Wisconsin Genealogy Trails
Polk County, Wisconsin
Biographies


Fred Ayers
AYERS Fred H, Minneapolis. Res 4420 Thomas av S, office 560 Temple Court. Lawyer. Born Nov 20, 1869 in Osceola Wis, son of Seth and and Jane V (Creech) Ayers. Educated in common and high schools Osceola; La Crosse Wis Business College; graduating from U of M law dept LL B 1893. Practiced law in Minneapolis 1893 to date; member firm of Ayers & McDonald. [Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Marilyn Clore]

Hon. Henry Danforth Barron
ST. CROIX FALLS - Henry Danforth Barron is a native of Wilton, Saratoga County, New York, and was born April 10, 1833. After closing his studies in the common schools he turned his attention to the study of law, and graduated from the law school at Ballston Spa, New York, and in August, 1855, was admitted to the bar at Waukesha, Wisconsin, where he had settled in August 1851. Upon settling in Wisconsin he became editor of the "Waukesha Democrat," subsequently known as the "Waukesha Chronotype," a democratic weekly. During the administration of President Pierce he was appointed postmaster at Waukesha. He entered upon the practice of his profession at Pepin in 1857, and continued with good success until July 1860, when he was appointed judge of the eighth judicial circuit, to fill an un-expired term. The circuit comprised the northwestern counties of the State, including Pepin and Polk. In September 1861, he removed to St. Croix Falls, his present home, and in the following year was elected to the general assembly of the State, as the representative of Ashland, La Point (now Bayfield), Bennett, Dallas (now Barron), Douglass and Polk Counties. He was reelected in 1863, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1871 and 1872, and speaker of the assembly during the sessions of 1866 and 1873. He was one of the presidential electors-at-large in 1868, and president of the Electoral College of that year, and held the same position in the Electoral College of 1872. In February 1863, Mr. Barron was elected by a joint ballot of the legislature a regent of the Wisconsin State University, an office which he has continued to hold until the present time (1877). He is also vice-president of the State Historical Society. In March 1869, Mr. Barron was nominated by President Grant, for chief justice of Dakota Territory, but declined the honor, and in April following was appointed by the President fifth auditor of the United States Treasury. Resigning this position on the 1st of January 1872, he took his seat in the State assembly, to which he had been elected in the fall of 1871. In May 1871, he was appointed a trustee, for his State, of the Antietam Cemetery, by Governor Fairchild. After the expiration of his term in the assembly, in 1873, he was elected to the State senate, and served as president pro tern, during the session of 1875. In the fall of 1875 he was re-elected to the senate for a term of two years, and in the spring of 1876 was elected circuit judge of the eleventh judicial circuit, comprising the counties of Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Bennett, Chippewa, Douglass and Pope, for a the senate he entered upon his judicial duties July 1, 1876. Such is an imperfect outline of the life history of one who may most fittingly be called a self-made man. His career has been marked throughout by earnest endeavor and an honest purpose, and he now lives in the enjoyment of that reward which of six years. Resigning his position in the State inevitably follows continued noble effort. [Source: The US Biological Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume (1877) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

