Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ralph Holcomb - Short Biography

One of a series of short biographies of individual ancestors. These are undertaken, from time-to-time, when enough information becomes available about an individual.

Ralph Elliot Holcomb - Supreme Sacrifice

The reality is, I don’t know much about Ralph Holcomb. I am including this with the short biographies but the article is really about his funeral. He died in 1919 as a casualty of the First World War. Ralph Elliot Holcomb was born on October 9th, 1898 to Reuben T. Holcomb and Amber Fessenden. His parents were in Monticello, Wisconsin for a couple of years and then moved to Monroe. Reuben served as the elected Clerk of Court for Green County beginning in 1896 so it might be assumed that Ralph was born in Monroe. The Holcombs built a house on the 800 block of West Russell Street in the 1890’s (now the 900 block of 10th Street). At that time, they were living at the edge of town on Monroe’s northwest side. The house still stands today, though it has been substantially altered.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Six Zweifel Brothers (3) - Mary Zweifel

Part 3 - The Next Generation
If you missed Part 2 of the story, go here . . .
If you missed Part 1 of the story, go here . . .

By the 1880's the five surviving Zweifel brothers were all married and raising families in the Town of New Glarus and the Town of Washington in Green County, Wisconsin. They came to America in 1853 and 1854 as part of a wave of Swiss settlers from Canton Glarus, Switzerland. When they arrived, they found a community of immigrants that were very familiar to them. These were German speaking farmers, many of whom they probably knew from the "old country." The brothers put down roots in southern Wisconsin. Two of them went off to fight in the Civil War and both survived. One brother died young but the rest acquired large farms and raised large families.

A Birds-Eye View of New Glarus in 1891.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Six Zweifel Brothers (2) - New Glarus

Part 2 - Becoming Americans
If you missed Part 1 of the story, go here . . .

In the middle of the 19th Century, six brothers, the sons of Johann Heinrich and Ursula would join the growing migration from Canton Glarus, Switzerland to New Glarus, Wisconsin. There is still some speculation as to the exact date or dates the brothers came over and what ship or ships they might have traveled on. What we do know is that all, except one, were recorded in the church records at New Glarus by 1854 and all seemed to settle in the town of New Glarus or the Town of Washington in northern Green County, Wisconsin.

A typical Wisconsin pioneer log house. The Zweifel
brothers may have encountered and lived in houses
similar to these when they first arrived.