Washburn County, Wisconsin


James P. Baker
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

James P. Baker, one of the earliest settlers in Washburn county, and postmaster at Shell Lake, is a successful man with a record for industry, perseverance and integrity of character. He was born in Solon, Somerset Co., Maine, Dec. 5, 1836, son of Francis and Deborah (Buckman) Baker.

Francis Baker was born in New Hampshire, and his parents, who were of Scottish descent, dying in his boyhood, he was adopted by a family named Eaton, with whom he went to Maine, where the remainder of his life was passed on a farm. He was a deacon in the M.E. Church, and an exemplary citizen, and lived to be eighty-four years of age. Mrs. Deborah (Buckman) Baker died on the old homestead farm in April, 1902, aged 100 years. She was a native of Norridgewock, Maine, where her father, Asa Buckman, who was of German descent, and a potter by trade, kept a general store.

The boyhood of James P. Baker was spent on a farm. After working early and late as a farm hand for $13 a month, he decided in 1857 to try to better his fortunes in the West, and borrowing $60 he set out. He went by rail to Prairie du Chien, Wis., and from there to Lake Pepin by stage. Although it was the latter part of April the lake was still filled with ice, and with a few companions he completed the thirty-five miles of his journey on foot. In Stillwater he secured a position at a dollar a day, which seemed to him a princely income. Here he soon went into the lumber business, an occupation which he followed for thirty-one years. He cut and sold logs on the St. Croix river and tributary streams for several years. His first visit to Washburn county was in 1861, there being but three white men in the county at that time, and he spent two years logging near the site of the present town of Shell Lake. In 1872 he returned to Washburn county and began logging on the Yellow river, where he has been interested ever since, bringing his family and permanently locating in the county in 1884. In addition to the logging, at which he employed from fifty to one hundred men each winter, he soon began clearing a farm in the town of Bashaw, west of Shell Lake, this being the first farm of any size to be cleared in the county, no other settler having at that time more than one acre under cultivation. This farm was subsequently sold, and since March, 1891, the family has resided in Shell Lake village, where Mr. Baker bought a meat market that is carried on by his son. Mr. Baker has always been a Republican since casting his first vote for Lincoln; he has served several years as a member of the county board, and since 1897 has been postmaster. Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of the Maccabees.

In 1868 Mr. Baker married Addie Jackman, a native of Charlotte, Maine, daughter of Joseph and Louise (Murphy) Jackman, with whom she moved, in 1850, to Stillwater, Minn. Mr. and Mrs. Jackman were both natives of Maine, where the latter died; the former passed away at Stillwater. When the Jackman family came to Minnesota there were about half a dozen houses in St. Paul, and a few more in Stillwater. Mr. and Mrs. Baker have two children, namely: James J. and Edith E., both of whom were educated in Shell Lake, the daughter also attending in St. Paul; she is now employed in the Shell Lake postoffice.

Orville L. Boynton
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Orville L. Boynton, for a few years one of the influential residents of Washburn, Bayfield county, and the manager of the Edward Hines Lumber Company, although still a young man, was prominently connected with the lumbering interests of this section.

R.H. Boynton, father of Orville L., is a native of New York. He joined the tide of migration toward the West in 1840, and located in Wisconsin, for a time practicing law in Oshkosh, but he became more and more interested in lumbering, which offered so attractive a field at that time. Always influential in local and county affairs, he was mayor of Pittsville for some years, and was long chairman of the county board; he belonged to the Republican party. Mr. Boynton married Sarah E. Pickett, who was born near Ashtabula, Ohio, a daughter of Joseph Pickett, deceased, a farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Boynton now reside at Pittsville. Mr. Boynton has retired from business, being over eighty-five years of age. The family is of English descent and came to America in the seventeenth century.

Orville L. Boynton was born Sept. 10, 1866, while the family was living at Oshkosh, where he received his education, graduating from the high school and also taking a course at Daggett’s Business College. He became interested with his father in lumbering and was engaged with various firms. One year he was bookkeeper with the Wisconsin Lumber Company at Hansen, Wis., and later was the manager of the Wood Manufacturing Company, a concern in which the elder Mr. Boynton had an interest. There he remained five years, next accepting an offer to become superintendent of a sawmill for W.H. Knox, of Duluth. At the end of his first year the firm sold to Alger, Smith & Co., and Mr. Boynton remained with the new firm for a year. In 1899 he took a position with the Edward Hines Lumber Company as superintendent of its interests at the Keystone Mill, at Ashland, where he remained two years; and then, when the company purchased the mill of A.A. Bigelow & Co., he became the manager in Washburn, in 1902. The mill and railroad operations combined employ 650 men, the railroad being utilized in summer for transporting the logs, etc. During the season of 1902 the mill cut 50,000,000 feet of lumber, and furnished sufficient logs to other mills to make a total of 95,000,000 feet. On Jan. 1, 1905, Mr. Boynton severed his connection with the Edward Hines Lumber Company, having bought an interest in the Elk Lumber and Manufacturing Company, of Fernie, B.C., to which place he has moved, and now has charge as general manager of the company.

Mr. Boynton has also done considerable work in filling logging contracts. He spent one season on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad near Dexterville, Wis., and two on the Brule river, in Douglas county.

In 1892 Mr. Boynton was married in Nina, daughter of C. W. Briggs, of Grand Rapids, Wis., formerly of Oxford, where Mrs. Boynton was born. There are two children in the family: Vern and Norma.

Hon. Albert L. Bugbee
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Hon. Albert L. Bugbee, probate judge of Washburn county, has been a resident of Shell Lake since 1882. His birth occurred in Springfield, Mass., March 31, 1850, son of Jesse and Mary (Ashley) Bugbee, the former a native of Connecticut.

The Bugbee family is of English origin, the emigrant ancestor settling in Connecticut in Colonial days. Great-Grandfather Bugbee was a soldier in the Continental army, and his son, Jesse, lived and died on a farm near Hartford, Conn. Jesse Bugbee (2), father of Albert L., went to Massachusetts when a young man, and in 1871 moved to Oshkosh, Wis., where he passed the remainder of his life, dying in 1878, at the age of seventy-three. Mrs. Mary (Ashley) Bugbee died in Springfield, Mass., in 1858, when fifty-three years of age. She was born at Long Meadow, near Springfield, where her father, a farmer, lived and died. Her mother, Mrs. Mary Ashley, came to this country from England.

As a boy Albert L. Bugbee attended the public school in Long Meadow, where Senator Wolcott of Montana was one of his fellow students. Later he was a pupil in the Springfield high school. In 1867 he went to Oshkosh, where he studied law with Judge Burnell. He moved to Burnett county in 1873, and was admitted to the Bar there in 1882. On first coming to Burnett county he invested in cranberry lands, on which he raised several crops. He has had a general law practice in Shell Lake since locating there, in 1882, giving some attention also to fire insurance, and acting as agent for the Fidelity & Deposit Co., of Maryland. He has filled various official positions, having been the first register of deeds for Washburn county, serving two terms as district attorney, and since 1897 filling the office of county judge. For four years Judge Bugbee was postmaster at Shell Lake, by appointment of President Harrison. He has taken part in many political conventions, and is one of the most influential Republicans in the county.

In 1874 Judge Bugbee married Millie Otis, daughter of Joshua and Mary Otis, of St. Albans, Vt. Mrs. Bugbee died July 4, 1899, at the age of fifty-five. She was a communicant of the Episcopal Church, of which Judge Bugbee is also a member. Fraternally the Judge is connected with the Masons.

Philip N. Burg
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Philip N. Burg is one of the most enterprising business men of Shell Lake, Washburn county. He is a native of Sweden, having been born in Parup, Sallerup, that country, April 15, 1860. His parents, Nels and Karna (Nelson) Anderson, were residents of the same locality in Sweden. The father, who was a farmer, died in his native place in 1881, when about fifty-five years of age; the mother still lives in the same place, now over sixty years old.

Philip N. Burg received a common school education, and in 1880 came to the United States, settling in Grove City, Minn. He was employed on railroad construction work in summer, and attended school in the winter for two years. He then went to Princeton, Minn., and for five years was employed there in a general store, becoming an important factor in the concern. He first came to Shell Lake in 1887, and was employed three years in a general store kept by Curtis & Williams. In the spring of 1900 he went to Minneapolis and entered into partnership with his brother-in-law, Nels Hillman, dealing in general merchandise, after six months buying out Mr. Hillman’s interest, and moving the stock to Shell Lake. Mr. Burg continues to deal in general merchandise, including hardware, farm implements, furniture, etc., and also conducts an undertaking establishment. The original building which he purchased has been greatly enlarged, and his stock is now the most complete in Washburn county. Mr. Burg is also a stockholder in the Shell Lake Creamery Co. In 1895 he bought wild land on the lake shore, near the village, which he has improved into a fine stock farm, known as Burg’s Lookout Point, and where he breeds Morgan horses and Durham cattle. He also owns 2,000 acres of other lands, partly improved, mostly in Washburn and Burnett counties. In October, 1903, Mr. Burg became one of the incorporators of the Wisconsin State Bank, of which he was one of the directors until the concern was consolidated with the Lumbermen’s Bank.

Mr. Burg was married at Princeton, Minn., Nov. 1, 1885, to Lizzie Hillman, a native of Venjan, Dalarne, Sweden, daughter of Andrew and Annie Hillman, who came to the United States with their family in 1880, and now reside at Burg’s Lookout Point. Mr. and Mrs. Burg are members of the Lutheran Church. Fraternally Mr. Burg is connected with the I.O.O.F., being a charter member of the local lodge, and financial secretary from the time of its organization, and also a member of Shell Lake Encampment. Since coming to the United States Mr. Burg has been a Republican, and although not an active politician is always interested in all matters of public welfare. In the spring of 1902 he was nominated for chairman of the township board, and was very nearly elected in the face of a strongly organized opposition.

Augustus Edmund Costello, M.D., C.M.
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Augustus Edmund Costello, M.D., C.M., a gifted young physician of Spooner, Washburn county, was born in Albany, N.Y., son of P.P. and Melvinie (Porcheron) Costello, the former at one time a prominent business man of Albany.

When he was a child Dr. Costello’s parents moved to Montreal, Canada, where he received his early education in the public schools, after which he completed the classical course at St. Mary’s College. He then matriculated at McGill Medical College, from which he graduated in 1900, receiving his degrees. After a few months’ much needed rest, he came to Spooner in March, 1901, where he was associated with Dr. J.P. Cox for two years and he has already won an enviable reputation throughout Washburn and adjacent counties. He is a close student of medical literature, keeping in touch with the best professional thought of the day. He is a member of the M.W.A. and of the K.O.T.M., of which he is the local examining surgeon. He is also medical examiner for the Mutual Life Insurance Company, of New York, the National Fraternal League, Prudential Insurance Company, L.O.T.M. and R.N.A. He is also a member of the pension examining board at Shell Lake.

On June 2, 1902, Dr. Costello was married to Miss Maud E. Parke, of Spooner, Wisconsin.

Prof. Walter C. Crocker
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Prof. Walter C. Crocker, for ten years the efficient superintendent of schools in Washburn county, and now postmaster at Spooner, has been a resident of Spooner since 1891. He was born in Augusta, Eau Claire Co., Wis., Oct. 23, 1869, son of David and Aldula (Stone) Crocker.

David Crocker was a native of New York State, but when a boy went to Galena, Ill., where he spent some years of his young manhood as a merchant. In 1849 he moved to Madison, Wis., going from there to Augusta in 1860. In Augusta he built and operated the first flouring mill in the locality, carrying on that business for twenty-five years. About 1888 he moved to Trempealeau county, where he operated a flouring mill for a few years, and then came as a pioneer to Shell Lake, Washburn county. He put up one of the first buildings in Shell Lake, but soon moved to Spooner, which was then, in 1893, a small hamlet, and there he established a drug business which he carried on until his death. David Crocker was an ardent Republican, taking an active interest in politics. He volunteered for service in the Civil war, but was rejected on account of physical disability. He was an honored member of the K. of P. and of the Temple of Honor. He was the father of ten children, as follows: Lewis F., Frank R., Frederick C. (deceased), Mary L., Oscar A., George E., Walter C., Bertha H., Anah C. and Jessie I. David Crocker died at the age of seventy-seven, April 16, 1898, his wife, who was sixty-seven years old, dying the evening of the same day; both were buried in one grave.

Walter C. Crocker received his early education in the public schools of Augusta and Shell Lake, and when he was eighteen he entered the normal school at Valparaiso, Ind. There he completed the teacher’s course, and also the scientific and commercial courses, graduating in 1891. He then returned to Wisconsin and began teaching, very soon becoming principal of the Spooner school, and retaining that position until 1894. In that year he was elected county superintendent of schools on the Republican ticket and was reelected to that office every succeeding year, resigning in 1904, in February of which year he was appointed postmaster at Spooner. The efficiency and the high standard maintained by the Washburn county schools, which rank second to none in the State, are most largely due to the earnest and faithful work of Prof. Crocker. When he took charge there were about thirty schools in the county; through his efforts that number has been doubled, and the standard greatly raised. Prof. Crocker served as town clerk ten years, the town of Spooner at that time embracing more than one-third of the territory included in Washburn county. He has always been an active Republican, influential with his party, and has been a delegate to county and congressional conventions. In addition to his other interests Prof. Crocker acts as agent for the Insurance Company of North America, Philadelphia and New York Underwriters, and is engaged in a general real estate business.

