Adelbert Rodman, 1856

Transcribed by Janet

Source: 1918 History of Clark Co., Wisconsin by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge, pg.265 - 266.




     L. W. Rodman                              Adelbert Rodman and Family                        Mrs. L. W. Rodman



ADELBERT RODMAN, more commonly known as Dell A. Rodman, a well-known and respected resident of Neillsville, is a native of Clark County, having been born in Pine Valley Township, March 15, 1856. The home of his birth and childhood was a log house, 16 by 24 feet, which stood on the northwest part of the southwest quarter of Section 24, that being the homestead of his parents, Lyman Warner and Deborah Jane (Fisher) Rodman. Lyman W., the father, was a native of Ohio, but was reared on a farm in Illinois, and was married in that state. Corning later to Jackson County, Wis., he located at Yellow Pine Grove, where he engaged in making railroad ties. He and his wife were both young and their first child, George, was born about that time and died in infancy. In 1855 Lyman W. Rodman and wife came to Clark County and resided for a few months in Neillsville, after which, in December, that same year, they located on their homestead in Pine Valley Township. It consisted then of 160 acres of wild land, and there were no roads in the vicinity. He had no team and had to grub in his first crops, but subsequently raised an ox team from calves. The residence of himself and wife was the log cabin above mentioned, which he built as soon as he took possession of his land. Mr. Rodmans' trading was done mostly at Black River Falls, to which place he often walked, bringing back flour and pork on his back, the journey taking a day each way. He also did some logging, but spent most of his time during the summer in clearing his land. During the winter he made shingles by hand for Mr. Katz, and for the Noyes Company of Winona.


In addition to these activities he took part in public affairs, holding office on the township board and serving as justice of the peace, and for thirty or forty years he was the official sealer of weights and measures for Neillsville and Pine Valley Township. Taking a warm interest in educational matters, he also rendered service on the school board. When the Civil War broke out he tried to enlist, but was rejected on examination. He met an accidental death at the age of 65 or 66 years, being killed by falling from a scaffold. His wife, who survived him, died on the farm at the age of 64. Their children, born on the homestead, were as follows: Helen, now deceased; Adelbert, Margaret, who married Lot Garfield and is also dead; Almira, now Mrs. William Lapp of Neillsville, Wis.; Stella, now deceased, who was the wife of George Clinton; Hershell of Neillsville, who owns a part of the old homestead, and Mariette, now Mrs. Robert French of Neillsville. Adelbert Rodman was reared to manhood on his parents' farm, and the first school he attended was two miles away. When old enough to work he made himself useful on the farm, and subsequently did farm work in the summer and logging in the woods in the winter. Later he bought twenty acres of wild land in Section 24, Pine Valley Township, and, building a frame house on it, began its cultivation. After a while he increased the size of his farm to forty acres. His wife--for he was already married when he moved onto the land--assisted him as well as she could, for he started with practically nothing but his hands and one ox to work with.


The struggle towards prosperity was a long and difficult one, but he kept the goal steadily in view and attained it at last through hard labor and perseverance. He resided on this farm from May, 1881, to Oct. 6, 1911, on which latter date he moved to Neillsville, his present home. Here he built a good residence, with barn, hen house and wagon shed, and is enjoying the fruits of his long years of industrial activity. Always interested as a good citizen in the welfare of his township, he aided in local government, serving as supervisor four or five terms, and also as a member of the school board.

Mr. Rodman was married in 1880 to Hattie E. King, who was born in Buffalo, N. Y., Aug. 20, 1862, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth (Buss) King, her father being a native of England and her mother of New York State. They came to Clark County in 1856, locating at Pleasant Ridge, Grant Township. Later they removed to Minnesota, but after spending one winter there returned to Grant ,township, where they spent the rest of their lives on a farm. Mr. King was the first man in this section to engage in the brick-making industry, and made the brick for the court house, school and the first brick buildings here. His yard was located at the lower end of Hewett street, Neillsville. Mr. and Mrs. Rodman are the parents of three children: Warner, who is a farmer at Athens, Marathon County, Wis., is married and has five children; Ida, now Mrs. Gus Hagen of York Township, Clark County, and the mother of three children, and Horace, a farmer of Grant Township, who has three children. In 1900 Mr. Rodman joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is a member both of the lodge and encampment at Neillsville. For twelve or fourteen years he was a member of the United Workmen, and since then has belonged to the Equitable Fraternal Union. He is now but 61 years old, has laid down the heavier burdens of life, and may reasonably look forward to enjoying the fruits of his labors for a number of years to come. Mr. and Mrs. Rodman are members of the Rebecca Lodge.




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