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Full text of "History of Cottonwood and Watonwan counties, Minnesota : their people, industries, and institutions"

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HISTORY 

OF 



Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties 

Minnesota 



THEIR PEOPLE, INDUSTRIES AND INSTITUTIONS 



JOHN A. BROWN 

Editor-in-Chief 



With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and 
Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families 



VOLUME II 



ILLUSTRATED 



1916 

B. F. BOWEN & COMPANY, Inc. 

Indianapolis, Indiana 






CONTENTS 



VOLUME I 



COTTONWOOD COUNTY 

CHAPTER I— RELATED STATE HISTORY 33 

A portion of Minnesota Originally Included in Louisiana Purchase — Indian 
Cessions and Treaties — Territorial Government Established — Boundaries — 
Governor Alexander Ramsey — First Territorial Legislature — The Historic 
Council with the Indians at Traverse des Sioux — The Treaty — Indian 
Hunters Cause Trouble — Townsite Speculation — Constitutional Convention — 
First State Legislature — Admission of Minnesota as a State — Aid to Rail- 
roads — Financial Stringency — Unrest Among the Indians — Massacre of 
1862 — Punishment of the Indians — Subsequent Treaties — A Period of Rapid 
Development — Trouble Because of the State Issue of Railroad Bonds — Settle- 
ment of the Question and Activity in Railroad Building — Diversified Farm- 
ing Interests — Population Statistics — Military Record — Name — Geography — 
Area — Rivers — Lakes — Elevations — Climate — Chronological History of the 
State. 

CHAPTER II— GEOLOGY, TOPOGRAPHY AND NATURAL FEATURES.. 59 
Situation — Area — Natural Drainage — Streams — Lakes — Topograph}' — Dis- 
tances — Altitudes — Soil — Timber — Geological Structure — Water Falls and 
Cascades — Drift and Contour — Moraines — Boulders and Pebbles — Peat. 

CHAPTER III— PIONEER SETTLEMENT 79 

"Dutch Charlie" — First Settlers — Struggles of the Pioneers — Winter of 1872- 
73 — Old Settlers' Association — Early Hardships of a Mail Carrier. 

CHAPTER IV— ORGANIZATION OF COTTONWOOD COUNTY 90 

Creation of — Area — Lakes — Soil — The Two "Stolen" Townships — County 
Government — No Hard County-seat Contests — County's Condition in 1884 — 
Organization of the County — First Events — Assessed Valuation — County 
. Commissioners' Proceedings — First District Appointments — Free Premiums — 
Grasshopper Appropriations — Taxes in 1877 — Court House Building — Other 
Locations for County Offices — County Jail — Caring for the Poor — Russian 
Thistle Pest — County Officers' Fees in 1909 — Tax Levy for 1916-17 — County 
Finances, July 1, 1916 — County Officials, 1916 — County and State Roads. 



CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER V— COUNTY AND STATE REPRESENTATION 110 

Presidential Vote in Cottonwood County — State Senators — State Repre- 
sentatives — County Auditors — County Treasurers — Sheriffs — Registers of 
Deeds — Probate Judges — County Commissioners. 

CHAPTER VI— TOWNSHIPS OF COTTONWOOD COUNTY 114 

Civil Subdivisions — The Townships of Germantown, Amboy, Amo, Ann, 
Carson, Dale, Delton, Great Bend, Highwater, Lakeside, Midway, Mountain 
Lake. Rose Hill, Selma, Springfield, Southbrook, Storden, Westbrook — 
Villages of Jeffers, Delft, Bingham Lake, Mountain Lake, Storden and 
Westbrook. 

CHAPTER VII— AGRICULTURAL INTERESTS 194 

Fortunate Situation of Minnesota — Crop Failures Rare in Cottonwood 
County — Poultry Show — Early and Present Stock Farms — The Creamery 
Industry — Agricultural Societies — Farm Names — Agricultural Statistics — 
Columbian Exposition Premium — Stock Men of 1908. 

CHAPTER VIII— SECRET AND BENEVOLENT SOCIETIES 205 

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons — Royal Arch Masons — Order of the 
Eastern Star — Independent Order of Odd Fellows — Daughters of Rebekah — 
Ancient Order of United Workmen — Modern Woodmen of America — Royal 
Neighbors of America — Modern Brotherhood of America — Sons of Norway — 
Daughters of Norway — Knights of Columbus — Patrons of Husbandry. 

CHAPTER IX— PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS 218 

First Physician in Cottonwood County — Past and Present Physicians — 
Silas D. Allen. 

CHAPTER X— NEWSPAPERS 223 

Papers, Past and Present, Published at Windom, Westbrook, Jeffers and 
Mountain Lake. 

CHAPTER XI— RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS 226 

Methodist Episcopal Churches — Presbyterian Churches — Baptist Churches — 
Danish Baptist Churches — Mission Band — Evangelical Lutheran Churches — 
Dowie Zionists — Lutheran Churches — Mennonite Church — Catholic 
Churches — Episcopal Church. 

CHAPTER XII— BENCH AND BAR 241 

Pioneer Lawyers — Others of a Later Day — Members of the Bar in 1916 — 
Court Officers. 

CHAPTER XIII— EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS 244 

Sterling Type of Pioneer Settlers — Early Educational Conditions and the 
Improvements Which Have Followed Through the Years — The Great 
Bend School House and Its Destruction — Early School Districts — An Early 
School — Early School Teachers — First School House in the County — Schools 
at Bingham Lake, Storden, Jeffers, Westbrook, Windom City and Mountain 



CONTENTS. 

Lake — Rural School Commencements — Salaries Paid County Superintendents 
— School Lands — County Superintendent's Report for 1915 — An Early School 
Superintendent. 

CHAPTER XIV— BANKS AND BANKING 267 

Little Demand for Banks in Pioneer Days — Poverty of Early Days Changed 
to Prosperity and Full Bank Accounts — Banks at Windom, Jcffers, Storden, 
Mountain Lake, Westbrook, Bingham Lake and Delft — Recapitulation. 

CHAPTER XV— RAILROADS AND TRANSPORTATION 277 

Railroads in Cottonwood County Early in Its History — The "Currie" Branch 
and Other Lines Which Have Been Constructed in the Count)-. 

CHAPTER XVI— MILITARY MATTERS 280 

Grand Army of the Republic — Woman's Relief Corps — Helped in Capture of 
Jeff Davis — "We Are Growing Old, John" — Soldiers Who Pledged Their 
Votes to Grant and Wilson — Spanish-American War Soldiers. 

CHAPTER XVII— CITY OF WINDOM 287 

Name — Population — Windom as Viewed in 1893 — First Events — Commercial 
Interests, 1872 and 1882 — Postoffice — Municipal History — Waterworks — 
Library — Ferry — First Elevator — Ruse Hospital — Industries — Removal of an 
Old Landmark — The Old "Lock-up" — Commercial Interests in 1916 — Com- 
mercial Clubs — The Tourist Club — Woman's Literary Club — Winld'om 
Pioneers — Windom's Greatest Fire. 

CHAPTER XVIII— REMINISCENCES 305 

Pioneer Days in Great Bend — Blizzard of 1873. 

CHAPTER XIX— MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS AND INCIDENTS 311 

Immigration Association — Population Statistics — Nationality of Population — 
Village Plats — Platted Cemeteries — Altitudes — Market Quotations — Grass- 
hopper Plague — Storm of 1873 — The Cyclones of 1903 and 1908 — Snow Storm 
of 1881 — Hay Burned — A Prairie Blizzard of 1873 — Five- Year Grasshopper 
Scourge — Burning Hay for Fuel — Railroad Wreck at Windom — Mountain 
Lake Wreck— "The Old Ox Team." 



WATONWAN COUNTY 

CHAPTER I— GEOLOGY OF WATONWAN COUNTY 327 

Situation — Area — Surface Features — Natural Drainage — Topography — Ele- 
vations — Soil — Timber — Geological Structure — Lakes — Boulders and Gravel — 
Building Stone — Peat. 

CHAPTER II— INDIAN HISTORY AND TREATIES 334 

Treaty of Traverse des Sioux — Indian Characters — Captivity of Benedict 
Juni — Causes Leading to the Indian Massacre of 1862 — First Act of Vio- 



CONTENTS. 

lence — Reminiscences of the Little Crow Uprising — The Government Not 
Guiltless — Punishment of the Sioux — Pensioners of the Sioux Uprising — 
Story of the New Ulm Massacre — Indians' Last Raid in This Section — In- 
dians and Their Peculiar Customs — The Versatile Indian — Incidents Con- 
nected With the Indian War. 

CHAPTER III— THE FIRST SETTLEMENTS 376 

The Pioneer Band — Early Deeds and Land Transfers — Timber Claims — 
School Lands — Early Miscellaneous Deeds — Settlement Notes — First Set- 
tlers in the County. 

CHAPTER IV— ORGANIZATION AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT 381 

Creation and Organization — Name — Area — County Commissioners' Proceed- 
ings — First Militia Officers — Troubles of a Treasurer — County Finances, 
1870 — County Expenses, 1877 — Aid to Farmers Who Suffered From the 
Grasshopper Scourge — Relocating the County Seat — County Official Paper — 
Salaries and Bonds of County Officers, 188-1 — Court House History — Jail — 
Caring for the Poor — County Finances, 1897 and 1915 — Assessed Valuation, 
1880, 1890 and 1916— Number of Buildings Assessed in 1894 — Treasury 
Burglarized — Drainage. 

CHAPTER V— COUNTY AND STATE REPRESENTATION 410 

Presidential Vote — State Senators — State Representatives — County Com- 
missioners — County Auditors — County Treasurers — Registers of Deeds — 
Sheriffs — Clerks of the District Court — County Attorneys — Court Commis- 
sioners — Coroners — Probate Judges — School Examiners and County Super- 
intendent — County Surveyors. 

CHAPTER VI— TOWNSHIPS OF WATONWAN COUNTY 419 

Townships of Adrian, Antrim, Butterfield, Fieldon, Long Lake, Madelia, 
Nelson, Odin, Riverside, Rosendale, South Branch, St. James — Villages of 
Darfur, Lewisville, Butterfield, Ormsby, Madelia, Odin, LaSalle and Grogan. 

CHAPTER VII— CITY OF ST. JAMES 467 

Name — Platted — Early Conditions — First Events — Winter of 1870-1 — St. 
James in 1885-6 — Municipal History — Fire Department — Societies — Commer- 
cial Club — Public Library — Business Men's Association — Sanitarium — Long 
Lake Park — Industries — Commercial Interests, 1916 — Miscellaneous Items. 

CHAPTER VIII— CHURCHES 480 

Methodist Episcopal Churches — Evangelical Lutheran Churches — Presby- 
terian Churches — Christian Church — Church of Christ — Episcopal Churches — 
Norwegian Lutheran Churches — Swedish Lutheran Churches — Mennonite 
Churches — Baptist Churches — Catholic Churches. 

CHAPTER IX— EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS 503 

Present School System of the State — School Lands — Schools of 1875 — First 
Schools in Watonwan County — St. James Public Schools — Rosendale Town- 
ship Schools and the Schools at Odin, Darfur, Lewisville, Ormsby and Butter- 



CONTENTS. 

field — Present School Statistics — High and Graded Schools — School House 
Locations — Early School Scandal. 

CHAPTER X— THE BENCH AND BAR 513 

Requirements for Admission to Practice Law in Minnesota — List of Attor- 
neys in This County — Present Members of the Bar. 

CHAPTER XI— PHYSICIANS OF THE COUNTY 516 

Hardships and Poor Recompense of Early Doctors — List of Registered 
Physicians — Other Doctors Who Have Practiced in the County — Watonwan 
County Medical Society — Early Physicians' Fees. 

CHAPTER XII— NEWSPAPERS 521 

Power of the Press — First Paper in the County — Papers, Past and Present, 
at Madelia, St. James, Butterfield. 

CHAPTER XIII— BANKS AND BANKING 525 

Character of Banks — First Bank in Watonwan County — Banks at Madelia, 
St. James, Odin, Lewisville, Butterfield, Ormsby, LaSalle and Darfur. 

CHAPTER XIV— FRATERNAL AND CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS 532 

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons — Order of the Eastern Star — Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows — Daughters of Rebekah — Knights of Pythias — Modern 
Woodmen of America — Royal Neighbors of America — Modern Brother- 
hood of America — Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen — Catholic Order of 
Foresters — Grand Army of the Republic. 

CHAPTER XV— RAILROADS AND TRANSPORTATION 541 

Transformation in Local Conditions Through Advent of Railroads — Brief 
Description of the Various Railroads Which Have Entered Watonwan 
County. 

CHAPTER XVI— MILITARY HISTORY 546 

Many Veterans of the Civil War in This County — The Spanish-American 
War. 

CHAPTER XVII— AGRICULTURE, STOCK-RAISING, ETC. 548 

Watonwan, Purely an Agricultural District — Creameries — Stock Farms — 
Improvement in Stock-raising Methods — Farm Names — The Great Elgin 
Colony — County Fair Societies — An Early Horse and Cattle Fair — Dairy 
Statistics — Creamery Companies. 

CHAPTER XVIII— MURDERS AND OUTRAGES 556 

Murder of Lais Johnson — The Goblinski Quadruple Murder — Killing of Leo 
Jacobson — Suicide — The Younger Brothers and the Northfield Bank 
Robbery. 

CHAPTER XIX— SIDELIGHTS 570 

Population of the County — Population by Townships — Altitudes of the 



CONTENTS. 

County — Village Plattings — Spelling School in Pioneer Days — Old Settlers' 
Reunion at Madelia, 1875 — "Song for the Old Settlers" — Great Storms — 
Advantages of Watonwan County — Court House Corner-stone Laying — 
Growth of Watonwan County — Grasshoppers — Birds and Wild Animals. 

CHAPTER XX— REMINISCENCES 583 

Interesting Review of Early Events and Conditions by Alexander Swanson — 
The First House in Adrian Township — Transportation Troubles — Privations 
of Pioneers — How the Children Helped — Tribute to Pioneer Heroes — The 
Grasshopper Plague — Lack of Amusements in Early Days — Early Market 
Prices — Tools and Machinery. 

CHAPTER XXI— MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS 392 

Market Quotations — Anti-Horse Thief Association — The Prohibition Ques- 
tion — Local Option Vote in 1915 — Russian Thistle Day. 



HISTORICAL INDEX 



VOLUME I 



COTTONWOOD COUNTY 



Agricultural Interests 194 

Agricultural Societies 198 

Allen, Silas D. 221 

Altitudes in the County 63 

Altitudes in the State 49 

Amboy Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 117 

Character of Citizens 118 

Drainage 59 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Land Entries 118 

Organization 118 

Population 117, 312 

Settlement 118 

Topography 62 

Amo Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Groves 123 

Lakes 60 

Land Entries 123 

Location 122 

Name Changed 123 

Organization t — 123 

.Peat 77 

Population 122, 312 

Settlers 123 

Topography 62 

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons 205 



Ancient Order of United Workmen 210 
Ann Township — 

Altitude 64 

' Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 126 

Drainage 59 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Groves 12/ 

Land Entries 127 

Organization 127 

Population 127, 312 

Settlement 127 

Topography 62 

Area of the County 59 

Area of the State 47 

Assessed Valuation of County 96 

Attorneys 241 

Auditors, County HI 

B 

Banks 267 

Baptist Churches 230 

Barley ^02 

Bench and Bar 241 

Benevolent Societies 205 

Bingham Lake — 
Altitude 63 

Assessed Valuation 97 

Banks 274, 276 

Business Interests 156 

Churches 228 

Creamery 19S 

Location 154 

Lodges 213 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Bingham Lake — Cont. 

Pioneer Business Men 155 

Platted 313 

Population 312 

Postoffice 154 

Schools 247 

Tile Factory 155 

Blizzard of 1873 305 

Boulders 76 

Boundaries of County 91 

C 

Carson Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Lakes 60 

Land Entries 130 

Land Values 130 

Location 130 

Organization 130 

Population 130, 312 

Settlement 130 

Topography 62 

Catholic Churches 238 

Cattle 202 

Cattle Breeding 196 

Cemetery Plats 313 

Chronological History of Minnesota 50 

Churches 226 

Climate of Minnesota 49 

Commissioners, County 112 

Commissioners' Districts, First 97 

Constitution of State 39 

Corn 202 

County Auditors 111 

County Commissioners 112 

County Commissioners' Proceedings 97 

County Finances, 1916 107 

County Government 93 

County Offices 103 

County Officers' Fees, 1909 107 

County Officials, First 95 

County Officials, 1916 108 

County Representation 110 

County Roads 108 

County-seat Contests *_ 94 

County Seats 103 



County Superintendents' Salaries 260 

County Treasurers ill 

Court, First Term of 95 

Court House History 102 

Court Officers, 1916 243 

Creameries 197, 202, 203, 204 

Creation of County 90 

Cyclones 316 



D 



Dairy Interests 197, 202, 203, 204 

Dale Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Lakes 60, 103 

Land Entries 134 

Location 133 

Organization 134 

Population 134, 312 

Settlement 134 

Topography 62 

Danish Baptist Church 232 

Daughters of Norway 215 

Daughters of Rebekah _ 209 

Delft- 
Bank 275 

Fire 133 

Location 130, 133 

Platted 133, 313 

Delton Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 137 

Farm Land 137 

Land Entries 137 

Organization 137 

Population 137, 312 

Settlement 137 

Topography 62 

District Appointments, First 98 

Diversified Farming Interests 46 

Doctors 218 

Dowie Zionists 235 

Drainage, Natural 59 

Drift, Glacial 71 

"Dutch Charlie" 79, 145 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



E 

Early School Districts 245 

Eastern Star, Order of the 206 

Education 244 

Educational Statistics 261 

Episcopal Church 239 

Evangelical Lutheran Churches 233 

F 

Fair Associations 198 

Farm Animals 202 

Farm Xames 200 

Farm Statistics 202 

Farming Interests, Diversified 46 

Farming Methods 194 

First Physicians 218 

Fraternal Orders 205 

G 

Geography of the State 47 

Geology of the County 59 

Georgetown Township 123 

German Evan. Luth. Trinity Church 235 
Germantown Township — 

Altitude o4 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 114 

Drainage 59 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Land Entries 115 

Natural Features il4 

Organization 115 

Population 115, 312 

Settlement 115 

Soil 114 

Topography 62 

Glacial Drift 71 

Grains, Production of 202 

Grand Army of the Republic 280 

Granges ( 217 

Grant and Wilson Voters 284 

Grasshopper Appropriations 101 

Grasshopper Plague 314, 323 

Great Bend School House 244, 265 

Great Bend Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 



Great Bend Township — Cont. 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 140 

Land Entries 141 

Organization 140 

Peat 77 

Pioneer Days 305 

Poor Farm 105 

Population 140, 312 

Schools 244 

Settlement 141 

Topography 62 

Growth of the State 44 

H 

Hardships of a Mail Carrier 88 

Hay 202 

Hay Burned 321 

Highwater Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 145 

Drainage 59 

"Dutch Charlie" 145 

Lakes 60 

Land Entries 146 

Natural Features 145 

Organization 146 

Population 146, 312 

Settlement 146 

Topography 62 

Horse Breeding 195 

Horses 202 

I 

Immigration Association : 311 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows- 208 

Indian Hunters, Trouble with 37 

Indian Treaties 33 

Indian Unrest 40 

J 

Jail 104 

Jeffers — 

Assessed Valuation 97 

Banks 270, 275 

Business Interests 121 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Jeffers — Cont. 

Churches 229, 234, 239 

Early Growth 119 

Fires 120 

Creamery 121 

Location 119, 121 

Lodges 212, 214 

Municipal History 120 

Newspapers 223 

Officials 120 

Platted 313 

Population 312 

Postoffice 120 

Schools 248 

K 
Knights of Columbus 216 

L 

Lakes of Minnesota 48 

Lakes of the County 60, 90 

Lakeside Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 150 

Lakes 60, 150 

Land Entries 150 

Organization 150 

Peat 150, 312 

Schools 245 

Settlement 245 

Topography 62 

Lawyers 241 

Live Stock Statistics 202 

Lodges 205 

Lutheran Churches 236 

M 

Market Quotations 314 

Masonic Order 205 

Massacre of 1862 42 

Medical Profession 218 

Mennonite Church 236 

Methodist Episcopal Churches 227 

Midway Township — 

Altitude ,-__ 64 

Area 114 



Midway Township — Cont. 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Land Entries 157 

Location 156 

Population 157, 312 

Schools 246 

Settlement 157 

Topography 62 

Military Matters 280 

Military Record of State 46 

Miscellaneous Topics 311 

Mission Band 233 

Modern Brotherhood of America 214 

Modern Woodmen of America 211 

Moraines 74 

Mountain Lake — 

Altitude 63 

Assessed Valuation 97 

Banks 272, 275 

Business Interests 167 

Business Men 159 

Churches ,.229, 235, 236 

Commercial Club 161 

Early Growth 159 

Fire Department 162 

Fires 163 

Grange 217 

Industries 162 

Lighting System * 162 

Lodges 210, 212, 217 

Mennonite Hospital 161 

Municipal History 160 

Name 159 

Newspapers 225 

Officials 160 

Peat ___ fc 76 

Physicians 160 

Platted 159, 313 

Population 312 

Postoffice 160 

Schools 246, 258 

Settlement 160 

Railroad .Wreck 326 

Mountain Lake Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 1 14 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 164 

Land Entries 164 

Location 163 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Mountain Lake Township — Cont. 

Name 163 

Organization 164 

Population 164, 312 

Schools 24 d 

Settlement 164 

Soil 163 

Topography 62 

N 

Name of the State 47 

Nationality of Population 312 

Natural Drainage 59 

Newspapers , 223 

Norwegian Evan. Luth. Church 233 

Norwegian United Evan. Luth. Ch._ 235 

O 

Oats 202 

Odd Fellows 208 

Officials from the County 110 

Old Settlers' Association 83 

Order of the Eastern Star 206 

Organization of County 90, 95 

P 

Patrons of Husbandry 217 

Peat 76 

Physicians 218 

Pioneer Settlement 79 

Pioneers, Struggles of 80 

Plats 313 

Poor, Caring for the 105 

Population of the State 46 

Population Statistics 311 

Potatoes 202 

Poultry Show 195 

Prairie Blizzard 321 

Prentiss, William 264 

Presbyterian Churches £19 

Presidential Vote 110 

Press, the 223 

Probate Judges 112 

R 

Railroad Bonds 39 

Railroad Wrecks 325 



Railroads 277 

Rebekahs 209 

Registers of Deeds 112 

Related State History 33 

Religious Societies 226 

Reminiscences 305 

Representatives _ HI 

Rivers of the County 59 

Rivers of the State 48 

Roads 108 

Rose Hill Township — 

Altitude 63 

Area H* 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 168 

Churches 236 

Drainage 59 

Lakes 60, 168 

Land Entries 169 

Location 168 

Organization 169 

Population 169, 312 

Settlement 169 

Topography 62 

Royal Arch Masons 206 

Royal Neighbors of America 213 

Rural School Commencements 260 

Russian Thistle 106 

Rye 202 

S 

Scandinavian Evan. Luth. Church__ 235 

School Districts 245 

School House, First in County 247 

School Lands 261 

School Statistics 261 

Schools 244 

Secret Societies 205 

Selma Township — 

Altitude o4 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Land Entries 171 

Location 170 

Organization 170 

Population 170, 312 

Settlement 171 

Topography 62 

Senators, State 110 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Sheep 202 

Sheriffs 112 

Sioux Indians, Murders by 43 

Situation of the County 59 

Soil 64, 90 

Soldiers' Monument 281 

Sons of Norway 215 

Southbrook Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 176 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Lakes 61 

Land Entries 176 

Location 176 

Natural Features 176 

Organization 176 

Peat 78 

Population 176, 312 

Settlement 176 

Topography 62 

Spanish-American War 286 

Springfield Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Land Entries 173 

Location 172 

Natural Features 172 

Organization 173 

Peat 78 

Population 173, 312 

Schools 245 

Settlement 173 

Topography 63 

State Constitution 39 

State Representatives 111 

State Roads — 108 

State Senators 110 

Stock Farms 195 

"Stolen" Townships 91 

Storden — 

Banks 271, 275 

Business Interests 183 

Business Men, Early 183 

Creamery 198 

First Events - 182 

Land Values 183 



Storden — Cont. 

Location l82 

Lodges 212 

Platted 182, 313 

Postoffice 183 

Schools 247 

Storden Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 179 

Drainage 59 

Lakes 60 

Land Entries 180 

Location 179 

Natural Features 180 

Organization 180 

Population 180, 312 

Settlement 180 

Topography 62 

Storm of 1873 316 

Swine 202 



Tax Levy, 1916-17 107 

Taxes in 1877 101 

Teachers, Early School — ! 246 

Territorial Government 34 

"The Old Ox Team" 326 

Timber 64, 65 

Topography of the County 61 

Town-site Speculation 38 

Townships of the County 114 

Transportation 277 

Traverse des Sioux Treaty 35 

Treasurers, County 111 

Treaties with Indians 33 

Tree Premiums 101 

Trees 65 



U 



United Workmen, Order of 210 



V 



Village Plats 313 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



W 

Water-falls 69 

"We Are Growing Old, John" 283 

Westbrook — 

Assessed Valuation 97, 193 

Banks 273, 276 

Beginning of 187 

Business Interests 191 

Churches 231, 233, 236, 238 

Early Business Men 187 

Fair, Street 191 

Improvements 190 

Incorporation 189 

Location 193 

Lodges 207, 211, 213, 214 

Newspapers 223 

Officials, First 189 

Officials, Present 191 

Old Settlement 187 

Park 193 

Platted 187, 313 

Population 312 

Postoffice 191 

Public Improvements 191 

Railroad Interests 188, 190 

Schools 248 

Street Fairs 191 

Waterworks 190 

Westbrook Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area Ii4 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Drainage 59 

Lakes 60, 184 

Land Entries 185 

Location 184 

Natural Features 184 

Organization 185 

Population 184, 312 

Schools 245 

Settlement 185 

Topography 62 



Wheat 202 

W'indom — 
Altitude 63, 314 

Assessed Valuation 97 

Banks 267, 275 

Business Interests, 1872 290 

Business Interests, 1882 290 

Business Interests, 1916 299 

Lodges 205, 208, 211, 213, 215, 280 

Churches___227, 220, 230, 233, 235, 

238, 239 

Commercial Clubs 301 

County Seat 287 

Creamery 203 

Fair Grounds 199 

Ferry 295 

Fires 302 

First Buildings 287 

First Events 289 

Hospital 296 

In 1893 287 

Industries , 296 

Library 294 

Lodges 205, 208, 211, 213, 215, 280 

Municipal History 292 

Name 297 

Newspapers 223 

Physicians 218 

Pioneers 302 

Platted 313 

Population 287, 312 

Postoffice 291 

Poultry Show 195 

Railroad Wreck 325 

Schools 250 

Situation 90 

Tourist Club 301 

Waterworks 293 

Woman's Literary Club 302 

Winter of 1872-3 81 

Woman's Relief Corps 281 

Woodmen of America, Modern 211 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



WATONWAN COUNTY 



Adrian Township — 

Altitude 329, 

Assessed Valuation 

Boundaries 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 

Created 

Lakes 

Land Entries 

Location 

Organization 

Population 

School Houses 

Settlement 

Vote on Bond Issue 

Agricultural Societies 

Agriculture 

Aid to Farmers 

Altitudes 

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons 

Anti-Horse Thief Association 

Antrim Township — 

Altitude 329, 

Assessed Valuation 

Boundaries 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 

Creation of 

Lakes 

Land Entries 

Location 

Name 

Organization 

Population 423, 

School Houses 

Settlement 

Vote on Bond Issue 

Area of the County 327 

Assessed Valuation Rates, 1875 

Assessed Valuations 

Attorneys 

Auditors, County 



572 

406 

419 

406 

389 

419 

420 

419 

419 
570 
510 
420 
403 
551 
548 
392 
571 
532 
592 

571 

406 

423 

406 

386 

328 

423 

423 

423 

423 

570 

510 

. 423 

. 403 

, 381 

. 390 

. 406 

. 513 

. 414 



Benevolent Societies 532 

Birds 582 

Bond Issues 402 

Boulders 332 

Bounty to Soldiers 385 

Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen— 538 

Building Stone 333 

Buildings Assessed in 1894 406 

Butterfield — 

Altitude 328, 571 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Banks 529 

Business Interests 428 

Churches 483, 491 

Commercial Club 429 

Fires 4«-9 

Improvements 429 

Incorporation 429 

Lodges 3 3o 

Municipal History 429 

Newspapers 524 

Officials, First 429 

Platted 428, 572 

Population 428 

Postoffice 428 

Presidents of 429 

Schools 509 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Butterfield Township — 

Altitude 329, 572 

Area 427 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Churches 487, 491 

Creation of 389 

Land Entries 427 

Location 426 

Organization 427 

Population 427, 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 427 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 



B 

Banks -— 525 

Baptist Churches --- 492 

Bench and Bar 513 



C 



Captivity of Benedict Juni 336 

Catholic Churches 493 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Catholic Order of Foresters 539 

Christian Church 486 

Church of Christ 486 

Churches 480 

Clerks of the District Court 415 

Commissioners, County, List of 412 

Coroners 416 

County Attorneys 416 

County Auditors 414 

County Commissioners, List of 412 

County Commissioners, Proceedings 381 

County Fairs 551 

County Finances, 1868 386 

County Finances, 1870 388 

County Finances, 1874 390 

County Finances, 1897 404 

County Finances, 1915 405 

County Government 381 

County Medical -Society 519 

County Officers' Salaries and Bonds 398 

County Officials, First 381 

County Representation 410 

County Seat, Locating the 394 

County Superintendents 417 

County Surveyors 417 

County Treasurers 414 

County Treasury Robbed 407 

Court Commissioners 416 

Court House Corner-stone Laying-. 577 

Court House History 399 

Creameries 548, 553 

Customs of Indians 370 

D 

Dairy Statistics 553 

Darfur — 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Bank 531 

Business Interests 422 

Churches 484, 491 

Improvements 422 

Incorporation 422 

Officials, First 422 

Platted 422, 572 

President of 422 

Schools 508 

Daughters of Rebekah 534 

Deeds, Early 376 

Dexter Township 389 



Doctors 516 

Doctors' Fees 520 

Dodd, Captain, Death of 359 

Drainage 407 

Drainage of the County 327 

Drewsville Township 388 

Drift 330 

E 

Early Conditions 436 

Early Transportation Troubles 584 

Eastern Star, Order of 533 

Echols 572 

Education 503 

Elgin Colony 551 

Episcopal Church 487 

Evangelical Lutheran Churches 482 

Execution of Indian Murders 364 

F 

Farm Names 550 

Farmers Mutual Fire Ins. Co 451 

Farming Interests 548 

Ferry-boat Fees 388 

Fieldon Township — 

Altitude 329, 571 

Area 430 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Creation of 386 

Lakes 328 

Land Entries 430 

Organization 430 

Population 430, 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 430 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

First County Officers 381 

First House, the 583 

First Settlements 376, 380 

Foresters, Catholic Order of 539 

Fraternal Orders 532 

G 

Geology 327 

Glacial Drift 330 

Graded Schools 509 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Grand Army of the Republic 539 

Grasshopper Plague 580, 589 

Grasshopper Relief 392 

Gravel 332 

Grogan 462, 572 

Growth of Watonwan County 579 

H 

High Schools 509 

House, the First 583 

I 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 533 

Indian Character 334 

Indian History 334 

Indian Massacre of 1862, Causes of 344 

Indian Traders, Schemes of 347 

Indian Treaties 334 

Indian Violence 351 

Indians, Last Raid of 370 

Indians, Their Peculiar Customs 370 

J 

Jail 403 

Juni, Benedict, Captivity of 336 

K 
Knights of Pythias 534 

L 

Lakes 327, 331 

Land Transfers, Early 376 

LaSalle — 

Bank 529 

Business Interests 459 

Lodge 537 

Platted 459, 572 

Postoffice 460 

Lawyers 513 

Lewisville — 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Banks 529 

Business Interests 426 

Churches -— 486 

Improvements 425 

Incorporation 425 



Lewisville — Cont. 

Lawyers 515 

Location 425 

Lodges $36 

Officials, First 425 

Platted 425, 572 

Population 426 

Postoffice 425 

Presidents of 425 

Schools 308 

Libraries 504 

Little Crow Uprising 353 

Local Option Vote, 1915 594 

Lodges 532 

Long Lake Township — 

Altitude 329, 572 

Area 431 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Boundaries 431 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 „ 406 

Churches 488. 490 

Creation of m 386 

Indian Atrocities 433 

Johnson Murder 556 

Lakes 328, 431 

Land Entries 432 

Norwegian Settlement 437 

Organization 431 

Population 431, 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 432 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

M 
Madelia — 

Altitude 328, 571 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Banks 525 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Business Interests, 1885 447 

Business Interests, 1916 449 

Business Men's Association 451 

Churches 480, 483, 485, 486, 487, 492 

Commercial Club 4?0 

County Seat 394 

Creamery 553 

Early Business Interests ___• 444 

Fires 449 

Incorporation 448 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Madelia — Cont. 

Indian Scare 444 

Lawyers 515 

Location 443 

Lodges 533, 535, 536, 539 

Mill 448 

Municipal History 448 

Name 443 

Newspapers 521 

Officials 448 

Platted 443, 572 

Population 570 

Postoffice 444 

Schools 505 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Madelia Township — 

Altitude 329, 571 

Area 439 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Lakes 327, 440 

Land Entries 440 

Location 439 

Population 440, 570 

Railroad Interests 440 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 440 

Streams 440 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Markets, Early 591, 592 

Masonic Order 532 

Massacre at New Ulm 369 

Medical History 516 

Medical Society 519 

Mennonite Churches 49T 

Methodist Episcopal Churches 480 

Military History 546 

Militia, First Officers 384 

Modern Brotherhood of America___ 537 

Modern Woodmen of America 535 

Murders 556 

N 

Name of the County 381 

Nationality of Population 571 

Natural Drainage 327 

Nelson Township — 

Altitude 329, 572 

Area 451 



Nelson Township — Cont. 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Land Entries 452 

Location 451 

Name 452 

Organization 452 

Population 451, 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 452 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

New Ulm, Defense of 355 

New Ulm Massacre 369 

Newspapers 521 

Xorth Branch Township 389 

Northfield Bank Robbery 560 

Norwegian Lutheran Churches 487 

Norwegian Settlers 437 

O 

Odd Fellows 533 

Odin- 
Assessed Valuation 406 

Banks 528 

Business Interests 457 

Creamery 457 

Improvements ' 456 

Location 456 

Lodges 537 

Officials 456 

Platted 456, 572 

Population 456 

Postoffice 457 

Schools 508 

Odin Township — 

Altitude 329, 572 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Boundaries 453 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Creation of 389 

Lakes 328, 453 

Land Entries 454 

Location 453 

Organization 453 

Population 453, 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 454 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Wild Birds 455 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Officials, First County 381 

Old Settlers' Reunion 573 

Order of the Eastern Star 533 

Organization of the County 381 

Ormsby — 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Banks 529 

Business Interests 439 

Fire Protection : 439 

Location 439 

Municipal History 439 

Name 439 

Officials, First 439 

Platted 439, 572 

Presidents of 439 

Schools 508 

Outrages 556 

P 

Peat _ 333 

Pensioners of Sioux Uprising 369 

Physicians 516 

Pioneer Days, Story of 461 

Pioneer Heroes 588 

Pioneers, Privations of 586 

Plattings 572 

Poor, Care for the 403 

Population of' the County 570 

Presbyterian Churches 485 

Presidential Vote 410 

Press, the 521 

Prices, Early Market 592 

Privations of Pioneers 586 

Probate Judges 416 

Prohibition Candidates 418 

Prohibition Question 593 

R 

Railroads 541 

Rebekahs 534 

Registers of Deeds 415 

Religious Societies 480 

Reminiscences 583 

Representatives 411 

Riverdale Township — 

Altitude 329, 571 

Area 1__ 458 

Assessed Valuation 406 



Riverdale Township — Cont. 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 . 406 

Creation of 388 

Land Entries 458 

Location 458 

Organization 458 

Population 458, 570 

Railroad Interests 458 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 458 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Rivers 327 

Rosendale Township — 

Altitude 329, 572 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Churches 488 

Creation of 389 

Lakes 460 

Location 460 

Organization 460 

Pioneer Days 461 

Population 460, 570 

Railroad Interests 460 

Schools 507, 510 

Settlement 461 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Royal Neighbors of America 536 

Russian Thistle 594 



St. James — 

Altitude 328, 571 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Banks 525 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Business Interests, 1870 468 

Business Interests, 1885 468 

Business Interests, 1916 477 

Business Men's Association 473 

Churches 480, 485, 487, 489, 492 

Commercial Club 472 

County Seat 396 

Creamery 555 

Fire Department 471 

First Events 468 

First Settlers 468 

First Store 380 

Home-coming 478 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



St. James — Cont. 

Horse and Cattle Fair 552 

Hospital 474 

Improvements 470 

Incorporation 470 

Industries 475, 479 

Lawyers 515 

Library 473 

Lodges____472, 532, 534, 535, 537, 539 

Municipal History 470 

Name 467 

Newspapers 522 

Officials, First 470 

Officials, Present 470 

Park 474 

Platted 467, 572 

Population 570 

Railroad Interests 467, 543 

Sanitarium 474 

Schools 505 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

St. James Township — 

Altitude 329, 572 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Boundaries 464 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Creation of 388 

Lakes 328, 464 

Land Entries 465 

Location 464 

Organization 464 

Pioneers 464 

Population 464, 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 464 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

School Examiners 417 

School Lands 379, 504 

School Statistics 509 

Schools 503 

Schools in 1875 505 

Secret Societies 532 

Senators, State 411 

Settlements, First 376, 380 

Sheriffs 415 

Sioux, Punishment of the 362 

Situation of the County 327, 381 

Soil 329 

Soldiers' Bounty 385 

Soldiers Lodge 350 



"Song for the Old Settlers" 575 

South Branch Township — 

Altitude 329, 572 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Boundaries 462 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Churches 484 

Creation of 388 

Gohlinski Murder 557 

Lakes 463 

Land Entries 463 

Location 462 

Organization 463 

Population 463, 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 463 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Spanish-American War 547 

Spelling School 573 

Springfield Township 389 

State Representatives 411 

State Senators 411 

Stock Raising 548 

Storms 576 

Streams 327 

Surface of the County 327 

Surveyors, County 417 

Swedish Lutheran Churches 489 

T 
Timber 329 

Timber Claims 376 

Topography 328 

Townships of the County 419 

Traverse des Sioux, Treaty of 334 

Treasurers, County 414 

Treaties with Indians 334 

V 
Village Plattings 572 

W 

Wakefield Township 386 

Wild Animals 582 

Woman's Relief Corps 540 

Woodmen of America, Modern 535 

Y 

York Township 386 

Younger Brothers 560 



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX 



VOLUME II 



Abel, Frederick 449 

Adrian, John }*® 

Albrecht, Richard 31 * 

Anderson, Albert ^ 

Anderson, Amund 34 

Anderson, Andrew H 

Anderson, Bertel A 

Anderson, C. H 

Anderson, Carl C, D. V. S 

Anderson, Charles 

Anderson, Christian 

Anderson, John A. 

Anderson, Nels 

Anderson, Ole 

Anton, Frank T 

Armstrong, Moses K 

Arneson, Theodore J. 



395 
267 
171 

46 
483 
367 
399 

55 
237 

105 



99 



B 



Balzer, Frank 

Balzer, Jacob J 

Balzer, Solomon 

Beise, Henry C, D. M. D. 

Biel, Albert F. 

Bill, James J. 

Bisbee, John 

Bishop, Carl R. 

Bjoin, O. A. 

Bolin, Amel 

Bolin, Charles W 

Bondhus, Thomas 

Bonin, Ferdinand 

Braathun, C. O. 

Bradley, George P 

Brogger, Eivind 



318 

.144 

95 

146 

390 

316 

400 

414 

429 

188 

. 254 

. 155 

. 370 

. 219 

. 174 

. 204 



Brogger, Jacob 

Brown, John A. 

Burley, Fred 

Burton, William C. 



283 
440 
233 
383 



Cadwell, Mason N. 62 

Carpenter. Frederick J 

Cassem, T. P. 

Christensen, Fred T. 

Christenson, Ole L 

Churchill, Leroy C. 

Clark, Willis J. 

Clement, Berton F 

Collins, Thomas C. 

Comnick, Gottlieb 249 

Cook, William A. 

Cooley, Charles H 

Crowley, Charley T. 

Curtis, Will 



D 



Dammann, C. W. 

Davies, James T. 

Davies, Joseph 

DeGonda, Anthony P. 

Dempsey, Gerald 

Dewar, Frank 

Dewar, John, Sr 

DeWolf, Milo T. 

Doerksen, Jacob P.— 

Drake, George 

Dryden, T. N. 

Dummett, William H. 
Dyer, Francis M. 



456 
183 
387 
369 

70 
200 

33 



448 

123 

64 



366 

158 

290 

380 

426 

375 

438 

43 

470 

282 

. 53 

. 121 

. 328 



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX. 



E 

Eichstad, Emil H. 455 

Ellingsberg, Anton 135 

Engeswick, John A. 464 

Englin, John S. 285 

Englin, Theo. 225 

Englund, A. W 327 

Erickson, Elof 346 

.Erickson, Nils 365 

Ewert, David 45 

F 

Fast, Herman J. 187 

Fast, Jacob J. 320 

Fast, John H. 356 

Fast, Peter P. 427 

Fering, Severt J. 67 

Fester, E. O. 358 

Fisch, Michael L. 119 

Flaig. Arthur J. 293 

Flitter, H. C. 403 

Flogstad, Martin H. 245 

Flogstad, Paul 228 

Foss, Julius E. 201 

Foss Mercantile Company 201 

Foss, William H. 201 

Franz, Martin 317 

Franz, Peter J. 211 

Fredrickson, August 353 

Friesen, Abraham B. 140 

Fuller, Walter A. 185 

G 

Gall, Frank 222 

Gertner, Gottlieb 203 

Gibbs, Edson A. 461 

Gilbertson, Gustav E. 71 

Gillam, Charles W. 88 

Gillis, Rev. Benjamin C 209 

Gjertson, John 194 

Glasier, Jacob M 347 

Goertzen, Cornelius 354 

Goosen, Peter F. 460 

Graff, Adolph 465 

Grant, George W. 192 

Grant, John G. 360 

Grunenwald, Albert I 361 

Gushman, Leo A. 118 



Gustafson, Charles A. 310 

Gustafson, John F. 176 

H 

Hage, Siver 481 

Haislet, Herman W. 125 

Hale, Walter M. 137 

Halvorsen, Ole A. 167 

Hammerstad, Ole 73 

Hammond, Milton H. 42 

Hammond, Hon. Winfield S 35 

Hamre, Andrew C. 394 

Hansen, Jens C. 260 

Hansen, Severt 74 

Hanson, Andrew M. 51 

Hanson, Henry E. 120 

Hanson, Jens 195 

Harbitz, Monrad 326 

Harper, Arthur 251 

Hartmann, Rev. M. K 232 

Hasenheyer, Gottlieb 132 

Haugen, Hans A. 453 

Haycraft, Emery 205 

Hedquist, Olaf 58 

Heggerston, E. E 166 

Henderson, John 128 

Henderson, Martin 388 

Hengtgen, Jacob 131 

Heppner, John 475 

Hiebert, Jacob G. 86 

Hofstad, Rudolf 350 

Hofstrom, Charles O. 371 

Hohenstem, Otto E. 76 

Holen, Soren 208 

Holte, Even O. 138 

Hovden, Ben 395 

Hoyt, Ole C. 351 

Huffman, John C. 450 

Hunter, William W. 304 

I 
Iverson, Iver O. 234 

J 

Jackson, Samuel 431 

Jacobsen, Lars O. 469 

Jacobson, Abraham 256 



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX. 



Jacobson, Gunder 436 

Janzen, Abraham 54 

Janzcn, David C. 480 

Jencks, Perry M. 382 

Jensen, Jens C 321 

Jensen, Soren P. 181 

Johnson, Albert E. 134 

Johnson, Gunder 314 

Johnson, Hon. J. E. 52 

Johnson, John F. 148 

Judd, Frank E., D. V. S 197 

Juhnke, William 337 

K 

Kabrick, O. A.. M. D 410 

Kintzi, Theodore 90 

Klaras. Fred H. 385 

Kleven, Helge O. 259 

Klocow, Frank D 173 

Knudson, Carl S. 392 

Knudson, Elmer E. 179 

Kobs, Johann W. 217 

Kopperud, John E. 266 

Krause, Herman C. 443 

Krueger, Kumbert 63 

L 

Laingen, Thorsten P. 298 

Lande, O. C. 389 

Langley, David P. 112 

Lantz, John A. 486 

Larkin, Charles 287 

Larson, Lauritz 446 

Leffler, Lorenz 288 

Leonard, E. I. 405 

Leonard, H. P. 252 

Le Tourneau, George 87 

Lewis, James 207 

Lewis, Roy W. 477 

Lien, Charles A. 103 

Lindquist, August E. 271 

Lindquist, Gustav 452 

Linscheid, Jacob J. 218 

Lobben, Jens L. 432 

Loewen, Henry F. 483 

Loewen, Nic F. 485 

Loughran, Barney 424 



Ludemann, Johann D. 471 

Lundholm, Rev. Algot T 220 

Mc 

McCarthy, W. J., M. D 280 

McCauley, Edward 151 

McClean. Alfred J. 458 

McLaughlin, William W 274 

M 
Madson, Mabel S. 136 

Martin, Henry A. 330 

Mather, James S. 333 

Mathisen, George W. 368 

Mattison, N. C. 323 

Mead, Wallace E. 65 

Melheim, Claus 428 

Mertens, August W. 79 

Messenbrink, Fred C. 300 

Meyer, A. F. 335 

Meyers, Rev. John 133 

Miller, Michael P. "___ 196 

Milligan, Bert 419 

Minder, Emil F. 68 

Minion, Nathaniel P. 272 

Missling, Gustav 409 

Mitchell, Harris 473 

Mooers, Ellison D. 213 

Moore, John E. 421 

Mullen, William A. 411 

Muller, Gustav 129 

Musland, Jens T. 447 

N 

Natterstad, G. T. 359 

Xatterstad, Knute 302 

Nelson, Christian N. 478 

Nelson, John 89 

Nelson, John E. 117 

Neufeld, Peter G. 104 

Nickel. August W. 342 

Nickel. David A. 386 

Noble, David A. 113 

Norman, Rev. Frantz C. E 48 



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX. 



O 

Offerdal, Thomas 130 

Olson, Hilmer J. 380 

Olson, Knut 235 

Olson, Mathias 364 

Olson, Ole A. 338 

Olson, Oluf T. 247 

Osland. Ole 363 

Otesa, O. A. 193 

Ottum, Chris L 442 

P 

Palmer. U. H. 384 

Pankow, Rev. Erdman A 216 

Parr, M. W. 413 

Paulson, Samuel 379 

Pedersen, Christ 97 

Pederson, George 244 

Pederson, Iver I 377 

Pederson. Lars P. 264 

Pederson, Torvel 231 

Pedvin, John 286 

Perkins, Judge Alfred D. 37 

Peters, Dietrich D. 238 

Peters, Henry D. 296 

Peterson, August E. 398 

Peterson, Chester R. 77 

Peterson, Laurits 268 

Peterson, William A. 152 

Pierce. Charles B. 142 

Pietz, H. R. 294 

Porter, Matthew S. 91 

Potter, Edward C. 308 

Potter, William A. 100 

Prokes, Rev. Francis J 50 

Purrington, Lewin M 417 

Q 

Quade, August 306 

Quevli, Andrew A. 82 

R 

Radtke, John F. 240 

Rand, Alvin 312 

Randall, John S. 258 

Rank, Elmer E. j 175 

Rasche, Gustav T. 162 



Rasey, Elwin Z. 160 

Ratzlaff, Benjamin J. 420 

Reinert, Ole 303 

Reisdorph, John A. 372 

Reisdorph, Robert 141 

Rolf. Johan. D. D. S 224 

Rossing, Anton 165 

Rossing. William L. 255 

Roxin, John 215 

Ruhberg, Carl H. 404 

Ruhberg, Peter A. 212 

Running, Amel 78 

Rupp, Jacob 229 

Rupp, John E. 241 

Rydeen, John 253 

S 

Sanborn, Benjamin C. 437 

Sartorius, William 124 

Savage, Donald R. 139 

Savage, Rev. Edward 115 

Schaffer, Arthur L. 376 

Schmotzer. Edward F. 352 

Schroeder, Frank 106 

Schroeder, Heinrich 416 

Schroeder, Louis E. 484 

Schulte, William 307 

Schultz, David D. 324 

Schultz, Isaac D. 402 

Schwandt. George 248 

Scribner, B. J. 289 

Seely. Whalen D. 56 

Seines, O. E. 83 

Senst, Herman A. 457 

Senst, Otto 223 

Shaner, Charles H. 199 

Siem. Nels 407 

Sivertson. George P. 127 

Sizer. Michael 467 

Skjedser, Niels 445 

Skrabeck, Halvor T. 243 

Sletta, Alfred 433 

Sletta, Ole E. 343 

Smestad, Edward E. 191 

Smestad, Hans P. 98 

Smith, Willard C. 454 

Solete, Fred 435 

Somers, John W. 332 

Sonnesyn, C. N. 80 



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX. 



Sonnesyn, J. K. HI 

Sorensen, Neal C. 153 

Stark, Arthur O. 261 

Sterrie, Peter N. 75 

Stoess, Dietrich 270 

Story, Lincoln L. 341 

Strunk, Arthur F. 93 

Sucker, Adolph 412 

Sulem. S. J. 430 

Sullivan, Edd T. 118 

Sundt, Ole E. 336 

Swain. W. S 349 

Swanson, Alex 168 

Swartz, Arthur L. 164 

Swenson, Gilbert 236 

Swenson, Henning L. 263 

Swenson, Swen L. 466 

Syverson, Olans 423 

T 

Tackels, LaMont H. 279 

Takle, Jens 474 

Thompson, Albert L. 149 

Thompson, Jesse O. 57 

Thompson, Knut S. 344 

Thompson, Oscar J. 157 

Thorkveen, Rev. Lars P 72 

Thorne, James P. 441 

Thornton, Col. John J 66 

Tibbedeaux, Tuffiel 40 

Tonnesson, Thomas 94 



U 
Uhlhorn, Felix F. 102 

V 

Vagstad, Hans M. 434 

Villa, John E. 96 

Void. M. C. 284 

Voshage, Henry 190 

Voth, D. J. 47 

Vbught, Andrew P. 226 

W 

Wall, Jacob H. 309 

Walsh, James J 265 

Ware, Mark C. 169 

Warner. Andrew W. 292 

Wenstrom, Carl J. __ 109 

Wenstrom, Otto 92 

West. Mrs. Elizabeth R 408 

West, John C. 393 

Whiting, Solomon D. 184 

A icklund, Alfred J. 85 

Wog, Daniel E. 339 

Woodruff, Amelius E. 406 

Y 
Yarger, T. M. 374 

Z 

Zender, John 59 

Zender, John J. 60 



THE NEW YORK 

PUBLT UBRAKT 




AST' 
TILDEN FOUNDAl 




THOMAS C. COLLINS. 



BIOGRAPHICAL 



THOMAS C. COLLINS. 

The late Thomas C. Collins, former mayor of Windom, president of 
the Cottonwood County Bank at Windom and later president of the Farm- 
ers Bank of that same city and for years actively engaged in the milling 
business, which is now being carried on there by his son, was a native of 
Canada, born on January 26, 1857, son of Samuel and Tamar (Kaye) Col- 
lins, both natives of England, who were married in Canada and who came 
to Minnesota in 1859. 

Samuel Collins was a millwright and an experienced miller. Upon 
coming to this state he first located at Faribault, where he was engaged in 
the milling business for a time, after which he moved to Northfield, thence 
to Owatonna, where he built a mill, which he later sold and then went to 
Minneapolis, whence, after a sometime residence, he went to Hastings, 
where he remained until his removal to Windom in 1878. At Windom he 
became associated with E. F. Drake, the first president of the Omaha Rail- 
road Company, and erected a mill, with which he was connected the rest of 
his life, his death occurring in 1882, he then being fifty-five years of age. 
His widow survived him for more than thirty years, the most of which time 
she spent in Minneapolis, her death occurring at Faribault on November 17, 
19 14, she being seventy-nine years of age at the time. 

Thomas C. Collins was but an infant when his parents came to this 
state from Canada and was twenty-one years old when they located at 
Windom in 1878. He had received an excellent education and had also 
been carefully trained in the mills of Northfield and Minneapolis in the 
details of the milling business. Not long after the Collins mill was built at 
Windom he was made superintendent of the same and about two years after 
his father's death he bought the mill and continued to operate the same the 
rest of his life. Thomas C. Collins from the very beginning of his residence 
in Windom took an active part in the business and civic life of that city 
and was one of the organizers of the old Cottonwood County Bank, which 
(3a) 



34 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

he served as president as long as it existed, and when it went into voluntary 
liquidation and the Farmers Bank of Windom was organized he was elected 
president of the latter institution and held that position until death. Mr. 
Collins also held extensive commercial and realty interests in the city and 
was otherwise active in business affairs. He was an ardent Republican, 
had served his party as a delegate to national conventions and was mayor 
of Windom for two terms. He was prominent in Masonic affairs, having 
been a Royal Arch Mason, a Knight Templar and a noble of the Ancient 
Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, affiliated with Osman Temple, 
of the latter order, at St. Paul. He was likewise a member of the Order 
of the Eastern Star, of which his widow is still a member, and was also a 
member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, affiliated with the 
lodge of that order at Mankato, and of the Modern Woodmen of America 
and of the Woodmen of the World, also a member of the Ancient Order 
of United Workmen. He was an active member of the Episcopal church 
at Windom and for years served that church as warden. His death on 
October I, 19 14, was therefore deeply felt in all circles hereabout, for he 
had done well his part, not only in the business life of the city, but in the 
civic and religious life of the same and his memory will long be cherished 
in this community. 

It was on December 15, 1880, something more than three years after 
his arrival in Windom, that Thomas C. Collins was united in marriage to 
Ada Belle Smith, who was born in Livingston county, New York, Decem- 
ber 13, i860, daughter of Lyman Delos and Diantha (Combs) Smith, both 
natives of New York state, the former born on July 15, 1835, and the lat- 
ter, April 22, 1833, who moved to Michigan in 1866, thence, in 1868, to 
Wisconsin and from the latter state, in 1871, to Windom, where they spent 
the rest of their lives. Lyman D. Smith erected a store building upon his 
arrival at Windom and became one of the foremost merchants of the town 
in its early days. He was a Republican and took an active part in local 
political affairs, for some time acting as a member of the school board. 
He was a charter member of the Masonic lodge at Windom and was also a 
member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Smith had been 
reared a Baptist, but his wife was a member of the Episcopal church, in the 
beneficences of which she took a warm interest. Lyman D. Smith died on 
February 27, 1881, and his widow survived him many years, her death 
occurring on November 2.2, 1910. 

To Thomas C. and Ada Belle ((Smith) Collins two children were 
born, a son and a daughter, Richard Delos and Mabel. Richard D. Collins 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 35 

was born at Windom on May n, 1883, and received his elementary educa- 
tion in the schools of his home town. Upon completing the course in the 
high school he entered the University of Minnesota, from which he was 
graduated in 1904. He then became actively associated with his father in 
the milling business at Windom, under the firm name of T. C. Collins & 
Son, and since the death of his father has continued to operate the mill. 
He is a Republican and has served several terms as a member of the Windom 
city council. On June 1, 1905, Richard D. Collins married Edna Kinyon, 
of Owatonna, this state. He is a Royal Arch Mason and Knight Templar 
at Luverne and warden of the Episcopal church. 

Mabel Collins was born on January 6, 1887, and following her gradua- 
tion from the Windom high school attended St. Mary's School for Girls at 
Faribault. She married the Rev. E. Lofstrom, professor of Greek at Sea- 
bury Divinity School at Faribault, who died on February 22, 1916, leaving 
four children, Marjorie, Thomas Collins, Caroline and William Kaye. Mrs. 
Lofstrom and family reside at Faribault. Mrs. Collins, widow of Thomas 
C. Collins, still makes her home at Windom and retains her earnest interest 
in the various social and cultural activities of her home town. She has 
large property interests, her late husband having had extensive land hold- 
ings in Cottonwood county besides considerable real estate in Windom, 
including that section of the city known as the Hutton & Collins addition 
to the city, about half of the houses in the north part of Windom having 
been built on that addition. The family also owns a valuable farm in Amo 
township. Mrs. Collins's father also was the owner of a valuable farm and 
property in Windom. 



HON. WINFIELD SCOTT HAMMOND. 

In the memorial annals of Watonwan county and of the second Min- 
nesota Congressional district no name occupies a higher position than that 
of the late Gov. Winfield Scott Hammond, of St. James, who died while 
occupying the high position of chief executive of the great state of Minnesota, 
December 30, 191 5. Though not a native of Minnesota, Governor Hammond 
had spent all the active years of his vigorous manhood in this state, having 
come here immediately after his graduation from one of the leading colleges 
of the East, and as educator, lawyer, statesman and, finally, as head of the 
state government, did well his part in the development of the great North- 
west. For years a representative in Congress from the second Minnesota 



36 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

district, his services in behalf of the best interests of this section of the state 
were of incalculable value to the whole commonwealth, while his active 
and intimate participation for many years in the general social and cultural 
life of his home county was productive of results that will have a lasting 
bearing for good throughout this entire region. 

YVinfield Scott Hammond was a native of Massachusetts, of Revolu- 
tionary ancestry, born in Southborough, Worcester county, that state, 
November 17, 1863, son and onl ) r cmld of J onn W. and Ellen (Handing) 
Hammond died when her only son, the future governor, was but a child, 
academic training, was proprietor of a jute mill at that place, his home for 
more than fifty years, or until his death on January 14, 1906. Mrs. Ellen 
Hammond died when her only son, the future governor, was but a child 
and the father married Josephine Hastings, to which union two children 
were born, Milton H., who has been a resident of St. James since 1906, 
following the death of his father, and who for some years has occupied 
the responsible position of cashier of the Security State Bank of that place, 
and Alice W., who married Charles H. Sturtevant and now lives at Detroit, 
Michigan. Upon completing the course in the high school of his native 
town in June, 1880, Winfield S. Hammond entered Dartmouth College and 
was graduated from that excellent old institution in June, 1884. In that 
same year he came to Minnesota, having been called to serve as principal of 
the high school at Mankato. His service in that connection attracted the 
attention of the school authorities of Madelia and the next year he was 
engaged as superintendent of the Madelia public schools, a position which 
he held for five years and during which time he did much toward improving 
the school system there, contributing very largely to the work of elevating the 
standards of education hereabout. In the meantime Mr. Hammond had been 
devoting his leisure to the study of law and in 1891 was admitted to the bar. 
In that same year he entered into a partnership with D. C. Hopkins for the 
practice of law and was thus engaged, with offices at Madelia, for four 
years, at the end of which time, in 1895, actuated by business reasons, he 
moved his office to St. James, the county seat, where he ever after made his 
residence. 

In 1892 Mr. Hammond was the nominee of the Democrats of the second 
Minnesota Congressional district for a seat in the House of Representatives, 
but failed of election, this district having been carried by the Republicans in 
that year. In 1895, tne Y ear * n which he moved to St. James, he was elected 
county attorney and was' re-elected in 1896. In 1900 he was again elected 
to that office and was retained incumbent in the same to the end of 1904. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. tf 

It was in 1898 that Governor Hammond's service in the administration of 
state affairs began. In that year he was appointed by Governor Lind a 
member of the board of directors for the state normal schools of Minnesota, 
in which capacity he rendered such admirable service that he was reappointed 
by Governor Van Sant and thus served as a normal-school director for 
eight years. Even after leaving the school room as a superintendent of 
schools, Air. Hammond ever retained his interest in educational work and 
for years was a valued member of the school board at St. James. In 1906 
he was again nominated by the Democrats of this district for Congress and 
in the ensuing election was elected by a good majority. His admirable 
service in the House of Representatives recommended him so strongly to 
the people of this district that he was re-elected in 1908, 1910 and 191 2, 
declining to make a further race in order to become a candidate for governor 
in 19 1 4. He was elected and was inaugurated in the following January. In 
the winter of that year, 1915, Governor Hammond was enjoying a tour in 
the South. At Clinton, Louisiana, he was stricken with apoplexy and died, 
December 30, 1915, in the very prime of his vigorous manhood and at the 
very height of his useful public career. The loss of this good man fell with 
particular severity upon his friends at his home in St. James and his memory 
long will be cherished throughout this section of the state. Governor Ham- 
mond never married. He took a deep interest in the social side of things 
and for years was one of the managers of the Minnesota Society of the 
Sons of the Revolution, to the promotion of the growth of which society 
in this state he contributed largely of his time and his energies. 



JUDGE ALFRED D. PERKINS. 

It is true that an honest, faithful, capable life, considered even in its 
temporal relations, is not lived in vain; that its influence is not as transient 
and evanescent as mere physical vitality, but that the progress of mankind, 
in all that is virtuous and ennobling, is accelerated by it. One such life in 
Cottonwood county during the past generation was that of the late Judge 
Alfred D. Perkins, for many years a distinguished lawyer, jurist, politician 
and. banker, whose reputation was state-wide and whose influence toward the 
upbuilding of this section of Minnesota was most salutary. 

Judge Perkins was born in Erie county, New York, March 24, 1847. 
He was educated in the public and high schools of his native community, 



38 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

later studying at Griffith Institute. When a young man he took up the study 
of law, and removed to Wisconsin in 1868, locating at the town of Alma, 
where he was admitted to the bar and practiced his profession one year. He 
came to Plainview, Minnesota, in 1869, where he spent two years, and there 
he was married on April 19, 1871, to Florence A. Burchard, a native of 
Gainesville, Wyoming county, New York. She is a daughter of Rodman 
and Esther Austin (Davis) Burchard, natives of New York. The father 
devoted his earlier years to mercantile pursuits and farming. He removed 
with his family from New York to Plainview, Minnesota, in 1856, and 
there his death occured on February 6, 1883. His wife preceded him to the 
grave many years, dying on June 10, 1866. Politically, he was a Republican. 
He attended the Congregational church. His family consisted of the follow- 
ing children : Emily A., Charles D., Florence A., and Mattie Ann (deceased). 
Mr. Burchard married for his second wife Maggie Crossen, whose death 
occured in 1901, by which union one child was born, Fay R., died in 1885. 

After his marriage, Judge Perkins spent one year in Madelia, Minnesota, 
removing from there in the spring of 1872 to Windom, where he successfully 
engaged in the active practice of law for many years, in fact, was a leader 
of the local bar and a prominent figure in the local courts. He was elected 
county attorney and was also judge of probate for several years. He was 
elected state senator in 1878, and served four years. In March, 1885, he was 
appointed district judge of the thirteenth judicial district, and was elected 
to this important position in 1886, continuing on the bench until March, 
189 1, when he resigned. In each of these responsible positions he performed 
his duties in a manner that reflected much credit upon himself and to the 
eminent satisfaction of all concerned, being a man of profound legal learning, 
careful, faithful, painstaking and courteous, unbiased in his decisions and 
upholding the law in a dignified and commendable manner. He was a man 
of ripe legal scholarship and a public-spirited citizen who did much for his 
community and state in a general way, and enjoyed the good will and esteem 
of all who knew him. After leaving the bench he was for a period of four 
years state superintendent of Sunday schools, a work in which he took great 
delight, and he did a splendid service in this line, greatly increasing the 
attendance in the Sunday schools in every county. In September, 1891, he 
moved to Minneapolis, where he made his residence for five years, returning 
to Windom in 1896, resuming the practice of law. 

ludge Perkins was a great organizer and an all-around business man 
of rare acumen. In 1885 >he organized the Bank of Windom, which began 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 39 

business in May of that year, he being cashier from the first. He sold his 
interest in this institution in 1896, and organized the Peoples Bank, which 
was consolidated with the Bank of Windom, April 27, 1897, becoming the 
First National Bank of which Judge Perkins was president until his death, 
September 24, 1898. The prestige and rapid growth of this sound and 
popular institution was due to the able management and wise counsel of the 
judge. 

Judge Perkins was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which 
his widow also belongs. They became the parents of four children, namely: 
Eliza Anna, born at Madelia, April 4, 1872, and she died in Los Vegas, New 
Mexico, August 5, 1902; she was a graduate of the University of Min- 
nesota, and taught school for some time; she married Jesse E. Pope, 
January 1, 1897, and to their union two children were born, Gladys Anna, 
October 5, 1897, and Darwin Jesse, November 13, 1898. Edna Lucy, 
second of Judge Perkins' children, was born at Windom, September 14, 
1874, and died on September 16, 1875. Truman Alfred Perkins, the third 
child, was born in Windom, May 4, 1876, and here he was reared and edu- 
cated in the public schools, later attending high school in Minneapolis, after 
which he went to Grand Forks, North Dakota, where he worked for the 
Brooks Elevator Company for about five months; then went to Mountain 
Lake, this state, where he became assistance cashier of a bank, which posi- 
tion he held about a year. In 1897 he took a position with the First National 
Bank of Windom, upon its organization, and he has been connected with the 
same ever since, first as assistant cashier; since 1912 he has been cashier. 
He is a director in the First State Bank of Storden, Minnesota. Politically, 
he is an independent voter. He is now a member of the city council, also 
a member of the school board in Windom. Fraternally, he is a member of 
the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; the chapter, Royal Arch Masons, 
and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 

Truman A. Perkins was married on October 5, 1909, to A. May Hutton, 
who was born in Windom, May 13, 1880. She is a daughter of John Hutton, 
a pioneer merchant of Windom. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Perkins, Jane Hutton, whose birth occurred September 3, 1912. Mr. Perkins 
belongs to the Presbyterian church. 

Roy Burchard Perkins, fourth child of Judge Perkins and wife, was 

'born in Windom, July 18, 1883. Here he grew up and attended the public 

and high schools, later the agricultural department of the University of 

Minnesota. He owns a ranch at Lone Tree, Wyoming, where he resides. 



40 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

He married Bessie Nelson on July 20, 1904, and they have six children, 
namely: Alfred Darwin, born April 17, 1905; Clarence N., December 10, 
1906; Roy Burchard, Jr., October .8, 1908; Ruth, May 31, 1910; Truman, 
November 25, 1912, and Florence, January 13, 191 5. 



TUFFIEL TIBBEDEAUX. 

In making up the memorial annals of Cottonwood county no record 
would be complete that did not carry fitting mention of the life and of the 
services to this community of the late Tuffiel Tibbedeaux, of Great Bend 
township, and who, in his day, was one of the largest landowners and most 
extensive cattlemen in this part of the state. Tuffiel Tibbedeaux was a 
Canadian, of French descent, born on June 15, 1845, son °f Oliver and 
Mary Louise (Sears) Tibbedeaux, both of whom also were born in Canada 
and who lived there until 1850, in which year they moved over the line and 
located in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin. There the mother died and the 
father later came to Minnesota and located in Faribault county, where he 
spent the rest of his life, his death occurring in 1885. There were five chil- 
dren in the family, of whom the subject of this memorial sketch was the 
second in order of birth, the others being Philemon, Isadore, Rosa and 
Joseph, of whom Rosa is now the only survivor. 

Tuffiel Tibbedeaux was five years old when his parents moved to Wis- 
consin in 1850, and there, in the neighborhood of Fond du Lac, he grew 
to manhood. On September 5, 1864, he then being nineteen years of age, 
he enlisted for service in the Union army during the Civil War as a recruit 
in Company A, Second Wisconsin Cavalry, with which command he served 
until the close of the war and during the period of which service he partici- 
pated in some stirring engagements. 

Upon the conclusion of his military service, Mr. Tibbedeaux came to 
Minnesota, arriving in Faribault county in June, 1865, and there he home- 
steaded a quarter of a section of land, which he proceeded to develop. The 
following September he married and on that homestead tract he established 
his home. Mr. Tibbedeaux was an excellent farmer and as his operations 
prospered he added to his holdings until he became the owner of six hun- 
dred and forty acres, on which place he made his home for about thirty 
years, at the end of which' time he disposed of his extensive interests in 




MR. AXD MRS. TUFFIEL TIBBEDEAUX. 



■' ' - YORK 



Bt^®X 






COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 41 

Faribault county and moved to Cottonwood county. He bought a quarter 
of a section of land in Great Bend township, established his home there and 
again prospered in his farming operations, gradually increasing his land 
holdings until he became the owner of one thousand two hundred and eighty 
acres of land and was one of the largest cattle buyers and feeders in this 
part of the state. Mr. Tibbedeaux had a fine place in Great Bend town- 
ship and took much pleasure in the extension and development of the same. 
He gave thoughtful attention to the general activities of the neighborhood 
in a business way and was regarded as one of the most substantial and 
influential residents of that part of the county, so that at his death on 
March 8, 1908, there was general regret throughout that community. Mr. 
Tibbedeaux was a Republican and gave a good citizen's attention to local 
political affairs, but was not a seeker after office. He was ever a faithful 
Catholic and on several occasions had served as church trustee. 

Tuffiel Tibbedeaux was twice married. It was on September 5, 1865, 
shortly after returning from war, that he was united in marriage to Rosa 
D. Guyette, daughter of Joseph and Madaline (La Valley) Guyette, natives 
of Canada, and to that union eleven children were born, namely: Ellen, 
who married John Smith and has five children, Fred, Henry, Verne, Law- 
rence and Marie; Solomon, who married Julia Paseneaux, who died, leaving 
one child, Irma, after which he married Rosa Puryer; Tuffiel, who married 
Virginia Ebert and has seven children, Bert, Mitchell, Clemeth, Genevia, 
Lucile, Victor and Blanche; Louise, who married Clayton Sole and has one 
child, Merton; Rosa, who married Robert Coulter; Joseph, who married 
Cecelia Sweeney and has three children, Alfred, Adrian and another; Lovina, 
who married William Viles and has three children, Roy, Joseph and Blanche ; 
Margaret, who married Henry Percival and is now deceased ; Madaline, 
deceased; Nora, who married Anton Below and has one child, Tuffiel, and 
Michael, who died in infancy. The mother of these children died on Ma)' 
15, 1881, and on September 23, 1883, Mr. Tibbedeaux married, secondly, 
Edwidge Better, who was born in Franklin county, New York, daughter of 
Peter and Mary (Sampson) Better, natives of Canada, and to this union 
five children were born, as follow : Ezra, who married Florence Sunnesack 
and has three children, Mavis, Colletta and Edwidge; Eva, who married 
Isaac Sunnesack and has three children, Delois, Reda and Phyllis; Anna 
Belle, who is at home with her mother; Florence, who married James 
Develon, and Blanche, who is teaching in Cottonwood county. Mrs. Tibbe- 
deaux, who for some years has made her home at Windom, has a very 



42 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

pleasant home there and maintains a hearty interest in the general social 
and cultural affairs of the city, ever interested in such movements as are 
designed to advance the welfare of the people of her home town and of the 
community at large. 



MILTON H. HAMMOND. 

Milton H. Hammond, cashier of the Security State Bank of St. James, 
a half-brother of the late Gov. \\ infield Scott Hammond, of Minnesota, and 
one of the most prominent figures in the financial life of this section of the 
state, is a native of Massachusetts, born at Southborough, that state, May 
31, 1887, son of John W. and Josephine (Hastings) Hammond, the former 
of whom was born at Bridgewater, New Hampshire, and the latter at 
Framingham, Massachusetts. 

John \Y. Hammond received an academic education and became an 
engineer, settling at Southborough, which was his home for about fifty years 
and where he was for years the owner of a jute mill. He was twice married; 
by his first wife, Ellen Handing, having had one child, a son, Winfield Scott 
Hammond, late governor of Minnesota, further mention of whom is made 
elsewhere in this volume. By his second marriage he had two children, of 
whom the subject of this sketch is the elder, the latter having a younger 
sister, Alice W., who married Charles H. Sturtevant and now lives at Detroit, 
Michigan. The mother of these children died in 1890 and her husband 
survived until January 14, 1906. 

Milton H. Hammond was reared in his native town, receiving his school- 
ing in the public schools of that place, supplementing that course by a further 
one in a business college at South Framingham. In 1906, following the 
death of his father, he came to Minnesota to join his half-brother, Winfield 
S. Hammond, at St. James, and shortly after his arrival there, was made a 
clerk in the Security State Bank of St. James. Three years later he was made 
assistant cashier of the bank and in 19 12 was elected cashier of that institu- 
tion, a position which he now occupies, long having been recognized as one 
of the ablest young bankers in this part of the state. Mr. Hammond is a 
Democrat and ever since coming to Minnesota has taken an active interest in 
local political affairs. In June, 1916, he served as a delegate from this dis- 
trict to the national Democratic convention at St. Louis. 

In 1 9 10 Milton H. Hammond was united in marriage to Hazel McSteen, 
daughter of J. E. McSteen, of St. James. Mr. and Mrs. Hammond are 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 43 

members of the Episcopal church and take an active interest in the various 
beneficences of the same, as well as in all local good works, and are accounted 
as among the leaders in the general social and cultural life of the community. 
Mr. Hammond is a Knight Templar Mason and a Knight of Pythias, as 
well as a member of the Royal Arcanum, the Equitable Fraternal Union and 
the Modern Brotherhood of America, in the affairs of which several organ- 
izations he takes a warm interest. 



MILO T. DeWOLF. 



Milo T. DeWolf, former mayor of Windom, former commissioner of 
Cottonwood county, former postmaster of Windom, a member of the board 
of directors of the Windom National Bank, a well-known retired farmer and 
stockman, who for years has taken an active and influential part in the general 
affairs of Cottonwood county and this section of the state, is a native of the 
great Empire state, born on a farm in Herkimer county, New York, October 
7, 1847, son °f William and Melissa (Place) DeWolf, both natives of that 
same state. 

William DeWolf also born in Herkimer county, member of one of the 
old families thereabout and was reared on a farm. Later he bought a farm 
in Paris township, Oswego county, same state, where he established his 
home and there he and his wife spent their last days. They were the parents 
of seven children, of whom the subject of this biographical sketch was the 
second in order of birth, the others being as follow: James, a veteran of the 
Civil War, who served in the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Regiment, 
New York Volunteer Infantry, came to Minnesota in 1871 and settled in 
Cottonwood county, where he passed away; Harley, who also came to Min- 
nesota in 1871, settling in Cottonwood county, and died in Illinois in 1906; 
Andrew L., of Paris, Oswego county, New York; Mary, wife of George 
Lynch, who lives near that same town; Nettie, wife of Austin Whiteman, 
also oj: Paris, New York, and John, who also came to this section of Min- 
nesota in 1886 and died at Windom in 1898. 

Milo T. DeWolf was reared on the paternal farm in Oswego county, 
New York, receiving his education in the public schools, a select school at 
Amboy and the Whitesboro Academy. He taught school for three years 
and then, in 1871, came to Minnesota with his brothers and an uncle, Moses 
L. DeWolf, settling in Cottonwood county, all taking claims near to each 



44 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

other and becoming influential factors in the early development of that part 
of the county. When the township in which they settled was organized the 
the DeWolfs were given the honor of naming the same and they gave it the 
name "Amboy/' in honor of their old home town in New York, and it is 
thus that Cottonwood county has an Amboy township. Milo T. DeWolf 
preempted a quarter of section 34, in that township and upon his marriage 
the next year established his home there. From the first he took a prominent 
part in early real-estate activities hereabout and bought and sold considerable 
land. For three years he also acted as manager of the R. Bardon farm. 
After awhile he moved to Bingham Lake, where he engaged in the live-stock 
and dray business and was thus engaged until July I, 1889, when he moved 
to Windom, where he ever since has made his home and where from the 
very beginning of his residence there he has been one of that city's most 
enterprising and progressive citizens. For years he continued his live-stock 
operations and other business activities, but for some years past has been 
living practically retired. In 1902 Air. DeWolf went to Canada and bought 
three sections of land, all of which he since has sold save three hundred and 
twenty acres. He owns a fine home on Fourth street in Windom, where he 
and his wife are very pleasantly and comfortably situated. They spend a 
part of their time in Canada with their sons and make occasional visits back 
to their old home in New York state. Mrs. DeWolf is active in local church 
work and for many years has been regarded as one of the leaders in the 
social life of this community. She also for years has been one of the leaders 
in the work of the Order of the Eastern Star at Windom. 

Air. DeWolf is a Republican and ever since settling in this region back 
in pioneer days has taken an active and earnest part in civic affairs. For 
two terms he served as county commissioner from the fourth district and was 
thus serving at the time the first court house in Cottonwood county was 
erected. During the McKinley administration he was postmaster of Windom 
and has also served two terms as mayor of that city, having been the city's 
chief executive officer at the time the waterworks and the electric-light plant 
were constructed. In addition to his extensive realty and live-stock opera- 
tions he also gave much attention to the general enterprises of the community 
and is still serving as a member of the board of directors of the Windom 
National Bank. Air. DeWolf was made a Mason in New York in 1872, a 
member of West Amboy Lodge No. 650, and his membership long ago was 
transferred to Prudence Lodge No. 97, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, 
at Windom, and of the Royal Arch Chapter No. 48, at Windom. He also 
is a Knight Templar, a member of Laverne Commandery No. 22, and a 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 45 

noble of Osman Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic 
Shrine, at St. Paul, and, with his wife, is connected with the local chapter of 
the Order of the Eastern Star, taking a warm interest in all these several 
branches of Masonry. He also is a member of the Woodmen of the World, 
and he and his familj- ire affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal church. 

On November 8, 1871, in Oswego county, New York, Milo T. DeWolf 
was united in marriage to Louise E. Gardner, who was born in that county, 
daughter of William H. Gardner and wife, the latter of whom was a Rath- 
bone, whose last days were spent at Hartford, Connecticut, both living to 
advanced ages, and to this union three children have been born, namely : 
Blanche, wife of John Ruff, cashier of the Windom National Bank; Archibald, 
now of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, owner of three hundred and twenty acres 
of land and assistant manager of the affairs of E. J. Meilicke & Sons, and 
Earl G., now with the Goose Lake Grain and Lumber Company at Ardath, 
Saskatchewan. Archibald DeWolf was formerly postmaster of Windom. 



DAVID EWERT. 



It was in southern Russia, October 6, 1838, that David Ewert, the 
subject of this sketch, first saw the light of day. His father, William W. 
Ewert, and his mother, whose maiden name was Anna Buhler, were both 
natives of southern Russia. 

William W. Ewert was a farmer and lumberman in Russia, and lived 
all his life in that country. He died in 1871. Some years after his death 
the mother came to America with her children, arriving in 1878. They 
finally came to Minnesota and found a location in Mountain Lake township and 
engaged in farming. The children of the family were : Jacob, Wilhelm, 
David, and Abraham (deceased). 

David Ewert received his education in Russia, and came to this country 
with his mother in 1878. For two years after arriving in Cottonwood county 
he remained with the family on the farm, assisting in the farm work. In 
i88q he engaged in the general merchandising business in partnership with 
H. P. Goetry. After two years this partnership was dissolved and Mr. Ewert 
has since conducted the business alone. In 1881 he was married to Elizabeth 
Goetry, a daughter of Peter Goetry, and to this union two children have been 
born : Elizabeth and Anna. They are both students at the State University. 

Politically, Mr. Ewert is a Republican. He has served as mayor of the 



46 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

village of Mountain Lake for about thirteen years; as commissioner of 
Cottonwood county for about thirteen years; and as a member of the school 
board for twenty years. He is at present serving as president of the First 
State Bank of Mountain Lake, and is also a stockholder in the State Bank 
of Jeffers, Cottonwood county, Minnesota. He also has an interest in the 
Mountain Lake Milling Company. 



CARL CORNELIUS ANDERSON, D. V. S. 

Dr. Carl Cornelius Anderson, a well-known veterinary surgeon, of St. 
James, is a native of Denmark, born in the city of Elsinore, on the island 
of Seeland, at the narrowest part of the Sound, the point where for many 
years the Sound dues were collected and the assumed scene of Shakespeare's 
tragedy of "Hamlet." Upon completing the course in the Latin school of 
his home town, he entered the Royal Veterinary College at Copenhagen and 
was graduated from that institution in 1892. Thus admirably equipped for 
the practice of his profession, Doctor Anderson came to the United States 
in that same year and proceeded straightway to Minnesota. After a short 
stay at St. Paul, he came to this part of the state, arriving at St. James on 
August 17, 1892, and has ever since made his home in that city. 

Upon arriving at St. James, Doctor Anderson opened an office for the 
practice of his profession and was soon firmly established in practice there, 
for years having been recognized as one of the leading veterinary surgeons 
in this part of the state. In 1895, about three years after locating at St. 
James, Doctor Anderson married and established his home in that city. He 
has a delightful home in Armstrong Park, in the northern side of the city, 
and he and his family are pleasantly situated. Doctor Anderson is a Repub- 
lican and gives a good citizen's attention to local political affairs, but has 
never been included in the office-seeking class. He is a Mason, a member 
of Libanus Lodge No. 96, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at St. James ; 
a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and for twenty-two years a 
member of the Modern Woodmen of America. Doctor Anderson stands 
high in the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He has filled all the chairs in the 
local aerie of that Order and is now department president of that body for the 
aeries situated in the second congressional district, including the cities of 
Mankato, Worthington and St. James. He also has served as a delegate to 
the state conventions of the Eagles and has done much to advance the cause 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 47 

of that order throughout Minnesota. He and his wife are members of the 
Swedish Lutheran church and they take a proper part in the general good 
works of the community, ever displaying their interest in such movements 
as are designed to advance the common welfare hereabout. 

It was on December 23, 1895, ^ iat Dr. Carl C. Anderson was united 
in marriage to Emma Matilda Carlson, who was born in Sibley county, this 
state, November 17, 1869, daughter of John and Ingred Carlson, natives of 
the kingdom of Sweden, who came to the United States in 1869, proceeding 
to Minnesota and settling in Sibley county, whence, the following year, 
1870, they moved over into Watonwan county and homesteaded a tract of 
eighty acres of land in Nelson township, one-half mile east of the East 
Sveadahl church, where they established their home and where John Carlson 
spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring in 1879, he then being 
forty-six years of age. His widow survived him twenty years, her last days 
being spent in the home of Doctor Anderson, where she died in 1899, at the 
age of sixty-nine years. Mrs. Anderson is the fourth in order of birth of 
the five children born to her parents, the others being as follow : Marie, 
deceased; Augusta, deceased; Caroline, wife of Nels Tropp, of Minneapolis, 
and Carl Herman Carlson, of northern Minnesota. To Doctor and Mrs. 
Anderson have been born five children, namely: Berda Eleanor, born on 
January 30, 1897, who was graduated from the St. James high school in 
1915 and is now a student at Gustavus Adolphus College at St. Peter; Eman- 
uel Cornelius, who died in infancy; Blanche Eugenia, born on January 30, 
1901, now a student of the St. James high school; Harriet Roxanna, June 
7, 1904, and Margaret Viola Walburga, February 24, 19 10. 



D. J. VOTH. 



The subject of this sketch was born in Carson township, Cottonwood 
county, Minnesota, September 10, 1885, a son of Jacob and Justina 
(Loewen) Voth, natives of southern Russia. 

The father and mother came to America about 1875 an< ^ located in 
Carson township, Cottonwood county, Minnesota. Here they have con- 
tinued to make their home on a farm of two hundred acres, engaged in 
general farming. Eight children have been born to them : Lena, D. J., 
Jacob, Justina, Henry, Isaac, Peter and Abraham. They are members of 
the Mennonite church; the father is independent in politics. 



48 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

D. J. Voth was educated in the public schools of Carson township, and 
in the high school at Windom. Later he took a course in the Mankato 
Business College, where he acquired an education fitting him for the banking 
business, in which he afterwards engaged. In June, 1909, he took a position 
in the First State Bank, at Bingham Lake, as assistant cashier; in 1910 he 
was made cashier of this bank and has since continued in that position. On 
January 29, 1913, Mr. Voth was married to Anna Heibert, daughter of 
C. F. Heibert, of Bingham Lake, Minnesota. To this union one child, 
Richard D., has been born. 

Mr. Voth has a good knowledge of the banking business in all its details 
and commands the confidence of the patrons, and of the community in gen- 
eral, as a man of upright character and strict integrity. He is not only 
interested in the banking business but among the leading public spirited citi- 
zens of the community, ready to give aid and encouragement to every cause 
that tends to the promotion of the welfare and prosperity of the town and 
county of which he is a citizen. He is not allied with any particular political 
party, reserving the right to give his support to the candidate whom he deems 
best qualified for the office to which he aspires, regardless of the party faith 
to which the candidate subscribes. 



REV. FRANTZ C. E. NORMAN. 

Rev. Frantz C. E. Norman, pastor of the United Norwegian Lutheran 
church at Windom, is a native of Norway, but has been a resident of Minne- 
sota since he was nine years old* and has therefore been a witness of and a 
participant in the wonderful development of this region during the past 
generation. He was born on June 13, 1862, son of John E. and Martha 
(Hartvikson) Norman, both natives of Norway, the former of whom came 
to the United States in 1869 and prepared a home for the reception of his 
family near Rochester, this state. The family came over in 1871 and shortly 
thereafter John E. Norman and his family located on a farm south of 
Byron, in Olmstead county, where they lived until 1875. in which year they 
left the farm and moved to Mankato, where Mr. and Mrs. Norman spent 
the rest of their lives, both dying in 1898, he at the age of eighty-one and 
she at the age of seventy-five. They were the parents of six children, of 
whom the subject of this sketch was the last born, the others being Aletta, 



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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 49 

Ulrikka, Jennie, Caroline and Arnt S., of whom but two now survive, the 
Rev. Frantz C. Norman and his sister, Ulrikka. 

Frantz C. E. Norman was about nine years old when he came to this 
country and his studies, which had been interrupted when he left his native 
land, were resumed in the Minnesota schools, his elementary education being 
received in the schools at Salem, Olmsted county, and at Mankato. Having 
early consecrated himself to the gospel ministry he then entered Augsberg 
Seminary at Minneapolis and upon completing the course there was ordained 
a minister of the United Norwegian Lutheran church in 1892. His first 
pastorate was at Watertown, South Dakota (five congregations), at which 
place he served during the period 1892-99, in which latter year he accepted 
a call to the circuit at Brookings, South Dakota (two congregations), and 
was pastor there until 1904. He then was called to Fosston, in Polk county, 
this state (four congregations), and served there until 1907, in which year 
he was called to Seneca, Illinois (three congregations), where he remained 
until the call to the churches at Windom, Heron Lake and Brewster, came 
to him in 19 10, since which time he has made his home in Windom and has 
proved himself one of the most potent forces for good in that entire com- 
munity. The Reverend Mr. Norman is a preacher of much power and has 
a large and devoted following in his congregation at Windom, his church 
exerting a wide influence in the way of promoting the best interests of the 
city and surrounding country. 

It was during his residence in South Dakota that the Rev. Frantz C. E. 
Norman was united in marriage, at Bruce, June 13, 1895, to Emma Agnes 
Olsen, who was born in Wisconsin, June 13, 1872, daughter of Andrew and 
Mary Olsen, natives of Norway, the former of whom came to this country 
in 1863 and the latter in i860. Andrew Olsen and his wife were married 
at Highland, in Fillmore county, Minnesota, later moving to Coral City 
(later Whitehall), Wisconsin, where Mr. Olsen engaged in the mercantile 
business, but later returned to Minnesota and engaged in business at High- 
land, where he remained for eleven years, at the end of which time he went 
to South Dakota and engaged in farming near the town of Bruce, in Brook- 
ings county, and was thus employed for twenty-five years. He and his wife 
are now living retired at Brookings, he at the age of seventy-five and she 
at the age of seventy-one. To them six children were born, those besides 
Mrs. Norman being Dora, Edward (deceased), Clara, Eva and Orrin. 

To the Rev. Frantz C. E. and Emma Agnes (Olsen) Norman five 
children have been born, as follow: Margaret, born on September 13, 1896, 
(4a) 



50 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

who was graduated from the Windom high school in 1914 and is now a 
student in the music department of the South Dakota State Agricultural 
College; Clarissa E., December 4, 1897, who was graduated from the 
Windom high school with the class of 1916; Elsie F., May 13, 1900, now a 
student in the Windom high school; Victor F., January 9, 1907, and Andrus 
S.„ October 31, 191 1. 



REV. FRANCIS JOSEPH PROKES. 

The Rev. Father Francis Joseph Prokes, pastor of the Catholic church 
of St. Francis Xavier at Windom and one of the most popular clergymen in 
this part of Minnesota, is a native of the state of Illinois, born in the city of 
Chicago, but has lived in Minnesota since he was six years old and is there- 
fore as ardent and loyal a son of Minnesota as though "native and to the 
manor born." He was born on April 4, 1886, son of John and Catherine 
(Koranda) Prokes, both natives of the kingdom of Bohemia, who came to 
America in 1882 and located at Chicago, where John Prokes engaged in busi- 
ness as a contractor in general masonry work and where they made their 
home until 1892, in which year they came to Minnesota and settled in Jackson 
county. Mr. Prokes bought a farm there and on that farm made his home 
until his retirement some years ago, since which time he and his wife have 
resided at Jackson. They are the parents of three sons, of whom the subject 
of this sketch is the second in order of birth, the others being Joseph, who 
resides at Jackson, this state, and Wesley, who is operating the home farm 
in Jackson county. Mr. and Mrs. Prokes are earnest members of the Catholic 
church and their sons were reared in that faith. 

Francis Joseph Prokes was about six years old when his parents moved 
from Chicago to this state and he was reared on the farm in Jackson 
county. Upon completing the course in the local schools he entered St. 
Procopius College at Lisle, Illinois, from which he was graduated in June, 
1908. He had early consecrated himself to the service of the church and 
upon leaving college entered the St. Paul Seminary at St. Paul, for the 
further prosecution of his theological studies, and after two years' study in 
philosophy and four years in theology was graduated in 19 14. On Febru- 
ary 15 of the latter year Father Prokes was ordained to holy orders and on 
May 15, 1914, was given pastoral charge of the church of St. Francis 
Xavier at Windom, where he since has been located and where he is doing 
a noble work. Father Prokes also has charge of the missions at Westbrook 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 5 1 

and Jeffers and under his excellent administration his parish is advancing 
rapidly, both spiritually and materially. Father Prokes is public-spirited 
and energetic and takes a warm interest in the general affairs of the 
community, being held in the highest esteem, not only by the members of 
his immediate parish, but by all throughout this part of the state who have 
come under the genial influence of his kindly personality. 



ANDREW M. HANSON. 



Restlessness causes many to leave our paternal halls and seek our fortunes 
in distant lands. Some feel this wanderlust spirit so strongly that they 
have no control over it. Andrew M. Hanson, cashier of the Citizens National 
Bank of St. James, and formerly county treasurer of Watonwan county, is 
one of the large band of foreign-born citizens who has come to this locality 
and has succeeded. 

Mr. Hanson was born in Sweden in 1862, and is a son of John and 
Christina (Nelson) Hanson, both natives of Sweden, in which country they 
grew up, were married and established their home, but eventually moved 
with their family to America, settling in Scott county, Minnesota, in 1865, 
removing to St. James in 1870. The father was a tailor by trade. In 1869 
he took up a homestead in Long Lake township, which he transformed into 
a good farm. He is now living in St. James, retired from active life, spend- 
ing his declining years in ease and comfort. 

Andrew M. Hanson was about three years old when his parents brought 
him to America. He grew to manhood in Minnesota, and received his 
education in the public schools of Watonwan county, and here he engaged 
in farming until 1904, when he was elected county treasurer, the duties of 
which office he discharged in an able, faithful and highly acceptable manner 
for a period of ten years; then, in February, 1915, he became cashier of the 
Citizens National Bank of St. James, which position he still holds and is 
giving high-grade service. He is also engaging to some extent in the real- 
estate business. 

Andrew M. Hanson was married in 1889, to Ellen Pearson, who was 
born in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, and to this union four children have been 
born, namely: Clara, Hazel, Leota, Wallace. 

Mr. Hanson is a member of the Swedish Lutheran church. Politically, 
he is a Republican, and has long been active in party affairs and influential 



52 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

in his locality. Besides the office of county treasurer, he served as clerk of 
Long Lake township for six years, and was chairman of the township board 
for several years, and clerk of the local school board for six years, or until 
1914. He is president of the Commercial Club of St. James, and is one of 
the town's most public-spirited citizens; he is also a member of the board of 
education. 



HON. J. E. JOHXSOX. 



The Hon. J. E. Johnson, former member of the Legislature from the 
Windom district, a former member of the Windom city council, a former 
merchant of that city and for years a well-known general dealer in real- 
estate in that city, is a native of Norway, but has been a resident of the 
United States since he was two years old and a resident of this section of 
Minnesota since he was six years old, consequently has become as deeply 
imbued with the spirit of the great Northwest as one native born here. 
He was born on March 25, 1865, son of Erick and Ingeborg (Grine) John- 
son, both natives of Norway, who came to the United States in 1867 and 
located on a farm in the vicinity of Staughton, Wisconsin, where they 
remained until 1871, in which year they came to Minnesota and located 
in Cottonwood county. Upon coming here, Erick Johnson homesteaded a 
tract of eighty acres, four and one-half miles south of Windom and there he 
and his wife spent their last days, becoming useful and influential pioneers 
of this section. They were members of the Norwegian Lutheran church 
and their children were reared in that faith. There were seven of these 
children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the second in order of 
birth, the others being Lena, Bennie E., Martha, Arthur E., Ida and Emma. 
Erick Johnson was a Republican and took an active part in political affairs 
in the early days here. 

J. E. Johnson was about two years old when his parents came to this 
country and was about six years old when they moved from Wisconsin to 
Minnesota. He grew up on the home farm, completed his schooling in the 
schools at Windom and when about seventeen years old began clerking in 
the store of John Hutton in that city, being thus engaged for nine years ; 
at the end of which time, in 1891, he embarked in the general merchandise 
business for himself at Windom and was for eleven years regarded as one 
of the leading merchants of .Windom. At the end of that time, in 1902, 
Mr. Johnson entered the real-estate business at Windom and has since then 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 53 

been engaged in that business, senior member of the Johnson & Lund Land 
Company, one of the foremost general dealers in realty hereabout. Mr. 
Johnson, even from the days of his boyhood, has given his thoughtful 
attention to local political affairs and has been active therein. In 1897 he 
was elected representative from his home district to the lower house of the 
Minnesota General Assembly, on the Independent ticket, and served in -that 
capacity for one term. He also has given his time to the public service as 
a member of the Windom city council. 

In 1894 J. E. Johnson was united in marriage to Louise Thompson, 
daughter of Jens Thompson and wife, and to this union two children have 
been born, Ellsworth and Irene. The Johnsons are members of the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church and take an earnest interest in the affairs of the 
same, as well as in the general good works of the community at large. 



T. N. DRYDEN. 



T. N. Dryden, a well-known stock buyer, of Windom, is a native of 
Illinois, born on a farm in Coles county, that state, December 8, 1850, son 
of W. A. and Amizilla Dryden, who were the parents of eight children, 
only one of whom, the subject of this sketch, is a resident of Cottonwood 
county. W. A. Dryden was born in Bedford county, Tennessee, and grew 
to manhood there. He then moved to Illinois with his parents, the family 
settling in Coles county, that state, where he worked with his father in a 
blacksmith shop. Not long after his arrival in Coles county he married 
a daughter of one of the pioneers of that section and in the early fifties 
moved to Wisconsin, settling on a farm in Dane county, about twenty miles 
west of Madison, where he established his home and where he remained 
until 1862, in February of which year he and his family moved to Marion 
county, Iowa, making the trip by ox-team. After a residence of three years 
there he moved, in 1865, to Lafayette county, Wisconsin, where he bought 
a farm and remained there until his retirement from the farm and removal 
to the town of Argyle, that state, where for a number of years he was 
engaged in the buying of live stock. He then moved to Castana, in Monona 
county, Iowa, where he remained until he came to this state and located at 
W r indom, where his last days were spent. 

T. N. Dryden was little more than an infant when his parents moved 
from Illinois to Wisconsin and his schooling was obtained in the latter state. 



54 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Not long after leaving school he rented a farm in the neighborhood of the 
paternal farm and was engaged in farming there until 1874, in which year 
he moved to Pottawattomie county, Iowa, where he rented a farm on which 
he made his home for two years, at the end of which time he went to 
Monona county, same state, where he bought a farm and was there engaged 
in farming until 1900, when he sold out and came to this part of Minne- 
sota, locating at Windom, where for a time he was engaged in the general 
real-estate business, but presently turned his attention to the buying and 
selling of live stock and has been thus very successfully engaged ever since, 
being now recognized as one of the leading stockmen in this part of the 
state. Mr. Dryden is a Republican and gives a good citizen's attention to 
political affairs, but has never been included in the office-seeking class. 

. T. N. Dryden was united in marriage to Joan E. Howery, and to this 
union five children have been born, Guy, George, Reuben, Vernie and 
Genevieve. Guy Dryden married Clara Lanham and has two children, Ruth 
and Glenn. Reuben Dryden married Florence Barber and has one child, a 
son, Lowell. Genevieve Dryden married Dana Goss, and Vernie married 
Helen Kerr and lives at Harlan, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Dryden are members 
of the Methodist Episcopal church, Mr. Dryden being a member of the 
official board of the church, and they take an active interest in the various 
beneficences of the same, as well as in all local good works. They have a 
very pleasant home at Windom and take a proper interest in the general 
social and cultural activities of their home town. 



ABRAHAM JANZEN. 



In these days of large commercial transactions, when credits cut a 
large factor in the daily round of business, the province of the banker is 
very wide and very important. The excellence of the banks of the present 
compared with those of the past gives to all classes of business men first- 
class security for their deposits, assistance when they are in need of ready 
money to develop their buiness, and a means of exchanging credits that 
could be accomplished in no other way. Abraham Janzen, of Mountain 
Lake, is one of the enterprising bankers of Cottonwood county. 

Mr. Janzen was born in Germany, May 2, 1862, and is a son of Johan 
and Anna (Thiessen) Janze,n, both natives of Germany, in which country 
they grew to maturity, were married and spent their lives on a farm. Mr. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 55 

Janzen grew up on the home place, where he worked when a boy, and he 
received his education in the public schools of Germany. He immigrated 
to the United States in 1884, locating at Mountain Lake, Minnesota, where 
he has since resided. He first worked in a store and the postoffice, later 
ran a lumber yard, then became cashier of the First National Bank, soon 
after its organization and this position he still holds. 

Mr. Janzen was married in 1889, to Margaret Nickel, of Mountain 
Lake, and to their union the following children have been born: Abram 
A., John Alfred, William Henry, Hilda, Rudolf, Erna, Victor, Margaret 
and Kuno. 

Mr. Janzen is a Republican and he has been village recorder and for 
many years a member of the school board. He belongs to the Mennonite 
church. He has been one of Mountain Lake's best citizens. 



NELS ANDERSON. 



No foreign born citizens who come to America are more heartily wel- 
comed than the Swedes, for they are industrious, loyal to American institu- 
tions and make excellent citizens. One of this vast number in Cottonwood 
county is Nels Anderson, a highly skilled merchant tailor of Windom. 

Nels Anderson was born in Sweden, October 16, 1858, and is a son 
of Andrew and Inger (Larson) Nelson, both natives of Sweden, where they 
were married and spent their lives, dying there some years ago. Nels grew 
up in his native land and was educated in the public schools there. He 
came to the United States in 1880, locating at Darlington, Lafayette county, 
Wisconsin, where he worked at the tailor's trade several years, engaging in 
business for himself part of the time. He then went to Pierre, South 
Dakota, where he resided from 1889 to August, 1895, wnen he came to 
Windom, where he has since been engaged in merchant tailoring, enjoying 
a large patronage, drawing many of his customers from remote parts of 
the surrounding country. He has a neat, well-equipped and modern shop 
and turns out high-grade work promptly. He built a fine, up-to-date resi- 
dence in this city in 19 14. Although starting out a poor boy he has accumu- 
lated a comfortable competency through his industry and good management. 

Nels Anderson was married in 1891 to Ellen S. Warneck, who was 
born in the state of New York in 1858, and is a daughter of Carl and Salig 
(Nicholes) Warneck, who came to South Dakota in 1883, and where they 



56 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

both died. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson has been without issue, 
but they have two adopted children, Earl and Pearl, twins, born in 1903; 
they are both now attending school in Windom. 

Politically, Mr. Anderson is a Republican. He has been a member 
of the city council of Windom. He belongs to the Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons. 



WHALEN DURLAND SEELY. 

The late Whalen Durland Seely, former county commissioner and for 
years one of Cottonwood county's best-known and most substantial citizens, 
was a pioneer of that county and lived to see it develop from the condition 
of a practical wilderness to its present well-established state. He was a 
young man when he came to this part of Minnesota and his energy and enter- 
prise did much in the way of helping to promote the best interests of the 
pioneer community with which he had cast his lot back in the seventies. 
He was born in the state of Pennsylvania on February 2, 1850, and was 
but a child when his parents, Francis Tuttle and Mary (Durland) Seely, 
moved West and settled in Iowa, where he grew to manhood. In the early 
seventies the Seelys came to Minnesota and Francis T. Seely homsteaded a 
farm in Amo township, Cottonwood county, where he and his wife spent 
the remainder of their lives, substantial pioneer residents of that section. 

Upon locating in Cottonwood county, Whalen D. Seely homesteaded a 
quarter of a section of land in Rose Hill township and also took a timber 
claim of a quarter of a section and proceeded to improve and develop the 
same. He married in 1882 and established his home on his homestead tract 
and there lived until his retirement from the farm and removal to Windom 
in 1908. Mr. Seely was one of the active, energetic men of the community 
and from the beginning of his residence here took an influential part in local 
civic affairs. He was a Republican and for some time served as a member 
of the township board and as clerk of his school district. For twelve years 
he was retained on the board of county commissioners and it was during 
his tenure in that important office that the present court house of Cotton- 
wood county was erected. Upon moving to Windom Mr. Seely bought a 
comfortable residence, which carried with it a fruit orchard of more than 
five hundred trees, and there he spent his last days, his death occurring on 
April 17, 1912. 

On April 9, 1882, Whalen D. Seely was united in marriage to Carrie 




WHALEN DURLAXD SEELY. 



■ 






1 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 57 

M. Reisdorph, who was born in McKean county, Pennsylvania, August 12, 
1857, daughter of Silas and Betsy (Hoag) Reisdorph, the former a native 
of the state of New York, born in Cattaragus county on April 3, 1828, and 
the latter of Pennsylvania. Silas Reisdorph and family moved from Penn- 
sylvania to Monroe county, Michigan, and there Mrs. Reisdorph died in 
1863, leaving two children, Carrie M. and John A., the latter of whom is a 
well-known farmer of Springfield township, Cottonwood county. Silas Reis- 
dorph married, secondly, Frances Dutton and later came with his family to 
.Minnesota, settling in LeSueur county, whence, in 1873, tne y moved to 
Hennepin county and thence, in 1878, to Cottonwood county, where he home- 
steaded a quarter of a section of land, which is still owned by the family, 
and there he spent the rest of his life, his death occurring in 1914. His 
widow is now living at Mason City, Iowa. They were the parents of seven 
children, Robert, William T., Mary I., George H., Lloyd, Elvie and Edith, 
all of whom are living. 

To Whalen D. and Carrie M. (Reisdorph) Seely four children were 
born, as follow : Mary Frances, who married Harold M. Tripp and is now 
living at Center, North Dakota; Grace G. ; Madge M., now the wife of Eden 
G. Lund, a real-estate dealer at Spokane, Washington, and Elizabeth June, 
who is still at home. Mrs. Seely is very comfortably situated in her pleas- 
ant home at W r indom. 



JESSE O. THOMPSON. 



Photography is one of the newer arts of mankind. Since the days of 
our grandfathers, when the tintype was the only kind of likeness there has 
been great progress in this field of science. A highly skilled photographer 
may be found at Windom, Cottonwood county, in the person of Jesse O. 
Thompson, who keeps well abreast of the times in his chosen vocation. 

Mr. Thompson was born in Benton county, Iowa, April 22, 1880. He 
is a son of John and Elizabeth Thompson, natives of Ohio, and Iowa, 
respectively. The father, when young, came to Benton county, Iowa, with 
his parents, William Thompson and wife, and he has since resided there, 
being a farmer by occupation. His family consists of nine children, namely : 
Jesse O., Walter, Nettie, Merl, Roy, Harry, Myrtle, Oren and Erma 
(deceased J. 

Jesse O. Thompson grew up on the home farm in Benton county, 
Iowa, and there received his education in the public schools and, when a 



58 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

boy, began studying photography at Sioux City, where he remained four 
years. He came to Windom, Minnesota, in 1904, where he has since been 
engaged in business, maintaining a popular studio. 

Mr. Thompson was married September 20, 1904, to Clarabell Bortle, of 
Sioux City, Iowa. To this union two children have been born, Lucile Eliza- 
beth and Bernice. 

Politically, Mr. Thompson is a Republican. He is at present a member 
of the city council. He was chief of the local fire department for seven 
years, doing his work most effectively and commendably. Fraternally, he 
belongs to Prudence Lodge No. 97, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, 
also the chapter at Windom. He belongs to Lodge No. 108, Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows and to the Modern Woodmen of America and the 
Royal Arcanum. 



OLAF HEDQUIST. 



Olaf Hedquist, a well-known and well-to-do retired farmer of Spring- 
field township, Cottonwood county, now living at Windom, is a native of 
the kingdom of Sweden, born on November 12, 1852, son of Olaf and Mary 
(Johnson) Hedquist, both natives of that country, who spent all their lives 
there. He received his education in his native country and when twenty 
years of age, in 1872, came to the United States and proceeded to Chicago. 
Shortly afterward he became engaged in farm labor in Livingston county, 
Illinois, and later bought an eighty-acre farm in Champaign county, same 
state. In 1881 he married and established his home there, where he 
remained until 1901, in which year he sold that place and his wife sold a 
forty-acre farm which she owned there, and they moved over into Iowa, 
settling near Sheldon, in O'Brien county. There Mr. Hedquist bought 
three hundred and twenty acres, which he proceeded to improve and where 
he made his home for about ten years, at the end of which time, in 19 10, 
he sold his place to advantage and came to Minnesota, locating in Cotton- 
wood county. He bought section 35 in Springfield township, that county, 
and there made his home until 191 5, in which year he retired from the 
active labors of the farm and moved to Windom, buying a fine residence 
on Ninth street, where he and his wife are now living, very pleasantly and 
very comfortably situated. Mr. Hedquist still owns his fine farm of six 
hundred and forty acres in Springfield township and is recognized as a 
very substantial citizen. He is a Republican, but has never been included 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 59 

in the office-seeking class. He was reared a Lutheran, but he and his family- 
attend the Methodist church. 

On January 25, 1881, Olaf Hedquist was united in marriage to Lillie 
Jenkinson, who was born in Marshall county, Illinois, September 23, 1862, 
daughter of Benjamin and Mary Jenkinson, natives of England, who later 
moved from Marshall county to Woodford county, Illinois, where they 
spent the remainder of their lives, he dying on February 14, 1889, and she 
in ]une, 1909. Benjamin Jenkinson and wife were the parents of ten chil- 
dren, of whom Mrs. Hedquist was the fourth in order of birth, the others 
being Alfred, Jemima, William, Mary Ann, Lydia, Sarah, Benjamin, Kesiah 
and Anna. Of these children, Alfred, William, Benjamin and Anna now 
survive. To Mr. and Mrs. Hedquist eight children have been born, Arthur, 
Mary, Elmer, Clarence, Herbert, Lydia, Leona and John, all of whom are 
living. 



JOHN ZENDER. 



While the German Empire has not furnished so many settlers for 
Watonwan county as have some other countries, those she has sent to this 
locality are thrifty and have become comfortably fixed by reason of their 
industry. One of this number is John Zender, now living in retirement in 
the town of St. James. 

Mr. Zender was born in Germany, July 8, 1846, and is a son of Jacob 
G. and Katherjne (Green) Zender, both of whom lived and died in Ger- 
many, the father dying in 1869 and the mother about 1879. They were 
the parents of the following children: Susanna, who died in Germany; 
Angela, who married and spent her life in Germany,, dying there a number 
of years ago, and had two sons who came to the United States, Jacob and 
Theodore Oik, of Nebraska; Katherine, who died in Germany; Peter is 
deceased; John, the subject of this sketch; Veronica, who married Wendal 
Liver, came to the United States, where she died, and Antone lives in Iowa. 

John Zender spent his boyhood in Germany, where he was educated in 
the public schools. On August 10, 1871, he sailed from the Fatherland to 
the new world, locating in Chicago, where he remained until April, 1872, 
then came to Faribault, Minnesota, but in a short time went on to Scott 
county, locating seven miles south of Jordan, where he lived about seven 
months, then came to Watonwan county and bought a homestead right of 
one hundred and sixty acres, to which he added until he now owns seven 



60 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

hundred acres of valuable and well-improved land, two hundred acres of 
which lies in St. James township and five hundred in Butterfield township. 
He carried on general farming and stock raising on an extensive scale until 
191 3, whe he retired from active life and purchased a fine home in St. James, 
where he has since resided. He is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator 
Company here. 

