Franklin Harrington is living on the old homestead taken up by his father at an early day, and though in advanced life he is still bright and vigorous and appears nearly twenty-five years younger than he really is. He is tall, well built, sprightly, has a good memory and takes an active interest in the affairs of the day. He was born August 5, 1829, in Girard, Pennsylvania, a son of Elisha and Oril (Badger) Harrington, the father having been born in Rhode Island in 1796 and the mother in Connecticut about 1800. Both are deceased, the father's death occurring in 1882 and the mother's in 1879.
The Harrington family was established in Rhode Island by two brothers who came from England and who were soldiers in the English army during the French and Indian wars After being paid off and discharged from the British army they remained in the United States and from one of them the subject of this review is descended.
Elisha Harrington went to Massachusetts when only a boy and later to New York, where at the age of sixteen years he joined a company of troops in the War of 1812. He became a resident of Madison county, that state, where he lived until 1825, when he removed to Erie county, Pennsylvania. In early youth he had learned the mechanic's trade and followed that vocation in Pennsylvania for several years. In 1856, he migrated to Wisconsin and settled on land on section 30, which his son, Franklin Harrington, bought of Ferdinand Brown, who had previously bought it from a Mr. Proyor. This place he cleared and improved, remaining on that homestead until the time of his death.
The Badger family was early establishe in Connecticut, having lived there for many generations. Mr. Harrington has documentary evidence in the form of a diploma of an ancestor signed by Aaron Burrin 1750 showing representatives of the name to have been established there at that day. Unto Elisha Harrington and his wife were born seven children, namely: Almira, the deceased wife of Samuel Gault, of Oceana county, Michigan; Elmina, the widow of Josiah Beckwith, of Cleveland, Ohio; Franklin, of this review ; George, residing near Seattle, Washington; Henry, residing in Hastings, Nebraska, who fought in the Civil war as a member of the Seventeenth Illinois Cavalry; Alma, the deceased wife of Allen Carter, of Plymouth township, Sheboygan county; and Scott V., deceased, who was a resident of Seattle, Washington. The last named also served in the Civil war, enlisting as a member of the First Wisconsin Cavalry and later reenlisting in the Seventeenth Illinois Cavalry, of which he served as captain.
Franklin Harrington, the subject of this review, was educated in the public schools of Pennsylvania until he attained the age of sixteen years, and then he attended the academy at Girard, Pennsylvania, for two years. After leaving school he learned the tinner's trade, at which he worked until he attained his majority, when in 1849 he migrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and there continued working at the tinner's trade until 1850. In that year he drove to Council, Bluffs, Iowa, and there joined a company of emigrants bound for the California gold mines. The party drove across the plains, the trip requiring four months.
After arriving in the Golden state Mr. Harrington followed mining for six years, then, in 1856, returned by the Isthmus of Panama to Sheboygan county, where he settled with his father on the homestead on section 30, where he still resides. For many years he not only cultivated his farm but worked at his trade in Plymouth, but now he has discontinued the latter employment and devotes his undivided attention to his home place upon which he does general diversified farming.
Mr. Harrington was married in 1860 to Miss Mary Andrews, who was born October 23, 1842, a daughter of Ezra and Louisa (Langdon) Andrews, who came to this county from Cleveland, Ohio. Ezra Andrews, in company with two sons, settled in Sheboygan county in 1846, stopping at Sheboygan Falls for a few months before establishing their permanent residence in Plymouth township. They were among the very first settlers of the section in which they made their new home and were numbered among its most valuable residents.
Mr. Andrews' family numbered eight children. Almon, the eldest, who resided in Orchard, Mitchell county, is now deceased. He served in the Civil war as a soldier in an Iowa regiment. James, who was likewise a soldier in the Civil war, belonging. to a Wisconsin regiment, is also deceased. Rufus, who like his brothers answered his country's call at the time of the War of the Rebellion, serving in the Union army, was killed at Meridian, Mississippi. He had enlisted as a Wisconsin volunteer. Charlotte married James Trowbridge and is 'now deceased. Ruth, who became the wife of J. I. Towne, of North East, Pennsylvania, has also passed away. Linzy, who resides in Berkley, Iowa, served in the Civil war as a member of a regiment of Wisconsin infantry. Martin also died while serving in the army as a member of the Wisconsin infantry, and Mary, the wife of Mr. Harrington, completes the list.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Harrington six children have been born, namely, Flora, who married William Hallenberger, of Plymouth township, and has two children, twins, Frank and Floyd; Elmer, a traveling salesman residing at home, who served in the Third Wisconsin Regiment, Company A, in the Spanish-American war; Bert E., also a traveling salesman, who reside at home; Ora and George, both living at home; and Oril, who is now engaged in teaching school in Iowa.
The family are affiliated with the Congregational church and render valuable assistance in making that denomination effective in the community. They are numbered among the most respected families in Sheboygan county and few in this or any other state can boast of so extensive and distinguished a war record as that possessed by Mrs, Harrington's family, five of her brothers having. valiantly fought during the Civil war, two of them giving their lives in defense of their country's flag. Representatives also of that family fought in the Colonial wars and one of the sons did valiant service in the Spanish-American war. The family is intensely patriotic and in their hearts the love of the old flag has never become cold. They belong to a class of loyal citizens of whom this country is justly proud.
Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL