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Meeker County MN 
Genealogy and History


Biographies "H - I - J"


John Hallgren
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

JOHN HALLGREN, a farmer and stock raiser residing on section 17, Greenleaf township, is one of those hospitable and open-hearted farmers whom it is a pleasure to meet and who reflect credit on the community in which they live. He is a native of Gothland, Sweden, and was born on the 1st of November, 1839. He left his native land in 1867 for the United States, and settled in Michigan. While there he was married on the 6th of November, 1873, to Mary S. Swanson, and their union has been blessed with three children, as follows – John A., born December 6, 1874; Emma C., born August 11, 1877; and John E., born May 10, 1884. All of these are living except John A., who died on the 2nd of February, 1881, and was buried at Ishpeming, Mich. Mr. Hallgren remained in Michigan until 1885, when he removed to Minnesota and purchased the farm in Greenleaf township where he now lives. He has a valuable farm, a comfortable home and is in comfortable circumstances financially.

While in Michigan Mr. Hallgren followed his profession as an engineer and had the misfortune to lose his hearing, or at least to greatly impair it, while fixing the whistle on his engine, it being one of the largest in that State. The ice had formed about the pipe and he went up with an axe to knock it off. When the ice dropped it struck the lever which blew off the whistle, and the roar was so tremendous that it impaired his hearing as stated.


Christian Halvorsen
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

CHRISTIAN HALVORSEN, one of the thrifty farmers of Cosmos township, residing upon section 22, is a native of the Kingdom of Norway, born in November, 1844. He was reared in the land of his birth and made it his home until he was some twenty-five years of age, when he crossed the ocean to America. He resided for one year in Wisconsin and then came to Meeker county, arriving at Litchfield in the first passenger train run into that village. In 1870 Mr. Halvorsen bought the claim of O.K. Nelson to the place he now lives on, and the next year filed on it as homestead, he having declared his intention of becoming an American citizen.

During that summer he broke up some five acres of land and then took a trip elsewhere, returning the following winter, and in 1871 was married to Miss Annie Hanson. They have a family of eight children – Minnie, Helen, Henry, Carl, Alma, Clara, Lena and Lawrence. Mr. Halvorsen is among the rising men of the township.


Halver O. Halversen
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

HALVER O. HALVERSEN, one of Acton township’s representative farmers, is one of the best known citizens in the western part of Meeker county. He is a native of Wisconsin, born on the 26th of October, 1850. His parents were Henry and Margarette Halversen, both natives of Norway. They came to the United States in 1846, and settled in Wisconsin, where they engaged at farming, and remained until 1856, then came to Meeker county, Minn., and settled upon a farm, which the father purchased in Litchfield township. In 1883 they sold this, and the father purchased a farm in Acton township, which he still owns. At this writing the father is visiting in Washington Territory.

H. O. Halversen, the subject of this sketch, was brought up on a farm. Upon attaining his manhood he was married to Mrs. Hattie Olson, in 1873, widow of Gutrom Olson, who died in 1867. By her first marriage his wife had one child, Gurine, who was born December 5, 1867, and died July 21, 1882. Mr. and Mrs. Halversen have been blessed with the following children – Mattie A., born May 13, 1875; Henry C., born February 27, 1877, and died July 22, 1882; and Ida O., born January 10, 1879, and died July 19, 1882 (these three children died of diphtheria, and were buried on the same day); and the following children, who are living – Mattie A., born July 13, 1875; Ole L., born August 22, 1881; and Ida Gurine Henrietta, born December 29, 1883. Mr. Halversen has been very successful in his farming operations, and is well-off in this “world’s goods.” He has in all 291 acres of land, and lives on the northwest quarter of section 24, where he has a neat and comfortable residence, and splendid barn, and other farm buildings. In addition to his farming and stock-raising interests, he runs a steam thresher during the threshing season. At the time of the Indian outbreak, although Mr. Halversen was but a lad of twelve, he has a distinct recollection of the events during that trying time. His parents fled with the family from their Litchfield farm, and went to Forest City for safety. A year later, however, Halver returnd with his father and helped put in the crops. This matter receives full attention in the chapter relating to the massacre. In religion Mr. Halversen and family are members of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, and in political matters, Mr. Halversen is a republican.


William Hamilton
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

WILLIAM HAMILTON, an ex-Union soldier, and one of the most intelligent and prominent citizens in the northern part of Meeker county, is a resident of section 36, Forest Prairie township, where he has lived since about the year 1870.

Mr. Hamilton was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, on the 17th of March, 1833, and is a son of Thomas and Belle Hamilton. The mother died in Ireland, when William was six years of age, and in 1841, the father brought the family to America, and settled in Bellview, Eden county, Mich., where he lived until the time of his death, in 1880. At the time of his death the father was about eighty year of age. He was an educated man and a school teacher for many years; clerk in the Presbyterian Church, of which he was an exemplary member, and otherwise was prominent in the locality in which he lived.

William Hamilton, the subject of this sketch, began life for himself when about twenty years old. He came to Minnesota in 1858, and remained at St. Paul and Minneapolis until 1861, when, on the 26th of August, he enlisted in the Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and went into service, his regiment being assigned to the Fourteenth Army Corps. He saw very active service, participating in the battles of Chickamauga, Hoover’s Gap, Mill Spring, Berryville, besides many skirmishes. In one of these battles he lost the use of his left arm. He finally was honorably discharged at St. Paul, in August, 1864, and returned to Michigan.

Mr. Hamilton was married at St. Anthony, now East Minneapolis, in September, 1864, to Miss Martha J. Dayton, a native of Pennsylvania. They have five living children – Thomas C., Minna B., Earl, Katie and Olive G. Minna B. is now married to A. J. Lynn, a resident of Kingston township.

In political matters Mr. Hamilton is a republican, and in religious matters the family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


Peter E. Hansen
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

PETER E. HANSEN, of Litchfield, a pioneer of Meeker county, and one of the most prominent citizens in this part of the State, is a native of Sweden, born on the 12th of June, 1845. His parents were Hans and Betsy Peterson, both natives of the same country. They came to America in company with about 150 others of the same nationality, and landed in New York on the 4th of July, 1857. From there they pursued their journey westward to Minnesota, coming by way of Dunleith, Ill., then the terminus of the railway lines, and Dubuque, Iowa. They stopped for about one month at Carver, Minn., where a full outfit of oxen, wagons and other supplies was purchased, and came on, stopping briefly at Glencoe, Hutchinson and Greenleaf, and finally arrived at Larson’s Grove, in what is now Litchfield township, Meeker county, Minn. There they remained about two weeks, and the men made exploring trips in search of land. The bulk of the original party that left the old country settled in various other counties in the Northwest, while about fifty found homes in Meeker county, mostly in Swede Grove township. Among the number who were members of the party who found homes in Meeker county, were the following – Bengt Hansen, J. Larson, Nels Larson, Hogan Peterson, Andrew Peterson, Nels Hansen, Ole Nelson, Peter Larson, Andrew Larson, Nils Clemens, Nils Elofson, Nils H. Peterson and Peter H. Peterson.

Hans Peterson, the father of Peter E. Hansen, found land that suited him and took a preemption on section 29, in Swede Grove township, where he began improvements, and where the family lived in quiet, contentment and prosperity until the terrible massacre of 1862. Something of the disadvantage under which these Swedish pioneers labored may be understood when it is stated that not a man in the colony could speak English, and they were totally ignorant of American customs or manners. The Hansen family, or rather Hans Peterson’s family, moved onto their claim on the 3rd of August, 1857, and their first move was to put up a shed, which was constructed of poles laid from tree to tree, thereby making a framework. Instead of covering this with hay and matting it down, so as to shed water, the father directed that it be covered with brush. Of course, whenever it rained, the family would be drenched and nearly drowned out. When this occurred the father would direct the boys to put on more brush, and it would accordingly be piled on, but to no avail, however. A little later a stable was built, with the framework arranged like a pyramid, into which the family was moved, and which did very well for a time. The most of the trading, both as to lumber and provisions, at that time, was done in St. Paul or Minneapolis, as the trading post at Forest City was then a small affair, as one old settler puts it, “the whole stock of goods could be loaded on a wheelbarrow.” An old second-hand stove had been purchased by Mr. Peterson, but he had been unable to secure but one length of pipe, so after a little perplexing study, a hollow log was substituted and thus the proper length of pipe was secured. When this got dry and well-seasoned, however, it took fire, thereby creating much excitement and leaving them in the same predicament as before. This was remedied, however, and matters again ran smooth. As cold weather approached, in the fall of 1857, a cellar was dug about forty feet square, but as no framework could be secured, planks were laid over the top, and it was covered with gravel and earth. Then the question arose as to how the “dug out” should be lighted, and finally a little framework was constructed overhead in which were set panes of glass. This did very well for a time, but when snow came and covered it up, the dogs, which the family kept, fell through the window. When it rained the water soaked right through, as the roof was flat, and it was necessary to keep all the clothes and perishable goods in barrels to prevent them from being ruined. A short time later, however, they put in plank, and otherwise improved the condition of things, and thus they occupied the “cellar” for about three years, or until in 1860, when they procured lumber from a saw-mill which had been started in what is now Acton township, and with this they completed a house, into which they moved and live for about two years, in peace and prosperity.

