Ervin Underhill

Ervin Underhill, a well known and successful agriculturist of Lyndon township, is the owner of one hundred and sitxy acres of rich and productive land. His birth occurred in Jefferson county, New York, on the 26th of March, 1840, his parents being Nathan and Persis (Graves) Underhill, both of whom were natives of Vermont, the former born in 1803 and the latter in 1804.

The male representatives of the Underhill family, for many generations, have given their time and energies to general agricultural pursuits. It was in Jefferson county, New York, that Nathan Underhill wedded Miss Persis Graves, a representative of an old eastern family. In 1852 he came to Wisconsin and purchased the farm of one hundred and sixty acres which is now in possession of his son Ervin, residing thereon until called to his final rest in 1892. During the period of his residence in this county, covering four decades, he had gained an extensive circle of warm friends by reason of his upright and honorable life. His wife passed away in the year 1888. They were the parents of seven children, three of whom still survive and two of whom reside in Iowa.

Ervin Underhill obtained his education in the schools of New York and Wisconsin, coming to the latter state when ten years of age. After putting aside his text-books he worked on the home farm with his father and after the latter's death took charge of the property, which he has continued to operate to the present time. In his undertakings as an agriculturist he has won a gratifying measure of success, the well tilled fields annually yielding golden harvests as a reward for the care and labor which he bestows upon them.

Mr. Underhill also has a creditable military record. On the 9th of August, 1862, he enlisted for service with the Union army in the Tenth New York Artillery, remaining with that command until honorably discharged at Petersburg, Virginia, on the 12th of July, 1865. Two of his brothers had enlisted in a Wisconsin regiment and therefore he encountered strong parental objection when he announced his intention of likewise joining the army. Going to New York on a pretended visit, he there joined the boys in blue and went to the front.

With the Army of the Potomac he participated in the Wilderness campaign and took part in the engagements at Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Weldon Railroad, ever proving a brave and loyal soldier. He had four brothers who defended the Union in her hour of peril, these being as follows: Arnold, who was a member of the Eighth Wisconsin Infantry and who was killed in service, thus laying down his life on the altar of his country; Nathan, who also belonged to the Eighth Wisconsin Infantry; Monroe, who enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry; and David, who served with the First Michigan Sharpshooters.

In 1866 Mr. Underhill was united in marriage to Miss Maria C. Walker, who was born in Florida in the year 1841, her father being Jonathan Walker, a native of Vermont and a seafaring man. Unto our subject and his wife was born one child, Florence J., whose natal day was August 26, 1872, and who gave her hand in marriage to P. A. Wightman, who lives on a farm adjoining that of Mr. Underhill. Mr. and Mrs. Wightman have three children, namely: Warren Underhill Wightman, who was born on the 14th of May, 1901; Donald Franklin, whose birth occurred on the 20th of March, 1903; and Leonard Ervin, whose natal day was December 12, 1907.

Ervin Underhill has resided within the borders of this county for more than six decades and is well known and highly esteemed here. He has passed the psalmist's allotted span of three score years and ten and enjoys the respect and veneration which should always be accorded one who has traveled thus far on life's journey and whose career has ever been above reproach.


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