Obit: Grow, Charles F. #3 (1848 - 1909)

Contact: Stan      



Surnames: Grow, Wicker, Taylor


----Source: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 07/29/1909



Grow, Charles F. #3 (1 Nov 1848 - 25 Jul 1909)


Died - Sunday morning, July 25, 1909, Chas. F. Grow, aged 60 years, 8 months and 24 days.


Sixty years ago last November, a son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Daniel P. grow at Bradford, Vermont, and was duly christened, Chas. F.  In 1850 Mr. and Mrs. Grow moved west to seek a new home and settled on a farm in West Point, Columbia County, Wis.  Here the infant, Charles, passed the stages of infancy, boyhood and entered upon his young manhood fairly well equipped in the matter of education, having attended common schools and also a private academy near home.  He proved to be a young man of sturdy character and rugged constitution, and he was no stranger to the hard labor contingent with farm life.  But he had another aim in view than that of arming, and to this end made careful conservation of the fruits of his labor, teaching school and doing farm work, that he might advance to a higher degree of learning.  Accordingly he went to An Arbor, Mich., and entered the law school.  By close application and hard work during the time he was at college and during vacations, he was able to graduate upon his own resources, and in 1872 received his sheepskin.


A young man of 24 years, he must needs set forth to look for a location for the practice of law.  He went first to Spencer, Iowa, where he practiced for a time.  It was while at Spencer that be became identified with a profession that had a peculiar fascination for him, that of newspaper work, and during the remaining years of his life he was always a contributor to various newspapers, and it is to be regretted that his ambition of writing for a paper in which he had a sense of ownership was denied him until too late in life to be available.  His newspaper work at Spencer was of short duration, and he then went to Turner, S.D., where he spent a short time. 


At this period in his life, Mr. Grow became indelibly associated with Clark County and its development.  In 1874 he located at Colby for the practice of law, and he gradually attracted a good clientage and a large acquaintance.  On May 9, 1878, he was married to Lillian A. Wicker in the town of Hull, Marathon Co., and to this union three children were born, George J., Mrs. Chas. Taylor of Barron and Harold E.  In 1882 Mr. grow was elected Clerk of Clark County, and moved to Neillsville with his family in 1883.  He served in the capacity of county clerk for three terms.  He then identified himself with the bar of Neillsville, entering the firm of Schuster & McConnell, the name of which was changed to Grow, Schuster & McConnell.  This firm laid the foundation for the extensive law and abstract business, which is so well known over Central Wisconsin.  In 1894 Mr. McConnell died, and the firm became known as Grow, Schuster & Co.


In 1895 death visited the Grow home for the first time, taking George J.


Mr. Grow had been associated with the Neillsville Bank for some years, and when Richard Dewhurst died  in 1895 he was promoted from the office of vice-president to that of president, which office he held ever since.  He served the city as mayor for one term, and was one of the founders of the public library, serving as a member of the board ever since.  He was also a stockholder in several outside banks, always being a conservative businessman and a careful investor.


And thus we have followed the deceased from his infancy to his death, through the pleasant years of self-made life, from the beginning as an obscure lawyer to the ending as a man of affluence and substance, honored and respected in the minds of countless friends.  His association with the Neillsville Bank, his settlement of estates that made up a great portion of his practice, and his conscientious advice in law matters stamped him as a man of unquestioned honesty and integrity.  He was a man who took great comfort in his home and children.  He was a member of the Masonic order, and lived in strict conformity to the tenets of that order.


The side of Mr. Grow’s life that was presented to the public was that just rehearsed.  There was another side that even but few of his friends were aware of.  In his leisure moments, he allowed his penchant for poetry full sway, and some beautiful poems were written by him during this mood.  Some of them have been published under the name of Smith Wilkins, and for many years the conjecture as to the identity of Wilkins was a source of much amusement to Mr. Grow.  He was possessed of a keen sense of humor betrayed by the twinkle of his kindly eye, and to illustrate his sense of humor as well as his consideration of the more thoughtful phases of life, three of Mr. Grow’s poems are here with produced.



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