During this time there were but few, if any, new settlers. There were many Indians roving through the country, and in camp near the cabins of the settlers, and the pioneers were constantly trading back and forth with them. They were always friendly, but occasionally a little troublesome, on account of their begging, and especially their stealing propensities, yet as a rule, if the right course was followed, stolen goods could generally be recovered. Peter Hansen was associated with the Indians a great deal. He was an inveterate hunter in those days, and became noted as a dead shot, and for that matter he has maintained his reputation and skill in that line to the present day. His relations with the Indians were always pleasant and friendly until the time of the outbreak.

On the morning of the memorable Sunday that inaugurated the carnival of bloodshed – the 17th day of August, 1862 – a band of fourteen Indians passed the Peterson claim on their way to the Manannah woods, and it was supposed, from subsequent developments, that they went to murder a man against whom they had a grudge. Failing, however, to find him, they returned, stopping at Hogan Peterson’s, where they learned of the Jones and Baker massacre, and passed near the scene of that slaughter, exchanged a few shots with some settlers who had gathered there, and then made their way southwesterly to the Minnesota River.

The news of the Jones and Baker murders spread among the settlers like wildfire, notwithstanding the fact that the country was so sparsely settled. On Monday the word came to get together and prepare for defense or flight, and at Hansen’s a few things were piled into the wagon, the oxen hitched up, and they went to a postoffice on section 33, Swede Grove township, where about one hundred families had gathered; but the fear had seized all, and they at once proceeded to the shores of Lake Ripley, where they camped on the night of the 18th of August. Very few slept that night, as every new arrival reported horrible murders and savage atrocities committed by the Indians. The next morning they went to Forest City, where the families were left. P.E. Hansen and his father, accompanied by several others, then started out to go back to the farm for provisions. When out a short distance they met the remnant of a fleeing party, several of whom had been killed and mutilated, and then they realized that an Indian outbreak had really been inaugurated, and that the previous killing was not an isolated or single case, but was merely the beginning of a terrible warfare on the part of the Indians to drive the whites from what they considered their hunting grounds. The party at once returned to Forest City, and a fort was at once built. Provisions were scarce, and it was some time before any one ventured out in search of any. Peter Hansen, however, with his gun, managed to keep his father’s and several other families, supplied with wild game. About a week later a party of eight or ten started out for the purpose of burying dead and picking up wounded. They got as far as Peter Loen’s, on section 5, Swede Grove township, fifteen miles from Forest City, where they exchanged several shots with Indians, no one being hurt, and then turned and came back. The next day the “company of forty-one” was organized, P.E. Hansen, being among the number. After the return of this expedition to Forest City, they went to work and completed the fort, but not a family moved into it on that night, all sleeping in the huts they had been occupying. During the night the Indians made an attack, and every one scrambled for the fort immediately after the first volley, some in undress uniform, while others were covered with blankets and bed quilts. The Indians withdrew the following morning. After this, for a week or two, every one stayed pretty close to the fort. Provisions were very scarce; flour was meted out to the various families in equal parts, and was worth almost its weight in gold. About two weeks after the attack the Hansens started one evening for the farm for the purpose of getting provisions. They fastened their oxen, upon reaching the farm, and loaded the wagon with provisions, after which, as the father thought there was no danger, they went into the bed-room and laid down in order to get some rest. Just as they were about to fall asleep, they were aroused by a frightful crash in the outer room. In an instant they were wide awake, and as visions of painted, blood-thirsty savages flashed through their brains their hair stood on end. A moment later they heard the welcome “meow” of a cat, and the attack was explained, much to their relief. The cat, in its attempt to gain admittance, had broken through the window. They then returned to Forest City, where their provisions were divided with their friends, and therefore the supply did not last over a week. In the meantime those coming in brought terrible reports of Indian ravages. Notwithstanding this fact, the father, Hans Peterson, decided to again go to the farm. He yoked the oxen, and, taking an old double-barreled shot gun, started. He found the cattle about the house and salted them, thinking their presence was a pretty safe indication that there were no Indians about, as they would stampede at sight or smell of a “redskin.” He lit a lamp in the house and went to work in earnest, and had loaded the wagon nearly full, when suddenly he heard the cattle running and bellowing. He dashed out and found the cattle on the run, and a few moments later he heard the Indians yelling about the cabin. He kept on in his northeast course, and laid all the next day in the Manannah woods, and at night made his way back to Forest City. There he told the story, and for two weeks no further attempt was made by them to reach the farm. At the end of that time, Peter Hansen, accompanied by several others, again visited the farm by night, and found the house burned to the ground, and while there were startled by hearing the Indians yelling in the distance. They at once took the back track and arrived in Forest City before day-break, having tramped over thirty miles during the night. No further trips were made until in November, when matters had quieted down somewhat. They then found the cattle all right, but the Indians had smashed everything in the wagon and feasted on the sheep, evidentally having camped near by for some time. The family remained at Forest City for about three years, and then, in 1865, the “Indian war” having closed, they returned to Swede Grove township and settled upon a homestead, which the father had taken on section 20. The old folks still live upon the place.

We now take up the personal history of Peter E. Hansen. He remained at home until 19th of June, 1867, when he was married to Rachel Halverson. The ceremony was performed at Forest City by Squire James B. Atkinson, and the event was heartily celebrated by a large attendance of friends. Their union has been blessed with four children, as follows – Nellie O., born February 3, 1871; Harry A., born February 8, 1873; Jennie F., born August 16, 1875; and Lillie May, born February 5, 1886. Mr. Hansen has been successful beyond the lot of most men, and is now among the largest land-owners in the State. He is owner, either alone or jointly with a partner, of 78,000 acres of land, situated in Meeker, Renville, Kandiyohi, Stearns, Douglas, Pope, Grant, Otter Tail and Wright counties, and besides has large landed interests in the city of Minneapolis and several villages. He is one of the directors and also vice president of the Meeker County Bank, and holds stock in a number of local enterprises. In 1880 he was appointed as agent of the Manitoba Railway Company to handle their lands, and now has charge of the railroad lands in Meeker, Carver, Wright, and Renville counties, and part of Stearns county. He is also loan agent for the Kelly Brothers, of Minneapolis. Mr. Hansen is recognized as one of the shrewdest and best business men in this part of the State. He has acquired immense property interests, and has always taken an active interest in all matters calculated to benefit the locality in which he lives. Mr. Hansen resides on section 18, Litchfield township, although he carries on business in the village; and his residence and farm improvements are among the finest to be found anywhere in the State.


Hanson Family Biographies of Meeker County Minnesota


George W. Harding
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

GEORGE W. HARDING, one of the leading citizens of Darwin township, and the present town clerk, is living on his fertile and highly-cultivated farm on section 21. He was born in Hardenburgh, Ind., October 3, 1852, and is the son of Mitchell and Mary A. Harding. He was reared and educated in the “Hoosier State” and remained a resident there until April 25, 1866, when he came to Meeker county, Minn., with his father, and settled in Darwin township, where he now makes his home.

Mitchell Harding, the father of our subject, was born in Genesee county, N.Y., March 14, 1808, and came West and settled in Indiana in 1836, one of the pioneers of that noble State. His father was a veteran of the conflict with Great Britain in 1812-1815, and died at Fort Erie during the war. Mitchell Harding makes his home with his son, George, having given up active business pursuits, as he is over eighty years old.

George Harding was united in marriage, April 5, 1874, with Miss Josie L. Smith, and by this union they were the parents of three children – Earl C., born March 1, 1875, died October 8, 1880; Jennie M., born May 11, 1878; and George W., born July 26, 1881.

Our subject is politically a republican, and has been called on several times by his fellow citizens to discharge official duties. He was elected chairman of the town board of supervisors, and served in that capacity three terms. Town assessor and town clerk he has also been, and at present holds the two offices – clerk of the township and school district treasurer. Religiously, he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, while his estimable wife holds communion with the Church of God, and both are sincere, earnest, Christian people.


Virgil H. Harris
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

VIRGIL H. HARRIS, the popular druggist of Litchfield, is the descendent of one of the colonial families of Virginia, and was born in Hanover, Licking county, Ohio, May 14, 1840.

