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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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John Dennis

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 248 - 249

John Dennis, who resides on section 12, in the town of Greenbush, is one of the earlier settlers of that section of the county. He was born in the town of Porter, Niagara County, N. Y., February 14, 1828, and is a son of Walter C. and Bridget Rose {Morris} Dennis. Walter C. Dennis was born in Oxford, England, of Irish descent. He was a son of a prominent contractor and builder, and learned the trade of a stone mason. On reaching manhood he was married, but his wife died after bearing him one son. His second wife was Miss Morris, the mother of John Dennis. After emigrating to America, the family lived in Canada for a time, then removed to the State of New York, where they located in Niagara County. The father was a man of rather delicate constitution, and for many of the last years of his life was in feeble health, and consequently not actively engaged in business. His death occurred March 17, 1837. The wife and mother was married a second time, her husband being Zacariah Taylor. She died at the age of about eighty years. She was of Scotch parentage, her father, Morrison Morris, being a Scotch Highlander. Her parents never came to America.

Walter C. Dennis had one son by his first marriage, William, who was for many years a teacher in England, where, if living, he still resides, having never left his native land. Of his second marriage, there were three sons and one daughter. The subject of this sketch was the eldest of his mother's children; Walter C., Jr., who was the next in order of birth, died many years ago, leaving a family; Edward D. was for many years a resident of New York City, but has long been deceased; the only daughter was Mary Jane, who never married, and whose death occurred a number of years ago.

John Dennis grew to manhood in his native town, where he learned the trade of carriage and wagon-making. He was married December 25, 1849 to Sarah M. Baker, the ceremony being performed in his native county and town. Mrs. Dennis' parents were David and Cynthia {Shattuck} Baker, the former being a native of New Jersey, and the latter of New Hampshire. Mr. Baker and his wife were married in the city of Albany, where the family of Mrs. Baker was then living. After their marriage they settled in Oswego. In the War of 1812, Mr. Baker's property was destroyed by the British, and he entered the army, where he served for some time. After the war they removed to Youngstown, Niagara County, and a few years later to Porter Center, in the same county, where the father died September 30, 1832, of cholera. His wife survived him some twenty-five years. Mrs. Dennis was one of twelve children, eleven of whom grew to manhood and womanhood, seven sons and four daughters. However, but three sisters are now living, namely: Mrs. Margaret Ann Morris, of Greenville, Mich., who is the eldest, having been born August 11, 1814; Mrs. Susan Eggleston, of Wilson, N. Y., the second of the three, born May 27, 1827; and Mrs. Dennis, the youngest, whose birth occurred December 21, 1831.

Mr. and Mrs. Dennis have five children, three sons and two daughters. Ross, the eldest, resides in Rolfe, Iowa; John E. is a resident of Downing, Wis.; Edward D. lives on the homestead farm; Anna and Eva M. are the daughters.

Mr. Dennis first came to Sheboygan County in the fall of 1859. He at that time owned land on section 12, in Greenbush Township, which he had obtained some time previously. His object in coming West was to look up the land, with a view to ascertaining its value, and also to look for a suitable location, having fully decided to make his home in Wisconsin. The same season he returned to the State of New York, and made preparations to remove his family, and in the spring of 1860 came to Glenbeulah, where he engaged in carriage and wagon-making, and, as he was able, increased his land until he became the owner of about six hundred and forty acres. In 1865 he retired from the business of wagon-making, and has worked at that only occasionally since. His farm, which is near the village of Glenbeulah, contains two hundred acres, and there he has a pleasant home.

Mr. Dennis is one of the well known men of his town, and one of its most highly respected citizens. As a mechanic, he excels, being naturally ingenious, and he is the patentee of several more useful articles, including the folding bars for drying clothes, a most useful invention, and a wringer and bench combined, for the wringing of clothes, which is also a great improvement on the ordinary method of doing that work.

In his political relations, Mr. Dennis has generally affiliated with the Democratic party. Mrs. Dennis is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. and Mrs. Dennis are numbered among the esteemed and highly respected people of Greenbush, where they have lived for a quarter of a century.

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