William Fleming, a practicing lawyer of Oconomowoc, is the son of John Fleming, who was born in Ireland, in 1808, and came to this country in 1836. He first settled in Pennsylvania, where he married Catherine Sweeney, also a native of Ireland, in 1842. In 1844 they came to Wisconsin, settling on a farm in the town of Emmet, Dodge County, where they resided up to the time of their death, in 1885 and 1893, respectively. They were thrifty people and accumulated and left a fair amount of property.
They had six sons and three daughters, of whom four sons, John, William, Michael and Thomas J. and daughter, Mrs. Michael Casey of Watertown, still survive. The eldest of the family, James Fleming, was a soldier in the Sixty-fourth regiment of Illinois infantry during the war of the rebellion. He took part in many important and perilous campaigns, among them Sherman's march to the sea, and was honorably discharged at the close of his term of service. His death occurred at his father's home in 1872. The youngest son, Thomas J. Fleming, is a dealer in real estate in Milwaukee, and at present secretary of the State Agricultural society.
William Fleming was born February 6th, 1851, in the town of Emmet, Dodge county, Wisconsin, and was educated in the Northwestern University at Watertown. For many years he was a successful teacher in the public schools. In 1878 he was elected to the lower house of the legislature, and re-elected in 1879. While residing in Dodge County, he served as assessor, town clerk, and was chairman of the town board. He was deputy clerk of the court from 1882 to 1884, and was elected county clerk in 1884 and served two years. In 1887 he went to Alaska as deputy collector of customs, under A. K. Delaney. He was stationed at Fort Wrangel.
Mr. Fleming remained in Alaska during the latter part of President Cleveland's first administration; and, upon his return home he entered upon the practice of law, for which he had previously fitted himself, by private study. In December, 1893, he moved to Oconomowoc, and formed a law partnership with A. B. Rogan, now judge of the municipal court for the western district of Waukesha County.
In religious faith Mr. and Mrs. Fleming are Catholics, and he is a member of the Catholic Knights of Wisconsin. In politics he is a Democrat; but on all questions he is liberal-minded, granting to others the right that he claims for himself - to think and act as to him may seem right and proper.
Mr. Fleming was married on the 11th of February, 1885, to Mary Rogan, a sister of his former law partner, and two children have been born to them - Adelaide Grace and Margaret Catharine Ann.
Men of Progress: Wisconsin, edited by Andrew J. Aikens and Lewis A. Proctor, Milwaukee, The Evening Wisconsin Company, 1897.