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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Frederick D. Palmer

Source: "History of Manitowoc County Wisconsin" by Dr. L. Falge, 1911-1912, v.2, p.373-374.

The appeal of the soil is very strong to some men, who return to farming as a means of livelihood after years spent in other pursuits, believing it the best occupation a man can follow. Frederick D. Palmer, after years spent in the contracting business, has settled down to general farming on a tract of sixty acres located in sections 7 and 8, town of Cato, Manitowoc county. Mr. Palmer was born April 3, 1864, in Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, and is a son of Hiram B. and Matilda (Gould) Palmer, natives of New York state. Mr. Palmer's parents were married in Canada, and in 1864 settled in Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, where Mrs. Palmer died when our subject was only fourteen months of age. About three years later, Hiram B. Palmer was married to Miss Susannah Butler, and they are now making their home with their son, Frederick D. Hiram B. Palmer has practically retired from active work, after many years spent as a traveling salesman, which, with the exception of six years spent in farming in Manitowoc county, was his occupation throughout his life. Frederick Palmer is the youngest of four children, and he received his education in the public schools of Manitowoc county. At the age of fourteen years he started to make his own way in the world, working for wages as a farm hand for some time and then commencing to learn the trade of mason and bricklayer. In this connection he worked all over the county and in the cities, as a journeyman and contractor, for upwards of twenty-six years. He was the contractor on the east wing of the high school at Reedsville, of the Kellner Hotel in Marabell, various buildings, factories and residences in Kaukauna, including the Kaukauna schoolhouse, and many other structures throughout this part of the state, for about twenty years. In 1906 Mr. Palmer purchased his present farm from his father-in-law, and here he has carried on agricultural pursuits to the present time. Nearly all of Mr. Palmer's land is in a high state of cultivation, and is fenced principally with woven wire. He carries on general farming and dairying and raises grain and sugar beets, milks on an average of eight cows and keeps graded cattle and Chester-White crossed with Poland-China hogs. He also owns two full-blooded Yorkshire breeders. The residence, which is one story and a half in height, was built by his father-in-law in 1889 and was remodeled by Mr. Palmer in 1911. It contains eleven rooms not including closets and halls. His basement barn, thirty six by sixty feet, was built by Mr. Palmer in 1906 and is equipped with patent stanchions. He also has a chicken coop thirty by forty feet and a hog house of the same dimensions on his farm. The water supply for all purposes on this property is secured from a drilled well.

On October 8, 1889, Mr. Palmer was married to Miss Luella Whitcomb born May 9, 1874, and the fourth of a family of five children of Aaron Frances Whitcomb, natives of New York state, who were married in Wisconsin. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Whitcomb settled on forty acres of wild land, which forms the nucleus of the present farm of Mr. Palmer, and the first family home was built of logs that were cut on the property by Mr. Whitcomb. Many are the thrilling incidents with the Indians and the wild animals of the forest Mr. and Mrs. Whitcomb encountered in those early pioneer days. Mr. Whitcomb, who was a carpenter by trade, passed away on this property on which he spent so many years in farming on April 7, 1907, when sixty-eight years of age, and his burial took place in Cato cemetery. Mrs. Whitcomb, who survives her husband, makes her home at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Waupaca and is sixty-two years of age. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Palmer: one who died in infancy; Leslie, who resides at home; Evelyn, a graduate of the Reedsville high school; Olive, Luella and John, who are attending school; and Chester, Aaron and Frances, who are residing at home.

Mr. Palmer and his family are consistent members of the Presbyterian church of Cato. In his political views he is independent and gives his support to whatever measure or man he considers to be of the most benefit to the greatest number. His fraternal relations are with the Modern Woodmen of America and with the Green Bay Lodge of the Fraternal League.

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