Francis A Deleglise

Born: February 10, 1835
Died: March 25, 1894

On March 25, 1894, the city of Antigo lost its most illustrous pioneer, Hon, Francis A. Deleglise, known widely to the public as the "Father of Antigo.: Hon. Francis Augustine Deleglise was born on February 10, 1835, in Commune of Baynes, Canton of Valais, Switzerland, the son of Maurice Athanase and Catherine (Lang) Del'Eglise. The Father of Mr. Deleglise was one of four brothers of the old and highly esteemed Catholic families of Valais vineyardists. Maurice, the father of the founder of Antigo, was a teacher and surveyor, he not following the occupation of his ancestors. In 1848 Maurice Deleglise emigrated to America, coming to Wisconsin where he engaged in agriculture. Pioneer life was hard and new to the teacher and surveyor and after five years' residence his wife passed away at their home in Theresa Township, Dodge Coundy, Wisconsin, where she is buried.

The father then moved with his family to Gibson, Manitowoc County. Maurice Deleglise farmed here until 1878 when he was called by deathl. He was buried in the village of Antigo, the home of his son, Francis A. Deleglise.

Francis A. Deleglise was the eldest of the three children brought to america. An older daughter, Catherine, remained in the native land. Young Francis, an intelliegent student in Swiss Candon, found it necessary to aid his father in their new home in America, and he was largely responsible for much of the earnings emptied into the family purse.

On November 29, 1856, he was united in marrige to Mary Bor, at Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Mrs. F. A. Deleglise was born January 1 1835 in Taus, Bohemia. Her father died in Antigo in the year 1881.

Francis A. Deleglise answered the call of President Lincoln for troops during the Civil War. He enlisted June 28, 1861, in Appelton, Wis., in Company E of the 6th Wis. Vol. Inf., under Captain Marston. He was promoted to Corpal and in July, 1862, when the reginment became attached to the Army of Potomac, he participated in many of the struggles of famous "Iron Brigade" of General Bragg. At Antietam, bloodiest Civil War battle, he was wounded September 17, 1862. During the first day's fighting at Gettysburg, he was wounded and taken prisoner, but was later rescued by Union forces. On July 16, 1864, he was honorably discharged, after gloriously serving the colors of the North and leaving behind a record of a valiant soldier. Mr. Deleglise suffered much from exposure and wounds during the war and lost in weight from 180 pounds to less than 100 pound.

After the Civil War he started locating lands in north central Wisconsin and it was then that he selected the future site of Antigo. He brought his family to Antigo in 1877, located and platted the village, more of which is told elsewhere in this volume.

Mr. Deleglise dealt largely in real estate in Antigo. He was an early Town chairman, the first County Treasurer, and was elected to the Assembly in 1892, a Republican victor in the Democratic landslide. During his legislative career he made a brilliant record, manifesting his intelligence and his welfare for the constituents whom he represented. He was liberal in all things, fonated many sites to industries, churches, and business interested in Antigo. He secured the first storekeeper, the first mill proprietor and banker who came to Antigo. He was farsighted and will forever be remembered as the most public spirited Antigo citizen of his day. Mr. Deleglise was a member of the Roman Catholic Church all of his life. He died Easter Sunday March 25, 1894, in the loyal profession of that faith. Mrs Deleglise survived her husband fourteen years, dying December 20, 1907.

Mr. and Mrs. Deleglise were survived by five children of the eight born to them. Those who died were: Francis Joseph, John E., and Edmond. Mrs. Mary Teresa Deresch, eldest child, was the first white settler to enter a government homestead in the wilderness adjacent to Antigo. Mrs. Deresch was for many years the only white wonman within a radios of twenty miles.

Mrs. Sophia Leslie, the wife of Sam.E. Leslie, was one of the first Antigo school teachers and assisted her father in platting the village of Antigo. She has two children, Loyal I and Cyril.

Anna E. Morrissey, as a girl of ten, accompanied her father, Antigo's founder, to Langlade County, when he brought with him the first vanguard of settlers. She was the first white child to come to what later became the city of Antigo. Anna E. Morrissey, wife of Thomas Morrissey, has four children, Margaret Virginia, John Francis, Gerald Deleglis, and May.

Adelbert Deleglise is unmarried and lives in Minneapolis.

Alexius L Delglise is an able civil engineer and has for many years been City Engineer of Antigo, But at the present time is City Engineer at Merill, Wisconsin. He has three children, Margaret, Irene and Germaine.

The Deleglise family have enjoyed the respect, confidence and esteem of the citizens of Antigo and Langlade County and their place as pioneers is equalled only by their standing as citizens.

p.103 History of Langlade County Wisconsin Dessureau. Berner Bros. Publishing 1922.