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Meeker County, Minnesota, 

Containing Sketches of the Cities, Villages and Townships, Educa- 
tional, CiYil, Military and Political History ; Portraits of 
Prominent Citizens and Biographies of Old Settlers and 
Representative Hen, together with a Full History 
of Meeker County's Experience During the 
Famous Indian Massacre of 1862. 

History of Minnesota, 

Embracing an Account of Early Explorations, Organization, a 

RcYiew of the Political History and a Concise 

History of the Indian Outbreak. 

Presidents of the United States, 

Embracing Biographical Sketches and Full Page Portraits of Each. 



Alden Ogle & Company, 
18S8 . 




\- ^ 

I; 5 '^i 

'Biography is the Only True History." — Emerson. 


Printers and Binders, 


^^^1^ N the compilation of this volume, it has been the aim of the publishers to prepare a 
ife'fi local encyclopedia dealing with the history and biography of the people of Meeker 
■ ' >^- county, of the past and present, comprising in a single volume of convenient form 
a varied fund of information, not only of interest to the present, but for preservation 
for coming generations, from which future searchers for historic data may draw, 
without the tedium incurred in the preparation of this. We have gathered together 
a vast mass of historic facts, and present them with individual sketches of hundreds 
of those who have been identified with the development of the various localities. That our work 
is wholly without error, or that nothing of interest has been omitted, is more than we dare to 
hope, and is more than any reasonable or intelligent reader will expect, but we have spared neither 
pains nor expense in our efforts to have the work as nearly perfect as it is possible for .such a work 
to be made. The manuscript of the historical portions was carefully submitted to committees of 
prominent old settlers, who were requested to make all changes or additions necessary for a com- 
plete and correct work. The certificates of these gentlemen will be found on page iv. As to 
the biographical department, equal care was bestowed. The biographical sketches, in every case, 
were submitted to those whom they concerned, so that all had an opportunity to correct and revise 
the statements and data before it was sent to press. 
Inclosing our labors, we have the gratifying consciousness of having used our utmcst endeavors in 
securing reliable data, and feel no hesitancy in submitting the result to an intelligent public, feeling justi- 
fied in believing that the work will compare favorably with any local historical work ever published in the 

There is always more or less ditliculty, in an historical work, in selecting those things which will 
interest the greatest number of readers. Individual tastes differ so widely, that that which may be of 
absorbing interest to one has no attractions for another. Some are interested only in that which concerns 
themselves, and do not care to read of even the most thrilling adventures in which they were not partici- 
pants. Such persons are apt to conclude that what they are not interested in is of no value, and its pre- 
servation in history a useless expense. In this, they are in error, as the most trivial reminiscence becomes 
more and more important, as years roll by, and the preservation of the names of the pioneer partici- 
pants is regarded with a just pride by their descendants. In the .settlement of any new township or county, 
no one person is entitled to all the credit for what has been accomplished, but every individual is a part of 
the great whole, and all are directly or indirectly connected with each step of progress. For this reason, 
it is always a very difficult — if not impo.ssible — task to measure and express the exact meed of praise or 
commendation due to the individual, and we have, therefore, stated facts, with "naught set down in 
malice or in praise." 

In conclusion, we desire to express our sincere thanks to the citizens generally, the pioneers, the press, 
and the county, township and village officials, who have extended more than ordinary courtesy to our 
employes in their arduous duties of obtaining data. 

That our efforts may prove satisfactory, and this volume receive a welcome commensurate with the 
care bestowed upon its preparation, is the earnest desire of the compilers. 



5^ / 

^-^ I 

^ '^->>-^'^^f^>^'^;^^=^:^^^i^^^V5^ 


Certificate of I^eVi^ion and dowection of the Indian IVja^^ad'e and (general dhaptef^. 


'E. ihe undersigned, members of the committee appointed to revise and correct the chapter relating to the 
Indian massacre, and also the general historical chapters of the History of Meeker County, compiled and 
published by Alden, Ogle & Co., do hereby certify that the manuscript was duly submitted to us, and fur- 
ther, that we revised and corrected the same, making all the changes and additions we deemed necessary; and, as 
corrected, we hereby approve of the same as being correct and complete, to the best of our judgment and recollec- 
tion. ' [Signed,] Hamlet Stevens. 

J. B. Atkinson, 
A. Nelson, 


M. J. Flvnn. 

dertificate of the I^eVi^ion and dowection of diti] and ToWn^hip Hi^torij. 

WE, the undersigned, members of the various committees selected to revise and correct the history of our 
respective township or city for the History of Meeker County, do hereby certify, that the manuscript relating 
to our respective township or village was duly submitted to us, and further, that we revised and corrected 
the same, making all the changes and additions we deemed necessary; and, as corrected, we hereby approve of the 
same as being complete and correct, to the best of our judgment and recollection. 

[Signed,] J. B. Atkinson, . 

M. J. Flynn, 
Chas. H Strobeck, 
Peter Johnson, 
John Rudberg, 
N. E. Hanson, 
Nils Elokson, 
J. Blomberg, 
C. C. Reitan, 
A. P. Nelson, 
R. D. Griniiall, 

J. M., 
Daniel Jackman, 
C. A. Oilman. 
Patrick Casey, 
J. S. Shields, 
Andrew Davidson, 
L. L. Wakefield, 
G. W. Harding, 
N. C. Caswell, 
James Lang, 
O. H. Campbell, 
Ole Kittei.son, 
Daniel Danielson, 

SoREN Morton, 

John A. Sa.mpson, 

E. Evenson, 

Harrison Fuller, 

W. H. Greenleae (Ellsworth), 


m. muri'iiy, 
Orrin Whitney, 
James A. Kline, 
Thomas Rvckman, 
Jer. Leaminc, 
Ed. H. Muri'hv. 

— • • '^-^sj— *«- 




'"^S^o^^^ ^^S).^^e^^^ 

Presidents of the United States. 

Greorge Washington 9 

John Adams 14 

Thomas Jefferson 20 

James Madison 3li 

James Jlouioe 33 

John Quincy Adams 38 

Andrew Jackson. 47 

Martin Van Biiren 53 

Wm. Henry Harrison 56 

John Tvier fi4 

James K. Polli 64 


Zachary Taylor 68 

Millard Fillmore 73 

Franklin Pierce 76 

James Buchanan 80 

Abraham Lincoln 84 

Andrew Jobn.son 93 

U.S. Grant 96 

Rutherford B. Hayes 103 

James A. Garfield 109 

Chester A, Arthur 113 

Grover Cleveland 117 

History of Minnesota. 


Location, Topography, &c 123 

Location 123 

Resources 133 

Topography 133 

Railroads 134 

Popul itiou Statistics 124 


HiSTOUY FROM 1660 TO 1888 125 

Early E.x'plorations 135 

During the Seventeenth Century 126 

During the Eighteenth Century . . 138 

During the Nineteenth Century 129 

Organization as a Territory 131 

Organization as a State 131 

Chronological Events 131 


TiTE Indian Massacue 133 

Indian Tril)es 133 

^Bloodshed 1.3.5 

Battles 138 

Surren<ier of Indians 138 

Execution of Thirty-eight Indians 139 


Territorial and State Officers 140 


Representation in Congress and Creation of 

Counties 143 

Senators 143 

Representatives ' 143 

Creation of Counties 144 

History of Meeker County, Minnesota. 

Location and Topography 


Early Settlement 

Official ^Matters 





Political 519 

Olficial Vote, 1857-188G 519 

Journalism and Education 527 

Meeker County During the SIassacre 531 




Forest City Townshii- IJ^O 

Forest City Village SSI 


Man ANN All Township 553 

Manannah Village 555 

Eden Valley Village 550 


Kingston Township 556 

Kingston Village 557 


Cedau ;Mii.i-s Township 558 


SwicDE GiiovE Township •. 560 


Darsel TowNSiiii' 561 

Dassel Village 50a 


Daiiwin Township 567 

Darwin Village 508 

Hauvey Township 568 



Daniei.son Township 569 


Litchfield Township 570 

Cosmos Township 572 

Union Grove Township 573 




A( ton Township 575 

Grove City Village 576 


Greicnt.eaf Township 578 


Coi.i.iNwooD Township 579 


Ellsworth Township 581 

Greenleaf Village 583 

History of Litchfield 584 




Adams, Frederick 375 

Ahlstrom, Clias. M.. 317 

Akes.son, Hans M 329 

Akcson, Nels 195 

Amundson, Ole 230 

Ames, Harlow 429 

Ames, Harlow F 439 

Ames, Henry 401 

Anderson, Israel J 252 

Anderson, Andrew J 359 

Anilerson, David 361 

Andersen, Ilalsten 399 

Angier, H. M 378 

Ansiell, C. L 379 

Armstrong, P. F 310 

Atkinson, J. B 156 

Atkinson. C. H 383 

Barrick, Ximrod 183 

Baden, Christian 325 

Bauer, Nick 406 

I5en.son, E. B. 330 

Berggren, Peter 326 

I5ercgren, Nels () 230 

Berg, J. P 282 

Becker, George 248 

Beckstrand, CM 281 

Belknap, Geo. S 305 

Benton, .lolin W 309 

Belfoy, :\Irs. Mary 307 

Bclfoy, Frank 308 

Bergcjuist. Gustof 368 

F.issell, Dr. F. E 2.56 

Birch, .lolin 342 

Bigelow, Clias. II 429 

Bjorhus, Ole K 476 

Bjorhus, Andrew 476 


Blomberg, John 203 

Blackwell, John 308 

Bogar, T. H 200 

Bogar, Moses II 379 

Boyer, Marion 389 

Boring, Eli 816 

Boyntoo, Henry J 333 

Boweu, Mrs. Martha 436 

Brown, Lansing V 197 

Brown, Peter K 313 

Briggs, E. A 480 

Brown, Mons A 451 

Branhani, Jesse V., Sr 466 

Branham, Jesse V., Jr 491 

Branham, H . S, 455 

Brower, Adam 375 

Burns ISrothers 483 

Buttcrfield, Chas. W 335 

Bylund, Erick 389 

Caswell, N. C 444 

Caswell, A. M 316 

Caswell. Silas H 450 

Ca.sey, Patrick 280 

Carlson, Andrew 307 

Carl.son, Elias 298 

Carlson, Swan 484 

Cairncross, Alex 370 

Case, R, F 398 

Came}', John 341 

Campbell, (). II 418 

Campbell, Ibm. W. M 485 

(Jates, Mark 440 

Case, Roy M 383 

Chriatenson, J. (Union Grove). 162 
Christenseu, John (Grove City) 423 
Chapman, Geo. H " . 306 


Chapman, Dr. Will E 353 

Chevre, Frank J 359 

Chaney, Wui. P 483 

Clements, Nels 195 

Clay, Henry 360 

Clark, Geo. W 419 

Coombs, Vincent 189 

Comstock, Ezra B 200 

Cossairt, Samuel 309 

Cox, William S 353 

Connole, Peter J 277 

Coleman, A. W' 473 

Cross, Daniel A 200 

Crowe, Luke 1) 379 

Cutts, Hon. C. E 800 

Daggett, F. E. 109 

Danielsou, Daniel 170 

Danielson, Henrv E 392 

Danielson, Nels.". 287 

Danielson, D. N 301 

Davidson, Andrew 180 

David.son, Angust 305 

Davis, James P 313 

Damulh, Robt. N a71 

Dart, Chas. H 331 

Delaney, Michael 155 

Dearey, James 305 

DeCoster, F. V 330 

Delong, Madison 347 

Delong. Alliert II 350 

Dcck,"Phillii. 352 

Deck, Franklin 355 

Der.sch, Otto 407 

Dime, John E 210 

Dickson, George 389 

Dowling, Hugh 186 



Dorman, S. A 460 

Dorman, A. T 390 

Doyle, Kichard 469 

Draxton, Nels A 466 

Dunn, Timotliy 328 

Duckering, Jolm 241 

Duckering, Chas. H 358 

Eckstrom, P 480 

Eblers, Theo 461 

Ekbom, Nels _ 351 

Ekbom, Louis '. 479 

Eklund, Andrew W 361 

Eklund, Eric P 349 

Ekmau, Nels 470 

Elofson, Nels 237 

Elofsoii, Andrew. . . 377 

Elofson, Peter 397 

Elmquist, D 375 

Elliott, Richard 376 

Enright, Patrick 387 

Erickson, August 471 

Esbjornsson, John 235 

Evenson, Hans 221 

Evenson, Hon. E 158 

Evenson, .John F 232 

Evenson, Andrew 312 

Falk, .JohnP 286 

Pinnegan, Michael .... y56 

Flynn, John 225 

Flynn, Hon. M. J 337 

Flynn, Daniel 339 

Fosen, Amos N 199 

Fourre, Richard 480 

FLdler, G. W 288 

Puller, Harrison 335 

Gardner, Mrs. Elizabeth 162 

Gardner, Peter 163 

Gibney.John 246 

Gibney, Timothy 398 

Oilman, Chas. A 391 

Gorman, David 291 

Gordon, A. L 316 

Gorton, Milton 841 

Greenleaf, Hon "W. H 149 

Greenleaf , Chas. A 261 

Greenwood, Marcellus 262 

Grant, James 285 

Grindall, Ralph D 380 

Grindall, E. L 443 

Grindall, Hiram 442 

Grono, Wm 388 

Grotte, Peter 401 

Gunderson, Andrew 318 

Gumaclius, CM 442 

Harding, G. W 168 

Hanson, James N 225 

Han.son, Peter N 246 

Hanson, Christian L 407 

Hansen Peter E 409 

Han.son, N. C. G 362 

Hanson, Bengt 453 

Hanson, C. J. G 378 

llalvorsen. Christian 396 

Halversen, H. 388 

Hallgren, John 297 

Hamilton, William 301 


Harris, Virgil H 34S 

HawkinsonTN. W 357 

Hawkinson, O. W 430 

Hawkins, Buel J 399 

Hershey, R. S 233 

Heard, Samuel A 381 

Ilines, Harry H 357 

Hill, F. R 399 

Hill, John 391 

Houk, Jlartin 161 

Hoar, David B 180 

Hoar, Adelbert B 198 

Howard, Col. J. M 306 

Hukriede, William 159 

Hukriede, Henry ■ 160 

Hunter, John 186 

Hull, Caleb 193 

Hubbard, Joseph 273 

Hurley, John 335 

Hutchins, Albert 433 

Inman, Jacob C • 308 

Iverson, Hans 183 

Jackman, Daniel 371 

Jewett, Co!. T. C 308 

John.son, Svenning 168 

John.sou, Nels F 179 

Johnson, L. M 188 

Johnson, Peter (Acton) 203 

Johnson, Peter (Da.ssel) 237 

Johnson, A. C 316 

JoluLsou, John I\I 387 

Johnson, Alfred J 338 

Johnson, Taylor 361 

Johnson, John W 433 

Jolmson, John 43.5 

Johnson, Ola ,r 439 

Johnson, Nels 464 

Johnson, C. G 490 

Johns, William H 199 

Jorgenson, Olof B 380 

Joubert, W. D 166 

Jordeu, August 307 

Kastett, Ole Nielson 395 

Kauffman, Dr. J. H 309 

Kennedy, Dr. V. P 165 

Keilty, Peter 339 

Kimball, E 355 

Kittelson, Harold 443 

Kittle.son, Ole 377 

Kline, James A 247 

Knights, John 475 

Knight, John W 373 

Koerner, August T 308 

Kon,sbrick, John 392 

Kruger, John C 268 

Lang, James 423 

Laughton, Chas. A 178 

Larson, Lewis 313 

Larson, Nels 450 

Larson, Ole 475 

Larson, Peter E 476 

Larson, Andrew 336 

Larson, John E 343 

Lawson, A. 370 

Lawton, James 378 

Lasher, H. J 242 


Leighton, Luther W 318 

Lenhard, Jacob 178 

Lenhardt, M. F 329 

Lee, Andrew 299 

Leavitt, S. W 421 

Leamiug, Jer 433 

Lindgren, John 198 

Lindgren, S. 303 

Lindell.Ole N 355 

Linuell, Hon. O. M 382 

Lovett, Michael 346 

Lovett, James 346 

Lund, Peter (Greenleaf) 331 

Lund, Peter J. (Acton) 370 

Martin, N. C 153 

Martin, Henry 185 

Martin, John 350 

Martenson, Peter 155 

Martenson, Louis 371 

Marten.son, Nils 387 

Mattson, Andrew S 158 

Mattson .John 445 

Mayer, Simon 161 

Maynard, George 365 

Manguson, Chas 309 

March, N. J 340 

Malmqui-st, PeterJ 392 

Maass, Adolph 366 

McCaruey, James 205 

McCue, James 338 

McCusker, Fergus 474 

JlcCann, Henrv 369 

McCaffrey, Patrick 463 

Mclntyre, Frank 268 

Mclntyre, Peter, 479 

Mclntee, John 331 

McKarney, Patrick 326 

McKennev. James H . 378 

McAloon," Charles 339 

McGraw, Cornelius 363 

McDevitt. Rev. H 371 

McLaue, Daniel 370 

McLauffhliu, Frank 464 

MerrilCN. D 191 

Minton, Frank W 326 

Miller, William H 257 

Miller, Israel 446 

Mitchell, David 406 

Jlitchell, Peter J ; 446 

Jlouslcy, John M 153 

Morris, James H 258 

Morton, Soren 489 

JIurray, John 390 

Murphv, William 328 

Murphy, Edward II 434 

Murphy, Michael 439 

Nelson, Hon. Andrew 171 

Nelson, Carl 166 

Nelson, Rasmus 181 

Nelson, Andrew J 318 

Nelson, B. P 366 

Nelson, Ole 319 

Nelson, Erick AV 335 

Nelson, Frank 340 

Nelson, Ola 345 

Nelson. N, L 347 

Nelson, Soren 431 



Nelson, Nicholas 473 

Nelson, James 489 

Nelson, Arnlrow P 397 

Neuliauer, (Jeorge 390 

Ness, OIo H 187 

Ness, Ilalver 456 

Ness, Martin O. 461 

Ness, Vax\ 460 

Norgien, John 493 

Noi'sreu & Co 493 

Nygren, J. P 291 

Ogren, John 36G 

Olson, Johannes 160 

Olson, John 346 

Olson, L. M 463 

Olson, Peter 483 

Ornbcrg, Peter P 449 

Osterhind, Lewis 349 

O'Keeffe, Menus 259 

Paulson, Geo 358 

Paulson, JIartin J 454 

Paulson, Paul M 307 

Paulson, John 207 

Palm, John 207 

Patterson, James 405 

Peterson, E. P 190 

Peterson, H. 1 257 

Peterson, Frank T 220 

Peterson, Hans 409 

Peterson, John 336 

Peterson, Olaf 452 

Peterson, Peter R 481 

Peterson, Peter (Acton) 376 

Pennoyer, J. I? 218 

Pitman, J. M 302 

Pier, Lewis A . . 295 

Pluraadore, Joseph 386 

Polk. James W 310 

Price, Thos. F 190 

Pratt. Sophia 229 

Proctor, Edwin F 417 

Printy, Owen 471 

Quick, John A 235 

Quigley, J.ames 397 

Quinlan, John 451 


Rails, Luke 367 

Ralston, Robert B 327 

Ralston, John 376 

Rcmick, John II 322 

Reilan, f.0 238 

Renos, Ole J 369 

Ringstrora, Peter D 355 

Roman, Leonard 177 

Ross, A. I) 317 

Roach, William 345 

Roach, Jlichacl J 400 

Rodanj;e, John 441 

Rodgers, Alfred 452 

Rowley, Henry C 473 

Russell, J. M 179 

Rimisey, H. V 332 

Rudberg, Jonas 440 

Rudberg, Hon. L 376 

Rudberg, John 400 

Ryckman, Thomas 292 

Sallberg, August 408 

Salisbury, Hon. J. B 311 

Sangreen, Peter 167 

Sampson, John 176 

Sampson, John A 167 

Scarp, J. P 248 

Scarp, Swan A 247 

Schultz. Carl 262 

Schwarz. Kudoli.h 300 

Segar, William H 269 

Shelley, James 151 

Sherman, Job B 187 

Shields, Hon. J. S 196 

Shepherd, David 277 

Shepherd. Charles 315 

Shimin. James H '"80 

Smith, John 318 

Smith, Daniel F 320 

Smith, Charles 351 

Smith, A. C 493 

Snell, John 201 

Soule, T. J 296 

Sorenson, Lars P 380 

Spath, Frederick 420 

Spaulding, Charles F 462 

Strobeck, fUiarles H 211 

Strobeck, Geo. B 465 


Stevens, Hamlet 443 

Staples. Charles A 170 

Sund(|uist. John .1 265 

Sundahl,Gundrr H 191 

Sullivan. Andrew 387 

Swansou, Fred 198 

Swanson, August 367 

Taylor, Norris Y 150 

Teberg, John 295 

Thoms, James H 319 

Thorp, Bersvend S 340 

Topping, Orcn W 468 

Torrey , John \V 473 

Turner, Nelson 286 

Twombly , Frank J 465 

Viren, N. A 197 

Vincent, Samuel C 402 

Vose, Orrin B 231 

Vossen, Joseph 290 

Vogcl, John 455 

Von Eckstaedt, Albert V :M6 

Wakefield, L. L 239 

Wakefield, Joseph L 453 

Wall, Ambrose 422 

Waller, Hon. G. B 434 

Waller, Geo. B., Jr 434 

Wanvig, D. M 459 

Waylander, Ncls 483 

Weeks, Dr. E. B 481 

Welch, Richard 398 

Wheeler, R. A 315 

Wheeler, Isaac 218 

Wheeler, Frank E 319 

Whitney, Orrin 412 

Whittiugton, W.J 470 

Whalen, John 389 

Wis,-, John 469 

Williams, Henry R 405 

Wilcox, William H 396 

Wood, Miller C .. 4.54 

Wood, LoxlcyR 485 

Wright, Jasper 460 

Youngstrom, John 169 

Zaekrison, John E 285 



' Adams, John 15 

/ Adams, John Quiucy 39 

/ Arthur, Chester A 113 

^ Becker, George 253 

■ Belknap, George S 303 

' Buchanan, James 81 

' Cleveland, Grovcr 116 

' Evcnson, E 163 

' Fillmore, Millard 73 

• Flynn, M. J 213 

' Garfield, James A 108 

I Grant, U. S 97 

1 Greenleaf. William H 153 

'Grindall, Ralph D 373 

/ Hansen, Peter E 467 

• Harrison, AVilliam II 57 

( Hayes, Rutherford I! 103 

'Hubbard. Joseph 273 

' Jackson, Andrew 46 

' Jefferson, Thomas 21 

' John-son, .Vndrew 93 

I Johnson, Peter 333 

(Lasher, H. J 343 

'Lang, Jaru-s 435 

■ Lang, Mis. James 426 

•^ Leaminir, Jcr 403 

•Linnell (). M 383 

'Lincoln, Aliraliam 85 

'"Madison, James 37 

' Monroe, James 33 

' Morris, James H 363 

^NeLsou, Andrew 173 

Pennoyer, J. B 203 

' Pierce", Franklin 77 

Polk , James K 65 

Tlodange, John 437 

( Sampson, John A 183 

Shields, John S 193 

■Taylor, Zaehariah 69 

'Tyler, John 61 

Van Bmen, Martin 53 

'Washington, George 8 

'Whitney, Orrin 414 

'Whitney, Mrs. Rebecca C 415 

•Wilcox,' AVilliam H 393 

Peter E. Hansen's residence... 515 
Andrew Nelson's residence 525 




TON, the "Father of 
his Country" and its 
first President, 1789- 
'97, was born Febru- 
ary 22, 1732, in Wash- 
ington Parish, West- 
"^^iM^C^ moreland Count y, Virginia. 
His father, Augustine Wash- 
ington, first married Jane But- 
ler, who bore him four chil- 
dren, and March 6, 1730, he 
married Mary Ball. Of six 
children by his second mar- 
riage, George .was the eldest, 
the others being Bettv, Samuel, John, Au- 
gustine, Charles and Mildred, of whom the 
youngest died in infancy. Little is known 
of the early years of Washington, beyond 
the fact that the house in which he was 
born was burned during his early child- 
hood, and that his father thereupon moyed 
to another farm, inherited from his paternal 
ancestors, situated in Stafford Count}-, on 
the north bank of the Rappahannock, where 
he acted as agent of the Principio Iron 
Works in the immediate vicinity, and died 
there in 1743. 

From earliest childhood George devel- 
oped a noble character. He had a vigorous 
constitution, a fine form, and great bodily 
Strength. His education was somewhat de- 

fective, being confined to the elementary 
branches taught him by his mother and at 
a neighboring school. He developed, how- 
ever, a fondness for mathematics, and en- 
joyed in that branch the instructions of a 
private teacher. On leaving school he re- 
sided for some time at Mount Vernon with 
his half brother, Lawrence, who acted as 
his guardian, and who had married a daugh- 
ter of his neighbor at Belvoir on the Poto- 
mac, the wealthy William Fairfax, for some 
time president of the executive council of 
the colony. Both Fairfax and his son-in-law, 
Lawrence Washington, had served with dis- 
tinction in 1 740 as officers of an American ' 
battalion at the siege of Carthagena, and 
were friends and correspondents of Admiral 
Vernon, for whom the latter's residence on 
the Potomac has been named. George's ■ 
inclinations were for a similar career, and a 
midshipman's warrant was procured for 
him, probably through the influence of the 
Admiral ; but through the opposition of his 
mother the project was abandoned. The 
family connection with the Fairfaxes, how- 
ever, opened another career for the young 
man, who, at the age of sixteen, was ap- 
pointed surveyor. to the immense estates of 
the eccentric Lord Fairfax, who was then 
on a visit at Belvoir, and who shortly aftei^- 
ward established his baronial residence at 
Greenway Court, in the Shenandoah Valley. 


Three years were passed bv 3'(ning Wash- 
iiii^ton in a rough frontier Hfe, gaining ex- 
perience which afterward proved very es- 
sential to iiim. 

In 1 75 1, when the Virginia mihtia were 
put under training with a view to active 
service against France, Washington, though 
only nineteen years of age, was appointed 
Adjutant with the rank of Major. In Sep- 
tember of that year the failing health of 
Lawrence Washington rendered it neces- 
sary for him to seek a warmer climate, and 
George accompanied him in a voyage to 
Barbadoes. They returned early in 1752, 
and Lawrence shortly afterward died, leav- 
ing his large property to an infant daughter. 
In his will George was named one of the 
executors and as eventual heir to Mount 
Vernon, and by the death of the infant niece 
soon succeeded to that estate. 

On the arrival of Robert Dinwiddie as 
Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia in 1752 
the militia was reorganized, and the prov- 
ince divided into four districts. Washing- 
ton was commissioned bv Dinwiddie Adju- 
tant-General of the Northern District in 
1753, and in November of that year a most 
important as well as hazardous mission was 
assigned him. This was to proceed to the 
Canadian posts recently established on 
French Creek, near Lake Erie, to demand 
in the name of the King of England the 
withdrawal of the French from a territory 
claimed by Virginia. This enterprise had 
been declined by more than one officer, 
since it involved a journev through an ex- 
tensive and almost unexplored wilderness 
in the occupancy of savage Indian tribes, 
either hostile to the English, or of doubtful 
attachment. Major Washington, however, 
accepted the commission with alacrity ; and, 
accompanied bj' Captain Gist, he reached 
Fort Le Boeuf on French Creek, delivered 
his dispatches and received reply, which, of 
course, was a polite refusal to surrender the 
posts. This reply was of such a character 

as to induce the Assembly of Virginia to 
authorize the executive to raise a regiment 
of 300 men for the purpose of maintaining 
the asserted rights of the British crown 
over the territory claimed. As_ Washing- 
ton declined to be a candidate for that post, 
the command of this regiment was given to 
Colonel Joshua Fr}^ and Major Washing- 
ton, at his own request, was commissioned 
Lieutenant-Colonel. On the march to Ohio, 
news was received that a part)' previously 
sent to build a fort at the confluence of the 
Monongahela with the Ohio had been 
driven back by a considerable French force, 
which had completed the work there be- 
gun, and named it Fort Duquesne, in honor 
of the Marquis Duquesne, then Governor 
of Canada. This was the beginning of the 
great " French and Indian war,'' which con- 
tinued seven years. On the death of Colonel 
Fry, Washington succeeded to the com- 
mand of the regiment, and so well did he 
fulfill his trust that the Virginia Assembly 
commissioned him as Commander-in-Chief 
of all the forces raised in the colony. 

A cessation of all Indian hostility on the 
frontier having followed the expulsion of 
the French from the Ohio, the object of 
Washington was accomplished and he re- 
signed his commission as Commander-in- 
Chief of the Virginia forces. He then pro- 
ceeded to Williamsburg to take his seat in 
the General Assembly, of which he had 
been elected a member. 

January 17, 1759, Washington married 
Mrs. Martha (Dandridge) Custis, a young 
and beautiful widow of great wealth, and de- 
voted himself for the ensuing fifteen years 
to the quiet pursuits of agriculture, inter- 
rupted only by his annual attendance in 
winter upon the Colonial Legislature at 
Williamsburg, until summoned by his 
countr}' to enter upon that other arena in 
which his fame was to become world wide. 

It is unnecessary here to trace the details 
of the struggle upon the question of local 


self-government, which, after ten years, cul- 
minated by act of Parliament of the port of 
Boston. It was at the instance of Virginia 
that a congress of all the colonies was called 
to meet at Philadelphia September 5, 1774, 
to secure their common liberties — if possible 
by peaceful means. To this Congress 
Colonel Washington was sent as a dele- 
gate. On dissolving in October, it recom- 
mended the colonies to send deputies to 
another Congress the following spring. In 
the meantime several of the colonies felt 
impelled to raise local forces to repel in- 
sults and aggressions on the part of British 
troops, so that on the assembling of the next 
Congress, May 10, 1775, the war prepara- 
tions of the mothesr country were unmis- 
takable. The battles of Concord and Lex- 
ington had been fought. Among the earliest 
acts, therefore, of the Congress was the 
selection of a commander-in-chief of the 
colonial forces. This office was unani- 
mously conferred upon Washington, still a 
member of the Congress. He accepted it 
on June 19, but on tiie express condition he 
should receive no salary. 

He immediately repaired to the vicinity 
of Boston, against which point the British 
ministry had concentrated their forces. As , 
early as April General Gage had 3,000 ' 
troops in and around this proscribed city. [ 
During the fall and winter the British policy 
clearly indicated a purpose to divide pub- 
lic sentiment and to build up a British party 
in the colonies. Those who sided with the 
ministry were stigmatized by the patriots 
as " Tories," while the patriots took to them- 
selves the name of " Whigs." 

As early as 1776 the leading men had 
come to the conclusion that there was no 
hope except in separation and indepen- 
dence. In May of that year Washington 
wrote from the head of the army in New 
York: "A reconciliation with Great Brit- 
ain is impossible When I took 

command of the army, I abhorred the idea 

of independence ; but I am now fully satis- 
fied that nothing else will save us." 

It is not the object of this sketch to trace 
the military acts of the patriot hero, to 
whose hands the fortunes and liberties of 
the United States were confided during the 
seven years' bloody struggle that ensued 
until the treaty of 1783, in which England 
acknowledged the independence of each of 
the thirteen States, and negotiated with 
them, jointl}-, as separate sovereignties. The 
merits of Washington as a military chief- 
tain have been considerably discussed, espe- 
cially by writers in his own country. Dur- 
ing the war he was most bitterly assailed 
for incompetency, and great efforts were 
made to displace him ; but he never for a 
moment lost the confidence of either the 
Congress or the people. December 4, 1783, 
the great commander took leave of his offi- 
cers in most affectionate and patriotic terms, 
and went to Annapolis, Maryland, where 
the Congress of the States was in session, 
and to that body, when peace and order 
prevailed everywhere, resigned his com- 
mission and retired to Mount Vernon. 

It was in 1788 that Washington was called 
to the chief magistracy of the nation. He 
received every electoral vote cast in all the 
colleges of the States voting for the office 
of President. The 4th of March, 1789, was 
the time appointed for the Government of 
the United States to begin its operations, 
but several weeks elapsed before quorums 
of both the newly constituted houses of the 
Congress were assembled. The city of New 
York was the place where the Congress 
then met. April 16 Washington left his 
home to enter upon the discharge of his 
new duties. He set out with a purpose of 
traveling privately, and without attracting 
any public attention ; but this was impossi- 
ble. Everywhere on his way he was met 
with thronging crowds, eager to see the 
man wiicm they regarded as the chief de- 
fender of their liberties, and everywhere 


he was hailed with those public manifesta- 
tions of joy, regaicl and love which spring 
spontaneously from the hearts of an affec- 
tionate and t^rateful people. His reception 
in New York was marked by a grandeur 
and an enthusiasm never before witnessed 
in that metropolis. The inauguration took 
place April 30, in the presence of an immense 
multitude which had assembled to witness 
the new and imposing ceremony. The oath 
of office was administered by Robert R. 
Livingston, Chancellor of the State. When 
this sacred pledge was given, he retired 
with the other officials into the Senate 
chamber, where he delivered his inaugural 
address to both houses of the newly con- 
stituted Congress in joint assembly. 

In the manifold details of his civil ad- 
ministration, Washington proved himself 
equal to the requirements ol his position. 
The greater portion of the first session of 
the first Congress was occu])ied in passing 
the necessary statutes for putting the new 
organization into complete operation. In 
the discussions brought up in the course of 
tills legislati(5n the nature and character of 
the new system came under general review. 
On no one of them did any decided antago- 
nism of opinion arise. All held it to be a 
limited government, clothed only with spe- 
cific powers conferred by delegation from 
the States. There was no change in the 
name of the legislative department ; it still 
remained " the Congress of the United 
States of America." There was no chansfe 
in the original flag of the countr3',and none 
in the seal, which still remains with the 
Grecian escutcheon borne by the eagle, 
with other emblems, under the great and 
expressive motto, " E Phtribiis Uuriui." 

The first division of parties arose upon 
the manner of construing the powers dele- 
gated, and they were first styled "strict 
constructionists" and* " latitudinarian con- 
structionists." The former were for con- 
fining the action of the Government strictly 

within its specific and limited sphere, while 
the others were for enlarging its powers by 
inference and implication. Hamilton and 
Jefferson, both members of the first cabinet- 
were regarded as the chief leaders, respect 
ivel\\ of these rising antagonistic parties, 
which have existed, under different names 
from that day to this. Washington was re- 
garded as holding a neutral position between 
them, though, by mature deliberation, he 
vetoed the first apportionment bill, in 1790, 
passed by the party headed by Hamilton, 
which was based upon a principle construct- 
ively leading to centralization or consoli- 
dation. This was the first exercise of the 
veto power under the present Constitution. 
It created considerable excitement at the 
time. Another bill was soon passed in pur- 
suance of Mr. Jefferson's views, which has 
been adi.ered to in principle in every ap- 
portionment act passed since. 

At the second session of the new Con- 
gress, Washington announced the gratif}'- 
ing fact of " the accession of North Caro- 
lina" to the Constitution of 1787, and June 
I of the same year he announced by special 
message the like " accession of the State of 
Rhode Island," with his congratulations on 
the happy event which " united under the 
general Government" all the States which 
were originally confederated. 

In 1793, at the second Presidential elec- 
tion, Washington was desirous to retire; 
but he yielded to the general wish of the 
country, and was again chosen President 
by the unanimous vote of every electoral 
college. At the third election, 1796, he was 
again most urgently entreated to consent to 
remain in the executive chair. This he 
positively refused. In September, before 
the election, he gave to his countrymen his 
memorable Farewell Address, which in lan- 
guage, sentiment and patriotism was a fit 
and crowning glory of his illustrious life. 
After March 4, 1797, he again retired to 
Mount Vernon for peace, quiet and repose. 



His administration for the two terms had 
been successful beyond tiie expectation and 
hopes of even the most sanguine of his 
friends. The finances of the country were 
no longer in an embarrassed condition, the 
public credit was fully restored, life was 
given to every department of industry, the 
workings of the new system in allowing 
Congress to raise revenue from duties on 
imjiorts proved to be not only harmonious 
in its federal action, but astonishing in its 
results upon the commerce and trade of all 
the States. The e.xports from the Union 
increased from $19,000,000 to over $56,000,- 
000 per annum, while the imports increased 
in about the same proportion. Three new 

chief to quit his repose at Mount Vernon 
and take command of all the United States 
forces, with tlie rank of Lieutenant-General, 
when war was threatened with France in 
1798, nothing need here be stated, except to 
note the fact as an unmistakable testimo- 
nial of the high regard in which he was still 
held by his countrymen, of all shades of po- 
litical opinion. He patriotically accepted 
this trust, but a treaty of peace put a stop 
to all action under it. He again retired to 
Mount Vernon, where, after a short and 
severe illness, he died December 14, 1799, 
in the sixty-eighth year of his age. The 
whole countr}^ was filled with gloom by this 
sad intelligence. Men of all parties in poli- 

membershadbeenadded to the Union. The tics and creeds in rehgion, in every State 

progress of the States in their new career 
under their new organization thus far was 
exceedingly encouraging, not only to the 
friends of libctv within their own limits, 
but to their sympathizing allies in all climes 
and countries. 

CM the call again made on this iUustrious 

in the Union, united with Congress in " pay- 
ing honor to the man, first in war, first in 
peace, and first in the hearts of his country- 
men " 

His remains were deposited in a family 
vault on the banks of the Potomac at Mount 
Vernon, where they still lie entombed. 

4-, fm. 



=, - ■ '.^^4«S?-»Sflf'""""-^'iSS»fffi5fi^i?!S!B:°> V' ^ 

OHN ADAMS, the second 
President of the United 
States, 1797 to 1801, was 
born in the present town 
,._ of Quinc_v, then a portion 
2* of Braintree, Massachu- 
setts, October 30, 1735. His 
father was a farmer of mod- 
erate means, a worthy and 
industrious man. He was 
a deacon in the church, and 
was very desirous of gi'"ing 
his son a collegiate educa- 
tion, hoping that he would 
become a minister of the 
jospel. But, as up to this 
time, the age of fourteen, he 'had been only 
a play-boy in the fields and forests, he had 
no taste for books, he chose farming. On 
being set to work, however, by his father 
out in the field, the very first day con- 
verted the boy into a lover of books. 

Accordingly, at the age of sixteen he 
entered Harvard College, and graduated in 
1755, at the age of twenty, highly esteemed 
for integrity, energy and ability. Thus, 
having no capital but his education, he 
started out into the stormy world at a time 
of great political exxitement, as France and 
England were then engaged in their great 
seven-years struggle for the mastery over 
the New World. The fire of patriotism 

seized young Adams, and for a time he 
studied over the question whether he 
should take to the law, to politics or the 
army. He wrote a remarkable letter to a 
friend, making prophecies concerning the 
future greatness of this country which have 
since been more than fulfilled. For two 
years he taught school and studied law, 
wasting no odd moments, and at the early 
age of twenty-two years he opened a law 
office in his native town. His inherited 
powers of mind and untiring devotion to 
his profession caused him to rise rapidly 
in public esteem. 

In October, 1764, Mr. Adams married 
Miss Abigail Smith, daughter of a clergy- 
man at Weymouth and a lady of rare per- 
sonal and intellectual endowments, who 
afterward contributed much to her hus- 
band's celebrity. 

Soon the oppression of the British in 
America reached its climax. The Boston 
merchants employed an attorney by the 
name of James Otis to argue the legality of 
oppressive tax law before the Superior 
Court. Adams heard the argument, and 
afterward wrote to a friend concerning the 
ability displayed, as follows : " Otis was a 
fiame of fire. With a promptitude of 
classical allusion, a depth of research, a 
rapid summary of historical events and 
dates, a profusion of legal authorities and a 





prophetic glance into futurity, he hurried 
away all before him. American independence 
ivas then and there born. Every man of an 
immensely crowded audience appeared to 
me to go away, as I did, read}' to take up 

Soon Mr. Adams wrote an essay to be 
read before the literary club of his town, 
upon the state of affairs, which was so able 
as to attract public attention. It was pub- 
lished in American journals, republished 
in England, and was pronounced b}' the 
friends of the colonists there as " one of the 
very best productions ever seen from North 

The memorable Stamp Act was now ' 
issued, and Adams entered with all the 
ardor of his soul into political life in order 
to resist it. He drew up a series of reso- 
lutions remonstrating against the act, which 
were adopted at a public meeting of the 
citizens of Braintree, and which were sub- 
sequently adopted, word for word, by m(5re 
than forty towns in the State. Popular 
commotion prevented the landing of the 
Stamp Act papers, and the English author- 
ities then-closed the courts. The town of 
Boston therefore appointed Jeremy Grid- 
ley, James Otis and John Adams to argue a 
petition before the Governor and council 
for the re-opening of the courts; and while 
the two first mentioned attorneys based 
their argument upon the distress caused to 
the people by the measure, Adams boldly 
claimed that the Stamp Act was a violation 
both of the English Constitution and the 
charter of the Provinces. It is said that 
this was the first direct denial of the un- 
limited right of Parliament over the colo- 
nies. Soon after this the Stamp Act was 

Directl}' Mr. Adams was employed to 
defend Ansell Nickerson, who had killed an 
Englishman in the act of impressing him 
(Nickerson) into the King's service, and his 
client was acquitted, the court thus estab- 

lishing the principle that the infamous 
royal prerogative of impressment could 
have no existence in the colonial code. 
But in 1770 Messrs. x\dams and Josiah 
Quincy defended a party of British soldiers 
who had been arrested for murder when 
the_v had been only obeying Governmental 
orders ; and when reproached for thus ap- 
parently deserting the cause of popular 
liberty, Mr. Adams replied that he would a 
thousandfold rather live under the domina- 
tion of the worst of England's kings than 
under that of a mob. Next, after 
serving a term as a member of the Colonial 
Legislature from Boston, Mr. Adams, find- 
ing his health affected by too great labor, 
retired to his native home at Braintree. 

The year 1774 soon arrived, with its fa- 
mous Boston '• Tea Party," the first open 
act of rebellion. Adams was sent to the 
Congress at Philadelphia ; and when the 
Attorney-General announced that Great 
Britain had " determined on her system, 
and that her power to execute it was irre- 
sistible," Adams replied : " I know that 
Great Britain has determined on her sys- 
tem, and that very determination deter- 
mines me on mine. You know that I have 
been constant in my opposition to her 
measures. The die is now cast. I have 
passed the Rubicon. Sink or swim, live or 
die, with m}- countr}-, is ni}' unalterable 
determination." The rumor beginning to 
prevail at Philadelphia that the Congress 
had independence in view, Adams foresaw 
that it was too soon to declare it openly. 
He advised every one to remain quiet in 
that respect ; and as soon as it became ap- 
parent that he himself was for independ- 
ence, he was advised to hide himself, which 
he did. 

The next year the great Revolutionary 
war opened in earnest, and Mrs. Adams, 
residing near Boston, kept her husband ad- 
vised by letter of all the events transpiring 
in her vicinity. The battle of Bunker Hill 



Congress had to do something 

came on _ 

immediatel}'. The first thing was to 
choose a commander-in-chief for the— we 
can't say " army " — the fighting men of the 
colonies. The New England delegation 
was almost unanimous in favor of appoint- 
ing General Ward, then at the head of the 
Massachusetts forces, but Mr. Adams urged 
the appointment of George Washington, 
then almost unknown outside of his own 
State. He was appointed without oppo- 
sition. Mr. Adams offered the resolution, 
which was adopted, annulling all the ro3'al 
authority in the colonies. Having thus 
prepared the wav, a few weeks later, viz., 
June 7. 1776, Richard Hcnrv Lee, of Y'n- 
ginia, who a few months before had declared 
that the British Government would aban- 
don its oppressive measures, now offered 
the memorable resolution, seconded by 
Adams, "that these United States are, and 
of right ought to be, free and independent." 
Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Sherman and 
Livingston were then appointed a commit- 
tee to draught a declaration of independ- 
ence. Mr. Jefferson desired Mr. Adams 
to draw up the bold document, but the 
latter persuaded Mr. Jefferson to perform 
that responsible task. The Declaration 
drawn up, Mr. Adams became its foremost 
defender on the floor of Congress. It was 
signed by all the fifty-five members present, 
and the next day Mr. Adams wrote to his 
wife how great a deed was done, and how 
proud he was of it. Mr. Adams continued 
to be the leading man of Congress, and 
the leading advocate of American inde- 
pendence. Above all other Americans, 
he was considered b}' every one the prin- 
cipal shining mark for British vengeance. 
Thus circumstanced, he was appointed to 
the most dangerous task of crossing the 
ocean in winter, exposed to capture by the 
British, who knew of his mission, which 
was to visit Paris and solicit the co-opera- 
tion of the French. Besides, to take him- 

self awa}- from the country of which he 
was the most prominent defender, at that 
critical time, was an act of the greatest self- 
sacrifice. Sure enough, while crossing the 
sea, he had two very narrow escapes from 
capture ; and the transit was otherwise a 
stormy and eventful one. During thc- 
summer of 1779 he returned home, but was 
immediately dispatched back to France, to 
be in readiness there to negotiate terms of 
peace and commerce with Great Britain as 
soon as the latter power was ready for such 
business. But as Dr. Franklin was more 
popular than heat the court of France, Mr. 
Adams repaired to Holland, where he was 
far more successful as a diplomatist. 

The treat}' of peace between the United 
States and England was finally signed at 
Paris, Januar}^ 21, 1783; and the re-action 
from so great exxitement as Mr. Adams had 
so long been experiencing threw him into 
a dangerous fever. Before he fully re- 
covered he was in London, whence he was 
dispatched again to Amsterdam to negoti- 
ate another loan. Compliance with this 
order undermined his physical constitution 
for life. 

In 1785 Mr. Adams was appointed envoy 
to the court of St. James, to meet face to 
face the very king who had regarded him 
as an arch traitor! Accordingly he re- 
paired thither, where he did actually meet 
and converse with George III.! After a 
residence there for about three years, he 
obtained permission to return to America. 
While in London he wrote and published 
an able work, in three volumes, entitled: 
" A Defense of the American Constitution." 

The Articles of Confederation proving 
inefficient, as Adams had prophesied, a 
carefully draughted Constitution was 
adopted in 1789, when George Washington 
was elected President of the new nation, 
and Adams Vice-President. Congress met 
for a time in New York, but was removed 
to Philadelphia for ten j-ears, until suitable 



buildings should be erected at the new 
capital in the District of CoUimbia. Mr. 
Adams then moved his family to Phila- 
delphia. Toward the close of his term of 
office the French Revolution culminated, 
when Adams and Washington rather 
S3'mpathized with England, and Jefferson 
with France. The Presidential election of 
1796 resulted in giving Mr. Adams the first 
place by a small majority, and Mr. Jeffer- 
son the second place. 

Mr. Adams's administration was consci- 
entious, patriotic and able. The period 
was a turbulent one, and even an archangel 
could not have reconciled the hostile par- 
ties. Partisanism with reference to Eng- 
land and France was bitter, and for four 
years Mr. Adams struggled through almost 
a constant tempest of assaults. In fact, he 
was not truly a popular man, and his cha- 
grin at not receiving a re-election was so 
great that he did not even remain at Phila- 
delphia to witness the inauguration of Mr. 
Jefferson, his successor. The friendly 
intimac}' between these two men was 
interrupted for about thirteen j-ears of their 
life. Adams finallv made the first advances 
toward a restoration of their mutual friend- 
ship, which were gratefully accepted bv 

Mr. Adams was glad of his opportunit)- 
to retire to private lite, where he could rest 
his mind and enjoy the comforts of home. 
By a thousand bitter experiences he found 
the path of public duty a thorny one. For 
twenty-six years his service of the public 
was as arduous, self-sacrificing and devoted 
as ever fell to the lot of man. In one im- 
portant sense he was as much the " Father 
of his Country " as was Washington in 
another sense. During these long )'ears of 
anxiety and toil, in which he was laj'ing. 
broad and deep, the foundations of the 

greatest nation the sun ever shone upon, he 
received from his impoverished country a 
meager support. The only privilege he 
carried with him into his retirement was 
that of franking his letters. 

Although taking no active part in public 
affairs, both himself and his son, John 
Quincy, nobly supported the policy of Mr. 
Jefferson in resisting the encroachments of 
England, who persisted in searching 
American ships on the high seas and 
dragging from them any sailors that might 
be designated by any pert lieutenant as 
British subjects. Even for this noble sup- 
port Mr. Adams was maligned by thou- 
sands of bitter enemies ! On this occasion, 
for the first time since his retirement, he 
broke silence and drew up a very able 
paper, exposing the atrocity of the British 
pretensions. , 

Mr. Adams outlived nearly all hisfamil3\ 
Though his physical frame began to give 
way many years before his death, his mental 
powers retained their strength and vigor to 
the last. In his ninetieth )ear he was 
gladdened by the popular elevation of his 
son to the Presidential office, the highest in 
the gift of the people. A few months more 
passed away and the 4th of Julv, 1826, 
arrived. The people, unaware of the near 
approach of the end of two great lives — 
that of Adams and Jefferson — were making 
unusual preparations for a national holiday. 
Mr. Adams lay upon his couch, listening to 
the ringing of bells, the waftures of martial 
music and the roar of cannon, with silent 
emotion. Only four days before, lie had 
given for a public toast, " Independence 
forever." About two o'clock in the after- 
noon he said, "And Jefferson still survives." 
But he was mistaken by an hour or so; 
and in a few minutes he had breathed his 




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^, -^ 


iriff ^""' ^^^ third Presi- 
dent of the United 
States, 1801-9, ^^"^s 
born April 2, 1743, 
the eldest child of 
his parents, Peter 
and Jane (Randolph) Jef- 
ferson, near Charlottes- 
ville, Albemarle County, 
Virginia, upon the slopes 
ofthe Blue Ridge. When 
he -was fourteen years of 
age, his father died, leav- 
ing a widow and eight 
children. She was a beau- 
tiful and accomplished 
good letter-writer, with a fund of 
humor, and an admirable housekeeper. His 
parents belonged to the Church of England, 
and are said to be of Welch origin. But 
little is known of them, however. 

Thomas was naturally of a serious turn 
of mind, apt to learn, and a favorite at 
school, his choice studies bemg mathemat- 
ics and the classics. At the age of seven- 
teen he entered William and Mary College, 
in an advanced class, and lived in rather an 
expensive style, consequently being much 
caressed by gay society. That he was not 
ruined, is proof of his stamina of character. 
But during his second year he discarded 


society, his horses and even his favorite 
violin, and devoted thenceforward fifteen 
hours a day to hard study, becoming ex- 
traordinarily proficient in Latin and Greek 

On leaving college, before he was twenty- 
one, he commenced the study of law, and 
pursued it diligently until he was well 
qualified for practice, upon which he 
entered in 1767. Bv this time he was also 
versed in French, Spanish, Italian and An- 
glo-Saxon, and in the criticism of the fine 
arts. Being very polite and polished in his 
manners, he won the friendship of all whom 
he met. Though able with his pen, he was 
not fluent in public speech. 

In 1769 he was chosen a member of the 
Virginia Legislature, and was the largest 
slave-holding member of that body. He 
introduced a bill empowering slave-holders 
to manumit their slaves, but it was rejected 
by an overwhelmiilg vote. 

In 1770 Mr. Jefferson met with a great 
loss ; his house at Shadwell was burned, 
and his valuable library of 2,000 volumes 
was consumed. But he was wealthy 
enough to replace the most of it, as from 
his 5,000 acres tilled by slaves and his 
practice at the bar his income amounted to 
about $5,000 a year. 

In 1772 he married Mrs. Martha Skelton, 
a beautiful, wealthy and accomplished 






young widow, who owned 40,000 acres of 
land and 130 slaves; yet he labored assidu- 
ously for the abolition of slavery. For his 
new home he selected a majestic rise of 
land upon his large estate at Shadwell, 
called Monticello, ' whereon he erected a 
mansion of modest yet elegant architecture. 
Here he lived in luxury, indulging his taste 
in magnificent, high-blooded horses. 

At this period the British Government 
gradually became more insolent and op- 
pressive toward the American colonies, 
and Mr. Jefferson was ever one of the most 
foremost to resist its encroachments. From 
time to time he drew up resolutions of re- 
monstrance, which were finally adopted, 
thus proving his ability as a statesman and 
as a leader. By the year 1774 he became 
quite bus}', both with voice and pen, in de- 
fending the right of the colonies to defend 
themselves. His pamphlet entitled : " A 
Summary View of the Rights of British 
America," attracted much attention in Eng- 
land. The following year he, in company 
with George Washington, served as an ex- 
ecutive committee in measures to defend 
by arms the State of Virginia. As a Mem- 
ber of the Congress, he was not a speech- 
maker, yet in conversation and upon 
committees he was so frank and decisive 
that he always made a favorable impression. 
But as late as the autumn of 1775 he re- 
mained in hopes of reconciliation with the 
parent country. 

At length, however, the hour arrived for 
draughting the " Declaration of Indepen- 
dence," and this responsible task was de- 
volved upon Jefferson. Franklin, and 
Adams suggested a few verbal corrections 
before it was submitted to Congress, which 
was June 28, 1776, only six days before it 
was adopted. During the three days of 
the fiery ordeal of criticism through which 
it passed in Congress, Mr. Jefferson opened 
not his lips. John Adams was the main 
champion of the Declaration on the floor 

of Congress. The signing of this document 
was one of the most solemn and momentous 
occasions ever attended to by man. Prayer 
and silence reigned throughout the hall, 
and each signer realized that if American 
independence was not finally sustained by 
arms he was doomed to the scaffold. 

After the colonies became independent 
States, Jefferson resigned for a time his seat 
in Congress in order. to aid in organizing 
the government of Virginia, of which State 
he was chosen Governor in 1779, when he 
was thirty-six years of age. At this time 
the British had possession of Georgia and 
were invading South Carolina, and at one 
time a British officer, Tarleton, sent a 
secret expedition to Monticello to capture 
the Governor. Five minutes after iNIr. 
Jefferson escaped with his family, his man- 
sion was in possession of the enemy ! The 
British troops also destroyed his valuable 
plantation on the James River. " Had tiiey 
carried off the slaves," said Jefferson, with 
characteristic magnanimity, " to give them 
freedom, the}' would have done right." 

The year 1781 was a gloomy one for the 
Virginia Governor. While confined to his 
secluded home in the forest by a sick and 
dying wife, a party arose against him 
throughout the State, severely criticising 
his course as Governor. Being very sensi- 
tive to reproach, this touched him to the 
quick, and the heap of troubles then sur- 
rounding him nearly crushed him. He re- 
solved, in despair, to retire from public life 
for the rest of his days. For weeks Mr. 
Jefferson sat lovingly, but with a crushed 
heart, at the bedside of his sick wife, during 
which time unfeeling letters were sent to 
him, accusing him of weakness and unfaith- 
fulness to duty. All this, after he had lost 
so much property and at the same time 
done so much for his country! After her 
death he actually fainted away, and re- 
mained so long insensible that it was feared 
he never would recover! Several weeks 

p:;i-:siosvTS of the u.y/ted sr.iTES. 

passed before he coulc] fully recover his 
equilibrium. He was never married a 
second time. 

In the spring of 17S2 the people of Eng- 
land compelled their king to make to the 
Americans overtures of peace, and in No- 
vember following, Mr. Jefferson was reap- 
pointed by Congress, unanimously and 
without a single adverse remark, minister 
plenipotentiary to negotiate a treat}'. 

In March, 1784, Mr. Jefferson was ap- 
pointed on a committee to draught a plan 
for the government of the Northwestern 
Territory. His slavery-prohibition clause 
in that plan was stricken out by the pro- 
slavery majority of the committee; but amid 
all the controversies and wrangles of poli- 
ticians, he made it a rule never to contra- 
dict an3'bod3- or engage in any discussion 
as a debater. 

In company with Mr. Adams and Dr. 
Franklin, Mr. Jefferson was appointed in 
May, 1784, to act as minister plenipotentiary 
in the negotiation of treaties of commerce 
with foreign nations. According!}', he went 
to Paris and satisfactorily accomplished his 
mission. The suavity and high bearing of 
his manner made all the French his friends; 
and even Mrs. Adams at one time wrote 
to her sister that he was " the chosen 
of the earth." But all the honors that 
he received, both at home and abroad, 
seemed to make no change in the simplicity 
of his republican tastes. On his return to 
America, he found two parties respecting 
the foreign commercial policy, Mr. Adams 
svmpathizing with that in favor of England 
and himself favoring France. 

On the inauguration of General Wash- 
ington as President, Mr. Jefferson was 
chosen by him for the office of Secretary of 
State. At this time the rising storm of the 
French Revolution became visible, and 
Washington watched it with great anxiety. 
His cabinet was divided in their views of 
constitutional government as well as re- 

garding the issues in France. General 
Hamilttjn, Secretarv of the Treasury, was 
the leader of the so-called Federal partv, 
while Mr. Jefferson was the leader of the 
Republican party. At the same time there 
was a strong monarchical party in this 
country, with which Mr. Adams svmpa- 
thized. Some important financial measures, 
wiiich were proposed by Hamilton and 
finally adopted by the cabinet and approved 
by Washington, were opposed by Mr. 
Jefferson ; and his enemies then began to 
reproach him with holding office under an 
administration whose views he opposed. 
The President poured oil on the troubled 
waters. On his re-election to the Presi- 
dency he desired Mr. Jefferson to remain 
in the cabinet, but the latter sent in his 
resignation at two different times, probably 
because he was dissatisfied with some of 
the measures of the Government. His 
final one was not received until January i, 
1794, when General Washington parted 
from him with great regret. 

Jefferson then retired to his quiet home 
at Monticello, to enjoy a good rest, not even 
reading the newspapers lest the political 
gossip should disquiet him. On the Presi- 
dent's again calling him back to the office 
of Secretary of State, he replied that no 
circumstances would ever again tempt him 
to engage in anything public! But, while 
all Europe was ablaze with war, and France 
in the throes of a bloodv revolution and the 
principal theater of the conflict, a new 
Presidential election in this country came 
on. John Adams was the Federal candi- 
date and Mr. Jefferson became the Republi- 
can candidate. The result of the election 
was the promotion of the latter to the Vice- 
Presidency, while the former was chosen 
President. In this contest Mr. Jefferson 
really did not desire to have either office, 
he was "so weary" of party strife. He 
loved the retirement of home more than 
any other place on the earth. 



But for four long years his Vice-Presi- 
dency passed joylessly away, while the 
partisan strife between Federalist and Re- 
publican was ever g-rowing hotter. The 
former party split and the result of the 
fourth general election was the elevation of 
Mr. Jefferson to the Presidency ! with 
Aaron Burr as Vice-President. These men 
being at the head of a growing party, their 
election was hailed everywhere with joy. 
On the other hand, many of the Federalists 
turned pale, as they believed what a portion 
of the pulpit and the press had been preach- 
ing — that Jefferson was a " scoffing atheist," 
a "Jacobin," the "incarnation of all evil," 
" breathing threatening and slaughter ! " 

Mr. Jefferson's inaugural address con- 
tained nothing but the noblest sentiments, 
expressed in fine language, and his personal 
behavior afterward exhibited the extreme 
of American, democratic simplicity. His 
disgust of European court etiquette grew 
upon him with age. Me believed that 
General Washington was somewhat dis- 
trustful of the ultimate success of a popular 
Government, and that, imbued with a little 
admiration of the forms of a monarchical 
Government, he had instituted levees, birth- 
davs, pompous meetings with Congress, 
etc. Jefferson was always polite, even to 
slaves everywhere he met them, and carried 
in his countenance the indications of an ac- 
commodating disposition. 

The political principles of the Jeffersoni- 
an party now swept the country, and Mr. 
Jefferson himself swayed an influence which 
was never exceeded even by Washington. 
Under his administration, in 1803, the Lou- 
isiana purchase was made, for §15,000,000, 
the " Louisiana Territory " purchased com- 
prising all the land west of the Mississippi 
to the Pacific Ocean. 

The vear 1804 witnessed another severe 
loss in his familv. His highly accomplished 
and most beloved daughter Maria sickened 
and died, causing as great grief in the 

stricken parent as it was possible for him to 
survive with any degree of sanity. 

The same year he was re-elected to the 
Presidenc}', with George Clinton as Vice- 
President. During his second term our 
relations wdth England became more com- 
plicated, and on June 22, 1807, near Hamp- 
ton Roads, the United States frigate 
Chesapeake was fired upon by the Brit- 
ish man-of-war Leopard, and was made 
to surrender. Three men were killed and 
ten wounded. Jefferson demanded repara- 
tion. England grew insolent. It became 
evident that war was determined upon by 
the latter power. More than 1,200 Ameri- 
cans were forced into the British service 
upon the high seas. Before any satisfactory 
solution was reached, Mr. Jefferson's 
Presidential term closed. Amid all these 
public excitements he thought constantly 
of the welfare of his family, and longed 
for the time when he could return home 
to remain. There, at Monticello, his sub- 
sequent life was very similar to that of 
Washington at Mt. Vernon. His hospi- 
tality toward his numerous friends, indul- 
gence of his slaves, and misfortunes to his 
property, etc., finally involved him in debt. 
For years his home resembled a fashion- 
able watering-place. During the summer, 
thirty-seven house servants were required ! 
It was presided over by his daughter. Mrs. 

Mr. Jefferson did rnuch for the establish- 
ment of the University at Charlottesville, 
making it unsectarian, in keeping with the 
spirit of American institutions, but poverty 
and the feebleness of old age prevented 
him from doing what he would. He even 
went so far as to petition the Legislature 
for permission to dispose of some of his 
possessions by lottery, in order to raise the 
necessary funds for home expenses. It was 
granted ; but before the plan was carried 
out, Mr. Jefferson died, July 4, 1826, at 

12:50 P. M. 



^i- » -.^ 


iLC,:Qi c^oic;oiOiC.iciC!.o;C; ic, : l-f 

J4Mii MillS®S« 

J^fSi'-'* !JS -■■ * 





=: fourth President of the 

i^ United States, 1809-'! 7. 

Y was bom at Port Con- 

wav, Prince George 

„ -/ County. Virginia, March 

16. 1 75 1. His father. 

Colonel James Madison, was 

a wealthy planter, residing 

upon a verv fine estate 

called ■■ Montpelier," only 

twentv-five miles from the 

home of Thomas Jefferson 

at Monticello. The closest 

personal and political at- 

'^ tachment existed between 

these illustrious men from their early youth 

until death. 

James was the eldest 01 a lamily of seven 
children, four sons and three daughters, all 
of whom attained maturity. His early edu- 
cation was conducted mostly at home, 
under a private tutor. Being naturally in- 
tellectual in his tastes, he consecrated him- 
self with unusual vigor to study. At a verv 
early age he made considerable proficiency 
in the Greek, Latin, French and Spanish 
languages. In 1769 he entered Princeton 
College, New Jersey, of which the illus- 
trious Dr. Weatherspoon was then Presi- 
dent. He graduated in 1771, with a char- 

acter of the utmost purity, and a mind 
highlv disciplined and stored with all the 
learning which embellished and gave effi- 
ciency to his subsequent career. After 
graduating he pursued a course of reading 
for several months, under the guidance of 
President Weatherspoon, and in 1772 re- 
turned to Virginia, where he continued in 
incessant study for two years, nominally 
directed to the law, but really including 
extended researches in theologA", philoso- 
phy and general literature. 

The Church of England was the estab- 
lished church in Virginia, invested with all 
the prerogatives and immunities which it 
enjoved in the fatherland, and other de- 
nominations labored under serious disabili- 
ties, the enforcement of which was rightly 
or wrongly characterized by them as per- 
secution. Madison took a prominent stand 
in behalf of the removal of all disabilities, 
repeatedlv appeared in the court of his own 
county to defend the Baptist nonconform- 
ists, and was elected from Orange County to 
the Virginia Convention in the spring of 
1766, when he signalized the beginning of 
his public career by procuring the passage 
of an amendment to the Declaration of 
Rights as prepared by George Mason, sub- 
stituting for '• toleration" a more emphatic 
assertion of religious liberty. 

-(--t^ ifti,-<%^ 



In 1776 he was elected a member of the 
Virginia Convention to frame the Constitu- 
tion of the State. Like Jefferson, lie took 
but little part in the public debates. His 
main strength lay in his conversational in- 
fluence and in his pen. In November, 1777, 
he was chosen a member of the Council of 
State, and in March, 1780, took his seat in 
the Continental Congress, where he first 
gained prominence through his energetic 
opposition to the issue of paper money b}^ 
the States. He continued in Congress three 
years, one of its most active and influential 

In 1784 Mr. Madison was elected a mem- 
ber of the Virginia Legislature. He ren- 
dered important service by promoting and 
participating in that revision of the statutes 
which effectually abolished the remnants of 
the feudal system subsistent up to that 
time in the form of entails, primogeniture, 
and State support given the Anglican 
Church ; and his " Memorial and Remon- 
strance" against a general assessment for 
the support of religion is one of the ablest 
papers which emanated from his pen. It 
settled the question of the entire separation 
of church and State in Virginia. 

Mr. Jefferson says of him, in allusion to 
the study and experience through which he 
had already passed : 

" Trained in these successive schools, he 
acquired a habit of self-possession which 
placed at ready command the rich resources 
of his luminous and discriminating mind and 
of his extensive information, and rendered 
him the first of every assembly of which he 
afterward became a member. Never wan- 
dering from his subject into vain declama- 
tion, but pursuing it closelv in language 
pure, classical and copious, soothing al- 
ways the feelings of his adversaries by civili- 
ties and softness of expression, he rose to the 
emi".cnt station which he held in the sfreat 
N?.^ional Convention of 17S7; and in that of 
Virginia, which followed, he sustained the 

new Constitution in all its parts, bearing off 
the palm against the logic of George Mason 
and the fervid declamation of Patrick 
Henrjr. With these consummate powers 
were united a pure and spotless virtue 
which no calumny has ever attempted to 
sully. Of the power and polish of his pen, 
and of the wisdom of his administration in 
the highest otifice of the nation, I need say 
nothing. They have spoken, and will for- 
ever speak, for themselves." 

In Januar}', 1786, Mr. Madison took the 
initiative in proposing a meeting of State 
Commissioners to devise measures for more 
satisfactory commercial relations between 
the States. A meeting was held at An- 
napolis to discuss this subject, and but five 
States were represented. The convention 
issued another call, drawn up by Mr. Madi- 
son, urging all the States to send their dele- 
gates to Philadelphia, in May, 1787, to 
draught a Constitution for the United 
States. The delegates met at the time ap- 
pointed, every State except Rhode Island 
being represented. George Washington 
was chosen president of the convention, 
and the present Constitution of the United 
States was then and there formed. There 
was no mind and no pen more active in 
framing this immortal document than the 
mind and pen of James Madison. He was, 
perhaps, its ablest advocate in the pages of 
the Federalist. 

Mr. Madison was a member of the first 
four Congresses, i789-'97, in which he main- 
tained a moderate opposition to Hamilton's 
financial policy. He declined the mission 
to France and the Secretaryship of State, 
and, gradually identifying himself with the 
Republican party, became from 1792 its 
avowed leader. In 1796 he was its choice 
for the Presidency as successor to Wash- 
ington. Mr. Jefferson wrote: "There is 
not another person in the United States 
with whom, being placed at the helm of our 
affairs, my mind would be so completely at 



rest for the fortune of our political bark." 
But >fr. Madison declined to be a candi- 
natc. His term in Cong'rcss had expired, 
and ho returned from New York to his 
beau.tiful retreat at Montpelier. 

In 1/94 Mr. Madison married a young 
widow of remarkable powers of fascination 
— Mrs. Todd. Her maiden name was Doro- 
thy Paine. She was born in 1767, in Vir- 
ginia, of Quaker parents, and had been 
educated in the strictest rules of that sect. 
When but eighteen years of age she married 
a young lawyer and moved to Philadelphia, 
where she was introduced to brilliant scenes 
of fashionable life. She speedily laid aside 
the dress and address of the Quakeress, and 
became one of the most fascinating ladies | 
of the republican court. In New York, 
after the death of her husband, she was the 
belle of the season and was surrounded with 
admirers. Mr. Madison won the prize. 
She proved an invaluable helpmate. In 
Washington she was the life of society. 
If there was any diffident, timid young 
girl just making her appearance, she 
found in Mrs. Madison an encouraging 

During the stormy administration of John 
Adams Madison remained in private life, 
but was the author of the celebrated " Reso- 
lutions of 1798," adopted by the Virginia 
Legislature, in condemnation of the Alien 
and Sedition laws, as well as of the " report" 
in which he defended those resolutions, 
which is, by many, considered his ablest 
State paper. 

The storm passed away ; the Alien and 
Sedition laws were repealed, John Adams 
lost his re-election, and in 1801 Thomas Jef- 
ferson was chosen President. The great re- 
action in public sentiment which seated 
Jefferson in the presidential chair was large- 
ly owing to the writings of Madison, who 
was consequently well entitled to the post 
of Secretary of State. With great ability 
he discharged the duties of this responsible 

office during the eight ^-ears of Mr. Jeffer- 
son's administration. 

As Mr. Jefferson was a widower, and 
neither of his daughters could be often with 
him, Mrs. Madison usually presided over 
the festivities of the White House; and as 
her husband succeeded Mr. Jefferson, hold- 
ing his office for two terms, this remarkable 
woman was the mistress of the presidential 
mansion for sixteen years. 

Mr. Madison being entirely engrossed by 
the cares of his office, all the duties of so- 
cial life devolved upon his accomplished 
wife.' Never were such responsibilities 
more ably discharged. The most bitter 
foes of her husband and of the administra- 
tion were received with the frankly prof- 
fered hand and the cordial smile of wel- 
come; and the influence of this gentle 
woman in allaying the bitterness of party 
rancor became a great and salutary power 
in the nation. 

As the term of Mr. Jefferson's Presidency 
drew near its close, party strife was roused 
to the utmost to elect his successor. It was 
a death-grapple between the two great 
parties, the Federal and Republican. Mr. 
Madison was chosen President by an elec- 
toral vote of 122 to 53, and was inaugurated 
March 4, 1S09, at a critical period, when 
the relations of the United States with Great 
Britain were becoming embittered, and his 
first term was passed in diplomatic quarrels, 
aggravated by the act of non-intercourse of 
May, 1810, and finally resulting in a decla- 
ration of war. 

On the iSth of June, 1812, President 
Madison gave his approval to an act of 
Congress declaring war against Great Brit- 
ain. Notwithstanding the bitter hostility 
of the Federal party to the war, the country 
in general approved ; and in the autumn 
Madison was re-elected to the Presidency 
by 128 electoral votes to 89 in favor of 
George Clinton. 

.March 4, 1S17, Madison yielded the Presi- 



dency to his Secretary of State and inti- 
mate friend, James Monroe, and retired to 
his ancestral estate at Montpelier, where he 
passed the evening of his days surrounded 
by attached friends and enjoying the 
merited respect of the whole nation. He 
took pleasure in promoting^griculture, as 
president of the county society, and in 
watching the development of the University 
of Virginia, of which he was long rector and 
visitor. In extreme old age he sat in 1829 
as a member of the convention called to re- 
form the Virginia Constitution, where his 
appearance was hailed with the most gen- 
uine interest and satisfaction, though he 
was too infirm :o participate in the active 
work of revision. Small in stature, slender 
and delicate in form, with a countenance 
full of intelligence, and expressive alike of 
mildness and dignity, he attracted the atten- 
tion of all who attended the convention, 
and was treated with the utmost deference. 
He seldom addressed the assembly, though 
he always appeared self-possessed, and 
watched with unflagging interest the prog- 
ress of every measure. Though the con- 
vention sat sixteen weeks, he spoke only 
twice ; but when he did speak, the whole 
house paused to listen. His voice was 
feeble though his enunciation was very dis- 
tinct. One of the reporters, Mr. Stansbury, 
relates t^he following anecdote of Mr. Madi- 
son's last speech: 

" The next day, as there was a great call 
for it, and the report had not been returned 
for publication, 1 sent my son with a re- 
spectful note, requesting the manuscript. 
My son was a lad of sixteen, whom I had 
taken with mc to act as amanuensis. On 
delivering my note, he was received with 
the utmost politeness, and requested to 
come up into Mr. Madison's room and wait 
while his eye ran over the paper, as com- 
pany had prevented his attending to it. He 
did so, and Mr. Madison sat down to correct 
the report. The lad stood near him so that 

his eye fell on the paper. Coming to a 
certain sentence in the speech, Mr. Madison 
erased a word and substituted another ; but 
hesitated, and not feeling satisfied with the 
second word, drew his pen through it also. 
My son was young, ignorant of the world, 
and unconscious of the solecism of which he 
was about to be guilty, when, in all simplic- 
ity,- he suggested a word. Probably no 
other person then living would have taken 
such a liberty. But the sage, instead of 
reoarding such an intrusion with a frown, 
raised his eyes to the boy's face with a 
pleased surprise, and said, ' Thank you, sir ; 
it is the very word,' and immediately in- 
serted it. I saw him the next day, and he 
mentioned the circumstance, with a compli- 
ment on the young critic." 

Mr. Madison died at Montpelier, June 28, 
1836, at the advanced age of eighty-five. 
While not possessing the highest order of 
talent, and deficient in oratorical powers, 
he was pre-eminently a statesman, of a well- 
balanced mind. His attainments were solid, 
his knowledge copious, his judgment gener- 
ally sound, his powers of anal3-sis and logi- 
cal statement rarely surpassed, his language 
and literary style correct and polished, his 
conversation witty, his temperament san- 
guine and trusfful, his integrity unques- 
tioned, his manners simple, courteous and 
winning. By these rare qualities he con- 
ciliated the esteem not only of friend*, but 
of political opponents, in a greater degree 
than any x\merican statesman in the present 

Mrs. Madison survived her husband thir- 
teen 3 cars, and died July 12, 1849, i'^ the 
eighty -second year of her age. She was one 
of the most remarkable women our coun- 
try has produced. Even now she is ad- 
miringly remembered in Washington as 
" Doll}' Madison," and it is fitting that her 
memory should descend to posterity in 
company with thatof the companion of 
her life. 




SSS.-Fx^n lES-IES-: 

^^ ^Ffi^'^^^^k'^^'ji^a: 



• yf'F(^■^ 


ir'C^^ y AMES MONROE, the fifth 
President of the United 
States, i8i7-'25,\vasborn 
in Westmoreland County 
Virginia, April 28, 1758. 
He was a son of Spence 
Monroe, and a descendant 
of a Scottish cavalier fam- 
ily. Like all his predeces- 
sors thus far in the Presi- 
dential chair, he enjoyed all 
the advantages of educa- 
tion which the country 
could then afford. He was 
early sent to a fine classical 
school, and at the age of six- 
teen entered William and Mary College.. 
In 1776, when he had been in college but 
two years, the Declaration of Independence 
was adopted, and our feeble militia, with- 
out arms, amunition or clothing, were strug- 
gling against the trained armies of England. 
James Monroe left college, hastened to 
General Washington's headquarters at New 
York and enrolled himself as a cadet in the 

At Trenton Lieutenant Monroe so dis- 
tinguished himself, receiving a wound in his 
shoulder, that he was promoted to a Cap- 
taincy. Upon recovering from his wound, 
he was invited to act as aide to Lord Ster- 
ling, and in that capacity he took an active 
part in the battles of Brandywine, Ger- 
aiantownand Monmouth. At Germantown 

he stood by the side of Lafayette when the 
French Marquis received his wound. Gen- 
eral Washington, who had formed a high 
idea of young Monroe's ability, sent him to 
Virginia to raise a new regiment, of which 
he was to be Colonel; but so exhausted was 
Virginia at that time that the effort proved 
unsuccessful. He, however, received his 

Finding no opportunity to enter the arm\- 
as a commissioned officer, he returned to his 
original plan of studying law, and entered 
the office of Thomas Jefferson, who was 
then Governor of Virginia. He developed 
a very noble character, frank, manly and 
sincere. Mr. Jefferson said of him: 

"James Monroe is so perfectly honest 
that if his soul were turned inside out there 
would not be found a spot on it." 

In 1782 he was elected to the Assembly 
of Virginia, and was also appointed a mem- 
ber of the Executive Council. The next 
year he was chosen delegate to the Conti- 
nental Congress for a term of three years. 
He was present at Annapolis when Wash- 
ington surrendered his commission of Com- 

With Washington, Jefferson and Madison 
he felt deeply the inefficiency of the old 
Articles of Confederation, and urged the 
formation of a new Constitution, which 
should invest the Central Government with 
something like national power. Influenced 
by these views, he introduced a resolution 



that Congress should be empowered to 
regulate trade, and to lay an impost duty 
of five per cent. The resolution was refer- 
red to a committee of which he was chair- 
man. The report and the discussion which 
rose upon it led to the convention of five 
States at Annapolis, and the consequent 
general convention at Philadelphia, which, 
in 1787, drafted the Constitution of the 
United States. 

At this time there was a controversy be- 
tween New York and Massachusetts in 
reference to their boundaries. The high 
esteem in which Colonel Monroe was held 
is indicated by the fact that he was ap- 
pointed one of the judges to decide the 
controversy. While in New York attend- 
ing Congress, he married Miss Kortright, 
a young lady distinguished alike for her 
beauty and accomplishments. For nearly 
fifty years this happy union remained un- 
broken. In London and in Paris, as in her 
own country, Mrs. Monroe won admiration 
and affection by the loveliness of her per- 
son, the brilliancy of her intellect, and the 
amiability of her character. 

Returning to Virginia, Colonel Monroe 
commenced the practice of law at Freder- 
icksburg. He was very soon elected to a 
seat in the State Legislature, and the next 
year he was chosen a member of the Vir- 
ginia convention which was assembled to 
decide upon the acceptance or rejection of 
the Constitution which had been drawn up 
at Philadelphia, and was now submitted 
to the several States. Deeply as he felt 
the imperfections of the old Confederacy, 
he was opposed to the new Constitution, 
thinking, with man}' others of the Republi- 
can party, that it gave too much power to 
the Central Government, and not enough 
to the individual States. 

\x\ 1789 he became a member of the 
United States Senate, which office he held 
acceptably to his constituents, and with 
honor to himself for four years. 

Having opposed the Constitution as not 
leaving enough power with the States, he, 
of course, became more and more identi- 
fied with the Republican party. Thus he 
found himself in cordial co-operation with 
Jefferson and Madison. The great Repub- 
lican party became the dominant power 
which ruled the land. 

George Washington was then President. 
England had espoused the cause of the 
Bourbons against the principles of the 
French Revolution. President Washing- 
ton issued a proclamation of neutralit}- be- 
tween these contending powers. France 
had helped us in the struggle for our lib- 
erties. All the despotisms of Europe were 
now combined to prevent the French 
from escaping from tyranny a thousandfold 
worse than that which we had endured. 
Colonel Monroe, more magnanimous than 
prvident, was an.xious that we should help 
our old allies in their extremitv. He vio- 
lently opposed the President's procla- 
mation as ungrateful and wanting in 

Washington, who could appreciate such 
a character, developed his calm, serene, 
almost divine greatness bv appointing that 
very James Monroe, who was denouncing 
the polic}- of the Government, as the Minis- 
ter of that Government to the republic of 
France. He was directed b}' Washington 
to express to the French people our warm- 
est sympathy, communicating to them cor- 
responding resolves approved by the Pres- 
ident, and adopted \yy both houses of 

Mr. Monroe was welcomed by the Na- 
tional Convention in France with the most 
enthusiastic demonstrations of respect and 
affection. He was publicly introduced to 
that body, and received the embrace of the 
President, Merlin de Douay, after having 
been addressed in a speech glowing with 
congratulations, and with expressions of 
desire that harmony might ever exist be- 



tween the two nations. The flags of the 
two republics were intertwined in the hall 
of the convention. Mr. Afonroe presented 
the American colors, and received those of 
France in return. The course which he 
pursued in Paris was so annoying to Eng- 
land and to the friends of England in 
this country that, near the close of Wash- 
ington's administration, Mr. Monroe, was 

After his return Colonel Monroe wrote a 
book of 400 pages, entitled " A View of the 
Conduct of the Executive in Foreign Af- 
fairs." In this work he very ably advo- 
cated his side of the question; but, with 
the magnanimit\- of the man, he recorded a 
warm tribute to the patriotism, ability and 
spotless integrity of John Jay, between 
whom and himself there was intense antag- 
onism ; and in subsequent years he ex- 
pressed in warmest terms his perfect 
veneration for the character of George 

Shortlv after his return to this country 
Colonel Monroe was elected Governor of 
Virginia, and held that office for three 
years, the period limited by the Constitu- 
tion. In 1802 he was an Envoy to France, 
and to Spain in 1805, and was Minister to 
England in 1803. In 1806 he returned to 
his quiet home in Virginia, and with his 
wife and children and an ample competence 
from his paternal estate, enjoyed a few years 
of domestic repose. 

In 1809 Mr. Jefferson's second term of 
office expired, and many of the Republican 
party were anxious to nominate James 
Monroe as his successor. The majority 
were in favor of Mr. Madison. Mr. Mon- 
roe withdrew his name and was soon after 
chosen a second time Governor of Virginia. 
He soon resigned that office to accept the 
position of Secretary of State, offered him 
by President Madison.- The correspond- 
ence which he then carried on with the 
British Government demonstrated that 

there was no hope of any peaceful adjust- 
ment of our difficulties with the cabinet of 
St. James. War was consequently declared 
in June, 1812. Immediately after the sack 
of Washington the Secretary of War re- 
signed, and Mr. Monroe, at the earnest 
request of Mr. Madison, assumed the ad- 
ditional duties of the War Department, 
without resigning his position as Secretary 
of State. It has been confidently stated, 
that, had Mr. Monroe's energies been in the 
War Department a few months earlier, the 
disaster at Washington would not have 

The duties now devolving upon Mr. Mon- 
roe were extremely arduous. Ten thou- 
sand men, picked from the veteran armies 
of England, were sent with a powerful fleet 
to New Orleans to acquire possession of 
the mouths of the Mississippi. Our finan- 
ces were in the most deplorable condition. 
The treasury was exhausted and our credit 
gone. And ^et it was necessary to make 
the most rigorous preparations to meet the 
foe. In this crisis James Monroe, the Sec- 
retary of War, with virtue unsurpassed in 
Greek or Roman story, stepped forward 
and pledged his own individual credit as 
subsidiary to that of the nation, and thus 
succeeded in placing the city of New Or- 
leans in such a posture of defense, that it 
was enabled successfully to repel the in- 

Mr. Monroe was truly tlic annor-bcarer 
of President Madison, and the most efficient 
business man in his cabinet. His energy 
in the dmible capacity of Secretary, both 
of State and War, pervaded all the depart- 
ments of the country. He proposed to 
increase the arm}- to 100,000 men, a meas- 
ure which he deemed absolutely necessary 
to save us from ignominious defeat, but 
which, at the same time, he knew would 
render his name so unpopular as to preclude 
the possibilit}' of his being a successful can- 
didate for the Presidency. 



The happy result of the conference at 
Ghent in securing peace rendered the in- 
crease of the army unnecessary; but it is not 
too much to say that James Monroe placed 
in the hands of Andrew Jackson the 
weapon with which to beat off the foe at 
New Orleans. Upon the return of peace 
Mr. Monroe resigned the department of 
war, devoting himself entirely to the duties 
of Secretary of State. These he continued 
to discharge until the close of President 
Madison's administration, with zeal which 
was never abated, and with an ardor of 
self-devotion which made him almost for- 
getful of the claims of fortune, health or 

Mr. Madison's second term expired in 
March, 1817, and Mr. Monroe succeeded 
to the Presidency. He was a candidate of 
the Republican party, now taking the name 
of the Democratic Republican. In 1821 he 
was re-elected, with scarcely any opposition. 
Out of 232 electoral votes, he received 231. 
The slavery question, which subsequently 
assumed such formidable dimensions, now 
began to make its appearance. The State 
of Missouri, which had been carved out of 
that immense territory which we had pur- 
chased of France, applied for admission to 
the Union, with a slavery Constitution. 
There were not a few who foresaw the 
evils impending. After the debate of a 
week it was decided that Missouri could 
not be admitted into the Union with slav- 
er}'. This important question was at length 
settled bv a compromise proposed by 
Henry Clay. 

The famous "Monroe Doctrine," of which 
so much has been said, originated in this 
way: In 1823 it was rumored that the 
Holy Alliance was about to interfere to 
prevent the establishment of Republican 
liberty in the European colonies of South 
America. President Monroe wrote to his 
old friend Thomas Jefferson for advice in 
the emergency. In his reply under date of 

October 24, Mr. Jefferson writes upon the 
supposition that our attempt to resist this 
European movement might lead to war: 

" Its object is to introduce and establish 
the American system of keeping out of our 
land all foreign powers; of never permitting 
those of Europe to intermeddle with the 
affairs of our nation. It is to maintain our 
own principle, not to depart from it." 

December 2, 1823, President Monroe 
sent a message to Congress, declaring it to 
be the policy of this Government not to 
entangle ourselves with the broils of Eu- 
rope, and not to allow Europe to interfere 
with the affairs of nations on the American 
continent; and the doctrine was announced, 
that any attempt on the part of the Euro- 
pean powers " to extend their system to 
any portion of this hemisphere would be 
regarded by the United States as danger- 
ous to our peace and safety." 

March 4, 1825, Mr. Monroe surrendered 
the presidential chair to his Secretary of 
State, John Ouincy Adams, and retired, 
with the universal respect of the nation, 
to his private residence at Oak Hill, Lou- 
doun County, Virginia. His time had been 
so entirel}- consecrated to his country, that 
he had neglected his pecuniary interests, 
and was deeply involved in debt. The 
welfare of his country had ever been up- 
permost in his mind. 

For man\' years Mrs. Monroe was in such 
feeble health that she rarely appeared in 
public. In 1830 Mr. Monroe took up his 
residence with his son-in-law in New York, 
where he died on the 4th of July, 183 1. 
The citizens of New York conducted his 
obsequies with pageants more imposing 
than had ever been witnessed there before. 
Our country will ever cherish his mem- 
ory with pride, gratefully enrolling his 
name in the list of its benefactors, pronounc- 
ing him the worthy successor of the illus- 
trious men who had preceded him in the 
presidential chair^ 



iHSaHHaHd! r! H r' ?FF?^??aH 

'Si(x^i}d~. .^ ^ ^^ .^ 


JaffiiQ Qminof Adam 


''■:\,^r;j^C,;^^/^^,.; ^' 




the sixth President of the 
United States, i825-'9, 
was born in the rural 
home of his honored 
father, John Adams, in 
Q u i n c y , Massachusetts, 
July II, 1767. Hismother, 
a woman of exalted worth, 
watclied over his childhood 
during the almost constant 
absence of his father. He 
commenced his education 
at the village school, giving 
at an early period indica- 
tions of superior mental en- 

When eleven years of age he sailed with 
his father for Europe, wiiere the latter was 
associated with Franklin and Lee as Minister 
Plenipotentiary. The intelligence of John 
Quincy attracted the attention of these men 
and received from them flattering marks of 
attention. Mr. Adams had scarcely returned 
to this country in 1779 ere he was again 
sent abroad, and John Quincy again accom- 
panied him. On this voyage he commenced 
a diary, which practice he continued, with 
but few interruptions, until his death. He 
journeyed with his father from Ferrol, in 
Spain, to Paris. Here he applied himself 
for six months to study; then accompanied 

liis father to Holland, where he entered, 
first a school in Amsterdam, and then the 
University of Leyden. In 1781, when only 
fourteen years of age, he was selected by 
Mr. Dana, our Minister to the Russian 
court, as his private secretary. In this 
school of incessant labor he spent fourteen 
months, and then returned alone to Holland 
through Sweden, Denmark, Hamburg and 
Bremen. Again he resumed his studies 
under a private tutor, at The Hague. 

In the spring of 1782 he accompanied liis 
father to Paris, forming acquaintance with 
the most distinguished men on the Conti- 
nent. After a short visit to England, he re- 
turned to Paris and studied until May, 
1785, when he returned to America, leav- 
ing his father an embassador at the court 
of St. James. In 1786 he entered the jun- 
ior class in Harvard University, and grad- 
uated with the second honor of his class. 
The oration he delivered on this occasion, 
the " Importance of Public Faith to the 
Well-being of a Community," was pub- 
lished — an event very rare in this or any 
other land. 

Upon leaving college at the age of twenty 
he studied law three years with tlie Hon. 
Theophilus Parsons in Newburyport. In 
1790 he opened a law office in Boston. The 
profession was crowded with able men, and 
the fees were small. The first year he had 

Ui W . iJ^i. 



no clients, but not a moment was lost. The 
second year passed away, still no clients, 
and still he was dependent upon his parents, 
for support. Anxiously he awaited the 
third year. The reward now came. Cli- 
ents began to enter his office, and before 
the end of the year he was so crowded 
with business that all solicitude respecting 
a support was at an end. 

When Great Britain commenced war 
against France, in 1793, Mr. Adams wrote 
some articles, urging entire neutrality on 
the part of the United States. The view 
was not a popular one. Many felt that as 
France had helped us, we were bound to 
help France. But President Washington 
coincided with Mr. Adams, and issued his 
proclamation of neutrality. His writings 
at this time in the Boston journals gave 
him so high a reputation, that in June, 
1794, he was appointed by Washington 
resident Minister at the Netherlands. In 
July, 1797, he left The Hague to go to Port- 
ugal as Minister Plenipotentiary. Wash- 
ington at this time wrote to his father, John 

" Without intending to compliment the 
father or the mother, or to censure any 
others, I give it as m}- decided opinion, 
that Mr. Adams is the most valuable char- 
acter we have abroad; and there remains 
no doubt in m)' mind that he will prove the 
ablest of our diplomatic corps." 

On his way to Portugal, upon his arrival 
in London, he met with dispatches direct- 
ing him to the court of Berlin, but request- 
ing him to remain in London until he should 
receive instructions. While waiting he 
was married to Miss Louisa Catherine John- 
son, to whom he had been previously en- 
gaged. Miss Johnson was a daughter of 
Mr. Joshua Johnson, American Consul 
in London, and was a lady endowed with 
that beauty and those accomplishments 
which fitted her to move in the elevated 
sphere for which she was destined. 

In July, 1799, having fulfilled all the pur- 
poses of his mission, Mr. Adams returned. 
In 1802 he was chosen to the Senate of 
Massachusetts from Boston, and then was 
elected Senator of the United States for six 
years from March 4, 1804. His reputation, 
his ability and his experience, placed him 
immediately among the most prominent 
and influential members of that body. He 
sustained the Government in its measures 
of resistance to the encrcjachments of Eng- 
land, destroying our commerce and insult- 
ing our flag. There was no man in America 
more familiar with the arrogance of the 
British court upon these points, and no 
one more resolved to present a firm resist- 
ance. This course, so truly patriotic, and 
which scarcely a voice will now be found 
to condemn, alienated him from the Fed- 
eral party dominant in Boston, and sub- 
jected him to censure. 

In 1805 Mr. Adams was chosen professor 
of rhetoric in Harvard College. His lect- 
ures at this place were subsequently pub- 
lished. In 1809 he was sent as Minister to 
Russia. He was one of the commissioners 
that negotiated the treaty of peace with 
Great Britain, signed December 24, 18 14, 
and he was appointed Minister to the court 
of St. James in 1815. In 1817 he became 
Secretary of State in Mr. Monroe's cabinet 
in which position he remained eight years. 
Few will now contradict the assertion that 
the duties of that office were never more 
ably discharged. Probably the most im- 
portant measure which Mr. Adams con- 
ducted was the purchase of Florida from 
Spain for $5,000,000. 

The campaign of 1824 was an exciting 
one. Four candidates were in the field. 
Of the 260 electoral votes that were cast, 
Andrew Jackson received ninety-nine; John 
Quincy Adams, eighty-four; William H. 
Crawford, forty-one, and Henry Clay, 
thirty-seven. As there was no choice by 
the people, the question went to the House 



of Representatives. Mr. Clay gave the 
vote of Kentucky to Mr. Adams, and fie 
was elected. 

Tfic friends of all disappointed candidates 
now combined in a x'enomous assault upon 
Mr. Adams. There is nothing more dis- 
graceful in the past history of our country 
than the abuse which was poured in one 
uninterrupted stream upon this high- 
minded, upright, j^atriotic man. There was 
never an administration more pure in prin- 
ciples, more conscientiously devoted to the 
best interests of the country, than that of 
John Quincy Adams; and never, perhaps, 
was there an administration more unscru- 
pulously assailed. Mr. Adams took his seat 
in the presidential chair resolved not to 
know any partisanship, but only to con- 
sult for the interests of the whole Republic, 

He refused to dismiss an}^ man from of- 
fice for his political views. If he was a faith- 
ful officer that was enough. Bitter must 
have been his disappointment to find that the 
Nation could not appreciate such conduct. 

Mr. Adams, in his public manners, was 
cold and repulsive; though with his per- 
sonal friends he was at times very genial. 
This chilling address very seriously de- 
tracted from his popularity. No one can 
read an impartial record of his administra- 
tion without admitting that a more noble 
example of uncompromising dignity can 
scarcely be found. It was stated publicly 
that Mr. Adams' administration was to be 
put down, " though it be as pure as the an- 
gels which stand at the right hand of the 
throne of God." Many of the active par- 
ticipants in these scenes lived to regret the 
course they pursued. Some years after, 
Warren R. Davis, of South Carolina, turn- 
ing to Mr. Adams, then a member of the 
House of I^epresentatives, said: 

" Well do I remember the enthusiastic 
zeal with which we reproached the admin- 
istration of that gentleman, and the ardor 
and vehemence with which wc labored to 

bring in another. For the share I had in 
these transactions, and it was not a small 
one, I hope God will forgive vie, for I shall 
7iever forgive myself. 

March 4, 1829, Mr. Adams retired from 
the Presidency and was succeeded by An- 
drew Jackson, the latter receiving 168 out 
of 261 electoral votes. John C. Calhoun 
was elected Vice-President. The slavery 
question now began to assume pretentious 
magnitude. Mr. Adams returned to 
Quincy, and pursued his studies with una- 
bated zeal. But he was not long permitted 
to remain in retirement. In N )vcmber, 
1830, he was elected to Congress. In this 
he recognized the principle that it is honor- 
able for the General of yesterday to act as 
Corporal to-day, if by so doing he can ren- 
der service to his countr}'. Deep as are 
our obligations to John Quincy Adams for 
his services as embassador, as Secretary of 
State and as President; in his capacity as 
legislator in the House of Representa- 
tives, he conferred benefits upon our land 
which eclipsed all the rest, and which can 
never be over-estimated. 

For seventeen years, until his death, he 
occupied the post of Representative, tow- 
ering above all his peers, ever ready to do 
brave battle for freedom, and winning the 
title of " the old man eloquent." Upon 
taking his seat in the House he announced 
that he should hold himself bound to no 
party. He was usually the first in his 
place in the morning, and the last to leave 
his seat in the evening. Not a measure 
could escape his scrutiny. The battle 
which he fought, almost singly, against the 
pro-slavery party in the Government, was 
sublime in its moral daring and heroism. 
For persisting in presenting petitions for 
the abolition of slavery, he was threatened 
with indictment by the Grand Jury, with 
expulsion from the House, with assassina- 
tion; but no threats could intimidate him, 
and his final triumph was complete. 



On one occasion Mr. Adams presented a 
petition, signed by several women, against 
tlie annexation of Texas for the purpose of 
cutting it up into slave States. Mr. How- 
ard, of Maryland, said that these women 
discredited not only themselves, but their 
section of the country, by turning from 
their domestic duties to the conflicts of po- 
litical life. 

"Are women," exclaimed Mr. Adams, 
" to have no opinions or actions on subjects 
relating to the general welfare? Where 
did the gentleman get his principle? Did 
he find it in sacred history, — in the language 
of Miriam, the pr<:)phetess, in one of the 
noblest and sublime songs of triumph that 
ever met the human eye or ear? Did the 
gentleman never hear of Deborah, to whom 
the children of Israel came up for judg- 
ment ? Has he forgotten the deed of Jael, 
who slew the dreaded enemy of her coun- 
try ? Has he forgotten Esther, who, by her 
petition saved her people and her coun- 

" To go from sacred history to profane, 
does the gentleman there find it 'discredita- 
ble ' for women to take an interest in politi- 
cal affairs? Has he forgotten the Spartan 
mother, who said to her son when going 
out to battle, ' My son, come back to me 
zvith th}' shield, or jipon thy shield?' Does 
he remember Cloelia and her hundred com- 
panions, who swam across the river unt"'er 
a shower of darts, escaping from Porsena ? 
Has he forgotten Cornelia, the mother of 
the Gracchi ? Does he not remember Por- 
tia, the wife of Brutus and the daughter of 
Cato ? 

" To come to later periods, what says the 
history of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors ? 
To say nothing of Boadicea, the British 
heroine in the time of the Caesars, what 
name is more illustrious than that of Eliza- 
beth ? Or, if he will go to the continent, 
will he not find the names of Maria Theresa 
of Hungary, of the two Catherines of 

Prussia, and of Isabella of Castile, the pa- 
troness of Columbus ? Did she bring ' dis- 
credit ' on her sex by mingling in politics ? " 

In this glowing strain Mr. Adams si- 
lenced and overwhelmed his antagonists. 

In January, 1842, Mr. Adams presented 
a petition from forty-five citizens of Haver- 
hill, Massachusetts, praying for a peaceable 
dissolution of the Union. The pro-slavery 
party in Congress, who were then plotting 
the destruction of the Government, were 
aroused to a pretense of commotion such as 
even our stormy hall of legislation has 
rarely witnessed. They met in caucus, and, 
finding that they probably would not be 
able to expel Mr. Adams from the House 
drew up a series of resolutions, which, if 
adopted, would inflict upon him disgrace, 
equivalent to expulsion. Mr. Adams had 
presented the petition, which was most re- 
spectfully worded, and had moved that it be 
referred to a committee instructed to re- 
port an answer, showing the reason why 
the prayer ought not to be granted. 

It was the 25th of' January. The whole 
body of the pro-slavery party came crowd- 
ing together in the House, prepared to 
crush Mr. Adams forever. One of the num- 
ber, Thomas F. Marshall, of Kentucky, was 
appointed to read the resolutions, which 
accused Mr. Adams of high treason, of 
having insulted the Government, and of 
meriting expulsion; but for which deserved 
punishment, the House, in its great mercy, 
would substitute its severest censure. With 
the assumption of a very solemn and mag- 
isterial air, there being breathless silence in 
the audience, Mr. Marshall hurled the care- 
fully prepared anathemas at his victim. 
Mr. Adams stood alone, the whole pro-slav- 
ery party against him. 

As soon as the resolutions were read, 
every eye being fixed upon him, that bold 
old man, whose scattered locks were whit- 
ened by seventy-five years, casting a wither- 
ing glance in the direction of his assailants, 



in :i clear, slirill tone, trcmuloiis with sup- 
pressed emotion, said: 

" In reply to this audacious, atrocious 
charije of liig'h treason, I call for the read- 
ing of the first paragraj)h of the Declaration 
of Independence. Read it ! Read it ! and 
see what that says of the rights of a people 
to reform, to change, and to dissolve their 

The attitude, the manner, the tone, the 
words; the venerable old man, with flash- 
ing eye and flushed cheek, and whose very 
form seemed to expand under the inspiration 
of the occasion — all presented a scene over- 
flowing in its sublimity. There was breath- 
less silence as that paragraph was read, in 
defense of whose principles our fathers had 
pledged their lives, their fortunes and their 
sacred honor. It was a proud hour to Mr. 
Adams as thev were all compelled to listen 
to the words: 

" That, to secure these rights, govern- 
ments are instituted among men, deriving 
their just powers fn^m the consent of the 
governed; and that whenever any form of 
government becomes destructive of those 
ends, it is the right of the people to alter or 
abolish it, and to institute new government, 
laying its foundations on such principles 
and organizing its powers in such form 
as shall seem most likely to effect their 
safety and happiness." 

That one sentence routed and baffled the 

foe. The heroic old man looked around 
upon the audience, and thundered out, 
" Read that again!" It was again read. 
Then in a few fiery, logical words he stated 
his defense in terms which even prejudiced 
minds could not resist. His discomfited 
assailants made several attempts to rally. 
After a conflict of eleven days they gave 
up vanquished and their resolution was ig- 
nominiously laid upon the table. 

In January, 1846, when seventy-eight 
years of age, he took part in the great de- 
bate on the Oregon question, displaying 
intellectual vigor, and an extent and accu- 
racy of acquaintance with the subject that 
excited great admiration. 

On the 2 1 St of February, 1848, he rose on 
the floor of Congress with a paper in his 
hand to address the Speaker. Suddenly 
he fell, stricken by paralysis, and was caught 
in the arms of those around him. For a 
time he was senseless and was conveyed 
to a sofa in the rotunda. With reviving 
consciousness he opened his eyes, looked 
calmly around and said, " This is the end of 
earth." Then after a moment's pause, he 
added, " I am content." These were his last 
words, and he soon breathed his last, in the 
apartment beneath the dome of the capitol 
— the theater of his labors and his triumphs. 
In the language of hymnology, he " died at 
his post;" he " ceased at once to work and 




g^ gfe «n n^f 

I fi'MjD'B*EM;3ffiCSK.SieWI 

( •■ 


•^ ^ 



the seventh President 
of the United States, 
i829-'37, was born at 
the Waxhaw Settle, 
ment, Union Coun- 
ty, North Carolina, 
[arch i6, 1767. His parents 
;ere Scotch-Irish, natives of 
^arrickfergus, who came to 
Lmerica in 1765, and settled 
Twelve-Mile Creek, a trib- 
utary of the Catawba. His 
father, who was a poor farm 
laborer, died shortly before An- 
drew's birth, when his mother removed to 
Waxhaw, where some relatives resided. 

Few particulars of the childhood of Jack- 
son have been preserved. His education 
was of the most limited kind, and he showed 
no fondness for books. He grew up to be a 
tall, lank boy, with coarse hair and freck- 
led cheeks, with bare feet dangling from 
trousers too short for him, very fond of ath- 
letic sports, running, boxing and wrestling. 
He was generous to the younger and 
weaker boj's, but very irascible and over- 
bearing with his equals and superiors. He 
was profane — a vice in which he surpassed 
all other men. The character of his mother 

he revered; and it was not until after her 
death that his predominant vices gained 
full strength. 

- In 1780, at the age of thirteen, Andrew, 
or Andy, as he was called, with his brother 
Robert, volunteered to serve in the Revo- 
lutionary forces under General Sumter, and 
was a witness of the latter's defeat at Hang- 
ing Rock. In the following )-ear the 
brothers were made prisoners, and confined 
in Camden, experiencing brutal treatment 
from their captors, and being spectators of 
General Green's defeat at Hobkirk Hill. 
Through their mother's exertions the boys 
were exchanged while suffering from small- 
pox. In two days Robert was dead, and 
Andy apparently dying. The strength of 
his constitution triumphed, and he regained 
health and vigor. 

As he was getting better, his mother 
heard the cry of anguish from the prison- 
ers whom the British held in Charleston, 
among whom were the sons of her sisters. 
She hastened to their relief, was attacked 
by fever, died and was buried where her 
grave could never be found. Thus Andrew 
Jackson, when fourteen years of age, was 
left alone in the world, without father, 
mother, sister or brother, and without one 
dollar which he could call his own. He 



soon entered a saddler's shop, and labored 
diligently for six months. But gradually, 
as health returned, he became more and 
more a wild, reckless, lawless boy. He 
gambled, drank and was regarded as about 
the worst character that could be found. 

He now turned schoolmaster. He could 
teach the alphabet, perhaps the multiplica- 
tion table; and as he was a very bold boy, 
it is possible he might have ventured to 
teach a little writing. But he soon began to 
think of a profession and decided to study 
law. With a very slender purse, and on 
the back of a very fine horse, he set out 
for Salisbury, North Carolina, where he 
entered the law office of Mr. McCay. 
Here he remained two years, professedly 
studying law. He is still remembered in 
traditions of Salisbury, which say: 

" Andrew Jackson was the most roaring, 
rollicking, horse-racing, card-playing, mis- 
chievous fellow that ever lived in Salisbury. 
He did not trouble the law-books much." 

Andrew was now, at the age of twenty, 
a tall young man, being over six feet in 
height. He was slender, remarkably grace- 
ful and dignified in his manners, an exquis- 
ite horseman, and developed, amidst his 

traversed the almost pathless forest between 
Nashville and Jonesborough, a distance of 
200 miles, twent3'-two times. Hostile In- 
dians were constantly on the watch, and a 
man was liable at any moment to be shot 
down in his own field. Andrew Jackson 
was just the man for this service — a wild, 
daring, rough backwoodsman. Daily he 
made hair-breadth escapes. He seemed to 
bear a charmed life. Boldly, alone or with 
few companions, he traversed the forests, 
encountering all perils and triumphing 
over all. 

In 1790 Tennessee became a Territory, 
and Jackson was appointed, by President 
Washington, United States Attorney for 
the new district. In 1791 he married Mrs. 
Rachel Robards (daughter of Colonel John 
Donelson), whom he supposed to have been 
divorced in that year by an act of the Leg- 
islature of Virginia. Two years after this 
Mr. and Mrs. Jackson learned, to their 
great surprise, that Mr. Robards had just 
obtained a divorce in one of the courts of 
Kentuck}-, and that the act of the Virginia 
Legislature was not final, but conditional. 
To remedy the irregularity as much as pos- 
sible, a new license was obtained and the 

loathesome profanity and multiform vices, a marriage ceremony was again performed 
vein of rare magnanimity. His temper was 
fiery in the extreme; but it was said of him 
that no man knew better than Andrew 
Jackson when to get angry and when not. 

In 1786 he was admitted to the bar, and 
two years later removed to Nashville, 
in what was then the western district of 
North Carolina, with the appointment of so- 
licitor, or public prosecutor. It was an of- 
fice of little honor, small emolument and 
great peril. Few men could be found to 
accept it. 

And now Andrew Jackson commenced 
vigorously to practice law. It was an im- 
portant part of his business to collect debts. 
It required nerve. During the first seven 
years of his residence in those wilds he 

It proved to be a marriage of rare felic- 
ity. Probably there never was a more 
affectionate union. However rough Mr. 
Jackson might have been abroad, he was 
alwa3'S gentle and tender at home; and 
through all the vicissitudes of their lives, he 
treated Mrs. Jackson wil;h the most chival- 
ric attention. 

Under the circumstances it was not un- 
natural that the facts in the case of this 
marriage were so misrepresented bv oppo- 
nents in the political campaigns a quarter 
or a century later as to become the basis 
of serious charges against Jackson's moral- 
ity which, however, have been satisfactorily 
attested by abundant evidence. 

Jackson was untiring in his duties as 

A.VUtih \r JACKSO V. 


United States Attorney, which demanded 
frequent journeys through the wilderness 
and exposed him to Indian hostilities. He 
acquired considerable property in land, and 
obtained such influence as to be chosen 
a member of the convention which framed 
the Constitution for the new State of Ten- 
nessee, in 1796, and in that year was elected 
its first Representative in Congress. Albert 
Gallatin thus describes the first appearance 
of the Hon. Andrew Jackson in the House: 

" A tall, lank, uncouth-looking personage, 
with locks of hair hanging over his face and 
a cue down his back, tied with an eel skin; 
his dress singular, his manners and deport- 
ment those of a rough backwoodsman." 

Jackson was an earnest advocate of the 
Democratic party. Jefferson was his idol. 
He admired Bonaparte, loved France and 
hated England. As Mr. Jackson took his 
seat, General Washington, whose second 
term of office was just expiring, delivered 
his last speech to Congress. A committee 
drew up a complimentary address in reply. 
Andrew Jackson did not approve the ad- 
dress and was one of twelve who voted 
against it. 

Tennessee had fitted out an expedition 
against the Indians, contrary to the policy 
of the Government. A resolution was intro- 
duced that the National Government 
should pa\' the expenses. Jackson advo- 
cated it and it was carried. This rendered 
him very popular in Tennessee. A va- 
cancy chanced soon after to occur in the 
Senate, and Andrew Jackson was chosen 
United States Senator by the State of Ten- 
nessee. John Adams was then President 
and Thomas Jefferson, Vice-President. 

In 1798 Mr. Jackson returned to Tennes- 
see, and resigned his seat in the Senate. 
Soon after he was chosen Judge of the Su- 
preme Court of that State, with a salary of 
$600. This office he held six years. It is 
said that his decisions, though sometimes 
ungrammatical, were generally right. He 

did not enjoy his seat upon the bench, and 
renounced the dignity in 1804. About 
this time he was chosen Major-General of 
militia, and lost the title of judge in that of 

When he retired from the Senate Cham- 
ber, he decided to try his fortune through 
trade. He purchased a stock of goods in 
Philadelphia and sent them to Nashville, 
where he opened a store. He lived about 
thirteen miles from Nashville, on a tract of 
land of several thousand acres, mostly un- 
cultivated. He used a small block-house 
for a store, from a narrow window of 
which he sold goods to the Indians. As he 
had an assistant his office as judge did not 
materially interfere with his business. 

As to slavery, born in the midst of it. the 
idea never seemed to enter his mind that it 
could be wrong. He eventually became 
an extensive slave owner, but he was one of 
the most humane and gentle of masters. 

In 1804 Mr. Jackson withdrew from pol- 
itics and settled on a plantation which he 
called the Hermitage, near Nashville. He 
set up a cotton-gin, formed a partnership 
and traded in New Orleans, making the 
voyage on flatboats. Through his hot tem- 
per he became involved in several quarrels 
and "affairs of honor," during this period, 
in one of which he was severely wounded, 
but had the misfortune to kill his opponent, 
Charles Dickinson. For a time this affair 
greatly injured General Jackson's popular- 
ity. The verdict then was, and continues 
to be, that General Jackson was outra- 
geously wrong. If hesubsequentl}' felt any 
remorse he never revealed it to anyone. 

In 1805 Aaron Burr had visited Nash- 
ville and been a guest of Jackson, with 
whom he corresponded on the subject of a 
war with Spain, which was anticipated and 
desired by them, as well as by the people 
of the Southwest generally. 

Burr repeated his visit in September, 
1806, when he engaged in the celebrated 



combinations which led to his trial for trea- 
son. He was warmly received by Jackson, 
at whose instance a public ball was given 
in his honor at Nasiiville, and contracted 
with the latter for boats and provisions. 
Earlv in 1807, when Burr had been pro- 
claimed a traitor by President Jefferson, 
volunteer forces for the Federal service 
were organized at Nashville under Jack- 
son's command; but his energj' and activ- 
ity did not shield him from suspicions of 
connivance in the supposed treason. He 
was summoned to Richmond as a witness 
in Burr's trial, but was not called to the 
stand, probably because he was out-spoken 
in his partisanship. 

On the outbreak of the war with Great 
Britain in 181 2, Jackson tendered his serv- 
ices, and in January, 181 3, embarked for 
New Orleans at the head of the Tennessee 
contingent. In March he received an or- 
der to disband his forces; but in Septem- 
ber he again took the field, in the Creek 
war, and in conjunction with his former 
partner. Colonel Coffee, inflicted upon the 
Indians the memorable defeat at Talladega, 
Emuckfaw and Tallapoosa. 

In Ma\ , 1814, Jackson, who had now ac- 
quired a national reputation, was appointed 
a Major-Generalof the United States army, 
and commenced a campaign against the 
British in Florida. He conducted the de- 
fense at Mobile, September 15, seized upon 
Pensacola, November 6, and immediately 
transported the bulk of his troops to New 
Orleans, then threatened by a powerful 
naval force. Martial law was declared in 
Louisiana, the State militia was called to 
arms, engagements with the British were 
fought December 23 and 28, and after re-en- 
forcements had been received on both sides 
the famous victory of January 8, 181 5, 
crowned Jackson's fame as a soldier, and 
made him the typical American hero of 
the first half of the nineteenth century. 

In 1 817-'! 8 Jackson conducted the war 

against the Seminoles of Florida, during 
which he seized upon Pensacola and exe- 
cuted by courtraartial two British subjects, 

Arbuthnot and Ambrister acts which 

might easily have involved the United 
States in war both with Spain and Great 
Britain. Fortunately the peril was averted 
by the cession of Florida to the United 
States; and Jackson, who had escaped a 
trial for the irregularity of his conduct 
only through a division of opinion in Mon- 
roe's cabinet, was appointed in 1821 Gov- 
ernor of the new Territory. Soon after he 
declined the appointment of minister to 

In 1823 Jackson was elected to the United 
States Senate, and nominated by the Ten- 
nessee Legislature for the Presidency. This 
candidacy, though a matter of surprise, and 
even merrvment, speedily became popular, 
and in 1824, when the stormy electoral can- 
vas resulted in the choice of John Quincy 
Adams by the House of Representatives, 
General Jackson received the largest popu- 
lar vote among the four candidates. 

In 1828 Jackson was triumphantly elected 
President over Adams after a campaign of 
unparalleled bitterness. He was inaugu- 
rated Marcli 4, 1829, and at once remcived 
from office all the incumbents belonging to 
the opposite party — a procedure new to 
American politics, but which naturally be- 
came a precedent. 

His first term was characterized by quar- 
rels between the Vice-President, Calhoun, 
and the Secretary of State, Van Buren, at- 
tended by a cabinet crisis originating in 
scandals connected with the name of Mrs. 
General Eaton, wife of the Secretary of 
War; by the beginning of his war u])on the 
United States Bank, and by his vigorous 
action against the partisans of Calhoun, 
who, in South Carolina, threatened to 
nullify the acts of Congress, establishing a 
protective tariff. 