John Harris, the great-grandfather of our subject, was a native of Hanover county, Va., where he remained until his death. His sons drifted to North Carolina, where they became prominent men, and were prime movers in the movement for Independence passed at Charlotte, Mecklenburgh county, N.C., May 20, 1775, antedating the Declaration of Independence of the Continental Congress over one year, and furnishing many of the ideas for that celebrated document. Subsequently they removed to South Carolina, and settled on the Santee river, from which place Ephraim Harris, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, in company with Daniel Boone, who was a warm friend of his, made a trip into the wilderness that is now the State of Ohio. After prospecting over that territory, Mr. Harris, about 1820, took up a homestead on the Licking river, in what is now Licking county, and there made a settlement. The old homestead now forms a part of the site of the busy city of Newark. Ephraim Harris remained upon this place for about twenty years, when he removed to the town of Hanover, in the same county, near his son Daniel’s farm, and there made his home until he was killed in breaking a pair of colts, in his ninety-eighth year.

Daniel Harris, the father of the subject of this memoir, who was a tanner as well as a farmer, remained upon the farm which he had purchased in Licking county until about 1848, when he sold out and removed to Dayton, Ohio, where he followed his trade for about a year, when he died, leaving a wife and five children to mourn their loss. The children bore the names of Virgil H., Emma E., Cynthia A., Louis E. and David M.

The mother of Virgil was formerly Miss Martha Dowling. Her father was a native of Ireland, who had left the land of his birth on account of some trouble with a landlord, which culminated in Mr. Dowling pulling him off of his horse and beating him. This, in that oppressed land, was a terrible offense, so he emigrated to this country, and settled in Juniata county, Penn., where the future Mrs. Harris was born. When her brothers moved to Ohio, she went with them, walking the whole distance, some 700 miles, driving their cattle all the way. Later she married Mr. Harris, and after his death returned to Licking county, from whence, two years later, she removed to Marion county, in the same State, where her people had settled. Subsequently she married John Baker, and made her home in Ohio until 1883, when they removed to Indiana, where she died in 1887.

Virgil remained with his mother after his father’s death until about 1852, when, being but twelve years of age, he went to Macon county, Ill., where for four years he was engaged in herding some 4,000 head of sheep. In the fall of 1859 he returned to Ohio, and cast his first presidential vote for Lincoln in 1860. In May, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, One Hundred and Eleventh Ohio Infantry, and served until the close of the war. He participated, with his gallant regiment, in some twenty-eight engagements, the principal of which were Perryville, Green River Bridge, Bowling Green, Crab Orchard, Loudonville, Knoxville, Buzzard’s Roost, Resaca, New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Allatoona, Spring Hill, Franklin, Nashville, Fort Fisher and others. He received his discharge as orderly sergeant, June 28, 1865, and on returning home attended college for a year and a half at Indianapolis, Ind., and Ashland, Ohio. He was married December 25, 1868, to Miss Lizzie Hill, a native of Marion county, Ohio, and daughter of John and Catherine Hill, who were among the pioneer families of the Buckeye State. For two years after that Mr. Harris followed farming in Marion county, Ohio, whither he had moved. In December, 1870, in company with George Lyon, he came to this part of the State, and, determining to settle at Litchfield, brought his family here in January, 1871, when the place was but in embryo. In company with S. Y. Gordon he started a meat market and remained in that two years, and then opened a drug store, which business he has followed ever since.

In politics Mr. Harris is a republican and has filled many offices in village and county. He was one of the first justices of the peace of the village of Litchfield, and has, since then, been alderman, recorder, mayor and county commissioner, and is now serving as chairman of that board, having been a member of it for five years. He is a member of Frank Daggett Post, G.A.R., holding the third rank in the department of Minnesota, and belongs to the A.O.U.W.

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

Virgil H. Harris, judge of probate of Meeker County, was born at Newark, Ohio, May 14, 1840. He is the son of Daniel and Martha (Dowling) Harris. The founders of the Harris family in this country were among the earliest settlers in Virginia, and their descendants are scattered all over the Southern States. Ephriam Harris, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a personal friend of Aaron Burr, who had the famous duel with Alexander Hamilton. He was present and took part in the first declaration of independence at Charlotte, North Carolina, two years previous to the signing of the formal declaration. Ephriam migrated from Kentucky to Ohio in company with Daniel Boone, taking a claim on what is now a part of the city of Newark. The Dowling family is of Irish descent. Virgil's maternal grandfather, having thrashed a British landlord for not returning the salutation "Good morning" in a proper manner, decided it was good policy to move West. Martha Dowling, mother of the subject of this sketch, was born in Pennsylvania, and moved to Ohio with the family in 1825, locating near Frederick. As an illustration of the hardships of life of the pioneers of that day it might be mentioned that this young girl walked barefooted and drove cattle all the way from Pennsylvania to Ohio. Young Harris received his early education in the traditional log schoolhouse near his home, and later took a complete course in a business college at Ashland, Ohio, and at Indianapolis, Indiana, with a high school course at Bucyrus, Ohio. In 1862 he joined Company B, One Hundred and Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, at Fostoria, Ohio, and served three years in the Civil War. He had an honorable war record, fighting in all twenty-eight battles with the armies of the Cumberland and Ohio. After his discharge from the army he returned home and worked on the farm. His health having been considerably impaired from a sun stroke while-serving in the army, Mr. Harris decided to come to Minnesota, and in February, 1870, he located at Litchfield, where he has lived ever since. His attention has been chiefly devoted to the drug business, which he carried on from 1873 to 1890. He also built and is owner of a brick block in Litchfield. He is a Republican in politics, and in 1896 was elected to the office of judge of probate of Meeker County, which office he still holds. He has had the office of mayor of Litchfield, chairman of the board of county commissioners, and justice of the peace. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., the A. O. U. W., and the G. A. R., being past commander of the Frank Daggett Post, Litchfield, and junior vice department commander of Minnesota. His religious affiliations are with the Christian Church. In 1868 he married Lizzie H. Hill, of Marion County, Ohio, four boys resulting from this union, Burtillion Emmit, John F., Maro A, and Ernest V. Mr. Harris had devoted some of his leisure time to Classical Literature, and is at present engaged in a forthcoming work entitled "A Trip Through Hell--An Epic of the Unseen," which will be copiously illustrated and published in the near future.


Buel J. Hawkins
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

BUEL J. HAWKINS. The subject of this sketch, a successful farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 21, Cedar Mills township, while not an old settler here, is one of the most intelligent, prominent and influential citizens in the southern part of the county. He is a native of Litchfield, Conn., born July 8, 1826, and is a son of Amos and Minerva Hawkins, both of whom were natives of the same State. In 1835 the family emigrated to Ashtabula county, Ohio, where they were among the pioneer settlers. The father died at Conneaut, Ohio, in April, 1883, and the mother at Conneaut, Ohio, in 1850.

In 1859 Buel J. started with a team and wagon for the then “far western” Kansas, and after a dreary overland journey, lasting some six weeks, he arrived in what is now Crawford county, that State. He purchased government land and remained on that for about twelve years, dividing his time between farming and teaching school, until the fall of 1871, when he returned East and settled in Kane county, Ill., upon a farm which he had purchased. Five or six years later he rented his place and removed to the town of Hampshire, Ill., where he engaged in the loan, real estate and insurance business. He took an active interest in all public matters there and became one of the most prominent residents in that locality. He was president of the Kane county Bible Association, and secretary of the Kane County Sunday-school Association, for many years, and also took an active interest in educational matters. In the fall of 1885 Mr. Hawkins purchased a farm on section 21, Cedar Mills township, Meeker county, Minn., and moved onto it in the spring of 1886. Since that time he has devoted his time to general farming and stock-raising. He has a valuable farm of 300 acres, a good share of which is under cultivation. Since coming here he has taken active interest in all matters affecting the welfare of the township. The first year he was here he was elected treasurer of the school board, and in 1887 he was elected justice of the peace.

Mr. Hawkins was first married at Springfield, Pa., in the spring of 1850, to Miss Mary A. Custard. She died in 1861 at Fort Scott, Kan., leaving three sons, as follows – Charles, now at Garnet, Kan.; Herbert, now near Moscow, Idaho; and Rufus, now at Denver, Col. Mr. Hawkins was again married October 14, 1862, to Miss Susan R. Welch, a native of Ohio. This marriage has been blessed with two children, who are now living – Areta, now Mrs. F.O. Holtgren, of DeKalb county, Ill.; and Jennie, who is still with her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins are prominent and active members of the Methodist Church.


N. W. Hawkinson
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

THE PRESENT county treasurer of Meeker county, N.W. HAWKINSON, an old settler of the village of Litchfield, is a native of Skone, Sweden, and was born in 1837. He remained in his native country until he was thirty-two years of age. His father died when he was about fourteen years of age, and shortly after this he began learning the cabinet-maker’s trade, at which he spent an apprenticeship of three years and then followed as a trade for four years. He then learned the carpenter’s trade, and followed that until he was twenty-eight, when he entered the mercantile business and remained in that until 1869, when he sold out and came to Minnesota, coming direct to Meeker county. For a time he stayed at Forest City, following the carpenter’s trade, but in November of the same year he went to California, and followed his trade there for about one year, working up and down the Pacific coast. At the end of that time he returned to Sweden, going by way of the Isthmus of Panama and New York. He remained in his native land until the following June, 1871, and then came again to Meeker county, Minn., locating at Litchfield, where he has since lived. For a number of years he followed his trade, but in the fall of 1883 he was elected to the office of county treasurer, and, being re-elected in the fall of 1886, he is the present incumbent of that office. He is a careful and painstaking official, and has filled the office with credit to himself and satisfaction to the public. Mr. Hawkinson is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, holding membership in Golden Fleece Lodge, No. 89; Rabboni Chapter, No. 37; and Melita Commandery, No. 17, Knights Templary, and has held various offices in these organizations. He is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and was one of the charter members of the organization at Litchfield, of which he is the present financier.

