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Todd County, Minnesota


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

Todd county, Minnesota, has no more worthy representative among her professional men than Dr. Frank H. Allen. He is a young man of excellent education and intellect and is rapidly taking his deserved station among the medical fraternity of Minnesota. He is popular and influential as a citizen and physician and enjoys a large patronage in Staples and surrounding country.

Dr. Allen was born in Wisconsin, January 29, 1871, and was a son of Houston B. and Nettie (Shoe) Allen, the former a native of Iowa and the latter of Wisconsin. He attended the common schools of Richland Center, Wisconsin, until he was seventeen years of age, when he went to Beloit College, and later took a three years' course in the University of Wisconsin. He then began the study of medicine and graduated from Rush Medical College in 1894. He at once established his office in Staples, Minnesota and has rapidly gained a lucrative and increasing patronage. His office is located over the City Drug Store in the Mooreland Block at First avenue and Fourth street and he has a large office practice as well as outside practice. He is the Association Substitute Physician for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, and is chairman of the board of health at Staples. Dr. Allen owns a valuable residence and lot in Staples, and also has fine driving team, and being a lover of dogs has two blooded setters.

Dr. Allen was married in 1900 to Jennie Wilson. Mrs. Allen is a native of Minnesota, and was born May 22, 1881. Her parents, George and Mary Wilson, reside at Staples, and Mr. Wilson is an engineer for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. Dr. and Mrs. Allen are members of the Episcopal church at Staples. Dr. Allen is very prominent in secret society circles and holds membership in the following orders, the local lodges of the same being located in Staples; Masonic fraternity, Elks, Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen of America, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Degree of Honor, Eastern Star, Shieks of Damascus. Politically Dr. Allen is a Republican.

Ripley B. Brower
Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Renae Donaldson

BROWER Ripley B, St Cloud. Lawyer. Born May 22, 1869 in Todd county Minn, son of Jacob B and Armina E (Shava) Brewer. Married Dec 11, 1901 to Jennie F Hanson. Educated in public and normal school St Cloud: graduating U of M LL B 1891. Admitted to bar St Cloud and has continued practice ever since. State senator 47th dist 1899-1901. Member Masonic fraternity, K of P and B P O E.

Joseph S. Endslow
Source: The Minneapolis Journal (MN) March 26, 1904; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman
Joseph S. Endslow of Hewitt, Minn., one of the hustling contestants in the ninth district of Minnesota. Mr. Endslow is a native of Pennsylvania and moved from his native state to Elmore, Minn., a few years ago, entering the employ of Dustin's Department Store. Later he accepted the position as assistant cashier of the First State bank of Hewitt, Minn. Mr. Endslow solicits the votes of his many friends, who all declare he is going to be the lucky winner from his district.

John David Jones
SOURCE: History of Morrison and Todd Counties Minnesota by Clara K. Fuller, Volume II, 1915, B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana. Transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman.

Few citizens of Todd county, Minnesota, who belong to the past generation, occupied a larger place in public affairs than the late John David Jones, of Long Prairie, who died on August 14, 1914. During his lifetime he held many positions of trust and responsibility and, at the time of his death, it could be said of him that he worthily discharged these duties and fulfilled all of the responsibilities which fall to the lot of the public-spirited and conscientious man and citizen.

Born in Pennsylvania, May 31, 1849, John David Jones was a son of the Rev. John and Deborah (Gandey) Jones, the former of whom was a native of Wales and the latter was born in one of the New England states. Deborah Gandey was of Revolutionary stock. She was married to Rev. John Jones in the East and immigrated with him in 1867 to Todd county, Minnesota. Prior to their removal to Minnesota, the family had lived for a time in New Jersey, but, upon coming to Minnesota, the family settled at Kandota, in Todd county, where Rev. John Jones took a homestead. The old homestead farm was located on the banks of Fairy lake. After arriving in Todd county in the fall of 1867, Rev. John Jones, whose health was rapidly failing before he came to this western country, continued to decline until his death in 1872. He lived long enough, however, to leave the mark of his influence upon the early history of this county. He established the first Baptist church in Todd county. He often came to Long Prairie to preach, even before the church was finished and, during this period, used the Chandler store for services. The Jones family is, therefore, identified with the pioneer development of Todd county.

John David Jones, who upon the death of his father, quickly assumed his father's place as a leader in the pioneer community, was educated in the New Jersey Classical and Scientific Institute, at Lewisburg University, at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and the Hightstown Institute, at Hightstown, New Jersey. Mr. Jones was only two years old when he had moved with his parents to New Jersey and it was in that state that he grew to manhood. There he attended the Hightstown Institute and the Lewisburg Seminary. He was not able to finish his education because of the poor health of his father. After his marriage in 1871, he moved shortly with his bride to Long Prairie, and was elected register of deeds of the then new county of Todd. Upon the arrival of himself and his bride in Todd county, there were no houses available so they took up their residence in the old court house building and lived there until a house could be erected on the lot which has since been their home.

