FAGG, Peter Biographical Review of Dane County, WI. Chicago: Biographical Review Pub. Co. 1893, Vol II, pp 399-401
Hon. Peter FAGG, a temperance lecturer and solicitor for various religious and educational works, has been a resident of the city of Madison, Dane County, WI, for many years. He first came to this place in 1853, then a young man, soon after graduating from the Spencerian College of Madison, where he had taken a business course, and later went to Milwaukee, WI, where he engaged himself as a teacher in the public schools. Here he remained for about two years in the suburban town of Bethlehem, WI.. During this time Peter FAGG was married in the vicinity of Milwaukee, WI, to Miss Mary TILLEMA. She was born in Holland in 1842, a daughter of D. M. and Catherina (DE VRIES) TILLEMA, who were natives of Vriesland, Holland, where they were farmers.
In 1854 D. M. TILLEMA emigrated to America with the family on a sailing vessel, landing in NY, whence they came directly on to Milwaukee, WI, via canals and lakes. They settled in Milwaukee, and after some years moved to Columbia, Dane County, WI, settling at Randolph Center, where D. M. TILLEMA died at the age of 70, and Catherina (DE VRIES) TILLEMA at the age of 79 years. All their mature lives they were members of the Dutch Reformed Church. They had been hard working, good, honest Dutch farmers.
Peter FAGG was born in the province of Zeeland, Isle of Walcheren, in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, 14 Jan 1837, a son of Captain John Gerardes FAGG, who came of Scotch and English ancestry. Captain FAGG was a ship owner and sailor, and also owned a large grocery business in Vlissengen, at which place he met and married Miss Sarah Jacoba SMITH, who was born and reared in that city, had come of English and Dutch stock, and from a prominent family of the place. After marriage Captain FAGG engaged in active business as a ship owner and sailor, and also engaged in extensive mercantile transactions until his death, which occurred in the prime of life, only 34 years of age. He was an active member of the Methodist Church and was one who exercised a good influence in his community, always upright in his dealings with all. He was also a member of the Masonic fraternity. He had never learned the Dutch language, speaking only English.
After the death of her husband, Mrs. Sarah Jacoba (SMITH) FAGG managed the business for about seven years, when she again married, this husband being Hon. F. T. ZETTELER, whose father was the royal tailor. A few years after that marriage the whole family came to the U. S., taking passage at Antwerp and coming on a sailing ship that landed them at NY City after a voyage of some weeks. The next move was to Albany [Albany County], NY, and then by canal and lakes to Milwaukee, WI, landing 03 Jul 1848, and there they settled on a farm. In 1853 Mr. ZETTELER brought his family to Madison, Dane County, WI, here establishing himself as a general merchant. The mother and children conducted the store and the father became attached to the official offices of the State, being engaged in that of the Secretary of State and [p 400] later in that of Register of Deeds. At the same time Peter FAGG was employed in the office of ex-Governor FARWELL and all seemed to be prospering when in 1858 a great calamity befell them. A fire destroyed all of their property, and after this Mr. ZETTELER moved to Milwaukee, WI.
Reaching Milwaukee, F. T. ZETTELER engaged in the real estate business, but soon his ability as a statesman was recognized, and three times he has been elected a member of the State Assembly, his district being known as the old 9th Ward of Milwaukee. He has always been a firm Democrat. Both Mr. and Mrs. ZETTELER are living, aged respectively, 82 and 81, and both are well preserved mentally and physically. In their religious views both belong to the Presbyterian Church.
A few years after marriage, Peter FAGG removed to Fond du Lac [Fond du Lac County], WI, and remained there from 1861-1867, being engaged there as a clerk in a general store. During this time he was made Justice of the Peace of the town of Alto, Fond du Lac County, WI and was Supervisor of the same place for two terms. In 1865 he was appointed as guard of the State prisoners by Hon. Henry CORDIER. In 1867 he went back to Milwaukee, WI, and was there engaged in the duties of several municipal offices, such as Deputy Sheriff, and was, in 1874, elected to the General Assembly on the Democratic ticket, and was re-elected on the Independent ticket in 1875. After his term of service in the Legislature expired, he was urged by Governor William E. SMITH to take a place in the land office, and this position he held for six years, but in 1886 he was not reappointed because of his religious and temperance convictions.
Having been a total abstainer many years, Peter FAGG felt that he could not speak and pray one way and vote another. Since that time he has not taken any special interest in political matters other than as a lecturer for the cause of Prohibition. Mr. FAGG is a general agent for books and Bibles. He has been a prominent member of the Independent Order of Good Templars, the Temple of Honor and Temperance, and is Past Grand Chief and Past Deputy Supreme Council of the World, and has been Past Chief of the local lodges. He is Past Grand Chancellor and Past Grant Recorder of the Knights of Pythias order, and for years has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Peter FAGG is a man of remarkable memory. His wife has been an invalid for the past 15 years, and also his daughter, and these afflictions have prevented him from accomplishing much that he has desired to do. Peter FAGG has 10 living children: (1) Rev. John G., at present missionary to China, where he has been for five years. He married Miss Maggie GILLESPIE of Jersey City [Hudson County], NY, where she was the principal of a school and a teacher, their headquarters being at Amoy. Rev. John G. FAGG is the professor there in a Theological seminary of the American Reformed Church. He graduated with first honors at Hope College and New Brunswick Seminary. (2) Katie M. is an invalid at home. She has devoted her time to local missionary work, is a member of the King's Daughters and of the Shut-in Society. (3) Fred D. is general secretary of the Y. M. C. A. at Evanston [Cook County], IL, and an active worker in the Baptist Church. Fred D. FAGG married Miss Ida CHASE, also a prominent member of a fine family, a daughter of a NY farmer. (4) Sarah married Rev. E. E. DAY, a Congregational minister and pastor of a church in Bowmanville [Cook County], IL. (5) Dow M. is a shipping [p 401] clerk for D. Warner & Company, of Madison, Dane County, WI. (6) Peter A. is a stenographer and bookkeeper in Madison, WI. (7) William, (8) Marcus C., (9) Charles A., and (10) Nettie J. are in school. All of the children of our subject have been blessings to their parents, but they were called upon to mourn the loss of four: J. Edward, Isaac W., T. George, and Benjamin A. Mr. and Mrs. FAGG, with the children at home, are members of the Congregational Church of Madison, WI. Dow W. and Peter A. are members of the Christian Endeavor Society, and Dow W. is Superintendent of a mission school.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly