Aitkin County, Minnesota

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Horace Beemer Ayres
Source: Minnesota Historical Society Collections, Volume XIV, Biographical 1655-1912, compiled by Warren Uphill; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman
AYRES, HORACE BEEMER, b. in Allamuchy, N. J., Sept. 20, 1856; was graduated at Lafayette College, 1878; has been a specialist in forestry for the land departments of the St. Paul and Duluth and Northern Pacific railway companies; resides in Aitkin, Minn. [7A.]

Ole Dahle
Source: Minnesota Historical Society Collections, Volume XIV, Biographical 1655-1912, compiled by Warren Uphill; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman
DAHLE, OLE, Lutheran clergyman, b. in Norway, May 15, 1853; was educated at Augsburg Seminary, Minneapolis, 1881-6; was pastor in Morris, Minn., 1886-9, Duluth, 1889-95, and in Aitkin county after 1895. [148.]

Carlton Graves
Source: Minnesota Historical Society Collections, Volume XIV, Biographical 1655-1912, compiled by Warren Uphill; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman
GRAVES, CARLTON, physician, b. in Herkimer county, N. Y., July 31, 1856; was graduated in medicine at the University of the City of New York, 1878; came to Minnesota in 1882, and has since practiced in Aitkin.

Christian G. Haugen
Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Richard Ramos 

HAUGEN C G, Aitken.  Public official.  Born Feb 1, 1857 in Norway, son of Gabriel J and Chrisstence (Holwig) Haugen.  Married April 8, 1894 to Carrie Erickson.  Educated in common schools of Norway.  Served as chief of police 1899-1903; sheriff Jan 1, 1903 to date.

Source: The Book of Minnesotans, edited by Albert Nelson Marquis, 1907; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman
HAUGEN, Christian G., sheriff of Aitkin Co.; born in Norway, Feb. 1, 1857; educated in common schools of Norway. Came to America, 1874, and to Minnesota three years later, locating in Fillmore Co. in 1878; learned trade of carpenter and worked at it for a number of years; was chief of police Aitkin, 1898-1902; was elected sheriff of Aitkin Co., Nov., 1902, and has been reelected at each succeeding election. Member I. O. O. F., Modern Woodmen of America. Married at Aitkin, Minn., 1893, to Miss Carrie Erickson. Club: Commercial. Address: Aitkin, Minn.

Benjamin Richard Hassman
Source: The Book of Minnesotans, edited by Albert Nelson Marquis, 1907; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman
HASSMAN, Benjamin Richard, banking; born in McLeod Co., Minn., Sept 29, 1878; son of Fred and Caroline (Malchow) Hassman; graduate Hutchinson (Minn.) High School June, 1900; student in College of Medicine and Surgery, University of Minnesota. 1900-01. Lived on farm with parents until 1897; began at Aitkin, as bookkeeper of bank, and has been cashier and director First National Bank since its organization, 1902. Also member Farm Horse Co., organized 1904. Mayor village of Aitkin; member school board. Republican. Protestant. Member Masonic order, I. O. O. F., M. W. A. Married at Aitkin, Sept. 10, 1902, to Miss Barbara Foley. Club: Commercial. Recreations: Hunting, fishing and camping. Address: Aitkin, Minn.

Dr. Benjamin W. Kelly
Source: History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1904. Transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman.

Although this gentleman has been a resident of Aitkin comparatively few years, he has become widely known as a medical practitioner of remarkable skill and has built up an extensive practice. He is thoroughly equipped by excellent training for his profession and is a gentleman of intelligence and true worth as a physician and fellow citizen. He has a pleasant home and is one of the influential men of his community.

Dr. Kelly was born in Michigan in 1874, and was reared there in Towas City. His father was of Scotch-Irish descent. The great-grandfather came to America with the British army in the war of 1812. The grandmother Kelly, whose maiden name was Ebert, was from Knickerbocker stock. The mother of our subject was of old Colonial stock. The family came to America in 1632 and settled at Ipswich, Massachusetts. They were in the Revolutionary war, the war of 1812, and the paternal ancestors of our subject also served in the latter war. He also had ancestors in the Mexican war and an uncle in the Civil war, the latter dying in the prison at Richmond.

