"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.


Powell, William R. a successful merchant of Tomahawk, in which city he has resided for 18 years, and is therefore one of its well known citizens, was born in Ontario, Canada, Sept. 14, 1863, son of David and Calista (WRIGHT) POWELL, who were also natives of that province and farmers by occupation. The father died years ago, but the mother is still living and resides in Manitoba. Their ancestors were English and one or more of them took part in the Revoluntionary War. William R. POWELL acquired his education in rural schools, which he attended until he arrives at the age of 18 years. For the next three years he was employed as clerk in a general store, and in the meanwhile, from the age of 21 until he was 33 he was engaged in school teaching. In 1891 he came to the States, locating at Medford, Taylor County, Wis., where he taught for several years, after which he spent four years in the U.S. mail service there. It was in 1905 that he came to Tomahawk, where he secured employment as a manager of a livery business and was also agent for the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. In 1911 he engaged in mercantile business in Tomahawk and has since built up a good business. In 1918 he erected a two-story building in South Tomahawk, 64x164 feet in dimensions, and consisting of a store and warehouse below and residence above. Politically Mr. POWELL is independent and he and his family are affiliated religiously with the Episcopal Church. Through an accident sustained while in Manitoba in 1887, Mr. POWELL had the misfortune to lose a leg. He was married Oct. 31, 1883, to Mary HAMILL, daughter of Thomas and Jane (MULLIGAN) HAMILL of Ontario, her parents being pioneers of the locality in which they settled. They were both natives of the north of Ireland, but wre married in Ontario April 2, 1848, by Rev. John COMI, a Presbyterian minister. Mr. HAMILL died in 1894; Mrs. HAMILL was born in 1831 and died in 1863. They had 14 children, five of whom are still living, namely: Thomas, of Whitewood, Saskatchewan; Samuel of Marilla, Ont.; Hugh of Markham, Ont.; John of Marrila, Ont.; and Mary, now Mrs. William R. POWELL of Tomahawk, Wis. Mr. and Mrs. POWELL are the parents of four children: Genevieve, born Dec. 18, 1885; who resides in Manitoba; Garnett C., born June 29, 1890, now of Minneapolis, Minn.; Maxfred H., born Jan. 14, 1892, a resident of Chicago; and Hugh S., born Sept. 14, 1901, who lifes at home and is assisting his father in the store. Hugh S. POWELL was in the United States Naval service during the recent great war, his record being as follows: Enlisted as second class seaman June 22, 1918, and trained at Great Lakes, Ill.; was transferred to Camp Logan, Ill., for marksmanship training on range, and was later transferred to the military academy at Annapolis, Md., for further training on range. From there he was transferred to Submarine Chaser No. 41 as a member of the U. S. Naval Reserve forces and was on coast service between Annapolis and Norfolk and on active duty for 14 months. On account of an injury was released from active duty Aug. 19, 1919, and was discharged at Great Lakes, Ill., Sept. 30, 1921. On his return home he entered the Milwaukee School of Engineering, April 4, 1921, but owing to ill health had to leave June 6, 1922 and again returned to Tomahawk, since which time he has been in the store with his father. He has been a member of every firing squad detailed from the local military company for salute work, and similar duty. Garnett C. POWELL saw army service in the Great War. He entered the service March 2, 1918, in the aviation development, being a resident of Cloquet, Minn., when he enlisted, and was at the time a married man, having previously married Anna LAWSON of Grove City, that state. He trained at Kelly's Field, Houston, Taxas, and in July, 1918, sailed for overseas. In France he was detailed on field duty to pick up falled planes and never missed a day's service. He served in France until March 25, 1919, and was discharged at Camp Grant, Ill., April 5, 1919. Of the two brothers having war records Hugh is a member of Bronsted Post No. 93, American Legion, Tomahawk.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 682-683; 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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