Bio: Ladd, James William (Commemorative Bio - 1895)

Poster: Crystal Wendt


James William Ladd

James William Ladd, cashier of the First National Bank of Merrill, Lincoln County, is a native of New Hampshire, born may 5, 1838, in Campton Township, Grafton County, a son James and Charity (Willey) Ladd, who were married in Campton Township.

The family of Ladd in the United States trace their ancestry back to 1633, in which year Daniel Ladd (the first of the name to arrive in this country) came to the New World on the ship “Mary and John,” of London, Robert Sayres, master. A farmer by occupation, he settled on a piece of land he bought near Ipswich, Mass., and made a success of agricultural pursuits. He died at Haverhill, Mass., July 27, 1693, his wife on February 9, 1694; they were the parents of nine children.

Samuel, son of the above, was born November 1, 1649, married December 1, 1674, Martha Corliss, daughter of George Corliss, and like his father before him was a farmer. On February 22, 1698, while he and his son Daniel, and Jonathan Hayes and his son Joseph, were in the fields making hay, they were surprised by the Indians who killed Samuel Ladd, the son of Daniel (1) making his escape on one of the horses. The latter was married to Susanna Hartshorn November 17, 1701, and had a family of six children. The father of these died in June, 1751, the mother in 1750.  

Daniel (2), son of Daniel (1), was born November 15, 1710; was married in 1733 to Mehitabel Roberts, and had twelve children.

Daniel (3), son of Daniel (2), was born April 21, 1740; married Dorothy Foote, and had twelve children.

Jesse, son of Daniel (3), was born September 14, 1764; married in 1788 to Thankful Holmstead; moved to northern New York State, where he died October 12, 1804. They had eight children.

James Ladd, son of Jesse, and father of the subject proper of this sketch, was born May 16, 1799, in Sudbury, Vt., but was educated and reared to farming pursuits in New Hampshire. He married Charity Willey, and by her had a family of four children: Adeline W., Christopher, James W. and George H. In 1844 Mr. Ladd came to Wisconsin, locating near Beaver Dam, Dodge County, in the following year bringing his family out. In about eighteen months, or in 1847, they moved to the township of Menasha, Winnebago County, where the father took up government land, which he improved, and whereon he passed away in 1884. His first wife died in 1865, and he subsequently married Miss Theresa M. Kellogg, by which union there is no issue. He was very prominent and influential in his day, holding many local offices of trust, and besides farming he was a contractor and lime burner; he put up the first frame building in Neenah after the erection of the government mill, and for two years kept the first hotel in that then villages.

James William Ladd, whose name introduced this sketch, received a liberal education, in part at the public schools of Winnebago County, and in part of Lawrence University, at Appleton, Wis., where he graduated in the class of ’62., being then twenty-four years of age, after which he taught school one term. In the spring of 1863 he went to Kansas, and was in the employ of the United States marshal at Topeka and elsewhere until the fall, thence proceeding to Fort Larned, where he was employed some eighteen months in a store and in the post office. His net abiding place was at Fort Dodge, and here, in partnership with J. H. Crane, he opened a store, later being appointed postmaster, a position he filled nearly two years. Selling out here, Mr. Ladd returned to Wisconsin and for some time was in the grocery business along with his brother Christopher at Menasha. He served as city clerk of Menasha, and was justice of the peace there some three years. He is a Republican, and from time to time acted as chairman of various political committees. In November, 1880, he was elected county treasurer of Winnebago County (holding the office six years, being elected, in all, three times), and he then removed his family to Oshkosh, where they resided till May, 1887, when he took up his residence in Merrill, having been appointed cashier of the newly-established First National bank of that city an incumbency he has since filled with acknowledged ability and success.

On May 20, 1874, Mr. Ladd was united in marriage Evanston, Ill., with Mary Elizabeth Jackson, who was born in Kenosha County, Wis., daughter of Andrew B. and Mary A. (Bassett) Jackson, natives of Connecticut, where they were married. They came west, in 1836, to Wisconsin, and made a settlement in Bristol Township, Kenosha county, and their family, four in number, and are named respectively; Elias, Gilbert, Andrew, Mary E. and William O. The Father was a register of the United States Land office at Menasha, and was a member of the Constitutional Convention which farmed the present constitution. At one time he was nominated for Congress, and altogether was a very popular man, his business being that of a real-estate dealer. Mr. Jackson died at Rogers Park, Ill., in March, 1878, his wife passing away at Merrill, in May, 1892, where she had made her home in her widowhood. To Mr. and Mrs. Ladd were born two children; Florence, who died when two years old; and Andrew B. J., born April 28, 1878. They have also an adopted daughter named Margaret, now aged thirteen years. Socially, Mr. Ladd is a member of the F. & A. M., Lodge No. 126, Merrill, and has attained the thirty-second degree; also a member of the A. O. U. W. and I. O. O. F.; he is president of the Advancement Association of Merrill. He and his amiable wife are members of the M. E. Church. During the summer Mr. Ladd, accompanied by his family, took and extended trip to the Pacific coast and British Columbia, being absent some eight weeks. The Ladd family, tracing backward from our subject to Daniel Ladd, the colonist of over 260 years ago, having always been leaders in religious, political, and social circles- in fact, everything pertaining to the building up of society, and the name has ever been the synonym of up rightness and sounded integrity.

---Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin Counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawano. publ. 1895 by J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago 1110 pages, illustrated; Page 993-995


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