January 24, 2012


Spencer Family Plot
Oakwood Cemetery, Somers Township
(Source:  Photo Courtesy of Larry and Linda Kopet, USGenWebArchivesProjectWisconsin)
James E. Spencer
James E. Spencer, one of the prominent farmers of Kenosha County, residing on his farm in Section 8, was born in that county in what was then known as Pike Township, now Somers, Township, December 9, 1846, a son of Ambrose and Martha (Evans) Spencer.
The first of the Spencer family to locate in America was William Spencer, who came from England in 1631 and settled at Cambridge, Mass., although he evidently returned to England to marry his wife, Alice, in 1633.  He was counted a prominent man at Cambridge in 1634-35 and afterward was one of the first settlers in Hartford, Conn.  He had two brothers, Jared and Thomas, who came to America some years later than William, the first settler.
It only requires tracing to our subject's paternal great-grandfather to find a Revolutionary patriot in the person of Asa Spencer, who was in the fifth generation from the first William.  It is proved by records that Asa Spencer served faithfully, and was a personal friend of Washington and also of Thomas Jefferson, and as he was a man of prominence we can easily believe that on many occasions he exchanged views on public questions with these great statesmen of our country's early days.
The paternal grandfather of Mr. Spencer was the well known Judge James B. Spencer, who was born in Salisbury, Conn., and moved in an early day to Fort Covington, Franklin Co., N.Y.  He was one of the early settlers there, and for years a prominent man and political leader in the northern part of the State, holding many important offices, at one time being in the Custom House, as collector. He was a representative in the State and National Legislatures and was an eminent member of Bar and Bench.  He served with distinction in the War of 1812.  He was staunch Democrat.  His death occurred in 1848, at the age of sixty-eight.  He had three sons and one daughter.
The maternal grandfather of Mr. Spencer left a large family, eight sons and two daughters.  He resided in Mississippi at the time of the birth of his daughter, Martha, the mother of Mr. Spencer.
Ambrose Spencer was born in New York and was an early settler in Kenosha County, coming here in 1842, and buying a farm of 160 acres in Section 8, Somers Township, where he reared his family.  He died on this farm in 1886, aged sixty-eight years.  He was a member of the M.E. Church.  In his young manhood he was on a Government vessel, a man-of-war, in which he crossed the ocean a number of times.  After the death of his first wife, in 1850, he married (second) Arvilla Woodward, a native of Vermont, who died in 1893.  In religious belief she was a Methodist.
Two children were born to Ambrose and Martha Spencer: James E., of this sketch; and William H., of Seattle, Washington.  The children of the second marriage were, Walter A., of Kenosha; Clark W. of Appleton, Wisconsin; Florence, wife of Lafayette Owen of Burlington, Wisconsin; and Watson B., of Racine.
James E. Spencer was reared on his father' farm in Somers Township, and obtained his early education in the district schools, later attending a seminary at Richmond, Michigan., and a commercial college at Racine.  He lived at home until he reached his majority and then bough his present farm of eighty acres, which he has continued to improve until the present day.
Mr. Spencer was married September 24, 1872, to Miss Helen A. Clemons, daughter of Hosea Clemons, and they had three sons and one daughter:  James C., Estella, Ambrose, and Edgar.  James C., who is a carpenter in Kenosha, married Amelia Longmore; Estella died aged seventeen years, and Ambrose died aged two and a half years; Edgar lives at home.  Mrs. Spencer died in 1895, aged forty-two years.  She was a much beloved woman in her neighborhood and was a consistent member of the M.E. Church.
On October 27, 1898 Mr. Spencer was married (second) to Miss Mary L. Rhodes, daughter of Jonas W. and Caroline (Rutan) Rhodes, natives of Sussex County, N.J.  The father came West in 1842 and the mother in 1843, in which year they were married at Vernon, New Jersey.  They settled in what was then known as Pike township, now Somers Township, Kenosha County.  The father followed farming and was also well known as a stock and wool buyer.  He died in 1891, aged seventy years.  His widow who still survives, is now eighty-five years of age.  Of their eight children the survivors are: Anna, wife of Dr. F.H. Longley, of North Platte, Neb.; Mary L., wife of James E. Spencer; and Kitty Clyde, wife of Charles Mitchell, of Milwaukee.
William Jonas Rhodes, the paternal grandfather of Mrs. Spencer, was a native of New Jersey, and in early life was a blacksmith, later a farmer.  He died in New Jersey when over seventy years of age.  He married Anna Courter, and they had eleven children, the survivors being:  Caroline, mother of Mrs. Spencer; Abraham, of Sussex County, N.J.; Elizabeth, widow of William Faber, of Unionville, N.Y.; Julia, Mrs. Ferguson, a widow, of Paterson, N.J.; Catherine, widow of Nicholas Faber, of Sussex County, N.J.; and Carlotte widow of John Moore, of Canadaigua, Michigan.  The maternal great-grandfather, Abraham Rutan, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.  He married Rebecca Rutan.  They were of Dutch extraction, their ancestors coming to America from Holland.
James E. Spencer is a Democrat, and he has served as Somers Town Clerk for the past nine years.  He is president of the Farmers' Mutual Life Insurance Company, having been a Director for a long period.  Both he and his wife are member of the M.E. Church.  He belongs to the fraternal order of Woodmen.
(Source:  Biographical Record of Prominent and Representative Men of Racine and Kenosha Counties, J.H. Beers & Co., Chicago 1906)

