Bio: Buffington, George Augustus (b. 29 Jun 1825)
Contact: Sandra Wright

Surnames: Buffington, Winchester, Jones, Smith

----Source: Historical and Biographical Album of the Chippewa Valley, Wisconsin (1891-1892) Pages 407-408

-Buffington, George Augustus (born 29 Jun 1825)

George Augustus Buffington, Eau Claire, an old settler and lumberman, was born in Cattaraugus County, N.Y., June 29, 1825, and is a son of Isaiah and Sophia (Winchester) Buffington. Isaiah Buffington was a native of Massachusetts and of English descent. At the time of his death he was engaged in farming in Stephenson County, Ill. He had previously engaged in the mercantile business, and had also run a hotel for a number of years in Onondaga County, N.Y. He died about 1875, at the advanced age of eighty years. His wife, Sophia Buffington, is a native of Chautauqua County, N.Y., of Scotch descent. She now resides at Freeport, Ill., where she is an active worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

George A. was reared in Onondaga County, N.Y., until the age of seventeen years. He then came with his parents to Walworth County, Wis., where he worked at farming, teaming, or anything by which he could make an honest living. He continued to reside in that county until 1846, when he was united in marriage with Miss Pluma A. Jones He then preempted a piece of land in the same locality and erected a log cabin, twelve by sixteen feet, in which he took his bride, and there commenced to carve out his future successful career. Subsequently he purchased a stage line running from Kenosha to Beloit. He sold out in the spring of 1848 to Frink, Walker & Co., and placed his belongings on a lumber wagon and went to Stephenson County, Ill., where he entered 160 acres of land and began farming. In 1850 he sold out and removed to Dodge County, Wis., where he received the appointment of under sheriff, and was also elected justice of the peace. At the same time he engaged in the grocery and sale stable businesses, and by industry and economy managed to save $12,000. He came to Eau Claire in 1856, purchased real estate, and moved his family here the following year. He resided in a log cabin for a short time, for which he paid twenty dollars a month, cash in advance. He then purchased the Niagara House, which he managed until the fall of 1857, when he sold out and began steamboating. In the winter of 1858-1859 he built the “Chippewa Valley,” which he ran for one year, and then placed another man in charge, who managed it until the war broke out, when it was captured on the White River and burned.

In 1859, Mr. Buffington purchased a half interest in the Ball & Smith sawmills, which were afterward known as the Smith & Buffington Mill Company. In 1874 it was incorporated as the Valley Lumber Company, with George A. Buffington, Pres.; S.M. Smith, Vice-Pres., and C.M. Buffington, Sec. and Treas. In the fall of 1875 Carson & Rand purchased a half interest, and Mr. Carson was elected president, and G.A. Buffington, Vice-Pres., which offices they still hold. Mr. and Mrs. Buffington are the parents of three children, namely: Clarence M., who is superintendent of the Dells Improvement Company; Ida C., and Byron A., who is president of the Eau Claire Wholesale Company. Politically Mr. Buffington is a republican. He has been chairman of the township board for a number of years, and has also served as mayor of Eau Claire. He is now alderman, which office he has held for fourteen years, and has also been chairman of the county board for a number of years. He is a member of the West Eau Claire Lodge No. 162, F. and A.M; Eau Claire Chapter No. 36, R.A.M., and Chippewa Commandery No. 8, K.T., and the Wisconsin Consistory, thirty-second degree. He is also identified with the Old Settlers’ association. Mr. Buffington has been identified with the growth of the county from its infancy, as the city of Eau Claire consisted of only twelve buildings upon his arrival here. He is a man well known all over the county, not only for his business integrity, but for his courteous and genial bearing.



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