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Historic places and people in the land of milk and honey: Wisconsin's treasure: a tribute to our past, a celebration of the present and our commitment to continue the good life

[White River Valley Farm],   p. 98 PDF (396.3 KB)

Page 98

As recent owners of White River Valley
Farm, located at 6275 Sheridan Springs
Road, Town of Lyons, Walworth County,
one of the joys has been to learn the histo-
ry of the farm from the descendants of the
original owners who have shared with us
photos, memories and love of the place.
The first owner was Hermann Schmidt (later
Smith). Born in 1861, he grew up in the Lyons
area and eventually developed a thresh-
ing as well as a grain mill business in Lyons.
He married Theresa Schneider in 1889. They
settled on the farm, the house dating from
1892. They had two children, Della, born in
1894 and Andrew, born in 1897. Hermann is
remembered as a calm, gentle, hard-work-
ing man.
In 1920, Della married Joseph Ahier.
Joseph's father, Gerhard, had emigrated
from Germany in 1883 and settled in
Walworth County. He   had   married
Josephine Elsenbart, and they had 12 chil-
dren, including Joseph. Della had helped
her father on the farm and in 1922, she and
Joe bought the farm from her parents for
$13,000. Hermann died in 1929 and his
widow continued living with Della and Joe
and their 6 children until her death in1938,
The Ahlers continued working and devel-
oping the farm which was eventually taken
over by their son, Vincent. In 1985 the Ahlers
sold White River Valley Farm to Mr. James
Campbell, who in turn rented it to Bob
We were lucky enough in 1989 to find this
wonderful homestead, The land and the
farm have been in production for over 100
years. It has a dairy barn, rebuilt in 1969
after the original barn burned. Members of
the Ahler family have given us photos
taken circa 1902, showing the parents in
horse and buggy outside the wonderful
house which was at that time surrounded
by orchards and lilacs. We have had fine
guidance in restoring the house and truly
sense and respect the loving history of
White River Valley Farm.
       Dr. James & Sally Downey, Owners

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