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Kinney, Thomas P. / Irish settlers of Fitchburg, Wisconsin, 1840-1860

Fox settlement,   pp. 42-47 PDF (6.3 MB)

Page 45

In 1843, William and Eleanor Fox were on the first wagon train of Irish to reach Fitchburg. The couple resided with
their son George at the Fox Settlement.
McWilliams, arrived after the Foxes and Keenans and worked
for five years on area farms doing such labor as splitting rails
for fences while he set up his own farm. He started an apple
orchard in 1846 on his homestead southwest of the intersection
of County MM and Schneider Road, and it became one of the
best orchards in the area. McWilliams was the first constable
and the first tax collector for Fitchburg in 1847.101
The Irish settlement area spread north from McWilliams'
farm along County MM. The farm to the northwest of the
intersection with Schneider Road was owned by the Irish
Gielland family. The property was later bought by Patrick
Sheil who had been born in Ireland after the Famine, and left
County Wicklow for America in 1881. Patrick and Rosanna
Sheil moved onto the farm in the mid-1880's.102
Farther north and a half-mile to the west on Byrne Road
was the Kivlin farm, which was purchased in 1862 from a
Byrne family. Michael Kivlin and Anna Killerlain were married
in 1854 in their native County Sligo, Ireland, where Michael
was a farmer and fisherman. They immigrated to America that
same year and Michael worked at slate and marble quarries
while the young family resided in Rutland, Vermont. The
Kivlins moved to Fitchburg, where they began farming. Later
in the century, their son John bought a farm in nearby Rutland
and purchased sheep from A. 0. Fox's Woodside Stock Farm.
John imported Shropshire, Dorset, and Cheviot sheep from
England, and he bred Shorthorn cattle, Poland China and
Chester White hogs, and Belgian horses.103 Other leading
stock farms in the area in the late 1800's included John

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