HENRY DANFORTH BARRON, Saint Croix Falls, was born at Wilton, Saratoga county, New York, April 10, 1833. His education was in the common schools, after completing which he entered the law school of Ballston Spa, New York, and graduated in due course, which admitted him to practice in the courts of that state. In 1851, at the early age of nineteen, an enterprising spirit and sound judgment summoned him to the west, and he took up his residence at Waukesha, Wisconsin. Becoming Editor of the Waukesha “Democrat,” he changed its name to the “Chronotype,” and conducted it successfully for several years. In 1853 he as appointed, by President Pierce, postmaster of Waukesha. In 1857 he changed his residence to Pepin, where he entered upon the practice of his profession, which he pursued until July 1860, when he was appointed, by Gov. Randall, judge of the eighth judicial circuit, comprising the northwestern counties of the state, and a circuit of large area and great importance. Soon afterward Judge Barron moved to St. Croix Falls, and in 1862 was unanimously elected member of the assembly from the counties of Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Barron, Douglas and Polk, and was reelected in 1863, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1871 and 1872. He was speaker of the assembly for the session of 1866, and again for 1873. As one of the republican presidential electors-at-large in 1868 he was president of the electoral college of that year, and performed the same duties for the same party in 1872. Having been elected, by joint ballot of the legislature, a regent of the Wisconsin State University in February, 1863, he has continued in that office until his election as circuit judge in 1876. He was for many years one of the vice-presidents of the State Historical Society. President Grant nominated Judge Barron, in March 1869, for chief justice of the Territory of Dakota, which honor was declined by the judge, when, in April following, the President appointed him fifth auditor of the United States treasury, which was accepted; and serving in that capacity until January 1, 1872, he resigned the office to take a seat in the assembly, to which he had been elected by his former constituents. In May, 1871, he was appointed by Gov. Fairchild a trustee for Wisconsin of the Antietam Cemetery Association. He was elected to the senate in 1873; reelected in 1874; was president pro tem for the last named session, and resigned his seat before the expiration of his term to enter upon the duties of circuit judge of the eleventh judicial circuit, to which he had been elected. Judge Barron died at his home at St. Croix Falls, January 23, 1882, and was buried at Waukesha, where his relatives reside. Judge Barron had long been a conspicuous figure in the politics of this state, and, in various public capacities, has done the commonwealth valuable service. As a judge he was credited with singleness of purpose, upright and impartial. As a man he was true to his friends and his convictions, of great force and decision of character, frank and open in speech and act, independent and incorruptible. [Source: The Bench and Bar of Wisconsin, by Parker McCobb Reed, Milwaukee; P. M. Reed Publisher (1882) transcribed by Vicki Bryan]

David F. Clark
CLARK David F. Minneapolis. Res 2110 Bryant av S. office 300 Lumber Exchange. Lumber. Born Oct 1, 1883 in Berlin Wis. Son of James and Elonor (Sloan) Clark. Married Dec 25, 1897 to Mary Sears. Educated in public schools Eureka Wis. Engaged in lumber business as member of firm of Osborne & Clark 1885 to date; pres Bank of Dallas Wis; stockholder State Bank of Ladysmith Wis; dir National Hardwood Lumber Assn 2 years; member executive committee 1 year; grading committee 9 ears. Member Wis Nat Guard 3 years. Member Minneapolis Commercial Club; Masonic order and Shrine. [Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Liz Dellinger]

Solon Huntington Clough
Solon Huntington Clough, son of Hamilton and Pamelia (Tucker) Clough, was born in New York State, Aug. 31, 1828. His boyhood was spent in Oswego county, mainly in the town of Fulton and vicinity. He spent two years at Hamilton College, and after leaving college he went South to teach school, remaining there a year or two. In 1851 he married Katharine E. Taylor, of Cazenovia, N.Y. At about the same time he began the practice of law, and in 1858 came West, settling in Hudson, Wis., and forming a law partnership with Henry C. Baker. In 1863 he removed to Osceola, Polk county, Wis., and was elected judge of the eleventh judicial circuit, which office he held for twelve consecutive years. In 1867 he removed to Superior in the extreme northern part of that circuit and continued to reside there until 1876, when he returned to Hudson and again took up the practice of law. After residing there four years, he went back to Superior and was appointed judge of the eleventh circuit, serving eight more years in that capacity, making in all a service of twenty years as judge of that circuit.  In 1894 Mr. Clough removed to San Diego, Cal., for the benefit of his wife’s health, and continues to reside there. His wife died Aug. 17, 1902. He has two daughters living, Miss Bertha Clough, who lives with him in San Diego, and Mrs. Irvine L. Lenroot, of Superior. During his long residence in the State of Wisconsin he made many friends and won the respect and esteem of all who knew him. He served with distinction on the bench, was a fair and able judge and won the respect and affection of the members of the bar throughout the circuit, where his ability as a lawyer was well recognized. He is noted for his high sense of honor, his sincerity, his great conscientiousness in every relation in life, his genial hospitality, his faithfulness in friendship and his helpful sympathy and consideration for the poor and unfortunate. Mr. Clough was always intensely interested in the history, development and progress of northern Wisconsin, and always had, and now has, unbounded confidence in its future. [Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.]

