|TOWN OF METOMEN
Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin
A collection of printed biographies of early residents of Metomen. Many of these are taken from popular histories such as The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin (Western Historical Company, Chicago: 1880) which were based on personal communications and may not be entirely reliable. Viewers are cautioned, therefore, to verify the information presented.
JONATHAN MCASSEY, farmer, Sec. 6; P. 0. Ripon, Box 346; he was born in County Carlow, Ireland, in the year 1824 he came to America in spring of 1846, and came to Metomen in fall of same year. He was married, in 1849, to Miss Elizabeth Smith, of his native place; they have had eight children--Mary A., Robert, dead; Deborah, dead; Sarah, George, Louise A., Albert, and Rachel Alice, dead. After living several years in Princeton, Green Lake Co., he bought his present farm in 1869; he carries on general farming and stock-raising; he has seventy-eight acres, nearly all tillable. Five children have attended school at Ripon, and all of them have taught school. Himself and family are Protestants, and were raised as Episcopalians; the two oldest are Congregationalists, the others are not connected with any church. They have a pleasant, hospitable home, and an abundance of farm buildings. Mr. McAssey is a man of considerable quiet originality; he has several brothers and a widowed sister in the neighborhood. He calls himself an Independent in politics, votes according to his best judgment, but is inclined to Democracy. He is a thrifty farmer and a good moral citizen. (The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880)
LYMAN MARSH, retired farmer, Brandon; was born April 26, 1809, in Clinton Co., N. Y.; his early life was spent on a farm in that county. He was married, in 1832, to Miss Polly Comstock, of his native town; has had six children--Julia, James M., Emily, William C., Ann F. and Susanah. He came to Fond du Lac Co. in 1849, but settled on Sec.16, Metomen Township, in 1851; took up a farm of eighty acres, and carried it on until 1875, when be sold the homestead and bought his present residence in Brandon. He owns two houses in the village; was a successful farmer, and is a good mechanic. Is a Democrat, but, in local elections, votes for the best man, regardless of politics; has been a Methodist more than half a century, and a Class-Leader about twenty-five years; is not now engaged in any occupation. Surrounded by children and friends, he is cheerfully bearing the burdens of threescore and ten, and is still quite vigorous and happy. (The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880)
H. G. MATHEWS, miller and farmer; Brandon; born in 1825 in New York, came with his parents in 1845 to township of Alto, Fond du Lac Co., Wis.; in 1860, he bought the farm which he now owns, situated on Sec. 21 in Metomen, it contains 220 acres of first-class land; he also owns the Brandon Flouring Mills, has five run of stone, and all the latest improved machinery, does custom work and also has good shipping trade. He was married in 1850 to Miss Olive Avery, of Wyoming Co., N. Y.; their children are Amos G., born 1852; Linus G., born 1856; Carrie, born 1862, died in 1864; his son, Amos Gates, is foreman in the Flouring Mill, and Linus G. is on the home farm. Mr. Mathews is a Republican, and a member of the Brandon Grange, No. 52; is not a church member, but contributes to all institutions designed to improve society; he is social and liberal minded; is a successful farmer and an enterprising business man. (The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880)
JOHN L. MOORE, general hardware merchant, Brandon; was born Sept. 18,1829, in Monroe Co., N. Y.; his father was a Methodist preacher; after his school days were past, he learned the trade of carpenter and joiner, which he worked at, more or less, till 1868. He was married, the 5th of March, 1851, to Miss Mary A. Randall, of Erie Co., Penn.; they had one son--Mark E., born 1853, and was married in 1878. Mrs. Moore died June 7, 1853. He came West in 1856, and located in the township of Metomen; for several years he worked mainly at his trade; some seasons he engaged in the sale of stone pumps, and about two years was in hotel life at Waupun, from 1869 to 1872, be was in a restaurant in Brandon; then for seven years he sold groceries and provisions; in January, 1879, he started his present business as "Dealer in Hardware, Stoves, Tinware, Farm Tools, etc."; his is the leading establishment of the kind in Brandon. He was married April 3, 1873, to Miss Sephronia Stickney, of Monroe Co., N. Y.; she died April 26, 1878 ; the cause of her death was an organic stricture of the oesophagus. Mr. Moore owns a pleasant residence in Brandon, and also forty acres of tillable land in Pennsylvania; he has been a Justice of the Peace; is a member of Metomen Lodge, No. 107, and the Encampment, No.25; he is a supporter of the churches, but a member of none; is benevolent and liberal. He was a Democrat till 1864, but then he voted for Abraham Lincoln; he is a Conservative Independent, with Republican proclivities. (The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880)
