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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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David Wisner Halsted

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 632 - 633

David Wisner Halsted, Vice-President of the Halsted Maufacturing{sic} Company, and President of the J. A. Winter Manufacturing Company, is a native of the Badger State, born in Calumet County, May 24, 1845. His paternal grandfather came from Holland, and settled in Niagara County, N. Y., where David W., the father of our subject, was born. When the Blackhawk War broke out, the latter enlisted in the service and remained until the close of the war. Being stationed at Ft. Howard, Wis., he helped to cut out the military road from Green Bay to Portage. After cessation of hostilities, he returned to the State of New York, and married Miss Rachel Turner, He came to Sheboygan in 1841. A year later, he removed to Calumet County, where he and his wife spent their remaining days. For some time he was engaged in the lumber business, but later turned his attention to farming. In politics, he was an active Whig, being elected by that party to the General Assembly of Wisconsin. In the family of this worthy couple were eight children, four sons and four daughters. Three of the boys were soldiers in the late war. Luther, who enlisted in Company H, Thirty-eighth Wisconsin Infantry, was killed in the battle of Cold Harbor. Charles served three years in Company I, Fifth Wisconsin Infantry, being severely wounded in the shoulder in the battle of the Wilderness.

Mr. Halsted of this sketch lived on a farm until fifteen years of age, receiving such meagre education as the pioneer schools of Wisconsin afforded. He can remember when the Indian children outnumbered the white ones. He enlisted in August, 1861, in Company A, Second Wisconsin Cavalry, being one of the first soldiers to go into camp at Camp Washburn, Milwaukee. His command was sent to Jefferson City, Mo. The first regular engagement in which he took part was at Newtonia, in that State. At the battle of Prairie Grove (Ark.), he received an ugly wound, which laid him up for seven months. He was in the convalescent hospital at Springfield when Gen. Marmaduke made the attempt to capture the city and the prisoners. Every one able to carry a gun was called to the defense. Mr. Halsted, though but just able to get about, helped to defend the city from the attack of the enemy. By heroic efforts the rebel force was kept at bay. As soon as he had gained sufficient strength to stand the trip home, Mr. Halsted was discharged, the date being March 24, 1863. Having recovered from his injuries, he went to Washington and became a member of Company C, Third United States Veteran Volunteers. After the close of the war, he was sent to Springfield, Ill., to perform guard duty, being discharged at that place March 24, 1866. During his soldier life, he served in eleven States, and, except when wounded, was ever found at the post of duty. When discharged, he was not yet twenty-one years of age, though he had endured the hardships and privations of over four years of actual service. He had the satisfaction of witnessing two memorable events: the Grand Review of the veterans at Washington, and the execution of the five traitors implicated in the assassination of Lincoln.

Returning to Calumet County, Mr. Halsted engaged in the lumber business. There in 1866, he married Miss Mary G., daughter of William Stearns. This lady, who was a native of New York, died in 1870, leaving one child, John D., who is foreman for the Halsted Manufacturing Company. Six years later Mr. Halsted wedded Bertha Balzer, by whom he has two sons, Aurel and Hugh.

In 1873, Mr. Halsted removed to Sheboygan, and for ten years kept the Beakman House. We next find him engaged in the lumber business at Antigo, Wis. In 1884, he built a part of his present factory, and engaged in making mouldings and house furnishings. In 1885, the Halsted Manufacturing Company was incorporated with a capital stock of $18,000, which has since been increased to $30,000. The first officers were G. B. Mattoon, President; D. W. Halsted, Vice-President; and Charles Whiffen, Secretary and Treasurer. But one change has been made in the official management, F. F. Merrill having taken the place of Mr. Whiffen. The main building of the plant is three stories in height, 70x166 feet; besides dry-kilns, sheds, etc., are provided. This industry furnishes employment for about one hundred men.

Mr. Halsted is a Republican in politics, being active and influential in the management of party affairs. Socially, he is a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the Knights of Honor, and of the order of Foresters. As a soldier and as a citizen, Mr. Halsted has made an honorable record, and one that will be read with interest in the years to come.


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