In 1892 Prof. Crocker married Alice R. Mead, daughter of H.M. Mead, and they have a family of five children, as follows: Sylvan Mead, Ruth, Alta, Claire and Kenneth. Prof. Crocker is a member of Spooner Lodge, No. 260, Blue Lodge degree, A.F. & A.M.; of the Eastern Star; of the K. of P., Shaw Lodge, No. 62, and the M.W.A. He is a communicant of the Episcopal church.

Erick Dahlstrom
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Erick Dahlstrom is one of the enterprising farmers of the town of Bashaw, Washburn county. He was born in Mora, Sweden, Nov. 21, 1855, son of Erick and Anna Dahlstrom, who came with their family to the United States in 1868.

Erick Dahlstrom, Sr., a blacksmith by trade, lived for a year or two in Minnesota, and then settled in Polk county, Wis., where he took up a homestead claim. About 1884 he moved to Shell Lake, where he died in 1898, aged seventy-two years, after a life of quiet industry. Mrs. Anna Dahlstrom is now living, aged nearly four score years, in Rusk, Burnett county, Wis. Of her seven or eight children only two survive, Andrew, a farmer in the town of Rusk; and Erick.

Erick Dahlstrom had little opportunity for schooling after coming to this country, but managed to acquire a good knowledge of English, and a fund of general information. When he was fourteen he began work as a farm laborer, and after about 1882 spent his winters in the woods, and his summers at carpentering. In 1886 he bought land in the town of Bashaw, where he now owns 270 acres, about sixty acres of which he has brought under cultivation. The farm is watered by a living spring, and a stream which he has stocked with trout; he has ample barns, and a good farm house, built by himself. When he first located on this farm he was obliged to clear his own road through the woods from Shell Lake. He has given much attention to logging and contracting, cutting considerable timber on his own land. He has built most of the roads in the township, and served as assessor for three years when the township was first organized. He was also for three years chairman of the town board. In politics he is a Republican.

In 1880 Mr. Dahlstrom married Bertha Nelson, who was born near Christiania, Norway, daughter of Hans Nelson, one of the early settlers in Polk county, Wis., where he located in 1869. Seven children have been born to this union, as follows: Anna, of Kalispell, Mont.; Hilda; Oscar; Harry; Mary; Jennie; and Melvin. The family is connected with the Lutheran Church.

Thurston Evers
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Thurston Evers, a popular public official of Washburn county, residing at Shell Lake, was born near Gothenburg, Sweden, Jan. 9, 1870. His parents were Ernest and Maria (Ahlberg) Evers, natives of Gothenburg, where the father, who for a number of years was employed as a commercial traveler, still lives on his farm, aged seventy years. His wife, who is still living, was a daughter of Frederick Ahlberg, a lawyer by profession, who served many years as circuit judge and mayor of the city of Skara; he lived to be ninety-four years of age, and was always active and vigorous.

Thurston Evers spent five years in a college at Wernersborg, taking the Latin course. He then was bookkeeper in a creamery for a time, and in 1888 came to the United States, spending a year in New Mexico, and going from there to Shell Lake. He spent one season in the logging woods, and then secured a position in a general store, spending several years in that line of work, with different firms. He was town clerk for two years, in the fall of 1896 was elected clerk of court, and two years later county treasurer, being reelected to this position in 1900. In the fall of 1902 he was again nominated for clerk of court. He has always been a stanch Republican.

In 1895 Mr. Evers married Harriet Lampman, who was born at St. Croix Falls, Wis., daughter of Freeland Lampman, now of Shell Lake. Mr. and Mrs. Evers attend the Methodist Church.

Herman J. Finstad
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Herman J. Finstad, a public-spirited citizen, who has taken an active part in politics and filled several important positions in Washburn and in Bayfield county, was born in Norway, at Loiton, Hedemarken, Hamarstift, Jan. 22, 1847, the son of Jens Anderson and Bertha Hansen (Varlin) Finstad, the latter born in northeastern Norway.

J. A. Finstad took his last name from the farm on which his ancestors had lived for generations, and which is still in the hands of his relatives, though during his boyhood his parents removed from it to another farm. In his old age Mr. Finstad joined his son in Wisconsin, and died in Chippewa Falls, when about sixty-five years old. His wife had been taken from him in Norway. Her father, Hans Varlin, a dealer in pine lumber on Gloma River, became quite wealthy at one time, though afterward he lost much property by endorsing for friends. Although without any regular instruction as a cabinet maker, he could do fine work in that line. A man of exemplary habits and an influential citizen, he was widely known and esteemed in his own locality. Members of the Finstad and the Varlin families have served in the Norwegian Storthing, or Congress.

Herman J. Finstad spent his boyhood on a farm in his native place, working summers and attending school in the winter seasons. In 1869 he came to the United States and spent the first winter at Rushford, Minn., where he worked for his board and attended school. He spent a few weeks more at school later, but acquired practically all of his knowledge of English by himself. He was at Chippewa Falls for many years, where he spent the winters in the woods and the summers in the mills. In time he became log inspector for the Chippewa Logging and Pool Company. By 1887 he had decided to change his location and so went to Washburn, where he has since resided.

Since Mr. Finstad has been at Washburn he has taken an active part in politics, and has held several important offices. In 1889 he was appointed postmaster and filled that position very acceptably for four and a half years. In 1894 he was elected register of deeds for the county, and reelected in 1896. Earlier in his career, while in Chippewa Falls, he had been nominated for a similar position but was defeated by a small majority. In 1896 and again in 1904 he acted as delegate to the Republican State convention and has repeatedly been delegate to congressional and local conventions. Since the expiration of his official duties Mr. Finstad has devoted much time to scaling timber on the Bad River Indian reservation, and has recently acquired a patent to valuable timber lands in Oregon.

In 1880 Mr. Finstad was married to Miss Marian Elizabeth Long, daughter of Ole and Elsa M. Long, residents of Washburn. Mrs. Finstad was born in Konsberg, Norway, but in 1875 the family came to this country, whither Mr. Long had preceded them by some four years. Mr. Long was a blacksmith by trade, working at it both at the silver mines in Konsberg and in Chippewa Falls.

Mr. and Mrs. Finstad have had eight children. Those now living are Oscar, Ellert, Bertha H., Annie K., Esther M., Elizabeth and Herman Rudolph. Barnold H., a twin brother to Ellert, died when he was two years, nine months and twenty days old. The parents are among the eleven original members of the United Norwegian Lutheran church of Washburn, and Mr. Finstad was the first treasurer of the society. For twenty years he has been a member of the I.O.O.F., and also belongs to the Encampment and Rebekah lodge, besides being a member of the Scan. H. & E.F. of America. Since coming to Washburn Mr. Finstad has built a fine modern home. His store building he sold, but in April, 1903, he became a member of the firm of Finstad & Aune, dealers in furniture, stoves, tinware and crockery.

Michael Gordon
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Michael Gordon was born at Wallaceburg, Ontario, May 10, 1845, son of Michael and Sarah (Marsh) Gordon, both of whom died during his early childhood.

Michael Gordon, the father, was of English descent, his father having been an officer in the British army. William Marsh, the father of Mrs. Sarah Gordon, also of English descent and a farmer by occupation, attained the age of ninety years. His wife, Sarah Montgomery, of Scotch descent, attained the remarkable age of one hundred and four years old.

Michael Gordon, the youngest of the family of nine children, was brought up on a farm. At the age of sixteen he went to Saginaw, Mich., and secured employment, first working in the logging camps on the rivers, driving logs, and in the sawmills and later estimating timber, selecting and locating timber lands and looking after logging operations. This occupation he followed into the timber forests of other states, namely Wisconsin, Minnesota and Washington.

In 1880 Mr. Gordon was married to Frances E. Pulver, daughter of John S. and Sarah J. Pulver, of Brookings county, S.D. Mrs. Gordon was born at Otsego, Wis. To Mr. and Mrs. Gordon have come two daughters, Ella Frances, born in Brookings county, S.D., and Ivie Mae, born at Shell Lake, Wis. In 1883 Mr. Gordon moved his family from South Dakota to Shell Lake, Wisconsin.

Mrs. Ida May Goss
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Mrs. Ida May Goss (deceased), formerly editor and proprietor of the Spooner Advocate, successfully demonstrated the efficiency of woman in the field of journalism. She was self-reliant and independent, and she had true business instinct. The qualities were, in part, imparted by her parents, Capt. J.W. and Carrie (Stafford) Hitchcock, natives of the Empire State. They were pioneers in Wisconsin, and when the Civil war broke out Capt. Hitchcock evinced his patriotism by responding to the country’s call for defenders to preserve the Union. From the ranks he rose through the regular gradations to the command of a company of Indians recruited by himself for service in the field. His death occurred recently, in Barron, Wis., and his widow is living in semi-retirement in Barron county.

Mrs. Goss was the eldest of five children, and her birth occurred in Janesville. In her girlhood she enjoyed only the ordinary advantages afforded by the public school for obtaining an education, but being of a studious nature she made the best of whatever opportunity offered, and quite early in life, became grounded in the elementary principles of the English branches. Subsequently it was her good fortune to receive her finishing education under the tutelage of Miss Betsy Clapp, a lady widely known for her graces of mind, strength of character and competency as an instructress, who prepared her for teaching. Soon thereafter she entered upon her chosen work, which she followed for several years with little interruption, and always with success, in the schools of St. Croix and Washburn counties. Her marriage with Webster Goss, of Peekskill, N.Y., was celebrated June 29, 1886. Mr. Goss was a lawyer by profession, a gentleman of fine attainments, both natural and acquired, and one of the ablest criminal lawyers in northern Wisconsin. He was a graduate of Wesleyan University, and was admitted to the Bar at Hudson, New York. He very creditably served one term as district attorney of Washburn county, and was a Republican politically, and an ardent supporter of his party’s principles, having a voice in its councils. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Goss resulted in the birth of one surviving child, a son, William Giles, now a boy of seven years. Mr. Goss’s death occurred in Spooner, April 25, 1898.

Then it was that Ida May Goss evinced the mettle of which the new woman is made. She did not sit down and repine over the hardness of her fate, nor did she for a moment indulge the grievous spirit of dependence. One out of the old environment and into one altogether new to her, she bravely set out about mastering the new conditions in order to provide for herself and child. She possessed good qualifications, had a will of her own, and the field of her future endeavor must accord with her inclinations and tastes. She first sought and obtained an appointment as comparing clerk in the State Assembly, the duties of which position, during the following session, she discharged in a manner creditable to herself and to the entire satisfaction of the Assembly. But the dry routine of clerical work was not altogether to her liking. She craved a place in the activities of life, a place where she could exercise her tact and mental resources. It was then she conceived the idea of the establishing the Spooner Advocate. Her only training in the journalistic line was a short reportorial career on a local newspaper. However, nothing daunted by a limited experience and inadequate capital, she resolutely launched the Advocate; and despite these handicaps and the generally accepted truth of a time-honored maxim among the profession, a maxim, however, that was only a man’s idea of the eternal fitness of things in a newspaper office, that, in order to become a successful editor, one must begin at the bottom and successfully pass the graduations from “devil” to “boss” in the sanctum sanctorum, she carried it on successfully. When a resolute woman takes hold of a proposition, she “wills” and the thing is as good as won.

The cost of the original plant was less than four hundred dollars, and when the Advocate made its official bow to the public, in the summer of 1901, it presented a creditable appearance, and immediately won for itself a place in the public esteem. There is ample evidence that the unique heading on the Advocate’s official stationery, “A newspaper with a record for enterprise,” is no misnomer. Before the paper was a year old it was declared the official organ of Washburn county, and ere a similar length of time had elapsed, the slow, cumbersome press had been superseded by a modern press with gasoline engine, having a printing capacity of twenty-five hundred copies per hour. The office had likewise an up-to-date job press, and was adequately stocked with type of every description, making it capable of turning out with dispatch work more artistic in appearance than is produced in more pretentious offices. And as evidence of the Advocate’s successful career, it may be noted that the plant as it now stands represents an outlay of more than two thousand dollars, and is a worthy monument to the business sagacity and enterprise of one the world’s new women.

Mrs. Goss was frightfully burned by a gasoline explosion early in the winter of 1902, which greatly impaired her health, resulting finally in a physical breakdown which terminated in her untimely death, Aug. 27, 1904, at the age of forty-four years.

Charles E. Gregory
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Charles E. Gregory, for some time a prosperous and public-spirited citizen of Shell Lake, was born in Lockport, N.Y., March 15, 1865. His parents were Henry Edson and Mary Ellen (Seaver) Gregory, both natives of New York State.

The paternal ancestors of Henry Edson Gregory came from Scotland before the Revolutionary war. The grandmother was a native of Ireland. Almon Gregory, father of Henry Edson, was a successful farmer, who passed his life in Lockport. Henry Edson Gregory moved to La Porte county, Ind., in 1873 and there passed the remainder of his life on a farm, dying in May, 1902, at the age of sixty-nine. Mrs. Mary Ellen (Seaver) Gregory, at the age of sixty-seven, is still living on the farm in La Porte county. Her parents passed away in New York State.

