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Wilkin County Minnesota 
Genealogy and History


Biographies

 

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Charles Aigner
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Charles Aigner, a well-to-do farmer and respected citizen of Wilkin county, resides in Manston township, where he has succeeded in building up a fine home. He is one of the early settlers of that locality and he is one of the leading citizens.

Mr. Aigner was born near Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in 1871. His father, Ferdinand Aigner, became one of the early settlers of Mower county, Minnesota. Our subject was the second of a family of ten children and he came with his parents to Mower county when he was six years of age. The family settled on rented land in Wilkin county and resided thereon for about three years. Our subject was given the advantages of but about two months schooling when a boy, and he remained with his parents and assisted on the home farm until he was twenty-two years of age, when he began working for others. He was engaged with his grandfather in farming for about three years prior to his death, and in 1896 he secured control of the farm in the northeastern part of the county, in Manston township. He resided on this farm three more years, and he then moved to a tract of one hundred and sixty acres which he owned in section 18 of the same township. He is now the owner of three hundred and sixteen acres in this section and one hundred and sixty acres in section 6, his entire holdings of four hundred and seventy-six acres lying in Manston township. On his home farm he has a large barn built in 1902, and a commodious residence built in the summer of 1903. He plans to erect other farm buildings in the near future. He has all necessary machinery and conducts his farm systematically and successfully. He engages in grain and stock raising and has never experienced a loss of crops. In February, 1902, his residence was burglarized and a valuable horse was taken from the barn. Our subject for the past seven years has followed the well digging business and he has sunk many wells in that neighborhood and has a good business in that line.

Mr. Aigner was married in 1893 to Miss Bertha Buth. Mrs. Aigner was born in Germany, and her father, Herman Buth is an old settler of Wilkin county. Mr. and Mrs. Aigner are the parents of four children, namely Vina, born in 1894; Albert, born in 1896; Willie, born in 1898; and Hulda, born in 1902. Mr. Aigner is prominent in local affairs, and has served his township as assessor, chairman of the board of supervisors and justice of the peace. He is at present treasurer of his township, and he enjoys the confidence of his associates. He is an independent voter and lends his influence for good government, local and national.


Ferdinand Aigner
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Ferdinand Aigner, one of the leading pioneers of Wilkin county, Minnesota, resides on his well improved and valuable estate in Manston township, where he is well and favorably known.

Mr. Aigner was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1842. His father, Karl Aigner, was a furniture maker and lived and died in Germany. Our subject was the second of a family of seven children and he was reared in his native land and followed the carpenters trade there from the time he was fourteen years of age until he reached the age of twenty-five years. He came to America in the spring of 1868 and followed his trade in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for two years. In 1870 he went to Waushara county, Wisconsin, where he resided six years, working at his trade and also following farming. He then came to Mower county, Minnesota, where he farmed for four years. He and family came to Wilkin county in the winter of 1880 and moved to a rented farm, where they lived three years. He took his present home farm as a homestead and tree claim in 1881 and built a shanty, where the children of his family were born.
Mr. Aigner now owns a farm of over four hundred and fifty acres, three hundred and fifty of which is under cultivation and he has a complete set of good buildings thereon, including house, barn, granary and windmill and tank and has a thoroughly equipped farm. In the early days provisions and clothing were extremely high priced and as he had nothing to sell it was a hard struggle to keep want away, but he has steadily pushed forward, and now enjoys a good income from his farm and a home of great comfort.

Mr. Aigner was married in April, 1869, to Miss Emma Steinke, a native of Germany. Ten children have been born of this union, namely: Charles, Mary, Ida, Emma, Fred, Bertha, Delia, Sophia, Henry and Edward. Four were born in Wisconsin and six in Wilkin county, Minnesota. Mr. Aigner has served as supervisor and school clerk and takes an active interest in local affairs. Politically he is a Democrat.


C. H. Anderson
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

C. H. Anderson, county superintendent of schools of Wilkin county, Minnesota is one of the able instructors of the state. He is a gentleman of wide experience and thorough training, and is an efficient and popular official. He resides at Breckenridge, and is one of the influential citizens of his community.

Mr. Anderson was born in Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada, in 1849. He attended the township and graded schools and graduated from the high school in 1863. In the interval between 1863 and '67 he was engaged on his father's farm, clerking in a store and learning telegraphy. He later took a course in the Eaton Commercial College at St. John, N. B., receiving a diploma from that institution in 1868. Immediately thereafter he accepted a position as bookkeeper in a wholesale grocery house and was engaged in this capacity for several business houses from 1868 to '80. In June of the latter year he came to Minnesota and worked for several years for the St. Paul & M. R. R. Company; now the Great Northern, as a carpenter. While thus engaged he moved to Breckenridge, Wilkin county, in March, 1882, where he has since resided, and for many years engaged in contracting and building. When the people of this county were looking about for a competent superintendent of schools they chose Mr. Anderson and in November, 1902, he was elected to this office, being the candidate of the Republican party. He is faithfully discharging the duties of his office and enjoys the confidence of the people among whom he labors.

Mr. Anderson was married in December, 1872, to Frances D. Bleakny, of Albert county, N. B., Canada. Twelve children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, four sons and eight daughters, of whom nine are now living.


Frank A. Anderson
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Frank A. Anderson, an enterprising and prosperous farmer of Wilkin county, owns a valuable estate in Roberts township. He has located thereon in recent years, but has become known throughout his home community as a worthy citizen and intelligent agriculturist.

Mr. Anderson was born in the eastern part of Sweden in 1851. His father was a farmer and miller and spent his life in Sweden. Our subject was reared in his native land and remained there till he was twenty years of age. He learned the shoemaker's trade and followed the same for ten years in Sweden. He came to America about 1870 and settled in Lee county, Iowa, where he worked at farm labor and also farmed for himself. He moved to Emmet county, Iowa, in 1884, and there opened a farm of three hundred and fifty acres. He engaged in grain and stock raising and made a success of farming in Iowa. He suffered five years of ill health, but prospered by good management. He sold his interests in Iowa in 1902 and came with $10,000 to Minnesota to locate. He purchased three hundred and eight acres of land in Roberts township on the banks of the Red river. He has forty acres of timber and forty acres of bottom land, the latter valued at $300 per acre. He has raised one crop from the land and had an excellent yield. All kinds of wild fruits are found on the place and he has a valuable estate. He raises cattle and stock of all kinds and has a good income from his farm, and is one of the substantial agriculturists of Roberts township.

Mr. Anderson was married in Iowa in 1876 to Miss Sophia Berg. Mrs. Anderson was born in Sweden in 1848, and received her education in Gottenberg. She graduated as a midwife from a college in her native land and has practiced many years in Iowa and some in Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are the parents of nine children, namely: Minnie, Annie, Fred, Clara, May, Oscar, Eddie, Martin and Hazel, all of whom were born in Iowa. Minnie and Annie are twins. May is a teacher. Fred owns a threshing outfit and runs it during the season of threshing, and is now studying engineering in Stillwater. Mr. Anderson has served two years as justice of the peace in Iowa. He is a Republican and firm in his convictions.


Jacob Anderson
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Jacob Anderson, who has met with success in grain raising in Wolverton township, is one of the old settlers of Wilkin county. He has built up a good home and is given a foremost place among the enterprising and worthy citizens of his community. He is a young man of intelligence and well merits his enviable standing.

Mr. Anderson was born in Norway, in 1866. His father, Andrew Evenson, followed farming in Norway and died there in 1873. Our subject was the fourth of a family of seven children and he was reared in his native land and attended the common schools there. He began farm work at the age of twelve years, and worked out on the farms of his neighborhood for many years. After attaining his majority he came to America, in 1888, landing in Quebec, Canada, June 11, and from there came to Richland county, North Dakota. He was employed in this locality at farm work for about four years, and in 1892 located on his present home farm in Wolverton township, Wilkin county. He now owns and operates three hundred and twenty acres of land, and each season places nearly all of the land under plow. In 1895 he raised twenty-six bushels of wheat per acre and he derives a good income from his farm each season. He has a small grove on the place, a set of good farm buildings, and other improvements and leads a busy but contented life.

Mr. Anderson was married in 1890 to Miss Lesa Monson, who was born in Fillmore county, Minnesota, in 1872. Her father, Severt Monson, is of old Norwegian stock and he followed farming in Fillmore county until his death, which occurred several years ago. Mrs. Anderson was reared and educated in Fillmore county. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have no children, but they have taken two boys to raise. Mr. Anderson is a Republican, but takes no active part in public affairs, preferring to lend his influence in other ways for the good of his community.


Frank Archibald
Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Marilyn Clore

ARCHIBALD Frank M, Breckenridge. Physician and surgeon (R). Born Dec 6, 1865 in Ill, son of Lyman and Phylindia (Burroughs) Archibald. Married in 1896 to Josephine W Bailey. Graduated from Coll of Physicians and Surgeons 1893. Has been engaged in practice of his profession in Gibbon Minn 1893-94; Atwater Minn 1895-1906; Breckenridge 1906 to date. Member American Medical Assn Minn State & Crow River Valley Medical societies; Masonic fraternity, I O O F and B P O E.


Edward Balentine
Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Marilyn Clore
 

BALENTINE Edward, Breckenridge. Lawyer. Born Feb 11, 1847 in Waterville Me, son of William and Olive (Law) Balentine. Married Aug 3, 1874 to Emma Parker. Attended country school and Waterville (Me) Academy. Taught school until 1871. Principal village schools Albion Ill 1872; principal Brownsville (Me) State High School 1873-75; organized and conducted Albion (Ill) High School 1875-79; studied law in Albion and admitted to bar Breckenridge Minn 1888; engaged in farming at Campbell Minn until 1896; began practice of law Breckenridge 1896 and elected county attorney same year; served 2 terms; associated in practice with A B Mathews 1901-03; re-elected county atty 1904 and 1906. Elected to State Immigration Board 1894. Member Masonic fraternity and K of P.


John Beaudin
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

The farms along the banks of the Red River are among the most productive to be found in Minnesota, and Wilkin county counts a good share within her borders. The owners of these farms have spared no pains to build up fine homes and have made the district one noted for its agricultural wealth. Roberts township has contributed largely to this condition and one of the prosperous farmers of the township is John Beaudin. He is one of the old settlers of this locality and has gained a valuable property and the esteem and respect of his fellowmen.

Mr. Beaudin was born on a farm in the province of Quebec, Canada, in 1862. His father, Barnard Beaudin, was of old Canadian stock and was a farmer by occupation. Our subject was the fifth in order of birth in a family of fourteen children and he was reared in his native place. He left his home at the age of twenty-three years and came to the United States in 1885, coming direct to Wilkin county, Minnesota. He purchased a farm in section 16 of Roberts township, the land being then unimproved in any way. He had but two dollars and forty cents and with this he began farming. He worked earnestly and steadily and managed well. He lived alone on his place for the first six years or so. He continued the improvement of his place and now has a well improved and thoroughly equipped farm consisting of eighty acres. This is situated on the banks of the Red River and forms an ideal stock farm. He engages successfully in stock raising and grain raising and has built up a good home.

Mr. Beaudin was married in 1891, January 6, to Miss Josephine Leneau. Mrs. Beaudin was born in Wright county, Minnesota, and is of French descent. Six children have been born of this union, namely: Alice, Agnes, Chester, Zilda, Edwin and Olive. All were born on the home farm in Wilkin county. Mr. Beaudin has done his full share toward the development of the region where he has chosen his home and has served as township supervisor for four years and takes an active and leading part in local affairs. He is politically a Republican.


Louis Bellmore
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Louis Bellmore, who holds a foremost place among the pioneer settlers of Wilkin county, Minnesota, has built up a fine estate in Roberts township. Until recently he operated his farm, but he now has the land rented to his sons and has retired from active pursuits. He has become one of the substantial citizens of his community and enjoys an enviable reputation.

Mr. Bellmore was born in Quebec, Canada, in 1841. His father, Frank Bellmore, was born in Canada, and was of French blood. He was a teacher by profession. The great-grandfather of our subject was a native of France. Of a family of eleven children, Louis Bellmore was the third in order of birth. He was reared in his native place and at an early age assisted with the work on the home farm. He came to St. Paul in 1861, and for three years worked in that city and in Minneapolis. He then came to Waverly, Wright county, and there engaged in farming, and was one of the early settlers of that county. He resided there for nine years and in 1876 came by team to Wilkin county, locating on land in section 28 of Roberts township. He built a log house and used oxen for his first work there, and he had twenty head of cattle to make his start with. He lost a partial crop on account of hail, but he has prospered financially and is now the owner of four hundred acres of tillable land, and on this he has erected a set of good buildings. In the early days of his residence there Breckenridge was the nearest trading point and he made trips to Fargo and Breckenridge with ox teams. The floor in his log cabin was of fence boards.

Mr. Bellmore was married in Minneapolis in 1867 to Lizzie Robideau. Mrs. Bellmore was born in Massachusetts, and was of French descent. She died in September, 1901, leaving two sons, Fred, now married, and Able. Five other children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bellmore died within six days of each other of black smallpox in 1881. Mr. Bellmore is a citizen of active public spirit and he has served fifteen years as road overseer, and has opened many roads throughout this region. He has been chairman of the board of supervisors for about three years. In political faith he is a Republican, and is firm in his convictions.


Henry F. Billingsley
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Henry F. Billingsley, one of the leading farmers of Wilkin county, Minnesota, is a pioneer settler of that locality. He has a well improved and valuable estate and in partnership with his son conducts one of the finest farms of his township. He represents a well known and highly respected family.

Mr. Billingsley was born on a farm in Virginia in 1840. His father, David S. Billingsley, was of American birth and descent. He was a farmer by occupation and settled in Illinois in 1855, where he spent the rest of his life.
Our subject was the second of a family of nine children. He grew to manhood in Illinois and when a boy became used to farm work. He remained at home with his father assisting him on the farm until 1864, and then began farming for himself. He owned a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which he improved with good buildings and he met with success in his farming in that state. He engaged in farming in Illinois for twenty-four years and in 1888 came to St. Paul for the purpose of giving his children a liberal education. He here engaged in the retail fuel, lime and cement business. In 1890 he went to Wilkin county and purchased a farm in section 12 of Campbell township. This was a partly improved farm. His health began to fail about 1900 and he was forced to give up active pursuits to a certain extent and he disposed of his land, all but three hundred and forty acres adjoining Campbell and he now makes his home in Campbell. His youngest son, Chester, has the management of the home farm and he operates this tract. The estate is a valuable one and every appointment of the place bespeaks thrift and painstaking care in its operation.

Mr. Billingsley was married in 1864 to Miss Precilla Boyden. Mrs. Billingsley was born in Illinois, and her father, William Boyden, was of old American stock and was a farmer by occupation. Mr. and Mrs. Billingsley are the parents of seven children, who are as follows: Jennie, now married and residing in St. Paul; Francis L., residing at home; Ada, married and living in St. Paul; Cora, married and a resident of Fargo, North Dakota; William D., engaged in railroading in Breckenridge; Henry R., residing at home; and Chester A. Chester A., the youngest son, is married and with his wife and one child resides on a farm. He has the management of the fatherís estate and is a prosperous and energetic farmer. Mr. Billingsley has opened up many acres of land in this region and he has done his full share toward the development of the agricultural resources and in his own affairs has met with deserved success. He is a citizen of sterling character, and keeps pace with the times in public affairs. He is a Republican in political sentiment, but always lends his influence for good government, national and local, without regard to party. A portrait of Mr. Billingsley will be found on another page of this volume.


Theo K. Brye
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Theo K. Brye, whose portrait appears on another page, is a prosperous merchant of Rothsay, Minnesota, and is one of the leading citizens of Wilkin county. He has large financial interests in that locality and is a gentleman of excellent business judgment and has gained a high station as a citizen.

Mr. Brye was born in Coon Valley, Vernon county, Wisconsin, September 28, 1861. His father was born in Hallingdal, Norway, and came to America in 1847. He settled in Wisconsin and was one of the pioneer farmers of that state. Our subject attended school in a log cabin when a boy and at an early age became used to farm work. He entered the Lutheran College at Decorah, Iowa, in 1877, and studied five years in the classical course in that institution, receiving a liberal education. He taught school in Wisconsin and later came to Minnesota and followed the same profession in different parts of Minnesota for six years. In 1888 he began clerking in Rothsay for A. B. Pedersen, general merchant, and was in his employ three years and received a practical knowledge of the business. In 1891 Mr. Brye purchased the business of Mr. Pedersen and he has since conducted the establishment as proprietor. He has enlarged the stock and remodeled the building, and now carries a complete line of general merchandise, and has a large trade extending through Wilkin county and into Ottertail county. He is interested largely in farm lands. He is a stockholder in the Rothsay Elevator Company and is one of the directors of the company.

Mr. Brye was married in 1891 to Miss Anna Evensen. Mrs. Brye was born near the childhood home of our subject in Wisconsin, March 10, 1866. Her father was born in Ringsak, Norway, and was a farmer by occupation. Mr. and Mrs. Brye are the parents of two children, both daughters: Agnes, born April 19, 1892: and Esther, born April 11, 1895. Mr. Brye takes a commendable interest in local public affairs and has served four years on the village council, and was president of the board for two years. He is also school director and takes an earnest interest in educational affairs. In political sentiment he is a Republican.


Gottlieb F. Burau
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Gottlieb F. Burau, county sheriff of Wilkin county, is one of the leading old residents of that region. His public record is beyond question and the number of his friends is limited only by the number of his acquaintances. He has served his county faithfully and well and his services are appreciated by the entire population to the extent that he was last elected to this office without opposition, now serving his eleventh year as county sheriff. He has made his home in Breckenridge for many years.

Mr. Burau was born in West Prussia, Germany, in 1865. His father, August Burau, served in the German army during the war in 1866. He was a farmer by occupation. He came to America in May, 1867, and in 1868 became an early settler of Ottertail county, Minnesota. The family moved to Wilkin county in 1886, and in this county our subject was reared and educated. He was the oldest of a family of eight children. He followed farm work and in 1887 took a homestead and continued farming until 1892. He was then elected sheriff of Wilkin county and has been re-elected five times, now serving his eleventh year in this office. He was supported by all parties at the last election, there being no opposing candidate. He added one hundred and sixty acres to his original farm of the same amount and after bringing the land to a high state of cultivation and placing valuable improvements on his farm, he disposed of the same in 1897, and has since devoted his entire time and attention to the duties of his office as county sheriff. He is a man of undaunted courage and has good judgment in all matters, and performs his duties with promptness and care.

Mr. Burau was married in December, 1892, to Miss Annie Manske. Mrs. Burau was born in Germany, and her father, Ludwig Manske, is one of the prosperous farmers and old settlers of Wilkin county, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Burau are the parents of three children, namely: Edna, Helen and Esther. Mr. Burau is a stanch Democrat and takes a leading part in party affairs.


George W. Burrows
Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Renae Donaldson

BURROWS George W, Breckenridge. Real estate. Born Jan 8, 1867 in Otisville (now Dows) Iowa, son of Chester W A and Jane (Gurney) Burrows. Married Dec 25, 1895 to Pearl M Ring. Educated in public schools and Iowa Business College Des Moines. Teacher in public schools Iowa 1885-88; clk Iowa Falls Ia 1889-92; member Tutin & Burrows real estate Lake Park Ia 1892-94; Burrows & Palmer 1894-99; mngr of the Iowa Loan Office in Fort dodge, of Deming Investment Co Kansas city 1899; moved to Breckenridge Minn and engaged in loan and abstract business as member of Carey, Dakin & Burrows until 1900; established Wilkin county Loan & Abstract Co 1900 and continues as propr of same. Sec and treas Sherwood Dredging Co.


Herman Buth
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Herman Buth to whom is accorded a foremost place among the leading old timers of Wilkin county, has acquired a valuable estate in Manston township. He has successfully followed farming here for many years and enjoys the comforts of rural life and an enviable reputation as an agriculturist and citizen.
Mr. Buth was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1849. His father, Frederick Buth, was a shepherd. Our subject was the eldest son, and he was reared in his native land and after attaining his majority he entered the army. He served two years in the infantry and participated in the last war with France. He then spent two years working out and in 1874 came to America, landing in New York City. He came to Red Wing, Goodhue county, Minnesota, and lived on a farm about eleven miles from the city for three years. He came to Moore county in 1877, and followed farming there four years and in 1881 located in Wilkin county on a homestead in section 6, of Manston township. He came by team from Moore county, the team being the property of Mr. J. C. Criegor. He worked out the first year and lived in the box of the wagon during the summer and in the fall of that year built a shanty, and this building served for a home for the family for the first eighteen years on the farm. His first crop was raised in 1882, and consisted of four acres of oats. Floods destroyed the crop of 1884 and hail caused a partial loss of crops in 1892. Mr. Buth now has a farm of six hundred acres, and of this he has given his son a tract of one hundred and sixty acres. He cultivates all but eighty acres of his land annually, and, realizes a good income from his farming operations. He has a large and convenient residence, good barn, granary and all necessary buildings and the entire estate evidences careful and systematic labors.

Mr. Buth was married in Germany in 1872 to Miss Minnie Tenierick. Eight children have been born of this union, namely; Bertha, born September 16, 1874, is now married; Fritz, born January 14, 1875; Theo, born May 18, 1879; Ida, born April 27, 1881; Martha, born April 19, 1883; Mathalie, born August 5, 1886; Minnie, born April 28, 1889; and Francis, born October 6, 1897. Mr. Buth takes a commendable interest in local public affairs and has served as supervisor for five years and as school treasurer for about fourteen years.


Richard F. Butler
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Richard F. Butler, one of the leading citizens of Foxhome, Minnesota, is a young man of exceptional business ability, and he has acquired valuable real estate in Foxhome and vicinity. He has a pleasant home in that thriving town and is one of the worthy citizens.

Mr. Butler was born in Vermont, October 22, 1872. His father, Pierce Butler, is of Irish descent. He followed farming in Vermont, and in 1874 came to Freeborn county, Minnesota, where he purchased a farm of three hundred and twenty-five acres. Some years later he sold this property and removed to Waseca county, and later to Wilkin county, where he now resides and is recognized as one of the leading agriculturists.

Our subject was reared in Waseca county, Minnesota, and received his schooling there. He remained in that county until 1900, when he became a resident of Wilkin county. He has accumulated considerable real estate in this county, including two hundred and eighty acres of land in the vicinity of Foxhome, and the Columbia Hotel and several residences in town. He has property interests amounting to about $12,000, and has accumulated his possessions by good business management.

Mr. Butler was married in 1901, to Miss Albertina Swanson, who was born in Blue Earth county, Minnesota, August 26, 1885. Mr. and Mrs. Butler are the parents of one child, Eveline, who was born in Foxhome, Minnesota, December 4, 1902. Mr. Butler is one of the rising young men of Wilkin county, and he has served as president of the village council of Foxhome. He takes a commendable interest in all local affairs and is a firm supporter of every enterprise tending toward the public welfare of his community. He votes independent of party and lends his influence for good government local and national. Mr. Butler is now engaged in the farm implement trade at Foxhome.


Mike Caspers
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

The farms along the banks of the Red river in Wilkin county, Minnesota, form a large share of the highly cultivated tracts of that region. The gentleman above named has become owner of one of the best of these tracts and although he has resided there comparatively few years he has succeeded in bringing the land into high cultivation and placing valuable improvements on the place in the way of buildings and has a pleasant and comfortable home there. His farm is situated in McCauleyville township.

Mr. Caspers was born on a farm in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, in 1857. His father, Mathias J. Caspers, was born in Germany and came to America and became one of the leading old settlers of Wisconsin, in which state his death occurred. He served in the Germany army. Our subject was the youngest child in a large family, nine of whom are now living and he was reared on the Wisconsin farm, and remained at home until he was twenty-six years of age. He traveled through Michigan and was in the copper mines and spent one winter in the lumber woods. He went to Richland county, North Dakota in April, 1883, and there took land as a homestead in Summit township. He had no means with which to start and the first year worked with oxen and worked for others to get along. He spent sixteen years on this farm and built up a good home. He came to Wilkin county, Minnesota, in 1899, and bought a farm in section 35. While a resident of North Dakota he owned two hundred and forty acres of land, and during his two yearsí residence in Wilkin county he has succeeded in improving three hundred and thirty-eight acres, and has placed three hundred acres of He has good buildings and all machinery and equipment necessary and has met with marked success. He has twenty acres of timber and plenty of wild fruits along the banks of the Red river.

Mr. Caspers was married in 1882 to Miss Katie Hermes. Mrs. Caspers was born in Germany, and her father, Joseph Hermes, was a hotel keeper in Germany. To Mr. and Mrs. Caspers eight children have been born, who are named as follows: Joseph, now deceased; Mary, Jacob, Theresa, Annie, Josephine, Alfred, and Mike. All were born in Richland county, North Dakota. Mr. Caspers is a gentleman of intelligence and is affiliated politically with the Republican party.


William J. Clark
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

William J. Clark, whose biography forms an interesting page in the history of the early settlement of Minnesota, is a resident of Deerhorn township, Wilkin county, where he has become widely and favorably known. He has developed a fine farm there and is one of the energetic and progressive agriculturists and enjoys a pleasant home.

Mr. Clark was born in Faribault county, Minnesota, December 29, 1866. His father, Samuel Clark, is of old Scotch blood. He came to America in the early forties and located in the state of New York. In 1861 he enlisted in Company C, Sixth Minnesota Volunteers, and served until the end of the war. He came to Faribault county, Minnesota, in 1865, and took a homestead. He built a claim shanty and sod barn and did the breaking of his land with cattle. He built up a valuable estate and now resides in Blue Earth City.

William J. Clark was the eldest of a family of eleven children. He was educated in the schools of Faribault county, Minnesota, and at the age of fifteen years became his fatherís assistant on the home farm. He remained with his father until he was twenty-four years of age and in 1890 went to Iowa and bought a farm there, where he remained for four years. He lost his barn, machinery and hay by fire in 1893. He came to Wilkin county, Minnesota, in 1896, and bought a farm and the following year moved his family to the new home, after he had spent one year alone on the place. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres of land, nearly all of which he has under plow and he has a set of good buildings on the place and has a grove covering about one acre, the trees of which he planted. He engages successfully in diversified farming and his surroundings are pleasant and comfortable, and he is recognized as one of the leading farmers of his township.

Mr. Clark was married in 1899 to Miss Eva Neisenger. Mrs. Clark was born in Wisconsin, November 14, 1875. Her father, Paul Neisenger, is of old German blood. He came to America and located in Wisconsin and in 1880 removed to Ottertail county, Minnesota, and took a homestead. He proved up his claim and then bought another farm in the same county, where he now resides, and he is a prosperous farmer of Ottertail county. Mrs. Clark was reared in that county and was educated in the common schools. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Clark, namely: Myrtle, who was born December 14, 1899, and Maynard J., born June 14, 1903. Mr. Clark is serving as constable and is a gentleman of active public spirit and integrity of word and deed and has a host of friends. In political sentiment he is a Republican.


Barnabas W. Cole
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Barnabas W. Cole, register of deeds of Wilkin county, is a young man of unusual ability, and is possessed of wide experience and honest principles. He is a faithful public official and his services are appreciated by the citizens of his county, who, it is safe to predict, will urge his candidacy for a second term as register of deeds.

Mr. Cole was born in Dakota county, Minnesota, in 1870. His father, Ambroe D. Cole, was born in Vermont and was of old American stock. He served in the Civil war in Company K, Hatch's Battalion. He was a farmer by occupation, and was one of the earliest settlers of St. Paul, Minnesota, locating there in 1849, when there was but one house in the town. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Laura L. Wood, and she was of old American stock.

