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Arvin L. Weeks, Page 585
ARVIN L. WEEKS. The beauty of a city and the practical usefulness of its structures depend largely upon the good taste and mechanical skill of its architects and builders, and prominent among those who have left the imprint of their personality on the city of Sheboygan in this direction, should be named the subject of this sketch.
Mr. Weeks came to Sheboygan in June of 1848, being then in the prime of life. He was an experienced and skillful architect and builder, and for the succeding ten years was actively engaged in the line of his chosen business. During this time he designed and had charge of the construction of many of the best business and public buildings and private residences.
In 1858, in company with D. Wheeler and Capt. Charles Norton, Mr. Weeks built a sawmill in the town of Meeme, Manitowoc County, which they operated for two and a-half years, when it was burned. Mr. Weeks erected a second sawmill in 1861, in company with Capt Charles Norton and John M. Folger, which the firm operated for a few years, when J. O. Thayer became interested in the business. Later Mr. Weeks conducted the mill alone until 1875, when he sold out. The next three years he carried on a lumber yard at Sheboygan, and in 1878 resumed work at his former occupation, that of architect and builder. He built the first schoolhouse in Sheboygan and the county court house. Among the many other buildings erected by him may be named the Zschetzsche Block, King Block, Geele Block, Otten Block and Townsend Block; also the residences of T. M. Blackstock, George End, George Cole, Joseph G. End, Mrs. Jones, W. H. Seaman and Clem Reis; the Second and Eighth Ward Schoolhouses, and the factories of the Sheboygan Manufacturing Company, Mattoon Manufacturing Company, Dillingham Manufacturing Company, and portions of the plant of the Crocker Chair Company.
For seven years Mr. Weeks served as Harbor Master at Sheboygan, and for three years was a member of the City Board of Education. He was born in the town of Chapaquiddick, on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., July 21, 1810, and was a son of James and Sophronia (Fisher) Weeks. In his youth, he removed with his parents to Nantucket, where he was reared to manhood, receiving his education at the Friends' School, to which religious denomination his parents belonged. With his father he learned the trade of carpenter and builder, at which he was employed in Lynn, Mass., for many years. He also worked at his trade in the South, in Charleston, S. C., and Augusta, Ga. At the latter place he was also engaged in car-building for two years. Returning to New England, he spent two years at Manchester, N. H., in building churches and other structures. he also worked in other New England towns.
On the 21st of May, 1840, Mr. Weeks was married in Thisbury, Martha's Vineyard, to Miss Elizabeth Cottle. Mrs. Weeks was born in that town August 4, 1823, and is a daughter of George D. and Margaret (Waldron) Cottle. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Weeks resided at Thisbury until June, 1848, when they emigrated to Sheboygan, Wis., coming by way of the Lakes. This city continued their home throughout the remainder of his life, and here his wife still resides.
Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Weeks, four sons and seven daughters, Sophronia, the eldest, is the widow of John Onk, and resides in Mattoon, Wis.; Richard O. who married Mary Radlinsky, died August 18, 1881; Ellen G. is at home; Catherine L. became the wife of James Logan, of Sheboygan; William C. died in infancy; Alvin L. wedded Minnie Kuester, and is a resident of Mattoon; Elizabeth C. is the wife of Frank Rollins, of the same place; William C. is an architect and builder of Sheboygan, of whom see sketch elsewhere in this record; Sarah B. is the wife of Levi Morgan, also of Mattoon; Margaret I. died October 30, 1963; Agnes J., the youngest, resides with her mother.
Mr. Weeks was reared under the auspices of the Society of Friends, and maintained his faith in that creed until his death, at the age of seventy-eight years. In early life he was a Whig, and later a Republican. Besides serving on the School Board, he was a member of the City Council. Mr. Weeks led a busy and useful life, and up to a few weeks before his last illness was active mentally and physically. He was a man of unimpeachable character as befitted his profession as a member of the Society of Friends, and enjoyed in a marked degree the kind regard and esteem of his fellow-citizens.
His good wife survives him, and with her younger children still occupies the old homestead. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is a woman respected for her many excellencies of character.
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