Dr. Kelly attended the common schools of Towas and later entered the High School at East Saginaw, Michigan, and completed a course in this institution. He then attended the medical department of the State University at Ann Arbor and graduated from the institution in 1897. He established himself for the practice of his profession at West Farmington, Ohio, and continued there one year. He located in Aitkin, Minnesota, in 1898, and at once opened his office there and has since built up a lucrative and extensive practice. He selected his location carefully and settled there with a determination to succeed and make his way to the front rank of the fraternity of which he is a member, and it is safe to assert that he has rapidly gained a footing and to assure him of speedy success. Dr. Kelly does not interest himself to any great degree in the political affairs of his community, and does not seek public preferment, but he is interested in the welfare of Aitkin and is identified with the Republican party. He is a member of the village board of health.

Dr. Kelly was married in the spring of 1898 to Miss Mary Haine, of West Farmington, Ohio. Our subject is prominent in secret society affairs, and holds membership in the Masonic fraternity, Modern Woodmen of America and Good Samaritans.

Milton D. King
Source: History Biography of North Dakota; Transcribed by Mary Saggio

MILTON D. KING. This gentleman is one of the most extensive farmers of Burleigh county, and is widely known as a citizen of honest industry and excellent business capacity. He was born on a farm in Frannklis county, New York in 1870.
The father of our subject, Chester King, was a farmer by occupation, and he served four years in the Civil war and received a gunshot wound after he had surrendered to the enemy, from the effects of which he died in August, 1898. The grandfather of our subject, John B. King, also served in the Civil war and was wounded and died in Libby prison.
Our subject s father was a contractor for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, and supplied ties for the construction of the road, and he went to Minnesota in 1873 and lived at Aiken for some time, and in the fall of 1875 moved with his family to Fort Berthold, North Dakota, and he was Indian farmer here two years, and had many experiences with the red men. He removed to Bismarck in 1877, and conducted the Capital Hotel there two years, and then began farming, and in 1880 moved his family to the new home fifteen miles east of Bismarck, since which time our subject has resided on the home farm. The father conducted the dairy business and engaged extensively in that line, and our subject now keeps from twenty to thirty cows for that purpose. He also engages in stock raising extensively, and has one hundred and forty head of cattle, and since 1895 our subject has conducted and had full charge of the farm. The home farm originally consisted of three hundred and twenty acres, but has been increased to six hundred and forty acres of which four hundred acres is cultivated, and Mr. King operates from five to six hundred acres of land. He has a complete set of buildings on the home farm, and of such nature as entitle it to rank among the best improved farms of Burleigh county. He has sixty horses, good machinery and conducts a model farm.
Mr. King attended Carleton College at Northfield, Minnesota, in 1889, 91, 92 and 95, and then assumed management of the home farm. He was married, September 27, 1898, to Miss Mabel Murrey, who was born at White Earth, Minnesota, and was raised among the Indians. Her father, A. K. Murrey, was a farmer, and was of Scotch-Irish descent. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. King, whose birth is dated July 20, 1899. Our subject has held numerous township offices, and is prominent in local affairs. He and wife are members of the Congregational church and are highly esteemed in the community in which they make their home.

Clifford Cady Knox
[Biography Submitted from the research of David Rogers, written by Clifford's sister, Sarah Jane [Knox] Knowlton]

Clifford Cady Knox, one of the early residents of Aitkin, was born near Elizabethtown, Essex County, New York on February 13, 1840 and moved west with his parents, George and Julia Ann [Jackson] Knox in 1845-1846. He grew up in the town of Dell Prairie, Adams County, Wisconsin. In the late '50s and early '60s he worked in the Jewelry business, with his first cousin, Andrew Jackson, in Sparta and Eau Claire. In Eau Claire he enlisted on 21st of August, 1862 in Company I of the 30th Regiment of Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers in the Civil War. While in the army he contacted measles in "open barracks" and this eventually developed into consumption. He & his company served the fall & winter of 1864-65 in Fort Union, Dakota Territory. He survived the war, then worked as a merchant in Eau Clair, Wisc., and St. Paul, Minnesota. In Eau Claire he appears to have taken over or purchased the business of Jackson & Brothers in early 1870. That enterprise lasted only for a year before closing.