Mr. Jones was classed among the early settlers of Todd county. He was the county's second register of deeds and in that early day the population was very sparse and the greater part of the county was an unbroken wilderness, known only to the Indians and to wandering hunters. The work of his office, therefore, was light and Mr. Jones embraced the opportunity to study law during his spare time. Eventually, he completed his studies and was admitted to the bar upon leaving the register of deeds' office. He was subsequently elected attorney of Todd county, and upon assuming the duties of this office his responsibilities were suddenly increased by the famous Mead murder trial, which old settlers well remember as one of the most important cases of its kind in the history of the county. Intense excitement was aroused throughout this section in the case. Mead's partner in crime was taken from the jail at night and lynched and, in many ways, the trial of Mead himself was sensational. It was the county's first murder trial and the young county attorney handled the case in a masterly way. As a result of the prestige he gained in the management of this trial, he leaped into sudden prominence as one of the strong lawyers of the state.

Shortly afterward, Mr. Jones was elected assistant secretary of the state senate and still later elected secretary. In these positions his opportunity for forming a state-wide acquaintance was almost unequaled and he shortly became a candidate for clerk of the supreme court. He was nominated in a close contest over a field of other men of state-wide prominence and in the fall was easily elected. He was the first man from Todd county and the first man from this part of the state to gain state-wide recognition. After serving as clerk of the supreme court for four years, he was sent to the House of Representatives from his home district, and was re-elected. His service in the house culminated in his election as speaker of that body, and, after retiring from the house, he was elected to the state Senate, where he served four years.

Upon leaving the state Senate, Mr. Jones retired from active politics, But, when the new land office was organized at Cass Lake, he was offered the position of registrar of the office and reluctantly accepted the position, but resigned after one year of service. He then returned to Long Prairie and did not again seek nor accept public office. During the later and declining years of his life, he took only a casual interest in political matters.

The late John D. Jones was a resident of Todd county for forty-seven years and these years were those of the county's organization and early growth. In the practice of law, he was particularly able and, at his death, held the leading place among the lawyers of this county and district.

In 1871 John David Jones was married to Martha Hale, and to this union were born three children, Harvey R., who died in 1895; Mrs. Fred B. Radabaugh, who resides in Los Angeles, California; and John T., who is a moving picture actor and resides in California. John T. Jones served in the Spanish-American War as a second lieutenant. By his marriage to Lillian Dixon, there has been born one daughter, Martha Esther, who was born on April 23, 1900.

Mrs. John David Jones, who before her marriage was Martha Hale, was born in Letcher county, Kentucky, the daughter of A. D. and Louisa (Young) Hale, who were natives of Lee county, Virginia. Mrs. Louisa Hale was born on October 30, 1830, and was eighty-three years old at the time of her death. She moved with her parents to the state of Kentucky, where, in 1851, she was married to A. D. Hale. They lived in Kentucky until after the war, but in 1866, moved to Todd county and settled in Kandota township, where they lived many years, until their removal to Reynolds township in 1896. After Mr. Hale's death, his widow moved to the village and made her home in Long Prairie until 1912, when she went to North Dakota to make her home with her daughter, Mrs. S. J. Truax. She was the mother of ten children, all now living, Mrs. Jones' father died in Scott county, Virginia, in January, 1897.

Mrs. John D. Jones has one of the finest residences in Long Prairie and, in fact, one of the most magnificent places in Todd county. Her deceased husband, who was a man loved and admired by the people of Todd county, took a delight in beautifying his home and spent a great deal of his time, especially the later years of his life, in experimenting extensively with flowers, shrubs, trees and plants. In time his garden became one of the most beautiful spots in this part of the county. Mrs. Jones, since her husband's death, in the spirit of abiding affection, has kept the place in the same good order as her husband left it. John David Jones will long be remembered by his part in the history of the state and county, with which his life work was so intimately identified.

