Neff, Dorr A. - History (18 Jun 1851)



---- Source: HISTORY OF CLARK COUNTY, 1918, pages 449 - 450




               D. A. Neff

Dorr A. Neff, proprietor of a good farm in Levis Township, was born in Lake Mills Township, Jefferson County, Wis., June 18, 1851, son of Albertus and Mary (Babcock) Neff. The father was a native of Cortland County, N. Y., and was a farmer. He and his family came to Wisconsin, locating first in Jefferson County, whence they came to Clark county in the fall of 1868.

The journey was made by train to Sparta, and then by stage through Black River Falls to Neillsville, where they arrived with nothing but a few dollars in cash. Their family at this time consisted of three children, besides the father, namely: Dorr A., Addie and Angie. They got a yoke of cattle, building a log stable, and also had a cow. The mother had died in Jefferson County when the subject of this sketch was 9 years, in Clark county. He had continued to make his home on the farm, a part of which he had cleared. In the fall of 1868, Dorr A. Neff, then 18 years old, began working in the woods as a "swamper" for A. W. Clark. In March of the following year he bought a tract of forty acres in Section 1, Levis Township, there being an old log house on the place, and the trees cut on seven acres. A road had been laid out and partly cut over. Here his father and stepmother, with the children, took up their residence and he cleared a little more of the land, after which he went to work for old Dr. French on Jack Creek, to prepare for running logs. Later, he worked in the woods for A. Jones French, the doctor's brother, and in the following spring was engaged in the drive on Wedges' Creek. He then resumed the work of clearing his farm, but the next winter worked for Anson Green, on Poplar River.

After again working on his farm, he was employed the succeeding winter by J. W. Wilson in logging on Cunningham Creek. Each summer he spent on his farm, his next winter's employment being on the East Fork of Black River. For six or seven years he was foreman for T. M. Schranton. In July of the first summer that he spent on his farm he had bought forty acres more in the same section of Levis Township, which tract also was covered with timber. His farm is now well cleared and has been still further increased in size, as he has since bought two other forty-acre tracts, making a total of 160 acres. His present residence is a frame dwelling of eight rooms, the original log house, which stood in front of it, having had one room only. During the early years Mr. Neff raised sheep, but now keeps cows and devotes his attention to dairying, raising graded Holstein cattle. He aided in getting roads cut through the township, and has performed other useful service, having been at various times a member and chairman of the Levis Township board, and having also held the office of treasurer. For nearly thirty years he has also served on the district school board, and his sister, Addie, who is now Mrs. C. C. Holliday, of Minneapolis, was at one time for two terms county school superintendent. Mr. Neff is a member of the Equitable Fraternity Union. A Republican in politics, he has taken part in county conventions and for many years has been prominent in the local councils of his party. Mr. Neff has also taken an active part in promoting real estate interests in the county, being instrumental in 1904 in bringing the Cook Buchanan Real Estate Company of Lake Mills to this section, and they have since done useful work in the county. The second season after Mr. Neff settled in Levis Township a school district was formed here, with his assistance, and a small log schoolhouse built, the first teacher being Lydia Irley. She later married J. L. Gates, former head of the Gates Land company, of Neillsville.

Dorr A. Neff was married, in 1878, to Agnes Carter, who was born in Jefferson County, daughter of Edward and Mary Carter, who settled in Washburn Township, Clark County, when both died. Mr. Carter was for a number of years prominent in the affairs of that township. Mrs. Neff died in 1902, at the age of 43 years, leaving four children--Alberta, Gladys, Lola and Charles. Alberta, who married Walter Proctor, now resides in Portland, she has two children, Louise and William. Gladys lives on the home farm with her father. Lola, who is the wife of Hugh Campbell, lives in Cincinnati, she has two children, Agnes and Bruce. Charles resides on the home farm. He married Elvira Hemp, Oct. 11, 1917. All the three daughters taught school in Clark county, while Gladys is now teaching music.




© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel