Wright County, Minnesota

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Jacob Abel
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 332-333.] Submitted by Robin Line

Jacob Abel, of Buffalo township, is one of the few pioneers who are still living on the original claim that they took in 1858. Although he is over eighty years of age, he and his good wife are still hale and hearty, and he is able to read ordinary type with out the help of glasses. He has fought for his country's liberty, has helped develop a new country, and now in ripe old age he is reaping a full measure of honor and respect. Jacob Abel was born in Williamsberg, Germany, February 7, 1831, son of Jacob and Riga (Grouse) Abel. In the family there were five children, Jacob, Riga, David, Christ and Christina. Of these, Jacob, the subject of this sketch, was the only one who came to America. He came in 1854, being on the water forty-two days. Abut four years he lived in Ohio. In 1858 he came to Minnesota and secured a claim on section 15, Buffalo township. Here he endured all the hardships incident to pioneer life. The land was covered with timber and had to be cleared before crops could be raised. But he was enabled to secure a yoke of oxen, and soon he had a cabin built on the present location of the house. Provisions were scarce, and comforts were few. At times the only food was corn bread made from corn ground in a coffee mill. In 1862 and 1863 he was driven away by the fear of the Indians. After the Indian troubles were over the Civil war continued to rage, calls kept coming for men, and in 1864 he went to Ft. Snelling and enlisted in Co. B, Eleventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, serving until the close of the war. He was mustered out in Tennessee, June 26, 1864. Then he returned to his claim, where he has since resided. At time passed he added to his farm, buildings of modern construction were erected, and he became our of the substantial men of the community. He helped to build the Pelican lake church, served a long period as a school officer, and was town supervisor for seven years. Mr. Abel was married in 1866 to Christina Erickson, born in Sweden, February 4, 1846, daughter of Swan and Anna Erickson, who came to America in 1850 with their family, and several years later located in Marysville, Wright county. Their children were Peter, Mary, Swan, Nels, Manuel. Mr. and Mrs. Abel have had ten children: John, Anna, William, and Christina. Christina did not come when the rest of the family did, but remained several years in Sweden and came later. Christina (deceased), Nels, George, Edward,Emma, Albert and Fritz.
(Photo of Jacob Abel and Family on page 332)


Samuel Emery Adams
Source: Progressive men of Minnesota. (Shutter, Marion Daniel, 1853-ed.) Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Journal (1897) Submitted by Diana Heser Morse

Samuel Emery Adams, a member of the city council of Minneapolis, was born in Reading, Windsor County, Vermont, December 1, 1828. He is a descendant of the old Lexington, Massachusetts, family of that name. His great-grandfather served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War as a member of the Connecticut troops under General Israel Putnam. Solomon Wright Adams, the father of Samuel, was a tiller of the soil in the state of Vermont, and though in rather limited circumstances was a prominent man in the locality in which he lived. He served the people of the community as a selectman, assessor, postmaster, and as their representative in the state legislature. His wife's maiden name was Mary Adaline Emery. When Samuel was but a year old the family moved to Bellows Falls, and thence to Rutland County, where he was raised on his father's farm. He attended the academies at Chester, Springfield and Thetford, and prepared for college in the West Randolph Academy. In 1851 he entered Dartmouth College, but on account of ill health was forced to leave the following year. In 1853 he received an appointment from President Pierce as a route agent between Boston, Massachusetts, and Burlington, Vermont. He continues in that vocation till 1855, when he was compelled to resign on account of severe bronchial trouble, and came to Minnesota to find relief. He arrived at St. Anthony Falls in the fall of 1855, but returned to Vermont a few months later. He came back to Minnesota the following year, locating at Monticello, in Wright County, June 1, 1856, and engaged in the mercantile trade. In 1857 he was elected a member of the state senate, and re-elected in 1859. The latter year he was appointed special agent of the postoffice department for Iowa and Minnesota. In 1860 he was appointed receiver of the land office at St. Cloud, Minnesota, leaving it next year, when the Republicans came into power. He was in politics what was then Known as a "war Democrat," willing to do all in his power to perpetuate the Union and preserve it intact. In 1862 he was appointed a paymaster in the army by President Lincoln, and was breveted lieutenant-colonel in 1865 "for meritorious services in the field." He did not leave the service, however, until January, 1866, when he was honorably discharged. Colonel Adams at once returned to Monticello and engaged in the mercantile trade and real estate operations. Although he had been admitted to the bar in 1862 he gave no attention to legal business, except in connection with real estate transactions. While at Monticello he was a member and president of the board of education of that town for many years, and always took an active interest in educational matters. He was master of the State Grange for eight years and of the National Grange for two years, contributing in every way possible to the elevation and prosperity of the agricultural and toiling masses. He was president of the State Agricultural Society in 1879, and is now and has been for many years a member of the State Historical Society. While at Monticello he also engaged in the newspaper publishing business, and was for a number of years editor and proprietor of the Wright County Times. In May, 1883, Colonel Adams removed to Minneapolis, where he has ever since resided, engaged in the real estate and insurance business. Having performed valuable services in 1891 as a member of the commission appointed to award damages in the opening and extension of new streets in Minneapolis, the Republicans of the Fourth Ward forced the nomination upon him for alderman from that ward in 1892. He was elected for a term of four years, and was re-elected in 1896. Mr. Adams has been one of the most competent and faithful men that have ever served in that body. He served continuously on the ways and means committee, and was also on the committees on claims, waterworks, markets and underground wires. He has been strenuous in his opposition to the custom of awarding contracts to other than the lowest responsible bidders, and at the time the reservoir question came up in the council in 1895 was strongly opposed to this improvement, because it necessitated an increase in the bonded indebtedness of the city. When he was renominated to the council in 1896 he received the indorsement of the Good Citizenship League, and was re-elected by a large majority. In politics and religious matters Colonel Adams is inclined to be independent, preferring to estimate parties and creeds by acts rather than profession. He is a thirty-third degree Mason, and is a charter member of the Monticello Lodge. He is inspector general of the Scottish Rite, and past senior grand warden of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota; also a member of George N. Morgan Post, G. A. R. July 21, 1859, he was joined in wedlock to Augusta J. Smith, of Pittsford, Vermont, and they have two sons--Henry Rice, engaged in the insurance business in Minneapolis, and John Cain, formerly Assistant Surgeon United States Army, and now located at West Superior, Wisconsin.


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

ALLEY John Thompson, Buffalo. Born Jan 1, 1850 in Wetzel Co W Va, son of Hezekiah and Nancy (Milburn) Alley. Married Nov 5, 1879 to Albina C Lewis. Educated in W Va and common schools of Minn. First engaged in teaching school; surveyor 1874-78; studied law and admitted to bar 1878 and has been engaged in practice to date. Judge of probate Wright county 1886-94; county atty 1894-96; member legislature 1901; state senator 1903-05.


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

BALCOME Frank E, St Paul. Res 902 Cromwell av, office corner Raymond and Hampden avs. Physician. Born May 1, 1872 at Delano Minn, son of Edwin and Sarah (Bryan) Balcome. Married Oct 3, 1900 to Anna M Lutz. Attended Howard Lake Minn High School; Macalaster College St Paul, graduating in 1895; medical dept U of M; graduated M D from Eclectic Medical Institute Cincinnati O 1899. Member Cannon & Balcome physicians St Paul 1899 to date.


James B. Blanchard
Source: Autobiography of J. B. Blanchard; transcribed by Larry Lakey

THE LIFE STORY

of

J. B. BLANCHARD:

To start out with, I will say that I am no hand to "Blow my own horn", but if my friends want to "blow it" for me, that is their own business, and I will give them facts without any coloring.

I was born in Dexter, Maine, on Feb. 5th, 1821. My father died when I was eight months old; my mother then went to live with her parents in the town of Sebeck, Piscatouis County, where I lived until I was four years old. This was a new county and everybody in the county was poor. I then went to live with a man by the name of Harvey Blake; was there, only about eight months when my aunt heard that I was not used very well and took me away.

My mother married Eugene Erbin when I was five years old; I lived at home then for about four years; then my step-father enlisted in the U. S. Service and he was sent to Florida at the time of the Indian War; that is the last we ever heard of him. He left my mother with five children and her father and mother on her hands without a dollar, consequently I went to live with different parties ---- I think three different parties - up to the time I was ten years old, and every one seemed to work me for all there was in me. The understanding was with all those parties that I was to stay with them until I was twenty-one years old and they were obligated to send me to school, sufficient to learn to read, write and cypher to the "Rule of three"; that was the extent of their obligation to educate me, and I was to have $100 and a new suit of clothes when I was twenty-one; that I was the condition with all three parties.

I was working for someone else until I was fifteen years of age, and then I thought I was old enough and strong enough to earn something for my mother; I started of from Springfield, Maine and went thirty miles to find a job in the lumber camps; I started out in the morning and made thirty miles that day across lakes and portages with no inhabitants on the route; I crossed three lakes, and the last lake was nine miles across without any track on the lake. I got to the foot of the lake just at dark and struck a log landing where I met a man by the name of Brown. I asked him if he wanted to hire any help and he said "NO", but there was a party up the lake whom he had passed during the day that wanted a man. I started there the next morning and wen back up the lake until I struck this cam; Edgeley, Earl & Billings was the company. I asked them if they wanted a man; he said they wanted a man, but they didn't want a boy, but not being able to get a man they took me on trial; I asked him if I could stay and he said I could and that he would give me $12.00 per month, and more, if I earned it. I was anxious to earn more, and during the winter I got a pair of pants and a pair of mittens, and in the spring when they broke up I took their note for my wages. They went east to Paris and I went west to Springfield to my home. I have never collected the note yet; that is what I got for my winter's work. The next spring I hired out on a log drive to Cook, for which I got fifty cents in money and nine yards of red flannel for shirts - at that was all I got for my spring's work.

I went to Milfred where I had some friends, uncles and cousins; they were engaged in the river business, rafting and running rafts. I hired out with them for eighteen dollars per month, rafting, sawing lumber and running logs down to Bangor, and by this time my muscles were pretty well developed. At the age of about twenty I was considered the best man on a raft and best water-man and ablest man on the river - no man on the river that could pull a heavier oar than I could. Jam Blanchard was in great demand by the river men.

Then I started in business for myself. Every pilot on the river turned against me. Determined to crush me out, but I had too much pluck for them. I succeeded very well, and from that time on was in the lumber business and river business until I came to Minnesota.

I left Bangor on the 22nd day of April in '57. I was in the lumber business cutting and hauling logs and working on drives, driving logs to the boom across lakes, building dams and clearing streams for driving, and, in short, I was a very hard man to beat in any part of the business.

When I left Bangor for the west - Minneapolis - I expected to find business flourishing in Minnesota. I met with various reverses. I left the family - my wife and five children - with only ten dollars. When I crossed the suspension bridge at Minneapolis I took account of my wealth and found out that I had 32 - c, I found times very hard in Minnesota, but I had friends to stop with. That was where W. B. Washburn was putting in the dam of the west side of the river. My cousins told me that Washburn wanted some river - men, so I went down to the works. They had a long cook shanty and a man cook running it and it appeared to me that I would like to board there, even if I didn't get anything to do.

I went and saw Washburn and asked him if he wanted any help; he said, "NO", that he was turning away help every day". I left very down hearted. I walked up what is now Washington Ave. it occurred to me that I hadn't asked him that I understood that he wanted water-men. I went back and told him that I understood that he wanted water-men; he says "Yes, are you a waterman?" I said Yes. Where are you from? I told him. Go to work. I didn't ask what the wages were; I was anxious to get a job if I only got my board, but when pay day came I got $60.00 per month and sent it to my family.

I worked another month and Washburn had a crew, I think, of about seventy-five men, and he says to us "I have got the money to pay you all off, and if any of you work longer you will have to take the company's note until next June. Most of them settled up and left. I told Washburn that under the circumstances I would have to leave too. He says to me "You go to work. I said I would be glad to, but under the circumstances I must realize something for my work. He says to me again "You go to work" and work through the winter". The next spring in March I hired out with I. F. Woodman to go to Montecello. I worked for him during that summer - the summer of '58. In the meantime I bought some lots and built a home at Montecello for my family and in June they came to me, where I resided until '71.

I was engaged in the lumber business on my own account, but I didn't belong to the Lumber Association at Minneapolis. I went into the woods every winter and cut the logs and driving them to the boom. My logs would go into the boom with everybody else and when they were ran through the boom they had to go into somebody's mill pond and I found it very difficult to sell my logs, and the result was that every mill man on the river was sawing my logs and not willing to pay for them. When I would ask them for pay they would say it was an accommodation to me for them to saw my logs and that they would give me logs next spring in return for them. In this way it was a case of the poor favoring the rich. Bought a portable saw-mill, got a lease of ground near the south of Bassett's creek in Minneapolis and went to work and sawed one hundred thousand feet that fall. I got a lease of this property with a privilege of paying for it as fast as I could. That winter I took in a partner of the name of Leighton an our contract was that he was to furnish capital to carry on operations and I to furnish stumpage and the rent of the mill to saw the logs the next season, and he undertook to rob me of every cent there was in it and joined hands with the Lumber Association of Minneapolis to knock me out. The Association considered it adverse to their interest to have any competition.

I had, at that time, as good a prospect before me as any man in the lumber business in Minneapolis, but they boycotted me in every way possible, my partner joined hands with the Association to break me up and they left me two thousand dollars in debt and without a shingle to cover my head.

I had one pair of horses left and the next winter my son and I hired two men and went into the pinery and cleared eleven hundred dollars and paid it out on debts.

After being left in the condition I was in Minneapolis I went home and went to bed - thought I was sick - guess I was. I called in Dr. Wakefield, he looked me over, came again the next morning and says "Blanchard, you ain't sick, its only this trouble you got into that put you where you are. Well, I says, if I ain't sick ain't going to lay here, and I up with both feet and kicked the covers over the foot of the bed and got up and dressed. But my head wasn't just right - it bothered me - I had a slight paralysis of the brain from which I have never quite fully recovered.

In the early part of August '71, I got a letter from my son who was with the Lake Superior & Puget Sound Co., that he had found out before hand where the crossing was going to be for the N. P. railroad, and he wrote me to come immediately. I harnessed up and took on a few goods and took my youngest boy, seven years old, on the wagon with me and came to Moorhead - camped under the wagon on the way in the evening and sold my goods over it. I was eleven days making the trip and thought I made a good trip at that - was well satisfied.

When I got here there wasn't a house in Moorhead except an old station which was partly tumbled down. I put my horses in the station and camped under the wagon and sold my goods off from it. The first goods I sold was to Andrew Holes, who had then just commenced to build his log house on the site where his beautiful residence now stands. Mr. Holes was the first settler in Moorhead, and Mrs. Holes has first right to the claim of being the first woman in Moorhead, although they were camped on the other sid of the river at the time they had established their residence in Moorhead and were building their house.

I sold my goods mostly to the Northern Pacific graders who were at work at that time in the Hawley hills. After selling my goods I went to work for the Lake Superior and Puget Sound Land Co. With my team, locating claims between here an Detroit, at five dollars per day, and expenses.

In the fall, I built the first wooded store that was built in Moorhead; it was on Fourth Street North, next to the Scandia Hotel, and run it that winter. This was built from lumber taken out of the river late in the fall and it had been in the water all summer from Fergus Falls down the Red River; just boarded and oatted; single floor from the same material - right out of the river set up on blocks. The building was 18 X 24 feet, all in one room, no ceiling and nothing to heat it but a No. 9 cook stove. I had my bunk on one side near the stove and camped there all winter. My merchandise consisted of groceries, feed and flour. That building was moved off the lot and now stands back of the News Office.

Soon after I arrived here the town site was laid out; there was then quite a little tent town down at Probsfield's that immediate winter - all living in tents; the Napin House, at the corner of Front and Fourth Streets was built an Nichols Bros. Had a butcher shop and residence; Rev. Elmer had a wooden building, I think. I think those were the only wooden buildings in town.

The town was largely populated by speculators and gamblers saloons, but on the whole everybody appeared to be pretty happy.

On the 25th day of April, '72 - the day that Shang shot Shemway and Shemway shot Thompson, that caused a great deal of excitement. The cry was "Why don't they arrest Shemway for shooting Thompson? H. C. Finkle and John Haggart come running to me and asked "Why don't they arrest Shemway?" I says, "Why don't you arrest Shemway - you have just as good a right as anybody to arrest Shemway", as we had no county organization at that time. They said they would if I would go with them; says I, "All right." I went to the Hagarthy & Grady's restaurant and Shemway had gone in. I found the door fastened; I rapped and they opened the door and we three went in and found Shemway on a table with a bullet hole through him; I says to the boys "Go back, he is perfectly safe - open the doors and give him all the air he can get. They all went out and some of the boys were anxious to go back and take him out and hang him, but I says "NO, he is all right, let him alone." He lived seven days.

In the meantime we had got organized for the County consisting of Andrew Holes, Pet Wilson and Mrs. Huntoon's father. Wilson and Holes appointed me Sheriff.

Shang was the first man I took into custody. Shang's name was Charley Stanton. They took him before Justice David Grant and the case was adjourned for ten days, awaiting the result of Shemway's wound. He put up a cash bail of $500. After Shemway's death he came into Court again and gave a "straw bail" of $1000 - and that was the last of the case.

When Shemway died Andrew Holes, Peter Wilson and myself took him from the Cleveland House and buried him in the northern part of town - and Sam Patridge after wards built a good house over him - which is now the second house this side of the Court House on the west side of the street.

When Shemway died his mother was telegraphed to and asked what to be done with him. She replied to "Bury him and send the bill. We had no particular burying ground. The money was sent for the expenses, but there was no charges for the buriel and I think the money went to pay for his board at Chapins Hotel. I told Patridge at one time that it was a good thing for Shemway that he had built a good house over him, which was the first he knew of his being there. After a year or two he concluded he would have a cistern put under the kitchen and the workmen in digging the hole struck the box and took it out and buried it the second time under the edge of the bank and informed the mother of the occurrence. I think she had him shipped to her.

I sold the first goods, built the first wooden store and built the first bridge across the Buffalo river between here and Glyndon, and made the first assessment in the County.

I was a volunteer in the "Bloodless Arostic War" when a young man. That is a trouble that grew out of a dispute over our International Boundary Line between the U. S. & Canada, but "John Bull" didn't care to fight the U. S. and the dispute was settled by arbitration. The English Government sent Ashburton to confer with Dan'l Webster and it seems that Webster had the biggest head - and Ashburton had the biggest stomach - he could hold more champagne than Webster - and the result was we got, according to the treaty, more land than we claimed in the first place. That treaty is known as the Ashburton Treaty.

The first winter that we were here - '71 & '73 we had no organization; there was about four hundred residents, all living in tents; the population consisted chiefly of gamblers and saloon keepers. I was appointed U. S. Marshal in '72; after wards H. R. Denney was appointed and I worked for him. I received two appointments by the Department as active and Chief Agent, looking up trespassers against the government and other violations. I reported something over sixty cases that I had looked up and procured the evidence and every one was handled by the U. S. Commissioners. I never missed a case nor went after a man but what I got him.

The government sent two agents here - Jones and E. A. Protois - to look after trespassers in '77. After my term as Sheriff expired he appointed me and I was to report to him. He stayed in St. Paul in the best hotels and I done the work and - he got the glory. I reported to him thirty - cases, brought before different commissioners with the evidence; they went after every one of them before the Commissioners, but one; his name was Ben Regan and he was as guilty as any of the charge; he got clear on the ground that he was arrested in Dakota for stealing timber in Minnesota; that was thirty miles this side of Pembina. I went after him in the winter; the snow was very deep, drifted all over the prairie.

I had to labor under a great disadvantage here in my official capacity, from the fact that if I had to call on any assistance I was refused on the ground that they didn't want to incur any displeasure of the boys or the women, consequently I had to depend entirely on my two sons. I remember one night a man came to my house and wanted me to arrest Ed. Smith - this was in the evening. I asked him if he had a warrant, and he said no. I told him to get a warrant and I would arrest Ed. Smith, but not before. He went away and I went to bed. About twelve o'clock he came back with his warrant, and insisted on my making the arrest that night. Ed Smith kept a saloon on Fourth Street; my boys I couldn't find it the time - they happened to be away. I went out on the street and met a man by the name of Page; I says to Page "I want you to stand right outside of this saloon and see if I ever come out." I went in and counted sixteen men, having a high old time - gamblers, saloon keepers, desperadoes, etc., consisting of Jack O'Neil, Jack White, Buffalo Jack, Himpy Jack, Ed Hayes and others, making sixteen in all. They asked me if I wanted to take a drink; I says "No, gentlemen, I don't drink. Some of them urged me to take a drink and another spoke up and says "No, he don't drink and I respect him for it." Ed was behind the bar; I finally got his eye and beckoned to him to come out into the back part of the saloon and told him in a low voice "Ed, I've got a warrant for you." "Got a warrant for me - what in hell does that mean - I want to see it - want to read it." He looked around upon the crowd and says "Well boys what shall I do?" And Dave Mullin was close by and said "What will you do - you'll go along, that's what you'll do." He said he couldn't leave his place, and finally I suggested that he leave one of the men there to run the place for him and he went with me. All this time you could have heard a pin drop on the floor. We went to the Napin House at the corner of Fourth and Front Streets, took him to a room and he undressed and I got him to bed and locked the door, put one side of the handcuff on him and the other on myself, put his clothes under the bed and get into bed myself with my clothes on; the next morning I took him before a Justice and he paid a fine and went his way.

At another time there was two brothers by the name of Buckley, both running saloons. The Town site Agent, Taylor, came to me one day and says "There is trouble up on Front Street with the Buckleys. I went up there and found that the two Buckley's had been in a fight. When I started out I put my handcuffs in my pocket and walked down Front Street and found John Buckley standing out in front of his place; he was in his shirt sleeves, sleeves rolled up, the froth coming from each side of his mouth - he was a hideous sight to look at; he was a man that weighed probably over 200 pounds. I said to him, "Mr. Buckley, there has been a complaint entered against you and I will have to arrest you." He shook his fist and says "Damned if you do - the man don't stand in America that can arrest me." I walked up to him and grabbed him by the shoulder with all the force I had in me; he came down on his knees and at the same time I pulled the hand cuffs, put them onto him and walked him up to Justice Court. There was probably thirty or forty men standing around looking on, but none of them that I was sure I could get to help me in case I wanted help, but as it happened I didn't need any. The next time I met John he said he wasn't satisfied with the way I used him at the time I arrested him, now he says "We must have it out." I says "No, John, I guess not - I haven't got the State of Minnesota at my back any longer - we will have to call it a draw. But I tell you the porcupine quills stood on top of my head for a while.

On the 2nd of June, '77, Edgar Van Dicar, who came from from Brainerd with a girl called Fannie Clark. By her story, he had promised to marry her, but didn't do it, but made her earn money to support him. He stopped in Moorhead for a while and then went to Fargo and stopped at what was called the Bar Maiden. She got tired of him and he promised to shoot her. She got away from him and came over here and went to Judge DeCamp and swore out a peace warrant and instructed me to let him know that I had the warrant, but not to arrest him if I could help it - thinking that if he knew there was a warrant out and that he couldn't get bail he would keep away. I met him at the corner of Fourth and Front Streets in the afternoon and told him that I had a warrant; he said he wanted to see it; I showed it to him and he told me to read it; I commenced to read it and he jumped and ran for Fargo.

The parties seemed very pleased, but I says "Don't fool your selves - he will be back here tonight." So, along late after dark I buckled on my revolver - a heavy gun with a six inch barrel - on my left side and went over to Kate Pakelo; Date came to the door and I asked for Van Decar; she says "Yes, he is here" and I stepped into the sitting room; she says "He is in there", pointing to a bed room door off to the side of the room. There was two men there, one a very stout, nice looking man. I said to him "I am about to make an arrest here and I may need some help." I went into the bed room and there sat Ban Decar on the side of the bed; there was two lights burning. I says to Van Decar "You gave me the jump a little while ago. He says "I don't want to make any trouble, but I want to see Fannie first." We called Fannie and she stepped by me; he says to her "how is it Fannie, are you going to give me up?" She says "Yes Ed. I am going to give you up, I have even parted friends." He says to her "Have you got the ring?" She says "Yes", then he turned partly around and I heard a revolver pop, and when the revolver popped the two men popped out of the room; she threw up her hands and says "I am shot" and walked out by me. Van Decar was on his side up within three feet and the second shot took off the sole of my boot and then he leveled his revolver at me. I thought of the old adage "Its a poor time to look for your revolver when looking down another man's barrel." I jumped for him and got his right hand which held the revolver and at the same time got him by the collar with my right hand and pulled him right up snug to me and held his arm that held the revolver so he couldn't get a range on me - I knew that my life depended upon the strength of my left arm - and in the struggle the revolver dropped to the floor; he tried his best to break the hold, but I held him; which one of us went out first I never knew, but we brought up against a post and I got him down and called for help; a man by the name of Eustis came out; I had him down then and had him by the throat and he had quit the struggle. We called for a rope and Kate cut off a piece of clothes line and we tied his hands behind him and walked him over to the county jail at the corner of Eighth St. and First Ave. The Sheriff at that time, Chas. Nichols, was in a "one horse circus" somewhere up on the Minnesota River, and his Deputy was out of town. I called the girl that kept a house over the jail and got the key and put him into the jail and into the iron cage, which is now doing service at the Moorhead Meat Market as a smoke-house.

Mr. Eustis watched the jail over night and the next day the Deputy, Mr. Carr, came down; he didn't like to stay alone with him, so I stayed there the second night. Right after dark, a good friend of mine - John Haggart, from Forge, came to the jail and called me out and told me there was about fifty men congregated on the wagon bridge and that they wanted Van Decar; I says to him "You tell the boys they can't have him; I fought like a bull dog to get him here and I will fight just as hard to protect him." He went back and told them and they disperced.

Sheriff Nicols got home the next day and I told him he had a desperate man to deal with and that he had better keep the shackles on him, but he thought it was unnecessary to put shackles on him; so when the President came through and stopped down at the Fourth Street crossing, all hands turned out to see the President. Van Decar had the use of the whole jail. He wrenched off an iron bar, knocked a hole out of the back side and walked off. That was the last seen of him. All the Sheriff done toward re-arresting him was to send a post card to the Chief of Police at Brainerd to arrest him if he came there. He was finally seen in Brainerd, and the Chief of Police heard he was there, but didn't do anything toward arresting him; no effort was made to recapture him.

The tenth day after Fannie was shot she was married to a man by the name of Merritt. The eighteenth day after she was shot she died and was buried in the Prairie Home Cemetery.

I was only Constable at that time; I got a County Warrant for 25 cents for making the arrest. County Warrant were worth - in goods - 90 cents on the dollar, but for cash, only 75 cents on the dollar. That is what I received for making the arrest.

"Blinker Jack" (Charley Stanton), a desperado, came from Brainerd up here. He would get on the "rampage" once in a while and terrorize the people. At this particular time he took a revolver in his hand and would go from one saloon to the other, would meet people on the way, level his revolver at him and make him come in and treat. He kept that up for quite a while - and they invariably walked up at, the point of the revolver, and treated. I was out of town at the time. The Swedes had a dance that evening and Jack went in and took charge of the dance. He was arrested at the dance hall. All the jail we had at that time was a log one; that was about 12 x 18 feet, laid up with logs, chinked up with stove wood, covered with poles over head; there was a hallway about four feet wide running through the center that was made of poles and very open at that. All the way we could keep a prisoner those days was to watch him; my bunk was in the further end of that hall; I slept there at night and guarded the jail by day. This was in the fall of '72. They kept "Blinker" that winter with three others, and in the spring, about the time the river was breaking up, they broke jail while I was up getting their dinner for them. They broke jail by sawing off some poles we had up by the stove pipe and climbed through and took down to the river; they found the river breaking up so they couldn't cross, so they followed down the river; when I come with their dinner I found them gone. I followed their tracks; I was told that "Blinker" had a gun. I followed their tracks for a while down the river and when I struck the point and struck the river on the other side of the point I came across them - four of them in the woods - it was all big timber there then. I hollered to them and "Blinker Jack" got out of sight in some way - I don't know how. It seem that he had laid down in the water behind a little clump of bushes and we hunted a long time for him while he was lying there in the water, entirely out of sight, except his head. Finally we took him out and took him up to my residence and kept him there, under guard, that night. The next day we repaired the jail and put a roof on it.

That fall we had a term of court - Judge McCalvey presiding. We had Jack up before the Court having his trial and someone in the Court room gave him a bottle of whiskey and when I put him back into jail he got wild on the whiskey. I had a man in his cell by the name of Higgins and he got to fighting with him and knocked the stove over and scattered the fire around the floor; we carried the stove out doors and I then put the handcuffs on him. I put Higgins on the other side with another fellow and Jack hadn't been in there long before he threw the handcuffs out into the hall through a hole between the logs, or poles; then I went in with the shackles and put them onto him. In the meantime he had set the jail on fire twice; we put that out and then I went to Fred Hannebohl's blacksmith shop and got a clasp made to go around his foot, with about four feet of chain, a staple through one end of the chain and stapled it through one of the logs in the jail. I went in with it and says I, "Now Jack, I am going to put this onto you." He says, "I don't know whether you will or not"; I says "Yes, I will, hand up your foot here," and instead of handing it up it come up pretty quick and pretty near to my head. I caught him by the foot when it was up and lifted it still higher and set him on his head; I then took him by the throat and my deputy then came in and put the chain onto him, and we kept him in that condition over night and set a guard over the jail with a Winchester rifle. He was finally brought to Court again and sent to the Penitentiary for five years. After the sentence the Judge told me that he gave him a pretty hard sentence from the fact that he had been before him at Brainerd and sentenced to one year and a fine of one hundred dollars, and that he never went to the Penitentiary or paid the $100 either, but he says after he has been in about three years I will recommend his pardon, if he behaves himself. When the three years were up I got up a petition for his release and Judge McCalvey signed it and about all the Town and County officers signed it and he was released. He come right straight to me in Moorhead and told me he thought more of me than he did of his father; I got him a job on the block down here where Flaten's gallery is now, at the corner of Fourth and Front. He worked a while and kept very steady and appeared to be a new man altogether; he went from here to Bismarck and worked for the Government at Fort Lincoln and they had all kinds of confidence in him. Finally he got on a rampage and had to leave it and come back to Moorhead. He got on a rampage here and went for old Fred Hannebohl and shot at him and had to leave Moorhead and went to Fargo, and done something in Fargo so he had to leave there and come back to Moorhead. He was told here that he would have to get out of Moorhead on the first train; there was a freight train passing about that time and he jumped on and left. I don't know what became of him.

While we were having the fracas at the jail Col. Lonsberry and U. S. Marshall Brackett was there. Lonsberry was then running a paper at Bismarck and he gave me a writeup.

While I was U. S. Detective I went to Winnipagocis Lake on the Mississippi River. I got acquainted with an Indian by the name of Magazee - that was his English name; he gave me information leading to the arrest of about twelve white men for selling liquor to the Indians, and before leaving St. Paul I was furnished with a "John Doe" warrant. I arrested an Indian whose white name was George Washington and took Bob Magazee and another Indian as witnesses and come back across the lake, which was eighteen miles, in a birch bark canoe. Pete Bungo of White Earth Agency was head canoeman. We had a very rough trip across the lake, but we made it all right. We proceeded to St. Paul, turned our prisoners over to the U. S. Marshall and then took three or four warrants against parties in Winnipagosis, the Indian witness I hired by the day to go back with me and took my son with me, E. E. Blanchard, who was Deputy Marshall ; we took the train to Brainerd and took a team from there to Leich Lake and bought a canoe and went across the lake and across into Winnipagosis and so on down the Mississippi river, and on the way down we got another Indian and a white man; made the trip from there to Brainerd in six days and made thirty miles travel by water in a birch bark canoe. I sat in the canoe cramped up so long I was taken with a very severe inflamation of the kidneys. We got to Brainerd and had to wait there until twelve o'clock that night for the train. I went to bed, but couldn't sleep a wink; when the time come for the train I got up and told my son to take these men to St. Paul, that I was going to Moorhead. I wasn't able to go any further.

I got home in the morning and had two doctors, Dr. Lewis and Dr. Davis, work over me during the day; they put a fly plaster on my back and that night I took the train to St. Paul and got there in time to attend the Court which was in session.

My Grandfather's name, on my mother's side was John Johnson; he was a Revolutionary soldier - a big Scotchman and was recognized as the strongest and most powerful man known anywheres in the country, physically, but very quiet. After the war he married a thoroughbred Yankee, raised a family of three boys and five girls; my mother was the youngest and the smallest - and she weighted about two hundred punds; she died the youngest, at eighty three.

My grandparents on my father's side I dont know anything about, only I was told he was from France; he raised a large family, all of which I knew; they were a very able set of men, physically.

I was married Feb. 6th, '43, consequently was 22 years old, to Sarah M. Garrieh; she bore me seven children, the first died in infancy. My wife died at Monticello, Wright Co; all the rest of the family came to Moorhead.

I have been a Civil Officer of some kind ever since the 27th day of April, in '72, either Sheriff, Coroner, Deputy Coroner, or Constable or Deputy Marshall, and have never showed a gun but three times. Have made over 800 arrests - criminal arrests, and never showed a revolver but twice or three times - and never went for a man but what I got him. Have been a health officer of some kind from that until the present day, continuously.

In '73 Pete Sullivan came in here with two men and began to work in the gravel pit for the N. P. It seemed that Sullivan was boss of the gang there and got discharged, and he charged these two men that were with him as the means of his being discharged. They got pretty full one night and Sullivan stabbed them both in the bowels; they both died. Sullivan was arrested and I took him in charge in the County jail and kept him most of the time in the iron cage.

After he had been there for some time lawyer Bergren come up here and went into the old log jail and talked with Sullivan; he says to Sullivan "What got into you - you must have been crazy?" and Sullivan says "I guess I was." When he came on for trial he put up the insanity dodge - and I think myself that he did go insane - he couldn't be tried because he was insane. I took him down to Minneapolis for safe keeping until the next term of court and then he appeared to be rational and all over it; said he was coming back to have his trial and be cleared on the insanity dodge.

They had the trial and he appeared to be rational until he was sentenced. He got life sentence in the Penitentiary and he went crazy again - as soon as he found out he was convicted he went crazy. I took him down to the Penitentiary at Stillwater and they received him there, but couldn't hold him there on account of his insanity.

They sent him from there to the St. Peter Insane Asylum; he stayed there quite a while and he appeared rational enough and the gave him a good deal of liberty - even let him go out peddling books; all at once he came up missing. The next I heard of him he was in Dublin with his sister; she sent him money to go to Dublin with.

The end


Edward J. Brabec
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, 1915, page 264] mkk
Edward J. Brabec, successful builder and contractor of Annandale, was born on section 20, Woodland township, Wright county, July 17, 1877, son of Joseph and Anna (Pesina) Brabec. He attended the district schools and was reared to farm pursuits. In 1901 he went to Renville, this state, and learned the carpenter trade from H. H. Wilkins, architect and builder. In 1904 he came to Annandale, and engaged in his present business as a builder and contractor. He is an expert in his line, he takes a deep interest in his work, and many of the best of the modern houses in this vicinity stand as monuments to his honor, ability and mastery of his trade. He is a designer as well as builder, and his ideas are embodied in such structures as the residences of A. A. Zech, John Herzberg, Octavius Longworth and many others. Mr. Brabec was married in 1903 to Edith Klucas, daughter of Fred Klucas, a pioneer of Waverly, in this county. In the Brabec family there are two children: Myrtle, born in 1904, and Luella, born in 1911. The family attend the Lutheran Church. Mr. Brabec is a member of the Commercial Club. Aside from his activities as a designer and contractor he has quite an extensive cabinet and planing mill, fully equipped with the latest machinery, where he is prepared to turn out anything in his line. He erected this mill himself and it is adequate in every particular.


Cassius M. Buck
Source: Progressive men of Minnesota. (Shutter, Marion Daniel, 1853-ed.) Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Journal (1897) Submitted by Diana Heser Morse

Though comparatively but a young man as yet, Cassius M. Buck, cashier of the Security Bank at Faribault, is, through his strict fidelity to those principles which go to make up business success, one of the most successful bankers in the North Star state, having assisted in the organization of four different banks, and with all of which he is still connected. He was born June 19, 1859, at Greenwood, Wright County, Minnesota, the son of William P. Buck and Margaret Cramer (Buck.) William P. Buck was born in Ohio, and was by occupation a teacher, ranking high in that profession. He came to Minnesota in 1854. At the outbreak of the civil war he enlisted in Company D. First Battalion of Minnesota infantry, and served throughout the war. He was discharged at Jeffersonville, Indiana, and mustered out with his company at Fort Snelling, July 25, 1865; but, having contracted a fever in front of Richmond, Virginia, he succumbed to it at Fort Snelling before reaching home. His wife, the mother of the subject of this sketch, was born in Western Pennsylvania, but moved with her parents, when quite young, to Ohio. Cassius received his early education in the common school at Watertown, Minnesota, and in the graded school at Howard Lake. When but twelve years of age he commenced clerking in the general store of his step-father, J. F. Pearson, continuing at this occupation for six years, with the exception of our months each year when he attended school. In the spring of 1880 he formed a partnership with Mr. Pearson and engaged in the business of shipping horses from Indiana and Iowa to Minnesota and selling them. This line of trade he followed until the fall of 1882, when he purchased the hardware business of Smith Bros. & Co., at Howard Lake, and conducted the business for nine years, it having become the largest hardware house in Wright county. In the fall of 1885, in connection with Lemuel McGrew, Mr. Buck purchased the Bank of Howard Lake (a private bank), which they still own. Four years later Mr. Buck organized the Bank of Dassel, now a state bank, and has been its president since its organization. In the fall of 1893 he assisted in organizing the State Bank of Annandale, and has been president of it since its organization. In July, 1894, Mr. Buck went to Faribault and was the principal organizer of the Security Bank of that city. He was elected its cashier, which position he has held since the organization of the bank. Mr. Buck has been very successful in his bank investment, all the banks with which he is connected having been a success from the time of their organization. He is also the owner of a number of good farms in Wright County. He has always been a Republican in politics, and in 188 and 1890 was congressional committeman for Wright County. On May 9, 19894, he was married to Sarah E. Tolerton, daughter of James D. Tolerton, of Salem, Ohio.


Albert N. Carlblom
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Brenda Shaffer

ALBERT N. CARLBLOM, the present well-known state auditor of North Dakota, and a recognized leader in the ranks of the Republican party, was born in Cokato, Wright county, Minnesota, December 17, 1805, a son of John G. and Elizabeth (Anderson) Carlblom, both natives of Sweden. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, came to the United States in 1864, and settled in Wright county, Minnesota, where he followed his chosen calling until 1881, when he became resident of Sargent county, North Dakota, making his home there until called from this life in 1899. His wife had passed away in 1898. To them were born seven children, five sons and four daughters, all living in either North Dakota or Minnesota.

Our subject acquired his early education in the common schools of his native state and then entered Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, from which he was graduated in 1886. Prior to coming to this state with his parents in 1881, he had engaged in teaching school in Minnesota, and later followed the same profession in Sargent county. He also engaged in farming and clerking for some time. In 1889 he was appointed deputy county treasurer of Sargent county for two years, and in 1891 was made deputy auditor of the same county. He was elected auditor in 1892, and so creditably and satisfactorily did fill the office that he was re-elected in 1894 and again in 1896. In 1898 he was elected state auditor on the Republican ticket and entered upon the duties of the office January 3, 1899. His public duties have always been most promptly and faithfully discharged, winning the commendation of even his political enemies, and he has proved a most popular official.
On the 23rd of March, 1898, Mr. Carlblom married Miss Josephine Peterson, also a native of Minnesota. They are the parents of one daughter, Vera Leonore. Mr. and Mrs. Carlblom are members of the Lutheran church. The Republican party has always found in him a stanch supporter of its principles, and he has been a member of both state and county committees, and has served as president and secretary of the Sargent County Republican League. He is widely and favorably known and has many friends throughout the state.


George A. Carpenter
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Kim Mohler

GEORGE A. CARPENTER, M.D., one of the most successful and prominent physicians and surgeons of Fargo, North Dakota, is a native of Minnesota, born in Monticello, Wright county, February 7, 1863, and is a son of George W. and Mary (Williams) Carpenter, both natives of New York. In 1858 they removed to Minnesota, where the father engaged in merchandising for many years and also served as probate judge of Wright county for some years. In 1889 he brought his family to Fargo, where the parents now reside.

In the county of his nativity, Dr. Carpenter was reared and educated and in 1882 he entered the Minnesota Hospital College, which later became the State University, and was graduated from that institution in 1885 with the degree of M.D. During the same year he opened an office at Marine Mills, Washington county, Minnesota, and continued there until the fall of 1889, when he came to Fargo and has since engaged in the general practice of medicine and surgery. He is a progressive member of his profession - one who keeps abreast of the latest discoveries and theories by his perusal of medical journals. His skill and ability are attested by the liberal patronage he enjoys and he is ranked as one of the leading physicians of this section of the state.

Dr. Carpenter was married, in 1886, to Miss Sadie Clark, also a native of Minnesota, and to them have been born two daughters, Irene A. and Minnie L. In political sentiment the Doctor is an ardent Republican and for two terms he has served as health officer of Fargo and as county physician for five years. He was a member of the board of pension examiners for five years; is now special examiner for pensions, and examining surgeon for the United States recruiting station at Fargo. He is a member of the Cass County and North Dakota Medical Societies, the American Medical Association, the Masonic fraternity, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Foresters and the National Union. For the past five years he has been grand medical examiner of the state for the Workmen. He spent some time in 1890 in New York hospitals and gives his whole time and attention to his profession. He has won a foremost place in the ranks of the medical fraternity in the Northwest and merits and receives a liberal patronage.


Norman W. Chance
Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Liz Dellinger

CHANCE Norman W. Little Falls. Physician. Born May 14, 1859 in Alliance O. son of Perry and Miranda (Webb) Chance. Married in 1894 to Susie Bulgen. Educated in public schools Delano Minn and graduated from Rush Medical College 1888. Since engaged in practice of his profession. Now mayor of Little Falls.


William A. Clement
Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Liz Dellinger

CLEMENT William A. Waseca. Editor and publisher. Born Feb 13, 1870 in Waseca County Minn. Son of Henry S and Nellie (Wilcox) Clement. Married in 1898 to Hilda C Ranke of Waseca Minn. Educated in the public and high schools Waseca Minn graduating in 1889. Located in Waterville Minn and learned printer's trade; worked in printing office in Albert Lea, Austin and Lake Benton 1889-94; purchased Annandale (Minn) Post 1894 and published same 1 year; worked at Ellendale N D for short period; returned to Waseca 1885 and was employed at his trade; purchased half interest in Waseca Journal and conducted same under firm name of W A Clement & Co which was succeeded by the Waseca Journal-Radical Ptg Co. of which he became mngr. merging the Journal and Radical newspapers. Purchased entire stock of this company and has been sole owner and publisher to date. Served for 3 years in M N G. Member State Editorial Assn; commercial Club; Masonic Fraternity and K O T M.


Charles P. Cotterell
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 334-335] Submitted by Robin Line

Charles P. Cotterell, a successful farmer of section 18, Buffalo township, has one of the neatest places in the county. The sightly house is surrounded by a well-kept lawn, the buildings are of the most modern construction, and the far land, fences, and implements everywhere testify to the thrift and taste of the owners. While comparatively new comers, the member of the family have taken their part in Wright county life, and none are more esteemed and respected than they. A native of Wisconsin, Mr. Cotterell was born in Mineral Point, Dodge county, July 5, 1850, a son of Richard Cotterell and his good wife. Richard Cotterell was a shoemaker by trade. He was born in England, and upon coming to this country located in Wisconsin. There his wife died, leaving him two small children, Sarah, now wife of Stephen Green, of Buffalo, and Charles P. After her death he brought his family to Olmstead county, Minnesota, where he farmed for many years and where he died at the age of seventy-six. By his second wife, he had four daughters and two sons. He was a most admirable man, and a prominent member of the Odd Fellows. Charles P. Cotterell was an infant of but one and a half years when he lost his mother. He was seven years old when he was brought to Olmsted county, this state. He was reared on a farm, and upon attaining young manhood secured a farm in Lyons county, also in this state. There he and his good wife, Isabella Crookshank, farmed for some thirty years. They were prominent people in their community and Mr. Cotterell served for some time as supervisor in Grand View township, in that country. It was in 1900 when they came to Buffalo township and located on the eighty acres which they now occupy. Here they made extensive improvements, and brought about its present pleasing appearance. Mr. Cotterell is now practically retired from active farm work. In the family there are four children: Fannie, Frank, Elmer and Walter. Fannie is the wife of Rev. J. H. Sellie, of Buffalo.


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

Bennett B. Cox, a prosperous merchant of Swanville, Morrison county, Minnesota, is a native of Wright county, Minnesota, born on May 7, 1867. He is the son of J. M. and Elvira (Baisden) Cox, the former of whom was born near Louisa, Kentucky, and who died on February 23, 1908. Elvira Baisden was the daughter of Edward Baisden and wife, natives of Virginia.