William E. Lea
Source: The Bemidji daily pioneer (Bemidji, Minn.), November 05, 1908

William E. Lea of Long Prairie Has Done Much for Farm Implement Department
William Edwin Lee, superintendent of the Machinery department, manufacturers, farm implements and carriages at the Minnesota, State Fair, was born in Alton, Illinois, January 8. 1852. His parents came from England in 1851 and first settled at Alton. They removed to Minnesota in 1857 and settled at Little Falls, where they removed to Long Prairie, but returned to Little Falls during the Indian outbreak of 1862. Mr. Lee lived on a farm near there until he left home to take up his residence at Long Prairie in 1875. While a young man he worked on the farm and with his father at millwright and carpenter work, also worked in the lumbering woods and on the river. While working as a millwright he invented a valuable improvement in grain cleaning machinery, which was extensively used in the mills of the country and was the subject of considerable litigation between the inventor and the millers.
In 1876 he opened a store, at Pillsbury, Minnesota, and in 1877 was elected register of deeds of Todd County, Minnesota, and held the office four years. In January, 1882, he established the bank of Long Prairie, the first bank in Todd county, and has been one of its officers ever since. Mr. Lee represented Todd county in the legislature of 1885, 1887 and 1893, being speaker of the house during the session of 1893. In 1894 he was appointed superintendent of the Minnesota state reformatory at St. Cloud, which position he filled for two years. He was appointed by Gov. Van Sant one of the first members of the state board of control and served upon that board about two years, he also served one term on the state normal school board and has been four years on the State Fair board. He is president of the First National Bank of Browerville; First National Bank of Eagle Bend; First State Bank of Burtrum; Vice President of the First State Bank of Thompson Falls, Thompson, Mont, and cashier of the bank of Long Prairie.

William Edwin Lee
Source: Progressive Men of Minnesota, (Shutter, Marion Daniel, 1853–ed.) Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Journal (1897) transcribed by Vicki Bryan

William Edwin Lee, president of the Bank of Long Prairie, is better known to the people of Minnesota as an active public man and as the efficient superintendent of the State Reformatory at St. Cloud. During the spring and summer of 1896 he has been brought into special prominence as a candidate before the state Republican convention for the nomination for governor. Mr. Lee is of English origin, though born in this country just after his parents settled here. His father, Samuel Lee, came to America with his wife (who was Miss Jane Green), from Bridgewater, Summersetshire, England, in 1851. Mr. Lee was a contractor and builder and a millwright by trade. During the financial panic of 1856 he suffered losses at Alton, Illinois, where he first established himself, he came to Minnesota in June 1856, and settled at Little Falls. He served in Company E, of Hatch's Battalion, Minnesota Volunteers, during the war. Mr. and Mrs. Lee arc still living at Long Prairie. Their son William was born at Alton on January 8, 1852. He received his education in the public schools and from private instructors after leaving school. While a boy he worked on a farm and with his father at the millwright trade. During his experience in this trade he invented a wheat cleaning machine, known as Lee's wheat and cockle separator. Mr. Lee was unable to manufacture the machine and put it on the market, but, although he held a patent, a Milwaukee concern commenced the manufacture and placed the machines in nearly every flour mill in the world where spring wheat is ground. After many unsuccessful attempts to secure a settlement, Mr. Lee commenced suit against users of his machine. which were prosecuted successfully and became famous among patent litigation. In company with R. H. Harkens, Mr. Lee, when a young man, started a small country store at Burnhamville, Todd County, which was afterwards removed to Long Prairie and became one of the leading mercantile establishments of the county. In January 1882, he established the Bank of Long Prairie, which was the first bank in Todd County. Mr. Lee's political service began in 1875, when he was elected justice of the peace. Two years later he was elected register of deeds of Todd County and held the office for four years. In 1885 he represented Todd County in the legislature and took an active part in the railroad and warehouse legislation of that year – the first important legislation of the kind in Minnesota. He was re-elected to the legislature in 1887 and again in 1893, when he was chosen speaker of the house. For twenty years he has been actively identified with the public affairs of northern Minnesota. Though of a democratic family he has been from the time he cast his first vote, an enthusiastic Republican. In 1894 Mr. Lee was surprised by being tendered the post of superintendent of the State Reformatory at St. Cloud. During the nineteen months of his term of service at the head of this institution its affairs were economically managed and many improvements in the methods and management of the reformatory were introduced. During the winter of 1896 the stockholders of the Bank of Long Prairie, desiring to organize the institution into a National Bank, urged Mr. Lee to accept the presidency of the reorganized concern, and he accordingly resigned his position as superintendent of the reformatory and returned to Long Prairie. In 1875 Mr. Lee was married to Miss Eva A. Gibson, daughter of Ambrose H. Gibson. They have three sons, Rudolph A. Lee, a student at the state university; Harry W. Lee and Raymond A. Lee, students at the St. Cloud Normal school. Mr. Lee has taken an active interest in educational matters and served six years on the state normal school board. He has been actively identified with the building up of the village of Long Prairie, where he has been engaged in the banking, mercantile and real estate business.

J. H. Sheets
Source: Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society (1912) Volume XIV; Page 697; transcribed by FoFG mz

Sheets, J. H., journalist, b. in Randolph county, Ind., in 1848; was graduated at Ridgeville College, 1872; came to Minnesota, and was superintendent of schools in Todd county; published the Todd County Argus, and later the Big Stone County Herald; resided in Ortonville.

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