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Full text of "History of Stearns County, Minnesota"

Gc 

977.601 IVf.L 

St31m GENEmLOGV COLLECTION. 

V.2 

1441173 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC 1|IBRABY 



3 1833 01080 7615 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 



http://www.archive.org/details/historyofstearns02mitc 



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C. F. STEAENS. 



HISTORY OF 



STEARNS COU NTY 

MINNESOTA 



BY 

WILLIAM BELL MITCHELL 



ILLUSTRATED 



V-2,i 



VOLUMEfll 



CHICAGO 

H. C. COOPER, JR., & CO. 

1915 



14'31173 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES. 



PAGE 

Abell, Lovinas 991 

Adam, Christian 813 

Allies, John 1045 

Allen, Harry 912 

Alstrom, Andrew 8^71 

Anderson, Henry 917 

Anderson, John U 1002 

Anderson, Thomas J 1003 

Andrews, George J 815 

Appelgren, John Peter 841 

Arndt, Albert 1060 

Arndt, John Fred William 1059 

Arndt, William 1059 

Arzt, Rev. Anthony, O. S. B 781 

A schenbrenner, Benedict 798 

Asehenbrenner, George 798 

Austin, H. T 919 

Baalson, Ellen 985 

Baalson, Henry 986 

Bach, Paul 941 

Baitinger, John 838 

Baldwin, Elmer J 991 

Baldwin, Joseph Henry 992 

Barrett, Theodore H 1081 

Barrie, Thomas J 837 

Barron, William W 1031 

Bartholomew, W. S 872 

Barthelemy, Yasent A 940 

Barto, Alphonso 894 

Bauer, Paul 1006 

Beaupre, Philip 877 

Bechtold, Frank X 799 

Beehtold, Ignatius 799 

Becker. Henry T. A 1083 

Becker, Mathias 1084 

Becker, Nick 939 

Becker, Phillip J 1082 

Becker, Valentine 1028 

Behr, Julius 816 

Bejaeh, Thomas 1031 

Bell, Charles E 878 

Benoelken, Henry 1016 

Benolken, Joseph P 981 

Beumer, Frank H 939 

Beunier, Frank Henry 936 

Beumer, Fred 938 

Beumer, Frederick 937 

Beumer, Henry J 938 

Brixius, Christopher C 1008 

Beumer, Herman 939 

Beumer, Joseph 938 

Bielejeski, Stanley M 1031 

Blakely, August Francis 818 

Blakely, Hugh 817 

Blaksley, George 899 

Blasdell, George A 834 

Blasdell, William Henry 833 

Blasdell, William Page 834 

Blenker, Henry J 1034 

Blonigen, Gotthard 1060 



PAGE 

Blonigen, Joseph 805 

Blonigen, Mat 805 

Boobar, Calvin J 993 

Boobar, Frank H 994 

Boobar, Henry 897 

Boobar, Oliver B 898 

Boutell, John 912 

Boylan, James H 840 

Braun, John 1038 

Braun, John P •• 790 

Braun, Xavier 790 

Brick, Jacob 819 

Bridges, George A 1070 

Brinkman, William T 800 

Brott, George F 1077 

Brown, Charles 900 

Brown, Frank 814 

Bruce, Charles R 989 

Bruce, Joshua H 989 

Bruce, Samuel Milton 895 

Bruening, Bernard 786 

Bugbee, Albert E 816 

Burbank, Henry Clay 1081 

Buseh, D. D., Rt. Rev. Bishop Joseph E. .1079 

Bussen, Mathias A 786 

Canfield, Abram 902 

Canfield, John H 902 

Capser, Joseph 900 

Cass, Gilford D 990 

Caughren, David 907 

Cawley, Alice C 912 

( 'eynar, John 920 

Clark, John 1046 

Coates, Joseph A 878 

Coleman, Isaac A 861 

Collins, Henry E 860 

Conner, Joseph M 861 

Conner, William Wallace 860 

Cooper, Arthur 791 

Cooper, John 792 

Cronk, Richard 881 

Crossen, James Fergus 920 

Darby, John White 819 

Day, Eugene Henry 861 

Demeritt, James Y 886 

Dorenkemper, Fred 954 

Dreis, Christian 977 

Dries, Michael D 942 

Driver, John 1071 

Ehrens, Rev. Father Ludger, O. S. B. . . . 785 

Ehresmann, George 1060 

Ehresraann, Peter 1061 

EUenbecker, Michael 980 

Emmel, John H 1041 

Emmel, Joseph 1038 

Enunel, Henry Joseph 922 

Engelhard, George 787 

Englehard, Jacob 1029 

Engelhard, Jacob 787 

Erwin, Albert Edwin 902 

iii 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES 



PAGE 

Ernst, August 1041 

Ernst, Frank 1041 

Ernst, William 1042 

Evans, Louis A 1080 

Finger, Ernest E 821 

Finger, Ernest Henry 821 

Fink, Eev. Luke, O. S. B 781 

Fisk, Wilbur F 958 

Fletcher, William 882 

Fletcher, William H 882 

Frank, Ferdinand 820 

French, William H 862 

Frevel, John 981 

Frevel, George 981 

Friedman, Daniel 973 

Friedman, Joseph 1075 

Friedman, Nicholas 974 

Fuchs, John 1008 

Fuchs, Michael 1066 

Gale, Edward D 832 

Gamradt, Eeinhold 917 

Gans, Eev. Leo, J. C. D 782 

Ganzer, Jacob 1030 

Ganzer, John, Sr 1029 

Gasser Brothers, The 864 

Gasser, Nicholas 863 

Geris, Joseph ' 1039 

Getchell, Nathaniel 891 

Getty, John Jerome 897 

Gilman, David 880 

Gilman, John David Lowry 880 

Gingery, L. W 903 

Glenz, Helmet 1 1042 

Glenz, William E 1058 

Glenz, William F 1058 

Gordon, Adalbert W 888 

Gordon, Wm 887 

Graham, Grant 996 

Gray, Charles H 842 

Gray, James L 892 

Gray, James Linley 842 

Gregory, Clifton B 888 

Grinds, Benjamin 994 

Grinds, Ernest E 995 

Grunloh, Eudolph 872 

Grunloh, Eudolph J 873 

Hackmann, Fritz 1020 

Haehn, Henry B 806 

Haehn, Peter 806 

Haehn, Valentine 806 

Haines, William P 837 

Halverson, Kittel 986 

Hall, Eev. Sherman 880 

Hanna, George A 812 

Hansen, John 1009 

Hansen, Michael, Sr 1048 

Hansen, Michael, Jr 1048 

Hansen, Nicholas, Sr 1009 

Hansen, Pierre 1049 

Hansen, William 1047 

Harren, Gotthard 1017 

Heaton, Homer T 962 

Hedin, Otto J 917 

Held, John Sebastian 943 

Heimerdinger, Ferdinand '. . . 832 

Heimerdinger, Harold 832 

Hein, August C 1061 

Hein, Herbert A 1061 

Heitke, Frank 1062 



PAGE 

Herbes, John 982 

Herberger, Conrad George 903 

Herman, Valentine 1030 

Hermanutz, Eugene 974 

Herzberger, John 801 

Herzog, Frank 1047 

Hess, Henry 793 

Hickman, John J 918 

Hickman, Peter S 919 

Higgins, Edwin 1000 

Highhouse, Christ 1077 

Hilger, Frederick W 1027 

Hiscock, Charles M 889 

Hiscock, Samuel 889 

Hodgson, L. C 1051 

Hodgson, Eay W 1051 

Hodgson, Victor A 1050 

Hoffman, Eev. Alexius, O. S. B 784 

Hogan, Michael 905 

Holifer, Charles 840 

Holifer, Charles C 1026 

Hoover, Eobert 828 

Hospital, Paynesville 826 

Hudson, Eev. Theodore C 821 

Hurrle, Frank 942 

Hutchinson, C. W 918 

Imholte, Henry 944 

Irish Family, The 904 

Jacoby, Mathew 1010 

Jamieson, Alexander 905 

Jansky, Jacob 794 

Jenc, Joseph 919 

Jones, James 1074 

Johnston, John S 843 

Johnston, Lorenzo Baker 1001 

Johnston, Samuel Cox 843 

Kalkman, H 924 

Kapsner, Eev. Leonard 782 

Kelly, Dennis F 836 

Kelley, John 836 

Kellner, Peter 1010 

Kenning, Bernard 946 

Kenning, Henry 947 

Kenning, Joseph 947 

Keppers, Nicholas 873 

Kessler, Andrew H 1019 

Kiffmeyer, Henry 959 

Kilian, Henry 795 

Kingslake Fruit Farm 1013 

Klaverkamp, Joseph 947 

Klaverkamp, Joseph J 947 

Klein, Nicholas 865 

Kloeppner, John 945 

Knable, Gotlieb 1026 

Knable, John Gotlieb 822 

Knebel, Adolph Gustave 1071 

Knickerbaeker, Oliver H 1000 

Knutson, Knute P 1005 

Koepp, Eichard A 1062 

Kost, Clemens 1026 

Kost, Clemens 1027 

Kost, John 788 

Kraemer, Michael 1042 

Kraker, John J 921 

Kray, Joseph H 976 

Kray, Philip H 975 

Krebsbach, John 1049 

Krebs, Henry 795 

Kronenberg, Joseph 944 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES 



PAGE 

Kronenberg, Ursus 945 

Kniger, Charles 1043 

Kuhl, Daniel 807 

Kuhl, Mathias 807 

Kuhl, Peter, Sr 807 

Kunkel, Joseph J 864 

Kurth, Ernst 1042 

Kurth, Ernst Emil 1042 

Kuhl, Peter 808 

Lahr, Jacob N 796 

Lakeview Stock Farm, The 1050 

Lamb, Abner M 918 

Lamb, Charles Eoss 918 

Lamb, Thomas R 920 

Landwehr, August 949 

Landwehr, Barney 949 

Landwehr, Henry 949 

Lang, John 788 

Leavitt, Sumner 991 

Lehner, Joseph 1034 

Leisen, John 1076 

Levorson, Gustav 986 

Liebrenz, Charles 1056 

Liebrenz, Johan Frederick 1056 

Lindt, Frederick C 846 

|. Lindt, Henry 847 

* Linnemann, John Henry 801 

Linnemann, Joseph M 802 

Litzinger, Josepha Marshall 851 

IJoyd, Arthur 924 

Loehrer, Joseph 948 

Loesch, Michael C 866 

Long, John N 889 

Loosbroek, Henry 808 

Lose, Peter 800 

Loudon, William 865 

Lowry, Sylvanus B 1080 

Luckemeyer, Anton 923 

Lund, Tidman T 822 

Lyons, Benjamin F 959 

Lyons, Benjamin T 959 

Lyons, Jacob Hamlin 990 

Lyons, James M 961 

Lyons, William Henry 960 

McGibbon, John N 907 

McKinstry, William 823 

McNeal, William 891 

Magnusson, Peter Magnus 1078 

Mann, Theron W 906 

Manz, Frederick William 1044 

Manz, Herman J 1064 

Manz, Herman Ludwick 823 

Marx, Frank 1073 

Marshall, George Adam 802 

Maselter, John 1011 

Mason, Joseph 861 

Maurin, Marcus 971 

Maurin, Marcus J 972 

Maus, Peter 958 

Mayer, Very Eev. Alfred, O. S. B 780 

Mayer, John 950 

Mayer Joseph 1084 

Meagher, Edward 984 

Mehr, John 1074 

Mehr, Mathias L 1074 

Meinz, Aloysius B 1053 

Meinz, John 1053 

Meinz, Peter 1052 

Meinz, Theodore 1054 



PAGE 

Melrose Granite Co., The 923 

Merrill, Milton E 852 

Merryman, Sidney T 906 

Messmann, George 951 

Messmann, William F 951 

Meyer, Fred 950 

Meyer, Fred, Sr 934 

Meyer, Henry Gerhard 1021 

Meyer, Henry John 1020 

Meyer, Herman S 1023 

Mielke, Ferdinand 867 

Mienz, Michael 976 

Miller, August 1063 

Miller, Clarence A 962 

Miller, Daniel D 962 

Miller, Ernest C 963 

Miller, Gustave F 1063 

Miller, James K 881 

Miller, William Carl 1063 

Miller, William Carl, Jr 1064 

Mitchell Brothers 964 

Mitchell, William 964 

Mills, Alto S 1073 

Moen, Andres 988 

Moen, Nels 988 

Molitor, Michael 1051 

Mon, Jacob 983 

Mondloch, John 808 

Moorman, John J 917 

Morehouse, Frank M., Sr 924 

Moss, Elias D 933 

Moss, Rutledge 867 

Muggli, Anton, Sr 973 

Murray, Michael 809 

Myers, John P 789 

Nagel, Max W 838 

Nathe, Joseph 1022 

Nehring, Aaron 815 

Nehring, August Ferdinand 1065 

Nehring, Clarence Milton 1066 

Nehring, Emmett E 1044 

Nehring, Erwin Herman 825 

Nehring, Fred C 1065 

Nehring, John G 825 

Nehring, Julius 826 

Nehring, Michael 1064 

Nehring, Richard 1057 

Nehring, William 1045 

Nett, John 1035 

Nett, P. J 1035 

Noll, Martin 810 

Nugent, Edward W 984 

Obermiller, John 874 

O 'Brien, William 1075 

Olson, Nels 985 

Oster, Anton 977 

Oster, John 977 

Oster, John, Sr 976 

Otte, Bernard 1022 

Overbeck, Bernard 1082 

Pallanseh, John B 1035 

Pangburn, Arthur M 910 

Pangburn, D. A 910 

Pangburn, David 909 

Pangburn, Frank T 911 

Pangburn, George 911 

Pangburn, James D 910 

Pangburn, Ray C 911 

Pangburn, William 910 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES 



PAGE 

Parker, Joseph 908 

Pattison, Wm 1086 

Payne, Frank C 853 

Payne, John 854 

Payne, Julius 853 

Peck, Eliel 868 

Pemble, Charles 835 

Pennison, Charles M. C 925 

-Perry, Everett 891 

Perry, John Nelson 890 

Perry, Melvin N 890 

Perry, Ralph Winslow 843 

Pesheck, W. S 917 

Peters, Albert John 979 

Peters, Ferdinand 978 

Peterson, Frederick 988 

Peters, Gustave 977 

Peters, Joseph C 813 

Pfau, Simon 925 

Ponsford, Frederick J 965 

Powell Brothers 1082 

Phillips, Sylvanous J 868 

Plantikow, Michael F 835 

Plantikow, Michael F 826 

Primus, Joseph 926 

Quade, Frank 918 

Rass, Frank 875 

Rassier, John 803 

Rassier, Joseph 859 

Rassier, Nicholas 852 

Rassier, Nicholas B 804 

Reaser, Frank, Jr 812 

Reaser, Frank, Sr 812 

Reiquem, Ole 1005 

Reiquem, Ole C 1004 

Rieland, Hubert 1012 

Rien, Christ 824 

Richter, Right Rev. Monsignor Bernard.. 781 

Richter, Gerhard 927 

Rickmeyer, Henry C 996 

Ricker, Herman J 1012 

Roach, John Adelbert 1057 

Roach, Samuel P 828 

Robbers, Ludwig 883 

Roche, Thomas F 873 

Roen, O. 990 

Rose, John 983 

Rose, Joseph G 983 

Roth, Peter 869 

Ruenger, Robert B 1066 

Russell, Jeremiah 879 

Russell, Robert S 886 

Salchert, John J 1040 

Schabel, William H 952 

Schaef er, George 979 

Schaf er, Stephen J 953 

Scheelar, Freed 871 

Scheifer, Henry 956 

Schenk, John 957 

Schill, Joseph 997 

Schirmers, Nicholas 875 

Schlagheck, John 952 

Schmallen, Bernard 803 

Schmidt, Frank 969 

Schmit, Mathew A ^ . . . 1055 

Schmitt, Elmer A 829 

Schmitt, Rev. Martin, O. S. B 784 

Schneider, John P 875 

Schoenhoff, J. A 911 



PAGK 

Schoenhoff, J. B 911 

Schroeder, Fred 851 

Schultz, Fred 830 

Sehultz, Ferdinand F 841 

Schultz, Michael F 829 

Schwarz, John 797 

Sch\^ inghammer, John 1036 

Self ermann. Rev. Meinrad 783 

Shay, David 810 

Shay, Martin 810 

Sheldon, Horace Fuller 823 

Shoemaker, Corydon David 870 

Simonton, J. H 912 

Smart, Edward J 893 

Smart, H. B 894 

Smith, David M 918 

Smith, John 918 

Smitten, Abraham Lincoln 860 

Smitten, George W 843 

Spanier, Daniel 811 

Spaulding, Alexander 934 

Speiser, Christian 858 

Spieker, John H 929 

Sprague, Henry 907 

Stalboerger, Andrew 928 

Stalboerger, Peter P 928 

Stanley, David Bright 869 

Stanton, Judson A 885 

Staples, Benjamin F 856 

Staples, Jacob 855 

Staples, Jacob C 855 

Stearns, Charles T 1079 

Steichen, Henry 870 

Stevenson, James F 1078 

Stewart, Arthur 968 

Stewart, William 968 

Stiles, A. M 990 

Stock, Menne 857 

Stokes, Samuel 966 

Stokes, George W 967 

Stokes, Luke Hillis 967 

Storkamp, Henry 797 

Storms, D. D 965 

Stratton, Horace 928 

Straub, Rev. Andrew, O. S. B 783 

Strack, Stephen 958 

Streitz, John L 804 

Streitz, Nicholas 804 

Stuckenkemper, Rev. Father Meinulph, O. 

S. B 785 

Swift, James 990 

Talcott, Francis 1081 

Tank, Frank 917 

Tenney, Homer 1054 

Tenney, Orlando 1054 

Terhaar, Gerhard 1023 

Terres, Peter J 811 

Terwey, Barney M 876 

Theel, Carl F 838 

Theel, John R 838 

Theisen, Michael 850 

Theisen, Michael 1020 

Theisen, Nickalaus J 1037 

Thelen, Michael 1037 

Thiers, Joseph F 929 

Thull. Philip 1007 

Tobey, Uriel Montague 916 

Tufts, John H 1001 

Tufts, Willard C 1001 



INDEX TO PORTRAITS 



vu 



PAGE 

Undersander, John 858 

Unger, Samuel 1069 

Van Dervort, Eichard Morgan 998 

Van Etteu, Thomas 884 

Van Havermoet, Josejah 930 

Voigt, Adolph 953 

Voigt, William 954 

Voss, Fred B 1072 

Voss, Gotfried 1071 

Vreyens, P. A. N 789 

Walcher, Eev. Father James 955 

Waldorf, John 1040 

Waldorf, Philip 850 

Walkley, Christ 957 

Walz, Andrew 858 

Wanish, Mathias 913 

Warner, Fred R 1002 

Warner, George E 971 

Watson, Alfred Talbot 913 

Wartenberg, Antoin 830 

Weber, Jacob 1025 

Weber, John 956 

Weber, John G 1068 

Wedge, Ven G 916 

Weisman, Andrew 1055 

Weisman, Jacob 1056 

Wegner, Albert 1067 

Wegler, Frank X., Sr 849 

Wegler, Frank X., Jr 849 

Wegler, Joseph 849 

Wendlandt, Christian F 1045 

Wendlandt, Frederick 1068 

Wendlandt, William C 1045 

Weseloh, Eev. Henry William 997 

Wesler, Julius 892 

West, Charles L 845 

Weyrauch, Henry 949 

Weyrauch, William J 970 

Whitney, C. B 969 



PAGE 

Whitman, Frank Monroe 876 

AVilson, Joseph P 1081 

Wilson, Thompson Mills 1073 

Wilwerding, A. J 1013 

Wimmer, J. B 1006 

Wimmer, Hon. Sebastian 1031 

Winkels, Franz 1067 

Wing, James Edwin 847 

Wing, Theodore Carey 848 

Winslow, Benjamin H 935 

Winslow, Ulysses S 936 

Winter, John Fred 929 

Winter, Matthew J 930 

Winter, Peter 930 

Winther, Conrad P 831 

Witschen Brothers 955 

AVitzman, Michael 1011 

Wocken, John 980 

Wolf, Otto 981 

Wolff, Frank E. A 935 

AVolff, Henry E 935 

Wolhart, George E 893 

Wolhart, Jacob 892 

Wolter, John W 845 

AVolters, Gerhard 954 

Wood, Josiah 914 

Woodruff, William Carl 914 

AVoodward, Philip Miner 844 

AVright, Andrew A 848 

AVTight, Frank M 846 

Yaeger, Carl 804 

Young, Conrad W 982 

Young, Samuel, Jr 932 

Zaczkowski, Fortunat 1023 

Zaczkowski, Thomas 1024 

Zenner, Stephen 956 

Zuercher, Alfred J 930 

Zuercher, Alfred L., M. D 931 



INDEX TO PORTRAITS. 



PAGE 

Abell. John D 991 

Abell, Milton 991 

Aschenbrenner, B 798 

Baldwin, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H 992 

Barto, Mr. and Mrs. Alphonse 884 

Becker, Phillip J. and H. T. A 1082 

Bechtold, Mr. and Mrs. John G 799 

Beilstein, Adam 967 

Beumer, Frank Henry and Family 936 

Beumer, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick 937 

Blakely, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh 817 

Boobar, Mr. and Mrs. O. B 898 

Boylan, J. H 840 

Braegelmann, Gerhard and Family 1282 

Braun, Xavier and Family 790 

Brinkman, Mr. and Mrs. G. H 800 

Bruce, Mrs. Sarah E 895 

Bruce, S. M 895 

Capser, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph 900 



PAGE 

r:athedral, Bishop's Residence and Cath- 
olic High School 782 

Caughren's Eesidence, J. A 907 

Clark, John 1040 

Cold Spring 1333 

Cooper, John 792 

County Officers 756 

Cronk, Eichard 881 

Day, E. H. and Family 861 

Demeritt, Mr. and Mrs. James Y. and 

Daughter 886 

Erwin, Albert Edwin 902 

Everst, Mrs. Martha 882 

Fair Haven Roller Mill 996 

"Farmers' Home" at St. Cloud 1462 

Finger, E. E 821 

Fisk, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur F 958 

Fletcher, Mr. and Mrs. W. H 882 

Gilman, Mr. and Mrs. David 880 



INDEX TO PORTRAITS 



PAGE 

Gordon, "William 887 

Graham, Grant, Daughters of 996 

Grinds, Mr, and Mrs. Benjamin 994 

Hansen, Nicholas, Sr 1009 

Hansen, Pierre 1049 

Hansen, Michael 1048 

Hansen 's Cabin, Michael 1048 

Barren, Gotthard 1017 

Herberger, Mr. and Mrs. C. G 903 

Hermanutz, Eugene 977 

Hogan, Michael 905 

Imholte, Anton and Family 944 

Indian Chief 1125 

Johnston, Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo B 1001 

Kenning, Bernard 946 

Kilian, Mr. and Mrs. Henry 795 

Klaverkamp, Joseph J 948 

Koronis, Lake, and Three Islands 1300 

Kost, Clemens 1027 

Krebs, Mr. and Mrs. Henry 795 

Lakeview Stock Farm 1050 

Landwehr, Barney and Family 949 

Leisen, John 1076 

Lindt, F. C 846 

Little Crow 1328 

Loesch, Mr. and Mrs. Michael C 866 

Log Cabin 1150 

Log Cabin 1250 

Long, Joseph and Four Generations .... 889 

Lorinser, Mr. and Mrs. F. J 710 

Lund, T. T 822 

Lyons, B. F. and Family 959 

Lyons, Mr. and Mrs. James M 961 

Lyons, Mr. and Mrs. William H. and 

Daughters 960 

McGibbon, Mr. and Mrs. John N 908 

Maurin, Mr. and Mrs. Marcus 971 

Marshall, Mr. and Mrs. George A 802 

Miller, Mr. and Mrs. D. D 963 

Minnesota State Eef ormatory 1225 

Minnesota State School for Girls . 1339 

Mississippi Scenes Above St. Cloud 1455 

Mitchell, Alexander 964 

Mitchell, Mr. and Mrs. John 964 

Morehouse, Mr. and Mrs. Francis M . . . . 924 

Moss, Mr. and Mrs. Elias D 933 

Nehring, Mr. and Mrs. John G 825 

Nugent, E. W 984 

Oster, John 977 

Fangburn, Mr. and Mrs. David 909 

Pattison, Mr. and Mrs. William 1086 

Payne, Mr. and Mrs. John 854 



PAGE 

Perry, John Nelson and Family 890 

Peters, Ferdinand 777 

Eassier, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen 859 

Eickmeyer, Mr. and Mrs. Henry C 997 

Eoach, Samuel P 828 

St. Cloud, Birdseye View, 1869 1475 

St. Cloud, Early 1434 

St. Cloud, Early Business Center 1440 

St. Cloud Fire Department 1492 

St. Cloud, First Frame House 1446 

St. Cloud State Normal School 725 

St. Cloud, Original Fire Company 1500 

St. Cloud Upper Levee, 1856 1510 

St. Germain Street, Looking West 1515 

St. Germain Street, 1865 1520 

St. Germain Street White Way 1524 

Sauk Centre Park 1325 

Sauk Centre Stockade 1328 

Schaf er, Stephen J. and Family 953 

Schmidt, Mr. and Mrs. Henry 969 

Schroeder, Fred 851 

Schwarz, Mr. and Mrs. John 797 

Smitten, A. L. and Family 860 

Smitten, Mr. and Mrs. George W 843 

Stanton, Judson A 885 

Staples, Benjamin F. and Family 856 

Staples, Mr. and Mrs. Ivory S 800 

Staples, Jacob and Family 855 

Stearns, C. F Frontispiece 

Stevenson, James F 1078 

Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur 968 

Stokes, George W. and Family 967 

Storms, D. D 965 

Streitz, Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas 804 

Tenny, Orlando 1054 

Undersander, Mr. and Mrs. Michael 858 

Van Dervort, Mr. and Mrs. Eichard M. . 998 

Van Etten, Thomas 884 

Voigt, Mr. and Mrs. William 954 

Wanish, Mr. and Mrs. Mathias 913 

Warner, George E 971 

Waterpower and Tenth Street Bridge .... 760 

Weber, Mr. and Mrs. John 1068 

West, Josiah E 1524 

Wimmer, Sebastian 1031 

Winslow, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin H 935 

Yager, Mr. and Mrs. Adam 801 

Yager, Mr. and Mrs. Carl 804 

Young, Samuel 932 

Young, Mrs. Susanna 932 

Zaczkowski, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas 1024 

Zenner, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen 956 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 
THE COUNTY'S STANDING. 

Natural Advantages— Modern Comforts— Population— Farm Statistics 
— Tax Valuations — Growth of Dairying — Cereals — Animal Indus- 
try — Roads — Lime Burning — Birds — Telephones 705-724 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 
ST. CLOUD STATE NORMAL SCHOOL. 

Minnesota Normal Schools— Normal School Idea — The St. Cloud School 
— Legislation Passed, Appropriation Made, Site Selected — School 
Opens — First Building Completed — First Graduation — Early 
Faculty Members — Statistics and Appropriations — Principals and 
Presidents — School for Practice — Dormitories — State Normal 
Board — Alumni Association 725-737 

CHAPTER XL. 
HORTICULTURE. 

Work of the Pomologists — The College ville Station — Early Efforts and 
Later Successes — Personal Experiences — Directions for Planting 
and Care, by Father John B. Ketzner, O. S. B. — The Belgrade 
Station — Muck Irrigation, by C. R. Sandvig — The Paynesville Sta- 
tion, by Frank Brown 737-755 



CHAPTER XLI. 
OFFICERS AND COUNTY SEAT REMOVAL. 

Proposed County of Franklin — The Vote in Detail — Other Efforts at 
Division of County — Attempt to Remove County Seat to Albany 
—County Officers of Stearns County from 1855 to 1915 756-760 

CHAPTER XLII. 
FAIRS AND DRIVING PARK. 

Association Organized — Site Selected — First Fair Held — Succeeding 
Meetings and Officers — District Association Organized — Agricul- 
tural Society — New Site Purchased — Present Status — Benton 

County Society — Its Fairs — Chicken Shows 760-766 

ix 



X TABLE OF CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XLIII. 
GOVERNMENT LAND OFFICE. 

The Sauk Eapids Office— Eemoval to St. Cloud— Changes in Boundaries 
of Districts- St. Cloud Office Discontinued in 1906 — List of Regis- 
ters—Land Sales — First Entries in Stearns County 766-770 



CHAPTER XLIV. 
WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS. 

St. Cloud Reading Room Society — Organization — History of the Library 
— Civic Work — Parks Beautified — Betterment of the Schools — Sani- 
tation — Social and Literary Aspects — Officers — Sunshine Society — 
Delphian Society — Sorosis Society— Its Work, Officers and Ideals. .770-780 



CHAPTER XLV. 
BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW. 

Pioneers and Later Comers Whose Industry has Built Up the County — 
Early Experiences in an Unsettled Country — Leaders in Country, 
City and Village— Family History of Well-Known Men 780-1086 

CHAPTER XLVI. 
CHRONOLOGY. 

Incidents in the Life of the County Gleaned from the Newspaper Files 
—Marriages and Deaths — Personal Items Regarding Hundreds 
of Early Pioneers and Later Residents — Industrial, Educational, 
Political, Social and Religious Notes 1087-1250 



CHAPTER XLVII. 
TOWNSHIP AND VILLAGE. 

Early Precincts — Eleven Original Townships — Changes in Names and 
Boundaries — Thirty-Seven Townships at Present — Early Settlement 
and Organization — Pioneer Activities — Foundation and Growth of 
the Villages — Business Directories — Officers 1250-1343 



CHAPTER XL VIII. 
STEARNS COUNTY SCHOOLS. 

Father Cornelius and His Work— Early School Buildings— Early School 
Supervision — County Supervision — Present Conditions — ^History of 
the Districts by Townships— Conclusion— By County Superintendent 
William A. Boerger , 1343-1403 



TABLE OF CONTENTS xi 

CHAPTER XLIX. 

INCIDENTS AND EVENTS. 

Destruction of the St. Cloud Visiter Printing Plant — Reminiscences of 
John Rengel — Reminiscences of George F. Brott — The Grass- 
hopper Scourge — Decoration Day — The Boom of 1887 — ^Some Old 
Landmarks — Indian Wedding — A Young Recruit — Freshets — 
Letter of P. Lamb — Experiences of a Pastor's Wife — Meteorological 
Statistics— Creameries — Lime and Brick — Miscellaneous Notes. .1404-1421 

CHAPTER L. 

THE NEWSPAPER PRESS. 

Early Efforts — The Pioneer Newspapermen — St. Cloud — Sauk Centre — 
Melrose — Albany — Belgrade — Cold Spring — Freeport — Holdingford 
—Kimball— Paynesville — By Alvah Eastman 1421-1426 



CHAPTER LL 

POSTAL HISTORY. 

Pioneer Mail Facilities at St. Cloud — Growth of the St. Cloud Offices — 
Dates of Establishment and Lists of Postmasters — By C. D. Grinols, 
Postmaster at St. Cloud ". 1427-1434 



CHAPTER LIL 

EARLY ST. CLOUD. 

Beauties and Advantages — Testimony of Early Travelers — Upper, 
Middle and Lower Town — Wilson Names and Plats St. Cloud — 
Early Buildings — German Colony Arrives — Brott and Curtiss Plat 
St. Cloud City — Developments in Middle Town — Controversy Over 
Title — Lowry and His Upper Town — Middle Town Gradually 
Becomes the Business Centre — Ancient Copy of the Minnesota 
Advertiser — Early Business Activities 1434-1446 



CHAPTER LIH. 

ST. CLOUD SCHOOLS. 

Father Wittman 's School — Everett School — Union School — Independent 
School — Washington and Jefferson Schools— High School Work 
Inaugurated — ^Districts Consolidated — Lincoln and Franklin Schools 
Industrial and Physical Training — Board of Education — Inde- 
pendent District Improvements — Site Controversy — Early Educa- 
tional Efforts — St. Cloud University of Minnesota — St. Cloud 
Seminary 1446-1450 



xii TABLE OF CONTENTS 

CHAPTER LIV. 

ST. CLOUD CHURCHES. 

First Baptist — First Methodist Episcopal — St. John's Episcopal — Pres- 
byterian — Unitarian — German Evangelical — Swedish Baptist — 
Norwegian Lutheran — Christian Science — Congregational — Univer- 
salist 1451-1461 

CHAPTER LV. 

ST. CLOUD ORaANIZATIONS. 

The Masonic Bodies— The G. A. R. and Its Auxiliaries— Elks— Odd 
Fellows and Rebekahs— United Workmen and Degree of Honor — 
Modern Woodmen and Royal Neighbors — Woodmen of the World 
and Woodmen Circle — Equitable Fraternal Union — Court of Honor 
— Modern Brotherhood of America — Commercial Travelers — Eagles 
— Camels — Modern Samaritans — Degree of Pocahontas — Lady Mac- 
cabees — Order of Vasa — North Star Benefit — Independent Foresters 
— Royal Arcanum — Knights of Columbus — Catholic Order of For- 
esters — Lady Foresters — Hibernians and Auxiliary — St. Joseph's 
Benevolent Society — Ladies' Benevolent Association — Catholic 
Club — Humane Society — Health League — Social Clubs — Ladies' 
Organizations — St. Cloud Automobile Club — Commercial Organ- 
izations 1462-1491 



CHAPTER LVI. 

MUNICIPAL ST. CLOUD. 

Government of the City — Officers Year by Year — Street Improvements 
— Public Utilities — Bond Matters— Doings of the Council — The 
Commission Form of Government — By P. J. Seberger, Mayor of St. 
Cloud 1492-1536 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

THE COUNTY'S STANDING. 

Natural Advantages — Modern Comforts — Population — Farm Statistics — Tax 
Valuations — Growth of Dairying — Cereals — Animal Industry— Roads — 
Lime Burning — Birds — Telephones. 

Stearns county is located a little south of the geographical center of the 
state and practically in the center from east and west. Its greatest length is 
from east to west, which measured from Clearwater to the western line is 
52 miles and its width is from 25 to 34 miles. Its area is 1,330.07 square 
miles, or 851,241.36 acres, of which 37,021.27 acres are covered with water. 
The entire state of Rhode Island, one of the thirteen original states of the 
American union, could be set inside its boundaries and leave a comfortable 
margin around the outside. The Mississippi river forms its entire eastern boun- 
dary ; on the north is the county of Todd and a part of the county of Morrison ; 
the western border is the eastern line of Pope county; while its southern 
neighbors are the county of Meeker and parts of the counties of Kandiyohi 
and "Wright. It lies between the 45th and 46th degrees of latitude. 

The county is drained to the Mississippi river by tributary streams ar- 
ranged as follows in their order from north to south : The south branch of 
Two rivers, Spunk brook, Watab river, Sauk river, St, Augusta (or John- 
ston's) creek. Plum creek, Clearwater river and the North Fork of the Crow 
river. The largest of these is Sauk river, whose basin includes about half of 
the county, its principal affluents being Ashley and Getchell creeks from the 
north and Silver, Ashley, Stony, Cole and Mill creeks from the south. The 
North Fork of the Crow river drains the southwestern part of the county. 

One third is prairie, partly level and partly rolling, but with few eleva- 
tions in any part. There is nothing in the county which rises beyond the 
modest dignity of hills, and these are practically all in the timbered localities. 

Less than one-twelfth is not suited for actual cultivation, and much that 
is thus excepted is composed of sloughs which can be converted into meadows, 
and stony knolls serviceable for pasturage. 

Pure water is readily obtained in practically any and every part of the 
county by means of wells, the depth varying from 15 to 75 feet, in a few lo- 
calities it has been found necessary to go to a depth of 100 feet before a 
reliable flow of pure water is obtained. Most of the wells are in sand, gravel 
and pebbles, but some pass through till and hardpan. In many localities are 
springs, which furnish a constant and accessible supply of water which can- 
not be excelled for pvirity. Of the wells of the more moderate depths many 
are spring-fed and the supply of water seldom fails even in the dryest 
weather. 

The two hundred lakes which add to the scenic beauty of Stearns county 
are fairly evenly distributed, practically every township in the county having 

705 



706 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

one or more of these lovely sheets of water. The lakes, the groves, the rivers 
and the creeks in the county entitle it to the place it holds as one of the most 
attractive parts of the Park Region of Minnesota. The more noteworthy of 
these lakes with their location are as follows: Sauk Centre— Sauk, Cedar, 
McCormic. Melrose — Middle Birch, Sylvia, Stub, Hartnett's, Clear. Mill- 
■vvood — Mary, Birch Bark, Cedar, Long, Kirig's, Swamp, "Wolf. Krain — St. 
Anna, Beautiful, St. Mary, Vos, Fish, Bear, Leitner. Holding — Two River. 
Le Sauk — Watab. Brockway — Shepard's. Avon — Pelican, Pine, Lower, Mid- 
dle and Upper Spunk, Kepper, Anna, Linneman, Minnie, Ahman's. St. Wen- 
del— Watab. Albany— North, Fifth, Sand. Oak— Uhlenkott 's, Maria, Fre- 
vel's. Sand, Getchell's, Metzger's. Grove — Black Oak, Isabella, Ellering's. 
Raymond — Sand. Lake George — Lake George. St. Martin — Gravel. Farm- 
ing.— Big and Little Rice, Clear, Henn. CoUegeville — St. Louis (on the shores 
of which is located St. John's University), Big Fish, Long, Sand, Stump, 
Island, Big Watab, Little Watab, Thomas, Petts, Kreighle, Eagle, Schuman. 
St. Joseph — Kraemer. St. Augusta — Block, Beaver. Rockville — Grand, Pleas- 
ant. Wakefield — Great Northern, Kray's Knaus, Parr, Bolfings, Zumwaldes, 
Koetter, Cedar Island, Schneider's — constituting a chain of lakes through 
which Sauk river runs, and is navigable for gasoline or steam launches, mak- 
ing a very attractive trip. Munson — Horse Shoe, Big, Becker, Schroederl, 
Cedar Island, Thien. Lake Henry — The lake from which this township orig- 
inally derived its name has dried up. Crow Lake — Crow, Tamarac, Halvor- 
son's Fish, Grass. Paynesville — Karonis, Rice. Eden Lake — Eden, Rice, 
Long, Brown's. Maine Prairie — Pearl, Cornelian, Goodner's Island, School 
Section, Morey, Day's, Willow. Fair Haven — Lake Lura, parts of Clear- 
water, Augusta, Caroline, Maria, Louise on the southern line, and of Beaver 
on the northern. Lynden — Long, Crooked, Maria, Holman's, Belle, Warner's 
and Fuller's, with parts of Clearwater, Grass and Centre. 

The altitude of the surface of the county, as given by the Great Northern 
railway officials, increases steadily and gradually from the southern to the 
northern boundary, except at Freeport, where the elevation gains rapidly. 
At the mouth of the Clearwater river it is 956 feet ; at St. Augusta, 1,008 ; at 
St. Cloud, 1,029 ; at St. Joseph, 1,080 ; at CoUegeville, 1,087 ; at Avon, 1,124 ; 
at Albany, 1,194; at Freeport, 1,234; at Melrose, 1,204; at Sauk Centre, 1,248. 

