Welcome to Week # 33 of Taphophile Tragics on this blog!!   I look forward to seeing what everyone has to share this week —- so thank you for stopping by.

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My eye was drawn to this beautiful plaque in the Walnut Hill Cemetery in Baraboo.  The style reminds me very much of Louis Sullivan, although I have not (yet) been able to find out who designed it.

Walnut Hill McFetridge detail 1.jpg

James Albert McFetridge Born in 1838, Died 1893 — and his wife, Martha Alken McFetridge, born in 1841, died in 1930.

I was able to find information about Mr. McFetridge pretty readily.  On Ancestry.com, information shows that he was born in Rochester NY in June 20 1838 and came to Wisconsin in 1857, where he had a woolen mill in Beaver Dan until 1870.  He produced power, and established the factory now known as the Beaver Dam Woolen Mills.  He came to Baraboo May 10, 1875 and owned an interest in the woolen mills there.  He married at Beaver Dam October 2 1862 to Martha G Aiken – she was born at Putney, VT.

Walnut Hill McFetridge detail 2.jpg

I also found this information, which was submitted by Carol Holmbeck:
“From Memorial and Genealogical Record of Dodge and Jefferson Counties, Wisconsin,
publ. 1894 – Page 17-18

“The gentleman having the management of the cotton and woolen mills and other
industries of Beaver Dam are prominent and useful citizens of the section in which they
live.  Among them is found Mr. McFETRIDGE, who is thoroughly identified with the
interests of the city and possesses a practical and thorough knowledge of the various
business enterprises in which he is engaged.  He is a native of Rochester, N.Y., where he was born  April 15, 1836, a son of John and Hannah (PACKARD) McFETRIDGE, the
former of whom was born in Mallymena, County Antrim, Ireland, of Scotch-Irish
parents.  When a young man he crossed the broad Atlantic to make himself a home in the great republic.  He first settled in Troy, N.Y., where he married his wife, Hannah.  Later they moved to Rochester, where his wife died when the subject of this sketch was twelve  years old.  The father never re-married, and his declining years were spent with his son at Beaver Dam, where he died in his eighty-fourth year.  In the schools of his native city Edward C. received his initiatory education, and upon graduating from the public schools he was awarded, among one of three, a free scholarship in the University of Rochester.  At about the age of twenty  years he began the study of law in the office of Townsend &  Stuart, of that city, and at a general term of the Supreme Court in 1857 he was admitted to the bar.  Later he was admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court at Washington.  In November 1858, he came to Beaver Dam, where for several years he was engaged in the practice of his profession.  In 1866, in connection with his brother, James A. McFETRIDGE, he built the woolen mills now known as the Beaver Dam Woolen Mills, under the firm name of McFETRIDGE & Co., a firm which was enlarged at a later date by John T. SMITH becoming a partner.  In 1886 the business was incorporated, and Mr. McFETRIDGE was made president, and Mr. SMITH secretary.

In 1869 James A. McFETRIDGE sold his interest in the woolen mill and afterward
located at Baraboo, Wis., where, in company with a Mr. RICH, he engaged very
successfully in the manufacture of woolen goods.  In 1881 Edward C. McFETRIDGE
was one of the promoters and incorporators of the Beaver Dam cotton mills, of which he is the vice-president and a director.  He was an active promoter of the water-works, also, and the electric-light works of the city, and in many other instances he has shown that he is public spirited, ever alive to progress and desirous of the common good.  He was one of the original subscribers to the fund which organized the much prized public library, now known as the Williams Free Library, of which he is a director.  He was one of the original incorporators of Oakwood Cemetery, in the improvement and beautifying of which he has always taken an active part.”