Mr. Zender was married in 1876, to Katie Goll, who was born in Aus- 
tria in 1858. She is a daughter of Michael and Mary Goll, who came to 
Mankato, Minnesota, in 1867, but the following year located in Watonwan 
county, Mr. Goll taking up a homestead in Rosedale township, on which he 
spent the rest of his life, dying in 1907 at the advanced age of eighty-four 
years. Mrs. Goll is still living on the home place, being now eighty-two 
years of age. To Mr. and Goll the following children were born: Katie, 
wife of Mr. Zender; Andrew died in 1899; Margaret is the wife of John 
Barrett; Frank, Mary, Anna. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Zender thirteen children have been born, named as 
follows: Mary, Michael, Margaret, Francis, Theresa, Anton Joseph, 
Andrew George, Jacob, Anna Clara, Albert Joseph, Julia, Florence, and 
Eleanor. They are all living at this writing. Mr. Zender and family are 
members of the Catholic church, and he is affiliated to the German Cath- 
olic Association. 



JOHN J. ZENDER. 

One of the representative business men of Watonwan county is John J. 
Zender, merchant, of St. James, who devoted his earlier years to farming 
in this locality. He is essentially a man of affairs, sound of judgment and 
far-seeing in what he undertakes, and with scarcely an exception every 
enterprise to which he addresses himself results in gratifying financial 
returns. 

Mr. Zender was born in St. James township, Watonwan county, Sep- 
tember 4, 1876, and is a son of Peter and Magdalena (Miller) Zender, 
natives of Germany, the father born in 1844 and the mother in 1846. There 
they spent their early lives and attended school. Peter Zender came to 
America in 1872 and his wife at a later date, with her parents, Peter and 
Anna Miller. The latter were both natives of Germany, his birth occurring 
in 1818 and hers in 1820. ,The Miller family located in St. James, Minne- 
sota, the latter part of the year 1872, and here the parents spent the rest 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 6l 

of their lives, the father dying in 1880, at the age of sixty-two years, and 
the mother in 1912, at the advanced age of ninety-two years, having out- 
lived her husband thirty-two years. Peter Zender secured a homestead of 
eighty acres upon coming here. He was a man of industry and sound 
judgment and, prospering with the advancing years, he added to his original 
holdings until he owned five hundred and one acres of good land. He car- 
ried on general farming and stock raising on an extensive scale, but spent 
the last three years of his life in retirement in St. James, where his death 
occurred in 1905, his widow surviving until 1914. Politically, he was a 
Democrat and active in party affairs. He was a member of the township 
board for a period of thirteen years. He was a member of the Catholic 
church. His family consisted of the following children: John J., Annie, 
Nicholas L., Peter J. and Mary. They all survive at this writing. 

John J. Zender grew to manhood on the home farm, where he worked 
when a boy, and he received his education in the public schools. He 
remained on the farm until 1901, when he came to St. James and engaged 
in the restaurant business, beginning in December of that year, which he 
continued successfully until July 5, 1905. In the spring of 1906 he went 
to Butterfield, where he engaged in the implement business for four years, 
enjoying a good trade, then returned to St. James. He took up farming 
again, which he continued on an extensive scale until the spring of 191 5, 
when he sold out and was employed by Meyer & Uhlhome in their hardware 
store until March 4, 1916, when he was admitted to the firm, which was 
incorporated under the firm name of The City Mercantile Company. They 
handle all kinds of hardware, implements, harness, automobiles, etc. Mr. 
Zender is secretary and treasurer of the firm. A very large business is car- 
ried on and it is rapidly increasing. Mr. Zender owned a well improved 
and productive farm of one hundred and seventy-five acres in St. James 
township, but sold eighty acres, now owning ninety-five acres in sections 
19 and 20. Pie is a stockholder in the Security State Bank, and is also 
interested in the estate of his mother. 

Politically, he is an independent voter. He was a member of the town 
council one year. He is a member of the Catholic church. 

Mr. Zender wa* married in 1899, to Ludwina Stemper of Russell 
county, Wisconsin, where she was born. Her parents still live in that state. 
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Zender has been without issue. 

Mr. Zender is a member of the Foresters and the German Fraternal 
Society. 



62 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Mr. Zenders paternal grandparents were Jacob G. and Katherine 
(Green) Zender, both of whom spent their lives in Germany, his death 
occurring in 1869 and hers in 1879. Their children were named as follows: 
Susanna died in Germany; Angeline, who married and spent her life in 
Germany, had two sons to come to the United States, Theodore Oik and 
Jacob; Catherine died in Germany; Peter, father of the subject of this 
sketch; John, who lives in St. James, Minnesota, is mentioned elsewhere in 
this work; Veronica, who came to the United States, married Wendal Lever, 
who lives in Carroll county, Iowa, but she is deceased ; Antone lives in Iowa. 



MASON N. CADWELL. 



Mason N. Cadwell, a well-to-do retired farmer, for years an influential 
resident of Amo township, Cottonwood county, now living at Windom; 
former president of the old Mutual Telephone Company, of which he was 
the original promoter, and a pioneer of this section of Minnesota, is a native 
of the great Empire state, but has been a resident of Minnesota since 1871, 
in which year he became a homesteader in Cottonwood county, where he 
has lived ever since. He was born in Allegany county, New York, Septem- 
ber 29, 1846, son of George and Melissa (Hatfield) Cadwell, the former a 
native of Connecticut, born in 1812, and the latter of Cattaraugus county, 
New York, born in 181 3. In 1864 George Cadwell and his family came 
West and settled in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, where they established 
their home on a farm. There Mrs. Cadwell died in September, 1868. Her 
husband survived her about eleven years, his death occurring on October 
29, 1879. They were the parents of five children, of whom the subject of 
this sketch was the youngest, the others being Marvin (deceased), Evalyn 
(deceased), Mason N. and one infant (deceased). 

Mason N. Cadwell obtained his schooling in the East and was about 
eighteen years old when he located with his parents in Wisconsin, where he 
remained until 1872, a year after his marriage, when he and his wife came 
to Minnesota and settled in Amo township, Cottonwood county. There 
Mr. Cadwell entered a homestead claim to a quarter of a section of land 
and established his home. To that homestead tract he later added by pur- 
chase an adjoining quarter of a section and still owns his fine farm of 
three hundred and twenty acres there. In 1901 he went into Morrison 
county and bought eleven hundred acres of land, and still owns six hun- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 63 

dred and fifty acres. In 1904 he retired from the farm and moved to 
Windom, where he and his wife have since made their home and where 
they are very comfortably situated. 

Mr. Cad well formerly was an active worker in the ranks of the Repub- 
lican party in his home county and was for years clerk of Amo township, 
as well as a member of the school board, but of recent years has been inclined 
to be wholly independent in his political views. He ever took an active part 
in such movements as were designed to advance the interests of his com- 
munity and was one of the organizers and for five years was president of 
the Mutual Telephone Company, organized in 1902, with a capital stock of 
four thousand five hundred dollars, and which a year later was reorganized 
with a capital of forty-five thousand dollars, thirty-one thousand dollars 
paid up. This company constructed exchanges at Windom, Westbrook and 
Jeffers and built intermediate lines and was eventually taken over by the 
Tri-State Telephone Company, the present owners. 

In January, 1872, in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, Mason N. Cadwell 
was united in marriage to Mary J. Waite, who was born in Cattaraugus 
county, New York, August 14, 1854, daughter of Martin and Jane (Van- 
ocker) Waite, who moved to Wisconsin at an early day and later moved 
to Iowa, where their last days were spent, Martin Waite dying in 1886 and 
his wife in 19 12. To Mr. and Mrs. Cadwell three children have been born, 
Arthur, born November 7, 1873; Myra, born December 23, 1876, and Guy 
E., born September 5, 1882, all of whom are living. Mrs. Cadwell is a 
member of the Methodist church and takes an earnest interest in the various 
beneficences of the same. 



KUMBERT KRUEGER. 



Kumbert Krueger was born in Germany, November 18, 1858, a son of 
Wilhelm and Emelia (Geisler) Krueger, who were also natives of Germany 
and life-long residents of that country. The father followed the occupation 
of a farmer. The children of this family were: Wilhelm, Reinhold, Kum- 
bert, Powell, Max, Meta and Louis. 

Kumbert Krueger was educated in the public schools of his native 
country, and also attended the high school. He made his first trip to 
America in 1874, at the age of sixteen years, and returned to his home 
in Germany after remaining here for about a year. Ten years later, in 
1884, he came again to America, with a view of locating here permanently. 



64 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

He found a location in Sheldon, Iowa, near which place he bought one hun- 
dred and sixty acres of land and went to farming. He remained there for 
about six years. In 1890 he sold his Iowa farm and came to Cottonwood 
county, Minnesota, where he bought three-quarters of a section of land, 
located in High Water township, and farmed this land for about ten years. 
In 1900 he came to Westbrook and built one of the first elevators in the 
town. He operated this elevator until 1906, when he sold the plant and 
became connected with a mill. This mill burned down in 1908, and then 
Mr. Krueger, soon after, bought the elevator and returned again to that 
business. He bought an elevator at Dovray, Minnesota, a few years later, 
and is still operating this. He still owns his farm in Cottonwood county, 
and also owns about six hundred acres of land in North Dakota. 

Mr. Krueger was married, in 1889, to Agnes Spalding, and to this union 
twelve children have been born : William, Albert, Kurt, Walter, Paul, 
Veronka, Theresa, George, Carl, Victoria, Ernest and Dora. 

Mr. Krueger is independent in politics. He is a member of the Ger- 
man Lutheran church. 



WILL CURTIS. 



Will Curtis, editor and proprietor of the St. James Plaindcaler, and 
who also is actively engaged in the real-estate business in the city of St. 
James, is a native of Wisconsin, born on a farm in the vicinity of Patch 
Grove, Grant county, that state, January 18, 1865, son °f J- A. Curtis and 
wife. He received his elementary education in the district school in the 
neighborhood of his home and remained on the home farm until he was 
nineteen years of age, after which he entered the Michigan Agricultural 
College, from which he was graduated in 1889. Previous to going to col- 
lege, Mr. Curtis had taught school one year in his home county and was 
also engaged as a teacher during his vacations from college. After his 
graduation he was employed as principal of the high school at Beetown, 
Wisconsin, and after one year of service in that capacity engaged in the 
newspaper business, which has been his calling ever since. 

It was in 1890 that Mr. Curtis bought the Kewanee Star at Kewanee, 
Illinois, and entered upon his career as editor and publisher. Five years 
later the Kewanee Printing and Publishing Company was organized, with 
Mr. Curtis as manager. Jt took over the Kewanee Star, the Kewanee 
Courier and a job plant, and consolidated the two papers, under the title of 




WILL CURTIS. 



IC LIBRARY' 



i 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 65 

the Star-Courier. Mr. Curtis continued as manager of that paper for 
thirteen years, at the end of which time, in 1908, he disposed of his news- 
paper interests in Illinois and came to Minnesota, locating at St. James, 
where he bought the Plaindcalcr, and has since been editor and sole pro- 
prietor of that excellent newspaper, which has become an influence for 
much good hereabout during the period of his able management. Mr. 
Curtis is an energetic, enterprising and public-spirited citizen and his news- 
paper is ever found on the right side of all public questions affecting the 
welfare and progress of this community. In addition to giving close atten- 
tion to his newspaper interests, Mr. Curtis also is actively engaged in the 
real-estate business at St. James and is regarded as one of the liveliest 
"hustlers" in that city. He gives thoughtful attention to local political 
affairs, but has never been an aspirant for public office. 

In 1895, at Kewanee, Illinois, Will Curtis was united in marriage to 
Lida Jane Giffin, of that city, and to this union five children have been born, 
as follow: Harold, who is now a student at Hamlin College, St. Paul; 
Lucile, who was graduated from the St. James high school in 1916; Leslie, 
also a high-school student; Elizabeth, who is still in the grade school, and 
Bruce William, all of whom were born at Kewanee save the latter, who was 
born at St. James. Mr. and Mrs. Curtis are members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church and take a proper interest in the various social and cul- 
tural movements of their home town. Mr. Curtis is an Odd Fellow and a 
member of the Modern Woodmen of America and in the affairs of these 
two popular orders takes a warm interest. 



WALLACE E. MEAD. 



Wallace E. Mead was born in Redwood county, Minnesota, August 6, 
1882, a son of George S. Mead, born in Otsego, New York, and Catherine 
(Stewart) Mead, born in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada. 

George S. Mead came to Redwood county, Minnesota, in 1869, and 
located on a homestead in Underwood township and continued to live on 
this farm until 1890, when he retired and removed to Marshall, Minnesota. 
He was the father of two children: Wallace E. and Wesley. He was a 
soldier in the Civil War, serving in Company B, Twelfth Regiment, Wis- 
consin Infantry. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, and a mem- 
ber of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 
(5a) 



66 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Wallace E. Mead was educated in the public schools of Redwood 
county, and later attended the high school at Marshall, Minnesota, from 
which he graduated. He then entered the college of pharmacy, University 
of Minnesota, and graduated from that institution in 1904. Before taking 
the pharmacy course he had been a clerk in a drug store at Marshall. After 
graduation he was employed as salesman and prescription clerk in a drug 
store, and in 1905 he became proprietor of a drug store in Westbrook, Cot- 
tonwood county, and has been in this business ever since. 

Mr. Mead was married, June 19, 1907, to Ricka Winkler. They have 
one child, Catherine M. Politically, Mr. Mead is a Republican. He is a 
Mason, and a member of the Woodmen. His church affiliation is with the 
Presbvterian church. 



COL. JOHN JAMES THORNTON. 

In presenting the biographical memoir of this well-remembered gentle- 
man, whose life was that of a high-grade man, of noble ideals and laudable 
ambitions, it is believed that the youthful reader, whose destinies are yet 
matters for future years to determine, will be much benefited and encouraged. 

Col. John James Thornton, one of the leading lawyers and popular 
public officials of Watonwan county of the past generation, and a gallant 
officer in the Civil War, was born in Ohio in 1841, and he received an 
excellent education in the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He first 
prepared himself for a career as engineer, but later took up the study of 
law. He came to St. James, Minnesota, in 1871 and here he was admitted 
to the bar and was the first lawyer in Watonwan county. He was suc- 
cessful and built up a large clientage, continuing in practice at St. James 
until 1 901, taking part in the important cases coming up in this locality for 
a period of thirty years and was a prominent and familiar figure in the local 
courts. He was postmaster under Cleveland's administration for four years, 
and he served as county attorney from 1874 to 1878. He was an ardent 
Democrat and a leader in his party in this section of the state. He was a 
charter member of Libanns Lodge No. 96, Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons, and he was also a Knight Templar. 

Colonel Thornton was married on November 6, 1867, to Harriet B. 
Brown of Springhill, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, where she was born 
on February 27, 1846. $he is a daughter of Jonathan C. and Harriet 
Louisa (Hulburt) Brown. The father was born in New York, October 12, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 67 

181 5, and the mother was born in Hartford, Connecticut, November 14, 
181 5. After their marriage they resided at Springhill, Pennsylvania, the 
first sixteen years, then removed to Juneau, Wisconsin, in 1853, and there 
the death of the father occurred on January 22, 1882, the mother surviving 
until 1892. They were the parents of ten children, namely: Stanley, who 
was first lieutenant in the Third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry during the 
Civil War, and whose death occurred on May 13, 1868; Mrs. W. D. Warner 
lives in Juneau, Wisconsin ; Earnest E. Brown lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin ; 
Mrs. Augusta C. Trawbridge lives in Madelia, Minnesota; Harriet, widow 
of the subject of this sketch; Mrs. T. M. Miller lives in Buffalo, New York; 
Ivan Brown lived in Juneau, Wisconsin, now deceased; Millie is unmarried; 
and Mrs. C. M. Petibole lives in Wapun, Wisconsin. 

To Colonel Thornton and wife five children were born, four of whom 
died in infancy ; John James, who survived, is now superintendent of the 
Bradstreet Company of Memphis, Tennessee. He married Emma Mishler. 

Mrs. Thornton is a member of the Episcopal church, and the rest of 
the family attends this church. She has a pleasant home in St. James, 
where she has a host of warm friends. 



SEVERT J. FERING. 



The present efficient and popular register of deeds of Cottonwood 
county, Severt J. Fering, was born in Cottonwood county, Minnesota, 
December 2, 1869. He is a son of John and Ragna (Neshien) Fering, 
the father a native of Norway and the mother of Iowa. The father was 
brought by his parents to Wisconsin when six years old. John Fering's 
father, Lars Fering, later taking his family to Winnisheik county, Iowa, 
thence came to Cottonwood count)'-, Minnesota, where he took up a home- 
stead, but went on west to Washington territory, but returned to Cotton- 
wood county, where his death occurred in Highwater township. 

John Fering, mentioned above, was educated in the public schools of 
Iowa. He married in Decorah, that state, and came to Cottonwood county 
in 1869 and took up a homestead in Highwater township and here his death 
occurred in 1895. His wife preceded him to the grave in 1887. They 
spent their lives on a farm. He was a Republican. He enlisted for service 
in the Civil War, in 1861, and was in the Union army three years. He 
saw much hard service, being in many engagements, and was wounded at 



68 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was a member of the Lutheran church. His 
family consisted of the following children: Lewis is the eldest; Severt J.; 
Caroline is deceased; Laura is deceased; Julia, Iver, Christ, Otto are all 
living; Caroline and Robert are deceased; Gertie E. is the youngest of the 
family. 

Severt J. Fering was reared on the home farm, where he worked! 
when a boy and he received a public school education, later attended the 
Valley Business College at Decorah, Iowa. He began life for himself as 
a farmer. He came to Windom, Cottonwood county, in January, 1905, and 
later he was selected as deputy county register of deeds and later as register 
of deeds for two years. In 1907 he was elected to this office which he still 
holds, having been re-elected at the expiration of each term since. His 
term of office expires January 1, 1919. He has discharged his duties as a 
public servant in an able, faithful and highly satisfactory manner. Politic- 
ally, he is a Republican. He also served as town clerk for about ten years 
in High water township. He belongs to the Lutheran church, and is a mem- 
ber of YYindom Lodge No. 108, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the 
Modern Woodmen of America, and the Sons of Norway. Mr. Fering owns 
forty acres of the old homestead in High water township, which originally 
consisted of one hundred and sixty acres, eighty acres being sold eventually. 

Two uncles, Andrew and Charley Fering, both came from Winne- 
sheik county, Iowa, to Cottonwood county in 1868, taking up homesteads 
in Highwater township, section 26. Later, Andrew moved to Redwood 
county, Minnesota, where he still lives, making his home in Lamberton. 
He was a successful farmer, but is now retired from active life. Charley 
Fering moved to the state of Washington, where he lived several years, but 
now lives on a farm at the edge of the town of Alvarado, Marshall county, 
Minnesota. The town was built on his land. 



EMIL F. MINDER. 



It seems that the Swiss have a natural bent for the jewelry business. 
Everybody knows that there are no better watches and clocks than those 
of Swiss manufacture, and never has been. A theory as to why this is true 
would be merely speculative, but the fact remains irrefutable. Emil F. 
Minder, a highly skilled workman and a widely known jeweler of St. James, 
Wantonwan county, is one of this number, he having been born in Switzer- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 69 

land, February 16, 1861. He is a son of John Wilhelm and Elizabeth 
(Voegeli) Minder, both of whom spent their lives in Switzerland, both 
dying in middle life, the father in 1879 at the age of forty-six years, and the 
mother in 1877, when forty-eight years old. They were the parents of the 
following children : Emma is the wife of Nicholas Zoderelle of Toledo, 
Ohio; Emil F., the subject of this sketch; and Louise who married in 
Russia, Dr. Sokolouk, whose death occurred in that country, after which 
she came to Illinois, and later to St. James, Minnesota, where her death 
occurred in 1913, leaving one child, a daughter, Lola Sokolouk, who makes 
her home in St. Paul. 

Emil F. Minder spent his boyhood in Switzerland, where he received 
his education. In 1886 he came to Rockford, Illinois, where he worked in 
a watch manufacturing establishment until 1894, when he came to St. James, 
Minnesota, where he has since been engaged in the jewelry business with 
pronounced success. For six months he was at the stand where the Boston 
store is now located, but he has since occupied convenient and neat quarters 
on Main street. He is a highly skilled workman, having learned his trade 
in Switzerland and his work has always given satisfaction in every respect. 

Politically, Mr. Minder is a Republican. He is a member of Waton- 
wan Lodge, No. 207 Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern Wood- 
men of America, Mutual Benefit Association and the Equitable Fraternal 
Union. 

Mr. Minder was married in Switzerland in 1882 to Emma Sophia 
Hentzi, who was born in Switzerland, June 6, i860. To this union four 
children have been born, namely : Emil George, born in Switzerland ; 
Georgine Blanche, born in Switzerland; Helen Louise, born in Switzerland; 
and Paul Louis, born in Rockford, Illinois. They all survive at this writ- 
ing. Emil George Minder, who is located at Slay ton, Minnesota, is chief 
engineer of the southern district of the state. Paul Louis, also of Slayton 
is now state's highway engineer. 

Mrs. Mary Minder, Emil's grandmother, died in Switerland in 1912 at 
the advanced age of ninety-seven years. Arnold Minder, his uncle, who was 
an engineer in Switzerland, had charge of the railroads there for some time. 
He built the famous Rega railway, a feat that was formerly deemed impos- 
sible. The ancestors on both sides of the house have been educators, many 
of them. Mr. Minder is, himself, a man of much learning, being well 
versed in modern and ancient history. He has remained a student and is 
familiar with the world's best literature along many lines. 



yO COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

WILLIS J. CLARK. 

In a large measure the success of the present time in all branches of 
business is largely the result of the present banking methods. One of the 
flourishing and substantial banks of Cottonwood and adjoining counties is 
the First National Bank, of which Willis J. Clark is president. 

Mr. Clark, who is one of the county's most substantial and public- 
spirited citizens, was born in Richland county, May 9, 1867. He is a son 
of Hugh M. and Lucinda (Duke) Clark, both natives of Ohio, where they 
grew up, were educated and married. They removed to Wisconsin in 
1864, and about 1871 the father came to Windom, Minnesota, removing his 
family here in the spring of 1872. Here he conducted a meat market. He 
had learned the butcher business in Christian. Wisconsin, although he fol- 
lowed farming for the most part while living there. He continued in the 
meat business and dealing in live stock in Windom until about 1890, when 
he retired from active life. His death occurred November 9, 1915. His 
widow survives, being now advanced in years. He was a man of many 
sterling attributes and was influential in his community. He held a num- 
ber of minor public offices. His family consisted of three children, namely : 
Mrs. Ida C. Sherwood lives at Lake Crystal, Minnesota; Willis J. and Harold 
M., who is engaged in the hardware business at Lakefield, this state. 

Willis J. Clark grew to manhood in Windom and here he received his 
education, completing the course that the local schools offered at that 
time. When nineteen years of age he entered the employ of the Bank of 
Windom, a private institution, as bookkeeper, and he has been connected 
with the same continuously ever since. Being alert, industrious, trust- 
worthy and courteous his rise was rapid, passing through all the positions 
and offices of the bank, becoming president in 19 13, which position he still 
holds, in fact, he has done more by his conservative and straightforward 
business methods, his able management and honorable methods to advance 
the institution and increase its prestige from year to year than any other 
man. It has passed through two reorganizations since he has been con- 
nected with it. As a private bank it was owned by Sevatson & Perkins, but 
was called the Bank of Windom, later it was made a state bank but retained 
its former name. In 1897 it became the First National Bank of Windom. 
In 1904 Mr. Clark organized the State Bank of Storten, at Storten, Minne- 
sota, and has since been its president. He is also president of the Farmers 
State Bank of Wilder, af Wilder, Minnesota. His rare business acumen 
and sound policies have made both these institutions pronounced successes. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. JI 

Mr. Clark was married in 1895 to Ada M. Ellis of Windom, and a 
daughter of H. S. Ellis, a pioneer homesteader of Cottonwood county. 

Politically, Mr. Clark is a Republican. He has been mayor of Win- 
dom and held a number of other local offices. He has done much for the 
general welfare of his town and community. He is a member of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church. Fraternally, he belongs to the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Royal Arcanum 
and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. 



GUSTAV E. GILBERTSON. 

As a contractor Gustav E. Gilbertson of St. James, Watonwan county, 
is making a pronounced success, partly because he is industrious and per- 
sistent and partly because he is honest and reliable. He was born in Nor- 
way, October 8, 1863, an d is a son of Engebret and Gurina Gilbertson, 
both natives of Norway, both born in the year 1830. There they grew to 
maturity, married and made their home until 1866 when they immigrated 
to the United States, locating at Red Wing, Goodhue county, Minnesota, 
where they spent one year, then moved to Pierce county, Wisconsin, bought 
a farm which he operated successfully until retiring from active life and 
locating again in Red Wing, where his death occurred in September, 1914, 
his wife having preceded him to the grave in 1908. They were the parents 
of the following children: Anna is the wife of W. D. Bishop, of Montrose, 
South Dakota; Gusta, who married Andrew Ulvin, is now deceased; Julius 
C, who was a practicing physician at Luvern, Minnesota, is now deceased; 
Gustav E., the subject of this sketch; Dina is the wife of Hans Norheim of 
Red Wing, Minnesota; Emma is the wife of Otto A. Ulvin, a banker, liv- 
ing in Red Wing; Christian lives in North Dakota. 

Gustav E. Gilbertson was reared in Pierce county, Wisconsin, and was 
educated in the public schools. He remained on the home farm until 1886, 
when he came to Watonwan county, Minnesota; then he bought a farm of 
four hundred and forty acres in Brown county, where he engaged in general 
farming and stock raising on an extensive scale until 1908, when he moved 
to' St. James and took up drainage contracting which he has since engaged 
in successfully. He has a large and pleasant home here. He has also been 
an auctioneer for twenty-five years and has cried scores of sales over this 
country with much success, his services having been in demand in a number 
of counties in this part of the state. 



72 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Mr. Gilbertson was married, December 19, 1886, to Thora Sunde, who 
was born in Norway, October 16, 1865. When she was three years old 
her parents, Torkel and Ragnel Sunde, brought her to Brown county, Minne- 
sota, in 1868, taking up a homestead on which the parents spent the rest of 
their lives, both being now deceased. Seven children have been born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Gilbertson, namely: George R., Elmer B., Arthur T., Roy 
A., Edith G.. Julius C., and Gerald T. They are all living. 

Politically, Mr. Gilbertson is a Republican. While living in Brown 
county he was a member of the school board for a number of years. 
Fraternally, he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the 
Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Gilbertson's contracting business takes 
him all over this state. 



REV. LARS P. THORKVEEN. 

The Rev. Lars P. Thorkveen, of St. James, one of the best-known min- 
isters of the United Lutheran communion in Minnesota, for years visitator 
for the Windom district of that church and present secretary-treasurer of 
the beneficent "Skolekasse," is a native of the kingdom of Norway, born in 
the parish of Lorn, February 20, 1857. He received an excellent education 
in the government schools of his native land and when twenty-three years 
of age, in 1880, came to the United States. Shortly after arriving in this 
country, Mr. Thorkveen entered the Lutheran College at Decorah, Iowa, 
where he further fitted himself for his theological studies and then came 
to Minnesota and completed his theological course in the German Lutheran 
Seminary at Afton. On January 19, 1888, he was ordained to the ministry 
of his church at St. James and has ever since made his home in that city, 
though his various pastoral and missionary labors as superintendent of 
religious schools, secretary of the board of regents of the United Norwegian 
Lutheran Church of America, etc., have taken him to widely separated points 
in Minnesota and other states during that period. 

During his long ministerial service the Rev. Lars P. Thorkveen has 
served as pastor at Albion, Long Lake, Olaf, Rosendale and Butterfield 
congregations. The church at the latter place he organized in 1896 and the 
twentieth anniversary of the founding of that church was made much of by 
the congregation of the same in 19 16. As a missionary Mr. Thorkveen is 
known widely throughout trje state, an acquaintance greatly enlarged during 
his long service as "visitator" for the Windom district of his church. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 73 

Among the various congregations of the churches thus under his visitational 
care he is exceedingly popular and his services in the performance of the 
marriage ceremony and in the preaching of funeral sermons are in wide 
demand, making him one of the very busy men of St. James. For years 
Mr. Thorkveen has taken an active interest in the affairs of that beneficent 
organization for the care of neglected children in the mission field of his 
church throughout the United States and Canada, the "Skolekasse," and for 
some time has been performing admirable service in that behalf as the secre- 
tary-treasurer of the organization. 

Mr. Thorkveen is a student deeply versed not only in theology, but in 
the daily affairs of men, and his counsel and admonition in the long years of 
his service hereabout have been of inestimable value in this community. 
Spiritual ministry cannot be paid for at its true value. Fitted in many 
respects to occupy more conspicuous positions, he has been willing to minister 
to the spiritual wants of his fellow-men in the humble walks and has been 
content to spend his life in what might be called the humbler places — his 
missionary work ever having been to him a labor of love; contented to speak 
the gospel to the few, even though to be prepared for this he had spent long 
years of careful preparation. Public spirited and enterprising, energetic and 
progressive, his voice ever has been heard in behalf of all proper measures 
designed to advance the common interest in this section of the state and it 
is not too much to say that he is accounted one of the real factors in the 
wonderful progress and development of this region within the past quarter 
of a century and more. 



OLE HAMMERSTAD. 



The qualities which have caused Ole Hammerstad, a merchant of Win- 
dom, Cottonwood county, to win in life's battle have no doubt been inherited 
from his worthy Norwegian ancestors, although he himself was born under 
the "star spangled banner," his birth having occurred in Jackson county, 
Minnesota, August 2Q, 1872. He is a son of Ole and Marie (Quevli) 
Hammerstad, both born in Norway, where they grew up, attending school 
and were married. In 187 1 they set their faces toward the New World 
and took up residence in Jackson county, Minnesota, homesteading one 
hundred and sixty acres, where they developed a good farm on which they 
spent the rest of their lives, the father dying in 1877 and the mother about 



74 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

1895. They were members of the Lutheran church, in which they reared 
their four children, namely: Tilda, Julia, Minnie and Ole. 

Ole Hammerstad grew to manhood on the home farm in Jackson 
county, and was educated in the public schools. However, his education 
was limited, for he was compelled to begin life for himself when only 
twelve years of age, when he took a position as clerk in a store in the town 
of Jackson. He came to Windom in 1894, where he clerked in the store 
of his uncle, A. Ouevli. Being alert, trustworthy and courteous, his rise 
was rapid and in 1900 he was admitted as a member of the firm of A. 
Ouevli & Company, and has remained with the firm ever since, doing much 
toward the general success of this thriving general mercantile establishment. 

Mr. Hammerstad was married in December, 1899, to Melissa Larson, 
of Lyle, Minnesota, and to this union three children have been born, namely : 
Owen, Mark is deceased, and Lynn. 

Politically, Mr. Hammerstad is a Democrat. He has been a member 
of the council of Windom and has always been alert to the best interests 
of the town since taking up his residence here. He is a member of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Methodist Episcopal church. 



SEVERT HANSEN. 



Another of the Norwegians who have come to Watonwan county and 
proved that he could succeed at some useful occupation other than farming 
is Severt Hansen, who is engaged in the jewelry business in St. James. 
He was born in Norway, February 27, 1879, and is a son of Hans and 
Betsey Olson, both natives of Norway, where they grew up and were mar- 
ried. They came to America in 1892, locating in Mankato, Minnesota, 
where the father lived retired until his death in 1899. The mother died in 
1900. They were members of the Norwegian Lutheran church. They 
were the parents of the following children: Ole is the eldest; Marie is the 
wife of Ole Bykhus, of Mankato; Thomas is a merchant in Minneapolis; 
Bertha is the wife of H. H. Myhrum, a tailor of Worthington, Minnesota; 
Carrie is the wife of Carl Hendrick, of Teddington, Canada; Tillie died in 
Fargo, North Dakota; Severt, of this sketch; Mary is head bookkeeper for 
the Benson Drug Company of Fargo, North Dakota. 

Severt Hansen spent his early boyhood in Norway and attended the 
public schools. When thirteen years old he accompanied his parents to 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 75 

America, and continued his education in the public schools of Mankato, 
Minnesota. He began learning the jeweler's trade when fourteen years of 
age and in due course of time became highly skilled. He came to St. 
James in 1899 and worked nine years for C. A. Westerbaum, giving entire 
satisfaction. In 1908 he formed a partnership with A. A. Westberg in the 
jewelry business under the firm name of Hansen & Westberg. This part- 
nership continued successfully until July I, 1915, when Mr. Hansen bought 
out his partner and has since conducted the business alone. He enjoys a 
liberal patronage and carries a large and well-selected stock of everything 
commonly found in a modern jewelry store. He maintains a well-equipped 
repair department and his work is very satisfactory in every respect. 

Mr. Hansen was married in 191 1, to Anna Matilda Westberg, of Nel- 
son township, Watonwan county, and a daughter of A. P. Westberg, a 
pioneer of this county. To this union one child has been born, Mildred 
Synneva, whose birth occurred on June 3, 1915. 

Politically, Mr. Hansen is a Republican. He is a member of the Mod- 
ern Woodmen of America. Pie belongs to the Norwegian Lutheran church 
and is a member of the choir. He is a lieutenant in Fire Company No. I. 



PETER N. STERRIE. 



The Norwegians that have come to Watonwan county have made good 
not only as farmers but in various vocations and have built up a thriving 
community. Among the enterprising merchants at the present time is Peter 
N. Sterrie of St. James. He was born in Norway, December 15, 1864, and 
is a son of Nels Hess and Johanne Sterrie, both of whom lived and died in 
Norway, the death of the father occurring in May, 19 13, and that of the 
mother in 1908. 

Peter N. Sterrie was reared in his native land and was educated in the 
public schools. When nineteen years old he came to St. Peter's, Minnesota, 
in 1884, and on March 7, 1887, arrived in St. James. Here he was 
employed for twelve years in the store of J. K. Sonnesyn. Having saved 
his earnings and learned the various details of the business, he started a 
general store of his own in 19 12. He took in his brother, Ole Hess Sterrie, 
as a partner, and the firm name is now P. N. Sterrie & Company. They 
have built up a large and growing business and carry an extensive and care- 
fully-selected stock of goods at all seasons. 



j6 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Mr. Sterrie was married in 1895, to Marie Sonnesyn, who was born in 
Norway in 1862, and is a daughter of Christopher Sonnesyn, a sketch of 
whom appears elsewhere in this work. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Sterrie 
has been without issue. 

Politically, the subject of this sketch is a Republican, and he has long 
been active in local public affairs. He was mayor of St. James for two 
years, and he has been a member of the city council for a number of years. 
He has done much for the general welfare of the town and community. 
He is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church. 

Ole Hess Sterrie, mentioned above, was born in Norway, December 
3, 1877. He grew up in his native land and received a common school edu- 
cation. In 1895 he came to St. James, Minnesota, and was employed by 
his brother in the store until 19 13, when he was admitted as a partner in the 
business. Politically, he is a Republican and he belongs to the Norwegian 
Lutheran church. 



OTTO E. HOHENSTEM. 

When a boy discovers that his true bent is along the line of mechanics 
he should make every effort to perfect himself in this useful vocation. This 
is what Otto E. Hohenstem, of Windom did, and he is now, while only a 
young man, successfully engaged in the plumbing and heating business. 

He was born at Lakefield, Cottonwood county, February 25, 1883. He 
is a son of Albert and Otella (Pietz) Hohenstem, both natives of Germany, 
where they spent their earlier years. Immigrating to the United States 
they were among the early pioneers in Cottonwood county, Minnesota, 
locating on a farm. The father also engaged in merchandising at Lake- 
field for a number of years. He removed to Windom in 19 10, where he 
is now living retired. He has laid by a competency for his old age through 
his industry and good management. He has five children living, namely : 
Alvina, Pauline, August, Otto E., and William. The father is a member 
of the German Lutheran church, in which he reared his family. 

Otto E. Hohenstem received his education in the public schools at 
Lakefield, including the high school, and as a boy helped his father with the 
farm and the store. He very early evinced a liking for tools and machinery 
and eventually went to Minneapolis, where he attended a plumbing school, 
in which he made rapid progress and became highly skilled in this line of 
endeavor. In 1907 he went to Montana and worked at Belgrade for a 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. J"J 

period of three years, then began in business for himself at Three Forks, 
where he remained until November, 1914, enjoying a very satisfactory 
patronage, when he came to Windom and here he has since been engaged 
in the plumbing and heating business with his former success. He has a 
well equipped shop and is prepared to do all kinds of work in his line 
promptly and in an up-to-date manner. 

Politically, he is a Democrat. He was married in 1908 to Emma 
Richie of Belgrade, Montana, which union has been without issue. 



CHESTER R. PETERSON. 

Such an enterprising man as Chester R. Peterson, merchant of Windom, 
Cottonwood county, is a credit to any city or community, and his life 
forcibly illustrates what energy and consecutive effort can accomplish when 
directed and controlled by correct principles and high moral resolves. 

Mr. Peterson was born at Mankato, Minnesota, June 26, 1890, and 
he is a son of G. A. and Anna (Larson) Peterson. The father was born 
in Sweden in 1861, and the mother was born at Lyle, Minnesota, in 1864. 
The father came to St. Peter, Minnesota, in 1877, with his parents, and 
there the grandfather spent the rest of his life; the grandmother is still 
living, making her home at Mankato. G. A. Peterson spent his early boy- 
hood in Sweden where he attended school, finishing his education after 
coming to St. Peter, Minnesota. He became a stationary engineer. He 
came to Windom in 1892 and conducted a clothing and gents' furnishings 
business, which he continued until his death on January 8, 1913. Politic- 
ally, he was a Republican. He was a member of the city council of Windom 
for some time, and was one of the influential and highly respected citizens 
of this vicinity. He belonged to the Lutheran church. His family con- 
sisted of three children, namely: Melvin, deceased; Chester R., the subject 
of this sketch; and Percy T., the youngest. 

Chester R. Peterson was two years old when his parents brought him 
to Windom and here he grew to manhood and received his education in the 
public and high schools, later attending a commercial college at Mankato. 
In 1907 he entered his father's store as a member of the firm of G. A. 
Peterson & Son, operating the Golden Rule Store, and he is still conducting 
the same, enjoying a large and growing business, and carrying a full line 
of carefully selected goods at all seasons, his store being one of the most 



y8 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

popular in Cottonwood county, from all over which its many customers are 
drawn. It is one of the oldest mercantile establishments in Windom. The 
firm occupies a large room in the Masonic building. It has been well 
named, for the company conducts its business according to the Golden Rule 
and hence its customers are also friends of the management, many of them 
having been trading here since the store was first started. G. A. Peterson 
trained his sons very carefully in the mercantile business in which he was 
so successful and they are carrying forward the business along the lines 
which he inaugurated. The store has steadily grown in prestige and 
importance since it was first founded nearly a quarter of a century ago. 
The mother of the subject of this sketch is still living in Windom. Upon 
the death of the father, Percy T. Peterson became a member of the firm 
in which he still remains. 

Politically, Chester R. Peterson is a Republican and is a member of 
the Lutheran church. 



AMEL RUNNING. 



The Norwegians who have cast their lots with the people of Watonwan 
county have, for the most part, engaged in agricultural pursuits, but we find 
a number of them in various lines of business, others have entered pro- 
fessional life. Amel Running is conducting a grocery store in St. James. 
He was born in Norway, June 9, 1872. He was nine years old when his 
parents brought him to St. James, Minnesota, and here he received his 
education in the public schools. When fifteen years old he began clerking 
in a grocery store. He was ambitious, wide-awake and courteous and gave 
his employer entire satisfaction. Having saved his earnings and mastered 
the various ins and outs of the grocery business he opened a store of his 
own in 1903, and has successfully conducted the same to the present time, 
enjoying a large trade with the town and surrounding country. He carries 
a full stock of staple and fancy groceries. 

Mr. Running is a son of Arne and Marit Running, both natives of 
Norway, where they grew up and were married. They came to St. James 
in 1880. The father has been hostler for the Omaha railroad at St. James 
ever since he came here, or for a period of thirty-five years continuously. 
He is a Republican, and he and his family belong to the Norwegian Luth- 
eran church. He has the f oliowing children : Amel, Jacob, Erland, Minnie 
(deceased); Albert is county attorney; Minnie; Henry (deceased); Martin 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 79 

and Severn, twins; and Alma. Albert Running, mentioned above, was born 
February 20, 1883, was graduated from St. James high school in 1902, then 
attended the University of Minnesota, completing the law course, and in 
1907 was admitted to the bar, and soon thereafter took up the practice of 
his profession in St. James and has built up a very satisfactory clientage. 
He has been active and influential in public affairs for many years. He 
served as register of deeds four years, and he assumed the duties of county 
attorney in 1913, the duties of which office he continued to discharge in a 
manner that reflects much credit upon his ability, fidelity and good judgment 
and to the eminent satisfaction of all concerned. Politically, he is a Repub- 
lican, and belongs to the Lutheran church. He was married in 191 1 to 
Catherine Hage, a native of Goodhue county, Minnesota, and to this union 
two children have been born, Catherine and Elizabeth. 

Amel Running was married on January 20, 1903, to Felecia Reich- 
linger of St. James, where she spent her girlhood and was educated. To 
this union three children have been born, namely : Virginia, Clifford and 
Germaine. Mr. Running belongs to the Norwegian Lutheran church and 
politically, he is a Republican. 



AUGUST W. MERTENS. 

August W. Mertens was born in Cook county, Illinois, August 31, 
1846. He is a son of Christopher C. Mertens, a native of Germany, and 
Mary (Jaeger) Mertens, a native of Prussia. 

The parents of the subject of this sketch came to America in 1845 and 
located in Cook county, Illinois, where they made their home until 1856, 
when they removed to Scott county, Minnesota, where they remained the 
rest of their lives. The father died in 1884; the mother in 1886. The 
children of this family were: Frederick G., August W., Randolph F., 
Minnie, Bertha, Ida, Louisa, Mary and Louis L. 

August W. Mertens was educated in the public schools of Cook county, 
Illinois, and in Scott county, Minnesota. During his school years he worked 
on a farm, and at the age of nineteen he went to St. Paul, Minnesota. 
There he attended Curtis College at night for two years, and also learned 
the tinners' trade. He was afterward employed as a clerk for N. B. Har- 
wood, of St. Paul, for three years. In November, 1869, he started a gen- 
eral merchandise store at Jordan, Minnesota, which he continued until 1875. 



8<D COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

• 

He then sold out and went to Granite Falls, Minnesota, where he engaged 
in the hardware and lumber business for one year; then removed to New 
Prague, Le Sueur county, and opened up a general store, dealing in hard- 
ware, implements and grain. In 1893 he sold out this store and removed 
to International Falls, Minnesota, where he resumed the hardware business. 
In a short time he again sold out and engaged in the real estate business, 
continuing in this business until 1908, when he left there and came to 
Jeffers, Cottonwood county, and started a general merchandise store. This 
is the business in which he is at present engaged. 

Mr. Mertens is a stockholder and vice-president of the Farmers State 
Bank, of Jeffers; and is a stockholder and director of the American Loan 
Society, of Minneapolis. He is identified with the Republican party, and 
has served one term as mayor of the village, and also served as a member 
of the village council. His church relationship is with the German Lutheran 
church. 

Mr. Mertens has been twice married. His first wife was Matilda J. 
Bonander, to whom he was married in 1876; she died in 1892. The 
children born to this union were: Mannie, Frederick L., Arthur L., and 
George T. His second wife was Ida Fort; no children by this marriage. 



C. N. SONNESYN. 



The chief characteristics of C. N. Sonnesyn, well-known citizen of St. 
James, Watonwan county, are keenness of perception, an unflagging energy, 
honesty of purpose and motive and every-day common sense, which have 
enabled him not only to advance his own interests in a most gratifying 
manner, but also to contribute largely to the civic and material interests of 
the community. 

C. N. Sonnesyn was born in Norway, May 22, 1866. His parents spent 
their lives in that country, and there the subject of this sketch grew up and 
was educated, and in the spring of 1885 immigrated to Minnesota, locating 
in the town of Madelia where he worked a year in a hardware store in the 
summer and attended school in the winter. The next year he went with 
his brother, J. K. Sonnesyn and Charles Johnson to St. James and engaged 
in the general merchandising business, and was thus associated for about 
four and one-half years. , In 1890 he moved to Butterfield and there built 
a new store building and put in a stock of general merchandise. He became 




C. N. SONNESYN. 



p 



ASTOR, LE] 






COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 8l 

associated with the Buttertield Creamery and was also a member of the 
firm then known as the Butterfield Hardware Company, and later he opened 
a general store at Darfnr. In 1902 he disposed of his general store at 
Buttertield and engaged in the real-estate business, and since that time he 
has been one of the leading and most active land men in southern Minne- 
sota. His dealings have included many trades for merchandise stocks and 
he has operated as many as eight stores at one time in this and neighboring 
states. For a number of years he has made his home in St. James where 
he carried on extensive operations, buying and selling lands. Pehaps more 
people have been brought to Watonwan county through his dealings than 
through any other individual agency. His advertising matter, setting forth 
the advantages of this section of the state, has been sent into thousands 
upon thousands of homes, and his printing bills for this class of work has 
run into hundreds of dollars in a single month. His plan has always been 
to buy and sell farms. Whenever he finds a farm that appears to him to be 
a bargain, he buys it. improves it and sells it again, whenever he can get a 
fair profit. In the year 1913, he sold $1,250,000 worth of land. Although 
his main office has been at St. James for a number of years, he has main- 
tained an office at Butterfield. His principal land business has been in sell- 
ing Watonwan county land to buyers from Iowa and Illinois. He has 
located many of the best farmers who have come to this locality in recent 
years. 

In addition to being a good land man, Mr. Sonnesyn is developing into 
somewhat of a scientific farmer. He owns about two thousand acres in 
this county which he works or rents. He has done much to improve the 
live stock of the county by importing registered breeders. He has shipped 
many carloads of registered stock into the county. Shorthorns, Herefords 
and Aberdeen Angus are the breeds favored. He is at present giving a 
great deal of time and attention to one of his farms which lies near the 
village of Grogan and upon which he has a large herd of Aberdeen Angus 
cattle in which he takes special pride. These cattle have captured many 
prizes at the local county fairs. He is an advertising booster for Watonwan 
county and Minnesota. His years of residence and his continued activities 
which have contributed so much to the welfare of the city of St. James, 
justly entitle him to the high esteem in which he is held. 

C. N. Sonnesyn was married in 1895 to Anna Mellun, of Stoughton, 
Wisconsin, to which union two children were born, namely: Earl, who is 
living, and Ingred Alida, who died in infancy. The wife and mother 
(6a) 



82 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

passed away in 190 1. In 1903, Mr. Sonnesyn married Elizabeth Lunde, 
of Minneapolis. To this second union two sons have been born, namely: 
Nels and Clifford, both at home. 

Politically, Mr. Sonnesyn is a Republican. While living in Butterfield 
he was a member of the city council. Fraternally, he is an Elk, a member 
of the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Mutual Benefit Association. 
He is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church. 



ANDREW A. OUEVLI. 



Perhaps no pharmacist in Cottonwood county is better equipped for 
his chosen calling than Andrew A. Ouevli, a well-known druggist of Win- 
dom, who has kept well abreast of the times in his profession. He was 
born in Jackson county, Minnesota, in September, 1872, and is a son of 
Andrew C. Ouevli and wife, both natives of Norway, where they spent 
their earlier years, coming to Red Wing, Minnesota, in 1870. They had 
lived on a farm in the old country. In 1877 the father established the gen- 
eral mercantile firm of A. Ouevli, in Windom, which he conducted until 
his death, and which store still stands. In 1900 he incorporated the business 
and was president of the company until his death. He was a man of 
excellent business ability and by his thrift and good management built 
up a large trade, and developed one of the leading department stores in 
the county. It had a large drug department. He erected the store build- 
ing, a substantial structure, with fifty-foot front. His death occurred in 
1910. He was one of the leading citizens of Windom. His family con- 
sisted of seven children, namely : Christ is a practicing physician at 
Tacoma; Nels is engaged in farming and the real-estate business at Lake- 
field; Mary lives at Windom; Andrew A., the subject of this sketch; Anna 
is the wife of Joseph Jargens and they live in Minneapolis ; Martha is 
the wife of J. E. Brady, of Lakefield; Lily is at home. The death of the 
mother of these children occured in 1885. Politically, the father was a 
Republican. He was a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church, and 
were also his wife and family. 

Andrew A. Quevli was educated at Windom, and learned the druggist 
business under his father, and has been engaged in this business all his 
life. He became president of the A. Ouevli Mercantile Cmpany upon the 
death of his father, which position he still holds. He also owns the Win- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 83 

dom Produce Company. Under his able management both concerns are 
prospering. 

Air. Ouevli was married in 1897 to Julia Larson of Lyle, Minnesota, 
and to this union two children have been born, namely: Valdemar, who 
is looking after his father's produce business, and Trueman. Mr. Ouevli 
was again married in 1910, his second wife being Julia Erickson, and she 
was reared at Windom. Two children have also graced this union, namely: 
Clarice, deceased, and Andres C. 

Air. Ouevli is a Republican in politics. He is a member of the Sons 
of Norway, and the Norwegian Lutheran church. Fraternally, he is a 
member of the Free and Accepted Masons, the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Royal Arcanum. 



O. E. SELNES. 



Life has been worth the living to O. E. Seines, now living in honorable 
retirement in Windom, Cottonwood county, for he has had the wisdom 
to make the most of it in all its relations. He was born in Racine county, 
Wisconsin, August 15, i860, and is a son of Ole and Sophia (Lerbeck) 
Seines, both natives of Norway, where they grew to maturity and were 
married. In the spring of i860 they crossed the Atlantic to America, 
locating in Racine county, Wisconsin, where they spent one year, then moved 
to Allamakee county, Iowa, where the father bought a farm of forty 
acres, to which he added forty acres, and later another eighty, all of which 
he sold in 1871, and moved to Jackson county, Minnesota, and purchased 
a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres and homesteaded eighty 
acres, and there he lived many years, adding to his farm until he owned 
four hundred acres. He finally returned to Norway, where his death 
occurred on October 16, 191 1, at the age of eighty-one years. His wife 
died in Jackson county, Minnesota, in 1902 at the age of seventy-eight. 
Their family consisted of six children, namely: Lena, deceased; O. E., 
the subject of this sketch; Lena, the second, died in 1896; Mary died in 
1914 at the age of forty-eight years; John died in infancy; Minnie, was 
born in 1870 and is living. 

O. E. Seines grew up on the farm and was educated in the public 
schools in Iowa and Minnesota. He remained at home until he was nearly 
twenty-one years old, coming to Windom in 1881 and secured a position 



84 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

as clerk with Paul Seger, remaining with him for three years, then clerked 
for John Hutton many years. In 1903 he bought out Mr. Hutton and 
engaged in general merchandising, where the Foss Mercantile Company is 
now located, selling out to this concern in 191 1, after a very successful 
career as merchant, and since then he has lived retired from active life. 
He made a trip to Germany, Sweden, Holland, Norway and England in 
191 1. He has been very successful in a business way and is one of the 
substantial men of Windom. He owns valuable farming lands in Cotton- 
wood county, also in Jackson county, and has a fine modern residence in 
Windom. 

Politically, he is a Republican. He has been a member of the city 
council of Windom. Fraternally, he belongs to the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He belongs 
to the Lutheran church. 

Mr. Seines was married May 17, 1884, to Mary Blixseth, who was 
born in Norway, April 15, 1863. She is a daughter of Martin and Berte 
Karine (Aandcrud) Blixseth, both natives of Norway, the father's birth 
occuring on March 29, 1837, and the mother's in 1841. They grew up in 
their native land and were married there, coming to Huston county, Min- 
nesota, in 1868 and to Jackson county in 1870, where Mr. Blixseth took 
up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, and there he bought and 
sold land. He spent his last days in the home of the subject of this sketch, 
dying on April 7, 1908. His wife died on the farm in Jackson county, 
April 24, 1890. He was a Republican, and belonged to the Lutheran 
church. His family consisted of the following children: Mary M., wife 
of Mr. Seines; Anna Margrete, an infant, deceased; Anna, who married 
Frank Anton, is deceased; Oscar A. lives in Windom. The union of Mr. 
and Mrs. Seines has been without issue. Mrs. Seines owns her father's 
old homestead, and Mr. Seines has one hundred and sixty acres adjoining, 
and other lands, all amounting to nearly a section, besides other property. 
Oscar A. Blixseth, a brother of Mrs. Seines, is manager of the Tuthill 
Lumber Company of Windom. He was born in Jackson county, Minnesota, 
January 8, 1881. He received his education in the public and high schools 
of Windom, later attending a business college in Mankato. He began 
life as a delivery boy in a store in Windom, but was promoted to clerk 
and finally to bookkeeper. In December, 1902, he was employed by the 
Tuthill Lumber Company, and became manager of the same in 1905, which 
position he has still held to the eminent satisfaction of the firm and its 
patrons. He is a Republican, and belongs to the Independent Order of 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 85 

Odd Fellows. In 1904 he married Ida M. Miller of Windom, and to their 
union three children have been born, namely : Myrtle Helen, is the eldest ; 
Blanche Lurene is deceased; and Lorene Mildred is the youngest. Mr. 
Blixseth owns a farm in Jackson county, Minnesota, and a good home in 
Windom. 



ALFRED J. WICKLUND. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Sweden, September 6, 1859, 
a son of Johannes Larson and Anna Cajsa, both natives of Sweden and 
both spent their entire lives in their native land. The father died in 1906 
and followed the occupation of a farmer all his life. They were members 
of the Swedish Lutheran church, and were the parents of eight children: 
Swanta, August, John, Henry, Alfred, Ida, Augusta and Hilma. 

Alfred J. Wicklund was educated in the public schools of Sweden. 
When not in school he found abundant opportunity in the training of 
industrial habits by working on his father's farm in Sweden. In 1881, 
soon after attaining his majority, he followed the example of many others 
of the hardy Swedish youth by coming to America, where there was a 
prospect of better opportunities for applied industry and energy to be 
rewarded with due compensation. After landing in New York he followed 
the footsteps of others of his countrymen and found his way to Carver 
county, Minnesota, and soon found employment working on a farm near 
East Union, of that county. He spent about one year in this employment 
and then got a position in a mill, at East Union, and applied himself to 
learning the trade of a miller. He soon became proficient in this trade 
and held the position as an expert miller in that mill for fourteen years. 
In 1896 he left that mill and went to Jordan, Minnesota, where he took 
a position as night miller in a mill at that place, continuing in this occupa- 
tion for five years. In 1900 he came to Bingham Lake, Cottonwood 
county, and, in association with A. L. Holt, opened up a general merchan- 
dise store, and has continued in this business ever since. In this, as in 
all other business ventures in which Mr. Wicklund has been engaged since 
coming to this country, he has been quite successful. The store is enjoying 
a good trade, with a substantial patronage of the people of the town and 
surrounding country. 

Mr. Wicklund was married, in 1889. to Emma Holt, daughter of 
John Holt. To this union four children have been born: Edward P., 



86 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Effie M., Harry E., Lillian C. Their church affiliation is with the Swedish 
Lutheran church. Mr. Wicklund's political affiliation is with the Repub- 
lican party. Mr. Wicklund's name when he came to America was Alfred 
Johnson, but on account of mail being mixed up so much, he took the name 
of Wicklund. 



JACOB G. HIEBERT. 



Russia has sent to the locality of which this history treats many good 
citizens. They have had opportunities given them to advance in the world, 
to obtain good homes and make a comfortable livelihood. Among the 
number is Jacob G. Hiebert, merchant of Mountain Lake, Cottonwood 
county. 

Mr. Hiebert was born in southern Russia, May 15, 1863. He is a 
son of Gerhard and Susanna (Enns) Hiebert, both natives of southern 
Russia, where they grew up, married and resided until 1876, when they 
came to the United States, direct to Mountain Lake, Minnesota. The 
father bought a farm in this vicinity on which he worked until about two 
years prior to his death when he retired, moving to Mountain Lake village, 
where he spent the rest of his days. His wife died while the family lived 
on the farm. Before he came to America he was a miller and spent many 
years in the flouring-mills in Russia. His family consisted of seven child- 
ren, all still living, namely: Jacob, Elizabeth, Gerhard, Jr., David, Susanna, 
John and Peter. The father of the above-named children married, after the 
death of his first wife, Gertrude Nickle, also a native of southern Russia, 
and to this second union six children were born, , namely : Helen, Gertrude, 
Anna, Marie, Abraham, and Bernhard. The above named children are all 
living. 

Jacob G. Hiebert of this sketch spent his early boyhood in Russia, 
where he attended school, finishing his education after coming to Minnesota. 
He began life for himself in 1888 in the general mercantile business at 
Mountain Lake under the name of Balzer, Hiebert & Company, and this 
firm has continued ever since with ever-increasing success and now operates 
a large department store, carrying a full line of carefully-selected goods. 
Prompt, courteous and honest dealings are his watchwords. The present 
store is just across the street from the first store operated by this firm. 
Mr. Hiebert is also stockholder in the First State Bank of Mountain Lake 
since its organization, also a director in the same all the while. He is also 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 87 

interested in the Mountain Lake Milling Company and the local telephone 
company. He has been very successful in a business way and is one of 
the county's most substantial citizens, and deserves a great deal of credit 
for what he has accomplished unaided. 

Air. Hiebert was married in 1889 to Anna Franz, who was born in 
southern Russia, and is daughter of Johan Franz, a pioneer farmer of 
Cottonwood county, coming here from southern Russia. Five children 
have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hiebert, namely: Susie, (deceased); 
Jacob and Gerhard are both at home; Anna and Laura are both deceased. 

Mr. Hiebert is a Republican in politics. He has been village treasurer, 
and for many years was a member of the village council. He and his family 
belong to the Mennonite church. 



GEORGE Le TOURNEAU. 

The present efficient and popular postmaster at Windom, Cottonwood 
county, is George Le Tourneau, a man who has proved to be a valuable 
citizen in the locality of which this history treats. 

Mr. Le Tourneau was born at Fayette, Kennebec county, Maine, Nov- 
ember 8, 185 1, and is a son of Jacques and Mary E. (Keating) Le Tour- 
neau, natives of Canada and Maine, respectively. The father spent his 
earlier years in Canada, then came to Maine, where he married and estab- 
lished his home, and there his wife died when the subject of this sketch 
was three years old. 

George Le Tourneau grew to manhood in his native community in the 
Pine Tree state and received a common-school education. When nineteen 
years old he went to Boston, Massachusetts, where he clerked in a grocery 
store a year, then engaged in the grocery business for himself in that city 
for a period of eight years. In 1878 he came to Windom, Minnesota, 
arriving here in July. He worked at various things in this locality until 
1882, when he launched out in the feed and grain business in partnership 
with C. W. Gillam, which line they continued two years. In 1884 Mr. 
Le Tourneau opened up a meat market which he conducted alone until 
1894, in which year he was appointed postmaster, during Cleveland's second 
administration. Soon thereafter he erected the substantial building in which 
the postoffice is now maintained. He served as postmaster for four years. 
In 1886 he was elected a member of the school board, on which he served 



88 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

continuously until 191 5. He has been a member of the village council for 
some time, and back in the eighties was village recorder. 

When he was operating the meat market he started an ice business 
which he did not take personal charge of until 1904, and continued to give 
it his close attention until 191 1. He has also been interested in farming in 
this vicinity since he first came here, owning a valuable place of eighty 
acres. On July 1, 191 5, he was again appointed postmaster, which office 
he is still in charge of. 

Mr. Le Tourneau was married in 1880 to Mrs. Mary B. Smith of 
YYindom, a daughter of J. W. Highleyman. She came to Windom in 1871 
with her former husband, Doctor Smith, a pioneer physician in Cotton- 
wood county. To Mr. and Mrs. Le Tourneau two children have been born, 
namely: Daisy Lenore, born July 22, 1884. and Louis I., July 15, 1888. 

Mr. Le Tourneau has long been prominent in fraternal circles in this 
section of the state. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, 
the Woodmen of the World, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and 
has been a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons since 1879; 
he was master of the blue lodge three different years. He has been a 
member of the chapter since 1886, and was high priest for fifteen years. 
He has been a member of the commandery since 1891 and of the Ancient 
Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine since 1892. Politically, he 
is a Democrat. 



CHARLES W. GILLAM. 



Charles W T . Gillam was born in Omro, Wisconsin, April 10, i860, a 
son of Samuel S. Gillam, who was born in New York, June 26, 1822. The 
maiden name of his wife was Abigal C. Clark, who was born in Washing- 
ton county, New York, March 17, 1833. In 1869 Samuel S. Gillam came 
to Cottonwood county, Minnesota, and took a homestead of one hundred 
and sixty acres of government land, in Great Bend township, and the follow- 
ing year he brought his family. He built a home on this land and began 
farming, making improvements from year to year until he had a good body 
of land under cultivation, on which he raised fine crops of the varied 
products for which land in this section was adapted. He continued to live 
on this farm until about 1898, when he retired from farming and removed 
to Windom, Minnesota. His wife died on May 17, 191 1. She was the 
mother of five children: Henry C, born on November 27, 1854; William 




CHARLES W. GILLAM. 



PUBOCLIBl 



AS 

• ■ 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 89 

S., July 27, 1856; Charles W., April 10, i860; Edward E., May 21, 1864; 
and Albert S. L., September 1, 1866. 

Charles W. Gillam was educated in the public schools of Windoni and 
worked on his father's farm until he was twenty years of age. When he 
attained his majority he engaged in the flour, feed, grain and implement 
business, in Windom, continuing this business for about three years. About 
1890 he became connected with the old Cottonwood county bank, of Windom, 
and, in 1902, was made vice-president of the Windom National Bank. In 
addition his other business he has been largely interested in the real-estate 
business. 

On February 20, 1890, Charles W. Gillam was married to Helen H. 
Hunt, daughter of J. J. Hunt, of Brownsdale, Minnesota. To this union 
three children have been born: Paul J., Josephine H., and Stanley S. Mr. 
Gillam affiliates with the Republican party. He has served as mayor of 
Windom for three terms, and as city recorder for three terms. In 1914 
he was elected state senator on the Republican ticket and is now holding 
that position. He is a member of the Masonic order, a member of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and also a member of the Royal 
Arcanum. 



JOHN NELSON. 



The subject of this sketch is a native of Norway and comes of a hardy 
stock of Norwegian ancestry. He was born in Norway, August 22, 1870, 
a son of Nels P. and Anna (Johnson) Nevermo, both natives of Norway. 

The father of the subject of this sketch was a lumberman in his native 
country. He came to America in 1888, landing in Quebec. Following 
in the footsteps of others of his countrymen, he found his way to Minne- 
sota. He left Norway on May 17, 1888, and June 9, of that year he arrived 
in Windom, Cottonwood county, Minnesota, "where he decided to locate. 
He worked at the carpentering trade in Windom and continued to make 
this his home. He was identified with the Norwegian Lutheran church at 
this place. There were eight children in this family: Peter, John, Bertha, 
Marie, Edward, Georgia, Christine and Nickoli. 

John Nelson received his education in the public schools of Norway. 
He came to this country with his parents, in 1888, and made his home with 
them in Windom. He worked on the railroad for about four years. In 
1896 he engaged in the grain business and continued in this business for 



90 C0TT0XW00D AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

about four years in Windom. In 1900 he came to Bingham Lake and for 
the first year after coming to this place was manager of the citizens' elevator. 
For the last fifteen years he has been manager of the St. John elevator. 

Mr. Nelson has been twice married. His first wife was Sophia Olsen. 
She was the mother of two children : Arthur and Oscar. His second 
marriage was to Anna Flyum, who was the mother of six children: Milo, 
Olga, Alvin, Effie, Norman and Edna. 

Mr. and Airs. Nelson are members of the Lutheran church at Windom. 
He is independent in politics. 



THEODORE KINTZI. 



Among the many Austrians who have cast their lot with the people 
of Cottonwood county is Theodore Kintzi, a successful merchant of the 
town of Westbrook. He was born in Austria, October 10, 1868, and is a 
son of John and Katherine (Bergthold) Kintzi, both natives of Austria, 
where they grew up and were married, remaining in their native land until 
1883, when they removed with their family to Minnesota, spending a few 
years at Rose Hill and Mountain Lake, Cottonwood county, then returned 
to their native land, where they spent the rest of their lives, both being now 
deceased. Three of their children remained in this country, including Theo- 
dore, R. J. of Mountain Lake and Margaret, wife of H. K. Rupp, of 
Westbrook. 

Theodore Kintzi spent his boyhood in Austria, where he received a 
public school education. After coming here he clerked at Mountain Lake 
for some time. After spending three years here he returned to his native 
land where he remained until 1890, when he again came to Mountain Lake, 
where he again secured a position in a local store as clerk, later went to 
Canada and followed the same line of work, where he engaged in the mer- 
cantile business, with a partner, for two years. The last year he lived in 
Manitoba he was secretary and treasurer of the municipality of Rhineland. 
Returning to Minnesota in 1900, he engaged in mercantile pursuits for him- 
self at Darfur, operating a general store for a period of ten years, selling 
out his stock of goods in'1910, but retained the building for some time 
thereafter. In that year he bought land near the town of Butterfield, where 
he built a fine home in which he resided three years. He moved to the 
farm very largely to change his mode of life at the request of the family; 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 9 1 

after his long years of indoor work; but not having been reared to hus- 
bandry he found the labor too hard and returned to general mercantile 
pursuits in 191 3, at his present location in Westbrook. He carries a large 
and well-selected stock and does a large and growing business with the town 
and surrounding country. While he lived in Darfur he was vice-president 
of the State Bank, in which he was a stockholder; in fact, he assisted in 
organizing that institution. He was for some time recorder of the town 
of Darfur, also a member of the council. Politically, he is Independent, 
and he belongs to the Mennonite church. 

Mr. Kintzi was married about 1898 to Minnie Linscheid of near 
Butterfield, but she was born in Austria, from which country she came to 
Minnesota, when a child, with her parents who located on a farm two miles 
from Butterfield. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kintzi, 
namely: Emilia, Louisa, Leona, Ewald, Erna, Martha (deceased) and 
Viola. 



MATTHEW. S. PORTER. 

Success in the meat business has not come to Matthew S. Porter of 
Windom, Cottonwood county, without effort, for he knew at the outset 
of his career that he would have to work diligently for what he expected 
to achieve, and not "serenely fold his hands and wait." 

Mr. Porter was born in Cresco, Iowa, March 21, 1869. He is a son 
of James Clark and Lydia (Alexander) Porter, natives of New York 
state and Ohio, respectively. They removed to Cottonwood county, Min- 
nesota, about 1876, the father purchasing a quarter section of land in Lake- 
side township, where he developed a valuable farm, on which he continued 
to reside until within about three years of his death, when he retired and 
moved to Windom where his death occurred, as did also that of his wife. 
They were the parents of five children, namely: Genevra, Matthew S., 
the subject of this sketch; Clarence and Mabel, twins, the former deceased; 
and Stella. The parents of these children were members of the Methodist 
church. 

Matthew S. Porter received his education in the public schools of 
Cottonwood county. He assisted his father with the general work on the 
home farm when he was a boy, then worked for H. M. Clark, a butcher in 
Windom, for a period of six years, then bought out his employer and has 
been engaged in business for himself since about 1895. He has a well- 



92 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

equipped market and is doing a large business with the people of Windom 
and vicinity. He has also dealt in farming lands for many years, and for 
about twelve years lived on a farm near town, operating his meat market from 
there. 

Mr. Porter was married in June, 1895, to Annie Soule of Omaha, 
Nebraska, a daughter of Joseph Soule. This union has been without issue, 
but Mr. and Mrs. Porter adopted a son, Sherman Porter, in infancy, and 
are raising him. 

Mr. Porter belonged to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and he 
is a member of the Methodist church. 



OTTO WENSTROM. 



The well-known and successful contractor, Otto Wenstrom, of St. 
James, Watonwan county, is one of the large number of immigrants from 
Scandinavia who has succeeded in the great republic of the West through 
sheer courage and perseverance. He was born in Sweden, January 4, 
1865, and is a son of Severn J. and Sophia Wenstrom, both born in Sweden, 
where they grew up and were married. In 1869 they removed with their 
family to Rockford, Illinois, and in 1870 came on to Watonwan county, 
Minnesota, where they took up a homestead of eighty acres on which the 
father spent the rest of his life, dying in 1909 at the advanced age of 
eighty-four years. The mother died in 1883 at the age of fifty-eight years. 
They were the parents of five children, namely: Annie, Claus, Charley J. 
(deceased), Emma and Otto. These parents were members of the Swedish 
Lutheran church. The father was a charter member of the first church of 
this denomination in Watonwan county. He was a trustee of the same for 
many years and a leader of the choir, also a deacon for a long time, in fact, 
was the main pillar in the church. Politically, he was a Republican, but 
never an office seeker. 

Otto Wenstrom was four years old when his parents brought him to 
America. He grew to manhood on the home farm and was educated in the 
district schools. When eighteen years old he began railroad grading work, 
later turning his attention to the threshing business, which he has followed 
each autumn for the pasf thirty-five years and is one of the best-known 
threshers in the county, in which he has lived for a period of forty-five 
years, most of the time at St. James. He has noted wonderful changes 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 93 

"come over the face of the land'' during that period, seeing the town of St. 
James grow from the start, and he has always assisted in any way he could 
in its development. He owns a line home in the town. He has been very 
successful both as a contractor and in the threshing business. Politically, 
he is a Republican. He is a member of the Swedish Lutheran church. 

Mr. Wenstrom was married December 31, 1891, to Ida Olson, who was 
born in St. James, July 11, 1872, and she is a daughter of Iver and Julia 
Olson, natives of Norway, from which country they came to Wisconsin 
about 1865, and in 1870 removed to St. James, Watonwan county, and here 
they still reside, Mr. Olson being seventy-seven years of age and his wife 
sixty-nine. She is a daughter of Andrew Bentrud and wife, who came to 
Wisconsin about 1852, then moved to Mitchell county, Iowa, and purchased 
a farm. They are both now deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Olson the follow- 
ing children were born : Halver, Bertha, Mattie, Christie and Julia. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Wenstrom the following children have been born: 
Harry, born November 7, 1893, was educated in the schools of St. James, 
graduating from the high school in 191 1, and he is at home working with 
his father; Ruth, born on March 10, 1896, was graduated from the St. 
James high school in 1914 and is now a student in Carlton College; Evelyn, 
born on August 31, 1901, is attending the local high school. Mr. Wenstrom 
has been re-elected to the city council for the second term this spring. 



ARTHUR F. STRUNK. 



Lumbering has been one of the principal industries in Minnesota, but 
the great forests have been depleted to such an extent that other industries 
have superseded it. Among those who are still successfully engaged in this 
line of endeavor is Arthur F. Strunk, of Windom, Cottonwood county. 

He was born at Janesville, Wisconsin, in 1862, and is a son of Daniel 
and Eliza A. (Fish) Strunk, both natives of the state of New York, where 
they spent their earlier years, but later came to Wisconsin, where they lived 
for some time. They are both now deceased, her death occuring at Windom, 
Minnesota, and he died in California. The father was a highly skilled 
machinist and was an inventor of note, especially as an inventor of devices 
for improving farming machinery. Only two of his children grew to 
maturity, Arthur F. and a daughter, Nettie, now deceased. 

Arthur F. Strunk received his education at Janesville, Wisconsin, later 



94 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

spending one winter in the University of Minnesota. He came to Windom 
in 1883 and soon thereafter launched out in the lumber business for him- 
self, just across the street from his present location. He remained alone 
for many years, then took in a Air. Sherwin as partner. The firm name is 
now Strunk-Sherwin & Company, which erected its present commodious 
and convenient quarters in 1895. Mr. Strunk has been very successful in 
this field of endeavor, and he is also interested in the F. Strunk Lumber 
Company at Lake Crystal, Minnesota, which was established by his uncle 
in 1882. He is also interested in the Thomas Halverson Lumber Company 
at St. James, Minnesota. He understands thoroughly every phase of the 
business and is energetic, prompt and honorable in his dealings. 

Mr. Strunk was married in 1893 to Agatha Grimes of Windom, a 
daughter of Michael Grimes, and to this union one child has been born: 
Arthur Rudolph (known as Dolph), 

Politically, Air. Strunk is a Republican. He is a member of the 
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows. 



THOMAS TOXXESSON. 

In the cosmopolitan life of America many nationalities are represented. 
The virile stock of the old world has infused into our national life many 
elements of lasting benefit. In the state of Minnesota we find the sturdy off- 
spring of the hardy Xorseman predominant in the business and social life of 
this state. This also might be said in a great measure of Watonwan county. 

The history of Watonwan county would be most incomplete if, in this 
volume the banking and other industries were not reviewed. There have 
been many forces in the business life of Watonwan county, and especially 
in St. James, that have contributed much to the general development of the 
county. Among those who stand out for personal achievement and public 
spiritedness is Thomas Tonnesson, well known throughout the county as a 
leading banker and man of public spirit. 

Thomas Tonnesson, cashier of the First Xational Bank of St. James, 
was born in Norway, October 7, 1867, the son of Hans and Ingeborg Ton- 
nesson, both of whom were natives of Norway, the father dying in 1872, 
and the mother in 191 5. Thomas Tonnesson was the only child born to his 
parents. His early youth was spent in the country of his nativity, and 
deciding to come to America, the land of opportunity, he arrived in this 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 95 

country in May, 1889. He immediately came to this section and at once 
entered into the spirit of the community and soon became known as a factor 
in the business life of Watonwan county. 

On July 5, 1892, Mr. Tonnesson was united in marriage with Elise 
Olson, also a native of Norway. She was born a daughter of J. A. and 

1 

Elizabeth Olson. To the union of Thomas Tonnesson and Elise (Olson) 
Tonnesson have been born two children, Floyd, born on May 30, 1893, and 
Herbert, born on April 3, 1894, both graduates of the St. James high school; 
also both have taken business courses at Gustavus Adolphus at St. Peter, 
Minnesota. 

Mr. Tonnesson, aside from his business activities, has always taken the 
proper interest of a good citizen in the civic affairs of this community. In 
politics, he is a Republican and has served for two terms as city treasurer 
of St. James. As cashier and stockholder in the First National Bank, he 
is known throughout the county as a man of splendid business integrity. The 
First National Bank has a high standing in banking circles and is recognized 
as one of the most substantial banks in this part of the state. This, in a 
measure, is largely due to the close attention given it by Mr. Tonnesson, 
and also largely due to the executive ability displayed in the office which he 
holds. He is also a director and stockholder in the St. James Telephone 
Company. Mr. Tonnesson's fraternal affiliation is with Libanus Lodge No. 
92, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and Concordia Chapter No. 25. He 
and his family are faithful attendants of the United Norwegian church of 
St. James, Minnesota. 

In a review of those forces that have been potent in the development 
of achievements of Watonwan county, Mr. Tonnesson is among those who 
stand in the forefront. 



SOLOMON BALZER. 



An enterprising druggist at Mountain Lake, Cottonwood county, is 
Solomon Balzer, who was born in southern Russia, August 18, 1865, and 
he is a son of Jacob Balzer and wife, mention of whom is made elsewhere 
in this work. 

Solomon Balzer spent his boyhood in his native land and there attended 
the public schools. Coming to America before he reached his majority he 
finished his education at Mountain Lake, Minnesota, whither he came with 
his parents in 1877. Deciding upon a career as druggist he attended the 



g6 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Minneapolis Institute of Pharmacy, where he was graduated in 1890. 
Returning to Mountain Lake he bought out the drug business of F. J. 
Kane, which he has since conducted with success, enjoying a good trade 
with the town and surrounding country, and carrying at all times a large 
and carefully selected stock of drugs and drug sundries. He also assisted 
in organizing the local telephone company. He has been a member of the 
board of health for about twenty years and was village clerk for two years. 
He belongs to the Mennonite church. 

Mr. Balzer was married in 1895, to Anna Bauman of Mountain Lake, 
and a daughter of George Bauman, one of the pioneer settlers in the vicinity 
of Mountain Lake, having come here about 1871. The union of Mr. and 
Mrs. Balzer has been without issue. 



JOHN E. VILLA. 



John E. Villa is a native of Norway, born on August 24, 1873. He 
is a son of Jens N. and Martha (Kunston) Villa, both natives of Norway. 
Jens N. Villa followed the occupation of a ship-builder in his native country. 
He came to America in 1880 and located in Windom, Cottonwood county, 
Minnesota, and found employment working on the railroad for a year or so. 
After working in the vicinity of Windom for about two years he removed 
to Tracy, Lyon county, Minnesota, where he worked in the construction of 
a new railroad being built from Tracy to Marshall, Minnesota. In 1884 
he abandoned railroad work and located on a homestead in Westbrook town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, and engaged in farming, making this his home 
for the remainder of his life. In addition to farming he did carpenter 
work while living here. Part of the village of Westbrook now covers the 
homestead land of Mr. Villa. Mr. Villa died in 1895; his widow is still 
living in Westbrook. The children of this family were: Nels, Knut, Ole, 
John E., Marianna, who died young, and Bella. Mr. Villa was a Repub- 
lican in politics. He was a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church. 

John E. Villa received his early education in Norway. After coming 
to America he attended school at Tracy, and also the school in Westbrook 
township. During his early years he worked with his father on the farm. 
Afterward he was employed for one year in the depot at Windom, and 
later was a clerk in a store in Windom. In 1901 he established a store in 
the line of general merchandise, in Westbrook, and continued this business 




JOHN E. VILLA. 



I 



PUBL'I 



iSTOR, LEN»X 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 97 

until August, 191 5, when he sold out. In 1902 he was one of the prin- 
cipal organizers of the Citizens State Bank of Westbrook. A year later 
he became one of the directors, and in 1907 he was elected vice-president; 
the following year, 1908, he was elected president of this institution. He 
has held this position ever since and is actively engaged in the management 
of the bank. 

In 1889 John E. Villa was married to Inga Johnson, daughter of John 
Johnson. Two children have been born to this union, Jay C. and Glen R. 
Mr. and Mrs. Villa hold membership in the Norwegian church. 

Politically, Mr. Villa affiliates with the Republican party. He has 
served as village recorder and as a member of the village council; has been 
mayor for three years and holds that position at the present time. His 
fraternal affiliations are the Masonic order, the Elks, the Royal Arcanum, 
the Woodmen and Royal Neighbors. 



CHRIST PEDERSEN. 



Christ Pedersen, a well-known and well-to-do retired farmer of Spring- 
field township, Cottonwood county, now living at Windom, is a native of 
the kingdom of Denmark, but has been a resident of the United States since 
1878. He was born on January 21, 1846, son of Peter and Dorothy (Hen- 
sen) Pedersen, both natives of Denmark, who spent all their lives there, the 
former dying in 1874 and the latter in 1876. They were the parents of five 
children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the third in order of birth, 
the others being as follow : John, deceased ; Peter, who died in South 
America; Jens, who died at the age of twelve years, and Mary, who is still 
living in her native land. Peter Pedersen was a well-to-do building con- 
tractor, and his son, Christ, was given excellent educational advantages. 
Upon completing his schooling he made a comprehensive tour of Europe, 
traveling extensively in Russia, England, France, Belgium, Holland and 
Germany, and afterward was helpful to his father in the management of the 
latter's affairs. 

In 1878, two years after the death of his mother, Christ Pedersen 
came to the United States. His first summer in this country was spent in 
New York City, and then he went to Cleveland, Ohio, where he remained 
two years. In his native land he had learned grade surveying and presently 

(7a) 



98 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

he became a grade contractor on railway work in this country, working a 
force of seventy-five or one hundred men. While thus engaged in Illinois 
he married in 1885, and later moved to Iowa, where he bought an eighty- 
acre farm in Clay county and there he made his home until he sold out in 1900 
and came to Minnesota, settling in Cottonwood county. He bought a quar- 
ter of a section of land in section 14, Springfield township, and there estab- 
lished his home. Presently he bought an eighty-acre tract in section 11 of 
the same township, and on these farms made considerable improvements, 
continuing to live there until 191 1, in which year he retired from the active 
labors of the farm and moved to Windom, where he and his wife are now 
very pleasantly and comfortably situated. They are members of the Luth- 
eran church and their children were reared in that faith. 

On June 26, 1885, at Freeport, Illinois, Christ Pedersen was united in 
marriage to Ann Nelsen, who was born in Denmark, November 28, 1857, 
and who had come to the United States when twenty-three years of age, 
after the death of her parents, and for a time had made her home in New 
Jersey, later going to Illinois, where she met Mr. Pedersen. To that union 
have been born six children, namely: Hedwig, who died in 1909, at the age 
of twenty-three years; Peter, unmarried, who owns a farm in Jackson town- 
ship; Dorothy, who married Edward Cox. of Lincoln, Nebraska, and has 
two sons, John and Charles ; George William, unmarried, who now lives at 
Dixon, California; Emma, a student in the Mankato Business College, and 
Christina, who married B. F. Miller and now lives at Lincoln, Nebraska. 



HANS P. SMESTAD. 



Hans P. Smestad, well-known blacksmith at Windom, is a native of 
Norway, but has been a resident of Minnesota since 1881 and a resident of 
Windom since 1886, being now the oldest blacksmith in continuous service 
in that city. He was born in February, 1862, son of Evan and Helen 
Smestad, both natives of Norway, who spent all their lives in their native 
land, the latter dying in 191 1, at the age of eighty-two years and the for- 
mer in 191 5, at the age of eighty. Evan Smestad's parents, Hans and 
Johanna Smestad, came to America years ago, proceeding to Minnesota and 
settling at Lakefield, Jackson county, where they spent their last days, the 
latter dying in 1893, at tne a S e °f ninety-one years, and the former in 1898, 
at the age of ninety-three years. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 99 

When he was nineteen years old, in 1881, Hans P. Smestad came to 
the United States and proceeded at once to this state. He spent a couple of 
weeks with his grandparents at Lakefield and the nlocated at Albert Lea, 
where he spent five years working at his trade as a blacksmith and where he 
married. In 1886, the year after his marriage, he moved to Windom, where 
he opened a blacksmith shop and where he has been engaged in that busi- 
ness ever since. Mr. Smestad has done very well at his trade and is the 
owner of his shop and a good residence in Windom. No other smith in 
town has been engaged in business there so long as he and he has long been 
regarded as one of the substantial residents of the town. Mr. Smestad is a 
Republican. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of 
the Modern Woodmen of America and of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows and in the affairs of all these organizations takes a warm interest. 

It was in 1885, at Albert Lea, that Hans P. Smestad was united in 
marriage to Johanna Arveson, who was born in Norway, daughter of John 
and Martha Arveson, who later located at Windom, where both died, and 
to this union four children have been born, Ingef, Emor, Mattie and Palma, 
all of whom are living. 



THEODORE J. ARNESON. 

As a jeweler, Theodore J. Arneson, of Westbrook, Cottonwood county, 
has made a decided success while yet a young man, but he has been willing 
to apply himself closely to his chosen line of endeavor and deal honestly with 
his fellow men. 

Mr. Arneson was born in Westbrook township, this county, September 
22, 1883, and is a son of Edward J. and Olena (Pederson) Arneson, both 
natives of Norway. The father came to Wisconsin when a young man, 
where he worked for a short time. The mother came to Stearns county, 
Minnesota, when young. He came to Cottonwood county about 1875 and 
entered a homestead in Westbrook township, and there these parents were 
married and developed a good farm and a comfortable home by their indus- 
try, accumulating in all three eighties. They removed to South Dakota 
about 1905 and later to Texas, where he is still engaged in raising cotton. 
His wife died there in 191 3. They became the parents of four children, 
all still living, namely: Alfred, Theodore, Hannah and Laura. 

Theodore J. Arneson 1 grew up on the home farm and he received a 
public school education, later attending the Southern Minnesota Normal 



g70i5' 



100 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

School at Austin, then took a correspondence course with the Northern 
Illinois Optical College, receiving a state certificate in 191 2. He learned the 
jeweler's and watchmaker's trade by home study from text-books. Since 
1907 he has been engaged in the jewelry business, also as an optometrist, 
for which he is exceptionally well equipped and is doing some excellent work 
and he has built up a very successful and rapidly growing business. He 
owns eighty acres of the old homestead, also the building in which his busi- 
ness is located. 

Mr. Arneson was married in 1909 to Tina B. Amundson, of Murray 
county, Minnesota, and to their union two children have been born, namely: 
Leslie Evert and Thelma Harriet. 

Politically, he is a Republican. He has been justice of the peace in 
Westbrook township, filling the office very satisfactorily. He is a member 
of the Modern Brotherhood of America, and is secretary of the local lodge. 
He is a member of the Lutheran church. 



WILLIAM A. POTTER. 



The subject of this sketch was born in Onondaga county, New York, 
June 28, 1839. His parents were Josiah and Marian (Mills) Potter, both 
natives of New York. 

Josiah Potter was a laboring man in New York, engaged in various 
lines of employment. In 1845 he moved with his family to Wyandot 
county, Ohio, where he was engaged in farming until 1850. In that year 
he removed to Hardin county, Oiho, where he continued farming until his 
death, which occurred in 1890. There were six children in this family: 
George, who died young; William A., Sophrona E., Mary J., Charles F. 
and Lucy F. Mr. Potter was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

William A. Potter was educated in the public schools of Ohio, and lived 
at home with his parents until the beginning of the Civil War. In that 
crisis of the country's history, Mr. Potter followed the example of thou- 
sands of other loyal men of Ohio, by enlisting as a soldier in defense of the 
flag. On October 12, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, Eighty-second Ohio 
Volunteer Infantry. He served three years in that regiment, completing 
his term of service in October, 1864, having followed the fortunes of his 
regiment through all its campaigns, and participating in the several battles 
in which the regiment was engaged during three years of service. In the 
early part of the service the Eighty-second Ohio was in the Army of the 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. IOI 

Potomac, and participated in the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and 
others in which that part of the army was engaged. In October, 1863, 
this regiment was transferred with General Hooker's command to the army 
operating around Chattanooga, then under the general command of Grant. 
Here, Air. Potter, with his regiment, participated in the battles of Lookout 
Mountain and Missionary Ridge. Later, he was with the regiment in the 
Atlanta campaign, under command of General Sherman, and with Sherman 
in the several engagements in that campaign. 

After the completion of his three years service in the Eighty-second 
Ohio, Air. Potter was commissioned as first lieutenant in Company K, One 
Hundred and Eightieth Ohio Infantry, and served in this company and regi- 
ment until he was discharged, July 12, 1865, on account of the expiration 
of the war. He was discharged at Charlotte, North Carolina, his last 
service being with the army under General Sherman, in that part of the 
Southern Confederacy. 

Returning to his home after his army service, Mr. Potter turned his 
attention to civil pursuits. In 1867 he went to Dodge county, Minnesota, 
and settled on a farm near Mantorville. He continued to live here for 
about seven years. In the fall of 1874, he removed to New Ulm, Minne- 
sota, and remained there for about three years. In the spring of 1878 he 
moved to Amboy township, Cottonwood county, and located a homestead 
of one hundred and sixty acres of government land, which he improved 
and on which he established his home. Here he continued to live until 
1910, when he retired from active work and moved to Jeffers, where he has 
since lived. 

Air. Potter was married on December 20, 1866, to Belle Baker, born on 
April 22, 1845, daughter of Joseph and Matilda (Carmack) Baker, natives 
of Pennsylvania, who later moved to Ohio, where they remained all their 
lives. To this union seven children were born: Minnie, Effie S., Charles 
J., George W., Claud B., Edward C. and Cora B. 

Politically, Mr. Potter is a Republican. While living in Amboy town- 
ship he served almost continuously, either as a member of township board 
or as township clerk. In the session of the Minnesota Legislature of 1901 
and 1902, he represented his county in that body. 

Personally, Mr. Potter is a gentleman of pleasing manner and with a 
character above reproach. He has an enviable record as a soldier and as a 
citizen, and is held in the highest esteem by the people of Cottonwood 
county, whom he has officially served and by whom he is well known. He 
is now serving as mayor of Jeffers. 



102 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

FELIX FREDERICK UHLHORN. 

Comparatively few of the men of Watonwan county who are today 
active in business, agricultural or professional life here, are natives of this 
locality. One of the native-born sons who has been prudent in remaining 
in his native county is Felix Frederick Uhlhorn, merchant of St. James. 
He was born in Adrian township, Watonwan county, May 28, 1872, and is 
a son of Frederick William and Caroline (Brunder) Uhlhorn, both natives 
of Alsace-Lorraine, formrely a province of France, and there they spent 
their earlier years, emigrating to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1868, then 
moved to Beaver Dam. that state, where they spent one year, then came to 
Adrian township, Watonwan county, Minnesota, May 5, 1872, and bought 
a soldier's claim of one hundred and sixty acres. Mr. Uhlhorn prospered 
and added to his holdings until he owned eight hundred acres of valuable 
land in Watonwan and Brown counties, and he carried on general farming 
and stock raising on an enormous scale. Politically, he was a Republican, 
and he belonged to the German Lutheran church, of which he was one of the 
founders. He was a local preacher and often filled the pulpit of his church, 
also conducted many funerals. He was also interested in school work. 
He was clerk of Adrian township for about eighteen years and was a mem- 
ber of the school board for a number of years, also filled the office of county 
commissioner for several years, and for eight years was judge of the probate 
court of Watonwan county, finally resigning the office. As a public servant 
he discharged his duties most ably and faithfully and was one of the most 
influential and popular men in the county during his day. He spent the last 
years of his life in retirement, dying on September 21, 1900, at the age of 
sixty-five years. His widow is still living, at the age of seventy-nine years. 
She was born on September 30, 1837. The father of the subject of this 
sketch was born on March 24, 1835. To these parents the following chil- 
dren were born: Herman Henry, August Albert, Fannie, Emil Ernest, 
Felix Frederick, Oscar Otto, Bertha Mary. They are all living at this 
writing. 

Felix F. Uhlhorn grew to manhood on the old homestead, where he 
worked when a boy, and he received his education in the local public schools. 
He remained on the farm until he was twenty-six years old, when he came 
into possession of two hundred and eighty acres of the homestead, which he 
conducted about six years.' In 1904 he came to St. James, where he held 
various positions until 1913, when he engaged in the hardware business 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. IO3 

under the firm name of Meyer & Uhlhorn, building up a large business. On 
March 4, 1916, the firm was incorporated under the name of The City Mer- 
cantile Company, with Mr. Uhlhorn as secretary and vice-president. A large 
stock of general hardware and implements is carried and the business is 
rapidly growing. Mr. Uhlhorn still owns his valuable and well-improved 
farm of two hundred and eighty acres, also valuable property in St. James. 

Mr. Uhlhorn was married on June 22, 1898, to Emma Henrietta Kru- 
ger, of Brown county, Alinnesota, and to their union four children have 
been born, namely : Anna Clara Bertha, Hertha Anna Minnie, Arthur 
Frederick is deceased, and Gertrude Christine. 

Politically, Mr. Uhlhorn is a Republican. He has been a member of the 
school board of the German school for six years. He belongs to the German 
Lutheran church. 



CHARLES A. LIEN. 



The ancestry of Charles A. Lien, the subject of this sketch, is of the 
sturdy German stock. His father, Valentine Lien, and his mother, Elisi 
(Muller) Lien, were natives of Germany and spent their entire life in their 
native country. The elder Lien was a contractor by occupation. They 
were both members of the Lutheran church. The children of the family 
were: Charles A., Anna, Emma and Hugo. 

Charles A. Lien was born in Germany, October 18, 1862. He received 
his education in the public schools of his native country, supplementing this 
by a four years course in Gotha college, which he attended after his ele- 
mentary education. During his youthful years, when not attending school, 
he worked in the contracting business with his father. In 1883, at the age 
of twenty-one, he came to America with a view of seeking a greater oppor- 
tunity for the application of his mental and industrial energy. He was the 
only one of the family that came to this country. After landing in New 
York, and making some observations and inquiries as to the opportunities 
afforded there, he decided to proceed further west. Following his inclina- 
tion he found his way to Chicago, where he first secured employment. He 
worked for the first few years in Chicago, Milwaukee and in other parts of 
Wisconsin, at whatever he could find to do, and with his native-born energy 
and industry, it was no trouble for him to secure employment where energy 
and industry were essential qualifications. In 1885 he went to South 
Dakota and worked on a farm for about three years. In the fall of 1899 



104 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

he came to Bingham Lake, Cottonwood county, Minnesota, and engaged 
in buying grain for the Anchor Grain Company, of Minneapolis. In 1905 
he bought the Hubbard & Palmer elevator and has since continued to oper- 
ate the same, handling grain, feed, flour, coal and farm machinery. 

Mr. Lien was married, in 1886, to Laura Lowins, of Dodge county, 
Wisconsin. . The children born to this union are : Carl, born on July 4, 
1900; Myrtle, Holden, Harry, Earl, Henry, Mae and Mildred. 

Mr. Lien is a member of the Baptist church. His political affiliation 
is with the Republican party. He is a member of the Masonic order, the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Woodmen. 



PETER G. NEUFELD. 



Peter G. Neufeld was born in Tuerstenan, South Russia, April 23, 
i860, a son of Gerhard Neufeld, who was born in the same place, Novem- 
ber 4, 1827. The mother of the subject of this sketch, whose maiden name 
was Anna Toechrew, was also born in Russia, where she died. 

Gerhard Neufeld was a minister in Russia, and also engaged in farm- 
ing. He came to America in 1878 and located in Cottonwood county, near 
Mountain Lake, Minnesota. He settled on a farm of six hundred and forty 
acres, and continued to live there until about 1895, when he retired from 
active work. He now lives in Mountain Lake. He was the father of six 
children, all of whom are living: Catherine, Anna, Maria, Gerhard, Peter 
G. and Henry G. 

Peter G. Neufeld was educated in the schools of Russia. He came 
to America with his father, arriving in New York, July 2, 1878. He came 
with his parents to Cottonwood county, Minnesota, and after coming here 
he attended school at Mountain Lake, in order to acquire some knowledge 
of education adapted to this country. During his minority he worked on 
his father's farm. In 1894 he engaged in the business of buying grain at 
Mountain Lake and continued in this business for a few years. In 1899 he 
was appointed to the office of clerk of the court, in Cottonwood county, and 
on June 1, of that year, he came to Windom to assume the duties of his 
office. He has continued to hold this office ever since, having been elected 
as his own successor at each election since 1899. 

Peter G. Neufeld was married on April 28, 1889, to Anna Penner, 
and to this union five children have been born : Margaretha, Anna, Justina, 




MR. AND MIIS. PETER NEUFELD. 



PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASTOR, LEN»X 
TILDEN -\TlOtf* 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. IO5 

Mathilda M. and Elizabeth R. Mr. Neufeld has always taken an active part 
in politics. He is one of the leading Republicans of the county and is deeply 
interested in the promotion of the principles of that party. 



FRANK T. ANTON. 



The late Frank T. Anton was a man who believed in making the most 
of life's little span and in assisting, whenever practicable, those whom 
he came in contact with along the journey, consequently he was admired 
and esteemed by all who knew him and was rated a good citizen in every 
respect. He was a leading merchant at Windom. 

Mr. Anton was born near Staughton, Wisconsin, September 17, 1866, 
and was a son of Ola and Maritl Anton, both natives of Norway, from 
which country they came to Wisconsin when young and were married in 
that state, removing to Iowa about 1868, where they remained a short time, 
then moved to Jackson county, Minnesota, locating three miles southeast of 
Windom, where they engaged in farming until they retired and moved to 
Windom. Their family consisted of ten children, seven of whom are liv- 
ing at this writing, namely : Anthony, Albert, Martin, Godfrey, Caroline, 
Anna and Ida. 

Frank T. Anton grew up on the home farm where he worked hard 
when a boy, and he received his education in the public schools of Jackson 
county. After leaving school he came to Windom and clerked in a store 
for Robison & Freeman, and during this period he attended night school, 
being ambitious to obtain a higher education to fit him properly for his life 
work. Later, he worked for Thurston Brothers for a number of years, 
during which time he learned the various phases of the mercantile business, 
and in 1893 he entered partnership with J. E. Johnson in the general 
merchandise business, in which he remained for some time, when he and his 
partner sold out, Mr. Anton and his family removing to Minneapolis, where 
he engaged in the laundry business for two years and then returned to Win- 
dom. In partnership with O. E. Seines he bought the Hutton general store, 
which they operated several years, then sold out, Mr. Anton forming a part- 
nership with Gustav Muller, they buying out the clothing stock of J. E. 
Jennis. The partnership with Muller continued until Mr. Anton's death. 
He was very successful as a merchant, always living up to the precepts of 
the Golden Rule, and his customers were always sure to receive honest 



106 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

and courteous consideration at his hands. He was a man of sound business 
judgment and foresight. 

Mr. Anton was married on August 28, 1893, to Anna Erickson, a 
daughter of Carl G. and Charlotte (Olson) Erickson, and to this union three 
children were born, namely: Arthur, Clinton and Delbert. Mrs. Anton, 
who was born in Jackson county, Minnesota, where she grew to woman- 
hood and was educated in the public schools, was the daughter of Swedish 
parents, both born, reared and educated in Sweden, in which country they 
were married. They finally came to Minnesota and homesteaded land in 
Jackson county, where they farmed until 1893, when they retired and moved 
to Windom where they spent the rest of their lives, the father dying in 
19 1 2 and the mother in 191 5. They were the parents of ten children, 
eight of whom are still living, namely: Emma, Anna, Ida, Marie, Julia, 
Helda and William. 

Frank T. Anton was a Republican. He took an active interest in the 
welfare of his town and county, and served as alderman for a number of 
years, also on the local school board. Fraternally, he belonged to the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. 
He was a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church. The death of Mr. 
Anton occurred on December 2, 1913, at the early age of forty-seven years, 
when in the prime of life and usefulness. 



FRANK SCHROEDER. 



The grain business has been one of the principal industries of Cotton- 
wood and adjoining counties for a number of decades, and a number of 
elevators have been erected to care properly for the great harvests of wheat. 
The one located at Mountain Lake is operated with success by Frank 
Schroeder, an enterprising gentleman who came to us from far across the 
sea. 

Mr. Schroeder was born in the southern part of Russia, February 5, 
1862. He is a son of David and Katherine (Neufeld) Schroeder, both 
natives of the southern part of Russia, where they grew up, were married 
and established their home, but in 1873 removed with their family to the 
United States, locating at ,Mountain Lake, Minnesota, two miles south of 
which village the father purchased a section of land. He was among the 
first colony of Russians to settle in Cottonwood county. He devoted his 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. IO7 

earlier life principally to the ministry, but followed farming after coming 
here, although he preached occasionally. He and his wife died on the home 
place in this county. He assisted in organizing the first church in his 
vicinity. His family consisted of thirteen children, eleven sons and two 
daughters. 

Frank Schroeder spent his boyhood in Russia and there attended school 
for four years, finishing his education after coming to Mountain Lake. 
He assisted his father to develop the home place here, on which he remained 
until his marriage, after which he operated the farm of his mother-in-law 
for two years. He then worked for twelve years for B. Rempel at Butter- 
field, Minnesota, in the lumber and elevator business. Upon leaving the 
employ of Mr. Rempel, he launched out for himself in the lumber, elevator 
and farm implement business, but two years later sold out and removed to 
Mountain Lake and for a period of eight years worked for Schaffer Brothers, 
who owned an elevator here, which he purchased of them on July I, 19 14, 
and has continued to operate the elevator with pronounced success. Some 
years ago he also dealt in real estate. 

Mr. Schroeder was married in 1886 to Katherine Rempel, a native of 
Russia and a daughter of Peter and Anna (Penner) Rempel. To this 
union six children have been born, named as follow: Cornelius and Frank, 
twins, the former deceased; Peter, William, Bernhardt and Martha Marie. 

Politically, Mr. Schroeder is a Republican and a member of the 
Mennonite church. 



FREDERICK J. CARPENTER. 

Frederick J. Carpenter, a well-known and well-to-do retired farmer of 
Cottonwood county, now living retired at Windom, a stockholder and for- 
mer director of the Windom National Bank and for years actively interested 
in the civic affairs of that city and this section of Minnesota in general, is a 
native of New York state, born at Hudson, July 20, 1848, son of Chauncey 
and Deborah (W'orth) Carpenter, both natives of New York state, the 
former born on July 16, 18 10, and the latter, March 28, 18 19, who were 
the parents of six children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the fourth 
in order of birth, the others being as follow: Jane, deceased, who was the 
wife of Horace Goodill; Emily, who married William Lake and died in 
Chippewa county, Wisconsin; Margaret, who died at the age of fourteen 
years; Cornelia, who married Perry Norton, of Dodge county, this state, 



I08 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

and now lives at Claremont, that county, and Hannah, now deceased, who 
was the wife of Eugene Newton of Minneapolis. Chauncey Carpenter was 
a merchant in New York and in 1854 he sold his store and with his family 
came West, settling in Green Lake county, Wisconsin, for a time living 
retired at Kingston, that county, and later moving to a farm in Fond du Lac 
county, Wisconsin, where he died in 1868. His widow afterward made her 
home with her son, the subject of this sketch, in Cottonwood county, where 
she died in 1878. 

Frederick J. Carpenter was about six years old when his parents moved 
to Wisconsin and he received his schooling at Kingston, that state. He 
was eighteen years old when the family moved onto the farm in Fond du Lac 
county and there he remained for six years, assisting in the development 
of the same. In 1872 he came to Minnesota and homesteaded a tract of 
one hundred and sixty acres in section 8, Carson township, Cottonwood 
county, at the same time buying, for six dollars an acre, eighty acres of 
railroad land adjoining. The first season he put out forty-one acres of 
flax, being one of the first farmers in this region to sow flax, and the 
product of that first crop almost paid for his land. Mr. Carpenter prospered 
in his farming operations from the very first and it was not long until he 
was being looked upon as one of the leading farmers of that part of the 
county. In 1888 he bought one-half of section 8 in Lakeside township and 
in 1899 bought one-half of section 9 in the same township, near Bingham 
lake. In the fall of that latter year he retired from the active labors of 
the farm and moved to Windom, where he ever since has made his home 
and where he is very comfortably situated. Since moving to town Air. 
Carpenter has sold all of his landholdings save the half section near Bing- 
ham lake and has made other investments. For years he has been a stock- 
holder in the Windom National Bank and was formerly a member of the 
board of directors of that financial institution. Air. Carpenter is a Repub- 
lican and for years has given his close attention to local political affairs and 
has attended every county convention of his party in Cottonwood county. 
He was on the school board in Carson township when there were but four 
schools in that township. He was a member of the town board in both 
Carson and Lakeside townships and was treasurer of the school board at 
Bingham Lake; also a member of Windom school board for twelve years; 
also a member of the committee of five under whose direction the new 
school at Windom was established. He also superintended the building of 
the Masonic temple and Independent Order of Odd Fellow buildings. He 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. IOO, 

attends the Presbyterian church, of which his wife is a member, and has 
ever taken a proper part in local good works. 

In 1877 Frederick J. Carpenter was united in marriage to Clara 
McNeal, of Blue Earth county, this state, and to that union three children 
were born, Alice, May 9, 1884, wife of Edward Hartz, of Leeds, North 
Dakota; Hattie, born September 5, 1885, who died on January 28, 191 1, at 
the age of twenty-six years, and Frederick Chester, born October 26, 1887, 
employed by the state as weighmaster, who for four years was located at 
Minneapolis, but who has had his headquarters at Duluth since 191 1. The 
mother of these children died on January 29, 1889, and on September 10, 
1890, Mr. Carpenter married Georgia Schofield, born December 28, 1866, in 
Iowa, daughter of Aaron and Rhoda (Smith) Schofield, the latter of whom 
was born in Indiana, a cousin of Whitelaw Reid. Aaron Schofield was a 
native of England. He moved with his family from Iowa to Minnesota 
in 1873 and homesteaded eighty acres in section 28, Carson township, Cot- 
tonwood county, and there made his home until 1881, when he retired from 
the farm and moved to Windom, where he and his wife spent the rest of 
their lives and where, on November 20, 191 1, they celebrated their "golden 
wedding." Mrs. Schofield died on February 20, 1914, at the age of seventy- 
two years, and Mr. Schofield died on February 21, 1916, at the age of 
eightv-four vears. 



CARL JOHAN WENSTROM. 

The late Carl Johan Wenstrom was for many years one of the leading 
business men of St. James. He began life poor in this world's goods, but 
rich in what is of far more value than material wealth — a sound mind and 
a sound body. He possessed concentration of purpose and energy that knew 
no r^traint, keen foresight and the rare executive ability that made every- 
thing undertaken accomplish the purpose for which intended. He was also 
a man of uncompromising honesty. 

Mr. Wenstrom was born in Sweden on July 14, 1861. He was a son 
of Swen Johan and Sophia Wenstrom, natives of Sweden, where they 
spent their earlier lives and were married. They came to America about 
1867 and located at Rockford, Illinois, and in 1872 removed to Watonwan 
county, Minnesota, taking up a homestead, which they developed and on 
which they spent the rest of their lives, the mother's death occurring in 
1883 at the age of fifty-five years. The father outlived her more than a 



110 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

quarter of a century, dying in 1909 at the advanced age of eighty-four 
years. They were the parents of the following children : Claus lives in 
Watonwan county; Carl Johan, subject of this sketch; Emma is the wife 
of Nels Nelson of Watonwan county; Otto lives in St. James. 

Carl J. Wenstrom was six years old when his parents brought him to 
America and he was eleven years old when he came with the family to 
Watonwan county. He received his education in the public schools here 
and in Illinois. He assisted his father on the home farm until he was a 
young man. He came to St. James in 1889 and worked as a drayman for 
awhile, then engaged in the furniture business, which proved to be quite 
successful. Through his industry, good management and fair and courteous 
dealings he built up a large trade with the town and surrounding country 
and carried an extensive stock of everything commonly found in up-to-date 
stores of this kind, and he continued in this line of endeavor until his death, 
which occurred on January 31, 191 1. Since then the family has continued 
the business along the lines he inaugurated, retaining the original firm name, 
The St. James Furniture Company. He was also a stockholder in the 
Security State Bank, of which he was vice-president. He left his family 
well provided for. including a beautiful home. He was public-spirited and 
did much for the general welfare of his town and county. He served for 
some time as a member of the city council. He was a member of the 
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran church, to which his family also belong. 

Mr. Wenstrom was married in 1890, to Nellie Nelson, who was born 
in Sweden in 1865. Her parents brought her to Rockford, Illinois, in 
1867, where the family remained six years, coming to Watonwan county, 
Minnesota, in 1873, the father buying eighty acres, to which he later added 
another eighty in Adrian township, and here he spent the rest of his life, 
dying in 1907. Mrs. Nelson still lives on the homestead, being now eighty- 
three years of age. Politically, he was a Republican, and he was treasurer 
of the township board for several years. He belonged to the Swedish 
Lutheran church, to which his widow also belongs. Their children were 
named as follow: Nels lives in Watonwan county; Nellie, widow of Mr. 
Wenstrom of this memoir; Andrew lives in Watonwan county; Anna is the 
wife of Nels Johan Nelson of Watonwan county. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Wenstrom the following children were born : Rein- 
hold, whose birth occurred in St. James in 1892, was graduated from the 
local high school and the "Commercial College at St. Peter, and he is now 
assisting very ably in the management of the St. James furniture store; 
Esther, the second child, was educated in the local schools and is living at 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. Ill 

home; Estella is now (1916) a junior in the St. James high school; Mabel 
is a sophomore in the St. James high school at this writing. Mr. Wenstrom 
died on January 31, 191 1. 



J. K. SONNESYN. 



On of the most progressive citizens of Watonwan county is J. K. 
Sonnesyn, who has worked his way up from a modest beginning, having 
landed in the New World from a foreign strand, "A youth to fortune and 
to fame unknown." He has ascended the ladder step by step until he has 
reached a position of no mean importance, by his individual efforts, which 
have been practically unaided from boyhood. 

Mr. Sonnesyn was born in Norway, April 15, 1858, and is a son of 
Christopher Nitter Sonnesyn and Ingrid Sonnesyn, both of whom lived and 
died in Norway. He grew to manhood and received his education in Nor- 
way. In 1882 he set sail for America, taking up his residence in Madelia, 
Minnesota, where he worked in the general mercantile establishment of 
Bisby, Olson & Boynton, remaining there until the spring of 1886, when 
he came to St. James and opened a general store and has been engaged in 
general mercantile pursuits ever since at the same stand. He was success- 
ful from the first and has enjoyed a large and steadily increasing patronage. 
He has carried at all seasons an extensive and carefully-selected stock of 
goods, and many of his first customers are still trading with him, which 
fact would indicate that they have received honest and courteous treatment. 
He has been very successful in a business way, and was one of the organ- 
izers of the First National Bank of St. James, and has been a heavy stock- 
holder and a director in the same since its organization, and is now presi- 
dent of the same. The pronounced success of this sound, conservative and 
popular institution has been due to his able management and commendable 
methods. In 1906 he organized the Twin-City Oil Company of Minneapolis 
and has since been president of the same, which has proven to be a most 
fortunate venture. He also organized the Sonnesyn-Sundt Company, a gen- 
eral mercantile corporation of Velva, North Dakota, in 19 10, and has since 
been president of the same. 