Charles E. Gregory attended the public schools in La Porte county and when twenty-one years of age went to Green Bay, Wis. There he was employed in the machine shop of a sawmill, and studied engineering under D.W. Lanigan, now chief engineer of the Twenty-second street station of the Chicago water works. After two years at Green Bay with Mr. Lanigan, Mr. Gregory came with him to Shell Lake, where he spent three more years under his instruction. When Mr. Lanigan retired in 1890, Mr. Gregory succeeded him as master mechanic of the Shell Lake Lumber Co. He has invested to some extent in Washburn county lands, including an undivided half interest in a mile of lake shore property, destined to become very valuable. After the Shell Lake Lumber Co. ceased to exist, in February, 1904, Mr. Gregory accepted the position of master mechanic of the Nebagamon Lumber Co. and has since resided at Lake Nebagamon.

In 1889 Mr. Gregory was married to Emma E. Galbreth, daughter of John and Rosetta Galbreth, of La Porte county, Ind. Mrs. Gregory and her father were both natives of La Porte county, the latter of Scotch descent. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Gregory, as follows: Robert Luscombe; Ethel May; Kittie Evelyn; and Charles Edson, deceased. The family is connected with the Methodist Church, of which Mr. Gregory is a trustee, and also president of the Epworth League. Fraternally he is a member of the Shell Lake Lodge, No. 221, A.F. & A.M.; of Pokegama Chapter, R.A.M. at Rice Lake, Wis.; and of Shell Lake Lodge, I.O.O.F. For many years Mr. Gregory was a Democrat in politics, but for some time past has supported the Republican party. He was one of the chief promoters for the project for the erection of the present county jail, one of the most substantial buildings in the city, which was built during his term as chairman of the county board of supervisors. In 1897 he became chairman of the town of Shell Lake and continued so until he left the town.

Benjamin F. Grimes
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Benjamin F. Grimes is a prosperous farmer of Washburn county, whose eight years’ experience proves conclusively that the soil of that county is not surpassed in productiveness by that of any other part of northwestern Wisconsin. Eight years ago Mr. Grimes settled on eighty acres of wild land, which he had purchased for $150. His only capital being the labor of his own hands, he put up a small log cabin into which he moved his family and began the work of development. Today he owns 320 acres of land, of which seventy acres are under cultivation and 200 acres fenced for pasture. His improvements are the best in the county, his house being twenty-four by twenty-four feet in dimensions, with eighteen foot posts, and the other buildings include two barns, granaries, blacksmith shop, etc. He has a small fruit orchard, full-blooded Poland China swine, twenty-five head of thoroughbred short horns and good horses.

Mr. Grimes is a native of Coshocton county, Ohio, born in 1846. When eight years of age he went to Iowa with his parents, Robert and Mary (Butler) Grimes, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Ohio. His education was obtained mainly in the public schools. He was brought up on the farm and later learned the blacksmith’s trade in Green Valley, Iowa. Oct. 1, 1864, when eighteen years of age, he enlisted in Company G, 8th Iowa V.I., and was transferred to the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 16th Army Corps, Canby’s command, where he served until the end of the war. He was in the siege of Mobile, which lasted twenty-one days, and took part in a number of smaller engagements. He received his discharge July 21, 1865, at Mobile, and returning to Iowa took up his trade. He remained in Iowa until October, 1869, when he went to Cottonwood county, Minn., where he followed his trade for five years. He then again returned to Iowa, remaining until the spring of 1886, when he moved to Sargent county, N.D., and settled on a farm near Straubville. There he engaged in farming and blacksmithing until the spring of 1894, when he came to Wisconsin and settled on his original eighty acres of wild land in Washburn county. He was the first to introduce sheep in the northern part of that county.

On May 20, 1866 Mr. Grimes married Phoebe A. Moore. They have had a family of eleven children, of whom nine are living, namely: Letta, Mrs. Smedes, of Minneiska, Minn.; F.A., on a farm adjoining his father’s; Hattie, Mrs. Elder, of Washington; Daisy, Mrs. Campbell, also of Washington; R.A., J. R., J.D., W. A. and Pearl, at home. R.A. Grimes owns 160 acres adjoining his father’s land, and J. R. Grimes owns an adjoining forty acres. The other two children were Jennie and Lottie, the latter the wife of W. Kenoyer. In politics Mr. Grimes is a Republican, his first vote having been cast for Lincoln. Since coming to Washburn county he has served two terms as town supervisor and one term as justice of the peace, and was justice of the peace seven out of the eight years that he lived in North Dakota. Fraternally he is a member of Nathaniel Green Post, Shell Lake, and of the M.W.A., being a charter member of Jack Pine Camp, No. 8882.

George W. Harmon
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

George W. Harmon, a prominent real estate dealer of Spooner, Washburn County, is one of the oldest settlers in that locality. He is a son of Jonas W. and Susan (McDowell) Harmon, natives, respectively of Pennsylvania and Ohio. About 1872 Jonas W. Harmon settled in a portion of Chippewa county, Wis., now included in Sawyer county, where he followed the occupation of lumberman throughout his active life. He died Oct. 20, 1901, at the age of sixty-five. Mrs. Susan Harmon died near Beaver Dam, Wis., Oct. 20, 1865, at the age of twenty-five years, and Mr. Harmon married for his second wife Jennette Lathrop, who is living in Spooner with George W. Harmon.

George W. Harmon was born Feb. 22, 1861, in Dodge county, Wis., where he passed the first six years of his life. He then moved with his parents to Winnebago county, Wis., where he received his early education in the public school. Later he was a student for one term in the Eau Claire high school, the remainder of his education being obtained by study at home, and observation. As a boy he helped to build the first school house in Sawyer county. As a youth he was greatly interested in surveying, and for years was employed in locating lines, becoming an expert at this business, gaining a good technical knowledge of the subject, and being often called upon for a decision in the matter of disputed lines and boundaries. In the fall of 1894 he was appointed by Secretary Hoke Smith to a position in the United States Interior Department, as surveyor and examiner of lands, remaining in that office five years. This work gave Mr. Harmon a wide experience and extensive knowledge of the nature of the soil and topography of the region from Eau Claire to the lakes – embracing the land districts of Eau Claire, Ashland and Warsaw. As a young man he had learned the trade of carpenter, and also served an apprenticeship at bridge-building, with Winston Brothers, at Minneapolis. Settling in Spooner in 1885, he occupied himself at carpentry for nine years, building more than half of the houses constructed in the town during that period. In the summer of 1899 he opened a real estate office in Spooner, and since then has given his business his undivided attention. He has probably sold more land, and located more settlers, in Washburn county than any other person, his wide knowledge of the county enabling him to do this successfully. Perhaps no other man could have succeeded in locating the regularly organized and incorporated colony which he settled at Sarona, Washburn county, selling them 3,200 acres of land. On June 15, 1901, Mr. Harmon was one of the organizers of the Spooner State Bank, and one of its original directors, as well as builder and owner of the bank building, a brick structure erected especially for that purpose. He has taken a great interest in building up Spooner, making the official survey and plat of the incorporated village in 1901. He also platted and mapped Washburn county in 1896, making revisions on these maps in 1902 and 1904. He owns considerable land in Washburn county, and is one of the stockholders in the Starks, Levis Land Co., of Madison, Wis., which at one time owned 21,000 acres in Washburn and Barron counties, and 16,000 acres in Bayfield county.

On Dec. 25, 1881, Mr. Harmon married Charlotte Thompson, daughter of John W. Thompson, of Eau Claire, and they have nine children, namely: Carl, Kate, Jonas, Alphonso, Matilda, Charlotte, George, Henry and Lacey. Fraternally Mr. Harmon is connected with Spooner Lodge, No. 260, A.F. & A.M.; Triumph Lodge, No. 152, I.O.O.F.; Spooner Lodge, No. 126, A.O.U.W.; and the M.W.A. In politics he is a Republican and probably exerts more influence in local affairs than any other citizen of Spooner. Though away from home at the time, he was elected the first assessor of the town, and has filled that office several terms. He has also served as county surveyor, but he is most distinguished by the active and disinterested efforts he has made to advance the interests and progress of the public schools of the village. For a number of years he has been a member of the school board, and has contributed freely of his time and substance toward securing the establishment of a free high school.

Joseph Taylor Hazard
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Joseph Taylor Hazard, principal of public schools in Spooner, Washburn county, comes of a family of scholars, whose members for generations have distinguished themselves in educational work. He was born in Tyrrell, Texas, Jan. 1, 1879, son of Edgar and Martha (Taylor) Hazard, both natives of Lagrange, Walworth Co., Wis., where their parents were among the prominent pioneers.

Hon. Enos J. Hazard, the grandfather, was the first representative sent by the town of Lagrange to the State Assembly. He was a successful farmer, and his many excellent qualities of mind and heart brought him a wide popularity. His prospects for a brilliant and distinguished career were cut short by his premature death in middle life. He was a collateral descendant of Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of Lake Erie, whose mother was a member of this family. Many members of the Hazard family were prominent in New England affairs, some of them distinguishing themselves in the Revolution and in the war of 1812. Joseph Taylor, the maternal grandfather, was a native of Yorkshire, England, who in early life settled in New York State. There he was a near neighbor of Asa Gray, the famous botanist, by whom he was inspired with such a passion for the study of plants, that he also became an expert botanist. Later he settled in LaGrange, Wis., where he was a successful farmer and a recognized authority in horticulture. His early educational opportunities had been limited, but he more than made up for this lack by his long study of the best literature on current and technical topics. Of his large family of sons and daughters, educated mainly in the State Normal School at Whitewater, many were successful teachers. The eldest son, Capt. William R. Taylor, who won his title in the Civil war, combined the occupations of teaching and farming for many years. He subsequently became superintendent of schools in Walworth county, a position held later by his son, Ray W. Members of the family in England had also been prominent as teachers, the honorable calling seeming to be an hereditary possession. Mr. Hazard’s maternal grandmother was descended from the Knights, a family long prominent in the political and social life of Ireland. Her American ancestor found refuge in this country on being forced to leave Ireland because of his connection with a political uprising against the government.

Mrs. Martha (Taylor) Hazard was educated in Milton College, and was for many years a popular and successful teacher in the public schools. Her daughter, Marion, only sister of Joseph Taylor Hazard, is a graduate of the State Normal School at Whitewater. She taught at New Richmond in 1896, at Fox Lake in 1898 and 1899, was first assistant in the Hayward schools in 1900, and is at present assistant principal of the Ward school in Everett, Washington.

Joseph Taylor Hazard’s early education was obtained in the public schools of Whitewater, Wis., where he prepared for the State Normal, from which he graduated in 1898. The following winter he taught a country school near Oakland, in the summer traveling for the Werner School Book Company, of Chicago. The next year he was chosen third assistant and teacher of science in the Spring Green high school, performing his duties so acceptably as to be promoted to the place of first assistant, teaching German and the sciences. He attended the summer school at the State University at Madison in 1901 and spent the summer of 1902 traveling for the Globe School Book Company, of New York, retaining his position in the Spring Green school until the autumn of 1902, when he accepted the principalship of the Spooner schools, which he holds at present. He is a member of F. & A.M. Lodge No. 212, Spring Green, and has attained to the master’s degree.

On Aug. 22, 1900, Mr. Hazard married Grace M. Porter, an accomplished young lady of Lake Mills, Wis. Mrs. Hazard was educated in the Minneapolis public schools, and in the State University of Minnesota. She is an expert china painter, an occupation in which she has interested herself from girlhood. Her parents are A.H. Porter, western manager of the Globe School Book Company, and Jennie Keyes, whose paternal grandfather was the pioneer settler of Lake Mills, Wis. Mrs. Porter is a niece of Judge E.W. Keyes, the present postmaster of Madison, and one of the prominent Republicans of Wisconsin. The Keyes family are related to the Lord Youngley family and are among the heirs to the famous Youngley estate in England. Mrs. Porter is also a niece of Damon Fisher, one of Wisconsin’s wealthy iron kings, who had a prominent part in developing the immense iron deposits of the great Wisconsin range.

Theodore Hillman, last Civil War Veteran

Stephen S. Hoar
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Stephen S. Hoar, a well known citizen of Shell Lake, was born in Albert County, New Brunswick, Oct. 27, 1848. His parents were George and Isabella (Stiles) Hoar, both natives of Albert County.

In 1763 there came from Devonshire, England, three brothers, James, John and Ebenezer Hoar, who settled in Massachusetts. They traced their lineage back to Herman Hoar, an officer of Richard Coeur de Lion, who was knighted for gallant service at the battle of Essex. A hotel in London had been kept by successive generations of the Hoar family for five hundred years, each proprietor bearing the name of John Hoar.

