Bio: Webster, Emmett A. (1844 - ?)

Contact: on Wed, 14 Feb 2001




----Source: 1918 History of Clark Co., WI, by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge


Emmett A. Webster, 1844

           Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Webster

EMMETT A. WEBSTER, pioneer, one of the leading citizens of Fremont Township, and one of the first to settle here, was born in Sylvester Township, Green County, Wisconsin, Sept. 7, 1844. His parents were Benjamin and Laura (Babcock) Webster, the father born in Vermont, Jan. 13, 1822, and the mother in New York state, Dec. 24, 1826. They were married in Cortland County, N. Y., and came to Wisconsin soon afterwards, about 1840, locating temporarily on a piece of prairie land in Sylvester Township, Green County, where they remained two years. They then made a permanent location in Sylvester Township, Green County, on the place where their son, Emmett, was born , their first dwelling there being a log house 16 by 24 feet in size and containing two rooms and an attic. Their source of supplies was ten miles away, a distance that they had to walk, going and coming, and they began pioneer farming with their hands for their principal tools. There Benjamin Webster and his family resided until 1862, in which year he moved to Jackson County.

They had at this time five children: Emmett, Eugene, Flora and Libbie, who were born in Green County, and Elvira, who was born in New York state, while Mrs. Webster was visiting there. By a subsequent marriage of Mr. Webster there was a son, Jay Benjamin, the father, with his two sons, Emmet and Eugene, enlisted for service in the Civil war; Emmett in Company E., 13th Wisconsin regiment, and Benjamin and Eugene in Company 1, 31st Wisconsin regiment, Eugene serving about two years. Benjamin Webster served nearly a year, and then located on a farm in Jackson County. He was at this time a widower, as his wife had died in Sylvester Township, Green County, on Christmas Day, 1859, at the age of 33 years. On locating in Jackson County he took a farm there on which he resided for two years, and then moved, with the surviving members of his family, to Humbird, Clark County, to which the railroad had just been constructed. There he resided for twenty-seven years, during a part of which time he drove the stage between Humbird and Neillsville. His death occurred when he was seventy-five years old, Oct. 3, 1897.

The service of Emmett Webster in the Civil war lasted for three years, eight months and twenty-six days, and included participation in the battles of Fort Donaldson, Shiloh, Clarksville, Tenn., Hopkinsville, Chattanooga, and Fayetteville and Bentonville, South Carolina, when he was with Sherman's army. During his entire service he held the position of drummer in his regiment and left the army without having received a scratch, though he had been in some of the hardest fought battles of the war. On his discharge from the army he rejoined the family in Jackson County, Wis., and later came with them to Clark County. While at Humbird he worked out on a farm and also in the woods at lumbering. Up to September 6, 1868, he remained a bachelor, and was then united in rnarriage at Humbird, with Flora E. Snow, who was born in New York state, Sept. 22, 1844, and was just 15 days younger than himself. Her parents were Harvey and Charlotte (Ball) Snow, who removed from New York to Michigan, and from the latter state to Alma Center, Wis. From there Mr. Snow moved to Lynn Township, Clark County, where he engaged in farming. He was born Feb. 23, 1818, and died in Lynn Township, Clark County, 1890; his wife, Charlotte, was born Nov. 14, 1821 and died in Michigan, July 25, 1863. After their marriage, Emmett Webster and wife located on forty acres of wild land in Section 35, Township 25, Range 1 East, Fremont Township, where they were practically isolated from civilization by the absence of roads. Here Mr. Webster built the first log house in Fremont Township, it measuring 16 by 26 feet. It was furnished with a board floor and he, himself, split the shingles for the roof. This dwelling contained three rooms and an attic, in which respect it was superior to many of the log houses built by later settlers, some of which had only one room.

When he and his wife began domestic life on this farm, their cash capital consisted of fifty cents, but they had strong hands and willing hearts, which was, in those days, of more importance. Mr. Webster often carried flour and other supplies on his back from Neillsville, which was the only way to get them home. They succeeded in procuring a cow the first summer and also dug in a few potatoes, but it was some time before Mr. Webster got an ox team, having to raise the animals himself. In the winter he worked in the lumber camps and on the drive in spring, clearing his farm during the summer time. In time he built a frame house of eight rooms, he and his family moving into it Oct. 18, 1907. He helped to build the old Snow schoolhouse, a log structure that stood on the corner near his farm.

From those old pioneer days up to the present time, Mr. Webster's history has been one of continuous progress and he and his family are now enjoying a comfortable prosperity. His farm is nearly all cleared and is well provided with good, substantial buildings and an adequate equipment of tools and machinery. His land is fertile and he has been successful in raising Durham cattle.

As one of the earliest residents of the township, and a loyal and substantial citizen, he has frequently been called upon to serve in public office, having been chairman of the township board, township clerk for ten years and clerk of the school district for thirteen years. He has been a director of the Lynn Fire Insurance Company and agent for both the fire and cyclone companies, and is a director of the Lynn Telephone Company. Many years ago, when the cheese factory was started, be became interested in it and served for some years as its treasurer. His wife, Mrs. Flora E. Webster, died Dec. 24, 1908. She was born Sept. 22, 1844, and therefore was 64 years, three months and two days old. They had been the parents of nine children. Cora E., Alfred J., Alice L., Myrtle C., Loren H., Edward J. (now deceased), Harold E., Lawrence B. and Lyle H.



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