Monday, November 26, 2012


Partial 1908 Map of Somers Township, Kenosha County
Section 17, H. Bowers 100 acres.
Hiram Bowers
Hiram Bowers was born on September 28, 1860 at Sylvania, Racine County, and is the son of Isaac Bowers and Sarah Ann Lee, born in Lancashire, England.
He married Sarah Jennie Naylor, daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Henderson) Naylor, on April 8, 1885 and farmed in Somers Township, Kenosha County.
Hiram and Sarah had three children.  Sarah died in childbirth with the third child on August 15, 1907.  A son, Hiram Kenneth died September 1907.  Two girls, Erma (Mrs. George Leet) and Marcy (Mrs. Frank Lichter).  Hiram died July 1, 1943 and is buried in Mound Cemetery with his wife Sarah.
(Source:  Sylvania Cemetery, Yorkville, Racine County, Mary Ann Culshaw Falk and the Sylvania Cemetery Board of Trustees, copyright 1991)

Sarah Naylor Bowers Obituary (wife of Hiram Bowers, son of Isaac Bowers)
"Mrs. Bowers was born in the Town of Paris, Kenosha County, forty-three years ago, and came to Somers when a child, where she has resided most of her life, esteemed and beloved by all who knew her.  She was kindhearted, generous, ever and always ready and willing to render assistance where it was needed.
She was a woman of joyous and sunshiny nature, diffusing her own happy spirit over those with whom she came in contact and few people had more sincere and devoted friends than she.  A sincere Christian, a loving daughter and friend, a devoted wife, a good mother.
She was united in marriage to Hiram Bowers, twenty-three years ago, who with two daughters, Misses Erma and Marcia Bowers, and an infant baby son, a mother, three brothers, William Naylor, Bloomington, Ill., George Naylor, St. Paul, Minn., Joseph Naylor, San Francisco, California; and two sisters, Miss Emma Naylor of Racine and Mrs. R. Neff, Gray's Lake, Ill. survive her.
The funeral services were held from her late home Saturday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Williams, assisted by Rev. Gosling.  The  musical services were rendered by a trio, consisting of Mr. J.G. Mitchell of Evanston, Ill.; Mrs. L.L. Owen, Burlington and Mrs. Buchan, Union Grove.
The casket was embowered in flowers the testimonials of loving friends, among them a handsome floral design from the Somers Camp Modern Woodmen of America, attesting the regard with which the deceased was held by that society.  A large procession of sympathizing friends followed the remains to their last resting place in Mound Cemetery, Racine.
(Source:  Racine Journal August 21, 1907)

Leet and Bowers Marriage
On Thursday, April 4, 1912, Miss Erma L. Bowers, oldest daughter of Mr. Hiram Bowers, was quietly united in marriage to Mr. George P. Leet, son of Mr. and Mrs. George F. Leet.
Rev. Bigler of the First Presbyterian Church of Racine officiated. After the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Leet departed for a brief wedding trip south. The bride is one of our most popular and accomplished young ladies. The groom is one of Somers' most enterprising young men, a young man of force and sterling worth. Few young people launch into the world under more favorable currents and a host of friends are please to extend congratulations upon their happy union.
(Source: Racine Journal, April 16, 1912)

Lichter and Bowers Marriage
On Tuesday morning at 7 o'clock the marriage of Miss Marcia Bowers to Frank Lichter was celebrated at St. George's Church in Kenosha. Rev. Father Nickel, pastor of the church, officiated in the presence of a few close friends of the contracting parties. Miss Madeline Lichter was bridesmaid and Nicholas Lichter served as best man. The bride is the younger daughter of Hiram Bowers and is an accomplished young woman. The groom is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. George Lichter, one of Somers most popular young men. After a short wedding trip to Chicago, the young couple went to housekeeping on the farm west of the village. Congratulations and best of wishes are extended by a host of friends.
(Source: Racine Journal, Jan. 18, 1915)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kenosha Country Club

Kenosha Club Buys Golf Source Site
Purchased by Southport Organization

One of the finest sites for a golf course in the state of Wisconsin has been purchased by the Kenosha County club through the A.F. Stahl Agency of Kenosha, situated near the intersection of the Berryville Road with Sheridan Road between Racine and Kenosha.
The purchase of the Kenosha County Club includes 175 acres of land and it is the intention of the club to erect on this land a magnificent clubhouse. The Lingies, Linstroth, and Benson farms make up the parcel of 175 acres, and the consideration, although not made public, should be in the neighborhood of $30,000.00.
The situation of this land is nearly ideal for a country club. All roads approaching the place are improved, and the main road is a cement highway. The interurban railway passes right at hand. Should there ever be a movement to unit Racine and Kenosha golfers, this club is as easily accessible to Racine as to Kenosha.
The Kenosha County club will continue in its present quarters for some time, but an effort will be made to get the new clubhouse and golf links ready for use in 1921.
(Source:  Racine Journal Times, Feb. 27, 1920)