J. M. Cox was educated in Kentucky and lived at home with his parents until a young man. For several years before the Civil War he operated a general store in Kentucky. His brothers all served in the army, but his eyes were in bad condition and he was not accepted for service. Afterwards he came to Minnesota and settled on one hundred and sixty acres of land in Wright county, in Stockholm township. There were no roads in the county and it was necessary to carry provisions on horseback from Watertown, Minnesota, thirty miles away. He built a log house on his homestead farm and cleared about thirty acres in a few years. He and his wife had taken Ben F. Farries to raise while the family lived in Kentucky and he became a great help in the pioneer work in Wright county. Later his own sons were old enough and also helped their father on the farm. After living in Minnesota from 1867 until 1882, the parents removed to Missouri and lived there ten or eleven years, after which they removed to Swanville, Minnesota, where he lived until his death. His wife is still living in Swanville.

Edward Baisden, the father of Mrs. J. M. Cox, reared most of his family in Virginia. His first wife died in Virginia and he was later married to Nancy Copley. Shortly afterwards, he removed to McLeod county, Minnesota, settling on one hundred and twenty acres of land near Silverlake. Later he took forty acres of land near Grand Rapids, which is now in the iron belt. He built a log house on the homestead and lived upon the farm until old age, when his health broke down. He then went to Missouri and lived with friends until about ninety years old. His wife died a few years previously. By his first wife there were born the following children: Nancy, Elvira, Lovica, John, Bennett, Elias, and Edward Harrison.

Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Cox had seven children, namely: Bazilla, Isabel, Elizabeth, John, Bennett B., Edward H. and William H. Bazilla is the wife of J. D. Stith, a merchant of Swanville, Minnesota. Isabel is the wife of E. A. Flood, of Swanville, Minnesota. Elizabeth is the wife of J. W. Cofield, of Swanville, Minnesota. John is a farmer in Colorado. Edward H. has a music store in Nebraska. William H. married Essie Ervin and operates the hotel in Swanville.

Bennett B. Cox was educated in the common schools of Wright county. He lived at home with his parents, helping his father on the farm until twenty-one years old, when he began working for J. D. Smith, [sic.] a merchant of Swanville. After working for Mr. Stith for three or four years, Mr. Cox then started in business for himself in 1891. He began with a confectionery store, to which he added other lines from time to time until 1901, when he built a two-story business house. He moved into it and enlarged his stock. He now has a complete line of general merchandise and deals in farm produce.

On December 6, 1901, Bennett B. Cox was married to Pearl W. Jackson, a native of Lake City, Minnesota, born on April 10, 1881. Mrs. Cox attended school at Lake City until her mother moved to Swanville. She later attended school here. Still later the family removed to Syracuse, New York, where Mrs. Cox lived until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Cox have had one daughter, Mae, who is a student in the Swanville school. Bennett B. Cox was the first recorder of the village of Swanville after the village was incorporated. Since then he has held various town offices. He was mayor for a number of years and township treasurer. In fact Mr. Cox has held some town office almost all the time since the incorporation of the village. He is a very well-known and highly-respected citizen in this section of Morrison county.


William Henry Cutting
Source: Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Kim Mohler

CUTTING William Henry, Buffalo. Lawyer. Born Nov 20, 1848 in Bakerfield Vt, son of Rev Henry P and Lucina (Rexford) Cutting. Married May 2, 1866 to Mary Gates. Educated in Williston (Vt) Academy; Dutchess County Academy Poughkeepsie N Y; and Rhinebeck (N Y) Academy. Engaged in practice of law in Buffalo Minn. County atty Wright county Minn 1890-92 and 1903-1906. Member American Bar Assn.


Amos Denney
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 333-334] Submitted by Robin Line

Amos Denney, pioneer, now deceased, was the son of a Revolutionary war veteran and was born in New York state. In that state he married Emeline Beekley, and shortly afterward moved to Michigan. From there they went to Illinois, and stayed about one and a half years. It was in 1856 that they started for Minnesota in a covered wagon, John, Mark, Celar, Willard, Anna, Lydia, Goodeth, Mary, and Adaline. Two of these children, Mark and Celar, served in the Civil war, and the latter gave up his life on a southern battlefield. It was well toward the fall in 1856 when the family reached Rockford township and located on 160 acres of wild land on the shores of Beebe lake. With the aid of his sons, Amos Denney put up a hewn log house, but it was burned before it was quite finished, and, somewhat discouraged, the family moved to the village of Rockford. Later they returned to the claim and put up another log house. Mr. Denney was a cooper by trade and secured considerable work in that line in Rockford and vicinity. At the outbreak of the Civil war he offered his services, but was rejected. After the war, he secured a homestead of 160 acres on Green Mountain lake in section 26, Buffalo township. Here he built a log cabin, cleared the land, and developed a good farm. A man of decided mechanical ability, he was fond of working about engines. This talent, however, cost him his life, for on February 14, 1878, an engine which he was repairing at Pelican lake exploded and killed him instantly. His widow died in 1914 at the good old age of ninety-three years.


Willard Denney
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 332-333] Submitted by Robin Line

Willard Denney, a leading farmer, living in section 27, Buffalo township, was born near Clinton, Mich., January 6, 1848, son of Amos and Emeline (Beckley) Denney, the pioneers, who in 1856 brought him to Rockford township, and in 1865 to Buffalo township, and located in section 26. He grew up on this place, and now owns a splendid farm in sections 26 and 27, seventy-tow acres of which was in his father's homestead. He cleared most of this land, and brought it under cultivation, and developed it to a high degree. His house and barns are substantial, and he is regarded as a desirable citizen in every respect. A pioneer himself, and the son of a pioneer, he has watched the county grow, and has taken his share in its progress and advancement. He remembers the days when he cleared the wild wood with an ox team, and he also knows of the privations and trials of pioneer times. When he now looks over his 272 acres of spreading farm lands he contrasts it with the view which met his eyes when he first came here, and he is thankful for the strength and energy which has enabled him to bring these conditions about. While he has devoted his attention largely to general farming, he has made a specialty of good grade swine and Shorthorn cattle, and he possesses a good thoroughbred bull. Being interested in education, Mr. Denney has served as a member of the school board of his district. He was married at the age of twenty-four years to Kate Elliott, of Rockford township, a daughter of John Elliott. Their children are: Alice, Florence, Mabel (deceased).


Peter J. Direks
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 352] Submitted by Robin Line

Peter J. Direks, an active farmer of Corinna township, was born in Carver county, Minnesota, November 23, 1879, son of Peter and Theresa (Worm) Direks, Hollanders. Peter Direks located in Carver county, in this state, in 1860. There he went through the usual hardships and rigors of pioneer life. Supplies were scarce and there was little money. He had to bring flour from St. Paul to Chaska, on his back, the distance being thirty-five miles, After developing a good place in Carver county he came to Wright county in 1893, and brought eighty acres of land in section 13, Corinna township. There he successfully carried on general farming until 1912. Peter J. Direks was reared on the home farm, and received his education in the schools of Wright and Carver counties. He left home in 1905 and located on the W. E. Reno farm in section 26, Corinna township. Here he still lives. He successfully carries on general farming, does considerable dairying, and makes a specialty of raising Poland China Swine. A well-educated, well-read man, he has taken an active interest in educational matters, and is now serving his third term as school director. He is a popular member of the Brotherhood of American Yeoman at Maple Lake. Mr. Direks was married May 22, 1906, to Hattie Reno, daughter of William E. and Laura (Dillard) Reno, early settlers of Minneapolis, who settled on 120 acres in Corinna township in 1894. Mr. and Mrs. Direks have two children: Ellswoth and Melvin, both at home.


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

ECKMAN Solomon Henry, Duluth. Res 2609 W 3d st, office 511-512 Palladio bldg. Lawyer. Born Jan 7, 1866 in Washington county Minn, son of Carl Henry and Britta Eckman. Married July 1, 1903 to Elinda Dahl. Educated in public schools Cokato Minn; graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College St Peter A B 1890 and from law department U of M, LL B 1893. Admitted to bar and practiced in Duluth as member of Eckman & Stevenson 1893-1903; alone 1903 to date.


Levi Elletson
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 334-335] Submitted by Robin Line

Levi Elletson, himself a pioneer, represents the third generation of sturdy men who have helped develop Minnesota, and he in turn has raised a fourth generation of splendid children who will still further take their part in Minnesota's progress. The founders of the family, Job and Marie Elletson, were born in England. About 1836, stirred with noble endeavor, they set sail for the new world, and upon their arrival established for themselves a home in Canada. In his latter years, Job Elletson came to Minnesota, and located in Wabasha county, where he died. He was twice married and reared a large family. By his first marriage he had four children, Job, Frank, Elizabeth and Mary, and by his second marriage he had seven children, Albert, William, Daniel, George, Mariah, Mary and Hannah. Frank, the second son of this family, came to Wabasha county, Minnesota, in the early fifties, and there established for himself a home in the wilderness. But as the years passed he decided to venture still further into the wilderness. Accordingly, with his household goods and his family, he set out for Wright county in an old-fashioned wagon drawn by a pair of oxen. They passed Buffalo township, where they secured 160 acres in section 10. There was an old shack on the place, and into this the family moved.No roads led to the tract, thick woods covered all the neighborhood, no other settlers were near, and provisions were scarce. But they set at work with a will, clearing the land, getting in crops, putting up a log house, and preparing for the future. They were well on the road to prosperity when the Civil war opened. Fired with the zeal of patriotic enthusiasm, Frank Elletson listened to the call of duty and enlisted in Co. H. Fifth Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. For three years and six months he followed the fortunes of that regiment, proving himself in every way a loyal soldier. At the battle of Gettysburg he received a slight wound. Returning home after the war he again took up the duties of farm life. Gradually he developed the farm, and attained a substantial prosperity. In his latter years he joined the G. A. R. and he delighted in telling of his experiences in the war. He died July 9, 1898. By his good wife, Permile Prindle, he had three children, as follows: Fannie, May and Levi. Levi Elletson, the third child of this family, was born on the old homestead in Buffalo township, June 2, 1861. He assisted his father in developing the home farm, and now owns the place where he was born. To the original claim he has added 160 acres more. He is a successful farmer, and makes a specialty of blooded Herford cattle. He also raised fine sheep and swine and a few horses. He has a pleasant modern home, and his well tilled acres are very productive. While interested in public affairs and the intimate friend of many public men, Mr. Elletson has been too busy with his work to engage actively in political life. He has, however, taken a prominent part in fraternal matters, being a charter member of Buffalo Camp No. 3926, M. W. A., of Buffalo, and a member of Buffalo Lodge No. 141, I. O. O. F.; also the Encampment at Montrose. Mr. Elletson was married December 4, 1883, to Amanda J. Varner, born March 2, 1863, daughter of Henry Varner, the pioneer, who is elsewhere appropriately mentioned. Mr. and Mrs. Elletson are the parents of nine children, all of whom are living. They are: Annie E., born April 2, 1885; Henry V., born April 11, 1887; Miles Francis, April 9, 1889; James Adam, born April 27, 1891; Mark Eugene, October 8, 1893; Susan Edna, January 21, 1896; Reuben Wesley, September 18, 1899; Harry Golden, July 24, 1902; and Donald Morgan, February 6, 1905.
(A photo of Levi Elletson and family is attached to this article.)


John A. Ferguson
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 349-350. ] Submitted by Robin Line

John A. Ferguson, an influential citizen of Corinna township, was born in section 36, Silver Creek township, January 10, 1862, son of Henry and Letitia (Campbell) Ferguson, the pioneers, Henry Ferguson was born January 14, 1826, in London township, Province of Ontario, Canada. May 7, 1855, he arrived at Big Bend, in Sherburne county, Minnesota. At the time of his arrival there some seven hundred Chippewa Indians were gathered at the trading post of Asa White, whose wife was herself of Chippewa blood. From White's, Mr. Ferguson followed an Indian trail to what is now section 32, in Silver Creek. Here he "squatted" and staked out a claim of 160 acres. On this claim, on December 23, 1855, was born Richard T. Ferguson, the first white male child born in the town of Sliver Creek. Henry Ferguson was one who suffered in the Indian raid of August, 1862, the details of which are related elsewhere. These Indians stole horses from the Ferguson claim, and were pursued by a detachment of soldiers under Captain John S. Cady, of the Eighth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. This is the Captain Cady who, on June 11, 1863, was shot and killed near Lake Elizabeth, in Kandiyohi county, by three Indians, whose real identity is unknown, but who are sometimes said by old settlers to have been Little Crow, his son, the Appearing One, and his son-in-law, Hinkpa. during the Indian pursuit in 1862, Captain Cady stopped at the Ferguson cabin, and became well acquainted with the member so the family. During the pioneer days, the Fergusons suffered many privations. They had severe losses form Indians and grasshoppers, and frontier life was beset with many difficulties. But in time they prospered and became leading members of the community. Mr. Ferguson died November 3, 1912. Mrs. Ferguson was born November 3, 1830, in Middlesex township, Ontario, and died July 26, 1895.

John A. Ferguson was born in a log cabin, and as he grew to manhood saw the country gradually develop. He attended the district schools and was reared to farm pursuits. Until he was twenty-three he remained with his parents and then he started out for himself. For many years he was employed on farms, in the woods and on the rivers. In 1891 he determined to settle down to farming. Accordingly he purchased eighty acres of land in section 19, Silver Creek township, and there lived until 1907. In the meantime he had increased his holding to 160 acres. After selling this tract he bought seventeen acres in section 19, Corinna township, where he now lives. Aside from his farm property, he has several business holdings, including stock in the Citizens State Bank of Annandale, of which he is vice president. From 1900 to 1907 he was president of the Silver Creek Dairy Association. As a raiser of high class stock he has been especially active. All his stock is well bred, and his horses include a registered Percheron colt. In 1902 he shipped the first lot of Wright county Poland China swine to the State fair at Hamline, and in 1906 his swine won the first premium in the six-months class. From 1900 to 1904, Mr. Ferguson was a member of the County Board of Commissioners. From 1891 to 1907 he was clerk of school district 16. He is a Worshipful Master of Fair Haven Lodge, No. 182, A. F. and A. M., of Annandale. The family faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church. John A. Ferguson was married, January 5, 1892, to Katharine G. McKenzie, daughter of Donald and Katharine (Quig) McKenzie,natives of Canada, of Scotch descent, who came to Silver Creek in 1855, and located on section 18. Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson conduct a popular summer resort on the farm on the shores of Pleasant Lake. In 1911 they started their resort by building four cottages. The following year they built four more. They also have two good tens. The cottages accommodate four people and are equipped with provisions for light housekeeping. The resort is well located, is well patronized, and the number of applications for accommodations is constantly growing.