Stephen S. Hoar is descended from Eben Hoar, who was a Loyalist and went to Nova Scotia from New England about the beginning of the Revolution. His grandson, James L. Hoar, was the father of George Hoar, both of whom were lumbermen. George Hoar came to Shell Lake about 1892, and died there July 4, 1894, in his seventy-fifth year. He had been an earnest and active member of the M.E. Church. His wife, Isabella (Stiles) Hoar, died in 1867, when forty-eight years of age. Her father, Stephen Stiles, was born in Canada, whither his parents had come from the North of Ireland; he was a sea captain, and lived to be sixty-seven years old, dying in Albert County, New Brunswick. Our subject’s brother Frank commanded the “Lizzie R.,” which went down during the great gale of August, 1873, on Georgia Shoals, near New York, none of the crew ever being heard from.

On reaching his majority Stephen S. Hoar engaged in lumbering and shipbuilding at Alma, New Brunswick, where he also carried on a general store. For a number of years he was successful, but owing to the loss, in the Bay of Fundy, of a vessel and cargo which he owned, and to other disasters, he lost his property. In July, 1886, he came to Shell Lake and entered the employ of the Shell Lake Lumber Co., spending five years in the store of that firm, meantime opening a livery stable, which he still carries on. He has built two stables in the village, and his present barn, built in 1892, is a commodious building with a stone basement. He keeps from twenty to twenty-five horses, and has an excellent custom. For a number of years he has also dealt in ice, and now supplies the whole village. All of his business is conducted honorably and with judgment, and he is highly respected by his friends and associates.

Mr. Hoar married (first) June 4, 1873, Susan Wright, daughter of Robert and Susan Wright, of Albert County, New Brunswick. She was a member of the Methodist Church, and died in 1884, at the age of thirty-one, leaving four children, viz.: Frank, now an attorney at Shell Lake, a graduate of Wisconsin University; Albert, in business with his father; Belle, Mrs. W.B. Kinzie, of Shell Lake; and Blair, editor and proprietor of the Shell Lake Watchman. In February, 1885, Mr. Hoar married (second) Marilla Strong, who was born in Albert County, daughter of David Strong. She died at Shell Lake in 1889, leaving two sons, Harry and David, both at school. Mr. Hoar married (third) in January, 1893, Martha Devereaux, daughter of Walter Devereaux, of St. John, New Brunswick, and to this marriage were born five children: Milton, Stephen, Walter, John and Robert, the last named dying when two and a half years old. Mrs. Martha (Devereaux) Hoar is a communicant of the Episcopal Church. Mr. Hoar is a member of the I.O.O.F. In politics a Republican, he has been for two years a member of the town board, and since 1899 deputy sheriff of Washburn county.

Ira Holmes
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

The true development of a new country begins with the cultivation of the soil. It is not until forests are leveled and roads built that the way is opened up for the husbandmen. Ira Holmes was one of the first to establish on a sound agricultural basis in Washburn county. Born in Erie county, N.Y., March 4, 1851, he was a son of Winfield Scott and Sally (Eckert) Holmes, the former a native of Erie county, N.Y., the latter of Ulster county, same State.

Ira Holmes was reared on a farm, receiving his education in the district schools, acquiring the same before reaching his seventeenth year. In 1878 he became imbued with the idea that the restriction in the East handicapped young men of meagre fortune, in consequence of which he took Greeley’s advice to “Go West,” and settled in Ionia county, Mich., where he found employment on a farm during the summers and worked in the woods during the winters for four years. He then returned to his former home in New York, where he followed farming for two years, and in 1884, prompted by the return of the Western “fever,” he went to Stillwater, Minn., which place was just then beginning to take prominence in the commercial world as a great lumber manufacturing point, where he obtained employment with the St. Croix Lumber Company. For ten years he faithfully performed the duties required of him in a manner so satisfactory to his employers as to win their utmost confidence and esteem. In 1888 the St. Croix Lumber Company began operations in Washburn county to which place he came to accept a position that had to do with furnishing supplies for the company’s several camps, and in this capacity he remained six years. By economic management he succeeded in hoarding up a little capital, and, having confidence in the agricultural future of the immediate region, he invested his savings in 782 acres of land in 1891, the same being Section 1, Town 38, Range 12. In 1894 he bought half of Section 31, Town 39, Range 11, and on this purchase he established himself and began the work of development, since when he has given exclusive attention to improving his farm, and has demonstrated the productiveness of the soil. It was a herculean task that confronted him, but, nothing daunted, he took hold of his work with an energy that has resulted in his getting into cultivation nearly 100 acres, which annual yields him rich returns for labor expended. His improvements are of exceptionally good character, comprising a comfortable house, barns and all essential outbuildings. Mr. Holmes has particularly interested himself in introducing into the county grade Belgian horses, of which he has quite a number. Despite Mr. Holmes’ unusually busy life he has found time to take a good citizen’s part in political affairs, having represented the town of Spooner as supervisor for a number of terms and is now serving as chairman of the town board. The cause of education has in Mr. Holmes a strong advocate, and he has freely given of his time in perfecting and bringing to a higher standard the schools of his town.

Mr. Holmes’ marriage was consummated in 1887, at South Stillwater, Minn., Miss Mary Myers becoming his wife. To their union seven children have been born, namely: Grace, George, Gertrude, Bertha, Alice, Elsie and John.

Rev. Apollonius Hopdegard
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Rev. Apollonius Hopdegard, pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic church at Shell Lake, was born in Rouen, Normandy, France, in 1856. His parents were Apollonius and Felicitie Hopdegard, the former a prosperous merchant who lived and died at Rouen.

Rev. Apollonius Hopdegard received a thorough elementary education in his native place, studied civil engineering in the Central School in Paris and took a supplementary course in the same department Kensington University, London, where he graduated in 1887. After following this profession for a time in Belgium he began the study of theology in the Grand Seminary in Rouen, and after finishing this course was for two years professor of Natural Science at Yvetot College. He then spent another year in the university, and in 1892 came to the United States, locating at Durand, Wis., as assistant pastor of the Catholic church. The next year he became pastor of Holy Ghost church at Chippewa Falls, going from there, in 1895, to Rice Lake, where he was in charge of St. Joseph’s church until the fall of 1902, when he came to St. Joseph’s at Shell Lake. This church was built in 1895, the congregation, which now includes about sixty families, having been organized some years earlier. Father Hopdegard also has charge of the church at Spooner, which was built at an earlier date, and which includes about fifty families.

Father Hopdegard is much interested in electrical science, and finds his chief recreation in experimenting with electrical apparatus. He has devised a number of useful appliances, including an automobile and an electrical clock, which plays a different tune for each hour of the day and generates sufficient power to propel all the clocks of a large city. He also draws plans and takes contracts for city lighting plants, and is a practical man of business as well as an able scholar and an eloquent speaker.

James H. Jensen
Source: The Wisconsin Blue Book (1919) page 476; submitted by FoFG mz

JAMES H. JENSEN (Rep.) served in the 1917 session of the legislature and was re-elected in 1918 without opposition after winning out in the primary by a large vote. Born on a farm near Grantsburg, Aug. 16, 1864, he moved into the city in 1884, where he has been successfully engaged in the mercantile, lumber and real estate business. He served as county clerk six years, chairman of the county board several terms, village trustee, then village president 10 years, had charge of the municipal electric lighting plant and was president of the Burnett County Fair Association for 11 years.

Andrew E. Kennedy
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Andrew E. Kennedy is a successful and influential citizen of Washburn county, who has resided at Shell Lake since 1898. His birth occurred in Minneapolis, April 27, 1863, his parents being John H. and Bridget (O’Brien) Kennedy, natives of County Tipperary, Ireland, who were married in Elmira, New York.
Grandfather John Kennedy was a farmer who lived and died in Ireland; his wife’s maiden name was Mary Hennessey. His son, John H. Kennedy, came to the United States in 1845, lived in New York State until 1858, and then went to Minneapolis, where he engaged in farming, and later in railroad contracting. He constructed portions of the Minneapolis & St. Louis, the St. Paul & Duluth roads, and the Northern Pacific railroad west of Brainerd. He died in Colorado in August, 1882, when sixty-four years of age. Mrs. Bridget (O’Brien) Kennedy died in Minneapolis, April 25, 1904, aged eighty-one years. Her parents, Michael and Elizabeth (Conrad) O’Brien, lived and died on a farm in Ireland. John H. and Bridget (O’Brien) Kennedy had seven children, of whom but two are living: Anna, Mrs. John O’Brien, of Kalispell, Mont., and Andrew E., mentioned below.

Until he was eighteen years of age Andrew E. Kennedy attended public school in Minneapolis and then began work as a clerk in the lumber woods. In 1884 he located in Minong, Washburn county, and was employed as a clerk by J.S. and John O’Brien, who erected the first building at that place, and opened a logging camp. He afterward worked in the camp of this company at Veazie, spent two seasons in Minnesota, and in 1892 began cutting timber on his own account. This business he still continues, buying timber and timber lands, and cutting and selling the same, his market being at Stillwater. Since 1898 he has been a member of the firm of Kennedy & McCawley, their logging operations being carried on mostly in Washburn county, in addition to which they buy and sell huge tracts of land.

Mr. Kennedy married Sept. 5, 1893, at Stillwater, Minn., Agnes Mulligan, a native of Plainfield, Minn., daughter of John Mulligan, now a resident of Superior, Wis. To this union have been born the following children: Agnes, John, Marie and James Stephen. The family are members of the Catholic church. In politics Mr. Kennedy is a Democrat. His first official position was that of town clerk of Veazie, later he was chairman of the same town, and for four years chairman of the county board. While filling the latter position he prosecuted the suit of Washburn county vs. the bondsmen of A.C. Probert, of Shell Lake Savings Bank, securing a judgment of over $15,000 for the county. In the fall of 1898 Mr. Kennedy was elected county sheriff and served as such two years, being the first official occupant of the new jail erected by the county. In 1902 he was nominated for county treasurer, but declined to become a candidate for that office.

Nat. Adelbert Kent
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Nat. Adelbert Kent, one of the oldest settlers in the vicinity of Shell Lake, Washburn county, is well known as an intelligent and public-spirited citizen. He was born in Onondaga county, N.Y., Nov. 13, 1837, son of Ira and Lucretia (Chittenden) Kent, the former a native of Massachusetts.

The ancestors of Ira Kent came from England in early Colonial days, one of them being a captain in the Continental army, from Massachusetts. Ira Kent became a forwarding commission merchant, with headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., his goods being transported by the Erie Canal. He was a prosperous and highly esteemed citizen; his death occurring during the early boyhood of his son Nat. Adelbert. Mrs. Lucretia (Chittenden) Kent, a native of Vermont, was an active, well-preserved woman until her eighty-ninth year, when she died at Jordan, Onondaga Co., N.Y., in 1879. Of her eleven children the only living ones are Asher, a farmer in Jordan; and Nat. Adelbert, mentioned below. One of her ancestors was the first from that State to fall in the Revolutionary war, and a monument has been erected to his memory.

The boyhood of Nat. Adelbert Kent was passed in his native place, where he received a good common school education. On Sept. 30, 1862, he enlisted in Company G, 154th N.Y.V.I., serving until discharged June 26, 1865. Until 1864 he was in the Army of the Potomac, when the 11th Army Corps, to which his regiment belonged, was transferred to the West, becoming part of the 20th Army Corps, and taking part in Sherman’s Atlanta campaign, in the famous march to the sea, and subsequently across the Carolinas to Washington.

Among the principal engagements in which Mr. Kent participated were Chancellorsville, the chief engagements of Sherman’s army from Chattanooga to Atlanta, Bentonville and Goldsboro, N.C. He was present at the surrender of Gen. Johnston, and at the Grand Review in Washington, being mustered out at Bladensburg, Md., and discharged at Elmira, N.Y., escaping without capture or serious wounds. After the war Mr. Kent went to Red Wing, Minn., and from there to Stillwater, where for three years he was clerk for Walker, Judd & Veazie, lumbermen, who were operating a huge logging camp on the Totogatic river, in Washburn county, at a place since known as Veazie. In 1876 he took up a homestead claim in the Bashaw valley, in Burnett county, Section 24, Town 38, Range 14, six miles west of the present village of Shell Lake. In 1881 he was appointed a railway mail clerk by Hon. Thaddeus C. Pound, of Chippewa Falls, and held that position until May 1, 1901, when he resigned. His route was first between St. Paul and Elroy, then between St. Paul and Ashland, and then for ten years between Eau Claire and Ashland. Mr. Kent is with one exception, the oldest resident in the vicinity of Shell Lake, and continues to live on his farm of 200 acres, which is improved with first-class buildings, etc. He served a number of years as chairman of the town of Bashaw, Burnett county, which at that time comprised all the present county of Washburn. Later he was chairman of the town of Rusk, Burnett county. He has always been a stalwart Republican, and has taken part in many conventions.

On July 2, 1879, Mr. Kent married (first) Kibbie Shinawa, a native of Burnett county, who died March 25, 1898, aged forty years. He married (second) Oct. 10, 1898, Mary Thayer, also a native of Burnett county. Mr. Kent has been identified since 1885 with the Masonic order, and is at present a member of Shell Lake Lodge, No. 36, Eau Claire Chapter, R.A.M., and Eau Claire Commandery, No. 8, K.T. He is also a member of Crescent Chapter, No. 17, O.E.S., at Shell Lake.

William B. Kinne
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

William B. Kinne, secretary and treasurer of the Shell Lake Mercantile Company, was born at Point Wolfe, New Brunswick, March 22, 1874, his parents being John and Mary (Duhan) Kinne, natives of the same locality. Grandfather James Kinne was probably of Scotch or Irish lineage.

