Waukesha County Biographies

Surnames Starting with:
[ A ] [ B ] [ C ] [ D ]
[ E ] [ F ] [ G ] [ H ]
[ I ] [ J ] [ K ] [ L ]
[ M ] [ N ] [ O ] [ P ]
[ Q ] [ R ] [ S ] [ T ]
[ U ] [ V ] [ W ] [ Y ] & [ Z ]


Alexander William Randall, the sixth Governor of Wisconsin, was born October 31, 1819, at Ames, Montgomery County, New York. His father was Phineas Randall, a native of Massachusetts; and his mother, Sarah Beach Randall of Schenectady, New York. His father was a lawyer and in 1851 followed his son to Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Young Randall received a good elementary education, then studied law, and was admitted to the bar at the age of nineteen. In 1840 he came to Wisconsin and settled at Prairieville, now Waukesha. Here he practiced law, and at once took an active part in the public affairs of his community and State. He was one of the founders, in 1841, of Prairieville Academy, later Carroll College. For a time he was postmaster, and in 1846 was active in securing the organization of Waukesha County from the western part of Milwaukee County. In 1842 he married Mary C. Van Vechten, also from his native county. She died in 1858.

Randall's first prominent connection with State affairs was in 1846, when he was elected one of the delegates to the first Constitutional Convention. In this Convention he introduced a resolution for the separate submission of the question of negro suffrage to a vote of the people. In 1848 he took part in the Free Soil movement, but did not long continue with it.

In the following years the slavery question was breaking old party alignments. Finally, the wing of the Democratic party to which Randall belonged united with a considerable part of the Whigs to form the Republican party. He was elected to the Assembly of 1855 from Waukesha and became one of the leaders of the new party therein. The same year he was candidate for the attorney-generalship on the Republican ticket, but was defeated.

In 1856 Randall was one of the counsel for Bashford in the Bashford-Barstow contest over the governorship. Later in the year he was appointed judge of the Second (Milwaukee) Judicial Circuit to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Judge Levi Hubbell. He was, the following spring, a candidate for election to this judgeship, but was not successful.

In 1857 he was the Republican candidate for Governor. The contest was very close.

Randall was elected, but his colleague, Carl Schurz, candidate for Lieutenant-Governor, was defeated. This result added a new factional element to political affairs which showed itself in the Republican convention of 1859, when the opponents to the re-nomination of Randall rallied around Schurz. Randall was, however, nominated and elected by good majorities.

The interpretation which the Governor gave to the course of events in the approaching struggle between North and South, his foresight of the necessity for an appeal to arms, and the consequent recommendations which he made with the wish that his State might be prepared for the struggle, are shown in the extracts here given from his messages.

When the war broke out he was prompt and energetic in the organization of a military establishment and in raising troops; and was painstaking in all those details that are so essential to successful military administration. The State camp at Madison was named in his honor, and this title has been preserved since its purchase by the University of Wisconsin in 1893.

Randall was an active participant in the conference of governors of Western and border states, held at Cleveland in May, 1861; and was elected to lay the report of the conference before President Lincoln. The same year he was a candidate for a United States senatorship from Wisconsin, but withdrew from the contest.

At the close of his second term as governor, in January, 1862, Randall wished to enter the army; but President Lincoln persuaded him to accept a civil position where his executive ability and experience were more needed, and appointed him minister-resident at Rome. He remained there only a few months, however, leaving his post in August, 1862.

On his return, Randall again sought military service; but again was dissuaded by the President, who appointed him assistant postmaster-general in December, 1862. He held this position until the resignation of the postmaster-general, William Dennison, in July, 1866. President Johnson, whom Randall was supporting, then appointed him postmaster-general, and he held office until the end of Johnson's term, March 4, 1869.

In 1863 he married Helen M. Thomas of Elmira, New York; and in 1865 changed his residence from Waukesha to that place. On his retirement from the postmaster-generalship he took up the practice of law in Elmira, and continued therein until his death, July 26, 1872.

Civil War Messages and Proclamations of Wisconsin War 1858-1862, Wisconsin History Commission December, 1912, Edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites In collaboration with Asa Currier Tilton and Frederick Merk, Reprint No. 2


Source: Waukesha Freeman, January 2, 1890, page 1

On Christmas Mr. John Rankin and Miss Annie Rogers were married at the home of the bride's parents in Lisbon by Rev. Mr. Ames and the affair was fully in keeping with the delightful weather that prevailed at the time of the festivities. Shortly after the ceremony the happy pair took the train for Missouri. After a visit with relatives they will return and make their home in Lisbon.