Stearns county was generously endowed by nature with the elements 
most essential to the growth, development and prosperity of a state, or any 
of its subdivisions. It has a rich soil — a warm loam which responds readily 
to the stimulating action of air and moisture, underlaid by clay which main- 
tains the soil's durability. It has both forests and open land fairly distrib- 
uted, by which the farmer is enabled to supply himself with timber for fuel 
and building uses and with open land for cultivation. It is well watered by 
rivers and creeks — the Mississippi river, the Sauk river, the North Fork of 
the Crow river and the Watab river passing along its border or meandering 
tortuously through township after township, as though purposeful to do the 
greatest good to the greatest number. Within its boundaries are more than 
two hundred beautiful lakes, most of which are fringed by woods, adding to 
the scenic attractions of the neighborhood as well as affording food for the 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 707 

settler and rare sport for the angler, as all are abundantly stocked with fish 
— bass, pike, croppies, pickerel and other varieties. There are also a number 
of trout streams, which in the season attract those best skilled in the use of 
the rod and line. It is the policy of the state to furnish free of cost **fry" 
of the most desirable kinds of fish, so that the lakes and streams may always 
be kept well stocked. 

The surface of the country is gently rolling, there being few high hills 
and very little waste land. There are thousands of acres of meadows from 
which nutritious hay is made, although most farmers are raising the tame 
grasses, both for hay and for the enriching of their land. The natural roads 
are good, but an intelligent policy of road building has been adopted by the 
state which will be of great advantage to all the counties, even to counties 
such as Stearns where the character of the soil lends itself readily to good- 
roads purposes. A liberal state fund, to be supplemented by local taxes, will 
provide means by which in a very few years these county roads can be made 
equal to the best. 

The rural telephone reaches practically every farm house, which with 
rural mail delivery, places the farmer in close touch with the great markets 
and with the current of affairs of the outside world. There is no longer any 
isolation such as existed in the early days when pioneering meant privation; 
no longer any need for the denial of many of the luxuries as well as the com- 
forts of life. The farmer can have his daily newspaper and his daily market 
reports; he can have the advantage of the circulating library, and his table 
can be supplied with whatever the village or city market may have to offer. 
The changes of the half century have been more marked in scarcely any direc- 
tion than in the conditions which surround life on the farm. The plodding 
ox which did the field and farm work has disappeared; the gang plow, the 
mower, the seeder, the harvester and the steam thresher are doing the work 
so laboriously and imperfectly done by the scythe, the cradle, the hand- 
sower, the flail and the horse-power thresher. The buggy, the carriage and 
now the automobile are almost universal among the conveniences of the farm, 
while the sewing machine, the organ and the piano are familiar objects in the 
inner life of the farm home. The future doubtless holds still more in the way 
of conveniences and comforts, but it can give nothing beyond what the great 
service the farmer has rendered and is rendering the country in the way of 
its development merits. There cannot but be deep regret, however much it 
is in the nature of things, that so few of those who bore the heat and burden 
of the day in the years of beginnings, have survived to enjoy the fruits which 
their labors produced. "Their epitaphs are writ in furrows." 

"Deep and wide 
The wheels of progress have passed on: 
The silent pioneer is gone. 
His ghost is moving down the trees. 
And now we push the memories 
Of bluff, bold men who dared and died 
In foremost battle, quite aside." 



708 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Stearns county is the fourth in population in the state, being exceeded 
only by the counties of Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis, in which are located 
the three large cities of Minneapolis, St, Paul and Duluth. Aside from these 
three counties, which may fairly be eliminated in a matter of comparison, 
this county stands at the head of the counties of the state. 

The first census of Stearns county was taken in 1856, by Addison Gilmore, 
who was both assessor and census taker. The total number of inhabitants 
then reported was 2,840. What became of the original of that census is ap- 
parently an unsolvable mystery. It is not in any of the departments at the 
state capitol. It cannot be in Washington, as it was not a government census. 
It is not in any discoverable place in the court house. It may possibly be 
hidden underneath the piles of unassorted and unassortable documents of 
past years which are in the vaults, and when a new court house is built with 
proper accommodations for the arranging of papers and documents it may 
be brought to light, and when found — if ever — it will be a document of ex- 
ceeding interest and value. 

The first government census was that of 1860, which was taken by the 
late C. Grandelmyer. Unfortunately it was taken as a whole, instead of by 
township subdivisions, with the population of the towns and villages given 
separately. The showing as to the population of the county at that time was 
as follows : The total population as first published was given as 4,059 (but in 
the official report issued later by the census department it is 4,505), of whom 
there were white males, 2,451 ; white females, 2,056 ; colored females, 2 ; num- 
ber of families, 1,050 ; number of dwelling houses, 1,257 ; number of persons 
attending school during previous year, 428 ; number of blind persons, 1 ; there 
were no deaf and dumb, insane, idiotic, paupers or convicts. The number both 
of families and dwellings were greater in Stearns county than the average in 
the state at large — the latter very considerably greater. The native-born 
population numbered 1,457, of whom much the larger proportion, 316, were 
born in Maine; New York following with 280; Pennsylvania, 128; Vermont, 
81 ; Massachusetts, 70 ; dropping to New Jersey and Delaware each 2 and 
Alabama and the District of Columbia 1 each. The total number of foreign- 
born was 1,956, of whom 866 came from Prussia, 667 from the rest of Ger- 
many, 75 from Ireland, 74 from Canada, 49 from England, 58 from France, 
42 from Switzerland, 41 from Austria and 21 from Norway and Sweden. In 
1870 the total population was 14,206 ; in 1880, it was 21,956 ; in 1890, it was 
34,844; in 1900 it was 44,464; and in the last census, that of 1910, it was 
47,733. 

While the per cent of increase for the decade between 1890 and 1900 
was 27.6, in the decade following it was only 7.4 per cent. This falling off 
was due largely, indeed wholly, to the fact that immigration, lured by the 
inducements held out by less thickly settled localities to the west and by the 
activity of Canadian land agents, went further to fare worse. Many who 
had already taken farms in this county were induced by the bewildering offers 
of "cheap lands" to pull up and try their fortune in new fields — too often 
having decided in haste to repent at their leisure. The per cent of increase 
has been least in the rural districts, where for the ten years preceding 1900 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 709 

it was only 3.3 per cent, while in the cities — those having a population of 
i!,500 and over — the increase was 23.0 per cent. 

Of the population in 1900 the native-born was 11,404, or 25.6 per cent of 
the whole; in 1910 it was 15,465 or 32.4 of the whole. From the beginning of 
its settlement Stearns county has been an attractive field for Germans, who 
came in large numbers, some townships being almost wholly occupied by set- 
tlers of that nationality. They have made a most desirable class of people 
— sturdy, industrious, honest and thrifty. The census statistics for 1910 
show that this condition has persisted, out of the total population of 47,733, 
there being 15,626 Germans of foreign and native birth, or over 32 per cent 
of the whole. The various foreign-bom nationalities in the country are as 
follows, the first number after each country being the ones born in a foreign 
country and the second number being those who had both parents born in 
a foreign country but who themselves were born in the United States: Ger- 
many, 5,315, 10,311; Austria, 678, 695; Norway, 523, 846; Sweden, 439, 428; 
Denmark, 94, 123; England, 122, 101; Canada, 341, 198; Ireland, 148, 356; 
Switzerland, 81, 68 ; Holland, 188, 97 ; Italy, 349, 4 ; Hungary, 188, 217 ; Greece, 
89, 0. 

Of the total population 24,783 are males and 22,950 are females, show- 
ing a fairly equal proportion. The number of males who are of voting age 
is 11,987. Of the foreign-born males 3,355 are naturalized, 186 have taken out 
their first papers, 637 are aliens, while as to 646 no information is given. 

In the matter of illiteracy the showing is very creditable. Of the males 
of voting age but 512 cannot read or write, this being 4.3 per cent of the total 
number. Of these 81, or 1.1 per cent, are native-born, and 431, or 8.9 per cent, 
are foreign-born. The total number of inhabitants ten years old and over 
is 35,234, of whom 972 are illiterate, being 2.8 per cent. Of this total 26,539 
are native-born ; illiterate, 225 ; per cent, 0.8. Foreign-born, 8,681 ; illiterate, 
747; per cent, 8.6. The number of persons in the county of school age, that 
is from 6 to 20 years, is 17,586, of whom 11,920 attend school, being 67.8 per 
cent. 

The year 1870 was the first in which the local subdivisions of the coimty 
were given, and they were as follows : 

1870. — Albany, 231; Avon, 211; Brockway, 478; Croun Creek (appears 
in Census report but there was no such township), 197; Eden Lake, 244; 
Fair Haven, 320; Getty, 366; Grove, 424; Lake Henry, 159; Linden, 270; Le 
Sauk, 268; Luxemburg, 237; Maine Prairie, 621; Melrose, 269; Munson, 795; 
North Fork, 280; Oak, 478; Paynesville, 318; Raymond, 305; Rockville, 403; 
Sauk Centre, 1,155; St. Augusta, 570; St. Cloud (township), 582; St. Cloud, 
2,161; (First Ward, 553; Second Ward, 455; Third Ward, 794; Fourth Ward, 
369); St. Joseph, 868; St. Martin, 556; St. Wendell, 356; Wakefield, 613; 
Zion, 471. 

Population of the townships, villages and cities in Stearns county, as 
shown by the last government census, that of 1910: Albany township, 966; 
Albany village, 657; Ashley township, 533; Avon township (1), 758; Avon 
village (1), 277; Belgrade village, 448; Brockway township, 1,244; Brooten 
village, 562 ; Cold Spring village, 594 ; Collegeville township, 606 ; Crow Lake 



7m HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

township, 438; Crow River township, 492; Eden Lake township, 899; Eden 
Valley village (part of), 287; Fairhaven township, 623; Farming township, 
956 ; Freeport village, 450 ; Getty township, 605 ; Grove township, 685 ; Holding 
township, 1,343; Holding village, 276; Kimball Prairie village, 312; Krain 
township, 1,329; Lake George township, 678; Lake Henry township, 606; Le 
Sauk township, 278 ; Luxemburg township, 1,117 ; Lyden township, 388 ; Maine 
Prairie township, 1,106 ; Meire Grove village, 163 ; Melrose city, 2,591 ; (Ward 
1, 1,291; Ward 2, 1,300); Melrose township, 768, Millwood township, 894; 
Munson township, 817; New Munich village, 190; North Fork township, 577; 
Oak township, 721; Paynesville township (2), 459; Paynesville village (2), 
901; Raymond township, 494; Richmond village, 563; Rockville township (3), 
535; Rockville village (3), 127; St. Augusta township, 766; St. Cloud city 
(4), 10,600; (Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4, 8,611); St. Cloud township (4), 654; St. 
Joseph township, 721 ; St. Joseph village, 706 ; St. Martin township, 601 ; St. 
Martin village, 177; St. Wendel township, 643; Sartell village (5), 240; Sauk 
Centre city, 2,154 (Ward 1, 784; Ward 2, 1,370) ; Sauk Centre township, 578; 
Spring Hill township, 653; Spring Hill village (6), 100; Waite Park village, 
406; Wakefield township, 735; Zion township, 675. (1) Avon village made in- 
dependent of Avon township in 1900. (2) Part of New Paynesville village 
annexed in 1904. (3) Rockville village incorporated from part of Rockville 
township in 1903. (4) Part of St. Cloud city detached and annexed to St. 
Cloud township in 1908. (5) Sartell village incorporated from part of Le 
Sauk township in 1907. (6) Spring Hill village incorporated from part of 
Spring Hill township in 1900. 

The statistics as to farm homes and conditions contained in the report of 
the United States census for 1910 give much valuable information. The total 
number of homes in Stearns county, with a population of 47,733, was 8,661, 
of which 4,162 were farm homes, 2,207 being owned by their occupants and 
free, 1,240 were encumbered and 699 were rented. This would give an average 
of 5.5 persons to each home. 

Of the 4,499 homes in the county, not on farms, 2,143 were owned by 
their occupants and free, 443 encumbered and 1,736 were rented. 

The number of farms was 4,255, ranging in size as follows: Under 3 
acres, 10; from 3 to 9 acres, 35; from 10 to 19 acres, 57; from 20 to 49 acres, 
267 ; from 50 to 99 acres, 618 ; from 100 to 174 acres, 1,498 ; from 175 to 259 
acres, 1,034 ; from 260 to 499 acres, 667 ; from 500 to 999 acres, 62 ; with but one 
farm of 1,000 acres and over. The average of all these farms was 178.9 acres, 
of which 106.3 acres was improved. As will be seen, the majority of farms 
were between 100 and 260 acres each. 

The approximate land area was 871,680 acres, of which 761,242 acres was 
in farms. The improved land in farms was 452,316 acres; woodland, 158,665 
acres ; other unimproved land, 150,261. 

Of the farmers occupying these lands 2,225 were native white and 2,030 
foreign-born white. 

While the number of farms in the county decreased from 4,449 in 1900 
to 4,255 in 1910 (doubtless by purchase and merging), the area in farms 
increased 29,919 acres and the improved land, 31,888 acres. 




MR. AND MRS. F. J. LORINSER 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 711 

The number of farms operated by their owners in 1910 was 3,551; as 
against 3,701 in 1900. This class of farms included 610,004 acres, of which 
356,814 acres were improved; the value of the land and the buildings being 
$12,524,277. Of these farms, 522 included some rented land. The owners 
were 1,711 native white and 1,840 foreign-born white — this item and another 
following showing that the number of foreign-bom whites owning their own 
farms, as compared with tenancy, was relatively larger than those owned by 
native whites. 

The number of farms operated by tenants in 1910 was 682 as against 721 
in 1900, showing a slight decrease during the decade, doubtless going to add 
to the ownership column. These farms included 140,248 acres, of which 91,024 
acres were improved; the value of the land and buildings being $5,272,740. 
Of these tenants, 502 were on shares, 40 share-cost, 110 cash, 30 tenure not 
specified. In nationality, 499 were native white and 183 foreign-born white. 

Managers operated 22 farms as against 27 in 1900; these farms having 
10,990 acres, of which 4,468 acres were improved, the value of the land and 
buildings being $377,210. 

Of the farms operated by the owners 2,187 were free of mortgage debt, 
while 1,339 were encumbered, 25 making no report. Of the farms consisting 
of owned land only, 1,047 reported their land and buildings as having a value 
of $6,090,221, with a mortgage indebtedness of $1,613,488, or 26.5 per cent. 

The value of all farm property was $34,548,484 in 1910, as against $18,- 
633,814 in 1900, showing an increase in the decade of 85.4 per cent. Of this 
increase that in lands went from $13,022,280 in 1900 to $24,361,627 in 1910; 
buildings, from $2,619,020 to $4,745,474; implements and machinery, $744,390 
to $1,374,117 ; domestic animals, poultry and bees, from $2,248,124 to $4,067,- 
266. The average value of farm land per acre in 1900 was $17.81 ; in 1910, 
it was $32.00. 

The number of farms reporting domestic animals was 4,184, or within 71 
of the total number, showing that the percentage of farmers too poor or too 
non-progressive to have stock was almost negligible. The total value of these 
animals was $3,959,713. 

Cattle— Total number, 68,428 ; dairy cows, 36,272 ; other cows, 5,399 ; year- 
ling heifers, 8,870 ; calves, 10,722 ; yearling steers and bulls, 4,475 ; other steers 
and bulls, 2,600 ; value, $1,358,725. 

Horses — Total number, 19,678; mature horses, 17,311; yearling colts, 1,935; 
spring colts, 432 ; value, $2,235,982. 

Mules — Total number, 124; mature mules, 119; yearling colts, 4; spring 
colts, 1; value, $13,620. 

Swine — Total number, 40,476; mature hogs, 19,962; spring pigs, 20,514; 
value, $306,068. 

Sheep — Total number, 13,060; rams, ewes and wethers, 8,596; spring 
lambs, 4,464; value, $43,328. 

Goats— Number, 401; value, $1,990. 

Poultry— Number of all kinds, 287,632; value, $102,481. 

Bees— Number of colonies, 1,338; value, $5,072. 



712 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

A total of 1,637 head of cattle, valued at $47,171; 1,853 horses, value 
$220,439; mules, 9, value $950; swine, 309, value $2,930; sheep and goats, 19, 
value $82, were in inclosures not on farms. 

In the item of expenses for the year 1909, 2,513 farms reported having 
paid $403,121 for labor ; rent and board furnished, $147,653. Seventeen farms 
reported an expenditure of $771 for fertilizers. On farms having a good 
supply of stock the necessity of purchasing fertilizers — and then only for 
some special use — is reduced to the minimum. For feed 1,268 farms reported 
an expenditure of $72,827, with $325,181 received from the sale of feedable 
crops. 

The total value of all crops for the year 1909 was $5,384,327, of which 
$4,178,967 came from cereals ; $161,822 from other grains and seeds ; $617,326 
from hay and forage ; $219,733 from vegetables ; $12,906 from fruits and nuts ; 
$193,573 from all other crops. 

The total acreage given to cereals was $264,842, the product being 7,008,- 
396 bushels. Of this corn had 38,167 acres, yield 1,215,007 bushels; oats 
72,695 acres, yield 2,694,415 bushels; wheat 116,052, yield 2,180,607 bushels; 
emmer and spelt 125 acres, yield 3,449 bushels; barley 23,597 acres, yield 
654,100 bushels; buckwheat 70 acres, yield 1,286 bushels; rye 14,136 acres, 
yield 259,532 bushels; dry peas 131 acres, yield 3,344 bushels; dry edible 
beans 27 acres, yield 732 bushels; flaxseed 8,438 acres, yield 90,161 bushels. 
It will be observed that wheat still leads all the other cereals in acreage, 
being followed by oats, corn and rye in the order here given. 

Of hay and forage the total acreage was 108,234, with a yield of 162,200 
tons. The acreage given to all tame and cultivated grasses was 31,133, tons 
of hay 50,001 ; timothy alone 12,156 acres, tons hay 18,215 ; timothy and clover 
mixed 9,745 acres, 16,921 tons hay; clover alone 2,235 acres, tons hay 3,644; 
alfalfa 40 acres, tons hay 73 ; millet or Hungarian grass 324 acres, tons hay 
396 ; other tame or cultivated grasses 6,733 acres, tons hay 10,752 ; wild, salt 
or prairie grasses 75,078 acres, tons hay 100,587 ; grains cut green 40 acres, 
tons 87; coarse forage 1,967 acres, tons 5,466. 

Potatoes 3,938 acres, yield 486,540 bushels; all other vegetables 1,394 
acres; sugar beets 47 acres, yield 591 tons; maple trees 244, from which 56 
gallons of sirup was made; sorghum cane 65 acres, with 441 tons of cane, 
making 5,854 gallons of sirup. 

The total number of fruit trees growing was 19,007, giving 8,337 bushels 
of crop. Of these trees 14,261 were apple, and the yield 8,148 bushels ; 3,739 
plums, yield 143 bushels; cherries 882, yield 39 bushels; and one lonesome 
peach tree, with a reported yield of one bushel. Its locality is not given. 
Some years ago a peach tree in bearing was in the Stager nursery at Sauk 
Rapids, and was a curiosity. It was carried through the winter by the 
branches being bent down and all deeply covered. However, it died young, 
meeting the fate which usually befals the good. Further climatic changes 
will be required before peaches become a usual or profitable fruit crop in 
Minnesota. Of grapes there were 947 vines, yielding 4,440 pounds; straw- 
berries 12 acres, with a yield of 14,757 quarts ; raspberries 6 acres, yield 5,852 
quarts; nuts 157 trees, yield 350 pounds. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 713 

Stearns county holds its primacy in the matter of wealth as well as in 
that of population. Its taxable property valuation in 1913 — the latest report 
available — $18,144,916, is exceeded by that of only four counties, with which 
no fair comparison can be made, viz. Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis, in 
which are the three large cities of the state, Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth, 
and Itasca with its many developed iron mines. In the list of the agricultural 
counties of the state, Stearns stands first. The total number of acres assessed 
was 850,087.45, the average value being $12.75. The average rate of taxation 
in the county was 30.60 mills, only 31 out of the 86 counties in the state having 
as low a rate, while a number exceeded 40 and 50 mills, one having a rate of 
61.50 and another 72.34 mills. 

The total tax was $555,802.19, of which $118,563.45 was state tax. The 
county revenue was $60,078.58; roads and bridges $30,136.04; bonds and 
interest $15,639.96 ; cities and villages $77,642.70 ; townships $34,386.56 ; school 
districts $168,081.46. In 1858 the total taxable property of the county was 
assessed at $244,952; in 1880 it was $5,884,374; in 1913 it was $18,144,916. 
The return of moneys and credits was $1,710,970, this being exceeded in only 
five other counties in the state. 

The personal property assessment for 1914 gave 7,732 assessments, the 
total true value of the property assessed being $13,614,621, and the assessed 
value $4,411,187. The following items were included: Household furniture, 
$485,051 ; rugs, carpets, books, etc., $23,380 ; sewing machines, $27,299 ; watches 
and clocks, $16,343; jewelry, $9,252; pianos (1,000), $71,332; melodeons and 
organs (736), $6,863. (These are assessed at 25 per cent of their true value.) 

Horses — Under 1 year, 1,436, average value $10.23; 1 year and under 2, 
2,027, average value $18.14 ; 2 and under 3, 1,923, average value, $24.78 ; 3 and 
over, 16,122, average value $40.56 ; fine bred, 85, average value $193.11. 

Cattle — Under 1 year, 12,068, average value $3.08; 1 and under 2, 11,111, 
average value $5.70; 2 and under 3, 7,449, average value $9.40; cows, 30,371, 
average value $15.05 ; bulls, 1,121, average value $25.32 ; other cattle, 67, 
average value $15.40. 

Miscellaneous — Sheep, 5,702, average value $2.06; hogs, 20,219, average 
value, $4.17 ; poultry, $43,152 ; dogs, $18,700 ; farm tools and machinery, $273,- 
729; wagons, carriages and sleighs, $161,522; harness and saddles, $44,011; 
automobiles (904), $209,448; motorcycles and bicycles, $2,313; street railway 
cars, $7,633 ; grain and other agricultural products in hands of producers, 
$7,940; threshing machines, $21,014; steam engines, etc., $45,541; manufac- 
turers tools, etc., $110,812; wheat, flour, etc., in the hands of manufacturers, 
$13,343 ; lumber, lath and shingles, $61,042 ; brick, quarried stone, etc., $7,759 ; 
other manufactured materials, $19,691; wholesalers' goods, $57,631; retail 
merchants, $470,952 ; store furniture and fixtures, $23,977 ; office furniture, 
etc., $12,656 ; printing presses, etc., $14,872 ; creamery equipment, $6,627 ; 
saloon equipment, $33,074; restaurants, $11,365. (Assessed at 33i/^ per cent 
of their true value.) Elevators and warehouses on railroad land, $56,324; 
shares of bank stock, $408,427 (assessed at 40 per cent of their true value) ; 
lands, 850,069.59 acres ; average value, $14.67 per acre ; total assessed value 
of aU real estate, $16,962,286 ; true value, $48,463,684. 



714 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

In the following list will be found under each township, the total assessed 
value of real property as equalized by the county board, the total assessed 
value of personal property as equalized by the county board, and the number 
of automobiles and auto trucks. 

Townships— Albany, $364,822 ; $73,989 ; 4. Ashley, $398,962 ; $68,077 ; 10 
Avon, $247,270; $39,735; 1. Brockway, $490,700; $74,339; 7. CoUegeviUe; 
$146,938; $30,684; — . Crow Lake, $281,467; $56,622; 10. Crow River, 
$262,768; $58,557; 6. Eden Lake, $292,802; $68,408; 9. Fair Haven, $279,779 
$55,445; 5. Farming, $330,728; $63,696; 7. Getty, $311,599; $62,732; 2 
Grove, $314,554; $78,627; 4. Holding, $348,688; $79,642; 5. Krain, $396,897 
$84,561; 3. Lake George, $313,701; $67,654; 10. Lake Henry, $302,987 
$56,380; 18. Le Sauk, $163,072; $42,720; 4. Luxemburg, $306,624; $76,965 
10. Lynden, $143,250; $42,391; 1. Maine Prairie, $494,892; $115,066; 31 
Melrose, $340,861; $54,844; 3. Millwood, $301,536; $70,336; 5. Munson 
$314,508; $71,299; 5. North Fork, $296,424; $66,584; 4. Oak, $317,827 
$78,745 ; 11. Paynesville, $285,117 ; $53,081 ; 8. Raymond, $302,754 ; $60,405 
4. Rockville, $282,953; $53,200; 3. St. Augusta, $324,663; $62,565; 8. St 
Cloud, $244,901; $58,354; 10. St. Joseph, $283,303; $78,916; 3. St. Martin 
$311,750; $66,494; 3. St. Wendel, $302,805; $53,368; 1. Sauk Centre, $320, 
163; $61,269; — . Spring Hill, $328,492; $71,474; 4. Wakefield, $298,300 
$61,662 ; 8. Zion, $341,141 ; $71,781 ; 12. Total automobiles, 249. 

The lowest real estate true value was in Collegeville, $19.36 per acre ; the 
highest in Ashley, $41.34, and in Lake Henry, $41.25; the average true value 
per acre in the county being $35.22. 

Villages— Albany, $96,642; $244,949; 14. Avon, $26,534; $59,058; 3. 
Belgrade, $81,390; $182,541; 16. Brooten, $103,064; $240,620; 30. Cold 
Spring, $126,212; $209,259; 24. Eden Valley, $28,261; $48,399; 11. Freeport, 
$55,835; $156,012; 12. Holding, $44,108; $116,771; 13. Kimball, $71,453; 
$154,798; 22. Lake Henry, $65,326; $60,258; 4. Meire Grove, $17,974; 
$49,719 ; — . New Munich, $16,616 ; $81,906 ; 4. Paynesville, $181,791 ; $374,- 
565; 63. Richmond, $91,428; $175,083; 17. Rockville, $27,565; $68,273; 6. 
Roscoe, $24,642; $79,738; 13. St. Anthony, $32,902; $33,664; 3. St. Joseph, 
$62,696; $117,322; 8. St. Martin, $43,974; $54,532; 4. St. Nicholas, $44,974; 
$40,406; 2. Sartell, $27,295; $38,890; 8. Spring Hill, $27,341; $29,056; 4. 
Waite Park, $78,479 ; $32,090 ; 2. 

Cities— St. Cloud, $2,583,665; $2,422,419; 242. Sauk Centre, $643,245; 
$653,143; 81. Melrose, $399,323; $401,114; 44. Total automobiles in cities 
and villages, 655. Real estate is assessed at 40 per cent of its true value and 
personal property from 25 per cent to 33% per cent. 

A bulletin from the State Board of Immigration, compiled from the 
official records, gives the crop reports for 1913 for the states of Minnesota, 
Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana, Ohio, Mich- 
igan and Wisconsin. Minnesota leads, either in total production or in aver- 
age yield, in practically every product. Its average yield of corn, 40 bushels 
per acre, is equaled only by Wisconsin, which is the same, Ohio coming next 
with 38 bushels. Its production of wheat is exceeded only by North Dakota, 
while in yield per acre it is 5.3 bushels ahead of that state. In oats it leads 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 715 

in average yield, 38 bushels, and in production is exceeded only by Iowa. 
The barley crop is far in the lead in total production and in average falls 
but two bushels below Illinois, which has 26 bushels on a very small total crop. 
In rye its average is the highest, 19 bushels, and the production is exceeded 
only by Wisconsin. The average of the potato crop is first, 110 bushels, the 
total yield being slightly below that of Michigan and Wisconsin. The average 
of the hay crop, 1.50, is second, the total product being fourth. Other statis- 
tics show that Minnesota is the leading state in the Union in flour-mill and 
grist-mill products. In the production of butter, cheese and condensed milk 
it advanced from the sixth place in 1889 to the fifth in 1904 and fourth in 
1909, which place it still holds. 

An advance statement from the Board of Immigration gives the follow- 
ing statistics for the 1914 crop in Stearns county, the acreage, average yield 
and production being given under each product : Corn, 50,967 ; 40 ; 2,038,680. 
Oats, 76,329; 20; 1,526,580. Wheat, 104,447; 71/2; 783,352. Barley, 24,776; 
25; 619,400 Rye, 16,326; 20; 326,520. Flax, 7,776 ; 8 ; 62,208. Potatoes, 4,056 ; 
100; 405,600. Hay, 108,234; II/2 (tons); 162,351. The exceptionally low 
average yield of wheat last year was due to the prevalence of black rust, 
which also affected the oats. The general average yield was about the same 
as in the state at large in 1913. 

By the first government census, that of 1860, the number of farms in the 
county was 680; number of acres under cultivation, 16,770; number of neat 
cattle, 3,865; number 'of horses, 423; number of swine, 3,267. 

The official crop report for 1862 gave for Stearns county 100,000 bushels 
of wheat; 12,000 bushels of rye; 2,400 bushels of barley; 48,000 bushels of 
cats; 43,000 bushels of corn; 68,000 bushels of potatoes. 

For many years Wheat was King in Stearns county. It was practically 
a sure crop, the yield was seldom less than thirty bushels per acre of Scotch 
Fife No. 1 hard. The generous soil paid this tribute year after year although 
in too many cases the farmer gave nothing in return — no fertilizing, no sum- 
mer fallowing, no rotation of crops. In frequent years the price was exceed- 
ingly low, yet it was always a cash article when it reached the market and 
it provided the farmers with the means to pay taxes and such other demands 
as required actual money. 

But as years passed the yield gradually lessened, and at the same time 
farmers grew wiser. They came to appreciate the wisdom of diversifying agri- 
culture, to realize the greater and surer profit which came from raising stock, 
either for dairying or for beef purposes. Butter had been much of the time 
a drug in the market, and much of the time was without a market at any 
price. The demand was almost wholly that created by local consumption; 
only the best quality was saleable at anything like a fair price, and only too 
large a proportion was not of a fair quality. 

The remedy for this condition came gradually, but it finally did come — 
through the creamery. The result has been to fairly revolutionize the situa- 
tion as regards butter production and to make this one of the most profitable 
branches of the farmer's income. 

The first butter and cheese factory in Minnesota was built in 1870, but 



716 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

the progress was slow. At the end of ten years there were but 27 ; at the close 
of the year 1890 there were 200. It was during this year that the separator 
came into use, and by 1900 it had entirely displaced the gravity method of 
separating the cream from the milk. Minnesota made rapid progress in the 
amount and value of its dairy products. While in 1880 it was only eighteenth 
among the states, by 1890 it was seventh ; ten years later it was sixth, and in' 
1910 it was fourth, being outranked only by Wisconsin, New York and Iowa. 
In the matter of quality its success has been still more marked. At the national 
dairy convention held in Chicago Minnesota scored the most signal and sweep- 
ing victory in the butter exhibition ever achieved by any state. Not only 
did it win the $100 banner offered as a trophy to the state whose entries led 
in average for the ten highest scores, but both the first and second highest 
scores were taken by Minnesota buttermakers — the former being 96.83 and 
the other 96.50. The average of Minnesota's ten highest scores was 96.24; 
Iowa was second with 95.68 ; Wisconsin third with 95.43 ; Illinois fourth with 
94.48. The judges were from Wisconsin and Iowa. 

Stearns county has taken a leading part in this development. In 1860 
there were 1,102 cows, producing 87,565 pounds of butter and 1,000 pounds 
of cheese ; in 1870, there were 4,399 cows, producing 323,085 pounds of butter 
and 10,435 pounds of cheese. Ten years later the number of cows had in- 
creased to 9,723, and the factory had come to take its place in the farm 
economy, the result being that 43,147 pounds of milk was sent to the factory, 
while 591,202 pounds of butter was made on the farm, and 40,440 pounds of 
cheese. By 1890 there were 16,348 cows, whose product was 3,920,526 gallons 
of milk, 851,080 pounds of butter and 10,273 pounds of cheese. In 1900 dairy 
products were reported from 4,168 farms, the value being $397,650, of which 
products to the value of $144,984 were consumed on the farms. The total 
number of gallons of milk produced was 7,671,896, of which 2,363,433 gallons 
were sold, and in addition 2,379 gallons of cream were sold. Of butter 1,- 
043,154 pounds were made, 654,137 pounds being sold. The cheese production 
was 2,040 pounds, 1,182 pounds being sold. In 1910 there were 35,090 cows 
on farms reporting dairy products — an increase of more than one hundred 
per cent since 1890 — producing 8,337,777 gallons of milk, of which 3,018,714, 
or almost two-thirds were sold. The amount of cream sold was 439,378 gal- 
lons, of butter fat 1,022,376 pounds. The butter produced was 622,491 pounds, 
325,730 pounds being sold. The production of cheese was 2,704 pounds ; sold, 
2,350. The value of all dairy products excluding the home use of milk and 
cream was $814,549, and of this $739,092 was received by the farmers from 
the sale of their products. 

These figures are intended as showing the remarkable growth of the 
dairying interests of the county from 1880^ when there were but 1,102 cows, 
to 1910 when the number had increased to 35,090, bringing to their owners a 
cash income of almost three-quarters of a million dollars a year, aside from 
the milk and cream consumed at the home table. The records of the Min- 
nesota Dairy and Food Department show that during the year 1913 the farm- 
ers of Steams county received more money from the sale of butter fat than 
was received in any other county in the state, aside from Ramsey and Hen- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 717 

nepin counties, which are not agricultural counties at all but in whose cities 
are located the "centralizers" which draw from all parts of the state. This 
income could be very materially increased if farmers generally would grade 
up their cows along dairy lines, too many of them acting on the principle 
that ' ' a cow is a cow. ' ' A farmer with a good-sized herd, or a group of farm- 
ers, if preferred, could profitably invest in a registered bull — Jersey, Guernsey, 
Ilolstein or some other recognized good breed — thereby increasing the yield 
of milk rich in butter fat sufficient to pay a handsome dividend on the cost 
of the animal. 

The creameries would seem to have crowded out the cheese factories in 
this county. While at one time there were three, with a production of 10,435 
pounds of cheese, the number was reduced until in 1910 there was but one, 
producing 8,897 pounds of cheese. A year later even this one had disappeared 
and its place has not since been taken. In the entire state there are 72 cheese 
factories, 31 being in the two counties of Dodge and Goodhue — Benton has 
one, paying its patrons in 1912, the sum of $3,255.04 — the amount paid patrons 
being $621,301.92, with $76,490.67 expenses. The larger proportion of these 
factories (46) make American cheese; thirteen, brick cheese, and four Swiss 
cheese. 

In the days of the first settlement of the county it was an accepted be- 
lief that corn could never become a profitable crop, that the growing season 
was too short. The only variety of corn that was planted for a number of 
years was "squaw corn," small of ear, small of grain, small of yield and in- 
ferior in quality. But gradually the farmers ventured to try the flint and 
the dent, with most gratifying results. In recent years it has become one of 
the most profitable crops in the county and state. Experiments at the state 
farm have produced varieties, especially Minnesota No. 13, giving exception- 
ably large yields. The cultivation of corn has been found to be advisable 
not only for the yield of the grain but for the cleaning of the land and as 
\aluable in a wise system of crop rotation. The corn acreage has also in- 
creased as farmers are more and more abandoning the raising of wheat and 
giving their attention to stock raising, both for the market and for dairying 
purposes. Corn stands at the head of the list of grains for fattening pur- 
poses, while ensilage has a superlative value as a feed for cows. 

At the sixth national corn exposition held at Dallas, Texas, in 1914, Min- 
nesota took many prizes. It won with white dent the championship of the 
northern zone, beating Michigan, "Wisconsin and North and South Dakota. 
It took the world's sweepstake prize for the best ten ears of early sweet 
corn, as also the second prize. It won the second prize on pop corn, the first 
going to Michigan, in the world's sweepstake competition. Minnesota had 
the only ear of corn measuring fourteen inches, for which $1,000 was paid 
by James J. Hill. 

But it was not alone in corn that Minnesota won honors and prizes. The 
sweepstakes prize for spring wheat from the northern zone was won by Min- 
nesota. The judges pronounced the samples of wheat exhibited at this expo- 
sition the finest ever shown in the history of the association. In millet seed, 
the world contest, it took second prize ; buckwheat, first prize ; alfalfa, fourth 



718 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

prize; alsike clover, fourth prize; Kentucky blue grass, second prize — the 
last being in competition with four samples from Kentucky, the "home of 
the blue grass;" timothy seed, fifth prize. 

As one of the most fertile and productive counties in Minnesota, Steams 
shares in the honors won for the state at this exposition. There are none of 
these grains or grasses but are most successfully raised here. While the prin- 
cipal crop is still wheat, yet the tendency is strongly in the direction of corn, 
barley and rye, for feeding stock, and the grasses, clover, timothy, millet, 
blue grass and red top, especially the two first named. The result has been 
favorable both to the income of the farm and the strengthening and improv- 
ing of the soil. It is an undeniable fact that farmers are giving more atten- 
tion to the science of farming, to adopting methods with a view to results, 
in other words doing more intelligent farming than in years gone by. No 
small amount of credit for this is due to the influence of the agricultural 
department of the State University, with the experimental stations, from 
which scores of farmers' sons and daughters are graduated each year. 

In a contest entered into the present year (1914) among the farmer boys 
of the state for the championship on the product of one acre there were entries 
from 80 out of the 86 counties in the state. The successful contestant was 
Hoy Halverson, a 16-year-old farmer of Kerkhoven, Chippewa county, whose 
record was 115 bushels of dry shelled corn on one acre of ground. Three 
others raised more than 100 bushels of dry shelled corn to the acre. The 
results obtained by the Stearns county contestants are not given, but their 
failure to be winners was not due to any defect of soil or natural conditions 
but to lack of the best methods of cultivation. 

The system by which the prize lot of corn was grown is somewhat at 
variance with other experts who have advocated planting corn early and 
planting it deep so that in case of heavy frost the roots would not be dam- 
iged. This boy won his success by planting the corn on May 18, after the 
'rost danger was past; drilling only an inch and a half deep; cultivating 
:ften and deep; thinning out stalks carefully; giving the corn ample time in 
the fall to mature and harden; testing the seed in seed corn week; planting 
Minnesota No. 13 corn. It might be well for Stearns county farmers, old 
as well as young, to give this young champion's method careful consideration 
and a practical test. 

The reputation of Stearns county for blooded stock is not only state-wide 
but is almost national. Some of the highest grade animals, both cattle and 
horses, have been owned in this county, not merely as individuals, but in herds 
and studs, selected with the greatest care and handled with skill and every 
attention to the best results. This distinction began early in its history. 
The first importation of choice stock was in 1857, when the Rev. Thomas P. 
Calhoun brought overland from Tennessee a herd of pure-blood cattle, these 
being probably the first blooded cattle ever brought into Minnesota. It was 
Mr. Calhoun's intention to go into stock raising on a somewhat extensive 
scale, but his tragic death a little more than a year afterwards had dis- 
astrous results for his undertaking. 

The late N. P. Clarke appreciating the value which would result to the 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 719 

farmers of this part of the Northwest from improving the grade of their 
stock, especially their cattle, both for dairy and beef purposes, secured by 
purchase in the United States and by direct importation from Great Britain — 
often by personal selection — some of the choicest animals that could be had. 
His specialty was Shorthorns, and he eventually gathered at his farms in this 
county an exceedingly choice and valuable herd. They took prizes wherever 
exhibited, and their progeny went to grade up the herds of many of the 
more progressive farmers not only in Minnesota but in the states adjoining. 
In the way of horses Mr, Clarke was equally successful, his stables of im- 
ported Clydesdales being unexcelled in the country. 

Others who engaged in the raising of blooded cattle, although on a less 
extensive scale, were the late Judge D. B. Searle and John Cooper, both of 
whom confined themselves mainly to Shorthorns. John Lorenz, near Rock- 
ville, has been successful with Herefords. 