Mr. Sonnesyn was married in 1896 to Anna Sophia Fuhr, of Moor- 
head, Minnesota, and to their union four children have been born, namely: 
Carl, Ingrid, Ruth, Jenette. They are all living at this writing. 

Politically, Mr. Sonnesyn is a Republican. He has been a member of 



112 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

the local board of education for eight years, and president of the same for 
the past five years. He has done much to encourage better schools, and, 
in fact, he is one of the most influential of our citizens for the general wel- 
fare and upbuilding of St. James. He is a member of the Ancient Free 
and Accepted Masons and is a Knight Templar. He belongs to the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church. 



DAVID P. LANGLEY. 



David P. Langley was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, February 5, 
1840, a son of James and Jane (Weston) Langley, who were both born in 
Crawford county, Pennsylvania. James Langley spent the early part of his 
life as a farmer in Erie county, Pennsylvania. In 1854 he moved to 
Macoupin county, Illinois, where he was engaged in farming until 1867, 
when he retired from active work and removed to Carlinville, where he 
spent the rest of his days. There were nine children in this family : Wilson 
S. died at the age of sixteen; John W., James W., Andrew J., Eunice 
Mary, David F., Russell L., Franceina L. and Cynthia A. 

David P. Langley was educated in the public schools of Erie county, 
Pennsylvania, and also attended school after the removal of his father to 
Illinois. During his younger years he worked with his father on the farm 
and started farming for himself while a young man. In 1880 he left his 
Illinois home and came to Cottonwood county, Minnesota, and located on 
a farm one mile south of Bingham lake. He began farming this land and 
continued until 1900, when he bought a small tract of land within the cor- 
porate limits of Bingham Lake, which he cultivated until 1912. At that 
time he sold this land and removed to the village, where he has since con- 
tinued to live. 

In April, 1870, David P. Langley and Nancy J. Jackson were united in 
marriage. Mrs. Langley is the daughter of Hiram and Ruth (Blasdel) 
Jackson, of Dearborn county, Indiana, who later settled in central Illinois 
in 1855, where they remained all their lives. To this union nine children 
have been born: Minnie E., James W. died at the age of five years; Jessie 
E., Charles H., William P., Ernest J., Harry L., Erma L. and Florence. 
Mrs. Langley is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

On August 21, 1861* at the call of President Lincoln for volun- 
teers for the suppression of the rebellion, Mr. Langley enlisted in Com- 
pany A, Thirty-third Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served until 






d 




x 




TH'E '*■ 
PUBLIC LIBRARY' 

■IQX 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. II3 

December 6, 1865. This regiment was a part of the army under General 
Grant operating in western Tennessee and in Mississippi, in 1862 and 1863, 
an army that rendered a most distinguished service, and achieved some of 
the most noted victories in the history of the Civil War. Mr. Langley fol- 
lowed the fortunes of his regiment in all these campaigns and contributed a 
soldier's part in the battles and victories in which the regiment participated. 
Altogether, he participated in sixteen battles, and numerous minor engage- 
ments that were often sharp and exciting, but are not recorded among the 
great battles of the Civil War. Among the great battles in which Mr. 
Langley was engaged were the battles around Vicksburg, during the siege 
resulting in the capture of that stronghold ; the battles of Jackson and Cham- 
pion's Hill, the battle of Mobile, and the many others in which that part 
of the army was engaged. 

Mr. La'ngley's record as a soldier is one of which he has every reason 
to be proud, a heritage of honor conferred upon his children which cannot 
be too highly regarded, a service to his country which cannot be compen- 
sated by any pension allowance. 

In view of this supreme manifestation of loyalty and patriotism in the 
hour of his country's need, it would seem superfluous to add that Mr. Lang- 
ley is a Republican and an ardent advocate of the party principles to which 
Lincoln devoted his life service. As a citizen, Mr. Langley is held in the 
highest esteem by the people of the community in which he lives. He served 
as county commissioner from 1894 to 1902, eight years. In this official 
capacity, as in all other duties to which he has been called, he was faithful 
and efficient. His fraternal associations are with the Grand Army of the 
Republic, of which he is an active and influential member. He is also a 
member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows. 



DAVID A. NOBLE. 



David A. Noble, for years a well-known retired farmer, of Windom, 
an honored veteran of the Civil War and one of the most substantial citizens 
of Cottonwood county, is a native of Canada, born on December 17, 1843, 
son and only child of Robert and Mary (Collins) Noble, the former of 
whom died in Canada in 1851. His widow and her son came over into the 
United States about 1855 and settled in La Crosse county, Wisconsin, where 
she died in 1870, near Portage. 
(8a) 



114 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

David A. Noble was about eleven years old when he went to Wisconsin 
with his widowed mother, and he grew to manhood in La Crosse county, 
completing his schooling in the public schools of that county. On Decem- 
ber 17, 1 861, his seventeenth birthday, he enlisted in Company B, Second 
Wisconsin Cavalry, for service during the Civil War, and served for two 
days less than four years, being mustered out at Austin, Texas, November 
15, 1865, receiving his final discharge at Madison, Wisconsin, December 15, 
1865. His mother died at her sister's home near Portage, Wisconsin, in 
1870, and in 1874 he came over into Minnesota and settled in Cottonwood 
county, where he has made his home ever since. Upon arriving in this 
state Mr. Noble homesteaded a quarter section in Amo township, at the 
same time taking a timber claim on a quarter section adjoining, and set 
about developing the same. That farm of three hundred and twenty acres 
he still owns, as well as a fine farm of two hundred and eighty acres in 
Lakeside township, about three miles from Windom. In 1879 Mr. Noble 
married and established his home on his homestead place in Amo township. 
For about a year after their marriage, Mr. Noble and his wife lived in a 
sod house, but they presently built a more substantial home, and it was not 
long until their affairs began to prosper. When they started housekeeping 
they had neither chairs nor a table, boxes serving in lieu thereof, but that 
condition did not last long and after awhile they had a very comfortable 
home and were looked upon as among the substantial residents of that 
neighborhood. Mr. Noble took a proper part in the civic affairs of his 
home township and for years was active in Republican politics, serving for 
some time as assessor of Amo township. During his residence in Windom 
he also has served as a member of the council. In addition to the farm 
lands at present owned by Mr. Noble, he formerly owned two hundred and 
forty acres one-half mile out of Windom and twenty-seven acres within the 
corporation and at one time owned land in North Dakota. About 1895 he 
retired from the active labors of the farm and moved into Windom, where 
he ever since has made his home, long having been one of the best-known 
men in that city. For nearly fifteen years Mr. Noble has been superinten- 
dent of a part of the stock exhibit at the county fair. He has taken an 
active part in general agricultural affairs and for some time was in chrage 
of the Cottonwood county exhibit at the Minnesota state fair. 

On March 12, 1879, David A. Noble was united in marriage to Mary 
Cuthbert, who was born in Carseburn. Scotland, daughter of Alexander 
and Elizabeth (Ogg) Cuthbert, who came to this country with their family 
in 1 87 1 and located in La Crosse county, Wisconsin, later moving to Buena 
Vista county, Iowa, where they spent their last days, Alexander Cuthbert 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. II5 

dying on May 17, 1900, at the age of seventy-nine years, and his wife, 
October 13, 1906, at the age of eighty-nine. Alexander Cuthbert and his 
wife were the parents of six children, of whom Mrs. Noble was the fifth in 
order of birth, the others being Isabel, William, David (deceased), Alexan- 
der (deceased) and Eliza. To Mr. and Mrs. Noble six children have been 
born, all of whom are living, as follow : Myrtle Eliza, Iva Mary, Jessie 
Isabel, a graduate of the Winona Normal School; Geneva Ida, Bertha Vera, 
also a graduate of the Winona Normal, and David Alexander, who was 
graduated from Ames College with the class of 19 16. The Nobles are mem- 
bers of the Presbvterian church and take a warm interest in all movements 
having to do with the advancement of the best interests of the community 
at large. 

Mr. Noble and a man named G. B. Rice, during the early settlement, 
in order to get trees for their groves, went to Mankato, Kasota and St. 
Peters and pulled the small trees to plant in their tree-claim, as they did 
not have money enough to buy trees. They were gone two weeks on this 
trip, and they secured enough trees for their claim. 



REV. EDWARD SAVAGE. 

The family of the late Rev. Edward Savage, for many years one of 
the best-known clergymen in this part of the state, is of French Huguenot 
stock, the first of that line in America having been Capt. John Savage, who 
crossed the water and established his family in the English colonies in 
America in 1690. Rev. Edward Savage was a native of New York state, 
but had lived in the West since his boyhood and was a resident of Windom 
and the neighborhood of that city almost from the day of the beginning of 
a social order hereabout. He founded the Presbyterian church at Windom 
and was widely influential in the missionary movement in this section of 
Minnesota in early days, continuing active in the ministry hereabout until 
his death on January 4, 1910. 

Edward Savage was born at Ogdenburg, New York, September 16, 
1 84 1, son of the Rev. John A. and Eliza (Turner) Savage, both natives 
of that state, the former born in 1799 and the latter in 1802. The Rev. 
John A. Savage was a minister of note in the Presbyterian church and 
upon his election as president of Carroll College at Waukesha, Wisconsin, 
removed to that city in 1850 and there spent the rest of his life, his death 
occurring in 1866. His widow survived him many years, her last days 



Il6 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

being spent at Waukesha, where she died in 1883. Edward Savage was 
graduated from Carroll College in i860 and on September 13, 1862, enlisted 
as a private in Company B, Twenty-eighth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer 
Infantry, with which he served until honorably discharged on March 26, 
1863. In 1865 he entered the Western Theological Seminary at Allegheny, 
Pennsylvania, from which he was graduated in 1868. 

Following his ordination to the ministry of the Presbyterian church, 
the Rev. Edward Savage returned to Waukesha and in that same year was 
installed as pastor of the Presbyterian church at Jackson, Minnesota. In 
1870 he married and the year following, in 1871, he came to this part of 
the state and located at the then growing village of Windom, where he 
organized the Presbyterian church, the date of organization being October 
11, 1871. For some years he remained as pastor of the church at Windom 
and after a number of years as an independent missionary he accepted, a 
call to Bingham Lake, where he remained for several years. In the mean- 
time he had homesteaded a tract of eighty acres near Windom, to which 
he presently added an adjoining "eighty," and there established his per- 
manent home. From the beginning of his pastoral service in this state, 
Mr. Savage ever was active in missionary work and his travels in that 
connection took him to points widely separated throughout this section of 
the state. In 1881 he temporarily retired from the pulpit and returned 
to Waukesha, but shortly afterward was made pastor of the Cottage Grove 
Presbyterian church there, remaining there until after his mother's death in 
1883, after which for a time he was pastor of the church at Weyauwega, 
Wisconsin, but in 1886 he returned to Windom and resumed his residence 
on his homestead, where he remained the rest of his life, filling meanwhile 
the pulpits at Red Rock and Bingham Lake, having been, with the excep- 
tion of the five years spent in Wisconsin, continuously engaged in the gospel 
ministry in Jackson and Cottonwood counties from the time of his ordina- 
tion until the day of his death. Politically, Mr. Savage was a Prohibitionist 
and was ever active in the cause of temperance and righteousness. 

The Rev. Edward Savage was twice married. On October 13, 1870, 
at Delafield, Waukesha county, Wisconsin, he was united in marriage to 
Margaret A. Robertson, to which union were born four children, Donald 
R., John A., Eliza Turner and Edward W., all of whom are living. The 
mother of these children died on July 3, 1903, and on July 16, 1907, Mr. 
Savage married Nora A. Schofield, for years one of Windom's best-known 
school teachers, who survives him. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 117 

JOHN E. NELSON. 

John E. Nelson is a native Norwegian, born in Norway, August 30, 
1S63. He is a son of Ole and Inger (Danielson) Nelson, who were also 
natives of Norway. 

Ole Nelson came to America in 1884 and located in Windom, Cotton- 
wood county, Minnesota. Here he opened a shop and engaged in the har- 
ness business, which he continued until his death, which occurred in Sep- 
tember, 1901, at the age of sixty-nine years. He was the father of eleven 
children: John (deceased), Matilda, Adolph Daniel, Carl, engaged in the 
hardware business in Windom, Minnesota; John E., Allta, died in Buffalo, 
Minnesota, in 1915, aged forty-eight years; Ohtda died in Norway, aged 
thirteen; Nels (deceased), Nels (deceased), Nels (deceased), and Rolf, 
living in Sioux City, Minnesota. 

John E. Nelson was educated in the public schools of Norway. While 
a young man he went to sea as a sailor and followed this occupation for 
six years. He made trips to England, South America, Mexico, Cuba and 
many other places, and experienced all the hardships and dangers of a 
sailor's life, while engaged in this business. In the spring of 1884, then not 
twenty-one years of age, he came with the rest of the family to America 
and located in Windom, Cottonwood county, Minnesota. Here he was em- 
ployed in farming for about three years, and then worked at the same busi- 
ness for about two years at Heron Lake, in Jackson county. In 1888 he 
went to Washington, then a territory, and was employed by the Puget 
Sound in scaling logs for about three years. In 1891 he returned to Win- 
dom and opened up a harness business, which he continued in that place 
until September, 1900, when he removed his shop to Westbrook. Here he 
has since continued the business, handling a complete stock of everything 
in the harness line. 

Mr. Nelson was married to Nettie Tolefson in 1887, an d to this union 
four children have been born: Maude L., Howard E., Phoebe and James, 
who died at Windom aged six years. They are members of the Baptist 
church; Mr. Nelson is one of the trustees at the present time. He has 
served ten years on the school board, and has been president of the board 
for nine years. He has also served as a member of the village council. 

Mr. Nelson is also largely interested in the banking business. At the 
present time he is a stockholder and vice-president of the First National 
Bank of Westbrook; vice-president of the State Bank, at Dovray, Murray 



Il8 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

county, and a director of the Farmers State Bank, at Stroden, Cottonwood 
county. He has also had some dealings in real estate, and has some val- 
uable real-estate holdings at the present time. In 1903 he built the splendid 
home in which he now lives. He is giving his children the opportunity of 
obtaining a good education, an opportunity which he, himself, did not have 
in his youthful years. He is deeply interested in the promotion of schools 
and educational advantages in the community, and as a . member of the 
school board, on which he has had so long service, he has been largely instru- 
mental in building up the schools and in bringing them to the high state of 
efficiency they now have. 



SULLIVAN & GUSHMAN. 

Edd T. Sullivan and Leo A. Gushman, publishers of the Journal- 
Gazette of St. James, are doing a most commendable work in the general 
upbuilding of Watonwan county, their popular newspaper being a genuine 
booster for this locality. 

Mr. Sullivan was born in Mantorville, Minnesota, September 29, 1878, 
and received his education in the schools of that village, graduating from 
the high school there in 1896. He learned the printer's trade in the office 
of the Express and in 1901 went to North Dakota, where he worked at 
various places until January, 1907, when he returned to his home county and 
state and purchased a half interest in the Dodge County Record, at Dodge 
Center, where he remained for two years. He was thereafter connected 
with various papers in Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana, returning 
to Minnesota in June, 19 14. and locating at Butterfield, Watonwan county, 
securing employment on the Advocate. In November of that year he came 
to St. James and began work on the Journal-Gazette, as foreman. On 
December 1, 191 5, he and Leo A. Gushman leased this plant and have 
since been editors and publishers of this excellent newspaper, which is gain- 
ing rapidly in circulation, has been greatly improved from a mechanical 
standpoint and is recognized as a valuable advertising medium. They are 
both capable and well trained newspaper men and are giving eminent satis- 
faction to their patrons. Mr. Sullivan is a Republican. He is unmarried. 

Leo A. Gushman was |>orn in Stryker, Ohio, October 21, 189 1. He 
came to St. James in 1914, and engaged in the advertising business, traveling 
throughout Minnesota and the Dakotas until he formed a partnership with 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 19 

Mr. Sullivan in December, 191 5, and leased the Journal-Gazette. He is 
unmarried, and is a Republican. He is a son of Joseph and Elizabeth 
(Monen) Gushman. The father was born in Ohio, his parents having 
immigrated to that state from Alsace-Lorraine, formerly a province of 
France. Joseph's parents were Alexis and Mary (Duprez) Gushman, and 
his grandfather fought under Napoleon. The paternal grandfather of Leo' 
A. Gushman died at Wauseon, Ohio, about 1901 at the age of eighty-two 
years, his wife dying two years later in 1903, when about seventy-five years 
of age. The maternal grandparents, Patrick and Elizabeth (Gebbie) 
Monen, were natives of Ireland, from which country they came to Ohio in 
1865, locating at Stryker, later moving to Defiance, that state. The grand- 
mother died in 1906 when about seventy-six years of age at Toledo. Grand- 
father's death occurred in December, 191 5, at Toledo, at the unusual age 
of ninety-five years. He was born on March 17, 1821. The father of 
Leo A. Gushman is a master mechanic and is employed by S. M. Jones & 
Company of Toledo, Ohio. His family consists of two children, Jeanette, 
and Leo A. The latter received his education in the public schools of 
Toledo, Ohio, and was graduated from St. John's College (high school 
department), and attended the college one year, after which he was in the 
employ of the Woolson-Spice Company for four years. He was then in 
the advertising business two years before coming to St. James. 



MICHAEL L. FISCH. 



One of the enterprising and successful merchants of Cottonwood county, 
Minnesota, is Michael L. Fisch, of Windom. By his thrift and honest 
dealings he has built up a large trade with the town and surrounding 
country. 

Mr. Fisch was born in Houston county, this state, July 19, 1866, and 
there he grew to manhood and received his education in the public schools. 
He followed civil engineering which line of work he followed three or four 
years in his earlier career, then engaged in mercantile pursuits in Faribault 
county, Minnesota, where he remained until 1899 when he came to Win- 
dom, where he has since been engaged in general mercantile pursuits, carry- 
ing a large and well-selected stock at all seasons. Five years ago his store 
was destroyed by fire, but with characteristic energy he soon rebuilt on a 
more substantial basis and has a large and well-arranged store. He has 



120 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

been very successful in a business way, and besides his store he is a stock- 
holder in the Windom Xational Bank, of which he is also a director. 

Mr. Fisch is a public-spirited man and has done much for the general 
upbuilding of Windom, whose interests he has very much at heart. He has 
been mayor of the town two terms. Politically, he is a Republican. Fra- 
ternally, he is a member of the Knights of Columbus. 

Mr. Fisch was married in 1891 to Mary Pietruss, daughter of Mr. and 
Mrs. Andrew Pietruss, both natives of Germany. To Mr. and Mrs. Fisch 
three children have been born : Adrian, Mildred, and Marian. 



HENRY E. HANSON. 



A thriving banking business is being conducted at Windom by Henry 
E. Hanson, who understands thoroughly every phase of his chosen line of 
endeavor and tries in every way to please his many patrons. Mr. Hanson 
was born in Fillmore county, Minnesota, September 18, i860. He is a son 
of Elling and Guro (Helgeson) Hanson, both natives of Norway, where 
they spent their earlier years, immigrating to America in 1848, locating on 
Rock Prairie, Rock county, Wisconsin, where they remained until about 
185 1, when they removed to Fillmore county, Minnesota, where the father 
died in i860. The mother married again, and the family removed to La 
Crosse, Wisconsin, and in 1872 came to Ann township, Cottonwood county, 
Minnesota, where Henry E. Hanson's step-father, Ole Kleven, entered a 
homestead which he developed and on which he and his wife spent the rest 
of their lives. Three children were born to Elling and Guro Hanson, 
namely : Mary, deceased ; Anna, who lives in Fillmore county, and Henry 
E., the subject of this sketch. 

Henry E. Hanson received his early education in the public schools of 
La Crosse, Wisconsin, later attending school in Cottonwood county, Minne- 
sota. He started out in life as a laborer on farms and with threshing 
machines, then engaged in railroad construction work for two years, later 
engaged in farming for himself. In 1889 he was elected register of deeds, 
which office he held with satisfaction to all concerned for a period of eigh- 
teen years, or until January, 1906. The following autumn he was elected 
to the state Senate, in which body he made a splendid record. In 1907 he 
was appointed postmaster at Windom, which position he held until July, 
191 5. He was state Senator during the sessions of the Legislature from 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 121 

1907 to 1909. In 1907 he organized the Fanners State Bank at Windom, 
of which he became cashier, continuing as such until in January, 19 15, then 
became president, which position he still occupies. His rare business acu- 
men, sound judgment, recognized industry and honesty have combined to 
make this one of the sound, safe and popular banks of this section of the 
state. He is also interested in general farming, owning a fine farm of eight 
hundred and eighty acres in Ann township, which he claims to be the 
second best farm in Cottonwood county. It is under a high state of culti- 
vation and improvement, including large, substantial buildings, with every 
modern convenience. He formerly bred Shorthorn cattle, also Berkshire 
hogs. He now rents his land. 

On May 6, 1889, Henry E. Hanson was married to Gina Peterson, of 
Westbrook township, Cottonwood county, daughter of Paul Peterson, a 
part of whose farm is now within the limits of the town of Westbrook. 
To this union the following children have been born : Emma Pauline is 
the wife of Frank Strehlow; Clarence M., Hazel, Irene is the wife of Frank 
Barr, and Grace. 

Politically, Mr. Hanson is a Republican. He has long been active and 
influential in public affairs, and is the recognized leader of his party in this 
section of Minnesota. He has done much for the general development of 
his town and community and is one of the most substantial and best-known 
citizens of Cottonwood county. He is a member of the Norwegian Luth- 
eran church. Fraternally, he belongs to the Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen of 
America, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Royal Arcanum 
and the Sons of Norway. 



WILLIAM HENRY DUMMETT. 

William Henry Dummett, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Lake- 
side township, Cottonwood county, chairman of the board of supervisors of 
that township and proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres 
in the vicinity of Bingham Lake, is a native of Iowa, born on a pioneer farm 
in Franklin township, O'Brien county, that state, February 26, 1878, son of 
William Henry and Mary E. (Daily) Dummett, the former a native of the 
state of New Jersey and the latter of Ireland, she having come to this 
country with her parents when a child. 

The senior William H. Dummett was born in 1841, son of Henry J. 



122 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

and Christina (Westkett) Dummett, the former a native of Pennsylvania, 
born in 1809, wno was a glass-blower by trade. Later he moved to Ohio 
and still later, in 1856, moved with his family to Iowa, which then was 
being rapidly opened to settlement, and settled on a farm in Benton county, 
where he spent the rest of his life. He and his wife were the parents of 
eleven children, of whom but two are now living. William H. Dummett, 
father of the subject of this sketch, was about fifteen years old when his 
parents settled in Iowa and there he grew to manhood. When the Civil 
War broke out he enlisted in Company H, Sixth Iowa Cavalry, and served 
until that command was mustered out at Sioux City, Iowa, October 17, 
1865. Although Mr. Dummett participated in many hard-fought battles 
and underwent many trying experiences, he came through the war 
unwounded and with health unimpaired. At the close of the war he 
returned to his home in Benton county, Iowa, and there, in 1869, was mar- 
ried. In 1871 he and his wife moved up into the northwestern part of 
Iowa and settled in O'Brien county. There, in Franklin township, he 
homesteaded a quarter of a section of land and established his home, later 
increasing his farm to two hundred and eighty acres and spending the rest 
of his life there, his death occurring in 1915. He was a Republican, an 
enthusiastic member of the Grand Army of the Republic and he and his 
family were supporters of the Methodist Episcopal church. He and his 
wife were the parents of ten children, of whom five still survive, namely: 
Mary E., who married Frank Merrill and lives in Iowa; Sarah, who mar- 
ried William Brahan and also lives in Iowa; Elmer B., who lives in Iowa; 
William H., the subject of this sketch, and George, who is also a resident 
of Minnesota. 

The junior William H. Dummett was reared on the pioneer farm in 
O'Brien county, Iowa, receiving his schooling in the district schools in the 
neighborhood of his home and as a young man started farming there on his 
own account. In 1902 he married and and established his home in his 
native county, where he continued to live until 1909, in which year he dis- 
posed of his interests there and came to Minnesota, settling in Cottonwood 
county. He bought a quarter of a section of land in Lakeside township and 
there has made his home ever since. The place was but partially improved 
when Mr. Dummett took possession and he has erected new buildings and 
otherwise improved the farm, bringing it up to a high standard of cultivation. 
In addition to his general farming he has given considerable attention to 
the raising of high-grade live stock and has done well with his Shorthorn 
cattle and Chester White hogs. Mr. Dummett is a Republican and since 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 127, 

coming to this state has given his thoughtful attention to political affairs. 
He served as a member of the school board for three years and is now serv- 
ing as chairman of the board of supervisors in Lakeside township. 

In 1902, in O'Brien county, Iowa, William H. Dummett was united in 
marriage to Bertha May DuBois and to this union four children have been 
born, Forrest Wayne, Averil, Doris and Berdine. Mr. and Mrs. Dummett 
take a proper part in the general good works of their community and are 
ever ready to promote such movements as are designed to advance the com- 
mon weal hereabout. Mr. Dummett holds membership in the Modern 
Woodmen of America, the Yeomen and the Modern Brotherhood of 
America, in the affairs of all of which organizations he takes a warm 
interest. 



CHARLEY T. CROWLEY. 

The smokers of Watonwan county and vicinity who enjoy a good cigar 
are not compelled to use a brand made in Cuba or some other distant 
country, for they may procure excellent cigars manufactured by Charley T. 
Crowley at St. James. 

Mr. Crowley was born near Westside, Iowa, December 6, 1872. He 
is a son of Winfield Scott and Alice (Grimley) Crowley. The father was 
born in Illinois in 1847; the mother was born at Huntley, that state, in 1857. 
They grew up, attended school and were married in their native state. 
After spending a short time in Iowa they removed to Chicago, where the 
father engaged in the milk business until 1890. He also engaged in the 
real estate business for a number of years, but is now living retired. His 
wife died in 1896. He came to Watonwan county in the year 1889 and has 
since made his home in St. James. He was a member of the city council 
for some time, and also chairman of the county commissioners for sixteen 
years. He is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and 
attends the Presbyterian church. His family consists of two children, 
namely-: Charley T., subject of this sketch; and Florence, who became the 
wife of Floyd Hall, is deceased. One child, a daughter, was born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Hall. After the death of his first wife, Winfield S. Crowley mar- 
ried Rose Morris, by which union one son, Winfield Scott, Jr., was born in 
1904. 

Charley T. Crowley was educated in the Skinner public schools of 
Chicago and a business college in that city, later studied at Ames Agricul- 



124 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

tural College in Iowa. He came to St. James in 1890, where he obtained 
work in the hotel conducted by W. W. and E. A. Gibbs, with whom he 
remained five years, then worked two years in a drug store and two years 
in railroad service. In 1890 he began manufacturing cigars in St. James 
which he has continued with pronounced success to the present time, having 
built up an extensive trade. His factory is well equipped and an average 
of seven highly skilled workmen is employed by him. He made his first 
batch of cigars for Winfield Scott Hammond. He makes the popular brand 
known as "Our Governor," a ten-cent cigar; also the "Governor," a five- 
cent cigar of excellent quality. 

Mr. Crowley was married in April, 1897, to Ada Forsyth, of St. James, 
and to this union two children have been born, namely : Winfield George, 
born in 1901 ; and Alice May, born in 1904. He and his family attend the 
Episcopal church. Politically, he is a Republican. He is a member of 
the city council at this writing, which position he has held for ten years. 
He has been a member of the local fire department for twenty-one years. 
He was captain in the same for some time and is now chief. Fraternally, 
he belongs to the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective Order 
of Elks, Royal Arcanum, Modern Woodmen of America and the Fraternal 
Order of Eagles. Mr. Crowley is also engaged in the sale of automobiles, 
handling the Ford in this county. He is in partnership with Schoffrnan, 
Crowley & Veltun. 



WILLIAM SARTORIUS. 

One of the farmers of Great Bend township, Cottonwood county, who 
has been a close observer of modern methods of tilling the soil and is a 
student of whatever pertains to his chosen life work, is William Sartorius, 
and he has therefore met with encouraging success all along the line. He 
was born in Germany, March 11, 1850, and is a son of John and Kate 
(Sueshen) Sartorius, both natives of Germany, where they grew up, were 
married, spent their active lives on a farm and died there. They were 
the parents of seven children, namely : Amel, Katherina, Jennie, John are 
all deceased; Fannie is living; William, the subject of this sketch; Margaret 
is deceased. 

William Sartorius grew to manhood in his native land and there 
attended the public schools, working on his father's farm during crop sea- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I25 

sons. He served over three years in the German army, and was with his 
regiment in France in 1871 during the Franco-German War, but saw no 
active service. He came to America in 1882 and located near Freeport, 
Illinois, where he remained twenty years, working out for wages eleven 
years and engaged in farming for himself nine years on rented land. He 
then removed to O'Brien county, Iowa, and rented a farm for live years, 
buying one hundred and fifty-nine acres in the fall of 1906, in Great Bend 
township, Cottonwood county, Minnesota, the place on which he now lives, 
moving here on January 10, 1907. He has added many important improve- 
ments, especially to the buildings and has a good farm. In connection with 
general farming he raises various kinds of live stock, making a specialty of 
Chester White hogs and mixed Shorthorn cattle. 

Mr. Sartorius was married in 1876, to Johanna Gertges, a native of 
Germany and a daughter of Frederick and Gertie (Meyer) Gertges, both 
natives of Germany where they spent their lives on a farm. To these par- 
ents seven children were born, namely: A son, who died in infancy; 
Helna, Anna, Gertie, Katherina, Gertrude, and Johanna, who married the 
subject of this sketch. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Sartorius the following children were born : John 
and Fred both were born in Germany and died in Illinois; Kate is living; 
Dina died in Illinois, as did also Katherine; John is living; Fred is at home; 
William and Edward are the two youngest. 

Mr. Sartorius and family belong to the Lutheran church. 



HERMAN W. HAISLET. 

The name of Herman W. Haislet, successful publisher, of St. James 
and the present representative of Watonwan county to the Legislature, 
needs no introduction to the readers of this work. 

Mr. Haislet was born in Decorah, Iowa, September 17, 1875, an d 
is a son of George W. and Emma Caroline (Wood) Haislet, who came 
from the East and settled in Howard county, Iowa, the father establishing 
the first newspaper at Howard Center (now Cresco). Himself and his 
brothers, Samuel and Frank were the promoters of the newspapers in north- 
eastern Iowa. George W. Haislet remained at Decorah for a number of 
years, his death occurring there in 1880, his widow surviving until 1883. 



126 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

He was a Republican. His wife belonged to the Methodist Episcopal 
church. Their family consisted of eleven children, only three of whom are 
living at this writing, namely: Fred W., of Rice Lake, Wisconsin; Katie 
Irene is the wife of Robert Mapson, of El Modena, California; Herman 
W., the subject of this sketch. 

After the death of his mother Herman W. Haislet went to live with 
an uncle, Edward W. Wood, publisher of the Democrat at Lyons, Rice 
county, Kansas. There he attended school and worked in his uncle's print- 
ing office until he was fourteen years old, when he went to Frederick, Kan- 
sas, where he was employed four years on the News, then became a cow- 
boy for two summers, and worked on newspapers during the winter months. 
He came to Decorah, Iowa, in the winter of 1897, arriving on January 1st, 
and worked on the Decorali Public Opinion for some time. While there 
he married, in 1898, Bessie D. Houck, and to their union one son was born, 
Donovan Herman Haislet, whose birth occurred in October, 1899, and is 
now a student in second year high school. 

After his marriage, Air. Haislet moved to Ridgeway, Iowa, and estab- 
lished the Record, which he conducted for about eighteen months, and in 
November, 1901, he came to St. James and secured employment in the office 
of the Plaindcaler where he worked until December, 1901, when he took 
charge of the Butterfield Advocate, and with the exception of the years 
1905 to 1907 he has been a residence of Watonwan county ever since com- 
ing here. In November, 19 14, he was elected to the Legislature on the non- 
partisan ticket and has made a commendable record in this office. He was 
chairman of the legislative expense committee and had charge of all expend- 
itures made for supplies of Legislature. He made a record of economy 
not surpassed in twenty years. He is a man of force and character, and 
in the face of considerable opposition has won out, when he knew he was 
right, on many occasions. He is outspoken and not afraid to let everybody 
know just where he stands on all important questions affecting the people. 
He has made his paper a strong factor in the general welfare of his com- 
munity, and it has been a success from a business standpoint under his able 
management. He was justice of the peace at Butterfield for a period of 
nine years, and gave eminent satisfaction in the same, his decisions being 
noted for their fairness and clear interpretation of the law. Fraternally, 
he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern 
Woodmen of America, in which he took an active interest in the rate fight 
in 1912 and 1913. 

In December, 19 13, he established the St. James Independent in part- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 27 

nership with Fred \Y. Haislet, buying his partner's interest in June, 191 5, 
and has since been sole editor and publisher. The paper is gaining rapidly 
in circulation and is being recognized as a valuable advertising medium. 



GEORGE P. SIVERTSOX. 

Among the Norwegians who have come to Minnesota, and there have 
been many thousands, and have, through their industry and good manage- 
ment acquired a comfortable competency so that they are enabled to spend 
their old age in peace and plenty is George P. Sivertson, now living in 
honorable retirement in Westbrook, Cottonwood county. 

Mr. Sivertson was born in Norway, April 3, 1849, an d 1S a son °f 
Sivert and Ellen (Pederson) Sivertson, both natives of Norway, where 
they grew up, were married and established their home. TThe paternal 
grandparents, Sigval and Elizabeth (Total) Sivertson lived and died in 
Norway on a farm, as did also the maternal grandparents, Benjamin Peder- 
son and wife, and also the parents of G. P. Sivertson lived in the same 
community as the grandparents, spending their lives on a farm. They had 
three sons and two daughters, namely: George P., Conrad, Simon, Abel 
are all three living in Norway; Sarah died in that country. Simon is an 
officer in the Norwegian army. 

George P. Sivertson was educated in his native land, and when twenty- 
one years of age came to the United States, in 1867, and located in Alamakee 
county, Iowa, where he remained until 1871 when he came to Cottonwood 
county, Minnesota, taking up a homestead in Highwater township, which 
he developed into a fine farm and carried on general farming successfully, 
until he retired from active life and moved to the village of Westbrook in 
the year 1902. During the two years of the grasshopper plague which 
destroyed his crops he was compelled to leave his farm and work out. He 
homesteaded eighty acres, later buying eighty acres of railroad land. 

Mr. Sivertson was married on April 12, 1876, to Martha Langland, 
who was born in Norway, November 6, 1854, daughter of Knute and Anna 
(Bjargo) Langland, from which country she came to America in early life 
with her parents, the family locating in Madison, Wisconsin; then to Winne- 
shiek county. Towa, one year; then moved to Jackson county, Minnesota; 
later went to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and in 1871 came to Cottonwood 
county, Minnesota, where they remained to the end of their lives. The 



128 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

mother, two sons and two daughters were massacred by the savages, the 
father and two daughters, Julia and Martha, escaping. Mr. Langland 
bought railroad land, in Westbrook township. During the massacre, 
Martha was a little girl and was hid in a cornfield, escaping notice, but her 
sister Julia, who was tomahawked, survived. Mr. Langland died on his 
farm in Westbrook township some years ago. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Sivertson seven children have been born, namely: 
Knute, John, Peter, Gertrude, Anna, and Mabel. They are all living at 
this writing except Josephine, the youngest, who died in infancy. 

Politically, Mr. Sivertson is a Democrat. While living on the farm 
he served as school director for some time, and also was road boss occasion- 
allv. He is a member of the Lutheran church. 



JOHN HENDERSON, 



A diversity of interests has been the outgrowth of the natural condi- 
tions found in Cottonwood county. It has been discovered that certain por- 
tions of her soil are well suited to be manufactured into brick and tile, and 
among those who are taking advantage of this fact is John Henderson, of 
Bingham Lake, formerly a banker. 

John Henderson was born in County Donegal, Ireland, June 22, 1848, 
a son of William and Mary (Russell) Henderson, who immigrated to Amer- 
ica and settled in Tama county, Iowa. William Henderson was a farmer 
and died in Iowa. Mrs. Mary Henderson died at Rhinebeck, Iowa. The 
subject of this sketch grew to manhood in Iowa and there received a com- 
mon school deucation. He began his active career in the banking business 
and conducted a bank at Goldfield, Iowa, for a period of fifteen years with 
gratifying results. It was first a private bank, then became the First 
National Bank of Goldfield. He was made president upon the organiza- 
tion of the institution and continued in the same position during his resi- 
dence in Goldfield. He removed to Bingham Lake, Minnesota, in 1902, 
where he started a private bank, which two years later was converted into 
the First State Bank of Bingham Lake, with Mr. Henderson as president, 
which position he retained until 19 15, when he sold out to J. A. Redding. 
His industry, sound, conservative and honest methods made this institution 
a decided success. 1^1913 he took over the brick and tile manufacturing 
plant at Bingham Lake, which he has conducted on an extensive scale to 




JOHN HENDERSON. 



TH£ m 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASTOR, 

tilde:- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 29 

the present time, his products rinding a very ready market owing to their 
superior quality. He also owns a valuable and well improved farm of two 
hundred and forty acres which lies immediately south of the village. He 
also owns seventy acres within the village limits, and on this he makes his 
home, having an attractive and modernly appointed residence. He has been 
very successful in a business way and is one of the leading men of affairs 
of the county. 

John Henderson was married in 1882 to Mary Elizabeth Small. Mr. 
and Mrs. Henderson have no children of their own, but they adopted a 
child, Victor Rodgers, of Bingham Lake. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson are 
members of the Presbyterian church and are active workers in the church. 



GUSTAV MULLER. 



Gustav Muller was born in Galicia, Austria, April 26, 1876, a son of 
Henry Muller and Magdalene (Lindscheid) Muller, both natives of Galicia, 
Austria. 

Henry Muller followed the occupation of a blacksmith, and also 
engaged in farming in Austria. He came to America in 1880, and located 
in Cottonwood county, in Mountain Lake, Minnesota. The year following 
his coming to that place he removed to Rose Hill township, Cottonwood 
county, and took up a homestead of one hundred and twenty acres of gov- 
ernment land. Here he made his home for the remainder of his life. He 
died in 1900; his wife survived him and is now living at Reedley, Cali- 
fornia. She was the mother of twelve children: Peter, Christina, 
deceased; Gustav, died young; Edmond, deceased; Henry, deceased; Leona, 
deceased; Clara, Fridolm, Gustav, our subject; Theodore, Arthur, Herbert. 
The father and mother were members of the Mennonite church. 

Gustav Muller, our subject, was educated in the public schools of Rose 
Hill, township, working on his father's farm during his early years. At 
the age of fourteen Tie left the farm and was employed as a clerk in the 
store of J. W. Benson & Company, at Heron Lake, Minnesota. He was in 
this employment for two years and then took a business course at Wilder. 
He worked for about one year for H. P. Lewis, at Fulda, Minnesota. In 
1894 he came to Windom and entered the employ of G. A. Peterson & Com- 
pany, clothiers, remaining with them until 1905, at which time he, with 
(9a) 



I30 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

F. T. Anton, bought the clothing stock of R. R. Jennes, of Windom. This 
partnership continued until December, 1913, when Mr. Anton died; since 
that time Mr. Muller has conducted the business alone, dealing in a general 
line of clothing, men's furnishings and shoes. 

Mr. Muller was married, in 1900, to Anna M. Anton, daughter of Ole 
Anton. Five children have been born to this union: Roland H., Alden G., 
Alice M.. Waldo F., deceased, and one infant, deceased. Mr. Muller is 
a Socialist in politics. He has served as a trustee on the city council, and 
is at present mayor of the village. He is a member of the American Order 
of Woodmen, and also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 



THOMAS OFFERDAL. 



Thomas Offerdal was born at Long Lake, Watonwan county, July 30, 
1875. He is of Norwegian ancestry, his parents being among the large num- 
ber of Norwegian families who found a home in this, and in other counties of 
Minnesota, in the early history of the state, and who contributed so large 
a part in the state's physical and social development. 

The parents of the subject of this sketch were Ole and Mary (Jensen) 
Offerdal, both natives of Norway. The father was a farmer in his native 
country. He came with his wife to America in 1867. and followed the 
footsteps of other of his neighbors and countrymen to Minnesota. In the 
case of these worthy emigrants "following the footsteps," is not altogether 
a figurative expression, for their means to pay travel expenses were exhausted 
when they reached Mankato, and they walked all the way from that place 
to Watonwan county. Minnesota, carrying a small child. Their meager 
belongings were hauled by Hans Johnson Berdell, who was fortunate enough 
to own a yoke of oxen. They found a desirable location in Long Lake 
township, Watonwan county where they took a homestead of one hundred 
and sixty acres of government land. Here they established a home and 
lived the rest of their lives. They both died the same year, 1910. They 
were a frugal, industrious people and their industry was rewarded with a 
very desirable competence. They were the parents of seven children : Jens, 
Sarah, Thomas, Mary, Nelius, Carl and Emma. They were both members 
of the Norwegian Lutheran church. 

Thomas Offerdal was educated in the public schools of Long Lake 
township, Watonwan county, and in the high school at St. James, from 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 131 

which he was graduated in 1892. During his school days he worked with 
his father on the home farm, and afterward engaged in farming on the 
same on his own account. From 1889 to 19 14 he bought grain and con- 
ducted a general store at Echols, Watonwan county. In 1914 he moved to 
St. James and the following year he engaged in the real-estate business, 
and also acted as agent for the Studebaker automobile. In 191 5 he was 
elected vice-president of the Citizens National Bank, of St. James, and in 
September, of that year, he became actively engaged in the business of the 
bank. 

Mr. Offerdal was married, in 1901, to Hilda Schoyen, daughter of 
H. M. Schoyen of Long Lake township, Watonwan county, Minnesota. He 
is a Republican in politics, and is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran 
church. 



JACOB HENGTGEN. 



Jacob Hentgten, a well-known and prosperous farmer of Cottonwood 
county, proprietor of a fine farm of two hundred and thirty-three acres 
lying in sections 22 and '27 of Storden township, and actively identified 
with the general affairs of that community, is a native of Iowa, born on a 
pioneer farm in Jackson county, that state, January 22, 1852, son of Barney 
and Anna (Rystoffer) Hengtgen, natives of Germany and early settlers in 
that part of Iowa. 

Barney Hengtgen left his native land and came to the United States 
when a young man, locating in Jackson county, Iowa, in 1847, thus having 
been among the pioneers of that county, and there, some years later married 
Anna Rystoffer, who came to this country with her parents from Germany 
in 1849, tne family locating in Jackson county, Iowa. To that union four 
children were born, of whom the subject of this sketch was the first-born 
the others being Anna, Nicholas and Maggie. Following the death of the 
mother of these children, Barney Hengtgen married Mary Thyson and to 
that union six children were born, Theodore, Michael, Peter, Elizabeth, 
Margaret and Katherine. Barney Hengtgen remained a farmer all his 
life, his death occurring on his home farm in Iowa in 191 1. He was a 
member of the Catholic church and his children were reared in that faith. 

Jacob Hengtgen was reared on his father's homestead farm in Iowa and 
received his schooling in the primitive school in the neighborhood of his 
home. As a young man he started farming on his own account in Plymouth 



132 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

county, Iowa, and there he remained until 1909, in which year he disposed 
of his holdings there and came to Minnesota, settling in Cottonwood county, 
where he bought his present farm of two hundred and thirty-three acres in 
Storden township and has ever since made his home there. Mr. Hengtgen 
has his farm well improved and has been quite successful in his operations. 
In addition to his general farming, he has given considerable attention to 
the raising of live-stock and has done very well. 

In 1886, in Plymouth county, Iowa, Jacob Hengtgen was united in 
marriage to Minnie Walters and to this union eleven children have been 
born, Edward, Mary, Frank, Eliazbeth, Anna, Leo, Clara, Lena, Margaret, 
Florence and Roy. The Hengtgens have a pleasant home on their well- 
kept farm and are very comfortably situated. Mrs. Hengtgen is a member 
of the Lutheran church and the children have been reared in that faith, 
the family ever giving proper attention to local movements having to do 
with the advancement of the best interests of the community in which they 
live. Mr. Hengtgen is a Democrat, but has not been a seeker after office. 



GOTTLIEB HASENHEYER. 

Gottlieb Hasenheyer, a well-known and well-to-do retired farmer of 
Watonwan county, now living in comfortable ease at St. James, is a native 
of Germany, born on January 16, 1857, son °f Andrew and Mary Hasen- 
heyer, both natives of that same country, the former born in 1824 and the 
latter in 1826, who came to the United States in 1867 and settled on a farm 
in Will county, Illinois, where both spent the remainder of their lives, her 
death occurring in 1894, at the age of sixty-eight years, and his, the next 
year, 1895, he then being seventy-one years of age. They were the parents 
of eight children, of whom the subject of this biographical sketch was 
the fourth in order of birth, the others being Mary (deceased), Andrew, 
Johanna, Frederick, August, Fredericka and Herman. 

Gottlieb Hasenheyer was about ten years of age when he came to this 
country with his parents in 1867 an d he completed his schooling in the dis- 
trict school in the neighborhood of his home in Will county, Illinois. From 
the age of fifteen years to twenty-three years he worked on a dairy farm, 
when, in 1880, he went to Chicago, where for sixteen years he was profitably 
engaged in the milk business. In 1886 Mr. Hasenheyer made a trip to this 
part of Minnesota and bought two hundred and forty acres of land in sec- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 33 

tion 31, St. James township, Watonwan county, regarding the same as a 
most excellent investment against the future. Ten years later he and his 
family moved out here, arriving on October 25, 1896, and established their 
home on that farm. With characteristic energy Mr. Hesenheyer proceeded 
to add to the improvements he already had projected on the place, set out 
a grove, erected substantial buildings and soon had one of the best-kept 
and most profitably cultivated farms in that neighborhood. On October 10, 
1913, he sold his farm and on January 30, 1914, moved to St. James, where 
he had bought a fine residence at the corner of First street and Sixth avenue, 
and there he since has made his home. Mr. Hasenheyer is a Republican and 
during his residence on the farm served for some time as a member of his 
local town board and also served for one term as township assessor. He is 
a member of the German Lutheran church and in his fraternal relation is 
affiliated with the Knights of Pythias. 

On October 14, 1883, Gottlieb Hasenheyer was united in marriage to 
Caroline Gronert, who was born at Concord, Wisconsin, July 9, 1861, daugh- 
ter of William and Ernestine Gronert, natives of Germany, who came to 
the United States in 1858, settling in Wisconsin, where William Gronert 
died in 1871, at the age of forty-four. William Gronert was born in 1827. 
Ernestine Gronert was born on June 30, 1836. They were the parents of 
eight children, of whom Mrs. Hasenheyer was the third in order of birth, the 
others being Minnie, Amelia, Frank, Martha, William, Emma and Mary. 
The Widow Gronert married, secondly, Ferdinand Stack, and to that second 
union two children were born, Frederick and Malvina. Mrs. Stack is now 
living at Norwood, this state, at the age of eighty years. Mrs. Hasenheyer 
died on March 24, 1907, leaving three children, namely: Martha, born on 
June 29, 1884; Alice, April 25, 1895, and Leslie, June 29, 1888, who mar- 
ried Ida Swick, of Princeton, Wisconsin, and has two children, Myrtle Eve- 
lyn and Leslie. 



REV. JOHN MEYERS. 



Rev. John Meyers, pastor of the Catholic church of St. James, Waton- 
wan county, was born in Germany in 1874. He is a son of George and 
Anna Mary (Bures) Meyers, both natives of Germany, where they grew 
up, were educated and married. In 1881 she brought their family to St. 
Paul, Minnesota, where the father secured employment in the great flour 
mills, later moving to Dakota county, this state, on a farm, later locating 



134 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

near Hastings, that county, where he purchased a farm on which he spent 
the rest of his life, dying there in 1905. His widow is now making her 
home in Hastings. The farm, which the family retains, is rented. To 
these parents the following children were born: Catherine, is the widow 
of John Schmitz and lives at Hastings, Minnesota; Nicholas operates the 
home farm near Hastings; Frank is farming in Dakota county; John, the 
subject of this review; Lucia makes her home with the subject of this sketch; 
Leonida is superintendent of the Holy Angels Academy at St. Cloud, this 
state; Mary is the wife of Jerry Kenny of Bradwell, Canada; George is 
connected with the postoffice service in Minneapolis. 

Rev. John Meyers received his early education in the parochial schools 
of St. Paul and the public schools of Dakota county, Minnesota; later 
attended St. Francis Seminary at Milwaukee and was graduated from St. 
John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, in 1903, in which year he was 
ordained priest. He then went to Claremont, Dodge county, Minnesota, and 
had charge of the churches at Kasson, Mantorville, Deerfield and Dodge 
Center for six years. He came to St. James in 1909 as pastor of St. James 
Catholic church and here he has since remained. He organized the church at 
Mantorville. 



ALBERT E. JOHNSON. 

Albert E. Johnson, a well-known and substantial farmer of Madelia 
township, Watonwan county, who is also the owner of a farm in the neigh- 
borboring county of Blue Earth, is a native son of Watonwan county and 
has lived there all his life. He was born on the old homestead farm on 
which he still makes his home, November 1, 1867, son of Erick and Hansine 
(Iverson) Johnson, natives of the kingdom of Norway, who came to the 
United States after their marriage and settled in the vicinity of Leland, Illi- 
nois, where they were engaged in farming until 1864, in which year they 
came to Minnesota and settled in Watonwan county, thus having been among 
the earliest settlers of this part of the state. Erick Johnson homesteaded 
eighty acres in section 12, of Madelia township, and there established his 
home. He was an excellent farmer and it was not long until he was reck- 
oned as among the most substantial farmers of that part of the county. As 
he prospered he added to his holdings until he became the owner of a fine 
farm of two hundred and twenty-three acres and there he spent the remainder 
of his days, his death occurring in 1893. His widow, who still survives 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I35 

him, has always continued to make her home on the old homestead and is 
still living there, the subject of this sketch also making his home at the 
same place, where he has lived all his life. Erick Johnson and his wife were 
the parents of nine children, John, Eddie, Albert, Henry, George, Willis, 
Clarence and Josipha. 

Albert E. Johnson was reared on the paternal homestead place, receiv- 
ing his education in the district school in that neighborhood, and after his 
school days continued to make his home there, a valuable assistant to the 
labors of developing and improving the farm. He married Josie May Bundy, 
who died some years later, leaving two children, Helen and Elma. Mr. John- 
son then married Mary Kroeger. In addition to his management of one 
hundred and fifty-two acres of his father's estate, Mr. Johnson is also engaged 
in the cultivation of a farm of one hundred and twelve acres which he owns 
over the line in Blue Earth county, and is doing very well, being recognized 
as one of the substantial farmers of his neighborhood. He is a Republican 
and gives a good citizen's attention to local political affairs. He was reared 
in the faith of the Lutheran church and he and his wife are members of 
that church, taking a proper interest in all neighborhood good works. Mr. 
Johnson is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and of the 
Ancient Order of Yeomen and takes a warm interest in the affairs of both 
of these organizations. 



ANTON ELLINGSBERG. 

Anton Ellingsberg, a well-known and substantial farmer of Madelia 
township, Watonwan county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres in the vicinity of Madelia, is a native of the kingdom of Norway, 
born on May 21, 1866, son and only child of Iver and Anne Ellingsberg, 
natives of that same country and farming people. They were earnest mem- 
bers of the Lutheran church and their son was reared in that faith. 

Anton Ellingsberg received his education in the schools of his native 
land and was well grown when he came to this country. His mother came 
six years later. After his marriage in 1891, he then being about twenty- 
five years of age, he located on the quarter section in Madelia township which 
he now owns and where he and his family are very pleasantly situated. Mr. 
Ellingsberg is an excellent farmer and has brought his place to a fine state 
of cultivation. The farm is well improved and carefully tended and shows 



I36 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

many evidences of its owner's progressive and modern methods of agricul- 
ture. 

It was on February 27, 1891, that Anton Ellingsberg was united in mar- 
riage to Susan Fedje, who was born in this state on August 7, 1869, daugh- 
ter of John O. and Brethe (Suphammer) Fedje, natives of the kingdom of 
Norway, the former of whom was eighteen years of age when he came to 
this country with four younger sisters, settling in Minnesota, and the latter 
of whom was eleven years old when she came to America with her mother 
and four sisters, they also being pioneers of this state. John O. Fedje was 
an honored veteran of the Civil War, having served in behalf of the Union 
cause throughout that struggle between the states as a member of the 
Eleventh Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. Upon the conclusion 
of his military service he homesteaded a tract of land in section 12, Madelia 
township, Watonwan county, and established his home there, becoming one 
of the substantial and influential pioneers of that part of the county, and 
there he died in 191 1, at a ripe old age. To Mr. and Mrs. Ellingsberg ten 
children have been born, John, Carl, Helmer, Anna, Martha, Alma, Edwin, 
Helen, Earl and Luther. The Ellingsbergs are members of the Lutheran 
church and take a warm interest in the general good works of their com- 
munity. Mr. Ellingsberg is a member of the local lodge of the Modern 
Woodmen of America and takes an active interest in the affairs of the same. 



MABEL S. MADSON. 



Few counties in the state of Minnesota have a better system of educa- 
tion than Watonwan. This is due in a measure to the commendable work 
of Mabel S. Madson, the present county superintendent of schools, a lady 
who has spared no pains in order to properly equip herself for this respon- 
sible position and who takes a deep interest in advanced and progressive 
methods of instruction, keeping fully abreast of the times in all that per- 
tains to her chosen vocation. 

Mabel S. Madson was born near the village of Madelia, Watonwan 
county, and there she grew to womanhood. She is a daughter of Henry 
and Christina Marie (Thompson) Madson, an old and highly respected fam- 
ily of this locality, a biographical sketch of whom will be found on another 
page of this volume. 

Miss Madson received her education in the public schools, graduating 




MABEL S. MADSON. 



THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASTOR, LEN 
TILL 



■ 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 37 

from the Madelia high school in 1907, and later attended the State Nor- 
mal School at Mankato, Minnesota, making an excellent record. Thus 
well equipped for her professional career, she began teaching school, which 
she followed with success for five years, her services being in great demand. 
Her ability and general qualifications attracting attention throughout the 
county, she was elected superintendent of schools for Watonwan county in 
the fall of 1912 and took office on January 1, 1913, which position she still 
holds. She has discharged her duties in a manner that reflects much credit 
upon herself and to the eminent satisfaction to all concerned. She pos- 
sesses rare executive ability and has inaugurated a splendid system in all 
the schools and is popular among teachers and pupils. Personally she is 
kind, congenial, obliging, and finds her chief pleasure in helping others. 



WALTER M. HALE. 



Walter M. Hale, station agent for the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis 
& Omaha Railroad Company, at Windom, clerk of the city council and for 
years actively interested in the affairs of this part of the state, is a native 
of the great Empire state, born in Herkimer county, New York, June 28, 
1862, son of Edward and Martha (lies) Hale, both natives of England, 
who came to this country with their respective parents in the days of their 
youth and were married in New York. 

Edward Hale was a stone mason by trade and in the early eighties came 
to Minnesota, locating at Windom, where for some time he followed his 
trade and later became proprietor of the old Pioneer hotel in that city. He 
is a Mason and a member of the Episcopal church and took an active part 
in both church and lodge affairs. His wife died at Windom some years 
ago and he is now living with his daughter, Mrs. Jens Peterson, at Chippewa 
Falls, this state. 

Walter M. Hale was reared at Mohawk, Herkimer county, New York, 
receiving his education in the schools of that town and a business college 
at Utica, New York. He early began the life of a railroader and became 
an expert telegraph operator. Upon locating at Windom in 1883 he was 
made operator in the station of the "Omaha" road at that place and after 
about eighteen months of that service was transferred to the station at Mount- 
tain Lake, where he was the agent for eighteen months, at the end of which 
time in 1886, he was transferred back to Windom and there installed as 



I38 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

station agent, a position which he has held ever since, thus holding a record 
as one of the oldest men in continuous service as station agents in this part 
of the state. Air. Hale has not only been faithful and diligent in the affairs 
of the company he has so long served, but he has found time to give thought- 
ful attention to public affairs. He is a Republican and for nearly ten 
years served as clerk of the city council at Windom. For three years he 
has also been a member of the school board and in other ways has con- 
tributed to the public service of his home town, long having been regarded 
as one of the useful and substantial citizens of that place. 

On March 14, 1883, just before coming West, Walter M. Hale was 
united in marriage, at Little Falls, Herkimer county, New York, to Mary 
E. Smith, who was born at that place. Mr. and Mrs. Hale have a very 
pleasant home at Windom and give their earnest attention to the various 
social and cultural activities of their home town. They are members of 
the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Hale is prominent in local lodge circles 
and is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern 
Woodmen of America, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the 
Royal Arcanum, in the affairs of all of which organizations he takes a warm 
interest. 



EVEN O. HOLTE. 



The rugged country of Norway has produced a sterling race. Her people 
are courageous and never permit obstacles to down them. Being fighters by 
nature they necessarily succeed when given even half a chance, so it is no 
wonder they soon become comfortably situated after taking up their resi- 
dence in such a locality as Watonwan, Minnesota. Among those who have 
come here and made good, Even O. Holte, now living in retirement in St. 
James, should be mentioned. 

Mr. Holte was born in Norway, July 8, 1852, and is a son of Ole and 
Esther Holte, both natives of Norway, where they grew up and were mar- 
ried and there the father spent his life, dying in 1876, at the age of fifty- 
four years. In 1878 the mother came to Mower county, Minnesota, and to 
Watonwan county in 1879 and lived most of the time with her son, Even 
O., until her death in 1905, at the age of eighty years. 

Mr. Holte spent his boyhood in Norway and there attended the public 
schools. In 1873 he came to Mower county, Minnesota, where he remained 
until 1879, when he located in Watonwan county, buying forty acres. Pros- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 39 

pering through close application and good management, he added to this 
place until he owned four hundred acres of valuable land in Long Lake and 
South Branch townships, and for years carried on general farming and 
stock raising on an extensive scale. He finally sold part of his land, and 
in 191 1 came to St. James, bought a commodious home and is now living 
retired from the active duties of life. 

Mr. Holte has been one of the influential men of his community, is a loyal 
Republican, and he was chairman of the township board in Long Lake town- 
ship for several years, also served on the Republican central committee, also 
served on the local school board. He is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran 
church. 

Even O. Holte was married, in 1876, to Martha Anderson Ovaley, who 
was born in Mower county, this state, in 1855. She was a daughter of Knut 
and Annie Ovaley, pioneers of Mower county, where the father died, but 
the mother is living in St. James, being now eighty-one years old. To 
Mr. and Mrs. Holte eleven children have been born, namely: Lena, Knute, 
Alma, Ida (deceased), Hilda, Otto, Elmer, Amanda, Arthur, Anne and 
Victor. 



DONALD ROBERTSON SAVAGE. 

Donald Robertson Savage, manager of the Tri-State Telephone Com- 
pany at Windom, former superintendent of schools of Cottonwood county, 
a district engineer for the Minnesota state highway commission and for 
years actively identified with the rapidly developing interests of his home 
county, was born on August 8, 1871. Upon completing the course in the 
public schools at Windom he began teaching school, at the age of twenty 
years, and for nine years was thus engaged during the winters, spending his 
summers farming and threshing. In 1901 he was elected county superin- 
tendent of schools for Cottonwood county and for eight years filled that 
important and responsible office very acceptably. He then was appointed 
superintendent of schools at Heron Lake, in Jackson county, in the mean- 
time engaging in surveying, he having become a very competent civil engi- 
neer, and on May 20, 1912, was appointed an engineer for the Minnesota 
state highway commission, which position he still occupies. In 1914 he was 
appointed manager of the Tri-State Telephone Company, with headquarters 
at Windom and has since then been actively engaged in administering the 
affairs of that progressive and rapidly growing concern. 



I40 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

In 1903 Donald R. Savage was united in marriage to Winifred Robi- 
son, daughter of George F. and Mary (Smith) Robison, of Windom, pio- 
neers of Cottonwood county, and to this union three daughters have been 
born, Margaret, Mary and Edith. Mr. Savage is a Republican, a Mason 
and a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and of the Royal 
Arcanum. 



ABRAHAM B. FRIESEN. 

Abraham B. Friesen, of Carson township, Cottonwood county, one of 
the best-known and most substantial farmers and stockmen of that part 
of the county, is a native of southern Russia, born on a farm there, August 
18, 1 87 1, son of Peter and Anna (Berg) Friesen, natives of that same 
country and early settlers in Cottonwood county, the former of whom is 
still living, a prosperous retired farmer at Mountain Lake. 

Peter Friesen and his family left Russia in 1875 and came to Minnesota, 
locating at Mountain Lake, in Cottonwood county. A little later he bought 
a farm of eighty acres in Carson township and there established his home. 
He was a good farmer and a thrifty, energetic citizen and as he prospered 
in his farming operations added to his holdings until he became the owner 
of seven hundred and twenty acres. About 1902 he retired from the active 
labors of the farm and he and his wife moved to Mountain Lake, where 
she died in 19 10 and where he is still living. He is a member of the Men- 
nonite church, as was his wife, and their children were reared in that faith. 
There were ten of these children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the 
fourth in order of birth, the others being Peter P., Anna, John, Jacob, 
Aaron, Catherine, Mary, Susanna and Sarah, all of whom are living. 

Abraham B. Friesen was not quite four years old when his parents came 
to Minnesota from Russia in 1875 and he grew to manhood on the paternal 
farm in Carson township, receiving his education in the public schools of 
that township. He married when he was twenty-one years old and then 
began farming on the place on which he still lives, and on which he has 
made practically all the improvements that now go to make it one of the 
best farms in that part of the county. From the very beginning of his 
farming operations, Mr. Friesen prospered and he gradually added to his 
holdings until he is now the owner of a fine farm of four hundred and four 
acres and is regarded as bne of the most substantial farmers in Cottonwood 
county. In addition to his general farming he has given considerable atten- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I4I 

tion to the raising of live stock and has clone very well. He has long made 
a specialty of pure-bred Belgian draft horses and his breeding stables are 
known far and wide among the farmers of this part of the state. Mr. 
Friesen is a Republican and has long given careful attention to local politi- 
cal affairs, and for six years served as treasurer of Carson township. 

It was on January 3, 1893, tnat Abraham B. Friesen was united in 
marriage to Helena Fast, daughter of John Fast, of Carson, and to this 
union twelve children have been born, John, Helena, Sarah, Abraham, Anna, 
Peter, Catherine, Henry, Jacob, Bernard, Aaron and Herman. Mr. and 
Mrs. Friesen are members of the Mennonite church and for years have been 
among the leaders in the work of that congregation, ever also exhibiting 
a proper concern in behalf of all other movements designed to advance the 
interests of the community in which they live. 



ROBERT REISDORPH. 



Robert Reisdorph, a well-known and well-to-do retired farmer of 
Springfield township, Cottonwood county, now living very comfortably sit- 
uated at Windom, is a native son of Minnesota, born on a pioneer farm in 
LeSueur county, this state, July 19, 1865, son of Silas E. and Fannie 
(Gait) Reisdorph, who later became pioneers of this part of the state, 
spending their last days in Cottonwood county. 

Silas E. Reisdorph was reared on a farm in New York state, where 
he married and later moved to McKean county, Pennsylvania, where he 
became a farmer, later moving to Michigan, in which state he lived until 
he came to Minnesota, in 1866. Upon coming to this state, Silas E. Reis- 
dorph settled in LeSueur county, where he made his home for five or six 
years, at the end of which time he moved to Hennepin county, where, in 
Bloomington township, he bought a farm and there made his home until 
1878, in which year he came to this part of the state and bought a quarter 
of a section of land in Cottonwood county, where he established his home 
and where he lived until his retirement from the farm in 19 12 and removed 
to Windom, where he died the next year, in 191 3. Silas E. Reisdorph had 
been twice married. His first wife, who was Betsy Hoag, died in the early 
sixties, leaving two children, John A. Reisdorph, a well-known farmer of 
Springfield township, Cottonwood county, and Carrie, who married W. D. 
Seeley. Silas Reisdorph's second wife, Fannie Gait, bore him seven chil- 



142 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

dren, of whom but two, Lloyd and the subject of this sketch, are residents 
of Cottonwood county. 

Robert Reisdorph was about thirteen years of age when his parents 
came to this part of the state in 1878, settling in Cottonwood county, and 
here he has lived ever since. He remained on the home farm until he was 
twenty-six years of age, a valuable assistant to his father in the develop- 
ment of the same, and then he bought a quarter of a section of land in 
Springfield township and began farming for himself. He was successful 
from the very beginning of his operations and as he prospered increased his 
holding's until he became the owner of a fine farm of two hundred and 
forty acres, which he still owns and on which he has expended about 
twenty-five hundred dollars in improvements. In addition to his general 
farming, Mr. Reisdorph gave considerable attention to the raising of live 
stock and did very well. In 1901 he retired from the active labors of the 
farm and moved to Windom, where he and his family are very pleasantly 
situated. 

It was on February 19, 1901, that Robert Reisdorph was united in mar- 
riage to Carrie Widman, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Haag) Widman, 
and to this union one child has been born, a son, Neil. Mr. and Mrs. Reis- 
dorph are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Windom, in the 
general beneficences of which they for years have taken an active part, Mr. 
Reisdorph being a member of the official board of the church, and they 
also give proper attention to the general good works of the community. Mr. 
Reisdorph is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and in the 
affairs of that organization takes a warm interest. 



CHARLES B. PIERCE. 



Charles B. Pierce, a well-known and substantial farmer of Lakeside 
township, Cottonwood county, former chairman of the board of supervisors 
of that township, a director of the Windom National Bank and for many 
years actively identified with the best interests of this section of the state, 
is a native of the state of Massachusetts, but has been a resident of Minne- 
sota since 1869 and of this section of the state since the opening of this 
region for settlement, in 1871, and is therefore numbered among those 
hardy pioneers who helped to bring about stable conditions hereabout in the 
early days. He was born at New Bedford, Massachusetts, September 14, 



COTTON Wool) AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I43 

1852, son of Ira E. and Deborah F. (Potter) Pierce, the former of whom 
was born at East Callais, Vermont, and the latter at Xew Bedford, Massa- 
chusetts, who later became substantial pioneer residents of this section of 
Minnesota. 

Ira E. Pierce left his native state of Vermont when a young man and 
went to Xew Bedford, Massachusetts, where for seven years he was engaged 
as a clerk in a hardware store. There he married and presently opened a 
grocery store, which he conducted for five or six years, at the end of which 
time he moved to Woodbury, Vermont, where he conducted a general store 
and also was engaged in farming for seven or eight years, after which he 
moved to Lyndon, in that same state, where he remained until 1869, in 
which year he came with his family to Minnesota and settled at Dover 
Center, in Olmstead county. In 1 87 1 , upon the opening of this part of the 
state to settlement, Ira E. Pierce moved out here and homesteaded a quarter 
of a section of land in Lakeside township. Cottonwood county, where he 
established his home and where he and his wife spent the remainder of their 
lives, useful and influential pioneer citizens. Mr. Pierce was a Republican 
and took an active part in civic affairs in the early days. He and his wife 
were the parents of four children, of whom the subject of this sketch was 
the second in order of birth, the others being William, who died in January, 
1881 ; Abbie F., who died when seven years of age, and Ira E. 

Charles B. Pierce was. but a baby when his parents moved from his 
native town of Xew Bedford to Vermont, and he was reared in the latter 
state, finishing his school days in a private academy at Lyndon. As a young 
man he was engaged as a clerk in his father's store and gained an excellent 
knowledge of mercantile forms. He was about seventeen years old when 
the family came to Minnesota and about nineteen when they moved to this 
part of the state, in 1871. Upon arriving here he immediately engaged in 
the task of helping to develop the homestead place in Lakeside township 
and became an excellent farmer, presently engaging in farming on his own 
account, and prospered in his operations from the very start, it not being 
very long until he was the owner of more than a section of land in Lakeside 
township. Afterward, however, he sold all his land save the half section 
on which he now lives and where he and his family are very pleasantly and 
comfortably situated, Mr. Pierce long having been regarded as one of the 
leading farmers of that part of the county. He has not been unmindful of 
his duty to the public service and has served the people of his home town- 
ship as chairman of the board of supervisors. He also has given consider- 
able attention to the general business enterprises of the community and has 



144 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES,, MINN. 

been a member of the board of directors of the Windom National Bank 
since the organization of that sound old financial institution. In addition to 
his general farming, Mr. Pierce devotes considerable attention to the rais- 
ing of high-grade live stock and has done very well in his agricultural 
operations. 

In 1899 Charles B. Pierce was united in marriage to Belle Eastwood 
and to this union five children have been born : Charles Earl, Esther, Mar- 
ion, William D. and Paul. Air. Pierce is a member of the Ancient Order 
of United Workmen and of the Modern Woodmen of America, and in the 
affairs of these two organizations takes a warm interest. 



JACOB J. BALZER. 



One of the useful, versatile and many-sided men of Cottonwood county 
is Jacob J. Balzer, of Mountain Lake, who was born at Gnadenfield, Rus- 
sia, October 14, i860, a son of Jacob and Susan (Edgar) Balzer, both 
natives of Prussia, Germany, but who located in Russia about 1852, and 
lived twenty-one years at Pass Fik. The father was a joiner and farrier. 
He engaged in manufacturing fanning mills for some time and employed a 
number of men. He removed with his family to America in 1877, arriving 
at Mountain Lake, Minnesota, on July 3 of that year, and the following 
day they helped celebrate their first Fourth or Independence Day. They 
made their advent here in a box car. Jacob Balzer well remembers how he 
burned his fingers with the first firecracker he ever saw, which was upon 
his arrival at Mountain Lake. The father bought a farm four and one- 
half miles northeast of Mountain Lake, purchasing a homestead at twelve 
dollars and fifty cents per acre. He established a comfortable home here 
through his industry. His death occurred on April 9, 1912, at the age of 
seventy-seven years. His widow is still living in Mountain Lake, being 
now advanced in years. 

Jacob J. Balzer spent his boyhood in Russia and attended school there. 
After coming to Minnesota he was a student at the German College at Mount 
Pleasant, Iowa, also at the Methodist Episcopal University at the same 
place. However, prior to attending college he had taught a private school 
at Mountain Lake, and after his return from the university he took up 
school work for a time in Mountain Lake, which he continued until 1888. 
when he turned his attention to the ministry and to establishing a German- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 145 

English school, a private school, or to a certain extent, a Mennonite paro- 
chial school. A building was rented until 1901, when the present commod- 
ious structure was erected. Mr. Balzer accomplished this useful and neces- 
sary work in thirty-six days. There was nut one cent in the treasury when 
he began. He was the only instructor when the school was first started, but 
in due course of time several others were added, and he became superin- 
tendent. English, German, Latin and theology were taught, and are still 
the principal branches. There are now over twenty alumni who are useful 
missionaries, doing excellent work in foreign lands. 

In 1888 Jacob J. Balzer began Sunday school work. I. I. Bargan 
was the first superintendent. Out of this movement the Bethel church was 
built in 1888 and Mr. Balzer has been the active pastor of the same 
ever since. He was a teacher for a period of thirty-four years, the last 
four years of which period he was principal of the Mennonite Educational 
Institution, at Altoona. Manitoba, Canada, which school was under govern- 
ment supervision, and it turned out many capable teachers. He was princi- 
pal of the school he established in Mountain Lake until 1910. He remained 
at the head of the Canadian institution until 19 14, when he retired from 
educational work, in which he had won a wide and envied reputation. He 
has remained a wide student and is a man of profound learning. For a 
period of twenty-four years he was secretary of the general conference of 
the hpme missionaries of the Mennonites of North America, a position he 
filled in a manner that reflected much credit upon himself and to the satis- 
faction of all concerned, retiring from that office in September, 1914. He 
has traveled quite extensively in the interest of the evangelistic department 
of the above named conference. 

Jacob J. Balzer, although a very busy man with his school and 
church work, has proven himself to be a capable business man, and in 1889 
he entered the general mercantile field, under the firm name of Balzer & 
Hiebert, at Mountain Lake, which store is still operated, having been very 
successful, enjoying a good trade all the while, the style of the firm now 
being Balzer, Hiebert & Company. 

On May 4, 1884, Jacob J. Balzer was united in marriage to Susan 
Franz, a native of Russia, who came to Mountain Lake, Minnesota, July 5, 
1878, with her parents, John Franz and wife. Her father was a merchant 
tailor. The following children have been reared by Jacob J. Balzer and 
wife: Jacob S., now a senior in the pharmaceutical department of the 
University of Minnesota, is president of his class; Marie Ennis is the wife 
(10a) 



I46 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

of Dr. H. R. Basinger, of Chicago, an instructor in Rush Medical College 
and also in the University of Chicago, his wife is a capable music teacher, 
having decided natural talent in music; Marie Gortz Balzer lives at home. 
These two girls were both adopted by Mr. Balzer and wife. 

Mr. Balzer has taken an interest in public affairs and has served 
as city clerk, also as road master in his earlier years. He has done much 
to encourage a taste for music in this locality. He had to fight a religious 
prejudice against music. He is a capable music director. He is an earnest, 
logical and eloquent speaker, and is a man of true culture and progressive 
ideals. 



HENRY C. BEISE, D. M. D. 

Dr. Henry C. Beise, well-known dentist at Windom, former council- 
man and now a member of the school board of that city, who has been 
practicing his profession at Windom since 1896, is a native son of Minne- 
sota, born on a farm in Medo township, Blue Earth county, this state, 
December 16, 1872, son of August and Sophia (Lader) Beise, the former a 
native of Germany, born on October 13, 1835, and the latter of New York 
City, born in 1842, both of whom later came West, locating in Wisconsin, 
where they were married, and thence to Minnesota, becoming pioneers of 
Blue Earth county, their last days being spent in the village of Mapleton, 
that county. 

August Beise received his schooling in his native land and was four- 
teen years of age when his parents, Henry Beise and wife, came to the 
United States with their family in 1849, settling in Dodge county, Wiscon- 
sin. Henry Beise, the grandfather, homesteaded a farm in that county and 
there established his home ; later he came to this state and bought a farm in 
Winona county in 1866, continuing, however, to hold his land in Wisconsin, 
and became a substantial pioneer of Winona county, where he spent the 
rest of his life, his last days being spent in the village of Lewistown; his 
widow later moved to Good Thunder, Blue Earth county, Minnesota, and 
resided there until her death. August Beise grew to manhood in Dodge 
county, Wisconsin, and there he homesteaded a tract of land, which he 
presently sold to advantage and bought another farm in that same county. 
He married there Sophia Lader in 1859, who was born in the city of New 
York, daughter of Jacob and Mena (Lutz) Lader, the former of whom was 
born in France on February 22, 18 12, who came to this country, locating 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I47 

in New York City, but after about two years' residence there came West 
and homesteaded a farm in Dodge county, Wisconsin, later, in 1866, coming 
to Minnesota and settling in Blue Earth county, where they spent the re- 
mainder of their lives. Jacob Lader entered a homestead claim in Blue 
Earth county and there established his home, becoming a substantial pioneer 
farmer. His wife died in 1869, two years after settling in the new home, 
and he thereafter made his home with his daughter, Mrs. August Beise, in 
Medo township, that same county, until his death, in 1899. 

It was in 1866 also that August Beise and wife moved from Wiscon- 
sin to Blue Earth county. They first bought a quarter section in Lyra town- 
ship, where they lived for about three years, at the end of which time they 
moved over into Medo township and bought another quarter section, on 
which they lived for five years, when they bought an adjoining farm of 
three hundred and twenty acres, where they lived until 1900, in which year 
they retired from the farm and moved to the village of Mapleton, where 
their last days were spent, Mrs. August Beise dying on July 7, 1904, and 
August Beise, December 24, 19 15. They were the parents of ten children, 
of whom the subject of this sketch was the seventh in order of birth, the 
others being as follow: Elizabeth, who died in infancy; Amelia, wife of 
John Frey, of Clear Lake, Iowa; Edward, who is living on and operating 
the old Beise home farm in Medo township, Blue Earth county; Ida, who 
lives at Mapleton, in that same county; Emma, wife of C. L. Sulrud, of 
Halstad, Norman county, this state; Dr. Charles J. Beise, who died at Maple- 
ton, at the age of forty-two years; Judge George W. Beise, former county 
attorney of Stephens county, this state, and now municipal judge of Morris, 
that same county; Dr. Rudolph Beise, of Brainard, this state, and Minnie 
A., wife of O. Lovsines, of Halstad, Minnesota. 

Henry C. Beise was reared on the home farm in Medo township, Blue 
Earth county, receiving his elementary education in the district school in 
the neighborhood of his home, supplementing the same by one year in the 
high school at Mapleton, after which he took a three-year course in the 
Mankato Normal School, after which he began teaching school, but after 
one year's experience in that vocation in Norman county, turned his atten- 
tion to the study of dental surgery in the office of Dr. L. C. Cruttender, of 
Northfield, under whose preceptorship he was prepared for entrance into 
the dental department of the University of Minnesota, from which he was 
graduated in 1896. Thus admirably equipped for the practice of his pro- 
fession, Dr. Beise opened an office at Windom, June 15, 1896, and has ever 
since been very successfully engaged in practice there, being one of the best- 



I48 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

known members of his profession in this part of the state. The Doctor is a 
Republican and has given close attention to local political affairs, having 
served as a member of the city council, and is now a member of the city 
school board. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
and of the Modern Woodmen of America and in the affairs of these or- 
ganizations takes a warm interest. 

On December 22, 1897, tne vear following his arrival in Windom, Doc- 
tor Beise was united in marriage to Blanche Johnson, of that city, daughter 
of Seth S. and Margaret (Evans) Johnson, pioneers of Windom, the former 
of whom, for years engaged in the flour and feed business in that city and 
later in the agricultural-implement business, and who died in 1900, since 
which time his widow has made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Beise. 
To Doctor and Mrs. Beise three children have been born, Clark, born on 
October 13, 1898; Margaret, July 12, 1901, and Dorothy, April 22, 1905. 
Doctor and Mrs. Beise are active members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, of which the Doctor is a member of the official board and one of the 
trustees. He has taken much interest in the affairs of Methodism in Minne- 
sota and was a delegate to the general conference of that church in Minnea- 
polis in May, 1912. 



JOHN F. JOHNSON. 



John F. Johnson, assessor of Amo township, Cottonwood county, and 
proprietor of a well-kept farm of eighty acres in that township, is a native 
of the kingdom of Denmark, born on June 25, 1866, son of P. C. and 
Caroline (Anderson) Johnson, both natives of that same country, who 
came to the United States with their family in 1874 and located at Minne- 
apolis. Six years later, in 1880. P. C. Johnson came to this part of the 
state and homesteaded a tract of eighty acres in Amo township, Cotton- 
wood county, where he established his home and where he spent the rest 
of his life. He was an excellent farmer and as his affairs prospered added 
to his original homestead a quarter of a section adjoining, thus becoming 
the owner of a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres. He and his wife 
were the parents of six children, Andrew M., John F., A. W., Christian, 
Charles and Emma. 

John F. Johnson was about eight years old when he came to this coun- 
try with his parents and tje was about fourteen when the family moved 
from Minneapolis to Cottonwood county. He received his schooling in 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I49 

the public schools of Minneapolis and early learned the carpenter trade, 
which trade he followed at Windom and elsewhere hereabout for four or 
five years after coming to this part of the state. He later equipped him- 
self with a threshing outfit and during the threshing season made a spe- 
cialty of threshing throughout the neighborhood. For years his chief in- 
terest has been farming. He has a well-kept and profitably cultivated farm 
of eighty acres in the Storden neighborhood and is one of the best-known 
residents of that part of the county. He has ever taken an active inter- 
est in local civic affairs and for fifteen years has served the public as as- 
sessor of Amo township, a position he now holds. For many years Mr. 
Johnson conducted the store and postoffice known as the Amo postoffice 
and store. This business was conducted until the town of Storden was 
established at the time the railroad was built through this section. Later 
the postoffice was also transferred to Storden. 

In 1892 John F. Johnson was united in marriage to Augusta Grenager, 
who was born in Norway and came to America with her parents when 
quite small, settling in Wisconsin. To this union three children have been 
born, Chester, Mabel and Agnes. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are members of 
the Methodist Episcopal church and take a proper part in the various 
beneficences of the same, as well as in the general good works of the neigh- 
borhood. 



ALBERT L. THOMPSON. 

Albert L. Thompson, a well-known and prosperous farmer of Amo 
township, Cottonwood county, proprietor, in partnership with his brother, 
Theodore Thompson, of a fine farm of two hundred and eighty acres sit- 
uated on rural route 2, out of Windom, is a native of Wisconsin, born in 
Marquette county, that state, December 17, 1872, son of Ole and Martha 
Thompson, both natives of the kingdom of Norway, whose last days were 
spent in Faribault county, Minnesota. 

Ole Thompson was reared in his native land and became a soldier in 
the Norwegian army. It was during his period of service that the differ- 
ences between the two branches of the dual government of Norway and 
Sweden, which years afterward resulted in an amicable separation of the 
two states, reached such an acute stage that the armies of the twin states 
were placed on a war footing with a view to resorting to the final arbitra- 
ment of arms, but, happily, these differences were adjusted without war 



I50 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

and Mr. Thompson thus saw no active service. When he was twenty-six 
years of age he came to the United States and settled in Wisconsin, where 
he presently married a Norwegian girl who had come to this country with 
her parents when she was four years of age and had grown to womanhood 
in Wisconsin. After his marriage Ole Thompson settled on a farm in Mar- 
quette county, Wisconsin, where he lived until 1884, in which year he and 
his family came to Minnesota and settled in Faribault county, where he 
and his wife spent the remainder of their lives. They were the parents of 
twelve children, seven sons and five daughters, Henry, Theodore, Albert L., 
Randolph, Bennie, Joseph, Rose, Anna, Lizzie and Alvina, who are still 
living, and Orin and Lizzie, who died in infancy. Ole Thompson and wife 
were members of the Lutheran church and their children were reared in 
that faith. 

Albert L. Thompson was about twelve years old when his parents 
moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota and his schooling therefore was ob- 
tained in the schools of the former state and of Faribault county, this state. 
He remained on the home farm until his marriage in 1901, when he went 
to Polk county, where he was engaged in farming for two years, at the end 
of which time he and his elder brother, Theodore, bought the farm in Amo 
township, Cottonwood county, where Albert L. Thompson now lives, and 
the latter remained there for a couple of years, farming the same, after 
which he returned to Faribault county and was there, at Bricelyn, engaged 
in the livery business and retail meat trade for two years, at the end of 
which time he moved to Doland, South Dakota, and in the latter place was 
engaged in the same form of business for six years in partnership with his 
brother. Theodore. In 191 1 Albert L. Thompson returned to Cottonwood 
county and resumed his place on the home farm, which he and his brother 
had continued and still continue to hold, the brother remaining in charge 
of the business at Doland, and he has ever since made his home on the 
farm, where he and his family are very pleasantly and comfortably sit- 
uated. Mr. Thompson is an excellent farmer and in addition to his general 
farming has given considerable attention to stock raising and is looked upon 
as one of the substantial and progressive farmers of that neighborhood. 

It was in 1901 that Albert L. Thompson was united in marriage to 
Grace Foster, and to this union three children have been born, Viola, 
Gerald and Madge. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are members of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal church and take a proper interest in the general good works 
and social activities of the, neighborhood in which they live. Mr. Thomp- 
son is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and in the affairs of 
that organization takes a warm interest. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 151 

EDWARD McCAULEY. 

Edward McCauley, a well-known, progressive and prosperous farmer 
of Amo township, Cottonwood county, the proprietor of a fine farm of four 
hundred and forty acres situated on rural route 5, out of Windom, is a 
native of the Emerald Isle, born in County Antrim, in the north of Ireland, 
January 19, 1862, son of James and Ellen (Killen) McCauley, the former 
a native of that same county and the latter of Scotland, both of whom spent 
their last days in Ireland, the father dying when his son, Edward, was ten 
years old. James McCauley was a farmer and stock raiser. He and his 
wife were the parents of six children, three sons and three daughters, James, 
John, Jane, Sarah, Ellen and Edward. 

Edward McCauley was reared on the home farm in his native land, 
receiving his education in the government schools, and when twenty-one 
years of age, in 1883, came to the United States, landing at the port of New 
York on March 7 of that year. He proceeded directly to Piatt county, 
Illinois, where he remained for eighteen months, at the end of which time 
he came to Minnesota and located at Windom. He presently was engaged 
as a "hand" on the farm of W. H. Benbow, in Amo township, and has 
ever since had his residence in that township, having scarcely been out of the 
county since then, save for two trips made back to Ireland. After working 
eighteen months on the Benbow farm, Mr. McCauley took service on 
another farm in that same township and at the end of two years of employ- 
ment on that farm bought the relinquishment of a dissatisfied homesteader's 
claim to a homestead and timber claim to two hundred and eighty acres in 
that township and proceeded to improve and develop the same. That was 
in 1888 and Mr. McCauley ever since has made his home on that place. He 
prospered in his farming operations and in due time enlarged his holdings 
by the purchase of another quarter section, in section 1, Amo township, and 
is thus the owner of four hundred and forty acres, which he has brought to 
a fine state of cultivation. The improvements on his place are of a sub- 
stantial character, an excellent house, and farm buildings in keeping with 
the same, and he long has been recognized as one of the leading farmers in 
that neighborhood. In addition to his general farming, Mr. McCauley has 
also paid considerable attention to the raising of pure-bred Shorthorn cattle 
and has a fine herd. 

It was in 1893, during one of his trips back to his native land, that 
Edward McCauley was united in marriage, in County Antrim, Ireland, to 
Anna Martin, who was born in that county, and to this union two sons 



152 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

have been born, Edward James and Crawford Brice. Mr. and Mrs. Mc- 
Cauley are members of the Presbyterian church and take a proper interest 
in the various beneficences of the same, as well as in the general good 
works of the communitv in which thev live. 



WILLIAM ARTHUR PETERSON. 

William Arthur Peterson, a highly skilled draughtsman of Windom, 
Cottonwood county, was born at Stoughton, Dane county, Wisconsin, Febru- 
ary 22, 1856. He is a son of Cyrus N. and Ellen Maria (Nason) Peter- 
son, both natives of Vermont, where they spent their earlier years, moving 
to Ohio, then to Dane county, Wisconsin, about 1855, removing in 1858 to 
near Mankato, Minnesota, whither the father had come in 1857, taking up a 
pre-emption homestead in Blue Earth county — eighty acres — on which he 
resided until about 1867, in which year he went to Faribault county and 
bought a farm, but removed to Cottonwood county in 1870, locating in 
Springfield township, homesteading the south half of the northeast quarter 
of section 12. Here he developed a good farm on which he spent the rest 
of his life. He was also a carpenter and builder. His family consisted of 
two children, namely : Elias N., a veteran of the Civil War, having served 
in Company H, Fourth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and Will- 
iam A., the subject of this sketch. 

William A. Peterson grew up on the farm and received a common 
school education, and he also attended the high school at Windom. He 
remained on the home farm until he was about twenty-three years of age. 
He taught two terms of school, the first one when eighteen years of age. 
On November 20, 1878, he began working in the field agents' department 
of what is now known as the "Omaha Railway," and was located at Worth- 
ington seven years, then was transferred to St. Paul as chief clerk and 
assistant land commissioner, which position he held until November 1, 1895. 
He returned to Windom, where he engaged in the real-estate business until 
1905, later becoming chief draughtsman for C. W. Gove, ditching contractor, 
which position he still holds. 

William A. Peterson has been twice married, five children being: born 
of the first union, of whom two are living, namely : Eva, the wife of 
Harry Strange, of St. Paul, and Edna, the wife of T. J. Jennes, of Win- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I53 

dom. Mr. Peterson was married, secondly, to Richie Maxwell, February 
22, 1908. 

Politically, Mr. Peterson is a Prohibitionist. He was formerly village 
recorder of Windom. He was at one time surveyor of Nobles county, 
Minnesota, while living at Worthington. He was justice of the peace at 
Windom for six years. He and his family are Baptists, and he is treasurer 
and trustee of the local church of this denomination. He has also taken a 
good citizen's part in the general development of the communities in which 
he has lived. Fraternally, he has belonged to the Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons since 1883, and to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since 
about 1 90 1. 



NEAL C. SORENSEN. 



Neal C. Sorensen, the well-known manager of the creamery at Butter- 
field and the owner of a fine farm in the vicinity of that flourishing village, 
is a native of the kingdom of Denmark, but has been a resident of the state 
of Minnesota since he was fourteen years of age. He was born on Febru- 
ary 1, 1875, son of Christian and Ingeborg Sorensen, natives of Denmark, 
the former born in 1842 and the latter in 1849, wno came to Minnesota in 
1889 and settled at Big Lake, in Sherburne county. There Christian Soren- 
sen died in the following spring, the spring of 1890, leaving his widow with 
nine children. The widow Sorensen kept her family together and continued 
to make her home at Big Lake until 1895, m which year she moved to Sher- 
burn, in Martin county, later moving to a farm near Walnut Grove, in Mur- 
ray county, where she spent her last days with her daughter, Mrs. Charles 
M. Johnson, her death occurring on July 6, 1914. 

Of the nine children born to Christian and Ingeborg Sorensen all are 
still living. The two elder sons, Samuel S. and Christian L. Sorensen, were 
the first of the family to come to the United States. They took passage on 
the steamer "Denmark," which was wrecked in the vicinity of the Azores. 
The passengers and crew were taken off by a cattle-ship and the brothers, 
after some delay, made their way safely to this country, proceeding almost 
directly after their landing to Minnesota, from which point they sent back 
such glowing reports that the rest of the family shortly afterward followed. 
One child was born after the family came to Minnesota, born at Big Lake, 
shortly after the death of the father in the spring of 1890; the others all 
were natives of Denmark. Of these children the subject of this sketch was 



154 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

the fourth in order of birth, the others being as follow : Samuel S., who is 
now manager of the creamery at Lamberton, this state; Christian L., mana- 
ger of a creamery at Madelia; Andrew, a farmer, living in the vicinity of 
Chewelah, in the state of Washington; Anna, who married L. P. Hanson, 
who for some years was a butter maker at Windom and is now engaged as 
a contractor at Vanhook, North Dakota; Martin M., a butter maker at Dun- 
nell, this state; Mary E., wife of Charles M. Johnson, of Walnut Grove, 
this state; David D., now manager of a creamery at Arlington, this state, 
and Herman C, born at Big Lake, who also grew up in the creamery busi- 
ness and was for some years engaged in that business at Janesville, but is 
now engaged in farming in the vicinity of W'elcome, in Martin county. 

Neal C. Sorensen was fourteen years of age when his parents came to 
this country. He had received careful schooling in his native land, but 
owing to the death of his father so soon after coming over here, necessitat- 
ing the work of all hands to keep the family together, was unable to con- 
tinue his studies in school for very long in this state. His first work here 
was on farms in the vicinity of Big Lake and on the railroad there and at 
the age of eighteen he began learning the creamery business and has ever 
since been engaged in that line, having come to be one of the best known 
and most competent creamery men in the state. His first managerial posi- 
tion was at Alson, South Dakota, but after a short stay there was called 
back to Minnesota to take charge of a creamery plant at St. Michael, in 
Wright county, where he remained until he was called, February i, 1896, 
to take charge of the creamery at Odin, in Watonwan county. There he 
remained nine years, becoming one of the most influential of the early resi- 
dents of that village. During his residence in Odin township, Mr. Sorensen 
also engaged in the mercantile business there and served as postmaster of the 
township for some time. On September 1, 1904, Mr. Sorensen was made 
manager of the creamery at Butterfield and has ever since occupied that posi- 
tion, having done there a fine work, the products of the Butterfield creamery 
beingf in wide demand wherever introduced. Mr. Sorensen has done well in 
his business and is recognized as one of the substantial citizens of his part 
of the county. He formerly owned a farm of one hundred and sixty acres 
in section 26 of Butterfield township, but after awhile sold that place and 
bought a farm of eighty acres in section 52 of the same township, which he 
now owns. By political persuasion Mr. Sorensen is a Prohibitionist and for 
years has been one of the most active workers in behalf of the principles of 
that party and the cause of temperance generally in Watonwan county. In 
1906 he was his party's nominee for representative from this district to the 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 55 

state Legislature and has clone much to advance the cause of temperance 
hereabout. For eight or nine years he was a member of the school board at 
Butterfield and was treasurer of the same at the time the fine new school 
house was built there. In other ways he has been an active factor in the 
work of developing the interests of his home town and has long been re- 
garded as one of Butterfield's most useful and influential citizens. 

On February 12, 1897, while living in Odin township, Neal C. Soren- 
sen was united in marriage to Frances G. Sorensen, who was born in Den- 
mark on February 29, 1876, daughter of Peter and Maran Sorensen,, who 
came to Minnesota in 1893 and settled at Welcome, later moving to Sher- 
burn and now living with their son, John T. Sorensen, at Okanogan, Wash- 
ington. To Neal C. and Frances G. (Sorensen) Sorensen four children have 
been born, namely: Earl Lincoln, born in 1898, who supplemented his 
schooling in the public schools of Butterfield by a course in the Business Col- 
lege at Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and is now a traveling salesman for the 
Whole-Wheat Milling Company, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Martha 
Washington, born in 1901, who is adding to her work in the public schools a 
special course in music; Paul Neal, born on April 15, 1904, and Marian 
Frances, June 14, 1906. Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen are members of the Pres- 
byterian church at Butterfield and take an active interest in church work, 
as well as in all local good works, Mr. Sorensen having served the local con- 
gregation as a member of the board of trustees of the church, treasurer of 
the same, and was for some years superintendent of the Sunday school. 



THOMAS BONDHUS. 



Thomas Bondhus, a well-known and progressive young farmer of Amo 
township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of three hundred 
and twenty acres, known as "Fairview Farm," south of the village of 
Storden, treasurer of Amo township, former assessor of that township, 
secretary of the Storden Grain Company and of the Storden Co-operative 
Company and otherwise active in the general affairs of that part of the 
county, is a native of Iowa, born on a farm in Clinton county, that state, 
February 3, 1880, son of Ole and Olena (Oyre) Bondhus, natives of the 
kingdom of Norway, who came to the United States in 1868 and located 
in Clinton county, Iowa, being thus among the pioneers of that section of 
the state, and remained there until 1883, in which year they moved to Ida 



156 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

county, same state, where they lived until coming to Minnesota in the fall of 

1895- 

Upon coming to this state, Ole Bondhus and his family settled in Amo 

township, Cottonwood county, where they established their home. There 
Air. Bondhus and his wife lived until their retirement from the active labors 
of the farm and removal to the village of Storden, where they are now liv- 
ing, very comfortably situated in their declining years. They are members 
of the Lutheran church and their children have been reared in that faith. 
There were nine of these children, of whom the subject of this biographical 
sketch was the sixth in order of birth, the others being as follow : Thomas, 
who died in infancy; Lena, who married Oscar Thompson; Sella, who mar- 
ried A. J. Tjentland; Alary, who married Simon Olson; Hattie, Torris, John 
and Herman. 

Thomas Bondhus was about fifteen years old when he came with his 
parents to Minnesota and he grew to manhood on the home farm in Amo 
township. When he was eighteen years old he supplemented the schooling 
he had received in the public schools by a course in a business college at 
Minneapolis and upon returning from college was employed as a bookkeeper 
in Johnson Brothers store at Westbrook and was thus engaged for two years 
and six months, during which time he also served in the capacity of assistant 
postmaster. Not finding a mercantile life at all to his liking, Mr. Bondhus 
then returned to the farm and ever since has been engaged in farming. He 
remained on the home farm until after his marriage in 1908 and has lived 
on his present farm since 191 1. He has a half section of land, well improved 
and profitably cultivated and has done very well in his farming operations. 
Air. Bondhus has not been unmindful of a good citizen's duty toward the 
public service and has contributed of his time and his energies in that behalf. 
For three years he served as assessor of Amo township and is now serving 
in the capacity of township treasurer. In the general business life of the 
community he also has displayed much activity and has long been regarded 
as one of the most public-spirited and progressive citizens of that township. 
He helped to organize the Storden Grain Company and the Storden 
Co-operative Company (mercantile) and ever since their organization has 
served as secretary of these two useful companies. 

In the fall of 1908 Thomas Bondhus was united in marriage to Carrie 
T. Thompson, who was born in the kingdom of Norway and who came to 
this country with her parents in 1904, and to this union four children have 
been born, Agnes L., ble H., Helma I. and Truman A. Air. and Airs. 
Bondhus take a warm interest in the general social life of the community 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 57 

in which they live and are regarded as among the leaders in all movements 
designed to advance the common interest in and about Storden and through- 
out the county at large. 



OSCAR J. THOMPSON. 



Oscar J. Thompson, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Amo 
township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a well-kept farm of one hun- 
dred and sixty acres in the vicinity of Storden, former member of the board 
of supervisors of that township and for years "road boss" in his district, 
is a native of Norway, but has lived in this country ever since he was fif- 
teen years old and has been a resident of this section of Minnesota since 
the year 1897. He was born in 1871, son of Jens T. and Kama J. (Flatebo) 
Oyre, both of whom are still living in Norway, their native land, the for- 
mer of whom, a former soldier of his country, is now a retired farmer. 
To Jens T. Oyre and wife ten children were born, of w T hom two only came 
to this country, the subject of this sketch having a brother, Andrew, living 
in Cottonwood county, also a resident and well-known farmer of Amo 
township. But two of the remainder of the children are now living, Tor- 
bjon and Kristhe J. Oyer, still residents of their native land. 

Upon completing the course in the government schools in his native 
land, he then being about fifteen years of age, Oscar J. Thompson, in 1886, 
came to the United States, locating at Holstein, Ada county, Iowa, where 
he began working as a farm hand, and in that vicinity he continued to live 
for about ten years. There he married and established his homei, but 
something more than three years after his marriage he came to Minnesota, 
arriving in Cottonwood county in 1897. He settled on a farm in Spring- 
field township and there he and his family made their home for thirteen 
years, or until moving onto their present farm, a quarter of a section of 
excellent land in Amo township, which Mr. Thompson bought in 19 10. 
Mr. Thompson is an excellent farmer and his place is well improved and 
well kept. In addition to his general farming he has given considerable 
attention to stock raising and has done well, long having been regarded as 
one of the most substantial farmers in that neighborhood. He also has 
given considerable attention to local civic affairs and during his residence 
in Springfield township served for three years as a member of the board 
of supervisors of that township. The year after his removal to Amo town- 
ship he was elected "road boss" in his district there and has ever since oc- 



I58 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

cupied that position, except one year, during which time he has done much 
in the way of advancing the cause of highway betterment thereabout. 

It was on January 23, 1893, that Oscar J. Thompson was united in 
marriage, in Ada county, Iowa, to Lena Bondhus, daughter of O. T. Bond- 
hus, now a well-known resident of Cottonwood county, a biographical 
sketch of whom is presented elsewhere in this volume, and to that union 
nine children have been born, Caroline, Ole, Hattie, Agnes, Theodore, Sat- 
tie, Esther, Johanna Marie (deceased), Harra Kristhene (deceased). Mr. 
and Mrs. Thompson are members of the Lutheran church and take a gen- 
eral interest in the good works of their home community, ever willing to 
promote all measures designed to advance the cause of the public welfare 
thereabout. 



JAMES T. DA VIES. 



James T. Davies, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Amo town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of three hundred and 
fifteen acres south of Storden, chairman of the board of supervisors of Amo 
township and for years actively interested in the general affairs of that part 
of the county, is a native son of Minnesota, born on a pioneer farm in 
Antrim township, in the neighboring county of Watonwan, August 10, 1871, 
son of William and Gertrude (Thomas) Davies and grandson of William 
and Mary (Williams) Davies, who were the first settlers in Antrim township. 

The elder William Davies and his wife, natives of Wales, came to the 
United States about the year 1850 and settled in Wisconsin, where they 
remained until they came to this state, about 1864, and settled in Antrim 
township, Watonwan county, being the earliest arrivals in that township 
and becoming useful and influential pioneer citizens. They homesteaded a 
tract of land there and on that homestead farm spent the remainder of their 
days. The younger William Davies was a well-grown lad when he came 
to the United States with his parents from his native Wales about 1850 and 
he grew to manhood on a pioneer farm in Wisconsin. There he married 
Gertrude Thomas, who was born in England, daughter of James and Sophia 
(Dibbs) Thomas, natives of England, who came to the United States with 
their family about 1850 and settled in Wisconsin, where Mrs. Thomas spent 
her last days. Later James Thomas joined his daughter, Mrs. Davies, in 
Watonwan county, and his last days were spent in her home. 

It was about a year after his parents came to Minnesota that the younger 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 59 

William Davies and his wife came out here. They also settled in Antrim 
township, Watonwan county, arriving there in 1865, and were thus among 
the early pioneers of this part of the state. They spent the rest of their 
lives on their homestead farm there, useful and influential citizens, and left 
good memories behind them. William Davies was active and diligent in 
his own affairs and also took an active part in the public affairs of his home 
township in the early days, having served in several offices of trust and 
responsibility. He and his wife were the parents of seven children, of 
whom the subject of this sketch was the fourth in order of birth, the others 
being Joseph, Mary (deceased), Morgan (deceased), Fred, Bertha and 
Mark (deceased). William Davies and his wife were earnest members of 
the Christian church and their children were reared in that faith. 

James T. Davies was reared on the homestead farm in Antrim town- 
ship, where he was born, and received his education in the schools in the 
neighborhood of his home. He grew up a farmer and has been actively 
engaged in that vocation all his life. He was married in the summer of 
1 90 1 and three or four years later, in the spring of 1905, moved to the 
farm on which he has since then made his home, in Amo township, Cotton- 
wood county. Mr. Davies has an excellent farm of three hundred and 
fifteen acres, well improved and highly cultivated and has done very well 
in his farming operations. He also has found time to give a good citizen's 
attention to the public service and is now chairman of the township board 
and treasurer of his local school district. He and his wife are members of 
the Christian church and take a proper part in the good works of their home 
community. 

It was on June 5, 1901, that James T. Davies was united in marriage 
to Katie Radcliff, of Amo township, daughter of C. N. Radcliff, a former 
prominent farmer of that township, now living retired at Los Gatos, Cali- 
fornia, and to this union four children have been born, Ruth (deceased), 
Harry, Archie (deceased) and Catherine. 

C. N. Radcliff is a native of Illinois. His wife was born in Wisconsin. 
Both came to Minnesota and were married here. He came to Minnesota 
in 1864, and settled in Blue Earth county; later came to Cottonwood county 
in 1885; settled in Amo township, where he lived until 1912, when he moved 
to California, where he and his wife are still living. They were the par- 
ents of -ten children, namely: Katie, George, Myrtle, William, Lila, and 
five who are deceased. C. N. Radcliff ■ served as a member of the board 
of supervisors of Amo township. He is a Republican. 



l60 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

ELWIN ZILLORA RASEY. 

Among the enterprising citizens which the old Empire state sent out 
to assist in the upbuilding of the great West is Elwin Z. Rasey, now living 
in retirement in St. James, Watonwan county, where he has played well 
his role in the drama of civilization, benefiting alike himself and his fellow 
citizens here. He was born at Hartford, Washington county, New York, 
November 23, 1844, and is a son of William B. and Nancy H. (Hale) 
Rasey, both born in the state of New York, the mother being of English 
parentage, and the father of Hollandish blood. William B. Rasey and wife 
moved to LaMartine township, Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, in October, 
1848, pre-empting eighty acres of land, and there he resided until he was 
about eighty years of age, when he moved to Rosendale, where both he and 
his wife died, he having reached the advanced age of eighty-seven years. 
He was very religious and was a strong Methodist in faith. His family 
consisted of seven children, namely: Samuel H., Sarah Jane, Mary Elsina, 
Armma, Olive H. Harland and Elwin Z., five of whom are now deceased; 
Olive H. lives in Washington, and Elwin Z. is the subject of this review. 

Elwin Z. Rasey received his education in the common schools of Fon du 
Lac county, Wisconsin, and assisted his father with the work on the home 
farm until he was seventeen years of age. On August 21, 1862, he enlisted 
for service in the Union army in Company H, Thirty-second Regiment, 
Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, in which he served gallantly and faithfully 
until the close of the war and was honorably discharged on June 12, 1865, 
being mustered out at Milwaukee. He participated in many severe engage- 
ments and bullets often cut holes in his clothes, but he was never wounded 
or taken prisoner. Of his three comrades who went to the front with him, 
all survived the war, but all died of its effects. Lie fought in fifteen battles 
and six skirmishes, according to government report. He w r as first under 
General Grant during the advance on Vicksburg, then was under General 
Sherman until the close of the war, and he marched to the sea from Atlanta 
to Savannah. He was in the Seventeenth Army Corps under Gen. Frank 
P. Blair, who landed his troops at Beaufort, and headed off Gen. Joseph E. 
Johnston, in a flank movement on the right of Sherman's army, thus keeping 
Johnston's army from uniting with another Confederate army at Charleston. 
Mr. Rasey was in the advance of Sherman's army when Johnston sur- 
rendered. He then went to Washington City, where he spent a few days 
and took part in the Grand Review. He reached home June 14, 1865. 




ELWIX Z. RASEY. 





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MRS. HELEN RASEY. 



PUBLIC LIB 






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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. l6l 

After working on his father's farm for six years, he came to Minnesota, 
locating in Odin township, Watonwan county, taking a soldier's homestead 
of one hundred and sixty acres, and engaged successfully in general farm- 
ing until his retirement from active life. He moved to St. James, in 1896, 
but continued to operate his farm just north of this city, also dealing in live 
stock. He was engaged in the dairy business about fifteen years. He 
lived on his wife's father's farm near St. James for a period of fourteen 
years, but has been retired from active farm life since 19 12. 

Mr. Rasey has been twice married, his first marriage occurring in Wis- 
consin on March 22, 1866, when he was united to Alice C. Gross, to which 
union four children were born, namely : Lillian N., Florence E., Myrtle 
J. and Lester E. The mother of these children died on May 16, 1877. 

On July 25, 1878, Mr. Rasey was married to Helen Adele Sargent, 
who was born in Wisconsin near where Mr. Rasey was reared, and to this 
union seven children have been born, namely: Roy S., Ruth A., Inez E., 
William H., Jessie A., Flora E. and Nina O: Mrs. Rasey is a daughter of 
Samuel W and Emmaline (Chamberlain) Sargent, the former of whom 
was born August 26, 1822, and died May 20, 1915, and the latter of whom 
was born June 7, 1823, and died September 6, 191 3. Samuel W. Sargent 
was a native of New Hampshire while his wife was born in Vermont, their 
marriage taking place on March 31, 1848, at Sharon, Vermont, after which 
the young couple came west, locating in Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, in 
1848, where they remained until 1869, when they came to Minnesota, 
settling in Watonwan county. He was a farmer all his life until his retire- 
ment from active life, and died at the home of his son, Henry C. Sargent, 
of Valdosta, Georgia. His wife died in Mayfield, Michigan, at the home 
of her eldest daughter. Samuel Sargent and wife were the parents of four 
children: Henry Curtis, born October 4, 1850, a railroad man living in the 
South; Adelaide Amanda, born October 24, 1852; Helen Adele, the wife 
of Mr. Rasey, born March 19, 1855, and Emma Jeanette, born April 6, 
1858. Mr. Sargent was very active in the religious life of his community, 
being a deacon in the Baptist church for many years. He was a Republican 
in politics. Both Mr. and Mrs. Sargent were prominent in the early life 
of Watonwan county, and Rosendale township was given its name by Mrs. 
Sargent in honor of her old Wisconsin home. Mrs. Helen Adele (Sargent) 
Rasey has always been deeply interested in educational work, and was the 
first lady superintendent of county schools in Minnesota, being appointed to 
that important position in 1874 and serving two years. She received her 
(na) 



1 62 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

education in the common schools of her home county in Wisconsin, com- 
pleting her educational training in the Mankato Normal School, after which 
she taught school at St. James for two years, then was appointed county 
superintendent. She began her teaching career at the early age of fourteen. 
Mr. Rasey is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he 
and his family take an active and interested part. He has been a member 
of the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic since it was first 
organized, having been a state officer in the same, and has served as local 
commander for the past twenty-three years. Fraternally, he belongs to the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Royal Arcanum. He is a 
Republican in politics. 



GUSTAV T. RASCHE. 



Gustav T. Rasche, one of the best-known and most progressive farmers 
of Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty 
acres in the Westbrook neighborhood, one-half of which farm lies in West- 
brook township and the other half in Rose Hill township, his home being 
in the latter township, and who for years has been recognized by the agri- 
cultural department of the United States government as one of the leading 
alfalfa experts of the country, is a native son of Minnesota and has lived 
in this state all his life. He was born in the city of St. Peter, county seat 
of Nicollet county, April 9, 1878, son of Henry F. and Caroline (Campe) 
Rasche, both natives of Hanover, Germany, who became pioneers of Cotton- 
wood county, where their last days were spent. 

