Oramel W. Tupper

The dairy interests of Lyndon township find a worthy representative in Oramel W. Tupper, who throughout his entire business career has given his attention to this line of acitivity. He is one of Sheboygan county's native sons, his birth having occurred in Lima township on the 6th of March, 1866, and his parents were Oramel E. and Emma (Maltby)Tupper. The father, who was born on the 3rd of April, 1829, and who passed away on the 1st of November, 1867, had an honorable war record for distinguished service in the Civil war.

The ancestral history of the Tupper family is an interesting one, the line being traced back to 1635, when the first representative of the name came to America from England. Thomas Tupper II married Martha Mayhew, a daughter of Governor Mayhew, of Massachusetts. Their son, Thomas Tupper, was born August 11, 1664, and was the father of Thomas Tupper IV, who was born July 25, 1693. He married a sister of Captain Nathaniel Perry, who was of the same family as Commodore Perry, and they became the parents of eight children, Mayhew, Levi, Seth, Simeon, Reuben, Benjamin, Judah and Joanna, the last named becoming the wife of Benjamin Estey, of Sharon, Massachusetts. Of this family Mayhew removed to New York; Reuben lived and died in Sharon; Judah went to Marietta, Ohio; and Simeon to Pittsford, Vermont, while later, in company with his son Simeon he settled at Parishville, St. Lawrence county, New York, in which county is a lake, where his grandson Anselm Tupper was drowned, since which time it has been known as Tuppers lake. Both Simeon Tupper, Sr., and Jr., served in the Revolutionary war. The son entered the army at the age of sixteen and served as file major in the Eleventh Regiment of Continental troops, commanded by his uncle, Colonel Benjamin Tupper. He afterward married Hulda White, and they became the parents of five sons and four daughters, Thomas, Harvey, Ebenezer, Union, Charles, Malinda, Adeline, Ernaline and Praxy. The second son, Harvey, was born near Rutland, Vermont, in 1800. Simeon Tupper II with all the members of his family removed to St. Lawrence county, New York, where Harvey Tupper married Joanna Willis, daughter of John Flavel and Sarah Dana Willis, the latter of a prominent English family of Boston, Massachusetts. Unto them were born three sons. Harvey Tupper with his parents, brothers and sisters removed to Summit county, Ohio, and settled on farms, where three more sons and one daughter were added to the family of Harvey Tupper. There Simeon Tupper, Jr., and his wife died and were buried.

After some years Harvey Tupper with three of his brothers, Thomas, Ebenezer and Union, with their growing families, emigrated to Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, settling on farms, where they reared their children. The six sons of Harvey Tupper were Oramel Ebenezer, Nathan Willis and Ansel, who were born in the state of New York, and Charles Perry, Henry Newton and Marcus Lafayette, who with the only daughter, Sarah Dana, were born in Ohio. The daughter was born near Akron in 1839, spent her girlhood in Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, and in 1859 became the wife of Dr. Cornelius O'Brien, of Cascade, Wisconsin. In 1865, with their three small children, they removed to Knox county, Missouri, and are now residents of St. Louis.

Several sons in the family of Harvey Tupper participated in the Civil war Oramel Ebenezer, the father of Oramel W. Tupper, and Henry Newton were both privates in Wisconsin regiments. Ansel Tupper was a lieutenant colonel and Nathan Willis Tupper a colonel. Ansel at the battle of Shiloh, in the absence of a superior officer, took charge of the regiment, stationed his men in line and gave command that they should not fall back without expressed orders to do so, and it is related that they held their ground until late in the day when they were forced to fall back, but when reinforcements came up they pushed on and the day was saved. Ansel Tupper, however, fell early in the engagement and his remains were sent home for burial. Willis Tupper gave his life for his country near the close of the war and was buried beside his brother in Greenwood cemetery, Decatur, in which city they had been prominent attorneys. The citizens of Decatur and vicinity erected a monument to their memory, on the front of which is the inscription: "A country's gratitude is a hero's best reward." On one side it bears the words: "Lieutenant Colonel Ansel Tupper of the Forty-first Illinois Infantry participated in the battles of Forts Henry and Donelson. Fell fighting bravely at the head of his regiment on the field of Shiloh, April 6th, 1862. Aged twenty-nine years;" on the other: "Colonel Nathan W. Tupper of the One Hundred and Sixteenth Infantry. One of our country's noble defenders at Chickasaw Bayou, Champion Hills and Mission Ridge, died in this city, March 10th, 1864, from exposure on the march from Chattanooga to Knoxville. Aged thirty-four years." At the back is the inscription: "To the Tupper brothers by the citizens of Macon county."

