State of Minnesota

 


Biographies

[These are state related. Make sure and check the individual county sites for biographies which relate specifically to one county]
 

John Joseph Abercrombie
Source: Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Volume 14; Minnesota Biographies (1655-1912) published 1912; page 3; transcribed by FoFG mz

ABERCBOMBIE, JOHN JOSEPH, soldier, b. in Tennessee, 1802; d. in Roslyn, N. Y., Jan. 3, 1877. He was graduated at West Point, 1822; captain, 1836; served in the Florida and Mexican wars, and was brevetted lieutenant colonel; was in Minnesota at the beginning of the civil war, through which he served, and was brevetted brigadier general
at its close. Fort Abercrombie, N. D., on the Red river, adjoining Minnesota, was named in his honor.


William Ellery Almy
Source: Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Volume 14; Minnesota Biographies (1655-1912) published 1912; page 11

ALMY, WILLIAM ELLERY, soldier, b. in Washington, D. C, Nov. 9, 1856; d. in San Juan, Porto Rico, Aug. 1, 1901. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1879; served from Minnesota in the war with Spain; attained the rank of major in 1899.


Simon Anahwangmanne
Source: Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Volume 14; Minnesota Biographies (1655-1912) published 1912; page 13

ANAHWANGMANNE, SIMON, a Sioux of the Wahpeton band, was an early convert to Christianity under the teaching of Rev. S. R, Riggs; was friendly to the whites during the outbreak of 1862, and aided in rescuing white captives; was a scout with Gen. Sibley's troops in 1863; died on the Sisseton Reservation, South Dakota, in 1891.


Seba Smith Brown
Source: Progressive men of Minnesota. Published by The Minneapolis Journal (1897) submitted by Diana Heser Morse

The first shot fired by the American patriots to emphasize their determination to be freed from the tyranny of Great Britain was from a gun held in the hands of Captain David Brown, the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He lived at Concord, Massachusetts, and commanded the Concord minute men on April 19, 1775, when, at the North Bridge the regulars poured their first volley across the river into the ranks of the farmer boys and instantly killed Captain Davis, of the Acton company. Captain Brown, raising his own gun to ready, gave the command, "Fire!" at the same time firing his own gun and bringing down the first Britisher in the War of the Revolution. The gun he used that day is now in good condition at the old homestead in Baldwin, Maine. This branch of the Brown family is traced back to Thomas Brown, who was born in 1651, and died in 1718. His son, Ephraim, was born in 1689, and was married to Hannah Wilson. Their youngest son, of a family of eight children, was Captain David Brown. He married Abagail Munroe and twelve children were born to them. Their son, Ephraim, was the grandfather of Seba S. Brown. He was born at Concord, but when a young man moved to Maine and settled upon and cleared from the heavy woods the farm upon which Cyrus Shell Brown, the father of Seba, was born. Cyrus was born in 1802. He was a thrifty and frugal farmer; a man of good judgment and absolute integrity, held in high esteem by his neighbors. He was a colleague of the late James G. Blaine in the Maine legislature in 1862. His wife, Mary, was born in 1805 in Parsonfield, Maine. She was the daughter of Major Paul Burnham and Comfort Pease. Their son, Seba, was born August 7, 1841, on the old farm at Baldwin, Maine. The lad followed the usual vocation of farmers' boys of that period--worked on the farm during the summers and attended the district school in the winters. This he did until he was eighteen years of age. During the next three years he studied in Gorham Academy, paying his own expenses in part by teaching in the winters. When President Lincoln issued his call for men in 1862, Seba was at his books; these he left with his room mate, and, receiving a blanket from his mother, which she had woven, he started out to serve his country. He joined Company K, Twenty-fifth Maine Infantry, as a private, and was chosen by his comrades as second lieutenant. During the next nine months of his service, however, he received rapid promotion; was commissioned first lieutenant and then captain of his company. With it he served in the Army of the Potomac; but was detached for picket duty at Chantilly, Virginia, during the summer of 1863. In November of that year the regiment's term of service having expired, Mr. Brown left the army and came to Minnesota. His first winter here he spent in the pineries, swamping and tending sled for a salary of thirty-five dollars a month. From that time to the present Mr. Brown has been engaged in the lumbering business in some form or other. In 1889 he was appointed by Governor Merriam as surveyor general of logs and lumber for the second district of Minnesota. The fact that he is now serving his fourth term in this office is an indication of his competency to hold this responsible position. He has always been a Republican. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the Loyal Legion; also of the Masonic body. October 17, 1877, he was married to Ann Elizabeth Anderson. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Brown, of whom only two are living, Cyrus Shell, aged twelve, and Roy Stuart, aged seven.


