"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"


Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.

Biography of


Aldrich, Stephen E., now deceased, who was for many years one of the best known lumbermen of northern Wisconsin and upper Michigan, was born at Owego, Tioga County, New York, Nov. 2, 1841. His father, Olney B. ALDRICH, was born at Providence, R. I., in 1805, and was a son of Aaron ALDRICH, a farmer by occupation, who had a family of five children: William, Cyrus, Olney B., Henry, and Sarah. The father of these children was a soldier in the Revolutionary War; he and his wife both died in Rhode Island. Olney B. ALDRICH was a lumberman and farmer, and also dealt considerably in cattle; he was married in New York State to Miss Minerva H. ROBERTSON, who was born in Oneida County, New York, daughter of David and Roxey ROBERTSON, well-to-do farming people whose family consisted of six children: Philander, Timothy, Avery, Minerva H., Sophia, and Clarissa. David ROBERTSON'S father was also a Revoluntionary War soldier. The children born to Olney B. and Minerva H. ALDRICH were Mary, Stephen E., Minerva, Harriet, Madonia, Anna, Milville, and Charles, all of whom are now deceased. After marriage the father passed the remainder of his life on the farm which he owned in Tioga County, New York, dying there in 1870. Stephen E. ALDRICH, subject of this sketch, received the advantages of a good common-school education in his boyhood, afterward assisting his father in his farming and lumbering operations. When he was 23 years of age he commenced jobbing in lumber for his own account, and he was also employed as purchasing agent on the Erie Canal, buying horses, tools, etc., for the contractors. In the fall of 1867 he moved to Big Rapids, Mich., where he worked for the Tioga Lumber Manufacturing Co., after the first winter being promoted to scaler and foreman of the yards, in which capacities he remained some five years; while with this firm he superintended the construction of the dam and boom on the Muskegon River about the year 1872, at the same time taking a five-year contract to sort the logs. He also superintended the building of a mill, and logged and cut 70,000,000 feet of lumber for J. P. UNDERWOOD. With the exception of one year spent on a farm in Barnes County, North Dakota, Mr. ALDRICH resided continuously at Big Rapids until 1886, in which year he came to Eagle River, Wis. as manager of the Underwood Lumber Co., he was then a stockholder in this company, and had full charge of the running of their logs to Rhinelander and Marinette. In 1893 the company completed its logging operations at Eagle River, and after that time Mr. ALDRICH had charge of Mr. UNDERWOOD'S individual lumber interests until his death, Nov. 29, 1911. In 1898 Mr. UNDERWOOD gave Mr. ALDRICH 160 acres of wild land in Section 2 of Three Lakes, on the military road, for a consideration of one dollar, for faithful services rendered. Mr. ALDRICH built up a set of log buildings and cleared about 35 acres of this land, making his home there until his death. Stephen E. ALDRICH was married Dec. 28, 1874, to Miss Rachael FERGUSON, who was born in New York, March 13, 1847. Mrs. ALDRICH still resides at the old home with her son Herrick. She will always be remembered for her kindness to the families of the pioneers and early settlers; she is one of those rare souls whose greatest happiness lies in making others happy, and her life has been one of unselfish devotion to human kind. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. ALDRICH, but only one of these Herrick, is now living; one died in infancy and another, Elsie, passed away at the age of nine years. Herrick ALDRICH was born in Big Rapids, Mich., and came to Eagle River with his parents in infancy. He was educated at Eagle River and subsequently worked with his father until the latter's death; since then he has filled the position formerly occupied by his father with the J. P. Underwood Co., looking after their 22,000 acres of cutover land, furnishing estimates on standing timber, etc. He was married at Eagle River Aug. 15, 1897 to Miss Mary F. WATCHESKY, and Mr. and Mrs. Herrick ALDRICH have been the parents of two children, May, who died at the age of 21 years, and Caroline, who is living at home.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 217-218, History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co.

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