Mrs. Helen Clemons Spencer Obituary
"Mrs. Helen Spencer, aged 42 years, wife of James E. Spencer, died Monday at 5:30 p.m. at her home in the Town of Somers, of consumption, after an illness of over a year.  The deceased was a daughter of the late Hosea Clemons, of Mt. Pleasant, and was born and grew to womanhood in this vicinity.  She was a woman devoted to her house and family and to her bereaved husband and three children.  She leaves besides four brothers and five sisters to mourn her untimely death.  Deceased was a member of the Somers Methodist Church from which place the funeral will be held Wednesday at 10:45 a.m.  A brief service will be held at the house at 10 o'clock and the interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery, at Somers.
(Source:  Racine Journal June 13, 1895)

Spencer "In the News"
"W.A. Spencer, who for years has served in the capacity of butter maker at the creamery, has tendered his resignation.  Mr. Spencer has given good satisfaction and we hope that his place will be filled by a person fully as competent."
(Source:  Racine Journal Feb. 21, 1900)

January 23, 2012


John F. Herzog
Oakwood Cemetery
(Source: Photo Courtesy of Larry and Linda Kopet, USGenWebArchivesProjectWisconsin)

Lina Herzog
Oakwood Cemetery
(Source: Photo Courtesy of Larry and Linda Kopet, USGenWebArchivesProjectWisconsin)

Howard Herzog
Oakwood Cemetery
(Source: Photo Courtesy of Larry and Linda Kopet, USGenWebArchivesProjectWisconsin)

Walter and Rose Ann Herzog
Oakwood Cemetery
(Source:  Photo Courtesy of Larry and Linda Kopet, USGenWebArchivesProjectWisconsin)

Charles W. Herzog
" Charles W. Herzog, infant son of Mrs. and Mrs. John Herzog of Corliss, died last evening of cummer complaint.  The funeral will take place on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. from the house at 41 Second Street.  Interment at Oakwood Cemetery in Somers, Wisconsin."
(Source:  Racine Journal, September 7, 1909)

1910 U.S. Federal Census
John F. Herzog lived in Somers, Kenosha County
He was born about 1869
He was married in 1899 to Lena who immigrated in 1880.
They had three children:  Harold, Howard, and John, Jr.

