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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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James Shufflebotham

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 533 - 534

James Shufflebotham is one of the well-known pioneers of Sheboygan County, where he has resided for almost a half-century. He was born in Cheshire, England, January 23, 1820, and is a son of William and Mary Shufflebotham, of the town of Astbury, Cheshire. William Shufflebotham was for twenty-five years superintendent for Lord Crewe in the gathering of tithes, a custom long since abandoned. He and his wife were members of the Church of England, in which their children were reared. They spent their entire lives in their native land, where the father died at the age of about sixty-five years, and the mother, who survived her husband many years, passed away at the advanced age of ninety years. They were the parents of twelve children, seven of whom attained to manhood and womanhood. Only two are now living, the subject of this article, and a younger brother, Joseph Shufflebotham, who lives in New Zealand. Another brother, William, came to Sheboygan County about 1853. He was a millwright by trade and followed that business in this county for many years. Going to Fond du Lac County, he was engaged for a number of years in building cars for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company. When the shops of the company were removed from that place, he went to Topeka, Kan., where he also followed car-building, and where his death occurred in 1889. He and the gentleman whose name heads this sketch were the only members of the family who emigrated to America. All the brothers learned trades, and were successful business men.

James Shufflebotham learned the trade of a machinist, which he followed in his native land. He was married in 1844 to Miss Mary Ann Cottrell, and in 1848 came to the United States to seek a home in the American republic, leaving his wife and only child in England. He set sail from London in the sailing-vessel "Wellington," and fifty-eight days later landed in New York. Going to Newark, N. J., he worked at his trade for a while, and then sent for his wife and daughter. The latter, Hannah, is now the wife of Dominick Lyfring, of Cherokee, Iowa. In 1849, Mr Shufflebotham came with his family to Sheboygan County, and settled in the town of Greenbush, on a farm of eighty acres, which he bought of the Government at $1.25 per acre. This purchase consumed his entire capital. He resumed work at his trade, as that was a more fruitful source of revenue than clearing a farm, and, besides, he desired money to purchase more land. He engaged as engineer of a steamboat on Lake Michigan, which occupation he followed for one season, and then returned to his family, but soon after went to Chilton and superintended the building of a flouring and saw mill, remaining some three years at that place. He was now enabled to add to his first purchase of land, and ere long was the owner of four hundred acres, located in the present town of Russell.

Mr. Shufflebotham now devoted his time to clearing and improving his land, converting this wild tract into a fine and productive farm. In 1866, he disposed of this property and bought a farm in the town of Greenbush, between the villages of Greenbush and Glenbeulah. It is now owned by Dr. De Smidt, and he occupied it until 1874, when he retired from the farm and removed to the last-named village. There he resided for a number of years, but now; lives with his sons on one of his farms in Greenbush Township. He is still the possessor of several fine farms, which include about six hundred acres of land, besides owning other valuable property. He has always been a large land-owner, having had at one time about nine hundred acres.

On the 10th of April, 1876, Mr. Shufflebotham was bereft of the' wife of his youth, who had shared with him the toil and privations common to pioneers, and had borne him a large family of children, seven of whom are still living, four sons and three daughters, as follows: Hannah, spoken of above; James, who is superintendent of the lumber yard of the Phoenix Chair Company, of Sheboygan; Elizabeth, the wife of Frank Diehl, a machinist residing in the same city; Oliver, who was formerly engaged in railroading, but is now a farmer; Thomas, a railroad agent at Newell, Iowa; Minnie, who became the wife of M. D. L. Fuller, of Crystal Falls, Mich.; and Viola, wife of Ferdinand Wagner, of Plymouth. In 1878, Mr. Shufflebotham was married to Isabel Mc Taggart, by whom two children were born, one of whom is still living, John, of Glenbeulah.

Mr. Shufflebotham has been very successful in the accumulation of property. Coming to this country a poor man, he has become one of the large laud-owners in his section of the county. In his political views, he is a Republican, and has held various offices in his township. He is a man who has done much toward the upbuilding and development of the county.


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