Biography of Dr. James Homer Wendell
Son of Jacob Wendell and Nancy (Fox) Gould
Herkimer County, New York
On 14 April 1826 James Homer Wendell arrived in Herkimer County, New York. He was the son of Jacob Wendell and his second wife, Nancy (Fox) Gould.
With his father a shoemaker, he learned very early on how to assist in repairing shoes in his fathers work shop. However, the parents encouraged their children to learn, attempt to get as much education as possible to better their station in life. James would take this advice. Though it is not known where he got his medical training, he would become a physician.
His half sister from his mother's first marriage to a man named Gould went to Wisconsin in about 1846. With it not having become a very heavily populated region, at that time, they were no doubt in need of doctors. He would go to Washington County, Wisconsin where he would reside for quite some time. It was here that he met and married seventeen year old Julia Knapp, the daughter of Elias and Esther Knapp on 10 September 1854. It was here that their first child Luella was born and died when just small in 1858.
His brother, Washington Wendell had gone to the newer frontier of eastern Minnesota where there was land to be had. In the spring of 1857 James and Julia along with a small group, which included her sister and brother-in-law, The Sprague's and James' brother Nelson O. Wendell set out by wagons to get land. James would be the first doctor in St. Charles, Minnesota.
Apparently, the frontier life style was not to James' liking as he and Julia returned to Washington County, Wisconsin, where they would again reside for awhile. It was after the return that their son James Nelson joined them on 19 July 1859.
James had a half brother George Gould, who had joined the Mormans, but eventually went with a group lead by Adolphus Cutler, who did not believe in some of the Morman doctrines. They were called the Cutlerites and settled in Otter Tail County, Minnesota where they started a community known as Clitherall. For a period of time James would reside there, but once again make a move, this time to Neillsville, Clark County, Wisconsin where he would remain throughout the war years. Another little girl, named May would arrive in 1864, however she would pass away when she was 8 years of age. Jennie Lincoln Wendell would join the family in June 1866.
James would finally settle in one place, once and for all. That being in Dunn County, Wisconsin in 1867, he and Julia moved there. He owned a farm and no doubt practiced medicine.
His wife Julia would pass away 29 February 1884 in the New Haven area of Dunn County. She is buried at New Haven Cemetery.
He would marry again to Mrs. Anna E. Brooks. No information on her.
James passed away of apoplexy in Dunn County on 15 March 1891 and is buried next to Julia in New Haven Cemetery.
Submitted by: Charlott Wells Jones, great-great niece of James Homer Wendell.
Copyright © 2016 Charlott Wells Jones
All Rights Reserved.