Waseca County, Minnesota

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Pioneer Reminiscences


John Radloff
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandi King

Mr. Radloff, who was born in Germany Oct. 7, 1834, came to America in 1854, landing at Buffalo, N. Y., where he worked ten years for one lumberman. In March, 1860, he married Lena Billiard who was born in the state of New York. They are the parents of three sons and three daughters. They settled on section 11, Vivian, in 1864, where they have since resided. Mr. Radloff is one of the oldest threshermen in the state, and has earned a great deal of money, very much of it being spent for machinery, repairs, and interest. He is one of the leading men of his township.


Harry A. Read
Source: Child’s History of Waseca County, Minnesota; by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandra Stutzman

Mr. Harry A. Read, born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1846, came to Iowa with his parents in 1856. He enlisted in the Union army in 1863, and served until 1865. He commenced railroading as fireman and engineer in 1869. He has run an engine on the W. & St. P. division of the C. & N. W. railroad for over twenty years, and is one of the oldest engineers on the road.


C. W. Redeske
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandi King

C. W. Redeske is the son of Frederick Redeske, who came to this country from Prussia in 1873. C. W. was born in Eshen Rieze, Prussia, Jan. 13, 1868. He and his parents reached Chicago in 1873, and came to Waseca county in 1881. They first lived in Wilton. In 1883 they moved to Otisco. Frederick died Dec. 28, 1898. His wife is still living. C. W. married Bertha Stolz, of Waseca, Oct. 21, 1903. They have one child living. Mr. Redeske has three sisters: Mrs. Gus Stolz, Mrs. J. T. Johnson, and Mrs. Thos. Curley, all of this county. He owns what is known as the John Hilton farm in Otisco.


Emma A. Moore Reibeling
Source: "History of Waseca County, Minnesota: from its first settlement in 1854 to the close of the year 1904; a record of fifty years: the story of the pioneers". By James E. Child - Owatonna, Minn.: Press of the Owatonna Chronicle, 1905; submitted by Veneta McKinney

MRS. EMMA A. (MOORE) REIBELING was born in Wilton, December 13, 1857. She married Theodore J. Reibeling July 5, 1880. Theodore was born in the town of St. Mary, April 1, 1859, and died March 18, 1903. Mrs. Reibeling is a daughter of Mr. Robert Moore, one of the early settlers of Wilton. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Reibeling, six of whom are living: Robert T., born April 27, 1881; Wm. H., born November 30, 1884; Elmer S., born April 6, 1887; Martha I., born September 9, 1890; Theo. J., born March 22, 1896, and Leland R., born April 21, 1898. Mrs. Reibeling, with the aid of her children, is bravely carrying on her farm in St. Mary and making a comfortable living.


John Reibold, Jr.
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

John Reibold, Jr., was born at Fonda, N. Y., July 27, 1857, and came to St. Mary with his father in 1860. He learned the blacksmith trade at Mankato, when a lad. He then came to Waseca, worked as a journeyman for some years and finally rented the Roland shop then standing on the southwest corner of Wood and Third streets, and opened shop for himself. That was twenty-two years ago. In 1884 he formed a co-partnership with Theo. Brown and they carried on business at what is now known as Reibold's foundry and shops for five years, when Mr. Reibold became sole proprietor. About nine years ago he bought a half interest in the Crane foundry, and three years later bought the remaining interest of Mr. Crane. He is now sole proprietor of a flourishing business. He married Miss Mary McDermott, May 20, 1882. They have one son, Wm. J., born July 1, 1884, who is now a stenographer in the employ of the Minneapolis Iron Store Co., dealers in heavy hardware. Thomas Reibold, brother of John, is a prosperous farmer of St. Mary, and has an interesting and intelligent family.


John Reibold, Sr.
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

JOHN REIBOLD, SR., was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, July 31, 1830. He came to America in 1849 and lived in Fonda, N. Y., until 1860, when he came to Minnesota. He was at Northfield on the day that Lincoln was elected, and came on to St. Mary the next day. Oct. 1, 1851, he married Miss Mary Baldwin, and to them four children were born: Peter, (deceased) born in 1853; Thomas, now of St. Mary, July 7, 1855; John, Jr., July 27, 1857; Johanna, July 24, 1861, who married Thomas Burns. Mrs. Reibold died March 21, 1864. The following July 4, he married Miss Margaret McWaide, sister of Mr. John McWaide, of Iosco. She died Jan. 28, 1903, at the Rochester asylum. For several years he worked, and "worked mighty hard," for $15 a month and boarded himself, and upon so small a pittance he and his family managed to live. His wife kept some poultry, and his employer would occasionally make him a present of a little flour. In later years the proprietor of the mill raised his wages to the magnificent sum of $20 a month and one barrel of flour a year, Mr. Reibold to board himself. What would young men of to-day think of such a wage?


H. W. Reineke
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) - transcribed by Liz Dellinger

Mr. H. W. Reineke, of Bloomington Grove, was born in Deerfield, Steele county, Oct. 5, 1866, and is the son of Mr. Conrad Reineke, now of Faribault. His grandfather, whose name was also Conrad, was born in the Province of Hanover, Germany, and came to America with his family about the year 1853. They were eight weeks on the ocean. They first lived in Schonberg, near Chicago. In May, 1855, Conrad, Christian, and Henry Reineke, with their parents, started for Minnesota with ox teams and wagons. They arrived in Deerfield about the first of June 1855, where Grandfather Conrad Reineke made a claim. Here the family made their home in spite of the harships incident to pioneer life. Conrad Junior, father of H. W., was then about twelve years of age, having been born July 19, 1843. Grandfather Conrad died in the early sixties. Conrad Junior enlisted in Company F. Third Minnesota, in 1863, and served until 1865. Conrad was married soon after his return from the army to Miss Otelia Wilkowski. They have ten children: Henry W., Anna, George, William, Albert, Louis, Hulda, Ernest, Rudolph, and Stella. Henry W. was married to Miss Winnie Fehmer oct. 23, 1900. She was born March 25, 1867. They have six children, one boy and five girls. H. W. has been secretary of the Deerfield creamery association and prominent in all public affairs. His brother, Dr. George Reineke, lives at New Ulm where he practices medicine. William and Albert are well-to-do farmers in Blooming Grove. Louis is a farmer in Deerfield. Ernest is studying for the ministry in the German M. E. church. Rudolph is attending school in Faribault. Fred and Edward Reineke, sons of Christian Reineke, of Deerfield, also reside in Blooming Grove. The Messrs. Reineke are all well-to-do people and very reliable.


Daniel Riegle
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

MR. DANIEL RIEGLE. Among the first settlers of Blooming Grove, the name of Daniel Riegle must not be forgotten. He was born in Erie county, N. Y., Oct. 23, 1829. His forefathers, away back, came from Germany, and retained their mother tongue; and Daniel can converse fluently in that language. He left his native state, when twenty-two years of age, and came West – stopped one month at Chicago, and then went to Stevenson county, Ill., where he remained one year. He next moved to Clayton county, Iowa, and thence to Delaware county, the same state, where he ran a saw mill about two years. While living at the latter place he married Miss M. C. Bliven, daughter of J. M. Bliven, one of the earliest settlers in Blooming Grove. She died in 1870. J. M. Bliven came here early in the season of 1855, and in the month of December of that year, Bliven having returned to Iowa for supplies, Riegle came up with him and another man, driving ox teams. Between Fort Atkinson and Cottrell's grove, in Iowa, they met a blizzard which detained them three days and nights. They wandered off the road, got some of the oxen down in a creek, and came near losing one pair. They finally found a Bohemian family, who had just moved in that fall. The house was small, and contained a family of children, and a sow with a brood of young pigs in one corner. There was no room to lie down, but then they had plenty to eat, could keep from freezing, and could sleep some while sitting.

After much hard work and many exposures, they reached Blooming Grove — then Swavesey. After looking the ground over, Mr. Riegle, accompanied by Wm. M. Gray and Simeon Smith, returned to Fayette county, Iowa. This was during the last days of December. Messrs. Gray and Smith went to West Union, Iowa, for provisions.

Mr. Riegle returned with his family in the spring of 1856, and made a claim on section 31 which he afterwards bought of the government, and on which he resided until 1874. The first death in the settlement was in the family of Mr. Riegle, being that of his son Mahlon who died in the winter of 1857. Mr. Riegle enlisted August 18, 1862, for three years, in Company F, Tenth regiment Minnesota infantry, and served until July, 1865.

For his second wife he married Miss Melvina Gray, in 1871. She was born in Illinois, Oct. 11, 1847, being a daughter of Wm. M. Gray. Mr. Riegle remained on his farm until 1874, when he sold out. He lived for a time in Morristown, then went to Waterville, and from there he moved to Renville county where he bought a farm. There he remained until 1883, when he moved to the farm where he now resides, in Kittson county.


Col. W. W. Robinson
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) - transcribed by Liz Dellinger

This gentleman settled in Wilton in 1856. He was born at Fair Haven, Vermont, Dec. 14, 1819. He graduated from Rutland Academy at the age of nineteen. He also took a course at the Norwich Military academy. He married Sarah Jane Fisk, daughter of Daniel Fisk, Feb. 5, 1842. At the breaking out of the war with Mexico, in 1846, he promptly enlisted and was elected first lieutenant, his commission bearing date June 12, 1846. Oct. 26, 1846, he was promoted to captain. At the close of the Mexican war he returned to Ohio, where he remained until 1851, when he made a trip to Wisconsin on a land speculation. In the spring of 1852, he went to California overland, being six months on the way thither. He remained in the "Golden State" until the fall of 1855, when he rejoined his family at Sparta, Wisconsin. As before stated, he came to Wilton, in this county, in the fall of 1856, where he resided with his family. He practiced law to some extent while in Wilton and was prominent in local affairs. In 1859 he disposed of his property here and returned to Sparta, Wis. At the breaking out of the Rebellion he engaged in drilling men for the service, and on the 15th of August, 1861, was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the Seventh Regiment Wisconsin volunteer infantry. This regiment, with four others, constituted the famous Iron Brigade. He was promoted to colonel of the regiment in February, 1862. He resigned in July, 1864, on account of sickness and the breaking out of a wound received at Gainesville, in 1862. He participated in over thirty battles and skirmishes. After a partial recovery of his health he engaged in lumbering at Chippewa Falls, Wis. In 1875 he was appointed U. S. consul at Madagascar by President Grant and held that position until the fall of 1886, when he resigned and returned to his family. At this writing, 1905, Mrs. Robinson is living at Seattle, state of Washington, in good helth at the age of eighty-six years. Colonel Robinson died April 27, 1903.