Mr. Hawkinson was married in 1862 to Miss Nellie Hanson, of Sweden, and they were blessed with three children – Andrew, Ellen and Annie. The wife and mother died shortly after their removal to the United States. Mr. Hawkinson was again married, in 1873, to Annie Katharena Anderson. They have one child – Harry. All of the children are still at home, except Andrew and Ellen, who are now residents of Minneapolis.


O. W. Hawkinson
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

O. W. HAWKINSON, of Grove City. A large proportion of the citizens of Meeker county are of foreign birth, and are men who have brought with them to their new home in America the habits of industry and thrift so common in their own country, and with the chances afforded in the United States, have risen by their own efforts to an easy competence. Among these is Mr. Hawkinson, who was born at the home of his parents, William and Ellen Hawkinson, in Sweden, November 16, 1840. He was reared to manhood in the land of his birth, and there, April 24, 1866, he was united in marriage with Miss Hannah Nelson. Three years later, leaving his family, he came across the stormy Atlantic in search of a home in the free land of America, and coming at once to Minnesota, located at Cottage Grove, about fifteen miles from St. Paul, where he was engaged in wagon-making until December, 1869, and then came to Litchfield, then a new village, just started, where he was employed in wagon-making and in carpentering until 1870, when, feeling assured of the future, he returned to the old country for his family, with whom he arrived in Litchfield May 15, 1871. He followed his trade until the succeeding November, when he removed to Swede Grove township, where he built him a house on his farm, and lived there for two years, renting the land and working at carpentering. He then commenced farming himself, and at odd times pursued his trade, and in this manner put in his time for five years or more. During this time he had erected, for C.E. Lundberg, an elevator of 60,000 bushels capacity, which, when he had finished, he took charge of for the owner, and operated for seven years. The most of this time he has made his home upon his farm, driving in and out each morning and evening. By this time he had acquired some 280 acres of land, but in 1881 he built a house in the village and managed his farm by hired help. In the fall of 1886 he gave up running the elevator, and engaged in the business of selling lumber, farm machinery, wagons, buggies, paints, oils, etc., in company with B. Bresden.

Mr. and Mrs. Hawkinson are the parents of five children – Andrew, Nels, Alfred, Elmer and Minnie. The eldest, Andrew, is a graduate of the Northwestern College at Minneapolis. In politics Mr. Hawkinson is a staunch adherent to the principles of the republican party.


Samuel A. Heard
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

SAMUEL A. HEARD. Among the prominent figures in the history of Litchfield, of which he is a resident, is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch, who was the pioneer merchant of the place. He was born in Newport, Canada, September 6, 1831, and is the son of Samuel and Sophronia M. (Williams) Heard, both of whom were natives of the same province. He was reared upon a farm and remained with his parents until his twenty-third year, when he came to the United States, and, after a short time spent in Illinois and Wisconsin, in the spring of 1856 came to Minnesota, and settled in Wright county, where he located on a farm of 160 acres, which he took up on government land, a few miles south of Clearwater. The first summer was employed in looking after the interests of the Clearwater Town Site Company, and the following winter in teaching school a short distance from the village. Next spring, in company with a Mr. Chase, he bought out the mercantile establishment of Gibbs & Whitney, of Clearwater, and remained in that business for over a year, when, the firm being dissolved, Mr. Heard built another store, and again entered into trade, and followed it until 1861. He had been appointed deputy postmaster in 1857, and had charge of the mails until 1861, when, his health failing, he gave up his business altogether, and spent the following year in Maine and Canada, returning to Clearwater in the spring of 1862, where he passed some time, and later went to Cold Springs, where he rebuilt the flour-mill, which had been destroyed by fire. After gravitating between this State and his native home for some years, in 1869 he came to Litchfield, and, in company with C.D. Ward, opened the first store in the embryo village. After continuing in the mercantile trade, both with his partner and alone, until 1880, Mr. Heard then sold out and retired from trade. He has large real estate interests in the village still, and stock in the woolen-mills and other enterprises in Litchfield, and finds in their conservation and improvement sufficient employment. In 1878 he was elected a member of the village council, and in 1879 as mayor of the place, and served with great credit to himself. He has always been deeply imbued with religious ideas, and has always lent a helping hand in all church matters. He had charge of the erection of the first church edifice in the village, the Presbyterian, and was chairman of the building committee.

Mr. Heard was united in marriage, October 1, 1871, with Miss N.H. Bowen, a native of Chenango county, N.Y., and daughter of Luther and Martha (Hatch) Bowen, both of whom are natives of Connecticut, and both of whom were among the first settlers of that region, settling there in 1785. Mr. Heard is a prominent member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and is one of the Past Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of this State.

During the civil war Mr. Heard was appointed ensign of Company A, Nineteenth Regiment, M.V.M. He assisted in raising a company for service in 1861, and was to have gone with them, but poor health induced the doctor to order his remaining at home, much to his regret.

Mr. Heard has always been prominently identified with the best interests of the village. He was a charter member and is the master workman of the Litchfield Lodge of Ancient Order of United Workmen.


Reuben S. Hershey
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

REUBEN S. HERSHEY, proprietor of the “Fairview Stock and Dairy Farm,” in Greenleaf township, is a lineal descendant of the Swiss Mennonites of that name who first settled in Lancaster county, Pa., in 1719. Reuben Hershey was born in Lancaster county, and was reared on the farm with his parents, Martin and Elizabeth Hershey. After reaching manhood he was engaged for a time in the forwarding and commission business, and in 1872 he came to Meeker county, Minn., and bought his present farm property in Greenleaf township. In 1873 he purchased the James H. Morris interest in the Litchfield flouring mills, retaining the interest about three years, remodeling the mill and giving it a reputation second to none in this part of the State. After his retirement from the milling business, he began devoting all his time, energy and talents to the stock and dairy business and the improvement of his beautiful farm home. The farms consists of about 1,000 acres, but a goodly portion is tenanted, Mr. Hershey’s attention being for the most part given to his stock and dairy interests. He operates a dairy on the place, the butter of which always commands an advance in price over the best creamery butter generally on the market. Mr. Hershey has in the past suffered some heavy losses through grasshopper ravages and hailstorms, yet he has taken but a few backward steps, and to-day “Fairview” is justly regarded as one of the most beautiful and most valuable farms in this portion of Minnesota.


Farnsworth R. Hill
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

FARNSWORTH R. HILL, one of Meeker county’s most successful farmers and stock-raisers, and of the large land owners, is a resident of Forest City township, his home being upon section 33. He has a magnificent farm of 711 acres of fine land, embracing a large portion of sections 33 and 34, Forest City, and section 4, Darwin, much of which is under a high state of cultivation. Mr. Hill gives a large share of his attention to the raising of graded Holstein and Durham cattle and graded Norman horses. His herd numbers now some 150 head, and he is extensively engaged in the manufacture of “gilt-edge” butter, which he ships to Minneapolis for sale.

The subject of this personal history was born in Cumberland county, Me., February 20, 1842, and is the son of Reuben and Miriam C. Hill. He was reared in the State of his birth, and there received the elements of a most excellent common-school education. In his earlier days he followed lumbering and farming in the “Old Pine Tree State,” and afterwards commenced lumbering operations in Minnesota. He was also engaged in the butchering business for some five years, all in the State of Minnesota. In the fall of 1877, he came to Meeker county, with L.D. Hill, and both settled in the town of Litchfield, but in about a year our subject removed to his present place of abode, where he has since lived.

He was united in marriage March 25, 1872, with Miss Etta Sanborn, a native of Cumberland county, Me., who died July 30, 1881, leaving two children – Emma L. and Charley R., both of whom are at home with their father. December 11, 1882, Mr. Hill contracted a second matrimonial alliance, with Miss Anna L. Peifer, a native of Meeker county, Minn., who is the mother of two children – Farnsworth L. and Winnie M. Hill.

Mr. Hill is one of the honored and respected citizens of the township, and has served the people in the responsible position of supervisor for some time, and is always interested in the public affairs of the county. He is a republican politically.