F. NEWLAND, farmer; near Fairwater; was born in Ontario Co., N. Y., August, 1824; lived in Erie Co., ten years, and at 19 came West and lived three years in Milwaukee Co.; in March, 1846, he settled on Sec. 30 in Metomen Township, Fond du Lac Co., Wis.; P. 0. Fairwater; has 200 acres in the original farm, which is still the homestead; fully 150 acres are under cultivation, and about fifty are in timber lands. Was married, in July, 1854, to Miss E. Davitt, of Rensselaer Co., N. Y.; they have three children--Diana, born 1855; Alice M., born l858, and the son named True, born 1868; each of the daughters have attended several terms at Ripon College, at the present writing, February, 1880, they are at home. Mr. Newland is a Trustee of the Free-Will Baptist Church at Fairwater, his wife is also a member; due credit is given to Mrs. Newhall [sic] as a rare worker, not only in the house but on the farm, and as an efficient business woman. Mr. Newland is one of the earliest settlers in this township; is a prominent sheep-raiser; is a successful, hard-working farmer; is a temperance Republican, and a reliable citizen. (The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880)
CHARLES NORRIS (deceased) died Feb.16, 1879, aged 46 years; he had been resident of Metomen Township thirty-five years; he was a successful farmer and prominent stock-raiser, especially of Norman horses; for last years preceding his death, he had carried on a cheese factory, which was located on his farm. He was married in 1860 to Miss Clara Hazen, of Brandon; they had three children, two of whom are living--David C., born in 1861, and Emily Irene, in 1872; the other died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Norris were charter members of Brandon Grange, No. 52. He was a Republican. Mrs. Norris and her son David carry on the farm; she has been a resident of this county thirty-six years. The farm is on Sec. 26 and contains 130 acres; is in the suburbs of Brandon. (The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880)
THOMAS JEFFERSON NORRIS, a pioneer farmer, Sec. 35; P. 0. Brandon; he was born in September, 1808, in the town of Pembroke, Rockingham Co., N. H.; when 12 years of age, he, with his relatives, removed to Genesee Co., N. Y.; his main business has been farming, but, during several years, he also carried on blacksmithing. Was married, in September, 1830, to Miss Eunice Andrews, who was born in 1810 in Erie Co., N. Y.; they have had eight children, of whom six are living--David, born in 1831, died in 1846; Charles, born in 1834, married in 1860, died in 1879; Thomas J., born in 1836, married in 1861; Adeline J., born in 1840, married in 1871; George, born in 1843, married in 1866; Lydia A., born in 1845, married in 1866; H. G., born in 1848, married in 1871 ; Mary, born in 1851, married in 1877. In 1846, he, with his wife and six children, came West and took up 470 acres of land in Metomen Township, which he improved, and on which lie has continued to reside to present date. Their son David was killed by falling and being run over by the wagon when drawing their household goods from Milwaukee to the farm. Mr. Norris has been Supervisor and has held other local offices; is a Republican; has belonged to no secret society; is connected with the Methodist Church, but, because of the infirmities of age, is not a regular attendant. This couple are good specimens of the sturdy New England yeomanry, and are enjoying the fruits of honest industry. They will celebrate their golden wedding on the 12th of September, 1880. (The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880)
JOHN O'HARA, farmer, Sec. 24; P. 0. Brandon; he was born June 7, 1824, in the city of Quebec, Canada; his brother Charles was born in Canada June 1, 1828, and his brother Henry was born in Canada Nov. 18, 1831; John came to Illinois in 1845, and to Wisconsin in 1848, and took up 80 acres that year and built a log cabin; then his parents and brothers, Charles, Henry and William, came on, and together improved the land and bought additions thereto, making now a farm of 156 acres under good cultivation. The mother died in 1864, and the father in 1879; Charles is a carpenter and joiner, but makes his home with the other brothers; John is still unmarried, and so also is Charles; Henry was married, Dec. 26, 1862, to Miss Eliza Gallop, formerly of Canada; they have four children--John A., Mary A., Lydia E. and Ellen E.; John and Henry carry on the farm. Henry has been Side Supervisor. Each of the brothers is a Conservative Independent, with decided Democratic proclivities; all are contributors to churches, but none of them are church members; their parents were Catholics, but the sons are Free Thinkers or Liberalists. They are respected citizens. (The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880)
