THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


      WILLIAM STRINGER. In the annals of Madison County no name stands higher on the list of its benefactors than that of the late William Stringer. He was one of the enterprising and self-made men of the county, who contributed so materially to its present prosperity. He was born in Eaton, March 1, 1815, being a son of William W. and Elizabeth (Underwood) Stringer, both natives of Ireland. His parents emigrated to the United States with their family in 1809, and settled in that part of the town of Eaton known as Crow Hill, buying a tract of land ere it had been redeemed from the wilderness. At that time Indians were numerous, and wild animals and game of all kinds inhabited the forest. He toiled unceasingly, and cleared a farm, where he spent his last days, dying at the age of sixty-four years. His widow lived to be seventy-six years old, and died at the home of one of her sons. Both were members of the Episcopal church. They reared eight children, of who three are now living: William, our subject; Alice, who is the wife of Henry Cark, of Hamilton; and Charles, who lies in Lebanon. During the Irish Rebellion Mr. Stringer was an officer in the army, and received a severe wound.
   William Stringer, the subject of this brief history, was reared and educated in the town of Eaton, where he attended the district school. His father having a large family of children to support, and our subject being among the older ones, he was sent out to labor when a lad of ten years, working at first on a farm for five dollars per month, his wages being given to his parents each month until he was twenty-one years old. Not being satisfied with the life of a farmer, he learned the trade of carpenter and joiner, working for Nelson Cook and George Kirkland, receiving thirteen dollars per month, and continued in that occupation for fifteen years. Mr. Stringer moved to Munnsville March 6, 1837, that day being also the date of his marriage to Mrs. Louisa Sherman Barr. She was the widow of Robert Barr, by whom she had one child--Robert Sherman Barr. Their wedded life was of short duration, Mrs. Stringer dying November 16, 1845. She bore her husband one child, William Henry Stringer, who was born September 22, 1839. He grew to manhood in the home of his father, and, when a call for volunteers was made to quell the late Rebellion, responded, enlisting in 1862 as a private in Bates's Battery, being afterward promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. He participated in many of the battles and skirmishes, being present at the surrender of General Lee, and was honorably discharged at the close of the war. He was a man of excellent character, a good citizen, and influential in town affairs, serving acceptably as Supervisor two terms; and his death, which occurred in August, 1887, was a loss to the community.
   The second marriage of Mr. Stringer took place May 27, 1848, when he wedded Adaline J. Shepard, who was born in Verona, Oneida County, March 14, 1821. Her parents, Aaron and Sylvia Shepard, were from Berkshire County, Massachusetts. They owned a farm in Oneida County, and there lived to an advanced age, both dying on the same day, at the ages of eight-six and eight-two years respectively. They were worthy people, much respected for their many excellent personal traits of character, and were both esteemed members of the Universalist church. In politics Mr. Shepard was identified with the Whigs. They reared a family of three sons and five daughters, six of whom survive: George, who lives in Nebraska; Jane, Mrs. Johnson, who lives in Wisconsin; Ann, Mrs. Brooks, who is a resident of Chicago; Adaline, Mrs. Stringer; Caroline, Mrs. Adams, who lives in Madison, Wis.; and Henrietta, Mrs. Pardee, who lives in Vernon, Oneida County. Of the children born to our subject and his second wife, two only are living, Sylvia L., who was born in Munnsville, September 6, 1849, married Samuel A. Maxon, of Oneida, and has three children--William, Lynn, and Bessie. Charles, who was born in Munnsville, March 7, 1854, married Flora E. Merrell, and has a son and daughter--Henry J. and Sylvia Esther.
   After giving up his trade as carpenter, Mr. Stringer engaged in the manufacture of sashes, doors and blinds, and carried on a successful business for several years. In 1857 the firm of Holmes, Stringer & Co. was organized for the manufacture of agricultural implements. Beginning in a small way, the growth of the business was steady and satisfactory, the number of ploughs made the first year having been about fifty; and, with the growing demand for them, as they have become known throughout the country, the number has been gradually increased, until one thousand per year will scarcely supply the market. In addition to the Munnsville plough, which was founded by Mr. Stringer, the firm also manufactured cultivators, evaporating and hop stoves, employing from twenty to twenty-five men during the year. In January, 1890, Mr. Stringer sold out his share of the business to his son; and the business was continued under the firm name of Stringer, Dexter & Co. until August 17, 1892, when the son sold his interest, and the proprietors incorporated under the name of the Munnsville Plow Company, which firm still continues.
   Mr. Stringer was highly honored and respected by his employees, who regarded him as their friend, his counsel and advice being freely given and as readily taken; and to his assistance many of his men are indebted for the comfortable homes they own and occupy. During the half-century and more that he resided in Munnsville he was intimately identified with its every interest, encouraging and promoting each beneficial plan for its advancement; and to him is largely due the present status of that prosperous village. His influence was felt in every department; and his death, which took place September 5, 1893, was deeply regretted by the community. He served as Supervisor two years, and as Railroad Commissioner for twenty years. Politically, he was a strong Republican, and ever sustained the principles of that party. Religiously, he was a firm believer in the doctrines of the Universalist church, toward the support of which he contributed liberally. A portrait of Mr. Stringer is presented on an accompanying page, and forms a fitting adjunct to this brief memoir.

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