In the Presidential campaign of 1832 



Jackson received 219 out of 288 electoral 
votes, his competitor being Mr. Clay, while 
Mr. Wirt, on an Anti-Masonic platform, 
received the vote of Vermont alone. In 
1833 President Jackson removed the Gov- 
ernment deposits from the United States 
bank, thereby incurring a vote of censure 
from the Senate, which was, however, ex- 
punged four years later. During this second 
term of office the Cherokees, Choctaws and 
Creeks were removed, not without diffi- 
culty, from Georgia, Alabama and Missis- 
sippi, to the Indian Territory; the National 
debt was extinguished; Arkansas and 
Michigan were admitted as States to the 
Union; the Seminole war was renewed; the 
anti-slavery agitation first acquired impor- 
tance; the Mormon delusion, which had 
organized in 1829, attained considerable 
proportions in Ohio and Missouri, and the 
country experienced its greatest pecuniary 

Railroads with locomotive propulsion 
were introduced into America during Jack- 
son's first term, and had become an impor- 
tant element of national life before the 
close of his second term. For many rea- 
sons, therefore, the administration of Presi- 
dent Jackson formed an era in American 
history, political, social and industrial. 
He succeeded in effecting the election of 

his friend Van Buren as his successor, re- 
tired from the Presidency March 4, 1837, 
and led a tranquil life at the Hermitage 
until his death, which occurred June 8, 
1845. _ 

During his closing years he was a pro- 
fessed Christian and a member of the Pres- 
byterian church. No American of this 
century has been the subject of such oppo- 
site judgments. He was loved and hated 
with equal vehemence during his life, but 
at the present distance of time from his 
career, while opinions still vary as to the 
merits of his public acts, few of his country- 
men will question that he was a warm- 
hearted, brave, patriotic, honest and sincere 
man. If his distinguishing qualities were 
not such as constitute statesmanship, in the 
highest sense, he at least never pretended 
to other merits than such as were written 
to his credit on the page of American his- 
tory — not attempting to disguise the de- 
merits which were equally legible. The 
majority of his countrymen accepted and 
honored him, in spite of all that calumny 
as well as truth could allege against him. 
His faults may therefore be truly said to 
have been those of his time; his magnifi- 
cent virtues may also, with the same jus- 
tice, be considered as typical of a state of 
society which has nearly passed away. 



|| ^^^OQai^tin Uan Bui^en.<^^|| 

i^agj-^^^F^iiagjg^T^ j;.^a"afc.:g!t^-it'33jt ^tt'^ssj^s^^^ 








REN, the eighth 
rJ President of the 
United States, 1837- 
'41, was born at Kin- 
derhook, New York, 
December 5, 1782. 
His ancestors were of Dutch 
origin, and were among the 
earHest emigrants from Hol- 
land to the banks of the 
Hudson. His father was a 
tavern-keeper, as well as a 
farmer, and a very decided 
^ Martin commenced the study 
of law at the age of fourteen, and took an 
active part in politics before he had reached 
the age of twenty. In 1803 he commenced 
the practice of law in his native village. 
In 1809 he removed to Hudson, the shire 
town of his county, where he spent seven 
years, gaining strength by contending in 
the courts with some of the ablest men 
who have adorned the bar of his State. 
The heroic example of John Quincy Adams 
in retaining in ofifice every faithful man, 
without regard to his political preferences, 
had been thoroughly repudiated by Gen- 
eral Jackson. The unfortunate principle 
was now fully established, that " to the 
victor belong the spoils." Still, this prin- 
ciple, to which Mr. Van Buren gave his ad- 

herence, was not devoid of inconveniences. 
When, subsequently, he attained power 
which placed vast patronage in his hands, 
he was heard to say : " I prefer an office 
that has no patronage. When I give a man 
an office I offend his disappointed competi- 
tors and their friends. Nor am I certain of 
gaining a friend in the man I appoint, for, 
in all probability, he expected something 

In 1812 Mr. Van Buren was elected to 
the State Senate. In 181 5 he was appointed 
Attorney-General, and in 1816 to the Senate 
a second time. In 1818 there was a great 
split in the Democratic party in New Ycjrk, 
and Mr. Van Buren took the lead in or- 
ganizing that portion of the party called 
the Albany Regency, which is said to have 
swayed the destinies of the State for a 
quarter of a century. 

In 1 82 1 he was chosen a member of the 
convention for revising the State Constitu- 
tion, in which he advocated an extension of 
the franchise, but opposed universal suf- 
frage, and also favored the proposal that 
colored persons, in order to vote, should 
have freehold property to the amount of 
$250. In this year he was also elected to 
the United States Senate, and at the con- 
clusion of his term, in 1827, was re-elected, 
but resigned the following year, having 
been chosen Governor of the State. In 
March, 1829, he was appointed Secretary of 

O 7 7y^^ ^^^^^^^ 



State by President Jackson, but resigned 
in April, 1831, and during the recess of 
Congress was appointed minister to Eng- 
land, whither he proceeded in September, 
but the Senate, when convened in Decem- 
ber, refused to ratify the appointment. 

In Ma}-, 1832, Mr. Van Buren was nomi- 
nated as the Democratic candidate for Vice- 
President, and elected in the following 
November. May 26, 1836, he received the 
nomination to succeed General Jackson as 
President, and received 170 electoral votes, 
out of 283. 

Scarcely had he taken his seat in the 
Presidential chair when a financial panic 
swept over the land. Manv attributed 
this to the war which General Jackson had 
waged on the banks, and to his endeavor to 
secure an almost exclusive specie currency. 
Nearly every bank in the country was com- 
pelled to suspend specie payment, and ruin 
pervaded all our great cities. Not less than 
254 houses failed in New York in one week. 
All public works were brought to a stand, 
and there was a general state of dismay. 
President Van Buren urged the adoption of 
the independent treasury system, which 
was twice passed in the Senate and defeated 
in the House, but finally became a law near 
the close of his rxlminictration. 

Another important measure was the pass- 
age of a pre-emption law, giving actual set- 
tlers the preference in the purchase of 
public lands. The question of slavery, also, 
now began to assume great prominence in 
national politics, and after an elaborate 
anti-slavery speech by Mr. Slade, of Ver- 
mont, in the House of Representatives, the 
Southern members withdrew for a separate 
consultation, at which Mr. Rhett, of South 
Carolina, proposed to declare it expedient 
that the Union should be dissolved ; but 
the matter was tided over by the passage 
of a resolution that no petitions or papers 
relating to slavery should be in any way 
considered or acted upon. 

In the Presidential election of 1840 Mr. 
Van Buren was nominated, without opposi- 
tion, as the Democratic candidate, William 
H. Harrison being the candidate of the 
Whig party. The Democrats carried only 
seven States, and out of 294 electoral votes 
only sixty were for Mr. Van Buren, the re- 
maining 234 being for his opponent. The 
Whig popular majority, however, was not 
large, the elections in many of the States 
being verv close. 

March 4, 1841, Mr. Van Buren retired 
from the Presidency. From his fine estate 
at Lindenwald he still exerted a powerful 
influence upon the politics of the country. 
In 1844 he was again proposed as the 
Democratic candidate for the Presidency, 
and a majority of the delegates of the 
nominating convention were in his favor ; 
but, owing to his opposition to the pro- 
posed annexation of Texas, he could not 
secure the requisite two-thirds vote. His 
name was at length withdrawn by his 
friends, and Mr. Polk received the nomina- 
tion, and was elected. 

In 1848 Mr. Cass was the regular Demo- 
cratic candidate. A schism, however, 
sprang up in the party, upon the question 
of the permission of slavery in the newly- 
acquired territory, and a portion of the 
party, taking the name of " Free-Soilers," 
nominated Mr. Van Buren. They drew 
away sufficient votes to secure the election 
of General Taylor, the Whig candidate. 
After this Mr. Van Buren retired to his es- 
tate at Kinderhook, where the remainder 
of his life was passed, with the exception of 
a European tour in 1853. He died at 
Kinderhook, July 24, 1862, at the age of 
eighty years. 

Martin Van Buren was a great and good 
man, and no one will question his right to 
a high position among those who have 
been the successors of Washington in the 
faithful occupancy of the Presidential 




^^ei WILLIflffl HENRY HflRHISDN. ^^^ 

dence of 

ninth President of 
the United States, 
I 84 I, was born 
February 9, 1773, 
in Charles County, 
at Berkeley, the resi- 
his father, Governor 
Benjamin Harrison. He studied 
at Hampden, Sidney College, 
with a view of entering the med- 
ical profession. After graduation 
he went to Philadelphia to study 
medicine under the instruction of 
Dr. Rush. 
George Washington was then President 
3f the United States. The Indians were 
committing fearful ravages on our North- 
western frontier. Young Harrison, either 
lured by the love of adventure, or moved 
by the sufferings of families exposed to the 
most horrible outrages, abandoned his med- 
ical studies and entered the army, having 
obtained a commission of ensign from Pres- 
ident Washington. The first duty assigned 
him was to take a train of pack-horses 
bound to Fort Hamilton, on the Miami 
River, about forty miles from Fort Wash- 
ington. He was soon promoted to the 

rank of Lieutenant, and joined the army 
which Washington had placed under the 
command of General Wayne to prosecute 
more vigorously the war with the In- 
dians. Lieutenant Harrison received great 
commendation from his commanding offi- 
cer, and was promoted to the rank of 
Captain, and placed in command at Fort 
Washington, now Cincmnati, Ohio. 

About this time he married a daughter 
of John Cleves Symmes, one of the fron- 
tiersmen who had established a thriving 
settlement on the bank of the Maumee. 

In 1797 Captain Harrison resigned his 
commission in the army and was appointed 
Secretary of the Northwest Territory, and 
ex-officio Lieutenant-Governor, General St. 
Clair being then Governor of the Territory. 
At that time the law in reference to the 
disposal of the public lands was such that 
no one could purcliase in tracts less than 
4,000 acres. Captain Harrison, in the 
face of violent opposition, succeeded in 
obtaining so much of a modification of 
this unjust law that the land was sold in 
alternate tracts of 640 and 320 acres. The 
Northwest Territory was then entitled 
to one delegate in Congress, and Cap- 
tain Harrison was chosen to fill that of- 
fice. In 1800 he was appointed Governor 

^ /^/9c 




of Indiana Territory and soon after of 
Upper Louisiana. He was also Superin- 
tendent of Indian Affairs, and so well did he 
fulfill these duties that he was four times 
appointed to this office. During his admin- 
istration he effected thirteen treaties with 
the Indians, by which the United States 
acquired 60,000,000 acres of land. In 1804 
he obtained a cession from the Indians of 
all the land between the lUinois River and 
the Mississippi. 

In 18 1 2 he was made Major-General of 
Kentucky militia and Brigadier-General 
in the army, with the command of the 
Northwest frontier. In 1S13 he was made 
Major-General, and as such won much re- 
nown by the defense of Fort Meigs, and the 
battle of the Thames, October 5, 1813. In 
1 8 14 he left the army and was employed in 
Indian affairs by the Government. 

In 18 16 Genei^al Harrison was chosen a 
member of the National House of Repre- 
sentatives to represent the district of Ohio. 
In the contest which preceded his election 
he was accused of corruption in respect to 
the commissariat of the army. Immedi- 
ately upon taking his seat, he called for an 
investigation of the charge. A committee 
was appointed, and his vindication was 
triumphant. A high compliment was paid 
to his patriotism, disinterestedness and 
devotion to the public service. For these 
services a gold medal was presented to him 
with the thanks of Congress. 

In 1 8 19 he was elected to the Senate of 
Ohio, and in 1824, as one of the Presiden- 
tial electors of that State, he gave his vote 
to Henry Clay. In the same year he was 
elected to the Senate of the United States. 
In 1828 he was appointed by President 
Adams minister plenipotentiary to Colom- 
bia, but was recalled by General Jackson 
immediately after the inauguration of the 

Upon his return to the United States, 
General Harrison retired to his farm at 

North Bend, Hamilton County, Ohio, six- 
teen miles below Cincinnati, where for 
twelve years he was clerk of the County 
Court. He once owned a distillery, but 
perceiving the sad effects of whisky upon 
the surrounding population, he promptly 
abandoned his business at great pecuniary 

In 1836 General Harrison was brought 
forward as a candidate for the Presidency. 
Van Buren was the administration candi- 
date; the opposite party could not unite, 
and four candidates were brought forward. 
General Harrison received seventy-three 
electoral votes without any general concert 
among his friends. The Democratic party 
triumphed and Mr. Van Buren was chosen 
President. In 1839 General Harrison was 
again nominated for the Presidency by the 
Whigs, at Harrisburg, Penns\'lvania, Mr. 
Van Buren being the Democratic candi- 
date. General Harrison received 234 elec- 
toral votes against sixty for his opponent. 
This election is memorable chiefly for the 
then extraordinary means employed during 
the canvass for popular votes- Mass meet- 
ings and processions were introduced, and 
the watchwords " log cabin " and " hard 
cider " were effectually used by the Whigs, ^ 
and aroused a popular enthusiasm. 

A vast concourse of people attended his 
inauguration. His address on that occasion 
was in accordance with his antecedents, and 
gave great satisfaction. A short time after he 
took his seat, he was seized by a pleurisv- 
fever, and after a few days of violent sick- 
ness, died April 4, just one short month after 
his inauguration. His death was universally 
regarded as one of the greatest of National 
calamities. Never, since the death of 
Washington, were there, throughout one 
land, such demonstrations of sorrow. Not 
one single spot can be found to sully his 
fame; and through all ages Americans will 
pronounce with love and reverence the 
name of William Henrv Harrison. 



m I 

OHN TYLER, the tenth 
President of the United 
ix'" '^U^/iM i 1^^** States, was born in 
Charles City County, 
\'irginia, March 29, 1790. 
His father, Judge John 
Tyler, possessed large 
landed estates in Virginia, 
and was one of the most 
distinguished men of his 
day, filling the offices of 
Speaker of the House of 
Delegates, Judge of the Su- 
preme Court and Governor 
of the State. 
At the early age of twelve 
entered William and Mary 
trraduated with honor when 
but seventeen years old. He then closely 
applied himself to the study of law, and at 
nineteen years of age commenced the prac- 
tice of his profession. When only twenty- 
one he was elected to a seat in the State 
Legislature. He acted witii the Demo- 
cratic party and advocated the measures of 
Jefferson and Madison. For five years he 
was elected to the Legislature, receiving 
nearly the unanimous vote of his county. 

When but twentv-six years of age he was 
elected a member of Congress. He advo- 
cated a strict construction of the Constitu- 
tion and the most careful vigilance over 

young John 
College, and 

State rights. He was soon compelled to 
resign his seat in Congress, owing to ill 
health, but afterward took his seat in the 
State Legislature, where he exerted a 
powerful influence in promoting public 
works of great utility. 

In 1825 Mr. Tvler was chosen Governor 
of his State — a high honor, for Virginia 
had many able men as competitors for 
the prize. His administration was signally 
a successful one. He urged forward inter- 
nal improvements and strove to remove 
sectional jealousies. His popularity secured 
his re-election. In 1827 he was elected 
United States Senator, and upon taking his 
seat joined the ranks of the opposition. He 
opposed the tariff, voted against the bank 
as unconstitutional, opposed all restrictions 
upon slavery, resisted all projects of inter- 
nal improvements by the General Govern- 
ment, avowed his sympathy with Mr. Cal- 
houn's views of nullification, and declared 
that General Jackson, by his opposition to 
the nuUifiers, had abandoned the principles 
of the Democratic part}'. Such was Mr. 
Tyler's record in Congress. 

This hostility to Jackson caused Mr. 
Tyler's retirement from the Senate, after 
his election to a second term. He soon 
after removed to Williamsburg for the 
better education of his children, and again 
took his scat in the Legislature. 




In 1839 he was sent to the National Con- 
vention at Harrisburg to nominate a Presi- 
dent. General Harrison received a majorit)- 
of votes, much to the disappointment of the 
South, who had wished for Henry Clay. 
In order to concil'ate the Southern Whigs, 
John Tyler was nominated for ^^ice-Presi- 
dent. Harrison and Tyler were inaugu- 
rated March 4, 1841. In one short month 
from that time President Harrison died, 
and Mr. Tyler, to his own surprise as well 
as that of the nation, found himself an 
occupant of the Presidential chair. His 
position was an exceedingly difficult one, 
as he was opposed to the main principles of 
the party which had brought him into 
power. General Harrison had selected a 
Whig cabinet. Should he retain them, and 
thus surround himself with councilors 
whose views were antagonistic to his own? 
or should he turn against the party that 
had elected him, and select a cabinet in 
harmony with himself? This was his fear- 
ful dilemma. 

President Tyler deserves more charity 
than he has received. He issued an address 
to the people, which gave general satisfac- 
tion. He retained the cabinet General 
Harrison had selected. His veto of a bill 
chartering a new national bank led to an 
open quarrel with the party which elected 
him, and to a resignation of the entire 
cabinet, except Daniel Webster, Secretary 
of State. 

President T\-ler attempted to conciliate. 
He appointed a new cabinet, leaving out all 
strong party men, but the Whig members 
of Congress were not satisfied, and they 
published a manifesto September 13, break- 
ing off ail political relations. The Demo- 
crats had a majority in the House ; the 
Whigs in the Senate. Mr. Webster soon 
found it necessary to resign, being forced 
out by the pressure of his Whig friends. 

April 12, i8z^4, President Tyler concluded, 
through Mr. Calhoun, a treaty for the an- 

nexation of Texas, which was rejected by 
the Senate ; but he effected his object in the 
closing days of his administration by the 
passage of the joint resolution of March i 

He was nominated for the Presidency by 
an informal Democratic Convention, held 
at Baltimore in May, 1844, but soon with- 
drew from the canvass, perceiving that he 
had not gained the confidence of the Demo- 
crats at large. 

Mr. Tyler's administration was particu- 
larly unfortunate. No one was satisfied. 
Whigs and Democrats alike assailed him. 
Situated as he was, it is more than can 
be expected of human nature that he 
should, in all cases, have acted in the wisest 
manner ; but it will probably be the verdict 
of all candid men, in a careful review of his 
career, that John Tyler was placed in a 
position of such difficulty that he could not 
pursue an)' course which would not expose 
him to severe censure and denunciation. 

In 1813 Mr. T\ler married Letitia Chris- 
tian, who bore him three sons and three 
daughters, and died in Washington in 1842. 
June 26, 1844, he contracted a second mar- 
riage with Miss Julia Gardner, of New 
York. He lived in almost complete retire- 
ment from politics until February, 1861, 
when he was a member of the abortive 
" peate convention," held at Washington, 
and was chosen its President. Soon after 
he renounced his allegiance to the United 
States and was elected to the Confederate 
Congress. He died at Richmond, January 
17, 1862, after a short illness. 

Unfortunately for his memory the name 
of John Tyler must forever be associated 
with all the misery of that terrible Re- 
bellion, whose cause he openly espoused. 
It is with sorrow that history records that 
a President of the United States died while 
defending the flag of rebellion, which was 
arrayed against the national banner in 
deadly warfare. 




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fj5_.i._A .nir?^5^ 


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'% the eleventh President of 
§m the United States, 1845- 
s' 49, was born in Meck- 

lenburg County, North 
A- Carolina, November 2, 
1795. He was the eldest 
son of a family of six sons 
and four daughters, and was 
a grand-nephew of Colonel 
Thomas Polk, celebrated in 
connection with the Meck- 
lenburg Declaration of In- 

In 1806 his father, Samuel 
Polk, emigrated with his fam- 
il}- two or tliree hundred miles west to the 
valley of the Duck River. He was a sur- 
veyor as well as farmer, and gradually in- 
creased in wealth until he became one of 
the leading men of tlje region. 

In the common schools James rapidly be- 
came proficient in all the common branches 
of an English education. In 181 3 he was 
sent to Murfreesboro Academy, and in the 
autumn of 1815 entered the sophomore class 
in the University of North Carolina, at 
Chapel Hill, graduating in 181 8. After a 
short season of recreation he went to Nash- 
ville and entered the law office of Felix 
Grundy. As soon as he had his finished 

legal studies and been admitted to the bar, 
he returned to Cokunbia, the shire town of 
Maury County, and opened an office. 

James K. Polk ever adhered to the polit- 
ical faith of his father, which was that of 
a Jeffersonian Republican. In 1S23 he was 
elected to the Legislature of Tennessee. As 
a "strict constructionist," he did not think 
that the Constitution empowered the Gen- 
eral Government to carry on a sj'stem of 
internal improvements in the States, but 
deemed it important that it should have 
that power, and wished the Constitution 
amended that it might be conferred. Sub- 
sequentl)-, however, he became alarmed lest 
the General Government become so strong 
as to undertake to interfere with slavery. 
He therefore gave all his influence to 
strengthen the State governments, and to 
check the growth of the central power. 

In Januar}', 1824, Mr. Polk married Miss 
Mary Childress, of Rutherford County, Ten- 
nessee. Had some one then whispered to 
him that he was destined to become Presi- 
dent of the United States, and that he must 
select for his companion one who would 
adorn that distinguished station, he could 
not have made a more fitting choice. She 
was trul)^ a lady of rare beauty and culture. 

In the fall of 1825 Mr. Polk was chosen 
a member of Congress, and was continu- 



ously re-elected until 1839. He then with- 
drew, only that he might accept the 
gubernatorial chair of his native State. 
He was a warm friend of General Jackson, 
who had been defeated in the- electoral 
contest by John Ouincy Adams. This 
latter gentleman had just taken his seat in 
the Presidential chair when Mr. Polk took 
his seat in the House of Representatives. 
He immediately united himself with the 
opponents of Mr. Adams, and was soon 
regarded as the leader of the Jackson party 
in the House. 

The four years of I^fr. Adams' adminis- 
tration passed away, and General Jackson 
took tne Presidential chair. Mr. Polk had 
now become a man of great influence in 
Congress, ana was chairman of its most 
important committee — that of Ways and 
Means. Eloquently he sustained General 
Jackson in all his measures — in his hostility 
to internal improvements, to the banks, and 
to the tariff. Eight years of General Jack- 
son's administration passed away, and the 
powers he had wielded passed into the 
hands of Martin Van Buren ; and still Mr. 
Polk remained in the House, the advocate 
of that type of Democracy which those 
distinguished men upheld. 

During five sessions of Congress Mr. 
Polk was speaker of the House. He per- 
formed his arduous duties to general satis- 
faction, and a unanimous vote of thanks to 
him was passed by the House as he with- 
drew, March 4, 1839. He was elected 
Governor by a large majority, and took 
the oath of office at Nashville, October 14, 
1839. He was a candidate for re-election 
in 1 841, but was defeated. In the mean- 
time a wonderful revolution had swept 
over the country. W. H. Harrison,the Whig 
candidate, had been called to the Presiden- 
tial chair, and in Tennessee the Whig ticket 
had been carried by over 12,000 majority. 
Under these circumstances Mr. Polk's suc- 
cess was hopeless. Still he canvassed the 

State with his Whig competitor, Mr. Jones, 
traveling in the most friendly manner to- 
gether, often in the same carriage, and at 
one time sleeping in the same bed. Mr. 
Jones was elected by 3.000 majorit)'. 

And now the question of the annexation 
of Te.xas to our countr}- agitated the whole 
land. When this question became national 
Mr. Polk, as the avowed champion of an- 
nexation, became the Presidential candidate 
of the pro-slavery wing of the Democratic 
party, and George M. Dallas their candi- 
date for the Vice-Presidency. They were 
elected by a large majority, and were in- 
augurated March 4, 1845. 

President Polk formed an able cabinet, 
consisting of James Buchanan, Robert J. 
Walker, William L. Marcy, George Ban- 
croft, Cave Johnson and John Y. Mason. 
The Oregon boundary question was settled, 
the Department of the Interior was created, 
the low tariff oi 1846 was carried, the 
financial S3'stem of the Government was 
reorganized, the Mexican war was con- 
ducted, which resulted in the acquisition of 
California and New Mexico, and had far- 
reaching consequences upon the later fort- 
unes of the republic. Peace was made. 
We had wrested from Mexico territory 
equal to four times the empire of France, 
and five times that of Spain. In the prose- 
cution of this war we expended 20,000 
lives and more than $100,000,000. Of this 
money $15,000,000 were paid to Mexico. 

Declining to seek a renomination, Mr. 
Polk retired from the Presidency March 4, 
1849, when he was succeeded by General 
Zachary Taylor. He retired to Nashville, 
and died there June 19, 1849, i" the fifty- 
fourth year of his age. His funeral was at- 
tended the following day, in Nashville, with 
every demonstration of respect. He left 
no children. Without being possessed of 
extraordinary talent, Mr. Polk was a capable 
administrator of public affairs, and irre- 
proachable in private life. 



I P^^^^■^^l^:•,^;,^.7v:^|r^r-y^>.^^^^^^c^rrT1,r^■v^':^'r^-'^^r-^^; 






r-^ LOR, the twelfth 
' "" President of the 

United States, 
i849-'50, was born 
in Orange County, 
Virginia, Septem- 
1784. His father, 
Richard Taylor, was Colo- 
nel of a Virginia regiment 
in the Revolutionary war, 
and removed to Kentucky 
in 1785 ; purchased a large 
plantation near Louisville 
and became an influential cit- 
izen ; was a member of the convention that 
framed the Constitution of Kentucky; served 
in both branches of the Legislature ; was 
Collector of the port of Louisville under 
President Washington ; as a Presidential 
elector, voted for Jefferson, Madison, Mon- 
roe and Clay; died January 19,1829. 

Zachary remained on his father's planta- 
tion until 1808, in which year (May 3) he 
was appointed First Lieutenant in the 
Seventh Infantry, to fill a vacancy oc- 
casioned by the death of his elder brother, 
Hancock. Up to this point he had received 
but a limited education. 

joining his regiment at New Orleans, he 

was attacked with yellow fever, with nearly 
fatal termination. In November, 18 10, he 
was promoted to Captain, and ni the sum- 
mer of 1812 he was in command of Fort 
Harrison, on the left bank of the Wabash 
River, near the present site of Terre Haute, 
his successful defense of which with but a 
handful of men against a large force of 
Indians whicii had attacked him was one of 
the first marked military achievements of 
the war. He was then brevetted Major, 
and in 18 14 promoted to the full rank. 

During the remainder of the war Taylor 
was actively emplo3-ed on the Western 
frontier. In the peace organization of 181 5 
he was retained as Captain, but soon after 
resigned and settled near Louisville. In 
May, 1816, however, he re-entered the army 
as Major of the Third Infantry ; became 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the Eighth Infantry 
in 1819, and in 1832 attained the Colonelcy 
of the First Infantry, of which he had been 
Lieutenant-Colonel since 1821. On different 
occasions he had been called to Washington 
as member of a military board for organiz- 
ing the militia of the Union, and to aid the 
Government with his knowledge in the 
organization of the Indian Bureau, having 
for many years discharged the duties of 
Indian agent over large tracts of Western 




country. He served through the Black 
Hawk war in 1832, and in 1837 was ordered 
to take command in Florida, then the scene 
of war with the Indians. 

In 1846 he was transferred to the com- 
mand of the Army of the Southwest, from 
which he was relieved the same year at his 
own request. Subsequentl)" he was sta- 
tioned on the Arkansas frontier at Forts 
Gibbon, Smith and Jesup, which latter work 
had been built under his direction in 1822. 

Way 28, 1 84:5, '""c received a dispatch from 
the Secretarv of War informing him of the 
receipt of information by the President 
" that Texas would shortly accede to the 
terms of anne.xation," in which event he 
was instructed to defend and protect her 
from " foreign invasion and Indian incur- 
sions." He proceeded, upon the annexation 
of Texas, with about 1,500 men to Corpus 
Chnsti, where his force was increased to 
some 4,000. 

Taylor was brevetted Major-General May 
28, and a month later, June 29, 1S46, his full 
commission to that grade was issued. After 
needed rest and reinforcement, he advanced 
in September on Monterey, which city ca- 
pitulated after three-days stubborn resist- 
ance. Here he took up his winter quarters. 
The plan for the invasion of Mexico, by 
way of Vera Cruz, with Gene'^al Scott in 
command, was now determined upon by 
the Govenrment, and at the moment Taylor 
was about to resume active operations, he 
received orders to send the larger part of 
his force to reinforce the army of General 
Scott at Vera Cruz. Though subsequently 
reinforced by raw recruits, yet after pro- 
viding a garrison for Monterey and Saltillo 
he had but about 5,300 effective troops, of 
which but 500 or 600 were regulars. In 
this weakened condition, however, he was 
destined to achieve his greatest victory. 
Confidently rel3ing upon his strength at 
Vera Cruz to resist the enemy for a long 
time, Santa Anna directed his entire army 

against Taylor to overwhelm him, and then 
to return to oppose the advance of Scott's 
more formidable invasion. The battle of 
Buena Vista was fought February 22 and 
23, 1847. Taylor received the thanks of 
Congress and a gold medal, and " Old 
Rough and Ready," the sobi'iquet given 
him in the army, became a household word. 
He remained in quiet possession of the 
Rio Grande Valley until November, when 
he returned to the United States. 

In the Whig convention which met at 
Philadelphia, June 7, 1848, Taylor was nomi- 
nated on the fourth ballot as candidate of 
the Whig party for President, over Henry 
Clay, General Scott and Daniel Webster. 
In November Ta3'lor received a majority 
of electoral votes, and a popular vote of 
1,360,752, against 1,219,962 for Cass and 
Butler, and 291,342 for Van Buren and 
Adams. General Taylor was inaugurated 
March 4, 1849. 

The free and slave States being then equal 
in number, the struggle for supremacy on 
the part of the leaders in Congress was 
violent and bitter. In the summer of 1849 
California adopted in convention a Consti- 
tution prohibiting slavery within its borders. 
Taylor advocated the immediate admission 
of California with her Constitution, and the 
postponement of the question as to the other 
Territories until they could hold conven- 
tions and decide for themselves whether 
slavery should exist within their borders. 
This policy ultimately prevailed through 
the celebrated " Compromise Measures" of 
Henry Clay ; but not during the life of the 
brave soldier and patriot statesman. July 
5 he was taken suddenly ill with a bilious 
fever, which proved fatal, his death occur- 
ring July 9, 1850. One of his daughters 
married Colonel W. W. S. Bliss, his Adju- 
tant-General and Chief of Staff in Florida 
and Mexico, and Private Secretary during 
his Presidency. Another daughter was 
married to Jefferson Davis. 



Q / 0«jixiTtT3iTTJTnnntTXXTirtTri*TiT(XTTixTXirirTiTiT \ ' o 







MORE, the thir- 

!■ teenth President 
of the United 
States, i850-'3, was 
born in Summer 
Hill, Cayuga 
, New York, Janu- 

1800. He was of 

New England ancestry, and 
his educational advantages 
were limited. He early 
learned the clothiers' trade, 
but spent all his leisure time 
in study. At nineteen years 
*'' of age he was induced by 
Judge Walter Wood to abandon his trade 
and commence the study of law. Upon 
learning that the young man was entirely 
destitute of means, he took him into his 
own office and loaned him such money as 
he needed. That he might not be heavily 
burdened with debt, young Fillmore taught 
school during the winter months and in 
various other ways helped himself along. 
At the age of twenty-three he was ad- 
mitted to the Court of Common Pleas, and 
commenced the practice of his profession 
in the village of Aurora, situated on the 

eastern bank of the Ca3'uga Lake. In 1825 
he married Miss Abigail Powers, daughter 
of Rev. Lemuel Powers, a lady of great 
moral worth. In 1825 he took his seat in 
the House of Assembly of his native State, 
as Representative from Erie County, 
whither he had recently moved. 

Though he had never taken a very 
active part in politics his vote and his sym- 
pathies were with the Whig party. The 
State was then Democratic, but his cour- 
tesy, ability and integrity won the respect 
of his associates. In 1832 he was elected 
to a seat in the United States Congress. 
At the close of his term he returned to his 
law practice, and in two years more he was 
again elected to Congress. 

He now began to have a national reputa- 
tion. His labors were very arduous. To 
draft resolutions in the committee room, 
and then to defend them against the most 
skillful opponents on the floor of the House 
requires readiness of mind, mental resources 
and skill in debate such as few possess. 
Weary with these exhausting labors, and 
pressed by the claims of his private affairs, 
Ml'. Fillmore wrote a letter to his constitu- 
ents and declined to be a candidate foi re- 
election. Notwithstanding this communi- 



cation his friends met in convention and 
renominated him bv acclamation. Though 
gratified by this proof of their appreciation 
of his labors he adhered to his resolve and 
returned to his home. 

In 1847 Mr. Fillmore was elected to the 
important otifice of comptroller of the State. 
In entering upon the very responsible duties 
which this situation demanded, it was nec- 
essary for him to abandon his profession, 
and he removed to the city of Albany. In 
this year, also, the Whigs were looking 
around to find suitable candidates for the 
President and Vice-President at the ap- 
proaching election, and the names of Zach- 
ary Taylor and Millard Fillmore became 
the rallying cry of the Whigs. On the 4th 
of March, 1S49, General Taylor was inaug- 
urated President and Millard Fillmore 
Vice-President of the United States. 

The great question of slavery had as- 
sumed enormous proportions, and perme- 
ated every subject that was brought before 
Congress. It was evident that the strength 
of our institutions was to be severely tried. 
July 9, 1850, President Taylor died, and, by 
the Constitution, Vice-President Fillmore 
became President of the United States. 
The agitated condition of the country 
brought questions of great delicacy before 
him. He was bound by his oath of office 
to e.xecute the laws of the United States. 
One of these laws was understood to be, 
that if a slave, escaping from bondage, 
should reach a free State, the United States 
was bound to do its jitmost to capture him 
and return him to his master. Most Chris- 
tian men loathed this law. President Fill- 
more felt bound by his oath rigidly to see 
it enforced. Slavery was organizing armies 
to invade Cuba as it had invaded Texas, 
and annex it to the United States. Presi- 
dent Fillmore gave all the influence of his 
exalted station against the atrocious enter- 

Mr. Fillmore had serious difficulties to 

contend with, since the opposition had a 
majority in both Houses. He did every- 
thing in his power to conciliate the South, 
but the pro-slavery party in that section 
felt the inadequency of all measures of tran- 
sient conciliation. The population of the 
free States was so rapidly increasing over 
that of the slave States, that it was inevita- 
ble that the power of the Government 
should soon pass into the hands of the free 
States. The famous compromise measures 
were adopted under Mr. Fillmore's admin- 
istration, and the Japan expedition was 
sent out. 

March 4, 1853, having served one term, 
President Fillmore retired from office. He 
then took a long tour through the South, 
where he met with quite an enthusiastic 
reception. In a speech at Vicksburg, al- 
luding to the rapid growth of the country, 
he said: 

" Canada is knocking for admission, and 
Mexico would be glad to come in, and 
without saying whether it would be right 
or wrong, we stand with open arms to re- 
ceive them; for it is the manifest destiny of 
this Government to embrace the whole 
North American Continent." 

In 1855 Mr. Fillmore went to Europe 
where he was received with those marked 
attentions which his position and character 
merited. Returning to this country in 
1856 he was nominated for the Presidency 
by the "Know-Nothing" party. Mr. Bu- 
chanan, the Democratic candidate was 
the successful competitor. Mr. Fillmore 
ever afterward lived in retirement. Dur- 
ing the conflict of civil war he was mostly 
silent. It was generally supposed, how- 
ever, that hissympath}' was with the South- 
ern Confederacy. He kept aloof from the 
conflict without any words of cheer to the 
one party or the other. For this reason 
he was forgotten by both. He died of 
paralysis, in Buffalo, New York, March 8, 

















the fourteenth Presi- 
dent of the United 
States, was born in 
Hillsborough, New 
Hampshire, Novem- 
ber 23, 1804. His 
father, Governor 
Benjamin Pierce, was a Rev- 
olutionary soldier, a man of 
rigid integrity ; was for sev- 
eral years in the State Legis- 
lature, a member of the Gov- 
ernor's council and a General 
of the militia. 
Franklin was the sixth of eight children. 
As a boy he listened eagerly to the argu- 
ments of his father, enforced by strong and 
ready utterance and earnest gesture. It 
was in the days of intense political excite- 
ment, when, all over the New England 
States, Federalists and Democrats were ar- 
rayed so fiercely against each other. 

In 1820 he entered Bowdoin College, at 
Brunswick, Maine, and graduated in 1824, 
and commenced the study of law in the 
office of Judge Woodbury, a ver}' distin- 
guished lawyer, and in 1827 was admitted 
to the bar. He practiced with great success 
in Hillsborough and Concord. He served 

in the State Legislature four 3'ears, the last 
two of which he was chosen Speaker of the 
H(5use b}' a very large vote. 

In 1833 he was elected a member of Con- 
gress. In 1837 he was elected to the United 
States Senate, just as Mr. Van Buren com- 
menced his administration. 

In 1834 he married Miss Jane Means 
Appleton, a lad}' admirably fitted to adorn 
every station with which her husband was 
honored. Three sons born to them all 
found an early grave. 

Upon his accession to office, President 
Polk appointed Mr. Pierce Attorney-Gen- 
eral of the United States, but the offer was 
declined in consequence of numerous pro- 
fessional engagements at home and the 
precarious state of Mrs. Pierce's health. 
About the same time he also decHned the 
nomination for Governor bv the Demo- 
cratic party. 

The war with Mexico called Mr. Pierce 
into the arm}'. Receiving the appointment 
of Brigadier-General, he embarked with a 
portion of his troops at Newport, Rhode 
Island, May 27, 1847. He served during 
this war, and distinguished himself by his 
bravery, skill and excellent judgment. 
When he reached his home in his native 
State he was enthusiastically received by 



the advocates of the war, and coldly b}^ its 
opponents. He resumed the practice of liis 
profession, frequently taking an active part 
in political questions, and giving his sup- 
port to the pro-slavery wing of the Demo- 
cratic party. 

June 12, 1852, the Democratic convention 
met in Baltimore to nominate a candidate 
for the Presidenc}-. For four days they 
continued in session, and in thirty-five bal- 
lotings no one had received the requisite 
two-thirds vote. Not a vote had been 
thrown thus far for General Pierce. Then 
the Virginia delegation brought forward 
his name. There were fourteen more bal- 
lotings, during which General Pierce 
gained strength, until, at the forty-ninth 
ballot, he received 282 votes, and all other 
candidates eleven. General Winfield Scott 
was the Whig candidate. General Pierce 
was elected with great unanimity. Onl}' 
four States — Vermont, Massachusetts, Ken- 
tuck}' and Tennessee — cast their electoral 
votes against him. March 4, 1853, he was 
inaugurated President of the United States, 
and William R. King, Vice-President. 

President Pierce's cabinet consisted of 
William S. Marcy, James Guthrie, Jefferson 
Davis, James C. Dobbin, Robert McClel- 
land, James Campbell and Caleb dishing. 

At the demand of slaver\- the >fissouri 
Compromise was repealed, and all the Ter- 
ritories of the Union were thrown open to 
slavery. The Territorj' of Kansas, west of 
Missouri, was settled by emigrants mainl}' 
from the North. According to law, thev 
were about to meet and decide whether 
slavery or freedom should be the law of 
that realm. Slavery in Missouri and 
other Southern States rallied her armed 
legions, marched them into Kansas, took 
possession of the polls, drove away the 
citizens, deposited their own votes by 
handfuls, went through the farce of count- 
ing them, and then declared that, by an 
overwhelming majority, slavery was estab- 

lished in Kansas. These facts nobody 
denied, and 3-et President Pierce's adminis- 
tration felt bound to respect the decision 
obtained b}' such votes. The citizens of 
Kansas, the majority of whom were free- 
State men, met in convention and adopted 
the following resolve : 

"Rcsok'cJ, That the body of men who, 
for the past two months, have been passing 
laws for the people of our Territory, 
moved, counseled and dictated to by the 
demagogues of other States, are to us a 
foreign body, representing only the lawless 
invaders who elected them, and not the 
people of this Territory ; that we repudiate 
their action as the monstrous consummation 
of an act of violence, usurpation and fraud 
unparalleled in the history of the Union." 

The free-State people of Kansas also sent 
a petition to the General Government, im- 
ploring its protection. Iii reply the Presi- 
dent issued a proclamation, declaring that 
Legislature thus created must be recog- 
nized as the legitimate Legislature of I-ian- 
sas, and that its laws were binding upon 
the people, and that, if necessarv, the whole 
force of the Governmental arm would be 
put forth to inforce those laws. 

James Buchanan succeeded him in the 
Presidency, and, March 4, 1S57, President 
Pierce retired to his home in Concord, 
New Hampshire. When the Rebellion 
burst forth Mr. Pierce remained steadfast 
to the principles he had always cherished, 
and gave his sympathies to the pro-slavery 
party, with which he had ever been allied. 
He declined to do an\'thing, eithei" bv 
voice or pen, to strengthen the hands ot 
the National Government. He resided in 
Concord until his death, which occurred in 
October, 1869. He was one of the most 
genial and social of men, generous to 
a fault, and contributed liberall)- of his 
moderate means for the alleviation of suf- 
fering and want. He was an honored 
communicant of the Episcopal church. 


rnEsrDE.VTS of the united states. 

P EEkggirsBifeKg gr'^KKrKKir^i^Kir^ ^ 

IJIvVA^[Mf5 M fi^^^T-ri^:(^r, f| 

~ y.y -v A .^ -v -v -v . t^v:r^^' 



hi&f^imUi^ii^ii^^Ui^-^^^ f 

''' "■ fifteenth President of the 



United States. 1857-61, 
was born in Franklin 
County, Penns3lvania, 
p April 23, 1791. The 
])lacc where his father's 
cabin stood was called 
Stony Batter, and it was 
situated in a wild, romantic 
spot, in a goi-ge of mount- 
ains, with towering sum- 
mits rising all around. He 
was of Irish ancestry, his 
father having emigrated in- 
1783, with very little prop- 
erty, save his own strong arms. 

James remained in his secluded home for 
eight years enjoying very few social or 
intellectual advantages. His parents were 
industrious, frugal, prosperous and intelli- 
gent. In 1799 his father removed to Mer- 
cersburg, where James was placed in 
school and commenced a course in English, 
Greek and Latin. His progress was rapid 
and in 1801 he entered Dickinson College 
at Carlisle. Here he took his stand among 
the first scholars in the institution, and was 
able to master the most abstruse subjects 
with facility. In 1809 he graduated with 
the highest honors in his class. 

He was then eighteen years of age, tall, 

graceful and in vigorous health, fond of 
athletic sports, an uneiTing shot and en- 
livened with an exuberant flow of animal 
spirits. He immediately commenced the 
study of law in the city of Lancaster, and 
was admitted to the bar in 1S12. He rose 
very rapidly in his profession and at once 
took undisputed stand with the ablest law- 
3-ers of the State. When but twenty-six 
years of age, unaided b)' counsel, he suc- 
cessfully defended before the State Senate 
one of the Judges of the State, who was 
tried upon articles of impeachment At 
the age of thirty it was generally admitted 
that he stood at the head of the bar, and 
there was no law3'er in the State who had 
a more extensive or lucrative practice. 

In 1812, just after Mr. Buchanan had 
entered upon the practice of the law, our 
second war with England occurred. With 
all his powers he sustained the Govern- 
ment, eloquently urging the rigorous pros- 
ecution of the war; and even enlisting as a 
private soldier to assist in repelling the 
British, who had sacked Washington and 
were threatening Baltimore. He was at 
that time a Federalist, but when the Con- 
stitution was adopted by both parties, 
Jefferson truly said, " We are all Federal- 
ists; we are all Republicans." 

The opposition of the Federalists to tiic 
war with England, and the alien and sedi- 





tion laws of John Adams, brought the party 
into dispute, and the name of Federalist 
became a reproach. Mr. Buchanan almost 
immediately upon entering Congress began 
to incline more and more to the Repub- 
licans. In the stormy Presidential election 
of 1824, in which Jackson, Cla}-, Crawford 
and John Ouincy Adams were candidates, 
Mr. Buchanan espoused the cause of Gen- 
eral Jackson and unrelentingly opposed the 
administration of Mr. Adams. 

Upon his elevation to the Presidency, 
General Jackson appointed Mr. Buchanan, 
minister to Russia. Upon his return in 1S33 
he was elected to a seat in the United States 
Senate. He there met as his associates, 
Webster, Clay, Wright and Calhoun. He 
advocated the measures proposed by Presi- 
dent Jackson of making reprisals against 
France, and defended the course of the Pres- 
ident in his unprecedented and wholesale 
removals from office of those who were not 
the supporters of his administration. Upon 
this question he was brought into direct col- 
lision with Henr)- Clay. In the discussion 
of the question respecting the admission of 
Michigan and Arkansas into the Union, Mr. 
Buchanan defined his position by saying: 

" The older I grow, the more I am in- 
clined to be what is called a State-rights 

M. de Tocqueville, in his renowned work 
upon " Democracy in America," foresaw 
the trouble which was inevitable from the 
doctrine of State sovereignty as held by 
Calhoun and Buchanan. He was con- 
vinced that the National Government was 
losing that strength which was essential 
to its own existence, and that the States 
were assuming powers which threatened 
the perpetuity of the Union. Mr. Buchanan 
received the book in the Senate and de- 
clared the fears of De Tocqueville to be 
groundless, and yet he lived to sit in the 
Presidential chair and see State after State, 
in accordance with his own views of State 

rights, breaking from the Union, thus 
crumbling our Republic into ruins; while 
the unhappy old man folded his arms in 
despair, declaring that the National Consti- 
tution invested him with no power to arrest 
the destruction. 

Upon Mr. Polk's accession to the Presi- 
dency, Mr. Buchanan became Secretary of 
State, and as such took his share of the 
responsibility in the conduct of the Mexi- 
can war. At the close of Mr. Polk's ad- 
ministi-ation, Mr. Buchanan retired to pri- 
vate life; but his intelligence, and his great 
ability as a statesman, enabled him to exert 
a powerful influence in National affairs. 

Mr. Pierce, upon his election to the 
Presidency, honored Mr. Buchanan with 
the mission to England. In the year 1856 
the National Democratic convention nomi- 
nated Mr. Buchanan for the Presidency. 
The political conflict was one of the most 
severe in which our country has ever en- 
gaged. On the 4th of March, 1857, Mr. 
Buchanan was inaugurated President. His 
cabinet were Lewis Cass, Howell Cobb, 
J. B. Floyd, Isaac Toucey, Jacob Thomp- 
son, A. V. Brown and J. S. Black. 

The disruption of the Democratic party, 
in consequence of the manner in which the 
issue of the nationality of slavery was 
pressed by the Southern wing, occurred at 
the National convention, held at Cliarleston 
in April, i860, for the nomination of Mr. 
Buchanan's successor, when the majorit}^ 
of Southern delegates withdrew upon the 
passage of a resolution declaring that the 
constitutional status of slavery should be 
determined by the Supreme Court. 

In the next Presidential canvass Abra- 
ham Lincoln was nominated by the oppo- 
nents of Mr. Buchanan's administration. 
Mr. Buchanan remained in Washington 
long enough to see his successor installed 
and then retired to his home in Wheatland. 
He died June i, 1868, aged seventy-seven 



i,% B R fl H A ivi: LIN CD L N J 

2^i?iC^"" Nt- •:- *5 ■!■ **» -I- itfl -I- ©SicjaT-a^as) ■'• «** •'■ *iSi -t- " e^^ -w 'i^' ""v^^- 

COLN, the sixteentli 
President of the 
United States, i86i-'5, 
was born February 
12, 1809, in Larue 
(then Hardin) County, 
Kentucky, in a cabin on Nolan 
Creek, three miles west of 
Hudgensville. His parents 
w ere Thomas and Nancy 
(Hanks) Lincoln. Of his an- 
cestry and early years the little 
"^^^ that is known may best be 
given in his own language : " My 
parents were both born in Virginia, of un- 
distinguished families — second families, per- 
haps I should say. M3' mother, who died 
in my tenth year, was of a family o[ the 
name of Hanks, some of whom now remain 
in Adams, and others in Macon County, 
Illinois. My paterna' grandfather, Abra- 
ham Lincoln, emigrated from Rockbridge 
County, Virginia, to Kentucky in 1781 or 
1782, where, a 3'ear or two later, he was 
killed by Indians — not in battle, but b)^ 
Stealth, when he was laboring to open a 
<rfarm in the forest. His ancestors, who were 
Quakers, went to Virginia from Berks 
County, Pennsylvania. An effort to iden- 

tify them with the New England family of 
the same name ended in nothing more defi- 
nite than a similarity of Christian names in 
both families, such as Enoch, Levi, Mor- 
decai, Solomon, Abraham and the like. 
M}' father, at the death of his father, was 
but si.x years of age, and he grew up, liter- 
ally, without education. He removed from 
Kentucky to what is now Spencer County, 
Indiana, in my eighth year. We reached 
our new home about the time the State came 
into the Union. It was a wild region, with 
bears and other wild animals still in the 
woods. There I grew to manhood. 

" There were some schools, so called, but 
no qualitication was ever required of a 
teacher bevond ' readin', writin', and cijiher- 
in' to the rule of three.' If a straggler, sup- 
posed to understand Latin, happened to 
sojourn in the neighborhood, he was looked 
upon as a wizard. There was absolutely 
nothing to excite ambition for education. 
Of course, when I came of age I did not 
know much. Still, somehow, I could read, 
write and cipher to the rule of three, and 
that was all. I have not been to school 
since. The little advance I now have upon 
this store of education I have picked up 
from time to time under the pressure of 
necessity. I was raised to farm-work, which 

-,-^ ^g-f 




I continued till I was t\vent3'-two. At 
twent^'-one I came to Illinois and passed 
the first year in Macon County. Then I got 
to New Salem, at that time in Sangamon, 
now in Menard County, where I remained 
a year as a sort of clerk in a store. 

" Then came the Black Hawk war, and I 
was elected a Captain of volunteers — a suc- 
cess which gave me more pleasure than any 
I have had since. I went the campaign, 
was elated ; ran for the Legislature the 
same year (1832) and was beaten, the onl}- 
time I have ever been beaten by the people. 
The next and three succeeding biennial 
elections I was elected to the Legislature, 
and was never a candidate afterward. 

" During this legislative period I had 
studied law, and removed to .Springfield to 
practice it. In 1846 I was ^elected to the 
Lower House of Congress ; was not a can- 
didate for re-election. From 1849 to 1854- 
inclusive, I practiced the law more assid- 
uously than ever before. Always a Whig 
in politics, and generally on the Whig elec- 
toral tickets, making active canvasses, I was 
losing interest in politics, when the repeal 
of the Missouri Compromise roused me 
again. What I have done since is pretty 
well known." 

The early residence of Lincoln in Indi- 
ana was sixteen miles north of the Ohio 
River, on Little Pigeon Creek, one and a 
half miles east of Gentry ville, within the 
present township of Carter. Here his 
mother died October 5, 1818, and the next 
year his father married Mrs. Sally (Bush) 
Johnston, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky. She 
was an affectionate foster-parent, to whom 
Abraham was indebted for his first encour- 
agement to stud}'. He became an eager 
reader, and the few books owned in the 
vicinity were many times perused. He 
worked frequently for the neighbors as a 
farm laborer ; was for some time clerk in a 
store at Gentry ville; and became famous 
throughout that region for his athletic 

powers, his fondness for argument, his in- 
exhaustible fund of humerous anecdote, as 
well as for mock oratory and the composi- 
tion of rude satirical verses. In 1828 he 
made a trading voyage to New Orleans as 
"bow-hand" on a flatboat; removed to 
Illinois in 1830; helped his father build a 
log house and clear a farm on the north 
fork of Sangamon River, ten miles west of 
Decatur, and was for some time employed 
in splitting rails for the fences — a fact which 
was prominentl}' brought forward for a 
political purpose thirty years later. 

In the spring of 1851 he, with two of his 
relatives, was hired to build a flatboat on 
the Sangamon River and navigate it to 
New Orleans. The boat "stuck" on a 
mill-dam, and was got off with great labor 
through an ingenious mechanical device 
which some years later led to Lincoln's 
taking out a patent for "an improved 
method for lifting vessels over shoals." 
This voyage was memorable for another 
reason — the sight of slaves chained, mal- 
treated and flogged at New Orleans was 
the origin of his deep convictions upon the 
slavery question. 

Returning from this vo3-age he became a 
resident for several years at New Salem, a 
recently settled village on the Sangamon, 
where he was successively a clerk, grocer, 
surveyor and postmaster, and acted as pilot 
to the first steamboat that ascended the 
Sangamon. Here he studied law, inter- 
ested himself in local politics after his 
return from the Black Hawk war, and 
became known as an effective "stump- 
speaker." The subject of liis first political 
speech was the improvement of the channel 
of the Sangamon, and the chief ground on 
which he announced himself (1832) a candi- 
date for the Legislature was his advocacy 
of this popular measure, on which subject 
his practical experience made him the high- 
est authority. 

Elected to the Legislature in 1834 as a 



" Henry Clay Whig," he rapidly acquired 
that command of language and that homely 
but forcible rhetoric which, added to his 
intimate knowledge of the people from 
which he sprang, made him more than a 
match in debate for his few well-educated 

Admitted to the bar in 1S37 he soon 
established himself at Springfield, where 
the State capital was located in 1839, 
largely through his influence; became a 
successful pleader in the State, Circuit and 
District Courts ; married in 1842 a lady be- 
longing to a prominent famil_y in Lexington, 
Kentucky; took an active part in the Pres- 
idential campaigns of 1840 and 1844 as 
candidate for elector on the Harrison and 
Clay tickets, and in 1846 was elected to the 
United States House of Representatives 
over the celebrated Peter Cartwright. 
During his single term in Congress he did 
not attain any prominence. 

He voted for the reception of anti-slavery 
petitions for the abolition of the slave trade 
in the District of Columbia and for the 
Wilmot proviso; but was chiefly remem- 
bered for the stand he took against the 
Mexican war. For several years there- 
after he took comparatively little interest 
in politics, but gained a leading position at 
tiie Springfield bar. Two or three non- 
political lectures and an eulogy on Henry 
Clay (1852) added nothing to his reputation. 

In 1854 the repeal of the Missouri 
Compromise by the Kansas-Nebraska act 
aroused Lincoln from his indifference, and 
in attacking that measure he had the im- 
mense advantage of knowing perfectly well 
the motives and the record of its author, 
Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, then popu- 
larly designated as the " Little Giant." The 
latter came to Springfield in October, 1854, 
on the occasion of the State Fair, to vindi- 
cate his policy in the Senate, and the " Anti- 
Nebraska" Whigs, remembering that Lin- 
coln had often measured his strength with 

Douglas in the Illinois Legislature and be- 
fore the Springfield Courts, engaged him 
to improvise a reply. This speech, in the 
opinion of those who heard it, was one of 
the greatest efforts of Lincoln's life ; cer- 
tainl}' the most effective in his whole career. 
It took the audience by storm, and from 
that moment it was felt that Douglas had 
met his match. Lincoln was accordingly 
selected as the Anti-Nebraska candidate for 
the United States Senate in place of General 
Shields, whose term expired March 4, 1855, 
and led to several ballots; but Trumbull 
was ultimatel}- chosen. 

The second conflict on the soil of Kan- 
sas, which Lincoln had predicted, soon be- 
gan. The result was the disruption of the 
Whig and the formation of the Republican 
party. At the Bloomington State Conven- 
tion in 1856, where the new party first 
assumed form in Illinois, Lincoln made an 
impressive address, in which for the first 
time he took distinctive ground against 
slavery in itself. 

At the National Republican Convention 
at Philadelphia, June 17, after the nomi- 
nation of Fremont, Lincoln was put for- 
ward by the Illinois delegation for the 
Vice-Presidency, and received on tlie first 
ballot no votes against 259 for William L 
Dayton. He took a prominent part in the 
canvass, being on the electoral ticket. 

In 1858 Lincoln was unanimously nomi- 
nated by the Republican State Convention 
as its candidate for the United States Senate 
in place of Douglas, and in his speech of 
acceptance used the celebrated illustration 
of a "house divided against itself' on the 
slavery question, which was, perhaps, the 
cause of his defeat. The great debate car- 
ried on at all the principal towns of Illinois 
between Lincoln and Douglas as rival Sena- 
torial candidates resulted at the time in the 
election of the latter ; but being widely cir- 
culated as a campaign document, it fixed 
the attention of the country upon the 



former, as the clearest and most convinc- 
ing exponent of Republican doctrine. 

Early in 1859 he began to be named in 
Illinois as a suitable Republican candidate 
for the Presidential campaign of the ensu- 
ing year, and a political address 'delivered 
at the Cooper Institute, New York, Febru- 
ary 27, i860, followed by similar speeches 
at New Haven, Hartford and elsewhere in 
New England, first made him known to the 
Eastern States in the light by which he had 
long been regarded at home. By the Re- 
publican State Convention, which met at 
Decatur, lUinois, May 9 and 10, Lincoln 
was unanimously endorsed for the Presi- 
dency. It was on this occasion that two 
rails, said to have been split by his hands 
thirty years before, were brought into the 
convention, and the incident contributed 
much to his popularity. The National 
Republican Convention at Chicago, after 
spirited efforts made in favor of Seward, 
Chase and Bates, nominated Lincoln for 
the Presidency, with Hannibal Hamlin 
for Vice-President, at the same time adopt- 
ing a vigorous anti-slavery platform. 

The Democratic party having been dis- 
organized and presenting two candidates, 
Douglas and Breckenridge, and the rem- 
nant of the "American" party having put 
forward John Bell, of Tennessee, the Re- 
publican victory was an easy one, Lincoln 
being elected November 6 by a large plu- 
rality, comprehending nearly all the North- 
ern States, but none of the Southern. The 
secession of South Carolina and the Gulf 
States was the immediate result, followed 
a few months later by that of the border 
slave States and the outbreak of the great 
civil war. 

The life of Abraham Lincoln became 
thenceforth merged in the history of his 
country. None of the details of the vast 
conflict which filled the remainder of Lin- 
coln's life can here be given. Narrowly 
escaping assassination by avoiding Balti- 

more on his way to the capital, he reached 
Washington February 23, and was inaugu- 
rated President of the United States March 
4, 1 86 1. 

In his inaugural address he said: " I hold, 
that in contemplation of universal law and 
the Constitution the Union of these States is 
perpetual. Perpetuity is implied if not ex- 
pressed in the fundamental laws of all na- 
tional governments. It is safe to assert 
that no government proper ever had a pro- 
vision in its organic law for its own termi- 
nation. I therefore consider that in view 
of the Constitution and the laws, the Union 
is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability 
I shall take care, as the Constitution en- 
joins upon me, that the laws of the United 
States be extended in all the States. In 
doing this there need be no bloodshed or vio- 
lence, and there shall be none unless it be 
forced upon the national authority. The 
power conferred to me will be used to hold, 
occupy and possess the property and places 
belonging to the Government, and to col- 
lect the duties and imports, but beyond 
what may be necessary for these objects 
there will be no invasion, no usina- of force 
against or among the people anywhere. In 
your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-country- 
men, is the momentous issue of civil war. 
The Government will not assail you. You 
can have no conflict without being your- 
selves the aggressors. You have no oath 
registered in heaven to destroy the Gov- 
ernment, while I shall have the most sol- 
emn one to preserve, protect and defend 

He called to his cabinet his principal 
rivals for the Presidential nomination — 
Seward, Chase, Cameron and Bates; se- 
cured the co-operation of the Union Demo- 
crats, headed by Douglas ; called out 75,000 
militia from the several States upon the first 
tidings of the bombardment of Fort Sumter, 
April 15; proclaimed a blockade of the 
Southern posts April 19; called an extra 



session of Congress for July 4, from which 
he asked and obtained 400,000 men and 
$400,000,000 for the war; placed McClellan 
at the head of the Federal army on General 
Scott's resignation, October 31; appointed 
Edwin M. Stanton Secretary of War, Jan- 
uary 14, 1862, and September 22, 1862, 
issued a proclamation declaring the free- 
dom of all slaves in the States and parts of 
States then in rebellion from and after 
January i, 1863. This was the crowning 
act of Lincoln's career — the act by which 
he will be chiefly known through all future 
time — and it decided the war. 

October 16, 1863, President Lincoln called 
for 300,000 volunteers to replace those 
whose term of enlistment had expired ; 
made a celebrated and touching, though 
brief, address at the dedication of the 
Gett3^sburg military cemetery, November 
19, 1863; commissioned Ulysses S. Grant 
Lieutenant-General and Commander-in- 
Chief of the armies of the United States, 
March 9, 1864; was reelected President in 
November of the same year, by a large 
majoritv over General McClellan, with 
Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, as Vice- 
President; delivered a ver}- remarkable ad- 
dress at his second inauguration, March 4, 
1865; visited the army before Richmond the 
same month; entered the capital of the Con- 
federacy the day after its fall, and upon the 
surrender of General Robert E. Lee's army, 
April 9, was actively engaged in devising 
generous plans for the reconstruction of the 
Union, when, on the evening of Good Fri- 
day, April 14, he was shot in his box at 
Ford's Theatre, Washington, byjohn Wilkes 
Booth, a fanatical actor, and expired earl}' 
on the following morning, April 15. Al- 
most simultaneously a murderous attack 
was made upon William H. Seward, Secre- 
tary of State. 

At noon on the 15th of April Andrew 

Johnson assumed the Presidency, and active 
measures were taken which resulted in the 
death of Booth and the execution of his 
principal accomplices. 

The funeral of President Lincoln was 
conducted with unexampled solemnity and 
magnificence. Impressive services were 
held in Washington, after which the sad 
procession proceeded over the same route 
he had traveled four years before, from 
Springfield to Washington. In Philadel- 
phia his body lay in state in Independence 
Hall, in which he had declared before his 
first inauguration "that I would sooner be 
assassinated than to give up the principles 
of the Declaration of Independence." He 
was buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery, near 
Springfield, Illinois, on ISIay 4, where a 
monument emblematic of the emancipation 
of the slaves and the restoration of the 
Union mark his resting place. 

The leaders and citizens of the expiring 
Confederacy expressed genuine indignation 
at the murder of a generous political adver- 
sary. Foreign nations took part in mourn- 
ing the death of a statesman who had proved 
himself a true representative of American 
nationality. The freedmen of the South 
almost worshiped the memor}- of their de- 
liverer; and the general sentiment of the 
ereat Nation he had saved awarded him a 
place in its affections, second only to that 
held by Washington. 

The characteristics of Abraham Lincoln 
have been familiarly known throughout the 
civilized world. His tall, g;iunt, ungainly 
figure, homely countenance, and his shrewd 
mother-wit, shown in his celebrated con- 
versations overflowing in humorous and 
pointed anecdote, combined with an accu- 
rate, intuitive appreciation of the questions 
of the time, are recognized as forming the 
best tvpe of a period of American historv 
now rapidly passing away. 



■»-^*^ -j-^^t^'*- 


EHHBaB aH HmHHHa aa^ aHH gas HgH ^ eHF j^ ggE 


the seventeenth Presi- 
dent of the United 
States, 1 865-9, was 
born at Raleigh, 
North Carolina, De- 
c e m b e r 29, 1808. 
His father died when 
he was four years old, and in 
his eleventh 3-ear he was ap- 
prenticed to a tailor. He nev- 
er attended school, and did 
not learn to read until late in 
his apprenticeship, when he 
suddenly acquired a passion for 
obtaining knowledge, and devoted 
all his spare time to reading. 

After working two years as a journey- 
man tailor at Lauren's Court-House, South 
Carolina, he removed, in 1836, to Green- 
ville, Tennessee, where he worked at his 
trade and married. Under his wife's in- 
structions he made rapid progress in his 
education, and manifested such an intelli- 
gent interest in local politics as to be 
elected as " workingmen's candidate" al- 
derman, in 1828, and mayor in 1830, being 
twice re-elected to each office. 

During this period he cultivated his tal- 
ents as a public speaker by taking part in a 

debating society, consisting largely of stu- 
dents of Greenville College. In 1835, and 
again in 1839, he was chosen to the lower 
house of the Legislature, as a Democrat. 
\n 1 841 he was elected State Senator, and 
in 1843, Representative in Congress, being 
re-elected four successive periods, until 
1853, when he was chosen Governor of 
Tennessee. In Congress he supported the 
administrations of Tyler and Polk in their 
chief measures, especially the annexation 
of Texas, the adjustment of the Oregon 
boundary, the Mexican war, and the tariff 
of 1846. 

In 1S55 Mr. Johnson was re elected Gov- 
ernor, and in 1S57 entered the United 
States Senate, wiiere he was conspicuous 
as an advocate of retrenchment and of the 
Homestead bill, and as an opponent of the 
Pacific Railroad. He was supported by the 
Tennessee delegation to the Democratic 
convention in i860 for the Presidential 
nomination, and lent his influence to the 
Breckenridge wing of that partv. 

When the election of Lincoln had 
brought about the first attempt at secession 
in December, i860, Johnson took in the 
Senate a firm attitude for the Union, and 
in May, 1861, on returning to Tennessee, 
he was in imminent peril of suffering from 



popular violence for his loyalty to the " old 
flag." He was the leader of the Loyalists' 
convention of East Tennessee, and during 
the following winter was very active in or- 
ganizing relief for the destitute loyal refu- 
gees from that region, his own family being 
among those compelled to leave. 

Bv his course in this crisis Johnson came 
prominently before the Northern public, 
and when in March, 1863, he was appointed 
bv President Lincoln military Governor of 
Tennessee, with the rank <A Brigadier-Gen- 
eral, he increased in popularity by the vig- 
orous and successful manner in v.-liich he 
labored to restore order, protect Union 
men and punish marauders. On the ap- 
proach of the Presidential campaign of 1864, 
the termination of the war being plainl}^ 
foreseen, and several Southern States being 
partially reconstructed, it was felt that the 
Vice-Presidency should be given to a South- 
ern man of conspicuous loyalty, and Gov- 
ernor Johnson was elected on the same 
platform and ticket as President Lincoln; 
and on the assassination of the latter suc- 
ceeded to the Presidenc}-, April 15, 1865. 
In a public speech two days later he said: 
"The American people must be taught, if 
they do not already feel, that treason is a 
crime and must be punished; that the Gov- 
ernment will not always bear with its ene- 
mies; that it is strong, not only to protect, 
but to punish. In our peaceful history 
treason has been almost imknown. The 
people must understand that it is the black- 
est of crimes, and will be punished." He 
then added the ominous sentence: " In re- 
gard to my future course, I make no prom- 
ises, no pledges." President Johnson re- 
tained the cabinet of Lincoln, and exhibited 
considerable severity toward traitors in his 
earlier acts and speeches, but he soon inaug- 
urated a policy of reconstruction, proclaim- 
ing a general amnesty to the late Confeder- 
ates, and successively establishing provis- 
ional Governments in the Southern States. 

These States accordingly claimed represen- 
tation in Congress in the following Decem- 
ber, and the momentous question of what 
should be the policy of the victorious Union 
toward its late armed o|)poneiits was forced 
upon that body. 

Two considerations impelled the Repub- 
lican majoritv to reject the policv of Prcsi. 
dent Johnson: First, an apprehension that 
the chief magistrate intended to undo the re- 
sults of the war in regard to slaverv; and, sec- 
ond, the sullen attitude of the South, which 
seemed to be plotting to regain the policy 
which arms had lost. The credentials of the 
Southern members elect were laid on the 
table, a civil rights bill and a bill extending 
the sphere of the Freed men's Bureau were 
passed over the executive veto, and the two 
highest branches of the Government were 
soon in open antagonism. The action of 
Congress was characterized by the Presi- 
dent as a " new rebellion." In July the 
cabinet was reconstructed, Messrs. Randall, 
Stanbury and Browning taking the places 
of Messrs. Denison, Speed and Harlan, and 
an unsuccessful attempt was made by 
means of a general convention in Philadel- 
phia to form a new party on the basis of the 
administration policy. 

In an excursion to Chicago for the pur- 
pose of laying a corner-stone of the monu- 
ment to Stephen A. Douglas, President 
Johnson, accompanied by several members 
of the cabinet, passed through Philadelphia, 
New York and Albany, in each of which 
cities, and in other places along the route, 
he made speeches justifying and explaining 
his own policy, and violently denoimcing 
the action of Congress. 

August 12, 1867, President Johnson re- 
moved the Secretary of War, replacing 
him by General Grant. Secretary Stanton 
retired under protest, based upon the ten- 
ure-of-office act which had been passed the 
preceding March. The President then is- 
sued a proclamation declaring the insurrec- 



tion at an end, and that " peace, order, tran- 
quility and civil authority existed in and 
throughout the United States." Another 
proclamation enjoined obedience to the 
Constitution and the laws, and an amnesty 
was published September 7, relieving nearly 
all the participants in the late Rebellion 
from the disabilities thereb}' incurred, on 
condition of taking the oath to support the 
Constitution and the laws. 

In December Congress refused to confirm 
the removal of Secretary Stanton, who 
thereupon resumed the exercise of his of- 
fice; but February 21, 1868, President 
Johnson again attempted to remove him, 
appointing General Lorenzo Thomas in his 
place. Stanton refused to vacate his post, 
and was sustained by the Senate. 

February 24 the House of Representa- 
tives voted to impeach the President for 
" high crime and misdemeanors," and March 
5 presented eleven articles of impeachment 
on the ground of his resistance to the exe- 
cution of the acts of Congress, alleging, in 
addition to the offense lately committed, 
his public expressions of contempt for Con- 
gress, in " certain intemperate, inflamma- 
tory and scandalous harangues'' pronounced 
in August and September, 1866, and there- 
after declaring that the Thirty-ninth Con- 
gress of the United States was not a 
competent legislative body,_ and denying 
its power to propose Constitutional amend- 
ments. March 23 the impeachment trial 
began, the President appearing by counsel, 
and resulted in acquittal, the vote lacking 

one of the two-thirds vote required for 

The remainder of President Johnson's 
term of office was passed without any such 
conflicts as might have been anticipated. 
He failed to obtain a nomination for re- 
election by the Democratic party, though 
receiving sixty-five votes on the first ballot. 
July 4 and December 25 new proclamations 
of pardon to the participants in the late 
Rebellion were issuec*, but ,were of little 
effect. On the accession of General Grant 
to the Presidency, March 4, 1869, Johnson 
returned to Greenville, Tennessee. Unsuc- 
cessful in 1870 and 1872 as a candidate re- 
spectively for United States Senator and 
Representative, he was finally elected to the 
Senate in 1S75, and took his seat in the extra 
session of March, in which his speeches 
were comparatively temperate. He died 
July 31, 1875, and was buried at Green- 

President Johnson's administration was a 
peculiarly unfortunate one. That he should 
so soon become involved in bitter feud with 
the Republican majority in Congress was 
certainly a surprising and deplorable inci- 
dent; yet, in reviewing the circumstances 
after a lapse of so many years, it is easy to 
find ample room for a charitable judgment 
of both the parties in the heated contro- 
versy, since it cannot be doubted that any 
President, even Lincoln himself, had he 
lived, must have sacrificed a large portion 
of his popularity in carrying out any pos- 
sible scheme of reconstruction. 



1* .^ 

ntit^wi ■■ ■ ■ 1 1 11 11 II »» ■■ 11 ji »i 11 ■! n ■■ ■■ ■! »■ »■ ij n I] ij n n n I I . 1 . .n^^.i 

GRANT, the eight- 
eenth President of the 
United States, i%6g-jj, 
was born April 27, 1822, 
> ^^ at Point Pleasant, 
"i^ Clermont County, 
Oliio. His father was of Scotch 

descent, and a dealer in leather. 
At the age of seventeen he en- 
tered the Military Academy at 
West Point, and four years later 
graduated twenty-first in a class 
of thirty-nine, receiving the 
commission of Brevet Second 
Lieutenant. He was assigned 
to the Fourth Infantry and re- 
mained in the army eleven years. He was 
engaged in every battle of the Mexican war 
except that of Buena Vista, and received 
two brevets for gallantr}'. 

In 1848 Mr. Grant married Julia, daughter 
of Frederick Dent, a prominent merchant of 
St. Louis, and in 1854, having reached the 
grade of Captain, he resigned his commis- 
sion in the army. For several 3'ears he fol- 
lowed farming near St. Louis, but unsuc- 
cessfull}- ; and in i860 he entered the leather 
trade with his father at Galena, Illinois. 

When the civil war broke out in 1861, 
Grant was thirty-nine years of age, but en- 
tirely unknown to public men and without 

any personal acquaintance with great affairs. 
President Lincoln's first call for troops was 
made on the 15th of April, and on the 19th 
Grant was drilling a company of volunteers 
at Galena. He also offered his services to 
the Adjutant-General of the army, but re- 
ceived no reply. The Governor of Illinois, 
however, emp!o3'ed him in the organization 
of volunteer troops, and at the end of five 
weeks he was appointed Colonel of the 
Twenty-first Infantr}-. He took command 
of his regiment in June, and reported first 
to General Pope in Missouri. His superior 
knowledge of military life rather surprised 
his sujicrior officers, who had never before 
even heard of him, and they were thus led 
to place him on the road to rapid advance- 
ment. August 7 he was commissioned a 
Brigadier-General of volunteers, the ap- 
pointment having been made without his 
knowledge. He had been unanimously 
recommended by the Congressmen from 
Illinois, not one of whom had been his 
personal acquaintance. For a few weeks 
he was occupied in watching the move- 
ments of partisan forces in Missouri. 

September i he was placed in command 
of the District of Southeast Missouri, with 
headquarters at Cairo, and on the 6th, with- 
out orders, he seized Paducah, at the mouth 
of tiic Tennessee River, and commanding 
tlic navigation botli of that stream and of 




the Ohio. This stroke secured Kentucivy 
to the Union ; for the State Legislature, 
which had until then affected to be neutral, 
at once declared in favor of the Govern- 
ment. In November following, according 
to orders, he made a demonstration about 
eighteen miles below Cairo, preventing the 
crossing of hostile troops into Missouri ; 
but in order to accomplish this purpose he 
had to do some fighting, and that, too, with 
only 3,000 raw recruits, against 7,000 Con- 
federates. Grant carried off two pieces of 
artillery and 200 prisoners. 

After repeated applications to General 
Halleck, his immediate superior, he was 
allowed, in February, 1862, to move up the 
Tennessee River against Fort Henry, in 
conjunction with a naval force. The gun- 
boats silenced the fort, and Grant immedi- 
ately made preparations to attack Fort 
Donelson, about twelve miles distant, on 
the Cumberland River. Without waiting 
for orders he moved his troops there, and 
with 15,000 men began the siege. The 
fort, garrisoned with 21,000 men, was a 
strong one, but after hard fighting on three 
successive days Grant forced an " Uncon- 
ditional Surrender" (an alliteration upon 
the initials of his name). The prize he capt- 
ured consisted of sixty-five cannon, 17,600 
small arms and 14,623 soldiers. About 4,- 
000 of the garrison had escaped in the night, 
and 2,500 were killed or wounded. Grant's 
entire loss was less than 2,000. This was the 
first important success won by the national 
troops during the war, and its strategic re- 
sults were marked, as the entire States of 
Kentucky and Tennessee at once fell into the 
National hands. Our hero was made a 
Major-General of Volunteers and placed in 
command of the District of West Ten- 

In March, 1862, he was ordered to move 
up the Tennessee River toward Corinth, 
where the Confederates were concentrat- 
ing a large army ; but he was directed not 

to attack. His forces, now numbering 38,- 
000, were accordingly encamped near Shi- 
loh, or Pittsburg Landing, to await the 
arrival of General Buell with 40,000 more; 
but April 6 the Confederates came out from 
Corinth 50,000 strong and attacked Grant 
violentl}-, hoping to overwhelm him before 
Buell could arrive ; 5,000 of his troops were 
be3'ond supporting distance, so that he was 
largely outnumbered and forced back to the 
river, where, however, he held out until 
dark, when the head of Buell's column 
came upon the field. The next day the 
Confederates were driven back to Corinth, 
nineteen miles. The loss was heavy on 
both sides ; Grant, being senior in rank to 
Buell, commanded on both days. Two 
days afterward Halleck arrived at the front 
and assumed command of the army. Grant 
remaining at the head of the right wing and 
the reserve. On May 30 Corinth was 
evacuated by the Confederates. In July 
Halleck was made General-in-Chief, and 
Grant succeeded him in command of the 
Department of the Tennessee. September 
19 the battle of luka was fought, where, 
owing to Rosecrans's fault, only an incom- 
plete victory was obtained. 

Next, Grant, with 30,000 men, moved 
down into Mississippi and threatened Vicks- 
burg, while Sherman, with 40,000 men, was 
sent by way of the river to attack that place 
in front ; but, owing to Colonel Murphy's 
surrendering Holly Springs to the Con- 
federates, Grant was so weakened that he 
had to retire to Corinth, and then Sherman 
failed to sustain his intended attack. 

In January, 1863, General Grant took 
command in person of all the troops in the 
Mississippi Valley, and spent several months 
in fruitless attempts to compel the surrender 
or evacuation of Vicksburg; but July 4, 
following, the place surrendered, with 31,- 
600 men and 172 cannon, and the Mississippi 
River thus fell permanently into the hands 
of the Government. Grant was made a 


Major-General in the rci^iilar annv, and in 
October followiiiij lie was placed in com- 
mand of the Division o( tiic Mississippi. 
The same nioulii lie went to Cliatlanooga 
and saved the Army o( the Cumberland 
from starvation, and drove Brai;s^- from that 
part of the countr\-. This viclorv over- 
threw the last important hostile force west 
of the Alleg-hanies and opened the way for 
the National armies into Georgia and Sher- 
man's march to the sea. 

The remarkable series of successes which 
Grant had now achieved pointed him out 
as the appropriate leader of the National 
armies, and accordingly, in February, 1864, 
the rank of Lieutenant-General was created 
for him by Congress, and on March 17 he 
assumed command of the armies of the 
United States. Planning the grand final 
campaign, he sent Sherman into Georgia, 
Sigel into the valley of Virginia, and Butler 
to capture I-lichmond, while he fought his 
own way from the Rapidan to the James. 
The costly but victorious battles of the 
Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North ^Vnnuand 
Cold Harbor were fought, more for the 
purpose of annihilating Lee than to capture 
any particular point. In June, 1864, the 
siege of Richmond was begun. Sherman, 
meanwhile, was marching and fighting daily 
in Georgia and steadily advancing toward 
Atlanta ; but Sigel had been defeated in the 
valley of Virginia, and was superseded by 
Hunter. Lee sent Early to threaten the Na- 
tional capital ; whereupon Grant gathered 
up a force which he placed under Sheridan, 
and that commander rapidly drove Earlv, 
inasuccessionof battles, through the valley 
of Virginia and destroyed his army as an 
organized force. The siege of Richmond 
went on, and Grant made numerous attacks, 
but was only partially successful. The 
people of the North grew impatient, and 
even the Government advised him to 
abandon the attempt to take Richmond or 
crush the Confederacy in that way; but he 

never wavered. He resolved to " fight it 
out on that line, if it took all summer." 

By September Sherman had made his 
way to Atlanta, and Grant then sent him 
on his famous " march to the sea," a route 
which the chief had designed six months 
before. He made Sherman's success possi- 
ble, not only by holding Lee in front of 
Richmond, but also bv sending reinforce- 
ments to Thomas, who then drew off and 
defeated the only army which could have 
confronted Sherman. Thus the latter was 
left unopposed, and, with Thomas and Sheri- 
dan, was used in the furtherance of Grant's 
plans. Each executed his part in the great 
design and contributed his share to the re- 
sult at which Grant was aiming. Sherman 
finally reached Savannah, Schofield beat 
the enemy at Franklin, Thomas at Nash- 
ville, and Sheridan wherever he met him; 
and all this while General Grant was hold- 
ing Lee, with the principal Confederate 
army, near Richmond, as it were chained 
and helpless. Then Schofield was brought 
from the West, and Fort Fisher and Wil- 
mington were captured on the sea-coast, so 
as to afford him a foothold ; from here he 
was sent into the interior of North Cai"o- 
lina, and Sherman was ordered to move 
northward to join him. When all this was 
effected, and Sheridan could find no one else 
to fight in the Shenandoah Valley, Grant 
brought the cavalry leader to the front of 
Richmond, and, making a last effort, drove 
Lee from his entrenchments and captured 

At the beginning of the final campaign 
Lee had collected 73,000 fighting men in 
the lines at Richmond, besides the local 
militia and the gunboat crews, amounting 
to 5,000 more. Including Sheridan's force 
Grant had 1 10,000 men in the works before 
Petersburg and Richmond. Petersbuig fell 
on the 2d of April, and Richmond on th.e 
3d, and Lee fled in the direction of Lynch- 
burg. Grant pursued with remorseless 


enei"gy, only stopping to strike fresh blows, 
and Lee at last found himself not only out- 
fougiit but also out-marched and out-gen- 
eraled. Being completely surrounded, he 
surrendered on the glh of April, 1865, at 
Appomattox d^urt-House, in the oyjen field, 
with 27,000 men, all that remained of his 
arm}'. This act virtually ended the war. 
Thus, in ten da\'s Grant had captured 
Petersburg and Richmond, fought, by his 
subordinates, the battles of Five Forks and 
Sailor's Creek, besides numerous smaller 
ones, captured 20,000 men in actual battle, 
and received the surrender of 27,000 more 
at Appomattox, absolutely annihilating an 
army of 70,000 soldiers. 

General Grant returned at once to Wash- 
ington to superintend the disbandment of 
the armies, but this pleasurable work was 
scarcely begun when President Lincoln was 
assassinated. It had doubtless been in- 
tended to inflict the same fate upon Grant ; 
but he, fortunately, on account of leaving 
Washington early in the evening, declined 
an invitation to accompany the President 
to the theater where the murder was com- 
mitted. This event made Andrew Johnson 
President, but left Grant by far the most 
conspicuous figure in the public life of the 
country. He became the object of an en- 
thusiasm greater than had ever been known 
in America. Every possible honor was 
heaped upon him ; the grade of General 
was created for him by Congress; houses 
were presented to him by citizens; towns 
were illuminated on his entrance into them ; 
and, to cap the climax, when he made his 
tour around the world, "all nations did him 
honor" as they had never before honored 
a foreigner. 

The General, as Commander-in-Chief, 
was placed in an embarrassing position by 
the opposition of President Johnson to the 
measures of Congress ; but he directly man- 
ifested his characteristic loyalty by obeying 
Congress rather than the disaffected Presi- 

dent, although for a short time he had 
served in his cabinet as Secretary of War. 

Of course, everybody thought of General 
Grant as the next President of the United 
States, and he was accordingly elected as 
such in 1868 "by a large majorit}'," and 
four years later re-elected by a much larger 
majority — the most overwhelming ever 
given by the people of this country. His first 
administration was distinguished by a ces- 
sation of the strifes which sprang from the 
war, by a large reduction of the National 
debt, and by a settlement of the difficulties 
with England which had grown out of the 
depredations committed by privateers fit- 
ted out in England during the war. This 
last settlement was made b}' the famous 
" Geneva arbitration," which saved to this 
Government $15,000,000, but, more than all, 
prevented a war with England. "Let us 
have peace," was Grant's motto. And this 
is the most appropriate place to remark 
that above all Presidents whom this Gov- 
ernment has ever had, General Grant was 
the most non-partisan. He regarded the 
Executive office as purely and exclusively 
executive of the laws of Congress, irrespect- 
ive of " politics." But every great man 
has jealous, bitter enemies, a fact Grant 
was well aware of. 

After the close of his Presidency, our 
General made his famous tour around the 
world, already referred to, and soon after- 
ward, in company with Ferdinand Ward, 
of New York City, he engaged in banking 
and stock brokerage, which business was 
made disastrous to Grant, as well as to him- 
self, by his rascality. By this time an in- 
curable cancer of the tongue developed 
itself in the person of the afflicted ex- 
President, which ended his unrequited life 
July 23, 1885. Thus passed away from 
earth's turmoils the man, the General, who 
was as truly the " father of this regenerated 
countr}-" as was Washington the father of 
the infant nation. 


^^ ARD HAYES, the nine- 
ja^ teenth President of 
the United States, 
\8jj-'Si, was born in 
-,'%^ Delaware, Ohio, Oc- 
^''^■"^-s-^ tuber 4, 1822. His 
ancestry can be traced as far 
back as 1280, when Hayes and 
Rutherford \vere two Scottish 
chieftains fighting side by side 
with Baliol, William Wallace 
and Robert Bruce. Both fami- 
lies belonged to the nobility, 
owned extensive estates and had 
a large following. The Hayes 
family had, for a coat of-arms, a 
shield, barred and surmounted by a flying 
eagle. There was a circle of stars about 
the eagle and above the shield, while on a 
scroll underneath the shield was inscribed 
the motto, " Recte." Misfortune overtaking 
the family, George Hayes left Scotland in 
1680, and settled in Windsor, Connecticut. 
He was an industrious worker in wood and 
iron, having a mechanical genius and a cul- 
tivated mind. His son George was born 
in Windsor and remained there during his 

Daniel Hayes, son of the latter, married 
Sarah Lee, and lived in Simsburv, Con- 

necticut. Ezekiel, son of Daniel, was born 
in 1724, and was a manufacturer of scythes 
at Bradford, Connecticut. Rutherford 
Hayes, son of Ezekiel and grandfather of 
President Hayes, was born in New Haven, 
in August, 1756. He was a famous black- 
smith and tavern-keeper. He immigrated to 
Vermont at an unknown date, settling in 
Brattleboro where he established a hotel. 
Here his son Rutherford, father of Presi- 
dent Hayes, was born. In September, 1813, 
he married Sophia Birchard, of Wilming- 
ton, Vermont, whose ancestry on the male 
side is traced back to 1635, to John Birch- 
ard, one of the principal founders of Nor- 
wich. Both of her grandfathers were 
soldiers in the Revolutionary war. 

The father of President Hayes was of a 
mechanical turn, and could mend a plow, 
knit a stocking, or do almost anything that 
he might undertake. He was prosperous 
in business, a member of the church and 
active in all the benevolent enterprises of 
the town. After the close of the war of 1812 
he immigrated to Ohio, and purchased a 
farm near the present town of Delaware. 
His family then consisted of his wife and 
two children, and an orphan girl whom he 
had adopted. 

It was in 1S17 that the famil}- arrived at 
Delaware. Instead of settling upon his 






farm, Mr. Hayes concluded to enter into 
business in the village. He purchased an 
interest in a distillery, a business then as re- 
spectable as it was profitable. His capital 
and recognized ability assured hiin the 
highest social position in the communitv'. 
He died July 22, 1822, less than three 
months before the birth of the son that was 
destined to fill the office of President of the 
United States. 

Mrs. Hayes at this period was very weak, 
and the subject of this sketch was so feeble 
at birth that he was not expected to live 
beyond a month or two at most. As the 
months went by he grew weaker and weaker 
so that the neighbors were in the habit of 
inquiring from time to time " if Mrs. 
Hayes's baby died last night." On one oc- 
casion a neighbor, who was on friendly 
terms with the famih', after alluding to the 
boy's big head and the mother's assiduous 
care of him, said to her, in a bantering wa)', 
"That's right! Stick to him. You have 
got him along so far, and I shouldn't won- 
der if he would really come to something 
yet." " You need not laugh," said Mrs. 
Hayes, " you wait and see. You can't tell 
but I shall make him President of the 
United States ^-et." 

The boy lived, in spite of the universal 
predictions of his speedy death; and when, 
in 1825, his elder brother was drowned, he 
became, if possible, still dearer to his mother. 
He was seven years old before he was 
placed in school. His education, however, 
was not neglected. His sports were almost 
wholly within doors, his plavmates being 
his sister and her associates. These circum- 
stances tended, no doubt, to foster that 
gentleness of disposition and that delicate 
consideration for the feelings of others 
which are marked traits of his character. 
At school he was ardently devoted to his 
studies, obedient to the teacher, and care- 
ful to avoid the quarrels in which many of 
his schoolmates were involved. He was 

always waiting at the school-house door 
when it opened in the morning, and never 
late in returning to his seat at recess. His 
sister Fannie was his constant companion, 
and their affection for each other excited 
the admiration of their friends. 

In 1838 3'oung Hayes entered Kenyon 
College and graduated in 1842. He then 
began the study of law in the office of 
Thomas Sparrow at Columbus. His health 
was now well established, his figure robust, 
his mind vigorous and alert. In a short 
time he determined to enter the law school 
at Cambridge, Massachusetts, where for 
two 3'ears he pursued his studies with great 

In 1845 he was admitted to the bar at 
Marietta, Ohio, and shortly afterward went 
into practice as an attorney-at-law with 
Ralph P. Buckland, of Fremont. Here he 
remained three years, acquiring but limited 
practice, and apparently unambitious of 
distinction in his profession. His bachelor 
uncle, Sardis Birchard, who had always 
manifested great interest in his nephew and 
rendered him assistance in boyhood, was 
now a wealth}' banker, and it was under- 
stood that the young man would be his 
heir. It is possible that this expectation 
may have made Mr. Hayes more indifferent 
to the attainment of wealth than he would 
otherwise have been, but he was led into no 
extravagance or vices on this account. 

In 1849 1^6 removed to Cincinnati where 
his ambition found new stimulus. Two 
events occurring at this period had a pow- 
erful influence upon his subsequent life. 
One of them was his marriage to Miss 
Lucy Ware Webb, daughter of Dr. James 
Webb, of Cincinnati; the other was his 
introduction to the Cincinnati Literary 
Club, a body embracing such men as Chief 
Justice Salmon P. Chase, General John 
Pope and Governor Edward F. No3-es. 
The marriage was a fortunate one as every- 
body knows. Not one of all the wives of 



our Presidents was more universally ad- 
mired, reverenced and beloved than is Mrs. 
Hayes, and no one has done more than she 
to reflect honor upon American woman- 

In 1856 Mr. Hayes was nominated to the 
office of Judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas, but declined to accept the n(5mina- 
tion. Two years later he was chosen to the 
office of City Solicitor. 

In 1861, when the Rebellion broke out, 
he was eager to take up arms in the defense 
of his countr}'. His military life was 
bright and illustrious. June 7, 1861, he 
was appointed Major of the Twenty-third 
Ohio Infantry. In July the regiment was 
sent to Virginia. October 15, i86r, he was 
made Lieutenant-Colonel of his regiment, 
and in August, 1862, was promoted Colonel 
of the Seventy-ninth Ohio Regiment, but 
refused to leave his old comrades. He was 
wounded at the battle of South Mountain, 
and suffered severely, being unable to enter 
upon active duty for several weeks. No- 
vember 30, 1862, he rejoined his regiment as 
its Colonel, having been promoted Octo- 
ber 15. 

December 25, 1862, he was placed in com- 
mand of the Kanawha division, and for 
meritorious service in several battles was 
promoted Brigadier-General. He was also 
brevetted Major-General for distinguished 

services in 1864. He was wounded four 
times, and five horses were sliot from 
under him. 

Mr. Ha3'es was first a Whig in politics, 
and was among the first to unite with the 
Free-Soil and Republican parties. In 1864 
he was elected to Congress from che Sec- 
ond Ohio District, which had always beqn 
Democratic, receiving a majority of 3,098. 
In 1866 hew-as renominated for Congress 
and was a second time elected. In 1867 he 
was elected Governor over Allen G. Thur- 
maii, the Democratic candidate, and re- 
elected in 1869. In 1874 Sardis Birchard 
died, leaving his large estate to General 

In 1876 he was nominated for the Presi- 
dency. His letter of acceptance excited 
the admiration of the whole country. He 
resigned the office of Governor and retired 
to his home in Fremont to await the result 
of the canvass. After a hard, long contest 
he was inaugurated March 5, 1877. His 
Presidency was characterized by compro- 
mises with all parties, in order to please as 
many as possible. The close of his Presi- 
dential term in 188 1 was the close of his 
public life, and since then he has remained 
at his home in Fremont, Ohio, in Jefferso- 
nian retirement from public notice, in strik- 
ing contrast with most others of the world's 




T @<^g 



p .I^JAAmSj 4, G ARFIEL:©,^4^ \ 


^^■=- ^ '^^AMES A. GARFIELD, 
twentieth President of 
the United States, 1881, 
was born November 19, 
1 83 1, in tlie wild woods 
of Cuyahoga County, 
Ohio. His parents were 
Abram and EHza (Ballou) 
Garfield, who were of New 
- England ancestry. The 
senior Garfield was an in- 
"" dustrious farmer, as the 
rapid improvements which 
appeared on his place at- 
tested. The residence was 
the familiar pioneer log cabin, 
and the household comprised the parents 
and their children — Mehetable, Thomas, 
Mary and James A. In May, 1833, the 
father died, and the care of the house- 
hold consequently devolved upon young 
Thomas, to whom James was greatly in- 
debted for the educational and other ad- 
vantages he enjoyed. He now lives in 
Michigan, and the two sisters live in Solon, 
Ohio, near their birthplace. 

As the subject of our sketch grew up, he, 
too, was industrious, both in mental and 
physical labor. He worked upon the farm, 
or at carpentering, or chopped wood, or at 
any other odd job that would aid in support 
of the family, and in the meantime made the 

most of his books. Ever afterward he was 
never ashamed of his humble origin, nor for- 
got the friends of his youth. The poorest 
laborer was sure of his sympathy, and he 
always exhibited the character of a modest 

Until he was about sixteen years of age, 
James's highest ambition was to be a lake 
captain. To this his mother was strongly 
opposed, but she finally consented to his 
going to Cleveland to carry out his long- 
cherished design, with the understanding, 
however, that he should try to obtain some 
other kind of employment. He walked all 
the way to Cleveland, and this was his first 
visit to the city. After making man}' ap- 
plications for work, including labor on 
board a lake vessel, but all in vain; he 
finally engaged as a driver for his cousin, 
Amos Letcher, on the Ohio & Pennsyl- 
vania Canal. In a short time, however, he 
quit this and returned home. He then at- 
tended the seminary at Chester for about 
three years, and next he entered Hiram In- 
stitute, a school started in 1850 by the 
Disciples of Christ, of which church he was 
a member. In order to pa}' his way he 
assumed the duties of janitor, and at tmies 
taught school. He soon completed the cur- 
riculum there, and then entered Williams 
College, at which he graduated in 1856, 
taking one of the highest honors of his class. 


Afterward he returned to Hiram as Presi- 
dent. In hisyouthful and therefore zealous 
piety, he exercised his talents occasionally 
as a preacher of the Gospel. He was a 
man of strong moral and religious convic- 
tions, and as soon as he began to look into 
politics, he saw innumerable points that 
could be improved. He also studied law, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1859. 
November 11, 1858, Mr. Garfield married 
Miss Lucretia Rudolph, who ever after- 
ward proved a worthy consort in all the 
stages of her husband's career. They had 
seven children, five of whom are still liviii<r. 

It was in 1859 '^''''^ Garfield made his 
first political speeches, in Hiram and the 
neighboring villages, and three years later 
he began to speak at county mass-meetings, 
being received everywhere with popular 
favor. He was elected to the State Senate 
this year, taking his seat in Januar}-, i860. 

On the breaking out of the war of the 
Rebellion in 1861, Mr. Garfield resolved to 
fight as he had talked, and accordingly he 
enlisted to defend the old flag, receiving 
his commission as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 
Forty-second Regiment of the Ohio Volun- 
teer Infantry, August 14, that year. He 
was immediately thrown into active service, 
and before he had ever seen a gun fired in 
action he was placed in command of four 
regiments of infantry and eight companies 
of cavalry, charged with the work of driv- 
ing the Confederates, headed by Humphrey 
Marshall, from his native State, Kentucky. 
This task was speedily accomplished, al- 
though against great odds. On account of 
his success. President Lincoln commissioned 
him Brigadier-General, January 11, 1862; 
and, as he had been the youngest man in 
the Ohio Senate two years before, so now 
he was the youngest General in the army. 
He was with General Buell's army at Shi- 
loh, also in its operations around Corinth 
and its march through Alabama. Next, he 
was detailed as a member of the general 

court-martial for the trial of General Fitz- 
John Porter, and then ordered to report to 
General Rosectans, when he was assigned 
to the position of Chief of Staff. His mili- 
tary history closed with his brilliant ser- 
vices at Chickamauga, where he won the 
stars of Major-General. 

In the fall of 1862, without any effort on 
his part, he was elected as a Representative 
to Congress, from that section of Ohio 
which had been represented for sixty years 
mainly by two men — Elisha Whittlesey and 
Joshua R. Giddings. Again, he was the 
youngest member of that body, and con- 
tinued there by successive re-elections, as 
Representative or Senator, until he was 
elected President in 1880. During his life 
in Congress he compiled and published by 
his speeches, there and elsewhere, more 
information on the issues of the day, espe- 
cially on one side, than any other member. 

June 8, 1880, at the National Republican 
Convention held in Chicago, General Gar- 
field was nominated for the Presidency, in 
preference to the old war-horses, Blaine 
and Grant ; and although many of the Re- 
publican party felt sore over the failure of 
their respective heroes to obtain the nomi- 
nation. General Garfield was elected by a 
fair popular majority. He was duly in- 
augurated, but on July 2 following, before 
he had fairly got started in his administra- 
tion, he was fatally shot by a half-dcmcnted 
assassin. After ver}- painful and protracted 
suffering, he died September 19, 1881, la- 
mented by all the American people. Never 
before in the history of this country had 
anything occurred which so nearly froze 
the blood of the Nation, for the moment, as 
the awful act of Guiteau, the murderer. 
He was duly tried, convicted and put to 
death on the gallows. 

The lamented Garfield was succeeded by 
the Vice-President, General Arthur, who 
seemed to endeavor to carry out the policy 
inaugurated by his predecessor. 



ARTHUR, the twen- 
ty-first Chief Execu- 
tive of this growing 
republic, i88i-'5, was 
born in FrankHn 
C o u n t y , Vermont, 
October 5, 1830, the eldest of a 
family of two sons and five 
daughters. His father, Rev. 
Dr. William Arthur, a Baptist 
clergyman, immigrated to this 
country from County Antrim, 
Ireland, in his eighteenth year, 
and died in 1875, in Newton- 
ville, near Albany, New York, 
after serving manv years as a successful 
minister. Chester A. was educated at that 
old, conservative institution. Union Col- 
lege, at Schenectady, New York, where he 
excelled in all his studies. He graduated 
there, with honor, and then struck out in 
life for himself by teaching school for about 
two years in his native State. 

At the expiration of that time young 
Arthur, with $500 in his purse, went to the 
city of New York and entered the law office 
of ex-Judge E. D. Culver as a student. In 
due time he was admitted to the bar, when 
he formed a partnership with his intimate 

friend and old room-mate, Henry D. Gar- 
diner, with the intention of practicing law 
at some point in the West ; but after spend- 
ing about three months in the Westen. 
States, in search of an eligible place, they 
returned to New York City, leased a room, 
exhibited a sign of their business and al- 
most immediately enjoyed a paying patron- 

At this stage of his career Mr. Arthur's 
business prospects were so encouraging 
that he concluded to take a wife, and ac- 
cordingl}' he married the daughter of Lieu- 
tenant Herndon, of the United States Navy, 
who had been lost at sea. To the widow 
of the latter Congress voted a gold medal> 
in recognition of the Lieutenant's bravery 
during the occasion in which he lost his 
life. Mrs. Artaur died shortly before her 
husband's nomination to the Vice-Presi- 
dency, leaving two children. 

Mr. Arthur obtained considerable celeb- 
rity as an attorney in the famous Lemmon 
suit, which was brought to recover posses- 
sion of eight slaves, who had been declared 
free by the Superior Court of New York 
City. The noted Charles O'Conor, who 
was nominated by the " Straight Demo- 
crats" in 1872 for the United States Presi- 
dency, was retained by Jonathan G. Lem- 



mon, of Virginia, to recover the negroes, 
but he lost the suit. In this case, however, 
Mr. Arthur was assisted by William M. 
Evarts, now United States Senator. Soon 
afterward, in 1856, a respectable colored 
woman was ejected from a street car in 
New York City. Mr. Arthur sued the car 
company in her behalf and recovered $500 
damages. Immediately afterward all the 
car companies in the city issued orders to 
their employes to admit colored persons 
upon their cars. 

Mr. Arthur's political doctrines, as well 
as his practice as a lawyer, raised him to 
prominence in the party of freedom ; and 
accordingly he was sent as a delegate to 
the first National Republican Convention. 
Soon afterward he was appointed Judge 
Advocate for the Second Brigade of the 
State of New York, and then Engineer-in- 
Chief on Governor Morgan's staff. In 1861, 
the first year of the war, he was made In- 
spector-General, and ne.Kt, Quartermaster- 
General, in both which offices he rendered 
great service to the Government. Alter 
the close of Governor Morgan's term he 
resumed the practice of law, forming first a 
partnership with Mr. Ransom, and subse- 
quently adding Mr. Phelps to the firm. 
Each of these gentlemen were able lawyers. 

November 21, 1872, General Arthur was 
appointed Collector of the Port of New 
York by President Grant, and he held the 
office until July 20, 1878. 

The next event of prominence in General 
Arthur's career was his nomination to the 
Vice-Presidency of the United States, under 
the influence of Roscoe Conkling, at the 
National Republican Convention held at 
Chicago in June, 1880, when James A. Gar- 
field was placed at the head of the ticket. 
Both the convention and the campaign that 
followed were noisy and exciting. The 
friends of Grant, constituting nearly half 

the convention, were exceedingly persist- 
ent, and were sorely disappointed over 
their defeat. At the head of the Demo- 
cratic ticket was placed a very strong and 
popular man ; yet Garfield and Arthur were 
elected by a respectable plurality of the 
popular vote. The 4th of March following, 
these gentlemen were accordingly inaugu- 
rated ; but within four months the assassin's 
bullet made a fatal wound in the person of 
General Garfield, whose life terminated 
September 19, 1881, when General Arthur, 
ex officio, was obliged to take the chief 
reins of government. Some misgivings 
were entertained by many in this event, as 
Mr. Arthur was thought to represent espe 
cially the Grant and Conkling wing of the 
Republican party ; but President Arthur 
had both the ability and the good sense to 
allay all fears, and he gave the restless, 
critical American people as good an ad- 
ministration as they had ever been blessed 
with. Neither selfishness nor low parti- 
sanism ever characterized any feature of 
his public service. He ever maintained a 
high sense of every individual right as well 
as of the Nation's honor. Indeed, he stood 
so high that his successor. President Cleve- 
land, though of opposing politics, expressed 
a wish in his inaugural address that he 
could only satisfy the people with as good 
an administration. 

But the day of civil service reform had 
come in so far, and the corresponding re- 
action against " third-termism" had en- 
croached so far even upon "second-term" 
service, that the Republican party saw fit 
in 1884 to nominate another man for Presi- 
dent. Only by this means was General 
Arthur's tenure of office closed at Wash- 
ington. On his retirement from the Presi- 
dency, March, 1885, he engaged in the 
practice of law at New York City, where be 
died Koveinher 18, 1886. 








LAND, the twenty- 
second President of the 
United States, 1885—, 
was born in Caldwell, 
Essex County, New 

W ^ Jersey, March 1 8, 

1837. The house in which he 
was born, a small two-story 
wooden building, is still stand- 
ing. It was the parsonage of 
the Presbyterian church, of 
which his father, Richard 
Cleveland, at the time was 
pastor. The family is of New 
England origin, and for two centuries has 
contributed to the professions and to busi- 
ness, men who have reflected honor on the 
name. Aaron Cleveland, Grover Cleve- 
land's great-great-grandfather, was born in 
Massachusetts, but subsequently moved to 
Philadelphia, where he became an intimate 
friend of Benjamin Franklin, at whose 
house he died. He left a large family of 
children, who in time married and settled 
in different parts of New England. A 
grandson was one of the small American 
force that fought the British at Bunker 
Hill. He served with gallantry through- 
out the Revolution and was honorably 
discharged at its close as a Lieutenant in 
the Continental army. Another grandson, 
William Cleveland (a son of a second Aaron 

as a 

Cleveland, who was distinguished 
writer and member of the Connecticut 
Legislature) was Grover Cleveland's grand- 
father. William Cleveland became a silver- 
smith in Norwich, Connecticut. He ac- 
quired by industry some property and sent 
his son, Richard Cleveland, the father of 
Grover Cleveland, to Yale College, where 
he graduated in 1 824. During a year spent 
in teaching at Baltimore, Maryland, after 
graduation, he met and fell in love with a 
Miss Annie Neale, daughter of a wealthy 
Baltimore book publisher, of Irish birth. 
He was earning his own way in the world 
at the time and was unable to marry; but 
in three years he completed a course of 
preparation for the ministry, secured a 
church in Windham, Connecticut, and 
married Annie Neale. Subsequently he 
moved to Portsmouth, Virginia, where he 
preached for nearly two years, when he 
was summoned to Caldwell, New Jersey, 
where was born Grover Cleveland. 

When he was three years old the family 
moved to Fayetteville, Onondaga County, 
New York. Here Grover Cleveland lived 
until he was fourteen years old, the rugged, 
healthful life of a country boy. His frank, 
generous manner made him a favorite 
among his companions, and their respect 
was won by the good qualities in the germ 
which his manhood developed. He at- 
tended the district school of the village and 



was for a short time at the academy. His 
lather, however, believed that bo3's should 
be taught to labor at an early age, and be- 
fore he had completed the course of study 
at the academy he began to work in the 
village store at $50 for the first year, and the 
promise of $100 for the second year. His 
work was well done and the promised in- 
crease of pay was granted the second year. 
Meanwhile his father and family had 
moved to Clinton, the seat of Hamilton 
College, where his father acted as agent to 
the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions, 
preaching in the churches of the vicinity. 
Hither Grover came at his father's request 
shortly after the beginning of his second 
year at the Fayetteville store, and.resumed 
his studies at the Clinton Academy. After 
three years spent in this town, the Rev. 
Richard Cleveland was called to the vil- 
lage church of Holland Patent. He had 
preached here only a month when he was 
suddenly stricken down and died without 
an hour's warning. The death of the father 
left the family in straitened circumstances, 
as Richard Cleveland had spent all his 
salary of $1,000 per year, which was not 
required for the necessary expenses of liv- 
ing, upon the education of his children, of 
whom there were nine, Grover being the 
fifth. Grover was hoping to enter Hamil- 
ton College, but the death of his father 
made it necessary for him to earn his own 
livelihood. For the first year (1853-4) lie 
acted as assistant teacher and bookkeeper in 
the Institution for the Blind in New York 
City, of which the late Augustus Schell was 
for many years the patron. In the winter 
of 1854 he returned to Holland Patent 
where the generous people of that place,' 
Fayetteville and Clinton, had purchased a 
home for his mother, and in the following 
spring, borrowing $25, he set out for the 
West to earn his living. 

Reaching Buffalo he paid a hasty visit to 
an uncle, Lewis F. Allen, a well-known 

stock farmer, living at Black Rock, a tew 
miles distant. He communicated his plans 
to Mr. Allen, who discouraged the idea of 
the West, and finall}- induced the enthusi- 
astic boy of seventeen to remain with him 
and help him prepare a catalogue of blooded 
short-horn cattle, known as " Allen's Amer- 
ican Herd Book," a publication familiar to 
all breeders of cattle. In August, 1855, he 
entered the law office of Rogers, Bowen 
tS: Rogers, at Buffalo, and after serving a 
few months without pay, was paid $4 a 
week — an amount barely sufficient to meet 
the necessary expenses of his board in the 
family of a fellow-student in Buffalo, with 
whom he took lodgings. Life at this time 
with Grover Cleveland was a stern battle 
with the world. He took his breakfast by 
candle-light with the drovers, and went at 
once to the office where the whole day was 
spent in work and stud}-. Usually he re- 
turned again at night to resume reading 
which had been interrupted by the duties 
of the day. Gradually his employers came 
to recognize the ability, trust worthinesb 
and capacity for hard work in their young 
employe, and by the time he was admitted 
to the bar (1859) he stood high in their con- 
fidence. A year later he was made confi- 
dential and managing clerk, and in the 
course of three 3ears more his salary had 
been raised to $1,000. In 1863 he was ap- 
pointed assistant district attorney of Erie 
County by the district attorney, the Hon. 
C. C. Torrance. 

Since his first vote had been cast in 1858 
he had been a staunch Democrat, and until 
he was chosen Governor he always made 
it his duty, rain or shine, to stand at the 
polls and give out ballots to Democratic 
voters. During the first year of his term 
as assistant district attorney, the Democrats 
desired especiall}' to carry the Board of Su- 
pervisors. The old Second Ward in which 
he lived was Republican- ordinarily by 250 
majority, but at the urgent request of the 



party Grover Cleveland consented to be 
the Democratic candidate for Supervisor, 
dnd came within thirteen votes of an elec- 
tion. The three years spent in the district 
attorney's office were devoted to assiduous 
labor and the extension of his professional 
attainments. He then formed a law part- 
nership with the late Isaac V. Vanderpoel, 
ex-State Treasurer, under the firm name 
of Vanderpoel & Cleveland. Here the bulk 
of the work devolved on Cleveland's shoul- 
ders, and he soon won a good standing at 
the bar of Erie County. In 1869 Mr. 
Cleveland formed a partnership with e.x- 
Senator A. P. Laning and ex-Assistant 
United States District Attorney Oscar Fol- 
som, under the firm name of Laning, Cleve- 
land & Folsom. During these years he 
began to earn a moderate professional in- 
come; but the larger portion of it was sent 
to his mother and sisters at Holland Patent 
to whose support he had contributed ever 
since i860. He served as sheriff of Erie 
County, i870-'4, and then resumed the 
practice of law, associating himself with the 
Hon. Lyman K. Bass and Wilson S. Bissell. 

The firm was strong and popular, and soon 
commanded a large and lucrative practice. 
Ill health forced the retirement of Mr. Bass 
in 1879, ^"d the firm became Cleveland & 
Bissell. In 1881 Mr. George J. Sicard was 
added to the firm. 

In the autumn election of 1881 he was 
elected mayor of Buffalo by a majority of 
over 3,500 — the largest majority ever given 
a candidate for mayor — and the Democratic 
city ticket was successful, although the 
Republicans carried Buffalo by over 1,000 
majority for their State ticket. Grover 
Cleveland's administration as mayor fully 
justified the confidence reposed in him by 
the people of Buffalo, evidenced by the 
great vote he received. 

The Democratic State Convention met 
at Syracuse, September 22, 1882, and nomi- 
nated Grover Cleveland for Governor 
on the third ballot and Cleveland was 
elected by 192,000 majoritv. ' In the fall of 
1 884 he was elected President of the United 
States by about 1,000 popular majority, 
in New York State, and he was accordingly 
inaugurated the 4th of March following. 









INNESOTA is located in the 
geographical center of the con- 
tinent of North America — mid- 
way between the Atlantic and 
Pacific Oceans, and also midway 
between Hudson's Baj' and the 
Gulf of Mexico. It embraces 
territory extending from latitude 
43 degrees 50 minutes, to 49 de- 
grees, and from 89 degrees 29 
minutes to 97 degrees 5 minutes 
west longitude. As to its area, 
it can only be estimated, as portions of the 
State are as yet unsurveyed ; but as near as 
can be arrived at, the area is 85,531 square 
miles, or about 53,760,000 acres. In size 
Minnesota is the fourth State in the Union. 
From its southern boundary to the northern 
is about 4()0 miles, and from the most east- 
ern to tiie extreme western point about 354 
miles. In altitude it appears to l)e one of 
the highest portions of the continent, as the 
headwaters of tlie three great river systems' 
are foun<l in its limits — those of streams 
flowing northward to Hudson's Bay, east- 
ward to the Atlantic Ocean, and southward 
to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Nearly three-quarters .of the surface of the 
State is made up of rolling prairie, inter- 
sjiersed with frequent groves, oak openings 
and belts of hardwood timber, watered by 
numerous lakes and streams, and covered 
with a warm, dark soil of great fertility. 
The balance, embracing the elevated district 

immediately west of Lake Superior, consists 
mainly of the rich mineral ranges on its 
shores, and of the pine forests which extend 
over the upper Mississippi country, affording 
extensive supplies of timber. But a very 
small portion is broken, rocky or worthless 
land ; nearly all is arable. But few States 
are so well watered as Minnesota, and the 
numerous rivers and water-courses give ex- 
cellent drainage. A number of the rivers — 
the Mississippi, the Minnesota, the St. Croix, 
the St. Louis, the Red and the Red Lake riv- 
ers — are navigable, and nearly all of the 
balance afford water power. The lakes of 
Minnesota are among its principal ])hysical 
characteristics. The estimate of 10,000 lakes 
in the State is not an unreasonable one. 

With all these natural advantages, favor- 
able climate and rich soil, Minnesota has 
become one of the most successful agricult- 
ural States in the Union, and stock-i-aising 
and dairying is rapidly becoming a leading 
industry. Lumbering is also carried on very 
extensive!}', and the manufacturing branch 
is rapidly becoming large. While at first it 
was supposed that this State was destitute 
of valuable minerals, recent discoveries prove 
to the contrary. Inexhaustible sujiplies of 
the best iron ore exist, and are now being 
mined and exported in large quantities. Sil- 
ver veins have also been found near the 
boundary line ; copper ore has also been 
found, and it is known that plumbago and 
gold quartz exist. Building material, gran- 



ite, brownstone, limestone, sandstone and 
brick and ])otter's clay are abundant. 

A few words as to railroads and history 
relating to tlieir construction will also be 
interesting. Twenty-five years ago (1802), 
there were only ten miles of railway in 
operation in the State. At the close of 1885 
there were 0,721 miles in operation. The 
general government has granted to railroads 
within this State 12,151,527 acres of land, 
and the State has given 1,811,750 acres of 
swamp and other lands, making a total of 
13,933,277 acres of land within the State 
given to railroads, valued on the average at 
$5 per acre, making $09,000,385 thus given. 
In addition, local, county and State bonds 
have been given them amounting to over 
$0,080,000, making in lands and cash a total 
gift of $70,490,385, or about $19,345 for 

every mile completed. There is material in 
these facts for an extended political essay, 
and they certainly furnish food for thought. 

In concluding these general remarks it 
may justly be h:aid that the outlook for the 
State is most gratifying. Its population is 
raj)id]y increasing, and its taxable wealth 
increasing in similar ratio. Every year sees 
an enormous area of its rich soil brought 
under cultivation, while there are still mill- 
ions of acres awaiting the plow of the set- 

The following table of census returns will 
show the growth of the State as to popula- 
tion: 1850, population 0,077; 1860, popula- 
tion 172,023; 1805, population 250,099 ; 1870, 
population 439,700; 1875, population 597, 
407; 1880, population 780,773, and in 1885 
the population was 1,117,798. 



tIE first exploration bywhites of 
the territory which now com- 
prises the State of Minnesota 
dates back early into the seven- 
teenth century. It is claimed 
by good authorit}' that Jean 
Nicolet (pronounced Nicolay), 
one of Champlain's interpreters, 
was the first to spread knowl- 
edge of the country west of Lake Michigan. 
As early as 1635 he set foot upon the 
western shores of Lake Michigan, and traded 
near Green Bay, also roaming over various 
portions of Wisconsin at about that time. 
In December of the same year he returned 
to Canada. It is very doubtful whether 
Nicolet ever set foot on Minnesota soil, 
although it is certain that his visit to the 
countr}'^ Avest of Lake Michigan was the 
means of spreading knowledge of this 
country, and of the aborigines of Minnesota. 
It was said of him that he penetrated far 
distant countries, and in a letter bearing 
date of 1640, it is stated that "if he had 
proceeded three days more on a river which 
flows from that lake (Green Bay), he would 
have found the sea." The death of this 
explorer occurred at Three Rivers in 164-0. 