Charles Elmquist
ELMQUIST, Charles E, Rush City. Lawyer. Born Jan 1, 1873 in Osceola Wis, son of John and Martha Elmquist. Married June 28, 1899 to Charlotte C Gemmel. Educated in common school St Croix Falls Wis; graduated from law dept U of M 1898. Worked as a printer 1885-95 and became editor of the Rush City Post. Elected county atty Chicago county Minn 1900 and now serving 4th term. Member Republican State Central Committee. [Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Anna Parks]

Frederick English
ENGLISH FREDERICK L, Minneapolis. 1907 14th av S, office 615 S Washington av. Mngr Northwest Thresher Co. Born Dec 31, 1860 in Sweden, son of Andrew and Martha (Burman) English. Married March 21, 1900 to Josephine Christie. Came to U S 1869; attended public schools St Croix Falls Wis; farmed until 1890; register of deeds Polk county Wis 1890-94; began employment with N W Thresher Co in 1896; manager of the company of Minneapolis 1901 to date. [Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Anna Parks]

Jules Fredlund
JULES FREDLUND, the young, energetic secretary and manager of the Mount Vernon Creamery Company, was born in Bergen, Norway, August 31, 1872, the son of Ingvald and Mary (Johnson) Fredlund, both natives of Norway, the father born in 1836, and the mother the previous year. The elder Fredlund is a carpenter and farmer who came to the United States in 1882, settling first in South Dakota, where he lived for eight years, after which he came to Skagit county. Here he bought land south of Mount Vernon, and since then has made it his home except during an extended visit to his native land in 1899. Having spent the first nine years of his life in Norway, Mr. Fredlund came with his parents to South Dakota where he attended the common schools, later, when the family moved to Skagit county, assisting his father and brothers in the work of the farm. In 1899 the two brothers leased the father's farm, and Mr. Fredlund, of whom we write, took a course in the Agricultural College of Madison, Wisconsin, after which, having sold out his interest in the farm to his brother, he went to Seattle and bought into a grocery and meat market. Convinced at the end of a month that he could be more successful in the business for which he had received special training, he disposed of his property, and returned to Wisconsin, there buying an interest in a creamery in Polk county which he retained until 1903, though he did not remain there the entire time. After coming to Mount Vernon and thoroughly investigating the situation, in the winter of 1904 he aided in the organization of the present stock company known as the Mount Vernon Creamery Company, with E. S. Phipps, president, Robert Fredlund, vice-president, and himself secretary and manager. Having bought the interest of Mr. Phipps, the two brothers sold it later to W. E. Harbert. Under such wise and careful management the enterprise has grown rapidly, and promises to be one of the most successful creameries in this part of the county. Besides the brother associated with him in business, Mr. Fredlund has brothers and sisters as follows: Albert, in Alaska, near Dawson; Joseph, in Seattle; Anna Henry, Edwin and John, residing in Mount Vernon; Mary Wolf, near Mount Vernon, and Charles (deceased). Mr. Fredlund is a member of the Eagle fraternity. He is a prominent member of the Baptist church in which he holds the office of trustee; and politically he is an active member of the Republican party. In addition to his creamery business he has a farm south of town, stock in talcum mines and in the Washington Fire Insurance Company, all of which testify to his excellent business capabilities. Thoroughly fitted for his work, familiar with the details that are especially important in this line, as time develops this into the ideal dairy country, which it is certain to become, his future success is assured. [Source: An Illustrated History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, Inter-State Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1906. Submitted by M. K. Krogman]