It was in 1873 that Henry F. Rasche and wife and their young children 
came to this country from Germany. Upon landing at the port of New 
York they lost little time in proceeding to Minnesota, this state having been 
their destination when they started from their native land. They located at 
St. Peter, where Henry F. Rasche was engaged in the lumber business until 
1878, when he came to this section of the state and located in Cottonwood 
county, where he homesteaded a tract of eighty acres in Rose Hill town- 
ship, on which he threw up a sod house and there established his home, that 
sod house serving as a home for the family for six years, or until sup- 
planted by the substantial house in which the subject of this sketch now lives. 
Henry Rasche and his wife were earnest and energetic pioneers and took 
an active part in the work of developing that part of the county. Mr. 
Rasche was an excellent farmer and as his farming operations prospered he 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES,, MINN. 163 

added to his land holdings until he became a very well-to-do man. He first 
pre-empted a timber claim of a quarter of a section in Westbrook township, 
then bought eighty acres of railroad land in Westbrook township, just across 
the road from his homestead farm, and then bought another quarter section . 
in Rose Hill township, becoming very well established. His wife died on 
the homestead farm in 1902 and he later retired to the village of Westbrook, 
where he died in 19 10. They were earnest members of the Lutheran church 
and their children were reared in that faith. There were seven of these 
children, of whom the subject of this biographical sketch was the last-born, 
the others being as follow: Henry C, of Regan, North Dakota; Ernest 
A., of St. Peter, this state, head nurse in the men's department of the state 
hospital for the insane at that place, a work in which he has been engaged 
for twenty-five years; Caroline D., wife of E. A. Watschke, of Lake Wil- 
son, this state; Christine, now deceased, who was the wife of the Rev. H. 
Flathmann; Charles J., a farmer of Westbrook township, and Louis A., of 
Rose Hill township. 

Gustav T. Rasche was but an infant in arms when his parents moved 
from St. Peter to Cottonwood county and he therefore has spent practically 
his whole life on the old homestead farm on which he still resides. He sup- 
plemented the schooling received in the local school in the neighborhood of 
his home by close home reading and early was attracted to the possibilities 
of scientific farming. In 1893 a peck of Grimm alfalfa seed was obtained 
from Henry Peterman, of Waconia, in Carver county, and he started in on 
a series of experiments with that variety, the result of which experiments 
has caused his name to be konwn among thoughtful agriculturists from 
ocean to ocean. So satisfactory were the results of his original experiments 
that Mr. Rasche pursued his labors in that direction with even greater care 
and for twenty-two years or more has kept that particular strain of seed 
isolated from the rest of the stock and has produced a distinctive variety of 
alfalfa, which government bulletins declare to be one of the hardiest strains 
grown in the Northwest. It would appear that when the agricultural depart- 
ment is asked for information regarding this seed inquirers are directed to 
Mr. Rasche for the desired information, for he has received letters bearing 
on the subject from all parts of the country, from the state of Washington 
to the state of Maine, and one inquirer even wrote from Madison Square 
Garden, all stating that they had been referred to him by the department 
at Washington. 

In 19 1 3 Mr. Rasche took the short course in agriculture at the Uni- 
versity of Minnesota farm and in 1914 was appointed a delegate from Minne- 



164 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

sota to the sixth national corn exposition, held at Dallas, Texas, February 
10-24, his appointment coming from Hon. Adolph O. Eberhart, then gov- 
ernor of Minnesota. Mr. Rasche is one of the most active members of the 
Minnesota Crop Improvement Association and for several years past has 
given most of his attention to the breeding of seeds, especially of that par- 
ticular strain of alfalfa seed which he has produced, all the seed he raises 
being eagerly bought by the government for distribution. Among the prizes 
he has taken on the Rasche strain of Grimm alfalfa may be mentioned the 
following: First premium, Minnesota state fair; first premium, Minnesota 
seed fair; first premium, Northwestern corn and grain show, and fourth 
premium, world's class, national corn exposition. Mr. Rasche has also been 
successful in breeding what is now known as the Rasche "sixty-day" oats, a 
variety that has attracted widespread attention, and he is widely recognized, 
not only in Minnesota, but throughout the Northwest generally, as one of 
the most advanced farmers and seed experts in the country. 



ARTHUR L. SWARTZ. 



Arthur L. Swartz, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Amo town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, is a native of Iowa, born in Clinton county, that 
state, October 25, 1863, son of Henry and Eliza (Koch) Swartz, natives 
of the state of Pennsylvania, who came West about 1852 and settled in 
Clinton county, Iowa. Henry Swartz was a carpenter by trade, but the 
most of his life he spent farming. During the Civil War he served as a 
private in Company F, Tenth Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry, attached 
to the Fifteenth Army Corps, and during all the period of his service was 
neither wounded nor taken prisoner. In 1868 he and his family moved 
from Clinton county to Cedar county, Iowa, and established their home there. 
In that latter county Mrs. Swartz died in 1883. Henry Swartz spent his 
last days in Ida county, same state, where his death occurred in 1906. He 
and his wife were members of the German Reform church and their children 
were reared in that faith. There were seven of these children, of whom 
the subject of this sketch was the sixth in order of birth and the first two 
of whom died in infancy, the others being Ella F., who died in 191 5, George 
Peter, William J. and Burdette. 

Reared on the paternal farm, Arthur L. Swartz early began farming 
for himself and after awhile located on a farm in Cherokee county. He 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 165 

married in 1890 and in 1895 disposed of his farming interests in Iowa and 
came to Minnesota, locating in Cottonwood county. He bought the farm of 
one hundred and fifty acres on which he now resides, in Amo township, 
and there he and his family have made their home ever since, being very 
pleasantly and comfortably situated. Mr. Schwartz is an excellent farmer 
and his place is well improved and profitably cultivated, he long having been 
recognized as one of the substantial farmers in that section of the county. 
It was in 1890 that Arthur L. Swartz was united in marriage to Lizzie 
Springer, who was born in Pennsylvania, daughter of Harry Springer and 
wife, natives of that same state, who came West and settled in Ida county, 
Iowa, where they spent the rest of their lives. Harry Springer was a vet- 
eran of the Civil War and a substantial farmer in the community in which 
he lived in Iowa. To Mr. and Mrs. Swartz eight children have been born, 
Earl H., Mabel A., Ethel M., Bessie A., Lewis M., Willis C, Coral and 
Angie Iris Zaida. 



ANTON ROSSING. 



Anton Rossing, one of the big and progressive farmers of Cottonwood 
county and one of the best-known citizens of that county, owner of a fine 
farm of eight hundred acres in the Walnut Grove neighborhood in West- 
brook and Ann townships, with his home situated on the edge of the latter 
township, is a native of Wisconsin, born on a farm in Lafayette county, 
that state, June 6, 1866, son of Andrew and Inger (Lund) Rossing, natives 
of the kingdom of Norway, who came to this country in 1850 and located 
in Wisconsin, settling on a farm in Lafayette county, that state, where 
they spent the remainder of their lives. They were members of the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church and their children were reared in that faith. There 
were four of these children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the 
second in order of birth, the others being W. L., Catherine and Emilia. 

Anton Rossing was reared on the paternal farm in Wisconsin and 
received his schooling in the district school in the neighborhood of his 
home. As a young man he started farming on his own account in his 
native county and lived there until 1890, when he moved to Humboldt county, 
that same state, locating at Bode, where he was engaged in the hay, grain and 
elevator business until he came to Minnesota in 1900. Upon coming to this 
state, Mr. Rossing bought a tract of eight hundred acres of land on the 



1 66 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

line between Westbrook and Ann townships, in Cottonwood county, and 
proceeded to improve the same and bring it under cultivation. He adopted 
modern methods of farming and has prospered from the very beginning 
of his operations, long having been recognized as one of the leading farm- 
ers of Cottonwood county. Mr. Rossing's farm is one of the extensive 
farms hereabout and the new county ditch traverses the entire tract of 
land. Following his marriage, in 1908, Mr. Rossing established his home 
on his farm and he and his family are very pleasantly situated there. Mr. 
Rossing is a Republican and gives a good citizen's attention to the political 
affairs of the county, but has not been included in the office-seeking class. 

It was in 1908, about eight years after coming to Minnesota, that ' 
Anton Rossing was united in marriage to Amelia Olson, and to this union 
three children have been born, Alton H., Sherman E. and Daphne. Mr. 
and Mrs. Rossing are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and 
take a proper interest in the various good works of their community, ever 
being interested in such measures as are designed to advance the common 
welfare hereabout. 



E. E. HEGGERSTON. 



E. E. Heggerston, a well-known and substantial farmer of Ann town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres in the vicinity of Walnut Grove, treasurer of that township, 
former assessor of the same and former member of the board of county 
commissioners from that district, is a native of the kingdom of Norway, 
born on August 18, 1852, son of Erick and Marit (Clostad) Heggerston, 
both natives of that same country, the former of whom was born on Sep- 
tember 8, 1 818. Erick Heggerston was a farmer in comfortable circum- 
stances and spent all his life in his native land. He and his wife were the 
parents of three children, Kari, E. E., and Ole, who were reared in the 
faith of the Lutheran church. 

Reared on the paternal farm, E. E. Heggerston received his education 
in the government schools of his native land and assisted his father in the 
work of the farm until he was nineteen years of age, when, in 1871, he 
came to the United States and proceeded directly to Minnesota, to which 
state large numbers of his fellow-countrymen had preceded him. He stopped 
in Fillmore county for a year and then, in 1872, became attracted to the 
possibilities that awaited' the settlers who were then beginning to open up 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 167 

this part of the state and moved over into Cottonwood county. The next 
year, in 1873, he homesteaded a quarter of a section in Ann township, the 
place on which he is still making his home, and proceeded to bring the 
same under cultivation, soon having a productive and well-improved farm. 
One of his first movements was the planting of a fine orchard on his home- 
stead and he ever has been known as one of the leading fruit growers in 
that section. He has always taken much interest in his orchard and now 
has more than four hundred and fifty apple trees on his place. In 1887, 
about ten years after beginning the development of his homestead, Mr. 
Heggerston married and established a comfortable home on his place, where 
he and his family are living in substantial comfort. Mr. Heggerston is a 
Republican and has ever given a good citizen's attention to local political 
affairs. For fifteen years he served the public as assessor of Ann town- 
ship; for six years rendered admirable service to the county as a member 
of the board of county commissioners from his district and is now serving 
as treasurer of Ann township. He has otherwise been active in civic affairs 
and has long been recognized as one of the public-spirited and influential 
men of the county. 

It was in 1887 that E. E. Heggerston was united in marriage to Mary 
Ellefson and to this union six children have been born, Ida Mabel, Edwin 
Conrad, Elmer Morris, Adner Irvin, Olive Inge Anthony and Harry Clifford. 
Mr. and Mrs. Heggerston are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church 
and for many years have been regarded as among the leaders in the local 
congregation of that church. Mr. Heggerston was one of the most active 
promoters of the organization of his home church and has served as clerk 
of the same since its organization. 



OLE A. HALVORSEN. 



Ole A. Halvorsen, hardware merchant of LaSalle, Watonwan county, 
was born in Norway in 1866, and is a son of A. and Ragnhel Halvorsen, 
both natives of Norway, where they grew up, were married, spent their 
active lives on a farm and died there. They were the parents of four sons, 
namely : Halver, Rudolph, Annon and Ole A. The last named spent his 
boyhood on the farm and attended the common schools. He came to 
America about 1883, locating in Rio, Wisconsin, where he spent four years 
as a farm hand, then went to South Dakota and was there four years, 



1 68 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

working on various farms. His next move was to Yellow Medicine county, 
Minnesota, where he learned the carpenter's trade and was engaged in the 
lumber business three years at Hazel Run. In 1900 he came to LaSalle at 
the starting of the town and here he has since remained and has played well 
his part in the general upbuilding of the place. He erected his present 
building and put in a stock of hardware which he has kept increasing as 
the country settled up until he now carries a large stock of general hard- 
ware and implements and does an extensive business with the people of 
this township. He was in partnership with his brother, Annon, under the 
firm name of the LaSalle Hardware and Implement Company, until 1915, 
when the brother sold his interest to the subject of this sketch, who has 
since conducted the business alone, but has retained the original firm name. 

Mr. Halvorsen was married in May, 1908, to Mary Flogslad, a native 
of Minnesota, whre she grew up and attended school, and a daughter of 
Paul Flogslad, of AYatonwan county. To this union three children were 
born, namely : Inez, Amie and Oleta. 

Mr. Halvorsen belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, the 
Mutual Benefit Association, and the Norwegian Lutheran church. 



ALEX SW ANSON. 



Alex Swanson was born in Sweden, May 15, 1849, and is a son of 
Andrew and Margaret Swanson, both natives of Sweden, the father born 
in 1819 and the mother in 1823. There they grew up and were married. 
In 1873 they came to Watonwan county, Minnesota, the father dying at the 
home of his son, Alex, not long after coming to the New World, but the 
mother survived to a ripe old age, passing away in 1905. To these parents 
but two children were born, namely : Carrie, the widow of Swan Englin, 
and Alex, the subject of this sketch. 

Alex Swanson grew to manhood in Sweden and there attended school. 
He came to America in 1869 and located in Watonwan county, Minnesota, 
taking up a homestead of eighty acres in Adrian township. He worked hard 
and managed well and subsequently added to his original place until he had 
two hundred and twenty-four acres, well improved, including a substantial 
set of buildings. The first shack he erected was of lumber hauled from 
Lake Crystal, in Blue Earth county. He carried on general farmong and 
stock raising on an extensive scale on his place until 191 1, when he sold out 




MR. AND MRS. ALEX SWANSON. 



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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 69 

and moved to St. James, buying his present residence. He was president 
of the Sveadahl Creamery Company. During the grasshopper years Mr. 
Swanson turned his attention to railroading, which he continued about ten 
years. 

Alex Swanson was married on November 21, 1874, to Anna Ander- 
son, who was born in Sweden on July 12, 1853. She is a daughter of 
Andrew and Kersten Jensen, who came to America in 1869, locating on a 
homestead of eighty acres in Watonwan county. To this they added another 
eighty. This land Mr. Jensen improved and lived on until his death, in 
1897. His widow survived until 1909. To these parents two children 
were born, namely : John Anderson, who lives on the old home farm in 
Nelson township, this county, and Anna, wife of Mr. Swanson. 

Politically, Mr. Swanson is a Republican. He cast his first vote for 
General Grant at his second election. He has been more or less active 
in the party ever since. He has served as a member of the township board, 
also the local school board for several years, and was one of the county commis- 
sioners when the present court house was built. He is a member of the 
Swedish Lutheran church and is a charter member of the West Sveadahl 
church, of which he has been secretary and deacon for the past twenty 
years. 



MARK CHARLES WARE. 

Mark Charles W T are, one of the best-known and most progressive 
young farmers of Lakeside township, Cottonwood county, whose home at 
"Clover Leaf Stock Farm" is one of the pleasantest in the Bingham Lake 
neighborhood, is a native son of Minnesota and has lived in this part of the 
state all his life. He was born at Mapleton, in the neighboring county of 
Blue Earth, January 25, 1880, son of C. E. and Eliza Jane (Moore) Ware, 
the former a native of the state of New York and the latter of Wisconsin, 
who are now living retired in the pleasant village of Bingham Lake. 

C. E. Ware was born in the city of Buffalo, New York, March 15, 
1849, son of George M. and Anna (Kelly) Ware, both natives of that same 
state, the former of whom is still living, a prominent resident of Faribault 
county, this state. George M. Ware was a buggy-maker in Buffalo. About 
1858 he moved to Medina county, Ohio, where he lived until 1862, in which 
year he and his family joined the tide of emigration that then was setting 
in so strongly towards the Northwest and came to Minnesota, settling in 



I70 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Blue Earth county. The next year, in 1863, he moved down into Faribault 
county, where he had taken a homestead the year before, and there he 
established his home, becoming one of the most substantial and influential 
pioneers of that section. George M. Ware, who is still living on his old 
homestead in Faribault county, has been married twice. To his union with 
Anna Kelly two children were born, C. E. and Catherine. Upon the death 
of the other of these children, Mr. Ware married Lydia Mattingly and to 
this second union three children were born, Eva, Francis and William 
Vincent. 

C. E. Ware was about nine years old when his parents moved from 
Buffalo to Ohio and was about thirteen when they came to Minnesota in 
1862. He completed his schooling in this state and early learned the car- 
penter's trade, becoming a building contractor, which business he followed 
until 1900, his last contract having been the completion of an eighteen- 
thousand-dollar residence. It was in 1900 that C. E. Ware bought a quar- 
ter of a section of partly-improved land in Lakeside township, Cottonwood 
county, and there established his home, becoming one of the most progres- 
sive farmers and stockmen thereabout. He erected practically all the build- 
ings on the place with the exception of the dwelling, including a fine barn 
and a silo, and brought the farm up to a high state of productivity. In 
addition to his general farming, Mr. Ware went in somewhat extensively 
for stock raising, with particular attention to the raising of pure-bred Short- 
horn cattle and did very well. He named his farm "Clover Leaf Stock 
Farm," and there he made his home until 191 5, in which year he rented 
the place to his son, Mark C. Ware, the subject of this sketch, and he and 
his wife retired to the village of Bingham Lake, where they are now living. 
The elder Mr. Ware is independent in his political views and has for years 
given close attention to local political affairs. During his long residence at 
Mapleton he served for some time as a member of the village council and 
for six years was village justice. He also served for seven years as chair- 
man of the township board and in other ways did his part in the public 
service. His wife is a member of the Methodist church and he has ever 
been a contributor to the beneficences of the same. It was on December 6, 
1874, that C. E. Ware was united in marriage to Eliza Jane Moore, who 
was born in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, December 20, 1851, daugh- 
ter of Henry and Sallie (Clark) Moore, and to this union five children 
have been born, George H., Grace, Mark C, Florence M. and May L. 

Mark C. Ware, who is now occupying "Clover Leaf Stock Farm" and 
who is developing the same in accordance with modern methods of agricul- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 171 

ture, has given his best thought to the subject of farming and is making a 
success of his operations. Upon completing his schooling at Mapleton, he 
took his place on his father's farm and became a thoroughgoing farmer. 
Upon his father's retirement in 1915 he took over the active management 
of the home place and he and his wife have since then made their home 
there, Mrs. Ware, who, before her marriage, was Jennie Olena Larson, 
taking an equal interest with him in the progress of their agricultural opera- 
tions. In addition to his general farming, Mr. Ware keeps up an active 
interest in stock raising and has a fine herd of Shorthorn cattle. He is a 
Republican and gives his earnest attention to local political affairs. In 
191 1 he was elected township clerk and served until 1916. Mrs. Ware is a 
member of the Norwegian Lutheran church and both she' and her husband 
take an earnest interest in the general good works of their home commun- 
ity. Mr. Ware is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and in 
the affairs of that organization takes a warm interest. 



C. H. ANDERSON. 



C. H. Anderson, former register of deeds of Cottonwood county and 
for many years one of the best-known and most influential residents of 
that county, now living in quiet comfort on the old homestead farm in Ann 
township, his first home after coming to this state with his parents back 
in 1868, is a native of the state of Wisconsin, but has lived in Minnesota 
since he was ten years old. He was born in Racine county, Wisconsin, 
January 31, 1858, son of Hogan and Ann Anderson, natives of Norway, 
who had come to this country some years previously, settling at Racine. 

In 1865 Hogan Anderson and his family came to Minnesota, attracted 
by the glowing reports then going out from this part of the state, and 
located in Dakota county, removing in the year 1868 to Cottonwood county, 
where Hogan Anderson homesteaded a quarter of a section of land and 
established his home, he and his wife thus being among the earliest settlers 
in that section. Some time afterward when the township was organized 
it was given the name of Ann township, in honor of Ann Anderson, the 
pioneer wife and mother, whose influence for good in the community in 
which she and her husband had settled was felt from the very first. Hogan 
Anderson became a successful farmer and was a man of leading among 
his pioneer neighbors. In 1879 he retired from the active labors of the 



I72 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

farm and moved to Lamberton, where both he and his wife spent their 
last days, his death occurring in 1895, an d hers in 1898. 

C. H. Anderson was but a boy when his parents came to Minnesota 
in 1865, and he early took his place in the pioneer life of Cottonwood 
county, even from boyhood being a prominent participant in the various 
activities of the rapidly developing community. He was a valuable assist- 
ant to his father in the labors of developing the home farm and became a 
very capable farmer, at the same time giving much attention to the civic 
affairs of the community, and was early recognized as one of the leaders 
in the public life of the county. In 1S83 he was elected register of deeds 
for Cottonwood county, as the nominee of the Republican party, and so 
effectively did he' perform the exacting and important duties of that office 
that he was twice afterward re-elected, serving for three terms. In the 
meantime, in the early eighties, he had married and upon completing his 
term of public service returned to the old homestead farm, but presently 
went to Lamberton, where he engaged in the real-estate business for ten 
years, at the end of which time he moved to Minneapolis, where he con- 
tinued the same line of business and was thus engaged until his return to 
the old home farm in 1905. He further improved the place and added by 
purchase of adjoining land until now he is the owner of a fine farm of 
three hundred and sixty acres and has long been rated as one of the leading 
farmers and stock raisers in Cottonwood county. 

It was on March 16, 1881, that C. H. Anderson was united in mar- 
riage to Julia Alfson, who was born at Ridge way, in Winneshiek county, 
Iowa, in i860, daughter of Alf and Thavan Alfson, who were among the 
early settlers in Cottonwood county, and to this union ten children were 
born, Anthony, Jessie, Alfred T., Josie, Joseph, Sherman, Maurice, Naomi, 
Viola and Everett, all of whom except Anthony and Joseph are living. 
Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are members of the Lutheran church and their 
children were reared in that faith. Mr. Anderson is a member of the 
Ancient Order of United Workmen. 

Alfred T. Anderson, eldest son of C. H. and Julia (Alfson) Ander- 
son and cashier of the Farmers State Bank at Windom, was born at 
Windom on December 27, 1885, his father at that time being register of 
deeds of Cottonwood county, with residence at the county seat. He re- 
ceived his early schooling in the schools of Lamberton and Minneapolis and 
was graduated from the high school in the latter city in 1904, after which 
he entered the University of Minnesota, but before completing the course 
there was placed in charge of the bookkeeping department of the C. S. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 73 

Christensen Company, millers, at Madelia, where he remained for nearly 
three years, at the end of which time he transferred his services to the 
First State Bank of Storden, which institution he served as assistant cashier 
for four years, or until he was elected cashier of the Farmers State Bank 
at Windom on March I, 19 15, since which time he has made his home in 
the latter city. 

On November 14, 191 1, Alfred T. Anderson was united in marriage 
to Lila Dossett, of Madelia, and to this union one child has been born, a 
son, Willard Holmes, born on April 21, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson 
have a very pleasant home in Windom and take a proper part in the various 
social and cultural activities of their home town. Mr. Anderson is a mem- 
ber of the Masonic fraternity, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
and of the Modern Woodmen of America and takes a warm interest in 
the affairs of all these organizations. 



FRANK D. KLOCOW. 



Frank W. Klocow, cashier of the Farmers State Bank of Ormsby, 
Watonwan county, was born in Hardin county, Iowa, in 1873, and is a son 
of Frederick Klocow, who devoted his active life to farming, but is now 
living retired at Iowa Falls, Iowa. 

Frank D. Klocow grew to manhood on the home farm, where he 
worked when a boy, and he received his education in the common schools, 
the first to be established in his native community, and later attended a 
private school at Ackley, Iowa, taught by Prof. G. A. Graves. He also 
studied at Els worth College at Iowa Falls. He started out in life for him- 
self as a farm hand, later worked one year making brick at Cedar Rapids, 
Iowa. In October, 1899, he came to Ormsby, Minnesota, before the rail- 
road was built through Watonwan county, and here he engaged in the lum- 
ber business, under the firm name of the Ormsby Lumber Company, which 
he operated four years. He continued to be interested in this field of 
endeavor until 191 1. In 1901 he helped organize the Farmers State Bank 
at Ormsby, in which he has since been a stockholder, and in October, 1903, 
became cashier of this institution, which position he has since held to the 
satisfaction of all concerned ; in fact, has done much toward the general 
success of the bank all along the line. When he first started in the lumber 
business at Ormsby he had a partner, Samuel Farver, an uncle, who died, 



174 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

whereupon Henry Klocow, brother of Frank D., succeeded Mr. Farver and 
the Klocow brothers carried on the business with ever-increasing success, 
retaining the old firm name and selling out in 191 1. 

Frank D. Klocow was married in 1905 to Ida Magnus, of Galena 
township, Martin county, where she spent her girlhood and was educated. 
She is a daughter of Peter and Julia Magnus, who located in that vicinity 
among the pioneers about forty years ago. Four children have been born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Klocow, namely: Fred, Myrtle, Howard and Oliver. 
Fred, Myrtle and Howard are attending public school at Ormsby. 



GEORGE P. BRADLEY. 



George P. Bradley, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Lakeside 
township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred 
and sixty acres in the neighborhood of Bingham Lake, is a native of Iowa, 
born on a pioneer farm in Jones county, that state, April 19. 1869, son of 
Marshall B. and Ellen (Dowden) Bradley, the former a native of the state 
of New York and the latter of Indiana. 

Marshall B. Bradley came West as a young man and settled in Jones 
county, Iowa, where he bought a farm and established his home and was 
there engaged in farming until 1879, ^ n which year he moved to Boone 
county, in that state, where he farmed until 1882, when he moved to 
Calhoun county, same state, moving thence, in 1883, to Nebraska, where 
he spent the rest of his life. Marshall B. Bradley was twice married. On 
June 1, 1847, ne married Matilda A. Lee, and to that union were born 
five children, Emily, Horace, Viola, Harvey and Myra, of whom Horace is 
now the only survivor. The mother of these children died on November 8, 
1858, and on May 24, 1861, Mr. Bradley married Ellen Dowden, to which 
union were born eleven children, Benjamin, Ira, Emma, Alfred, George P., 
Ida, Letitia, Martha, Cora, Daisy and Clara, of whom Ira, Alfred, George 
and Martha are the only survivors. 

George P. Bradley was reared in Jones county, Iowa, and grew up to 
the life of the farm. When eleven years of age he was compelled to dis- 
continue his studies at school on account of failing eyes and his youth 
was devoted to assisting in the work of the home farm. As a young man 
he began farming on his own account in Sac county, in his native state, and 
after his marriage, in 1905, established his home there, continuing to make 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 75 

that place his residence until he came to Minnesota in 1913. Upon coming 
to this state. Mr. Bradley bought a quarter of a section of partly improved 
land in Lakeside township, Cottonwood county, the farm on which he has 
since made his home, and proceeded further to improve the place until now 
he has a well-improved and well-kept farm. Most of the buildings on the 
place he has erected and all the fences on the place have been built by him. 
In addition to his general farming, Mr. Bradley has given considerable 
attention to the raising of high-grade Shorthorn cattle and has done very 
well. 

It was in 1905, in Iowa, that George P. Bradley was united in mar- 
riage to Ida Peck, and to this union two children have been born, Paul D. 
and Daisy I. Mr. and Mrs. Bradley have a very pleasant home and take a 
proper part in the general social activities of their neighborhood. Mr. 
Bradley is a Republican and gives a good citizen's attention to local politi- 
cal affairs. 



ELMER E. RANK. 



Scattered here and there among Minnesota's population are men and 
women who claim, with a degree of pride, as well they may, the state of 
Indiana as the place of their nativity, for the Hoosiers have always been 
noted for their good citizenship, being, as a rule, thrifty and intelligent. 
Of this number is Elmer E. Rank, farmer of Great Bend township, Cot- 
tonwood county. He was born near Rochester, Indiana, November 11, 
1 861. He is a son of Amos and Sarah H. (Meek) Rank, natives of Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia, respectively. Each came with their parents, when 
young, to Indiana, in which state they met and married and continued to 
make their home until 1866, when they removed to Minnesota, locating in 
Rice county, the father buying land near Faribault, and there resided until 
1869, when he sold out and in 1870 moved to Cottonwood county, and 
took up the homestead where his son, Elmer E. Rank, now resides. This 
place he reclaimed from the wild prairie. It consisted of eighty acres, to 
which he later added another eighty. Here he and his wife spent the rest 
of their lives, his death occurring in 1885, she surviving until 1914, reach- 
ing the advanced age of ninety years. Their family consisted of seven 
children, namely : John W., Catherine, Jennie, Elizabeth, Amos Minor 
(deceased), Samuel L. and Elmer E. 

The subject of this sketch grew up on the home farm and assisted his 



I76 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

father to improve the place on which buildings had to be erected, fences built 
and the wild growth on the fields subdued. He received his education in the 
district schools. He has remained on the homestead and is now owner of 
three hundred and twenty acres here, which he has placed under a high 
state of improvement and cultivation. He built one of the finest residences 
in the county in 1910, and everything about his place denotes thrift and 
good management. In connection with general farming he raises various 
kinds of live stock, especially hogs in large numbers, specializing in Poland- 
Chinas. 

Mr. Rank was married on May 20, 1897, to Caroline Larson, who 
was born in Christiana, Norway, in 1869. She is a daughter of Segar and 
Inger Larson, natives of Norway, from which country they came to 
America in 1869, when their eldest child, Caroline, was four years old. 
Their other children were Lewis, John, Ludwig and Anna, who is now the 
wife of Carl Herg. The Larson family located in Walworth county, Wis- 
consin, near the town of Sharon, where they remained two years. In 
October, 1871, they removed to Weiner township, Jackson county, Minne- 
sota, the father taking up a homestead there, where he spent the rest of his 
life, dying on October 27, 1910, his wife having preceded him to the grave 
on May 8, 1906. 

Politically, Mr. Rank is a Republican. He is a member of the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, and attends the Presbyterian church. 



JOHN F. GUSTAFSON. 



John F. Gustafson, a well-known and substantial farmer of Dale town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of two hundred acres 
situated on rural route No. 5, out of Windom, chairman of the board of 
supervisors of his home township, president of the Dale Rural Telephone 
Company, a director of the Farmers' Elevator Company at Windom, a 
director of the Minnesota State Grain Dealers' Association, vice-president of 
the Three Lake Farm Club and otherwise actively identified with the agri- 
cultural and business life of the community, is a native of Sweden, but has 
been a resident of the United States since he was eighteen years old. He 
was born on a farm in the vicinity of Wrigstad, in Smoland, in the south- 
east part of Sweden, June 10, 1870, son of Sven Gustaf and Emma Caro- 
line (Johnsdatter) Johnson, who were the parents of seven children, of 



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PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 77 

whom John F. was the second in order of birth, the others being as follow: 
Augusta, who is living in Sweden; Minnie, who is the wife of Hans Mau- 
berg, of Hammond, Indiana; Hilda, wife of John Olson, who is an auto- 
mobile racing man, living at Milwaukee; Ida, a hairdresser at Chicago; Carl, 
who lived with an uncle and took the latter's name of Mallander, and Earnest, 
who died, aged six. The father of these children died and his widow later 
married and is still living in the old country. To her second marriage there 
was born one son, Axel Lauder. 

John F. Gustafson received his schooling at Wrigstad and when a lad 
worked on a large estate, Lundholmen, of which his grandfather was the 
foreman. When eighteen years of age he came to the United States and 
landed at the port of New York on December 24, following. His objective 
point upon arriving in this country was Stanhope, Hamilton county, Iowa, 
where for eighteen months he was employed on the farm of Oiaf Cealine. 
He then went to Webster county, Iowa, where for a couple of years he was 
employed on big farms in that section, and then went to Pocahantas county, 
same state, where for some time he worked on a hay press, after which he 
located at Gowrie, Iowa, and was there engaged, in partnership with Peter 
Shellstrom, in the tile business for three months, at the end of which time, 
in June, 1892, he came to Minnesota and settled at Windom. For three 
years thereafter he worked on farms in that vicinity, in the meanwhile, in 
September, 1892, having bought eighty acres of wild land in section 28, 
Dale township, on which, in June, 1893, ne bmh: the house in which he is now 
living, the same, however, having been considerably enlarged and improved 
since then. While developing his own place, he also rented additional land 
nearby and after his marriage, in the fall of 1899, began housekeeping on his 
place and has since made his home there. Mr. Gustafson is an excellent 
farmer, long having been recognized as one of the leading agriculturists of 
that neighborhood. He has added to his original acreage until he now has 
a farm of two hundred acres, well-improved and profitably cultivated; a 
good set of farm buildings and a modern and up-to-date plant for effective 
farming. In addition to his general farming he has given considerable at- 
tention to the raising of live stock and has a fine herd of Shorthorns. 

Mr. Gustafson is an "independent" Democrat and has ever given close 
attention to local civic affairs. For the past fifteen years he has been a 
member of the board of township supervisors and is now chairman of the 
same, while for seven years or more he has been treasurer of school district 
No. 11. He has been equally active in neighborhood business enterprises 
(12a) 



I78 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

and is president of the Rural Telephone Company of Dale and a director 
from the time of its organization of the Farmers' Elevator Company at 
Windom, while he is serving as vice-president of the Three Lake Farm Club 
and a director of the Minnesota State Grain Dealers' Association, in the 
affairs of all of which organizations he takes a warm interest. Mr. Gus- 
tafson drives a fine automobile and he and his family are very pleasantly 
situated. 

On November 16, 1899, John F. Gustafson was united in mar- 
riage to Jennie Elizabeth Seashore, who was born in Sweden, June 14, 1881, 
daughter of John August and Sophia Christina (Carlson) Seashore, farm- 
ing people, who came to the United States with their family in 1885 and 
settled at Gowrie, Iowa. After farming for seven years in that vicinity, 
John A. Seashore came to Minnesota with his family, arriving at Windom 
in the spring, 1892. He bought the east half of the southeast quarter of 
section 33 in Dale township and there established his home, later buying 
the west half of the same quarter, and there he lived for seventeen years, at 
the end of which time he moved to Buffalo, Wright county, Minnesota, in 
the vicinity of which place he bought an eighty-acre farm and he and his 
wife are now living there. To them nine children have been born, of whom 
Mrs. Gustafson is the eldest, the others being as follow : Axel William, a 
farmer at Buffalo, Minnesota; Charles Fred, a motorman in the employ of 
the Minneapolis Street Railway Company; Olive Amelia, wife of Theodore 
Wester, a carpenter at Windom; John Oscar, who is farming with his 
father in Minnesota; Harry, who is living at Minneapolis, in the employ 
of the Minneapolis Dairy Company; Albert Emanuel, who died at the age 
of six months; Paul Theodore, an assistant to his father on the home farm 
in Minnesota, and David, likewise engaged. 

To John F. and Jennie Elizabeth (Seashore) Gustafson six children 
have been born, as follow: Grant Reuben, born on September 30, 1900; 
Olga Emma Sophia, July 30, 1902; Adelia Amelia Henrietta, April 7, 1904; 
Esther Cecelia Agnes, October 27, 1906; Victor Emanuel, August 3, 1908, 
and Florence Ida Wilhelmina, May 27, 19 10. Mr. and Mrs. Gustafson also 
have an adopted son, Walter Allin, now twenty-five years old, serving in 
the United States navy, at present stationed on the battleship "Colorado," 
and has served four years now at home. The Gustafsons are members of 
the Free Mission church at Windom and take an earnest interest in the vari- 
ous beneficences of the same, as well as in all local good works, ever con- 
cerned in all movements having to do with the elevation of the standards of 
living hereabout. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 79 

ELMER E. KNUDSON. 

Elmer E. Knudson, one of the best-known and most substantial young 
farmers of Westbrook township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine 
farm of one hundred and sixty acres in the vicinity of Westbrook and 
actively identified with the general activities of that community, is a native 
son of Cottonwood county and has lived there all his life. He was born 
on the old homestead farm where he now makes his home, August 14, 1879, 
son of Erick and Mary (Sampson) Knudson, natives of Norway and pio- 
neers of Minnesota, whose last days were spent in comfortable retirement 
at Westbrook. 

Erick Knudson was the son of a saw-mill owner in Norway and was 
reared to an active, out-door life. He married in his native land and in 
1870 he and his wife, accompanying the latter's parents. Samuel Samson 
and wife, who, with their other two children, John and Samuel, came to 
this country in that year, emigrated to the United States, proceeding directly 
to Minnesota and settling in Jackson county. A few years later they moved 
up into Cottonwood county and both the Knudsons and the Samsons estab- 
lished their permanent homes there. Samuel Samson settled on a home- 
stead farm in Westbrook township and there he and his wife spent the rest 
of their days, living not far from the home of their daughter, Mrs. Knud- 
son. Erick Knudson homesteaded a quarter of a section of land in West- 
brook township and there established his home. He and his wife were 
among the pioneers of that settlement and did much in the early days to 
help in the work of bringing about proper social and economic conditions 
thereabout. Erick Knudson was a good farmer and as he prospered in his 
affairs bought more land, until he became the owner of six hundred and 
forty acres of fine land, three hundred and twenty acres of which sur- 
rounded his home. In their old age he and his wife retired from the farm 
and moved to Westbrook, where their last days were spent. They were 
the parents of nine children, six sons and three daughters, of whom the 
subject of this sketch was the third in order of birth, the others being as 
follow: Hilda, who married Adolph Peterson; Carl S., a biographical 
sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume; Melvin, Selma, who 
married Bert Johnson ; Emma, who married Albert Kleven, and Clarence, 
William and Arthur. 

Elmer E. Knudson has lived all his life on the homestead farm on 
which he was born. He received his schooling in the district school in the 
neighborhood of his home and even in early boyhood took an active part 



l8o COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

* 

in the labor of developing and improving the home farm and in the event- 
ual division of his father's considerable estate came into possession of the 
old original quarter-section homestead, where he now makes his home 
and which he has brought to a high state of cultivation. Mr. Knudson's 
farm is well improved and his farming operations are carried on in accord- 
ance with modern methods of agriculture. In addition to his general farm- 
ing, he has given considerable attention to stock raising and has done very 
well. 

In 1909 Elmer E. Knudson was united in marriage to Cora Hanson, 
daughter of Hans Hanson, and to this union four children have been born, 
Arvid, Myron, Evelyn and Oren. Mr. and Mrs. Knudson are members of 
the Norwegian Lutheran church and take an earnest interest in the various 
beneficences of the same. Mr. Knudson is a Republican and takes a proper 
interest in local political affairs, but is not included in the office-seeking 
class. 



ALBERT ANDERSON. 



Albert Anderson, a substantial farmer of Westbrook township, pro- 
prietor of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres in the vicinity of 
Westbrook and a well-known surveyor and drainage contractor, is a native 
of Illinois, born on a farm in Kendall county, that state, January 5, 187 1, 
son of J. A. and Sarah (Jacobson) Anderson, natives of the kingdom of 
Norway, who later moved to Kankakee county, Illinois, where they are now 
living. J. A. Anderson came to the United States in 1863 and became a 
substantial farmer in Illinois. He and his wife are members of the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church and their children were reared in that faith. There 
are seven of these children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the first- 
born, the others being Nellie, Anna, Ida, Emma, Bertha and Jay. 

Upon completing the course in the public schools of Kankakee county, 
Illinois, Albert Anderson entered the University of Illinois and spent two 
years there in the study of civil engineering, becoming a very competent 
surveyor. He then spent a year in a business college at Janesville, Wiscon- 
sin, and then for a year was engaged in the service of the Western Union 
Telegraph Company at Chicago. He then transferred his services to the 
Rock Island Railway Company and for a year was engaged as a station 
agent in Iowa, after which he became employed as a clothing salesman at 
Humboldt, Iowa, and was thus engaged for three years. He then returned 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. l8l 

to the old home in Kankakee county, Illinois, and after farming there for 
two years returned to Iowa, locating in Kossuth county, where for eight 
years he was engaged in farming. In 19 10 Mr. Anderson came to Minne- 
sota and bought a quarter of a section of land in Westbrook township, 
Cottonwood county, where he has made his home ever since and where he 
and his family are very comfortably situated. Upon taking possession of 
that farm Mr. Anderson began a general course of improvement and prac- 
tically all the buildings on the same have been erected by him, while other 
improvements have been made in keeping with the same. Though Mr. 
Anderson gives close attention to the management of the general details of 
his farming he finds his time chiefly taken up with the extensive survey- 
ing and drainage contracts with which he almost constantly is engaged, he 
having for some years been actively engaged in the general surveying and 
engineering line, with particular reference to drainage work, handling both 
private and public contracts, and is one of the best-known contractors in 
that line in this part of the state, though his labors in that connection are 
chiefly confined to Cottonwood and Murray counties. Mr. Anderson is a 
Republican and gives a good citizen's attention to local political affairs, but 
has never been a seeker after public office. 

On January 31, 1896, Albert Anderson was united in marriage to 
Lena Gunderson, daughter of Ole and Carrie (Rasmussen) Gunderson, and 
to this union four children have been born, Corriene, Ruth, Alberta and 
Sarah. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are members of the Lutheran church and 
give proper attention to the various beneficences of the same, as well as to 
all neighborhood good works and are earnestly interested in all measures 
having to do with the advancement of the best interests of the community 
at large. Mr. Anderson is a Mason and takes a warm interest in the affairs 
of that ancient order. 



SOREN P. JENSEN. 



Soren P. Jensen, a well-known and substantial farmer of Storden 
township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm in the vicinity of 
Storden, chairman of the board of supervisors of his home township, a 
director of the Farmers Elevator Company at Storden and for years looked 
upon as one of the leaders in that community, is a native of the kingdom of 
Denmark, but has been a resident of Minnesota since he was eighteen years 
old. He was born on September 8, 1868, son of Johann Peder and Marian 



1 82 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

(Sorenson) Jensen, natives of Denmark, farming people, who came to 
Minnesota about 1882 and settled in Cottonwood county. Upon his arrival 
here, Johann P. Jensen bought a farm in Storden township, established his 
home there and there spent the rest of his life, an industrious and thrifty 
farmer, who did much for the general upbuilding of that community. He 
and his wife were members of the Lutheran church and their children were 
reared in that faith. There were eight of these children, of whom the 
subject of this sketch was the second in order of birth, the others being 
Celia, who married Hans M. Hanson; Carolina, who married Carl Ruhl- 
berg, and Ingerjenis, Ole, Peter, Tillapater and Tora. 

When his parents came to this country, Soren P. Jensen was about 
sixteen years old. He had received his schooling in his native land and 
came with the family to Cottonwood county. He became a farmer and not 
long after coming here began farming on his own account. After his mar- 
riage he established his home where he is now living and quickly came to 
be regarded as one of the most progressive farmers in that part of the 
county. Mr. Jensen is an excellent farmer and as he prospered in his 
operations enlarged his holdings until now he is the owner of one hun- 
dred and sixty acres in section 29, of Storden township, and eighty acres 
in section 27, of that same township. He has a comfortable home and he 
and his family are very pleasantly situated. The farm is well improved and 
the character of the buildings and general improvements bespeak the enter- 
prise and progressive methods of the owner. In addition to his general 
farming, Mr. Jensen has given considerable attention to stock raising and 
has done very well. He has given thoughtful attention to local political 
affairs and for above fifteen years has served as a member of the board 
of supervisors, now serving as chairman of the same. He also has served 
as a member of the local school board and in other ways has done his part 
in advancing the general interests of his community. He was one of the 
promoters in the organization of the Farmers Elevator Company at Storden 
and is a member of the board of directors of the same. 

Mr. Jensen has been married twice. By his first wife, who was Inger 
Pederson, he has four children, Minnie, who married Walter Cowan; Myrtle, 
who married Clarence Miller, and Peter and Hans. Following the death 
of the mother of these children, Mr. Jensen married, secondly, Hannah 
Halverson and to this union two children have been born, Cleo and Bruce. 
Mr. and Mrs. Jensen are members of the Lutheran church and give proper 
attention to the various heneficences of the same, as well as to all local 
good works. Mr. Jensen is a member of the local lodge of the Modern 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 83 

Woodmen of America and in the affairs of that organization takes a warm 
interest. In his political views, he is inclined to be independent along local 
lines, preferring to reserve his vote for the best men on the several tickets 
under consideration rather than to commit himself unreservedly to the cause 
of one party, regardless of the possible unfitness of candidates thus indorsed. 



FRED T. CHRISTENSEN. 

Fred T. Christensen, a retired farmer, now living in Windom, is one 
of Cottonwood county's worthy citizens who has ever taken a delight in 
nature and existence, because he has been in touch with the springs of life, 
having spent most of his years on the farm. Mr. Christensen was born in 
Denmark, November 22, 1846. He is a son of Christopher and Dorothy 
Christensen, both natives of Denmark, where they grew up, were married 
and established their home on a farm, the father being a farm laborer, and 
they both spent their lives in their native land. Eight children were born 
to them, the subject of this sketch and his sister being the only ones to 
come to America. 

Fred T. Christensen received his education in the common schools of 
Denmark, and he began life as a farmer there and when twenty-three years 
of age came to the United States, locating at Lake Superior, Michigan, 
where he worked in the iron mines for several years, then moved to Minnea- 
polis and worked at loading lumber for two years, then went back to 
Michigan, where he worked at loading iron ore on lake steamers for one 
year, then came to Minnesota and took up a claim in Wadena county, but 
on account of the many Indians in that locality, who were not by any 
means desirable neighbors, he returned to Minneapolis and worked there 
until 1876, then bought a homesteader's right on eighty acres, for fifty 
dollars, in Amo township, Cottonwood county. When leaving Minneapolis 
for Cottonwood county, subject and wife drove all the way in an open 
wagon with two horses and two cows tied behind. They arrived in Amo 
township, where he had bought eighty acres during the previous fall, before 
moving here. He worked hard and managed well, added many important 
improvements and succeeded as a general farmer and stock raiser, and 
increased his holdings to two hundred and forty acres of valuable and pro- 
ductive land in one section and eighty in another section. Having accumu- 
lated a comfortable competency he retired from active life in 1906, moved to 



184 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Windom, where he purchased a commodious home and about three acres of 
ground, and is now enjoying his declining years in peace and plenty. He 
is deserving of a great deal of credit for what he has accomplished all 
unaided. When he arrived in America he was without funds and was 
compelled to work his way to Michigan. 

Mr. Christensen was married in 1875 in Michigan to Mary Jensen, a 
daughter of Jens and Christena Hansen, and not having any children they 
adopted a son, John, who married Esther Nelson, is now farming in West- 
brook township, Cottonwood county, and they have two children, Delbert 
and Evelyn. 

Politically, Mr. Christensen is a Republican of the old school. He is a 
member of the Lutheran church. 



SOLOMON D. WHITING. 

Solomon D. Whiting, a well-known and well-to-do farmer and stock 
raiser, of Rosendale township, Watonwan county, and proprietor of a fine 
farm of one hundred and sixty acres in the vicinity of St. James, is a native 
of Vermont, born at Johnson, in Lamoille county, that state, May 31, 1864, 
son of Zachariah and Lydia M. (Spaulding) Whiting, both natives of Ver- 
mont, the former of whom also was born at Johnson, December 25, 1826, 
and the latter in 1836. Zachariah Whiting was a farmer and a man of 
considerable substance. He was a Republican in his political views and a 
Baptist by religious persuasion. He died at his home in Vermont in Octo- 
ber, 1897. His wife had long preceded him to the grave, her death having 
occurred in October, 1873. They were the parents of three children, of 
whom the subject of this biographical sketch was the second in order of 
birth, the others being Alfred E., who lives in La Feria, Texas, and Sarah 
L., who lives in California. 

Solomon D. Whiting was graduated from the Vermont State Normal, 
at Johnson, on January 20, 1882, and for ten years thereafter served as a 
teacher in the public schools of his home county, at the same time being 
engaged in farming. He married in 1892 and continued his farming opera- 
tions in Vermont until 1902, in which year he came to Minnesota and 
located at Madelia, where he lived for somewhat more than two years, at 
the end of which time, in 1904, he bought the quarter of a section of land 
in Rosendale township, where he ever since has made his home and where 



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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 185 

he has been quite successfully engaged in general farming and stock rais- 
ing. His specialty in the latter line is Holstein cattle and Poland China 
swine and he has done very well. Mr. Whiting's farm is well improved 
and well kept, and he and his family are very pleasantly and comfortably 
situated. 

It was on February 10, 1892, back in his native state of Vermont, 
that Solomon D. Whiting was united in marriage to Abigail A. Stebbins, 
who was born at Enosburg Falls, in Franklin county, that state, March 7. 
1869, daughter of Salmon and Cornelia (Eldred) Stebbins, both natives of 
that same state, the former born on May 4, 1840, and the latter, February 
25, 1842, who were the parents of ten children, of whom Mrs. Whiting 
was the third in order of birth, the others being Charles M., Ralph Ernest 
(deceased), Everett, Gertrude and Grace (twins, both deceased), Henry 
C, Rollin H., Lois C. and Carrie M. (deceased). Salmon Stebbins, who 
was a well-to-do farmer, died on June 22, 1903, and his widow is now 
living at Waterville, Vermont. 

To Solomon D. and Abigail A. (Stebbins) Whiting seven children 
have been born, Lydia C, Zach, Robert A., Mildred S., Roland W., Lois 
A. (deceased) and Alice Mae. -Mr. and Mrs. Whiting are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church and take a warm interest in church work. Mr. 
Whiting is a Republican and gives his thoughtful attention to political af- 
fairs, but has never been a seeker after public office. 



WALTER A. FULLER. 



Walter A. Fuller, a well-known, well-to-do and progressive farmer of 
Lakeside township, Cottonwood county, owner of a fine farm of six hun- 
dred and forty acres in the vicinity of Bingham Lake, is a native of Iowa, 
born on a farm in College township, Linn county, that state, August 31, 
1862, son of Ambrose and Alice J. (Woodward) Fuller, both of whom 
were born in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, members of old families in 
that community. 

Ambrose Fuller, who is now living at Elmira, Illinois, is a son of 
Ambrose and Hannah (Munson) Fuller, both natives of Luzerne county, 
Pennsylvania, the former of whom was seventh in descent from the Fuller 
who came to this country in the good ship "Mayflower'' in 1620. Grand- 
father Fuller and his family left their home in Pennsylvania in the early 



l86 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

days of the settlement of the country southwest of Chicago and home- 
steaded a tract of land in Stark county, Illinois, where he established his 
home and where he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives. Their 
son, Ambrose, grew up on that homestead farm and as a young man moved 
over into the neighboring state of Iowa and settled in Linn county, where, 
in 1853, he homesteaded a tract of land and began farming. In 1885 he 
sold his farm there and moved to Marshall county, same state, where his 
wife died the next year, 1886. Four years later, in 1890, he returned to his 
old home in Stark county, Illinois, and is now conducting a general store in 
the village of Elmira, that county. He is a Republican and a member of 
the Presbyterian church. He and his wife were the parents of seven chil- 
dren, of whom the subject of this sketch was the third in order of birth, 
the others being James M., Ambrose C, George A., Harriet J., Myrtle O. 
and Ralph W. 

Walter A. Fuller received his schooling in the schools of College town- 
ship, Linn county, Iowa, not far from Cedar Rapids, and grew to manhood 
a valuable assistant to his father in the work on the farm. He was about 
twenty-three years of age when the family moved to Marshall county and 
there he began farming on his own account. In 1890, when his father 
moved back to Illinois, Walter A. Fuller moved up into O'Brien county, 
Iowa, where he was engaged in farming until he came to Minnesota in 
19 1 3. He had done well in his farming operations in Iowa and upon 
locating in Cottonwood county bought the whole of section 15, in Lake- 
side township, and there established his home. Though the place was par- 
tially improved when Mr. Fuller took possession, he has made material 
improvements to the same, particularly in the way of tiling and otherwise 
draining, and now has one of the best-kept and most profitably cultivated 
farms in that neighborhood. In addition to his extensive general farming 
he has given considerable attention to the raising of high-grade cattle and 
has a fine herd of Shorthorns. Mr. Fuller is a Republican and gives a good 
citizen's attention to local political affairs. 

Mr. Fuller has been married twice. By his first wife, who was Lillian 
R. Macy, he has five children, Mary L., Joseph A., Ambrose, Rachel and 
Orlando. Upon the death of the mother of these children he married, sec- 
ondly, in 1903, Catherine A. Davis, daughter of L. L. Davis, of Cedar 
Rapids, Iowa, and to this union two sons have been born, Theodore and 
Walter A. Mr. and Mrs. Fuller are members of the Methodist church and 
take a proper part in all local good works. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 187 

HERMAN J. FAST. 

Herman J. Fast was born in Russia, June 5, i860. He is a son of 
John and Sarah (Peters) Fast, both natives of Germany, from which 
country they removed to Russia, he with his parents when only nine years 
old, she with her parents when sixteen years of age. They were married 
in Russia and lived there until 1875, when they came to America and 
located in what is now Midway township, Cottonwood county, Minnesota, 
purchasing a farm of a homesteader four miles north of the village of 
Mountain Lake, in section 18, the place consisting of one hundred and sixty 
acres, also bought one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land some 
months later. John Fast worked hard and improved his land and became 
very comfortably situated and there his death occurred, after which his 
widow re-married, her last husband being Henrick Regier. They moved to 
a place near the village of Mountain Lake, where she died. Mr. Fast lived 
only a few months after coming to America, arriving here in June and 
dying the following December. He was twice married, the following chil- 
dren having been born by his first wife : Anna and Lena both remained in 
Russia, John, Katherine and David all came to America. By his second 
wife, mother of the subject of this sketch, the following children were 
born : Henry, Sarah, Gerhardt, Herman and Elizabeth, all came to 
America; Agatha died in Russia. 

Herman J. Fast spent his boyhood in Russia, where he attended school, 
and after coming to America went to school two years to the Mankato Nor- 
mal, and one year at the Rochester Seminary, Rochester, New York, after 
which he took up farming, remaining on the homestead until his marriage, 
in 1886, when he removed to the farm on which he now lives and has 
since resided here, owning one of the best farms of Mountain Lake town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, which place consists of four hundred acres, well 
improved and under a high state of cultivation. Part of the land lies in 
Odin township, Watonwan county. This land was taken in its wild prairie 
state. He has put on all the improvements, including the present attractive 
and substantial buildings. He carries on general farming and stock raising 
successfully, also takes some interest in the breeding of fullblood Percheron 
horses. He is president of the Farmers Elevator at Mountain Lake, and is 
director and treasurer of the Mountain Lake Creamery Association. He is 
a man of sound judgment and excellent business ability and is one of the 
well-to-do men of his locality. 



1 88 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Mr. Fast was married to Aganetha Becker, who was born in Russia. 
She is a daughter of John Becker, and came to Watonwan county, Minne- 
sota, in 1878. To their union seven children have been born, namely: 
Herman, Aganetha, John, Sarah, Henry, Mary and Olga. 

Mr. Fast has long been one of the most influential men in public affairs 
in his community. He is a director in school district No. 62, treasurer of 
Mountain Lake township, secretary of the Evangelical committee of the 
Northern District Conference of the Mennonite church. He is secretary 
of Bethel church, and is one of a committee of three to look after the wel- 
fare of the same. He is statistician of the general Mennonite conference. 
He is superintendent of the Ebenezer Sunday school, which he organized 
some time ago. From 1886 to 191 1 he served continuously, twenty-five 
years, as township clerk. He has done much for the general upbuilding 
of his community, especially in a moral and civic way, and has also encour- 
aged better farming and the raising of a better grade of live stock. 



AMEL BOLIN. 



An enterprising young business man of Watonwan county is Amel 
Bolin, who is engaged in the lumber business at the village of LaSalle. He 
was born in Riverdale township, Watonwan county, August 31, 1889, and 
is a son of Charles and Carrie (Olson) Bolin, natives of Sweden. 

Amel Bolin received his education in the public schools of Mankato, 
also attended a commercial college there, after which he went to North 
Dakota and secured a position as bookkeeper at Alexander, where he re- 
mained six months, then came to Madelia, Minnesota, and entered the 
employ of the S. Hare Lumber Company, remaining with this firm one and 
one-half years at Madelia, then came to LaSalle to take charge of their 
yards here, in December, 191 5, and he has been here ever since, discharging 
his duties in an able faithful and satisfactory manner. He is also inter- 
ested in farming in this county. 

Politically, Mr. Bolin is a Republican. When twenty-one years old 
he was elected assessor of Riverdale township, which office he held in a 
commendable manner for three years, or until he left the farm. He is a 
member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Madelia, and belongs 
to the Lutheran church. He is unmarried. 

Charles S. Bolin, father of the subject of this sketch, was born on 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 189 

June 1, 1837, in Sweden. He is a son of Andrew and Ellen Johnson. His 
parents grew up in Sweden, where they were married and they became 
owners of a small farm there. They were members of the Lutheran church. 
The father was in the Swedish array two years. He had three children: 
Charles S., father of the subject of this sketch; Eliza, who remained in 
Sweden; and John, who is now living in LaSalle, Minnesota. 

Charles S. Bolin grew to manhood in his native land and remained 
there until 1866, when he immigrated to America, locating in Red Wing, 
Minnesota, but after a few months went to Wisconsin, residing in Dunn 
county until 1869, when he came to Watonwan county, Minnesota, buying 
a homestead right of eighty acres, in section 22, on which he has since 
resided. He worked on railroad construction work when the road was 
being built from Mankato to Lake Crystal. He helped lay out many of the 
wagon roads in his township here. He has added to his original holdings 
until he now has a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres. He was 
one of the citizens who assisted in capturing the Younger brothers and 
their gang after the attempted bank robbery at Northfield. He is an active 
member of the Lutheran church. 

Charles S. Bolin was married on November 28, 1874, to Kama Nelson, 
a native of Sweden, born in 1848, and to this union the following children 
were born: Ellen Louise, Anna, who is the wife of John Swanson, of 
Watonwan county; Nels, Eva, Matilda, Emma is deceased, and Amel. 

Mr. Bolin developed his farm from the wild prairie and made all the 
improvements. He built his large barn in 1905, built his home in 1889 
and remodeled it three years ago. 



JOHN ADRIAN. 



John Adrian was born in Russia, August 21, 1865 (Russian calendar). 
He is a son of Peter and Anna (Fry) Adrian, both natives of Russia, 
where they spent their earlier lives, immigrating with their family to 
America in 1875, locating at Dalton, South Dakota, where they spent the 
rest of their lives on a farm, both dying some years ago. The father took 
up a homestead near Dalton upon his arrival there and developed a good 
farm of one hundred and sixty acres. His family consisted of eleven chil- 
dren. He and his wife were members of the Mennonite church, in which 
they reared their family. 



igO COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

John Adrian grew up on the farm where he worked hard when a 
boy. He was ten years old when his parents brought him to America. He 
had little opportunity to obtain an- education. He remained at home until 
he was eighteen years of age, then went to his brother, who owned a farm 
near Halstead, Kansas, and worked on farms in that vicinity for seven 
years, then returned to Cottonwood county, buying a farm of one hundred 
and sixty-seven acres north of Windom, on which he spent three years, 
then purchased his present place of one hundred and sixty acres in Moun- 
tain Lake township. Prospering here he added another one hundred and 
sixty acres to his holdings, joining his first tract on the south. He has 
made many valuable improvements and has an excellent farm and carries 
on general farming and stock raising successfully. 

Mr. Adrian was married in 1902, to Sarah Schultz, a daughter of 
Isaac Schultz, a native of Russia, where her birth also occurred. To Mr. 
Adrian and wife four children have been born, all living, namely: Isaac, 
John, Peter and Mary. 

Politically, Mr. Adrian is a Republican. He is now a member of the 
local school board. He belongs to the Mennonite church, in which he is an 
elder and an active worker. 



HENRY VOSHAGE. 



Henry Voshage is one of the farmers of Mountain Lake township, 
Cottonwood county, who believes in improvements, as the general appear- 
ance of his farm would indicate. He was born in Germany, December 5, 
1865, and he is a son of Christian and Stena (Meyers) Voshage, both 
natives of Germany, where they grew up, married and established their 
permanent home, the mother still living there, but the father died some 
years ago. To these parents six children were born, namely : Chris, Stena, 
Henry, Augusta, August and Ferdinand. 

Henry Voshage spent his boyhood in Germany, where he received his 
education. He came to America about 1885, landing in New York on 
January 2. He went direct to Holland, Iowa, where he worked five years, 
then began farming near George, Lyon county, that state, later moving to 
another farm in the same locality, remaining there until 1900, when he 
came to Cottonwood county, Minnesota, locating on the farm which he 
now owns in Mountain Lake township, the place containing two hundred 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 191 

and eighty acres, which he has greatly improved, erecting practically all the 
bnidlings. He is successfully engaged in general farming and stock rais- 
ing, specializing on a good grade of Shorthorn cattle. 

Henry Voshage was married in 1891 to Stena Shipper, a native of 
Holland. She is now deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Voshage the following 
children were born: Minnie, Anna, Christ, Bertha and Tina (twins), Ella, 
Susie and Henrietta. They are all living. 

Politically, Mr. Voshage is a Republican. He is a member of the 
township board and the local school board. He belongs to the Lutheran 
church. 



EDWARD E. SMESTAD. 

Edward E. Smestad was born in Norway, July 16, 1863, son of Enver 
and Elena (Nestrude) Smestad, both natives of Norway, where they spent 
their lives, the mother dying in early life, in 1865. The father was a black- 
smith and farmer, and his death occurred in January, 1915. To these 
parents three children were born, namely : John Helmer, a farmer and 
blacksmith, lives on the old homestead in Norway; Hans Peter is a black- 
smith and lives at Windom, Minnesota; Edward E., the subject of this 
sketch, who is the youngest of the family, spent his boyhood in Norway, 
and received a limited education in the public schools. He partly learned 
his trade under his father. He came to America in 1884 and located in 
Houston county, Minnesota, where he worked awhile on a farm, then went 
to Albert Lea, hiring to a blacksmith. In 1887 he came to Windom, Cot- 
tonwood county, and started in the blacksmith business for himself, remain- 
ing there until the fall of 1899, having been in partnership with his brother 
Hans all that period except the first few months after he came to Windom. 
After leaving Windom he went to Odin and ran a shop one year, then 
moved to Murray county, this state, opened a shop at Clayton where he 
remained four years, then returned to Windom and was alone in the busi- 
ness about a year. In the fall of 1905 he located in Storden, buying the 
shop of Ray Ager, which he has since conducted with his usual success. 
He has enlarged the building and does general blacksmithing and wagon 
making. He put in the local waterworks in 191 1. He has all modern 
equipment in his shop for turning out high-grade work promptly. He still 
owns and operates the waterworks. 

Mr. Smestad was married, in the fall of 1884, to Gusta Mathison, who 



I92 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

was born in Norway, from which country she came alone to America in 
1883, locating in Houston county, Minnesota. To this union the following 
children were born : Even, a farmer and butter maker, lives in Miller 
county, Minnesota; Anna Julia is the wife of Wood Anderson, a banker of 
Froyd, Montana; Helge is farming and lives at home; Roy Vincent is a 
barber and lives at home. 

Mr. Smestad is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He 
belongs to the Norwegian Lutheran church. 



GEORGE W. GRANT. 



The Hon. George W. Grant, representative in the Minnesota state 
Legislature from the Cottonwood county and a well-known and progressive 
farmer of Lakeside township, that county, is a native son of Minnesota, hav- 
ing been born on a farm in Jackson county, this state, January 13, 1877, 
son of J. F. and Mary (Geddes) Grant, the former of whom was born in 
Ontario, Canada, September 11, 1845, an d the latter, at Albany, New York, 
in 1854, who later became pioneers of Cottonwood county. 

J. F. Grant was one of the organizers of Cottonwood county and served 
the public for some time in the capacity of county commissioner and also 
as a member of the school board. He had a fine farm in Lakeside town- 
ship, where he made his home until 1904, when he retired from the farm 
and moved to Windom, where he lived until his removal, in 191 1, to Eugene, 
Oregon, where he is now making his home. J. F. Grant was thrice mar- 
ried. His first wife, Emma Greenfield, died many years ago, leaving one 
child, Emma, who married E. J. Frost. Mr. Grant then married Mary 
Geddes and to that union six children were born, of whom George W. was 
the first-born, the others being Charles F., John G., James A., Fred R. and 
Mary A. The mother of these children died on November 2, 1902, and 
Mr. Grant later married Mrs. Hermena Schroeder, which union has been 
without issue. In a biographical sketch relating to John G. Grant, a well- 
known farmer of Lakeside township, presented elsewhere in this volume, 
further details regarding the history of the Grant family in Cottonwood 
county are set out. 

George W. Grant was reared on the paternal farm in Lakeside town- 
ship, receiving his elementary education in the district schools of that neigh- 
borhood and afterward attended the Windom high school for three years. 




G. W. GRANT. 



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ASTOR, LEI 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. I93 

He then entered the Minnesota State Agricultural School, from which he 
was graduated in 1902, after which he began farming in his home township 
and has ever since resided there, being the owner of a fine farm. In addi- 
tion to his general fanning, Mr. Grant has given considerable attention to 
the raising of live stock and has done very well. He has given close atten- 
tion to local civic affairs; served as township clerk for two years, as assessor 
for one year, and in 19 14 was elected representative from his district to the 
lower house of the Minnesota General Assembly. 

In 1906 George W. Grant was united in marriage to Tillie V. S wen- 
son, daughter of John Swenson, and to this union five children have been 
born, Virgie C, Wilbur E., Mary C, Walter F. and Loren S. Mr. and 
Mrs. Grant are members of the Baptist church and take a proper interest in 
the general beneficences of the same, as well as in all neighborhood good 
works. Mr. Grant is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and takes a warm interest 
in the affairs of both these organizations. 



O. A. OTESA. 



A well-known and popular traveling salesman of St. James, Watonwan 
county, is O. A. Otesa, who was born in Norway, August 17, 1865. He 
is a son of A. and Hester Otesa, both natives of Norway, where they spent 
their lives, the mother dying in 1890 and the father in 1903. 

O. A. Otesa spent his boyhood in Norway and there received his 
education in the common schools. In 1882 he came to America, locating 
in St. James, Minnesota. He secured employment as clerk in the store of 
G. H. Herrick, who is now deceased, remaining with him about two years, 
after which he was employed at the Park Hotel for about six years. He 
finally purchased four hundred and eighty acres of land. He engaged in 
the real-estate business several years, was also proprietor of the Boston 
Hotel for a short time, then lived on his farm in Nelson township for about 
three years. In the spring of 1912 he moved back to St. James and since 
then has been traveling salesman for the St. James Milling Company, and 
has been very successful, greatly increasing the company's business. He 
owns a fine residence in St. James. 

Mr. Otesa was married on September 20, 1889, to Mary Nymon, who 

(13a) 



194 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

was born in Norway, May 3, 1871. She was brought to Clear Lake, Wis- 
consin, about 1878 by her parents, Ole O. and Gunoel Nymon. The father 
is now deceased, but the mother is still living at Clear Lake at the advanced 
age of eighty-four years. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Otesa, namely: Grace, born on June 2, 1893, was graduated from the St. 
James high school; Arthur, July 28, 1898, was graduated from the St. 
James high school with the class of 1916; Mabel, March 9, 1900, is a stu- 
dent in the local high school; Eunice. November 7, 1913. The wife and 
mother passed to her eternal rest on December 4, 1913. She was a woman 
of many estimable characteristics. Politically, Mr. Otesa is a Republican. 
He belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and the Norwegian Luth- 
eran church. 



JOHN GJERTSON. 



John Gjertson, a well-to-do farmer of Madelia township, Watonwan 
county, proprietor of a farm of two hundred acres situated on the state road 
three miles due north of the city of Madelia, is a native of Watonwan 
county, born on the homestead farm which he now owns and where he still 
lives, March 26, 1875, son of Andrew and Petroneall (England) Gjertson, 
natives of Norway, who were among the best-known and most influential 
of the pioneers of that part of the county. 

Andrew Gjertson was the son of Jert Royseth, a farmer and fisherman, 
of Norway, who was lost at sea when his son, Andrew, was thirteen years 
of age. The latter grew up on a farm and also took to the fishing boats. 
He married in his native land and in 1866 came to the United States with 
his wife and three small children to join a brother who had previously come 
to America and had settled in Madison, Wisconsin. W 7 hen the tide of emi- 
gration began to flow to this section of Minnesota, Andrew Gjertson and 
his family came out here and located. He homesteaded eighty acres in sec- 
tion 10 of Madelia township and there established his home. He planted 
trees and otherwise improved his place and became a very substantial farmer, 
adding gradually to his holdings until he became the owner of a farm of 
two hundred acres, a quarter of a section in section 10 and a "forty" in 
section 3, and there he spent the rest of his life, his death occurring on 
November 22, 1891, he then being about sixty-seven years of age. He and 
his wife were members of t,he Lutheran church and their children were reared 
in that faith. There are ten of these children, all still living, seven having 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I95 

been born after the Gjertsons came to this country. Of these the subject 
of this sketch was the sixth in order of birth, the others being Peter, Marie, 
Belle, Helen, Elisa, Julia and Georgiana. The widow Gjertson is still liv- 
ing on the old homestead place. She is a daughter of Elias and Marie 
(Unstad) England, natives of Norway, whose last days were spent in Minne- 
sota, they having come here in their old age to join their children. Elias 
England was eighty-six years of age at the time of his death in 1890. 

John Gjertson was reared on the homestead farm, where he has always 
lived, and has been a farmer all his life. He received his schooling in the 
district school in the neighborhood of his home and remained on the farm, 
a valuable assistant to his father in the development of the same. In 19 10 
he bought the interests of the other heirs in the place and is now the sole 
owner of a highly improved and profitably cultivated farm of two hundred 
acres. The house, which was built in 1904, is lighted with electric lights 
and is equipped with bath, furnace, telephone and all the conveniences of a 
modern farm house. The barn, fifty-eight by sixty feet, built in 1893, a ^ so 
is electrically lighted and the other farm buildings, including a silo erected 
in 19 1 2, bespeak the enterprise and the progressiveness of the owner. Mr. 
Gjertson, in addition to his general farming, has devoted considerable atten- 
tion to stock raising and has done well in that line. Mr. Gjertson has given 
a good citizen's attention to local civic affairs and served as a member of the 
board of supervisors for six years, 1908-14. He is a member of the Luth- 
eran church and is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
and the Modern Woodmen of America, in the affairs of which organizations 
he takes a warm interest. 



TENS HANSON. 



Jens Hanson, of Great Bend township, Cottonwood county, was born 
in Denmark, January 24, 1864, and is a son of Hans and Anna Christen- 
son, both natives of Denmark, in which country they spent their lives. The 
father was a soldier in the regular army of his country and served in the 
war of 1864 against Germany. His family consisted of eight children. 

Jens Hanson spent his youthful days in Denmark, where he was edu- 
cated. He came to America in 1888, when twenty-four years of age and 
settled in Illinois, where he remained three years, then removed to Minne- 
sota, locating in Redwood county, where he spent one and one-half years. 
In 1890 he came to Cottonwood county, locating on a farm near Windom 



I96 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

on which he has since resided, owning a well-improved and productive 
place of one hundred and twenty acres, where he has carried on general 
farming and stock raising. 

Mr. Hanson was married in 1891 to Mary Anderson, who was born in 
Norway. She is a daughter of Andres Peterson and Helen (Larson) Pet- 
erson, both natives of Norway, where they grew up, were married and 
spent their lives. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hanson, 
namely : Victor, Walter, Myrtle and Orval. 

Politically, Mr. Hanson is independent. He is the present chairman 
of the township board of Great Bend township, which office he has held for 
a period of about ten years. He and his family belong to the Lutheran 
church. 



MICHAEL P. MILLER. 



The record of Michael P. Miller, of St. James, Watonwan county, 
doubtless could not be equaled by that of many men in Minnesota, for he 
has been a locomotive engineer continuously for nearly four decades and 
will in a comparatively short time round out a half century in railway 
service, and all the while he has been with the same road. His long reten- 
tion would indicate able and faithful service. 

Mr. Miller was born in Germany, October 14, 1849, and is a son of 
Peter and Anna (Thiel) Miller, both natives of Germany, the father born 
in 18 1 8 and the mother in 1820. There they grew up and were married. 
They immigrated to America in 1872, locating at St. James, Minnesota, 
where they spent the rest of their lives, the father dying in 1890 and the 
mother in 19 12, at the age of ninety-two years. They were the parents of 
the following children: Nicholas, Magdalena (deceased), Michael P., 
Peter, Jacob (deceased), Nicholas L. and John. 

Michael P. Miller spent his boyhood in Germany, where he attended 
school. Coming to America in 1868, he spent about six weeks in New 
York City, then moved to Scott county, Minnesota, where he remained 
until 1870, then came to St. James, in which town he has since made his 
home. He at once took a position as fireman with the Omaha railroad, 
with which he has remained for a period of forty-seven years, continuing 
as fireman four years, then was promoted to engineer and has thus been in 
charge of an engine* for a period of thirty-nine years. He has been one 
of the company's most trusted and faithful employees. He took a home- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I97 

stead in Nelson township, Watonwan county, in 1871, which he held about 
ten years and sold. He has remained in the residence he still occupies for 
a period of thirty-seven years. He has seen the town grow from almost 
the beginning and has taken much pride in the same. 

Politically, he is a Democrat. He is a member of the Ancient Order 
of United Workmen. He was a member of the school board for a number 
of years and also has been a member of the city council for many years. 
He and his family belong to the Catholic church. 

Mr. Miller was married on May 3, 1875, to Katherine Sieren, who 
was born in Ohio, February 14, 1855, and is a daughter of John and Mar- 
garet (Wagner) Sieren, both natives of Germany, the father's birth occur- 
ring on February 17, 1833, and the mother's on January 10, of the same 
year. He was brought to the United States when twelve years old, and 
she was a child when her parents brought her to this country. The par- 
ents of each located in Ohio and there these children were reared and 
married. In 1858 they came to Minnesota and located at Mankato, where 
they spent one year, then took up a homestead of eighty acres in Blue 
Earth county, to which forty acres were later added, and they continued to 
live on this farm until 1901, when they removed to St. James, where they 
spent the rest of their lives, Mr. Sieren dying in 1909, his wife having 
preceded him to the grave in 1907. They were parents of ten children, 
namely: Katherine, Margaret, John (deceased). Peter, Mary L., Ida, 
Elizabeth, Magdalena, Appelona (deceased) and Anna B. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Miller ten children have been born, namely : Jose- 
phine M., John W., Herman N., Edward P., Ida M., Elizabeth I. died in 
1888, when three years old; Rosalia M. ; Caroline L. and Clara M. are 
twins; Frederick M. is the youngest. 



FRANK E. JUDD, D. V. S. 

One of the most successful and highly skilled veterinarians of Cotton- 
wood and adjoining counties is Dr. Frank E. Judd, who maintains his office 
and residence at Windom. He was born in Wabasha county, Minnesota, 
January 10, 1875. He is a son of Lewis S. and Fannie (Smith) Judd. 
The father was born in Georgetown, New York, in 1841, and the mother 
was born in Connecticut. Lewis S. Judd came to Minnesota in 1856, 
locating in Wabasha county, with his parents, George Washington Judd and 



I98 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Amanda (Emmons) Judd. The elder Judd took a pre-emption claim in 
Goodhue county, this state, and there he and his wife spent the rest of 
their lives, his death occurring in 1900, at an advanced age, he having been 
born in New York state in 1816. His wife preceded him to the grave in 
1891. To these parents three children were born, namely: Lewis S. was 
the eldest; Pemelia, who died about 1896, and Rosella, who is still living in 
Goodhue county, Minnesota. 

Lewis S. Judd, father of the subject of this sketch, spent his boyhood 
in the state of New York, where he was educated. He was fifteen years of 
age when he came to Minnesota, and here he was married, first, to a Miss 
Russell, by which union one child was born, Nora E., who is the wife of 
Louis Schofield, of Goodhue county. His second marriage was to Fannie 
Smith, and to their union four children were born, namely: George W., who 
died on January 9, 1916, at the age of forty-seven years; Kittie M., who 
was the wife of Charles D. Reifsneider, of Oronoco, Omstead county, died 
in 1906, at the age of thirty-five years; Frank E., the subject of this sketch; 
Harry G., born in 1877, lives in Jasper, Minnesota. The mother of the 
above-named children died in 1882. For his third wife, Lewis S. Judd 
married Mrs. Ann Allen, in 1887, but this union was without issue. Her 
death occurred in 1900, and in 1901 he married again, and he and his last 
wife are living at this writing at Mora, Kanabec county, Minnesota, whither 
he moved in 1899. He was a blacksmith by trade, as was also his father 
before him. He moved to a farm in 1899, an d i n 19 12 located in the town 
of Mora, where he has since lived retired. He was a soldier in the Civil 
War, serving in Company G, Third Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infan- 
try. He was injured while in camp at Ft. Snelling and was honorably dis- 
charged. Politically, he is a Republican. He belongs to the Presbyterian 
church. 1 

Frank S. Judd went to live with his paternal grandparents upon the 
death of his mother until he was fourteen years old, then began working 
on a farm, and he educated himself. He continued farm work until he was 
about twenty-five years of age, when he took up his studies at the West- 
ern Veterinary College, at Kansas City, Missouri, where he made an excel- 
lent record and was graduated in 1901. However, he had previously been 
a student in the schools at Mazeppa, Wabasha county, Minnesota. In July, 
1901, he located in Perham, Otter Tail county, this state, for the practice 
of his profession, where he soon had a good start and remained until 
February 23, 1906, when he came to Windom, Cottonwood county, where 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I99 

he has remained to the present time, enjoying a large and satisfactory prac- 
tice all the while. He has a well-equipped office and owns a pleasant home. 

Politically, Doctor Judd is a Republican. He was made a Mason at 
Perham, Minnesota, in 1904. He is now a member of Perham Lodge No. 
97, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Windom. 

Doctor Judd was married on December 8, 1908, to Isabel Fawcett, a 
native of Cottonwood county, born here, on May 6, 1871. She is a daugh- 
ter of Thomas Fawcett, an early settler in this county, he having taken up 
a homestead here in the spring of 1869. His wife, Elizabeth Colquhoun, 
was born in Perth county, Ontario, Canada, May 5, 1838. Thomas Faw- 
cett was born in England, August 7, 1838. He came to Canada with his 
parents in 1845. His death occurred July 28, 1886, and his wife died on 
March 27, 1906. To these parents the following children were born : 
James, deceased; Arthur, Mary, Isabel, wife of Doctor Judd; John, de- 
ceased ; William is the youngest. Mr. Fawcett was an Episcopalian and 
his wife was a member of the Presbyterian church. 



CHARLES H. SHANER. 

The grand old state of Pennsylvania has sent out thousands of her 
sons in the founding and upbuilding of communities in the West. Many 
of these have served their adopted states long and well, and have left the 
imprint of their character upon the history of their times, carving their 
.names and fame upon the very foundation stones of many of the great com- 
monwealths. Charles H. Shaner, of Storden, Cottonwood county, is a native 
of the old Keystone state, and while he has not been a leader in great affairs 
of business or state, has been a good citizen in his humble sphere. 

Mr. Shaner was born in Rockland county, Pennsylvania, in i860, and 
is a son of M. and Jane (Stewart) Shaner. It is very probable that these 
parents were both natives of Pennsylvania, in which state they at least 
spent most of their lives on a farm and died there. Mr. Shaner's family 
consisted of eight children, six sons and two daughters, namely: John, 
David, Daniel, Emma, Charles H., Ella, Floyd and Ambrose. 

Charles H. Shaner grew to manhood on the home farm in his native 
state and he received a good education in the public schools of Rockland 
county, after which he taught school awhile. In 1886 he came west to 
Wisconsin where he remained two years, then located in Windom, Minne- 



200 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

sota, and was superintendent of the poor farm of Cottonwood county for 
about two years. While in Wisconsin he worked on farms during the 
summer months and taught school in the winter time. In 1892 he took 
up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in Storden township, 
improved it and lived on it until the village of Storden was started, when 
he turned from agricultural pursuits to general merchandising, opening the 
first store in the new town, which ■ he conducted with pronounced success 
until 19 1 2, when he sold out and purchased the local hotel which he con- 
ducted about one year, then sold it and bought the building which he now 
occupies, and since 1914 he has conducted a cream station here, buying and 
shipping large quantities regularly. 

Mr. Shaner was married in 1887, to Jessie I. Stewart, daughter of 
John and Floella (Mcintosh) Stewart. To this union seven children have 
been born, named as follow : Clyde, Claude W., Percy, Erma, Cecil (a 
daughter), Earl, Devire. 

Politically, Mr. Shaner is a Republican. He is a member of the Luth- 
eran church. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He 
has for some time been active in local politics. 



BERTON F. CLEMENT. 



One of the efficient and popular public officials of Watonwan county 
is Berton F. Clement, the present incumbent of the office of city justice of 
St. James. He was born in Canada, October 1, 1848, and is a son of John 
B. and Clarissa (Clifford) Clement. The father was born in Woodstock, 
Vermont, in 1813, and the mother was born in New Hampshire in 1815. 
They were married in the last named state, and soon thereafter went to 
Canada, where Mr. Clement engaged in contracting. In 1856 they went to 
Dodge county, Wisconsin, and in 1874 came to Mower county, Minnesota, 
and took up a homestead, later moved to St. James and lived with their son, 
Berton F., about six months, and here the father died, March 8, 19 10, at 
the age of ninety-six years. The mother died in St. Louis Park, Minnea- 
polis, in 1901. 

Berton F. Clement was eight years old when his parents took him to 
Dodge county, Wisconsin. He received his education in the public schools 
and when but a boy began ^railroad service as brakeman on the Chicago, St. 
Paul & Milwaukee railroad, in 1866, and when twenty years old was pro- 




BERTOX F. CLEMENT. 






PUBl . k RY 

. :-J9X 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 201 

moted to conductor. He continued railroading with success until 1900. In 
1 87 1 he was conductor for the old St. Paul & Sioux City railroad, and 
remained with that company until 1883, then went with the Minneapolis & 
St. Louis Railroad Company, with which he remained until 1900, then went 
to Watertown, South Dakota, and engaged in the real-estate business until 
1907, when he came to St. James, Minnesota, and was proprietor of the 
Boston hotel for two and one-half years. In the spring of 191 1 he was 
elected city justice, which office he has since held to the satisfaction of all 
concerned. Politically, he is a Republican. He is a member of the Episco- 
pal church, although his parents were Seventh-Day Adventists. He was 
made a Mason on April 18, 1874, in Libanus Lodge No. 96, Ancient Free 
and Accepted Masons. He is also a member of Concordia Chapter No. 28, 
Royal Arch Masons; also belongs to Commanderv No. 25, Knights Templar, 
at Sioux City, Iowa. Pie is at present master of the local lodge, and is one 
of the prominent Masons of this part of the state. He built a modern home 
in St. James, where he now resides. 

Berton F. Clement was married, in 1879, to Frances A. Cook, who was 
born in Green Lake county, Wisconsin, in i860, and is a daughter of W. 
A. and Jane E. (Munn) Cook, who removed to Windom, Minnesota, in an 
early day, where they both died. Mr. Cook was a wagon-maker by trade. 
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Clement, namely : Earle 
died in infancy; Anna W. is the wife of W. H. Dooly, of Esterville, Iowa; 
Burton L. died in 1907, at the age of twenty years; Florence N. is the wife 
of Charles V. Corliss, of Watonwan county. 



FOSS MERCANTILE COMPANY. 

Two of the most progressive business men and influential citizens of 
Cottonwood county, Minnesota, are Julius E. Foss and William H. Foss, 
of the Foss Mercantile Company, of Windom. They are sons of Mickel 
and Mary (Komprud) Foss. The father was born in Norway, on May 
14, 1847, an d the mother was born in Lafayette county, Wisconsin, on 
February 14, 1851. The paternal grandparents, Anton and Martha Foss, 
came from Norway to Wisconsin in 1868, and the following year located 
in Jackson county, Minnesota, where Anton Foss took a tree claim of 
eighty acres, adding to this until he had a farm of one hundred and sixty 
acres, on which he spent the remainder of his life, dying in 1883. Mickel 



202 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Foss grew to manhood and was educated in Norway, coming to the United 
States with his father's family. In 1869 he took a tree claim in Jackson 
county, Minnesota, of eighty acres, and devoted a part of his active life to 
farming, and later retired to live at Windom. His wife died in 1912. 
To these parents the following children were born : Mandy, deceased ; 
Julius E., of this review; Emma, deceased; William H., of this sketch; 
Edith, Manick Edwin, Howard Elmer and Ernest D. 

Mickel Foss, in partnership with Erick Sevatson, engaged in the mer- 
cantile business in Windom in 1877, for a short time, later removing to 
Lakefield, Jackson county, and established a general store in that place, 
which business he conducted for about three years. He also served as post- 
master at Lakefield for two years. After leaving the latter place, he 
engaged in mercantile business at a number of places before retiring from 
active business life. He was a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church. 
His death occurred on June 6, 1916. 

Julius E. Foss, the elder member of the firm, was born in Jackson 
county, Minnesota, on November 28, 1870, and lived on the farm until he 
was fourteen years of age. He received his education in the public schools. 
After reaching manhood he first engaged in the grocery business at Heron 
Lake, Minnesota, in which he continued for eight years. He had a natural 
bent toward this line of endeavor and soon had a good start. Upon leav- 
ing Jackson county, he went to Mankato, where he conducted a general store 
one year, then had charge of the Farmers Co-operative store at Lakefield 
for three years, after which he and his brother, William H., purchased the 
store of Ole Seines, at Windom. in 191 1, and began doing business under 
the firm name of the Foss Mercantile Company, which has been successful 
from the first and is now one of the most popular stores in the county, doing 
a vast annual business. The firm owns the substantial and modernly 
appointed store building in which its large and carefully-selected stock is 
housed. 

Julius E. Foss was married in 1893 to Bertha May Wood, of Heron 
Lake, Minnesota, and to this union two sons have been born, namely: Cyril 
C. and Wesley W. Mr. Foss is a member of the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows, and the Modern Woodmen of America, while he and his 
family are earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

William H. Foss, junior member of the firm of the Foss Mercantile 
Company, was born on May 24, 1875, in Jackson county, Minnesota. He 
received a public school, education in Jackson and Watonwan counties, and 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 203 

began his business career by engaging in the hardware and machinery busi- 
ness at Madelia, Minnesota, where he enjoyed a good trade for ten years. 
Disposing of this business in 1910, he came to Windom, and he and his 
brother, Julius E., organized the Foss Mercantile Company, and has since 
been engaged in the conduct of a general store with pronounced success. 
William H. Foss was married in 191 1, to Edna Clark, of Madelia, 
Minnesota. He and his wife are earnest members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church, taking an active part in the affairs of the local congregation. 
Mr. Foss is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the 
Modern Woodmen of America. 



GOTTLIEB GERTXER. 



Gottlieb Gertner, of Westbrook, was born in Russia, March 6, 1855. 
He is a son of John and Katherine (Barenstein) Gertner, both natives of 
Germany, but they finally located in Russia, where they spent the rest of 
their lives, the father being eighteen years old when he went there and the 
mother was sixteen, and they were married in Russia, where they bought a 
farm and devoted their active lives to general farming. They became the 
parents of fifteen children. The father was a teamster for some time in 
the Russian army. He and his family were Lutherans. 

Gottlieb Gertner grew to manhood in Russia and received his education 
there in the common schools. He immigrated to the United States in 
1876, locating at Heron Lake, Minnesota, where his brother, Frederick, 
had preceded him. The following year he and his brother homesteaded 
in Rose Hill township, Cottonwood county. However, Gottlieb had in the 
meantime worked awhile in Iowa, to which state he returned for awhile 
after he took up his homestead. He helped develop a good farm in Rose 
Hill township on which he lived until 1905. He erected a good group of 
buildings on the farm, and added one hundred and sixty acres to his original 
place, just across the road, making in all three hundred twenty-two and one- 
half acres. In connection with general farming he raised full-blooded 
Poland-China hogs, the first of the kind in the township. He shipped them 
in from Iowa. His renter has continued the breed. Mr. Gertner did much 
to encourage the farmers of that part of the county to raise a better grade 
of live stock, especially hogs. Mr. Gertner became one of the leading farm- 
ers of the count v, and he was able to retire from active life in the fall of 



204 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

1910, and removed to his pleasant home in Westbrook which he built in 
1900, where he now lives, surrounded with all the comforts of life. He 
has been a stockholder and a director in the Citizens State Bank of West- 
brook for the past ten years. Politically he is a Republican. He was a 
school director while living on the farm. He is a member of the Lutheran 
church. 

Mr. Gertner was married in 1881 to Barbara Hobing, who was born in 
Galicia, Austria, and is a daughter of Daniel and Marie (Schrock) Hobing, 
both natives of Prussia, Germany, but they spent most of their lives on a 
farm in Austria where they died. They were parents of eleven children, 
namely: Jacob still lives in Austria; Marie, Katherina, Magdelina, John; 
Henry and Daniel are now (1916) both in the Austrian army and at the 
front in Galicia; Barbara came to Mountain Lake, Minnesota, in 1881 with 
some of her brothers and sisters; Elizabeth, Susie and Wilhelm. All these 
children came to America but the eldest son. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Gertner one child was born, Marie, who married 
Oscar Ave, who is operating two large ranches in Colorado for a Mr. 
Thompson. To Mr. and Mrs. Ave one child has been born, a boy. 

The following children were those of the parents of the subject of this 
sketch who grew to maturity : Jacob, John, Theodore, Fred, Katherina, 
Cornelius, Gottlieb, Michael, Samuel (who died in the Russian army), and 
Fredericka. 



EIVIXD BROGGER. 



Although a young man, Eivind Brogger, cashier of the State Bank of 
Butterfield, Watonwan county, is holding a responsible position and is an 
important factor in the industrial circles of his locality. 

Air. Brogger was born in Norway, October 4, 1884, and is a son of 
N. C. Brogger and wife, mention of whom is made at some length on 
another page of this work. 

Eivind Brogger spent his boyhood clays in Norway, and there he 
received a good practical education in the public schools. In 1904, when 
twenty years of age, he came to the United States, locating at Butterfield, 
Minnesota. In order to properly prepare himself for a business career in 
this country he took a short course in Augustana College, after which he 
returned to Butterfield ancj clerked in a hotel for some time, then took a 
position as bookkeeper at Iberia Mill, five miles from Sleepy Eye, where he 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 205 

remained seven months. In 1906 he was employed as bookkeeper in the 
State Bank of Bntterfield. Being alert, courteous and trustworthy as well 
as quick to grasp the details of the hanking business his rise was rapid, 
and it was not long until he was promoted to the position of assistant cashier, 
and in 19 10 was made cashier, the duties of which he has continued to 
discharge in an able, faithful and acceptable manner to the present time. 

Mr. Brogger was married on July 24, 19 12, to Cora Fromm, a native 
of Currie, Minnesota, and a daughter of William Fromm and wife. She 
received good educational advantages and taught school in Butterfield prior 
to her marriage. To Mr. and Mrs. Brogger one child, a son, has been 
born, Lloyd Christian Brogger. 

Politically, Mr. Brogger is a Republican. He has been an alderman 
for the past four years, and takes a deep interest in the development of 
Butterfield. He is a Mason and also a member of the Modern Woodmen 
of America. He belongs to the Norwegian Lutheran church. 



EMERY HAYCRAFT. 



Emery Haycraft, a well-known and well-to-do retired farmer, living at 
Madelia, where for some years he was engaged as the local agent for the 
Standard Oil Company and where he is now engaged in the fuel business, 
is a native of Macoupin county, Illinois, born on March 9, 1858, son of 
Isaac and Sarah P. (Jolly) Haycraft, natives of Hardin county, Kentucky, 
who later came to Minnesota, locating in Blue Earth county, whence, later 
in life they moved to Madelia, where Isaac Haycraft spent his last days and 
where his widow is still living. 

Isaac Haycraft, who was a veteran of the Civil War, was born in 
Hardin county, Kentucky, June 28, 1829, son of the Rev. Samuel J. and 
Elsie (Rhoades) Haycraft, the former of whom also was a native of that 
same countv, son of James Haycraft, whose father also was James Hay- 
craft and whose father also was James Haycraft. The Haycrafts are said 
to have come from England to America about the year 1740, settling in Vir- 
ginia and emigrating thence to Kentucky about 1775 or 1780, settling near 
Elizabethtown, Hardin county. In that county, as is well known, Abraham 
Lincoln's parents lived and there Abraham Lincoln was born. In some of 
the histories of Abraham Lincoln, the Haycraft family is mentioned as a 
family of more or less importance in the county. Samuel Haycraft, a 



206 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

cousin of the Rev. Samuel J. Haycraft, above mentioned, and who was 
clerk of Hardin county for fifty consecutive years, is mentioned in these 
histories as having issued the marriage license to Abraham Lincoln's father, 
Thomas Lincoln, for his second marriage to Sally Bush Johnson. Stephen 
P. Haycraft, a brother of Isaac Haycraft, settled in Madelia in 1865. He 
owned a large part of the townsite of Madelia and several additions to the 
village are known as Haycraft additions and one street is named Haycraft 
street. Lie died in 19 13. 

In 1837 the Rev. Samuel J. Haycraft and his family moved from Ken- 
tucky to Macoupin county, Illinois, where he continued in the gospel ministry 
the rest of his life. Isaac Haycraft was about eight years of age when his 
parents moved from Kentucky to Illinois and he was reared to manhood in 
the latter state, as a young man beginning to farm for himself. On Octo- 
ber 28, 1848, he married Sarah P. Jolly and in April, 1861, came to Minne- 
sota and after a short residence in Dakota county moved to Blue Earth 
county, settling near Madelia. While there he enlisted for service during 
the Civil War as a member of the Second Minnesota Cavalry, with which 
command he served for about three years. In 1864, while he was in the 
army, his family moved to Madelia and eighteen months later, upon the 
completion of his military service, returned to Blue Earth county, where the 
family home was established on a homestead farm of eighty acres in Lin- 
coln township. In the fall of 1892 he and his wife retired from the farm 
and returned to Madelia, where Isaac Haycraft spent the rest of his life, 
his death occurring in 1914. His widow is still making her home in Madelia. 
They were members of the Baptist church and their children were reared in 
that faith. There were ten of these children, of whom four died in infancy, 
the survivors being as follow : Mrs. Hattie A. Rhoades, of Montevideo, 
this state; Emery, the subject of this biographical sketch; Mrs. Eugenia S. 
Rhoades, of Madelia; Isaac G., of Solway, this state; Mrs. Liva Dodge, of 
Truman, this state, and Julius E. Haycraft, of Fairmont. The last named 
was postmaster at Madelia for twelve years; was state senator from the 
district composed of Watonwan and Martin counties for the four-year term 
from January, 191 1, to January 1, 1915, and is now practicing law at Fair- 
mont, senior member of the law firm of Haycraft & Palmer. 

Emery Haycraft was but a child when his parents came to Minnesota 
from Illinois and he was seven or eight years old when they located on the 
homestead farm in Blue Earth county. He completed his schooling in the 
Lincoln township schools in that county and as a young man, following his 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 207 

marriage in 1882, started farming on a farm nearby his father's place. 
There he made his home until 1892, in which year he retired from the active 
labors of the farm and moved to Madelia. where he ever since has made 
his home and where he and his wife are very pleasantly situated. From 
1896 to September. 19 15, Mr. Haycraft was engaged as local agent for the 
Standard Oil Company at Madelia and since the latter date has been engaged 
in the fuel business. 

In September, 1882, Emery Haycraft was united in marriage to Jennie 
Sargent, who was born in Fon du Lac, Wisconsin, a daughter of William 
and Sophia (Matthewson) Sargent, who moved from Wisconsin to Minne- 
sota and settled on a farm in Fieldon township, Watonwan county. Mrs. 
Haycraft was the third in order of birth of the six children born to her 
parents, the others being Mary, who married J. W. Pond, Randall, Mrs. 
Adelaide Hewett, Franklin and John. To Mr. and Mrs. Haycraft three 
children have been born, Edwin R., who married Sue M. Wedge and has 
two children, Berryl and Rollo ; Harry, who married Anna Reese and has 
one child, a son, Gordon R., and Vernon, who married Emma Bargland and 
has one child, a daughter, Verna Emma. Mrs. Haycraft is a member of 
the Baptist church and she and her husband take an earnest interest in the 
general movements having to do with the betterment of the community at 
large. 



JAMES LEWIS. 



One of the most extensive and highly skilled general farmers of 
Watonwan county is James Lewis, who was born in Ontario, Canada, 
September 21, i860. He is a son of Thomas and Ellen (Nelson) Lewis, 
both natives of Ireland, from which country they came to America when 
young, probably about the year 1850, and located in Ontario. The father 
learned the tailor's trade in his native land, which he did not follow after 
coming to Canada, turning his attention to farming instead. In 1869 he 
came to Watonwan county, Minnesota, locating on the present site of the 
village of Lewisville, homesteading eighty acres, and this he developed and 
continued to farm until his death. His family consisted of eight children, 
six sons and two daughters, namely : John, Robert, Richard, James, 
Thomas M., Nelson, Sarah M. and Mary E. 

James Lewis grew up amid pioneer surroundings and when a boy 
helped his father start a new home on the wild prairie. He attended school 



208 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

a short time in Canada and went to the primitive sod school house in 
Watonwan county. He began life for himself as a farmer in Antrim town- 
ship, and he now owns and operates a half section in the edge of the vil- 
lage of Lewisville. He has been very successful and has added to his 
original holdings until he owns a total of one thousand and forty acres in 
this part of Minnesota. He not only engages in general farming on an 
extensive scale, but for the past fifteen years he has handled live stock in 
large numbers annually. 

Mr. Lewis was married in February, 1886, to Bertha I. Martin, who 
was born in Maine, from which state she came with her parents to Waton- 
wan county when young. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis has resulted 
in the birth of ten children, as follow: Leslie E., deceased; Roy W. is 
farming in Antrim township; Verne E. is also farming in Antrim town- 
ship; Percy E. is assistant cashier of the State Bank of Lewisville; Flossie 
I. is a student in the agricultural college at St. Paul; Clyde R., Hazel I. 
and Ina M. are all at home ; Ellen A. is deceased ; Edna R. is at home. 



SOREN HOLEN. 



The late Soren Holen was for many years one of the leading citizens 
of St. James, of which town he was a pioneer and did much to promote its 
growth and general welfare, being a public-spirited citizen and especially 
active in church work. He was essentially a man of affairs — sound of 
judgment and far-seeing in what he undertook, and every enterprise to 
which he addressed himself resulted in a large measure of material success. 

Soren Holen was born in Norway on December 10, 1848, in which 
country his parents lived and died, and there he grew up and was edu- 
cated. He emigrated to Minnesota in 1871, spending a short time at Rush- 
ford, then went to Mankato. In January, 1877, he located in St. James and 
managed a lumber yard, which he purchased in 1898 and operated for him- 
self until February, 191 1, when he sold out and lived retired until his 
death, which occurred on December 5, 1914. He built up a large trade, 
and was one of the best-known lumber dealers in this section of the state. 
He built a fine residence in 1894. Politically, he was a Republican. He 
served for some time as a member of the city council, also as a member of 
the school board for six years. He was a Mason. Mr. Holen was a mem- 
ber of the Lutheran church and was very active in church work. He was a 




SOREN HOLEN. 



TH'F. HI ■ 
PUBLIC LIBRARY! 



ASTOR, LENOX 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 200, 

member of the first board of trustees in charge of the United Lutheran 
church at St. James. 

Soren Holen was married on September 15, 1883, to Julia Johnson, 
who was born in Norway, August 29, i860. She is a daughter of Peter 
and Andrine (Olson) Johnson, both born in Norway, the father on May 2, 
1833, an d ^ ie mother on September 29, 1837. There they grew up and 
were married, remaining in their native land until 1871, when they emi- 
grated to the United States and settled in Chicago, where they resided until 
their deaths, the mother dying in 1905 and the father in 1908. Mr. John- 
son was a carpenter by trade and became a highly skilled workman, con- 
tinuing in that line of work all his active life. His family consisted of five 
children, named as follow : Julia, Edward, Soren, Arndt and Peter. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Holen seven children were born, namely: Harvey is 
deceased; Alma was educated in the schools of St. James; Pliny died when 
four years old; Inga was graduated from the St. James high school in 1908 
and from St. Olaf College in 19 12, and after teaching two and one-half 
years, including a short time in St. James, is now at home with her mother; 
Mildred J. died when seven years old; Hester, who was graduated from the 
St. James high school in 19 15, is now a student in St. Olaf College; Mil- 
dred is attending the local public schools. 



REV. BENJAMIN COLE GILLIS. 

As pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal church at Windom, Cotton- 
wood county, Rev. Benjamin Cole Gillis is doing a most commendable 
work for the moral uplift of his locality. He was born at Inverness, 
Megantic county, Province of Quebec, Canada, March 19, 1859. He is the 
son of William and Nancy (Robinson) Gillis, both natives of Ireland, the 
father's birth having occurred on August 20, 1804, in County Monaghan, 
and the mother's in 1814 in County Tyrone. She was a daughter of Samuel 
Robinson. William Gillis was a son of Robert and Catherine (McNabb) 
Gillis, who lived and died in Northern Ireland. William Gillis sailed from 
Belfast on the steamship "Boliver," arriving at Quebec on July 12, 1829. 
He located in that city, where he worked in a grocery store for about two 
years, then went to Inverness, Province of Quebec, entering a claim of one 
hundred acres of land, then returned to the City of Quebec, where he 
(14a) 



210 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

remained one year, then went back to Inverness and entered another claim 
of one hundred acres for his brother, James Gillis, for whom he sent to 
Ireland, and upon the latter's arrival the two brothers farmed together until 
the death of James. 

On March 4, 1833, William Gillis married Nancy Robinson, and to 
their union fourteen children were born, all of whom grew to maturity 
with the exception of one daughter. They are as follow : James, of Isabel, 
Kansas; John, deceased; William M., now pastor of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church at Walnut Grove, Minnesota; Samuel, deceased; Robert B. of 
Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Canada; Thomas S., of Lunenburg, Ontario; Ben- 
jamin C., of this review; Ellen, of Inverness, Quebec, who became the wife 
of Robert Kean; Eliza, who was the wife of James George, is now deceased; 
Hannah, deceased, who was the wife of Robert Scott; Martha, unmarried; 
Nancy, who died at the age of sixteen; Rebecca, the wife of Rev. John Gar- 
vin, of Montreal, Canada, and Catherine, the wife of E. H. Brown of Corn- 
wall, Ontario. William Gillis was a well-to-do farmer in Canada, owning 
in all six hundred acres of land, where he carried on general fanning. His 
death occurred on December 27, 1889, his wife having died July 5, 1887. 

Rev. Benjamin C. Gillis grew up on his father's farm and received his 
early education at the Inverness Academy. After leaving home he entered 
Leland and Gray Seminary at Townsend, Vermont, where he spent two 
years, then entered Wesley Academy at W'ilbraham, Massachusetts, taking 
the classical course and was graduated with the class of 1885. He then 
became a student in the college and theological departments of Boston Uni- 
versity, where he remained until 1890. In the spring of that year he came 
West and preached in the Presbyterian church at Canton, Minnesota, during 
the summer vacation and in the fall entered Northwestern University at 
Evanston, Illinois, graduating from the Theological school of that institution 
with the degree of Bachelor of Divinity in June, 1891, and the same year 
received his degree of Bachelor of Arts from Boston University. He joined 
the Minnesota conference of the Methodist Episcopal church in the fall of 
1 89 1. His first appointment was at Elgin, Minnesota, where he remained 
two years, then preached at Olive Branch church, Winona, Minnesota, one 
year, at Kasson, four years, also four years at Chatfield, and at Marshall, 
five years, after which he came to Windom, where he has spent the past 
nine years. He has done an excellent work in all of these congregations, 
greatly building up the churches he has served. He is a student both of 
the Scriptures and of life* about him and is an earnest, forceful and enter- 
taining speaker. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 211 

Rev. Benjamin G. Gillis was married on November 17, 1897, to Mary 
Lodema Palmerlee, daughter of Hon. William Henry and Helen (Cossal- 
man) Palmerlee. They have one child, Bruce D. William Henry Palmer- 
lee was a native of Cattaraugas county, New York, while his wife was a 
native of Jefferson county, New York. Both came to Minnesota with their 
respective families and were married in this state and spent their lives in 
Dodge county. 

In 1910 Rev. B. C. Gillis made a trip abroad and visited his father's 
birthplace in Northern Ireland, also visited the Holy Land, Egypt, Turkey, 
the Balkan States, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France and England. 
Politically, 4ie is independent and fraternally is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Yeomen, 
but first of all and above all he is a churchman and enthusiastically believes 
in the teachings, the spirit and the uplifting purposes of the Christian faith. 



PETER J. FRANZ. 



It was a fortunate thing when the Russian colony decided to locate in 
Cottonwood county, for ever since others from their native land have been 
coming here and they have made good citizens and established comfortable 
homes, benefiting themselves and us. Among this number is Peter J. Franz, 
a farmer of Mountain Lake township, who was born in Russia, October 1, 
1872 (Russian calendar.) He is a son of John and Susanna (Dickman) 
Franz, both natives of Russia, where they grew up, married and established 
their home, residing there until 1878, when they came to America and 
located two and one-half miles north of the village of Mountain Lake, Minne- 
sota, buying a farm of eighty acres there. The father was a tailor by trade 
and continued to work at it during spare hours on the farm. His death 
occurred about 1886. His widow moved from the farm after his death and 
is still living in the village of Mountain Lake. He is of German blood. 
Six children, who grew to maturity, were born to John Franz and wife, 
namely: Martin, Susie, Anna, Cornelius, Peter J., and John J. These 
children were reared in the faith of the Mennonite church, to which their 
parents always belonged. 

Peter J. Franz received his education in the German parochial schools 
and in our public schools. He worked on the home farm when a boy and 
when starting out in life for himself, learned the painter's trade, which he 



212 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

followed in the village of Mountain Lake for a period of sixteen years, 
becoming highly skilled. On April 5, 1910, he moved to the farm on which 
he still resides, in Mountain Lake township. It consists of one hundred and 
twenty acres and is a good farm and he is making a very comfortable living 
there. 

Mr. Franz was married in 1900, to Regina Miller, of South Dakota, 
and to their union four children have been born, all living, namely: Oscar 
Jacob, Silas John, Susie Rosella, and Elmer Martin. 



PETER A. RUHBERG. 



Peter A. Ruhberg, now living in retirement in Storden, was born in 
Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, October 14, 1839, and is a son of Christian 
Adolph and Marie (Vogt) Ruhberg, both born in the year 1803, in the 
Province of Schleswig-Holstein. There they grew up, were married and 
established their home, but removed in 1846 to Denmark, where the mother 
died in 1871, the father dying in 1883 on a farm near Windom, Minnesota, 
having come to America about 1871, soon after the death of his wife. He 
spent his last years in retirement, living among his children, dying on the 
farm owned by the subject of this sketch. His family consisted of eight 
children, namely: John (deceased), Henry, Christian, Dorothy Henrietta, 
Louise, Peter, Sophia and John. This family have always been adherents 
of the Lutheran faith. 

Peter A. Ruhberg received his education in Denmark. He learned the 
blacksmith's trade under his father, who devoted his active life to that voca- 
tion. He served in the Danish army from 1862 to 1865, and took part in 
the war between Prussia and Denmark, being in the Twelfth Battery and 
Second Regiment, and although in many engagements was never wounded. 
He now receives one hundred crowns annually until death as a gift of honor 
or pension. He immigrated to America in the spring of 1868, locating at 
Lyons, Clinton county, Iowa, working at various things, being for a time 
in the manufacturing business, then worked at his trade of blacksmith. 
Later he went to Olmstead county where he continued his trade about three 
years. In 1872 he came to Windom, arriving here in August, but he had 
taken up a claim in Westbrook township in June of that year, and pre- 
empted one hundred and, sixty acres. He put up a blacksmith shop at 
Windom which he conducted seven years. In 1878 he bought eighty acres 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 21T, 

of railroad land, one mile north of Windom, and in 1879 moved thereto, 
improved the place and carried on general farming successfully until in 
March, 191 3. He added to his original purchase as he prospered until he 
with his son had a valuable farm of two hundred and forty acres. The 
son, Adolph, bought eighty acres in 1883; the rest belongs to the father. 
He paid seven hundred dollars for the first land he bought here, and nine 
hundred dollars for what the son bought, and nineteen dollars per acre for 
the last he purchased. They sold out the last at one hundred and twenty- 
five dollars per acre. In 19 13 Mr. Ruhberg and his son, Adolph, removed 
to Storden where the father has since lived retired. 

Mr. Ruhberg was married in i860, to Mattie Nelson, who was born 
in Udland, Denmark, and is a daughter of Christian Nelson. These par- 
ents both died when Mrs. Ruhberg was young. To Mr. and Mrs. Ruhberg 
the following children have been born: Adolph is a retired farmer; Carl 
H. is a banker at Storden ; three daughters were named Rosa in succession, 
all deceased; Alary, who married Walter Larson, died in the fall of 1897, 
her husband died the previous year ; Albert is deceased ; Elmer E. is a tinner 
and lives at Crookston, Minnesota ; Eva May, the youngest, married Herbert 
Erickson, a preacher at Joyce Chapel, Anoka county, Minnesota, who also 
engages in farming. 

Politically, Mr. Ruhberg is independent. He served as treasurer of 
Great Bend township for two years. He is a member of the Baptist church. 

The death of Mrs. Ruhberg occurred on November 3, 1910, on the 
home farm near Windom. She was a member of the Baptist church and 
was buried near Windom. 



ELLISON D. MOOERS. 