After Nicolet's visit to Wisconsin, for a 
quarter of a century history brings no trace 
of any explorations concerning this region. 
At the end of this time, in 1660, the first 
white men of whom there is any reliable 
record, set foot on Minnesota soil. They 
were Medard Chouart, called Groselliers, 
and Pierre d'Esprit, who was known as Sieur 
Radisson. Both Avere Frenchmen who had 
come to Canada when young men to engage 

in the fur trade. About the middle of that 
century several important changes had been 
made in the location of Indian tribes. The 
Ilurons and their allies, the Ottawas, after 
successive battles, had drifted to the west of 
Lake Michigan. In former times they had 
been located in the St. Lawrence region. 
Finally reaching the Mississippi they found 
the Iowa River. Later, returning to the 
Mississippi, they settled upon an island in 
the river near where the city of Hastings 
is now located ; but becoming involved in 
battles with the Sioux, we finally find the 
Ilurons located about the headwaters of 
the Chippeway, and the Ottawas on the 
shores of Lake Superior, near Avhere Bay- 
field is now situated. It was to trade with 
the Indians that the two Frenchmen men- 
tioned, Groselliers and Radisson, made their 
trip to this wild region. They passed the 
winter of 1659-60 among the Sioux villages 
in the Mille Lacs country, and the following 
spring and summer was spent in the region 
of Lake Superior. In August, 1660, they 
returned to Montreal, and their report of the 
country they had visited created much ex- 
citement. Within a few weeks an exploring 
and trading party was formed, and accom- 
panied by six Frenchmen and two priests, 
one of whom was the Jesuit, Rene Menard, 
they again started westward, and on the 
15th of October, 1660, the}^ reached the 
Ottawa settlement on the shores of Lake 
Superior. The objects of this party were 
various, some bent on exploration, others 
on trading, while Father Menard went as 
a missionary. Groselliers (pronounced Gro- 
say-vfi) and Radisson, accompanied by others, 



pusiied on through the country to the 
noi'tliwest of Lake Sujierior anil at length 
reached Hudson's Bay. They returned 
to Montreal in May, 16G2. The names 
of all the members of this party have 
not been preserved. Groselliers and Uad 
isson proceeded to Paris, thence to Lon- 
don, where they were well received by 
the nobility and scientific men. A vessel 
was litted out and placed at their disposal, 
in the hope of finding a northwest passage 
to Asia. In June, 1G6S, they left England 
and made an extended voyage, reaching a 
tributar\^ of Hudson's Baj' and returning to 
England, where, in 1670, the famous trading- 
corporation, the " Hudson's Bay Company," 
was chartered. 

Now to return to the venerable Father 
Menard, who had been left among the Ottawa 
Indians on the shores of Lake Superior in 
October, 1600. For nearly a year he lived 
there in a cabin built of fir branches. In 
the summer of 1661 he decided to visit the 
Ilurons, who had fled eastward from the 
Sioux of Minnesota and were located among 
the woods of northern "Wisconsin, as stated. 
He was accompanied by one Frenchman, 
whose name has been lost in the mist of 
years. They became separated, and Father 
Menard was lost, as Perrot says, ''in the 
labyrinth of trees." This was the last ever 
positively known of him, although his brevi- 
ai'y and cassock were said afterward to 
have been found among the Sioux Indians. 
Whether this good and venerable man 
starved or was murdered or captured by the 
Indians will forever be shrouded in mystery. 

These were the earliest explorations of the 
Northwest of which any record has been left, 
but after that period this region was visited 
by various parties at long intervals, and 
many interesting documents have been pre- 
served giving accounts of their journeys and 

About the j'ear 1665 several French trad- 

ers and the Jesuit, Allouez, visited the coun- 
try off the western shore of Lake Superior. 
Early in 1679 we find Daniel G. Du Luth 
west of Lake Michigan, and it is believed he 
planted the Fi-ench arms on Minnesota soil. 
His records state that "on July 2(1 he caused 
his Majesty's arms to be planted inthegreat 
village of the Nadousioux. called Kathio, 
and at Songaskicous and ILnietbatons, one 
hundred and twenty leagues distant from 
the former." Pev. E. D. Neill in his 
tiiorough work relating to early explorers of 
Minnesota, locates this as being "one hun- 
dred and twenty leagues beyond Mille 
Lacs." Du Luth states that at one point on 
Minnesota soil he found upon a tree this 
legend : " Arms of the King c«t on this tree 
in the year 1679." He established several 
posts, carried on trading with the Indians, 
and was probably the most prominent of 
the early explorers. Later he was stationed 
near Lake Erie and died in 1710. His 
reports furnish much interesting information 
regarding the early explorations in the 

La Salle Avas given a commission by the 
King of France in 167S to "explore the 
AVest," and do limited trading. He visited 
various parts of the Northwest. His jeal- 
ousy of Du Luth appears to form a consider- 
able portion of his official reports, but it is 
stated on good authority that he wrote the 
first description of the upper Mississippi 
Valley, August 22, 1682, some months before 
the publication of Father Hennepin's first 
work, "Description de la Louisiane." He 
must, however, have obtained his information 
from one of Hennepin's men. 

Father Louis Hennepin's explorations and 
atl ventures through the Northwest form an 
interesting cha]iter in the earlier history of 
this region. He was a native of Ath, an in- 
land town of the Netherlands, and had early 
rssumed the robes of ]iriesthood. In 1676 
he came to Canada, and two vears later "vas 



ordered to join the La Salle exploring expe- 
dition. A ship was rigged, and on August 
7th, 1679, its sails caught the breezes of 
Lake Erie — the first European vessel 
launched on the great lakes. La Salle con- 
ducted his expedition to Green Bay, thence 
along the coast of Lake Michigan, and about 
the middle of January', 1080, landed it on an 
eminence near Lake Peoria, on the Illinois 
River, where he commenced the erection of 
Fort Crevecffiur. On the last of February of 
the same year, Father Hennepin, in company 
with Michael Accault (Ako) and Angelle, 
left the fort to ascend the Mississippi River. 
On the 11th of April, 16S0, after having 
reached a point north of the Chippewa River, 
they wei-e met and taken charge of by a 
party of over a liundi'cd Sioux Indians. They 
then proceeded witli tlis Indians to their 
villages, nearly sixty leagues north of St. An- 
thony falls. The}' remained with the Indians 
some time, being well treated, and on the 
2.5th of July, 1G80, they were met by Du 
Luth, who was accompanied by his interpre- 
ter, Faff art, and several French soldiers. 
They then proceeded to Mille Lacs, arriving, 
according to Father's Hennepin writings, on 
the nth of August, 1G80. In the latter part 
of September they started to return to the 
French settlement, passing by St. Anthony 
falls. Father Hennepin published two works 
relating to his discoveries, the first, " De- 
scription de la Louisiane," in 1836; the sec- 
ond, " The JSTew Discovery," in 1697. These 
works called forth much criticism, as there 
can be no doubt Hennepin greatly magnified 
his own importance, and exaggerated his 
services and discoveries. For instance, he 
claims to have descended the Mississippi 
River to the Gulf of IMexico, before proceed- 
ing northward, then returned and proceeded 
on to the St. Anthony falls. This in the face 
of his own stated facts — leaving FortCreve- 
coeur the last of February, he claims to have 
made this wonderful trip, and arrived two 

miles south of where the city of St. Paul is 
now located, late in April, giving the 11th 
of April as the date of their capture by the 
Indians. However this may be, Father 
Hennepin's work was not in vain, and his 
memory is entitled to the credit for that 
which he did. His publications hastened and 
facilitated exploration, and his failing — if 
such it was — should be treated with charity. 
La Salle speaks of him highly, but charitably 
says, " it was his failing to magnify those 
adventures which concerned him." 

During 1684, Nicholas Perrot and Le 
Sueur visited Lake Pepin, and the following 
winter the French traded with the Indians 
on Minnesota soil. Perrot had been ap- 
])ointed l)y the governor of Canada as the 
commandant for the "West, and was accom- 
panied by twenty men. Upon his arrival he 
caused a stockade to be built on the east 
bank of Lake Pepin, which bore his name 
for many years. He discovered a number of 
lead mines, and his name figures conspicu- 
ously in the history of the early French ex- 
plorations and frontier Avoik. Perrot re- 
mained for some time after building the fort, 
then, in 1686, returned to Green Bay. He 
passed much time in collecting allies for the 
expedition against the Iroquois in New Yoi'k, 
and in the spring of 16S7, was with DuLuth 
and.Tonty with the French and Indian allies 
in the expedition against the Senecas of the 
Genesee Valley in New York. The follow- 
ing j'ear lie was sent with a company of 
Frenchmen to reoccupy the post on Lake 
Pepin, in Minnesota, and it was in 1689 tiiat 
Perrot, in tiie presence of Father Juse]ih 
James Marest, a. Jesuit, Boisguiblot, a trader 
on the Wisconsin and Mississip]ii, and Le 
Seur, made a formal record of taking posses- 
sion of the Sioux country in the name of the 
King of France. 

Le Sueur, who accompanied Perrot in his 
first trip to Lake Pepin in 1684, was inti- 
mately connected witli that explorer's move- 



iiicnts. In 1G92 Le Sueur was sent by Gov. 
Fi'oiUenac, of Canada, to the extremity 
of Lake Superior to maintain ])eace between 
tlie Indian tribes. Entering- tlie Sioux 
country, in 1094, lie established a jiostupon a 
prairie island, nine miles below where Hast- 
ings is now located. lie acconijianied 
by Peiiicaut and others. Here they estab- 
lished a fort and storehouse and ]nissed the 
winter, as game was veiy abundant. On 
July 15, 1G95, Le Sueur went back to Mon- 
treal accompanied by a ]mrty of Ojibways, 
and the first Dakotah brave that ever visited 
Canada. Le Sueur then visited France, and 
in 1697 received a license to open certain 
mines that were supposed to e*xist in Minne- 
sota. The ship in which he was returning 
was captured by the English, and lie was 
taken to England ; when released he returned 
to France and secured a new commission, but 
it was afterward susjiended. Fortunately, 
D'llberville, a kinsman of Le Sueur, was ap- 
pointed governor of the new territory of 
Louisiana, and in December, 1G99, Le Sueur 
arrived from France with thirty workmen 
to proceed to the mines. During the next 
year he ascended the Minnesota Kiver with 
his expedition, and in October, 1700, built a 
fort on the Blue Earth Eiver, which he 
named L'lluillier. This was occupied by 
Le Sueur's men until 1702, when it ■n'as 
abandoned because of the hostility of the 
Indians. Charlevoix, who visited the val- 
ley of the lower Mississippi in 1 722, says that 
" Le Sueur spent at least one winter in his 
fort on the banks of the Blue Earth, and 
that in the fulhjwing April he went up to the 
mine, about a mile above, and in twenty-two 
days they obtained more than .^0.000 jiounds 
of the substance — lead." Le Sueur estimated 
the Sioux Indians at that time as being 
four thousand families. 

In 1703 a little volume was published in 
France and England by Baron La Ilon- 
tan, giving an account of his "travels," in 

which he claimed to have iirnetrated and 
pursued exj)lorations through the territory 
which now "orms ^linnesota, farther tlian 
any of hi' predecessors. He states tliat he 
found a river tributary to the Mississippi, 
and describes a journey of 500 miles up this 
stream, which he named Long TJiver. His 
wontlerful story was believed at the time 
and the river was placed upon the early 
maps; but in later years it was discredited 
and is now by the closest students and ablest 
historians treated as fabulous. 

In September, 1727, Fort Beauharnois was 
erected and a French post established on the 
shores of Lake Pepin, under the directions of 
Sieur de la Perriere. An extensive trade 
Avas carried on with the Indians here, and it 
was occupied for a number of years. In 172S 
Veranderie, who had been ])laced in com- 
mand of a post on Lake Xe]"t:gon, began lay- 
ing plans for finding a co- .munication with 
the Pacific Ocean. An expedition was fitted 
out which left Montreal in 1731, under the 
management of his sons and a ne})hew, Dela 
Jemeraye, he not joining the part}- until 
1733. A fourth son joined the expedition 
in 1735. In the autumn of 1731, the party 
reached Rainy Lake, at the foot of which 
a post, called Fort St. Pierre, was erected. 
The next year the}' reached Lake of the 
Woods, and established Fort St. Charles on 
its southwest bank. A few miles from Lake 
Winnepeg they established a post on the 
Assinaboine, and a fort was established on 
the Maurepas ("Winnepeg) Biver. In June, 
1736, while twenty-one of the expedition 
were encamped on an isle in the Lake of the 
"Woods, they were surprised by a band of 
Sioux Indians hostile to the French allies, 
and all were killed. The island on this ac- 
count is called Massacre Island. The re- 
maining portion of the expedition pro- 
gressed as best they could. October 3, 
1738, they built an advanced post called 
Fort la Reine on the Assinaboine River. 



They came in sight of the Eocky Mountains 
on the 1st of January, 1743, and, on the 
12th, ascended them. In 1744, after plant- 
ing a leaden plate of the arms of France in 
the upper Missouri country', they returned, 
reaching Minnesota soil late in June, and 
after establishing several posts in the ex- 
treme northern frontier country they finally 
returned to Montreal. Expeditions were 
afterward fitted out, one of which again 
reached tlie Eocky Mountains, Init the clash 
of arms between France and England put 
an end to the explorations so far as the 
French were concerned. 

In 1763, by the treaty of Versailles, France 
ceded Minnesota east of the Mississippi to 
England and west of it to Spain. In 1766 
Capt. Jonathan Carver, the first British sub- 
ject, although a native of Connecticut, visited 
the Falls of St. Anthony. He spent some 
three years among the different tribes of 
Indians in the upper Mississippi country ; 
found the Indian nations at war and suc- 
ceeded in making peace between them. As 
a reward for his good offices, it is claimed 
that two chiefs of the Sioux, acting for their 
nation, at a council held witli Carver at a 
great cave, now within the corporate limits 
of St. Paul, deeded to Carver a vast tract of 
land on the Mississippi Eiver, extending from 
the Falls of St. Anthony to the foot of Lake 
Pepin, on the Mississippi, thence east one 
hundred miles ; thence north one hundred 
and twenty miles ; thence west to the place 
of beginning. This pretended grant, how- 
ever, was examined b}^ our government and 
totally ignored. 

At the begmning of the present century 
there were no white men in Minnesota, excejit 
the few engaged in the fur trade, and the posts 
were chiefly held by the Northwest Com- 
pany, which corporation in 1794 erected a 
stockade at Sandy Lake. In 1802 we find 
William Morrison trading at Leech Lake, and 
two years latei' at Itasca. In the meantime. 

in 1796, the iaws of the ordinance of 1787 
had been extended over the Northwest, and 
on May 7, 1800, that part of Minnesota east 
of the Mississippi had become a part of In- 
diana by the division of Ohio. On the 20th 
of December, 1803, that part of Minnesota 
west of the Mississippi, for forty years in the 
possession of Spain as a part of Louisiana, 
was ceded to the ITnited States by Napoleon 
Bonaparte, who had just obtained it from 
Spain. In 1804 Upper Louisiana Territory 
was constituted. During the following year 
the United States for the first time sent an 
officer to Minnesota, in the person of Lieut. 
Z. M. Pike, who established government re- 
lations and obtained the Fort Snellino- reser- 
vation from the Dakotahs. He remained 
here for some time, but the war of 1812 
coming on postponed the military occupa- 
tion of the upper Mississippi by the United 
States for several years. Pike afterward 
fell in battle at York, in Upper Canada. 

In 1817 the Earl of Selkirk, a nobleman, 
visited the Scotch colony on the Eed Eiver, 
established in 1812, and created Cjuite an ex- 
citement on the part of some of the United 
States authorities. The same year Maj'or 
Stephen H. Long, of the United States En- 
gineer Corps, visited Minnesota and made a 
report recommending the bluff at the junc- 
tion of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers 
as a site for a fort. 

In 1819 Minnesota east of the Mississi])pi 
Eiver became a part of Crawford County, 
Mich. During the same year Fort Snell- 
ing was established and the site of Mendota 
was occupied by the United States troops, 
under Col. Leavenworth. Major Taliaferro 
was appointed Indian agent. 

During the year 1820 much of interest 
transpired on Minnesota soil. Early in the 
spring Jean Baptiste Faribault brought 
Leavenworth's horses from PrairieduChien. 
On the 5th of May Col. Leavenworth estab- 
lished summer quarters at Camp Cold water, 



(Hennepin County). In July Gov. Cass, of 
Michigiin, visited the camps. In August Col. 
Joshia Snelling succeeded Leavenworth in 
command, and on the 20th of September the 
corner-stone of Fort Snelling (then Fort St. 
Anthony) was laid. On the loth of April 
t lie superintendent of farming for Earl Sel- 
ivirk left Pi'airie duChien, having ])urchased 
seed wheat; he ascended the Minnesota 
River to Big Stone Lake, where the boats 
were placed on rollers, dragged a short dis- 
tance to Lake Traverse, and reached Pembina 
June 3. This j'ear the first marriage in 
Minnesota occurred, Lieut. Green to a 
daughter of Capt. Gooding. The first birth 
of a white child in the State -occurred this 
year, a daughter to Col. Snelling ; died the 
following year. 

In 1821 Fort St. Anthony (Snelling) was 
sufficiently completed to be occupied by 
troops. During this year a sawmill was 
constructed at St. Anthony Falls for the use 
of the garrison under the supervision of 
Lieut. McCabe. 

Nothing of particular interest transpired 
during 1S22. In 1S23, however, the first 
steamboat, the Virginia, arrived at the mouth 
of the Minnesota River on the 10th of May, 
and created consternation among the Indians. 
Beltrami, the Italian, during the same year 
explored the northernmost- sources of the 
Mississippi, and Maj. Long, of the United 
States army, visited the northern boundary 
by way of the Minnesota and Red rivers. 
Millstones for grinding flour were sent to 
St. Anthony to be placed in the sawmill. 

In 1824 Gen. Winfield Scott visited Fort 
St. Anthony, and at his suggestion the name 
was chanjjcd to Fort Sneilinn:. 

After tiiis time events crowd rapidly one 
after the otliei' to fill in the time. From 
1825 on, the arrival of steamboats became 
more frequent. During this year a heavy 
flood visited the Red River, and a portion of 
the colony were driven to Minnesota and 
settled near Foil Snellinjj:. 

In 1832 Schoolcraft exploited the sources 
of the Mississippi River, and during the fol- 
lowing year Rev. W. T. Boutwell established 
the first mission among the Ojibways on 
Leech Lake. About the same time E. F. Ely 
opened a mission school at Atkins, a trading 
post on Sandy Lake. 

That portion of Minnesota lying west of 
the Mississippi River was attached to Michi- 
gan in 18.34. During this year Gen. II. II. 
Sibley settled at Mendota as agent for the 
fur company, and Samuel W. and Gideon 
H. Pond, missionaries among the Sioux, ar- 
rived. They were followed the next year 
by T. S. Williamson, J. D. Stevens and Alex- 
ander G. Huggins, and in June, 1835, a 
Presbyterian Church was organized at Fort 
Snelling. Late the same year Maj. J. L. 
Bean, in accordance with the treaty of 1825, 
surveyed the Sioux and Chippeway bound- 
ary line as far as Otter Tail Lake. 

In 1836 the Territory of Wisconsin was 
organized, embracing all of Minnesota east 
of the Mississippi River; that territory west 
of the river being attached to Iowa. A 
numl)er of steamboats arrived during this 
year, a passenger on one of them being the 
distinguished French astronomer, Jean N. 

In 1837 Gov. Dodge, of Wisconsin, made 
a treaty at Fort Snelling with the Ojib- 
ways, by which the latter ceded all their 
pine lands on the St. Croix and its tributaries ; 
a treaty was also effected at Washington 
with a deputation of Dakotahs for their pine 
lands east of the Mississippi. These treaties 
led the way to the first actual settlements in 
the State. The treaty was ratified by Con- 
gress in 1838. At about this time Franklin 
Steele made a claim at St. Anthony Falls ; 
Pierre Parrant took a claim and built a cabin 
on the present site of St. Paul ; Jeremiah 
Russell and L. W. Stratton made the first 
claim at Marine in the St. C.''oix Valley. 
During the year 1838 a steamboat arrived at 
Fort Snelling with J. N. Nicollet and J. C. 


Fremont on a scientific expedition. Develop- 
ment begins in the St. Croix Valley. The 
next year the chapel of "St. Paul" was 
built and consecrated, giving the name to 
the capital of the State. 

Henry M. Eice arrived at Fort Snelling 
in IS-iO, others came and in November, 184-1, 
St. Croix County was established with 
"Dakotah" designated as the county -seat. 

On the 10th of October, 1813, a settlement 
was commenced on the present site of the 
city of Stillwater, and the erection of a saw- 
mill was immediately commenced. The 
names of the town proprietors were : John 
McKusick, from Maine ; Calvin Leach, from 
"Vermont ; Elam Greeley, from Maine and 
Elias McKeane, from Pennsylvania. 

Dr. E. D. Neill in his " Explorers and Pio- 
neers of Minnesota," says that in 1816 " the 
site of St. Paul was chiefly occupied by a 
few shanties, owned by ' certain lewd fellows 
of the baser sort,' who sold rum to the sol- 
diers and Indians." On the 6th of August, 
1846, the Wisconsin enabling act was passed. 
In 181:7 St. Croix County was detached 
from Crawford County, Wis., and reorgan- 
ized for civil and judicial purposes with Still- 
water as the county-seat. The town of St. 
Paul was surve^'ed and platted, and recorded 
in St. Croix County. During this year the 
Wisconsin constitutional convention was held. 
On the 29th of May, 1818, Wisconsin was 
admitted to the Union, leaving Minnesota 
(with its present boundaries) without a gov- 
ernment, and on the L'lith of the following 
August a convention was held at Stillwater 
to take measures foi' a separate teri'itorial or- 
ganization. On the 30th of October, 1818, 
Henry II. Sibley was elected delegate to 
Congress, and he was admitted to a seat 
January 15, 1849. March 3d, 1849, a bill 
was passed organizing Minnesota Territory, 
and on the 19th of the same month territo- 
rial officers were appointed. June 1st Gov. 
Ramsey issued a proclamation declaring 

the territory organized, and on September 3d 
the first territorial Legislature assembled. In 
1851 tlie capital of the State was permanent- 
ly located, as was also the penitentiary. In 
June, 1854, the first line of railway was com- 
pleted to St. Paul. 

On the 23d of February, 1857, an act 
passed the United States Senate, to author- 
ize the people of Minnesota to form a consti- 
tution, preparatory to their admission to the 
Union. In June a constitutional convention 
was held, and the State constitution was 
framed. This was adopted on the 13th of 
October, 1857, and a full list of State officei's 
was elected. On the lltli of May, 1858, the 
President approved of the bill admitting the 
State, and Minnesota was full}' recognized as 
one of the United States of America. The 
first State officers were sworn in on the 24th 
of May. 

From this time on we can only briefly re- 
view the most important events that have 
transpired. A great tide of immigration had 
set in early in the "fifties," which rapidh' 
filled up portions of the State, until in 1857 
a census gave the State a total population of 
150,037. During that 3'ear, however, real 
estate speculation reached a climax, and the 
terrible financial panic occurred which great- 
ly retarded the settlement. 

In 1858 the "State loan of $250,000 Avas: 
negotiated ; five million loan bill was 
passed, being voted on April 15; great strin- 
genc}' in money market. 

During 1859 the hard times continued 
to intensify. "Wright County War" oc- 
curred ; " Glencoe" and "Owatonna" money 
was issued ; work on the land grant roads 
ceased ; collapse of the five million scheme ; 
first export of grain that fall ; hard jiolitical 
struggle, in which the Republicans tri- 

Another warm political canvass occurred 
in 1860 ; the census taken this year gave the 
State a total population of 172,123. 



In ISfil war cast its gloom over the coun- 
try ; on A})ril 13th the President's proclama- 
tion for tr'oops was received ; the first regi- 
ment i-ecriiited at once, and June 22d it em- 
barked at Fort Snelling for the seat of war. 

In 1862 occurred the memorable Sioux 
outbreak ; x\ugust 17th, massacre at Acton ; 
August ISth, outbreak at Lower Sioux 
Agency; 19th, New UIra attacked ; 20th, 
Fort Eidgely attacked ; 25th, second attack 
on New Ulm ; 30th, Fort Abercrombie be- 
sieged ; September 1st, the bloody affair at 
Birch Coolie ; 19th, first railroad in Minne- 
sota in o]ieration, between St. Paul and 
Minneapolis; 22d, battle of Wood Lake; 
26th, captives surrendered by the Indians at 
Camp Release; military commission tried 
321 Indians for murder, 303 condemned to 
die ; December 26th, thirty -eight hung at 

In 1863 Gen. Sibley conducted an expedi- 
tion to the Missouri Eiver ; July 3d, Little 
Crow was killed ; July 24:th, battle of Big 
Mound ; 26th, battle of Dead Buffalo Lake ; 
July 28th, battle of Stony Lake. 

In 1864 the civil war was still in progress, 
and large levies for troops were made in 
Minnesota; expedition to Missouri River, un- 
der Sully ; inflation of money market ; occa- 
sional Indian raids. 

In 1865 the war closed and peace returns ; 
Minnesota regiments return and are dis- 
banded ; in all, 25,052 troops were furnished 
by the State ; census showed 250,000 inhabi- 

After the close of the war, and from 1866 
until 1872, " good times" prevailed ; immigra- 

tion was very heav}% and real estate and 
all values were inflated. The western por- 
tion of the State received many settlers. 
Railwa\' construction was very active. 

In 1873 the famous grasshopper raid began 
throughout the western part of the State, 
and continued about five seasons. January 
7-8-9 of this year, a terrible storm swept 
over the State, in which seventy persons per- 
ished. In September of the same year, the 
financial "panic of 1873 " began. 

In 1874 and 1875 nothing of especial im- 
portance occurred. 

On the 7th of September, 1876, an attack 
was made on the Bank of Northfield by a 
gang of armed outlaws from Missouri ; three 
of the latter were killed, and three were capt- 

In 1877 biennial sessions amendment was 

In 1878 (May 2), three flouring mills at 
Minneapolis exploded, and eighteen lives 

On November 15th. 1880, a portion of the 
hospital for the insane, at St. Peter, was de- 
stroyed by fire ; eighteen inmates were 
burned to death, seven died subsequently of 
injuries and fright, and six were missing. 
Total loss was $150,000. 

In 1881 the State capitol at St. Paul was 
destroyed by fire. 

In 1884 the State prison, located at Still- 
water, was partly burned. 

In 1SS6 (April 14), a cyclone swept over 
St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids, demolishing 
scores of buildings, and killing about seventy 



IHE outbreak of the Indians in 
1862 furnishes one of tlie most 
interesting chapters in Minneso- 
ta's history. At the time of this 
sad tragedy there were scat- 
tered throughout the State vari- 
ous bands of Sioux Indians, a 
powerful and warlike nation. 
They included the Medawakontons (or "Village 
of the Spirit Lake) ; AVapatons, (or Village 
of the Leaves); Sissetons (or Village of the 
Marsh), and Wapakutas (or Leaf Shooters), 
'f iiese four tribes, numbering about six thou- 
sand and two hundred persons, comprised 
tlie entire annuity Sioux of Minnesota. 
All these Indians had from time to time, 
from the 19th of July, 1815, to the date of 
the massacre in 1862, received presents fi'om 
the government, by virtue of various treaties 
of amity and friendship. From the time of 
the treat}' of St. Louis in 1816, these tribes 
had remained friendly to the whites, and 
had by treaty stipulations parted with all 
the lands to which they claimed title in 
Iowa ; all on the east side of the Mississippi 
River, and all on the Minnesota River in 
Minnesota, except certain reservations. One 
of these reservations lay upon both sides of 
the Minnesota ten miles on either side of 
that stream, from Hawk River on the north 
to Yellow Medicine River on the south side, 
thence westerly to the head of Big Stone Lake 
and Lake Traverse, a distance of about one 
hundred miles. Another of these reserva- 
tions commenced at Little Rock River on 
the east and a line running due south from 
its mouth, and extending up the river 
westerly to the eastern line of the reserva- 

tion first named, at the Hawk and Yellow 
Medicine rivers. The last also had a width 
of ten miles on each side of the Minnesota 

Early in 1858 a scheme was devised by 
the authorities at Washington for the civili- 
zation of these annuity Indians. A civiliza- 
tion fund was provided, to be taken from their 
annuities and expended in improving the 
lands of such as should abandon their tribal 
relations and adopt the habits and modes of 
life of the whites. To all such, lands were 
assigned in severalty, eighty acres to the 
head of each family, on wiiich should be 
erected the necessary farm buildings, and 
farming implements and cattle furnished 
him. At the time of the outbreak about one 
hundred and seventy-five Indians had taken 
advantage of the provisions of this treaty 
and become " farmer Indians." A great 
majority of the Indians, however, disliked 
the idea of taking any portion of their gen- 
eral fund to carry out the civilization scheme. 
Those who retained the blanket, called 
"blanket Indians," denounced the measure 
as a fraud, as it was slowly but surely 
destroying what was, to them, their God- 
given right to the chase. The result, in brief, 
of this civilization scheme was this : After 
tiie chase was over tiie "blanket Indians" 
would pitch their tents about the homes of 
the "farmer Indians" and proceed to eat 
them out of house and home, and when the 
ruin was complete, the "farmer" with his 
wife and children, driven by necessity, would 
again seek temporary subsistence in the 
chase. During their absence the " blanket 
Indians" would commit whatever destruc- 



tion of fences or tenements their desires or 
necessities would suggest. In this way the an- 
nual process continued, so that when the 
"farmer Indian" returned to his desolate 
home in the spring to prepare again for a 
crop, he looked forward to no different re- 
sults for the coming winter. It will thus be 
seen that the civilization scheme was an ut- 
ter failure. 

The treaty referred to, of 185S, had opened 
for settlement a vast frontier country of the 
most attractive character in the valley of 
the Minnesota River, and on the streams put- 
ting into the Minnesota on either side, such 
as Beaver Creek, Sacred Heart, Hawk and 
Chippewa rivers, and some other small 
streams, there were flourishing settlements 
of white families. "Within this ceded tract, 
ten miles wide, were the scattered settle- 
ments of Bircli Coolie, Patterson Eapids, 
and others as far up as the upper agency at 
Yellow Medicine, in Renville County. The 
county of Brown adjoined the reservation, 
and was at that time settled mostly by Ger- 
mans. Here was also the flourishing town 
of New Ulm, and further on was a thriving 
settlement on the Big Cottonwood and 
"Watonwan. Other counties. Blue Earth, 
Nicollet, Sibley, Meeker, McLeod, Kandiyohi, 
Monongalia and IMurray, together with others 
somewhat removed from the direct attack of 
the Indians, as "Wright, Stearns ancljackson, 
and even reaching on the north to Fort 
Abercrombie, tlius extending from Iowa to 
the valley of the Red River of the North, 
were severally involved in the consequences 
of the warfare of 1SG2. This extended area 
had a population estimated at over fifty 

Early in the fifties complaints began to be 
made by the Indians, and dissatisfaction be- 
gan to be manifest. By the treaty of Trav- 
erse des Sioux, dated July 23, 1851, between 
the United States and the Sissetons and 
"Wapatons, $275,000 was to be paid their 

chiefs, and a further sum of i?30,000 was to 
be expended for their benetit in Indian im- 
provements. By the treaty of Mendota, 
dated August 5, 1851, the Medawakantons 
and "Wapakutas were to receive the sum of 
$200,000, to be paid to their chief, and a fur- 
ther sum of $30,000. These several sums 
amounting in the aggregate to $550,000, 
tliese Indians, to whom they were payable, 
claim they Avere never paid, except perhaps 
a small portion expended in improvements. 
This led to great dissatisfaction, of which 
the government was fully apprised. Several 
l)arties were at different times sent out Iiy th« 
Indian department of the government to in- 
vestigate into the causes, but the rascality 
of the agents and officers who had defrauded 
the Indians had been carefully covered up, 
and as usual in such cases the guilty parties 
were exculpated. This was one of the lead- 
ing and most important causes which led to 
the massacre of 1 862. 

Another cause of irritation among these 
annuity Sioux arose cut of the Spirit Lake 
massacre of 1857 — known as the Inkpadutah 
massacre. Inkpadutah was an outhiw of 
the "Wapakuta band of Sioux Indians, and 
his acts were entirely disclaimed by the " an- 
nuity Sioux." He had committed murder in 
his own tribe some twenty years previous, 
and since had led a wanderin<f and marauding 
life about the headwaters of the Des Moines 
River and westward to Dakota. Finally his 
outrages reached a climax, when early in 1857 
with a few of his followers, he proceeded to 
murder every family in the little settlement 
about Spirit Lake, Iowa, except four women 
whom they bore away captives. From there 
the}^ went to the Springfield settlement (on 
the present site of Jackson, Minn.), where they 
murdered seventeen people, making a total c-f 
forty seven persons killed. Tiiey then re- 
treated westward. Shortly after the mas- 
sacre at Springfield (now Jackson) a com- 
pany of regular soldiers under Capt. Bee 



was stationed at that place, and had the 
officer been a zealous or capable one might 
easily have overtaken and punished them. 
As stated the " annuity Sioux " disclaimed the 
acts of this outhiw ; but for a time the gov- 
ernment refused t(j jwy the annuities until 
they should deliver up the murdei'ers. In a 
short time, however, the government let the 
matter drop, and continued to }iay the an- 
nuities as before. Some thought that this 
was a great error and that the Indians mis- 
took it for a sign of weakness. 

However that may be, as time went on 
the Indians became more and more insolent, 
and Little Crow, together with a few leaders 
among the annuity Sioux, from the time the 
government ceased its efforts to punish Ink- 
padutah, began to agitate and plan the great 
conspiracy to drive the whites from the State 
of Minnesota. Little Crow was one of the 
" farmer Indians," whose headquarters was 
a short distance above the Lower Agencv, 
who is credited with being the leader in the 
outbreak against the whites. 

The antecedent exciting causes of this 
massacre are numerous. The displaced 
agents and traders find the cause in the er- 
roneous action of the government, resulting 
in their removal from office. The statesman 
and the philosopher may unite in tracing the 
cause to improper theories as to the mode of 
acquiring the right to Indian lands. The 
former nuiy locate the evil in our system of 
treaties, and the latter in our theoi'ies of gov- 
ernment. The philanthropist )nav find the 
cause in tiie absence of justice which we ex- 
hibit in all our intercourse with the Indian 
races. The poet and the lovers of romance 
in human character find the true cause, as 
they believe, in the total absence of all ap- 
preciation of the noble, generous, confiding 
traits peculiar to the native Indian. The 
Christian teacher finds apologies for acts of 
Indian atrocities in the deficient systems of 
mental and moral culture. Each of these 

different classes are satisfied that the great 
massacre of August, 18(12, had its origin in 
some way intimately connected with his 
favorite theory. 

Maj. Thomas Galbraith, Sioux agent, 
says, in writing of the causes which led to 
the massacre : " The radical, moving cause 
of the outbreak is, I am satisfied, the in- 
grained and fixed hostility of tlie savage bar- 
barian to reform and civilization. As in all 
barbarous communities in the history of the 
world the same people liave, for the most 
part, resisted the encroachments of civiliza- 
tion upon their ancient customs, so it is in 
the case before us. Nor does it matter ma- 
terially in what shape civilization makes its 
attack. Hostile, opposing forces meet in 
conflict, and a war of social elements is the 
result — civilization is aggressive, and bar- 
barism stubbornly resistant. Sometimes, 
indeed, civilization has achieved a bloodless 
victor}', but^generally it has been otherwise. 
Christianity, itself, the true basis of civiliza- 
tion, has, in most instances, waded to success 
through seas of blood. . . . Having 
stated thus much, I state, as a settled fact 
in my mind, that the encroachments of 
Christianity, and its handmaid, civilization, 
upon the habits and customs of the Sioux 
Indians, is the cause of the late terrible Sioux 
outbreak. There were, it is true, many im- 
mediate inciting causes, which will be allud- 
ed to and stated hereafter, but they are sub- 
sidiary to, and developments of, or incident 
to, the great cause set forth. . . . But 
that the recent Sioux outbreak would have 
happened at any rate, as a result, a fair con- 
sequence of the cause here stated, I have no 

'' Now as to the existing or immediate 
causes of the outbreak : By my predecessor a 
new and radical system was inaugurated ; 
practically, and in its inauguration, he was 
aided by the Christian missionaries and by 
the government. The treaties of 1858 were 



ostensibly uuule to carry this new system 
into effect. The theory, in substance, was 
to brealv up tlie community system which 
obtained among tlio Sioux, wealceii and de- 
stroy their tribal relations, and individualize 
them, by giving them each a- separate home. 
On the 1st (\as of June, A. D. 
1861, when I enteretl upon the duties of my 
office, I found that the system had just been 
inaugurated. Some hundred families of the 
annuity Sioux had become novitiates, and 
their relatives and friends seemed to be 
favorably disposed to the new order of 
things. But I also found that, against these 
were arrayed over five thousand 'annuity 
SiouXj' besides at least three thousand Yank- 
tonais, all inflamed by the most bitter, re- 
lentless and devilish hostility. 

" I saw, to some extent, the difficulty of 
the situation, but I determined to continue, 
if in my power, the civilization system. To 
favor it, to aid and build it up by every fair 
means, I advised, encouraged, and assisted 
the farmer novitiates ; in short I sustained 
the policy inaugurated by my predecessor, 
and sustained and recommended b}' the gov- 
ernment. I soon discovered that the system 
could not l)e successful without a sufficient 
force to protect the 'farmer' from the hos- 
tilit}' of the 'blanket' Indians. 

" During my term, and up to the time of 
the outbreak, about 175 had their haircut 
and had adopted the habits and customs of 
the white men. 

" For a time, mdeed, my hopes were strong 
that civilization would soon be in the as- 
cendant. But the increase in the civilization 
party and their evident prosperity, only 
tended to e.xasperate the Indians of the 'an- 
cient customs,' and to widen the breach. But 
while these are to be enumerated, it may be 
permitted me to hope that the radical cause 
will not be forgotten or overlooked ; and I 
am bold to express this desire, because, ever 
since the outbreak, the public journals of the 

country, religious and secular, have teemed 
with editorials by and communications from 
reliable individuals,' politicians, philanthro- 
pists, philosophers and hired ' penny a-liners,' 
mostly mistaken and sometimes willfully 
and grossly false, giving the cause (jf the 
Indian raid." 

Maj. Galbraith enumerates a variety of 
other exciting causes of the massacre, which 
our limit will not allow us to insert in this 

volume. Among other causes. 


the United States was itself at war, and that 
"Washington was taken by the negroes. . , 
But none of these were, in his opinion, the 
cause of the outbreak. 

The Major then adds : 

"Grievances such as have been related, 
and numberless others akin to them, were 
spoken of, recited, and chanted at their 
councils, dances and feasts, to such an extent 
that, in their excitement, in June, 1862, a 
secret organization known as tlie 'Soldiers' 
Lodge ' was founded by the 3'oung men and 
soldiers of the lower Sioux, with the object, 
as far as I was able to learn through spies 
and informers, of preventing the ' traders ' 
from going to the pay-tables, as had been 
their custom. Since the outbreak I have 
become satisfied that the real object of this 
' Lodge ' was to adopt measures to ' clean 
out ' all the white people at the end of the 

Whatever may have been the cause of the 
fearful and bloody tragedy, it is certain that 
the manner of the execution of the infernal 
deed was a deep-laid conspiracy, long cher- 
ished by Little Crow, taking form under the 
guise of the " Soldiers' Lodge," and matured 
in secret Indian councils. In all these secret 
movements Little Crow was the moving- 

Now the opportune moment seemed to 
have come. Only thirty soldiers were sta- 
tioned at Fort Ridgely. Some thirty were 
all that Fort Ivii)ley could muster, and at 



Fort Abercrombie, one company under Capt. 
Van Der Ilork was all the whites could 
depend upon to repel any attack in that 
quarter. The whole effective force for the 
defense of the entire frontier, from Pembina 
to the Iowa line, did not exceed 200 men. 
The annuity money was daily expected, and 
no troops except about one hundred men at 
Yellow Medicine, had been detailed, as usual, 
to attend the anticipated payment. Here 
was a glittering prize to be paraded before 
the minds of the excited savages. The 
whites were weak ; they were engaged in a 
terrible wa r among themselves ; their atten- 
tion was now directed toward the great 
struggle in the South. At such a time, offer- 
ing so many chances for rapine and plunder, 
it would be easy to unite at least all the 
annuity Indians in one common movement. 
Little Crow knew full well tiiat the Indians 
could easily be made to believe that now 
was a favorable time to make a grand attack 
upon the border settlements. 

A memorable council convened at Little 
Crow's village, near the lower agency, on 
Sunday night, August 3, previous to the 
attack on Fort Ridgely, and precisely two 
weeks before the massacres at Acton. Little 
Crow was at tiiis council, and he was not 
wanting in ability to meet the greatness of 
the occasion. T!ie proceedings of this council, 
of course, were secret. The council matured 
the details of the conspiracy It appears 
that the next day, August 4, a party of 
ninety-six Indians in war paint and fully 
armed, rode up to Fort Ridgely and re- 
quested permission to hold a dance and feast 
in the fort. They were allowed to hold the 
dance outside the fort, but Sergeant Jones, 
with singular foresight, mounted a howitzer 
charged with shell and canister-shot and 
guarded the entrance, having it pointed 
toward the Indians. After finishing the 
dance the red-skins left without making the 
attack, which had undoubtedly been medi- 

tated. Only thirty soldiers occupied the 
post at Fort Ridgely, and this was deemed 
amply sufficient for times of peace. 

On the same day a great many Indians 
were encamped about the Upper Agency. 
They were afraid they would not get their 
annuity money, which had not arrived as 
3'et. They had been complaining bitterly 
of starvation, and on this day made an 
attack on the warehouse, carrj'ing off a 
great deal of flour and other provisions. 
The matter, however, was finally adjusted, 
and the agent issued rations, promising to 
distribute their money as soon as it should 
arrive. None of the Indians, however, were 
punished for their attack on the supply 

We now come to the massacre itself, the 
first blow of which fell upon the town of 
Acton, in Meeker County, about thirtj^-five 
miles northeast of the Lower Sioux Agency. 
On Sunday, August 17, 1862, six Sioux In 
tlians brutally murdered a man named Jones, 
with his wife and a daughter, and a man 
named "Webster and Howard Baker. 

On the next day, Monday, the massacre 
at the Lower Agency occurred, where many 
were killed and fearfully mutilated. A few 
escaped and made their way to the eastern 
settlements. The Indians declared it to be 
their intention to kill or drive off all the 
whites to the east of the Mississippi Eiver, 
and to spare none. All that day the w^ork 
of plunder went on at the lower agency, 
and when the stores and dwellings had been 
emptied, they were fired. So complete was 
the surprise and so sudden and unexpected 
the terrible blow that not a single one of the 
host of savages was slain. In thirty min- 
utes from the time the first gun was fired 
not a white person was left alive. All 
were either weltering in their gore or had 
fled in fear and terror from that ])lace of 
death. It seems that hundreds of the In- 
dians had gathered here and then dispersed 



througli the scattered settlements for their 
murderous work. 

On the same morning — of August IS — 
the massacre began on the north side of the 
Minnesota River, from Birch Coolie to 
Beaver Ci-eek and bevond, and the recion 
was strewn with the mutilated bodies of the 
dead and dying men, women and children. 
So the terrible warfai'e continued, murder- 
ing and burning ; none were allowed to es- 
cape who could possibly be discovered. The 
outbreak extended over a vast scope of coun- 
try, and the Indians numbered well up into 
the thousands. The entire length of the 
Minnesota and its tributaries, and out into 
Dakota, together with all the western part 
of this State was the scene everj'where of a 
carnival of blood. Tiie counties affected 
have already been named. 

On the ISth of August the Indians at- 
tacked New Uhn. and after several battles 
and skirmishes were defeated. A few days 
later the whites evacuated the town and 
moved toward Mankato. 

On the 18th of August the battle at Lower 
Agency Ferry was fought. 

On the 20th, seeing they were foiled in 
their attack on New Ulm, they made a 
furious assault on Fort Ridgely. A number 
of whites were killed and woimded, but the 
Indians were defeated. The attack was re- 
newed on the 22d and another severe battle 
occurred, which was ended Ijy night coming 

Numerous engagements were also fought 
in the northern part of the State. 

Throughout all the Minnesota River coun- 
try many women and children were taken 
prisoners. In the meantime companies had 
been raised and were everywhere following 
up the Indiansand guarding the various posts 
at which the settlers had gathered. These 
various companies had also ])icked up a great 
many wounded found on tlie iirairies,and also 
buried the dead. On the 1st of September, 

Company A, Sixth Regiment Minnesota Vol- 
unteers, under Capt. II. P. Grant, fought 
tiie battle of Bircli Coolie, a most terrible 
and blood v en^anement. The noble little 
band of soldiei's were relieved on September 
3, by an advance movement of Col. Sibley's 
forces at Fort Ridgelv. The sig-nal defeat 
of Little Crow at this battle, in effect, ended 
the effoi'ts of the Indians in subduing the 
whites on the border. After this battle all 
of the Indian forces under Little Crow be- 
^an a retreat up the vallev of the Minnesota 
toward Yellow Medicine ; and on Septem- 
ber 16, Col. Sibley, with his whole column, 
moved in pursuit of the fleeing foe, and on 
the 23d they came up with the Indians and 
defeated them in the battle of Wood Lake. 
This put an end to the hopes of Little Crow. 
On the same day as the battle of Wood Lake, 
the Wapeton band of Indians sui-rendered 
later and turned over to Col. Sibley all the 
captives — 107 whites and 162 half-breeds. 
This place has since been known as " Camp 

After the disaster at Wood Lake, Little 
Crow retreated in the direction of Big Stone 
Lake, with those who remained with him. 
The chief was never captured, but is said to 
have been killed at Scattered I^ake in 1863. 
Col. Sibley continued to pursue the deserting 
Indians, and demanded the surrender of all 
bands. By the Sth of October, 1862, prison- 
ers had come in and surrendered to the num- 
ber of 2,000. Scouting parties were sent 
over various parts of the West, and, until all 
danger of further depredations was ] ast, 
soldiers were stationed at all of the frontiir 
posts and settlements. 

A military commission was soon after 
inaugurated to try the parties charged with 
murder of white persons. On the 5th of 
November, 1862. 321 Indians and their allies 
were found guilty, and 303 were recom- 
mended for capital punishment, and the 
others for imprisonment. They were im- 



mediately removed under a guard of 1,500 
men to South Bend, on the Minnesota Eiver, 
to await further orders from the govern- 
ment. The final decision of the President 
was rendered on the ITth of December, 1802, 
ordering that forty of these be hung on Fri- 
day, December 2fi. One of tliese died a 
sliorttime before tlie day set, and one other, 
a half ])reed, had his sentence commuted to 
imprisonment for life just before the fatal 

da3\ As to the other thirty-eight the sen- 
tence was executed at Mankatoon the day set. 
On the 16th of February, 1863, the trea- 
ties before that time existing between the 
United States and these "annuity Indians" 
were abrogated and annulled, and all lands 
and rights of occupancy, and all annuities 
r.nd claims then existing in favor of said 
Indians, were declared forfeited. Thus ended 
the saddest chapter of Minnesota's history. 




3;, . S':. . :l 








HE first governor of the Terri- 
tory of Minnesota was Alexander 
Ramsey, who served from June 
1, 1S40, to May 15, 185:1 Willis 
A. Gorman succeeded him, and 
held the office until April 23, 
1857. Samuel Medary was the 
next territorial governor, and 
held the office until the State 
officers were sworn in. May 24, 1858. 

The first secretary of the Territory was 
Charles K. Smith, who served from June 1, 
1849, until October 23, 1851, when Alexander 
Wilkin qualified and held the office until 
May 15, 1853. Joseph Travis Rosser was 
the next, and served until April 23, 1857. 
Charles L. Chase, the last territorial sec- 
retary, qualified on the date last named and 
served until succeeded ijy the newly chosen 
secretary of state. May 24. 1858. 

The office of territorial treasurer was first 
filled by Calvin A. Tuttle, who served from 
November 3, 1849, to July 2, 1853. George 
W. Prescott came next and retained the 
position until Februar}' 24, 1854. Succeed- 
ing him Charles E. Leonard served until 
May 7, 1857, when George AY. Armstrong 
was appointed and served until the State 
officers qualified, May 24, 1858. 

J. E. McKusick Avas the first territorial 
iiuditor, qualifying November 3, 1849, and 
serving until November 30, 1852. A. Van 
V orhees succeeded him and held the office 
until the IStli of May, 1853, when Socrates 
Nelson qualified. January 17, 1854, Julius 
Georgii took charge of the office and served 
until succeeded by the State auditor, May 
24, 1858. 

Dui'ing the existence of the Territory of 
Minnesota, Lorenzo A. Babcock and then 
Lafayette Emmett were the only ones to 
hold the office of attorney general. The 
first named served from June 1, 1849, until 
May 15, 1853, and the latter from 1853 until 
May 24, 1858. 

In tei'ritorial times there were no district 
judges, but the justices of the supreme court 
attended to all judicial matters now within 
the jurisdiction of the district bench. The 
first chief justice of the territorial supreme 
court was Aaron Goodrich, who served from 
June 1, 1849, to November 13, 1851, when 
Jerome Fuller was appointed and presided 
until December 16, 1852. Henry Z. Hayner 
was next appointed, but never presided at a 
term of court. William II. Welch was ap- 
pointed April 7, 1853, and served until May 
24, 1858. 

David Cooper and Bradley B. Meeker 
were the first associate justices, and served 
from June 1, 1849, until April 7, 1853. 
Their successors were Andrew G. Chatfield 
and Moses G. Sherburne, who retained the 
]iositions until A]n'il, 1857, and were fol- 
lowed by E. R. Nelson and Charles E. 
Flandrau, who served until the State officers 

The clerks of the territorial supreme court 
were : James K. Humphrey, Andrew J. Whit- 
ney and George W. Prescott, in the order 
named. The reporters were : William Hol- 
linshead, Isaac Atwater, John B. Brisbin, M. 
E. Ames and Harvey Officer. 

Henry II. Sibley was the first delegate 
from the Territory' to Congress, serving from 
January 15, 1849, to March 4, 1853. Henry 




M. Rice was the second, serving from De- 
cember 5, 1853, to March 4, 1857, when he 
was succeeded by W. W. Kingsbury, wlio 
qualified December 7, 1857, and whose term 
expired May 11, 1858. 


Tlie governors of the State of Minnesota, 
in their order have been as follows : Henry 
H. Sibley, from May 24, 1858, to January 2, 
1860 ; Alexander Eamsey, to July 10, 1863 ; 
Henry A. Swift, to January 11, 1864; 
Stephen Miller, during 1864-5 ; William E. 
Marshall, during 1866-7-8-9 ; Horace Aus- 
tin, during 1870-1-2-3 ; Cushman K. Davis, 
during 1874-5 ; John S. Pillsbur^^ during 
1876-7-8-9-80-81 ; Lucius F. Hubbard, dur- 
ing 1882-3-4-5-6, and A. E. McGill, the 
present governor, who assumed the duties of 
the office January 5, 1887. 

The lieutenant governors since the organ- 
ization of the State have been as follows : 
William Holcomb, from May 24, 1858, to 
January 2, 1860 ; Ignatius Donnelly, to 
March 3, 1863 ; Henry A. Swift, to July 10, 
1863; Charles D. Sherwood, during 1864-5; 
Thomas H. Armstrong, during 1SC6-7-8-0 ; 
William H. Yale, during 1870-1-2-3; Al- 
phonzo Barto, during 1874—5 ; James B. 
Wakefield, during 1S76-7-8-9 ; C. A. Gill- 
man, during 1880-1-2-3-4-5-6, and A. E. 
Eice, who qualified January 4, 1887. 

The office of secretary of State has been 
filled successively by the following gen- 
tlemen: Francis Baasen, from May 24, 1858, 
to January 2, 1860 ; James H. Baker, to 
November 17, 1862 ; David Blakely, to Janu- 
ary 8, 1866; Henry C. Eogers, during the 
yeai-s 1866-7-8-9 ; Hans Mattson, during 
1870-1 ; S. P. Jennison, during 1872-3-4-5 ; 
John S. Irgens, during 1876-7-8-9; Fred. 
Von Baumbach, during 1880-1-2-3-4-5-6, 
and Hans Mattson, during 1887-8. 

The State treasurers have been as follows : 
George W. Armstrong, from May 24, 1858, 

to January 2, 1860; Charles Scheffer, during 
1860-1-2-3-4-5-6-7; Emil Munch, during 
1868-9-70-1 ; William Seeger, from January 
5, 1872, to February 7, 1873 ; Edwin W. Dyke, 
to January 7, 1876 ; William Pfaender, dur- 
ing 1876-7-8-9 ; Charles Kittelson, during 
1880-1-2-3-4-5-6, and Joseph Bobleter, the 
present treasurer, who was elected for 

The auditors of State have been as fol- 
lows : W. F. Dunbar, from May 24, 1858, 
to January 1, 1861 ; Charles McHrath to 
January 13, 1873 ; O. P. Whitcomb, to Jan- 
uary 10, 1882, and W. W. Braden, who is 
the present incumbent of the office. 

The office of attorney general has been 
filled as follows : Charles H. Berrj^, served 
from May 24, 1858, to January 2, 1860 ; Gor- 
don E. Cole, served during 1860-1-2-3-4^5 ; 
William Colville, during 1866-7; F. E. E. 
Cornell, during 1868-9-70-1-2-3 ; George P. 
Wilson, during 1874-5-6-7-8-9 ; Charles M. 
Start, from January 10, 1880, to March 11, 
1881 ; W. J. Hahn, to January 5, 1887, and 
Moses E. Clapp, the present attorney general. 

The present board of railroad commission- 
ers is made up of Horace Austin, John L. 
Gibbs and George L. Becker. Those who 
have composed the boai'd in the past were: 
A. J. Edgerton, W. E. Marshall, J. J. Ean- 
dall, J. H. Baker and S. S. Murdock. 

Edward D. Neill was the first superintend- 
ent of public instruction for ilinnesota. Pie 
was appointed in March, 1860, and on the 
1st of July, 1861, was succeeded by B. F. 
Crary. From 1862 to 1867 the secretary of 
State was ex-officio superintendent, but on 
April 1, 1867, M. H. Dunnell was appointed 
sujierintendent, and served until August. 
1870, when he was succeeded b\' II. B. Wil- 
son. April 3, 1875, David Burt was ap- 
pointed superintendent, and retained the 
office until succeeded by the present incuir. 
bent, D. L. Kiehl, who was appointed Se[) 
tember 1, 1881. 



The oiRce of insurance commissioner has 
been liekl in turn by Pennock I'usey. A. II. 
McGill and Charles Sliandrew ; the hist 
nameil gentleman having been appointed 
January 0, 1SS7, is the present commissioner. 

The commissioners of statistics have been 
as follows : J. A. Wiieelock, Pennock Pusey, 
C. F. Solberg, J. B. Phillips, T. M. JMeteaif, 
J. P. Jacobson, F. Sneedorflf, Oscar Malmros, 
A. F. Nordin, Victor Hjortsberg and Her- 
man Stockenstroin. 

The following is a list of the gentlemen 
who have filled the office of adjutant-gen- 
eral : Alex. C. Jones, W. II. Acker, John B. 
Sanborn, Oscar Malmros, John Peller, 11. P. 
Van Cleve, M. D. Flower, .II. A. Castle, 11. 
P. Van Cleve, A. C. Ilawley, C. M. McCar- 
thy and F. W. Seeley. 


The first chief justice of the supreme court 
of the State was Lafayette Emmett, wlio 
was sworn in May 2-i, 1858, and served until 
January 10, 1805. Thomas Wilson suc- 
ceeded him and served until July 14, 1SC9, 
when he was succeeded by James GiLfillan. 

Christopher G. Ripley was the next, liolding 
the position from January Y, 1870, until 
April 7, 1874, when he was followed by S. 
J. R. AIcMillan, who served until March 10, 
1875. At that time James Giltillan became 
ciiief justice, and is the present incumbent. 

The following statements -will show the 
associate justices, together with the date of 
qualification of each : Charles E. Flandrau 
and Isaac Atwater served from ]\Iay 24, 
1858, to July 0, 1864; S. J. R. McMillan 
from July 0,1864, to April 7, 1874; Thomas 
Wilson from July 6, 1S04, to January 10, 
1865; George B. Young from April 10, 
1874, to January 11, 1875 ; F. R. E. Cornell 
from January 11, 1875, to May 23, 1881, and 
Greenleaf Clark from March 14, 1881, to 
January 12, 1882. The present associate 
justices are John M. Berry, who first quali- 
fied January 10, 1865 ; D. A. Dickinson, 
since June 27, 1881; William Mitchell, since 
March 14, 1881, and C. E. Vanderburgh, 
since January 12, 1882. 

As to district courts, the State is now 
divided into thirteen districts. 




ENATORS. The firstUnited States 
Senators from Minnesota were 
James Shields and Ilenrj^ M. Rice, 
who took the oath of office May ■ 
11, 1858. The former was suc- 
ceeded on March 4th, 1860, b}' 
Morton S. Wilkinson, who served 
the full term. Daniel S. Norton 
was sworn in to succeed Wilkin- 
son, March 4, 1867, and died 
while in office, July 14, 1870. O. 
P. Stearns was appointed, and served out the 
few weeks left of the term. William Win- 
dom came next, and retained the office until 
March 12, 1881, when he was succeeded by 
A. J. Edgerton, who resigned, however, in 
October of the same year, and William Win- 
dom was again chosen, serving until suc- 
ceeded by one of the present Senators, D. M. 
Sabin, March 4, 1883. 

Henry M. Rice, who was mentioned as a 
colleague of James Shields, served as United 
States Senator from May 11, 1858, to March 
4, 1863, when Alexander Ramsey succeeded 
him, and retained the position until March 4, 
1875. S. J. R. McMillan became United 
States Senator on the day last named, and 
occupied the position for two full terms — 
twelve years — being succeeded March 4, 
1887, by Cushman K. Davis, one of the 
present Senators. 


The territorial delegates have already been 

spoken of. When the State of Minnesota 
was organized, it was entitled to two represent- 
atives in the House of Representatives of 
the United States. This state of affairs con- 
tinued until 1871, when a reapportionment 
was made, and the State was allowed three 
members of the House. At that time the 
State was divided into three congressional 
districts — No. 1, embracing the southern. 
No. 2 the central, and No. 3 the northern 
portion of the State. In 1881 another ap- 
portionment was made, by which the State 
secured five Representatives. This is the 
present status of the representation. The 
State is divided into five congressional dis- 
tricts, as follows : The first district includes 
Houston, Fillmore, Mower, Freeborn, Steele, 
Dodge, Olmsted, Winona and Wabasha 
counties ; the second district includes Fari- 
bault, Blue Earth, Waseca, Watonwan, Mar- 
tin, Cottonwood, Jackson, Murray, Nobles, 
Rock, Pipestone, Lincoln, Lyon, Redwood, 
Brown, Nicollet, Yellow Medicine, Lac qui 
Parle, Sibley and Le Sueur counties ; the 
third district embraces Goodhue, Rice, Swift, 
Dakota, Scott, Carve i", McLeod, Meeker, 
Kandiyohi, Renville and Chippewa counties ; 
the fourth district includes Washington, 
Ramsej', Hennepin, Wright, Pine, Kanabec, 
Anoka, Chisago, Isanti and Sherburne coun- 
ties, and the fifth district includes Mille Lacs, 
Benton, Morrison, Stearns, Pope, Douglas, 
Stevens, Big Stone, Traverse, Grant, Todd, 



Crow Win^, Aitkin, Carlton, "Wadena, Otter 
Tail, Wilkin, Cass, Becker, Clay, Polk, Bel- 
trami, Marshall, Hubbard, Kittson, Itasca, 
St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties. 

The following is a list of the various gen- 
tlemen wiio have represented Minnesota in 
tlie lower house of Congress, with the years 
during which they served. With one or two 
exceptions, the term of office began and 
closed March 4th. 

W. W. riielps, lS.58-9; J. M. Cavenaugh, 
1858; William Windoin, 18C0-l-2-3-tl:-5-G-7-S ; 
Cyrus Aldrich, 1860-1-2; Ignatius Donnelly, 
18(U-5 6-7-8; M. S. Wilkinson, 1869-70; E. 
M. Wilson, 1869-70 ; John T. Averill, 1871-2- 
3-t ; M. H. Bunnell, from'1871 to 1883 ; 11. 
B. Straight, 1874-5-6-7-8; William S. King, 
1876; J. H. Stewart, 1878; Henry Poehler, 
1879-80 ;H. B. Straight, 1881-2-3-4-5-6; W. 
D. Washburn, 1879-80-1-2-3-4; Milo White, 
1883-4-5-6; J. B. Wakefield, 1883-4-5-6; 
Knute Nelson, 1883-4-5-6-7-8 ; J. B. Gilfillan, 
.1885-6; Thomas Wilson, 1887-8; JohnLiod, 
1887-8 ; John L. McDonald, 1887-8 ; Edmund 
Kice, 1887-8. 


In this connection we present a list of the 
counties of Minnesota, together with the 
date on which they were created by the terri- 
torial or State Legislatures, v-iz.: 
Aitkin, May 83, 1857, Marsliall, February 25, 1879, 

Anoka, May 23, 18.J7, 
Becker, March 18, 18.58 
Hellrami, F'bru'ry 28, 1806 
Benton, October 27, 1849, 
Big Stone, F'br'ry 20, 1862, 
Blue Earth, March .i, 1853, 
Brown, February 20, 185.5, 
Carlton, May 23. 18.57, 
Carver, February 20, 1855, 
Cass, September 1, 1831, 
Chippewa, F'br'ry 20, 1862, 
Chisago, September 1, 1851, 
Clay, March 2, 1862, 
Cook, .March 9, 1874, 
Cottonwood, May 23, 1857, 
Crow Wing, May 23, 18.57, 
Dakota, October 27, 1849, 
Dodge, February 20, 18.55, 
Douglas, March 8, 18.58, 
Faribault, F'br'ry 20, 1855, 
Fillmore, March 5, 18.53, 
Freeborn, F'br'ry, 20, 18.55, 
Goodhue, March 5, 1853, 
Grant, March 6, 1868, 
Hennepin, March 6, 1852, 
Houston, Feb'ry 23, 18.54, 
Hubbard, Feb'y 26, 1883, 
Isanti, February 13, 1857, 
Itasca. October 29, 1849, 
Jackson, Jlay 23, 1857, 
Kanabec, March 13, 1858, 
Kandiyohi, March 20, 18.58, 
Kittson, February 25, 1879, 
Lac qui Parle, Nov. 3, 1871, 
Lake, March 1, 1856, 
Le Sueur, March 5, 18.53, 
Lincoln, IMarch 6,1873, 
Lyon, November 2, 1869, 
McLeod, March 1, 1856, 

Martin, Jlay 23, 1857, 
Meeker, February 23, 1856, 
, Mille Lacs, May 23, 1857, 
Morrison, Febr'ry 25, 18.58, 
Mower, February 20, 1855, 
Murray, May 23, 18.57, 
Nicollet, March 5, 1853, 
Nobles, Jlay 23, 1857, 
Norman, Nov'mb'r29, 1881, 
Olmsted, February 20, 18.55, 
Otler Tail, JIarch 18, 1858, 
Pine, JIarch 31, 18.56, 
Pipestone, Jlay 23, 1857, 
Polk, July 80, 1858, 
Pope, February 20, 1863, 
Ramsey, October 27, 1849, 
Redwood, February 0, 1862, 
Renville, February 20, 1855, 
Rice, JIarch 5, 1853, 
Rock, JIarch 23, 1857, 
St. Louis, JIarch 1, 1856, 
Scott, JIarch 5, 1858, 
Sherburne, Feb'y 85, 1856 
Sibley, JIarch 5, 1853, 
Stearns, February 20, 1855, 
Steele, February 20, 18.55, 
Stevens, February 20, 1860, 
Swift, JIarch 4, 1870, 
Todd, February 20, 1862, 
Travers, February 20, 1862, 
Wabasha, October 37, 1849, 
Wadena, July 11, 1858, 
Waseca, February 27, 1857, 
Washington, Oct. 27, 1849, 
Watonwan, Nov. 6, 1860, 
Wilkin, JIarch 6, 1868, 
Winona, February 23, 1849, 
Wright, February 20, 1855, 
Yellow Jledicine, Novem- 
bers, 1871, 




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▼ J 

■♦♦♦♦♦*♦ *•*«••*«»«*■ 


^^^^C^p^^^ ©-^ 

>l ., ■- J *, a prominent 
jy^^ village of Li 

it lumber dealer of the 

•g,.. v.. .jitchtield, is one of the 
early pioneers of Meeker county who has 
risen to prominence through hisown unaitled 
efforts. lie is a native of Allegheny, now 
Livingston county. New York, born Decem- 
ber 7, 1834, and is the son of William and 
Elmira (Sanford) Greenleaf, natives of the 
Empire State and Vermont, respectively. 
Tiie Greenleaf family is of respectable antiq- 
uity in this country, the chain of ancestry 
having been traced back as follows: William 
Greenleaf, the father of our subject, was the 
son of Tilly Greenleaf and was born Decem- 
ber 23, 1797. Tilly was the son of Israel 
Greenleaf, and born March 25, 1770. Israel 
was born March 28, 1732, and was the son 
of Dr. Daniel Greenleaf, who was born No- 
vember 7, 1702, died July, 1795, and was the 
son of Eev. Daniel Greenleaf. The latter 
was the son of Stephen Greenleaf, Jr., and 
was born February 10, 1680, and died Au- 
gust 26, 1763, his father's birth having taken 
place August 15, 1652, and his death October 
13, 1743. Stephen Greenleaf, Sr., was born 
in 1630, and was the son of Edmund Green- 
leaf, and died December 1, 1690. llis father, 

Edmund, was born in the parish of Brixham, 
Devonshire, England, about 1600, and came 
with his family in 1635 to this country and 
settled at Newbury, in the colony of Massa- 
chusetts Bay. lie was the lineal descend- 
ant of an old French Huguenot family, who 
left theu" home in La Belle France on account 
of religious persecutions early in the sixteenth 
century, the name Greenleaf being a literal 
translation of their French name, Fuillevert. 
The subject of this personal memoir, Will- 
iam H., when he was but eight years of age, 
removed with his parents to, Jefferson county, 
Wisconsin, which in that year, 1843, was but 
a new country, where his father settled upon 
a farm. When he had attained the age of 
seventeen, William H. commenced attending 
school at the Fort Atkinson Academy, his 
earlier education having been derived from 
the common schools, and remained at that 
institution some two years, after which he 
acquired a knowledge of civil engineering. 
In 1856, during the Kansas troubles, he made 
a trip to that territory with a company raised 
by Prof. Daniels, for the assistance of the 
Free Soilers. He returned to Wisconsin 
where, in 1857, he was engaged as surveyor 
on the Wisconsin Central railroad. In the 



spring of 1858 he came to Meeker county and 
locateil upon section 30, Ellsworth township, 
where he put up a saw mill and improved the 
water power. He also took up a homestead 
on section 25, in Greenleaf township, which 
township was named in liis honor. A his- 
tory of his business operations while in the vil- 
lao-e of Greenleaf is given in detail elsewhere 
in this volume. While a resident of that place 
he was awakened at four o'clock on the morn- 
ing of August 18, 1862, and told the dread- 
ful tidings of murder and rapine that her- 
alded the terrible massacre of that eventful 
year, and as soon as possible took his wife 
and ten-months-old child to St. Paul for se- 
curity, and then returned to help make a 
stand against the red fiends who were de|)op- 
ulating the border. He stopped at Hutchin- 
son, where he went through the experience of 
border warfare with the people of that vil- 
lage and remained that fall. Pie then went 
to Minneapolis, where he made his home un- 
til March, 1864, and then returned to this 
county, where he has lived ever since. In 
the spring of 1872 he removed to Litchfield, 
and put up some of the first buildings in that 
town. In 1871 he entered into the general 
merchandise business in that "burg" in 
which he continued until 1876. In 1874 he 
was appointed receiver of the United States 
Land office at this jilace and continued in 
that office, having been reappointed in 187S, 
until 1879, when he resigned. In 1878 he 
purchased the lumber yard of M. J. Flynn, 
and in 1880 that of II. B. Brown, and consoli- 
dated the two, thus establishing his present 
business. In 18S2 the present firm was formed 
by the admission of his son, Charles A., to a 
full partnership. 

In the fall of 1870 Mr. Greenleaf was 
elected by the people of this district to rep- 
resent them in the State Legislature, and 
served continuously for three sessions in that 
capacity. In 1882 he was sent to the State 
Senate and for four vears was a member of 

that august body, looking sharply after the 
interests of his constituents. He was united 
in marriage September 27, 1859, with Miss 
Cordelia J. DeLong, the daughter of Hiram 
and Maria DeLong, the latter a niece of the 
celebrated revolutionary general, Ethan Al- 
len. Iler father is still living at Greenleaf 
village at the ripe old age of eighty-nine 
years. The result of this marriage has been 
four children — Charles A., of whom a sketch 
is given elsewhere; Jessie A., now Mrs. H. S. 
Branham ; and twins, Frankie and Fred, de- 

ORRIS Y. TAYLOR, an enterprising, 
prosperous and reliable farmer of 
Ellsworth township, has his home upon sec- 
tion 17. He settled on this place on coming to 
the county in 1874, and has now a fine farm 
of 246 acres of excellent arable land for the 
most part, 110 of which is under a high state 
of tillage. He carries on general farming, 
but gives considerable attention to dairy in- 
terests, keeping about thirty head of cattle, 
mostly of Ilolstein strains. 

Our subject is a native of Illinois, born in 
Vermilion county, October 8, 1850. He 
commenced life young, for when but sixteen 
years of age he hired out to work for ten dol- 
lars per month. His next move was to work 
for his board and go to school, with the set 
purpose of making up for the lack of earlier 
opportunity. In this way he acquii'ed the 
elements of an excellent education, taking a 
course or more in the higher branches, in the 
schools at Berrysville, Ind. He now com- 
menced farming in the neighborhood of Bis- 
marck. In the spring of 1870, having had 
an attack of some lung disease, he came to 
Minnesota and was engaged in lumberyards 
at Stillwater, but a few months later he moved 
to St. Paul and was engaged as chainman by 
a party of Government surveyors. This kind 
of business recuperating his health and being 



agreeable to him, he continued to follow it 
seven years in one capacity or another until 
he rose to be superintendent in charge of the 
party. The north shores of Lake Superior, 
the White Earth reservation, the Eed Eiver 
valley, and the Leach Lake reservation' were 
all the scenes of his labors. In 1877 he gave 
up his wandering and came to Meeker county, 
where he had settled, or rather bought a farm 
and worked it between his surveying expedi- 
tions. Here he remained until 1880, when 
he accepted the superintendency of the "No- 
bles county farm," of George L Seney, of New 
York, but the next year transferred his ser- 
vices to the executors of the Horace Thomp- 
son estate in the same capacity. For three 
yeai-s he managed one of their farms, and 
then came back here and has remained ever 

Mr. Taylor was married May 3, 1881, to 
Miss Fina Shuart, a native of Geauga county, 
Ohio, and daughter of William and Mary 
Ann Shuart, and by this union there have 
been three children — George S., Wilford B., 
and Marion. 

In his views Mr. Taylor is entirely free 
politically, and independent of party lines. 
He was elected to the office of town clerk 
in the spring of 18SS, and still holds that 

JTAMES SHELLEY. Among the promi- 
^ nent pioneers of Darwin township, and 
well-to-do farmers, there is none tliat has 
more influence in the community in which 
he Uves than the subject of this sketch. He 
has his residence upon section 26, on his fine 
farm of 500 acres, 120 of which are under a 
high state of cultivation, wliere he carries on 
agricultural pursuits. 

Mr. Shelley is a native of Ireland, born in 
County Tipperary, in the parish of Lough- 
more, where his fathers and ancestor's had 

lived from time immemorial. In 1848, that 
eventful year in Irish history, he left his na- 
tive land and disembarked at New York after 
a long voyage, and for over seven 3'ears was 
employed at Wilberham, Mass. At the ex- 
piration of that time he came West, and after 
one week spent in Wisconsin, settled in 
Meeker county. April 29, 1857, he took a 
claim by preemption, the northeast quarter 
of section 22, Darwin township. At that ■ 
time there were but eight or ten men settled 
here and the country was in its wild and 
primitive condition. After putting in his 
crop of potatoes, corn, etc., and working 
around some, he went to Minneapolis and 
fired on board the steamer H. M. Kice, then 
plying upon the river. Returning to his 
farm, he passed the winter here and made 
this his home until the Indian troubles of 
1862. Before this he had been accustomed 
to trade with the Sioux and found them 
peacefully inclined, althougli they would 
steal whatever they could lay their hands on. 
When he heard of the outbreak he was har- 
vesting, but at once went to Forest City, and 
tlie next morning started for Clearwater, 
where he went to work for Eugene Baldwin. 
Shortly after he came back and procured some 
of his things and returned to Clearwater. He 
was back and forth several times, and in the 
fall took some of his stock to Minneapolis, 
and then returned and passed the winter here. 
He then went to Minneapolis and remained 
nearly all the time, occasionally coming to 
his place to see about it, until the spring of 
1865, when he came to stay and lias lived on 
his place ever since. 

Mr. Shelley was married in 1866 to Miss 
Mary Vaughan, in Minneapolis, and by this 
union there have been born four children — ■ 
William, John, Daniel, and James, all of 
whom are still living. Both Mr. and Mrs. 
Shelley are members of the Eoman Catholic 
Church and prompt in the fulfillment of their 
religious duties. 



^I^H" C. MARTIN, ex-judge of probate of 
M^^ Meeker county, is one of the most 
prominent attorneys at Litchfield. He is a 
native of Tuscarawas county, Ohio, where 
he was born on the 20th of January, 1843. 
His parents were Samuel M. and Martha 
(McGrew) Martin; the father a native of 
Pennsylvania, but who had come to Ohio 
wlien young ; the mother a native of Ohio. 
They both died when the subject of this 
sketch was six years old, and N. C. went to 
live with his grandmother, who was carrying 
on a farm. In ISfi-l she removed to Indiana 
and our subject remained on the farm, except 
the time he sjient in the army, until he was 
twenty-eight years of age. On the 2nd of 
June, 1862, N. C. Martin enlisted in Com- 
pany G, Eighty-sixth Ohio, and served dur- 
ing that year in "West Virginia. He was 
then mustered out of that regiment, and 
enlisted in Company B, One Hundred and 
Twenty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, on 
the 20th of June, 1863. He served in West 
Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. 
He never missed a day's service during his 
army life, and was tinalh' mustered out as 
orderly sergeant on the 5th of March, 1864. 
In 1870 Mr. Martin began reading law at 
Bowling Green, Clay county, Ind., with 
Hon. E. Miles, now of Denver, Colorado. 
In 1871 he was admitted to the bar and in 
the spring of 1872 he established the Clay 
County Enterprise at Knightsville, in Ind- 
iana, a republican paper which is still run- 
ning, — the only republican paper in that 
county. Mr. Martin conducted that paper 
for one year, and a short time later he struck 
out for the West for the purpose of locating 
in Minnesota. After remaining a few days 
at St. Paul and Minneapolis he came to 
Litchfield, arriving August 20, 1873, and 
has since made that his home. While living 
at Knightsville, Indiana, he was married to 
Miss Clara S. Ward. Upon his arrival at 
Litchfield Mr. Martin first engaged in the 

law and real estate business, but in 1876 he 
established the Litchfield Independent and 
ran that as a greenback paper, supporting 
Peter Cooper for the presidency. He con- 
tinued in tlie newspaper business until June, 
1877, when he sold out, and the same fall 
was elected to the office of judge of probate 
of Meeker county on the greenback ticket. 
He was three times re-elected, the last time 
his nomination being endorsed by all the 
parties. He served from January 1, 1878. 
until January 1, 1887, and in the fall of 1887 
was unanimously renominated, but declined. 
Since that time Mr. Martin has given his 
attention wholly to the practice of law, also 
carrying on an extensive real estate and 
loan agency. He has alwa\'s taken an act- 
ive interest in all matters affecting the wel- 
fare of Litchfield. He was one of the prin- 
cipal workers in the original organization of 
the Frank Daggett Post, Grand Army of 
the Tiepublic, and has taken an active inter- 
est in its progress. He held tiie office of 
commander of the post for four successive 
terms, a fact which speaks for itself, as the 
office is one wliich is usually held but one 
term. In 1879 Mr. Martin was a candidate 
for Attorney General on the greenback ticket 
and for a number of years took a very active 
interest in political matters. Mr. and Mrs. 
Martin have seven children, Myrtle, Daisy, 
Clara Ma\', Belle, Emma, Nathan and an 

JTOHN M. MOUSLEY, one of the earliest 
^ settlers of Meeker county, and an hon- 
ored and respected citizen of Ellsworth, has 
his residence upon section 22 of that town, 
where he first settled in 1S5S. He is a native 
of England, born in Manchester December 
6, 1827, and is the son of Samuel and 
Nancy (Mason) Mousley, natives, also, of 
"Albion." The family came to Canada in 
1851, and settled in Elgin count}^ where 





Samuel died of lung disease in 1864. He 
was born in 1792. His wife, who first saw 
tlie light in 1795, died in England in Novem- 
ber, 18-19. The father of our subject was a 
cotton dyer by trade, having learned the 
trade when a boy. He was an excellent 
citizen, a good Cliristian man and a kind 
neighbor. Both he and his estimable wife 
were meml^ers of the Church of England, or 
E[)isco])al Churcli. They were the parents of 
five children — James, Alfred, Jane, John and 

The subject of this narrative continued 
to make his home beneath the parental 
roof until the spring of 1842, when, although 
but fourteen years of age, he crossed the 
briny deep to Canada, where he had an uncle 
living, with whom he made his home for 
some eight years. During this time he as- 
sisted in the work upon the farm and at- 
tended the common schools, receiving there- 
from the elements of a fair education. 

Most of this was obtained under difficulties, 
as hai'd and persistent work was tiie order of 
the da\'. He finally commenced to learn the 
blacksmith's trade with McPherson, Glasgow 
& Co., but after the expiration of his three 
years' apprenticesliip returned to his uncle's, 
working for him in the summer. He then 
took u[) liis trade in the employ of several 
parties, and continued tlius emplo^^ed until 
he came to this county, in 1858, as detailed 
above. After taking his claim of 160 acres 
of land, the next spring he went to St. Paul 
and went to work for one Frank Gilnian in 
a foundry. With what he earned he pur- 
chased a yoke of oxen and tlie various tools 
he would need, and returned here and com- 
menced the development of his farm, and 
has seen it grow from pristine wiidness to 
its present condition. Pie has since that, once 
or twice, worked at his trade, but only for 
short periods. 

Mr. Mousley was married in April, 1S64-, 
to Miss Catherine Doane, a native of Canada, 

born in 1841, who died in January, 1872, 
leaving four children — James Alfred, Hattie 
Jane, Fi-ank M.,and Alice Ann. Hattie died 
in the spring of ISSl, when some fifteen 
years old ; and Alice died August 26, 1886. 
Mr. M. has held the offices of town su]ier- 
visor, town clerk and scliool clerk for years. 

Tp)ETER MARTENSON is engaged in 
I^ farming on section 25, Litchfield town- 
ship. He is a son of Marten and Annie Isaac- 
son, and was born in Sweden, on the 27th of 
February, 1845. Peter was engaged in farm- 
ing with his father in the old country until 
1869, when he started for America. He 
came direct to Meeker county, Minn., and 
purchased a tract of railroad land on section 
25, in Litchfield township. During the win- 
ter of 1871-2 he re-visited the fatherland, 
but the pleasure of his visit was marred by 
the death of his father on the very day that 
he arrived at the old home. In the spring 
of 1872, he was married to Ellen Larson, a 
daughter of Lars and Ellen Peterson, and 
in the following May he returned to the 
United States, and to his Meeker county 
home. Four children have been the fruits 
of their marriage, as follows: Louis, born 
October 14, 1872; John, born March 29, 
1876; Henry, born September 6, 1879: and 
Annie, born April 2, 1882. 

Like others in iiis neighborhood, Mr. 
Martenson has sutt'ered from grasshoj)pers 
and hailstorms, but his industry and perse- 
verance have enabled him to recover from 
these reverses and he is now in comfortable 

J^^iCHAEL DELANEY, a prosperous 
jPLi^L 'I'ld industrious farmer of Ells- 
worth township, residing upon section 16, 
came to Meeker county in 1877, and located 
on the place where his home now is. He had 



pui'cliaseil the land sdine time previous to 
this, but he has made iiearh' all, if not all, the 
improvements here, and he has now a mag- 
nificent ])ropertv consisting of 342 acres 
h'ing in tiiis and (ireenleaf townsiiips. lie 
is giving a large share of his attention to 
stock-raising, principally to half and three- 
quarter-bred Durham, llolstein and Jersey 
cattle. His home is one of the most beauti- 
ful in the township, and attracts the atten- 
tion of even the most casual observer. 

Mr. Delaney is a native of Ireland, born in 
County Leitrim, July 28, 1828, and is the 
son of Bernard and Catiierine (McWeeny) 
Delaney, both of whom died in that "ever 
verdant isle," the mother' in 1863, the father 
in 1873, at theage of ninety years. Bernard 
Delaney was a farmer ancl followed that 
business as best he could in that oppressed 
land. lie was the ])arent of but two chil- 
dren, Bernard and Michael. 

The latter, the subject of this biography, 
was reared among the beautiful scenery of 
the West of Ireland, but on attaining man- 
hood felt that he must seek in other countries 
the freedom from the Saxon's yoke that has 
oppressed that island for seven centuries, and 
accordingly, in 1852, emigrated to the United 
States, landing in New York. From there, 
after stopping a short time in New Haven, 
Conn., he went to the State of Virginia, 
where he was engaged in railroad construc- 
tion for four years. His next move was to 
Minneapolis, where he arrived in 1856, and 
made his home until 1877, except a year spent 
in Kentucky and Tennessee. At the date 
last mentioned he moved to Meeker county. 

Mr. Delaney was united in marriage in 
June, 1858, with Miss Mary Garvey, a native 
County Mayo, Ireland, who had come to the 
United States a short time before. Ihe 
ceremony took place in St. Anthony, now 
Miiin(-a])iilis. By this uni(jn they have had 
seven ciiildren, six of whom survive: Mar}', 
who is a teacher in tiic St. Paul schools; 

John, teaching in Swift County, this State; 
Kate, who is teachmg the school in District 
68, Litchfield township; Hannah, who is 
teaching in District '(i^, Ellsworth ; Nellieand 
Antliony William. 

'_^S8L the pioneers of JNIeeker county, as 
well as one of the most prominent citizens, is 
a native of Kingston, Canada, born November 
13, 1822. His parents were both natives of 
Yorkshire, England, but came to America 
in 1821, landing in New York, from whence 
they proceeded to Canada, where James B. 
was born. About a year later the}^ removed 
to Black Rock, N. Y., where they remained 
for about nine years. The father was a 
stone mason by trade, and during this time 
was contracting on canal bridges and other 
heavy work. Later, he purchased a large 
farm near Freeport, Penn., where he lived 
until the time of his death. The parents of 
James B. had four children, three of whom 
are still living — two in Minnesota and one 
in Kansas. 

James B. Atkinson remained athomew'ith 
his parents until eighteen years of age, at- 
tending common schools most of the time. 
At the age referred to he began learning the 
printer's trade at Freeport, following that at 
various places until he was twenty-two, when 
he returned home and rented a farm for 
twentj'-one months. The firet fall from this 
experiment, the hay crop cleared him $600 
above all expenses, including the rent for 
the full time. The following winter, March 
20, 1845, he was married to Miss Abbie 
Sholes, of Allegheny City, Penn., Init re- 
mained on the farm until tiie followin"- fall, 
when he moved into Frt'(>p(>i't and opened a 
butcher shoj). Five oi' six yeais latei-, he 
sold out and began his aftciward extensive 
business of i-ailroad contracting. His first 
contract was one for $8,000 on the Allegheny 



Valley road ; next on the North-Western, 
now Pennsylvania, and from that to the Iron 
Mountain, on which he had a contract for over 
$100,000. His next move was to return to 
Freeport, where he bought a stock of general 
merchandise and conducted that business for 
one year. He then came West in search of 
a location, and spent some time in travelling 
through the eastern part of Iowa. In the 
.spring of 1856, he decided to come to Min- 
neapolis, and, being pleased with the prospect 
there, he returned to New York for goods, 
was taken sick and laid up for three months. 
For this reason he did not get back to Min- 
neapolis until August of that year and the 
.same fall came out to Rockford and took up 
a claim, where he remained thirty days. The 
town of Rockford had been laid out only that 
iSpring : game was abundant and the pros- 
pect generally fine. After returning to 
Minneapolis, where he remained some six 
weeks, he went East for his family. His 
Jiousehold goods were packed and shipped 
West, but the goods never arrived, nor have 
they ever been seen or heard of since. Early 
in the year 1857, he made his first trip to 
Meeker county, driving through with a team, 
bringing a load of goods and working his 
way through the " Big Woods." Upon his 
.arrival he located at Forest City. The coun- 
ty had just been organized and that country 
village, being the county seat, was the prin- 
cipal point within its limits, although there 
were neither business nor business houses 
there at that time. Mr. Atkinson, liaving 
brought the first goods to the county, went 
immediately to work getting up a building. 
He then returned to Minneapolis for the 
balance of his goods. 

Having, like all others, taken up a claim, 
lie placed his family upon it, and going back 
to St. Paul, proved up on it, paid for it, and 
returning with more goods, removed to the 
village, where he opened his store for busi- 
ness, about March 1, 1857. He, the follow- 

ing fall, erected the hotel, which he ran in 
connection with his other businesses until 
1879. The store was kept by him until 
1865, when he disposed of it to his partner, 
he having taken Mark W. Piper in with him 
in 1862. During the winter of 1861-2 Mr. 
Atkinson made a trip to Pike's Peak, but 
came home, arriving at Forest City, August 

I, just seventeen days previous to the Indian 
outbreak. At the time of the organization 
of the' "Home Guanls," at Forest City 
he was elected first lieutenant. The night 
previous to the attack u])on the stockade, 
ammunition being short, he volunteered to 
go after a supply, and starting after night, 
alone, traveled throug'h the "Bio' Woods,'* 
beset with savage enemies, but, although 
aware of his peril, would not quail or flinch. 
His undaunted courage carried hmi through 
safely, and procuring powder, lead, and 
soldiers to relieve the garrison, he returned. 
He had previous to this, in company with 
Geo. C. Whitcomb, been raising a company 
for the Sixth Minnesota Infantry, but the 
outbreak stopped jiroceedings. He then 
enlisted and served as private and scout, 
althougli favored by his superior officers to a 
degree unknown elsewliere, on account of 
his social position and certain promises made 
to him but not fulfilled, in Company D, 
Second Cavalry. He remaineil with them 
until the close of hostilities with the red- 
skins, when he was given a commission to 
recruit men at St. Paul. After following 
this for a time he raised a company which 
was mustered into the service as Company 

II, First Minnesota Heavy Artillery, with 
which he served as cajitain, being stationed 
chietiy at Chattanooga, until the close of the 

Captain Atkinson has filled many offices 
of trust and honor in this coinmunit}'; he 
was the representative in the Legislatui'e in 
1857 and 1858, has filled the office of mem- 
ber of the board of county commissioners, 



served <as town sn]iervisor for years, was 
sheriff for three years, town assessor for 
seventeen years, and occupied tlie position 
of justice of tlie peace for nearly a quarter 
of a century. He is the parent of eiglit 
children : Hannah Elizabeth, Mrs. J. W. 
McKean, of Indianapolis, Ind.; Charlotte M., 
Mrs. Henry Clinton, of Las Vegas, Cal.; 
Abigail A., now Mrs. E. H. Hull, living at 
Mineapolis; Frank, now Mrs. T. Tiichardson, 
of Forest City;Chai-les II., of the same place; 
Kate, Mrs. C. E. Bai'kam, of Dallas, Tex.; 
Jessie B., Mis. Charles Boynton, of Forest 
City; and .lames B., Jr., at home, .-^ih- 

^ M N DREW S. MATTSON, a jn-osper- 
_^^L ous farmer whose land adjoins the 
village of Litchfield, is a native of Sweden, 
born Se})tember 7, 1852. His parents were 
Swan and Margaretta Mattson, who came to 
the United States with their family in 1858 
and located in Carver county, Minn., where 
they were among the pioneers. A year or 
so after their settlement there, Mr. Mattson, 
the father died, and in 1859 Mrs. Mattson 
removed with her family to Meeker county 
and claimed eighty acres of Government land 
on Section 10, in Ness (now Litchfield) town- 
ship. AV^hen the Indian outbreak began, she 
removed to St. Paul, and remained there 
until after the close of hostilities, when she re- 
turned to her land in Meeker county, erected a 
small house and commenced improvements. 
She made this her home until 1885. She 
was married to Nels M. Pearson in 1867, and 
is now a resident of Darwin township. 

Andrew S., the subject of this sketch, lived 
with his mother until they moved to Darwin, 
when the mother conveyed the farm to 
him. Since that time he has added about 
$1,150 in building improvements, and other- 
wise added to the value of the farm. He 
now has 1 15 acres of good land within eighty 

rods of the incorporated limits of Litchfield 
village, where he carries on general farming- 
and stock-raising. 

jiresent representative of Meeker 
county in the Lower House of the State 
Legislature, resides on section 8, in Gi-een- 
leaf townshiji, and is one of the most prom- 
inent citizens of the county. He is a native 
of Norway, and was born on the 21st of 
November, 184-4. His parents were Hans 
and Chi'istine Evenson, who came to Ameri- 
ca in 1857, settling first in Scott county,. 
Minn., where they remained one year, and 
then removed to Wright County, where 
they resided for two years, after which, in 
1860, they settled in Meeker County, Minn., 
the father pre-empting a quarter of sec- 
tion 8 in the ])resent township of Green- 
leaf. A full history of the father and other 
member's of the family will be found in 
another department of this work. The fam- 
ily consisted of father, mother and five chil- 
dren. Even being the eldest son. 

At the time of the Indian outbreak ia 
1862, Even was residing with his parents on. 
the homestead. Although not j^et eighteen 
years of age, he was a careful observer of 
events, and on the memorable 17th of Aug- 
ust was in attendance on the war meeting at 
the old Pipley postoffice. That night he 
was one of the fearless little band of settlers, 
who went to the Jjaker and Jones residences- 
and discovered the horrible butchery which 
the savages had committed so near their own 
doors. He remained with the squad that 
night and the following day, and, later in 
the same week, went with the family to 
Forest City, where he was doing guard duty 
when the Indians attacked the place in the 
night. A sentinel named Henry L. Smith 
was the first man to I'eturn the fire of the 
savages, and the second shot was fired by 
Even. Diirinii' the folliiwino; vear, Even 



worked in St. Paul suid Anoka, and in the 
fall of 1863 he enlisted in Company' I, Sec- 
ond Minnesota Cavalry. The regiment was 
assigned to duty on the frontier, and Even 
went with a detachment of his company as es- 
cort of Captain Fisk's immigrant train to the 
Idaho gold fields, and went as far as Fort Rice 
in Dakota. He remained with the command, 
doing frontier service until the fall of 1805, 
when he was mustered out. He returned 
to the old homestead, and has since re- 
mained there, with the exception of the sum- 
mer of 1867, when he was emplo3^ed near 
St. Paul. 

In November, 1869, Mr. Evenson Avas mar- 
ried to Helen Danielson, a daughter of Nels 
and Randi Danielson, who wei-e among tlie 
first settlers in Meeker county. She was 
boi,'n in Norway on the 28th of October, 1847. 
During the Indian outbreak she had a thrill- 
ing and dangerous adventure, she being one 
of the two women who were left in the thicket 
all night while the settlers were flying for 
their lives. Mr. and Mrs. Evenson have been 
blessed with seven children, the tliiril born 
of whom, Robert E., is dead. The othei's 
are as follows: Henry Nicholas, liorn Octo- 
ber 24, 1871; Carl Richard, born December 
17, 1873; Robert B., born July 27,1877; 
Elmer Emanuel, born August 13, 1879; 
Anna Bertha, born September 25, 1881; and 
Nels Oscar, born April 13, 1 884. The family 
are members of the Ness Norwegian Luth- 
eran Church. 

Mr. Evenson's life has nx)t only been a 
busy one, but an unusually useful one as well. 
Besides tilling various township offices, he 
has filled the office of county commissioner 
for eight years, the last four years of which 
time he was honored with the chairmanship 
of that body. He made a careful and effi- 
cient member of the board, and dui'ing his 
service was recognized as second to none in 
point of ability or influence. In 1886 Mr. 
Evenson was elected to represent Meeker 

county in the Lower House in the XXVth 
Legislature on the republican ticket, and he 
has proven well worthy tlie trust rej)osed in 
him, making a record satisfactory to his con- 
stituents and highly creditable to himself. 
His ability was recognized in the formation 
of the House Committees as he was placed 
upon the Committees on Education, Deaf, 
Dumb and Blind Institute, and on Roads, 
Bridges and Navigable Streams. 

When the State Board of Trade was in 
existence Mr. Evenson was appointed by 
Judge Brown to represent the Twelfth Judi- 
cial District in that body, the most important 
work of which was the recommendation to 
the Letjislature for the establishment of the 
State grain inspection system. 

A portrait of Mr. Evenson will be found 
upon another page in this Alisum. 

K&riLLIAM HUKRIEDE, the genial pro- 

y0Sl. ]irietor of the Mansard House, the 
leading hotel of Eden Valley, is a native of 
West])halia, Germany, born September 4, 
1838. He was reared in that classic land, 
I'eceiving in youth the education which is 
the birthright of the rising generation of his 
fatherland. He was there, in 1860, married 
to Miss Mary Christopher, a native of West- 
phalia, Germany, and daughter of Henry 
and Lizzie Christopher. In 1873, with his 
family, he emigrated to America, and pur- 
chasing a farm on section 23, in Manannah 
township, commenced life here. On this 
place he made his home until the fall of 
1887, when, in connection with his son Hen- 
ry, he came to Eden Valley and bought the 
Mansard House, and has continued at the 
head of its affairs ever since. Mr. Hulvriede 
has a family of eight children, as follows: 
Fred, born May 28, 1861 ; Henry, whose 
sketch is given elsewhere in this volume; 
Reka, born October 6, 1865; William, born 
February 1, 1808 ; Ernest, born January 28, 



1871; Aup:ust, born April 15, 1873; Minnie, 
born ]\[;ircli 1, lS7<t; and Annie, born JS'o- 
vember 14, 1878. 

J'iilENRY HUKRIEDE, the partner of his - 
^H|J father in the proprietorship of the 
Mansard House and who is, also, engaged in 
operating a blacksmith's sho]) in Eden Val- 
ley, is a native of "Westphalia, German}^, 
born January 5, 1863, and is the second son 
of William and Mary(Christopher)Hukriede. 
lie came to the United States in 1873, with 
his parents, and remained upon their fann 
until the spring of 1882, when he went to 
Litchfield and tiiere learned the blacksmith's 
trade. In thespringof 1886, became to Eden 
Valley wliile the graders were still at work 
here and bofore tlie iron upon the i-ailroad was 
laid and started a blacksmith's shop, and has 
followed that trade ever since. In 1887, in 
connection with his father, he bought the 
hotel and maintains connection therewith. 

JOHANNES OLSEN, a well-to-do and re 
spected farmer, residing on section 32, 
Acton township, is a nativeof Norway, born 
January 31, 1837, and a son of Ole and 
Sophia Johnson. He came to the United 
States in 1857, and first stopped at St. Paul, 
where he hired to a man, named Fred Erick- 
son, wiio held a Government contract for fur- 
nishing hay. Tliey cut tiie hay on the Minne- 
sota liiver bottoms near P'oit Snelling, and 
the ground was so wet that tliey were 
obliged to carry it on poles to higher land for 
stacking. After spending some time in this 
way, he, with six others, went to Howard 
Lake, Wright county, and selected claims. 
Two of the ))arty remained during the win- 
ter to make the improvements necessary to 
hold the claims, while the others returned to 
St. Paul to earn and send provisions to their 
two comrades. The following spring Mr. 01- 
sen returned to his claim, expecting to find a 

house erected and other improvements, but 
as nothing had been done he went back to 
St. Paul to find work. He had a hard and dis- 
couraging time of it, but in the fall he secured 
a job on tiie railroad between St. Anthony and 
St. Cloud, and on the southeast side of the 
Minnesota Tliver, above Mendota. This was a 
very wet season, and they were obligexl to lay 
plank tracks in order to run their wheelbar- 
rows. Heturning tlien to St. Paul he did not 
succeed in finding employment until after 
Christmas when he got work cutting cord 
wood, which lasted until spring. His next move 
was to Point Douglas, where he hired to a 
farmer for six months at $10 per month. At 
the expiration of that time he returned to 
St. Paul and woi'ked at building Hat boats, 
and in the spring went with them to St. 
Louis, where he was paid off. During the 
summer he worked at farming on Paint 
Creek Prairie, Alhunakee county, Iowa, and 
split and cut rails during tiie winter. Tiie 
following spring — April 1-f. 1800 — he was 
married to Miss Mary Paulson, a daughter 
of Mathias and Mary Paulson. After his 
marriage he rented a fann for two years, but 
the first season the chinch bugs destroyed 
most of his crop. In 1864 he came to Meeker 
county, Minn., and took a homestead 
on section 32, Acton township, wliei'e he 
has since lived. 

Mr. and Mrs. Olsen have been blessed with 
the following children — Mathias, born No- 
vember 10, 1862, died July 15, 1885 ; Sophia 
Elizabeth, born October 12, 1864 ; Ole, born 
March 15, 1867 ; Paul Emanuel, born Sep- 
tember 17, 1869; and Carl Johan, born Feb- 
ruary 16, 1877. The family are members of 
the Norwegian Lutheran Church. In politi- 
cal matters Mr. Olsen affiliates with the re- 
publican party. Both of Mr. Olsen's parents 
died in Norway. His wife's parents are also 
deceased — the father, Mathias Paulson, died 
in Acton July 26, 1883; and the mother 
died September 19, 1880. 



JI^ARTIN HOUK, a Avell-known, suc- 
J^J.^^ ccssf 111 and highly respected fanner, 
residing on section 3G, Ilarvey township, was 
born in Owen county, Ind., on the 3d of 
November, 1844, and is a son of John and 
Evelin (Grouse) Houk. His parents still re- 
side in his native State. 

Martin, the subject of this sketch, grew to 
manhood in his native State, working on a 
farm and attending school, according to the 
facilities of that day. He was married in 
Indiana on the 23d of January, 1870, to Miss 
Mary F. Doll, and in 1874, with his wife and 
two children, started for the West, arriv- 
ing in Meeker county, Minn., on the 15th 
of October, 1871. He first settled in Man- 
annah township and remained there for one 
year, and then removed to Harvey town- 
ship, settling on section 36, where he has 
since lived. He has three brothers living in 
Meeker county. 

Mrs. Honk's parents resitle in Harvey 
township, Meeker county. 

Mr. and Mrs. Honk are the parents of 
seven children — five girls and two boys — all 
of whom are living. Their names are as 
follows: James F., Josephine, Alice M., Eve- 
lin, Henrietta, Jessie and Marcus R. 


^^IMON MAYER, residing on section 2.3, 
"^^^ is an ex-Union soldier, and is one of 
the most prominent and successful farmers 
and stock-raisers in Union Grove. He is a son 
of Gregor and Mary (Winterholden) Mayer, 
and was born in Wiirtemberg, Germany, on 
the 20th of October, 1834. His parents died 
when he was fifteen years old, and he was 
apprenticed to learn the turner's trade. 
When he was eighteen years old, in 1852, 
he came to the United States and for three 
years worked at his trade in New York city 
and in Paterson, N. J., after which he came 
to St. Paul, where he remained for two days, 
but as he could not find work, he left his 

trunk at the hotel and walked to Stillwater, 
one Sunday night. He secured work on a 
raft and made three trips to St. Louis, thus 
spending one summer. He next worked on 
farms and spent one winter in the pineries; 
also worked for L. D. Bartlett, running a 
ferry from Lakeland to Hudson, for several 
summers. In the fall of 1801 he went to 
Fort Sneliing and enlisted for tliree years in 
Company B, Third Minnesota Volunteer In- 
fantry, and went Soutii the same fall. He 
participated in many skirmishes, but not in 
any pitched battle. When his three years 
were ended he re-enlisted at Little Rock, Ark. 
Tiie Third was surrendered to General For- 
rest at Murfreesboro and was paroled and 
sent to Benton Barracks, Mo., and from there 
was sent to the relief of the settlers in Min- 
nesota, and started for Forest City. Seven- 
ty-five men of the Third reported at Forest 
City. A history of their movements will be 
found in the chapter devoted to the Indian 
troubles. When they landed at Fort Sneli- 
ing Governor Ramsey made them a speech 
and requested them to march for Forest City 
that night, whicii they did. From this cam- 
paign they went to Sibley Camp, Fort Ridge- 
ly, and joined Sibley in liis expedition through 
the JNorthwest. Mr. Mayer participated in 
the bloody fight at Wood Lake. The Third 
Regiment left Sibley and joined Governor 
Marshall, and captured the Indians who were 
hung at Mankato. January 15, 1863, Mr. 
Mayer returned Soutii and served until Au- 
gust, 1865, when he was mustered out at 
Fort Sneliing. 

He then went to Hudson, AVis., and was 
married to Ellen Moody, October 16, 1865. 
She was a daughter of Arnold and Olive 
Moody, and was born November 16, 1849. 
Mr. and Mrs. Mayer have been the i>arents 
of two children, as follows: William, born 
January 11, 1868 ; Delia, born October 4, 

Mr. Mayer is a republican in political mat- 



ters, imd has taken an active and prominent 
part in township aff.iirs. He has held vui'i- 
ous to\viishi|) ottices, iiaving been cliairnian 
of tiie supervisors tliree years, school treas- 
urer twent3'-one years, road overseer, and in 
other minor positions. lie is one of the best 
posted and most intelhgent men in the town- 
ship, and is a careful business man. lie 
stands high, wherever he is known, for his 
integrity and uprightness, and is one of the 
leading citizens of his townshij). 

Mr. Mayer now owns 500 acres of land, a 
£rood deal of which is under cultivation, and 
he has good building improvements. 

sel township, came to Meeker 
county in July, ISGtS, with her brother-in-law, 
Andrew Davidson, bringing with her her 
only child, Petei", who was then f<air years 
of age. She, at once, took up a homestead 
of eighty acres of land on section 1-1-, Das- 
sel townslii|), where she has since made her 
home. She is the widow of Bradford (xard- 

The husband of oui' sul)ject was a native 
of Pennsylvania, who, when a young man. 
came west to AVisconsin and settled, where 
he was united in marriage with Elizabeth 
McCalister, a native of Scotland, born in 
Whitehorn, Wigton Shair, 1836, who had 
come to America in 1855 and subsequently 
located at Caledonia, Wisconsin. After' 
their mairiage they lived in Sauk County, 
in the "Badger State," until November 20, 
1863, when Mr. Gardner, being drafted, 
entered Company I), P'irst Wisconsin Infant- 
rv as a I'ecruit and served with that gallant 
re<'-iment until the battle of Buzzard's Roost, 
in the Atlanta campiign, when he fell mor- 
tally wounded, and died in the hospital at 
Chattanooga, Tennessee, September S, 18G4. 
Filling an honored soldier's grave, his life 
offered up a sweet sacrifice upon the altar of 

his country, his mission on earth was accom- 
plished, and while the comrades regret his 
loss, they dare not murmur against the de- 
cree of the Most High, that snatched him 
from liis loving widow and his boy. 

Mrs. Gardnei' and her son remained at 
their home in Wisconsin until they came to 
Minnesota, grieving after the brave soldier 
who had lain down his life in defense of his 
country and who is enshrined in every patri- 
ot's breast. 

Peter has always remained with his be- 
loved mother. He was born in Sauk county, 
Wis., May 14, 1862, and was married De- 
cember 24, 1885, to Miss Sarah Ai-rowood, 
a native of IMinnesota, and daughter of G. 
D. and Louisa Arrowood, natives of North 
Carolina and Kentucky, who came to this 
town in 1865. 

OHN CHRISTENSON, a highly re- 
spected and successful farmer residing 
on section 32, Union Grove township, was 
born in Sweden, on the 22dof August, 1828, 
and is a son of Christen and Bets}' Eliason. 
His early life was spent in the land of his 
birth, where he acquired the habits of indus- 
ti'y, economy and integi'ity which are char- 
acteristic of the people of his nationality. 
In 1868 he came to the United States with 
his family and came to Meeker county, 
Minn., where he took a homestead of eighty 
acres on section 6, Swede Grove townsh'p. 
Seven years later he moved to section 5, 
where he bought 280 acres of railroad land, 
and lived there until the si)ring of 1887, 
when he settled upon his present farm on 
section 32, Union Grove township, having 
purchased eighty acres there in 1SS6. He 
has divided the rest of his land among his 
children, giving them a start in the world. 

Mr. Christenson was married on the 27tli 
of December, 1850, to Miss Anna Pehrson, 
and their union has been blessed with ten 

-^, f? 




children, as follows : Christoplier, born Oc- 
tober 3, 1852; Hannah, born February 5, 
1855 ; Elias, born May 14, 1857 ; Ella, born 
May 27, 1859; Nels, born April 2, 1861, 
died August, 1861 ; Nels J"., born June 28, 
1862; Andrew, born September 28, 1864; 
Alfred, born May 12, 1866, died July 1, 
1868 ; Alfred, born July 12, 1868, and Her- 
man, born July 19, 1870. 

"•V' "1 


kOCTOR V. P. KENNEDY, of Litch- 
field, besides being a pioneer, is one of 
the .best known citizens in this part of the 
State. Doctor Kennedy was born in Butler 
county, Penn., on the 11th of July, 1824. 
"When he was five years of a,ge his parents 
removed to and became pioneers of Indiana, 
where the subject of this sketch remained 
until 1856. His younger days were spent 
upon a farm, but when twenty-one he entered 
the Asbury University at Greeneastle, Ind., 
where he spent two years, and then went to 
Rockville, Ind., where he began the study 
A year later he went to 
; later to Chicago, and in 1851 

of medicine. 
Louisville, Ky 
finished his course 

Rush Medical College. 

and graduated from 
\\\ 1875 he took an 
ad-eundum degree at the Bellevue Hospital 
College, New York. 

Doctor Kennedy's parents were Martin 
and Elinor [Pellett] Kennedy. The father 
died when the Doctor was ten and the 
mother when he was six years of age. He 
was then thrown upon his own resom-ces and 
for a time lived with an uncle ; but when 
sixteen he left iiis uncle's roof and began the 
battle of life on his own account. In June, 
1856, he came to Meeker county, Minn., and 
took the same claim which had been held by 
Dr. Frederick N. Rijjley, which is mentioned 
at length elsewhere in this volume. Ripley 
had been frozen to death in March of that 
year. Dr. Kennedy at once Ijegan improve- 
ments in a light way, building a little cabin 

on the place, but he lived in Cedar City, 
McLeod county, until the spring of 1857, 
when he settled on his claim. During the 
season of 1856 he had " broke " some land 
and raised a few potatoes, the Indians, how- 
ever, getting the benefit of his labor. Doctor 
Kennedy remained on his claim until the 
fall of 1860, when he was elected to the State 
Legislature. He was re elected in the fall 
of 1861. In the spring of 1862 he entered 
the United States service as surgeon of the 
Fifth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry and 
remained with his regiment until the 1st of 
May, 1865, when he was mustered out at 
Montgomery', Ala. The following summer 
was spent upon his farm, and in the fall he 
received the appointment of physician for 
the Chippewa Indians at Red Lake, and 
remained there from November, 1865, until 
March, 1867. He again returned to Meeker 
county, and bought what was known as the 
Cedar Mill and ran that until 1869, when he 
came to Litchfield and resumed the practice 
of his profession. In 1880 he went to Brown 
county D. T., and took a claim, but 
continued his practice at Litchfield until 
1883, when he removed to Ordway, D. 
T., and engaged in the drug business, 
also becoming postmaster. In the fall 
of 1885 he was elected to the Dakota 
Senate and took an active interest in shap- 
ing Territorial legislation. In the spring of 
1886 his family returned to Litchfield and 
for some time the Doctor was back and 
forth between the two points, but the latter 
place is now his home. 

Doctor Kennedy was first married on the 
19th day of July, 1S49, to Miss Julia A. 
Rudisell, who died July 13, 1854. This 
union was blessed with two children, one of 
whom is now living, Julia A., wife of Nim- 
rod Barrick, who lives at the Doctor's origi- 
nal claim in Meeker county. Dr. Kennedy 
was again married, on the 2d of July, 1860, 
to Caroline Rudisell, a sister of his first wife. 



They have three children now living — 
Milford P., who lives on a farm in Daivota ; 
Harry M. and Lewis H., who are attending 
university at Minneapolis. 

Doctor Kennedy is an active member of 
tlie Grand Army of the Republic. At the 
annual encampment in 1887 he was elected 
medical 'director for the department of 
Minnesota and served for one year. He is 
also a member of the Masonic fraternity, 
having joined Golden Fleece Lodge in the 
fall of 1875. He is prominently identified 
with the State Medical Association and is 
recognized as one of the best educated and 
most experienced members of the medical pro- 
fession in this part of the State. During late 
years, however, he has devoted his attention 
chiefly to his extensive farming interests, 
having 360 acres in this county all of which 
is improved ; and 640 acres in Dakota, with 
400 under cultivation. 

l''-)? ARL NELSON, the subject of the pres- 
ent biographical notice, is a respected 
and enterprising farmer and stock raiser, 
who resides on section 10, Danielson town- 
ship. He is a son of Nels and Karen 
Madson, and was born in Denmark on the 
20th of August, 1849. His early life was 
spent in his native land, where he remained 
until 1866, when he came to the United 
States with his parents, and settled in Steele 
county, Minn. A year later, in July, 1867, 
they removed to Meeker county, and the 
father took a homestead on section 8, in 
Danielson township, in which township there 
was only six settlers at that time. Here the 
father died in October, 1872, and the mother 
in April, 1885. 

After his father's death, Carl went to St. 
Paul and worked at different kinds of em- 
ployment for about two years, when he re- 
turned to the homestead and remained with 
his mother until the 4th of June, 1882, when 

he was married to Miss Anna Marie Mad- 
son. She was born March 19, 1860, and is a 
daughter of Martin and Anna Marie Mad- 
son, who are residents of Danielson. By 
this marriage, Carl Nelson and wife have 
been the parents of two children — Minnie, 
born June 11, 1883, and Nels, born Novem- 
ber 30, 1885. Tlie family are members of 
the Presbyterian church. 

Mr. Nelson now lias a valuable farm, of 
which he lias considerable under cultivation, 
and has a comfortable home. He has the 
farm well stocked and devotes his energies 
to diversified farming and stock raising. By 
economy and industry' he has placed himself 
in comfortable circumstances, and is justly 
rated as one of the leading citizens of his 
township. He has taken an active interest 
in township affairs, and has held various 
local offices, including those of supervisor 
and road overseer. 

HE WELL-KNOWN and able editor 
the Litchfield News-Ledger, W. D. 
JouBERT, is a native of Fon du Lac county, 
Wis., born in September, 1852. His par- 
ents were Stephen and Elizabeth Joubert ; 
the father of French descent, but born in 
Montreal, Canada, and the mother a native 
of New York. Stephen Joubert was a car- 
penter by trade. He was one of the pioneers 
of Hudson, Wis., but is now a resident of 
Traverse county, Minn. 

W. D. Joubert had but little schooling ad- 
vantages, until he was nine years of age, but 
from that time until he was fifteen, the most 
of his time was spent in school. When he 
was fifteen. he began life on his own account 
and began learning the printer's trade with 
Daggett & Rose, at Wabasha, Minn. He 
remained with them for three years and then 
went to LaCrosse, Wis. Later we find him 
at Minneapolis, where, for several months, 
he worked on the Minneapolis Hews, then 



edited by George K. Shaw. From there, in 
April, 1872, with Franli Daggett, the man 
under whom he had learned his trade, he 
came to Litchfield, and started the Litchfield 
Ledger, wliich has since become the News- 

Mr. Joubert was married December 3, 
1881, to Miss Ida Kline, of Kingston, Meeker 
county. They now have one child — Ethel,, 
who is five years of age. Mr. Joubert is a 
member of the Masonic fraternity, having 
joined the Golden Fleece Lodge in 1873, and 
is quite active in promoting the interests of 
the organization. He is also a member of 
the fire company, and was one of the princi- 
pal workers in getting that organization 
estabUshed. Besides these he is a member 
of the military company, and was one of the 
charter members of the dramatic association, 
which was organized in 1873. Mr. Joubert 
is a staunch republican in political faith, and 
is recognized as one of the ablest editorial 
writers on political questions in this part of 
the State. 

-• • ^ •^^^•• < t- • 

sides on section -t, Greenleaf township, 
"is one of the leading farmers and stock rais- 
ers, and also* one of the most prominent cit 
izens in the southern part of Meeker county. 
He comes of a nationality, wliich, through 
their industry and frugality, makes the most 
substantial and valuable citizens of Minne- 
sota. He was born in Sweden, on the 9th of 
August, 1849, and came to the United States 
in 1858 with his parents, John and Anna 
Hellena Sampson. After having resided one 
year and a half in Jamestown, N. Y., he, 
with his mother and youngest sister, joined 
his father and oldest sister, who had gone six 
months before, in Minnesota, in tlie fall of 
1859, and took up their residence with the 
husband and father, on section 4, in the town 
of Greenleaf, Meeker county, where they 

still reside. A full sketch of the parents will 
be found elsewhere in this volume. 

John A., the subject of this biographical 
memoir, was reared on a farm, imbibing and 
acquiring from the necessities, the principles 
and habits of industry and economy which 
were so essentially a concomitant of pioneer 
life. As no district schools were yet in the 
neighborhood, he managed to attend a few 
months school a few miles from home, work- 
ing at the same time in a private family for 
his board. Being fond of reading and gen- 
eral information, he enlarged his stock of 
knowledge in both the Swedish and English 
languages, and tried in all respects to be a 
sel-fmade man. An op]iortunity offered it- 
self to acquire a more substantial knowledge 
in the winter of 1864 and 1805, when he re- 
solved to attend for a few months, the Ans- 
cary Academy, at East Union, Carver 
county, then superintended by his brother- 
in-law, Rev. Andrew Jackson. 

On the 30th of August, 1874, he was joined 
in marriage to Anna Elizabeth Romwall. 
His wife was born in Sweden July 29, 1852, 
and came to America in 1864 with her par- 
ents, who are still living in Carver county, 
Minn. Their marriage has been blessed 
with five children, as follows: P>eda (de- 
ceased), born July 2, 1875 ; Freda L. V., born 
June 11, 1877; Esther A., born June 3, 
1879; Joshua Theodore, born July 14, 1881 ; 
Hannah JST., born November 23, 1883; and 
Walter C. E., born June 30, 1887. The 
family are active and jirominent members 
in the Beckville Lutheran church. 

