"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.


Denton, Albert A. a resident of Eagle River and one of the best known citizens of Vilas County, who has had a long and interesting career and is still active, was born near Grand Rapids, in Kent County, Mich., June 18, 1847, son of John W. and Minerva (BARTHOLOMEW) DENTON. the paternal grandfather was a British soldier who was sent to America to fight against the colonists in the Revoluntionary War, but who seems to have liked this country so well that he remained in it, or came back to it, after his discharge from the army; the name of his wife is not known. John W. DENTON, by his wife Minerva, had six children: Mary, J. L., Bradley, Albert A., Charles F., Ella M. and John W., Jr. In 1839 he moved to Michigan, settling in Kent County. After about an 11 years' residence there he moved to Mill Point, Ottawa County, in the same state, and at Eastmanville, that county, he built in 1852 a large store and hotel, the latter being known as the Denton House. This he sold in 1861, moving to Grand Rapids, Mich. In the following year he took up his residence on a farm in Kent County, south of Lowell, but soon afterwards he traded that, with some city property, for a fine farm in the town of Keene, Ionia County, Mich. In the fall of 1868 he and his wife took a canoe trip up the Muskegon River to Houghton Lake, a distance of some 200 miles, hunting, fishing and looking up pine lands. He subsequently made annual trips for some time to the same locality, finally locating a homestead at Houghton Lake, and moving to it with his family, at which time he rented out his farm in the town of Keene. In the fall of 1877 he returned to the farm and there passed the rest of his life, passing away in 1885 while on a visit to his son Albert; he was survived for awhile by his wife. He had built the first logging railroad in Michigan and his personal character was that of a worthy and honorable citizen, kind hearted and charitable. Albert A. DENTON was educated in the common schools of his home neighborhood and was reared by his parents, with whom he remained until his marriage in 1870. He then went to Houghton Lake, where he was engaged in lumbering, and where also he took a homestead. In 1880 he sold that property and bought another piece at East Saginaw, Mich., to which place he moved his family. He then took a trip to Central America for the purpose of looking up valuable timber, and after executing that commission he came direct from there to Eagle River, Wis. This, however, was not his first trip to Wisconsin, as soon years before he had traveled through a considerable part of the state. At Eagle River his family rejoined him in 1884, and here he bought land and built the Denton House, which he conducted for six years, or until July, 1890, when he sold it to Samuel F. SMITH. Mr. DENTON then went on an exploring expedition through northern Minnesota, spending three years there as a cruiser locating government land. He then returned to Eagle River, where he has since made his home. His chief occupation here has been that of land broker and timber estimator, he having been connected in the latter capacity with such concerns as A. W. Sanborn & Co., Menasha Woodenware Co. and various pulp mills, his work taking him through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of Canada, especially along the Saskatchewan River and its tributaries. He owns some village property, and also a 360-acre farm in the town of Conover, Vilas County, which he has developed from wild land and which is now operated by his son Louis. While a resident of Michigan Mr. DENTON served as postmaster of his village, at other times as country treasurer, sheriff, and in other offices; he also assisted in the organization of Rosscommon County, Mich., and later was one of the prime movers in the setting off of Oneida County, Wis. In politics he has been a lifelong Democrat; he has served in such local offices as chairman of the town board, assessor, and postmaster. A typical frontiersman, he has accomplished a worthy work in the world, which offers have built upon in the development of our modern civilization, and he is still here to see and enjoy the result and may be for years to come. Mr. DENTON was married Oct. 1, 1869, to Elizabeth HART, who was born in the town of Keen, Ionia County, Mich., Feb. 4, 1848, daughter of Louis and Nancy (SHERMAN) HART. Her parents were natives of Herkimer County, N. Y., where they were married; they had eight children, all of whom are now deceased, Mr. Elizabeth DENTON having passed away May 19, 1923. Mr. and Mrs. DENTON were the parents of one child, Louis, who is now a farmer in the town of Conover. Louis DENTON married Sarah MORGAN and they have four children, Gertrude, Albert L., Milo and Glendale.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 450-451 (with picture), 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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