberculosis and they were ordered killed at once.  The cattle were appraised this  morning and slaughtered this afternoon.  The action of the state officer has caused great excitement among the stock raisers in the vicinity and every effort is being made to prevent any spread of the disease.  Notwithstanding the care taken, it is reported that several other herds in the neighborhood have been affected and more cattle will be killed."
(Source:  Racine Journal March 9, 1899)

"Excitement of seeing a deputy sheriff’s squad car crash into two trees brought on a fatal heart attack for Sylvester Piper, 70, near his farm home on Lathrop Rd. and KR. The sheriff was chasing an arterial stop sign violator when the accident occurred. The sheriff suffered two broken ribs and bruises.
Piper ran down the driveway toward the scene of the crash when he collapsed. Another patrol car at the scene called for the coroner who pronounced Piper dead. The driver of the car being chased paid a $10 fine for failing to stop for the sign.
Piper was born Mary 25, 1884 on the family homestead, the son of pioneer farmers, the late Emma DeGaris and Thomas Piper. Piper attended the Berryville School and studied also in Racine. At the time of his death he still was active in the management of his extensive farms which are located both in Mt. Pleasant and Somers. He recently traveled in Europe. In addition to farming, Piper was interested in music. He studied under the late Annie Peat Fink and for 37 years was organist and choir director at the First Baptist Church in Racine. He began his music career when 11 as an organist at the M.E. Berryville Church. Piper took an active interest in community affairs and had served on the Taylor Children’s Home Board and the Beebe School District Board. Surviving are his wife, Edna Wadmond Piper, one son, Guilbert, and a brother, Russell."
(Source:  Racine Journal February 24, 1955)
" Thomas and A.J. Piper Meeting With Excellent Results in Southern Climate.  Own Farm of 823 Acres on Rio Grande.  Believe There is Fortune for Those on the Group Floor - Able to Save Considerable on Shipping Bills.
Two of Racine County's most successful cabbage growers, Thomas and A.J. Piper, who live south of the city of Racine on the Lake Shore road are on their big farm near Brownsville, Texas for the winter, raising cabbage for southern consumption and have thus far been very successful in the industry which they took up primarily as an experiment.
The Piper Bros. own a farm of 823 acres in the Lone Star state and went down there immediately after the close of the farming season here.  Their plantation is located near Brownsville, Texas, which is in the extreme southern point of the state, not far from the Gulf of Mexico, and just across the Rio Grande Del Norte from Matamoras, Mexico.  Until the Piper Bros. went into the state there was only a comparatively small amount of cabbage raised there and none whatever south of Corpus Christi.  A large percentage of the cabbage used in that part of the country had to be shipped in from the north and the demand exceeded the supply.  Consequently prices were high and cabbage was a luxury.
Realizing that cabbage could be grown there, there was a fortune in sight for the men who got in on the ground floor.  Thomas and A.J. Piper quietly made an investigation and saw no reason why cabbage could not be profitably grown there.  They then purchased an 823 acre plantation and as soon as they had harvested their crop in Racine went down there and set to work early in September.  Their success thus far has exceeded all expectations.  Besides cabbage they raise onions and other vegetables largely used in southern Texas and Mexico.
By growing the cabbage down there the Piper Bros. are enabled to sell their products at a much lower figure than the northern growers, who ship their produce into the country and yet realize a handsome profit.  They made a great saving on shipping bills.  Transportation facilities are good and considerable shipping is done via the waterways.
That there is big money in cabbage growing cannot be disputed.  Many farmers in Racine County have grown rich from this industry alone and the Piper Bros. are among them.  The past year has been an excellent one for the cabbage industry and growers have already made considerable money off the crop.  Much of the cabbage raised during the season, however, is being held for higher prices and the big cold storage houses that dot the country around Racine are well filled.  More acreage is being devoted to cabbage raising by Racine County farmers every year and this is admitted to be one of the greatest cabbage growing districts in the world.
The difference in the climatic conditions in Wisconsin and Texas enables the Piper Bros. to raise two crops during the year and make two profits.  They raise one crop here and when the season is over they go to Texas where the season is just beginning and raise another.
(Source:  Racine Journal December 13, 1905)
"A SAD ACCIDENT.  A sad and heart wrenching accident happened about 6 o'clock yesterday afternoon on the farm of Mr. William Piper, located four and one half miles south of the city, in the township of Mt. Pleasant, resulting in the death of Wesley A., a four year old son. The little fellow, with his half sister, Ada, had attended a picnic of the Beebe School scholars during the afternoon, and enjoyed a happy time with their schoolmates.
They arrived home and were greeted by the mother. A short time after, John Knutsen Due, a hired man, who was on his way to the barn to milk the cows, noticed little Wesley fooling with an old corn shelling machine, standing on the east side of the corn shed. He warned the little boy to be careful and not to hurt his fingers and that he had better keep away from the machine and he then passed on to the barn and milked a cow and carried the pail to the house.
He strained the milk and Mrs. Piper started to dump the skimming's in a barrel located a few feet from where the corn sheller stood. She was horrified to see her little boy under the corn sheller, which had evidently fallen on top of him. In an instant she had removed the machine, which weighed nearly seventy-five pounds, and picked the boy up in her arms, believing that he was badly hurt or dead. The screams of the poor mother were heard by Mr. Piper and his men who were down in the fields at work and without delay Mr. Piper started on a run for the house, knowing that something terrible had happened.
In the meantime, Mrs. Piper almost crazed with grief, was carrying the lifeless body of her little son about the lawn and finally went to the house and laid him on the floor and sprinkled water on his face hoping that perhaps he was only stunned, but life had left the little body, and when the father arrived there was nothing for him to do but lift the body of his body to the bed.(More to story.  Stop here)
(Source:  Racine Weekly June 23, 1898)