John Hill
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

JOHN HILL. The subject of this biography, a resident of section 28, Manannah township, is one of the most intelligent, leading and successful farmers and stock-raisers in the northern part of the county. He was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1829, and is a son of Francis and Mary (Campbell) Hill. His early life was spent in his native land, where he acquired the habits of industry, perseverance and frugality, which are so characteristic of the race from which he springs. In 1851 he came to the United States, landing in Boston and proceeded to Lowell, Mass., where he remained for eleven years, working in a cotton factory. He then went to San Francisco, Cal., where he lived for five years, engaged at firing on an engine. He then returned to Lowell, Mass., and sixteen months later he came to Meeker county, Minn. From Clearwater he came by stage to Forest City, and the next day he arrived at the house of Owen Quinn, in Manannah township. A few days later he purchased the farm on section 28, where he still resides. He has 240 acres of land, and devotes his attention to farming and stock-raising.

Mr. Hill was married on the 21st of February, 1855, to Hannah McAloon. Their marriage has been blessed with three children, whose names were Francis, John and Charles H. John is the only child living, the other two having died, and are buried in Lowell, Mass. Mr. and Mrs. Hill are exemplary members and active supporters of the Catholic Church.

In political matters Mr. Hill affiliates with the democratic party.


Harry H. Hines
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

HARRY H. HINES, an intelligent and trusted citizen of the village of Dassel, the superintendent and manager of the Minnesota and Dakota elevator, is a native of Colchester, Chittenden county, Vt., born in August, 1848, and is the son of Benjamin and Emily (Rolfe) Hines. His paternal grandfather, William Hines, was one of the earliest settlers of the town of Colchester, as was the maternal grandfather of our subject, Jacob Rolfe, and these two gentlemen and one other owned, at one time, nearly the entire town. William Hines lived and died among the verdant hills of the “Green Mountain State,” where he settled, and on his death the homestead descended to his son Benjamin, the father of our subject, who, besides managing three good farms in that portion of the country, was engaged in mercantile pursuits. Jacob Rolfe, the grandfather of Harry, mentioned above, was a colonel in command of the “Green Mountain Boys” during the last conflict with Great Britain, 1812-15, and was a gallant and able soldier, and our subject recollects his telling of war experiences, in his younger days.

Harry H. Hines came to Meeker county in 1868, and settled in what is now Litchfield township, on section 31, where he followed agricultural pursuits for some ten years, after which he removed, after selling his property, to the village of Darwin, where he purchased wheat and other grain for the Davidson Elevator Company. In August, 1886, he came to Dassel and assumed charge of the elevator where he is now located. He has, since first coming here, taken a lively interest in all educational and political affairs, and is now serving as one of the school directors of the village. In his political affiliations he is in thorough accord with the republican party, and supports the candidates of that organization. He is a member of the Golden Fleece Lodge, No. 89, A.F. & A.M., having been made a Mason at Litchfield in 1882. Mr. Hines was united in marriage with Miss Maggie Harding, October 10, 1870. His life companion is a native of Jennings county, Ind., and a daughter of Mitchell and Mary Ann (Reeves) Harding. By this marriage there have been six children – Maud, Grace, Bessie, Benjamin, Blanche and the baby.


Adelbert B. Hoar
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

ADELBERT B. HOAR, a thrifty and enterprising young farmer residing on section 32, Union Grove township, is the eldest son of David B. and Melissa (Bryant) Hoar, and was born in Wright county, Minn., on the 12th of December, 1862. A full sketch of his parents will be found in another department of this work, as they were among the most prominent early settlers in the northwestern part of the county.

The subject of our present sketch commenced life for himself when about twenty-one years of age, but remained at home for a year or so after that time. He received the education afforded by the public schools, and supplemented this by attending the Litchfield schools for some time. On the 4th of May, 1887, he was married to Miss Emma A. Caswell, a daughter of Nathan W., and Margaret (Robinson) Caswell. She was born at Brompton, Province of Quebec, Can., March 9, 1865.

Mr. Hoar purchased eighty acres of land on section 32, Union Grove township, in 1885, and that forms his present place. He has a comfortable residence, and substantial farm buildings and is getting in good shape for carrying on his farming and stock raising operations. In addition to this he owns a half interest in an improved steam thresher, and during the proper season devotes his attention to that business.


David B. Hoar
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

DAVID. B. HOAR. The subject of this biography, a prominent and successful farmer and stock raiser, residing on section 34, Union Grove township, justly bears the reputation of being one of the most solid and substantial citizens in the northern part of the county, and his many years of residence there have caused him to be well known to all the old settlers of that region.

Mr. Hoar was born in New Brunswick, Albert county, Canada, on May 8, 1822. His father was originally a tanner, but he lost his feet from the effects of a cold, mortification setting in, and amputation was necessary, and he then learned and worked at the tailor’s trade for some time, after which he was engaged in the mercantile business. A few years later he built a vessel, which he sailed for three years, and then sold out and engaged in farming. He died in 1878, and his wife in 1883.

David B. Hoar, our subject, spent his early days in aiding to care for his parents. In May, 1857, he came to Minnesota, and worked in a steam saw mill in Wright county until the spring of 1858, when he came to Meeker county, and rented a farm in what is now Union Grove township, which he worked and raised three crops on. The last year he bought the right and improvements on 160 acres of land on section 34, where he wintered. The next summer he worked for farmers in Wright county, and the same fall, on October 23, 1861, he was married to Miss Melissa Bryant, daughter of Ambrose and Narcissa Bryant. She was born in Kennebec county, Me., July 24, 1842, and came to Minnesota with her parents in the fall of 1855. At the age of nineteen she commenced teaching school, and taught one term before and one after marriage. She was teaching when the outbreak of Indians occurred. As a full history of this matter is given in another department of this work, it is unnecessary in this connection to repeat it. On the Wednesday following the massacre at Acton, Mrs. Hoar was teaching, when a man came and notified her that the Indians were coming. She at once sent the children to their homes, and she rode home with the mail carrier. Mr. Hoar at once started to notify the Goodspeeds, Mrs. Goodspeed being a sister of Mrs. Hoar. They hitched up a yoke of oxen and a horse, and expected to take dinner at Mr. Hoar’s, but they did not stop to eat it, as the Indians had got sight of him and were in hot pursuit. Mr. Hoar cocked his gun and backed up to the wagon, waiting till all were in, and they started, and before they were out of sight the Indians were plundering the house. The party drove to Manannah, where they were joined by quite a crowd, and then proceeded to Forest City. Mrs. Hoar, Mrs. Leaming and two children, Mrs. Helen Goodspeed and three children, and Miss Florinda J. Bryant, the four sisters, went to Monticello. Mr. Hoar remained during the summer and was on some of the most perilous expeditions, and had many narrow escapes. He spent the ensuing winter at his father-in-law’s, after which he spent about three years in his native province. In 1866 he returned to Union Grove, and this has since been his home. He has one of the most desirable farms in the township, owning 320 acres, and has substantial improvements. All that he possesses is the result of his own management and industry, and he has accumulated a fine property, notwithstanding the fact that he has passed through enough hardships and dangers in early days, and loss of crops in later years, to have discouraged and disheartened the generality of mankind.

Mr. and Mrs. Hoar are the parents of the following children – Adelbert, born December 12, 1862; David Alonzo, born September 1, 1864; Elisabeth S., born August 11, 1866; Wesley J., born September 5, 1868; Winogene, born July 11, 1870; Irvine, born January 15, 1872; Forest, born April 26, 1873; A. Chesley, born March 23, 1875; Phebe A., born January 13, 1877; Narcissa, born December 30, 1878; and Ambrose, born October 24, 1880. Adelbert is mentioned elsewhere in this work. David Alonzo runs a stationary engine at Buffalo, Minn. The rest are at home.


Martin Houk
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

MARTIN HOUK, a well-known, successful, and highly respected farmer, residing on section 36, Harvey township, was born in Owen county, Ind., on the 3rd of November, 1844, and is a son of John and Evelin (Crouse) Houk. His parents still reside in his native State.
Martin, the subject of this sketch, grew to manhood in his native State, working on a farm and attending school, according to the facilities of that day. He was married in Indiana on the 23rd of January, 1870, to Miss Mary F. Doll, and in 1874, with his wife and two children, started for the West, arriving in Meeker county, Minn., on the 15th of October, 1874. He first settled in Manannah township and remained there for one year, and then removed to Harvey township, settling on section 36, where he has since lived. He has three brothers living in Meeker county.

Mr. Houk’s parents reside in Harvey township, Meeker county.

Mr. and Mrs. Houk are the parents of seven children – five girls and two boys – all of whom are living. Their names are as follows: James F., Josephine, Alice M., Evelin, Henrietta, Jessie and Marcus R.


