Clute, Custis H. (History - 1859)


Janet Schwarze





----Source: 1891 History of Clark & Jackson Co., Wis.

CUSTIS H. CLUTE, president of the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Greenwood, Wis., was born on a farm in Marion Township, Juneau County, Wis., the place or locality being known as Mauston, on Sept. 17, 1859, son of Dow and Mary (Chamberlain) Clute. The father was born on a farm in New York, and was a son of Jacob Clute, a farmer of that state, who was of German descent. Jacob Clute died when Dow Clute was but 3 years old, at which time Dow Clute was placed with an uncle, Jacob Towle, a man with a good military record, having taken part in two wars, the War of 1812 and the Civil War, in which latter he served from 1861 to 1865, or until its close. He subsequently became a pioneer settler in Wisconsin. Dow Clute was a child of three years when he came West with his uncle. It was a long journey, as it was made with a wagon and ox team all the way from New York State. At Milwaukee they halted to do some trading and purchase supplies, though, as the year was 1849, that place was then but a small village. They settled at or near Delavan, where, or in which vicinity Dow passed his early years. Later, he became a pioneer in Marion Township, Juneau County, starting on a wild tract of prairie land on the river, from which he developed a fine arm. For many years he was an extensive hop buyer. He was one of the prominent citizens of his township, at various times holding local office, but after spending many years in that locality, he returned to Mauston, Juneau County, where he spent his last years.


He and his wife had six children, of whom Custis H. was the third in order of birth. Custis H. Clute was educated in the district school, at Mauston high school and the University of Valparaiso, Ind. For a while after beginning business life he was engaged in the fire insurance business in South Dakota. Then, returning to Wisconsin, he became connected with the machinery business, afterwards entering into real estate ventures. On Feb. 14, 1895, he located in Greenwood, Clark County, engaging in the farm machinery business. Here he soon launched out into the real estate business, in which he has since continued, at the present time holding a large amount of Clark County land. In the fall of 1912 Mr. Clute, with others, organized the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Greenwood, with 112 stockholders, principally farmers. The institution was capitalized at $30,000, with $3,000 surplus. The first officers were: Charles Cornelius, president C. H. Clute, vice president J. H. Huntzicker, vice president and cashier Arthur Buker, assistant cashier. In 1915 certain changes took place in the official board, C. H. Clute becoming president H. F. Stabnow and George A. Dre, vice presidents with E. Robert Brown and A. C. Buker as cashier and assistant cashier, respectively.  The institution, which is a state and county depositary, has proved highly beneficial to the farmers in supplying them with funds with which to buy their cattle and stock, accepting one-half their cream checks in exchange for the amounts advanced, until paid. In this way the farmers, almost unconsciously, have acquired a good working basis, enabling them to take prompt advantage of business opportunities-a purpose which Mr. Clute had in mind from the beginning, being thus far in advance of the government plan having the same object. Mr. Clute is also vice president of the Farmers' Co-operative Store in Greenwood, and has been a moving spirit in every new enterprise for the material advantage of the community since he took up his residence here, in which kind of work he takes a keen pleasure. He was formerly a member of the city council, but now gives his whole attention to the bank and the business enterprises in which he is engaged.


Mr. Clute was married Nov. 7, 1888, to Della Babcock, who was born in Mauston' Wis., daughter of Charles and Sarah Ann (Fluno) Babcock, her father being a pioneer farmer of that Totality. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Clute: Leon, now engaged in the automobile business in Greenwood, who married Tensenia Haglund, and has one child, Geraldine Richard, who is attending the School of Pharmacy at Marquette, and Gertrude May, a graduate of the University of Valparaiso, Ind., who formerly taught school in Clark County, but now resides in Chicago.



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