William Rainey Marshall
William R. Marshall, the fifth governor of Minnesota, was one of the founders of the Republican party in this state. He was chairman of the first Republican meeting held in territorial days, and was the first candidate of the new party for a territorial office. He was the fifth son of Joseph and Abigal (Shaw) Marshall, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Pennsylvania, and both of his grandfathers were revolutionary soldiers. His father was of Scotch Irish descent, and many of the study traits of character common to that mixture of blood were prominent in the son. Mr. Marshall was born in Boone County, Missouri, October 17, 1825, and got the major portion of his education in the common schools at Quincy, Illinois. School days over he went to the lead mining region of Wisconsin, where he was a miner and surveyor until 1847, when he went to St. Croix Falls to enter a land and tree claim. In this latter place he opened a general store and secured appointment as deputy receiver of the United States land office. In 1848 he was elected to represent the St. Croix Valley in the Wisconsin legislature, but his seat was unsuccessfully contested by Joseph Bowron, because his home in St. Croix Falls was on the west side of the state line. Late in 1847 he located a claim in St. Anthony Falls, Minnesota, but did not perfect the title to it until two years later, 1849, in the fall of which year he was elected a member of the first territorial legislature of the state. He lived on his claim at St. Anthony until 1851, when he removed to St. Paul, which city was ever afterwards his home. He opened the first iron store in that place, and when trade was dull, added to his income by surveying public lands. This business promised so well that he gave up his store and applied himself exclusively to it for several years. In 1855 he became one of a company of business men who opened a banking house in St. Paul. The venture was prosperous until 1857 when it went down before the financial storm of that year. Mr. Marshall next operated a dairy farm near St. Paul and sold milk from his wagons. This business, while prosperous enough, did not suit his tastes, and in 1861 he purchased the Times and the Minnesota Republican daily newspapers published in St. Paul, and consolidated them, calling the consolidated paper the Press. He was editing this paper, when, in 1862, he enlisted in the Seventh Minnesota Regiment of volunteer infantry. He soon became lieutenant-colonel of the regiment, and in a year was made its colonel, in the place of Stephen Miller, who had been elected governor. He was a brave officer and displayed a high order of executive ability in the handling of his command. In 1862 he was with General Sibley in the Indian campaign in this state, and commanded the battalion that went to the relief of Birch Coolie. In 1863, still being lieutenant-colonel, he commanded his regiment in Sibley's expedition to the Upper Missouri, taking part in the battle of Big Mound. In October, 1863, he went south in command of the regiment, and was commissioned as colonel on November 6, of that year. In June, 1864, he joined the right wing of the Sixteenth Army Corps, at Memphis, Tennessee, and was assigned to the first brigade of the first division. With his regiment he took part in the battles of Tupelo. Mississippi, in July, and was in the expedition to Oxford in August. He was in the skirmishes at Tallahatchie river in the fall of that year. and went from there to Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of General Price. December 15 and 16, he was at the battle of Nashville, and on the fifteenth succeeded to the command of the third brigade, on the death of Colonel Hill. He was at the siege of Mobile in March and April, 1865, and was wounded in the advance on Spanish Fort. In May, June and July, 1865, he was in command of the post at Salem, Alabama. He was breveted brigadier general in March, 1865, for gallant services at Nashville, and mustered out with his regiment at Fort Snelling, in August, 1865. In the fall of that year he was elected governor of the state, and was re-elected in 1867, serving until January, 1870. At the expiration of his second term he was chosen vice-president of the Marine National Bank of St. Paul, and president of the St. Paul Savings Bank. In 1874 he was appointed a member of the board of railroad commissioners, and continued to serve until 1883. From 1883 to 1893 he engaged in a number of enterprises, among them farming, stock raising and the buying and selling of real estate. These ten years marked the least successful period of his life. In the fall of 1893 he was elected secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, and in 1894 was stricken with paralysis. In January, 1895, he resigned as secretary because he could no longer discharge the duties of the office. In March of that year the resignation was reluctantly accepted, and Mr. Marshall on the advice of friends, went to Pasadena, California, in the hope that the change of climate might help him. After his arrival in California he had another stroke of paralysis, and died January 8, 1896. The remains were brought to St. Paul where the funeral was held, one of the most imposing in the history of that city, January 16, at Christ church. The sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. C. Mitchell, of the New Jerusalem (Swedenborgian) church, of which the dead man was one of the founders. March 22, 1854, Mr. Marshall was married to Miss Abby Langford, of Utica, New York. A son, who was born of this union, died in 1892, leaving a widow and one child. These two were with Mr. Marshall during his last illness in St. Paul and California. [Source: Progressive men of Minnesota. Published by The Minneapolis Journal (1897) submitted by Diana Heser Morse]

George Davis McDill
George Davis McDill, Osceola .Mills, was born in Wayne, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, July 28, 1838. Having received an academic education he adopted the profession of law, to fit himself for which he entered upon its study in 1865, and was admitted in the fifth circuit, at Prairie du Chien, in 1870. He came to Wisconsin in 1841, living first in Beloit, afterward in Vernon county; finally settled in Polk county in 1872, and is now in practice there. Mr. McDill was district attorney for Polk county for two terms, from January 1874; was chairman of the board of supervisors of the same county five successive years, and member of the assembly for 1881, during the session of which he served on the committee on the judiciary, and joint committee on charitable and penal institutions. At the commencement of the late war Captain McDill enlisted in Company I, Sixth regiment, in which he served in active duty to March 24, 1874, at which time he was commissioned captain of Company K, Thirty-seventh regiment, and, on account of wounds, was discharged November 3, 1864. He was in the engagements of Gainsville, Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the siege of Petersburg. For the session of 1882 Captain McDill again served as a member of the assembly, and was prominent in the business of that body. [The Bench and Bar of Wisconsin History and Biography, by Parker McCobb Reed (1882); Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Tammy Clark]

GEORGE DAVIS McDILL (Rep.), of Osceola Mills, Polk county, was born in Wayne, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, on the 29th of July, 1833; received an academic education; is by profession a lawyer; came to Wisconsin in 1841, and settled at Beloit, removing later to Vernon county, and to Polk county in 1872; has been district attorney of Polk county for two terms, beginning January 1, 1874; was chairman of the county board for five consecutive years. Mr. McDill enlisted in the spring of 1861 in Co. I, 6th regiment, and served therein until March 21, 1861, when he was promoted to captain of Co. K, 37th regiment; was discharged on account of wounds November 3, 1864; participated in the battles of Gainesville, Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and the siege of Petersburg; he was elected to the assembly of 1881 and 1882, and re-elected for 1883, receiving 656 votes, against 292 for Daniel Mears, democrat, and 75 for C. H. Staples, prohibitionist. [Source: Wisconsin Blue Book (1883), page 501; transcribed by Susan Geist]

Charles Henry Oakey
CHARLES HENRY OAKEY, LL. B. - Born at Madison, June 13, 1858. Fitted at the Madison high school, and served as clerk in the law office of P. L. Spooner, Sr., before entering U. W. Law School in 1878, from which he graduated the year following. In 1880 he began the practice of law at Osceola, where he still resides, carrying on an abstract and real estate business in connection with his law practice. Mr. Oakey has been judge of the municipal court of Polk County since 1893, and president of the Osceola Bank since 1894; he is also treasurer of the Inter-State Park Navigation Company. On March 30, 1884, he married Miss Margaret M. Cooper, a teacher in the schools of Champaign, Illinois, and has three children. [Source: The University of Wisconsin: its history and its alumni (1836 – 1900) Edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites -pages 732-736 (1900) transcribed by FoFG]

