At a recent Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society mini-grand opening at the new Sussex Village Hall, Peter Sparrow donated a mahogany wood-framed photo of the g of the extended John-Jane Gray Tempero homestead family gathering, which likely took place in the late summer of 1884.
The original Tempero family came from England and Scotland in 1849 to the town of Lisbon and, at one time, owned massive amounts of land on what is today Highway 164 going through the town of Lisbon and the village of Sussex.
This photo was taken at the northeast corner of Highway 164 and Lisbon Road, which is today a retail corner of the near 160-acre Sussex Corporate Center development.
No imprint is left of the long Tempero-Lembke occupation of this land mass other than a bronze plaque at the entrance to South Corporate Circle Drive off Highway 164. The bronze plaque mounted on an entrance brick gate pillar tells a favorite story dictated by one Madeline Tempero Lembke about her personal memory of the family's life on the former dairy farm, and their magic cow "Alice in Wonderland" (stop sometime and find this plaque behind the encroaching bush leaves and branches).
There is happiness in the photo, as a new baby is displayed by the aged grandmother Mrs. John Tempero (Jane Gray Davidson), one of 12 children of Scottish immigrant father Andrew Davidson.
She was born in Blackburn, Scotland, on Feb. 1, 1847, and was only 2 years old when she came to the United States and Lisbon. She would live another 43 years after the photo, dying Jan. 8, 1927. The baby she is holding is the child of William Franklin Howard and his wife Agnes Tempero — Helen Ruth, born April 27, 1884 (died at age 23, June 11, 1901). She was called "Nellie" Howard.
This house was torn down about the turn of the century, and rebuilt for the Charles John Tempero family. Charles is the center boy pictured, standing next to his grandmother. His name, Charles John, honored both his grandfathers. He was 10 in this photo, born Jan. 3, 1874. He would marry a daughter of Sgt. Alfred S. Weaver (son of the "father of Sussex-Lisbon").
Charles’ father-in-law was a member of the Waukesha/ Wisconsin Volunter 28th Infantry Regiment (August 1863 to August 1865), which fought in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of operations during the Civil War, including Vicksburg, Helena and Mobile Bay, and then garrison duty in Texas. He, with wife Sarah Howard, had three girls: Marion (Hext), Ruth (never married, a nurse in the south Pacific in World War II) and Madeline (Lembke). Madeline ended up the final owner and seller of the family land. Her life span was March 15, 1912, to Aug 15, 2001. She died on the family property, even though she had sold, as she was given life tenancy to occupy her home.
In the photo are representatives of large families of Lisbon: the Tempero and Howard families, but also the Rankin family, the Davidson family and the Weaver family.
Alfred Weaver, Charles John's father-in-law, had a farm on Waukesha Avenue where today stands H&H Auto and the northern section of Halquist Quarry. Soon after he died in 1924, his granddaughter Marion Tempero and her husband took over the farm and homestead, raising a son, Doug Hext.
Charles John Tempero took over the farm upon his father's death.
His last daughter home, Madeline Tempero, got married to a neighbor, Victor Lembke, on Jan. 31 1942, and took up residence in the homesteads. Shortly after that, her mother Ada died in the house April 2, 1943, and her father Charles died six months later on Sept. 27, 1943.
Fourteen months after Madeline was married, she had the first of her four children and they lived out their lives in the family house. The house came down in 2002, after Madeline's death.