Duncans in Milwaukee Co. WI


Duncan research files of
Mary Ann (Duncan) Dobson
the Genealogy Bug

Last revised November 23, 2007

Formed 1834 from Brown
Jefferson formed 1837 from Milwaukee
Waukesha formed 1846 from Milwaukee
Ozaukee formed 1853 from Milwaukee


1836 Milwaukee Co. WI Territorial Census
      George E. Duncan indexed in Milwaukee, no page number given

1840 Milwaukee Co. WI Census
      No Duncan indexed

1850 Milwaukee Co. WI Census
Pg.358, #1051, William DEDEWEYER 28 HANOVER tobacconist & fam.
                  sugar makers
                  Henry DUNKEN 20 PRUSSIA sugar maker
Pg.466, #814, John DUNCAN 38 NY farmer
                  Catherine 13 NY
                  Elvira 3 WI
                  Eliza A. 38 NY
Pg.499, #231, Wm. KEEF 36 IRE laborer
                  Margaret 32 IRE
                  Patrick DUNCAN 17 IRE
                  Mary Ann KEEF 8 WI
                  Catharine 5, John 6 WI

1860 Milwaukee Co. WI Census
Milwaukee Ward 1
Pg.692, #1493-1462, John DUNCAN 32 SCT machinest $800-$150
                  Margaret 29 SCT
                  Thomas 10 SCT
                  Archibald 8, John 4 WI
                  William 1 WI
Milwaukee Ward 7
Pg.900, #820-751, Richard DUNCAN 23 MI MULATTO barber $0-$0
                  Louisa 17 ME (not mulatto)
                  William 1 WI (not mulatto)
Milwaukee Ward 3
Pg.236, #729-752, James DUNCAN 40 SCT carpenter $0-$150
                  Catharine 28 IRE
                  Jane 9 IRE
                  George 7 NY
                  Johanah (f) 4 WI

1870 Milwaukee Co. WI Census
Pg.475, #408-420, READ, E.D. (m) 50 MA horse trainer $2300-$1000
                  S.B. (f) 48 MA keeping house
                  F.M. (f) 20 MA at home
                  E.E. (m) 26 MA training horses
                  DUNCAN, John 22 SC BLACK hostler
                  HAYES, Math. (m) 20 MA (white) hostler
                  SMITH, Albert 13 WI BLACK hostler
Milwaukee, Ward 1
Pg.229, #858-1020, DUNCAN, Mindwell (f) 43 NY keeping house $0-$400, parents of foreign birth
                  Carie R. (f) 14 NY scholar
                  Charles H. 10 NY scholar
                  Allice M. 5 MI scholar
                  HEPINSTALL, Math. (f) 39 NY teacher, parents of foreign birth
Milwaukee, Ward 3 (page faint)
Pg.446, #1012-1144?, DUNCAN, James 48 SCT ship carpenter $0-$300, parents of foreign birth
                  Kate 37 IRE keeping house, parents of foreign birth
                  Jane 20 IRE at home, parents of foreign birth
                  George 18 NY teamster, parents of foreign birth
                  Johanna (f) 15 WI at school, parents of foreign birth
                  James 8 WI at school, parents of foreign birth

HISTORIES before 1923

1881 "History of northern Wisconsin : containing an account of its settlement, growth, development, and resources, an extensive sketch of its counties, cities, towns and villages, their improvements, industries, manufactories, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers, views of county seats, etc." (anonymous); pub. Chicago: Western Historical Co. (LH10816, HeritageQuest images 2/2007 & 5/24/2007; FHL film 1,000,804 item 4)
      Pg.1032: Taylor Co. WESTBORO. A village near the northern boundary of the county, on the Wisconsin Central Railroad. The earliest settlers here were in 1874 ... A mill was built by J. Duncan, William Taylor and James Richie. It subsequently fell into the sole ownership of J. Duncan. ... John Duncan is Postmaster. ... There are two saw-mills in Westboro, John Duncan's and C.C. Palmer's. General merchandise, John Duncan; ...
            Biographical Sketches: JOHN DUNCAN, manufacturer, Westboro, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, June 9, 1826; came to Milwaukee in 1851, and worked as a machinist until 1867, when he went into the shops of the St.Paul, Chicago & Minneapolis R.R.; while there sent out sixteen locomotives; in 1870, he bought a share in a machine shop in Fort Howard; in 1876 he established himself in Westboro. He erected his large mill in the year 1874; it has a capacity of 100,000 shingles and 50,000 feet of lumber a day. In 1849, April 13, he married Miss Margaret McEwing, of Greenock, Scotland. They have had a family of six - Thomas, with his father; Archibald, in the shop in Ft. Howard; his twin brother, John, not living; Wm., in the store, and Alexander, not living. Mr. Duncan and wife are members of the Baptist Church.