Wesley Piper
(Source: Original photo courtesy of Carol Pattison, great-granddaughter of William Piper)

"A beautiful lawn wedding was solemnized at the country home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Piper, of this city, at 4:30 o'clock on Thursday afternoon, when Miss Bessie A. Piper, daughter of Mrs. Kate L. Piper of Madison, was united in marriage with Gustav A. Sell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herman A. Sell, of New Ulm, Minn.  The Rev. E.W. Blakeman of Madison, performed the ceremony and the bride was given away by her uncle, Thomas Piper.
The gown of the bride was of white georgette crepe and she carried a shower bouquet of asters and ferns.  The maid of honor, Miss Rena K. Piper, a sister of the bride, wore a yellow crepe de chine gown and carried a bouquet of marigolds and ferns.  The groom was attended by M.S. Nichols, of Madison, and the bridesmaids were Miss Florence N. Farmer, of Madison, and Miss Meta Sell, sister of the groom.  The bridesmaids were attended by Gilbert Barr and Russell Piper, both of Racine.  The rest of the bridal party included the ring bearers, the Misses Julia and Naomi Sorenson, and the ribbon bearers, the Misses Frances Post, Helen Crosby and Bernice Crobsy, of Madison; Alice Foxwell, Lucille Hansche, and Ilga Piper, of Racine; Elizabeth Gault of Portgage, and Mrs. W.G. Hyde, of Milwaukee.  To carry out the color scheme of green and yellow, the bridal bower was a bank of asparagus ferns and golden glow.
Mrs. W.G. Hyde and Lowell Wadmond sang, accompanied by Sylvester Piper, and the wedding march was played by Mrs. Sylvester Piper, of Racine.
The guests were Mr. and Mrs. C. George Wadmond, Mr. and Mrs. Williamm Piper, and daugher, Esther and sons, Wallace, and Howard; Mrs. A. Williamson, Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Piper and daughters, Ruth and Marjorie, and son, Harold; Mr. and Mrs. Chris Sorenson, father and mother of the little ring bearers; Kenneth Sorenson, Mrs. Thomas Piper, Miss Louise Boardman, Mr. and Mrs. W.F. Hansche and Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Hansche, all of Racine; Archer Fulton, of Baltimore, Maryland; Morgan Williams, of Omro, Wisconsin; Miss Kate Post and Samuel Post of Madison, and Mrs. Herman Sell, of New Ulm, Minn.
The bride and groom are both graduates of the University of Wisconsin, and the groom is a member of the Acacia social fraternity.  He is county agent of Winnebago County, this state, having received his appointment under the Hoover food commission.  The bride is well known here and in Madison.  After a short camping trip, Mr. and Mrs. Sell will be at home to their friends in Oshkosh.
(Source:  Racine Journal August 25, 1917)
"Mrs. Margaret Piper died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. A. Williamson, 1116 Washington Avenue, aged 85 years.  She is one of the oldest settlers in Racine.  She was born in Scotland, July 22, 1834, coming to Racine when a small girl.  She has made her home in this county for 75 years.  She is survived by three sons, William, Thomas, and August of the Kenosha Road, and two daughters, Mrs. A. Williamson, and Mrs. W.F. Hansche of this city."
(Source:  Racine Journal December 1, 1919)