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

Judge Daniel Fish, of Minneapolis, traces his ancestry back to Daniel Fish who migrated from Massachusetts to Rhode Island in 1680. A branch of the same family also settled on Long Island from which sprang Hamilton Fish, Governor and Senator of New York and Secretary of State under President Grant. Daniel Fish, father of the subject of this sketch, was a farmer, who, in 1840 emigrated from Western New York and settled on a farm in Winnebago County, Illinois, in the spring of 1841, and died in 1847, some weeks before the birth of his son. The mother of the elder Daniel was Sarah Ireland, member of a family somewhat distinguished in early New York history as containing a number of Baptist clergymen. Parmelia Adams, the mother of the subject of this sketch, was born in Washington County, New York, in 1810, the daughter of Elisha Adams, whose father, Edward, was a soldier of the Revolution. Judge Daniel Fish was born on a farm near Cherry Valley, Winnebago County, Illinois, January 31, 1848. Up to the age of fourteen years he attended the district school, but at that time left home and for a year and a half was a student in the public schools at Rockford, in the same county, supporting himself as a chore boy in the family of Maurice B. Derrick, now of Chicago. On January 4, 1864, when but a lad of sixteen, Daniel enlisted as a private in Company G, Forty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, joining his regiment near Vicksburg. He served with it until the fall of Atlanta, coming home on a furlough, but before it had half expired, hearing of Sherman's proposed march to the sea, he started with all haste to join his regiment. He was too late, however, only being able to get as far as Nashville, where he became attached to a Provisional Division of the Army of the Tennessee. He fought under General Steedman at Nashville, and followed Hood's retreating troops into Alabama, whence he was transferred with the Twenty-third Corps to North Carolina, going by sea from Annapolis to Morehead City, and thence by rail to New Berne. Thought but a lad of seventeen, young Daniel marched with the Provisional Division as sergeant of his company, and was in the thick of the fight at Southwest Creek (sometimes called the Battle of Kinston), on the way to Goldsboro where he met Sherman's army and rejoined his old regiment. After the surrender of Johnson he marched to Washington and took part in the grand review, being finally mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, July 12, 1865. After leaving the army he spent one winter in a district school in Iowa, and then engaged in business as a bookseller at Manchester, in which business he remained for four years, it enabling him to complete a fair common school education and to acquire a familiarity with general literature. In the winter of 1870 and 1871 he taught a country school in Jones County, Iowa, continuing at the same time the study of law begun while at Manchester. The following spring he was admitted to the bar, and immediately started for the North Star state. Mr. Fish arrived in Minneapolis May 13, 1871, without any money and with no property except a few dozen books. Part of these he sold at auction and proceeded on to Brainerd. For a while he worked on the N. P. railroad as a shoveler on the dump, then crossing to what is now the Great Northern road, worked his way to Delano, in Wright County where he put out his sign as a lawyer. Judge Fish's first office was in the public room or office of the Delano hotel, and he earned his first professional fee assisting the late Judge Cornell, then attorney-general, in a murder trial. To add to his meagre income he engaged in soliciting insurance, acting as real estate agent, collecting and the like. In the spring of 1872 he established the paper now known as the Delano Eagle, but five months of excessive labor as editor and general factotum in a newspaper office broke his health, and since that time he has steadily pursued the practice of his profession. In 1875 he was elected Judge of Probate of Wright County, and two years later was defeated as a candidate for county attorney. In 1879 he was appointed, by Governor Pillsbury, Judge of Probate to fill a vacancy. The fall of the following year, however, Judge Fish removed to Minneapolis, where he has been a member of the law firms of Fish & Ovitt, Evans & Holmes and Young & Fish, present partner being the Hon. A. H. Young, for many years a Judge of the District Court. Judge Fish was the first attorney of the board of park commissioners, and conducted the early important litigation which established the powers of the board and settled the foundations of the present system of parks and boulevards in Minneapolis. He was also the attorney of the board of state park commissioners and as such had charge of the legal proceeding which resulted in the acquisition of Minnehaha Park. He became the attorney of the board of court house and city hall commissioners in June, 1887, and has been its legal adviser during its entire existence. The same year he became the general counsel and trust officer of the Minnesota Title Insurance and Trust Company, serving as such for about five years, but resumed his general practice in 1892. In 1896 he was strongly supported for the office of District Judge. Judge Fish is a Republican, takes an active part in the campaigns of his party, and was an alternate delegate to the famous Chicago convention in 1880. He was Commander of the John A. Rawlins Post, G. A. R., in 1886; Assistant Adjutant General of the Department of Minnesota the same year; Adjutant General of the National Encampment in 1888, and is at present Judge Advocate on the staff of Department Commander McCardy. His church connections are with the Park Avenue Congregational church. He was married August 21, 1873, to Elizabeth M. Porter, daughter of Rev. Giles M. Porter, then of Garnavillo, Iowa, and a niece of the late President Porter, of Yale College. They have had five children, Annie, wife of Rev. Charles Graves of Humboldt, Iowa; Elizabeth, Florence, Horace and Helen.

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

FISH Daniel, Minneapolis. Res 2301 3d av S, office 412 N Y Life bldg. Lawyer. Born Jan 31, 1848 in Cherry Valley, Ill, son of Daniel and Pamelia (Adams) Fish. Educated in public schools of Ill and Ia and afterwards taught school. Enlisted in Ill Infantry during Civil War; and until 1870 was engaged in the book and news business at Waverly, Dubuque and Manchester Ia. Studied law and was admitted to bar in 1871. Removed to Delano Minn edited the Delano Eagle; moved to Minneapolis and was the first atty of the City Park Board; atty Minn Title and Trust Co. Engaged in law practice. Probate judge of Wright county 1876-79. Member Minneapolis Library Board 1900-1905; Commission to Revise Statutes 1901-1905; American and State Bar assns.


August C. Flamant
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 338] Submitted by Robin Line

August C. Flamant, the pioneer, was born in Laisne, France, April 18, 1824. In July, 1845, he was married to Catherine Victoria Martin. On October 31, 1851, they sailed for America, crossing the Atlantic, and reaching St. Louis by coming up the Mississippi via New Orleans. From there they went to Highland, Madison county, Illinois, where they engaged in farming. Of their four children, two died in infancy. In the spring of 1862, Mr. and Mrs. Flamant, with their two children, a son and a daughter, moved to St. Paul, where they lived for four months. July 4, 1862, they reached Buffalo, this county, and settled on a homestead in Marysville township, Wright county. Some twenty-nine days later the first Indian outbreak occurred. Mr. Flamant took his family to Elk River, but he and Frederick Fletcher returned to the homestead and remained during he Indian troubles. In 1863, when the outbreak was renewed the family again went to Elk River. It is interesting to note that after the Dustin massacre Mr. Flamant and Mr. Fletcher walked six miles through the dense woods to Waverly Mills and saw Mrs. Dustin, who had been pierced through the breast by an arrow. But these exciting times passed, and with the years the Flamants were enabled to develop their place in peace, bringing it from a wilderness to a profitable farm. August Flamant now lives with his son Emil. His wife, who was born July 10, 1819, died in 1903. The daughter, Mrs. Josephine Gerard, died in 1898.


Emil Flamant
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 338-339] Submitted by Robin Line

Emil Flamant, who owns a beautiful farm on the shores of Lake Pulaski, in Buffalo township, was born in Highland, Madison county, Illinois, April 12, 1858, son of August C. and Catherine Victoria (Martin) Flamant. He was educated in the district schools and learned farming from his father. As a young man he purchased eighty acres of wild land in Marysville township, adjoining his father's. Like his father before him he had his experience in clearing and developing the timber country. In doing this he used oxen, five of six yoke of which he "broke" and trained himself. While occupied with his own affairs he also took an interest in the progress of the neighborhood, and being a friend of education he served for some time as clerk of district No. 25. In April, 1899, he sold his farm and bought eighty acres of land in section 20, Buffalo township, on the banks of Lake Pulaski, and here he now resides. His home is surrounded with park-like grounds, while the farm, on which he has made many improvements, is well cultivated and productive. He carries on general farming, and makes a specialty of raising good stock. Mr. Flamant married Mary Christian Johnson, a native of Sweden, the daughter of John Johnson. They have four children. Alice Mabel died in infancy. Helen Mabel is teaching school. Arthur Emil Richard is at home on the farm. Edgar is assistant cashier and stenographer in a bank at Mahnomen, Minn.
(photo of Emil Flamant on page 338)


Frederick B. Geary
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 351] Submitted by Robin Line

Frederick B. Geary was born on the old homestead in section 36, Corinna township, son of Patrick B. and Margaret (Gorman) Geary. He was reared on the home farm and attended the district schools. At the age of nineteen he went to Bruel, Wis., where he clerked in a store for his brother Edmond. He has also engaged in steamboating on the Rainey river and in lumbering near International Falls. In 1913 he returned home and is assisting on the farm. Mr. Geary is a member of the Fraternal Orders of Eagles at Bayfield, Wis.


Matthew P. Geary
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 351] Submitted by Robin Line

Matthew P. Geary was born on the homestead where he still lives, in section 36. Corninna township, August 8, 1878, son of Patrick B. and Margaret (Gorman) Geary. He attended the neighborhood schools and learned farming from his father. In 1898 he went to Kennan, Wis., and worked at carpenter work for two years. In 1900 he came home and operated the home farm for his father until 1910, when he purchased it. He is a successful man, and carried on general farming and stock raising along the latest approved lines.


Patrick B. Geary
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 350-351] Submitted by Robin Line

Patrick B. Geary, a respected farmer of Corinna township, was born in Ireland, January 17, 1839, son of Michael and Mary (Hogan) Geary, who in 1849 came to America, and located in Port Hope, Province of Ontario, Canada, sixty miles east of Toronto. Patrick B. was brought to this country when he was ten years of age, and grew to manhood on his parents' farm in Canada. It was about 1869 when he came to Minnesota and bought eighty acres of school land in section 36, Corinna township. This land was absolutely wild and was covered with elm, oak, and basswood trees and a thick undergrowth of brush. He had $55 in cash, and this he paid as an advance installment on his land. He erected a log house, cleared off the land, made the furniture on the place, and aside from an ax and a hoe got along as best he could without tools. For seven years he did not have a team of any sort. When he wanted help he worked two days in return for the services of a team and driver one day. He worked a whole day for a bushel of wheat with which to make bread. At one time he chopped off three acres of trees in order to obtain a heifer two and a half years old. When he finally owned a yoke of oxen they were ones that he had raised himself. He cut grain with a cradle and paid ten cents a bushel to have it threshed. With this beginning Mr. Geary has achieved success. He developed the farm, erected good buildings, took an active part in the affairs of the community, and reared a splendid family of children. In 1910 Mr. Geary retired from hard labor, but still continues to live on the farm, which is in the corporate limits of Maple Lake. He has been assessor of Maple Lake village two years and treasurer one year. He has been clerk of the school board for twelve years. Mr. Geary was married November 7, 1872, to Margaret Gorman, a native of Canada. This union has been blessed with eleven children; Edmond, of Bruel, Wis.' John, of Bellingham, Wash.; William and Thomas, of Newport Wash.; Matthew S. and Frederick B. on the home farm; Aloysius, of DuQuene, Penn.; Mary J. and Annie, both decreased; Johanna now Mrs. C. W. Nelson, of Calgary, and Loretta, now Mrs. J. J. Ackerman, of Roxton Sask. Marie and Mary Geary, twin daughters of J. V. Geary, have made their home with Mr. and Mrs. Patrick B. Geary since early childhood.
(there is a photo of Mr. and Mrs. P. B. Geary attached to his article)


William Edward Hale
Source: Progressive men of Minnesota. (Shutter, Marion Daniel, 1853-ed.) Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Journal (1897) transcribed by Vicki Bryan

William Edward Hale - The founder of the family in this country to which Mr. Hale belongs was Samuel Hale, who settled in Glastenbury, Connecticut, in 1637, where many of his descendants still reside. Samuel, with his brother Thomas, served in the Pequot war, and other members of the family in the Revolutionary War. Among those who achieved distinction in later years were the late James T. Hale, member of congress in Pennsylvania; Reuben C. Hale, of Philadelphia; Gideon Wells, late Secretary of the Navy, and Rev. Albert Hale, of Springfield, Illinois. Moses Hale, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, emigrated to Rutland, Vermont, about a hundred years ago, and afterwards moved to Norwood, New York. His son, Isaiah Byron Burr Hale, father of the subject of this sketch, subsequently located in Wheeling, Virginia, and engaged in the practice of law. He married Mary E. Covey, October 12, 1841, at McConnellsville, Ohio, and William Edward was born at Wheeling, West Virginia, May 11, 1845. Up to his sixteenth year William received but a common school education. He first came to the state of Minnesota in 1858 on a prospecting tour with his father, returning a few months later to his home in Wisconsin, where his parents had removed from Ohio some years previous. He came to Minnesota again in the fall of 1860, locating at Plainview. He enlisted from this point as a private in the Third Minnesota in the fall of 1861, serving three years in the defense of his country and was honorably discharged. On his return home Mr. Hale entered Hamline University, then at Red Wing, Minnesota, in order to complete his education. He took a collegiate course at this institution of three years, but did not graduate, lacking one year's course. He then took up the study of law in the office of Judge Wilder, at Red Wing, and was admitted to practice at St. Paul in 1869. Mr. Hale then moved to Buffalo, Wright County, where he commenced the practice of his profession. He was elected county attorney of Wright County, which office he held for two years. In the spring of 1872 he moved to Minneapolis, where he has lived ever since. He was elected county attorney of Hennepin County in 1878, and re-elected at the end of his first term, serving altogether four years. Mr. Hale first became associated with Judge Seagrave Smith in 1877, under the firm name of Smith & Hale, which partnership continued until 1880. He then connected himself with Judge Charles M. Pond, the firm being known as Hale & Pond. Later he associated himself with Charles B. Peck, the firm known as Hale & Peck. The firm with which Mr. Hale is now connected is known as Hale, Morgan & Montgomery. In his practice Mr. Hale has been highly successful, having been prominently identified with much of the heavy litigation before the bar in the Hennepin County for the past fifteen years. Several times he has been tendered and urged to accept the appointment of judge of the district court, but on each occasion he has declined, preferring to devote himself to the practice of his profession. Although his father was a Democrat, and a co-laborer, politically, for a time, with Silas Wright, of New York, Mr. Hale has always been a staunch Republican and has always taken an active part in politics. He has however, never been a candidate for any office, except that of county attorney, already mentioned. His church connections are with the Methodist Episcopal church, he was married in 1870 to Ella C. Sutherland, who had been a student with him at Hamline University. They have had three children, Helen V., Frank C., and Florence I.


Anthony L. Henneman
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 346-347] Submitted by Robin Line

Anthony L. Henneman was born in section 11, Corinna township, April 10, 1875. He remained at home until attaining his majority, and then started working for the neighbors. In 1902 he entered the employ of William Reip, in the meat business at Annandale. In 1904 he engaged in a similar line in Minneapolis. From 1906 to 1908 he did farm work in Wright county. In 1908 he rented the farm of Charles Matthew, in section 20, Corinna township, for three years. For nine months in the spring and summer of 1912 he engaged in the grocery and confectionery business in Annandale. Then he rented a farm from Martin Ranson, in section 19, Corinna township. On this place he still resides, and successfully conducts general farming. He raises Shorthorn cattle, Duroc-Jersey swine, Rhode Island Red fowls and Bronze turkeys. Anthony L. Henneman was married March 21, 1906, to Martha Kleinz, daughter of August and Lena (Peske) Klemz, farmers of Corinna township. The father died in 1887 and the mother in 1907. Mr. and Mrs. Henneman have two bright sons, Richard L. and Earl J.