1880 U.S. Federal Census
John F. Herzog was the son of Jacob (born about 1837 in Prussia) and Kate Herzog.  They had seven children and lived in Mt. Pleasant, Racine County in 1880.
Amelia Herzog born about 1864
Charles Herzog born about 1867
John Herzog born about 1869
Herman Herzog born about 1871
Walter Herzog born about 1874
Minnie Herzog born about 1877
Clara Herzog born about 1879

January 21, 2012


John, Lydia and Frazier Petrie
Oakwood Cemetery, Somers Township, Kenosha County, Wisconsin
(Source:  Photo Courtesy of Larry and Linda Kopet USGenWebArchivesWisconsin)

"Messers. Frazier Petrie of Boulder, Colorado and Frank Petrie of Seattle, Washington had a fine monument erected in Oakwood Cemetery for thier father and mother last week."
(Source: Racine Journal Times, publication date December 6, 1899)

F.J. Petrie
"The remains of F.J. (Frazier) Petrie, formerly a well known resident of the Town of Somers, were interred in Oakwood Cemetery at Somers last Saturday.  Mr. Petrie, who died in Denver, was born and raised in Somers and resided there until twelve years ago."
(Source:  Racine Weekley November 17, 1903)

More Information
The 1850 Census shows Lydia Frazier was born in New York in 1834 and she resided with her family in Antioch, Illinois. 

The 1850 Federal Census shows John Petrie lived in the Township of Somers and owned a farm in Section 16.  This parcel is shown on the 1861 and 1887 making John Petrie one of the very first early pioneers of Somers Township.  The parcel owned by Petrie became an attractive parcel, located west of the "village" that was built around the railroad.

The 1880 Census also indicates John Petrie was born on the Orkney Islands, Scotland. 
Click here for the Orkney Island Genealogy web site.

John and Lydia had two children: 

Frazier  was born Augusst 1854.  He married in 1881, his wife's name was Ellen and she was born in Ohio December 1863.  In 1900 they lived in Boulder, Colorado and Frazier owned a bakery.  Frazier and Ellen had two children:  Gertude born July 1883 in Illinois and Georgie born June 1886 inIllinois.

Franklin was born in 1857.  He married in 1895, his wife's name was Myrtle L.  The 1920 Census showed Franklin and Myrtle living in Asotin, Washington.  They had four children: Roy born 1901 in Washington, Robert born 1903 in Washington, Emily born 1905 in Oregon, and Ruth born 1909 in Idaho.

January 20, 2012


Oakwood Cemetery
(Source:  Photo Courtesy of Larry & Kopet, USGenWebArchivesProjectWisconsin)
Nels Nelson
"Mr. Nels Nelson, one of the old residents of our village, died Saturday evening after a lingering illness of cancer of the throat.  Mr. Nelson was born in Denmark, April 9, 1846, and came to America in 1872.  He came to Somers in 1875 and engaged in the blacksmith business.  He was united in marriage to Miss Bolette Bislow in 1870, who death occurred eight years ago.  Three children were born to this union, Anton, James, and Mrs. Annie Falbe, who survive him.
The funeral serves were held from the Presbyterian Church Monday afternoon conducted by Rev. J.W. McNary.  The Modern Woodmen, of which he was a member, attended the body.  Interment at Oakwood."
(Source:  Racine Weekly December 8, 1903)

Ozanne, Emma

Emma Ozanne
Oakwood Cemetery
(Source:  Photo Courtesy of Larry & Linda Kopet USGENWEBARCHIVESWisconsin)

Emma Ozanne
Funeral services for Miss Emma Ozanne were held Wednesday afternoon from the Congregational Church, with Rev. John Best officiating.  Mrs. Earl S. Yule sang "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere" and "The City of Four Square" and Mrs. A.E. Bullamore was at the organ.  Burial was in Oakwood Cemetery.  Pallbearers were Fred W. Leet, John Yunk, Ward and Lawrence E. Ozanne, C.O. Hitler and Dr. Irving Ozanne.  Dr. and Mrs. Irving Ozanne came from Neenah to attend the funeral.
(Source:  Racine Journal October 18, 1935)

January 19, 2012


Lawrence Christensen - also known as Lauritz Christensen
Oakwood Cemetery
(Source: Photo Courtesy of Larry and Linda Kopet, USGENWEBArchivesProjectWisconsin)

