Over the past few months, I have been posting articles from the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948. Sometimes these articles are about my McPherson family, but many times not. Nevertheless, I continue to hope that these stories will bring forth more contacts, family, friends and history of my McPhersons and the town of Springdale, and to, perhaps, provide a link for those who had family in Springdale during those early years in Springdale.
Furman Housel and his family were neighbors and friends of my great-great grandparents, James P. and Mary Burns McPherson, and they were mentioned often in J.P.'s diary. In addition, McPherson's third son, Jabez Burns McPherson, married Furman Housel's daughter, Mary M., April, 10, 1872. I have always found it strange that in William Housel's rememberances,(Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 ), he never mentioned his sister's marriage to Jabez B. McPherson. (Although this may be due to the "first installment" that seems to have been left out of the History.) William Housel did mention the marriage of the eldest McPherson brother to Rosetta Miles. James and Mary's children grew up in close proximity to the Miles and Housel families.
NOTE: Over the years, there were many different spellings of Furman and Housel.
The Furman Housel family is listed in the 1850 Federal Census for Harmony, Warren, NJ: “Firman” Housel, 35; Margaret, 31; Philip, 9; Jacob, 7; John H., 6; Ann E., 4; and Garner H., 2.
By 1860, the family is in Springdale, and the Federal Census lists the family as: "F. Hoisell," 45, Farmer, born in NY; Margit, 32, b. NJ; Philip, 19, b. NJ; Jacob, 17, b. NJ; John H., 15, b. NJ; Ann E., 14, b. NJ; Garner, 13, b. NJ; Asarey, 11, b. NJ; Mary, 8, b. NJ; Rosinda, 6, b. NJ; William, 4, b. WI, and Sarah Ellen, 1, b. WI.
The 1870 Federal Census list of the family includes: "Firmin" Housel (Ancestry.com transcription has the name as "Hansel"), 54, Farmer, NJ; Margaret, 51, Keeping House, NJ; Jacob, 27, Farm labor, NJ; Egar (Ancestry transcription has "Ezar")(, 20, Farm labor, NJ; Mary M., 17, At Home, NJ; Lucinda, 16, At Home, NJ; William, 14, Farm Labor, WI; Sarah E., 11, At Home, WI; and Furman, 8, WI.
Finally, in the 1880 Federal Census of Springdale, "Ferman" Housel, 63, and his wife Margaret, 60, are still on the farm with Sarah E., 21, and Furman, 17
as presented on page 136,
Centennial History of the Town of Springdale,
Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948
Furman Housel homesteaded the farm now known as the Bert Moore farm in Section 25. He was a native of New Jersey, born in 1815, the son of Jacob Housel and Ose Hull. He came to Wisconsin in 1854. He married Miss Margarette Carpenter and to this union 12 children were born. He was one of the pioneer settlers in Springdale. Mr. and Mrs. Earl Moore now reside on the farm.
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© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications