"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.


Verage, John J. county clerk of Oneida County, in which office he has served efficiently for the last eight years, is a native of Wisconsin, having been born at Sheboygan, April 22, 1869. His parents were Peter and Johanna (ROLSE) VERAGE, the father a native of New York State and mother of Holland. Peter VERAGE came to Wisconsin at an early age, as at the age of 17 he entered the army as a volunteer, enlisting at Green Bay as a private, and altogether he spent three years and three months as a soldier. When the war was over and he was honorably discharged, he settled in Sheboygan, where he and his wife Johanna were married, and he took up railroading, becoming an employe of the Omaha Railroad when they were building their line through St. Croix County and this occupation he followed for many years in Wisconsin. His wife died at Eagle River, Nov. 13, 1884 and is buried there. In 1889 he went to the Pacific Coast, where he followed railroading for a number of years thereafter, and also worked in the navy yard at Portland, Ore. He died in California July 8, 1922, at an advanced age. John J. VERAGE had very meager school opportunities in his boyhood, but by home study and perseverance he succeeded in acquiring a very fair store of knowledge, which he has further improved by well selected reading, so that he is conversant with most subjects that come within the range of ordinary conversation. It was at the early age of 11 years that he began work at railroading, and at 15 he was assistant to the agent at Eagle River, where he remained for one year. He then entered the train service on the old Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railroad (now the Chicago & Northwestern) as brakeman, in which position he served until 1889, in which year he met with an accident, being run over by an ore train, which crushed his leg. The next two years was spent by him in hospitals--18 months in Ashland and six months in Milwaukee--but he finally got out and while still on crutches learned telegraphy and became an operator and agent for the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western, working for that road subsequently at various stations, including several in Oneida County. In 1892-93 he was the first station agent at Choate, Mich. Mr. Verage followed railroad work until 1894. He then became employed by the Wabash Screen Door Company in Rhinelander and was with that concern until their factory burned down. Then for some time he conducted a restaurant in Rhinelander and followed other kinds of labor until 1906, in which year he was elected register of deeds for Oneida County. In 1908 he was re-elected, serving until 1910. Then for four years he engaged in farming. In 1914 Mr. VERAGE was elected county clerk and has succeeded himself as the result of every election since. By the press he was termed the "lone pacer," as he was the only Democrate on the ticket in 1921. He has been a good public servant, both efficient and courteous, and enjoys a considerable share of popularity. Mr. VERAGE was married Aug. 5, 1893, at Monico Junction, to Lottie J. BORDEN of Oconto, Wis.; she was born at Two Rivers, Wis., July 19, 1872. Mr. and Mrs. VERAGE are the parents of seven children, John E., Thomas LeRoy, Dewey Jerome, Lyle E., Lloyd D., Burleigh F. and Gladys. John E. resides in Rhinelander; Thomas LeRoy and Dewey J. have military records. The former, who volunteered for service after this country had entered into the World War, became a member of Company L, 127th Infantry. He was wounded at the battle of Fismes, Aug. 4, 1918, and sent to the hospital, where he remained ten months; then was returned to the United States, landing at Newport News, June 20, 1919; was in the base hospital at Baltimore one year, and then transferred to the Walter Reed Hospital at Washington, D.C., where he still remains. Dewey Jerome, who resides in Rhinelander, in 1915 joined the Wisconsin National Guard, and saw service in Texas during the border troubles. After going there once, the company returned home and was reorganized and then again went to the border, Dewey J. VERAGE going with it. He was later transferred to Company L, 127th Infantry, 32d Division (his brother's regiment), went overseas and returned to the United States in May, 1919, with the rank of corporal. Lyle E. VERAGE is now working in Chicago, being manager of a dock crew for a cold storage firm. Lloyd D. is a student at Marquette University, Burleigh F. and Gladys are pupils in the Rhinelander High School. The family home is at 922 Arbutus Street.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 349-350, 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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