Adam A. Jewett
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, 1915, page 263] mkk
Adam A. Jewett, one of the prominent and energetic business men of Annandale, was born in Eau Claire, Wis., January 19, 1863, son of Aaron H. and Jane E. (Emerson) Jewett. Aaron H. Jewett came to Wright county in 1862 and homesteaded a tract of land in section 8, Marysville township. A year later he was joined by the family. Adam A. was reared on this place. As he grew up he helped with the farm work and earned spending money by digging ginseng, and cutting hoop poles, cord wood and ties. He received a good common school education, and in 1882 became a rural school teacher. In this profession he continued for six years. In 1888 he went into the grain business at Maple Lake, and so continued until 1903. From 1894 to 1903 he did the village good service as postmaster. He went to Pasadena, California, in 1903 for the benefit of his wife's health. In 1905 he entered into the grain business in Barlow, North Dakota, and there remained until 1910. In that year he came to Annandale and became manager for the Osborne McMillan Elevator Company. Aside from the splendid work he does in this line, he is extensively engaged in the implement business. In public affairs, Mr. Jewett has been especially active. At different times he has held all the village offices of Maple Lake, and for twelve years was on the school board there. For the past three years he has been village recorder of Annandale. For ten years he was township member of the Republican Central Committee. He belongs to Buffalo Lodge, No. 135, A. F. & A. M., and Barlow (North Dakota) Lodge, No. 106, I. O. O. F. For twenty-five years he has been a member of Maple Lake Lodge, No. 212, A. O. U. W., and has occupied all the offices in that lodge. Mr. Jewett was married in 1885 to Gertrude E. Past, daughter of John and Margaret Past. Mr. and Mrs. Jewett have seven children: Harry H., Calvin C. and Eva C., who live at home, and four who are dead.


Albert W. Klemz
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 351] Submitted by Robin Line

Albert W. Klemz, one of the energetic young men of Corinna township, was born on the old homestead in section 12, November 14, 1889. He attended the district schools, was reared to agricultural pursuits, and grew to manhood on his father's farm. In the fall of 1910 he started out for himself and purchased forty acres in section 12, near his father's place. He successfully carries on general farming and pays particular attention to the raising of Holstein cattle, Poland-China swine and Rhode Island Red fowls. Mr. Klemz was married in 1910 and this union has been blessed with three children: Laura, born January 25, 1911; Irene, born July 18, 1912; Irma, June 10, 1914. The family faith is that of the German Lutheran church.


Andrew N. Larson
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 336-337] Submitted by Robin Line

Andrew N. Larson, supervisor of Buffalo township, comes of one of the study pioneer families, and as a boy knew what it was to endure the sufferings and privations of life in the wilderness in the early days. He was born in Sweden, September 25, 1856, son of Nels and Marie (Anderson) Larson. In 1866 the parents and the three boys, Louis, Nelson, and Andrew N., left their native land, and embarked on a sailing vessel. After a long and tedious voyage of seven weeks, they reached Quebec, and from there went to Montreal, and then to Detroit, Mich. They were poor, and just starting in life in a new world, but by doing such work as he could find along the way, the father managed to get his family to the Mississippi river, where they took a boat to St. Paul. from there they went to Carver county, where the father worked int he woods during the winter of 1866-67. In the spring of 1867, the family came by team to Wright county, where the father secured employment on the railroad. Later in the spring, the mother left the son, Louis, with his uncle, Nels Anderson, and walked with her other sons, Nelson and Andrew N., back to Carver county, shearing sheep and working by the day to earn a little ready cash. After the railroad came through, the father secured forty acres of land in section 32, Buffalo township, and the family settled thereon. They first built a log shack, with a flat roof, sloping enough in one direction to partially shed the water. Later they erected a log cabin with a gable roof. With an ox team they began to clear the land, and in time had a well cultivated farm. Nels. Larson was born June 10, 1826, and died March 5, 1914. He was a deacon in the Lutheran church. His wife died about 1902. Andrew N., the son, was reared on the home farm. After leaving his father's place he purchased 120 acres in sections 27 and 28, Buffalo township, eighty acres being on the west side. He cleared off the woods, cleaned out the stumps and by hard labor brought the land under cultivation. After his marriage he and his wife lived in a log granary until they put up the house. Later, from time to time, a full set of buildings was erected. Mr. Larson is a Progressive in politics, having formerly been a Republican. He has been a delegate to numerous conventions, and has served for some time in his present position as township supervisor. He is a school officer of district 24, a trustee of the Lutheran church, and a shareholder in the Buffalo Co-operative Creamery. As a young man Mr. Larson married Christina Anderson, now deceased. She left three children, Malinda, Lambert and Nimrod. The present Mrs. Larson was formerly Lena Olson.


John Leeson
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 339-340] Submitted by Robin Line

John Leeson. In the middle of the past century there were living in Ireland two worthy families named Leeson and Wren. The Leeson family consisted of the parents, John Leeson,, Sr., and his wife Elizabeth, and seven children, William, John, Richard, Joseph, Sarah, Maria, and Eliza. The Wren family consisted of the parents, Robert and Mary Ann (Thompson). Wren, and two daughters, Jane and Elizabeth. Later, in Canada, two sons, Thomas and Robert, were born to the Wren family. Suffering under the various injustices to which Ireland was at that day subjected, the two families moved to Canada. At that time they were not acquainted. John Leeson, Sr., died on board ship, but his widow and children continued the journey. In Canada the son John, the subject of this mention, met and won Elizabeth Wren. In 1860 or 1861 John and Elizabeth (Wren) Leeson left Canada with their three children, Richard, Robert and Eliza, and after a long and tiresome trip reached Buffalo township, in Wright county, where they took a claim in the deep woods. They erected a log cabin, and with an ox team prepared the land for cultivation. Times were hard, provisions were scarce, and Mr. Leeson often had to walk many miles to get a sack of meal. During these trips his worthy wife was often left alone. At one time, when every one except her was away from home, Mrs. Leeson saw a savage bear approaching the little clearing about the cabin. The bear took away the only pig they possessed, and then returned and made his way toward the cabin. Mrs. Leeson took her bed and went to the hole under the cabin, where she stayed until her husband returned. One day when she was churning, word came that the Indians were in the neighborhood, and leaving the partly-churned butter in the bowl she fled with the rest, remaining away until the danger had passed. The Civil War was now raging and repeated calls came for men to defend the Union. In the latter part of the conflict Mr. Leeson enlisted in Company B., Eleventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry and served until the close of the conflict. After the war he again took up the work of developing his farm, and with years he attained prosperity, wrestling a well-cultivated place from the wilderness. He made his home on the homestead until his lamented death, In May, 1896, at the age of seventy-six years and six months. His widow, who was born March 2, 1831, now lives in the village of Buffalo. Mr. Leeson was a Republican in polities, and held the office of assessor of Buffalo township for many years. He was a member of the Methodist church and of the G. A. R. A good, true man in every respect, he was highly regarded for his many sterling qualities.


Robert Leeson
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 339] Submitted by Robin Line

Robert Leeson, son of John and Elizabeth Leeson, was born in Canada May 24, 1857, and in 1861 came with his parents to Buffalo, where the family, then consisting of his father and mother, an older brother, Richard, and younger sister, Eliza, settled on a claim taken up by the father in the deep woods. Along towards the close of the Civil War, John Leeson, the father, entered the Union army, leaving the family on the claim, where young Robert and his brother Richard assisted their mother in the cultivation of the cleared land. Times were hard and the family suffered great hardships. Indians were in the country at that time, and were a constant menace to the settlers, who were few and far between, and many times young Robert's hair was made to stand on end by his meeting Indians in the thick woods. At that time the most of the men were in the army, and the women folks sometimes received warning that the Indians were on the warpath, when they, with the children, would go to the fort, which was built where the village of Buffalo is now situated. Robert Leeson was married March 17, 1896, to Annie Fretag, and four children have been born to them, three of whom are still living, viz.: Marie Gladdis Leeson, aged 17; Alma Leeson, 14 years of age, and Margaret Leeson, two years of age. Mr. Leeson has been farming all his life and is now the owner of a well improved farm of eighty acres in the township of Buffalo, upon which he resides with his family and which he successfully cultivates. He is also the owner of an undivided interest in another 160-acre farm owned by his father at the time of his death. Mr. Leeson is a successful and well to do farmer, and is a Republican in polities.


Robert S. Lewis
Source: History Biography of North Dakota. Transcribed by Kim Mohler

ROBERT S. LEWIS, vice-president of the Red River National Bank, of Fargo, North Dakota, has risen to prominence by dint of his own efforts, supplemented by the strictest honesty of word and deed. He came to Dakota with limited means, but is now one of the wealthy and highly esteemed citizens of the state.
Our subject was born in Tennessee, August 15, 1856. His parents were Josiah F. and Mary (Steele) Lewis, the former a native of Massachusetts and the latter of Louisiana. His father was a college professor and was connected with the State Female Seminary. He removed to Minnesota in 1863, and was county superintendent of schools of Wright county for many years. Both parents died in Minnesota. Our subject and one brother, now superintendent of schools in Minnesota, are the only sons.
Robert S. Lewis was reared and educated in Minnesota, and began his career as a clerk in Minneapolis, which he followed one year, and in 1882 went to Fargo, where he entered the employ of the Red River National Bank as collector. He held this position a year and a half and was then teller two years, after which he was promoted to the position of assistant cashier, and in 1891 was made cashier. He was in this position till 1897, and was then elected vice-president, which office he ably fills at present. He has been a director in the bank many years, and he also owns and operates five thousand seven hundred acres of land in Cass county. He is secretary of the Fargo Packing Company, and in each of the enterprises in which he has embarked he has met with eminent success, and is one of the solid men of North Dakota.
Our subject was married in Minnesota, in 1879, to Alice Carpenter, a native of that state. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, as follows: Roy C., Olive E. and Alice. He is active in educational matters, and is president of the board of education, and also of the board of directors of the Agricultural College. He is a member of the various branches of the Knights of Pythias Lodge, and has passed the thirty-second and Scottish-rite degrees of the Masonic fraternity. Politically, he is a Republican, and takes an active interest in party matters, and was a member and secretary of the state convention.


Conrad Link
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 337-338] Submitted by Robin Line

Conrad Link, a substantial farmer of section 10, Buffalo township, was born in New York city, May 24, 1853, a son of John and Mary Link, who were born in Germany, came to America on the same ship, and were married in New York city. After living in that city a year they moved to Marion, Ohio. In 1856 they came to Wright county and secured 120 acres in section 10, Buffalo township. This tract was located in a stretch of wild woods. They erected a log cabin, and with the help of an ox team cleared enough land to put in the first crops. It was two years before they were able to buy a cow. Even then the dairy business presented many difficulties. At one time the father walked to St. Michaels with twenty pounds of butter and traded it for a three-tinned hay fork. Many traditions of the early days are related by the family. The old log cabin stood across the street from the present residence. Near it is the site of the field where the father raised potatoes by planting them in the unplowed ground and then cultivated around them. The hoe with which he did this work is still preserved. When the Indian uprising came,and the settlers fled, leaving their goods, stock and crops, he still stuck to his little place. The Indians did not come and no harm befell him. As the years passed the family prospered. Their efforts made possible the Pelican Lake Methodist Episcopal church, for the land for the church and cemetery were given by the son, Conrad, while a good deal of the work on the building was done by the father, John. John Link died November 22, 1891, and his wife August 22, 1887. The children in the family were Conrad, John, Jr., Louise and Caroline. Conrad came with his parents as a baby from New York city to Marion, Ohio, and from Marion to Buffalo township. He attended the schools of the neighborhood, and as he grew to manhood gradually assumed the duties of the home farm. He did his share in the developing of the home place, and on the part which he now owns he has made modern improvements. He is a hard-working progressive man, the worthy son of a worthy father, and he is one of those people who are called the backbone of the nation, for aside from assisting in the development of the country, he has reared a splendid family of children, who have good pioneer blood on both sides of the family tree. Mr. Link married Mary Dorf, born in St. Paul, daughter of Carl Dorf, an early settler of Buffalo township. They have ten children: Mary, John, August, Harry, Mamie, Lillian, Lawrence, Elsie, Irene and Clarence, all of whom are living. Mr. Link has served on the town board and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Pelican Lake.


Octavius Longworth
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 345-346] Submitted by Robin Line

Octavius Longworth, an estimable and highly respected citizen of Corinna township, was born in New York city, March 22, 1805. He came of an old New York family. His father was a prominent publisher of that day, his residence and publishing house being opposite the old Astor home and City Hall park, the latter being called"The Shakespeare Gallery." On December 30, 1830, he was married to Miss Phebe Dean Wade, daughter of Col. John and Sarah Lyon Wade of Springfield, N. J. Mr. Longworth was a man of literary taste and and for many years had a book and stationery store in Brooklyn; he was also postmaster of that city for several years. He had heard much of the northwest, and being fired with the spirit of his colonial ancestors, he determined to have his part in subduing the wilderness and in building up the country. Accordingly, in the spring of 1856, he, with his wife and children, a brother and his family, twenty-one in all, and twenty--two trunks, arrived in Davenport, Iowa. As is usual in such cases, where experience in farm life in entirely lacking, failure was the result. After seriously considering whether to move to Minnesota or Cincinnati, Ohio, where his cousin Nicholas Longworth resided, Minnesota won and on May 6, 1859, the family arrived in what was then Clearwater, but now Corinna. They located on Clearwater Lake, the present site of "Longworth," the famous summer resort, kept for many years by the family, the last fifteen years of which by the youngest daughter, Jennie, but now by Mr. and Mrs. H.M. Tuelle. Mr. and Mrs. Longworth were true pioneers. There were only five families within a radius of five or six miles. They settled in the woods, a log cabin was erected, and a clearing made with the assistance of yoke of oxen. The first crop was put in between the stumps. Times were hard, money scarce and provisions hard to obtain; the hardships were many and comforts were few. Fortunately, about this time the ginseng buyers came along and by digging the roots, which were plentiful, the family were able to earn some ready cash. Then when prospects began to brighten, the Civil war broke out and the two older sons enlisted, the eldest one serving till the close of the war, the other one dying as soon as he reached the south. Thus the mainstays of the family were taken away, as the other two sons were very young. As the years passed, however, the family became more prosperous. They saw the county develop and they did their share by improving their farm. Good buildings took the place of log structures, and neatly fenced, well tilled lands took the place of the virgin forests. Mr. Longworth was a public spirited man and his influence and wise counsels did much in the early days of Corinna. He was active in organizing the township of Delhi, now Corinna. The summer resort business started by admitting an invalid gentleman and his wife into the home circle for a few weeks. From this on the business grew until the place became most popular. A Small Episcopal church was erected on land given by Mr. Longworth, by eastern friend, who thus remembered the family so removed from all church privileges, and until the time of his death, March, 1889, Mr. Longworth was lay reader in the little church. Mrs. Longworth was much beloved by all who knew her, always to be found by the bedside of the sick and the dying, helpful when a physician could not be secured, to her family, only what such a wife and mother can be. She died August 19, 1893. Of the family, only three remain, Mrs. Sarah W. L. Smith of Clearwater, and Octavius and Jennie W. Octavius, Jr., was a boy of nine years when he was brought from the city to take up his residence in the wilds. He was reared on the home farm, learned farm pursuits and attended the district school, though the greater part of his education was received from his father. He now lives near the old homestead, and is engaged in farming. He has never married and his sister Jennie keeps house for him. The worthy son of a worthy father, a man whose first thought is ever for the good of the community-he has taken his part in every movement that has meant progress. For some twenty years he has been treasurer of the township and for four years he served on the town board. He has also been a member of numerous committees and delegations.
(photo of Mr. and Mrs. Octavius Longworth on page 345)


John DeWitt McConnell
Source: History Biography of North Dakota. Transcribed by Rhonda Hill

JOHN DeWITT McCONNELL, M.D., is engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in Fargo, North Dakota, and has that love for and devotion to his profession which has brought to him success and won him a place among the ablest representatives of the medical fraternity in this locality. He was born in Leipsic, Putnam county, Ohio, November 23, 1848, and is one of the four sons of John R. and Mary (Hofsteater) McConnell, also natives of Ohio. The father, who was a farmer and hotel man, served for a year and a half in the Civil war as a member of Company K, Sixty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, being discharged at the end of that time on account of disability. He died in Ohio in 1891.
The Doctor passed his boyhood and youth in Williams county, Ohio, and completed his literary education in the Bryan Academy. Subsequently he engaged in teaching school, being an instructor in the higher branches of learning. At the age of twenty-five he commenced reading medicine under Dr. J. G. Cameron, of Edon, Ohio, and devoted three years to preparation for the medical profession, in the meantime attending lectures at the Medical College of Ohio, at Cincinnati, from which he was graduated in 1877. He first engaged in practice at his old home in Ohio, but on account of failing health came west and settled at Clearwater, Minnesota, where he made his home for two years. In 1881 he came to Fargo, North Dakota, where he has since successfully engaged in general practice. In 1891 he took a post-graduate course in New York City, remaining there nine months, and constant study and close application have made him one of the best physicians of his adopted city. He is a member of the State Medical Society, has been connected with the American Medical Association since 1888, and is a Knight Templar Mason and a member of the Mystic Shrine. He has met with success financially as well as professionally during his residence in North Dakota, and is now a stockholder and director of the Merchants State Bank of Fargo. Politically his support is always given the men and measures of the Republican party. In 1892 Dr. McConnell was united in marriage with Miss Sarah A. Brockett, a native of Iowa. They occupy an enviable position in social circles and have a large circle of friends in the community where they make their home.