1913 "History of Brown county, Wisconsin, past and present" by Deborah B. Martin; pub. Chicago : S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. (FHL film 1,000,807 item 3)
      Vol.2, pg.465-467: ARCHIBALD M. DUNCAN. Archibald M. Duncan was formerly a well known representative of industrial activity in Green Bay, where he is now living retired. He was at one time proprietor of a foundry and machine manufacturing plant and in that connection built up a gratifying business that enabled him in due time to put aside further cares. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, January 23, 1853, a son of John Duncan, a native of Fifeshire, Scotland, who died January 9, 1907, at the age of eighty years and six months. He was left an orphan when very young but was reared in the land of hills and heather, and there maintained his residence until he came to America with his wife and family. He was then twenty-five years of age. He had married Margaret McCune, of Glasgow, and while in his native country he had learned the trades of a machinist and iron worker. After reaching America he first located at Milwaukee, where he worked at the machinist's trade for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St.Paul Railroad in their shops, remaining there for fourteen years. He made the first locomotive ever constructed in a machine shop in Wisconsin. He continued a resident of Milwaukee until 1865. He then removed to Watertown, Wisconsin, where he lived until 1868, after which he took up his abode at Fort Howard and purchased the old tank foundry. He then conducted a foundry and machine shop until it was burned in 1878, when he erected a better building fifty-five by one hundred and twenty feet. This was destroyed by fire in 1888 and he afterwards erected a brick building of the same dimensions. ... Returning to Fort Howard (from Westboro, Wisconsin), Mr. Duncan there spent his last days. ... His wife died in Green Bay on the 22d of June, 1905, at the age of eighty-one years. In their family were six sons, but only two are now living, the brother of our subject being John Duncan, who has also retired.
            Archibald M. Duncan spent his youthful days under the parental roof and left the public schools at the age of eleven years ... Subsequently he served an apprenticeship to the machinist's trade under the direction of his father, with whom he remained until the latter's death, although in the meantime the father had turned over the foundry to his son in 1894. Archibald M. Duncan thus succeeded to the ownership of one of the important industrial enterprises of the city. He carefully directed his interests until 1905 and met with gratifying success in the conduct of his business, but in that year sold the foundry and has since lived retired. ...
            In 1875 Mr. Duncan was married to Miss Catherine Eisman, who was born September 8, 1853. They became the parents of four children, of whom two died in infancy, the others being: Mina, the wife of L.E. Beers, a mail clerk of Green Bay, by whom she has one son, Duncan H. Beers, five years of age; and Jessie, who is at home.
            Mr. Duncan is a member of the Elks lodge of Green Bay and its treasurer. Politics he is a republican. He was president of the police board for three years and has been reappointed to the office for a second term. For about forty-five years the name of Duncan figured prominently in the business circles of the city, ...
      Vol.2, pg.508-509: WILLIAM J. DUNCAN. William J. Duncan, a member of the wholesale fruit and produce firm of Brauns & Duncan, with offices at Nos. 114-116 South Washington street, Green Bay, was one of the active factors in the organization of this business and has been a dominating influence in its rapid development into one of the largest concerns of its kind in the city. Mr. Duncan was born in Green Bay, August 5, 1885, and is a son of W.E. and Heloise (Du Chateau) Duncan. The family on the paternal side is of Scotch origin and has been in America for three generations. The maternal line has also had a long existence in America and a representative of the Du Chateau family was one of the oldest settlers in this country. A more extended history of this family is found on another page in this work. (MAD: not copied) W.F. Duncan, the father of our subject, was a coal merchant during his life and came with his father from Milwaukee to Green Bay in the early days of its settlement. He was well known and widely popular in Brown county and was an active figure in all the charitable movements of his time. He died April 28, 1911, at the age of fifty years and is buried in the Fox Hill cemetery.
            William Duncan received his early education in the public schools of Green Bay. He attended the local high school for a short time but left that institution at the age of sixteen years to enter the employ of his father where he remained only a short time. He obtained a position in the McCartney National Bank and worked as a messenger for that institution until he was eighteen years of age. From early childhood Mr. Duncan had showed the conservative quality of his mind and his remarkable power of organization. When he was only eighteen years of age he was active in the organization of the bank of Stevenson, Michigan, and he was elected cashier of that institution and held this office until 1908. In that year he returned to Green Bay to accept a similar position in the Farmers Exchange Bank of this city and in 1909 was elected cashier of the National Bank of De Pere, Wisconsin. He brought his banking career to a close in 1910 when he resigned his position with the De Pere institution to organize the firm with which he is at present connected. In the two years of his activity in the fruit and produce business he has built up and developed an extensive enterprise. His firm is now doing a volume of business which is unequaled by any concern of this kind in Brown county and this success is due in a large measure to the ability and resource and keen business sagacity of William J. Duncan.
            On the 20th of October, 1906, Mr. Duncan was united in marriage to Miss Anne Walker, a daughter of M.H. and Mary (Kimball) Walker, the former one of the oldest pioneers of Brown county. Mr. and Mrs. Duncan are the parents of one daughter, Margaret A., who is four years of age. The family residence is at No.404 South Webster street.
            Mr. Duncan is not affiliated with any political party. He prefers to keep his opinions independent ... he is prominent in the affairs of the Order of Elks and also holds membership in the United Commercial Travelers Association. ...

