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Hon. George Spratt, Page 570
HON. GEORGE SPRATT, a resident of Sheboygan Falls, is an early settler of Sheboygan County, and is now engaged in the manufacture of chairs in Sheboygan. He is a native of England, and was born in the city of Boston, Lincolnshire, January 30,1844. His parents, Luke and Bithiah (Randsley) Spratt, were also natives of Lincolnshire, and were born in the same locality as their son. In 1851 the family emigrated to America, coming directly to Sheboygan County. The father was a farmer in England, and his ancestors before him had owned large freeholds, but through the extravagance and bad management of both his paternal and maternal grandfather, their families were reduced to straitened circumstances while Mr. and Mrs. Spratt were yet children, and they were forced to begin to earn their own livelihood. By the industry of himself and his wife, Mr. Spratt accumulated a good property, on which, however, he had some indebtedness. By the repeal of the Corn Laws, he was financially ruined; his land dropped $200 on the acre, and in consequence it would not sell for more than enough to pay the small incumbrance. He therefore decided to leave the land of his birth and come to America.
Because of this condition of affairs, Luke Spratt started in the New World comparatively poor. He located on wild land near Onion River, in the town of Lyndon, Sheboygan County, and improved a farm. he was sixty-seven years old when he reached this country, rather advanced in years to venture on the vicissitudes of a frontier life. His wife was sixteen years his junior, but both were rugged and well reserved, living to a good old age. The father died in March, 1873, aged eighty-nine years. The mother's death occurred in October, 1880, at the age of eighty years. Our subject is the youngest of four children who came with their parents to the United States. Two sons and a daughter are now living. One son, William, is living in Illinois; the daughter married an Englishman named William Wells, and returned to England to reside.
George was but seven years old on coming to Sheboygan County. He was reared on his father's farm and was educated in the public school. On the 7th of February, 1864, he enlisted for the late war as a member of Company F, Forty-eighth Wisconsin Infantry, and served fourteen months, or until the close of the war. His regiment was assigned to the Western Army, and did duty in Missouri and the region infested by hostile Indians, in defense of the frontier, and on the Santa Fe and New Mexico stage route, across the plains and over the mountains. At the time of being mustered out, in June, he bore the rank of Sergeant of his company.
On his return from the war, Mr. Spratt worked at carpenter work for a few years, and then engaged in contracting and building in Sheboygan Falls and the adjacent country, continuing in that business until 1872, when he engaged in the manufacture of hand farm tools. This line he carried on at the Falls until 1884, when he removed his business location to Sheboygan. Taking Charles Nichols, his brother-in-law, as partner, he engaged in the manufacture of chairs, building up a fine business. In August of 1892, Mr. Spratt bought out his partner's interest, and has since continued the business alone, although under the former firm name, that of George Spratt & Co. Mr. Spratt employs an average of sixty men, and his factory is situated near the corner of Lake and Maryland Streets. The business has proved a prosperous one at Sheboygan from the start, and is still growing in importance.
On the 13th of September, 1868, Mr. Spratt was married in the town of Plymouth, Sheboygan County, to Miss Mary, a daughter of John and Susan Nichols. Mrs. Spratt was born in Cornwall, England, July 8, 1845, and came to America with her parents in 1850. Her father is deceased, but her mother survives and resides in Sheboygan Falls.
Mr. Spratt and wife have two children living and have lost three. Helen, the eldest, died aged two and a-half years; John died at the age of nineteen years; and Mollie was drowned by falling into the Sheboygan River when a child of twenty-three months. She was a bright, healthy child, and her tragic death was a sad blow to her parents. Clara and Sarah are the surviving children.
In politics, Mr. Spratt is a Republican. He has served two terms as a member of the Board of Trustees of the village of Sheboygan Falls, and is now serving his fourth term as a member of the School Board. In the fall of 1886 he was elected to the Wisconsin Legislature from the Second Assembly District of Sheboygan County, and was Chairman of the Committee on Enrolled Bills, and a member of the Committee on Legislative Apportionment. His election as a Republican from a strong Democratic district is an evidence of his high standing and personal popularity.
Mr. Spratt is a Royal Arch Mason, a member of ST. John's Lodge No. 24, A. F. & A. M., of Sheboygan Falls, and of Harmony Chapter No. 10, R. A. M., of Sheboygan. He is also a member of Fidelity Lodge No. 34, O. O. F., of Sheboygan Falls; of Jairus Richardson Post No. 12, G. A. R., Sheboygan Falls, and of Oak Council No. 509, R. A., of Sheboygan. Mrs. Spratt is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Spratt was a Charter Member of the Grand Army post, and served three years as Post Commander. He is an enterprising, upright business man, and has always preserved a clear record, politically and otherwise.
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