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Clark R. Mead, Page 557
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CLARK R. MEAD is numbered among the pioneer settlers of Sheboygan County of 1849. He now follows farming in Lyndon Township, or what is known as Onion River, where he owns and operates one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land. He was born in Putnam County, N. Y., April 6, 1836, and comes of a family that traces its ancestry back to the days of "Merrie England." His parents were Major and Betsy (Robinson) Mead. They had four sons and three daughters, of whom five are now living: Meliza, wife of Charles Butters, a prosperous farmer of Lyndon Township; Clark R.; Smith W.; who is also represented in this volume; Phoebe, wife of Charles Wright, of Lyndon Township; and Jennie, wife of Rev. Walter D. Wells, a Baptist clergyman of Kendall, Wis., now of Onion River.
The father of this family was born in New York, August 27, 1810, and in 1849 started with his family for Wisconsin, traveling from Poughkeepsie to Albany by boat, to Buffalo by way of the Canal, and by lake steamer to Wisconsin. On reaching Sheboygan he found it a mere hamlet, and old "Deacon" Brown kept hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, then the principal street. Mr. Mead rented land, and after six months purchased a partially improved tract of one hundred and sixty acres, moving into a log cabin which was built by the father of Mrs. Clark Mead. About three hundred Indians were encamped near by, and Mr. Mead purchased eighty acres of his land from the old Indian chief, paying $300 for it. An Indian Cemetery occupied the place upon which he erected his buildings, and he removed many of the Indian bodies from their burial-ground. Clark, then a boy, would often place pennies upon a stick for the little Indians to shoot at with bows and arrows, and if they hit the mark the coin was given them. Deer was plentiful and other wild game abounded. Mr. Mead was successful in business, and increased his possessions until he owned five hundred and seventy acres in Lyndon Township. He cast his first Presidential vote for Henry Clay, and was Whig until the organization of the Republican party. He and his wife were prominent members of the Baptist Church, and took an active interest in religious work. Mrs. Mead, who was born in New York, May 23, 1811, is now living with her daughter, Mrs. Wright, at the age of eighty-two, and her years rest lightly upon her. Her father, Peter Robinson, was a soldier of the Revolution, and well remembered Benedict Arnold, the traitor, who tried to cut off the supplies from the Continentals and almost caused their starvation.
Clark R. Mead was a lad of thirteen when he came to Sheboygan County, and in the common schools was educated. At the age of twenty-six he was married, January 26, 1863, to Mrs. Permelia A. (Peck) Mead. She was born in Rensselaer County, N. Y., December 3, 1834, and was liberally educated, attending school in Sheboygan, and afterwards becoming a student in the college at Berea, Ohio. She then engaged in teaching, and successfully followed this profession. She was the seventh in a family of seven sons and five daughters, whose parents were Ranford and Permelia (Thorn) Peck. Mr. Peck was a drummer-boy of 1812. Nine of the family are yet living: George W., of Sheboygan Falls; Mrs. Maria Mumbrue, of Calhoun County, Mich.; Eliza, widow of William Cleveland, and a resident of Lyndon Township; Gilbert, a farmer of Great Bend, Kan.; Mrs. Mead; John, of Kansas City, Mo.; Hannah, wife of Alfred Chamberlain, a farmer of Buffalo County, Wis.; Charles, a farmer, of Limestone County, Ala.; and Joseph, a cheese-buyer of Waldo. On the 9th of December, 1854, Permelia Peck became the wife of Abel Mead, and unto them were born two children: Elizabeth, who died at the age of twenty-two, and Major, a successful attorney of Plymouth. He is a graduate of the Plymouth High School, and of the law department of the State University of Wisconsin. His biography appears in this book. The father of this family, who was born in New York in 1832, and was a teacher for some years, died October 2, 1860.
The Peck family can be traced back to 1630, when three brothers came from England and settled in Connecticut. From them are descended Bishop Peck and General George Peck. Mrs. Mead is a lady of pleasing address, who presides with grace over their hospitable home, and has the happy faculty of making her guests feel at ease. By her second marriage there were five children: Amy, wife of Charles D. Eastman, a successful farmer of Plymouth Township, who is represented elsewhere in this work; Mary P., who is the primary teacher in the Waldo High School, and was educated here and in Wayland Academy, of Beaver Dam, Wis.; Pearly W., who was a graduate of the High School, and two children now deceased. Pearly W. and Guy F. Minch were the only young men who graduated from the Waldo High School in the Class of '93. The former possessed more than average ability, and expected to enter the legal procession. His death, which occurred October 20, 1893, was a sad bereavement to the parents, and a blow which was felt by the whole community, as he was a young man of brilliant promise.
Since casting his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, Mr. Mead has been a stalwart Republican, and has served as Chairman of the Township Board for two years. He has been District Clerk of the schools and has been Clerk of the Waldo High School. The beautiful school building, erected in 1887, is on the site where stood the little schoolhouse in which Mrs. Mead taught years ago. Our subject and his wife are members of the Lyndon Baptist Church, and take an active part in Church and Sunday-school work. He has been Secretary of the Sunday-school for may years, and for twenty years he has been Clerk of the Church Board. He is often called upon to serve as administrator of estates, and has so handled the many thousands of dollars that have passed through his hands that no word of complaint has ever been made. His own farm comprises one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land, three-fourths of a mile from Waldo, and his home is beautifully located on the bank of Onion River. The owner has long been recognized as one of the prominent and leading citizens of the community.
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