HENRY LINK
“A History of the State of Oklahoma” by Luther B. Hill – Vol. II – Published 1910. Transcribed by D. Donlon

He has lived in Oklahoma City since 1892, and for many years was known among a wide circle of friends as a traveling salesman, is now engaged in conducting some large mining interests in the Colorado field. As president and general manager of the Little Bernice Mining and Milling Company, of Custer County, Colorado, and as one of the directors of the New Bull Domingo Mining and Milling Company, in the same county (the latter being a lead and silver proposition), he has been instrumental in developing some first-class properties and in placing them within the control of his Oklahoma City friends. Notwithstanding the location of the mines, the properties might well be considered an Oklahoma affair, since Mr. Link and his financial associates have promoted them.
Mr. Link was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1860, and after being educated in that city became identified at an early age with mercantile pursuits, being located for several years in St. Louis and Kansas City. For eleven years he traveled in the interests of the Cudahy Packing Company, also several years for the McCord-Collins Company wholesale grocers. His territory was Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and other portions of the southwest, and the acquaintance formed with the substantial business men of this section was a very important factor in his success when he took up independent business. He gave up all other business connections in 1905 in order to devote his entire time to the promotion of his mining interests in Colorado. He had made exhaustive study of mining, not only from the geological and scientific standpoint, but from the standpoint of the practical business man conducting mining on a legitimate basis the same as in any other business. He has applied strict business principles and management to every feature of his business, from the work of the prospector to the organization of the company, establishing the plants and installing machinery, and as a result his enterprises have proved financially successful and have brought a large number of investors to pin their faith in his sound judgment and methods. He has a high standing in the business circles of Oklahoma City.
At Kansas City, Missouri, Mr. Link married Miss Delphine H. Howard, a native of Minnesota, but who was reared in Wisconsin. In their pleasant home in Oklahoma City they have a family of four children: Hortense, Delia, Louise, and Harry H.


A. L. Mohler
Source: Progressive men of Minnesota. (Shutter, Marion Daniel, 1853-ed.) Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Journal (1897) transcribed by Vicki Bryan

A. L. Mohler has probably been connected with the railroad service in the Northwest as long as any other man now engaged in that line of business. His business career has been a continual advance from the bottom to the top. A record of his career shows that he has earned his promotion from one stage of responsibility to another by fidelity to his trust and the possession of superior business ability. A. L. Mohler is of Swiss descent on his father's side, and on his mother's side of Welsh origin. His father's ancestry came to Pennsylvania in 1650 and his mother's to Maryland in 1692. Both families were members of that persecuted and yet sterling people, the Quakers. The subject of this sketch was born in Euphrata, Pennsylvania, May 6, 1849. His educational advantages were those of the common school, supplemented by a business training in a commercial college. He grew up on the farm and entered the railroad service as a warehouse office clerk for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad at Gait, Illinois, in 1868. In 1870 he was made station agent of the Rockford, Rock Island and St. Louis Railway at Erie, Illinois. His business methods attracted the attention of his superiors and the next year he was given a clerkship in the department of operating accounts in the auditors' office of the same road. Soon afterwards he transferred his services to the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Minnesota, now the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern and was employed in the service of that company from 1871 to October, 1882. During that time he served two years as pioneer agent and traveling agent, two years as chief clerk in the general freight department, from which he was promoted to the position of assistant general freight agent. After one year in that office he was promoted to the position of general freight agent and continued in that office for six years. In 1882 the old St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba, now the Great Northern Railroad, was extending its business rapidly into the Northwest and needed just such men as A. L. Mohler for the best promotion of its interests, and October 9, of that year, he was offered the position of General Freight Agent. He occupied this office until March 1, 1886, when he was transferred to the position of land commissioner: a very important office in the service of that company, as it had large tracts of land to dispose of. The tide of immigration poured in the Northwest and settled along the lines of the Great Northern Railroad. Mr. Mohler continued in this position until January 15, 1887, when he was returned
to the freight department as General Freight Agent and held that position a little over a year. April 1, 1888, he was appointed General Superintendent of the whole line and in October of the same year was promoted to the position of Assistant General Manager. A year later, or September 1, 1889, he was promoted to the position of General Manager of the Great Northern and Montana Central Railroads as successor to Allen Manvel, the deceased president of the A., T. & S. F. He held this position until December 1 1893. In July 1894, the Minneapolis and St. Louis reorganized and, restored from the hands of the receiver to its stockholders, called Mr. Mohler to the position of general manager, the office which he now holds, and under whose direction this excellent property is enjoying a constantly increasing prosperity, and has paid the first dividend in the history of the old or new organization. Mr. Mohler is a splendid example of a self-made man, one who has demonstrated his ability to seize the opportunities which come to men of industry and merit, and by an exhibition of self-reliance and perseverance he has achieved the best which his chosen profession has to offer.


