Obit: Cornelius, Charles (1854 - 1918)



----Source: CLARK COUNTY REPUBLICAN & PRESS (Neillsville, Wis.) 12/19/1918

Cornelius, Charles (4 JAN 1854 - 10 DEC 1918)

Charles Cornelius, on of Clark County, Wisconsin's best known citizens and whose acquaintance and business relations extended far beyond its borders, was born on a pioneer farm in Grandville Township, Ozaukee Co., Wis., Jan. 4, 1854. With his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Cornelius, he went, when a small boy to Sheboygan Co. and there grew to manhood on a farm on the banks of Sheboygan River. When a young man he clerked in a store in Glenbeulah and took up the business of selling pianos, organs and machinery. In 1876 he came to Maple Works, now Granton, Clark County, Wis., walking through the wilderness from Marshfield. At Maple Works he purchased a store and took an active part in building up the little community. His business branched out into various lines and he soon became widely acquainted throughout the county. Sept. 9, 1886, Mr. Cornelius was married at Maple Works to Miss Theresa Nitzche, who with their daughter Lydia, Mrs. R. A. Clemens, survive him. In 1887 he sold out at Maple Works and moved to Neillsville, engaging extensively in the machinery business. In 1896 he was elected Register of Deeds of Clark County, and was three times reelected.

For a number of these years Mr. Cornelius had been investing in real estate and in 1904 resigned from office to devote his time to his various holdings. In 1907 he moved to Boston, where the family spent a year or more, to give the daughter the advantage of special musical instruction, Mr. Cornelius himself taking an advanced course in commerce and finance in the Boston Commercial College to prepare himself for the banking business. On his return to Neillsville he purchased the corner where the First National Bank now stands and proceeded to organize the bank and erect the building. He has been the bank's president since it was organized and during much of the time has been active in promoting its interests. He has besides this been active in organizing other banks and promoting other lines of business. He helped to organize the Farmers and Merchants Bank at Greenwood and was its president and also aided in organizing the Farmers Exchange Bank at Thorp and was a stockholder and director of several banks in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Besides extensive holdings of timberland in the West he was also president of the Wisconsin-Louisiana Land Co., with large holdings in the South. Through him many of his old friends and neighbors were enabled to make profitable investments.

His capacity for business was but one side of his character. In early life he had known toil and sacrifice and yet through picturesque surroundings he had acquired a love for the beautiful. To satisfy his longings for these things he built a beautiful home and took great pleasure in beautifying it and its grounds. The change in his condition from the comparative poverty of youth to a considerable degree of wealth, had no disagreeable effect on his character; he was genial, whole hearted and generous; he loved little children, and over and over again went out of his way to do some little act of kindness for them. He belived in porsperity and had a pardonable pride in the success of his various lines of business, but he never looked down on a poor man or woman because of their poverty, nor said a word to wound the feelings of anyone if it could be avoided. In the hearts of hundreds of the people of Clark County his memory will long be cherished.

Mr. Cornelius was a prominent member of various Masonic orders, and he and his family were members of the First Church of Christ Scientist of Boston, Mass.

Mr. Cornelius died at Marshfield Hospital Dec. 10, 1918. The funeral took place Saturday afternoon at the residence, the simple Christian Science ceremonies being observed.



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