Morten J. Christensen
Oakwood Cemetery
(Source: Photo Courtesy of Larry and Linda Kopet, USGENWEBArchivesProjectWisconsin)

Sine M. Rasmussen Christensen
Oakwood Cemetery
(Source:  Photo Courtesy of Larry and Linda Kopet, USGENWEBArchivesProjectWisconsin)

Everett Christensen, son of Lauritz and Sine Christensen
Oakwood Cemetery
(Source: Photo Courtesy of Larry and Linda Kopet, USGENWEBArchivesProjectWisconsin)
Lauritz Christensen
"Lauritz Christensen, 55, a resident of Somers Township, Kenosha County, died at the Wisconsin General Hospital in Madison early Thursday following a long illness.  Mr. Christensen was born in Huring, Denmark, August 15, 1887, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Johannes Christensen.  He spent his early life and received his education in his native land, coming to America in 1907.  He came direct to Somers Township and made his home with Mr. and Mrs. Morton Rasmussen.
On March 8, 1911, Mr. Christensen was married to Sine Rasmussen.  Following his marriage, he took up farming and owned and operated the Christensen homestead in Somers Township for many years.  Mr. Christensen was a member of the Bethany Lutheran Church in Racine.
Mr. Christensen is survived by his wife and by three sons, Clarence Christensen of Kenosha, Walter Christensen at home and Everett Christensen who is in the 82nd Division of the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg, N.C.  He also is survived by one brother, Paul Christensen of South Milwaukee, and by one brother and two sisters in Denmark.  One son, Morton Johannes Christensen, preceded him in death on September 5, 1918.
(Source:  Racine Journal, October 2, 1942)

January 18, 2012


"The remains of the late John G. Mitchell were brought to Somers on Sunday afternoon and interred in Oakwood Cemetery.  John G. Mitchell, aged 60 years, died in Chicago on Friday July 31, 1914, following a stroke of paralysis.  The deceased was born in Somers and spent the greater part of his life here.  He was a singer of note and for years he successfully conducted singing schools in this and neighboring localities.  He is survived by a wife and one son.  A large company of friends and relatives attended the short services at the grove."
(Source:  Racine Journal, August 8, 1914)

See the Spence family information on this Oakwood Cemetery site for more information about the Mitchell family.  His daughter, Belle, lived in Chicago and it appears he died while staying with her.  Unfortunately, the newspaper article above states he was brought back to Oakwood Cemetery to be buried however there is no gravestone for him.  His wife was Janet Mitchell.  She has a gravestone. at Oakwood.

January 06, 2012

Bose, William F. and Nellie

William F. and Nellie Braid Bose
50th Wedding Anniversary Photo
(Source:  Original Photo courtesy of Jim and Sharon Bose Smith.  Copyright 2012.  All Rights Reserved.)