Mr. Sampson has taken an active interest 
in public matters, and is I'ated as one of the 
most substantial and prominent citizens of 
his township. In political matters he affili- 
ates with the republican party, and has held 
many offices of local importance, including 
those of township supervisor, assessor, treas- 
urer, etc. In financial matters, although, 
like others in his township, he has suffered 



some reverses, he has withal been very suc- 
cessful. He has a large and valuable farm, 
a great proportion of which is under cultiva- 
tion, and has it well stocked. Ilis building 
improvements are among the finest in the 
township, making a home in which he may 
justly take a pride, and which is, in the enter- 
prise it manifests, a credit to the county. 

In another department of this work will 
be found a jiortrait of Mr. Sampson. 

•■^-J^S^^-^— •- 

EORGE W. HARDING, one of the 
leading citizens of Darwin township, 
and the present town clerk, is living on his 
fertile and highly-cultivated farm on sec- 
tion 21. lie was born in Hardenburgh, Ind., 
Octol)er 3, 1852, and is the son of Mitchell 
and Mary A. Harding. He was reared and 
educated in the '-Iloosier State" and remained 
a resident there until April 25, 1866, 
when became to Meeker county, Minn., with 
his father, and settled in Darwin township, 
where he now makes his home. 

Mitchell Harding, the father of our sub- 
ject, was born in Genesee county, N. 
Y., March 14, 1808, and came West and 
settled in Indiana in 1836, one of the pio- 
neers of that noble State. His father was a 
veteran of the conflict with Great Britain 
in 1812-1815, and died at Fort Erie during 
the war. Mitchell Harding makes his home 
with his son, George, having given up act- 
ive business pursuits, as he is over eighty 
years old. 

George Harding was united in marriage, 
April 5, 1874, with Miss Josie L. Smith, and 
by this union they are the parents of tiiree 
children — Earl C, born March 1, 1875, died 
October 8, 1880; Jennie M., born May 11, 
1878 ; and George W., born July 26, 1881. 

Our subject is politically a republican, 
and has been called on several times by his 
fellow citizens to discharge official duties. 
He was elected chairman of the town board 

of supervisors, and served in that capacity 
three terms. Town assessor and town clerk 
he has also been, and at present holds the two 
offices — clerk of the township and school 
district treasurer. Keligiously, he is a mem- 
ber of the Methodist Episcopal church, 
while his estimable wife holds communion 
with the Chui'ch of God, and both are sin- 
cere, earnest. Christian people. 

^^VENNING JOHNSON is a respected 
~^^ and successful farmer, who resides on 
section 21, Danielsoii township. Like a 
majority of the most thrifty and enterpris- 
ing farmers of his township, Mr. Johnson is 
a native of Sweden, where he was born 
November 3, 1831. His early life was spent 
in his native land, but in 1869 he came to 
the United States, and first settled in Illinois, 
where he remained for two years, working 
for different farmers. At the end of that 
time, on April 24, 1871, he came to Meeker 
county, Minn., and ]nirchased forty acres 
of land on section 21, in Danielson town- 
ship, where he has since lived. He has 
since bought 140 acres more, so that he now 
owns 180 acres, 100 of which are on section 
21, and eighty on 29. 

Mr. Johnson was married ]^fay 2, 1862, 
while still in Sweden, to Johanna Larson, and 
their union has been blessed with the follow- 
ing named children : Amanda, born Api'il 
18, 1863 ; Augusta, born September 9, 
1864 ; Lewis, born August 28, 1867 ; August, 
born September 26, 1869 ; Hattie, born Sep- 
tember 1, 1872, and Emel, born July 28, 
1874. Amanda and Augusta are working in 
St. Paul. The son, Lewis, has general charge 
of the farm, as his father is now well along 
in years, and is spending the evening of his 
long and useful life, partially retired from 
the active participation in farm labor. The 
famil}' are members of the Methodist church. 

When Mr. Johnson came to the United 



States he was a poor man, and it was only 
by the hardest labor and strictest economy 
that he secured a start and was able to sup- 
port his family. lie pei-severed, however, 
and is now in very good circumstances, hav- 
ing a cojnfortable home in which to spend 
the latter part of his life, and is possessed of 
a comfortable property. 


"OHN YOUNGSTROM, a farmer, resid- 
ing on section 2S, Litchfield township, 
is one of the most intelligent and best-posted 
citizens in his portion of the county. He is 
a native of Sweden, born on the 1st of 
Februar}^, 184-5, and is a son of Andrew and 
Christine Youngstrom. John grew to man- 
hood at the home of his parents, and at an 
ea,rly age embarked in the mercantile busi- 
ness, continuing it until 1868, when he came 
to the United States. Shortly after his 
arrival he decided to locate in Meeker coun- 
ty, Minn., and accordingly purchased parts 
of sections 21, 28 and 29, in Litchfield 
township. His farm at that time was one of 
the largest operated by one man west of the 
" Big Woods," but after about ten years' trial, 
he became convinced that it was not quan- 
tity of land which was essential to success 
in farming, but sagacity and business tact in 
management. Accordingly, he unloaded a 
good portion of his huge farm, and has since 
been operating on the safe side. Although 
the grassho]ipers, hailstorms and drouth have 
caused him serious backsets, entailing the 
loss of three crops in four years, he has man- 
aged to come out of it all in pretty good 
financial shape. 

Mr. Youngstrom was married in 1871 to 
Mary C. Kjellander, a daughter of John 
Kjellander, and a native of Sweden, born in 
1844. Four children have been born to them, 
viz.: John Oscar, Hilder Mary, Olga and 
Axel H. Although Mr. Youngstrom has 
never been caught m the maelstrom of polit- 

ical office seeking, he has ever been a close 
student of political economy, and has lent a 
considerable amount of ■ time and all his 
influence to the remedying of existing evils 
in governmental aff'airs, and is an unyielding 
foe to monopoly and all manner of oppres- 
sion and harmful influences. 

«"S^^-4^ • 

l^RANK E. DAGGETT, deceased, was 
Jp^ at one time one of the most prominent 
citizens of Meeker count}^ and during his 
residence at Litchfield, figured conspicuously 
in its history. He was a native of Vermont, 
but when quite young he came "West to Fond 
du Lac, Wis., and in 1853, went to Hudson, 
in the same State. He learned the trade of 
a printer when still a boy, at Hudson, Wis., 
and Stillwater, Minn. At an early day he 
went to Kansas and Nebraska, and as a 
journalist, took an active part in the anti- 
slavery movements, being one of John 
Brown's most active associates, and expected 
fully to accompany Brown on the Harper's 
Ferry expedition ; but he went home to visit 
his mother, and as the move took place ear- 
lier than was planned, he did not get back in 
time to participate in it. After that, he 
went to St. Paul and began working at his 
trade on the old Pioneer. From there he 
returned to Rutland county, Vt., and in 
18(>0 was married. Before he started West 
again, war was declared, and he enlisted for 
three months in the First Vermont Regiment. 
At the expiration of his term of service, he 
came to Minnesota and enlisted in the Sixth 
Minnesota Infantry, and was ordered to the 
frontier to participate in the Indian warfare. 
After the close of the Indian troubles, he 
went before the examining board at St. Louis, 
and having passed the examination, was ap- 
pointed lieutenant in the 117th LTnited States 
Regiment [colored], and was assigned to the 
Army of the Potomac. In the summer of 
1861 he was taken sick and ordered to resie:n. 



He then returned to Minnesota and worked 
on the Pioneer until 1S*!6 when he went to 
Wabasha and purchased the ^Vahaslla Herald. 
This he published until the fall of 1870, 
when he went to LaCrosse and bought an in- 
terest in the Leader, of that place, the firm 
becoming Taylor, Burns & Daggett. Through 
some mismanagement the firm became in- 
solvent, and Mr. Daggett began work on the 
Milwaukee Daily News as a compositor. .In 
the fall of 1871 he was given a position as 
city editor on the Minneapolis News, and re- 
mained there till April, 1872, when he re- 
signed and came to Litchfield, and in com- 
pany with W. D. Joubert, established the 
Litchfield Ledger. While'in business here he 
was three times elected clerk of the Minne- 
sota House of Representatives. He was a 
prominent and active member of the Grand 
Army of the Republic, and at one time was 
Grand Commander of the Department of 
Minnesota. The post at Litchfield was named 
" Frank Daggett Post," in honor of him. 
Mr. Daggett's death occurred Saturday, 
October li, 1876. He was then in his thirty- 
ninth year. 

• •« > '^^' ■ < '■ • 

CHARLES A. STAPLES, a successful 
merchant of the village of Manannah, 
is a native of Waldo county, Me., born Feb- 
ruary 17, 1843, and is the seventh son of 
Jacob C, and Elizabeth (Small) Staples, 
both of whom were also natives of the Pine 
Tree State. The father of our subject was 
born March 0, 1801, and his mother March 
24, 1805. Their marriage took place March 
20, 1828, and they continued to make their 
home in their native State until October, 
1854, when they came to Minnesota with 
their family of ten children, of whom our 
subject was one. The\^ settled in Sauk 
Valley, six miles west of where St. Cloud is 
now located, but at that time there was not 
a house where the city now is located. They 

remained in that vicinity until the time of 
their death, the mother October 17, 1874, 
the father, November 26, 1879. The latter's 
demise was caused by exposure, cold and 
exhaustion. He was then a man of seventy- 
eight years and having been to St. Cloud, 
upon a visit to a son who still resides there, 
and on returning missed his road and landed 
in the night on Maine Prairie, and being 
refused shelter by professed Christian people 
along the way, was out all night that cold 
November night, and died a few days later. 
Charles A. remained at home with his 
parents until attaining his majority, during 
which time he learned the carpenter's trade 
of his father, also a good knowledge of farm- 
ing which afterwai'd he made a success. He 
came to Meeker county, and took up a home- 
stead on section 5, Union Grove to\vnship, 
selecting his land in July, 1864. After 
filing papers for a homestead in August, he 
enlisted, September 3, 1864, in the Fourth 
Minnesota Infantry as a recruit, with which 
he served only about three months, and then 
being discharged for disabilitv, he returned 
to his claim and commenced improving it, 
and made it his home until 1882, during 
which time he had added by purchase some 
360 acres to his original homestead. He then 
sold his original homestead and went to 
Litchfield and entered into a partnership in 
company with his brothers, J. II. and N. P., 
under the firm name and style of Staples 
Brothers, who were then in the business of 
general merchandising. In the spring of 
1883 he sold out and made a trip to Dakota, 
with the intention of dealing in hardware, 
lumber and farm machinery in Spink county, 
but returned and located at Manannah, and 
in November of that year put in a new stock 
of general merchandise and commenced his 
present business in company with his brother, 
J. H. Staples, and continued the business as 
Staples Brothers up to April 13, 1888, when he 
purchased his brother's interest and assumed 



sole proprietorship. He left l^ome empty- 
handed but by diligence and business tact 
natural to him, before he left Union Grove 
township, he had accumlated a fine farm of 
240 acres of land and $3,000 in cash. lie 
was chairman of the board of town super- 
visors in that precinct, justice of the peace 
and town clerk for a number of years, and 
held some office of trust or responsibility in 
that town nearly all the time of his residence 
there. He was, also, active in all educational 
work and is now one of the trustees in the 
village of Manannah. 

Mr. Staples was united in marriage in the 
year 1870, with Miss Sarah A. Hinds, a native 
of Columbia county. Wis., and a daughter of 
Isaac and Mary (Thomas) Hinds, who settled 
in Union Grove in 1864. By this union Mr. 
and Mrs. Staples became the parents of 
three children — Carrie Angelia, born Jan- 
uary 4, 1871 ; Ancil Edmonds, born August 
21,1872; and Frances Ann, born January 
1, 1882. 

^ON. ANDREW NELSON, one of the 
prominent and leading citizens of 
Meeker county, resides in the village of 
Litchfield. His sterling integrity in all his 
dealings with his fellow men, the honor and 
ability displayed in official positions and the 
spotless purity of his private life, have won 
for him the respect of the entire conmiu- 
nity. He is a native of Sweden, born 
December 29, 1829, in the Forsamling of 
Troninge Paapsbyl), No. 3, Hallandslane, 
which is about three-quarters of a Swedish 
mile (about five miles English) from Halm- 

The father of our subject, Nels Anderson, 
was born in 1773, and was a native of the 
same country and one of the wealthiest 
faimers of that locality. He had erected 
some very fine farm buildings, but lost them 
by fire, and this, and other misfortunes which 

overtook him, reduced him in circumstances. 
He had been assaulted and nearly killed by 
a man who bore him enmity, and left for 
dead, with his brains almost oozing from his 
fractured skull, but being of a very strong con- 
stitution he recovered his physical strength, 
although his mental balance was considera- 
bly affected. He came to the United States 
in 1862, with his wife, Johanna (Anderson) 
Anderson, and came at once to St. Paul. 
He died there about 1867, after lying in bed 
for three j^ears, having been crippled by be- 
ing run over, and never recovered. His 
widow is now making her home with her 
son, Andrew Nelson, in Litchfield, and not- 
withstanding her eighty-eight years, she 
having been born in October, 1800, is in the 
enjoyment of nearly aU her faculties, and in 
excellent health. 

Andrew Nelson, on account of his father's 
misfortunes, received but a limited education, 
the present excellent school system of Swe- 
den not having then been adopted; there 
were no public schools. He, on attaining 
maturer years, worked out at farm work 
until the spring of 1856, when, taking passage 
on a sailing vessel from the port of Gotten- 
borg, emigrated to the new world, and, after 
a stormy voyage across the Atlantic ocean, 
arrived in New York harbor on the 3d of 
July, and was compelled to stay on ship- 
board all of the 4th. At night when the 
surrounding scenery was lit up by the brill- 
iant lights of the fireworks, he and his fel- 
low travelers thought the inhabitants of 
America must be crazy, for they had no idea 
of our celebrating that day. On landing, 
Mr. Nelson started for the West and located 
at Galesburg, 111., where he remained two 
years, working at farm labor, and teaming, 
hauling wood for the railroad, etc. In July, 
1858, he came to Minnesota and settled in 
Monongalia count}', now a part of Kandiyohi 
county, where he took up 160 acres of land 
near Foot Lake. He commenced the im- 



provement of the jiroperty and there made 
his home until the Indian outbreak in 
August, 1862. 

There was living in the house with him, 
for he was at that time a single man, his 
brother-in-law, Swan Swanson, with the Lit- 
ter's wife and three children, Annie, Theo- 
dore and Emma. On the 21st of August 
they received the news of the massacre at 
Acton and the general uprising of the sav- 
ages, and at once made preparations for 
flight. Mr. Nelson assisted Swanson to take 
off the hayrack from the running gear of the 
wagon and substitute the box, into which 
they loaded some of their household goods 
and the little family, and started for a place 
of safety, Mr. Nelson remaining to collect 
some forty head of cattle which they had. 
Night overtook him, and, starting in the dark- 
ness, he soon heard whispered voices near him 
and incautiously shouted, "Who's there?" 
and in an instant the rapid footsteps of his 
savage foes gave him the alarm as they 
rushed toward him. Favored by the night, 
he eluded them and made his way toward 
Foot's house. He saw the Indians enter the 
house, and he crept into the cornfield ; but 
hearing them in liis immediate neighbor- 
hood, the rustling of the leaves and the 
breaking of the stalks betra3'ing their move- 
ments, he slipped out and sought security else- 
where. Arriving on the banks of Mud Lake, 
he jumped off of a high bank for the water 
below, but fell into a scrub oak, but a min- 
ute or two after dropped into the lake in 
mud and water to his armpits. After a 
short time spent there he scrambled out, and 
as the water in his boots made such a noise 
when he walked he pulled them off, and in 
doing so lost one and then threw the other 
away. He wandered all about the prairie 
all night in his bare feet, and at one time, 
having cast himself down beside a log by the 
side of the road, saw, dimly portrayed against 
the sky, the figures of several of his pursuers 

pass within a. few feet of him. As the morn- 
ing dawned he heard the sound of musketry, 
and looked about him to find out his bearings, 
for he was still bewildered with his wander, 
ings and did not know where he was, and, 
casting himself into the grass, made out that 
he was in the vicinity of Oscar Erickson's 
house, about two miles from his own ])lace. 
This cabin was near the outlet of Eagle Lake, 
and contained four families, those of Foot, 
Carlson, Swanson and Erickson, who were 
making a brave defense and drove off the 
invaders. Young Carlson was killed, and 
Mr. Foot and Mr. Erickson severely wound- 
ed, but all escaped with their lives, except 
the former. Mr. Nelson, after waiting a 
short time within about sixty rods of the 
house, finally struck across the prairie for 
Diamond Lake. His lacerated feet, the flesh 
cut from them and bleeding at every step, 
hardly allowed him to make much speed, 
but on arriving at the house of Mr. Gates he 
found a number of the settlers ready to start, 
but calmly preparing their breakfast. Mr. 
Nelson's tidings of the nearness of the ruthless 
savages altered all this, and, abandoning the 
half-prepared meal, they quickly betook 
themselves to flight, he riding with them, 
for by this time the pain in his feet had be- 
come insupportable. Behind them, a few 
miles, they could see a train of fleeing set- 
tlers, who were attacked about two miles 
west of Swede Grove, but who beat off the 
savages by drawing up their wagons in a 
circle around a hole in the earth, corral- 
ine: their animals and fighting it out with 
the Indians, losing two of their number, 
Lorenson and Bucklin. The band with 
whom the subject of this sketch was arrived 
at Forest City, and pi-epared to go on east 
beyond the Big Woods for safety. Mr. 
Nelson went with them as far as Kings- 
ton, where, through the kindness of Mr. 
Davidson, the miller, ami his wife, he had 
his feet washed and the wounds dressed 




with tallow and linen rags bv that gentle- 
man, who loaned him a pair of Indian moc- 
assins to wear. Borrowing a hoise of Swan 
Munson, Mr. Nelson determined to return 
and seek his brother-in-law's famil\% but on 
the way thither met Lieut. J. B. Atkinson, 
of the Meeker county militia, who was or- 
dered with his squad to take all the horses 
they could find to mount the command. Mr. 
Nelson was ordered to dismount, but lie 
would not, and informed the officer that he 
could not have the horse as long as he (Mr. 
Nelson) was alive, whereupon the good-nat- 
ured officer told him to come along with 
him, and Mr. Nelson joined the troop, en- 
listing as a private therein. Tliis was in 
Captain Whitcomb's company. From this 
time out Mr. Nelson participated in every 
movement of the troop, being with every 
detail. The first time he was out with them 
they got as far as Peter Lund's farm, and 
foun<l the Indians preparing a meal in a big 
iron kettle, which they had strung gypsy- 
fashion over a fire, they having killed one of 
the settler's hogs. Quitea skirmish occurred, 
and the Indians retreated to the woods to 
draw the squad into an ambush, but, their 
design being penetrated, our forces fell back 
to Forest City. At another time, as is de- 
tailed elsewhere, they were driven back by 
some three or four hundred savages, re-in- 
forcements to their foes being perceived all 
around the horizon, and threatening the 
total annihilation of the little band if they 
were surrounded. The next day they built 
the stockade at Forest City, and Mr. Nelson 
helped defend that place during the attack 
made on it on the morning of the 3d of Sep- 
tember. A few days afterward the com- 
mand moved to Hutchinson to escort their 
wounded, and as their horses were stolen 
the men had to walk. Ole Ingeman loaned Mr. 
Nelson a horse to ride, but tiie officer would 
not allow tliat, and our subject was com- 
pelled to hobble along as he best could, for 

his feet were still in a horrible condition. 
He also toolv part in the expedition to Dia- 
mond and Eagle Lakes, where he acted as 
guide, and helped bury the dead bodies they 

After the company was disbandeil, Mr. 
Nelson went to St. Paul, and worked for the 
Government at Fort Snelling, building 
stables, etc., after which he was employed 
at various labor in that city, sawing wood 
and other work, the winter of 1862 and 1863. 
In the spring of 1863 he leased forty acres of 
land in AVashington county, of John Forber, 
and put in a crop, and the next year pur- 
chased eighty acres of lantl in the same 
county. To this he added, little bv little, 
until he owned some 200 acres, all of which 
he had under cultivation. In 1867 he sold 
out his property and purchased between 300 
and 400 acres of land in Darwin township, 
this county, on section 19, near Nelson Lake, 
and moved on it in 1868, commencing to 
open up a farm. There he made his home 
until about 1871, when he sold it to his 
father-in-law, Ole Johanson ; and purcliasing 
a lot in Litchfield, put up a building, and in 
company with his brother, B. P. Nelson, 
opened a stock of general merchand ise. Some 
years later he sold this business to Alexander 
Cairncross, since which time he has been 
variously employed, principally in looking 
after his large landed property, and farming 
a little. 

Mr. Nelson was one of the original stock- 
holders of the Meeker County Bank, and 
was its first president, and has always taken 
an active interest in the business life of the 
village. He was elected to the Sixteenth Leg- 
islature of this State, and served in the lower 
house during the session of- 1874. In 1875 
and 1876, he represented this district in the 
State senate. As chairman of the board of 
county commissioners of Meeker county, Mr. 
Nelson served this people during the years 
1884, 1885 and 1886, with credit to himself 



and honor to the judgment of the constituency 
that sent him tliere. He was village trustee 
of Litclilield in 1873, and is now a member 
of the city council, having been elected to 
serve through 1888 and 1889. 

Mr. Nelson and Miss Ellen Johanson were 
united in marriage March 28, 1868. She is a 
daughter of Ole and Hannah Johanson, nat- 
ives of Sweden, and was born in the latter 
country. She came to America with her 
parents in 1857, who, after a short stay in 
St. Paul, settled that year in what is now 
Litchfield township. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson 
were the parents of but one child, who died 
when but nine days old. 

OHN SAMPSON, a respected farmer 
and pioneer of Meeker county, whose 
home is on section 4, Greenleaf township, 
is a native of Sweden, born on the 2Stli of 
March, 1815, and a son of Peter and Cather- 
ine Samuelson. His early life was spent on 
the farm of his parents, employed at farm- 
ing and carpenter work. In 1858 he came 
to tiie United States, having previous to this 
been married, and after living for one year 
in Jamestown, N. Y., he, with the oldest 
daughter, took up their westward march 
in April, 1859, and came to Meeker countv, 
Minn. The trip from the Eastern States was 
made by way of railroad and steamboat as 
far as Carver, Minn., the rest of the fam- 
ily remaining in Jamestown until in the 
fall. He, together with Charles Allen and 
Swan Palm, made the journey from Carver 
on foot. The tri]) was one of severe hard- 
ship, as they found it almost impossible to 
get provisions. Mr. Sampson returned to 
Carver with an ox team for his baggage, and 
the roads were so bad that many limes he 
was obliged to unload the wagon and carry 
its contents through the mire in his arms. 
Shortly after arriving in Meeker county he 
selected land in section 4, in Greenleaf, and 

the following year (1860) erected a house, and 
has since continued to reside there, although 
extensive building and other improvements 
have been made, so that the farm of to-daj' 
makes a wonderful contrast with the rude 
cabin home of twenty -eight years ago. 

Mr. Sampson's marriage took place on the 
20th of June, 1842, when Anna Ilellena, a 
daughter of Jonas Jonson, became his wife. 
She was born in Sweden November 18, 1822. 
Their marriage was blessed with three chil- 
dren, as follows — Christina, born October 
20, 1845, died October 25, 1875; John 
Augustus, who is mentioned at length else- 
where in this volume, and Johanna Louisa, 
born January 19, 1852, died April 4, 1886. 

At the time of the Indian outbreak the 
family were living on the farm and the father 
was doing carpenter work for the neighbor- 
hood. The news of the massacre at Acton, 
only a few miles distant, reached the family 
on the 17th of August, 1862, and after 
sto]iping a short time at the houses of 
neiglibors they went to Forest City. After 
remaining there and at Kingston a short 
time, they spent several weeks at Clearwater 
and St. Paul and then went to Cottage 
Grove, Washington county, Minn., where 
they rented a farm and remained until the 
fall of 1864. They then returned to the 

Mr. Sampson is now spending the even- 
ing of his life, partially retired from the 
cares of active business, and holds the respect 
and esteem of all who know him. Both he 
and his wife are members of the Beckville 
Swedish Lutheran church, and are exem- 
plary Christian people. 

liMVANlEL DANIELSON, a successful 
tkj fanner and stock raiser, residing on 
section 6, Danielson township, and one of 
the most prominent citizens in that portion 
of the county, is a native of Norway, and 



was born on December 14, 1840, his parents 
being Daniel and Ingber Aslagson. His 
«arly life was one of industry and economy, 
and he was thrown on his own resources 
when still a mere lad, having earned his 
own living ever since he was twelve years of 
age. Wlien he was twenty years of age he 
left his native land, booking as a sailor on a 
native vessel for about nine months, then 
left it in England, and made one trip to the 
West Indies. In 1862 he left London on a 
vessel bound for China, and was shipwrecked 
about sixty miles off the coast of China. 
After this he remained in China about six 
"months, acting as quartermaster on a steamer. 
He then went to Australia, w^here he re- 
mained for about five years, part of the time 
in New Zealand, digging gold ; also working 
in Sidney, New South Wales, and a part of 
the time he sailed among the Friendly Isles. 
He left there in 1868, and after spending 
about three months at his native iiome in 
Norway, he sailed for the United States. 
Upon his arrival in this country, about July 
1, he came direct to Meeker county, Minn., 
and bought eighty acres of railroad land, 
■on section 5, in Danielson township. 
About nine months later he took a home- 
stead on section 30, where he lived for seven 
years, when he sold that and purchased his 
present place on section 6. He has also 
sold his railroad land, so that he now owns 
160 aci'es, a good deal of which is under a 
high state of cultivation. He has suffered 
some reverses through the loss of crops, par- 
ticularly in 1876 and 1877 from grasshoppers, 
and in 1885 from hail. 

In political matters, Mr. Danielson is a 
prohibitionist, and he has taken an active 
interest in pul^lic matters, having held var- 
ious offices, including tiiose of township clerk 
one year and assessor five years. 

Mr. Danielson was married, April 20, 1868, 
in Norway, to Inger Peterson, who was born 
August 7, 1849. Their marriage has been 

blessed with the following named children : 
Peter Chri, born April 2.3, 1869; Ine Dor- 
thy, born April 16,1871; Daniel Edward, 
born July 26, 1873 ; Hannah Julia, born 
August 12, 1875 ; Victor Emanuel, born De- 
cember 9, 1877 ; Martin Julius, born Decem- 
ber 16, 1878 ; and Inger Malinda, born March 
27, 1885. 

— — «'-^{^- < '- • ■ 

ll^EONARD ROMAN. The subject of 
W&^ this biographical notice, a resident of 
section 17, is one of the most prominent and 
successful farmers and stock raisers in Green- 
leaf township. He was born in Varmland, 
Sweden, on the 22d of April, 1845. His 
parents were born, and lived in the land of 
his birth until the time of their deaths. 
Leonard was reared on a farm and remained 
in his fatherland until 1869, when he sailed 
for the United States, and came direct to 
Meeker county, Minn., settling in Greenleaf 
township, where he has since lived. He now 
has 270 acres of lanil, a good share of whicli 
is under a high state of cultivation. Pie has 
been very successful in his farming opera- 
tions, although he has met with the partial 
loss of several crops ; but by careful manage- 
ment and hard labor he has accumulated a 
comfortable pro]ierty. He has taken an act- 
ive interest in public matters, and has held 
various offices of a local nature, including 
that of township assessor. In political affairs 
he affiliates with the prohibition party. 

Mr. Roman was married on the 6th of 
July, 1876, to Emma E. Ilagerstrom, and 
their marriage has been blessed with the 
following children —Axel L., born "June 5, 
1877; Benhart E., born March 9, 1879; 
Victor E., born June 19, 1880; Emma E., 
born June 4, 1883 ; and Arnold A., born 
January 18, 1885 — all of whom are still liv- 
ing except Benhart E., who died August 28, 
1879, and whose remains are interred in tiie 
Beckville cemetery. The family attend the 



Mission church. Mrs. Roman's parents were 
also natives of Sweden. They came to 
Meeker county, Minn., in August, 1871, and 
are now living in Greenleaf township. 


CHARLES A. LAUGHTON, one of the 
prominent business men of Litchfield, 
was born in Platteville, Grant county, Wis., 
March 20, 1851, and is the son of George R. 
and Mildred (Durley) Laughton. His father 
was born in Soho Square, London, Eng., 
June 27, 1820, and came to the United 
States in 1835, arriving in New York Octo- 
ber 25. He came to Southport, now Keno- 
sha, Wis., with L. G. Merrill and John 
Nichols, who lirought some $56,000 worth of 
goods to that place October 30, 1842. In 
December following, these parties sent him 
to Platteville, with a large stock of goods. 
He became a large land owner in that 
county and lived on a farm in the environs 
of Platteville until 1870, when he removed 
to that village, where he lives retired from 
business. He was married. May 1, 18-t4, to 
Miss Mildred Durley, who was born August 
9, 1828, at Greenville, Bond county. 111., who 
died January' 8, 186-1. 

The elder Mr. Laughton owned and oper- 
ated a splendidly equipped woolen factory 
upon his farm, and Charles A., who attended 
school in the summer months, during the 
winters worked in the mill, and there showed 
his mechanical ingenuity. In 1870 when 
the place was sold, Charles entered the Young 
Men's Academy, at Lake Forest, 111., where 
he spent two years. He then entered into 
the mercantile trade at Platteville, with his 
brother, but finding the work too confining 
for his health, entered the employ of J. I. 
Case tt Co., of Racine. The following spring of 
187+, he commenced traveling in their inter- 
ests, as an expert, over the United States and 
Canada, and has seen much of the world while 
doingso. He followed that line of work,in the 

service of the same company, until Septem- 
ber, 1881, when he came to Litchfield, as the 
resident agent for Case & Co.'s threshing 
machinery. In the spring of 1887, he built 
the machine shop where he does all kinds of 
repairing of machinery, especially engine 
work, which he carries on in connection with 
his other business. 

November 10, 1887, C. A. Laughton was- 
united in marriage with Miss Julia Gratiot, 
a native of Platteville, Wis., daughter of the 
late Lieut. Col. E. H. and Ellen (Hager) Gra- 
tiot, natives of St. Louis, Mo., and Paltimore, 
Md., and niece of the late Hon. E. B. Wash- 
burn. While Mr. and Mrs. Laughton are not 
among the' older residents of the village, 
their genial dispositions and happy manners- 
have won tiiem a high place in social circles. 
Mr. Laughton is ranked among the leading- 
business men of the place, and a bright future 
is evidently before him. 


TaCOB LENHARD, of Darwin town- 
ship, is a native of the German Empire, 
born July 1, 1827. He was reared in that 
classic land and remained there until 1852, 
when bidding adieu to the beloved fatherland 
he crossed the ocean to the shores of free 
America, in search of the liberty of action 
and the chance of competency not afforded 
to him in the land of his birth. He settled 
near Buffalo, N. Y., where he remained some 
three months, after which he went to Canada, 
and worked on the construction of the railroad 
suspension bridge oyer the Niagara river. 
From there he proceeded west to Chicago, 111., 
but less than a year later removed to Polk 
county, Wis., and there purchased a farm and 
settled down to the life of a Western farmer. 
He made that part of the " Badger State" 
his home for thirteen years and at the ex- 
piration of that time, in 1868, came to 
Meeker county, and settled in Darwin town- 
ship. He was united in marriage, Septem- 



ber 4, 1854, with Miss Dora Yerkes, who 
is the mother of seven children — Henry P., 
born June 22, 1855 ; John P., born January 
•9, 1857 ; William F., born December 9, 1858 ; 
Jacob A., born January 21, 1860 ; Mary M., 
born December 25, 1862; Conrad E., born 
March 24, 1865; and Anna D., born January 
18, 1869. The sons are all well-to-do farmers 
of the township. 

Mr. Lenhard and his family are members 
of the Lutheran church and respected and 
honored citizens. 

^TeLS F. JOHNSON, is one of the well- 
&''fj| to-do farmers of Swede Grove town- 
ship. He is a son of John and Anna Chris- 
tianson,and was born in Sweden, on the 28th 
of June, 1862. He came to the United States 
with his parents in 1868, and they came 
direct to Meeker county, Minn., settling in 
Swede Grove township, where Nels F. re 
■ceived a common-school education. He lived 
with his parents, working on the farm until 
1887, when he purchased 160 acres of land 
on section 6, whei'e he now lives, keeping 
"bachelor's hall" and tilling his farm. A 
sketch of his parents will be found elsewhere 
in this volume. Mr. Johnson takes active 
interest in township matters. He was ap- 
pointed school clerk to fill the unexpired 
term when tiiat oihce became vacant throucrh 


the removal of his father to another town- 
ship. He is a member of the Swedish Luth- 
eran church. In political matters he is a 



^HE legal profession has a number of 
able and prominent representatives at 
Litchfield, among them being J. M. Eussell, 
county attorney of Meeker county. He is a 
native of Clay county, Ind., born on the 13th 
of Februar\', 1852. His early life was spent 
upon a farm attending district school in the 

winter, and thus continuing until he was six- 
teen years old, when he began teaching 
school in the winter, working on the farm 
during the summer. Two years later he 
purchased his brother's interest in the old 
homestead, his father having died when he 
was less than three years of age. After this 
he worked the farm during the summer, 
teaching during the winter months, until he 
was twenty-three j'ears old, when he sold 
the stock and farm implements and for two 
years attended college at Westfield, 111. From 
there, in the spring of 1877, he came to 
Meeker county, remaining here one year 
and teaching two terms of school. In the 
spring of 1878, returning to the old home in 
Indiana, he worked on the farm with his 
brother that season and taught school during 
the following winter. 

On the 8th of April, 1879, Mr. Eussell was 
married to Miss Julia E. Hays, of Clay 
county Ind., and the following day they 
started for Meeker county, Minn. For a 
year he taught school at Cedar Mills, and, on 
the 14th of September, 1880, he settled at 
Litchfield and entered the law office of N. 
C. Martin for the purpose of fitting himself 
for that profession, and was admitted to 
the bar in the fall of 1882. He spent the 
summer of 1881 upon a claim in Dakota. He 
sold this in 188.3, and having taken a home- 
stead in the same Territory, that spring, he 
spent the summer on that, and still owns 
the farm. After being admitted to the bar 
in the fall of 1882 he formed a law partnership 
with IST. C. Martin under the firm name of 
Martin & Eussell. This partnership was 
maintained until the 1st of January, 1887, 
when it was dissolved, and since that time 
Mr. Eussell has devoted his attention exclu- 
sively to his profession, as before, but alone 
in business, and has built up a lucrative 
practice. In 1884 he was elected city 
attorne}"^ and held the office for three suc- 
cessive terms. In the fall of 1887 he 

I So 


was elected county attorney on the repub- 
lican and alliance tickets and assumed 
the duties of the office on the 1st of Jan- 
uary, 1SS7. Mr. Russell is an active meni- 
of the Christian Church. 

— -^f^^--^- 

^MN DREW DAVIDSON, is one of the pio- 
J^}i_ neers of Dassel township, where he 
lives on section !■!, and one of its leadincr 
and representative citizens. He is a native 
of Scotland, born in Wigtown Shair, Mai'ch 
28, 1833. Among the heaths and glens of 
his native land he was reared, and there made 
his home until his twenty -first year, and then 
determined to seek a new home in the wilds 
of America. Crossing the tempestuous At- 
lantic, he landed in New York, and for a 
short time made his home in Orleans countv, 
N. Y., but then moved to Morristown, N". J., 
where he went into a hardware store, where 
he was employed for some time, and later 
commenced market gardening or "truck 
farming." In 1856 our subject came west, 
and for ten years followed farming in Col- 
umbia county, Wis., from whence he came 
to Meeker county in 1866. He drove the 
entire distance with an ox team, brineinor 
his family with him, and on his arrival here 
took up as a homestead eighty acres of land 
on section 14. First setting foot in the 
county July 4, 1866, he has been for nearly 
twenty years a constant citizen, except the 
first winter, when he spent that season in 
McLeod county after partially building the 
house upon his place, where he worked to 
keep his family in the necessaries of life. 
During the fii'st few years he did consider- 
able hunting, getting at one time eighty -six 
deer in six weeks, and in taking the venison 
and furs to Minneapolis to market he add- 
ed considerably to his revenue. As game 
became sciirce. he took up teaming with a 
yoke of oxen, and transacted considerable 

business at remunerative figures. Soon his 
farm demanded his sole attention, and by the 
exercise of labor and perseverance, together 
with the thrift and frugality with which his 
race are proverbially endowed, has succeeded 
in placing himself in comfortable circum- 
stances^ and lives surrouinled by most of the 
co7uforts of life. 

Mr. Davidson wiis married before he left 
"the land of heather," December 1, 1849, to- 
Miss Grace McAllister, but left her in Scot- 
land when he came to America in search of 
a home. Two years afterward she emigrated 
to the "land of the free," joining her hus- 
band, in Morristown, in 1856. They are the- 
happy parents of four children — Janet, Peter, 
Margaret and Alexander. Janet is the wife 
of Barney Cox, a resident of Dassel ; Peter, 
who is also married, lives in the town of 
Dassel; the other two still reside at home. 

On the organization of the town in 1867,, 
Mr. D. was elected one of the first justices of 
the peace, and for the past thirteen years 
has been chairman of the town board of 

BAVID B. HOAR. The subject of this, 
biography, a prominent and successful 
farmei' and stock raiser, residing on section 
34, Union Grove townshij), justly beai'S the- 
reputation of being one of the most solid and 
substantial citizens in the northern part of 
the county, and his many yeai-s of residence 
there have caused him to be well known to 
all the old settlers of that region. 

Mr. Hoar was born in New Brunswick, 
Albert county, Canada, on May 8, 1822.. 
His father was originally a tanner, but he 
lost his feet from the eifects of a cold, morti- 
fication setting in, and amputation was 
necessary, and he then learned and worked 
at the tailor's trade for some time, after 
which he was engaged in the mercantile 
business. A few years later he built a vesseL 



which he sailed for three years, and then 
sold out and engaged in farming. He died 
in 1878, and his wife in 1883. 

David B. Hoar, our subject, spent his early 
days in aiding to care for his parents. In 
May, 1857, he came to Minnesota, and ^Yorked 
in a steam saw mill in Wright county until 
tlie spring of 1858, when he came to Meeker 
county, and rented a farm in what is now 
Union Grove township, which he worked 
and raised three crops on. The last year he 
bought the right and improvements on 160 
acres of land on section 3-i, wiiere he win- 
tered. The next summer he worked for 
farmere in Wright county, and the same fall, 
on October 23, 1861, he was married to 
Miss Melissa Bryant, daughter of Ambrose 
and Narcissa Bryant. She was born in Ken- 
ne|3ec county. Me., July 24, 1842, and 
came to Minnesota with her parents in the 
fall of 1855. At the age of nineteen she 
commenced teaching school, and taught one 
term before and one after marriage. She 
was teaching when the outbreak of the In- 
dians occurred. As a full history of this 
matter is given in another department of 
this work, it is unnecessary in this connec- 
tion to repeat it. On the Wednesday fol- 
lowing the massacre at Acton, Mrs. Hoar 
was teaching, when a man came and notified 
her that the Indians were coming. She at 
once sent the children to their homes, and 
she rode home with the mail carrier. Mr. 
Hoar at once started to notify the Good- 
speeds, Mrs. Goodspeed being a sister of 
Mrs. Hoar. They hitched up a yoke of 
oxen and a horse, antl expected to take din- 
ner at Mr. Hoar's, but they did not stop to 
eat it, as the Indians had got sight of him 
and were in hot pursuit. Mr. Hoar cocked 
his gun and backed up to the wagon, wait- 
ing till all were in, and they started, and 
before they were out of sight the Indians 
were plundering the house. The party drove 
to Manannah, where they were joined by 

quite a crowd, and then proceeded to Forest 
City. Mrs. Hoar, Mrs. Learning and two 
children, Mrs. Helen Goodspeed and three 
children, and Miss Florinda J. Bryant, the 
four sisters, went to Monticello. Mr. Hoar 
remained during the summer and was on 
some of the most perilous expeditions, and 
had many narrow escapes. He spent the 
ensuing winter at his father-in-law's, after 
which he spent about three years in his na- 
tive province. In 1866 he returned to Union 
Grove, and this has since been his home. 
He has one of the most desirable farms in 
the township, owning 320 acres, and has 
substantial improvements. All that he pos- 
sesses is the result of his own management 
and industry, and he has accumulated a fine 
property, notwithstanding tlie fact that he 
has passed through enough hardships and 
dangers in early days, and loss of crops in 
later years, to have discouraged and dis- 
heartened the generality of mankind. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hoar are the parents of the 
following children — Adelbert, born Decem- 
ber 12, 1862 ; David Alonzo, born September 
1, 1864; Elisabeth S., born August 11, 1866; 
Wesley J., born September 5, 1868 ; Wino- 
gene, born July 11, 1870 ; Irvine, born Jan- 
uary 15,1872; Forest, born April 26, 1873; 
A. Chesley, born March 23, 1875 ; Phebe A., 
born January 13, 1877 ; Narcissa, born De- 
cember 30, 1878 ; and Ambrose, born Octo- 
ber 24, 1880. Adelbert is mentioned else- 
where in this work. David Alonzo runs a 
stationary engine at BuS'alo, Minn. The 
rest are at home. 


l[£>j) ASMUS NELSON, the junior member 
'JPfV *^f *^^ ^™^ o^ Birch & Nelson, Litch^ 
field, is a native of Denmark, born Febru- 
ary 11, 1844. His father was engaged in 
agricultural pursuits, and our subject was 
reared upon a farm, acquiring such education 
as the schools of his native land afforded 



until ho w;is some fourteen years of age, after 
wliich his tiiue was devoted solely to labor. 
In 1869 he emigrated to the New World and 
upon lauding in this country, came to Minne- 
sota and pui'fhased a farm on section 34, 
Acton township, and upon that tract of land 
made his home for some sixteen years. 
While a resident in that portion of the county 
he was very active in the discharge of his 
duties as a citizen, and was duly honored 
by the people with election to several im- 
portant offices. He served three years as town 
supervisor, four years as county commissioner, 
and in a number of the minor ones, and on 
the school board. 

In 1884 the subject of this sketch pur- 
chased the interest of Andrew Nelson in the 
clothing and gents' furnishing goods firm of 
Birch & Nelson, and has been actively en- 
gaged in mercantile pursuits in this line and 
place ever since. lie is still the owner of 
some 400 acres of excellent farm land in the 
county, most of which is under cultivation. 
His house, which is a handsome one, is sur- 
rounded by a fine grove, and his place con- 
tains a thrifty orchard, and is generally con- 
sidered one of the best farms in the county. 

Mr. Nelson was united in marriage in Den- 
mark, previous to his leaving his native land, 
with Miss Maren Peterson, a native of the 
same countr}'^, who died September 29, 1887. 
They were the parents of eight children — 
Nels P., Charles G., Annie, Carrie M., Gertie 
C, Walter W., Jennie and Arthur E. 



lEMJT^ANS IVERSON resides on section 33, 
JPSL Acton township. The parents of the 
subject of this biogi'aphy were Iver and 
Johanna Anderson, both of whom were 
born in Norway and lived in their native 
land until the time of their deaths. Hans 
Iverson was a native of the same country 
and was born on the 4th of May, 1846. He 
came to the United States in 1869, and 

shortly after his arrival he proceeded to 
Dakota county, Minn., where he was em- 
ployed by various farmers until during the 
year 1873, when lie came to Meeker county 
and bought railroad land on section 33, 
in Acton township, where he still lives. He 
has a good farm of 130 acres of land with 
a good portion of it under cultivation, a 
comfortable house, and other farm buildings, 
and withal is in comfortal)le circumstances. 
This has all been the result of his own in- 
dustry and economj', as he was a poor man 
when he came to this countr}'. He has met 
with some reverses, especially during the 
year that the grasshoppers visited Meeker 
county, but as a whole his farming operations 
have been very successful. 

Mr. Iverson was married in 1869 to Miss 
Ingeborg Pederson. She was born in Nor- 
way', on the 4th of April, 1848, and is a 
daughter of Iver and Martha Pederson. 
Her father died in Norway and her mother 
is now living in Pope county, Minn. Mr. 
and Mrs. Iverson have been the parents of 
the following children — Martin, born March 
14,1870; Man, born December 29, 1873; 
Olof, born July 7, 1875 ; Mina, born Sep- 
tember 10, 1877; Hilda, born January 16, 
1880; and Lydia, born July 23, 1882. 


^^TlMROD BARRICK, a farmer of EUs- 
^y'fji worth townshi[), lives on section 33, 
where he carries on agricultural ]mrsuits, 
and confines his operations to grain and cat- 
tle raising. 

Mr. IJarrick was born in Cediu' county, 
Iowa, September 20, 1851, and is the son of 
Alpheus and Minerva (Porter) Parrick, nat- 
ives of \'irginia and Indiana respectively, 
who came to Meeker count}' in the spring of 
1864, and settled in the town of Cedar Mills, 
where they still live. Mr. and Mrs. Alpheus 
Barrick were the parents of eight children — 
Isaac, Amos, Sarah, Scott, Nimrod, Nellie, 



James and Ethan. Isaac, one of those 
" whose faith and truth on war's red touch- 
stone rang true metal," enlisted in Com- 
pany 11, Third Minnesota Infantry, and after 
nearly three years' service, died from expos- 
ure. Ethan died at the age of two years. 

The subject of our sketch spent a portion 
of his earl}' life in Rice county, Minn., where 
his father followed his trade, blacksmithing, 
until war times, then enlisted in Company A, 
Seventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, serv- 
ing one year. During this time our subject 
attended district school, and in the fall of 
186-i he, with the rest of his people, removed 
to Meeker county, Minn., and settled in Ce- 
dar Mills township, where he remained at 
home, assisting in the work and improving 
the place, until the fall of 1873, when he 
commenced }ife for himself and removed to 
the town of Ellsworth. 

October 9, 1873, Mr. Barrick and Miss 
Julia Kennedy pledged their mutual vows 
at the marriage altar. The bride was a 
daughter of Dr. V. P., and Julia Ann 
(Rudisill) Kenned}', natives of Pennsylvania 
and Indiana respectively, and was herself 
born in Clay county, Ind. A history of her 
parents is given elsewhere in the pages of this 
Album, to which the reader is referred. By 
this union Mr. and Mrs. Barrick have become 
the parents of three children, Poscoe, Vincent 
and Baby, and their home is lightened by 
the merry sound of childhood's laugh and 

In the spring of 1885, Mr. and Mrs. Bar- 
rick moved to Brown county, D. T., but 
becoming dissatisfied there, returned to 
Meeker county in the fall of the same 

Our subject is republican in his principles, 
and affiliates with that organization. In 
local politics he takes considerable interest 
although, in no way a professional politician 
or an office seeker. In 1882 he was honored 

by the citizens of Ellsworth township, by 
having had bestowed upon him the office of 
town supervisor, and for four years filled 
that position. Several minor offices have, 
also, in him found a worthy and trusty 
administrator and he merits and receives the 
respect and esteem of the whole community. 


l&saTFNRY MARTIN, a successful and en- 
JPjL ter])rising farmer residing on section 
9, Cedar Mills township, has been a resident 
of Meeker county, with the exception of one 
year, since 1873. He is a native of Monroe 
county. Wis., and was born October 8, 1855. 

When Henry was seven years of age he 
removed to Kedron, Fillmore county, Minn., 
with a man named Hale, who had adopted 
him. He remained there until 1873, when 
he came to Meeker county, Minn., and located 
in what is now the town of Cosmos. After 
remaining there a year he went to Stevens 
county, Minn., where he also remained a 
year, and then returned to Meeker county. 
After his return he lived in Greenleaf town- 
ship until the spring of 188-1, when he pur- 
chased his present farm on section 9, Cedar 
Mills township. Since that time he has 
resided upon his farm and devoted his time 
to diversified farming and stock raising. He 
has a valuable farm of 160 acres, consider- 
able of which is under cultivation, and is in 
very comfortable circumstances. 

Mr. Martin was married on January 9, 
1878, to Miss Alma Pt. Nevens. She is a 
native of Maine, born November 26, 1861, 
and is a daughter of Daniel and Eveline 
Nevens, who were among the earliest set- 
tlers of Greerdeaf township. Mr. and Mrs. 
Martin are the parents of four children, as 
follows — Luman D., born January 28, 1880; 
Mary E., born May 28, 1882; Sarah A., born 
April 28, 1885 ; and Lettie G., born Septem- 
ber 22, 1887, all of whom are now living. 

1 86 


"OHN HUNTER, SR. The subject of this 
sketch, who is one of the most ])romi- 
iient and respected fannei-s and stock raisers 
in the northern porti(Mi of the county, is a 
resident of section IS, Union Grove township. 
He comes of a race which make the best 
citizens in Minnesota's population, and a race 
which is proverbial for their integrity, in- 
dustry, frugality, and genial and hospitable 
temperament, for it is an old and true saying 
that " no man goes liungry from a Scotch- 
man's door." 

Mr. Hunter was born in the county of 
Barrackshire, Scotland, on the 10th of April, 
1826. His early life was spent in the land 
of his birth, Avhere he received the training 
and education afforded by the facilities of 
those days, and imliibed the principles of 
honesty, industry and economy, which are 
characteristic of the Scotch ))eople. Economy 
and industry were essential in those days to 
make a living, and the wage earnings of that 
day would now be considered a pittance. 
About the year 1849 he came to America 
and settled in Canada, where he remained 
for sixteen years. He then, in 1865, came to 
Meeker county, Minn., and located on section 
18, in what is now Union Grove township, 
where he has since lived. At the time he came 
here there were only three settlers within the 
limits of the township, as all the earlier 
settlers had been driven off by the Indians 
and had not returned as yet. Mr. Hunter 
had a good deal to contend with during those 
early days and had to encounter difficulties 
and disadvantages to which most men would 
have surrendered. When he arrived here 
his earthly possessions consisted of one yoke 
of oxen and a cow, and for two years he had 
very little to eat, living a good share of the 
time on wheat boiled in milk. Flour was 
worth $16 per barrel, and potatoes $1.25 per 
bushel, and at one time he traded a two-year- 
old steer, even, for a 100-weight of flour. 
They were obliged to go to Cold Springs, a 

distance of twenty -five miles, to mdland the 
trip usually took three days. No work 
could be found, and there was no money in 
the country, and at times it looked astliough 
starvation stared them in the face, but during 
all the trials and hardships his courage and 
enterprise never forsook him and it has not 
been unrewarded, as he is now rated as one 
of the most solid and substantial citizens of 
the township in which he lives. He has a 
fine farm of 250 acres and a comfortable 

Mr. Hunter was married on the 1st of 
April, 184:9, to Agnes Brown Lee, and tlieir 
union has been blessed with seven children, 
as follows — Mary, Jane, James (deceased), 
John, Charles, Charlotte, and George 

During the first year that Mr. Hunter and 
his family were liere, they had neither team 
nor cow ; they had to carry their house-logs 
out of the woods — Mr. Hunter carried one 
end and old Mr. Beaumont the other. The 
boys each had to liold forked sticlcs to reach 
to the log so as to help. When they got 
their oxen, thev did all their hauling, sum- 
mer and winter, on a sled. Deer and elk 
would often come into the doorj'ard, while 
bear was by no means an unfrequent visitor. 
On one occasion, they found by the ti-acks, 
that a bear had climbed upon the wood-house 
and from there to the roof of the cabin, 
which was covered with sod. In those days 
they were afraid that some night they might 
come down the fire chimney. Wolves were 
numerous, and in addition to this they were 
constantly on the lookout for Indians. These 
were some of the trials, experiences and 
hardships which the early settlers endured. 

UGH DOWLING, harness maker and 
dealer in horsemen's goods, Litch- 
field, is a native of Bath, Me., born Septem- 



ber 29, 1848, and is the son of Edward and 
Lizzie (Hanlon) Dowling, natives of tlie Em- 
erald Isle, wiio liad settled in Maine sliortly 
before the birth of Hugh. The father of 
our suljject worked at sliip-carpentering until 
1850, in Bath, after which lie came to Minne- 
sota, and remained until 1855 in St. Paul. He 
then, in company with a Mi'. Egan, removed 
to Dakota county, this State, and was one of 
the first settlers in the town of Egan. He 
took up a homestead there, and made it 
his home until 18(56, when he sold out and 
came to Meeker county and bought a farm. 
He died here December 27, 1870. 

Hugh Dowling resided at home on tlie farm 
until he had attained the age of twentj'-five 
years, when he commenced to learn the har- 
ness-making trade. In 1879 he opened a 
shop of liis own, which burned down March 
4, 1885, with a loss of $1,900, only part of 
wliich was covered by insurance. Recover- 
ing himself, our subject soon afterward 
opened his present place of business, where 
he carries in stock all kinds of harness, robes, 
blankets, trunks, et<c. 

Mr. Dowling and Miss Kate E. Dougherty 
were united in marriage January 11, 1880. 
Tlie lady is a daughter of Thomas and Cath- 
erine (Ward) Dougherty, natives of County 
Donegal, Ireland, who were among the very 
earliest settlers in this county, coming here 
in July, 1856. Mrs. Dowling is a native of 
Will county. 111. 

OB B. SHERMAN, a prominent resident 
of Litchfield, is a native of Erie county, 
N. Y., born in 18-40. His parents were Jo- 
seph and Mercy (Willitt) Sherman ; the 
fatlier a native of Massachusetts who had 
settled in Erie county, N". Y., in 1823, and 
the mother a native of New York. They 
remained upon their old homestead in Erie 
county from the time of their settlement un- 
til the time of their deaths. 

Job B. remained with his parents until he 
was twenty-two years of age, when he en- 
listened in Company K, One Hundred and 
Sixteenth New York Infantry, serving two 
years and nine months. During this time 
he was in thirteen elitferent battles, and was 
wounded twice — first at Port Hudson, La., 
by a minie ball entering his left cheek and 
coming out at the back of his neck ; and 
again at Cedar Creek, Va., bj' a spent minie 
ball entering his left cheek. The first wound 
was serious, and unfitted him for duty for 
about six months, seven weeks of which time 
were spent in the hospital. After receiving his 
discharge from the army, Mr. Sherman re- 
turned to Erie county, N. Y., and engaged 
in farming, remaining there until 1885, when 
he settled at Litchfield. With the exception 
of one year spent in Kansas, Litchfield has 
been his home since that time. He followed 
his trade (carpentering) until the spring of 
1887, when he was appointed policeman for 
the village, which position he still holds. 
Mr. Sherman was married on the 25th of 
December, 1865, to Miss Hannah E. Sole, of 
Erie county, N. Y., and they are the parents 
of two children — Grace D., wlio was born 
December 5, 1867 ; and Blanche H., born 
July 29, 1878. Mrs. Sherman is one of the 
most active members of the Woman's Eelief 
Corps, No. 17, and is the present secretary 
of the corps. The family are members of 
the Episcopalian church. Mr. Sherman is a 
member of the Grand Army of the Republic, 
the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and 
also the Odd Fellows. 

,LE HALVERSON NESS is one of the 
most prominent old settlers of Meeker 
county. He was born in Hullingdal, Nor- 
way, October 6, 1824, and is a son of Halver 
Munsonand IngeberNess. His father served 
for thirty-six years in the Norwegian army, 



and Ole H. saw six years' service in the same 
army, with the rank of sergeant. In 1846 
he was married to Margaret Christian, a 
daii£rhter of Christian Knudson, who was 
born in 1821. One week after liis marriage 
Mr. Ness embarked for America with his 
parents, and settled in Rock county, Wis. 
In 1856 he sokl his farm there and came to 
Meeker county, Minn., his family being one 
of the three original families who settled in 
Litchlield township. The party came tlirough 
by " prairie-schooner" conveyance, and were 
charmed with the delightful scenery of Min- 
nesota in June. During the summer the 
family lived in "'camp-lifestyle" on the land 
where Ole H. had taken-up his claim, and in 
the fall he completed one of the first cabins 
erected in the township, and moved into it. 

After experiencing the hardships and tri- 
als incident to pioneer life, he had just begun 
to get a foothold in the M'ilderness, and was 
looking forward to the brighter days of civ- 
ilization, when the outbreak of the Sioux 
Indians came. Bred in the school of the 
intrepid Norwegian soldiery, Mr. Ness did 
not for a moment quail or hesitate before the 
onslaught of the savage redskins, but sprang 
to the defense of his home and fireside. On 
the night of the shedding of the first blood, 
a few miles from his own door, he was one 
of the few who dared to go to the scene of 
the slaughter in the darkness, and who, after 
finding the bodies of the five slain pei-sons, 
stood faithful watch until they were bm'ied. 
Then O. H. Ness went home, and, although 
the whole populace seemed to be on wheels 
to get out of the way of the savages, he 
remained at home with his family until Sat- 
urda\- following the massacre at Acton, when 
he took them to Forest City. His horses 
being pressed into service, he spent a few 
days at Kingston and then returned to For- 
est City, and superintended the building of 
fortifications there. His family occupied 
apartments over the postoffice at the time of 

the Indian attack, and he first discovered it 
while going out to change the guard, and 
had just time to arouse the people and get 
them into the fortress. After remaining at 
Forest City until the latter part of Decem- 
ber, 1862, Mr. Ness removed his family to 
the farm and kept them there during the 
entire winter — the only case of the kind in 
the whole county. The Indians destroyed 
fully $2,000 worth of pro}ierty for him. 

Mr. Ness' first mari'iage was blessed with 
eleven children, whose names are as follows 
— Sarah, Halver O., Christian, Margaret, Mar- 
tin O., Lina, Caroline and Karl. Margaret 
is married to Abt Mattson, Lina to Paul P. 
Olson, and Caroline to George Beach. The 
first wife died in August. 1877. 

Mr. Ness has retired from all active par- 
ticipation in business affairs, and is now 
pleasantly passing the evening of his life 
with his second wife. All his children have 
grown up about him, and are comfortably 
settled in life. 


i^NE of the most intelligent and enter- 
prising farmers in the southern part of 
the county is L. M. Johnson, a resident of sec- 
tion 22, Greenleaf township. He is a native 
of Sweden, and was born on February 25, 
1844. His parents were also natives of 
Sweden, where they are still living, his father 
following the vocation of a farmer. 

L. M. Johnson, the subject of our sketch, 
was reared in early life on a farm, but later, 
while still in the old country, was employed 
at the milling business, and at the carpen- 
ter's trade. In 1867, he left the land of his 
birth and came to the United States, and 
after spending some three weeks in Chicago, 
he went to Marquette county, Mich., where 
he worked at the carpenter's trade. On May 
8, 1869, he came to Meeker countj^ Minn., 
and settled upon a farm on section 17, in 



Greenleaf township. In 1871 he entered a 
homestead of forty acres, where he now 
lives, on section 22, and moved onto it dur- 
ing the same season. He now has a splenditl 
farm of 180 acres, a large portion of which 
is under cultivation, and his buildings, which 
are among the best in the township, reflect 
great credit upon his enterprise and good 
management. He has a large amount of 
stock and carries on diversified farming, 
together with stock raising. He has taken 
an active interest in public matters. 

Mr. Johnson was married on July 4, 1867, 
to Sarah C. Olson. Her parents were born 
in Sweden, where her father died, and her 
mother is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson 
have been blessed with the following chil- 
dren — Johanna T., born June 24, 1869 ; 
Esther E., born October 6, 1870 ; Mary S., 
born July 11, 1873 ; John W., born October 
8, 1874 ; Ida N., born August 9, 1876 ; Euth 
J., born May 16, 1878 ; Joshua E., born 
August 24, 1881 ; and a pair of twins that 
died at the time of their birth, August 28, 
1868. The family are members of the Church 
of God. Mr. Johnson has five brothers and 
two sisters living in this country. 

^Jf^lNCENT COOMBS. The subject of 
\^l this sketcli, a successful farmer and 
stock raiser, residing on section 11, Cedar 
Mills township, is one of the oldest settlers 
in the southern portion of the county. He 
is a native of Indiana, and was born on April 
30, 1841. 

He arrived in Meeker county, ilinn., on 
the 7th of July, 1857, with his parents, Mil- 
ton and Elizabeth Coombs, he being at the 
time only sixteen years of age. The father, 
Milton Coombs, took a claim in the town of 
Ellsworth, but only remained on it a few 
days ; not being satisfied with the location, 
packed up his goods, preparatory to starting 
for Iowa. Upon arriving at Cedar City he 

was persuaded to take a claim in Cedar Mills 
township, and he accordingly selected 160 
acres of land on section 2. For some time 
they lived at Cedar City, working the farm 
in the meantime, however, and in 1859 they 
moved to the place. When the Indian out- 
break occurred, tliey with others went to the 
"Point" in Cedar Lake, where they built 
fortifications, and later went to Hutchinson. 
In the spring of 1863, they, with George 
Nichols and family, returned to Cedar Mills 
— they being the first to return. 

The family of Milton Coombs remained in 
Cedar Mills townsliip until 1865, when they 
moved to the town of Greenleaf. 

In the fall of 1869 the family moved to 
Delano and later to Minneajwlis, and thence 
to Hinckley, where they now reside. 

In the fall of 1862, Vincent Coombs en- 
listed in Captain Herriiigton's three months 
State Militia, and served during his term of 
enlistment. In the following spring he en- 
listed as a scout under General Sibley, and 
served with the Sibley expedition thi'ough 
the West. He was one of the scouts who 
picked up the son of Little Crow to the south 
of Devil's Lake. Mr. Coombs was in the In- 
dian country during most of the time while 
the trouble lasted. He was one of the four 
men who went into the timber to look after 
Caleb Sanborn, and found his body where 
the Indians had killed him, near his own 
house. He was also one of the party that 
went from Hutchinson to recover the body 
of Daniel Cross, who was killed by the Indi- 
ans north of Cedar Lake. 

In the fall of 1864 Vincent Coombs sold 
the farm in Cedar Mills and took a home- 
stead in Greenleaf township. In the spring 
of 1869 he was married to Miss Lydia A. 
Abbott, of Forest Prairie. Mrs. Coombs died 
on the 18th of November, 1878, leaving her 
husband five small children to care for, her 
last request being that her childi-en be kept 
together, and it has been faithfully fulfilled. 

I go 


Mr. Coombs was again married in the 
spring of 1SS3, when Sarah J. Jordan, of 
Cedar Mdls, became his wife. Our subject 
resided ill tlie town of Greenleaf until the 
spring of 18S7, when he sokl his phice and 
purchased the Pitman farm, of a fraction over 
332 acres, located on sections 2 and 11, Cedar 
Mills township. While in Greenleaf, Mr. 
Coombs held many offices of a local nature, 
and took an active and prominent part in 
politics, township matters and educational 
affairs. He is a meinber of the Masonic 
order, having joined Golden Fleece lodge, 
No. 80, A. F. & A. M., in 1872, and Eabboni 
chapter. No. 37, Eoyal Arch, in 1887. "When 
the Grange movement s'tarted he was one of 
the leading members in the oi'ganization and 
was master of the Greenleaf lodge. 

Mr. Coombs has now one of the best farms 
in the town of Cedar Mills, he and his wife 
together owning 412 acres of the finest 
land in this region. Mr. Coombs has good 
substantial buildings and a nice artificial 
grove, set out by Rev. J. M. Pitman about 
twenty years ago. In conversation with Mr. 
Coombs, he said : " I am my mother's best 
boy — being the only boy in ten children." 

^^ P. PETERSON, attorney at law, of 
\^i Litchfield, came to Meeker county in 
May, 1S67, with his parents, Olof and Hedda 
F. Peterson. E. P. Peterson was born in 
Goodhue county, Minn., in June, 1855, and 
was therefore twelve years of age when he 
came here. His father took a homestead in 
Harvey township and remained until 1883, 
when he removed to Nicollet countj'^, and 
later to Des Moines, Iowa, where he still lives. 
E. P. Peterson remained at home attending 
school, and also spent one year in the State 
University, and when he had arrived at the 
age of nineteen he began teaching school, 

and followed tliat profession for three years. 
Then, m company with his brother H. I., 
he bought the Litchfield IndepeiuJent. In 
1880, selling his interest in the paper to his 
brother, he began the study of law with 
Campbell & Spooner, of Litchfield, and 
about two years later was admitted to the 
bar. Since that time he has devoted his time 
exclusively to his profession, and has been 
very successful. 

^P^HOMAS F. PRICE, a prominent old 
XiL- settler of Meeker county, residing on 
section IS, Harvey township, is a native of 
Gilmanton, N. H., and was born on the 18th 
of August, 1838. His puivnts were Thomas 
and Ann E. Price. The father was born in 
Gilmanton, N. H., and remained there until 
the time of his death, February 14, 1849. 
The mother was a native of Med way, Mass., 
born August 26, 1809. She came West with 
her family in the fall of 1856, and for six 
months remained at Minneapolis, after which 
she settled at Kingston, in Meeker county, 
and made her home in this county, after- 
ward, however, removing to Harvey township, 
until the time of her death Januaiw 10, 1877. 
She was formerly Ann E. Purlen from Med- 
way, Mass., and w;is united in marriage to 
Thomas Price, of Gilmanton, N. II., October 
30,1836. After coming West she endured 
many hardships and privations, especially 
during the outbreak of the Indians in 1862, 
but still maintained great fortitude and 
courage through all — alwavs cheerful and 
looking on the bright side, until the last, and, 
at sixty-seven years, passed away, after suf- 
fering acutely for over one 3' ear. She was 
a member of the Congregational church, 
with her husband, ller remains were buried 
at Manannah cemetery. There were five 
children in her family, four of whom — E. A., 
of Big Stone county, Minn., Thomas F., 
Harriet M., and Augusta A. — are still living. 



One member of the family, a son, Wilmot 
Austin Price, died in Harvey, October 9, 1870, 
and was buried in the Manannah cemetery. 

Thomas F. Price, the subject of om- present 
sketch, spent most of his early life in his 
native town. He received the education 
afforded by the facilities of those days, and 
at an early age he learned the carpenter's 
trade, which he worked at more or less at 
Boston and other places. In 1856 he came 
West with his mother's family to Minneapo- 
lis, and six months later to Kingston. They 
were living there when tiie Indian outbreak 
occurred. The^^ remained at Kingston dur- 
ing all of the trouble with the redskins, al- 
though nearly all of the settlers throughout 
the county went away for safety. In 1863 
they removed to Harvey township, where 
Thomas F. has since lived. He has devoted 
his time to general farming and stock raising 
and owns a valuable farm. 

In religious matters Mr. Price attends the 
Congregational church, and in his political 
views he affiliates with the republican party. 
He has taken considerable interest in town- 
ship affairs, and has served more or less as 
justice of peace during the last few years. 
Mr. Price is a man of the strictest integrity, 
and is justly regarded as one of the leading 
citizens of the township in which he lives. 


UNDER H. SUNDAHL is one of the 
eading farmers in the southeastern 
portion of Acton township. He is a son of 
Halver and Mary Sundahl, and was born in 
JSTorway, on the 28th of July, 18-16. He re- 
mained in his native land until 1870, when 
he came to the United States, and first 
stopped in Iowa, where he worked at rail- 
road work for three years. In 1873 he came 
to Litchfield, and for two years was em])lo}'ed 
by various farmers in the neighborhood, 
after which for two years he ran a ditching 

machine. He then purchased a farm of 152 
acres on section 25, Acton township, where 
he has since lived, devoting his time to diversi- 
fied farming and stock raising. He has been 
very successful, and now has a good lot of 
stock gathered about him. His farm is in a 
good location and he has a considerable por- 
tion of it under cultivation. 

Mr. Sundahl was married in 1878 to Miss 
Christina Olson, who was born on the 12th 
of July, 1856. She was a daughter of An- 
drew Olson, who was killed by the Indians 
in September, 1862, a short distance from 
where Mr. Sundahl now lives. A full account 
of this matter is given elsewhere. Mr. and 
Mrs. Sundahl have had the following chil- 
dren born to them : Halver. born December 
31, 1878 ; Andrew, born August 28, 1880 ; 
Matilda, born March 29, 1881 ; and Lura, 
born March 18, 1884. Mr. Sundahl takes an 
active interest in all matters pertaining to the 
welfare of his to\vnship, and is one of its 
leading citizens. He is a republican in polit- 
ical matters. 

J^^ RELIABLE and enterprising citizen of 
J^>^ of Ellsworth township is N. D. Mer- 
rill, livmg on section 32, where he is engaged 
in carrying on general farming and stock 
raising. He first came to Minnnesota in 
1855, and after a year spent in Minneapohs, 
settled in Buffalo, Wright county, where he 
made his home until the breaking out of the 
Civil War, when, imbued with the patriotism 
of an American citizen, Mr. Merrill enlisted 
in the Second Minnesota Battery, under the 
command of Captain Hotchkiss, on January 
1, 1862, and on the 21st of April following, 
moved forward to the seat of war. The 
company was engaged for the first time at 
the capture of Corinth, and from that time 
on made a creditable record for itself in the 
conflicts of Perryville, Knob Gap, Stone 
River, Chattanooga, Mission Kidge and 



others. When the war closed they were on 
detached duty in East Tennessee, where they 
were mustered out. His term of service 
over, Mr. Merrill returned to Minnesota, 
where he remained until 1867, when he re- 
moved to Montana, where he was engaged 
in mining for three years, returning to 
Wright county, this State, from whence he 
came to Meeker county, in 1870, and here 
has made his home ever since. He is a 
native of Maine, born in Dover, Decem- 
ber 29, 1834, and is the son of True and 
Sally C. Merrill, both natives of Maine, the 
father having been born September 7, 1806, 
and the mother, Jul}' 25, 1805. 

True and Sally C. Merrill were married 
October 11, 1827, and were the parents of 
the following children : E. W., born March 
19, 1829 ; S. T., born May 25, 1831 ; Betsy 
A., born February 14, 1833; N. D., the sub- 
ject of this sketch ; Julia A., born February 
2, 1837 ; Sarah E., born July 26, 1839 ; 
Charles L., born May 19, 1842, and Marinda 
A., born July 3, 1844. 

N. D. Merrill, our subject, was married on 
July 21, 1870, to Mrs. Ireland, widow of 
Wesley Ireland. She was a native of Pen- 
obscot county. Me.; was married in 1860 
to Mr. Ireland, who afterward died. She 
came to Minnesota in 1864 with her one 
child, Ellen M., and lived a widow until her 
marriage with Mr. Merrill. Her daughter, 
Ellen M. Ireland, was born November 1, 
1861, and is now Mrs. A. G. Hoot, of 

>ALEB HULL, a prosperous and enlight- 
^ ened farmer of Dassel township, hav- 
ing his home on section 10, is a native of 
Herkimer county, N. Y., born in the town of 
Russia, September 26, 1824, and is the son 
of Benjamin and Betsey (Clapper) Hull, 
natives of lihode Island and New York, 
respectively. Benjamin Hull removed to 

Dodge county. Wis., in 1851, where he died 
in 1861 ; his wife some years later came to 
Meeker countv, and died at Forest City in 

The subject whose name heads this per- 
sonal sketch, commenced at the age of thir- 
teen years to learn the shoemaker's trade, and 
after devoting three years to it, went to St. 
Lawrence county, N. Y., whither his 
parents had removed, where he made his 
home for three years. Coming West, he 
spent the same period of time in Jefferson 
county. Wis., and then was engaged in the 
pineries of that State for six years. On his 
return, he built a house at Hustisford, Dodge 
county, Wis., but from there went to the 
Michigan pineries, where he spent some three 
years more, and then came back to Dodge 
county, where, December 1, 1855, he was 
united in marriage with Miss Eunice Frost. 
The next year of his life was passed in 
Watertown, AVis., after which he removed 
to Freeborn county, Minn., and purchased 
160 acres of land on section 6, town of Free- 
man, where he settled. While there, he fol- 
lowed hunting and trapping to a great ex- 
tent, and found it highly remunerative ; so 
much so as to enable him to provide his 
family with many comforts that the other 
new settlers could not reach. While thus 
engaged, came the news of the Indian out- 
break of 1862, and most of his neighbors 
fled panic stricken, but he would not go. 
One day, while returning from his work in 
Iowa, he met a numljer of his neighbors who 
advised him not to go home, saying, with 
their selfish instincts ujtpermost, that by the 
time he got there, his family would be mur- 
dered and his home in flames, as the Indians 
were close behind ; but, nol^ly responding to 
his duty, which called liim to the ilefense of 
his family, he went on and found all peace- 
ful at home, and the danger mucli magnified 
by their fears and abject tenor. He re- 
mained in Freeborn county some nine years 



and then sold out and came to Meeker 
county, arriving here July 7, 18G7. He 
took up a homestead on section 10, where he 
now lives, but lived in Darwin until the 
spring of 1868, and then moved into a log 
cabin, where the family lived until he could 
get a house built, which stood where his 
present cottage now stands. This latter was 
erected in 1879, at a cost of $1,000, and is 
handsome, neat and commodious, and he has 
a fine farm of 120 acres of excellent land. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hull have had a family of 
six children, four of whom still survive — 
Augustus, living in Dakota, Ida E., Mrs. 
Charles Penny, of Dassel; Lillie B., and 
Mark W., at home. Mr. Hull has served in 
several official positions, chief among which 
was that of chairman of the town board of 

MELS CLEMENTS, of Litchfield, is the 
son of Nels and Betsy Clements, and 
Avas born in Meeker county May 14, 1860. 
His parents, natives of Sweden, came to 
Meeker county in 1857, and on the 20th of 
August settled in the town of Litchfield on 
a farm, where they lived until the death of 
the father, in 1870. During the time of the 
Indian outbreak Nels Clements removed for 
safety to Forest City, and manfully did his 
part toward the building of the stockade and 
its defense. Having been on friendly terms 
with the Indians, they did not destroy his 
house, but stole all the provisions and stock 
that were left on the place. 

Nels remained at home upon the paternal 
farm until he was of aye, on attaininu- which 
he went to Minneapolis, but returned during 
the following winter. The season of 1SS2 
he spent in Montana, but, returning to this 
county in 1883, he located in Grove City, 
and went into the farm-machinery ])usiness. 
In 1881 he came to Litchfield and tended 
bar for S. A. Scarp, but in October, 1886, 

opened the saloon he now lams. He was 
married April 30, 1886, to Miss Kate Men- 
ten, a native of Meeker count}^, Minn., and 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Men- 
ten, natives of Germany. By this union 
there has been born one child — Mary, whose 
birth took place May 9, 1887. 

5^ ELS AKESON is one of the prominent 
y''^ and well-to-do citizens of Swede 
Grove township. Mr. Akeson is a son of 
Ake and Hannah Anderson, and was born 
in Sweden on the 9th of May, 1841. He 
came to the United States in 1868, and first 
settled at Stillwater, Minn., where he lived 
for about seven years, being employed part 
of the time in a saw mill, again at railroading 
and various other means of securing a living. 
In 1875 he came to Swede Grove township, 
and bought a farm on section 35, where he 
has since remained, carrying on general farm- 
ing and stociv raising. He has a comfortable 
home, having a neat frame house and a very 
fine barn 30x44 feet in size, and has gathered 
about him considerable stock. When he 
came to the United States he had only fifty 
cents in his pocket, but by industry and good 
management he has placed himself in com- 
fortable circumstances, and to-day is one of 
the substantial farmers of his township. 
Mr. Akeson married Anna, a daughter of 
Ole and Carrie Anderson. She was born 
January 17, 1851. They have had the fol- 
lowing children : Hilma, born July 18, 1875; 
Hattie, born February 23, 1877 ; Carrie, born 
February 10, 1879 ; Ake, born April 24, 1881 ; 
Ella, born September 13, 1883; and Olof, 
born August 9, 1887. The family are mem- 
bers of the Swedish Lutheran church. Mr. 
Akeson has taken a prominent and active 
part in all public matters, and has held the 
ottice of township clerk since 1882. He is a 
republican in political faith. 



JMLON. JOHN S. SHIELDS, the present 
\j -X^ state senator from Meeker county, is 
a resident of Darwin townsliip, living upon 
his fine and extensive farm on section 34. 
He is a native of Ottawa, Canada, born 
November 8, 1830, and is of Irish ancestry, 
at least ujwn liis father's side. He was 
reai-ed and educated in the Dominion of his 
birth until is.",;), when he came to the 
United States, and from June until the 
following fall remained mostly in the city of 
Minneapohs. During this time he came to 
Meeker county, and prospected, spending 
July 4, 1859, here, and the following August 
came here and made a settlement at Forest 
City, where he resided until that winter, when 
he located wliere he now lives. I'revious to 
leaving his liome, on the 24th of May, 1859, 
he was united in marriage with Miss Margaret 
Kenney, and with his young wife came 
through the Big Woods to the new settle- 
ment. Mr. Shields furnished the labor 
toward making the first United States flag 
ever floated in Meeker county, J. B. Atkin- 
son furnishing the cloth and Thomas Gray- 
son the paint. He was appointed in 1860, 
by the State, to cut a road thrnugh the Biff 
Woods, and did so about this time, and 
through it hauled the merchandise for a 
merciiant at Forest City, which was the first 
load brought that way. Mr. Shields remained 
upon his farm until the sad times of the fall 
of 1862, but on the terrible Sabbath of the 
17th of August, he heard the news of the 
Indian outbreak and went to Forest City to 
investigate. He returned and warned all 
witliin his reach. He took part in the 
inquest, and all the subsequent movements 
of the settlers as detailed elsewhere. He 
sent his wife and children to Clearwater, but 
he remained in Forest City and took part in 
all the marclies, engagements, etc., of the 
Home Guards, although not mustered into 
the company. When the attack was made 
by the Indians on Forest Citv, Jir. Shields 

was sleeping in the barn with the sixty 
horses of the Home Guards, and on the com- 
mencement of the tiring untied his two 
horses and endeavored to get to the stockade, 
but one horse was shot, and with the other 
he got away. This was the only horse 
saved out of the lot. Many more incidents 
of his bravery could be given did not space 
forbid, but it is enough to say that lie did 
his duty manfully. 

He afterward went to Minneajiolis, where 
he remained until 1865, but in the fall of that 
year returned to this county and to his farm 
where he now lives. He has occupied several 
responsible positions since coming here, in- 
cluding that of chairman of the town board, 
assessor, town clerk, and justice of the peace, 
and was elected to represent the county in 
the State Senate in 1886, on the Farmers* 
Alliance ticket, of which organization he is 
the present president. He is the father of 
the following six children : Isabella, born 
April 15, 1860, and died October 29, 1879; 
EUen J., born December 19, 1864; William 
A., born August 20, 1868 ; Maggie E., born 
April 2, 1870 ; and Charles A., born October 
2, 1872. On the 11th of December, 1874, 
the death angel invaded this little family 
circle and drew from their affectionate em- 
brace the beloved wife and mother, leaving 
only her memory in their inner hearts, wliere 
it is forever enshrined. Mr. Shields is an 
attendant upon the services of tlw Episcopal 
chui'ch, and an upright, honorable gentle- 

In the fall of 1886, as above mentioned, 
Mr. Shields was elected to represent his 
district in the State Senate, took his seat at 
the opening of the Twenty fifth Legislature, 
and holds that office at the present writing. 
In the last session lie was among the most 
active and influential members of that body, 
and ably represented liis constituents in a ses- 
sion which was among the most important 
held in the historv of the State. His influence 



and ability were recognized in the formation 
of the senate committees, and none more 
zealously favored and aided anti-monopoly 
legislation. He has been identified with 


Minnesota matters for more than a quarter 
of a century and is well informed as to its 
history. An able parliamentarian, a clear- 
headed and careful business man, lie has ac- 
cumulated a comfortable fortune. 

lllyHE PRESENT register of deeds of 
\j Meeker county, N. A. Vieen, came to 
this section of the State in 1858, and in April 
of that \'ear passed through to tiie extreme 
frontier of those days, and located in Kan- 
diyohi county. He remained there until the 
,21st of August, 1862, when the dreadful 
massacre of the defenseless settlers by the 
red wards of our government struck terror 
into the hearts of all upon the borders, for 
their loved ones were in imminent danger. 
Mr. Viren joined the tide of fugitives for 
safety, and finally, after considerable travel, 
reached Forest Cit}' with his family. He 
took the latter on to Clearwater, where he 
left them, and returned to assist those who 
were less fortunate and to help make a stand 
against the diabolical I'ed fiends, who, reek- 
ing with the blood of the innocents, thirsted 
for more lives to take. He did not join the 
home guai'ds, but was active in many of the 
volunteer expeditions that went out to look 
up stock, etc., and was in Kandiyohi at the 
time of the attack on Forest City. After 
performing his part in the operations of that 
fall Mr. Viren removed to St. Paul, where 
he made his home until 180!*, when he again 
tur-ed westward, and located in Litchfield, 
where lie opened a wagon shop, wliicii busi- 
ness he continued in until assuming the du- 
ties of register of deeds, in January, 1871, to 
which he had been elected tiie previous fall. 
He remained in this oSice, being reelected 

his own successor, until January, 1879. He 
during the next few years filled the positions 
of justice of the peace and town clerk, but 
at the regular election of November 4, 1884, 
the people of the county manifested a wish 
for him to resume the office of register of 
deeds, and he accordingly entered upon its 
well-known duties in January, 1885, where 
he has remained ever since. 

Mr. Viren is a member of the Masonic fra- 
ternity, a charter member of Golden Fleece 
lodge, iSTo. 89, and also connected with the 
A. O. U. W. 

V. BROWN, the efficient 
station and express agent at Eden 
Valley came to tiiat village November 15, 
1886, to take charge of tlie Minneapolis & 
Pacific Railroad Company's business, and 
has remained tiiere in that position ever 
since. He became the agent for the Amer- 
ican Express Company in the fall of 1886, 

Mr. Brown was born in the beautiful city 
of Watertown, Jeff'erson county. Wis., 
January 8, 1858, and is the son of Peter V. 
and Elizabeth (Johnson) Brown, both of 
whom were natives of New York. The 
father of our subject was one of the early 
settlers and pioneer merchants of Water- 
town, and is one of the stockholders of the 
Wisconsin National Bank of that ]ilace, 
where he still resides. 

The subject of our sketch received his 
education in the excellent schools of his 
native city, and at the age of fifteen entered 
the office of tlie Northwestern Telegraph 
Company at that place, as manager, where 
he remained four years. He was then trans- 
ferred to Eau Claire, Wis., but a short time 
after came to St. Paul and entered the office 
of the train despatcher of the St. Paul & 
Sioux City Railroad Company, where he 
remained about one year. In May, 1878, 



he became station agent at Darwin, Meeker 
county, in the employ of the St. Paul, Minne- 
apolis & Manitoba Railroad Company, and 
remained at that post four years. 

The next two years he charge of the 
station at Willmar, but in 188-4 went to West- 
ern Montana, as traveling auditor of the 
iNorthern Pacific Railroad, which position he 
held for two years, and then accepted his 
present place. His upright dealing and 
straightforward, gentlemanly demeanor has 
won him hosts of friends, and his future looks 

OHN LINDGREN, who has charge of 
the Farmer's and JMerchant's Co-operat- 
ive Elevator at Litchfield, is a native of 
Sweden, born in 1854. He was brought to 
America when still less than four years of 
age by his step-father, his father having died 
when John was an infant. 

Mr. Lindgren lived with his step-father, T. 
G. Cornelius, until he was thirteen years of 
age, when he began life for himself, working 
on a farm in Meeker county. In the spring 
of ISSO he went to llallock, Kittson county, 
Minn., where he had charge of a large farm 
for four years, after which he returned to 
Litchfield, where he has since been connected 
with the grain trade. Mr. Lindgren was 
married in 1876 to Miss Matilda Olson, of 
Stevens county. They have four living 
children — Annie M., George J., Bertha E., 
and an infant. 



gf^RED SWANSON. The subject of this 
Ijiography, a jirominent and respected 
fanner, residing on section 2, Greenleaf 
towruship, is a native of Sweden, born Maj' 
5, 1S46. He remained in his native land 
until twenty-one years of age, when he came 
to the United States and settled in ]\Iar- 
quette count\% Mich. For six years he was 

employed in the iron mines in that county, 
and then came to Meeker county, Minn., and 
purchased a farm on section 2, in Greenleaf 
township. By good management, industry 
and economy he has been very successful in his 
farming operations, notwithstanding the fact 
that he has met with the partial loss of crops 
in various j'ears, and is to day in comfort- 
able circumstances and justly rated as one of 
the substantial and "solid " citizens of his 
townshi]). He has an excellent farm of 213 
acres, about half of which is under cultiva- 
tion, and has it well stocked. The place is 
a valuable one, and is located in the best 
farming district in Meeker county. 

Mr. Swanson was married in 1809 to Miss 
Mary L. Walstrom. She was a native of 
Sweden, and had settled in Marquette county, 
Mich., in 1869, being twenty-three years old 
at that time. Her father died when she was 
yet a child, and her mother remained in Swe- 
den until 1882, when she came to live with 
her daughter in Greenleaf. Mr. and Mrs. 
Swanson have been the parents of seven chil- 
dren, six of wliom are still living. Their 
names are as follows — Clara J., born March 
29, 1870; Carl J., ])orn September 27, 1873; 
Hebna M. (deceased), born October 14, 1875, 
died December 24, 1886 ; Ida E., born Sep- 
tember 6, 1878; Esther M., born April 1, 
1881 ; Hulda E., born June 1, 1885 ; and Sig- 
frid E., born December 4, 1886. 

M DELBERT B. HOAR, a thrifty and 
J^-S^ enterprising young farmer residing 
on section 32, Union Grove township, is the 
eldest son of David B. and Melissa (Bryant) 
Hoar, and was born in Wright county, Minn., 
on the 12th of December, 1862. A full 
sketch of his parents will be found in another 
department of this work, as they were among 
the most jM'oininent early settlers in the north- 
Avestern part of the county. 



The subject of our present sketch com- 
menced hfe for himself when about twenty- 
one years of age, but remained at home for a 
year or so after that time. He received the 
education afforded by the pubhc schools, and 
supplemented this by attending the Litch- 
field schools for some time. On the 4th of 
May, 1887, he was married to Miss Emma A. 
Caswell, a daughter of Nathan W., and 
Margaret (Robinson) Caswell. She was born 
at Brompton, Province of Quebec, Can., 
March 9, 1865. 

Mr. Hoar purchased eighty acres of land on 
section 32, Union Grove township, in 1885, 
and that forms liis present place. He has a 
comfortable residence, and substantial farm 
buildings and is getting in good shape for 
carrying on his farming and stock raising 
operations. In addition to this he owns a 
half interest in an improvetl steam thresher, 
and during the proper season devotes his 
attention to that business. 

MOS NELSON FOSEN, ex-county 
^)^ treasurer of Meeker county, and now 
a prominent farmer residing on section 31, 
Litchfield township, is a native of Norway, 
born on the 26th of September, 1837, and a 
son of Nels and Malline (Ilovelsen) Gunder- 
son. His father died in Norway in 1886 at 
the age of eighty-two years, and the mother 
is still a resident of his native land. In 1855 
Amos sailed for the [Jnited States, and after 
spending one year in Wisconsin, he came to 
Meeker county, Minn., becoming one of the 
six original settlers of Litchfield township. 
He first took up a timber claim on section 
25, in Acton township, but afterward 
settled on section 30, in Litchfield township, 
and retained property there until 1887, when 
he sold that and rented the Crowe farm on 
section 31, where he now^ lives. In 1861 he 
went to Fort Snelling to enlist for service in 

the army, but before being sworn in he re- 
ceived a commission as a recruiting officer 
and started for home to raise men. He had 
to walk the entire distance and sleep out of 
doors at night, thereby contracting rheum- 
atism, which unfitted him for service, and 
from which he has never fully I'ecovered. At 
the time of the Indian outbreak in 1862 his 
farm was tenanted by Burger Anderson, and 
he onl}' spent a portion of the time there. 
He was employed as a farm hand by Jones, 
and narrowly escajjed being one of the party 
that was murdered f»n that fatal Sunday — 
August 17, 1862. 

After the excitement attendant on the 
Indian troubles had somewhat subsided he 
returned to his farm. He was married, in. 
1869, to Eacliel Hanson, a daughter of Chris- 
topher Hanson. They have had eight 
children, one of Avhich died in infancy, and 
the rest are all living at home, as follows 
— Nels A., Mathilda Caroline, Laura Marie, 
Kagna Amelia, Agnes Eosilia, Hjalmar 
Arthur and Gunda Mabel. The family are 
active members of the Ness Norwegian Luth- 
eran church. Mr. Fosen has always taken a 
commendable interest in all public matters 
and has held a great many local offices, be- 
sides which he held the office of county 
treasui'er for three successive terms. 

WILLIAM H. JOHNS, of the firm of 
Johns Brothers, dealers in hard- 
ware, at Litchfield, and one of the most promi- 
nent business men in Meeker count}', is a native 
of Louisa, Lawrence county, Ky., the date of 
his birth being July 23, 1855. His parents 
w^ere Daniel N. and Annie [Atkins] Johns. 
In 1864 the family removed to McLeod county, 
Minn., and purchased a farm upon which they 
lived for a number of years, but they are now 
residents of Glencoe, in the same county. 
William H. remained with his parents until 


twenty-one years of age, during which time 
he received the advantages of a common- 
school education in the district scliools, anil 
also attended tlie higher gi'aded scliools at 
Howard Lake and Hutchinson. Upon ai-riv- 
ino- at his majority he began life for himself, 
and for four or five years was engaged at 
teaching school and working on a farm. He 
then went to Groton, Dak., and in com^iany 
with his brother, D. B. Johns, opened a hard- 
Avare store under the firm name of Johns 
Brothers. They remained in trade at that 
place for about six years, when they sold out 
and opened their present business at Litch- 
field. Mr. Johns is a member of tlie Masonic 
fraternity, having joined Groton lodge No. 
G5, in 1SS6; and is also a member of an Odd 
Fellow's lodge at the same place. 

/^ ZRA B. COMSTOCK. Among the 
\^^ well known ]ioi)ular educators and 
school teachers of Meeker county, there is, 
perhaps, no better representative than Mr. 
Comstock, a resident of Ellsworth township, 
living in the village of Greenleaf. lie is a 
native of Canada, having first seen the light 
October 8, 1838, in Brown county, in the 
province of Quebec, and is the son of Anson 
and Hannah (Constadt) Comstock, both of 
whom have passed to their reward in the 
land beyond the river of death. 

Our subject received the benefits of a 
primary education in the district schools of 
his native count}', and knowing the advan- 
tages to be derived from it, for two years 
was a student at I'rowne College, from which 
he was graduated in 1858. His studies for a 
time were in the direction of civil engineering 
but meeting with an accident to one of his 
limlis, whicli disqualified from the labors 
incident upon that profession, he gave it up 
and turned his attention to "teaching 
the vounff idea how to slioot." He com- 

menced his life's labors as pedagogue in his 
native land. He came to the State of Min- 
nesota in 18G9, and for some four years 
presided over the studies of a large school. 
From there he came to Meeker count}', 
locating, for the nonce in Cedar Mills town- 
shi]), where he remained, following his pro- 
fession, for some four years, and then 
removed to his present residence, in Green- 

May 21, 1861, Mr. Comstock was united in 
marriage with Miss Eliza Cook, a native also 
of the Dominion of Canada, with whom he 
had been to school in his youth. Her par- 
ents, both of whom were born in tlie same 
section of country, are both dead, the mother 
dying when Mrs. Comstock was but a child, 
and the father in June, 1SG7. By this union 
Mr. and Mrs. Comstock have one child — 
Myrtie M., who was born in Meeker county, 
this State, May 12, 1875. 

In his political views, Mr. Comstock coin- 
cides with the republican party, although 
not blindly partisan. His judgment and 
own intelligence are what he mostly depends 
upon. He has held many of the more im- 
portant township offices since coming here, 
and always with honor. He has been a 
constant resident since 187,3, except that 
during the year 1870 when he was teaching 
in St. Paul, he has taken a deep interest in 
the advancement of educational matters, and 
to him is due a share of the jmjgress made 
in this direction by Ellsworth township. 
Mr. Comstock at present holds a commis- 
sion as notary public. 


BANIEL AVERY CROSS, deceased, was 
one of the most prominent of those 
hardy pioneers who first located in the 
southern part of the county. He was born 
in Oneida county, N. Y., on the 6th of 
Julv, 1820. When he was five years old, 


his parents removed to Indiana. His fatlier 
died when he was ten years of age, and he 
was early thrown upon his own resources. 

In 1857, accompanied l)y his family, which 
consisted of his wife and two children, and 
also a man named E. Dibbel, Mr. Cross came 
to Minnesota and took a claim on section 13, 
in what is now Cedar Mills townshij). They 
arrived in July, and Mr. Cross and family 
lived in tlieir wagon on the bank of Cedar 
Lake until fall. That fall they built a house 
an Cedar City, McLeod county, as they were 
unable to procure the logs unless they built 
on the town site, a plan which was followed 
for the purpose of building up a village. 
Two years later they moved the house to 
the claim, and lived there until the Indian 
outbreak occurred. At the time the news of 
the massacre reached him, Mr. Cross moved 
his family to the "Point," in Cedar Lake; 
but a short time later moved them to Hutch- 
inson. "When the report came tljat the 
Indians were raiding and burning in Cedar 
Mills, volunteers were called to go on an 
expedition, and Mr. Cross was one of the 
first to offer his services. They followed 
the Indians until dark, and then spent the 
night at Mr. Cross' house. In the morning 
Llr. Cross, with five others, started to go to 
the house of Caleb Sanborn, who lived on the 
north side of Cedar Lake, to warn him of 
his danger if the Indians had not already 
killed him. While on their way they were 
surprised by the Indians, and Mr. Cross was 
shot and killed, while the others fled. Mr. 
Cross laid where he fell until the following 
day, when his remains were taken to Hutch- 
inson, where the}^ were interred on the 25th 
of September, 1862. His death was mourned 
by a wide circle of friends. He was a man 
possessed of the very best of qualities, and 
of the strictest integrity and honor. 

Soon after the death of Mr. Cross, the 
widow returned to her former home in 
Indiana, where she remained for a year 

and a half, when she returned to the farm 
on section 13, Cedar Mills township, where 
she has since lived. Mrs. Cross has two 
children, who are now living: Mary E., now 
Mrs. A. Jordan, of Greenleaf township; 
and Daniel Avery, who was born March 16, 
1863, and still lives on the old homestead, 
where he carries on farming and stock 


OHN SNELL, the leading furniture deal- 
er of Litchfield, is a native of Verina 
Island, Sweden, born September 5, 1831, and 
is the son of Andrew and Katherine (Berg- 
stadt) Snell. He was reared at home until 
he had attained the age of seventeen, when 
he commenced to learn the cabinet-maker's 
trade, and served an apprenticeship at that 
until he was twenty-one years old. He then 
determined to emigrate to the New World, 
the " promised land " of the poor of the old 
countries, and, accordingly set sail for New 
York. For eighteen months after landing 
there he was employed in John dander's 
piano manufactory in the metropolis of 
America, after which time he removed to 
Galesburg, 111., and for a year was engaged 
at his trade. Coming still farther west after 
a short time spent in St. Paul, he located in 
Carver, Carver county, Minn., in 185-1. That 
village had just been laid out, and as an induce- 
ment to have so excellent a mechanic settle 
among them, Mr. Snell was given a lot in 
the village upon which to build. He put up 
a house there, and commenced making chairs, 
tables, etc., by hand, using one room in his 
house for a shop. Later on he erected a 
small mill that ran by water-power, which 
greatly facilitated his work, and remained, 
actively engaged in trade in that place until 
1874, when he sold out his interests there 
and removed to Chicago. In the latter city 
he was engaged in carrying on the photo- 
graphic business, he having accpiired some 


knowledge of that art while living in Carver. 
In 1877 he came to Litchfield and purchased 
his present business, to wiiich he has added 
undertaking, and has been employed in tiiat 
ever since. In 1879 he began the erection of 
his present handsome quarters, finishing it 
the next year. It is a tine brick building of 
some eighty feet front, and corresponding 
depth, and one of the handsomest in the 

Mr. Snell was married while in New Yoi'k. in 
1852, to Miss Esther Peterson, who died May 
13, 1864, in Carver, leaving two children — 
Clara A., born May 15, 1858, now the wife of 
William Murdock, a business man of Chi- 
cago ; and Hilda E.. bori) January 8, 1802, now 
Mrs. E. M. "Warhanich, whose husband is a 
druggist in the same city. Mr. Snell was 
again married July 2*), 1865, to Miss Ida 
Peterson, who has been the mother of three 
children, onl}'^ one of whom is living — Alvin 
O., born IVlarch 17, 1867. Those deceased 
were Ida, born April 26, 1866,and died Novem- 
ber 12, 1883; and Julian Paul, born May 
5, 1870, and died July 13, 1872. Mrs. Snell 
was born August 17, 1830, and is a most 
estimable woman. 

PETER JOHNSON is one of the leading 
farmers living in the southern part of 
Acton township, his residence being on sec- 
tion 33. Mr. Johnson is a son of Peter and 
Sarah Johnson, and was born in Norway on 
the 17th of October, 183-4. lie came to the 
United States in 1868, and for about a year 
was employed at Minneapolis in a brick yard 
and in different saw-mills. In 1869 he came 
to Meeker county and took a homestead of 
forty acres on the line between Acton and 
Danielson townships. After proving up on 
the homestead he removed his house to an 
adjoining eighty acres which he had pur- 
chased in the meantime. He still lives on 
the last named place. 

Mr. Johnson was married in Norway to 
Miss Guru Peterson, a daughter of Peter 
and Mary Henderson. B\' this marriage 
they have had the following named ciiil- 
dren— Sarah, born November 28, 1860; 
Mary, born September 5, 1862 ; John, born 
November 28, 1866 ; Catherine, born Sep- 
tember 8, 1869 ; Peter, born November 12, 
1872 ; Christian, born March 18, 1875 ; M;v 
tilda, born December 30, 1878 ;and Hannah, 
born October 15, 1881. Mary is now the 
wife of Theodore Christian Kue, a resident 
of Cosmos township. Meeker county; and 
Sarah is now the wife of Lewis Olson, who 
is a resident of Dakota Territoi-v. 


5r OHN BLOMBERG is a prominent 
iy fanner who i-esides on section 18, 
Acton township. He is a native of Sweden, 
born October 27, 1835, antl is a son of Jones 
and Engriel Blomberg. In 1857 he came to 
the United States and settled in Chisago 
county, Minn., where for three j^ears he was 
engaged at farming and lumbering. He 
than went to Olmstead county, where for two 
years he worlced for different parties. Re- 
turning to Chisago county, he made that his- 
home until 1864, when he went to Taylor's 
Falls and enlisted in Company D, Third 
Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. He served 
one year with his regiment, and after being 
honorably discharged he worked in Chicago, 
Goodhue and other counties until 1867, when 
he came to JVIeeker county and took a home- 
stead claim in Acton township. For nearly 
a year after this he worked in the pineries, 
but in 1868 he settled on his homestead and 
has since lived there. He was a poor man 
when he came to the United States and M'as 
even obliged to borrow a portion of the 
money with which he paid his passage ; but 
his perseverance, industry and economy have 
been rewarded, and he is now in comfortable 


i -'^ii^m- 



circumstances and getting along well. He 
owns 212 acres of land, 110 acres of which are 
under cultivation and he also has a great deal 
of stock. He has met with some reverses in his 
farming operations, especially during the 
grasshopper raids, when he lost all the wheat 
on eighty acres except sixty bushels. He 
says he saved some oats that year, but " there 
were more grasshopper legs than grain." 
Mr. Blomberg has taken an active interest 
in all public matters and has held many local 
offices, including the following: School 
clerk, ever since he came hei'e; county com- 
missioner, now serving his second term ; was 
chairman of supervisors one term ; town clerk 
two years ; and was assessor four terms. He 
is the present secretary of the Insurance 
Company of Acton and Genesee, which in- 
cludes twenty-five townships in Meeker and 
Kandiyohi counties. The company was or- 
ganized in 1S84 and now has a membership 
of about 600, and is carrying risks to the 
amount of about $800,000. 

Mr. Blomberg was married, by a justice in 
the town of Acton, in the house where the 
Indians killed the first wiiites in Meeker 
county, inaugurating the terrible outbreak of 
1862. The marriage occurred on the 25th of 
Se])tember, 1869, with Miss Lena M. Peter- 
son, who was born July 7, 1842. They have 
been blessed witii the following children — 
Charles E., born May 26, 1870, died February 
€, 1878 ; Anna Christina, born July 14, 1871; 
Emily Catharine, born June 30, 1873; Ida 
Victoria, born September 1, 1875 ; Victor 
Emanuel, born January 5, 1877 ; Alice Char- 
lotte, born August 27, 1880, died March 21, 
1881 ; Claus Edward, born February 4, 188:i ; 
Peter Eugene, born February 27, 1885 ; and 
Hattie Maria, born Noveml^er 24, 1887. 

JAMES MC CARNEY, a well-known and 
highly respected farmer, residing on 
section 4, Harvey townsiiip, comes of a 

nationality, which through their natural 
thrift, enterprise and frugality', now form one 
of the most substantial and desirable elements 
in Minnesota's population. 

Mr. McCarney was born in Ireland, and is 
a son of Patrick and Catherine (Brady) 
McCarney. He spent his early life in the 
land of his birth, and on March 1, 1846, he 
sailed for the United States, landing at New 
Orleans on the 7th of May, and proceeding 
from there to Galena, 111. He remained 
there for five years, and then came to Min- 
nesota and settled at St. Paul, where he spent 
about three years. His next move was to 
Dakota county, where he settled upon a farm 
in Burnsville township. There he was living 
when the civil war broke out, and in response 
to the President's call for men, he enhsted on 
December 24, 1862, in Company M, First 
Minnesota Mounted Rangers. He remained 
in the service until August 16, 1863, when 
he was discharged for disability, and re- 
turned to his farm in Burnsville, Dakota 
county, Minn. Three years later he came 
to Meeker county, Minn., and after spending 
the winter with his brother, Patrick, who 
was living in Manannah township, he settled 
on the farm where he still resides, on section 
4, Harvey townshij-). This was in the spring 
of 1867. 

In May, 1850, Mr. McCarney was married 
to Miss Margary McGinlay. Tliey are the 
parents of ten children, eight of whom are 
still living. Mr. and Mrs. McCarney are 
members of the Catholic church. In politi- 
cal matters, Mr. McCarney affiliates with 
the democratic party. 

^ V' '1 


AMES DIEAREY, a leading and represent- 
ative farmer of Darwin township, has 
his residence on section 10, where he carries 
on the pursuit of mixed agriculture. He was 
born in County Monaghan, Ireland, March 
9, 1835, but when but eight years of age, in 



1843, came to the United States with his 
parents, who were, also, natives of the Em- 
erald Isle. The family remained in New 
York, where they at first located, about a year; 
and then removed to Philadelphia, Penn., 
where the subject of this narrative grew to 
manhood. October 15, 1855, he came to 
Minnesota, locating in Minneapolis, where 
he remained a year and then removed to 
Monticello, Wright county, where he made 
his home for the succeeding four years. In 
1860 he came to Meeker county and made a 
settlem-ent in Darwin township on the land 
where he now resides, and has been identi- 
fied with the growth and development of 
that part of the county e^?er since. 

At the time of the Indian outbreak he 
was livmo: on his fann in Darwin, working 
south of the house, and the next day re- 
moved to Kingston, where he remained until 
after the attack on Forest City, when he 
returned to his farm. He in company with 
his fatlier and brother-in-law, Timothy Dunn, 
cut loo})holes in his cabin and tletermined to 
stand and make a strong defense if attacked. 
They had seven guns and plenty of ammu- 
nition, and felt confident of themselves. He 
remained here until December 1, 1863, when 
he enlisted in Company D, Second Minne- 
sota Cavalry. After serving against the In- 
dians in Montana, he was discharged Decem- 
ber 2, 1865, and returned to his home. 

Mr. Dearey was united in marriage, with 
Miss Hannah Roberts, who bore him two 
children — John E., and Mary A., both of 
whom are living. July 7, 1877, the death 
angel entered the little household and bore 
from the bereaved husband, his loved com- 
panion, and from her little ones their best 
friend, their mother. 

Mr. Dearey is independent in his politics, 
and a most excellent citizen. He is a mem- 
ber of Frank Daggett Post, G. A. R., of 
Litchfield, and religiously is attached to the 
Roman Catholic Church. 

#EORGE H. CHAPMAN, harness deal- 
er, and one of Litch field's substantial 
business men, is a native of Birmingham, 
England, born January 27, 1844, but came to 
the United States in July, 1856. His par- 
ents were John and Susan (Crump) Chap- 
man. His father, John Chapman, first came 
to America in 1848, and later took up gov- 
ernment land where Portage City now stands. 
He lived for a year or so at Fort Winnebago, 
Jefl' Davis at that time being one of the 
commanding officers of tiie fort. On his 
first trip Mr. Chapman had brought with liira 
one son and a daughter, and, after his first 
few years in the new world, he decided to 
locate at Mt. Morris, Waushara county. Wis. 
He accordingly sent for the balance of his 
family, who arrived in July, 1856, as stated. 
John Chapman was a tailor by trade, and he 
followed that in Wisconsin until the spring 
of 1857, when he again took up his westward 
march, and, taking with him a stock of 
goods, he started for Nebraska. He went 
by the way of St. Louis, and took a boat up 
the Missouri river, but the boat foundered 
and Mr. Chapman lost all he had. He re- 
mained in Nebraska about four yeai-s, when 
he returned to Berlin, Wis., where the fam- 
ily had been living in the meantime. His 
death occurred at Berlin in about the year 

George II. Chapman remained with his 
father's family until he had reached the age 
of fifteen, when he began life on his own 
account, and began learning the harness-ma- 
ker's trade at Berlin, Wis. He remained at 
that until November, 1861, when he enlisted 
in Company H, Eighteenth Wisconsin In- 
fantry, for three years' service. A short 
time later he was transferred to Company C, 
Thirty-Eighth Wisconsin Infantry, and re- 
mained with that regiment until the close of 
the war. His first battle was that of Shiloh, 
in April, 1862, and he afterward participated 
in the battles of Corinth, Miss., in June, 



1862; Cold Harbor, Va., in May, 1864; in 
front of Petersburg, June 16, ISGA; Weldon 
Railroad, Va., in August, 1864; Pebel's farm, 
in September, 1864 ; again at Petersburg, dur- 
ino; the winter of 1864-5 ; and' was in the 
final charge on Sunday, April 2, 1865, being 
with the brigade that captured Ft. Mahone 
and followed Lee up the south side of the 
railroad. He was near Appomattox at the 
surrender of Lee. During all of his eventful 
and active service Mr. Chapman was neither 
wounded nor taken prisoner, and was only 
in the hospital for a few days. He was on 
guard at Washington during the trial of the 
conspirators against Lincoln, and saw the 
gallows where they were executed and the 
graves of the criminals. He was finally 
mustered out in August, 1865, and returned 
to the old home in Berlin, Wis. In 1867 he 
Settled at Rochester, Minn., and a few years 
later removed to Wabasha, where he lived 
for a time, and then decided to come to 
Litchfield, Meeker county, and accordingly, 
in May, 1870, he opened the harness and 
saddleiy business, which he has successfully 
carried on ever since. Mr. Chapman is an 
active member of the Grand Army of the 
Republic, and was one of the charter mem- 
bers of Frank Daggett Post, in which he has 
almost constantly held some office since its 
organization. He was also a charter mem- 
ber of the Ancient Order of United Work- 
men at Litchfield, and has held at different 
times all the offices in the gift of the local 
lodge. In political matters he is a staunch 
re])ublican, and cast his first vote for Abra- 
ham Lincoln for President,while a soldier. 

Mr. Chapman was married on the 2d of 
December, 1868, to Miss Ellen Agnew, of 
Preston, Fillmore Co., Minn. Mr. and Mrs. 
Chapman are the parents of seven children, 
as follows — Emma Glencora Susan, born 
September 23, 1870, died January 2,1887; 
Leslie H., born July 14, 1872; Sybal May, 
born November 9, 1874, died March 24, 1881 ; 

Bessie Pearl, born January 30, 1877; Lillian 
G., born September 14, 1879 ; George Wal- 
ter, born February 22, 1884; and Willie 
Royal, born March 5, 1888. 

Our subject and his estimable wife are 
devout and zealous members of the Episco- 
pal Church, and exemplary Christian people. 



OHN PALM, the junior member of the 
igi; firm of Cairncross & Palm, of Litch- 
field, is a native of Sweden, born on October 
1, 1860. He remained in Sweden until 
1870, when he came to America with his 
father's family, the father having the year 
before settled at Litchfield. 

John Palm remained with his parents until 
thirteen or fourteen years of age, when he 
began to work as a painter, and followed 
that four summers, attending school dur- 
ing the winter months. In 1878 he en- 
tered the store of Cairncross & Johnson as 
clerk and remained with Mr. Cairncross after 
that gentleman had bought out his partner, 
and finally on the 1st of January, 1885, Mr. 
Palm was admitted to partnership, and the 
firm became Cairncross & Palm. 

Mr. Palm is a shrewd and careful business 
man, and his manner of conducting the af- 
fairs of the firm have deservedly won them 
an extensive trade. 

"OHN PAULSON is one of the old resi- 
dents of Swede Grove township. He, 
like a majority of the citizens of his town- 
ship, is a native of Sweden, and was born on 
the 14th of July, 1833. His parents' names 
were Paul and Ingra (Olson) Johnson. 

John Paulson came to the United States 
in 1869, and came direct to Meeker county, 
Minn., and, purchasing eighty acres of land 
on section 28, Swede Grove township, he 



began his life in the new world on the place 
where he still lives. He was married before 
leaving Sweden to Miss Betsey Nelson. Mrs. 
Paulson was the mother of si.x children, as 
follows — Ellen, l)orn May 28, 1865, is mar- 
ried to John Anderberg, and now lives in 
Grove City; Hannah, born March 12,1868; 
Anna, born August 8, 1869; Nels, born May 
4, 1870, and died September 1, 1883 ; Lillie, 
born June 14-, 1872, and died February 18, 
1873 ; and Henry, born June 4, 1871. The 
mother of these children died on March 28, 

Mr. Paulson's second marriage was witli 
Miss Hannah Jeppeson, a daughter of Nels 
and Malinda Jeppeson. -Her father died in 
Sweden, and her mother is now a resident of 
Meeker county. Mrs. Paulson has been the 
mother of the following children — Nels, born 
November 5, 1875 ; Oscar, born January 17, 
1878, and died June 18, 1879; Edward, born 
ISToveraber 22, 1879; Molly, born May 15, 
1882; Ella, born June 24, 1884; and Lillie, 
born May 9, 1886. By thrift and economy 
Mr. Paulson lias accumulated a comfortable 
home ; he has a good farm, and has gathered 
considerable stock aljout liim. 

M UGUST T. KOERNER, real estate and 
J^^ loan agent, is one of Litchfield's most 
prominent citizens. He is a native of Ger- 
many, born July 7, 1843. He remained in 
his native country until fourteen years of 
age when he started for this country, ]irac- 
tically alone, and made his way to Ste. Gene- 
vieve, Mo., wiiere a sister was then living. 
Until the fall of 1860 he made his home with 
his sister, and then went to Vernon, Ind., for 
the purpose of learning the millers' business. 
He remained at his trade until April, 1861, 
Avhen he enlisted for ninety days' service in 
Company H, Sixth Indiana Volunteers, being 
then three months short of eighteen years of 
age. After the term of enlistment expired 

he reenlisted for three years in Company H, 
Twenty-sixth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. 
In the spring of 1864 he veteranized and 
served until the close of the war. His serv- 
ice covered* a period of four years and 
three months, the time being spent in West 
Virginia, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, 
Louisiana, Texas and Alabama. He was 
wounded in the left arm by a minie ball at the 
battle of Prairie Grove ; was all through the 
siege of Vicksburg, and in all, participated in 
seventeen battles. After the close of the war 
he located at Troy, III., where he was em- 
ployed at book-keeping for Throp & Co., 
merchant millers. During his residence at 
that point he made his first trip to Meeker 
county in August, 1865, and while here was 
married to Miss Katie McGannon, after which 
event he returned to Troy. In 1867 he again 
came to Meeker count}^ Minn., this time to 
stay, and settled upon a farm on section 2, 
Greenleaf township. 

There he remained for two years, and then 
gave up the farm and made several trijjs to 
Illinois. In the spring of 1873 he again moved 
onto the farm, and, after losing three suc- 
cessive crops from grasshoj)pers and hail, gave 
it up and removed to Litchfield. For two 
yeai-s thereafter he was engaged at clerical 
work, and in 1877 was elected register of 
deeds of Meeker county. He was twice re- 
elected and therefore served three successive 
terms. Dui'ing this time he opened a real 
estate office, and since the expiration of his 
term of office has devoted his whole attention 
to his real estate, loan and insurance business. 

In 1877, in company with N. A. Viren and 
P. Ekstrom, Mr. Koerner opened the first set 
of abstract books in Meeker county. Mr. 
Koerner has taken an active interest in all 
matters affecting the welfare of his home, 
and during his residence here has almost con- 
stantly held some public position of trust and 
responsibility. He Avas one of the charter 
members of the Frank Daggett Post of the 



Grand Army of the Eepublic, and has taken 
a prominent part in its history. He is a 
Mason, being a member of Golden Fleece 
Lodge, No. 89, Rabboni Chapter, No. 37, and 
Melita Commandery, No. 17, and has held 
various offices in each organization, tilling all 
positions with credit to himself and honor to 
the fraternity. Mr. Koerner and wife, with 
their family, are members of the Christian 
church. Their family consists of three chil- 
dren — Mamie, Carney and Pauline — all of 
whom are living at home. They have lost 
three children by death. 


^^AMUEL COSSAIRT, the managing 
"^^^ partner of the general merchandise 
firm of S. Cossairt & Co., and one of the 
most active, enterprising, energetic business 
men of Eden Valley, is a native of Vermilion 
county, 111., born February 12, 186:3, and is 
the son of Silas and Alvira (Swisher) Cos- 
sairt. In 1866 his parents and others of the 
family came to that part of Meeker county 
lying in the vicinity of Eden Valley, and 
settled here , the pioneers of this region, as 
there were no neighbors between them and 
Manannah or Forest City. The parents of 
our subject still live upon the original home- 

Samuel was reared upon the parental 
farm and remained beneath his father's roof 
until he had attained the age of eighteen 
years, drawing liis primary education from 
the district schools of the vicinity. In 1881 
he commenced attendance at the Normal 
school at St. Cloud, Minn., where he remained 
about a year and a half, and for the succeed- 
ing three years was occupied in teaching 
school, in which he made quite a success. At 
the age of twenty-three he, in company with 
E. L. Parker, opened a store in the village of 
Litchfield. Three months later the firm 
started a branch at Eden Valley, of which 

our subject took charge, and operated until 
March, 1888, when, having purchased the 
interest of his partner, a new firm was formed, 
consisting of Samuel Cossairt, his father, 
Silas, and brother G. B. Cossairt. They car- 
ry an extensive stock of all the various lines 
that go to make up an establishment of this 
kind and are doing an ample business. 