Ellison D. Mooers of Great Bend township, Cottonwood county, was 
born in Franklin county, Maine, and is a son of David and Rosanna 
(Winslow) Mooers. The mother was a direct descendant of one of the 
"pilgrim fathers" who came over on the "Mayflower" in 1620. Both these 
parents were born in the state of Maine where they grew up and were mar- 
ried, removing to Dorchester, Iowa, in 1866, and the following year they 
came on to Fillmore county, Minnesota. In the spring of 1869 they located 
in Cottonwood county, David Mooers homesteading in section 8, Great 
Bend township, and there he spent the rest of his life. His widow spent 



214 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

her latter years with her children, and died at the home of her son, Ellison 
D. Mooers, on the farm where he now lives. He was the eldest of four 
children, the others being named as follows : Emiline, Ann and Well- 
ington K. 

Ellison D. Mooers spent his boyhood in Maine and there attended 
school, continuing his education after coming to Minnesota, including a 
course in the seminary at Worthington. When a young man he carried the 
mail from St. James to Big Bend post office, prior to the founding of 
Windom, the year the railroad was extended to the present site of Windom. 
He was then sixteen years old, and carried the first United States mail into 
Cottonwood county, continuing as carrier from March until October. He 
then turned his attention to school teaching, which he followed for sixteen 
terms in Steele and Cottonwood counties, Minnesota and Floyd county, 
Iowa, being one of the first educators in this part of the state. This was 
in the days of sod school houses and other primitive conditions. During 
part of this period he lived at home, sometimes going long distances to his 
work. He then took up farming in Cottonwood county and has followed 
this line of endeavor to the present time, living on his present place since 
the spring of 1889. He owns five hundred and sixty acres in Springfield 
and Big Bend townships. He has put up two good sets of buildings and 
added many other important improvements, and he has some of the best 
land in this part of the state. He also owns four hundred and twenty-six 
acres, a valuable grain farm in Nebraska, and six hundred and forty acres 
in Oklahoma, on which cotton and other staple crops are raised. He carries 
on general farming and stock raising on an extensive scale, is a man of rare 
executive ability along agricultural lines and is an exceptionally good judge 
of live stock of all kinds, and large numbers are to be seen about his barns 
at all seasons. He has been very successful as an agriculturist, has kept 
well abreast of the times in modern methods of tilling the soil and general 
farm methods. 

Mr. Mooers was married in 1879 to Ellen F. Pratt, and to their union 
two children have been born, namely: .J. M., who is engaged in farming 
near Great Falls, Montana; and Vera, wife of Arthur Hanefield, who lives 
on one of Mr. Mooers' farms. 

Mr. Mooers has been a very busy man but has never neglected his 
duties as a citizen. He has been chairman of the Cottonwood county board 
on three different occasions, and has held various township offices. Politic- 
ally, he is a Republican, #nd has long been one of the local leaders of his 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 21 5 

party, although never a candidate for important public office. He is a 
member of the Methodist Episcopal church and a liberal contributor to its 
support. 



JOHN ROXIN. 



John Roxin, one of the best-known and most substantial farmers of 
the Butterfield neighborhood in Watonwan county, owner of a fine farm 
of eighty-three and seventy-five hundredths acres one mile from the village 
of Butterfield and actively identified with the best interests of that part of 
the county, is a native of Germany, but has been a resident of Minnesota 
since he was twenty-five years of age. He was born in 1864 and grew to 
manhood in his native land, where he lived until he was twenty-five years 
old, when, in 1889, he came to the United States and proceeded on out to 
Minnesota, locating at Welcome, in the neighboring county of Martin, 
where he remained, working on the railway section, until 1901, when he was 
made foreman of the Northwestern's section at Odin and has ever since 
made his home in Watonwan county. For eleven years he served as fore- 
man of the section at Odin and then, in 191 1, bought the farm of eighty- 
three and seventy-five hundredths acres on which he is now living, in Butter- 
field township and there he has lived ever since, he and his family being 
very comfortably situated. The year after he bought his farm Mr. Roxin 
was offered thirty-four dollars an acre more than he had paid for the place, 
but rejected the offer. In addition to his general farming Mr. Roxin has 
given considerable attention to the raising of live stock and has done very 
well. His place is well improved and he is carrying on his farming opera- 
tions according to modern methods of agriculture. He is a Republican and 
gives a good citizen's attention to local politics, but has never been an aspir- 
ant for public office. 

On May 19, 1896, while living at Welcome, John Roxin was united in 
marriage to Eliza Wieg, who was born in Germany and who came to Minne- 
sota in 1896, locating in Martin county, and to this union four children have 
been born : Otto, who is now a clerk in a general store at Ringsted, Iowa ; 
Amelia, Herman and William. Mr. and Mrs. Roxin are members of the 
Lutheran church and take a proper interest in the affairs of the same, as well 
as in all neighborhood good works. 



2l6 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

REV. ERDMAN A. PANKOW. 

Erdman A. Pankow was born in Dodge county, Wisconsin, May 2, 
1849, a son °f Rev. Erdman and Sophia (Moldenhauer) Pankow, both 
natives of Germany, where they spent their earlier years, immigrating to 
America in 1843 an d settling in Dodge county, Wisconsin, when it was a 
territory. The father was teacher in the Lutheran congregation at Lebanon, 
Wisconsin, and in 1848 he became minister of the church of his denomina- 
tion there, continuing preaching until 1905, although far advanced in years. 
His death occurred in 1907, at the age of eighty-eight. He was a grand 
old man in Israel and a powerful preacher in his day. He was connected 
with the church at Lebanon as teacher and preacher for a period of sixty- 
three years, a record that it would be difficult to equal. He was twice mar- 
ried, his first wife dying in 1859. To their union six children were born, 
namely: Minnie was the eldest; Herman is editor of the Democrat, at 
Marshfield, Wisconsin; Rev. Erdman A., the subject of this sketch; Mich- 
ael is a minister and lives at Waterloo, Wisconsin ; Sophia died, leaving five 
children; John died when seventeen years old. The second wife was Mrs. 
Michaels, with whom he lived for a period of forty-eight years, and to their 
union nine children were born, namely : Augustine died when eighteen 
years old; Albert is a minister at Cambria, Wisconsin; Adolph is ex-mayor 
and now postmaster at Mansfield, Wisconsin; Anna was next in order of 
birth; Eva died in 1814; Agnes was the sixth child; Oswald is farming in 
Wisconsin; Pauline and Agela are the two youngest. The mother of these 
children had one child by her first husband, whom they named Louisa. 
This large and happy family grew up in harmony and were all much de- 
voted to each other. Mrs. Pankow died on February 1, 19 14. 

Erdman A. Pankow was reared at Lebanon, Wisconsin, and there he 
attended the public schools, later studied at Northwestern College, Water- 
town, Wisconsin, being the first person to enter that institution as a pupil, 
the college being opened in 1865. He was graduated with the first grad- 
uating class in 1872. He then attended a theological seminary in St. Louis, 
Missouri, for three years, graduating therefrom in 1875. Thus excep- 
tionally well equipped for his chosen life work, he began his career as min- 
ister at Bloomfield, Wisconsin, also preached at Winneconne, that state, for 
two years, then preached at Tomah, Wisconsin, five years. Ill health com- 
pelled him to retire from active work two years, after which he became a 
professor at St. Paul College, Concordia, Missouri, where he spent ten 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 2\*J 

years, then took charge of the congregation at Caledonia, Minnesota, in 
1889, remaining there until 1911, when he came to St. James and has been 
pastor of the German Lutheran church here ever since. He is a man of 
profound education and is a forceful, earnest and eloquent pulpit orator and 
he has given the utmost satisfaction in all his work, whether as preacher or 
teacher. He is popular not only with his congregation but with all who 
know him. 

Erdman A. Pankow was married on May 6, 1878, to Emma Kalbfleisch, 
who was born in St. Louis, Missouri, September 16, 1859. She is a daughter 
of Henry and Barbara (Sheiffelen) Kalbfleisch, both natives of Germany, 
from which country they came to America when young, both spending the 
rest of their lives in St. Louis, his death occurring in 1889, at the age of 
sixty-five, and her death occurred in 1904, at the age of seventy-two. To 
Reverend Pankow and wife eight children have been born, namely: Gustav, 
Arthur, Theodore, Carl, Helen and Angela, twins, deceased; Hugo and 
Eugene. 

Mrs. Pankow is one of a family of twelve children, named as follow: 
Henry; Louisa and August are deceased; Emma is the wife of the subject; 
Carl; Lillie and Martin are deceased; Marie, Gustav; Katie; Julia and Bar- 
bara are deceased. 



JOHANN W. KOBS. 



Johann W. Kobs, a well-known farmer of Rose Hill township, Cotton- 
wood county, proprietor of a well-kept farm of eighty acres in the vicinity 
of Westbrook, is a native of Germany, born on June 12, 1853, son of Mich- 
ael and Eva (Stolz) Kobs, who spent all their lives in their native country 
and who were the parents of eight children, of whom Johann W. was the 
eldest, the others being Frederick, Hermine, Carl, Herman, Augusta, E'mil 
and Gustav. The father of these children died in 1868, when the eldest son 
was about fifteen years old, and the mother in 1903, the direction of the 
home farm thus being early left to the eldest son. He married in 1881 and 
he and his wife came to the United States in 1881 and located in the state 
of Nebraska, where they remained for something more than seven years, at 
the end of which time they returned to Germany, but after a stay of eigh- 
teen months at their old home, they returned to America and came to Minne- 
sota. Upon arriving in this state, Mr. Kobs bought a farm of eighty acres 
in Rose Hill township, Cottonwood county, and there established his home, 



2l8 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

having lived there ever since. When he took possession of the farm it was 
wholly unimproved and he has made all the present improvements on the 
place, having now one of the best-kept farms in his neighborhood. 

It was in 1881, in his native land, that Johann W. Kobs was united in 
marriage to Emaline Yeschke, who was born in i860, and to this union 
three children have been born, namely: Gustav, born in 1889; Marie, 1894, 
and Martha, 1897. ^ r - an d Mrs. Kobs are members of the German Luth- 
eran church and take a proper interest in neighborhood good works. Mr. 
Kobs is "independent"' in his political views. In addition to his general 
farming he has given considerable attention to the raising of live stock and 
has done very well in his operations. 



JACOB J. LINSCHEID. 



Jacob J. Linscheid, one of the best-known and most progressive farm- 
ers of the Butterfield neighborhood, owner of a fine farm of two hundred 
and fifty-eight acres in Butterfield, for nearly seventeen years clerk of that 
township and in other ways actively identified with the interests of that part 
of Watonwan county, is a native of the kingdom of Austria, born on July 
25, 1863, son of John and Elizabeth Linscheid, who came to Minnesota in 
1 88 1, arriving in Watonwan county on July 1, of that year. 

Upon his arrival in Watonwan county, John Linscheid bought a quarter 
of a section of land in Butterfield township and there established his home, 
soon becoming one of the most substantial farmers in that part of the county. 
As he prospered in his farming operations he added to his holdings until 
he became the owner of two hundred and sixty acres of fine land. He was 
a Republican and took an active interest in local political affairs. His wife 
died in 1907, at the age of seventy-six years, and he afterwards retired 
to the village of Butterfield, where his death occurred in 1912, he then being 
seventy-eight years of age. He and his wife were earnest members of the 
Mennonite church and their children were reared in that faith. There were 
seven of these children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the second 
in order of birth, the others being John, Elizabeth, Rudolph, Robert, Edward 
and Wilhelmina, all of whom are living except Robert. 

Jacob J. Linscheid was eighteen years old when he came to Minnesota 
with his parents in 1881 and he set himself to the work of farming, event- 
ually becoming the owner of his present fine farm of two hundred and fifty- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 2IO, 

eight acres in the vicinity of Butterfield, where he and his family are very 
comfortably and very pleasantly situated. From the very beginning of his 
farming operations, Air. Linscheid adopted modern methods in the work 
of his farm and has developed one of the best farms in the county. The 
place is well improved, systematically tiled and well equipped for up-to-date 
farming, and its owner has long been recognized as one of the leading farm- 
ers of that part of the county. Mr. Linscheid is a Republican and for years 
has taken an active part in the civic affairs of his home township, for nearly 
seventeen years having been clerk of the township and in other ways doing 
what he can to advance the common interest thereabout. 

In 1882, when nineteen years of age, Jacob J. Linscheid was united in 
marriage to Susanna Hubin, sister of the Rev. Daniel Hubin, of Butterfield, 
and to this union ten children have been born, Jacob, Lizzie, Rudolph, Marie 
(deceased), Marie, Herbert, Bertha, Robert, Elma and Ernest. Mr. and 
Mrs. Linscheid are active members of the Mennonite church and take a 
warm interest in all movements having to do with the general social uplift 
of the community in which they live, being among the leaders in all such 
movements thereabout. 



C. O. BRAATHUN. 



C. O. Braathun, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Storden town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a well-kept farm of one hundred and 
twenty acres in the vicinity of Storden, and actively identified with the best 
interests of that community, is a native of Norway, born on September 24, 
1876, son of Ole and Bol (Aarvig) Braathun, natives of that same country 
and the parents of seven children, of whom the subject of this sketch was 
the third in order of birth, the others being Ole, Margaret, Lars, Anna, 
Peter and John. After the death of the mother of these children, Ole 
Braathun married, secondly, Kari Oyre, and to that union two children were 
born, Jens and Bol. Ole Braathun was a farmer and all his life was spent 
in his native land. 

C. O. Braathun was reared on a farm and received his education in the 
public schools of his native land. When fifteen years of age, in 1892, he 
came to the United States and made his way to Iowa. He had no one he 
knew in this country, and for some time after his arrival here had a hard 
struggle to get along, but he presently obtained employment in the railroad 
service in Iowa and was there thus engaged for nine years, at the end of 



220 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

which time, in 1902, he came to Minnesota and located in Cottonwood 
county, where he has made his home ever since and where he has done very 
well. Upon Mr. Braathun s arrival in Cottonwood county he began work- 
ing on farms in Storden township and was thus engaged for some time. 
After his marriage, in 1904, he began to farm as a renter on his own ac- 
count, and in 1909 bought a farm of eighty acres, where he now lives and 
where for the last two years has made his home. He improved the place in 
good shape, erecting good buildings and presently was very comfortably 
established. He prospered in his farming operations and in 191 1 bought a 
tract of forty acres adjoining his home place and is now the owner of an 
excellent farm of one hundred and twenty acres and is accounted one of 
the substantial citizens of that community. In addition to his general farm- 
ing, Mr. Braathun has given considerable attention to the raising of live 
stock and has done very well. 

In 1904 C. O. Braathun was united in marriage to Anna Pederson, 
daughter of Eli Pederson, of Benton county, Iowa, which union has been 
without issue. Air. and Mrs. Braathun are earnest members of the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church, in the affairs of which they take a warm interest, 
and Mr. Braathun has served as a member of the choir in the church. He 
is a Republican and gives a good citizen's attention to local political affairs, 
but has not been included in the office-seeking class. 



REV. ALGOT THEO. LUNDHOLM. 

The Rev. Algot Theo. Lundholm, pastor of the East Sveadahl Swedish 
Lutheran church in Nelson township, Watonwan county, and of the church 
of the same denomination at St. James, with residence at East Svendahl, is 
a native of Sweden, but has been a resident of this country since he was 
eight years of age, most all of which time he has spent in Minnesota. He 
was born on March 21. 1875, son °f Jonas Peter and Greta Lisa Lundholm, 
natives of Sweden, who left their farm there in 1883 an d with their family 
came to the United States, proceeding directly to Minnesota and locating in 
Sibley county. Upon arriving there Jonas P. Lundholm bought a farm in 
the near vicinity of Winthrop and there established his home, becoming a 
substantial and influential farmer. In 1898 he retired from the farm and 
moved to Winthrop, where he spent his last days, his death occurring in 
1913. His widow is still living at Winthrop. They were the parents of 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 221 

twelve children, nine of whom are still living, but Algot Theo. is the only 
one residing in this section of the state. 

Upon completing the course in the public schools of Winthrop, A. T. 
Lundholm entered Gustavus Adolphus College at St. Peter and received his 
Bachelor of Arts degree from that institution in 1899. Having devoted his 
life to the gospel ministry, he then entered Augustana Seminary at Rock 
Island, Illinois, from which institution he was graduated with the degree of 
Bachelor of Divinity in 1902. In June of that year, at Ishpeming, Michi- 
gan, he was ordained to the ministry of the Swedish Lutheran church and in 
the same year accepted a call from the church of his faith at Aledo, Illinois, 
where he served as pastor until accepting his present pastorate in August, 
1905. Since coming to this parish the Rev. A. T. Lundholm has done much 
to advance the various interests of the same, both in a spiritual and in a 
material way, and has done a good work both at East Sveadahl and at St. 
James, his parish comprising the churches of his faith at both points. His 
residence is at the former point and since locating there he has caused to be 
erected a fine new, modern parsonage, situated near the church, the latter 
of which is one of the finest country churches in Watonwan county, the 
church and the parsonage being surrounded by a beautiful lawn and the 
general appointments of both being in full keeping with modern demands. 
The Rev. Mr. Lundholm has a flourishing parish and is constantly adding 
to it. He is a progressive, public-spirited citizen and takes a warm interest 
in general public affairs, being a potent factor in the general development 
of the community in which he labors so effectively. In the counsels of his 
church, Mr. Lundholm occupies a high place, and there are few ministers of 
his communion who have a wider acquaintance than he. For some time he 
has been president of the board of directors of Gustavus Adolphus College, 
his alma mater, and in that connection has done much for the promotion of 
the interests of the college and the general cause of education hereabout. 
In political views, Mr. Lundholm is inclined to be "independent," reserving 
his right to vote only for such men as he regards best fitted for public office, 
and in this way wields an influence for good in the local political field. 

On October 29, 1902, a few months after his ordination to the gospel 
ministry, the Rev. Algot Theo. Lundholm was united in marriage to Lydia 
Marie Olson, daughter of John Olson and wife, of Minneapolis, and to this 
union four children have been born, Einar Mauritz, Harald Theophilus, 
Brynolf Emanuel and Frydolp Nathanael. Mrs. Lundholm is a competent 
helpmeet to her husband in the exacting labors of his difficult field and both 
are held in the very highest esteem throughout the entire community. 



222 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

FRANK GALL. 

Frank Gall, a well-known, well-to-do and progressive farmer of Rose- 
dale township, Watonwan county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred 
and sixty acres in that township and actively identified with the general af- 
fairs of his home community, is a native son of Minnesota, born at Man- 
kato, April ly, 1868, son of Michael and Mary (Hermann) Gall, the former 
a native of Germany, born on June 22, 1822, and the latter, of Austria, born 
on April 26, 1834, who is still living on the old homestead farm in Rosen- 
dale township, where she and her husband settled in the early days of the 
settlement of this part of the state. 

Michael Gall and Mary Hermann were married in Germany and lived 
there until they came to this country in the spring of 1867, locating in Man- 
kato, this state, in June of that year. There they remained eleven months 
and during the time of their residence there the subject of this sketch was 
born. The next spring they came over into Watonwan county, arriving 
there on May 12, 1868, and settled on a tract of eighty acres which Michael 
Gall had homesteaded in section 22 of Rosendale township, being thus among 
the earlier settlers of that part of the county. Michael Gall built a shanty on 
his homestead tract and began to develop his farm, but what with hard times, 
crop failures and the grasshopper scourges he faced a hard struggle for the 
first few years and it was twelve years before he was able to supplant the 
shanty with a suitable dwelling place for his family. After a time, however, 
his affairs began to prosper and he presently bought an adjoining "eighty" 
in section 21. He set out a grove, made substantial improvements to his 
place and finally became very well circumstanced, one of the well-to-do 
farmers of that neighborhood. He was a Democrat and took an active part 
in local political affairs, having served as township treasurer for ten years 
and for some time as highway overseer in his district. His death occurred 
on December 25, 1906. For some years thereafter his widow made her 
home in St. James, but is now living with her son, Frank, on the old home 
farm. Michael Gall was a member of the Catholic church, as is his widow, 
and their children were reared in that faith. There were ten of these chil- 
dren, of whom Frank was the seventh in order of birth, the others being 
Mary, Katie, George, Andrew, Annie, Margaret, Mary Catherine, Anna 
Cleora and Magdaline, all of whom are living save Mary, who died before 
the f amily came to this country; Andrew, who died in St. Paul at the age of 
thirty-eight, and Annie, who died in Germany when eighteen months old. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 223 

Frank Gall was reared on the homestead farm in Rosendale township, 
receiving his schooling in the local schools and has lived on the old home 
place, which he now owns, all his life. In addition to his general farming 
he has given considerable attention to the raising of live stock and has done 
very well. He is carrying on his farming operations according to modern 
methods of agriclture and has made many excellent improvements to the old 
home place, being regarded as one of the most progressive farmers in that 
neighborhood. Air. Gall is independent in his political views and has never 
sought public office. He is a member of the Catholic church and takes a 
proper interest in parish affairs. 



OTTO SENST. 



Otto Senst, a well-known and substantial farmer of Amboy township, 
Cottonwood county, who is the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres surrounding his home in that township and three hundred and 
twenty acres in Storden township, is a native son of Minnesota and has lived 
in this state all his life. He was born on a farm in the near vicinity of Red 
Wing, in Goodhue county, April n, 1868, son of Gottfried and Henrietta 
(Pultz) Senst, both now deceased, natives of Germany, the former of whom 
was a weaver in his native land, who came to the United States in the early 
sixties, proceeding directly to Minnesota and settling in Goodhue county, 
where Gottfried Senst farmed for about five years, at the end of which time 
he moved with his family to Wabasha county, where he spent the rest of his 
active life, upon his retirement making his home with his son, Otto, in Cot- 
tonwood county, where he died. He and his wife were members of the 
German Lutheran church and their children were reared in that faith. There 
were seven of these children, of whom Otto was the fifth in order of birth, 
the others being Henrietta, Fredericka, Maria, Anna, Herman and Sieg- 
mund. 

Otto Senst was but four years old when his parents moved from Good- 
hue county to Wabasha county and on the paternal farm in the latter county 
he grew to manhood, receiving his schooling in the neighborhood school and 
becoming a very proficient farmer, remaining there until 1891, in which 
year he moved to Cottonwood county, locating on his present place in 
Amboy township, where he has lived ever since. Mr. Senst has been quite 
successful in his farming operations and in addition to the quarter section 



224 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

surrounding his home, where he and his family are very pleasantly situated, 
he is the owner of three hundred and twenty acres in Storden township. 
His farm is well improved and he is looked upon as one of the progressive 
farmers of his neighborhood. Mr. Senst is a Republican and has served on 
the local school board. 

Mr. Senst married Wilhelmine Uebe and to this union five children 
have been born, Walter, Carl, Paul, Alfred and Clarence. Mr. and Mrs. 
Senst are members of the German Lutheran church and take a proper inter- 
est in parish affairs as well as in all movements having to do with the 
advancement of the common interests of their home neighborhood. 



JOHAN ROLF, D. D. S. 

The science of dentistry has an able exponent in Watonwan county in 
the person of Dr. johan Rolf, who left no stone unturned whereby he 
might attain the skill of the greatest followers of this science in the country, 
believing in keeping up with modern twentieth century methods, and he is 
therefore meeting with pronounced success in his chosen profession. 

Johan Rolf was born in St. Ansgar, Mitchell county, Iowa, October 
26, 1875, a son °f R ev - J- an d Rakel Olsen, both natives of Norway, 
the father born about 1835 and the mother about 1837. They grew up in 
their native land and there were married. They emigrated to America 
about i860 and settled at Paxton, Illinois, where the father taught for some 
time in the Swedish College, and there was ordained a minister in the 
Lutheran church — ordained by Reverend Haselquist. His first charge as 
minister was at Green Bay, Wisconsin. From there he went to St. Ansgar, 
Mitchell county, Iowa, in 1863, succeeding the Rev. C. M. Clausen. This 
was the first Norwegian conference church in Iowa. He was pastor there 
for some time, also at other churches, including Deer Creek, Rockford, 
Osage, Adams and Six Mile Grove. He was foreman of the conference for 
a period of ten years and was the leader in the formation of the United 
Lutheran church. He became widely known and was one of the leading 
divines of his church in his day in the West. He retired after forty years 
of faithful and able service, and spent his last days in Minneapolis with his 
son, O. O. Erling, his death occurring in 191 1. His wife died in 1909. 
They were the parents erf the following children : Sigurd is a minister at 
Cooperstown, North Dakota; Helga is a pianist in Minneapolis; Mollie is 




JOHAN ROLF, I>. D. S. 



THt N 
PUBOC LIBRARY 



ASTOR, LEN8X 
TILI ION* 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 225 

the wife of Prof. J. E. Granrtid, of the University of Minnesota; O. O. 
Erling is cashier of the South Side State Bank of Minneapolis; Johan Rolf, 
the subject of this sketch; Olga is the wife of Peter Field, professor of 
mathematics in the University of Michigan. 

Johan Rolf received a good education in the public schools and the St. 
Ansgar Seminary, from which he was graduated in 1894, later spending one 
year in the University of Minnesota. He was graduated from the dental 
department of that institution in 1898, having made an excellent record. 
He came to St. James the same year and has remained here continuously to 
the present time. He has enjoyed a large and growing practice all the 
while, and has met with much success from the first. He has a neatly kept 
and well equipped dental parlor, and he has kept well abreast of the times in 
all that pertains to his profession. 

Dr. Johan Rolf was married, in 1899, to Jennie M. Olson, of Minneapolis. 
She was born in Norway in 1877, and in 1880 her parents brought her to 
Minneapolis, where she grew up and was educated. She is a daughter of 
C. F. and Lena Olson. The father died in 19 14. The mother is making 
her home with Doctor Rolf and wife in St. James. The union of the Doctor 
and his wife has resulted in the birth of three children, namely: Nora, 
born on October 24, 1900; Karl, July 14, 1902, and Lloyd, May 11, 1904. 

Politically, Doctor Rolf is a Democrat. He is a member of the city 
council, and he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the 
Norwegian Lutheran church. 



THEO ENGLIN. 



Theo Englin was born in the province of Scania, Sweden, on March 
1, 1867, a son of Andrew and Elna (Person) Englin, both natives of 
Sweden, the former of whom was born on February 24, 1840, and the 
latter on May 24, 1843. 

Andrew Englin, the father of the subject of this review, was a farm 
laborer in his native country. He came to America in 1881, coming first to 
Chicago, where he remained for a short time, then went to Wesley, Iowa. 
In 1882 he came to Watonwan county, Minnesota, and a year later located 
on a farm in section 1, Adrian township. He had a farm of two hundred 
acres in that township, which he cultivated and where he made his home 
(15a) 



226 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

until the spring of 1907, when he leased his farm and removed to St. James. 
He purchased a tract of land within the city limits and has since made this 
his home. He is the father of two children : Theo, and Elma C, who be- 
came the life of Axel R. Johnson, and lives at St. James. The Englin fam- 
ily are members of the Swedish Lutheran church. 

Theo Englin received his early education in the common schools of his 
native land, and after coming with his parents to this country attended the 
public schools of Adrian township, Watonwan county, also taking a business 
course in the Mankato commercial college. As a young man he worked 
on his father's farm during the summer months, and during the winter 
found employment as a clerk in a store at Butterfield, where he worked for 
five years. He then returned to the old homestead and engaged in farming 
until the spring of 1907. He is the owner of a farm of two hundred acres 
adjoining his father's farm, in Adrian township. In the fall of 1909, on 
November 15, he was elected cashier of the State Bank of Darfur, and he 
gave up his farming business and took this position in the bank, a position 
which he has since continued to hold. He is also at the present time the 
treasurer of the Farmers Elevator Company at Darfur. During the time he 
was living on his farm in Adrian township he was a member of the board 
of directors of the Farmers Elevator Company, of St. James, and served 
for several years as secretary of this company. 

Politically, Mr. Englin affiliates with the Democratic party. For a 
period of fourteen years he served as a member of the board of supervisors 
of Adrian township, during his residence there. After removing to the 
village of Darfur he was elected as village recorder and served in this 
capacity for a term of four years. In 191 5 he was elected president of the 
Darfur village council, a position he now holds. 



ANDREW P. VOUGHT. 



Andrew P. Vought, chairman of the board of supervisors of Spring- 
field township, Cottonwood county, and one of the best known and most 
substantial farmers of that township, proprietor of a fine farm of three 
hundred and twenty acres in the Heron Lake neighborhood, is a native son 
of Minnesota and has lived in this state all his life. He was born on a farm 
in Fillmore county, June,i2, 1866, son of James C. and Mary A. (Goudy) 
Vought, the former a native of the state of New York and the latter of 
Ohio, who later became well-known residents of Cottonwood county. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 227 

James C. Vought was nine years of age when he came to Minnesota 
with his parents back in pioneer days and he grew to manhood on a home- 
stead farm in Fillmore county. After he left school he worked for some 
time as a farm hand in his home county and then for the better part of 
three years was engaged in rafting on the Mississippi river. He returned 
to Fillmore county, married there and settled on a farm, where he remained 
until 1870, in which year he moved to Jackson county and there entered a 
homestead tract of eighty acres, on which he made his home until he moved 
to Cottonwood county in 1883. Upon locating in the latter county he 
rented a farm and there lived until about five years before his death, which 
occurred in 1909. He had served the public in the capacity of constable and 
also had been road overseer for a number of years. James C. Vought and 
wife were the parents of thirteen children, of whom Andrew P. was the third 
in order of birth and of whom eleven are still living, two of these being 
residents of Cottonwood county, Andrew P. Vought having a sister, Mrs. 
Inez Reisdorph, living here. 

Andrew P. Vought received his schooling in the schools of Jackson 
county, he having been but six years old when his parents moved to that 
county. He grew up on the paternal farm, assisting his father in the devel- 
opment of the same, and remained there until his marriage in 1886, after 
which he rented the farm on which he is now living and was a tenant on 
the same for twelve years, at the end of which time he bought it and has 
ever since continued to live there, he and his family being very comfortably 
situated. Mr. Vought has a well-kept place of three hundred and twenty 
acres and has done well in his farming operations. He has made several 
thousands of dollars worth of improvements on the farm and is regarded 
as one of the substantial farmers of the Heron Lake neighborhood. In 
addition to his general farming he also has gone in somewhat extensively 
for the raising of high-grade cattle and also maintains a dairy herd of twenty 
head or more. Mr. Vought has given a good citizen's attention to local civic 
affairs and is now a member of the school board and chairman of the board 
of supervisors of his home township. He is a Prohibitionist and has for 
years been active in the work of promoting the anti-saloon movement in his 
neighborhood. 

It was on May 6, 1885, that Andrew P. Vought was united in marriage 
to Kate Seimond, daughter of Henry Seimond, and to this union eight chil- 
dren have been born : Walter, Verne, Chester, Charles, Fannie, Pearl, Robert 
and Harold. Walter Vought married Lillian Lanham and has one child, a 



228 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

son, Donald. Fannie Vought married John Neumandal and has one child, 
and Pearl Vought married Joseph Knutson. Mr. and Airs. Vought are mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal church at Windom and take an earnest 
interest in the general good works of the community. 



PAUL FLOGSTAD. 



Paul Flogstad, a well-known and well-to-do retired farmer of Nelson 
township, Watonwan county, proprietor of a fine farm of two hundred acres 
on Rural Route Xo. 3, out of St. James; one of the pioneers of that part 
of the county and for many years actively identified with the work of 
developing the same, is a native of Norway, but has been a resident of this 
country since he was fifteen years old. He was born on a farm in Norway, 
October 3. 1841, and received his schooling in his native land. When he 
was twenty-eight years old, in 1869, his younger brother, Carl, having emi- 
grated one year before, came to the United States and both settled at Oconto, 
Wisconsin, where they began working in a saw-mill. Nine years before 
their father, Halvor Nelson, died at his home in Norway, i860. In 1870 
their mother, Martha Olson Nelson, and the other members of the family, 
there having been eight children in all, came to this country and joined her 
sons at Oconto. Three years later the family came out here and located in 
Nelson township, Watonwan county. The widow homesteaded a tract of 
eighty acres in that township and there established her home with her 
younger children, remaining there the rest of her life, her death occurring 
in 1890. Of her eight children, five are still living and doing well their 
respective parts in life. 

Paul Flogstad was about thirty years old when he came to Minnesota 
in 1872 and settled in Watonwan county, and upon locating in Nelson town- 
ship homesteaded a tract of eighty acres of land, upon which he threw up a 
sod shanty and settled down there to "prove up" his claim and improve his 
tract. He broke the sod with a team of oxen and had a crop out the first 
year. From the very first he prospered in his farming operations and as he 
prospered in his labors added to his holdings until he became the owner of a 
fine farm of two hundred acres, well improved and profitably cultivated. 
When Mr. Flogstad came to America he had less than twenty dollars; now 
he is a well-to-do retired farmer, possessing a very comfortable competence 
from the proceeds of the farm. In addition to his general farming, Mr. 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 229 

Flogstad was also engaged quite extensively in stock raising for some time 
and did very well. Some time ago he gave up the active labors of the farm 
and is now renting his rich fields to responsible tenants. 

In January, 1873, a little more than two years after coming to Minne- 
sota, Paul Flogstad was united in marriage to Ingeborge Hanson, who was 
born in Norway, a daughter of Sygert and Mary Hanson, also natives of 
that country, farming people, who came to the United States in 1870 and 
located in Wisconsin, where they remained a little more than a year, at the 
end of which time they came to Minnesota and settled in Brown county. 
Sygert Hanson and wife were the parents of seven children, five of whom 
are still living, those besides Mrs. Flogstad being Hans, Isaac, Nellie and 
Mary, the latter of whom married Martin H. Flogstad, former chairman of 
the board of supervisors of Nelson township and a brother of the subject 
of this sketch. To Paul Flogstad and wife eight children have been born, 
namely : Halvor, deceased ; Mary, who married Ole Halvorson and has 
three children, Inez, Amy and Oleta; Sophia, who married George Selber; 
Thorvall, who married Caren Weaken and has five children, Cora, Paul, 
Hazel, Carl and Alice ; Olga, who married Peter Tintinger and has two 
children, Marie and Carl, and Axel, Mabel and Pearl. Mr. and Mrs. Flog- 
stad are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church, of which Mr. Flog- 
stad for years was a trustee, and their children have been reared in that 
faith, the family taking an earnest interest in the various beneficences of the 
church, as well as in all local good works. Mr. Flogstad is an independent 
voter and takes a good citizen's interest in general civic affairs, but has never 
been included in the office-seeking class. 



JACOB RUPP. 



Jacob Rupp, one of the best-known young merchants in Cottonwood 
county, proprietor of a well-stocked store of general merchandise at Delft, 
and otherwise actively interested in the general affairs of that part of the 
county, is a native of Austria, but has been a resident of Minnesota since 
early childhood and has thus grown into the life and works of the great 
Northwest. He was born in the province of Galicia, Austria, April 11, 
1880, son of John and Christina (Mueller) Rupp, Galicians, who were mar- 
ried on February 13, 1870, and who came to the United States in 1882. 

John Rupp was born on November 22, 1844, and grew up on a farm, 



23O COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

becoming a farmer, as well as a blacksmith and stone-mason. In 1882, 
twelve years after his marriage, he and his family came to this country, 
proceeding at once to Minnesota and locating at Mankato, where he took up 
work in a blacksmith shop and for six years was there engaged with heavy 
labor, also, during the building seasons, contracting in masonry work. Mr. 
Rupp was an active Christian member of the Mennonite denomination and 
a strong leader in church in his earlier days. In 1888 he moved his family 
to this part of the state and bought a quarter of a section of land one mile 
from the village of Butterfield. in Watonwan county, where he established 
his home on the prairie. From a magnificent log he had secured at Mankato 
he had sawed sufficient lumber for the erection of a small house on his 
prairie farm and there he began his profitable farming operations. For the 
first few years his crops were confined to flax, until the land became suffi- 
ciently mellow for wheat. His flax he cut with a reaper and the first wheat 
crop he cut with a cradle, and in the early years he used oxen on his farm. 
He prospered in his farming operations and gradually enlarged his land 
holdings until he became the owner of three hundred acres, and there he 
made his home for twenty-four years, at the end of which time he retired 
from the farm and moved to Butterfield, where his last days were spent, 
his death occurring about six years later, March 11, 1916. His widow is 
still living at Butterfield. To John Rupp and wife were born eight children, 
all of whom are living, as follow: Tillie, of Butterfield, widow of Arnold 
Kintzi; Mollie, who is at home with her mother; Edward, who married 
Mary Hubin and is farming about two and one-half miles southwest of 
Butterfield; Agnes, wife of Rudolph Linschied, a farmer living three miles 
northwest of Butterfield; Jacob, the subject of this sketch; Kate, wife of 
Gust Miller, a well-known merchant of Butterfield; John, a merchant, of 
Delft, and Sadie, who makes her home with her mother at Butterfield and 
is employed in the store of her brother-in-law, Gust Miller, in that village, 
lacob Rupp was a little more than two years old when his parents came 
to this country in 1882 and settled in Mankato. His early childhood was 
spent in that city and he had about two years of schooling there before the 
family moved to the Butterfield neighborhood, his schooling therefore being 
completed in the Butterfield schools. He grew up on the home farm and 
after completing the course in the public schools taught school for one term 
four miles northeast of Butterfield. He then went into the confectionery 
business at Butterfield, in partnership with Gust Miller, his brother-in-law, 
and was thus engaged for a year, at the end of which time he sold his inter- 
est in the store and moved to Delft, where he rented a store room and 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 23 1 

opened a general merchandise store. Two years later he built his present 
store building, a substantial structure, twenty-six by thirty-eight, with a 
warehouse, eighteen by thirty-two, together with other additions; has grad- 
ually increased his stock in trade and is recognized as one of the leading 
merchants of that progressive village. He carries general merchandise, 
groceries, dry-goods and boots and shoes and has done very well. Mr. 
Rupp owns a farm of forty-nine acres north of Delft, which he rents out; 
five lots in Delft, besides a couple of residence lots there, and is regarded as 
one of the substantial citizens of that part of the county. He is secretary- 
treasurer of the Delft Rural Telephone Company and in other ways takes 
an active interest in the general affairs of the business community. He is 
"independent" in his political views and he and his wife are members of the 
Mennonite church, in the affairs of which they take a warm interest. 

On May 20, 1906, Jacob Rupp was united in marriage to Emily 
Schweitzer, also a native of Austria, born on March 8, 1884, who came to 
this country with a cousin in the summer of 1903, coming directly to But- 
terfield, Minnesota. For six months after her arrival here she worked at 
Westbrook, then for two months at Mountain Lake, after which she spent 
a term in school at Darfur and then went to Minneapolis, where she was 
working until the time of her marriage to Mr. Rupp. To this union three 
daughters have been born, Hilda, Mabel and Edna. 



TORVEL PEDERSON. 



Desiring to please the traveling public, Torvel Pederson, who conducts 
a livery business at Stordon, is popular among his patrons, and he deserves 
to be. 

Mr. Pederson was born in Amo township, Cottonwood county, Novem- 
ber 8, 1874. He is a son of Paul and Andrena (Nelson) Pederson, both 
natives of Norway, where they grew up and were married. They emi- 
grated to America in 1871, locating at Staten, Wisconsin, where they en- 
gaged in farming. In 1874 they came on west to Amo township, Cotton- 
wood county, Minnesota, where the father homesteaded a one-fourth section, 
which he developed into a good farm by years of close application. Here 
the death of the mother of Torvel occurred in 1881. The father removed 
from Cottonwood county about 1908 and resided on a farm in Anoka county, 
Minnesota, until he was killed by a train at Anoka in 1908. His family con- 



232 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

sisted of four children, namely: Anna, who is the wife of Peter Olson, of 
Anoka; Hattie, who is the wife of Andrew Johnson, of Minneapolis ; Tor- 
vel, subject of this sketch, and John, who died in early life. 

Torvel Pederson received his education in the public schools of Cotton- 
wood county. He grew up on his father's farm, and he remained on the old 
homestead in Amo township until 19 13, actively engaged in general farm- 
ing, then purchased the livery and draying business at Storden, which he 
has operated successfully to the present time. He is well equipped in the 
way of good horses and vehicles and handles all his business promptly and 
is honest and courteous to his patrons. He sold the farm when he came to 
town, but he owns some good land in Aiken county, Minnesota. 

Mr. Pederson was married in 1895 to Belle Matson, a native of Iowa, 
in which state she was reared and educated. She is a daughter of Morgan 
Matson and wife. One child, Pearl, has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Peder- 
son. 



REV. M. K. HARTMAXN. 

Contented to merely follow in the footsteps of the lowly Nazarene, Rev. 
M. K. Hartmann, pastor of the United Norwegian Lutheran church of St. 
James, is doing a most commendable work and is one of the deservedly 
popular and highly esteemed men of Watonwan county, where he has done 
much for the general welfare of the people. 

M. K. Hartmann was born in Benson, Minnesota, April 3, 1878, and 
is a son of Rev. H. A. and A. H. (Olson) Hartmann, both natives of Nor- 
way, where they grew up, attended school and were married. They emi- 
grated to the United States in 1877 and located at Benson, Minnesota. The 
father was a minister in the Norwegian Lutheran church and was pastor of 
the church of this denomoination at Benson for two years, then removed to 
Allamakee county, Iowa, and was pastor of a church at Lansing, that county, 
for a period of seventeen years, then returned to Norway, where he now 
resides. His wife died in Lansing in 1889. To these parents the following 
children were born: M. K., the subject of this sketch, is the eldest; Her- 
bert is in the United States navy; Allison, Charlotte, and Alphild are all 
living in Norway. 

M. K. Hartmann received his education in the public schools of Lans- 
ing, Iowa, including the .high school. He then took the course at St. 
Olaf College at Northfield, Minnesota, from which he was graduated in 




REV. M. K. HAKTMAXN. 






TKi: Mr 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASTOR, LEN9X 
kTILDEN FOUNDATION* 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 233 

1900, also studied at the University of Minnesota for some time. He was 
graduated from the United Church Seminary, St. Paul, in 1903. Thus 
exceptionally well prepared for his life work he went to Portland, Maine, 
where he was pastor of the church of his denomination in 1903 and 1904, 
then moved to Cresco, Iowa, and was pastor there from 1904 to 1910, 
when he came to St. James and has since been pastor of the United Luth- 
eran church, which has a membership of over five hundred. He is also 
pastor of the Waverly Lutheran church in Martin county. He has built up 
the churches that he has served and has been popular with all his congre- 
gations. He is profoundly versed in the scriptures and is an earnest, force- 
ful and eloquent pulpit orator. He also looks after the general welfare of 
his congregation, being ready at all times to help in time of distress or sor- 
row — teaching and practicing a practical religion. 

Rev. M. K. Hartmann was married on July 12, 1905, to T. Bockman, 
of St. Paul, Minnesota, a daughter of Dr. M. O. Bockman, president of the 
United Lutheran Church Seminary of St. Paul. To this union two chil- 
dren have been born, namely: Hildur L., born on May 2, 19 10; and Char- 
lotte F., born on October 11, 1912. Mrs. Hartmann is a lady of education 
and culture and has been of great assistance to her husband in his pastoral 
work. 



FRED BURLEY. 



Fred Burley, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Madelia township, 
Watonwan county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and twenty- 
seven acres three miles east of the city of Madelia, is a native of Germany, 
born on March 19, 1856. He was left an orphan at an early age and when 
a boy came to the United States with an uncle, the family settling in Wood- 
ford county, Illinois, where he remained several years, at the end of which 
time he went to Livingston county, same state, where he lived until his 
removal to Kansas. In Greeley county, in the latter state, he homesteaded 
a quarter of a section of land and after proving his claim to the same sold 
out and went to Phelps county, Nebraska, where he was engaged in farming 
for six years, at the end of which time he returned to Livingston county, 
Illinois, where he rented a farm and there made his home for eight years. 
He then disposed of his interests in that county and came to Minnesota, 
settling in Watonwan county, where for three years he was engaged in 
farming on a rented farm, after which he bought what is known as the 



234 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Low farm of three hundred and twenty acres, and there made his home for 
seven years, at the end of which time, in 1910, he sold that place and bought 
the farm of one hundred and twenty-seven acres in section 24, Madelia 
township, where he since has made his home and where he and his family 
are comfortably and pleasantly situated. Mr. Burley has made valuable 
improvements on his place since taking possession of the same, having 
erected all the buildings there, and is regarded as one of the substantial 
farmers of his neighborhood. 

In 1896, at Forest, Illinois, Fred Burley was united in marriage to 
Flora Fetters, who was born in Marshall county, Indiana, May 2, 1868, 
daughter to Isaac and Jane (Vouce) Fetters, and to this union six children 
have been born, Arthur, Jesse. George, Elmer, Harvey and Melvin. Jesse 
Burley married Maud Brandt and lives on a farm nearby the parental farm. 
The Burleys are members of the Christian church and ever have taken an 
active interest in the general good works of their neighborhood. Mrs. Bur- 
lev is a competent and valuable helpmate to her husband and has contrib- 
uted very largely to the success he has made of his farming operations. 



IVER O. IVERSON. 



Iver O. Iverson, town clerk in and for Highwater township, Cotton- 
wood county, and one of the well-known and substantial farmers of that 
township, owner of "Eureka Farm" of three hundred and twenty acres and 
actively identified with the civic and other interests of his home community, 
is a native of Norwav, but has been a resident of Minnesota since he was 
seventeen years old. He was born on a farm in the amt, or province, of 
Nordland on November 29, 1875, son of Iver and Pernelia (Hogensen) 
Iverson, the former of whom died in 1886, and who were the parents of 
three children, the subject of this sketch having two sisters, Anna and Jennie. 

Iver O. Iverson received his schooling in the public schools of his 
native land and in 1892, when seventeen years of age, came to Minnesota 
and for two years made his home with his paternal uncle, Jacob O. Iverson, 
of Fillmore county, and then moved over into Cottonwood county to live 
with his mother's brother, Rasmus Hogenson, a prominent farmer of High- 
water township, and upon the latter's death, in 1899, inherited the farm of 
three hundred and twenty acres on which he now lives and which he has 
greatly improved and brought to a high state of cultivation. He rebuilt the 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 235 

house and has added largely to the other buildings on the place and now 
has one of the best-kept farms in that part of the county. In addition to 
his general farming, Mr. Iverson gives considerable attention to the raising 
of live stock and has done very well. Mr. Iverson also gives thoughtful 
attention to the various local business interests of his home community and 
is deeply interested in the various movements having to do with the advance- 
ment of the common cause thereabout. He was one of the organizers of the 
Westbrook Telephone Company and in other ways has done his part to 
build up the best interests of that part of the county. For about eleven 
years he has been township clerk and formerly served as justice of the peace 
and supervisor for the township. 

In April, 1900, Iver O. Iverson was united in marriage to Martha 
Hofstad, and to this union five children have been born, Vivian L., Iver N., 
Raymond M., Agnes J. and Pearl H. The Iversons have a very pleasant 
home, and Mr. and Mrs. Iverson give proper attention to the various social 
and cultural activities of the community in which they live, being helpful in 
the promotion of all good movements thereabout. 



KNUT OLSON. 



Knut Olson, one of the best-known and most progressive farmers of 
Watonwan county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and eighty 
acres in section 7 of Riverdale township, situated a mile and a half north- 
west of LaSalle, is a native of Sweden, born in the southern part of that 
country, November 28, 1850, son of Ole and Ellen (Peterson) Munson, 
natives of Sweden, who owned a small farm. Ole Munson was a soldier 
and he and his wife spent all their lives in their native land. They were 
members of the Lutheran church and their children were reared in that 
faith. There were five of these children, of whom the subject of this sketch 
was the last born, the others being Nels, Bengt A., Hannah and Elna. 

When he was thirty-one years of age Knut Olson came to the United 
States and located at Rock ford, Illinois. After a year there he came to 
Minnesota in 1882, and located in Watonwan county. In 1890 he bought the 
farm of one hundred and eighty acres on which he is now living and pro- 
ceeded to develop the same. The next year he married and established his 
home there, the year following erecting his present comfortable and substan- 
tial residence. In 1907 he built his present large and well-equipped barn and 



236 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

for years has given special attention to dairying, long having been regarded 
as one of the most progressive dairy farmers in that part of the county. 
Upon taking possession of his farm, Mr. Olson planted trees liberally, in- 
cluding a fine orchard, and these now add wonderfully to the general at- 
tractiveness of his well-kept place. In addition to his general farming and 
dairying, he also has given considerable attention to stock raising and has 
done very well. 

It was in 1891 that Knut Olson was united in marriage to Ida Mary 
Johnson, and to this union three children have been born, Frithjof, who 
married Eleanor Youngquist, and has one child, a daughter. Vera, and Albin 
and Arthur. The Olsons have a very pleasant home and take a warm inter- 
est in the general social activities of their neighborhood, being identified 
with all measures promising to promote the welfare of the community. 



GILBERT SWENSON. 



Gilbert Swenson, a well-known and progressive young farmer of High- 
water township, Cotonwood county, was born in that township and has 
lived there all his life. He was born on March 8, 1881, son of Syver and 
Ingeborg ("Olson) Swenson, natives of Norway, who came to Minnesota, 
becoming pioneers of Cottonwood county, where their last days were spent. 

Syver Swenson was born on November 17, 1841, and was reared on a 
farm in his native land. He married Mrs. Ingeborg (Olson) Erickson, who 
was born in 1S49, widow of Ole Erickson, who, by her first marriage, was 
the mother of one child, a daughter, Randi, and in 1869 came to Minnesota, 
settling in Olmsted county, whence, the next year, in 1870, he moved over 
into Cottonwood county and homesteaded a tract of eighty acres in High- 
water township, established his home there and there spent the rest of his 
life, his death occurring in 1912. His wife had preceded him to the grave 
about three years, her death having occurred in 1909. They were members 
of the Norwegian Lutheran church and their children were reared in that 
faith. There were nine of these children, of whom the subject of this sketch 
was the fifth in order of birth, the others being Ole, Mary, Ruth, Swen, 
Emma, Lena, Enga and Helen. 

Gilbert Swenson grew up on the homestead farm on which he was born 
in Highwater township,, a valuable assistant to his father in the work of 
developing the same. He received his elementary education in the schools 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 237 

of his home township and supplemented the same by a course in the Minne- 
sota State College of Agriculture, from which he was graduated in 1903. 
Upon completing his agricultural studies, Mr. Swenson rented the place on 
which he is now living and in 1910 bought the same. He married in 19 12 
and has since made his home there, he and his family being very pleasantly 
and comfortably situated. Air. Swenson has improved his farm in strictly 
up-to-date fashion and has one of the best-kept places in that part of the 
county, the buildings and other improvements being of an approved and sub- 
stantial character and the farm cultivated according to modern methods. 

It was in 19 12 that Gilbert Swenson was united in marriage to Ger- 
trude Sabin, daughter of Andrew Sabin, and to this union two children have 
been born, Hazel and Stanford. Mr. and Mrs. Swenson are members of the 
Norwegian Lutheran church and take an active interest in the affairs of the 
same, Mr. Swenson being a member of the board of trustees of the church. 
They also are properly interested in other local good works and are helpful 
in promoting all agencies for the betterment of local conditions in their 
home community. 



OLE ANDERSON. 



Ole Anderson, one of the best-known and most substantial farmers of 
Madelia township, Watonwan county, is a native son of that same township 
and has lived there all his life. He was born on a pioneer farm there, 
December 24, 1873, son of Bertel A. and Oline (Hermanson) Anderson, 
both natives of Norway, who became substantial and influential pioneers of 
Madelia township. 

Bertel A. Anderson, who is still living on his old home place, which is 
now owned by his son, Osten M. Anderson, was born on January 20, 1839, 
son of Andrew and Rachel (Anderson) Anderson. His father died in his 
native country and later he and his mother came to Minnesota, settling in 
Madelia township, Watonwan county, where other members of the Ander- 
son family from Norway had previously settled. Bertel A. Anderson bought 
a farm, married a daughter of one of the pioneers of that locality, she also 
having been a native of Norway, born on May 5, 1843, and established his 
home in Madelia township, where he is now living, and where he became the 
owner of a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres, which, upon his retire- 
ment from the active labors of the farm, he sold to his son, Osten M., who is 
now operating the same. To Bertel A. Anderson and wife eight children 



238 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

were born, Ella, Ole, Soren, Sarah, John, Herman, Osten and Abraham, all 
of whom are living save the last named. The mother of these children died 
on March 1, 191 5. She was an earnest member of the Lutheran church, as 
is her surviving husband, and their children were reared in that faith. 

Ole Anderson grew up on the old home farm, where he was born and, 
being the eldest son, early began to be a valuable aid to his father in the 
work of developing and improving the place. He received his education in 
the schools in the neighborhood of his home and remained on the home farm 
until 1897, in which year he and his brother, Soren, bought a tract of two 
hundred and forty acres of land in Madelia township, four and one-half 
miles northwest of the town of Madelia, and entered upon the task of 
developing and improving the same. In 1902 they built the present sub- 
stantial farm house and it was not long until they had one of the best-kept 
and most profitably cultivated farms in that section of the county. In 19 10 
Ole Anderson bought his brother's interest in the farm and has since been 
operating the same alone and is doing well, being recognized as one of the 
leading farmers of his neighborhood. In 19 14 he built the present substan- 
tial barn and the other farm buildings are in keeping with the same, the 
entire farm plant exhibiting the progressive and up-to-date methods of the 
owner. In addition to his general farming, Mr. Anderson has given con- 
siderable attention to the raising of live stock and has done well with Short- 
horn cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs. 



DIETRICH D. PETERS. 



Dietrich D. Peters, a well-known and substantial farmer of Dale town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty 
acres on Rural Route No. 2, out of Windom, and prominently identified with 
numerous business interests in that part of the county, is a native of Russia, 
though he has been a resident of this part of Minnesota since he was two 
years of age and has therefore been a witness to and a participant in the 
general development of this region during the past generation. He was 
born on November 5, 1874, son of Dietrich and Maria (Voth) Peters, 
farming people, who came to the United States from their native Russia 
with their family in 1876 and proceeded directly to this part of Minnesota, 
settling in Carson township, Cottonwood county, where they established 
their home, being among the pioneers of that section. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 239 

Upon settling in Cottonwood county, the senior Dietrich Peters bought 
forty acres of wild land in Carson township, made and burned a kiln of 
bricks from the clay on that land and erected a substantial brick house, 
which he covered with a thatch of hay, and in that house he lived many 
years. That early brick house is still standing and is still in use, but it has 
long ago been covered with a shingle roof. Dietrich Peters was a good 
farmer and prospered in his operations. He gradually enlarged his land 
holding and for years farmed a place of two hundred acres. In 1913 he 
retired from the active labors of the farm and moved to Mountain Lake and 
is still living there. He and his wife were the parents of seven children, of 
whom the subject of this sketch was the second in order of birth, the others 
being as follow: Henry D., proprietor of "Springdale Stock Farm," adjoin- 
ing that of his brother, Dietrich; George, a farmer living northeast of Delft; 
Helen, wife of George D. Ewart, a farmer living in Kansas; John, who died 
when six years old ; Abraham, who lives on the old home farm in Carson 
township, and Mary, wife of P. J. Peters, a Nebraska farmer. 

Dietrich D. Peters was about two years old when his parents came to 
this country in 1876 and he was reared on the home farm in Carson town- 
ship, receiving his schooling in the district school in the neighborhood of his 
home and also acquiring an excellent knowledge of German under the care- 
ful tutelage of his father. From boyhood he proved a valuable aid to his 
father in the labor of developing the home place and remained at home until 
after his marriage, in 1897. Previously he had bought eighty acres of wild 
land in section 36, of Dale township, and in 1899 built a house and estab- 
lished his home there. About ten years later he remodeled and enlarged 
his house, built a good-sized and modern barn and has otherwise improved 
his place, bringing it up to its present well-kept condition. As he prospered 
in his operations, Mr. Peters added to his farm and is now the owner of 
one hundred and sixty acres, which he has under excellent cultivation. He 
also has given considerable attention to stock raising and has done very well 
in that line. Mr. Peters is an "independent" Republican and has served for 
three or four terms as road overseer in his district. He gives proper atten- 
tion to local enterprises and is a stockholder in the Carson Farmers Eleva- 
tor Company, the Delft Creamery Company, of which concern he is one of 
the directors, and is also a stockholder in and a director of the Delft Rural 
Telephone Company, in the affairs of all of which concerns he takes an 
active interest. 

It was on December 7, 1897, tnat Dietrich D. Peters was united in mar- 



2\Q COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

riage to Elizabeth Klaassen, and to this union nine children have been born, 
namely: Sarah, born on February i, 1899; Dietrich E., September 14, 
1900; Maria, March 30, 1902; Elizabeth, December 9, 1903; Cornelius, 
March 25, 1905; Katherine, November 15, 1906; Lena, December 22, 1908; 
Anna, November 15, 1911; Susanna, April 24, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Peters 
are members of the Bethel Mennonite church at Mountain Lake and take a 
proper interest in the general good works of the community, being earnest 
advocates of all movements designed to advance the common welfare here- 
about. 



JOHN F. RADTKE. 



John F. Radtke, one of the best-known and most progressive young 
farmers in Germantown township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine 
farm of one hundred and sixty acres in that township, besides being the 
owner of three hundred and twenty acres of land in Norman county; presi- 
dent of the Farmers Elevator Company at Sanborn and a stockholder in the 
Farmers Bank and the farmers co-operative store at Sanborn, is a native 
son of Cottonwood county and has lived there all his life. He was born on 
a pioneer farm in Germantown township, April 30, 1883, son of Fred and 
Ellen Radtke, early settlers in that township, who are now living comfort- 
ably retired at Sanborn. 

Fred Radtke was one of the pioneers of Germantown township, hav- 
ing settled there even before the town of Sanborn was laid out. He home- 
steaded a farm there and early became one of the substantial farmers of 
that section of the county, influential in early affairs thereabout. He helped 
build the road from New Ulm to Watertown, South Dakota, and in other 
ways did his part in the development of this section of the state. To Fred 
Radtke and wife four children were born, the subject of this sketch having 
one brother, Edward Radtke, of Bowden, North Dakota, and twin sisters, 
Grace, of Sanborn, and Gertrude, of Minneapolis. 

John F. Radtke grew up on the old homestead farm in Germantown 
township, receiving his schooling in the district school in that neighborhood, 
and from boyhood was an able assistant in the labors of developing the 
home farm. He became an up-to-date, progressive farmer and is now the 
owner of the farm of one hundred and sixty acres on which he makes his 
home, besides being the owner of three hundred and twenty acres in Nor- 
man county. His home place is well improved and he and his family are 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 24 1 

very well situated. He has a complete set of concrete buildings on his 
place and the farm is beautified by more than one thousand evergreen trees. 
Mr. Radtke has brought his farm up to a high state of cultivation and it 
is looked upon as one of the best farms in Cottonwood county. Not only 
has Mr. Radtke been diligent about the affairs of his farm, but he has given 
considerable attention to outside business interests, is president of the Farm- 
ers Elevator Company at Sanborn and a stockholder in the Farmers Bank 
and the co-operative store at that place, in the affairs of all of which con- 
cerns he takes a warm interest. He also has given his thoughtful atten- 
tion to local political affairs and is helpful in all movements having to do 
with the advancement of the best interests of this section of the state. 

In the fall of 1904 John F. Radtke was united in marriage to Amelia 
Gumto, of Charlestown township, in the neighboring county of Redwood, 
and to this union three children have been born, Wayne, Nioma and Lowell. 
Mr. and Mrs. Radtke take a proper part in the general social and cultural 
activities of the community in which they live and are accounted among 
the leaders in all progressive movements thereabout. 



JOHN E. RUPP. 



John E. Rupp, a well-known and well-to-do farmer and stock raiser of 
Rose Hill township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a farm of one hun- 
dred and sixty acres in the Westbrook neighborhood, supervisor of Rose 
Hill township, school treasurer, president of the New Home Mennonite 
church and for years actively interested in the affairs of the western section 
of his home county, is a native of Austria, born on September 30, 1870, 
son of Jacob and Katie (Rupp) Rupp, both natives of that same country, 
who were the parents of ten children, six of whom died in their native land 
and the other four of whom came to this country, those beside the subject 
of this sketch being Amalia, now deceased, who was the wife of Rudolph 
Hubin; Emilia, who married Jacob F. Rupp, and Jacob J. The father of 
these children died in Austria and the Widow Rupp presently married Henry 
P. Rupp, to which union were born three children, Henry H., Edward J. 
and Gustav A. In the year 1882 the Rupp family came to the United 
States, proceeding to Minnesota and locating in Des Moines township, Murray 
county, where Henry P. Rupp homesteaded a tract of forty acres and estab- 
(16a) 



242 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

lished his home. He prospered in his farming operations and eventually 
became the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of land. He and his 
wife retired from the active labors of the farm some years ago and are now 
living at Westbrook, where they are pleasantly situated in their declining 
years. 

John E. Rupp was about twelve years of age when he came to this 
country and he grew to manhood on the homestead farm in Murray county, 
completing his schooling in the schools of his home neighborhood. Being 
the eldest son, he was a valuable aid to his stepfather in the labors of 
developing the homestead and grew up to be an excellent farmer. In 1894 
he married and in that same year entered upon possession of the farm on 
which he now lives and which he has brought to a high state of develop- 
ment. His farm of one hundred and sixty acres is on the dividing line 
between Cottonwood and Murray counties, forty acres lying in the latter 
county, just across the road from his home in Cottonwood county. In addi- 
tion to his general farming, Mr. Rupp has given considerable attention to 
the raising of pure-bred cattle and his Shorthorns show evidences of his 
skill as a stockman. He has made all the improvements on his place and 
has a good residence and barn, with other farm buildings in keeping with 
the same, his place being regarded as one of the best-kept farms in that 
neighborhood. Mr. Rupp has found time to give a good citizen's atten- 
tion to local political affairs and is now serving the public in the capacity 
of township supervisor, an office he has held for some years. He also has 
been serving for some years as school treasurer and in other ways has con- 
tributed of his time and energies to the public service. In religious circles 
he also has been quite active and has ever been an influence for good there- 
about. He was one of the organizers of the New Home Mennonite church 
and for about twenty years has been president of that congregation. 

In 1894 John E. Rupp was united in marriage to Matilda Hubin, 
who also was born in Austria, daughter of John Hubin, Sr., who came to 
America with his family in the latter eighties, proceeding to Minnesota and 
locating at Mountain Lake, Cottonwood county, whence, about 1891, he 
moved to a farm in Rose Hill township, where he lived until his retirement 
from the farm and removal to Westbrook, where he and his wife are now 
living, comfortably situated in their declining years. Mrs. Hubin before 
her marriage was Katie Muller. To Mr. and Mrs. Rupp five children have 
been born, Bertha M., Emma T., Albert R., John H. and Ella A., all of 
whom are living. Bertha \M. is married to Henry Rupp, a farmer of Mur- 
ray county. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 243 

HALVOR T. SKRABECK. 

Halvor T. Skrabeck, "Lone Tree Farm," one of the best-known and 
most progressive farmers in Nelson township, Watonwan county, proprietor 
of two hundred acres and for years actively identified with the work of 
developing that part of the county, is a native of Norway, but has lived in 
this country since he was four years old. He was born in Tellemarken, 
May 26, 1864, son of T. and Anna Skrabeck, the former of whom was a 
riverman, and who came with their family to the United States in 1868, 
settling in Columbia county, Wisconsin, on June 23 of that year. T. Skra- 
beck began working as a farm hand in that settlement and presently bought 
a yoke of oxen, rented a piece of land and began farming on his own 
account. In June, 1871, he joined the stream of emigration then setting in 
toward this section of Minnesota and homesteaded a tract of eighty acres in 
Nelson township, Watonwan county. There he established his home, planted 
a grove, brought his place under cultivation and became one of the sub- 
stantial farmers of that neighborhood. As he prospered he bought another 
"eighty" and on his quarter section did well, continuing his active farming 
until his retirement from the farm in 1893. His death occurred in 1897. 
His wife had preceded him to the grave more than twenty years, her death 
having occurred in 1875, about four years after the family settled in Minne- 
sota. They were the parents of five children, of whom Halvor T. was the 
last born, the others being Thorsten, who died in 1873; Mary Martha, who 
died in 1899, and Margaret. 

Halvor T. Skrabeck was but four years old when his parents came to 
this country and was about seven when the family came to Minnesota, con- 
sequently all the active years of his life have been spent in Watonwan county. 
The educational facilities in the days of his youth were exceedingly limited 
and he received very little schooling. He grew up on the home farm and 
being the only surviving son was a valuable assistant to his father in the 
work of developing the home place, even from the days of his boyhood. 
He continued working with his father- and when the latter retired, took over 
the old homestead and has since been operating the same, being now the 
owner of two hundred acres of fine land, forty acres of which lies over the 
line in Brown county. In addition to his own land holdings, Mr. Skrabeck 
rents another quarter of a section and is carrying on his farming operations 
on a somewhat extensive scale. He adopts modern methods of farming, 
most of his plowing being done with a tractor, and everything about his 



244 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

place is up-to-date. Mr. Skrabeck has spent about seventy-five hundred dol- 
lars improving the place since he came into possession and now has one of 
the best looking farms in that part of the county. His home occupies a fine, 
elevated position and commands a view of the country for miles around. 
In 1906 Mr. Skrabeck moved over to his well-improved farm of forty acres 
in Blue Earth county, but after living there four years moved back to the 
old homestead and has continued to make his home there since. He has 
given proper attention to local civic affairs and is now serving as overseer of 
roads in his district and as school director. 

On May 18, 1893, Halvor T. Skrabeck was united in marriage to Anna 
Lee, who was born in Norway, December 4, 1870, daughter of Ole and 
Ingeborg Lee, and to that union four children were born, Theodore, Albert, 
Hilmer and Ida, all of whom are at home. Mrs. Skrabeck died on April 15, 
1915. Mr. Skrabeck is a Republican and is looked upon as one of the 
leaders of his party in the part of the county in which he lives. He is a 
member of the Norwegian Lutheran church and for some time served as a 
member of the board of trustees of the same. 



GEORGE PEDERSON. 



George Pederson, a well-known and substantial farmer of Highwater 
township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a well-improved farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres in that township and actively identified with the 
work of developing that part of the county, is a native son of Minnesota 
and has lived here all his life. He was born on a pioneer farm in the 
vicinity of Madelia, in the neighboring county of Watonwan, December 26, 
1868, son of Hans and Martha (Monson) Rognelson, natives of Norway, 
who became pioneers of the Madelia neighborhood. 

Hans Rognelson came to the United States in the days of his young 
manhood and for awhile was located in Kansas. He then came to Minne- 
sota, took a homestead farm in the vicinity of Madelia and there spent the 
rest of his life, becoming a substantial and influential farmer and useful 
citizen. He and his wife were the parents of four children, of whom the 
subject of this sketch was the second in order of birth, the others being 
Rachel, Martin and Syver, the latter of whom died in youth. 

George Pederson was reared on the paternal farm in Watonwan county, 
receiving his schooling in the schools in the neighborhood of his home, also 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 245 

attending school for a time in the school in the vicinity of his present home 
in Cottonwood county. As a young man he began farming on the place 
which he now owns, a well-kept farm of one hundred and sixty acres, and 
has long been the owner of the same. His place is well improved and 
profitably cultivated and he and his family are very pleasantly situated. In 
addition to his general farming, Mr. Pederson has given considerable atten- 
tion to stock raising and has done very well, making a specialty of Red- 
Polled cattle. He is a Republican and has given a good citizen's attention 
to local civic affairs. 

In 1899 George Pederson was united in marriage to Gena Mosby and to 
this union six children have been born, Oscar H., Norman G., Harry M., 
Marian O., Ruth E., and one girl who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. 
Pederson are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and take an active 
interest in local church work, Mr. Pederson having served for some time as 
a member of the board of trustees of the church. They also give proper 
attention to other local good works and are helpful in advancing the best 
interests of their home community in all proper ways. 



MARTIN H. FLOGSTAD. 

Martin H. Flogstad, one of the best-known and most substantial farm- 
ers in Nelson township, Watonwan county, proprietor of a farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres on rural route No. 3, out of St. James, former 
chairman of the board of supervisors of his home township, former assessor 
of the same township and in other ways for many years actively identified 
with the best interests of that part of the county, is a native of Norway, but 
has lived in this country since he was fifteen years of age. He was born on 
a farm in Norway, November 22, 1852, son of Halvor and Martha (Olson) 
Nelson, both natives of that country, the former of whom died in 1863, 
leaving his widow with eight children. In 1866 the two elder sons, Carl 
and Ole, had come to the United States and had located in Wisconsin and 
after the death of the father, the Widow Nelson and her other children also 
came over here and located at Oconto, Wisconsin. In 1870, desiring to 
create a permanent home for her family, this courageous widow joined the 
tide of emigration to this part of Minnesota and located in Watonwan county. 
She homesteaded a tract of eighty acres in Nelson township and there estab- 
lished her home. All hands assisted in the work of developing that home- 



246 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

stead and there the widow Nelson made her home the rest of her life, her 
death occurring in 1890, twenty years after she had come here, a plucky 
pioneer. Of her eight children, five are still living and all are filling well 
their respective stations in life. 

Martin H. Flogstad was fifteen years old when he came to the -United 
States with his mother and after the family had located at Oconto, Wis- 
consin, he worked there in a saw-mill for more than two years, or until the 
family came out here to develop a homestead farm in Watonwan county. 
He remained with his mother through the trying days of "proving up" the 
homestead claim. Upon coming here, the family funds were very low and 
he trapped muskrats during the first season in order to secure the money 
with which to pay for the homestead papers; that first season selling seven 
hundred pelts at fifteen cents the pelt. He was too young to homestead a 
place for himself and continued with his mother, remaining on the home 
place and developing the same until after his marriage in 1881, when he 
bought eighty acres in Nelson township, where he ever since has made his 
home. From the first he prospered in his farming operations, and as he 
prospered added an adjoining "eighty" and has long had his fine farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres in a high state of cultivation. Upon taking posses- 
sion of his farm he planted a fine grove, which adds greatly to the present 
attractiveness of the place. He has put about four thousand dollars worth 
of improvements on the place and has long been regarded as one of the sub- 
stantial and progressive farmers of that neighborhood. Mr. Flogstad has 
ever taken an active interest in local civic affairs and has served the public 
in his home township in the several capacities of road overseer, assessor and 
chairman of the board of supervisors, in all of his public service performing 
his duties with an eye single to the public good. 

In July, 1 88 1, Martin H. Flogstad was united in marriage to Mary 
Hanson, daughter of Sigurd Hanson and wife, and to this union eight chil- 
dren have been born, Hilda and Hulda, twins, died when eight months old; 
Stella, Hilmer, Millie, Oscar, Agnes and Philip. Stella Flogstad married 
Thomas Berge and the other children are still at home with their parents. 
The Flogstads are earnest members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and 
take an active interest in the various beneficences of the same, Mr. Flogstad 
having, at one time and another, filled all the several offices in the local 
congregation. 

Mr. Flogstad attributes his success largely to his wife's ability in man- 
aging her home and to his children's interest in their parents' affairs. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 247 

OLUF T. OLSON. 

Olnf T. Olson, a well-known and substantial farmer of Madelia town- 
ship, Watonwan county, owner of a fine farm of two hundred and eighty 
acres, is a native of Watonwan county and was born on the farm in section 
6, Madelia township, where he lives. He was born March 31, 1873, son of 
Torger Olson and Brit (Burley) Voge, natives of Norway, the former of 
whom came to this country in the days of his early manhood and the latter 
of whom was but a girl when she came here with her parents from the old 
country. 

Torger Olson Voge left his native land when he was well grown and 
came alone to Minnesota, where he met and married Brit Burley and later 
homesteaded eighty acres in section 6, Madelia township, Watonwan county, 
where he established his home and where he and his wife spent the rest of 
their lives, Mrs. Voge dying in 1896, at the age of fifty-five years, and Mr. 
Voge dying on September 1, 191 1, at the age of fifty-eight. Torger Olson 
Voge was an excellent farmer and not long after locating in Madelia town- 
ship bought an additional eighty acres in section 7, forty acres in section 8 
and eighty acres in section 5, thus becoming the owner of two hundred and 
eighty acres and was recognized as one of the substantial and progressive 
farmers of that neighborhood. He and his wife were members of the 
Lutheran church and their children were reared in that faith. There were 
five of these children, Turine, Oluf T., John, Louise and Lena, all of whom 
are living save John, who died in 19 10. 

Oluf T. Olson was reared on the homestead farm of his parents and 
received his education in the district school in the neighborhood of his home. 
He remained on the home farm, a valuable assistant to his father in the 
development and improvement of the same, and became a very successful 
farmer, later coming into possession of the old home place, buying the 
interests of the other children after the death of their father. In 1913 he 
built the present substantial farm house on the place and he and his family 
were very comfortably situated there. Mr. Olson, in addition to his general 
farming, gave considerable attention to the raising of live stock and did 
well, raising Durham cattle and Chester White and Duroc-Jersey hogs. He 
has. ever given close attention to local civic affairs and for some time has 
been a member of the board of supervisors of his home township. They are 
still living on the farm. 

It was on September 24, 1892, that Oluf T. Olson was united in mar- 



248 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

riage to Anna Nelson, who was born in Norway and who was but one year 
old when she came to this country with her parents. To this union five chil- 
dren have been born, Stella, Bernice. Edwin, Loyd and Ruth. The family 
are members of the Lutheran church and have ever given their warm sup- 
port to all local measures designed to advance the common welfare here- 
about. 



GEORGE SCHWAXDT. 



George Schwandt, member of the board of supervisors of Germantown 
township, Cottonwood county, one of the best-known and most progressive 
young farmers of that township, owner of a fine farm of two hundred and 
eighty acres, secretary of the Sanborn Co-operative Company, vice-presi- 
dent of the Sanborn Co-operative Elevator Company and otherwise actively 
identified with the rapidly developing interests of the northern part of the 
county, is a native son of Minnesota and has lived in this state all his life. 
He was born on a farm in Nicollet township, Nicollet county, May 3, 1881, 
son of Julius and Albertina (Otto) Schwandt, natives of Germany, who 
later became residents of Cottonwood county and the former of whom is 
still living on his farm in Germantown township. 

It was in i860 that Julius Schwandt came to the United States. He 
proceeded immediately to Minnesota and settled in Nicollet county. When 
the Civil War broke out he enlisted in behalf of the Union cause in the 
Fourteenth Minnesota Artillery. He was one of the defenders of New 
Ulm during the Indian uprising in 1862 and took part in the pursuit of the 
Indians after the massacre. Upon the conclusion of his military service he 
resumed his farming operations in Nicollet county, where he continued to 
live until 1891, in which year he disposed of his interests there and moved 
over into Cottonwood county, settling on a farm in Germantown township, 
where he has ever since made his home. His wife died in August, 191 2. 
She was a member of the German Lutheran church, as is her husband, and 
their children were reared in that faith. There were eight of these children, 
who grew to maturity, of whom the subject of this sketch was the fourth 
in order of birth, the others being Otto, Julius, Henry, William, Albertina, 
Martha and Marie, and three who died, Frank, Albert and Bertha. 

George Schwandt was seven years old when his parents moved to Cot- 
tonwood county and he grew to manhood on the paternal farm in German- 




GEORGE SCHWANDT. 






TH'E WEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

ASTC 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 249 

town township, an able assistant in the labors of developing the same. He 
completed his schooling in the schools at Springfield and early began farm- 
ing on his own account, in 1908, taking charge of the place on which he 
now lives. In 1910 he bought that place and since then has greatly improved 
the same, at the same time bringing it up to a high state of cultivation. 
Air. Schwandt has two hundred and eighty acres and in addition to his 
general farming has given considerable attention to the raising of live stock. 
He but recently has gone into the dairy business on a somewhat extensive 
scale and for the past ten years has operated a threshing-rig during the 
seasons. Not only has he been diligent in his own business, but he has 
found time to devote considerable attention to other interests and is vice- 
president of the Co-operative Elevator Company at Sanborn and secretary 
of the company controlling the co-operative store at that place. Mr. 
Schwandt is a Republican and for years has given thoughtful attention to 
local governmental affairs, at present being a member of the board of super- 
visors of his home township. 

On June 20, 1904, George Schwandt was united in marriage to Lydia 
Mattke and to this union four children have been born, Herbert and Mar- 
garet and one that died when eight months old named Eleanor and another 
named Ruth, died when three weeks old. Mr. and Mrs. Schwandt are 
members of the German Lutheran church and take an active interest in the 
affairs of the same, as well as in all local good works, ever being willing 
promoters of such movements as are designed to advance the common wel- 
fare in their home community. 



GOTTLIEB COMNICK. 



Gottlieb Comnick, one of the best-known citizens of the western part 
of Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of two hundred and seven 
acres in Rose Hill township, for years a member of the official board of 
that township, former township assessor and in other ways actively inter- 
ested in the civic affairs of his community, is a native of Russia, but has 
been a resident of Cottonwood county since 1876 and has therefore been a 
witness to and a participant in the development of this region since pioneer 
days. He was born on a farm in southern Russia on November 19, 1859, 
son of Michael and Anna (Zeller) Comnick, the former also a native of 
Russia and the latter of Germany, who were the parents of four children, 



25O COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

of whom the subject of this sketch was the last-born, the others being Will- 
iam, David and Christian. 

Michael Comnick died on his home farm in Russia in 1861, Gottlieb 
then being hardly three years of age, and the widowed mother kept her 
family together. In 1876 she and her sons came to the United States and 
proceeded directly to Minnesota, coming on out to this part of the state. 
Mrs. Comnick homesteaded a tract of one hundred and twenty-seven acres in 
Rose Hill township, Cottonwood county, and there she and her sons estab- 
lished their home, becoming useful and influential pioneers of that part of 
the county, ever active in promoting the development of the community. 
Mrs. Comnick lived many years to enjoy the rewards of the early years 
of pioneer privation and hardship and had the satisfaction of seeing her 
homestead place developed into a well-improved and profitably cultivated 
farm. Her death occurred in 1907 and she was widely mourned, for she 
had been helpful in many ways in that neighborhood, not only in the pioneer 
days, but long after a proper social order had been established thereabout. 

Gottlieb Comnick was about seventeen years old when he came to 
Minnesota in 1876 and he has lived here ever since, long having been 
regarded as one of the most substantial and public-spirited citizens in the 
western part of Cottonwood county. Upon coming here he entered vigor- 
ously into the work of aiding in the development of his mother's home- 
stead. After his marriage in 1884 he came into possession of the home 
farm and has since added to the same, now being the owner of two hun- 
dred and seven acres of excellent land, which he has improved in admirable 
fashion and which is in a fine state of cultivation. In addition to his gen- 
eral farming, Mr. Comnick has given considerable attention to the raising 
of high-grade live stock and has done very well in his operations. He is a 
Republican and has given his careful thought to local governmental affairs, 
ever doing his part to advance the cause of good government hereabout. 
He also has contributed of his time and his energies to the public service 
and has served as township assessor and for twelve years a member of the 
township board. 

In 1884, Gottlieb Comnick was united in marriage to Elizabeth Deitch- 
niann, daughter of Edward Deitchmann, and to this union five children have 
been born, Fred W., Bertha, Josephine, Gottlieb D. and William E., all of 
whom are doing well their respective parts in the community in which they 
reside. Mr. and Mrs. Comnick are members of the German Lutheran church 
and for years have taken an active interest in the affairs of the congrega- 
tion to which they are attached, Mr. Comnick having served for some time 
as secretary of the congregation. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 25 1 

ARTHUR HARPER. 

Arthur Harper, a well-known and well-to-do retired farmer of Spring- 
field township, Cottonwood county, now living at Windom, where he has 
made his home since retiring from the active labors of the farm in 1909. is 
a native of Canada, born in Ontario, November 9, 1864, son of John and 
Priscilla (Winters) Harper, substantial farming people, natives of Canada, 
who were the parents of eight children, six of whom are now living, two 
of whom make their homes in Cottonwood county, the subject of this sketch 
having a sister, Mrs. W. K. Moores, living here. John Harper continued 
farming in his native country until 1888. when he moved to Minnesota, and 
continued farming until his death, June 15, 1900. His widow still lives 
with a daughter, Mrs. W. K. Moores, Cottonwood county. 

Arthur Harper received his schooling in the schools in the neighborhood 
of his home in Ontario and when sixteen years of age came to Minnesota, 
locating in Goodhue county, where he worked as a farm hand for three years, 
at the end of which time, in 1883, he came to this part of the state and 
rented a farm of three hundred and twenty acres in Springfield township, 
Cottonwood county. The next year he married and established his home on 
that farm, continuing there as a tenant farmer for two or three years, at 
the end of which time he bought the place, paying for the same thirteen 
dollars and fifty cents an acre, and there he made his home until his retire- 
ment from the farm in 1909. Mr. Harper is an excellent farmer and from 
the very beginning of his operations on his home place he prospered, gradu- 
ally adding to his holdings until he became the owner of a fine farm of four 
hundred acres. He spent about ten thousand dollars improving the place 
and became recognized as one of the most progressive and substantial farm- 
ers in that part of the county. In addition to his general farming, Mr. 
Harper gave considerable attention to the raising of high-grade live stock and 
was accustomed to feeding about one hundred head of cattle on his place. 
In 1909 he and his wife retired from the farm and moved to Windom, 
where they have a very pleasant home and where they are very comfortably 
situated. Mr. Harper is "independent" in his political views, has ever taken 
a close interest in local political affairs, but has never been included in the 
office-seeking class, though for some years he served as a member of the 
township board and for fifteen years was a member of the school board, 
representative of his district. 

In 1884 Arthur Harper was united in marriage to Alice Winslow, 



252 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

daughter of Ezra and Frances (Reed) Winslow, and to this union 
have been born the following children : Manley, who married Tora 
Anderson and has two children, Avis and Mildred; John, who mar- 
ried Jennie Eastgate and has two children, Avon and Elsie; George, who 
married Carrie Schroeder; Jesse, at home; Pearl, at home; Lydia, who 
married Frank McGrath, and Ida and Willis, at home. Mr. and Mrs. 
Harper are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Windom, Mr. 
Harper being a member of the official board of the same, and have ever 
taken an active interest in the various beneficences of the same, as well as in 
all local good works. Mr. Harper is a member of the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows and both he and Mrs. Harper are members of the local 
lodge of the Daughters of Rebekah, in the affairs of which they take a 
hearty interest. 



H. P. LEONARD. 



H. P. Leonard, one of the successful farmers of Antrim township, was 
born at Rutland, Vermont, on February 2, 1862, being the son of E. P. and 
Almina (Whitmore) Leonard. Amos Whitmore, the maternal grandfather 
of H. P. Leonard, was born in the state of Vermont and lived all of his life 
in his native state. Jonathan Leonard, the paternal grandfather was a 
native of Vermont. He later settled in Marquette county, Wisconsin, where 
he died. 

E. P. Leonard, the father of H. P., was a native of the state of New 
York, where he was born on January 16, 1829. In 1866 he engaged in 
farming in Wabasha county, Minnesota, where he remained for four years, 
after which he lived in Martin county, Minnesota, for one year. In 1871 
he homesteaded eighty acres of land in Watonwan county, in section 20 of 
Antrim township. The family lived on this eighty acres for a number of 
years and endured the hardships of frontier life, including the seven years 
of grasshopper times, during which the father and eldest son went away 
and worked to earn a meager existence for the family. To the eighty acre 
tract he kept adding, until he had two hundred acres. During the last five 
years of his life he lived in Fairmont. Mrs. Leonard is still living there. 
To E. P. and Almina Leonard were born the following children: Alma, 
Byron, Brenice, Hiram P., Minnie, Luna, Edward, Mary and Winefred. 
The children are all living'. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 253 

H. P. Leonard was married on October 13, 1886, to Anna Dewar, the 
daughter of John Dewar and wife, of Lewisville, Minnesota. To this union 
two children were born : John, who married Bertha Ableman, and Beulah 
Jane is at home. Mr. Leonard is the owner of three hundred and twenty 
acres of land in section 20 and one hundred and sixty acres in section 30, 
Antrim township. He does general farming and feeds many cattle and 
hogs. The farm is well improved and in a high state of cultivation. The 
house and barn were built in 1898. 

Mr. Leonard and family are members of the Christian church and take 
much interest in church and Sunday school work, Mr. Leonard being one 
of the elders in the church. Fraternally, Mr. Leonard is a member of the 
Modern Woodmen of America. He takes much interest in township and 
county affairs. He is serving his second term on the township board, and 
has served on the school board for twenty-five years. 



JOHN RYDEEN. 

John Rydeen, an enterprising building contractor and carpenter at 
Jeffers, who also is the owner of a fine farm of two hundred and forty 
acres in the vicinity of that town, is a native of Sweden, born on June 11, 
1868, son of John and Fredericka (Johnson) Rydeen, both natives of that 
country, the former of whom died in 19 15 and the latter of whom is still 
living in her native land, who were the parents of seven children, those 
besides John being Charles, Andrew, Annie, Samuel, Mattie and Peter, all 
of whom are living save Samuel and Mattie. 

John Rydeen was reared on a farm and received his education in the 
public schools. He early learned the carpenter trade and in 1888, when 
twenty years of age, came to the United States and located at St. Peter, this 
state, where he remained for a couple of years, at the end of which time 
he came to this part of the state and for seven years worked as a farm 
hand in the vicinity of Windom. In 1897 ne bought a farm of eighty acres 
in Amo township and began farming for himself. The next year he bought 
one-half of section 33 in Storden township and after improving and farming 
that until 1910, sold out and bought his present well-improved place of two 
hundred and forty acres in section 25 of that same township. Mr. Rydeen 
has erected fine buildings on his farm, which he rents out, devoting his time 



254 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

chiefly to his carpenter work, in which he has been very successful, being 
one of the best-known builders in that part of the county. He is an ener- 
getic, public-spirited citizen and has done much for the community in which 
he lives. 



CHARLES W. BOLIN. 



Charles W. Bolin, one of the best-known and most substantial farmers 
of Watonwan county, former member of the board of county commissioners 
and proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and twenty acres within three- 
quarters of a mile of the town of LaSalle, in Riverdale township, where 
he makes his home, besides being the owner of a farm of three hundred 
and twenty acres in section 17 of that same township, is a native son of 
Watonwan county and has lived there all his life. He was born on a home- 
stead farm in section 20 of Riverdale township, May 28, 1872, son of John 
and Mary (Johnson) Bolin, natives of Sweden, who came to the United 
States in 1869, landing at the port of New York, and proceeded directly to 
Minnesota, whither kinsfolk from the old country had preceded them some 
little time before. 

Upon arriving in Minnesota, John Bolin homesteaded a tract of eighty 
acres in Riverdale township, Watonwan county, and there established his 
home. He later bought another "eighty" and during his active days of 
farming operated one hundred and sixty acres quite sucess fully. When the 
Minnesota and St. Louis railroad was put through this section, it cut right 
through the Bolin homestead, taking seven acres of the same. John Bolin 
and his wife reared their family on the homestead farm and lived there 
until about 1892, when they retired from the farm and moved to St. James, 
where they made their home until 19 10. when they moved to LaSalle, where 
they are now living. Mr. Bolin still owns eighty acres of his old home 
farm. He and his wife are members of the Lutheran church and their 
children were reared in that faith. There were four of these children, of 
whom Charles W. was the second in order of birth, the others being as fol- 
low : John, who now lives on the old homestead farm in Riverdale town- 
ship; Ida, who married Peter Jackson and who, as well as her husband, is 
now dead, and Edward, former register of deeds for Watonwan county, 
who is now engaged in the real-estate and insurance business at St. James. 

Charles W. Bolin was reared on the parental homestead and received 
his schooling in the schools in the neighborhood of his home. He was a 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 255 

valued assistant to his father in the labors of developing and improving the 
home farm and became an excellent farmer. On July 7, 1895, ne married 
Marie Lindquist, who was born in 1869, and established his home on the 
farm where he is now living, in section 17 of Riverdale township, where he 
has one hundred and twenty acres, well improved and profitably cultivated. 
Air. Bolin prospered in his farming operations and presently enlarged his 
holdings by the purchase of one-half of section 20 in his home township. 
He took an .active interest in local public affairs and in the latter nineties 
was elected a member of the board of county commissioners from his dis- 
trict. Then on January 17, 1900, his wife died. This blow so disheartened 
Mr. Bolin that for some time he gave Up farming and the other activities 
in which he was engaged and moved to St. James, where he lived retired 
until his later return to the farm, where he is now living, comfortably situ- 
ated. Mr. Bolin has four children, Anna, who married Theo Keffe, and 
Carl, Rosella and Frances. 



WILLIAM L. ROSSING. 



William L. Rossing, a well-to-do farmer of Westbrook township, Cot- 
tonwood county, proprietor of "Brook Mount Farm," a fine place of three 
hundred and twenty acres in the Westbrook neighborhood, and one of the 
most progressive agriculturists in that part of the county, was born on a 
farm in Lafayette county, Wisconsin, November 17, 1863, son of Andrew 
and Inger (Lund) Rossing, natives of Norway, who came to this country 
in 1850 and located in Wisconsin, settling on a farm in Lafayette county, 
where they spent the remainder of their lives. They were members of the 
Norwegian Lutheran church and their children were reared in that faith. 
There were four of these children, of whom William L. was the first-born, 
the others being Anton, a well-known farmer of the Walnut Grove neigh- 
borhood in Cottonwood county, Catherine and Emilia. 

Andrew Rossing was a substantial and well-to-do pioneer farmer and 
his eldest son, William L. Rossing, was given every advantage in the way 
of schooling in his youth. Upon completing the course in the district school 
in his home neighborhood he attended Augsberg Seminary at Minneapolis 
for some time and then entered Milton College in his home state, where he 
completed his studies and then, in 1881, began clerking in a store at Bode, 
Iowa. A year later he bought that store and continued in the mercantile 
business there for ten years, at the end of which time he engaged in the 



256 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

breeding and training of race horses at that place and was thus engaged for 
about twelve years, during which time he became one of the best-known 
horsemen in Iowa. 

In 1907 Mr. Rossing disposed of his interests in Iowa and came to 
Minnesota, his brother, Anton, having come out here about seven years 
before, and located in Cottonwood county, where he ever since has made 
his home and where he long has been recognized as one of the most substan- 
tial farmers. Mr. Rossing bought a half section of land in Westbrook town- 
ship and proceeded to develop the same, soon having one of the best-kept 
and most profitably cultivated farms in that locality. He has given his 
place the name of "Brook Mount Farm" and there he and his family are 
very pleasantly situated. In addition to his general farming, Mr. Rossing 
gives attention to the raising of high-grade live stock and has done very 
well. He is a Republican and gives proper attention to local civic affairs, 
having served for some time as clerk of the school board. 

Mr. Rossing has been twice married. By his marriage to Gena Will- 
iams he had three children, Diodata, Avalon and Wilmeth. The mother 
of these children died in 1893 an d Mr. Rossing married, secondly, Dr. Anna 
Marie Kirkberg, to which union three children have been born, Eunice 
Eleanora, Olaf Ingval and Erling William. Mr. and Mrs. Rossing are 
members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and take a proper interest in 
the various beneficences of the same, as well as in all local good works. 



ABRAHAM JACOBSON. 

Abraham Jacobson, a well-known retired pioneer farmer of Rosendale 
township, Watonwan county, now living in the village of Grogan, is a 
died in their native land and when he was twenty-two years old, in 1866, 
native of the kingdom of Norway, born on September 8, 1844. His parents 
he came to the United States and for a year made his home with his uncle, 
Seur Olson, a farmer, of Lee county, Iowa. The next year, 1867, he moved 
to Minnesota and was married near Madelia, joining the steady tide of 
emigration that then was rapidly filling this section of the state. 

Upon coming out here on September 3, 1867, Abraham Jacobson home- 
steaded a tract of eighty acres in section 10, Rosendale township, Watonwan 
county, bought an adjoining "eighty" of government land and an additional 
"eighty" of railroad land and there established his home. He erected sub- 




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ABRAHAM JACOBSON. 



PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 257 

stantial buildings on the place, planted a fine grove of trees and quickly had 
the farm in an excellent state of cultivation, early becoming recognized as 
one of the leading farmers of that section of the county. As the years 
passed Mr. Jacobson continued to improve his place until he had one of the 
best farms in the county. In addition to his holdings there he some years 
ago bought a farm of one hundred and seventy-nine acres adjoining the 
village of Grogan and is also the owner of a pleasant home and four lots 
in the village of Grogan. In 1914 Mr. Jacobson sold his old home place 
on contract, though he still holds the deed, and on November 29, 191 5, he 
and his family moved to their home in Grogan, where they now live and 
where they are very comfortably situated. Mr. Jacobson is a Republican 
and for many years has given his close attention to the civic affairs of his 
home township, for twenty-one years having been a member of the town- 
ship board and in other ways active in promoting the best interests of his 
community. 

Abraham Jacobson has been twice married. It was on August 25, 
1867, in Madelia, Minnesota, that he was united in marriage to Anna Malena 
Larson, born in Norway, whose parents died in their native land. To this 
union there was no issue. Mrs. Anna M. Jacobson died in 1893 at her 
home in Rosendale township and is buried in the cemetery nearby the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church in that neighborhood. On August 14, 191 1, Mr. 
Jacobson married, secondly, Anna Sorenson, who was born in the neighbor- 
ing county of Blue Earth, daughter of Lars and Thora (Shaw) Sorenson, 
the former a native of Denmark, born in 1853, and the latter, of Norway, 
born in i860, who are now living at St. James, which has been their home 
for the past twenty years. Lars Sorenson was but eleven years of age when 
he came to the United States with his parents, the family becoming early 
settlers in Blue Earth county, this state, where he grew to manhood and 
where he married. After farming in that county for some time he moved 
to Freeborn county and after residing in that county for some years moved 
to Watonwan county and was there engaged in farming until his retirement 
from the farm and removal to St. James. He and his wife are members 
of the Lutheran church and their children were reared in that faith. There 
were nine of these children, of whom Mrs. Jacobson was the first-born, 
the others being Martin, Clara, Edward, Oscar, Marie, Arthur, Lavina and 
Edith, of whom Edward, Oscar and Marie, besides Mrs. Jacobson, now 
survive. To Abraham and Anna (Sorenson) Jacobson two children have 
been born, Martha Lavina, born on April 21, 1912, and Arnold James, 
(17a) 



258 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

September 23, 191 3. Mr. and Mrs. Jacobson take an earnest interest in 
the general good works of the community in which they live and are looked 
upon as among the leaders thereabout in measures designed to advance the 
common welfare. They are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church 
and take an active interest in church work. Mrs. Anna (Sorenson) Jacob- 
son was first married to a Mr. Newham, to which union were born two 
children, Leslie Willard and Milford Clayton, now living with the mother 
and attending school. 



JOHN S. RANDALL. 



John S. Randall, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Storden town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, and proprietor of a farm of two hundred and 
forty acres in the vicinity of Storden, is a native of Vermont, bom at New- 
berry, in Orange county, that state, February 4, 1852, son of Benjamin 
Franklin and Julia Ann (Cross) Randall, both natives of that same county, 
the former born in 1825 and the latter in 1826. Benjamin F. Randall was 
the son of John Randall, a native of Vermont, who was a large farmer and 
stockbuyer. Julia Ann Cross was the daughter of Michael and Elizabeth 
(Sandburn) Cross, also natives of Vermont, the former of whom was a 
well-to-do farmer and tanner. Benjamin F. Randall, who was a blacksmith 
and wagon-maker, with a well-established shop at Groton, Vermont, died 
before reaching middle age. He was a deacon in the Methodist church and 
active in good works. He and his wife were the parents of three children, 
of whom John S. was the second in order of birth, the others being Syl- 
vester, who died young, and Josephine, who married George Downs. The 
Widow Randall married, secondly, Chauncey E. O'Dell and to that union 
there was born one child, a son, Edwin. Mr. Randall had a half-brother 
named William Bell. 

John S. Randall was but a boy when his father died. Not long after- 
ward the family came West and located at Ripon, Wisconsin, where he had 
his first schooling. His mother had taught him to read and before he started 
to school he had read the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation. Dur- 
ing his boyhood John S. Randall was a diligent worker, doing anything that 
his hand found to do, in an effort to assist in the family support. Not long 
after locating at Ripon the family moved to Waterloo, Iowa, and there he 
labored for some time with the fishing crews in the Cedar river. When he 
was nine years old, in 1861, the family came to Minnesota and settled at 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 259 

St. Peter, where he grew to manhood. He presently became the owner of 
a stone quarry at Ottawa, LeSueur county, and did well in that line, selling 
large quantities of building stone throughout LeSueur and Nicollet counties. 
In 1878 he came over into this part of the state and settled in Cottonwood 
county, where he has lived ever since. Upon his arrival here he home- 
steaded a quarter of a section in Storden township and upon his marriage a 
year or two later established his home there. Mr. Randall is a good farmer 
and has prospered in his undertakings. He has gradually added to his hold- 
ings until now he is the owner of a fine farm of two hundred and forty 
acres, well improved and profitably cultivated. He and his family have a 
pleasant home and are quite comfortably situated. 

Mr. Randall has been twice married. On January 6, 1880, he was 
united in marriage to Adaline V. Herrick, daughter of Elijah and Frances 
(Barger) Herrick, and to that union six children were born, Belle, Iva May, 
Frank A., Florence (deceased), Grace and Mabel (deceased). The mother 
of these children died on December 13, 1893, an( l Mr. Randall married Fan- 
nie E. (Farmer) Arnold, to which union five children have been born, 
Harry, Margaret, Viola, Ethel and Ada. Viola died in infancy. Mrs. 
Randall had a son, Franklin Leslie Arnold, by a former marriage; he is 
now known as Leslie Randall. Mr. Randall is an "independent" in his 
political views and is a Spiritualist in his religious persuasion. 



HELGE O. KLEVEN. 



Helge O. Kleven, a well-to-do farmer of Ann township, Cottonwood 
county, proprietor of a well-kept farm of three hundred and twenty acres 
on rural route No. 2, out of Walnut Grove, is a native of Norway, born on 
January 28, 1852, son of Ole O. and Anna (Helges) Dather Kleven, both 
natives of that same country, who came to the United States in 1865, pro- 
ceeding directly to Minnesota, settling in Fillmore county, where Mrs. 
Kleven died about two years later, and where Ole O. Kleven continued to 
make his home the rest of his, life, his death occurring in 1892. He was 
thrice married and was the father of eight children. 

Helge O. Kleven came to America with his parents, but it was not 
until 1878 that he located in Cottonwood county, where he homesteaded a 
quarter of a section of land in Ann township. Two years later he married 
and established his home on that homestead tract and has ever since resided 



260 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

there, long having been regarded as one of the most substantial farmers of 
that part of the county. As he prospered in his farming operations, Mr. 
Kleven gradually added to his land holdings until he now is the owner of a 
fine farm of three hundred and twenty acres. He has improved the place in 
good shape, has a comfortable residence, well-kept farm buildings and is 
very pleasantly situated. Mr. Kleven has given close attention to local civic 
affairs and for years has been a member of the school board of his home 
township. Fie and his family are members of the Lutheran church and he 
is one of the trustees of his church, to the affairs of which he has ever 
given his earnest attention. 

In 1880 Helge O. Kleven was united in marriage to Christine 
Thorson, also a native of Norway, whose father lived to be eighty-eight 
years of age, and to this union have been born four sons, Ole, Thor, Albert 
and Martin, all of whom are well-known and progressive young farmers of 
Ann township, who are doing well their respective parts in the common life 
of that community. 



JENS C. HANSEN. 



Jens C. Hansen, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Cottonwood 
county, proprietor of a fine farm of two hundred acres on the range line 
between Storden and Westbrook townships, a portion lying in section 19 of 
Storden township and the remainder in section 13 of Westbrook township, 
with the home situated in the former section, and a former merchant of that 
vicinity, is a native of Denmark, born -on July 2, 1866, son of Hans and 
Karen (Larsen) Jensen, natives of that country, the former of whom spent 
his last days in Minnesota. 

Hans Jensen was a farmer in his native land. In 1886 he came to the 
United States and located in Freeborn county, this state, his son, Jens C, 
having preceded him there a couple of years, and after a residence of sev- 
eral years there moved to Iowa, where he spent six years, at the end of 
Which time he returned to Freeborn county and there spent the rest of his 
life. Hans Jenson was twice married. His first wife, the mother of Jens C. 
died in her native land, leaving four children, L. P., Jens C, Chris and 
Carrie. Mr. Jensen then married Anna Nelson and to that union six chil- 
dren were born, Peter, Ole, John, Walter, Herman and Fritz. Hans Jen- 
sen was a member of the Baptist church and his children were reared in 
that faith. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 26l 

Jens C. Hansen was reared on a farm in his native land, receiving his 
schooling in the public schools, and when he was eighteen years of age, in 
1884, came to the United States and located in Freeborn county, this state, 
where for ten years he was engaged working on farms in that part of the 
state. In 1895 he came over into this part of the state, settling in Cotton- 
wood county, where, in partnership with O. C. Anderson, he started a 
country store in Storden township, and was thus engaged until the year 
1900, when he sold his interest in the store and bought the farm of two 
hundred acres, where he has lived since then. In addition to his general 
farming, Mr. Hansen has given considerable attention to the raising of live 
stock, Holstein cattle, by preference, and has done very well. His farm is 
well improved and profitably cultivated and he has long been recognized as 
one of the substantial farmers of that section. 

In 1897 J ens C. Hansen was united in marriage to Emma Pederson 
and to this union seven children have been born, Merrill, Ruth, Hattie, 
Edna, Elvin, Victor and Mildred. Mr. and Mrs. Hansen are members of 
the Baptist church and take a proper interest in church affairs, Mr. Hansen 
being the clerk of the congregation. He is a Republican and takes a good 
citizen's interest in political affairs, but has never been an office holder. 
He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and takes an active 
interest in the affairs of that organization. 



ARTHUR O. STARK. 



Arthur O. Stark, a well-to-do farmer of Amo township, proprietor of 
a fine farm of four hundred and eighty acres in the neighborhood of Storden, 
former chairman of the township board, a director of the Farmers Bank of 
Storden, one of the organizers of the companies controlling the farmers' 
elevator and the co-operative store at Storden and for years actively inter- 
ested in the promotion of the best interests of that section of the county, 
is a native son of Minnesota, born on a farm in the vicinity of Amherst, 
in Fillmore county, May 11, 1865, son of S. S. and Miranda (Able) Stark, 
natives of the state of New York, who became pioneers of Minnesota in the 
early sixties and were living in Fillmore county during the time of the 
Sioux outbreak. S. S. Stark was one of eight children born to his parents, 
the others being Richard, Charles, David, Andrew, Prucia, Josephine and 
Mary. Andrew Stark also came West and served through the Civil War 
as a member of a Wisconsin regiment. S. S. Stark became a well-to-do 



2&2 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

farmer in Fillmore county and he and his wife spent the remainder of their" 
lives there. They were the parents of six children, as follow : Flora, Will- 
iam A., Arthur O., Ida S., Josephine and Edgar. Edgar and Flora are 
deceased. 

Arthur O. Stark was reared on the paternal farm in Fillmore county 
and received his schooling in the district school in the neighborhood. Reared 
to farming, he early began farming on his own account and for about ten 
years after his marriage lived on a farm in his native county, after which, 
in 1900, he came to this part of the state and bought the farm of four hun- 
dred and eighty acres on which he since has made his home in Amo town- 
ship and where he and his family are comfortably situated. In addition to 
his extensive general farming, Mr. Stark has given considerable attention 
to stock raising and makes a specialty of pure-bred Shorthorn cattle and 
Percheron horses. Mr. Stark has for years given his intelligent attention 
to the promotion of the best interests of his home community and is recog- 
nized as one of the most enterprising and progressive farmers in the Storden 
neighborhood. For eleven years he has been a member of the township 
board, a part of which time he served as chairman of the board, and for 
fifteen years has been a member of the school board. He helped in the 
organization of the Farmers Elevator Company and of the Farmers 
Co-operative Company at Storden, is a stockholder in both these organ- 
izations and for some time served as a member of the board of directors of 
the same. He also is a member of the board of directors of the Farmers 
Bank at Storden and in other ways is connected with the business and gen- 
eral interests of his home community. 

In 1890 Arthur O. Stark was united in marriage in Fillmore 
C( -inty, this state, to Delia Griffith, who was born in that county, daughter 
of Edward and Clarissa (Burbank) Griffith, the former of whom was born 
in England and the latter in this country, of German descent, who were early 
settlers in Fillmore county, where their last days were spent, both being 
buried in the same cemetery in Fillmore county in which rest the remains 
of Mr. Stark's parents, the two families having been close neighbors. To 
Mr. and Mrs. Stark have been born five children, Elsie, Leroy, Vivian, 
Donald and Alice. Donald is deceased. The Starks are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church and take an active interest in the various benefi- 
cences of the same, as well as in all local good works, being accounted among 
the leaders in the various social activities of their home community. Mr. 
Stark is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, in the affairs of 
which he takes a warm interest. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 263 

HENNING L. SWENSON. 

Henning L. Swenson, one of the most substantial farmers of High- 
water township, Cottonwood county, is a native son of that township, born 
on the old homestead farm where he has lived all his life. He was born on 
May 5, 1879, son of Lars and Birgit (Ophiem) Swenson, natives of the 
kingdom of Norway, who came to Minnesota in 1870 and later became 
pioneer settlers in Cottonwood county, where the latter is still living. 

Lars Swenson was born on April 2, 1845, and was reared on a farm 
in his native land. In 1870 he came to the United States, proceeding 
directly to Minnesota and located in Olmsted county. In 187 1, he came to 
Cottonwood county and homesteaded a quarter of a section in Highwater 
township, where he established his home and where he spent the rest of his 
life, his death occurring on November 10, 1902. Lars Swenson for years 
was one of the leading citizens of Cottonwood county, taking a prominent 
part not only in civic affairs, but in the general life of the community in 
pioneer days, and proved a strong and helpful factor in the development of 
the new country hereabout. He served his community in numerous minor 
official capacities and in 1890 was elected a member of the board of county 
commissioners and continued serving in that important public capacity until 
his death. He was successful in his farming operations and became one of 
the largest landowners in the northern part of the county, this land now 
being owned and operated by his children, all of whom are doing well their 
respective parts in the community. His widow is still living on the old 
homestead place, that portion of the farm now being owned and operated 
by Henning L. Swenson, the subject of this sketch. Lars Swenson was 
an earnest member of the Norwegian Lutheran church, as is his widow, 
and their children were reared in that faith. There were ten of these chil- 
dren, of whom Henning L. was the fourth in order of birth, the others 
being Swen L., Halvor and Olena, who died in infancy; Halvor, Orin, 
Theodore, Olene, Hannah and Laura. 

Henning L. Swenson was reared on the old homestead farm on which 
he was born, receiving his elementary education in the schools of High- 
water township, and later took a course in the State Agricultural School, 
after which he began farming on his own account on the home farm. After 
his father's death he became the owner of two hundred acres of the estate, 
including the old homestead tract, and is now living there with his aged 
mother. Mr. Swenson is carrying on his farming operations according to 



264 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

modern methods and has his place in fine shape. In addition to his general 
farming, he has given considerable attention to raising live stock, with par- 
ticular reference to Holstein cattle, and has done very well. He gives 
thoughtful attention to the civic affairs of his home county and does a good 
citizen's part in the promotion of all agencies having to do with the better- 
ment of local conditions. 



LARS P. PEDERSON. 



Lars P. Pederson, marshal of the village of Westbrook, chief of the 
fire department, president of the Westbrook Electric Light Commission, 
owner of the leading garage in the village, for ten years street commissioner 
and for many years one of the best-known threshermen in Cottonwood 
county, is a native son of that county and has lived there all his life with 
the exception of a few years spent in the village of Revere in the neighbor- 
ing county of Redwood. He was born on a pioneer farm on the present 
site of the village of Westbrook, September 27, 1871, son of Ole A. and 
Allete (Larson) Pederson, natives of Norway, who came to Minnesota in 
1866 and located near Lamberton. A year later they moved over into 
Cottonwood county and in Westbrook township Ole A. Pederson entered a 
homestead claim to a tract of eighty acres and pre-empted an adjoining 
"eighty" in the western part of the township and there established his home. 
He later bought an adjoining quarter section and thus was the owner of a 
full half section of land, becoming one of the most substantial farmers in 
that part of the county. He was active in civic affairs during the early 
days of the settlement of the county and at one time and another held prac- 
tically all township offices. He was the first postmaster of Westbrook and 
for fifteen years kept the postoffice in his home, around which the village 
of Westbrook gradually grew up and became a flourishing community. 
Some time after his wife died, Ole A. Pederson moved to the village of 
Windom, about 1900, and there spent the rest of his life. He and his wife 
were the parents of seven children, Louisa M., Peder A., Lars P., Josephine 
T., Ole A., Ellen E. and Adolph A., all of whom are living save the last- 
named, who died when one year old. 

Lars P. Pederson grew to manhood on his father's homestead farm, 
receiving his schooling in the district school in that immediate vicinity, 
and when grown started out for himself, engaging in threshing and well- 
digging and was thus quite successfully engaged until 1902, a part of the 




LARS P. PEDERSOX. 



