Posted By:Barbara Petura
Subject:Re: Benjamin Church- Milwaukee mid 1800's
Post Date:November 23, 2005 at 11:03:20
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Forum:Church Family Genealogy Forum
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My name is Barbara Ann Bradley Petura, and I am the ggg-granddaughter of pioneer Milwaukee builder Benjamin Church through the 1859 marriage of his oldest daughter Hannah Church to Sherman A. Bradley, born in 1835 in Connecticut.

This Benjamin Church was born in New York in 1807 and my family tells me he was born in New Paltz, so I believe this is the same person you are researching.

He came to Milwaukee in the 1830s, judging by his own age and the age and birthplace of his oldest daughter Hannah as recorded in the 1850 Census. In that year, he was recorded as 41, working as a carpenter and joiner. He was married to Permelia Church, 34, a New Hampshire native. Their children, all born in Wisconsin, included Ann Maria Church, 10, later called Hannah or Mary; Ann Augusta Church, 7, later called Anna; and Charles B. Church, 3.

History says Benjamin and Permelia had six children. By the 1860 Census, Permelia was apparently deceased, while Benjamin, 52, had in his household children Anna, 16, Charles, 12, John, 7, Susan, 5, as well as married daughter Hannah, 19, and son-in-law Sherman, 24. The sixth child may have been a son and oldest child named Benjamin Church, but that is not confirmed.

A pioneer carpenter and master builder, Church built a house in Greek Revival style in 1844 in Kilbourntown, a town later merged into Milwaukee. This was the family home. When rescued in 1938 and moved to Estabrook Park, the house gave him lasting recognition. Today called the Kilbourntown House or the Church house, it was restored as a WPA project during the Depression and now is on the National Register of Historical Places. Learn more on Web sites such as this one:
and this one:

I would very much appreciate learning what you know about Benjamin's family in New Paltz, New York, and earlier.

Hope this helps, Paul. I have more details if you want them.