In October, 1886, the subject of this 
memoir was apjiointed postmaster of Eden 
Lake, and when the office was changed to 
Eden Valley was reappointed and now holds 
that oflBce. 

This gentle- 

^ man is a thrifty and respected farmer 
who resides on section 33, Litchfield town- 
ship. He is a native of Sweden, born on the 
3d of February, 1834, and a son of Magnus 
and Katrina Nelson. When he was seven- 
teen years of age he enlisted in the Swedish 
Artillery and served about two years, when 
he received his discharge on account of an 
injury received in cannon practice. In 1857 
he came to the United States and after 
living about three years in Chisago and 
Kandiyohi counties, he settled in Meeker 
county. In the spring of 1862, he was 
married to Mrs. Anna Colberg, widow of Nels 
Colberg (deceased), and they settled on a 
farm near Lake Harold, where he was living 
when the Indian outbreak began. Upon 


receiving the warning he started with his 
family for Forest City, but when they had 
arrived within two and a half miles of that 
place, darkness came on and a terrific rain 
storm set in. From necessity, therefore, he 
and his wife and their four children slept all 
night on the prairie in the beating and drench- 
ing rain. The next day they got to Forest City, 
and after remaining there and at Kingston 
for several days they went to Anoka and 
made that their home for two years. In the 
fall of 1864, Mr. Manguson moved back to 


Meeker county and took u]) a homestead 
near the present site of Litclilield village, 
and after living there for six years traded 
the homestead for his jiresent farm on 
section 33. In 1870 his first wife died. In 
1872 he was married to Siso Swanson, who 
■was born in Sweden November 29, 1831, and 
who came to the United States in 1S71. By 
this marriage they have had four children — 
Johanna, William, Mathilda (deceased), 
and Mathilda. 

OHN E. DIME, fanner, of Swede Grove 
township, is a native of Sweden, born 
J^ovember 13, 1842, and a son of Carl and 
Catharina (Born Janson) Anderson. He 
came to the United States in 18C)8, and first 
stopped at Ishpeming, Marquette county, 
Mich., where he worked in the iron mines 
until the spring of 1884, when he came to 
Swede Grove township, Meeker county, 
Minn., and purchased 160 acres of land on 
section 32, where he has since lived. 

Mr. Dime was married on November 15, 
1873, to Miss Johanna Johnson, and the 
couple have been blessed with the following- 
named children — Erick Adolphus, who was 
born August 16, 1874; Samuel Edward, 
born October 17, 1876; Hannah Elizabeth, 
born July 31, 1880 ; Ernst W., born October 
10, 1883 (died same day); and Oscar Em- 
anuel, born Feljruary 18, 1886. Mr. Dime's 
sister is married to John J. Berg, a resident 
of Pope county, Minn. Mr. Dime has been 
very successful since coming to this country, 
as he was so poor when he left the old coun- 
try that he was obliged to borrow money 
to pay his passage. He now has a good 
farm and a comfortable home, while in the 
way of stock he already has a good start. 

While Mr. Dime was not here at tlie time 
of the Indian massacre, so as to have an ex- 
perience in the war against them, neverthe- 
less he has his adventures to relate from the 

mines wlien his life was endangered, and he 
had some narrow escapes. One instance, 
when a part of the Lake Shore Iron Mining 
Company's mine caved in, filling up Mr. 
Dime's woi'king place with 22.000 tons of 
rock, he had to run for his life, while the rocks 
rolled in after him. Another time he had a very 
narrow escape from a falling rock from the 
back of a tunnel where he kept his tools; 
he was engaged in looking over the tools, 
when a solid block, one and one-half tons in 
weight, fell down close to his side, touch- 
ing his clothes, but not hurting him in the 
least. Another time his tender dropped the 
contents of a smoking pipe right in the hole 
on the naked powder, when he (Dime) was 
charging up for a blast, but God, the 
Almighty, led the fire so as not to come in 
contact with the powder, and no accident 

Still another time, God, who leads the fates 
of men, kept his hand between, when he went 
back after due time after blasting, to find out 
the cause of a missing hole. He stepped right 
up to the missed blast, touched the fuse with 
his hands, but suspecting something wrong 
went out of the pit, going well out of danger. 
The blast exploded, throwing the rocks after 
him, and he had great cause to thank God 
for his deliverance. 


p*-" known and substantial farmer and stock- 
raiser, residing on section 28, Harvey town- 
ship, is an old settler who has done his share 
toward the development of Meeker county's 

Mr. Armstrong is a native of Prince Ed- 
wards Island, Canada, and was born on the 
16th of March, 1846. Before Patrick was a 
year old, his j)arents removed to the United 
States and settled in Will county, 111., where 
they remained for ten yeare, and then came to 


Meeker county, Minn., and settled in Harvej'^ 
township, where our subject still resides. 
The parents, whose names were William and 
Teressa Armstrong, were both natives of 
Ireland. AVhen they came to Meeker county 
the family consisted of the father and motlier, 
four boys and two girls. The father and 
mother are now living in Mannanah township. 

Patrick learned the cooper's trade and fol- 
lowed that for six years w^lien he was a 
young man ; he also followed railroad work 
for two years, but the balance of his life has 
been spent in tilling the soil. He was mar- 
ried December 2, 1879, to Miss Anna Corri- 
gan, and they are the parents of four chil- 
dren, ^vhose names are as follows: Michael, 
Thomas, Arthur and Patrick. Mrs. Arm- 
strong's parents are also natives of Ireland ; 
they are now living in Harvey township. 
Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong are devout mem- 
bers and active supporters of the Catholic 
church. His political principles are demo- 

Like all the old settlers, their farming 
operations were interrupted and abandoned 
at the time of the Indian outbreak. At the 
time of the massacre at Acton, in August, 
1862, Patrick Armstrong was at Empire City, 
south of St. Paul. Hearing of the Indian 
depredations, he at once started for home to 
learn whether or not they had ail been killed. 
He found them at Forest City, all well, and 
on their way to Minneai)olis, so he went with 
them to that place. They lived in Minneap- 
olis until 1866, when they returned to Har- 
vey township, where Patrick F. Armstrong 
has since lived. 


ij^HARLES H. STROBECK, the present 
'^^^ probate judge of Meeker county, is a 
native of West Parishville, St. Lawrence 
county, N. Y., born October 8, 1841, and is 
the son of Henry and Fannie M. (Willis) 

Strobeck, natives of the Empire State and 
New Hampshire, respectively. The father 
was originally of Wurtemberg stock, and the 
mother's ancestors were among the Puritan 
pilgrims of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. 
The fatiier died at Litchfield, Meeker county, 
December 17, 1887, having come to this place 
the summer previous. The mother is still 
living witli her son. The judge was reared 
and received his primary education in the 
county of his birth, assisting his father in the 
labors attendant upon farm life until he was 
some nineteen years of age. At that time 
he entered the St. Lawrence Academy, where 
he remained during the spring and fall terms 
from 1860 to 1863, teaching school during 
the winters. During the winter of 1863-4, 
he took the place of the professor in the 
mathematical department of the same acad- 
emy, and filled the post creditably. 

On leaving school, he entered the law 
office of Judge Henry L. Knowles, as a stu- 
dent and clerk, where he remained until 
October, 1865, when he was admitted to the 
bar in a class of fourteen, at a session of the 
Supreme Com-t of New York, at Canton, the 
county seat of St. Lawrence county. A bout 
the 1st of December, the same year, Mr. 
Strobeck came west to Chicago, and from 
there to Ked Wing, Minn., where he located, 
and commenced the practice of law. and 
wrote fire insurance until coming to Litch 
field. The latter branch of the business was 
carried on in partnership with W.C.Williston. 

October 22, 1869, Mr. Strobeck came to 
Litchfield and made up his mind to locate in 
the place, then in embrj'o, as there was only 
a few buildings erected at that time. He 
put up an office, being the pioneer attorney 
of the city, and has remained in practice here 
ever since. The judge is a staunch republican 
but has had but little political aspirations. He 
has held several local offices in the govern- 
ment of the village and in educational mat- 
ters, prominent among which was that of 


prosecuting attorney. In the fall of 1880 he 
■was elected to tiie responsihie position of 
Probate judge, which ho still holds. 

On the 24th of February, 1873, Ciiarles H. 
Strobeck antl Miss Carrie E. Phelps were 
united in marriage. The lady is a native of 
Oaivland county, Mich., and daughter of 
William and Carrie (James) Phelps, the 
latter natives of the Empire State. B3' this 
union there have been two children — Alice J, 
and Henry. 

eludge Strobeck is a man ol sterling integ- 
rity, and having a mind of his own, has 
strong feelinffs in regard to what he conceives 
to be ri^ht or wrone:, and what is more, 
dares to maintain them. 



PETER K. BROWN, who is one of the 
leading and influential farmers of 
Acton township, has had an eventful and 
varied life. He was a son of Knute and Eliza 
Jirown and was born in Denmark on the 8th 
of October, 1834. When he had arrived at 
the age of twenty-four, thinking to benefit 
his financial condition he started for the 
gold fields of Australia, and after 101 days of 
sailing he landed at Melbourne, and was 
soon hard at work in the mines. He re- 
mained there for seven years, and endured 
much more hardship and suffering than falls 
to the lot of mankind generally. At one 
time he had neither money nor provisions, 
and after a siege of fasting, which nearly 
resulted in starvation, he was fortunate 
enough to find gold with which he purchased 
something to eat. He underwent many other 
experiences which were fully as trying, but 
still he pei-severed. At times, however, he 
would enjoy a run of luck, and at one time 
he had about $2,000 in his possession, but he 
managed to leave with about $500 in his 
pocket. He then returned to Denmark, 
stopping at London, England, for a few days 

while on the way home. He then remained 
in Denmark for about two years, and on the 
17th of April, 1868, he started for the United 
States ami landed at New York, during the 
latter part of May. He proceeded at once 
to Kandiyohi county, Minn., where his 
brother, N. K. Brown was living. A year 
later he moved to the farm in Acton town- 
ship on which he still lives, having purchased 
railroad land. As he had learned the car- 
penter's trade in the old countr\', he erected 
his own buildings, which are located on sec- 
tion 29. He has excellent improvements, 
and now owns 250 acres of land, a good 
share of which is under cultivation. Mr. 
Brown's mother is dead and his father 
lives with a brother, N. K. Brown, in Kandi- 
yohi county. There are several other mem- 
bers of the family living in the United 
States, including R. K. Brown, of Acton ; 
John K. Brown, of Danielson ; and Karen, 
now Mi's. Paul Nelson, of Danielson; besides 
N. K. Brown, of Kandiyohi county. 

Peter K. Brown has taken a prominent 
and active part in all public matters, and has 
held many offices of a local but at the same 
time important character, including those of 
town clerk two years, chairman of super- 
visors two years, assessor one 3'ear ; and was 
elected justice of the peace but did not 

Mr. Brown was married, during the year 
1870, to Bertha Margrethe Madson, and 
they have been blessed with the following 
children — Mads Peter, born March 21, 1871; 
Albert Knuteson, born July 21,1873; Jo- 
hanes, born June 13, 1875; Elizze Marie, 
born April 30, 1877; and Nels Christian, 
born April 25, 1879. 


EWIS LARSON, of Litchfield, is a mem- 
ber of the firm of Nelson, Johnson 
& Larson, dealers in general merchandise. 
Mr. Larson was born in Sweden in 1842, and 



remained in tlie "Fatherland" until about 
twenty-seven years of age. His father died 
when Lewis was three and his mother when 
he was fifteen, so he was left to care for him- 
self. He had up to that time attended school 
regularly and had attained a good education. 
"When about twenty years old he entered 
a civil office, corresponding with the office 
of sheriff in this country, and he remained 
in this for six years. After this he went to 
Gottenberg and for a short time was engaged 
in business at that place but he finally sold out 
and came to Ameiica, locating in Wisconsin. 
At that time he could speak and understand 
very little English, and for one year he lived 
with an American family for tiie jnirpose of 
acquiring it, finally becoming very profi- 
cient. On the 31st of Decern l^er, 1870, he 
arrived in Litchfield, and entered the store 
of Nelson Brothers as a clerk a short time 
later. In the summer of 1872 he went to 
Willmar and was there emj)loyed as a clerk 
in the store of Spicer & Larson for about 
three years and a half. Then, in company 
with W. Paulson, under the firm name of 
Paulson & Larson, they went into the gen 
eral merchandise trade at Willmar. In 1880 
Mr. Larson sold his interest to his partner 
and removed to Litchfield, and the present 
mercantile firm of Nelson, Johnson & Lar- 
son was formed. Mr. Larson is a member of 
the Masonic fraternity, having joinetl Golden 
Fleece Lodge, No. 89, in 1888. 

PROMINENT farmer and stock-raiser 
']^S^ residing on section 11, Cedar Mills 
township, is R. A. AVheeler, a veteran of the 
late civil war, and one of the leading citi- 
zens in the southern part of the county. 

Mr. Wheeler' is a native of Bangor, Me., 
born on the 25th of May, 184-1, and is a son 
of Isaac and Martha (Norcross) Wheeler. 
His parents were old settlers in Cedar Mills 
township, and their history will be found 

in another department of this work. Reuben 
A. Wheeler, the subject of this sketch, re- 
mained with his parents (coming with them 
meanwhile to Wright county, Minn.,) until 
October, 1861, when he enlisted in Company 
D, Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. 
He remained in the service until July, 1865, 
and probaldy saw more actual active war ser- 
vice than any ex-soldier who to-day resides 
in Meeker county. He participated in the 
first and second battlesat Corinth. luka, Siege 
of Vicksburg, where he was wounded in the 
head by a piece of a shell, Altoona Pass. 
Savannah, Ga., and was with Sherman in 
his famous March to the Sea. He then, with 
Sherman's army, went to Washington and 
participated in the grand review. After re- 
ceiving an honorable discharge from the serv- 
ice he came to Meeker county, Minn., arriving 
in July, 1865. He at once located on a soldier's 
homestead, which his father, Isaac Wheeler, 
had selected for him in 1863, which was 
located on section 11, Cedar Mills township, 
where he now lives. lie at once began 
improving his place, and erected a log-cabin, 
covering it with a hay roof. Mr. AVheeler 
remained on his place most of the time until 
1867, when he went to Green Lake, Kandi- 
yohi county. Three years later he went to 
Montana, but a short time later he returned 
to his homestead in Cedar Mills township, 
where he has since lived. He devotes his 
attention to general farming and stock-rais- 
ing, and is one of the most prominent and 
best-known citizens of the township in which 
he lives. He is a prominent member of the 
Frank Daggett Post, No. 35, Grand Army of 
the Republic, of Litchfield. 

Mr. W^heeler was married on the 11th of 
November, 1866, to Miss Malvina Nichols, 
who was born in Racine county, Wis. Their 
marriage has been blessed with six children, 
as follows — Martha M., George R., Frank E., 
Harlan M., Ray M., and Mary P. The fam- 
ily are members of the Presbyterian church. 



Mi. WELL-KNOWN businessman of Litch- 
Jj^"^^ field is A. C. Johnson, a member of 
tliefirmof Nelson, Johnson & Larson, gen- 
eral merchants. He is a native of Sweden, 
and was born in 1S5L 

"When eleven years of age, he started with 
his grandparents and his uncle, B. P. Kel- 
son, for America, intending to come direct to 
Meeker county, Minn., where Andrew, a 
brother of Mr. Nelson, was then living. They 
crossed the ocean in a sailing vessel, being 
ten weeks on the way, arriving at Boston 
about August 20, 1862. There they learned 
of the terrible outbreak of the Indians in 
this country, but continued on their journey, 
coming as far as St. Paul, where they decided 
to remain for a time. Mr. Johnson remained 
there until 1871, when he removed to Litch- 
field and entered the store of Nelson Broth- 
ers as a clerk, and remained with them until 
they sold out to Alex. Cairncross. lie was 
then with the latter gentleman for about two 
years and a half. At the end of that time, 
he, in company with Stephen Cairncross, a 
brother clerk, bought out the establishment 
and went into business for themselves, under 
the firm name of Cairncross & Johnson. 
This firm continued in business for about two 
years and a half, when the stock was sold 
out. In 18S0, the present firm of Nelson, 
Johnson & Larson was formed. The other 
members of the firm are B. P. Nelson and 
Lewis Larson, and the business they do is 
probably the largest done in tiie village, in 
their line. They carry a full stock of dry 
goods, groceries, etc., and cater to the tastes 
of everybody. They are among the bright- 
est business men of the village, and are in 
splendid financial condition. 



JJEpROMINENT among the old settlers is 
_fj*~ is A. M. Caswell, who now resides in 
the village of Litch'ield. He was born in 
Melbourne, Canada, October 2, 1833. His 

father, Moody Caswell, was born in Vermont, 
and his mother, Hannah (Bishop) Caswell, in 
New Hampshire. They lived in Canada un- 
td he was past seventeen and then moved to 
Vermont, and fi'om there to New Hamp- 
shire, and came to Minnesota in April, 1856. 
They came to Dunleath, 111., by rail and 
thence uj) the Mississippi on the old steamer 
"War Eagle." There were about 700 pas- 
sengers on board, generally in high spirits 
about the prospects in the Territory of Min- 
nesota, where the land was rich and money 
plenty. They landed at St. Paul and then 
took the stage to St. Anthonj\ There was 
only a few houses there then and one saw- 
mill ; from there they came by steamboat up 
the river to Monticello, where they stopped 
until about the 1st of June, and then, hear- 
ing of the great chance for getting land on 
the big prairie in Meeker count}', and as 
there was a party of immigrants came along, 
A. M. Caswell followed, and camped the first 
night alone in tiie woods about midway be- 
tween Monticello and Kingston. The next 
morning he came up with Patch's company, 
and camped on the bank of Crow river. 
The water was high, and as there was no 
bridge, they had to make a raft of logs. 
After crossing the river the company scat- 
tered, hunting claims. Our subject traveled 
to Forest City and took dinner with Thomas 
Skinner, a whole-souled and public-spirited 
gentleman, always courteous and obliging to 
everybody, in whose death Meeker lost one 
of her best men. From there he started 
with two others to look for claims, and trav- 
eled over the level prairie of Harvey, but 
found it generally marked, as a ])arty had 
been through there and marked claims for 
all their relatives, some which were yet in 
the old country', so he left that and went 
above the woods in the vicinity of Manan- 
nah, and there the claims were vacant, and 
he marked his claim — the first one marked 
in the townshiji — and then returned to Mon- 



ticello. He was boarding at a hotel, when a 
party came, who had been through to the 
big prairie, among tiie party being T. C. 
Jewett and Captain A. D. Pierce, an old 
sea captain from Cape Cod, Mass., who said 
he had been up above Forrest City and 
located a town site. He gave glowing ac- 
comits of the country and said there was only 
one claim marked there and that was just 
the one he wanted to build his town on, and 
he was going to have it. He also said that 
he camped on the liighest hill there was near 
there, (which must have been Tower Hill) 
and fought mosquitoes all night, and he fore- 
saw the great events of the near future ; the 
network of railroads that would come to 
and through his town. He took out his 
book and read the name tiiat he found on 
his claim, as he called it, and it hap])ened to 
be Mr. Caswell's; he afterward tried to scare 
Mr. C. off, but failing to do it, he bought 
him off b}' paying fifty dollars and a watch. 
He afterward stated that the trade was like 
a horse-trade, and he was mighty sick of the 
horse. Mr. Caswell then made another claim 
where F. F. Phillips now lives, and his 
brother, Albert, came on and took one ad- 
joining, and his father, mother and sisters 
came the next fall. His mother was afflicted 
with a rose cancer, and after having it cut 
out died within a year, being the first woman 
buried in Manannah grave-yard. 

But the flush times of 1856 were followed 
by several years of dearth, or almost a famine. 
There was no money in the country and 
scarcely any provisions, and for two or 
three years a laboring man could get neither 
money, clothing nor provisions for his work. 
The only way to get money was to hunt or 
trap for fur, which was hard-earned money. 
So, getting tired out or starved out, at 
Manannah, his brother, Albert, and himself, 
and Ziba and Nathan Caswell started out 
for the gold mines at Pike's Peak, in Colo- 
rado, and were gone from the State most of 

the time until after the Indian war. Our 
subject was at work in the mines in Colorado, 
and his brother and Ziba Caswell were in 
Nevada in the Washoe silver mines. They 
heard of the Indian war and started for 
home, and although they were two thousand 
miles apart when they started and neither 
party knew when the other was going to 
start, they met in Minneapolis and came home 
on the stage together. 

The next spring A. M. Caswell was mar- 
ried to Vesta J. Britt, of the town of Har- 
vey. They kept a hotel at Coon Creek one 
year, then sold out and went to Anoka, where 
they remained about three years. They then 
sold out and moved to Harvey township, 
where they lived until removing to Litchfield 
in 1888. Mr. and Mrs. Caswell have two 
children — one a young man, twenty four 
years old, and a daughter about eight 

In speaking of the "old times" Mr. Cas- 
well says : " When I came to this county, 
there had never been a bushel of wheat, corn 
or potatoes raised here. Now nearly every 
acre of prairie and thousands of acres of 
brush and tiinbei' land are under cultivation, 
, and thousands of reaping and threshing ma- 
chines are kept busy, instead of the old down 
reaper that took four horses, two men and a 
bov to operate, the grain having to be raked 
off by hand, and much of it left scattered on 
the ground. We have a machine that three 
horses and one man manage easily and which 
leaves the grain tied up in neat bundles, 
leaving- the field clean as if it hail l^een 
gleaned by the gleaners of old times. But the 
young men that were vigorous and strong 
and active are now becoming okl, bleached 
and gray ; but there is another generation 
coming on to fill our places. I have faith and 
believe there is a bright future for Meeker 
county, and that it is bound to be one of the 
richest and best stock-producing counties in 
the Northwest." 


J^SAAC WHEELER, who was one of the 
a_ most prominent early settlers in Cedar 
Mills township, is a native of Maine, and was 
born on June 19, 1817. He remained in 
his native State until 1861, when he came to 
Minnesota and located on a farm in Wrif^ht 
county. In xA.pril, 1863, lie came to Meeker 
county, and selected 160 acres of land on 
section 9, Cedar ]\Iills, and the following 
year moved on to it with his family. The\' 
were tlie first settlers west of Cedar Mills 
after the Indian outbreak, and were there 
one season entirely without neighbors. At 
the time they came here the soldiers were 
stationed at Pipe Lake, and they helped Mr. 
Wiieeler cut the logs with -wliich he erected 
his cabin. IVIr. Wheeler remained on tiie 
farm until after his wife's death in 1876, 
when he sold his place to his sons, Frank and 
Newton Wheeler, and since that time has 
lived with his children, going back and 
forth between them. 

After a long and useful career of toil and 
industry, he is now spending the evening of 
his life in a quiet and peaceful way, having 
to the fullest degree the confidence and 
respect of all who know him. 


NDREW J. NELSON, a well-to do and 
'^\^ highh'-respected farmer residing on 
section 22, Union Grove township, is a native 
of Sweden, where he was born on the 2d of 
December, 18.52. His parents' names were 
Nels and Kersten Anderson. The mother 
died when he was only sixteen weeks old, 
and his father died when he was seventeen 
years of age. 

Andrew J. spent his younger days in the 
land of his birth, when he acquired the same 
habits of industry and frugality which are 
characteristic of the race of which he springs. 
In 1880 he sailed for the United States, and 
making his way directly to Meeker county, 

Minn., he rented a farm in Swede Grove 
townsiii]). He remained there for three years 
and then io February, 1884, he removed to 
the farm on section 22, Union Grove town- 
ship, where he still lives. He owns 130 acres 
of land, a good share of which is cleared and 
under cultivation. lie has considerable stock 
and comfortable buildings. When Mr. Nel- 
son came to America his earthly possessions- 
consisted of $1,000 in money, but he lost a 
good share of that in the first two years 
through the failure of crops, but by good 
management and hard work he has recov- 
ered and is now in comfortable circumstances. 
Mr. Nelson was married before leaving- 
Sweden, in 1878, to Miss Ingrid Larson, a 
daughter of Mr. anil Mrs. Lars Nelson, and 
their union has been blessed with three chil- 
dren, as follows — Hilda, born in Sweden, Jan- 
uary 19, 1879 ; Ida, born in Swede Grove 
township, October 18, 1880 ; and Anton, born 
in Union Grove township, July 30, 1884. 
Mrs. Nelson's mother died in 1868, and her 
father is now living with them. 

"OHN B. PENNOYER, a prominent resi- 
dent of the village of Greenleaf, is a 
native of Sherbrook county. Lower Camula, 
born on the 12tli of February, 1832. His 
parents, Truman and Priscdia II. Pennoyer, 
were natives of Vermont, and both were 
born in the year 1804. The mother died in 
1886, but the father is still living, a respected 
resident of Ellsworth township, Meeker 
county. Truman Pennoyer's father was a 
Frenchman, and sailed the seas as a privateer 
during the revolutionary war, subsequently 
settling in Vermont. Truman spent a few 
years in Canada and then returned to Ver- 
mont. P'rom the latter State he removed to 
St. Lawrence county, N. Y., taking the family 
by wagon through the timber over the 
Plattsburg and Ogdensburg ]iike, and 



through the Chateaugay cedar swamp, to 
Potsdam, and remained there from 1836 to 
1864. He was a cooper by trade, but a 
farmer by occupation 

Truman Pennoyer and wife were the par- 
ents of seven sons and six daughters. The 
three oldest died in infancy, and were buried 
at Compton Center, C. E. Three others died 
in infancy, and two sisters died after they 
were grown. Five of their children are still 
living — J. B. Pennoyer, O. A. Pennoyer, 
H. H. Pennoyer, Mrs. J. M. Howard, of 
Meeker county, Minn., and Mrs. H. F. Pow- 
ers, of Cincinnati, Oiiio. 

John B. Pennoyer, the subject of this mem- 
oir, was reared on a farm, and upon reaching 
the age of twenty-four lie left home and 
started West, He traveled over various por- 
tions of the West, but lived the greater part 
of the time in Whiteside and Jersey coun- 
ties, 111., until 1864, when he came to Meeker 
eounty, Minn., making the journey from 
Hastings on foot. He entered a homestead 
on section 35, in what is now Greenleaf town- 
ship, and continued to reside thereuntil Aug- 
ust, 1885, when he rented his farm and 
started out in search of a locality that would 
benefit his health. After spending the fall 
and winter in Macoupin and Jersey counties, 
111., he went to Huntsvilie, Ala., and remained 
there until Septeml)er 27, 1886, when he 
■came back and took up his residence in the 
village of Greenleaf. 

In tlie month of September following Mr. 
Pennoyer's first arrival in Meeker county, 
1864. he went to Greene county, 111., and was 
married to Mary F. Bilbruck, a daughter of 
John and Charlotte Bilbruck, who was born 
in Nottinghamshire, England, on the 7th of 
December, 1842. Five ciiildren have been 
born to them — Alice Naomi, born July 25, 
1867, died May 8, 1870 ; Charlotte Augusta, 
born December 5, 1870; Francis Irene, born 
October 26, 1875, died April 3, 1879; Har- 
mon Lee, born September 4, 1880 ; and 

Florence Emma, born June 5, 1884. Mr. 
Pennoyer has taken an active interest in all 
public matters and has held various local of- 
fices. In political matters he affiliates with 
the republican party. 

Having been identified with the growth 
and development of Meeker county iluring 
a residence of nearly a quarter of a century, 
he is well-known to all pioneers, and none is 
held in higher esteem. Tiirough his untar- 
nished and unblemished integrity his word is 
recognized as being as good as a bond, and 
he is held in the highest respect by all who 
know him. Hospitable, charitable, and en- 
terprising, aiding whatever entei'prise is cal- 
culated to benefit either town or county in 
which he has lived so long, he has justly 
earned the high reputation which he bears, of 
being one of the most desirable citizens of 
which any locality can boast. 

We take [Jeasure in presenting a portrait 
of Mr. Pennoyer in another department of 
this work. 

I^RANK E. WHEELER. The subject of 
JP' this sketch, a resident of section 9, is 
one of the leading citizens of Cedar Mills 
township, and is a son of Isaac Wheeler, who 
is mentioned above. He is a native of Gar- 
land, Maine, and was born on the 1st of Jan- 
uary, 1851. His early life was spent in his 
native State, and in 1861 he came West with 
his father's family, and they settled in 
Wright county, Minnesota, as has been 
stated. In 1863 they settled in Meeker 
county, and Frank remained at home until 
the death of his mother in 1876, when 
the family was l)roken up and scattered. 
After this Frank taught school in this 
county and also in Wabash county, Indiana, 
following this profession for three years. 
In April, 1881, he settled upon the old 
homestead, and this has since been his home. 
He has a valuable farm of 180 acres, eighty 


of which are already under cultivation, and all 
of it is in tillable condition. He has made 
substantia! im])rovenients on the place and it 
is conveniently arranged. He devotes his 
time and energies to general farming and 
stock raising, and is I'ated as one of the nK)st 
successful and enteiprisiug agriculturists in 
the township. He has taken an active and 
prominent part in township and educational 
affairs of late years, and has held various 
local offices, including those of supervisor, 
school clerk and others. He has been a 
member of the Presbyterian Church for 
fifteen years. 

Mr. Wheeler was married at Ellsworth, 
March 19, 1879, to Miss .Lucy Porter, of 
Ellsworth township, and they are the parents 
of four children, as follows: Mellen E., 
Ethel E., Ruth C. and Allen K. Mrs. 
Wheeler was born at Greenfield, Wis., July 
9, 1856. 


J^RANK T. PETERSON, of Swede Grove 
_lp2- township, is one of the most extensive 
stock raisers in Meeker county. lie is a son 
of Peter O. and Christine (Hawkinson) 
Peterson. The parents were natives of 
Sweden, who came to the United States in 
1854, and settled in Chisago county, Minn. 
The following is a hst of their children — 
John W., born January 20, 1858 ; Frank T., 
born October 2, 1859 ; Mary C, born March 
14, 1861 ; Christine E., born March 29, 1863 ; 
Oscar F., (deceased) born January 20, 1865 ; 
and Ida ]V[., born May 21, 1867. Mary C. 
married Charles M. Ahlstrom, a resident of 
Harvey township. John W., for the past 
three years, has been engaged in railroad 
contracting, in company with a cousin, John 
G. Lundquist, who has been in the business 
for the last thirteen years. They are now 
building a road near Chicago. Frank T., 
Christine and Ida M. still live at home, 

although the last named, at this writing, is 
in St. Peter, attending college. Frank T. & 
Co. carry on the extensive farming and stock 
raising business; they own 1,200 acres of 
land and have about the finest farm build- 
ings in the western j)art of the county. 

As has been stated, the father settled in 
Chisago county, Minn., in 1854. In 1868 the 
family removed to Swede Grove township, 
Meeker county, settling on section 36, where 
the father died on the 24th of November, 

1886, and where the mother still lives. The 
farm is carried on jointly', being owned in 
thirds by Frank T. and John W. Peterson, 
and their cousin, John G. Lundquist, with 
Frank as manager. They devote sjiecial at- 
tention to raising blooded horses, cattle and 
hogs, and some of the finest stock in the 
State may be seen at their fai'm. They have 
on hand two stallions worthy of special 
notice : Sansonnet, imported by M. W. 
Dunham in 1887; French No. 8,811, Ameri- 
can No. 6,991 ; also Simonneau, French No. 
9,020, American No. 7,108. They have the 
following valuable inares, which were im- 
ported by M. W. Dunham : Poulotte, im- 
ported in 1886, French No. 6677, American 
No. 5614; Valentine, imported in 1884, 
French No. 2778, American No. 3663 ; Lil- 
liane, imported in 1887, French No. 8554, 
American No. 7145 ; Bibi, imported in 

1887, French No. 10248, American No. 
7128. These magnificent animals were 
purchased at a cost of $11,750. In addition 
to these they have many others of high 
grade which are a credit to the county. 

^^ B. BENSON, cashier of the Meeker 
^^^ Bank of Litchfield, was born in St. 
Peter, Nicollet county, Minn., July 2, 1860, 
and is the son of Peter and Malena Benson, 
natives of Sweden, who were engaged in 


agricultural pursuits in that section of the 
State, having settled there some time in the 
" Forties," among the pioneers of the State. 

The subject of this memoir was reared 
upon the paternal farm, receiving his educa- 
tion in the district schools and remained at 
home until the fall of 1880, when he attended 
a course at the business college at Minnea- 
polis. The following spring he came to 
Litchfield and entered the Meeker County 
Bank as book-keeper, and remained in that 
capacity until July 7, 1884, when he was 
made assistant cashier, and in March, 1885, 
was jiromoted to the post of cashier in tiie 
same monetary institution. He is one of the 
solid young business men of whom Litchfield 
can justly boast, and has a bright and pros- 
perous future before him. 

On the 24th of November, 1887, Mr. Benson 
' led to the hymeneal altar Miss Pauline Fuller, 
one of Meeker county's fairest, brightest 
daughters. She was the child of George W. 
Fuller, the well known horticulturist and 
arboriculturist of Litchfield. The happiness 
of the young couple was, however, of but 
brief duration, the angel of death claiming 
the bride on the 9th of May, 1888, and after a 
brief honeymoon of about five months she 
passed to that land Elysian, whose portals we 
call death, leaving her husband's heart and 
home a desolate waste. 

l&aTANS EVENSON, a successful farmer 
JL-^IL and stock raiser, residing on section 8, 
Green leaf township, and one of the most 
prominent old settlers in Meeker county, 
was born in Norway on September 6, 181.5. 
He remained in his native land until the 
spring of 1852, when he came to the United 
States and settled in Eock count\'. Wis. On 
July 12, 1854, he returned to his native land 
and remained until 1857, when he returned 
to the United States, setthng this time in 

St. Paul, but three months later went to 
Scott county, Minn., where he spent the 
winter. His next move was to locate in 
Wright county, where he spent two years in 
the " Big Woods," and then, in the spring of 
1860, he came to Meeker county, and took 
a claim on section 8, where he has since 
lived. Flis trip to this county was one of 
severe hardship, as he came on foot from 
Wright county, accompanied by his oldest 
son, Even. At that time there was only one 
house in sight — on Inger Hill, which was oc- 
cupied by a man named Inger. They came 
in tlie winter or early spring, and bought a 
hand-sled, on which they drew their tools, 
etc., and went direct to the Ole Ness place, 
which was near Little Lake, in what is now 
Litchfield township. During that winter, 
he would start every morning for his place, 
and spent his time in getting out logs, so as 
to be ready to build in the spring ; also dur- 
ing that time, he dug a well fifty feet deep 
for Ole Ness, and stoned it up. He remained 
about a month at that time, and then bor- 
rowed a sled and yoke of oxen from Ness and 
started to Wright county for his family. At 
the time he started, the ground was covered 
with snow, but it thawed before he s:ot 
through, and he was compelled to construct 
a home-made wagon with which to get back, 
accomplishing it by hewing out four wheels 
and erecting a rude frame work. Upon his 
return, he staid two nights at the Ness place, 
and then left his family for several months 
at a bachelor's named Guner, while he was 
building a shanty on his place. About 
August he moved his family into the cabin. 
During that year he raised a few potatoes, 
but for the first five years following his set- 
. tlement, he lost most of his crops through 
the blackbirds. 

Thus matters were moving peaceably until 
that fatal August, 1862, when the terrible 
Indian outbreak began, and as Mi'. Evenson 
was one of those who were here during the 


most trying times, we will briefly review his 
experience. On the ITtli of August, Even 
and one of his brothers were at Ness's and 
learned of the massacre at Acton. When 
they told their father, he could not realize 
that the matter was an aotual fact, and after 
remaining quietly at home over night, he 
started the next day (Monday, the 18th,) for 
Ness's to learn the pai-ticulars. On the way 
he met a neighbor, named Butler, who 
begged him to hitch u]) mhiI take his family 
to St. Paul, but Ml'. Evensou refused and 
went on to the farm of Ole Ness. Learning 
that the Indians were really on the warpath, 
he sent his wife and two little children to 
Forest City, and he and. the boys staid on 
the farm until the following Wednesday, 
putting up hay. On the day mentioned, his 
wife returned to the ])lace, and told him that 
he must pack up and get to some place of 
safety, as the news had come in daily of the 
terrible murders which the Indians had com- 
mitted. He accordingly was reluctantly pre- 
vailed upon to go to Forest City, where heat 
once learned that there was good ground for 
the terror which had seized every one. The 
following morning he started with his family 
for Kingston, where he remained t\\ o weeks, 
and then, as Capt. Whitcomb's " Home 
Guards" had been organized, they returned 
to Forest Cit}\ They were there when the 
Indians made the attack on that place, and 
Mr. Evenson and son, Even, were doing 
guai'd duty that night. Even was the sec- 
ond one to return the fire of the Indians. 
At the time, the family were sleeping in 
Atkinson's store, and when the attack came, 
at about one o'clock in the morning, they 
hastened inside the fortification. When the 
father got a chance to look around, he found 
that one of his sons — Andrew — was missing, 
and at once started out to find him, but see- 
ing nothing of him, he returned and found 
that Andrew had safely got inside. The 
bullets were then flying thick and fast. 

After the attack there followed a period 
when j)rovisions got very scarce, and it was 
dangerous to go out to find eatables. 

After a time the excitement some\vhat 
subsiiled, but for two years they were 
always on the alert, not knowing what time 
the treacherous savages might renew their 
depredations. In the fall the family return- 
ed to the farm and during the \vinter they 
lived by trapping. Settlei's soon began re- 
turning to tlieir claims and his cabin was a 
I'egular tavern. Money was very scarce, 
and but few of the settlers had the pleasure 
of seeing any money that winter, to say 
nothing of owning any. 

Now to return to Mr. Evenson's private 
history : Hans Evenson was married in the 
year 1842, to Christina F. Anderson, and 
they have been blessed with seven chil- 
dren, as follows — Bertha, born Sept. 22, 
1842; Even, born Nov. 21, 1844, mentioned 
elsewhere at length ; Andrew, born Oct. 30, 
1847; Helena M., born Oct. 3, 1852 ; John 
F., born Feb. 3, 1856, died May 30, 1857, on 
board shiji and was buried at sea in St. 
Lawrence Bay ; John F., born Jan. 22, 1859 ; 
and a child born in 1861, which died at the 
time of birth. Mrs. Evenson, the wife and 
mother, dieil on the 19th of January, 18S7. 
Mr. Evenson is a republican in politics as is 
the case with all his sons. He is a member 
of the Lutheran church. Mr. Evenson is 
now well along in years and is passing the 
evening of his life in a quiet way with his 
children. He has lived a life of usefulness 
and activity, a man of the strictest honor 
and integrit}'' and one for whom every one 
who knows him entertains the kindliest feel- 
ings and highest regard. 

John F. Evenson, one of the sons who is 
mentioned above, with whom the father 
resides, was born in Wright county. He 
was married May 28, 1885, to Mary John- 
son, and they have been blessed with two 
children — George H., born June 22, 1886 ; 



and Christina F., born Feb. 20, 1888. Mr. 
•Evenson carries on the farm and also devotes 
his attention extensi veh' to stock raising. 
He is one of the leading and most successful 
agriculturists in the township. 


JAMES NELSON HANSON is one of the 
successful farmers of Acton township. 
He was born in Denmark on the 20th of 
March, 1837. When he left his native land, 
in 1859, he was called upon liy a government 
officer and told that he must return to 
Denmark a year later and serve his time in 
the army but after his arrival liere he 
decided that he was better suited to stay 
here and so he "forgot to return." Upon 
landing in the New World he stojiped for a 
short time at New Orleans and then went 
to Kaufman county, Tex., where he was 
employed at driving and marking cattle for 
an extensive stock-raiser until the fall of 
1860. He then returned to New Orleans 
and worked for W. H. Wilier, at gardening 
for one month for §10; then he drove a mule 
team for the same party for $20 per month. 
His next move was to St. Louis, but not 
liking the place he boarded a steamboat for 
St. Paul and from there made his way to 
Empire City, Dakota county, Minn. There 
he remained for six years, working on a farm 
for Mr. J. Haislet, after which in 1872, he 
settled in Acton township, where he still 

Mr. Hanson was married in 1802, to Miss 
Marthe Christianson, who was born in 
Norway on the 17th of February, 1843. 
They have been blessed with the following 
named children — Josephine, born January 9, 
1863, died April 5, 1860; Mary Julia, born 
December IS, 1861:; Josephine E., born 
August 24, 1866 ; Gemalinde Christine, born 
April 3, 1869; Hans Olaus, born September 
25, 1870 ; Martin Julius, born August 16, 

1872; Edwin Anton, born September 25, 1874^ 
Adolph Ottoer, born June 26, 1876, died June- 
8, 1877; Adolph Ottoer, born April 8,1878; 
Nettie Amanda, born July 3, 1880, died Feb- 
ruary 16, 1884; Henry Elvin, born August 
21, 1882; and Nettie Amanda, born October 
6, 1885. Mr. Hanson has taken an active 
interest in all public affairs and has held 
various offices of trust and importance, 
including those of school director, and 
clerk, road ovei'seei-, pound master and 
others. The family are members of the 
Norwegian Lutheran church. Mr. Hanson 
was a poor man when he came to this 
country but has been very successful and 
has a comfortable home and a valuable farm 
of 120 acres. 

^^^ tor of the hotel and the oldest resi- 
dent now living in the village of Greenleaf, 
was born in Washington county. Me., on 
the 8th of May, 1835. His parents, Francis 
and Eliza Eutteriield,were of English descent, 
though natives of the "Pine Tree" State. 
The greater part of Charles' early life was 
spent on his father's farm and doing carpen- 
ter work, yet he was engaged at various 
times in the pineries. In 1854 he was mar- 
ried to Mary E. Beedy, who was born in 
Maine 1835. Three children were born to 
them — Wilmot B., who is mentioned else- 
where at length; Ida May, now Mrs. W. W. 
Johnson, of Litchfield; and Edwin B., a resi- 
dent of Dickinson, Dakota. Mrs. Butterfield 
died in 1861, and in 1862 Mr. Butterfield 
was united in marriage with Mary A. Pineo, 
who was also a native of Maine. 

In 1865 Charles W. Butterfield, our sub- 
ject, came West and settled in the village of 
Greenleaf, Meeker county, Minn., where 
he still lives. He purchased farm property 
in Ellsworth township, but his residence and 
business interests were in the village. For 



one year he controlled the mail route from 
Minneapolis to (Treenleaf via Watertown, and 
he at ]ircsent has thei'oute from Litchfield to 
Hutchinson. Mr. Butterfleld is a Greenleaf 
man in the strongest sense of ihe term. He 
has staid by the village through all its vicis- 
situdes, and to-day enjoys the distinction of 
being its oldest inhabitant in point of years of 
residence. He has held various township 
offices and is ever found identified Avith mat- 
ters pertaining to the welfare of his adopted 
home. Mr. Buttertield's name appears fre- 
quentl}' in the pages of this volume, as he has 
been prominently connected with the history 
of the village in whicli he resides. He is a 
member of the Golden Fleece lodge, No. 89, 
A. F. & A. M., of Litchfield. 

>ETER BERGGREN, a respected and 
1^ intelligent farmer residing on section 
85, Union Grove townshij), is a son of Nels 
O. and Meta Berggren, and was born in 
Sweden on the 27th of July, 1860. His 
parents brought the family to the United 
States in 1868 and made their way direct- 
ly to Meeker county, Minn. They first 
stopped at Grove City, and the father took 
a homestead near there, upon which they 
lived for five years, proving up on the place, 
but afterward lost it on a mortgage, having 
had bad luck with their crops. They then 
settled on another farm where they lived 
three years, but the grasshoppers came and 
destroyed their grain and they lost that 
farm. In March, 1879, they came to Union 
Grove township and the father purchased 
200 acres of land on sections 35 and 36, 
•where the family still reside. The fatlier 
died tliere on the 4th of Septeml)er, 1879, 
and the mother on the 2d of Februarv, 
1888. They were both honest and industri- 
ous peo])ie and were held in high respect by 
all who knew them. They had a family of 

eleven children, six of whom are dead and 
five living. The living children are as fol- 
lows : Petei-, born July 27, 1860 ; Ole, born 
September 5, 1862 ; Andrew, born July 17, 
1869 ; William, born February 8,1871; and 
John, born July 16, 1875. 

Peter has cliarge of the farm and is a suc- 
cessful and industrious young man, who is 
certain to succeed in liis farming opei'ations. 
The farm is well stocked, and is one of the 
most valuable in the township. 

TOHN FLYNN, the father of Michael J. 
W and Daniel Flynn, was one of the 
pioneers of Meeker county, arriving here on 
the 8th of July, 1856, and took Government 
land on sections 22 and 23, in Forest City 
township. He was accompanied at that 
time by John Whalen and family, and sev- 
eral others. His family at that time con- 
sisted of himself and wife; Mary (now Mrs. 
Daniel Dougherty, of Harvey township); 
Michael J. and Daniel, now of Litchfield; 
and Elizabeth, now wife of Hon. W. M. 
Campbell, United States Marshal for Minne- 
sota. Besides these, there were two hired 
men and a nephew of Mr. Flynn. The 
Flynn family started from Crown Point, 
Lake county. Ind., about the 12th of May, 
1856, with the idea of finding a home in 
Iowa or Minnesota. Their outfit consisted 
of two covered Avagons, with two yoke of 
oxen hitched to each ; and they also had 
twenty-five head of cows, besides quite a lot 
young stock. Wlien they reached Dubuque 
and learned of the magnificent country in 
this part of ]\Iinnesota, tlie father decided to 
investigate, and, in company with John 
"Whalen, he started on a Mississip])i river 
boat for St. Anthony, with the under- 
standing that the family should meet him 
upon his I'eturn, at Rochester. The family 
accordingly 2>i"oceeded with the teams and 



stock, arriving at the appointed place four 
or five days before tlie return of the father. 
At that time there was only one house at 
Eochester — a little 14x20 feet log cabin, 
which served tiie purpose of store, hotel, 
saloon, etc. When the father returned he told 
them that he had looked over Meeker county 
and had decided to locate here. They then 
started north, crossing the river at Monti- 
cello on the 4th of July, having to swim the 
stock, finally arriving and taking up land in 
this county, as above stated. Mr. Flynn at 
once began improvements and remained upon 
the farm until the time of his death, in June, 
1859. The family remained there until the 
time of the Indian outbreak, at wiiich time 
the women folks went to Clearwater, where 
they remained a month or so. The bo^'s 
remained here or returned immediately to 
get in their crop (for it was harvest time), 
and participate in the action against the 
Indians. Their house was not molested by 
the redskins, but served as a headquarters 
for all of the friends and neighbors south 
and west of them. 

John Flynn was a native of County Wa- 
terford, Ireland, born in 1805, and was a 
gardener Ijy profession in the old country. 
About the year 1836 he emigrated to Amer- 
ica ami lived for some time at Buffalo, N. Y., 
whence he removed to Chicago. In the lat- 
ter city lie married Miss Ann Lynch. From 
there he moved to Elgin. 111., where he set- 
tled on a farm. He afterward made several 
removals previous to coming here, and was at 
one time engaged in contracting on the Lake 
iShore & Michigan Soutliern railroad, in Indi- 
ana, just before starting for this locality. 

MELS ELOFSON is one of the pioneers 
of Swede Grove township. He is a 
son of Elofson and Bertha Anderson, and 
was born in Sweden on the 14th of June, 

1834. He came to the United States with 
his mother in 1857, coming to Meeker 
county, Minn., direct, and filed a claim on 
land on section 33. He later sold that place 
and now owns 240 acres on sections 26 and 
27, where he now lives. On tlie 31st of 
August, 1861, he was married to Miss Ellen 
Eckbom, a daughter of Andrew and Anna 
Eckbom, who was born in Sweden August 20, 
184L Their union has been blessed with 
the following children — Edward N., born 
October 9,1862; Andrew N., born March 21, 
1864; William, born April 11, 1866 ; Betsy, 
born May 16, 1868 ; Anna, born December 
26, 1869; Alice Bertha, born January 18, 
1876, and Fred, born November 18, 1880. 
Edward is in business at Grove City ; An- 
drew N. is foreman in a store at Paynesville ; 
and Betsy is a dressmaker at Litchfield. The 
other children are at home. Mr. Elofson 
learned the carpenter's trade before he left 
his native land. The fii-st work he did in tlie 
United States was in that line, finishing a 
house for a Mr. Yates in the fall of 1857. 
Being unable to speak English, Mr. Elofson 
was made to understand what was wanted 
by signs, and when the job was finished he 
received his pay in flour, and was perfectly 

Tlie following spring he had hard work to 
find employment, but finally about six miles 
below St. Paul, he got a job of digging a cel- 
lar, laying the wall and foundation — his first 
mason work — and buikling the house. After 
finishing this he went to Carver and took 
charge of a widow's farm for about a year 
and a half, when he again returned to his 
claim, but soon went back to Carver and for 
a few months was engaged in a furniture 
shop. After his marriage he returned to his 
claim and his mother, his brother, Peter, and 
sistei", Betsy, lived with him. 

Mr. Elofson took an active part in the 
Indian warfare and was present through all 
the Indian troubles. On the 17th of August, 



1862, a meeting of some of the settlers was 
held at Mr. Elofson's house for the purpose 
of raising three men to fill a draft, which had 
been made on the town of Swede Grove. At 
about ten o'clock in the morning his neighbor 
Monson's children came and informed them 
that the Indians were about and they were 
afraid to stay there. Upon learning this Mr. 
Monson and Swan Nelson went over to see 
what was the trouble and met the Indians, 
who were mounted, on tiie way. One of the 
red skins reached down and caught Nelson 
by the whiskers and pointed to the east, but 
he did not understand what tiiey meant. 
They soon arrived at Elofson's and the latter 
found that he was acquainted with several 
of the party. The Indians would not talk 
English but stated that they were on their 
way to the " Big Woods '' for the purpose of 
killing some Chippewas, that had been kill- 
ing the whites. They then rode off and soon 
met an aunt of Mr. Elofson's and frightened 
her by brandishing their knives, but offered 
no violence. After the murder of the Jones 
and Baker families the news of the outbreak 
spread very rapidly, and in the evening Mr. 
Elofson and Nels Hanson went to the scene 
of tlie murder where others had gathered 
before tlieir arrival. There they learned the 
details of the affair and were told to come 
back the next morning and help bury the 
dead, which they did. While they were there 
nine Indians came in sight and several shots 
were exchanged, but no one was hurt. Mr. 
Elofson then returned to his home and helped 
to start his own and all neighboring families 
for Lake Ripley (now Litchfield); while he 
with acouple of others awaited developments. 
On the 22d they saw Indians at a distance 
in pursuit of whites and decided that it 
was time for them to go to some place of 
safety. Mr. Elofson learned that his family 
had gone from Lake Ripley to Forest City, 
then Clearwater, and then St. Paul, and 
knowing they were safe he returned to 

Forest City and participated in the organiza- 
tion of the " Home Guards." Mr. Elofson 
was also at Forest City at the time it was 
attacked by the Indians, and took an active 
part in the defense. Mr. Elofson remained 
at Forest City until October, when, lie in 
company with others, started out in seai'cli of 
stock and found considerable of it. All of 
the houses in Grove City had been burned 
except two. Not iiaving heard from his 
wife and child since the beginning of the 
outbreak, and not knowing where they were, 
he went to St. Paul to look them up. There 
he met a friend who informed him that they 
had gone to his wife's parents at Carver, 
whither he went, and remained until the fol- 
lowing spring. lie then worked at carpen- 
ter woi'k until August, when he removed to 
Anoka. In February, 1864, he rented the 
farm where Litchfield is now located, and re- 
mained there until fall, when he Ijought a 
house at Forest City, and lived there until 
the following s])ring, then returned to his 
farm, and has since made this his home. In 
January, 1870, he went to Sweden, and 
returned the following June, bringing 300 
emigrants with him ; he was the first post- 
master in Swede Grove township and held 
the office for seven years. From 1872 to 
1876 he was in the agricultural implement 
business. He also spent about five months 
in the employ of the map publishing house 
of Warner ife Foote. Mr. Elofson is a demo- 
crat in political matters, and has taken an 
active interest in all matters of a public 
nature. He has held various offices, includ- 
ing those of coroner, chairman of supervisors,, 
school clerk, etc. 


^Ifi^'iMOTHY DUNN, one of the earhest 
._Jj settlers of Meeker count}', made a pre- 
emption claim on a part of sections, Darwin 
township, in July, 1856, atid upon that same 
piece of land makes his home at the present. 



He was a native of Count}- Tipperary, Ire- 
land, who had come to the free shores of 
America in 1847, landing at New York. 
After a few daj'^s spent in the metropolis of 
the western world, he went up the Iludsoii 
river to Rondout, New York, but a few 
weeks later came westward and settled at 
Milwaukee, Wis., where he labored for five 
years. About that time the gold excitement 
in California was at its height, and Mr. 
Dunn, then a young and vigorous man, 
started for that land of the sunset and 
passed three years of his life in that part of 
our country. 

Returning to the " States," as it was 
termed in tiiose days, Mi-. Dunn then came 
to Meeker county, as stated above. He was 
one of the first settlers of Darwin township, 
and, it is believed, plowed the first furrow in 
that part of the county. His boy, Edmund, 
who died in 1862, was the first death in the 
township. The first season that Mr. Dunn 
was here he planted some potatoes, but says 
that the grasshoppers took them about as 
fast as they showed above the ground. 

In August, 1862, Mr. Dunn was assisting 
in stacking grain at the Widow Powers' 
place, Avhen he heard of the cowardly mur- 
ders at Acton and the first news of the 
Indian outbreak. Leaving at once, he 
found, on reaching his own place, that a 
notice was fastened upon the door of his 
cabin, warning him of his danger, and that 
the Indians were up for mischief. He ac- 
cordingly went to Forest City, antl from 
there to Kingston, where lie remained some 
three weeks. Going on, finally, to Minne- 
apolis, he there remained until October fol- 
lowing, when he returned to his farm. He 
found everything destroyeil here, and had to 
commence forthwitii to rebuild his place 
as from the very beainnino-. 

Mr. Dunn was married July -1, 1861, to 
Miss Mary A. Deavey, who l)ecame the 
mother of nine cliildren, all of whom are 

dead but two. Tlie family are devotedly 
attached to the Roman Catholic Church, and 
fulfill their proper duties. In politics Mr. 
Dunn is a steady, warm-hearted democrat, 

and a good citizen. 


^^OPHIA C. PRATT is' postmistress at 
"^^^ Greenleaf village, and also cari-ies an 
extensive stock of general merchandise. She' 
is a native of Otsego county, N. Y. After 
receiving a thorough education, attending 
school in New York and Canada, she be- 
gan teaching school and followed that pro- 
fession for some time in Canada. On the 
17th of September, 1859, she came to 
Meeker county, Minn., with her sister, Eliza, 
the father having arrived here on the 
6th of June, 1859, they Ijeing among the 
early settlers, and she resumed her vocation 
as a teacher in her new home. She was one 
of the first teachers in the county, having 
held one term at the house of Mr. Ci'oss, at 
Cedar Mills, as early as 1860. She was paid 
by subscription and " boarded round." When 
the Indian outljreak occurred siie was teaching 
school at Greenleaf village. At an early day 
Miss Pratt clerked for W. H. Greenleaf. On 
November 30, 1SS6, Miss Pratt was ap- 
pointed postmistress at Greenleaf village, the 
office having become vacant through the 
resignation of her brother Ira, and since that 
time she has retained the position to the entire 
satisfaction of all the patrons of the office. 
Miss Pratt's connection with the business in- 
terests of Greenleaf has been an active one, 
and she is prominently identified with the 
history of the southern part of the county. 

BANIEL FLYNN, of Litchfield, is a 
son of John Flynn, who has ah'eady 
been mentioned in this department. Daniel 
is a native of Elgin, 111., born May 18, 1843, 



and came to Meeker county, witli his parents, 
in 1856, when still a boy. lie remained 
principally with the family until 1873. 
During the Indian troubles the family was 
taken to Clearwater, l)ut Daniel, with others, 
remained to fight the redskins. In 1S73, 
he rented out the old homestead and came 
to Litchlieltl. Tiie following year, in 
company with his brother, Michael J., he 
engaged in the lumber trade and in the 
winter of 1875-0, they took up agricultural 
implements. Later they sold out their 
lumber business to W. H. Greenleaf. In 
1879 the firm purchased the Butler elevator, 
and since that time have carried on a very 
extensive business in 'grain and farm 
machinery. During the season of 1887 they 
handled over 175,000 bushels of wheat alone. 
In 1884 Mr. Flinn was elected sheriff of 
Meeker county, and held the office for three 
years. He has filled various other offices 
and was for several years one of the village 
aldermen, and has always taken an active 
interest in all matters affecting the welfare 
of his town or county. 

Mr. Flynn was united in marriage, Decem- 
ber 25, 187-1, with Miss Mary A. McNamara, 
a native of Jefferson City, Mo. By this 
union there have been born a family of eight 
children, whose names are respectively — 
John Arthur, Daniel, Thomas, Michael, 
Francis, Louise, Mary and Elizabeth. 


lLE AMUNDSON, a pioneer of Meeker 

county, who is now a resident of sec- 
tion 29, Litchfield township, is a native of 
Norway, born April 9, 1823, and a son of 
Amund and Bertha Christophdatter Olson, 
both of whom are dead. Ole came to Amer- 
ica in 1855, and after living for two years in 
Eock county. Wis., came to Meeker count}^ 
Minn., arriving here in July, 1857. He first 
selected a timber claim on section 25, Acton 

township, and he and Kels Danielson and 
Amos Nelson Fosen ])roved u]i on tlieir land 
together and then divided it. he retaining 
one forty -acre tract in tlie timber, and three 
forties on section 29, in what is now Litch- 
field township. After the close of tiie war 
he took an eighty-acre liomestead, and five 
years latei' built the house on section 29, 
where he now lives. 

On the lotli of October, 1860, he was mar- 
ried to Oline Marie Sy vertsdatter, who was 
born in Norway on the 5th of February, 
1832, and who died on the 27th of August, 
1883. She bore him seven children — Albert, 
born July 30, 1861 ; Betse, born January 4, 
1863; Syvert, born October 20, 1864, died 
October 6, 1865; Syvert, born March 21, 
1866; Johanne Marie, born August 9, 1869 ; 
Carl, born September 3, 1871 ; and Olaven, 
born October 3, 1873. 

At the time of the Indian outbreak Mr. 
Amundson was living on his original claim. 
He received the news of the beginning of 
the massacre from Mrs. Baker, widow of 
one of the murdered men, and another 
woman, who came to his house on Sunday, 
August 17, 1802. After assisting in the 
burial of the victims, he removed his family 
to Forest City, and assisted in Iniilding the 
stockade, living in the meanwhile in a house 
just outside of it. W.'ien the town was so 
suddenly attacked by the Indians, he lost no 
time in gettmg his family into the fort for 
refuge. When the danger seemed to have 
passed, he and several others went to Ever 
Jackson's place to cradle wheat, taking 
with them Mrs. Ever Jackson and IMrs. 
Helena Danielson, to keep house for them. 
They cradled wheat on one Saturday, and 
on Sunday went out and found the cattle, 
which had strayed off, and drove them into 
tlie yards. That night they noticed that the 
dogs were in a state of alarm all night, and 
it became evident that Indians were prowl- 
ing around. The next morning Andrew 



Olson and Nels Danielson -vvent over to the 
corrals to salt the cattle, while Mr. Amund- 
son and Burger Anderson were ens'affed in 
grinding their cradles. Presently they 
heard five shots fired, and taking the two 
women with them, started to run for their 
hves. Finding that the women could not 
hold out, they secreted them in a thicket and 
then went on to Forest City. The next 
morning they returned with a squad of men 
and found the women still safeh^ hid, but 
Olson had been killed and scalped. They 
buried him on the spot, but his remains were 
subsequently interred in the Ness cemetery. 
In the spring, after the outbreak, Mr. 
Amundson moved his family back to his 
farm. He has met with three disasters 
since, having his crops destroyed once by a 
hailstorm, and twice by the grasshoppers ; 
but his untiring energy has enabled him to 
overcome all, and he now has a splendid 
farm of over 200 acres. His family are 
members of the Ness Norwesfian Lutheran 
church, and he is sexton of the cemetery. 
It may be of interest to state in this connec- 
tion, that the State monument over the first 
five massacre victims is located in this burial 


lRIN B. VOSE, the present township 
clerk of Union Grove township, is an 
enterprising and respected farmer residing 
on section 22. Mr. Vose was born in Waldo 
county, Maine, on January 28, 1840, and is a 
son of Edwin and Nancy J. (Custis) Vose. 
His mother ,died when he was eight years 
old, and for two years he lived with Daniel 
Heriman, near Frankfort, Maine. He then 
went to Montville and lived with Samuel 
Dodge for four years, after which for eight- 
een months he worked for Ames Sprawl. 
He then went to Boston, Mass., where he 
was apprenticed to George Kobinson, to 

learn the carpenter's trade, remaining with 
him three years. He then worked at his 
trade for two years, when he had a serious 
fall while working on an ice house at Lin- 
field, Mass., which laid him up for six 
months. When he had recovered sufficiently 
from his injuries he found employment driv- 
ing the horse cars between Chelsea and Bos- 
ton, which he followed for a year and a half. 
He then enlisted in Company H, Fiftieth 
Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 
for nine months' service, and was mustered in 
on the 29th of September, 1862. After the 
expiration of his term of service he was mus- 
tered out on the 24:th of August, 1863. He 
then went back to the horse cars, and served 
as conductor on the line between Eoxbury 
and Boston for two years and a half. At 
the end of that time he came to Minnesota, 
and for one summer stopped at St. Joseph, 
Stearns county. In the fall of 1866 he came 
to Meeker county, and took a homestead on 
section 22, Union Grove township, and soon 
afterward spent two and a half months in the 
pineries. He then settled on his homestead, 
building a log cabin, but two months later 
took his family to St. Joseph, Stearns county, 
and remained there four months. He then 
settled again upon his homestead and has 
since lived here, Avith the exception of one 
year spent in California. 

Mr. Vose was married on the 11th of Sep- 
tember, 1861:, to Miss Sarah F. Merrill, a 
daughter of John and Mary (Wilson) Merrill, 
who was born April 2, 184:8. Their marriage 
has been blessed with one child — Bessie Lynn 
Vose, who was born September 17, 1881. 
Mrs. Vose lost one brother, Charles F., in the 
first battle of Bull Hun. She has three sisters 
living in Minnesota, and one in Maine, 
besides one brother in Maine and one in 
Ohio. Mr Vose lost one brother, Edwin, in 
the battle at Petersburg. 

Mr. Vose has taken an active interest in 
public affairs, and has been closely identified 



with official business of tlie township. He 
has held various offices, including the follow- 
ing: supervisor, one year; constable, eight 
years; school clerk ten years, and town clerk 
since 18S4. 

JAMES PETER BERG, of Acton townshiji, 
is a native of Denmark, and was born on 
the 29th of December, 1S44. His parents 
were Hans Peter and Mary Berg ; the father 
died in Denmark in 1870 and the mother 
is still living in his native land. James 
Peter came to the United States in 1865, 
and first stopped at Chicago, where he was 
employed in a lumber yard for several weeks. 
He then went to Dakota county, Minn, 
where he remained until the spring of 1867, 
and then settled in Acton township. Meeker 
county, having previous to this time taken a 
homestead on section 3-4, in that township, 
where he still lives. He was a poor man 
when he came to America, in fact was 
almost penniless, but by thrift and economy 
he has accumulated a line property. He 
now has 172 acres of land and a great deal 
of it is under a high state of cultivation. He 
has excellent farm buildings, an abundance 
of farm maciiinery, and has considerable 
valuable stock gathered aljout him. 

Mr. Berg was married on the 23d of 
October, 1869, to Miss Helena Sophia Mari,a 
Thompson, a native of Denmark, born April 
10, 1850. She came to Meeker county, in 
1869, with Nels K. Brown and worl;ed for 
different parties until her marriage. Her 
parents came to tlie United States in 1877 
and are now living in Big Stone county, 
JMiiin. Tlie niarriaije of Wv. and Mrs. Bero- 
has been Ijlessed with the following named 
children: Hansina Maria, born October 12, 
1870; Thomas, born March 27, 1873; Karo- 
line, born June 13, 1875 ; Jennie Sophia, 
born February 13", 1878 ; Hans Peter, born 

June 15, 1880; Dagmar Anneta, born Febru- 
ary 13, 1883; and Rose Marinda, born 
August 15, 1885. The family are members 
of the Norwegian Lutheran church. In 
])oliticul matters, Mr. Berg acts independent 
of party lines or party ties. 

"•V' 'l 

EUBEN S. HERSHEY, proprietor of 
[['c^, the " Fairview Stock and Dairy 
Farm," in Greenleaf township, is a lineal 
descendant of the Swiss Mennonites of that 
name who first settled in Lancaster county. 
Pa., in 1719. Reuben Hershey was born in 
Lancaster county, and was reared on the 
farm with his parents, Martin and Elizabeth 
Hershey. After reaching manhood he \vas 
engaged for a time in the forwarding and 
commission business, and in 1872 he came 
to Meeker county, Minn., and bought his 
l)resent farm ])roperty in Greenleaf town- 
shij). In 1873 he purchased the James H. 
Morris interest in the Litchfield flouring 
mills, retaining the interest about three 
years, remodeling the mill and giving it a 
reputation second to none in this part of 
the State. After his retirement from the 
milling business, he began devoting all his 
time, energy and talents to the stock and 
dairy business and the improvement of his 
beautiful farm home. The farm consists of 
about 1,000 acres, but a goodly portion is 
tenanted, Mr. Ilershey's attention being for 
the most jjart given to his stock and dairy 
interests. He operates a dairy on the place, 
the butter of which always commands an 
advance in price over the best creamery but- 
ter generally on the market. Mr. Hershey 
has in the ])ast suffered some heavy losses 
through grasslH)j)per ravages and hailstorms, 
yet he has taken but few backward steps, 
antl to-day " Fairview " is justly regarded as 
one of the most beautiful and most valuable 
farms in this portion of Minnesota. 




JOHN ESBJORNSSON is one of the most 
prominent lumber merchants, and is also 
one of the first settlers of Litchfield. He 
arrived at Litchfield on the 28th of June, 
1869, coming as far as Smith Lake, then the 
end of the railroad, on a train, anil walking 
from there to Litchfield. At tiiat time the 
site of the village only contained one black- 
smith shop, and the site of the present depot 
was covered with a wheatfield. 

In August, 1869, in company with C. Peter- 
son, he engaged in the lumber trade, start- 
ing the first lumber yard in the village. The 
following winter the firm was dissolved, and 
Mr. Esbjornsson engaged in the wheat trade. 
This he followed until the fall of 1887. In 
1876 he bought out S. "W. Leavitt's lumber 
yard, and has since continued m that busi- 
ness, handling sash, doors, blinds and every- 
thing pertaining to that line of trade. Mr. 
Esbjornsson has' taken an active interest in 
public matters, has been elected alderman a 
number of times, and at present is the mayor 
of the village, having been elected to that 
position in the spring of 1888. 

Mr. Esbjornsson is a native of Sweden, 
where he was born January 30, 1845. His 
younger days were spent upon a farm, and 
his earlier education was that afforded by 
common schools, but when he was twenty- 
two he took a course in an agricultural col- 
lege. Shortly after this he decided to come 
to America, and from that time until his emi- 
gration, in 1869, he devoted his time to edu- 
cating himself in the English language. He 
was married in 1879 to Miss Eureca A. Ilo- 
senquist, of Meeker county. 



OHN A. QUICK, one of the energetic 
citizens of Collinwood township, is 
engaged in carrying on farming operations 
on lot 5, section 20. He is the son of Elijah 
and Phoebe (Clark) Quick, and was l)orn 

in Grayson county, Ky., August 21, 1838, 
but when he was about a year old his parents 
emigrated to Perry county, Ind., where 
they died. Our subject worked at home on 
his father's farm, and his educational facili- 
ties were extremely limited. He obtained 
but five months' attendance upon a subscrip- 
tion school, but diligent study and an 
extended course of reading have given him 
an excellent education, which is altogether 
self-acquired. On attaining his majority he 
went back to Kentucky', and for several 
years was employed in various laborious busi- 
nesses. He finally returned to Indiana and 
rented a piece of land and put in a crop. 
"While here, June 29, 1862, he was wedded 
to Miss Margaret Waggoner, who was born 
in Frankfort. Germany, February 27, 1841, 
and daughter of AVilliam and Elizabeth 
(Haydener) Waggoner. He then purchased 
the homestead of his mother, and carried on 
farming until December, 1863, when he 
enlisted in Company L, Thii'teenth Indiana 
Cavalry, and partici])ated in the engage- 
ments at Huntsville, Murfreesboro, Franklin, 
Nashville and Moljile, and in many of the 
raids, skirmishes and expeditions. For over 
thirty -seven days they were in the saddle 
constantly on one raid, and they had several 
of thein. He was mustered out of ser- 
vice, as blacksniitii, in December, 1865, 
and for a sliort time after followed that 
trade in Indiana. He then sold out and 
came to Minnesota, settling in McLeod 
county in 1866, wiiere he lived two years 
and then came to Meeker county. He has 
held various townslii]) offices, and also that 
of notary public and county coroner. He 
taught school somewhat after coming here, 
and holds two teacher's certificates now. He 
is a zealous Methodist in religion, a licensed 
exhorter and has held the office of church 
steward and class-leader for several years. 
He is the parent of the following children — 
Lucy Jane, who was born October 2, 1863, 



but died Jul}' 4, 186i; Mary Magdalene, 
born September 25, 1867, now Mrs. Ilerljert 
Quick, of Fort Ilipley, Morrison county, this 
State, her marriage having taken ])lace 
November 18, 1880, and she is the mother of 
one child, Ernest Clyde, born March 18, 
1888; Andi'ew Jackson, born March 31, 
18fi9, died January 4, 1873; Rebecca Jane, 
liorn August 14, 1871, died the following Oc- 
tober 20; Sarah Elizabeth, born February 24, 
187G ; riia'be Catherine, born August 5, 
1878 ; and Effie Josephine, born July 16, 1881. 
jNfr. Quick has the reputation of making 
the best syrup manufactured in Meeker and 
McLeod counties. He began the manufacture 
of cane syrup in 1884 and 'has continued it 
ever since. He has one of Cook's improved 
evaporators and other necessary machinery, 
and with his skill and management his pro- 
ducts in this line are second to none manu- 
factured in the State. In the fall of 1884 he 
made over 600 gallons, 12 {wuncls to the gal- 
lon ; in the fall of 1885, 1,600 gallons, weigh- 
ing from 12 to 13 pounds to the gallon ; and 
in the fall of 1886 about 1,200 gallons of the 
same weight. In the fall of 1887 he only 
manufactured about 600 gallons, as his work 
was delayed on account of sickness. 

.-.^— — 

lig>>ATRICK CASEY. Prominent among 
W~ the old pioneers of Meeker county 
that still remain here is the gentleman whose 
name heads this personal memoir. He is a 
native of County Tipperary, Ireland, and was 
born in March, 1816, being baptized on the 
12th of that month. He was reared in the 
Emerald Isle and there made his home until 
tlie sad and eventful year of 1848, when, 
with a laudable desire to better his condition, 
he came to this country, landing at the port 
of New York on the 22d of January, 1849. 
After a short stay in the metropolis he 
removed to Allegheny county, Pa., where he 

remained some six years, and where he was 
married July 8, 1851, to Miss Hannorali 
McRaith. Leaving the "Keystone State" in the 
spring of 1S56, he came west to IManitowoc. 
Wis., and from there by way of Chicago, to 
Dubuque, Iowa, and fi'om there by steam- 
boat to St. Paul. There he met Captain 
Hayden, with his corps of surveyors, William 
and Michael O'Brien and Patrick Condon, 
and the whole party, in the month of May 
started in a bee line for Meeker county. 
With them was one ox team, the wagon 
being loaded with four barrels of flour 
belonging to Hayden. On the 1st of June, 
the little pai'ty struck the Big Woods and 
for sixteen days they struggled through the 
thirty-five miles that lay between them and 
their destination, reaching Kingston on 
the 16th of June, 1856. Two days later Mr. 
Casey took his claim on section 33, Darwin 
township, where he now lives, and which 
has been his home ever since, except during 
the Indian troubles. 

Putting up a cabin for himself and assist- 
ing the others to do the same, he paid Cap- 
tain Hayden thirty-five to dollars plow up 
an acre of ground for him, so that he could 
hold the claim. He then returned to Penn- 
sylvania, where he had left his family, but 
hearing that his claim had been "jumped," 
he returned to his land and found that Cap- 
tain Hayden's brother in-law had laid claim 
to the land, but no one was occupying it at 
the time. He took up his residence in his 
humble cabin to guard the place, but found 
no trouble. He and Patrick Condon 
" batched "' in Condon's shanty, where they 
had plenty of provisions, and spent that win- 
ter. In the spring IMr. Casey sent for his 
family, and waited in St. Paul for them. On 
their arrival he brought his wife and three 
children to this county, they arriving here 
May 9, 1857. That year he raised but a few 
potatoes, and in 1858 he bought a few bush- 
els of wheat, which he sowed and had to 



thrash witli a flail. From the bushel and a 
half which he sowed ujion the acre of ground 
which he broke, he harvested over fortj^ 

On the evenino- of the 18th of Aug-ust, 
1862, our subject heard of the Indian out- 
break that had commenced that day, and 
immediately took his family to Forest City, 
and two days later to Clearwater, stopping 
several times on his way, and from the last 
place sent the family on to Minnea})olis, and 
returned to look after the stock. lie found 
all in good sha])e but one steer, and gathering 
them together, drove off some twenty seven 
head, leaving six cows with John'Peiffer to 
keep for him. Going to Minneapolis, he did 
not return here until the spring of 1865, 
when he again took up his abode on his farm. 
He got about $300 from the State to indem- 
nify him for his losses, which helped give him 
a new start. 

Mr. and Mrs. Casey are the parents of 
twelve children, of whom the following is the 
record — Bridget, born April 16, 1853; Mary, 
whose birth took place August 31, 1854 ; Pat- 
rick, born April 18, 1856 ; Daniel, born April 
3, 1858; John, born March 21, 1861; Ed- 
mund, born December 24, 1862; Margaret, 
born August 20, 1865 ; Thomas, born Janu- 
ary 20, 1867 ; Ellen, born February 3, 1869 ; 
Hannorah, born June 27, 1870; Joanna, born 
May 14, 1872; and James, born February 9, 

The family are devout members of the 
Roman Catholic church. Mr. Casey is in 
politics a democrat, and has held the offices 
of chairman of the town board and town 

^TlLS DANIELSON, deceased, was a 
_yfj| respected citizen and an old settler 
in the western part of the county. The 
township of Danielson was so named in 
honor of him. He came to this country 

with his parents in 1855, and first settled in 
Rock county, Wis. They moved from there 
to Meeker county, Minn., in 1857, in com- 
pany with Kittel Haraldson, Ole Amundson 
and Gilbert Zackson. They first settled 
in the town of Acton and in 1863, Nils 
Danielson took his homestead on section 2, 
town of Danielson, and was the first settler 
in the township and the town was afterward 
named in honor of him. Nils Danielson died 
in 1869. The widow and six children 
survive him, all living in this county. There 
are four boys and two girls: the eldest, Helen, 
is married to E. Evenson, of the town of 
Greenleaf; the next oldest, Mary, is married 
to Ole K. Nilson, of the town of Danielson. 
Then comes D. N. Danielson, who is 
mentioned elsewhere. The next oldest is 
Henry, who is married and lives in the town 
of Cedar Mills. The next is Hans, who is a 
single man and lives with Daniel. The 
youngest, Anthony, also single and lives on 
the old homestead with his mother. 

As will be seen the family were hei'e at 
the time of the Indian outbreak. The father 
took an active part in the whole of it; 
was one of the band who went on the night 
of the 17th of August to Acton, where Jones, 
Baker and the others were murdered. Nils 
Danielson started out in company with 
Andrew Olson, to their respective farms, on 
the morning when Olson was shot by the 
Indians, and the two were only about fifty 
rods apart when Olson fell. 

fETER JOHNSON. Among the citizens 
of Meeker county who owe their pres- 
ent adequate fortunes entirely to their own 
ability and labor there is probably none more 
widely or more favorably known than the gen- 
tleman whose name heads this sketch. He is a 
resident of the village of Dassel, where he has 
large interests, prominent among which are 
his loan and real estate business, the lumber 



yarcl, liis connection with the woolen mill, 
and greatest of all, the Tile Stove J\Ianufac- 
tory, the product of which is destined to 
supersede, to some extent in this country, 
the old, unsightly iron stoves of the present. 

Mr. Johnson is a native of Sweden, born 
December 13, 1S40, and the son of Maria 
and John Olson, of CoUingwood township. 
When a young man he learned the tailor's 
trade and followed that avocation in his 
native land until 1861. Perceiving the 
impossibihty of acquiring any start in life in 
that counti'v he determined to seek in the 
New World the fortune denied him at home, 
and accordingly crossed the stormy Atlantic, 
and coming directly west worked at his 
trade in Chicago, 111., Mem])his, Tenn., and 
St. Paul, Minn., remaining in the latter city 
until 1867. Leaving there, that year, he 
traveled on foot to see the country, and on 
his arrival in CoUingwood township, this 
county, took up a homestead on section 12, 
and commenced its improvement. He lived 
upon this place, engaged in the avocation 
of a farmer until 1878, when he sold out 
and removed to Dassel, and opened his loan 
and real estate office. From this time on he 
has been identified with the growth and 
development of the town and county, and 
hasgrown in wealth and influence with them 
and to-day is one of the leading spirits in all 
enterprises that advance the interests or 
propei-ty of Dassel. 

Mr. Johnson, while a resident of St. Paul, 
was united in marriage with Miss Johanna 
Swanson, a native of Sweden. The ceremony 
which united them took place May 28, 1868, 
in the German Lutheran church, tiien on 
Ninth street. 

Xo one citizen has been more prominently 
identified with the growth and development 
of the eastern jiart of Meeker county than 
has Mr. Johnson, and every enterprise cal- 
culated to benefit either town or county has 
always received his hearty aid and encour- 

agement, lie is a man of the strictest honor 
and integrity, and justly merits the high 
esteem in which he is held. He takes an act- 
ive interest in political matters, being a staunch 
republican, and is one of the leaders of that 
party in the locality in which he lives, and 
as such is well known thi'oughuut this part 
of the State. Mr. Johnson was one of the 
delegates from this congressional district in 
J1888 to the national convention at Chicago. 
A portrait of him will be found elsewhere in 
this Album. 

/^^, ROVE CITY can boast of as fine a 
^^pT class of business men as any town 
of its size in Minnesota, and prominent 
among them is C. C. Reitan, the subject of 
this sketch. He, like many of the citizens 
of the State, is a native of Norway, born 
March 21, 18-19, and the son of Clement and 
Anna Reitan. Reared in his native land, he 
there received the elements of his education, 
and remained there until 1870, when, at the 
age of twenty-one, he crossed the ocean to 
the New AVorld to hew out his own fortune, 
bringing with him the honesty of purpose, 
the perseverance and the thrift so common 
to his countrymen. He came direct to Min- 
nesota on his arrival on Columbia's shore, 
and locating in Rice county, near Northfield, 
worked for a farmer there for some four 
years. He then went to Minnea])o]is, and 
for nearly as long a period was employed as 
a clerk in the grocery store of A. C. 
Haugen. A triji to his native land at the 
close of that eno-asement followed ; and 
while there he was united in marriage Julv 
10, 1877, with Miss Karen Kinseth. the sister 
of Mrs. A. C. Haugen, the cashier of the 
Scandia bank of Minneapolis. She was 
born September 19, 1852. He, with his 
young wife, returned to this country, arriv- 
ing in Minneapolis on the 13th of August, 
1879. Resuming his old place with Mr. 



Haugen, he remained until November fol- 
lowing, when he came to Grove City and 
opened a general merchandise store in con- 
nection with Mr. Haugen. This partnership 
lasted three years, and then he purchased 
the interest of his partner. Two years later 
John Christensen became a member of the 
firm, and the business is still carried on by 
them. Their building is a very line one 
and well filled with a well assorted stock of 
goods. The firm Iniilt an elevator of 50,000 
bushels capacity, which tliey also operated 
for two years, after which they sold it to 
the Northwestern Elevator Co. In 1885 
Mr. Reitan made another trip to Europe for 
his health, durine which he visited Enjr- 
land, France, Belgium, Germany, Norway 
and Sweden. His parents came to the 
United States in 1887, and now make their 
home with him. 

Mr. and Mrs. Reitan are the parents of 
five children, of whom the following is the 
record — Conrad Ulfred C, born June 17, 
1879; Louis, born April 17, 1881; Gustaf 
Arthur, born July 19, 1883 ; Ludwig 
Christian, born June 30, 1885 ; and Beatha 
Susanna, born October 20, 1886. 


lp)ETER KEILTY, a highly respected 
1^ farmer and stock- raiser, residing on sec- 
tion 28, Forest Prairie township, was born in 
Cincinnati, Ohio, on the 20th of September, 
1847, and is the son of William and Bridget 
Keilty, who were natives of Ireland. The 
family were among the earliest settlers in the 
township, the father having cut his own road 
to his homestead on section 34, which he 
took in 1864. The parents lived here for 
many years, then went to Kansas, but re- 
turned, and are now living in the township. 
Peter Keilty spent his school days, receiv- 
ing a good education, in Kentucky and Illi- 
nois, his parents having removed to the latter 

State in 1863. They remained there for sev- 
eral years, one of which was spent in the city 
of Chicago, and they then went to Berrien 
county, Mich., where they remained until 
coming to Meeker county, Minn., in 1866. 
The most of the life of our subject has been 
devoted to farming, althougii there have 
been some excejjtions. For two years he 
was on the Northern Pacific Railroad as a 
cook, and he also spent some time in lumber- 
ing. He also for some time was in Colorado. 

Mr. Keilty was married at Forest City on 
the 7th of January, 1SS3, to Miss Gertrude 
Thissen, a native of Minnesota and a daughter 
of Peter Thissen, a farmer of Forest Prairie 
township. Their marriage has been blessed 
with two children, named Josie and Bernard. 

In political matters Mr. Keilty affiliates 
with the republican party. The family are 
members of the Catholic Church. lie has a 
comfortable home and good farm, and de- 
votes his time and attention to stock-raising 
and to diversified farming'. 



first pioneeis of Meeker county, and 
one who has always been identified with its 
interests, is the gentleman named above, who 
first made his appearance here in November, 
1856, and settled upon section 18, Forest City 
township. He is now a resident of the 
village of Forest City, the old county seat, 
whose glory has departed since the incep- 
tion of Litchfield. 

Mr. Wakefield is a native of the town of 
Gardiner, Kennebec county. Me., born Octo- 
ber 22, 1833. 

He received his education, and was reared 
in the " Old Pine Tree State," and as he 
grew to manhood engaged in lumbering in 
that locality, and followed that business until 
some twentj'-three years of age, when he 
came to Minnesota, and Meeker county. 



He iulopted farniing on coining here, which 
has been liis chief occupation ever since, lie 
has filled several of tiie town offices, the 
chief ones being those of supervisoi' and con- 
stal)le. lie is always interested in educational 
matters, being for several yeai's a member of 
tlie school board. 

Our subject lias been twice married, the 
first time to ]\[iss Lois Sturtevant, also a 
native of Maine, who died Aunust 2r., 1876, 
leaving seven children — AVilliam Edwin, wlio 
married Miss Addie Peters, and is living in 
Forest City ; Theron A., who married Miss 
Flora Taylor, and lives in Litchfield ; Sarah 
H., Mrs. Seth Burdick, living in Forest City ; 
Mary E., John R., Luella L., and Leander L. 
April 15, 1878, Mr. Wakefield contracted a 
second matrimonial alliance, with Mrs. Ruth 
E. Smith, a native of the State of Maine. 

During the Indian outbreak Mr. Wake- 
field had quite an experience. He and Will- 
iam Mai'ble had engaged to take a quantity 
of flour from Forest City to the Yellow 
Medicine Agency, and when within half a 
mile of tlie Minnesota river and eight miles 
below the agency, camped for the night, 
sleeping under their wagons. 

About two o'clock in the morning they 
were awakened by two Frenchmen who had 
fortunately escaped the mui-derous Sioux at 
the agency and on account of the dense fog 
had lost theii' way. From the Frenchman's 
limited knowledge of the English language 
they \vere unable to learn the particulars, 
and determined to investigate the matter. 
They yoked tlie oxen, intending to proceed to 
the ferry, then in charge of a Mr. Brown. 
When on their way to the ferry their atten- 
tion was attracted by two horsemen, riding 
at a rapid rate. On noticing the teams the 
horsemen turned out of their course, accosted 
Mr. AVakefield and Mr. Marble, saying, 
" Turn back, if you want to save your scalps ; 
the Indians arekilling the whites at sight, at 

the agenc}'." After giving this information 
they continued their flight to the lower 
agency. Witliinan h<iurtliey werecaj)tured 
by the Indians. 

Providentially, one of the men, Mr. Blair, 
escaped thi-ough the mei'cy of some friendly 
Indians. The fate of the other was unknown. 
Obeying the order given, Mr. Wakefield and 
Mr. Marble turned back, down to a ravine, 
unloaded their flour and started toward 
Forest City, traveling the distance of seventy 
miles in twenty-four hours. Finding his 
house deserted, his family having gone away 
for safety, he j)roceeded to the village. 
After caring for his family, he rolled himself 
in his blanket and slept for nearly forty- 
eight hours. He then was emjiloyed by 
Judson A. Stanton to take the merchandise 
out of his store to Minneajtolis, and then 
joined his family. 

^IT ELSON J. MARCH is a native of Ack- 
worth, Sullivan county, N. II., and 
was born in 1828. He is a son of Geoi'ge and 
Hannah (Nelson) March, the former of whom 
was born in Londonderry, N. H., and the 
latter in Georgetown, Mass. They were 
married in 1808 and a j'ear later settled in 
Ackworth, where they spent the balance of 
their days, Mr. March dying about the first 
of the year 1832, and his widow in 1850. 

Nelson J. remained at home with his ])ar- 
ents until he was about sixteen years of age, 
at which time he went to Boston, where he 
s[)ent some six years. From there he re- 
moved to New York city, where he made 
his home until 1852. in which year he enii- 
ffrated to Illinois, where he was in the em- 
ploy of a railroad company, and had his 
headquartei-s in the cities of Springfield and 
Bloomington. In August, 1855, with a view 
to the betterment of his financial condition, 
he came to Minnesota, and followed the trade 
of carpenter at St. Paul. In the summer 



of 1861, and through the following fall 
and winter, the subject of our sketch was 
eno-ao-ed in recruiting- men to fill various 
Minnesota regiments, at the front and in the 
process of organization, and continued in 
this employment until July, 1862, when 
he was appointed deputy provost marshal of 
the second district, and sei'ved in that capac- 
ity until released from duty in July, 1865. 
Mr. March then engaged in the market gar- 
dening business on some seven acres of ground 
in St. Paul, and remained in that city until 
1867, when, having purchased a tract of 160 
aci'es of wild land in the town of Cedar IMills, 
this county, he came here and broke a j>art 
of it, and got it ready for seeding. In the 
fall he returned to St. Paul, where he spent part 
of the winter in getting ready for removal. 
In January, 1868, Mr. March moved his 
household goods and belongings to this farm 
where he made his home until 1874:, when 
having been elected to the office of sheriff of 
the county he removed to Litchfield, on tak- 
ing up the duties of that position. He was 
reelected at the expiration of his term of 
office, and served, in all, four years, in a very 
satisfactory manner. About 1876, our sub- 
ject disposed of his farm in Cedar Mills, but 
shortly after invested in 240 acres on section 
30 of the same town, which he owned until 
1885. In 1880, however, he took up a tree 
claim in Spink county, Dak., and bought 
lots in the village of Mellette. In 1885 he 
purchased SO acres on section 1, Litchfield 
township, which he now cultivates. In 1862 
Mr. March married Miss Mary J. Morrison, 
who was born in Bradford, N. IL, in 1842, 
and is the daughter of Moses and Mary 
(Cressey) Morrison, representatives of two of 
the oldest families of the " Old Granite State." 
Her parents settled at St. Anthony, Minn., 
in 1855, Ijut a year later removed to St. Cloud, 
where JMr. March and Miss Morrison were 
married. By this marriage there have been 
born five children — Frank M., born October 

22, 1863 ; Nelson D., born February 26, 1866 ; 
George K., July 26, 1868; Charles IL, Octo- 
ber 20, 1870; and Mary N., July 1, 1874. 
Mr. March is a member of the city council of 
Litchfield, and of Frank Daggett Post, No. 
35, G. A. E., and of the Masonic fraternity, 
having joined the latter order in St. Paul in 

Mr. March has been a ])rominent and 
active public man wherever he has lived. 
In the spring of 1858 he was ajipointed as- 
sessor of the third ward in the city of St. 
Paul ; in the spring of 1859 was appointed 
market master for one year by the common 
council of St. Paul; in June, 1862, was ap- 
pointed enrolling agent of Dakota county, 
Minn., by Governor Ramsey. These positions 
all came to him unsolicited, as was also the 
case Avith his apjiointment as provost marshal. 
Mr. ]\Larch was engaged at "enrolling" in 
Dakota county when he first learned of the 
Indian outbreak. 

JTOHN DUCKERJNG. Among the older 
^ residents of the county, and reliable, 
trusted citizens, may be found the subject of 
thi^ sketch, who is a resident of section 22, 
Ellsworth township, where he settled July 
5, 1865,' and where he is devoting a large 
share of his attention to the rearing of Nor- 
man and English Shire horses, high-bred Dur- 
ham and Shorthorn cattle, and also sheep. 
He has some imported stock of the very best 
strains, that represent a large outlay of cash 
capital. Of late years the celebrated Cots- 
wold sheep have been his favorite, although 
formerly doing much with the fine-wool or 
Merinos. He sold, during the year 1886, of 
his surplus stock some §1,500 worth. His 
English Shire horse is claimed to be as fine 
a one as there is in the State, and, with one 
exception, the only one in the county. He 
has now some 348 acres of excellent land, a 
large share of which is under tillaare. 



Mr. Duckering was born in Apley, Lincoln- 
shire, England, September 11, 1819, hence is 
nearly the same age as Queen Victoria. lie 
is tlie son of John and Elizabeth (Semper) 
Duckering, the former a native of Horsing- 
ton and the latter of Bucknell, England. The 
greatgrandfather of oui' subject was born in 
DenniJirkand died in England, and all of the 
ancestors on his father's side died in the same 
house, and lie in the same cemetery. John 
Duckering, the father of oui' subject, was 
a whig in politics, an<l a ('hristian member 
of the Church of England. He was the \yav- 
ent of but three children — Mary, Elizabeth 
and John. The two girls are still residents 
of "Old Albion," living in the city of Lin- 
coln. John Duckering came to the LTnited 
States alone in 1842, and first located in 
Troy, Walworth county. Wis., after a short 
stay in ]\[ihvaukee. He remained there sev- 
eral years, and then removed to Dodge coun- 
ty, in the same State, and there made his 
home for the term of seven years. While 
there he was united in marriage with Miss 
Maria Bean, October 22, 1846. She is the 
daughter of John K. and Maria Bean, \\-\\o 
had a family of eigiit children — Louisa, Will- 
iam, Betsey, Charley, Elizabeth, Maria, John, 
ami one that died in infancy. Mrs. D. is a 
native of Clinton count}', N. Y., anfl is the 
mother of twelve children, four of whom are 
dead. Those living are — Mary E., Charles 
H., John, Adam, Duane H., Maria L., Flora 
B., William C. and Warren W. Those de- 
ceased are — Dora, born in 1861, died Sep- 
tember 13, 1886, the wife of James Lemon; 
Frederick v., born March 29, 1859, died Feb- 
ruary 25, 1864; and William and Willis, 
twins, born in 1865, who died in infancy. 

, lNE of the leading and most 
^^^ prominent farmers in Meeker county, 
is IL J. Lashek, a resident of section 4, ( 'cdar 

Mills township. He wiis born in Switzer- 
land on the 22(1 of August, 1832. When he 
was six months old his parents came to the 
United States and settled in Philadelphia, 
where they died when the subject of this 
sketch was eitcht vears old. H. J. then 
went to Jersey City, where he remained until 
he was eleven years of age. Fi'om there he 
went to Dryden, N. Y., and was adopted by 
Albert Phillips, with whom he remained 
until he was fifteen years of age. At that 
time he went to Homer, N. Y., and learned 
tiie tinner's and copjtersinith's trade, serving 
until twenty-one. lie followed this Im.siness 
for years afterward in various cities thi'ough- 
out New York. 

While at Marathon, N. Y., on May 
15, 1854, he was married to Catherine J. 
Topping, of Dryden, N. Y. They remained 
there until 1859, when they came to Meeker 
county, Minn., and located on section 12, 
Cedar Mills township, having an interest in 
a claim taken by his wife's father, Mr. Top- 
ping. He also claimed land on section 4, 
and in 1861 moved on to the latter claim. 
For a time they lived in an Indian tepee, then 
in the stai)le, and finally when theii' house 
was ready for occupancy they moved into it 
December 31, 1861. There they were living 
when the Indian outlircak began. As a full 
history of this matter is given in another 
tlepartment, it will only be necessary to 
briefly refer to j\Ir. Lasher's personal move- 
ments during those trying times. On Mon- 
day morning, August 18, 1862, he learned 
of the massacre at Acton, and sent his family 
to section 12, where his wife's brother-in-law, 
D. B. Peck, lived, while he started to notify 
the settlers in Greenleaf. He found them 
all srone and he made his wav down to 
Peck's. The same day his family returned 
to his farm and he remained to help Peck 
harvest. Thursday he Avas notified of firing 
near his farm and went to Cedar Mills to get 
some one to accompany him for his family, 




but no one would venture, so he went alone. 
On reaching the farm he met some twenty 
parties wlio had started from Forest City to 
bury those killed at Acton, but they had 
been chasing Indians into Kandiyohi county 
and had made their way back this far in the 
night. Mrs. Lasher got supper and break- 
fast for them and they then started for For- 
est City. The family returned to Cedar 
]\Iills, and Peck, with his team, hauled 1,G00 
pounds of flour and other provisions from the 
farm to the same place. When they got 
there they found some eight or ten families 
gathered from the surrounding country, all 
bent on fleeing for safety, but after some tallc 
it was decided to build fortifications and 
i-emain. While they were talking, Dr. Earl, 
from Beaver Falls, Kenville county, came 
up and stated that all were killed in his 
neighborliuod except a very few, and that his 
three boys were wandering on the prairie 
somewhere southwest of them. Mr. Lasher 
and L. S. Weymouth started out and soon 
found and brought in the boys. They had 
met three Indians on the prairie who had 
passed through Greenleaf and Cedar, and 
had given them food and traded guns with 
them. These Indians they recognized as 
Little Crows. When Lasher and Wey- 
mouth got back, however, all the rest had 
fled. The\' Avere soon overtaken and 
brought back. Mr. Lasher was appointed 
captain, and they decided to fortify "the 
Point" in Cedar Lake and remain thereuntil 
the trouble was over. Wej'mouth and 
Lasher stood guard at the crossing by the 
mill. On AVednestlay a part}' of thirty or 
forty refugees from Yellow Medicine county 
came up, accompanied by the friendly 
Indian, " Other Day." With them was a 
Mr. Garvey, who had been wounded, and 
who died the following day at Mr. Lasher's 
house. Thursday all the new-comers left for 
a safer place, and a few days later the 
''Point" was evacuated, and all the settlers 

went to Hutchinson, through the advice of 
" Other Day," Mr. Lasher and several others 
returned to the farm to care for the grain, Mrs 
Lasher, Miss C. Jewett and Mrs. Geo. WiUs 
accompanying them to do the cooking. 
While there Strouts' company came through 
from Minneapolis on their way to Acton, 
and the next morning were surprised by the 
Indians, and routed and returned to Hutch- 
inson. The others also went back except 
Mr. Lasher and Frank Jewett, who remained 
upon a hill till they saw the Indians passing 
east and west, when they also started for 
Hutchinson, and met a party in search of 
them. The following day the Indians made 
the attack on Hutchinson. The next day 
Lasher and Weymouth returned to Cedar 
Mills and set loose all the stock. They 
found the mill running, it havmg been started 
b\^ the Indians, who had stolen all the flour. 
They returned to Hutchinson, and the next 
day Mr. Lasher organized a company, went 
back and repaired the mill and ground some 
flour for the settlers, who were sadh^ in need 
of it. Shortl}^ after this a portion of the 
Third Minnesota Regiment, under command 
of Major Welch, came through, and Mr. 
Lasher joined them as a scout, and remained 
in the service with Gen. H. II. Sibley for 
three years and a half, ])articipating in all its 
expeditions and battles, being in the engage- 
ments at Wood Lake and Lac qui Parle, etc. 
At the latter place they captured a number 
of Indians, thirteen of whom were after- 
ward hung at Mankato. 

During this time, Mr. Lasher's family had 
returned to the old home in New York. In the 
fall of 186-i they returned to Hutchinson, and 
in the following summer again settled on the 
farm. In lS(i9 Mr. Lasher removed to 
Litchfleld, where he followed his trade until 
18S1, when they again settled upon the farm, 
and have since remained there. While in 
Litchfield Mr. Lasher took an active interest 
in l)and matters, and was leader of that 



organization for six years. He has now a 
valuable farm of 400 acres, with good 
improvements and lias it well stocked. 

Mr. and Mrs. Lasher are members of the 
Presbyterian Church. ^Ir. Lasher has 
always taken an active interest in church 
matters. Lie was one of the prime movers 
in securing the organization of the church in 
this township. lie had charge of the erec- 
tion of the building, and besides devoting 
much time, he personally became responsible 
for $200 to complete the edifice. He was 
also chosen superintendent of the first Sun- 
day school organized in the township in 
1860, and when they removed to their farm 
on section 4, they organized a Sunday school 

Mr. and Mrs Lasher have been the parents 
of eight children. Only four of them are 
living, as follows — Hulda C, now Mrs. II. 
P. Pfaff of Greenleaf ; Albert P., Sarah A. 
and Daniel B. The last three are still at 

1B)ETER N. HANSON, a young and enter- 
_|^ prising farmer of Cosmos township, 
has his home upon section 2, where he has 
160 acres of land, as well as another quarter 
on section 9, making his farm to consist of 
320 acres. He is the son of Hans H. and 
Mary Hanson, natives of Norway, who came 
to the United States in 1863. Llis father 
with his family came to Meeker county in 
1865, and located in Greenleaf township. In 
the spring of 1867, he came to Cosmos and 
put up the claim shanty of Daniel Iloyt, the 
first settler in the town, and later the same 
year took up a claim for himself on section 
10. The same fall he removed with his wife 
and children to this ])lace, and they were the 
first family in the township. They lived in a 
"dugout" that winter, but erected a house 

in the 

Mr. Hanson resided on this 

farm until 1883, when he removed to Dakota, 

where he now lives. He raised the first crop 
in the town, having some fifteen acres in 
wheat the summer of 1868. 

i'eter X. remained with his pai'ciits until 
his marriage December 13, 1876, Avith Miss 
Mary Olson, the daughter of Marten and 
Kain Olson, who was born in Norway. He 
then struck out for himself and bought a 
farm on section 2, and on this spot has lived 
ever since. 

Although a young man in years, Mr. Han- 
son has a shrewd head on him, and this be- 
ing appreciaited by the community, they have 
elected him to the office of town supervisor, 
whicli office he now holds; he has also been 
road supervisor. 

JOHN GIBNEY, an enterprising and suc- 
cessful farmer residing on section 27, 
Manannah township, is one of the most in- 
telligent and one of the best read and posted 
men in the county, and a man of a great 
deal of natural as well as acquired ability. 
He is a self-educated man, but a thorough 
course of reading on scientific, theological 
and other subjects has made him a ripe 
scholar, and because of his attainments he is 
one of the most prominent citizens in the 
northern part of the county. 

Mr. Gibney was born in County West 
Meath. Ireland, on the 22d of June, 1819, 
and is a son of Timoth}^ and Mary E. (Car- 
ney) Gibney. His early life was spent in the 
land of his birth, but in 1836 he came to the 
new world, binding at New York, and settled 
in the county of Madison, in New York 
State. In 1S3S he removed to Canada, and 
remained there until 186.5, when he came to 
Meeker county, Minn., and settled in Manan- 
nah township, where he has since lived. 

In 1818 Mr. Gibney was married to Miss 
Anna Lleaney, and their union has been 
blessed with ten children, five girls and five 
boys, whose names are as follows — Timothy, 



Mary, James, Owen, Katie, Ann, Patrick, 
Christoplier and Eliza, all of whom are living. 
The family are members of the Catholic 

During twenty-two years of his life, Mr. 
Gibney followed railroatling, but the balance 
of the time he has been farming. In political 
matters he is an independent voter, and acts 
regardless of the dictation of party or creed. 
He has taken an active interest in his town- 
ship affairs, and has held several local offices, 
one of which was that of township assessor. 

AMES A. KLINE, who has been engaged 
^ so successfully in carrying on farming 
and stock-raising on his fine farm on 
section 22, Kingston township, is a native 
of Amsterdam, Montgomery county, N. Y., 
born December 17, 1813. He remained in 
the place of his nativity until some twenty- 
two years of age, when he emigrated to the 
wilds of Michigan, settling in Genesee 
county, where he was engaged in farming 
and lumbering. From there about 

1855, he removed to Winnebago county, 
111., where he made his home nntil 
18G7, when he came to Meeker connty, and 
settleil where he now lives. He received in 
his youth the elements of a good common- 
school education and l)y a diligent use of it 
has well-informed himself on all general 
subjects. AVhile a resident of Michigan he 
went to Tuolumne county, Cal., where 
he engaged in mining foi' two j'ears and 
then returned home. Most of his life has 
been actively engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits, but having succeeded in achieving an 
easy competence, he is spending his declining 
years in the enjo^'ment of home. 

Our subject is the son of Adam and Eliza- 
beth (Ciyslor) Kline, both of whom were na- 
tives of the Empire State, and who emi- 
grated to Michigan in 1838, where the father 

died at the age of fifty-two years. His wife, 
the mother of our subject, died after attain- 
ing some eighty-three years. They had a 
family of twelve children- — William A., born 
August 21, 1810, died April 15, 1840; A. C, 
born May 31, 1812; James A., born Decem- 
ber 17, 1813 ; John, born January 24, 1851 ; 
Joseph, born August 20, 1823; George, born 
November 10, 1827; Sarah Jane, born March 
23, 1830; Henry, born May 15, 1832, enlisted 
in the Eighth Michigan Infantry, and was 
killed July 12, 1864; Maria, born April 28, 
1819, died August 1, 1822; Margaret, born 
November 17, 1822, died August 8, 1823; 
and Elizabeth J., born January, 1826, died 
November 8, 1826. 

James A. Kline was first married on tiie 
11th of October, 1840, in Michigan, to Mary 
Ann Perry. They had one son, who is liv- 
ing — George P. Kline, a resident of Dakota. 

Mr. Kline's second marriage occurred De- 
cember 12, 1848, when he was wedded to 
Mrs. Ann Talbott, nee Shimin, who was born 
in England, a daughter of John and Ann 
(CoiTis) Shimin. The date of her birth was 
November 21, 1815. A sketch of the 
Shimin family is given elsewhere in this 
Album. By this union Mr. and Mrs. 
Kline have had two children — Anna, wife 
of Mr. Hiram Ramsey, and James E., a 
farmer of this townsliip, who married Miss 
Emma Baker. Mrs. Kline by her former 
marriage had two children — Henry T., killed 
in the army November 25, 1863, at Lookout 
Mountain, a member of the Seventy-Fourth 
Illinois Infantry, and William, born January 
IS, 1846, married in 1868 to Miss Amelia 

^WAN AUGUST SCARP, of Litchfield, 
^^^ is a native of Sweden, born August 
20, 1845, and emigrated to the United States 
when he was about twenty-seven years of age. 
On landing he came direct to this village, 



where he remained until the following spring, 
when lie moved to a farm near that place, 
where he spent the next two years. Keturn- 
inii- to Litchfield he erected his residence, and 
entered the employ of S. Alnupiist, in the 
saloon business and remained with him some 
six years and a half, at the expiration of which 
time he entered into the same line of business 
for himself and continues to carry on the 
saloon. In 1887 he erected one of the finest 
residences in the village, at a cost of over 
$5,000, superintending its erection himself. 

Mr. Scarp, November 16,1873, was united 
in marriage with Miss Sophia Johnson, a na- 
tive of Sweden, and daughter of John and 
Ingra (Parson) Johnson; who became the 
mother of four children — Annie C, Julia L., 
Francis E., and Jennie. Mr. S. is a member 
of the Order of United Workmen. 

J. P. Scarp, a native of Sweden, was one of 
Litchfield's earliest business men, coming here 
in 1871, and engaging in sale of agricult- 
ural implements. He continued in that line 
of trade until 1882, when he made a visit to 
the land of his birth to see the old home and 
his parents, and on the vo^'age back, the ves- 
sel upon which he sailed was wrecked and 
he was di-owned in the Baltic Sea. He car- 
ried a policy of insurance in the Redwing 
company, which provided partially for his 
family, who still are residents of the village, 
and this, with his other estate, places them far 
above any necessity. He was a charter mem- 
ber of the Workmen's Lodge in Litchfield, the 
insurance from which was also $2,000. He 
was a man who ])ossessed the respect and 
esteem of the whole community, and was 
widely known as everybody's friend. His 
cruel death was a sad blow to his bereaved 
family, who still mourn his loss. 

^^, EORGE BECKER, a successful and 
\^pr prominent farmer and stock-raiser, 
who resides on section 23, Greenleaf town- 

ship, has the distinction of being one of the 
oldest settlers of Minnesota, who now resides 
in Meeker county, lie is connected with a 
family that has given a number of i)ioneers 
and prominent pul)lic men to the State. 

Mr. Pecker was born in Schoharie county, 
N. Y., September 30, 1842. When he was 
three years old his ])arents settled in Michi- 
gan, and remained there until 1855, when 
they came to Minnesota, and located near 
the present site of St. Cloud, in Stearns 
county. They made part of the journey by 
railroad, a portion by steamboat itnd the latter 
part by team. They arrived at their destin- 
ation in May, 1855, and were among the 
very first settlers in that county. The gov- 
ernment survey had not yet been made ; 
the old •' Territorial Road " was opened that 
far, but that was the terminus so far as 
settlement was concerned. The father made 
arrangements, in 1854, to claim the land 
which afterward became the original plat of 
St. Cloud, l)ut, through the du])licity of one 
in whom he had placed confidence, he was 
cheated out of it. There they lived through 
the most trying times in the history of the 
State, and there our subject, George, grew 
to manhood. 

His father, Harmon Becker, was born in 
1797, and for years was a hotel-keeper in 
Schoharie county, N. Y. He Avas married 
to Margaret M. Efner, and they reared a 
family of eight children — five boys and 
tliree girls. Harmon Pecker was a man of 
prominence and ability, and in the prime of 
his life had a great deal of influence in the 
locality where he lived. He took a great 
interest in stock-raising, and imported the 
first thorough-bred stallion of Duroc blood 
ever brought to the United States. In slav- 
ery days he was a slave-owner, but at the 
time of the abolition movement he gave his 
slaves their freedom, and ]>resented them 
with a forty-acre farm on which to live, not- 
withstanding their protestations that they 



preferred to continue their old relation of 
master and servant. In 1846 Harmon 
Becker removed to Washtenaw county, 
Mich., settling near Ann Arbor. While in 
that State he erected a large hotel, and 
later, sold it for $8,000 to a man named 
Grovener, but lost it ; and besides this, lost 
another $8,000 by becoming surety for an- 
other party and having to pay it. After 
this he followed farming until 1854, when he 
came to Minnesota to see the country, and, 
being pleased with it, he made arrangements 
to locate the land on which the city of St. 
Cloud is now located. J. L. Wilson was sent 
for a compass to survey the site, and, immed- 
iately upon his return, he ran out tlie lines, and 
built a shanty of tamarac rails and slept on the 
place that night. The next day, when 
search was made for him, there he was, 
in the first house on the site, and he, accord- 
ingly, claimed the land. Harmon Becker 
then returned to Michigan, and, the follow- 
ing year, settled in Stearns county, as stated 
above. He lived there until the time of his 
death, in January, 1857, aged sixty-six years. 
The widow, Margaret M., was very sickly 
at the time of leaving Michigan. She gained 
strength, however, and recovered, living 
until January, 1886, when her death occurred 
at Litchfield. She was eighty years of age. 
She was a woman of rare personal cour- 
age, which stood her in good need during the 
Indian outbreak. Both Mr. and Mrs. Har- 
mon Becker were members of the Presby- 
terian church, and exemplary Christian peo- 

Times were very hard during their first 
few j'ears' settlement in Stearns county, as all 
pioneers will realize, and at times it seemed 
as though starvation stai-ed them in the 
face. But with that indomitable persever- 
ance and hope for the future which is of 
necessity a characteristic of the pioneer, they 
lived through it all. Just as times began to 
look a little brighter the Indian outbreak 

occurred, but they stood their ground and 
lived at or near St. Cloud during all the ex- 
citement. Shortly after this, George joined 
the Sully expedition, and followed the move- 
ments of that brigade, acting as sutler's 
clerk. Upon his return he remained at St. 
Cloud until 1865, when he went to the Pa- 
cific coast, by way of New York city, and 
as his journeys, hardships and adventures 
form an interesting narrative, we will briefly 
review them in this connection. He shipped 
from the metropolis on the steamer "Golden 
Rule" for Central America. They crossed 
the Isthmus by way of the Nicaragua river 
and lake, their steamer striking a rock and 
sinking, but the passengers continued their 
journey on other crafts. The river was so 
low that a part of the way they were con- 
veyed in small boats, manned by the natives. 
George Becker finally reached the Pacific 
ocean and shipped for San Francisco. The 
second day out they learned from a passing 
vessel the news of the death of Abraham 
Lincoln, and the flags were placed at half- 
mast during the rest of the voyage, and upon 
their arrival at the metropolis of California, 
they found the city a solid mass of emblems 
of mourning in honor of the martyred pres- 
ident. The trip from New York to this 
point had consumed forty-five days, and 
George at once sailed for the city of Victo- 
ria, Vancouver's Island, and, in a small boat 
crossed Puget sound to Whatcom county. 
There he remained for three years, follow- 
ing lumbering, and then returned to St. Cloud, 
Stearns county, Minn., on which trip he ex- 
perienced many dangers and hardships. He 
first shipped on the steamer "California" for 
San Francisco. When within thirty-five 
miles of the harbor of the latter place they 
encountered one of the worst storms ever 
known on the Pacific and they were driven 
500 miles to sea by the gale. The cabin was 
partly filled with water by the waves rolling 
over the vessel and the stateroom doors were 



broken in by tlio force of tlie water. When 
the vessel pitched and rolled, those in the 
lower berths were carried to the' floor by the 
water. Some were crying, some were Jiray- 
ing, some swearing, and others, as the saying 
goes, "were throwing up Jonah." Alter 
three days the storm subsided, but the waves 
were mountain high and it was not until the 
fifth day that they reached San Francisco. 
Their vessel had been given up for lost and 
reported wrecked with about eighty others 
that shared this fate. George Becker then 
shipped for Panama and on this voyage the 
vessel he was in took fire. When the alai-m 
was given it created a terrible panic and for 
a time it looked as though all were lost, but 
the engine, with a capacity of 320-horse 
power w^as attached to the hose, and the 
flames were extinguisiied. Four daj's later, 
the vessel ran out ot fuel, and the masts, 
yardarms, deck, cattle pens, bacon, rezin 
and all other loose material was used for 
fuel, to get ashore at Saline Bay, twelve 
miles from San Juan del Sura. Tliere they 
anchored and sent boats to San Juan for 
coal, while the passengers and crew went 
ashore in small boats, to cut mahogany wood, 
securing about forty cords by the time the 
coal arrived. That night the crew mutinied, 
and those who refused to do their duty, 
were brought to time by being tied to the 
masts. Upon his arrival at Panama, George 
Becker crossed the Isthmus on the railroad, 
the trains being queer affairs and running 
only at the rate of five miles an hour, mak- 
ing no stops. Our subject then shipped on 
the Atlantic for New York. When two 
days out, the vessel was wrecked or disabled 
by the cylinder head being blown out, and 
for twenty-four hours they were left at the 
mercy of the sea. They were then taken 
in tow by another steamer and piloted to the 
Gulf Stream, off' the coast of Cuba, and were 
then left to drift in to Savannah, Ga. 
By this time, George Becker had had enough 

of that kind of life, as for the last three days 
out, the cabin passengers hail nothing to eat 
but rice, crust coffee and hiud tack. Accord- 
ingly, he pui'chased another ticket for New 
York by rail, through the Southern States. 
This was shortlj' after the war, and General 
Sherman had left Georgia a hard looking 
country. Provisions were verj' scarce, and 
the conductors were obliged to telegi'a])h 
ahead for supplies for the passengers. Mr. 
Becker sto])ped off at several points, includ- 
iui!' Pichmond, Washington and New York, 
and finally arrived at St. Cloud on February 
1-1, 1S6S. He remained there, following the 
vocation of a policeman and various other 
lines of business until June, 1871, when he 
returned to tiie Pacific coast by wa_y of the 
Central Pacific Eailroad, proceeding from 
San Francisco to Puget Sound. He remained 
there until the winter of 1876, when he came 
to Litchfield, Meeker count}', Minn. In 
1878 he settled on the farm where he now 
lives, on section 23, Greenleaf township. He 
has one of the largest farms in the township, 
and one of the most valuable in the county, 
and has justly earned the reputation which 
he bears, of being one of the most desirable 
citizens, and from liis extensive travels and 
wide association with business, is one of the 
most intelligent and best-posted men in the 

On July 18, 1885, Mr. Becker was married 
to Sophia Vanberg, and they are the parents 
of two children — William II., born April 28, 
18S6, and Lillie M., born August 18. 1887, 
both of whom are living. Mr. Becker is a 
member of the Masonic fraternity. He and 
his wife attend the Presbyterian Church. 

We take pleasure in presenting a portrait 
of Mr. Becker on another ]iage in this Album. 

-«— I 


JTOHN MARTIN, an intelligent, thrifty and 
^ enterprising farmer, residing on section 
5, Harvey township, was born in County 



Cavan, Ireland, in Maj', 1824. His parents, 
Avho were Pliigh and Elizabeth Martin, were 
natives nf the same count}'. The father died 
in Ireland in 1830. The mother came to the 
United States in 1851, and lived in Pennsyl- 
vania until the time of her death, in 1876. 