"William Piper, aged 68, one of the best known farmers in Racine County, died yesterday morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Chris Sorenson, at Tomah, Wisconsin here he was on a Christmas visit.
Mr. Piper left his home two weeks ago today for Tomah, a week ago he was stricken down with typhoid pneumonia, and although everything possible was done for him, death ended his suffering.
Mr. Piper was born in the Township of Somers.  His boyhood days were spent on the farm and he acquired his education in the rural schools.  By hard work and after enduring the hardships of early days, he cultivated and became the owner of a fine farm.
In the community where he resided so long he was prominent and highly honored by everybody who knew him.  His death will be learned with sorrow by his many friends.
Mr. Piper is survived by his widow, two daughters, Mrs. Adolph Sorenson of Tomah, Wis.; Mrs. Phil Hilker, Racine; two sons, Wallace and Howard, Racine; two brothers and two sisters, August and Herman Piper, Mt. Pleasant and Mrs. August Williamson and Mrs. William Hansche, Mt. Pleasant.
The body will be brought to his late home and the time of the funeral will be announced later."
(Source:  Racine Journal December 27, 1921)

Racine Woman Visits Land of Midnight Sun
Mrs. S. Piper, Route 3, travels within 500 miles of N. Pole.
While Racine experienced some of its warmest summer days, Mrs. Sylvester Piper of Route 3 Lathrop Road, and her mother, Mrs. Celia Wadmond of New York City, were crusing in the land of the Midnight Sun, moving through lanes of ice packs in the northern seas in craft skillfully manipulated by expert Norwegian sailors, and eating quaint and appetizing fish dinners in the shadows of snowcovered mountains.
They were within 500 miles of the North pole and saw the spot from which Byrd Antarctic Expedition set out on his expedition.  they also visited the Amundsen hangar where the explorer launched the expedition the fate of which was never known.
Norway, Sweden and Denmark are prolific with tourists this year since many visitors do not care to visit countries over which war shadows hover.  Thus many Americans are getting their first real knowledge of the beauties of the Northland and are enjoying really "different" vacations.
The party vissited in Julling, Denmark, where the oldest church is located and where the first royal families were buried.  While there they encountered a funeral procession with the corpse on what resembled an open truck and the mourners and friends following in pairs, picking petals off flowers and scattering them along the way.
They visited Rebild National park where the memorial log cabin is built of logs sent from various parts of the United States.  There they saw the unusual display of horseshoes made by Christ Christensen of Racine and sent as a gift to Denmark.
They were four days in the Land of the Midnight Sun and fortunately, Mrs. Piper said, there was no fog.  One man had made 11 trips to see the midnight sun and had always experienced fog.  He was on his 12th and only successful trip at the time.  The trip from North Cape to Spitsbergen was one of the most fascinating features of the entire trip, Mrs. Piper said.  This is a coaling, whaling and fishing country but there is no vagetation and while men are employed under contract to work at these places, and are paid high wayges, they usually will not remain over a year.
At a stop at a little Russian colony, a Russian baker presented a cake to the Americans.  This was in appearance exactly like a book, with a flap turned back and bore an inscription greeting.
Mrs. Piper and her mother visited all the preserved old Norsk Folkmuseums where costumed characters are on hand to lend color.
Mrs. Wadmond visited in her old home and birthplace in Vejle.
(Source:  Racine Journal Times, publication date September 15, 1935)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hansche, William F.

(Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Racine and Kenosha Counties. Lake City Publishing Co. Chicago. 1892

William F. Hansche
William F. Hansche, who is successfully engaged in farming in Somers Township, Kenosha County, Wisconsin was born in Racine County on the 23rd of March, 1861, a son of William C. and Mary (Heck) Hansche, natives of Germany.  The father’s birth occurred in June, 1827, and after completing the public school course he learned the wagon maker’s trade in the fatherland.  In 1840 he accompanied his parents, William and Sophia Hansche. On their emigration to America the family took passage on a sailing vessel which was completely wrecked off the island of Haiti and all of the passengers were compelled to stay in San Domingo for twenty-one weeks.  In the fall the family succeeded in reaching New York and thence went to Cleveland, Ohio, where they spent five years.  While living there they met Huron Beebe, who had a farm near Racine, Wisconsin, and who induced them to settle in Racine County.  William Hansche successfully engaged in farming there until his demise, which occurred in 1873, when he was sixty-eight years old.  He was survived until 1874 by his wife.  They were the parents of three sons and one daughter.  William C. Hansche, the father of our subject, became the owner of land in Racine County and gained recognition as one of the most practical and efficient agriculturists of his locality.  His political allegiance was given to the Republican party.  He was well known and his demise, which occurred in 1893, was deeply regretted.  In 1860 he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Heck, a daughter of Philip Heck, and five children were born to them, namely; William F;  Fred;  Louis,  Katie, who married Ernest Scheckler; and Sophia, the wife of Augustus J. Piper.
William F. Hansche received a good education, attending school until was eighteen years of age, when he turned his entire attention to assisting his father with the farm work, being so engaged for eight years.  When twenty-six years old he purchased sixty-five acres of land on Section 5, Somers Township, and has since increased his holdings until his farm now comprises one hundred acres, all of which is under cultivation.  He has made all of the excellent improvements on the place and has taken great pride in making his farm one of the best developed in his Township.  He uses up-to-date methods in his work and gains a good income from his land.
In May, 1890, Mr. Hansche was united in marriage to Miss Jane Piper, and they have two children;  Harvey, who married Etna Halter, a daughter of Henry Halter, of Mount Pleasant; and Lucille, who is at home.
Mr. Hansche supports the Republican part at national elections but at other times votes independently.  He is a member of the Woodmen camp at Somers, and in religious faith is a Methodist.  He has thoroughly identified his interests with those of his community and can be depended upon to advance the public good in any possible.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Racine and Kenosha Counties.  Lake City Publishing Co.  Chicago.  1892.  Additional Source:  City and County of Kenosha, Wisconsin, A Record of Settlement, Vol. II)

Partial 1908 Map of Somers Township
Section 5, W.F. Hansche parcel

Harvey W. Hansche
Route 3 Box 128
Age 77.  Passed away unexpectedly May 17, 1967 in St. Luke's Hospital.  Mr. Hansche was born in Kenosha Count on Sept 8, 1889 and had been a lifelong resident.  he was a farmer all of his life.  Mr. Hansche attended the Bethany Methodist Church.  Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Virginia Young of Milwaukee and Mrs. Wendell (Betty) Hall of St. Louis, Mo.; two grandchildren; one sister, Mrs. Lucille Barr, living on the South Lakeshore Road.  His wife, Esther, preceded him in death on Nov. 28, 1965 and a son was killed in service during World War II.  West Lawn Memorial Park, Racine. 
(Source:  Racine Journal May 18, 1967)