Source: Daughters of the American Revolution
(see also Wirt Farley Bio)

DAR Member
Descendant of Capt. Nathan Watkins

Nathan Watkins
	b: 1736 in Hopkinton, Mass.
	d: 1815 in Naples, N. Y.
	to: Sarah Whitney
Nathan Watkins commanded a company of minute men at Bunker 
Hill and joined the expedition to Quebec. He served as 
captain of Continental infantry, 1776; was taken prisoner 
in the Burgoyne campaign, 1777, and exchanged for a British 
captain of Royal artillery.

Child of Nathan and Sarah (Whitney) Watkins:
	Eunice Watkins
	b: 1784
	d: 1860
	to: Timothy Mower
	b: 1777
	d: 1852

Child of Timothy and Eunice (Watkins) Mower:
	Sarah Mower
	b: 1813
	d: 1877
	to: Aaron Sidney Putney
	b: 1813
	d: 1876

Child of Aaron Sidney and Sarah (Mower) Putney:
	Clara Putney


Source: Milwaukee Journal , Sunday, Sept. 6, 1931


Christian Roether, robust 90-year-old town of Brookfield farmer, looks like Trader Horn, and like the famous old adventurer, he's "seen a lot of country" in his day.

Although he's lived 60 years on his farm, he relates with great pleasure how he tramped for seven years through the west when he was a strong young chap of 22. Born in Germany, he came at the age of 7(?) with his parents to Brookfield.


"I wanted to see the country," he said, laughing. "I couldn't get to see anything by working on my father's farm. So I went with four other young farmer lads who were itchy to go west."

A ship took them on the long voyage around the Horn to California. Referring to the Panama canal, he said, "I'd like to see that little ditch Uncle Sam built."

Arriving at San Francisco, Roether began a career as "jack of all trades." He chopped wood, worked on railroad construction jobs, herded sheep. He was farm hand, lumberjack, quartz mill worker; and he had "the time of my life."


"The west was wild and woolly then," he said. "I never got into trouble in the rough mining camps. Take a decent fellow, he could go into any town and stay out of trouble. I saw a couple of young toughs get killed in a street fight, but they needed killing. The pioneer towns weren't as bad as Chicago. The hard fellows didn't use machine guns like thy do now. I used to like to watch the Indian dances. They made quite a show when they got started."

For seven years Roether led an existence more or less romantic - with plenty of hard work. A farm hand in those days had a hard life, he said. They slept in the barn because farm hands got little respect and they often had to "rustle" their own food. Roether couldn't afford a horse, so often he walked a hundred miles before he landed a new job. "That's more than the young men do now," he observed. "Now they use a car to cross the street. Well, isn't it the truth?"


The urge to settle down was as powerful as the urge that brought him west. He went back to Brookfield by train, married, and bought a farm, all in the space of a few months. "Ever since then I've stayed pretty close to home," he commented. "But, of course, I had plenty experience chasing around out west. Anyway, a man has to settle down sometime."

Roether sniffs the crisp fall air and takes his ax and begins chopping wood. Back of the Roether home is a large wood pile for this winter's use. Roether chopped it himself. Tall and broad shouldered he swings the ax lustily. He spits vigorously. The chips fly over his cowhide boots and cling to his rough faded overalls. The sharp wind tugs at his long white hair and his beard.

"That's a fine beard," observes the reporter.

"It ought to be," says Roether happily. "I spend a lot of time on it. I trim it and wash it to keep it in good shape. You know, a beard needs some attention, just like a horse. You don't see many beards like this now. Too bad. A fine beard is a great thing for a man."



