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Thomas Nugent, Page 303
THOMAS NUGENT, a well-known farmer of Sherman Township, residing on section 1, is one of the worthy citizens that the Emerald Isle has furnished to Wisconsin. He was born in County Meath, Ireland, November 1, 1825, and is the youngest and only survivor in a family of two sons and three daughters. His parents, Miles and Catherine (Cute) Nugent, never came to this country, but spent their entire lives in their native land.
On the 4th of May, 1841, when our subject was a youth of sixteen, he left Dublin in the sailing-vessel "St. Martin," which was bound for America, and after a voyage of six weeks and two days landed in New York. He had very little capital, and a stranger in a strange land, he was thrown upon his own resources. From New York he went to Highbridge, where he worked for nearly three years, beginning as a water-carrier, and afterward driving an ox-team. He later went to Providence, R. I., where he was engaged in digging wells for two years, and then was employed in a foundry. In the following winter, he went to New Orleans, working on a steamboat. Returning, he resumed work in the foundry, where he labored for about six years, and then made an overland trip to Chicago, coming from there, by way of the Lakes, to Sheboygan. Immediately after reaching this county, he purchased his present farm of Mr. Webster. It comprised eighty-five acres, upon which not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made, and he only had $50 left after making the purchase.
In 1845, Mr. Nugent was joined in marriage with Miss Alice Conlin, who was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, near the market place of Colgher. They have become the parents of eleven children, and the family circle yet remains unbroken. Miles resides on a farm of one hundred and forty acres on section 1, Sherman Township; John aids in the operation of the home farm; Edwin is a farmer of Sherman Township; James is section boss on the Milwaukee & Northern Railroad; Patrick is Roadmaster on the Green Bay & Milwaukee Railroad; Thomas and Peter are both at home; Bridget is the wife of James McKenna, a watchman of Sheboygan; Catherine is at home; Mary Ann is the wife of Michael Burns, a real-estate dealer of Milwaukee; and Margaret completes the family.
Mr. Nugent is familiar with the history of this county from the days when Indians formed the greater part of its population, when wolves and bears were frequently seen, and deer and other wild game were very plentiful. He has known no other home than the farm on which he then located. By additional purchase he has extended its boundaries, until it now comprises two hundred and forty acres, all under a high state of cultivation. The buildings thereon stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise, and tell that the owner is a practical and progressive farmer, who neglects not his business, but attends carefully to all details. His first vote was cast for Franklin Pierce in 1853, and he has since supported the Democratic party. He and his family are faithful members of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, and are high-respected citizens, who well deserve representation in this volume.
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