PUBLI 



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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 265 

time making his home in the village of Revere. In 1902 he returned to 
Westbrook and has since then been marshal of the village. For ten years 
also he was commissioner of streets and is now, in addition to his other 
official duties, chief of the fire department and president of the electric 
light commission. Mr. Pederson continued operating his threshing-rig 
until 191 1, in which year he established a garage at Westbrook and has since 
been engaged in the automobile business. In the summer of 1914 he built 
his present garage, a substantial structure of brick, fifty by one hundred 
feet, and has a very well-appointed place. In addition to his general garage 
business, in connection with which he conducts a first-class service station, 
Mr. Pederson also acts as agent for the Overland car throughout that 
locality and has done very well. 

On August 14, 1902, Lars P. Pederson was united in marriage to 
Miriam Jacobson, daughter of the Rev. J. C. Jacobson, now of Windom, 
and to this union five children have been born, Lila, *Myron, Harriet, Kern 
and Arline, all of whom are living. Mr. and Mrs. Pederson are members 
of the Lutheran church and Mr. Pederson is a member of the Masonic 
fraternity and of the Modern Woodmen of America, in the affairs of which 
organizations he takes a warm interest. 



JAMES J. WALSH. 



James J. Walsh was born in England on May 17, 1865, the son of 
Anthony and Barbara (Gillespie) Walsh. Anthony Walsh and family came 
to the United States in 1866, when James J. was but one year of age. They 
landed in New York City and came direct to Fox Lake, Wisconsin. Here 
they made their home for three years, when they came to Watonwan county 
and purchased a farm of eighty acres in Fieldon township, in section 25. 
The farm was increased until there was four hundred and eighty acres in 
the tract. Mr. Walsh retired from active life in 1896 and moved to Madelia, 
where he died in June, 1907. Mrs. Walsh died in 1904. Anthony Walsh 
and wife were the parents of the following children: Ellen, James, Bar- 
bara and W r illiam. The family are all members of the Catholic church. 

James J. Walsh grew to manhood on the home farm and was educated 
in the schools of Fieldon township. In January, 1906, he was married to 
Catherine Kennedy, and to this union one child has been born, William 
Clyde, who was born on September 24, 191 1. 



266 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

James J. Walsh is the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of 
land in sections 25 and 26, and the place where he now lives, which was a 
part of his father's farm. He does general farming and feeds some five 
hundred head of sheep and one hundred hogs each year. He also conducts 
a large dairy. Mr. Walsh and family are members of the Catholic church 
at Madelia. 



JOHN E. KOPPERUD. 



John E. Kopperud, a well-known and substantial farmer of Ann town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, owner of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty 
acres, the old Hudson farm, on rural route No. 1, out of Revere, and actively 
identified with the work of developing the interests of that community, is a 
native of Norway, but has been a resident of this country since he was 
thirteen years old. He was born on December 23, 1879, son of Knute E. 
and Emma Kopperud, who later became residents of Cottonwood county, 
where the latter is still living. 

Knute E. Kopperud was reared as a farmer in Norway and later moved 
to Christiana, where he was engaged in the milk business. In 1891 he came 
to the United States with his family and settled in Buena Vista county, 
Iowa, where he farmed for eight years, at the end of which time, in 1899, 
he came to Minnesota and located in Cottonwood county. He bought two 
hundred and forty acres of wild land in section 23, Ann township, and 
there established his home and was beginning to have the place well 
improved when death put a stop to his labors in the spring of 1904. His 
widow is still living on the home farm. They were the parents of ten chil- 
dren, of whom John E. was the first in order of birth, the others being as 
follow: Christina,- who died in infancy; Charlotte, who married J. Takle, 
a farmer of Ann township; Severn, who is farming south of Tracy, this 
state; Jorgen, who died at the age of four years in Iowa; Eimar, a farmer, 
of Ann township; Evald, who is farming south of Walnut Grove; Elma, 
who is with her mother on the home farm, and Juel and Cora, also at home. 

John E. Kopperud was about twelve years old when he came to this 
country with his parents in 1892. He continued his studies for awhile in 
Iowa and helped in the work of the farm there, remaining with his parents 
when they came to Minnesota about 1899. Four years after he came to 
this state, on December 29, 1903, he married Amelia Josephine Hanson, and 
started out for himself on a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in section 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 267 

23, Ann township, which he rented for a year, at the end of which time he 
went to North Dakota, where he bought a quarter of a section of wild 
prairie land in Ransom county, which he set about improving, but a year 
later traded that place for a farm of eighty acres in Ann township, Cotton- 
wood county, and returned to the latter place. In addition to farming that 
eighty he rented the old Hanson farm and operated both places, presently 
selling his own tract of eighty acres to his brother and buying the Hanson 
place of one hundred and sixty acres, where he since has made his home. 
He has built a new barn on the place and otherwise improved it and is now 
very well situated. He rents eighty acres of the old Kopperud farm, oper- 
ating the same in addition to his own place, and gives some attention to 
the raising of live stock in addition to his general farming and is doing very 
well. Mr. Kopperud is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company at 
Revere. 

In his political views he is an independent Socialist. For some time 
he was clerk of school district No. 4. Mr. and Mrs. Kopperud have an 
adopted son, Louis Arthur. They are members of the Norwegian Lutheran 
church and take a proper part in all neighborhood good works. 



BERTEL A. ANDERSON. 

Bertel A. Anderson, a well-to-do retired farmer, of Madelia township, 
Watonwan county, still living on the old home farm in that township, though 
having sold the same some years ago to his son, Osten M. Anderson, one 
of the most substantial young farmers in that neighborhood, is a native of 
Norway, born on January 20, 1839, son of Andrew and Rachel (Anderson) 
Anderson, natives of that same country. Andrew Anderson died in his 
native land and his widow and her son, Bertel A., shortly afterward came 
to Minnesota to join other members of the family who previously had set- 
tled in the Madelia neighborhood. 

Upon his arrival here Bertel A. Anderson bought a tract of land in 
Madelia township. One year before leaving Norway he married Olina Her- 
manson, also a native of Norway, born on May 5, 1843, and established his 
home on the farm, where he is still living. He did well at his farming opera- 
tions and gradually added to his holdings until he became the owner of two 
hundred and forty acres of excellent land, which he farmed until advancing 
years warned him to relax his labors. He then sold the place to his son, Osten 



268 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

M. Anderson, who is continuing the cultivation of the farm, the father 
meanwhile continuing to make his home on the old place. Bertel A. Ander- 
son was well past the school age when he came to this country. He had 
acquired his education in his native land and has never taken the trouble 
to learn the English language. He is an earnest member of the Lutheran 
church, as was his wife, who died on March i, 1915-, and their children 
were reared in that faith. There were eight of these children, namely: Mrs. 
Ella Anderson, a widow, at home in Madelia; Ole, unmarried; Soren, who 
married Ransie Johnson ; Sarah, unmarried ; John, unmarried ; Herman, 
who married Mary Ask; Osten M., unmarried, the present owner of the old 
home place, and Abraham, deceased. 

Osten M. Anderson was born on the farm which he now owns on 
November 22, 1882. He received his education in the schools in the neigh- 
borhood of his home and has alwavs made his home on the farm, a valuable 
assistant to his father in the work of developing and improving the same. 
The farm is well improved. A substantial new house was erected in 1890, 
and in 1896 the present barn was built. O. M. Anderson is a good farmer 
and the appearance of his place gives evidence of his progressive methods. 
In addition to the old home farm he also is the owner of another tract of 
land of one hundred and twenty acres, thus being the possessor of three 
hundred and sixty acres in all and is regarded as one of tke substantial 
farmers of that part of the county. 



LAURITS PETERSON. 



Laurits Peterson, one of the most substantial pioneer farmers of Ma- 
delia township, Watonwan county, proprietor of a farm of one hundred 
and eightv acres in the vicinity of Madelia, where he has made his home for 
more than forty years, is a native of Norway, born on November 7, 1847, 
son of Peter and Carrie (Lumberg) Peterson, natives of that country, who 
became pioneers of this section of Minnesota and spent their last days here. 

Peter Peterson was the son of Peter Peterson, a Norwegian farmer 
and a trained soldier, who spent his whole life in his native land. The 
younger Peter Peterson grew up to the life of the farm in his home country 
and there married, continuing to farm there until he and his wife came to 
the United States, locating in Washington county, Iowa, where they re- 
mained for two vears, at the end of which time thev came to Minnesota and 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 269 

joined the pioneer settlers who were beginning to occupy the choice lands in 
this part of the state. Peter Peterson bought a tract of land in Madelia 
township, Watonwan county, established his home there and there he and his 
wife spent their last days, honored pioneers of that community, the former 
dying in 1901 and the latter in 1902. They were earnest members of the 
Lutheran church and their children were reared in that faith. There were 
four of these children, of whom Laurits was the first born, the others being 
Catherine, Gillis (deceased) and Nicholas. 

Laurits Peterson was twenty-two years old when he came to this coun- 
try. He had received his schooling in the government schools of his native 
land and had grown up to the life of the farm. Upon coming to Minnesota 
in 1873 he took an active part in the work of developing the homestead 
farm, a valuable assistant to his father, and early became recognized as 
one of the substantial pioneers of that community. In 1876 he homesteaded 

1 

the farm of one hundred and eighty acres, on which he still is living and 
after his marriage, in 1879, established his home there and quickly brought 
the place to a high state of cultivation. Twenty-eight years ago he re- 
placed the pioneer house in which he and his wife began their home-keeping 
by the present substantial residence and later erected more substantial build- 
ings in keeping with the general well-kept condition of the farm. Mr. 
Peterson, in addition to his general farming, gave considerable attention to 
the raising of high-grade cattle and hogs and did very well. Of late years 
he has practically been retired from the active labors of the farm, the man- 
agement of which he has turned over to his son, Carl, who is carrying on 
the work of the farm in progressive fashion, in accordance with modern 
agricultural methods and is recognized as one of the substantial farmers of 
that neighborhood. 

It was on December 6, 1879, that Laurits Peterson was united in mar- 
riage to Augusta Marie Sunberg, who was born in Norway on December 
19, 1858, and who had come to this part of Minnesota with her parents in 
pioneer days, and to this union were born five children, four sons and one 
daughter, all of whom are living, as follow: Peter, unmarried, who lives 
at Montrose, South Dakota; Carl, also unmarried, who has traveled exten- 
sively throughout the middle West, and who is now managing the old home- 
stead farm for his father; Joseph, who married Minnie Winder, and is now 
living in southern Minnesota; Edward, who married Clara Winder, and is 
also living in Minnesota, and Mary,- who married Bert Johnson. The Peter- 
sons are members of the Lutheran church and for many years have been 
regarded as among the leaders in the work of the local congregation of that 



2/0 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

church and in the general good works of the community in which they have 
lived since pioneer days, ever active and influential in the promotion of 
movements designed to advance the cause of the common weal thereabout. 



DIETRICH STOESS. 



Dietrich Stoess, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Midway town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, proprietor of an excellent farm of six hundred 
and forty acres in the vicinity of Mountain Lake, is a native of Russia, 
born at Schoenthal, March 14, 1866, son of John and Mary (Hepner) 
Stoess, both natives of that same district in the Czar's domain, who came 
to the United States in 1877 and proceeded to Minnesota, settling in Waton- 
wan county. There John Stoess bought a quarter of a section of land in the 
western part of the county and established his home. He was an excellent 
farmer and prospered in his operations, eventually becoming the owner of 
a full section of land, where he made his home until his retirement from 
the farm in 1903 and removed to the village of Mountain Lake, where his 
death occurred in the following year, 1904, he then being sixty-five years 
of age. His widow survived for a little more than ten years, her death 
occurring on August 8, 191 4. They were earnest members of the Mennon- 
ite church and their children were reared in that faith. There were eight 
of these children, of whom Dietrich was the second in order of birth, the 
others being Mary (deceased), Jacob, John, Cornelius, Peter, David (de- 
ceased) and Erdman. 

Dietrich Stoess was about eleven years of age when he came to Minne- 
sota with his parents in 1877 and he has lived in the neighborhood in which 
the family settled in Watonwan county ever since. Upon coming here he 
entered the public schools and supplemented the course there by later at- 
tendance in a private Mennonite school. He early took his place as an assist- 
ant to his father and brothers in the development of the home farm and 
became an excellent practical farmer. He was married in 1890, and in 
1896 bought the northeast quarter of section 25, in Midway township, Cot- 
tonwood county, where he established his home and where he has lived ever 
since. As he prospered in his farming operations Mr. Stoess added to his 
land holdings until now he is the owner of almost a full section of land, 
part of it being over the line in Watonwan county. He has improved his 
place in admirable fashion, has a substantial and comfortable residence, ex- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 2JI 

cellent barns and other fine buildings and has long been regarded as one of 
the leading farmers of the Mountain Lake neighborhood. Mr. Stoess also 
is the owner of a threshing rig. which is in wide demand during the thresh- 
ing season. Mr. Stoess is a Republican and takes an active interest in local 
political affairs, but has never been a seeker after public office. 

On January 17, 1890. Dietrich Stoess was united in marriage to Helena 
Harder, of Watonwan county, and to this union have been born eleven 
children, all of whom are living save two, John and Wilhelm, the others 
being John, Abraham, Jacob, Mary, Dietrich, Peter, Erdman, Cornelius and 
Aaron, the first named of whom is occupying the farm his father owns in 
Watonwan county. Mr. and Mrs. Stoess are active members of the Men- 
nonite church, in the affairs of which they have ever taken a deep interest, 
and Mr. Stoess is treasurer of the school maintained by that church at 
Mountain Lake, Minnesota. 



AUGUST E. LINDQUIST. 

August E. Lindquist, one of the prominent citizens of Watonwan 
county, was born on September 26, 1879, being the son of Gustave and 
Augusta Lindquist. Gustave and Augusta Lindquist are natives of Sweden 
and came to the United States when young. They settled in Watonwan 
county some fifty years ago. When young people they met and later mar- 
ried. In early life Mr. Lindquist homesteaded eighty acres of land. Since 
that time he has added to the original tract considerable land and owns 
much property in St. James. He lives on the old homestead in Long Lake 
township, near the lake. To Gustave and Augusta Lindquist were born five 
children: Christine, the wife of Elof Erickson; Edward, Albert, Tillie, the 
wife of O. K. Haugen, and August E. 

August E. Lindquist received his education in the public schools of his 
township and in the schools of St. James. After completing his education 
he worked on the farm and followed threshing for a time. He was later 
employed as a salesman and collector for a machine company for nine 
years. He has been a resident of St. James for about fifteen years. He is 
recognized as a man of much ability and has many friends. In 1908 he was 
elected sheriff of his county for two years, and was twice re-elected for a 
similar term, and in 1914 he was elected for a term of four years. His 
official life has been above criticism and his tenure of office is an index of 
his standing in the county, where he has spent his life. 



272 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

In 1907 Mr. Lindquist was married to Edith Olson, of Watonwan 
county. To this union two children have been born; Ruth, born in 191 1, 
and Donald, born in 191 3. Mr. and Mrs. Lindquist are members of the 
Lutheran church. 



NATHANIEL P. MINION. 

Nathaniel P. Minion, member of the board of county commissioners of 
Cottonwood county, one of the best-known and most substantial farmers 
of that county, and who also is extensively engaged in the business of buy- 
ing and selling live stock, proprietor of a fine farm in Delton township and 
also actively interested in the banking and elevator business at Bingham 
Lake, is a native of the Dominion of Canada, but has lived in Minnesota 
since he was twelve years old. He was born on a farm in Canada, June 6, 
1859, son of Arthur and Rhoda (Griffin) Minion, who became pioneers of 
Cottonwood county and spent their last days here. 

Arthur Minion was born in Ireland in 181 1. When twenty years of 
age, in 1831, he crossed the water and settled in Canada, where he married. 
He had been trained to the trade of weaver in Ireland, but upon locating 
in Canada became a farmer and the owner of one hundred and sixty acres 
of land, making his home on that farm until 1865, in which year he sold 
his place and came to the United States, settling in Clinton county, Iowa, 
where he farmed until 1871, in June of which year he came to Minnesota 
and homesteaded a quarter of a section in section 4 of Carson township, 
Cottonwood county, where he established his home. He hauled lumber 
from Madelia and erected a shanty on his place and there made his home 
during those "lean" years that marked the grasshopper visitations of that 
period. In 1879 he built a better house, having by that time got his farm 
pretty well under cultivation and was regarded as one of the substantial and 
influential farmers of that community. He was a public-spirited man, ever 
taking an active part in local political affairs, and did well his part in the 
development of that part of Cottonwood county. Arthur Minion was acci- 
dentally killed while working about a horse-power threshing-machine on 
September 6, 1885. His widow survived him many years, her death occur- 
ing in the fall of 1912, she then being ninety-four years of age. They were 
the parents of twelve children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the 
eleventh in order of birth, the others being Mary Ann (deceased), William 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 273 

(deceased), Robert, Sarah Jane (deceased), Arthur, Eliza Jane (deceased), 
Charlotte, Amanda, James, Martha and Sarah. 

Nathaniel P. Minion was about six years old when his parents moved 
from Canada to Iowa and was about twelve when they came to this state. 
He grew to manhood on the homestead farm in Carson township, helping 
in the development of the same, and remained at home until his marriage 
in the spring of 1881, after which he rented a place in section 10, of Carson 
township, where he lived for a couple of years, at the end of which time 
he bought from his brother, Arthur Minion, the homestead right to a 
quarter section in section 34, Delton township. On that tract he built a 
small house and barn and entered upon possession in 1886, remaining there 
until he moved to his present place in 1898. In the meantime he had bought 
the northwest quarter of section 28 in Delton township and in 1898 traded 
his homestead place for the adjoining southwest quarter and there has made 
his home ever since. When he entered upon possession the place was almost 
wholly unimproved and he has brought it to a fine state of cultivation, 
improved it in up-to-date fashion, planted trees and made the place one of 
the most attractive in that part of the county. Mr. Minion has done well 
in his farming and stock-raising operations and has added to his land hold- 
ings by the purchase of two hundred and forty acres in section 29, of Delton 
township, and one hundred and sixty acres in section 35, of Ann township. 
He is widely known as a stock buyer and ships a carload of cattle to St. 
Paul every week, besides maintaining various other business interests. He 
is the vice-president of the First State Bank of Bingham Lake, a stockholder 
and director in the Carson Farmers Elevator Company and a stockholder 
in the Farmers Telephone Company. Mr. Minion is a Republican and for 
years has given close attention to local political affairs, now serving his third 
term as a member of the board of county commissioners, of which board 
he has been chairman two terms. For sixteen or seventeen years he served 
as assessor of his home township ; was township clerk for some years and 
also served for some time as a justice of the peace, while he has been clerk 
of the board of his local school district for many years. He is a member 
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Modern Woodmen 
of the World and in the affairs of these organizations takes a warm interest. 

It was on March 20, 1881, that Nathaniel P. Minion was united in 

marriage to Augusta Bastian, who was born in Germany and who had come 

to this country with her parents when she was a young girl, and to this 

union seven children have been born, namely: Robert W., a well-known 

(18a) 



2J4 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

young farmer of Delton township, who married Laurel Davis and has two 
children, Walter and Wesley; Frank S., also farming in Delton township, 
who married Winifred Fox and has one child, a son, Russell; Bertha, who 
married James Fairburn, of Saskatchewan, and has five children, Leslie, 
Nathaniel P., Ethel, Earl and Dorothy; Lewis, also farming in Delton town- 
ship, who married Bertha DeWolfe and has one child, a son, Donald; Effie, 
who married Harry Gravell, a farmer of Ann township, and Reuben and 
John, who are at home. The Minions are members of the Methodist church 
and take an active interest in the promotion of all movements having to do 
with the advancement of the common interest hereabout. 



WILLIAM WALLACE McLAUGHLIN. 

The New Englanders have been noted as a hardy race. Wherever they 
have settled they have been noted for their thrift, fortitude and good citizen- 
ship. Among this class, who have cast their lot with the people of Waton- 
wan county, are the McLaughlins, of Fieldon township. 

William Wallace McLaughlin was born at Hartford, Vermont, January 
2j, 1848. He is a son of Lewis H. and Sarah H. (Hatch) McLaughlin, 
The father was born in Canada in 1799, grew up on a farm and married 
there, finally moving to Cook county, Illinois, where they lived until 1864, 
when they came to Rice county, Minnesota, where they lived two years, 
locating in Watonwan county in 1866, homesteading eighty acres, and there 
spent the rest of their lives, the father dying in 1886, at the advanced age 
of eighty-seven years. The mother, who was born in 1807, died in 1884. 
They came here in pioneer days and developed a farm from the wild prairie, 
living in a sod house for sometime. They were menaced by prairie fires 
and many other things which would have discouraged people of less sterling 
mettle. They were active members of the Methodist church. To these 
parents seven children were born, named as follow : James and Jane, who 
are both deceased; Phineas and Adelia, who are both living; Abigail is 
deceased; Emma is living, and William Wallace, the subject of this sketch. 

William W. McLaughlin grew up on the home farm and he received 
his education in the district schools. Lie has followed general farming and 
stock raising all his life and owns eighty acres of good land, which was orig- 
inally prairie. He has planted the following varieties of trees on his land : 
Cottonwood, ash, soft maple, willow. He has a cosy home, which he has 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 275 

remodeled a number of times. Politically, he is a Republican, and has been 
treasurer of the township of Fieldon for twenty-nine years. During the 
past twenty years the township elections have been held at his place. 

Mr. McLaughlin was married in 1875 to Christine Siharffenberg, who 
was born in Easterdahlen, Norway, January 26, 1851. She came to Minne- 
sota when young. Mrs. McLaughlin owns forty acres joining the home- 
stead on the south. To this union the following children have been born : 
A. U., born on December 15, 1875, was reared on the homestead and edu- 
cated in the local public schools. He married Emma Colebank, a daughter of 
E. Colebank. Their union has been without issue, but they have an adopted 
son, Loren C. A. U. McLaughlin holds title to> one hundred and twenty 
acres and farms his father's place also, making two hundred and forty acres 
in all. He has been engaged for the past eleven years in raising and shipping 
to all parts of Minnesota a fine grade of Yorkshire hogs, which, owing to 
their superior quality, find a very ready market, and he has become widely 
known in this business. He is a Prohibitionist. He served his township 
as assessor several terms. He belongs to the Presbyterian church, is presi- 
dent of the County Sunday School Association and of the local creamery. 

May McLaughlin, second child of the subject of this sketch, was born 
May 6, 1878, married John P. Erickson, and they have two children, Elna 
and Eunice. Nellie McLaughlin, the third child of the subject of this sketch, 
was born October 29, 1880, married Frank M. Colebank, also a son of E. 
Colebank, and they have two children, Donald and Lloyd. 

In 1870 Mr. McLaughlin lost his crops through the grasshopper plague; 
in 1 87 1 blight visited and destroyed his crops, which again in 1879 were 
ruined by a hailstorm. 



MOSES KIMBALL ARMSTRONG. 

(Written by a Friend.) 

It affords great pleasure to present an account of the life record of the 
above named distinguished gentleman. He was a man not alone of Minne- 
sota, but of the nation, and largely through his efforts the great Northwest, 
with its vast resources and advantages, has been opened up to civilization. 
With' a devotion and self-sacrifice that is seldom equaled, he gave of his time 
and energies to the work that has made this region a habitable place, and 
we can hold him in grateful remembrance for what he did and tell to our 
children the story of his heroism. 

Moses K. Armstrong was born in Milan, Erie county, Ohio, December 



2/6 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

19, 1832, and came from an old New England family of Scotch-American 
origin. The grandfather, Augustus Armstrong, was born in Connecticut 
and spent his entire life in that state, engaged on a whaling vessel. He lost 
his life by being dragged overboard into the sea while harpooning a whale. 
The father of Moses K. also bore the name of Augustus and he, too, was a 
native of Connecticut; was reared in Stonington, was a farmer by occupa- 
tion and in his early life served as captain of militia in northern Ohio. 
Thomas H. Armstrong, one of the sons, has been lieutenant-governor of 
Minnesota, and another son, Augustus, was United States marshal of the 
state. 

M. K. Armstrong was educated in Huron Institute and the Western 
Reserve College of Ohio and held high rank as a mathematician. When 
only eighteen years of age he moved westward and engaged in the land 
surveys of northern Iowa. From that time on he was identified with the 
wonderful development of the Northwest. He became a man of wide in- 
fluence, but instead of using his power for self-aggrandizement or personal 
advancement, he practically gave his life for others with an unselfishness 
deserving of all commendation. After two years spent in Iowa he came to 
Minnesota, then a territory wild and unimproved, and surveyed much of the 
land in the southern and western parts of the state. In 1856 he was elected 
surveyor of Mower county and while traveling with chain and compass 
through pioneer localities, he gathered material and wrote a history of the 
community. He was one of the delegates to the first Democratic state con- 
vention held in Minnesota, which nominated General Sibley as Minnesota's 
first state governor. The first surveyor-general appointed him as one of his 
deputies and assigned him to the survey of government lands in southwest- 
ern Minnesota and in 1858 he surveyed into sections the land of which 
Watonwan county is now composed. His friend, D. Bearup, a New York 
investor in Watonwan county securities, in writing him concerning this 
county, said: "But what is a still greater source of gratification is that as 
a pioneer in Watonwan county you have watched it and sustained it in its 
tottering infancy and have done much to put it safely and firmly upon its 
feet. This is an achievement that few men could accomplish and still fewer 
would so far divest themselves of selfishness as to accomplish it if they 
could. Watonwan county is making its material for history. In that his- 
tory you cannot be a mere incident, but it will have to be very largely based 
on you, to be history at all; and it is a great pleasure to us to believe that 
the patriotism, generosity and faith which you have devoted to the struggling 
settlers will be gratefully remembered long after you have left the scene." 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 277 

When Dakota was made a territory separate from Minnesota, Mr. 
Armstrong made his way into that unorganized region and surveyed some 
of the first claims and townsites for the new settlers on the land which the 
Yankton Indians had just ceded to the United States in southern Dakota. 
He was a member of the first Territorial Legislature of Dakota, on its 
organization in 1861 ; was re-elected for a second term and became speaker 
of the House when Dakota embraced, besides the domain included in North 
and South Dakota, the territories of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. For 
many years following he was prominent in public life, but whether in office 
or out he was always laboring for the development and advancement of the 
Northwest. The Northern Pacific railroad, which became the national 
highway of this region, was established by a company which numbered him 
among the incorporators, by act of Congress in 1862. During the Civil 
War, Mr. Armstrong was a supporter of the Democracy and edited the 
Dakota Union in the interests of that party. In 1864 he was appointed 
clerk of the supreme court of Dakota and the following year was elected 
treasurer of the territory. He was sent as a senator to the Legislature, 
where he served as presiding officer in 1867, and in 1870 was elected by the 
Democrats as a delegate to Congress. He gave his first term salary for the 
purchase of a printing press with which was founded the Dakota Herald, 
the first prominent Democratic paper in the territory and is today the oldest 
party newspaper in the state. In 1872 he was again elected to Congress 
and in 1874 he was re-nomiated for a third term, but declined to be a candi- 
date. No man did more effective service for the Northwest in the halls of 
Congress, and through his labors and devotion he forwarded the interests 
of this section in a way that brought material prosperity and rapid progress 
to a region that is now becoming a power in the country. 

One of the most important acts in the life of Mr. Armstrong was the 
negotiations with the Indians in securing the lands that belonged to the 
Sioux tribe. He was fitted for this work by his study of the habits, customs 
and beliefs of the red men and knew how to deal advantageously with them. 
He lived through the attacks which were made on the settlers by the treach- 
erous savage, and his able pen has given to the world a graphic account of 
these trying times. He acted as recording secretary for the Indian peace 
commission in 1867, and visited every tribe of Sioux Indians on the Mis- 
souri river as far north as the Yellowstone country. He was the first man 
to frame and introduce a bill in Congress in 1871, whereby the secretary of 
the interior should have authority to treat with the Sioux Indians and pur- 
chase from them their rights to the Black Hills country. He knew of the 



278 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

vast resources, the mineral wealth, the climatic conditions, the fine agricul- 
tural districts of the region over which the Indians had control, and through 
his instrumentality this valuable region was finally secured. But the work 
which gives Mr. Armstrong the strongest claim to the esteem and gratitude 
of the Dakotans is his "History of Dakota," in 1866. One may suppose 
that Dakota could not have had much history up to that date, but a perusal 
of Armstrong's book will show that the history of Dakota reaches back to 
the earliest years of the century, when Napoleon sold to the government of 
the United States the Territory of Louisiana, in which the Dakotas were 
included. 

Mr. Armstrong, while in Congress, also received from the government 
a charter for the first National bank established in the territory once em- 
braced in Dakota's boundaries and was afterward made its president, the 
bank being located at Yankton. In 1876 he was appointed by the governor 
of Dakota to prepare and deliver at Philadelphia the centennial address on 
the resources of the territory, which afterward appeared in pamphlet form, 
having been published by the Lippincott Publishing Company. In 1877 he 
began to concentrate his business affairs, which before had been scattered 
over a wide range and the following year being appointed railroad land 
agent he moved to St. James, where he established what is known as the 
Old Bank, which had a capital of two hundred thousand dollars, and of 
which he was sole proprietor and manager. During the last few years of 
his life he retired from activities publicly and devoted his time to his per- 
sonal affairs only. Since he had arrived in Watonwan county, however, he 
served as county treasurer two years — 1881-2 — and was city treasurer more 
than a dozen years. He was one of the largest property owners in Waton- 
wan county, and donated the grounds on which stand many of the public 
buildings. He was a life member of the State Historical Society, and one 
of Minnesota's lakes bears his name. He was married in 1872 to an esti- 
mable lady, Martha Bordeno, a native of Detroit, Michigan, born in 1833, 
the daughter of Antoine and Victoria Bordeno, who were of French descent. 

Mr. Armstrong was identified with almost every line of trade and enter- 
prise. He was instrumental in establishing the early railway systems of the 
Northwest; the aid of Congress in securing the wealth and privileges to a 
race that could utilize them, was advocated by him. In procuring legislation 
he played a prominent part, and the Northwest is truly his debtor. A life 
well spent, a talent well used, deserves the reward that ever comes to the 
just and honorable. We cannot better close this review than with the words 
spoken of him by one who knew his career long and well — John F. Meagher, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 279 

president of the Citizens' National Bank at Mankato. He says : "I glory in 
the man, who, after long years of a business career, surrounded by contin- 
uous vicissitudes and those of the kind that try men's souls, when such a 
man can stand erect and look all men in the face and sav honestly before 
God, 'I have done you no wrong.' What more could man do to deserve a 
crown? Such I believe your life to be. 'Well done, thou good and faithful 
servant.' " 

It is to be regretted that the last years of Mr. Armstrong's career were 
cast beneath a cloud on account of his big bank failure, in which many lost 
heavily. He lost his wife and nearly all of his great wealth; he was taken 
to Albert Lea, Minnesota, and died a few years ago. 



LaMONT HOWARD TACKELS. 

LaMont Howard Tackels, one of the prominent farmers of Antrim 
township, is a native of Watonwan county, having been born here on Decem- 
ber 17, 1879. He is the son of Martin Van Buren and Frances H. (Zim- 
merman) Tackels. Martin Van Buren Tackels was born in Michigan on 
August 13, 1840, while Frances Tackels was a native of Waterloo, New 
York, having been born there on December 29, 1846. William Zimmerman, 
the father of Mrs. Tackels, was born in Pennsylvania. He later moved to 
Waterloo, New York, and then to Edgerton, Wisconsin, where he died in 
July, 1879. His life had been devoted to the cultivation of the soil. 

Horace H. Tackels, the grandfather of LaMont Howard Tackels, was 
of English descent. He married Samantha Webster and they lived for a 
time on a farm in Michigan. They later moved to a farm near Edgerton, 
Wisconsin, and then to Blue Earth county, Minnesota, where he owned a 
farm in Pleasant Mounds township. He served for two years in the Civil 
War. Horace H. and Samantha Tackels were the parents of the following 
children: Minerva, deceased; Martin Van Buren, Hattie, Sylvia, deceased; 
Mart, and Charles, deceased. 

Martin Van Buren Tackels was educated in the common and high 
schools of Michigan and Wisconsin. He and Mrs. Tackels are the parents 
of the following children : Kittie Eleanor, Mettie Grace, and LaMont How- 
ard. Kittie Eleanor was born on March 7, 1866. She is the wife of W. D. 
Hadley, of Martin county, Minnesota. They have one child, Frances Ger- 
trude. Mettie Grace was born on March 4, 1872. She is the wife of W. 



280 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

L. Hackney. They have two children, Harrold LaMont and Francis Mar- 
tin. LaMont Howard, the subject of this sketch, married Helen Killmer, 
and to this union three children have been born, Mettie Eleanor, Edith 
Evelyn, deceased, and Marion Helen. 

While in high school, LaMont Howard Tackels held positions on the 
Madelia Messenger and on the Times. He is progressive and well-informed. 



w. j. McCarthy, m. d. 

Dr. W. J. McCarthy, of Madelia, one of the best-known physicians in 
this part of the state, is a native son of Watonwan county and has lived 
there practically all his life, being thus thoroughly conversant with the 
growth and development of this region since the days of the pioneers. He 
was born on a pioneer farm in Antrim township, Watonwan county, March 
2, 1868, son of John and Margaret (Thompson) McCarthy, early settlers 
in that section of the county, who are now living comfortably retired in 
their pleasant home at Madelia. 

John McCarthy was born near the city of Belfast, in the north of Ire- 
land, August 15, 1840, son of Edward and Esther (Casement) McCarthy, 
both natives of that same section of Ireland, the former of whom, a shoe- 
maker, died when his son, John, the eldest of his four children, was six 
years old. When not yet twenty-two years of age, in May, 1862, John 
McCarthy left his native land and came to the New World, landing at 
Quebec. The next year he came into the Northwest and settled at West- 
field, Wisconsin, where he married Margaret Thompson, and in 1864 came 
to Minnesota, locating in Wabasha county, whence, in 1866, he came over 
into this part of the state and pre-empted a homestead tract, at the same 
time taking a timber claim in section 12 of what presently became Antrim 
townhsip, Watonwan county. That fall he assisted in the organization of 
his home township and secured for it the name of Antrim, in honor of 
the county in which he was born in Ireland. He took an active part in 
early civic affairs, was the first clerk of Antrim township and later served 
for some time as supervisor. John McCarthy was a good farmer and his 
affairs prospered from the very start. He lived on his homestead farm for 
fourteen years, at the end of which time, in 1880, he sold his place to advan- 
tage and moved over into Lincoln township, Blue Earth county, where he 
bought a farm of four hundred and seventy-nine acres and there established 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 28l 

his home, remaining there for thirty-four years, or until 1914, in which year 
he and his wife retired from the farm and moved to Madelia, where they 
are now living and where they have a beautiful home. During his residence 
in Blue Earth county, Mr. McCarthy also was active in public affairs and 
for years was chairman of the local board in his home township. He took 
an earnest interest in the cause of the schools and his children were given 
every opportunity to acquire a good education, four of them being gradu- 
ates of Carleton College. Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy are members of the 
Presbyterian church and their children were reared in that faith. There are 
twelve of these children, all living, of whom Doctor McCarthy is the third 
in order of birth, the others being as follow: E. F., who is living on the 
old home farm in Blue Earth county; Robert H., who is living on his own 
farm; James N., also a farmer, who makes his home at Madelia; Garfield, 
on the old home farm ; Oscar, also on the farm ; Richard, who was graduated 
from Carleton College and is now engaged as an assayer in the mines at 
Butte, Montana ; Esther, at home with her parents ; Bessie, also at home ; 
the Rev. Samuel McCarthy, a graduate of Carleton College, now pastor of 
the Congregational church at Chamberlain, South Dakota; Rachel, at home, 
and Margaret, a graduate of Carelton College, who is now a member of 
the faculty of the Normal School at Bellingham, Washington. 

Dr. W. J. McCarthy is a student as well as a physician and is ever 
keeping abreast of the wonderful advancement that is being made in modern 
medical science. He was well equipped by preparatory study for the prac- 
tice of his profession and from the days of his youth his studies were pur- 
sued with his ultimate profession in view. Upon completing the course in 
the public schools of Antrim township, he entered Carleton College, from 
which he was graduated in 1894. In the fall of that same year he matricu- 
lated at the medical department of Northwestern University at Chicago and 
was graduated from that excellent institution, with the degree of Doctor of 
Medicine, in 1897. This admirably equipped for the practice of his chosen 
profession, Doctor McCarthy returned to his home state and located at 
Madelia, where he opened an office and where he has been practicing ever 
since, long having been regarded as one of the leading physicians of this 
part of the state. He is a member of the County Medical Association, the 
Minnesota State Medical Society and the American Medical Association 
and takes an earnest interest in the affairs of these several professional 
organizations. Doctor McCarthy is "independent" in his political views 
and gives a good citizen's attention to local political affairs. For two years 
he served as mayor of Madelia and in other ways has done his part in the 



282 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

civic life of the community. He was president of the school board for 
twelve years and a member of board for three years more. 

Doctor McCarthy has a most competent and admirable helpmate in the 
labors of his exacting profession, Mrs. McCarthy, who, before her mar- 
riage, was Leila Clark, a daughter of John Clark, taking her part, together 
with the Doctor, in the various social and cultural activities of Madelia and 
ever interested in such measures as are designed to advance the common 
good hereabout. Doctor and Mrs. McCarthy have two sons, Donald and 
Richard. They are members of the Presbyterian church and take a proper 
interest in the various beneficences of the same. Doctor McCarthy is a 
Royal Arch Mason and a Knight Templar, a member of the blue lodge at 
Madelia; of the chapter at St. James and of the commandery at New Ulm. 
He also is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and in the 
affairs of these several organizations takes a warm interest. 



GEORGE DRAKE. 



There is a certain distinction in being a native of the Empire state, 
which has furnished many great men to our national life and has from the 
beginning been a potent factor in the affairs of the Union. One of those 
who hail from within her borders is George Drake, farmer of Fieldon town- 
ship, Watonwan county. He was born in Monroe county, New York, Sep- 
tember 26, 1844, and is a son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Pen-in) Drake. 
Grandfather Thomas Perrin was a native of England, a miller by occupa- 
tion, and he finally settled at Rochester, New York. Isaac Drake was also 
a native of England and was married there, and five of his children were 
born in that country. He then removed with his family to America and 
settled in the state of New York, locating in Monroe county, where he 
engaged in farming, removing to Cheboygan county, Wisconsin, in 1854, 
buying eightv acres there, on which he spent the rest of his life. He was a 
member of the Baptist church. He was twice married, and his family 
consisted of the following children : Mary, James, John, Eliza, William, 
Jane, George and Isaac. 

George Drake grew up on the farm where he worked when a boy and 
he received his education in the public schools. In 1867 he came to Minne- 
sota and took up a homestead in Fieldon township, Watonwan county, but 
did not prove up on it. Later he purchased eighty acres on which he has 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 283 

since resided. He was a pioneer. There were but ten miles of railroad in 
the state when he came to Minnesota; the country was sparsely settled, and 
dangers beset him on every hand, not the least of which were prairie fires. 
He worked hard and developed a productive farm from the raw prairie. 
He first built a small pine house on his land, in which he lived fifteen years. 
He set out the first tree — a cotton wood — in the township. He has since set 
out trees of the following varieties : Cottonwood, maple, box-elder, elm, 
ash, and willow, and now has attractive surroundings to his home. He 
built his present dwelling in 1889, and his barn in 1908. 

Mr. Drake was married in 1869 to Ellen Johnson, a daughter of War- 
ren Johnson, a pioneer in Minnesota. To this union one child has been 
born, Earl H. Drake. 

Politically, Mr. Drake is a Republican. He has never cared for public 
office. He is a member of the Baptist church. 



JACOB BROGGER. 

An influential citizen of Butterfield, Watonwan county, is Jacob Brog- 
ger, banker, who has long been one of the boosters of his community and 
has promoted its interests in all legitimate ways. 

Mr. Brogger was born in Norway, January 3, 1877, and is a son of 
N. C. and Margrethe (Jervel) Brogger, both natives of Norway, where they 
grew up, attended school, were married and established their permanent 
home, and there they still reside. The father is a minister in the Lutheran 
church. 

Jacob Brogger grew to manhood in his native land and there received 
his education. When twenty years of age he set sail for "the land of the 
free," and terminated his long journey at Butterfield, Watonwan county, 
Minnesota, where he has continued to reside. He had little capital upon 
reaching this place, and in order to get a start worked two summers on the 
farm, then clerked in the store of C. N. Sonnesyn in Butterfield, for four 
years. In 1903 the State Bank of Butterfield was organized, and Mr. Brog- 
ger was offered the position of assistant cashier, which he accepted. In 1904 
he became cashier, and in 1908 was advanced to the presidency, which posi- 
tion he still holds. He has been the prime motive power in this safe and 
popular institution from the first and his industry, honesty and sound judg- 
ment have made it a decided success. A general banking business is carried 



284 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

on, and the bank has modern fixtures. He is also interested in real estate 
and has done considerable business in this line. 

Mr. Brogger was married in 1903 to Emma Brynildson, a native of St. 
James, Minnesota, where she was reared and educated. She is a daughter 
of Fred Brynildson and wife. Their union has been blessed by the birth of 
four children, named as follow : Ragnhild, Niel, Maureen and Jacob Brog- 
ger. 

Mr. Brogger is a Republican in politics and has been active in public 
affairs for some time. He served as village recorder for a period of six 
years, and is now county commissioner. Religiously, he belongs to the 
Norwegian Lutheran church, and is a member of the Modern Woodmen of 
America. He is deserving of a great deal of credit for what he has accom- 
plished in a strange land, unaided and alone, and without capital, forging 
his way to the front over obstacles that would have discouraged most men. 



M. C. VOLD. 



M. C. Void was born in LaSalle county, Illinois, August 6, 1887, a 
son of C. J. and Julia Void, both natives of Norway. They came to America 
in 1840 and located in LaSalle county, Illinois, where they lived until 1878, 
when they moved to Story county, Iowa. There the father died in 1912; 
the mother is still living. 

M. C. Void was educated in the common schools of Story county, 
Iowa. He started out to make his own way at the age of sixteen, working 
at odd jobs as he could find them. The first steady employment he found 
was a position as a clerk in a store, at Southernland, Iowa. The wages 
were small, but he stuck to his job for three years and made good. His 
next place was at Soo Rapids, Iowa, where he held a clerkship in a store for 
five years. In 1894 he started in the grocery business in Chicago, and con- 
ducted that business for about three years. Then he went to Alto, Iowa, 
and worked there for about four years; then started a general store at 
Sulphur Springs, Iowa, in partnership with C. P. Comelinson. He dis- 
posed of his interest there and, in the fall of 1902, he came to Jeffers. 
Here, in company with his former partner, he opened up a general store. In 
191 2 he bought the interest of his partner and has since been carrying on 
the business in his own name. He is also interested in real estate, being 
the owner of farms in Cottonwood and Murrav counties. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 285 

Mr. Void was married to Amanda Anderson. To this union five chil- 
dren have been born: Harold M., George A., Leslie C, Helen A., who 
died when young, and Neida M. Mrs. Void is a member of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. Politically, Mr. Void affiliates with the Republican party. 



JOHN S. ENGLIN. 



John S. Englin was born in Adrian township, Watonwan county, Janu- 
ary 9, 1872, a son of Swan and Kari (Swanson) Englin, who were both 
born in Sweden. Swan Englin was a farmer and wagon-maker while living 
in Sweden. He came to America in 1870 and located for a short time in 
St. Peter, Nicollet county, Minnesota. There he was employed in the con- 
struction of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha railroad, between 
St. Peter and St. James. In 1871 he came to Adrian township, Watonwan 
county, and located on a farm in section 12, and, in 1874, he located a home- 
stead in section 10, Adrian township. He lived on this farm for the rest of 
his life. He died in April, 1912. His wife, to whom he was married in 
1 871, is still living. Swan Englin was a member of the Swedish Lutheran 
church. He was a Republican and served as treasurer of Adrian township. 

John S. Englin is said to be the first boy born in Adrian township. 
The other children in this family are : Anna, Emma, Ida, Mary and Carl. 

John S. Englin was educated in the public schools of Adrian town- 
ship, and during his early years worked with his father on the farm. In 
1899 he bought a farm, located across the road from that of his father, and 
began farming on his own account. His farm comprised two hundred acres, 
a fine body of land. He continued to operate this farm until 1914, when 
he discontinued the farming business and, in partnership with A. J. Samuel- 
son, opened up a hardware and implement store in Darfur. He has since 
given his attention to this business, and still owns his farm, which he man- 
ages through renters. 

In 1890 John S. Englin and Amanda E. Carlson were united in mar- 
riage. Mrs. Englin is a daughter of John A. and Brita Carlson. To this 
union five children have been born: Arthur B., Oscar R., Albert A., Aton 
F.,'and Richard E. 

Mr. and Mrs. Englin are members of the Swedish Lutheran church. 
Politically, Mr. Englin is a Republican. For about nine years he served as 
treasurer of Adrian township, while a resident on his farm in that township. 



286 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

JOHN PEDVIN. 

It is not every man that can become a good locomotive engineer. Some 
lack the courage, the keen eye, the steady nerve and the prompt decision, 
as well as other characteristics, necessary to the successful engine driver. 
John Pedvin, of St. James, Watonwan county, seems to possess such attri- 
butes, for he has made good on the road. 

John Pedvin was born in Blue Earth county, Minnesota, December 15, 
1863, and is a son of Daniel and Jane (Moore) Pedvin. The father was 
a native of the Island of Guernsey in the English Channel, his birth having 
occurred on April 9, 1820, and the mother was born on February 24, 1828, 
in London, England. They were married in England in 1850, and they 
came to Minnesota in 1852, locating near St. Peter, later moved to Rapidan, 
Blue Earth county, and in 1868 to Watonwan county, where the father took 
up a homestead of eighty acres in Riverdale township, later buying eighty 
acres more. He developed a good farm and finally made a visit to his old 
home in Guernsey Island, where he married his second wife. Coming back 
to America he spent some time at St. James and at Beatrice, Nebraska, but 
went back to Guernsey Island, where his death occurred in 1906. His first 
wife, the mother of John Pedvin, died on June 27, 1878. Nine children 
were born, namely: Daniel, born in England, December 1, 1852, died on 
May 28, 1903; Jane, August 23, 1855; Thomas, July 19, 1857, died on 
February 25, 1895; Rachael, November 20, 1859; Elizabeth, October 7, 
1861 ; John, subject of this sketch; Julia Ann, September 24, 1866, died on 
November 13, 1896; Frederick W., February 2, 1868, died on October 8, 
1907; Evaline Carrie, September 18, 1870. Daniel Pedvin was a Repub- 
lican, and he held a number of local offices. He was a member of the Epis- 
copal church. 

John Pedvin was reared on the farm in Riverdale township and he 
received his education in the district schools there, walking four miles daily 
to school. He began life as a farmer, owning a good place, which he finally 
sold, and entered the railroad service in 1882, in which he remained until 
1885, when he farmed again for two years, returning to the road in 1887 
and has worked continuously on the road ever since. He was fireman on 
the Omaha railroad until September 11, 1890, when he was promoted to 
engineer and he has had charge of an engine ever since. He lived eleven 
years at Sioux City, but the rest of the time since 1887 he has lived in St. 
James, returning here in 1897. He built a residence here, in which he lived 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 287 

until 19 1 3, when he sold it and built an attractive modern residence, where 
he now lives. 

On July 1, 1884, he married Carrie Olson, a native of Washington 
county, Minnesota, where she was born on August 16, 1866. She is a 
daughter of Adam and Isabel (Wright) Olson. He was born in Sweden, 
January n, 1834; she was born in England, February 18, 1828. Adam 
Olson came to Minnesota when a young man. He served in the Union army 
during the Civil War. He was married in this state and lived in Washing- 
ton county until 1878, when they moved to Riverdale township, Watonwan 
county, where the father bought a farm of two hundred and forty acres, 
which is the amount of land he still owns. He purchased more land, but 
sold it later. He is now living retired in St. James. Mrs. Olson died on 
March 10, 1895. They were parents of four children, namely: Oliver 
Andrew, who lives in Noonan, North Dakota; Carrie, wife of the subject of 
this sketch; Adam, who died in March, 1888, when twenty years old; Eva 
Isabel lives in Noonan, North Dakota. 

Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Pedvin, namely: Esta 
Luella, born in 1885, died in St. James in 1887; Laura Isabel, February 12, 
1 89 1, is a graduate of St. James high school. 

The farm which is owned by the father of Mrs. Pedvin is the one on 
which the Younger brothers were captured after the famous Northfield bank 
robbery. Mr. Olson has been twice married, his second wife being known 
before marriage as Anna Nasman, and to this union one son, John, was 
born on January 2, 1900. 

Politically, Mr. Pedvin is a Republican. He is a member of the Epis- 
copal church. Fraternally, he belongs to the Free Masons, the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the 
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. 



CHARLES LARKIN. 



Charles Larkin, a successful farmer of Fieldon township, was born on 
February 4, 1875, in Blue Earth county, the son of Timothy and Catherine 
(Heren) Larkin. 

Peter Heren, the maternal grandfather of Charles Larkin, was a native 
of Ireland and came to America late in life, after the death of his wife. 
His daughter, Catherine, the mother of the subject of this sketch came with 



288 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

him. They located for a time in Jersey City, New Jersey, after which they 
moved to Wisconsin and later to Watonwan county. 

Timothy Larkin was a native of Ireland and came to the United States 
when fifteen years of age. He lived for a number of years in the east and 
there married to Catherine Heren, whose father, Peter Heren, after this 
made his home with Mr. and Mrs. Larkin. The family moved first to a 
farm in Wisconsin and later came to Blue Earth county, Minnesota. Thirty- 
five years ago, they purchased the farm of one hundred and sixty acres, 
where Charles Larkin now lives. Lie and his family were members of the 
Catholic church. Timothy Larkin died on September 19, 1901. Mrs. 
Larkin survived him until December 22, 1908. 

To Timothy and Catherine Larkin were born the following children : 
John; Thomas; Edward; Gilbert and William, both deceased; Charles and 
Mary. 

Charles Larkin was married on February 4, 19 14, to Edith Rooney, of 
Blue Earth county, and the daughter of Thomas Rooney and wife, pioneers 
of that section. 



LORENZ LEFFLER. 



Lorenz Leffler, a well-known and well-to-do stock farmer and large 
landowner, of Dale township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of four hun- 
dred acres on rural route No. 2. out of Windom, a stockholder in the Farm- 
ers Elevator Company at Carson and in the Delft Rural Telephone Com- 
pany, is a native of Germany, born on July 16, 1864, son of Christ and 
Elizabeth Leffler, the former a carpenter, who were the parents of four 
children, of whom the subject of this biographical sketch was the first-born, 
the others being John, Conrad and Elizabeth. Christ Leffler died in his 
native land years ago. His three sons came to the United States. 

Lorenz Leffler grew to manhood in his native land, receiving his edu- 
cation in the government schools, and became an expert farmer. When he 
was twenty-one years of age he married Elizabeth Thomas and immediately 
thereafter he and his wife came to America, settling in LaSalle, Illinois, 
where for six years he worked in a factory. He then went to Iowa, where 
he rented a farm of one hundred and ninety acres and did well, increasing 
the extent of his operations until he was renting three hundred and twenty 
acres. In 1906 he came to this part of Minnesota and bought a partly 
improved farm of two hundred and forty acres in Dale township, Cotton- 







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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 289 

wood county, the farm on which he is now living, but did not occupy the 
same until 19 13. In 1910 he erected a substantial dwelling on the place, 
but continued his farming operations in Iowa until 19 12. A year later, in 
19 1 3, he and his family came to this state and occupied the Dale township 
farm, where they since have made their home and where they are very 
pleasantly situated. The year in which Mr. Leffler came out here to stay 
permanently he bought an additional quarter section in Dale township, which 
his son, Henry Leffler, now occupies. In that same year Mr. Leffler built a 
large barn, thirty-eight by sixty, on his place and an addition on the barn 
measuring sixteen by sixty. In addition to his general farming, he has 
gone in somewhat heavily for stock raising and has done very well. He 
is a Republican and gives a good citizen's attention to local political affairs, 
but has not been a seeker after public office. He has given proper atten- 
tion to general local business enterprises and is a stockholder in the Carson 
Farmers Elevator Company and in the Delft Rural Telephone Company. 
He and his family are members of the German Reformed church and take 
a proper interest in all local good works. 

To Lorenz and Elizabeth (Thomas) Leffler have been born six chil- 
dren, Christ, Henry, Elizabeth, John, Tony and Raymond. The eldest son, 
Christ Leffler, makes his home in Windom. Henry Leffler married Matilda 
Brandenburg and lives on his father's second farm, and John Leffler mar- 
ried Okkea Bonk and lives on a farm in Iowa. The remaining three chil- 
dren are at home with their parents. 



B. J. SCRIBNER. 



B. J. Scribner, one of Antrim township's successful farmers was born 
on July 5, 1865, the son of John B. and Sarah ("Wilson) Scribner. 

Edward Wilson, the maternal grandfather, a native of England, came 
alone to the United States at the age of fourteen and located in the state 
of New York, where he later farmed. He remained a few years and mar- 
ried, after which he came to Winona county, and after a few years later to 
Blue Earth county, where he made his home. 

■ John B. Scribner is living in Cumberland, Wisconsin, now, at the age 
of ninety, but has always, until the past four years, made his home in Blue 
Earth and Watonwan counties since coming from New York state, about 
(19a) 



29O COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

sixty-one years ago. He was married twice; there was born one son, 
George, by his first wife; by his second wife were born the following: 
James, Charles, Ella, Jeremiah, William, Burchard, Isaac, Freemont, Eugene, 
Esther and Emma. 

On April 13, 1885, B. J. Scribner was married to Anna Winch, the 
daughter of James and Elsie (Douglas) Winch, who were pioneers in Mar- 
tin county, Mrs. Scribner being born there. The following children were 
born to B. J. and Anna (Winch) Scribner: Cora, the wife of George Davis; 
they are parents of five children. William was married twice, one son being 
born to him by his first wife, Doratha (Themer) Scribner, and one son by 
his second wife, Edell (Cook) Scribner. Frances is the wife of Clifford 
Sherman; Ida and Cecil are at home. 

B. J. Scribner located on his present one hundred and sixty acre farm 
in section 30, Antrim township, twenty-five years ago. Much has been done 
to improve the place and in 19 13 a large barn was erected. 



IOSEPH DAVIES. 



The greatest results in life are often attained by simple means and the 
exercise of the ordinary qualities of common sense and perseverance. This 
fact having been recognized early in life by Joseph Davies, farmer and legis- 
lator of Antrim township, Watonwan county, he has seized the small oppor- 
tunities that he has encountered on the highway that leads to the ultimate 
goal of success. 

Mr. Davies was born in the above-named township and county, Sep- 
tember 27, 1867, and is a son of William and Gertrude (Thomas) Davies. 
James Thomas, the maternal grandfather, was a native of England and 
there he grew up and married, finally bringing his family to the United 
States, locating in Wisconsin, settling with an English colony in Columbia 
county, and there resided until after the death of his wife, then moved to 
Watonwan county, Minnesota, locating in Antrim township and made his 
home with the Davies family. William Davies, the paternal grandfather 
of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Wales, where he married Mary 
Williams. They came to America, locating in Columbia county, Wisconsin, 
where they resided a number of years; then came to Watonwan county, 
Minnesota, and took up a homestead in Antrim township, of one hundred 
and sixty acres on which they spent the rest of their lives. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 291 

William Davies, Jr., father of the subject whose name heads this review, 
was a native of Wales, where he spent his boyhood and attended school, 
being about nineteen years old when he came to America with his parents. 
He homesteaded eighty acres in Antrim township, to which he later added 
another eighty, and became one of the progressive farmers of Watonwan 
county. This place is now owned by his son, Joseph, eldest of his six chil- 
dren, the others being named as follow : Mary, who died when seventeen 
years old; James T., who married Kate Radcliff; Fred, who married Mary 
McLain; Bertha and Marcus, who died when about thirty years of age. 

Joseph Davies grew up on the home farm, where he worked when a 
boy, and he received a common-school education, later attending the Man- 
kato Normal, after which he engaged in teaching three years, then filled the 
office of county superintendent of schools ten years in a very commendable 
manner, doing much to better the conditions of the schools of Watonwan 
during that decade. While county superintendent of schools he studied law 
in the offices of J. L. Lobben and Hammond & Burns and was admitted 
to the bar in 1908. His principal work since leaving the office of county 
superintendent has been general farming and stock raising. He owns eighty 
acres of the homestead and one hundred and sixty acres additional, all well 
improved and under a high state of cultivation, in fact, he put on all the 
improvements on his home place. 

Mr. Davies was, married on June 28, 1905, to Margaret Cumberland, 
who was born near Franklin, Pennsylvania, July 14, 1877, a daughter of 
Arthur Cumberland, a native of England, from which country he immi- 
grated to Pennsylvania, and now lives in Canada. In his earlier career he 
taught school, but is now a farmer. He formerly lived in Dodge county, 
Minnesota. He married Caroline Homan. Their daughter, Margaret, was 
given a good education. She is a graduate of the Mantorville high school 
and the Winona Normal school. She taught for some time in the schools 
of Dodge county, and later in the city schools of St. James, Minnesota. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Davies five children have been born, namely : Eliza- 
beth Gertrude, born on September 4, 1905; Burton Joseph, August 15, 1908; 
Dorothy, November 28, 1910; William Arthur, June 10, 1913, and Helen 
Pauline, June 13, 1915. 

Politically, Mr. Davies is a Republican, and has long been active in 
party affairs. He has served two terms in the Legislature, serving through 
the regular sessions of 1909 and 191 1 and the extra session of 1912. He 
made a very commendable record in the House, his course meeting the hearty 
approval of his constituents. 



292 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Fraternally, Mr. Davies is a member of the blue lodge of Masons of 
Madelia, and the chapter at St. James; also the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows and the Royal Arcanum. He is a member of the Presbyterian 
church. 



ANDREW W. WARNER. 

Seeking better opportunities, many Scandinavians have broken ties of 
home and native land and have entered earnestly upon the task of gaining a 
new home in Watonwan and adjoining counties. Andrew W. Warner, 
lumber dealer of Darfur, is one of this class. He was born in Sweden, 
September 16, 1867, and is a son of Charles and Christina Warner, both 
natives of Sweden, where they spent their earlier years and were married. 
The father came to America in 1869, locating in St. Paul, Minnesota, but in a 
few months went on to St. Peter, where his wife and son, Andrew W., 
joined him in 1870, in which year the death of the wife and mother occurred, 
after a short residence in the new world. 

In the spring of 1875 Charles Warner moved to St. James and settled 
on a homestead of eighty acres in Adrian township, Watonwan county. He 
had previously remarried, his last wife being Matilda Holm, of St. Peter. 
He finally moved with his family to Comfrey, Minnesota, in 1909, where he 
is spending the last years of his life in retirement. The subject of this 
sketch was his only child by his first wife. To his second marriage five 
children were born, namely: Carl Alfred, Lydia Matilda, Anna Sophia, 
Mary Caroline and Amanda Josephina. The father is a member of the 
Lutheran church. He has never taken an active interest in public affairs, 
always refusing office. 

Andrew W. Warner spent his boyhood on the farm. He was three 
years old when his mother brought him to America. He received a very 
limited education, less than six months' schooling in all. When young he 
learned the carpenter's trade in St. James, which he followed for about 
twenty years, becoming a highly skilled workman, and continued to reside 
in St. James. In 1914 he took charge of the C. M. Youmans Lumber Com- 
pany at Darfur, which he has since managed in a very able manner. 

Mr. W'arner was married in December, 1902, to Ellen Westberg, of 
Nelson township, Watonwan county. She is a daughter of A. P. Westberg, 
a pioneer farmer of that township. To Mr. and Mrs. Warner one child has 
been born, Aurora Elnora. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 293 

Mr. Warner is a member of the Lutheran church. During the Spanish- 
American War, in 1898, he enlisted in Company B, Fifteenth Minnesota 
Volunteer Infantry, in which he remained nine months. He did not get to 
the front, spending the time at Ft. Snelling, near Minneapolis; Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania, and Augusta, Georgia. 



ARTHUR J. FLAIG. 



Arthur J. Flaig, clerk of Germantown township, Cottonwood county, 
and one of the best-known and most progressive young farmers in that part 
of the county, who, in partnership with his younger brother, Oliver Flaig, 
is operating the old Flaig home farm in Germantown township, is a native 
son of Minnesota, born at Sanborn, not far from his present home, and has 
lived there all his life. He was born on October 28, 1887, son of Michael J. 
and Cecelia (Trach) Flaig, early settlers in that community, who are now 
living retired at Mankato. 

Michael J. Flaig was born in the state of Wisconsin on March 23, 1861, 
son of Michael and Helen Flaig, a native of Ireland, the father a native of 
Germany, who settled in Wisconsin in an early day and there the elder 
Michael Flaig was engaged as a blacksmith until the early seventies, when 
he came with his family to Minnesota, settling in Redwood county. He 
homesteaded a quarter of a section of land in the Sanborn vicinity and there 
spent the rest of his life, his death occurring in 1909. His wife had died 
some years before that date. They were the parents of ten children, Michael 
J., Walter, who died in infancy; Charles, George, Richard, William, Edward, 
Margaret, Helen and Marie. Michael J. Flaig was about sixteen years old 
when he came to Minnesota with his parents and he grew to manhood on 
the homestead farm in the vicinity of Sanborn. A year or two after his 
marriage he secured one hundred and twenty acres of school land across the 
line in Germantown township, Cottonwood county, and there established his 
home, soon becoming recognized as one of the substantial and influential 
residents of that part of the county. He planted a three-acre grove on his 
place, improved the place and gradually enlarged his holdings until he became 
the owner of a fine farm of three hundred and fifty acres, on which he 
made his home until 1912, when he and his wife retired from the farm and 
moved to Mankato, where they are now living. To them five sons were 
born, of whom Arthur J. is the eldest, the others being Walter, who died 



294 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

in infancy; Oliver, born on July 20, 1892, who is now, in partnership with 
his brother, Arthur J., operating the old home farm; Roy, who is with his 
parents in Mankato, and Harold, who also is with his parents and who is in 
school at Mankato. 

Arthur J. Flaig grew up on the home farm in Germantown township, 
receiving his schooling in the local schools of that township, and was a 
valued assistant to his father in the work of developing the home place and 
after his marriage in 1909 continued to make his home there. When his 
parents moved to Mankato in 19 12 he and his wife continued to occupy the 
old home and are still living there, Mr. Flaig and his brother, Oliver, farm- 
ing the place, a fine farm of three hundred and sixty acres belonging to their 
father. They are up-to-date young farmers and are doing well. Arthur J. 
Flaig has given considerable attention to local public affairs and is now 
serving as township clerk. He also for some time served as justice of the 
peace. He is a stockholder in the State Bank at Sanborn and in the Farm- 
ers Elevator Company at that place and in other ways is interested in the 
general business and civic life of the community. 

On November 24, 1909, Arthur J. Flaig was united in marriage to 
Fannie Cottingham, who was born in Winona county, this state, daughter 
of William and Charlotte Cottingham, the latter of whom is now deceased, 
the former making his home at Springfield, this state. Mr. and Mrs. Flaig 
take a proper interest in the general social affairs of the community and are 
willing supporters of all movements for the advancement of the common 
interest thereabout. Mr. Flaig is a Mason, a member of Fides Lodge No. 
246, at Sanborn, and he and his wife are members of the Order of the 
Eastern Star, affiliated with Magnolia Chapter No. 167, at that same place, 
Mr. Flaig being tyler of the lodge and a sentinel in the chapter. 



H. R. PIETZ. 



H. R. Pietz, for years an energetic member of the board of commis- 
sioners of Cottonwood county and a well-known and progressive farmer of 
Rose Hill township, proprietor of a fine farm in the Westbrook neighbor- 
hood, where he has lived since 1891, is a native of Wisconsin, born on a 
farm in Waushara county, that state, October 26, i860, son of E. W. and 
Louisa (Frederick) Pietz, both natives of Prussia, who became prosperous 
pioneers of Wisconsin. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 295 

E. W. Pietz was married in his native land and shortly afterward came 
to the United States to make a home for himself and wife in the New 
World. He came West and settled in Wisconsin, homesteading a tract of 
land in Waushara county, in Bloomfield township, where he made ready for 
the coming of his wife, who joined him two years later. When the Civil 
War broke out E. W. Pietz enlisted in one of the Wisconsin regiments and 
served until mustered out at the close of the war. In 1872 he disposed of 
his farm in Waushara county and moved into Jackson county, where he 
homesteaded a quarter of a section of land and there he spent the remainder 
of his life. His widow survived him some years and her death occurred at 
Tracy, in Lyon county, this state. Both are buried at Delafield, Minne- 
sota. They were earnest members of the Lutheran church and their chil- 
dren were reared in that faith. There were ten of these children, of whom 
H. R. was the sixth in order of birth, the others being Henrietta (deceased), 
Emilia (deceased), Othelia, Alvina, Paulina, Mollie, William, Ernest 
(deceased) and Ludwig. 

As a youth, H. R. Pietz spent some time in Blue Earth county, this 
state, obtaining a part of his schooling in the German parochial schools 
there, and completing the same in the public schools of his home county in 
Wisconsin. Reared on a farm, he early began farming on his own account 
and after his marriage in 1881 established his home on a farm in Jackson 
county, this state, where he remained for ten years, or until his removal to 
Cottonwood county in 189 1. In April of that year he took possession of 
his present fine farm of one-half section of land in Rose Hill township and 
he has ever since made his home there, where he and his family are pleasantly 
situated. Though owning but three hundred and twenty acres, Mr. Pietz 
has made a practice of renting other lands and for years has farmed about 
eight hundred acres of land in his home township, long having been regarded 
as one of the most progressive fanners in that part of the county. In addi- 
tion to his general farming he has given considerable attention to the raising 
of pure-bred stock, and his Shorthorn cattle and Shropshire sheep display 
evidences of his skill in that connection. Mr. Pietz has for years given his 
attention to local political affairs and has contributed largely of his time and 
energies to the public service. During his residence in Jackson county he 
served as township supervisor and during his residence in Cottonwood 
county has for eighteen consecutive years served as treasurer of his school 
district, while for fifteen consecutive years he served as assessor of Rose 
Hill township. In 1910 Mr. Pietz was elected county commissioner from 



296 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MIN T N. 

his district and upon the completion of his first term of service in that office 
was re-elected and is still serving in that important and responsible capacity. 

On July 25, 188 1, in Jackson county, this state, H. R. Pietz was united 
in marriage to Philipina Erbes, who was born in Ashford, Wisconsin, daugh- 
ter of George and Philipina (Bate) Erbes, both natives of Germany, who 
came to the United States about 1855 and located in Wisconsin. During 
the Civil War George Erbes enlisted for service in a Wisconsin regiment of 
infantry and died during the period of that service. In the fall of 1871 
his widow and children came to Minnesota and homesteaded a tract of one 
hundred and twenty acres in Weiner township, Jackson county, where Mrs. 
Erbes spent the remainder of her life. She was the mother of six children, 
of whom Mrs. Pietz was the fifth in order of birth, the others being Mar- 
garet, one who died in infancy, William, George and Elizabeth, who were 
reared in the faith of the Lutheran church. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Pietz fourteen children have been born : Pauline, 
Charlotte, Henry, Rudolph, Edward, Elizabeth, Gertrude, Pearl, Melvin, 
Leroy, Alfred, Edna, Gladys and Grace, all of whom are living. Mr. and 
Mrs. Pietz are members of the Lutheran church and give proper attention 
to all local good works, the family being among the leaders in the social and 
cultural affairs of their home neighborhood. Mr. Pietz is a member of the 
Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Degree of Honor, the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Brotherhood of America, in the 
affairs of all of which organizations he takes a warm interest. 



HENRY D. PETERS. 



Henry D. Peters, one of the best-known and most progressive farmers 
in Dale township, proprietor of the "Springvale Stock Farm" situated on 
rural route No. 2, out of Windom; treasurer of Dale township, president 
of the Delft Creamery Association, president of the Farmers Elevator Com- 
pany at Carson, a member of the board of directors of the Delft Rural 
Telephone Company and otherwise interested in the general affairs of his 
home community, is a native of Russia, though he has been a resident of 
this part of Minnesota since he was three years old and therefore regards 
himself as much a real Minnesotan as though native born in the Northwest. 
He was born in the soiuji of Russia, March 24, 1873, son of Dietrich and 
Maria (Votb) Peters, farming people, who came to the United States with 
their family in 1876 and proceeded directly to this part of Minnesota, 



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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 297 

settling in Carson township, Cottonwood county, where they established 
their home, being among the pioneers of that section. 

Upon settling in Cottonwood county, Dietrich Peters bought forty 
acres of wild land in Carson township, made and burned a kiln of bricks 
from the clay on that land and erected a substantial brick house, which he 
covered with a thatch of hay, and in that house he lived many years. That 
early brick house is still standing and is still in use, but it has long ago 
been covered with a shingle roof. Dietrich Peters was a good farmer and 
prospered in his operations. He gradually enlarged his land holdings and 
for years farmed a place of two hundred acres. In 19 13 he retired from 
the active labors of the farm and moved to Mountain Lake, where his death 
occurred on March 18, 1916, he then being seventy years of age. He and 
his wife were the parents of seven children, of whom the subject of this 
sketch was the first-born, the others being as follow: D. D., who owns 
the farm adjoining that of his brother, Henry D. ; George, a farmer living 
northeast of Delft; Helen, who married George D. Ewert, a farmer 
living in Kansas ; John, who died at the age of six years ; Abraham, who 
lives on the old home farm in Carson township, and Mary, who married 
P. P. Peters and is living on a farm in Nebraska. 

Henry D. Peters was about three years old when his parents came to 
this country in 1876 and he was reared on the pioneer farm in Carson town- 
ship, receiving his education in the public schools of that township, and 
remained at home until after his marriage in the fall of 1895. He then 
bought eighty acres in section 36, Dale township, a tract of wild prairie 
land, and there established his home. His first home was a frame house, 
eighteen by twenty-eight, in which he lived until he erected his present 
modern two-story dwelling in 191 1. Upon beginning his farming opera- 
tions he built a small barn, but in 1909 erected his present commodious barn, 
thirty-six by seventy-two feet, and at the same time erected the first silo 
constructed in that part of the county, a structure sixteen feet in diameter by 
thirty feet in length. In 1913 he erected another silo, fourteen by thirty. 
He owns his own filling rig and has a fifteen-horse-power gasoline engine 
with which to operate the same and to propel other labor-saving machinery 
about the barn. Mr. Peters owns a fine, large automobile and his farming 
operations are carried on in accordance with the latest methods in modern 
agriculture. He has added to his holdings since beginning farming on his 
own account and is now the owner of a quarter of a section surrounding 
his home and a farm of eighty acres in Carson township. He early went 
in somewhat heavily for stock raising and his home place in Dale township 



298 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

is called "Springvale Stock Farm." He has a well-equipped dairy and a 
fine herd of Holsteins. Mr. Peters is an "independent" voter and long 
has given careful thought to local political affairs. He has been treasurer 
of Dale township since 1912. He has ever been active in promoting local 
business enterprises and is the president of the Farmers Elevator Company 
at Carson; president of the Delft Creamery Association and a member of 
the board of directors of the Delft Rural Telephone Company, to the affairs 
of all of which organizations he gives his most intelligent attention. 

It was on November 3, 1895, that Henry D. Peters was united in mar- 
riage to Aganetha Goertzen and to this union ten children have been born, 
Aganetha, who died at the age of eight days ; Mary, who died at the age of 
eight years; Henry, David, Dietrich. Lena, Isaac (who died at the age of 
three weeks), Justina, Jacob and Anna. 



THORSTEN P. LAINGEN. 

One of the prominent families that have come to Watonwan county 
from Norway and here found good opportunities and a comfortable homes 
and at the same time benefited the locality through their splendid citizenship 
is the Laingens, a well known representative of which family is Thorston P. 
Laingen, who, together with his son, Palmer, has the management of the 
bank at Odin. 

Mr. Laingen was born in Norway, August 20, 1862, and is a son of 
Paul and Elsie (Andvord) Laingen, both natives of Lorn, Gudbrandsdalen, 
Norway, where they grew up and were married. They came to America 
in 1870, locating on a homestead five miles south of Mountain Lake, Cot- 
tonwood county, on eighty acres, on which they lived until 1876, when they 
sold out and bought one hundred and sixty acres, about one mile south of 
the original place. There the death of the mother occurred in 1893. The 
father remained with his son Knudt and his family there until 1900, when 
Knudt died. In 1901 they sold the farm and bought another two miles 
west of Odin in Watonwan county, where the father died February 18, 1909, 
at seventy-eight years old. To these parents four children were born, 
namely: Lars, Knudt, T. P., and Thora. This family always affiliated 
with the Norwegian Lutheran church. 

Thorsten P. Laingen grew up on the home farm. He was eight years 
old when his parents brought him to America. He received a limited edu- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 299 

cation in the public schools, which was held a week at a time in the different 
sod houses of the first settlers in this locality. In 1886 he was united in 
marriage to Julia Leverson. He at once rented eighty acres in Martin 
county. He had a team which his uncle at Crystal Lake had given him in 
payment for two years work on his farm. When Thorsten P. left home his 
father gave him two cows. His wife had also been given a cow by her par- 
ents. The first summer he met with a severe blow through the death of 
one of his horses. In fact, he found it hard sledding the first few years. 
The second year he rented a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, and soon 
thereafter bought eighty acres of school land for which he paid seven dollars 
and fifty cents per acre. He remained on the one hundred and sixty acres 
four years, during which time he also worked his eighty, on which he built a 
home at the end of four years, and after living in it three weeks was burned 
out. By the assistance of friends and neighbors he soon rebuilt and lived 
there twelve years, and although bad luck continued to assail him, a number 
of good horses dying, among other things, he prospered and added to his 
holdings until he had accumulated two hundred acres. In 1902 he pur- 
chased the William Olson farm of two hundred acres, which joins the vil- 
lage of Odin on the west and south, and the following year sold the old 
farm and removed to it, remaining there from 1903 to 191 1, when he moved 
into the village of Odin and, together with his son Palmer, took charge of 
the Odin State Bank. In 1913 he bought a farm of one hundred and sixty 
acres in Martin county for which he paid seventy-one dollars per acre, 
which he sold a few weeks later for eighty dollars per acre, then purchased 
the old Martin Agge farm in Odin township, Watonwan county, which 
place consists of two hundred and forty acres, for which he paid eighty-four 
dollars per acre, and this place he still owns, also retains the old Olson farm 
at Odin. He has been very successful in a business way and is one of the 
substantial men of his town and county. 

He was chairman of Odin township one term. He was president of 
the village council one year. He has been made executor for various estates, 
among them being the estates of Elling Olsen, John Halvorsen, Fletcher 
Sturdevant and Andrew Gilbertson. He has also been appointed guardian 
for various children. These facts indicate that he is held in high esteem by 
his neighbors, who place implicit confidence both in his ability and integrity. 
He has also handled much real estate for the local bank. 

The parents of Mrs. Laingen were Herbrand and Carrie (Lande) Lever- 
son, natives of Norway, from which country they came to Wisconsin with 
their parents when young and were married in that state, after which they 



300 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

moved to Moore county, Minnesota. About 1875 they moved to Jackson 
county, this state, where they spent the rest of their lives. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Laingen eight children have been born and those now 
living are, Palmer T., Elma, Hulda, Carl and Melvin. 

Palmer T. Laingen was born in Martin county, Minnesota, near the 
line between that county and Watonwan, July 24, 1888. He received his 
education in the public schools, then took a short commercial course in 
Mankato Commercial College. He spent his boyhood on the farm with his 
parents and assisted with the general work. He left the farm in April, 
1909, to become assistant cashier of the bank at Odin, remaining in that 
position about one and one-half years, when he became cashier, which posi- 
tion he still holds, giving eminent satisfaction to the stockholders and the 
patrons of the bank. He is unmarried. He is now village treasurer. He 
belongs to the Norwegian United Lutheran church. 



FRED C. MESSENBRINK. 

Fred C. Messenbrink, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Amo 
township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of three hundred 
and twenty acres situated on rural route No. 5, out of Windom, is a native 
of Iowa, born on a farm in Jackson county, that state, April 15, 1872, son 
of Louis and Sophia (Harms) Messenbrink, the former a native of Ger- 
many and the latter of Jackson county, Iowa, the former of whom is now 
living comfortably retired at Charter Oak, Iowa. 

Louis Messenbrink was born in the province of Hanover. His father 
died in his native land and his mother and her children came to the United 
States in 1855, settling in Illinois. When the Civil War broke out, Louis 
Messenbrink enlisted for service in Company I, One Hundred and Fifth 
Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until the close 
of the war, attached to General Hooker's brigade. At the close of the war 
he settled in Jackson county, Iowa, where he presently married Sophia 
Harms, daughter of one of the pioneer families of that county, and there 
lived for about five years, at the end of which time he moved to Crawford 
county, same state, where he ever since has made his home. Mr. Messen- 
brink homesteaded a tract of land in that county upon his arrival there, being 
one of the first settlers in that part of the county in which he located and 
when the township was organized he was given the privilege of naming the 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 3OI 

same, in honor of his native land, giving it the name of Hanover township, 
which name the township still bears. Mr. Messenbrink owns a section of 
fine land there, but for years has lived retired from the active labors of the 
farm, having a pleasant home in Charter Oak, that county, where he is 
largely interested in the Charter Oak National Bank. His wife died many 
years ago on the homestead farm in Crawford county, leaving six children, 
Rosenna, Henry, Fred C, Mary, Peter (deceased), and Emma. Louis Mes- 
senbrink then married Sophia Krohn, to which union one daughter was born, 
Sophia. Mr. Messenbrink is a member of the German Lutheran church 
and is a thirty-second degree Mason, taking a warm interest in Masonic 
affairs. 

Fred C. Messenbrink was but an infant when his parents moved from 
Jackson county to Crawford county, Iowa, and he grew to manhood on the 
pioneer homestead farm in the latter county. He obtained his schooling in 
the parochial schools at Denison, county seat of his home county, and after 
awhile became a traveling salesman for a commercial house, being thus 
engaged for three years, at the end of which time he engaged in the hotel 
business and for three years conducted a hotel at Denison. He then for 
seven years was engaged in the saloon business at Boyer, in that same county, 
and then for two or three years conducted a pool and billiard hall in that 
same town, after which he moved to Dickinson county, Iowa, and was there 
engaged in farming for a couple of years, at the end of which time, in 191 3, 
he came to Minnesota and settled on the farm on which he is now living in 
Amo township, Cottonwood county, where he and his family are pleasantly 
situated. Mr. Messenbrink is the owner of one-half of a section in Amo 
township and has a well-kept and profitably cultivated farm, he being 
regarded as one of the substantial farmers of that neighborhood. He takes 
an earnest interest in local affairs and is recognized as one of the public- 
spirited citizens of Cottonwood county. He is a member of the German- 
American Liberal Association. During his residence in Denison, Iowa, Mr. 
Messenbrink served for some time as town clerk and had a valuable experi- 
ence in the public service. 

In 1 90 1, in Crawford county, Iowa, Fred C. Messenbrink was united 
in marriage to Bertha Jahn, who was born in that county, daughter of Carl 
and Bertha (Krause) Jahn, natives of Germany, who came to this country 
in the days of their youth with their respective parents, the two families 
settling in Chicago. After their marriage, Carl Jahn and his wife remained 
in Chicago for three years, after which they moved to Crawford county, 



302 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Iowa, where they have lived ever since, now living retired at Charter Oak. 
To them eleven children were born, of whom Airs. Messenbrink was the 
fifth in order of birth, the others being Emilia, Louisa, Carl, Ida, Anna, 
Augusta, Otto, Wilhelmina. Matilda and Bernhard. Carl Jahn and his wife 
are earnest members of the Lutheran church and their children were reared 
in that faith. To Mr. and Mrs. Messenbrink eight children have been born, 
George, Alfred, Arthur. Julius, Levi, Blanche. Gladys and Walter, all of 
whom are living. 



KNUTE NATTERSTAD. 

Knute Xatterstad, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Cottonwood 
county, who is the proprietor of a fine farm of two hundred acres in the 
vicinity of Storden, in Storden township, is a native of Norway, born on 
October 12, 1876, son of Tommaes and Martha (Hjalmeland) Natterstad, 
natives of that country and the parents of five children, of whom the sub- 
ject of this sketch was the last born, the others being Belle, Johannes, G. T. 
and Mary. Tommaes Xatterstad is a farmer and is still living in his native 
land. 

Knute Natterstad was reared on a farm and received his schooling in 
the public schools of his native land. When he was twenty-two years of 
age, in 1898, he came to the United States and proceeded directly to Minne-. 
sota, locating at Windom, where his elder brother, G. T. Natterstad, had 
been located for some time, and there he remained until 1901, when he went 
to Storden township, where he has been located ever since. At the time of 
his marriage in 1905 he bought a farm of eighty acres in section 19 of that 
township and there established his home. Mr. Natterstad has been success- 
ful in his farming operations and has been able to add to his holdings until 
now he is the owner of a fine farm of two hundred acres, well kept and 
profitably cultivated. In addition to his general farming he has given con- 
siderable attention to the raising of live stock and has done very well with 
both cattle and hogs. He is a Republican and has given a good citizen's 
attention to local political affairs ever since coming to Minnesota, but has 
never been included in the office-seeking class. 

In 1905 Knute Natterstad was united in marriage to Minnie Tolber- 
son and to this union four children have been born : Mattie, Melvin, Lenora 
and Venetta. Mr. and Mrs. 'Natterstad are earnest members of the Luth- 
eran church and take an active interest in the affairs of the same, as well as 
in the general good works of their community. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 3O3 

OLE REINERT. 

Ole Reinert, one of the pioneer residents of this section of Minnesota, 
was born in Lorn Gudbrandsdalen, Norway, on May 7, 1838, a son of Ole 
R. and Ingre Staurustdgaard, both natives of Norway. Mr. Reinert spent 
the first fifteen years of his life at home, after which he was employed in 
various ways, and while still in Norway, learned the tailor trade. He 
received only a limited education, the average school term being but three 
months of the year, and the teacher would go from one farm to another, 
teaching one day to a week at each place. In [859 he started for America. 
A trip across the ocean at that time was an undertaking, nothing but sail- 
ships being employed. After five weeks and two days, they arrived at 
Quebec, Canada, and were inspected by a doctor, who found all in a healthy 
condition. Mr. Reinert then proceeded on his journey, but stopped off at 
Madison, Dane county, Wisconsin, where he resided for five years. From 
there he went to California, and, after one year's stay there, purchased a 
small farm, where he made his home for four years, after which he returned 
to Wisconsin. 

In 1869 Mr. Reinert started for Minnesota, going to Goodhue county, 
where he spent one year. From there he came to Mountain Lake township, 
Cottonwood county, took a timber claim in 1870 and built a home. Through 
this section there was nothing but sod shacks and sod cellars, which were 
the only safe shelter from the terrible prairie fires that frequently swept the 
country. In 1873 the grasshoppers made their appearance, and during four 
years in succession, they took clean down to the ground what little crops 
there were. The next hardships were the blizzards, when people were 
snowed in for three days at a time, so that they did not see daylight, nor 
could they get to the barns to feed their stock. The air was so thick with 
snow and dirt, driven by the strong wind, that a person could not see his 
hand two feet away. Contrast the meager crops of those days with the 
bountiful harvests of today. Forty years ago there was nothing but oxen, 
and a distance of forty miles to mill to get wheat ground into flour was 
nothing unusual ; and furthermore, there were no roads nor bridges, so a trip 
of this kind with oxen was indeed no pleasure trip. Today the average 
farmer drives an automobile, with which he accomplishes much at a minimum 
loss of time. Mr. Reinert speaks of one of these trips to mill in particular, 
when four of his neighbors, Thorsten Kjestad, Paul Daingen, Peter Hun- 
stad and Halvor Byre, went to Winnebago mill. As the roads were almost 



304 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

impassable, it took about a week to make the trip. They were obliged to 
unload several times and carry the sacks of grain across to where the wagon 
would carry the load. On their return, when within sight of their homes, 
they came to a creek which it was impossible to cross on account of high 
water, so they were obliged to camp out. Mr. Reinert was one of the 
leaders of the community at that time, and carries the honor of- presenting 
the first road petition in Mountain Lake township. 

In 1880 Mr. Reinert moved to Odin township, Cottonwood county, 
where he farmed a quarter section of land for a number of years. Later he 
sold that and bought an eighty-acre farm, where he resided until 19 15, 
when he moved to the village of Odin. 

In 1873 Ole Reinert was married to Lena Odden, daughter of Errick 
Odden and wife, and to this union have been born seven children, William, 
Torger, Inga, Anna, Charles, Edward and Richard, the last named being 
deceased. 

Mr. Reinert has always been a member of the St. Olaf Norwegian 
Lutheran church. The first church of this denomination in this community 
was situated on the southeast quarter of section 20, Odin township, and was 
scarcely completed when a tornado swept it out of existence. 

Mr. Reinert has always been a booster for his community and a fighter 
for all kinds of improvements. One element he has always fought is the 
liquor business. He has held various minor township offices. 



WILLIAM W. HUNTER. 

William W. Hunter, assessor of Springfield township, Cottonwood 
county, justice of the peace, road overseer for his home district, vice-presi- 
dent of the Cottonwood County Fair Association, vice-president of the Old 
Settlers Association of that same county and one of the best-known and 
most substantial farmers of Springfield township, proprietor of a fine farm 
of one hundred and sixty acres on rural route No. 3, out of Windom, is a 
native of Wisconsin, born on a farm in LaCrosse county, that state, April 
1, 1 861, son of Wesley W. and Elizabeth (Williams) Hunter, the former 
of whom was born in Vermont and the latter in the state of New York. 

Weslev W. Hunter grew to manhood in his native state and there 
became a farmer. He remained there until about 1854, when he came 
West and settled in LaCrosse county, Wisconsin, where he homesteaded a 



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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 305' 

farm and was engaged in farming until he enlisted for service in the Union 
army in 1863 and went to the front as a member of one of the Wisconsin 
regiments. In one of the engagements in which his regiment took part 
he was captured by the enemy and was confined in the Confederate prison 
pen at Andersonville, where he shortly afterward died, a victim of the 
privations to which the prisoners in that stockade were subjected. He left 
a widow and three children, Ira E., William M. and Etta, of which family 
the subject of this sketch is the only member now living in Cottonwood 
county. The widow Hunter married again and in 1871 came with her 
husband and her cihldren to Minnesota, settling in Cottonwood county, 
where she spent the rest of her life. 

William W. Hunter was about ten years old when he came to Minne- 
sota with his mother and stepfather in 1871 and he consequently may very 
properly be regarded as one of the real pioneers of this section of the state. 
He had been going to school in LaCrosse county, Wisconsin, and upon com- 
ing out here attended a couple of terms of pioneer school in Cottonwood 
county, after which he began work as a farm hand and became a very 
competent farmer. In 1883 he homesteaded the quarter of a section of 
land on which he is now living and began the development of the same. 
After his marriage he established his home on that homestead farm and 
has ever since lived there, he and his family being very pleasantly and com- 
fortably situated. Mr. Hunter has spent about five thousand dollars in 
improving his place and has a model farm. He has for years given close 
attention to local civic affairs and is now assessor of his home township, 
roaa overseer and justice of the peace. He also has been active in the work 
of promoting the agricultural interests of his home county and is vice-presi- 
dent of the Cottonwood County Fair Association, in the affairs of which 
organization he for years has taken a warm interest. As one of the real 
pioneers of Cottonwood county, Mr. Hunter has given much attention to 
the work and the meetings of the Old Settlers Association and is now vice- 
president of that body. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows at Windom and is warmly interested in the affairs of that organ- 
ization. 

It was in 1887 tnat William W. Hunter was united in marriage to 
Ella D. Peterson, who was born in Blue Earth county, this state, daughter 
of Elias and Irene Peterson, natives of the state of Vermont, and to this 
union five children have been born, Earl V., born on May 28, 1889; Wesley 
E., August 11, 1896; Sylvia Esther, April 21, 1898; William and George, 
(20a) 



306 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

October 12, 1891, all of whom are living save the latter. Mr. and Mrs. 
Hunter give proper attention to local good works and have ever displayed 
their interest in movements having to do with the promotion of the common 
welfare hereabout. 

Earl V. Hunter married Lena Snyder and lives in Cottonwood county. 
They have one child, named Vernard E., born on February 3, 191 5. All 
other children are single. 



AUGUST QUADE. 



No biographical history of Cottonwood county would be complete with- 
out reference to the life and services to the community at large of the late 
August Quade, a pioneer of that county and for many years one of the most 
substantial and influential farmers of Storden township and one of the largest 
landowners in the county. August Ouade was a native of Germany, born 
on August 10, 1852, son of Christian and Julia (Biegel) Ouade, natives of 
that country, whose last days were spent in the home of their son in Cot- 
tonwood county, they having come to Minnesota in their old age. Christian 
Quade and wife were members of the German Lutheran church and their 
children were reared in that faith. There were three of these children, of 
whom August was the first-born, the others being Christian and Frederick. 
The elder, Christian, died ; his widow is still living at Jeffers, aged eighty- 
two years. 

August Quade received his schooling in his native land and at the age 
of sixteen years, in 1868, came to the United States, locating in Green Lake 
county, Wisconsin, where he remained about two years, at the end of which 
time he started for the Pacific coast and was for some years engaged in pros- 
pecting in the West, particularly in Washington and Oregon. In 1877 ne 
came to Minnesota and located in Cottonwood county, where he spent the 
rest of his life. Upon determining to locate here, Mr. Quade homesteaded 
a tract of eighty acres in Storden township and pre-empted an adjoining 
"eighty." He diligently set about improving and developing the same and 
upon his marriage five or six years later established his home there and con- 
tinued living there the rest of his life. Mr. Quade was a man of much 
energy, of large public spirit and of indefatigable industry and prospered 
from the start of his agricultural operations. He built up a fine place on 
his homestead tract and gradually added to his land holdings until he became 
the owner of eight hundred acres of fine land and was regarded as one of 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. T> 7 

the most substantial citizens of Cotonwood county. In addition to his exten- 
sive general farming, he also engaged extensively in stock raising and did 
very well. 

Mr. Quade was a Democrat and from the beginning of his residence 
took an active part in local political affairs, having been looked upon as one 
of the leaders of his party in the central and western parts of the county. 
For many years he served as treasurer of Storden township; for years was 
a member of the school board, in which capacity he did much to advance 
the cause of education in his district; while as road supervisor he performed 
a valuable service to the community in the way of highway improvement. 
He was equally active in church work and for years was one of the trustees 
of the German Lutheran church, of which he and his wife were devoted 
members and in the faith of which their children were reared. 

On April 3, 1883, August Quade was united in marriage to Pauline 
Conrad, who also was born in Germany, daughter of Johann M. and Anna 
J. (Wendland) Conrad, pioneers of this part of Minnesota, and to that 
union seventeen children were born, twelve of whom are living, as follow : 
Ida T., who married H. F. Conrad; Carl F., who married Ella Halter, and 
William A. F., Amelia A., Herman R., Marie P. M., Gustav M., Walter T., 
Ella L., John S., Amanda M. and Clara P. August Quade died at his home 
in Storden township on July 24, 191 5, leaving a good memory, which long 
will be cherished in that community. His widow is still living there and 
continues to take an active interest in the general management of the large 
farm. She is earnest in good works, for years one of the leaders in the 
church in that neighborhood, and takes a warm interest in all proper move- 
ments designed to advance the common welfare hereabout. 



WILLIAM SCHULTE. 



The subject of this sketch is of German ancestry, his father and mother 
were both natives of that country. William Schulte, his father, came to 
America when he was a young man, landing in New York. He had learned 
of the opportunities for young men afforded by the cheap lands in the North- 
west and he decided to go there. He found his way to Stearns countv, 
Minnesota, and there he located on a farm and established his home, and 
there he lived the rest of his life. After coming to this country he married 
Helen Knese, a native of his own country. The children born to this union 



308 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

were: Mary, Bernhardt, Andrew, William, Theodore, Henry, John and 
Catherine. 

William Schulte was born at Richmond, Stearns county, Minnesota, 
September 28, 1884. He received his early education in the public schools 
of Stearns county, Minnesota. Later he attended St. John's College for 
three years and took a commercial course. After leaving college he started 
a mill at Cold Springs, Minnesota, and operated this for three years. For 
the last thirteen years he has been engaged in buying grain. In June, 1913, 
he came to Darfur and took a position as manager of the Farmers' Ele- 
vator, and has been thus engaged since. 

In 1910 Mr. Schulte was united in marriage with Albertine Vernica, 
daughter of Nicholas Hemmesch, of Cold Springs, Minnesota. To this 
union two children have been born, Donald W. N. and Rainer A. Mr. 
Schulte is a member of the Catholic church, and an independent in politics. 



EDWARD C. POTTER. 



Edward C. Potter, one of the most substantial young farmers of Amboy 
township, Cottonwood county, owner of a farm of three hundred and twenty 
acres in the vicinity of Jeffers, a member of the board of supervisors of his 
home township and in other ways identified with the development of that 
part of the county, is a native son of Cottonwood county and has lived in 
the vicinity of his present home all his life. He was born on a pioneer farm 
in Amboy township, October 16, 1878, son of the Hon. W T illiam A. Potter, 
an honored veteran of the Civil War, a former representative from this 
district in the lower house of the Minnesota General Assembly, one of the 
early settlers of Cottonwood county and for years actively interested in the 
political life of this section of the state, who is now living retired in the 
village of Jeffers, not far from the old home farm in Amboy township, where 
he became a homesteader in the spring of 1878 and where he made his home 
until his retirement and removal to Jeffers. Presented elsewhere in this 
volume there is a biographical sketch of the Hon. William A. Potter, giving 
the genealogy of the family and setting out in detail the history of that old 
soldier, homesteader and statesman, to which the reader is referred. 

Edward C. Potter was reared on the paternal homestead in Amboy 
township, receiving his schooling in the district school in that neighborhood 
and proving, even from boyhood, a valuable assistant to his father in develop- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 309 

ing the home place. In 1901 he started farming on his own account and 
was married in 1902. From the first his farming operations prospered and 
in 1909 he bought the farm on which he now lives, being thus the owner of 
three hundred and twenty acres of well-improved and profitably cultivated 
land. In addition to his general farming, Mr. Potter has given considerable 
attention to the raising of Shorthorn cattle and Chester White hogs and has 
done very well, long having been recognized as one of the most progressive 
farmers in that part of the county. He is a Republican and has given close 
attention to local civic affairs, and has been a member of the board of super- 
visors of Amboy township since 19 13. 

On October 22, 1902, Edward C. Potter was united in marriage to 
Tillie Jenson, daughter of Peter Jenson, of Storden, and to this union three 
children have been born, Ethel, Marril and Clyde. Mr. and Mrs. Potter 
have a pleasant home and take a proper interest in the social and cultural 
activities of their home neighborhood, active in all local good works. 



JACOB H. WALL. 



Another German farmer who has made good in Minnesota is Jacob 
H. Wall, of Mountain Lake township, Cottonwood county, where he has 
been a resident for over a quarter of a century and has by thrift and economy 
become well-to-do. He was born in 1868, and is a son of Henry and Anna 
(Dick) Wall, natives of Germany and Russia, respectively. They spent 
their earlier lives in the old country, coming to America in 1875 and located 
near Mountain Lake, Cottonwood county, Minnesota. He finally moved 
into the village of Mountain Lake, where he died, his wife having died on 
the farm. Two sons and five daughters were born to them. 

Jacob H. Wall spent his boyhood on the farm and he received a com- 
mon-school education. He has always followed farming for a livelihood. 
He was seven years old when his parents brought him to the United States. 
He has lived on his present farm since 1891. He has a valuable farm of 
four hundred and forty acres on which he has erected modern and substan- 
tial buildings and made many other improvements, and he carries on gen- 
eral farming and stock raising on an extensive scale. 

Mr. Wall was married in 1890, to Agetha Buhler, a daughter of Abram 
Buhler, a native of Russia, and to this union the following children have 
been born : Lena, Henry, Abram, Justina and Anna. 



310 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Mr. Wall is a member of the Mennonite church. He has taken con- 
siderable interest in local public affairs, and has been township assessor for 
a period of seventeen years and is township clerk at the present time. 



CHARLES ANDERS GUSTAFSON. 

Charles Anders Gustafson, a progressive farmer of Dale township, Cot- 
tonwood county, one of the largest landowners in that part of the county, 
with a pleasant home on rural route No. 5, out of Windom, chairman of 
his district school board and a director in the Farmers Elevator Company at 
Windom, the Carson Farmers Elevator Company, the Northwestern Tele- 
phone Company and the Farmers State Bank of Windom, is a native of 
Sweden, but has lived in the United States since he was twenty years of age 
and has been a resident of Minnesota since he was twenty-five. He was 
born on March 15, 1867, son of Gustav and Matilda (Peterson) Gustafson, 
both of whom died in their native land and who were the parents of seven 
children, of whom Charles A. was the second in order of birth, the others 
being as follow: Sophia, wife of Mr. Wessling, a farmer, living near 
Muskegon, Michigan ; Amanda, who lives in Sweden ; Amil, who came to 
America and is now a well-known farmer in Dale township, Cottonwood 
county; Axel, who is associated with his brother, Amil, in the latter's farm- 
ing operations; Freda, wife of Oscar Johnson, a Pullman carpenter at Chi- 
cago, and Oscar, who remained in Sweden. 

Charles A. Gustafson was reared on a farm in his native land and 
received his education in the government schools. When twenty years of 
age, in 1887, he settled at Gorrie, Iowa, near which place he was for four 
years engaged as a farm laborer. He then came to Minnesota, arriving at 
Windom in 1891. Shortly thereafter he bought eighty acres of wild land 
in section 33, Dale township, and developed the same. Upon his marriage in 
1894 he rented the John F. Gustafson farm and made his home there for 
three years, at the end of which time he traded his original tract of eighty 
acres for another "eighty" of wild land in section 29 of that same township 
and there built a house and established his home. Mr. Gustafson has been 
a very successful farmer. Almost immediately after taking possession of 
the tract on which he established his home, he bought an adjoining "eighty" 
and two years later bought, a quarter of a section west of that, later buying 
one hundred and twenty acres in section 30 and still later buying another 
quarter section in section 28, thus being the owner of six hundred acres of 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 3II 

land in Dale township, all of which he is farming, besides renting and culti- 
vating other lands in that vicinity. He keeps twenty-five head of horses 
and also raises annually from seventy-five to one hundred head of cattle. 
His farm is well improved, a good barn and other up-to-date farm buildings 
affording him every convenience in his operations. One of the attractive 
features of the home farm is a grove of about three acres, which Mr. Gustaf- 
son planted upon taking possession of the same. He and his family have a 
pleasant home and are comfortably situated. Mr. Gustafson drives a fine 
automobile and takes an active interest in the general business affairs of the 
community. He is an "independent" Democrat and is now serving his 
second term as chairman of the school board of district No. 54. He is a 
stockholder in the Planners State Bank of Windom and also a stockholder in 
the Farmers Elevator Company at Windom, the Carson Farmers Elevator 
Company and the Northwestern Telephone Company, in the affairs of all 
of which organizations he takes a warm interest. 

It was on November 2, 1894, that Charles A. Gustafson was united in 
marriage to Augusta Gustafson and to this union seven children have been 
born, namely: Sigurd Joseph, born on August 17, 1895; Clarence Conrad, 
September 28, 1896; Walter, February 19, 1898; Ethel Elvera, April 8, 
1900, now attending school at Windom; Hildur, April 21, 1902; Ruth, July 
24, 1903, and Myrtle, March 27, 1907. Mr. and Mrs. Gustafson are mem- 
bers of the Free Mission Swedish church at Windom and their children 
have been reared in that faith. The Gustafsons take a proper interest in 
neighborhood good works and are ever helpful in promoting movements 
designed to advance the general welfare hereabout. 



RICHARD ALBRECHT. 



Richard Albrecht, a progressive young farmer of Germantown town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, who is the owner of a farm of two hundred and 
forty acres in that township, is a native of Germany, but has lived in Min- 
nesota since his early childhood, he having been but an infant when his 
parents came over here. He was born on January 18, 1888, son of August 
and Wilhelmina (Thram) Albrecht, natives of Germany, who came ,to 
America in 1889, proceeding directly to Minnesota and settling on a farm 
in Germantown township, Cottonwood county, where they are still living, 
having for years been among the best-known and most influential residents 
of that community. August Albrecht and his wife are members of the 



312 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

German Lutheran church and their children were reared in that faith. 
There were eight of these children, of whom Richard was the fifth in order 
of birth, the others being Augusta, Herman, Otto, Mary, Emma, Ernest 
and Minnie. 

Richard Albrecht was little more than a year old when his parents 
came to Minnesota and he grew to manhood on the paternal farm in Ger- 
mantown township. He received his education in the public schools of that 
township and from the days of his boyhood was a valuable assistant to his 
father in the labors of developing the home place. When he reached man- 
hood's estate he began farming on his own account and has been very suc- 
cessful, now being the owner of a fine farm of two hundred and forty 
acres in Germantown township, the same being in an excellent state of cul- 
tivation. In addition to his general farming, Mr. Albrecht has given con- 
siderable attention to the raising of live stock and has done very well. 

In 191 5 Richard Albrecht was united in marriage to Olga Steve, daugh- 
ter of Henry Steve. Mr. and Mrs. Albrecht are members of the German 
Lutheran church and take a proper interest in parish affairs, as well as in all 
local good works, being willing promoters of such movements as are de- 
signed to advance the common welfare. They have a pleasant home and 
take an earnest part in the general social activities of their home neighbor- 
hood. Mr. Albrecht is a Republican in his political views, ever taking a 
proper interest in local governmental affairs. 



ALVIN RAND. 



Alvin Rand, one of the best-known and most progressive farmers in 
Cottonwood county, proprietor of beautiful "Valley Dale Stock Farm," a 
fine place of two hundred and forty acres in section 35, Dale township, 
situated on rural route No. 5, out of Windom, is a native son of Minnesota, 
born on a homestead farm in Faribault county, February 6, 1871, son of 
John and Ada Rand, the former a native of New York state and the latter 
of Vermont, who were married in Wisconsin, later coming to this state, 
where their last days were spent, influential and substantial residents of 
Cottonwood county. 

John Rand was reared on a farm in New York and when a young 
man came into the Northwest, settling in Wisconsin, where he married. 
After a few years spent there he came to Minnesota and homesteaded a tract 



1 




RESIDENCE AND BARN OF ALVIN RAND. 



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PUBLIC LIBRARY 

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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 313 

of forty acres in Faribault county, at the same time buying a quarter of a 
section of wild land adjoining. He improved that place and made his home 
there until 1884. when he sold the same to advantage and moved to Arkan- 
sas, but after farming for one season in that state, returned to Minnesota 
and spent a year in Dodge county, after which he returned to Nebraska 
and for two vears was engaged in farming in the neighborhood of Norfolk, 
that state. He then moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he lived for 
about nine months, at the end of which time he returned to Minnesota and 
for four years lived on a rented farm in Rock county. He then moved up 
into Cottonwood county and bought a quarter of a section of wild land in 
Dale township, where he established his home and where he and his wife 
spent the rest of their lives, his death occurring in February, 1908, he then 
being past sixty-six years of age, and hers, in September, 1909, she then 
being fifty-six years of age. They were the parents of nine children, of 
whom the subject of this sketch was the first-born. 

Alvin Rand was about thirteen years old when his parents left the old 
homestead farm in Faribault county, where he was born and where he had 
received his early schooling. During their later moves he was a constant 
aid to his father in the work of the farm and became an excellent farmer. 
He was twenty-one vears of a^e when the family finallv located in Cotton- 
wood county in the early nineties and he continued assisting his father on 
the farm until his marriage in 1897, after which he rented a farm of six 
hundred and forty acres and started farming on his own account. Shortly 
afterward he bought a quarter section of wild land in section 35, Dale town- 
ship, and there he established his home and has continued to live there ever 
since. Mr. Rand has done well in his farming operations and now is the 
owner of two hundred and forty acres and has long been recognized as one 
of the most substantial and progressive farmers in his neighborhood. Upon 
taking possession of his place, Mr. Rand planted a large grove and has con- 
tinually improved his farm until "Valley Dale Stock Farm" has come to be 
known as one of the most attractive places thereabout. He early built a 
nice two-story frame house, later erected a large bank barn, forty by sixty- 
four feet, and in 1914 erected a concrete-block silo. Upon beginning his 
farming operations, Mr. Rand engaged in the live stock business in a small 
way,, and has gradually added to his herd until now he has a herd of forty- 
five purebred Shorthorn cattle and twenty head of horses. Mr. Rand is an 
"independent" Republican and has held the offices of township clerk and 
township supervisor. He is a stockholder in the Carson Farmers Elevator 
Company at Delft and in the Farmers Elevator Company at Windom. He 



314 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

owns a livery barn and two residence properties in Mountain Lake and a 
couple of lots in Jeffers. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Modern 
Woodmen and with the Royal Neighbors, in the affairs of both of which 
organizations he takes a warm interest. 

Alvin Rand has been married twice. It was on February 26, 1897, 
that he was united in marriage to Bertha Miller. To that union six children 
were born, Effie, who married Archie Carr and now lives at Lake City, 
Iowa; Ada, Edith, Sadie, Pearl and Alice, all of whom are living save Pearl. 
The mother of these children died on February 23, 1905, and on July 15, 
1908, Mr. Rand married Mrs. Otto Hotzler. The Rands have a very 
pleasant home and take an earnest interest in the general social activities 
of their neighborhood, contributing to all movements designed to advance 
the general welfare thereabout. 



GUNDER JOHNSON. 



No history of Cottonwood county would be complete without fitting 
mention of the venerable Gunder Johnson, an honored veteran of the Civil 
War and the first settler of Highwater township, who has been a witness to 
and a participant in the wonderful development that has marked this part of 
the state within the past generation and who is still living, hale and hearty, 
at the age of eighty-two, on the farm in Highwater township, where he 
homesteaded in 1869. 

Gunder Johnson is a native of Norway, born on October 12, 1S33, son 
of Ole and Hedwick (Gunder) Johnson, and grew to manhood in his native 
country, being twenty-two years of age when the family came to this country 
in 1855. Ole Johnson located with his family in Portage county, Wiscon- 
sin, established his home on a homestead farm there and there spent the rest 
of his life, his death occurring in 1872. He and his wife were the parents 
of three children, of whom Gunder was the last-born, the others being Mary 
and John. Upon settling in Portage county, Gunder Johnson was occupied 
with his father in the work of developing the homestead farm and was thus 
engaged until 1863, in which year he enlisted in Company D, Fifth Regi- 
ment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, for service during the Civil War and 
served with that command until mustered out at the close of the war. Mr. 
Johnson saw much active' service with his regiment, participating in the bat- 
tles in the Wilderness, through the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Cherry 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 315 

Creek, the battles around Petersburg and was present at the surrender of 
Lee at Appomattox, later participating in the Grand Review at Washington. 
Through all these battles and engagements he never was wounded, though 
on several occasions bullet holes in his hat attested the imminence of death. 

Upon the completion of his military service, Mr. Johnson returned to 
his home in Wisconsin. He married there in 1867 and in 1869 he and his 
wife drove through by "prairie schooner" to this part of Minnesota and set- 
tled in Highwater township, Cottonwood county, being the earliest arrivals 
in that township, Mr. Johnson later becoming an active factor in the organ- 
ization of the township when it w r as organized to one of the civil units of 
the county. He homesteaded a quarter of a section of land there and has 
ever since made his home on the original homestead, thus being one of the 
oldest pioneers in point of continuous residence in this part of the state. 
When Mr. Johnson settled here, his nearest market was New Ulm, fifty-five 
miles away, for he then was on the frontier, indeed. He had a struggle 
before him for several years and during the years of the grasshopper scourge 
left his wife and children on the homestead and went over into Fillmore 
county to work in the harvest fields. After awhile, however, he began to 
see his way clear and presently became established on his farm, from the 
very first being looked upon as one of the leading farmers of that part of 
the county. Mr. Johnson is a Republican and ever since locating in Cot- 
tonwood county has taken a warm interest in civic affairs, though not being 
included in the office-seeking class. For many years he has been a member 
of the Grand Army of the Republic and continues to take a warm interest 
in the affairs of that patriotic organization. Despite the weight of his eighty- 
two years, Mr. Johnson still retains the erect carriage of his military days 
and is in vigorous physical condition, never having been ill for even a single 
day during all the years of his residence in Minnesota. 

In 1867, back in Wisconsin, Gunder Johnson was united in mar- 
riage to Marie Staindahlen and to this union nine children have been born, 
Martin, Jacob, Peter, Aaron, Gilbert, Hannah, Gerina, Toline and Anna, all 
of whom are living in Minnesota save the first born, Martin Johnson, who is 
living in Idaho. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are members of the Norwegian 
Lutheran church and were prominent figures in the work of organizing that 
church in this locality in early clays and have ever been held as among 
the leaders in all good works hereabout, the influence of their lives in the 
formative period of this now well-established and prosperous community 
having been of far-reaching benefit hereabout. 