Of late years more attention than before has been given to graded swine. 
Hodgson Bros., purchasers of the Searle farm at Pleasant lake, breed Chester 
whites, as also Percheron horses and Aberdeen Angus cattle. These gentle- 
men removed to Stearns county from Martin county, where they had many 
years' experience in raising fine stock. 

P. J. Fosse, who came to this county from Wisconsin, locating near the 
city limits of St. Cloud, breeds the Duroc Jersey swine, as also Percheron 
horses and Poll Durham cattle. Both breed prize animals, and dispose of 
their product both inside and outside of the state. There are other breeders 
in different parts of the county who handle blooded stock. 

The raising of Angora goats, principally for use in clearing brush land 
and only incidentally for the wool, has been undertaken, several large flocks 
having been introduced, but on the whole the experiment was not satisfac- 
tory, and there are now very few left. 

Following for many years the policy which prevailed in most of the 
counties in the state of having road work done piecemeal, a section here and 
a section there, without any concerted plan or competent supervision, Stearns 
county's roads were far from being what they should have been. The plan 
of "working out" the road tax, whereby tolerably good roads were made 
almost impassable by the plowing up of sod and piling it in the middle of 
the highway, was popular, as it made the payment of the tax easy and con- 
venient, but it was wasteful and unprogressive. But more recently the ''gospel 
of good roads" which had been vigorously preached made many converts, 
and the oldtime policy of the road overseer was supplanted by a consistent 
plan of state supervision. The more important roads were made state high- 
ways and competent engineers were placed in charge of the work of con- 
struction and improvement. The result has been that Stearns county has 
annually added many miles of well-built roads. The character of the soil 
and the material readily at hand make possible the construction of excellent 
roads at a minimum cost. 

During the year 1914 fifty-five miles of good roads were built in this 
county, and provision has been made for the care and repair of all state 



720 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

roads, which is quite as important as their construction. The following 
synopsis of the annual report of R. P. Didlake, deputy highway engineer, 
made to the state board contains much that is of value and interest : 

The total road mileage in Stearns county is approximately 2,200 miles, 
including 118 miles of state roads. State road No. 1, from St. Cloud through 
St. Joseph, Avon, Albany, Freeport, Melrose, Sauk Centre north to the county 
line. State road No. 2, from St. Cloud through Rockville, Cold Spring, Rich- 
mond, Roscoe, Paynesville, west to the county line. State road No. 3, from 
St. Cloud through Kimball south to the county line. No. 4, from St. Cloud 
through St. Augusta to Clearwater. No. 5, from Avon through St. Anna to 
Holdingford. No. 6, from St. Joseph to Cold Spring. About 125 miles of this 
total are improved according to the standard adopted for earth roads by the 
state highway commission. 

During the year 1914, $43,523 has been spent on this system of roads un- 
der the supervision of the highway commission. This includes $7,000 given 
toward the Sartell bridge, $1,153 for a bridge in the town of St. Augus(ta, 
and $6,500 for the maintenance of the state road system during the season. 
Not all of this money was expended directly by the county, some of the work 
being handled by the different town boards. 

A total of 55 miles was graded and improved during the season. The 
total cost of these 55 miles was $29,370 — or $534 a mile. The cost (including 
clearing, grubbing, grading and culverts) on a few pieces with which the 
reader is familiar is as follows : St. Cloud to St. Joseph, 5.1 miles, $3,000 ; St. 
Cloud to Rockville, including the graveling at Waite Park, 9.8 miles, $6,640.85 ; 
Melrose to Sauk Centre, 7.8 miles $6,502.54; Halfway House to Pleasant lake, 
$3,273.62. 

The first job on state road No. 1, St. Cloud to St. Joseph, was graded by 
the county outfit, consisting of one 35-horse traction engine and two blade 
graders. After finishing this job, the county outfit has graded that portion 
of state road No. 2 that could be worked with a blade grader, from Cold 
Spring through Paynesville to the county line; state road No. 6, from St. 
Joseph to Cold Spring and several other smaller jobs. This outfit is suitable 
only for light grading or turnpiking and has been busy the entire season. 

The rest of the jobs mentioned have been contract work. 

Stearns county has done very little in the way of gravel and nothing in 
the way of macadam roads this year. It has been the policy of the county 
board to spend the money to get the largest number of miles of earth roads 
improved to serve a large number of people, rather than spend the money 
at this time on concrete, macadam or gravel roads and construct a few miles 
to serve a few people 

The 118 miles of state roads in the county were divided this year into 
nine sections for the purpose of maintenance. A man was placed in charge of 
each section at a salary of $90 per month. These men were placed under 
bond and had power to hire additional help when needed. They were started 
to work April 15th and taken- off November 1. A small two-horse grader and 
a drag were furnished each man by the county, the men themselves furnished 
a team, wagon and such small tools as were needed. They devoted all their 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 721 

time to the work and it was each man's duty to keep his portion of the road 
dragged, free from holes and the loose stones picked off, and in the best 
possible condition. Short pieces of the roads were surfaced, drainage looked 
after and some culverts installed. 

The road program for 1915 so far as mapped out by the county board 
includes the following: The building of four bridges now under contract. 
The grading of state road No. 1 from Freeport to Melrose, on state road No. 
3 from St. Cloud to Kimball, the completion of the work on state road No. 2 
from Richmond to Paynesville, the graveling of state road No. 2 from St. 
Cloud to Rockville, and the graveling of state road No. 6 from St. Joseph 
to Cold Spring. 

In connection with the matter of roads it may be said that 162 miles of 
county and judicial ditches have been built in this county, at a cost of 
$148,615.23, and benefiting 19,861 acres of land. 

In the earlier days of the county's history the limited needs of the settlers 
for lime in the localities off from the lines of travel and transportation were 
met by the use of magnesian limestone boulders which were to be found in 
almost every township. These were burned and sufficient lime secured not 
only for individual use but for sale. A geological and natural history survey 
of the county made in 1882-85 by Warren Upham, under the direction of 
the State University, discovered how generally this work had been carried 
on. In Maine Prairie, on section 30, A. B. and H. J. Hicks made about 400: 
barrels of lime yearly, which they sold at $1.40 per barrel at the kiln. All 
the limestone boulders collected yielded white lime. The largest block found 
measured 12 x 6 x 6 feet. In Luxemburg lime was made in this way by N. 
liardy in section 4, John Rausch in section 11 and by others. In Eden Lake 
B. Pirz in the N. W. 14 of section 5, during ten years or more, and John 
Leyendecker in the N. E. 14 of section 6, beginning in 1880, made white lime 
at $1.25 per barrel at the kiln. About a twentieth part of the boulders in the 
morainic hills in these sections were limestone, the remainder being mainly 
granite, syenite and crystallenic schist. In Munson, John Corde in section 8. 
In Farming, John Ludewitz in section 27, John Clouse in section 28, and 
others; selling at $1.35 to $1.50 per barrel. In Zion, Christian Lauer and 
Michael Hammer, both in the east half of section 6. In St. Martin, David 
Smith in section 7. In Oak, Henry Welle in section 14, and Joseph Haas in 
section 21 ; selling at $1.00 to $1.25 per barrel. 

In Spring Hill, C. Sehoenborn in the S. W. 14 of section 21, and Joseph 
Gau in the N. E. 14 of section 27, the latter obtaining the stone mostly from 
a large mass, fifteen feet or more in length, buried in the drift excepting a 
small point. In Melrose, A. J. Petrie in section 20, and John Dwyer in section 
30. In Getty, G. Gilbertson in section 19 and George Barlow in section 22. 
The largest limestone block f oiuid by Mr. Gilbertson measured 8x5x4 feet. 
In Sauk Centre, L. M. Thomason in section 22. Generally through the west- 
ern part of the county about one in a hundred of the large boulders is lime- 
stone, one in twenty approximately of the smaller boulders, and a still further 
increased proportion of the gravel. 

In subsequent years as population increased and the demand for lime 



722 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

passed beyond the ability of a sufficient supply being secured through these 
primitive methods, it was obtained from the localities where the supply of 
limestone was abundant and where the making of lime was carried on on a 
scale sufficient to meet all the demands of the market. "While no further 
use is made of these scattered boulders they served in their day a very useful 
purpose. 

Bricks were made at St. Cloud, Collegeville, Sauk Centre, Melrose, Col- 
legeville, Le Sauk and Oak. 

Stearns county with its lakes and trees — its tempting fields and bam 
yards, has its full share of birds each season. The permanent residents and 
winter visitors find more food here than further south where the tree trunks 
are often covered with ice, while during the spring and summer seasons prac- 
tically all the birds found in Minnesota can be found in these parts. 

As early as March before the snow has begun to melt many of the sum- 
mer birds are seen. The meadow lark and the prairie horned lark, the blue- 
bird, robin, red winged black bird, phoebe and the flicker come while we are 
still wearing our winter furs. These are followed in April by the yellow 
headed black bird, the martin, grackle, cowbird, mourning dove, cat bird 
and the vesper and song sparrow. 

Among the May birds are the rose-breasted grosbeak, the Baltimore and 
orchard orioles, yellow warbler, red-start, northern yellow throat humming 
bird, swallows, thrush, house wren, bobolink, king bird and pewee. Some- 
times we have had snow storms in May and the birds have been fed with 
suet, bread crumbs and grain by the farmers and town people. In May the 
yellow bellied sapsucker taps the maple trees, riddling the trunks with holes 
not more than an inch apart and it is often necessary to destroy the bird in 
order to save the tree. About the lakes are often found the Great Blue Heron 
and the Little Green Heron, the Killdeer and Sandpiper, while Coots and 
Loons are very plentiful. 

Some winter visitants are the tree sparrows, often seen in flocks with the 
Junco in town and country, and the snow bird who lives on small seed and 
comes in barn yards when the fields are covered with snow. The most strik- 
ing winter bird is the evening grosbeak which is only seen occasionally and 
in small numbers near boxelder trees. It is large with a buff — white and 
black color scheme and is sure to excite comment, both because of its rarity 
and its beauty. 

With these winter birds are the permanent residents who receive more 
attention now than in the summer months when the woods are filled with the 
brilliantly plumaged songsters. There are the two woodpeckers, hairy and 
northern downey, and the white breasted nuthatch who are easily attracted 
to our porches and window sills by suet or crumbs. The American gold 
finch loses its yellow color this time of year and looks like its buff female. 
The black capped chickadee is seen and heard through the entire year, as is 
the bob white or quail. It seems heartless to place these with game birds 
as they so trustingly respond to a little kindness and will feed in yards 
except during the breeding seasons. 

Hunters find snipe, prairie chickens, quail, plover, partridge and mallard 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 723 

canvas back, teal, red head, spoon bill, blue bill and wood ducks, also wild 



Of the 47,093.14 acres of school lands originally in the county but 120 
acres remain unsold. The rest were purchased by settlers for cultivation, 
either as original farms or to be added to the acreage already possessed. As 
the terms of payment were easy, extending over a long period of years at a 
low rate of interest, these school lands were an attractive investment. Every 
precaution was taken, by legislation and otherwise, to prevent their going 
into the hands of speculators. 

Stearns county never had a poor farm. While action in that direction 
was taken several times by the board of county commissioners it never 
reached fruition. For some years the poor were cared for by the county 
from a special fund raised by taxation, but a change was made whereby they 
became a town charge (chapter 234, special laws of 1877). Attempts were 
made at different times to secure legislation whereby there would be a re- 
turn to the former plan, but without result, and the township method has 
been generally accepted and now prevails throughout the county. 

Inheritance taxes were paid in 1913 by these estates : L. Garding, $68.97 ; 
John 0. McClure, $2,750.48; Mathias Weirens, $119.00. In 1914: John Bar- 
bian, $4.55. 

Loans were obtained from the state in 1914 by the town of LeSauk, 
$5,000 ;„ Melrose school district, $35,000; School district No. 119, $2,000; Dis- 
trict No. 206, $3,300. 

The Stearns County Agricultural society received from the state treas- 
ury, $1,500. 

Payments into the state treasury on account of the two per cent tax on 
liquor licenses issued for the fiscal year ending July 31, 1914, for the sup- 
port of the Inebriate Asylum at Willmar, were made by Stearns county and 
the different cities and villages : County, $90 ; St. Cloud, $1,120 ; Sauk Centre, 
$144 ; Melrose, $170 ; Albany, $70 ; Avon, $40.12 ; Belgrade, $50 ; Eden Valley, 
$50; Freeport, $60.55; Holdingford, $30; Kimball, $76.76; Meire Grove, $20; 
New Munich, 40 ; Richmond, $120 ; Rockville, $20 ; Spring Hill, $12. 

The Fire Relief associations in the county received in 1913 the following 
amounts : Belgrade, $57.19 ; Cold Spring, $86.53 ; Eden Valley, $40.29 ; Free- 
port, $40.86; Meire Grove, $6.36; Melrose, $124.11; Paynesville, $156.56; 
Richmond, $41.14; Sauk Centre, $134.01; St. Cloud, $995.07. 

Minnesota ranked eleventh in area and nineteenth in population among 
the 49 states and territories of continental United States by the census of 
1910. In 1890 the density of population to the square mile was 16.2; in 1900 
it was 21.7 ; in 1910 it was 25.7. Forty-one per cent of the entire population 
resided in incorporated cities and villages having a population of 2,500 in- 
habitants or over. There were eight cities having a population in excess of 
10,000 inhabitants. 

Minnesota ranked thirty-second in 1889 among the states and territories 
in respect to the gross value of products, but advanced to the thirteenth place 
in 1899, which position was retained in 1904 and in 1909. Although not 
essentially a manufacturing state, the government reports show that the 



724 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

manufacturing industries of Minnesota have developed rapidly during the 
decade prior to the last census, the increase being especially marked during 
the last five-year period. The increase in the value of products from 1899 to 
1909 was 83 per cent. 

The number of children employed in the manufacturing industries of 
Minnesota is very small; the average being largest in the printing and pub- 
lishing business, where 53 were employed in 1910, forming only nine-tenths 
of one per cent of all wage earners engaged in this industry. 

In the year 1913 eighty counties in Minnesota received from the state 
treasury more money than they paid in, only six receiving less, those being 
Cook, Hennepin, Itasca, Ramsey and St. Louis. The excess paid by Hennepin 
was $485,092.34; by Ramsey, $294,565.48; by St. Louis, $836,785.02. Stearns 
county paid in $63,555.69, receiving $97,985.36, making an overplus of 
$34,429.67. 

The following statement gives the gross earnings of the different tele- 
phone companies within Stearns county or having their offices in the county. 
On these earnings a tax of 3 per cent is paid to the state. Of the figures 
given the first sum under each name is for 1912, the second for 1913 : Albany 

Telephone Co., $722, $693; Ashley Telephone Co., , $639.15; Ashley 

Rural (Sauk Centre), $54.55, $61; Belgrade & North-Eastern, $38, $177.73; 
Brooten, $1,318.33, $1,534; Brooten-Sunberg, $56, $150; Cable Rural (St. 
Cloud), $33, $51; Cedar Lake Line (Sauk Centre), $50, $47; Commercial (Bel- 
grade), $1,242.84, $1,155.10; Eden Valley, $2,140.95, $2,649.96; Freeport, 
$1,120, $1,144; Getty Central (Sauk Centre), $33, $32.50; Getty Grove (Sauk 

Centre), $44, $49.50; Haven (St. Cloud), , $75.01 ; Kimball-Maine Prairie 

(Kimball), $2,374.22, $2,023; Le Sauk (St. Cloud), $257, $184.40; Luxemburg, 
iSt. Cloud), $687.90; $668; Melrose, $4,562.05, $5,103.10; Minden (St. Cloud), 
$63.82, $63.16; Ness (St. Cloud), $36.11, $45.25; North Star (St. Cloud), $55.90, 
$22.75; Paynesville Rural (Zions), $359, $177.40; Pleasant Valley (Sauk Cen- 
tre), $44, $33; Raymond (Sauk Centre), $41.95, $45.20; Riverside (St. Cloud), 
$142, .$155; Rockville Road (St. Cloud), $157.25; $151.75; St. Augusta (St. 
Cloud), $408.92, $700.48; Sauk Centre and Unity (Sauk Centre), $73.98, 
$62.98; J. W. Ward Co. (Sauk Centre), $162, $132; Zion (Paynesville), 
$498.50, $672. 

It will be observed that almost without exception the gross earnings of 
these lines fell off in 1913 from what they were in 1912. 

The earnings of the Northwestern Telephone Company, which has one 
of its district offices in St. Cloud, were $2,714,886.53 in 1912 and $3,380,830.83 
in 1913. 



1441173 



! HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 725 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 

ST. CLOUD STATE NORMAL SCHOOL. 

Minnesota Normal Schools — Normal School Idea — the St. Cloud School — 
Legislation Passed, Appropriation Made, Site Selected — School Opens^ — 
First Building Completed — First Graduation — Early Faculty Members — 
Statistics and Appropriations — Principals and Presidents — School for 
Practice — Dormitories — State Normal Board — Alumni Association. 

There are five flourishing state normal schools in Minnesota. By an act 
of the legislature (1913), a sixth school was established, the location to be 
determined by a committee appointed for that purpose. After visiting a 
number of places, the site offered at Bemidji was selected. 

The father of the normal school idea in Minnesota was Dr. John D. Ford 
of Winona. Through his efforts a bill for establishing three normal schools 
passed the legislature of 1858, schools to be located at Winona, Mankato 
and St. Cloud. The school at Winona was opened in September, 1860, with 
John Ogden of Ohio as its principal. The second school was opened at Man- 
kato in 1868; the third at St. Cloud in 1869. The fourth normal school was 
opened at Moorhead in 1888, and a fifth in Duluth in 1901. The following 
is a list of the presidents of the several schools: Winona, Guy E. Maxwell; 
Mankato, Chas. H. Cooper; St. Cloud, W, A. Shoemaker; Moorhead, F. A. 
Weld; Duluth, E. W. Bohannon. 

The normal school idea had its inception in the United States in the 
revival of common school education that dates back to 1837. Previous to 
that time, the general conception of the common school was that of memo- 
riter exercises and perfunctory drill coupled with a system of repression that 
was supposed to be discipline The doctrine that teachers were "born not 
made" was generally accepted, and as a result there was no public effort 
to "make" teachers. There was no conception that teaching was or ever 
would be a profession. An education crisis had been reached and the ques- 
tion as to whether the common public schools were to influence the American 
ideal or were to be supplanted by the fee institution, pressed for settlement. 
'Twas then that America's greatest educator accepted the challenge and 
came off victor. Horace Mann, Secretary of the Board of Education of 
Massachusetts, backed by such men as Edmund Dwight, Daniel Webster and 
John Quincy Adams, conceived the idea that the only way to make the com- 
mon schools dear to the heart of every right-minded citizen was to make them 
more efficient, and that the only way to add to their efficiency was to find 
a method of securing more competent instructors, in short of making teach- 
ing a profession. 

Mainly through the efforts of Mr. Mann, the first normal school in Amer- 
ica was opened at Lexington, Mass. (1839). The New England States and 
New York were quick to accept the doctrine and normal school after normal 
school followed in rapid succession. Later, the school at Oswego, N. Y., 



726 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

under the management of Dr. E. A. Sheldon, became the most prominent and 
most influential. The normal schools of Minnesota are the spiritual descend- 
ants of that notable institution. 

Today a large percentage of the grades in our public schools are taught 
by graduates of the Minnesota state normal schools. The state inspector 
of high schools recently remarked that the destruction of the normal schools 
would today be the greatest civic calamity that could come to our state. 
So strongly has the normal school idea grown into public confidence that 
the State Normal School Board has recently determined that, beginning with 
the year 1915, only advanced graduates of the state normal schools or those 
that have equivalent training may teach in the school systems under its super- 
vision. The significance and far reaching effect of this ruling will be appre- 
ciated when we note that it applies to all common graded schools in the state. 

The normal schools are now held in such esteem by the law makers of 
the state that, during the last four years, every request by way of financial 
aid made by the normal board has been cheerfully granted, and the institu- 
tions are well housed and equipped 

The enrollment of the five normal schools, exclusive of the elementary 
or model schools, is 2,442. Besides the regular session, each school main- 
tains a summer school in which those who are teaching or otherwise engaged 
during the regular school year may avail themselves of the advantages of 
the regular normal instruction. 

The enrollment in the summer schools of the five normal schools during 
the summer of 1912 was 2,139. 

The normal board has authorized the following courses. Manual train- 
ing course for diploma, one year beyond graduation from advanced course. 
Domestic science course for diploma, one year beyond graduation from ad- 
vanced! course. Music supervision course for diploma, one year beyond grad- 
uation from advance course. Advanced English course, five years beyond 
eighth grade. Advanced Latin course, five years beyond eight grade. Ad- 
vanced graduate course, two years beyond graduation from a four year high 
school. Advanced kindergarten course, two years beyond graduation from 
a four-year high school. Elementary course, three years beyond eighth grade. 
The state normal schools are under direction of the state normal board 
consisting of nine members. 

ST. CLOUD NORMAL SCHOOL. 

The important place of normal schools in the education system of a state 
had early recognition in Minnesota, the legislature in 1858 making provision 
for the establishing of three of these institutions of learning. A condition 
imposed was that the locality chosen should donate the sum of $5,000. Schools 
were established at Winona, Mankato and St. Cloud, and were at first and 
for some years afterwards, officially designated as the First, Second and Third 
State Normal Schools. The first school was opened at Winona in September, 
1860, with a principal and one assistant, in a building capable of accomodat- 
ing forty students, and was the first normal school west of the Mississippi 
riyer. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 727 

In 1866, a bill passed the legislature definitely establishing a normal 
school at Mankato and another at St. Cloud Subsequently legislation made 
an appropriation of $150,000 to be apportioned equally among the three 
schools, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Marshall, The Mankato school 
was opened in 1868. In January of that year, the board of supervisors of 
the town of St. Cloud authorized the issuance of $5,000 in bonds to secure 
funds to meet the legislative requirements as to location, and in July these 
bonds were issued and sold. 

The state normal board, consisting of Prof. W. F. Phelps, and the Hon. 
Thomas Simpson, of Winona; the Rev. Jabez Brooks, of Red Wing; the Hon. 
M. H. Bunnell, of Owatonna; the Rev. H. J. Parker, of Austin; the Rev. 
Dr. McMasters, of St. Paul, and Daniel Buck, of Mankato, came to St. Cloud 
August 4, 1868, and were joined by Gen. C. C. Andrews, the resident member 
of the board. The occasion of the visit was to select a suitable site for the 
new state normal school. A number of places were visited, but without 
any definite choice being made. The board regarded with most favor Pine 
Garden, the Stearns House, John L. Wilson's block, the Seminary Block, and 
a plat of ground near the Western ravine bridge. Before adjourning the 
normal board chose a prudential committee, so-called, consisting of Gen. C. C. 
Andrews, Judge E. O. Hamlin and N. F. Barnes, who were to report when 
the people of the city should have agreed on one or a limited number of loca- 
tions, and another meeting of the board would be called. At a meeting of 
the normal board held at Winona, February 4, 1869, attended by Messrs. 
Andrews and Barnes, two locations were presented, the Seminary square and 
a tract owned by Leland Cram on Lake George. An adjourned meeting of 
the board was held in this city February 16, to take final action in the matter 
of the selection of a site. Four locations under consideration were visited: 
The Cram property on Lake George, the Wilson property. Seminary square 
and the Stearns House. Leland Cram offered to donate four acres as a site 
for the school. Its selection was supported by General C. C. Andrews, who 
strenuously urged this site to the last, by Oscar Taylor, T. C. McClure, H. C. 
Waite and others. In behalf of Seminary square, which included an area 
of four and five-sixteenths acres, petitions were offered, signed by thirty- 
nine business men of St. Cloud, from a number of other prominent citizens, 
from six of the aldermen, from three of the four pastors of the Protestant 
churches of the town, from Judge McKelvy and from the prudential com- 
mittee, while H. L. Gordon addressed the board in favor of this location. J. 
L. Wilson offered to sell his property, three acres, for $7,000 with the build- 
ings on it or for $5,000 without the buildings. William Hooper offered the 
Stearns House property, exclusive of the barn, for $3,000. After giving a 
full hearing, the normal board went into executive session, with only the 
reporters for the papers present. A choice was made by the process of elim- 
ination. The J. L. Wilson site was stricken out because of its public location 
and proximity to the saloons. The Cram site was disposed of, as having a 
number of objectionable features. The Seminary square did not appeal to 
the members because of its lack of natural attractions and because of defects 
in the title. This left the Stearns House property, which was finally decided 



728 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

upon by a unanimous vote, the land deeded to the state to include not less 
than one acre. The beauty of the location, on a high bluff overlooking the 
Mississippi river, and the fact that there stood on it a building which could 
be almost at once utilized for school purposes, were strong factors in bring- 
ing the normal board to making this selection — unquestionably by all odds 
the best that could have been made. The prudential committee was in- 
structed to have the Steams House building put into proper condition so 
that school could be open September 1, 1869. The president and secretary 
of the normal board with General Andrews, the resident member, were con- 
stituted a committee to secure as soon as possible a principal for the school, 
at a salary not to exceed $2,000 per annum. 

At a meeting of the normal board held in Winona, March 17, the pur- 
chase of the Stearns House property was approved, provided Mr. Hooper 
furnished conveyance with satisfactory title within five days after due notice. 
If the Stearns House property should not be taken, one month's time was 
given to secure the Seminary site at a cost not exceeding $1,500. Failing 
in this, the offer from Leland Cram should be accepted. At this meeting 
Professor Ira Moore was elected the first principal of the St. Cloud state 
normal school. A deed to the Steams property was presented to the pru- 
dential committee at a meeting held March 23 and accepted, to be submitted 
for approval to the state normal board. The City Council, March 29, in 
response to a petition voted unanimously to vacate the Park block. River 
street between Washington avenue and Sisson street, the alley west of the 
Park block and that on which the Steams House was built, the land thus 
vacated to be used for normal school purposes. This increased the area of 
the normal school grounds to five and a half acres. 

Further action on the purchase of the Steams House property was 
taken at a meeting of the state normal board held at Mankato April 8, when 
a resolution was adopted directing that warrants for the amount of the 
purchase price be drawn when certain details should be complied with. 
Professor Moore was requested to come to St. Cloud to supervise the changes 
necessary to be made in the building to render it suitable for school purposes. 
At a meeting of the state normal board held in St. Paul, June 25, the 
Steams House location for the normal school at St. Cloud was finally deter- 
mined on by a vote of five to two. The resignation of Gen. C. C. Andrews as 
the local member of the board was accepted and N. F. Barnes was elected to 
fill the vacancy. The salary of Professor Ira Moore as principal of the school 
was fixed at $2,000. The sum of $325 was placed at Mr. Barnes's disposal 
v/ith which to purchase additional lots for the school site. C. Bridgman and 
P. L. Gregory were chosen to act with Mr. Barnes as the prudential com- 
mittee; J. G. Smith, treasurer. Mrs. G. H. Sanderson of Fillmore county, 
Cornelia Walker of Rochester, and Kate Elliott were elected assistant teach- 
ers — the first named at a salary of $700, and the two others at $650 each. 
All were normal school graduates, and Mrs. Sanderson was at the time of 
her election superintendent of schools of Fillmore county. 

The first session of the school opened September 13, 1869. The attend- 
ance in the normal department was 40 females and 10 males; in the model 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 729 

department were 70 pupils, 32 in the primary and 38 in the intermediate 
department. Lucinda Stanard of Lamoille, 111., had been engaged as an 
additional teacher. 

At a meeting of the state normal board held in St. Paul, December 14, 
the prudential committee was authorized to contract at once for the stone 
needed for the foundation for a new normal school building — the granite to 
be obtained from the quarry on the east side of the river. The contract for 
the stone, 200 cords, for the foundation, was let to the St. Cloud Granite 
Company, at $8.50 per cord delivered. At the same meeting, December 25, 
W. P. Boardman of Mankato was engaged to draw the plans and specifica- 
tions for the new building. 

The plans were approved by the normal board, January 20, 1870, and the 
prudential committee was authorized to contract for the material for the 
new building. 

Contracts were let to William Krugel for 500,000 cream-colored brick 
at $8.50 per thousand delivered, to C. Bridgman for 72,563 feet of dimension 
lumber at $16.18 and $30 per thousand, and to the Granite Company for 
3,000 feet of dimension stone for sills, caps, steps, etc. 

Judge E. 0. Hamlin succeeded Gen. C. C. Andrews as the local member 
of the state normal board. 

Miss Standard resigned as a teacher in the normal, and was succeeded 
by Carrie Havens of Flemington, N. J., at the beginning of the second ses- 
sion, February 16, 1870. 

A violent opposition to normal schools, which continued for a number 
of years, manifested itself in the legislature, and found expression in some 
of the papers throughout the state. The bill making an appropriation for 
building purposes for the St. Cloud normal school, although it passed the 
senate, was lost in the house. An appropriation of $7,000 for current ex- 
penses was made for each of the three schools. For the reason that no 
money for building purposes was available, the normal board at a meeting, 
March 15, voted to seek release from contracts made for material. 

Bids for building the basement (the granite being furnished) received 
January 16 were as follows : J. 0. Crommett, $7,500 ; Raymond & Owen & G. 
W. Dunton, $7,650; Smith & Volz, $6,500. 

The first examinations were held June 29, 1870. 

At a meeting of the normal board held in St. Paul, July 1, 1870, the 
contracts for granite and lumber for the new building were extended; Mr. 
Krugel 's contract for brick was cancelled, what had been delivered having 
been paid for; and Smith & Volz's bid for building the basement was ac- 
cepted. Work began July 18. 

At a meeting of the normal board held in St. Paul, December 12, 1870, 
a resolution was adopted setting forth that as the basement for the new 
building had been completed within the appropriation made by the state 
for that purpose "the Third state normal school be recommended to the next 
legislature of this state as worthy of a liberal appropriation for the early 
completion of the building." 



730 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

In March, 1871, Governor Austin vetoed a bill appropriating $20,000 
for the erection of the permanent building for the St. Cloud normal school 
which had passed the legislature by a large majority. This was felt to be an 
injustice to the northern part of the state from the fact that the Winona 
normal school, which already had received nearly $100,000 from the state, 
was given an additional appropriation of over $10,000, and the Mankato 
school, which had received about $40,000, was given an additional $7,500. 

June 6, Professor Ira Moore was re-elected principal of the St. Cloud 
school at a salary of $2,000; Cornelia Walker and Carrie Haven, assistants, 
at a salary of $750 each ; and Dora L. Barrett and Kate Elliott at $700. At 
this time, Mrs. G. M. Sanderson declined a re-election at the salary the board 
was able to offer. 

The graduating exercises of the first class to be sent out from the school 
took place in the Congregational church on the evening of June 30, 1871. The 
examinations were held during the day, Dr. McMasters, president of the state 
normal board, and other members being present. The class was composed 
as follows: Elizabeth W. Barnes, St. Cloud; Margaret S. Barnes, St. Cloud; 
Ada A. Dam, Maine Prairie ; Emma Harriman, Corinna ; Elora E. Hayward, 
St. Cloud ; Lydia J. Hall, Bellevue ; Ellen M. Kimball, Maine Prairie ; Fannie 
G. McCaughey, Winona; Evelyn A. McKinney, Maine Prairie; Virginia Ma- 
son, St. Cloud; Alice A. Price, St. Cloud; Hester A. Tuttle, Two Rivers; Al- 
fretta L. VanValkenberg, Sauk Centre; Albert Bartolet, St. Cloud; Chas. I. 
Lancaster, Calais. 

At a meeting of the normal board in St. Paul, December 5, 1871, it was 
resolved to ask the legislature for an appropriation of $6,000, in addition to 
the standing appropriation of $5,000, for current expenses, and $40,000 for 
a new building for the St. Cloud normal school. 

The salaries of the principals of the three normal schools were equalized 
by the normal board, June 4, 1872, at $2,500 each. 

The legislature in March, 1873, made an appropriation of $30,000 for 
completing the new building, with an additional $6,000 for current expenses. 

Plans were prepared by A. M. Radcliff, architect of St. Paul, who was 
also engaged as superintendent, and May 26, the bid of A. Montgomery, $23,- 
900, for the erection of the new building was accepted. 

In March, 1874, the legislature appropriated $10,000 for heating and fur- 
nishing the building, with $5,000 additional, making $10,000 in all for the 
current expenses of the next year. 

Professor Moore was re-elected principal at $2,500 per year; Martha 
MeCumber, $1,200; T. J. Gray, $1,000; Mary Gunderson, $500; Ada Murray, 
$400; S. H. Rhys (music), $350. 

The new building was completed and turned over by the contractor and 
accepted in July. It was 98 by 84 on the ground, and 52 feet from the grade 
to the roof. There were three stories, including the mansard roof, having 
a 12-foot ceiling, which was left unfinished. In the basement were two large 
playrooms for use in winter, besides the heating plant. The building cost, 
exclusive of the grounds, $50,000, with no debt incurred. The grounds had 
cost originally $3,350 including the Stearns House building, on which there 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 731 

tiad been an expenditure of $3,250 for necessary changes to make it suitable 
for school purposes. 

The resignation of Prof. Moore was accepted by the normal board, May 
12, 1875, he desiring to remove to California, and Professor D. L. Kiehle was 
elected his successor. The school opened the first day of September in charge 
of its second principal. 

An important incident during the conduct of the school by Prof. D. L. 
Kiehle was a legislative investigation. Charges of sectarian influence in the 
school having been made to the normal board by the Rev. O. M. McNiff, 
pastor of the Methodist church of St. Cloud, against Professor D. L. Kiehle, 
the principal, and W. B. Mitchell, the resident director of the school, these 
gentlemen asked the legislature to appoint a joint committee to come to St. 
Cloud and make a thorough investigation. This committee, consisting of 
Senators Daniel Buck of Blue Earth county and W. H. Officer of Mower 
county, and Representatives J. N. Searles of Dakota county, Thomas Wilson 
of Winona county and H. R. Denny of Carver county, came to St. Cloud, 
March 22, after the adjournment of the session of the legislature, and had 
the hearings at the normal school building. Mr. McNiff 's charge was: '*! 
have charged and do charge the managers of the St. Cloud normal school 
with managing their school in the interest of the Presbyterian church and 
that such management has driven students from the school." W, S. Moore 
appeared as attorney for Mr. McNiff and D. B. Searle for the management 
of the school. A large number of witnesses were called by each side and 
examined, the investigation continuing for two days. After hearing all the 
testimony offered, the committee announced the result it had reached unani- 
mously: "The committee find that the several charges made against the 
administration of the school are not sustained and that they are not founded 
on any substantial basis of fact." In an interview appearing in the St. Paul 
Pioneer-Press, Mr. McNiff was reported as saying he "accepted the decision 
of the committee as final and conclusive ; that he simply performed what he 
regarded as his duty; that he deeply regrets that he had been led into a 
step which turned out to be a terrible blunder, and would do what he could 
to rectify his mistake." 

In 1886, during Mr. Gray's presidency, an exhibition of pedagogical 
outlines at the New Orleans internation exhibition attracted universal at- 
tention to the normal school at St. Cloud. A quotation from the French 
Junior Pedagogy states that "Among the states which were preeminent in 
the excellence of their exhibit, I place Minnesota first. I wish specially to 
mention the showing made by the three normal schools and above all that of 
St. Cloud, which had its entire system of pedagogy set forth in very interest- 
ing tables." 

Early Faculty Members. The members of the faculty of St. Cloud Nor- 
mal during the first ten years of its history were as follows: 1870-1871, Ira 
Moore (principal), Mrs. Sanderson, Miss Walker, Miss Elliott, Miss Stan- 
nard; 1871-1872, Ira Moore (principal), Carrie Havens, Cornelia Walker, 
Kate Elliott, Dora Barrett; 1872-1873, Ira Moore (principal), Mrs. McCum- 
ber, Miss Rice, T. J. Gray; 1873-1874, Ira Moore (principal), T. J. Gray, Miss 



732 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

MeCumber, Mary Gimderson, Ada Murray, S. H. Rhys; 1874-1875, D. L. 
Kiehle (principal), Miss MeCumber, T. J. Gray, Miss Gunderson, Harley 
Bickford, S. H. Rhys, Miss Murray; 1875-1876, D. L. Kiehle (principal), M. 
C. Spencer, Mr. Gray, Miss Gunderson, James H. Gates, Ella R. King; 1876- 
1877; D. L. Kiehle (principal), Ella Stewart, Mr. Gray, Miss Gunderson, 
James Gates, Alice M. Guernsey, Mary Oilman, Mrs. James H. Gates (ma- 
tron) ; 1877-1878, D. L. Kiehle (principal). Miss Stewart, Mr. Gray, Miss 
Gunderson, James Gates, Miss Guernsey, Miss Oilman, Ida M. Wilson, Mrs. 
James Gates (matron) ; 1879-1880, D. L. Kiehle (principal), Isabel Lawrence, 
Mr. Gray, C. W. Hyde, Ada A. Warner, H. Celia Higgins, Flora M. Turman, 
Mary Oilman. 

The following statistics of growth testify to the wise management of the 
school under the present president. Dr. W. A. Shoemaker, who entered upon 
his work May 31, 1902. Year ending May, 1902, total enrollment, normal 
department, 254 ; number in senior class, 22 ; number in junior class, 80. Year 
ending June, 1909, total enrollment, normal department, 603 ; number in senior 
class, 64; number in junior class, 237. Year ending June, 1913, total enroll- 
ment, normal department, 625 ; number in senior class, 188 ; number in Junior 
class, 295. 

Senior class includes those on the fifth year of the regular advanced 
course and second year of High School Graduate course. The Junior class 
includes those on the fourth year of the regular advanced course and first 
year of the High School Graduate course. 

Attendance during a long period was Kmited to 500 by the state normal 
board, as the appropriations for maintenance were not sufficient for the 
care of a greater number. This limit has since been raised to 600. 

The following list shows the increase in the faculty : 1869-1870, 5 ; 1889- 
1890, 14; 1899-1900, 16; 1909-1910, 26; 1914-1915, 35. 

Graduates, 1871, 15; 1881, 22; 1891, 25; 1901, 118; 1911, 192; 1914, 145; 
total 3,123 ; 172 graduated twice ; 2,951 net. 

Appropriations. 1869, donation by citizens of St. Cloud, $5,000; 1869, 
appropriation for main building, $10,000 ; 1873, appropriation for main build- 
ing, $30,000; appropriations for completing building, $15,000; 1883, Ladies' 
home, $35,000 ; 1891, South wing of main building, $15,000 ; 1893, South wing 
of main building, $16,000 ; 1895, North wing of main building, $25,000 ; 1897, 
North wing of main building, $25,000; 1902, remodeling of main building, 
$30,000; 1905, new Lawrence hall, $65,000; 1905, Model school building now 
Library building, $25,000 ; 1911, New Model building, $65,000 ; 1914, New dor- 
mitory, $80,000. 

The first appropriation for support was $5,000 in 1870, and the same 
amount was appropriated in 1871 ; this was increased to $6,000 for the years 
1872 and 1873 ; to $9,000 for 1874 and 1875, but in 1876 the anti-normal school 
sentiment in the legislature was so intense that nothing was added to the 
permanent appropriation of $5,000 ; in 1877 and for the three years following 
the sum of $9,000 was appropriated. Increases were made during the suc- 
ceeding fifteen years until in 1895 the appropriation for support was $22,000. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 733 

For the subsequent twenty years it has been as follows : 1896, $24,000 ; 1897, 
$27,500; 1898, $26,000; 1899, $34,000; 1900, $29,500; 1901, $29,500; 1902, $32,- 
500; 1903, $32,500; 1904, $34,500; 1905, $34,500; 1906, $35,500; 1907, $36,500; 
1908, $42,000 ; 1909, $42,000 ; 1910, $51,000 ; 1911, $51,000 ; 1912, $61,000 ; 1913, 
$61,000; 1914, $64,500; 1914, $64,500. 

