Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 388-389.
One of the largest industrial concerns of Stevens Point is the Vetter Manufacturing Company, a planing mill and sash and door factory which furnishes labor to a large number of skilled operatives and for years has supplied large quantities of milled products, especially sash and doors, to the general trade. Some of the products are shipped far beyond the boundaries of Wisconsin.
The active men in this organization are members of the Vetter family. Henry Vetter is president, his son Herman A. is secretary and treasurer, and the son Carl Henry is vice president and superintendent.
Mr. Henry Vetter has been a resident of Portage County nearly half a century and is now almost retired from active business, having attained the age of four score. He was born in Germany April 20, 1838, son of John Gottlob and Marie Elizabeth (Schwartz ) Vetter. His parents spent all their lives in the old country. His father was born September 16, 1801, and died in February, 1888, and the mother was born in 1802 and died in 1876. From this record it is seen that the Vetter. family is naturally long lived and all af them have been people of great physical and mental vigor. The children of John G. Vetter and wife were: August, who died in Germany at the age of eighty-two; Ernest Gottlob, who died in Germany; a daughter who died when about five years of age; and Henry.
Henry Vetter was well educated in the old country, attending the German schools for about nine years. He also learned the mason's trade there. On April 16, 1869, he arrived at Castle Garden, New York, proceeding westward to Chicago and thence to Milwaukee, where he found his first regular employment at his trade during the summer. In the fall of 1869 Mr. Vetter arrived in Portage County. Here he bought forty acres of land in Sharon Township, but never got possession, since the land had been previously sold. In 1870 he established his home at Stevens Point, and for over a quarter of a century was one of the most reliable masons in the county. He finally retired from active work at his trade in 1897. In 1899 he and his wife enjoyed a trip back to the scenes of their early youth, and spent three months in Germany. Since then Mr. Henry Vetter has continued to live in Stevens Point and is nominally interested in business as president of the Vetter Manufacturing Company. Mrs. Henry Vetter died July 17, 1909. In politics Henry Vetter is a republican and a member of the Lutheran Church.
He married in Germany in 1861 Amalia Matilda Wigand. She was born in the old country March 5, 1836. To their marriage were born six children: Amalia Elizabeth, born November 20, 1862, and died February 9, 1863; Ernest August, born December 3, 1863, and died at Stevens Point February 24, 1871; Johanna Sophia, who was born September 28, 1865, and died at Stevens Point August 19, 1910, the wife af Michael Noller; Herman August; Carl Henry; and Emma Matilda, who was born May 19, 1875, was educated in the grammar and high schools of Stevens Point and by her marriage to John Battin has two daughters, Elizabeth and Helen. Mr. Henry Vetter, the father of these children, owns fifteen acres of land within the corporation limits of Stevens Point, and on that land on Prentiss Street he built a good home in 1914.
Herman August Vetter was born April 4, 1868, in Germany, and was a small infant when his parents came to America. He attended the public schools of Stevens Point, and when a boy went to work in a local factory. He was also employed by his father at the mason's trade. He early acquired practical experience in a sash and door factory, and sought better opportunities in this line in the far West. For a time he was at Spokane Falls, Washington, Seattle and Tacoma, and worked in sash and door factories in all these cities. In 1893 he returned to Stevens Point and soon afterward he and his brother Henry built a small plant for the manufacture of sash and doors on the site of their present business. They had limited capital, were both competent workmen, possessed courage and good business judgment, and their work was soon growing and prospering. In 1909 the firm erected a large plant 72 by 250 feet, and in 1915 they built additional equipment in the form of a warehouse 72 by 160 feet, five stories high, built of reinforced concrete. At the present time the Vetter Manufacturing Company employs about sixty hands.
In 1900 Herman A. Vetter married Miss Clara Biegler, of Stevens Point. They have four children: Frederick, May, Herman and Edwin. Mr. and Mrs. Vetter reside at 730 South Division Street.