The most distinguished of the seven sons of Thomas Tupper IV was Benjamin Tupper, who was born in Stoughton, Massachusetts; March 11, 1738. At an early age he went to live in Dorchester. As he was fond of gunning, he was often upon the water and became familiar with the islands of Boston harbor. At nineteen he was a corporal, at twenty, a sergeant in the company of his uncle, Captain Perry, in the French and Indian. He later was a school-teacher in Easton. In 1762 he married Hulda White, of Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Two years later he became a member of the Congregational church of Chesterfield. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary war he was a lieutenant of militia and his first public act was "in dispersing the supreme court of the crown," at Springfield, Massachusetts. He soon afterwards became a major of Colonel Fellow's Regiment of Roxbury, Massachusetts, and was in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Later he made an expedition to Castle Island in Boston harbor and burned the lighthouse, and while the British were attempting to rebuild it he embarked a few men on whaleboats, armed with field pieces, and after a desperate encounter killed or captured fifty three of the enemy, with a loss of only one man and one whaleboat. The next day he received the thanks of General Washington in general orders. A few years ago an old order book was on exhibition at Oxford, Massachusetts, containing this general order issued by Washington three or four weeks after he took command of the Continental army. In this daring act of Major Tupper "Jefferson saw in it the adventurous genius and intrepidity of the New Englanders, and the British admiral said no one act in the siege caused so much chagrin in London as the destruction of the lighthouse."

While the enemy were in Boston Major Tupper had command of otherexpeditions. July 1, 1777, he became colonel of the Eleventh Regiment and continued in command until the close of the war. A historian, Lossing, speaks of him at Saratoga under General Gates and he was at Valley Forge under Washington. He was made brigadier general by brevet near the close of the war. He took charge of the military organization at Springfield, Massachusetts, at the time of Shay's rebellion and repelled the attacks made upon the armory. General Rufus Putnam and General Benjamin Tupper were active in the formation of the Ohio Land Company and both removed to Marietta, Ohio, where the latter died at the age of fifty-four years. Anselm Tupper, his son, was left at home when his father entered the army but, having inherited the military spirit of both the Perrys and Tuppers, the brave lad at the age of twelve enlisted and was assigned to Colonel Fellow's Regiment, in which his father was major. In 1779 he was ensign, in 1780, lieutenant. He then became adjutant in Colonel Tuppers Regiment and afterward in Colonel Sprout's Regiment. He was the first school teacher in Marietta, was a classical scholar, a good mathematician and also displayed poetic talent. As colonel he commanded the stockade at Marietta during the Indian war and he died in 1808. General Edward W. Tupper, another son, died at Gallipolis, Ohio, in 1824. Colonel Benjamin Tupper, Jr., who married the daughter of General Rufus Putnam, died in Putnam, Ohio, in 1814.

The public schools of his native township furnished Oramel W. Tupper his educational privileges, and when he had completed the course of study therein offered he engaged as a farm hand, being thus employed for two years. He then returned home and on attaining his majority he took possession of the home farm which had been left to him by his father. The property then consisted of one hundred and twenty acres on section 1, Lyndon township, but he has since added to it a tract of forty acres adjoining on section 6, Lima township. The place was already equipped with a good farm house and Mr. Tupper proceeded to erect substantial barns and outbuildings for the shelter of his stock. The farm is now a well improved property and in its operation Mr. Tupper is meeting with success. His attention is given exclusively to the dairying business and he raises his own stock, his herd consisting of thirty-five graded Holstein cows. He is progressive in his methods and system and sanitation are the keynotes to his prosperity in the dairy business.

Mr. Tupper was married, in 1886, to Miss Myrtle Merrill, who is a daughter of Elliott and Katharine (Hebe) Merrill. The Merrill family had its origin in England, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Tupper, Richard Merrill, having come from that country to America with two brothers in colonial days. He participated in the Revolutionary war. He settled in New Jersey and later removed to Pennsylvania, while a brother located in Maine. James Merrill, the son of Richard Merrill, was born in New Jersey but the greater part of his life was spent at Liberty, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, where his death occurred. His son, Elliott Merrill, the father of Mrs. Tupper, was born and reared in the latter state and at the time of the Civil war enlisted in a Pennsylavnia regiment. In 1877 he came to Wisconsin, locating in Jackson county, where he took up a farm in Garden valley. There he passed away in 1896. In his family were four children: Evaleen, the widow of H. C. Green, of Ralston, Pennsylvania; James, living in Greenwood, Wisconsin; Eliza, the widow of Robert Easton, of Jackson county, Wisconsin; and Mrs. Tupper.

The latter by her marriage became the mother of six children. Lulu, who graduated from the Plymouth high school in 1905 and took a two-year course of nursing in a Williamsport (Pa.) school, which she entered the same fall, married a resident physician, Dr. R. C. Shephard, and they are located at Scranton, Pennsylvania. Jessie, also a graduate of Plymouth high school with the class of 1907, taught the first grade in the public school for four years and is now married to Martin C. Appelt, a bookkeeper in the City National Bank of Chicago, Illinois, who is a grandson of Carl Nehrling, Sr., of Sheboygan county, an old and respected resident. Ella, Mildred, Ancel and Alphonso are all yet at home.

Mr. Tupper gives his political allegiance to the republican party but outside of casting his vote for the men and measures of that organization he does not actively participate in politics. He prefers to give his undivided time and attention to the conduct of his affairs and his close application and industry have proved valuable and potent elements in his success. His entire life has been passed within the borders of Sheboygan county and his acquaintance is therefore large, while his circle of friends is almost coextensive therewith, the fact that many of his best friends are those who have known him the longest, proving that he possesses those qualities of upright manhood which win and hold friendship.


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