Begley, Edward Sr. (History - 1850)


Janet Schwarze





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

EDWARD BEGLEY, SR., a farmer of York Township, owner of 400 acres of land, is a man who has attained his present prosperity by long, continued industry and perseverance. He was born in Ontario, Canada, Dec. 23, 1850, on the farm of his parents, Thomas and Abbie (Lintz) Begley. The father, Thomas, was a native of Ireland, and his wife of Canada, her parents being from New York State. They were married in Canada, where Thomas followed farming, and where he died when the subject of this sketch was one of two years old, leaving besides Edward another son, William. His wife remained a resident of Canada. Edward Begley, after his father's death, lived with his maternal grandfather, John Lintz, who was a farmer in Ontario. He had but little opportunity for attending school, but of farming he acquired a competent knowledge. At the age of 19 he came to Wisconsin, with the expectation of working in the lumber camps of Clark County. In the winter of 1869, however, his first winter in the county, he was employed in the Hotel Begley at Greenwood, the proprietor of which was a distant relation of his own. The next spring he made a trip to the Michigan pine woods, where he worked for a year and a half, after which he returned to Canada. Three or four years later he came back to Clark County to go into the woods and found employment driving a team at the landing. After working in the woods from four to six years, he decided to engage in agriculture, and accordingly secured eighty acres of land in section 19, York Township. About the same time, or Oct. 4, 1876, he was united in marriage with Eliza McKimm, who was born in Ontario, Canada, Sept. 24, 1853, daughter of Samuel and Isabelle (Courtney) McKimm. He and his wife then began domestic life on his present farm, which, however, was not yet a farm, the land being wild and covered with timber and there not being even a road past the place.


Their first residence was a log house, 16 by 24 feet in size, and containing two rooms, which stood a few rods northwest of the present brick house. They had neither stock nor implements, but the second year they got a cow. It was four or five years, however, before they got a yoke of steers. Neillsville was their market and source of supplies and they both often walked to and from that village, taking butter and eggs, and receiving about eight cents a pound for their butter, having to take payment in groceries. For flour and pork they had to pay cash. As time went on Mr. Begley made gradual progress with his farm. For a number of years he raised sheep, his wife spinning the wool and knitting socks, mittens and caps for the boys. Their clothes were also homemade, though for these they bought the cloth. As already mentioned, Mr. Begley gradually increased his land holdings up to 400 acres, and also gave all his children a good start in life. In 1896 he built a brick house of seven rooms, and among his other improvements are a barn, 30 by 72 feet, and another 36 by 50 feet. He raises a good grade of Durham cattle and Norman and Percheron horses, besides good Poland-China hogs.


He and his wife are the parents of five children: George, who lives in section 18, York Township, married Bertha Head, and has two children, Blanche and Archie John, of section 17, York Township, who married Mary Buddinger Howard, of section 18, this township, who married Sadie Barton, and has two children, Thelma and Russell Edward, residing at home, who married Marian Holt, and has one child, Ernest and Grace, who is unmarried, and lives at home.



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