Devos, Alfred L. (History - 1886)


Janet Schwarze





----Source: 1891 History of Clark & Jackson Co., Wis.:

ALFRED L. DEVOS, a prominent lawyer of Clark County, now city attorney of Neillsville, was born in Milwaukee, Wis., Nov. 27, 1886, son of John L. and Elizabeth (Soulen) Devos. He is a grandson on the paternal side of John W. Devos (or Devoss, as he spelled the family name), who came to the United States from Holland late in the fourth decade of the last century and settled in Milwaukee. John W. Devos was at that time a single man, but he was subsequently married in Milwaukee to Sarah Liebert, who, like him, had come from Holland. He became one of the successful and prominent citizens of the important community in which he settled, engaging in the milling business, in which he was a proficient, and in time becoming owner of the Northwestern Mills, the first built in that city and the largest there for a number of years. He and his wife had four children, of whom one died young, the others growing to maturity. John L. Devos learned the milling trade under his father's direction, but subsequently abandoned it to turn his attention to real estate, in which business he is still engaged in Milwaukee. He was formerly a member of the old Legion of Honor of America. His wife, Elizabeth, was born in Milwaukee, a daughter of John and Nellie (Dunck) Soulen, natives of Holland, who came to this country in the thirties with their parents. John Soulen was a carpenter by trade, but devoted considerable time to local politics. He was foreman of his ward some ten or twelve years, served seventeen years on the police force and was deputy sheriff and keeper of the jail. Both the Devos and Soulen families of Milwaukee were affiliated religiously with the Presbyterian Church. Mr. and Mrs. John L. Devos had three children: Alfred L., of Neillsville John J., now engaged in law practice in Milwaukee, and Reuben, who is employed in the city engineer's office in that city.

Alfred L. Devos acquired a good education, graduating from the graded and high schools of Milwaukee, and subsequently, in 1911, after a six-years' course, from the law school of Michigan University at Ann Arbor. In September of that year he came to Neillsville and from that time until January, 1914, was associated in practice with S. M. Marsh. He then opened an office in the post office building and has since practiced his profession alone, having up to the present time met with good success. He has served four years as justice of the peace and was elected city attorney in 1916. Aside from these activities, he has further identified himself with local interests by serving as secretary of Clark County Fair Association.

Mr. Devos was married at Neillsville, June 23, 1913, to Alta Rand, a native of Clark County, and daughter of Martha Radd. He and his wife are active members of the Methodist Church, which he is serving as treasurer and as superintendent of the Sunday school. His fraternal society affiliations are with the Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery of the A. F. and A. M., and the Odd Fellows' Lodge at Neillsville, Mrs. Devos being a member of the Eastern Star.



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