ALMON OSBORN, farmer, Sec.2 ;P.O.Ripon; born at Rival, Hancock Co., Me., June 24, 1813, son of Joseph and Mary Osborn; went with his parents to Ashtabula Co., Ohio, in 1815; to Geauga Co., a year later; to Seneca, Ohio, when 10 years of age; to La Porte, Ind., at the age of 18; removed to Waukesha Co., Wis., in March, 1835, where they lived several years; removed to Mineral Point for a year and then removed to Rock Co.; Mr. Osborn kept the Ball Tavern for two years, and carried on a farm for some time; came to Metomen, Sec. 2, in June, 1845, settling on land he still owns, and where he now resides; came to Ripon in November, 1872, and in March, 1879, began the sale of agricultural implements. He was the first Supervisor of the town of Metomen. He was married in Fulton, April, 1843, to Augusta Smith, who was born in New York State in April, 1820; she died Jan. 30, 1880; they have three children--Charles Henry, a farmer in Metomen; Frances, now Mrs. C. W. Foster, of Sauk Co., and Porter M. Mr. Osborn is a member of the Lodge of A., F. & A. M.. Mr. Osborn's father, Joseph Osborn, was born at Cape Ann, Mass., July 15, 1784, and died at Belleville, Dane Co., Wis. Feb. 5, 1859; Mary Moore Osborn, his mother, was born at Bangor, Me., Dec. 12, 1789, and died at Kingsbury, La Porte Co., Ind., September, 1869. (The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880)
PHILANDER K. PICKARD, farmer, Sec. 14; P. 0. Brandon; was born in Livingstone Co., N. Y., on May 24, 1841; in the fall of 1854, he, with his parents, came to Wisconsin and located on the farm which he now owns. It was previously known as the "Marsh farm." He and his father own adjoining farms. On the 4th of July, 1860, he was married to Miss Clementine R. Munn, of Metomen; they have two children--Jennie and Frank; the daughter is a student in Ripon College, while Frank still attends the "People's College," in his home district. Mr. Pickard himself was a student at Ripon College. His farm of 140 acres is nearly all under cultivation, and he also carries on his father's farm of 180 acres; they have commodious barns and good farm improvements; carries on general farming, in connection with stock-raising, particularly of sheep. lie was Side Supervisor two years, and in 1876, 1878 and 1879 was elected Chairman with regularly increasing majorities; he was one of the charter members of Brandon Lodge No. 144, of A. F. & A. M.; his wife is a member of the Congregational Church at Reed's Corners; she is credited as a worthy helpmeet, with bearing her share of life's burdens, and winning her proportion of life's successes. Mr. Pickard is a Republican "every time," and is actively interested in local and general politics. The disinterested historian records the verdict of Mr. Pickard's follow-citizens, "Genial, capable and popular." (The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880)
WILLIAM PICKARD, farmer, See. 15; P. 0. Metomen; was born on the 15th of May, 1816, in Otsego Co., N. Y.; he has been a farmer all his life. He was married, on the 27th of May, 1840, to Miss Emily Chamberlain; they came West in 1854 and settled on their present farm; they have two children--Philander K. and a daughter, now married. He is a Republican and a Methodist, his wife is a Baptist. Relieved of care and blessed with a competency, they are enjoying the calm pleasures of ripe and honored age. (The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880)
His will was remarkably clear and concise, and written in that elegant hand which, even after three-score years had passed, was the pride of the "Captain." The special cash legacies of the will amounted to about $6,000, and the remainder of his large property was divided ratably among his sisters and brother, or their heirs. The special legacies were, however, to all appearances, bestowed upon faithful servants or cherished friends--no one whom he loved being forgotten.
The document ends in rhyme--
Then follows the signature of William Plocker.
Then follow the signatures of C. P. Knapp, Leander Ferguson and William D. Ash. In one clause of the will is disclosed a bit of the tenderest romance, strongly characteristic of the fidelity and constancy of the man, which, as the party interested is now living in the county, will not be mentioned further. Suffice it to say it furnishes one of the reasons why he lived and died an old bachelor.