Jacob M. Howard
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

COL. JACOB M. HOWARD, owner of the Howard House, and other property in the village of Litchfield, including his beautiful residence, Lake Side, on the shores of the lovely Lake Ripley, received his military title for services rendered in the Union army during the late war. He came to Meeker county in 1867, and purchased a farm in the town of Greenleaf, where he remained until 1872, when he removed to Litchfield and erected the first independent elevator on the line of this railroad. He was engaged in the dual occupation of buying and shipping grain and carrying on his farm until 1879, when he sold the latter. In 1880, he erected the Howard House at an outlay of some $19,000, which he has always leased. In 1886 he purchased forty-five acres of land on the banks of Lake Ripley and erected his family mansion, one of the most beautiful in this section of the State. In 1887 he retired from the grain trade, and contents himself with looking after his other interests and affairs.

Colonel Howard is a native of Detroit, Mich., born July 16, 1842, and is the son of Hon. Jacob M. and Catherine (Shaw) Howard. The father of our subject was a lawyer by profession, a native of Vermont, who had settled in Detroit in 1836, and for twelve years was one of the United States Senators from Michigan. Mrs. Catherine Howard, the mother of the Colonel, was a native of Massachusetts.

The subject of his personal history received his primary education in the schools of his native city, and at the age of sixteen entered Union College, at Schenectady, N.Y., where he passed some three years. In the spring of 1862 he enlisted as a private in Company F, Twenty-fourth Michigan Infantry, but for gallant and meritorious conduct was rapidly promoted from rank to rank, until he became the assistant Adjutant General at the headquarters of the Twenty-third Army Corps, then under command of Major-General Hartsuff, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. In this position he served until the close of the war, after which he went into the wholesale grocery business in Chicago, but two years later, his health failing, he gave up that line of trade and came to Meeker county, as above stated.

The Colonel, who is active and enterprising, is almost always foremost in any movement that is likely to accrue to the benefit of the community. He was one of the principal organizers of the Woolen Mill Company, and was the first president of the board of directors. He is a stockholder in the Creamery Association, and vice-president of the company. He was elected mayor of the city of Litchfield in 1885, and served one term, but has but little political aspiration. The Colonel is an influential member of Frank Daggett Post, No. 35, and of the Litchfield Dramatic Association, of which he was one of the originators.

Col. J. M. Howard and Miss Emma Pennoyer were united in marriage in October, 1868. The lady is a native of New York State, and is the daughter of Truman Pennoyer, of Meeker county.


Joseph Hubbard
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

JOSEPH HUBBARD, postmaster at Crow river, ex-county commissioner, and one of the most successful and prominent farmers and stock-raisers of Meeker county, is a resident of section 33, Union Grove township.

Mr. Hubbard is a son of Joseph and Merriam (Brown) Hubbard, and was born on the 27th of May, 1820. He commenced life for himself when about nineteen years of age, first working in a cotton factory at Three Rivers, Mass., remaining there until he was twenty-seven years of age. He then traveled through the country canvassing for newspapers until 1854, when he came to Minnesota, and preempted 160 acres of land in Scott county. He lived there for twelve years and then sold out and settled at Shakopee, where he remained for four years engaged at teaming. In 1869 he came to Meeker county and purchased a farm of 240 acres in Union Grove township, and has since made this his home. Besides his residence he has a small store building in which he keeps quite a large assortment of goods for the accommodation of the neighborhood and also the postoffice. In connection with his general merchandise he also handles a limited line of agricultural implements, plows, etc. He has one of the most valuable farms in the township, and it is well arranged for diversified farming and stock-raising, which he carries on. Mr. Hubbard has taken an active interest in public matters, and no man in the northern portion of the county is more prominently identified with the official history of the county than he is. For the past twenty-five years he has held the office of justice of the peace, both here and at his former place of residence. For six years he was a member of the board of county commissioners, and during that time was one of the most influential members of that body. During the war he was deputy provost marshal.

Mr. Hubbard was married in April, 1842, at Northfield, Mass., to Gratia Field, a daughter of Oliver and Rhoda Field. She died in October, 1864, leaving three children, as follows – Emma, born Jan. 21, 1844; Edward J., born Feb. 1, 1847; and Crissa, born in December, 1857, died in January, 1864. Emma married Abner S. Marshall, and they live in Union Grove; they have five children – Joseph B., Mabel C., Lewis C., Frank F. and Anna H. Edward J. married Fidelia Nichols, and they live in McPherson county, Dak.; they have four children – George A., Charles E., Addie L. and Linna L.

Mr. Hubbard’s second marriage occurred in April, 1866, when he was wedded to Mrs. Mianda McKinney, formerly Miss Hidden. By her marriage with Frederick McKinney, she had had five children, as follows – William O., George F., Fannie, Edwin A., and Everson R. Fannie and William are dead. Mrs. Mianda Hubbard died in June, 1870. Mr. Hubbard’s present wife was the widow of Samuel McCoy, formerly Miss Elisabeth Haseltine. They have two adopted children – Ida and Oliver.

In 1876 the First Universalist Church of Crow river was organized, and Mr. Hubbard was chosen deacon, he having been for years a believer in that faith.

Politically Mr. Hubbard has been a republican ever since the birth of that party, and has cast his ballot for every republican nominee for president up to date.

He has always been a constant reader and patron of republican literature. Believing that the boys of to-day will be the men of to-morrow he has liberally supplied his own family with the best of literature, which has been almost a circulating library in his neighborhood.


Henry Hukriede
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

HENRY HUKRIEDE, the partner of his father in the proprietorship of the Mansard House and who is, also, engaged in operating a blacksmith’s shop in Eden Valley, is a native of Westphalia, Germany, born January 5, 1863, and is the second son of William and Mary (Christopher) Hukriede. He came to the United States in 1873, with his parents, and remained upon their farm until the spring of 1882, when he went to Litchfield and there learned the blacksmith’s trade. In the spring of 1886, he came to Eden Valley while the graders were still at work here and before the iron upon the railroad was laid and started a blacksmith’s shop, and has followed that trade ever since. In 1887, in connection with his father, he bought the hotel and maintains connection therewith.


William Hukriede
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

WILLIAM HUKRIEDE, the genial proprietor of the Mansard House, the leading hotel of Eden Valley, is a native of Westphalia, Germany, born September 4, 1838. He was reared in that classic land, receiving in youth the education which is the birthright of the rising generation of his fatherland. He was there, in 1860, married to Miss Mary Christopher, a native of Westphalia, Germany, and daughter of Henry and Lizzie Christopher. In 1873, with his family, he emigrated to America, and purchasing a farm on section 23, in Manannah township, commenced life here. On this place he made his home until the fall of 1887, when, in connection with his son Henry, he came to Eden Valley and bought the Mansard House, and has continued at the head of its affairs ever since. Mr. Hukriede had a family of eight children, as follows: Fred, born May 28, 1861; Henry, whose sketch is given elsewhere in this volume; Reka, born October 6, 1865; William, born February 1, 1868; Ernest, born January 28, 1871; August, born April 15, 1873; Minnie, born March 1, 1876; and Annie, born November 14, 1878.


Caleb Hull
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

CALEB HULL, a prosperous and enlightened farmer of Dassel township, having his home on section 10, is a native of Herkimer county, N.Y., born in the town of Russia, September 26, 1824, and is the son of Benjamin and Betsey (Clapper) Hull, natives of Rhode Island and New York, respectively. Benjamin Hull removed to Dodge county, Wis., in 1851, where he died in 1861; his wife some years later came to Meeker county, and died at Forest City in 1877.

The subject whose name heads this personal sketch, commenced at the age of thirteen years to learn the shoemaker’s trade, and after devoting three years to it, went to St. Lawrence county, N.Y., whither his parents had removed, where he made his home for three years. Coming West, he spent the same period of time in Jefferson county, Wis., and then was engaged in the pineries of that State for six years. On his return, he built a house at Hustisford, Dodge county, Wis., but from there went to the Michigan pineries, where he spent some three years more, and then came back to Dodge county, where, December 1, 1855, he was united in marriage with Miss Eunice Frost. The next year of his life was passed in Watertown, Wis., after which he removed to Freeborn county, Minn., and purchased 160 acres of land on section 6, town of Freeman, where he settled. While there, he followed hunting and trapping to a great extent, and found it highly remunerative; so much so as to enable him to provide his family with many comforts that the other new settlers could not reach. While thus engaged, came the news of the Indian outbreak of 1862, and most of his neighbors fled panic stricken, but he would not go. One day, while returning from his work in Iowa, he met a number of his neighbors who advised him not to go home, saying, with their selfish instincts uppermost, that by the time he got there, his family would be murdered and his house in flames, as the Indians were close behind; but, nobly responding to his duty, which called him to the defense of his family, he went on and found all peaceful at home, and the danger much magnified by their fears and abject terror. He remained in Freeborn county some nine years and then sold out and came to Meeker county, arriving here July 7, 1867. He took up a homestead on section 10, where he now lives, but lived in Darwin until the spring of 1868, and then moved into a log cabin, where the family lived until he could get a house built, which stood where his present cottage now stands. This latter was erected in 1879, at a cost of $1,000, and is handsome, neat and commodious, and he has a fine farm of 120 acres of excellent land.

