Budge, William Pottinger (History - 1840)


Janet Schwarze





----Source: 1918 History of Clark County, Wisconsin

WILLIAM POTTINGER BUDGE, a well known and progressive farmer of York Township, familiar by former experience with pioneer conditions in this section, was born about fourteen miles from Kirkwall, in the Orkney Islands, off the coast of Scotland, Aug. 12, 1840. His parents, William and Jane (Pottinger) Budge, were natives of Scotland and lived and died in that country. The father was twice married, the subject of this sketch being the only child of the first marriage, while by William Budge's second wife, whose maiden name was Jessie Laird, three children were born, Andrew, James and Maggie. Only two members of the family came to America, William P., and his brother Andrew, who died in Dickenson, N. D., in the spring of 1888.


William P. Budge preceded his brother, landing in Canada in 1858, after a voyage of thirty-two days. He had received some schooling in his native land and had been industrially active both in farm work and on the water. After arriving in Canada he found work on a farm and was thus occupied for two years, after which he spent five winters in the timber woods. In the fall of 1865 he went to Michigan, where he engaged in lumbering, remaining in that state until 1867, when he came farther west to Wisconsin, the first summer being employed on the farm of Robert Ross, below Neillsville. In the same year he bought eighty acres in the eastern half of section 35, York Township, and in the following year purchased another eighty acres in the western half of the same section, all of it being wild land, and there was no road past his place. On this place he did some chopping but did not carry his improvements much farther, or take up his residence until 1875. In the meanwhile he continued to work in the woods during the winter, going down on the drive to the Mississippi River and working on the booms during the summer. The first building he erected on his farm was a log barn, and in 1875 he put up a log house, 18 by 28 feet, with three rooms. His early work of improvement was done with the help of the usual ox team. The clearing of the farm was a long process and took a number of years to accomplish but he finally developed a good farm, raising the usual crops and keeping Shorthorn cattle, of as good grade as possible. Among his other improvements he built two good barns, with basements, 40 by 60 feet, and 20-foot posts, and a barn, 28 by 38 feet with 18-foot posts also two silos. Of a progressive nature, he always sought to have the best facilities for his work and adopted new methods whenever he saw any merit in them, and as a result he advanced in prosperity.


In 1913 he sold his farm and retired to Granton to enjoy the fruits of his long career of industry. Mr. Budge has never married. He professes no religious creed, but adheres to the Golden Rule, and few men in his township are more respected and esteemed.



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