William Roddle
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1909) transcribed by Bobby Dobbins Title

Mr. William Roddle, born June 2, 1822, in "Old England," came to America in 1840. He first stopped in Cayuga county, N.Y. From there he went to Onondaga county and thence to Thompkins county in the same state. From there he came West in 1844, and settled in Kenosha county, Wisconsin. In 1849 he married Mrs. Mary Green, a widow with three daughters. In the fall of 1860, he came to Wilton with his family and purchased a farm near the old village of Wilton. His wife bore him three children: Wm. H., born Dec. 28, 1850; Ben. F., born April 9, 1854; and Ella, born Jan. 12, 1863. Mrs. Roddle died in Wilton, June 19, 1876. Miss Ella married Charles E. Root, Feb. 2, 1883. She became the mother of one son, Oren E., born Feb. 4, 1884. Her health was never the best, and after a prolonged and severe illness, she died some three or four years after the birth of her child.

William H. Roddle learned the tinner's trade of P. C. Bailey, went to Brookings, S. D., some twenty-five years ago, engaged in the hardware business, was finally elected secretary of state of South Dakota, for two terms, and is now practicing law in company with Philo Hall, his half sister's son, who was also a Waseca boy. Benjamin F. is also a resident of South Dakota.

Dec. 17, 1879, Mr. William Roddle married Miss Emily M. Loder, who was born in Wisconsin October 26, 1852. Her father John W. Loder, was also an early settler with his family in Wilton. Mr. Loder enlisted at the beginning of the Rebellion and died in 1862 while in the army. Mr. William Roddle died Nov. 9, 1889. He was one of our best citizens


William Henry Roddle
Source: History of South Dakota by Doane Robinson 1901; submitted by FoFG BZ

WILLIAM HENRY RODDLE, one of the pioneer settlers of what is now the attractive city of Brookings, is a native of the Badger state, which has made many contributions to the personnel of the best citizenship of South Dakota. He was born on a farm in Kenosha county Wisconsin, on the 28th of December, 1850, being a son of William and Mary Roddle, the former of whom was born in England and the latter in New York city. For many generations the Roddle family has been identified with agricultural pursuits in the south of England, while the ancestors of the subject's mother were among the first to settle in what is now New York city, the lineage being of Holland Dutch extraction. The parents of the subject removed in 1860 from Wisconsin to Wilton, Waseca county, Minnesota, residing there until the time of their deaths, and were numbered among the sterling pioneers of that state. William H. Roddle received his rudimentary education in the district schools and passed his boyhood days on the homestead farm, later continuing his studies in the public schools. In 1869, at the age of nineteen years, he secured a position as apprentice in a hardware establishment in Waseca, Minnesota, where he remained for the ensuing decade, during the last three years a member of the firm of J. M. Robertson & Company, at the expiration of which, in 1879, he came as a pioneer to the territory of Dakota and took up his residence in the little village of Medary, the then county seat of Brookings county. In October, 1879, he established himself in the hardware business in Brookings, South Dakota, meeting with success in the prosecution of the enterprise, with which he continued to be actively identified until 1896, when he disposed of his interests in this line. He took up the study of law a number of years ago and finally determined to complete a thorough course of technical reading, the result being that he thoroughly informed himself in the science of jurisprudence and was admitted to the bar of the state in 1901, since which time he has been successfully engaged in the practice in the city in which he has for so many years maintained his home, being a member of the well-known and representative law firm of Hall, Lawrence & Roddle.

In politics Mr. Roddle has ever been found stanchly arrayed in support of the principles and policies of the Republican party, in whose ranks he has been an active and efficient worker in South Dakota, both under the territorial and state regimes. In 1892 he was elected treasurer of Brookings county and was chosen as his own successor in 1894, thus serving four consecutive years. In 1896 he was the candidate of his party for the office of secretary of state, being victorious at the polls, where he secured a gratifying majority, and giving a most able and discriminating administration of the affairs of the important office. The popular appreciation of his services in this capacity was significantly manifested in 1898, when he was elected to succeed himself. Mr. Roddle is one of the prominent and appreciative members of the ancient and honored Masonic fraternity, and has the distinction of being past grand master of Masons of the state. His affiliations are with Brookings Lodge, No. 24, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons ; Brookings Chapter, No. 18, Royal Arch Masons ; Brookings Commandery, No. 14, Knights Templar; El Riad Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order of the ^Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, in Sioux Falls, and Brookings Chapter, No. 15, Order of the Eastern Star, while he is also identified with Brookings Lodge, No. 40, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in his home city, being one of its charter members. On the 1st of January, 1876, Mr. Roddle was united in marriage to Miss Fannie R. Stevens, who was born in Waushara county, Wisconsin, on the 2 1st of June, 1856, being a daughter of Royce F. and Lucinda M. Stevens. Of this union have been born two daughters, Man,- E., wife of F. J. Alton, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Anna F., who died in infancy.


S. S. Rollins
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Mr. S. S. Rollins, a native of New Hampshire, born May 1, 1836, son of Reuben and Lovina Rollins, came to Minnesota in 1855, first living on a farm in Houston County. He moved to Freedom in 1866. In 1860 he married Martha M. Elmore, who was born October 31, 1843. They have been the parents of six children. Mr. Rollins is an ideal American citizen. For years he was clerk of his township and treasurer of his school district. He now resides in Janesville, having retired from active business.


James A. Root
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1909) transcribed by Bobby Dobbins Title

Mr. James A. Root was one of the pioneers of the West. He was born in Jefferson county, N. Y., Feb. 26, 1832. While yet a boy his parents removed to Ellicottville, Cattaraugus county, N. Y., where his mother died. His father's name was Joseph N. Root, and he died April 12, 1869, aged sixty-eight years and eight months, being a resident of the town of Byron at the time of his death. James A. came to Waseca county in 1859, his father and other relatives coming later. Miss Hannah Brisbane, daughter of the late Hon. William Brisbane, of Wilton, was married to James A. Root, Dec. 12, 1859. Mrs. Root was born in New York state, Delaware county, August 18, 1840. Ten children were born to them: Charles E., Feb. 27, 1861; Wm. L., Jan. 29, 1863; Joseph S., April 16, 1865; Cora B., Aug. 26, 1867; Hattie M., March 4, 1870; James A., May 22, 1872; Maggie J., May 31, 1873; Freddie, July 2, 1877; Dora E., March 14, 1879, and Marvin L., Oct. 9, 1880. Freddie died August 24, 1877, and Marvin died Feb. 22, 1882. Mr. and Mrs. Root were among the first to plant a forest of trees about the house and barn. Their timber lot shows what may be done in the way of providing timber and fuel for the future. Mr. Root died August 23, 1891.


Joseph S. Root
Source: Child’s History of Waseca County, Minnesota; by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandra Stutzman

Mr. Joseph S. Root, son of James Root, was born in Wilton, April 16, 1865, and was married to Miss Catharine L. McDougall Sept. 24, 1891. With their five children, four girls and one boy, they reside on the old James Root homestead, one of the best farms in Wilton. James Root, born Feb. 26, 1832, in Cattaraugus county, N. Y., came to Wilton in 1859, settling on section 34. He married Miss Hannah Brisbane, daughter of Hon. William Brisbane, Dec. 12, 1859. They were the parents of eleven children: Charles E., Orin E., William L., Joseph S., Cora B., Hattie M., James A., Maggie J., Freddie, deceased, Dora E. and Marvin L., deceased. Joseph was chairman of the town board of Wilton for several terms and has held other offices. In 1900 he was democratic candidate for county commissioner in the Fifth district and lacked only eight votes of an election.


W. F. Rourk
Source: Child’s History of Waseca County, Minnesota; by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandra Stutzman

Mr. W. F. Rourk, born at Beechwood, Ontario, Canada, came to Minnesota with his parents when he was nine years of age. His parents settled on a farm in Watertown, Carver county, which they still own and reside upon. W. F. married Miss Mary Suel, at Credit River, Scott county, Minn., in 1882. She was born at Dayton, Ohio, and came to Minnesota with her parents when she was a babe. They settled on a farm in Credit River township. In 1882 Mr. Rourk engaged in the construction of cement walks at Minneapolis, and carried on the business in the Twin Cities for eighteen years. In 1900, he came to Waseca and established a factory for the manufacture of cement stone especially for sidewalks, crossings, curbs, gutters, hitching posts, etc. He also owns a neat residence property in Waseca, although he does a great deal of work in other places. Thus far his work has been highly satisfactory, and cement-stone walks are taking the place of lumber walks. His address is Waseca, Minn.


Mr. Emil Sahler
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Mr. Emil Sahler, of Woodville, farmer and inventor, was born in Baraboo, Wis., June 28, 1859. He came to Clinton Falls, Minnesota, with his parents in 1869 and lived there until 1884. Emil Sahler and Miss Minnie Krassin were married June 15, 1882. Minnie is a daughter of the late Christian Krassin, of St. Mary, and was born Dec. 6, 1860. They own a farm of two hundred acres, and have growing thereon, fourteen hundred fruit trees, mostly apple and improved plum. They have a grove of five acres about the house, consisting of Norway poplars, evergreens, and soft maples. Including the orchard, they have about sixteen acres devoted to trees. They are also engaged in dairying and general farming. Mr. Sahler is the inventor of the "Boss Fence Tools." He is also a prominent member of fruit picking implements. Mr. and Mrs. Sahler are the parents of three children, one son and two daughters; Christian, born December 3, 1888; Emma, born November 15, 1890; Lizzie, born July 9, 1898. They have one of the largest and finest fruit orchards in the state, and as they are hard workers, they realize a comfortable income.


