"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.


Gilligan, Sr., William H. who is now living retired in Rhinelander, Oneida County, after an active and successful career spent chiefly in the lumber industry, was born in Albany, N.Y., Feb. 18, 1841, son of James and Eliza (DUFFY) GILLIGAN. The father was also a native of New York State and in early life a carpenter. His wife was born in Williamsport, Penn. In 1845 they came west to Wisconsin, locating on government land, which cost $1.25 per acre, in the town of Abbott, Sheboygan County. James GILLIGAN developed his tract into a fine farm, where he resided until his death in February, 1870; his wife passed away in March, 1866. William H. GILLIGAN in his boyhood days had but scanty opportunities for attending school, but after he was married he attended night school. At the age of 17 he started in life for himself, working in logging camps on the Muskegan River in Michigan, later on the Menominee River in the same state and still later on the Little Wolf River. During the years 1866 to 1878 inclusive he worked for a Fond du Lac Company, conducting their camps in winter and operating their sawmill in the summer. In 1878 he went to Superior, where until 1882 he operated a sawmill for the Paige-Sexsmith Lumber Co.; then until 1893 he had charge of a mill for C. J. L. Meyer at Hermanville, Mich. In the latter years he came to Rhinelander and in partnership with H. J. FALL bought a sawmill which they operated together until 1897 when it burned down. Mr. GILLIGAN then engaged in the real estate business, dealing in timber and other lands, which line of enterprise he followed until 1917, in which year he retired. He is a man well and favorably known throughout northern Wisconsin, having had an interesting career, and although now 82 years old, he can read and write without the use of glasses. He has advanced to a high degree in the Masonic order, being a member of the Blue Lodge at Fond du Lac, the Chapter at Rhinelander, and Commandery at Menominee, Mich., and the Consistory at Marquette, Mich. On Nov. 4, 1865, Mr. GILLIGAN was married in the town of Holland, Sheboygan County, Wis., to Emmagene SHAVER, who was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., July 7, 1847, and who, like her husband, is still active, attending efficiently to all her household duties. They have had seven children, four of whom-Elsie, Mary, Emma and Henry-are now deceased. Those living are: William H.J., who is proprietor of the Ford garage in Rhinelander; John, of the Rhinelander Boat Co.; and Mrs. K. M. BISHOFF of Ashland, Wis., who is the widow of Albert BISHOFF.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 277-278, 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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