316 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

JAMES J. BILL. 

James J. Bill, well-known and energetic dealer in real estate at Madelia, 
for many years one of the leading druggists of this part of the state and in 
all ways active in the promotion of the best interests of his home town and 
the community at large, is a native son of Minnesota, born at Mantorville, 
county seat of Dodge county, August 27, 1862, son of Dr. Dyar R. and 
Amanda M. (Vermillion) Bill, the former of whom was born at Greenfield, 
Vermont, and the latter at Syracuse, New York, who later became pioneer 
residents of Madelia, this state, where they spent their last days. 

Dr. Dyar R. Bill, pioneer druggist at Madelia, was a graduate of an 
Eastern medical college, who, about 1852, came West and settled at Beaver 
Falls, Wisconsin, where he engaged in the drug business and continued thus 
engaged at that place about eight years, at the end of which time he came to 
Minnesota and located at Mantorville, where he was for some time engaged 
as a teacher in the schools of that place. While thus engaged he was elected 
county superintendent of schools of Dodge county and served in that capacity 
for two years, at the end of which time he moved to what then was known 
as Shelby ville and while there served for two years as superintendent of 
schools of Blue Earth county. Doctor Bill then moved to Garden City, 
upon the founding of that place, and opened the first drug store in the town, 
remaining there until the time of the founding of the town of Madelia, 
when, in 1870, he moved to the latter place and there opened a drug store, 
which remained in the control of his family for forty-three years. 

Doctor Bill was a man of much force of character and took an active 
part in the work of promoting the interests of the new town of Madelia and 
of Watonwan county generally during the five years of his residence in 
Madelia. In 1872 he was elected clerk of court for Watonwan county and 
was serving in that capacity, with a promise of larger service and much con- 
tinued usefulness in behalf of the new community, when his death occurred 
in 1875. He was a Republican and was one of the leaders of that party in 
this part of the state during the time he resided here. He and his wife 
were members of the Presbyterian church and their children were reared in 
that faith. There were six of these children, of whom James J. was the 
fourth in order of birth, the others being Frank D., Edward H., Frederick 
J., Kathryn and Emma F. Following the death of Doctor Bill his widow 
continued the drug store, with the assistance of her sons, under the firm 
name of A. M. Bill & Sons, which arrangement continued for about five 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 317 

years, or until 1S80, when Mrs. Bill sold her interest in the place to her sons, 
who continued the store under the name of Bill Brothers, until James J. 
Bill became sole owner in 1902, continuing as such until he later sold the 
store in order to give his undivided time to his rapidly growing real-estate 
interests. 

James J. Bill was about eight years of age when his parents settled in 
the new town of Madelia and he consequently has been a witness to the 
growth of that thriving little city from the days of its very beginning. He 
received his schooling in the public schools of Madelia and early took his 
place in the drug store, under the careful direction of his father, and became 
a skilled druggist. After the formation of the firm of Bill Brothers he 
continued taking an active part in the management of the store's affairs and 
in 1902 bought his brothers' interests in the place and continued to conduct 
the store alone until he sold it in 1913, since which time he has given his 
whole attention to his extensive real-estate business, he being regarded as 
one of the leaders in the realty market in this part of the state. Mr. Bill 
gives his particular attention to the market in farm lands and has done very 
well. He is "independent" in his political views and gives a good citizen's 
attention to local political affairs, but has never been included in the office- 
seeking class. 

In 1891 James J. Bill was united in marriage to Grace G. Goddard, 
daughter of Charles A. Goddard, and to this union one child has been born, 
a son, Dyar G. Mr. and Mrs. Bill are attendants at the services of the 
Presbyterian church and take a proper interest in the general social and 
cultural activities of their home town. Mr. Bill is a member of the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows and takes a warm interest in the affairs of 
that organization. 



MARTIN FRANZ. 



Martin Franz, a well-known and up-to-date farmer of Midway town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of two hundred and 
forty acres in the vicinity of Mountain Lake, is a native of southern Rus- 
sia, born on March 4, 1859, son of John and Susanna Franz, who came to 
the United States in 1878, proceeding directly to Minnesota and coming 
to this part of the state, arriving at Mountain Lake on July 6, of that year. 
John Franz bought eighty acres of school land in that neighborhood and 
later added to his place by the purchase of an adjoining quarter of a sec- 



3l8 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

tion. He died in 18S6 and his widow is still living, being now in the eighty- 
fifth year of her age. 

Martin Franz was about nineteen years of age when he came to this 
country with his parents in 1878 and he has been a continuous resident of 
the Mountain Lake neighborhood ever since. He early began farming on 
his own account and is now the owner of a farm of two hundred and forty 
acres in Midway township, where he carries on general farming and stock 
raising. He set out all the trees that at present adorn his farm and has 
erected a substantial class of buildings on the place, a comfortable residence 
and farm buildings in keeping with the same, as well a% a capacious silo. 
Mr. Franz is a Republican and for many years has been a member of the 
school board, at the same time ever taking an active interest in the general 
civic affairs of his home township, and is regarded as one of the leaders in 
the common life of that community. 

In 1883 Martin Franz was united in marriage to Susanna Balzer, 
daughter of Jacob Balzer, a sketch of whom is presented elsewhere in this 
volume, and to this union nine children have been born : John, Jacob, Su- 
sanna, Peter, Anna, Solomon, Elizabeth, Frieda and Ferdinand, all of whom 
are living. Of the children, John is in Canada in the ministry; Jacob is in 
Montana; Susanna and Anna are at present in California, doing mission 
work. Mr. and Mrs. Franz are members of the Mennonite church and for 
years have taken an active interest in the affairs of the same. 



FRANK BALZER. 



Frank Balzer, veteran lumber dealer at Mountain Lake, one of the best- 
known business men in Cottonwood county, president of the North Star 
Telephone Company of Mountain Lake, vice-president of the First State 
Bank of that city, a director of the State Bank of Darfur and for more 
than twenty years treasurer of his home town, is a native of Germany, born 
on March 19, 1859, son of Jacob Balzer, who later became a prominent 
pioneer of this section of Minnesota and regarding whom further reference 
is made elsewhere in this volume of biography. 

On July 1, 1877, the Balzer family landed in Philadelphia to settle on 
the new lands that then were being opened to settlement in this part of 
Minnesota, and in due time they were established on a homestead farm in 
the near vicinity of Mountain Lake. Jacob Balzer was a man of energy and 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 319 

resourcefulness and it was not long until he became recognized as one of the 
substantial farmers and useful citizens of that part of the county. He and 
his wife were of the Mennonite faith and were among the leaders in the 
work of the considerable colony of Mennonites that then was being estab- 
lished in this part of Minnesota. 

Frank Balzer was eighteen years old when he came to this country 
with his parents and the first few years of his residence here were spent in 
assisting in the development of the homestead farm. When he was twenty- 
three years of age he went to St. James, where he was engaged for a year as 
a grain buyer. He then, in 1883, married and a few years later, on April 
5, 1886, engaged in the lumber business at Mountain Lake and has ever 
since been thus engaged, thus being one of the oldest lumber men, in point 
of continuous connection with that business, in this part of Minnesota. Mr. 
Balzer not only for years has been one of the leaders in the lumber trade 
hereabout, but he has been actively identified with other business interests in 
and about his home town and has long been regarded as one of the leading 
men of affairs. He is vice-president of the First State Bank of Mountain 
Lake, a director of the State Bank of Darfur and president of the North 
Star Telephone Company, of Mountain Lake. Mr. Balzer is a Republican, 
for years one of the leaders of that party in his part of the county, and has 
been for twenty-one years treasurer of Mountain Lake and for about twenty 
years a member of the school board of that city, now serving as treasurer 
of the board; while in other ways he has shown his interest in the civic and 
business life of his home town. 

It was in 1883, at Mountain Lake, that Frank Balzer was united in 
marriage to Agatha Hiebert, who was born in Russia on December 13, 
i860, daughter of David and Sarah (Penner) Hiebert, who came to the 
United States in 1877, and came to Minnesota, locating at Mountain Lake. 
There David Hiebert erected a grist-mill and was there engaged as a miller 
and grain buyer until his death, and his widow is still living in her home in 
that city. To Mr. and Mrs. Balzer seven children have been born, namely: 
Jacob F., now a member of the faculty of Bethel College at Newton, Kan- 
sas; Sarah, who married Prof. C. C. Regier, former member of the faculty 
of Bethel College, who is now doing post-graduate work in the University 
of Chicago; David C, an associate of his father in business at Mountain 
Lake, under the firm name of Ffank Balzer & Company; Susie, who is at 
home with her parents; Frank, Jr., who is now at Carleton College at North- 
field; Martha, who died at the age of ten years, and Olga, who has just 
completed the work in the grade schools, ready for high school. Mr. and 



320 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Mrs. Balzer are earnest members of the Mennonite church and for years 
have taken an active interest in the various beneficences of the same, as well 
as in all local good works. 



JACOB J. FAST. 

Jacob J. Fast, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Lakeside town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of four hundred and 
eighty acres in the vicinity of Windom, former chairman of the board of 
supervisors of Lakeside township and for years interested in the civic. and 
industrial life of that community, is a native of Russia, but has been a 
resident of Minnesota since he was fifteen years old and is very properly 
regarded as one of the pioneers of this region. He was born on a farm 
in southern Russia, May 14, i860, son of John and Ann (Peters) Fast, 
the former a native of that same district in the czar's domain and the latter 
a native of Germany, who had moved with her parents to that district when 
nine years of age. In 1875, deciding that the New World across the sea 
offered a better opportunity for his family than he could hope to secure for 
them in the old country, John Fast came to the United States with his 
family and proceeded straightway to Minnesota, settling in the village of 
Mountain Lake, in Cottonwood county. After a brief residence there, he 
bought a quarter of a section of land in Carson township, established his 
home there and there spent the rest of his life. He and his wife were mem- 
bers of the Mennonite church and their children were reared in that simple 
faith. There were eleven of these children, of whom the subject of this 
sketch was the third in order of birth, the others being Henry, Abraham 
(deceased), Gerhard (deceased), John, Bernard, Anna, Sarah, Lena, Peter 
and Herman (deceased). 

Jacob J. Fast was about fifteen years old when he came to Minnesota 
with his parents in 1875. He had received the benefit of tuition in the gov- 
ernment schools of his native land and after coming here attended school 
for a while. As a young man he began working out for neighboring farm- 
ers, but after his marriage, in 1882, made his home in Mountain Lake, where 
he lived for eight years, two years of whrch time he spent working on the 
railroad section ; three years as a carpenter and three years as a drayman 
and at farm labor. In, 1890 Mr. Fast bought a farm of three hundred and 



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f PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASTOR, LENdX 
TILDES 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 32 1 

twenty acres in section 6, Lakeside township, and ever since has made his 
home there. The place was wholly unimproved when he took possession 
and he has made on it all the substantial improvements which go to make it 
one of the best farms in that locality. As he prospered in his farming 
operations, Mr. Fast added to his land holdings until he now is the owner 
of a fine place of four hundred and eighty acres, well improved and profit- 
ably cultivated. In addition to his general farming, he has given consid- 
erable attention to stock raising and keeps a good herd of Shorthorn cattle 
and a fine flock of sheep. He has given proper attention to general industrial 
conditions hereabout and is interested in the farmers elevator at Delft. Mr. 
Fast is a Republican and for years has taken an active part in the civic 
affairs of his home township. For ten years he has served as a member of 
the township board and for six years of that period was chairman of the 
board. 

It was in 1882, seven years after coming to this country, that Jacob J. 
Fast was united in marriage to Lena Penner, who died in 1902, leaving 
seven children. Lena, Anna, Catherine, Mary, John, Jacob and Henry, who 
are doing well their respective parts in the community in which they live. 

Mr. Fast has been seriously handicapped by several cyclones which did 
considerable damage to his property, and he has also lost some crops through 
hail storms. 



JENS C. JENSEN. 



Jens C. Jensen, one of the best-known and most prosperous farmers of 
Rosendale township, Watonwan county, proprietor of a fine farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres in that township, chairman of the board of super- 
visors of that township and in other ways actively identified with the civic 
interests of his home neighborhood, is a native son of Watonwan county, 
born on the farm on which he now makes his home, and has lived there all 
his life. He was born on October 11, 1868, son of Notto and Lena Jensen, 
both natives of Norway, the former of whom, an honored veteran of the 
Civil War, was the first settler in that wide strip of now thickly settled terri- 
tory lying between Madelia and Jackson, this state. 

Notto Jensen was born in Norway in 1835 and when eighteen years of 
age, in 1853, came to the United States, locating in Wisconsin. He was 
married at Butternut Valley, Brown county, after the Civil War, to Lena 
(21a) 



322 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Erickson, daughter of Christian and Mary Erickson, who had come to this 
country and settled in Wisconsin in 1846. For some time Notto Jensen 
farmed in Wisconsin and then came into Minnesota and was living in this 
state when the Civil War broke out. He enlisted in Company I, Sixth 
Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and served with that command 
until the close of the war. His location in Watonwan county was made 
before the passage of the homestead laws and he pre-empted the quarter 
of a section where his son, Jens C, now lives, in Rosendale township. He 
later homesteaded a tract of eighty acres in section 12, to which he pre- 
sently added an adjoining "eighty," and early came to be regarded as one of 
the most substantial farmers in that part of the county. Later he bought a 
farm of two hundred and seven acres in the vicinity of Madelia, selling his 
two quarter sections further south to his two elder sons, Jens C. and Martin 
L.. and thereafter made his home on the farm near Madelia, where he spent 
the rest of his life. Notto Jensen not only was a good farmer, but he was 
a good citizen and took an active part in local civic affairs. He was a 
Democrat and for years served his community as a member of the school 
board and as a member of the township board. His wife died in 1896 and 
he survived until 1902. They were members of the Norwegian Lutheran 
church and their children were reared in that faith. There were nine of 
these children, of whom Jens C. was the first born, the others being Martin 
L., Mary J., Ole I., Albert T., George Henry, Willie J., Anna Louise and 
Walter A., all of whom are living save Anna Louise. 

Jens Jensen was reared on the paternal farm in Rosendale township 
and from early boyhood was a valuable assistant to his father in the work 
of developing the same. He supplemented his schooling in the district 
school by a course in the Mankato Normal school and for some years taught 
school during the winters, continuing his work on the farm during the 
summers. He married in 1893 and after coming into possession of the old 
home farm began to make important improvements on the same. In 1909 
he built a new barn, thirty-six by eighty, and in 191 1 put up a capacious 
silo. In 19 14 he erected a new dwelling house and he and his family are 
now comfortably situated. In addition to his general farming, Mr. Jensen 
has given considerable attention to the raising of fine live stock and has 
done very well. Mr. Jensen is a Democrat and for years has been a mem- 
ber of the township board, of which board he is now the chairman. He 
also has done good service as a member of the school board and in other 
ways has contributed of his time and his energies to the public service. 

It was in 1893 that *J ens C. Jensen was united in marriage to Lena 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 323 

Jorgenson, who also was born in Rosendale township, in 1867, daughter of 
Ole and Karen Jorgenson, natives of Norway, who were the first home- 
steaders in the territory between Madelia and Jackson, having settled in 
what is now Rosendale township not long after Notto Jensen had pre- 
empted his claim in that section. Ole Jorgenson was a good farmer and a 
man of substance, an influence for good in his neighborhood. He died in 
1892, and his widow survived until 1902. They were the parents of nine 
children, of whom Mrs. Jensen was the eighth in order of birth, the others 
being Knute, George O., Mary, Lizzie, Ida, Anna, Amelia and Matilda, all 
of whom are living except Amelia. To Mr. and Mrs. Jensen four children 
have been born, namely: Grace F., who was born on June 6, 1894; Elmer 
C., November 29, 1896; Edna L., December 23, 1899, and Vernon L., 
September 10, 191 2. The Jensens are members of the Norwegian Lutheran 
church and take a warm interest in the various beneficences of the same, as 
well as in all local good works. 



N. C. MATTISON. 



When N. C. Mattison landed in this country from Denmark in 1886, 
he had twenty-five cents as his sole monetary possession. Now he is the 
owner of nearly one thousand acres of land and has long been accounted 
one of the leading farmers and stockmen of Cottonwood county and one of 
the valuable factors in the development of the northern part of that county, 
his home being in Highwater township, where he has lived since 1899 and 
where he has developed one of the finest bits of property in that section of 
the county. 

N. C. Mattison was born on a farm in Denmark, February 23, 1867, son 
of Mattis and Anna Peterson, natives of that same country, both now 
deceased, who reared a family of thirteen children, only two of whom came 
to the United States. N. C. Mattison received his schooling in his native 
land and, when nineteen years of age, came to the United States. He stopped 
for a year in Hartford, Connecticut, and then worked in the state of New 
York for eight months, at the end of which time he came West, stopping at 
Maple Park, Illinois, from which place, eight months later, he went to Iowa, 
where for about five years he worked at various occupations, chiefly farm- 
ing, after which he began farming on his own account and was thus engaged 
until he came to this state in 1899. Upon his arrival in Cottonwood county, 



324 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Mr. Mattison bought a quarter of a section of land in Highwater county, 
established his home there and has since lived there. From the beginning 
of his farming operations there he prospered and has gradually added to his 
land holdings until now he is the owner of eight hundred acres of fine land 
in Cottonwood county and one hundred and sixty acres about twelve miles 
from Jamestown, North Dakota. Mr. Mattison has improved his home 
farm in excellent shape and he and his family are pleasantly situated there. 
In addition to his general farming he has given considerable attention to 
the raising of live stock, with particular reference to Shorthorn cattle, and 
has done very well. Mr. Mattison is a Republican and gives a good citizen's 
attention to local political affairs, but has not been a seeker after public office. 
Mr. Mattison has been married twice. His first wife, who was Belle 
Larson, died leaving one child, a daughter, Myrtle. Mr. Mattison then mar- 
ried Lizzie Tolifson and to this union nine children have been born: Noah, 
Menered, Harry, Ella, Arthur, Esther, Mary, Joseph and Leslie. Mr. and 
Mrs. Mattison are members of the Baptist church and take an active interest 
in the affairs of the same, as well as in all local good works. 



DAVID D. SCHULTZ. 



David D. Schultz, a well-known and progressive young farmer of Mid- 
way township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a farm of one hundred 
and sixty acres in the vicinity of Mountain Lake and identified with the 
general interests of that part of the county, is a native of Cottonwood county 
and has lived there all his life. He was born on a homestead farm in 
Mountain Lake township, May 9, 1880, son of David and Susie (Vought) 
Schultz, natives of southern Russia and pioneers of this part of Minnesota, 
who are now living comfortably retired in the village of Mountain Lake. 

David Schultz, who was born in southern Russia on March 24, 1841, is 
the son of Henry Schultz and wife, who came to Minnesota from southern 
Russia in 1875 and with their family settled in Cottonwood county, on a 
homestead farm in Mountain Lake township, being among the earliest settlers 
in that part of the county. They were members of the Mennonite church 
and were regarded as among the leaders in the considerable colony of per- 
sons of that faith who began to settle hereabout in the early days. Henry 
Schultz was a native of Germany, but had located in southern Russia in his 
young manhood and had lived in the latter place until he came to America. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 325' 

Three times after locating in Minnesota he returned to his old home in 
Russia and on his last visit there was taken ill and died. His wife's last 
days were spent on the homestead farm in Mountain Lake township. 

David Schultz received his education in the common schools of the 
German colony in Russia. On coming to America he first went to South 
Dakota, but in 1875 he located in this section of Minnesota. He took an 
active part in the work of developing and improving his father's homestead 
and later began farming on his own account, homesteading a farm in the 
vicinity of that of his father in Mountain Lake township. Some time after 
his marriage he moved into Midway township, where he established his 
home on a farm in section 27 and became a very successful farmer, long 
having been regarded as one of the leading agriculturists in that part of the 
county. Some time ago he and his wife retired from the labors of the farm 
and moved to Mountain Lake, where they have a pleasant home and where 
they are comfortably situated. Mr. Schultz is a Republican and for many 
years has taken a warm interest in local political affairs. He and his wife 
are members of the Mennonite church and long have been actively interested 
in its beneficences. 

David Schultz was married in 1871 to Susanna Voth, and to them were 
born the following children: John D., Isaac, Helena, Maria, David D., Hy 
D., Peter D. and Jacob S. 

David D. Schultz was eight years old when his parents moved from 
the homestead farm in Mountain Lake township to Midway township and 
he was reared on the home farm in the latter township, receiving his school- 
ing in the district school in the neighborhood of his home, and there he re- 
mained, a valued assistant to his father in the work of developing and im- 
proving the home place, until 1905, the year of his marriage, when he 
bought the quarter section on which he ever since has made his home, in 
section 26 of that same township. Mr. Schultz has applied modern methods 
to the cultivation of his place and has improved the same in admirable 
fashion. In addition to his general farming he has given considerable at- 
tention to the raising of high-grade live stock. He is a Republican and 
takes a good citizen's interest in local politics, but has not been included in 
the office-seeking class. 

In 1905 David D. Schultz was united in marriage to Anna Eitzen, who 
was born in the neighboring county of Watonwan in 1886, daughter of 
Peter Eitzen and wife, early settlers of that part of the state, and to this 
union five children have been born, Hilda, Ferdinand, Alvin (deceased), 



326 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Susie and Samuel. Mr. and Mrs. Schultz are members of the Mennonite 
church and take an active interest in the affairs of that congregation, as well 
as in all neighborhood good works. 



MONRAD HARBITZ. 



Monrad Harbitz, a well-known and progressive young farmer of Rosen- 
dale township, Watonwan county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred 
and forty-five acres in the vicinity of St. James, and actively identified with 
the general interest of the community in which he has lived all his life, is 
a native son of Watonwan county and has been a witness to and a partici- 
pant in the development of this region from the days of his childhood. He 
was born on the pioneer farm on which he still lives, January 13, 1886, son 
of George and Johanna (Rodseth) Harbitz, natives of Norway and early 
settlers of Watonwan county, the former of whom died on March 23, 1914, 
at the age of sixty-seven, and the latter, at the age of seventy- three, is making 
her home with her youngest son, the subject of this biographical sketch. 

George Harbitz and his wife came to this country from Norway in 
1867 and proceeded to Minnesota, coming to this part of the state, which 
then was being opened to settlement, and located in Rosendale township, 
Watonwan county, thus having been among the very earliest settlers of that 
part of the county. Mr. Harbitz homesteaded a tract of eighty acres, on 
which he established his home, and began to take a prominent part in the 
pioneer activities of that region. He was a good farmer and as he devel- 
oped his homestead and prospered in his operations, he gradually added to 
his holdings until he became the owner of a fine place of three hundred and 
eighty acres, well kept and profitably cultivated. Mr. Harbitz allied himself 
with the Democratic party upon becoming a citizen of this country and for 
years was one of the leaders of that party in his part of the county. For 
some years he was chairman of the board of supervisors of Rosendale 
township and for many years served as a member of the local school board, 
while in other ways he took an active part in local civic affairs and was a 
useful and influential citizen. He and his wife were, from the beginning of 
their residence in this county, among the leaders in the work of the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church and their children were reared in that faith. They 
were the parents of ten children, of whom seven are now living: Johanna, 
Ingaborg. Anna, Karen, Mary, Hannah and Monrad. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 327 

Monrad Harbitz was reared on the old homestead farm on which he 
was born and became a practical farmer. He finished his schooling in the 
Madelia schools and early began farming on his own account. He now 
owns one hundred and forty-five acres of the old home farm, where he 
makes his home, and is doing well in his farming operations, which are 
conducted along modern lines of agriculture. He gives considerable atten- 
tion to the raising of high-grade live stock and has done well in that line. 
The farm of Mr. Harbitz is well kept and well improved and he and his 
family are very pleasantly and very comfortably situated. One of the at- 
tractive features of the place is the fine grove and the splendid avenue of 
great trees skirting the sides of the highway, which were planted by the 
elder Harbitz when he began to develop his homestead back in the sixties 
and which have grown to be veritable landmarks in that section. 

In 19 1 3 Monrad Harbitz was united in marriage to Anna Grogan, 
daughter of Mathew and Mary (Reynolds) Grogan, of Riverdale township, 
old settlers there, and to this union two sons have been born, Lawrence and 
Francis. Mr. Harbitz is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church and 
takes an earnest interest in the various beneficences of the churches. Mrs. 
Harbitz is a Catholic. Mr. Harbitz is a Democrat and gives a good citizen's 
attention to local political affairs. He is progressive, public-spirited and 
enterprising and is regarded as one of the substantial young farmers of the 
community in which he lives. 



A. W. ENGLUND. 



A. W. Englund, clerk of Amboy township, Cottonwood county, and 
one of the best-known and most progressive farmers of that part of the 
county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres in the 
vicinity of Jeffers, is a native of Sweden, but has lived in this country ever 
since he was six years old. He was born on a farm on August 17, 1863, 
son of John and Catherine (Monson) Englund, who came to the United 
States in the spring of 1869 and settled on a farm in Buena Vista county, 
Iowa, where both spent the remainder of their lives. Catherine Englund 
died in 1874, leaving three children, of whom A. W. was the eldest, the 
others being John E. and Amanda. John Englund later married Maria 
Larson, and to that union three children were born, Charles H., Emma and 
Hilda. John Englund died in August, 1904. 



328 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

A. W. Englund was reared on the paternal farm in Buena Vista county, 
Iowa, receiving his schooling in the neighborhood schools, and when a 
young man started farming in that county on his own account. In the 
spring of 1901, the year of his marriage, he quit fanning there and moved 
to Marathon, Iowa, where he engaged in the real-estate business and was 
thus engaged for two years, at the end of which time he bought a general 
hardware and implement store in that town and conducted the same until 
he sold out in 1904 and moved to Murray county, Minnesota, where he 
lived for two years. He then, in 1906. moved into Cottonwood county, 
bought the northeast quarter of section 18 in Amboy township, established 
his home there and has lived there ever since, he and his family being well 
situated. Mr. Englund is a progressive and up-to-date farmer and has 
prospered in his operations until he has come to be regarded as one of the 
most substantial farmers in that neighborhood. He is a Republican and is 
now serving as clerk of the township. 

On May 1, 1901, A. W. Englund was united in marriage to Minnie 
Anderson and to this union six children have been born, Edna, Carrie, 
Arnold, Ada, Bena and Marjorie. Mr. and Mrs. Englund are members of 
the Lutheran church and take a proper interest in the general beneficences of 
the same, as well as in all neighborhood good works. 



FRANCIS M. DYER. 



Francis M. Dyer, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Lakeside 
township, Cottonwood county, one of the real pioneers of this section of the 
state, for some years superintendent of schools of Cottonwood county, who 
also served the public as supervisor and as assessor in his home township 
and who for years has been clerk of the school board, is a native of the state 
of Maine, but has been a resident of Minnesota since 1864 and has conse- 
quently been a witness to and a participant in the marvelous development 
of this section of the great Northwest during the past generation. Mr. 
Dyer was born in the town of Jackson, in Waldo county, Maine, August 28, 
1 84 1, son of Thompson and Lucy Bruce (White) Dyer, both natives of the 
state of Massachusetts, the former born on March 31, 1804, and the latter, 
October 16, 1808. 

Thompson Dyer received his education in the Massachusetts public 
schools and at the age of eighteen went to Belfast, Maine, whence, after a 




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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 329 

few years, he moved to Jackson, in that same state, where he made his home 
until 1852. in which year he moved to Skohegan, county seat of Somerset 
county, Maine, where he spent the rest of his life, his death occurring in 
March, 1883. Thompson Dyer was a miller and carpenter and an active, 
energetic citizen. He served as a soldier during the Aroostook dispute 
with England and the United States over boundary lines between Maine and 
New Brunswick. Upon the formation of the Republican party he became 
allied with the same and remained faithful to the principles of his party to 
the end. He was twice married, by his first wife, who was Judith Chase, 
having had four children, Henry, Samuel, Woodbridge and Alma. Upon 
the death of the mother of these children he married Lucy Bruce White, and 
to that union two children were born, the subject of this biographical sketch 
and a daughter, Almatia. 

Francis M. Dyer was reared in his native town in Maine, receiving his 
schooling in the local schools, and there he learned the trade of millwright. 
He early began teaching school and while thus employed became engaged 
as a clerk in a drug store, which latter vocation he followed for about eigh- 
teen months. In 1862 he married and two years later, in 1864, came to 
Minnesota, settling at Plainview, in Wabasha county, where he lived for 
seven years, teaching school during the winters and engaged in farming 
during the summers. In 1870 Mr. Dyer came over this part of the state 
and entered a claim to a quarter of a section of land in Lakeside township, 
Cottonwood county. The next year, 1871, he moved his family out here and 
established his home on that homestead tract and there has made his home 
ever since. Mr. Dyer was a valuable factor in the pioneer life of this region. 
As a school teacher his services were immediately in demand and with the 
exception of four or five years, he taught school in Cottonwood county from 
the time of his arrival until in 1908, when he retired from the county's 
teaching force, after many years of useful service. He was appointed county 
superintendent of schools not long after arriving in Cottonwood county, the 
third incumbent in that office, and later filled the unexpired term of L. J. 
Robinson. In the meantime, during the summers, Mr. Dyer was engaged in 
developing his homestead farm and it was not long until he had one of the 
best farms in that part of the county, well improved and profitably culti- 
vated. He and his family endured all the hardships of pioneer life, but 
persevered in the face of what now no doubt would be regarded as almost 
insuperable difficulties and presently were well and substantially established. 
In addition to his valuable service as superintendent of schools, Mr. Dyer 
also has rendered valuable service to the public in the capacity of township 



330 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

assessor, in which office he served for three years, and also has served as 
supervisor and for many years as clerk of the school board. 

It was on June 29, 1862, that Francis M. Dyer was united in marriage, 
in his native state, to Harriet U. Weld, daughter of Zebina and Esther 
(Ridgeway) Weld, and to this union nine children have been born, namely: 
Willis F., who married R. Redding and died, leaving one child, a son, 
Leland D. Redding, who has always made his home with his maternal grand- 
parents; Abbie May, who died at the age of twenty-two years; Marion 
Clyde, who married Ruth McCurdy ; Blanche, unmarried ; Elsine, unmar- 
ried; Grace R., who married Frank Benham, and Merton W., who married 
Mrytle Chadderdon. Mr. and Mrs. Dyer are members of the Presbyterian 
church at Windom and have ever given their support to measures designed 
to advance the common welfare hereabout. Mr. Dyer formerly was an 
elder of the Presbyterian church at Bingham Lake and in the early days did 
much to advance the work of the church hereabout. His children have, in 
turn, taken their places worthily in the common life of this community and 
the family, very properly, has long been regarded as one of the useful and 
earnest factors in the social and cultural development of this region. 



HENRY A. MARTIN. 



Henry A. Martin, a well-known and substantial farmer of Madelia 
township, Watonwan county, proprietor of a farm of four hundred and 
thirty acres, four and one-half miles northeast of Madelia and generally 
recognized as one of the most progressive citizens of that part of the county, 
was born on the farm on which he is still making his home and has lived 
there all his life, having been a witness to and a participant in the develop- 
ment which has marked this region within his lifetime. He was born on 
April 19, 1866, son of Alfred and Syneva (Johnson) Martin, pioneers of 
this section of the state, who for years exerted a wide influence in the gen- 
eral life of the community in which they lived. 

Alfred Martin was a native of Norway, born in 1828, and was a young 
man when he came to the United States with his parents, the family settling 
at Madison, Wisconsin. When the Civil War broke out Alfred Martin was 
a resident of Minnesota, having come to this state in pioneer days from 
Wisconsin, and he enlisted for service in the Eleventh Regiment, Minnesota 
Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for a year, at the end of which 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 33 1 

time he received his honorable discharge on a physician's certificate of dis- 
ability, his health having been shattered by the hardships he was compelled 
to undergo. He homesteaded a quarter of a section in section 2, Madelia 
township, Watonwan county, and there established his home, he and his 
wife becoming useful pioneers of that section. They were members of the 
Lutheran church and did much to advance the common welfare in the 
neighborhood of their home in early days. Alfred Martin was an excellent 
farmer and added to his homestead tract until he became one of the con- 
siderable landowners of that township. He improved his farm in excellent 
shape, planted trees, built a good home and did well in his farming opera- 
tions. His wife died on July 14, 1892, and he survived until 1909, his 
death occurring at Lake Benton. He was buried, however, in the cemetery 
near his old home. He and his wife were the parents of eight children, of 
whom Henry A. was the fifth in order of birth, the others being Bertha, 
Sarah, Jennie, Elizabeth, John, Peter and xAnthony, all of whom are living 
save the latter. 

Henry A. Martin was reared on the pioneer farm on which he was 
born and is still living there, having years ago bought a tract of four hun- 
dred and thirty acres, including the old homestead, from his father. He 
received his schooling in the district schools in the neighborhood of his 
home and continued at home, a valuable aid to his father in the develop- 
ment of the home place. He married in 1892 and established a home of his 
own, early becoming recognized as one of the substantial farmers of that 
neighborhood. His fine new home was built about seven years ago. The 
house is lighted with gas and is well equipped as a comfortable residence. 
The barn and other farm buildings are in keeping with the residence and the 
farm is well improved. Mr. Martin is a progressive farmer, a believer in 
modern methods of agriculture, and has done very well. He has a fine, big, 
seven-passenger automobile and has a gasoline engine to lighten the labors 
about the barn. Mr. Martin has given considerable attention to the dairy 
side of farming and has done well in that line, having a fine herd of Dur- 
hams. He also raises Shropshire sheep and Poland China hogs and has had 
excellent success in both these directions. Mr. Martin has for years given 
thoughtful attention to local civic affairs and since 1914 has been serving 
as a member of the board of supervisors of his home township. 

It was on December 15, 1892, that Henry A. Martin was united in 
marriage to Mary Schalcben, who was born at Linden, in Brown county, 
this state, on October 25, 1870, daughter of Valentine and Emily (Halver- 
son) Schalcben. Mr. and Mrs. Martin have four children living, Stella, 



332 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Willard, Howard and Oliver. The Martins are members of the Lutheran 
church and take a proper interest in the general social and cultural activities 
of their neighborhood, ever having been among the leaders in the promotion 
of movements looking to the advancement of the general welfare there- 
about. 



TOHN W. SOMERS. 



John W. Somers, chairman of the board of commissioners of Waton- 
wan county and one of the most progressive farmers of St. James town- 
ship, that county, proprietor of a farm of two hundred and forty acres in 
the vicinity of the city of St. James, a pioneer of this section and for many 
years active in the public service, is a native of Connecticut, born on August 
29, 1845, son °f Rufus and Esther (Peck) Somers, both natives of that 
same state, the former born in 1800 and the latter in 1798, who spent all 
their lives in their native state. Rufus Somers died in 1857 and his widow 
survived him many years, her death occurring in 1884. They were the 
parents of six children, who grew to maturity, of whom John W. is now 
the sole survivor, the others having been Emily, Henry, George, Esther and 
David. 

John W. Somers was reared in Connecticut and obtained his schooling 
in the public schools in the neighborhood of his home there. When twenty- 
two years of age, in 1868, he came to- Minnesota and after a short stay in 
St. Paul proceeded to Blue Earth county and the next year, 1869, came 
over into Watonwan county and homesteaded a tract of eighty acres in 
what is now section 28 of St. James township, to which he later added a 
quarter of a section in sections 27 and 28, and proceeded to develop the 
same. In 1881 he married and established his home on his homestead place. 
Some years later a series of business reverses caused him to lose his home 
farm and he was compelled to start all over again. Nothing daunted by 
his failure he went bravely to work and, about 1890, was able to buy an- 
other quarter section in that same township. To this he later added an 
adjoining "eighty" and now has a well-kept and highly-cultivated farm of 
two hundred and forty acres in sections 33 and 34. He has a substantial 
and comfortable residence there, a modern barn and other farm buildings 
to match, and is very well situated. He built his residence in 1901 and his 
barn in 1906. His farming operations have been carried on along up-to- 
date lines and he has done very well. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 333 

Ever since coming to Minnesota, back in pioneer days, Mr. Somers 
has given his thoughtful attention to local civic affairs and for many years 
has been regarded as one of the leaders in the Republican party in Waton- 
wan county. For more than thirty-two years he has been clerk of the town 
board; for ten years a member of the school board of St. James corpora- 
tion and for twenty-two years a member of the school board in the township. 
In 1913 he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the board of countv commis- 
sioners and was elected chairman of the board upon the organization of the 
same and is now serving in that capacity. Mr. Somers is a member of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and takes a warm interest in the affairs 
of that popular organization. 

In 1 88 1 John W. Somers was united in marriage to Mary King, who 
was born in the state of Illinois, daughter of William King and wife, who 
became pioneers of Watonwan county, and the latter of whom died years 
ago, after which her husband made his home with the subject of this sketch, 
where his death occurred in 1902. Mrs. Somers ever was an able and com- 
petent helpmate to her husband and took an active part in the general social 
affairs of her home community, her .death, on September 16, 19 10, causing 
much sorrow in the neighborhood in which she had lived so long. She was 
the mother of eight children, Rufus, Esther, David, Margaret, Ruth, Emma, 
Francis and Mary, all of whom are living and who are doing well their re- 
spective parts in the common life of this community. 



JAMES S. MATHER. 



The fact that agricultural pursuits have not progressed as they should 
have done in this country during the past ten years, is recognized by far- 
seeing men to such an extent that at the present time we find some of the 
strongest minds of the country grappling with the problem of putting agri- 
culture on a permanent and sound basis. 

James S. Mather is one of the wide-awake farmers of Madelia town- 
ship, Watonwan county. He was born in Waushara county, Wisconsin, 
January 8, 1852, and is a son of John and Mary E. (Bedient) Mather. The 
father was a native of Vermont. His death occurred in 1875, at the age 
of fifty-three years. In his earlier career he moved to Lockport, New 
York, where he worked at the carpenter's trade and where he was married, 
later moving to Wisconsin, locating near Green Bay, buying a small farm on 



334 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

which he spent about eight years; then came to Rice county, Minnesota, and 
bought one hundred and sixty acres, on which he spent the rest of his life. 
His family consisted of the following children : Harriet, Mary A., James 
S., F. W. and J. H. The father of these children was a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal church and active in the work of the same. His widow 
died in November, 1912, at the advanced age of eighty-six years, having 
survived him thirty-seven years. 

James S. Mather grew up on the home farm, and received his education 
in the public schools of Rice county. Minnesota. On November 11, 1871, 
he married Emma E. Fanning, who was born in Wabasha county, this state, 
February 22, 1857. She is a daughter of George W. and Sophronia A. 
(Bradford) Fanning. William Bradford, the maternal grandfather of Mrs. 
Mather, was a native of Vermont, devoted his active life to farming, living 
in Switzerland county, Indiana, on a farm for many years. He was a mem- 
ber of the Baptist church. The paternal grandparents, David and Mary 
(Hoyt) Fanning, first lived in the state of New York, then moved to Illi- 
nois, among the pioneers of that state. They finally moved to Wabasha 
county. Minnesota, and spent the rest of their lives near Lake City. He was 
a soldier in the War of 1812. The father of Mrs. Mather was twelve 
years old when his parents moved with their family to near Henry, Illinois, 
and he was married in that state. He was one of the band of gold seekers 
to cross the plains in the days of the gold excitement on the Pacific coast, 
but being sick the entire time that he spent in the gold fields, he returned 
unsuccessful. He came to Wabasha county, Minnesota, in 1855, where he 
became owner of one hundred and sixty acres, later moved to Rice county, 
this state, where he spent eight years, then came to Madelia township, 
Watonwan county, where he continued farming about twenty years, owning 
a farm here of five hundred and thirty acres. His death occurred here on 
September 1, 19 12, at the advanced age of eighty-six years. His wife pre- 
ceded him to the grave on May 19, 1907, at the age of seventy-nine years. 
To these parents the following children were born : Emma E., wife of Mr. 
Mather; Annie is deceased; Olive M. was next in order of birth; Eliza A. is 
deceased, and William D., the youngest. The parents of these children 
were members of the Methodist Episcopal church and active in the work of 
the same. 

James S. Mather located on a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in 
Rice county, Minnesota, where he spent sixteen years, then sold out and 
bought a farm in Madelia township, Watonwan county, purchasing part of 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 335 

the farm of his father-in-law before moving here. He spent two and one- 
half years in Faribault, this state, where he engaged in the pump and wind- 
mill business; then spent three and one-half years in Westbrook, Cotton- 
wood county, in the hardware and implement business, under the firm name 
of Swain & Mather Hardware Company. All the while he retained his 
farm in Madelia township, Watonwan county, which place consists of two 
hundred acres, which is now looked after by his children. He also owns 
two hundred acres in Cass county, Minnesota, and a half interest in a tract 
of five hundred and twenty-nine acres in Polk county, this state. 

Politically, Mr. Mather is a Prohibitionist. Fraternally, he belongs to 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of America. He 
is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he is a steward 
and was formerly a trustee. He was at one time superintendent of the 
Sunday school. His wife belongs to the Woman's Christian Temperance 
Union. 

Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Mather, namely: Olive 
M., who is the wife of Wesley Tate, of Madelia township, and they have 
one child, Lvle ; George A. was next in order of birth; Carrie B. is the wife 
of Clyde Maberry, an electrician of Minneapolis, and they have two children, 
Everett and Vera; Clarence E., who lives in Watonwan county, married 
Marjory Cisney. and they have one child, Richard; Clinton B., who lives in 
Westbrook, Cottonwood county, married Olive Archard; Earl E., farming 
in Fieldon township, and Perry J., at home. 



A. F. MEYER. 



A. F. Meyer, whose name heads this sketch, was born in Owatonna, 
Steele county, Minnesota, May 29, 1886, a son of H. A. and Sophia (Hom- 
meyer) Meyer, the father a native of Germany and the mother a native of 
Steele county, Minnesota. When a boy of nine years, the father came to 
America and located in Steele county, Minnesota, where he grew to man- 
hood and was married. He is now living at Claremont, Dodge county, 
Minnesota. 

A. F. Meyer was educated in the public schools of Steele county, and 
later attended the high school at Claremont, following this by taking a 
course in the business college at Owatonna. He then engaged in the bank- 
ing business, first taking a position in the bank in Claremont, in 1902. In 



33^ COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

January, 1904, he went to Madelia, Minnesota, and took a position in the 
First National Bank, at that place, and continued there for about four years. 
In October, 1908, he took a position in the First National Bank, at Belle- 
plaine, Scott county, and remained there until July, 191 5, when he came to 
Westbrook to accept the position of cashier of the First National Bank of 
this place, the position which he holds at the present time. 

Mr. Meyer has practically grown up in the business and is thoroughly 
familiar with modern banking methods in all its details. He is a progressive, 
public-spirited young banker. The Masonic order is his only fraternal 
affiliation. 



OLE E. SUNDT. 



Upon the roll of representative business men of Watonwan county is 
Ole E. Sundt, cashier of the State Bank of LaSalle. He possesses those 
qualities of head and heart which not only bring success in a material way, 
but commend themselves to persons of intelligence and good citizenship. 
He was born in Norway, October 25, 1875, and is a son of Einar and Ron- 
naug (Kveen) Sundt, both natives of Norway, where they grew up, were 
married and resided until 1888, when they immigrated to America, locat- 
ing in Watonwan county, Minnesota, where the father engaged in farming. 
He is now living in Hanska. The mother died several years ago. To 
these parents six children were born. 

Ole E. Sundt was thirteen years old when his parents brought him to 
the new world. He received a common-school education, including the 
schools of Brown county and Madelia, also studied at the Curtis Commercial 
College, in 1895 an d 1896, after which he became manager for the Nelson, 
and Albin Mercantile Association, which position he held four years, giving 
the firm the utmost satisfaction. He then came to Sleepy Eye, where he 
engaged in general mercantile pursuits until 1906, when he moved to LaSalle 
and assisted in organizing the State Bank of LaSalle, and he has filled the 
position of cashier of this popular and sound institution ever since, doing 
much toward its success. A general banking business is carried on along 
conservative lines, and the bank has enjoyed a steady growth from the first, 
meeting a long-felt want in this community. Mr. Sundt is a stockholder 
and director in the bank. Under the supervision of Mr. Sundt, this bank 
has achieved success, its deposits gradually increasing until it now has a 






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PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 337 

substantial standing among banks of this class, at this time, having about 
one hundred and thirty thousand dollars deposits. 

Mr. Sundt was married on March 14, 1900, to Clara Olson, of Brown 
county, Minnesota, and to this union the following children have been born : 
Horace and Evelyn. 

Mr. Sundt is a member of the Lutheran church. Fraternally, he belongs 
to the Modern Woodmen of America, the Knights of Pythias, and the Mod- 
ern Brotherhood of America. Politically, he is independent. 



WILLIAM JUHNKE. 



William Juhnke. a well-known and progressive farmer of Germantown 
township, Cottonwood county, member of the board of supervisors of that 
township and otherwise actively identified with the civic life of his home 
community, is a native of Germany, but has lived in Minnesota since he was 
about a year old. He was born on October 5, 1869, son of Fred and 
Augusta (Bader) Juhnke, natives of Germany, pioneers of Cottonwood 
county. Fred Juhnke is still living on his homestead farm in Germantown 
township, but his wife is dead. 

Fred Juhnke was a tailor in his native land. In 1870 he and his family 
came to the United States and proceeded directly to the Northwest. For 
a year or two they made their home in Wisconsin and then came to Minne- 
sota and settled in Cottonwood county. Fred Juhnke homesteaded eighty 
acres of land in Germantown township and there established his home, early 
becoming recognized as one of the substantial and influential farmers of 
that section of the county. He is still living on the old homestead farm. 
They were members of the German Evangelical church and their children 
were reared in that faith. There were ten of these children, of whom Will- 
iam was the fourth in order of birth, the others being Charles, Minnie, 
Flora, Fred, Emil, Anna, Edward, Herman and Mary. 

William Juhnke was but a baby when his parents came to this country 
and his youth and early manhood were spent on the old homestead farm in 
Germantown township. He received his schooling in the district school in 
the neighborhood of his home there and grew up to the life of the farm, 
becoming an excellent farmer. As a young man he started farming on the 
place on which he now lives and in 1891, when twenty-two years old, bought 
(22a) 



338 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

the place, a full quarter of a section, and proceeded to improve the same. 
After his marriage, in 1897, ne established his home on that farm and has 
ever since lived there, he and his family being pleasantly situated. Mr. 
Juhnke has made all the improvements on the place and his farm is looked 
upon as one of the best-kept places in that part of the county. In addition 
to general farming, he has given considerable attention to stock raising and 
has done very well. Mr. Juhnke has for years given close attention to local 
political affairs and has been a member of the board of supervisors of Ger- 
mantown township since the year 1900. He also has served for some years 
as a member of the school board. 

On July 23, 1897, William Juhnke was united in marriage to Martha 
Utecht, and to this union four children have been born, Levi, Fred, Everett 
and Adell. Mr. and Mrs. Juhnke are members of the German Evangelical 
church and take a proper interest in the general beneficences of the same, as 
well as in all local good works. 



OLE A. OLSON. 



Ole A. Olson, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Madelia town- 
ship, Watonwan county, now living comfortably retired in the city of 
Madelia, is a native of Wisconsin, born in Green Bay county, that state, 
December 29, 1855, son of Andrew and Anna (Effson) Olson, natives of 
Norway, whose last days were spent in Minnesota, they having become 
earnest and influential pioneers of Watonwan county in the days preceding 
the Civil War. 

Andrew Olson, an honored veteran of the Civil War, came to this state 
from Wisconsin. He was the son of Ole Olson and was reared on a farm 
in Norway. He married in his native land and he and his wife shortly 
afterward came to the United States, settling in Green Eay county, Wiscon- 
sin, in 1852, some time later coming over into Minnesota and settling in 
Watonwan county, being among the pioneers of this section of the state. 
Andrew Olson homesteaded a tract of sixty-three acres in Madelia town- 
ship and there established his home. He prospered in his farming opera- 
tions and at the time of his death in 1909, he then being seventy-five years 
of age, was the owner of a farm of one hundred and twenty acres. During 
the Civil War Andrew Olson served for three years as a member of the 
Eleventh Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. His wife preceded him 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 339 

to the grave two years, her death having occurred in 1907. They were 
members of the Lutheran church and their children were reared in that faith. 
There were nine of these children, of whom the subject of this sketch was 
the second in order of birth, the others being Julia, Andrew, Ellef, Anon, 
Gunder, Halvor, Mary and Lena. 

Ole A. Olson was reared on the paternal homestead farm, receiving his 
schooling in the district school in the neighborhood of his home, and pres- 
ently became a farmer on his own account, eventually becoming the owner 
of a farm of two hundred and twenty acres in Madelia township. He mar- 
ried in 1884 ar) d continued farming until 191 o, in which year he retired 
from the active labors of the farm and moved into Madelia, where he and 
his wife are now living and where they are pleasantly situated, their son, 
Oscar, now managing the home farm. During his long residence on the 
farm, Mr. Olson took an active interest in local affairs; for twelve years was 
treasurer of his school district and for three years served as a member of 
the board of supervisors. 

On June 16, 1884, Ole A. Olson was united in marriage to Lizzie 
Mary Anderson, daughter of Andrew and Julia Anderson, homesteaders of 
Riverside township, Watonwan county, the latter of whom is still living, 
and to this union six children have been born, namely: Albert, now living 
in Brown county, this state, who married Emma Melser and has one child, 
a daughter, Edna Emma, who married Carl Skrean and now lives in North- 
field, this state, and Ella, Amelia, Oscar and Gilmer. The Olsons are all 
members of the Lutheran church and take a warm interest in the various 
beneficences of the same, as well as in all local good works; ever willing to 
help promote the cause of good citizenship hereabout. 



DANIEL E. WOG. 



Daniel E. Wog, chairman of the board of supervisors of Germantown 
township, Cottonwood county, owner of a fine farm of two hundred acres 
in section 23 of that township, a director of the Farmers' Elevator Company 
at Sanborn, a director of the Westbrook Fire Insurance Company and in 
other ways identified with the business interests of that community, is a 
native of Minnesota and has lived in this state all his life. He was born on 
a pioneer homestead farm in Charlestown township, in the neighboring 
county of Redwood, March 20, 1875, son of Alexander and Agnetta (Dan- 



340 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

ielson) Wog, natives of Sweden, both born in the same community in that 
country, and who became early settlers in the southern part of Redwood 
county back in pioneer days. 

For some time after coming to this country, Alexander Wog worked 
in a brick-yard in St. Paul and was there engaged until 1871, in which year 
he homesteaded a tract of eighty acres in Charlestown township, Redwood 
county, and set about "proving up" the same. He and a neighbor owned a 
team of horses in partnership and for two years used that team in the 
joint labors of the two farms. One horse then died and they traded the 
other for a team of young oxen and continued working thus in amicable 
neighborliness until they were able to see their ways sufficiently clear to 
admit of the purchase of additional stock. In those days there were still a 
few Indians in this part of the country and Mr. Wog found a couple of 
abandoned canoes, which he utilized as mangers for his stock. After the 
first few hard years, however, he began to prosper and later added to his 
farm an adjoining "eighty" of school land, which he bought at auction, and 
became a substantial farmer. His death occurred on June 26, 1887, in a 
hospital at Minneapolis, to which place he had been taken for treatment for 
a cancer. Alexander Wog and wife were members of the Norwegian Luth- 
eran church and their children were reared in that faith. There were five 
of these children, of whom Daniel E. was the first born, the others being 
Carl O., Nels Gustav, Alexander, Wilhelm and Johan Alfred. 

Daniel E. Wog grew to manhood on the homestead farm on which he 
was born, receiving his schooling in the old school house in district 33, 
Charlestown township, and from boyhood proved a valuable aid to his 
father in the labors of developing the home place. He also became a skilled 
painter and when not working on the farm was engaged in painting through- 
out that part of the country. In 1902 he bought the farm of two hundred 
acres on which he now lives, in section 23, Germantown township, Cotton- 
wood county, and proceeded to develop the same. All the improvements 
have been made by him and the place is regarded as one of the best- improved 
farms in that part of the country, substantial buildings and everything in 
keeping with the same. He also owns one hundred and sixty acres in 
Amboy township, eighty of which was inherited by his wife, he afterward 
buying the adjoining eighty. Mr. Wog not only has been a successful 
farmer, but he has given considerable attention to outside business interests. 
He is a director of the Farmers' Elevator Company at Sanborn, a director 
of the Westbrook Fire Insurance Company, agent for the Madelia Farmers' 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 341 

Cyclone Insurance Company and local agent for the Mutual Benefit Asso- 
ciation. He also has given close attention to local civic affairs and since 
1908 has been a member of the board of supervisors of Germantown town- 
ship and has been serving as chairman of the board since 1912. 

On March 7, 19 10, Daniel E. Wog was united in marriage to Emma 
Grewatz, daughter of Ernest Grewatz, of Amboy. Mr. and Mrs. Wog are 
members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and take an earnest interest in 
parish affairs, as well as in all local good works. They have a fine home 
and give proper attention to the various social activities of their home com- 
munity, being accounted among the leaders in all movements designed to 
advance the common welfare thereabout. 



LINCOLN L. STORY. 



Lincoln L. Story, a well-known and substantial farmer of Amboy town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, and former member of the board of supervisors 
of that township, is a native of Iowa, born on a farm in Winneshiek county, 
that state, July 2, 1861, son of William A. and Eliza (Brod) Story, the 
former a native of the state of New York and the latter of Indiana, who 
for years were residents of Cottonwood county. Both are now dead. 

William A. Story moved from New York state to Ohio when a young 
man and in the latter state engaged in farming. He married there and 
shortly afterward moved to Iowa, settling in Winneshiek county, where he 
was engaged in farming until 1879, in which year he came to Minnesota 
and located at Sleepy Eye, in Brown county, where he remained until 1881, 
when he moved to Cottonwood county and located on a farm of eighty 
acres in Amboy township, where he lived until his death. For some years, 
during the early part of his residence in Amboy township, Mr. Story was 
the local postmaster in that neighborhood, keeping the postoffice in his house 
on the farm. He was a Republican and took an active part in local political 
affairs, long having been one of the leaders of his party in that part of the 
county. To him and his wife seven children were born, of whom Lincoln 
L. was the fifth in order of birth, the others being Martha, Ella, Andrew, 
William, Rose and Liona. 

Lincoln L. Story's early life was spent on the farm on which he was 
born in Iowa. He received his schooling in the district school in the neigh- 
borhood of his home and was about eighteen years old when he came with 



34 2 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

the family to Minnesota. As a young man he worked with his father on the 
farm and was thus engaged until after his marriage, in 1883, after which 
he began farming on his own account. He now has one hundred and sixty 
acres. In addition to his general farming, Mr. Story has given considerable 
attention to the raising of live stock and has done well. He is a Republican 
and has ever given a good citizen's attention to local political affairs, having 
for three years served as a member of the board of township supervisors. 
He is a Mason and a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen 
and the Mutual Benefit Association, in the affairs of which organizations 
he takes a warm interest. 

In 1883 Mr. Story was united in marriage to Almira Marcott, daugh- 
ter of David Marcott, of Amboy township, and to this union six children 
have been born, Altha, who married Harry Graff and lives in North Dakota; 
Hazel, Addie, who married Ivan Hoff and lives in Ironton, Minnesota; 
Lloyd, Floyd and Gertrude. The Storys take a proper interest in the gen- 
eral social activities of their home neighborhood and are helpful in pro- 
moting all movements designed to advance the common interest thereabout. 



AUGUST W. NICKEL. 



August W. Nickel, a progressive farmer of Germantown township, 
Cottonwood county, and owner of a fine farm of four hundred acres which 
he has developed in excellent shape, is a native of Germany, but has lived 
in Minnesota since he was six years old. He was born on May 18, 1873, 
son of Wilhelm and Emma (Luck) Nickel, natives of that country, who 
came to Minnesota in 1879 and settled on a homestead tract of eighty acres 
in Germantown township, Cottonwood county. Wilhelm Nickel started his 
farming operations in the new country with one ox and one cow, but 
quickly began to prosper and he gradually added to his tract until he was 
the owner of a fine farm of three hundred and twenty acres. There he 
made his home until 1904, when he and his wife moved to Lamberton, 
where they lived until 1910, in which year they moved to Jeffers, where 
they are now living. Wilhelm Nickel is a Republican and he and his wife 
are members of the Evangelical church, in the faith of which their children 
were reared. There were seven of these children, of whom August W. was 
the second in order of birth, the others being Minnie, Emma, W. C, Amelia, 
Lena and Fred. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 343 

August W. Nickel was six years of age when his parents came to 
Minnesota from Germany and he grew to manhood on the homestead farm 
in Germantown township, receiving his schooling in the public schools in 
that township. He early began farming on his own account and in 1894, 
when twenty-one years of age, bought the farm on which he is now living. 
Four years later he married and established his home there. When he 
bought the place it was an unimproved prairie tract and he has improved 
and brought the same to a high state of cultivation. Mr. Nickel is the 
owner of four hundred acres and has long been regarded as one of the most 
substantial farmers in that section of the county. In addition to his general 
farming he has given considerable attention to the raising of live stock, 
paying particular attention to the breeding of Shorthorns. 

In 1898 August W. Nickel was united in marriage to Louise Pankonin, 
daughter of Louis Pankonin, and to this union six children have been born, 
Lydia, Henry, Ella, Selma, Ervin and Agnes. Mr. and Mrs. Nickel are 
earnest members of the Evangelical church and are active workers in the 
same, Mr. Nickel having held at one time and another practically every 
office in the local church organization, at present serving as superintendent 
of the Sunday school. They also take a warm interest in other community 
good works and have been helpful in promoting various movements for the 
betterment of conditions in the neighborhood in which they live. 



OLE E. SLETTA. 



Ole E. Sletta is of Norwegian nativity, born in Norway, November 17, 
1 88 1. He is an elder brother of Alfred Sletta, whose ancestral sketch is 
given in another place in this volume. 

Ole E. Sletta, the subject of this sketch, was educated in the district 
schools of Riverdale township, which was the family homestead during his 
early years. As a boy and young man he worked on the farm. Soon after 
attaining his majority, in 1905, he engaged in farming for himself, and fol- 
lowed this occupation until 1907. At that time he came to LaSalle and 
opened up a blacksmith shop and was engaged in this business for two years. 
On August 1, 1909, he became the manager of the plant of the Great West- 
ern Elevator Company, and has been thus employed since. 

Mr. Sletta was married in 1907 to Thora Blackstad, daughter of T. H. 
Blackstad, of Riverdale township, Watonwan county. To this union three 



344 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

children were born: Theo A., Ivan L., and Orval T. Mr. and Mrs. Ole 
E. Sletta are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church. He is a Repub- 
lican, and is at present clerk of the village. His lodge membership is with 
the Woodmen and with the Modern Brotherhood of America. 



KNUT SEVRIN THOMPSON. 

The fact that Knut Sevrin Thompson, clerk of the court of St. James, 
Watonwan county, has attained a very creditable position in the community 
through his own efforts, which have been practically unaided from boyhood, 
renders him the more worthy of the esteem that is freely accorded him by 
his fellowmen. He was born in Norway, May 19, 1865, and is a son of 
Jens and Johanna Sevrine (Svensen) Thompson, both natives of Norway, 
from which country they immigrated to America, landing in Quebec, Can- 
ada, May 19, 1868. 

Jens Thompson was a ship-builder by trade. Upon leaving Quebec he 
came to Rosendale township, Watonwan county, Minnesota, taking up a 
homestead of eighty acres, in section 10, his place being the most westerly 
of any in that part of the county. By hard work and close application he 
developed a good farm there on which he remained until his death in 1908, 
his wife having preceded him to the grave about ten years previously. He 
accumulated over two hundred acres of valuable land. His family consisted 
of the following children: Marie, Mrs. Henry Madson, Thomas J., who 
lives in Mobridge, South Dakota: Lizzie is the wife of E. N. Graven, Knut 
S., the subject of this review; Louisa is the wife of J. E. Johnson, and J. 
Caroline. They are all living at this writing. John C. Jacobsen was reared 
by Jens Thompson and wife and has always borne their surname. He is 
now residing in Mobridge, South Dakota. The parents of these children 
belonged to the Norwegian Lutheran church, in which faith they reared 
their family. 

Knut S. Thompson grew up on the farm and attended the public 
schools, also spending three months in an evening school at Mankato, where 
he took a business course. He began life as a farmer and this has been 
his principal business. He remained on the homestead most of the time 
until in December, 1909, when he moved to St. James, having been elected 
clerk of the courts in the fall of 1908, taking office on January 1, 19 10, 
and is still incumbent of the same. He has discharged his duties in an able, 




KNUT S. THOMPSON. 



THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASTOR, LENOX 
TILDEN FOUNDATION* 

—————oat ii ^i—aaaa— 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 345 

faithful and satisfactory manner. He has also held the offices of township 
assessor and justice of the peace and has been township clerk of Rosendale 
township. He left the last named office to become clerk of the courts. He 
has always been active and influential in public affairs, and for a number 
of years one of the local leaders in the Republican party. He is a member 
of the Norwegian Lutheran church, in which he is a trustee. 

Mr. Thompson was married on May 3, 1897, at Canton, South Dakota, 
to Christine Thompson, a native of Norway, from which country she came 
to 'America alone when a young girl. To this union three children have 
been born, namely : Henry Julius. Irvin Sevrin and Lenora Marie. 

Mr. Thompson is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 
the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Mutual Benefit Association. 



AMUND ANDERSON. 



Amund Anderson, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Madelia 
township, Watonwan county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres in the vicinity of Madelia, is a native of Norway, born on 
August 31, 1866, son of Andrew and Sevena (Hanson) Peterson, who were 
the parents of two children, the subject of this sketch having a brother, 
Hans. Andrew Peterson spent all his life in his native land and his widow 
is now making her home with her son in Madelia township, in her eighty- 
eighth year. 

Amund Anderson came to the United States when he was twenty-five 
years of age and proceeded directly to Minnesota, locating in Faribault 
county, where friends of his from the old country previously had settled. 
There he remained for three years, at the end of which time he returned to 
his native land on a visit, remaining seven months, during which time he 
married Carrie Anderson. Upon his return to America with his wife, Mr. 
Anderson came to this part of the state and located on the quarter of a sec- 
tion, which he ever since has owned and where he ever since has lived, in 
Madelia township, and where he has done very well in his farming opera- 
tions, being regarded as one of the substantial farmers of that neighborhood. 
He has made all the improvements on his place and besides the comfortable 
residence, capacious barn and other farm buildings to match, he has spent 
more than a thousand dollars in properly draining his place. In addition to 
his general farming, Mr. Anderson has given considerable attention to the 
raising of live stock and has excellent grades of cattle and hogs on his place. 



346 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Anderson seven children have been born, Andrew, 
Albert, deceased; Henry, Robert, Dena, Albert and Julius. Of these chil- 
dren, Andrew, Robert and Henry are married and have homes of their own. 
The Andersons have a very pleasant home and take a proper part in the 
general social affairs of the neighborhood in which they live. They are 
members of the Lutheran church and take a warm interest in the work of 
the same. 



ELOF ERICKSON. 



Elof Erickson, one of the most prosperous farmers in the vicinity of 
St. James, proprietor of a fine farm in section 35 of St. James township, 
Watonwan county, is a native son of Minnesota, born on a pioneer farm in 
Goodhue county, March 10, 1869, son of Swan and Besje Erickson, both 
natives of Sweden, the former born in 1830 and the latter in 1835, who are 
still living on their old homestead farm in Goodhue county. 

Swan Erickson came to the United States in 1854, he then being 
twenty- four years of age, landing at New York, and in 1856 came to 
Minnesota, settling in Goodhue county, where he entered a tract of govern- 
ment land, being one of the earliest settlers of that part of the then Territory 
of Minnesota. In June, 1866, he married Besje Chellson, who had come to 
that same part of the state the year before, and established his home on the 
homestead tract. In 1873 he bought an adjoining quarter section and it 
was not long until he became recognized as one of the most substantial 
farmers of that section. He and his wife took an active part in the or- 
ganization of the first Swedish Lutheran church in Vasa township, Good- 
hue county. Mr. Erickson is a Republican and has ever given close attention 
to political affairs in his community, on several occasions being elected to 
local office. Not long after the opening of this western part of the state 
to settlement he came over here and bought a tract of land in section 35, St. 
James township, Watonwan county, and an "eighty" in section 7, Long 
Lake township, later selling the latter tract and buying another "eighty" in 
sections 2 and 3 in Long Lake township, on which latter tract his son, John 
B. Erickson, is now making his home. To Swan Erickson and wife eight 
children were born, of whom Elof was the second in order of birth, the 
others being Hilda, Esther, John B. and Jennie (twins), Edward A. and 
Annie (twins), the latter'of whom died in infancy, and Anna A. 

Elof Erickson was reared on the paternal homestead in Goodhue 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 347 

county, obtaining his schooling in the primitive schools of that time and 
place, and remained on the home farm, a valuable aid to his father in the 
development of the same, until he was twenty-five years of age, when, in 
the spring of 1894, he came to this part of the state and took charge of the 
tract of land his father had bought in the vicinity of St. James and there he 
ever since has made his home. He at once set about improving the place, 
planting a fine grove and in other ways beautifying the tract, and soon be- 
came recognized as one of the substantial and progressive farmers of that 
section. Four years after coming here he married and established a com- 
fortable home on his place and has long held a responsible and dignified 
position in the community. He not only has prospered in his farming 
operations, but has found time to give a good citizen's attention to local 
civic affairs. He is a Republican and for eleven years or more has been a 
member of the town board and for some years a member of the local school 
board. He and his wife are members of the St. James Swedish Lutheran 
church and take a general interest in local good works. On June 15, 1898, 
Elof Erickson was united in marriage to Christine Linquist, who was born 
in Nicollet county, this state, November 26, 1869, daughter of Gustav and 
Augusta Linquist, natives of Sweden, who are now residents of Long Lake 
township, Watonwan county. The Ericksons have a very pleasant home on 
their well-kept farm and take a proper part in the general social activities 
of their neighborhood. 



JACOB M. GLASIER. 



Jacob M. Glasier, one of the best-known farmers and stockmen in 
Watonwan county, proprietor of a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in 
Rosendale township, in the vicinity of St. James, and widely known through- 
out this and neighboring states as a breeder of high-grade swine, is a native 
of Illinois, born on a farm near Pontiac, in Livingston county, that state, 
November 8, 1878, son of Peter and Anna (Fair) Glasier, natives of Ger- 
many, the former of whom was born on March 12, 1825, and the latter, May 
5, 1840. 

Peter Glasier and wife came to the United States in 1874 and located 
at Trenton, New Jersey, where they remained for a year, Mr. Glasier being 
employed in the wire mills there, he being an expert iron-worker and black- 
smith. They then came West and settled in Livingston county, Illinois, 
where Peter Glasier bought a small farm in the neighborhood of Pontiac, 



348 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

in Livingston county, erected a blacksmith shop on the same and there lived 
for nearly twenty years, farming and blacksmithing. In the spring of 1894 
he disposed of his interests there and moved to Kossuth county, Iowa, where, 
in the vicinity of Whittemore, he was engaged in farming until 1901, when 
he retired from the active labors of the farm and moved into Whittemore, 
where he died on July 9, 191 1, and where his widow is now living. They 
were the parents of eight children, of whom the subject of this sketch was 
the sixth in order of birth, the others being as follow: A daughter, who 
died in infancy in Germany; Lena, who was born in Germany; Elizabeth, 
who was born in Trenton, New Jersey; another daughter, born in Livings- 
ton county, Illinois, who died in infancy; Peter J., born in Livingston county; 
Dr. William F. Glasier, born in Livingston county, who is now a practicing 
physician at Sisseton, South Dakota, and John T., also born in Livingston 
county. 

Jacob M. Glasier was fifteen years old when his parents moved from 
Illinois to Iowa and his schooling was completed in the public schools of 
Kossuth county, in the latter state. He became an experienced farmer and 
early began farming on his own account. In 1909 he married and a couple 
of years later, in 191 1, disposed of his interests in Iowa and came to Minne- 
sota, settling in Watonwan county, where he since has made his home. 
Upon locating here, Mr. Glasier bought a farm of one hundred and sixty 
acres in section 17 of Rosendale township and proceeded to improve and 
develop the same until now he has one of the best-kept and most profitable 
farms in the vicinity of St. James. Mr. Glasier had had much success with 
the raising of hogs in Iowa and upon coming to Minnesota began operations 
on an extensive scale along that line, paying particular attention to the rais- 
ing of pure-bred Poland China swine, with which he had been very success- 
ful in Iowa, for some years previous to coming to this state he having held 
annual sales of his high-grade hogs which attracted attention among stock 
breeders far and near. These annual sales have been continued on the Rosen- 
dale township farm and attract wide attention. Mr. Glasier ships his hogs 
into adjoining states, as well as throughout this state, and is a well-known 
exhibitor at state and county fairs. Mr. Glasier is a Democrat, but has 
never been an office seeker. 

In 1909, in Iowa, Jacob M. Glasier was united in marriage to 
Anna Kennedy, of Algona, that state, daughter of John and Catherine 
(Mimsgarn) Kennedy; the former died in 1913 and the latter is still living 
at Algona, and to this union four children have been born, Catherine Bernice, 
Anna Stella, Theresa Beatrice and Dorothy Cecelia. Mr. and Mrs. Glasier 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 349 

are members of the Catholic church and take an earnest interest in parish 
affairs, as well as in the general good works of the community and are a 
helpful influence in the neighborhood in which they live. 



W. S. SWAIN. 



W. S. Swain, one of Cottonwood county's most extensive farmers and 
the assessor of Amboy township, is a native of Canada, was reared in the 
state of New York and has been a resident of Minnesota since he was 
twenty years of age. He was born on a farm in the province of Ontario 
on September 13, 1865, son of Norman and Catherine (Garlough) Swain, 
who moved from Canada to the state of New York in 1866, settling on a 
farm, where Norman Swain died in 1869, leaving four sons, of whom W. S. 
was the second in order of birth, the others being James, Herbert and Bert, 
the latter two are twins. Mrs. Swain later married Silas Bump, but none 
of the children of that union are now living. 

After the death of his father, W. S. Swain went to live with his 
maternal uncle, James Garlough, in St. Lawrence county, New York state, 
and there he lived until he was twenty years old, receiving his schooling in 
the public schools and growing up to the life of the farm, becoming a very 
competent farmer. In March, 1886, he came to Minnesota, locating at 
Windom. Shortly afterward he was engaged as superintendent of a big 
farm in Great Bend township and was thus engaged for four years, at the 
end of which time he started farming for himself in Dale township. Four 
years later he was employed in the real-estate business and was quite suc- 
cessfully engaged in that line for two years, at the end of which time he 
returned to New York, where he remained a year, returning then to Cot- 
tonwood county, where for a year he was engaged in farming in Lakeside 
township. After that, for a couple of years, he was employed in the livery 
business at Windom and then engaged in the milk business at the same place, 
being thus engaged for a year, after which he resumed farming and for a 
year farmed in Dale township and a year in Storden township, after which, 
in 1909, he rented his present tract of one thousand acres in Amboy town- 
ship and has ever since been operating that great place, long having been 
regarded as one of the most extensive farmers and stockmen in this part 
of the state. Mr. Swain is a Republican and gives a good citizen's atten- 
tion to local affairs, at present serving as township assessor. 



350 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

In November, 1890, W. S. Swain was united in marriage to Sarah 
Williams, daughter of W. B. and Jane (Allen) Williams, of Windom, and 
to this union five children have been born, Herbert, Leon, Grace, Lester and 
Lucy. The Swain family attend the Methodist Episcopal church and take a 
proper interest in all movements having to do with the promotion of the 
common welfare hereabout. Mr. Swain is a member of the Windom lodge 
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of the Mutual Benefit Associa- 
tion and of the Modern Woodmen of America and takes a warm interest in 
the affairs of all these organizations. 



RUDOLF HOFSTAD. 



Rudolf Hofstad, a well-known and substantial farmer of Storden town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of two hundred and 
forty acres in the vicinity of Storden, and for many years actively identified 
with the work of developing the community in which he lives, is a native 
of Norway, born in Iielgoland, October 14, 1853, son of Peter and Marie 
(Lund) Hofstad, natives of that same country, who spent all their lives 
there. Peter Hofstad was a farmer and a sailor. He and his wife were 
members of the Lutheran church and their children were reared in that 
faith. There were eight of these children, of whom the subject of this 
sketch was the second in order of birth, the others being Johannes, Hans 
(deceased), Morton, Jacob (deceased), Peter, Knute (deceased), and Ole 
(deceased). 

Upon completing his studies in the high school in his home country, 
Rudolf Hofstad began farming and has continued farming ever since. He 
married in 1879 and three years later, in 1882, came to this country, pro- 
ceeding directly to Minnesota and settling on a farm in Grenville county, 
where he lived for three years, at the end of which time, in 1885, he moved 
to this part of the state and located on his present farm in Storden township, 
Cottonwood county, where he has made his home ever since. Mr. Hofstad 
is an excellent farmer and has increased his original holdings there to two 
hundred and forty acres. He has erected all the buildings on the place and 
has brought the same to a high state of cultivation, long having been 
accounted one of the leading farmers in that part of the county. Mr. Hof- 
stad is an ardent Prohibitionist and has done much in his communitv to 
advance the anti-saloon cause thereabout. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 35 1 

In 1879 Rudolf Hofstad was united in marriage, in Norway, to Anna 
Paulson. To that union five children have been born, Mary, Anna, Peter, 
Jennie and Caleb, all of whom are living. Mr. and Mrs. Hofstad are mem- 
bers of the Norwegian Methodist church and for years have taken an active 
part in promoting the affairs of the same in their neighborhood, as well as 
participating in all local good works. 



OLE C. HOYT. 



Ole C. Hoyt, a well-known and well-to-do fanner of Westbrook town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of two hundred and 
forty acres in the vicinity of Westbrook, is a native of Wisconsin, born on a 
farm in Green county, that state, December i, 1861, son of Christian Lar- 
son and Caste (Gilbertson) Hoyt, natives of Norway, who upon coming to 
the United States located in Green county, Wisconsin, where they remained 
until 1875, in which year they and their children came to Minnesota, driv- 
ing through by wagon and settling in Cottonwood county. Upon coming 
out here Christian L. Hoyt bought a farm in section 34, Ann township, 
established his home there, became one of the useful and substantial pioneers 
of that section and there spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring 
in March, 1895. His widow is still living. She is an earnest member of 
the Norwegian Lutheran church, as was her husband, and their children 
were reared in that faith. There were seven children, of whom Ole C. was 
the fifth in order of birth, the others being Christie, Lars, Gilbert, Lena, 
Randa and Mary; the latter died in infancy. 

Ole C. Hoyt was about fourteen years old when his parents came to 
Minnesota in 1875 and he completed his schooling in the district school in 
the neighborhood of his new home in Ann township. As a young man he 
was engaged for some time "working out" on the farms of neighboring 
farmers and about 1884 he began farming on his own account in Westbrook 
township. The following year he took the tenancy of the farm on which 
he is now living, in section 4, Westbrook township, and after his marriage 
in 1890 established his home there. In 1897 he bought the place and is 
now very substantially situated, the owner of a fine farm of two hundred 
and forty acres, well improved and profitably cultivated. Mr. Hoyt has 
made all the improvements on his place and has one of the model farms of 
that neighborhood. In addition to his general farming, he has given con- 



252 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

siderable attention to the raising of live stock. Mr. Hoyt is a Democrat and 
gives close attention to local political conditions. He has served as a mem- 
ber of the school board and in other ways has contributed to the public 
service. 

On June 10, 1890, Ole C. Hoyt was united in marriage to Martha 
Josephina Skow, daughter of Paul and Agnetta (Jensen) Skow, who were 
the parents of eleven children, of whom Mrs. Hoyt is the eldest, the others 
being Mary, Emma, Bertha. Oscar, Dinah, Amanda, Martin, Edwin, Agnes 
and Pearl. To Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt ten children have been born, Ella, Joseph 
and Alfred (twins), Arthur, Willie, Henry, Helen, Clarence, Myrtle and 
Arnold. Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt are members of the Norwegian Lutheran 
church and take a proper interest in all neighborhood good works. Mr. 
Hoyt is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and takes a 
warm interest in the affairs of that organization. 



EDWARD F. SCHMOTZER. 

Edward F. Schmotzer was born in Dale township, Cottonwood county, 
Minnesota, November 27, 1884. He is a son of John and Rose (Muller) 
Schmotzer. His father was born in Germany in 1843 and his mother in 
Switzerland. 

The father came to America in 1866 and located first in Indiana. In 
1870 he came to Cottonwood county, Minnesota, and entered a homestead 
of one hundred and sixty acres of land, in Dale township. With the excep- 
tion of four years he lived on this land and made this his home until his 
death, which occurred on February 16, 1910. His first wife died in 1889. 
The children of this family were: Henry, who died young; Rose, who 
died at the age of six; Edward F., and Louis, who died young. His second 
wife was Dora Gundel. She was the mother of four children: Minnie, 
Louis, Harry, Walter. The family were members of the Lutheran church. 

Edward F. Schmotzer was educated in the public schools of Dale town- 
ship. In 1901 he started to farming for himself on a farm in Dale town- 
ship. He continued to farm there until the spring of 191 1, when he sold 
out and moved to Jeffers, where he lived for about two years ; then lived in 
Comfrey, Minnesota, for a year. In October, 191 3, he bought the Jeffers 
Review newspaper plant,, and moved back to Jeffers and assumed charge of 
the paper. He has since been the publisher of this paper. 




EDWARD F. SCHMOTZER. 



PUBLIC LIBRARY' 



- . ..■ ■■■ ■ 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 353 

Mr. Schmotzer was married on October I, 1899, to Emma Whiteman, 
daughter of George Whiteman, of Hampton, Iowa. To this union seven 
children have been born : Wilbert, Alice, Orval, Beryl, Leonard and Leona 
(twins) and Erma. Leona died on March 19, 19 15. 

Mr. Schmotzer is independent in political faith and votes for the candi- 
date whom he considers the best man for the place, and not because he 
belongs to this or that political party. His fraternal association is with the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He conducts his paper on strictly 
non-partisan lines, advocating the interests of the public first and always. 
He uses his publication for the common interests of the people in this com- 
munity, fearlessly upholding the common cause, and never lending its 
columns to the sordid ambition of any man or set of men. He owns three 
hundred and forty acres of unimproved land in northern Minnesota. 



AUGUST FREDRICKSON. 

August Fredrickson, assessor of Storden township, Cottonwood county, 
former chairman of the board of supervisors of that township and for years 
one of the best-known farmers of that part of the county, is a native of 
Sweden, born on September 17, 1865, son of Capt. Frederick and Ellen 
(Peterson) Nelson, natives of that same country, both now deceased, who 
were the parents of four children, of whom August is now the only sur- 
vivor, the others having been as follow : Carl G., who died at the age of 
twenty-eight; Emma, who died at twenty-six, and Hulda, who died at 
twenty-five. Captain Nelson was the owner of a merchant vessel engaged 
in the coasting trade in Sweden. He died in 1884. His wife had preceded 
him to the grave about two years, her death having occurred in 1882. 

After completing one year in the high school in his native town, August 
Fredrickson took to the sea and for a couple of years was engaged as a 
sailor on his father's vessel, after which he was- for a year engaged as a 
sailor on another merchant vessel. In 1882, being seventeen years of age, 
he came to the United States and proceeded to Minnesota, locating in Stor- 
den township, Cottonwood county, where he has made his home ever since. 
He married in 1889 and the next year established his home on the farm of 
one hundred and twenty acres he now owns in Storden township and where 
he ever since has resided. He has improved his farm in excellent shape 
(23a) 



354 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

and has the same under profitable cultivation. In addition to his general 
farming, Mr. Fredrickson has given considerable attention to stock raising 
and has done very well. He is a Democrat and for years has given close 
attention to local political affairs.- For years he served as chairman of the 
board of supervisors of his home township and is now serving in the im- 
portant capacity of township assessor. 

In 1889 August Fredrickson was united in marriage to Fredericka Per- 
son and to this union six children have been born: Carl, who is deceased; 
Ellen, Axel, Elmer, Amelia and Amanda. Carl was twenty-five years old 
and was a telegraph operator at Milton, North Dakota, when he was drowned 
while bathing. Mr. and Mrs. Fredrickson are members of the Swedish 
Lutheran church and take an active interest in the various beneficences of 
the same, as well as in all local good works, Mr. Fredrickson having served 
as trustee and as treasurer of the church. 



CORNELIUS GOERTZEN. 

Cornelius Goertzen, a well-known farmer of Cottonwood county, super- 
visor of Dale township and secretary of the Farmers Elevator Company at 
Carson, is a native of Russia, born on November 24, 1868, son of Jacob and 
Marie (Williams) Goertzen, who later came to this country and became 
pioneers of this section of Minnesota. 

Jacob Goertzen was born in Germany, but when a boy moved with his 
parents to the southern part of Russia, where he grew to manhood and 
where he married Anna Loewens, to which union five children were born, 
two of whom, David and Henry, came to the United States, the others 
remaining in Russia. Upon the death of the mother of these children, Jacob 
Goertzen married Marie Williams and after a continued residence of ten 
or fifteen years in Russia came to the United States with his family, in 1878, 
and proceeded directly to this section of Minnesota, arriving at Mountain 
Lake on July 6, that year. Upon arriving here Jacob Goertzen bought the 
partly improved southwest quarter of section 7, in Carson township, and 
during the first year of his residence there built a new house. He later pur- 
chased a nearby tract of one hundred and twenty acres and was engaged the 
rest of his life in the cultivation of these farms. In addition to his general 
farming he went in heayily for the raising of cattle and sheep and did quite 
well in his operation, becoming one of the substantial farmers of that neigh- 
borhood. Flis death occurred on September 17, 1888, he then being seventy- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 355' 

three years, one month and sixteen days of age. His widow survived him 
until August, 1904, she being sixty-eight years old at the time of her death. 
They were the parents of seven children, John J., who is the present post- 
master at Bingham Lake; Abraham J., a farmer of Dale township; Justina, 
wife of William Ewert, of Bingham Lake; Cornelius, the subject of this 
review; Isaac J., a farmer of Saskatchewan, Canada; Frank, a farmer living 
in Manitoba, Canada, and Dietrich, clerk in a store at Saskatchewan. 

Cornelius Goertzen was about ten years of age when he came to this 
country in 1878 with his parents. He had received about three years of 
schooling in the government schools of his native land, and upon his arrival 
here, was placed in the German schools, but after an attendance of four 
months there was transferred to the public schools and there continued, 
diligent in his studies, for four terms. He was not yet twenty years old 
when his father died, and for a year thereafter, or until his marriage in 
the fall of 1889, he remained at the old home. Previous to his marriage he 
had purchased a quarter section of improved land in Dale township, the 
farm on which he is now living, and after his marriage began housekeeping 
in the house which then stood on that place. Eight years later he erected 
his present commodious two-story, modern residence on the place and he 
and his family are there comfortably situated. Since then he has also built 
a substantial new barn and in 1914 erected the first cement block silo in the 
vicinity of Delft. In addition to his general farming he has given consider- 
able attention to the raising of cattle and has done well in his operations 
along this line. He has purchased more land from time to time and is now 
the owner of three hundred and sixty acres, all of which, save fifty acres, 
which he rents out, he farms himself. Mr. Goertzen is a Republican, and 
has for years given careful attention to local political affairs. For several 
years he was clerk of school district yy, and for the past ten years has served 
in the capacity of township supervisor. He has also given proper attention 
to various semi-local business enterprises and is secretary of the Farmers 
Elevator Company at Carson, and a stockholder in the local creamery com- 
pany at that place. He and his wife are members of the Mennonite church, 
and take a proper interest in the affairs of that organization. 

On October 24, 1889, Cornelius Goertzen was united in marriage to 
Katherina Dick, and to this union six children have been born, namely: 
Mary, who died in youth; Katie Dora, who married David Walter Peterson, 
the butter-maker at the creamery at Delft, and Cornelius Oliver, Dietrich 
Jacob, Nicholas Edward and Anna Olga, who are at home with their 
parents. 



356 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

JOHN H. FAST. 

John H. Fast, a well-to-do farmer of Midway township, Cottonwood 
county, proprietor of a farm of two hundred and forty acres in the vicinity 
of Mountain Lake and actively identified with the rapidly developing inter- 
ests of that part of the county, is a native son of Cottonwood county, born 
on a farm in Midway township, March 15, 1880, son of the Rev. Henry and 
Mary (Hamm) Fast, prominent and influential residents of that community, 
who now live in the village of Mountain Lake. 

The Rev. Henry Fast, one of the best-known ministers of the Mennonite 
faith in Minnesota, is a native of southern Russia, born on August 28, 1849, 
son of John and Sarah (Peters) Fast, natives of that same country, who 
came to the United States with their family in 1875, and in August of that 
year settled in Cottonwood county, becoming influential members of the con- 
siderable Mennonite colony that even then had gathered hereabout. John 
Fast homesteaded a quarter of a section of land in Midway township, bought 
an adjoining quarter and there established his home, but did not live to 
realize the hopes he had built up in connection with his coming to the new 
country, his death occurring in the December following his arrival here, he 
then being sixty-six years of age. His widow survived him many years, her 
death occurring on July 4, 1908, she then being seventy-nine years of age. 
They were the parents of six children, Henry, Sarah, Gerhart, Herman, 
Elizabeth (deceased) and Agatha (deceased). By a previous marriage John 
Fast was the father of five children, Anna, John, Lena, Katherine and David, 
all of whom are dead save Lena. 

Henry Fast was twenty-six years of age when he came to Minnesota 
with his parents and the other members of the family. He had received an 
excellent education in his native land and had studied with particular refer- 
ence to entering the gospel ministry in the service of the Mennonite church. 
When his father died he bought the home place of three hundred and twenty 
acres and upon his marriage, in 1876, the year after his arrival here, estab- 
lished his home there, continuing to make that his place of residence for 
thirty-six years, or until 1910. when he and his wife moved to Mountain 
Lake, where they now live. The Rev. Henry Fast was ordained a minister 
of the Mennonite church in 1877, two years after locating in Minnesota, 
and ever since then has been an active and influential minister of that faith, 
being known widely throughout that connection in Minnesota and the Dakotas, 
now pastor of the church at Mountain Lake. He also has been a farmer 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 357 

and before his retirement from the farm had brought his place in Midway 
township up to a high state of development. 

In 1876 Rev. Henry Fast was united in marriage to Mary Hamm, who 
also was born in southern Russia, April 25, 1853, daughter of David and 
Mary (Eitzen) Hamm, earnest Mennonites, who also had come to Minne- 
sota in 1875 and settled in Cottonwood county. David Hamm bought a 
quarter of a section of land in Midway township, and there he established 
his home and spent the rest of his life, his death occurring on July 29, 1891, 
at the age of seventv-three vears. His widow survived him but a vear, her 
death occurring in 1892, she then being sixty-three years of age. They were 
the parents of five children, of whom Mrs. Fast was the first born, the others 
being David, Abraham, Anna and Susanna. To Rev. Henry and Mary 
(Hamm) Fast ten children have been born, namely: Sarah, born in 1877; 
Mary, 1878; John H.. the immediate subject of this biographical sketch; 
David, born in 1881 ; Henry, 1885; Helena, 1885, now deceased; Gerhard, 
1887, also deceased; Gerhard, second, 1889; Elizabeth, 1891, deceased, and 
Abraham, who died in infancy. 

John H. Fast was reared on the paternal farm in Midway township, 
receiving his schooling in the public schools, and remained at home to assist 
his father in the work of developing and improving the home place, until 
after he had attained his majority, when, in 1902, he went to North Dakota 
and homesteaded a quarter of a section of land in Billings county and pro- 
ceeded to "prove up." The next year he married a daughter of one of the 
pioneer families of that section and established his home on his homestead 
place, continuing to make his home there until 1910, in which year he sold 
out to advantage and returned to his old home in Cottonwood county. Upon 
returning here, Mr. Fast bought a tract of two hundred and forty acres in 
sections 17 and 18 of Midway township, and there has made his home ever 
since, being now regarded as one of the most substantial farmers in that 
part of the county. He has added quite materially to the improvements that 
were on the place and has brought the farm up to a high state of cultivation. 
In addition to his general farming he has given considerable attention to the 
raising of high-grade stock and has done very well. Mr. Fast gives proper 
attention to local civic affairs and is now serving as a member of the local 
school board. 

On June 25, 1903, John H. Fast was united in marriage to Helena 
Schmidt, who was born in that state on March 8, 1880, daughter of John 
and Elsie (Schultz) Schmidt, pioneers of Billings county, both of whom died 
in 1 89 1, she in October and he in the following December, and to this union 



358 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

eight children have been born, as follow : Henry, born on May 14, 1904, 
who died in infancy; Mary, May 28, 1905, who died on June 8, of that same 
year; Henry, September 28, 1906; Mary. March 15, 1908; Lena, November 
14, 1909; Sarah, July 8, 191 1; John, March 31, 1913, who died in infancy, 
and Elsie, December 18, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Fast are members of the Men- 
nonite church and give proper attention to the various beneficences of the 
same, as well as to all local good works and are doing well their part in the 
community in which they live. 



E. O. FESTER. 



E. O. Fester, former chairman of the board of supervisors of High- 
water township, Cottonwood county, and one of the most substantial farmers 
pf that township, is a native of Norway, but has lived in Minnesota since 
he was eighteen years old. He was born on July 18, 1875, son of Olai and 
Juditte (Ericksen) Fester, who were the parents of two sons, E. O. and 
Johan. The mother of these sons died and Olai Fester married Karen Carl- 
son, to which union four children were born, Olaf, Carl, Juditte and Hen- 
rika. 

Olai Fester was a fisherman in his native land and his eldest son, E. O. 
Fester, was reared to that calling, which he followed until he was eighteen 
years of age, when, in 1893, ne came to Minnesota and located at Lamberton. 
For about two years thereafter he worked at various occupations there and 
in that vicinity, his principal occupation, however, being farming, and in the 
fall of 1897, following his marriage, bought the farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres, on which he is now living in section 27 of Highwater township, 
Cottonwood county, and has since made his home there. Mr. Fester set 
about the improvement and cultivation of his place in up-to-date fashion and 
has one of the best-improved and most profitably cultivated farms in that 
section. In addition to his general farming he has given considerable atten- 
tion to stock raising. In his political views, Mr. Fester is a Republican and 
has given close attention to political affairs since he came to this country. 
For ten years he served his home township as a member of the board of 
supervisors and for three years was chairman of that board, while in other 
ways he has ever done the part of a good citizen in the advancement of the 
interests of the communitv in which he lives. 

In 1897 E. O. Fester was united in marriage to Amelia Jensen, and to 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 359 

this union nine children have been born, Olaf, Mabel, Hilda, Harold, Alfred, 
Elmer Joseph, Agnes and Juditte. Mr. and Mrs. Fester are members of the 
Norwegian Lutheran church, in the general beneficences of which they take 
an active interest, Mr. Fester having been for six or seven years a member of 
the board of trustees of the church, and they also are concerned in all move- 
ments having to do with the betterment of conditions in the community in 
which thev live. 



G. T. NATTERSTAD. 



G. T. Natterstad, a well-known and substantial farmer of Storden town- 
ship, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres in the vicinity of Storden, is a native of Norway, born on March 
21, 1869, son of Tommaes and Martha (Hjalmeland) Natterstad, natives 
of that same country and the parents of five children, of whom G. T. was 
the third in order of birth, the others being Belle, Johannes, Mary and 
Knute. Tommaes Natterstad is a farmer and is still living in his native 
land. 

After completing the course in the public schools of his native land, 
G. T. Natterstad took up fanning and also served a term in the army, his 
military service being completed in 1892. The next year, he then being 
twenty-three years of age, he came to the United States and located in Ida 
county, Iowa, where he remained until the spring of 1895, when he came 
to Minnesota and located in Cottonwood county, where he has made his 
home ever since. For two years after coming here, Mr. Natterstad worked 
on a farm in A mo township and then for three years worked at Windom. 
He then, in the fall of 1908, bought the quarter section on which he is now 
living, in Storden township, and ever since has made his home there. The 
farm is well improved and profitably cultivated and Mr. Natterstad is looked 
upon as one of the substantial citizens of that community. He and his 
family have a pleasant home and are comfortably situated. 

It was in 1905, about ten years after coming to Minnesota, that G. T. 
Natterstad was united in marriage to Anna Vang and to this union four 
children have been born, Martha, Elsie, Johann and Gerda. Mr. and Mrs. 
Natterstad are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and take a warm 
interest in the general affairs of the same, being helpful in all neighborhood 
good works. Mr. Natterstad is a Republican and gives a good citizen's 
attention to local political affairs, but is not included in the office-seeking 
class. 



360 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

JOHN G. GRANT. 

John G. Grant, one of the best-known farmers in Cottonwood county, 
proprietor of a fine farm in Lakeside township, is a native son of that county 
and has lived there all his life. He was born on the farm on which he 
now lives, March 12, 1880, son of J. F. and Mary (Geddes) Grant, early 
settlers of this part of the state. 

J. F. Grant is a native of Canada, born in the province of Ontario, 
September n, 1845, an d became one of the pioneers of this section of 
Minnesota, having been one of the men who organized the government of 
Cottonwood county. Tt was in 1869 that he came out here. Upon locating 
here he filed on a homestead tract in what later became Carson township 
and shortly afterward traded that pre-emption claim for a homestead in 
Lakeside township, where he established his home. He was not only one 
of the earliest settlers of Cottonwood county, but was one of the most in- 
fluential in the early days. He was one of the organizers of the county 
and for many years was a member of the school board, in which capacity 
he performed an admirable service in behalf of the early schools of the 
county, also serving for some time as county commissioner. He became 
the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of fine land in Lakeside town- 
ship and there made his home until 1905, when he moved to Windom, where 
he lived until 191 1, in which year he disposed of his interests in that city 
and moved to Eugene, Oregon, where he and his wife are now living in 
comfortable retirement. J. F. Grant has been thrice married. His first 
wife, who was Emma Greenfield, died many years ago, leaving one child, a 
daughter, Emma, who married J. E. Frost. Mr. Grant then married Mary 
Geddes, who was born at Albany, New York, in 1854, and to this union six 
children were born, of whom the subject of this sketch was the third in 
order of birth, the others being George W., Charles F., James A., Fred R. 
and Mary A. Mrs. Mary (Geddes) Grant died on November 2, 1902, and 
Mr. Grant later married Mrs. Hermena Schroader, which union has been 
without issue. Mr. Grant is a member of the Presbyterian church; Mrs. 
Grant is a Baptist. 

John G. Grant was reared on the paternal farm in Lakeside township, 
receiving his elementary education in the district schools in the neighbor- 
hood of his home, supplementing the same by a course in the schools at 
Windom, after which he taught school for one term and later attended the 
Minnesota State Agricultural School, from which he was graduated in 1903. 



Til*: KEW YOKK 
PUBL'lC LIBRARY' 



ASTOR, LEN»X 
TILT. ON* 




RESIDENCE OF JOHN G. GRANT. 



t^->"= 



TEC If! 

■PUBLIC LIBRARY 

ASTOR, LEN9X 
TILDE JN 'ATI ON* 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 361 

He then returned to the home farm and began farming on his own account. 
The next year, in 1904, he married and established his home on the old 
home farm, where he ever since has made his home, and which he bought 
in 1910. He has there an excellent farm of two hundred and forty acres, 
well improved and profitably cultivated. In addition to his general farm- 
ing, Mr. Grant has given considerable attention to the raising of pure-bred 
Holstein dairy cattle and has a fine herd. He takes an active interest in 
local civic affairs and for years has occupied the position of school treasurer. 

It was on May 25, 1904, that John G. Grant was united in marriage to 
Stella Lampson, who was born on May 1, 1881, and who was graduated 
from the State Agricultural School in 1904, and to this union two children 
have been born, Melburn C, born on July 26, 1906, and Lois Marie, October 
24, 1909. Mr. and Mrs. Grant are members of the Baptist church at Win- 
dom and take a proper interest in the various beneficences of the same, as 
well as in the general good works of the community. Mr. Grant is a mem- 
ber of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and in the affairs of that 
popular organization takes a warm interest. 

Mrs. Grant is a daughter of Jonas T. and Eliza J. (Park) Lampson, 
both natives of Ohio. Both moved to Kansas in an early day and married 
there, later came to Minnesota in 1893, lived there until 1901, when they 
moved to Missouri. Mr. Lampson is a veteran of the Civil War, served 
four years in the Seventh Ohio Cavalry, in the Western army, and was 
with General Sherman on the march to the sea. He had three children : 
Frank L„ Emma (deceased), and Stella. He and his son, Frank, are in the 
mercantile business in Lampson, Wisconsin. 



ALBERT GRUNENWALD. 

Albert Grunenwald, a well-to-do farmer of Dale township. Cottonwood 
county, proprietor of a fine farm of three hundred and twenty acres on rural 
route No. 5, out of Windom, and connected with various business enter- 
prises throughout that part of the county, is a native of Germany, but has 
been a resident of the United States since he was sixteen years of age. He 
was born on May 17, 1877, son of William and Wilhelmina Grunenwald, 
who later came to Minnesota and became settlers in Cottonwood county. 

William Grunenwald, a native of Germany, was reared as a farmer and 
remained thus engaged throughout his life. During the Franco-Prussian 







62 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 



War he served as a soldier in the German army and later became a farmer 
on a large estate. In 1893 he came to the United States with his family and 
settled in Lincoln township, Buena Vista county, Iowa, where he engaged in 
farming for six years, at the end of which time he came to Minnesota, 
bought the northeast quarter of section 32, in Dale township, Cottonwood 
county, established his home there and there spent the rest of his life, his 
death occurring in 1907, being sixty-three years of age. His widow is still 
living. They were the parents of eight children, of whom Albert was the 
fourth in order of birth, the others being as follow : Ernest, a farmer, of 
Dale township; William, a farmer of Germantown township; Frank, who 
died in infancy; Fred, now living in Murray county, this state, farming, who 
married and has three children ; Augusta, who married Chris Richter, a build- 
ing contractor, of Storm Lake, Iowa, and his six children ; Anna, who mar- 
ried Edward Xitzke, a hardware merchant, also living at Storm Lake, Iowa, 
and Bertha, who married Maurice Thompson, a farmer of Great Bend town- 
ship. Cottonwood county. 

Albert Grunenwald was about sixteen years old when he came to this 
country with his parents in 1893. He had received excellent schooling in 
the government schools of his native land, but after locating in Iowa at- 
tended the local school in the neighborhood of his new home there awhile. 
In Iowa he worked on neighboring farms and was thus engaged until 1898, 
in which year he and his elder brother. Ernest, came to Minnesota, locating 
in Cottonwood county, where they rented the old Charles Dick farm of three 
hundred acres. The next vear, when his father came out here and boueht 
in Dale township, he rented his father's new place and farmed the same for 
a year, after which he rented another farm of three hundred and twenty 
acres and farmed that for a year. In spring, 1901, he bought a quarter of a 
section in section 29, Dale township, and proceeded to improve the same. 
For a time he continued to make his home with his parents and then built a 
house on his place, after which he "bached" there until his marriage, in the 
spring of 1903, when he begun housekeeping right and has ever since made 
his home there. Mr. Grunenwald has improved his farm in fine shape and 
is doing well in his operations. Among the other improvements on his place 
is a nice grove, which he planted upon taking possession of the same and 
which adds much to the attractiveness of the place. Mr. Grunenwald has 
added to his farm holdings until now he is the owner of three hundred and 
twenty acres and is regarded as one of the substantial farmers of his neigh- 
borhood. He also is interested in other enterprises and holds stock in the 
Carson Farmers' Elevator Company, in the Windom Co-operative Elevator 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 363 

Company and in the Rural Telephone Company at Dale. He is an "inde- 
pendent" Republican and has served as constable and as treasurer of his 
school district. 

On March 5, 1903, Albert Grunenwald was united in marriage to Anna 
Pelz, and to this union six children have been born, Anna, Paul, Herman, 
Myrtle, Mabel and Gladys, all of whom are living, save Paul, who died when 
five years old. Mr. and Mrs. Grunenwald are members of the German Luth- 
eran church and take an active interest in the affairs of the same, as well as 
in all local good works, Mr. Grunenwald for some time having been a mem- 
ber of the official board of the church. 



OLE OSLAND. 



Ole Osland, chairman of the board of county commissioners of Cotton- 
wood county and one of the best-known residents of that county, a well-to-do 
farmer of Storden township, proprietor of a farm of one hundred and 
twenty acres in the vicinity of Jeffers and Storden and for many years 
identified with the development of this community, is a native of Norway, 
born in the seaport town of Stavanger, in the stift of Christiansand, capital 
of the amt, on the Stavanger-Fiord, an inlet from the North Sea, one hun- 
dred miles south of Bergen, April 23, 1866, son of Ole and Else (Okland) 
Osland, the former, an official of the municipal court at Stavanger, is still 
living and the latter has been dead some years. They were the parents 
of four children, of whom Ole is the eldest, the others being Julius, Bertha 
and Marie. 

In 1884, shortly after his graduation from the high school at Stavanger, 
Ole Osland came to the United States, proceeding directly to Minnesota to 
join his maternal grandfather, Jens Okland, a pioneer of Cottonwood county, 
who had settled in Storden township some years before, and he ever since 
has been living on the old Okland homestead farm, of which he has been the 
owner since 1887. At that time the place consisted of but eighty acres, but 
Mr. Osland has increased the same to one hundred and twenty acres and has 
long been regarded as one of the most substantial farmers of that neighbor- 
hood. In addition to his general farming he has given considerable atten- 
tion to the raising of high-grade live stock and has done very well. His 
farm is well improved and his operations are carried on in an up-to-date 
manner that marks him as one of the progressive farmers of the county. 



364 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Air. Osland is a Republican and ever since his arrival in Minnesota, has 
given his earnest attention to local political and civic affairs. For eighteen 
vears he was clerk of the township and for many years has served as clerk 
of the school board, in which capacity he has done much in behalf of the 
cause of education in his district. In 1908 Air. Osland was elected a mem- 
ber of the board of countv commissioners from his district and has been 
continuously re-elected since that time. His services on the board have 
proved of large value to the county and since 1915 he has been serving as 
chairman of the board. 

In November, 1890, Ole Osland was united in marriage to Carrie Hol- 
man, daughter of Peter Holman, and to this union ten children have been 
born, Oscar, Petra, Amanda, Emma, Minnie. Juliet. Frances, Arthur, Carl 
and Selmer. Mr. and Mrs. Osland are members of the Norwegian Luth- 
eran church and have long taken an active interest in the various beneficences 
of the same, as well as in all local good works, and are looked upon as 
among the leaders in movements designed to advance the common interest. 



MATHIAS OLSON. 



Mathias Olson, well-known merchant at Madelia, for many years one 
of the leaders in the commercial life of that thriving city, former member 
of the city council and in other ways deeply interested in the growth and 
development of his home town, is a native of Norway, born at Gausdal on 
May 21. 1846, son of Ole and Anna (Peterson) Torgerson, farming people, 
natives of Norway, who spent all their lives in their native land and who 
were the parents of seven children, Torger, Jacob, Rena, Amund, Peter, 
Mathias and Mathia. Ole Torgerson and his wife were members of the 
Lutheran church and their children were reared in that faith. 

Mathias Olson began his commercial career in his native land. Upon 
completing the course in the government schools he began clerking in a store 
and for eight vears was thus employed, during which time he obtained a 
thorough grasp of the mercantile business. In 1868 he came to the United 
States and proceeded to Minnesota, locating at Mankato, where for about 
two years he worked on the railroad. He then, in 1870, located at Madelia, 
where he ever since has made his home. For four years after locating at 
Madelia Air. Olson was engaged as a clerk in the store of J. N. Cheney, and 
then, after his marriage in 1874, he formed a partnership with Mr. Bisbee 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 365 

in the store, which partnership continued for seventeen years, or until 1891, 
when Mr. Olson bought the Bisbee interest in the store and has since con- 
tinued the same alone, long having been recognized as one of the leading 
merchants of Madelia, as he is one of the very oldest in point of continuous 
mercantile service in this part of the state. Mr. Olson is a Republican and 
has for many years given his close attention to local political affairs. For 
some time he served the public as a member of the Madelia city council and 
also for some time as a member of the school board, in all of his public 
service giving his most careful thought to the needs of the community and 
has done much during his long residence in Madelia to promote the general 
interests of that town. 

In 1874 Mathias Olson was united in marriage to Mary Stenerson and 
to this union have been born eight children, Alfred M., Stella O., Minnie, 
Hazel and Lydia, and three deceased. The Olsons are members of the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church and for years have been accounted as among the 
leaders in good works in and about Madelia. Mr. Olson has long been 
active in the affairs of the church with which he is connected and has served 
the congregation of the same in the capacity of trustee, deacon and secretary. 



NILS ERICKSON. 



Nils Erickson, a well-known and substantial farmer of Germantown 
township, Cottonwood county, owner of a farm of two hundred and sixty- 
two acres in that township, is a native of Norway, but has lived in Minnesota 
since he was nineteen years old. He was born on November 8, 1861, son 
of Erick and Anna Ouam. natives of that same country, both now deceased, 
who spent all their lives in their native land and who were the parents of six 
children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the third in order of birth, 
the others being Christie, Thorsen, Erick, Anna and Anna, second. 

Nils Erickson's father was a farmer in Norway and he was reared to 
the life of the farm. When nineteen years old, in the year 1880, he came 
to Minnesota and located in Cottonwood county. For the first ten years 
after coming to this state, Mr. Erickson worked on various farms in Cot- 
tonwood county and then, in 1891, bought a farm of eighty acres in West- 
brook township, and presently added to that an adjoining eighty acres. The 
year after he bought his farm he married and established his home there. 
In 1901 he sold one-half of his quarter section and in 1902 bought the farm 



366 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

of two hundred and sixty-two acres on which he is now living and where 
he since has made his home. In 1903 he sold the remaining half of his 
quarter section in Westbrook township and since then has been devoting his 
time wholly to the cultivation and improvement of his home farm. In 1914 
he built his present substantial residence and he and his family are very 
pleasantly situated. In addition to his general farming, Mr. Erickson has 
given considerable attention to the raising of live stock and has done very 
well, for ten years or more having paid particular attention to his fine herd 
of Holsteins. Mr. Erickson is a Republican, but has not been a seeker after 
public office. 

It was in 1892 that Nils Erickson was united in marriage to Lina Mol- 
berg and to this union four children have been born, Alfred Ingvald, born 
on January 21, 1895; Ella Louise, November 26, 1896, and Clarence Alvin, 
Januarv 4, 1903, and an infant, deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Erickson are mem- 
bers of the Norwegian Lutheran church and take an active interest in church 
work, Mr. Erickson having served twice as a local delegate to the state con- 
ventions of his church, once at Minneapolis and once at St. Paul. 



C. W. DAMMANN. 



C. W. Dammann, the subject of this sketch, was born in Chicago, Illi- 
nois, January 10, 1872. He is a son of Henry and Marie (Waswo) Dam- 
mann, the father a native of Neuen, Kirschen, Germany, and the mother, of 
Kellingkussen, Germany. Henry Dammann came to America in 1866, and 
located in Chicago, Illinois, where he followed his trade as a tanner. Later 
he engaged in the manufacture of sausage, following that business from 
1882 until about 1887, when he moved to Jackson county, Minnesota. He 
located on a farm of two hundred and forty acres and engaged in farming. 
His death occurred about two years later. His widow is still living. There 
were three children in this family: C. W., Amanda and John. 

C. W. Dammann was educated in the public schools of Chicago, and 
was employed part of the time during his school years as a clerk in a store. 
He came to Minnesota with his parents and lived at the farm homestead, 
working on the farm, until 1899, when he went to Jackson, Minnesota, to 
take a position in a retail store. In 1902 he came to Ormsby and opened 
up a general merchandise store, and has been in this business at this place 
since that time. In 191 1 he was appointed postmaster of this village and 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 367 

is now attending: to the duties of that office in connection with his other 
business. 

In 1896 C. W. Dammann and Meta Struck were united in marriage. 
She is the daughter of Christ Struck and wife. To' this union three chil- 
dren have been born : Henry, Christian and Willis. Mr. Dammann is a 
Republican in politics, and is a member of the Modern Woodmen's lodge, 
also a Mason. 



CHRISTIAN ANDERSON. 

One cause for emigration is the attraction which another country holds 
out to the newcomer in various ways. The farmer coming from Denmark 
to Minnesota expects to become greatly interested in the new methods he 
will find here in carrying on husbandry, and in learning how to do better 
work and increase his earning powers. Some such motive induced Christian 
Anderson, farmer of Great Bend township, Cottonwood county, to make 
the long sea voyage and extended land journey to this country from Den- 
mark, where he was born February 22, 1857. He is a son of Andres and 
Margaret (Matson) Gertson. These parents were both born in Denmark 
and there grew up, were married and established their home, the father 
devoting his active life to farming and died there some time ago, and the 
mother is still living in the old home. To these parents seven children were 
born, namely: Mathias, Gerhart, Masena, Marie, Christian, Andres and 
Jens. 

