Clearwater County, Minnesota

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Ernest H. Reff
Source: Minnesota: Its Story and Biography (1915) Vol. 3, page 1454; transcribed by FoFG mz

Among the men who have supplied hope and enthusiasm, as well as hard work and business enterprise to the development of Northern Minnesota, Ernest H. Reff deserves particular mention in this work for his part in the history of Bagley and Clearwater County. Mr. Reff went to that locality as a homesteader before the organization of Clearwater County, and there have been few movements of any importance since with which his name has not been influentially associated.

Ernest H. Reff was born in Jefferson County, New York, January 27, 1876, a son of Christopher and Mary (Backus) Reff. His father was a farmer, and about five years after the birth of his son, in June, 1881, arrived in Minnesota, and for about eight years was connected with school work as a teacher. In 1897 he took up a homestead in what is now Clearwater County, and remained on it in the work of proving up and developing the land until 1902. When Clearwater County was organized Mr. Reff was appointed the first clerk of court, held that for two years under appointment and then was elected for two successive terms, so that his service continued for ten years. Mr. Reff's chief business is an abstracter, having purchased the Clearwater County abstract books several years ago and being now owner of the Clearwater Abstract Company. He helped organize the Bagley Building & Loan Association, of which he has been secretary, and also organized and is president of the Clearwater County Agricultural Society. He was former president and one of the organizers of the Co-operative Creamery Association of Bagley. He has done a great deal to stimulate enterprise in an agricultural way, and is credited with having brought into Clearwater County the first thoroughbred cattle, hogs and poultry. For six years he was the manager for the Clearwater County Agricultural Exhibits at the State Fair, and in every possible way has helped to forward movements for the upbuilding of his home town and county. For a number of years he served as township clerk. Before the organization of Clearwater County he served as deputy superintendent of schools, and held all the examinations for local teachers. He is a member of the school board at Bagley and was on that board when the new schoolhouse was constructed.

Fraternally Mr. Reff is a past noble grand of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Royal League. On August 17, 1901, he married Sophia Pattison of Cormorant, Minnesota. Their three children are named Alan Randolph, Mildred Mary and Robert Ernest.

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