New Golf Course Planned in Kenosha
Contracts for the construction of the new golf course of the Kenosha Country Club have been let and the work of the construction is to start on March 15. The contract provides for the completion of the course by October 15. It is expected that close to $60,000. will be expended in the construction of the course and it is planned as one of the finest golf courses to be found in the middle west, members, say.
The actual work of building the bunkers and the sand pits and laying out the greens is to be started on April 1. The seeding down of the new course will be done in August and it is expected that the course will be ready for play in May or June of 1922.
Plans are now being made for the erection of a clubhouse, to cost $50,000, it is estimated. The plans in clued provision for dining rooms, a large dance hall, and locker rooms.
(Source:  Racine Journal Times, March 2, 1921)

Harvest Party at Kenosha Country Club on Saturday
First Annual County Fair to be Inaugurated As Theme of Season’s Last Party
The days back when the County Fair was the one big event of the year which was looked forward to and planned for during the four seasons, will be revived at the Kenosha Country Club next Saturday evening.
The Club members are to have a real fair, their first annual, for the entertainment committee in the zest of planning for the event feels that even as the old-timers, the Club will clamor for a similar fete each year.
The County Fair will be a feature of the annual Harvest Home dinner dance, which each year caps activities at the Club, and the entire Clubhouse will be utilized for the exhibits of bumper crops, prize “preserves” and the other excellent entries of the Fair.
Suitable exhibits have been arranged for all the members, and they will be grouped about the tables, and in other conspicuous places with the name of the exhibitors in plain view.  And like all County Fairs, there is to be a “Midway” where ballyhooers will announce special entertainment for the farmers and farmerettes “coming to town.”
To carry out the spirit of the party still father, the entertainment committee has requested all members come in rural costumes.  The matter of costumes will also revive an old custom in vogue at Harvest Home parties a number of years ago, but which fell into the discard the past few seasons.
More than two hundred and fifty reservations have already been made for the vent, and only a few more can be accepted.  None will be taken after Friday morning.
(Source:  Kenosha Evening News, September 11, 1929)

 William Still
William Still, 72, for many years the professional golf instructor in the early history of the Kenosha County Club and known as “The Father of Kenosha Golfing” died at his home near Jacksonville, Florida.
(Source:  Racine Journal Times, October 7, 1939)

Directors Elected 1910 (Club in Kenosha)
"The annual meeting of the Kenosha Country Club was held at the clubhouse on Monday evening and the annual reports of the officers showed that the season now drawing to a close had been one of the most successful in the history of the club.  Many new members have been added to the lists during the year and the greatest interest has been taken in the club events.  The report of the treasurer of the club showed that there was a deficit of about $800 for the season but this total deficit was made up by popular subscription before the close of the meeting.  The deficit was largely due to losses incurred through the operation of the dining room at the club and it is not an unexpected deficit.  members of the club realize that it is impossible to serve meals such as are served at the club with a profit.
Considerable work has been done in adding to the club's property this year and all of these improvements are paid for.
At the annual election of directors, Charles W. Allen, Charles Chester Allen, and Chester D. Barnes were elected to succeed themselves as members of the Board of Directors.
While there are not more big tournaments scheduled for the season the links will be kept open until late in October.  The recent rains have placed the greens and fair green in excellent condition and it is certain that the enthusiastic Kenosha golfers will keep the ball rolling until driven off the field by the early snows of winter.  The election of officers for the new year will not take place until the regular winter meeting of the Board of Directions to be held next February."
(Source:  The Telegraph Courier September 8, 1910)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Maxwell, Hon. Walter S.

