Van Hees Family History


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Old Globe Road

Mary Jane Brown Smith reminisces on the early days in Clark County WI

Early Days on the Globe Road

By Mrs. Gus Smith

The old Globe Road, that too has changed in 40 years. One of the pioneers, Mrs. Gus Smith, now lives on the north side and to her was put the question as to when she first settled on that road.

"Why, we came onto that Globe Road along with the Huntley’s. It was all woods then and the road only ran as far as the old Frank farm where Linster's mill now is. It was surveyed up farther but it was not cut out. Let me see, that was in the spring of 1869 we went there. Christmas and other holidays were not thought of for a year or so after we got there. Then our school house was built and we began to have entertainments there. The first teachers I do not just remember, but they included Mrs. Harding, and Miss. Robinson, who is now Mrs. James O’Neill. Charles Fuller came later on and will be remembered for having taught there many years. I think he had the first general Christmas tree in the school house with an entertainment. One of the earliest recollections I have is when my husband, Gus, used to hitch up an old two wheel cart and take all the ladies of the neighborhood for a ride to one of the lumber camps. We took our dinner and we always had a good time. Our general gathers always included the Huntleys, the Blacks, and the Ritchies. Rev. Hendren was often at these and when the roads were so bad that he could not drive, he came on horseback. Yes, we had pretty good times then."

---Source: Republican and Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) 22 December 1910

Additional information

As noted above Augustus "Gus" and Mary Jane (nee Brown) Smith traveled from West Bend WI to Neillsville WI in the Spring of 1869 with the Huntley's. Mary Jane's parents, Joseph and Ann Brown, and the Huntley's had developed a close friendship since first meeting in Buffalo New York around 1846. William Huntley's background closely resembled that of Joseph. William was a shoemaker, born in Scotland in 1806, his wife Mary Ann Birks (Burks) was from England, and they emigrated to the USA in the early 1840's. He must have been like a younger brother to Joseph. Ann (nee Black) Brown, no relation to aforementioned Blacks in the article, must have found a kindred spirit in Mary Ann to share the challenges of frontier life in a new world. Ann and Mary Ann both gave birth to daughters in Buffalo; Mary Jane Brown and Ann Huntley.

About 1848 the two families moved to Milwaukee, and settled on neighboring farms in Addison Township, near West Bend. Sadly William passed away from Cholera in 1854. Mary Ann didn't remarry, but raised the children on her own. I'm sure the Brown's were a source of comfort and support through the years, and their children must have grown up together.

Mary Ann Huntley, her sons William, John, and Thomas, and daughter Ann, with her husband John Sufficool and their daughter 'Mary Jane', all accompanied Gus and Mary Jane to Clark County in 1869, and they settled on neighboring farms in Weston. Mary Jane's parents, Joseph and Ann Brown would remain in West Bend for a couple of years before moving to Weston to live with them. 

In Weston, Stephen Ritchie, his wife Betsy, and son William had a farm adjoining Gus and Mary Jane. They were also from Scotland, and had moved up from Lake Mills Wisconsin a year or so earlier. Erwin and Margaret (nee Ritchie) Black also had a neighboring farm, and were from Lake Mills Wisconsin as well. Margaret's sister Betsey, recently widowed of William Black (Erwin's brother), moved there to be with her parents. The Ritchies and the Blacks must have been very close friends / family as indicated by the many marriages (below), and the probable move together to Weston sometime before 1869. With such similar Scottish backgrounds and experiences, it's no wonder they "
had pretty good times then." The Reverend William Hendren, originally from Ohio, lived in nearby Neillsville.  

William Huntley (1806-1854)                                           
Mary Ann Birks (1814-1897)                                            

Ann married John Sufficool
Richard married Francis Elizabeth Berrien
William married Mary Virginia Newcomb
John married Ella L. Ketchum
Thomas married Fredrika B. Bahr

Stephen Ritchie (1812-1894)
Betsy Elliott (1815-1883)

William married Flora E. Wood
James (1846-1870)
*Betsey married **William Black
*Margaret married **Erwin Black
*Matilda married **George W. Black

**Erwin E. Black ( 1833-1897)
*Margaret Ritchie  (1833-1905)

Mary Black (1860-1886)

**William Black (1837-1869)
*Betsey Ritchie (1838-1916)

Isabella married John Sayle
Joel (died 1859)

*Sisters - daughters of Stephen Ritchee
**Brothers - sons of Riley Black and Angeline Hull

Linked toAnn Black; Joseph Brown; Mary Jane Brown; Augustus Smith

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