Mr. and Mrs. Hull have had a family of six children, four of whom still survive – Augustus, living in Dakota, Ida E., Mrs. Charles Penny, of Dassel; Lillie B. and Mark W., at home. Mr. Hull has served in several official positions, chief among which was that of chairman of the town board of supervisors.


John Hunter Sr.
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

JOHN HUNTER, SR. The subject of this sketch, who is one of the most prominent and respected farmers and stock raisers in the northern portion of the county, is a resident of section 18, Union Grove township. He comes of a race which make the best citizens in Minnesota’s population, and a race which is proverbial for their integrity, industry, frugality, and genial and hospitable temperament, for it is an old and true saying that “no man goes hungry from a Scotchman’s door.”

Mr. Hunter was born in the county of Barrackshire, Scotland, on the 10th of April, 1826. His early life was spent in the land of his birth, where he received the training and education afforded by the facilities of those days, and imbibed the principles of honesty, industry and economy, which are characteristic of the Scotch people. Economy and industry were essential in those days to make a living, and the wage earnings of that day would now be considered a pittance. About the year 1849 he came to America and settled in Canada, where he remained for sixteen years. He then, in 1865, came to Meeker county, Minn., and located on section 18, in what is now Union Grove township, where he has since lived. At the time he came here there were only three settlers within the limits of the township, as all the earlier settlers had been driven off by the Indians and had not returned as yet. Mr. Hunter had a good deal to contend with during those early days and had to encounter difficulties and disadvantages to which most men would have surrendered. When he arrived here his earthly possessions consisted of one yoke of oxen and a cow, and for two years he had very little to eat, living a good share of the time on wheat boiled in milk. Flour was worth $16 per barrel, and potatoes $1.25 per bushel, and at one time he traded a two-year-old steer, even, for a 100-weight of flour. They were obliged to go to Cold Springs, a distance of twenty-five miles, to mill and the trip usually took three days. No work could be found, and there was no money in the country, and at times it looked as though starvation stared them in the face, but during all the trials and hardships his courage and enterprise never forsook him and it has not been unrewarded, as he is now rated as one of the most solid and substantial citizens of the township in which he lives. He has a fine farm of 250 acres and a comfortable home.

Mr. Hunter was married on the 1st of April, 1849, to Agnes Brown Lee, and their union has been blessed with seven children, as follows – Mary, Jane, James (deceased), John, Charles, Charlotte, and George (deceased).

During the first year that Mr. Hunter and his family were here, they had neither team nor cow; they had to carry their house-logs out of the woods – Mr. Hunter carried one end and old Mr. Beaumont the other. The boys each had to hold forked sticks to reach to the log so as to help. When they got their oxen, they did all their hauling, summer and winter, on a sled. Deer and elk would often come into the dooryard, while bear was by no means an infrequent visitor. On one occasion, they found by the tracks, that a bear had climbed upon the wood-house and from there to the roof of the cabin, which was covered with sod. In those days they were afraid that some nights they might come down the fire chimney. Wolves were numerous, and in addition to this they were constantly on the lookout for Indians. These were some of the trials, experiences and hardships which the early settlers endured.


John Hurley
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

JOHN HURLEY, one of the pioneers of Meeker county, and one of its representative men, is a resident of Ellsworth township, and is engaged in carrying on his farm on section 8. He came here in 1858, and took up his claim where he now lives, and there remained until the Indian troubles of 1862. During those fearful, tragic days he left here and went to Fremont and Clearwater, and from thence back to Kingston, and from there, finally, to what is now Darwin, where he remained some two years. He then returned to his farm, where he has ever since made his home. His original claim consisted of some 160 acres, but he now has nearly double that number of acres, and his farm is brought to a high state of cultivation.

Mr. Hurley is a native of that “bright gem of the sea,” Ireland, born in County Cork in the year 1825, and is the son of Dennis and Mary (Driscoll) Hurley, both of whom were, also, natives of the Emerald Isle. Dennis Hurley died in his native land in 1847, and his widow came to the United States in 1864 or 1865, and after a stay in New York and Pittsburg, came to Minneapolis, and from thence to this county, where she died September 29, 1872. They were the parents of seven children, one of whom died in infancy.

Mr. Hurley, of whom we write, was united in marriage in February, 1854, with Miss Ellen White, who was born in Ireland in May, 1819, and who came to America with her parents in 1844, and settled in Pittsburg, Pa. She died in March, 1887, having been the mother of four children – Mary, Ellen, Ann and John. Mary died in Pennsylvania in 1857, at the age of two years; John died October 15, 1887, of typhoid fever, the others are at home with their father.

In his political views Mr. Hurley is entirely independent of party lines, and non-partisan in the discharge of his elective franchise. He has held the office of director of his school district, and takes great interest in all educational work. As a progressive, enterprising man he is the peer of any in the town.


Albert Hutchins
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

ALBERT HUTCHINS, a young and enterprising farmer, of Collinwood township, was born in Yancy county, N.C., the 27th of May, 1849, and is the son of Jacob and Nancy (Buchanan) Hutchins. His father was born in Berks county, N.C., June 19, 1814, and is the son of Wright and Margaret Hutchins. The mother was born in the same county April 19, 1814. Jacob Hutchins remained in the county of his birth until he was about thirty years old, engaged in farming, but, in the spring of 1844, moved to West Virginia, and there made his home until 1864, at which date he came to Collinwood and settled on a homestead on section 8. In 1879 he gave the place to his son, with whom he lives. He was married in 1835 to Miss Nancy Buchanan, by whom he had fourteen children, namely – Anna, Louisa, Sarah, Mary, Thomas, Margaret, Elizabeth, William, Albert, John, George, Oliver, Jennie and Cynthia.

Albert was married September 12, 1880, to Miss Theresa Erfurth, who was born in Ohio, May 9, 1859, and is the daughter of Edward and Johanna Erfurth. They are the parents of three children, all of whom are dead. They were Arthur, born August 5, 1881, died May 18, 1887; Michael, born September 15, 1883, and died May 12, 1887; and Milton, born May 8, 1885, and died May 18, 1887. Albert has made his home with his parents all his life, and for fifteen years he has been the main support of his family. His mother died August 19, 1881. Jacob Hutchins built the first house in the township, and was the first school treasurer. The farm contains about 116 acres of fine land, of which eighty are under cultivation. The improvements are of a very fair character, and the whole place evinces that the young farmer understands his business and is in a prosperous condition.


Jacob C. Inman
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

JACOB C. INMAN, residing on section 29, Manannah township, a highly respected and thrifty agriculturist, is a native of Butler county, Iowa, and was born on the 20th of February, 1858. His parents were Americans, and they were among the first settlers in that county. Their names were John and Catharine (Ullery) Inman.

Jacob spent his early life in his native county, and in June, 1869, came to Meeker county, Minn., with his parents and they settled on section 20, Manannah township. There Jacob remained for eight years and then removed to section 29, and six years later he settled on his present farm in the same section. He has eighty acres of land and has been very successful in his farming operations, also carrying on stock-raising to a limited extent.

On the 11th of November, 1884, Mr. Inman was married to Miss Susan Porter, and their marriage has been blessed with two children, the names of whom are Elsie and Malinda. The children are both living.

Mr. Inman’s mother is still living in Meeker county, as is also the mother of his wife.

In political matters Mr. Inman affiliates with the democratic party.


Hans Iverson
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

HANS IVERSON resides on section 33, Acton township. The parents of the subject of this biography were Iver and Johanna Anderson, both of whom were born in Norway and lived in their native land until the time of their deaths. Hans Iverson was a native of the same country and was born on the 4th of May, 1846. He came to the United States in 1869, and shortly after his arrival he proceeded to Dakota county, Minn., where he was employed by various farmers until during the year 1873, when he came to Meeker county and bought railroad land on section 33, in Acton township, where he still lives. He has a good farm of 130 acres of land with a good portion of it under cultivation, a comfortable house, and other farm buildings, and withal is in comfortable circumstances. This has all been the result of his own industry and economy, as he was a poor man when he came to this country. He has met with some reverses, especially during the year that the grasshoppers visited Meeker county, but as a whole his farming operations have been very successful.

Mr. Iverson was married in 1869 to Miss Ingeborg Pederson. She was born in Norway, on the 4th of April, 1848, and is a daughter of Iver and Martha Pederson. Her father died in Norway and her mother is now living in Pope county, Minn. Mr. and Mrs. Iverson have been the parents of the following children – Martin, born March 14, 1870; Idan, born December 29, 1873; Olof, born July 7, 1875; Mina, born September 10, 1877; Hilda, born January 16, 1880; and Lydia, born July 23, 1882.


Daniel Jackman
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

DANIEL JACKMAN. The gentleman of whom this article is written, a leading agriculturist of Cosmos township, is one of the early settlers of 1867. In that year he came here and took up a homestead upon section 26. He returned to Minneapolis the following spring, but immediately returned here, and has made this his home ever since.