The grounds now comprise lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, block 3 ; lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 
5 and 6, block 4; lots 1, 2, 3, and 4, block 5; street between blocks 3 and 4 
and street between blocks 4 and 5, both extending from avenue to Mississippi 
river ; park bounded on the west by blocks 3 and 4 and on the east by Missis- 
sippi river; also lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, block 12, all in St. Cloud city, Curtis 
Survey. 

Principals and presidents. 1869, Ira Moore ; 1875, David L. Kiehle ; 1881, 
Jerome Allen; 1884, Thomas J. Gray; 1890, Joseph Carhart; 1895, George R. 
Kleeberger; 1902, Waite A. Shoemaker. The title of the head of the faculty 
was changed from principal to president in 1880. 

The School for Practice. The normal school at St. Cloud has never 
swerved from its belief that its purpose is to train skillful teachers and to 
test their efficiency in actual work. Practice in teaching has always been 
the main work to which all other activities are tributary. From the begin- 
ning of the school's history, it has always had a practice school. Some of 
the most efficient teachers in the country gained their power to teach in this 
normal school in a practice school so primitive in its facilities as to suggest 
Mark Hopkins' proverbial log with a teacher on one end and a pupil on 
the other. 

In the earliest use of the present central building, there were set apart 
on the ground floor two rooms for practice. As the number of graduates 
increased practice led a vagabond existence, classes being conducted in any 
vacant room of the main building from cellar to attic. Then it was relegated 
to the basement. Even there, there were many make-shifts. Two classes 
might be conducted in one room with a blackboard between. It is related 
of Thomas Grosvenor and Robert Jerrard, two young normal students who 
were very pessimistic as regards their power to teach, that they had a habit 
of shaking hands over such a board and bidding each other an afi'ecting fare- 
well just before their respective classes marched in. 

The Hon. Ripley B. Brower was the representative in the legislature when 
the appropriation was gained for Lawrence Hall. That year, 1905, $25,000 
was appropriated for a practice building. This building was very convenient 
but grew too small for the school. 

In 1911, when the Hon. J. D. Sullivan was in the legislature, $65,000 was 
appropriated for a new practice school. This building is one of the finest 
model school buildings in the United States. It is a continual object lesson 
to the normal school students of the right environment for children. The 
temperature is right. There is fresh air. There is a humidifier which pre- 
vents dry air. The health of the pupils testifies to the value of hygienic sur- 
roundings. The building is an example of beauty and good taste in archi- 
tecture and furnishings, of what should daily surround children if there is to 



734 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

be cultivation of their sense of beauty and order. The grounds give ample 
opportunity for playground apparatus and for gardening. 

Dormitories. With the completion of the normal school building, the 
Stearns House was refitted and furnished for a Ladies Home, accommodating 
a limited number of students. It was first opened for this use in the fall of 
1876, in charge of Mrs. J. H. Gates as matron. At this time it was practically 
a private enterprise, although under the control of the management of the 
school. Finally the state purchased the furniture and placed the home in 
charge of a matron duly appointed. In 1881 Mrs. A. V. Whiting was ap- 
pointed matron and she remained in charge for the succeeding seven years. 
The home was for some time conducted on the family co-operative plan, each 
student to do at least one-half hour's work each day under the direction of 
the matron. The charge, exclusive of fuel (heating being done at that time 
by stoves and washing, was $2.50 per week. Table board was furnished to 
a limited number of young men at $2.50 per week. The new home, built at 
a cost of $30,000, was opened for the school year of 1885-1886. The old 
building was then used as a boarding hall for young men students. 

One cold Saturday afternoon in January, 1905, the new dormitory was 
destroyed by fire. The young ladies were made homeless. Then the kindly 
citizens of St. Cloud, none more hospitable in the world, vied with each other 
in extending help to the Normal School. They entertained the young ladies 
in their own homes, and raised so large a fund to supply losses of clothes and 
money that it was found to double the sum that the young ladies would 
accept and fifty per cent of it was returned to the donors. A history of the 
normal school at St. Cloud which should fail to bear testimony to the kindly 
interest and the generosity of St. Cloud's citizens and churches as they have 
been extended to the students of the normal school not only at this crisis 
but at all other times would fail to present one of the main contributing 
elements to the phenomenal success of the school. 

It has been said that ashes form the foundation for the noblest struc- 
tures. This was evidently the view of the state legislature then in session, 
for the ruins had not ceased to smoke when an appropriation of $50,000 was 
made for building the present hall. This amount and the $15,000 insurance 
from the building, or $65,000 in all, built and equipped the large and fine 
building now known as Lawrence Hall. 

State Architect Clarence H. Johnston planned and designed Lawrence 
Hall and the contract was let on the twenty-seventh of May. Two days later, 
the work of tearing down the walls, removing the debris, and the excavation 
of the new foundation began. The building is of light reddish brick with 
gray granite trimmings. It is 180 feet long and averages 50 feet in width and 
is four stories high including basement. It has an artistic stone cut entrance, 
the roof is covered with slate and the inside finish is of Georgia pine. Its 
walls are of brick and hollow tile ; all partitions are of hollow tile. Instead 
of the usual timber construction, the floors are composed of a solid slab of 
concrete. The building is, therefore, practically fireproof. As it extends 
north and south, one half of the rooms face to the east, the other half to 
the west, thus there is not a room in the building which does not get a sun- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 735 

ning either in the forenoon or the afternoon through the fine large windows 
with which each room is provided. There is a magnificent view of the river 
from the sun room on the east side of the main parlors. 

The hall was dedicated on the evening of May 29, 1906, receiving the 
name of Lawrence Hall in honor of Isabel Lawrence who, since 1879, had 
served on the normal school faculty as director of methods and practice. 
The dedication took place at the alumni banquet in the dining room of the 
hall, 360 alumni faculty and citizens being present. The Hon. Ripley B. 
Brower, who was instrumental in securing the appropriations from the legis- 
lature, was present. C. W. G. Hyde of Minneapolis was toast master. The 
Hon. J. L. Washburn of Duluth, member of the state normal board. Governor 
John A. Johnson, Mrs. H. F. Jacques, Dr. D. L. Kiehle, a former president 
of the state normal school, and C. G. Schulz, assistant state superintendent of 
schools, were present and gave addresses. Dr. Kiehle spoke of the light ap- 
propriations for state institutions in early days. He said the appropriation 
of the legislature amounted to $20,000 for four normal schools when he 
entered upon his duties as president of the normal school at St. Cloud. At 
the present time, the yearly appropriations were $230,000. 

Lawrence Hall accommodates 150 students. As the school has increased 
during later years, only a small part of the young ladies attending have 
been able to secure room at the Hall. Often the rooms have been engaged 
a year before hand. 

In 1913 an appropriation of $80,000 was made by the legislature for the 
building of a new dormitory. The location of this building is distinctive and 
ideal. It occupies the block on the west side of First avenue south between 
Tenth and Ninth Streets, and the commanding elevation of the building offers 
a picturesque view down the Mississippi river. The building itself, three 
stories and basement, is of fireproof construction with re-inforced concrete 
columns, concrete beams and re-inforced concrete and terra cotta tile floor 
slabs. The exterior of the building is of brick. There are two separate fire- 
proof concrete stairways throughout the building and several features add to 
the utility and comfort, viz., the use of three porches, two fully equipped 
bathrooms on each floor, a kitchenette with gas stove on each floor, and three 
drinking fountains. The basement is taken up by the laundry, kitchen and 
dining room, as well as an outside root cellar which adjoins the kitchen. A 
large lounging room with a fireplace is a feature of the first floor. The 
building is to have its own heating plant in the basement. 

In addition to the matron's office and suite, lounging room, kitchenette, 
bathrooms, etc., there are fifty-five rooms for students. 

The building will be ready for occupancy in the fall of 1915. 

The State Normal Board. A history of any normal school in the state 
of Minnesota would be inadequate did it not bear testimony to the valuable 
services of the state normal board. Men whose talents and energy and time 
could not have been bought for any number of thousands per year have given 
unremitting service without compensation to the conduct of the normal 
schools of the state. To these men is due the credit for their phenomenal 
growth. 



736 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

St. Cloud is especially indebted to the late Honorable W. S. Pattee who, 
tts president of the Normal Board for many years, solved many difficulties 
which grew up in this particular school, giving freely of his time and his 
untiring patience. His broad insight into conditions and his wisdom and 
tact were always at the service of the normal schools. 

The resident directors have likewise sacrificed time, money and thought 
for the good of the school. 

In the early history of the normal schools the local management of each 
school was in the hands of a prudential committee, composed of the resi- 
dent member of the state normal board and two gentlemen of the city in 
wMch the school was located selected by the board. The prudential com- 
mittee at the St. Cloud Normal School was composed as follows: 1867-68, 
C. C. Andrews (chairman), N, F. Barnes (secretary), E. 0. Hamlin; 1868-69, 
N. F. Barnes (chairman), Coleman Bridgman, P. L. Gregory; 1869-70, E. 0. 
Hamlin (chairman), C. F. Davis, A. Montgomery; 1870-71, E. O. Hamlin 
(chairman), C. F. Davis, A. Montgomery, J. G. Smith (treasurer) ; 1871-72, 
M. C. Tolman (chairman), Thomas C. McClure, Oscar Taylor, J. G. Smith 
(treasurer). The prudential committee ceased to exist in 1872, the local man- 
agement of the several schools being under the direction of the local member 
of the normal board, known as the resident director. 

The resident directors, with the dates of their service and their respective 
terms of services, have been as follows: N. F. Barnes, 1866-1868; C. C. An- 
drews, 1868-1869; E. 0. Hamlin, 1870-1872; J. G. Smith, 1873-1876; W. B. 
Mitchell, 1878-1901; Alvah Eastman, 1902-1908; Karl Mathie, 1908-1911; C. 
L. Atwood, 1911 to date. 

Alumni Association. The first annual banquet of the alumni association 
of the school was held at the West House, April 28, 1881. An organization 
was formed by the election of the following named officers: T. J. Gray, 
president; H. A. Bickford and Flora M. Truman, vice-presidents; W. H. 
Alden, secretary; Mary L. Upham, corresponding secretary. 

Among the pleasant things remembered by the alumni is the address at 
commencement, April 27, 1882, by Ex-governor Cushman K. Davis who 
warned them to be practical, quoting from the Empress Catherine of Russia 
who had listened to the theories of Diderot. ''You work on paper which 
endures all things; it imposes no obstacles either to your imagination or 
your pen. But I, poor Empress as I am, I work on the human skin which is 
irritable and ticklish to a very different degree." It was at this commence- 
ment that one hundred of the alumni and their friends sat down to the ban- 
quet at the West House at the Conclusion of graduation exercises. 

The dedication of Lawrence Hall at the alumni banquet. May 29, 1906, 
formed another memorable epoch in alumni history. This is elsewhere de- 
scribed. 

At graduation, June, 1907, the address was made by the Hon. W. S. 
Hammond, of Blue Earth, then a member of the normal board, now governor 
of the state of Minnesota. At the alumni banquet were present Senator With- 
erstein, of Rochester, Senator Robinson, Judge Tifft, member of the normal 
board. James A. Martin acted as toast master. Judge L. W. Collins told of 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 737 

his great interest in the school, intensified by his marriage to Ella Stewart, 
for two years a member of the faculty. A beautiful bronze tablet was un- 
veiled and Judge Collins presented the school this memorial of his wife. The 
tablet contains the Gettysburg address of Abraham Lincoln and a design 
which has the approval of the G. A. R. The inscription on the plate is afe 
follows: "Presented to the St. Cloud State Normal School in memory of 
Ella Stewart Collins, a member of the faculty in 1877-1878, who died May 
31, 1894." 

The' following persons have been presidents of the association : May 27, 
1884, Thomas J. Gray; May 26, 1885, Waite A. Shoemaker; June 2, 1886, 
Clarence L. Atwood; May 31, 1900, Dr. J. C. Boehm; May 28, 1902, William 
H. Thompson; June 10, 1903, Clinton D. Grinols; June 2, 1904, Dr. J. C. 
3oehm ; June 13, 1905, James E. Jenks ; May 29, 1906, Andrew E. Fritz ; June 
11, 1907, Mrs. E. S. Hill; June 4, 1908, Clarence L. Atwood; June 1, 1909, 
Mrs. Martin Molitor; May 31, 1910, Mrs. Martin Molitor; May 30, 1911, 
Peter J. Seberger ; May 28, 1912, Paul Ahles ; June 5, 1913, James H. May- 
bury; June 9, 1914, Warren Stewart. 

(Acknowledgments are due Isabel Lawrence, the dean of the faculty of 
the St. Cloud Normal School, for valuable assistance in the preparation of 
this chapter.) 



CHAPTER XL. 

HORTICULTURE. 

Work of the Pomologists — The Collegeville Station — Early Efforts and Later 
Successes — Personal Experiences — Directions for Planting- and Care — By 
Rev. John B. Katzner, 0. S. B. — The Belgrade Station — Muck Lrigation 
— By C. R. Sandvig — The Paynesville Station — By Frank Brown. 

The raising of fruit in Stearns county has been a matter of slow and 
gradual development. The earlier experiments in the southern part of the 
state had demonstrated that apples could be grown in Minnesota, although 
in the beginning nothing was ventured on but the crab varieties. With the 
success of these fully established intelligent and progressive pomologists ex- 
perimented further, and nothing daunted continued until now not only in 
the more southern localities but in Stearns county a number of varieties of 
apples, large in size, fine in flavor, abundant in yield and with average keep- 
ing qualities, are successfully grown. Many farmers grow not only a suffi- 
cient supply for their own use but an excess for the market. The aggregate 
yield now reaches into the thousands of bushels. It is undoubtedly true that 
with further experimentation as to varieties and a wider knowledge as to 
proper planting and cultivation this yield will be increased many fold and 
the list of varieties receive many choice additions. What has been accom- 
plished thus far may be accepted as an assurance of what may be expected 
in the future. 



738 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

While the cultivation of plums has been less successful here, yet this is 
also doubtless only a matter of time. At the state fair there have been shown 
plums which in size, appearance and flavor it would be difficult to excel any- 
where. In the coming years it may be anticipated with confidence that this 
fruit will be found flourishing in many orchards. 

Small fruits, such as grapes, strawberries, raspberries, currants, etc., do 
well in almost any locality with proper care and cultivation. 

There are several trial stations of the Minnesota Horticultural Society 
in Stearns county, the most important of which is at St. John's University, 
CoUegeville, in charge of the Rev. J. B. Katzner, 0, S. B., whose work in 
the horticultural department has given him a state-wide reputation. Two 
other trial stations in the county are at Belgrade and Paynesville, in charge 
of C. R. Sandvig and Frank Brown, respectively. Contributions follow from 
these three gentlemen, giving full, clear and intelligent presentations of the 
methods used and the results obtained in the planting and cultivation of 
apple, plum and other fruit trees which cannot but be of much value to all 
who read them and profit by the information given. 

THE COLLEGEVILLE STATION. 

For want of data and literature, it is not claimed to give a complete his- 
tory of horticulture in Stearns county. For the greater part of this work I 
have to rely on my own memory, experiments and experiences. The informa- 
tion, however, thus obtained from my own practical work, may be, I think, 
well applicable for the entire county. The historical records of horticulture 
of Stearns county are very few and meager. Yet, looking over the forty- 
seven years of my residence in this county, quite a number of historical facts 
arise before my vision, which it may be well to record. 

"When the early pioneers settled in the southern counties of our state, 
they brought along with them many varieties of fruits from their old homes. 
Some of them procured a liberal supply of nursery stock from New York 
and other eastern states, wherever they could get trees, just to get a start in 
fruit-culture. Many orchards were planted and nurseries started by these 
energetic men, but the results were nothing but failures. Thousands of trees 
had their lives crushed out by the severity of our climate. It could not be 
otherwise. The country was new, the wild lands unsubdued, the climate 
uncongenial to these fruit trees and the varieties not at all adapted. To this 
must be added, that the cultural methods of the east were unsuited for the 
healthy development of fruit trees in the Northwest. New methods of cul- 
ture had to be developed by our southern pioneers. Much time and energy 
were lost, and accordingly many years passed by before any permanent re- 
sults were achieved in horticulture in the state. Western horticulture was 
given a new impetus by the United States Department of Agriculture with 
the introduction of Russian varieties of apples and other fruits to our coun- 
try. It was confidently hoped that some varieties might be found among 
the many thus introduced that could be successfully grown in the North- 
western States. In the meantime, a dozen of our horticultural pioneers 
banded together and started our now great Minnesota State Horticultural 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 739 

Society in 1866 for their mutual assistance and exchange of ideas and expe- 
riences. They went to work with great enthusiasm to try these Russian im- 
portations. Although their high expectations were not realized, they found 
at least some varieties that were considered hardy enough for our northern 
country. These trees were propagated as rapidly as possible, but it took 
some years before a sufficient supply was on hand for the trade of the more 
northern counties. At this time, too, a few varieties of hardy crabapples 
had been originated which could safely be planted. The varieties of apples 
were the Duchess, Tetofsky, and, I think, the Transparent; and of crabs, the 
Transcendent and Hyslop. Now we had at least a few apples that could be 
tried, but we had no plums, as all eastern and European varieties failed en- 
tirely. What was to be done? Our own native varieties came to the rescue. 
The woods of Iowa, "Wisconsin and Minnesota were searched for the best 
native kinds and brought under cultivation. The work was successful, and 
many varieties were now propagated for the trade. As for grapes and other 
small fruits, they were still obtained from the east. 

When our family immigrated to Stearns County in 1867, I, at that time 
but a lad, looked about in vain for fruit trees and on inquiry was told that 
"we cannot grow apples in Minnesota." What a disappointment! It was 
in 1868 that the first agent, to my knowledge, from a southern Minnesota 
nursery was soliciting orders for nursery stock in Stearns county. He came 
to St. Joseph and I remember well, that Mr. Linneman, my father and others, 
bought some Transcendent crabs and cherry trees. The trees came in due 
time, were planted by my father and myself and in a few years we had crab 
apples and just four or five cherries. The cherries died, but the crabs were 
bearing quite well for a number of years. The same year I made my first 
experiment; for after the above mentioned cherry trees had been planted, I 
took the prunings, went out to the woods and stem-grafted some of the wild 
cherry trees. I cut off the tops five feet above ground, cut the scion wedge- 
shaped, set it in the split of the cherry stem and put some shoemaker's wax 
from my father 's bench over the cut parts. These grafts grew most vigorously 
and by August had grown a perfect top. I was highly pleased. Just at 
this time a severe storm came up from the southwest and blew off all the 
tops of my cherry trees and I, needless to say, felt much grieved. From this 
fact it looks very probable that I may be entitled to the honor of having 
done the first grafting of fruit trees in Stearns county. 

From 1868 on, a little more attention was paid to fruit growing. Farmers 
and townspeople, seeing the possibility of at least being able to raise crab 
apples, freely bought from the agents who now came annually to solicit 
orders for stock, and the more so, when in 1869 or 1870 trees bearing large 
apples were offered for sale. Nurserymen from the southern counties did 
quite a flourishing business in Stearns and other central counties at that time. 
The varieties that were generally to be had were the Tetofsky, Duchess and, 
I think, the Transparent apples, and of crabs, the Transcendent and Hyslop. 
But horticulture in Stearns county, as elsewhere, had its drawbacks, the first 
venture of growing apples was on the whole not quite successful. For, al- 
though the crabs and apples bore well for a few years, blight and other dis- 



740 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

eases now appeared all over the county and ruined many good trees. This 
was so much the worse, as the owners did not know what to do to save their 
trees. It was but natural that quite a number of farmers became dis- 
couraged and would not buy and plant any more fruit trees. Yet there were 
always some people in the county who kept right on trying against all odds. 
This setback lasted for a long time and not much progress was made in fruit- 
raising in Stearns county for the first ten years. This may be seen from a 
report written by J. I. Salter of St. Cloud on June 21, 1875, to C. Y. Lacy, 
secretary of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. After speaking about 
the injury done to trees from the cold winter, he gives the following fruit 
list for Stearns county : Apples, Duchess ; crabs. Transcendent and Hyslop ; 
raspberries, Philadelphia, Brinckle 's Orange and Doolittle ; blackberries, Kit- 
tatinny and Wilson; strawberries, Wilson's Albany, Jucunda, Charles Down- 
ing and Hovey's Seedling. With the exception of the apple and crabs, all 
fruits mentioned by Mr. Salter are now no longer grown. He does not men- 
tion any currants and grapes, although I am quite sure they were grown at 
least to some extent in the county. 

At this time I was still pursuing my studies at St. John's College and 
had all the opportunities to observe what different varieties of fruits were 
grown at this institution in 1875. I remember well the Tetofsky, Duchess and 
Transparent apples, and also the Transcendent and Hyslop crabs. One year 
the Transcendent bore so well that 100 bushels of them were picked. I re- 
member, too, that there were about 50 grapevines in the garden and the 
trouble the gardener had to get them all. They were the Concord and another 
variety. There were also two rows of the Red Dutch currants bearing lots of 
fruit and a few plum trees. No strawberries were planted here, but I have 
seen a bed of this fruit at Mr. Bernik's place in St. Joseph. At my sister's 
place at Albany I noticed several varieties of crabs and sampled the Trans- 
parent apple. I was even present at a horticultural lawsuit in St. Cloud. Sev- 

/ eral hundred trees were shipped to Melrose and the parties notified of their ar- 

^ rival. Some farmers waited aboiit a week until they found it convenient to 
go to town for their trees. Meanwhile the trees were lying out on the plat- 

, form in the hot sun and were ruined. The trees did not grow and the farmers 

\ did not want to pay, hence the lawsuit. 

The progress of horticulture in Stearns county from 1875 to 1893 was 
slowly but steadily advancing. One of the main drawbacks was the many 
unscrupulous agents who palmed oft' their worthless stock on the unsuspect- 
ing farmers. These agents, who never saw the inside of a nursery and knew 
nothing about fruit trees, utilized their chances for making money. They 
bought their trees from eastern nurseries in quantities and paid perhaps ten 
cents a tree, but often sold them to the farmers for one dollar apiece. It 
would not have been so bad had the trees grown and borne fruit, but being 
of varieties not at all adapted to our conditions, they lingered for two or 
three years and then died. I know of one man who bought a number of 
trees every spring for three years and I know, too, that not one tree lived to 
bear an apple. The people were simply cheated and humbugged by these 
sharps, called agents. While some still kept on planting apple trees, many 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 741 

determined not to throw any more money away uselessly on nursery stock. 
Another reason why we did not advance as fast as was desirable was due to 
the fact that our southern nurseries, on whom we were dependent for stock, 
made but little progress. It takes years to originate and test fruits adapted 
to our state. "With the arrival, however, of our famous Wealthy and some very 
good crabs as the "Whitney, real and lasting progress was being made in 
horticulture. These apples were propagated as fast as possible and planted 
in almost every county of the state. A few years later I found these apples 
in many places in the county doing well and bearing excellent fruit. The 
farmers would point with pride to their fine, healthy trees with bent-down 
branches full of luscious apples. These two varieties have done much in 
removing the old indifference and in making horticulture more popular in 
our county. However, they were not the only varieties which were sent out 
during this period; many more were originated and introduced by our ex- 
perimenters, but none of them ever enjoyed the popularity of our Wealthy. 
This apple was originated by Peter Gideon at Lake Minnetonka and is now 
grown east and west, from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean. It has become 
a favorite with every fruit grower, and famous for its excellent qualities and 
has merited the distinction of being called the "Jonathan of the North." 

But man is never satisfied, nor is the horticulturist. Having been suc- 
cessful to some extent, he tried his hand in new experiments and for that a 
good opportunity was offered to him in testing new fruits. The United 
States Department of Agriculture thought it well to try some more Russian 
varieties of fruits for our middle west. So in 1882 Prof. Budd of Ames, Iowa, 
made a trip of exploration into the interior of Russia, where the climate is 
more severe than in Minnesota. He imported many varieties of apples, pears, 
plums and cherries, which were all tested in the North Central States. Nurs- 
erymen and many members of our Horticultural Society were now in their full 
glory, trying and testing these importations to find some new varieties of 
fruits for the state, and although their expectations were not realized fully, 
yet quite a number of apples were found hardy enough for Minnesota, 
though in other respects they were not just what was wanted. The pears, 
plums, cherries and many apples did not find the climate of Minnesota con- 
genial for their successful growth. The fruit list for Minnesota was now 
largely increased and in a few years these new varieties found their way into 
Stearns county and were successfully grown in many towns. 

To show what was and could be grown in Stearns county at the close of 
the year 1893, I only need to mention some of the varieties which were rec- 
ommended for planting in the southern half of the state by the Minnesota 
Horticultural Society. Of apples we had the Wealthy, Duchess, Hibernal, 
Tetofsky, Longfield, Christmas, Borovinka, Okabena, Peerless and Patten's 
Greening. Of crabs and hybrids were mentioned : Virginia, Martha, Early 
Strawberry, Whitney, Beecher's Sweet and Arlington. Of plums: Desota, 
Rollingstone, Forest Garden, Wolf, Weaver Ocheeda and Cheney. A similar 
large number of varieties of the smaller fruits were given, but I do not think 
it necessary for my purpose to mention them here. It is true, some of the 
above sorts were only considered hardy enough for the more southern coun- 



742 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

ties, but I have tried them all in Stearns county and found them equally as 
hardy as any other kind we can grow. 

The greatest progress in horticulture was made by Stearns county from 
1893 till 1914. Many causes may be advanced for its long strides achieved in 
fruit culture. One of the main reasons was the educational work of the Min- 
nesota Horticultural Society carried on throughout the state. Before 1893 it 
scarcely had more than 300 members any given year, but from now on it 
made a most wonderful progress in its membership and in 1914 more than 
3,000 active horticulturists of the state belonged to this society. It is now 
the largest horticultural society in the United States. From the very begin- 
ning its members worked hard to test all the different varieties of fruits, for- 
eign and native, for the purpose of finding out suitable sorts that could be 
safely planted in Minnesota. They sowed seeds from fruit trees annually to 
originate new hardy sorts and encouraged everyone else to do the same, so 
that we might originate our own pomology which we could not possibly get 
•from other states. Their work was crowned with wonderful success, not only 
in introducing many sorts from foreign lands but also in originating new 
varieties adapted to our county and state. I need only mention such native 
seedlings now grown in Stearns county as the Wealthy, Okabena, Peerless, 
Patten's Greening and many other sorts not so well known. 

The people of Stearns county, and for that matter of the state, were 
on account of past failures in fruit-growing to a great extent still in a mood 
of indifference. It now became necessary to educate the public in this art, 
to eliminate failures in the future as much as possible, to show the people 
in a practical way the possibility of more extensive fruit-growing in the state 
and to arouse a general interest for renewed efforts. There were many per- 
suasive means, foremost being our State Fair. To most people who go there 
it is a revelation in horticulture, an exhibition of horticultural success never 
expected to be seen in Minnesota. Many times the visitors from all over the 
state could be noticed glancing over the long tables in admiration and say- 
ing, ''Is it possible that these fine apples have all been grown in Minnesota?" 
Usually they go home with the mental resolve to try again. Next in impor- 
tance come the county fairs. They, too, are educating the masses and create 
new interest in horticulture. The fruit exhibit at the street fair in St. Cloud 
some years ago and now annually at the county fair at Sauk Centre is cer- 
tainly of great educational importance to our farming community. For the 
many years of its existence the Minnesota Horticultural Society has spread 
the gospel of horticulture in the state by its many publications, its reliable in- 
formation on horticultural topics and its annual meetings. I am proud to 
say that Stearns county has no small contingent among this teaching body of 
real horticulturists. The influence of this society is now well recognized when 
one visits the many towns and farms and notices the many fruit trees or orch- 
ards bearing an abundance of luscious fruit. Finally, there is another factor 
that works well for the advancement of horticulture in our county: I mean 
the Lecture corps which visits "the principal towns and cities in our county. 
To this belong practical men who not only lecture on agricultural topics but 
also make it a point to instruct our farmers how to grow fruits successfully. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 743 

All these means unite in producing the one desired effect — to educate our 
people in the art of successful fruit-growing in our county and I may say 
that this has been wonderfully accomplished. Our people have now not only 
a reliable fruit list, but know how to grow these fruits to perfection. It is 
comparatively but a few years ago that there was not an apple grown in 
Stearns county, it was not even thought possible, and now hundreds and 
thousands of bushels of apples are grown almost annually. Take the year 
1913 when many farmers sold from $50 to $200 worth of apples. And at St. 
John's University? Well, it was the banner year in horticulture, for we 
picked more than 800 bushels of this fruit. These are certainly most gratify- 
ing results and augur well for the future progress of horticulture in Stearns 
County. 

I shall now give the list of fruits which was adopted by the Minnesota 
State Horticultural Society Dec. 3, 1914, for the guidance of planters. The 
people of Stearns county would do well to make their selection of fruits from 
this list and plant no others. 

Apples. Of the first degree of hardiness: Duchess, Hibernal, Patten's 
Greening, Okabena. Of the second degree of hardiness: "Wealthy, Malinda, 
Anisim, Iowa Beauty, Lowland Raspberry, Jewell's Winter, Milwaukee. Val- 
uable in some locations: Wolf River, Yellow Transparent, Longfield, North- 
western Greening, Tetofsky, Peerless. Most profitable varieties for commer- 
cial planting in Minnesota: Wealthy, Duchess, Patten's Greening, Okabena, 
Anisim. Recommended for top-working on hardy stocks : Wealthy, Malinda, 
N. W. Greening, Stayman's Winesap, Grimes' Golden, Milwaukee, Mcintosh. 
Varieties for trial : Eastman, Evelyn, Windsor Chief, Gilbert. 

Crabs and Hybrids. For general cultivation : Florence, Whitney, Early 
Strawberry, Sweet Russet, Transcendent. Varieties for trial: Faribault, 
Dartt, Success. 

Plums and Hybrid plums. For general cultivation: De Sota, Forest 
Garden, Wolf (freestone), Wyant, Stoddard, Terry. Most promising for 
trial: Compass Cherry, Hanska, Opata, Sapa. 

Grapes. First degree of hardiness: Beta, Janesville. Second degree of 
hardiness: Moore's Early, Campbell's Early, Brighton, Delaware, Worden, 
Concord, Moore's Diamond, Wyoming Red. 

Raspberries. Red varieties: King, Turner, Miller, Loudon, Minnetonka 
Ironclad, Sunbeam. Black and purple varieties: Palmer, Gregg, Older, 
Columbian, Cumberland. 

Blackberries. Ancient Briton, Snyder, Eldorado. 

Currants. White Grape, Victoria, Long Bunch Holland, Pomona, Red 
Cross, Perfection, London Market. 

Gooseberries. Houghton, Downing, Champion, Pearl, Carrie. 
Strawberries. Perfect varieties: Bederwood, Enhance, Lovett, Splen- 
did, Glen-Mary, Clyde, Senator Dunlap. Imperfect varieties : Crescent, War- 
field, Haverland, Marie. Everbearing varieties for trial : Progressive, Superb, 
American. 

Native Fruits. Valuable for trial: Dwarf Juneberry, Sand Cherry, 
Buffalo Berry, High Bush Cranberry. 



744 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Nut Fruits. Shellbark Hickory, Black Walnut, Buttermit. 

I always had a predilection for horticulture as far as I can think back. 
Even as a boy of eight years I had already transplanted a small pear tree 
from the woods to my grandfather's garden in July. Of course, three days 
later the tree was dead. In our school the teacher spoke interestingly on 
horticulture and one time showed us boys how to graft trees. I was all eye 
and ear and I never forgot this one lesson. After coming to St. Joseph in 
this county I did my first grafting. Later as a student and professor I had 
no time to do any horticultural work. It was only when our old orchard at 
St. John's had been removed and no one ever thought of planting a new one, 
that I felt a desire to do something in this line. In the fall of 1893 a neighbor 
of ours brought me a few beautiful apples. They were the Wealthy and the 
Whitney. In answer to my questions, he told me that he grew them at his 
place. That settled it for me. I at once asked him for scions and, inspected 
his trees. They were about 10 years old, healthy looking and bearing heavily. 
We had a few seedlings in a small garden and I grafted 45 of them to Wealthy 
and Whitney in the spring of 1894. At the same time I ordered three dozen 
apple trees from a Wisconsin nursery, not then knowing that there were 
nurseries in Minnesota. The trees came, they were Wealthy, Duchess and 
Wolf River apples, Shield and Grant's crabs. I planted my orchard, the 
trees 16 feet apart each way. The work was done well and the trees grew. 

But I got my setback. On June 27, 1894, a cyclone passed over St. 
John's, leaving only ruin and destruction in its track. I was told my orchard 
was all ruined. After two days I went out to see the extent of the damage. 
No trees in the orchard were broken off, but the side of the trees facing the 
cyclone was full of sand driven into the bark. All the trees recovered. I did 
not get off so easy with my little nursery. The fence was blown to pieces and 
thrown in on my grafted small trees, timbers and bricks, boards, dead chick- 
ens and lots of debris were lying on them. I cleared the garden and found 
30 trees beyond redemption and 15 partly broken off. These were bandaged 
with grafting wax and strips of cloth. They healed up nicely, made good 
orchard trees and are bearing fruit today. In July of that year I joined the 
Minnesota State Horticultural Society, of which I am still a member. From 
reading the Horticultural Magazine and other publications I obtained all my 
information in horticulture. I improved my method of grafting, growing 
trees (also evergreens), of planting, cultivation best adapted to my conditions 
and in general all necessary orchard work. It saved me many a dollar and 
much sad experience. Every beginner in fruit-growing should become a 
member of this society and be guided by the practical instructions of the old 
horticulturists who blazed the way to success. 

My first setback in horticulture did not in the least discourage me, but 
rather urged me on to try again. From now on I planted some seed from 
hardy crabs every fall to grow seedlings for root grafting. A hundred grafts 
or more were made every winter, and planted in the spring. They were kept 
free from weeds and cultivated. In a few years I had more trees than were 
needed. The trees set in the orchard wer€ staked to prevent them from lean- 
ing over to the northeast side, that they would not be sun-scalded. They 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 745 

were cultivated just around the trees, mulched in the fall and protected with 
veneers from injury by mice, rabbits and sun. In a few years they started 
to bear. But I wanted to do more ; I wanted to experiment to try new sorts, 
and find out myself what could be grown successfully in Stearns county. 
About 1896 I became acquainted with an old pioneer of fruit-growing, Chas. 
Luedloff of Cologne, Carver county. He had more than a hundred varieties 
of apples on trial, as also many plums. He supplied me most willingly with 
any sort I wished to try. Every fall he would send me scions of 10 to 15 
kinds of apples and plums for grafting. He even imported grafting wood 
from Germany and sent me some of it complimentary. I found much pleas- 
ure in these trials but with little success. 

As the years went by I tried more than 200 varieties of apples, 60 varieties 
of plums, 35 varieties of grapes and 10 varieties of cherries. I imported 50 
sorts of apples, 15 of pears, and 5 of cherries from Germany and the Hon. 
John Arctander of Minneapolis sent over from Norway a half dozen kinds of 
apples. Besides these I received many varieties from Wisconsin, Iowa and 
South Dakota. I tried them all only to find out that these foreign importa- 
tions as well as the most of the other kinds were not suited to our climate. 
I tried many apples and pears from Russia, prunes and cherries from Poland, 
but all with the same disastrous result. From the Bureau of Plant Introduc- 
tion of the U. S. Department of Agriculture I obtained several varieties of 
Chinese pears, also apples and other fruits. All of these went the same way, 
with the possible exception of one or two pears which are still alive. I could 
have easily avoided all this useless labor, for I had before me the experience 
of the pioneers in horticulture ; but no, I wanted to find out myself ; and 
then, too, these trials are so interesting that one likes to keep on, although he 
is quite sure he will fail. Not being able to accomplish anything this way I 
tried it with seeds. I imported a pound of pear seed of the hardiest kind and 
raised some 1,500 seedlings, half of which I gave to the Minnesota State Fruit 
Breeding Farm and the other half I planted. As to the results I may say that 
nearly all suffered from our winter's cold. More than half blighted to death. 
A few, however, not more than five or six trees seem to be reasonably hardy 
and maybe will stay with us. Hence I would suggest : Do not experiment, 
leave this part of horticulture to the expert. As for practical results, I might 
mention that I have had about 100 varieties of apples and 50 of plums in 
bearing, but it would have been considerably better to reduce this number to 
only a few varieties. Among all these sorts there are only some 10 to 15 
good kinds and the others are more or less undesirable for one reason or an- 
other. If I had planted only Duchess, Wealthy, Patten's Greening, Okabena 
and Anisim I am quite certain that I would have picked more than 1,000 bush- 
els of apples instead of 800 in 1913. 

But after all, experiments are necessary in a new country, for without 
them we would not be able to raise apples in Stearns county today. The 
experimenter finds his reward for the labor in the great satisfaction he has 
whenever he is lucky enough to bring a new variety to fruiting. Last season, 
for instance, I had the satisfaction of raising my first pears of three varieties, 
two kinds of blue plums and one kind of prunes. But the trees, coming from 



746 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Europe, may be dead after a cold winter. I have something better than all 
these foreign importations — I mean my native grapevine "Alpha." We 
found it in our woods. The vine is hardy and healthy and of vigorous growth. 
The grapes are of good size, the bunches growing to 7 inches long by 4 
inches wide. The fruit is just a little smaller than the Concord. The quality 
is excellent, no foxiness or wild flavor in the grapes. The Alpha is ripe and 
ready for the table the first week in September, but if left on the vines till 
the end of this month it will become perfectly sweet with just a little vinous 
taste. This is something of real value, the more so as the vine, when well 
established, will stand a cold of 40 degrees below zero without any protec- 
tion. Anyone coming to St. John's may see these grape vines. Parties wish- 
ing to try the Alpha may get it from Geo. W. Strand, Taylor's Falls, Minn. 

My work in horticulture has been considered of much value to the state 
by such men as the late Professor of Horticulture, S. B. Green of the Minne- 
sota State University. On two occasions he came to St. John's and looked 
over my work. He was so well pleased, that the next year I was elected a 
vice-president of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society for 1907. After 
that year I was appointed superintendent of the Trail Station established at 
St. John's University by the same State Society, which office I am still hold- 
ing. It is my duty to try out new fruits, make experiments and observations 
of all things horticultural and send in semi-annual reports of the station to 
the secretary of the society. 

I was carrying on quite a number of other experiments. I raised about 
50 apple seedlings for new fruits, some were really promising. The two 
best ones set fruit for the first time last season, but blight got in its work 
and killed both of them. Some years ago I topgrafted a hardy pear seedling 
with 12 varieties of good pears. They grew very well, but the tree was finally 
ruined by canker. I poUenized a few blossoms of a Patten's Greening with 
the pollen of a long-keeping German apple to get seed for a hardy long- 
keeping winter apple. The work was quite successful, but the hybrid apples 
I never got, they were stolen when almost ripe. I did quite a little top- 
working. Some of these resulting trees are among my best ones. Others 
overgrew the stock, because the graft was of a faster-growing variety, and 
again others failed to unite. The scions simply dropped off when the tie was 
removed. There was not much affinity between the woodcells of stock and 
scion. I could mention many more such trials and failures but these I think 
will do to show that in experiments there are more disappointments than suc- 
cesses. "With cherries I did not do much, although I planted some 75 trees. 
They are not hardy enough and when they do bear a few cherries the birds 
get them all. 

