"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.


Pope, Benjamin a typical representative of Lincoln County's agricultural interests, who has developed a good farm in the town of Lincoln, was born in Oshkosh, Wis., June 28, 1859, son of William A. and Harriett (PLUMMER) POPE. The parents were born in New Jersey, both being of English ancestry, and for a while they resided in New York City, where William A. POPE was in business as a manufacturing jeweler and gold plater. He also worked for a time at the machinist's trade. The father of his wife, Harriett, had been a Revolutionary soldier. About 1850 Mr. and Mrs. William A. POPE came west to Wisconsin, making a trip from New York State by way of the Great Lakes to Milwuakee and thence by wagon to Oshkosh. There they secured a small parcel of land on the site of the present city and made that place their home for the rest of their lives. When the Civil War broke out William A. POPE enlisted as a soldier and served out his enlistment fighting for the Union. Benjamin POPE was reared and educated in Oshkosh and remained at home until he was 20 years old. He then engaged in prospecting for iron ore in northern Wisconsin and Michigan and helped to locate several mines, following that occupation until he came to Merrill in 1888. Until 1897 he worked in the mills and factories of that city, and then, not satisfied with a wage worker's prospects he resolved to get onto the land, in that year buying 40 acres in Section 6, town of Merrill. In the following year he and his wife cleared away the brush on their place and built a small shack of 14 by 24 feet in which they took up their abode. To made a start they had to endure pioneer hardships, as in the following winter it got so cold that they had to bank the house with snow to keep from freezing. For five years Mr. POPE continued to work in town to earn living expenses, his wife doing the farm work, raising potatoes and other farm produce. When they started they had one cow and a calf. Now the land is all under cultivation and they have good buildings. In 1913 they erected a pleasant frame house of seven rooms and in 1921 a fine large barn with full basement for stock. They carry on general farming and dairying, now having a herd of 27 high grade Holstein cattle with a pure bred sire. They milk on an average 15 cows, delivering the milk every morning to residents of Merrill. Their farm is well equipped with modern machinery, including a tractor. For 21 years, Mr. POPE has been clerk of the town of Merrill. It was about two years after he located in Merrill that he was married in that city, Sept. 11, 1890, to Augusta DETERT, daughter of Henry and Minnie (BAGUHN) DETERT. The parents were natives of Germany who settled in Merrill, Wis., in 1864, Merrill being then known as Jenny. As those were pioneer days, transportation was one of the most difficult problems that confronted the settler. In the journey of the Pope family to Merrill Mrs. POPE'S grandmother walked the distance from Stevens Point to Wausau carrying two kegs on her back. After working for a time in Merrill Mr. DETERT took a homestead of wild land, which he subsequently cleared and improved, though it took some years of hard labor. Both he and his wife are now deceased. They had nine children, of whom four are living, namely: Mrs. Charles KUFAHL of Granite Heights; Frank of Merrill; Mrs. Herbert BESSY of Merrill; and Augusta. Those decased are Mrs. Minnie RASKE, William J., Robert, Otto and Emma. Augusta, now Mrs. Benjamin POPE, when a young girl of but nine years used to walk five miles through the woods to town carrying eggs to exchange for groceries; which she carried home. Mr. and Mrs. POPE are the parents of three children: Cora, wife of D. C. MCCRAY of Oshkosh; Harold, who is residing near Grandfather Falls; and Alfred, who is at home helping with the farm work. In March, 1917, Harold enlisted in the cavalry service of the United States. Begin injured while drilling, he was discharged in August that year with the rank of stable sergeant and returned home. He owns 80 acres of land in the town of Merrill, which his father and brother are working for him. Alfred was also in the army, entering the service in August, 1918 and training at Madison, but as the war ended early in November, he did not go overseas. The family have made a record for industry and good American citizenship and have advanced in prosperity since making their home here.

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