John Martin, the subject of our sketch, 
grew to manhood in liis native land, acquir- 
ing the same habits of enterprise, industry 
and frugality which are so characteristic of 
his race. In 1S4S he left Ireland and came 
to the United States, landing at New York 
city on the 23d of May, and two days later 
he went to Bucks county, Pa., where he 
remained for four years. At the expiration 
of that time he went to Schuylkill count}', 
Pa., and remained there from the year 1852 
until 1877. While in that State he was em- 
ployed in mining coal for twenty-seven years. 
In 1877 he came to Meeker county, Minn., 
and located on a farm on section 5, in Har- 
vey township, where he has since lived. Since 
his residence here he has been eneae'ed in 
farming and stock-raising, and now has a 
valuable farm of 160 acres, a good share of 
which is under cultivation. 

Mr. Martin was married on the 25th of 
July, 1852, to Mary Farrelly, and their mar- 
riage has been blessed with the following- 
named children: Ellen, born August 22, 
1853, died January 25, 1855; Hugh, born 
October 31, 1855, died October 12, 1857; 
Joseph, born September 28, 1857; Bridget 
and Lizzie, born November 17, 1859; John, 
born November 3, 1861 ; Mary, born Sep- 
tember 18, 1863, died December 17, 1863; 
Thomas, born January 30, 1870, died same 
day. Mrs. Martin's parents were both na- 
tives of Ireland, where they lived until the 
time of their death. 

Mr. and Mrs. Martin are both active and 
exemplary members of the Catholic Church. 
In political matters Mr. Martin affiliates with 
the democratic party. 



ELS EKBOM is one of the prominent 
farmers of Swede Grove township. 
He was born in Sweden on the 16th of 
December, 1849, and came to the United 
States in 1857, with his parents, Anna and 
Andrew Ekbora. They settled in Carver 
county, Minn., where Nels worked part of 
the time for his father, and the balance of 
the time for other farmers. In 1865 they 
came to Meeker county, and from Nels 
Swanson they rented a farm, on which the 
village of Litchfield is now located. A year 
later they removed to Swede Grove town- 
ship, and took a homestead on section 34, 
where Nels has since lived. He has been 
industrious, and the results prove that he is 
an excellent manager, as he has accumulated 
a fine property. He now has 120 acres of 
land, with fine buildings located on the edge 
of a beautiful grove. He has a goodly lot 
of stock, and all the necessary farm 

Mr. Ekbom was married on the 16th of 
July, 1870, to Miss Betsey Nelson, a daughter 
of Nels and Ellen Peterson, and the couple 
have had the following children — Anna 
(deceased), born July 5, 1871, died Septem- 
ber 15, 1871; Oscar, born July 22, 1873; 
Eugene, born August 15, 1875 ; Ellmer, born 
November 3, 1878 ; Anna, born May 8, 1882 ; 
and Joseph, born October 8, 1883. Mrs. 
Ekboin's father is dead and her mother is 
living in Sweden. Mr. Ekbom's mother is 
dead, and his father resides with a bi'other, 
Simon. Nels Ekbom and wife are members 
of the Baptist Church, in which he Is a 
deacon. Mr. Ekbom is a prohibitionist in 
political matters, and takes an active interest 
in township matters. He has held various 
local offices, including those of side-super- 
visor and road overseer. 

Mr. Ekljom is a man of the strictest integ- 
rity, and is held in high esteem by all. He 
has been superintendent of the Sunday 
school for over fifteen years. 



WILLIAM S. COX, one of the leading 
merchants of the village of Dassel, 
is the junior partner in the hardware firm 
of Gallagher k, Cox, who succeeded Bartholo- 
mew tV: Co. in 1888. lie is, althoiigh a man 
3'^oung in years,'oneof the influential citizens 
and largely interested in the growth and 
prosperity of his home village. He is a 
native of Bakersville, N. C, born in 1853, 
and is the son of S. I), and Mary ("Wright) 
Cox, natives of Virginia and North Carolina 
respectively. The father of our subject 
owned property in Knoxville, Tenn., and 
when AVilliam was but four vears of aoe, 
the family removed to that place, where they 
resided until 1860, at which date they re- 
turned to Bakersville, N. C, where the 
parents still live. 

The subject of this personal memoir re- 
mained with the family until 18Y0, at which 
time he returned to Knoxville, but a short 
time subsequent, removed to Broadhead, 
Ky., where he was engaged in mercantile 
pursuits for about a year and then, after a 
short stay in Little Eock, Ark., removed to 
Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, where he 
made his home until 1878, when he came to 
Meeker county, and settled on a farm on 
section 4, Collinwood township. He was 
engaged in railroad work while there until 
1881, when he purchased a farm on 
section 33, Dassel township, where he 
followed a farming life until 1885. He 
moved into the village in January, 1886, and 
for a year was a member of the firm of 
Johnson & Cox, dealers in agricultural im- 
plements, and remained in this connection 
until January, 1887. At that time, having 
been elected city marshal, he entered upon 
the duties of the office, but in August follow- 
ing resigned and entered the employ of the 
Minnesota k, Dakota Elevator Co,, with 
whom he remained until the formation of the 
present firm. 

Mr. Cox is a man of familv, having been 

married, April 11, 1878, to Miss Ala E. 
Wrigiit, a native of Minnesota. They are 
the parents of four children, of whom the 
following is a record — Custer, born August 
21, 1S7".»; Agnes, whose birth took place 
November 15, 1880 ; Soery, born August 15, 
1882, and died March 6, 1883; Sampson, the 
date of whose l)irth was J^ebruary 2, 1884; 
and Mautl, who was born December 25, 1887. 

JSRAEL J. ANDERSON, a farmer, resid- 
%^ ing on section 19, and one of the leading 
citizens of Union Grove township, is a native 
of Norway, born on the 4rth of February, 
1851, and is a son of Andrew and Karen 
Jacobson. His boyhood days were spent in 
his native land, and in 1868, in company 
with his mother and step-father, he came to 
the United States, and they settled first 
in Eacine county, Wis. When Israel 
started out to earn his own way in the 
world, he went to the southern part of Min- 
nesota, and for three years he worked in 
different localities. During this time he 
married his first wife, her name being, before 
marriage. Miss Jensinellendrickson, born on 
the 21st of June, 1854, a daughter of Hen- 
drick and Maren Olson. She died, leaving 
three children, whose names were — Hilda, 
born on the 25th of December, 1873 ; Albert, 
born on the 17th of June, 1875, and Martin, 
born on the 28th of March, 1877. 

Some time later Mr. Anderson was mar- 
ried to Miss Anna Jacobson, a daughter of 
Adrean Jacobson and wife. She was born 
on the 20tii of August, 1861. This marriage 
has been blessed with four children, as fol- 
lows — Jensine Nettie, born on the 7th of 
October, ISSO ; Adoli)h B., born on the 24th 
of February, 1883; Ida, born on the 7th of 
Februar}', 1885, died on the 17th of July, 
1887 ; and Anna, born on the 1st of March, 
1887, died on the 9th of March, 1887. 





Mr. Anderson comes of a nationality, Avhich 
through their enterprise, thrift, industry and 
frugalit}', make the most valuable citizens 
included in Minnesota's pojjulation, and fol- 
lowing the habits characteristic of liis race, 
lie has accumulated a fine pro]ierty. He now 
owns 250 acres of land located on sections 4,19 
and 30, Union Grove township, and has com- 
fortable building improvements located on 
sections 19 and 30. lie has taken an active 
interest in township matters, and has held 
various local offices, including those of super- 
visor and school clerk. In political matters 
he is a prohibitionist. The family are mem- 
bers of the Norwegian Lutheran Church. 


iLE NELSON LINDELL, one of the 
\^^ leading, enterprising merchants of the 
village of Grove City, is a native of Sweden, 
born March 9, 1844, and made his home in 
the land of his birth until after his marriage 
which took place Nov. 7, 1867, on whicli 
day he wedded Miss Ella Nelson. In 1SG9, 
the young couple decided to leave their 
home beneath the frowning rocks and rock- 
ing ])ines of Norway, and seek in the new 
world that easier road to competence that 
America affords. On their arrival they 
came at once to Minnesota, and Mr. Lindell 
bought a homestead claim in Swede Grove 
township, of O. Levander. Tiiis was in the 
southeast quarter of section 2fi, and consti- 
tuted the south half, and upon tliis fanu he 
lived some eight years. In 1871 he bought 
sixty acres more ; his father's family emi- 
grated to this country. TJenting hisjilacetoan 
individual for six years, Mr. Lindell removed 
to the village of Grove City, and engaged in 
the furnicure business and gave some atten- 
tion to his trade, which was that of a car 
jienter. A year's trial satistietl him that the 
venture would be a judicious one, he added 
a full and complete stock of hardware and 

has now as large an assortment in both lines 
as is needed by the necessities of the trade. 
In the cellar of his store building he carries 
all kinds of heavy hardware ; on the first 
floor shelf and fancy hardware, and the sec- 
ond story is packed with furniture of every 

Mr. and Mrs. Lindell are the parents of 
four children, three on earth and one in 
Heaven. Their records are as follows — 
Mary Chi'istine, who was born Nov. 27, 
1871 ; Mina Albertina, born in September, 
1880; Otto, born Dec. 23, 188.5, and died 
March 25, 1886 ; Otto Anton, born Feb. 19, 

Mr. Lindell in politics affiliates with the 
Democratic party and usually supports the 
candidates of that organization. He has 
held the position of village trustee for two 
years, and in March, 1888, was elected pres- 
ident of the village trustees, and is looked 
upon as a representative citizen. Mrs. Lin- 
dell is a consistent member of the Swedish 
Lutheran Church. 

In 1884 our subject became a member of 
the Ancient Order of United Workmen, 
was elected financier and served for two 
years and was then chosen master workman 
of the lodge. 

(^^ KIMBALL, who was for many years 
\^^ closely connected with the business 
life of the country, and one of its leading mill 
owners, although now retired from the active 
pursuits of trade or manufacture, still keeps 
up his interests in wiiatsoever is for the ben- 
efit of the community. He is a native of tlie 
State of Maine, having been born in Oxford 
county, Jan. 4, 1832, and is the son of Asa 
and Esther A. (Walker) Kimball, both of 
whom were natives of the "Pine Tree State." 
His motlier was a daughter of tlie celebrated 
Col. Dexter Walker, whose history is too well 
known to be repeated in this connection. 



The subject of tliis memoir was reared in 
Androscoggin county, Me., and received a 
fair business education. From liis boyhood 
he lias always had a taste for study, and is 
to-day a ripe scholar. On reaching tlie years 
of manhood lie embarked in mercantile busi- 
ness, which liecari-ied on successfully for some 
thirteen years in his native State and then 
came to Minnesota, locating at Forest City 
in the fall of lS(i7. The same year, the firm 
of nines, Kimball c*c Beedy built the large 
fiouring mill at that place, and the same time 
opened a store in the village. This business 
arrangement continued until 1873, when Mr. 
Hines retired from the firm, the company 
having erected the Manannah flour mill on 
the Crow River, some ten miles above Forest 
City. This last Mr. Ilines took antl operated 
for several j'ears, the business at Forest City 
being continued by Kimball & Beedy until 
18S2, when ilr. Kiml)all I'etired from the 
business on account of ill-health, paying all 
his attention to the improvement of his place, 
one of the handsomest in Foi'est City town- 
ship, and to bee keeping, in which he is pre 
eminently successful. 

Mr. Kimball was united in marriage, Feb- 
ruary 7, 1854, with Miss Phoebe Manwell and 
they are the parents of two children: Geor- 
giana, the wife of Dr. W. E. Chapman, of 
Litchfield, and Edna Cecil, at home. Both 
Mr. K. and his estimable wife, are members 
of the Baptist Church. He is a republican 
in j)olitics, and is filling the offices of jus- 
tice of the peace and coroner, and isa pension 
and real estate agent. lie has held the office 
of justice for over fifteen years. 

•«"S€{^-4— — 

kOCTOR F. E. BiSSELL, one of the 
most prominent ])liysicians and sur- 
geons in this part of the State, settled at 
Litchfield in 1871, and began the practice of 
his profession in Meeker county. Doctor 

Bissell is a native of Wisconsin, and was the 
first male child born in Washington county, 
of that State — his birth having occurred on 
December 27, 18-15. His parents were Cyrus 
and Amanda (Case) Bissell, both of whom 
were natives of Connecticut ; but they had 
settled in Washington county. Wis., in .lune, 
1S15, and were therei'ore among the oldest 
settlers of that region. The Doct<n' was 
raised ujion a farm, but at an early age 
entered a drug store, and remained at that 
business for five years. AVhen he was eight- 
een he enlisted in the United States Navy, 
and served on the U. S. Gunboat "Lexing- 
ton," on the Mississippi river, and was in a 
number of minor engagements. The Doctor 
served as surgeon's steward, and was finally 
mustered out of service on June 0, 18(15. He 
then went to Cleveland, Ohio, and the fol- 
lowing winter entered the Charity Hospital 
College, from which he graduated in the 
spring of 1869. He first began practice in 
Clinttm Junction, Wis., and remained there 
until coming to Litchfield in 1871. He has 
since pursued his practice here, and has at- 
tained a wide reputation as well as a profit- 
able business. It should be stated, however, 
that since his settlement here, he has been 
absent eleven months. In the spring of 1878 
he removed to Cold S]n-ings, Stearns county, 
and opened a drug store. In the fall of that 
year he was elected to the legislature on the 
republican ticket. In the spring of the fol- 
lowing, he returned to Litchfield, where 
he has since lived. 

Dr. Bissell was married on June 19, 1875, 
to Miss Addie F. Simons, of New York. 
They have two children — Emily S., who was 
born in November, 1875, and Frank S., who 
was born in October, 1878. The family are 
prominent members of the Episcopal Church. 

Dr. Bissell has always taken an active 
interest in all public and political matters, 
and takes a prominent part in the affairs of 
that party. In 1880 he was elected a mem- 



ber of the council, and in the spring of 1886 
he was elected mayor of the city. The Doc- 
tor is the oldest jiractitioner now following 
the profession of medicine at Litchfield, and 
has a large practice. He is a member of the 
State ^[edical Association, and is president 
of the Pension Examining Board. He is an 
active member of the Grand Army of the 
Republic; was a charter member and one of 
the first officers of E. Branham Post, which 
was organized in 1873, and was one of the 
charter members of Frank Dago^ett Post, 
No. 35. He was elected surgeon of the latter 
Post at its first meeting, and still holds that 
position. He is also a member of the 
Masonic fraternity, being identified with 
Golden Fleece Lodge, No. 89, A. F. and A. 
M., and Eabboni Chapter, No. 37, R. A. M. 


iSM ILLIAM H. MILLER, the owner of 
^^jji a finely cultivated farm of eighty 
acres of land on section 8, Kingston town- 
ship, came to Meeker county in August, 
1865. He was born in Bath, Steuben county, 
N. Y., January 2, 1814, and is the son of 
David and Anna Maria (Bennett) Miller, 
natives of the " Empire State," where his 
father died. In 1838 the mother of our sub- 
ject came to Beaver Dam, AVis., where she is 
now living, having passed her ninetieth birth- 
day. Her second husband was Andrew 
Sears, who died in 1855. 

Our subject received a common-school edu- 
caiion in his native State, and, as he grew to 
manhood, engaged in the milling business 
and farming with his uncle, Sheldon Sears, 
spending some thirty years in various kinds 
of mills. He moved to AVisconsin with his 
mother, and, when the tocsin of war sounded, 
enlisted, November 5, 1861, in the Eighth Bat- 
tery, AYisconsin Light Artillery, and veteran- 
ized in the same battery in February, 1861:. 
He was an active participant in a number of 

engagements, among which were the battles 
of Stone River, Peri'yville, Chickamauga, 
Mission Ridge, Lookout .Mountain and Mur- 
freesboro. He was discharged at the close 
of the war, August 10, 1805, at Alihvaukee, 
and came direct to Meeker county, arriving 
here the last day of that month. 

Air. Aliller was married in 1834 to Miss 
EUenor Gregory, from whom he was shortly 
afterward -<livorced. He was subsequently 
married to Miss Clarissa Nodine, and two 
children were born to them — Susan AI. and 
Charles S. Aliller. After this Air. Aliller re- 
moved to AVisconsin, and a short time later 
to Chicago, 111. In 1852 his second wife died 
while on a visit to Portage City, AVis. 

Air. Aliller was united in marriage Decem- 
ber 20, 1855, with Aliss Susan Sanders, a 
native of Steuben county, N. Y., born Novem- 
ber 14, 1837, and daughter of David and 
Susan (AYakefield) Sanders, both of whom 
are deceased, the mother In 1852, and the 
father in 1882. Her father died in Portage 
county, AVis., whither he had removed many 
years before. By this union Air. and Mrs. 
Aliller are the parents of nine children — 
Eugene, born May 20, 1859; Edwin, born 
April 20, 1867 ; Emma, born July 22, 1868 ; 
Jennie V., born July 2, 1870; and Bertram 
D., born October 3, 1878. These are all 
living. Those deceased are — Etta R., born 
August 25, 1856, died in infancy ; Nellie AI., 
born June 9, 1861, died May 25, 1875 ; Alice 
B., wife of AVilford Downing, died Novem- 
ber 8, 1883 ; and Jessie, born Alay 25, 1874, 
died November 1, 1884. 


MONO the most prominent newspaper 
p^S\^ men in Aleeker county should be 
classed H. I. Peterson, editor and proprietor 
of the Litchfield Lidependent. He is a native 
of Goodhue county, Minn., born at Red 
AVing, on the 14th of February, 1857. He 



was raised upon a farm, attending district 
schools daring the winter months until he 
had reached the age of fifteen, and in the 
mean time coming with his parents to Meeker 
county, jVIinn., in 1867. When he had 
reached the age mentioned he entered the 
office of the Meeker county News as an ap- 
prentice to learn the printing business, and 
remained there for about two years. After 
that time he was engaged chiefly at his trade 
as a compositor until 1876 when hel)ought a 
half interest in the Litchfield Independent^ 
of wliicli he is now sole proprietor. 

Mr. Peterson was married in 1881 to Miss 
Jessie Doll, of Meeker county. They have 
three children — Edward • Leroy, Florence 
Edith, and Bessie Frances. Mr. Peterson 
takes an active interest in all matters which 
tend to advance the mterests of either town 
or county; is a capable writer, and his paper 
is deservedly influential and po])ular. 

JAMES H. MORRIS, one of the most 
prominent citizens, as well as one of the 
most extensive farmei's and stock-raisers in 
Meeker county, is a resident of section 22, 
Litchfield township. He is a native of Fort 
Niagara, N. Y., was born on the 26th of 
September, 1815, and is a son of Colonel 
Thompson and Martha B. (Upham) Morris. 
His fatiier was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 
Fourth United States Infantry, was a prom- 
inent and influential man of his times, and died 
on the 11th of February, 1870. James II. Mor- 
ris' great grandpai-ents came from Wales in 
1715, and located near Philadelphia. Ilis 
grand fatiier, -Tames C. Morris, emigrated to 
Ohio in 1811; he had seen service in the Trip- 
olitan war, and was one of those captured on 
the frigate Piiiladeipiian, and held prisoner 
for two years by the Bashaw of Tripoli. 

James IL Morris, the subject of this sketch, 
began life foi' iiinisclf wlien aljout si.xteen 

years of age, by clerking for Col. J. D. Bing- 
ham, chief quartermaster of the Seventeenth 
corps, but was taken sick in front of Vicks- 
burg, and returned home. After recuperat- 
ing he began clerking for Capt. II. B. Good- 
rich, A. Q. M., and continued until March, 
lSf)-t, wiien lie enlisted in the 137th Ohio In- 
fantiy. In the following June he was ]n'o- 
moted to second lieutenant in the Tenth 
New York Artillery, and served in tlie front 
of Petersburg and Richmond during the sum- 
mer of 1861:, and in the campaign of Shenan- 
doah Valley,- Va., in the fall of 1864. 
During the winter of 1865 he was in the front 
of Petersburg and Richmond, on the Bennuda 
front ; and after the collapse of the Confed- 
eracy, was on duty in Petersburg, on the 
staff of post-commandant Col. George C. 
Kibble, of the Sixth New York Artillery. 
He was finally mustered out of the service 
on the 30th of June, 1865, at Sackett's Har- 
bor, New York. After the close of the war 
he went West, and finally located in Minne- 
apolis. In ]\Iai'ch, 1869, he removed to Das- 
sel. Meeker countv, where he erected a saw 
mill and built the first store. In December, 
1873, he removed to Litchfield and engaged 
in the milling and mercantile business. His 
name is closely indentified with the growth 
and develojnnent of Litchfield, and he fig- 
ures prominently in the business history of 
the county seat. On the 1st of April, 1875, 
he was appointed postmaster of that jilace, 
and retained tiie office until the 30th of June, 
1887. He now resides on his magnificent 
farm of several hundred acres, on the west- 
ern shoi'e of Lake Ripley, and devotes his 
attention to his extensive farming and stock- 
raising interests. Mr. Mori-is has taken a 
prominent and active interest in all public 
matters. He was first lieutenant of Compan}^ 
II, First Regiment Minnesota National 
Guards, from its organization until March 1, 
1888; is a member of Golden Fleece Lodge 
No. 89, A. F. & A. M., and was its master for a 



number of years ; a member of Rabboni 
Chapter, No. 39, and is the present eminent 
commander of Mileta Commandery No. 
17, Knights Templar. He is also a prom- 
inent member of Frank Daggett post, G. A. E. 

Mr. Morris wiis married at Minneapolis on 
the 13th of July, 1870, to Miss Florence J. 
"Williams. She is a daughter of John G.and 
Jane S. Williams. Iler father died in July, 
1880, and her mother is now living in Minne- 
apolis. Mrs. AVilliams, her mother, has five 
children who are now living, as follows ; 
Florence J., now Mrs. Morris, of Litchfield ; 
Lou B., now Mrs. James E. Upham, of Litch- 
field ; J. C. Williams, Marcia A. and Sallie 
E., of Minneapolis. 

Mr. Morris has one brother and one sister — 
Charles A. and Maria L., both of whom are 
unmarried and are living in Minneapolis. 

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Morris has 
been blessed with the following named chil- 
dren — Mattie P\, Louise J., James C, Thomp- 
son C. and Richard W. (twins), and Harbron 
W., all of whom are living except Thompson 
C, who died at the age of seven months. 

We take pleasure in presenting a portrait 
of Mr. Morris on another page in this Album. 

^^ENUS O'KEEFFE, a well known, 
M^'i^^i^ successful and highly-respected 
farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 
6, Manannah township, is one of the most 
prominent citizens of the northern part of 
the county, and is one whose enterprise and 
thrift are evidenced bj' the fact that the 
building improvements, which have been 
erected on his farm, are a credit to the 
neighborhood in which he lives. 

Mr. O'Keeffe was born in County Cork, 
Ireland, on the 1st of November, 1830, and 
is a son of Menus and Charlotte (Fillpot) 
O'Keeffe. He remained in the land of his 
birth until January, 1853, when he sailed for 

the New World, landing in New York city 
April 12, 1853. They had a hard voyage, 
and for a time he lost lioj^e of ever seeing 
the United States, from hunger and starva- 
tion, as the vessel sprung a leak; but finally 
landed in safety. Our subject worked at 
gardening for six months, at 100th street, 
Bloomingdale road, N. Y., and from there 
went to Manhattanville, and drove an ex- 
press wagon between that point and Fulton 
street, from September until the following 
March, 1854, being without mitts or over- 
coat. Speaking of it he sa^'s : " I felt com- 
fortable, as my Irish blood was warm and 
young at that time." In April, 1854, he 
went to work as hostler and groom in a 
hotel on the Bloomingdale road, N. Y., and 
remained for five years. In 1859 he began 
work in the Central Park, N. Y., which he 
continued for five years, and then started for 
the " Great West," and the headwaters of 
the "mighty Mississippi." He landed at 
Minneapolis, and for two years was employed 
on the Manitoba railroad at Cedar Lake, and 
also at brick-making. In the fall of 18(56 he 
came to Meeker county, driving through by 
team, anil located on section 6, Manannah 
township, where he still lives. He is com- 
fortably fixed, as the saying goes, in this 
world's goods, and has a very ])leasant 
home, a good wife and. an intelligent family. 
He owns 240 acres of land, a goodly portion 
of which is under cultivation, and also does 
considerable in the stock-raising line. In 
political matters he is a democrat. 

Mr. O'Keeffe was married in Julj^ 1856, to 
Julia McLoney, and they have been the 
parents of nine children, as follows — Will- 
iam, Menus, Mary, Sharlotte, John, Eliza- 
beth, Julia, Margaret and James. All the 
children are living, except William, Mary 
and Sharlotte, who died and were buried in 
New York city. Both Mr. and Mrs. O'Keeffe 
are zealous and prominent members of the 
Catholic Church. 



Mr. O'Keeffe's parents died in Meeker 
county. Mrs. O'Keetfe's parents were natives 
of Ireland, and are still residents of County 
Cork, in tlieir native land. 



^HOMAS H. BOGAR, who came to 
Minnesota in the spring of ]8()(j, was 
born November 10, 1810, in Juniata county, 
Penn., on the hanks of tliat beautiful river 
known in poetry as tiie " Uiue Juniata," 
where his childhood years were spent. He 
was brought uj) as a miller, that being his 
father's occupation. When a mere lad tlie 
family moved to Hawkins county, Tenn., 
where he assisted iiisfatherin running a large 
flouring mill. On leaving the mill he learned 
the saddler's trade; and at the age of twenty- 
one he went to Russell county, Va., and com- 
menced business at Lebanon, the county 
seat. Hei'e he met and married Sallie T., 
daughter of Garland and Martitia (Thurston) 
Hurt; of this union were born eleven children 
— six sons and five daugiiters. nine of whom 
reached the years of maturity. In the year 
of 1837 he removed from Russell to Tazewell 
county, locating at Thompson's Gap. Intend- 
ing to go to Oregon by way of the overland 
route — the only way at that time — he turned 
a considerable part of his means into extra 
good horses and wagons. But before he 
succeeded in closing up his business the 
great financial crisis came. Embarrassed by 
his own debts, and that of a friend for whom 
he was surety, he succeeded in meeting his 
own liabilities, but saw his property sold at 
public auction to satisify creditors of the 
man for whom lie had indorsed. Pie was 
broke. When the woi-st of the crash was 
over — being sued, he sued no one — he col- 
lected what he could of his outstanding 
notes and accounts, and bought a small farm 
( 100 acres ) located in Thomi)son Valley. 
Here he endeavored with indifferent success 
to dig a living ,out of the ground. After 

five years' residence on the farm he sold out 
and removed to Piketon, Pike county, Ky. 
Here he worked at his trade, employing only 
two assistants, holding at the same time the 
office of postmaster, to which he was 
appointed soon after his arrival in tlie 
village. In 1S51 he removed to John's Creek 
valley same county, and leasing land, engaged 
in raising grain and stock, in which pursuit 
he was fairly successful until tiie breaking 
out of the civil war, when his property was 
again lost in various ways. In politics he 
was a democrat; in religion a Methodist. He 
was beloved by all, es])eciaily by the young, 
who liked to congregate at the house of the 
kind and genial man. He was at one time 
a slave holder, the property coming from 
his wife's estate; but he always thought the 
system a curse. 

In the stormy days of secession, he took 
the field as a campaign speaker; being well 
read in history, more especially the history 
of his own country, his opponent, a young 
man of the legal profession, soon learned that 
the quiet farmer, who knew how to grind 
wheat, make a saddle, or lead a meeting, also 
knew how to make a speech. On one occa- 
sion, after the speeches had been delivered, a 
man walked up to Mr. Bogaranil struck him 
over the head with a cane. The l)low stunned 
him, but recovering himself, Mr. Bogar 
walked away, got on his horse and went to 
the next precinct, telling people that the 
blow was their best argument. 

On the breaking out of the war he enlisted 
in the fourteenth Regiment, U. S. Infantry, 
serving about three months, principally as a 
scout, and was then discharged for disability. 
Mr. Bogar's sons, like liimself, were strong- 
Union men. Joseph, the oldest, cast one of 
the two Lincoln votes in Pike county, Ky., 
Moses H., the second son, enlisted in the 
same regiment as tiie father, and at the same 
time. John G., the third son, only a lad, 
later enlisted in the Thirty-Xinth Kentucky. 



In 1866, Mr. Bogar came to Minnesota 
bringing most of his family with him, and 
located on section 2, Collinwood, where he 
lived until the time of his death, November 
1, 1S6S. The widow still lives on the home- 
stead, and Mrs. C. A. Pauley, her daughter, 
has lived with her most of the time. 

ANDREW W. EKLUND is one of the 
leading and most successful farmers 
and stock-raisers in Danielson township, 
being a resident of section 5, in that subdi- 
vision of Meeker county. He comes from 
the same sturdy race which forms such a 
in Meeker C(junty's pojiula 

large element 

tion, having been born in Sweden on the 
31st of March, 1846, being a son of John and 
Bertha Olson. lie I'emained in his native 
land until 1869, Avhen he came to the United 
States, and, shortly after his arrival, he set- 
tled in Michigan, where he was employed in 
the iron mines and where he remained about 
seven years. At the expiration of that 
time, thinking that he could better his con- 
dition, financially and otherwise, he came to 
Meeker county, Minn., and purchased a 
farm on section 5, in Danielson township, 
where he has since lived. He now has a 
splendid farm of 160 acres, upon which he 
has put excellent improvements, having 
erected a fine house, barn and other farm 
buddings. Mr. Eklund is in very comfort- 
able circumstances, and he owes all he has 
to his own efforts and industry, as he was al- 
most penniless when he came to the United 
States, his sister having advanced him the 
money witli whicli to pay his fare. Since 
coming to Meeker county he has lost several 
crops through the grasshoppers, but, con- 
sidering everything, he has been very suc- 
cessful and is now in comfortable circum- 
stances. In political matters Mr. Eklund 
affiliates with the democratic party. He 

takes a commendable interest in educational 
matters, and has held the office of school 
treasurer for eight years. 

Mr. Eklund was mari'ied on the 24th of 
June, 1870, to Miss Sophia Larson, a daugh- 
ter of Lars and Bertha Olson, who was born 
on the 18th of December, 1849. Their mar- 
riage has been blessed with three children, 
as follows — Anna Sophia, born May 4, 1871 ; 
Mary Josephina, born April 28, 1873; and 
Charles William, born July 23, 1882. 

SHARLES A. GREENLEAF, tlie junior 
member of the firm of W. H. 
Greenleaf & Son, lumber dealers of Litch- 
field, is, in the opinion of his fellow towns- 
men, one of the most promising young busi- 
ness men of the village. He was born in 
Meeker county, Minn., Oct. 27, 1861, and is 
the son of Hon. "William H. Greenleaf, one 
of the most influential and leading citizens 

of the county. In his younger days, 
Charles received his primary education in 
the primitive log cabin school houses of the 
period, around whose rugged walls fond 
memories throw the glamom- of boyhood's 
halcyon days. After the family removed to 
Litchfield, our subject commenced a more 
advanced course of scliooling, finishing with 
a course in the excellent high school of 
Litchfield, and was graduated with the first 
class to finish in that institution. He at 
once assumed a position in his father's place 
of business and continued in his employ 
until attaining his majority in 1SS2, when 
he entered into the present firm. He is also 
engaged in the real estate business, owning 
and controlling an addition to the city of 
Minneapolis, in connection with H. S. Bran- 
ham ; and also an addition to the village of 
Litchfield, in company with others. 

January 18, 1887, Mr. Greenleaf was 
united in marriage with Miss Hattie D. 



Campbell, a native of Manchester, Conn., but 
reared in Hartford, the same State. Mr. 
Greenleaf is a careful business man and 
occupies a prominent place in the estimation 
of his fellow citizens. He is at the present 
a moniljer of tiie village council, represent 
ino; the first ward. 


^^^ARL SCHULTZ, a prominent old set- 
^^^ tier of Meeker count}', residing on 
section 23, in Harvey township, was born 
in the western part of Prussia, on the 
2-l:th of JMay, 1880. He remained in his 
native land during his boyhood days, and 
until tlie 1st of April, 185-4, when he sailed 
for America, landing in the city of New 
York on the 17th of May. Two days later 
he went to Chicago, and remained near that 
city, working in a lime-kiln for about two 
months. Chicago was then only a small 
village. From tliere he went to the pineries 
of Northern Michigan, and remained there 
until 1855, when he returned to Chicago. 
In October, 185(), he started for Meeker 
county, Minn., landing at Forest City on the 
1st of November, 1S5(), and remained there 
until the 10th of the following May. He 
then went to Minnea])olis and worked dur- 
ing the summer on a farm near by, for R. 
P. Russell. The following winter he worked 
near Forest City, getting out fence rails. In 
the meantime, on the 1st of November, 
1856, he had taken a preemption on section 
23, Harvey township, and during the sum- 
mer of 1858 he put in some cro])s and 
worked on the place, remaining upon it until 
the spring of 1862, when he went to ilinne- 
apolis, where he worked at the mason's trade 
until the following October. He then re- 
turned to Harvey, remained about a month 
and went to Fort Snelling, where, on tiie 
10th of December, 1863, he enlisted in Com 
pany D, Second Minnesota Cavalry. He 
served in the Northwest, was with the Sully 

expedition and remained in the service until 
the 1st of September, 1865, when he was 
discharged on account of sickness, and re- 
turned to Harvey townsijip, where his 
brother Rudolph was living. He re- 
mained with his brother during the winter, 
until lie was able to walk again, and then 
went to Minneapolis and spent the summer 
workino- on the Russell farm. Tlie ensuintr 
winter was spent in Harvey, and the follow- 
ing summer he was engaged at mason work 
at Minnea])olis. Then, in the fall of 1867, 
he returned to Harvey and lias since made 
this his home. 

On the 17th of November, 1867, he was 
married to Miss Minna Tiieile, and the 
fruits of their union have been five children, 
all of whom are still living, as follows — 
Louisa, Ida, Clara, Minnie and Carl. Mr. 
and Mrs. Schultz are active members of the 
Lutheran Church and devout Christians. 
Mr. Schultz has taken an active interest in 
all matters calculated to benefit his town- 
shij), and is one of the most substantial and 
highly respected citizens of the county. 

It may be of interest to state that Mr. 
Shultz's farm-house was used as headquarters 
by the Indians when the attack was made on 
Forest City in 1862. 


'c\ir^ the " brave boys in blue,'' now liv- 
ing in Forest Prairie township, on section 
26, came to the count}' in 1881, and bought 
eighty acres of land of Michael Flynn, 
where he now lives. He was born in St. 
Lawrence county. New York, August 25, 
1832, and is the son of Carlos and Rosa 
Ann (Duquet) Greenwood, natives of Canada, 
who emigrated to New York in 1830, where 
they made their home until 1866. The 
mother died in the Empire State, after which 
the fatlier of our subject removed to Sibley 



county, Minn. Marcellus was married, 
October 12, 1853, to Miss Rosaiina Gesiner, 
who is also a native of St. Lawrence countj', 
N. Y., and by this union there has been 
born a family of twelve children — Libby, 
Mary, Allen, Frank, Emma, Louisa, Sophia, 
Edward, Stephen, Jerome, Rosa and Maggie. 
All the children are married except the last 
iive. In his political views Mr. Greenwood 
coincides with the I'epublican party. His 
family are zealous members of the Roman 
Catholic church. 

During tiie late civil war, December 28, 
1863, our subject enlisted in Company M, 
Eighteenth New York Cavalry, and served 
■with that gallant re^'iment, being- transferred 
to Company I, until May 31,1866,when he was 
mustered out of service at Victoria, Texas, 
and returned to his home. His service was 
chiefly performed in Virginia, the regiment 
being attached to the Army of the Potomac. 

UGUST DAVIDSON, a farmer on sec- 
tion 18, Acton township, is one of the 
pioneers of Minnesota, having settled within 
its boundaries while it was yet a territory. 
Mr. Davidson is a son of David and Kate 
Nelson, and was born in Sweden on the 1st 
of June, 1838. He came to the United States 
in 185-1-, and came direct to Chisago county, 
Minnesota He remained there a few weeks 
and then went to Wisconsin, where, for two 
years, he was em]iloyed by one man in farm- 
ing, after which he worked another year for 
a neighboi'. He then went to the pineries 
and was employed at lumbering and "on the 
drive" until the fall of 1S(U, when he enlisted 
in Company D, Third Minnesota Vohmteer 
Infantry. They were sent South for service 
and participated in several skirmishes but not 
in any pitched battle. After a year's service, 
the war closed and being honorably dis- 
charged he returned to the pineries of Wis- 

consin, where he worked until the spring of 
1868. During that spring he came to Meeker 
county, Minn., and bought land in Acton 
township. He at once began farming, and 
has since made this his home. He has been 
very successful and now owns 270 acres of 
land, and has it improved with substantial 
farm buildings. He does a general farming 
and stock-raising business. 

Mr. Davidson was married on the 25th of 
June, 1868, to Matilda Anderson, and their 
union has been blessed with the following 
named children — Levi, born May 20, 1869; 
George, born November 11, 1875; Clara, born 
June 0. 1882; and Arthur, born November 28, 
ISS-t. The famil}' are members of the Swed- 
ish Lutheran Church. In political matters 
Mr. Davidson affiliates with the republican 
party. The parents of Mr. Davidson still re- 
side in Sweden, their native land, while those 
of Mrs. Davidson are residents of Meeker 

TOHN J. SUNDQUIST, the photographic 
^ artist and notion and clothing dealer of 
Dassel, is a fair representative of the class of 
self-made men who have " climbed the ladder 
rung by rung" to an easy competence. Boi'n 
among the wild and picturesque scenery of 
Sweden, April 28, 1846, the son of John and 
Keser Johnson, his boyhood and youth were 
passed in his native land. His father served 
in the Swedish National Guards, and re- 
mained in that kingdom until his death. 

The subject of our narrative, when about 
twenty-three years of age, feeling the impos- 
sibility of raising himself financially above the 
estate in which he was born in that country, 
determined to seek his fortune in the newer 
countries across the sea, and embarking, 
landed upon the shores of America, and 
made his way to Pepin county. Wis. On his 
arrival there, with but fifty cents in his 
pocket, he was taken down sick, and felt that 



the foi'tune of the poor emigrant was at a 
very low ebb. As soon as lie recovered, he 
started for I\Iinnesota, and on reaching the 
river, opposite Lake City, had l>nt twentv- 
five cents to his name. Something to eat 
cost fifteen of this, and ten cents to cross the 
river, landed him in Minnesota totally penni- 
less and friendless, and the pi-ospect looked 
dark to him indeed. Instead of sitting down 
to grieve about it, however,- he found work 
with a farmer near Eochester, with whom he 
remained until fall. In the spring of 1870 
he commenced work on the river division of 
the Chicago, Milwankee & St. Paul rail- 
road, grading, and was soon made foreman 
of a gang of men. The following spring he 
went to Scott county, this State, when he 
commenced contracting for grading on the 
Hastings & Dakota railroad, and worked 
hard until the fall, when he went to St. Paul 
and there bought a boarding house and 
saloon which he only ran a short time. 
About the last of 1871, he removed to Car- 
ver county, and took some more contracts 
for grading, and there remained until the 
stoppage of work in 1872. Purchasing some 
land in connection with others, he platted 
and established the village of Norwood, 
where he made his home until 1885, follow- 
ing railroad construction during the summer 
months, and photography in the winters. 
The restless activity that ever prompted him 
to better his condition, induced him in the 
spring of 1885, to sell out his interests in 
Norwood, and remove to Dassel village, 
where he purchased ten acres of ground 
adjoining the town site, where he put up his 
residence. Later the same season, he pur- 
chased some town lots and put up the brick 
store building which he now occupies, laying 
out in these im])rovenients about 84,500. In 
the summer of 1886, Mr. Sundquist ]Hit in a 
stock of drugs, but a few months later dis- 
posed of them and opened a stock of notions, 
to which he added afterwards, clothinj)- and 

boots and shoes. In connection with this 
business he carries on the jihotograiihic art 
gallei'y, the second story being litted n\) foi- 
that business. 

Mr. Sundquist was married in October, 
1871, to Miss Anna Swenson, a native of 
Sweden. Since becoming a citizen of Dassel, 
Mr. Sundquist has taken a dee]) intei'est in 
all matters relating to his ado]ited home, and 
the people, believing that a man who has 
been so successful in his own affairs, would 
be so in the public's, elected him to the posi- 
tion of member of the village board of 
trustees in 1888. 


Iggp P. NELSON, one of the most promi- 
l^jjD nent and successful business men in the 
count}', is a member of the firm of Nelson, 
Johnson & Larson, dealers in general mer- 
chandise at Litchfield. Mr. Nelson is anative 
of Sweden, born on the 29th of October, 1840, 
and is a son of Nels and Johanna Anderson. 
His early life was spent in the land of his birth, 
but in 1862, with his parents, he embarked 
for America, and after a voyage of eleven 
weeks they landed on the shores of the new 
world and proceeded to St. Paul. It had 
been their intention to settle on Foot Lake, 
in Kandiyohi county, Minn., but, learning of 
the Indian outljrejdv, their plans were changed, 
and shortly afterward B. P. Nelson, our sult- 
ject, went to Galesburg, Knox county. 111., 
where he remained from October, 1862, until 
the following May. AVe next find him in 
Chicago, where he remained for six montiis 
at work in a brickyard. The following win- 
ter was spent in the pineries of Michigan, 
after which he settled at St. Paul, ]\[inn., 
and for two years and a half worked in an 
agricultural warehouse for Bigelow, Murdock 
& Co. After leaving there, for about a year 
he was at various places, principally in iVfec- 
ker county, and in C'ottage Grove, and then 
went to Nicollet county, and started a store 



at New Sweden. Two yeiirsand a half later 
he sold Ijis business to his biotber in-law, 
John Burke, and came to Litchfield, arriving 
here during the year 1871. Upon his arrival 
he, with his brother, Andrew Nelson, engaged 
in the general mercantile business, and con- 
tinued in it for three years, when the business 
was sold to A. Cairncross. After this our 
subject was engaged in farming and buying 
grain until 1880, when the present firm of 
Nelson, Johnson & Larson was formed, and 
he has since devoted his time to the interests 
of the firm. 

Mr. Nelson was married on the 31st of 
May. 1878, to Emily E. Johnson, and tliey 
are the parents of four children, one of whom 
died in infancy, and the other three — Archie 
E., Clara E. and Bertram C. — are living. 

Mr. Nelson has taken a prominent and 
active interest in all matters of a. public nat- 
ure, and he has been closely identified with 
the growth and development of business 
enterprises of Litchfield. He has been one 
of the directors of the Meeker County Bank 
ever since its organization. 

M, NDREW CARLSON, a successful far- 
jiP^ mer residing on section 17, Greenleaf 
township, was born in Sweden, on the 17tli 
of February, 1825. Ilis ])arents were both 
natives of the same country, and liveti there 
until tlie time of their deaths. Andrew 
learned the carpenter's trade, and woi'ked at 
that and other vocations in his native land 
until 1869, when he sailed for America. 
Shorth' after his arrival he went to Mich- 
igan, where he was employed chiefly at min- 
ing, and remained until 1874, when he came 
to Meeker county, Minn., and })urchased the 
farm in Greenleaf townsliip, where ho has 
since lived. He has a well-cultivated farm 
of 120 acres, and devotes his attention to gen- 
eral farming and stock-raising. Mr. Carlson 

was married, in 1856, to Maria C. Olson, a 
native of Sweden. She bore him two chil- 
dren, and died in Sweden on the 23d of Feb- 
ruary, 1868. The children were Andrew G. 
and Alfred G. Anderson. Andrew was born 
in 1860, and died in infancy-. 

Alfred G. Anderson, the second child, was 
born in Sweden, on the 21st of December, 
1863, and came to America when still a lad, 
with his father, with whom he still lives. 
Alfred was married, on the ■1th of July, 1885, 
to Augusta E. Hagerstrom, and the couple 
have had one child — Elmer T., born May 12, 

The father and son are both intelligent, 
progressive citizens. They are prohibition- 
ists in political matters. The family are 
members of the Swedish Baptist Church. 


^UGUST SWANSON.a progressive and 
successful farmer and stock-raiser 
residing on section 17, Cedar Mills township, 
is a native of Sweden, where he was born on 
the 15th of June, 1844. His early life was 
spent in his native land, where he remained 
until he had reached the age of twenty-four, 
and then came to the United States. Upon 
liis arrival he went to Marquette County, 
Mich., where he secured work in the iron 
mines. He remained there for about five 
years, and then started West, and on March 
13, 1874, in company with his brother, Fred 
Swanson, he arrived in Meeker county, 
Minn., and together they purchased the farm 
which had been originally taken by J. V. 
Branhara, in the northern part of Greenleaf 
tow'nship. August lived there with his 
brother until 1876, when he sold his interest 
in the place. After that he worked in that 
township for two years, and in 1878 he pur- 
chased the farm on section 17, Cedar Mills 
township, where he still resides, erecting the 
house in which he lives, in 1880. He has a 



valuable farm of 200 acres, a good sliare of 
wliicli is under cultivation, and luis substan- 
tial and comfortable building improvements. 
He devotes his attention extensively to stock- 
raising in connection with his fanning, and 
bv his integrity, industry and eiiterpi'ise he 
has gained the reputation dI' l)eing one of the 
most substantial and most highly respected 
citizens of the township. 

Mr. Swanson was mari'ied, Novend)er 24, 
1879, to Mrs. Christina Erickson, a native of 
Sweden, who was born October 7, 1832. 

fOHN C. KRUGER, a prominent and rep- 
resentative citizen of Ellsworth town- 
ship, living on section 8, came to this county 
May 27, 18G2, and settled on section 8 of the 
same town, where he remained until the 
Indian outl)reak that fall. At that time lie 
went to Forest City, Kingston, and Clear- 
water, but soon came back and remained 
that winter in Forest City. In the spring he 
moved to a farm in that vicinity, and from 
there after one season spent in Greenleaf 
township, came to his present residence, where 
he took up eighty acres under the homestead 
law, to which he has added some 300 acres, 
and now has an excellent farm. 

Mr. Kruger was born in the northern ]iart 
of Germany, May 1, 1815, and is the son of 
Charles D. Kruger, who was the parent of 
five children — four besides our subject — 
AVilliain, Herman, Charles and Mary, the 
latter the widow of John Putzer, of Green- 

Mr. Kruger remained in the "fatherland" 
until 1851, when he sought in free America 
the chance for achievinga competency denied 
in the land of his birth, so down-trodden is 
it by military despotism, lie located in 
Illinois, where he remained until coming to 
iVIinnesota. Before leaving his native coun- 
try, October 20, 184(;, he was united in mar- 

riage with Miss Mary Long, a native of the 
same Emjiire, a daughter of Fred Long. She 
was born March 20, 1824. By this union there 
have been born five children, as follows — 
Charles, Ferdinand, Mary, Minnie and Lizzie. 
In his political I'aitli Mr. Kruger strongly 
clings to the I'cpublican doctrines, and sup- 
ports the camlidates of that party. 


l^RANK M' INTYRE, a well-to-do and 
'JP^ prosperous farmer of Manannah town- 
ship, lias his beautiful home upon section 26, 
and is surrounded by his magniticent estate of 
440 acres of as fine land as any in the county. 
He is a native of County Cavan, Ireland, born 
May 12, 1832, and'is the son of James and 
Mary (Clark) Mclntyre. He remained in the 
land of his birth until nineteen years 
of age, when perceiving the impossibility of 
e'ettin<i: ahead in that landlord ridden land, 
he emigrated to the New World, landing 
in New York city, staying there a year; in 
the fall of 1852, came West, and located in 
Joliet, 111., where he was employed in the 
stone quarries until 1865. a good share of the 
time as foreman. In the meantime, however, 
he spent four months in Cuba, laying the 
first street-car tracks in Ilavanna. 

In June, 1863, Mr. Mclntyremadeatrip to 
Meeker county Avith the intention of taking 
up a homestead. Part of the way was made 
on foot, notwithstanding the warnings 
and expostulations of the parties along the 
line of his mai'ch. as there was a fresh Indian 
scare that summer growing out of the 
killing of Captain Cady. Arriving at Forest 
C;itv, the water was too high to cross, so on 
the advice of F. McCusker, he decided to take 
a homestead on section 26. This was the 
first claim made north of the Crow river. 
He returned to St. Cloud, and filed his entry 
on the homestead, and returned to Joliet, 
i where he staid until 1865. In Julv of that 



year he brought his family by team as far as 
LaCrosse and tiien he returned to Joliet to 
finisii some work. The family continued 
their journey from LaCrosse in company with 
his wife's Ijrothers and father,a,nd upon arriv- 
ing here the wife stayed with the McCusker 
family — (her brother-in-law). A cabin was 
commenced on Mclntyre's claim, which was 
the first house erected in the townshij) north 
of the Crow river. October 18 thecabin was 
raised — those who helped being James and 
Peter Mclntyre, Owen Quinn, Peter McMa- 
hon, Fergus McCusker, Edward Murphy, 
Michael and James McNulty and possibly a 
few others. Mrs. Mclntyre cooked their din- 
ner under an oak tree. On the 22d of Novem- 
ber Mr. Mclntyre arrived and at once began 
finishing the cabin, but it was not finished 
with doors, etc., until the 20th of December. 
In the meantime, however, they decided to 
occupy the cabin, so he waded the river and 
brought over his wife and they accoi'dingly 
"moved in." One of their first mishaps was 
the loss of their only pan of bread dough 
which their dog made a meal of, and Mr. 
Mclntyre had to go hungry until his wife 
went to McCusker's for more provisions. 
During the following winter, 1865-6, he 
completed his stable, finishing it about dark 
New Year's dav. His horses refused to "'o 
into it for the fii'st time in the dark, so he was 
obliged to blanket them and let them stand 
outside till daylight. A storm -came ujj 
which made it severe for the dumb animals, 
but they could not be forced into their new 
quarters until light gave them confidence. 
As he was the first settler on that side of the 
Crow river, he was often cut of? from neigh- 
bors by high water. He at once went to 
work to develop the place, and from this 
humble beginning, by incessant labor, natur- 
al business tact, and commendable frugahty, 
has built up his present fortune. Mr. Mcln- 
tyre devotes considerable attention to stock, 
having now a, Hne herd of al)out sixty head 

of cattle, besides horses. His building im- 
provements are among the finest in the town- 
ship, being surrounded by a fine natural 

Tiie subject of this sketcii was married 
August 20, 1856, to Miss Mary McXulty, a 
native of County Tyrone, Ireland, who is the 
mother of four children as follows — Mary, 
born May 9, 1857 ; James P., born March 9, 
1859; Charles F., born December 6, 1862 ; and 
Rosa A., born August 25, 1864. 

The first Catholic services in the township 
were held in the log cabin referred to above, 
by Father Anthony, of the Benedictine 
Order. This was on the 3d of August, 1866, 
when Michael McNulty, the father of Mrs. 
Mclntyre, died. 

Iffir/ ILLIAM H. SEGAR, a prominent 

ymd.. and influential agriculturist of Dar- 
win township, is a representative of the 
thrifty, progressive and enterprising New 
England people, who have pushed their way 
through every obstacle, in every clime and 
every land, and have carried with them 
everywhere the civilization and progress of 
their forefathers, as well as that of the 
present age. 

Mr. Segar was born in Massachusetts, July 
7, 1832, and is the son of Charles H. and 
Ursula (Taylor) Segar, both of whom have 
passed to their reward beyond the grave. 
In his New England home our subject was 
reared, and there received the education 
which is the birtiiright of every citizen of 
that portion of our great Republic. In Jan- 
uary, lS5-t, he left the barren soil of the " Old 
Bay State," and came to the fertile West,, 
settling in Jackson county, Iowa. Two- 
years later, finding that part of the State too 
hilly for him, he removed to Jones county,, 
the same State, where he remained some two 
or three years. Monroe et)unty was the 
next scene of his labors, but in 1S68 he re- 



moved to the Missouri slope of Iowa, and 
settled ill Monona county, where he remained 
until about 1870, when he came to Meeker 
county. He at first settled on section 4, in 
Darwin township, but four years later moved 
to Kingston, and aftei' spending some time 
in the various villages in the county, returneii 
to Darwin and located on section 6, where he 
now lives. 

August 5, 1858, Mr. Segar was united in 
marriage with Miss Mary A. Lewis, a native 
of Vermont, and daughter of Moses and 
Julia Lewis. By this union there have been 
eleven children, as follows — Charles D., 
Eudora, Lulu M., Anna, Frank E., Harry S., 
Ernest E., Emmett E., Bessie P., Freddie and 
Samuel G. The four first named were born 
in Monroe county, Iowa ; Frank in Monona 
county, same State, and the rest in Meeker 
count}', Minn. 

In political matters Mr. Segar affiliates 
with the ])rohibition party, his views coin- 
ciding with the princij)les of that organiza- 

^M^NDREW O. LAWSON, senior mem- 
_^S^ ber of tiie general merchandise firm 
of A. O. Lawson & Co., one of the leading 
merchants of Grove City, was born in 
Sweden, November 3, 1855, and is the son of 
Lasse and Christina Ostradson. In 1872 he 
crossed the ocean in search of fortune and 
hai)piness, and for a time was engaged in 
taking care of and driving the carriage horses 
of a business man in Minneapolis. During 
the summer of that year he came to Acton 
township and worked in the harvest fields of 
this locality, and s})ent the following winter 
here in attending school. In the spring he 
retui-netl to Minneapolis, where he was vari- 
ously employed for some two years. Ketui'U- 
ing to Meeker county lie entered the employ 
of Peter E. Hanson, witii wiiom he remained 
five years. In the spi'ing of 1881, in com- 

pany with O. H. Peterson, he started in the 
grocery trade in Grove City, but sold out to 
his partner in the fall, and made a tri]i to the 
Innne of his boyhood, and returning in the 
spring he again engaged with P. E. Hanson 
in the real estate business, where he remained 
some two years. About that time the pres- 
ent firm of A. O. Lawson & Co. was formed 
between him and T. G. Foi'ster, since which 
time they have been engaged in this line. 

]VIr. Lawson was united in marriage, Octo- 
ber If), 188-1:, with Miss Betsey Larson, the 
daughter of Ole Larson, of this county, and 
they have been the parents of two children — 
Cora, born September 7, 1885 ; and Jose- 
phine, whose birth occurred February 25, 

In his political views Mr. Lawson is en- 
tirely independent of party lines, preferring 
to cast his l)allot for the best men or the best 
measures, irrespective of political platforms 
or dictates. 

— —'«-5^^ -'*■—- 

^M LEX CAIRNCROSS, the head of the 
^Ip^ lirui of Cairncross A: Palm, of Litch- 
fiekl, is a native of Scotland. When he was 
about twenty-five years of age he came to 
America with his jjarents, and the latter pur- 
chased a farm in Sibley county, Minn. Alex 
Cairncross followed steaml)oat building, to- 
gether with carpentering, for some years ; 
later he settled at St. Paul, and was for some 
time engineer in the International Hotel in 
that city. In about the year 1870 he came 
to Meeker county antl opened a general store 
at Darwin, where he remained until 1874, 
when he came to Litchfield and bought out 
the business of the Nelson Bros. Three years 
afterward he sold his interests here and re- 
turned to his native land, and later spent 
some time in traveling tiirough the East. 
He tiien returned to Litchfiei<i, and again 
entered the mercantile trade. In 1885 John 
Palm became a partner with Mr. Cairncross 



in this business. In 1882 Mr. Cairncross 
opened a boot and shoe store, the only ex- 
clusive boot and shoe store in the village. 
He has always taken an active interest in all 
matters calculated to aid in the development 
of his village or county, and has a large in- 
terest in the woolen mills and also in the 
creamery. He is president of the Meeker 
County Bank, in which he is a stockholder, 
and he is otherwise heavily interested in 
jjroperty here. 

• •♦ > • -^Sg^' < *• ■ 

^,\iANlEL JACKMAN. The gentleman 
t^/ of whom this article is written, a 
leading agriculturist of Cosmos township, is 
one of the early settlers of 1867. In that 
year he came here and took up a homestead 
upon section 26. He returned to Minneapo- 
lis the following spring, but immediately re- 
turned here, and has made this his home 
ever since. 

Mr. Jackman is a native of Kennebec coun- 
ty, Me., born April 5, 1822, and is the son of 
Eben and Hannah (Hutchinson) Jackman, 
both of whom were also natives of the " Pine 
Tree State." Both of his grandfathers 
served in the continental army during the 
struggle for independence, and after their 
term of service had expired, settled in Maine, 
and there died. Eben Jackman, who was a 
farmer, also lived and died in the same local- 
ity. For a number of years after reaching 
his eighteenth year, our subject was engaged 
in the pineries of Maine and Canada, taking- 
charge of the lumber camps, etc. In 18.58 
he came to Minneapolis, and went into the 
logging business towards the headwaters of 
the Mississippi, and i-enuiined there for seven 
years. In 1865 hegave up the lumbering busi- 
ness and renting a farm near Minneapolis, 
remained there three years engaged in farm- 
ing. He then came to Meeker county, as 
above mentioned. On his return ]\[ay 4, 
1868, he brought his famil}', and putting up 

his house, made a permanent settlement. In 
1877 he made a trip to the Black Hills, and 
spent the season in gold mining, but returned 
in the fall. 

Mr. Jackman is the oldest resident settler, 
all the others having passed from this world 
or moved to other localities. On his arrival 
here, until he could get up his house, he lived 
in a tent, and cooked at an open fire. When 
the township was organized, the first election 
was held at the house of our subject. He 
was elected the first chairman of the board 
of supervisors and served as such some three 

Mr. Jackman and Annette K. Page were 
united in marriage February 15, 1852. The 
lady is a native of Bangor, Me. By this 
union there have been born four children — 
Frank P., EUra P., Lettie G. and Mabel M. 
Fi'ank is the proprietor of the American 
house at Hector, and the I'est are at home. 

OBERT N. DAMUTH.oneof theintel- 
\i^ ligent anti thonnigh-going agricultur- 
ists of the town of Kingston, having his 
home on section 22, where he located on 
coming to the county in 1868, is a native of 
the State of J^ew York. He was born in 
Jefferson county February 8, 1820, and is 
the son of Peter and Elizabeth (Weaver) 
Damuth. He is of Holland Dutch ancestry, 
his grandfather coming from that country 
and settling where the city of Utica now 
stands, erecting his log cabin there, the first 
building on the town plat. 

Our subject was reared in that part of the 
country, receiving his education in the excel- 
lent disti'ict schools provided by the Empire 
State for the rising generation, anil assisted 
his father in the labors of the farni until he 
had attained his majority. At that time he 
commenced life for himself, finding employ- 
ment on the Erie Canal, where he remained 



some ten years or more, after which he re- 
moved to Marquette count}', Wis., and set- 
tled on a farm, where he made his home for 
four years. From that place he removed to 
Cokimbia county, in the same State, but a 
few years later came to Minnesota, and set- 
tled in Dakota county, whence, in ISfiS, he 
came to Meeker county. 

August 30, 18-i3, Mr. Damuth and Miss 
Emily Eliza Stone were united in marriage. 
His life companion is a native of Oswego 
county, N. Y., born January 23, 18:^7, and 
the daughter of Philo and Eliza L. (Scott) 
Stone, natives of Rhode Island and Connecti- 
cut respectively. By this .union there have 
been born a family of ten children — Madison, 
Myron W., Ellen E., Edwin S., Emily E., 
Margaret, Eliza, Carrie A., Addie M. and 
Robert N., Jr. The death angel has taken 
all but the last two named, and there are 
many vacant chairs around the domestic 

In his politics Mr. Damuth is a democrat, 
but has had no political aspirations. He 
has always taken a great interest in educa- 
tional matters. 

JTOSEPH HUBBARD, postmaster at Crow 
SI river, e.K-county commissioner, and one 
of the most successful and prominent farmers 
and stock-raisers of Meeker county, is a resi- 
dent of section 33, Union Grove township. 

Mr. Hubbard is a son of Joseph and Mer- 
riam (Biownjllubbard, and was born on the 
27th of May, 1820. He commenced life for 
himself when about nineteen years of age, 
first working in a cotton factory at Three 
Rivers, Mass., remaining there until he was 
twenty-seven years of age. He then traveled 
through the country canvassing for news- 
papers until 185i, when he came to Minne- 
sota, and prer-mptod 160 acres of land in 
Scott county. He lived there for twelve 
years and then sold out and settled at 

Shakopee, where he remained for four years 
engaged at teaming. In 1869 he came to 
Meeker county and purchased a farm of 240 
acres in Union Grove township, and has since 
made this his home. Besides liis residence 
he has a small store building in which he 
keeps quite a large assortment of goods for 
the accommodation of the neighborhood and 
also the postoffice. In connection with his 
general merchandise he also handles a lim- 
ited line of agricultural implements, ]ilows, etc. 
He has one of the most valuable farms in the 
township, and it is well arranged for diversi- 
fied farming and stock-raising, which he car- 
ries on. Mr. Hubbard has taken an active 
interest in public matters, and no man in 
the northern jiortion of the county is more 
prominently identified with the official his- 
tory of the county than is he. For the past 
twenty-five years he has held the office of 
justice of the peace, both here and at his 
former place of residence. For six years he 
was a member of the board of county cora- 
missionei's, and during that time was one of 
the most influential members of that body. 
During the war he was deputy provost 

Mr. Hubbard was married in April, 1842, at 
Northfield, Mass., to Gratia Field, a daughter 
of Oliver and Rhoda Field. Slie died in 
October, 1864, leaving three childi'en, as fol- 
lows — Emma, born Jan. 21,1844; Edward J., 
born Fel). 1, 1847 ; and Crissa, born in Decem- 
ber, 1857, died in January, 1864. Emma 
married Abner S. Marshall, and they live in 
Union Grove; they have five ciiildren — Jos- 
eph B., Mabel C, Lewis C, Frank F., and 
Anna H. Edward J. married Fidelia Nich- 
ols, and they live in McPherson county. Dak.; 
they have four children — George A., Charles 
E., Addie L., and Linna L. 

Mr. Hubbard's second marriage occurred 
in April, 1866, when he was wedded to JNlrs. 
Mianda McKinney, formerly ]\Iiss Hidden. 
By her nuirriage with Frederick McKinney 



, she had had five children, as follows — William 
O., George F., Fannie, Edwin A., and Ever- 
son E. Fannie and William are dead. Mrs. 
Mianda Hubbard died in June, 1870. Mr. 
Hubbard's present wife was the widow of 
Samuel McCoy, formerly Miss Elisabeth 
Haseltine. They have two adopted children — 
Ida and Oliver. 

In 1S7G the First Universalist Church of 
Crow river was organized, and Mr. Hubbard 
was chosen deacon, he having been for years 
a believer in that faith. 

Politically Mr. Hubbard has been a repub- 
lican ever since the birth of that ]iarty, and 
has cast his ballot for every republican nom- 
inee for president up to date. 

He has always been a constant reader and 
patron of republican literature. Believing 
that the boys of to-day will be the men of 
to-morrow he has liberally su]ip!ied his own 
family with the best of literature, which has 
been almost a circulating library in his neigh- 

■ < »• • 

P- REDERICK ADAMS, one of the hard- 
■ working agriculturists of Collinwood 
townsliip, living upon section 1, is a native 
of Hampshire, England, born September 7, 
1839, and is the son of Henry and Mary 
(Marsh) Adams. His parents were of the 
class of sturdy yeomen of Alljion that 
have made that island so famous in history, 
and were born, like their forefathers, in that 
Empire. From tlie time he was about seven 
years old, our subject was emjiloyed in farm- 
labor until leaving his native land. May 29,. 
1860, he was united in marriage with Miss 
Eliza Forder, who was born, also, in Hamp- 
shire December 9, 1S38. She is the daughter 
of George and Elizabeth (Bo wen) Forder. 
Her father, a native of same country, was 
born May 17, 1804, came to America in April, 
J871, and died November 31, 1881. Her 
mother died in England, in 1858. 

Mr. Adams, appreciating the im]irobability 
of his acquiring a competency in his native 
land, determined to seek his fortune in the 
United States, the land of the free, and 
accordingly, on the 6th of April, 1871, bid- 
ding adieu to " White-cliffed Albion," he 
sailed for America, and after a pleasant and 
easy voyage, landed at New York, April 17, 

1871. On the 21st of the same month, he 
reached the home of AVilliam Forder, in 
Indiana. He remained in that State, em- 
ployed in a saw mill and on a farm, until the 
following spring, when he came to Collin- 
wood township, this county, where, April 6, 

1872, he purchased forty acres of railroad 
land on section 1, upon which he moved and 
has since made his home. He now has an 
excellent farm of 120 acres in this and sec- 
tion 11, about fifty -five acres of which has 
been cleared of the primeval forest that 
covered it. The first year he was here, he 
was in absolute penury, having but little 
provisions and often suff'ering for the want 
of the necessaries of life. But energy and 
diligence will accomplish much, and he has, 
assisted only by his devoted wife and chil- 
dren, succeeded in turning the point that leads 
to competency and fortune. 

Mr. and Mrs. Adams' marital life has been 
blessed by the advent of four children, as 
follows — William, whose birth took place 
March 31, 1861 ; Elizabeth, born October 26, 
1865; Mary Ann, whose birth dates from 
December 5, 1867; and George Henry, liorn 
August 22, 1871. In liis political views Mr. 
Adams coincides with the republican party, 
and has held the office of road overseer of 
his district for over ten years. 

PROMINENT business man of Meeker 
county is D. Elmquist, watchmaker 
and jeweler, of Litchfield, who is a native of 
Sweden, Ijorn in 1848. His parents were 



John Magnus Elmquist and Christena John- 
son, botli of whom are now tleceased. Mr. 
Ehnquist connnenced in eai-ly manhood to 
learn the jeweler's trade, at wliich he has be- 
come so proficient. In ISf!',) he came to Min- 
neapolis, Minn., Init a short time later went 
to Wisconsin, where he worked at his trade 
with his brother, P. J. Elm(|uist, with whom 
he i-emained as journeynian until 1S72. He 
then returned to Minneapolis and went into 
business with this brother, and remained 
there four years; then after that he located 
at Litchfield, opening a jewelry store as a 
branch of their Minneapolis store, but later 
on bought out his brother's interest, and still 
continues in that business, carrying a full and 
complete stock of everything in that line. 
Mr. Elmquist was one of the charter mem- 
bers of Litchfield lodge, No. 50, A. O. U. AV., 
and is also an active member of the Litch- 
field fire department. 

Mr. Elmquist was mai'i'ied, February 22, 
1876, to Miss Ida M. Ilultgren, of Minneap- 
olis, and they have been blessed with five 
children, four of whom are still living. The 
names of the survivors are as follows — Emily 
Christine, Minnie, Charles J. and John Ar- 
thur. Mr. and Mrs. Elmquist are prominent 
and zealous members of the Swedish Luth- 
eran Cimrch at Litchfield, and exemplary 
Christian ]ieople. 

j) ICHARD ELLIOTT, an active citizen 
Hjy of Dassel, and the proprietor of the 
G. A. R. House, is one of the veterans of the 
late civil war — 

" Whose faith aud truth 
On war's red touchstone rang true metal." 

He is a native of Eakersville, Vt., born in 
1839, and is the son of William E. and 
Miranda (Harvey) Elliott. 

When Richard was onlv a year old, his 
parents moved to St. Lawrence county, 
N. Y., and, amid the wild scenery of that 

section, our subject was reared until he was 
sixteen years old. About that time the fam- 
ily, tired of the stony soil of the East, came 
with the "star of empire'' and settled in the 
town of Ossian, Winneshiek county, Iowa, 
among the earliest settlers of that county. 
On the 13th of December, 1861, Richard El- 
liottenlisted in CompanyC, Thirteenth United 
States Infantry, and served until December 
12, 1864, when he received his discharge at 
JN'ashville, Tenn. He partici)3ated in some 
nine pitched battles, prominent among 
which were the siege of Yicksburg, Chatta- 
nooga, and Mission Ridge. He was fortun- 
ate enough to escape without a wound 
or scratch, or ever having been in hospital 
after leaving their barracks. On his dis- 
charge, he returned to his home in Iowa, 
but shortly after removed to Fillmore county, 
this State, whither his father had preceded 
him. In 1869 he moved to Stevens county, 
and took up a homestead, where he remained 
until 1876, suffering two years from grass- 
ho])pers, which devoured his crops, and two 
years from drouth, which burned them up. 
These circumstances embarrassed him finan- 
cially, and he traded the farm off for an in- 
terest in the steam saw-mill at Dassel, to 
which {)lace he removed with his family. 
Two yeai-s later he sold his mill interests and 
erected the hotel, which, for a time, he 
leased. In ISSl he took charge of it him- 
self, and has run it ever since. In connec- 
tion, he is considerablv engaoed in buving 
and ship})ing hoo|) jtoles and cordwood. 

Mr. Elliott was united in marriage with 
Miss Sallie L. Huntley, October 8, 1868, in 
'Fillmore county, Minn. The lady is a native 
of Beaver Dam, Wis., and is the mother of 
four children — Mertie, now Mrs. L. Whitta- 
ker, of Cokato ; James D., Jasper, and 
Thoren. Mr. Elliott is quite prominent in 
G. A. R. circles ; was a charter member and 
is the present officer of the guard of Colfax 
Post, No. 133, of the village of Dassel. 



M^NDREW ELOFSON, one of the lead- 
jp>^ ing citizens of Swede Grove town- 
sliip, is a son of Elofson and Bertha Ander- 
son. He was born in Sweden, on the ISth 
of July, 1840. His father died in Sweden, 
in 1855, and in 1857, with his mother, An- 
drew came to the United States. He settled 
in Swede Grove township, Meeker county, 
Minn., in 1857, and this has since been his 
home. The mother and three sons were 
among the first settlers in the township. 
Andrew has a well-tilled and valuable farm 
on section 29, where he carries on general 
farming and stock-raising, and has accumu- 
lated a fair competency. Mr. Elofson's 
mother died in Swede Grove, in 1871. 

Andrew Elofson was married, on the 31st 
of December, 1870, to Miss Sine Peterson, a 
daughter of Hans and Betsy Peterson, resi- 
dents of Swede Grove township. Mr. and 
Mrs. Elofson have been blessed with the fol- 
lowing named cliildren — Matilda, born April 
13, 1873 ; Elmerth, born September 20, 1875 ; 
Morris, born October 4, 1877 ; Mabel, born 
November 1, 1881, antl Alma, born August 
.27, 1886. Mr. Elofson has taken a promi- 
nent part in all matters pertaining to the west- 
ern portion of the county, and has taken an 
active interest in all the township and official 
matters. He has been township assessor for 
the past eighteen years ; has been pathmas- 
ter a number of terms ; chairman of the su- 
pervisors several terms, and has also, at vari- 
ous times, held the offices of town clerk, 
scliool clerk, school treasurer and school di- 
rector. He can certainly be justly termed 
one of the leading and I'epresentative farmers 
of Meeker county. 

PETER J. CONNOLE. a thrifty and en- 
teiprising \'ouiig man who is engaged 
in farming and stock-raising on section 16, 
Harvey township, is a native of Pennsyl- 
vania, and was born on the ICth of April, 

1865. His parents were Peter and Bridget 
Connole. The father, Peter, was a native of 
Ireland, born November 1, 1830. When 
still young he came to the United States and 
settled in Hollidaysburgh, Blair county, Pa. 
The family remained there until 1872, when 
they removed to Meeker county-, Minn., and 
settled in Harvey township, where they were 
living at the time of the death of the father, 
August 22, 1877. His death was the result 
of a runaway. He had rented a farm in 
Kandiyohi county, and was on his way from 
home to the farm when the sad accident 
occurred, and it was supposed that the 
wagon ran over him. "When found he was 
still living, but so seriously injured that he 
died within eight hours. His death was a 
sad blow to the family, as he was beloved by 
them and respected by all who knew him. 
His widow, who was also a native of Ireland, 
is still living in this township. They had a 
family of nine children, who are still living, 
six boys and three girls. Their names are as 
follows — Thomas W., John C, Mary A., 
Peter J., Katie E., Lillie B., Rodgei", Patrick 
and Martin F. 

Peter J. Connole, the subject of this sketch, 
has followed farming most of his life. He 
i-eceived a common-school education, and 
imbibed the same principles of frugality and 
industi'v which are characteristic of the race 
from which he springs. He is a good man- 
ager and has been very successful in his farm- 
mg operations. In religion he is a Catholic, 
and in political matters he supports the dem- 
ocratic principles. 

BAVID SHEPHERD, an active, promi- 
nent and entei])rising farmer, residing 
on section 29, Greenleaf township, was born 
in Scotland on the 2d of April, isii. He 
can trace his genealogy back through four 
generations, William Shepherd being the 
name of his gi-eat-great-great-grandfather, 



then James in the next degree. Ilis grand- 
father, Wiliam Shepherd, was born in Scot- 
land about the year ITnC). His fatiier was 
born in tlie same country, and still lives 
there, being now about seventy-one years of 
age. He (David's father) was married in 
1840 to Margaret Ayer, and they were the 
parents of two cliildren — David, our subject, 
and James, who is now living in New Zea- 

David Shepherd, of whom we write, left 
his native land in 1869 and settled in Can- 
ada, where he remained about one year, and 
then removed to St. I'aul, Minn. After three 
months' residence there he went to Hastings 
and remained a like period, then went to 
Minneapolis. Here he left his family and went 
to Colorado and Nevada, and after a sojourn 
in that region of some fourteen months re- 
turned to Minneapolis. On the 27th of April, 
1879, he arrived in Meeker county, Minn., and 
purchased of Anna McGraw a farm on sec- 
tion 29, Greenleaf township, where he has 
since lived. He now has a valuable farm, 
which consists of about 300 acres of land, 
his buildings being located on the line be- 
tween sections 29 and 32. It is a most de- 
sirable place, containing some forty acres of 
timber, and he has it well stocked. He lie- 
votes his time to diversified farming and 
stock-raising, and well deserves the standing 
which he maintains of l>eing one of the most 
solid and influential farmers in the township. 
In political matters Mr. Shepherd is a re])ub- 
lican, and has taken an active interest in 
affairs of that nature, having held various 
local offices which his fellow-citizens have 
desired him to fill. , He is the present chair- 
man of the township supervisors, and the 
fact that he is the pi-esent treasurer of school 
district No. 34 is evidence of the well-known 
fact that lie takes a commendable interest in 
educational matters. 

On the 5tli of June, ISfiO, :\[i'. Siiepherd 
was married to Ehzabetii Tiionipson, who 

was a native of Scotland. Their union has 
been blessed with the following children, all 
of whom are still living: D. K., born Janu- 
ary 7, 1872; Christina A., born April 28, 
1874; and Maggie S., born March 31, 1879. 

JTaMES LAWTON, one of the pioneers of 
^ Forest Prairie township, came to 
Meeker county in 1867, and took up a home- 
stead on section 32, where he now resides, 
carrying on general farming. He was born 
in Hadley, Saratoga county, N. Y., IVIarch 
19, 1825, and is the son of David and Thank- 
ful (Parraeter) Lawton, the latter a native 
of White Hall, N. Y., and the former of 
Dennison, Vt. During the childliood of 
our subject his father's house was de- 
stroyed by fire, and with it the records of the 
family, so the}' are lost. In January, 1856, 
the mother of our subject died in Lafa^'ette, 
McKean county, Penn., and the father's de- 
cease occurred in 1858. 

James Lawton passed his school days in 
Wa\'ne and Morgan counties, N. Y., with his 
brothers and sisters, whose names were — 
Amos, Iluth, Pollie, Luc}', Davitl, Iluldah, 
Hester, Daniel and Jonathan. In 1846 he 
removed with his parents to Warren county 
Penn., wiiere they lived some six or seven 
years, he being engaged in farming and in 
lumliering. In 1856 he came west and set- 
tled in Shelby county. 111., where he remained 
until August 11, 1862, when, leaving wife and 
family, he enlisted atthecall of jiatriotism, in 
the One Hundred and Fifteentli Illinois Infan- 
try ,and participated in all the skirmishes and 
battles in which his regiment was engaged, 
the principal one being that of Chickamauga. 
He was dischargetl August 14, 1864. on ac- 
count of disability, and returned home. He 
then came to Meeker coimty to look over 
the country, and went back to Illinois, where 
he remained two yeais longer, and then came 
here and settled. 



Mr. Lawtoii was married Mairli i!5, 1859, 
to Miss Mary M. Vermillion, a native of 
Shelby county, 111., where she was married, 
and daughter of James and Jane (Fletcher) 
Vermillion. Her birth took place December 
26, 1842. By this union there has been 
born one son — David E., whose birth took 
place July 26, 1882. Mr. Lawton is a staunch 
republican in ])olitical faith; and has held 
various local offices. He is a prominent and 
zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and class leader of the congregation 
at Forest City. 


;LARK L. ANGELL, photographer, is 
one of the pioneers of Minnesota, as 
well as one of tlie first settlers at Litchfield, 
after the village was i)latted. He was born 
in Jefferson countj^ N. Y., in May, 1838, 
and is the son of Nicholas and Aseneth 
Angell. His parents were both natives of 
Vermont, but were removed by their families 
to New York in their childhood. His father 
was enrolled among the brave defenders of 
his country, during the last war with Great 
Britain in 1 812-1815, and it is within the 
recollections of his mother viewing the battle 
ui)on Lake Cham])lain, as they lived at or near 
Plattsburgh. After tiieir marriage the par- 
ents of our sui)ject removed to Jefferson 
county in tlie same State, where the elder 
Mr. Angell died, at the age of sixt\'-one. 
His widow came to Minnesota, where she 
died at the advanced age of eighty -eight. 

Clark L. was reared in the Empire State, 
but at the age of eighteen years commenced 
life for himself, starting for the AVest in 
the fall of 1855, stopping first at Dunlieth, 
111., which was then the terminus of the 
railroad. From there he took a boat up the 
Mississippi river to St. Paul, and the follow- 
ing spring, of 1856, he claimed government 
land near Rockford-, Minn., that being previ- 
ous to the laying out of the village. lie re- 

mained there, impi'oving liis claim, until the 
war broke out, when, in the fall of 1861, in 
response lo the first call for men, he enlisted 
in Company A, Third Minnesota Infantry. 
He sjient a year in the army, serving in 
Tennessee and Kentucky, and was finally 
discharged on account of sickness, and soon 
returned to Minnesota. He then learned 
photography, and spent most of his tinae on 
the road, until the fall of 1869, when he 
settled in Litchfield and opened the art gal- 
lerv, which he still conducts. He at once 
erected a house and brought his family here 
in the spring of 1870. Litchfield has since 
been his home, and he now has one of the 
finest and most complete galleries in this part 
of the State. Mr. Angell is an active mem- 
ber of the Grand Army of the Republic, and 
was one of the charter members of the first 
])Ost organized at Litchfield. He also a 
member of the Masonic fraternity, having 
been one of the charter members of Golden 
Fleece Lodge. No. 89. 

OSES H. BOGAR, who is one of the 
^^jf^ self-made men of Collinwood town- 
ship, lives on section 2. He is a son of Thom- 
as H. Bogar, who is mentioned at length else- 
where in this volume, to whose sketch the 
reader is also referred for much of the person- 
al history of the gentleman whose name 
heads this article. 

Moses H. Bogar was born in Tazewell 
county, Va., November 28, 1842. When 
about seven years of age he removed with his 
parents to Pike county, Ky., where he was 
reared to agricultural pursuits. At the 
bi-ealcing out of the civil war, he enlisted, 
October 25, 1861, in Company H, Four- 
teenth Kentucky U. S. Infantr}^ and went 
into active service, participating in the bat- 
tles of Ganley, Middle Creek, and Half Moun- 
tain, Kentucky; Hagar Gap, Koeler Pole, 



Virginia; and Tazewell. Tenn., Altoona, 
Cupp's Farm, and Atlanta, Ga., Jonesboro, 
and various other battles of the campaign. 
He served successively under the following 
generals: Nelson, C4arfield. White. Beard, 
Morgan. Cooper, Ilaskel, Schofield, Sherman, 
and, lastly, Thomas. 

Our subject came to Minnesota Avith his 
fathei' in ISfifi, and settled on section 2, Col- 
linwood. On the 1st of March, 18tl!», he was 
married to Mrs. Mary C. (Graves) Livingston. 
She died in May. 1SS2, leaving six children, 
as follows — Lizzie ilay, born February 18, 
1870 ; Edward G., born July 18, 1871 ; Cyn- 
thia C, born September 9, 1873 ; Joseph 
0.,born February 28. 1876 ; Moses XL, born 
February 2, 1878 ; and John P., born Febru- 
ary 1, 1880. 

On the 13th of December, 18S3, Mr. Bo- 
gar married Caroline, a daughter of Volney 
and Lura (Farrington) Gay, who was born 
Julv 21, 1857. This marriage has been 
blessed with two children — Geneva Blanche 
and Ruth Lillian. 

Mr. Bogar's house was destroyed by fire, 
with most of its contents, April 1, 1888. In 
political matters our subject is an opponent 
of monopoly and is a prohiljitionist. He has 
held several local offices with honor. 

lLAF B. JORGENSON, the efficient 
^^ and trustworthy harness maker of the 
village of Grove City, is a native of Norway, 
born February 26, 1868, and is the son of 
Ove E. and Bertha Jorgenson. He was 
reared in that rugged but picturesque land, 
aniid its bold mountains and velvety vallej's, 
until about sixteen years of age, coming to 
America in 1884. Coming directly to the 
State of Minnesota, after a few days spent at 
Willmar, our suiiject wentto Kirkhoven, and 
worked at the harness maker's trade with his 
brother Oscar, and remained there some five 

months. lie then returned to Willmar and 
worked for an uncle, Martin Jorgenson, at 
the same ti-ade, for about two months, at the 
close of which time he came to Grove City, 
and for nearly two years followed his trade 
with A. II. Lind. In March, 1887, he quit 
work here and went to St. Paul and worked 
for W. II. Konants & Bro.. with whom he 
only staid until October 1st. when he returned 
to Grove City and bought out ]\Ir. i^iiid, and 
commenced business for himself. He has 
always a full and complete stock of all kinds 
of goods in his line, ami Ijeing an excellent 
workman, honest and true, and of pleasant 
manners, he has a large and increasing busi- 
ness. He commenced to learn his trade in 
Norway with his father, who is a harness 
maker, as is the onlj' brother he has in this 
country, who now lives at Benson. 



fAMES H. SHIMIN, a farmer of Kingston 
township, residing upon section 26, 
where he has a nice place, is a native of 
Albany, the cajntal of the State of New York, 
born January 1, 1830, and is the son of John 
and Ann (Corros) Shimin, both of whom first 
saw the light in the Isle of Man, a dependency 
of the British Empire, located in the Irish Sea. 
His parents came to America in 1829, and 
settled in Albany, where they resided many 
years and where the father dieil. In 184-1 
the mother removed to Michigan and made 
her home there until 1867, when she came to 
Minnesota and located in Henne)iin county, 
where she died at the age of eighty four 
years. She was a devout Christian and a 
member of the Episcopal church. 

The subject of this memoir was reared 
upon a farm, and has always followed the 
occui)ation of a farmer. Commencing life 
on his own account in New York State at 
the age of eighteen years, he essayed agi'i- 
culture in the Empire State, but later re- 



moved to Michigan, where lie lived until he 
came to Hennepin county, Minn., where he 
made his home until December. 1876, when 
he came to Meeker county, arriving here the 
18th of that month. 

Mr. Shimin was married in January, 18G1, 
to Miss Mary Ann Thomas, a native of Rich- 
mond county, Ind., and daughter of Robert 
Thomas, of tiuit State. She cauie to Hen- 
nepin county, this State, where she was 
united in marriage to our subject, and there 
died December 21, 1863, leaving one child — 
Edgar T., born December 5, 1863. Mr. 
Shimin again contracted a matrimonial alli- 
ance, August 14, 1887, with Miss Maggie 
Francis, a resident of Kingston township, a 
native of Meeker county, this State, and 
daughter of A. J. and II. Francis. 

In his politics Mr. Shimin is a republican 
and is the present treasurer of school district 
No. 33. During the great civil war our sub- 
ject, with commendable patriotism, enlisted 
February 18, 1864:, in Company B, Sixth 
Minnesota Infantry, and served until the 
close of the war with that gallant regiment, 
receiving his discharge August 19, 1865. 
His record wliile carrying a musket is that 
of a loyal and gallant soldier and one " prompt 
to everv dutv's call." 

?i'"-^ M. BECKSTRAND is a Avell-known 
and highly respected farmer, who 
resides on section Id, Greenleaf township. 
He has one of the finest farms in the county, 
and his farm buildings are a credit to the 
township in which he lives. His place con- 
sists of 207 acres of land, a good portion of 
which is under cultivation, and, as he has it 
well stocked, he devotes his time to general 
farming and stock-raising. 

Ml'. Beckstrand is a native of Sweden, and 
was born on the 1st of December, 1849. He 
remained in his native land until the fall of 
1869, when he came to the United States, 

and made his way directl}^ to Greenleaf 
township, Meeker county, Minn., where his 
uncle, John Sampson, was then living. This 
townshij) has been his home ever since. In 
1881 Mr. Beckstrand sent for his parents, 
who were still living in the land of his birth, 
and thej^ tlien came to this country, and are 
now living in Cedar Mills township with one 
of their sons. 

In 1875 the suljject of our sketch was 
married to Bengta Nelson, and their mar- 
riage was blessed with one child, a girl 
named Emma G., who was born in Septem- 
ber, 1878, and who died March 11, 1879, 
and was buried in the Beckville Cemetery. 
Mrs. Beckstrand's parents were natives of 
Sweden ; her father died there, and her 
mother is still living in the Fatherland. Mr. 
and Mrs. Beckstrand are members of the 
Swedish Lutheran church. Mr. B. has taken 
an active interest in public affairs, and has 
for two years been a member of the board of 
supervisors of the towTiship. 

AMUEL A. HEARD. Among the prom- 
inent figures in the history of Litch- 
field, of which he is a resident, is the gentle- 
man whose name heads this sketch, who was 
the pioneer merchant of the place. He was 
born in Newport, Canada, September 6, 1831, 
and is the son of Samuel and Sojjhronia M. 
(AVilliams) Heard, both of whom were natives 
of the same province. He was reared upon 
a farm and remained with his parents until 
his twenty-third year, when he came to the 
United States, and, after a short time spent 
in Illinois and Wisconsin, in the spring of 
1856 came to Minnesota, and settled in 
Wright county, where he located on a farm 
of 160 acres, which he took up on govern- 
ment land, a few miles south of Clearwater. 
The first summer was employed in looking 
after the interests of the Clearwater Town 



Site Company, and the following wintei- in 
teaching school a sliort distance I'roni tiie 
village. ^Next spring, in company witii a 
Mr. Chase, lio bougiit out tlio mercantile 
establishment of Gibbs & AVhitney, of Clear- 
water, and remained in that business for 
over a year, when, the firm being dissolved, 
Mr. Heard built another store, and again 
entered into trade, and followed it until 
IStil. He had been appoint eil (U'piity post- 
master in 1857, and had ciiarge of the mails 
until 1S61, when, his health failing, he gave 
up liis business altogether, and spent the fol- 
lowing year in ]\[aine and Canada, returning 
to Clearwater in the spring of 1S()2. whei-e 
he passed some time, and later went to Cold 
Springs, where lie rebuiltthe Hour-mill, wiiich 
had been destro\'ed by fire. After gravitating 
between this State and his native home for 
some years, in 1869 he came to Litchfield, 
and, in company with C. D. Ward, opened the 
first store in the embryo village. After con- 
tinuing in the mercantile trade, both with 
his partner and alone, until 1880, Mr. Heard 
then sold out and retired fi-om trade. He 
has large real-estate interests in the village 
still, and stock in the woolen-mills and other 
enterprises in Litchfield, and finds in their 
conservation and improvement sutticient em- 
ployment. In 1S78 he was elected a mem- 
berof the village council, and in 1879 as mayor 
of the place, and served with great credit to 
himself.. He has always been deejily imbued 
with religious ideas, and has always lent a 
helping hand in all church matters. He had 
charge of the erection of the first church edi- 
fice in the village, the Presbyterian, and was 
chairman of the building committee. 

Mr. Heard was united in marriage, Octo- 
ber 1, 1871, with Miss N. 11. iiowen, a native 
of Chenango county, N. Y., and daughter of 
Luther and Martha (Hatch) Bowen, both of 
whom are natives of Connecticut, and both 
of whom were among the iii'st settlers of 
that region, settling there in 1785. Mr. 

Heard is a ])rominent meml)erof the Ancient 
Oi'derof United Workmen, and is one of the 
Past Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of 
this State. 

Dui'ing the civd war J\lr. Heard was ap- 
|)ointed ensign of Company A, Nineteenth 
Regiment, M. V. M. He assisted in raising 
a company for service in 1861, and was to 
have gone with them, but ])oor health induced 
the doctor to order his remaining at home, 
much to his I'egret. 

Mr. Heard has always been prominently 
identified with the best interests of the vil- 
lage. He was a charter member and is the 
master workman of the Litchfield Lodge of 
Ancient Order of United Workmen. 


i^HARLES H. ATKINSON, a young and 
>^y enterprising farmer of Forest City 
township, is a native of Pennsylvania, born 
May 7, 1855, and is the son of Hon. James 
B. Atkinson, one of the pioneers of Meeker 
county, a sketch of whom is given in the 
pages of this Album. Charles came to this 
county with his father's family in 1857, and 
here resided until about eighteen years of 
age, when lie went to Minneapolis to read up 
in the higher branches of studies, in the 
Union School. Returning from there he en- 
tered the office of Hon. A. C. Smith, with 
whom he read law, but finally abandoned 
that and settled down upon a farm, whei'e he 
now lives. He has been the incumbent of 
several township offices, first filling that of 
assessor foi' some two years; and then that 
of justice of the peace for a like term, antl 
now is the present chaiiinaii of the town 
board of su]iervisors. 

Mr. Atkinson and Miss Ida Mitchell 
plighted their mutual vows at the marriage 
altar, June 27, 18S2. The lady is the daugh- 
ter of David Mitchell, one of the oldest set- 
tlers of this county, and whose memoir can 



be found in this volume. By tliis union there 
have been born two ciiiklren — Stella Eliza- 
beth and Charles Herbert. Mr. Atkinson, 
following the traditions of the familv, is a 
staunch democrat, politically. 

"OHN E. ZACKRISON, a respected farm- 
er, residing on section 17, Cedar Mills 
township, has been a resident of Meeker 
county since 1S75. He is a native of Sweden, 
and was born January -i, ISiT. His early life 
was spent in the land of his birth, Avhere he 
remained until he was twent3'-one years of 
age, when he came to the United States and 
settled in Marquette county, Mich. "While 
there he was employed in iron mining, con- 
tract drilling and various other lines of work. 
'After he had been there five years he rented 
a farm and engaged in the milk and dairy 
business. Two years later, in the spring of 
1875, he sold out his interests there and came 
to Meeker county, Minn. Upon his arrival 
he purchased a farm of 316 acres in the town 
of Greenleaf, and remained on that for three 
years. He met with a number of serious 
reverses. The first year he had a very fair 
crop ; the second year he did not raise over 
five bushels to the acre; and the third year 
he lost all his grain on account of the grass- 
hopper depredations. These misfortunes 
proved a severe setback to him and resulted 
in the loss of his farm, upon which he had 
paid $1,500 in cash. During the summer of 
1878 he remained in Greenleaf townshij), 
working for various parties, and in the fall 
of the same year he purchased the farm on sec- 
tion 17, Cedar Mills townsiiip, upon which he 
still resides. He now owns 160 acres of land, 
a good share of which is under cultivation, 
and devotes his time and energies to raising 
stock and doing general farming. His enter- 
prise, industry and economy have again placed 
him in comfortable circumstances, notwith- 

standing the severe reverses and misfortunes 
through which he has passed, and he now 
ranks as one of the substantial and leading 
farmers of his township. 

Mr. Zackrison was married on June 19, 
1869, at Xegaunee, Mich., to Miss Caroline 
Swanson, who is also a native of Sweden. 
She was born on September IS, 1837. Their 
marriage has been blessed with four children, 
as follows — Hulda J., born Jime 12, 1874; 
Annie S., born Septembers, 187G; Ella M., 
born November 18, 1878, and Oscar E., born 
May 13, 1881. 

fAMES GRANT, an industrious and ener- 
getic agriculturist of CoUinwood town- 
ship, was born in the parish of Cromdal, 
Scotland, August 1, 1807, and is the son of 
Donald and Catherine (Grant) Grant, natives 
of the same country. 

Like many of the boys of that land, he at 
an earl}' age commenced working both at 
home and elsewhere, and made his home in 
the "land of heather" until 1835, when, with 
a wish to better his condition, he came to the 
United States, landing in New York. He 
remained in that city from August 18 to the 
28th of the following April, employing him- 
self at whatever he could find to do. From 
there he went to Maysville, Ky., but after 
a year's experience there gardening and por- 
tering, he removed to Louisville and worked 
in a store. At Millstown, Ky., he was next 
employed, as engineer of a large distillery, 
where he remained some five years. At the 
expiration of that time he went to Madison, 
Ind., and there rented a farm and lived four 
years. While at that place he was married, 
January 7, 1841, to Miss Elizabeth McMillen, 
a native of Jefferson county Ind., the daugh- 
ter of Robert McMillen, and who died in 1845. 
From Madison he removed to AVinooski, in 
the same State, where he dwelt for about 
twenty years. He was married there, to 



Miss Eebecca Fifer, June 3, 1847. By this 
union thei'e has been born a family of nine 
children, as follows — George, James, Will- 
iam, Joiin, Sai-ah. Belle, Ann Catherine, Jane 
and ]\rary. ]\fr. Grant came to Meeker 
county on the 10th of October, 180(3, and 
built a house on land that he su|)|)()sed to be 
his, but two }'ears later, finding his error, 
moved to his own place, on section 26, where 
he now lives, lie has 120 acres, well im- 

JOHN P. FALK, one of the leading farm- 
ers of Acton township, is a native of 
Schleswig, a province of t)enmark, which the 
Germans took in 186-1:. lie was born on the 
17th of Feliruary, 1833, and came to the 
United States in 1876, and after stopping for 
about two months on Two Bivers, in Mor- 
rison county, Minn., walked from there to 
Acton township, a distance of eighty-two 
miles, in two days. One difficulty he en- 
countered was in finding a place to stay all 
night, as he had $1,200 on his person, and 
feared robbery ; but after considerable 
trouble, he found a place at German's where 
he was hospitably treated. In Denmark he 
had owned a small farm, which he had sold 
before leaving the old counti-y. and upon his 
arrival in Acton he pui'chased eighty acres 
on section 32, with no improvements, paying 
$1,000 for it. lie has added forty acres to 
the farm since, and now has a comfortable 
home and a valuable farm. He has substan- 
tial farm Iniildings, and his barn is the most 
conveniently ari-anged in tiie township, it 
being so Iniilt that he can water his stock 
without taking them out of tiieir stalls, and 
it is so warm that water does not freeze in it 
during the most severe weather. 

Mr. Falk was married, on the 27tli of 
March, 1857, to Sophia Christianson, who 
was born on the 21st of September, 1830. 
They have had tiie following children — John, 

born January 28, 1858, died when about five 
months okl ; Laurine, born Se])t('mber 12, 
1859, married Martin Ilinck, and lives in 
Minneapolis; and Beter John, born Decem- 
ber 2, 18<il. The family are members of the 
Norwegian Lutheran Church. Mr. Falk has 
taken a prominent part in public affairs. He 
was one of the founders of the insurance 
company which was organized in Acton and 
Genesee townships, and has been treasurer 
of the company since its organization. He 
has devoted a great deal of time and money 
to the interests of the association, and de- 
serves much credit for his zeal. He has 
also been church treasurer for a nuniljer of 
years, and has spared neither labor nor 
moiie}' when the good of the cause demanded 
his aid. In political matters he is a demo- 
crat, and has held various offices of trust, in- 
cluding that of supervisor for two years. 



ELSON TURNER. The great Empire 
State has furnished her full quota 
toward the upbuilding of the extensive 
Northwest, and no more enterjirising people 
come from anywhere than from that noble, 
Commonwealth. Among this class may be 
found the subject of this sketch, who was 
born in Livingston county, N. Y., March 
5, 1831, and is the son of Clement and Elmira 
(Boslev) Turner, natives of Connecticut and 
New York respectively. The mother died 
in the latter State while a young woman, and 
the father of our subject emigrated to the 
State of Wisconsin in 1816, and to Fayette 
county, Iowa, in 1870, and died in the latter 
place in 1875. The old gentleman was a 
farmer, a democrat, and the father of two 
boys, George and Nelson. 

The latter passed the halcyon days of 
childhood in attending school in his native 
State, and at the age of sixteen years com- 
menced life for his own benefit, hiring out 



his services to various farmers. While a resi- 
dent of the Empire State, he was united in 
mari'inge, December 18, 1856, with Miss 
Mary Iluinsey, a native of the same Common- 
wealtii, born June 1, 1840, and daughter of 
Mr. and Mrs. Luther Rumsey, now residents 
of Kingston. By tliis marriage tliere have 
been born some five children: — Eva, Emma, 
Ella, Etta, and Guy Ernest. Eva married 
Michael Caylor ; Emma is the wife of Fi-ank 
McConville, a merchant of Forest City; Ella 
is Mrs. Abbott Tonnpers, of Kingston. 

Mr. Turner came to Meeker county in 
1868, and located, where he now lives, on 
section 34, Kingston township. He is a man 
who takes deep interest in the educational 
work m the county, and has served for three 
years as director of school district No. 41. 
One of the most highly respected citizens of 
the count}', he may well be classed among 
its representative citizens. 

]£-^JL am(jng the old settlers of Forest City 
where he makes his home, upon sec- 
tion 36, is th^ subject of this biographical 
memoir. He is a native of County Kerry, Ire- 
land, born in October, 1822. He remained in 
the beloved land of liisljirth until thirty 3'ears 
of age, but growing tired of the oppressed con- 
dition of his country, he determined to seek 
in the New World the freedom he could not 
find under British rule or misrule. June 22, 
1852, he embarked at Liverpool, England, 
whither he had gone for that purpose, and, 
after an ocean voyage,landed at Boston, where 
he remained some three years. From there 
he moved to Indiana, but in the spring of 
1857 came to Meeker county, and settled on 
section 25, Forest City township. Some fif- 
teen or sixteen years later he removed to his 
present place. He has a fine farm of some 
276 acres, much of which is under the plow. 

He has been accustomed to farm work from 
his youth up, and of course thoroughly under- 
stands his calling in alt respects, and his place 
shows it. 

Mr. Sullivan was united in marriage Janu- 
ary 8, 1857, with Miss Bridget Flynn, a na- 
tive of Ireland, who had come to the Laiited 
States with friends in 1852. The wedding 
ceremony was pei-fornied in the city of Chi- 
cago, where Mr. Sullivan was employed at 
the time. By this union there have been 
born five children — John, Margaret, Ellen, 
Mary and Catherine. The last two mentioned 
are school-teachers, and all, being still single, 
are living with their parents, except Mary and 
Catherine, whose duties carry them to other 
places, although their home is beneath the 
parental roof. 

Mr. Sullivan is one of the leading agricul- 
culturists and stock-raisers of Forest City, and 
keeps up a herd of some thirty-five or forty 
head of good horned cattle and some nine or 
ten horses, the latter of which are part Nor- 
man blood. In his political faith he maybe 
classed among the democrats. He and his 
estimable family are membei's of the Eoman 
Catholic Church, attending services at Forest 

'OHN M. JOHNSON, the leading hard- 
ware merchant of the village of Dassel, 
was born in the Kingdom of Sweden in 1846, 
and is the son of John and Gatrud Johnson. 
He received his education in his native land, 
and remained there until the year 1864, which 
found him crossing the stormy Atlantic to a 
new home in the United States. He came 
direct to Minnesota on landing on these 
shores, and took up his residence in Carver 
county, where he lived for a period of two 
years. From there he removed to Minneap- 
olis, of which city he was a citizen until 1871, 
when he took up a homestead in Cokato 
township,A\'"right county, to M'hich he moved. 



Two years' residence satisfied him, and sell- 
ing out he purchased a farm in tlio same 
county, where he hved four years, and tlien 
disposed of that and removed to the village 
of Dassel, where he purchased an interest in 
the blacksmith shop of Erick Eenquist, that 
being his trade, and remained in partnership 
with liim until two years later, when he 
bought out Mr. Renquist. Alone he then 
carried on the business until 18S2, at which 
date, in company with L. W. Leighton, he 
established the second hardware store in the 
village. The firm, thus formed, continued 
until January 1, 1887, when our subject pur- 
chased his partner's interest, and for more 
than a j'ear was alone in the concern. March 
15, 1888, he admitted to a partnership John 
Osterman, and the present firm of J. M. 
Johnson & Co. was formed. 

Mr. Johnson, although not partisan in his 
views, has decided opinions upon political 
questions, and particularly in all local matters. 
His excellent business tact and sterling up- 
rightness have drawn upon him the attention 
of the community, and he was duly elected 
to a position upon the board of village trus- 
tees in 18S2, and was again chosen to fill that 
office in March, 18S8. As a business man he 
is active and enterprising, and he has a finan- 
cial interest in both the woolen mill and the 
foundry, both institutions of great value to 
the community. 

Mr. Johnson was united in marriage Jan- 
uary 27, 1870, while living in Wright county, 
with Miss Maiy Clarquist, a native of Swe- 
den, and daughter of Lewis and Christine 
Clarquist, the latter of whom were early set- 
tlers on section 14, Dassel township. Mrs. 
Johnson has a fine millinery establishment in 
the village, which she instituted in 1884. 



NOTHER prominent citizen of Meeker 
j^^ count}' is G. W. Fuller, of Litchfield, 
a native of Broome county, N. Y., born 

Septomlier 24, 1824. He is the son of Ira 
and Sallie (Barnes) Fuller, both of whom 
were born in the State of Connecticut, the 
former April 17, 1793, and the latter Janu- 
ary 12, 17U5. His father and mother were 
married at Lisle, Broome county, N. Y., Sep- 
tember 14, 1814, and in 1833 removed to 
Trumbull county, Ohio, where thev made 
their home until the death of Mr. Fuller, Sr., 
on his seventy-fourth birthday ; his wife sm'- 
vived him until March 25, 1877. 

The subject of our narrative remained with 
his parents until he was about fifteen j'ears 
of age, when he commenced life by teaching 
for one term. He then entered the jiostffice 
at AVarren, and was there employeil during 
the great ])residential campaign of 1840, be- 
tween W. II. Harrison and Martin Van Bu- 
ren. He remained in that position for about 
a year, and then attended the Farmington 
Academy for a time. He then entered what 
is now Dennison University where he re- 
mained over five years, graduating from 
there in 1847. He taught school for two 
terms subsequent to this and then entered 
the imiversity, taking charge of the Baptist 
church at Birmingham, in the Buckeye State, 
where he remained some three years. The 
next three years were passed in the service of 
the Lord at Ashtabula, Ohio, after which he 
occupied the puljtit of the I'aptist church 
at Meadville, Penn., for a like period. 
Having been sent by the Baptist Home Mis- 
sionary Society to Chatfield, this State, he 
came to Minnesota in 1858, and remained in 
the last mentioned city some seven years, a 
faithful watchman upon the walls of Zion. 
From there he removed to Lake City, and 
during his labors in that place, extending 
over a period of seven years, missed but two 
Sabbaths' exercise of his beloved calling. His 
health becoming impaired, he came to Litch- 
field in 1872, and purchasing twenty-live 
acres of land, established his present nursery 



Mr. Fuller has three times been married, 
his present wife being Miss S. S. Garfield, a 
second cousin of our late lamented, martyred 
president, James A. Garfield. lie is the pa- 
rent of nine children, five of whom are liv- 
ing-. The record of these is Isabel, Mrs. 
Dr. Canney, of San Francisco, Gal.; Minnie 
E., whose husband, L. Swift, is lousiness man- 
ager of the Minneapolis Evening Journal; 
Annie, deceased wife of J. Q. A. Braden,who 
died October 2.5, 1879, at Santa Cruz, Cali- 
fornia ; George Garfield, who is book-keeper 
for the AYashburn Mill company, Minneapo- 
lis; Pauline, the lately deceased wife of E. 
B. Benson, the cashier of the Meeker County 
Bank, who died May 19, 1S8S ; and Jevrel and 
Lillian, living at home. 

/^f^ARlON BOYER, a veteran of the 
ir-Ltr"\ late war', is engaged in carrying on 
both the meat-market and dray business in 
the village of Dassel, where he located in 
1881. He is a native of Mercer county, Ohio, 
born January 1, 1840, and is the son of Louis 
and Nancy A. (Bowersock) Boyer, both of 
whom were also natives of the " Buckeye 
State." The parents of our subject, in 1855, 
removed with their family to Crawford, how 
Vernon county, AVis., where they remained 
upon a farm until the death of the father, in 
1857. Later the mother came to Hastings, 
in this State, and died at St. Paul in 1887. 

Marion, in 1860, at the age of twenty, was 
united in marriage with Miss Esther Buck- 
master, with whom he lived upon a farm 
until the spring of 1862 when the angel of 
death invaded his household and snatched 
away his wife from his embrace. He then 
gave up farming, and, August 6, 1862, enlisted 
in Company I), Thirty-First Wisconsin Infan- 
try, and served with that well-known regi- 
ment imtil the close of the wai'. The first 
battle in which he participated was that of 

Peach Tree Creek, in the Atlanta campaign, 
and throughout the engagements around the 
last-named city, and at the capture of that 
])lace. Mr. Boyer Avas always present with 
regiment, wliich did excellent service. When 
Sherman cut himself off from his base of 
supplies and commenced his memorable 
march to the sea, the Thirty-First Wisconsin 
was a part of his columns, and our subject 
marched with his company. During the 
battle of Bentonville, N. C, when the con- 
federate general, Joseph Johnston, had turned 
the flank and surrounded our forces, the regi- 
ment, with others, faced about and charged 
the enemy, during which Mr. Boyer received 
a bullet and fell to the ground. Lying upon 
the ground, propped upon his elbow, he 
essayed to open the cartridge boxes of his 
fallen comrades, and, in spite of his wound, 
passed the ammunition to his companions, 
and while doing so was again hit in the 
neighborhood of the s])ine, which disabled 
him entirelv. His gallant comrades, out- 
numbered, were forced to retire, leaving 
him, as the}' supposed, dead upon the field, 
and the rebel line charged over him. Some 
time elapsed, and, coming to, he managed to 
crawl to a tree, Ijut, on ])ulling himself erect, 
found he could not stand, so crawled on all 
fours toward the lines of his regiment, about 
half a mile away, and when his comrades 
saw him they came forth and carried him in 
and placed him in an ambulance. Four or 
five days later he moved along with the regi- 
ment, and in a month resumed duty. He 
participated in all the hardships of that 
famous march, and wound up with the grand 
review at Washington, after which he received 
his discharge, June 20, 1865, at Louisville, 
Ivy., and returned to Wisconsin. In the 
spring of 1866 he came to Minnesota, and 
settled in Dakota county, but in 1873 removed 
to Bird Island, and from there, the next 
spring, to Elk River, where he remained 
until coming here. 



Mr. Boypr, November 28, 1872, again en- 
tered the marriage state, being united on 
that day with Miss Annie Slieldon, a native 
of Elk River. Minn., and daughter of Henry 
II. and Cyntiiia Slieldon. ller ])arents set, 
tied in Sherburne county, at Elk River, in 
Mav, 1850, and were among the earliest set- 
tlers of that section. By this marriage Mr. 
and Mrs. Boyer have two children — Clara 
E. and Louis. 

Mr. Boyer was quite prominent in the or- 
ganization of Colfax Post, No. 133,G. A. R., at 
this village, and was the first officer of the 
day. He was a member of the post at Elk 
River before coming here. He has been an 
officer in the Good Templars order, and is 
prominent in the prohibition movement. 

fOHN MURRAY, who is numbered 
among the most extensive farmers and 
stock-raisers of Meeker county, is one of 
the pioneers of 1857. During that year he 
made his first appearance here, and immedi- 
ately took up a claim of IGO acres upon sec- 
tion 30, Forest City townshi]), where he now 
resides. To his original farm he has added 
from time to time, until lie has now one of 
the finest properties in the county, extending 
into the three townships of Dassel, Darwin 
and Forest City, embracing something like 
800 acres. 

Mr. Murray is a native of that "Gem of 
the Sea," Ireland, and was Ijorn in the year 
1838. At the age of fourteen years, he left 
his native home and came alone to the United 
States. Arriving in New York, the young 
emigrant, after a few months spent in the 
metropolis, came out AVest, ami spent the 
next five years in the city of Chicago. 
From there he came to tiiis county l)y way 
of Minneapolis, and on his arrival, settled, 
and has ever since made this his home. 
During the Indian (tutbreak of 18C2. he took 

his family to a place of safety, but soon re- 
turned to help in the defense of his home. 
He has always been engaged in agriculture, 
and still follows that avocation. 

Mr. Murray was married in March, 1857, 
to Miss Margaret Flynn, a native of the 
Emerald Isle, born in 1835. By this union 
there have been born a family of nine chil- 
dren, whose names are as follows — John, 
Michael, Thomas, William, James, Daniel, 
Catharine, Ellen and Margaret. John, the 
only one not single, married Miss Lizzie 
Hughes, and is a farmer. 

In his political views Mr. Murray coincides 
witii the democratic part}', and accepts their 
doctrines and principles. In religion he is a 
zealous Roman Catholic, and socially is a 
genial hospitable gentleman, like all the 
Celtic race, and one whom it is a pleasure 
to meet. 

"OSEPH VOSSEN, the merchant of 
AVatkins, came to that village in 
1882, and opened a stock of general mer- 
chandise, in company with A. D. Spaulding, 
in a building 22x10, which they erected for 
the purpose. After carrying on the business 
for about six months, tlie partnei'ship was 
dissolved, Mr. Yossen purchasing ^Mr. 
Spauiding's interest. Since that time he 
continued to operate the business alone. 

Mr. Yossen was born in the Rhine Prov- 
inces of the German Empire, on the 17tli of 
April, 1849, and is the son of Ciiristian and 
Nella (Koenigs) Yossen. He passed his 
early years and received his education 
'neath the genial skies and amid the vine- 
clad hills of his native land, but on attaining 
his thirteenth year commenced woi'k for 
himself. In 1864 he came to the United 
States with his parents, landing at New 
Yoi'k after a voyage of fifty-four days. 
They settled in Carver county, where they 
remained about four years, and then came to 



Meeker county and settled in Forest Prairie 
township, among the first to locate there, 
where the parents still make their home. 

Mr. Vossen, of whom we write, was united 
in marriage with Miss Anna Weinman Janu- 
ary 29, 1877, at Burton, Carvercounty. She is 
the daughter of John W. Weinman, a farmer 
of that county. I'y this union there have 
been borij a family of three children — 
Joseph, Nellie and John. 

Mr. Vossen is entirely independent of 
party lines in discharge of his elective fran- 
chise. He has, however, held the post of 
town supervisor for eight or nine years. He 
is a member of the Roman Catholic Church. 

P. NYGREN, a prominent citizen and 
a successful farmer, residing on section 
y, Greenleaf township, was born in Sweden 
on the 24th of June, 1822. He was raised 
on a farm, learning the habits of industry 
and economy, whicli are a characteristic of 
the people of his nationality. In June, 185-1, 
he was married at Kroneburg, Sweden, to 
Anna F. Petterson. lie remained in his 
native land until 1SG8, Avhen he came to the 
United States, and after making short stops 
at New York City, Rockford, 111., and 
Watertown, Minn., he finally arrived in 
Meeker county in October, 1868, locating at 
once in Greenleaf township. He has as good 
a farm as any in the township, has it well 
stocked and has fine farm buildings. 

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Nygren, 
has been blessed with the following children — 
John P., born October 2, 1855; Matilda C, 
born January 22, 1857; Carl A., born in 
November, 1858; Christina M., born Decem- 
ber 15, 1860, and Charles O., born December 
21, 1862; all of whom are still living except 
John P., who died October li, 1877, in 
Greenleaf township ; and Carl A., who died 
in Sweden when only fifteen months old. 

Matilda C. is now the wife of W. H. 
Wilkins, and resides in St. Cloud ; Christina 
is now in Litchfield ; and the son Charles O., 
is still at home and carries on the business. 
Charles has a thorough knowledge of farm 
work, and lias the reputation of being one 
of the most thorougli and successful agri- 
culturistsin the township. 

J. P. Nygren is a re|niblican in jiojitics, 
and in religious matters he and his wife are 
members of the Swedish Lutheran Church. 
Mrs. Nygren is a native of the same country 
as her husband, having been born in Sweden 
on the 18th of July, 1828. 

1||\AV1D GORMAN, who carries on a liv- 
ii/ eiy, feed and sale stable at Litchfield, 
is a native of Canada West, born in 1855, and 
is the son of John and Bridget (Taberty) 
Gorman, natives of Ireland, who came to 
America in 1840. He remained in his na- 
tive country until he was thirteen years of 
age, when his parents removed to Minnesota 
and settled at Monticello, Wright county. 
David made his home with his parents until 
he was twent\'-one years of age, his time 
being spent upon a farm, attending common 
school as opportunity offered. On reaching 
his majority he went to the Black IliUs, 
and for a year remained there following min- 
ing, after which he returned to Minnesota 
and engaged in the liquor trade at Monticello. 
In ISSO he was employed at bridge building* 
on the Manitoba railroad, and later took 
charge 6f the Howard House at Litchfield, in 
company with Richard Knights, and ran that 
a \'ear, but at the expiration of that time sold 
out to his jiartner, purchasing at the same 
time the livery business of Knights & Mc- 
Carger, at Litchfield, and has conducted it 
ever since. 

Mr. Gorman was married on the 3d of 
May, 1882, to Miss Belle Knights, a native of 
Canada, but a resident of Meeker county at 



the time. Their union luis been blessed by 
the advent of t\vochikh-en — Herbert Francis, 
born August 30, 1883, and Ilattie Marie, 
born February 12, 188S. 


^Ip^HOMAS RYCKM AN, a well-known and 
JID' highly respected oiil settler, and one 
of the most successful and pi'ominent stock- 
raisers and farmers in tlie northern part of 
Meeker county, resides on section 14, Union 
Grove towiisliip. 