Gilbert Middagh
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 340-341] Submitted by Robin Line

Gilbert Middagh, proprietor of Cedar Grove Farm, section 5, Buffalo township, is one of the leading farmers of the country. He was born in Mountain township, the province of Ontario, Canada, October 26, 1851, son of Gilbert Middagh, Sr., and Anna (Loucks) Middagh, his wife. He came with his parents to Iowa in 1865 and to Minnesota in 1868. As a young man he took up farming on a forty-acre tract near his parents' home in Winsted, Minn. With the help of an ox team he cleared this tract and bought it under cultivation. In 1901 he sold out and bought eighty acres of land in section 5, Buffalo township. This place was partly improved, but Mr. Middagh has developed in still further and erected some sightly buildings. He has been very successful, and carries on general farming and raises good grade stock. Mr. Middagh was married December 19, 1879, at Howard Lake, this county, to Sarah J. James, born in the Province of Ontario, Canada, August 18, 1858, daughter of Edward and Jane (Kinch) James. To this union have been born nine children: Mary, born September 2, 1880, died December 13, 1891; Gilbert, born August 2, 1882; Ira, born, November 14, 1884; Nettie, born September 10, 1886, died January 2, 1888; Ezra, born December 20, 1890, died in February 1891; Morgan, born April 3, 1892; Ralph, born May 12, 1893; Earl, born September 12, 1897, and Pearl, born August 24, 1903. Edward and Jane (Kinch) James were both natives of Canada, their parents having come to that country form Ireland. They came to the United States about 1868 and located in St. Paul. Then they went to Howard Lake, Victor township, in this county, and farmed several years. Next they took a farm in Monticello township, near Pelican lake, where they spent the remainder of their days. Edward James dying September 13, 1914, at the age of eighty-two, and his wife October 15, 1909, at the age of seventy-five. Their children were Sarah J., William E., Albert B., Elizabeth A. (deceased), Mary R., Isaac E. and Henry M. Edward James was the son of William and Elizabeth (Chanley) James. The family combines both Irish and Scottish blood. John and Mary (Grauberger) Middagh were both natives of Holland and came to Canada as young people. Their children were Michael, Charles, Jacob, Eliza, Anna, Jemina, George, Mary and Sarah. Gilbert Middagh, Sr., was born on the banks of the Mohawk river in Canada, May 31, 1811. He worked as a farmer and as a blacksmith and was on the road to success when he joined in the Fenian uprising. As a result he was forced to flee to the United States in 1865. For a time he lived in Iowa, but in 1868 came to Minnesota and located on a farm near Winsted, where he spent the remainder of his days. He died in 1881. His wife, Anna Loucks, was born in the Province of Ontario, Canada, in August, 1819, and died in 1901 at the age of ninety-one. Their children were: John, Rachael, Sarah, Jacob, Mary, Gilbert, Anna, Elizabeth, Dinah and Lucy.


Clarence Edgar, Oakley
[Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks, Vol 1, 1907, page 294, submitted by Robin Line] Oakley Clarence Edgar, Buffalo. Banker. Born May 17, 1846 in Hempstead N. Y., son of Timothy W. and Ruth (Carpenter) Oakley. Married April 6, 1869 to Anna L. Oakley. Attended public schools of New York City and business college. Worked in who grocery 1861-73: came to Minneapolis 1873; commenced gen store business in Buffalo, Minn. with E. J. Cuttts interest 1877 and continued the business until 1885; engaged in banking business in private bank as firm of C. E. Oakley & Co.bankers 1886; incorporated as Oakley State Bank in 1905 C. E. Oakley pres. Pres village council 1 year; village treas several years; member Board of Education 15 years.


Henry Ordorff
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 341-342] Submitted by Robin Line

Henry Ordorff, an honored pioneer of Buffalo township, now deceased, was born in Westphalia, Germany, November 27, 1832, a son of Reinhold and Mary Ordorff, who spent the span two sons, Henry and Fred. Henry grew to manhood in Germany, and on April 26, 1885, was married to Margaretha Wieben, who was born September 27, 1839, daughter of Jacob and Margaretha (Petersen) Wieben, also Germany farmers. In the Wieben family there were ten children: Margaretha, Hans, Christina, Marie, Catherina (deceased), Catherina, Johan, Anna, Dorris And Sophia. Margaretha, as mentioned, married Henry Ordorff; Hans resides in Germany; Christina is now Mrs. Koch of Germany; Marie married Fred Ordorff and after her death her husband married her sister, Dorris; Catherina is now Mrs. Petersen, of Iowa; Johan came to America but later returned to Germany, where he died; Anna married Henry Hennerson, and they live in Germany; Sophia married Cornelius Hansen, of Osseo. In 1868, Henry Ordorff with his wife and daughter Mary, and Fred Ordorff with his wife and daughter Mary, reached New York after a sailing voyage of eleven days. From New York by long tedious ways they reached St. Paul. From there they went to St. Anthony and took a boat for Monticello. After looking about for a while, Henry Ordorff bought 160 acres of land in section 15, Buffalo township. The purchase was made from a Mr. Bodems, who had built a small shack on the place, but had done no clearing. Into this shack Henry Ordorff moved his family, and with an ox team began to clear the land. A few years later he built a log house and a log barn. Year by year he toiled and gradually the place began to assume something of its present aspect. To the original tract he added another 152 acres, and this he developed as fully as the other. In time the log cabin was remodeled into a modern and substantial dwelling, surrounded by a slightly windbreak of pine trees. The log barn has been replaced with a large barn, 40 by 70 feet with a basement, a three-story granary with a basement and other buildings. There has been a vast outlay of time and money on the place. There are tool sheds, workshops and a blacksmith shop, equipped with a full line of tools for blacksmith and carpenter work. The implements and machinery on the place are kept in the best of repair, and assistance in also rendered to the neighbors. A walk through the buildings and over the grounds shows the place to be admirably equipped for modern farming along the latest approved methods. Since Mr. Ordorff's death in 1902, at the age of seventy-two, the place has been operated by his sons. With all his busy life, Mr. Ordorff found time for church and school work. The first Lutheran meeting in this vicinity was held at his home; he helped to build the first church of that faith in this vicinity and was one of its trustees. He was a good man, thoroughly respected by his associates. There were six children in the family; Mary, born April 23, 1866; Christina, born February 14, 1880; Henry C., August 22, 1871; Christolf, died in infancy; Theadore (first), died in infancy, and Theadore, who was born August 25, 1877, and married Lena Hartfield September 24, 1914. Henry and Theadore were born on the home farm, educated in the district schools, reared to farm pursuits, and have always remained at home, being among the successful young men of the township.


Carl Oscar Palmberg
[Source: A History of the Swedish-Americans of Minnesota, Vol, 3, Complied and Edited by A. E. Strand, page 1090, submitted by Robin Line]

Reverend Carl Oscar Palmberg, pastor of the Swedish Mission church at Buffalo, was born at Okna parish, Smaland, Sweden, December 1, 1866. He is a son of S. A. and Christina Louisa (Peterson) Anderson, natives of Amaland, where the mother still resides, the father being deceased. They had six children, namely: Ida, married Oscar Larson of Sweden; Carl O.; August Emil, residing in Iowa; Jonas Gustof, of Iowa; Anders Johan, also of Iowa, and Otto Algot, an organist and school teacher in Hallsberg, Sweden.

Carl O. Palmberg received some education in Sweden, and there worked on his father's farm. He came to the United States in 1888, and went to Laramie, Wyoming, where he worked sometime in a rolling mill. He removed to Minneapolis in 1893, and there attended the Swedish Mission Covenant Seminary. He spent three years there and at Chicago, and then spent five years in charge of a church in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania, and seven years in Webster county, Iowa. Since November, 1907, Reverend Palmberg has been pastor of the Mission church in Buffalo, where he has extended a good influence and has done much good work. He is a Prohibitionist and a member of the Anti-Saloon League, and takes an active interest in any movement for the good of the town and state.

Reverend Palmberg married, May 13, 1897, Amanda Sutherland, of Laramie, Wyoming, and they have seven children, namely: Carl, aged eleven; Oscar, nine; Ida, eight; Edwin, six; Elmer, four; Einar, two years, and Ruth, one month.


George J. Parker
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 347-348.] Submitted by Robin Line

George J. Parker, a substantial farmer of Corinna township, was born in Dora, Ind., March 2, 1857, son of Johan Parker, the carpenter, and Rachael (Rakestraw) Parker. George J. Parker started his career at the age of seven, when he received ten cents a day as helper to a gardener. When he was eight years old he was earning $8 a month driving a team. He also earned money during his boyhood by trapping ground hogs and other small animals. As a youth he worked five years with a ditching crew. It was in 1879 that he left Indiana and located in Omlsted county, this state, where he remained about a year. At the end of this period he married and went back to Indiana. Since 1881 he has lived in this state permanently. In that year he again came to Minnesota. For four years he rented farms in Olmstead county, and then he lived three years in the city of Rochester in the same county. The next eight years of life were spent on a rented stock farm near Taopi, in Mower county, this state. In 1896 he bought 160 acres in section 9, Clayton township, in the same county. Six years later, in 1902, he sold out and came to Wright county, where he purchased 160 acres in section 9, Corinna township. On this place he still resides. He successfully carries on general farming, and makes a specialty of Blue Stem wheat, Chester White swine and dairy cattle. He is grading his stock into Shorthorns, and is much pleased with the results. Although he is comparatively a new comer, he is a well-known man, and has served as school treasurer and as town supervisor. He was likewise a member of the school board of his district in Mower county. He and his wife attend the Disciple church. Mr. Parker was married September 2, 1880, to Lucinda Campbell,daughter of Stirling and Roukamma (Badgley) Campbell, the former of whom was a veteran of the Sioux uprising, having served in Co. D., Brackett's Battalion, Independent Cavalry, eighteen months, from December, 1862. Mr. and Mrs. Parker have had two children: Harry, born August 14, 1882, and Ethel L., born September 8, 1896. Harry was married December 21, 1904, to Bertha Schuman, daughter of William and Minnie Schuman, and they have three children, Howard M., Ruth L. and George M.


Burton Prestige
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 343] Submitted by Robin Line

Burton Prestige, the capable superintendent of the Wright county farm, was born in Rockford township, this county, May 5, 1874, son of the pioneer, Thomas Prestidge, appropriately mentioned elsewhere in this week. He was educated in the district schools of his neighborhood, and at the Rockford High school. For some years he followed farming in Marysville township, and for a time he was in the livery business in Montrose. It was in 1911 that the county commissioners selected him for his present position, and he has more than proven his worth and ability. Everything about the farm and buildings in kept in the best of condition; he makes the most of the land given him to operate; he is considerate to the inmates placed in his charge, and all in all has demonstrated his value to the county. Mr. Prestidge was married October 17, 1912, to Mamie Hunt, daughter of Joseph Hunt. By a previous marriage she has one son, Joseph. The Wright county farm consists of fifty-six acres of good land on the shores of Lake Constance. The house is thoroughly modern, and contains sixteen rooms, aside from the bath rooms, halls and the like. There is a good water system, and everything possible is done for the comfort of the wards of the county who are here sheltered and cared for. Mr. and Mrs. Burton Prestidge, who are in charge of the place, have an average of from twelve to eighteen people in their charge.


Henry Ransom
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 348-349] Submitted by Robin Line

Henry Ransom, an enterprising and successful resident of Corinna township, was born in section 20, in the township where he still lives, October 21, 1868, son of Martin and Minnie (Teatz) Ransom, the pioneers. He received his early education in the public schools, and in 1889 graduated from the German Methodist Episcopal College at St. Paul Park, Minn. thus prepared, he taught country school for two years, 1890 and 1891. In 1892 and 1893, in order to still further perfect his training, he attended the St. Cloud State Normal School. In the fall of 1893 he taught country school. He gained wide experience with the country in 1894 and 1895 by traveling extensively in Montana, Oregon, Washington and California. This journey completed, he returned to Minnesota, and taught school and worked on his father's farm from 1895 to 1898. It was in 1899 that he bought his present place of 148 acres in section 17, Corinna township. He has one of the best farms in this part of the township. His wide education makes him a valuable citizen, he is a profound student of farm conditions, and conducts his farm operations along the latest approved lines. His well-tilled fields, his neat fences, his sleek well-kept live stock, his excellent equipment, and his sightly buildings all bespeak the thrift, hard work and intelligent care of the owner. Since 1907, Mr. Ransom has been town clerk, and for one year he served on the town board. Henry Ransom was married in 1899 to Mary Lyrenmann, born in Monticello, this country, December 9, 1869, daughter of Felix and Rosina (Hunig) Lyrenmann, who came from Switzerland in 1869, and located on a farm near Monticello. Mrs. Ransom is a lady of many accomplishments, and before her marriage taught school for several years in Wright county and in South Dakota. Mr. and Mrs. Ransom have four children: Esther E., born in 1900; Marjorie, born in 1901; Lyman, born in 1905; and Robert, born in 1910. The family faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church.


Benne Rozenberg
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 347] Submitted by Robin Line

Benne Rozenberg, an enterprising farmer of Corinna township, was born in Paterson, N. J., June 18, 1869, son of Henry and Dirky (Dykhausen) Rozenberg, who had come to America the previous year, and in 1873 moved to Pella, Iowa, where they still live. Benjamin Rozenberg received a good education in the schools of his neighborhood, and for several years worked out as a farm employee in the vicinity of Pella, Iowa. Then he rented various farms in Marion county, the county in which Pella is located. It was in 1908 that he came to Wright county and bought 120 acres of land in sections 13 and 14, Corinna township, where he now resides. He has brought his characteristic abundant measure has crowned his efforts. He has remodeled and repainted the house, and has built a splendid new barn. This barn is 36 by 60 feet, with a basement, equipped with eighteen patent stanchions, a litter carrier, and other conveniences. The capacity is thirty-five cattle, eight horses and sixty tons of hay. Mr. Rozenberg carried on general farming and makes a specialty of Shorthorn cattle. While living in Iowa, Mr. Rozenberg served as a member of the school board. Mr. Rozenberg was married March 9, 1896, to Jennie Hulleman, daughter of Rick and Henrietta (Mol) Hulleman, who lived on a farm near Pella, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Rozenberg have six children: Henry, born December 3, 1896; Hattie, born September 30, 1898; Rick, born April 12, 1902; Dirk, born November 7, 1904; Albert, born April 26, 1911; and Mary, born March 7, 1914.