Carl Henry Vetter, vice president and superintendent of the Vetter Manufacturing Company, was born in Stevens Point January 6, 1873. After leaving school he learned the mason's trade, and in 1894 joined his brother in the business of manufacturing sash and doors. He and his family reside at 702 Church Street. He married in 1899 Miss Anna Lee, of Stevens Point. Their three children are Carl Henry, Dorothy and Donald.
Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 396-398.
Energetic, enterprising and eminently practical, Brayton L. Vaughan, head of the well-known firm of B. L. Vaughan & Sons, occupies an assured position among the active and prosperous business men of Stevens Point as a house mover, transporter of heavy freight and a contractor in excavating and stone work, employing many men and being an important factor in advancing the industrial interests of this section of Portage County. He is a son of the late Eliphalet H. Vaughan, who was born March 21, 1808, in Redford, New York.
His paternal grandfather, Ira Vaughan, was born in New York State, December 21, 1783, and there grew to man's estate. Several years after his marriage he came with his family to Wisconsin, locating first in Dane County. Subsequently he moved to Stevens Point, Portage County, where he acquired considerable landed property, and continued his residence until his death, which occurred at his home on Clark Street July 25, 1871. He married, November 4, 1804, Sarah Boorn, who was born in New York State, July 31, 1787, and died at Stevens Point, Wisconsin, February 18, 1877. He was a surveyor by profession, and active in public affairs, having held several local offices. To him and his good wife children were born as follows: Ruth, Eliphalet H., Ira B., Eri F., Sarah S., Eslie W., Eli P., Anselem P., and Levi P. N.
Eliphalet H. Vaughan was born March 21, 1808, in Redford, Clinton County, New York, his birthplace having been located on Lake Champlain. He was there bred and educated, and while yet young was well trained in agricultural pursuits. In 1847, accompanied by his family, he made an overland journey to Wisconsin, settling in Dane County in pioneer times. Not satisfied with the result of his labors in that part of the state, he came to Portage County, rich in its pine forests, and on March 4, 1855, located at Stevens Point. He bought a fourth of a block on Clark Street, establishing his home at No. 1300, and continued as a lumberman and surveyor until his death, February 8, 1890. He was a republican in politics, and served for one or more terms as alderman.
Eliphalet H. Vaughan married at Redford, New York, May 14, 1833, Mary Constant La Fountain, who was born August 7, 1813, in Canada, her father having been a pilot on a Saint Lawrence River boat. They were the parents of eleven children, namely: Eri, born February 13, 1834; Mercy C, born September 8, 1835; Andrew O., born October 27, 1837; Ezcy, born June 8, 1840; David H., born November 17, 1842, a surveyor at Rhinelander, Wisconsin; Emeline C, born February 9, 1845; twin boys that died in infancy; Robert D., born November 17, 1848, lives in Waupaca County, this state; Brayton L., with whom this sketch is chiefly concerned; and Styles H., born July 10, 1854, is a resident of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Completing his early studies in the Stevens Point High School, Brayton L. Vaughan became familiar with lumbering when young, working first in the woods and later as a log driver on the river. Embarking in business for himself, he continued operating as a lumberman until 1914, in the meantime buying and clearing many pieces of valuable timber land. In 1889, in conjunction with his other work, Mr. Vaughan began his career as a house mover, and in the venture has met with pronounced success, at the present time keeping four crews of men busily employed. He also carries on a large business in excavating and stone work, largely in cemeteries, and makes a specialty of handling heavy freight of all kinds. A man of good financial as well as executive ability, Mr. Vaughan has accumulated a substantial property, owning four houses on Clark Street and three on Main Street, everything being in the name of the firm of B. L. Vaughan & Sons. Mr. Vaughan resides at 1403 Main Street, where he has a most pleasant and hospitable home.