1895 "Commemorative biographical record of the counties of Brown, Kenaunee, and Door, Wisconsin : containing sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families" pub. Chicago : J.H. Beers & Co. (FHL film 1,787,462 item 3)
      Pg.465-466: ARCHIBALD M. DUNCAN, of Fort Howard, Brown county, is of Scottish descent, as his name indicates, but is a native of the State of Wisconsin, having been born in Milwaukee January 23, 1853. His parents, John and Margaret (McCune) Duncan, were natives of the land of Duncan of old, of Bruce and Wallace, and were the immediate founders of the family in this State.
      John Duncan learned the trade of machinist and iron-founder in the old country, and learned it well, as his after career in America gave full proof. He there married Miss Margaret McCune, a native of Glasgow, and when about twenty-five years of age came to the United States, sailing from Glasgow and landing in New York after a voyage of six weeks. Thence coming directly to Milwaukee, Wis., Mr. Duncan followed his trade in that city, working in the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul machine shops for nearly fourteen years, and constructing the first locomotive ever turned out of a machine shop in Wisconsin. After leaving these shops Mr. Duncan came, in about 1868, to Fort Howard, and bought the foundry and machine shop formerly operated by John Whitney in a somewhat primitive manner, managing this so successfully that, when burned out, in 1878, he was able to erect a far better frame structure, one and a half stories high, 55 feet front, and 190 feet deep. In this shop he employed from ten to fifteen men, until it was burned down in 1888; when, with unflagging energy, he erected his present brick foundry and machine shop ... In the winter of 1890-91 he built two steam barges for freight traffic on the lakes ... At one time Mr. Duncan made a specialty of sawmilling, and in 1875-76 built a mill at Westboro, Wis., which is now in charge of his three sons. Being strictly a business man, he has never mingled much in politics, but has served his fellow citizens more than once as alderman, feeling it to be his duty to answer at their call. He has been absorbed in his business, and has invested at least $200,000 in his foundry and boat-building in Fort Howard alone, to say nothing of the mill at Westboro, where he has a son as manager of the store in connection with the same, and another employed as bookkeeper. His four sons are all married and have families, and all learned their trade of their father. John Duncan ... member of the Presbyterian Church ...
      Archibald M. Duncan began his business life, at the age of eleven, as a cash boy in a dry-goods store, and was one of the first to engage in this kind of employment. After two years' experience in this line, he entered the railroad shops at Watertown, Jefferson Co., Wis., of which his father was then superintendent, and since that time he has been identified with his father's business. On October 6, 1876, he married Miss Katie Eisman, a native of Washington county, Wis., daughter of John and Katie (Imig) Eisman, who had a family of six children -- two sons and four daughters. Mr. and Mrs. Eisman were born in Germany, and came to the United States when quite young. Mr. Eisman becoming a merchant of Fort Howard, where he and his wife ended their days, honored by all who knew them. To the union of Archibald M. and Katie (Eisman) Duncan have been born four children, two of whom are deceased. The survivors, Kate M. and Jessie, are receiving the best educations that money can provide. Mr. Duncan has manifested extraordinary capacity for business ... proprietor of one of the most important foundries and machine shops of northern Wisconsin, having had entire charge of his father's immense plant for two years, and now, in 1894, succeeded to the ownership on the virtual retirement of his honored father.

