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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Andrew Dye

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 553 - 555

Andrew Dye, who owns and operates a farm on section 12, Lyndon Township, is one of the honored pioneers of Sheboygan County, and its history is familiar to him from its earliest days. In the work of progress and advancement he has ever borne his part, and his name is inseparably connected with its development. He was born September 27, 1841, in Lima Township, in the old boarded-up shanty that was one of the pioneer homes. Mr. Dye still has in his possession a hand-sled which was used to haul the boards for this building. The family numbered three sons and five daughters, of whom he is fifth in order of birth. He was reared in the usual manner of farmer lads on the frontier, and can remember when the Indians were in camp across the road from his father's old home. That building was made of rough boards, covered with slabs, and was 12x16 feet. There was no chimney, and the smoke escaped through a stove-pipe thrust through the roof. With the furniture in the room there was hardly space enough in which to set the table. This dwelling was in the midst of the forest, and no road but an Indian trail passed their door. The father erected the first frame house in Sheboygan, and the mother made the first pound of butter there, making it in a can by stirring it with a spoon.

"Deacon" Dye would often go with the Indians to cut down "bee trees," and thus supply the table with honey. During one winter the family lived for several days on salt and potatoes, for the vessel which was to bring them provisions could not land on account of a storm, and had to put in port at Milwaukee. When the household effects were being moved from Sheboygan to the farm, as they had no wagon they would place some of the articles on a forked limb, using the extended piece as the tongue of a wagon and thus haul their goods to their destination. In those early days Mr. Dye drove his cattle from Milwaukee, and while resting at night the animals would often stray away, thus causing much trouble in the search for them. All of the hardships and trials of pioneer life were experienced by the Dye family. Sometimes the Indians were troublesome on account of having taken too much liquor, and would come to the Dye home, where they would spend the night, lying so thick on the floor that in the morning Mr. Dye could hardly get through to make the fire. Deer and other wild game were plentiful, and wolves often prowled around. On different occasions Mrs. Dye went to the door and threw fire-brands among them in order to frighten them away.

Our subject passed his entire life in Sheboygan County, with the exception of three years spent in the service of Uncle Sam. He enlisted in Company H, First Wisconsin Infantry, under Capt. Eugene Perry and Col. Starkweather, September 27, 1861. After six weeks spent in Milwaukee and four weeks in Jeffersonville, Ind., they spent six months in chasing Gen. Morgan, the rebel. On the 15th of December they went to Munfordville, on Green River, and after the surrender of Ft. Henry went to Nashville, there remaining until Gen. Buell's army was ordered to support Gen. Grant. The troops then went to Columbia, Franklin and Mt. Pleasant, two months later to Pulaski, and then to Huntsville, Ala., after Wheeler. On the 29th of June, 1862, Mr. Dye was stricken with typhus fever and was taken to the hospital in Huntsville, Ala., where he remained four weeks, during which time five comrades died in the room in which he lay. After his recovery he went to Nashville and his regiment was ordered to follow Gen. Buell to Louisville, but he was detained in the convalescent camp, and did provost guard duty in the city of Nashville. The headquarters were in the State house, and on the hard stone floor of the Hall of Representatives and the stone sidewalks the suffering Union troops would lie on blankets. They had little to eat, and many died from exposure and hardships as well as disease. After three months, during which time he was seriously ill, Mr. Dye was transferred to Louisville, and sent to New Albany, Ind., where he was discharged, January 6, 1863. He then returned home, but on the 6th of October following joined the Thirteenth Wisconsin Battery, Light Artillery, which remained in Milwaukee until January 1, 1864, and was then ordered to join the Gulf Department. They did garrison duty at Baton Rouge until after the close of the war. Mr. Dye was honorably discharged July 21, 1865, and immediately returned home. He had been a faithful soldier, and his war record is one of which he may well be proud.

On the 21st of February, 1871, Mr. Dye married Miss Catherine Kelner, a native of Wisconsin. They had three children, two now living: Julius H., who is at home with his parents; and A. Gordon, who for two years has attended the Waldo High School, and expects to take a complete course of study in the Wayland Academy, of Beaver Dam. The mother died January 19, 1876, and Mr. Dye afterward married Miss Christina Minch. She was born in New York, October 6, 1847, and they were married April 9, 1876. They have a bright and intelligent daughter, Anna E., who for two years has attended school in Sheboygan, and expects soon to enter the High School of Waldo. Mr. Dye has proved to her husband a faithful helpmate, and a kind and loving mother to her children. Her father, Jacob Minch, died in December, 1877, but her mother is still living in Lyndon Township.

The farm of our subject comprises eighty acres of valuable land, which is under a high state of cultivation and is well watered with good springs. The home is the abode of hospitality. Mr. and Mrs. Dye hold membership with the Baptist Church of Sheboygan Falls, and he belongs to Richardson Post No. 12, G. A. R., of Sheboygan Falls. He cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, and is a stalwart advocate of Republican principles. He served as School Director for six years, and Treasurer for six years, discharging his duties with a promptness and fidelity that won him high commendation. He is a valued citizen, and was a faithful defender of his country and the Old Flag, which now floats so proudly over the United Nation.


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