Noel, Matthew (History - 1918)


Janet Schwarze




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

                            Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Noel                                        Ed Noel

MATTHEW NOEL, once a highly respected citizen of Pine Valley Township, engaged in agricultural pursuits, but now deceased, was a native of Germany, and was the youngest member of a family that included three sons. The two older boys came first to the United States, locating in Chicago. Matthew, then a youth of 20 years, was also ambitious to make his own way in the world, and looking on this country as the land of opportunity, soon followed his brothers, whom he joined. The latter, however, advised him to go back to Germany, which he refused to do.


It was not long before he found his way to Clark County, Wis., being one of the early arrivals, as this was some time in the fifth decade of the last century. Here he worked for several years in the lumber camps, but traveled about considerably, becoming widely known. Finally he located a tract of eighty acres in Section 25, Grant Township, all being wild land with no roads in the vicinity. On Jack Creek, Pine Valley Township, he bought forty acres on which stood a log house, which was the land on which he settled with his wife in 1870.


His marriage had occurred June 16, that year, to Agnes Shigley, who was born on a farm in or near Delphi, Ind., Aug. 31, 1865, she being a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Cole) Shigley, and then their only child. Her father was a native of Ohio and her mother of Indiana, in which latter state they were married. When Agnes was a year and a half old they moved to Wisconsin, locating at Sylvian, Richland County, where six more children were born: Jefferson, George, Henry, Columbus, Alonzo and Arminda. There Mr. Shigley cleared a farm, which he later sold, moving to a farm at Unity, Wis., which was his last place of residence, as he died there in 1889 at the venerable age of 98 years. His wife lived to the age of 78. Mr. and Mrs. Noel, on their marriage, moved into the log house on Jack Creek, a dwelling that consisted of but one room, which served as parlor, drawing room, bed room and kitchen. Like other pioneer settlers, Mr. Noel used an ox team on his farm, but could make but slow progress at first. When they procured a cow the second year, the occasion was one of rejoicing, as the event marked another milestone on the highway to success. Both worked in the fields clearing the land and they often walked to Neillsville for supplies. They soon doubled the size of their farm by buying forty acres adjoining, on which they later built the frame house of ten rooms that has since been the farm residence.


The rest of their history was one of continued labor for many years and gradual progress to a condition of comfortable prosperity. The farm was cleared, good buildings erected, improved appliances introduced as they became available, and Mr. Noel took place among the well-to-do citizens of his township. He served on the school board of the old Ross Eddy district and was one of those who helped to build the Catholic Church at Neillsville, of which he was a member. In his death, which took place July 17, 1904, Pine Valley Township lost a good and reliable citizen. His wife is still living and resides on the homestead with her son Leonard, its present proprietor. Their children were: Mary, Leonard, Margaret, Lizzie, Clara, Windel, Matthew, Jr., Bird, John, George and Alice. Four of these--Mary, Margaret, Lizzie and Clara--are now deceased. Windel lives in Texas, Bird at Richland Center, Wis. John in Madison, Wis., and George in North Dakota.



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