Ayer, Cullen (History - 1841)

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


Cullen Ayer

Mr. Ayer is one of the oldest residents of Clark County. He was born in Maine in 1841, and came with his parents to Wisconsin before the same became a state, settling in Iowa county. He lived here until seventeen years of age, when he came to Clark County and for several years was employed in pineries along Black River. In 1871 he commenced farming on the farm where he now lives in the town of Unity. He was married in Iowa county, in 1884, to Miss Mary J. Lampshire, of Mineral Point. Mr. Ayer is chairman of his town which office he has held fourteen years.

"Clark Co. Illustrated" by Saterlee, Tifft & Marsh; 1890.

History of Clark County, Wisconsin (1918), by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge, pg. 386

                                Mr. & Mrs. Cullen Ayer

CULLEN AYER, formerly for many years one of the leading spirits of Clark County in the activities of lumbering and farming, but now deceased, was born in Somerset, Maine, March 2nd, 1841, son of Jonas and Leah (Nutting) Ayer, the parents being natives of the same state and county. Jones Ayer was a farmer by occupation, but in 1845 he removed with his family to Iowa County, Wis., and for several years thereafter was employed in the lead mines at Mineral Point. Iowa County was then sparsely settled and the family had to endure many privations and hardships usually experienced in pioneer settlements.

In 1868 they removed to La Crosse County, Wis., where the father died in 1874. In politics he was originally a staunch Whig, but subsequently joined the ranks of the Republicans. His wife survived him about eighteen years, passing away in 1892 at the age of 81. They were the parents of twelve children: Jane, Ellen, Leah, Sophia, Cullen, Owen, Jonas (1), Jonas (2), Elizabeth, Esther, Caroline and Augusta Cullen Ayer was but a child of four years when his parents settled at Mineral Point, Wis., and there he received his education. and grew to manhood. At the age of 17 years he began on Black River and was engaged in that line of business and in farming until 1912, meeting with great success. As his means increased he invested in land until he owned 840 acres in sections 7, 17, 18 and 21 Unity Township It was in 1871 that, he settled on his farm in section 18, this township, anal here, he cleared 170 acres and established his home, becoming one of the leading farmers in the township. It was no light task to bring this land into condition for the plow and reaper, but energy, severance and determination finally overcame every obstacle.


Starting in life, as did Mr. Ayer, with no capital, the success that crowded his efforts manifested in a high degree his commendable qualities. Mr. Ayer was identified with the Republican party. During the Civil he was in the government employ in the Quartermaster's Department. For seventeen years he rendered valuable service as chairman of the board, by virtue of that office being also a member of the county on which he also served efficiently. Before his death, which occurred Sept. 30th, 1912, he had given to each of his sons eighty acres of land and still had 400 left. Mr. Ayer was united in marriage, Aug. 8th, 1864, to Mary J. Lampshire, of Mineral Point, Wis. Mrs. Ayer was born in England, Feb. 16th, 1847, a daughter of Henry and Catherine (Harris) Lampshire, also natives of that country. They emigrated to America in 1848, setting at once at Mineral Point, Wis., where they resided for many years. Mr. Lampshire died in Colorado about 1902. Mrs. Lampshire died at Mineral Point, Feb. 16th, 1916, aged 88 years.


Mr. and Mrs. Cullen Ayer became the parents of eleven children, of whom the following is a brief record: Edgar, born Feb. 28th, 1867, at Onalaska, La Crosse County, Wis., came with his parents to Clark County, in 1871. He attended the district school and the Unity village public school, and grew up on the farm, always making that his home, but like most young men of his day he followed the logging industry during the winters for several years. He helped to manage the home farm, becoming one of the representative citizens of Unity Township, which he served as chairman of the board of supervisors for three years, also being school clerk for nine years. He has remained single, and in 1914 he and his mother moved to Unity village, where they now reside. Cullen Ayer, Jr., born Jan. 22nd, 1871, is also single and is now engaged in ranch farming in South Dakota. Frank Ayer, born Dec. 11 th, 1873, died Aug. 2nd, 1881. Jonas Ayer, born Jan. 15th, 1876, is proprietor of a hotel at Spencer, Wis. He married Emma Raabe. William Ayer, born Oct. 2nd, 1877, lives on a farm in the town of York. He married Ella Nice. Lenard Ayer, born May 18th, 1879, is single and lives in Abbotsford, this county. Mary J. Ayer, born Jan. 17th, 1881, was married May 6th, 1905, to William Carnmers, and they live in the township of Beaver. Owen Ayer, born Sept. 18th, 1883, is single and is a lumber grader at Rhinelander, Wis. Belva Ayer, born Dec. 17th, 1884, is now Mrs. Truman Loney, of Buffalo Springs, N. D. Kate Ayer, born Jan. 16th, 1886, is now Mrs. Morgan Schjonnemann, of Brighton Township, of Marathon County, Wis. Adelia Ayer, born May lst, 1888, is the wife of Arthur Wishnosky, of Unity Township. Walter Ayer, born May 17th, 1891, married Esther Witlinger and they reside in Unity Township.

Farm House of Cullen Ayer.

The above cut represents a small-scale farmhouse and some of the outbuildings of Mr. Ayer, of the town of Unity. His farm, on which these are situated, consists of about two hundred acres, one hundred and seventy of which is under cultivation. Mr. Ayer also has about 640 acres of hardwood land near, which, together with the farm and stock on it is very valuable. He has property which in all is probably worth $40,000, every dollar of which he made out of Clark County soil and its products. The farm is located but a short distance west of the village of Unity, which is on the Wisconsin central R. R. He has about fifty head of cattle, the same number of sheep and thirteen head of horses on his farm.
"Clark Co. Illustrated" by Saterlee, Tifft & Marsh; 1890.



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