Mr. Jackman is a native of Kennebec county, Me., born April 5, 1822, and is the son of Eben and Hannah (Hutchinson) Jackman, both of whom are also natives of the “Pine Tree State.” Both of his grandfathers served in the continental army during the struggle for independence, and after their term of service had expired, settled in Maine, and there died. Eben Jackman, who was a farmer, also lived and died in the same locality. For a number of years after reaching his eighteenth year, our subject was engaged in the pineries of Maine and Canada, taking charge of the lumber camps, etc. In 1858 he came to Minneapolis, and went into the logging business towards the headwaters of the Mississippi, and remained there for seven years. In 1865 he gave up the lumbering business and renting a farm near Minneapolis, remained there three years engaged in farming. He then came to Meeker county, as above mentioned. On his return May 4, 1868, he brought his family, and putting up his house, made a permanent settlement. In 1877 he made a trip to the Black Hills, and spent the season in gold mining, but returned in the fall.

Mr. Jackman is the oldest resident settler, all the others having passed from this world or moved to other localities. On his arrival here, until he could get up his house, he lived in a tent, and cooked at an open fire. When the township was organized, the first election was held at the house of our subject. He was elected the first chairman of the board of supervisors and served as such some three years.

Mr. Jackman and Annette K. Page were united in marriage February 15, 1852. The lady is a native of Bangor, Me. By this union there have been born four children – Frank P., Ellra P., Lettie G. and Mabel M. Frank is the proprietor of the American house at Hector, and the rest are at home.


T. Carloss Jewett
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

T. CARLOSS JEWETT, one of the oldest living settlers of Meeker county, and one of its most historical characters, was born at Wardsboro, Vt., June 9, 1827, and is the son of Thomas and Sylvia (Haradon) Jewett. His father was born on the same farm May 1, 1794, and died in May, 1873; the mother, whose birth took place at Norton, Mass., November 25, 1799, died March 2, 1877. The parental grandfather of our subject, Thomas Jewett, was a sergeant in the Continental Army under Washington, and the maternal grandfather followed Gen. Israel Putnam across Charleston Neck after the battle of Bunker Hill, and afterwards helped fortify Dorchester Heights, which caused the evacuation of Boston. The latter, Isaac H. Haradon, lost his father at the massacre of Fort William Henry, and married Miss Annie Stone.

The parents of the subject of this sketch moved to Steuben county, N.Y., in early life, and were married there. The removed back to Vermont after the birth of their second child, but in 1829 emigrated again to Steuben county, N.Y., where they eventually died. Carloss was reared and educated in the district schools of that section, and, being of a studious mind, absorbed much information, spending his evenings in mathematical studies at the family fireside. At the age of eighteen he commenced teaching school, but the next three years attended the academies at Addison and Genoa. He then worked at civil engineering on the New York Central railroad until 1851, when he went to the Isthmus and ran the preliminary survey for the Panama Railroad, spending one year there, and participated in the capture of San Loren Castle. Returning to his home, he was engaged in various railroad and telegraph works, until 1856, when he came to Minnesota. He arrived at Forest City June 20, 1856, but with $16.19 in his pocket, and June 27 took a claim on section 31, Forest City township. He was appointed sheriff in the summer of 1857, and was afterwards elected to the same office. He took a part in the Indian troubles in 1862, as detailed elsewhere, and with his wife kept house the farthest west of all the settlers. The next year he spent on the “abandoned lands” of Louisiana, where he raised cotton. He then made his home on his farm until April, 1887, when he moved to Litchfield, and in May, 1888, took a tree-claim on land adjoining the village. He has held the office of register of deeds of this county and various town offices.

The Colonel was married November 10, 1859, to Miss Annie, daughter of Pomeroy and Harriet (Buell) Warren, who was born in Wyoming county, N.Y., May 13, 1833. She has recently parted from her husband through the machinations of her friends, as have six out of eight of her sisters. They had no children, but have raised several orphans. Among these is Emma Jewett, the famous equestrienne, who was born in Chautauqua county, October 3, 1860, and is the daughter of Charles Peterson, a Scandinavian, who was killed in the army. After his death his family came to Minnesota, and in 1870 the Colonel adopted the little girl. She learned to ride on the farm and gave her first exhibition in public at Minneapolis, in 1880. She is now living in Syracuse, N.Y.


William H. Johns
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

WILLIAM H. JOHNS, of the firm of Johns Brothers, dealers in hardware, at Litchfield, and one of the most prominent business men in Meeker county, is a native of Louisa, Lawrence county, Ky., the date of his birth being July 23, 1855. His parents were Daniel N. and Annie (Atkins) Johns. In 1864 the family removed to McLeod county, Minn., and purchased a farm upon which they lived for a number of years, but they are now residents of Glencoe, in the same county.

William H. remained with his parents until twenty-one years of age, during which time he received the advantages of a common-school education in the district schools, and also attended the higher graded schools at Howard Lake and Hutchinson. Upon arriving at his majority he began life for himself, and for four or five years was engaged at teaching school and working on a farm. He then went to Groton, Dak., and in company with his brother, D. B. Johns, opened a hardware store under the firm name of Johns Brothers. They remained in trade at that place for about six years, when they sold out and opened their present business at Litchfield. Mr. Johns is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having joined Groton lodge No. 65, in 1886; and is also a member of an Odd Fellow’s lodge at the same place.


Johnson Family Biographies of Meeker County Minnesota


August Jorden
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

AUGUST JORDEN, a farmer who at present resides on section 18, in Greenleaf township, but who expects in a short time to remove to Cosmos, is a native of Sweden, and was born on the 29th of June, 1861. He left his native land in 1880 for America, and upon his arrival first settled in Minneapolis, Minn., where he remained for about two years and a half. At the expiration of that time he settled at Litchfield, in Meeker county, and remained there until 1883, when he purchased the place where he now resides, on section 18, Greenleaf township.

The parents of Mr. Jorden were also natives of Sweden. They remained in the land of their birth until 1882, when they came to the United States, and now live with August. August, the subject of this sketch, is a single man. In religious matters he attends the Lutheran Church, and in politics he is a republican. He is a good manager, industrious and frugal, and is getting a good start in his farming operations.


Olaf B. Jorgenson
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

OLAF B. JORGENSON, the efficient and trust worthy harness maker of the village of Grove City, is a native of Norway, born February 26, 1868, and is the son of Ove E. and Bertha Jorgenson. He was reared in that rugged but picturesque land, amid its bold mountains and velvety valleys, until about sixteen years of age, coming to America in 1884. Coming directly to the State of Minnesota, after a few days spent at Willmar, our subject went to Kirkhoven, and worked at the harness maker’s trade with his brother Oscar, and remained there some five months. He then returned to Willmar and worked for an uncle, Martin Jorgenson, at the same trade, for about two months, at the close of which time he came to Grove City, and for nearly two years followed his trade with A.H. Lind. In March, 1887, he quit work here and went to St. Paul and worked for W.H. Konants & Bro., with whom he only staid until October 1st, when he returned to Grove City and bought out Mr. Lind, and commenced business for himself. He has always a full and complete stock of all kinds of goods in his line, and being an excellent workman, honest and true, and of pleasant manners, he has a large and increasing business. He commenced to learn his trade in Norway with his father, who is a harness maker, as is the only brother he has in this country, who now lives at Benson.


W. D. Joubert
Source: Album of history and biography of Meeker County, Minnesota (1888) transcribed by Kim Mohler

THE WELL-KNOWN and able editor of the Litchfield News-Ledger, W. D. Joubert, is a native of Fond du Lac county, Wis., born in September, 1852. His parents were Stephen and Elizabeth Joubert; the father of French descent, but born in Montreal, Canada, and the mother a native of New York. Stephen Joubert was a carpenter by trade. He was one of the pioneers of Hudson, Wis., but is now a resident of Traverse county, Minn.

W. D. Joubert had but little schooling advantages, until he was nine years of age, but from that time until he was fifteen, the most of his time was spent in school. When he was fifteen he began life on his own account and began learning the printer’s trade with Daggett & Rose, at Wabasha, Minn. He remained with them for three years and then went to LaCrosse, Wis. Later we find him at Minneapolis, where, for several months, he worked on the Minneapolis News, then edited by George K. Shaw. From there, in April, 1872, with Frank Daggett, the man under whom he had learned his trade, he came to Litchfield, and started the Litchfield Ledger, which has since become the News-Ledger.

Mr. Joubert was married December 3, 1881, to Miss Ida Kline, of Kingston, Meeker county. They now have one child – Ethel, who is five years of age. Mr. Joubert is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having joined the Golden Fleece Lodge in 1873, and is quite active in promoting the interests of the organization. He is also a member of the fire company, and was one of the principal workers in getting that organization established. Besides these he is a member of the military company, and was one of the charter members of the dramatic association, which was organized in 1873. Mr. Joubert is a staunch republican in political faith, and is recognized as one of the ablest editorial writers on political questions in this part of the State.

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