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Genealogy: Family Histories

Henry Savage Family

Transcribed and Edited by Michael R. Reilly

Last Revised 09/16/2009

Historic stone house now anchors new subdivision

First of two parts

By Fred Keller

Sussex Sun, Posted: April 23, 2008

On the north side of Silver Spring Road, a half-mile east of Lake Five Road in the Town of Lisbon, stands the Savage, Weeks, Dinkel home.

Its newest owner, Mrs. Shawn Nead, appreciates its history. She phoned me recently in my capacity as Lisbon historian to find out more about the house, which she wants to restore within its historical framework.

After researching Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society resources, here's what I found:

The limestone house, with its 18-inch-thick outer walls, was probably built in the 1850s by Sussex pioneer Andrew Davidson (1822-1904). His quarry, which also supplied his masonry business, was on Waukesha Avenue near today's Madeline Park.

The property's original land claimer, Henry R. Savage, paid $1.25 per acre in 1846 for his claim. An entry in the 1880 Chicago Western History Co. "History of Waukesha County, Wis." reads:

"H.R. Savage, farmer Section 19 (and 20), post office Merton, is a native of Monroe County, New York, was born in the Town of Churchille May 11, 1822. He married in his native town, Sarah A. Hawley and in 1844 came to Wisconsin, locating in the Town of Lisbon, where she died in 1846. His present wife was Fidelia L. Fuller, a native of Riga, Monroe County, N.Y. They have 2 children, Ida R., wife of Dr. J. Bacon of Waukesha, and Cora E. Mr. Savage has been a resident of Waukesha County since 1844 with the exception of 1851 until 1855, in which he lived in Allegheny County, N.Y. His family is of the (Merton) Baptist Church. In politics he acts as a Republican. In 1880 he owned 160 acres of Lisbon land. At different times he was elected to various local Lisbon elective offices." (He served as Lisbon Town Chairman and county supervisor in 1861-62 at the beginning of the Civil War.)

"William Weeks is a Lisbon pioneer who took over parts of the Henry R. Savage original claim of Lisbon land. His daughter Laura was born in Lisbon in 1847 and married a Merton farmer, Richard Sedgwick. They had one daughter on their farm near Lake Keesus, named Alice May Sedgwick."

According to plat maps from that era, Savage sold the land when he left in 1851. An 1857 plat map shows that the Weeks family had taken over the homestead. It also shows the stone house.

The members of the Weeks family - Mrs. Aleman Weeks, Allen Weeks, Forest Weeks - are listed on Page 168 in the 1918 Farm Journal Illustrated Rural Directory of Waukesha County, Wis.

It shows Mrs. Aleman Weeks and Allen Weeks - "farming & dairying, owner 80 acres, 4 horses, 18 cows" - at an address of Route 20 Templeton, with a Lisbon Telephone Co. number of 51, and fills in the family of Forest Weeks - "farming & dairy owner 80 acres 4 horses" - with "(wife Eldena), one child."

The l928 Prairie Farmer's Home and County Directory of Waukesha County adds Allen Weeks' wife, Cora Schneider, who later died.

The 1950 Farmers Directory of Waukesha County listed Allen Weeks with only 10 acres. He had sold the stone house and his remaining acreage to the Dinkel family in 1955 after marrying Adelaide Weaver, a great-granddaughter of James Weaver, the "Father of Sussex-Lisbon," and moving into her Maple Avenue home.

They had been classmates at Carroll College in the 1920s and hadn't seen each other since. Weaver, who had retired from teaching in 1953 after 30 years, had never married. Allen died six years after their marriage, ending the Weeks line in Lisbon. Adelaide Weaver Weeks died Oct. 29, 1987. Both are buried in St. Alban's God's Acre Cemetery.

Thomas C. Dinkel and his wife are listed in a 1977 Sussex telephone book as living in the stone house with an address on Highway 74 (Silver Spring Road today).

Stone house heritage goes back to Henry Savage

Second of two parts

By Fred Keller

Sussex Sun, Posted: April 30, 2008

Mrs. Shawn Nead recently moved into an old stone house on Stone House Drive in Lisbon's new Stone House Woods subdivision near Silver Spring and Lake Five roads. Both the new street and the subdivision were named after the old Savage, Winks, Dinkel home.

Lisbon pioneer Henry Savage, 1822-92, originally claimed the land after migrating here from New York state. He paid $1.25 an acre for the land.

Savage has tentatively been given credit for building the stone house with mason Andrew Davidson, but it's possible the Weeks family hired Davidson to build the house after they bought the property from Savage.

We'll stay clear of who actually built the house, however, and focus on Savage.

He was born May 11, 1822, in Great Barrington, Mass. His parents moved to western New York when he was a child, settling in Monroe County's Town of Chili before moving to Churchville Township.

Savage received some education and married Sarah A. Hadley in 1842. He was 20 and she 24.

The couple moved to the Town of Lisbon in 1844. Savage claimed 80 acres in 1846 and another 80 in 1849. The claims straddled what is now Silver Spring Road (old Highway 74).

In 1846, Sarah died giving birth to the couples first child, who also did not survive. The mother and child were the first people buried in the then new Lisbon-Merton Union Cemetery.

Savage was an active member of a new church group, which met at first in the Lisbon Plank Road School where Halquist Stone Co. is today. Later they built a Union Church at today's Highway 74 and Lisbon Road where the Halquist sign now stands.

With the loss of his first wife, he decided he would go back to New York to find a new wife. On May 11, 1846, only months after his first wife's death, he married Fidelia L. Fueller.

The first Sunday he was back in Lisbon, he drove to his Sussex Congregational Church in a fancy horse and buggy to show off his new wife, but after that it was back to yoking up the oxen for the four-mile trip, and tying the oxen to a stump while they listened to one of the Rev. Palmer's long sermons.

According to the 1894 "Biographical Record of Prominent Waukesha Citizens," after four hours tied to the stump, the oxen fairly ran the four miles back to the Savage property.

The couple moved back to New York in 1851. Some think Savage sold his homestead north of Silver Spring Road to Charles and William Weeks and retained the southern 80 acres as an investment.

Savage returned to Lisbon in 1855 and added 80 acres to the remaining propery, which we now call the old Jacob Brandt farm land.

Two daughters and a son were born to the couple, but the son died in infancy. Ira married prominent physician James E. Bacon of Waukesha. The younger daughter, Cora, married C.A. Mead of Luverne, Kan.

A Republican when the country elected Abe Lincoln in 1861, Savage was elected Lisbon town chairman the same year, serving until 1862.

Savage retired at 62 in 1884 to live in Waukesha near his daughter Ira. He sold his 160 acres in Lisbon to finance his retirement. He died Jan. 10, 1892, at 69.

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Copyright Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc., , 2002 - 2016, Except as noted: All documents placed on the website remain the property of the contributors, who retain publication rights in accordance with US Copyright Laws and Regulations. In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, these documents may be used by anyone for their personal research. They may be used by non-commercial entities, when written permission is obtained from the contributor, so long as all notices and submitter information are included. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit. Any other use, including copying files to other sites, requires permission from the contributors PRIOR to uploading to the other sites. The submitter has given permission to the website to store the file(s) for free access. Such permission may be revoked upon written notice to the website webmaster. Website's design, hosting, and maintenance are donated by Website Editor & Webmaster: Michael R. Reilly (Mike)