Feeling that many will be interested in details of the death of C. G. Wilcox, and to read of his
active and prominent career since the days he left Camden school, we are giving what the DePere
Journal-Democrat of DePere, Wis., September 17, says of him and the many ways of his useful
On last Monday afternoon there was placed in its crypt in a mausoleum in Greenwood cemetery
the body of the late Chester G. Wilcox, who in his lifetime was one of the best known and loyal
citizens of DePere, the city in which he elected to cast his lot when he came here as a young
man. In his fifty-five years of residence in DePere he took a prominent part in all its
political and social activities, as well as in all movements looking to the welfare and
upbuilding of the city; and the people regarding and appreciating his love and loyalty to his
home town, turned out in large numbers to pay their last respects to his memory. They
comprised business associates, lodge brothers and friends, and the Masonic temple, at North
Broadway and Cass Streets, was filled while the Rev. Howard A. Talbot, D. D., conducted the
simple Presbyterian religious services.
Mr. Wilcox was one of the organizers of the National Bank of DePere and served as president
of its board of directors for more than 10 years. The Oneida Knitting company, of which Mr.
Wilcox had been president for the last four years, closed its mill during the afternoon.
Curtains in business establishments were drawn as the funeral cortege passed through the
business district. Flags on the city hall and some of the business houses had been at half
mast since Saturday, following the death of Mr. Wilcox Friday evening.
Mr. Wilcox died at 11 o'clock Friday night in a Green Bay hospital of heart disease brought
on by a general breaking down of his physical system. About two years ago he was compelled
to retire from active business because of an attack which resembled rheumatism, and he was
compelled to remain indoors most of the time.
Mr. Wilcox was over 77 years and 3 months of age at the time of his death, but he retained
his bright mental faculties to the last.
Chester G. Wilcox was born May 29, 1848, in Milford, Oakland county, Michigan. His father
was Levi S. Wilcox, who died 29 years ago in this city. As a boy, Mr. Wilcox attended the
Union Seminary at Camden, N.Y., and later was a student in Utica university, Utica, Mich.
He suplemented his education with a course of study in the Bryant and Stratton's Commercial
college, in Utica, from which school he was graduated in bookkeeping and later taught a class
in that art in the same college.
While in school, he learned harness making, and finished his schooling in that trade in Rome,
N.Y. He went to Milwaukee in 1865 and worked for a short time on a farm in Wheeler Prairie,
Dane county. His uncle, E. I. Wilcox, was a resident of DePere at that time and the young
man came to DePere to live. For three years he conducted a harness business in Green Bay,
then went to New York state, but in 1870 returned to make his residence in DePere. Mr. Wilcox
and John H. McDonald formed a partnership to operate a harness business, and for 17 years
the establishment was located at the corner of Broadway and James Street. It was said during
that time this business was one of the few which weathered financial storms, many others
having either failed, dissolved or changed hands. Mr. Wilcox began dealing in real estate
in 1871, and his business grew in the years following to become one of the largest in Brown
In politics Mr. Wilcox was a staunch Democrat. He was chairman of the Brown county Democratic
Central committee several years, and he was a delegate to state and national conventions. He
was elected to the Wisconsin assembly in 1880 and served one term, being the youngest member
of the assembly at that time. He was a leader in city politics also, having been an alderman
for four terms, dating from 1873. He was mayor from 1916 to 1920. He was appointed postmaster
in DePere in 1893 and served one term. He was a member of the Brown county board of
supervisors from 1874 to 1877 inclusive, and again from 1880 to 1890.
Mr. Wilcox's activities in behalf of agricultural interests were recognized in the state, as
well as this locality. He was for many years connected with the Wisconsin state fair, and
was at the head of the speed department as superintendent. Men identified with horse racing
presented him with a gold watch where he was connected with the state fair.
For several years he was President of the State and County Fair Associations. He was
president of the Business Men's association of DePere many years and helped in organizing the
DePere Electric Light and Power company, and the Artesian Water Supply company.
Mr. Wilcox is survived by his wife, Sarah J. Wilcox; one son, Guy Wilcox of DePere, and a
sister, Mrs. Lillian Foster of Green Bay.
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