Family Stories

Early Residents of Door County, Wisconsin

From History of Door County, Wisconsin, printed 1881

 Gibraltar – Fourth Organized Town

 At the December meeting of the County Board, 1857, Gibraltar was set off as a township, consisting of all that part of the county north of what is now the town of Sevastopol, except Washington Island.  The town was organized the following spring by the election of officers; the first election being held at the house of Asa Thorpe, who still resides at Fish Creek.  “Gibraltar” was so named because of its general rough, rocky and bluffy surface.  Mr. Solomon Beery, now of Bailey’s Harbor, was the first town clerk, and Rev. E. M. Iverson, the first superintendent of schools of Gibraltar township.

The following is a short biographical sketch of parties now living Gibraltar, who came to Door County ten or more years ago.

In the year 1845, Asa Thorpe, farmer, first came to Door County.  However, his stay was short, and not until 1854 or 1855 did he make permanent settlement.  He was born in New York, 1820; first came west, 1844; married Eliza Atkinson, 1844; has five children.  His daughter Augusta, married James McDonald, of Ahnapee.  Herbert married Nellie McDonald; Bryon married Elvira Edgerton.

1850 – Ole L. Larson, farmer; born Norway, 1822; came to America, 1849; married Maria Gunnel, 1855; has six children.  His daughter Helen married Martin Olsen, of Liberty Grove; Sevina C. married O. L. Olsen, of North Bay.

1851 – Christian Knudson, sailor; born Norway, 1813; came to America, 1848; married Elizabeth ?, 1857.  Has no children.

1852 – Abraham Oneson, farmer; born Norway, 1809; came to America, 1849; married Catherine Inger, 1846; has two children.

1852 – Ever Nelson, farmer, cooper and fisherman; born Norway, 1819; came to America, 1846; married Mavia Thompson, 1842; has four children.  His daughter Thorine married Thomas Nelson.  Hannah married Marvin B. Hanson.  Addie married Anton Anderson, and lives in Michigan.

1852 – Peter Weberg, farmer, etc.; born Norway, 1823; came to America, 1851; married Olive Nelson, 1848; has six children.

1852 – H. P. Jacobs, sailor; born Denmark, 1817; came to America, 1844; married Karen Melchive, 1850.  Second marriage 1856, to Ingeborg Johnson.  Third marriage 1865, to Ann Peters.  Has two children.  Mr. Jacobs gives us a few lines concerning early dates, as follows:  Ephraim, Wisconsin, September 22, 1880.  I first landed in Door county at Sturgeon Bay, October, 1852, and settled on what is now known as E. C. Daniel’s place, where I resided for eight months.  The Government sold the land, and I tore down my house, loaded it into a boat, and came to Ephraim.  This was then such a dense forest that, with axe in hand, I had to step ashore and clear a place to unload the boat . . .Rev. A. M. Iverson, now of Fort Howard, was one of the first settlers in this place, and the first town superintendent of schools.  He was also pastor of the United Brethren Church of the Moravians; and it was at that time our church here was built.  It was the first in the county – I do not remember the date . . . I have often said, “I was the first in this place” but I shall never again be the first to help make a new settlement.  It sometimes makes me shudder, even now, when I think of those first days, and it is a wonder how we got through.

1853 – Henry C. Johnson, sailor; born Denmark, 1807; came to America, 1844; married Sophia Malene, 1852; has one child.

1853 – Jorgen Amundson, farmer; born Norway, 1830; came to America, 1853; married Anne Hulene, 1854; has six children.

1854 – Soren Hansen, farmer; born Norway, 1799; came to America, 1854; married Matilda Hanson, 1825 (the couple celebrated their golden wedding in 1875); has eight children.  His son Hans married Abigeil ?; Henry married Hendrieka ?; Anne married Hendrick Anderson; Christian married Maren ?; Sophia married Ingebret Torgeson; Maria married John Thoreson; Anton married Magelena ?; Karen married August Lindquist.

1854 – Henry Hanson, farmer; born Norway, 1828; came to America, 1854; married Henrietta Olsen, 1854; has six children.  His daughter Amelia married Axtel Linquest, of Menominee, Michigan.  Henrietta married Ole Torstenson, of Liberty Grove.

1854 – John Marshall, farmer; born in Brown County, Wisconsin, 1835; married Mary Truckey; has two children.

1855 – Carl Nelson, farmer; born Norway, 1829; came to America, 1855; married Stina Peterson, 1851; Second married 1872; has eight children.  His daughter Minnie married Hans Torgeson.

1855 – Charles Jeffcott, farmer; born England, 1845; came to America, 1849; married Lucy A. Doty, 1874; has two children.

1855 – Aslag Anderson, merchant and farmer; born Norway, 1829; came to America, 1849; married Ann M. Hanson, 1862; has nine children.

1855 – Myron H. Stevens, farmer; born New York, 1821; came west fall of 1836; married Mary F. Ingalls.  Second marriage, 1860, to Annie I. Graham; has six children.  His daughter Dora married Henry C. Williams.

1856 – Peter Peterson, merchant; born Norway, 1821; came to America, 1846; married Mary Nelson, 1851; has no children.

1856 – John Norton, farmer; born England, 1829; came to America, 1853; married Martha Wilford, 1853; has twelve children.  His daughter Nellie A. married Truman A. Thorpe, 1880.

1857 – August Hemple, farmer; born Prussia, 1851; came to America, 1857; married Ulreka Miller, 1874; has three children.

1857 – Thomas Goodletson, farmer; born Norway, 1816; came to America, 1853; married Kjesten Peterson, 1842; has six children.  His son Goodlet married Mary ?, and lives on Washington Island.  Jennie married Samuel Hall, and lives on Benton Harbor, Michigan.  Cornelius married H. Owman, of Ephraim.  Christena married Ole Olsen.

1857 – Stephen Norton, farmer; born England, 1832; came to America, 1851; married Rachel Jarman, 1857; has six children.

1857 – George Poppleton, fisherman; born New York, 1845; married Emily Willit, 1866; has four children.

1857 – Stephen Mapes, shoemaker; born New York, 1811; married Margaret Bright, 1832; has seven children.  His daughter Rosetta married Stillman Goodnow; Maria married John Potter; Delia married Lewis Churches; Julia married William Barnes; Alvin married Sarah Fowles; Calvin married Hattie Fowles; John married Betsy Moore.

1858 – Charles Jarman, farmer; born England, 1841; came to America, 1855; married Christena Foster, 1876; has two children.

1858 – Martin Minor, farmer; born New York, 1816; came west, 1846; married Julia St. Ores, 1840; has five children.  His son Honorable Edward S. married Tillie E. Graham, 1867; has four children.  Elrica married E. Kensey.  Alfre married Martha Lyman.  Augustine married Betsy Toseland.

To be continued in a later post . . .

Leave a Reply