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Asa Carpenter, Page 343
ASA CARPENTER. Few men are better known to the people of Sheboygan County than the gentleman whose name heads this article, not only from the fact that he is an early settler, but also because of the active part he has taken in the affairs of the county.
The branch of the Carpenter family to which our subject belongs traces its origin back to England. Of four brothers, three came to the United States, and one went to Hamburg, Germany, where he became immensely wealthy, and died without issue. His estate is still the rightful property of the brothers' heirs, though all efforts to secure it have been futile. The father of the subject of this sketch, who also bore the Christian name of Asa, was born in Thompson, Conn., in 1795, and when seventeen years of age went to Oswego County, N. Y., where he married Miss Louisa Wood, whose parents came from Vermont. he was a man of exceptional mental endowments, being a genius in mathematics. It is said that the most intricate problems could be solved by him without perplexity. For seventeen terms he followed the occupation of teaching with marked success; in later years, however, he turned his attention to farming. His wife died when their son Asa was six years old, she having reached the age of thirty-four years. Of the eight children born to this worthy couple, six survive. Sibyl, now Mrs. Gurley, resides near the old homestead in Oswego County; Miriam is the wife of Enos Eastman, whose sketch is given elsewhere; Ephraim lives in Plymouth; Amy wedded Alexander Lindsay, a farmer in the town of Plymouth; Asa is the next; and Louisa is Mrs. Clark, of Plymouth. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Carpenter married Miss Suky Robins, by whom he had a son, Ebenezer, who owns the old homestead. The father of this family died in his eighty-third year. He was a man of influence in the community where he lived, being for years a Deacon in the Congregational Church. Politically, he was a strong Whig. For a number of years he served as Justice of the Peace, also as District Clerk.
Asa Carpenter, the subject of this sketch, was born in Oswego County, N. Y., December 26, 1829. On his father's farm he developed a strong physical manhood, and in the district schools acquired a rudimentary education, which has been supplemented by extensive reading. Possessed of an extraordinary memory, Mr. Carpenter is admitted to be one of the best-informed men on the political history of this country of any in this section. The spring of 1851 witnessed his arrival in Sheboygan County. He intended to teach school, but as the teacher's calling was not very inviting in that early day, he directed his energies to farming. For two years he worked by the month, receiving the highest wages then paid--$12.50 per month. In 1852 he purchased the eighty acres of land on which he still lives. Stone and timber were abundant on it, but no improvements. By years of hard toil he has cleared it of both and put it in a high state of cultivation.
Mr. Carpenter married, April 6, 1854, Miss Harriet M. Wilson, who was born in Montgomery County, N. Y., April 6, 1831. Her parents, Ezra and Edith Wilson, are spoken of in the sketch of Ara Wilson. Mrs. Carpenter was a true helpmate to her husband, fully performing her part in making the home, with all its surroundings. On the 12th of February, 1891, she passed to her final rest, leaving no family. She was a consistent member of the Congregational Church, in which her husband is also an active worker, he being a member of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Carpenter was again married, April 29, 1892, this wife being Miss Edith Chase, who also assists in the work of the church.
If we should say that Mr. Carpenter is an uncompromising Republican, no one would accuse us of putting it too strong. His first Presidential vote was cast for Gen. Scott, and from that time to the present, without exception, he has exercised his right of franchise in support of the nominees of the Republican party. By his fellow-citizens he has been honored with a number of official positions. For some eight years he served as a member of the County Board of Supervisors, and for three years was Assessor of his town. In 1880 he was appointed Census Enumerator for the town of Plymouth. By his party he has been nominated for Assemblyman and for State Senator, in the latter running ahead of the ticket, both State and Congressional. He took an active part in the organization of the Plymouth Farmers' Fire Insurance Association, being the first to head the list as a patron of the enterprise. He was chosen as the first President of the company, and when its financial affairs got into a hopeless muddle, he was put in as Treasurer to straighten them out. he is now serving his tenth year in that capacity. In every official position Mr. Carpenter has discharged the duties devolving upon him in an efficient, prompt and independent manner. Duplicity is by no means one of the elements of his character; whatever he believes to be right, he advocates openly, courting neither the favor of friends, nor fearing the censure of opponents.
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