John Kinne, a millwright and filer by trade, was for some years foreman of a sawmill at Point Wolfe. In 1881 he came to Shell Lake, where he was employed on construction work on one of the mills, after its completion becoming head filer. He died in August, 1890, at the age of sixty-six. His wife died in 1897, when fifty-one years old. Her parents were born in New Brunswick, of Irish descent. John and Mary (Duhan) Kinne had the following children: L.J., now railway claim agent at Seattle, Wash.; Laura, who died at the age of fourteen; William B.; and Bedford, of Spokane. John Kinne had first married a Miss Cleveland, by whom he had three children: Rainsford, captain of a vessel of the White Star Line plying between New York City and Antwerp; Florence, Mrs. George L. Cott, of Shell Lake; and Margarita (deceased), the first wife of George L. Cott.

William B. Kinne came with his parents to Shell Lake and there attended the public school, completing the course when he was eighteen. In 1896 he entered the employ of the Shell Lake Lumber Company, working in their store three years, and then becoming cashier and paymaster of the firm, a position he held until the company ceased to exist, in January, 1904, and which occupied most of his time and attention during that period. In March, 1902, he became one of the incorporators of the Shell Lake Mercantile Company, of which he is secretary and treasurer, and now devotes his chief attention to its interests. He has served his town for one year as secretary of the local school board.

In March, 1896, Mr. Kinne married Isabelle Hoar, a native of New Brunswick, daughter of Stephen S. Hoar, of Shell Lake. Two children have come to this union, Harold and Helen. The family enjoys the best social advantages of the town.

Philander Eleazer Leonard
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Philander Eleazer Leonard, county clerk of Washburn county, has been a resident of Shell Lake since 1882. His birth occurred in Savoy, Berkshire Co., Mass., Oct. 30, 1838, his parents being Eleazer Carey and Delanie (Cornell) Leonard.

Grandfather Carey Leonard was probably of English descent, though little is known of his life or ancestry. Eleazer Carey Leonard was born in Worthington, Mass., in early manhood was a farmer in Berkshire county, that State, and about 1840 moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., N.Y., where he passed the remainder of his life, dying at the age of eighty. For many years he was superintendent of the Tilden Company, manufacturers of proprietary medicines. Mrs. Delanie (Cornell) Leonard passed away some years before her husband. Her father, James Cornell, was a brother of Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell College. Of the six sons of Eleazer Carey and Delanie (Cornell) Leonard three are living, as follows: Philander Eleazer, mentioned below; Henry D., of Watertown, N.Y.; and Charles R., of New York City, traveling representative of a commercial house. Another son, Hiram, grew to manhood and died in New Lebanon, New York.

The early education of Philander Eleazer Leonard was obtained in the public schools and a select school at New Lebanon, where he prepared for college, which he never entered, however, owing to ill health. He taught school in New Lebanon for some time, and then kept a store there for fourteen years, serving as postmaster for twelve years of that time. In 1877 he went to Minnesota, studied law at Hastings, with L. Van Slyck, and was admitted to the Bar. In the spring of 1882 he located at Shell Lake, entering the employ of the Shell Lake Lumber Co., of whose store he had charge for four years. He was elected district attorney in the fall of 1886, and was several times re-elected, serving until 1892, when he was elected to the office of county clerk, in which position he is now filling his fifth term. He has always been a Republican, his first vote having been cast for Lincoln in 1860.

In 1868 Mr. Leonard married Mary J. James, who was born in Stephentown, Rensselaer Co., N.Y., daughter of Amos C. and Laura D. (Coleman) James, of Forestport, N.Y. Mrs. Leonard was educated in New York City, where she taught school several years before her marriage. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Leonard, namely: Albert Philander, of South Bend, Wash., county auditor of Pacific county, that State; and Lucy Agnes, who was educated in the public schools, and in the State Normal School at River Falls, Wis., now a public school teacher in Shell Lake. Mr. Leonard is a member of Dakota Lodge, No. 7, A.F. & A.M., of Hastings, Minn. He is highly regarded by every one, and has made many friends during the score of years he has resided in Washburn county.

Merwin C. Lincoln
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Merwin C. Lincoln, a popular citizen of Washburn, and a faithful employee of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, & Omaha Railroad, is descended on both sides from some of the oldest families of the United States, and families who played an important part in the Colonial and Revolutionary history of the country. The first American ancestors of the Lincolns came from England in the early Colonial days and settled at Norton, Mass. Another progenitor, by intermarriage, was Capt. Daniel Carlisle, who commanded a company of Continental troops at the battle of Bunker Hill and served through the whole course of the war.

Andrew J. Lincoln, father of Merwin C., was born at Putney, Vt., March 10, 1815. He was named for the hero of New Orleans, who was just then at the zenith of his popularity. Andrew J. Lincoln was educated at the famous Phillips’ Academy, at Exeter, N.H., and after completing his work as a student, entered upon the profession of teaching as a life work. In 1845 he went to New Orleans for two years and taught in the Washington school. Later he taught in Louisville, Ky. In 1854 he located at Hamilton, Ill., and spent thirteen years there on a farm. At different periods of his life he lived both in Kansas and in Rhode Island, and it was in the latter State that his death occurred in 1882. From the very organization of the party Mr. Lincoln was a Republican and always manifested a deep interest in matters of public import. Andrew J. Lincoln married Miss Calena Merwin, born in Milford, Conn., where her ancestors were among the original founders of the town. Her father, Anson Merwin, passed his whole life there on a farm, which was the family homestead, and which had been in possession of the family since ante-revolutionary days. Mrs. Calena M. Lincoln died in the very prime of life in 1868, when she was only forty-three years old.

Merwin C. Lincoln was born in Hamilton, Ill., Jan. 1, 1855, and until he was seventeen attended the public schools in that city, and also in Coventry, R.I., whither the family removed while he was still a student. After leaving school he was engaged in railroad work, and for ten years was at Providence in the telegraph department for the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. In 1883 he left the East, and after a few months in Nebraska settled at Ashland, Wis. In the spring of 1884 he entered the employ of the Omaha Road, and was at first stationed at Drummond, Bayfield county, but the next year was transferred to Washburn, and has since that time resided there as cashier for the company. His strict attention to business has secured for him the confidence of his employers, and the general uprightness and stability of his character have gained for him a wide-spread esteem and popularity. Like his father he has always been a good Republican, and has displayed that interest in public affairs which is the duty of every citizen, but with no personal aspirations for office.

On Dec. 13, 1883, Mr. Lincoln was married to Elizabeth Briggs, and they have one child, Susan. Mrs. Lincoln was born in Bedford, Mass., where she was educated, and at the Providence high school, daughter of Joseph Wing and Sarah (Mosher) Briggs. Joseph Briggs was the son of Hallett and Betsy (Wing) Briggs, and was born in Marion, Mass., where his ancestors had lived for many generations. Always fond of the sea, he followed that calling from boyhood, and while still a young man commanded a vessel in the coasting trade. The Wing family, to which Mrs. Lincoln’s paternal grandmother belonged, were descended from the Rev. John Wing, a Reformist clergyman, who died in England. His widow, Mrs. Deborah Wing, and her sons, John, Stephen and Daniel, came to America in 1637, and settled near Sandwich, Mass. There the family has been represented ever since, many of them being Quakers. Reunions of the posterity of the three brothers are held every year in the old town with which the name has been so long associated.

Sarah (Mosher) Briggs, the mother of Mrs. Lincoln, was born in Long Island, one of a large family born to Warren Mosher, who was himself of German descent.

Hon. Lewis H. Mead
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Hon. Lewis H. Mead, one of the best known citizens of Shell Lake, Washburn county, was born in Marshall, Dane county, Wis., Sept. 26, 1853, son of Willard Preston and Julia M. (Morrill) Mead, natives, respectively of Miloon, N.Y., and Houlton, Maine.

The ancestors of Lewis H. Mead came from England in 1635 and settled at Horse Neck, Conn., he being of the ninth generation in the United States. Members of the family have taken part in all the wars of this country since the settlement of the Colonies. The great-great-grandfather of Lewis H., was Zebulon Mead, who served as a scout in the Continental army, taking part in Ethan Allen’s expedition to Ticonderoga, and in other Revolutionary campaigns. He was a native of Connecticut, and, after the Revolution, went, with six of his brothers, to Pennsylvania, where they founded the city of Meadville. His grandson, Martin Mead, moved with his family to Wisconsin in 1842, where he was one of the pioneers of Marshall, Dane county, remaining there the rest of his life. His wife, Mehitable, was the first person to be buried there.

Willard Preston Mead, son of Martin, carried on a mercantile business in Marshall for a number of years. In 1882 he went to Canova, S.D., and located on a farm, where he died March 19, 1900, aged seventy-six. His wife, Mrs. Julia M. (Morrill) Mead, died at Marshall, Wis., June 19, 1863, at the age of thirty-three. Her parents, Lewis and Lydia Morrill, were also pioneers in Wisconsin, settling in 1843 at Marshall, where her father combined the callings of farmer and blacksmith.

Lewis H. Mead attended the public school and lived on the farm until he was nineteen, when he had the misfortune to lose his right hand in a threshing machine. After this he taught school for several years, part of the time in the graded schools of Waterloo and Columbus, Wis. At the same time he studied law with Smith & Rogers, prominent attorneys of Madison, and was admitted to the bar Nov. 22, 1882. He practiced at Hudson, Wis., until July, 1883, when he came to Shell Lake, where he has ever since been a successful practitioner. During his residence in Washburn county, Mr. Mead has continuously filled some public position. He was county judge for fourteen years, and since 1896 has been district attorney. During the sessions of 1889 and 1891 he was a member of the State Assembly, serving upon important committees, including that of the Judiciary. He drew and introduced the bill providing for revision of the Log and Lumber Lien Law, which was passed, also the Hotel Dead Beat Law. For four years he was a member of the Republican State Central Committee. Since 1884 he has been a delegate to every Republican State convention, and he has done much valuable campaign work, taking the stump in support of his party ticket. Mr. Mead has invested largely in real estate, having a farm in Washburn county, and another of 280 acres, of which 135 acres are under cultivation, eight miles west of Shell Lake, in Burnett county. His example has done much to encourage the development of agriculture in northern Wisconsin, and he is now breeding Poland-China swine and other choice live stock.

Mr. Mead married (first) March 19, 1884, Ella M. Stratton, a native of Clam River, Wis., who died in December, 1885, when only twenty-four years of age. She was a member of the Baptist church. He married (second) at Lodi, Wis., Sept. 14, 1887, S. Evelyn Todd, who was born in Merrimac, Wis., daughter of Rev. M.G. Todd (deceased), one of the most prominent Universalist ministers in the State. Judge Mead has always taken a great interest in religious work, and is a trustee of the M.E. church at Shell Lake, although both he and his wife are Unitarians in belief. He is a member of the Wisconsin Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, has been since 1885 identified with the I.O.O.F., having instituted Shell Lake Lodge No. 67 in 1886, and been Grand Master of Wisconsin in 1895, and is a member of Shell Lake Encampment and Superior Canton.

Peter Mills, Sr.
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Peter Mills, Sr., now living in retirement at Shell Lake, Washburn county, was born May 3, 1836, at Penn Yan, Yates Co., N.Y. His parents, Peter and Mary (Mosher) Mills, were both natives of New York State, and his grandfather, Thomas Mills, was a native of Ireland.

Peter Mills, father of Peter Mills, Sr., came to Wisconsin in 1848, and was one of the first pioneers of Stevens Point, where he was extensively engaged in logging and in the timber business. He died at Pine River, Wis., at the age of eighty-two. He was a member of the Methodist Church. Mrs. Mary (Mosher) Mills died when her son Peter was but three days old. Her father, Asa Mosher, was a miller at Penn Yan. Her mother, Rachel (Brown) Mosher, lived to be eighty-nine years old, and her maternal grandmother lived to be over a hundred. The second husband of this long-lived woman was a Mr. Ryder, who had been aide-de-camp to Gen. Putnam during the Revolutionary war.

Peter Mills, Sr., was reared by his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Rachel (Brown) Mosher, until he was twelve years old. He then went to New York and engaged in boating on the Hudson river and Erie canal, eventually becoming proprietor of a line of boats plying between Buffalo and New York City. In 1879 he went to Clinton, Iowa, where he was employed as a sealer and grader of lumber until 1882, when he located at Shell Lake. There he became foreman of the Shell Lake Lumber Co., and continued in the employ of the company until Dec. 31, 1892, when he resigned. He served two years – 1893-1894 – as sheriff of Washburn county, having been elected as an independent candidate. He then went to Boulder, Colo., where he erected a brick store building which he still owns. He has done considerable business in Washburn county lands.

Mr. Mills married April 14, 1858, Eliza Randall, of Penn Yan, N.Y., who died July 20, 1863, at the age of twenty-six. She left one child, which died in infancy. In March, 1865, Mr. Mills married (second) Elizabeth Manley, also of Penn Yan, who died in September, 1884, aged thirty-nine. She was the mother of five children, as follows: George, who was accidentally shot at Clinton, Iowa, in August, 1879, and died at the age of fifteen; Ella C., who is the wife of O. Wang, a prominent business man of Shell Lake; Chauncey, a music teacher at Shell Lake; Lizzie, who is Mrs. C. E. Love, of Nevada; and Peter, who is a telegraph operator at Itasca, Wisconsin.