On September 10, 1872 he married Myra Wheeler, a teacher in Eau Claire, WI., the daughter of Valentine & Martha Wheeler of Menominee, Dunn Co., Wisconsin. At the time of his marriage Clifford was identified as a merchant in St. Paul, MN. Clifford was the first member of the Knox family to move to Aitkin where he became a partner in business with his brother-in-law, Warren Potter. Warren Potter, a veteran of the Civil War, served for several years in that conflict including the battle of Gettysburg. All his brothers eventually followed Clifford to northern Minnesota which at that time was developing rapidly due to demand for lumber for the building trades in Minnesota and elsewhere. Clifford & Myra moved north to Aitkin, Minnesota probably in the fall of 1872 or the spring of 1873. Clifford & Myra lived in Aitkin, Minnesota, from approximately 1872 until late 1876; there Myra was one of the pioneer teachers, teaching for a time in her home, then later in the newly constructed log school house. In Aitkin, Clifford was a partner with his brother-in-law, Col. Warren Potter in a merchandising business, providing supplies to lumber companies and local residents. Clifford's health gradually deteriorated and for the last two years of his life in Aitkin, he was unable to work. Searching for a more hospitable climate, he & Myra & their family went west where he died at Lovelocks, Pershing County, Nevada on 3 March, 1878, aged 38. He is buried in the Lone Mountain Cemetery west of Lovelock. Clifford & Myra were the parents of two children i.e. Bertha D. Knox born 04 March, 1874 at Dell Prairie, Adams County, Wis. and Pearl A. Knox born 27 January, 1876.

Myra taught school during her married life; after Clifford's death she applied for a widow's Army pension, received it, and moved to Oakland, California. Perhaps because of her experiences in caring for her husband, Myra decided to become a doctor. She entered her course of studies at the Cooper Medical College in San Francisco in 1881 and was one of four women in the class of sixteen. Myra Wheeler Knox graduated from the Cooper Medical College, San Francisco on 11/4/1884 with her M. D. Degree. She appears in the California Register of Physicians and Surgeons from 1885 to 1916, with her office and home address being 958 14th Street, Oakland. Myra Wheeler Knox, M. D. died on October 31, 1915 in Oakland. Just a few months later Margaret, her younger daughter, died in Alameda Co., CA, on 15 May, 1916, Previously, on February 19, 1913, Margaret & Erich O. von Stroheim, who later became a well-known Hollywood actor and director, were married. They separated a few months later. Bertha D. Knox, a teacher, died in Oakland California, after 1964.

Daniel Jackson Knox

George W. Knox

Joseph Knox

Lafayette Knox

Edmund Henry Krelwitz
Source: The Book of Minnesotans, edited by Albert Nelson Marquis, 1907; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman
KRELWITZ, Edmund Henry, lawyer; born at Washington Mine, Mich., Nov. 4, 1872; son of Edmund F. and Elizabeth (Pennock) Krelwitz; educated in common schools, Ontonagon, Mich., Fort Williams, Can., and Duluth, Minn.; graduated from Duluth High School, June, 1891; graduated from Law School, University of Minnesota, degree of LL.M., 1898; post graduate course, degree of D.C.L., same university, 1899. Practiced law in Minneapolis, until 1900; has been in practice at Aitkin, since 1900. Republican. Elected county attorney, Aitkin Co., 1902; reelected without opposition, 1904; reelected, 1906. Episcopalian. Scottish Rite Mason (32 degree), Shriner; member B. P. O. E., Woodmen, Good Samaritans, Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows. Married at Minneapolis, Minn., June 30, 1903, to Miss J. Annabel Huston. Club: Gun. Recreations: Hunting, fishing, country driving, boating. Address: Aitkin, Minn.

J. M. Markham
Source: Minnesota Historical Society Collections, Volume XIV, Biographical 1655-1912, compiled by Warren Uphill; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman
MARKHAM, J. M., b. in Massachusetts in 1859; came to Minnesota in 1877; resided in Aitkin, and engaged in real estate business; was sheriff of Aitkin county; 1883-92; was a representative in the legislature in 1893. [30.]

Ole N. Mausten
Source: Minnesota Historical Society Collections, Volume XIV, Biographical 1655-1912, compiled by Warren Uphill; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman
MAUSTEN, OLE N., farmer, b. in Minnesota in 1864; resides in Aitkin county; was a representative in the legislature in 1899, and a state senator, 1903-5. [30.]

Frank P. McQuillin
Source: History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1904. Transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman.

Frank P. McQuillin, of the McQuillin Land Company, of Aitkin, Minnesota, is a gentleman of thorough knowledge of the topography of the region in which he has made his home since his youth. He has made a success of the real-estate business and handles extensive tracts for the railroad company and capitalists. He is one of the earliest settlers of Aitkin county and became inured to the western hardships and frontier life, and can recount many exciting and interesting incidents of his early life there. He is widely known and is deservedly one of the influential and esteemed citizens of Aitkin county, and his portrait on another page of this volume will be highly appreciated by his friends.