Source: History of Johnson County, Indiana By Elba L. Branigin Published by B.F. Bowen & Co., 1913 Original from the New York Public Library

William Robinson, who was born near New Romney, Kent, England, August 29, 1809.  His father was a land owner and magistrate in his own community, but William, not being the first-born, did not inherit the land, so upon the death of his father he left his native land and sought a new home in the great western world.  He crossed the ocean and came to Port Sarnia, Ontario, where he was married to Anne Matthews, January 15, 1838.  Miss Matthews was also a native of England, having been born at Salisbury, Wiltshire, on the 19th of January 1822, and had come to America in 1833.  The young people lived in Port Sarnia until 1847, when they came to the states and located in Waukesha county, Wisconsin.  Previous to the outbreak of the Civil war they moved to Leon, Wisconsin, where they lived until 1871; thence to Leond, Minnesota, where Mr. Robinson owned a farm and lived until 1887. [snip]



Source: unknown

Wife of Victor E. Faust.
Descendant of Faunce Hammond
Faunce Hammond (1737-1813) served at the Rhode Island Alarm, 
1780, under Capt. Henry James, Col. John Hathaway's Bristol 
County regiment, Massachusetts militia. He was born in Rochester, 
Mass.; died in Reading, Vt.

Faunce Hammond
b: Rochester, Mass
d: Reading, Vt
m: 1761
to: Mary Holmes
d: 1813

Child of Faunce and Mary (Holmes) Hammond
	Jabez Holmes Hammond
	b: 1773
	d: 1841
	m: 1796
	to: Mary Rowe
	b: 1773
	d: 1839

Child of Jabez and Mary (Rowe) Hammond
	Holmes Hammond
	b: 1807
	d: 1892
	m: 1832
	to: Sarah Marty
	b: 1805
	d: 1873

Child of Holmes and Sarah (Marty) Hammond
	Marcia Hammond
	b: 1834
	d. 1907
	m: 1856
	to: Mr. A. Webster Baldwin

Child of Marcia (Hammond) and A. Webster Baldwin
	May Baldwin
	b: 1858
	m: 1891
	to: Mr. Robert J. Rogan
	b: 1858

Child of Robert Rogan and May (Baldwin)
	Marion Faust


Source: The Ancestors of Ebenezer Buckingham, who was born in 1748 and of his descendants; compiled by James Buckingham; 1892

Mr. Walter A Rogers is civil engineer on the Norther Pacific R.R. He was born and brought up in Milwaukee. Attended the Milwaukee ward and high schools until seventeen. In the fall of 1884 he entered the University of Madison, Wis., and graduated from the civil engineering course in June, 1888, receiving the John Johnston fellowship. Remained there one year performing a series of cement tests, after which he accepted a position with the Wisconsin Central R.R. remaining with the same company until April, 1891, when the present position, as assistant engineer on the Montana Division of the Northern Pacific R.R. was accepted. They reside (1892_ at Livingston, Mont.



Source: The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880

George A. Russell, retired farmer, P. 0. Brandon; born in Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vt., Nov. 6, 1821; the year he attained his majority (1842), he came West; during the two following winters he taught school in Waukesha Co., Wis.; in 1844, he bought eighty acres of land, and partly improved it, but sold it in a year at an advance. He was married Nov. 1, 1844, in Milwaukee, to Miss Miranda Weatherbee, of Brant, Erie Co., N. Y.; they have had no issue; his parents were New England farmers in moderate circumstances, and the subject of this sketch, when be landed in Milwaukee in 1842, inventoried his cash assets at exactly $50; by teaching and farming, he soon added to his resources, and Providence has continued to favor him to the present time, as, according to his fellow-citizens, he is reported to the writer as a man surpassed in wealth by few, if any, in the township; for his success in life, he gives due credit to his worthy life-companion; he first, met her, by a happy combination of circumstances, very soon after she landed in Milwaukee with her brother from New York, in 1844; they began wedded life as pioneers on a Waukesha farm; in September, 1845, having disposed of his first real estate, and converted most of his personal property into cash, he entered and paid for 400 acres of prairie and timber land in the township of Alto; he expended all his money in the original purchase of the Alto farm, but fortune favored his efforts, and he was soon enabled to improve, build upon and stock the farm; he retained this old homestead until 1867, when be sold the land (which cost him $500), with its improvements, for $17,000 in 1868, he bought his present home in Brandon, and retired from active labor as a farmer; he owns several houses and lots within the corporation limits of Brandon, and also 325 acres outside the village; he has secured investments in different parts of the county. He has held several local offices. He became a Christian at the age of 18, and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has continued an active member to the present date; he is an earnest advocate of the doctrine of sanctification, and, for several years, meetings for the promotion of holiness have been regularly held at his residence; he is a person of strong convictions, which find ready expression whenever occasion demands; he is in no sense a negative character, but is an enterprising, positive man. He is a Republican.