Cyrus Little Smith
Source: Progressive men of Minnesota. Published by The Minneapolis Journal (1897) submitted by Diana Heser Morse

C. L. Smith was born at Dover, Wayne County, Ohio, January 22, 1845. John R. Smith, his father, was a farmer, and while Cyrus was still a small child his parents removed to Southern Michigan, settling in an unbroken wilderness. There were no schools on the Michigan frontier in those early days, and Cyrus was taught to read by his mother. As the country settled up, schools of a poor quality began to be established, and at the age of eleven the boy secured his first four months' schooling. This was in a little log school house, where presided a Baptist preacher. The seats were oak slabs with stout wooden pins for legs. He attended this school for two winter, learning the rudiments of reading, spelling and arithmetic. During these two terms he had but one book of his own, the arithmetic. In 1858 he went to Southern Indiana and worked in a nursery for the next years. When the war broke out in 1861, Mr. Smith enlisted, though only sixteen years of age. He became a member of Company E, Eleventh Michigan Infantry, and served three years and two months, principally in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. Among the noted battles in which the participated were those of Stone River, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge and the battles before Atlanta. Soon after being mustered out of the service he came to Minnesota, in October, 1845, and engaged in selling trees and shrubbery for an Eastern nursery company. At the same time he began planting and experimenting on his own account, and in this way proved his inborn taste for horticultural affairs. Mr. Smith frankly admits a financial failure at the nursery business, the principal cause being poor health. He suffered from diseases contracted in the army, which prevented him from working out doors a large part of each year, but he acquired considerable practical experience in nursery and gardening matters which he turned to account in newspaper and literary work. For all this time he has been largely engaged with horticultural and agricultural papers, and addressing farmers at institutes and other gatherings throughout the state. At the same time he has not abandoned farming and gardening, but has cultivated a tract of forty acres, where he raises various trees and a variety of crops, largely for experimental purposes. As a Republican Mr. Smith has been especially active since 1885. During these later years he has done much aggressive work for the Republican party. His observation of the condition of the farming classes and the common people for many years have convinced him that, notwithstanding all the mistakes made by the party of his choice, its principles and policies have been for the best interests of the people. During the Fish-Donnelly regime of the Populist party, Mr. Smith was state organizer of Republican League Clubs, and made an aggressive campaign against the Populistic influences. He frequently met the enemy on the stump and was active and successful in joint debates. Mr. Smith was one of the organizers of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society in 1866. He served as secretary of the State Forestry Association for four years and a member of the executive committee for six years. He has been a member of the State Dairymen's Association since its organization, and on January 25, 1895, was appointed assistant dairy commissioner of the State Dairy and Food Commission of Minnesota. Mr. Smith rendered valued service in preparing the Minnesota forestry exhibit for the World's Fair in 1893. He took an active part in the first farmers' institute held in the state, and aided in securing their establishment as a permanent state institution. Since 1891 he has been agricultural editor of the Farmers' Tribune.