Mr. McQuillin was born on a farm in Ohio in 1852. His father, Jacob McQuillin, was of Pennsylvania Dutch descent and was a farmer by occupation. The great-grandparents of our subject came from Holland, and the great-grandfather was of Holland and Scotch descent. The mother of our subject, Maria (Eddleman) McQuillin, was born in New Jersey, and was of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. Her father fought in the war of 1812.

Frank P. McQuillin was the sixth in a family of eight children, seven of whom are now living. He was raised on a farm, and went to Minnesota in 1854 and settled in Fillmore county. His early education was obtained in a country school held in a log school-house, and he was put to work on the home farm when a young boy and always assisted with the work of the place. The land upon which the family located was not surveyed until 1856. At the age of eighteen years Mr. McQuillin went to Aitkin, Minnesota, and entered the employ of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company and had charge of the land examiner's department. He remained with this company twelve years, and during this time he did much traveling over the country and camped out, spending many winters in the woods in camp. In 1884 he worked for the Wisconsin, Minnesota & Pacific Railroad, examining the state lands which were given to this company, over 265,000 acres. He was with this company nine years, a good share of the time until 1897. He was appointed county treasurer of Aitkin county in 1890 and served two years, and was then elected in 1894 to the office, serving two years. He has dealt in land more or less for many years and in 1896 established a land office in Aitkin and has since devoted himself exclusively to the business. He handles all railroad lands and does a general real-estate business and sells a great share of the land handled in that locality. In June, 1900, Charles H. Warner became associated with Mr. McQuillin in the business, and they now conduct the same under the name of the McQuillin Land Company.

Mr. McQuillin was married in 1880 to Miss Catherine S. George. Mrs. McQuillin was born in Rockford, Wright county, Minnesota, and is of American descent. She is a lady of rare attainments, a graduate of the Boston high school, and prior to her marriage taught in Minnesota. Her father, Gilford D. George, was born in New England and was a carriage and sleigh manufacturer. Mr. and Mrs. McQuillin have been the parents of seven children, namely: Guy C., deceased: Grace K.; Arthur; Frank, deceased; Alice; Margaret and Beulah, all of whom were born in Minnesota. Mr. McQuillin assisted in the organization of Aitkin town and was one of the early village officers, and has ever taken a prominent part in local government. He is a stanch Republican politically.

Warren Potter
Source: Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, MN) Tuesday, September 30, 1913; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman


Every epoch in city, county and state development has its leader, and Aitkin and this portion of northeastern Minnesota are no exception to the rule, and the man who perfectly fits this niche is Warren Potter, its oldest and foremost pioneer, who has been in the thickest of the fight in town and county building. A man without guile and courage undaunted that made him the leader and not a trimmer in business and public affairs. He has the genius character to take a position and stick to it because it is right and not because it might be popular. It is these qualities that have given him a state-wide reputation and upon which he has built his fortune.

Mr. Potter is a native of Bowden, Me., born there Jan. 15, 1842, and came west with his parents at the age of 16 to Reed's Landing on the Mississippi river, May 9, 1850, just four days before Minnesota was admitted into the union of states. His father took up a farm in Troy, Wabasha county, Minnesota, where he remained until the fall of 1859, then struck out for himself, going to Menominee, Wis., to learn the carpenter's trade at the princely salary of $6 a month, half of which he saved and has to this day. He continued here down to 1862. In the summer of that year he was employed as a master carpenter by Capt. William Downs at Downsville, where he had charge of a crew of eight men building three houses at the same time. The war of the rebellion was now at its height and the president had made a call for more men. Mr. Potter responded to it by enlisting in the Fifth Wisconsin at Menominee and went direct to the front with his regiment, joining the army of the Potomac at Antietam, under the command of General McClellan, and later saw service under Generals Burnside, Hooker, Meade and finally Grant. His regiment fought under Gen. Phil Sheridan in the battles of the Shenandoah valley, saw service in Washington, D. C., when General Early was shelling the national capital. His regiment was sent to New York to quell the draft raiders, but when it arrived there was not a raider to be found anywhere, for the New York World had published articles that these Wisconsin men would "eat them up alive." Few of the volunteer men saw harder fighting, for he was in the battle of Gettysburg, the battle of the Wilderness, and was present at the surrender of General Lee. His services to his country having been fulfilled, Mr. Potter returned to civil life and located in Aitkin in the fall of 1871, embarking in the general merchandise business and extensive logging as a side issue. At this time and for many years after pine stumpage and logs were of little value; first, because there were no means of transportation; second, because pine boards for building material were not in active demand. Mr. Potter has seen all this changed, for today sawlogs and pine boards are as standard as gold dollars. The cot-over timber and swamp lands in those days were sold to avoid taxes at from 50 cents to a dollar an acre, that now bring $5, $10 and $20 an acre; within the corporate limits of Aitkin $200 for factory sites.