For the last 15 or 16 years I have taken great interest in growing ever- 
greens from seed. This is not so easy to accomplish as it may appear to many. 
Even with the closest attention to particulars failures are unavoidable. In 
order that the seed shall sprout.it is necessary to give it forest conditions. 
For that purpose something like an arbor is built over the seedbed with laths 
excluding about half of the sunlight. On the well-prepared bed the seed 
may be sown broadcast or in rows. The seed is rolled down lightly and cov- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 747 

ered with fine sand one-fourth of an inch or with moist sawdust. The bed is 
now well watered and covered with clean hay or straw. The bed must never 
get dry. In three or four weeks the seed comes up and the cover is removed. 
The young plants should not get too much water or disease will set in and all 
may damp off. To avoid loss weeding every week or ten days is necessary. 
In the fall the seedlings are covered with straw for protection during the 
first winter. When the plants are two or three years old they are ready for 
forest or grove planting. I have raised thousands of evergreen seedlings and 
lost thousands of them from damping off and freezing. I have now 15 vari- 
eties growing on our grounds at St. John's. The best evergreens are the 
White, Norway, Scotch and Bull Pines; the Norway, White, and Colorado 
blue spruces; the Douglas and Balsam firs, the European Larch, and the 
White and Red Cedar. All pines do better on sandy land and all spruces do 
better on good fertile soil if it is not too dry. For Stearns county I would 
recommend the Scotch pine for a windbreak, as it is one of the fastest grow- 
ers. If two or three rows of them are planted with the trees only six feet 
apart they will give entire satisfaction. 

For lawns I would suggest to plant as single specimens, the Colorado 
blue or White Spruce, the White pine and the Douglas fir. 

At the present time we do not know what Stearns county has in store 
for us, we do not realize its possibilities in fruit growing as yet. But let me 
tell you, Stearns county, with its many wooded hills and numerous lakes, 
with its open prairies and extensive forests, is one of the best adapted coun- 
ties in Minnesota for horticulture. As it is now one of the foremost agricul- 
tural counties, so it will be one of the best fruit-growing counties in the state. 
Since we have accomplished so much in a few years, we may confidently and 
reasonably expect to accomplish more in the time to come. There is no doubt 
in my mind that we have the land for it. Are you skeptical? Walk out into 
the woods; there you will find native varieties of all kinds: strawberries, 
raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, cherries, thornapples, hazelnuts, grape- 
vines and many others. Now all these native fruits would not grow there if 
the soil were not adapted to their requirements. As for quality, it is a law 
of nature that fruits grown at their northern limits are better than the same 
fruits grown further south. This is why our Minnesota strawberries, for in- 
stance, are much better than those from Louisiana. "But you cannot change 
the cold winters, which are so injurious to our fruits," I am told. Yes, this 
is very true, we cannot change the cold winters, but we can change the fruits 
so they will stand the winters. This is just the very thing that is now being 
done at the Minnesota State Fruit Breeding Farm at Zumbra Heights near 
Lake Minuetonka. And how is this to be accomplished'? By trying to com- 
bine the hardiness of our native fruits with the good qualities of the culti- 
vated varieties. Take for instance the plum. The flowers of the wild plum 
from the woods are crossed by hand with the pollen from a California or a 
Japanese plum. The resulting seeds contain now the qualities of both plums, 
liardiness to stand our winters and quality to suit our taste. By planting 
these seeds we may obtain what we want, a good hardy plum tree that will 
stand our winters and bear excellent plums akin either to the California or 



748 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Japanese plum. I said we may, for many trials are necessary to find one 
plum in which both of these qualities are dominant. In this manner the 
work of fruit-breeding is carried on with all other fruits. Good results have 
already been obtained, although the work of fruit-breeding has only been 
carried on for six years. There are now originated new strawberries, black- 
berries, raspberries, grapes and plums. There are now thousands of hybrid 
trees and plants growing at the Fruit Breeding Farm; all are tried and only 
the few good ones will be propagated and sent out to the trial stations for 
their final trial before they are recommended for general planting in the 
state. I am now trying out ten varieties of these new plums and one of rasp- 
berries. Should this work be carried on for a sufficient number of years, it is 
very probable that Minnesota will be able to grow some of the choicest fruits 
in the United States. 

For the last twenty years I have been active in horticulture in Stearns 
county. I have studied the different cultural methods, soils, locations, re- 
quirements of the various fruits, climatic conditions and adaptability of many 
kinds of fruits in our trying climate. Looking at all these different aspects 
as necessary knowledge for practical results in fruit culture and knowing that 
by giving at least its salient points I may do much toward better progress and 
development in horticulture of our county, I shall now endeavor to give some 
of the underlying truths or rather conclusions as a guide for others, just as 
I have gleaned them from any practical work. 

The location of an orchard is of the greatest importance. The best place 
is the northeast slope of a hill. If not available, a northern or an eastern 
slope is all right. Should there be no hill close to the house a piece of level 
ground about the premises may be selected. The worst location for an orchard 
is a southern or western slope of a hill and low ground. Trees need water 
at all times and will not succeed on a dry hillside nor can they bear wet feet 
in low places, where, too, they are exposed to all the early and late frosts and 
the greater difference of temperature between day and night. The orchard 
or trees in a farmer's garden need sufficient air drainage and at the same time 
protection from the strong winds and cold blasts of winter, hence a good 
partial wind-break is much to be desired. We should aim to give the trees 
the best location available and sufficient protection. 

The best soil is black loam with a clay subsoil of an open texture. The 
clay should contain about 20 to 30 per cent of sand so that the water can 
percolate right down deep. Should the clay be so stiff that no water would 
go through it, but rather accumulate on top of the impervious clay, the trees 
would suffer from too much water. Some subsoils consist of a hardpan and 
will not do for trees. The hardpan should first be broken up by a charge of 
dynamite before the trees are planted on this soil. Some subsoils are rather 
sandy but contain some clay ; this may make a fairly good location. Avoid 
all subsoils of pure sand and gravel, for these soils hold no water, it goes 
right through as fast as it falls. If you must use such a soil, plow the top 
soil together into high reaches 20 feet wide. This may be the only way for 
you to grow apples on such a soil. 

The land for an orchard should have been in cultivation for a few years 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 749 

and its wild nature subdued. If you have a piece of sod land that would 
be handy for an orchard, break it up and crop it for two years, then, plow 
it in the fall and make ready for planting in the spring. Order your trees 
in the fall and heel them in over winter. On a dry place dig a slanting hole 
two feet deep for the roots, tapering to six inches for the tops. Lay the trees 
in and put some soil on and between the roots. On these trees you may lay 
some more. When the trees are all in and the roots covered a little with 
ground, place some pieces of boards crosswise over the entire trees and fill in 
the hole with ground and somewhat higher, so that no water will stay there. 
It is good to put some straw on it for protection, which ought to be removed 
early in the spring. The trees will come out of their winter quarters in the 
very best condition for planting and are far ahead of those ordered in the 
spring. Plant the trees 20 feet apart in rows running north and south and 
the rows should be 25 feet apart. If many trees are to be planted plow 
crosswise the proper distance apart and at the point of intersection dig the 
holes large and wide enough for the roots. If only a few trees are to be 
planted, the holes may be made with the shovel just as needed for planting, 
that the ground will not dry out. It is not impossible to plant trees in sod. 
On steep hillsides trees should be planted in sod to prevent washouts by 
heavy rains. Dig up the soil the size of a wagonwheel, spade the ground 
deep, make the hole in the centre and plant your tree. Set the trees about 
four inches deeper than they stood in the nursery, cut off any broken root in 
such a way that the cut looks downward. Spread out the roots the way they 
grew and work the top soil among them. Fill in gradually till the roots are 
covered about four or five inches deep, then firm the ground solid with your 
boots and weight. The last two or three inches of soil are kept loose. The 
ground should dish toward the trees to hold the water from the rains. No 
subsoil and no manure are used for planting, nor is water necessary, when 
the ground is reasonably moist; should the ground be dry, then of course 
water would have to be applied. 

After planting, the tops should be pruned. Leave only four strong 
branches six inches long. The leader, too, should be cut back to grow a low- 
topped tree and this is of great advantage later. Trees coming from the 
nursery in the spring should be put in water over night or buried in moist 
ground for two days before planting. Trees should be cultivated often; 
should this be impossible put a mulch of straw about them to keep the ground 
cool and moist. In planting the trees should be well inclined towards the one 
o'clock sun or should be staked so that they will not lean over to the north- 
east from the winds and get sunscalded. It is well to put on a wooden veneer 
or any other shade to protect the trees from the sun, mice and rabbits at all 
times. In the fall the trees may be whitewashed up to the branches. It is 
well to look over your trees sometimes, for bugs and worms might get in their 
work. 

This method of planting, which should be done in early spring, may be 
recommended for all fruit trees. For plums and their hybrids, if not orig- 
inated from the sand cherry, I would suggest to use a richer and moister soil 
for their location. If it be a little sandy it would not hurt. For plums a 



750 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

somewhat lower ground may be used, provided it is not too wet and is free 
from late frosts, for plums flower early. Cherries delight in high sandy loca- 
tions, but the ground should be fertile. Nothing more need be said about 
cherries, as we have no variety sufficiently hardy in our county. 

Grapes prefer a sunny location, a south slope of a hill is the best and 
should be well protected from the cold north and southwest winds. Only 
in such locations do they develop to perfection. They require a fertile but 
somewhat sandy, gravelly soil. Their propagation is quite simple. While 
fruit trees must be grafted, it is only necessary for the grape to cut off a 
well-grown piece of the vine from last year's growth about 10 inches long 
and stick it in the sandy soil up to the last bud. As a rule many such cuttings 
will grow and make nice plants by fall. Protect them over winter and in 
spring they may be transplanted in the vineyard or garden. The vines 
should be set apart at least eight feet each way. The grapevines should be 
pruned, laid down every fall and covered with ground for protection over 
winter. The first fall they should be cut back to two buds, the second fall 
to one foot above ground. The third year they will begin to bear. In the 
fall one shoot, or if the vine is strong, two shoots may be cut back to three 
good buds and all other shoots cut away entirely. Do this pruning every 
year and always in the fall. As the vines grow stronger more bearing wood 
may be left on, but remember that at least nine-tenths of the wood grown 
last season ought to be cut away, if you desire nice bunches with large berries. 
A trellis should be built for the vines to which they are tied in the spring. 
A fence with three barbless wires set up along the rows of grapevines will do. 

Raspberries and blackberries may be propagated by suckers or root divi- 
sions. Currants and gooseberries are generally grown from cuttings just like 
the grapevines. But the cuttings are made as soon as the leaves drop off 
about the middle of August and planted at once. They will be rooted by late 
fall and may be transplanted next spring or better grown another year. They 
should be planted four feet apart in rows and the rows six feet apart. Mulch- 
ing is a good thing for them. Raspberries and blackberries should be laid 
down and covered. The land may be of a sandy nature but rich in plant food. 

Strawberry plants should always be obtained from nursery men, unless 
you want to grow them yourself from plants that were never allowed to bear 
fruit. The land for strawberries should be made extra rich, as they are great 
feeders. They prefer a sandy loam. The rows should be about four feet 
apart and the plants in the row about 18 inches. Take care to spread out the 
roots well in planting, which may be done with a spade, and just so deep that 
the crown of the plant is on a level with the ground. Cultivate frequently 
but do not allow them to bear the first season. When the runners appear, 
spread them out so that the new plants will grow about six inches apart. 
Keep the walk between the rows free from plants and weeds. The path should 
be at least a foot wide. Late in the fall the strawberry beds are to be cov- 
ered with clean straw or marsh .hay. In the spring this cover is raked off 
and partly left in the paths. The plants will now grow vigorously, bloom and 
ripen lots of fruit by the end of June. Strawberries need much water just 
when the berries are about ripening. Should it not rain frequently, water 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 751 

must be applied rather freely. After the berries are picked, the bed is mowed, 
and the leaves removed and burned. Strawberries may bear a second year. 
For that purpose plow and harrow between the rows, leaving of the old bed 
only a strip one foot wide. New runners will soon grow new plants and 
the bed may be treated as the year before. After the second year it is better 
to plant a new bed. 

There are many people in the county who like to experiment a little for 
themselves in growing fruit trees from seed. Some have already tried it, 
but for the greater part the results are not satisfactory, for the new fruits do 
not come true from the seed. As a rule they revert back to some of their 
worthless ancestors. But many times very good fruits may be grown that 
way and this work should be encouraged. The seeds should be taken from 
the finest, well-colored and best apples of its kind grown in Stearns county. 
Only the most perfect seeds should be planted 1^2 inches deep in October. 
They will come up in the spring. When the little trees have grown five or six 
leaves, they should be transplanted at least a foot apart in rows and culti- 
vated. Those that grow a straight, vigorous, strong and clean stem with 
large thick, glossy leaves are the ones to grow seedling fruit from. The others 
are no good, but may be used for rootgrafting. As this work is of muchf 
value, the Plant Breeders' Auxiliary was started a few years ago and affil- 
iated to the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. Any one interested may 
join it. To encourage this work many premiums are offered for new seedling 
apples and other fruits annually by the State Fair and other premiums from 
$100 to $1,000 by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. Has this grow- 
ing of seedling trees ever been tried in Stearns county? Certainly, quite a 
number are doing it. I for one am at it and I know of a lady not far from 
Richmond who has grown and fruited 40 apple trees from seed. 

Every one interested in horticulture should know how to graft and grow 
his own trees. This is easy to learn and saves him many a dollar for nursery 
stock. I would suggest to get Professor Green's Amateur Fruit Growing. You 
may have it for a premium, if you join the Horticultural Society. This book 
will teach you not only how to graft and grow your own trees, but everything 
a fruitgrower should know. I can give here only general directions. Sow 
the seeds from hardy crabapples in the fall for growing the seedlings. Late 
in the fall next year take out the strongest ones, cut back the top and roots a 
little, pack the roots in moist sawdust and keep them in a cool cellar. Cut 
the scions from apple trees you wish to grow late in the fall, too, but there 
should be no frost in the trees. The scions should be strong tips of branches 
grown last season and should be kept the same way as the roots. In Febru- 
ary you may do the grafting in your room. This is done by making a slant- 
ing cut three-quarters of an inch long at the collar of the root, make a similar 
cut at the end of the scion, which should be four inches long, so that both cuts 
fit fairly well together or cover each other. Make a perpendicular cut in the 
center of the cut of the root and scion and interlock them by inserting the 
tongue of one into the slit of the other so that bark and wood fit well together 
at least on one side. Wind a waxed strip of cloth over the entire cut part and 
the graft is finished. After grafting put them back again in the moist saw- 



752 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

dust in the cellar. In early spring plant the grafts in rows, open the ground 
with a spade, set down the graft to the last bud, firm the ground and culti- 
vate. It will take but a week or two until the grafts start to grow, provided 
the work has been done well. Should small apple or plum trees already grow- 
ing in the garden be grafted above ground it is necessary to put an extra coat 
of grafting wax over the tie, that the grafts will not dry out. There are 
many different methods of grafting, but the principle is always the same. A 
good grafting wax may be made by melting 4 oz. of yellow bees wax, 3 oz. 
of rosin and 1 oz. of pure tallow together. Mix well and run yarn or strips 
of cloth one-third inch wide through the wax. The strips should only be 
saturated with wax and as too much wax will adhere, pull the strips through 
between two sticks. 

To round out these gleanings from my work, to make them more useful 
to the farmers, it seems to me I should not omit to write about some of the 
worst menaces to our fruit trees. I do not mean bugs, worms and insects in 
general, for these can be controlled with chemicals, and in particular cases the 
proper remedies will be suggested by the State Entomologist, but I mean to 
say that blight has been and is still responsible for the loss of many of our 
fruit trees. Since the initial years of horticulture in Stearns county many 
thousand trees have been planted. Where are they now? Gone, mostly 
killed by blight. It is not so much the cold, for we have trees hardy in top 
and root which are able with a little care to withstand the cold and outgrow 
an occasional injury from frost. But it is blight, which is in evidence in so 
many of our orchards and gardens some years, that cause our trees to go 
down. In midsummer, when everything is growing vigorously our trees are 
stricken, the leaves wither, turn brown as if seared, the branches get dry, 
the infection spreads from tree to tree and in a year or two the orchard is 
only a sad ruin of its former health and vigor. What can we do to save 
our trees? In the first decade of horticulture our fruit growers were simply 
at a loss what to do and even now we have no sure remedy for this condi- 
tion. Yet we can do much to save the trees by cutting out the blighted 
branches, by being vigilant and ever ready to remove any part of the tree on 
which blight makes its reappearance. As blight is an infection, it becomes 
necessary to disinfect the knife after every cut by the use of kerosene or 
other means. The infected branches should be cut off about six inches below 
the infection and all branches and leaves burned. Only thorough work will 
be successful in saving the trees and eradicating blight. 

Sunscald also causes much damage to our fruit trees. It cracks the bark 
on the south side of the tree, generally in early spring; in summer the bark 
drops off, the wood is exposed and decay sets in. Many shade and other trees 
may be seen injured that way on the south side from the branches down to 
the ground. Many apple trees may be observed leaning over to the north- 
east, with but a few green branches on that side, while on the opposite side 
the stem and branches are dead. Such trees are an eyesore and will soon 
pass out of existence. With a little care this injury may be readily prevented 
by inclining the trees at the time of planting to the one o'clock sun, by shad- 
ing the stems with anything handy except tar paper, by encouraging branches 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 753 

to grow on that side, by white-washing the stems in the fall. This latter 
treatment may also be recommended against many insects and mice. Always 
try to keep your trees in a healthful, vigorous condition and they will reward 
you with bountiful crops. 

Now we have to pay a little attention to our large fruit list. A begin- 
ner in fruit growing not knowing the different varieties would find it very 
difficult to select the proper ones. Though they are all recommended and 
may be planted, they are not all equally good in quality, in bearing, keeping 
and hardiness. For his little orchard the beginner wants the very best trees. 
I shall now assist him and mention only the best bearing trees in the order 
of their keeping quality, which is from one to five months. Should a man 
want to plant a half dozen apple trees on his town lot, I would suggest : One 
Duchess, one Okabena, one Patten's Greening and three Wealthy. For plant- 
ing a dozen trees, double the above number. For an orchard of 25 apple trees 
and six plums I would select two Duchess, two Okabena, five Patten's Green- 
ings and fifteen Wealthy. Should a few crabs be desirable, two Whitney, 
four Florence and two Transcendent crabs may be selected. Of plums, De- 
Sota, Forest Garden or Wolf will be all right. If an orchard of 100 trees is 
to be planted I would suggest five Duchess, five Okabena, twenty-five Pat- 
ten's Greenings, ten Anisim, fifty Wealthy and five Malinda. Should crabs 
be planted, the above number may be reduced and Whitney, Florence and 
Transcendent crabs planted instead. For larger orchards plant liberally of 
the Wealthy, as this apple may be kept till February with a little care and 
is the best one we can grow and always sells for the highest price. For plums 
every variety from the general list is all right. As grapevines, raspberries, 
blackberries and strawberries should be protected over winter, it does not 
matter much which varieties are planted. Yet I would not plant the Concord, 
as it does not get ripe every year, but I would prefer the Janesville and the 
Worden, and of strawberries the Splendid and Dunlap. 

In conclusion I may suggest, not to plant many of other varieties if you 
desire to get much and fine fruit from a few trees. Protect the grapes and 
small fruits well over winter except the currant and gooseberries, the bushes 
of which need only be tied together. Leave new sorts with high prices alone, 
if you don't want to be humbugged, but rather follow the advice of those 
having experience. 

I have written this article on horticulture in Stearns county with much 
pleasure and a great desire to render a service to horticulture in general and 
to our planters in particular. Should our farmers and townsmen find it help- 
ful in their fruit-growing, I would consider myself well rewarded for this 
work. 

(Written at St. John's University, Collegeville, Minn., December 30, 1914, 
by the Rev. John B. Katzner, O.S.B.) 

THE BELGRADE STATION. 

It will perhaps be difficult to get a true report of horticulture in Stearns 
county from any one individual, speaking from conditions in his own neigh- 
borhood. Stearns is a large county with considerable range in altitude, slopes 



754 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and climatic conditions. This may sound extravagant but it is true relating 
to horticulture. Apples and practically all fruit do best on heavy soil and on 
the north slope of steep hills, and we might add on timber soil. Also the 
presence of bodies of water is of great value. All of these favorable conditions 
are found in some parts of the county while we might say they are wholly 
lacking in other parts. We therefore find fruit thriving in some parts of the 
county while in other parts there is hardly any to be found. The difference 
in elevation from the Mississippi river on the eastern boundary to the head- 
waters on the western borders of the county affects fruit growing to a con- 
siderable extent. The heavy soil on the north slope of a hill near a lake or 
river is the best location for apples and in such locations apples do very well 
in this county. Sandy soil, a fine sand all the way down, is not so good and 
in such localities fruit growing is not so successful, though the Compass cherry, 
a cross between a cherry and a plum, does best on sandy soil and possibly 
some small fruits, and it is possible that even some varieties of apples would 
do just as well on this kind of soil. Plums will probably succeed compara- 
tively better than apples on sandy soil. For a number of years, however, 
plums have been an uncertain crop throughout the state. Sandy soil under- 
laid with clean gravel, such as we have in this corner of the county, is per- 
haps the least favorable of all for fruit growing, and still there is a possibility 
that we may overcome difficulties here. 

My father, who was the first settler in the southwestern corner of Stearns 
county, having settled here in 1859 or 1860, planted what was undoubtedly 
the earliest crab apple orchard in this part of the county. In my earliest recol- 
lection this orchard was in full bearing. Old settlers have told me that in the 
early days it was both a curiosity and a land mark. My father (C. H. Johnson, 
known best to old settlers by the name of Christian Sandvig) does not re- 
member when the orchard was planted, but remembers that it was bearing 
apples before the grass-hoppers came. This orchard perished, but my father 
continued to patronize the nursery agents liberally every year and has now 
an orchard of many varieties. My own orchard, while containing possibly a 
greater number of trees than any orchard in this vicinity, is comparatively 
young and most of the trees are not in bearing. The trouble on this soil seems 
to be that while fruit trees grow beautifully in favorable seasons when there 
is plenty of rainfall well distributed (and excessive rains seem to do no harm), 
drought becomes effective sooner on this light soil than on heavy soil and is 
perhaps responsible for most of the losses to both crop and trees. To correct 
this evil I have for a number of years been experimenting with irrigation with 
muck and it may be of interest to note that irrigation with muck has orig- 
inated in this county. Three times I have been called to talk to the State Hor- 
ticultural Convention on this subject. One of these articles is published in 
the Horticultural Annual for 1910, the other in 1911. The last article pre- 
sented at the last meeting has not yet been published. While much of my 
work up to date has been experiments to develop the best and most economical 
methods and necessary preliminary preparations I have proved to my entire 
satisfaction that irrigation with muck is both practical and economical. The 
idea is briefly described. When there is considerable need for water and rain 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 755 

does not come to supply that need, we irrigate by operating a suction dredge 
in the lake where there is four to ten feet of soft rich muck under the surface 
of the water. My dredge has a capacity of about 260 gallons per minute with 
a ten horsepower engine. While this seems a large quantity of water to pour 
out on dry land, it is really a very small dredge compared with suction dredges 
used to deep harbors and river channels, otherwise the pumping or dredging 
works very much the same as the large dredges. The discharge from this 
pump is forced from the dredge out in the lake to the shore and to the highest 
elevation of land on my farm through long pipes. From the outlet of the 
pipe the muck-laden water can be conducted to any or every part of my 
orchard and farm of 33 acres by gravity to water the trees and plants and 
enrich the soil. 

(Written at Belgrade, Minn., December 21, 1914, by C. R. Sandvig.) 

THE PAYNESVILLE STATION. 

All the fruit recommended by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society 
can be grown successfully in Stearns county. Many other varieties can be 
grown here and new kinds are being added yearly. The success we have had 
in Paynesville in raising fruit seems almost marvelous. Only a few years ago 
most people were satisfied to grow even enough crab apples for home use, 
but the present situation is very different. This was an "off year" for apples, 
but our orchard was fairly loaded with as fine fruit as could be grown any- 
where. The results were also very satisfactory as to plums and cherries. 
There are probably 300 trees of all kinds in bearing in our orchard. For small 
fruit, such as raspberries, strawberries, etc., no place has a better soil or cli- 
mate than Stearns county. 

As to soil, location, etc., I would advise the use of a north or east slope, 
if possible ; if your ground is level, use it ; if there is neither a north or east 
slope nor level land, use what you have and raise fruit. Any soil that will 
grow good corn will grow good fruit if properly cared for. 

Apple trees should be planted at least 20x25 feet apart (more is better) 
and well cultivated and cared for until they come into bearing, when the 
orchard may be seeded to clover but never to timothy. 

In reply to the inquiry regarding nurseries, would say that we (Frank 
Brown & Son) have a nursery where is grown a complete line of trees, shrubs, 
and flowers. In the season there are 50,000 peonies, of over 125 varieties, in 
bloom. — (By Frank Brown.) 



756 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

CHAPTER XLI. 

OFFICERS AND COUNTY SEAT REMOVAL. 

Proposed County of Franklin — The Vote in Detail — Other Efforts at Division 
of County — Attempt to Remove County Seat to Albany — County Oflficers 
of Steams County from 1855 to 1915. 

County division and county seat removal. — At the 1872 session of the leg- 
islature a bill was passed to establish the county of Franklin, with the county 
seat at Sauk Centre. The territory to form the proposed new county included 
twelve townships to be taken from Stearns county, viz : Ashley, Raymond, 
Getty, Grove, North Fork, Crow Lake, Crow River, Lake Henry, Lake George, 
Spring Hill, Melrose and Sauk Centre, to which would be added eight town- 
ships from the southern part of Todd county. The act provided that the ques- 
tion of the establishing of the county of Franklin should be submitted to the 
voters of the two counties for their approval or rejection at the next general 
election. The result in Stearns county was the defeat of the proposition by a 
majority of 1,663 out of the 2,169 votes cast. The vote by townships was as 
follows : 

Ashley, for 30, against ; Albany, for 6, against 66 ; Avon, for 4, against, 
1 ; Brockway, for 1, against ; Crow Lake, for 30, against 3 ; Eden Lake, for 0, 
against 24 ; Fair Haven, for 0, against 62 ; Getty, for 25, against 31 ; Grove, 
for 5, against 83 ; Holding, for 0, against 61 ; Krain, for 0, against 24 ; Lake 
Henry, for 1, against 28 ; Le Sauk, for 0, against 55 ; Luxemberg, for 0, 
against ; Lynden, for 2, against 53 ; Maine Prairie, for 1, against 103 ; Mun- 
son, for 0, against 137 ; Melrose, for 9, against 56 ; Millwood, for 0, against 49 ; 
North Fork, for 45, against 5; Oak, for 0, against 63; Paynesville, for 6, 
against 45; Raymond, for 23, against 14; Rockville, for 2, against 62; St. 
Cloud City, for 1, against 397 ; St. Cloud town, for ; against 115 ; St. Augusta, 
for 0, against 110 ; St. Joseph, for 0, against ; St. Wendel, for 0, against 68 ; 
St. Martin, for 0, against 42 ; Spring Hill, for 1, against 67 ; Sauk Centre, for 
61, against 0; Wakefield, for 0, against 19; Zion, for 0, against 73. Total, for 
253, against 1,916. 

The creation of the new county did not appear to excite any special de- 
gree of interest, as only a total of 2,169 votes were cast both for and against, 
while the vote for president totaled 3,053. 

The majority in Todd county against the formation of the new county 
was 232. 

In 1887 a bill for the division of the county was introduced in the house 
of representatives but failed to reach general orders. 

In 1913 the people of Albany made a vigorous and determined effort to 
secure the removal of the county seat of Stearns county from St. Cloud to that 
village. A systematic canvas was made for signatures to the petition to the 
board of county commissioners asking that a date be fixed for an election to 




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HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 757 

decide the matter, more than the necessary number of names being secured. 
The proper legal notices were posted, and November 12 the matter came be- 
fore the board. W. W. Barron, of Melrose, and Harris Richardson, of St. Paul, 
appearing for the petitioners and J. D. Sullivan, R. B. Brower and Theodore 
Bruener, of St. Cloud, for the remonstrators. Mr. Richardson remained and 
took part in the proceedings the first day only. Mr. Sullivan questioned the 
jurisdiction of the board on the ground that the notice of the meeting had not 
been published in all the papers in the county, as required by law, it being 
held that the daily and weekly editions of the St. Cloud Times and Journal- 
Press were separate and distinct publications, while the attorney for the peti- 
tioners contended that the separate editions constituted but one paper. The 
objection was not further pressed by the St. Cloud attorneys. 

The petition for the removal election contained 4,715 signatures, the re- 
quired number — sixty per cent, of the vote cast by males at the last preceding 
general election being 3,995. But at the same time there was filed by the 
St. Cloud attorneys a list of 1,188 persons who had signed the original peti- 
tion and who now asked to have their names stricken off. The Albany attor- 
ney thereupon filed a list of 421 who had signed the revocation and now asked 
to have their names reinstated on the original petition. In order to have a 
correct result and to expedite the work the board of commissioners on the 
morning of the second day appointed L. C. Dueber, J. J, Spaniol, Raymond 
Bruning, Joseph Doyle and Joseph Eich as special counting clerks to count 
and index the names in the revocations and reinstatements, the county audi- 
tor's count of 4,715 on the original petition being accepted as correct. The 
board voted that no more revocations or reinstatements would be accepted, 
which action was agreed to by both sides. On the fifteenth Mr. Barron asked 
to be allowed to copy the names on certain remonstrance lists as the legality 
of the signatures was questioned. This was objected to by Mr. Brower by 
reason of the agreement which had been entered into that the whole matter 
be left with the county board, and the board thereupon voted that all papers 
then on file be left in the custody of the county board, without interference, 
until the count was completed. When, after further adjournments, the board 
met on the morning of November 18, report was made that the counting and 
indexing of names had been completed. Mr. Barron asked to be furnished 
with a list of the Melrose revocations for the purpose of investigation, believ- 
ing them to have been obtained fraudulently. Objection was made by Mr. 
Sullivan. An opinion being asked from County Attorney Ahles this official 
said that, all previous agreements being considered, the matter rested with 
the county board. After some further discussion, the board adopted a reso- 
lution to the effect that, because of there being an insufficient number of names 
on the petition — 3,929, while 3,995 were necessary — it be rejected, thus dis- 
posing of the matter. 

County Officers of Stearns County. From the incompleteness of the 
records in the earlier days it has been practically impossible in the case of 
some of the county officers to learn accurately the period of service. The 
following list, prepared with much care and after careful search and examina- 
tion, is as complete and correct as it has been possible to make it : 



758 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

County Auditor. Charles Ketcham, 1855 to 1858. John McDonald, 
elected but resigned. J. W. Reed, 1859 to 1862. Edward D. Atwater, 1862 to 
May 11, 1863. Jos. P. Wilson (appointed May 11, 1863) to 1864. Barney Voss- 
berg, 1864 to 1889. Robert Lutz, 1889 to 1891. Barney Vossberg, 1891 to 
I895! Philip J. Gruber. 1895 to 1903. John C. Crever, 1903 to 1909. John P. 
Ran, 1909 to October 19, 1913 (deceased). Nicholas Thomey, October 21, 
1913 to 1915 (re-elected). 

County Treasurer. Robert B. Blake, 1855. John W. Tenvoorde, 1856 to 
1859. John H. Linneman, 1859. Joseph Broker, 1860 to 1862. John W. 
Tenvoorde, 1862 to 1864. Andrew Schroeder, 1864 to 1870. Mathias Cans, 
1870 to 1878. J. A. Moosbrugger, 1878 to 1891. Bertus Mueller, 1891 to 1897. 
Charles Dueber, 1897 to March 13, 1900 (resigned). A. L. Cramb, March 13, 
1900, to January, 1901. Chris Schmitt, 1901 to 1915 (re-elected). 

Sheriff. L. B. Hammond, April 9 to June 14, 1855. Henry Witzheimer, 
June 14, 1855, to January 9, 1856. Joseph Edelbrock, 1856 to 1859. Jacob E. 
Tenvoorde, 1859 to May 3 (resigned). H. G. Fillmore, May 3, 1859 to January 
3, 1860. M. Lauerman, 1860 to 1863. C. Grandelmeyer, 1863 to 1864. P. 
Beaupre, 1864 to 1866. M. Mickley, 1866 to 1870. T. C. Alden, 1870 to 1872. 
George Geissel, 1872 to 1878. M. Mickley, 1878 to 1888 (deceased). John P. 
Hammerel, 1888 to 1889. Andrew W. Kraemer, 1889 to 1891. John P. Ham- 
merel, 1891 to 1895. James E. McKelvy, 1895 to 1899. Fred Schilplin, 1899 
to 1903. John P. Bernick, 1903 to 1907. Benjamin J. Moritz, 1907 to 1913. 
Bernard E. Schoener, 1913 to 1915 (re-elected). The first deputy sheriff of 
record was Chas. Ketcham at a term of the district court held April 9, 1867, 
although there were without doubt deputies who served prior to that time, the 
proceedings of the board of county commissioners as far back as October 30, 
1856, show the allowance of a bill of sixty dollars rendered by Albert Evans 
for services as deputy sheriff. Other deputies following were Mathias Gas- 
pard, M. Lauerman, A. DeGroat, E. Robertson, P. L. Gregory, J. H. Dennis, 
John Schaefer, M. Mickley, Joseph Myers, Frank D. Hall and Joseph Mar- 
thaler, these prior to 1875. 

Registrar of Deeds. Charles Ketcham, 1855 to 1860. Joseph Edelbrock, 
1860 to 1862. John Zapp, 1862 to 1889. John M. Emmel, 1889 to 1909. Paul 
J. Beaudreau, 1909 to 1911. John Lang, 1911 to 1915 (re-elected). This is 
certainly a remarkable showing — only six registers of deeds from the organi- 
zation of the county in 1855 to 1919, which will be the end of Mr. Lang's pres- 
ent term. This is due largely to the long periods during which John Zapp 
and John M. Emmel had the office. 

County Attorney. Henry C. Waite, 1855 to I860; James M. McKelvy, 
1860 to August 12, 1862 (resigned to enter the army) ; W. S. Moore, August 
9, 1862, to 1863 ; S. B. Pinney, 1863 to 1864 ; William S. Moore, 1864 to 1865 ; 
Oscar Taylor, 1865 to 1866; James M. McKelvy, 1866 (resigned August 2, 
1866, to accept appointment as judge of the District Court of the new Sixth 
judicial district) ; William S. Moore, 1866 (elected by the board of county 
commissioners September 4 to fill the unexpired term of James M. McKelvy, 
whose resignation was that day accepted); L. W. Collins, 1867 to 1868; 
Edwin M. Wright, 1868 to 1870; L. W. Collins, 1870 to 1872; Peter Brick, 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 759 

1872 to 1876 ; L. W. Collins, 1876 to 1880 ; Oscar Taylor, 1880 to 1882 ; D. B. 
Searle, 1882 to 1884; Theodore Bruener, 1884 to 1887; David T. Calhoun, 1887 
to 1889; Oscar Taylor, 1889 to 1891; John D. Sullivan, 1891 to 1901; W. F. 
Donohue, 1901 to 1905 ; J. B. Himsl, 1905 to 1913 ; Paul Ahles, 1913 to 1915 
(re-elected). 

Judge of Probate. N. N. Smith, 1855 to 1856; Henry C. Waite, 1856 to 
1860 ; W. D. Davis, 1860 to 1862 ; L. A. Evans, 1862 to 1876 ; Peter Brick, 1876 
to 1878; L. A. Evans, 1878 to 1882; Peter Brick, 1882 to 1887; Theodore 
Bruener, 1887 to 1894 (resigned August 17, to accept registership of U. S. 
Land Office at St. Cloud) ; A. Barto, August 17, 1894 to 1895; Hubert Hansen, 
1895 to 1901 ; D. T. Calhoun, 1901 to 1905 ; Hubert Hansen, 1905 to 1907 ; A. H. 
Klasen, 1907 to 1915; J, B. Himsl, 1915 (elected for four-year term). 

Clerk of District Court. Taylor Dudley (Sauk Rapids), 1855; Charles 
Ketcham, 1856 to 1859; N. P. Clarke, 1859 to 1860; T. C. McClure, 1860 to 
1861 ; N. P. Clarke, 1861 to 1863 ; L. A. Evans, 1863 to 1867 ; G. S. Mattoon, 
1867 to 1871; E. B. Strong, 1871 to 1887; A. L. Cramb, 1887 to November 

22, 1902 (resigned) ; E. P. Barnum, 1902 (appointed November 22) to January 

23, 1903 (deceased); Herman Mueller, January 23, 1903 to 1907; Henry J. 
Limperich, 1907 to 1915 (re-elected). The first deputy clerk of record was 
T. C. McClure in 1859, continuing until September, 1861, when he was suc- 
ceeded by H. C. Waite, who served until April 7, 1862, when L. A. Evans 
served for one year, or until he was elected clerk of the court. E. M. Wright 
was deputy at the July 19, 1864, term of court, and no other name appears 
until that of Nathan F. Barnes, October 1, 1867. George L. Hays was deputy 
September 25, 1869, and no other name is of record until the term of June 
12, 1880, when J. R. Bennett, Sr., became deputy for a period which extended 
over many years. 

County Surveyor. Robert B. Blake, 1855 to 1858 ; Henry C. Waite, 1858 
to 1859; N. N. Smith, 1859 to 1860; Peter Meyer, 1860 to April 2, 1861 (re- 
signed) ; James H. Place, 1861 (appointed April 2) to 1866; N. Schmidt, 1866 
to 1872 ; Milton P. Noel, 1872 to 1887 ; John D. Morgan, 1887 to 1889 ; Samuel 
S. Chute, 1889 to 1893 ; John D. Morgan, 1893 to 1895 ; Milton P. Noel, 1895 
to 1897 ; D. B. Cannon, 1897 to 1899 ; John D. Morgan, 1899 to 1907 ; Samuel 
S. Chute, 1907 to 1911; John D. Morgan, 1911 to 1913; Samuel S. Chute, 
1913 to 1915 (re-elected). 

County Superintendent of Schools. The first superintendent was Nathan 
F. Barnes, who was elected by the board of county commissioners May 8, 
1867, and served until September 4, 1868, when Henry Krebs was elected, and 
held the office until April 1, 1872. Dr. M. C. Tolman, his successor from that 
date, resigned September 6 following. B. Pirz was elected and acted until 
September, 1874. P. E. Kaiser, his successor by election of the board, served 
until 1878, when the office became one to be filled by the vote of the people. 
Mr. Kaiser was elected in that year, serving until December 1, 1879. His 
successors have been: P. B. Gorman, 1880 to 1885; Henry Krebs, 1885 to 
1887 ; L. J. Rocholl, 1887 to 1899 ; Charles M. Weber, 1899 to 1903 ; Paul Ahles, 
1903 to 1911; William A. Boerger, 1911 to 1915 (re-elected). 



760 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Coroner. James S. White, 1859 to 1862; B. Overbeck, 1862 to 1885; A. 
C. L. Ramsey, 1885 to 1889; H. Schmidt, 1889 to 1893; P. C. Pilon, 1893 to 
1895 ; H. A. Pinault, 1895 to 1903 ; J. B. Dunn, 1903 to 1907 ; H. A. Pinault, 
1907 to 1915 (re-elected). 

