Muskego Historical Society website

Peter Goff


Farmer, Sec. 35; P. O. Tess Corners; born in or about 1808, in the province of Leinster, Co. of Louth, Ireland. He came to America when 17 or 18 years of age, worked a short time in a factory at Paterson, N. J., then engaged in farming on the Holland Purchase (Wyoming Co., N. Y.). Sold out his claim there in 1836 and went to Cook Co., Ill., where he owned 380 acres.

In 1840, Philip Riley, Patrick Kerwin and himself came to Waukesha County, Mr. Goff settling where he is now, and Messrs. Kerwin and Riley near him. Mr. Goff began here in a claim shanty built among timber so dense as to shut out the noonday sun; felling trees to right and left, he planted a few Irish potatoes among the stumps for his first crop. These grew as large as quart cups, while white turnips were immensely large; the seed potatoes were brought in by him, on his shoulders, from the Fox River Valley; from wheat bought of N. K. Smith, he raised the first crop in this vicinity.

Peter Goff is a genuine old settler, whose salt pork was, in early times, brought from Milwaukee. His 240-acre farm, with the excellent buildings, prove that his labor and management were rewarded.

He married Mary Loughney, of Telara, County of Mayo, Ireland; they have four children-Matthew L., Eliza, Mary and Teresa, all born on the New Berlin Homestead. The family are Catholics and Democrats. Mr. Goff, in early times, assessed the town, but would not qualify as Justice of the Peace; he is also a radical temperance man, who has not allowed a drop of liquid damnation to be used upon his farm. M. L. Goff, born in 1845, was educated in the district schools and Carroll College, spent 1877 and 1878 in Nebraska, visiting Missouri, Kansas and Iowa.

He married, in Feb. 1880, Miss Annie M., daughter of John Burns, deceased, one of the pioneers of Muskego.

(source: History of Waukesha County 1880)

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