ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Early Watertown Residents



Derived from: The History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin by C. W. Butterfield, 1879


GEORGE W. BLACK,  Assistant Postmaster, Lake Mills; born in Cortland Co., N.Y., Aug. 7, 1843; came to Wisconsin in 1847.  His father, Riley Black, settled in the vicinity of Lake Mills; engaged in farming until his death in July, 1870.  George W. Black, in 1863, began teaching penmanship in Watertown and other places; in 1866, went to farming; in 1870, came to Lake Mills, where he started a barber-shop and confectionery store; in 1875, was appointed Assistant Postmaster; has been Town and Village Clerk for some years.  Married, at Oakland, Jan. 4, 1864, Matilda C. Ritchie, of St. Lawrence Co., N.Y.; has one child living.


ADAM BRUCK, farmer, Sec. 17; P.O. Watertown; born Oct. 10, 1828, in Prussia, and worked as a vine cultivator in the Rhenish Provinces; came to America in 1849 and located in Watertown Township, Jefferson Co., Wis.; bought forty acres of land and built his house and barns; he now owns sixty-three acres and raises rye, wheat, barley, oats and stock; he also makes butter for the market.  He married Miss Sophie Fortmann, of Prussia, July 11, 1850, and has had seven children – Sophie, born May 4, 1851, died Aug. 2, 1854; Mena, born Dec. 28, 1852, died Aug. 1, 1854; Mena, born Jan. 29, 1855; Sophie, Oct. 1, 1856; Anna, Dec. 29, 1858; Emma, Sept. 29, 1860; Frederick, Sept. 21, 1863.  He was Treasurer of Township one year, Supervisor of Township one year, Clerk of Schools fifteen years in succession, Treasurer of Schools three years; member of Lodge, No. 77, I.O.O.F.  He and his wife are members of the Congregational Church.


FREDERICK BOETTCHER, boot and shoe maker and proprietor of the Golden Star Saloon, Johnson’s Creek.  Born July 5, 1833, in Mecklenburg; came to America in 1859 and worked at his profession as a shoemaker in New York City until the spring of 1860, when he moved to Milford Township, Jefferson Co., and bought ten acres of land, which he cultivated, and at the same time, worked at his trade.  In 1864, moved to Watertown City, and, in 1865, to Johnson’s Creek and established his boot and shoe shop; in 1876, he opened his saloon.  Married Miss Mary Ehleis, of Mecklenburg, in August, 1855, and has five children – Fred, Hermann, Lydia, Emmie and Clara.  They are members of the Lutheran Church.


FREDERICK BOLT, farmer, Sec. 33;  P.O. Fort Atkinson; native of Mecklenburg, Germany; born Sept. 26, 1832; came to Wisconsin in January, 1857; he first settled in Watertown; in 1867, he purchased his present farm of seven acres.  Married, in November, 1857, in Germany, Sophia Rhode, who was born in Germany in 1828; have four children - Fritz, Amos, George and Willie.  Members of the Lutheran Church; Independent.


HENRY COLONIUS, County Judge of Jefferson Co., Jefferson; was born in Waechtersbach, Germany, March 12, 1831; was educated at Academic Gymnasium, in Hanan, and at Buedingen, Germany; finished courses in Primus Class in full preparation for the University; came to America in 1849 and was for eight years engaged in manufacturing cigars in New York City; in 1858-59, edited the Virginia Staatszeitung, at Wheeling, Va.; was in the commission business in Watertown, Wis., for a time; came to Jefferson in 1862.  In 1870, was elected Register of Deeds, which office he held for two terms; served as Town Clerk in 1875-76.  Married Catherine Limper May 25, 1866; she was born in Buedingen, Germany, Feb. 5, 1849.  Mr. Colonius belongs to the Odd Fellows.


THOMAS CONAN,  merchant, Jefferson; son of Daniel Conan, of this place; came to Watertown with his parents in 1849; thence to Fox Lake, Dodge Co., Wis.  Enlisted in Dodge Co. in November, 1861, in Co. A, 17th W.V.I., and belonged to the 2d Brigade, 3d Division of the 17th Army Corps; was in all the skirmishes and battles of this division, from Shiloh through the entire campaign of Sherman’s march to the sea.  Mr. Conan first held the office of Second Sergeant, and in 1864, at Rome, Ga., was promoted to the office of Second Lieutenant, and afterward to First Lieutenant; was then detached from the regiment and was a member of Brig. Gen. R. K. Scott’s staff till the army reached Pocotaligo, S.C., where he was given command of Co. A, 17th W.V.I., which position he held till mustered out at Louisville, Ky., in July, 1865.  He has been in the mercantile business in Jefferson since 1867.  Mr. C. was in the drug business in Jefferson one year before commencing in the mercantile trade.  His father Daniel was one of the first men in the mercantile trade in Watertown.