Of a family of twelve children our subject was the fifth in order of birth. He was raised and educated in Dakota county, Minnesota, and when a boy became familiar with farm work. He was given the advantages of a good education and graduated from a commercial college at St. Paul. He came to Wilkin county, Minnesota, in 1892, and was engaged in teaching for five terms, and also followed farm work for about two years. In January, 1894, he accepted a position as clerk for Joseph Gunn, general merchant of Breckenridge, and continued in his employ for eighteen months. He entered into partnership with F. L. Pierce in the general merchandise and drug business in 1896, the firm purchasing the business of Mr. Gunn, and Mr. Cole continued interested in this business until December, 1902. He became a registered pharmacist in 1898, and then assumed charge of the drug department of the business. He was elected county register of deeds in 1902 on the Republican ticket, and is now discharging the duties of this office. He has gained the confidence of the people of the county and is a competent and painstaking officer.

Mr. Cole was married in 1896 to Signa S. Bronson, a native of Norway. Three children have been born of this union, namely; Ethel, Barnabas W., Jr., and Elnora June. Mr. Cole has served as village clerk of Breckenridge since 1894, and has also served on the village council. He is a stanch Republican politically.


John E. Corliss
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

John E. Corliss, who occupies a prominent place among the younger members of the farming community of Deerhorn township, is one of the early settlers of Wilkin county, and is engaged extensively in agricultural pursuits. He has built up a fine farm and has gained an enviable reputation as a citizen and has a host of friends.

Mr. Corliss was born in Winona county, Minnesota, April 7, 1865. His father, Stilson H. Corliss, is of old American stock, and followed farming in Winona county. He came to Wilkin county in 1879 and took a homestead, where he now resides. Three of his brothers served in the Civil war.

John E. Corliss was the eldest of five children and he was reared in his native county until he was fourteen years of age, when he came to Wilkin county, Minnesota, with his father. He remained at home until he was nineteen years of age and then returned to Winona county and worked out there for five years. He went to Barnesville, Clay county, in 1888 and worked in the car shops there until 1890, when he decided to begin farming for himself and came to Wilkin county, purchasing land here. He has built up a good farm of five hundred and sixty acres, nearly all of which he had under cultivation and the remainder is grass and pasture. He has a set of good farm buildings and has met with success in diversified farming. He has suffered loss of crops by hail, but withal has prospered and is regarded as one of the leading farmers of his township.

Mr. Corliss is unmarried, and his mother and sister reside with him on his farm. He is a gentleman of active public spirit and has served as township treasurer for the past five years and enjoys the confidence of the people among whom he resides. In political sentiment he is a Republican.


Judge George M. Cowie
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Judge George M. Cowie, one of the most prominent citizens of Wilkin county, Minnesota, is a pioneer settler of that region. He is editor and proprietor of the "Rothsay Record,'' published at Rothsay, and is a business man of ability and enterprise.

Mr. Cowie was born on a farm in Buffalo county, Wisconsin, in 1857. His father, George Cowie, was a farmer and a prominent citizen of Buffalo county, Wisconsin and in 1872 served in the Wisconsin legislature. Both parents of our subject were born in Scotland and came to America about 1850.

George M. Cowie was the first white child born in Glenco township, Buffalo county, Wisconsin, and he was raised on the frontier and assisted his father with the farm work. He attended the common schools and later the high school and the Normal at River Falls. He taught his first term of school at the age of seventeen years and he followed this profession for about eight years. He went to South Dakota in 1882 and located at Volga, where he spent one season as a bookkeeper, and in the fall of the same year came to Rothsay, Minnesota, and here bought grain for the North Western Elevator Company, and was in their employ for about seven years. He then spent two years at Granite Falls after which he returned to Rothsay. In 1894 he was appointed postmaster at Rothsay and was an efficient and faithful officer. He established the "Rothsay Record," the first paper established in the town and has since conducted this paper. He had previously been engaged for two years in the mercantile business at Maynard, Minnesota. The "Rothsay Record." as conducted by Mr. Cowie, is one of the widely read and best papers of the county, and is recognized as one of the bright exchanges of that locality. It is independent in politics.

Mr. Cowie was married in 1885 to Miss Sarah J. Fuller. Mrs. Cowie was born in Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Cowie are the parents of five children, namely: Leslie, Ethel, Sheldon, George and Dorris. Mr. Cowie was elected probate judge of Wilkin county in 1898, and his re-election evidences his faithful services in this office. He served two terms and gained the confidence of his associates. He is a stanch Democrat politically and has served in county and state conventions of his party.


William Doege
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Among the younger members of the farming community of Mitchell township a prominent place is accorded the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this review. For some years he has been engaged in farming and is well known and highly respected throughout Wilkin county.

Mr. Doege was born on a farm in Faribault county, Minnesota, in 1869. His father, Leopold Doege, was born in Germany and came to America about 1855, and was married in this country. Of a family of nine children our subject was the fifth in order of birth. He was reared and educated in his native county and at an early age assisted with the work on the home farm. He learned the carpenterís trade and at the age of nineteen years started for himself, working at farm labor for some years. He came to Wilkin county in 1889 and spent a year at his trade in Mitchell township and then went to Day county, South Dakota. He spent five years in that state working at farming and carpentering and in 1895 returned to Wilkin county, following his trade for about a year thereafter. He bought eighty acres of land in section 9 of Mitchell township in 1896 and about 1899 began farming thereon. He now owns two hundred and forty acres, two hundred of which is under cultivation and the rest is pasture and meadow. This was unimproved land, but he has placed a valuable set of buildings thereon and has provided a comfortable home for himself and family, and is now one of the well-to-do men of his township.

Mr. Doege was married in 1899 to Miss Emma Stach. Mrs. Doege was born in Mower county, Minnesota, and was a daughter of John Stach, a native of Germany. To Mr. and Mrs. Doege two children have been born, namely, Francis and Mable. Both were born on the farm in Mitchell township. Mr. Doege is actively interested in the welfare of his community and has served in numerous offices and is the present township clerk. He is affiliated with the Republican party politically. He is now a county commissioner, elected in the fall of 1902.


Howard Dykman
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

The efforts put forth by the gentleman above named have called out the heartiest praise of his fellowmen, and too much cannot be said in his favor. He is known as a gentleman of marked business capacity and sterling character, and his honest dealings and liberality have placed him in high standing. He is one of the prominent bankers of the state of Minnesota, and as cashier of the First National Bank at Breckenridge, he has ably managed its intricate affairs and has placed this institution among the sound financial enterprises of the state. He is also director in several other banks of the state, and has extensive moneyed interests.

Mr. Dykman was born in the state of New York in 1869, and is of old New York stock. He was the second and youngest child of the family, and his mother died when he was but two years of age. At the age of seven years he began to earn his own way, and consequently was deprived of all schooling. He grew to manhood in the state of his birth and sold newspapers at Fishkill Landing on the Hudson River, and during his childhood encountered severe hardships and trials. He became an employee of a hat factory at the age of twelve years, and followed this work for three years and also engaged in clerking in a gent's furnishing store. He came to Minnesota in 1887 and located at Breckenridge. He secured a position as clerk in the office of register of deeds of Wilkin county and continued in this office until 1890, when he entered the Wilkin County Bank as clerk. He here learned the banking business and has continued with the institution for the past thirteen years. This bank was established in 1885 by F. E. Kenaston, J. A. Nelson, and Ezra G. Valentine, and in October, 1891, was incorporated as the First National Bank of Breckenridge, with the following officers: F. E. Kenaston, president: Ezra G. Valentine, vice-president; and H. Dykman, cashier. This bank is the leading financial institution in this part of the state, and does a general banking business. When Mr. Dykman assumed charge of the affairs of the bank in 1897 the deposits amounted to $50,000, and the deposits now amount to $400,000. The bank has a backing of $2,000,000. Much of the prosperity enjoyed by the bank is due to the liberal policy of its cashier, Mr. Dykman, in all business affairs. Mr. Dykman is director of the Merchants' State Bank of Breckenridge, and is also director of the First National Bank of Campbell, Minnesota, the Ledgerwood State Bank of North Dakota, the Larimore National Bank, and the Kent State Bank, and is vice-president of the Kenmore National Bank of North Dakota, also president of the First National Bank of Bowbells, North Dakota. His home is at Breckenridge, and he devotes his attention mainly to the charge of the affairs of the First National Bank of that city.

Mr. Dykman has gained an enviable reputation as a citizen, and at the age of twenty-three years he was elected mayor of Breckenridge, since which time he has served in this capacity three or four terms. He has also served as treasurer of the school board for the past eight years, and in the spring of 1903 was appointed by Governor Van Sant, a director of State Normal schools. He is a stanch Republican, and is a member of the state central committee representing the Sixteenth Judicial District, and for the past four years has been chairman of the county committee.

Mr. Dykman was married in 1893, and Mrs. Dykman died in September, 1901. A son and a daughter were born of this marriage, namely: Howard and Florence, who now reside with their grandparents at Merriam Park, St. Paul. Mr. Dykman owns a residence in Breckenridge.


John Ehlert
Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Anna Parks

 EHLERT John H, Breckenridge. Banker.  Born Dec 20, 1857 in McHenry county Ill, son of Herman and Elizabeth (Blanker) Ehlert.  Married Jan 26, 1880 to Mary Roreng.  Received his education in the common schools of Stearns county Minn.  Moved to Breckenridge 1880 and was in employee of Great Northern R R until 1883; engaged in farming in 1883; and has continued actively in that line to date.  Elected dir Breckenridge National Bank 1903; v pres 1904 and pres 1905 to date.  Chairman Town Board and treas Breckenridge township.  Member Catholic Order of Foresters.