Hon. John L. Saufferer
Source: Child’s History of Waseca County, Minnesota; by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandra Stutzman

Hon. John L. Saufferer, one of the 1856 settlers, is a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, and was born January 20, 1821. At the age of twenty-four years, he came to America, landing in New York; from here he made his way to Lawrence county, Ohio, where he found steady employment as a farm laborer, thus fitting himself for the calling in which he has been so successful. He then went to Clay county, Ill., and purchased a farm of his own. At the age of thirty-one, needing a housekeeper, he returned to his native land, married Miss Henrietta Miller, and again sailed for the "land of the free" where they arrived safely without any incident of note. After some five years, he sold his Illinois farm and came to Blooming Grove. They are the parents of twelve children, ten of whom are living. He was elected a member of the lower house of the legislature in 1872, where he served with fidelity to his constituents. He is one of the wealthiest men in the township, and, in politics, is a Populist or free-coinage advocate. He has always been popular with the people of his town, having held some town office nearly every year since the town was organized. He is at this writing in his eighty-fifth year and remarkably well preserved.

The following named children were born to them: George, born October 25, 1852, deceased; Henrietta, born November 14, 1853; Charles John, born March 19, 1855; Maria Anna, born January 26, 1857; Caroline, born April 9, 1859; Matilda W., born December 1, 1860, deceased; Henry, born October 12, 1862; Amelia J., born September 19, 1864; Lydia, born October 23, 1866; John G., born February 25, 1869; Benjamin, born January 6, 1874; and Louis, born June 27, 1876.


John Sell
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

John Sell, a native of Germany, arrived in Waseca county in 1857, first working as a farm hand and afterwards purchasing a quarter section of Indian Reservation land on section 31, in St. Mary, which he still owns. He married Mrs. Martin Krassin, in 1855. They remained on their farm until a few years ago when they rented it to their son, Rudolph, who still carries it on, and they moved to Waseca where they have a nice home in Broughton's addition.


Garrett Sheehan
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) - transcribed by Liz Dellinger

Mr. Garrett Sheehan, of St. Mary, was born in County Cork, Ireland, about the year 1830. He came to this country in 1852, landed at New York and came immediately to Detroit, Mich., where an uncle resided. Shortly afterwards, he commenced work in the copper mines on the south shore of Lake Superior where he remained about two years. He also worked some time on the Sault Ste. Marie canal and afterwards in the Ontanagon, Mich. mines. He then started for Waseca county and arrived on election day in the fall of 1856, his brother Dennis and Mr. James Brown having settled here a short time before. Mr. Sheehan made a claim on section 20, town of St. Mary, where he still resides. He married Miss Ellen Daly in the fall of 1858. She passed to rest October 13, 1903. At this writing, (1905) he has one son and three daughters. His son James, is on the farm with him, as are also two of the daughters. The third daughter, Mrs. Wm. Wheelock, resides in Waseca. Mr. Sheehan's experiences in hauling produce to the Hastings market in the early days, and with the Indians would fill much space. He was a strong, vigorous man, and few have done more than he in developing the natural resources of the country. He has two farms and has a competency for his old age.


Michael Sheeran
Source: "History of Waseca County, Minnesota: from its first settlement in 1854 to the close of the year 1904; a record of fifty years: the story of the pioneers". By James E. Child - Owatonna, Minn.: Press of the Owatonna Chronicle, 1905; submitted by Veneta McKinney

MR. MICHAEL SHEERAN, of St. Mary, one of the prominent men of that township, was born in Ireland in the year 1840. He came to America in 1860, and to Waseca county in 1862, after having lived in Michigan about two years. He made an extensive tour of Minnesota and returned that fall by way of Ashland, on Lake Superior, to Michigan. He worked in the copper mines of Michigan until 1865 when he again came to Minnesota. This time he bought land on the Winnebago reservation, section 18, St. Mary, paying therefore $2.60 per acre. He later worked for some time in Faribault. Feb. 19, 1867, he married Miss Mary Dardis, of Blooming Grove, daughter of Mr. John Dardis of that township. She is also a native of Ireland and was born in 1843, coming to America in 1859 with her parents and settling in Blooming Grove in 1866. Mr. and Mrs. Sheeran have four sons and five daughters living, one daughter having died. Mr. Sheeran and his sons have taken up a large tract of land in North Dakota to which they have already secured title. He is still living on the old farm where he settled in 1867.


B. Simons
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandi King

This gentleman is the popular proprietor of the restaurant on the corner of Second and Wood streets. He was born in Norway, March 11, 1852; came to America with his parents in 1857, and lived for six months in Manitowoc, Wis. His parents then moved to Adams county, same state. He married Miss Emma Thompson, March 29, 1880, coming to Minnesota in 1882. Miss Thompson was born Dec. 29, 1856, near Madison, Wis. In the fall of 1882, he opened the Nicollet House in Waseca, which he conducted for four years. In the fall of 1886, in company with Fred Byersdorf, he opened a grocery store. In the fall of 1894, he sold his interest to Byersdorf, and traveled a year for a cigar house. In the fall of 1895, he commenced the business in which he and his family are now engaged. At the last city election he was chosen alderman from the First ward. He is the father of three sons and three daughters: Malinda, born in 1881; Anna, in 1883; Jalmar, in 1885; Clarence, in 1887; Bert, in 1891, deceased; and Eva, in 1894. Jalmar is attending the State University.


Orlando M. Simons
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

MR. ORLANDO M. SIMONS, of Janesville, one of the fathers of Waseca county, was born June 12, 1821, at South New Berlin, Chenango county, N. Y. He married Miss Phoebe Stenson Oct. 30, 1845. She was born April 21, 1824, at Gilbertsville, Oswego county, N. Y. About two weeks after their marriage, they moved to Berlin, Erie county, Ohio. They came to Minnesota, to the town of Janesville in 1859. They endured many hardships on the journey and arrived November 5. They soon after settled on their claim near Elysian. They were here during the hard times of 1859-60, and at the time of the Indian massacre. He was a wagon, and carriage maker by trade, but followed farming after he began his residence in Minnesota. Mr. Simons passed to his final rest June 27, 1905, aged eighty-four years and fifteen days, of heart failure. He had been ill about two weeks. His widow, two sons and five daughters survive him. The sons and daughters are T. A. Simons, Mrs. John Williams, Mrs. J. Bignall, Mrs. C. N. Smith, Mrs. Clarence Thwing, of Chetek, Wis., P. R. Simons, and Mrs. P. Galagan, the last of LeSueur Center.

Mr. Simons was always a temperate honorable, upright man, an affectionate husband, a kind parent, a good citizen, and an accommodating neighbor. It is said of him that he died without an enemy.


Rev. Henry Singenstrue
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

The Reverend Henry Singenstrue, born in Oelber, Germany, November 16, 1821, sailed for America in 1852, landing at New Orleans and coming north as far as Cincinnati. In 1854 he came to Red Wing, Minn., and bought a claim, remaining two years, when he was appointed missionary of the German M. E. Church, a position which he held for sixteen years. He married Salome Bider, a Swiss woman, in 1861. They own a little farm in Blooming Grove. Mr. Singenstrue was a pioneer in the church work of the state.


Honorable Charles A. Smith
Source: "History of Waseca County, Minnesota: from its first settlement in 1854 to the close of the year 1904; a record of fifty years: the story of the pioneers". By James E. Child - Owatonna, Minn.: Press of the Owatonna Chronicle, 1905; submitted by Veneta McKinney

This gentleman was born in Wilton, June 12, 1866, and came to Waseca with his parents in the fall of 1870. He received his education in the public schools of Waseca, and finished with a business course at Minneapolis. He worked for some time in the Waseca coffin factory, but had to abandon it on account of his health. He worked off and on at the printer's trade in the Radical office for several years prior to his father's death. Since then he has been engaged in the management of his own and his sister's estate. He held the office of mayor of Waseca for six consecutive terms from 1898 to 1904 inclusive. He was deputy county treasurer from 1889 to 1901 under Dieudonne, and for six months under Krassin. He is one of the four boys that were born in Wilton and are now living in Waseca.


C. N. Smith
Source: Child’s History of Waseca County, Minnesota; by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandra Stutzman

Mr. C. N. Smith, son of J. R. Smith, was born in Blooming Grove, Jan. 25, 1857. He married Miss Mary A. Simons, daughter of Orlando Simons, of Janesville, Aug. 17, 1878, and they live on their farm in Janesville, a mile and a half southwest of Elysian. They have had three children: Bessie C., born Aug. 12, 1879; Frank J., born Mar. 27, 1888, died Mar. 22, 1889; and Dessie A., born Aug. 10, 1893. Joshua R. Smith and wife were early settlers, both American born. Joshua was born Jan. 26, 1833; Almeda Smith, daughter of Simeon Smith, was born July 5, 1836. They were married at West Union Iowa, in 1864, and went to live in Blooming Grove, on what is now known as the James Bowe place, in June, 1866. They were the parents of six children: Agnes, born at West Union, Iowa, Jan. 21, 1855; C. N. Smith, born Jan. 25, 1857; Clara Smith, Nov. 20, 1859; John, Feb. 12, 1861; Ida Dec. 30, 1863. The last four were born in Blooming Grove. Etta, the youngest, was born in Elysian, LeStreur county, Mr. Smith served in the Union army at the time of the Rebellion, and after the close of the war, in 1865, sold his farm in Blooming Grove and engaged in the sawmill business at Elysian for two years. He then sold the mill and bought an Elysian farm on which he lived until 1891, when he removed to Delano, Cal., with all his children except C. N. Mrs. Smith died there Oct. 20, 1895, and Mr. Smith, July 31, 1900.