Mr. Mills is a member of Shell Lake Lodge, No. 221, A.F. & A.M. Politically he has almost without exception supported the Republican party, but has never but once been a candidate for office. During the Civil war he enlisted for 100 days’ service in the 58th N.Y.N.G., and was employed on detached duty, guarding cars used in transporting troops and supplies between Elmira, N.Y., and the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac in Virginia.

C. S. Nelson
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

C. S. Nelson, a successful merchant and banker of Spooner, Washburn county, is a native of Denmark, where he was born Nov. 8, 1863, and where he passed the first few years of his life. He came to America in 1871 with his parents, S.C. and Anna Nelson, who settled with their eight children on land bought by Mr. Nelson, and on which he still lives, near St. Croix Falls.

C. S. Nelson remained on the farm until he was fourteen years of age, his only schooling consisting of two short winter terms. At fourteen he began working for himself, doing whatever work he could find. In 1888 or 1889 he came to Spooner and opened a meat market, which he carried on for several years, and then went into a general merchandise business, carrying a large stock of goods. He now occupies a double store and keeps the two floors well stocked with seasonable goods, also doing a general banking business, having established a bank in the spring of 1901. In politics he is a Republican. He served several years as treasurer of the town of Spooner, as chairman of the town one year, and was elected chairman of the county board in the spring of 1902. Mr. Nelson is one of the successful men of the county, one who from small beginnings has built up a trade scarcely second to any in the locality. He has two children, namely: Clara Luella and Harry Raymond.

Nels Nelson
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Nels Nelson, chairman of the town board of Washburn, is one of the oldest and most influential citizens of that place. He is a native of Norway and was born in Christiansund, June 16, 1855, the son of Nicholas and Ingeborg (Jorgine) Nelson, both natives of the same locality.

The ancestors of Nicholas Nelson had followed the sea for many generations, and he himself commanded a vessel engaged in the commerce of the North Sea, but about 1876 he bought a large farm near Christiania, at Akern, where he spent his remaining years, dying in 1897, at the age of sixty-nine, and his wife, likewise the descendant of an old Norwegian family, survived him only about a year and died at about the same age. The family were devoted supporters of the Lutheran Church, and Mr. Nelson not only was greatly interested in missions, but often filled pulpits, and was active in all forms of church work.

Nels Nelson lived on a farm in Norway until 1881, when he came to America, and pushing westward to Wisconsin, settled first in Marathon county, and then worked at his trade as a carpenter in St. Paul, Winona and LaCrosse. Four years after his arrival in America he went to Washburn, then a village of not more than 250 inhabitants. There he built one of the first hotels in the place, known as the “Nelson House,” and kept the management of it in his own hands until 1902, when he rented it. It has always been a popular place and has enjoyed a large patronage.

During his residence in Washburn Mr. Nelson has shown a great interest in public affairs, and has been prominent in town and county politics. Until 1892 he belonged to the Democratic party, but in that year became a convert to Republican principles and has supported them ever since. From 1889 to 1891 he served as a member of the town board, and since 1900 has been chairman of the board and a member of the county board. In the State convention of 1902 Mr. Nelson was a prominent candidate for railroad commissioner, but as there was a strong desire to put an old soldier on the ticket he failed to get the nomination. In 1896 he was elected on the board of education and has served continuously ever since. The development of the fine school system in the town is due partly to his efforts, while his personal supervision of the construction of the Garfield school building resulted in the erection of a model structure, and he is known as the father of that school.

Mr. Nelson has taken a very great interest in several social and fraternal organizations and has filled various offices in them. He is an ex-president of the Ind. Scan. Workingmen’s Association, and is a member of the Scan. H. & E.F. of America; of the I.O.R.M. and of the Woodmen of the World.

The first wife of Mr. Nelson, to whom he was married in 1888, was Julia Johnson. She was born in Gulbransdahl, Norway, in 1867, but only lived to be twenty-four, leaving her husband with one child, Alma. Another child, Albert, had died at the age of three. Mr. Nelson’s second marriage occurred in 1897. His wife’s maiden name was Lizzie Gunderson, who was born near Trondhjem, Norway, but came to the United States in childhood, with her parents, who settled in Menomonie, Wis. To this union have come three children, Albert, Nicholas and George Clifford.

Richard Frederick Peck
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Richard Frederick Peck, a highly esteemed citizen of Washburn county, was born in London, England, June 19, 1853. His parents were William Henry and Mary Ann (Stewart) Peck, the former also a native of London.

William Peck, his grandfather, sprang of a family of Norfolk farmers, and became an architect. William Henry Peck, son of William, a civil engineer by profession, brought his family to the United States in 1857, and settled at Taylor’s Falls, Minn. Eight years later he moved to St. Croix Falls, Wis., where for many years he carried on a store. In 1892 he came to Veazie, Washburn county, dying there the same year at the age of eighty-three. He also lived for a time in Burnett county, where he filled the office of county treasurer and kept a general store at Grantsburg. He was a Republican in politics, and a member of the Episcopal Church. Mrs. Mary Ann (Stewart) Peck died in Grantsburg, Wis., in 1882, when seventy-four years of age. She was a native of Scotland and came of the royal Stuart family. Her father, Thomas Stewart, a breeder and dealer in fine horses, met his death in Germany, from a kick of a horse which he was about to deliver to a German nobleman who had purchased the animal.

Richard Frederick Peck attended school in Taylor’s Falls, and learned the trade of house decorator. This occupation he followed fourteen years in St. Paul, Minn. In 1886 he came to Washburn county, taking up a homestead claim in the town of Veazie, where he lived until 1894, when he bought his present farm of eighty acres, in section 21, Town 39, Range 12. He now has fifty acres under cultivation, and comfortable farm buildings, is giving considerable attention to horticulture, and has an apiary, with over twenty swarms of bees.

Mr. Peck was married, in 1878, to Anna A. Castner, daughter of William W. and Elizabeth (Hyght) Castner, of Geneva, Ill. Mr. Peck belongs to the M.W.A., being a charter member of the Camp at Spooner. A life-long Republican, he has served four years as chairman of the town board of Spooner, as assessor and as incumbent of other public offices. Since 1892 he has been a government surveyor, much of his time being devoted to that work. His surveys have taken him over northwestern Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota, and he has earned an enviable reputation as an efficient engineer.

Thomas A. Pratt
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Thomas A. Pratt, a successful merchant of Spring Brook, was one of the pioneers in Washburn county, locating in Veazie township in 1881, when there were very few settlers in that part of the State. Little attention was paid to agriculture in the county at that time, most of the settlers devoting their time to lumbering. The Omaha railroad had been built through to Cable the year previous to Mr. Pratt’s coming to Washburn county, but the country was very wild and full of game of various kinds. There was no school in the township until two years later, when a log school-house was built on Mishler’s Lake, the first teacher being Alvin Hayfer. A second school was built at Spring Brook in 1894, with Miss Maud Ferguson as teacher (she is now Mrs. Pratt). The only other remaining resident who was in the county when Mr. Pratt came is A. J. Trepania, township trustee and railroad ticket agent. Mr. Trepania was the first resident of Spring Brook, which was settled in 1880, the postoffice being at first known as Nemakagon, but later named for the stream on which the village is situated.

Thomas A. Pratt was born Sept. 3, 1858, in Barrie, Ont., son of Jesse and Mary Ann (Caldor) Pratt, natives, respectively, of England and Ontario. Mr. Pratt was brought up on a farm, and educated in the public schools, remaining in Canada until he was twenty-three years old. On coming to the States, he went first to Iowa, and after a short time came to the wilds of Washburn county, where the first winter he worked in the woods for Elm Greeley, a lumberman. The following year, 1883, he put up a small log house at Stewart Station, now called Stinnett, six miles east of Spring Brook, where for four years he kept hotel. This primitive hotel proved a success, and in connection with the profits of a big potato field gave him his first start in life. In 1886 he closed this hotel and opened one at Superior Junction in connection with which he carried on a general store, managing both store and hotel for eight years, the last four of which he was also postmaster. In 1893 he sold out at Superior Junction, and later coming to Spring Brook established himself as a general merchant, still conducting business as such. He carries a large line of agricultural implements in addition to the ordinary stock of a country store, and also buys and ships produce. Mr. Pratt has filled several public offices in Veazie township, serving two terms as assessor, and one term as justice of the peace. He is a Democrat and takes an active interest in politics, having an influential voice in local affairs. Fraternally he is a charter member and past master of the Mystic Workers of the World, an order established in 1900.

In 1882 Mr. Pratt married (first) Margaret Robinson, who died in 1894, leaving two daughters, Maude E. and Gertrude. He married in 1901 Maud Ferguson, daughter of William S. Ferguson, of Veazie township. Mrs. Pratt was educated at St. Mary’s Institute, Prairie du Chien, Wis., and was the first teacher in the township, teaching eight years in all, and walking three miles each way to one of her schools. For four years she has been postmistress at Spring Brook, Wisconsin.

Hon. Andrew Ryan
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Hon. Andrew Ryan, publisher of the Washburn County Register, is one of the influential citizens of Shell Lake. He is a native of Ireland, where he was born in July, 1860, son of Martin and Mary (Griffin) Ryan, who passed their lives in that country. For many hundred years the Ryans have been farming people in Ireland.

Andrew Ryan attended the national schools in his native place, and in 1879 came to the United States. After spending six weeks with his uncle, John B. Ryan, in Lafayette county, Wis., he became an employee of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, spending some time with that road on construction work in Wisconsin, and in Iowa on the line between Okoboji and Spirit Lake. Later he went to the Twin Cities, where he found employment on the Chicago, Portage & Superior Railroad – better known as the Air Line – as store keeper, for F.L. Erickson, who had a twenty-mile contract, near what is now Superior Junction. The failure of this concern left him, in common with all the employees, penniless, but the ignorant laborers held him responsible and threatened to mob him. The rioters, who attempted to tear down the bridges on the Omaha road, took possession of “the headquarters camp,” where they lived on the stores of provisions, until offered employment on that road, which was building a line to Superior to compete with the defunct Air Line. For a number of years Mr. Ryan was employed by the Omaha road, in various capacities; he was for a time in the camp at Solon Springs, then store keeper for the same contractor, and later he had charge of supplies for Mullen & Prince, contractors, during the construction of the Rice Lake road, and was located at Rice Lake and Shell Lake. He was subsequently baggage man at Spooner for several years. In the autumn of 1888 he was elected sheriff of Washburn county, serving as such for two years, and since that time has resided in Shell Lake. Meantime he had studied law, and in 1890 he bought the Washburn County Register, which had previously been published at Spooner, removing the plant to Shell Lake, where he continued to publish it. This paper was established in 1889, by Bert Pease, and published later by Bond & Kitchen. Under the able management of Mr. Ryan it has become one of the best local papers in Northern Wisconsin, and the printing establishment includes facilities for doing all kinds of job work. Soon after establishing his paper Mr. Ryan built the first telephone line in Washburn county, and now operates a local exchange, with long distance connection over the Bell telephone lines. In 1895 he started the Spooner Register, which he also printed in Shell Lake, and which was later printed and published by J.G. Adams, at Spooner and is now merged in the Advocate of that place. He has invested largely in farming and wild lands, and does considerable real estate business. He has about 100 acres under cultivation, and is introducing thoroughbred live stock. Since 1884 Mr. Ryan has been justice of the peace, doing most of the business in that line at the county seat now; and since 1884 he has been a notary public, his first commission being signed by Gov. Jeremiah M. Rusk. Since coming to Wisconsin he has been a Republican, though he has been elected sheriff on the Democratic ticket.

In January, 1891, Mr. Ryan married Kate Rafferty, daughter of Patrick Rafferty, of Rock Island, Ill.; they have one child, Roger.

Charles Alexander Shaver
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Charles Alexander Shaver is a well-known official of Washburn county, residing at Shell Lake. He was born in Osnabruck, Stormont county, Ontario, Dec. 1, 1864, son of William H. and Malvina E. (Hutchins) Shaver.

William H. Shaver was born in Pennsylvania, whither his father had come from Germany. When a young man he moved to Canada, and was for a time a guard in the Kingston penitentiary. In 1872 he went to Augusta, Wis., where he dealt in grain, and later carried on the same business in Baldwin, Wis. He was then for two years bookkeeper for Ball & Culbertson, lumbermen, at Kempton, Wis. His death occurred at Augusta in 1889, when he was about sixty years of age. In politics he was a stanch Republican, and was always actively interested in local affairs. He served as the first city clerk of Augusta. He was a member of the Baptist church. Mrs. Malvina E. (Hutchins) Shaver, who is still living in Augusta, aged seventy-two years, was born on the ocean, when her parents were emigrating to America. Her father was an Englishman, and her mother was a native of Ireland. William H. and Malvina E. (Hutchins) Shaver had a family of six sons and three daughters, as follows: John, of Brockville, Ontario; Ellen, Mrs. John Y.T. Smith, of Phoenix, Ariz.; James R., of Augusta, Wis.; William A., of Burnett county, Wis.; Jennie A., Mrs. Seymour, of Austin, Minn.; Bertha A., who died at Phoenix, Ariz., in 1882, aged twenty years; Charles Alexander, mentioned below; George V.H., of Great Falls, Mont.; and Cecil E., of Juneau, Alaska.

