"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.
Thayer, William W. whose operations in land have given Oneida County many new farms and increased her rural population, was born at Osseo, Minn., Dec. 24, 1871, son of Albert A. and Mary (COLBURN) THAYER. The mother is said to have been a direct descendant (in which case probably a granddaughter) of the Barbara FREITCHE of Frederick Town, Md., who in Civil War days, according to Whittier's poem, sowed her patriotic union sentiments by braving Stonewall JACKSON when he ordered his troops to shoot down a United States flag in front of her house. Mrs. Mary THAYER died when the subject of this sketch was two years old. The latter's father, who was a farmer by occupation, is still living, and resides at Annandale, Stearns County, Minn., now well advanced in years. William W. THAYER was educated in the public schools at at the Canton Business College in Minneapolis, where he spent five months. He had become a resident of Minnesota at the age of nine years, his parents at that time having moved to Maine Prairie, Stearns County. After his business college course he became bookkeeper for a concern at Fair Haven, Minn. From this he branched off into the work of a collector, being thus employed by the Deering and the McCormick agricultural machinery companies. This work he did during the summers, during the winter months keeping books for different logging companies or firms. For six years he was thus engaged, at the end of which time he went into the lumbering business in North Carolina; but the venture not proving very successful, he spent only a year there and on his return to the North located at St. Cloud, Minn., where he resided for five years, being special salesman for the A. G. Whitney Land & Loan Co. Subsequent to that he spent one year in the livery business in Minneapolis and then, selling his interests there, returned to Fair Haven and engaged in the grocery business, in which he continued for two years. Then, selling out, he went to St. Cloud and formed the real estate firm of Whitney, Rosenberger & Thayer, handling city and country property, also lands in Alberta, Canada, and insurance. A year later Mr. THAYER bought out Mr. ROSENBERG's interests and in the same fall purchased Mr. WHITNEY'S. He continued in business at St. Cloud until Dec. 10, 1910, when he came to McNaughton in the town of Newbold, Oneida County, where he started a general merchandise store and also became postmaster. Before coming to this county he had bought about 5,000 acres of cut-over land at and around McNaughton, and after his arrival he turned his attention to the sale of this land, disposing of it to settlers who wanted it for agricultural purposes and by whom it has been turned into farms. In 1918 Mr. THAYER sold his store and in 1919 he sold the bulk of his land to the Wisconsin Land Holding Co., having their headquarters at Milwaukee. He, however, has a considerable interest in the said company and is one of its directors. A number of other Oneida County citizens are also interested in it, the company owning not only several thousand acres in Oneida County, but also large tracts of land in adjoining counties. In 1919 Mr. THAYER came to Rhinelander and bought his present dwelling-house at 639 Shepard Street and since then he has given his time to the real estate business and farming. At McNaughton he has a farm of 640 acres, and he also owns two others--one of 163 acres and one of 120 acres. The larger farm is supervised by two of his sons, while the others are occupied by tenants. Mr. THAYER is well known and respected citizen of Rhinelander and is a member of the local lodge of Elks. He was married at Fair Haven, Minn., Jan. 2, 1895, to Mabel M. GOULD, a native of that place, and he ans his wife have been the parents of four children: Leland M., Harold I., Winfield E., and Hollis A. Leland M., who was born May 26, 1896, at Minneapolis, is now in a general store at Wichita Falls, Texas. He married Mary ADAMS, of Waco, Texas, and they have one child, Dolores. Harold I., born at Fair Haven, Minn., June 28, 1897, is now farming in Oneida County on his father's farm. He married Olive LOWELL of Pelican Rapids, Minn., and they have one child, Phyllis. He was drafted into the army Oct. 17, 1918, from Rhinelander, Wis., and went directly to Camp Shelby, Miss., where he was taken from the train to the hospital with the "flu", and there he remained until being discharged Nov. 15, 1918. Winfield E., born at St. Cloud, Minn., Dec. 10, 1901, who is associated in agricultural work with his brother Harold, married Clara A. BOHLMAN of Eland, Wis., and they have one child, Vernon. Hollis A., born at Fair Haven, Minn., June 23, 1905, is a junior in the Rhinelander High School. While a resident of St. Cloud Mr. THAYER helped to organize and build four German Lutheran churches, and his work of colonizing settlers at McNaughton, Oneida County, having brought in many Lutherancs, he also helps to build the German Lutheran Church there. While his country was engaged in the World War he was a member of the Oneida Council of Defense, and was chairman of all activities in the town of Newbold. In short, he is a man who, wherever he has resided for any length of time has identified himself closely with the interests of the community and done his best to promote them, and his efforts have always borne good fruit. He is a citizen whom Rhinelander could ill spare and who has the esteem of those who know him.
Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 345-346,
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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