Eugene A. Smith
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) - transcribed by Liz Dellinger

Among the very early settlers in the village of Wilton came Mr. E. A. Smith, brother of our county surveyor, Orson L. Smith. E. A. was born at Kingsville, Ashtabula county, Ohio, Dec. 26, 1833. He graduated at the Norwich University of Vermont in 1856, and immediately after came to Minnesota and settled in Wilton. He married Miss Sarah Ide, of that place, about 1861. He was an honorable and highly respected man. He died of typhoid pneumonia, Sept. 19, 1864, at Wilton, leaving a widow and one daughter, Miss Winnie, who is a resident of California at this writing. Mr. Smith had accumulated quite a property in real estate at the time of his demise.


Harvey S. Smith
Source: "History of Waseca County, Minnesota: from its first settlement in 1854 to the close of the year 1904; a record of fifty years: the story of the pioneers". By James E. Child - Owatonna, Minn.: Press of the Owatonna Chronicle, 1905; submitted by Veneta McKinney

MR. HARVEY S. SMITH.
Both the father and grandfather of this gentleman settled in this county in 1855, and Harvey was born in Woodville, March 7, 1859, his father being Alfred C. Smith, deceased. He attended his district school, is a graduate of the Waseca high school and of the Mankato State Normal school. He taught in the public schools of the state twelve years. He commenced carrying the United States mail on route No. 3, from Waseca, July 20, 1903, and is still so employed. He owns his grandfather's old farm in Blooming Grove, and one of his brothers is carrying it on. The buildings—house and barn—are among the oldest in the county. The frame barn was built as early as 1858, and the frame house as early as 1863. The frames of both are made of heavy timbers put together by mortise and tenon and fastened together with wooden pins. The buildings on the farm, though aged, are well preserved, and Harvey is justly proud of the old homestead with its historic surroundings.

Harvey held the office of justice of the peace for several years and is now school district clerk. He married Miss Eugenia Owens, of Mankato, August 28, 1900. She was born in Steuben county, N. Y., March 5, 1872, and came to Minnesota with her parents in 1897. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have one son a year and a half old. Mr. Smith's father and mother were the parents of fourteen children, ten of whom are living, namely: Mary, Lovica, Harvey S., Willis, Luceba, Nellie, Jennie, Clara, Celia, and Jasper.


Orson L. Smith
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) - transcribed by Liz Dellinger

Mr. Orson L. Smith for twenty-five years county surveyor of Waseca county, was born in the town of Perry, Lake county, Ohio, April 7, 1845. He attended the public schools of his county, and at the age of seventeen, in 1862, enlisted in Company K, Fifty-second Ohio Infantry and served for three years. At the close of the war, he went to Montana and worked in the mining regions five years. He then enlisted in Company E, Second United States cavalry, and served five years under Gen. Crooks, the noted Indian fighter. The most serous fighting in which he participated was at the destruction of the "Crazy Horse" camp, March 17, 1876, near the close of his term of service. He was honorably discharged soon after, and came to Waseca county in December, 1876. In the spring of 1877, he bought the farm on the north shore of Clear Lake where he has ever since resided. He married Miss Ruth Mabel Goodspeed, sister of George H. Goodspeed, Nov. 28, 1878. They are the parents of two daughters, Mrs. Herbert Star, and Miss Isadore T. Mr. Smith was first elected county surveyor in 1880 and has held that office continuously by re-election ever since. He has also acted as city engineer for the city of Waseca for many years.


Susan E. Smith
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) - transcribed by Liz Dellinger

Mrs. Susan E. Smith, widow of Hon. Warren Smith, deceased, died at the family residence, June 21, 1896, after a lingering illness of some twelve weeks. She was prostrated at first with grippe from which she was unable to recover. She was a sister of the well-known merchant, J. W. Johnson, of Waseca, and was born in Boston, Mass., August 8, 1825. She married Mr. Warren Smith, October 9, 1853, and came to Minnesota with him in 1856. They first lived in Faribault, but came to St. Mary, in this county, in 1858, where they made their home until 1862, when they removed to Wilton where they resided until the fall of 1870 when they settled in Waseca. Mrs. Smith was a model wife, mother, neighbor, and citizen. She was thoroughly devoted to the welfare of her family and neighbors, and enjoyed the highest esteem of all who knew her. She possessed all the Christian virtues and graces. She left surviving a daughter, Mary L., a son, Hon. Charles A., four sisters, and two brothers.


Honorable Warren Smith
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

THE HONORABLE WARREN SMITH. This worthy pioneer was born in Barnstable county, Mass., Nov. 15, 1821. His father's name was Amasa Smith. Warren grew to manhood in his native county and attended the public schools of the neighborhood until the age of sixteen, when he learned the trade of boat builder. Between boat building and wrecking he employed his time until 1855-6. In the mean time, 1853, he married Miss Susan E. Johnson, of Provincetown, Mass. They came to Minnesota in 1856 and resided in Faribault. Mr. Smith and his brother-in-law, J. S. Fuller, engaged in the mercantile business at that place. In the winter of 1856-7, he came to the then village of St. Mary, in this county, purchased the general stock of merchandise of Chamberlain, Bailey & Co., and entered into the mercantile business in that village. He remained in business in St. Mary until 1862, when he was appointed assistant sutler of the Tenth Minnesota infantry, and accompanied the Sibley expedition in pursuit of the Sioux Indians in 1863.

Prior to this time he had also become a member of the Wilton firm of J. W. Johnson & Co., which carried a large stock of general merchandise in the village of Wilton. About 1863 he moved his family to Wilton where they resided until 1870 when they came to Waseca.

He was elected to the house of representatives and served during the session of 1869. In 1870, upon the retirement of Captain Comee from the office of county auditor, Mr. Smith was appointed by the county board to fill out the unexpired term. In 1873, he was elected county treasurer by a majority of over six hundred votes. He was twice re-elected, thus serving as treasurer six years. In 1881, when Waseca first became a city, he was elected mayor, and served one year. He declined a re-election and the common council, upon his retirement, unanimously adopted the following resolution:

"Whereas, the retirement of our esteemed fellow citizen, the Hon. Warren Smith, from the office of mayor of the city of Waseca, presents a suitable opportunity of expressing the esteem in which we hold him, as a faithful and courteous public servant, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the common council of the city of Waseca tender him a vote of thanks for the impartial and faithful performance of his duties as such mayor in having the laws and ordinances of the city duly enforced during his term of office, and for the appointment of competent and faithful persons to the several offices of the city during his said term as mayor."

From that time to the close of his life he steadfastly refused to accept any office, though often urged to do so.

His children were Minnie M., Mary L., George W., and Charles A. Minnie and George both died soon after reaching womanhood and manhood. Miss Mary L. and Hon. Charles A., only survivors of the family, reside in the city of Waseca.

In religion Mr. Smith was a Universalist, and in all that goes to make up a true Christian life he was pre-eminent. In every calling of life, he was scrupulously honest, truthful, kind, charitable. He made no loud professions, but his everyday life was a living, practical sermon of good works. He was a member of the Masonic organizations, of this county, as high as Knight Templar, and was a true and worthy brother in all the relations of life.

He visited the Pacific coast in the winter of 1892-3, where he was taken with influenza, from the effects of which he never recovered. His death had been long expected, by both himself and family, and his departure was quiet and peaceful. He expressed, a few days before his demise, his entire readiness for the change, and his desire to depart as soon as possible. He was a grand, good man, and a true friend.


George W. Soule
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

MR. GEORGE W. SOULE is one of those, who at an early day, followed Horace Greeley's advice by coming West when a very young man. He came with elder brothers and a widowed mother, in 1849, from Coeymans, Albany county, N. Y., and settled first at Watertown, Wis. Coming thence to Minnesota, the family settled just over the county line, in Morristown, arriving at their new home August 10, 1855, when George was only eleven years of age.

Mrs. Soule, nee Nancy Canfield, daughter of the late Judge Canfleld, of this county, was born in the town of Chester, Dodge county, Wis., July 27, 1846, and came with her parents to this county, arriving here, June 9, 1856.

George W. Soule enlisted in the Third regiment, Minnesota volunteers, Feb. 15, 1864, and served until the close of the war. Soon after his discharge, he bought eighty acres of land on section 4, Blooming Grove, where he settled down to farming. He was elected assessor in 1877, to which office he was re-elected for five consecutive years. He was then elected county commissioner and served one term.

Mr. George Soule, at this writing, 1904, resides in Oregon.


Charles P. Spillane
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

This active young attorney was born in Faribault County, Minn., March 15, 1873, and was brought to Woodville by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Spillane, in 1875. He was reared on his father's farm, but upon reaching his majority, entered the law office of Hon. John Moonan of Waseca, as a student. He went to North Dakota in the spring of 1901. Nov. 27, of the same year, he married Miss Agnes I. Moonan, a native of this county, daughter of Mr. Patrick Moonan, who was an early settler. They returned to Waseca in 1903, and went to live in New Richland in the fall of the same year. Mr. Spillane was admitted to the bar in North Dakota in 1902, and is in active practice at New Richland. He is chairman of the Democratic county central committee, and holds the office of deputy oil inspector for this county. He was a very strong supporter of W. J. Bryan during the campaigns of 1896 and 1900.


Halvor K. Stearns
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) - transcribed by Liz Dellinger

Halvor K. Stearns, of New Richland, was born in Nomedal, Norway, Christmas Day, 1836. At the age of seventeen he came to America, and lived in Rock county, Wisconsin. Here he was married in 1860 to Miss Betsy Sevets, who was born in Norway in June, 1840. He came to Waseca county, accompanied by his wife and one child, in 1862, settling on a farm about two miles east of the present village of New Richland. He lived on his farm from 1862 to 1880, when he removed to the village of New Richland and opened a general merchandise store. He served as county commissioner from January, 1874, to December, 1879, with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He departed this life February 16, 1905.