Mads Peterson
MADS PETERSON, who has devoted the greater part of his career to agricultural pursuits, has met with success in his chosen calling and is the owner of a fine estate in Ada township, Dickey county. He resides on section 3, in township 129, range 61, and conducts stock and grain raising. Our subject was born on a farm in Jutland, Denmark, July 21, 1856, and was the second in a family of fifteen children born to Peter and Veta (Bertlson) Peterson, both of whom were natives of Denmark. The father was a farmer by occupation and the mother of our subject died in Denmark, when he was but a boy. Mads Peterson attended the schools of his native land and assisted with the farm work until sixteen years of age, when he emigrated to America. He located in Polk county, Wisconsin, and there worke at farming and in the woods until 1883, in which year he went to Dickey county, North Dakota. He filed claim to the land on which he now resides and is now the owner of the quarter-section which he then took and one other, his farm comprising three hundred and twenty acres. He has improved his property in a thorough manner and engages extensively in stock raising and to some extent in grain raising. Mr. Peterson is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and is popular with his associates. He has acquired a thorough knowledge of his calling and applies the same in a practical manner, tending to the up building of that section of the country. He is a man of sterling worth and is deservedly held in high esteem by his fellows. Politically, he is a Republican. [Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Janice Louie]

Capt. Maurice M. Samuel
An Old Time Resident at St. Croix Falls, Well Known to Old Settlers at St. Paul, Gone to England to Receive a Fortune
From the Polk County (Wis.) Press: In the early days of the upper St. Croix valley, long before the white settlers became numerous here, there lived in these frontier wilds, alternately at Balsam Lake and St. Croix Falls, a brave and generous man, whose personal history is a part of the records of Polk county. In those days trading with the Indians and lumbering constituted the business of this section. Captain M. M. Samuel, the subject of this item, was one of those traders, honest, generous and universally respected by his numerous Indian customers. In the conflicts of the Indians with the whites, which were frequent in those days, one Baptiste, an Indian of the Balsam Lake band, had murdered a white man. The civil authorities were unable to arrest him, and in fact the civil officers who governed this territory, lived hundreds of miles south of this point. United States troops from Fort Snelling came to make the arrest, but could not find the murderer, and were defied by the Indians. Captain Samuel said: "I can arrest the Indian, and will do so." Into the forest, miles away from the white settlement, he went, alone and unarmed. In two days he returned with the Indian murderer, and delivered him to the troops. Captain Samuel entered the army from this county, and served until the close of the rebellion. Since the war he has been located in New Orleans, doing business as a banker and broker, where he has accumulated considerable wealth. Recently, on the death of his mother, in England, he came into the possession of a large fortune, and is about to go there and take possession of it. All his friends here wish him a pleasant journey, and a long life, in which to enjoy his wealth. On his return it is probable that he may visit Polk county, and look over the scenes where he spent a portion of his life twenty-five years ago. [Source: Daily Globe. (St. Paul, Minn.), April 10, 1878 - Sub. by K.T.]

W. L. Tuttle
W. L. Tuttle, a director of the Wisconsin Blue Grass Company, an incorporated company of Balsam Lake and Amery, is probably the best known man in Polk county and the one who has done as much as if not more than any other individual citizen to advance its interests. He was born in St. Croix Village, Wis., in 1851, son of Andrew L. Tuttle, a mill man and lumberman, who came to St. Croix in 1849, and operated there for some ten years. The son grew up in St. Croix, was educated in the public schools, and when only eighteen years of age went into the real estate business. This occupation he has followed ever since, until at present he is one of the heaviest dealers in Northern Wisconsin lands. A wide-awake, enterprising man, he has been largely instrumental in developing the later growth of Polk county. In the fight over the county seat, Mr. Tuttle was a leader on behalf of Balsam Lake and gave cheerfully and freely of both time and means in securing its location at that point. After a struggle of six years the matter was finally settled in 1897, and Mr. Tuttle may justly claim a large share of the credit. He has been identified with the county’s history in an official capacity, and also served three terms as chairman of the town of Balsam Lake. In character he is very positive, of good business qualities, with keen discernment and untiring energy, and naturally, therefore, has accomplished much in both his private and public activities. Mr. Tuttle married Miss Alberta A. Shipman, and they are the parents of six children: Edith, Grace, Sandford, Harold, Max and Helen, the last two being twins. [Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler]


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