Berryville Hansche Relatives
John Scheckler (born 1836 in Germany and settled  in Mt. Pleasant, Racine County) married Elizabeth Hansche (daughter of Ernest and Kathrina Hansche) in 1859.  John and Elizabeth had seven children:  Ernest, Fred, Elizabeth, John, Minnie, William and George.  George married Grace Dearsley, daughter of William Dearsley of Berryville.
Frederick J. Hansche (born October 1837) arrived about 1865 and married Fredricka Tigges before leaving Germany.  They had 6 children
  • George, Polk City, Wisconsin
  • Minnie married A.J. Scheckler
  • Alfred J. married Jennie Bose, daughter of William F. and Nellie Braid (Breaid) Bose
  • Samuel H. married Emma Wensing
  • Emma, deceased

Rudoph Hansche (born about 1814 in Germany) arrived in 1841 and married in 1859 Miss Anna Seorgel.  The had 9 children:
  • Sophia married Norbert Grabher
  • Eliza married William Piper
  • George married Lucy Olle
  • Fred William married Theresa Grobher
  • Katherine married Anton Lund
  • William J. married Etta Bradley
  • Clara married Carl Scheckler
  • Lottie
  • Ernest married Marie Jorgensen
Almer William Hansche, son of William J. and Etta Bradley

(Source:  DorisMayesBennett shared originally to MyHartland @

Almer Hansche, age 63, passed away March 5 in St. Luke's Hospital in Racine.  Mr. Hansche was born in Racine on Sept 14, 1892.  Surviving are his wife, Grace; two daughters, Miss June Hansche and Mrs. Doris Hansche Rhodes; mother, Mrs. William Hansche, one sister, Mrs. Alice Mortensen, all of Racine.  Mound Cemetery.  Date of death March 5, 1956.
(Source:  Racine Journal, March 6, 1956)

Hansche and Harcus

News article:  Mrs. and Mrs. Samuel F. Harcus, Town of Somers
(Source:  DianesConnection originally shared on

Grace and Sam ran this little gas station / grocery on Sheridan Road. In 2008 the little building is still there, but it is now part of a house that someone is living in, surrounded by many other homes. (Left to Right) Grace, unknown, Sam
(Source:  DianesConnection originally shared on

Samuel and Grace Harcus with children
left to right:  Leslie Harcus, Mrs. Grace Harcus Hansche, Ellsworth Harcus
(Source:  DianesConnection originally shared on

Mrs. Harcus and Grace Harcus Hansche, Somers Township, Kenosha County
(Source:  Original photo from the collection Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson who took piano lesson from Grace Hansche in the 1960's.  Grace Hansche and Jackie's grandmother, Vernetta Klapproth, were friends and neighbors.)

Jacob Rudolph Hansche
Jacob Rudolph Hansche was born October 13, 1841.  Immigration date from passport is June 1868. His wife's name was Rika.  NOTE:  The Naturalization application of Jacob Hansche shows two witnesses:  Peter J. Meyers and Fred Hansche.  Jacob and Rika's children: Kate, Fred, August, Edward Henry and Louise.

Edward Henry Hansche married Anna. They had one son, Henry Edward, born about 1913.
    Anna Hansche and "Jr." who is Daniel Klapproth, Jr., neighbors of the Hansche's
    (Source:  Original photo courtesy of Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  Copyright February 2012.  All Rights Reserved.)
    Sherwood Klapproth, Daniel Klapproth, Jr. and Henry Hansche taken at the Hansche Farm looking east.
    (Source: Original photo courtesy of Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved. Klapproth family were neighbors of the Ed Hansche family)

Edward and Anna Hansche wedding photo
(Source:  Original photo courtesy of Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  Copyright February 2012.  All Rights Reserved.  Klapproth family were neighbors of the Ed Hansche family)

Henry Hansche
Edward and Anna Hansche had one son, Henry Edward, born about 1913.

Partial 1927 Map of Somers Township