William E. & Sarah (Brasier) Darton


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

WILLIAM E. DARTON, an estimable resident of the village of Loyal, and formerly for thirty-five years a leading agriculturist of Beaver Township, was born on a farm in Hartford Township, Washington County, Wis., Nov. 24, 1848, son of William and Sarah (Brasier) Darton, and grandson of Samuel Darton. The father, William Darton, was born in London, England, and was brought by his parents to Canada. As a young man he married Sarah Brasier, a native of Canada, and daughter of John and Elizabeth (Pegg) Brasier.

After their marriage, William Darton and his wife continued to live in Canada, and there two of their children-Albert and Hannah were born. Upon coming to the United States they located in Hartford Township, Washington County, Wis., where they bought eighty-five acres of wild timberland for $1.25 an acre. A yoke of oxen was purchased for $22 and a cow for $9. A carpenter by trade he first erected a log house and found work helping to build the pioneer grist mill of Rossman Brothers, receiving only 50 cents a day, a remuneration which carpenters of the present time would demand for about an hour's work. In the meanwhile, as he found opportunity, he made such progress as he could in clearing his land, and as the years passed, succeeded in developing an excellent farm. There eight more children were born to him and his wife: Lydia, William E., Henry J., Clara, Fred, Alwilda, Arthur and Alice. Later, the family moved to Clark County and settled in Beaver Township.

William E. Darton grew to manhood on his parents' farm, in Washington County, and attended the district school until he was 17 years old. At the age of 20 he went to Fort Collins, Colo. where he was employed about a year in irrigation work. Then he followed his parents to Clark County, and received from his father a present of eighty acres of wild land. After clearing a small part of it he erected a frame house of lumber, which he bought for $6 a thousand feet. For seven years he worked in the woods in the winter time. In the early years there was no profit in dairying, and so Mr. Darton specialized in hay, which he sold to the logging camps. As time passed he went into general farming and built up a good place. In time he replaced the frame house with a brick one, and among other buildings, erected a barn 34 by 70 feet. He remained on the farm for thirty-five years, and then moved to the village of Loyal, where he erected a pleasant home, and where, with the exception of two years spent with his daughter, in North Dakota, he has since lived. While on the farm Mr. Darton took a prominent part in public affairs, serving as town chairman two years, town clerk two years, and in the various positions on the school board. Mr. Darton was married Dec. 28, 1875, to E. Amelia Sheldon, the daughter Isaiah Sheldon, a millwright. She was born in Sheboygan County, this state; was educated in Fond du Lac County, and after teaching for a while taught four years in Clark County.

Mr. and Mrs. Darton had two children: Marcia and Sara. Marcia married J. W. Calnan, of Berthold, N. D., and died Jan. 15, 1909, leaving a daughter, Genevieve, who now resides with her grandparents. Sara is now taking a course in French and business a college in Toronto, Canada. Her husband, Dr. S. J. Hillis, formerly Berthold, N. D., is captain in the Medical Reserve Corps, attached to the 26th U. S. Engineers with the American Expeditionary Force in France.




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