Henry Waterman, who for the past three years has lived retired in Plymouth, was long and successfully identified with general agricultural pursuits in Sheboygan county, within the borders of which he has resided for fifty-seven years. His birth occurred in Somersetshire, England, on the 26th of April, 1847, his parents being Charles and Leah (Stokes) Waterman, who were likewise natives of that place, the former born on the 9th of October, 1821, and the latter in the year 1810. Both the Waterman and Stokes families are old English lines. The paternal grandfather of our subject died in early manhood. His wife, a Miss Wolfe, was related to General Wolfe, who fell at Quebec in the French and Indian war.
Charles Waterman, the father of Henry Waterman, is a blacksmith by trade. In 1854 he set sail for America with his wife and two children, landing at New York in the month of May after six weeks spent on the ocean in a sailing vessel. Making his way to Poughkeepsie, he there worked in the iron furnaces for a period of one year. In 1855 he came to Wisconsin, locating in Plymouth, and in the fall of that year purchased a small tract of thirty acres of timber land. He cleared the property and built a log house thereon, establishing his home on section 36, Plymouth township.
As time passed and his financial resources increased, owing to his untiring industry and capable management, he augmented his landed holdings by additional purchase until he owned one hundred and thirty acres. At the present time he is living in honorable retirement, making his home with his son William, who resides on section 25, Plymouth township. At the time of the Civil war he enlisted for service in the Twenty-seventh Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry but at the second examination was rejected because of physical disability. Unto him and his wife, who was called to her final rest in 1897, were born three children, as follows: Henry, of this review; George, who is a resident of Superior, Wisconsin; and William Wolfe, of Plymouth township, this county.
Henry Waterman, who was a lad of seven years when he accompanied his parents on their emigration to the new world, obtained his education in the public schools of Sheboygan county. After attaining his majority he began teaching school and successfully followed that profession in this county for a period of fourteen years, imparting clearly and readily to others the knowledge that he himself has acquired. In 1882 he turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits, cultivating rented land until about 1898, when he acquired sixty acres of the old homestead and subsequently added a tract of twenty acres on section 36, Plymouth township. He remodeled the buildings on the place and also erected others until his was a model property, lacking in none of the improvements and equipments of an up-to-date and modern farm. He made a specialty of dairy farming and raised sufficient stock to replenish his herd of graded Holsteins.
In 1909 he retired from active work as an agriculturist and sold his farm the following year, taking up his abode in Plymouth, where he purchased a commodious and attractive residence on Eastern avenue. For the past five years he has served as president of the Farmers Insurance Company.
Mr. Waterman has been married twice. In 1871 he wedded Miss Dora Miller, by whom he had one child. Both the mother and child died during an epidemic of smallpox in 1878. In 1880 Mr. Waterman was again married, his second union being with Miss Anna E. Menne, who was born on the 31st of May, 1857, her parents being Jacob and Freda (Reis) Menne, the former a native of Prussia and the latter of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Jacob Menne emigrated to America in the '50s and took up his abode in Rhine township, Sheboygan county, where he followed farming until the time of his demise. His wife was a maiden of thirteen years when she came to this country with her parents, who were members of the first German colony in Rhine township. Mrs. Waterman was the oldest in a family of seven children.
By her marriage she has become the mother of three children, namely: William Henry, who resides on the old homestead in Plymouth township and who wedded Miss Lydia Kaestner, by whom he has one child, Ilene; Emma M., the wife of D. C. Brown, of Plymouth township; and Robert G., who married Miss Euphemia Peebles and who makes his home in Plymouth, Wisconsin.
Mr. Waterman gives his political allegiance to the republican party and for several years has served as chairman of town supervisors in Plymouth township. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Episcopal church, to which his wife and children also belong. He well deserves the somewhat hackneyed but altogether expressive title of a self-made man, for the properity which he now enjoys has come as the reward of earnest, persistent effort and unfaltering perseverance. Both Mr. and Mrs. Waterman are well and favorably known throughout Sheboygan county and have gained the warm regard and esteem of all with whom they have come in contact.
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