Jennie Weed Stearns
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) - transcribed by Liz Dellinger

This lady, wife of Mr. George B. Stearns, of Otisco, died at her home, June 10, 1904, of Addison's disease of the kidneys from which she had been ailing for some time and for which she underwent an operation at the Mayo hospital in Rochester a few weeks prior to her death. Mrs. Stearns was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Weed and was born on the home farm in Wilton in 1859; she grew to womanhood in that part of the county and was married at the age of seventeen. With the exception of a few years in New Richland, she and her husband made their home in Otisco.

Four children were born to them: Edwin, who is married and resides in Waseca, being a fireman on the C. & N. W. railway; Charles, Floyd, and Walter, who are yet at home.


Wm. H. Stearns
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) - transcribed by Liz Dellinger

This gentleman was the son of Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Stearns, early settlers in the town of Otisco. He was born in that township in May, 1859. He resided the greater part of his life there, leaving the farm only a short time to buy wheat in this city for Everett, Aughenbaugh & Co. He spent a short time in the mercantile business in New Richland and then returned to the farm for awhile before settling in Waseca. He taught school for a number of winters while engaged in farming. In the spring of 1884 he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Armitage, who survives him. One daughter, Monna, was born to them. After a prolonged and severe illness, he departed this life, Jan. 10, 1905. Some six years prior to his death, he underwent an operation for tuberculosis of a bone of one leg. The operation cost him the loss of his entire limb. He had not been in robust health since that time, but had been able to keep about and attended to light work until about a year prior to his demise.


Edwin R. Stevens
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Mr. Edwin R. Stevens was born in Washara County, Wisconsin, October 29, 1859. He came to Vivian, this county, with his parents, who settled there in October 1863, the next year after the Indian massacre. The family moved to Wilton in 1866, his father carrying on blacksmithing there for some years. Edwin went to Lake Benton in 1880, where he made his home until 1895. November 30, 1892, he married Miss Lura A. Gray, daughter of the late Wm. H. Gray, an early settler of Woodville and an old soldier, now deceased. Lura was born in Woodville November 11, 1866. In 1895 Mr. and Mrs. Stevens returned to Woodville and lived on a farm, east of Waseca, which they carried on until the spring of 1900, when they moved into Waseca. Since August 11, 1902, Mr. Stevens has been mail carrier on route No. 2. Of Mrs. Stevens' brothers and sisters, Franklin J. resides in Moorhead, Minn.; Olive A., Mrs. B. F. Roddle, and Fannie R., Mrs. W. H. Roddle, reside in Brookings, South Dakota; Walter, in Waseca; Florence, Mrs. Mudgett, at Chattanooga, Tenn.; Charles F. enlisted March 24, 1864, and died at Helena, Ark., Sept. 1, 1864, of disease contracted in the service.


George Wilfred Strong
Source: Child’s History of Waseca County, Minnesota; by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandra Stutzman

Mr. George Wilfred Strong is a son of Nathan E. Strong, one of the very early settlers of Waseca county, who now resides in California. The maiden name of G. W. Strong's mother was Sarah Ide. She was one of the 1855 settlers of Minnesota. G. W. is one of the "Wilton group" of four boys, and was born in Wilton May 31, 1867. His parents came to Waseca soon after and remained here until about 1885 when they removed to Pomona, California, where they still reside. George W. returned to Waseca in 1897, and entered the mill of Everett, Aughenbaugh & Co. He and Miss Jennie Aughenbaugh were united in marriage February 8, 1898. They are the parents of one son, Harry. Mr. Strong is still in the milling business as miller. He is also president of the Water and Light commission of Waseca and is well qualified for the position.


John B. Sullivan
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) - transcribed by Liz Dellinger

Mr. John B. Sullivan, cashier of the First National Bank of Waseca, is a native of Newburyport, Mass. His parent came to Minnesota in 1863 and lived on a farm in Dakota county, near Farmington, until 1872, when they settled in the town of Bath, Freeborn county. John attended the public schools of his neighborhood until about 1883-4 when he attended school at Winona and graduated from the Winona Commercial College. In 1885, he went to Kingsbury county, D. T., and opened a real estate and loan office at Lake Preston. For two winters he returned to Minnesota and taught school. In 1888 he bought a half interest in the Merchants' Exchange Bank at that place, and in 1893 went into the flour milling business at the same place. He continued in the milling business until 1896, when he sold his interest in the mill and accepted the position of cashier of the first National Bank of Lake Benton. In 1901 he became interested in the Citizens State Bank of Arlington, S. D., which was afterwards changed to a National Bank. About October 1, 1902, he, in connection with others, bought the Citizens State Bank of Waseca and changed it to the present First National Bank of Waseca. This instiution began business under its new charter Jan. 2, 1903. Mr. Sullivan has been cashier of this bank since its opening. He is familiar with all the details of the banking business, and is very kind and obliging in all business and social affairs. He was joined in marriage with Miss Gertrude Utley Anderson, Nov. 10, 1892, at De Smet, S. D. Mrs. sullivan was born in Fryeburg, Maine, Feb. 16, 1875, and settled with her parents in South Dakota at an early day. Mrs. Sullivan, who was never very rugged died of heart disease Sept. 3, 1904, leaving two little boys to the care of the father and a maiden aunt.


Ole H. Sunde
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) Chapter LXXIX; transcribed by Mary Saggio

Ole H. Sunde and others of New Richland, had some rough experience in the early days. They had to go to Iowa for food and supplies, taking the round-a-bout way over which they came from Wisconsin. They started on bare ground in the fall, the weather being fine, but were caught in a snow storm while out, and were detained three weeks while their families had only a small quantity of corn meal, ground cob and all, which they sifted and ate with milk. The anxiety of each of the separated parties as to the fate and welfare of the others was intense. None but those who have been placed in similar circumstances can realize the feelings of husband, wife or relatives thus separated.


Byron G. Sutlief
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

MR. BYRON G. SUTLIEF, son of the first settler in the county, Mr. Asa G. Sutlief, is a native of Wilton, born on the old homestead, Sept. 10, 1858, where he still resides. December 18, 1884, he married Miss Luverne Kerr, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Kerr. She was born in St. Mary, this county, Oct. 1, 1863, He owns the oldest farm in the county, about two hundred acres, and is extensively engaged in raising. Buying, fattening, and selling hogs and cattle. He is wealthy and has an interesting family of children. Mr. Sutlief is not only a well-to-do farmer, but he is interested in the New Richland bank, the Byron creamery, etc.


Omer H. Sutlief
Source: Child’s History of Waseca County, Minnesota; by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandra Stutzman

Mr. Omer H. Sutlief, born May 2, 1836, in Warren county, Pa., came to Waseca county in 1856. Dec. 11, 1860, he married Mary Holbrook, daughter of Zachariah Holbrook, who settled in Otisco in 1856. They have one son and four daughters. Mr. Sutlief volunteered in the old First Minnesota regiment in April, 1661, served three years and three months, taking part in twenty-one battles, and having one thumb shot off. He owns a farm near New Richland, but lives in the village with his family.


Fred A. Swartwood
Source: "History of Waseca County, Minnesota: from its first settlement in 1854 to the close of the year 1904; a record of fifty years: the story of the pioneers". By James E. Child - Owatonna, Minn.: Press of the Owatonna Chronicle, 1905; submitted by Veneta McKinney

DOCTOR FRED A. SWARTWOOD.
Dr. F. A. Swartwood is a native of Minnesota, born at Cannon City, Rice county, Minn., Dec. 8, 1860. His father, Hon. Henry A. Swartwood, is a native of Pennsylvania, but came to Minnesota in 1857, settling at Cannon City. Dr. Swartwood attended the public schools of his district, took a four-year elective course at Carleton College and graduated from the medical college at Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1886. He and Miss Ida M. Poe were joined in marriage Nov. 20, 1886. They moved to the city of Waseca the same fall, where they have since resided. Mrs. Swartwood was born in Rice county in 1863. They have two children: one daughter, Madeline, and one son, Harold. The doctor has had an extensive practice since his first year and has been interested meanwhile in other business enterprises. He was the first president of the Waseca Savings and Loan Association; is president of the Waseca telephone company; is a stockholder of the W. J. Armstrong wholesale company of Waseca; owns a farm of seven hundred and twenty acres in Kandiyohi county; was for one term a member of the Waseca board of education; served as president of the Waseca Commercial Club in 1903, and took an active part in securing the paving of Second street. He has been postmaster of Waseca since the first year of President McKinley's administration. For many years he has been very active in party politics, and has often furnished "inspiration" for the local papers of his party. He is temperate in his habits and capable of performing an immense amount of labor.


Keyes Swift
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Mr. Keyes Swift, a native of Fond du Lac, Wis., came to Blooming Grove in 1856. He was left fatherless at an early age and thrown upon his resources. He owns a valuable farm and has accumulated a handsome property. He was married July 3, and his two children. In 1896, he was the Populist candidate for representatives of this district.


William H. Taylor
Source: "History of Waseca County, Minnesota: from its first settlement in 1854 to the close of the year 1904; a record of fifty years: the story of the pioneers". By James E. Child - Owatonna, Minn.: Press of the Owatonna Chronicle, 1905; submitted by Veneta McKinney

WILLIAM H. TAYLOR, one of the early settlers in Blooming Grove, was born in England, Feb. 12, 1845, and came to America with his parents when eighteen months old. The family first settled in New Orleans where they remained until 1850 when they moved to Missouri. Soon after they located in Illinois and in 1857 came to Waseca county when the father bought a farm in Blooming Grove. William H., upon attaining his majority, bought a farm in Byron. Soon after he married Miss Emma E. Barnes, whose parents were among the early settlers in Wilton township. Mrs. Taylor is a native of Nunda, McHenry county, Ill., and was born Nov. 8, 1849. They spent several years farming in this county and then sold their farm here and moved to a sheep ranch near Saco, Montana, where they have met with good fortune and are meeting with marked financial success in sheep farming. They reared a family of children some of whom are married.


The Timlin Group
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

This group, published in this work, is the only one of five generations of which the author has a record. Mrs. Patrick Burke, Mrs. Michael Haley, Mrs. John Timlin, Mr. F. J. Timlin and Master A. Donald Flaig, constitute the group. The first three came from Pennsylvania to Minnesota in 1858 and have since resided in Iosco. John Timlin, with his parents, brothers and sisters, came to Minnesota from Wisconsin in 1868, and settled in Iosco. F. J. Timlin was born and reared in Iosco, and A. Donald Flaig, grandson of Mr. and Mrs. John Timlin, was born in Seattle, state of Washington.


Edgar C. Trowbridge
Source: Child’s History of Waseca County, Minnesota; by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandra Stutzman

Mr. Edgar C. Trowbridge, son of the late Ira C. Trowbridge, founder of the city of Waseca, was born at Woodstock, Ill., about 1854, and came to Waseca with his parents in August 1866. He is president of the Peoples State bank of Waseca, and an extensive owner and dealer in Waseca real estate. He was for many years engaged in the hardware business. On May 29, 1901, at Sacramento, he married Miss Stratton, daughter of Judge Stratton, of California. She is a native of Santa Barbara, Cal. Mr. Trowbridge has been an efficient member of the board of education of Waseca for eleven years.


Hon. Ira C. Trowbridge
Source: "History of Waseca County, Minnesota: from its first settlement in 1854 to the close of the year 1904; a record of fifty years: the story of the pioneers". By James E. Child - Owatonna, Minn.: Press of the Owatonna Chronicle, 1905; submitted by Veneta McKinney

The most prominent figure in the early history of Waseca was Mr. Ira C. Trowbridge, who, according to his own statement, was born in Lyle, Broom county, in the state of New York, March 16, 1823. He was the son of Henry and Betsey (Lockwood) Trowbridge; they being among the early settlers of that section. He learned the tanner's trade with his father, and remained in his native state until he was of age. About that time he came west as far as Chicago, and engaged as clerk in a boot and shoe store. There he remained until the spring of 1846, when he located in Woodstock, Ill., and opened a boot and shoe store of his own. In the early fall of 1846 he returned to Lyle, and was married to Miss Judith Church, who was born Sept. 28, 1826.

He did an extensive business both as a merchant and real estate dealer in Woodstock; but after a time, as we are informed, he met with some reverses of fortune, and in 1866, made a trip to this county and secured an option on the farm of Mr. Meyers, the present city of Waseca. He came here with his family early in 1867. He labored unceasingly for everything that he thought would build up Waseca and promote his own interests.
To say that he was sometimes mistaken as to methods is no more than to say that he was human. That he met with fair business success is evident from the large property interests which he left to his family at the time of his death, which occurred Oct. 3, 1893.

He was a man of nerve and iron will and allowed no man to thwart his plans without suffering for his temerity sooner or later. Many of his plans were wise and many of his public acts were highly praiseworthy.

As soon as the cars arrived in 1867, Mr. Trowbridge obtained lumber and erected a large temporary hotel for the convenience of the incoming throngs that were to build Waseca. In this enterprise, Mrs. Trowbridge will be remembered with a kindly feeling by the many who found her a kind and obliging hostess, although suffering from ill health.

In the early days of Waseca, Mr. Trowbridge was ably assisted by Hon. W. G. Ward and J. H. Jenkins, Esq., the former being chief civil engineer of the W. & St. P. railroad, and the latter his first assistant, both of whom became sons-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Trowbridge, the first year of the city's growth.

He died suddenly of heart failure Oct. 3, 1893.


Jackson Turnacliff
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1909) transcribed by Bobby Dobbins Title

Mr. Jackson Turnacliff was among the very young men who came West in 1855. Mr. Ferdinand Turnacliff, father of Jackson and Dellevan, was born in the state of New York, Sept. 11, 1813. He lived for some years in Jefferson county, N.Y., while a young man, but finally moved to the state of Ohio when that state was in "the far West." His wife, Maria, was also a New Yorker, born April 4, 1812. She died Dec. 6, 1862. Five children were born to them; Jackson, May 6, 1835; Amelia Ann, deceased, born Jan. 2, 1837; Dellevan, born Sept. 30, 1838; Sally M., deceased, born August 27, 1842; Matilda, now Mrs. J. M Dunn, born March 16, 1848; and Seymour, who was born May 8, 1851, and died Jan. 17, 1854. Jackson came from Ohio to Iowa in the fall of 1855. In December 1855, in company with "Doc" Ambrose Kellogg and William Young, the last a Scotchman, he came from Jackson county, Iowa, to Minnesota most of the way on Norwegian snow shoes, arriving at the Sutlief farm, in Wilton, on the last day of December, 1855. He took a claim on section 7, Otisco, where he made his future home. He returned to Ohio in 1858 and married Miss Lucia E. Barber, who was born in Ohio Feb. 6, 1839. They were married August 25, 1858, and at once came to their home in Minnesota. The Turnacliffs were well supplied with money and experienced few of the real hardships endured by most of the early settlers. Nine children were born unto Jackson and Lucia: Minnie D., June 6, 1859; Lolah M., Jan. 26, 1861; Elsie L., Oct. 26, 1863; Linna M., Dec. 6, 1865, deceased; Laura M., Aug. 9, 1867; Ferdinand, April 26, 1872; Walter D., May 1, 1876; J. B., Sept. 5, 1880; Rill, May 1, 1885.

Dellevan ("Tip") Turnacliff came to Minnesota with his father and sisters about 1863 and settled with them in Wilton where, at this time, 1904, he still owns an excellent farm. He and Miss Maggie Brisbane were married some years later and now reside in Waseca.


James A. Vaughn
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Mr. James A. Vaughn, son of Edward and Mary Vaughn, born in Ireland in 1831, came to the United States in 1838 with his parents, and in 1873 moved to Alton. His parents died in Illinois – the mother in 1861, and the father in 1866. James married Catharine O'Lochlin in 1859. She was born in Ireland July 26, 1843, and her parents – Mr. and Mrs. John O'Lochlin, came to this country in 1863. Mr. Vaughn is the father of four sons and four daughters.


Edwin E. Verplank
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) Chapter LXXIX; transcribed by Mary Saggio

MR. EDWIN B. VERPLANK, NEW RICHLAND. Mr. Edwin E. Verplank was born in 1834, two and a half miles from Auburn, N. Y. His wife, Anna Sophia, was born near Konigsberg, Norway, and is forty-two years of age. Mr. Verplank came to Minnesota by way of Iowa, in a "prairie schooner," and settled at Faribault, in November, 1855. Settlements were then few and far between, but the country was delightful and fruitful. Larger vegetables grew here that year than were ever seen before or heard of since. The weather was delightful that fall — Indian summer extending into December. Mr. Verplank writes:

"A young man named Tyler and myself went to Wilton in the spring of 1857, and took claims a little southwest of that village. We bought lumber, and with saw, hammer and hatchet we made music, while the gophers stood around on their hind feet whistling a chorus of welcome until we completed our structure."

"Well, if we were not as virtuous as the virgins of the Bible, we were at least as foolish, for we had neither oil, lamps nor provisions, and none were to be obtained. We concluded that for two young, unmarried men, with well developed appetites and no visible means of supply, the prospects of growing up with the country were not very flattering. We finally abandoned our claims and returned to Faribault where we could get plenty of work and enough to eat. I remained in Faribault until 1861, when I enlisted in Co. G, First Minnesota volunteers."

After his term of service Mr. Verplank purchased eighty acres of land where he now resides.


Austin Vinton & Sons
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Austin Vinton, whose life, public services and death are noted elsewhere, was born in 1816. He settled in Woodville, September 29, 1856. He had two sons. Wilfred Vinton was born in Ellington, N. Y., December 11, 1843. He married Ada M. Beebee in 1874. She was born at Mt. Vernon, Ohio, in 1849, and died in 1892. One son was born to them, Herbert W., in 1879. Wilfred enlisted in Company F, First Battalion, Minnesota Volunteers, March 22, 1865, and was mustered out July 14, following.

W. H. Vinton was born at Ellington, N. Y. in 1847. He married Emma Garver in 1872. He was born in Billingsville, Ohio, in 1845. They have one daughter, Julia, born in 1874.

Both the Vinton "boys" are now residents of Owatonna, W. H. being engaged in the drug business.


Austin Vinton & Sons
Source: "History of Waseca County, Minnesota: from its first settlement in 1854 to the close of the year 1904; a record of fifty years: the story of the pioneers". By James E. Child - Owatonna, Minn.: Press of the Owatonna Chronicle, 1905; submitted by Veneta McKinney

Austin Vinton, whose life, public services and death are noted elsewhere, was born in 1816. He settled in Woodville, September 29, 1856. He had two sons. Wilfred Vinton was born in Ellington, N. Y., December 11, 1843. He married Ada M. Beebee in 1874. She was born at Mt. Vernon, Ohio, in 1849, and died in 1892. One son was born to them, Herbert W., in 1879. Wilfred enlisted in Company F, First Battalion, Minnesota Volunteers, March 22, 1865, and was mustered out July 14, following.
W. H. Vinton was born at Ellington, N. Y., in 1847. He married Emma Carver in 1872. She was born in Billingsville, Ohio, in 1845. They have one daughter, Julia, born in 1874.
Both the Vinton "boys" are now residents of Owatonna, W. H. being engaged in the drug business.