Mr. Potter is the head of the Potter-Casey company, the largest department store in northeastern Minnesota, occupying nearly one whole block, besides the far-famed Willard hotel and other large individual interests that put him in the six-figure class.

Emily Electa Tenney

I. A. Thorson
Source: History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1904. Transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman.

I. A. Thorson, one of the popular educators of Minnesota, is superintendent of schools of Aitkin, Minnesota. He is an instructor of note, and has devoted his life to study and is a gentleman of high attainments.

Mr. Thorson was born in the village of Rock Dell, Olmsted county, Minnesota, September 22, 1874. His father, J. A. Thorson, was born in Norway, and is a minister in the Lutheran church and has for a number of years served as vice-president of that church organization. He is now in charge of one of the largest congregations in the synod. The mother of our subject, Mrs. Thorson (nee Haugan), was of English-Scandinavian descent, and was born in America. She was an accomplished musician and linguist, and spoke, aside from the English language, German, French and Norwegian, and was a lady of excellent education. Her brother, H. G. Haugan, is president of the State Bank of Chicago, and another brother, H. A. Haugan, is comptroller of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad; The mother comes from aristocratic families on both sides.

I. A. Thorson was the third in a family of eight children, and he was reared in his native village and attended the common schools. At the age of twenty years he graduated from the college at Decorah, Iowa, with the degree of A. B. While attending this institution he had charge of the musical department and was leader of the college band, orchestra and glee club. He also took a prominent part in athletic sports, football, baseball, etc. He completed a review course at Valparaiso Northern Indiana Normal, and in 1895 was elected principal of the high school at Renville, Minnesota. At the time of his assuming charge of this school it was ungraded, and after one year's work there Mr. Thorson had it graded and classed with the state graded schools, and in 1897 it was admitted as a high school. During that year he was elected superintendent of the school, and had ten teachers in his charge. He gave up his duties at Renville in 1899 and entered Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore, Maryland; where he took post-graduate work in history and philosophy. He had previously done graduate work at the University of Minnesota, and after a short time would take the degree of Ph. D. at Johns Hopkins, but received the offer of the superintendency of the Aitkin high school and accepted the same. While attending the former college he was the leader of the university mandolin club and glee club, and took a leading part in all games and athletic work. Since taking charge of the Aitkin high school he has organized athletic teams among the boys and girls, and has also organized a high school band consisting of twenty-five pieces, which is in a flourishing condition and reflects great credit upon the labors of Mr. Thorson. He has brought about radical changes for the betterment of the school system and work of the school, and is a popular and efficient superintendent. He has chosen the profession of teaching and has met with success, and has become one of the best known educators of the northwest.

James W. Tibbetts


Over thirty years ago the gentlemen above named took up his residence in the wilds of Aitkin county. He was not unfamiliar with that region, as he has bravely fought the Indians of Minnesota and Montana and the Dakotas, and was a westerner of the truest type. His pioneer experiences, however, were not any the easier to surmount, and many hardships fell to his lot in his new home. These he encountered bravely, and has remained to witness a most wonderful change in the scenes, and the present prosperity enjoyed in that locality in the direct result of the efforts of himself and others of the early settlers who molded the destiny of the country. He now has a model farm, well improved, near the village of Aitkin, and engages in farming and lumbering with success.

Mr. Tibbetts was born in Kennebec county, Maine, in New Sharon township, September 1, 1825. His father, J. L. Tibbetts, was a farmer and school teacher. He was a graduate of the academy at Belfast, Maine, and was a literary man of considerable note. The grandfather of our subject served seven years in the Revolutionary war. The father of our subject served as a musician in the war of 1812. The great-grandfather settled in America with his five sons, coming to this country from England. The mother of our subject, Christina (Dunton) Tibbetts, was a member of an Old American family, who have been in this country many generations.

