J.C. Kiser

J.C. KISER, farmer and stock-breeder, Sec. 2; P.O. Oregon; born July 26, 1818, in Rockingham Co., Va., removed with his parents to Ohio, fourteen years later; spent eight years near Dayton, one year in Logan Co., three years in Peru, Ind., and was then for five years in mercantile business in Millerstown, Ohio; in 1850, he went to California, and kept hotel on the Stockton and Sonora road; returned in 1852, and was in mercantile business in west Liberty, Ohio, until 1854, when he came to Wisconsin, and settled on the 300-acre farm; bought it of Dr. W.H. Fox, when an 80 was cultivated; Mr. Kiser has made his entire share of improvements, building his large and tasteful farmhouse in 1869, and a 40×60 basement stock barn a few years later; has also put up other needed buildings, and has a well-fenced farm though the tornado of May 2, 1878, destroyed 800 rods of fence for him.

His wife was Elizabeth Bonsack, born in Roanoke Co., W. Va.; they were married Nov. 18, 1852, and have seven children-Susan V., John B., Kittie, Addie, Carrie, George and Daniel Elliott; the oldest was born in Roanoke Co., W. V., and the other on the Oregon farm.  Mr. K. is a Democrat, a Freemason, and has been an Odd Fellow. For the past eight years, he has bred registered short-horn cattle; he has bought of E. P. Brockway, David Selsor, R. Oatly, of Henry Co., Ill. and George Oatly, Bureau Co. Ill.; usually keeps from twenty-five to forty head, and has been awarded a number of first prizes at the Wisconsin and Minnesota State Fairs, and many at the Dane, Rock, and Green County Fairs; Mr. Kiser is also a breeder of Poland-China hogs, having bought of the “Shaker” breeders of Warren Co., Ohio, and others. Elizabeth (Bonsack) Kiser

Elizabeth (Bonsack) Kiser (1821-1904),
wife of Joseph Cline Kiser of Oregon, WI

His wife was Elizabeth Bonsack, born in Roanoke Co., W. Va.; they were married Nov. 18, 1852, and have seven children-Susan V., John B., Kittie, Addie, Carrie, George and Daniel Elliott; the oldest was born in Roanoke Co., W. V., and the other on the Oregon farm.  Mr. K. is a Democrat, a Freemason, and has been an Odd Fellow. For the past eight years, he has bred registered short-horn cattle; he has bought of E. P. Brockway, David Selsor, R. Oatly, of Henry Co., Ill. and George Oatly, Bureau Co. Ill.; usually keeps from twenty-five to forty head, and has been awarded a number of first prizes at the Wisconsin and Minnesota State Fairs, and many at the Dane, Rock, and Green County Fairs; Mr. Kiser is also a breeder of Poland-China hogs, having bought of the “Shaker” breeders of Warren Co., Ohio, and others.

Ref. 1880 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, page 1243-1244.

Second Biography:
Mr. Kiser was born near Mt. Crawford, Rockingham County, Virginia in 1818.  He lived with his father on the farm until 1831 when the father died and he moved with his mother to Dayton, Ohio.  As the eldest child of seven, Mr. Kiser took his father’s place in managing the farm.  In 1842 he struck out for himself and started for Peru, Indiana, which his young wife.  His moving outfit was rather slim, consisting of two horses and a wagon, a cow, and $7.50 in cash.  With this slender outfit he moved 160 miles, but by 1845 he had moved back to Ohio and was selling goods with his mother and brother.  He was a merchant for five years.  Unfortunately, in the meantime his wife died.

During the gold rush to California, Mr. Kiser decided to try his luck.  He started the ninth day of May from St. Joseph, Missouri, and paid Jerome, Hann & Smith $200 to take him through to San Francisco where he arrived on the 18th of September.  For fifteen months he kept a hotel, which was successful as he returned home with $5,000.  Shortly afterwards he married Miss Elizabeth Bonsack, of Virginia, and moved to Oregon and purchased his farm.

Being from Ohio, he came to admire the Poland China hog as they originated there.  It was equally natural for him to admire Shorthorn cattle.  He improved his farm, erected fine buildings and began to arrange for the breeding of Shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs.  He did much to advance not only the interests of his favorite breeds of livestock but the prosperity of the state as well.

At the death of Mr. Kiser in 1895 his two sons, John and George, managed the farm.

Ref. Souvenir of Oregon Centennial, 1841-1941, Supplement to the OREGON OBSERVER, Oregon, WI, June 26, 1941, p. 33.

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