Roscoe Percy Ward
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) - transcribed by Liz Dellinger

Mr. Ward is the well-known cashier of the People's State bank of Waseca, and a son of Hon. W. G. Ward, deceased, who was one of the pioneers of the West and chief engineer in charge of the building of that portion of the C. & N. W. railway, known as the Winona & St. Peter branch. R. P. was born in the city of Waseca, Jan. 5, 1872. He attended the city schools and graduated from the high school in the class of 1889. He then began the academic course at the State University of Minnesota; but, on the death of his father, which occurred Sept. 21, 1892, he was obliged to leave his university studies in order to look after the large business interests of his father's estate. He married Miss Daisy M. Cole of Minneapolis, Aug. 10, 1893, she being about his own age. They have one child, Emerson. Mr. Ward entered upon the duties of bank cashier in July, 1897, and under his administration, the business of the bank has been largely increased. In addition to his banking interests, he is largely interested in farming. He owns one of the finest farms in the state just west of Waseca. He has been alderman from his ward for a number of years and president of the city council for several terms. He resigned the office of alderman in the spring of 1905, having served less than half his last term.


Hon. William Grosvenor Ward
(by his daughter, Mrs. D. S. Cummings)
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

William Grosvenor Ward was born December 26, 1827, in Boonville, New York, the sixth child in a family of twelve. Possessing an inquisitive mind, naturally studious and reflective, he readily absorbed all that the high school was able to offer, and at an early age was graduated from the Boonville Academy where he earned his tuition by tutoring the younger pupils. Although excelling in his favorite study – that of mathematics in all its branches – much of his time was devoted to perfecting his knowledge of Latin and Greek. At the age of seventeen, having proved himself a brilliant scholar and already showing those traits of character which made him conspicuous in later years, to the great grief of his mother, who fully realized his natural ability, instead of entering a sophomore in Union College, he began the practice of civil engineering – his first position being that of assistant on the Black River Canal.

Rapidly rising in the profession for which he was so well equipped, he became in turn chief engineer and road master on the Long Island Railroad during the construction of two new branches, and superintendent of car and engine repairs of the entire road with headquarters in the city of Brooklyn.

At this time, the year 1852, occurred his marriage to Martha E. Dodge. This union was blessed by a family of two children, Clarence T. and Annie L. Soon after he became first assistant engineer on the Lake Ontario and Auburn Railroad, after which he was given a similar position with the Utica and Black River Railroad. With visions of better things in the opening up of new country, the year 1856 finds him turning westward to take his place as chief engineer on the Watertown and Madison (now Milwaukee & St. Paul) system, after which came the construction of the Oconomowoc and Columbus Railroad.

The financial crash of 1857 which involved so disastrously the whole country, put a halt to further projection of railway systems, and Mr. Ward began the study of law in Madison, Wisconsin, with the firm of Wood and Blake. He was admitted to the bar and practiced only long enough to try one case when the war broke out, and he was appointed quartermaster in the Thirty-fourth Wisconsin. For three years after that, he held the appointment of postmaster in Madison. In 1865 he was called upon to sustain the loss of his wife who died in Jefferson. After taking his motherless children East to place them in the care of relatives. Mr. Ward returned West to resume railroading, this time as chief engineer in the construction of the Winona and St. Peter Railroad. This line was completed in 1868. Investing largely in property in and about Waseca, he became one of the early promoters of resident industries. In 1867 he was married to Ella C. Trowbridge, youngest daughter of the founder of Waseca. He built a home to which in time there came four children: Martha E., Roscoe Percy, Florence Trowbridge, and Earl W. Always an ardent politician, Mr. Ward spared neither plans nor expense in the support of republican candidates for office, generally taking an active part in the campaign. He was twice elected to the legislature as state senator, and was, in 1880, the republican candidate for congress, but, owing to party differences, was not elected.

In whatever place we find him, as a youth in studies and athletics; or in more mature years, directly the laying out of many lines of traffic, or presiding with unwonted grace and dignity in the senate chamber, Mr. Ward was ever a leader of men. His commanding presence attracted the beholder whose attention was held by the eloquence and versatility of a ready talker. A constant student all his life, his mind was stored with learning – science, history, theology, poetry – the best the great minds had to offer, all were his. His last days of suffering were lightened and uplifted by the ennobling sentiments inspired by long hours of companionship with his beloved books. In September 1892, after a long illness, death brought relief from pain.

The poor had lost a friend to whom they never turned in vain, and, if his enemies did not regret the sharp spur of his active animosity, his hosts of friends do not yet cease to mourn the loss of one who never wearied in deeds of kindness for those who merited his esteem.


George W. Watkins
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

MR. GEORGE W. WATKINS. Few men, even in the West, have had more experience and less real manual labor than Geo. W. Watkins, Sen. He was born of wealthy parents, at Hamptonburg, Orange county, N. Y., May 27, 1820. One would hardly believe, to look at him, that he is over eighty years of age. But such he declares is his record.

The first twenty-four years of his life were spent on his father's Orange county farm, and then he came west as far as Dupage county, Ill.

He spent about six months on horse back, exploring a great deal of country, in Wisconsin, Iowa, and portions of Missouri. That was in 1844 when Chicago and St. Louis were frontier villages. He rode his horse over two thousand five hundred miles and back to his home in the state of New York. A detailed account of his travels and experiences among the pioneer settlers of the west fifty-five years ago, would fill a large volume.

Returning to Orange county, N. Y., in 1844-5, he remained there until 1850, when he went to California, by way of the isthmus, and at once engaged in mining. How well he succeeded in his mining operations he has always kept to himself, simply remarking whenever approached on that subject, that he made enough to pay expenses.

He returned to his New York home within a year, and remained there until 1853, when he again came as far west as Chicago. He engaged in railroading on the Galena road for some time as a contractor, and finally came to Faribault, in this state, in November, 1855. There he remained for nearly a year and then returned to Chicago where he married Miss Annetta Ward, in 1856. They remained in Chicago about a year, and in the spring of 1857 came to Wilton, then the county seat of this county, where they made their future residence. They built a very pleasant home in that village, but his wife did not live many years to enjoy it. One son, George, was born to them, and shortly afterwards the mother passed to the Eternal Home in 1860.

A little over a year later he married Miss Anna F. Green, of Wilton, who bore him one daughter, who is now Mrs. Adams and resides with her husband, Prof. Adams, in Oregon. His second wife died in May, 1895.

For many years he was engaged with Hon. P. C. Bailey in the hardware business in Wilton and Waseca. He also had an interest in the firm of Dodge & Co., hardware merchants, of Janesville.

He has hosts of friends wherever he has lived, who are always glad to greet him.


Jesse R. Weed
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

MR. JESSE R. WEED will be remembered by early residents of Byron as one of its oldest residents. He was born in the town of Angelica, county of Alleghany, state of New York, May 23, 1819. His wife was Miss Clarinda Maxson, born April 9, 1819, in the town of Deruyter, Madison county, New York.

Mr. and Mrs. Weed settled in the town of Byron, in this county, October 7, 1860, on sections twenty-seven and thirty-four, where they reside at the present writing, 1896. Mr. Weed brought with him two yoke of oxen, a wagon, three cows, two steers, and a calf. He has held the office of town clerk, supervisor, justice of the peace, and assessor. He has been school district clerk for more than half the time since since the district was organized. He is at this writing the oldest school district clerk in the county, being nearly seventy-two years of age.

His nearest flouring mill, for years, was at Okaman. It often took from three to four days to make the trip to mill. At one time, in February, 1862, he was four days going from Okaman to his home, a distance of thirty miles by the road. In many places the snow was up to the oxen's necks.

The first school house built in that neighborhood was in 1860, on the line between the counties of Freeborn and Waseca. The first child born was Maggie Davis, daughter of Jeremy and Keziah Davis. The first death in the neighborhood was an old lady by the name of Hodge, the mother of Mrs. Parvin.


Buel Welsh
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1909) transcribed by Bobby Dobbins Title

Mr. Buel Welsh was one of the noted men of this county among its early settlers. He was kind and humane at heart, much beyond the average of man. He was liberal to a fault. In sickness or want or sorrow, he was always ready and willing to extend a helping hand. He was a carpenter and joiner by trade and first lived in Faribault having come hither from Wisconsin in 1854. He made his appearance in Iosco, as a carpenter, in 1855, and settled in the village of Wilton in the fall of 1856. Soon after his settlement in Wilton, work in his line being slack, he commenced to read law and practiced before justices of the peace. He was quite illiterate, but he managed to pick up considerable knowledge of law, and often won his cases against some more pretentious practitioners. He had one sad failing – alcoholism – which he could never overcome long at a time. On Saturday, April 24, 1886, he died suddenly in a neighbor's wagon while going from Alma City to his boarding place in Freedom township. With more favorable environments, he might have been a more useful citizen and enjoyed life to a greater extent. He was a good man at heart.


Ferdinand W. Werdin
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

MR. FERDINAND W. WERDIN, who was born Sept. 16, 1855, in Prussia, was married in October, 1878, to Miss Anna Roesler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. Roesler, of Woodville. Mr. Werdin is a prominent business man in Glen wood, Pope county, Minn. He is the father of three sons and three daughters. His eldest daughter Blanche is now Mrs. Commings.


Henry J. Werdin
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

MR. HENRY J. WERDIN, who was born Jan. 29, 1858, in St. Mary, Minn., was married to Miss Bertha Seewald, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. Seewald, of Iosco, Dec. 10, 1880. Mr. Werdin owns a fine farm in Alton near Alma City. His family is composed of five sons— Edward Theodore, Benjamin Henry, John B., Henry J., Jr., and Ernest C— and three daughters— Dorothy, (now Mrs. Gottschalk), Laura, and Tillie.


