Saddlebrook Farm History

We received a wonderful email from Tom Nugent in January 2003 regarding the history of our farm! Thanks to Tom, we're able to share some more of Saddlebrook Farm's history before it was Saddlebrook!

Dear Bill and Susan,
I wonder if you have a sense of your farm's history. My great great grandfather farmed on your property from about 1846 to his death in 1902. The farm was sold after that but I am still looking for the exact dates. When it was on the market in 1992 the old house Francis Nugent had built was still standing and several of the out buildings from before 1900 had not yet been taken down. I was living in Chicago at the time and came through to take pictures several times. I like what you have done with the place. I don't know the date on the current barn but I think one of the silos was marked 1933. I never found a cornerstone on the barn itself to determine its age, but thought it was 20th century.

Let's start with some history and a few pictures...

Frank Nugent House The old house Francis Nugent had built near Highway P in a different location from where the new Saddlebrook house now stands. The old house has since been taken down. Francis Nugent House Side View

Francis Nugent was born in 1820 or 1821, of  Thomas Nugent and Judith (JUDID on Francis' wedding certificate) in the parish of Coliban, County Armaugh, Ire. Believed to have sailed from Newry in 1842, perhaps with three brothers, Francis may have landed in Canada, though there is also a tradition that he followed the Ohio river valley to St. Louis and then to Wisconsin. Married Mary Rice of Michael and Cecilia Rice( County Down), 1846 in St. Louis, Mo.

Survey - Click for full size view Francis bought land from the government in 1848 and 1850. The land was apparently part of Dodge county at the time since my cousin Kevin has found five land patents registered to Francis Nugent through the Bureau of Land Management.

Click on the picture to the left to view the survey map full size.

Francis and Mary had seven children. Thomas (3/17/1848- 3/21/1824);Cecilia (1849-1850); Michael (9/26/1851-4/13/1931); Francis (1/15/1855-6/01/1918); Mary (8/1856-1857) James (10/1857- 9/24/1879) Edward (10/18/1859-3/1860. Thomas and Michael are the two major branches of this family today. Thomas married Mary Ann Flanagan of Mapleton. Michael married Mary Riley of Mapleton. Francis was a Vincentian Father in the St. Louis area. James had no children that are known to us today.

Mary Rice Nugent died in June 1860. Frank married the woman across the road, Winifred Shannon in 1861. Four children. Margaret (7/24/1861-2/7/1884); Mary (12/14/1862-11/26/1896) Edward 6/29/1864- 1909) Catherine "Kate" (4/27/1867-1940). Maggie (Margaret) married Charles Riley, Mary Riley's brother. Maggie died in childbirth. Mary married Lawrence Gagan of Mapleton and died childless of consumption.

Frank Nugent

In 1902 when Francis died, son Edward was living in Texas, the father of four. Daughter Catherine was in Pueblo, Co., no children known. A number of these Nugents, Gagans and Rileys are buried at St. Catherine's in Mapleton. The Nugent plot is directly behind the church in one of the first few rows.

Click on Frank's picture to view his obituary. Click on the headstone photo for a larger view.

Old Barn at Oconomowoc Farm Shannon House Oconomowoc
The Church Barn was moved to the Oconomowoc site in the late 1940's from the village of Monterey on the other side of Ashippun Lake. In the 1960's, it was the place you met Mrs. Watson and rented your oars. That is the way they rented boats back then. Rent the oars and pick your boat. It was then used as a bull barn by the farmer who owned this property before us (the Thiels) until we changed it to our foaling barn and tried to shape it up to prevent it from leaning any more than it already is. The Shannon House is the house across the road from Saddlebrook. Tom Nugent's GGGrandfather's first wife died and he then married Winifred Shannon in 1860.
Oconomowoc Farm
Oconomowoc Farm circa 1992

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