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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Hon. Cad W. Humphrey

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 345 - 347

Foremost among the few surviving pioneer settlers of the town of Mitchell, whose energy, industry and enterprise have helped to convert a wilderness of forest into well-improved and productive farms, should be mentioned the gentleman whose name heads this record. For more than forty years he has made his home on the tract of land which he entered on section 22, and to which he holds the original patent from the United States Government.

Mr. Humphrey was born in Phelpstown, Ontario County, N. Y., on the 2d of February, 1822, and is a son of John and Perlina (Wiggins) Humphrey. His paternal ancestors were of Welsh origin, and were pioneers of the Mohawk Valley, in the Empire State. His father was born in Orange County, June 21, 1791, and was a son of Oliver Humphrey, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The latter was born on the 12th of August, 1758. He was with his command at Ft. Montgomery, and with his two brothers assisted in guarding the heavy chain that was stretched across the North River by the patriots, to hinder the advance of the British war-vessels. At the close of the war he received land warrants, which he located in Ontario County, at what is now Phelpstown, and to which place he moved his family, including our subject's father, in a sled drawn by an ox-team.

In John Humphrey's family were five children. Oliver, the eldest, born March 14, 1819, married Eliza Howell, and made his home on the old homestead in Phelpstown until killed, January 6, 1876, at the age of fifty-seven years, by being caught by a falling tree; C. W., our subject, is the second in order of birth; Mary became the wife of Henry Jennings, and resides in the town of Lyons, Wayne County, N. Y.; Harriet married William Humphrey, a distant relative, and now resides on a portion of the old homestead; and Arminta, who was the wife of John Barrett, died in Lyons, N. Y., April 24, 1893, aged fifty-seven years.

John Humphrey was a farmer by occupation. In his religious views, he was liberal, adopting no particular creed or faith. He was a stanch Democrat in politics, as was his father before him. His death occurred July 3, 1863, and his wife, who was born in Oneida County, N. Y., June 29, 1802, died December 19, 1887.

The subject of this sketch was reared under the wholesome influence of a home on the farm, where he was trained in early youth to habits of morality, industry and economy, habits which have shaped and governed his course in mature years. His education was received in the public schools and in an academy.

In 1846 he set out to seek a location for a home in the then Territory of Wisconsin, and in May of that year reached Prairieville, now Waukesha. He traversed the neighboring' country, and in the following February made a pre-emption claim on the land he owns in the town of Mitchell, Sheboygan County, where he built a cabin and "kept bach,{sic}" until the following fall, when he returned to his native State.

Mr. Humphrey was married in Phelpstown, on the 26th of October, 1848, to Miss Marion Elizabeth Van De Mark, who was born in that town, March 15, 1829, and is a daughter of Frederick and Lydia Hodges (Cobb) Van De Mark. Mrs. Humphrey's paternal grandfather, Lodiwick Van De Mark, was a Hollander, and settled in Phelpstown with his family in 1794. Her mother's family were originally from Taunton, Mass. The Van De Marks were among the early settlers in the Mohawk Valley, and were prominently identified with its history. Mrs. Humphrey's father, who was a prominent and prosperous member of the community where he resided, died in December, 1861, at the age of seventy-seven years, and her mother in June, 1875, being in her eighty-fifth year. Mrs. Humphrey's family is noted for longevity, both of her grandfathers having attained to the advanced age of eighty-six years.

Very soon after his marriage, Mr. Humphrey returned to his claim, where he prepared a comfortable log house for a home, and began clearing and improving his land. In the fall of 1849 he removed his young wife to her new home, where they began life as pioneers in the then Far West. Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey became the parents of seven children. Benjamin F. is in business in Oshkosh, a member of the firm of Angus & Humphrey, wholesale dealers in cheese. Arminta Dormer is the wife of Oscar J. Angus, of the above-named firm; they have one child, Florence Marion. Florence D., the next younger than Mrs. Angus, resides with her parents. Cad, who is at home, is the survivor of twins, his twin brother having died in infancy. John O., the youngest of the family, is also at home, and aids his father and older brother in conducting the farm.

Mr. Humphrey has a well-improved farm of one hundred and fifty acres situated on section 22, town of Mitchell. Good and commodious barns and stock buildings afford all necessary conveniences for an extensive stock and dairy farm. In 1885 he erected a large and tasty brick residence, which occupies a beautiful wooded eminence, immediately in front of the old log cabin that still stands to remind the family of the many happy years that it was their safe and welcome shelter. Within the walls of the old log house many a weary and belated wayfarer has found cheerful and generous hospitality.

In politics, Mr. Humphrey is a stanch Democrat, and has been chosen to various public positions of honor and trust. He has held the office of Town Clerk, Assessor, Superintendent of Schools, and Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of the town of Mitchell for several years. Under the County Commissioner system, he was one of the five elected Commissioners for Sheboygan County, and was an active and influential member of that body. He served as Sheriff of the county two years, and in 1860 was elected a member of the Wisconsin Assembly, and was once beaten for the same office by only seventeen votes. In all of these positions, Mr. Humphrey has discharged the duties devolving upon him with ability and fidelity.

In their religious views, Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey are inclined to Universalism, but have not identified themselves with any church or creed. Both are well-read and well-informed people, genial and kind-hearted, and in their new home delight in dispensing that same open-handed hospitality that characterized their lives in pioneer days.

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