Michael Erickson
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Michael Erickson, one of the pioneers of Wilkin county, Minnesota, resided in Nordeck township, where he has developed a fine farm. He is one of the best known citizens of that locality, and has become recognized as one of the prominent men, always standing for right and justice and wielding much influence for good in his community.

Mr. Erickson was born near Bergen, Norway, in 1860, in a city of factories. His father, John Erickson, was a mechanic. He came to America in 1870 and followed farming in Kandiyohi county, Minnesota. Mr. Erickson has five brothers, who are as follows: Erick, born in 1862, is a farmer of Nordeck township, Wilkin county; Jacob, born in 1864, is also a farmer of this township; Andrew, born in 1868, is also engaged in farming in the same township; Nels, born in America in 1875, is a farmer of North Dakota. The father settled in North Dakota in 1879 and became one of the leading farmers of his neighborhood.

Michael Erickson remained on the farm with his father in North Dakota until 1885. In 1890 he and two of his brothers came to Wilkin county, Minnesota and bought land in section 27 of Nordeck township and altogether own six hundred and forty acres at present, about two-thirds of which is under cultivation. They have all farm machinery necessary, and our subject has a twenty-five horse power threshing rig and for the past nineteen years has followed threshing and each season is kept busy in all parts of this county. He engages in grain raising and keeps but little stock. He is one of the substantial men of his township.

Mr. Erickson was married in 1899 to Miss Bertha Hansvik, who was born in Norway and came to America in 1893. To Mr. and Mrs. Erickson three children have been born, namely: Aagot, Agnes, and Ingred. Mr. Erickson has served as township clerk and has been school director for several years and always takes an active part in local affairs. His brother, Erick, was township supervisor for two years. He and brothers were residents of Wilkin county prior to the organization of their township, and assisted in its organization, and are leading citizens.


Chester P. Fenstermaker
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Chester P. Fenstermaker, whose business career clearly demonstrates what may be accomplished by strict attention to details and persistent efforts, supplemented by honest dealings, is a prosperous merchant and real estate owner of Wilkin County. He is a resident of Breckenridge, where he-has resided for many years and he has gained a high station as a citizen.
Mr. Fenstermaker was born in Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, on a farm, in 1852. His father, William Fenstermaker, was of old American stock, and was a farmer by occupation. Our subject remained on the home farm until he was nineteen years of age. He learned the carriage maker's trade in Pennsylvania and spent seven years at this trade. He came to Minnesota in the spring of 1883, and settled at Breckenridge, being one of the pioneer business men of the town. He engaged in the grain business, and also handled feed for about three years. He established his present lumber business about 1891, and also added fuel and feed. He now handles wood, lumber, coal and feed, and conducts the most extensive yard in Breckenridge.

In 1891, Mr. Fenstermaker purchased six hundred and forty acres of land on the Red River, which constitutes a fine grain farm.

Mr. Fenstermaker was married in 1891 to Miss Margaret Grey. Mrs. Fenstermaker was a daughter of Robert R. Grey, a pioneer farmer of Minnesota, and she was a teacher in Breckenridge. She died at Lake City, Minnesota, May 21, 1901. Mr. Fenstermaker was married to Margaret Miller, September 24, 1902. Mrs. Fenstermaker was born in Pennsylvania, and she is a daughter of Dr. A. A. Miller, one of the leading physicians in Lehigh county, Pennsylvania. The family is one of the oldest and most favorably known families of Pennsylvania. They reside near the old home of our subject and he was here married. Mr. Fenstermaker held the office of councilman for two years, and has served as village and township treasurer for the past two years.


Frank Gareis
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Frank Gareis, one of the prosperous and well known agriculturists of Wilkin county, has a pleasant home in Andrea township. He is a gentleman of strict integrity and sterling character and has made his way by industry and good management, and has gained well merited recognition as a worthy citizen.

Mr. Gareis was born in Austria, in 1857. His father, Joseph Gareis, was of German descent and was a miller by trade. He died in Austria in 1887. Our subject was the third in a family of four children. He was reared in his native land and received his early education in the common schools of his neighborhood. At the age of eighteen years he began earning his own way by working in his fatherís grist mill. In 1887 he went into the army and served until 1880, when he returned to his former position to complete learning the millerís trade. He came to America in 1883, landing in Baltimore. He came direct to Minnesota and worked in a grist mill in Ottertail county for two years and in 1885 went to Crookston, Minnesota, where he was employed in a mill for one year and then followed farming for a year. He came to Wilkin county, Minnesota, and took a homestead in 1887. He built a claim shanty 20 by 20 feet and a sod barn and did the first breaking of his land with mules. The third year after settling there the mules died and as he had no money with which to purchase horses he bought a yoke of oxen and used them for three years. He made many trips to Breckinridge for provisions with oxen. He has prospered as an agriculturist and is now the owner of two hundred acres of land, all of which is under cultivation. He has a set of good farm buildings and a fine grove, the trees of which he planted during his early residence there. He has supplied all machinery necessary to facilitate the work of the place and altogether has a comfortable home and a well conducted farm.

Mr. Gareis was married in 1885 to Miss Mary Huttle, who was born in Austria in 1858 and came to America in 1885. The father of Mrs. Gareis, Antone Huttle, followed farming in Austria. Mr. and Mrs. Gareis are the parents of five children, who are named as follows: Frank, Annie, Emil, Antone and Joseph. The eldest son, Frank was born in Austria and the other children were born on the home farm in Wilkin county, Minnesota. Mr. Gareis is a public spirited citizen and takes an active part in local affairs of importance. He has served on the township board in Andrea township and also as a member of the school board. In political sentiment he is a Democrat. He keeps pace with the times and is one of the leading citizens of Andrea township.


Louis Gewalt
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Louis Gewalt, one of the most influential citizens of Wilkin county, Minnesota, is a pioneer merchant of Breckenridge, and is also owner of extensive farming interests. He is a man of marked business ability, and has prospered through good judgment and honest dealings. He is vice-president of the Merchants State Bank of Breckenridge, elected in the spring of 1902. Mr. Gewalt was born in Saxony, Germany, in 1857. His father was a farmer and spent his life in Germany. Our subject was reared on the home farm, and at the age of fourteen years became apprenticed to the tinsmith's trade, and spent three years as an apprentice. He then followed his trade in Germany until 1882 and traveled over different parts of Germany, Switzerland and France. He came to America in 1882, locating at Breckenridge, Minnesota. He is now the second oldest business man here. He followed his trade and also took land as a homestead in North Dakota. In 1884 he purchased the hardware business which was established by O. P. Todd about 1880 or 1881. This store building was 16 by 30 feet and a small stock was carried. Mr. Gewalt now has the largest exclusive hardware store in this locality, and has conducted the business for the past nineteen years with marked success. He also owns two hundred and forty acres of land near Breckenridge, and for the past decade has been engaged in farming this tract and now has a valuable estate.

Mr. Gewalt was married in 1889 to Miss Mary Bureu. Mrs. Gewalt was born in Ottertail county, Minnesota, and is of German parentage. Three sons, all of whom were born in Breckenridge, Minnesota, complete the family circle, and are as follows: Chester, now twelve years of age; Edmund, aged ten years; and Carl, aged eight years. Mr. Gewalt is a wide-awake and public-spirited citizen, and an earnest worker for the upbuilding of his home community. He was elected president of the village board in 1901, and filled that office to the satisfaction of all. He served as township treasurer from 1885 to 1901, and as village treasurer from 1887 to 1901, and has always discharged his duties faithfully and well. He is prominent in secret society circles, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having passed the degrees of Royal Arch, Blue Lodge, Knights Templar, and Eastern Star. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Sons of Herman. He is a stanch Democrat and is prominent in the affairs of his party, serving as chairman of the county committee for four years.


R. Pierre Glover
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

R. Pierre Glover, one of the pioneer residents of Wilkin county, has gained a high station as a citizen. He is the present county auditor and resides in Breckenridge. He is serving his second term in this office and his popularity is best evidenced by the fact that he was chosen for the second term without opposition, and was supported by all, irrespective of party affiliations.

Mr. Glover was born in Dodge county, Wisconsin, in 1862. His father, Robert Glover is of old American stock and the family traces in America to the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620. Robert Glover was born in Hudson. New York. He served five years in the Civil war, entering the army with the Thirteenth Wisconsin and leaving the service as a member of an Illinois regiment of Veterans. He was a farmer by occupation and was one of the early settlers of Minnesota, and was a prominent citizen of Wilkin county, serving as county treasurer from 1890 to '94. In 1896 he was elected judge of probate court of Wilkin county.

R. Pierre Glover was the elder of two children and he was reared and educated in Wisconsin, and removed with his parents to Wilkin county at the age of seventeen years. They settled at Campbell and lived in a shanty the first year, being pioneers of that locality. Our subject remained at home until he was about twenty-six years of age, conducting the home farm. In 1888 he went to Oregon and engaged in the shingle business with his uncle and spent two years lumbering in Oregon. He began railroad work on the Great Northern Railroad at Breckenridge in 1890 as a locomotive fireman, and followed this line of work two years, and then spent three years with the Western Union Telegraph Company as lineman, and in this capacity went over the entire route of the Great Northern Railroad. After three years with this company he assumed the care of the affairs of his father's office, who was then probate judge, and in 1898 and '99 our subject served as deputy register of deeds of Wilkin county. In 1900 he was elected county auditor and his faithful services won him a second election without an opposing candidate.