Court Commissioner. C. C. Andrews, 1861 (resigned and no record of 
vacancy being filled) ; William S. Moore, 1864 to 1868 ; L. A. Evans, 1868 to 
1871 ; B. R. Palmer, 1871 to 1881 ; E. B. Strong, 1881 to 1883 ; L. A. Evans, 
1883 to 1887 ; William Boulton, 1887 to 1895 ; John L. WUson, 1895 to 1899 ; 
L. H. Vath, 1899 to 1901; John L. Wilson, 1901 to 1905; L. R. Porter, 1905 
to 1907; J. I. Donohue, 1907 to 1913; Carey Diehl, 1913 (term ends 1917). 

County Assessor. Henry Wiltzheimer, April 9, 1855; Addison Gillmore, 
January 7, 1856. An act of the legislature passed August 13, 1858, provided 
for the election by the people of an assessor in each township, thus doing 
away with the office of county assessor. 

County Commissioners. The names of the members of the board of com- 
missioners, with the various changes, to the close of the year 1914, will be 
found in the report of the proceedings of the board published in another 
chapter. At the election in November, 1914, P. N. Lahr was elected commis- 
sioner from the First district, Peter J. Theisen from the Fourth district and 
Ben Ellering from the Fifth district, to take their seats at the meeting of the 
county board January 4, 1915. 



CHAPTER XLII. 

FAIRS AND DRIVING PARK. 

Association Organized — Site Selected — First Fair Held — Succeeding Meetings 
and Oflacers — District Association Organized — Agricultural Society — New 
Site Purchased — Present Status — Benton County Society — Its Fairs — 
Chicken Shows. 

At a meeting of the business men of St. Cloud held at Schwartz & Theis's 
hall July 19, 1871, steps were taken to organize and incorporate the St. Cloud 
Agricultural and Driving Park Association, for the purpose of establishing 
and maintaining at or near St. Cloud a driving park and county fair grounds. 
The capital stock was fixed at $9,000, divided into 450 shares of $20 each. The 
full amount of stock was promptly subscribed and a board of directors 
elected, who organized as follows : T. C. McClure, president ; Charles D. Kerr, 
vice-president; William MuUiken, secretary; J. G. Smith, treasurer. A call 
was issued for a meeting of delegates from the different towns in the county 
to be held in St. Cloud August 15, to adopt the necessary measures for the 
organization of a county fair association. At the designated time there was 
a good attendance of delegates from the various parts of the county, who 
adopted a constitution and elected the following-named officers: President, 
W. T. Rigby, Clearwater; vice-president, John Zapp, St. Cloud; secretary, 
R, W. DeLano, St. Cloud; treasurer, T. C. McClure, St. Cloud; executive com- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 761 

mittee, N. P. Clarke and W. B. Mitchell, St. Cloud; A. B. Greeley, Maine 
Prairie; Henry Krebs, St. Augusta; J. D. Carr, Sauk Centre; J. L. Gray, 
Brockway ; R. W. Vandervoort, Fair Haven ; H. Terharr, New Munich ; W. P. 
Bennett, Paynesville ; H. B. Meyers, Zion ; John Lear, St. Joseph. The name 
adopted was "The Stearns County Agricultural and Mechanical Association." 

After considering the advantages and disadvantages of a number of tracts 
offered as a location, the directors of the Driving Park Association decided to 
purchase eighty acres offered by F. Sisson, on the prairie to the westward, 
about a mile and a half from the court house, the price being $37.50 per acre. 
Contracts were at once let for fencing and grading these grounds, making a 
one-mile track, and erecting the necessary buildings for a county fair to be 
held October 11, 12 and 13. 

The first Stearns county fair opened October 10 at the Driving Park 
grounds. Rain and snow gave a discouraging send-off the first day, but there 
were good displays and a satisfactory attendance, with the usual horse races. 
An address was delivered the twelfth by the Hon. E. 0. Hamlin. 

A meeting was held in St. Cloud January 20, 1872, at which officers were 
elected as follows : W. T. Rigby, president ; J. E. Hayward, vice-president ; 
R. W. Delano, secretary; T. C. McClure, treasurer. The treasurer's report 
showed a balance of $200.45 on hand. 

At the annual meeting of the Driving Park association held May 14, T. C. 
McClure was elected president; B. Rosenberger, vice-president; W. Milliken, 
secretary ; J. G. Smith, treasurer. A contract was made with D. Woodmansee 
to take charge of the grounds, and in July it was leased to him until January 
1, 1874. Races were held July 4 and 5, with a number of entries. 

The second annual county fair, held September 24, 25 and 26, 1872, suf- 
ered disastrously from rainy, windy and generally disagreeable weather. The 
exhibits were good, as was the attendance, all things considered. All the 
races except one were postponed until the twenty-seventh. W. T. Rigby was 
president and P. Lamb secretary of the association. The receipts were con- 
siderably less than the amount required to pay premiums and expenses, but 
some of the business men of St. Cloud contributed sufficient funds to pay in 
full the premiums due exhibitors living outside the city. 

The annual meeting of the Agricultural Society, held January 14, 1873, 
elected "W. T. Rigby, of Lynden, president; S. M. Bruce, Sauk Centre, vice- 
president; P. Lamb, St. Cloud, secretary; J. W. Tenvoorde, St. Cloud, treas- 
urer, with an executive committee of eleven. The secretary was instructed 
to invite proposals from the different towns of Stearns county for holding 
the third annual fair. Sauk Centre made the best offer and the fair was held 
at that place, September 16, 17 and 18 with good weather, good displays and 
good attendance. The address was delivered by Dillon O'Brien, of St. Paul. 
The races attracted much attention. 

The Driving Park Asosciation elected May 8, 1873, T. C. McClure, presi- 
dent; J. E. Hayward, vice-president; J. M. Rosenberger, secretary; J. G. 
Smith, treasurer. In 1874 the same officers were re-elected, with the excep- 
tion of J. E. West vice-president. 

The next fair, held September 15, 16 and 17, 1874, had good weather, 



762 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

good attendance, a poor display, especially in the agricultural department. 
An address in English was delivered the last day by the Hon, Ignatius Don- 
nelly, and one in German by Prof. P. E. Kaiser. The net receipts allowed the 
payment of only thirty-five per cent of the premiums awarded. 

The fair held September 28, 29 and 30, 1875, suffered from poor weather, 
which made the attendance light. The display of farm products was espe- 
cially good. The annual address was delivered by Prof. D. L. Kiehle. Only 
45 per cent of the amounts awarded for premiums could be paid. 

In 1876 the county fair officers were N. P. Clarke, president ; John Schae- 
fer, vice-president; F. E. Searle, secretary; T. C. McClure, treasurer. The 
fair held in St. Cloud September 19, 20 and 21 had its usual ill fortune in 
rainy, cold, disagreeable weather. The exhibits were good, all things consid- 
ered, but the best efforts of all concerned were unable to make the fair what 
might be considered a success. The annual address was delivered by Lieu- 
tenant Governor A. Barto. 

The weather for the 1877 fair, held October 9, 10 and 11, started out un- 
favorably, improving during the latter days, the outcome in displays, attend- 
ance and receipts being better than had been anticipated, enabling the officers 
to pay 83 per cent on the premiums. 

Conditions being unfavorable for a continuance of the county fairs, they 
were discontinued for several years. In 1883 a meeting of the Driving Park 
association was held May 3, at which J. E. West was elected president; "Wil- 
liam Powell, vice-president; J. M. Rosenberger, secretary; "W. F. Raymond, 
treasurer. It was decided to put the grounds into suitable condition for re- 
suming the holding of county fairs. 

In 1885 a District Fair association, including the counties of Stearns, 
Benton and Sherburne, was organized with John Cooper, president; F. Tol- 
man, secretary; George E. Campbell, treasurer. Sufficient money was fur- 
nished by the business men of St. Cloud for the erection of new buildings. 
The fair was held in September, opening on the 15th, and was a financial suc- 
cess, the gate and amphitheatre receipts being $1,251. 

The officers elected January 14, 1886, were John Cooper, president ; R. M. 
Vandervoort, vice-president; F. Tolman, secretary; F. E. Baldwin, treasurer, 
with directors for Stearns, Sherburne, Benton and Mille Lacs counties. The 
opening day of the fair, September 7, had been preceded by rain, but the dis- 
plays were creditable. Sauk Centre day brought the largest attendance of 
any, and in the band contest the $100 premium was taken by the band from 
that place, Princeton taking the second. The receipts were sufficient to pay 
all premiums, leaving a balance. The address was delivered by United States 
Ex-Senator William Windom, and a farmers' institute was held. 

The third district fair was held September 28, 29 and 30, preceded by 
the usual bad weather. The displays in most departments were small. A 
new feature introduced was a baby show, under the charge of E. H. Atwood, 
there being forty-two entries. The annual address was delivered by United 
States Senator D. M. Sabin. There were the usual horse races and baseball 
games. The receipts were $3,046.10 and disbursements $2,989.15, and all in 
all it was considered the most successful fair ever held in St. Cloud, the credit 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 763 

for this being regarded as largely due to the efforts of N. K. Hunt, president, 
and E. H. Atwood, secretary of the association, and to L. R. Swift, R. L. Gale, 
George W. Stewart and C. P. McClure. 

The fourth annual fair opened September 18, but on account of rain was 
extended to Saturday, making the fourth day. The boundaries of the asso- 
ciation had been extended so as to include Morrison with the other four coun- 
ties. There was a fine showing of blooded stock, but the farmers took little 
interest in making displays of agricultural products. The annual address 
was delivered by the Hon. Ignatius Donnelly. In the band contest, there were 
entries from Monticello, Elk River, Royalton and St. Cloud; the first prize, 
$175, being awarded to St. Cloud; the second, $75, to Monticello; the third, 
$50, to Royalton. The total receipts were about $2,500. 

The following year the fair was held September 18, 19 and 20, the at- 
tendance on the last day, 5,000 on the grounds, being the largest ever known, 
excursion parties coming from Sauk Centre and Alexandria. 

The 1890 fair opened Tuesday, September 16, for four days' exhibit. The 
display of farm products was the largest ever made. On the second day 
nearly 1,000 men formed in procession to receive S. M. Owen, the Alliance 
candidate for governor, who delivered an address. Governor W. R. Merriam 
came Thursday to speak at the grounds, but a heavy down-pour of rain pro- 
hibited his appearing. The receipts were more than sufficient to pay all bills 
and premiums. 

The next and last district fair was held September 15, 16 and 17, 1891, 
with very slim displays. The Driving Park and Fair Association was in bad 
financial condition, owing N. P. Clarke $1,540, secured on the buildings, and a 
floating debt of $1,000. Attempts were made to clear off this indebtedness, 
but without success. The holding of fairs was abandoned, the buildings 
passed into the possession of Mr. Clarke, who also became the owner of the 
grounds through the purchase of the stock. The land is now used for agri- 
cultural purposes. 

Agricultural Society of Stearns County. This society was organized and 
duly incorporated August 25, 1902, with the following-named officers: A. E. 
Erwin, president; R. L. Palmer, vice-president; Henry Keller, secretary; 
George C. Ingram, treasurer. The same officers were re-elected for the years 
1903 and 1904. Henry Faulle was elected president in 1905, R. L. Palmer in 
1906, C. D. Marshall in 1907 and 1908, W. F. Keller in 1909, J. A. DuBois in 
1910 and 1911, John McGibbon in 1912, 1913 and 1914, and G. Hillerud for 
1915. R. L, Palmer succeeded himself for three years as vice-president, L, S. 
Bishop being elected in 1906, 0. S. Cass in 1907, A. J. Kirghis in 1912, and J. 
B. Schoenhoff for the three succeeding years. Henry Keller was treasurer 
until 1906 inclusive, when he was succeeded for two years by W. F. Keller, 
and he by W. S. Dean for four years ; A. F. Strobel was elected for 1913 and 
1914, and D. B. Caughren for 1915. George C. Ingram was re-elected secre- 
tary for four years, Otto Schleusener succeeding in 1907, A. W. Austin in 
1908, F. E. Minette for the following three years, A. W. Austin in 1912, B. F. 
DuBois in 1913, M. D. Aygarn in 1914 and A. F. Strobel for 1915. 

In 1902 a tract of twenty-eight acres adjoining the city limits on the south 



764 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

was purchased at a cost of $1,000, enclosed and fitted for the holding of fairs. 
These fairs have been in the main quite successful in the matter of exhibits, 
attractions and attendance, especially when in recent years an appropriation 
of $500 has been given by the county commissioners in aid in meeting the 
expenses and paying premiums. The policy has been adopted of making cer- 
tain days for other cities and towns in the county, as St. Cloud, Melrose and 
Albany, when the attendance from these places has been especially large. 
The list of speakers has included the names of James J. Hill, Governor Eber- 
hard. Senators Clapp and Poindexter and the attendance the entire official 
staff of the state. 

Data as to the earlier fairs are not attainable, but they have grown from 
a small beginning until at the fair of 1914 there were 6,500 paid admissions 
and the expenditures were $7,576.57, including premiums. It is recognized as 
in every sense a Stearns County fair, entitled to the generous support of the 
people of the entire county. The enterprising citizens of Sauk Centre have 
shown great public spirit and much liberality in making it the success it has 
come to be. 

The property now belonging to the society includes twenty-eight acres 
of ground fenced in, a half-mile racing track, racing barns, cattle sheds, stock 
barn, poultry building, art building, agricultural building, school building, 
grand stand and band stand. In the year 1914 the business men of St. Cloud, 
through the Commercial Club, erected on the grounds a fine, commodious 
building for the housing of exhibits from that city. 

Benton County Agriculture Society. Centrally located in a rich and 
well-developed agricultural portion of the state, from which exhibits of grain 
and stock of fine quality could be secured, to the resulting benefit of both 
the farmers and the general business interests, Sauk Rapids appealed to the 
good judgment of a number of enterprising citizens of Benton county as a 
desirable place at which to hold county fairs. Accordingly, the Benton County 
Agricultural Society was organized May 19, 1913, and incorporated June 12 
of the same year. The first board of directors was composed of J. C. Schlough, 
Charles Heinzel, Jr., A. H. Turrittin, George A. Selke, James Lonsdale and 
E. W. Mayman, of Sauk Rapids, with S. M. Orton, of Watab. The officers 
chosen were : J. C. Schlough, president ; Charles Heinzel, Jr., vice-president ; 
A. H. Turrittin, secretary; J. E. Browne, treasurer. 

The grounds are admirably located on the street car line between St. 
Cloud and Sauk Rapids, and on the triangular junction of the three counties 
01 Stearns, Benton and Sherburne, The first fair was held September 18, 
19 and 20, 1913. The weather conditions were exceedingly unfavorable, very 
seriously affecting the attendance. The management was not all discouraged, 
but the following spring took energetic hold, making a number of important 
additions and improvements, including substantial buildings, a first-class race- 
track, etc. The main building erected in the form of a Greek cross, the four 
wings being 28 by 36 feet each, for housing various exhibits. In the center 
is an octagonal bandstand twenty feet in diameter and five feet above the 
ground floor. The barns are for horses, cattle, sheep and hogs. The horse 
barn is 280 feet long, for cattle 120 feet, for sheep 60 feet, for hogs 60 feet. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 765 

four poultry 60 feet, all 18 feet wide with proper divisions. The contract price 
was $4,800. 

The second annual fair held September 21, 22 and 23 was a most gratify- 
ing success, notwithstanding the rainy weather of the first day. A large at- 
tendance each day showed the deep interest felt by the people of the cities 
and the surrounding country in the enterprise, while the displays in all de- 
partments were most attractive, especially in the way of high-grade stock. 
The opinion was expressed that it was second only to the state fair. The 
speakers were the Hon. H. C. Daniels, of the United States Department of 
Justice at Washington, and a brother of Secretary Daniels; the Hon. Wil- 
liam Lee, Republican candidate for governor; S. R. Crane, of the agricultural 
department of the Great Northern railway, speaking in place of James J, 
Hill, who was unable to come ; John J. Furlong president of the state fair as- 
sociation, and A. H. Turrittin, who gave a brief history of the Benton County 
Society, 

During the summer of 1914 the articles of incorporation were amended 
to increase the board of directors from seven to eleven, four of whom were 
to be from the west side of the river, and limit the indebtedness to ten thou- 
sand dollars. The present board is composed of Charles Barden, G. E. Hans- 
com, A. C. Cooper and C. D. Schwab, of St. Cloud; A. Parent, A. H. Turrittin, 
Charles Heinzel, Jr., James Lonsdale, Dr. William Friesleben and W. F. 
Dewey, of Sauk Rapids; S. M. Orton, of Watab. The officers for 1915 are 
A. H. Turrittin, president ; Charles Heinzel, Jr., vice-president ; W. F. Dewey, 
secretary; G. E. Hanscom, treasurer. 

The society now owns property valued conservatively at $15,000, with an 
indebtedness of approximately $8,000. With favorable weather conditions 
for the third annual fair, this amount will doubtless be reduced by several 
thousand dollars. The limit of indebtedness is ten thousand dollars, and the 
society has already sold stock to the amount of about five thousand dollars, 
at one dollar per share, and this will without doubt be considerably increased 
within the next four months. 

The favorable location of the grounds, the substantial character of the 
buildings and the enterprising spirit of the management will doubtless arouse 
increasing interest among the people of the counties of Stearns, Benton and 
Sherburne, and in a very few years it may be confidently predicted that this 
Tri-County fair will challenge comparison with any county or district fair in 
the state. 

Poultry Exhibits. The first annual chicken show by the Central Minne- 
sota Poultry Association was held at St. Cloud for three days in 1912, Febru- 
ary 15, 16 and 17. There were 60 exhibitors, entering 350 fowls, and the 
cash receipts were sufficient to make the show a financial success, as it was 
otherwise. The judging was done by Mr. Lane of the agricultural college, 
State University. 

The success of the first show encouraged the officers of the association to 
repeat it each succeeding year, which was done. The time was lengthened to 
four days, and the fourth annual exhibition was held at St. Cloud, January 
13, 14, 15 and 16, 1915, with L. R. Swift, secretary, in charge, and Ralph Whit- 



766 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

ney, of Rochester, judge. The number of birds entered was 383, and in every- 
way this exhibition was one of the most successful in the history of the asso- 
ciation. 

The following officers were elected for the year 1915 : President, E. W. 
Mayman; vice-president, Joseph P. Hunstiger; secretary, H. C. Nierengarten ; 
treasurer, John L. Dominik; superintendent, Robert H. Kuehn; directors, E. 
W. Mayman, H. C. Nierengarten, Robert Kuehn, John Gruber and Emil 
Lillquist. 

CHAPTER XLIII. 

GOVERNMENT LAND OFFICE. 

The Sauk Rapids Office — Removal to St. Cloud — Changes in Boundaries of 
Districts — St. Cloud Office Discontinued in 1906 — List of Registers — Land 
Sales — First Entries in Stearns County. 

The land office at Sauk Rapids was established under the provisions of 
an act of Congress approved August 30, 1852, and opened for business Novem- 
ber 3 of that year. This was not an original land district, but was taken from 
the Stillwater district which originally covered the entire territory of Min- 
nesota. 

The Ojibway land district was created out of the Sauk Rapids and Still- 
water districts under an act of July 8, 1856, and the office for the remainder 
of the Sauk Rapids district was removed to St. Cloud April 19, 1858, and the 
office there opened for business April 29, 1858. 

The office for the Ojibway district went to Otter Tail July 25, 1859, and 
August 17, 1863, following the Indian war, this district was consolidated with 
the St. Cloud district. The latter district then had within its boundaries much 
more than a quarter of the state, or about 25,804,900 acres — including all 
the country east of the Taylor's Falls and Northeastern districts and north 
of the Minneapolis district. 

An act of Congress approved July 25, 1868, provided for the establishing 
of a land office at Alexandria, the territory included in it being taken from the 
St. Cloud district. The new district included the counties of Douglas, Otter 
Tail, Becker, Polk, Clay, Pembina, Johnson, Traverse, and a part of Grant. 
The St. Cloud district retained the counties of Stearns, Todd, Morrison, Ben- 
ton, Crow Wing, and parts of Wright, Meeker, Monongalia, Chippewa, Lacqui 
Parle, Big Stone and Grant. The Alexandria office opened for business Sep- 
tember 4, 1868, with Lewis Lewiston, of St. Cloud, register, and J. H. Van- 
Dyke, of Alexandria, receiver. Lewis Lewiston was succeeded April 22, 1869, 
as register by L. K. Aaker, of Goodhue county. The office was discontinued 
and its records removed December 11, 1876 to Fergus Falls. 

The Fergus Falls district was transferred February 19, 1889, to the St. 
Cloud district. This district consisted of Ottertail county, with the excep- 
tion of the north tier of townships belonging to the Crookston district, Wilkin, 
Traverse, Grant, Douglas and the north half of Stevens and Pope counties. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 767 

The Taylor's Falls land office was closed December 30, 1893, and removed 
to St. Cloud, its consolidation with the St. Cloud land office taking effect 
January 10, 1894. 

When the Taylor's Falls district was merged into the St. Cloud district, 
the latter included the following territory: The counties of Stearns, Mor- 
rison, Benton, Sherburne, Anoka, Ramsey, Washington, Chisago, Isanti, Kena- 
bec. Pine, Mille Lacs, Crow Wing, Aitkin, Cass, part of Beltrami, Hubbard, 
Wadena, Todd, parts of Wright, Meeker and Kandiyohi, Otter Tail, Wilkin, 
Grant, Traverse, part of Pope, Douglas, and parts of Stevens and Itasca. 

The Cass Lake land district took from the St. Cloud district the north 
part of Hubbard and Cass counties, the remainder being made up from the 
Duluth and Crookston district. The new land office opened for business July 
1, 1903. 

The records of the Marshall land office were removed to St. Cloud in July 
1903. 

The records of the Marshall land office were removed to St. Cloud in 
July, 1903, following a consolidation of that office with this. 

The St. Cloud district was discontinued and the records transferred to 
Duluth December 17, 1906. 

In 1882 a determined but unsuccessful effort was made to secure the 
removal of the land office from St. Cloud to Brainerd. 

The names of the registers and receivers of the land office while at Sauk 
Rapids and St. Cloud, with the dates of their appointment, are as follows: 

Sauk Rapids. Charles W. Christmas, register, appointed October 8, 1852 ; 
Reuben M. Richardson, receiver, October 8, 1852; George W. Sweet, register, 
April 1, 1853 ; William H. Wood, receiver, April 1, 1853 ; William A. Caruth- 
ers, register, March 19, 1857 ; Samuel L. Hays, receiver, April 28, 1857. 

St. Cloud. William A. Caruthers, register, April 8, 1858 ; Samuel L. Hays, 
receiver, April 8, 1858 ; Joel D. Cruttenden, register, February 15, 1860 ; Sam- 
uel E. Adams, receiver, May 30, 1860; Thomas C. McClure, register, March 
28, 1861; Stephen Miller, receiver (declined the appointment), March 28, 1861; 
Charles A. Gilman, receiver (temporarily), June 3, 1861; Charles A. Oilman, 
receiver (permanent), July 17, 1861, Henry C. Waite, register (temporarily), 
March 30, 1865; William B. Mitchell, receiver (temporarily), March 30, 1865; 
Henry C. Waite, register (permanent), July 28, 1866; Charles A. Gilman, re- 
ceiver, September 18, 1866; Henry C. Burbank, receiver, March 21, 1867; 
Charles A. Gilman, register, April 28, 1869; Thomas C. McClure, receiver, 
January 28, 1870; Hanford L. Gordon, register, October 30, 1871; J. V. 
Brower, receiver, April 25, 1874; J. V. Brower, register, June 24, 1874; Ole 
Peterson, receiver, June 24, 1874; William B. Mitchell, receiver, appointed 
March 7, 1878; Daniel H. Freeman, register, March 11, 1879; William B. 
Mitchell, receiver, re-appointed February 13, 1882 ; Daniel H. Freeman, reg- 
ister, March 5, 1883; Colin F. Macdonald, receiver, appointed July 11, 1885; 
Patrick B. Gorman, register, July 30, 1886 ; Colin F. Macdonald, receiver, July 
30, 1886 ; Alphonso Barto, register, January 3, 1890 ; William Westerman, re- 
ceiver, January 3, 1890: Colin F. Macdonald, receiver, January 16, 1894; Theo- 
dore Bruener, register, July 21, 1894; Alvah Eastman, receiver, July 27, 1897; 



768 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Myron D. Taylor, register, October 8, 1898. The two gentlemen last named 
were re-appointed and held their respective positions until the office was re- 
moved to Duluth and consolidated with that office December 17, 1906. 

Until the homestead law was enacted in 1865 government lands could be 
obtained only for cash, by pre-emption, with military bounty land warrants, 
and after 1859 with half-breed scrip. 

The first land sale at the St. Cloud office was held in October, 1860, the 
total sales amounting to but about 800 acres. Within three days afterwards 
over one hundred persons filed anew on their claims. 

A proclamation was issued by the president of the United States in 
August, 1864, for a sale of government lands to be held at the St. Cloud 
office beginning October 17. The advertised list included all the pine lands 
and a considerable part of the farming lands in both the St. Cloud district and 
the old Otter Tail district. The acreage sold was comparatively small, most 
of this being pine land. 

During the second quarter of the following year, from April 1 to June 
30, the following passage of the homestead bill 96,296 acres were taken as 
homesteads in 632 entries and 109,286 acres were sold at private sale, the 
government price being $1.25 and $2.50 per acre, as the land lay without or 
within certain railroad limits. Of these homesteads over 400 were entered 
for soldiers then in the service by the Rev. Mr. Conway, who made this quite 
a lucrative business for some time. But very few of the soldiers ever actually 
went on the lands which had been entered for them in this way. In the first 
eleven months of this year the total acreage located at the St. Cloud office 
was 259,102, of which 205,768 acres were taken under the homestead law. The 
sales for 1866 aggregated 366,323 acres, of which 147,949 were by homestead 
entries and 167,208 acres with agricultural college scrip. The last homestead 
entry in 1866 was No. 3,400 and it was located within six miles of the first 
homestead taken in the district. 

The first public sale of pine lands which reached any magnitude at the 
St. Cloud office began December 16, 1872, and continued for nine days. In 
all about 30,000 acres of land were sold the ruling price being $1.25 per acre. 
There was little or no competition among the buyers, matters having been 
satisfactorily arranged in advance so as to avoid competition. The largest 
purchasers were J. E. Hayward and J. P. Wilson, of St. Cloud; L. Day & 
Sons, C. Morrison, T. B. Walker, H. P. Brown, J. K. Sidle, Frank L. Morse 
and Todd & Fales, of Minneapolis. 

Another sale of pine lands began January 13 of the following year, con- 
tinuing but three days, the sales amounting to between 6,000 and 7,000 acres. 
The prevailing price was $1.25 per acre, although a few tracts were sold at 
the double-minimum price, $2.50 per acre. 

The next offerings of pine lands were in 1883, when two large sales were 
held. The first began January 15 closing January 24, and attracted a great 
number of buyers. On account of the large attendance it was found neces- 
sary to adjourn the offerings from the land office to the court house, where 
the sales were conducted by D. H. Freeman, register, and W. B. MitcheU, 
receiver. Among the buyers present were T. B. Walker, J. S. Pillsbury, 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 769 

George A. Camp, B. F. Nelson, D. M. Clough, S. P. Snyder and H. L. Gordon, 
of Minneapolis; G. G. Hartley, C. A. Ruffee and J. J. Howe, of Brainerd; W. C. 
Yawkey, C. L. Ortman, of Detroit, Mich.; C. T. Ruggles and L. J. Hopkins, 
of Manistee, Mich.; Hugh Fraser and John Collins, of Duluth; N. P. Clarke 
and John Cooper, of St. Cloud, were also among the heavy buyers. The 
highest price paid was $12.05 per acre by T. B. Walker. A "gentlemen's 
understanding" among the buyers avoided much competitive bidding. The 
total sales amounted to $200,815.80. At the private sale which followed, 
lands to the value of $49,173.97 were sold, the largest purchasers being T. B. 
V/alker and W. C. Yawkey. These brought the total of the sale up to $248,- 
761.73 — almost a quarter of a million dollars. 

The second sale was even more successful than the first. As in the case 
of its predecessor, the offerings were made at the court house in order to 
accommodate the large attendance, the sale beginning August 20 and con- 
tinuing until September 1. Minneapolis was represented by T. B. Walker, 
C. A. Pillsbury, George A. Camp, D. M. Clough, B. F. Nelson, W. L. Bassett, 
Jonathan Chase, J. T. Wyman, H. L. Gordon, C. E. Brown and others ; Duluth, 
Brainerd and other Minnesota cities by leading lumbermen, while C. F. Rug- 
gles, of Manistee; E. M. Fowler and W. C. Yawkey, of Detroit; M. L. Al- 
worth and Ezra Rust, of Saginaw, Mich,; B. F. Millard, D. E. Miles and a 
half dozen others from Chippewa Falls, Wis., were among the active buyers, 
and many other localities, even as far off as Olean, N. Y., had present one 
or more seekers after pine. The heaviest individual buyers were : C. F. 
Ruggles, $76,179; C. A. Pillsbury, $42,647; J. S. Pillsbury, $27,044; M. H. Al- 
worth, $30,437 ; Camp & Walker, $35,799 ; T. B. Walker, $28,783 ; E. M. Fowler, 
$34,762; W. C. Yawkey, $14,746; D. E. Miles, $28,771; B. F. Millard, $24,290; 
J. W. Pence, $22,047 ; C. H. Davis, $20,383 ; E. C. Beebe, $14,762 ; H. L. Gor- 
don, $19,451 ; C. A. Oilman, $18,257 ; John Cooper, $10,024. The sales totaled 
$558,885. The highest price paid was $20.25 per acre, the average being about 
$3.12. This sale was the largest, in the matter of receipts, ever held in the 
country and the prices received were on an average nearly double those usu- 
ally paid at sales of government lands. During the sale the receiver issued 
3,000 receipts, the money taken each day being sent to the sub-treasury at 
Chicago. The total acreage of the two sales in 1883 was 556,662, and the cash 
receipts $990,045 — almost a million dollars. Commissioner McFarland of the 
General Land Office, Washington, officially pronounced "the St. Cloud sale a 
great success." It was the last public sale of pine lands held at this office. 

An examination of the land office records would indicate that it was a 
neck-and-neck race — without intention — among the early settlers in the 
county as to who should have the honor of having made the first entry. That 
distinction, however, falls to W. B. Staples, of the township of St. Joseph, 
who, September 29, filed on 160 aeres in section 22. Stephen Zien filed Octo- 
ber 13 on 120 acres in section 5 of the same township. But several others 
had preceded him. G. H. Brinkman, October 10, took nine forties in section 
3 in the township of Rockville. On the same day M. Hammerel filed on the 
northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of section 19 in the township of 
St. Augusta. Maine Prairie had an "early bird" in the person of Samuel 



770 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Young, Jr., who, October 13, 1855, filed on two forties in section 17 and three 
forties in section 20. This group constitute all who filed prior to the year 
1857. 

As the early settlement was in the eastern part of the county there were 
few filings from the townships in the western part. The first filing at Sauk 
Centre was in 1860, when, March 17, James R. Walker took 120 acres in sec- 
tion 9, and 40 acres in section 10. In 1861, September 14, Margaret Frazer 
took a forty in section 8. Whitman R. James followed October 21, with 160 
acres in sections 10 and 11, and Lewis M. Davis 80 acres in section 15. On 
the sixth of the following month Eldridge F. Washburn took 160 acres, J. F. 
Warren 160 acres, and Lewis Ford 40 acres in section 17, the latter taking 
120 acres additional in section 18. It was not until 1862 that Alexander Moore 
began the purchasing of a large acreage. James M. Thomason also acquired 
considerable land in Sauk Centre that year. 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS. 

St. Cloud Reading Room Society — Organization — History of the Library — 
Civic Work — Parks Beautified — Betterment of the Schools — Sanitation — 
Social and Literary Aspects— Officers— Sunshine Society— Delphian So- 
ciety — Sorosis — Its Work, Officers and Ideals. 

St. Cloud is the birthplace of a type of woman's club, which differs in 
character and method from all other clubs in the state. The St. Cloud Read- 
ing Room Society was organized on a plan broad enough to combine literary, 
philanthropic, educational, reformatory, and recreative qualities. This organi- 
zation is one of the oldest and most influential women's clubs in Minnesota. 

In 1865, eight women of St. Cloud started a library called the Library 
Association. Men were admitted to membership and very soon the associa- 
tion numbered sixty. A literary program and supper added to the delight of 
the meetings. In this literary association, the Reading Room Society had its 
origin. Later in May, 1883, when a city library was organized, these public 
spirited citizens presented the city with about three thousand volumes, which 
formed the nucleus of the City Library, but there was no reading room. 

Thirty-four year ago, on February 12, 1880, through the energy of Mrs. 
H. C. Waite, forty-four prominent women met at the home of Mrs. Helen 
Moore to discuss the needs of a free reading room for the city. At this meet- 
ing these energetic pioneer leaders in the library movement effected the 
unique organization of the St. Cloud Reading Room Society, which as stated 
in its constitution should have for its purpose, the establishment and mainte- 
nance of a free reading room in the city of St. Cloud and also the promotion 
of literary and social culture. A constitution was read and adopted and the 
following officers elected: President, Mrs. H, C. Waite; vice-president, Mrs. 
W. B. Mitchell; secretary, Mrs. L. W. Collins; treasurer, Mrs. P. Tenney. Of 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 771 

this first set of officers only one, Mrs. W. B. Mitchell, is a member of the so- 
ciety today. Mrs. Mitchell is a prominent member, not only in the local, but 
also in the State Federation work. 

The following forty-four women were members the first year of the so- 
ciety's existence: The Mesdames H. C. Waite, W. B. Mitchell, P. Tenney, 
D. B. Searle, H. P. Bennett, D. S. Hayward, J. G. Smith, E. D. Moore, Lewis 
Clark, M. J. Whitman, L. H. Morse, L. A. Marlatt; the Misses Isabel Law- 
rence, C. Lawrence, Inez Moore, J. Owen, A. B. Crommett, M. L. Upham; the 
Mesdames S. E. Wing, M. B. S, Barnes, Helen M. Moore, S. E. Tolman, P. L. 
Gregory, C. L. Schulten, L. W. Collins, N. P. Clarke, M. S. Hayward, L. A. 
Evans, William Barrett, W. W. Wright, J. Cooper, E. A. Parks, W. L. Beebe, 
C. C. McClure, C. A. Oilman, C. H. Hines, C. S. Benson, J. E. West, C. F. 
Davis, D. H. Freeman, J. F. Stevenson, D. M. G. Murphy, G. H. Davis, John 
Coates. On the present membership list there are nine charter members: 
The Mesdames W. B. Mitchell, W. L. Beebe, N. P. Clarke, John Coates, D. H* 
Freeman, J. F. Stevenson, Martha J. Whitman, D. B. Searle and Miss Isabel 
Ijawrence. 

It has been customary during all these thirty-four years, that the society 
should be entertained once in two weeks, on Thursday afternoon, at the homes 
of the different members. The hours of entertainment are from 4 to 7. The 
membership is limited to sixty, which is always full with a large waiting list. 
The first part of the meeting is devoted to business, when various lines of ac- 
tivity for civic improvement are discussed and committees report. There are 
seven standing committees : Finance, Program, Entertainment, Improvement 
or Park, Civic, Pure Food and Health and Hygiene. After the business ses- 
sion follows an intellectual program, and after that an appetizing supper is 
served at six o'clock by the hostess and jollity and good cheer prevail. 

The annual dues are ten dollars. Each member is expected to entertain 
the Society at least once in two years, dates for which are prepared at the 
commencement of the year. For failure to so entertain an additional fine of 
five dollars is added to the ten dollar annual dues. The admission fee is three 
dollars. The yearly revenue from fines and dues is about four hundred and 
twenty-five dollars. This Society's receipts aggregating into thousands of 
dollars has always been expended for the library and other civic work. 

The charter members of this organization were excellent financiers. At 
the end of the first year the total amount from dues $164.40 was immediately 
placed in the Bank of St. Cloud. March 2, 1882, Articles of Incorporation 
were adopted and duly registered. In 1884 and 1885 the Society desired to 
invest their funds in a free reading room and in April, 1885, a committee was 
appointed to consult with the Directors of the City Library. The project was 
deemed by the City Fathers inexpedient, therefore the Society decided to 
place the fund of $1,100 at ten per cent interest as a permanent fund for the 
reading room of the future. With this investment the standing finance com- 
mittee was created, with Mrs. L. W. Collins, chairman. Later the funds were 
invested in shares in the St. Cloud Building & Loan Association. 

After much agitation, in July, 1886, the free reading room was opened 
on the second floor of the old Edelbrock Building, the Society voting to give 



772 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTt 

annually three hundred dollars towards the maintenance of such a room. 
The women gave carpets, tables, pictures, a clock, books, periodicals, shelves, 
electric lights, wood box, illuminated signs, water cooler, a Bible, etc. The 
society advertised this room in the daily papers. Advertisements were also 
placed in hotels, boarding houses, stations, saloons, barber shops and stores. 
In 1896, when the reading room was ten years old and the library with its 
^,430 volumes was comfortably domiciled in the West Hotel, the yearly pay- 
ment to the Library Board was $200. Finally the Society in 1900 conceived 
the idea of enlisting Andrew Carnegie's interest for a Public Library building 
to cost $25,000, and at the supreme moment, when a site was needed, in May, 
1901, it presented one, the syndicate corner, owned by Mesdames John Coates, 
C. P. McClure, E. H. Holden, corner Fifth avenue and Second street south, 
costing $4,315.60. 

That year the Reading Room Society celebrated its twenty-first anni- 
versary, February 12, 1901, by enjoying a Progressive Tea in the Unity 
Church Parlors, to which the husbands were invited. The story of the so- 
ciety's past endeavors for a better library, and the hopeful dream of the 
handsome new Carnegie building inspired all members to make of this treas- 
ure house a worthy monument. Again when the society was twenty-five 
years old it celebrated the occasion by making a Silver Anniversary gift of 
$285 to its pet protege. A Library committee of the following charter mem- 
bers, Mrs. W. B. Mitchell, Mrs. C. A. Grilman, and Miss Isabel Lawrence, was 
appointed to expend the anniversary funds in appropriate gifts for the Li- 
brary, and many beautiful pictures were purchased and several donated. 

This Carnegie building, with its beautiful grounds, its four inner polished 
granite columns, its handsome mission furniture, the rare art treasures on 
its walls, the hundreds of volumes on its shelves is a noble monument to the 
generosity of the Reading Room Society. The library has about 12,300 well 
selected volumes. The Society pledged as usual $300 for books this year. 
During the past twenty-eight years this club has contributed $13,465 to the 
Public Library. The Society is recognized in the management of the Library 
by the following five members : Mrs. W. B. Mitchell, Mrs. Mary Stewart, Mrs. 
Martin Molitor, Mrs. E. Everett Clark and Mrs. E. F. Moore. The treasury 
of the society has always been in a good condition, proving that women are 
good financiers, for though always giving, they always have a good bank 
account, because the policy has ever been to keep the principal intact. Twenty- 
five hundred dollars constitutes its present assets invested in first class mort- 
gage loans. 