Christian Anderson grew to manhood on the home farm in Denmark, 
and he received his education in the common schools in his native com- 
munity. When twenty-five years of age he immigrated to the United States, 
locating first in Shelby county, Iowa, where he bought land and engaged in 
farming nine years; then moved to Clay county, that state, where he con- 
tinued farming until 1901, when he moved to Cottonwood county, Minnesota, 
locating on a farm in Springfield township, which he rented the first year, 
then purchased two hundred acres in Great Bend township, on which he 
still resides, and is engaged in general farming and dairying on an extensive 
scale. He has made valuable improvements on the place and has a com- 
fortable home and numerous convenient outbuildings. 

Mr. Anderson was married in 1886, to Margaret Kroeger, who was 
born in Germany, and is a daughter of Thomas Kroeger, who immigrated 
from Germany to Shelby county, Iowa, where he established the future home 



368 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

of the family. To Mr. and Mrs. Anderson the following children were 
born : Katie, Andrew, Anna, Tora, Mary, Harry, and Christine. 

Politically, Mr. Anderson is a Democrat. He is now a member of 
the school board. He belongs to the Lutheran church. 



GEORGE W. MATHISEN. 

Any man who works on the land, who tills a field and watches the 
result, gains a real fundamental knowledge of the underlying foundation 
on which rests all civilization. It makes him a reliable man, a thoughtful 
man, a reverent man, and, if he experiments wisely, a helpful optimist. 
One of the well-informed twentieth century agriculturists and horticulturists 
of Cottonwood county is George W. Mathisen, of Dale township. He was 
born in Manitowoc county, Wisconsin, in i860, and is a son of Lars M. 
and Rocina (Hummel) Mathisen, natives of Norway and Germany, respec- 
tively. Christian Mathisen, the grandfather, spent his life in Norway. 
George Hummel, the maternal grandfather, who was a native of Germany, 
came to America and died in Wisconsin. The parents of the subject of this 
sketch came to Wisconsin in 1849 an( l located in Manitowoc county, where 
they were married and there spent the rest of their lives, the father reach- 
ing the unusual age of ninety-four years. They were among the very early 
settlers in that part of the Badger state, bought land and owned a good 
farm. Thirteen children were born to them, namely : Barbara, Louisa, 
Mathias, Matilda, George W., Augusta, Amelia, Mary, Lewis, William, who 
died young; Lena, John and an infant son. 

George W. Mathisen spent his boyhood on the home farm in Wisconsin 
and there received his education in the common schools, remaining on the 
homestead until he was nineteen years of age; then went into the lumber 
camps for five winters, after which he came to Minnesota, locating in Great 
Bend township in the spring of 1885, and has farmed in Cottonwood county 
ever since. He now lives in Dale township, where he owns a farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres, moving there from Great Bend township, and this 
has been his home for the past twenty-four years. He carries on general 
farming, keeps good Holstein cattle, and is also an extensive fruit and berry 
grower. Modern methods are employed and his place would indicate that 
a man of thrift, good taste and intelligence has its management in hand. 

Mr. Mathisen was married in 1893 to Lily Brown, who was born in 



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PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 369 

West Salem, LaCrosse county, Wisconsin, and is a daughter of Thomas 
S. Brown, brother of John A. Brown, editor of this work. Thomas Brown 
was a homesteader in Springfield township, Cottonwood county, coming 
here about 1878. To Mr. and Mrs. Mathisen five children have been born, 
all living, namely •' Sidney, Margaret, May, Marjorie and Lewis. 

Mr. Mathisen is a Socialist in politics. He has filled the office of town- 
ship treasurer and also assessor for many years in Dale township. He is a 
member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is a Lutheran and 
his wife is inclined toward the Presbyterians. Of the children, Sidney 
graduated from the Windom high school, taking the four-year course in 
three years and is now a student in Ames Agricultural School at Iowa. The 
children of school age are in the district school. Mr. Mathisen is president 
of the Farmers Club. Mrs. Mathisen is a member of the Degree of Honor, 
the auxiliary of the United Workmen. 



LEROY C. CHURCHILL. 

LeRoy C. Churchill, editor and publisher of the Citizen at Windom, 
secretary of the Commercial Club of that city and otherwise actively identi- 
fied with the rapidly developing interests of this part of the state, is a native 
of Kansas, born in the city of Iola, that state, February 17, 1873, son 
and only child of E. S. and Harriet E. (Anthony) Churchill. Upon com- 
pleting the course in the high school Mr. Churchill took a course in a 
business college. For years he was connected with the postofiice, both as 
clerk and postmaster. The Cottonwood County Citizen was established at 
Windom in 1883 and he has been editor and proprietor of the paper since 
the year 1895. Mr. Churchill is a Republican and his paper ever stands 
stanchly for the maintenance of the principles of that party and is an ardent 
advocate of the same throughout the wide field which it weekly covers. 

Mr. Churchill ever since locating in Windom has given his earnest 
and thoughtful attention to local affairs and has been an active factor in 
the development of the same. He is secretary of the Windom Commercial 
Club and takes an enthusiastic interest in the affairs of that useful organi- 
zation. He also is secretary of the Cottonwood County Agricultural 
Society. He is a substantial business man and is a stockholder in the Union 
Savings Association of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In the social and fra- 
(24a) 



370 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

ternal life of his home town Mr. Churchill also takes an active and influential 
position and is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of the 
Royal Arcanum, of the Modern Woodmen of America and of the Ancient 
Order of United Workmen, in the affairs of all of which orgainzations 
he takes a warm interest. 

On January 19, 191 5, LeRoy C. Churchill was united in marriage, at 
Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to Mabel I. Watts, daughter of Robert and Bertha 
Watts, of that city. Mr. and Mrs. Churchill are members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church and take a proper interest in church affairs, as well as 
in all local good works, and are regarded as among the leaders in the social 
and cultural life of their home town. 



FERDINAND BONIN. 



Ferdinand Bonin, one of Watonwan county's best-known fanners, now 
living quietly and comfortably retired on a farm in the near vicinity of the 
city of St. James, a place of four acres, which he bought upon his recent 
retirement from his farm in Long Lake township, is a native of Germany, 
born on September 12, 1859, son of Carl and Lena Bonin. the former of 
whom spent his last days in this country, having come here in 1886, four 
years after the death of his wife, his death occurring at the home of his 
son, Ferdinand, in Watonwan county, in 1901, he then being seventy-eight 
years of age. Carl Bonin and wife were the parents of five children, 
Fred, John, Herman, Bertha and Ferdinand, of whom Herman and 
Ferdinand are now the only survivors. 

Ferdinand Bonin was reared in Germany, receiving his schooling in the 
public schools of his native land and was twenty-five years old when he came 
to this country in 1884. He settled in Illinois, where he married three years 
later and where he lived, engaged in farming, until he came to Minnesota in 
1893 ar, d settled in Watonwan county. Upon his arrival here, Mr. Bonin 
bought a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Rosendale township and 
there he established his home. He prospered in his farming operations and 
presently bought an additional tract of one hundred and sixty acres and still 
later an "eighty" adjoining, thus giving him a fine farm of three hundred 
and sixty acres. This farm he after awhile sold to advantage and then 
bought a quarter of a section in Long Lake township, where he lived until 
his retirement from the farm, when he bought his present pleasant home 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 37 1 

within a mile of St. James, where he and his family are now very comfort- 
ably situated. Mr. Bonin still owns a good farm in Rosendale township, 
but rents the same. Mr. Bonin is a Republican and during his residence in 
Rosendale township served for some time as a member of the school board. 
In 1887, about three years after coming to this country, Ferdinand 
Bonin was united in marriage, in Illinois, to Sophia Koppen, who was born 
in Germany in 1869, daughter of Ole and Kara Koppen, who came to 
America in 1883 and settled in Illinois, where they spent the rest of their 
lives, her death occurring in 1906 and his, in 1908. Ole Koppen and wife 
were the parents of four children, those besides Mrs. Bonin being Oreka 
(deceased), Mary (deceased) and Lena. To Mr. and Mrs. Bonin ten chil- 
dren have been born, Emma, Elsie, Henry, Martha, Fred, Ida, John, Susie, 
William and Annie, all of whom are living. The Bonins are members of 
the German Lutheran church at St. James and take an active interest in the 
various beneficences of the same, as well as in all neighborhood good works, 
willing promoters of all measures designed to advance the general welfare 
of the community. 



CHARLES O. HOFSTROM. 

Charles O. Hofstrom, manager of the Farmers' Elevator Company at 
Windom and one of the most active and energetic business men of Cotton- 
wood county, is a native of Sweden, but has been a resident of the United 
States since 1889 and of Windom since 1892. He was born on February 
7, 1872, son of John and Anna Hofstrom, also natives of Sweden, substan- 
tial farming people, the former of whom was born on January 31, 1846, 
and the latter, February 12, 1846, who were the parents of two children, 
sons both, the subject of this sketch having a brother, Gustav, who remained 
in his native land. John Hofstrom died on September 29, 1879, and his 
widow survived him until May 10, 19 10. He was a son of Isaac August 
and Marie Christina (Tryckblad) Hofstrom, also farming people, the former 
of whom was a son of Peter Hofstrom, a farmer and stock buyer in Sweden, 
born in the year 1786. 

Charles O. Hofstrom was about seven years old when his father died. 
He completed his studies in the government schools of his native land and 
when seventeen years of age, in 1889, came to the United States, locating at 
Gowrie, Iowa, in the neighborhood of which place he worked as a farm hand 
for about three years, at the end of which time he came to Minnesota and 



■$72 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

located at Windom, where, and in the vicinity of which place, he has ever 
since made his home. For a few years after his arrival at Windom, Mr. 
Ho f strom worked as a farm hand on farms in the vicinity of that town and 
then engaged in the real-estate business at Windom and was thus engaged 
until he became connected with the Farmers' Elevator Company at that place 
in 1910. The next year, 191 1, he was promoted to the position of manager 
of the elevator and has ever since occupied that position, during which time 
he has done much to advance the interests of the company and establish the 
reputation of the elevator as one of the leading concerns of its kind in this 
part of the state. Mr. Hofstrom has a wide acquaintance throughout the 
region covered by the operations of the Farmers' Elevator Company and 
takes an active interest in the general business affairs of the community. 
He is a Democrat and takes a proper interest in local political affairs, but 
has never been included in the office-seeking class. 

On October 12, 19 12, Charles O. Hofstrom was united in marriage to 
Ebba Marie Dahl and to this union two children have been born, Dorothy 
Christina and George Woodrow. Mr. and Mrs. Hofstrom have a pleasant 
home at Windom and take a proper interest in the general social and cul- 
tural activities of their home town. Mr. Hofstrom is a member of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the encampment of that order 
and both he and his wife are members of the local lodge of the Daughters 
of Rebekah, in the affairs of which organizations they take a warm interest. 
He also is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and gives his 
thoughtful attention to the affairs of that order. 



JOHN A. REISDORPH. 

John A. Reisdorph, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Springfield 
township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of four hundred 
and eighty acres on rural roue No. 3, out of Windom, is a native of the 
great Keystone state, born on a farm in McKean county, Pennsylvania, July 
15, 1 86 1, son of Silas and Betsy (Hoag) Reisdorph, both of whom were 
born in the state of New York, and the former of whom later became one 
of the pioneers of this part of Minnesota and spent his last days at Win- 
dom. 

Silas Reisdorph was % reared on a farm in New York state, where he 
married and later moved to McKean county, Pennsylvania, where he became 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 373 

a farmer, later moving to Michigan, in which state he lived until he came 
to Minnesota in 1866. Upon coming to this state, Silas Reisdorph settled 
in LeSueur county, where he made his home for five or six years, at the 
end of which time he moved to Hennepin county, where, in Bloomington 
township, he bought a farm and there made his home until 1878, in which 
year he came to this part of the state and bought a quarter of a section 
of land in Cottonwood county, where he established his home and where he 
lived until his retirement from the farm in 1908 and removed to Windom, 
where he died in 19 13. Silas Reisdorph had been twice married. His first 
wife died when their only son, John A., was a small boy. Two children 
were born to that union, John A. Reisdorph having a sister, Carrie, who 
married W. D. Seeley. Silas Reisdorph's second wife, who was Frances 
Dutton, bore him seven children, of whom two, Lloyd and Robert D. Reis- 
dorph, are residents of Cottonwood county. 

John A. Reisdorph was little more than five years of age when his 
father came to Minnesota and was about seventeen when the family settled 
in Cottonwood county in 1878, hence he may properly be regarded as one 
of the pioneers of this section of the state. He received his schooling in the 
schools of LeSueur and Hennepin counties and grew up to the life of the 
farm. He remained with his father, a valuable assistant in the work of 
developing the latter's homestead place, until he had reached his majority 
and then bought a quarter of a section of his own in Springfield township, 
the place where he is now living, and proceeded to improve and develop 
the same. Mr. Reisdorph is a good farmer and as he prospered in his farm- 
ing operations added to his holdings until now he is the owner of an excel- 
lent farm of four hundred and eighty acres, on which he has spent about 
five thousand dollars in improvements. In addition to his general farming 
Mr. Reisdorph has gone in somewhat extensively for cattle raising and has 
done very well. He has one hundred or more beef cattle on his place, besides 
a fine herd of about forty dairy cattle and fourteen or fifteen horses. He 
raises about one hundred and fifty acres of corn and about the same acreage 
of small grain annually, the rest of his place being devoted to pasture. 
Mr. Reisdorph is a Prohibitionist and for years has done what he could do 
for the advancement of that party's principles hereabout. 

On September 22, John A. Reisdorph was united in marriage to Inez 
Vought, daughter of James C. and Mary A. (Goudy) Vought, prominent 
pioneer residents of Cottonwood county, and sister of Andrew P. Vought, 
chairman of the board of supervisors of Springfield township, a well-known 
farmer of that township, whose activities in that community are further set 



374 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

out in a sketch relating to him presented elsewhere in this volume, and 
to this union three children have been born, Frances, Delbert and Helen, 
all of whom are still at home. Mr. and Mrs. Reisdorph have a very pleas- 
ant home and have ever taken a proper part in the general social and cultural 
activities of the community. Mr. Reisdorph is a member of the Woodmen 
of the World and takes a warm interest in the affairs of that organization. 



T. M. YARGER. 



T. M. Yarger, a substantial farmer of Storden township, Cottonwood 
county, and the proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres 
in the vicinity of Storden, is a native of the great Keystone state, born 
on a farm in Center county, Pennsylvania, February 18, 1851, son ot 
Christian and Sarah Jane Allison (McManigal) Yarger, natives of that 
same state, who were the parents of ten children, of whom T. M. was the 
fifth in order of birth, the others being Mary C, Hattie J., James L., Frank 
R., Ella, William, Julia, Laura J. and Hiram M. In 1865 Christian Yarger 
moved with his family from Pennsylvania to Illinois, settling on a farm 
in Stevenson county, in the latter state, where he spent the rest of his life, 
a substantial and influential fanner. He and his wife were members of the 
Presbyterian church and their children were reared in that faith. 

T. M. Yarger was about fourteen years old when he moved with his 
family to Illinois and the schooling which was interrupted when he left 
Pennsylvania was resumed in the district school in the neighborhood of 
his new home. He grew up to the life of the farm and presently began 
farming on his own account in Illinois. He married there in 1884 and con- 
tinued to make his home in that state until 1889, in which year he moved 
to Iowa, settling in Osceola county, where he was engaged in farming until 
19 1 3, when he disposed of his interests there and came to Minnesota, set- 
tling on the farm on which he now lives, in Storden township, Cottonwood 
county, and where he and his family are very pleasantly and comfortably 
situated. Mr. Yarger is the owner of a quarter of a section of fine land, 
which he has improved in excellent shape and which he is profitably culti- 
vating. Though a resident of that community but a few years he has come 
to be looked upon as one of the substantial citizens of that part of the 
county and takes an active interest in the general affairs of the neighbor- 
hood. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 375 

On December 15, 1884, T. M. Yarger was united in marriage, in Stev- 
enson county, Illinois, to Anna Myers and to this union eight children have 
been born, Mildred, Luther, Edna, Fred, Elmer, Arthur, Sadie and Reuben. 
Mr. and Mrs. Yarger are members of the Methodist church and take an 
active interest in the affairs of the same, as well as in all local works, and 
are earnest promoters of all movements having to do with the advancement 
of the common welfare hereabout. Mr. Yarger is a Democrat and takes 
a proper interest in local political affairs. 



FRANK DEWAR. 



A good general farming country is nearly always a desirable locality 
for the stock man, but it is not everyone who can make a success of the stock 
buying and shipping business. It seems to take a peculiar innate ability. 
Frank Dewar of Lewisville, Watonwan county, has the natural qualifications 
for success as a stock trader and this has been his special line of endeavor 
for some time. He was born near Rochester, Minnesota, January 1, 1864, 
and is a son of Robert and Elizabeth (Nesbitt) Dewar. The mother was 
born on the Isle of Man, and the father was born in Canada, removing 
with his parents to Wisconsin, and later to near Rochester, Minnesota, 
where he rented a farm about two years, then removed to Antrim township, 
Watonwan county, and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres, and 
there he engaged in farming until retiring from active life, locating in Lewis- 
ville, about five years prior to his death. His family consisted of ten chil- 
dren, namely: Frank, Duncan, Elizabeth, Ann, Grace, Fannie, John, Earl, 
Stella and Lucretia. 

Frank Dewar grew up on the home farm, and attended school in a 
sod school house. He engaged in farming in Antrim township when start- 
ing out in life for himself and still owns a good farm there of two hundred 
and forty acres, which is well improved and on which stands a splendid 
group of buildings. He removed to the village of Lewisville in the fall of 
19 1 4, since which time he has been engaged in buying and shipping live 
stock. 

Mr. Dewar was married December 23, 1888, to Sarah Lewis, a daughter 
of Thomas Lewis, mention of whom is made elsewhere in this volume. To 
Mr. and Mrs. Dewar five children have been born, all living at this writing, 
namely: Archie F., Lena E., Grace, Madge, and Gordon. 



376 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Politically, Mr. Dewar is a Democrat. He is now serving as county 
commissioner. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and 
the family belong to the Christian church. 



ARTHUR LAWRENCE SCHAFFER. 

The permanent prosperity of a nation must rest upon its agriculture. 
The greatness of the United States rests very largely on its boundless possi- 
bilities in this direction. One of the leading farmers of Great Bend town- 
ship, Cottonwood countv, is Arthur Lawrence Schaffer, who was born on 
the farm on which he now lives, in 1883. He is a son of Joseph and 
Matilda (Mathisen) Schaffer, natives of Germany and of Wisconsin, respec- 
tively. The father was thirteen years old when he came to America with 
his parents, the family locating in Wisconsin, the parents spending the rest 
of their lives there on a farm. The father of Matilda Mathisen was a 
native of Norway, and her mother was a native of Germany. They located 
in Wisconsin and spent the rest of their lives there. The parents of the 
subject of this sketch were married in Cottonwood county, Minnesota, but 
went back to Wisconsin, where they continued to reside until 1880, when 
they returned to Cottonwood county and took up a homestead in Great 
Bend township, which has been the family farm ever since, the mother still 
living on the place, but the father passed away in October, 1909. He 
became owner of a good farm of two hundred and eighty acres. He was 
active in the affairs of his community, and served as township assessor for 
twelve or fifteen years, also held the office of school clerk. His widow 
belongs to the Lutheran church. To these parents six children were born, 
namely: Arthur Lawrence, the subject of this sketch; Ada, wife of Fred 
Earlewine; George, Clyde, Mabel, who is the wife of Charles Van Horsen, 
and Clarence. 

Arthur L. Schaffer grew up on the home farm and he received a com- 
mon school education. He has remained on the home place and is engaged 
in general farming and stock raising. He keeps the place well improved in 
every respect. He was married in July, 191 5, to Gertrude Huntress, of 
Great Bend township, and a daughter of William Huntress and wife. Mr. 
Schaffer is the present assessor of Great Bend township and is also treasurer 
of his school district. 

William Harvey Huntress, mentioned above, was a native of New 




MR. AND MRS. ARTHUR L. SCHAFFER. 



TH€ IfEW YOBK 
PUBLIC LIBRA 



AS70R, LENOX 
iTILDEN FO 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 377 

York state and a son of William Huntress and wife. He grew up in his 
native state and was educated there. He came to Minnesota in the eighties, 
locating at Windom, Cottonwood county, where he married Eleanor Jones, 
a native of Steele county, this state, from which locality she came with her 
parents to Cottonwood county. D. B. Jones, the father, was a native of the 
state of New York, his birth occurring on April 7, 1844, and there he grew 
up and was educated. When thirteen years old he came with his parents 
to Steele county, Minnesota, where he resided until May 1, 1870, when he 
moved to Rice county, this state, remaining there one year, then, in 187 1, 
came to Cottonwood county, taking up a homestead in Great Bend town- 
ship, on which he lived until the spring of 1916, when he retired and moved 
to Windom. He is a member of the Methodist church. He has held town- 
ship offices. William H. Huntress followed carpentering all his active life, 
being a highly skilled workman. His death occurred at Windom in 1901. 
His family consisted of four children, namely : Gertrude, Ruby, Bernice 
and Muriel. After his death, Airs. Huntress re-married, her last husband 
being John McKeegan, and they now make their home in northern Minne- 
sota. She is a member of the Methodist church. 



IVER I. PEDERSON. 



Iver I. Pederson, one of Cottonwood county's best-known and most 
substantial farmers and stockmen, owner of a fine farm in Ann township 
and valuable land in Murray county, member of the board of supervisors 
of his home township and otherwise actively identified with the interests of 
that part of the county, is a native of Norway, but has lived in Minnesota 
since he was eight years old. He was born on October 13, 1873, son °f 
Iver and Anna Pladtson (Thorson) Pederson, natives of that same country, 
who later became residents of Cottonwood county, where the latter is still 
living. 

Iver Pederson was born at Hedalen and owned a farm in the Vaagfe 
community. In the summer of 1881 he disposed of his interests there and 
with his family came to Minnesota, locating at Walnut Grove, in Redwood 
county, in July of that year. Two years later he moved to Martin county, 
where he rented a farm for three years, at the end of which time he rented 
the southwest quarter of section 18 in Ann township, Cottonwood county, 
where he made his home for four years. He then bought the northwest 



378 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

quarter of that same section and there established his home. He improved 
the farm in excellent shape and there spent the rest of his life. As he 
prospered he bought more land and became a very substantial citizen. He 
later sold the most of his holdings, however, and at the time of his death 
his land interests were represented by but eighty acres. He died on Septem- 
ber 2, 19 1 2, and his widow is still living. They were the parents of eleven 
children, of whom Iver I. was the ninth in order of birth, the others being 
as follow : Mary and Anna, twins ; the former married John Hopstad 
and lives in Grant county, this state, and the latter, now deceased, married 
Hans Amodeth and also lived in Grant county; Peder, who married Carrie 
Hanson and is farming in Martin county; Annie, who married Hans Eng, 
a Martin county farmer; Lena, who is living with her brother, Iver, and 
family; one who died in infancy; Thor, who died in his early manhood; 
Mattie, who married Hans Sandbo, of Ann township; Rose, who married 
Lew Osman and lives with the family of her brother, Iver, and Hannah, 
who died when one year old. 

Iver I. Pederson was about eight years old when his parents came to 
Minnesota and he received his schooling in the schools of Cottonwood county. 
At the age of seventeen he started out for himself, in partnership with 
Ole Kleven, owners of a threshing rig. That partnership was dissolved 
after three years, but Mr. Pederson has ever since continued to operate a 
threshing-machine during the seasons and is one of the best-known men in 
that line in this part of the country. After a few years he became the 
manager of his father's farm and early began buying land. He prospered 
in his operations and is now the owner of six hundred and eighty acres in 
Cottonwood and Murray counties, all of which he operated himself. For 
some time he has made a specialty of raising hogs and has done very well. 
His home place is well improved and he and his family are very well situ- 
ated. Mr. Pederson has given proper attention to local civic affairs and is a 
member of the board of township supervisors. He and his wife are members 
of the Norwegian Lutheran church and take an earnest interest in all local 
good works. 

On April 13. 1911, Iver I. Pederson was united in marriage to Lena 
Johnson, who was born in Ann township, Cottonwood county, daughter of 
Helge and Gunniel (Kittleson) Johnson, and to this union two children 
have been born, Myron, born on September 10, 19 12, and Virene, March 
16, 191 5. Mrs. Pederson's parents are pioneers of Cottonwood county and 
have a fine farm of six hundred and forty acres in Ann township, where 
they settled in homestead days, Helge Johnson having homesteaded a quar- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 379 

ter section there in 1873. He was born in Norway on October 22, 1850, 
son of John and Ann Helgeson, whose last days were spent in the home of 
their son, Helge, in Cottonwood county. It was in 1872 that Helge John- 
son came to Minnesota from Norway. For a year he worked in Kandiyohi 
county and then entered a claim to a homestead in Cottonwood county, 
where, after his marriage to Gunniel Kettleson, he established his home and 
has lived ever since, one of the most substantial and influential men in that 
section. To him and his wife eight children have been born, of whom Mrs. 
Pederson was the fourth in order of birth, the others being John, Anna, 
Julius, Regina, Maria, Carl and Henry, all of whom are living save John, 
who died in his young manhood. 



SAMUEL PAULSON. 



Samuel Paulson, a well-to-do farmer of Madelia township, Watonwan 
county, proprietor of a fine farm of two hundred and twenty acres situ- 
ated four miles north and two miles west of the town of Madelia, is a 
native of Norway, but has lived in Minnesota since he was six years old 
and has consequently been a witness to and a participant in the development 
and progress of this part of the country during the past generation. He 
was born on October 1, 1856, son of Tarson and Christiana (Samuelson) 
Paulson, natives of Norway, who came to the United States in 1862 and 
proceeded to Minnesota, becoming pioneers of the neighboring county of 
Brown. 

Tarson Paulson homesteaded a farm in the southern part of Brown 
county, within sight of the farm of the subject of this sketch, and there 
established his home. To his original homestead of eighty acres he grad- 
ually added by purchase until he became the owner of a farm of two hun- 
dred acres and was recognized as one of the substantial farmers of that sec- 
tion. There he spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring in 1911, 
he then being eighty-eight years of age. He was active in church work and 
his children were reared in the Norwegian Lutheran faith. Tarson Paulson 
was twice married. To his first marriage four children were born, Peter, 
Samuel, Anna and Christina. Upon the death of the mother of these chil- 
dren, Mr. Paulson married Mrs. Johanna Mikleson, a widow, who had two 
children, Knute and Gilbert, by her first marriage, and to this second union 
nine children were born, Carl, Jergenna, John, Alfred, Samuel, Julius, Gena, 
Lena and Lettie. 



380 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Samuel Paulson was about six years old when his parents came to this 
country from Norway in 1862 and he was reared on the homestead farm 
in Brown county, this state, receiving his education in the district school in 
the neighborhood of his home, and proving a valuable assistant to his father 
in the work of developing and improving the farm. In 1885 he married 
and immediately afterward settled on the farm on which he now lives, over 
the county line from his old home and within sight of the latter, and there 
he has lived ever since, long having been regarded as one of the most sub- 
stantial farmers in that section of Watonwan county. Mr. Paulson has an 
excellent farm of two hundred and twenty acres, well improved and profit- 
ably cultivated, and he and his family are very pleasantly situated. Upon 
taking possession of the farm he planted many trees, cottonwood, willow, 
box-elder and ash, which now add wonderfully to the attractiveness of the 
place. In 1902 Mr. Paulson built his present house and some years before, 
in 1898, had built a commodious barn. The other farm buildings are in 
keeping with the same and all bespeak the progressive methods of the owner. 

In December, 1885, Samuel Paulson was united in marriage to Ida 
Johnson, who was born in Norway, daughter of Christopher Johnson and 
wife, who became pioneers of Brown county, this state, and to this union 
eight children have been born, Christine, Carl, Emma, Sigward, Tolef, 
Joseph, Lillian and Kenneth. The Paulsons are earnest members of the 
Lutheran church and take an active interest in all local good works and in 
the general social activities of their neighborhood. 



OLSOX & DEGONDA. 



There were few better-known firm names in the bustling business life 
of the thriving little city of St. James than that of Olson & DeGonda, former 
proprietors of the leading restaurant in that city. Hilmer J. Olson and 
Anthony P. DeGonda, both energetic and enterprising young men, conducted 
for the benefit of the people of St. James and the surrounding country an 
up-to-date and well-equipped eating place, which kept open night and day, 
and in addition to which they carried a full line of confectionery and cigars 
and maintained a first-class soda-water fountain. They are brothers-in-law, 
Mr. Olson having married a sister of Mr. DeGonda, and succeeded to the 
restaurant business established in St. James by the latter's father, John C. 
DeGonda, who now again owns the business. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 381 

Hilmer J. Olson was born at St. Paul, this state, July 21, 1890, son 
of John W. and Caroline (Johnson) Olson, both natives of Sweden, the 
former born in i860 and the latter in 1859, who came to this country in 
1887, locating at St. Paul, where Mr. Olson has ever since been employed 
as yardmaster for the St. Paul Flour and Feed Company. John W. Olson 
and wife are the parents of five children, Hilmer J., Frank, Rudolph, Harry 
and Russell. Hilmer J. Olson obtained his schooling in the public schools 
of St. Paul and in 191 1 went to Duluth, where for two years he was engaged 
as weighmaster for the Duluth & Iron Range Railroad Company. Ffe then 
went to St. James, where he began working in the restaurant of John C. 
DeGonda, whose daughter, Anna, he married in June of that year, and was 
thus engaged until in July. IQ14, when he and his brother-in-law, Anthony 
P. DeGonda bought the restaurant from the elder DeGonda and conducted 
same under the firm name of Olson & DeGonda. On June 25, 1913, Hil- 
mer J. Olson was united in marriage to Anna DeGonda, sister of his busi- 
ness partner, and to this union one child has been born, a son, Donald R., 
born on August 27, 1915. Mr. and Mrs. Olson are members of the Cath- 
olic church and take a proper interest in parish affairs. 

Anthony P. DeGonda is a native son of Minnesota, born in LeSueur 
county, April 3, 1895, son °*" J onn C. and Mary DeGonda, both natives of 
the republic of Switzerland, the former born in i860 and the latter of 1869, 
who are now living at St. James. John C. DeGonda was but six years of 
age when he came to the United States with his widowed mother, Mrs. 
Mary (Muckley) DeGonda, in 1866, his father having died in the old 
country in 1865. Mrs. DeGonda established her home in LeSueur county, 
this state, and there spent the rest of her life, her death occurring in 1890. 
John C. DeGonda was reared in that county and grew up to the life of the 
farm, becoming a farmer by occupation and thus continued until he came 
to this part of the state in 1900 and settled at Madelia, where he remained 
until his removal in 19 12 to St. James, where he engaged in the restaurant 
business and was thus engaged until he sold his place to Olson & DeGonda, 
in July, 1914. He and his wife are members of the Catholic church and 
their children have been reared in that faith. There are four of these chil- 
dren, Anna M., who married Hilmer J. Olson; Mamie, who married Fred 
Miller; Anthony P. and Louise. Anthony P. DeGonda was about five years 
old when his parents moved to Madelia and there he received his education 
and in St. Mary's Seminary at Winona, Minnesota. Upon removing to 
St. James in 1912 he became actively associated with his father in the 



382 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

restaurant business and has been thus engaged ever since, with a pro- 
prietory interest since July, 19 14, when he and Mr. Olson assumed the 
ownership, which they subsequently passed over to the present owner, J. C. 
DeGonda. 



PERRY M. JENCKS. 



Farmers as a class are intelligent, industrious and economical, and many 
of them are men of good business judgment. Perry M. Jencks, one of the 
successful farmers of Great Bend township, Cottonwood county, was born 
at Evansville, Wisconsin, November 5, 1873. He is a son of Monroe and 
Ella (Martin) Jencks, natives of New York state and Wisconsin, respectively. 
The father came to Wisconsin when young, married there and spent the rest 
of his life on a farm in that state and in Iowa, dying in the latter state. 
His widow now resides in Windom, Minnesota. Eleven children were born 
to these parents, named as follow: Eva, Sidney, who died when young; 
Ida, Perry, Orlo, Warren, Rosa, who died young; Ira, Louis, Cyril and 
Florence. 

Perry M. Jencks grew up on the home farm in Wisconsin and there 
he received a common-school education. He began farming for himself in 
Iowa, to which state he moved with his parents. In the fall of 1900 he 
came to Cottonwood county, Minnesota, and purchased his present farm in 
Great Bend township, and here he has since made his home. The place 
consists of eighty acres. He has made many improvements here, putting 
up a,ll the buildings, except the dwelling. The place is known as "Rose Bud 
Dairy Farm." In connection with general farming he conducts a dairy, 
milking on an average, ten cows; also, he raises full-blood Duroc-Jersey hogs 
and Shorthorn cattle. 

Mr. Jencks was married in October, 1894, to Nettie Wheaton, of Iowa, 
a daughter of George A. Wheaton and wife. To this union four children 
have been born, namely: Maude, Hazel, an infant, who died, and Opal. 

Politically, Mr. Jencks is a Republican. He has served as a member 
of the district school board for some time, being still a member of the same, 
and he was formerly road overseer here. Fraternally, he belongs to the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Modern Woodmen of America, 
and he and his wife are both members of the Rebekahs and the Royal Neigh- 
bors. They belong to the Methodist Episcopal church. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 383 

WILLIAM C. BURTON. 

William C. Burton, farmer of Great Bend township, Cottonwood 
county, is of that large class of citizens who take delight in nature and cares 
little for the metropolis. He was born on the farm on which he still resides, 
May, 1873, an( l i s a son °f J onn O. and Mary J. (Rank) Burton. They 
were both natives of Indiana, the mother born near Rochester and the father 
in the southern part of the state. He was a soldier in the Civil War, after 
which he went to Rice county, Minnesota, where he spent about one year, 
then came to Cottonwood county, about 1869, and homesteaded one hun- 
dred and sixty acres, a part of the place on which his son William C, still 
lives on. John O. Burton developed a good farm and lived here until the 
spring of 1881, when he went to Duluth and engaged in railroad work until 
1900. He was a locomotive engineer, but he finally left the road and turned 
his attention to farming again. Returning to Indiana, he died there in 1909. 
His wife preceded him to the grave in November, 1895, in Duluth. Their 
family consisted of four children, namely: William C, Omer E., who is 
a locomotive engineer; A. Jay, also a locomotive engineer, was killed in 
a wreck, and Frank A., who is division storekeeper of the Northern Pacific 
railroad, and lives in Jamestown, North Dakota. John O. Burton, the 
father, owned one-half section of land in one body. He was a member 
of the Episcopal church. 

William C. Burton was educated in the public schools of Cottonwood 
county and the city of Duluth. After finishing the grades he attended a 
business college in Duluth, then went into railroad service and was a clerk 
in the offices of the Northern Pacific at Duluth for eight years, and for 
twelve years was foreman of the car shops there, his long retention indi- 
cating that his services were satisfactory in both capacities. He returned 
to the old homestead in Cottonwood county in 1914 and has since success- 
fully operated five hundred and sixty acres, carrying on general farming 
and stock raising on an extensive scale. 

Mr. Burton was married on August 9, 1899, to Grace M. Fish of 
Duluth, a daughter of Francis A. and Elizabeth Fish, and to this union 
four children have been born, namely: John O., Francis F., William C, 
Jr., and Grace Anna. 

Mr. Burton is a member of the Episcopal church, and he belongs to 
the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Royal Arcanum, and the Knights 
of the Maccabees. 



384 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

U. H. PALMER. 

U. H. Palmer, for many years a prominent farmer of Watonwan 
county, now living in retirement in St. James, was born in Broom county, 
New York, May 2, 1845, son °f Urban and Catherine (Boomhour) Pal- 
mer, both natives of the state of New York, his birth occurring in 1808, 
and she was born on July 18, 1809. They grew up and were married in 
their native state, and in 1848 came west, locating in Green Lake county, 
Wisconsin. The father was a physician in his earlier career, but in later 
life was a farmer. He removed from Wisconsin to Iowa, thence to South 
Dakota, and finally to Mankato, Minnesota, where his death occurred on 
December 28. 1890. He was a soldier in the Civil War for one year, 
enlisting in February, 1862, in Company G, Fifth Regiment, Wisconsin 
Volunteer Infantry. The mother of the subject of this sketch died in early 
life, February 4, 1868. 

U. H. Palmer was four years old when his parents brought him to 
Wisconsin. He was educated in the public schools. In February, 1864, 
he enlisted in Company H, Eighteenth Regiment. Wisconsin Volunteer 
Infantry, in which he served gallantly until the close of the war. He was 
in the battles of Altoona Pass, Georgia; Ft. McAllister, near Savannah, and 
others. His regiment was a part of the Second Division, Fifteenth Army 
Corps. He was with Sherman on his march from Atlanta to the sea. At 
Altoona Pass, Georgia, his clothing was literally shot off, thirteen bullets 
having cut through his clothes, also had the rim of his hat shot off. 

After the war, when he had been honorably discharged and mustered out, 
Mr. Palmer returned to Wisconsin, and in 1873 moved to Olmstead county, 
Minnesota, where he took charge of a farm of one thousand acres, which 
he managed for three years, then came to Janesville, this state, where he 
took charge of the DeGraff farm of two thousand and two hundred acres, 
operating it for five years. In 1882 he accepted a similar position in 
Watonwan county, managing the St. James stock farm of sixteen hundred 
acres. Later he bought one hundred and sixty acres in St. James town- 
ship, which he sold and bought two hundred and forty acres in South 
Branch township, then bought one hundred and twenty-seven acres adjoin- 
ing St. James on the east. He has since sold both these farms, also buying 
and selling other lands, but it is now living retired from active life. 

Politically, Mr. Palmer is an independent voter, and he never aspired 
to public office. Fraternally, he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd 




MR. AND MRS. U. H. PALMER. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 385 

Fellows, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is also a member 
of the Grand Army of the Republic. 

Mr. Palmer was married in Berlin, Wisconsin, in 1868, to Anna E. 
Eastman, of that place, and to this union seven children were born, named 
as follow: Mary M., Chester A., Margaret, Clarice E., Cassius (deceased), 
Maud and Clara. Mr. Palmer married in 1893 for his second wife, Ella 
Lowe, of Boonville, Missouri. This union has been without issue. 

Mr. Palmer is one of a family of seven children, namely: Mary E., 
born on October 3, 1836: Julia E., July 23, 1838; Franklin G., September 
19, 1840; Elizabeth J., March 28, 1843; U. H., of this sketch; Emily M., 
October 10, 1848, died in 1882; Elbert M., February 27, 1853, died on 
December 7, 1908. 



FRED H. KLARAS. 



The wanderlust, like a siren, calls to every youth to forsake his ances- 
tral hills and halls and go out in quest of a better country. Many have 
heeded the summons to their advantage. In such a state as Minnesota the 
young man is fortunate who has the sagacity to remain at home. Fred H. 
Klaras, proprietor of the bottling works at St. James, Watonwan county, 
has remained within the boundaries of his native state, and is now well 
established in business. 

Mr. Klaras was born in Scott county, Minnesota, June 10, 1874. He is 
a son of Christopher and Katherine (Schmellen) Klaras, both natives of 
Germany, in which country they spent their earlier years, but finally immi- 
grated to the United States and located in Scott county, Minnesota, where 
they remained until 1876, when they removed to St. James, Watonwan 
county, and here established the permanent home of the family. The mother 
died here about 1886, but the father is still living, now retired, but for many 
years he was employed in the local roundhouse, in fact, most of his life 
has been spent in railroad sendee. His family consists of the following 
children: Matthew, Nicholas, Fred H., Lena, Gertrude, and Mary. 

Fred H. Klaras received his education in the schools of St. James, his 
parents removing with him here when he was two years old. When start- 
ing out in life for himself he worked about one and one-half years for 
Joseph J. Sperl in the bottling works at St. James; then, having learned 
the various details of this business, he bought out his employer and has 
(25a) 



386 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

since operated the plant with gratifying results, enlarging the business from 
time to time, until it has reached large proportions. His plant is well equip- 
ped with up-to-date appliances and his products find a ready market. He 
built his present plant, which is located just south of St. James on the east- 
ern outskirts, in 1901. It was formerly within the city limits. He manu- 
factures all kinds of temperance beverages and his plant is known as the 
St. James Bottling Works. As a side line he is agent for Maxwell and 
Jeffery automobiles. 

Mr. Klaras was married in June, 1899, to Margaret Zender, and their 
union has resulted in the birth of the following children : Leona, Virginia, 
Francis, Lucenia, Angella, Andrew, Regis, and Frederick, Jr. 

Mr. Klaras and family are members of the Catholic church and he 
is affiliated with the Foresters. 



DAVID A. NICKEL. 



David A. Nickel is a native of southern Russia, where he was born, 
March 11, 1873. He is a son of Abraham Nickel, who was twice married, 
first to Helen Bowman, second to Maria Ewert, all natives of southern 
Russia. Abraham Nickel came to America in 1877 and located on a farm 
near Mountain Lake, Watonwan county, Minnesota. He rented a farm 
for about nine years and then bought one hundred and sixty acres in Odi 
township, Watonwan county, where he made his home for the rest of his 
life. In addition to farming he worked at the carpenter's trade during his 
residence here. He died on February 26, 1869. His second wife is still 
living. 

Helen (Bowman) Nickel, first wife of Abraham Nickel, was the mother 
of two children : Helen and Abraham. After her death Mr. Nickel mar- 
ried Maria Ewert, a sister of David Ewert. whose personal sketch appears 
in another place in this volume. Maria (Ewert) Nickel is the mother of 
six children: David A., subject of this sketch; William, Jacob, Bernard, 
Mary and Henry. 

David A. Nickel was educated in the public schools of Odin township, 
Watonwan county. At the age of fifteen years he found employment in 
an elevator in Bingham Lake, operated by Ewert Brothers, and worked at 
this place for some time at ten dollars a month. In 1896 he took a position 
with the Hubert & Palmer Elevator Company, at Bingham Lake, at a salary 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 387 

of forty-five dollars a month, and continued in that position for about seven 
years. In July, 1903, he came to Butterfield and took a position as manager 
of the Farmers' elevator and has been thus engaged since that time. 

In 1899 David A. Nickel and Ann Hiebert were united in marriage. 
.Mrs. Nickel is the daughter of D. J. Hiebert, of Bingham Lake. She is 
the mother of four children: Pearl, Elizabeth, Ruby and Ethel. Mr. 
and Mrs. Nickel are members of the Mennonite church. Politically, Mr. 
Nickel is a Republican. He has served as president of the village council 
of Bingham Lake for four years, and a recorder of the village of Butter- 
field for two vears. 



OLE L. CHRISTENSON. 

The time has arrived when intensive and diversified farming is a neces- 
sity. The farmer must now look more to soil fertility; breed better and 
more live stock. One of the intelligent farmers of Cottonwood county, 
who realizes that he must employ different methods in his vocation to those 
employed by former generations, is Ole L. Christenson, who was born in 
Denmark, May 14, 1856. and is a son of Godfrey Christenson and wife, 
natives of Denmark, where they grew up and were married. They brought 
their family to America about 1881, locating in Iowa. 

Ole L. Christenson spent his boyhood in his native land, and there 
attended the common schools. He accompanied his parents to the United 
States when about twenty-five years of age. He engaged in farm work in 
Iowa until 1904 when he came to Cottonwood county, Minnesota, locating 
in section 28, Great Bend township, on a farm of three hundred and twenty 
acres, which he still owns. He has added many modern improvements, has 
enhanced the fertility of the soil and is carrying on general farming and 
stock raising on an extensive scale, making a specialty of raising a good 
grade of Shorthorn cattle and Duroc- Jersey hogs. He has a pleasant home 
and numerous convenient outbuildings. Everything about his place denotes 
thrift and good management. 

Mr. Christenson was married in 1886, to Nettie Larson, and to them 
the following children have been born : Lawrence, Millie, Orvin, Iva, Earl, 
Fred and Bessie. 

Politically, Mr. Christenson is a Republican. He has never been very 
active in public affairs, and has not sought orifice; however, he has served as 
road overseer. He is a member of the Lutheran church. 



388 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

MARTIN HENDERSON. 

It was a half century ago that the Henderson family arrived in Waton- 
wan county, which was then sparsely settled and little improved, and from 
that pioneer day to the present time the name has been well known and has 
stood for good citizenship in every respect. 

Martin Henderson, a successful farmer of Long Lake township, 
formerly spelled his name Hendrickson, but when he filed on his homestead 
here, the clerk entered the name on the records as Henderson, which name 
he has since adopted. He was born in Sweden, December 3, 1848, and is 
a son of Hendrick and Martha (Anderson) Hendrickson, natives of Sweden 
and Norway, respectively. They came to America in 1852 and located first 
in Muskego, Wisconsin, where they spent one winter, then moved to Dane 
county, that state, for one year, then moved to Vernon county, the same 
state, where they bought a farm and lived until 1866, when they came to 
Watonwan county, Minnesota, arriving on July 19 on the banks of Kansas 
lake, locating on the farm where their son, Martin, still lives. They were 
the first settlers here; however, other families came later that year. The 
father of the subject of this sketch pre-empted one hundred and twenty- 
five acres, also bought fifty acres of railroad land. Here he worked hard 
and had a good farm and a comfortable home, dying on the place just thirty 
years to a day from the time he reached the land which he selected for his 
future home. His wife died on June 19 of the following year, at the home 
of her daughter, Mrs. Helen Erickson, in Coon Valley, Vernon county, 
Wisconsin. To these parents the following children were born : Helena, 
who is deceased; Olea, who is deceased; Martin, of this sketch; Anna, Kate 
and Henry. The father of these children helped organize the Kansas Lake 
Lutheran church, which was effected in his log cabin home. He was an 
advocate of a free church, not connected with a larger organization. 

Martin Henderson grew up on the home farm and assisted his father 
with the work of the same when a boy. He received excellent educational 
advantages for those early days, having attended the public schools of Wis- 
consin and Minnesota and the Curtis Business College of Minneapolis. For 
fifteen years he was a railroad grading contractor, his first work being in 
Canada in 1875, later working at various places. He then pre-empted one 
hundred and sixty acres in Mountain Lake township, Cottonwood county, 
but resided on it only long enough to prove it up. He began the active 
operation of his father's farm in 1892, and is now owner of two hundred 



/. 







COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 389 

and thirty acres of valuable and productive land, and his wife owns fifty- 
five acres nearby. He has kept the land well cultivated and well improved 
and erected good buildings or remodeled the old as his needs require. He 
carries on general farming and handles a good deal of live stock from year 
to year. He is also a stockholder in the Farmers elevator at St. James. 

Mr. Henderson was married on August 4, 1883, to Christian Erickson, 
who was born in Sweden, and is a daughter of Andrew and Kisa (Larson) 
Erickson, both natives of Sweden. He came to America in 1880, and she 
came in 1883. They lived for some time in Minneapolis, later moved to a 
farm in Watonwan county, Minnesota, in 1888. They are both deceased. 
Their family consisted of the following children: Christina, wife of Mr. 
Henderson; Matilda, wife of Oscar Pehrson, and Edwin, who died in 1910. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Henderson the following children have been born : 
Henry Walter, Matilda, who is the wife of Louis Boon; Marie and Arthur, 
the latter deceased; Philip. Ella, Rodger and Thomas. 

Politically, Mr. Henderson is Republican. He has never been very 
active in public affairs, nor cared for office. He and family are members 
of the Norwegian Lutheran church. 



O. C. LANDE. 



The elevator at Storden, Cottonwood county, is a paying proposition 
under the able management of O. C. Lande, who was attracted to this 
locality on account of its large production of grain, and here he has been 
contented to remain, fully appreciating the opportunities to be found here. 

Mr. Lande was born in Storey county, Iowa, March 4, 1877. He is a 
son of O. A. and Karen T. (Olson) Lande, both natives of Norway, in 
which county they spent their earlier years, attended school and were mar- 
ried. They immigrated to America in 1870, and located in Storey county, 
Iowa, where the father engaged in farming, later removing to Palo Alto 
county, Iowa, where he spent the rest of his life, dying some years ago. 
The mother is still living on the home place in that county. To these 
parents the following children were born : Olava, Andrew, Charles and 
subject, all of whom are. still living. 

O. C. Lande grew to manhood in Iowa, and there he received his edu- 
cation in the public schools and when old enough assisted his father with 
the work on the home farm. He started out in life for himself as a farmer, 



390 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

but later became a grain buyer at Graettinger, Iowa, where he remained 
two years, then, in 1904, came to Storden, Cottonwood county, Minne- 
sota, and became a grain buyer for the St. John's elevator, continuing in 
that capacity for about two years, then became associated with the Storden 
Grain Company, and continued buyer for the same until April 1, 191 6, with 
the exception of about a year, from the spring of 1912 to the spring of 
1 91 3, when he engaged in general mercantile pursuits at Storden, being 
a member of the firm of Lande & Jenson. 

Mr. Lande was married in 1901, to Christina Paulson, of Graettinger, 
Iowa. She is a daughter of K. M. Paulson and wife. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Lande one child has been born, Orval, now about two years old. 

Mr. Lande is a member of the Baptist church, and politically he is a 
Republican. About April 25, 1916, Mr. Lande acquired the ownership of 
an elevator, situated at the edge of Storden. 



ALBERT F. BIEL 



Albert F. Biel, well-known proprietor of the South Side Dairy at St. 
James, a well-kept place of one hundred and sixty acres at the very edge 
of that city, is a native of Iowa, born on March 22, 1872, son of Christian 
and Lena (Crambeer) Biel, natives of Germany, who were married in Iowa 
and who lived there until the summer of 1872, when they came to Minne- 
sota and settled in Fillmore county. 

Upon locating in Fillmore county, Christian Biel bought a farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres, which he presently sold and then bought another 
quarter section in the same county, to which he later added an additional 
quarter section and became a very successful farmer. His wife died in 
19 1 2, at the age of fifty-nine years, and he is now living retired at Cresco, 
Iowa, in his seventy-fifth year. He and his wife were the parents of eight 
children, of whom Albert F. was the second in order of birth, the others 
being Charles (deceased), Louis, Christian (deceased), John, Herman 
(deceased), Emil and Alvina. 

Albert F. Biel was an infant when his parents came to Minnesota and 
he was reared on the paternal farm in Fillmore county, obtaining his school- 
ing in the district school in the neighborhood of his home. When fourteen 
years of age he began working on his own account, on neighboring farms, 
and after awhile bought a well-drilling rig and for a couple of years was 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 39I 

engaged in drilling wells throughout his home county. He married in 1896 
and bought a quarter of a section of land in Fillmore county, where he lived 
for a couple of years, at the end of which time he disposed of his interest 
there and moved to Pipestone county, where he bought a quarter of a sec- 
tion of land and where he lived for eighteen months, after which he sold out 
there and moved over into South Dakota. He bought a farm of three hun- 
dred and twenty acres in the vicinity of Howard, that state, but shortly 
afterward sold the same and returned to Pipestone county, this state, where 
he bought another quarter of a section of land, on which he made his home 
for seven years. During this latter period he also bought another quarter 
section over the line in South Dakota, which tract he kept for three years. 
Mr. Biel then disposed of his interests in Pipestone county and moved to 
Mower county, where he bought a farm of three hundred and twenty acres, 
on which he made his home for four years, at the end of which time he sold 
out there and moved to St. James, in March, 1913, and bought his present 
place of one hundred and sixty acres at the southern edge of the city, where 
he ever since has made his home and where he and his family are very 
pleasantly and comfortably situated. Upon entering into possession of that 
place, Mr. Biel began to give special attention to the dairy department of his 
farming and the South Side Dairy now supplies a large part of the milk 
consumed by the people of St. James. In addition to his general farming 
and dairying operations, Mr. Biel has given considerable attention, at one 
time and another, to other forms of enterprise and during his residence in 
South Dakota was a director of the Farmers State Bank and of the Farm- 
ers' Elevator Company at Ward. He is a Republican and in various places 
has served as a member of the school board. He is a member of the Ger- 
man Lutheran church and has served as a member of the board of trustees 
of the same. 

Albert F. Biel has been twice married. It was in 1896, while living in 
Fillmore county, that he was united in marriage to Ida Erdman, of Wykoff, 
that county, and to that union two children were born, Clarence and Cora. 
The mother of these children died in 1900 and in 1901 Mr. Biel married 
Amanda Wendorf, also of Wykoff, daughter of Fred and Sophia Wendorf, 
natives of Germany, who came to the United States, settling in Wisconsin, 
whence they came to Minnesota and settled at Wykoff. Fred Wendorf, 
who is still living at Wykoff, in the seventy-sixth year of his age, one of 
the best-known and most influential bankers in that part of the state, was 
for twenty years postmaster of Wykoff. His wife died years ago. To 



39 2 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Mr. Bid's second marriage five children have been born, Fred, Estella, Irwin, 
Elmer and Luella. Mr. and Mrs. Biel take a warm interest in the general 
social and cultural affairs of the community and are helpful in promoting 
all measures designed to advance the common welfare hereabout. 



CARL S. KXUDSOX. 



One of the busy and widely known men of Cottonwood county is Carl 
S. Knudson of Westbrook. Unlike many of his contemporaries he has 
found opportunities right at home good enough and has not sought his for- 
tune in distant climes. He was born on the old homestead, one mile north 
of Westbrook, August 3, 1877. He is a son of Erick and Mary (Sampson) 
Knudson, both natives of Xorway, from which county they came to America 
in about 1870, locating in Jackson county, Minnesota, where they spent a 
few years; then moved to Cottonwood county and took up a homestead 
near Westbrook, on which they located permanently. The father broke and 
improved this one-fourth section into a valuable farm, experiencing the 
usual hardships and privations of life on the frontier. Erick Knudson 
helped shovel snow many times from the front of stalled trains near Win- 
dom, in the early days. He finally retired from active life and located in 
Westbrook, where he and his wife both died about two years later. 

At the time of his death Erick Knudson owned about three hundred 
and twenty acres in his home place and in all, six hundred and forty acres. 
His family consisted of nine children, six sons and three daughters, namelv: 
Hilda, who married Adolph Peterson, Carl S., the subject of this sketch; 
Elmer E., Melvin, Selma, who married Bert Johnson; Emma, who married 
Albert Kleven ; Clarence, William and Arthur, all of whom are living. The 
paternal grandparents lived and died in Xorway, the grandfather owning a 
saw-mill, also probably engaged in farming. The maternal grandparents, 
Samuel Sampson and wife, also natives of Xorway, came to America with 
the parents of the subject of this sketch, living in Jackson county, later 
moving to Westbrook township, Cottonwood county and made their home 
near Erick Knudson and wife, building a house on the farm there. Their 
children were named as follow : Mary, John and Samuel, all now deceased. 
Samuel Sampson is still living, but his wife is deceased. 

Carl S. Knudson grew up on the home farm and attended the early- 
day district schools. About 1904 he took charge of the "Rose Hill" farm, 




CARL S. KNUDSON. 



TH€ HEW YOF.K 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 1 



ASTOR, LBN»X 
TILDEN FOUTSDATIO 



H*. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 393 

which he operated until one year after his father's death. Upon the death 
of the father he bought out the other heirs, but sold the place one year 
later, in March, 1914, and located in the village of Westbrook, becoming 
manager of the Westbrook Shipping Association, which position he still 
holds. He has also been president of the Farmers' elevator and is now 
director of the same; also a director of the Farmers' Co-operative store, 
and the Citizens State Bank. He has been very successful in a business way 
and is one of the enterprising citizens of Westbrook. He is an active mem- 
ber of the Lutheran church. 

Mr. Knudson was married in 1904, to Julia Hanson, a daughter of H. 
C. Hanson and wife, natives of Norway. This union resulted in the birth 
of one child, Irene Knudson, born on March 28, 1905. The wife and 
mother passed away on March 11, 1908. She was a faithful member of the 
Lutheran church, a devoted and loyal wife and a loving mother, and was 
mourned by her many friends and relatives. 

Mr. Knudson was married for the second time on Januarv 9, 19 12, to 
Lena Rupp. daughter of Fred Rupp and wife, of Rose Hill township, and to 
this union have been born two girls and one boy, Lila, born on November 
9, 1912; Frances, November 6, 1913, and Eric, June 4, 1915. 



JOHN C. WEST. 



John C. West, a prominent farmer of South Branch township and a 
native of Minnesota, was born on February /, 1869, the son of Elijah Syl- 
vester and Elizabeth (Reynolds) West. 

Elijah West and wife after their marriage, settled on one hundred and 
sixty acres in section 12. This was what is known as a tree claim. After 
the death of the father, in the soldiers home hospital, in California, the 
mother added another one hundred and sixty acres to the farm. She now 
makes this her home. Until John C. was thirteen years of age the family 
lived in a sod house. To Elijah and Elizabeth West was born the following 
children : Frank, deceased ; Milo of Edon, Montana ; Helen Augusta, 
deceased; Warren, deceased; Elta, of Portland, Oregon, and John C. 

John C. West grew to manhood on the home farm and was educated 
in the district school. His educational advantages were limited, as he could 
attend school but three months in the year. 

On September 30, 1891, John C. West was married to Jennie Shilleto, 



394 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

who was born in Minnesota on December 27, 1868. After the marriage, 
the young couple came to the farm, where they now reside, for their wedding 
supper. Mr. West had built the house before the marriage and had planted 
many trees on his farm of one hundred and twenty acres. 

John C. West and wife are the parents of the following children: John, 
Jr., who married Iva Harlow and is an instructor in the University of Minne- 
sota; Lila; Warren and David Benjamin; the latter is deceased. 

John C. W r est is a progressive and successful farmer, and devotes much 
time to the raising of Holstein and Oxford cattle and Poland China hogs. 
His farm is in a high state of cultivation and his cattle and hogs are among 
the best. He knows what hard and thorough work means, having plowed 
when but nine years of age, ten acres on the homestead with an ox team. 

Mr. West has served his township for five years as assessor. Fra- 
ternally, he is a member of the United Workmen. Mrs. West is an active 
member of the Christian church. 



ANDREW C. HAMRE. 



Andrew C. Hamre, a substantial farmer of Madelia township, Waton- 
wan county, proprietor of a well-kept farm of fifty-eight acres, situated 
three miles north and one mile east of the city of Madelia, is a native son 
of Minnesota, born on a pioneer farm in the near vicinity of Emerald town- 
ship, in Faribault county, this state, son of Christopher and Anna (Erick- 
son) Hamre, natives of Norway, the latter of whom is now deceased. 

Christopher Hamre came to the United States in his young manhood 
and settled on a farm near the city of Madison, in Wisconsin, later coming 
to Minnesota and settling on a farm in Faribault county, where he eventually 
became the owner of a farm of four hundred and eighty acres and was 
regarded as one of the most substantial farmers of that neighborhood. He 
is now living comfortably retired in the city of Blue Earth, in Faribault 
county. To him and his wife were born four children, of whom Andrew 
C. was the last-born, the others being Sylvia, Erick and Christopher. 

Andrew C. Hamre was reared on the homestead farm of his parents in 
Faribault county and received his schooling in the district schools of that 
neighborhood. He grew up to the life of the farm and has ever been a 
farmer. In 1909 he locat'ed on the farm he now owns in Madelia township, 
Watonwan county, and where he ever since has lived and where he and his 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 395 

family are very pleasantly situated. The farm was partly improved when 
he bought it, the improvements including a substantial dwelling house. In 
1910 Mr. Hamre added to the improvements by the erection of a modern 
barn and has otherwise improved the place and brought it to its present 
well-kept condition. He follows modern methods of farming and is looked 
upon as one of the substantial farmers of his neighborhood. 

Mr. Hamre married April 30, 1900, Ingrie Fedje, to which union three 
children have been born, Christopher, Eunice and Sylvia. Mr. and Mrs. 
Hamre are members of the Lutheran church and take a proper part in the 
affairs of the same, as well as in the general good works of the community 
in which they live. 



BEN HOVDEN. 



Ren Hovden, a well-known and progressive farmer, stockman and 
dairyman, of Rosendale township, Watonwan county, proprietor of a fine 
farm of two hundred acres in the vicinity of St. James and for years 
actively identified with the rapidly developing interests of that community, 
is a native of Norway, born on January 26, 1871, but has been a resident 
of Minnesota ever since he was twenty-one years old. His parents died 
when he was quite young and since he was ten years old he practically has 
made his own way in the world. Industry, thrift and energy have secured 
their customary reward in his case and he has scored a substantial success, 
long having been looked upon as one of the leading farmers and stockmen 
in the part of the county in which he lives. 

When he was twenty-one years of age, early in 1892, Ben Hovden 
came to the United States and located at Minneapolis, where he remained 
for eight months, at the end of which time, in the fall of that same year, he 
came to this part of the state and located in Watonwan county, which has 
since been his place of residence. He married the year after coming here 
and in 1902 bought a forty-acre tract in section 9 of Rosendale township, 
where he established his home and where he ever since has lived. As he 
prospered in his farming operations, Mr. Hovden has added to his holdings 
until. now he is the owner of a fine farm of two hundred acres in sections 
9 and 10, all of which is well-improved and profitably cultivated. In addi- 
tion to his general farming, Mr. Hovden has given considerable attention 
to the raising of high-grade live stock, with particular attention to Holstein 
cattle and Poland China swine. His operations are carried on along mod- 



396 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

ern lines and his farm equipment is as good as any. His big, modern barn 
is lighted by electricity and the other outfittings are in keeping with the 
up-to-date spirit in which the place is conducted. Mr. Hovden's pure-bred 
dairy herd is his special pride and he does an extensive dairy business, the 
cream from the Hovden farm being in large demand by customers in the 
nearby city of St. James. Mr. Hovden is a Democrat and gives close atten- 
tion to local civic affairs. He is a member of the township board and for 
nine or ten years has been a member of the school board in his district. 

On December 5, 1893, Ben Hovden was united in marriage to Amelia 
Olson, who was born in Rosendale township, Watonwan county, January 
12, 1873, daughter of Lars and Elizabeth Olson, who came to Minnesota 
from Norway in 1869 and settled in Watonwan county, being among the 
early settlers in this part of the state. Lars Olson homesteaded a farm in 
section 10, Rosendale township, and there established his home, becoming 
one of the substantial and influential farmers of that part of the county. In 
his declining years he retired from the farm and moved to St. James, where 
he spent his last days, his death occurring on March ] 1, 1909, he then being 
eighty-four years of age. His widow, who was born on March 12, 1840, 
is still living at St. James. To Mr. and Mrs. Hovden six children have 
been born, Carl, Emma, George, Alfred, Arthur and Ervin, all of whom are 
living. The Hovlands are members of the Lutheran church, in the various 
beneficences of which they take a warm interest, Mr. Hovden being clerk 
of the church, and they likewise give proper attention to all other neighbor- 
hood good works. 



ANDREW H. ANDERSON. 

Among the Danes who have cast their lot with the people of Cotton- 
wood county is the Anderson family — Andrew H., who is engaged in mer- 
cantile pursuits in Storden and his father, the late Hans Anderson, who died 
about twenty-seven years ago, and who was a prosperous farmer. 

Andrew H. Anderson was born in Denmark, April 27, 1864, and is a 
son of Hans and Mary (Nelson) Anderson, both natives of Denmark where 
they grew up and were married. In 1865 the father came to America, and 
the mother followed with her son, Andrew H., in 1867. Hans Anderson 
located first at Muskingum, Michigan, where he worked as a laborer. The 
second year sickness overtook him, which incapacitated him for a long time. 
Upon his recovery he found he had spent all his earnings, but he went to 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 397 

work again and continued as a laborer until 1870. He was at that time 
at Rochester, Minnesota, and had a capital of about five hundred and fifty 
dollars, and he decided to go farther west. He bought a team of oxen and 
a new wagon. Leaving his wife and child at Byron, near Rochester, he 
made the overland trip to Cottonwood county, taking up a homestead two 
miles north of the present site of Storden, and he and his brother, Rasmus 
Anderson, constructed a dugout, eighteen by eighteen feet on the land of 
the latter, which joined that of Hans. The shack was covered with willows 
and clay. There was one small window, and in this small hut two families 
spent the following winter. The following spring Hans Anderson built a 
rude home on his own land. It was a sod house. He went to work with 
a will and prospered with advancing years, developed a good farm and 
finally built a large and comfortable home. He accumulated one hundred 
and sixty acres, his widow later acquiring eighty more acres. His estate 
sold in 19 14 for the sum of about eighteen thousand dollars. This is an 
instance of what courage and industry can accomplish when put to the test. 
Mr. Anderson endured many hardships and privations, but did not permit 
them to overwhelm him. On the morning of the great storm which visited 
Cottonwood county, he and his brother Rasmus went to the timber to work. 
The storm started as they reached the edge of the timber after loading on 
their wav back home, and made their way to the home of Joe Christianson, 
which was on the western edge of the timber. Thev had two yoke of oxen, 
only one of which could be accommodated in their neighbor's barn, so they 
took the other yoke to a barn across the timber. With difficulty the three 
men got the oxen through the timber. The snow storm was so intense they 
could not see each other, depending on their voices to keep together, Mr. 
Christianson going ahead and locating a way out by the trees which he had 
marked. The home of Rasmus Anderson was completely snowed under; 
Mrs. Rasmus Anderson not being able to obtain wood, was compelled to saw 
up her chairs and table for fuel. It was three days before the Anderson 
brothers could return home. They had to search diligently for the Rasmus 
Anderson home, as it was entirely covered up in snow, only the stove-pipe 
showing. 

Hans Anderson was influential in the affairs of his community. He 
was a member of the township board, also of the school board and was a 
trustee of the Lutheran church. His death occurred in 1887. His widow 
remained on the place until 1903. Her death occurred in the state of Wash- 
ington in 191 1 at an advanced age. To these parents seven children were 
born, namelv: Andrew H., Christina, now deceased, was the wife of Ole 



398 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Akerlund; Anna, who is the wife of William Bates and they live in Windom; 
Christian is deceased; Matilda is the wife of Peter J. Halverson, and they 
live in Wenachee, Washington; Petrena died when two years old; Henry 
A. is engaged in farming on land adjoining the old homestead, north of 
Storden. 

Andrew H. Anderson grew up on the home farm and there he worked 
hard when a boy. He went to school only seven months in all. In the fall 
of 1887 he started a small grocery in Lamberton, Minnesota, remaining 
there until 1906, in which year he came to Storden, where he has since been 
engaged in general mercantile pursuits. He has built up a very satisfactory 
trade with the town and surrounding country. He assisted in organizing 
the Farmers State Bank of Storden in December, 19 15, and since has been 
vice-president of the same. 

Mr. Anderson was married in 1887. to Paulina Wagner of Sandburn, 
Redwood county, this state. She is a native of Pennsylvania and a daugh- 
ter of George L. Wagner and wife. Seven children have been born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Anderson, of whom three are now living, namely: Wilhelmina, 
Harry E., Elaine Lucile. 

Politically, he is a Republican. He has been a member of the local 
school board since coming to Storden, and has been treasurer of the same 
for two terms. While living at Lamberton he served as township clerk, 
also village clerk for many years. He is a member of the Ancient Order 
of United Workmen, and the Lutheran church. 



AUGUST E. PETERSON. 

It is a pleasure to be permitted to live on the old homestead, where 
cluster memories that are not to be found elsewhere. August E. Peterson 
has continued to reside on part of the old homestead in Long Lake town- 
ship, Watonwan county, which he has kept well cultivated and on which 
he has erected new buildings. He was born here on September 14, 1881. 
He is a son of John and Mary (Carlson) Peterson, both natives of Sweden, 
from which country they came to America in the early seventies. The 
father spent five years in St. James, Minnesota, working at various things. 
About 1878 he homesteaded eighty acres in Long Lake township, soon buy- 
ing eighty acres adjoining. He and his wife spent the rest of their lives 
on this farm. He was active in the Kansas Lake church and held offices 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 399 

in it. Their family consisted of the following children: Selma E., who is 
the wife of Ed Lindquist; August E., Julia, who lives in Watonwan county; 
Carl V., who is engaged in the lumber business at Finley, North Dakota; 
P. Edward and Victor C. are both seniors, members of the graduating class 
of 1916 at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota. 

August E. Peterson grew up on the home farm and received his edu- 
cation in the common schools of his community later taking a commercial 
course at Gustavus Adolphus College. After finishing his education he 
returned home and has since farmed eighty acres of the homestead. He 
has erected new buildings, which are modern and substantial and make 
many other important improvements. He operates forty acres additional 
nearby, and is a successful general farmer and stock raiser. 

Mr. Peterson was married in 191 1, to Ida M. Swenson, who was reared 
and educated in Watonwan county and Gustavus Adolphus College for 
four years. She is a daughter of A. D. Swenson and wife. To this union 
two children have been born, namely : Evangeline M. and Wendell Isidore. 

Mr. Peterson is president of the Long Lake Farmers Club. He is an 
active member of the Kansas Lake Swedish Lutheran church, of which 
he was formerly treasurer and trustee and is now a deacon. Politically, 
he is independent. 



JOHN A. ANDERSON. 



The late John A. Anderson was for many years one of the enterpris- 
ing farmers and highly esteemed citizens of Long Lake township, Waton- 
wan county. He was a man who tried to live up to the sublime precepts 
of the Golden Rule as he went through life. 

Mr. Anderson was born in Sweden about 1859. He came to America 
with his parents when a young man, his father entered a homestead, which 
he developed by hard work into a good farm, and on this place the widow 
of the subject of this sketch is now residing. About 1870 the family located 
here. John A. Anderson received a limited education in the common schools, 
and he assisted his father to reclaim the home farm from the raw prairie, 
and he remained on the place after his father's death. He managed well 
and- worked hard, and became the owner of one of the choice and well- 
improved farms of the township, consisting of two hundred and forty 
acres. He was known as one of the best general farmers and stock rais- 
ers in his community. 



400 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Mr. Anderson was married in 1884, to Caroline Swanson, who was 
born in Sweden, and is a daughter of John and Johanna (Anderson) Swan- 
son, both natives of Sweden, from which country they came to America in 
1870, first locating in Illinois, but a few months later moved to Mankato, 
Minnesota, where they spent one winter. In 1871 they came to Odin town- 
ship, Watonwan county, where Mr. Swanson took up a homestead of eighty 
acres, which he improved and on which he spent the rest of his life. His 
widow is now living in the town of Butterneld. He had one hundred and 
twenty acres at the time of his death. To Mr. and Mrs. Anderson nine 
children were born, namely: Lydia, Arthur, Theodore, Ernest, Alice, 
Elsie, Maynard, William, and Carl. They are all living. 

Mr. Anderson was an active member of Kansas Lake Swedish Lutheran 
church. His death occurred in January, 1901. Since then his sons have 
operated the home farm and they and their mother have improved the place 
generally, including the erection of a fine residence, which is neatly fur- 
nished. 



TOHN BISBEE. 



From the rugged Pine Tree state has come John Bisbee, one of the 
leading citizens and successful agriculturists of Madelia, Watonwan county. 
He was born in Oxford county, Maine, April 16, T839, and is a son of Jones 
and Rebecca (Robinson) Bisbee, both natives of Oxford county, Maine. 
John and Sarah (Pilbrook) Bisbee, the paternal grandparents, were also 
natives of that state, where they spent their lives on a farm. Charles Bis- 
bee, the great-grandfather, was a native of Massachusetts and a soldier in 
the Revolutionary War. He devoted his life to farming. The founder 
of the American branch of the family was Thomas Bisbee, who came from 
England about 1635 and established his home in Massachusetts. He was a 
large landowner in England and he bequeathed his property to his grand- 
children. He became a member of the Massachusetts Assembly. The 
maternal grandparents, Increase and Abbie (Parlin) Robinson, were both 
natives of Maine. He was a farmer and mill-owner. He purchased large 
tracts of land in Maine. He was of Scotch-Irish descent. The parents of 
the subject of this sketch grew to maturity in their native locality, there 
attended school and were married. The father devoted his active life to 
general farming, becoming one of the wealthiest men of his community. 



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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 401 

He was a man of influence and was highly respected. He was a Demo- 
crat all his life. His death occurred in 1875. 

John Bisbee was reared on the home farm and educated in the com- 
mon schools. He began teaching when eighteen years of age, continuing 
several terms. He went to Massachusetts, where he clerked in a store about 
one year, after which he spent the summer on a fishing expedition down the 
Gulf of St. Lawrence; then attended Auburn Academy, where he finished 
his education. He then accepted a position in a wholesale boot and shoe 
store in New York City, in which establishment he remained two and one- 
half years. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War he returned to his home 
in Maine, taught school and engaged in farming until 1865, when he came 
west and located at Garden City, Blue Earth county, Minnesota, where he 
bought land, also taught school for some time. He clerked in a general 
store four years, after which he came to Madelia, where he secured employ- 
ment in the store of Boynton & Cheeney, for four and one-half years. He 
then associated himself with Mathias Olson and opened a large general 
store, which they continued for twenty-five years, Mr. Bisbee finally selling 
out to his partner in 1891. 

The work that Mr. Bisbee considers the most important in his career 
is what he has done the past fifteen years, during which he has put forth his 
efforts to produce an apple especially adapted to Minnesota and the North- 
west, and he has become a noted horticulturist. He has developed a valu- 
able orchard of two thousand apple trees, well suited to this climate. Since 
leaving the store he has devoted his attention to horticulture and agricul- 
ture and has met with pronounced success all along the line. He has a 
commodious and modernly appointed home in the edge of the village of 
Madelia, where he owns a well-improved and valuable farm of two hundred 
acres. He also owns five hundred acres of valuable land about five miles 
from Madelia, all under excellent improvements. He has erected all the 
buildings on his home place, the land being entirely unimproved when he 
located on it about forty-two years ago. 

Mr. Bisbee was married on May 23, 1863, to Ardelia Small, of Wilton, 
Maine. She is a daughter of Jeremiah and Mary (Merrill) Small, natives 
of Maine, in which state they spent their lives on a farm. The following 
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bisbee, named as follows : Melvina 
F. married E. C. Warner, who is president of the Midland Linseed Oil Com- 
pany of Minneapolis; J. Oscar, who married Annie Tierney, of Madelia, 
runs a livery business at Madelia; Samuel S., who married Margarette 
(26a) 



402 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Turnem, has charge of refining and shipping in the Linseed Oil Company; 
Edgar C, who married Mattie Arnold, is vice-president of the Linseed Oil 
Company of Minneapolis; Albert J., who married Lulu Wiles, is head book- 
keeper for a threshing machine company in Minneapolis; Mabel A. married 
J. W. Palmer, farmer, Madelia township; Arthur L., who married Ethel 
Patterson, is traffic manager for the Linseed Oil Company of Minneapolis; 
Frank J., who married Marie Englebrecht, is a superintendent in the Lin- 
seed Oil Company of Minneapolis; Maurice S. assists his father in the 
management of his farm ; Elmer, who was graduated from the civil engineer- 
ing department of the University of Minnesota, is developing an old mine 
in California; Everett H. is assisting his father in the management of his 
farms; Carroll E. is also with his father on the home farm, and Ardelia, 
who married J. M. Lowe, superintendent of the New York Mill, property 
of the Linseed Oil Company of Minneapolis. 

Mr. Bisbee has lived to see and take part in the wonderful transforma- 
tion of the country about Madelia, whose interests he has ever at heart and 
sought to promote in every legitimate way. He is one of the influential and 
highly esteemed men of the county. He is a Mason, at Madelia, and he and 
family belong to the Presbyterian church. 



ISAAC D. SCHULTZ. 



Isaac D. Schultz, a substantial farmer of Midway township, Cotton- 
wood county, proprietor of a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in the 
vicinity of Mountain Lake, is a native of Russia, but has been a resident of 
this country since he was a small child and has witnessed the development 
of this section of Minnesota since pioneer days. He was born on a farm 
in southern Russia on April 16, 1872, son of David Schultz and wife, who, 
with their children, came to the United States in 1874, proceeding to South 
Dakota, whence, the next year they came over the line into Minnesota and 
settled in Cottonwood county, where they established their home and became 
useful and influential pioneers. In a sketch relating to David Schultz, pre- 
sented elsewhere in this volume, there are set out additional details regarding 
this pioneer family. 

Isaac D. Schultz was about two years old when his parents came to 
this country and he grew to manhood on the homestead farm of his father 
in Midway township, Cottonwood county. He attended both the public 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 403 

schools and the Mennonite school and early began farming on his own 
account. In 1900 he bought the southeast quarter of section 22 in Midway 
township and began to develop the same along up-to-date lines. Two years 
later he married and established his home on that place and there he has 
lived ever since, he and his family being very pleasantly and comfortably 
situated. He has a fine residence, a good barn and other farm buildings 
in keeping with the same and is looked upon as one of the progressive farm- 
ers of that neighborhood. Mr. Schultz is a Republican, but has never been 
a seeker after public office. He takes a warm interest, however, in the 
civic affairs of his community and is found among the promoters of such 
movements as are designed to advance the cause of good government here- 
about. 

On January 23, 1902, Isaac D. Schultz was united in marriage to Cor- 
nelia Peters, who was born in Cottonwood county on February 3, 1878, 
daughter of Cornelius and Lena Peters, both natives of southern Russia, 
who came to this country in 1873 and settled in Cottonwood county, becom- 
ing useful and influential pioneers of this section of Minnesota. Cornelius 
died in 1898 and his widow is still living . To Mr. and Mrs. Schultz four 
children have been born, namely: David, born on January 7, 1903; Lena, 
August 5, 1905; Albert, April 30, 1907, and Williard, February 21, 1910. 
Mr. and Mrs. Schultz are earnest members of the Mennonite church and 
take a warm interest in the various beneficences of the same, as well as in 
the general good work of their home community. 



H. C. FLITTER. 



One of the young business men of Lewisville, Watonwan county, who 
is succeeding by reason of his industry and fair dealings with his fellow- 
men is H. C. Flitter, hardware merchant. He was born in Waseca county, 
Minnesota, September 22, 1881, and is a son of Andrew Flitter, who is now 
living retired in Blue Earth county, this state. 

H. C. Flitter received his education in the public schools of his native 
community. He grew to manhood on the home farm, where he worked in 
the crops when he became of proper age, but not finding husbandry entirely 
to his liking, left the farm and clerked in various places until December 
12, 19 1 2, when, having saved his earnings and learned the various details 
of merchandising, he opened a hardware store in Lewisville, Minnesota, and 



404 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

has continued the business to the present time, with increasing success, 
enjoying a good trade with the surrounding country. He erected his pres- 
ent substantial and convenient brick building. He carries a large stock of 
general hardware and implements, and conducts his business without a 
partner. 

Mr. Flitter was married in 1903 to Ernestine Bergemann, of Blue 
Earth county, Minnesota, where she grew to womanhood and was edu- 
cated in the common schools. To this union five children have been born, 
namely: Gerhard, Lorin, Alma, Lillian, and Viola. The last named is 
deceased. 

Mr. Flitter is a member of the German Lutheran church, and politically, 
he is a Republican. 



CARL H. RUHBERG. 



The Danes have always been regarded as good citizens of the United 
States, being industrious, law-abiding and loyal. Many of them have 
selected Cottonwood and adjoining counties as the arena of their activities, 
and among these who deserve special mention in a work of the nature of 
the one in hand, is Carl H. Ruhberg, banker of Storden. 

Mr. Rhuberg was born in Denmark, October 19, 1865, and is a son of 
Peter A. and Mettie (Nelson) Ruhberg, natives of Germany and Denmark, 
respectively. These parents were reared and married in Europe, removing 
to America in 1868, locating in Iowa, but later came to Storden, Minnesota, 
where the father became a well-to-do and prominent citizen and where he 
is still living, now retired from active life. A complete sketch of these par- 
ents will be found on another page of this volume. 

Carl H. Rhuberg was the second of a family of nine children, the 
others being named as follow : Adolph, Rosa, who died, and the next child 
was also named Rosa as was also the third, the second to bear the name 
also dying in infancy; Mary, Albert, Elmer E., and Iva May. 

The subject of this sketch was three years old when he was brought to 
America, and here he grew to manhood and was educated in the public 
schools of Windom. He assisted his father with his farm work when he 
became old enough, continuing agricultural pursuits until he entered the 
general mercantile business at Windom. Subsequently, he was a salesman 
for a harvester company for some time, then clerked in the Hutton store in 
Windom. In 1904 he organized the First State Bank of Storden and became 
cashier of the same, which position he still holds to the entire satisfaction 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 405 

of the stockholders and the patrons of the bank; in fact, the success of this 
institution has been due in no small measure to his efforts. 

Mr. Ruhberg was married in October, 1890, to Caroline C. Jenson, of 
Storden, and to their union seven children have been born, namely: Mettie 
M., Maude I., Bessie H., Man D., George D., Pearl G., and Willis C. 

Mr. Ruhberg is a member of the Baptist church. He belongs to the 
Modern Woodmen of America and the Bankers Life Association and also 
the M. B. A. Politically, he is independent. 



E. I. LEONARD. 



E. I. Leonard, one of the prominent retired farmers, of Watonwan 
county, was born on October 17, 1850, in Marquette county, Wisconsin. He 
is the son of Ezra and Abigail (Seager) Leonard. Jonathan Leonard, the 
paternal grandfather of E. I. Leonard, was a native of Vermont and later 
settled in Marquette county, Wisconsin. The maternal grandfather, Julius 
Seager, was a native of a New England state and at an early date settled 
in Minnesota. 

Ezra Leonard, was born and educated in the state of New York, 
where he grew to manhood and was married to Abigail Seager. He later 
became a resident of Marquette county, Wisconsin, where he purchased one 
hundred and sixty acres of land and here he made his home until the time 
of his death, November, 1904. Mrs. Leonard died in 1908. To Ezra and 
Abigail Leonard was born the following children: Julia, deceased; Thomas, 
deceased; Susan, Julius, Amanda, deceased; Edward I., Charles, William, 
deceased; Laura, deceased; Ella and Sherman. 

E. I. Leonard was married on June 7, 1873, to Nancy Seager, the 
daughter of Charles and Mary (Scoville) Seager. Mrs. Leonard was born 
on October 26, 1851, at West Salem, Wisconsin, the first white child born 
in LaCrosse county. To this union the following children were born : 
Maud, who married Charles Sherman, of South Branch, Minnesota; LeRoy, 
a doctor in Redwood, Minnesota, who married Agnes Peterson; Millie is 
the wife of William Skelton, a farmer near Redwood. Maud attended high 
school at Madelia and St. James, taught four years previous to her mar- 
riage; LeRoy, after high school, graduated with honors from the College 
of Osteopathy at Des Moines, Iowa; Millie attended Madelia high school 
and Winona Normal, and taught school seven years previous to marriage. 

Julius Seager, the paternal grandfather of Nancy Leonard, was a promi- 



406 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

nent farmer of Wisconsin, where he died at an advanced age. Asa Scoville, 
the maternal grandfather, was a native of Nova Scotia. He later devoted 
his life to farming in Wisconsin. Charles Seager, the father of Nancy 
Leonard, was born in Massachusetts, and when Nancy was twelve years 
of age came to Minnesota, where the family remained for nine years. He 
returned to Wisconsin for a short time and later settled in Waseca comity, 
where he died in 1876. Mrs. Seager died in 1890. 

E. I. Leonard resides in Madelia, living on a property that he pur- 
chased thirteen years ago. His farm of two hundred and forty acres, that 
he bought thirty years ago, is situated in section 25, Antrim township. All 
the improvements on the places were made by Mr. Leonard. He served 
his township as supervisor for two years and was for a number of years 
a director of the schools. 

At the age of fifty-one, Ezra Leonard enlisted in the army and served 
for fourteen months, in the Civil War. His son Thomas served for three 
years and the son of Julius for five months, he having died of measles 
while in the service. 



AMELIUS E. WOODRUFF. 

Amelius E. Woodruff was born in Essex county, New York, July 26, 
1842, a son of Lyman L. Woodruff, who was born in New York City, and 
Laura (Lee) Woodruff, who was born in Essex county, New York state. 

Lyman L. Woodruff was a lumberman and handled wood, and was 
also connected with ore mining in New York state. He made his first trip 
West in 1861, coming to St. Paul, Minnesota, but only remaining for five 
months, when he returned to New York. Four years later, in 1865, he 
came again to St. Paul, this time bringing his family with him. , His first 
occupation after coming to Minnesota was manager of a stage line, with 
headquarters at Mankato. After two years in this business he located on a 
farm near St. Paul, where he lived the rest of his life. The children in this 
family were: William Wallace, Alonzo S., Harry, who died at the age of 
three years; Millard L., Amelius E., Alice A., Nellie E., Sarah, who died 
at the age of fourteen, and Millie. 

Amelius E. Woodruff was educated in the district schools of Essex 
county, New York, and worked during his boyhood years with his father 
in the lumber and mining business. He came West with his father, in 1865, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 407 

and was engaged for about four months driving the stage between Stillwater 
and Taylor's Falls, Minnesota. He then went on a farm at Meriam Park, 
St. Paul, and farmed for nine years; then conducted a farm for one year at 
Fridley Park, Minneapolis; following this he was employed on the railroad 
for two years. In 1875 ne ca- 1116 to Cottonwood county and conducted a 
farm in Mountain Lake township for fifteen years. In 1890 he came to 
Mountain Lake, built a store and started a general merchandising business, 
which he continued until 19 10, when he retired. For ten years he was con- 
nected with the Cottonwood County Bank, serving as director and vice- 
president of this institution. 

Mr. Woodruff was twice married, first to Lauretta Ware, daughter of 
Silas Ware and wife. His second marriage was to Rose Bawman. To this 
union four children were born: Harry E., Winnifred, who died at the age 
of three years; Seymour and Winnifred, who died when a child. The 
mother died on March 14, 1902. 

Mr. Woodruff is a Republican in politics. He is a member of the 
Presbyterian church. His fraternal affiliation is with the Masonic order, 
including the blue lodge, Royal Arch Chapter, and the Shriners, at St. 
Paul. 



NELS SIEM. 



Nels Siem, one of the prominent farmers of Long Lake township, was 
born in Norway on January 20, 1869, the son of Thomas and Carrie (Asper- 
hain) Siem. Thomas and Carrie Siem were natives of Norway, and grew 
to manhood and womanhood, in their native country, and were married 
there. In 1869 they came to the United States and settled for one year in 
Wisconsin. They then came to Minnesota, where they homesteaded eighty 
acres of land, in Long Lake township. The land was raw prairie when 
entered, but in time was developed into a well-improved and highly culti- 
vated tract. By hard work and industry the original farm was increased 
to two hundred and eighty acres, before the death of Mr. and Mrs, Siem. 
Mr. Seim assisted in the organization of the Long Lake and the Kansas 
Lake Lutheran churches. 

• To Thomas Siem and wife were born the following children: Ole; 
Nels; Ida; Henry; Sever, deceased; Lena; Tilda, deceased; Peter, deceased, 
and two who died in infancy. 

Nels Siem was educated in the schools of his township and has always 



408 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

lived here, with the exception of two years that he spent farming in Lac 
qui Parle county. He has resided on his present farm of three hundred and 
twenty acres since 1909. Here he is engaged in general farming and stock 
raising. 

In 1900 Nels Siem was married to Hilda Sarklend, the daughter of 
Peter Sarklend and wife. To them have been born the following children : 
Hilda, Harry, Emma, Eddie, Melvin, Esther, and Nelius. 

Mr. Siem and family are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church, 
of Long Lake township. 



MRS. ELIZABETH REBECCA WEST. 

Elizabeth Rebecca West, one of the prominent and successful pioneers 
of South Branch township, was born in the state of New York, being the 
daughter of Lyman and Abigail (Wooden) Reynolds. Thomas Reynolds, 
the grandfather of Mrs. West, was a native of Germany and came ot Penn- 
sylvania, where he engaged in farming, until his death. 

Lyman Reynolds was a man of education, and for a time taught arith- 
metic and ffeometrv, in a select school. He and his family came west when 
the daughter, Elizabeth, was but four years of age. They located in Illi- 
nois, where Mr. Reynolds purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land 
in Whiteside county. He later purchased another three hundred and twenty 
acres in Henry county and devoted himself to farming. 

Lyman Reynolds and wife were the parents of the following children: 
Mary, deceased ; Elizabeth Rebecca, Phoebe, deceased ; Thomas Jefferson, 
deceased; Ellen, deceased, and Benjamin Franklin. 

Elizabeth Rebecca Reynolds was married at the age of eighteen, in 
Henry county, Illinois, to Elijah Sylvester West. Mr. West died in the 
soldiers' home hospital, in California, where he had been for a few years, 
because of organic heart trouble. 

Elijah Sylvester West and Elizabeth Rebecca West were the parents 
of the following children : Frank, Milo, Augusta, Warren, Elta and John 
O. Frank is deceased. He was the father of the following children: 
Dolly, Lula and Alonzo M. Milo lives at Edon, Montana. He married 
Olive West and they have the following children : Frank, Elizabeth, named 
for the grandmother, and Helen. Augusta lives near St. Paul and is the 
wife of Dennis Newton. Warren is deceased. He was married to Etta 
Durham and to them were 'born the following children: Dennis, Alice, 



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COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 409 

Mammie and Ray. Elta married Oscar Durham of Portland, Oregon. 
They have one child, Grace. John C. married Jennie Shilleto and to them 
have been born the following children: John, Jr.. Lila, Warren and David 
B., deceased. 

Fortv-six years ago when Mrs. \\ est came to her present home, there 
was no town of Lewisville or St. James, and but a blacksmith shop at 
Madelia. They were bothered with prairie fires and the land was all unde- 
veloped. For ten years the family lived in a sod house, there being no other 
buildings on the farm. Mrs. West owns one hundred and sixty acres in 
section 12, where the home is situated and one hundred and sixty acres in 
section 11. Eighty acres of the farm she homesteaded and filed the claim 
herself. At present most of her land is rented and she keeps some cattle. 

Many trees, box elders, cottonwood and willow, have been planted on 
the farm, which adds much to its value and beauty. 



GUSTAV MISSLING. 



Gustav Missling, a progressive young farmer of Amboy township, Cot- 
tonwood county, proprietor of a. farm of nearly two hundred acres in the 
vicinity of Jeffers, is a native of Minnesota and has lived in this state all 
his life. He was born on a farm in Rapidan township, Blue Earth county, 
January' 14, 1881, son of Augustus and Augusta (Franz) Missling, the 
former a native of the state of Wisconsin and the latter of Germany, who 
are now living retired in the town of Good Thunder, in Blue Earth county, 
this state. 

AaigusHfMissling was reared on the farm on which he was born in Dodge 
county, Wisconsin, and when a young man came to Minnesota, settling on 
a farm in Rapidan township, Blue Earth county, where he lived until his 
retirement from the active laibors of the farm, he and his wife now living 
at Good Thunder, where they are very comfortably situated. They are 
members of the German Lutheran church and their children were reared in 
that faith. There are five of these children, all living, of whom the subject 
of this sketch was the second in order of birth, the others being Robert, 
Lena, now Mrs. Yeager; Otto and Edward. 

Gustav Missling was reared on the paternal farm in Blue Earth county, 
receiving his schooling in the district school in the neighborhood of his home, 
and remained there until his marriage in 1907, when he started farming on 



4IO COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

his own account, renting the farm on which he now lives and where he ever 
since has made his home. In 1909, two years after taking that place, he 
bought one hundred acres of the farm and later bought the remainder, now 
being the owner of one hundred and ninety-six and seventy-five one-hun- 
dredths acres of fine land, which he has improved and brought under profit- 
able cultivation. In addition to his general farming. Mr. Missling has given 
considerable attention to stock raising and has done very well, being recog- 
nized as one of the substantial farmers of that community. He is a Repub- 
lican and takes a proper interest in local political affairs, but has not been 
an aspirant for public office. 

It was in 1907 that Gustav Missling was united in marriage to Anna 
Graf, daughter of Fred Graf, of Blue Earth county, Minnesota, and to this 
union three children have been born, Harold, Earl and Valuria. Mr. and 
Mrs. Missling are members of the German Lutheran church and take a 
warm interest in church affairs as well as in all local good works. 



O. A. KABRICK, M. D. 



O. A. Kabrick was born in Plainville, Illinois, November 9, 1880. 
He is a son of J. C. Kabrick, born in West Virginia, and Mary E. (Badg- 
ley) Kabrick, who was born in Barry, Illinois. 

J. C. Kabrick, when a young man, went to Adams county, Illinois, and 
engaged in farming, and followed that occupation in Adams county during 
the rest of his life. He was the father of six children: Cora B., Albert 
F., Lucy V.. David, who died young; O. A., the subject of this sketch, 
and Mary E. 

The subject of this sketch was educated in elementary branches in 
Adams county, Illinois. Later he attended a normal college at Bushnell and 
Macomb, Illinois, and afterward was was engaged in teaching for one win- 
ter. In 1902 he entered a medical college at Keokuk, Iowa, and took a 
four-years course in that institution, graduating in 1906. He began the 
practice of his profession in Butterfield, May, 1906, remaining at that place 
for about two years and a half. In November, 1908, he came to Odin and 
has since continued his practice here. In August, 19 13, he was appointed 
postmaster of Odin. 

On June 17, 1908, Doctor Kabrick and Clara E. (Boud) were united 
in marriage. Mrs. Kabrick is a daughter of Edwin L. and Elizabeth (Booth) 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 411 

Botid of Keokuk, Iowa. Clayton E. is their only child. Politically, Doctor 
Kabrick is an independent; fraternally, he is affiliated with the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, and with the Modern Woodmen of America. 



WILLIAM A. MULLEN. 

William A. Mullen, merchant of Madelia, Watonwan county, has been 
able to succeed at whatever he has turned his attention to. because he plans 
well, is energetic in execution, "preparedness" being his motto, in other 
words; he first decides that he is right, then goes ahead. 

Mr. Mullen was born in the above named town and county, January 
25, 1869, and is a son of Charles G. and Mary E. (Johnson) Mullen. The 
father was a native of the state of New York and the mother of Norway. 
Grandfather Thomas Mullen was a native of the state of New York, from 
which he moved to Madelia, Minnesota, during the latter fifties. He was 
for many years door-keeper of the United States Senate, which position he 
held until about 1890. He spent the last years of his life in Madelia, where 
his death occurred. The maternal grandfather, Paul Johnson, was a native 
of Norway. Emigrating to Minnesota, in an early day he homesteaded land 
in Lincoln township. Blue Earth pounty. The parents of the subject of this 
sketch were married in 1868, each having come to Minnesota with their 
parents. The father devoted the early years of his life to farming, finally 
started a book store and sewing machine shop in Madelia, later adding other 
lines and became a successful general merchant, continuing as such until 
1892, when he sold out to his three sons. Removing to California he spent 
his last years in that state, dying there in 1897. His widow still lives at 
Long Beach, California. He was postmaster at Madelia during President 
Harrison's administration. During the Civil War he enlisted in Company 
G, Sixth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry and served throughout the conflict. 
His family consisted of three sons, namely: William A., Frank L. and 
Walter G. After the father's death the sons continued the business as 
Mullen Brothers, Walter G. withdrawing from the partnership in a few 
years and is now engaged in the real estate business in Los Angeles, Cali- 
fornia. William A. and Frank L. are still conducting stores, which enjoy 
an extensive trade. A large and well-selected stock of general merchandise 
is carried at all seasons and honesty ard courtesy have continued to be 
watchwords. 



412 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

William A. Mullen grew to manhood in his native town and was edu- 
cated in the public schools. He was married on August 9, 1901, to Ada M. 
Williams, of Fremont, Iowa, and to their union three children have been 
born, namely : Marcella, Fannie Eloise and Jean Elizabeth. 

Fraternally, William A. Mullen belongs to the Free and Accepted 
Masons, the Mystic Workers and the M. B. A. He is a member of the 
Presbyterian church, in which he is an elder. He was once state com- 
mander of the Sons of Veterans. 

Frank L. Mullen was born in Madelia, in December, 1871, was edu- 
cated in the public schools here and when a boy entered the store of his 
father and has since devoted his life to mercantile pursuits. He was mar- 
ried in 1899, to Bertis Hagen, of Janesville, Minnesota, and to this union 
one child has been born, Charles Mullen. Fraternally, Frank L. Mullen is a 
member of the Free and Accepted Masons, the Modern Woodmen of 
America and the Presbvterian church. 



ADOLPH SUCKER. 



Adolph Sucker is of German ancestry, but is himself a native American. 
He was born in Jackson county, Minnesota, March 30, 1876. He is a son 
of Richard Sucker, born in Germany, April 4, 1840, and Rosalie (Weber) 
Sucker, born in Germany, April 8, 1844, and died in Jackson county, Minne- 
sota, April, 1887. 

Richard Sucker came to America about 1863. He first located in 
Jefferson, Wisconsin, and remained there until 1872, when he removed 
to Jackson county, Minnesota, where he located on a homestead of one 
hundred and sixty acres of government land. He here established his home 
and engaged in farming until about 1903, when he removed to Lake Crystal, 
Minnesota, where he is at present living. The children born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Richard Sucker were: Gustav H., William F., Minnie, Ida, John, 
Adolph, Herman, Conrad and Otto. The father and mother were members 
of the German Lutheran church. Politically, he is a Democrat. 

Adolph Sucker was educated in the public schools of Jackson county 
and in Wilder Farm College and Cedar Rapids Business College. In his 
early manhood he learned the carpenter trade and followed this occupation 
for about three years. For about three years he was employed in a hard- 
ware store at Lakefield and Amboy, Blue Earth county, Minnesota. Then 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 413 

he engaged in the real estate business, in Amboy, for about one year. In 
January, 1902, he came to Lewisville and organized the Merchants State 
Bank and was made cashier of this institution, a position which he has held 
since the organization. 

In 1903 Aclolph Sucker was united in marriage to Ida Redetzke, daugh- 
ter of Fred Redetzke, of Hebron, North Dakota. To< this union live 
children have been born : Soezetta, Kermet, Fern, Kinten and Richard. Mr. 
and Mrs. Sucker are members of the German Lutheran church; he is at 
present treasurer of the local congregation; treasurer of village of Lewis- 
ville, and a director of Midland Trust and Savings Bank of St. Paul, Minn. 



M. VV. PARR. 



M. W. Parr, the subject of this sketch, was born in Wabasha county, 
Minnesota, November 29, 1869, a son of Thaddeus Parr, born in Frank- 
lin county, New York, and Esther (Washburn) Parr, a native of Canada. 

Thaddeus Parr was a farmer boy in Franklin county, New York, and, 
while still a youth, came West and located in Wisconsin. In 1862 he 
enlisted in Company G, Twentieth Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry. On 
December 7, 1862, this regiment was part of the army of the frontier and 
was engaged in the battle of Prairie Grove, or Fayettville, Arkansas, in 
which the Federal forces sustained the loss of a considerable number of killed 
and wounded. Thaddeus Parr was among those wounded in this engage- 
ment. He never sufficiently recovered from this wound to enable him to 
return to his regiment for active duty, and consequently was discharged 
after service as soldier for nine months. He returned home and some after 
the war he bought a farm in Wabasha county, Minnesota, and turned his 
attention to farming. He followed this occupation for thirty years and 
then retired from active work. He is now living in Owatonna, Steele county, 
Minnesota. 

Mrs. Esther (Washburn) Parr was the mother of three children: M. 
W., Esther, who married L. W. Godfrey, and Catherine, who married Dr. G. 
A. Grove. 

M. W. Parr was educated in the public schools of Wabasha county, 
Minnesota, and worked on a farm during his youthful years. Beginning 
in 1892 he was for five years employed as a clerk in a store, at Plainview, 
Minnesota. About 1897 he decided to turn his attention to agricultural pur- 



414 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

suits. He went to South Dakota and located on a farm and was engaged in 
farming for fourteen years. In 191 1 he disposed of his Dakota interests and 
returned to Minnesota, locating in Kenyon, Goodhue county, where he was 
engaged in the real estate business for three years. In March, 19 15, he 
disposed of his business in Kenyon and came to Madelia. Here he opened 
up a hardware and implement store, in which business he is at present 
engaged. 

Mr. Parr was married to Louisa M. Burgess. To this union three 
children have been born : Roland, Esther and Thaddeus. 

Mr. and Mrs. Parr are members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. 
Parr is a Republican. His fraternal affiliations are with the Order of For- 
esters, and with the American Order of Woodmen. 



CARL R. BISHOP. 



Although the life of a railroad man is a hazardous and strenuous one, 
there is something very fascinating about it. Carl R. Bishop, of St. James, 
Watonwan county, has long been in railroad service and is a trusted and 
efficient locomotive engineer. 

Mr. Bishop was born in Garden City, Minnesota, October 4, 1869. He 
is a son of LeRoy H. and Emily S. (Howard) Bishop, both natives of 
Winthrop, Maine, the birth of the father occurring December 23, 1840, and 
that of the mother, August 16, 1846. They grew up in their native town 
and were married there on December 25, 1866. They came to Garden City, 
Minnesota, in the spring of 1867, George S. Thompson and wife coming at 
the same time, and Mr. Thompson and Mr. Bishop engaged in general mer- 
cantile pursuits in that town for some time, both moving with their families 
to St. James in June, 1870, and opened a general store here, also bought 
grain, under the firm name of Thompson & Bishop, continuing in business 
until about 1880, when they dissolved partnership, Mr. Thompson taking 
the store and Mr. Bishop continuing in the grain business until about 1883, 
when he turned his attention to buying and selling live stock in partnership 
with W. D. Rice, under the firm name of Rice & Bishop. Mr. Bishop con- 
tinued in the stock business until the fall of 1886, when he removed with 
his family to Minneapolis; moving to St. Paul in the spring of 1887 and 
engaged in the real estate business until his retirement from active life about 
1906. His death occurred in St. Paul, October 29, 19 10, and his wife died 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 415' 

on December 27, 1912. After retiring from the real estate business, LeRoy 
H. Bishop went to northwestern South Dakota, taking up a homestead of 
one hundred and sixty acres in Butte county. His son, Carl R. Bishop and 
family also took up a homestead there in 1908. Politically, the father was 
a Republican, and active in party affairs. He represented his district in the 
state Legislature for some time, while living at St. James. Fraternally, he 
belonged to the Masonic Order. He was a member of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church, in which his wife was an active worker, and who later was 
active in the Presbyterian church, being a member of the choir and also 
organist for some time, while living in St. Paul. She was also active in 
the work of the Federated Women's Club. She was for some time head 
of the Ladies Aid Society in Merriam Park church, which had restaurant 
concessions at the Minnesota state fair grounds for several years. She was 
a woman of many strong attributes and was popular and influential in the 
circles in which she moved. She was educated at Kent's Hill Academy in 
Maine, from which institution she was graduated, as was also her husband. 
To these parents the following children were born: Eugene A., born on 
March 10, 1868, died on April 6, 1906; Carl R., Hattie Blanche, born on 
November 11, 1877, is the wife of George A. Marvin and they live in 
Tacoma, Washington; Howard W., born on January 28, 1888, married 
Hazel M. Strong, and they live at Grand Forks, North Dakota. 

Carl R. Bishop received his education in the schools of St. James and 
the Minneapolis high school. In 1887 he began his railroad career by 
accepting a position with the Omaha road, in November of that year, and 
he was promoted to engineer in 1895. He was transferred to St. James 
in 1889 and he has since made his home there, and has been regarded as one 
of the most efficient and trustworthy engineers on the Omaha for the past 
twenty years. 

Mr. Bishop was married on August 5, 1899, to Mary E. Sickler, a 
native of Gordon Plains, Illinois, where her birth occurred on September 
9, 1869. She is daughter of John and Mahetabel (Macumber) Sickler, 
both natives of Delaware county, New York, from which place they 
eventually removed to Illinois, prior to the Civil War. When the war 
came on Mr. Sickler enlisted, after which he moved with his family to Iowa, 
where- he spent one year at Ogden, removing to Martin county, Minnesota, 
about 1874, locating on a farm. He also conducted a hotel at Fairmont, 
this state, for some time. His death occurred in 1909, but his widow sur- 
vives. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Bishop four children have been born, namely : LeRoy, 



416 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

born in 1901, died in infancy; Beth S.,. September 24, 1904; Elnah M., 
April 25, 1907; Frances PL, in 1910; died in infancy. 

Politically, Mr. Bishop is a Progressive. Fraternally, he belongs to 
the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers, also the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. He and his wife 
are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. 



HEINRICH SCHROEDER. 

A type of the better class of farmers in Cottonwood conty is Heinrich 
Schroeder, of Midway township. He is a man who uses brain as well as 
brawn in operating his place, and he has been successful in the various depart- 
ments of his general work as a husbandman. 

Mr. Schoeder was born at Paulsheim, southern Russia, May 11, 1856, 
and is a son of David and Katherina (Newfeld) Schroeder. The father 
was born while his parents were moving from Germany to Russia. The 
mother was born in Lectfeld, Russia. The birth of the father occurred on 
February 27, 182 1, and he died in 1885, at the age of sixty-four years. His 
father devoted his life to farming in Russia and there he farmed until he 
immigrated with a colony to Elkhart, Indiana, in July, 1873. The elder men 
of the party left their families at Elkhart for seven weeks, while they traveled 
in the West, hunting a suitable location. They decided upon Yankton, South 
Dakota, and thither they brought their families. About this time another 
colony from the same locality in which they had resided in southern Russia 
had determined to locate at Mountain Lake, Minnesota. The father of the 
subject of this sketch remained at Yankton, South Dakota, until December, 
1873, when he came to Mountain Lake, where he had a number of friends. 
He purchased land in section 9, Mountain Lake township, Cottonwood county, 
paying four dollars per acre. The land had a small house on it, and here he 
and his family were soon located and here he and his wife spent the rest 
of their lives. He was a Mennonite preacher. The denomination had but one 
church, known as Bethel, which was organized in 1877, in the granary of the 
father of the subject of this sketch. To David Schroeder and wife the fol- 
lowing children were born : David, Jr., John, Heinrich, Jacob, Peter, Frank. 
George, and William. It was to better rear his sons that the father of these 
children came to America, and is was also largely due to militarism that they 
left the church. 

Heinrich Schroeder grew up on the home farm and received a common 




HEIXRICH SCHROEDER. 



mjb&c lip 



ASTOR, LEN»X 
TILDSK MTION* 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 417 

school education in Russia, learning the German language, also some Russian. 
He has devoted his active life to general farming and the threshing business. 
Upon his marriage he purchased a part of his father's home place on which 
he resided from 1880 to 1895, then moved to the farm on which he now 
resides in the edge of the village of Mountain Lake, his place containing one 
hundred and sixty acres in section 32. He has rebuilt all the buildings on his 
land and has a well-improved and valuable farm. In connection with gen- 
eral farming he breeds full-blooded Percheron horses. He has been engaged 
in threshing since 1876, operating a machine each autumn, and is one of 
the best known men in this line in the county. 

Mr. Schroeder was married in 1877 to Anna Regier, who was born 
in 1855 at Rudnerweid, southern Russia. She came with her parents to 
Mountain Lake, Minnesota, in 1876. To this union seven children have been 
born, namely: Anna, David, John, Henry, Katherina, Helena and Elizabeth. 
Besides their own they have reared another child, Samuel, a son of George 
Schroeder, brother of the subject of this sketch, the lad being six years old 
when he came to their home. 

Heinrich Schroeder was for a period of fifteen years a trustee of Bethel 
church, and was also a Sunday school teacher many years. He is now not a 
member of any church, being somewhat broad in his religious views, but his 
family affiliate with the Mennonite church. Politically, he is independent. He 
was for eleven years assessor of Mountain Lake township, and for seven years 
was chairman of the Midway township board. He was president of the 
German school at the time the present school building was erected, remaining 
in that position for seven years. He has been a prominent man in his com- 
munity and has done much for the general public welfare. 



LEWIN M. PURRINGTON. 

Modern methods of husbandry are clearly understood and carried out 
by Lewin M. Purrington of Great Bend township, Cottonwood county, who 
has by his own efforts become one of the best general farmers of his town- 
ship. He was born in Howard county, Iowa, July 2, 1866, and is a son of 
John B. and Orinda (Peterson) Purrington. The father was born in Ver- 
mont, in 1833, an d the mother was a native of Massachusetts. They spent 
their earlier years in New England, coming West about 1858 and locating 
(27a) 



418 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

in Iowa, where they resided until the spring of 1872, when they located on 
a farm in Dale township, Cottonwood county, the father homesteading a 
place, on which he lived about three years. He spent the rest of his life 
in Cottonwood county, with the exception of some three years spent in the 
far West. He first came to this state about 1855, soon after his marriage, 
locating on a farm now covered by the city of Minneapolis, owning one hun- 
dred and sixty acres there. At that time St. Paul was a mere village in 
which one horse was sufficient to take care of all the draying. Years later 
he filed on a claim in Colorado, intending to have his son, Lewin M. prove 
it up when he became of legal age. When he had returned to the claim he 
found that someone else had proven up on it, but he bought out the stranger. 
John B. Purrington was a soldier in the Civil War, serving in Company C, 
Thirty-eighth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. His family consisted of the fol- 
lowing children: Nelson, Addie, Olive (deceased), Lewin M., John W. 
and William, the latter deceased; Charles, Clifford. 

Lewin M. Purrington grew up on the home farm, and received his edu- 
cation in the common schools. With the exception of two years spent in 
Colorado he has lived in Cottonwood county continuously since he came here. 
He has always followed farming, and owns eighty acres, on which he has 
made many improvements, including good buildings. He is now treasurer 
of the school board. 

Mr. Purrington