Mr. Glover was married in 1899 to Miss Swift. Mrs. Glover was born in Nova Scotia, Canada. Mr. and Mrs. Glover are the parents of one daughter, Edna, who was born at Willmar. Mr. Glover has always taken an active and commendable interest in local public affairs, and has served as village recorder and justice of the peace. He is a stanch Democrat politically, and has attended numerous conventions of his party as a delegate and is a firm supporter of party principles.


Edmund Granger
Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Nancy Overlander

Granger Edmund M, Breckenridge. School teacher. Born June 19, 1880 near Grand Forks ND, son of L and Exelindin (Lambert) Granger. Educated in grammar school Terrebonne Minn; high school Red Lake Falls Minn; State Science School of ND; graduated from Teachersí Course of Southern Minn Normal College 1906. Began teaching in Red Lake county 1898; elected county supt of schools Wilkin county 1906.


Joseph W. Gray
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Joseph W. Gray, owner of one of the most extensive farms of Wilkin county, Minnesota, is a pioneer of that region and during his many years residence there he has acquired a fortune by his industry and keen business foresight, supplemented by honest dealings. He is engaged in the real estate business in Campbell, and is the owner of farm lands in Minnesota and Canada. He is widely known and is universally esteemed and respected as a business man and citizen.

Mr. Gray was born in Crawfordsville, Montgomery county, Indiana, in 1858. His father R. R. Gray was a wholesale harness dealer in Crawfordsville, and the family came to Minnesota in 1865, locating at Lake City, where the father engaged in gardening and farming. The family is of American stock.

Our subject was the fourth child and oldest son and he was reared in Lake City and was educated in the common schools. He came to Campbell, Minnesota, in the spring of 1879 and took a homestead in section 20, township 131, range 45, He lived in a claim shanty the first season and in 1880 a larger residence was erected. One end of the building was used for the shelter of three horses and the other end was used as a living room. Our subject lived there alone and also part of the time boarded with neighbors. He had but a small start in stock and machinery and these he owed for, but he persevered and his first crop was good and gave him encouragement. After spending some years on this farm he sold the homestead and became the owner of other property and now conducts a farm of one thousand three hundred acres. This is situated two miles north of Campbell and is a valuable estate. He owns other farms in Wilkin county and operates one thousand eight hundred acres annually. He engages principally in grain raising, but keeps some stock and now has about one hundred head. On his home farm he has a complete set of buildings, costing about $10,000. His residence is equipped with all modem improvements, including furnace heat and gas for lighting purposes and he has one of the finest homes of the township. He has all farm machinery, including a steam threshing outfit for use on his own estate. His farm is one of the best in the county. In the early part of 1902 Mr. Gray opened a real estate office in Campbell and he handles real estate extensively. He is interested in Canadian lands and has twenty-four sections of land in Canada worth from six to forty dollars per acre. He also has three improved farms within from seven to thirty miles of Winnipeg. For twenty-three years he has spent the winter lumbering in the woods of Minnesota with teams. He has engaged in the lumbering business extensively. He also engaged in the stock business, raising, buying, selling and shipping stock. He has prospered in all his business ventures, and is a man of wide experience and honest dealings.

Mr. Gray was married in 1889 to Miss Hattie Fitch. Mrs. Gray was born in Quincy, Illinois. Her father, who was a railroad man, is dead, and her mother resides in Minneapolis. Mrs. Gray taught school in Wilkin county. To Mr. and Mrs. Gray a family of three children have been born, who are named as follows: Marian, Robert M., and Norman. Mr. Gray is a wide-awake and active citizen and in the early days he served in numerous local offices, but he does not take an active part of late years in public affairs. He votes independent of party.


Nelson Grenier
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Nelson Grenier, one of the leading old-time residents of Wilkin county, Minnesota, is a respected farmer of Roberts township. He has acquired a fine farm and enjoys all the comforts of rural life. There is a post office called Grenier Post Office located on his place, of which he is postmaster-established in 1903.

Mr. Grenier was born in Sorel, Quebec, Canada, in 1855. His father, also Nelson Grenier, was a baker in Sorel, Canada. He was of French blood and the family are of old French-Canadian stock, and have been in America for many generations back.

Of a family of five children our subject was the eldest. He was reared in Canada and learned the machinistís trade there and followed this trade for eleven years. His parents moved to Massachusetts in 1874 and in 1878 he went to that state to visit and was there married. He later came to Minnesota, leaving his family in Massachusetts, and took a homestead in section 34 of Deerhorn township where he lived for seven years. His wife joined him in his new found home in 1880. He used oxen for his first farm work and Breckenridge was the nearest market place. He chopped cord wood on the Red river and sold it in Breckenridge to make his living. His first crop was wheat from eleven acres in 1879. In 1884 he bought land in section 16 of Roberts township and lived there seventeen years and built up a good home on the banks of Red river. In 1888 he bought land in the northwest quarter of section 22 of Roberts township and in 1901 erected a set of farm buildings thereon, and has since made his home here. He has a comfortable dwelling, good barn, granary, and all necessary farm buildings. In 1901 he bought the northwest quarter of section 23 in Roberts township and has now three hundred and twenty acres of valuable land, with two hundred and fifty under cultivation and the rest meadow and pasture. He has disposed of his homestead farm. He engages in grain raising almost exclusively and has met with success in his farming.

Mr. Grenier was married in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Miss Elmer Lamer, who was born in the same place in Canada as Mr. Grenier, and is of French descent. Of this union eleven children have been born, namely: Donar, Armedos, Albert, John, Edmund, Edward, Franklin, Elmer, Annie, Belzimer, and Alice. Mr. Grenier is a Republican in political sentiment and wields much influence in his community.


Joseph Gunn
Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Richard Ramos
 

GUNN Joseph, Breckenridge.  Banker.  Born in 1857 in Ernesttown Ont, son of Samuel E and Lucinda (Rea) Gunn.  Married Aug 4, 1888 to Mary Auman.  Educated in public schools Ernesttown Ont. Published Wilkin County Gazette 1884-87; engaged in mercantile business Breckenridge 1887-96; propr Home Fund Realty Loan Bank to date. Pres Red River B & L Assn.  Served in legislature 1893; member Masonic fraternity and K of P.


Frank F. Hanson
Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Richard Ramos

HANSON Frank F, Breckenridge. Banker. Born Feb 26, 1878 in Monmouth Ia, son of Willlis F and Julia A (Tudor) Hanson. Married Jan 1, 1904 to Minnie Bolster. Educated in high schools Monmouth Ia; Clinton (Ia) Business College; graduated from Unif of Ia Iowa City B S 1901. Engaged in teaching school Iowa 1902-1903; cashr Breckenridge Nat Bank 1903 to date. Member Masonic fraternity and K of P. Sec Republican Central committee for Wilkin county.


Pete Hanson
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Pete Hanson, the oldest resident settler of Breckenridge, Minnesota, is now serving his fifth term as county treasurer, and enjoys the confidence of the citizens of Wilkin county to a marked degree. He is a pioneer business man of Breckenridge and has large financial interests there.

Mr. Hanson was born in Denmark, in 1845, and was the third of a family of four children. He was reared on a farm in his native land and assisted his father on the home farm. He came to America in 1866, landing in New York city and came direct to Minneapolis. He there followed house building and carpentering, and about 1868 began railroad bridge construction, and followed this line until 1871. He then came to Breckenridge and found at that time but one building and a tent in the town. He opened a general mercantile establishment, and became the second merchant of the town. He began with a small store and built up an extensive business, following the same until 1890. During this time he was also interested in the grain business and was interested in an elevator for three years. He took land as a tree claim and conducted this farm for several years, disposing of the same in 1901. He retired from active business pursuits in 1890 and in 1894 was elected county treasurer of Wilkin county, and has since filled this office. In 1902 he erected the Hanson Block on the corner of Fifth street and Minnesota avenue, one of the best business locations of the town. This is a modern building, with a heating plant in the basement. The second floor is given to offices and the first floor to business.

Mr. Hanson was married in 1874 at Minneapolis. Four children were born of this union, namely: Frank, now engaged in clerking; Birdie, Hazel and Henry. Mr. Hanson has become widely known, and is universally respected. His popularity as a public official is evidenced by his reelection for the fifth time as county treasurer. He is affiliated with the Republican party and takes an active part in the affairs of the organization, and has attended numerous county and state conventions as a delegate.


Philip Heider
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Philip Heider, one of the prominent agriculturists of Andrea township, Wilkin county, is a man of sterling character and active public spirit. He has resided in this locality from its early settlement and has become identified closely with its history. His farm is well improved and he has a pleasant home and enjoys the respect and esteem of his fellowmen.

Mr. Heider was born in Germany in 1852. His father, Adam Heider, followed blacksmithing in Germany. He came to America in 1854, landing in New York city, where he remained for six months. He then moved to Pennsylvania, where he lived for fourteen years and in 1870 removed to St. Cloud, Minnesota, and took a homestead in Stearns county. He died in the fall of the same year. The mother of our subject is still a resident of St. Cloud.

