"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.


Seth, James Arthur now engaged in the real estate and insurance business in Tomahawk, in which city he is well known, being one of its original prioneers and for many years one of its public officials, was born in Delaware County, New York, Sept. 6, 1849, son of George and Janet (OWEN) SETH. The parents were natives of Scotland, where the father was born in 1812. It was in 1848 that they came to the United States, locating at Jersey Heights, New York City, where George SETH followed farming, until the money thus earned he bought a farm in Delaware County, N. Y., on which the family settled. It was only the first step in their westward journey, however, as in 1855 they left there and came to Wisconsin, locating at Ripon, there the father engaged in general teaming and also followed farming, and where he died in 1881. His wife Janet died at Ripon in 1901, having survived him 20 years. They had seven children, of whom those now living are: Margaret, who married P. T. TUCKER and is now in Redwood, California; and James Arthur of Tomahawk, Wis. Those deceased are George, Edlizabeth, John and Alison. James a. SETH was about six years old when his parents settled in Ripon, and his education was acquired in the common schools of that place. He then learned the trade the painter, paper-hanger and decorator, which he followed for a time, afterwards working four years in a flouring mill. He then returned to his former trade and also conducted a meat market. When Tomahawk was founded in 1887 he came to this place, setting out from Superior, where he then happened to be, and walking the latter part of the distance from Bradley, as there was no railroad here then. He crossed the river in a dugout and found two stores here, one conducted by John OELHAFEN and the other by Mr. ROBERTS. Stumps were everywhere in the streets and there were no sidewalks, as that it was a dirty, and rather dreary-looking place, and very muddy after a rain. But the elements of progress were there and he remained, taking up his trade of painting again and also carpenter work, for which there was a good demand. After being thus engaged for a few years, he entered into the real estate and insurance business which he has since followed. Having closely identified himself with local interests and proved his capacity and reliability, it was not long before his fellow citizens elected him to public office, and thus he served ten years as justice of the peace, was alderman from the Fourth Ward two terms, served one term as city clerk, was a member of the school board and poor commissioner, and served three terms as supervisor on the county board. He is fraternaly affiliated with the Odd Fellows and Maccabees, and is one of the best know citizens of Tomahawk and highly respected. Mr. SETH was married at Ripon, Wis., Oct. 28, 1875, to Sarah Albie WELCOME, daughter of Eben Decatur and Esther (HERRICK) WELCOME, the parents being natives of Maine, who on coming to Wisconsin had settled on a farm in Waushara County. In 1863 Mr. WELCOME was drafted into the Federal army for service in the Civil War, being assigned to the First Wisconsin Cavalry. While engaged in active service he was captured by the Confederates and confined to the notorious Andersonville prison, where he died in June, 1864. He and his wife Esther were the parents of five children, of whom four are now living, namely: Sarah A., now Mrs. James A. SETH; Francella, who married James PYNCH of Ripon; Elizabeth, wife of Phineas SHUTE of Winona, Minn.; and Decatur, who lives in California, where he is engaged in the real estate and investment business. The one deceased is Lois. After her husband's death in a war prison, Mrs. WELCOME married his uncle, John B. WELCOME, and having survived him, became the wife of Henry Clay WELCOME, who was her first husband's cousin, and who, like him, had served in the Civil War. On the day she married her third husband, her daughter Sarah became the wife of James A. SETH, the occasion being a double wedding. By this last husband she had a son, Harry Claude, who is now in Kansas City, Mo. She died in Tomahawk in 1916 at the advanced age of 84 years. Mr. and Mrs. James A. SETH have one child, Florence, now the wife of Herbert R. MILLER of Minneapolis, and who has three sons, Paul and Norman (twins) and Herbert Ray.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 713-714, 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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