Purkis, Edward George (History - 1863)


Janet Schwarze




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

EDWARD GEORGE PURKIS, a well-to-do farmer of Unity Township, of which he is a well-known and popular citizen, was born in Hampshire, England, Dec. 8, 1863, son of Edward George Purkis, Sr., his mother's maiden name being Mary Ann Osey. The father died in England at the age of 42 years, when the subject of this sketch was about 15, and the latter, who was his parents' only child, at the age of 20 emigrated to Canada, going to Toronto.


For a year or so he worked on farms in that locality and at the end of that time came to Wisconsin and has resided ever since within a few miles of Unity, Clark County. Here he followed the most usual occupations, logging in the winter, going on the drive in spring and working on farms in the summer. After awhile he was joined by his mother, who is now living in the village of Unity, being 76 years old. She, like her husband (who was son of George Purkis), was a native of Hampshire, England. In 1898 Edward G. Purkis purchased a tract of eighty acres of land in section 11, Unity Township, Clark County. It contained eighty acres and was covered with stumps and timber, but there was a house and barn on the place. This place he set to work to develop and has now cleared sixty acres, having the rest in good pasture. He is giving his chief attention to dairying, having been one of the leaders in at movement, and raises Holstein cattle. He is also a director of Unity Cheese Factory, which he helped to start, and he helped to organize the Unity Southwestern Telephone Company, of which he is secretary and manager, and which concern has now been running ten years with good success. Aside from these activities Mr. Purkis served twelve years formerly as school clerk, and for the last ten years has been clerk of Unity Township. He is a member of the Odd Fellows' Lodge and Encampment at Unity.


Mr. Purkis was married July 3, 1885, to Laura Gregerson of Marathon County, Wis., daughter of Mads and Anna (Larson) Gregerson, natives of Denmark, who came to America in 1879, and settled in Unity Township, Clark County, Wis. Mr. and Mrs. Purkis are the parents of five children, Edward G., Jr., Bessie, William, Clyde and Frank, of whom the two last mentioned are residing at home on the farm. Edward G. Purkis, Jr., who is an engineer on the "Soo Line", and resides in Chicago, married Kate Smith, and they have three children, Claude, Orlin and Arnold. Bessie, who for ten years was a school teacher in her home district, is now Mrs. Thorwald Jacobson, of Milwaukee. She has two children, Gordon qnd Laura. William and his wife Elsie reside in Milwaukee.



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