Oatman, Emma (History - 1849)


Janet Schwarze




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

EMMA OATMAN, widow of the late George I. Oatman, of Fremont Township, was born in New York, May 31, 1849, daughter of Edwin and Mary (Bates) Reed. Her father was a native of the state of Vermont, born May 21, 1822, who removed to New York State when a young man.


In the early forties he was married to Mary Bates, whose father was Arvin Bates, a farmer who removed from New York State to Illinois, where Mary was born, Sept. 8, 1826. After his marriage Edwin Reed resided in New York State for about nineteen years, and then moved to Jo Daviess County, Ill., where he bought forty acres of land and established a home, he and his wife residing there until their death. Their children were: Harriett, born Oct. 21 1847 Emma, born May 31, 1849 George A., born Oct. 3, 1851 Alice, born March 31, 1853, and Charles, born Dec. 14, 1866. Emma Reed was reared to womanhood on the parental farm in Illinois. On Oct. 21, 1872, when 23 years old, she was married in Gratiot, Wis., to George Oatman who was born in Syracuse. His father was Reuben Oatman, who came with his family from New York State to the village of Neenah, Wis., where George was reared to manhood. The latter served in the Civil War a member of the Second Wisconsin Volunteers.


After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Oatman began domestic life in Neenah, where they remained for about a year. They then moved to Marshfield, Wis., where George Oatman worked at his trade of carpenter, that place being their home for seven years. Then, about 1880, he bought forty acres of land in Section 24, Fremont Township, Clark County. The tract was wild and he had to clear a space on which to build a log house and barn-the first requirement of a pioneer settler. Here he and his wife started in a modest way, had no superfluities, and often finding it hard to procure necessities, Mr. Oatman being obliged to raise his own oxen from calves. Being industrious and thrifty, however, in time they overcame all initial difficulties and obtained to a prosperous condition, Mr. Oatman living to clear the land and built a five-room frame house and several barns. Many times during those early days Mrs. Oatman walked from her home to Nasonville for supplies both in winter and spring, while her husband was engaged in logging in the woods, or, working on the drive, which he did for six years. Their family consisted of two children: Bessie, born May 10, 1874, now the widow of John Davis, a farmer of Fremont Township and Elsie, born July 27, 1880, wife of C. D. Tarbox, of Miles City, Mont.



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