Our subject was reared in Pennsylvania and received a public school education there. He went to California in 1873 and worked in the mines there for two years and in 1875 returned to Minnesota. He came to Wilkin county in 1880 and took land as a homestead. He built a claim shanty and a sod barn, and had but two horses to start his farm work with. Fergus Falls was his nearest town and this was fifteen miles distant, and his nearest neighbor was seven miles away. Mr. Heider continued his residence on his homestead and steadily improved the same and is now the fortunate possessor of two hundred acres of good land, one hundred and fifteen acres of which he cultivates annually. He has a set of good buildings on his farm and has a fine grove for shelter, the trees of which be planted in the early years of his residence there. He has all necessary farm machinery and has a thoroughly equipped place.

Mr. Heider was married March 4, 1880, to Andrea Reller. Mrs. Heider was born in Denmark in 1854 and came to America in 1868. Her father, Frederick Reller, came to America and located at Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he resided until his death in 1888. He was a mason by trade. Mrs. Heider was married in 1871 to Albert Jepson, and of this marriage one child was born, a daughter, Etta F., who was born in Minneapolis, October 24, 1875. Miss Etta is known as Etta F. Heider. She is an accomplished and intelligent young lady and has followed the profession of teacher since she was seventeen years of age, meeting with pronounced success in her chosen work. One daughter has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Heider, namely, Daisy, who was born on the home farm in Wilkin county, September 1, 1881. She was engaged for several terms in teaching in Wilkin county and was a popular and efficient teacher. She was married January 7, 1903. Mrs. Heider was the first woman in Andrea township and the township now bears her name in her honor. Mr. Heider is one of the prominent citizens of his township and has served as chairman of the township board for several years. He takes an active interest in educational affairs, and has been school treasurer. The family is widely known and greatly respected.


John W. Heinrich
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

John W. Heinrich, one of the foremost agriculturists of Wilkin county, resides on his well improved estate in Deerhorn township. He was an early settler of that region and is one of the widely and favorably known citizens.

Mr. Heinrich was born in Wabasha county, Minnesota, August 13, 1867. His father, Frederick F. Heinrich, was of German birth, and he served through the war between Prussia and Austria in 1866. He came to America in 1867 and located in Wabasha county, Minnesota, where he followed farming until 1880, and then came to Wilkin county and took a homestead. He built a claim shanty and a sod barn. He resides on the old home farm with his son, and our subject operates the farm.

John W. Heinrich is the eldest of four children, and he was reared and educated in his native county, and at the age of fifteen became his fatherís assistant. He came to Wilkin county with his parents in 1880, and has built up a good farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Deerhorn township. He has a set of good farm buildings and follows diversified farming, having nearly all of his land under plow. In 1898 he purchased a threshing rig and each season since that has followed threshing and has made a success of this line of farm work.

Mr. Heinrich was married in 1895 to Mrs. Maria Jess. Mrs. Heinrich was born in Germany, July 1, 1863, and was there reared and educated. She came to America in 1881. Her father, Peter Strow, was of German birth, and was a farmer by occupation. He died in 1881. Mrs. Heinrich is the mother of three sons by a former marriage, she being a widow at the time of her marriage to Mr. Heinrich. The sons were born in Clay county, Minnesota, and are named as follows: John, Henry and Herman. Mr. Heinrich is one of the directors of the Wolverton-Barnesville Telephone Company. He is actively interested in local public affairs and for the past seven years has served as chairman of the township board and has also held numerous school offices. He is a Republican in political sentiment.


John T. Heys, Deceased.
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

John T. Heys, late of Prairie View township, Wilkin county, was for many years prior to his demise a leading citizen and representative farmer. He built up a good home and at the time of his death was the owner of a valuable estate of one hundred and sixty acres of improved land. This property is now controlled and operated by Mrs. Heys and the farm bespeaks comfort and good management.

Mr. Heys was born in England February 17, 1849. He came to America when an infant one year of age and was reared in Goodhue county, Minnesota, and educated in the common schools there. He served five years in the United States regular army. In 1878 he came to Wilkin county and took a piece of railroad land, the claim of which was being contested by the Great Northern Railroad Company. The title was settled in 1892 and then the land came into the market, and Mr. Heys bought it. On settling here he built a claim shanty and lived there alone for the first five years. He began his farming with horses and thus made steady progress in the improvement and cultivation of his farm. He planted trees and a fine grove now furnishes shelter and shade and adds to the value of the property. He placed good buildings on the farm and met with success in all his farming operations and built up a good home, which is now occupied by his family.

Mr. Heys was married on December 22, 1883, to Miss Alta Ridgman, who was born in Clinton county, Iowa, June 21, 1856. Mrs. Heys was reared in Pierce county, Wisconsin, and received her education there. Her father, William H. P. Ridgman, was of old English blood. He came to America when but twelve years old with his fatherís family who located near Cleveland, Ohio. He married there and went directly to Iowa, remaining three years. This accounts for Mrs. Heys being born in Iowa. Mr. Ridgman and family then went back to Ohio and about one year later moved to Wisconsin, where he now resides and is engaged in farming. To Mr. and Mrs. Heys five children were born, all of whom were born on the farm in Wilkin county. They are as follows: Fannie, born September 19, 1884; William H., born December 22, 1885; Loretta, born January 6, 1888; George, born August 28, 1889; and Elma, born July 19, 1892. Mr. Heys died March 1, 1900, and is deeply mourned by a large circle of relatives and acquaintances. He was a public-spirited citizen and has served as assessor of his township for several years, and as township clerk and a member of the township board. He was affiliated with the Democratic party politically
.


Daniel Holt
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Daniel Holt, residing in Manston township, Wilkin county, is the owner of a section of valuable land and engages successfully in general farming and stock raising. He is a man of sterling character, and enjoys the esteem and respect of his fellowmen.

Mr. Holt was born in New Hampshire in January, 1845. His father, John Holt, was of old American stock and was a farmer and lumberman and spent much of his time at rafting and lumbering on the Connecticut river. The mother of our subject was also of American birth. Our subject was the third of a family of seven children, and he moved with his parents to Vermont when about eight years of age, and he was there reared to manhood on a farm. When twenty years of age he learned the steam fitter's trade in Boston and followed this trade for thirteen years. He came to Iowa in 1882, and located on a farm in Audubon county, where he continued his residence until 1899. He owned a farm of one hundred and sixty acres and engaged in grain and stock raising and was successful in his line of work. He came to Wilkin county, Minnesota, in the fall of 1899, and purchased a farm in section 9 of Manston township, being the south half of the section, and he also bought the south half of section 33 of the same township. He is opening up his entire farm of six hundred and forty acres and has met with pronounced success in Wilkin county. He engages in grain raising principally, but is also interested to a considerable extent in stock raising and has a well improved and well stocked farm.

Mr. Holt was married in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, to Abby J. Evans. Mrs. Holt was engaged in clerking for a time in Boston and she also followed teaching several years, and is a lady of culture and refinement. Her father, Stephen Evans, is of English and Welsh descent and he was a farmer and physician. Mr. Holt is a gentleman of broad mind and active public spirit and he wields much influence in his community. He is a Republican politically.


John Hult
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

John Hult, county commissioner of Wilkin county, is one of the foremost citizens of this locality. He was an early settler and has done his full share toward the development of the agricultural interests of the community where he chose his home. He has a well improved farm in Deerhorn township and is a representative farmer and citizen.

Mr. Hult was born in Sweden, September 24, 1844. His father, Anders Hult, followed farming and carpentering in Sweden. He died in that country several years ago, and is survived by the mother of our subject, who still resides there. Eight children were born to this worthy couple, of whom our subject was the third in order of birth. He was reared and educated in his native land and at the age of fourteen years worked with surveyors and followed this occupation for two years. He then went into a bottling works and learned the trade of wine making and followed this trade for twelve years. He came to America in 1870, landing at New York City November 5. He went to Louisiana, where he remained for three years and then went to Indiana in 1873 and rented a farm. He remained on this tract until 1880, when he came to Wilkin county, Minnesota and took land as a homestead in Deerhorn township. He built a claim shanty and a straw shed and did his first breaking with horses and continued steadily to improve his farm. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres of land, nearly all of which is under plow and be engages successfully in diversified farming. He has a set of good farm buildings and has a comfortable home. He planted a grove during his early residence here and this is now one of the pleasant and valuable features of the place.

Mr. Hult was married April 10, 1883, to Miss Ingeborg Johnson. Mrs. Hult was born in Norway in 1858 and after being reared there and completing her education, she came to America in 1879. Her father, Lars Johnson, followed farming and boat building in Norway. He came to America in 1882 and located in Meeker county, Minnesota, where he now resides engaged in farming. Mr. and Mrs. Hult are the parents of five children, who are as follows: Clarence, born September 22, 1888; Mary, born May 12, 1890; Andrew, born May 6, 1892; Nellie, born September 19, 1894; and Harold, born November 13, 1896, and one child dead. All were born on the farm in Wilkin county, Minnesota. Mr. Hult has been called upon to serve his township in many offices of trust and he enjoys the confidence -of his fellowmen. He has served as chairman of the board of supervisors, school director, township treasurer, and is now county commissioner. Politically he is a Republican and he stands firmly for his convictions.


