Edwin Dakin Main

EDWIN DAKIN MAIN, a resident of the village of Oregon, was born November 3, 1847, being a native of Dane county and of the town wherein he has spent all the years of his useful life. His father, Robert P. Main, was born in North Stonington, Conn., and his grandfather, Rial Main, was a native of the same state. Tracing still farther back we find that the great-grandfather of our subject, whose name was David Main, was a captain in the Revolutionary War.

The grandfather followed the trade of a ship-builder in Connecticut until 1853, and then came to Wisconsin, settling in the city of Madison, where he built a home and spent the remainder of his years. He was well educated, and after he had reached the age of sixty years he taught several terms of school.

The maiden name of his wife was Eunice Palmer, a native of Connecticut, and she also spent her last days in Madison. Robert P. Main attended school very steadily until he was seventeen years old, then began teaching, and at the age of eighteen went south, where he taught in several states, but finally drifted to Cincinnati, and thence to Clinton county, Ohio, where he met and married Miss Cordelia, daughter of Preserved Dakin. She was born in Oakland, Clinton County, and her ancestors were among those who came to this country in the Mayflower. Her father, Preserved Dakin, left his home in New York in the year 1804, and settled in Ohio on a tract of land containing one thousand five hundred acres, all in one body, which he purchased of the government and upon which he resided until his death.

Mr. Main continued to reside in Ohio until 1843, when, with his wife and three children, he started with a team and made an extended journey to Bureau County, Ill. Two years were spent there, but as the locality at that time seemed unhealthy, in 1845 they started again with team and made an overland journey to Dane County, Wis. At that time northern Illinois and the entire state of Wisconsin had but few settlers, and the greater portion of the land was still owned by the government. There were but few roads, and in making the journey hither Mr. and Mrs. Main followed the trail marked by the first team driven from Janesville to Madison by Mr. Stoner.

The parents of our subject located in the town of Oregon, where the father selected a tract of land in section thirteen, and there built a log house in which E. Dakin Main was born. The father went back to Ohio to collect some money that was due him, and upon his return to Oregon bought one hundred and twenty acres more at government prices. The family resided for three years on the land first purchased and then moved to the other farm. At that time there were no railroads, and all the grain had to be hauled to Milwaukee, entailing much time and labor.

The father improved his farm and occupied the place until 1864, when he sold it and bought three hundred and seventy-six acres in the town of Rutland, where he lived until 1868, and then moved to the village of Oregon. There he lived in retirement until his death, which occurred in 1882, and his estimable wife lived to the advanced age of ninety years, dying on July 4, 1902.

Those honored pioneers were the parents of eight children: Mary Frances, who is unmarried and resides in Stoughton, Wis.; Louis, deceased; Hattie, now Mrs. Glass, of Harvard, Ill., Martha deceased; E. Dakin, whose name introduces this memoir; Anna, now Mrs. Comstock, of Oregon; Alice, now Mrs. Ames, of Brooklyn, and Robert Walter, who resides in Columbia Falls, Montana. Robert P. Main was formerly a Whig, but became a Republican at the formation of that party. He was public-spirited, and filled various offices of trust, being elected to the state legislature in 1856.

E. Dakin Main received his early education in the district school, supplemented by attendance at a select school in the village of Oregon, and in 1870, he took charge of his father’s farm. This was located in Rutland, and here he operated until 1876, when he located on a farm of three hundred and twenty acres that he still owns, on section thirty-one in the town of Fitchburg. At the time he purchased this large and valuable tract of land he was able to pay only $1,000 of the purchase price, but by his untiring industry and good business ability, aided by his noble wife, the entire debt was paid off in a few years, and he was in a position of ease, if not of affluence. He followed general farming and stock raising, including the raising of horses and Shetland ponies, and resided on his farm for sixteen years.

In the fall of 1892 he rented his farm out, and, purchasing a tract of sixty acres adjoining the village of Oregon, erected the most beautiful residence in that section of the county, where he has since resided and though he deals extensively in real estate, he is living practically a retired life.

Mr. Main was married November 26, 1872, to Miss Julietta Chapin, who was born in the town of Union, Rock County, on June 2, 1853. Her parents were Thomas P. and Amanda (Ellsworth) Chapin, and it may be truthfully said that the family was one of the first in Wisconsin. Mrs. Main has three sisters and two brothers living, besides herself are as follows: Anna now Mrs. Burgess of Beloit, Wis., Emma now Mrs. Buckman, of Brooklyn, Dane county; and Lillian, who is now Mrs. Martin of Beloit. To E. Dakin Main and wife have been born five children, all of whom are members of the home circle: Celia H.. Florence E., who is a teacher in the Brooklyn high school; Della, a student in the musical department of the University of Wisconsin; Stanley D. and Lillian H.

In politics Mr. Main is a Republican and he has served on the county board of supervisors and was president of the village of Oregon one term, was also a member of the town board of Fitchburg for several terms. He has always taken a deep interest in all public enterprises, is highly esteemed by a wide circle of friends and is a man of strict integrity and high moral character. In his social relations he is a member of the Masonic lodge at Oregon.

Ref. 1906 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 598-600.

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