W.S. Maxwell
(Source:  Portrait and Biographical Album, Racine and Kenosha  Counties, Lake City Publishing Co., 1892, Chicago)

Hon. Walter S. Maxwell, who resides on Section 34, Somers Township, is  not only one of the well-known citizens of Kenosha County, but has also a wide acquaintance throughout the State, his official career having brought him in contact with many of the most prominent men of Wisconsin.  He now devotes his time and attention to agricultural pursuits and to business connected with the operation of a stone quarry in Superior, Wisconsin, owned by the Arcadian Brown Stone Company, of which he is manager and treasurer.  Mr. Maxwell was born in Washington County, New York, September 12, 1836, and his father, Alexander Maxwell, also claimed that county as his birthplace.  He was born January 24, 1809.  In his native county he married Jane Alexander, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, who when a maiden of ten summers came to this country with her father, Robert Alexander, who was one of the early settlers and substantial farmers of Washington County, New York.
On the paternal side, our subject is also of Scotch descent.  His grandfather, Walter Maxwell, was born in Scotland, and on crossing the Atlantic took up his residence in Washington County, New York, which was then an almost unbroken wilderness.  His son Daniel served as a soldier in the War of 1812.  The father, Alexander Maxwell, resided upon the old family homestead after his marriage and purchasing the interest of the other heirs, succeeded to the ownership of that estate.
For long he made it his home and upon it reared his family, but in 1890, he sold out and, laying aside all business cares,  removed to Coila, a little village six miles from the old farm, where he and his estimable wife are now living retired.  They are highly respected people and the esteem of the entire community is accorded them.  In their family were six sons and four daughters who grew to manhood and womanhood and with one exception all are living - Mary is the wife of Hon. Robert Graham, ex-State Superintendent of schools, residing in Oshkosh, Wis.; Elizabeth is the wife of William Eldridge of Cambridge, New York; Walter S. is the next younger; Hon. Robert A. of Batavia, New York, is a prominent politician and the only member of the family who advocates Democracy.  He was one of the State Commissioners of New York and also served as State Treasurer being the only one elected on the Democratic ticket; Catherine C., wife of J.H. Alexander, who is a resident of Huron, South Dak.  He is a merchant by occupation; William J. is a real-estate dealer of Omaha, Neb; Jennie is the wife of Horton Barber of Greenwich, New York; George H. is living in Ames, Iowa; Alexander grew to manhood and came to Kenosha County, where his death occurred; Martin B., a resident of Washington County, has been a most successful teacher.
We now take up the personal history of our subject who in his native county spent the days of his boyhood and youth upon his father's farm.  In the common schools and the State Normal he acquired his education, and after completing his studies engaged in teaching for a few years.  Believing the West furnished better opportunities for young men, he came to Wisconsin in 1860, locating in Kenosha County.  He bought a half section of fine prairie land, which has since been his home, and although then unimproved, he has made it one of the most valuable and desirable farms in the county.  It is situated three miles west of Kenosha and with all its improvements, accessories and conveniences it is a model farm.
Mr. Maxwell has been three times married.  In Easton, New York, he wedded Miss Anna A. Robinson, a native of the Empire State, who died in Kenosha county, leaving one son, Elmer A., who is now operating the home farm.  He wedded Anna A. Greenbaum, who was born in Connecticut, and survived her marriage only two years.  The present Mrs. Maxwell was in her maidenhood Miss Cornelia McLean.  She was born in Washington County, New York, is a daughter of John C. McLean of Greenwich, New York, and their marriage was celebrated in 1880.
In 1860, Mr. Maxwell proudly cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln and at each Presidential election since that time has supported the candidates of the Republican Party.  He takes great interest in the triumph of its principles and has been frequently honored with positions of public trust.  For ten consecutive years he served as Supervisor of the Town Board, was elected its Chairman and for one year was Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors.  In 1877, he was elected to the State Legislature as the representative from his district and so well did he fill the office that he was re-elected in 1881, and again in 1883.    He served as Chairman of the Educational Committee, and upon a number of other important committees.  When his term as Representative had expired he was elected State Senator in 1884, serving four years with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents.  He was again on several important committees and was Chairman of the Agricultural Committee.  Mr. Maxwell has ever endeavored to use his influence and power for the advancement of those interests which will bring the best good to the greatest number.  His public life is above reproach and he proved himself to be an honorable and trusted official.
Purchasing an interest in the Arcadian Brown Stone company of Superior, Wis., he was made its manager and Treasurer serving as such for the past four years.  The quarry turns out a very superior quality of brown sand stone for building purposes and the company is now doing a good business, working about thirty men.  Mr. Maxwell gives that interest his attention during the summer months and with the snows of winter returns to his home in Kenosha County.  He and his estimable wife are members of the Congregational Church of Kenosha and in social circles rank high.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Album, Racine and Kenosha Counties, Lake City Publishing Co., 1892, Chicago)

Partial 1861 Map of Somers Township, Kenosha County
Section 34, W.S. Maxwell parcels - two at 160 acres (also extends south into Illinois)
Click on image for larger view.

