"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.


Shelton, A. W. one of the most notable pioneers of the city of Rhinelander, Oneida County--a man whose personal career forms no unimportant part of its history--was born at Newport, a little village in Washington County, Minn., on the Mississippi River some ten or twelve miles south of St. Paul, on Sept. 15, 1859. His parents were Charles and Prudence Ann (GILES) SHELTON, both of whom were from the East, Charles SHELTON having been born in Connecticut Nov. 11, 1831, and Prudence Ann GILES in New York State Sept. 14, 1834. They came west after their marriage, being numbered among the early settlers in Minnesota, and it is said that Charles SHELTON operated the first saw mill on the upper Mississippi River. He lived to a good old age, passing away in 1912. A. W. SHELTON after acquiring the first elements of knowledge became a student at Afton Academy, at Afton, Washington County, Minn., which place was not many miles from his home. In 1883 he was graduated from the University of Wisconsin, having completed the engineering and general scientific courses; in 1885 he completed the law course. It was in January, 1886, that he came to Rhinelander and opened an office for the practice of law. One other lawyer had reached this place before him, so he missed being the pioneer attorney, but he soon became one of the most noted in this section and served as district attorney for one term, from 1890 to 1892. The town was small in those days and, there not being enough legal business to give full scope to his energies, Mr. SHELTON identified himself with various business and public enterprises, striving not merely to better his own fortunes but to advance the best interests of the community in which he had made his home, and within a few years he was known by everyone as one of Oneida County's leading and most useful citizens. In 1892 he bought the Oneida County Herald, then known as the Rhinelander Herald, a Democratic weekly paper; in the following year he erected the Herald building, and for a number of years thereafter he presided over the destinies of the paper as its owner and editor. He was also instrumental in starting the Rhinelander Light & Power Co., and for four years served as its president. As a member of the Park Board, he took the principal part in laying out Riverside Park, a work in which he took a particular interest. He was secretary of the Rhinelander Building & Loan Association, a stockholder in the Paper Mill, and a director in the Refrigerator Company and the Merchants State Bank. He gave to whatever he took hold of his best thought and attention and he was seldom wrong in his judgment of men and conditions. Mr. SHELTON died on Nov. 1, 1908, his loss being deeply deplored by all who knew him. He was a charter member of the Congregational Church and a man who observed the Golden Rule in his relations with his fellowmen. It was in the latter part of the year in which he came to Rhinelander, or on Oct. 6, 1886, that A. W. SHELTON was united in marriage with Mary HOWE, at Oregon, Dane County, Wis. She was the daughter of Isaac and Sarah (IDE) HOWE, both of eastern birth like Mr. SHELTON'S parents. Isaac HOWE was born in Cabot, Vt., Dec. 28, 1824, and came west in 1848; while Sarah IDE was born at Saratoga Springs, New York, Feb. 6, 1831, ans was brought west by her parents when an infant. They were married in Porter, Wis., Jan. 5, 1855, and their wedded life lasted nearly 40 years, until Mr. HOWE passed away Nov. 28, 1894. His wife survived him some 12 years or more, dying May 30, 1907, at the age of sixty-six. Their children were: Mary M., who became the wife of the subject of this sketch, A. W. SHELTON; James R., who died in 1917; and Grace W., now a resident of Colorado Springs, Colo. Mr. and Mrs. SHELTON became the parents of a daughter, Margaret, who was graduated from the University of Wisconsin, was subsequently a student for two years in Wellesley College and is now a teacher of history and political economy in Lander College at Greenwood, South Carolina.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 390-391, 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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