Bio: Severns, James Quick (1881)

Contact: Janet Schwarze


Surnames: Severns, Washburn, Pitts, Bunker, Newbery


----Source: History of Northern Wis. (Wood County, Wis.) 1881, pages 1216-1217

JAMES QUICK SEVERNS, surveyor and land agent, was born near Ovid, Seneca Co., N. Y., Oct. 12, 1825. His father moved in 1826 to Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, and in 1825, to Walkins' Grove, Will Co., Ill., and in 1839 to Rock Island. J. Q. left home in 1842; worked at cabinet work and as millwright until in 1845 he commenced surveying at the land agency in Henry Co,, Ill., which business, together with acting as land agent, he has chiefly followed ever since. In 1847, he came to Sauk Co., Wis., near Kilbourn City, and June 15, 1848, married Miss Susan Washburn, of Baraboo. In the Fall of 1850, he came to Wood township, Wood Co., and settled near where he now resides. He was the first settler in the township, and his wife the first white woman in the town. In 1851, he built the first saw-mill in the town, the "Pitts Mill," for C. D. Newbery, who left, however, before the mill was finished, and it passed into the hands of Daniel T. Bunker, who finished it and sold it to Miller & Avery, and they to B. N. Pitts. Mr. Severns enlisted twice in 1862, but was rejected both times (in the 4th and the l6th Regiments) and in 1864, enlisted in the 37th. Co. G.; was accepted; arrived at Petersburg July 7; was at the "explosion of the mine," on the 30th, and was wounded that day in five places, only one wound being serious, that on the shoulder laid him up two months, but he was back in time for the fight at Poplar Grove, and continued in active service until the close of the war. Mr. and Mrs. S. have eleven children, five boys and six girls, also seven grand children. He has held most of the town offices, among which are those of Town Clerk and member of the Board several terms, and has now been Justice of the Peace about thirteen years consecutively.



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