Runals, Frank A. and Eli

Eli G. Runals
(Photo Courtesy:  Kenosha County Historical Society, Inc.)

Runals House
(Photo Courtesy: Kenosha County Historical Society, Inc.)

Runals House (hotel located on corner of Main Street and Wisconsin Street)
(Photo Courtesy: Kenosha County Historical Society, Inc.)

(Source:  Minnie Ozanne "My Memories"

Mrs. Eli G. Runals
(Photo Courtesy: Kenosha County Historical Society, Inc.)

Frank A. Runals

"Frank A. Runals well deserves representation in this volume as he is one of the leading citizens of Somers Township, Kenosha  County, and a representative of a family which has been prominently connected with the history of Southeastern Wisconsin since an early day.
He now resides on Section 25, where he owns a desirable property.  He was born in the City of Kenosha, March 7, 1853, and is the son of Eli G. Runals, who was born in New York in 1814.  When a small lad his father was left an orphan and thus thrown upon his own resources.  He learned the hatter's trade and with an uncle carried on a successful business in that line in the Empire State for a few years.
The year 1840 witnessed his arrival in Southport, Wisconsin here he soon engaged in business.  He was a wide-awake business man, public spirited and progressive and did much for the city.  He erected a number of business houses, including a hotel known as the Runals House, which was located where the Grant House now stands, and there engaged in the hotel business for a few years.  With other public enterprises he was connected.  He was one of the original members and was elected President of the Kenosha County Bank, one of the leading moneyed institutions of the county.
In 1857 he purchased the farm on which our subject now resides and greatly improved the place.  He set out an extensive orchard, containing excellent varieties of all kinds of fruit, and for four years successfully engaged in agriculture, when in 1864 he returned to the City.  About seven years later he again removed to his farm and spent his remaining days.
In 1864 Mr. Runals became engaged in the oil business at Pitt Hole City, Pa., which he carried on successfully for four years and then became a member of a wholesale hardware store in New York City, with which he was connected for three years.  He also owned and dealt largely in lands in Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska and other Western States.  He met with some reverses but was generally successful, and whether he made or lost in his ventures, went ahead just the same.  Reverses never discouraged him but rather stimulated him to renewed and greater effort.  In early life Mr. Runals was a Democrat but on the breaking out of the late war became a Republican.  A strong advocate of temperance principles, he afterwards identified himself with the Prohibition party but was never a politician in the sense of office-seeking.  Fair and honest in all his dealings, he won the confidence and respect of those with whom he came in contact and his death, which occurred November 7, 1890, was deeply mourned by many friends.
Mrs. Runals still survives her husband and is now living in Chicago.  In her maidenhood she was Miss Helen Charill Murray, a daughter of Eli Murray, and in her native State, New York, she was educated and grew to womanhood.  Frank A. Runals is their only son and the second of three children.  Ida Belle, the older sister, after acquiring a liberal education became the wife of Charles Weyl, of Chicago, and died in 1871.  The younger sister, Lily, was educated in Kenosha and Cleveland, Ohio, and possesses musical talent of a high order obtained at New York and Chicago.  The takes an active interest in the work of temperance.
Our subject, after attending the schools of Kenosha pursued his studies in Racine College and in the Ypsilanti Normal School.  Returning to his father's farm he devoted his time and attention to stock raising and agricultural pursuits, making this occupation his life work.
As a companion of life's journal he chose Miss Carrie Warburton Stryker, their union being celebrated in Kenosha, October 27, 1881.  A native of that city, the lady was there reared and educated.  She is the daughter of the late James M. Stryker, one of the most enterprising and prominent business men of Kenosha in its early days.  For many years he was connected with its leading interests; in later years being engaged in business in Chicago, where he died in 1887.  His wife still survives him and resides in Chicago.  Her maiden name was Ellen M. Brooks, daughter of Hon. John A. Brooks, of Michigan.
Mr. and Mrs. Runals began their domestic life upon the old homestead where they have since resided and their union has been blessed with four children - Frank A., Ida Belle, Ellen Eugenie Stryker and Helen Charill.
In politics Mr. Runals is a Republican on questions of national importance, but in local elections supports the men whom he thinks will best fill the office.  He has ever been an advocate of temperance principles.  Educational, moral and social interests find in him a friend, and among the best citizens of Kenosha County should be numbered Frank A. Runals, whose sterling worth well entitled him to representation in this volume."
(Source:  Portrait and Biographical Album of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Lake City Publishing Co., 1892, Chicago)

Partial 1861  Map of Somers Township
Section 25
160 E.G. Runals parcel