"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.


Cone, Delos a well known pioneer of Lincoln County, proprietor of Riverside Farm in the town of Russell, where he is enjoying the comforts of an attractive home after many years of hard toil, was born in the town of Menasha, Wis., April 20, 1863, son of William and Eveline (FOULDS) CONE. The parents were of Scotch and English ancestry respectively, which has been traced back on the father's side to the year 1737, showing good stock in each generation. William CONE was born at Pittsfield, N. Y., Dec. 5, 1830, and in the same state in 1854, he was married to Eveline FOULDS, who was born in Otsego County, N. Y. in 1828. In 1860, about six years after their marriage, they came west to Wisconsin, settling in Menasha, where they lived many years and where Mr. CONE died March 26, 1902. His wife died at Berlin, Wis., April 27, 1912. At an early day he homesteaded land in what is now the town of Russell, Lincoln County, but which was then in the town of Merrill; but after remaining three or four years they sold out and returned to Menasha. They were the parents of two children: Addie, born Feb. 18, 1857, now the wife of Dr. J. S. WALBRIDGE of Berlin, Wis., and Delos, the subject of this sketch. Delos CONE in his youth attended school up to the age of 15 years, at which time he began industrial life, working on farms in summer and in the woods in winter, also taking part in the spring drives on the river. His wages were $13.00 per month and he had to work 30 days a month and from 15 to 18 hours per day, which nowadays would seem a most miserable remuneration for hard and dangerous work week days and Sundays, and for so many hours a day that the worker's time was practically divided between work and sleep. His first work in the woods, however, was that of a shanty cook in a camp of Crane & Chase of Phillips, Wis. In 1881 young Cone, then a youth of 18, came to the site of Gleason, Lincoln County, and there or in that vicinity was engaged in logging or river driving until 1896. It was in the early part of that period, on Dec. 10, 1884, that he was married to Addie BATES, who was born at Oshkosh, Wis., May 28, 1862, daughter of Frank and Susan (MARSTON) BATES, and who had come with her parents to Lincoln County, they taking a homestead in the town of Harrison, just north of Dudley. She had good school advantages for those days and had taught school in northern Michigan. In August 1886, while still actively engaged in the lumber industry Mr. CONE homesteaded 160 acres of wild land in the town of Russell (then Merrill), one mile from the site of Gleason. The land was covered with heavy timber, which made it valuable, though it made it more difficult to clear. He could afford to wait, however, and began operations only by building a good sized and comfortable log house, so good a house in fact, that, with some modern improvement, it is still the family residence. At that time Jenny (now Merrill) was the nearest village, and although now the distance by the modern highway is only 16 miles, it was then nearer 30, as one had to follow a trail along the banks of Prairie River, in rainy weather through deep mire, the trail being indicated in some places only by blazed trees. Over such a difficult road provisions and supplies had to be "packed in," or carried on the back, and it took two days to make the round trip. This was no easy task, as Mr. CONE'S load on one occasion coming from Merrill was his first grindstone, weighing 74 pounds, and on many occasions he carried 50-pound sacks of flour. The journey was much easier to make in the winter with an ox sled and during that season of the year, accordingly, Mr. CONE, used to lay in as large a quantity of provisions as possible. After awhile the first horse team made its appearance in this region and was followed by others. To hire one of them for a trip to Merrill, however, cost eight dollars, which was a large price in those days, and then only a small load could be hauled back. Sometimes it had to be taken from the wagon and carried on the back through or past mud holes, the wagon being hauled through empty, and then the provisions or supplies reloaded, the same process being repeated a number of times on the journey. It was work in those days beyond anything now experienced, and there were other trails to be endured as patiently as possible, the deerflies and mosquitos being particularly numerous and vicious in summer. There were but five settlers within a radius of ten miles when Mr. CONE first located on his farm, and he and his wife frequently extended hospitality to the river drivers who passed their way. Some years ago he sold the south half of his homestead and his present farm in the north 80 of the original tract of 160 acres. Of this he now has 40 acres under the plow, the rest being in timber and pasture. As already mentioned, he has improved his original log house and it is now adorned outside with a cobble stone finish. He has a good frame barn with cement floors and modern equipment for 21 cattle, with a good equipment for horses and has other buildings, which are of frame construction. His farm is well stocked with Holstein-Freisian cattle. Its name, "Riverside Farm," is very appropriate, as it lied just across the highway which follows the bank of Prairie River. This stream is well stocked with trout and is a favorite resort of anglers, some of whom are men prominent in the business or professional world, and who come here from long distances - from Chicago, New York, and other large cities. These make annual pilgrimages to the home of Mr. CONE in order to fish and hunt. With Dr. MILLER of Chicago, Mr. CONE built a beautiful log fishing cabin on the bank of Prairie River, just in front of the latter's residence. He has been clerk of the town of Russell since 1908; for years he served as justice of the peace and for the last ten years has been clerk of his school district. He was reared a Presbyterian and his wife a Methodist, and they are both now members of the Presbyterian Church at Gleason. During the great war they rendered patriotic service, Mr. CONE being active in all the drives and Mrs. CONE as chairman of the Gleason branch of the Red Cross organization. They have had three children: Chester W., Alfred J. and Eveline the two latter of whom are now deceased. Chester W., born May 24, 1886, is now walking boss for the Brooks & Ross Lumber Co. of Wausau. He was married June 25, 1923 to Blanche PARENT of Merrill. Mr. CONE took a leading part in the organization of the Gleason State Bank, in which he and his son, Chester, are both stockholders. He is a typical Wisconsin pioneer who has done his part in the development and improvement of the state. Mrs. Addie CONE also comes of a good American family and can trace her ancestry ack to the year 1734. Her father, Frank BATES was born in Schenectady, N. Y., Sept. 10, 1833; and her mother, in maidenhood Susan MARSTON, was born in Vermont Nov. 5, 1829. They were married in Appleton, Wis. In June, 1907 they left Lincoln County and moved to Portland, Ore., where Mr. BATES died Nov. 29, 1912, being survived by his wife, who died Sept. 29, 1916. Their children, seven in number, were: Clara, now Mrs. Del FREEMAN of Los Angeles, Calif.; Addie, whife of the subject of this sketch; Dora, now Mrs. Archie CHADWICK, of Tacoma, Wash.; Edward of Portland, Ore.; Warren, of Green Bay, Wis.; Harvey, of Portland, Ore.; and Lee, of Portland, Ore.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 583-585; 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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