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Somerset, Wisconsin: 125 pioneer families and Canadian connection: 125th year

[From book "History of northern Wisconsin" printed in 1881 by Western Historical Company of Chicago],   pp. 5-10 PDF (4.1 MB)

Page 7

years. His wife was Serepta Stickney, born in Franklin Co., N.
Y. They have one son-Andrew P., born in Connecticut; he is
engaged in general mercantile business at Hammond.
The first town meeting to organize the town was held
at the house of Thomas J. Chappel in 1856, and organized
by the election of T. J. Chappel, Chairman, and Thomas
Parnell and Jerrie Revord, Supervisors; Thompson Nelson,
Town Clerk; James G. Nelson, Town Treasurer. The
second town meeting was held at the store of Gen. Harriman.
At that time, the total assessment of personal property was
$1,700. There being no law book in the town, they were
obliged to send to Hudson for one with which they organ-
ized the meeting.
The first school was held in the house of Mr. Andett,
and Miss Francis King was the first teacher. The first
sermon was preached at the house of Joseph Parent by Rev.
Mr. Fisher. The first church was built in 1856, near the
home of James Parnell, and Rev. Napoleon McNault its
first Pastor. The first marriage was Francis Parent to
Miss Margaret Parent, by Rev. Mr. Fisher. The present
church was built in Somerset Village in 1875. The first
settler in the town of Somerset was Joseph Parent, who
came in 1850. This old pioneer located on the spot where
he now lives; his only neighbors were Indians, wolves and
catamounts. The first blacksmith-shop in the town was
built by Frank H. Montbriand, who now works in it. The
first store was built by Gen. Samuel Harriman, but his
business demanded a larger one, and he built his present
large and convenient one, in which everything a farmer or
any one else can find all they need.
FRANK A. AMES, Somerset, was born in Orland, Hancock
Co., Mo., July 6, 1850 ; spent most of his time on the sea in the
summer on the Grand Banks fishing, and in the winter lumber-
ing on the Union River, until he came to Wisconsin, in the spring
of 1872. While on his way home from his fishing one season he
narrowly escaped a shipwreck. He married Miss Mary E. Ben-
ner, of Ellsworth, Me., Sept. 13, 1872. They have three chil-
dren-Jennie C., Willie F. and Mary.
HENRY BERGESON, Somerset, was born in Lanorare,
Canada, April 8, 1828, where he remained until sixteen years, of
age, farming; went to Whitehall and remained for two years,
thence to New York City; returned to -Canada and worked at
lumbering for sixteen years, then to Granite Falls, N. H., where
he remained for eight months; returned to Canada and worked
in the copper mines six months; came to Somerset in 1866, where
he has remained since. He was married, in 1860, to Julia Har-
vieux. They have five children-William, August, Odile, Henry
and Joseph.
AUGUSTINE BELISLE, Somerset, was born in Quebec;
he was engaged on a farm and in sailing on the St. Lawrence
River three years; came to Somerset in June, 1855 ; worked on
Apple River and in the woods, and in a few years bought a farm
of 300 acres; has sold 60 acres ; was elected Supervisor; was also
Road Surveyor for a year. He was married in July, 1859, to
Miss Elenor Germain. They have nine children-Alexander,
Josephine, Elliot, Alvena, Eugene, Louise, Augustine, Ziphira
and Silista.
ISAAC BURTON, Somerset, was born in Russia in 1815. He
carried on a dairy of 102 cows until his mother died; lived on the
line between Russia and Prussia and traded in merchandise of dif-
ferent kinds across the line, and after many bold and daring advent-
ures he moved to America, leaving his family behind, landing in
New York in 1850. He went to Utica, where he remained for
about eight years, selling goods; moved from there to Chicago
and engaged in selling goods for about nine years ; from there to
Peoria, Ill., remaining there about four years engaged in mer-
chandising, and from that point to Somerset. He located a farm
of over 360 acres, where he now is with his family. He was
married, in 1842, to Miss Sallie Jacobs. They have eight chil-
dren living-Barbara, Louie, Samuel, Anna, Elizabeth, Jacob,
Barney and Mitchell.
JOHN F. COMBACKER, Somerset, was born in Germany
Dec. 4, 1"825 ; came to America in 1846; enlisted in 1846 in
Co. A, U. S. A. (Mexican war); was in the battles of Churubus,'o,
Chapultepec and Contreras; served for two years, when he con-
traced a disease from which he has not fully recovered ; went to
Philadelphia for nine months, then to New York, then to Boston,
for seven years, manufacturing cigars and tobacco; then to Somer-
set, in 1855, and settled upon the land he now occupies; was
elected Assessor in 1869, for two years, and in 1861, eleeted
Town Clerk, which office he has held up to the present time. In
1878, was elected County Surveyor and re-elected in 1880  was
also Chairman of the Town Board in 1878. He was married in
1851, to Mariah A. Fesline, of Boston. They have four chil-
dren-Josephine, Henry E., Albert and Emma.
P. B. CRE PEAU, Somerset, was born in Montreal, Canada, May
2, 1838; he conducted a hotel for about seven years in'that city;
came to Somerset in 1866, and bought a farm; moved to Chicago,
keeping the Montreal House for ten years; left Chicago in 1876,
after losing all he had by the great fire, and located in Stillwater,
Minn., where he remained for four years, and during that time
bought a fine farm in Somerset, and opened a livery stable and a
saloon. In 1881 he was elected Justice of the Peace for two
years. Was married to Miss Matilda Bonaventure, of Montreal, on
June 30, 1863. They have one child, Matilda Crepeau.
ALEXANDER GORDON, Somerset, was born in Nova
Scotia, Aug, 11, 1825; moved to Boston and spent eight years;
worked as ship carpenter for twelve years, and went to New Or-
leans on the ship Levant, thence to Havana and other ports;
moved to Milwaukee in 1857, working in a ship-yard, and came
to Somerset in the fall of 1857, where he now has 360 acres;
when he came, there was but one house between him and Still-
water, a distance of nine miles, with no improvements excepting 4
acres of breaking. In the spring of 1859, was elected Chairman
of the Board of Supervisors, which office he held for about sit
years; was also Commissioner to lay out the road through the
Big Woods in Menomonee, and a county road, completing it in
1861. Has been largely connected with the political history of
the town; was elected Chairman of the Town Board, and *has
been Town Treasurer several years at different times; is now on
the Board of County Equalization appointed by the Chairman of
the County Board. Was married in 1854, to Miss Harriett K.
Evens; they have seven children-James A., Frederick A., Win-
field S., M. M. P. Gordon, Harry K., Lewis T. and Otis H.
CAPT. EDWARD GRANT is a native of North Carolina,
in 1827; removed from that State in 1844, and came to St.
Croix County in 1851 ; was in active service during the war, and
also employed in bridge-building and repairing in the South at
that time; after an eventful life a& a soldier, he returned home
and remained about one year ; then returned to a former occupa-.
tion, and assumed command of the steamer Dispatch on the Mis-
sissippi; when he first began work on the river, all logs and
lumber were floated ; the first steamer for towing was put on in
1862, by Mr. Bradley, of Osceola; Capt. Grant retains his own
license as Captain of river craft; for two years past, he has had
the supervision of Durant, Wheeler & Co.'s lumber shipping in
Stillwater, Minn.; he handled 73,000,000 feet of logs and lumber
last year; he also owns a farm of 240 acres, and a fine home in
Somerset. Capt. Grant was married in 1848 to Miss Elanor
Rock, of Michigan ; they have four children-Edward W., Alfred,
Josephene and Henry A. The Captain has been School Tress-

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