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

W. M. James is the editor and manager of the Breckenridge Telegram. He has only had charge of this paper for three years, but during that time he has increased its circulation three hundred per cent and made it one of the leading Republican papers of Northern Minnesota. His father, Robert James, was a prosperous farmer on the north shore of Lake Erie, in Elgin County, Ontario, having come to Canada from the north of Ireland. His ancestry, however, was Scotch. He died in 1893. His wife, Lorena Markle, was born in Ontario, and is still living in Elgin County. The subject of this sketch was born on the farm in Elgin County, Ontario, February 16, 1858. He received his education in the common and high schools of Ontario, which are noted for their thoroughness, and graduated from the Collegiate Institute at St. Thomas, Ontario, in 1881. He taught school, however, previous to his attending the institute, and also while pursuing his studies--seven years altogether, two years of which were spent in St. Thomas. Mr. James first came to Minnesota in September, 1883, locating at Minneapolis, where he worked for a time in a wholesale hardware house. He moved to Breckenridge in 1884, having received the appointment of principal of the graded schools at that place, which position he held for three years. He then went into the mercantile business, but sold out the following year, 1888. At this time he was appointed postmaster at Breckenridge by President Harrison, holding that office during the latter's administration. In 1889 Mr. James also engaged in the drug and stationery business, in which he is still engaged.
In 1893 Mr. James entered into partnership with J. C. Wood and bought the Breckenridge Telegram, of which he assumed charge as editor and manager. In October, 1896, Mr. James became owner of the paper, which by his pluck and perseverance, as stated above, he had built up to to be one of the leading papers of that part of the state. Mr. James' political affiliations are with the Republican party, and he has been active in promoting its principles. He has served his county committee as secretary for six years. He also acted as village justice for eight years. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and a Knight Templar; also a member of the Knights of Pythias and the A. O. U. W. His church connections are with the Methodist Episcopal church. He was married in 1886 to Maggie Harvey, daughter of the late William Harvey, M. P., of Canada. They have had four children, Harvey, Horace, Ada and Mary.

Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. (Publ. 1907), transcribed by Mary Saggio. 

JAMES WILLIAM M, Breckenridge.  Publisher.  Born Feb 16, 1858 in Elgin county Ont, son of Robert and Lorena (Markle) James.  Educated in public schools Elgin county Ont; high school Aylmer Ont and St Thomas (Ont) Collegiate Inst.  Engaged in teaching school 1877-87; in grocery business Breckenridge Minn 1887-89; drug and stationery business 1889-1900; in jewelry buisness 1895 to date; established the Breckenridge Telegram 1892 and continues to publish same to date.  Pres Wilkin County Building & Loan Assn.  Member Masonic fraternity; Shrine; A O U W; K of P and M W A.


Lewis E. Jones
Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. (Publ. 1907); transcribed by Nina Kramer 

Breckenridge.  Lawyer.  Born May 2, 1863 in Illinois, son of Alfred C. and Barbara C. Jones.  Married Nov. 26, 1889 to Laura R Jones.  Educated in public schools OíFallon Ill and McKendree College Lebanon Ill.  Engaged in practice of law St Paul 10 years; with Deering Harvester Co Chicago 6 years; Minneapolis with Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co 2 years; has been practicing in Breckenridge 1903 to date.  Member Masonic fraternity and I.O.O.F.


Pete Kautz
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

For over twenty-one years the gentleman above named has been identified with the farming interests of McCauleyville township, Wilkin county. He carries on general farming on an extensive scale and has one of the finest estates of the county. He is a gentleman of enterprise and is well known and universally respected.

Mr. Kautz was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1857. His father, Joseph Kautz, was a farmer and spent his life in Germany. Our subject was the third child in order of birth in a family of three children born of his motherís first marriage. He has three step-brothers and one stepsister. He was reared in his native land and when seventeen years of age came to America in 1875, landing in this country in April and arriving at Philadelphia the 27th of that month. His uncle furnished him funds to come to America. He came to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and there worked for $15 per month on a farm. He worked near there for four years, and then spent two years in Chickasaw county, Iowa, and two years in Winneshiek county. He came to Wilkin county, Minnesota, in 1880 and worked one year for others and in the spring of 1882 started farming. He had a shanty for his first farm home and after locating there with his team and effects and paying for his squatterís right he had no money left. At that time there was but one neighbor between Breckenridge and McCauleyville, and Breckenridge was the nearest trading point. He continued the improvement and cultivation of his farm and now has a thoroughly improved and well equipped estate. He owns six hundred and forty acres of land, forty of which is pasture and the rest in cultivation. He has a handsome and comfortable residence, built at a cost of $1,800, and he has a large barn with shed attached, two large granaries, and has plenty of fine soft water flowing at the rate of one hundred and forty-four barrels per day, from a well four hundred and forty-five feet deep. He has a fine grove of ten acres, the trees of which be planted about 1884, and he has a fine apple orchard and plenty of small fruits. In 1902 he raised nearly fifteen thousand bushels of grain and his threshing bill amounted to $955.

Mr. Kautz was married in 1882 to Miss Lena Bonfig. Mrs. Kautz was born in Winneshiek county, Iowa. Her father, John Bonfig, was a native of Germany. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kautz, four of whom are now living. They are named as follows; Annie, Joseph, Cathrina, and John. Mr. Kautz has served his township as supervisor and takes a leading part in all local public affairs. He has done his full share toward the development of that region, and has met with deserved success in his farming business and has gained an enviable reputation. In political faith he is a Democrat.


Hon. Benard O. Kempfer
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Hon. Benard O. Kempfer, who enjoys the comforts of a rural home in Andrea township, is one of the best known men of Minnesota. He is one of the old settlers and his labors there have become a part of the stateís history. He served in the early legislature and enjoyed the distinction of being the youngest man in the house of representatives during the session. His life has been one of many experiences and he is honored as a public-spirited citizen and prosperous agriculturist of Wilkin county.

Mr. Kempfer was born in York county, Pennsylvania, in 1837. His father, Jacob Kempfer, was of old American stock, and was a Lutheran minister. He was born near Alexandria, Virginia, in 1800, and died in 1880, at the advanced age of eighty years.

Our subject was the third in a family of six children and he was reared in Pennsylvania and received his education in the public schools. He began to earn his own way by working on a farm in Minnesota, at the age of twenty years. In 1862 he joined the Sixth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry and became a member of Company G. He served until the close of the war and received several wounds. He was called out to defend the farmers and settlers of the southern part of Minnesota from hostile Indians, and served through the massacre of 1862. In 1861 he was elected to the legislature from Watonwan county and was an able representative. He purchased a farm in Watonwan county in 1869 and operated the same until 1879, when he sold his interests and removed to Elizabeth, Ottertail county. He purchased a hotel and conducted this business for about eight years. In 1887 he sold the hotel and removed to Wilkin county, taking a homestead. He built a claim shanty and at once began to improve his farm. The nearest railroad town was Fergus Falls or Breckenridge, each about eighteen miles distant from his home. He now has one hundred and sixty acres of well improved land, the buildings being of substantial construction and conveniently arranged. Mr. Kempfer has practiced veterinary surgery for the past forty years and is considered one of the best authorities in this line in the state.

Mr. Kempfer was married in 1867 to Miss Alice Traverse. Mrs. Kempfer was born in Indiana in 1846. Her father, John Traverse, was of English descent, and was a carpenter by trade. He came to Minnesota in 1857 and located in Watonwan county, where he died about 1897. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Kempfer, namely: Mary E., now deceased; Benard O., and Francis M. Mr. Kempfer was married to Miss Carrie Gilbert, in 1886. Mrs. Kempfer was born in Norway, in 1852. Her father died in Norway when she was an infant, and the mother came with the family to America in 1860, locating in Watonwan county, Minnesota. Mrs. Kempfer died in 1893, leaving one son, Robert B., who was born in 1887. Mr. Kempfer has served as county commissioner for several years and was also county clerk in Watonwan county. He has also served as township clerk and justice of the peace. He is politically a Democrat.


Edwin C. King
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1904) Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman

Edwin C. King, postmaster of Ibsen, Minnesota, is one of the influential and prosperous citizens of Wilkin county. He is owner of a fine farm in Wolverton township, where he makes his home, and he commands the highest esteem of his associates.

Mr. King was born in Waushara county, Wisconsin, December 21, 1856. His father, Ephraim King, was of old English blood. He came to America in 1845 and located in the state of New York, where he lived for three years and in 1848 moved to Wisconsin, where he lived the remainder of his life. He served in the Civil war in Company C, Fifty-second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, under Capt. George Bird, and was a brave and loyal soldier. He died in 1891.
Our subject was the eldest of four children and he was reared in Wisconsin, and educated in the common schools there. He drove oxen with the plow on his fatherís farm when he was but eleven years of age, and remained his fatherís assistant until 1881, when he went to Fargo, North Dakota, and secured employment near there, remaining three years. He came to Wilkin county and purchased one hundred and sixty acres in 1884, building a shanty and a small frame stable. He did the first breaking on his farm with oxen and passed through many hardships and privations in his pioneer home, where he lived alone. The nearest railroad town was Barnesville, which was fifteen miles distant, but soon afterward the railroad was built through that region and the town of Christine, North Dakota, eight miles distant, was started. He planted trees in the early years of his residence here and now has a nice grove and he also has fruit trees, and his abundant yields of apples, plums, cherries, and grapes. He was instrumental in the establishment of Ibsen post office, which is situated on his farm, and for the past five years he has served as postmaster. He operates one hundred and sixty acres of land, and is one of the substantial farmers of his township.

Mr. King is unmarried and is his own housekeeper. He is prominent in local public affairs and has served as chairman of the township board. He has been Republican candidate for register of deeds, but his party ticket did not carry. He is a stanch Republican. Mr. King is also a director of the Comstock Farmersí Fire Insurance Company of Comstock, Minnesota.




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