1889 "Portrait and biographical album of Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county" pub. Chicago : Acme Publishing Co. (FHL book 977.568 D3f; FHL film 1,000,813 item 1)
      Pg.625-626: DR. WILLIAM CASS DUNCAN, a practicing physician and surgeon of Oakfield, Wis., has been engaged in business in this city since 1885, and, during that time, has won a foremost place in the ranks of his professional brethren. He was born in Buffalo [Erie Co.], N.Y., on the 29th of August, 1860, and is of Scotch descent. His parents are William and Janette (Henderson) Duncan. Both were born in Scotland, and, in their native city, Glasgow, their marriage was celebrated. With a desire to better his financial condition Mr. Duncan, accompanied by his family, sailed for America in 1859, locating in Buffalo, where he made his home for three years. He was an engineer by trade, and engaged in that business until 1862, at which time he came to Wisconsin, when he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. He purchased 200 acres of land near Fox Lake, Dodge County, and has since made his home upon that farm. Though previous to that time he had had no experience as a farmer, he has been very successful in that line, and is recognized as one of the enterprising citizens of the community. Few men are more widely or favorably known in Dodge County, or are held in higher regard. Politics ... supporter of the Republican party, and socially, is a member of the I.O.O.F. Mrs. Duncan, ... Presbyterian Church. Unto this worthy couple have been born eight children, four sons and four daughters, all of whom are yet living: Peter T., the eldest of the family, is now engaged in farming in Cass County, N. Dak.; Maggie E. is the wife of William Hobkirk, a farmer residing near Waupun, Wis.; Jennie F. became the wife of David Richardson, a leading merchant of Milwaukee; the Doctor is the next in order of birth; James W. is now engaged as traveling salesman with A.J. Delaney, dealer in milling supplies in Milwaukee; Ray E., Belle C. and John F. are still at home, the last named having charge of the farm.
      Our subject was reared to manhood upon his father's farm, and, in the schools of the neighborhood, received his primary education. He completed his literary studies, however, in Downer College, Fox Lake, Wis., from which he was graduated in the class of 1879, and the same year went to Chicago [Cook Co. IL], where he began the study of his profession under the direction of his cousin, Dr. T.C. Duncan, a learned physician and surgeon of that city. He remained in his office for six years, and, in the meantime, attended lectures at the Hahnemann Medical College, graduating in 1884. The following year he engaged in practice with his former preceptor, but on account of close application to his studies while preparing himself for practice, his health gave way and he decided to leave the city. He then visited Oakfield, and, on the solicitation of some of the best citizens of the village, determined to there engage in practice. He opened an office in July, 1885, and, from the beginning, his business has steadily increased in volume and importance. ... In his social relations the doctor is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and in politics is a warm advocate of the Republican party. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church ...

1889 "Biographical Souvenier of State of TX" by F. Battey (FHL book 976.4 D3bs and from Lucille Mehrkam 10/1984)
      Pg.852-5: L.D. VanDyke, one of oldest & most prosperous farmers of TX, born PA Dec. 23, 1816, son of William and Nancy (Duncan) VanDyke, former also a native of PA, farmer, Methodist church, died PA age 72. (MAD: married Cumberland Co. PA 1813) L.D. VanDyke was 2nd in family of six children; James A., lawyer in State of MI; L.D. above; Ellen; John H. a lawyer in Milwaukee, WI; William Duncan (MAD: William Duncan VanDyke) killed at battle of Drainesville in Union army; and Samuel W., farmer in WI. L.D. VanDyke age 17 clerk in PA, to TX in 1842, mercantile business in Bowie Co., 5 years later in 1847 to Red River Co.; in Civil War Conf. service; married 1843 to Miss Adelia West, dau. of Major Edward West of TN; 11 children (not copied); Mrs. Van Dyke died 1873. (Pg.855, brief sketch of James E. VanDyke b. 7/13/1846 Bowie Co. TX, son of Lambert D. and Adelia (West) VanDyke, not copied here)


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