The Grandparents

Harlan Arthur Foye, my Grandfather, was born in 1912 at Arena, Iowa County, Wisconsin to George Leander and Annie May Foye.  George and Annie operated a farm in the Township of Arena, Iowa County before moving their family to a farm in Sauk County, Wisconsin.  The farm in Sauk County was located along Badger Road just north of Hoppe Road in Troy Township.  Harlan grew up on this farm which was known as the Badger Valley Farm.  There were no rural high schools at this time, so after graduating from the Troy Township School, Harlan helped his father operate the farm.

Harlan met and married Lucille Marie Fingerhut, whose family also operated a farm in the adjacent valley.  In 1933, they married at the now United Methodist Church in Village of Black Hawk, Sauk County, Wisconsin.  About this same time, Harlan’s father, George, died.  Harlan then took over operating the Badger Valley Farm with his new wife, Lucille, and his mother, Annie.

Figure 3.  Harlan Foye and Lucille Fingerhut wedding photo (1933).

Harlan and Lucille raised two children, my mother, Shirley LeVon (born 1934), and Richard Lee (born 1945).  The Badger Valley Farm was sold in 1952.  Harlan, Lucille and their children moved to the Leland and Denzer area, also in Sauk County, Wisconsin.  Harlan became a cheese maker at the Witwen Creamery, Wisconsin until he retired

Figure 4.  Shirley and Richard (circa 1948).

After retirement, Harlan did other jobs such as janitor of the Tower Rock elementary school in Sauk County, Wisconsin and caretaker of the Leland, Wisconsin sportsman park.  Grandpa Harlan also loved to fish, hunt and garden, but mostly fish.  He passed on his admiration of the outdoors and enjoyment of fishing.  Grandpa Harlan died in 1978.  Harlan is buried at the United Methodist Church Cemetery in the Village of Black Hawk, Sauk County, Wisconsin. 

Grandma Lucille was a home maker for most of her life.  She also did other jobs here and there.  One of these jobs included cooking school lunch at the Tower Rock elementary school.  Later in life, Grandma Lucille also helped her good friend, Tillie, run the hotel the was on the edge of the east side of the City of Sauk City. 

Lucille spent her elderly years at the Spring Green Nursing Home in Spring Green, Sauk County, Wisconsin.  Lucille died in 1996.  Lucille is buried next to Harlan at the cemetery in the Village of Black Hawk.

I can remember traveling around running errands with my Grandpa Harlan when I was a young child.  We would go from his Leland home through what appeared to me to be some secret back roads for no one was around to the Fair Valley Store (and tavern). The Store was located along State Highway 60, southwest of the City of Sauk City, Sauk County, Wisconsin. 

Here, Harlan would go every few years or so sometimes with me to purchase a particular kind of fishing reel from the proprietor of this tavern.  The fishing reel was a Johnson spin casting with a shining emerald green cover that I remember so vividly.  He had a closet full of them for I do not think he ever discarded the old ones.  Anyway, we would eat at the tavern, have a pop and buy this reel.  It was not until many many years later that I learned that this store was owned and operated by Grandpa Harlan’s sister Dorothy and his brother-in-law Bill Kleinert.

Figure 5.  George Foye property in the 1936 Sauk County, Wisconsin plat map.

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Last updated August 27, 2005