Mr. Ryckman was born in Upper Canada, 
on November 2, 1S34, and is a son of Mun- 
son and Fidelia (Ganford) Ilyckman. lie 
remained on his father's farm, attending 
school during the winter months and work- 
ing on the farm durini;' tiie summei', until he 
was about twenty-two years of age, when he 
started to make liis own way in the world. 
In 1857 he came to Stillwater, Minn., and 
remained there for about tln'ee months, 
working some at harvesting, but putting in 
the most of his time looking for a suitable 
location. In September, 1877, he came to 
Meeker county and pro-emi)ted land on sec- 
tion 28, in what is now Manannah township. 
He was married on the 11th of February, 
1862, to Miss IlaiTiet ilaybee, a daughter of 
Chai'les and Harriet (Smitli) Maybee. They 
were living on their farm when the Indian 
outbreak occurred. As a full history of that 
matter is given in anotiier department of 
this work it is imnecessaiy to repeat it here. 
Mr. R\'ckman took a prominent ])art in the 
moves of tliose times, and was on some of the 
most perilous antl dangerous ex])editionsthat 
were made. Upon hearing the news of the 
massacre at Acton, August 17, 1862, with 
the others they went to Forest City, and a 
day or two later, Mrs. Ryckman went to St. 
Paul, while Mr. Ilyckman remained to look 
after his stock, and was back and forth 
between Forest City and liis claim. Besides 
many other perilous trips lie made, he was 

with a party of eleven that went to Caswell's 
fai'm. and four of the jiarty were killed, 
AViliiain Maybee, a brother of Mrs. Ilyck- 
man, being among the slain. 

After the close of hostilities they returned 
to their farm, and in 1865 tliey sold the 
Manannah farm and moved to their present 
place on section 14, Union Grove township. 
He now owns 550 acres of land, one of the 
mo. t valuable farms in the county, and his 
buildings are by far the best in the township, 
being a credit to himself and also to the 
neighborhood. The residence alone cost 

Ml-, antl ]\Irs. Ryckman are the parents of 
the following children — Ella Jane, born 
April 13, 1863; John Nelson, born October 
31,1865; Cora Edna, born April 20,1871; 
and Roy Franklin, Ijorn June 27, 1882. 

Mr. Ryckman has four brothers in Ore- 
gon — Tobias, James, John and Descum, and 
four sisters in Canada — Abigail, Sarah, Har- 
riet and Ellen. His parents both died in 
Canada. The parents of Mrs. Ryckman 
reside in Litclitield. She has two sisters — 
Adelia, wife of James A. Lee of Litchfield, 
and Augusta Jane, wife of Wallace Smith, 
of Fair Haven, Stearns county, Minn. 

Mr. Ryckman has taken an active interest 
in townshi]iand educational matters, and has 
held various otfices of this nature. He is 
one of the leading and most influential citi- 
zens of his town. 


PETER J. MALMQUIST, one of the 
blacksmiths at Grove City, is among 
the most respected citizens of the county. 
He is a native of Sweden, born July 13, 1833, 
and the son of Johannes and Ingrid Martins 
Olander. lie came to the United States dur- 
ing the year 1871, and altera stormy passage, 
across the briny deep, came directly to this 
countv. He remained here al)out a month 



aTul then went to Chippewa county, this 
State, where he took up a claim with a sol- 
dier's warrant. As he had paid for this be- 
fore he got it he was obliged to make many 
trips to Litchfield before he could lay his 
hands on it, but has linally accomplished it. 
His claim, which was the west halt' of the 
northeast quarter of section 2(3, Leenthrop 
township, Chippewa county, was a tine piece 
of land, and on it he made his home for some 
four years, and then sold out and came to 
Groye City and put up his smith}', where he 
has carried on business eyer since. 

Mr. Malmtinist and IMiss Petronella Eliza- 
beth Pearson were united in the holy bonds 
of matrimony December 2(5, 1860, and are 
the parents of three children, two of whom 
are living. Their record is as follows — Charles 
E. F., born May 20, 1864, died in March, 
1866; Charles E. F., born Decendjer 1, 1867, 
and is now a clerk in the oifice of Dudley & 
Nelson's elevator, at Grove City; and Ernest 
H. E., born May 31, 1800, at home attending 


JOHN TEBERG. Among the Swedish 
element which makes up so large a share 
of the population of Meeker county, and 
whose lial)its of industry and tlirift, brought 
from their native land, that so soon raise 
them to competency, is the gentleman whose 
name heads this sketch. He is living on 
section 32, in the town of Darwin, where he 
has a fine and extensive farm of 400 acres, 
250 of which are under excellent cultivation, 
and upon which he has some forty two head 
of horses and cattle. 

Mr. Teberg was born in Sweden Kovera 
ber 5, 1839, and is the son of Carl and Celia 
Teberg, natives of the same kingdom. He 
remained in the land of his birth until 1870, 
when, with a view to better his condition 
beyond what is possible in the mother 

country, he emigrated to the United States. 
On his arrival in this country he came at 
once to Meeker county, and with his family 
settled in what is now Litchfield township. 
After remaining there for about five years 
he removed to Darwin, and took up his 
residence where he now lives, on section 32. 
He has passed most of his life in farm pur- 
suits, his parents being farmers in Sweden, 
where they botli died. 

On the 1st of July, 1866, in Sweden, Mr. 
Tebero; was united in marriase with Miss 
Ellen Peterson, the daughter of Peter Larson 
and Elsie Larson Peterson. Her parents 
came to America in 1865, and settled in 
Litchfield township. By this marriage Mr. 
Tebei'g is the parent of two children, namely 
John, born September 11, 1866 ; and Martin, 
born October 15, 1869. 

In his political views Mr. Teberg is with the 
republican party, although not a politician 
by any means. 

l|;?,aEWlS A. PIER, pastor of the Christian 
|i^ church at Litchfield, and editor and 
proprietor of the Saturday L'evieiv, is a native 
of Yerinont, and was born on the 7tli of 
October, 1855. His parents were K. A. and 
Lucy B. (Damon) Pier, both natives of the 
same State. The father, who was a farmer, 
came to Dodge county, Wis., in 1856, in the 
interest of a large real estate owner East, 
for the purpose of opening up the lands in 
that part of Wisconsin belonging to his prin- 
cipal. He remained there until 1863, when 
he settled in Dodge count}', Minn., and 
bought a farm. In 1869 he was elected treas- 
urer of that county and located at Mantor- 
ville. x\t the expiration of his tenn of office 
he purchased the Mantorville Express, in 
connection with his son, but soon disposed of 
his interest to the latter. He is still a res- 
ident of Mantorville. 

Lewis A. Pier remained with his parents 



until twenty-one years of age. He enjoyed 
the advantages of the common schools until 
he was sixteen years of age, when he entered 
the office of the Mantorville Kq/reHK to learn 
the printer's trade. In 1874 he became sole 
editor and ]n-oj)rietor of the i)aper and con- 
ducted it until ISTt), when he sold out and 
Avent to Indianapolis, Ind., and entered But- 
ler University, from whicii he graduated in 
1882. Previous to this, however, he had 
become pastor of one of the Christian 
churches of that city, of which he remained 
in charge until 1883. He then took charge 
of a church at Union City, Ind., remaining 
until the spring of 1881, when he settled at 
Litchfield, Minn., and took charge of the 
Christian cluirch at that place. In July, of 
the same year, lie established the Review, 
whicli he still conducts. Mr. Pier was mar- 
ried on the 31st of August, 1881, to Miss 
Clarinda C. Ilarriman, of Frankfort, Ind., 
Avho is also a graduate of Butler Univei'sity. 

ip^HRISTIAN HALVORSEN, one of the 
\^ thrifty fanners of Cosmos townshiji, 
residing upon section 22, is a native of the 
Kingdom of Norway, born in November, 
184:1. He was reared in the land of his birth 
and made it his home until he was some 
twenty-five years of age, when he crossed the 
ocean to America. He resided for one year in 
"Wisconsin and then came to Meeker county, 
arriving at Litchlield in the first passenger 
train run into that village. In 1870 Mr. 
Halvorsen bought the claim of O. K. Nelson 
to the place he now lives on, and the next 
year filed on it as homestead, he having 
declared his intention of becoming an Amer- 
ican citizen. 

During that summer he broke up some five 
acres of land and then took a tri]) elsewhere, 
returning the following winter, and in 1871 
was married to Miss Annie Hanson. Thev 

have a family of eight children — Minnie, 
Helen, IIenr3', Carl, Alma, Clara, Lena and 
Lawrence. Mr. Halvorsen is among the 
rising men of the township. 

^IliplBBlTTS J. SOULE, superintendent of 
XJliJ schools of Meeker county, is a native 
of Erie county, N. Y., born February 3, 1817. 
His parents were Stephen "W. and Ruth 
(Munger) Soule, both natives of the Empire 
State. His father followed the profession of 
school teaching from the time he was eie:h- 
teen until he was sixty-seven years of age, 
his last term having been taught in Meeker 
county in the winter of 188(!-7. He had 
come West on a visit and was pi'evailed upon 
to take a school for the winter term, and the 
following spring returned to his Eastern 

Tibbitts J. remained with his parents until 
sixteen years of age, having up to that time 
attended school most of the time. At that 
age he enlisted in Company D, Second New 
York Mounted Rifles, was mustered in Janu- 
ary' 27, 1861, and served in the Army of the 
Potomac until the close of the war. During 
his service he was in thirteen pitched battles; 
was wounded twice while in the trenches in 
front of Petersbui'g; at Bellefield I'aid he had 
his shin bone shattered by a minie ball, and 
as he says "had he entered the hospital 
would have worn a wooden leg to-day " ; but 
he remained with the "boys" and was soon 
on duty again. After receiving his discharge, 
on the 23d of August, 18(15, he returned to 
his home in Erie county, N. Y., but shortly 
afterward took a trip through and 
Indian Territory, remaining West for some 
two years. After this he went back to New 
York and followed the profession of a school 
teacher until 1879, with the exception of two 
years, during which he was agent for A. S. 
Barnes & Co.'s school books through West- 
ern New York. In 1879 he came to Meeker 



county, Minn., and rented a 1,200-acre farm, 
for one year. Being a stranger to that busi- 
ness, he met with considerable loss ; but, with 
hopes for better success in the future, he 
stuck to the business, and a year or so later 
he purchased a farm in Greenleaf township. 
This place he sold in 1885. In the fall of 
1880 he was elected superintendent of schools 
of Meeker county, which position he still 
holds, filling the office with credit to himself 
and satisfaction to his constituents. Mr. Soule 
is an active member of the Grand Army of 
tlie Republic and is the present junior vice- 
commander of Frank Daggett Post, Xo. 35, 
at Litchfield. He is also a member of the 
Masonic order, having joined Phoenix lodge, 
Eo. 262, of Gowand, N. Y., while in that 
State, and has since retained his membership 
with them. Politically, Mr. Soule is a demo- 
crat. He was an active supporter of Grover 
Cleveland when he was a candidate for sheriff 
of Erie county, N. Y., in 1869, there being 
in that campaign only two successful candi- 
dates on the democratic ticket, Grover Cleve- 
land, for sheriff, and Stephen W. Soule (Tib- 
bitts J.'s father), for school commissioner. 

Mr. Soule was married in 1873 to Miss 
Maria Anthony, of Boston, Erie county N., 
Y., and they have been blessed with four 
children, as follows— Sharlie M., born May 
14, 1875 ; Helen M., born November 13, 
1879; Ruth M., born January 29, 1886; and 
Louisa M., born September 4, 1887. Mr. 
and Mrs. Soule are active members of the 
Episcopal Church. 

PETER ELOFSON is one of the old set- 
tlers of Swede Grove township. He 
■was born in Sweden on the 27th of March, 
1845, and is a son of Elofson and Bertha An- 
derson. In 1857, in com]iany with his 
mother and brothers — INels and Andrew — 
he came to the United States, and they 
settled in Swede Grove townshij), this 

count}'. Jn 1862 they were driven away by 
the Indians and went to Forest City, and 
later to Anoka, and he remained with them 
until the following spring, when he began 
working out at different lines of business. 
Three years later he returned to Swede 
Grove township and took a homestead on 
section 30, remaining there until 1878, when, 
he sold out and bought forty acres on sec- 
tion 20, on which there was a small house. 
He lived there for two years, and, in the- 
meantime, built on land which had been in- 
cluded in his mother's homestead. He also- 
purchased more land, and now has a farm of 
160 acres, a good share of which is under 
cultivation. He has considerable stock and 
is in comfortable circumstances. 

Mr. Elofson was married on the 5th of 
February, 1870, to Miss Emma Nelson, a 
daughter of Nils and Ingra Pehrson. They 
have had the following children — Betsy,, 
born December 12, 1870; Anna, born May 
18, 1872; Henry, born January 15,1874;. 
Edward, born August 19, 1875 ; and AYilliam, 
born July 12, 1878. Mr. Elofson is a repub- 
lican in political matters and takes an active 
interest in all matters affecting his township. 
He has been road overseer for the past five 
or six years, and has been school treasurer 
for six years. 


JOHN HALLGREN, a farmer and stock 
raiser residing on section 17, Greenleaf 
township,is one of those hospitable and open- 
hearted farmers whom it is a pleasure to meet 
and who reflect credit on the community in 
which they live. He is a native of Gothland,. 
Sweden, and was born on the 1st of Novem- 
ber, 1 839. He left his native land in 1807 
for the United States, and settled in Michi- 
gan. While there he was married on the 6thi 
of November, 1873, to Mary S.Swanson, and 
their union has been blessed with three chil- 
dren, as follows — John A., born December 



6, 1874; Emma C, born August 11, 1877 ; 
and Jolin E., born May 10, 1884. All of 
these are living except John A.. Avho died on 
the 2d of Febraary, 1881, and was Ijuried at 
Ish])eming, Mich. Mr. Ilallgren remained 
in Michigan until 1885, -when he removed to 
Minnesota and purchased the farm in Green- 
leaf townslii]) where he now lives. lie has 
a valuable farm, a comfortalile iiome and is 
in coiafortabh; circnmstanees linancially. 

"While in Michigan j\Ir. Ilallgren followed 
his profession as an engineer and had the 
misfortune to lose his hearing, or at least to 
greatly impair it, while fixing the Avhistle on 
his engine, it being one of the largest in that 
■State. The ice had formed about the pipe 
and he went up with an axe to knock it off. 
"When the ice dro))ped it struck the lever 
Avhich blew off the whistle, and the roar was 
so tremendous that it impaired his hearing 
«,s stated. 

— «•-; 

J^) AY F. CASE, the popular young drug- 
Ji^ gist of the village of Dassel, is a 
uativ^e of Waupun, Dodge county, AVis., born 
February 12, 1855, and is the son of Eoyal 
T. anil Almira (Fay) Case. He came to this 
county in 1873, with his parents, who settled 
at BonniwelFs Mill, where they made their 
home until their deaths, the mother in 1879, 
the father in 1886. At the time of the settle- 
ment of the family. Hay came to Dassel 
■and entered the drug store of Charles A. 
Morris, the pioneer druggist, with whom he 
remained until that gentleman sold out to 
Dr. McCulloni, with whom he continued. 
Jonas Eudberg, the successor of McCullom, 
appreciating the mei'its of the young man, 
ke})t him in his employ, and liay was still in 
the position of confidential clci'k when Mr. 
Eudberg died. After that event, Mr. Case 
and Mrs. Eudberg formed a co-partnership to 
carry on the business, Mr. Case purchasing a 
lialf interest therein, and [^being managing 

partner. Close attention to l)usiness and com- 
mendable economy enabled him, on the re- 
marriage of his associate in trade, in 1886, to 
purchase her interest, since which time he 
has carried on the business alone. lie carries 
a full lini' of drugs, paints, oils, wall paper, 
fancy g()(xls, tobaccos, cigars, etc., and is 
doing a handsome business. 

Eay F. Case and Miss Ella G. Stocking, 
])ledge(l their mutual faith at the marriage 
altar, Sei)t ember 8, 18S2. The lad}' is a 
native of McLeod county, Minn., and a 
daughter of E. W. and Jennie Stocking, of 
Hutchinson. Mrs. Case, when an infant, 
was an inmate of the stockade at Hutchin- 
son, during the attack u])on that ])lace by the 
Sioux Indians in the fall of 1862. 

/^LIAS CARLSON, an enter])rising and 
\^^ respected farmer and stock raiser, re- 
siding on section 30. Ilarve^y township, is the 
present chairman of the board of supervisors 
of the townshi]). He has taken an active 
part and interest in public affairs and is a 
leading citizen of his township. He is a na- 
tive of Sweden and was born on the 5th of 
December, 1837. Ilisjiarents were natives of 
the same country and his father was a farmer. 
Both of his ])arents died in the land of their 

The early life of Elias Carlson was spent 
in his native land, but in 1857 he came to the 
United States and made his way to Minne- 
sota, settling at Taylor's Falls, Chisago 
county. He i-emained there until August 
20, 1864, when he came to Meeker county, 
Minn., and locateil in Harvey townshij), 
where he has since lived. lie owns a valua- 
ble farm of SOO acres of land, a good share of 
which is under cultivation. He dev(jtes his 
time to general farming and stock-raising and 
now has over iifty head of cattle on his 
])lace. He has been ver\' successful in his 



farming operations and owes all his present 
prosperit}' to bis own efforts and industry, as 
he was a poor man when he came here, as 
was the case with about all of the pioneers 
of Meeker county. He has splendid improve- 
ments on the place and fine buildings. 

Mr. Carlson was married on the 14th of 
November, 1S61, to Mary G. Ahlstrom, and 
they have been the parents of fourteen 
children, one of whom, Frank, is married. 
Mrs. Carlson is also a native of Sweden. 
Mr. Carlson has spent the most of his time 
at farming, although he learned the wagon- 
maker's trade and followed that for a num- 
ber of years. 

l^ARNSWORTH R. HILL, one of Meeker 
Jp^ county's most successful farmers and 
stock-raisers, and one of the large land own- 
ers, is a resident of Forest City township, his 
home being upon section 33. He has a mag- 
nificent farm of 711 acres of fine land, em- 
bracing a large portion of sections 33 and 
34, Forest City, and section 4, Darwin, much 
of which is under a high state of cultivation. 
Mr. Hill gives a large share of his attention 
to the raising of graded Holstein and Dur- 
ham cattle and graded Norman horses. Plis 
herd numbers now seme 160 head, and he is 
extensively engaged in the manufacture of 
" gilt-edge " butter, which he ships to Min- 
neapolis for sale. 

The subject of this personal history was 
born in Cumberland county, Me., February 
20, 1842, and is the son of Reuben and Miriam 
C. Hill. He was reared in the State of his 
birth, and there received the elements of a 
most excellent common-school education. In 
his earlier days he followed lumbering and 
farming in the " Old Pine Tree State," and af- 
terwards commenced lumbering operations in 
Minnesota. He was also engaged in the 
butchering business for some five years, all 
in the State of Minnesota. In the fall of 

1877 he came to Meeker county, with L. D. 
Flill, and both settled in the town of Litch- 
field, but in about a year our subject removed 
to his present place of abode, where he has. 
since lived. 

He was united in marriage March 25,. 
1872, with Miss Etta Sanborn, a native of 
Cumberland county, JMe., who died July 30, 
1881, leaving two children— Emma L. and 
Charley E., both of whom are at home with 
their father. December 11, 1882, Mr. Hill 
contracted a second matrimonial alliance, 
with Miss Anna L. Peifer, a native of Meeker 
countj% Minn., who is the mother of two 
children — Earns worth L. and AVinnie M. 

Mr. Hill is one of the honored and re- 
spected citizens of the township, and has- 
served the people in the responsible position 
of supervisor for some time, and is always- 
interested in tlie public affairs of the county. 
He is a republican politically. 

M NDREW lee. The subject of this- 
7;^V biographical notice is a respected 
farmer, who resides on section 15, Greenleaf 
township, where he has a valuable farm, a 
comfortable home, and building improve- 
ments which reflect much credit upon his. 

enterprise and thi'ift. 

He comes of the same nationality which 
has made so many stunly and substantial 
citizens of Minnesota, having been born in 
Sweden on the 31st of August, 1847. His. 
parents were natives of the same country, 
his father having been born there in 1809, 
and died in the land of his birth in 1862, 
while his mother is now a resident of Meeker 
county. Andrew left his native land in 1872 
for America, and settled in Chautauqua 
county, N. Y., and two j^ears later, in 
1874, again took up his Avestward march and 
settled in Minneapolis, Minn. Three j^ears 



later, in ISTO, lie came to Meeker county, 
Minn., and purchased a I'arni of eighty acres 
in Greenleaf township, wliere he has since 
iived. Since that time lie has purchased an 
additional forty, and also ten in Ellsworth, 
which makes his present farm 130 acres, a 
^ood share of which is under cultivation. 
He devotes his time to general farming and 
stock-raising, and has a good numl)er of head 
of cattle on the farm. 

In 1ST5 Mr. Lee was married to IMiss Mary 
Anderson. Her parents were natives of 
Sweden ; her mother died there when she 
-was only seven years old, and her father now 
lives in Meeker county. Mr. and ilrs. Lee 
have been the parents of seven children, all 
of whom are living. Their names are as fol- 
lows — Frank E., born June -i, 1S77 ; Ernest 
Y., born February 13, 1879 ; Alex. T., born 
December 30, ISSO; Pljalmar E., born Octo- 
ber 23, 1882; Hilma Y., born May 27, 1884; 
€arl E., born December 30, 1885, and Polly 
O., born June 20, 1887. 


npi T ON. CHARLES E. CUTIS, one of the 
jyi"J_ ))ioneers of Meeker county, who has 
always been prominently identified with its 
progress and development, and who lias held 
some of the most exalted offices in the gift of 
the people of this portion of the State, is the 
subject of this biograjiliical history. He 
•came to Forest City, where he located, in 
18.56, and is still a resident upon tlie land 
■v\-here he first settled, on section 22. 

Mr. Cutts first saw the light at Orwell. Ad- 
dison county, Yt., on the 2d of August, 
1835, and is the son of Lorain and Emeline 
{Murray) Cutts, both of whom were natives 
of the " Green Mountain State."' He received 
his primary education in the district schools 
of his native State, and in 1853 s])ent one year 
at the aoadein\' at Fort Flain, ]\[ontgom- 
«ry county, N. Y., after which he remained 

at home until 185(3, when he came West and 
settled in Minnesota, as mentioned above. 
He found, on his arrival here, a beautiful land, 
that far surjiassed anything the other side of 
the i)ig Woods, and determined to stay and 
help develop the country. But a few settlers 
were here at the time, this being but a 
short time before an almost unknown land. 
Brought up as he was upon tlie rocky soil 
of New England he was more than pleased 
witii the aspect of the new land, for 
"Here no stonj- ground provokes the wratli of Ihe farmer; 
Smoothly the plough-share runs through the soil as a 
keel through the water." 

He at once took up his claim and settled 
do-wn to the hard life of a Western pioneer 
upon the border. For a while he kept bach- 
elor's hall, but April 17, 1859, he was united 
in marriage with Miss Betsey Larson, a native 
of Sweden, who had come to the United 
States the previous year. He has always 
followed farming, except in 1859, when he 
held the office of county treasurer. In 1871, 
Mr. Cutts was elected State Senator from 
this district and represented the people of 
Meeker county in the Senate chamber through 
the sessions of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth and 
Sixteenth General Assemblies. 

Mr. and ]\[rs. Cutts are the parents of the 
following chiklren — Alice, Mrs. J. AY. Wright 
of Litchfield; Rollin E., a student at the State 
University ; Willie E., Custer and Garfield. 
In politics our subject is an unswerving re- 
publican, and is quite active in all local 
campaigns. He is a member of the Masonic 

— — «•- 

TP)UDOLPH SCHWARZ. the village 
JF^ blacksmith of Manannah, came to 
Meeker county on 1883, and commenced his 
work on the spot where he now has his 
smithy. He is a native of Mecklenburg, 
Germany, born on the lith of Sei)tember, 
1853. At the age of fifteen he became ap- 



prenticed to learn the blacksmith's trade, and 
served some three years, and then pursued 
that calling as journeyman, beneath his 
native skies until 1882, when, with the com- 
mendable ambition to better his fortune, he 
emigrated to America. For a sliort time he 
remained in Milwaukee, Wis., after his ar- 
rival in this country, and afterward removed 
to Duluth. In 1883 he came toManannah, 
as above mentioned. 

Mr. Scliwarz was married September 21, 
1886, to Miss Addie Shephei'd, a native of 
Meeker county, Minn., and daughter of 
Charles and Adaline (Hartman) Sheplierd. 
Mr. Schwarz is the son of Christian S. Schwarz 
and wife, who still live in their native 
land, Mecklenburg, Germany. 

soldier, and one of the most intelli- 
gent and prominent citizens in the northern 
part of Meeker county, is a resident of section 
36, Forest Prairie township, where he has 
lived since about the year 1870. 

Air. Hamilton was born in County Tyi'one, 
Ireland, on tiie 17th of March, 1833, and is a 
son of Thomas and Belle Hamilton. The 
mother died in Ireland, -when AVilliam was 
six years of age, and in 1811, the father 
brought the family to America, and settled 
in Bellview, Eden county, Mich., wdiere he 
lived until the time of his death, in 1880. At 
the time of his death the father vi'as about 
eighty years of age. He was an educated 
man and a school teacher for manv years ; 
clerk in the Presbyterian Church, of which 
he was an exemplary membei-, and otherwise 
was [irominent in tlie locality in which he 

William Hamilton, the subject of this 
sketch,. began life for himself wlien about 
twenty years old. He came to Minnesota in 
1858, and remained at St. Paul and Minne- 

apolis until 1861,when, on the 26th of August, 
he enlisted in the Second Minnesota Volun- 
teer Infantry, and went into service, his regi- 
ment being assigned to the Fourteenth Army 
Corps.. He saw very active service, partici- 
pating in the battles of Chickamauga, 
Hoover's Gap, Mill Spring, Berryville, 
besides many skirmisiies. In one of these 
battles he lost the use of his left arm. He 
finally was honorably discharged at St. Paul, 
in August, 1861, and returned to Michigan. 

Mr. Hamilton was married at St. Anthony, 
now East Minneapolis, in September, 1804, 
to Miss Martha J. Dayton, a native of Penn- 
sylvania. They have five living children — 
Thomas C, Minna B., Earl, Katie and Olive 
G. Minna B. is now married to A. J. Lynn, 
a resident of Kingston township. 

In political matters Mr. Hamilton is a re- 
publican, and in religious matters the family 
are members of the Methodist Episcopal 


jANIEL N. DANIELSON, a prominent 
I By farmer and stock raiser, residing on 
section 1, Danielson township, is a son of 
Nils Danielson, the earliest settler in the 
township, and after whom it was named. 
Daniel N"., the subject of this sketch, was 
born in Norway on the 15th of August, 
1853. In 1855 his parents brought him to 
the United States, and they settled on Rock 
Prairie, Wis., and after remaining there for 
two years they came to Meeker county, 
Minn., and bought eighty acres of Gov- 
ernment land on section 25 in Acton town- 
ship. In 1863, the father, Nils Danielson, 
took a homestead on section 2, Danielson 
township, and moved his family upon it, thus 
becoming the first settler within the limits 
of that township, and it afterward was 
named in honor of the family. The father 
lived there until the time of his death, July 
10, 1870, and his widow still lives on the old 



homestead with lier son, A. N. Danielson, 
There are six of the childivn still living, as 
follows — A. K, Daniel N., Hans, Ileiuy, 
Helen, wife of Hon. Even Evonson, and 
Mary, wife of Ole Nelson of Danielson. 

Daniel N. Danielson, the subject of this 
biography, came to the United States with 
his parents, and lived under the parental roof 
until 1S78, when he erected a house on a 
farm which he had become ])ossessed of on 
section 1, Danielson township. For some 
time he kept bachelor's hall and worked 
his farm, and was then, for two years, 
employed at car repairing at Fergus Falls, 
Barnesville and Glyndon. On the ITth of 
June, 1887, he was nxarried to Miss Betsy 
Hartz, and their union has been blessed with 
one child, named Nils Oskar, born March 30, 
1888. Mrs. Danielson was born February 
6, 1869, and is a daughter of Ole and 
Johanna Hartz, who are now residents of 

WELL KNOWN old settler in the 
^^^ southern part of Meeker county, is 
J. M. Pitman, a resident of section 14-, Cedar 
Mills township. 

Mr. Pitman is a native of Belknap county, 
K. 11., born on the 26th of May, 1819, and 
is a son of Ebenezer l*itman. He received a 
thorough education in his younger days, both 
preparatory and collegiate, and was grad- 
uated from Dartmouth College,an educational 
institution of high rank, in 1841. He began 
teaching while still a boy, and remained in 
his native State until 1853, when he came 
West and located in Wisconsin. He first 
taught school in that State, on Sand Prairie, 
near Beloit, and the following spring went 
to Menomonie, where he remained, following 
his profession, for six years, the greater 
portion of the time, being a teacher in a 
private school at that place. In 1860 he 
came to Meeker county, Minn., and took 

a pre-emption claim of 172 acres on section 
2, Cedar Mills township. During that year 
he ])ut in a crop covering an acre or so of 
land, and erected a log house on his claim, 
lie remained steadily upon the land until the 
time of the Indian outljreak when he, as did 
all the rest, left for safety. lie helped to 
fortify "the Point" in Cedar Lake, when 
the settlers gathered there. Later he went 
to Hutchinson, and when the " Hutchinson 
Guards" was organized at that place he 
joined them, and took charge of the commis- 
sai-y department. After the out break, Mr. 
Pitman occuj)ied his time with teaching in 
the winter and farming in the summer, until 
about 1870, after which he devoted his at- 
tention entirely to the farm until 1887, 
when he sold out and has since retired 
from participation in the cares of business. 
During the (>arly days of this country Mr. 
Pitman preached occasionally to the people 
on Sund.ay, and on the 22d of September, 
1867, assisted in organizing a Baptist Church 
in Greenleaf, one of the early religious organ- 
izations effected in the soutiiern part of the 
count}'. He has always taken an interest in 
all matters relating to the welfare of the 
township. When the organization of the 
township was effected in 1870, he was elected 
chairman of the supervisors, and retained the 
office for five successive years, and he was 
again elected to the same position in 1885. 



^^ O. LINDGREN, one of the active, en- 
"i^^ terprising business men of the village 
of Dassel, is a member of the firm of Thomp- 
son & Lindgren, general merchants. He 
was born in Sweden, July 13, 1857, and is 
the son of Olaf and Anna Lindgren, natives 
of the same kingdom. He came to this 
country in 1879, and came to Meeker county 
direct, and during the summer of that year 
Avorked on a farm near Litchfield. In 


y^^ ^ 



November lie removed to tlie villae^e of Das- 
sel, and attended school until spring, when 
he entered the store of August Sallberg, as 
clerk, with whom he remained some two 
3'ears. He, at the expiration of his engage- 
ment, went to Minneapolis and engaged in 
Inisiness for a time. In the summer of 1SS3 
he returned to Dassel and formed a partner- 
ship with John Thompson, and the following 
September o]iened a stock of general mer- 
chandise in a building that they had erected. 
They have continued in that line of trade ever 
since, and are now doing a large and increas- 
ing trade, their fair dealing and ujn-ightness 
in all business matters winning them hosts of 

Mr. Lindgren has taken great interest in 
all local politics, and was elected one of the 
village trustees in 1884. In 1885 he was 
chosen to fill the position of recorder, and 
has been re-elected his own successor ever 
since, and now fills that office. He is a 
member of the Masonic fraternity, having 
Ijeen made a Mason hx Cakato Lodge, jSTo. 
134, in 1884. 

The marriage of Mr. Lindgren and Miss 
Mar\' Teterson took place in August, 1885. 

i^^EORGE S. BELKNAP is one of the 
\^i most prominent citizens of Swede 
Grove township. He is a son of 8te]ihen and 
Elizabeth Belknap, and was born on the 28th 
of March, 1828, in the village of Blooming- 
l)urgh, N. Y., eighty -four miles from Kew 
Yoi-k city. Mr. Belknap traces his ancestry 
back through some of the most notable fam- 
ilies in American history. He is ix grandson 
of Lieut. William Belknap, Avho entered the 
service of his countr\' in Col. Henry Beekman 
Livingston s Fourth Ilegiment, and continued 
in the service until the conclusion of the war. 
He was an original member of the New York 
State Society of the Cincinnati, formed by 
the officers of the American armv of the rev- 

olution at the cantonment on the banks of 
the Hudson river in Mav, 1783. Gen. Georire 
Washington was elerted president-general of 
the society, and held that honor until the day 
of his death. The officers of the American 
army having generall}' been taken from the 
citizens of America possessing high venera- 
tion for the character of that illustrious 
Eoman, Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus, who 
was found following the plough when the 
statesmen of his country sought him as the 
only one capable of leading their armies to 
victory, and clothed him with absolute 
power, and who, having achieved the salva- 
tion of his country, laid aside that power and 
gladly returned to his plough and the ob- 
scurity of domestic life, they thought they 
could with propriety denominate themselves 
the Society of the Cincinnati. 

The original design or idea seems to have 
been of an institution bearing resemblance to 
a military order. The subject of this sketch 
was elected a member of this organization 
July 4, 1861. 

George S. Belknap received an academical 
education, then went to New York City and 
learned the tailor's trade, at which he be- 
came an expeit, and was promoted to the po- 
sition of draughtsman, at a salary of 82,500 
per year. Duri ng the war he was inspector of 
army supphes and equipage in the quarter- 
mastei''s department, under Deputy Quarter- 
master-General, Colonel Yinton, which posi- 
tion he held until the close of hostilities, and 
then reengaging in his former business with 
his old-time employer. In 1ST7 he came to 
Meeker count}', Minn., and settled upon the 
farm where he now resides, on section 6, 
Swede Grove township, having previously 
taken the farm on a mortgage. A short time 
later he rented the farm and stock for a term 
of five years, and I'eturned to New York, 
but a short time later was obliged to return, 
as his tenant proved a very poor manager. 

Mr. Belknap was married, on the 23d of 



February, 1851, to Ellen Craft, by whom he 
had five children, as follows— Mary Alice, 
born July 21, 1853 ; Lydia S., born March 18, 
1801 (;died in ISSl); Cora Ellen, born Sep- 
tember 9, 1863; Jessie, born February 15, 
186(1, and Ida Elizabeth. l)orn June 25, 1858. 
Ida E. married Alexander T. Caraccioli, a 
salesman in a wholesale music store in New 
York City ; Cora E. married Ilorton Parsons, 
born in this State, who has charge of a rail- 
road station in Dakota; and Jessie married 
Lewis Haiidlin, railroad station agent at 
Hancock, Minn. They have all been school 
teachers. Mr. Belknap's second marriage 
occurred on the 16th of August, 1874, when 
he wedded Sarah J. Mead, a daughter of 
Daniel and Eleanor Mead. Her first hus- 
band, Martin A. Mosier, was killed in the re- 
beUion ; her father was a soldier in the war 
of 1812. Her mother is still alive, a resident 
of New York State. Mr. Belknap's peo])le 
are all dead except one brother, who is a 
bookkeeper in Newberg, N.Y. Mr Belknap 
is one of the best posted and educated men 
in the county. In ]iiilitical uiatters he is a 

^OL. J.ACOB M. HOWARD, owner of 
the Howard House, and other prop- 
erty in the village of Litchfield, including 
his beautiful residence. Lake Side, on the 
shores of the lovely Lake Ripley, received his 
military title for services rendered in the 
Union army during the late war. He came 
to Meeker county in 1867, and purchased a 
farm in the town of Greenleaf, where he 
remained until 1872, when he removed to 
Litchfield and erected the first independent 
elevator on the line of this railroad. He was 
engaged in the dual occupation of buying 
and shipping grain and carrying on his farm 
until 1879, when lie sold the latter. In 1880, 
he erected the Howard House at an outlay 

of someS19,000, which he has always leased. 
In 1886 he ]Hirchased forty five acres of land 
on the l)anks of Lake Ripley and erecte<i his 
family mansion, one of the most beautiful in 
this section of the State. In 1887 he retired 
from the grain trade, and contents himself 
with looking after his other interests and 

Colonel Howard is a native of Detroit, 
Mich., born July 16, 1812, and is the son of 
Hon. Jacob M. and Catherine (Shaw) How- 
ard. The father of our subject was a lawyer 
by profession, a native of Vermont, who had 
settled in Detroit in 1836, and for twelve 
3'eai's was one of the United States Senators 
from Michigan. Mrs. Catherine Howard, 
the mother of the Colonel, wtis a native of 

The subject of this personal history re- 
ceived his primary education in the schools 
of his native city, and at the age of sixteen 
entered Union College, at Schenectady, X. 
Y., where he passed some three years. In 
the spring of 1862 he enlisted as a private 
in Comj)any F, Twenty-fourth Michigan In- 
fantrj", but for gallant and meritorious con- 
duct was rapidly promoted from rank to 
rank, until he became the assistant Adjutant 
General at the headquarters of the Twenty- 
third Army Corps, then under command of 
Major-General Hartsiiff, with the ra)d< of 
Lieutenant-Colonel. In this position he 
served until the close of the war, after which 
he went into the wholesale grocery business 
in Chicago, but two years later, his health 
failing, he gave up that line of trade and 
came to Meeker county, as above stated. 

The Colonel, who is active and enterpi'is- 
ing, is alwaj's foremost in any movement that 
is likely to accrue to the benefit of the com- 
nmnity. He was one of the ])rincipal t)rgan- 
izers of the Woolen Mill Company, and was 
the fii'st president of the board of directors. 
He is a stockholder in the Creamery Associa- 
tion, and vice-president of the company. He 



was elected maj'or of the city of Litchfield 
in 1SS5, and served one term, but has but 
little political aspiration. The Colonel is an 
influential member of Frank Daggett Post, 
No. 35, and of the Litchfield Dramatic Asso- 
ciation, of which he was one of the originat- 

Col. J. M. Howard and Miss Emma Pen- 
no\'er were united in marriage in October, 
1868. The lady is a native of New York 
State, and is the daughter of Truman Pen- 
noyer, of Meeker county. 

PAUL M. PAULSON.a resident of section 
32, Acton township, was one of the 
noble " Boj's in Blue," who enlisted from 
Meeker county during the civil Avar. Mr. 
Paulson was born in Norwaj' on the 18th 
of Pebruarj', 1S3S, and is a son of Mathias 
and Mary Paulson, both natives of the same 
country. In l85T tliey removed to Canada, 
whei'e Paul remained until the spring of ISGO, 
Avhen he settled at St. Paul, Minn. There he 
I'emained at work until fall, Avhen he was 
joined by his parents, and they all came to 
Acton township. Meeker county, and the 
father selected a homestead. Paul remained 
with his parents most of the time, Avorking for 
different farmers during the summer months, 
until the 7th of June, 1862, when he enlisted 
in companjr E, Sixth Minnesota Volunteer 
Infantry, and Avent into service. He remained 
with his company untilJune, 1863, Avhen he 
was taken sick and Avas transferred to the 
invalid corps. He Avas finally discharged on 
the 7th of June, 1865, and returned to the 
home of his iiarents. 

On the 14:th of September, 1865, he Avas 
married to Miss Amelia Peterson, the cere- 
mony being performed in St. Paul. His wife 
Avas a native of Sweden, born October 6, 1843, 
and was a daughter of Andrew and Sophia 
Peterson. After their marriage the couple 

lived with Mr. Paulson's parents until the fol- 
loAving spring, Avhen Paul moved upon a home- 
stead Avhich he had taken on section 32, Ac- 
ton township, Avhere he still liA^es. He no\s 
owns a fraction over 13i acres of land, a good 
share of which is under cultiA'ation. Mr. and 
Mrs. Paulson have had nine children, as fol- 
loAvs — Mary, born Jvily 10, 1866; Ma! bias, 
born August 11, lS68,died November 11, 1870; 
Matilda, born February 12, 1871; Edward, born 
June 27, 1873 ; Carrie, born October 9, 1875 • 
Emma, born March 5, 1878 ; Eda, born August 
10, 1880; Leonora, born December 13, 1882: 
and Arnold, born May 22, 1885. The family 
are members of the Norwegian Lutheran 
Church, of Avhich they are active supportei's. 
Mr. Paulson takes an active interest in all 
matters affecting the welfare of his town- 
ship and is one of its leading citizens. In 
political matters he supports the republican 

UGUST JORDEN, afarmer who at pres- 

ent resides on section IS, in Green- 
leaf toAvnship, but Avho expects in a short 
time to remove to Cosmos, is a native of 
Sweden, and Avas born on the 20th of June, 
1861. He left his native land in 1880 for 
America, and upon his arrival first settled in 
Minneapolis, Minn., Avhere he remained for 
about two years and ahalf. At the expiration 
of that time he settled at Litchfield, in 
Meeker county, and remained there until 
1883, Avhen he purchased the place Avliere 
he noAV resides, on section 18, Greenleaf 

The parents of Mr. Jorden Avere also na- 
tives of Sweden. The}' remained in the land 
of their birth until 1882, when they came to 
the United States, and noAV live Avith August. 
August, the subject of this sketch, is a single 
man. In religious matters he attends the 
Lutheran Church, and in politics he is a re- 



publican. He is a good manager, industri- 
ous and frugal, and is getting a good start in 
liis farming operations. 

TaCOB C. INMAN, residing on section 
^ 29, ilanannali township, a liigldy re- 
sijocted and thrifty agriculturist, is a native 
of Butler county, Iowa, and was born on the 
20th of February, ISJS. His parents were 
Americans, and they were among the first 
settlers in that county. Their names were 
John and Catiiarine (Ullery) Inman. 

Jacob spent his early life in his native 
county, ami in June, 18C9, came to Meeker 
county, ]\linn., with his parents and the}' set- 
tled on section 20, Manannah township. 
There Jacob remained for eight years and 
then removed to section 29, and six years 
later he settled on his ])resent farm in the 
same section. He has eighty acres of land 
and has been very successful in his farming 
operations, also carr3'ing on stock-raising to 
a limited extent. 

On the 11th of JSTovember, 1884, Mr. Inman 
was married to Miss Susan Porter, and their 
marriage has been blessed with two children, 
the names of whom are Elsie and Malinda. 
Tiie children are both living. 

Mr. Inman's mother is still living in 
Meeker county, as is also the mother of his 

In political matters l\fr. Inman atKliates 
with the tlemucratic party. 



JEWETT, one of the 
oldest living settlers of Meeker 
county, and one of its most historical charac- 
ters, was born at "NVardslioro, Yt., June 9, 
1827, and is the son of Tiiomas and Sylvia 
(Ilaradon) Jewett. His father was born on 
the same farm Mav 1, 1794, and died in 

May, 1873; the motlier, whose birtii took 
place at Norton, Mass., November 25, 1799, 
died March 2, 1877. The paternal grand 
father of our subject, Thomas Jewett, was a 
sergeant in the Continental Army under 
Wasliington, and the maternal grandfather 
followed Gen. Israel Putnam across Charles- 
ton Neck after the battle of Bunker Hill, and 
afterwards helped fortify Dorchester Heights, 
which caused the evacuation of Boston. The 
latter, Isaac II. Ilaradon, lost his father at 
the massacre of Fort William Henry, and 
married Miss Annie Stone. 

The parents of the subject of this sketch 
moved to Steuben county, N. Y., in early 
life, and were married there. Tliey removed 
back to A^ermont after the biitii of their 
second ciiild, but in 1829 emigrated again to 
Steuben county, N. Y., where tliey event- 
ually died. Carloss was reared and educated 
in the district schools of that section, and, 
being of a studious mind, absorbed much in- 
formation, spending his evenings in mathe- 
matical studies at the family fireside. At 
the age of eighteen he commenced teaching 
school, but the next three years attended the 
academies at Addison and Genoa. He then 
worked at civil eno'ineering' on the New 
York Central railroad until 1851, when he 
went to the Isthmus and ran the preliminary 
survey for the Panama Pailroad, spending 
one year there, and participated in the cap- 
ture of San Loren Castle. Returning to his 
home, he was engaged in various raih'oad 
and telegraph works, until 1856, wjien became 
to Minnesota. He arrived at Forest City 
June 20,1856, with but $16.19 in his i)ocket, 
and June 27 took a claim on section 31, 
Forest Cit}' township. He was appointed 
sheriff in the summer of 1857, and was after- 
wards elected to the same office. He took a 
]iart in the Indian troubles in 18(')2, as 
detailed elsewhere, and with his wife ke})t 
house the farthest west of all the settlers. 
Tiie next year he spent on the "abandoned 



lands" of Louisiana, where he raised cotton. 
He then made his home on his farm until 
April, 1SS7, when he moved to Litchfield, 
and in May, 1S8S, took a tree-claim on land 
adjoining the village. lie has held the office 
of register of deeds of this county and 
various town offices. 

The Colonel was married November 10, 
1859, to Miss Annie, daughter of Pomeroy 
and Harriet (Buell) Warren, who was born 
in Wyoming county, N. Y., May 13, 1833. 
She has recentl}' parted from her husband 
through the machinations of lier friends, as 
have six out of eight of her sisters. They 
had no children, but have raised several 
orphans. Among these is Emma Jewett, 
the famous equestrienne, who was born in 
Chautauqua county, October 3, 1860, and is 
the daughter of Charles Peterson, a Scandi- 
navian, who was killed in the army. After 
his death his family came to Minnesota, and 
in 1870 the Colonel adopted the little girl. 
She learned to ride on the farm and gave her 
first exhibition in public at Minneapolis, in 
1880. She is now living in Syracuse, N. Y. 

©OCTOR J. H. KAUFFMAN, the lead- 
ing representative of the medical fra- 
ternity located at the village of Dassel, is a 
native of Newburgh, Cumberland county. 
Pa., born October 29, 1859, and is tlie son of 
Henry and Mary (Wilkins) Kauffman, both 
of whom are also natives of the " Old Key- 
stone State." The father of our subject has 
been for many years in the drug business at 
JSTewburgh, and is still carrying osi that busi- 
ness. The Doctor received his education in 
his native town, and, as he grew older, was 
taken into the store Ijy his father, where 
he gi'ew to be a proficient clerk. On attain- 
ing his majority his father gave him a co- 
partnership, and the firm name was changed 
to Kauffman & Son. In the fall of 1S81 

our subject matriculated at Jefferson Medi- 
cal College, at Philadelphia, and remained 
there throughout the terms of 1881 and 1882. 
He then entered the New York University, 
from which he was graduated in March, 1884. 
Returning to Newburgh, he opened an office 
in his native town, in connection with the 
drug business, an interest in which he still 
retained, but m 1887 sold out there with the 
intention of removing to Dakota, but, on his 
arrival in Minneapolis changed his mind and 
came to Dassel, and commenced practice in 
January of that year. He has gained the 
confidence and esteem of the people of the 
village by his honorable principles and excel- 
lent judgment, and the surrounding country 
have a deep regard for his general success, 
and his practice has already assumed good 
proportions and is on the increase. He is a 
member of the Masonic fraternity, having 
been made a Mason in Big Spring Lodge, No. 
361, at Newville, Pa. 


OHN W. BENTON. Among the set- 
tlers of 1867 may be classed Mr. Benton, 
of Kingston township, who makes his home on 
his fine farm on section 10, where he carries 
on general farming. 

The subject of this sketch is a native of 
Oswego county, N. Y., born August 15, 1836, 
and is the son of John W. and Welthy 
(Widgar) Benton, natives of the Empii-e 
State and England, respectively'. About the 
year 1836, the father of our subject removed 
to Pennsylvania, where Joiin W., Jr., was 
brought up. His mother remained in York 
State, and our subject never saw her again, 
although he heard of her as beino- alive in 
the fall of 1SS7. His father died of consuni])- 
tion about 1840. He was a carpenter by 
trade. After his death, our subject went to 
live with his grandparents, with whom he 
remained until he was eight j'ears old, at 



wiiirli oai'ly age lie may l)e said to have 
coiiunenced the battle of life for himself. 
He i)assed liis time for the next nine yeai's 
in workino: at farm work and in e-oino- to 
school, after which for sevei'al summers he 
was employed upon the Pennsylvania Canal.- 
Thinking in the great West there was a 
better show for him, he came in this direc- 
tion, and locating in "Wisconsin, went to 
work for a man bj' the name of Winchester, 
of Winnebago county. He made his home 
in that part of the countr}^ until ISfil, part 
of the time engaged in the lumber business, 
but upon the Sth of September, of that year, 
he enlisted as sergeant in Company C, Four- 
teenth Wisconsin Infantry, and passed with 
that regiment, through the "baptism of 
fire," at Shiloh, in April, 18G2. He was dis- 
charged September 10, lSt)2, on account of 
injuries received in the field, but Februaiy 
13, 1865, he re-enlisted in the Eighth Wis- 
consin Infantry, from which he was dis- 
charged September 5th, following. After 
being mustered out, Mr. Benton settled in 
Fond du Lac county, in the Badger State, 
where he remained until he came to Meeker 

The subject of our personal narrative was 
married December 25, 1861, to Miss Julia 
Pratt, a native of Cortland county, N. Y., 
and daughter of Joshua and Ann (Rumsey) 
Pratt. Her parents, who were natives of 
Connecticut and New York, respectively, 
moved from New York when Mrs. Benton 
was but five years of age, to Illinois, from 
there to Wisconsin, and finally to Minnesota, 
where the fatiier died in 1883. Her mother 
died three years previously in AYisconsin. 
Mrs. Benton, whose birth took place July 3, 
18-t4, \vas reared and educated in Fon du 
Lac county, Wis. 

By this marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Benton 
are the parents of six children — Manan U. S.; 
Ida May, Mrs. Jcseph Manson, residing in 
Washington Territory; Ella J., wife of 

George Walter, now living in Mille Lacs 
county, this State ; Roy E., Stella R., and 
Wealth3' Aurelia. Mr. Benton is a republi- 
can in his ])olitics. 


2T AMES W. POLK, an old settler and 
^ respected farmer residing on sec- 
tion 18, Forest Prairie township, was 
born in Bullitt county, Ky., October 14, 
1809, and is a son of Edward and Margaret 
(Brown) Polk. His fatiier and mother were 
the parents of a large family of children. 

The subject of this sketch spent his school 
da3's in his native county, receiving a good 
education, anil at one time began the study 
of medicine. In 1830 he went to Louisville, 
Ivy., and there learned the cooper's trade, 
which he afterward followed for about forty 
years. From 18-11 until 1816 he conducted 
his shop in Chicago, and then engaged in 
the dairy business near the same city. In 
1857 he came to Minnesota and located in 
Jordan, wliere he remained about two veal's, 
and then went to Henderson, where he was 
engaged in the coopering business, and 
remained until October, 1866, when he came 
to Meeker county, and located on his present 
place in Forest Prairie township. He has a 
good-sized farm, and devotes his attention 
chiefly to general farming, although in the 
past he has given considerable attention to 
stock raising. Mr. Polk is a democrat in 
politics, and is one of the leading citizens of 
the township in which he lives. He is a 
member of the Church of God, in Avhich he 
has been a deacon for thirteen years or 

Mr. Polk was first married on the 3d of 
January', 1831, to Miss Eliza Chastine. She 
gave birth to one chihl, Charles Wesley, and 
died when tiie child was three days old. 
The child died in infancy. 

Mr. Polk was again married in 1836. at 



Darwin, III., to Mary Oarr, who died in 
1S3S. Two children blessed this union — 
Nanc}' Caroline and James R. 

In 1841 our subject was married to Miss 
Zillah Brinton, with whom he lived for forty- 
two years. She died on the 3d of July, 
1883, and was buried in Forest Prairie town- 
ship. Her age at the time of her death was 
seventy -five years. 

On the lltli of November, ISSl, Mr. Polk 
was married to Mrs. Mary C. Irwin, of 
Indiana, his present wife. By her former 
marriage she had two daughters, both of 
whom married, and each became a Mrs. 

His third wife, Zillah, had one son that 
married Mr. Polk's daughter, Nancy C, and 
they had six children, all of whom lived but 
one. Their father being a soldier, their 
mother as well as themselves were left to 
Mr. P<jlk's care ; so that in his later years 
he raised five children. 


Jr^ BURY, the present county surveyor, 
was l.)orn in the State of New York, in 1824, 
and is the son of Dr. Gideon and Phoebe 
(Bui-nett) Salisbury. His father died when 
he was a mere infant, and he was brought up 
under a mother's care. When he was about 
two years old she moved to New Jersey, but 
later settled at Brooklyn, N. Y. His motlicr 
died in 1S50. 

The subject of our sketch, in 1845, having 
studied thoroughly in tlie mathematical line, 
and mastering the profession of surveyor, 
went to Ohio, where, the following spring, 
he enlisted in the First Ohio Regiment of 
Volunteers, and served his one year's term of 
service in the Mexican war, with the little 
column under Genei-al Zachary Taylor. He 
wasdiscliargedat New Orleans, in the spring 
of 1847, but returned to Mexico, in the quar- 

termaster's department, and was at the City 
of Mexico when the war closed. He re- 
turned to Ohio, where he made his residence 
until the spring of 1850, when he removed to 
Iowa, where he lived for six years, engaged 
in public surveys in various parts of Iowa, 
"Wisconsin and Minnesota. While running 
township lines through what is now Meeker 
county, in the summer of 1855, he was so 
much pleased with the country that he stuck 
a claim stake, on sections 18 and 19, in what' 
is now Kingston township. At that time 
there were no other people, except those 
of surveying parties, within the limits of the 
county. Ileturning to his home in Scott 
county, Iowa, in October, of that year, he 
there passed the winter, but in the spring of 
ISoT). he started for his new-found Eden with 
his family, which consisted of his wife, Mar- 
garet L. (Weymer) Salisbury, and one child, 
Frank L. They were accompanied by his 
father-in-law, Jacob Weymer, Sr., his wife 
and two sons — Jacob Jr. and Josejjh. Mi-. 
Salisbmy had brought all his goods with him, 
and the trip consumed about one month. 
To one large, Avide tracked wagon were 
hitched four yoke of oxen, and to another 
wagon a team of horses was attached. A 
good share of the time was spent in getting 
through the "big Avoods," there being no 
other road than a trail, and a good deal of 
chopping was necessary. This trail was cut 
so that one team could barely get through, 
and is the same that for 3'ears was known as 
the "Old Territorial Eoad." The party, 
however, finally reached the claim, and their 
first work was to get up a little cabin, the 
remains of which still mark the spot. This 
was one of the very first houses erected in 
the county. Here they settled and here he 
carried on farming for years. At the time 
of the Indian outbreak, he left the farm and 
went to Kingston which he helped to fortify. 
Foi" two weelcs the family occupied a house, 
and then all the refuiiees who had o-athered 



there spent their nights in the grist mill, 
■\vliicli was being used as a fort. Mr. Salis- 
bury reniainecl at Kingston for about one 
niontii, wlien his family returned to the old 
home in Iowa, and he enlisted in the 
" Mounted Eangers," or First Minnesota Cav- 
alry, and served through the Indian troubles 
on tlie borders, one year. He then enlisted 
in Hatch's Independent Battalion of Minne- 
sota Cavalry for three years or during the 
war, and served on the frontier. IT})on 
being honorably discharged in the spring of 
1861), he again returned to his farm and cul- 
tivated it until Jjine, 1875, when he removed 
to Litchfield, where he has since lived. In 
ISGS he was elected to represent his district 
in the Legislature, and made a ci'edi table rec- 
ord. In 1870 he was elected county surveyor, 
and has either held that office or been de- 
puty most of the time since. Mr. Salisbury 
is a prominent member of the Grand Army 
of the Republic and takes an active interest 
in all its affairs. He and his wife have a 
familv of eight children. 

— — «•- J^^ ^^^—^ 

«sIDREVV EVENSON, an enterprising 
fanner residing on section 7, Green- 
leaf township, is a son of Hans and Christine 
Evenson, and a native of Norway, born Octo- 
ber 30, 181:7. A full sketch of his parents, 
who M-ere prominent old settlers of Meeker 
count}', will be found elsewhere in this 
volume. Andrew came to the United States 
with his parents in 1857, and they first set- 
tled in Scott county, Minn., and remained 
there and in AVright county for three years, 
and at the expiration of that time located in 
Meeker county. The father took a claim on 
section 8, in what is now Greenloaf town- 
ship, where Andrew spent his youth, in the 
same industrious and frugal manner common 
to the 3'outh of his nationality. He was 
with the family through all the horrors of 

tlie Indian outbreak, and shared tiic dano-oi-s 
and pi-ivations of those terrible times with 
the hardiest of men. 

In 1876 he was mai'i'ied to Matilda Bjor- 
hns, a daughter of OleK. and Mary Bjorhus. 
She w;is born in Norway, September 23, 
1851, and came to the United States in 1871. 
Five children have blessed their uni(m — 
Hans 0., born March 22, 1877; Martha C, 
born August 6, 1878 ; Frederick E., born 
April 4, 1881 ; Petra Anette, born November 
25, 1883, and Olga M., born January 25, 
1886. IVIr. Evenson is at present (1888) chair- 
man of the board of township supervisors, 
and is also a member of the board of direc- 
tors of the Farmers' aiul Merchants' Cooper- 
ative Elevator Association. He has taken 
an active interest in all public matters, and 
is to-day one of the leading citizens of his 
township. He has a valuable farm where he 
devotes his attention to general farming and 
stock-raising, in Avhich he has been very suc- 
cessful, as he has accumulated a comfortable 
property through his own industry and care- 
ful management. In his younger days Mr. 
Evenson had but slight educational advan- 
tages, only having the privilege of attending 
school twenty-three days. His natural ability 
and self-educational efforts, however, have 
not been in vain, and he has thoroughly 
mastered the English language, and acipiired 
a varied and general fund of useful knowl- 


fAMES P. DAVIS, an enterprising and 
]irospei'ous agriculturist of L)assel town- 
ship, is the son of Stephen and Mary (Pat- 
terson) Davis, and was l)orn in Wayne county, 
Ohio, March 14, 1830. His parents were 
very early settlers in that portion of the 
"Buckeye" State, but removed to Meigs 
county in 18-41, also then a new county, 
and made their home there until 1855, when 



they ciinie to Minnesota aiul settled at the 
village of Caledonia, Houston county, where 
the father carried on his trade and bought 
"overnnient land. He remained there until 
1859, when during the excitement about 
Pike's Peak, he started for that country, but 
soon changed his mind and settled in Jo 
Daviess county. 111., where he died in 1871. 
The mother died in Ida county, Iowa, in 1882. 
The subject of our sketch remained with 
his parents until he was twenty-two years of 
age, and followed various employments until 
his marriage, Ajn-il 10, 1859, with Miss 
Eachel Russell, a native of Indiana. After 
his marriage he remained in Houston county 
until the fall of 1860, when, in company with 
Isaac Russell, Sr., and John Russell, he came 
to Meeker county, and followed hunting and 
exploring the countj^ through that winter, 
and in the following autumn went to Illinois 
with the intention of enlisting in the United 
States army, but was rejected, and having 
disposed of his property in this State, re- 
mained in the " Sucker State " until 1866. 
lie then came to Meeker county and took up 
a claim early in July, on section 10, of Das- 
sel township. He commenced to improve 
his place, working at the same time on the 
railroad. The next fall he worked in the 
Forest City grist mill. He did not neglect 
his farm, but got it in shape for next \'ear's 
crop. In 1868 he helped clear the present 
site of the village, chopping cord-wood, etc., 
and thus, while developing his farm, provided 
for the wants of his family until 1872, since 
which time he has devoted the most of his 
time to his calling. In 1876 he bought a 
threshing machine in company with George 
Brower, with theaccompanying steam engine, 
and in 1879 became the sole owner of the 
outfit, and carries on that business in con- 
nection with his farm. The latter consists of 
160 acres of land on section 10, and besides 
this he is the half owner of 100 acres more on 
section 16. 

Mr. and Mrs. Davis are tlie parents of ten 
children — Stephen W., born Deceml)er 29, 
1859; Reuben B., born. December 15,1861; 
Mary J., born January 17, 1864; Wealthy 
M., born May 21-, 1866; William E., born 
October 25, 1868; Isaac A., born December 
25, 1870, died April 5, 1880 ; James H., born 
June 11, 1873 ; Emma B., born March 6, 
1876 ; Annie Z., born November 2, 1878, and 
John E., born Januaiy 8, 1882. Stephen is 
married and lives in Dakota; Reuben, also 
married, makes his home on section 16, this 
town ; Mary J. (Mrs. C. G. Waller) lives at 
Kingston, and Wealthy (Mrs. W. II. Bran- 
ham\ resides in Litchfield. 

SHARLES SHEPHERD, an ex Union sol- 
dier, and one of the most intelligent, 
prominent and successful farmers in the 
northern part of the count}^, was born in 
Belgium, in the year 1826. His parents 
were John and Catharine (ShepeUe) Shep- 
herd, the father being a native of England 
and the mother a native of Belgium. When 
Charles was eight or ten years of age the 
family removed from Belgium to England, 
and six years later they came to the 
United States and located in Massachusetts, 
where the parents died. Charles remained 
in Massachusetts until he had arrived at 
about the age of twenty-one, when he went 
to Rhode Island, but nine or ten months 
later he returned to BaUardvale, Mass. 
Two years later he started West, and for 
ten years lived in Wisconsin. While there, 
on the 27th of February, 1865, he enlisted 
in Company A, Fifty-first Wisconsin Volun- 
teer Infantry, and was mustered into the 
service. He remained with his regiment 
until the 22d of August, 1865, when he was 
honorably discharged and returned to AVis- 
consin. In 1866 he came to Meeker county, 
Minn., and located on a farm on section 20, 



Manaiinali township. He now lias a valu- 
able i'urm of 220 acres of land and is in com- 
fortable circumstances. 

]\rr. Shepherd was first married, when a 
young man, to Julia Iliggins, who died. B\' 
this marriage he had three children. 

On the IJrth of August, 1S57, lie was mar- 
ried to Miss Adaline Ilartman, who was 
born in Germany April 2, 1S57. This mar- 
riage has been blessed with twelve children. 

J\ LEXANDER L. GORDON, an intelli- 
^ gent and 'industrious farmer living 
upon section 10, Collinwood township, is a 
native of Westchester county, N. Y., born 
August 1, 1850, and is the son of Will- 
iam and Jane (Ferguson) Gordon, who had 
come to America fi-om the land of their birth, 
Scotland, some time previous. The family 
removed in the boyhood of our subject to 
Fond du Lac county. Wis., where he re- 
mained until eighteen vears of age. At 
tiiat time he commenced life for himself as 
brakeman on the railroad, which he followed 
for two years. The following summer he 
was in the employ of the Government, driv- 
ing team, on the line between the United 
States and Manitoba. From that time on, 
for several years, he was engaged in several 
occupations, all of them, however, attended 
by hard labor, sometimes in the pineries, and 
sometimes in the harvest Held, until his 

This happy event took ]ilace March 21, 
187S, at which time he wedded Miss Martha 
Delong, the daughter of Madison and Eliza- 
beth (Lunsford) Delong, a sketch of whom 
appears elsewhere in this Albusi. Mrs. Gor- 
don was born in Lawrence county, Ohio, 
IMarch 10, 1858, and came to Meeker county 
with her i)arents in 1866. 

At the time of his marriage Mr. Gordon 
settled down ti) farm life on section lo, where 

he now lives and where he has some sixty 
acres of land mostly under cultivation. He 
has held several of the town offices, chief 
among which is that of chairman of the 
board of supervisors, which he occupied for 
seven j'ears. He is the parent of four chil- 
dren — Elizabeth Jane, born April 2, 1^7'.»; 
William, born Decemljer 15, 1880; Elma, 
born March 11, 1883 ; and Grace, boru Jan- 
uary 1, 1886. 

LI BORING, an ex-Union soldier, is a 
'^J^ farmer who resides on section 10, For- 
est Prairie township. He is a native of Clin- 
ton county, Ohio, born May 22. 1836, and is 
a son of Absalom and Isabellc (Williams) 
Boring. His father and mother were natives 
of Baltimore county, Md., and Harrison 
county, Ya., respectively. They are both 
dead. The father died in Indiana, at the 
age of eighty-one years, April 28, 1888. He 
was a farmer; had settled in Indiana in 1836, 
and was one of the pioneers of that State. 
The mother was born in 1809 and died Feb- 
ruary 5, 1863. They were the [tarents of 
eleven children, eight boys and three girls, 
the names of whom were as follows — Thomas 
William, Lafayette, Eli, John A., I'^lizabeth, 
Sarah, Jesse E., Henry, Harrison, William 
and Eliza. 

Eli Boring, the subject of this sketch, re- 
mained at home during his boyhood and 
school days. On the 20lh of February, 1864, 
he enlisted in Comjiany D, Eighth Indiana 
Cavah'v, and went into the service. He saw 
active service and participated in numerous 
battles, engagements and skirmishes. He 
was shot in the side at the battle of Camp- 
bellton, Ga., and remained in the hospital for 
several weeks. On the iDth of September, 
1S64, he was taken prisonei-and was held for 
some three months, after which he was in the 
hospital at Annapolis, ]\1(1., for three weeks. 



anil, after a short furlough, returned to his 
I'ea'inient. lie was tinally mustered out July 
20, 1S65, near Raleigh, X. C, and returned to 
his home in Indiana. In the fall of 1868 he 
came to Meeker county, Minn., and located 
in Forest Prairie township. In 1882 he went 
to Minneapolis and engaged in the milling- 
business, but spent his winters at lumbering, 
continuing this for three years, and then 
returned to Forest Prairie and settled where 
he now resides. 

Mr. Boring was married on the 2d of No- 
vember, 1886, to Miss Victoria Spaulding, a 
daughter of Danville Spaulding, an old and 
respected citizen of Forest Prairie township. 
They were married at Litchfield b}^ N. C. 

Our subject is a man of the strictest integ- 
rity, and is respected by all who know hi;n. 
In ]iolitical nu^tters he affiliates with the 
repul)lican ]Kirty. 

S^HARLES M. AHLSTROM. The subject 
^ of this sketch is an enterprising and 
successful farmer and stock-raiser, who. re- 
sides on section 31, Harvey township. He is 
a native of Chisago county, ilinn., where he 
was born on the 8th of August, 1859, and he 
is a son of Andrew M. and Carrie Ahlstrom. 
In 1864 he removed, with his parents, to 
Meeker county, and the family settled on 
section 30, where Charles M. still resides. 
His parents were both natives of Sweden. 
They came to the United States in 185-1. 
They are both still living. 

The subject of our sketch, Charles, grew to 
manhood in Meeker county, attending school 
as opportunity offered, and assisting his 
fatlier on the farm. On the 27tli of Maj', 
1882, he was married to Mary Peterson, of 
Swede Grove township. Their niari-iage 
has been blessed with tliree cliildren, whose 
names are Stacie, Carl M. and Clearence A.. 

the last named being an infant. Mr. and 
Mrs. Ahlstrom are exemplary members and 
active supporters of tke Lutheran Church. 

In political matters Mr. Ahlstrom is a re- 
publican. He now owns 160 acres of land, 
and has a good start and good prospects for 
future success. 

M LEXANDER D. ROSS, the present 
J^Jl. postmaster of Litchfield, was born 
in Upper Canada, July 25, 1815, and is the 
son of Alexander and Frances Bassett (Con- 
ners) Eoss, the former a native of Glasgow, 
Scotland, and the latter of Bangor, County 
Down, Ireland. His jxirents came to Amer- 
ica, settling in Canada, prior to his birth, and 
there, in the town of Southani]iton, where 
the father was engaged in mercantile trade, 
our subject received his earl^^ education, and 
there grew to manhootl. In 1866, he removed 
with his parents to Chicago, III., where he 
commenced work with the American Express 
Company, with whom he remained until 1872, 
when he came to Minnesota. He located first 
at St. Cloud, but one year later removed to 
Litchfield, where, in August, 1873, he took 
charge of a grain elevator, now the M. and 
D. which he has superintended ever since. 
In July, 1887, he took charge of the postotfice 
of the village, having been appointed to that 
position a short time previousl\\ He is a 
thorough democrat politically, and believes 
that in its principles lies the true germ of civil 
liberty. He is a member of the present coun- 
cil of Litchfield, and holds a high place in the 
respect and esteem of his fellow-citizens. 

Mr. Eoss united in marriage, June 11, 1872, 
with Miss Elizabeth M. Becker, a native of 
New York, and daughter of Herman and 
Margaret Becker. By this union there has 
been born two children, who bear the names 
of Carrie and George. Mr. Eoss is a mem- 
ber of Golden Fleece Lodge, No. 86, A. F. 



and A. M., Eablwiii Cliapter, Ko. 39, R. A. 
M. ; l\[elita Coiniiiandery, No. 17, K. T., and 
witli his estimable wife liolds communion 
witii the Presbyterian Cimrcli. 

JOHN SMITH, a resident of Darwin 
township, lives on section 15, where he 
carries on general farming and stock raising. 
He is a native of the Grand Duchy of Lux- 
emburg, born in 1839. lie was reared 
among the vine-clad hills of the land of his 
birth until he was nineteen years of age, 
when he came to America,, and that year, 
1S5S, settled near Aurora, 111., Avhere he 
made his home until eight years later, when 
he removed to Minnesota and located on the 
farm in Darwin township where he now 
lives. Like so man^' of his countrymen who 
seek to find in America the fortune and 
freedom they lack in their native land, Mr. 
Smith was a ]ioor man when he came to this 
countr}^, but by the ])erseverance in his work 
and the natural thrift that seems to be 
inherent in the average German, he has accu- 
mulated a fair share of this world's goods. 

Mr. Smith was first married in ISfio, to 
Miss Anna Peiffer, who became the mother 
of seven children, all of whom are living at 
the present but one. Their names are — John, 
Peter, Michael, Anna, P'raidv and "William. 
Mrs. Anna Smith tlied in February, ISSl, 
and Mr. Smith was married the second time. 
The Inide on this occasion was Miss Mas*o-ie 


Kanzler, and the wedding occurred in No- 
vember, 1883. By this last marriage there 
have been born three children, only two of 
whom, however, are now living — Emma aiul 

Both Mr. Smith and his wife are meml)ers 
of the Roman Catholic Church and good 
Christian people. Politically Mr. Smith is 
what may be tei-med an independent, not 
being Ijound to party. 

UTHER W. LEIGHTON, the junior 

|2i^ member of the lirni of Osterlund & 
Leighton, general merchants of the village 
of Dassel, came to that place in the fall of 
1872, and in the spring of 187-1 opened the 
first wagon shop, in which he continued to 
carry on the business until 1S81. Closing- 
out, then, his interests in that mechanical 
trade, he entered into the hanhvare business 
in company with J. M. Johnson, and con- 
tinued in that line until Januar}^ 1, 1887, 
when, after selling his interest to his partner, 
he entered into the new copartnership, the 
firm nametl above. 

Mr. Leighton, who is a native of Penobscot 
county. Me., born March 25, 1850, and the son 
of Stillman W. and Thressa E. Leighton, re- 
ceived his education in his native State. He 
left that portion of our great Republic in 1872, 
and came directly to this ])art. as above stated. 

NDREW GUNDERSON, a carpenter 

and farmer who resides on section 15, 
Danielson township, was born in Norway 
on the 16th of August, 1836, and is a son of 
Gunder and Anna Ingebretson. His early 
life was spent in his native land, where he 
worked at various occupations and also 
learned the carpenter's trade. He renuiined 
in the land of his birth until 1870, when he 
came to the United States and came direct 
to Minneapolis, Minn., where he remained 
for six years employed at carpenter work. 
He was so pooi' at that time that he was 
obliged to leave his family in the old country, 
and had to borrow the mone}' with which he 
paid his fare. During the first three years 
he was here he earned enough money to send 
for his family, which required five tickets at 
§61 each. His oldest son came some two 
years before the balance of the family. The 
father, with the aid of his son, during this 
time, erected a comfortable house for himself 
at Minneapolis. 



On the 4th of November, 1876, he moved 
his family to Meeker county, Minn., and set- 
tled on a farm in Cosmos township, but after 
getting- his family settled he returned to 
Minneapolis and worked at his trade for two 
years, after which he returned and moved to 
the farm which he purchased on section 15, 
Danielson township, where he has since lived. 
Since that time he has continued to work at 
his trade most of his time while his family 
carried on the farm. lie now has one of the 
most valuable farms in the township, con- 
sisting of 280 acres, upon which he has placed 
fine building improvements. 

Mr. Gunderson was married before he left 
Norway to Miss Bertha Olson, a daughter of 
Ole and Anna Peterson, who was born Au- 
gust 20, 1830. Their marriage has been 
blessed with nine children, as follows — Gil- 
bert, born February 17, 1857; Nettie, born 
May 4, 1858; "William, born Januarj" 15, 
1860 ; Anna, born January 10, 1862 ; Au- 
gust, born September 6, 1863 ; Beathe, born 
August 9, 186-4, died in 1867 ; Maria, born 
March 21, 1868; Beathe, born December 10, 
1870 ; and Albert, born June 2, 1875. All 
were born in Norway except Albert, who 
was boi'u in Minneapolis. Nettie married 
Ole Blaken, a merchant in Grafton, D. T., 
and they have three children. William mar- 
ried Anna Amundson, and is a farmer in Dan- 
ielson township. Anna married Knute John- 
son, a I'ailroad section boss at Minneayjolis. 
The family are members of tlie Norwegian 
Lutheran Church. 

Mr. Gunderson has taken an active inter- 
est in public matters and has lield the ofhce 
of township supervisor for four years. In 
political matters he affiliates with the demo- 
cratic party. 

/I^LE NELSON, one of the leading ngri- 
V^^^y culturists of Acton, is a native of Nor- 
way, born February 16, 1842, and is the son 

of Nels and Mary Nelson, and came to the 
United States in 1866, first stopping in Red 
Wing, Minn., where he was engaged in tailor- 
-ing for one year. The next two years were 
passed by him in the same employment in 
Minneapolis, but growing tired of working 
for other parties after two years, and Ijeing 
anxious to better his financial condition, he 
removed to Acton, this county, and took a 
homestead on section 8, where he now lives. 
He has a fine farm of 20<i acres of excellent 
arable land, all of wliicii he has made by his 
own energy and perseverance. 

Mr. Nelson was married in Noi-way, to 
Miss Martha J. Farrisdatter Haabetsbroen. 
They are the parents of the following chil- 
dren— Thoi'wald E., born October 4, 1864 ; 
Nikoline Marie, born September 28, 1868, died 
May 19, 1879; Nels, born January 5, 1870; 
Severin, born April 6, 1872 ; Odin, born Jan- 
uary 6, 1874 ; Mina, born February 16, 1877 ; 
Martin, born March 6, 1880; Jens H., born 
December 30, 1881 ; and Marius, born May 
15, 1883. 

Thorwald is attending the academy at 
Minneapolis, and Nels, the high school at 
Litchfiekl. The other children are at home 
with their parents. Mr. Nelson has occupied 
the office of road overseer for two or three 
terms, and that of school director for several 
years. He had learned tiie tailoring trade 
in his far away native land, but since his 
coming here he has devoted his attention 
solely to agricultural pursuits, and has met 
with abundant success in this calling. lie 
devotes a large siiare of his labors to stock 

fAMES H. THOMS, a resident of Union 
Grove township, is one of the successful 
farmers and stock-raisers in the northern part 
of the county. 

The subject of our sketcli is the son of 
James and Lucy (Brown) Tlioms, and was 



born in tlie town of Sebec, Me. Wliile he 
■\vas quite young iiis ])arents removed to Kil- 
inornac. Me., where his father engaged in 
farming and lumbering, but finding it a hard 
place to make a living in, he moved to Ban- 
gor, Me. When James II. was fourteen 
years of age he learned the carpenter's trade, 
and remained at home until he was twenty; 
then, with some acquaintances, he left for the 
AVest, stojtping in Wisconsin a slioi't time, 
lie came to Minnesota in the fall of 1849. 
It was then a tei'ritory, St. Paul and St. 
Anthonj' being small villages at that time, 
and Minneapolis was not even started. Haul- 
ing supplies to the Indians was the main busi- 
ness done outside the villages. 

Mr. Thorns engaged for four years in haul- 
ing supplies from St. Paul to Fort Ripley, 
and any other points where the Indians were 
to be paid their annuities. 

Some of the log hotels, or stopping places, 
had squaw landladies, and others were kept 
by bachelors. Mr. Thoms left the road and 
worked at his trade for two years, and finally 
took up a claim in Eden Prairie township, 
si.Kteen miles south of Minneapolis, in Henne- 
pin count}'. 

On August 12, 1855, he married Miss 
Annette Y. Ilamblet, of Eden Prairie, a 
young lady, nineteen years of age. He 
remained on his fai'm a few years, then 
moved to Chanhassen, Carver county, where 
he stayed but a short time, then moved to 
Castle Eock, Dakota county, where he stayed 
a few years, engaged in farming. Then, 
hearing of the many virtues of Meeker county, 
he removed to Union Grove township in the 
fall of 1867, and took up a homestead on sec- 
tion 2(». Five years later, he sold that place 
and bought a farm of 160 acres, on section 
25 and 3(*i. where he has since lived. 

The farm is one of the most valuable in 
the townsiiip, and the building improvements 
are a credit to the neighborhood in which 
they are located. 

j\Ir. and ]\rrs. Thoms have been blessed 
with nine children, seven of whom are now 
living, two girls and live boys — Frank, the 
eldest, is married, and lives at Newark, D. 
T., where he is, in company with a partner, 
running a arain elevator. E. L. and D. C. 
Thoms, the two next oldest, own a roller 
flour mill at Ashby, Grant county, Minn. 
The fourth son, Ben. II., is a graduate from 
(Airtiss' Busiiiess College, Minneapolis, and 
is in Minnesota at the present time. One 
daughter is a stenogra]iher, and the oWwx is 
a seamstress ; both reside in Minneapolis at 
present. Earl W., the youngest, remains at 
home with his parents. In politics, Mr. 
Tiioms is a strong democi'at. He came to 
the county comparatively a poor man, but is 
now well fi.xed as to this world's goods, and 
is rated as one of the most solid and substan- 
tial citizens of the county. He is truly a 
pioneer in the State, and also of the county. 

©ANIEL F. SMITH. Among the quiet, 
sober, and iiulustrious Gernum citizens 
of Meeker county, who have left their beau- 
tiful fatherland to seek upon the Western 
Continent the freedom from conscription and 
military despotism denied them in their 
own country, there is no more prominent in- 
dividual than the gentleman here presented, 
who is a resident upon section 16, Ellsworth 
township. He is a native of Germany, and 
is the son of Henry and Dora Smith. Ilis 
parents were also born in that classic land, 
although of French ancestry. 

Our subject was reared beneath his native 
skies, and there received the education com- 
mon to the youth of that land, and there, 
having attained the years of manhood, Sep- 
tember 12, 1857, he was united in marriage 
with Miss Fredericka Sinnerman. In 1862 
the young couple left their home amid the 
hills and valleys of Germany, and crossed 



the ocean to seek a newer home in free 
America. They settled near the town of 
Kunda, McHenr}^ county, 111., where they 
lived until the fall of 1875, when they came 
to Meeker county and settled where they 
now live, and where Mr. Smith has a fine 
farm of ISO acres of excellent land, on sec- 
tions 15 and 16, and on which he has erected 
an excellent residence, commodious barn and 
neat granary. While a resident of Nunda 
he showed his enterprise by subscribing to 
the institution of the pickling and preserving 
Avorks of that place, in which he owned sev- 
eral shares of stock ; and since coming to 
this county he has ever been foremost in 
anything that seemed to be for the benefit of 
the community. 

Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of 
eight children — Mary (Mrs. Joseph Earth, 
,who Avas married September 12, 187S, the 
anniversary of her parents' wedding), Will- 
iam, Frederick, George, Emma (now Mrs. 
Ludwig Martens), Clara, Bertie, and Minnie. 
William is also married, and follows the 
trade of moulder in Minneapolis. 

Mr. Smith is a republican, politically, and 
has held the offices of town supervisor, and 
of school director and justice of the peace, 
and is a representative man. He and his 
family belong to the Lutheran Church. 

/^HARLES H. DART, the enterprising 
\^^ and energetic Hour and feed dealer of 
Litchfield, was born in Forest City, Meeker 
county, Minn., February 5, 18ri2, and is the 
son of Wait H. and Calista (Willis) Dart. 
His father is one of the oldest settlers of the 
county, having come here in April, 1856, and 
the following July took up a claim two miles 
east of the prospective village of Forest Cit^', 
upon which he settled, his family consisting 
of his wife and one child, coming here in 
Kovember. Ho I'aised one crop upon his 

farm, and then removed to this village. He 
Avas at that place during tlie tr;igic scenes of 
the Indian outbreak, and Avas an actiA'e par- 
ticipant in most of the stirring events of that 
unhappy epoch. He entered into the mer- 
cantile business in Forest City about the 
time of tlie arrival of the soldiers, and from 
1863 to 1865 had charge of the postoffice. In 
1869 he removed to the town of Greenleaf, 
where he took u]) a homestead, upon Avhich 
he remained initil 1871, and tlien came to 
Litchfield, where he has I'esided ever since, 
diaries remained at home, enjoying the 
opportunities for scliooling afforded him 
during the winters, and working in the sum- 
mer months at Avhatever he could turn his 
hand to. At the age of eighteen, with a 
commendable enterprise, he initiated the 
business which he now follows, and is makino- 
it a success. He is ranked 

ligh among the 

rising young business men of the village, and 
is rapidly and surely extending his opera- 

On Christmas day, December 25, 1883, C. 
H. Dart and Miss Nellie LockAvood, also a 
native of this county, Avere united in the 
bonds of weillock. They are the parents of 
one child — Ray. 

|ifej)ETER LUND, a resident of section 17, 
1^ Greenleaf township, is one of the lead- 
ing farmers and stock-raisei-s in the southern 
portion of the county. He was born in 
Sweden, on the 15th of August, 1846. His 
younger days were silent in his natiA'e land, 
and in 1872 he came to the LTnited States, 
and located in Minneapolis, Avhere he re- 
mained for eight years. He AA'as at work in 
the Buell, Nutten & Co. flouring mill in 
1878,Avhen the terrible mill explosion occurred, 
in which eighteen were killed and others 
seriously injured. His escape at tliat time 
Avas almost miraculous. He was attending 
to the machinery, and a few moments before 



the disaster he Avas talking with a fellow- 
employe, named Peter Ilogberg. The latter 
suo-o-ested getting some water, but Mr. Lund 
tokl iiim to attend to the machinery and he 
would get the water. Accordingly, Wv. 
Lund took the pail and started, having to go 
about 200 feet. He had just stepped outside 
of the door, Avhen he noticed a queer smoke 
coming from the suction pipe of the Wash- 
burn A mill, which stood about 100 feet 
from the mill in which he worked. He had 
only gone about 100 feet when the first ex- 
plosion occurred, and he was thrown to the 
('■round, lie scrambled to his feet and tried 
to run, when the next explosion took place, 
and he was again thrown down. On his 
hands and knees he crawled under a box car, 
and the deln-is was falling thick around him. 
A few moments later he ran to where the mill 
had been, to rescue Ilogberg, but he found 
the mill leveled to the ground, and nothing 
was ever found of his companion except a 
few pieces of bones and a knife blade. Out 
of all the men who worked in the three mills, 
he, and one other, were the only ones who 
escaped unhurt. 

On March 27, 1881, Mr. Lund came to 
Meeker county, and settled in Greenleaf 
township, where he still lives. He has a 
valuable farm of 210 acres of land, and has 
splendid farm buildings. Mr. Lund was 
married Januiiry 1, 1875, to Anna Anderson, 
and they have had seven children, all of 
whom are living, as follows— Charley A., 
born March 5, 187<i ; Alma II., born Novem- 
ber 29, 1877; Levi Y., born January 23, 
1880 ; Mimmie V., born May 5, 1882 ; Edward 
E., born November 12, 1883; Oscar T., born 
Se])tember 27, ISSo, and Amanda Y., born 
January 27, 1888. The family are members 
of the Swedish Lutheran Churcii. 

The parents of Mr. Lund were natives of 
Sweden. Tliey came to America a number 
of years ago, and are now residents of 
Meeker countv. 

"OHN H. REMICK, one of the prominent 
residents of the village of Dassel, and a 
leading ))ioneer of the county of McLeod, 
was born in Painesville, Ohio, August 26, 
1830. His father died when he was quite 
young, and tiie family was In-oken up, and 
for a time he was an inmate of the housoliold 
of his grandfather. "When about thirteen he 
commenced life Idv hiring out at whatever he 
could find to do, and at sixteen began to 
learn the blacksmith's trade. In the spring 
of 1863 he determined to seek a new home 
in the growing "West and carve out his own 
fortune, and came to Minnesota and settled 
at Hutchinson, McLeod county, in May of 
that year. Returning to Ohio the next fall, 
he, in company with S. A. Bunting, pur- 
chased a drove of fifteen horses, which were 
shipped by boat to Milwaukee, from which 
port they drove to this country, selling what 
they could on the way. Closing out the 
l);dance on his arrival at Hutchinson, he 
returned to the "Buckeye State"' for his 
famil}', and I'eturned the same fall and 
took up a homestead of 160 acres of land 
on section 20, Hutchinson township, Mc- 
Leod county, and commenced its improve- 
ment. There he remained, quietly engaged 
in agricultural pursuits, until 1877, and by 
diligence and industrvhad increased his farm 
to 300 acres. He sold this place and personal 
property, al:iout 1879, for SL700. In 1877 
he came to Dassel, this county, and com- 
menced running the Dassel House, and con- 
tinued to cater to the wants of the traveling 
public until 1882. During the summer of 
that year he engaged in his old trade of 
blacksmith, but on the 1st of January, 1883, 
went into the saloon business in the village, 
with J. S. Larson. The February folioAv- 
in<" their i>lace was destroved bv fire, with a 
loss of 82,500, only part of which was insured. 
In company with J. S. Larson and "William 
Gallagher, he then commenced the erection 
of a new hotel, the new Dassel House, the 



old one having been burned. On the com- 
pletion of this hotel, which is of brick and 
cost some $4,500, he again opened a saloon, 
and remained in that business until 1886, 
when he closed it out, and since that time 
has given his attention to the cultivation of 
a farm which he bought in 1881. This con- 
tains some forty acres, and adjoins the town 
site. He is also engaged in the letting of 
livery rigs. 

Among the leading proiiibitionists of the 
county, there is none who is better known 
than Mr. Remick, who, being thorougldy 
acquainted with the traffic in liquor, knows 
its evil, and is quite active in the movement 
looking to its suppression. 

/^ HRISTIAN BADEN. Among the 
V^^ thrifty, prosperous German citizens of 
Meeker county, who helped so materially 
toward its development and progress, until 
it now stands one of the brightest jewels in 
the crown of the noble State of Minnesota, 
is the worthy gentleman whose name heads 
this sketch. He was born in that part of 
the German empire known as Trier, June IS, 
1839, and there grew to manhood. He is the 
son of John and Marj' Baden, who had a 
family of live children. 

Our subject received the education so 
common to the youth of the fatherland, and 
at the age of sixteen commenced an appren- 
ticeship to the trade of blacksmith. He 
came to the United States in search of a 
home in this free land, in 1867, and located 
at Belle Plaine, Scott county, Minn., where he 
opened a blacksmith shop and followed his 
trade for one year. In 1868 he came to this 
country and bought out the interest of Albert 
Taylor, in the blacksmith shop in Forest 
City, and has been engaged at this trade ever 
since. He is also the owner of a fine farm of 
250 acres of land in the same township, part 

of which he leases to other parties and part 
cultivates himself. His success since he 
came here is entirely due to his energy, per- 
severance and thrift, as he is the sole archi- 
tect of his own fortunes. 

Mr. Baden was married before leaving his 
native land, April 11-, 1865, to Miss Mary 
Schmidt, who was the daughter of Michael 
and Susan Schmidt, and one of a family of 
eight children. On the -Ith of May, Mrs. 
Baden, who was a devout Catholic and 
an estimable woman, was called away 
by death, leaving ten children — William, 
Nicholas, Frank, John, Joseph, Susan, Cath- 
erine, Anna, Eosa and Mary. Susan married 
Eugene Schuler, March 2, 1886, and lives in 

[^ARRISON FULLER, one of the old set- 
tlers of Collinwood township, has his 
home on section i. He is a native of Russell 
county, Va., and there made his residence 
until he was ten years of age, then emigrated 
to Tazwell county, settling in Avhat after- 
ward became a part of Buchanan county. 
Most of this time was spent on a farm with 
his parents. In 1862 he was conscripted into 
the Confederate arm}', and served some eigh- 
teen months. Having been made lieutenant, 
and detailed for recruiting service, he ab- 
sented himself without leave, and passing the 
lines, came to Minnesota. He arrived at 
Hutchinson, McLeod county. Ma}' 14, 1864, 
and spent the summer in digging gmseng, 
and the next winter in huntingand trapping. 
The following year he moved to the place 
where he now lives, but did little toward 
its improvement for some three years. The 
hard frost of August 19, 1866, destroying the 
little crops he and the other settlers had in, 
he had considerable difficulty in getting 
along, so, with others, he went to Wright 
county and chopped wood all the following 



winter. Many of his neighbors were sadly 
pinched witli hunger at that time. One day 
he walked to Kingston for provisions, but 
failed to get tliem, and on returning, found 
that the family had eaten up everything in 
the house, and he was forced to go supper- 
less to bed. The next day he was more 
fortunate, getting some flour at Greenleaf. 
Most of the settlers lived through the winter 
on what game they could kill, and in tlie 
sprmg on ramps or leeks, elm bark and other 
herbage. One family, to his knowledge, 
lived on game, ramps or leeks, and herbage 
that winter and sjiring. In 1873, after an 
absence of ' a year in Virginia, he com- 
menced to develop his farm pro]ierly, and liy 
diligence has succeeded in accumulating a 
nice property. He was married March 7, 
1861, to Miss Smyth, who was born in Taze- 
well county, Ya., April 26, 18-15, and is the 
daughter of Samuel M. and Mary (Justice) 
Smyth, natives of Kentucky. By this union 
there has been ten children, as follows — Ash- 
ville, born November 7, 1862, and married, 
March 27, 1884, to Mrs. Clarinda (Goble) 
"West ; Mary F., born September 29,- 1865, 
married Solomon Scalf in January, 1883; 
Pricy J., born May 19, 1868, married, March 
7, 1885. to Armstrong Sellard ; Elijah S., born 
March 15, 1871; James A., born March 20, 
1873 ; Roxelena, born May 21, 1875 ; Ida A., 
born May 26, 1877; Vashti, born May 2, 
1880 ; Lucretia, born November 5, 1882 ; and 
Maggie, born June 30, 1886. 

PATRICK McKARNEY, an ex-Union 
soldier, and a prominent and success- 
ful farmer and stock raiser, residing on sec- 
tion 8, Manannah township, was born in 
County Monaghan, Ireland, in 1832, and is 
a son of Patrick and Catherine (Bradj') Mc- 
Karney. His early life was spent in the 
land of his birth, receiving the schooling in 
industry and frugality which was given to 

the youth of his nationality in that day. 
In 1849 he came to the United States, land- 
ing in New Orleans, where he remained 
about one month and then went to St. Louis, 
Mo. Two months later he went to Rock 
Island, 111., and spent the winter, and after 
this was »mj)loyed on the Mississippi river, 
at whatever he could find to do, until the 
15th of August, 1862, when he enlisted in 
C'ompany B, Ninetieth Illinois Volunteer 
Infantry, and went into the service. His 
regiment was assigned to severe duty, and 
he remained in active service until the close 
of the war, receiving an honorable discharge 
on the 6th of June, 1865. After leaving the 
service he came to Minnesota, and settled in 
Dakota county, where he reuuiined until the 
following April, 1866, and then came to 
Meeker county, and settled on section 8, 
Manannah townshi]j, where he still lives. 
He has a farm of 150 acres of land, a good 
share of which is under cultivation, and 
devotes his attention to general farming and 
stock raising. 

]\Ir. McKarnev was married on the -ith of 
April, 1869, to Miss Mary O'Keeffe, and they 
have been blessed with the following chil- 
dren — Charlotte, born July 15, 1870; Cathe- 
rine, born May 26, 1872; James, born Janu- 
ary 8, 1874; Peter, born May 16, 1876; and 
Menus, born January 16, 1878; all of whom 
are still living. 

Mrs. IVlcKarney's parents were natives of 
Ireland. They came to America, and both 
died in Meeker county. Mr. McKarney is a 
re])ublican in political matters, and in religi- 
ous affairs both he and his wife are ex- 
emjilary memliers and active supporters of 
the Catholic Church. 


pi;^*RANK W. MINTON, the present 

lP>- genial proprietor of the Howard 

House, at Litchfield, is the son of William 

L. and Louisa C. (Hull) Minton, and was 



born in Brocton, Chautauqua county, N. Y., 
May 7, 1854. His mother was a descendant 
of one of the pioneer families of the 
Mohawk A'^alley. 

Frank remained in his native town until he 
was fifteen years of age, and then came to 
Eice county, Minn., where he lived with an 
uncle for a time. He removed from there to 
Chicago, whither his parents had gone, and 
entering the office of the Pullman Palace 
Car Co., remained there employed for seven 
years. Taking charge of a palace car run- 
ning between St. Louis and Minneapolis at 
the end of that time, he continued in that 
species of employment for two years and a 
half, but his health having become somewhat 
impaired he left the road. He entered the 
law office of Perkins & Whipple, of North- 
field, Minn., where he remained some eigh- 
teen months. He then went on the road as 
traveling salesman for the Champion Eeaper 
Co., and was with that corporation for the 
succeeding two years, after which he came 
to Litchfield, and assumed the charge of the 
Howard House, as landlord. May 1, 1884. 

Frank W. Minton and Miss Mattie Knight 
were united in the bonds of marriage. May 
20, 1884. The lady is a native of Canada, 
but at the time of her marriage a resident of 
Meeker county. 

: ■ • ' > ■ 

T^OBERT B. RALSTON. The subject 
_l^y, of this biography, one of Meeker 
county's most prominent and wealthy farm- 
ers and stock-raisers, is a resident of section 
14, Harvey township. He was born in the 
Province of Quebec, Canada East, on the 
2Sth day of August, 1826, and is a son of 
Andrew and Jane Kalston. His parents 
were natives of Scotland, but both died in 
Canada ; the father January 10, 1888, and the 
mother August 21, 1884. 

Eobert B. left his native province in April, 

1849, and went to Waterbury, A^t., where he 
secured employment on the Vermont Central 
railroad, and remained until the latter part 
of the following December, when he returned 
to Canada and remained until the spring of 

1850. At that time he went to St. Johns- 
bury, Vt., where he drove a team on railroad 
work, and in August, 1850, went to Cam- 
bridge, N. Y., and worked about there until 
the following summer of 1851. He next 
spent a few months at Bedford, Ind., and 
then went to Cincinnati, O., where he re- 
mained for four years, being emploj'ed at 
teaming most of the time; after that was at 
work on the Cincinnati & St. Louis railroad. 
In 1855 he went still further west, and spent 
one winter at Oskaloosa, Iowa, and then set- 
tled at Minneapolis, Minn. That place, which 
was then a mere village, remained his home 
until the fall of 1861, although, during this 
time, in 1859, he had come west to Meeker 
county and purchased the southwest quarter 
of section 11, in what is now Harvey town- 
ship. In that fall he came here and put in his 
time in caring for a few calves which he had 
purchased, and also did a good deal of trap- 
ping in various parts of this county. He was 
living here when the Indian outbreak oc- 
curred. He heard the news of the massacre 
at Acton on Sunday evening, while with his 
brother John. They at once went to mould- 
ing bullets and getting their guns in shape, 
after which they went to bed, and the follow- 
ing morning continued their harvesting. At 
noon they went to Forest City, and learned 
the serious condition of affairs. They then 
returned to look for a neighbor, Ilutchins, 
and his wife, and met them, and also Joachin 
Schultz, so all turned and went to Forest 
City. There they remained all through the 
Indian trouble. The following spring Mr. 
Ealston returned to his claim and put in his 
crops, and while at work could distinctly see 
the soldiers on patrol between his place and 
Forest City. This has since been his home. 



He has one of the most vahiable farms in the 
county, and carries on general farming and 
stock-raising extensively. 
• On tiie nth of June, ISOT, Mr. Ralston was 
n\arried to Miss ilelissa Pickle, and tlieir 
union has been blessed witii three children, as 
follows— Marcia, born August 22, 1868 ; Elsie 
v., born November 4, 1872; Arthur D., 
born April 13, 1882, all of whom are still 
living. Mr. and Mrs. Ralston attend, and 
Mrs. R. is a member of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church. Mrs. Ralston's parents are still 
living in Canada ; her father is a native of 
Canada, and her mother a native of Ver- 

In political matters Mr. Ralston affiliates 
with the democratic party. He has taken 
an active interest in everything calculated to 
develop the county's resources, and is rated 
as one of the most solid and substantial citi- 
zens of Meeker countv. 


ILLIAM MURPHY, a memberof the 
firm of Murphy Bros., general mer- 
chandise dealers at the village of Kingston, 
commenced business here in January, 1886, 
in company with T. Owen, with whom he 
remained in partnership until the 1st of Janu- 
ary, 1888, when Mr. Owen sold out to T. J. 
Murphy, the brother of our subject, and the 
present firm was formed. 

Mr. Murphy is a native of Rutland county, 
Vt., born November 3, 1860, and came to 
Minnesota with his parents in May, 1862. 
He is a son of Michael and Catherine (Clif- 
ford) Murph\', a history of whom is given 
elsewhere in this Album. He was reared and 
received the elements of his education in the 
district schools of Meeker county, and finished 
with a thorough course at the University, at 
St. John's, Minn., from which he was gradu- 
ated in 1882. He taught the Kingston 
village school the winter term of 1883-4, and 

later settled in the village and entered upon 
his present enterprise, which is the only store 
therein. He has held the office of justice of 
the peace for tAvo^'ears, and that of clerk of 
the townsiiip for quite a time. He was ap- 
pointed ))ostmasterin September, 1886, which 
position he holds at present. Mi'. IMui'iihy 
and Miss Ellen AVhalen were married Feb- 
ruary 20, 1887. The lady is a native of 
]\Ieeker county and daughter of Joim Wha- 
len, one of the oldest pioneers whose sketch 
is to be found in the pages of this volume. 

JAMES McCUE, blacksmith, at Greenleaf 
village, Meeker county, is a native of 
Ireland, born on the 10th of May, 1837. 
When he was but one year old, his parents, 
Timothy and Margaret McCue, emigrated to 
the United States and settled near Buffalo, 
N. Y. Mrs. McCue died soon afterward, and 
when James was ten years of age he was 
placed in a store at Hamilton, Ontario, where 
he remained until he reached his seventeenth 
year, at which time he was apprenticed to a 
blacksmith near Hamilton. Three years 
later, in 1857, he came to Minnesota, and 
located in Northfield, Rice county. In the 
fall of 1858 he went to California, where he 
remained about four years, engaged at mining 
and blacksmithing. Then, leaving there, he 
spent two or three years in Nevada and 
Montana, during the great mining excite- 
ment, and at the expiration of that time he 
returned to the States. After a trip to South- 
ern Kansas, he returned to Minnesota and 
settled in Renville county. In 1877 he left his 
family at Hutchinson and went to the Black 
Hills, D. T. After making several trips 
home, he finally, in 1879, returnetl to Ren- 
ville county, and continued to live there until 
1884, when he came to the village of Green- 
leaf, and established his present business. 
Being thoroughly skilled at his trade, he com- 



mands a good patronage. In 1886 he made 
a trip to Iluntsville, Ala., Init returned with- 
out giving tlie matter of locating there much 

Mr. McCue was married at the village of 
Greenleaf in 1873, to Miss Mary Kaler, a 
daughter of Christian and Almira Kaler, of 
Greenleaf township. Six children have been 
the fruit of this union, as follows — John E., 
born March 20, 1875; Stella A., born April 
9, 1877; Alford 0., born August 21, 1879; 
Effie May, born March 29, 1881; Margaret 
Myra, born March 13, 1883 ; Annie Ethel, 
born March 19, 1885. 

^^ICHAEL F. LENHARDT, a respected 
_M^J3^^ and enterprising farmer, who re- 
sides on section 1, Litchfield, was born in 
Saxon-Meiningen, Germany, on the SUth of 
October, 1827, and is a son of Michael and 
Margaret Lenhardt. He remained with his 
parents in his native land until 1853, when 
he came to America, landing in New Orleans 
shortly after the great yellow-fever scourge 
had abated. He located in St. Louis and re- 
mained there for two years, then went to 
Kansas, but, not being favorably impressed 
with the outlook there, he returned to St. 
Louis, and, the following 3'ear (185fi), he 
caTue to Meeker county, Minn., and took a 
claim on section 11, Litchfield township, 
where the village of Litchfield now stands. 
The following year he gave up that place 
and took a claim on section 1, in the same 
township, where he still lives. In 1859 
he was married to Eebecca Louhan, a 
native of Kentuck}', and two children were 
born to them, one of whom is deceased, 
and the other — Minne — is the wife of 
Frank Maetzold, of Litchfield. In 1803 Mrs. 
Lenhardt, the wife, and youngest child, died. 
In 1872 Mr. Lenhardt made a visit to his na- 
tive land, and while there Avas united in mar- 

riage with Margaret Peipus, a daughter of 
Mr. and Mrs. John Peipus. Four children 
were the result of this union — Kicke (de- 
ceased), Anna, August, and Bertha. 

At the time of the Indian outbreak, in 
1862, Mr. Lenhardt was ojierating his farm 
in a quiet way. He did not become much 
alarmed at first, but soon felt the gravity of 
the situation, and, on Wednesday following 
the massacre at Acton, he started with his 
family for Clearwater. The road en route 
was literally alive with people and stock, and 
the woods were full of panic-sti'icken beings. 
After remaining in Clearwater a short time, 
he concluded the matter was more a scare 
than anything else, and went back to his 
farm. He was not long in discovering, 
however, that the ]3eo]ile were not terrorized 
without cause, and, therefore, took his fam- 
ily to Forest City for safet}^, arriving there 
just before the Indians made the attack on 
the fort. After spending about one month 
at Forest City, Mr. Lenhardt Avent back to his 
farm for the winter, and the following year 
put in his crops and has since made that his 
home. He devotes his entire attention to 
farming and stock raising, and has a most 
pleasantly situated and comfortable home. 
He is one of the most highly respected old 
settlers and substantial citizens of the county. 


3ME ANS M. AKESSON, a resident of Swede 
_1?^ Grove township, is a son of Mons and 
Siselia Akesson. He was born in Sweden on 
the Sthof March, 1856, and remained in his 
native land until 1881, when he came to the 
LTnited States, and, aftei* spending two months 
in Wisconsin, jiushed on westward and located 
in Swede Grove township. Meeker county. 
Minn. On the 24th of November, 1882 
he was married to Miss Anna Olena Erickson 
the only daughter of Gerti'am and JMartha 
Erickson. The father of Anna died in Amer- 



ica, and the mother, Martha, came to the 
United States in 185", and in I860 was mar- 
ried to Christian Erickson, wiio died on the 
2(3th of March, 1882. Mrs. Erickson liad two 
children — Ilalvor Michelson, who was born 
February 11. 184t!, wiio Hves on section 32, 
Swede Grove townsiiip, and Anna Olena, now 
Mrs. Hans Akesson, wlio was born March 18, 
1864. Hans M. Akesson and his family live 
■with his wife's mother and cultivate the farm. 
Mrs. Erickson is an old settler in the town- 
ship and was here all through the " pioneer 
days." When the Indian trouble began she 
fled for her life with the others who were 
living here at that time. She fled in the 
night for Forest City for protection, and at 
onetime came very near losing her life, when 
Indian bullets were flvini; as thick as hail. 
As a full histor}' of those Indian times is 
given in another chapter of this work it is 
unnecessary to repeat it here. 

Mr. and Mrs. Akesson have been blessed 
with three children, whose names and 
ages are as follows — Martin Clarence, born 
May 6, 1883 ; Gotfried Casper, born Novem- 
ber 29, 1884 ; and Ilelmer Eugene, who was 
born on the 5th of November, 1886. 

M NOTHER pioneer of Meeker county 
j^^ is F. V. DeCostek, ex-jndge of pro- 
bate, and one of Litchfield's most prominent 
merchants. Mr. DeCc)ster was born in Buck- 
field, Me., on the I'.Hh of November, 1838. 
His parents were Varanes and Louisa 
(Thompson) DeCoster, both natives of the 
same State. F. V. remained at home until 
seventeen, working on a farm and attending 
school and at fifteen began teaching school. 
When seventeen he went to the city of Bos- 
ton and worked in a store for about a year, 
when he started west and brought up at 
Dunkirk, N. Y. A short time later he pushed 
on West to St. Anthonv, Minn., and remained 

there until the spring of 1858, when he located 
in the village of Kingston, Meeker county, 
and was there engaged in carpentering, teach- 
ing and in carrvintron the fur trade, remain- 
ing at this most of the time until the war 
broke out. He thus became personally ac- 
quainted with the famous Little Crow, the 
head of the massacre movement in 1862, and 
also with the chief Shakopee, buying fur 
and venison at various times of both these 
notables. In 1859-60 Mr. DeCoster left 
Kingston for atrip through the south, going 
to St. Louis, then to Cmcinnati, and then 
Natchez, Miss., where he had charge of the 
boats on the levee for a time. From there 
he went to New Orleans ; then Mobile ; and 
then to Montgomery, Ala., on the same boat 
that carried a lot of Southern planters who 
were on their way to attend a secession con- 
vention. After spending a short time at 
Savannah, Ga., Mr. DeCoster, returned to the 
North, and finally drifted to his old home in 
Buckfield, INIaine, where he remained some 
two weeks, and then returned to Kingston, 
Minn. Shortly after the war broke out, on 
the 25th of September, 1861, he enlisted in 
Company D, Fourth Minnesota Volunteer 
Infantr\", and went to Fort Aberci'ombie. In 
the spring of 1862, his company was assigned 
to the Army of theAVest in Tennessee. On the 
1st of Januai-y, 1863, he was made orderly 
sergeant of Company A, Firet Battalion Cav- 
alry, Mississippi Marine Brigade, and on the 
8th of July, in the same year, he was jJaced 
in command of Company D, as Captain and 
served until August 29, 1864. The business 
of the brigade was to keep the Mississippi 
river clear of Rebel forces who fired on 
transports, one of the most dangerous assign- 
ments in the service. The full bi'igade was 
carried on boats, and consisted of eight ma- 
rine fleet boats, with five rams, one regi- 
ment of infantry, battalion of cavalry and 
battery besides the rams. During this time 
Mr. DeCoster had two horses shot from un- 



der him, and in one engagement when they 
were surprised by SCO of the enemy in the 
canebrake the company had seventy horses 
shot out of 170. The night previous to this 
action they learned that the boat " Bostona" 
had been burned by the Rebels at Austin, 
Miss. The brigade was then 100 miles off 
but they started in haste and arrived at that 
point at four o'clock the following morning. 
Mr. DeCoster was ordered to take ten men 
and go into the country in search of the 
Eebels. When four miles out they came in 
sight of five of the Rebels and captured them. 
When about to return to the command the 
major of the brigade came up and they were 
ordered to push on, which they did, and when 
they had proceeded but a short distance they 
were met by the 800 rebels, and all hands of 
the Union men came near losing their lives. 
It is worthy of mention that their flag-ship. 
The Autocrat, was the second one at Vicks- 
burg. Mr. DeCoster continued in service on 
the river, participating in numerous engage- 
ments, until the 27th of August, 1801:, when 
he was mustered out, being made super- 
numerary by the consolidation of the 
brigade. After the close of the war he 
remained at St. Louis for some four 
months and then returned to Minnesota and 
engaged in the general mercantile trade at 
Kingston. This he conducted until 1868 
when he sold out and became interested in a 
flouring mill and remained in that until the 
spring of 1871, being justice of the peace 
most of the time and otherwise taking a 
prominent and active interest in public af- 
fairs. In the spring of 1871 he removed to 
Litchfield and again embarked in the general 
merchandise trade. This he continued until 
about 1879, when he changed his line and 
handled musical instruments, sewing ma- 
chines and notions. In 1887 he Avent into 
the jewelry business and now handles a line 
which includes jewelry, musical instruments, 
etc. In 1872 he was elected judge of pro- 

bate and served one term, and since that time 
has been court commissioner most of the 
time. He has also taken an active interest 
in educational mattei's and has held various 
oifices on the school board. He has also been 
a member of the council and taken an active 
interest in all public matters at Litchfield. 
Mr. DeCoster is a member of the Masonic 
fraternity, having joined the Golden Fleece 
Lodge, No. 89, when it was located at Forest 
City, and has always maintained his mem- 
bership. He is also a member of the Grand 
Army of the Republic, and was one of the 
charter members of the first post organized 
at Litclifield, and joined the present post soon 
after it was organized, and is identified with 
the " Survivors of the Mississippi River Ram 
Fleet and Marine Brigade." He is a mem- 
ber of the dramatic association, and was its 
manager for some two years. 

Mr. DeCoster was married in the spring of 
1871 to Miss Mary E. Campbell, of North 
Manchester, Conn. They have one child — 
Esther L., who was born on the 4th of Janu- 
ary, 1875. The family are members of the 
Presbyterian Church, and Mr. DeCoster has 
been supermtentlent of the Sunday-school of 
that church constantlv since 1871. 

JTOHN McINTEE, at present a resident of 
^ section 8, Manannah township, and a 
leading citizen of that neighborhood, was 
born in Ontario, Canada, on the 15th of 
August, 1852, and is a son of Nicholas and 
Margaret (Clark) Mclntee. His early life 
was spent in his native Dominion, but in 
1878 he came to Meeker county, Minn., and 
settled in Manannah township, where he still 
lives. He has a farm of 100 acres, with a 
good share of it under cultivation, and 
devotes his attention to general farming and 
stock liaising. He has been very successful 
and through his frugality and industry is 
now in verv comfortable circumstances. 



Mr. Mclntee was married on the 1st of 
June. 1S80, to Mary A. IStewart, and their 
marriage has been blessed with three chil- 
dren, named — William J., ISIary, and Marga- 
ret, all of whom are living and at home. 
The family are members of the Catholic 
Ghnrch. In political matters Mr. Mclntee's 
principles are independent of party, and he 
votes for the man rather than for creed. 

Mr. Mclntee's pai-ents were born in Ire- 
land, and l)oth of them died in Canada. Tiie 
father of Mrs. Mclntee was a native of Scot- 
land, and died in Canada ; her mother was a 
native of Ireland, and now lives in Meeker 

JplENRY J. BOYNTON, an energetic 
JiP^dL and prosperous farmer and stock- 
raiser of Forest Cit\' townsliip, lives upon 
section 16, where he settled in 1865. He is 
engaged, to a large extent, in the raising 
of cattle, and for a man of liis years is 
extremely active and business like, for he 
was born May IS, 1820. Lincolnville, 
Penobscot county, Maine, Avas the home of 
his pai'ents, Jeremiah and Sarah (Higgms) 
Boynton, at the time of his birth. His father 
was born in Kennebec county, that State, 
and his mother at Lincolnville. The former 
died in 1876, the latter in 186S. 

The subject of this narrative was reared 
in his native State, and until he was eleven 
veal's of age, attended school at Bradley, 
Penobscot county. At the age of thirteen 
he commenced life, lumbering ujion the rivers 
of Maine, and followed that business until 
he had reached the age of forty-five years. 
"With a view to change his mode of life he 
then removed westward and settled in 
Meeker county, where he has since made his 
home. He has been connected with several 
of the town offices since his coming here, 
and merits and receives the warmest esteem 
and respect of ail wlio know liini. 

U])on tlie Otli of August, 1841, Mr. Boyn- 
ton and Miss Euth Eaton, jjledged their 
mutual vows at the marriage altar. Tlie 
lady is a native of Kova Scotia, and daugh- 
ter of Guy and Lydia (Rockwell) Eaton, 
natives of Nova Scotia, who had moved to 
the above province some time before the 
l)irtli of their daughter. By this union Mr. 
and Mrs. Boynton have a family of nine 
children, as follows: Mary Ann, wife of 
Andrew Gilchrist; Albert, in Minneapoh's ; 
Lewyn, who married Miss Lizzie Abbott, and 
is living in Eden Valley ; Louisa, Mrs. "Wra. 
Peters; Charles; Eldora, the wife of Rollin 
Thorp, of "Wright county ; Lizzie, wjio 
married Rev. L. L. Tower, and is living at 
Princeton, this State ; Alonzo, residing at 
home ; and Effie, Mrs. D. Lounsberry, of Man- 
annah township. 

Mr. Bovnton is a life-long democrat, cast- 
ing his first vote for the candidate of that 
party in 1841. He and his family are mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and 
he has occujned the position of steward and 
class leader in that denomination for some 
time, and was quite prominently identified 
with the building up of the congregation at 
Forest Citv. 


/^^\NE OF THE enterprising farmers of 
VS^/ Kingston toAvnship is H. Y. Rumsey, 
who lives on section 8, township 120, range 
29 west, where he also carries on stock rais- 
ing. He is a native of Cortland county, N. 
Y., Ijorn April 27, 1848, and is the son of 
L. H. and Mary A. (A'incent) Rumsey, who 
came to INIinnesota, in 1868, from "Wisconsin, 
where tliev had been living for vears, and 
settled in Kingston, where they still live. 
Our suljject was one of two children born to 
his parents, his sister being the wife of 
Kelson Turner, of whom a sketch is given 
elsewhere in thisAi.nrM. 



The subject of this memoir spent bis 
school days in Fond da Lac county, Wis., and, 
until attaining his majority, assisted his 
father in the labor of carrying on the farm. 
He came with the family to this county, 
and, after coming of age, engaged in agri- 
cultural pursuits upon his own account, tak- 
ing up a homestead, where he now lives, and 
to which he has added until he now owns 
ISO acres of fine land. He was married. 
New Year's day, 1873, to Miss Anna M. 
Kline, a native of Michigan, born in Flint, 
Genesee county, October IS, IS-iO, and 
daughter of James A. and Ann (Shimin) 
Kline. She was reared and educated in 
Winnebago county, 111., whither her parents 
had moved at an early day, and came to this 
county with the family. A biography of 
hor father appears in the pages of this 

By their union Mr. and Mrs. Riunsey are 
the parents of one child — Elton K., born 
October 26, 1S78. Mr. Rumsey is a democrat 
in his political views, and usually supports 
the candidates and measures of that organ- 
ization. He is the jjresent treasurer of school 
district No. 7i. and has held that office since 
it was organized. 

fOHN HURLEY, one of the pioneers of 
Meeker county, and one of its i-epre- 
seutative men, is a resident of Ellsworth 
township, and is engaged in carrying on his 
farm on section 8. He came here in 1S5S, 
and took up his claim where he now lives, 
and there remained until the Indian troubles 
of 1862. During those fearful, tragic 
days he left here and went to Fremont and 
Clearwater, and from thence back to Kins's- 
ton, and from there, finall}', to what is now 
Darwin, where he remained some two years. 
He then returned to his farm, where he has 
ever since made his home. His original 

claim consisted of some 160 acres, but he now 
has nearly doulile that number of acres, and 
his farm is Ijrought, to a hio'li state of culti- 

Mr. Hurley is a native of that "bright 
gem of the sea," Ireland, born in County 
Cork in the year 1S2.5, and is the son of 
Dennis and Mary (DriscoU) Hurley, both of 
Avhom were, also, natives of the Emei'ald 
Isle. Dennis Hurley died in his native land 
in 18i7, and his widow came to the United 
States in 1864 or 1805, and after a stay in 
New York and Pittsburg, came to Minne- 
apolis, and from thence to this county, where 
she died September 29. 1872. They were 
the parents of seven children, one of whom 
died in infancy. 

