WILLIAM DUDLEY


From History of Dane County, Wisconsin, publ. by Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1880, page 982

WILLIAM DUDLEY (deceased); was born Oct. 15, 1816 in Douglass, Mass.; he lived same time in Worcester, Mass., and afterward in Providence, R. I.; his mother died when he was 4 years of age, and from the age of 12 he cared for himself in the battle of life; he obtained a practical education, and taught school several terms in Connecticut; he gradually developed a taste and ability for mercantile pursuits; he was clerk some years in a dry-goods store in Providence, R. I.; in 1844, he established himself in business at Union, Rock Co., Wis., where for seven years he was a leading merchant. He was married July 22, 1851, to Miss Elizabeth H. MORSE of Providence, R.I., and they located in Madison in January 1852; for two years he was State Librarian and Private Secretary to Gov. Farwell, in 1854, he engaged in general merchandising, under the firm name of DUDLEY & POWERS; afterward, a few years, he was sole proprietor; J. H. D. BAKER was some time a partner, and finally, at his death, the business associate was Z. ZEHNTER; the family still retain their interest in the firm of DUDLEY & ZEHNTER, and the business is carried on as formerly. He held several local offices, and was interested in various business enterprises of the city besides his mercantile interests. Himself and family have long been identified with the Congregational Church. They have had five children; the son, Charles L., is an attorney in Madison; the four daughters all died in childhood. In 1861, he built the spacious stone residence which is now Mrs. DUDLEY's home, on the corner of State and Francis streets. His death occurred July 2, 1879; for three years he had been a partial invalid, and was finally prostrated by a complication of diseases resulting from general debility and overwork. From 1854 to his death in 1879, he had been actively identified with the business interests of Madison; he was thoroughly attentive, both to the details and the general management of his business; his unobtrusive manners and sterling qualities of head and heart, won many friends, and insured his substantial success. The family are among the pioneers and leading citizens of Madison.


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