Albert William Hales, 1852

Contact: Janet

----Source: 1918 History of Clark Co., WI, by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge, pg. 499 -501.




                                    Albert W. Hales & Family



ALBERT WILLIAM HALES, a leading citizen of York Township, in which he has resided nearly thirty-five years, engaged in agricultural pursuits, was born near Williamstown, N. Y., Oct. 27, 1852, son of Philip and Sarah (Moodey) Hales. The parents were natives of England, and, being married in 1849, set out immediately for the United States, taking passage in a sailing vessel. The voyage, which might be regarded as a honeymoon trip, lasted several weeks and they made port at New York.


Philip Hales had come to this country to engage in farming, and after staying three months in New York, he and his wife came west to Oshkosh, Wis., and then rented a farm in Green Lake County where they remained sixteen years. They then went to Iowa, where he took a homestead of eighty acres in Dickenson County, which proved his final place of residence, as lie died there in 1901, when over 80 years old. In the earlier years he went through pioneer experiences, building a sod house and sod barn, and later a frame house; also using an ox team. His farm in Iowa was sixty miles from Algona, to which place he hauled wheat with oxen. Albert did most of the teaming and on one of his trips he got caught in a blizzard and suffered severely, finding himself in debt when he got home.


Philip Hales was a member of the school board in his township of Milford, and was a prominent member of the Methodist Church. His wife, who in early days, often spun wool for the family, died on the farm in 1914 at the age of 82 years. They had eight children: Jennie, Albert, Hiram, Nellie, Hattie, Mabet, Jessie and George, all of whom we're born in Wisconsin, except Albert and Jennie. Albert W. Hales spent a large part of his boyhood in Green Lake County,'but attained to maturer years in Iowa. His education was in the district schools. As his parents grew old he took over the management of the farm and maintained the homestead in good condition. At the age of 25 he started out for himself, settling on a farm in the same county which when he took it consisted of 160 acres of wild land. For awhile, he lived in an old school house.


On Jan. 8, 1880, he was married to Maggie Smithers, who was born in Fond du Lac County, Wis., May 29, 1857, daughter of William H. and Lois A. (Knight) Smithers. Her father was a native of Yorkshire, England, born April 14, 1822, his wife being born in Vermont. They were married in New York State and came thence to Fond du Lac County, Wis. He was a son of William and Sarah Smithers who came to the United States from England, in 1838, landing after a seven weeks voyage in a sailing vessel, and who settled as farmers in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., where William H. was reared and trained to farm life. The latter on arriving in Fond du Lac County, located on a tract of land in Alto Township and built a frame house. Milwaukee, eighty miles away, was their nearest market, and supplies had to be brought from there on foot, being carried on the back, a labor that would appall most men present day, but which the pioneer settlers endured as they endured many other hardships, with resignation, if not cheerfully. In 1880 Mr. Smithers sold his farm and went to Clay County, Iowa, where he engaged in farming.

In 1885 he came to Clark County, Wis., locating in York Township, where he took a small place, consisting of five acres of land, which had been chopped over. This place he cleared, spending the rest of his life there and dying in 1895, at the age of 83 years. His wife passed away in the following year at the age of 82. He had held the office of township clerk in Fond du Lac County for twenty years, and was a leader in the Methodist Church at Alto, which he helped to establish.


He and his wife had a large family, numbering ten children: Emily, Edna, Anna, Ella, Maggie, Carrie, William, Dora, Lois, and an infant that died unnamed.


Albert W. Hales resided in Iowa with his wife for three years after his marriage, and then in 1883, came to Clark County, arriving here between Christmas Day, that year, and New Year's Day, 1884. He came here, owing to a good report of the country received from his wife's sister, Edna, who was the wife of Horace Lawrence, of York Township. On looking around he selected a tract of 120 acres in Section 27, York Township, twenty acres being covered with stumps and the rest being in brush and timber. Here he built a frame house of one story, 24 by 26 feet in size, which has since been raised and enlarged; but the first year of his residence here he and his wife lived in a house across the road. He had arrived here with a span of horses and $200 in money, and soon afterwards he bought one or two cows.


His subsequent experiences have been similar to those of other farmers who settled on wild land in this county. He has always remained here and has made steady progress in improving his place, adding to its acreage and erecting a number of substantial buildings, which include a barn, 48 by 68 feet, and two silos, one 16 by 29, the other 14 by 24 feet in size. He formerly raised a good grade of Holstein cattle, but now specializes in Shorthorn cattle, and coach horses; also raising pure-bred Poland-China hogs, having been a pioneer in his township in that branch of stock raising. He has also made a specialty of raising seed corn--the kind known as Sterling White Dent corn, which, however, he had much trouble in acclimating here. As one of the prominent men of his township, Mr. Hales is widely respected, and has served efficiently as a member of the school board. He was also road overseer for eighteen years and helped to build the roads in his section of the county.


When the Clark County Telephone Company was organized he was one of the organizers, and for three years was its president.


Mr. and Mrs. Hales have eight children: Anna, Phillip, Lottie, George, Lauren, Guy, Harry and Ella, of whom the following is a brief record: Anna is the wife of William Campbell of York Township. Phillip, who married Catherine Tucker, resides in Lodi, Wis., and has one child, Myron. Lottie is the wife of Moses Page, of Stanley, Wis., and has two children, Madeline and Laverne. George, a resident of York Township, married Mary Krejci of that township, and has two children: Verona and Marion. Guy is a graduate of the agricultural college, and Lauren resides in York Township, and Harry at home, the latter being a student in Wisconsin University.



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