Of a family of eleven children our subject was the fifth in order of birth. He was raised on a farm in Maine and received only a limited education, three months' county schooling being all he received in a year. He went to Wisconsin at the age of twenty-two years and worked in the woods there one year, and then went to St. Louis on a raft of lumber. He was taken ill and returned to his home and remained one year. In 1846 he located in Minnesota, at Elk River, thirty miles above Minneapolis, on a farm. He engaged in lumbering and farming there and remained about fifteen years. He lived in a log house, and aided in driving the Winnebago and Sioux Indians from that part of the country, and did considerable Indian fighting in Minnesota and Montana. In 1862 he enlisted in Company A. Eighth Minnesota Regiment, and was sent to the plains in Dakota and Montana. He spent two and a half years on the frontier, and in September, 1864, was sent south. He was in several engagements, and at the close of the war returned to his home in Minnesota. He resided there until 1871, and then located in Aitkin county and brought the first white family into the county.His daughter, Mrs. Seeze, was the first white child born in Aitkin county. Mr. Tibbetts went to his new home by stage to Brainerd, and thence by rail to Aitkin county. He then moved into the forest and built his cabin. He helped shingle the first house that was shingled in Minneapolis, and the work was done on Sunday morning.

Mr. Tibbetts was married before the war to Miss Hannah Heath. Mrs. Tibbetts was born in Brownsville, Maine, and is of an old American family. Four of her brothers served in the Civil war, and her maternal grandfather served in the Revolutionary war. Eleven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Tibbetts, two of whom died in infancy. The surviving children are as follows: Christian, Sarah E., Cassius M., Margarette, Thomas, Giles, Bart, Bertha and Rutherford B. Mr. Tibbetts was the first sheriff of Aitkin county, and served nine years. During these days he had many rough characters to deal with, and always performed his duties faithfully and with justice to all. He was United States deputy marshal three years, and took an active part in the organization of both county and village government. He has been a stanch Democrat for many years.

Joseph W. Wakefield
Source: History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1904. Transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman.

Joseph W. Wakefield, one of the pioneers of Minnesota and a business man of influence in Aitkin county, has won his high station by industry, enterprise and integrity. He is now a resident of Aitkin and is engaged in the logging business.

Mr. Wakefield was born in Washington county, Maine, in 1836. His father, Lewis Wakefield, was of American birth, as was also his grandfather, Benjamin Wakefield. The family is of Scotch ancestry. The mother of our subject was of English descent and bore the name of Abigail Watts prior to her marriage. The grandfather, Samuel Watts, fought in the War of 1812.

Joseph W. Wakefield was the third in a family of seven children. He was raised in Cherryfield, Maine, and attended the village schools. He later learned the millwright's trade from his father. He was the inventor of the patent roller process of flour-making, but was beaten out of his patent. When Mr. Wakefield was twenty years of age the family located in Minneapolis, then St. Anthony. Our subject followed the milling business there a short time, and in 1856 went to northern Minnesota and did some of the first lumbering done above the Pine river. He engaged in logging four years and was up and down the Mississippi river many times driving logs. In 1860 he began trading with the Indians in northern Minnesota and was there at the time of the outbreak in 1862, and was obliged to go to Fort Ripley and then to Minneapolis. On his way to Fort Ripley he was chased afoot three miles by the Indians and barely escaped capture. He traded at many posts in the northern part of the state and had twelve stores in that region. He continued in this business until 1884, at which time he owned a business at Grand Rapids. This be disposed of and went to Aitkin and entered into partnership with G. W. Knox in the mercantile business. They did an extensive business, and Mr. Wakefield later sold his interest to Mr. Knox, and he has, since 1884, engaged in the logging business.

Mr. Wakefield has a family of five children, three of whom were born of his first marriage, and two to the second union. He is a man of sterling worth and has done his full share in the opening up and developing of northern Minnesota. He has witnessed a most wonderful change in that region and has taken an active part in the same, and is among the honored pioneers of the locality. He is thoroughly familiar with the state, and traveled over the country in boats previous to the building of railroads through here. He has always taken an active part in local public affairs, and has served as county commissioner of Aitkin county, and as postmaster at Grand Rapids and Crow Wing, Minnesota. He is a Republican politically.

William L. Wakefield
Source: Minnesota Historical Society Collections, Volume XIV, Biographical 1655-1912, compiled by Warren Uphill; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman
WAKEFIELD, WILLIAM L., pioneer, b. in Cherryfield, Maine, in 1833; d. in Minneapolis, June 17, 1903. He came to Minneapolis in 1854; engaged in trade with the Indians, and in lumbering on Swan river; served in the First Minnesota Regt., 1861-64; settled in Aitkin in 1881, where he opened a hotel; later removed to Sandy Lake, and conducted a store there fifteen years. [31; 237 (28).]

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