NATHANIEL CRAMER, deceased; born in Woodbury, Richfield Co., Conn., Nov. 10, 1814; he spent his younger days and was educated in his native State, working many years as a clockmaker in Bristol; came to Watertown, Wis., in 1849, and after one year, settled on forty acres of wild land, with nothing upon it but heavy timber and a log house; here he began pioneer life, and here his wife and son now reside.  The farm now contains forty-six acres, with good improvements.  He married Miss Almira A. Moore, of New Hartford, Conn., May 28, 1837.  Mr. Cramer died April 9, 1877, leaving one daughter, Mary F., now the wife of Daniel Lawson, and one son, Frederick A., who is now in charge of the homestead, and who has made many substantial improvements upon it.  He married Miss Phebe A. Lindsley, of Petersburg, N.J., May 23, 1873; they have three children – Ada B., Blanche G. and Bertie A.  Mr. Cramer is a Democrat, and one of the enterprising young farmers.


DANIEL W. CROSS,  farmer, Sec. 34; P.O. Whitewater; born in Lyle, Broome Co., N.Y., Feb. 22, 1818; at the age of 10, he went with his parents to Erie Co., Penn,; then removed to Ohio, where he remained till 1839, when he came to Walworth Co., Wis.  In 1841, he bought eighty acres on Hart Prairie, where he lived until the spring of 1865, when he located on his present farm of 120 acres.  As a result of many years of labor and management, he now has his well-improved farm, where he has built a modern farmhouse.  He married Miss Sarah A. Hanson, of Greene Co., N.Y., in 1864; they have two children - Daniel L. and Katie.  Mr. Cross is a Republican, and has on his farm the usual stock and crops.  He at one time owned property in Watertown; also in Adams Co., Wis.


REV. P. J. COLOVIN, Pastor of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, at Watertown; was born in London, Canada West, July 4, 1842, and came to Wisconsin in 1872, locating at Watertown.  He received his literary education at St. Hyacinth College and at St. Laurent College, after which he was Professor of Moral Philosophy at St. Laurent and Notre Dame for ten years, and was Superior of St. Laurent for one year.  In August, 1871, he was sent to Notre Dame as Professor of Dogma.  In 1872 to 1874, was Assistant Pastor of St. Bernard’s Church, then returned to Notre Dame as President of the College until 1877, when he returned to Watertown and took charge of St. Bernard’s Church, as Pastor.


JOACHIM C. CORDES, dealer in agricultural implements; born in Germany; came to New York City in 1846; he lived there until 1847, then came to Watertown, engaged in farming fourteen years, then came to this city, and was engaged in mercantile business until 1869; afterward in saloon business, and now dealing in farm implements.  Mr. Cordes was one of the first musicians of this place; conducted a string band for several years.  He has been Township Assessor and Supervisor.  He was married in Watertown, Sept. 14, 1850, to Minnie Hoafer; she was born in Germany; they have eight children – Louis H., Minnie, Frances, Martha, Ida, Emma, Anna and Ernst August.


J C Cordes, saloon and billiard hall, Main, W 3rd, res same, 1875-76 Watertown City Directory


LUDWIG CORDES, farmer, Sec. 26;  P.O. Watertown.  Born Dec. 4, 1827, in Hanover, where he was a farmer; came to America in 1847, and located in Watertown Township, Jefferson Co., Wis.; bought 240 acres of land, half of it from the Government.  He now owns 120 acres, and raises all kinds of grain and stock.  Married Miss Henrietta Hoafer, Aug. 10, 1850; had eleven children – Sophie (who died), Ann (who died), Hermann, Henrietta, Amelia (who died), Henry, Frank, Ann, Otto, Helen and Marie.


JOHN B. DENNINGER, Principal of the Lutheran School; born in Berlin, Prussia, Jan. 18, 1846; came to America in 1862.  Located in Addison, Washington Co., Wis., and resided there about five years, then came to Watertown and entered the Northwestern University, where he remained as a student about three years.


He taught two winters in Addison, one year in Lomira and Teresa, in Dodge Co., in October, 1869, went to Oshkosh; remained there until 1873; Jan. 1, 1874, he went to Milwaukee; was engaged in teaching there one year and nine months.


In September, 1875, he came to Watertown.  Mr. D. married Emma Lindenstruth in Oshkosh, her native place, April 23, 1872; they have two children – Paul G. B. and Otto J. M.


WILLIAM E. DERVIN, painter and paper-hanger; was born in New York State in 1849; moved to Pennsylvania when quite young, where he remained eight years.


He then moved to and located in the town of Clyman, Dodge Co., Wis., and lived there till the year 1860, when he moved to Watertown and began clerking in a grocery store for his brother. 


In 1861, he enlisted in Co. F, of the 16th United States Infantry; he was wounded in the right limb at the battle of Stone River, near Murphysboro; on account of the wound he was discharged at Louisville, Ky., May 6, 1863.


He returned to Watertown in 1863, and in 1864, he went to St. Louis, Mo., where he learned the painter’s trade and remained till September, 1868, when he again returned to Watertown, and most of the time since, has been employed as painter for the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Co. 


He married Miss Mary Dillon, of St. Louis, Feb. 10, 1867, by whom he has four children – Alice, born in January, 1868; William T., Oct. 5, 1869; Eugene, March 4, 1871, and Arthur, Feb. 1, 1879. 


Mr. Dervin and family are members of St. Bernard’s Church; he has been Marshal of the Catholic Total Abstinence Society during the years 1878 and 1879.