His collection of stereoscopic views number over five hundred, and covered the places most interesting to him in Europe and America. Many of them were very fine. The Nuremberg Bible, bequeathed in the will to the State Historical Society, is a book about 18x12 inches, and six inches in thickness. It is heavily bound in what appears to be thick, whitish hog-skin, and is in perfect condition, although printed in 1710. It is in good German, printed on thick, yellow paper which looks as if it might have been made of wheat straw and water--the straw not finely cut--as it undoubtedly was. The title-page is in glaring red ink, which has not faded, apparently, in the least, All the principal events are finely but quaintly illustrated by steel engravings. Many of the passages are greatly dissimilar from the corresponding ones in modern Bibles, the fault, probably, of translating into German. His scrap book is of absorbing interest. On the first page is a yellow leaf of paper on which is written in brown ink and in the "Captain's" clear hand, the following:
Everything he ever did is thus accurately noted down. His father paid his passage money for the trip here mentioned, but in order to gratify his desire for information, he worked before the mast as a common seaman. This "scrap-book"contains all the notes he ever gave and receipts for all the money expended by or for him. He must have been an honest man, or he would not have dared thus to preserve for the public the record of every act of his life! Among other receipts is one for board, washing, room-rent and fires at the Park Hotel, Madison, for $129.70 in full, and signed by M. H. Irish. The amount included all his expenditures while in Madison as Assemblyman from the First district. This was the only time the Captain ever was in the Legislature. On the middle pages of the book, which is a large one, are bills of various denominations of all the insolvent State banks, as well as counterfeit bills on those and other banks--each marked "fraud," "failed," or "counterfeit," as the case might be, with the date of issue or failure. Among these--and there are very many of them--is a counterfeit on the Wisconsin Fire and Marine Bank, of Milwaukee, dated July 4, 1847, and signed by Alexander Mitchell. It must have cost some time and money to collect even these bank bills. Further on may be found page after page of signatures. These comprise almost all the prominent men of the county and State--many of them marked, as is the signature of Gen. Halbert E. Paine, "a good friend of mine;" or "an honest man," or "good business man," as he might know the different men. He has also at least a thousand signatures of such persons as Jeff Davis, Mrs. L. H. Sigourney, Lincoln, John G. Saxe, Fillmore and the leading authors, statesmen and poets, beginning from the earliest colonial times. when or how he became possessed of them he left nothing to indicate. The signatures of the prominent county and State men were evidently clipped from business or other letters received during the last twenty-five years. Further on in this scrap-book, appear to be all the letters he had ever received, many of them fifty years old and written in various languages. also all the receipted bills of expenses in his European travels. These bills are all modest.
The manuscript book of "Anecdotes and Comicalities," mentioned in his will, is one of the most interesting in the whole collection. All the incidents, stories, jokes, anecdotes and peculiarities of all he ever knew, are recorded in his own hand in the quaintest, drollest manner imaginable. Sometimes an anecdote is written in the form of a snake, or like a triangle, or a house, parallelogram, crescent, full circle, star or whatever at the time seemed to strike his fancy. Every letter and mark of punctuation is perfect throughout. Probably no other book was ever written like it in the world. It is quaint, interesting and valuable. He had also a large number of Chinese and Pacific Island curiosities, some of them not to be duplicated in any antiquarian in the country. He saved, arranged systematically, and properly marked, everything coming into his possession. All his newspaper, secret society and other receipt papers were arranged in groups, and all the papers received from the federal Government, and so on, in other groups.
The Fort Wilkins Agate, one of the greatest newspaper curiosities extant, was found carefully preserved. The first copy is dated July 4, 1846. It is a folio, and all printed with a quill pen. It is as fine as ordinary bourgeois type. The name of the editor and printer could not be learned, but from the peculiar expressions it may be presumed to be the work of the Captain. He had also carefully preserved his first commission as Postmaster of Fairwater, which is signed by Cave Johnson as Postmaster General, and dated July 1, 1848. His collection of postage and revenue stamps was also large and valuable. (The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880)
|Last updated 1/1/99||This site represents an ongoing project to document the history of the town of Metomen If you have information to share, please contact Bob Schuster by email at email@example.com or at 6020 Kristi Circle, Monona, Wisconsin 53716, (608) 221-1421.|