With the passing of the years the scope of the society has broadened 
and other civic work has received its aid. A beautiful park system for St. 
Cloud became one of its chief interests. The club has been of assistance in 
acquiring the lots desired for our parks. The Improvement Committee 
formed in April, 1900, for the beautifying Central and Empire Park and the 
Library grounds has in the fourteen years expended about four hundred dol- 
lars in shrubbery, hedges, vines, bulbs, flowers, etc. The public school chil- 
dren have been encouraged in flower and vegetable gardens. Several hun- 
dred packages of seeds have been distributed and prizes offered for best 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 773 

gardens, also 800 apple trees were planted Arbor Day of 1908, by the city, 
normal and parochial school children. Through the efforts of this club St. 
Cloud has had two big clean-up days in the spring of 1898, and also in 1913, 
when all the streets, alleys and vacant lots were cleaned. Many waste paper 
cans were purchased for street use. The parks were never more beautiful 
find the general interest in this work is abroad in our city. With the opening 
01 the beautiful Scenic driveway, a grand opportunity for making a path- 
v/ay of the magnificent stretch along the river is offered. The general in- 
terest in this subject abroad in our city is due largely to this society. 

The betterment of our public school system has enlisted the efforts of 
our Reading Room Society. When to curtail expenses, music and sloyd were 
to be eliminated from the school curriculum, the Board of Education heeded 
the earnest petition of the club, asking the retention of these two subjects. 
In 1892 the Society advocated teaching domestic science in the public schools, 
and again in 1901. the matter was agitated, but in February, 1904, the project 
was actively pushed. It was not until six years later, when the gymnasium 
building was opened in 1910, that girls were taught cooking and sewing, A 
summer domestic science course was established in 1911 through the efforts 
of this society and fifty dollars is given annually to the school's support. In 
1907 the Reading Room conducted a vacation manual training school for boys 
in the Union School sloyd room, engaging Mr. Knutson as director. Since 
that year $430 has been contributed to that work. 

In January, 1907, the Society opened a game room in the library base- 
ment for boys, with a custodian in charge, and organized evening classes in 
the library auditorium three nights in the week. The erection of a-Y. M. C. A. 
building was a splendid project to which November 22, 1906, the society 
voted six hundred dollars. It failed of realization. 

The value of play and play grounds in providing health and joy to chil- 
dren is known to all. Play ground activities, folk dancing, pageants, games, 
athletics and the wider use of the school building in community recreation 
meets with popular support. One of the former members of this club, Jose- 
phine Brower, of St. Cloud, has introduced the English Morris Folk dances 
into this country and has written the first book on this art. In recognition 
of her ability. Miss Brower has been made an honorary member of the 
Woman's club of Minneapolis, 

Large contributions have been made to the Lydia Phillips Williams and 
I'rof. Maria L. Sanford scholarship loan funds. In 1908 the society placed 
three hundred dollars with the St. Cloud State Normal Faculty to be loaned to 
deserving students. This is known as the Reading Room Loan Fund. In 
the interest of obtaining a new high school building for the city, the members 
of the club made an active campaign this spring at the polls. 

The passage of the bill for the separation of the girls industrial school was 
a measure the women urgently endorsed in 1905. The present work of the 
State Industrial Home for girls at Sauk Centre, as conducted by Mrs, Fannie 
I'rench Morse, meets with encouragement and approval. Governor Johnson, 
in August, 1907, honored the society by appointing Mrs, George W. Stewart 
on the Board of Women Visitors for the State Industrial School for Girls. 



774 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

A protest against establishing a woman's department at the State Reforma- 
tory was entered February 9, 1911, by the Reading Room Society and their 
action was approved and commended by the State Federation. 

Our sphere of influence for civic betterment has included many phases 
lof the city beautiful and city healthful. The systematic collection of the 
city's garbage was urged seventeen years ago. When the Pure Food and 
Civics committees were organized in 1907, an active campaign was made for 
meat and milk inspection, protection of raw food offered for sale, pure water, 
smoke nuisance and collection of garbage. Mrs. Caroline Bartlett Crane of 
Michigan, the municipal expert, under the auspices of this Society, made 
a tour of inspection in St. Cloud, October 1910. She praised and condemned. 
As a result of her visit our Pure Food Committee are visiting all places where 
food supplies are kept and report once a month. The chairman of this com- 
mittee, Mrs. E. F. Moore, was appointed by Mayor Seberger, November, 1913, 
as City Pure Food Inspector. The sanitary score card system was adopted 
and records of inspection are kept in the city hall and on the files of the so- 
ciety. There has been a steady improvement in bakeries, groceries, meat 
stores, and the committee is faithfully working for more stringent enforce- 
ment of dairy and meat inspection. 

Appreciating the splendid spirit and achievements of the Commercial 
Club, our society in January, 1913, joined the live city boosters by affiliating 
in membership and in purpose. 

With the sale of anti-tuberculosis stamps and red cross buttons in Janu- 
ary, 1910, a Health and Hygiene Committee was formed. A tuberculosis ex- 
hibit was held in the city September, 1910, anti-tuberculosis literature was 
distributed and many patients have been assisted financially. Through the 
club leading medical men have given lectures on vital health subjects. With 
the assistance of Mrs. Perry Starkweather, the Assistant Labor Commissioner, 
a school census was taken, a health survey made, and a visiting nurse se- 
cured. A medical inspector for the St. Cloud public school is urged by the 
society. A county sanatorium for Stearns is a principle to which it stands 
pledged and would be glad actively to promote. 

In carrying out the work and policy of the club, the following officers 
have served, the first name under each year, being the president and the 
second the secretary, the terms commencing February 12 : 1880, Mrs. H. C. 
Waite, Mrs. L. W. Collins; 1881, Mrs. H. C. Waite, Mrs. J. E. West; 1882, 
Mrs. L. W. Collins, Mrs. J. E. West ; 1883, Mrs. J. E. West, Miss A. B. Crom- 
mett ; 1884, Mrs. L. A. Evans, Mrs. J. G. Smith ; 1885, Mrs. J. E. West, Mrs. 
L. J. Barnes; 1886, Mrs. L. W. Collins, Mrs. George S. Spencer; 1887, Mrs. 
C. A. Gilman, Miss Mary M. Cambell ; 1888, Mrs. C. A. Gilman, Miss Mary 
M. Cambell; 1889, Mrs. C. A. Gilman, Miss Mary M. Cambell; 1890, Mrs. 
L. W. Collins, Miss Mary M. Cambell; 1891, Mrs. George W. Stewart, Mrs. 
George Churchill; 1892, Mrs. George W. Stewart, Mrs. C. L. Atwood; 1893, 
Mrs. A. L. Tileston, Mrs. C. L, Atwood; 1894, Mrs. A. Barto, Mrs. W. L. 
Beebe; 1895, Mrs. A. Barto, Mrs. Thomas Foley; 1896, Miss Mary M. Cam- 
bell, Mrs. Alvah Eastman; 1897, Mrs. J. E. West (Miss Cambell), Mrs. Alvah 
Eastman; 1898, Mrs. Thomas Foley, Mrs. A. L. Tileston; 1899, Mrs. W. B. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 775 

Mitchell (February 12 to September), Mrs. A. L. Tileston (the annual meet- 
ing changed to September) ; 1899, Mrs. W. B. Mitchell, Mrs. Charles A. 
Cooper; 1900, Mrs. Alvah Eastman, Mrs. Charles A. Cooper; 1901, Mrs. Alvah 
Eastman, Mrs. E. Everett Clark ; 1902, Mrs. C. A. Cooper, Mrs. E. Everett Clark ; 
1903, Mrs. C. A. Cooper, Mrs. Frederick Schilplin; 1904, Mrs. E. A. Noble, 
Mrs. Frederick Schilplin; 1905, Mrs. C. L. Atwood, Mrs. H. C. Bowing; 1906, 
Mrs. C. L. Atwood, Mrs. E. F. Moore; 1907, Mrs. W. W. Smith, Mrs. H. R. 
Neide ; 1908, Mrs. W. W. Smith, Mrs. A. A. Wright ; 1909, Mrs. J. E. Jenks, 
Mrs. A. A. Wright; 1910, Mrs. E. F. Moore, Mrs. A. N. Farmer; 1911, Mrs. 
E. F. Moore, Mrs. A. N. Farmer; 1912, Mrs. Frederick Schilplin, Mrs. A. J. 
Tschumperlin ; 1913, Mrs. Frederick Schilplin, Mrs. A. J. Tschumperlin. 

The society joined the State Federation as charter member October, 
1895, and the General Federation January, 1906, and has generously con- 
tributed to both the State and National Endowment Funds. As a charter 
member the Reading Room joined the Sixth District Federation when it was 
organized in Sauk Centre April 15, 1902, with Mrs. E. J. Lewis as vice-presi- 
dent. St. Cloud entertained the District Convention May 21, 1903, and also 
May 17, 1911, and for the last three years Mrs. Martin Molitor of St. Cloud 
has been the efficient presiding officer of the Sixth District. 

The literary entertainments of the club have been of great interest. For 
the first seven years these consisted of only readings on all subjects from 
dress reform to Woman's Suffrage. After 1887 many original papers were 
given by representative men and women of St. Cloud. In 1897 the first pro- 
gram committee was appointed and a course of study on Sociology was out- 
lined. The study courses have included Sociology, the English Novel, Italian 
Art, Writers of Today, Nature Study, Great Industries of Our Age, Famous 
Women, Literary Pilgrimage Through the British Isles, Minnesota, Study of 
Magazine Articles, Drama and Opera. 

Lecture courses, concert recitals, art exhibits have always been encour- 
aged by this organization and very many given under its auspices. The 
first annual exhibition of the Minnesota State Art Commission was held at 
the Library building in St. Cloud, April 4, to 16, 1904, under the society's 
patronage. Works of famous Minnesota and New York artists were on ex- 
hibtion, and famous paintings from the galleries of T. B. Walker of Minne- 
apolis and James J. Hill of St. Paul. A beautiful handicraft art exhibit was 
held in the library building April, 1912, 

During the past thirty-four years 248 ladies have joined the Reading Room 
Society. The membership has never dropped below 26 and since 1901 it has 
kept the maximum limit, 60, with an average attendance of about 38 members. 

The society mourns the loss of the following members: Roll of the Hon- 
ored Dead— Mrs. L. W. Collins, May 31, 1894 ; Mrs. George Churchill, May 1, 
1895 ; Mrs. Charles Coates, March 29, 1901 ; Mrs. L. E. Wakeman, December 
3, 1901 ; Mrs. L. Annette Powell, March 23, 1905 ; Mrs. C. A. Oilman, March 
19, 1910 ; Mrs. J. E. West, June 1, 1911 ; Mrs. Harry Dyer, July 3, 1912 ; Mrs. 
J. D. Farrell, December 11, 1913. 

List of the present members, 1914 : Mrs. D. C. Abeles, Mrs. C. L. Atwood, 
Mrs. C. H. Barnes, Mrs. J. H. Beaty, Mrs. W. L. Beebe, Mrs. J. C. Boehm, 



776 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Mrs. H. C. Bowing, Mrs. C. F. Brigham, Mrs. R. B. Brower, Mrs. E. Everett 
Clark, Mrs. George R. Clark, Miss Marianne Clarke, Mrs. N. P. Clarke, Mrs. 
John Coates, Mrs. A. W. Corwin, Mrs. Clyde Dragoo, Mrs. J. B. Dunn, Mrs. 
Alvah Eastman, Mrs. H. C. Ervin, Mrs. H. C. Ervin, Jr., Mrs. Hugh Evans, 
Mrs. W. M. Fisher, Mrs. D. H. Freeman, Mrs. R. L. Gale, Mrs. F. A. Hoyt, 
Mrs, James E. Jenks, Mrs. S. A. Jones, Miss Isabel Lawrence, Mrs. C. B. 
Lewis, Mrs. John McElroy, Mrs. P. M. Magnusson, Mrs. P. A. Martin, Mrs. 
C. J. Metzroth, Mrs. George H. Miner, Mrs. W. B. Mitchell, Mrs. Martin Moli- 
tor, Mrs. E. F. Moore, Mrs. H. R. Neide, Mrs. Charles J. Oberly, Mrs. Charles 
S. Olds, Mrs. Ralph Olson, Miss Ellen Ready, Mrs. A. L. Riley, Mrs. D. I. 
Russell, Mrs. W. L. Sartell, Mrs. Frederick Schilplin, Mrs. C. D. Schwab, Mrs. 
Earl C. Scott, Mrs. D. B. Searle, Mrs. Catherine Sheehan, Mrs. W. W. Smith, 
Mrs. J. F. Stephens, Mrs. J. F. Stevenson, Mrs. Mary Stewart, Mrs. Alois 
Tschumperlin, Mrs. A. D. Whiting, Mrs. M. J. Whitman, Mrs. A. G. Whitney, 
Mrs. Fred Whitney, Mrs. A. A. Wright. 

The Reading Room Society attracts its members for its sociability, good 
comradeship and opportunities for self-culture, yet it would not have grown 
and flourished these thirty-four years had not the spirit of social service ani- 
mated its life. It has ever been active in everything that makes for the bet- 
terment of the community. Its members are aUve to all interests that bring 
individual improvement and its influence has always been sought by those 
prominent in reform measures. The Library Board, the Commercial Club, 
the Board of Education, the City Commissioners and Press all unite in fur- 
thering every effort of this Society. A common purpose pervades and ani- 
mates all to make St. Cloud the ideal home city of Minnesota. 

The following are the officers for 1913-1914: President, Mrs. Frederick 
Schilplin ; vice-president, Mrs. R. L. Gale ; secretary, Mrs. Alois Tschumper- 
lin; corresponding secretary, Mrs. D. I. Russell; treasurer, Mrs. A. L. Riley; 
auditor, Mrs. George R. Clark. 

Since this paper was prepared the annual election of officers has taken 
place for 1914-15, with the following result : President, Mrs. A. J. Tschumper- 
lin ; vice-president, Mrs. W. W. Smith ; secretary, Mrs. J. H. Beaty ; corre- 
sponding secretary. Miss Marianne Clarke ; treasurer, Mrs. D. I. Russell ; 
Auditor, Mrs. William Fisher. 

SUNSHINE SOCIETY. 

The Good Cheer Branch of the International Sunshine Society was organ- 
ized in St. Cloud in December, 1908, with the following officers: Mrs. A. H. 
Eeinhard, president; Mrs. W. B. Mitchell, vice-president; Mrs. Martin Moli- 
tor, secretary and treasurer. 

The presidents since have been: Mrs. A. H. Reinhard, 1909-10; Mrs. J, 
B. Dunn, 1911-1912; Mrs. E. F. Moore, 1913-14. Secretaries, Mrs. Martin 
Molitor, 1909-1913; Mrs. Anton Carlson, 1914. The officers for 1915 are: 
Mrs. A. J. Kirghis, president ; Mrs. Anton Carlson, secretary ; Mrs. M. Molitor, 
treasurer. 

There are at present 173 members. The society paid the salary of a 
visiting nurse for two years, and is contributing to the same purpose a third 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 777 

year; has paid the hospital bills for the sick poor, helped in the anti-tuber- 
culosis campaign, visited the ''shut in," cared for neglected children, an4 
similar lines of work. 

DELPHIAN SOCIETY. 

The St. Cloud Chapter of the Delphian Society was organized October 6, 
1913, with Edna and Marguerite Bunnell, Gladys Riley, Frances Ervin, Ade- 
laide Dunn, Eleanor and Ruth Mitchell, and Edith Clark as charter members. 
The object of the society is that of study, a general review for college stu- 
dents of subjects classified under Art, Drama, Literature, Music, Architecture, 
Philosophy and History. Each member has a set of ten volumes, containing 
articles by leading university professors, curriculum of study, and references 
for collateral reading. The National Society's Consulting Bureau in Chi- 
cago is at their disposal, and through the editorial staff, it is possible to 
gain access to original manuscripts and private libraries. The young women 
meet every Monday afternoon at the different homes, the hostess leading the 
discussion of the day. Additional members since the founding of the Chapter 
are Mrs. Harry C. Ervin, Mrs. Henry Halvorson, Helen Hill, and Mrs. J. B. 
Fisher. 

SOROSIS. 

The St. Cloud Sorosis was organized February 1, 1892. On that date a 
little group of eight women met with Mrs. W. T. Stone, the originator of 
the movement, and associated themselves in a club which they called Sorosis, 
or Sisterhood. Thus, this club bears the name of the first Woman's club in 
America, Sorosis of New York City. Sorosis is a study club organized and 
continued for the mutual improvement of its members along intellectual 
lines. 

The eight charter members who founded the club were : Mrs. C. L. At- 
wood, Mrs. L. B. Avery, Mrs. George Churchill, Mrs. E. S. Hill, Mrs. C. W. G. 
Hyde, Mrs. J. C. Palmer, Mrs. W. T. Stone and Mrs. A. T. Whitman. Of 
these, Mrs. Hill has continued her membership from 1892 to the present time. 

The charter members drew up a constitution limiting the number of mem- 
bers to twelve and providing for the offices of president and leader. Mrs. 
W. T. Stone was the first president and C. W. G. Hyde of the Normal School 
faculty directed the club in its first year's work, "The History of Great Brit- 
ain." In 1893 the office of secretary was created and when in 1898 the mem- 
bers of Sorosis voted annual dues of twenty-five cents each, a treasurer was 
found necessary. In 1899 the club began to have printed programs of the 
J ear's work and the dues were increased to fifty cents and again in 1902 to 
one dollar. These dues merely cover the necessary expenses of the club, 
such as federation dues, printing bills, book rent, etc. Sorosis has small re- 
sources from which to contribute to the many worthy causes continually 
seeking aid, but this little club has ever given its moral support to every 
beneficent movement. In 1898 a vice-president was also added to the official 
staff. 

The working year of Sorosis, formerly eight or nine months, is now six 



778 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

months from November to April inclusive, with special business meetings as 
the occasion requires. The club meets weekly on Monday afternoon from 
three to five o'clock and two or three members participate in giving the 
lesson at each meeting. 

In accordance with the expressed purpose of the founders of the club, 
Sorosis has devoted itself to the study of geography, history, literature and 
art of various countries. In the early years of the club, a few minutes of each 
meeting were given to the study of parliamentary law and current events 
but this practice has been discontinued. A printed program arranged by 
a program committee is carried out during the working year. These are dis- 
tributed some months before the weekly sessions begin. In the year 1892-93 
Sorosis studied the history of Great Britain with Prof. C. W. 6. Hyde as 
leader, and following the history Rev. Charles J. Staples, who had just re- 
turned from a visit to Europe, led the club in a travel course through the 
British Isles. In 1894-95 German history and geography were the subjects of 
study with an outline of German history prepared by Prof. Van Liew of the 
normal school. In like manner Holland, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Japan, 
China, India, Egypt and Greece have been the subject of programs of one 
or two years length. Farrar's Travel Class was used as a basis of work in 
the travel courses. Supplementing their own study the members of Sorosis 
enjoyed a lecture on "The Women of India" by Mrs. Lodor; the Rev. Dr. 
Wright of St. Paul gave the club an instructive and interesting parlor talk on 
"Growing Impressions of Egypt;" Mrs. Mary C. Burbank lectured before 
Sorosis on Spanish Art ; and Dr. Smith of St. Paul gave a scholarly lecture on 
Russia. During the years 1909-11 Sorosis gave itself to the study of Italian 
art and literature exclusively. American Literature was the subject of the 
programs of 1911-13 and now of 1913-14, Sorosis has entered upon a two 
year's course in French Literature. As in other lines of human activity the 
tendency of club work is toward specialization. In the younger and more 
ambitious days of Sorosis we find the women meeting during the summer 
months at nine o'clock in the morning to read the literature of countries 
studied during the year. 

An annual Sorosis banquet and picnic were formerly social events of the 
year. At present the retiring president entertains the club at a five o'clock 
luncheon after the annual meeting. Occasional social meetings of an in- 
formal nature are held during the year. 

Sorosis joined the State Federation of Women's Clubs, January 10, 1898, 
and became a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, October, 
1913. In April, 1902, delegates from Sorosis met with representatives from 
other clubs of the Sixth Congressional District and organized the Sixth Dis- 
trict Federation of Women's Clubs and Sorosis has twice, in 1902 and 1912, 
joined with the other St. Cloud Clubs in entertaining the Sixth District Con- 
vention. In 1908 Sorosis and the Reading Room Society were "at home" to 
the state convention of the Women's Clubs of Minnesota. 

The colors of Sorosis are green and white. Although the club is twenty- 
one years old it has not yet committed itself on the rampant subject of 
suffrage. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 779 

Any woman inclined to study and qualified to do the work may be elected 
to Sorosis, her name being proposed by some member of the club. The num- 
ber of members limited to twelve by the constitution was afterwards increased 
to fifteen. The present membership list is as follows: Ida M. Barnes, Char- 
lotte Elizabeth Clarke, Marianne Clarke, Inez Hill, Marion Jenks, Marjorie 
Macdonald, Marie Molitor, Caroline Foster Munro, Genevieve B. Olsen, Zelda 
G. Porter, Maude Comfort Schilplin, Mary Lavina Schwab, Mary Louise Stew- 
art, Elizabeth Tschumperlin, Alice Wheelock Whitney. Mrs. Stone, Mother 
of Sorosis, and Mrs. Barto are honorary members. 

"With an ever-changing membership the character and purpose of the 
club have been constant. Sorosis is a study club purely. Through such a 
society the woman, busy with the manifold duties of home, finds inspiration 
and guidance for study. Through the study club she extends her horizon 
beyond the confines of home and native town and rises above the common- 
places of daily existence. While she performs faithfully the work in life 
vchich is hers to do, she avoids the rut stretching along life's pathway for 
those who do not make the effort necessary for growth of mind and spirit 
which should go on throughout this earthly life. — (By Mrs. A. J. Tschum- 
perlin.) 

The following is the list of the officers of Sorosis throughout the twenty- 
one years of its existence. 

1892-93— President, Mrs. W. W. Stone; leader. Prof. C. W. G. Hyde. 
1893-94— President, Mrs. W. T. Stone; secretary, Mrs. E. S. Hill; leader, Rev. 
Charles -J. Staples. 1894-95 — President, Mrs. A. Barto; secretary, Mrs, E. S. 
Hill ; leader, Miss Charlotte Clarke. Miss Clark has since continued to serve as 
leader and is still in office, now (1914-15) serving her twenty-first year. 1895-96 
—President, Mrs. A. Barto ; secretary, Mrs. Montgomery. 1896-97 — President, 
Mrs. E. S. Hill ; secretary. Miss Marianne Clark. 1897-98 — President, Mrs. Rob- 
ert Harrison; secretary. Miss Marianne Clarke. 1898-99 — President, Mrs. A. 
Barto ; vice-president, Mrs. E. S. Hill ; secretary, Mrs. J. E. West. 1899-1900— 
President, Mrs. C. L. Atwood ; vice-president, Mrs. Montgomery ; secretary, Mrs. 
J. E. West; treasurer, Miss Ellen Ready. 1900-01— President, Mrs. C. L. At- 
wood; vice-president, Mrs. J. E. Ranney; secretary, Mrs. J. E. West; treasurer, 
Miss Ellen Ready. 1901-02 — President, Mrs. G. Kleeberger; vice-president, 
Mrs. J. E. Ranney; secretary, Mrs. James E. Jenks; treasurer, Mrs. H. C. 
Ervin. 1902 03 — President, Mrs, J. E. Ranney; vice-president, Mrs. Frances 
Oilman ; secretary, Mrs. James E. Jenks ; treasurer, Mrs. H. C. Ervin. 1903-04 
— President, Mrs. Frances Oilman; vice-president, Mrs. E. S. Hill; secretary, 
Mrs. J. C. Boehm; treasurer, Mrs, J. C, Munro. 1904-05 — Same as previous 
year. 1905-06 — President, Mrs. George W, Stewart ; vice-president, Miss Mari- 
anne Clarke; secretary, Mrs, H. C. Ervin; treasurer, Mrs. J. E. West, 1906- 
07 — Same as previous year, 1907-08 — President, Mrs. J. E, Jenks; vice-presi- 
dent, Mrs, W, W, Smith ; secretary, Mrs, Alvah Eastman ; treasurer, Mrs, 
A. G, Whitney. 1908-09 — Same as previous year. 1909-10 — President, Mrs. 
Martin Molitor; vice-president, Mrs. George W. Stev/art ; secretary, Mrs. J, C. 
Munro; treasurer, Mrs. J, E. West, 1910-11 — Same as previous year. 1911- 
12 — President, Mrs. George W. Stewart; vice-president, Miss Marianne 



780 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Clarke; secretary, Mrs. A. Tschumperlin ; treasurer, Mrs. A. G. Whitney. 
1912-13 — President, Miss Marianne Clarke; vice-president, Mrs. E. S. Hill; 
secretary, Mrs. A. Tschumperlin; treasurer, Mrs. A. G. "Whitney. 1913-14 — 
President, Miss Marianne Clarke; vice-president, Mrs. E. S. Hill; secretary, 
Mrs. G. W^. Stewart; treasurer, Mrs. C. H. Barnes. 1914-15— President, Mrs. 
A. G. Whitney; vice-president, Miss Marjorie Macdonald; secretary, Mrs. G. 
W. Stewart; treasurer, Mrs. C. H. Barnes. 



CHAPTER XLV. 

BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW. 

Pioneers and Later Comers Whose Industry Has Built up the County — Early 
Experiences in an Unsettled Country — Leaders in Country, City and Vil- 
lage — Family History of Well Known Men. 

Very Rev. Alfred Mayer, 0. S. B., prior of St. Mary's Priory and pastor 
of the Church of Immaculate Conception, St. Cloud, was born June 12, 1858, 
in Cayuga, Province of Ontario, Canada. His parents, Joseph Mayer and 
Anna Hinger, emigrated from Germany in 1854 and located on a farm near 
Cayuga, Canada. After residing there for eleven years they moved to Jordan, 
Scott county, Minnesota. They had ten children, the eighth in number being 
Alfred, or as he was called in the world, Anthony. As a boy he first visited a 
district school in the country, his father having been a farmer, but later on he 
attended the parish school at Jordan. In the year 1873 he entered St. John's 
College, at CoUegeville, Minn., completed his classical course in 1878, made 
his novitiate at St. Vincent Archabbey, Beatty, Pa., in 1879, and was ordained 
to the priesthood in 1882. After his ordination he was for five years professor 
in the commercial course at St. John's College, master of novices, and pastor 
of the Abbey Church. On account of failing health he was relieved of his 
onerous duties at the college and monastery and sent out on missions, attend- 
ing for one year the parishes of Farming and Logering. In the fall of 1888 
he was appointel assistant pastor at the Assumption Church, St. Paul, Minn, 
After nine months he became pastor of St. Mary's Church, Bismarck, N. D. 
Having labored there for one year and a half, he was appointed in the year 
1890 pastor of the Church of the Assumption at St. Paul, Minn. He held that 
position for nearly nine years, when he was transferred to St. Clement's 
church, Duluth, Minn. In 1902 he was appointed by Pope Leo XIII Canonical 
Prior of the Monastery of Cluny, near Wetang, 111. The community of Cluny 
having abandoned its field of labor in southern Illinois and located in Sas- 
katchewan, Canada, Prior Alfred in 1894 established in Canada a most flour- 
ishing colony of mostly German Catholics who located there from different 
parts of the United States. After enduring in that new missionary field for 
three years all the hardships of pioneer life, he was transferred as pastor to 
the Immaculate Conception Church, St. Cloud, in which capacity he has now 
labored for the past seven years. This parish was organized in 1856 and is 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 781 

one of the largest and most flourishing parishes of the Northwest. His assist- 
ants are Rev. Eugene WoerdehotT, 0. S. B., and Rev. Hildebrand EiehhofP, 
0. S. B. 

Right Rev. Monsignor Bernard Richter, of Melrose, was born in the 
Province of Westphalia, Prussia, Germany, September 28, 1863, and after at- 
tending the common schools passed through the high school into the Uni- 
versity of Muenster. In December, 1884, he came to America, and continued 
his studies at St. Francis' Seminary, near Milwaukee, Wis. Here he was or- 
dained to the priest hood, June 24, 1887. His first parish was at White Lake, 
South Dakota. His pious devotion and energetic work attracted the atten- 
tion of the Right Rev. Bishop Otto Zardetti who made him pastor of the Ca- 
thedral at St. Cloud. On June 7, 1894, he came to Melrose as pastor of the 
Church of St. Boniface. His work here has been notable, and has resulted, 
by the grace of God, in the largest Catholic Church in Stearns county. The 
parish consists of 300 families, all Germans, and all devoted to the cause of 
the church. Under the direction of Father Richter, the magnificent church 
edifice was erected in 1899, at a cost including fixtures, of $75,000; the rec- 
tory in 1907 at a cost of $18,000 ; the convent in 1908 at a cost of about $7,000 ; 
and a sightly parochial school in 1910 at a cost of $50,000. In 1912, Father 
Richter was elevated by His Holiness, Pope Pius X, to the dignity of Domestic 
Prelate, thus investing him with the title of Right Reverend Monsiguor. 

Rev. Anthony Arzt, 0. S. B., pastor of St. Paul's Parish, Sauk Centre, was 
born in Nister, Hackenburg, Germany, September 11, 1870. He received his 
early education in the public schools of his home town and completed his 
studies at the Gregorian University, Rome, Italy. He came to America in 
September, 1893. He was ordained April 25, 1894, at St. John's University, Col- 
legeville, Minn., by Right Rev. Bishop Otto Zardetti, Bishop of St. Cloud. 
For nine months he was pastor of the Church of St. Francis, at Belgrade, 
Minn., with a mission in Lake George township, this county. Then he was . 
transferred to the Church of St. Nicholas, in St. Nicholas, Luxemburg town- 
ship, this county. For nearly three years he was in charge of the Church of 
St. Otto, at Fergus Falls, Minn. January 1, 1899, he was assigned to his pres- 
ent parish, which has prospered greatly under his charge. A man of devout 
piety, he combines keen business judgment with high scholarship, and com- 
mands the love of his people and the respect of the people of other denomina- 
tions. His opinion on all subjects is highly valued by all the people, and in a 
quiet unostentatious way he exerts a powerful influence for good and for prog- 
ress. His church has 140 families, and under his direction, by the grace of 
God, this band of people erected a splendid church in 1904, and a parish house 
in 1910, while the school, which has 137 pupils in charge of the devout Sisters 
of St. Benedict, was enlarged and remodeled in 1912. 

Rev. Luke Fink, 0. S. B., pastor of the parish of the Immaculate Concep- 
tion, R. C, New Munich, was born in Bavaria, Germany, February 24, 1871, 
son of Thomas and Francesca (Miller) Fink. The earnest boy who after- 
ward became the reverend father received a good education in Germany, and 
came to the United States in 1885, while still a young lad. He took his classi- 
cal and theological work at St. John's University, Collegeville, this county. 



782 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

In 1894 he took the solemn vows which united him with the Benedictine Order, 
and in 1895 he was ordained to the holy priesthood at St. John's by the Right 
Reverend Bishop Martin Marty. His first parish was at Minneapolis. Sub- 
sequently he filled various pastorates in southern and eastern Minnesota and 
one in Brooklyn, New York. In 1909 he was assigned to his present parish. 
Under his leadership by the grace of God, a church and parish house have 
been erected at a cost of $71,000. The piety of the people has deepened, and 
the parish is nobly fulfilling its mission. 

Rev. Leonard Kapsner, pastor of the parish of St. Benedict, Avon, was 
born in Silesia, Prussia, Germany, February 18, 1871, son of Frank and Therese 
(Thielsch) Kapsner, who in 1874 brought him to Pierz, Minn,, where they still 
live. The boy Leonard, who afterward became the devout reverend father, 
was reared on the home farm, and attended the district schools, attending 
to such simple duties as his years permitted. He passed through the prepara- 
tory, classical and theological courses at St. John's University, Collegeville, 
this county, and was graduated in 1897. He was ordained in June, 1897, at 
Collegeville by the Rt. Rev. Bishop McGolrick, of Duluth, and was assigned 
to duty as assistant in the Parish of St. Joseph, Minneapolis. Subsequently 
he served a year as pastor of the Parish of the Immaculate Conception, St. 
Cloud, and a year as pastor of the Parish of St. James, near Cold Spring, in 
this county. In 1900 he became professor of German and treasurer, at St. 
John's University. To years later, in 1902, he became rector of the college, 
and at the expiration of three more years, in 1905, he again assumed a pro- 
fessorship. In 1906 he was assigned to the College of St. Martin four miles 
from Olympia, Washington, as professor of Latin and German. In 1908 he 
was recalled and assigned to his present parish. He is beloved by his people 
and makes an ideal village priest. Father Kapsner comes of a churehly family. 
Four of his sisters are devout sisters of the Order of St. Benedict, at the 
Convent of St. Benedict, at St. Joseph, while one of his brothers is a priest in 
New York City. 

Rev. Leo Gans, J. C. D., rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Guardian 
Angels, St. Cloud, was born in the city where he still makes his home, Septem- 
ber 11, 1879, son of Mathias and Marie P. (Pung) Gans. He prepared him- 
self in the district and parochial schools, and graduated from St. Lawrence 
College, Mt. Calvary, Wis., in 1894; from St. Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, 
Indiana, in 1897 ; and from St, Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1901. 
Then he went to Rome, Italy, where, after a course of two years' study in the 
Papal Appolinare University, he achieved the high distinction of being granted 
a Doctorate in Canon Law. While in Rome, he was ordained, February 15, 
1903. Dr. Gans has had parishes at Tintah, Minn,, and at Alexandria, Minn,, 
and taught Canon Law at the St, Paul Seminary for two years. In 1907 he 
became rector of the cathedral at St, Cloud, 

Mathias Gans was born in Prussia, Germany, December 8, 1829, and 
landed at New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1856, He reached St, Cloud in 1857. 
Then for several years his interests and occupations were varied, and included 
several of St. Cloud's pioneer enterprises. During the war he was employed 
in the copper mines in the Superior regions. Finally he became a teacher at 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 783 

Wakefield, Minn. In 1870 he was elected treasurer of Stearns county, a po- 
sition he held with credit to himself, and to the satisfaction of his fellow 
citizens until 1878. In December, 1879, he purchased a farm of 340 acres in 
sections 5 and 8, St. Cloud township. The family moved onto this farm in 
March, 1880. In 1905, Mathias Gans retired, and once more moved to St. 
Cloud, where he died April 26, 1906. Mr. Gans had a musical temperament, 
and was much interested in the vocal music clubs of the city. In June, 1863, 
Mr. Gans married Marie E. Pung, and they had children as follows: John, 
Hubert, Joseph, Peter, Michael, Mary, Edward, Leo P., Nestor, Norbert, Anna, 
Minnie and Rose. Mary married Leslie Morton ; Minnie married Ernest Trei- 
schel; Rose married Joseph Schroeder. 

Rev. Meinrad Seifermann, beloved pastor of the Parish of the Sacred 
Heart, Freeport, was born in Baden, Germany, August 20, 1867, one of the 
family of four girls and two boys born to Ignatius and Agnes (Kohler) Seifer- 
mann. The boy who afterward became the reverend father learned the trade 
of shoemaking in Germany. By diligent application to his studies he also 
managed to acquire a good education, coning over his lessons while working 
at the last. In 1888 he came to America and located in Spring Hill township, 
this county. In 1889, Meinrad Seifermann registered at St. John's University, 
Collegeville. He there took his classical and theological studies, and was grad- 
uated in the spring of 1899. He was ordained June 24, 1899, at St. John's, 
by the Right Rev. Bishop James Trobec. For three years he was assistant 
rector of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, St. Cloud. In 1902 he 
went to Minneapolis, and subsequently spent several years in Mission work 
in Canada. In 1908 he returned to Roscoe, in this county, and after a short 
service with the Parish of St. Agnes, there, was assigned to the Parish of St. 
Catherine, in Farming township. In 1912 he was assigned to his present par- 
ish. Father Meinrad is most admirably fitted for his work. He has known 
hard work and privation as a layman, and as a priest his devotion and piety 
has been marked. He is truly the father of his people, and his pastorate, 
by the grace of God, has resulted in much deeping of spiritual grace in the 
parish and community. 

Rev. Andrew Straub, 0. S. B., pastor of the Church of the Seven Daugh- 
ters, R. C, at Albany, Minn., has been one of the powerful influences for good 
in the community. A man of broad learning and wide culture and experience, 
he is an ideal village priest, a true father to his people, stern and uncompro- 
mising toward wrongdoing, but merciful and sympathetic toward the wrong- 
doer. He is a friend of education and progress, and his voice is ever raised in 
support of whatever is best in the life of the village and its people. Father 
Straub was born in Ashford, "Wis., in 1855, son of Joseph and Ursula (Beigel- 
meyer) Straub. He was reared in his native county of Fond du Lac, Wis., and 
passed his youth on his father's farm. He attended the district and parochial 
schools at Ashford. His religious training was obtained at St. Francis, in 
Milwaukee, St. John's in St. Cloud, and at Duluth and Crookston, and was 
twenty-two years in Minneapolis. In 1881 he joined the Order of St. Benedict. 
In September, 1904, Father Straub came to Albany, and here, later, he cele- 
brated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his first mass. Much of successful work 



784 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and worthy accomplishment has been perfected in the few years that have 
passed since his arrival. The congregation numbers about 1,500 souls, and 
the church property consists of a brick church, a large brick parochial school, 
and a pastoral residence of brick, as well as a well-kept cemetery where the 
pioneers lie at rest. The church was originally a frame structure, but it has 
been enlarged and changed to a brick edifice. Joseph Straub, the worthy 
father of Father Andrew Straub, was born in Wiirttemburg, Germany, and 
came to America about 1832. After operating a farm at Gratzburg, Penn- 
sylvania, for a number of years, he moved to Fond du Lac, Wis. Of his six 
children, only two are living. Jacob lives on the home farm in Wisconsin. 

Rev. Alexius Hoflfman, 0. S. B., was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, January 
31, 1863. Both parents were natives of Germany and had settled in St. Paul 
about the year 1855. After attending the parochial school connected with 
the Church of the Assumption in that city, he entered St. John's College in 
Stearns county in September, 1875, and pursued the classical course of study 
for five years. In 1880 he became a member of the Benedictine Order ; then 
spent four years in the study of philosophy and theology and was ordained to 
the priesthood on December 19, 1885. Ever since that time he has been con- 
nected with the faculty of St. John's University. From January, 1891, to 
July, 1899, he was director of the institution. Since 1905 he has been librarian 
of the Abbey Library. He has written a history of St. John's University, 
published in 1907. At present he is professor of theology and of English lit- 
erature in that institution. 

