Counsell, Henry (History - 1835)


Janet Schwarze





----Source: 1918 History of Clark County, Wisconsin


Henry Counsell, 1835

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Counsell

HENRY COUNSELL one of the earliest settlers of Clark County, now passed away, was a man well-known and respected in his day, and one who did his share in the arduous work of agricultural development under pioneer conditions in this county. He was born in Somersetshire, England, March 15, 1835, and attended school for a while in his native land, though his school days were not prolonged. At the age of 13 years he accompanied his parents, John and Sophia Counsell, to the United States, they settling in Waukesha County, Wis., where he learned farming.


At the age of 21 years, in 1856, he joined a party of settlers who came with an ox team through the woods to Clark County, and on his arrival here purchased a tract of 160 acres in Section 20, Grant Township. Here also he was married Oct. 28, 1858, to Susan Mary Pope, who was born in Cambridgeshire, England, July 12, 1858, and had come to Neillsville, Clark County, in 1857, with her parents, George and Mary Pope, they locating in Section 16, where Mr. Pope built a log house. Mrs. Mary Pope later died there and her husband then went to Iowa, where his death subsequently occurred.


The land on which Mr. and Mrs. Counsell settled was, of course, all wild, and there was a deal of hard work to do before it was transformed into a cultivated farm. He split rails by hand himself to make rail fences for his farm and did much other hard work. The complete improvements took many years to accomplish, but he succeeded in the task, and in the end he and his wife finally had their' reward in a comfortable prosperity, which they enjoyed the more, as it had been well earned. Among the buildings he erected were a barn 36 by 66 feet and one 30 by 42, besides a good frame house of eight rooms. The early trading place of the family was at Black River Falls, to which the settlers in the vicinity would drive an ox team by turns, executing commissions for one another.

Mr. Counsell was a strong and rugged man, who never knew a sick day until near the end of his life, and was always ready to help a neighbor. He was quiet and unassuming, however, and never cared to have his good deeds mentioned. He was also a man of sagacity and at an early date became active in promoting the creamery industry, foreseeing that it would some day grow to large dimensions. As a Republican he held township office for many years, but was never excited over politics.


After he and his wife had made their home on the farm until 1906, they moved to Neillsville, where his death occurred Nov. 20, 1910. His wife died in Grant Township, Sept. 23, 1917. She was a worthy helpmate to her husband, in early days on the farm working in the fields like a laborer and thus helping to advance their mutual fortunes. Their children were as follows: Ida Venetta, born July 14, 1867, who married Jess Lowe and died Aug. 9, 1891 William Henry, born Aug. 5, 1861 Josiah Ernest, born May 25, 1863 Oscar Eugene, born March 17, 1869 Jennie May, born July 7, 1873, who died July 15, the same year, and Nettie Belle, born May 2, 1878, wife of James E. Hughes.



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