Hewett, James (History - 1830)


Janet Schwarze





----Source: 1918 History of Clark County, Wisconsin


JAMES HEWETT. On March 3, 1907, there passed away at Neillsville a man who had had no small part in making the history of Clark County. As pioneer lumberman, farmer, man of business and public official, Hewett will long be remembered and the work that he did will bear in generations yet to come. James Hewett was born in Minerva, N. Y., May 1, 1830, son of Sheldon B. and Mary Ann (Linkfield) Hewett, and on the paternal side was a grandson of Collins and Jerusha Hewett of Dutchess County, that state, the family being of Scotch origin. James was one of six children, the others, who came next in order Sheldon B., Jane, Eunice, Mary and Susan-the family thus consisting of two sons and four daughters. The father subsequently died in Clark County after joining his son James. James Hewett made his first with the lumber business in Essex County, N.Y.


In 1856, being then a strong and vigorous young man of 26 years, he sought a larger field of opportunity in the Northwest, and made his appearance in Clark coming up the river from La Crosse. Here he found conditions to his with full scope for his ambition. In a short time, with characteristic energy, he had become one of the leading loggers in this section, giving employment to large gangs, of men, and clearing the timber from land now covered by flourishing farms. Among his early enterprises was the building of a mill at Wedge's Creek, at the place known as Hewettville, which mill was destroyed by fire in 1886. The township of Hewett was named in his honor, and Neillsville also owed much to him for here he established the firm of Hewett Woods, built the first brick store in the place, at the corner of Fifth and Hewett streets, known as "Hewett's Red Brick," and made an addition to the village of sixty-three acres of land which he had cleared, it being known as the James Hewett Addition. He also donated land for the old furniture factory, was largely instrumental in having railroad constructed to Neillsville, and built the finest residence here that Clark County had for many years. A part of his time was spent in farming, in which enterprise also he manifested his ability, meeting with good success.


A Republican in politics, he served as the first mayor of Neillsville, was chairman of the Pine Valley town board for a number of years, and also ran for the Assembly, but was defeated. He was a man of generous character and was strong and rugged up to the time of his death at the age of 77 years.


Mr. Hewett was married Oct. 17, 1864, to Henrietta Brown, who, however, lived but a few years after marriage, dying at the age of 35, in 1869. She left two children: Chauncey B., who died in infancy, and Sherman Frank, now a prominent citizen of Neillsville. In May, 1874, James Hewett married for his second wife Emeline Niles, by which union there was no offspring.




In 1865, James Hewett served as the Clerk of the Clark County Board.

----Source: Message of the governor of Wisconsin, together with the annual reports, of the officers of the State, for the year, A.D. 1865; (1866 [Covers 1864/1865]); Fairchild, Lucius, Annual report of the secretary of state, for the fiscal year ending September 30th, 1865,   pp. [1]-179 ff.



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