Henry Schmidt
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 344] Submitted by Robin Line

Henry Schmidt, a progressive young farmer of section 25, Buffalo township, was born on the old homestead, July 31, 1874, son of Traugott and Marguerite (Herman) Schmidt, the pioneers. He was educated in the district school of which his father was clerk, attended the Lutheran church of which his father was trustee, and grew to manhood on the farm. He has part of his father's homestead on the shores of Green Mountain lake, has a modern home and buildings, and a good equipment of machinery and tools, and is regarded as a successful man in every way. For some thirty years past he and his brothers have operated a threshing machine. He married Johanna Schumacher, who was born in Wright county, December 13, 1877, daughter of William Edward and Emma (Scheer) Schumacher, natives of Germany and pioneers of Wright county. William Edward Schumacher was a pioneer of Company E, First Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. Mr. and Mss. Schmidt have three children: Raymond, Almond and Melvin.


Traugott Schmidt
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 343-344] Submitted by Robin Line

Traugott Schmidt, a pioneer of Buffalo township, was born in Dorgru, Germany, and was there reared. About 1858 he came to the United States and secured employment in Chicago. It was is 1860 that he came to Wright county and took a homestead of 160 acres in section 25, Buffalo township. The tract was all wild land, and Traugott set at work with a will to bring it under cultivation. The first two years were especially hard. He had no oxen and no means of conveyance, so he had to walk to Minneapolis whenever he needed provisions, bringing the supplies on his back. Later he was enabled to secure supplies in Rockford, and by the time he had prospered sufficiently to purchase a pair of oxen conditions were a little better. About this time he married Marguerite Herman, who had been born in Germany, October 13, 1835. The young lady had come to St. Michaels to join her brother Valentine Herman was an extensive traveler and before settling in St. Michaels had seen life in many lands, including Australia and the gold fields of California and Colorado. Not long after their marriage Traugott Schmidt enlisted in Company K, Fifth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war. His good wife had her full share of pioneer hardships, and while her husband was fighting his country's battles at the front she often picked gooseberries and blackberries, and putting them in three-gallon pails trudged to Monticello, where she exchanged them for groceries. When Mr. Schmidt returned he again took up farm labor. He was an honest, hardworking, industrious man, and in time acquired sufficient land so that he owned in all 600 acres. Faithful to church duties, he helped to build the Lutheran church in his neighborhood and was one of its trustees. He also served for a long period as clerk of his school district. He died in 1907, at the age of eighty-two. His good wife died May 15, 1903. Their children were: William, Rheinhold, Oscar, Emil, Johanna, Denna, Henry.


Charles A. Smith
Progressive men of Minnesota. Published by The Minneapolis Journal, 1897 - transcribed by AJ

Charles A. Smith is a good sample of what a resolute, industrious, intelligent boy, unaided by fortune or friends, can accomplish in commercial life in the Northwest. He is the son of a soldier in the regular army of Sweden, and was born December 11th, 1852, in the County of Ostergottland, Sweden. After thirty-three years service in the army, his father, in the spring of 1867, left Sweden with Charles and an elder sister and came to America, arriving in Minneapolis on the 28th of June. Two older brothers had already preceded them and were located here. Charles' education commenced in a small country school in Sweden, where more importance was attached to committing the catechism and Bible history to memory than to writing and the knowledge of mathematics. His first lessons in English were taken in a small log school house in Wright County. Shortly after his arrival in this city from the old country arrangements were made for him to make his home with a farmer living in the southern part of what is now the city of Minneapolis, near the Milwaukee railroad shops. He was to work for his board and clothing, and was employed chiefly in tending cattle. While this employed on the farm he picked a large quantity of hazelnuts, which he sold for seven dollars, loaning the money to his brother at ten per cent. This was the first money he had ever earned. He had made good use of his time also in study, and in the fall of 1872 he entered the State University with the intention of taking the regular course. He applied himself very closely to his studies and his health soon failed, so that he was obliged to leave school at the end of the first year. In 1873 he obtained employment in the general hardware store of J. S. Pillsbury & Co., of this city, where he continued for five years. He, the, in the fall of 1878, with the assistance of ex-Gov. Pillsbury, built a grain elevator at Herman, Minnesota, and under the name of C. A. Smith & Co. he continued the grain and lumber business there until July, 1834, when arrangements were made to begin the manufacturing and wholesaling of lumber in Minneapolis. He again took up his residence in this city, and the partnership with ex-Gov. Pillsbury was continued until 1893, at which time the C. A. Smith Lumber Company was incorporated, of which Mr. Smith is the president and general manager. In addition to the saw mill and lumber manufacturing business of this city, this company has the controlling interest in a number of retail lumber yards and general stores in different parts of the state and in North and South Dakota. Mr. Smith says the secret of his success has been adoption of Franklin's advice, which he learned with his first English lessons, viz., "To take care of the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves." He has tried to follow that advice ever since he sold his hazelnuts in the fall of 1867. But Mr. Smith's activities have not been confined to the firm, of which he is a member. He was one of the incorporators of the Swedish-American National Bank, the Security Savings and Loan Association, and other enterprises in this city and elsewhere. Like most Swedish Americans, Mr. Smith is a Republican in politics, and devotes as much attention to it as his business will permit. He has never held any officer or asked for any, but is prominent in the counsels of his party, having been a member of city, county, state and national conventions. He is a member of the English Lutheran Salem Congregation, of Minneapolis; one of its organizers and one of its trustees. He is also a member of the board of directors of the English Lutheran seminary, of Chicago, and is treasurer of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the Northwest. He was married February 14th, 1878, to Johanna Anderson, a daughter of Olaf Anderson, who, after serving in the Swedish riksdag for a number of years, emigrated with his family to this country in 1857, and located in Carver county. Mr. Smith has five children, two boys and three girls, Nanna A., Addie J., Myrtle E., Vernon A. and Carroll W.


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

A man's reputation is the property of the world, for the laws of nature have forbidden isolation. Every human being either submits to the controlling influence of others or wields an influence which controls, guides or directs others. If a man is honest and successful in his chosen field of effort and endeavor, his work may serve as an example for others to follow. The reputation of Charles J. Swedback, a prosperous young merchant of Upsala, and one of the leading citizens in this part of Morrison county, is altogether unassailable. His life has been one of honorable relations with his fellows and of large usefulness to them.

Charles J. Swedback, a native of Wright county, Minnesota, was born at Delano, July 20, 1874, and is the son of John and Erickka (Anderson) Swedback, the former of whom was the son of John and Dorthia Swedback, and the latter was born in Sweden on March 9, 1841, the daughter of Arikka and Magdelina Anderson. Mrs. Erickka Swedback's father was born in 1803 in Sweden, and was a farmer by occupation. He died in 1876, at the age of seventy-three. Mrs. Swedback's mother was born in 1800 in Sweden. She lived to be seventy-eight years old, dying in 1878. Arikka and Magdelina Anderson had five children, of whom Mrs. Swedback was the youngest. She was educated in Sweden and, when twenty-seven years old, came to America, being married upon her arrival at Red Wing, Minnesota, to the late John Swedback. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Swedback removed from Red Wing to Minneapolis, where Mr. Swedback was engaged in blacksmithing. In about four years, he bought a blacksmith shop at Delano, Wright county, to which they removed. After ten years the shop burned. He then established a small saw-mill at the same place, which he operated about two years. On account of the shortage of lumber at Delano, they moved to Upsala in 1884. He ran a mill here for some ten years. Afterwards he operated the mill at other places until his death, on December 31, 1899, at which time he was fifty-seven years old. After his death the mill was sold. Mr. and Mrs. Swedback had started a general store in Upsala about 1884, and to this Mrs. Swedback devoted her attention. In 1909 she sold out and later purchased another store, which she operated until 1913, when she sold it to her son, Charles. Mr. Swedback, with the assistance of some farmers, had organized the Farmers' Co-operative Creamery Company. Later, Mrs. Swedback purchased the creamery, and operated it for about five years. After putting it into good running order, she sold out to the farmers who are operating it at the present time. Mrs. Swedback is a stockholder in the Farmers' State Bank. She is the mother of four children, as follow: Andrew; Dorthia, deceased; Charles; and an infant, who is deceased. Being a strong Republican, the late John Swedback had held many local offices of trust and responsibility during his life.

Charles J. Swedback, the youngest living child in his parents' family, was educated in the public schools at Delano and Upsala, Minnesota. After finishing his education, he assisted his father in the lumber business until his father's death, in 1899.

On May 2, 1900, Charles J. Swedback was married to Minnie Nelson, who was born on March 7, 1875, in Sweden and who came to the United States with her mother when she was seven years old. They settled at Delano, in Wright county, and lived there until 1898, when they removed to Bemidji, where she was married. Mrs. Swedback is the daughter of Nils and Carrie Nelson. Her father died in Sweden and her mother, who had two children, Minnie and Martin, is still living.

When Charles J. Swedback was married he was a stationary engineer, a trade which he followed off and on for many years. In 1902 he opened a grocery store at Bemidji, operating it for three and one-half years. During this period he was actively interested in politics. He served as a member of the Bemidji city council. He then moved to Big Falls, where he built and operated the first telephone system of the town. He was also postmaster for a couple of years. Upon selling the telephone company, he moved back to the Bemidji, remaining two years, until 1911, when he came to Upsala with his family and purchased his mother's store.

Mr. and Mrs. Swedback have two children, Vernon and Meille. The latter is attending school.

Mr. Swedback is independent in politics. He is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Yeomen.


Lafayette Varner
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Vol 1, 1915, page 344-345] Submitted by Robin Line

Lafayette Varner, now deceased, pioneer of Buffalo township, and a veteran of the Civil War, was born in Pennsylvania, April 10, 1841, a son of John and Mary (Bitts) Varner, who are appropriately mentioned elsewhere in this work. Lafayette Varner spent his youth and early manhood on a farm in his native state. At the outbreak of hostilities between North and the South he enlisted in the dashing Co. K, of the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and served with valor throughout the war. In the spring of 1856 he came to Minnesota, arriving in Wright county May 15. After looking about for a time, he purchased eighty acres of land from James Washburn in section 18, and with an ox team started to carve his fortunes in the wilderness. In July his wife and her brother, William Hickman, came to the little pioneer home. Times were hard, but by dint of faithful work, Lafayette Varner and his wife prospered. They labored early and late, and in time success crowned their efforts. Mrs. Varner, who is a typical pioneer woman, has many memories of the troubles and trials they faced together. Money was scarce, comforts and conveniences were few, there was a family to rear and send to school, and little time for rest or recreation. Mr. Varner became a substantial member of the community. He served in town and school office, and was a well-liked member of the G. A. R. post at Buffalo, as well as of the odd Fellow lodge there. His death, June 2, 1909, was sincerely mourned. Lafayette Varner was married February 5, 1860, to Christina Hickman, born March 20, 1842, daughter of William and Sarah (Stover) Hickman, natives of Pennsylvania, the former being a veteran of the Civil war. Mr. and Mrs. Varner had nine children: Solomon, born June 19, 1863; Sarah Ida and Mary Ida, twins, born May 8, 1866; James F., born August 31, 1869, died October 1, 1887; Maude, born February 15, 1873; Etta Jane, born June 27, 1874; Marie, born April 9, 1878; Zachary Taylor, born September 29, 1879; Newton, born February 26, 1884. (photo of Mr. and Mrs. Varner on page 344)


George Walters
[Source: History of Wright County Minnesota by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, 1915, page 264] mkk
George Walters, a veteran of the Civil war, and early settler of French Lake township, was born in Kent, England, in 1840, son of Mathew Walters, who brought his family to America about 1846 and settled on a small farm near Cleveland, Ohio. At the age of fifteen, George Walters started out for himself. The outbreak of the Civil war found him still in Ohio. He enlisted September 5, 1861, in Battery B., First Ohio Light Artillery, under Captain W. E. Stannard and Colonel James Barrett. The regiment was assigned to the Fourteenth Army Corps. Among the battles in which Mr. Walters participated may be mentioned: Wild Cat Mountain, Ky.; Mills Springs, Ky.; Perryville, Ky.; Laverque, Tenn.; Stone River, Tenn.; Chickamauga, Tenn.; Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. He was discharged January 3, 1864, reenlisted January 4, 1864, and received his final discharge July 22, 1865. After the war he returned home, and then spent a year as a fur trapper near Manistee, Mich. From there he came to Minneapolis. It was in 1867 that he came to the northern part of French Lake township and purchased forty acres of land. He farmed there about seven years, then he moved to Corinna township, bought forty acres and there farmed about twenty years. Then he came to Annandale, where he has since lived. Mr. Walters is a member of Buzzell Post, No. 24, G. A. R., at Annandale. Mr. Walters was married in January, 1871, to Julia Whitlock, daughter of Ervin and Mary (Abney) Whitlock, who were married April 30, 1849. Mr. and Mrs. Walters have had seven children: Lottie, now Mrs. J. P. Gornum, of Maple Lake; James, of Annandale; Nettie, wife of Tad Heaton, of Annandale; Blanche, wife of Hugo Ernest, of Paynesville; Gertrude, wife of R. S. Webber, of Paynesville; and two that died in infancy. Mrs. Walters is a member of the Advent Church. Ervin Whitlock, the early settler, came to Minnesota in 1866. He was a veteran of the Civil war, having served as fifer in Company I, 84th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He is now living at Annandale, at the advanced age of 94 years.


Ervin Whitlock
Source: Compendium of History, and Biography of Northern Minnesota, George A Ogle & Co., page 820; submitted by Robin Line

Ervin Whitlock, one of the early settlers of Wright county, is a veteran of the Civil war, and is widely known as a worthy citizen. He has a comfortable home on his farm in section 25 of Corina township, where he has lived for many years.

Mr. Whitlock was born in Ohio, December 28, 1820. His parents, James and Barbara (Swank) Whitlock, were natives of Pennsylvania. The father of our subject died in Ohio and the mother afterward took the family to Illinois when our subject was seventeen years of age. He remained on the farm with his mother until 1849. He went to Missouri in 1861 and the following year returned to Illinois and enlisted in the Eighty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, being a member of Company I. For a year prior to his he had been a member of the Illinois State Guards. He served with his company until the close of the war, and participated in two battles in Mississippi. After the battle of Perryville he was so deaf that he was sent north to Camp Douglas in the fall of 1863. He had charge of a drum corps all of the time he was in the service. He was mustered out July 21, 1865, and soon afterward came to Wright county. He took land as a homestead and has since resided hereon. He has a good farm and is surrounded by the comforts of a rural home.

Mr. Whitlock was married in 1849 to Mary A. Abbany, a native of Illinois. The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Whitlock: Charles, Clarence, Julia, Nettie, James, Luther and Mary. Mr. Whitlock is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

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