Charles A. Shaver attended the public school at Augusta, and in August, 1884, came to Shell Lake, where he was employed as assistant shipping clerk by the Shell Lake Lumber Company. He retained this position until 1893, where he was elected register of deeds, an office to which he has been five times reelected. Mr. Shaver has always been a Republican, and has been a delegate to Assembly, Senatorial and Congressional conventions. Soon after entering the register’s office he began preparing a set of abstracts of Washburn county. In 1902 the Washburn County Abstract Company was incorporated, of which he has ever since been president and manager. The abstracts furnished by him are considered by good authorities the most complete of any in northern Wisconsin.

On Jan. 1, 1885, Mr. Shaver married Sylvia J. Newell, who was born in St. Paul, daughter of Francis S. and Sarah L. Newell, of Shell Lake, now of Kent, Wash., who came West from New York State; her mother was a native of England. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Shaver, as follows: Archie L., Stella May, William W., Francis G. and Bertha Ellen. Mr. Shaver is a Mason, and has passed all the chairs in the local lodge and encampment of Odd Fellows; he also belongs to the Independent Order of Foresters and to the M.W.A.

David A. Stouffer
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

David A. Stouffer, a farmer and stock raiser of Washburn county, now serving as county treasurer, located on his present place in 1887. When he ran the line of road north from Shell Lake to his present location, with the aid of a pocket compass, the only other settler in the valley was Edward Hart, a pioneer who kept a tavern for teamsters, on the Yellow river. Mr. Stouffer’s first purchase was eighty acres of land, on which he put up a small frame house and moved his family there in the fall of 1887. He began developing his farm, working for several winter seasons in the logging camps in order to earn a little money with which to meet current expenses. He was very successful, his work bringing in good results, and enabling him to make further purchases, so that he now owns 200 acres, of which 120 are under cultivation, and his improvements are equal to those of any farms in the county.

Mr. Stouffer was born in Franklin county, Pa., June 21, 1854, his parents, being John Elias and Barbara Lesher Stouffer, the former born in Pennsylvania, and both of German descent. His maternal grandparents, were John and Eliza Lesher. His paternal grandfather was John Stouffer. Mr. Stouffer has three brothers: Abraham Lincoln, a blacksmith in the railroad shops at Hudson, Wis.; Charles, also a blacksmith, living in St. Croix county, Wisconsin; and Isaiah J., in the general merchandise business at Mowersville, Pa. Two sisters live near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Stouffer was brought up on a farm and educated in the public schools, remaining in Pennsylvania until he came of age. He then went to Pierce county, Wis., at that date just emerging from the wilderness, where for a year he worked as a farm laborer. He saved money, was married to Eliza Brannen, and rented a farm in Pierce county until 1887, when he moved to Shell Lake. He is the father of the following children: Mary, Mrs. Charles Todd, for three years a successful teacher in the public schools of the county; Edward Albert, a graduate of the Shell Lake high school, class of 1902; and David Russell. Dora Irene died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Stouffer are members of the Episcopal Church, with which they have been connected for many years.

Mr. Stouffer has always been a Republican, and is a representative man in local politics, having held the office of chairman of supervisors five terms, and being at present in his third term of office as town clerk. He was nominated for county treasurer by the Republican county convention held in Shell Lake in 1902, was elected at the ensuing election, and was re-elected in 1904, having proved himself most competent. He has been much interested in educational matters, has worked wisely and efficiently for the establishment of schools, and has been a close student of current topics of interest and of various lines of modern thought. Fraternally he is a member of the I.O.O.F., uniting with Spooner Lodge.

Leander E. Thomas
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Leander E. Thomas, one of the oldest settlers in Shell Lake, Washburn county, was born near Kokomo, Ind., Jan. 2, 1847, son of Henley and Susan (Woody) Thomas.

The Thomas family came originally from Wales, and the great-grandfather, Elijah Thomas, although a Quaker, took part in the Revolutionary war. His son, Elijah, was born in North Carolina, and in early life taught school for some time in that State. Early in the nineteenth century the family moved to Indiana, where Elijah (2) also taught school, and in 1856 they located at Constantine, St. Joseph Co., Mich., where he died at the age of ninety-six. He, like his father, was a Quaker in religious faith, and he brought up a family of twelve sons and two daughters. Henley Thomas, son of Elijah (2), was a farmer, and about 1868, moved from Michigan to Marshall county, Iowa, where he died in 1892, at the age of seventy-seven. Mrs. Susan (Woody) Thomas died in Grant county, Ind., in 1849. Little is known of the history of her parents, who came from Richmond, Ind. One of her brothers, Lewis Woody, was a school teacher, and went to the State of Washington; another brother, Solomon, went overland to California in 1849, but returned and settled in Richmond, Ind. To Henley and Susan (Woody) Thomas were born four sons and four daughters as follows: Sarah, Mrs. J. Coates, who died at Bangor, Iowa; Ada, Mrs. Jones, who lives in Pease, Milleslac Co., Minn.; William, who served in the 19th Mich. V.I., during the Civil war, and died from the effects of injuries received in battle; Mary Jane, who is Mrs. Jones, of Milaca, Milleslac county; Becky, who is the widow of a Mr. Coates, of Long Beach, Cal.; Robert W., of Eagle Grove, Iowa, who served in the 11th Mich. V.I., during the Civil war; Leander E., who is mentioned below; and Ledru, who died in Marshalltown, Iowa. By a second marriage Henley Thomas had one son, Henley, of Marshalltown, Iowa.

In 1862 Leander E. Thomas left home and went to Taylor’s Falls, Minn., where he engaged in lumbering on the St. Croix river for several years. On Sept. 18, 1864, he enlisted in Battery A, 1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery, being discharged in July, 1865, at Nashville, Tenn. Most of his service was at Chattanooga, under Gen. Thomas, who is supposed to have been descended from the same branch of the family. During Hood’s campaign Mr. Thomas’s regiment were for about six weeks on half rations; much of this time he was employed in guarding trains and steamboats. After the war he resumed his work of logging on the St. Croix river, and in 1868 made his first visit to Washburn county, (then a part of Burnett county), making the four days’ journey from St. Croix Falls on foot. He then entered the employ of Smith & Clendenning, whose camp was located about five miles above the present village of Spooner on the Yellow river. In the spring of 1872 he took up a homestead claim on Bashaw creek, in the eastern part of Burnett county and the next season bought timber and logged in the woods, continuing this work several years. Early in 1880 he bought eighty acres near the present village of Shell Lake, where he lived for some years, there being no houses in the village at that time. Somewhat later he bought 120 acres of land on the shore of Shell Lake, where he improved a farm, a part of which he has since sold, and in the autumn of 1902 he moved into Shell Lake village. For a number of years he has been chiefly occupied in making estimates of timber land. In 1882 Washburn county was separated from Burnett county, and Mr. Thomas was appointed the first county treasurer, and elected to that office for a second term. He also served two years as chairman of the town of Shell Lake, the water works being built during this period.

Mr. Thomas married in 1868 Nawadakamagoqua, of the Chippewa tribe, a native of Washburn county. To this union have been born seven daughters, as follows: Josephine, Mrs. H.M. Larson, of Barronnett, Wis.; Susie, Mrs. Jones, of Tenney, Minn.; Ellen, Mrs. John Prophet, of Shell Lake; Belle, Rebecca, Myrtle and Esther. Mr. Thomas has always supported the Republican party in politics. Fraternally he is a charter member of Shell Lake Lodge, A.F. & A.M., and also of Nathaniel Greene Post, G.A.R.

MRS. JOHN PROPHET, third daughter of Mr. Thomas, attended the public schools at Shell Lake, and later was a student at the Carlisle Training School, at Carlisle, Pa., graduating in 1898. For a year and a half she was employed in teaching at the Kickapoo Indian School at Netawaka, Kans. She attended the National Education Association held at Los Angeles, Cal., in 1899, and the Indian Institute conducted in connection with the association; for two years she was employed as teacher of sewing in the Red Lake Boarding School, at Red Lake, Minn. Mr. Prophet, was born in Indian Territory, of the Shawnee Tribe, was educated at the Indian school at Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also taught in the Industrial Department of the Kickapoo Indian School. Mr. and Mrs. Prophet have two children, namely: Edna, born in Shell Lake, and Theodore, born in Indian Territory.

William Henry Todd
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

William Henry Todd, a successful and influential citizen of Long Lake, Washburn county, where he was among the pioneers, was born in County Shefford, Quebec, Nov. 19, 1826. His parents were Simon and Anna (Wood) Todd.

Grandfather William Todd came from Ireland with the noted foundryman, Tyson, by whom he was employed, locating ore, for some years. Later he founded the village of Union, N.Y., where he owned and operated a sawmill. His son, Simon Todd, was born in Union Village, but went in early life to Canada, never returning to claim his inheritance. He was a born hunter and trapper, and spent five years in the wilderness, and after his marriage settling on a farm in County Shefford. He was an active man until his death, which was caused by an accident when he was nearly ninety years old. His wife survived him several years, passing away at the age of seventy-seven. Her mother, Hannah Wood, was of Scotch descent; James Henry Wood, father of Mrs. Anna Todd, was an Englishman, who settled in Vermont, near Lake Champlain. During the war of 1812 his property was confiscated and he was obliged to move into Canada, locating in West Shefford, where he lived to be eighty-nine years of age. He was a quiet, unobtrusive man.

Of the thirteen children of Simon and Anna (Wood) Todd, the only one in Wisconsin is William Henry Todd. He left home at the age of eighteen, and went to Vermont, where he worked at the shoemaker’s trade in winter, and on a farm during the summer. Later for ten years he was employed at bridge building on the Vermont Central and other railroads, then in course of construction. In 1854 he went to Batavia, Ill., where he did some building; he then spent a short time in Freeport, Ill., and in 1856 went to Eau Claire, Wis. The Eau Claire Lumber Company was then laying out the town, and for one season Mr. Todd carried on its boarding house. He was in the employ of this company ten years, building the first bridge over the Eau Claire river; he built booms in summer and did logging in winter. He bought a farm near Eau Claire, which he cultivated for some years, and also acquired a second farm, but most of his time was spent in erecting and moving buildings in the city. About 1884 he located at Washburn county, taking up a homestead claim in section 26, Town 38, Range 11, on the shore of Long Lake. There being no road nearer than the foot of the lake, seven miles from this claim, he drove in over the ice and built a shanty. A few years later he drew his timber twenty-five miles to a sawmill, afterward dressing it by hand, and built his present residence, a substantial three-store frame building, situated to command a magnificent view of the lake. His farm now includes about 200 acres, of which twenty-five are under cultivation; the house is surrounded by hardwood groves, containing maple, butternut, walnut and other hardwood trees.

Mr. Todd was married in Alburg, Vt., Feb. 3, 1851, to Harriet Donaldson, daughter of Nathan and Luna Donaldson, of Caldwell Manor, near Clarenceville, Quebec. Mrs. Todd was the first white woman in Eau Claire. Mr. and Mrs. Todd have the following children: Charlotte (Mrs. Bell), Amanda, Henry, Nathan, Albert, George, Monroe, Charles and Emma, (Mrs. F.A. Youngs, of Rice Lake), all but the last named being residents of Long Lake township. They also have a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Mr. Todd and his descendants are noted for regular and temperate habits. For many years Mr. Todd and his sons filled logging contracts each winter, and he has assisted his sons to acquire good homes in the neighborhood. Mr. Todd has always been a Democrat in political principle, and though he sometimes supports other candidates he is considered one of the most influential members of his party in Washburn county. It was through his influence that Madge postoffice was established in 1894, and he served four years as postmaster. He was chairman of the board of Long Lake for four years, and was instrumental in getting most of the roads laid out in the northern part of the township. By vigorous and timely effort he circumvented a movement to have the county divided, making two trips to Madison for that purpose, and circulating among his neighbors a remonstrance against the proposed measure. In early life Mr. Todd was a member of the Universalist Church at Ludlow, Vt., where for several years he sang in the choir.

Joseph Trepania
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Joseph Trepania (deceased) for many years a resident of Spring Brook, Washburn county, was born at Three Rivers, Quebec, about 1815. His parents were Canadians, of French descent, and he was brought up in Canada where he received a limited education.

About the year 1843 Joseph Trepania came to Wisconsin, and for a short time was located at Prairie du Chien. He then went to Chippewa Falls, which at that time contained but one log house, where he was employed by Gilbert Brothers, Colton & Moses, and the Union Lumber Co., as overseer of their drives on the Chippewa and Yellow rivers. He continued in the employ of these and other firms for about fifteen years, receiving as much as fifteen dollars a day for his services. He then bought a farm above Chippewa Falls, and while developing this land also carried on an Indian trading store. These enterprises he conducted successfully until 1880, when he moved to Rice Lake, Barron county, where he bought, cleared and cultivated a farm of 200 acres. Although successful at farming, his preference was for lumbering, and in 1881 he disposed of the Rice Lake farm and came to Spring Brook, the railroad having been built through that year. Taking up a homestead, which is now the townsite of Spring Brook, he at once entered in logging, building on his own responsibility two dams on Devil’s Creek, in the Sawyer County Reservation, in order to raise the water sufficiently to float out the logs. He met with great success in this business, in which he was actively engaged until compelled by age to retire.