Charles Arnette Towne
Source: Progressive men of Minnesota. (Shutter, Marion Daniel, 1853-ed.) Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Journal (1897) transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Charles Arnette Towne is the representative in Congress of the Sixth District of Minnesota. Until the adoption of the money plank of the platform at St. Louis, June 18, 1896, he was an ardent Republican, cherishing as one of the proudest events in his family history that his father cast his first ballot in 1856 for Fremont and Dayton, the first standard bearers of the Republican party. Mr. Towne was born November 21, 1858, on a farm in Oakland County, Michigan, the son of Charles Judson Towne and Laura Ann Fargo (Towne). His father was a farmer, whose life was uneventful and devoted to the rearing of his family and the faithful performance of his duties as a citizen. The American line of the Towne family is traced to John William and Joanna Blessing Towne, who landed at Salem, Massachusetts, in 1636. Among his numerous descendants have been Salem Towne, the author of school text books in general use a generation or two ago, and Henry M. and A. X. Towne, both of whom became prominent in the present generation as railroad men. On the mother's side the ancestry embraced branches of the Mason and Lawrence families, prominent in the Colonial history of this country. Charles Arnette began his education in the common schools of Michigan, and is a firm believer in the value of influences which that democratic institution exerts in the shaping of motives and sympathies and in the formation of character. He entered the University of Michigan in 1875, but was not able to pursue his studies continuously on account of poor health. He was graduated, however, in June 1881, from the academic department with the degree of Ph. B. He belonged to no secret college societies. He was elected orator of his class in the senior year, and delivered in that capacity at graduation an address on civil service reform. He also lectured on that subject in the winter of 1880 and 1881 at the university, as part of the lecture course in which ex-Governor Austin Blair, Professor Moses Tyler, Judge T. J\l. Cooley and Hon. Sherman S. Rogers participated. After graduation Mr. Towne declined several offers of professorships, but accepted an appointment as chief clerk in the department of public instruction at Lansing, Michigan. In that capacity, and in a similar one in the state treasury department, he remained until the fall of 1885. In the meantime he had prosecuted the study of law, and, with a natural aptitude for public speaking, had participated in state and national campaigns, an experience which he began as early as the campaign of 1876. In 1884 he was talked of by the newspapers and politicians as a suitable candidate for congress from the Fifth District of Michigan. He made no effort to secure the nomination, however, regarding himself on account of his youth as not properly equipped for the office. He was then twenty-five. In April 1885, he was admitted to the bar and began the practice of law at Marquette in March 1868. In March 1889, he moved to Chicago, where he continued the practice of law until June 1890. He was then much impressed with the future of Duluth, and in August of that year located in that city, where he still resides.

His professional career has not been long, but it has been a successful one, involving various important litigations. He is a member of the firm of Phelps, Towne & Harris, formed January 1, 1895, and composed of H. H. Phelps, L. C. Harris and himself. Mr. Towne never held any office prior to his election to Congress, although at different times solicited to become a candidate. He was elected to Congress in 1894, and his career as a member of that body has been a brilliant one. Mr. Towne has been an ardent advocate of bimetallism, and no speech delivered in the House of Representatives on that side of the
money question during the first session of the Fifty-fourth Congress attracted nearly as much attention as his, an effort which at once aroused interest in him as one of the most brilliant orators in the house and among the foremost advocates of the financial views which he holds. Mr. Towne is largely a self-made man, for, while his father, out of the scantiness of his limited resources, and out of his great genius for economy, furnished from the proceeds of his labor a large part of the money necessary to pay college expenses, and while some assistance was received from Dr. C. P. Parkhill, of Owosso, Michigan, whom Mr. Towne honors in memory as one of the grandest and noblest characters he ever knew, much of the money necessary for the prosecution of his studies was earned by himself as a school teacher and in other ways. Mr. Towne was married April 20, 1887, to Claude Irene Wiley, at Lansing, Michigan. They have no children.


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