He married in 1875, at Stevens Point, Harriet Tupper, who belonged to a distinguished family, her grandfather Tupper having been a brother of Hon. Sir Charles Tupper. She was born in Belmont Township, Portage County, Wisconsin, March 17, 1856. Her father, Thomas H. Tupper, a native of New Brunswick, came to Portage County, Wisconsin, in pioneer days, settling in Belmont Township in 1849. During the Civil war he enlisted as a soldier, and died while in service, in 1863, aged thirty years. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth White, was born in Maine, and died in Wisconsin in June, 1916, aged seventy-eight years.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan has been brightened by the birth of four children, namely: Arvin L., born January 30, 1876; David Clyde, born January 4, 1879; Algie P., born December 23, 1882; and Zada Evelyn, born November 29, 1893. Arvin L. Vaughan, the first-born child of his parents, was educated in the graded and high schools of Stevens Point and at the Normal School, and is now a memher of the firm of E. L. Vaughan & Sons. He married Beatress Georgia Smart, and they have two children, Iris Ianthe and Terrence Granfall. David Clyde Vaughan attended the local high school, the State Normal School and the Stevens Point Business College, and is now associated in business with his father as treasurer of the firm. He married Rosella May Sutton, and they have three children, Hassell Sutton and Frederick Allen, both students in the high school, and Leonora, in the sixth grade of the grammar school. Aglie P. Vaughan, who died December 28, 1911, married, May 4, 1905, Mary Anna Marx, who was born December 3, 1887. Of the four children born of their union, Richard, the oldest child, died at the age of two years, and three are living, Eugene Henry, Raymond George and Irma Marie, all of whom have been adopted by their Grandfather Vaughan. Zada Evelyn Vaughan, the only daughter of the parental household, completed her early education in the State Normal School, and on October 10, 1915, became the wife of Edward Steiner, of Elkmound, Wisconsin.
Religiously Mr. Vaughan is an active member of the Baptist Church, and for many years has been a teacher in its Sunday school. He is a republican in politics, and has served as supervisor and as a member of the County Board. Fraternally he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to the Equitable Fraternal Union and to the Beavers. He was formerly a member of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics and the Modern Woodmen of America.
Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 403-405.
There was a time not so many years ago when the youth and vigor and manhood of Portage County were almost constantly in demand by the lumbering industry, and among men now past middle age it is exceptional when some portion of their younger years was not spent in the lumber woods or on the rivers, or in some employment connected with the converting of the great lumber resources of Wisconsin into manufactured products.
One of the veterans of the forest and one of the oldest residents of Portage County is Mr. Robert B. Wilson, who lives at Stevens Point and is now foreman in the employ of the State Highway Commission. Mr. Wilson was born in Chemung County, New York, May 9, 1851, a son of William and Phoebe (Fleming) Wilson. His father was born at Wells, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, February 19, 1826 and his mother was born at Trenton, New Jersey, December 7, 1824. The paternal grandfather, Estill Wilson, was born October 20, 1796 and married Mary McCurter, who was born July 18, 1795. They were pioneers of Portage County, Wisconsin, but did not remain long, returning to the State of Pennsylvania, where Mary Wilson died May 27, 1855. The grandfather subsequently came back to Portage County and died here at an advanced age, on May 25, 1875. His children were Sarah, Lydia, Robert, William and James.
In October, 1853, William Wilson brought his family to Portage County and in the fall of that year secured a farm in Amherst Township. For more than forty years he went regularly about his tasks of clearing away the woods, cultivating his soil, and keeping up all the duties and responsibilities of a good citizen and good home maker, and he died in this county honored and respected on December 30, 1898. His widow survived him and passed away at Stevens Point on May 14, 1916. She had continued to live on the old homestead until April, 1915. Her father was Thomas Fleming. Thomas and Rachel Fleming were also among the pioneers of Portage County, Wisconsin, and spent many useful years there. Their children were Hannah, William, Maria, Phoebe, Harriet, Permelia and Benjamin Fleming. The seven children born to William and Phoebe Wilson were: Robert B.; Estill; Thomas; Mary, wife of James Fowlie; Richard; Henry; and Edith, wife of Carl Hartel. The father of these children was an active republican and for seventeen years filled an office in the township board of Amherst and for most of that time was chairman of the board. He and his wife were devout members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the latter was active in church from the age of twelve years.