Mr. Hui'ley, of whom we write, was united 
in marriage in February, 1S51, with Miss El- 
len White, who was born in Ireland in May, 
1819, and who came to America with her 
parents in 1844, and settled in Pittsburg, 
Pa. She died in March, 1887, having been 
the mother of four children — Mary. Ellen, 
Ann and John. Mary died in Pennsyl- 
vania in 1857, at the age of two years ; John 
died October 15. 1887, of typhoid fever, the 
others are at home with their father. 

In his political views Mr. Hurley is entirely 
independent of paity lines, and non-partisan 
in the discharge of his elective franchise. 
He has held the office of director of his 
school district, and takes great interest in all 
educational work. As a progressive, enter- 
prising man he is the peer of any in the 

-— «"?^^ "<" ■ 

/^^ RICK W. NELSON, a young and euter- 
\^^ prising farmer of Dassel township, is 
also engaged, in company with N. J. Lind, 
in carrying on the saloon business in the 
village of that name. He is a native of 
Sweden, born among its beautiful scenes 



October 14, 1856, anil is the son of Peter 
and Mary ]SIelson. lie came to America, 
when but twelve years of age, in company 
with his parents, who took up railroad land 
and settleil on section 35, Dassel township, 
in 1868, where the father of our subject made 
his homo until overtaken by death in 1S83. 
Erick remained with Jiis parents upon the 
family homestead until their death, and 
then came to the village, of Dassel, and was 
employed as a clerk in a store until May, 
1886, when he embarked in the saloon busi- 
ness, as above mentioned. He is carrying 
on a farm of sixty acres, a portion of the 
parental estate, and has made quite a success 
in life for a young man. Self-reliant, with- 
out obstrusiveness, and straight forward in 
his dealings, he is bound to succeed in life, 
and his business tact will insure his finan- 
cial elevation. 

"OHN PETERSON, better known as B. 
W. Peterson, one of the leading farmers 
of Collinwood township, and one of its most 
enterprising citizens, is a native of Sweden, 
born October IS, 1825, and is the son of 
Peter Johnson and his wife, Jennie (Matson) 
Johnson. He was reared and educated in 
his native land, and was an inmate of his 
father's house until he liad attained the age 
of thirty-eight. December 25, 1850, he was 
united in marriage with Miss Mary Olson, 
and for three years thereafter made his home 
with the old folks. Purchasing a timber 
farm, he then took up his residence upon it, 
and made it his home until 1867, clearing off 
the timber and cultivating its soil, when 'he 
sold out and emigrated to the new world in 
search of a home in the land of the free. 
Coming to Minnes(jta on landing, he at first 
settled in Carver county, but two years after 
removed to this county and purchased eighty 
acres of land on section ?>G, Collinwood town- 

shi]), where he now lives. All of the im- 
provements upon his place are the result of 
his own enei'gy and diligence, and are a 
credit to his industry. 

Mr. and Mrs. I'eterson are the parents of 
six children, of whom the following is the 
record — Jennie, born March 17, 1852, mar- 
ried Paul Anderson, and lives in Wright 
county; Olof, born January 24, 1860, mar- 
ried Miss Betsy Larsen, and resides in this 
township; Martha, born August 24, 1854, 
and is the wife of B. N. Peterson, of Cokato, 
this State; John, born September 6, 1862; 
Peter, who was born in 1857 and died in 
1859; and Peter, born in 1865 and died in 
1877. Although a poor man when he came 
here, Mr. Peterson has, by the exercise of 
excellent judgment and hard work, placed 
himself in acondition of comparative comfort. 



M ^NDREW LARSON, who resides on sec- 
_^^ tion 16, Litclilield township, is one of 
the most extensive farmers and stock-raisers 
in Meeker county. He was born in Sweden 
on the 31st of October, 1843, but left his 
native land with his parents, John and Celia 
Larson, and came to America in 1857. The 
family came direct to Meeker countj^ Minn., 
and settled on section 9, Litchfield township. 
Andrew remained with his parents about one 
year thereafter, and then voluntarily threw 
himself on his own resources, and began the 
struggle of life alone, working as a farm 
hand at small monthly wages. "When the 
Indian outbreak came he was yet a mere 
boy, but entered into the contest for the pro- 
tection of life and ]H'operty with the spirit of 
a veteran. On that fatal Suiulay, August 
17, 186;^, he was at a gathering of citizens of 
the neigiiborhood at the old Pi])ley ]iost- 
ottice, where they were discussing the matter 
of securing substitutes to go into the array, 
when the news came of the killing of five 



persons at Acton. The next day he went 
over to the scene with the party raised for 
the rescue and protection of the people in 
that neighborliood. Andrew was detailed, 
along with Andrew Ingerman to go to lakes 
Lillian and Elizabeth and extend the alarm 
to the settlers thereabouts. At first the set- 
tlers were loth to believe the story, and were 
with difficulty induced to flee for their lives. 
Andrew remained with the garrison at Forest 
City until the 15th of September, when he 
was sworn into the State service with the 
rest of the original company. After return- 
ing from the campaign with this company he 
enlisted in Company C, Mounted Hangers 
of the United States service, for one year, 
and did duty on the frontierduring the time, 
protecting settlers, and witnessed many evi- 
dences of Indian atrocity and brutality that 
were blood-curdling and heart-rending in the 
extreme, and also participated in several 'en- 
gagements with the red skins. In the fall 
of 1863 he was honorably discharged from 
this service, and in August, 1864, enlisted in 
Company 13, Eleventh Minnesota Infantry, 
and remained in the service until the close of 
the war. The reo'iment was first assigned to 
the Second Army Corps, but was subse- 
quently ordered to Nashville to assist General 
Thomas in resisting Hood's great Tennessee 
raid. The regiment was engaged in the bat- 
tle of Nashville, and afterward did patrol 
duty on the Nashville & Chattanooga rail- 
road. On the 26th of June, 1865, Mr. Larson 
was mustered out of service, and on return- 
ing home took an eighty-acre homestead and 
at once began improving it. 

In 1S68 Andrew Larson was married to 
Anna Larson, daughter of Peter Larson, 
whose farm adjoined the homestead belong- 
ing to Andrew's father. Anna Larson was 
born on the 6th of January, 1849. Their 
marriage has been blessed witli four children, 
all of whom are living at home. Their 
names are Alice E., Edward A., Charlotte 

M., and Harry J. Mr. Larson has taken a 
commendable interest in public matters, and 
has held various offices of a local character;, 
he has held the office of constable for about 
sixteen years, doing duty in some of the- 
most trying times in the history of th& 
county. His industry and careful manage- 
ment have enal)led him to acquire a good 
share of this world's goods, and he is now 
well oif . He owns a farm of over a thousand 
acres, most of which is under cultivation. 



the honored citizens of the village of 
Litchfield there are very few that hold the 
place in the esteem and respect of the com- 
munity to the degree that Mr. Flynn does_ 
Closely connected with the business and 
social life of the place, an honored and rep- 
resentative pioneer citizen of Meeker county,, 
and the talented and worthy recipient of leg- 
islative laurels bestowed by this people, he- 
occupies a prominent place in its annals. 

Mr. Flynn is a native of Kane county, 
III., born August 15, 1840, and is the son of 
John and Ann (Lynch) Flynn, natives of 
Ireland. His parents came to America about- 
1836, and were married at Chicago, 111. 
From there they moved to Kane county, 
111., where they resided many years. In 
1856, he came to Meeker count}' with his- 
parents who settled in Forest City township. 
In 1859 the father died and Michael, although 
but nineteen years of age, took upon him- 
self the management of the farm and the 
support of the family, but being endowed 
with a strong will and excellent judgment, 
felt competent to grapple with the responsi- 
bilities of the situation. During the dread- 
ful days of the Indian massacre in 1862, h© 
found his hands full in endeavoring to pro- 
tect his charge, and the stock, from the red 

fiends who 



the border with. 



tomahawk, rifle and torch. His home duties 
prevented Iiis joining "Whitcomb's Irregu- 
lars," l)ut when the occasion offered he was 
not baclvward in vokniteering to assist in 
lielj)ing those more exposed than themselves, 
and incurred many peinls in the discharge of 
his duty. On one occasion, when out with a 
))arty who left the stockade at Forest City on 
one of their many errands of mercy, the little 
band was assaulted by a liost of tlie rutliless, 
retl-handed, murdering Sioux, and forced to 
flee for their lives. Tiiis was the famous expe- 
dition that was driven back l)y over 300 Indi- 
ans to the fortifications they had erected, 
with the loss of one horse and wagon that 
had stuck fast in the mud of a slough. In 
JN^ovember, 1803, Mr. Flynn's domestic 
arrangements permitting his absence, he 
enlisted in Company D, Second Minnesota 
Cavalry, and joined General Sully's column 
on the Missouri river, and i)articipated with 
the regiment in all the engagements n|)on 
the frontier, the regiment having been 
assigned for that duty on account of being- 
cavalry. He remained in the service until 
November or December, 1865, when, being- 
honorably discharged, he returned to the 
farm, where he made his home, engaged in 
agricultural ]>ursuits until 1870, when he 
came to Litchfield and took charge of the 
lumber yard belonging to Ciiauncey Butler. 
Three yeai-s he remained in that position, 
but in 1873 purchased the lumber yard of J. 
H. Morris, which he carried on ahme until 
1874, when his brother Daniel joined him 
and the present Arm was formed. They 
added tlie sale of agricultural implements to 
their business, a branch which they still pur- 
sue, having disposeil of their lumber inter- 
ests in 1S7S, but still carry evei-ything in the 
way of farm macliinery. In 1880 the broth- 
ers purchased the Butlei' elevator and do 
about the heaviest grain tratle in Litchfield, 
handling about 175,000 bushels of wheat per 
annum. In addition to his mercantile 

engagements, Mi\ Flynn has a farm of 480 
acres of flneland in Harvey townshi]), where 
he carries on, quite extensiveh", the raising of 

Our subject has always held a ])rominent 
place in the official history of Meeker county, 
and taken a deep interest in the welfai'e of 
its peo})le. In 1867 he served upon the 
board of county commissioners, and, appre- 
ciating his worth in 1884, he was elected to 
the State Legislature and served in the 
House during the session of the Twenty- 
fourth Assembly. When the city of Litch- 
field came under its new charter in 1887, he 
was chosen its first mayor. He has large 
interests in the woolen mill, and is the presi- 
dent of the board of directors of the same ; 
is a member of the Frank Daggett Post, G. 
A. Pt. ; of Father Mathew's Total Absti- 
nence Society, and a leading and influential 
meniber of the Eoman Catholic Church. 

Mr. Flynn and ]\Iiss Frances Campbell 
were united in marriage February 8, 1869. 
The lady is a native of Kane county. 111., and 
sister of Hon. William M. Campbell, the 
United States Marshal of this district. By 
this union there have been born six children — 
John, who is a student at the college at 
Notre Dame, Ind. ; Louise, Elizabeth, 
Marv. Finances and Edward AVilliam. 


M lFRED J. JOHNSON, a successful 

pv^ farmer and stock-raiser, residing on 
section 16, Danielson township, is one nf the 
most prominent citizens of the township in 
which lie lives. He is a son of Isaac and 
Hannah Ogi'en, and was born in Sweden, on 
the '2'^'A of September, 18.">3. He came to the 
United States with his parents, in 1870, and 
the family made their way directly to 
Meeker county, Minn., where they settled 
upon a forty -acre homestead on section 20, in 
Danielson township. Alfred mad(>liis home 



with his parents, working, in the mean time, 
for different parties, until 18S0, when he pur- 
chased a portion of his present farm. Times 
were very hard during the early days of theh' 
settlement here, and money was scarce, an 
incident of whicli is the fact that at one time, 
when they wanted to mail a letter, it took all 
the money that three of thetn had to buy a 
three-cent stamp. Alfred did a good deal of 
trapping in those days, and in the fall, after 
frost set in, he walked to Forest City bare- 
footed, and carried 500 rat skins. With the 
proceeds he purchased a pair of shoes, some 
sugar, coffee, etc., and felt quite rich when 
he arrived home with seventy-five cents in his 
pocket. The loss of crops in 1877, from the 
depredations of the grasshoppers, made times 
still harder, as they onlv saved forty -five 
bushels, after planting 100. A laughable 
incident is told of the days when Alfred de- 
voted a good deal of his time to trapping. 
He had a partner, and one day they set a 
trap in the side of a hill for the purpose of 
catching whatever might come along. The 
next day the partner went to discover and 
bring in whatever might have found its way 
to the hole. He crawled into the aperture, 
and was just about to pull the trap out when 
a skunk, which had got fast, opened hostil- 
ities with most excellent aim at his face. 
The partner beat a hastj^ retreat, while the 
fun of the joke was all on Alfred's part. 

Alfred J. Johnson was married on the 7th 
of December, 1S81, to Esther Holmgren, a 
daughter of John and Mary Holmgren, who 
was born October 16, 1862. They have been 
blessed with the following children — Gustaf 
Edward, born September 24, 1883; Edith 
Evolina, born June 25, 1885; and "Walter 
William, born September 30, 1886. Mr. and 
Mrs. Johnson are members of the Methodist 
Church. Mr. Johnson now has a splendid 
farm of 260 acres, a good share of which is 
under cultivation, and he devotes his time to 
general farming and stock-raising. In addi- 

tion to his farming operations, he has for the 
last fourteen years run a horse-power 
thresher, and during the last two years has 
run a steam thresher. In political matters he 
is a republican, and he has taken an active in- 
terest in all mattei's affecting the welfare of 
his township. He has held various offices of 
a local nature, among which are the follow- 
ing : justice of the peace, six years ; super- 
visor, two years, and school clerk, one year. 
Mrs. Johnson's parents are living in Acton. 
Alfred's parents reside on section 20, Dan- 
ielson township. He has two half-brothers 
living in Meeker county — Andrew, who 
keeps a hotel at Litchfield, and John, a res- 
ident of Danielson. 

j^HARLES McALOON, a respected and 
i^^ well-to-do farmer, residing on section 
2, Harvey township, is a native of Ireland, 
and was born in 1835. His father died in 
his native land, and in 1853 he started for 
America with his mother, arriving at Boston 
on the 19th of May. He went direct to 
Lowell, Mass., where he was emj^loyed in 
the factories for fourteen years. At the end 
of that time he started for Meeker county, 
Minn., and upon his arrival, after stopping 
for one night at Forest City, he settled in 
Manannah township, where he lived for 
about six months. He then took a home- 
stead in what is now^ Forest Prairie town- 
ship, and lived there until May, 1871:, when 
he again settled in Manannah township. On 
the Irth of October, 1885. he settled on sec- 
tion 2, in Harvey township, where he still 
lives. He has a valuable farm, a large, com- 
fortable residence and other substantial farm 
improvements. Mr. McAloon's mother died 
while he was living at Lowell, Mass. 

On the 1st of October, 1871, our subject 
was married to Miss Mary McQuade, and 
their union has been blessed with nine chil- 



dren, as follows — John F., born July 2, 
1872, died July 2G, 1873, and buried in For- 
■est City cemetery ; Charles II., born Decem- 
ber 7, 1873; an infant, born July 6, 1871:, 
•died at birth ; Matthew E., born November 
6, 1876; Eosella, born November 11, 1878; 
Mary C, born October 30, 1880; Alice A., 
l)orn September 18, 1882; Hannah E., born 
May 15,1881; Catharine A., born October 
12, 1886, died P'ebruary 10, 1887, and buried 
in Manannah cemetery. Mrs. McAloon's 
parents were l)oth natives of Ireland. Her 
-mother died in her native land, and the 
father is now living in Swift count}', Minn. 
Mr. McAloon and wife are exemplary and 
active members of the Catholic Church. In 
political affairs Mr. McAloon does not follow 
the arbitrary dictation of any party, but acts 
in an independent manner. He owes all his 
prosperity to his own industry and frugality, 
as he started in the woi-ld without a dollar, 
but the same habits of thrift, economy and 
energy which characterize the natives of the 
Emerald Isle, have been successful in his 
■case, and he is now well off in this world's 
goods. He owns 400 acres of land, a good 
share of which is under cultivation, and he 
has the place well stocked. 

IM^ERSVEND S. THORP is one of the 
1^^ many thrifty and suljstantial farmers 
■of Acton township. He was born in Norway 
on the 18th of January, 1841, and is the son 
■of Severt and Brynnil Thorp. He came to 
the United States in 1860, and settled iirst 
in Goodhue county, Minn., where he remained 
for a short time at work for diffei'ent parties; 
then went to Minneapolis and drifted around 
from one business to another, and from place 
to place, until 1868, when he came to Meeker 
county and took a homestead of eighty acres 
on section 8, in Acton townsliip, where he 
has since lived. He has added to his home- 

stead, and now has a fann of 270 acres, well 
stocked and improved, and has fine farm 
buildings. IMr. Thorp was a poor man when 
he came to America, but the industry and 
economy, so characteristic of his country- 
men, have been successful in his case, and he 
is now well off. 

Mr. Thorp was married in July, 1869, at 
Acton, to Miss Beretli MaJvig. They have 
had the following children — Ole, born August 
23, 1870, died same day; Regine, born 
December 9, 1871, died March 11, 1877; 
Severt, born August 17, 1873, died in Octo- 
ber, 1877; Severt, born August .5, 1874; 
Pauline, born December 18, 1876, died same 
day; Bertha, born April 12, 1879, died in 
September, 1879 ; and Olena, born January 
31, 1884. In political matters, Mr. Thorp is 
a republican, and in religious affairs the 
family are members of the Norwegian Luth- 
eran Church. Mr. Thorp devotes his atten- 
tion to diversified farming and stock-raising. 
He has met with some reverses, but nothing 
of a very serious character, except during 
the grasshopper raids, when he lost about 
half his crops. 


l^RANK NELSON, one of the represent- 
1^^ ative young farmers of Cosmos town- 
ship, has his home upon section 16, where he 
now owns some 200 acres of fine land. This 
place, or, rather, 160 acres of it, he purchased 
in 1886, it being school land. To it he has 
since added forty acres more, and has some 
11.5 acres of it under cultivation. His dwell- 
ing, etc., which he erected in 1887, are of an 
excellent character, and the whole place man- 
ifests the thrift and care of its owner. 

Mr. Nelson, who is the son of Swan and 
Louisa Nelson, was born in Goodhue county 
March 2, 1864, and came to Meeker county 
with his parents on the 26th of September, 
1876. The family located in the town of 



Litchfield, where our subject remained until 
coming here. June 10, 1887, he and Miss 
Mary Petereon were united iu marriage, and 
took up the duties of life upon their farm. 

Our subject has always manifested consid- 
erable interest in all town and educational 
matters, and since coming here has been 
intrusted with the office of clerk of school 
district No. 81. 



'OHN CARNEY, the able representative 
of the hardware trade at Eden Valley, 
came to that village iu the fall of 1886,' and 
the next spring established his present busi- 
ness. In addition to the usual lines handled, 
he gives a share of his attention to farm ma- 
chinery and }nimps. 

Mr. Carney is a native of Rutland county, 
Yt., born February 17, 185*3, and a son of 
Jeremiah and Catherine (McConnell) Carney, 
natives of Ireland and Vermont, respectively. 
When our subject was only about four years 
of age his parents removed to Eice county, 
Minn., where they settled on a farm. In the 
spring of 1878 they moved to Chippewa 
county and took a homestead and timber 
claim, where they still live. In Rice county 
John Carney grew up, receiving his educa- 
tion in the district schools of the vicinity. 
He made his home with his parents, and 
learned the blacksmith's trade. In 1886 he 
came to Eden Valley and opened a smithy, but 
the next spring commenced dealing in hard- 
ware, which business he still follows. 



Foremost among 

[1^_ the old pioneers of Meeker county, 
who yet remain here, is the gentleman who 
is the subject of this memoir. Coming here 
in 1857, the second year of the county's ex- 
istence, he has, more or less, been identified 

with its history, ever since. He is a resident 
of the town of Forest City, on his farm on 
section 29 and 30, which he preempted on 
his arrival in tiiis localit3^ 

Mr. Gorton was born in the county of 
Steuben, N". Y., May 22, 1822, and is the son 
of Silas and Betsey (Spring) Gorton, both 
of whom were natives of the " Empire State." 
He was one of a family of nine children 
born to his parents, the others being — 
Horatio, Betsey, Jane, Stephen D., Elmira, 
Hiram, William and Milo. Milo, a member 
of a New York Regiment, was killed at the 
battle of Resaca, Ga. 

Our subject is the grandson of Peleg 
Gorton, one of the six proprietors of Painted 
Post, N. Y., and was reared in that vicinity, 
and there received the elements of a common 
school education. On the 3d of July, 
1859, he was united in marriage with Miss 
Harriett C. Marks, a native of New York 
State, also. 

At the time of the Indian outbreak, Mr. 
Gorton's wife and he took refuge in Forest 
Cit}', and upon the memorable morning of 
the 23d of August, when nearly everybody 
had fled from the county, Milton Gorton 
was one of the little band of heroes who 
remained to make a stand at Forest City, in 
defense of their homes, as detailed in the 
history of the massacre in this volume. Mr. 
Gorton lost heavily by these troubles, the 
Sioux burning his house and its contents, and 
destroying everytfiing else that they could 
about the 2)lace. lie has, however, fully 
recovered from the setback, and is one of 
the large land owners and prosperous farmers 
of the county, owning over a full section of 
some of the best land in the town of Forest 

Mr. Gorton, having no children of his 
own, adopted Ida A. Fergerson, when she 
was but five years of age. She was born 
April 17, 1873, and is the daughter of George 



Our subject is a stanch republican in his 

political views, but has had but little desire 

for political preferment, although he has, at 

. times, been induced to accept several town 



JOHN BIRCH, of the firm of Birch & 
Nelson, Litchfield, is a native of Sweden, 
born August 21, 1840, and is the son of An- 
drew and Martha (Johnson) Birch. He re- 
mained in his native land until ISOS, when, 
with a natural wish to better his financial 
condition, he bade adieu to the old world and 
souo-ht in America a new home. He had 
served a long apprenticeship in the land of 
his birth, to the trade of tailor, and on land- 
ing on these shores, worked at journey work 
in that trade in the city of St. Paul, whither 
he had come, until 1880, when he removed 
to Litchfield, and in company with Andrew 
Nelson, founded the business now represented 
by Mr. Birch and Easmus Nelson, trading 
under the firm name of Birch & Nelson, in 
the clothing and gents' furnishing goods 
line. Mr. Birch is a mendjer of the I. O. 
O. F., having joined that order while in St. 

Mr. Birch was married January 4, 1873, to 
Miss Sarah Johnson, a daughter of Olaf 
Johnson, of this county, and a native of 
Sweden. They have three children— Aman- 
da Elizabeth, Ella Hannah and Horace John. 


JETER SANGREEN, a hard-working and 
_^p industrious farmer, living on section 9, 
Collinwood township, was born in Sweden in 
1856, and is the son of Andrew Peter and 
Eve Anderson. "When he was about sixteen 
years of age he left his native shores and 
emigrated to America, and located in St. 
Louis county, Minn. For three years there 

he was employed in railroad work, and then 
came to Collinwood, where his parents had 
come, that year, 1876, and took uj) his home 
beneath their roof. One year later he rented 
a farm, upon which he carried on the avoca- 
tion of a farmer, and then purchased forty 
acres of land where he now lives. The neat 
impi'ovements in the way of liouse, granary, 
stable, etc., have all been erected by himself, 
and he is in a fair way to achieve success in 
life through energy, industry and frugality. 
He has held the office of town clerk five 
years; chairman of the board of supervisors 
one year; side supervisor two years, and the 
responsible position of county commissioner 
for two years, and always with credit to him- 
self and honor to the judgment of those who 
placed him in those capacities. 

Mr. Sangreen was united in marriage 
March 6, ISSO, with Miss Caroline Dohlman, 
a native of Sweden, born August 5, 1858, 
and daughter of Olaf and Caroline Dohlman. 


ITOHN S. LARSON, a prominent citizen 

f) of Dassel village, is engaged in the 
retail liquor business. Born in Yaermlan, 
Sweden, March 24, 1857, he is the son of 
John and Mar\' Larson, natives of Swetlen. 
He came to Meeker county with his parents 
in 1870, when he was about twelve years of 
age. The family settled upon a farm in 
section 30, Dassel township, where his par- 
ents still live. 

John remained at home, assisting his father 
in the labors incident to farm life, until 1874, 
when he entered the employ of the St. Paul, 
Minneapolis & Manitoba Eailroad, at St. 
Paul, with whom he remained for a couple 
of years. In 1879 he returned to this county 
and settled at the village of Dassel, where he 
entered the service of Andrew Linquist, as 
bartender, and fulfilled the duties of that 
position until 1882. In the latter year he 



entered into a proprietorsbip with John 
Thomas, in the same hne, but sliortly after 
J. H. Eemick, having bought out Mr. Thomas, 
the firm of Eeraick & Larson was formed. 
In February, 1883, their place of business 
was desti'oyed b}' fire, and our subject lost 
his entire stock of clothes, except those he 
had on and considerable of his stock in trade. 
At once, in companj^ with J. II. Remick and 
Thomas Gallagher, he commenced the erec- 
tion of the Dassel house, but before its com- 
pletion IVIr. Larson sold out his interest in 
the hotel, only reserving the saloon part, 
where he now carries on the business. 

Mr. Larson was married, in 1883, to Miss 
Emma J. Bunting, who was called away 
by death May 31, 1885, leaving without a 
mother's love and care, their little girl, Ella 

/f^LA NELSON, a thrifty and successful 
^^i£} farmer, Avho resides on section 36, 
Litchfield township, is a native of Sweden, 
born October t), 1848. His father, Nels 
Swanson, was born in Sweden in 1822, and 
died in Meeker county in 1875, having settled 
hei-e in 1872. Ola's mother, Hannah Swan- 
son, was born in 1819, came to America in 
1871, and died in 1884. 

Ola Nelson came to the United States in 
1866, and in 1869 he located on section 36, 
Litchfield township. Meeker count}', Minn., 
Avliere he has since lived. During that time 
he has continually followed farming, and has 
been reasonably successful, notwithstanding 
the reverses which he has met, including the 
destruction of his crop two seasons by grass- 
hoppers and hail, and the burning of his 
residence, with all its contents, March 2, 

In 1878 Mr. Nelson was married to Ellen 
Hawkinson, a daughter of Hogan Peterson. 
Their marriage has been blessed with four 

children — Amanda, Mary, Alice and Anna. 
Mr. Nelson has a valuable farm and devotes 
his attention to stock raising and general 


*paiiL industrious 

ROACH, an enterprising, 
and energetic farmer 
of Forest Prairie township, living upon sec- 
tion 4, is the son of Michael J. and Sarah J. 
(Wynn) Eoach, a sketch of whom is given 
elsewhere in the pages of this volume. "Will- 
iam was born in Cass county, Indiana, July 
1, 1848, and received his earlier schooling in 
that locality. In 1866 he came to this county 
with his parents and passed his time between 
that and his majority in attending school and 
in assisting his father to cany on the farm. 
About the year 1 871 he commenced the bat- 
tle of life for himself, engaging in agricult- 
ural pursuits upon the place wiiere he now 
resides, and where he has met with merited 

Mr. Eoach was united in marriage Febru- 
ary 26, 1871, with Miss Matilda Kisinger. 
The lady is a native of Fulton county, Ind., 
and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Kising- 
er. Her mother is among those who have 
gone to their rest in the land of the blest ; 
but her father is still living. Bv this marriae-e 
Mr. and Mrs. Eoach have a family of eight 
children — Matilda, Emma, Henry, Eosa, 
Nettie, William, Monroe, all living at home, 
and George and John deceased. 

Mr. Eoach is a democrat politically, and has 
served in some of the local offices in this town- 
ship. He is a veteran of the late war, enlist- 
ing in 1862 in the Twenty-first Indiana 
Heavy Artillery, but was honorably dis- 
charged from the service, after a short term, 
and returned to his home. 

In regard to his pioneer life here, Mr. 
Eoach writes — "When I first came to this 
county, in 1867, I got my living by hunting 



and trapping. In 1S71 I threw down the 
gnn iuul trap and went to farming. About 
the first money I earned I carried a Ijushel of 
potatoes from Forest City for AVilliani M. 

JOHN OLSON, a steady, thrifty farmer 
of Kingston township, came to Meeker 
county in IsfiS, and took a liomestead of 
eighty acres of knd on section 34, where he 
now liv^es. He was born in Sweden, Novem- 
ber 8, 1830. In 1SG5 he determined to seek 
in the new world his fortune, and emigrated 
thither, landing at Xew York, but came at 
once West and was engaged at various kinds 
of labor in St. Paul, Stillwater and in the 
pinery, until he came to this county. He is 
the son of Ole and Anna Flink, the former of 
whom was always a farmer. Our subject 
was one of a family of ten children, but he is 
the only survivor. 

Mr. Olson was married to Miss Sabrina 
Olson, by Rev. John L. Fasig, and they are 
the parents of si.x children — Selina, born 
November 5, 1870; Obenius, born August 
31, 1872 ; Alva Josia, born August 2-4, 1874 ; 
Johan Adolph, born May 23, 1876 ; Hilma, 
born March 26, 1878, and Caleb Sethur, born 
September 30, 1881. This was Mr. Olson's 
second marriage, he having wedded Miss 
Josephine Peterson, at Stockholm, Sweden, 
but she died after about eighteen months' 
time. Mr. Olson and his family are zealous 
members of the Missionary Church at Kings- 
ton. In politics he is a republican. 

• ■* > •S^^"^- 

^^^ICHAEL LOVETT, deceased, was at 
J^ili^ one time a ])rominent citizen of 
^lanannah township. He was a native of 
County Cavan, Ireland, and came to the 
United States about the year 1848, and 

located in tiie city of Boston, Mass. Two 
years later he went to the State of Xew 
York, wliere he also lived for about two 
years, after which he removed to Canada. 
That Dominion was his home for about 
eighteen j'ears, and then, in 1870, he came 
with his family to Meeker county, Minn., 
and located on a farm in what is now ^Manan- 
nah township, where he remained until the 
time of his death, on tlie 29th of April, 1879. 
He was married to Miss Bridget Fanley, who 
still survives him. They had a family of 
nine children, five girls and four boys, whose 
names were as follows — Bridget, Alice, Peter, 
Catherine, Mar}', Ann, John, Michael and 
James. All of the cliildren are still living, 
except Mary and Alice. The widow still 
carries on the place, which consists of eight}' 
acres of land. She is a member of the Cath- 
olic Church, and holds the res])ect of all who 
know her. 

James Lovett, a son of Michael, who owns 
forty acres of land in the township of Manan- 
nah, was born in Canada on the 13th of 
November, 1865, and still resides with his 
mother. He is also a member of the Catho- 
lic Church, and in political matters he acts 
independently of party creed, and votes for 
the man rather than party. 

.^^L STAEDT, of Litchfield, was born in 
Prussia, Germany, in 1845, and is the son of 
Frederic and Louisa (Manns) von Eckstaedt. 
His father was a captain in the army of Prus- 
sia, and served in the wars of Napoleon. 
Later in his life he was the occupant of an 
important position in tlie custom house of 
that State, and died in his native land in 
1854. He was of the aristocratic class, as 
the "von" before his name jilainly shows. 

Albert, at the age of thirteen, was sent to 
the military school at Berlin, where he re- 



mtiined some three years, and at the age of 
sixteen received a commission as lieutenant 
in the Second Pomeranian Lancers, and 
served in the army for four years. In 1865 
he left the fatherland and came to Amer- 
ica, where he traveletl for a couple of years, 
most of the time on the Pacific slope. In 
1878 he came to Litchfield, and for two years 
was in the employ of John Eodange, and at 
the expiration of that time entered into part- 
nership with the same gentleman in the sa- 
loon business. In 1SS2 the subject of this 
memoir opened his present place of business 
on Sibley avenue. 

Albert Y. von Eckstaedt has alwa\'s taken 
great interest in military affairs, especially in 
the militia, and was largelj^ instrumental in 
the organization of Company II, First Regi- 
nient M. N". G., of this place, and also helped 
organize the bucket brigade of the Are de- 
partment. He is a valued citizen and much 
res[)ected member of the community. 

Our subject was married November 11, 
1881, to Miss Lizzie Mittwer, a native of 
Prussia, Germany, and daughter of Martin 
and Busche (Eadise) Mittwer. By this union 
there have been born two children — Adelia 
and Theresa. 

lp)ROMlNENT among the farmers of 
1^ Swede Grove township, is N. L. Nel- 
son, who has a good farm and comfortable 
home on section 33. He was boi-n in Swe- 
den on the 2oth of February, 1815, his 
parents being Lewis and Johanna Nelson. 
N. L. Nelson came to the United States with 
his father in 1871. He came direct to Swede 
Grove township, and worked for several 
farmers in that part of the county for seven 
years, when he bought a farm on section 22 
and lived tliere for nine years. He then sold 
that and bought his present place on section 

Mr. Nelson was married on the 21th of 
March, 1868, to Emily Anderson, and they 
have had the following children — Ole, who 
was born January 28, 1869; Albert, born 
May 21, 1874; and Lewis, born May 16, 
1877. AVhen Mr. Nelson came to this coun- 
try he was a poor man, but by industry and 
economy he has acquired a competency and 
a comfortable home. He now has 155 acres 
of land and has a good lot of stock gathered 
about him. He is a republican in political 
matters and ranks as one of the leading 
farmers of his township. 

/^^j»ADlSON DELONG, a prominent 
J -tIl mem ber of the farming community 
of CoUinwood township, has his home upon 
section 1, where he owns and cultivates nearly 
his entire farm of 163 acres. His house, 
which is a neat and tast}^ cottage, is sur- 
rounded with all the necessary conveniences 
and comforts for carrying on his business, 
and is a home in the true sense of the word. 
Mr. Belong was born in Lawrence county, 
Ohio, June 1, 1836, and is the son of Francis 
and Nancy (GiUilan) Belong, natives of Penn- 
sylvania and Ohio, respectively. He remained 
beneath the parental roof until his marriage, 
March 5, 1857, on which date he led to the 
nuptial altar Miss Elizabeth Lunsford, a na- 
tive of Augusta county, Va., and daughter 
of Reuben and Nancy Lunsford. He then 
commenced work at a smelting furnace 
where he was engaged until 1866, when he 
came to Carver county, Minn., but one year 
later removed to Scott county. While vari- 
ously engaged there he came to this county 
and took up a claim on section 34, Dassel, on 
the site of the present village of that name, 
where he resided, keeping " bach " that win- 
ter. He returned to Scott county where his 
family were, and in coming back to his claim 
found that it had jumped by Parker Simons, 



a railroad man. A law-suit ensued, which 
was carried up to the Secretary of the Inte- 
rior, and linally Mr. Delong's title to the 
claim was canceled. The claimant then com- 
proniised with our subject, wiio removed to 
Collinwood townshij), and settled where he 
now lives. He was a poor man when he 
came to this country, and his law-suit and 
loss of his claim still furtlier set him back, 
but by liis energy and industry he has been 
the arciiitect of iiis present excellent finan- 
cial condition. Mr. Belong has held the of- 
fice of town supervisor for some eight years, 
and that of assessor for four, and holds the 
latter position now. 

Mr. and Mrs. Belong have a family of 
eight children, as follows— Martha, born 
March 10, 1858, married Alexander S. Gor- 
don, March 21, 1877 ; Nancy C, born Au- 
gust 7, 1859, married William Compton, July 
31, 1887; Rachel, born July 17, 1861, mar- 
ried Lemuel L. Sison, Becember 25, 1878 ; 
Edmund, born May 13, 1863 ; Lewis, born 
March 19, 1866 ; Napoleon, born August 16, 
1869; Francis, born April 10, 1873; and 
William, whose birth took place April 23, 


IRGIL H. HARRIS, the popular drug- 
gist of Litchfield, is the descendant of 
one of the colonial families of Virginia, and 
was born in Hanover, Licking county, Ohio, 
May 14, 1840. 

John Harris, the great-grandfather of our 
subject, was a native of Hanover county, Va., 
where he remained until his death. His sons 
drifted to North Carolina, where they became 
prominent men, and were prime movers in 
the movement for Independence passed at 
Charlotte, Mecklenburgh county, N. C, May 
20, 1775, antedating the Beclaration of Inde- 
pendence of the Continental Congress over 
one year, and furnishing many of the ideas 

for that celeljrated document. Subsequently 
the^' removed to South Carolina, and settled 
on the San tee river, from which place Ephraim 
Harris, the grandfather of the suliject of this 
sketch, in company with Baniel Boone, who 
was a warm friend of his, made a trip into 
the wilderness that is now the State of Ohio. 
After prospecting over that territory, Mr. 
Harris, aiwut 1820, took up a homestead on 
the Licking i-iver, in what is now Licking 
county, and there made a settlement. The 
old homestead now forms a part of the site 
of the busy city of Newark. Ephraim Harris 
remained upon this place for about twenty 
years, wlien he removed to the town of Han- 
over, in the same county, near his son 
Baniel's farm, and there made his home until 
he was killed in breaking a pair of colts, in 
his ninety-eighth year. 

Baniel Harris, the father of the subject of 
this memoir, who was a tanner as well as a 
farmer, remained upon the farm which he 
had purchased in Licking countv until about 
1848, when he sold out and removed to Bay- 
ton, Ohio, where he followed his trade for 
about a year, when he died, leaving a wife 
and five children to mourn their loss. The 
children bore tlie names of Virgil II., Emma 
E., Cynthia A., Louis E., and Bavid M. 

The mother of Virgil was formerly Miss 
Martha Bowling. Her father was a native 
of Ireland, who had left the land of his birth 
on account of some trouble with a landlord, 
which culminated in Mr. Bowling pulling 
him off of his horse and beating him. This, 
in that oppressed land, was a terrilile offense, 
so he emigrated to this country, and settled 
in Juniata county, Penn., where the future 
Mrs. Harris was born. When her brothers 
moved to Ohio, she went with them, walking 
the whole distance, some 700 miles, driving 
their cattle all the way. Later she married 
Mr. Harris, and after his death returned to 
Licking county, from whence, two years 
later, she removed to Marion county, in the 



same State, where her ])eople had settled. 
Subsequently she married Jolm Baker, and 
made her home in Ohio until 1883, when the}' 
removed to Indiana, where she died in 18S7. 

Virgil remained with his mother after his 
father's death until about 1852, when, being 
but twelve j'ears of age, he went to Macon 
count}'. 111., where for four years he was 
engaged in herding some 4,000 head of sheep. 
In the fall of 1859 he returned to Ohio, and 
cast his first presidential vote for Lincoln in 
1860. In May, 1862, he enlisted in Company 
B, One Hundred and Eleventh Ohio Infan- 
try, and sefved until the close of the war. 
He participated, with his gallant regiment, in 
some twenty-eight engagements, the princi- 
pal of which were Perryville, Green Kiver 
Bridge, Bowling Green, Crab Orchard, Lou- 
donville, Kno.wille, Buzzard's Koost, Resaca, 
New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, 
Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Allatoona, 
Spring Hill, Franklin, Nashville, Fort Fisher 
and others. He received his discharge as 
orderly sergeant, June 28, 1865, and on 
returning home attended college for a year 
and a half at Indianapolis, Ind., and Ashland, 
Ohio. He was married, December 25, 1S6S, 
to Miss Lizzie Hill, a native of Marion county, 
Ohio, and daughter of Jolm and Catherine 
Hill, who were among the pioneer families 
of the Buckeye State. For two years after 
that Mr. Harris followed farming in Marion 
county, Ohio, whither he had moved. In 
December, 1870, in company with George 
Lyon, he came to this part of the State, and, 
determining to settle at Litchfield, brought 
his family here in January, 1871, when the 
place was but in embryo. In company with 
S. Y. Gordon he started a meat market and 
remained in that two years, and then opened 
a drug store, which business he has followed 
ever since. 

In politics Mr. Harris is a republican and 
has filled many offices in village and county. 
He was one of tlie first justices of the peace 

of the village of Litchfield, and has, since 
then, been alderman, recorder, mayor and 
county commissioner, and is now serving as 
chairman of that board, having been a mem- 
ber of it for five years. He is a memljer of 
Frank Daggett Post, G. A. E., holding 
the third rank in the department of Minne- 
sota, and belongs to the A. O. U. W. 


I^EWIS OSTERLUND, of the mercantile 
" '^ firm of Osterhmd & Leighton, promi- 

nent dealers in general mei'chandise, in Das- 
sel village, came to Meeker county in the 
year 1881. In March, 1882, he entered the 
postoffice in this place as clerk, under Louis 
Rudberg, postmaster, with whom he re- 
mained until January 1, 1883, when he was 
himself appointed postmaster. He occupied 
this official position until May 1, 1887, after 
which the present firm was formed and the 
store opened under their auspices. He is a 
native of Sweden, born October 17, 1853, 
and remained a resident of his native land 
until he had attained the age of twenty- 
seven years, but on the 23d of May, 1881, 
embarked for the promised land, the home of 
the poor man beneath the folds of our starry 
banner, and upon setting foot upon the free 
soil of America, came to Meeker county as 
mentioned above. After a short time he 
went to Minneapolis, but five months later 
returned to Dassel where he now lives. 

RIC P. EKLLIND, one of the black- 
smiths of the village of Grove City, is 
a native of Sweden, born July 3, 1836, and 
is the son of Peter and Lisa Kranz. Having 
acquired the blacksmith's trade in his youth 
and early manhood, he worked at that call- 
ing in his native land until he was about 
twenty-five years of age, when he went to 
Russia and purchased a smithy, and for 



three years labored among the Muscovites at 
his calling. AVhile there ilr. Eklund was 
united in marriage with Miss Julia Paulina 
Elizabeth Kruger, the ceremony taking- 
place October 13, 1863. Tiie lady, a daugh- 
ter of Henry and Louisa Kruger, was born 
in Ilussia, July 25, 1843. The same year 
Mr. Eklund returned to Sweden, where he 
worketl at his trade for two years more and 
then emigrated to the United States in 
search of a fortune more consonant with his 
ideas than was to be found in the Old World. 
He remained in New York for some ten 
months, where he found amjile enniloymentat 
the forge, iiutat the end of that time came west 
and located at St. Paul, where he remained 
employed as usual until 1808, in which year 
he came to Meeker county' and took a home- 
stead in section 14, Swede Grove township, 
on which he made his home for five years. 
During this time he erected a blacksmith 
shop in the village of Grove City, where he 
now carries on his trade. Three years later 
he built his fine residence in the same block 
as his smithy, where he now lives. 

Mr. and Mrs. Eklund have been the par- 
ents of thirteen children, as follows — Leon- 
tina Louisa, born Koveraber 7, 1864, died 
January 8, 1877 ; Engelbert, born September 
27, 1866; Amanda Julia, born April 8,1868; 
Alga Matilda, born December 4, 1869; Gott- 
lieb Waldimar, born September 22, 1871 ; 
Otilia Valeria, born September 3, 1873 ; Ida 
Almira, born August 15, 1875, died Decem- 
ber 29, 1880 ; Elida Paulina, born September 
25, 1876, died January 16, 1881 ; Leonhard 
Eric and Leontina Elizabeth, twins, born 
October 27, 1879; the first of whom died 
February 22, 1881 ; Arthur Eric, born June 
20, 1881 ; Hilger Conrad Anton, born June 
11, 1883; and Henry Oscar Edwin, whose 
birth took place October 26, 1885. Amanda 
J. is married, and with her husliand, ]Vels S. 
Strand, is engaged in running a boarding- 
house and dining-room at Helena, Mont. 

^M LBERT H. DELONG. The subject of 
Jp>-^ tliis sketch is a resident of section 
25, Greenleaf township, and is one of the 
most prominent and respected old settlers in 
]\Ieeker county. He is a native of St. Law- 
rence county, N. Y., born April 12, 1842, 
and his parents, Hiram and Maria Delong, 
were natives of Grand Isle, Lake Champlain. 
Tlie mother died in the village of Greenleaf 
in 1>70, while the father, who was born in 
1799, is still living, making his home with 
Albert H. The family emigrated from New 
York to A\'isconsin when Albert was seven 
years of age. His time was divided between 
school and work on his father's farm, and at 
the age of seventeen he came to Meeker 
county, Minn. After entering and paying 
for a claim in what is now Ellswortli town- 
ship, he leased the flouring mill on the outlet 
of Cedar Lake, known as Cedar ]\[ill, and 
there he was engaged Avhen the Indian out- 
break began. A few days previous to the 
massacre at Acton, IMr. Delong, while at the 
agency, met an old Indian known as Charley 
Minnetonka, whose friendship he had gained 
by various acts of kindness. He had always 
worn citizen's clothes but was then rol)ed in 
a hritiiit I'ed blanket. He acted strangely 
and took occasion to infonn Mr. Delong, suh 
rom., that there wasgoiiig to be "a big fight." 
Little or no attention was paid to the old 
fellow's warning, for it was thought he had 
reference to some fight in project between 
the Indians. "When the news of the massacre 
reached the mills, on the morning of August 
18, 1862, Mr. Delong and Vincent Coombs 
started out to learn whether or not there 
was an J' truth in the reports. Learning 
nothing definite, they went on to Acton and 
found the people assembled there preparing 
to bury the bodies of the five who were slain. 
When the Indians came upon the scene, 
Albert joined the party which chased them 
to tlie Kandiyohi woods. Having a keen 
sense of the duties of a scout, he was made 



useful ill that capacity many times during 
the terrible weeks and months that followed. 
At Hutchinson he was enrolled with a com- 
pany of volunteers as a scout, and for six 
weeks never missed a day in the saddle, riding 
sometimes as much as forty miles a day. 
When the detail of the Ninth Minnesota 
Regiment was sent to Forest City he joined, 
them as a scout, and -was riding in advance, 
and was first to discover the redskins in 
ambush at the time of the battle near Acton. 
The Indians were crawling in a wheat field 
and the glimmer of a bright gun was dis 
covered by Mr. Delong, who rode back and 
informed the captain. AVhen the Indians 
saw they were discovered they rose and fired 
a volley at the whites, and then commenced 
surrounding them. In this battle three men 
were killed and twenty-one wounded out 
of a total of forty-nine in the command. 
Although left behind by the command, and 
once almost completely surrountled Iw Indi- 
ans, he escaped unhurt. In the summer of 
1863 he was with the Sibley expedition as a 
scout, and in the fall of the same year again 
put his mill in operation. Two years later 
he bought an interest in the Greenleaf saw- 
mill, which he retained about three ji^ears, and 
then jHirchased an interest in the Greenleaf 
flouring mill, he and his partner subsequently 
buying the old Cedar Mill. Matters became 
seriously complicated with the firm, and the 
outcome was a complete collapse. Albert 
then went to the Black Hills and spent the 
summer; and the following 3'ear went out 
and remained nearly two 3' ears, when he 
returned to Meeker county and purchased 
the fine farm where he at present makes his 
home, on section 25, Greenleaf township. 

He has been twice married, his first wife, 
Cecilia Nichols Delong, to whom he was 
married in 1803, bore him one child, Francis, 
born September 21, 1867. His first wife died 
in 1869, and in 1871 Mr. Delong was married 
to Mary Post, daughter of Abrani and Sarah 

Post, of Greenleaf. She was born Septem- 
ber 10, 1852, in the State of New York. 

Mr. Delong has taken an active interest in 
the affairs calculated- to benefit either his 
town or county, and is rated as one of the 
most prominent citizens in the south half of 
Meeker county. He is a member of Golden 
Fleece Lodge," No. 89, A. F. and A. M. 


v^jJHARLES SMITH. Among the influen- 
;^p tial citizens of Cosmos township, is 
the gentleman whose name heads this article. 
He has been prominently identified with the 
growth and development of Minnesota since 
1S55, although he did not come to Meeker 
county until 1879. He is the son of Alex- 
ander and Henrietta (Sutphin) Smith, and 
was born in Upper Stillwater, Maine, on the 
19th of July, 1835. "When he was only two 
years of age his parents removed to the State 
of New Yoi-k, and settled at Plattsburgh, 
Clinton county, where they remained until 
taken from this world by death. 

The subject of this memoir resided beneath 
the parental roof until attaining his nine- 
teenth year, when he came to Minnesota, 
coming from Chicago with a team. In that 
year. 1851, there was but one building in 
either St. Anthony or Minneapolis, except 
the pul)lic edifices. He remained in St. Paul 
some six months, and then returned to New 
York, l)ut in the following fall returned to 
this State. He made his home in Minne- 
apolis until the year 1800, when he removed 
to Aitkin county, where he engaged in lum- 
bering. He was a resident of that county 
when it was organized, and was appointed by 
Governor Pillsbury as one of the organizing 
commissioners, and filled that oflice by elec- 
tion for some thirteen yeai-s. 

In the spring of 1861, when traitorous 
hands essayed to rend the Union in twain, 
Mr. Smith enlisted in Company D, First 



Minnesota, and with that noble regiment, 
whose name brings up so many gallant deeds, 
participated in the first battle of J'uU Run, 
July 21, ISGl. lie was there wounded by a 
ball in the right shoulder, and was laid up 
for some seven months, Ijut on recovery 
re-enlisted in his old regiment, and stood 
with them in the awful Hood of lire, that so 
nearly annihilated them, at Antietam, and 
in the battle of Mill Spring. 

After his discharge Mi*. Smith came back 
to Minnesota, and in 1879 removed to this 
county and purchased a farm on section 22, 
where he now lives, in Cosmos township. 
Of his fine place of 200 acres, some 125 are 
under cultivation. 

-— ♦-S^^"*' 

not among the old practitioners of the 
county, has, by close attention to the duties 
of his profession and a remarkable success in 
gra])pling with the dread destroyer, death, 
taken a prominent position among the medi- 
cal fraternity of this county, and ranks high 
in the estimation of the community. 

Dr. Chapman isanativeof Hill, Merrimack 
county, N. II., born February 0, 1S57, and is 
the son of John W. and Charlotte (Taplin) 
Chapman, natives of Kew Hampshire and 
New York respectively. Our subject recei ved 
his primary education and was reared among 
the hills and valleys of the " Granite State," 
upon the paternal acres. At the age of 
fifteen years lie entered a drug store, where 
he remained about two years. Having then 
attained a sutticient age, he matriculated at 
the medical department of the Vermont State 
University, at Ihirlington, Yt., and after a 
rigid course of study was graduated from 
that celebrated institution of learning, in 
Julv, 1879. Tiie ne.xt year he located at 
North Branch, Chisago county, Minn., where 
he was engaged in the practice of his chosen 

profession for about two years. In 1882 he 
came to Meeker county, and opened an office 
in Forest City, but, after two years" labor in 
that field removed to Litchfield, and, com- 
mencing practice here, has rapidly grown 
into favor with the people of the city and 
the surrounding country. His pleasant man- 
nei's in the sick-room, his love for his calling 
and his rare judgment in diagnosis are fast 
fiainino- him friends and patrons, and bv care- 
ful stud}- to keep abreast of the times he 
merits the warmest encomiums. 

The Doctor assumed the duties of matri- 
mon\' December 24, 1883, while a resident 
of Forest Citv^, on wliich day he led to the 
hymeneal altar Miss Georgie Kimball, a na- 
tive of New Hampshire and a daughter of 
Edwin and Phoebe (Manwell) Kimball. 

I^HILIP DECK, deceased, who fell by the 
"lfS>^ deadly rifle of the ruthless Sioux dur- 
ing the tragic days of the Indian massacre in 
1862, was born in France May 24,1825. He 
learned the trade of baker in his native land, 
and there made his home until his twenty- 
first year, when he came to America and 
settled at Lyons, Wayne county, N. Y. He 
remained there until 185-4, at which date he 
removed to Sault Ste. Marie, and was the fore- 
man on the ship canal then in course of con- 
struction there. He staid there until that 
work was finished and then went to New York, 
but in the spring of 1856 came West, to Mil- 
waukee, Wis., where he made his home until 
July, 1860, when he came to Meeker county, 
arriving here the 5th of that month. He 
purchased 160 acres of land, which was ]iar- 
tially improved, on section 29, Manannah 
township, of William Wilcox, taking every- 
thing on the place, house, furniture, stock, 
crop in the field, etc. He then returned to Mil- 
waukee for his family, who arrived at St. Paul 
after numerous mishaps and troubles, and 



there made a stay of a da}', and from there to 
their place, where they located the same fall. 
Mr. Deck remained upon this farm until 
thetimeofthe Indian outbreak. The news 
of the murders in Acton reached the house 
about 11 o'clock in the forenoon of Monday, 
August ISth. Mrs. Deck was sick in bed, and 
Mr. Deck was away from home helping a 
neighbor harvest. Mrs. Ryckman brought 
the news, and took Mrs. Deck and her fam- 
ily to Silas Maybee's, where they were left 
while the men were sent for. The women 
soon saw some Indians approaching, and were 
terribly scared, but the savages did not come 
to the house. Mr. Deck rejoined his family 
that night, and remained there until morn- 
ing. The next night they spent at the 
house of ]Sr. C. Caswell, but learning that the 
outbreak was general, the entire body of set- 
tlers removed to Forest City. Friday Mr. 
Deck took his family to Kingston, where he 
remained until the following Monday, when, 
provisions running short, he returned to For- 
est City, with the intention of trying to get 
to his farm for clothing, provisions, etc. In 
company Avith Wilmot Maybee and others, 
they started, and met with the fate told in 
the history of the Indian massacre in this vol- 
ume. Shot in the very dooryard of Carlos 
Caswell's house, Mr. Deck was found some 
ten or twelve rods from where his wagon had 
stood, lying on his face, with eight bullet 
holes in his back, and it is supposed that, not 
being hit at the first fire, he jumped to the 
ground and ran that distance before he was 
shot. The home guard turned out the second 
day after and buried the dead, all except 
Wilmot Maybee, whose body was not found 
until three months after. Deck, Howe and 
Page were buried in one grave in Manannah 
cemeteiy, where, owing to the exertions and 
liberality of Mrs. Deck, there is erected a fine 
and appropriate monument to mark the place 
where rests the remains of her murdered 
husband and his companions. 

Mrs. Deck remained at Forest City until 
the following fall and then returned to 
Wayne county, N. Y., with her family of five 
children, where she remained until April 22, 
1879. On that date she returned to thjs 
county, having all these years had a hard 
struggle to keep her little family and pay 
the taxes on her farm. Almost everything- 
upon the latter was destroyed by the savage 
marauders, the loss amounting to some 
$1,100, which Mrs. Deck did not receive from 
the State until nearly twelve years after, 
owing to the carelessness of those intrusted 
with her business. 

Mr. and Mrs. Deck were united in mar- 
riage April 23, 18-19, at Lyons, N. Y. The lady, 
whose maiden name was Miss Salome Shimpf, 
was boi'n at Salza, France, November 21, 
1830, and came to the United States in 1810. 
They were the parents of five children, as 
follows — Philopena, born December 4, 1850, 
now married and living iu New Yoi'k; Mag- 
dalena, born May 18, 1852, also married and 
living in the same place ; Josephine, born 
March 11,1856, married, making her home in 
the Empire State; Franklin, in this coimty; 
and Marie Louise, born December 22, 1860, 
died December 9, 1862. 

Franklin Deck, who was born August 2, 
1858, in Humboldt, Milwaukee, Wis., came 
back to Meeker county with liis mother in 
1879, and purchasing eighty acres on section 
28, Manannah, carries on agricultural pur- 
suits on it and upon the family homestead, 
and with him the widowed mother makes 
her home. 



TEETER D. RINGSTROM, the landlord 
llg>^ of the Grove City House, is a native 
of Sweden, born March 17, 1814, and is the 
son of Nels and Ingra Kingstrom. His pa- 
rents were farmers in that country, and he 
was reared to agricultural pursuits and re- 



ceived the elements of a fair education. He re- 
mained at home until some twenty-seven years 
■old, when, bidding adicni to the parental roof 
and all whom it sheltered, he crossed the 
■ocean to a home in America. On landing, 
he came direct to Atwater, this State, arriv- 
ing at that place May 24, 1S71. Entering 
the emjiloy of Pahrs Pahrson he was en- 
gaged in farm work that summer and on the 
railroad during the fall and winter. Going 
to Breclcenridge he was employed as hotel 
■clerk and liartender for about six months, 
after which he worked on the railroad in the 
nfigld)orhood of Alexandria, where he re- 
mained until October 3, 1872. He then made 
his home for a short time with Peter Chris- 
toferson, with whom he always remained 
when out of employment, while waiting for 
money due him from his Breckenridge em- 
ployer, intending to go back to Sweden, but 
falling in love with Mr. Christoferson's 
daughter Joanna, he gave up the prospective 
tri]) and married the young lady. The young 
couple moved on her homestead claim and 
Mr. Pmgstrom commenced farming and con- 
tinued to follow this avocation until 1885, 
when he rented the farm and sold agricultu- 
ral machinery. They made their home upon 
their place, however, until March 28, 1888, 
when, renting the Grove City House, he re- 
moved with his family to tlie village, and is 
now running the hotel. March 31, 1888, he 
was elected chief of the police of the village 
and fills that position. 

Mrs. Ringstrom is a native of Sweden, born 
April 8, 1844, and came to the United. States 
with her parents in 18fi4. She was at the 
time of her marriage with the subject of this 
sketch, the widow of Charles Johnson, who 
died in Illinois on their road to Minnesota. 
Mr. and Mrs. Eingstrom are the parents of 
four children — Kels Peter, born April 8, 
1876; Carl Oscar, born October 17, 1878; 
Alice, born April 10, 1883; and Saraii. liorn 
April 20, 1887. 

^iCHAEL FINNEGAN, one of the 
^_i.S^^ most prominent and successful 
farmers and stock-raisers in Aleeker county, 
is a resident of section 28, Harvey township. 
He has one of the most valuable farms in the 
county, and his building and other improve- 
ments are a credit to the townsiiip in which 
he lives. 

Mr. Finnegan was born in Ireland, on the 
2d of December, 1852. AViien he was less 
than two years of age, his parents came to 
the United States, and for several years they 
moved about considerably, tlie father follow- 
ing the trade of blacksmithing. In 1857, the 
father, Patrick Finnegan, came to Meeker 
county, ]\nnn., and imrchascd a farm in Har- 
vey township, and lived on tlie farm carry- 
ing on his farming operations, and at the 
same time working at his trade. He was 
living on the farm with the family at the 
time of the Indian outbreak. The same day 
as the massacre at Acton, a neighbor brought 
them the news of the killing, and they went 
to Forest City with the rest to decide what 
course to pursue, returning to the farm the 
next day. The following day they went to 
Clearwater, where they remained until the 
fall of 1862. During the winter they lived 
at Elk River, and then settled at Minneapolis, 
where they remained until the ensuing fall. 
During that winter the father worked on the 
Omaha railroad, and the family lived at Fort 
Snelling, and in tiie spring they returned to 
Minneapolis. In July, 1865, they returned 
to tiieir farm in Harvey township, where the 
family have since lived. Thefatherdied in Har- 
vey May 23, 1885, and was burieil at Litch- 
field. In his death the county lost a worthy 
and substantial citizen, and a respected old 
settler. His widow still lives in Harvey. 

IVIichael Finnegan, tlie subject of this 
.sketch, is an active member of tiie Catholic 
Church. In political matters he affiliates 
witii the democratic party. He has been 
vei'y successful in his farming o])erations, and 



has the reputation of being one of the best 
business men in the township. In connection 
with diversiHed farming, he carries on stock- 
raising extensively, for ■\vhicli tlie farm is 
conveniently arranged. 


J^TaRRY H. mines, an intelligent and 
JKL trusted citizen of the village of Dassel, 
the superintendent anil manager of the Min- 
nesota and Dakota elevator, is a native of 
Colchester, Chittenden county, Yt., born in 
August, 1848, and is the son of Benjamin and 
Emily (Rolfe) Ilines. His paternal grand- 
father, William Hines, was one of the earliest 
settlers of the town of Colchester, as was the 
maternal grandfather of our subject, Jacob 
Rolfe, and these two gentlemen and one other 
owned, at one time, nearly the entire town. 
William Hines lived and died among the ver- 
dant hills of the " Green Mountain State," 
where he settled, and on his death the home- 
stead descended to his son Benjamin, the father 
of our subject, who, besides managing three 
good farms in that portion of the countrj^, 
was engaged in mercantile pursuits. Jacob 
Rolfe, the giundfather of Harry, mentioned 
above, was a colonel in command of the 
"Green Mountain Boys" during the last con- 
flict with Great Britain, 1S12-15, and was a 
gallant and able soldier, and our subject 
recollects his telling of war experiences, in 
his younger days. 

Harry H. Ilines came to Meeker county 
in 1868, and settled in what is now Litchfield 
township, on section 31, where he followed 
agricultural pursuits for some ten years, after 
which he removed, after selling his pro]ierty, 
to the village of Darwin, where he purchased 
wheat and other grain for the Davidson Ele- 
vator Company. In August, 1SS6, he came 
to Dassel and assumed charge of the elevator 
where he is now located. He has, since first 
coming here, taken a lively interest in all 

educational and political affairs, and is now 
serving as one of the school directors of the 
the village. In his political affiliations he is 
in thorough accord with the republican party, 
and supports the candidates of that organiza- 
tion. He is a member of the Golden Fleece 
Lodge, No. 89, A. F. & A. M., having been 
made a Mason at Litchfield in 1882. Mr. Hines 
was united in marriage with Miss Maggie 
Harding, October It), 1870. His life com- 
panion is a native of Jennings county, Ind., 
and a daughter of Mitchell and Mary Ann 
(Reeves) Harding. By this marriage there 
have been six ciiildren — Maud, Grace, Bessie, 
Benjamin, Blanche and the baby. 

• ■' >" ^€^>^— '- 

^jJl^HE PRESENT county treasurer of Mee- 
uiiy ker county, N. W. Hawkinsox, an old 
settler of the village of Litchfield, is a native 
of Skone, Sweden, and was born in 1837. 
He remained in his native countrj^ until he 
was thirty-two years of age. His father 
died when he was about fourteen years of 
age, and short!}' after this he began learning 
the cabinet-maker's trade, at which he spent 
an apprenticeship of three years and then 
followed as a trade for four 3'ears. He then 
learned the carpenter's trade, and followed 
that until he was twent}' eight, when he 
•entered the mercantile business and remained 
in that until 1869, when he sold out and 
came to Minnesota, coming direct to Meeker 
county. For a time he stayed at Forest City, 
following the carpenter's trade, but in No- 
vember of the same year he went to Califoi*- 
nia, and followed his trade there for about 
one year, working up and down the Pacific 
coast. At the eiul of that time he returned 
to Sweden, going by way of the Isthmus of 
Panama and New York. He remained in 
his native land until the following June, 
1871, and then came again to Meeker county, 
Minn., locating at Litchfield, where he has 



since lived. I'^or a number of years he fol- 
lowed his trade, but in the fall of 1883 he 
was elected to the office of county treasurer, 
and, being re-elected in the fall of 1880, he 
is the present incumbent of that office. He 
is a careful and j)ainstaking official, and has 
filled the office with credit to himself and 
satisfaction to the ])ublic. Mi'. Iluwkinson 
is a prominent membei' of the Masonic fra- 
ternity, holding membership in Golden 
Fleece Lodge, Xo. 89; Rabboni Chapter, 
ISTo. 37; and Melita Commandery, No. 17, 
Knights Templar, iuul has held various offices 
in these organizations. He is also a member 
of the Ancient Order of United "Workmen, 
and was one of the charter members of the 
organization at Litchfield, of which he is the 
present financier. 

Mr. Hawkinson was married in 1862 to 
Miss Nellie Hanson, of Sweden, and they 
Avere blessed with three children — Andrew, 
Ellen and Annie. The wife and mother died 
shortly after their removal to the United 
States. Mr. Hawkinson was again married, 
in ] 873, to Annie Katharena Anderson. They 
have one child — Harry. All of the children 
are still at home, except Andrew and Ellen, 
who are now residents of Minneapolis. 


^•-^— - 

^.EORGE PAULSON, a farmer of Acton 
township, has probably the most 
famous and historic piece of land in Minne 
sota. He owns the place where the Jones 
and Baker families were killed by the In- 
dians on the 17th of August, 1862 — the spot 
where the first blood was shed in the memor- 
able Indian massacre of 1862. Mr. Paulson 
is a native of Norway, and was born on the 
3d of March, 1855, his parents being George 
and Anna Paulson. The family came to the 
United States in 1868, and after stopping for 
one year in Iowa, they came to Meeker 
county, Minn., and took a homestead on sec 

tion 33, in Acton township. In 1877 they 
went to Dakota, where George Paulson, Jr., 
took a homestead, and remained until 1886, 
when he sold out and returned to Minnesota, 
and purchased the farm in Acton township, 
where he still lives. He has a valuable farm 
and devotes his attention to "-eneral farming 

O O 

and stock raising. The farm is often visited 
by sight-seers, who wish to look ujion the old 
cabin and the site which has become famous 
in Minnesota's history. The subject of this 
sketch was married at LitcMeld, January 
25, 1875, to Miss Christina Kittelson, who 
was born in AVisconsin March 3, 1854, and 
their union has been blessed with the follow- 
ing-named children — Clara Josephine, who 
was born April 28, 1877, died a few months 
later; Carl Johan, born June 29, 1878 ; Ella, 
born September 27, 1880; James Christan, 
born October 18, 1883 ; Anna Josephine, born 
March 13, 1884 ; and Cora, born December 
30, 1887. Mr. Paulson's parents still reside 
in Dakota. 

■* V' •( 

^HARLES H. DUCKERING, one of the 
-^' most prosperous farmers and stock 
raisers of Cosmos township, resides upon sec- 
tion 30, where he cultivates about 150 acres 
of his magnificent 400-acre tract. He is a 
native of Beaver Dam, "Wis., born on the 
25th of September, 1849, and is the son 
of John and Maria (Bean) Duckering, who 
were natives of England and New York, 
respectively. In 1863, when our subject was 
about sixteen years of age, he came with his 
parents to Meeker county and settled with 
them in Ellsworth township. He remained 
beneath the parental roof until 1871, when 
he came to Cosmos and took up a homestead 
on section 30, and breaking some twenty-five 
acres and putting up a house, made a penna- 
nent settlement. In 1877 he leased his farm 
and made a trip to "Washington Territory, 



and prolonged his stay there until the 
beginning of 1880, at which time he returned 
to this county and has lived on his farm 
ever since. He is largely engaged in stock- 
raising, but still has some 1,500 bushels of 
grain as the result of his labors each year. 
In 1876 and 1877, he lost about all his crop 
through the incursions of the grasshoppers, 
and the outlook being poor he went to the 
West, as before mentioned. 

Mr. Duckering has been called upon sev- 
eral tiiues to nil the responsible olRce of 
town supervisor, and has been chairman of 
that Ijoard for four consecutive years. He 
has filled several of the minor offices, as well 
as been director of district No. 53. He still 
holds the last-named position. 

July 18, 1880, Mr. Duckering was united 
in marriage with Miss Sarah I. Dean, a 
native of Bartholomew county, Ind., and 
daughter of John and Eliza (Roberts) Dean, 
residents of Hutchinson, McLeod county. 
By this union there have been three chil- 
dren — John S., born May 27, 1881 ; Daisy, 
born May 9, 1883 ; and Edna, born May 15, 


NDREW J. ANDERSON, the senior 
'~^^\ partner in the firm of Anderson & 
Hanson, hardware dealers in the village of 
Litchfield, is a native of Norway, born in 
1843. "When he was about a year old he 
was brought by his parents to the United 
States, they settling in Waukesha county. 
Wis., where they were among the very ear- 
liest settlers. They remained in that place 
until 1850, when the}' removed to Winnebago 
county in the same State, ami in 1866 to 
this county. 

Andrew remained at home with his parents 
until 1864, when he enlisted in Company H, 
Fifth Wisconsin Infantr}', and served in that 
noble regiment until the close of the war. 

He participated in several of the engage- 
ments of the bloody campaign that closed 
the war, particularly in the immortal charge 
on the lines at Petersburg, Va., April 1 and 
2, 1865. After receiving his discharge Mr. 
Anderson returned to Wisconsin, but in 1866 
came to Meeker county, where he took up a 
homestead in the town of Harvey. He was 
engaged in farming until 1876, at which 
time he removed to Litchfield and entered 
into the sale of farm nuvchinery and imple- 
ments. He made quite a success in this busi- 
ness, and in Ma}', 1886, in copartnership 
with Nels C. G. Hanson, he opened the 
hardware establishment where he now car- 
ries on business, and in conjunction with 
which they still make a specialty of the sale 
of agricultural machinerv. Mr. Anderson is 
a prominent member of Frank Daggett 
Post, No. 35, G. A. Pt., of Litchfield, and 
takes great interest in the order. 


l^RANK J. CHEVRE, the owner and 
JP^ manager of the pioneer elevator at 
the village of Darwin, is a native of Chau- 
tauqua county, N. Y., born November 6, 
1859, and is the son of Henry J. and Jean- 
nette (Fievre) Chevre, who are of French an- 
cestry. His father came to Minnesota in 
1867, and died in August, 1874, and his re- 
mains lie buried in Scott county, this State. 
The subject of this sketch left the Empire 
State with his parents in 1867, and settled 
with them at Chaska, Carver county, where 
he received his primary' education. At the 
age of thirteen he removed to Minneapolis to 
attend school and remained until in his nine- 
teenth year, in study and the pursuits of 
knowledge. For a year thereafter he was 
engaged in keeping books, but at the end of 
that time he came to Dassel and commenced 
to learn the miller's trade, and finally took 
charge of the Washington flour mill of that 



place which he ran successfully until the 
spring of 18ST, at wiiicii time he removed to 
the village of Darwin and erected the eleva- 
tor where he now carries on business. He is 
an unmarried man, his mother living with 
him, and one of the most reliable, trust- 
worthy citizens of town, and. for so young 
a man, possesses a large share of the respect 
and esteem of the whole community. In his 
political views he is in accord with the prin- 
ciples formulated by the republican party, 
and supports, Avith energy, the candidates 
and platforms of that organization. As a 
business man, he is active, enterprising and 
upright, and socially, genial and companion- 
able, and bids fair to achieve a high position 
in life. 

ENRY CLAY, the popular postmaster 
of the village of Dassel, is the son of 
Caleb and Zilpah (Akers) Clay, and first saw 
the light January 4, 18i2, in Lawrence 
county, Ky. His father was a native of Vir- 
ginia, and his mother of Tennessee, who 
had married in Pike county, Ky., and later 
moved northward to Lawrence county. 
Some time after the birth of our subject they 
removed to "Wayne county, W. Ya., where 
they made their home until the spring of 
1866, at which time they came to Minnesota 
and settled in McLeod county. A year later 
they made their appearance in Collinwood 
township, this county, but in the spring of 
1868 settled on section 28, in what is now 
Dassel township, where they resided until 
called to " cross the dark river. Death," the 
mother in 1875, the father in 1877. 

Henry remained beneath the paternal roof 
until September 5, 1861, when he was united 
in ^Tarriage with Miss Martha Bartrum, a 
native of Boyd county, Ky., after which he 
with his young wife settled on a farm in 
Wayne county, W. Va. On the 24th of 

June, 1863, Henry enlisted in Companj' B, 
Fortj'-fifth Kentucky Mounted Infantry, and 
served in the Union army. They were em- 
ployed in the pursuit of Morgan when on his 
famous raid, and Mr. Clay, with the balance 
of the command, was in the saddle for twen- 
t\'-six days and nights, only stopping long 
enough to feed their horses and cook their 
coffee. The little sleep they got was found 
in the saddle. They were in two engage- 
ments, Mt. Sterling and Cynthiana, at the 
last named totally scattering and demoral- 
izing the rebels, and the command for sev- 
eral days were engaged in picking up strag- 
o'lers. Amono; them w^ere a cousin and an 
old school mate, the former with his arm 
broken. Out of Mr. Clay's family he was the 
only loyal one, all his brothers except one 
being in the Confederate army. He received 
his discharge December 21, 1864, and the 
next spring came to Minnesota, and after 
remaining in Glencoe some eighteen months 
removed to Meeker county and took up a 
claim on section 32, in what is now Dassel 
township. This being all timber his crops 
for a year or so were quite limited, but as 
the land was cleared they grew more ex- 
tensive. He remained upon the farm until 
1870 or 1871, and then entered the employ of 
the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Rail- 
road Company, building snow fences, al- 
though his family resided on the farm. In 
December, 1887, he removed his family to 
the village of Dassel, and on the 1st of 
May, 1887, took possession of the post- 
office, he having been appointed to that posi- 

Mr. Clay is an active and influential mem- 
ber of Colfax Post, No. 133, G. A. R., and 
was one of the signers for a charter for that 
society. Mr. and Mrs. Clay are the parents 
of seven children, whose names are as fol- 
lows —Rufus E., Ida M., John F., Emily E., 
Walter Scott and Walter McClellan, twins, 
and Clifford H. 



^jp^AYLOR JOHNSON, a leading Scandi- 


ship, living on section 9, was born in Sweden 
June 10, 1832, and is the son of John and 
Christina Jolinson. At the age of eleven 
years he commenced to learn the tailor's 
trade, and followed that line of business in 
his native land until 1S5S, when, with a nat- 
ural desire to better his condition in life, he 
crossed the ocean to America. He settled 
in Carver county, this State, putting in his 
time on a twenty -acre tract that he purchased 
there, and in working for his neighbors, until 
August 20, 1SC2, when he enlisted in Com- 
pany H, Ninth Minnesota Infantry. The 
next day he heard of the Indian outbreak, 
and took his family to an island in Clear- 
water Lake, where many others had fled for 
.safety, where the}' camped without shelter 
from the rain. Three days later Mrs. John- 
son went home to their little cabin in the 
brush, with her fom* children, her husband 
going with his regiment to Glencoe. He 
remained in that locality until spring, and 
then participated in the Sibley expedition, 
and was present at the hanging of the thirty- 
eight Indians at Mankato. In October, 18^3, 
he, with the regiment, was ordered South, 
and met the enemy at Guntown, Miss. They 
also were engaged in the siege and cnpture 
of Mobile. Our subject Avas mustered out of 
service in October, 1865, and returned to his 
home. While he was absent in the army, 
his wife was laid up by sickness brought on 
by exposure, and for the last week of her 
illness she and her little ones were without 
food or fire, although it was cold winter 
weather. An old man hobbled over on 
crutches, finall}', to find what had become 
of them, and helped them out of their dis- 
tress by sawing up some wood and sending 
in some provisions. 

In the spring of 1866 Mr. Johnson removed 
to Minneapolis, where he was employed in 
lumber yards, etc., until the spring of 1869, 

when he came to CoUinwood township and 
settled where he now lives. He was mar- 
ried November 1, 1855, to Christina Louisa 
Anderson, a native of Sweden, born June 12, 
1835, and dangliter of Andrew and Katrina. 
Anderson. They have had eleven children, 
namely — Ilulda, born December 14, 1856, 
died January 11, 1873; Frank Victor, born 
January 1, 1859; Abbie, born October 9, 
1860; Clara, born August 3, 1862; Godfrey, 
born April 30, 1806, and died September 10, 
1866; August, born July 21:, 1867; Joseph- 
ine, born October 22, 1869 ; Ida, born Decem- 
ber 25, 1871, and died September 16, 1878 % 
Alice, born April l-l, 1874; Hulda, born 
July 9, 1876, and died April 21, 1880; and 
Nathaniel, born March 26, 1878. 

Mr. Johnson is a zealous member of the 
Lutheran Church. In politics he is a repub- 
lican of the strict type, and is an influential 
citizen. His estimable wife is beloved bv all 
with Avhom she comes in contact, and her 
home-loving tastes are abundantly testified 
to by the multitude of choice ])lants and 
flowering shrubs that adorn and beautify 
her home, and make winter lovely Avith sum- 
mer's perfumes and verdure. 

|AV1D ANDERSON. The subject of 

^ this sketch is one of the leading and 
well-to-do farmers of Acton township, being 
a resident of section 7 in that subdivision of 
Meeker county. He is a native of Sweden, 
born February 14, 1829, and a son of Andreas 
and Christina Anderson. In 1861 he came 
to the United States, and for one summer he 
worked in Illinois ; then he settled at Clear- 
watei', "Wright county, Minn., where he 
rented a farm and remained for three years. 
At the expiration of that time he went to 
Idaho to seek his fortune in the gold fields, 
and, being very successful there, he remained 
three yeai-s. In 1868 he came to Meeker 



county, Jlinn., and bought 240 acres of rail- 
road land iu Acton townshi]), where he now 
lives. Three years later he returned to the 
gold fields of Idaho, and engaged in mining 
and the hotel business, in company with his 
brother, Solomon, and, while in the midst of 
their prosperity, making money very rapidly, 
their mining camp broke uji, many of their 
boarders being left penniless, and from these 
and kindred causes they lost about $13,000. 
David, thereupon, sold his property there^ 
returned to his farm in Acton, and engaged 
in farming and stock-raising, which business 
he has since continued. He has a valuable 
farm, good improvements, and a good deal 
of stock, lie has met with some slight re- 
verses, especially during the grasshopper 
raids, but, withal, has been verj- successful, 
and his enterprise and good management 
have earned for him a competency. In poli- 
tical matters, he is republican, and in religion, 
he is a member of the Swedish Lutheran 

Mr. Anderson was married in Sweden, in 
1852, to Miss Petronella Samuelsdatter, a 
native of the same land. The fruits of their 
union have been one child, Solomon, who 
was born on the 24th of December, 1853. 
Solomon is unmarried and still lives with his 



May 14, 1857, at Hamburg, Germany 
■while his parents, Bengt and Elna Hanson, 
were on their way from their native land, 
Sweden, to America, and is a twin brother 
of C. J. G. Hanson. His parents settled on 
a farm in what is now Litchfield township, in 
1857, where our subject grew to manhood. 

Charles remained with his parents until 
1S79, at which time he entered the employ 
of the St. Paul & Duluth Railroad Company, 
with whom he remained but one winter, and 

then worked for a time for the St. Paul Har- 
vester AVorks, traveling through the country 
as an expert in their business. One year later 
he transferred his services to the McCormick 
Harvester Company, and traveled through 
the Southern States, and followed the harvest 
season north again. In 1880 he was engaged 
in farming on section 27, Litchfield town- 
ship. In the spring of 1887, in company 
with A. J. Anderson, he opened their pres- 
ent hardware and agricultural depot at 

Mr. Hanson and Miss Clara L. Ahlstrom 
Avere united in marriage June 30, 1S87. The 
lady is the diiughter of A. M. and Christine 
Ahlstrom, who were among the earliest pio- 
neers that broke the way for civilization into 
the wilds of Chisago county, Minn. 

/^ORNELIUS McGRAW, a prominent 
\^J^ farmer and stock-raiser residing on 
section 33, Greenleaf townshij), is one of the 
oldest settlers residing in that portion of the 
count3^ He came to Meeker county in 1860 
with his parents, who were Michael and 
Winnefred McGraw, and the father selected 
160 acres of land on section 26, in Greenleaf 
township. At that time the family consisted 
of the parents, six boys and two girls, and 
four of the boys are still living here. Accom- 
panying the party were Patrick ]\Ianley and 
family, M. Ilanley and famil}^ M. Ryan and 
familj'^, Lewis Maher and family, and a Mr. 
Carrigan and family, all of whom settled in 
Greenleaf. The part}' arrived in July, and 
Michael McGraw at once put up a cabin and 
began improvements. He remained on the 
farm, except during the Indian troubles, 
until the time of his death, which occurred in 
March, 1878. His widow is still living on 
the old farm. 

Cornelius McGraw, the subject of this 
biography, remained with his parents until 



the time of the Indian outbreak. After they 
heard of the killing of Jones and Baker, he 
went to G. C. AVhitconib's to learn the par- 
ticulars, and returned that night. The fol- 
lowing (lay the whole settlement gathered at 
Whitcomb's, and remained there for two 
days, when all hands started for Forest Cit}', 
driving their stock with them. The follow- 
ing day Cornelius returned to his father's 
house and found that the Indians had been 
there, but had not burned it. After Whit- 
comb had returned from St. Paul with guns 
and ammunition, Cornelius enlisted in the 
company which was organized, and served 
in it until it was disbanded. In the spring 
of 1863 he joined the Inde]3endent Battalion 
Minnesota Volunteer Cavalry, and served on 
the frontier until the war closed. He then 
returned to Gi'eenleaf and worked at various 
things until 1869 when he pui'ohased 160 
acres of wild land on section 27, and at once 
began improvements. He lived upon that 
for about ten years, when he sold it and 
bought his present place on section 33, where 
he now has 235 acres, well improved with 
excellent buildings. He devotes his attention 
largely to stock-raising, and his able manage- 
ment has placed him among the most prom- 
inent stock-raisers and general farmers of 
the county. 

He has taken an active interest in educa- 
tional matters, and has held various offices 
in his district. In political matters he does 
not hold himself bound to any ])arty, but 
acts independently. 

Mr. McGraw made a gallant and credit- 
able record during Indian times. When the 
Indians made the attack on Forest City, he 
was asleep, and, not until the bullets were 
flying thick and Indians yelling all around 
was he aroused. He started up to find that 
he was left alone with a single companion. 
They each grasped a box of ammunition and 
fire arms, a heavy load, and started for the 
stockade, arriving in safety amidst the yells 

and bullets of the foe. For three years and a 
half he was in service, fighting the redskins 
wheneveran opportunity presented, and never 
flinched when dutv called. He began fight- 
ing Indians when only si.xteen, and his brav- 
ery equaled that of the hardiest of men. He 
was one of the nine who remained in Forest 
City in those trying times, when there was 
scarcely a white man in the county beside 

/^^EORGE MAYNARD. The suljject of 
V^r>i this sketch is one of the residents of 
Ivingst(jn township at present, although one 
of the first settlers in the town of Dassel, 
where he located in May, 1866. He made 
his home in that part of the count}' for about 
twenty j'ears and then removed to his pres- 
ent place, which is located upon section 32. 
He is one of the " woods " farmers and stock- 
raisers of the town, and one of its represent- 
ative citizens. 

Mr. Maynard was born in Floyd county, 
Ky., on the 27th of August, 1852, and is the 
son of Rev. William and Sarah (Parsons) 
Maynard. His father was, also, born upon 
" the dark and bloody ground," and was 
ordained a minister in 1860, and first preached 
the gospel in Floyd county, in his native 
State. He came to Meeker count}' in 1866, 
settling in Dassel, Avhere he cast the first 
vote after its organization, and where he has 
continued to fulfill his duties as watchman 
upon the walls of Zion. since coming here. 
He is still a resident of Dassel. 

George Maynard was but thirteen years of 
age when his parents came here, and was 
reared the balance of his days in this count}', 
together with his brothers and sisters. These 
latter were Susan, jS'ancy, Oma, Charity, 
Maggie, James N. and Robert G. Finishing 
the education l)egan in Kentucky, after 
coming here, Mr. Maynard grew to man- 
hood upon his father's farm. 



March 5, 1875, George Maynard and Miss 
Margaret Sanson were united in marriage. 
The lady is a native of "West Virginia, born 
in 1859, and daughter of "Riley and Sarah 
Sanson, who were natives of the same State, 
but residents of this county now. By this 
union there have been born a family of five 
children — Sarah, "William R., Minerva J., 
Margaret A. and James M. Mr. Maynard is 
a member of the Seventh Day Advent Church. 
In his politics he affiliates with the repulili- 
can party. 

— -«" 

JTOHN OGREN, a wealthy, successful and 
^ prominent farmer and stock-raiser, re- 
siding on section 20, Danielson township, 
conies of the same thrifty and enterprising 
nationality which forms such a large ele- 
ment in the best class of citizens in Minne- 
sota's population. Industrious, economical 
and enterprising, his characteristics are the 
natural result of the general training given 
to the youth of his nationality. Having 
come here a poor man and accumulated a 
comfortable property he is a self-made man, 
and his present easy circumstances is entirely 
due to his own industry and efforts. 

Mr. Ogren is a son of Andrew and Han- 
nah Anderson, and was born in Sweden on 
the 17th March, 1838. His early life was 
spent in his native land, where he remained 
imtil 1 SOU, when he came to the United 
States and proceeded to Stillwater, Minn., 
where he remained for four months, being 
emjiloyed for two weeks on the river, and 
the balance of the time working for farmers. 
At the expiration of that time, October 1, 
1869, he came to Meeker county, Minn., and 
took a homestead on section 20, in Danielson 
township, where he still lives. He now owns 
520 acres of land upon which he has placed 
excellent building imjjrovements. The farm 
is among the most valuable in the township, 

as a good share of it is under cultivation. 
He has it well stocked. "When Mr. Ogren 
took his homestead he had only $10 left after 
buying one cow and a yoke of oxen. 

Mr. Ogren was married on the 4th of Jan- 
uarv, 1868, to Carrie Larson, a daughter of 
Lewis and Bertha Larson, who was born 
February 13, 1837. Their marriage has been 
blessed with six children, as follows — An- 
drew, born December 1, 1868, died March 
17, 1870; Josephine, born July 19, 1870; 
Hilda Christine, born November 1, 1872; 
"William, born April 11, 1874; Anna Caro- 
lina, born March 31, 1876 ; and Alfred, born 
July 8, 1S79. The family are members of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

In political matters Mr. Ogren is a repub- 
lican, and he has taken an active interest in 
matters affecting the welfare of his town- 
ship as an organization. He has held vari- 
ous local offices, including those of school 
treasurer one year, and road overseer three 


^M DOLPH MAASS, an enterprising, intel- 
_Z^Sjl ligent and successful farmer residing 
on section 3, Litchfield township, was Lorn 
in Brandenburg, Germany, on the 14th of 
July, 1840, and is a son of John and Maria 
(Evert) Maas. The parents are both dead, 
having died in their native land. Adolph 
grew to manhood in his native land, receiv- 
ing a common-school education, and working 
most of the time on a farm. He acquired the 
same habits of frugality and industry' that 
characterizes his race and makes them the 
most desirable citizens which Jlinnesota has 
received from the Old "\Yorld. In 1869 
Adolph came to the United States and set- 
tled in St. Louis county, Mo., where he re- 
mained for two years and then went to Ten- 
nessee. A year later he went back to Mis- 
souri, and after a year's residence there he 



came to Minnesota, and after remaining for 
a few montlis in Cloodlme county, returned 
to Missouri. Tlie following summer of 1875, 
he again came to Minnesota, and after re- 
maining for two winters in Scott county, in 
1878 he came to Meeker county, and settled 
in Litchfield township, whei'e he has since 
lived. He has a valuable farm within easy 
reach of the county seat, and there devotes 
his attention to general farming and stock- 

Mr. Maass was married on the 17th of No- 
vember, 1877, to Miss Augusta Arndt, and 
their union has been blessed with two chil- 
dren, Frederick and Adolph, both of whom 
are still living and at home. Mrs. Maass is 
also a native of Germany. She. came to the 
United States in 1868 with her parents and 
they settled in Scott county, Minn., where 
the father and mother are still living. The 
marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Maass took place 
in that count}'. 

In political matters Mr. Maass does not 
follow the dictates of any party, but. acts in- 
dependently and votes for the man rather 
than creed. Both Mr. and Mrs. Maass are 
active members of the Lutheran Church, and 
are exemplary Christian people. 



l&jjUKE RAILS, one of the industrious, ener- 
ll^i^ getic and able farmers of Manannah 
township, came to Meeker county in the fall 
of 1866, with two other men, Silas and John 
Cossairt, and took up a homestead claim in 
the spring of 1867. As an instance of his 
foresight he said to his companions, although 
they had no neighbors for miles, nothing 
between theni and Manannah or Forest City. 
that inside of twenty years there would be a 
railroad through here, meaning by their 
farms or near them, and that he would buy 
a railroad "forty." on section 3, whether he 
took up a homestead or not, which he accord- 

ingly did, and in 1886 the Minneapolis and 
Pacific Kailroad came to the neighborhood. 
Soon after neighbors became more plentiful 
and the vicinit}' settled up. 

Mr. Rails is a native of Vermillion county^ 
111., born April 27, 1840, and is the son of 
James and Sarah (Wiles) Rails. He was. 
reared in that portion of the great " Prairie 
State," and early in life was initiated into- 
the mysteries of agriculture and hard work.. 
Attainingthe years of manhood, with a nat- 
ural desire for a home of his OM-n and the 
jo}' s of the family hearth, he was united in 
marriage, March 10, 1864, with Miss Eliza 
A. Cossairt, a native, also, of Vermillioni 
county, and the daughter of Samuel and 
Rachel (Venible) Cossairt. Shortly after 
this happy event he removed to Foi'd county, 
111., but in September, 1866, started from 
there with teams, for Stearns county, Minn. 
In their party were Samuel Cossairt and 
family, Mr. Rails and wife, and two young 
men. On their arrival they settled here, as 
mentioned above. Mr. Rails has now a farm 
of 200 acres of land, and has made good 
improvements on the place. Both he and 
his wife are members of the Christian 
Church at Eden Valley and zealous workers 
in the vineyard of our Lord. 

The family of Mr. and Mrs. Rails consists 
of four children — "William IL, born April 26, 
1865; Samuel F., born April 1, 1871; Leslie 
E., born July 28, 1874 ; Edith V., born July 
2.3, 1879. 


^P^RS. MARY BELFOY {nee McGannon), 
\i^^ a resident of Litchfield, is a 
native of Jennings count}% Ind., born July 
8, 1843, and is the daughter of John and 
Mary (Carney) McGannon, natives of Vir- 
ginia and Kentucky, respectively. She was 
united in marriage, June 11, 1862, with John 



John Blackwoll was born in Gloucester- 
shire, Enghmd, January 4, 1832, and came 
to Meeker county April 15, 1857, and set- 
tled in Acton, where he was one of the pio- 
neers. He was a mason by trade, but found 
but little to do at that calling in the new- 
country, so worked on his farm in summer 
and taught school in the winter seasons, 
being the first to teach in Litchfield town- 
ship. After his marriage he went i^nto his 
farm to live, and while there was interrupted 
by the news of tiie Indian outbreak. (_)n the 
eventful night of August 17, 1S(')2, he organ- 
ized a posse to go to the houses of Jones 
and Baker to assist the wounded, if any, and 
was the first to enter the Baker cabin, where 
with a steady hand he struck a light, a peril- 
ous proceeding under tiie circumstances, as 
he made himself a mark for any lurking foe. 
He it was that found the little child at Jones' 
house and gave him into the hands of one of 
the men who accompanied him. Some time 
after this he went to Anoka with his j'oung 
wife and there remained until 1865, when he 
retui-ned to this count\' and o{)ened a store 
in the township of Eipley, now Litchfield. 
In the fall of that year he was elected to the 
office of register of deeds and removed to 
Forest City. Shortly after assuming the duties 
of that position, James M. Harvey, the clerk 
of the district court, died, and that office was 
also conferred ujion Mr. Black well, and a short 
time after he was also made school examiner, 
thus holding three offices at one and the 
same time. From this time on he was an 
occupant of some of the county offices until 
his death, which took place Ma}' 21, 1875, 
while he was judge of probate. He left five 
children — Minnie, wife of F. P. Olney, of 
Litchfield; Marv J., Mrs. Charles Downey, 
of Minneapolis ; Addie, George, and John 
at home, and Mattie, deceased. On the 7th 
day of January, 1881, Mrs. I'lackwell was 
again married, this time to Frank Belfoy. 
Frank Belfoy was a lawyer by profession, 

and a native of Prescott, Province of Onta- 
rio, Canada, born November 1, 1827. lie 
came to Forest City in 1808 and there estab- 
lished the pioneer journal of Meeker county, 
The News, which he edited in connection 
with his legal practice. In 18t)0 he removed 
to Litchfield and in 1874 he sold the sub. 
scrijition books and goodwill of The Beios 
to Daggett & Joubert, who consolidated with 
Thie Ledger, and Mr. Belfoy devoted his sole 
attention to his profession. In 1876 Mr. 
Belfoy purchased an interest in the News- 
Ledger with Mr. Joubert, and assumed the 
greater share of the editorial labor, which he 
continued until July 10, 1881, when he was 
called to " that land elysian,- whose portals 
we call death." His widow is still a resident 
of the village of Litchfield. By her last 
union there was born one child, Frank, living 
at home with his surviving parent. 


i^^USTOF BERGQUIST, an energetic 
>^pr and thrifty Swedish farmer of CoUin- 
wood township, resides upon section 10, 
where he owns some eighty acres of land. 
His home is pleasantly located, and is sur- 
rounded by his excellent outbuildings. His 
stoolv, to which he gives considerable atten- 
tion, is of good strains, and the place evinces 
the prosperity and care of the proprietor. 
He was born in Sweden August 2, 1831. and 
is the son of John and Eva Katrina Mag- 
ason. He made liis home in his native land 
until he was about forty years of age, when, 
realizing the fact that it was almost impossi- 
ble in that section of the world for a man to 
achieve a competence, determined to seek in 
America a new home. Accordingly, in 1871, 
he sailed from tbei'e, and on lantling in the 
United States, went at once to Duluth, where 
he was emjiloved three years in a saw-mill. 
From there he removed to Tiiomson, this 
State, where he ran a latli mill in summer 



and worked in the pineries during tl:e winter, 
for two years. In 1870 he came to Collin- 
wood township, this county, where he pur- 
chased the farm where he now Hves, and set- 
tled down to nn agricultural life. lie has 
prospei'ed according to his merits since com- 
ing here, and I'iciily deserves the esteem and 
respect in wiiich he is held by the people of 
the community. He has held the olHce of 
town treasurer for some three or four years, 
and being a strict momljer of the Lutheran 
Church, has acted as deacon and treasui'er of 
that organization for some time. 

Mr. liergquist Avas married May 5, 1860, 
to Miss Anna Louisa Peterson, also a native 
of Sweden, and daugliter of Peter and Ka- 
trine Carlson. By this union there has 
been born a family of eight children, of whom 
the following is a record — Axel Edward was 
born December 25, 1801 ; John Siegfried was 
born November 2,180-4; Jennie Augusta's 
birth took place November 4, 1807 ; France 
Augustus was born March. 19, 1871, and died 
August 19, 1872 ; Anna Olize was born July 
1, 1S73, and died April 19, 1885; Walter 
Emanuel was born April 23, 1879 ; Carl Otto, 
born July 10, 1882; and Aiigust William was 
born March 24, 1885. Axel E. married Miss 
Hulda Swanson, and lives on section 15, Col- 
linwood ; and Jennie A., now Mrs. Theodore 
Premous, and is a resident of Dassel. 


/^^LE JOHNSON RENOS, is a respected 
^^hiy «nd thrifty farmer of Acton town- 
ship. Meeker county, Minn. He is a son of 
John anil Betsy Renos, and was liorn in 
Norway in 1825. The grea,ter part of his 
life was spent in his native land, and he was 
married there, in October, 1860, to Miss Mary 
Gunderson. They came to the United States 
in 1872, and for two years after their arrival 
they lived in Minneapolis. At the expira- 
tion of that tijiie thev came to Acton town- 

ship and purchased 120 acres of railroad land 
on section 19, where they still live, and where 
they now have a comfortable home in which 
to sj^end their declining years. Mr. and Mrs. 
Eenos have but one child, a daughter, Betsy, 
who was born on the 27th of November, 

Betsy Renos was married on the 13th of 
March, 1882, to John Jacob Oestadt, and 
they are living with her parents. They have 
been blessed with one child, Mina Helen, who 
was born on the 27th of November, 1885. The 
family are all members of the Norwegian 
Lutheran Church. 

IpEENRY Mc CANN. The subject of this 
JHL biographical sketch is a successful 
and enterprising farmer and stock-raiser, who 
resides on section 9, Harvey township. He 
is a native of Lowell, Mass., and was born 
on the 1st of April, 1859. His parents, who 
Avere natives of Ireland, were Thomas and 
Alice (McLaughlin) McCann. 

On the 1st of May, 1867, quite a party of 
settlers left Lowell, Mass., bent upon finding 
homes in Minnesota, the McCann family 
being among the number. They finally 
arrived at Clearwater, and from there, with 
teams, they made their way across the 
country to Forest City. Thomas McCann, 
the father of our subject, located on section 
10, in Harvey township, where he remained 
for seven years, and then removed to Manan- 
nah township, where he still resides. 

Henry McCann remained at home until 
he had arrived at the age of cwenty-one 
years, when he began making^ his own way 
in the world. With the exception of one 
winter spent in the pineries, his home has 
been in Harvey township, constantly, since 
that time. He now has a valuable farm of 
120 acres, and a comfortable home. A good 
share of his place is under a high state of 



cultivation, and, in connection with his 
general fanning operations, he carries on 
stock-raising to a considerable extent. In 
political matters he votes the democratic 
ticket, and is regarded as one of the leading- 
citizens of tlie township in wiiicli he resides. 
Onr subject was married on tlie 24rth of 
Novemijer, 188-1-, to Miss Katie A. Mitcliell, 
and they have been the parents of two chil- 
dren, as follows — Miss Allice, born March 1, 
1886; and Harry, born Marcli 15, ISSS. 
Both Mr. and Mrs. McCann are devout and 
active members of the Catholic Church. 
The marriage of our subject and his lady 
took place at East Minneapolis, the cere- 
mony being jierformed by the Rev. Father 
O'Reillv, of St. Anthonv church. 



McLANE. The subject of the 
I'ing biography is one of the 
finest representatives of a class of foreign- 
born citizens, who have brought the tlirift 
and energy, whicli was their only heritage 
in tlieir native land, to tliis country, witli its 
gTeat possibilities, and are accomplishing the 
best results in tlieir application under the 
influence of American institutions. 

Mr. McLane is a native of County Antrim, 
Ireland, born October 9, 1854, and is the sou 
of Patrick and ]\[arian ((^lose) McLane. He 
was reared in the Emerald Isle and remained 
in the land of his birth until 1879, when, with 
a natural wish to better his fortune, he crossed 
the stormy bosom of the Atlantic, landing at 
New York City. P'rom there he proceeded 
to Chicago, but, a few mouths later, in 1880, 
came to Litchfiekl and opened the wholesale 
and retail gi'ocerv stoi-e now under the ]iro- 
prietorsiiip of W. II. Dai-t, building the store 
building in the summer of 1881. He re- 
mained in this lino of trade until 1SS7, when, 
being desirous of a change in his business, he 
sold out to Mr. Dait, as he had the previous 

year entered into a copartnersliip Avith L. D. 
Crowe, in the agricultural implement busi- 
ness. Devoting his abundant energies to 
this line of trade Mr. McLane is ra])idly and 
surely acquii'ing a jirominent place among 
the business men of this section of the State, 
and has the warmest respect nnd esteem of 
his fellow-citizens. 

-«— : 

ETER J. LUND, one of the pioneers 
of Meeker county, and the first set- 
tler in Acton township, still has his resi- 
dence on the southeast quarter of section 4, 
where he first located in 1857. 

Mr. Lund is a native of Skone, Sweden, 
born October 2, 1821, and came to this coun- 
try in 1852. After short stays in Knoxville 
and Moline, 111., he located in Chisago 
county, this State, where he remained until 
coming here. During the Indian troubles he 
suffered much loss of property, the savages 
burning his houses, stealing his horses and 
running off his stock. He heard of the out- 
rage and left his liouse in a hurry with his 
family to Forest City, and leaving them in 
safety returned to his place with six or seven 
neighl)ors, foi' he had considerable provi- 
sions, etc., in his house, which he had accu- 
mulated to sell to such of his neighbors as 
needed tliem. They approached the house 
cautiously, seeing everj' where the evidences 
of the Indians having been about, and did 
not dare to light a candle or even a match. 
The house hail been broken open and Mr. 
Lund, entering, could see by the dim light 
that the drawers and trunks had been forced 
and their clothing stolen. He went up stairs 
and dropped two sacks of flour to the 
friends below, and, taking a trunk that was 
still intact, left. These depredations he lays 
to the Ilonu! (Guards, as the Indians had not 
been there }'et, but at the time he did not 
know it. After loading- these things on a 



sled, they got a yoke of the neighbors' oxen 
which they hitched to it, and drove out on 
the prairie, where the others had congre- 
gated with their teams. All being afi-aid, 
he volunteered to lead, but confesses that he 
lay pretty close to the sled and kept his 
eyes wide open for Indians. They got 
through safely to Forest City, although the 
savages shortly afterwards burned his house 
and destroyed all the property they could. 
During the attack on the stockade at Forest 
City, on the morning of the 4th of Septem- 
ber, Mr. Lund says that an opening existed 
in the line of fortification on the north side, 
and that while he and another man held 
poles and planks across the opening, Hamlet 
Stevens, now the banker at Litchfield, calmly 
nailed them fast, although the bullets were 
singing round their heads prettj^ freely, and 
also says that Mr. Stevens budt the first 
house in Grove City, while he boarded with 
Mr. Lund. 

Mr. Lund has now a fine farm of 350 acres 
of land, although he was a poor man when 
he came here. He was married, in May, 
1850, in Sweden, to Miss Ellen ISTelson, who 
is the mother of seven children — Anna, 
deceased ; Ingi'a, Sarah, Joanna, Amy, and 
Nels, deceased. 


puis MARTENSON, a respected farm- 
|&^ er, residing on section 25, Litchfield 
township, is a son of Marten and Pernella 
Larsen, and was born in Sweden on the <)th 
of September, 18i4. lie lived with liis 
parents in the old country until 1872, when 
he came to the United States with Peter 
Martenson and Peter Olson, and the party 
settled in Meeker county, Minn. 

In 1879 Louis Martenson was married to 
Anna Johnson. She was born in Sweden. 
Feljruary 10, 1859, and came to America 
with her parents, Jonas and Lovisa Johnson, 

in 1869. Her father died in 1870, and her 
mother lives with Louis and his wife. Four 
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Martenson, as follows-^Emma Lovise, born 
May 28, 1880; Axel Albert, born October 
15, 1882 ; Oscar Louander, born February 
14, 1885 ; and Marten Edward, born August 
14, 1887. Mr. Martenson devotes his entire 
time to farming and stock-raising and is very 
successful. His good management, economy 
and enterprise have not been without their 
reward, and he is now in comfortable circum- 
stances and has a pleasant home. He has 
also met with some serious reverses in the 
way of loss of crops. In 1887 his crops were 
almost wholly destroyed by the terrific hail- 
storm which swept over this portion of the 

EV. HUGH McDEVlTT, resident priest 
J^V, of the Catholic Church at Manannah, 
is a native of County Donegal, Ireland, born 
on the 3d of Februar3', 1843, and is the son 
of Winifrede O'Flaherty and William 
McDevitt. He received his education in the 
Missionary College of All Hallows, Dublin ; 
promoted to the order of priesthood on the 
27th of June, 1865, and served for some years 
as a missionary in the diocese of Sydney, N. 
S. W. Returning to Ireland, with the per- 
mission of his superiors he came to America, 
and became affiliated with the Diocese of St. 
Paul many years ago. He is now under the 
jurisdiction of Bishop Ireland. Prior to 
his coming to Manannah, he served in the 
missions of Chatfield, Pine Island and Bell 
Creek, with excellent results. On the re- 
moval of Father King to St. Stephen's 
church, he was requested by the bishop to 
succeed Father King, and came to Litchfield 
on the 1st of May, 1885. Manannah was 
then united to Litchfield, services being held 
every alternate Sunday. Seeing the neces- 



sitj'^ of Manannah having a resident priest, 
lie mentioned tiie matter to tlie bisliop, who 
gave liiin every encouragement in his under- 
taking, lie immediately' began the erection 
of the pastoral residence, at a cost of $2,000. 
The congregation was rejoiced that a jiriest 
was to reside with tliem ; all subscribed 
nobly, and cooperated with their priest in 
2>roviding every requisite, lie is a priest 
strict in all church matters, kind, but firm in 
what he considers his duty botii to churcli and 
people. We wish him God-speed in all his 
undertakings and best endeavors for the wel- 
fare and good of his congregation, and to cul- 
tivate the ]>oi'tion of his Master's vineyard 
entrusted to his care with Heaven's choicest 


JOHN W. KNIGHT, dealer in tubular 
well machinery, wood pumps, rubber 
goods and engine extras, and one of the pi'om- 
inent businessmen of Litchfield, is an old set- 
tler in Meeker county. Mr. Knight is a native 
of Burrilville, E. I., born on the IStli of 
August, 1841. His parents were William 
and Abigail (Olney) Knight, both natives of 
Massachusetts, Avliose forefathers on both 
sides were among the first settlers of that 
region, and the mother's brother, Wilson 
Olney, was an Indian iigent in Massachu- 
setts many years ago. 

The subject of this sketch was one of a 
family of six children, as follows — William 
Henry, of Swanzey, N. II., where he has 
been steadily employed in a bucket factory 
for thirty years; Abigail, now Mrs. C. C. Car- 
penter, of Graceville, Minn.; John W. ; Liz- 
zie G., now Mrs. Fitch, of Swanzey, N. H.; 
Mary, now Mrs. White, of Keene, N. II.; 
Dutte S., of Hinsdale, JS". H., an overseer 
in a large blanket factory; and Ilattie N., 
now a Mrs. White, of Keene, N. H. 

John W. Knight remained with his iinreiits 

working on a farm and attending school when 
opportunity ortVred until he was eighteen 
years of age, when he purchased his "time" 
of his father and began life on his own 
account. He worked in factories and at 
whatever he found profitable until Marcii 3, 
1861, when he enlisted in Company K, Sec- 
ond New Hampshire Infantry for three years 
service. He was mustered in at Concord, 
N. H., on the ith of April and his regiment 
was assigned to the Army of the Potomac. 
The first actual service was at the siege of 
Yoi-ktown, Va., under Gen. G. B. McClellan. 
From there they went to AVilliamsburg with 
tlie division under General Hooker, and there 
Mr. Knight was seriously wounded l)y the 
concussion of a shell ; a comrade to his right 
having his head taken off, and one to his left 
having a leg amputated by the same shell. 
J\Ir. Knight was taken to the Williamsburg 
hospital and a shoi't time later to the York- 
town hospital, and there remained until the 
latter place was evacuated. He was finally 
mustered out and discharged for disability 
July 31, 1803, at Concord, N. H. 

On the 27th of August, 1863, he was mar- 
ried by Rev. S. S. Dudley to JVIiss Abbie P. 
Fletcher, a native of Acwortii, N. II., born 
March 18, 1845. A short time later they 
went to Winchendon, Mass., where Mr. 
Knight was engaged in the sewing machine 
factory of Goodspeed'ct Weyman, for about 
one yeai", when he went to ilarlborough, 
N. II. A short time later lie went to Bellows 
Falls, A"t., and remained thereuntil May, 1866, 
when he came to Meeker county, Minn. He 
selected a homestead on section 28, in For- 
est City township, and commenced improv- 
ing his land, erecting the kind of a cabin 
customary with the early settlers. His fam- 
ily arrived in October of the same year. 
Mr. Knight remained on his farm for seven 
3'ears, when he sold out and removed to 
Litchfield, where for a year he followed car- 
iientering and draying. In 1873 he went 


.^^^^..^ .^.^^ 



into the puni|) business which he has followed 
constantly since. In 1886, in company with 
his son, Wilmer W., lie opened a shop in 
Paynesville, Stearns county, which his son 
now conducts. Mr. and ^Irs. Knight are the 
parents of five living children — Wilmer W., 
born in New Hampshire, November 28, 1864, 
now in Paynesville, Minn. ; Alnion E. luid 
Ahnina E., born in Forest City, April 21, 
1869 ; Elsie V., born in Forest City, October 
23, 1873 ; Ernest A., died at the age of four- 
teen months ; and Inez O., born at Litch- 
field, May 31, 1879. Tiie family are mem- 
bers of the Christian Church. 


I^DAM BROWER, an enterprising and 
pi'ogressive farmer of Kingston town- 
ship, living on section 16, is a native of Jen- 
nings county, Tnd., born June 29, 1840. and 
is the son of Adam and Jeannette (McMur- 
chey) Brower. His father, wlio was the son 
of Peter Brower, a native of Holland, wlio 
had settled in this country some time liefore, 
was born in Gloucester county, N. J., K\m\ 
13, 1S02, and moved with his parents to 
Clareiiiont county, Ohio, in 1816, where he 
was married October 12, 1824, and there car- 
ried on lirickmaking and farming. He was 
one of the representative men of that portion 
of the State, and on moving, in 1838, to Jen- 
nings county, Ind., carried his popularity 
with him. He was soon elected to the magis- 
trate's bench, upon which he served some 
thirteen years, and his decisions were such 
that bnt one was ever ajipealed from. 

" Ripe in wisdom was he, but patient and 
simple and childlike." He connected him- 
self with the Methodist Chnrch in 1825, and 
was licensed to preach in 1845. His voice 
was ever heard against slavery and intem- 
perance, and his walk and conversation were 
in consonance with his teaching. He is still 
living in his Indiana home, having raised a 

family of thirteen children, of whom the fol- 
lowing is the record — James, moved to Hai'ri- 
son county, Mo., in 1853, and represented 
his district twice in the legislature; Sarah, 
living in Rush county, Ind.; Alineda, whose 
home is still in Jennings county; George 
and Adam, living in Minnesota; Margaret, 
in Jefferson county, Ind.; Jennette, in Marion 
count}'; Lemuel, in Hendricks county; and 
John. The latter, a brave and gallant sol- 
dier, died of starvation and exposure in one 
of the loathsome prison pens of the rebels 
during the late war. 

The subject of this sketch enlisted, also, in 
April, 1861, in the Sixth Indiana Infantry, 
and, after serving his three months with that 
regiment, re-enlisted, September 14, in Com- 
pany H, Twenty Seventh Indiana Infantry, 
and with that famous liand of heroes partici- 
pated in many of tiie l)loodiest battles of the 
war, among Avhicli were Winchester, Chan- 
cellorsville, Gettysburg, in the east, and, after 
they were transferred to the Cumberland, 
Resaca and Altoona. He was wounded in 
the latter confiict, and was laid up in the 
hospital for a few weeks. He was mustered 
out, at Indianapolis, Septemlier 14, 1S65. He 
was taken prisoner by the rebels at the bat- 
tle of Winchester, May 25, 1862, and kept 
by them until September 20th, following, 
when he was exchanged and resumed duty. 

In February', 1867, our subject came to 
Meeker county, and purchased the place 
where he now lives. For the first three 
years of his residence here he was engaged 
in brickmaking in the village, but at the 
expiration of that time took up farming. 
Two seasons since that he has been in the 
same business, and a part of the time in the 
sawmill at Dassel. 

j\[r. Brower was married, October 4, 1869, 
to Miss Flora E. DeCoster, a native of Mas- 
sachusetts, and daughter of Albert DeCoster, 
of Massachusetts. By this union there have 
been born f(jur children, namelv — Adam M.. 



■whose birtli took place August 3, 1870; 
Claude D., born Septeinber 28, 1871; Daisy, 
born December 12, 1874; and Frederick G., 
born Januar}"^ 6, 1883. 

Mr. Brower is a rei)ublican in politics, and 
is the clerk of the school district in which he 

'OHN RALSTON, one of the most suc- 
cessful, prominent and leading farmers 
jind stock-raisers in Meeker county, is a resi- 
dent of section 25, Harvey township. He 
was born in the Province of Quebec, Canada, 
of Scotch parents, on the 2d of March, 1837, 
and his early days were spent in his native 
Province, where he received the education 
afforded by the facilities of those daj'S and 
he received the same training as to industry 
and frugality that is characteristic of the 
people of that nationalit3\ 

In March, 1858, he came to Meeker county, 
Minn., and spent one month in wliat is now 
Harvey townshi|). At the expiration of that 
time he went to Minneapolis and spent the 
summer, returning to Meeker county in the 
winter, working at stone masonry most of 
the time during this period. Five years later 
he again returned to Minneapolis, where he 
remained three years, and since that time he 
has made his home in Harvey township. He 
has one of the most valuable and best im- 
proved farms in the county, and his success- 
ful and able business management is abund- 
antly evidenced by his present standing, as 
he is rated as one of the most solid and sul)- 
stantial citizens in the nortiiern pait of 
Meeker county. He carries on diversitietl 
fanning, together with stock-raising, exten- 
sivelv, and his i)lace is well arranged for his 

Mr. Kalston was married, on March 18, 
1869, to Miss Sarah L. Wilkinson, of the 
Province of Quebec, and they have been 
parents of two children — John E., deceased. 

and Jane E., who is still at home. The 
family are members of the Presbyterian 
Church. Mr. Ralston does not take an ac- 
tive ])art in political matters, at least so far 
, as oiKco seeking is concerned, and in those 
matters he does not follow tiie arbitrary dic- 
tation of party, but acts in an independent 



of Dassel's respected and honored 
deceased citizens, who was identified with its 
early development, was a native of Sweden, 
and came to Meeker county in 1866 and took 
a homestead. He was at that time a 
young unmarried man, and did not remain 
upon the farms steadih% but when the St. 
Paul & Pacific Railroad was being built 
through the county in 1869, he entered their 
employ as carpenter, he having learned that 
trade. He remained with them until 1872, 
at which date he came to Dassel village and 
entered into the mercantile business, and 
remained in that line until his death, which 
occurred in January, 18S4. While a resident 
here, in 1876, he was elected a member of 
the Minnesota State Legislature, and served 
one term with credit. 

PETER PETERSON, a farmer of Acton 
township, belongs to a family that 
has a number of representatives scattered 
through the Northwest. A sister is now Mre. 
Laurits Frogner, of Atwater; one of his 
brothers, Frederick Peterson, also lives in 
Atwater, where he works in an elevator; 
and another bi'other, Xels, is inspector in on 
elevator at Fisher's Landing, Dak. 

Peter Peterson, the subject of this biogru- 
ph\', was born in Denmark on the 21st of 
August, 1839, and is a son of Peter and Anna 
Peterson. He came to the United States in 
1873, and at once settled in Acton township, "* 



Meeker county, Minn. He then purchased 
•eighty acres on section 31, but has since 
bought an acklitional eiglity, so that his farm 
now consists of 160 acres, a large share of 
which is under a higli state of cultivation. 
His place is improved with substantial and 
■comfortable farm buildings, and he has it 
well stocked with iiorses and cattle. In ad- 
•dition to his farming operations he has a feed 
mill on his place, which he operates for the 
•convenience of himself and neighboi's. 

Mr. Peterson was married, in 1863, to Anna, 
.a daughter of Peter and Anna Christina 
Peterson. The following is a reco