Mr. & Mrs. J. L. Werdin
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

MR. AND MRS. J. L. WERDIN. John L. Werdin was born March 10, 1830; Henrietta, his wife, was born Sept. 25, 1835; both were natives of Prussia. They were married Oct. 2, 1853, in the Fatherland. They came to America in the spring of 1857, arriving at Ripon, Wis., April 3, of that year. They remained there a short time, when, with eight other families, they started with ox teams for Minnesota, their destination being Mankato. It was a rainy season which caused them to be two months on the road and to meet with many discouragements on the way. Arriving at Mankato, then a small town, they held a consultation and concluded to return to Wilton, this county. Mr. Werdin met with a serious accident at Mankato in the breaking of his ox-yoke. He had no money with which to purchase a new one and no way of making one. Fortunately, Mr. John Sell — now of Waseca — who was one of the party of movers, loaned him sufficient money to purchase a new yoke. Mr. Werdin's first location was on eighty acres of land that he bought of Jo Manthey in the town of St. Mary and that is now owned by Mr. McLoone. His first house was built of logs and was twelve by sixteen feet in size. For a number of years the Winnebago Indians lived in close proximity, and. while they were peaceable, they were constantly begging food from their white neighbors, thus making the lives of the new settlers a great hardship; for food, at this time, was high priced and scarce. During the Indian outbreak of 1862, the white settlers gathered nights at the house of John Priebe, returning to their homes to spend the days. Mr. Werdin was the first carpenter to settle in that neighborhood and constructed a number of the first frame buildings in that locality. The first frame house he built was for Mr. Harding. He built several other houses; among them being one for Mr. Fred Stoltz, and others for Gottlieb Kanne, August Kanne, and Christian Seewald. In 1859, while he and his family were at Wilton, his house, and all its contents were burned. In 1866, he sold his land in St. Mary and bought one hundred and sixty acres in section thirty-three, of Iosco, where he resided until his death, which occurred Jan. 25, 1875.

The children are Ferdinand W., born Sept. 16, 1855, in Prussia; Henry J., born Jan. 29, 1858, in St. Mary, Minn,; Amelia, now Mrs. Weishaar, of Los Angeles, Cal., born March 12, 1862, in St. Mary; J. L. Werdin, Jr., born in Iosco, Minn., Aug. 26, 1864; Otelia, now Mrs. H. O. Riebeth, of Minneapolis, born in Iosco, March 23, 1867; Ernest R., born in Iosco, Feb. 16, 1869; Herman B. P., born in Iosco, Aug. 9, 1872. The two latter reside in Los Angeles, California.

The grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Werdin now number twenty-six, and the great-grandchildren, three.

Mrs. Henrietta Werdin, the widowed mother, will be seventy years of age on her next birthday. She resides with her daughter in Minneapolis, and is in the enjoyment of good health.


W. H. Wheeler
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandi King

This gentleman is the son of Whitney L. Wheeler, one of the early settlers whose life-sketch is in this history. W. H. was born in St. Mary, June 28, 1866. He owns a farm of one hundred sixty acres in Woodville, and is a successful farmer. He was joined to Miss Mary Kief in holy wedlock, April 15, 1890. Miss Kief was born March 18, 1864, in Canada. They are the parents of three girls and two boys. Mr. Wheeler moved from Wilton to Woodville in 1871, his father having died in Wilton, Nov. 4, 1870.


Honorable John Wilkinson
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

John Wilkinson, a native of Wisconsin, born February 28, 1846, bought a farm in section 4, Freedom, in 1866. He married Miss Mary Morrison, June 1, 1869. He was born August 1, 1851. They now resided in Janesville. Mr. Wilkinson served in the House of Representatives during the sessions of 1897 and 1899.


Hon. George A. Wilson
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1909) transcribed by Bobby Dobbins Title

Judge Wilson was born Jan. 22, 1856, in the town of Hammond, St. Lawrence county, New York. He did not come West to "grow up with the country" for he was fully developed in old St. Lawrence county, and must have come because the West at that time needed such a man. He moved to Janesville and captured first place in that village without a struggle. In 1894 he was a candidate for judge of probate against one of the most popular men in the county and was elected by a safe majority. In the campaign of 1904 he had the field all to himself. He married Miss Mary E. Wilson of Janesville July 3, 1895. Mrs. Wilson is also a native of St. Lawrence county and is prominent in church and W. C. T. U. work.


John M. Wollschlaeger
Source: "History of Waseca County, Minnesota: from its first settlement in 1854 to the close of the year 1904; a record of fifty years: the story of the pioneers". By James E. Child - Owatonna, Minn.: Press of the Owatonna Chronicle, 1905; submitted by Veneta McKinney

JOHN M. WOLLSCHLAEGER, register of deeds, was born Sept. 19, 1858, at Lichtenau, Germany, and came to America with his parents in 1871, locating in Waseca the same year. The next year while playing on a horsepower with other boys, he had one foot injured so severely that he has been crippled for life. He was a faithful student at our public schools and learned harness making of his father. In the spring of 1890 he was elected city assessor of Waseca, and in the fall of 1890 he was nominated by the Democratic party for register of deeds and elected by a large majority. He has been elected at each subsequent election by large majorities. At the last election his majority was 672, while the majority against his party averaged 625. Mr. Wollschlaeger married Miss Louisa Ida Neidt, of Waseca, April 18, 1900. She died of cholera morbus July 17, 1901, without issue. He is very correct as a copyist and keeps his records in fine shape.


George H. Wood
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandi King

Mr. Wood is one of the most extensive and prosperous dairymen in the county, his dairy farm being situated just east of Waseca. He was born in Wisconsin, Sept. 29, 1849. His father and family settled in Woodville June 11, 1866. George is one of the sons of Ezra H. and Catherine (Gamble) Wood, the former born in Massachusetts May 1, 1814, and the latter in the state of New York, Sept. 15, 1820. Ezra died Oct. 11, 1885, and George's mother, Sept, 29, 1886. George married Miss Jennie Deverell, of Woodville, July 4, 1877. She was a Badger state girl, born Dec. 22, 1857. Mr. and Mrs. Wood are known in the state as high-grade butter makers and first-class dairy managers, their butter always commanding the highest market price. They are the parents of six children, four sons and two daughters: Caspar A. and August A. are graduates of the agricultural department of the state university. Augusta A. married Mr. Louis J. Sheldon, July 6, 1904, and they reside on one of her father's farms. For a number of years Mr. Wood has been treasurer of the town of Woodville, which is a very responsible position, as he holds and handles a large amount of money now in the sinking fund to pay off railroad bonds issued years ago. In the summer of 1905 he bought a house in Waseca and now occupies it with his family. His sons Caspar and Frank, manage the farm near town. Casper was married to Miss Lottie Snyder August 16, 1905.


Luman S. Wood
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905); transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Mr. Luman S. Wood was born in St. Lawrence County, New York, in 1836, and came to Woodville in 1857. He was one of the patriots of the "Old First Minnesota." He married Miss Fannie Lansdale in 1867, and in 1872 emigrated to Oregon where he now resides.


A. J. Woodbury
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1909) transcribed by Bobby Dobbins Title

Mr. A. J. Woodbury came to Wilton in the fall of 1856 and built the first hotel in that place. His sons, George H., and Henry C., assisted in carrying on the hotel business until about 1882, when it was abandoned by them. They also carried on a farm in connection with their hotel business. The old gentleman was a native of Beverly, Mass., and was born in 1808. The family lived for a time in New Orleans before coming to Wilton. A. J. Woodbury and Elizabeth Stratton were married in 1830, and only two sons were born to them. George enlisted in company F., Tenth Minnesota infantry, and served for three years. Henry C., a man of much "cheek" but small brain capacity, made up in self assurance what he lacked in ability, being at one time judge of the municipal court of Waseca. Henry finally went to Jamestown, North Dakota, where he died some years ago. George was the exact opposite of Henry. He was a man of ability and high character, yet modest and unassuming. After his return from the war, he married Miss Hannah Robbins, then of Otisco, and they now (1904) live in Jamestown, North Dakota.


Hon. W. E. Young
Source: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota, by James E. Child (1905) transcribed by Sandi King

This gentleman, who is now a member of the State Railroad and Warehouse Commission, was one of the early boy settlers in the town of Freedom. His father's name is Delos P. Young and his mother was Miss Ruth Lockwood. The former was born in Massachusetts, May 11, 1838, and the latter was born Oct. 8, the same year. They were married in Wisconsin, May 27, 1858. W. E. Young was born in Adams county, Wisconsin, Oct. 26, 1861. When W. E. was three years of age, his parents moved into the town of Freedom, to a farm about a mile west of what was then called Peddler's Grove. Here the family resided for ten years when the elder Mr. Young engaged in mercantile business at Alma City, removing his family to that place. W. E. attended the country school and also served an apprenticeship as tinner. He then attended the State Normal school at Mankato, and there graduated in 1881. He then commenced the study of law, reading at Mankato and St. Paul and then at the Iowa State Law school where he graduated in 1884. He practiced law one year in Pope county, then opened a law office in Janesville, Minn., where he practiced two years. In 1887 he moved to Mankato where he has since lived and practiced his profession. For six years he was city attorney in Mankato, and for seventeen years he has been a leading attorney in that place. He was admitted to the bar in Waseca county at the age of twenty-one years. He married Miss Nettie Shingler, of Pope county, in 188o. She is a native of Wisconsin and was reared on a farm. They are the parents of three children: two sons, nearly men grown—Paul, aged nineteen, and Donald, aged sixteen—and one daughter, Alice, aged four years. W. E. Young has long been known as one of the ablest attorneys of the state, and he now occupies a position in which he may become very useful to the people. His father, D. P. Young, after leaving Alma City, carried on a store at Minnesota Lake, then at Rock Rapids, Iowa, and finally, for the last ten years, at Mankato. Mr. and Mrs. D. P. Young spent the winter of 1904-05 in California. Arthur E. Young, a brother of Wm. E., is a dentist, married and living in Minneapolis. The sister of W. E. and Arthur, born in 1881, is teaching at Little Falls, Minn., at this writing. The Youngs were prominent in social and political circles in this county during their residence here, and are remembered kindly by all the early settlers of the county.

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