Homsted, August (History 1840)


Janet Schwarze





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

AUGUST HOMSTED, who established the drug business in Dorchester, Clark County, now carried on by his son, Louis E. Homsted, was born in Skowhegan, Maine, July 11, 1840. At the age of 14 years he came to Wisconsin with his parents, the family locating in Wausau, Marathon County, where, after a while he began work in lumber camps, also logging on the river. After being thus occupied for three years, he went to Stevens Point, where he learned the drug business. On June 9, 1861, he enlisted in the United States navy for service in the Civil War, and was assigned to the steamer Gennessee, operating off Newport News, Va. Later he served in Mobile Bay and on the Mississippi River. In 1863 he was promoted to the rank of paymaster's steward for gallant services at the battle of Port Hudson. On Oct. 9, 1864, while stationed in Mobile Bay, he received an honorable discharge, and on the following day enlisted in Company K, Second Wisconsin Cavalry, at Pensacola, Fla. After the conclusion of the war he returned to Stevens Point, Wis., and in 1869 entered into mercantile business. Four years later he homesteaded 160 acres of land in Holton Township, Marathon County, and after proving it up went to Colby, Wis., where for two years he operated the Commercial Hotel. After that he was proprietor of the Forest Hotel at Unity for a similar length of time.


In 1882 Mr. Homsted came to Dorchester, Clark County, and established the drug business above referred to, of which he was the proprietor until his death, Nov. 9, 1910, a period of twenty-eight years. He was one of the leading citizens of the village, taking place as such not only by virtue of his business ability, but also through his innate force of character and his sterling qualities as a man. These qualities had been conspicuously manifested before he came to Dorchester, and at Stevens Point he had served as city treasurer and clerk, also as deputy register of deeds. He had not been in Dorchester long before he was called on to take part in local government affairs, and at different times he served as Mayville Township clerk, justice of the peace, village clerk and a member of the school board. In 1889 he was appointed postmaster of Dorchester by President Harrison and so served until President Cleveland's second term, when he was out of the office, but was reappointed in 1896 and remained postmaster until his death. He was vice president of the Dorchester State Bank, was a member of the G. A. R. Post and also of the Masonic Order, in which he had advanced as far as the Commandery, being a Knight Templar.


August Homsted was married, Nov. 19, 1879, at Colby, to Evelyn Ferguson, who was born at Girard, Ohio, March 13, 1857, daughter of Ethan and Elizabeth (Carlton) Ferguson. They Were the parents of seven children: Emma, Ethan, Jennie, Eli, Charles, Evelyn, Margaret and Louis. Mrs. Evelyn Homsted, who survives her husband, resides with her son, Louis E., in Dorchester.



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