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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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E. Palmer Andrus

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 476 - 477

E. Palmer Andrus, an honored citizen and pioneer, residing on section 9, Lyndon Township, was born in Franklin County, Vt., August 22, 1821, and is a son of Benjamin and Freelove (Milliman) Andrus. The former was born in Bennington County, Vt., in 1785, and became an early settler of Franklin County. He served in the War of 1812, and his father, who was known as Capt. Andrus, was a landlord in Shaftsbury, Vt. He had seven sons in the Revolutionary War. Benjamin Andrus always followed farming, and lived an upright, honorable life. His death occurred in 1869. His wife was a native of Rhode Island. They became the parents of twelve children, six sons and six daughters, of whom Palmer is the eighth in order of birth. The others yet living are Theodosia, wife of Thomas Jackson, a retired farmer of Ripon, Wis.; and Mary Jane, widow of Alonzo Ransom, and a resident of Richmond, Ill.

At the early age of eleven years our subject began life for himself, working in the wool-carding factories at $8 per month. His life has been a busy and useful one. His educational privileges were very limited, his text-books being Webster's blue-blacked spelling-book, Adams' arithmetic, and the New Testament. He has, however, become a well-informed man through business experience and observation. He worked at the carpenter and joiner's trade, but the highest wages he received in his native State was $13 per month, so he determined to seek a home and fortune in the West. The year 1846 he spent in Ohio, and in 1847 went to Chicago, but as he could not find work there, he went to Elgin, where he began mowing grass at six shillings per day. He afterwards hired out to a manufacturing company at $20 per month. In 1848, he came to Sheboygan County, making the trip on an old steamer. They encountered a severe storm, and Mr. Andrus had to take his turn at the pumps. He walked from Milwaukee to Sheboygan County, and at Mr. Johnson's, in Gibbsville, ate his first meal in Sheboygan County. In connection with his father-in-law, he went to Brown County, Ill., where he erected a sawmill and worked for some months, after which he returned to this county and purchased forty acres of timber-land. Buying an axe, he began clearing the tract, and in course of time developed a good farm.

Mr. Andrus was married September 9, 1849, to Maila M. Stone, who was born in Berkshire, Franklin County, Vt., June 18, 1828, and is a daughter of James and Lucinda (Danforth) Stone, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. She acquired a liberal education in her native State, where she engaged in teaching for two years, and for three years she was a successful teacher of Wisconsin. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Andrus were born two sons and four daughters, but two are now deceased. Those living are: Julia M., wife of H. F. Shadbolt, who is interested in the Excelsior Wrapper Company of Sheboygan, and by whom she has one son, Loomis; Helen M., wife of H. H. Tubbs, a civil engineer of Elkhorn, Wis., who is now editor and publisher of the Blade, in company with Charles Badger; Merritt P., who aids in the operation of the home farm, and married Miss Eunie M. Watson, a native of Fond du Lac, Wis., who was a teacher in Fond du Lac and Green Bay Counties; and Hal B. J., who completes the family. The children have all been given good school privileges, and Hal graduated from the Waldo High School.

Mrs. Andrus was one of eight children, of whom two sons and four daughters are yet living. her father was born in New Hampshire, but was reared in Vermont. In 1846, he came to the Territory of Wisconsin, and located in Lyndon Township. He died many years ago; but his widow is still living in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Selden Akin. Both Mr. and Mrs. Andrus are familiar with pioneer life in this locality. He was instrumental in organizing the first school district, and the first schoolhouse erected still stands across the road from his home. It was then used also as a meeting-house, and Mrs. Andrus' father was one of the most prominent church workers. He also took an active part in benevolent and charitable work. He served as the first Postmaster of Winooski, which office he named. Mrs. Andrus was the first school-teacher in the Harmon district, and the cause of education has ever received the ready support of our subject and his wife.

This worthy couple have a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, upon which is a beautiful country residence, and all modern improvements and conveniences. It bears little resemblance to the uncultivated tract which he purchased, and its neat and thrifty appearance attests the careful supervision of the owner. Mr. Andrus cast his first Presidential vote in support of James K. Polk, and he well remembers the "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too" campaign. Since the organization of the Republican party he has fought under its banner. He is a man of sterling worth and strict integrity, pleasant and genial in manner, and he and his estimable wife are held in the highest regard throughout the community in which they have so long resided.

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