Robert B. Wilson was only two or three years old when his parents came to Portage County, and his first conscious recollections are of the woods and log cabin homes and other sparse improvements in this county sixty years ago. As he grew up he developed his strength on the old homestead, and acquired a knowledge of the fundamentals in the local schools. He was only fifteen when he was entrusted with the responsibilities of a regular job in a logging camp, and from that time on he continued in the woods until he had passed forty winters all told as a woodsman and part of the time was in business for himself. In 1902 Mr. Wilson moved from his home in the country to Stevens Point and here has invested in considerable real estate, owning four modern homes and one other dwelling. He lives at 537 Ellis Street. He now finds ample employment for his years of semi-leisure in the office of foreman of state roads. Mr. Wilson is an active republican and he and his family are members of the Episcopal Church.
June 29, 1875, he married Miss Emma D. Warren. Mrs. Wilson was born at Stillwater, Maine, March 22, 1854, daughter of Aaron G. and Matilda Jane (Whitney) Warren. Only a few weeks after her birth her parents came to Plainfield, Waushara County, Wisconsin, but after living there seven or eight years moved back to the Pine Tree State in 1863. When they came again to Wisconsin in 1864 they located in Portage County, where they had their home for nearly half a century. In 1909 Mrs. Wilson's parents moved out to Anacortes, Washington, where her father died in 1914, at the advanced age of eighty-one, and her mother in 1909, aged seventy-three. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson. Clyde, Chester, Earl and Myrtle. The latter two are still at home. Chester died in infancy. Clyde is the wife of William Gilden, of Anacortes, Washington, and has three children, named Sylvia, Chester and Edith.
Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 744-745.
Basil Wanta is one of the prominent land owners and agriculturists in Sharon Township, where he has spent the best part of his active career. Mr. Wanta knows farming from A to Z and his capabilities have been developed by long and thorough experience. He is a thorough business man and one of the valuable citizens of the county.
Mr. Wanta was born in Poland in 1862 and seven years later, in 1869, his parents, Joseph and Barbara Wanta, came to the United States. They lived a short time in New York State, and then came west and spent one summer at Berlin, Wisconsin. From here they returned to New York, but in March, 1881, settled in Portage County in Sharon Township, and here the parents spent the rest of their worthy lives. The father died June 2, 1907, at the age of eight-six, and the mother in 1900, aged fifty-six. They were very devout members of the Polish Catholic Church. Their family consisted of six children, Alexander, Joseph, Basil, John, Frank and Rosa.
Mr. Basil Wanta was educated in the public schools of New York State. He has been a permanent resident of Portage County since December 3, 1881. For five years he worked at wages in saw mills and in the lumber woods, and from that occupation engaged in farming. In 1892 he bought in Sharon Township 120 acres, and after improving it he bought other land until his place now comprises 240 acres. It is a highly cultivated and valuable farm, with good building improvements, and is operated at a maximum of production and profit under Mr. Wanta's direction.
Mr. Wanta is also president of the Polish Fire Insurance Association of Portage County. Politically he is a republican. He has done much in the way of public service, was formerly a road commissioner, was chairman of the township board four years, and for the past thirteen years has served as clerk of his school district. He and his family are members of the Polish Catholic Church at Polonia.
On February 4, 1884, Mr. Wanta married Miss Rosa Dzwonkowski. She was born in Portage County, daughter of Nick and Josie Dzwonkowski, pioneer settlers here. Her mother died in 1917 and her father is still a resident of Sharon Township. Mrs. Wanta died October 6, 1896, leaving six children, named Felix, Louis, Julius, Bertha, Frances, and Otto. In 1897 Mr. Wanta married Anastasia Fonnalla. She was born in Poland, where her father died, and when a child she came with her mother to Portage County. Her mother died in this county. Mr. and Mrs. Wanta have two children, Clara, wife of Mike Kruzicki, and Martha.