The Warren Family

Meet the Warren Family!

William H. Warren was one of the oldest settlers in Door County. He was born on October 26, 1814 in the state of New York. He spent a majority of his early years at sea, until arriving to Sturgeon Bay in 1855.

William helped build Door County. He was a land surveyor, educator, and member of town and county boards. He was the first clerk of the township of Clay Banks and held the role of county superintendent of schools. According to the January 9th, 1904 issue of the Door County Democrat, “In the early history of the county Mr. Warren was one of the foremost and most active of its citizens, always working for the best interests of the county.” He died in 1904, but his legacy lived on through his children.

He had a son, Julius, who built the log home that is now standing at Heritage Village. But before he built this home, he served in the civil war and got married to Sarah in 1865. In 1872, they were appointed as lighthouse keepers at Cana Lighthouse located north of Bailey’s Harbor. They served in this position for three years before building their home in Clay Banks. They raised their six children here. On their farm they had a couple of cows and a large garden to sustain themselves. Their home was larger and more spacious than the average home of this time period. It had many different rooms and many bedrooms that were upstairs.

Later on Julius and Sarah served as postmasters and their home as a post office for Clay Banks. It soon became the hub of the community. The family was active in the People’s Party and leaders in the local Temperance Union Movement. They were pushing for a graduated income tax and for women suffrage. Sarah Warren passed away in 1924 and Julius in 1914.

Their daughter Nina Warren Helmholtz was a correspondent for the Door County Advocate and wrote many articles about her family.

Their home was donated by their family members and was moved to the Heritage Village in 2004. You can still find some of their old furniture in the house, along with this picture!