William F. Bose and Nellie A. Braid Bose
Oakwood Cemetery, Somers, Wisconsin

William F. Bose
William F. Bose engages in general farming on section 6, Somers Township, Kenosha County.  He can boast of a fact which is true of few, that he is living on the farm which was his birthplace.  He first opened his eyes to the light of day on the 17th of May, 1855.  His father was William Bose and mother Ann.  In the usual manner of farmer lads our subject spent the days of his childhood and received the advantages afforded by the public schools of the neighborhood.  Under the parental roof he remained until he attained his majority, giving his father the benefit of his services and when he had reached man’s estate he aided in carrying on the home farm until his marriage.
On April 9, 1878, Mr. Bose was joined in wedlock with Miss Nellie Breaid, daughter of John Breaid[1].  The lady is also a native of Kenosha County, and the young people, boys and girls together, were reared in the name neighborhood and attended the same school.  Mr. Bose brought his bride to the old home farm which he rented for a few years until he was able to purchased one hundred acres.  His land he now has under a high state of cultivation and the improvements, which are many, are both useful and ornamental and stand as monuments to the enterprise of the owner.  The home is a large and substantial residence, there is also a good barn and other necessary outbuildings and a fine bearing orchard.
Four children have come to brighten the home by their presence and the family circle yet remains unbroken.  They are two sons and two daughters and in order of birth are as follows: Jennie Belle, Anna Margaret, William Frederick Jr., and Charles Clarence, the youngest.
In religious belief Mr. and Mrs. Bose are Methodists, holding membership with the Lake Shore Church.  To its support they contribute freely and in its work and progress take a deep interest.  They are also liberal with their means for charitable and benevolent purposes and are highly respected people whose social qualities have won them many friends.  The Bose household is the abode of hospitality and the members of the family rank high in social circles.  Mr. Bose is an enterprising and progressive farmer and a public-spirited citizen who is ever ready with his influence and co-operation to aid in the advancement of those interests which are calculated to upbuild and benefit the town and county.  In politics he is a Republican, having supported that party since he cast his first Presidential vote for Rutherford B. Hayes.  He is a warm advocage of its principles and a stanch believer in its politics.  He has taken quite an active part in local politics and is now serving as a member of the Town Board of Supervisors, also as a member of the School Board.[2]

 More About William Frederick Bose
William Frederick Bose, a widely known and prosperous farmer of Somers Township, was born in that Township on the 17th of May, 1854, of the marriage of William and Anna (Canvin) Bose, natives respectively of Germany and Northamptonshire, England. In 1846 the father came to Kenosha County, Wisconsin, and from that time until his demise on the 9th of April, 1898, followed agricultural pursuits in Somers township. His wife passed away on the 15th of April 1900, and both are buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Somers Township. To them were born three children, namely: Ed, who is married; William Frederick; and Mary, the deceased wife of John Wensing, by whom she had four children. Mrs. Bose also had two children by a former marriage, namely: John Hansche, who is married; and Herman Hansche, deceased. Mr. Bose was a Republican in politics and held the office of road overseer. His religious faith was that of the Methodist Church.

William Frederick Bose entered the common schools at the usual age and received a good education. For some time he worked for his father, but when twenty-wo years of age he rented the homestead which he farmed on his own account for a decade. He then bought the place, comprising one hundred six and forty-eight hundredths acres, and for many years he devoted his time to its operation. However, on the 10th of January, 1909, he rented that farm to his son, and purchased forty acres of land on Section 12, Somers Township, which had also belonged to his father’s estate, and there he has since lived. He has made many improvement upon the farm and it is in a high state of development. The house is one of the finest farm homes of the Township, and the barn and other buildings are commodious and substantial. He understands everything connected with farming and is progressive in his methods.

On the 7th of April, 1876, occurred the marriage of Mr. Bose and Miss Nellie Braid, a daughter of John and Jeanette Braid. Mr. and Mrs. Bose have five children, as follows: Jennie married A.F. Hansche and has two living children, Dorothy and George; Annie is the wife of Walter Derby of Racine County and has two sons, George and Robert; William married Hattie Donsing; Clarence, who resides in Somers, married Audrey Wilsey and they have two children, Marjorie and Albert Clarence; Everett is a bookkeeper for Simmons Company, of Kenosha.

Mr. Bose indorses the Republican policies but often votes independently. For five years he was a member of the Town Board and for eight years served on the School Board, proving very efficient in both capacities. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and of Lodge No. 18, A.F. & A.M., of Racine, in which he has held several offices. He is respected for his ability and integrity and, moreover, those who have been brought in close contact with him hold him in warm personal regard.

[1] John Breaid has a biography listing in this book. Under his picture, in his own handwriting, he spells his name Breaid. Later, the family changed the spelling to Braid.

[2] Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Racine and Kenosha Counties. Lake City Publishing Co. Chicago. 1892. Page 540

[3] Source: City and County of Kenosha, Wisconsin, A Record of Settlement, Vol. II, pages 567-568, Frank H. Lyman, Chicago, The S.J. Clark Publishing Co. 1916.