Mr. Trepania married in 1851 or 1852, Margaret De Marie, daughter of Louis De Marie, one of the early French traders, who built the first house in Chippewa Falls. To this union were born two children, namely: Mary, now Mrs. Ferguson, of Spring Brook; and Alfred, of the same place, who is mentioned below. Before her marriage Mrs. Trepania and a girl companion had an exciting adventure in being fired upon by a band of hostile Sioux, while crossing the Chippewa river in a canoe.

Mr. Trepania was a Republican in politics, and a representative man of the locality. During his residence at Chippewa Falls, he served several terms as supervisor. He died in 1899 and is buried on the Reservation in Sawyer county, in a spot selected by himself. Mrs. Trepania is living with her son in Spring Brook.

Louis De Marie, father of Mrs. Trepania, was a native of Montreal, and when a young man entered the employ of the Hudson Bay Co., trading through the Northwest region as far as Manitoba and the Rocky Mountains. While at Grand Forks, N. Dak., he married Angelina Collins, a half breed Cree woman, and they had a family of five daughters and three sons. Of them the only survivor is Baptiste, who is living on the Reservation. Mr. De Marie finally settled in the Chippewa country, where he died about 1860. Mrs. De Marie lived to be 103 years of age, dying in 1893 at Chippewa Falls.

Cyrus S. Tripp
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Cyrus S. Tripp, of Shell Lake, is the second oldest settler of Washburn county, the only one antedating him being L.E. Thomas, who still lives in the locality. Mr. Tripp made his homestead claim in 1878, although he came to the Bashaw Valley as early as 1875. At that time, as he recalls it, there was but one white woman in what is now Washburn county – Mrs. Rebecca Mullin, since deceased. Mr. Tripp began work as a logger, and in 1878 homesteaded eighty acres in Burnett county, on the Washburn county line. He lived on this claim for five years, then disposed of it and pre-empted the forty acres on which he now lives, and which is well improved and all under excellent cultivation. Mr. Tripp has been an active and progressive farmer, and has proved the productiveness of the soil of the Bashaw Valley.

Mr. Tripp was born in the town of Hanover, Jackson Co., Mich., Feb. 10, 1847. He was brought up on a farm and received a common school education. His parents were Job and Eliza (Sargeant) Tripp, the former a native of New York State, the latter of Vermont. Grandfather Abial Tripp was a pioneer of Hanover, Mich., where he built one of the first houses – a building 30 x 40 feet in dimensions. This house was used for the preaching services in the community for some years, there being no church or other public building.

On April 6, 1884, Mr. Tripp married Catherine McCallum, and they have three sons, viz.: George E., Malin W. and Frederick. Mrs. Tripp was born in Hamilton, Ont., and her parents, Peter and Margaret McCallum, were natives of Glasgow, Scotland. In 1863, while living in Michigan, Mr. Tripp wished to enlist, but was rejected as under size. In February, 1865, however, he was enrolled in Company C, 9th Michigan Volunteer Infantry. He was transferred to the front, to the Army of the Cumberland, where he served until discharged, in the summer of 1865, in Detroit. Mr. Tripp is a member of Nat. Greene Post, No. 243, G.A.R., at Shell Lake. He is a Republican and is more or less interested in local politics.

Thomas R. Walker
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Thomas R. Walker, a well-known citizen of Shell Lake, was born Oct. 24, 1846, in Pomeroy, Meigs Co., Ohio, son of Samuel and Sarah (Sloan) Walker.

Grandfather Adam Walker came from County Tyrone, Ireland, and settled in Pennsylvania, where his son, Samuel, was born. In early life Samuel Walker went to Ohio where he learned the trade of blacksmith, following that calling most of his life. In 1855 he came to Monroe county, Wis., clearing a farm on which he passed the remainder of his life. For some years he carried on a blacksmith shop at Elroy, being one of the pioneers of that industry in Wisconsin. In July, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, 6th Wis. V.I., and was discharged on account of disability, in February, 1862. He was in the battle of Bull Run, where he lost his sight, being blind for six months after his discharge, and never fully recovering. His death occurred at Ontario, Wis., in 1887, when he was eighty-two years of age. He was a Universalist in religious faith. His widow survived him until 1897, when she died at the age of eighty-seven. Her father, Joseph Sloan, was of Scotch descent, and built the first distillery at Dayton, Ohio, near which city his daughter, Mrs. Walker was born. Joseph Sloan died in Athens county, Ohio, when over ninety years old.

Thomas R. Walker spent most of his boyhood on the farm in Monroe county, and when he was twenty-one began farming in Vernon county. In 1882 he went to Cumberland, Wis., where he was employed in a sawmill, and two years later came to Shell Lake, where he was employed by the Shell Lake Lumber Co., for about twenty years. He began work in the machine shop, and from 1895 has been in charge of the pumping station supplying water for the mill (until it was permanently closed in 1903) and for the village, and furnishing power for other industrial purposes. Mr. Walker has an enviable reputation for faithfulness and punctuality in business.

On Nov. 4, 1865, Mr. Walker married Miss Miza Curtis, a native of Rome, N.Y., daughter of Alfred and Mary Curtis, who were pioneers of Ontario, Wis., having moved to this State in 1862. Alfred Curtis died at Shell Lake Jan. 4, 1892, aged sixty-eight years. He was long prominent in the Masonic fraternity and I.O.O.F. His widow now lives at Lowell, Wash. Her father, Elisha Harrington, is still living at Geneseo, Ill., aged ninety-eight years. Mr. and Mrs. Walker have five living children, as follows: Leonora, Mrs. Edward Burgen, of Shell Lake; Leslie, a farmer in Burnett county, Wis.; Raymond; Pearl, and Grace, the latter born in Cumberland, Wis., the others all natives of Vernon county. There were two other children, Herbert, who died when thirteen months old, and Mary, Mrs. V. E. Covey, who died in 1899, at Vashon, Wash. There are twelve grandchildren. The family is connected with the M.E. Church, of which Mr. Walker is a trustee. He has been a life long Republican. He is a charter member of Shell Lake Lodge, No. 67, I.O.O.F., and of Shell Lake Encampment, No. 55, and has filled all the chairs in both organizations.

Willis W. Watkins
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Willis W. Watkins, secretary and treasurer of the Lakeside Lumber Co., and a highly esteemed citizen of that town, was born in Clinton, Iowa, April 21, 1868. His parents were John and Louise (Willis) Watkins, the former a native of Waterville, N.Y., and the latter of Milwaukee.

Grandfather John Watkins was of Welsh descent; he was born in Litchfield Co., Ky., in November, 1800, and died in 1863, at the age of sixty-three in Geneva, Ill. For many years he was captain of a vessel on the Great Lakes. His son John was born in Whitesboro, N.Y., in November, 1830, and married in 1850. He went to Detroit, Mich., in early life, and in 1856 to Aurora, Ill., where he became agent and master of transportation for the Michigan Central Railway Company. He enlisted in 1862, for three months service, became 1st lieutenant, Company E, 89th I.V.I., was on Gen. Sill’s staff as provost marshal and was assistant adjutant general, 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 14th Army Corps, under Gen. Rosecrans. After leaving the army he continued his railroad work, going in 1866 to Clinton, Iowa, as superintendent of the Iowa division of the Chicago & Northwestern Road. This position he held until his death, which occurred Oct. 30, 1873, when he was forty-three years of age. It was the result of a railway accident near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Mrs. Louise (Willis) Watkins, who is now living in Clinton, was born in Milwaukee in 1837. Her father, George S. Willis, came from Watertown, N.Y., and was one of the earliest settlers in Milwaukee, where he kept a hotel. Later he moved to Kenosha, Wis., and died in Clinton, Iowa, in 1877, at the age of seventy-three.

Willis W. Watkins was educated in the public schools of Clinton, and at seventeen entered the employ of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Co., as clerk. Two years later he went to Barronett, Wis., where he was employed by the Barronett Lumber Co., until the fall of 1894, resigning then owing to the destruction of the town and mill in the great forest fires of that season. In the spring of 1895 he became timekeeper and lumber salesman for the Shell Lake Lumber Co., retaining the latter position to the present time. In February, 1902, Mr. Watkins helped to organize the Shell Lake Mercantile Co., of which he was president. This concern purchased the mercantile stock of two companies, including that of the Shell Lake Lumber Co., and now carries the largest stock of general merchandise in Washburn county. Mr. Watkins was one of the organizers of the Lakeside Lumber Co., of which he is secretary and treasurer and he gives much of his personal attention to the lumber business, his long experience and capable business methods being fully appreciated by the company. He was reared in the Episcopal Church. He joined the Masons in 1892 at Cumberland, Wis., and is now master of the Shell Lake Lodge; he is also a member of Pokagema Chapter, R.A.M., at Rice Lake. Mr. Watkins was married Oct. 19, 1904, at Cumberland, Wis., to Miss Clara E. Miller, of that city.

Fred W. Williams
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Fred W. Williams, foreman of the farms of the Shell Lake Lumber Co., was born in Waite, Washington Co., Maine, July 18, 1856. His parents, Andrew and Margaret (McFarlane) Williams, were natives of the same county, the father being of Welsh descent. Andrew Williams was a farmer. When the Civil war broke out he enlisted in Company G, 6th Maine V.I., dying in the service about a year later. One of his sons, Hiram, enlisted in the same company and was killed in the battle of Bull Run. Mrs. Margaret (McFarlane) Williams is still living in Washington county, Maine, and has reached the age of seventy-eight years. Her parents both lived to a ripe old age, her father, Walter McFarlane, a millwright, who came from Scotland, dying in Maine at the age of eighty-eight, and her mother, Matilda McFarlane, living to be eighty-three.

Fred W. Williams passed his boyhood on the farm. In 1887 he came to Shell Lake and was employed by different lumber companies until 1890, when he entered the employ of the Shell Lake Lumber Company, with which he still remains. Since 1900 he has had charge of the farms of the company, consisting of about 800 acres, on which are employed about twenty men and twenty-four horses. He had a pleasant cottage home in the village of Shell Lake, but is now located at Atlanta.

On Sept. 24, 1896, Mr. Williams was married to Anna Ellecson, who was born in Forest, Fond du Lac Co., Wis., daughter of Seymour and Salome Ellecson. Mr. Ellecson, a native of Krogre, Norway, came to the United States in 1846 and settled two years later in Fond du Lac county, where he lived until 1897, since when he has resided in Chicago. He served three years in Company B, 8th Wis. V.I., during the Civil war. His wife, Salome, who was born in Homer, Cortland Co., N.Y., came to Wisconsin in 1847 with her parents, John and Phoebe Snell. They settled in Fond du Lac county, where Mrs. Snell died and Mr. Snell passed away in Pentwater, Mich., at the age of eighty-nine. Mr. and Mrs. Ellecson have a family of eight children, all of whom are living and married. To Mr. and Mrs. Williams have been born three children, as follows: Roy Allen, Marguerite Salome and an infant son. Mr. Williams is a charter member of Shell Lake Camp, M.W.A. In politics he is a Republican.

Athol Wynne
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region (1905) transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Athol Wynne is one of the successful young business men of Shell Lake, Washburn county. He was born in Winnebago county, Wis., Aug. 1, 1875, son of James and Mary (Wynn) Wynne.

Edward Wynne, his grandfather, was a native of Wales, and a school teacher by profession. His son, James Wynne, was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, and soon after his birth the family moved to Ontario, where the parents died. About 1870 James Wynne came to Wisconsin, living in Winnebago county until 1881, when he settled at Shell Lake. He was appointed by Gov. Rusk first sheriff of Washburn county, in 1882, and served two years. In 1887 he took up a homestead claim in the town of Bashaw, Section 8, Town 38, Range 13, of which he has sixty acres under cultivation. He has filled various local offices, being chairman of the town of Bashaw at one time, and serving at present as assessor. Mrs. Mary (Wynn) Wynne was born near Schenectady, N.Y., and came with her parents to Wisconsin, settling in Grant county, where they died. Her father, a carpenter, was killed by a fall from a building on which he was at work.

Athol Wynne attended public school in Washburn county, and at sixteen began teaching, following this occupation for seven years in Washburn and Polk counties. In 1898 he was elected clerk of the circuit court and re-elected in 1900. He has invested largely in land, now owning about 400 acres, some of which is under cultivation; he also does a brokerage business in real estate.

Mr. Wynne was married April 16, 1902, to Pearl Hampton, daughter of Matthew Hampton, of Spring Valley, Wis. She died at Shell Lake, Jan. 19, 1904, aged twenty-three years. Mrs. Wynne was a member of the M.E. Church, with which Mr. Wynne is also identified. He has one child, Dwight Hampton, born Jan. 5, 1904. Fraternally Mr. Wynne is connected with the Masons and the Independent Order of Foresters, being secretary of the local lodge of the latter organization.

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