Rev. Martin Schmitt, 0. S. B., beloved pastor of the Parish of St. John, 
at Meire Grove, was born near Cologne, Germany, January 24, 1858, son of 
Joseph and Margaretha (Unkel) Schmitt, who started for America with their 
family in 1866. The mother died during the voyage, and the father and the 
four young children located at St. Louis, Missouri. After having secured a 
good home with a family for the older girl of 11 years and placed the three 
younger children, a boy and two girls, under the care of the Sisters of St. 
Joseph, in charge of the St. Vincent's German Catholic Orphan Asylum the 
paternal parent secured work and after four years he went to New Orleans, 
Louisiana, where he died some two years later, amid the comforts of re- 
ligion. The youth who was afterward to become the reverend father en- 
tered the University of St. Louis at St. Louis, in the fall of 1871. In 
1872 he entered St. John's University at Collegeville, this county, and there 
finished the classical course. Having become a scholastic for St. John's 
he entered the novitiate at St. Vincent's Abbey, Beatty, Pennsylvania, 
where he made his simple vows. The following year he returned to St. John's, 
finished the philosophical and theological courses, and made solemn vows 
July 11, 1879. July 25, 1882, he was ordained by the Right Reverend Bishop 
Rupert Seidenbusch, of St. Cloud. His first assignment was to the Parish 
of St. Benedict, at Avon. While there he served missions at Alexandria and 
Belle River, and acted as a professor at St. John's University. In 1884 he 
went to Mandan, North Dakota, where he served missions in an area covering 
some 300 square miles, bringing the comforts of the church to people who 
had long been without spiritual benefits. In 1887 he returned to St. John's 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 785 

University, was a professor in several branches, and also attended several mis- 
sions in the neighborhood. In the fall of 1888 he became pastor of the Parish 
of St. Boniface, at East Minneapolis, and in the following summer became as- 
sistant pastor of the Parish of the Assumption, at St. Paul. In 1890 he was 
ordered by his superiors to take charge of the Parish of St. Mary at Bismarck, 
North Dakota, where he revived religions interest, reopened a parochial school 
that had been closed, and attended missions to the north, northeast and south, 
covering a radius of from 50 to 75 miles. After six years of hard labor there, 
he was recalled in 1896 to Minnesota, to become pastor of the Parish of St. 
Boniface at Cold Spring, during the absence of the regular pastor who was 
abroad. In the fall of 1896 he became assistant to the pastor of the Parish 
of the Immaculate Conception, at St. Cloud. In May, 1897 he was sent by his 
superiors to start a parish at Roscoe. St. Agnes was selected as the patron, 
a church and parsonage were erected, and a thriving parish inaugurated. 
After three years of faithful work there, Father Schmitt was sent to the 
Parish of St. Martin, in St. Martin township, this county. In May, 1906, he 
came to his present parish at Meire Grove. He has merited and won the love 
of his large parish of 125 families, and the respect and confidence of the entire 
community. He has ever been a faithful, able and energetic worker for the 
True Cause of Right, and through his untiring work, by the Grace of God, 
the parish is in a flourishing condition and the people are now contemplating 
the erection of a substantial parish school. 

Rev. Father Ludger Ehrens, 0. S. B., pastor of the parish of St. Joseph, 
in St. Joseph village, was born in Walchum, Province Hanover, Germany, July 
14, 1853, son of Herman and Elizabeth (Heyen) Ehrens. He was educated in 
the schools of his native land, and in November, 1872, he came to America. 
At once upon his arrival he entered St. John's University, in Collegeville, this 
county. He took his novitiate in 1874 and was ordained at St. Cloud by the 
Right Rev. Bishop Rupert Seidenbusch, 0. S. B., on December 15, 1878. His 
first pastorate was the station of St. James, Stearns county, this state. In 
1880 he was assigned to the parish of St. Martin, this county, where he re- 
mained six years. In the year 1886 he was stationed in the Parish of the As- 
sumption, at St. Paul, for a short time, and in the parish of Cold Spring, in 
this county, till September 1892. In 1892 he became pastor of his present 
parish in St. Joseph and remained till August, 1900. From the latter year he 
was with the parishes of St. Joseph, Minneapolis, Richmond, Minn., New Mun- 
ich, Minn, and Avon, Minn. In October, 1907, again transferred to his present 
charge. 

Rev. Father Meinulph Stuckenkemper, 0. S. B., beloved pastor of the 
Church of St. Martin, St. Martin township, was born in Westphalia, Prussia, 
Germany, January 17, 1837, a son of Casper Stuckenkemper, who brought the 
family to America in 1847. Father Meinulph prepared for college and then 
pursued his classical and theological studies at St. Vincent's College, West- 
moreland county, Pennsylvania. He was ordained July 20, 1861, and was 
assigned to the parish of the Church of the Assumption at St. Paul. Two years 
later he came to St. Cloud where he organized a parish and erected the Church 
of the Immaculate Conception, also the parish house. Then he served various 



786 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

mission parishes in southern Minnesota. In 1872 he took charge of the Im- 
maculate Conception Church at New Munich, in this county. Subsequently 
he was again attached to the Church of the Assumption at St. Paul, and after 
that he organized the parish and built the house of worship of the Church of 
St. Joseph, Minneapolis. Later he served the Church of St. "Wendelin in St. 
Wendel, after which he did his memorable quarter of a century's work with 
the Church of St. John, at Myer Grove, in this county, beginning his service 
there in February, 1881. In 1906 he was assigned to his present parish. He 
has been one of the foremost church builders in Minnesota, suffering priva- 
tions, going without food and comforts, working in poor parishes, sacrificing 
every pleasure in order that the Church of God should flourish in this part 
of the world. The years have taught him that gentleness which is a man's 
greatest strength and his devout life is an example to the people of all de- 
nominations. His work has meant something to the community, and the world, 
by the grace of God, is the better for his having lived in it. On July 20, 1911, 
Father Meinulph celebrated the golden anniversary of his ordination, and 
many were the felicitations he secured upon his half century of faithful service. 

Mathias A. Bussen, postmaster, journalist and business man, was born 
in Hanover, Germany, in 1851, son of Henry and Anna Margaret (Horren) Bus- 
sen who spent the span of their years in Germany. The children in the family 
were : Herman, Elizabeth, Bernhard, Henry, Joseph, Mathias A., Gerhard, 
Christina and William. Of these children, Henry was the first to come to this 
country. He left Germany and reached St. Louis, Mo., in 1866, just after the 
close of the Civil War. It was in 1870 that Mathias A. came. He secured 
employment for a while as a clerk in St. Cloud, this county. Then he entered 
St. John's University at College ville, where he took a three years' course, 
finishing in 1875. Subsequently he went to Quincy, 111., where he clerked in 
a store, and then to St. Louis, Mo., where he was employed as a traveling sales- 
man. In 1876 he returned to St. Cloud, where he once more secured work 
as a clerk. After his marriage in 1877 he came to Richmond, where he entered 
a store as bookkeeper and clerk. In 1880 he engaged in the general mer- 
cantile business at Richmond, with a partner. In 1892 this partnership was 
dissolved, and Mr. Bussen entered the real estate and general investment 
business. On July 4, 1902, he issued the first number of the "Richmond 
Standard," one of the most popular papers of this vicinity. This paper is 
still published, J. M. Bussen being his father's partner in the venture. From 
1885 to 1893, Mathias A. Bussen was postmaster of Richmond, and since 1898 
he has been in that office continuously. He has also served two years as chair- 
man of the board of supervisors of Munson township, and for many years was 
town clerk and justice of the peace. In politics he is a Democrat. Mr. Bussen 
married Anna Lieser and they have eleven children : L, H., J. A., B. L., J. M. ; 
Anna W., wife of H. Woolsey ; Sister Mary Alesia, O. S. B. ; Sister Mary Alice, 
0. S. B. ; Sarophine, Ulric, Aloysius and Hilda. 

Bernard Bruening, retired farmer of Richmond, and brave veteran of 
the Civil War, was born in Hanover, Germany, September 22, 1839, son of 
Henry and Angelica Bruening, who brought their family to America in 1846 
and settled in Missouri. In 1855, one of the sons, Gerhard, the brother of 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 787 

Bernard, came to Stearns county. After looking about he returned to Mis- 
souri to get his widowed mother and his brothers and sisters. With four yoke 
of oxen they started out for their new location, the trip consuming seven 
weeks. The quarter section of land which they obtained embraced the present 
site of Richmond. Bernard secured 160 acres two miles east of St. Martin. 
He was on the pleasant road to prosperity when the Civil War broke out. 
Believing thoroughly in the cause of the Union, he enlisted in Company G, 
Ninth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war, in 
all a period of three years and five days. He saw strenuous work on many a 
bloody battle field. Much of the time he was in the hospital corps. After 
the war he returned to his farm. He was very successful in his operations, and 
increased his holding until he owned 200 acres. In 1899 he retired and moved 
to the village of Richmond. Mr. Bruening was married in 1868 to Margaret 
Schlener, a daughter of George Schlener, who was one of the early settlers of 
Munson township. She died in 1911 at the age of sixty-one. Mr. and Mrs. 
Bruening adopted two children, Joseph Larmer and Maud Lugneatte. 

George Engelhard, a leading citizen of Richmond, was born in Bavaria, 
Germany, January 26, 1844, son of Valentine and Catherine (Busch) Engel- 
hard, who brought him to Ohio in 1846, and to Munson township in 1859. 
George Engelhard lived on the home place in Munson township about fifty- 
three years. As a farmer he has been very successful. The home place has 
been increased to 240 acres, and brought to a high stage of development and 
improvement, and under his diligent care its operation has been very profit- 
able. But in building up his own interests, Mr. Engelhard has not forgotten 
the welfare of the community. He has been a school officer for a consider- 
able period, he has given satisfaction as township supervisor, treasurer and 
assessor, he sat with dignity in the lower house of the Minnesota legislature, 
and his twelve years as county commissioner will not soon be forgotten. In 
a private capacity he has also aided in the growth and development of the 
county, Mr. Engelhard was married June 11, 1867, at Richmond, to Angeline 
Korte, and they have ten children : Valentine, Catherine, Mary, Henry, Bar- 
bara, Therese, Jacob, Gertrude, Elizabeth and Barney. Angeline Korte, now 
Mrs. George Engelhard, was born in Hanover, Germany, March 7, 1846, daugh- 
ter of Barney and Anna (Schle) Korte, who in 1860 came to America and set- 
tled in Farming township, Stearns county, bringing their five children: Wil- 
liam, Catherine, Henry, John and Angeline. 

Jacob Engelhard, a retired farmer of Munson township, was bom in Ger- 
many, January 6, 1837, son of Valentine and Catherine (Busch) Engelhard. The 
parents came to America in 1846, bringing with them the six children : Stephen, 
Valentine, Jacob, Catherine, George and Martin, the latter of whom died in 
St. Cloud after their arrival here. The family lived in Ohio some thirteen 
years, and there the father worked at his trade as a shoemaker. Then they 
started out for Minnesota, making the trip up the Mississippi by boat to St. 
Paul, and then by means of a team of horses to Richmond, in Stearns county, 
arriving April 28, 1859. They located on a claim of 160 acres three miles 
west of Richmond, and erected the second frame house built in this vicinity. 
During the Indian troubles they remained on the farm, but thoroughly forti- 



788 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

fied themselves. During the height of the trouble they never locked up for 
the night without collecting all their axes, pitchforks, guns and the like, in 
order to be prepared against sudden attack Amid surroundings, Jacob, the 
subject of this mention, spent his young manhood. He married, and after the 
Indian uprising was over, he and his good wife located on 160 acres of land 
near his father's home. He built a log cabin, 18 by 28, and started farming 
. with an ox team and two cows. Later he added 120 acres to his original farm. 
In time he erected new buildings and added modern equipment. After more 
than thirty-five years on this farm he retired and moved to the village of 
Richmond. He is a Democrat in politics and has served in school office. He 
and his family attend the Catholic Church. Mr. Engelhard married Thracie 
"Wilber, and they had the following children: Valentine (deceased), Eliza- 
beth, Catherine, William, John (deceased), Eva (deceased), George, Joseph 
(deceased), Mary, Glasesus (deceased), and Rose. 

Thracie Wilber, now Mrs. Engelhard, was born in Germany, October 15, 
1842, daughter of Conrad and Elizabeth (Coch) Wilber, who came from Ger- 
many to Westphalia, Clinton county, Mich., bringing their children : John, 
William, Henry, Joseph, Elizabeth, Marian, Catherine and Thracie. In 1858 
Thracie came to Jacob's Prairie in Stearns county to join her brother, John, 
and here she met Mr. Engelhard. 

John Kost, village marshal of Richmond, was born in Johnstown, Penn., 
in 1856, son of Clemens and Theresia (Schaiber) Kost, who brought him to 
Stearns county in 1860. He was reared on the farm, and after his marriage 
settled on what was known as the "disputed" land, near Morris, in Swift 
county, Minn. Since 1882 he has lived continuously in Richmond. He has 
been constable twenty-five years and marshal twenty years, and makes a most 
excellent guardian of the peace. Mr. Kost has many interesting recollections 
of life in the early days, and has many thrilling and amusing stories to tell 
of his experiences in driving an ox team which freighted goods between St. 
Cloud and Winnipeg. 

John Kost was married in 1878 to Anna Kesler, a native of Chilicothe, 
Ohio, daughter of Frank and Cecelia (Riley) Kesler both born in Baden, Ger- 
many. Frank Kesler was born in 1819, came to the United States in 1848 and 
settled in Ohio. Cecelia Riley was born in 1829, the daughter of Bartholo- 
mew Riley, and was brought to Ohio by her parents in 1831. Mr. and Mrs. 
Kost have seven children: Paul (deceased), Frank (deceased), Benjamin, 
Edward, Lydia, Clara (deceased) and Stella. 

John Lang, a prominent merchant of Richmond, was born November 3, 
1867, three miles southwest of that village in Munson township, son of Joseph 
and Elizabeth Lang. He was reared on the home farm and received such 
meagre education as the schools of his time and neighborhood afforded. At 
the age of seventeen he abandoned the farm for commercial pursuits by open- 
ing a general store with Jacob Schlener as a partner. By strict attention to 
business they have built up a good trade, and now have the leading store 
in the village. In addition to this, Mr. Lang deals extensively in real estate. 
He has been president of the village and has served on other public offices. 
Mr. Lang married Mary Kost, daughter of Clemens Kost, a pioneer. She died 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 789 

in 1906 at the age of thirty-three, leaving five children : Albert, Aloysius, 
Sylvester, Benjamin and Lavretta. The present Mrs. Lang was Elizabeth 
Reoder, born in Roscoe, this county, daughter of Nicholas Reoder. The chil- 
dren are Leona and Lucille. Joseph Lang was born in Iowa, the son of Con- 
rad and Barbara Lang, His wife, Elizabeth, was brought to America by her 
parents as an infant of nine weeks. In 1857, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lang came 
to Stearns county and located in Munson township, with the early pioneers. 
They erected a log cabin, and with a yoke of oxen started to break the land. 
They constructed a primitive wagon, making the axles out of wood, and 
furnishing it with wheels hy cutting round slices out of logs. In this wagon 
they drove to St. Paul for supplies. ' During the Indian uprising they sought 
refuge at Richmond. Through hard times they passed to prosperity, and be- 
came substantial members of the community. Joseph Lang died at the age of 
sixty-five and his wife is still living. They had seven children, two boys and 
five girls. 

P. A. N. Vreyens, vice-president of the Richmond State Bank, was born 
in France, August 5, 1842, son of Peter and Mary Adaline Pauline Vreyens, 
who spent the span of their years in France. The father, Peter, was one of 
thirty-six children, and was the father of sixteen. The subject of this brief 
mention lost his mother at the age of two years, and his father at three years 
of age. He came to America in 1868, at 26 years of age, and located in Phila- 
delphia. Two years later he came to Minnesota. He taught school in Henne- 
pin and Carver counties, and was county superintendent of schools in the 
latter county for five years. Subsequently he came to Richmond as an ac- 
countant. It was in 1902 that he entered the Richmond State Bank, as cash- 
ier. In 1907 he became the vice-president. He is a member of the Bankers' 
Association. Mr. Vreyens was married in 1890 to Mary Heffaley, who was 
born in Alsace, France, and died in Richmond, Stearns county, at the age of 
sixty-three. Their one child died at birth. 

John P. Myers, respected pioneer and honored veteran of the Indian cam- 
paigns, was born in Prussia, Germany, October 20, 1842, son of John and Bar- 
bara (Engle) Myers, the pioneers. The parents came to Iowa in an early 
day, bringing their children, Barbara, John P., Elizabeth and Jacob. After 
remaining in Iowa some ten or twelve years, the family came to Stearns 
county and located on a quarter section four miles west of Richmond, in 
Munson township. They began life in a log cabin and gradually achieved 
prosperity. On this farm both parents ended their days. John P. started out 
for himself at about the age of eighteen. During the Indian troubles in 1862 
he took a most active part in the measures for defense. He joined the Home 
Guards, a military organization organized to protect the settlers. The Guards 
patroled the vicinity of Richmond, and gave a sense of security to the pio- 
neers. In October, 1862, the subject of this mention was in the home of Henry 
Thein, a mile west of Richmond, when at about 5 o'clock one morning the place 
was surprised by Indians. The cabin was crowded to its utmost capacity, 
many of the inmates being women and young children. All were sleeping 
on the floor. Twenty or thirty shots entered the cabin, and kitchen utensils 
and crockery were smashed, but the shots were too high to injure the sleeping 



790 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

settlers on the floor, Mr. Myers was one of the detachment that pursued the 
Indians beyond Paynesville toward Norway lake. During the next win- 
ter, Mr, Myers worked for Austin, Freeman & Richardson, co-partners in 
operating a hotel at Richmond. In October, 1863, as a teamster for Henry 
Burbank, the famous stage man, he accompanied Hatch's Independent Bat- 
talion to Pembina, He returned in the spring of 1864. He and Claudius 
Weiber established a brewery in Richmond, this being the first in the county 
outside of St. Cloud, This partnership continued for three years. Then Mr, 
Myers sold out, and engaged in farming in Eden Lake township. Like so 
many of the pioneers, he started farm life in a log cabin and with a yoke 
of oxen. He became a very prosperous man. He was respected by his fellow 
townsmen, and his opinions on public questions were highly valued. He was 
supervisor for eighteen years and also served in other town and school posi- 
tions. For a time he conducted the Washington Hotel, in St, Cloud, but with 
this exception he remained on the farm from the time he purchased it, until 
1903 when he retired and moved to Richmond where he now makes his home. 
Mr. Myers was married in 1866 to Kate Lemm, a native of Luxemburg, a 
daughter of Henry Lemm, of St. Augusta township, this county. There are 
seven children : John, Henry, Kate, Peter, Jacob, Lizzie and Mary. 

Xavier Braun was born in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany, April 16, 1813. He 
was reared in his native province, and as a young man served in the German 
army. In 1846, with his wife, Magdalena Lindel, and his two children, Mary 
and Theofiel, he came to America, and took up farming in Missouri, In 1853 
he came to Stearns county, and took up a claim of 120 acres in sections 25 and 
26, St, Cloud township, A year later he secured this land from the govern- 
ment at $1,25 an acre. He erected a log cabin, and went through many inter- 
esting experiences incident to pioneer life. In 1866 the log cabin was replaced 
with a frame structure, Mr, Braun was respected by all who knew him. He 
died February 29, 1904, His wife died June 12, 1912, Mr, and Mrs, Braun 
had eight children, four of whom are living, Mary married Andrew Fritz, 
Both are dead. They left nine children, Theofiel was killed by the falling 
of a tree, Lena, and her husband, Henry Herschbach, had four sons and 
are both dead, Elizabeth has nine children. Her husband, Julius Kuck is 
dead. Frank died in 1912, He was twice married and by his first wife had 
nine children, Barbara married Edward Doerner, for many years a school- 
teacher in this county. They live in St, Cloud and have eight children, John 
P. is mentioned elsewhere, Gertrude married William Ernst, a St, Cloud 
business man. They have five children, 

John P. Braun, a leading citizen of St, Cloud township, and for many years 
a progressive and scientific farmer, was born within a short distance of the 
house where he now resides, August 15, 1861, son of Xavier and Magdalena 
(Lindel) Braun, He received a good education and has devoted his life to 
farming. He remained on the home farm until 1891, when he removed to 
Mayhew Lake, in Benton county, and purchased 200 acres of land on which 
he opened up a fine farm. He grubbed and broke the land, erected a good 
home and suitable set of outbuildings, and there farmed until 1904, when he 
sold out and came back to St, Cloud township, where he purchased the "Old 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 791 

Braun Homestead," in section 25. Here he successfully farmed until 1913 
when he retired and turned the place over to his son, Alphonse Braun, and his 
step-son, Bernard Landwehr. The homestead is well-equipped with every- 
thing that makes farming and dairying successful. One of the show fea- 
tures of the place is a large silo, constructed of white brick. The 
owners have extensive milk routes in St. Cloud, and are noted for the excellence 
of the products of their dairies. John P. Braun is one of the best known men in 
this part of the country, and is justly respected for his worth as a man and his 
success as a farmer. He followed in the footsteps of a worthy father and his 
sons are worthily following in his. In 1912, the year before he retired, he 
purchased twenty acres of "old college land," adjoining his farm on the 
north, and in 1913 he built the modern home where he now lives. The house 
is splendidly furnished throughout, and is equipped with a hot air furnace, 
the Pitner gasoline lights, running hot and cold water, bath room, cesspool 
and the like, making an ideal country residence in every respect. Mr. Braun 
was married, October 23, 1883, to Susan Rabischung, and to this union were 
born five children : Celia, Alphonse, Clara, Lena and Roman. Alphonse lives 
on the home farm. He married Theresa Landwehr, and has one son, Donald. 
Roman is a bookkeeper for the First National Bank, of St. Cloud. Celia lives 
in Clear Lake, Minn.; Clara lives at home and Lena lives in Chicago. Mrs. 
Susan (Rabischung) Braun died February 4, 1896. On November 16, 1897, 
Mr. Braun married Mrs. Margaret (Voigt) Landwehr, and this union has been 
blessed with three children: Rose, Arthur and Raymond, all in their 'teens. 
The family are members of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, St. 
Cloud. Mr. Braun is connected with the German Roman Catholic Relief Asso- 
ciation of Minnesota and with the St. Joseph Society. 

Margaret (Voigt) Landwehr Braun, wife of J. P. Braun, was born in Ger- 
many, June 2, 1863, daughter of William and Theresa (Meyer) Voigt, who 
came to America in 1879 and located in St. Augusta township, where they 
purchased 200 acres of land in sections 11 and 12. William Voigt lived only 
about a year and a half after coming to America. He died December 27, 1881. 
The farm was conducted by Mrs. Voigt and her children until 1892, when she 
sold it to her son, Andrew. Mrs. Voigt died February 19, 1912. Margaret 
Voigt was married May 5, 1884, to John Landwehr, who was born in St. Au- 
gusta township this county, June 12, 1863, and died in Sauk Rapids township 
December 12, 1893. Mr. and Mrs. Landwehr had five children: Bernard, 
Andrew, Theresa, Adolph and Eleanor. Bernard married Magdalene Metz. 
He and his stepbrother, Alphonse Braun, conduct the "Old Braun Dairy 
Farm." Andrew lives in Los Angeles. Theresa is the wife of Alphonse 
Braun. Adolph assists his brother on the farm. Eleanor is in the convent 
at St. Joseph in this county. 

Arthur Cooper, scientific farmer, stockraiser, and dairyman of St. Cloud 
township, was reared in the home of his foster-parents, Mr. and Mrs. John 
Cooper, and now conducts the famous Lynden Grove farm, just outside the 
limits of the city. In 1911 he erected his present beautiful home. It is roomy 
and comfortable, and furnished with every improvement and convenience, 
making one of the "show places" of the neighborhood. 



792 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Lynden Grove is an ideal farm just outside the city limits of St. Cloud. 
It contains 400 acres that would make glad the heart of any farmer, because 
of its rich soil, and nearness to the city. John Cooper, several years ago, de- 
cided to make it the home of one of the finest herds of Shorthorns to be found 
in the Northwest. Being a man of excellent judgment and business ability, 
and intensely interested in the development of the state, he selected a type 
of animal that in his opinion would be best suited to the needs of the farmers 
of Minnesota. That he succeeded in this is proven by the wide demand for 
stock from his herd. For several years prior to the death of John Cooper, the 
farm was under the management of Arthur C. Cooper, who is now the pro- 
prietor of this splendid property. 

Arthur C. Cooper is a practical stockman, and takes personal supervision 
of the farm and the care of his herd. Whenever the Cooper Shorthorns are 
exhibited, they make an excellent showing, and many are the prizes won by 
them in state and national contests. In addition to Shorthorns of the best full 
blood, and good Jersey stock, considerable attention is paid to the raising of 
full blood Berkshire hogs, and Mr. Cooper's success in this direction has 
been as marked as in the cattle line. The swine have proved to be hardy and 
productive and easily fattened, the three qualities that win in the making of 
pork. Arthur C. Cooper is not only a successful stockman and farmer, but 
he is possessed with an ambition to help his town and county. He has placed 
the citizens of the entire county under obligations to him for five annual ex- 
hibits at the Minnesota State Fair, all of which have been most creditable 
and a most desirable advertisement for this section of the country. He is an 
advocate of good roads, and was the first man in this county to make use of 
the split-log drag. Like his predecessor he is a member of the Minnesota 
State Agricultural Society, and he is also a member of the executive com- 
mittee of the Minnesota Live Stock Association and the Minnesota Crop Im- 
provement Association, in the last named of which he has been particularly 
active. In St. Cloud he affiliates with the Elks and the Commercial Club. Since 
1905, Mr. Cooper has operated a cream route in St. Cloud, supplying the people 
of that city with pure unadulterated cream fresh on alternate days. 

Arthur Cooper was married June 24, 1896, and they have five children: 
Agnes M., George C, John C, and Robert and Randall, twins. The members 
of the family are loyal supporters of the Methodist Episcopal Church at St. 
Cloud. 

John Cooper, for four years president of the Minnesota State Agricultural 
Society, was born in Canton, in the mountain districts of Pennsylvania, in 1836. 
In 1856 he came to Minnesota, and settled near the present village of Bethel, 
in Anoka county. In 1862 he enlisted in the Eighth Minnesota Volunteer 
Infantry and followed the fortunes of that company as commissary sergeant 
until the close of the war, serving against the Indians of the Northwest and 
against the Confederates of the South. It was with this company that Mr. 
Cooper first came to St. Cloud. After the war he returned to St. Cloud, and 
entered the employ of Josiah E. Hayward, as manager of the Grand Central 
Hotel. After some years in this employ, he married Malinda, the widow of 
John Hayward, and moved to the Hayward homestead on Second street and 




.lOllN TOO PER 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 793 

Eighth avenue south. After that time, the interests of Mr. Cooper were diversi- 
fied. At various periods he had extensive lumber interests and in this way 
placed himself in comfortable circumstances. His hobby, however, was farm- 
ing. "Lynden Grove Farm" just outside of St. Cloud, was his especial pride 
and it was here that his famous pure-blooded Shorthorns were raised. From 
county and district, his reputation spread throughout the state, and he became 
president of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society which has the state fair 
in charge. He was a member of the board of managers of this society for 
twenty-four years. He and N. P. Clarke were among those who worked for 
the abolishment of the sale of liquor on the state fair grounds. Many of the 
policies which he advocated have since been put in force, and his adminis- 
tration marked years of great progress and improvement. He was prominent 
in the politics of the state and county, but did not seek office for himself. He 
did the city of St. Cloud excellent service as coucilman, and served on various 
important temporary committees from time to time. For many years he was 
deputy collector of internal revenue for this district. He died at Riverside, 
California, January 7, 1907. 

In addition to his connection with the Agricultural Society, Mr. Cooper 
will long be remembered for his work on the Minnesota State Board of For- 
estry, and for his part in bringing the Minnesota State Reformatory to St. 
Cloud. As a member of the Forestry Board he showed his true love of nature. 
He was farsighted, and saw the evil consequences of denuding the state of its 
valuable forests. He was one of the forerunners of that movement that is 
now known under the head of "Conservation." He, together with D. H. Free- 
man and D. E. Meyer, were active in securing the legislation which located the 
State Reformatory at St. Cloud, and appropriated $100,000 for preliminary 
expenses. He was one of the original board of directors and served contin- 
uously until the Reformatory passed under the jurisdiction of the State Board 
of Control. Mr. Cooper was noted for his sterling honesty and distinctive 
personality. His word was never to be impeached, and throughout his life 
he lived up to the last iota of what he professed. He was successful in what- 
ever he undertook, and in the early days did much for the community, sacri- 
ficing himself and his own interests that the neighborhood might be benefited. 
Personally he was a man of high principles, of pure life and of genial dispo- 
sition, and his death was a severe loss to the community. Aside from the 
society of which he was president, and the numerous boards on which he 
served, he belonged to the Masonic Order, the Old Settlers' Association, and 
the Grand Army. 

Mr. and Mrs. John Cooper adopted two sons, whom they reared from boy- 
hood. Charles A. married Hattie Russell and lives in Idaho. Arthur lives 
on the home farm in St. Cloud township. Mrs. John Cooper resides at River- 
side, California. 

Henry Hess, of the firm of Hess & Son, brickmakers, township of St. 
Cloud, was born in Carver county, Minnesota, March 1, 1861, son of Peter and 
Elizabeth (Scharer) Hess. Peter Hess was born in Prussia, and upon coming 
to America, located in Burlington, Wisconsin, settling in Carver county, Min- 
nesota, about 1855. In 1865 he moved to St. Paul where he died three weeks 



794 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

later. Henry Hess was taken to St. Paul as a child, and he supported the 
family by blacking shoes and selling papers after the death of his father. The 
family moved back to Carver county in 1872. Mr, Hess learned the trade of 
brick making, worked in his native county for a while, and in 1877 went to 
:^rainerd, Minn., where he also worked at his trade, finally taking charge of a 
yard. In 1881 he conducted a yard at Moorhead, Minn. In 1882 he came to St. 
Cloud, and after working a month for William Kreugel, he formed a partner- 
ship with Michael Bandel. Later Mr. Bandel sold his interests to John Moog. 
In 1906, Mr. Moog retired from the business, and Mr. Hesse 's son, John J., was 
received as a partner. The concern has a large trade, employs a large number 
of men, and ships extensively to western points. The company has also fur- 
nished brick for some of the best blocks that have been erected in Minneapolis 
in the past few years. Aside from the brick business they own and operate 
a large farm of 271 acres on quite an extensive scale. Henry Hess is a member 
of the Catholic Order of Foresters and of the Modern Woodmen of America. 
He has done good service as a member of the board of supervisors of St. Cloud 
township as well as director of the school board of District No. 3. Mr. Hess's 
mother died at Gray Eagle, Minn., about ten years ago. On April 3, 1883, 
Henry Hess married Berdina Laudenbach, a native of St. Cloud township. 
They have had four children: John J., Carrie, Mary and Alma. John J., who 
is his father's partner, is one of the rising young men of the township. He 
married Adeline Neiser, and has four children. He is at present clerk of St. 
Cloud township. 

Jacob Jansky, a leading farmer of St. Cloud township, was born in Kreis, 
Breislauf, Ault Lyarrael, Germany, in 1855. He came to America in 1874, 
and worked for farmers in St. Cloud township, this county. A year later his 
parents arrived, and purchased a farm of eighty acres in section 21, St. Cloud 
township. In 1886 the parents and one of their sons moved to North Prairie, 
in Morrison county, and since then, Jacob, the subject of this sketch, has oper- 
ated the home farm. He has remodeled the home and made many other im- 
provements. Mr. Jansky is one of the progressive men of the neighborhood, 
and has always taken an active part in everything pertaining to the welfare 
of the township. He is now treasurer of the town and has occupied that posi- 
tion at various times for eleven years. He has been on the school board of 
district 47 for fifteen years. He and his family attend the church of the Im- 
maculate Conception. Mr. Jansky married Caroline Zekala, who was born in 
Grindorf, Kris, Oppel, Germany, in 1859, and was brought to North Prairie 
this county, by her parents in 1873. Mr. and Mrs. Jansky have been blessed 
with eleven children : Mary, Paul, Rose, John, Annie, Catherine, Joseph, Peter, 
Francis, Matilda and Theresa. Mary was born June 25, 1880, and is now 
Sister Mary Ernestine, living in a convent at White Earth, Minn., and teach- 
ing in the parochial school there. Paul was born December 29, 1881, and 
married Mary Goike. Rose was born September 4, 1883, married Frank Sob- 
kowiak, and has four children : Stephen, Alphonse, Oliva and Joseph. John 
was born February 9, 1885, married Tillie Langer, and has three children: 
Richard, Alvina and Urban (deceased). Annie was born February 10, 1887. 
Catherine was born March 11, 1889, and died January 8, 1890. Joseph was 




^^^^ 



>*>^k1^^^y 





HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 795 

born December 7, 1890; Peter, October 10, 1892; Francis, August 22, 1894; 
Matilda, August 22, 1896; and Theresa, September 23, 1898. 

Henry Krebs was born in Eichsfeld, Germany, June 12, 1826. After grad- 
uating from the common schools in his home town, he entered the University 
of "Heiligen Staat," and later the University of Gottingen, where he gradu- 
ated with high honors. He came to St. Louis in 1846 where he studied the 
English language and from there moved to West Point, Iowa, where he taught 
school for a number of years. It was at this place that he was married to 
Mary Anna Vossberg. In 1858 they moved to St. Augusta township in Stearns 
county, where he was the first teacher, and where he continually made his home 
until the time of his death, teaching this school for nearly twenty-five years 
with the exception of the two terms which he served in the legislature. He 
also served two terms as county school superintendent, and many years as 
town clerk, an office he still held at the time of his death, which occurred on 
May 1, 1906, having nearly reached the age of 80 years. He was likewise 
prominent in church affairs, having served as organist and leader of the choir 
for twenty-five years. His wife had preceded him in death, having died April 
18, 1904. He was a man of scholarly attainments and had the respect of the 
entire community and being of noble character his death was greatly mourned. 
He had at various times been offered inducements to go to larger places to 
teach, but he preferred to live among his friends and relatives. Eight children 
were born to Mr. and Mrs. Krebs, of whom Hubard and Catherine died in in- 
fancy, and Theresa Goenner, nee Krebs, died in 1906. Those surviving are 
Mrs. Mary Goenner, of Clear Lake, Sherburn county ; Mrs. Beata Wildenborg, 
of St. Cloud ; Mrs. Josephina Kilian, of St. Cloud township ; Richard Krebs, 
residing on the old homestead at St. Augusta, and George Krebs, of St. Cloud. 

Henry Kilian was born in Hessen, near the city of Cassel, June 24, 1820. 
He attended the school of his native land, where he received a thorough edu- 
cation. After he graduated from school he learned the trade of weaver, which 
trade he followed until he emigrated to America. In 1849 he was married to 
Anna Elizabeth Veihmann. To this union there were born eight children, 
five of whom died in infancy. The remaining three, Elizabeth, Theresia and 
Henry, are still living in Stearns county. In 1851 he decided to cast his lot 
with the many thousand emigrants who found it impossible to better their 
financial circumstances in the old country, and he and his wife took passage 
on a sailboat for America. After leaving the city of Hamburg, it took them 
nine weeks and four days to cross the Atlantic and reach the city of New 
Orleans, from whence they came up the Mississippi river to St. Louis, and 
from there up the Missouri to a little station in the state of Missouri, called 
Boomville, where they disembarked and selected a place about five miles 
from Jefferson City, in the state of Missouri. Here they lived for two years, 
but on account of the unhealthy climate, both having been ill most of the time 
during the two years with fever, he determined to find a more suitable loca- 
tion. This was the time when reports of the great country called Minnesota 
were being spread across the southern and eastern states. Mr. Kilian and his 
wife again took passage on a river boat and came in this way as far as St. 
Paul. There they hired a team and a wagon, paying $70 for transportation 



796 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

for themselves and their few hundred pounds of baggage, to Sauk Rapids, at 
which point they arrived April 28, 1854. They were ferried across the Missis- 
sippi in a small boat by the late Abbott Alexius Edelbrock, who was then 
a mere lad. Mr. Kilian then wended his way down the Mississippi river about 
five miles and selected a place at the foot of what is known as the ' ' Thousand 
Islands." He preempted this land as the state had not been organized yet 
and no homestead law was in effect. This place later was made the steam- 
boat landing during the seasons of low water, and thereby became the gate- 
way through which many hundreds of the old settlers passed to their future 
welfare and happiness. Here Mr. Kilian erected a warehouse and conducted 
a boarding house. It was here that his true character revealed itself through 
the assistance which he gave to many new comers in this great wilderness. 
He was also a friend to the early missionaries whom he many times accom- 
panied through the wilderness to the distant missions, carrying their bag- 
gage and otherwise assisting them. This part of the country at that time was 
really the home of the Indians, an Indian village being located on his land 
only a few rods from the house. But Mr. Kilian was so friendly with them 
that he could leave his family for a week at a time while he was helping to 
erect many of the first buildings in the city of St. Cloud. The Indians never 
molested them in any way, and actually showed their willingness to assist him 
wherever they could, bringing them game and fish and some of their hand- 
work, such as moccasins ornamented with beads and the like. This friendship 
was not forgotten by a family of Indians who made a trip down the Mississippi 
river as late as 1880, when they stopped at his place to renew the old friend- 
ship. By thrift and good management, Mr. Kilian became quite prosperous, 
and the orginal farm of one hundred and eleven acres was increased by him, 
and later by his son, Henry, until today it comprises 320 acres of the finest 
farm land in this part of the country, all in a high state of cultivation, with 
many thousands of dollars worth of improvements thereon. He died October 
10, 1912, having almost reached the age of ninety-three years. His wife pre- 
ceded him in death a little over two years, having died September 18, 1910. 
They were honored and respected by everyone who knew them. Both being 
very religious they materially assisted in the organization and erection of 
every church in their community from the very beginning to the time of their 
death. The surviving children are : Elizabeth Toenyes, who now resides 
in the town of St. Augusta, where she owns a fine farm of 240 acres ; Theresia 
Kloeppner, also of the town of St. Augusta, where she owns a very fine farm 
of 280 acres ; and Henry, who resides on the old homestead in St. Cloud town- 
ship. In 1888, Henry Kilian married Josephina W. Krebs. To this union 
eight children were born. Two died in infancy. Those living are : Elizabeth 
Marie Grossmeyer, who lives in the township of St. Augusta; Henry Robert, 
Henrietta Josephina, George Andrew, Lidvina, Mary Helen, and Julitta Beata, 
all of whom live at home with their parents. Mr. Kilian is engaged in the 
breeding of pure-blooded stock, making a specialty of Shorthorn cattle, Poland- 
China swine, and Pereheron horses. He is highly respected in his home town- 
ship where he holds office as chairman of the town board. 

Jacob N. Lahr, a substantial farmer of St. Cloud township, was born in 




# 





HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 797 

section 5, in the same township, December 10, 1865, son of Michael and Mary 
(Schmit) Lahr. He received a good district school education, and remained 
on his father's place until he married, at which time he purchased an adjoin- 
ing farm on which he still resides. He has a well cultivated farm, suitable 
buildings, and a full supply of the necessary tools and machinery. He is 
supervisor of the township, and has been on the school board for many years. 
Jacob N. Lahr was married June 14, 1892, to Barbara Heafner, who was born 
in Austria, came to America with her parents about 1878, lived with them in 
St. Joseph township, this county, for a while, and then moved with them to St. 
Wendel, in this county, where they engaged in farming. Her father died in 
1890, and her mother in 1891. Mr. -and Mrs. Lahr have six children : Ida 
M., Arthur P., Edwin D., Florence A., Verena M., and Elmer A. L. 

John Schwarz, the pioneer, was born in Trimbs, Germany, in 1824. He 
was reared in his native land and served in the German army. In 1852 he 
came to America. He lived for a time in Buffalo, New York, and Chicago, 
Illinois. In 1854 he came to St. Cloud and purchased 160 acres of government 
land in section 15. Here he erected a log cabin, and started in to cultivate 
the land. In 1862 he purchased a frame house in Sauk Rapids and moved 
it near the site of the log cabin. Mr. Schwarz conducted farming operations 
on this farm until his death, April 30, 1892. John Schwarz married Catherina 
Rengel, who was born in Germany, in 1832, the daughter of Peter and Anna 
Catherina (Schwab) Rengel. The family came to America in 1847 and located 
in Chicago. Mrs. Schwarz is now in her eighty-second year. She is a wonder- 
fully well preserved woman and in the full possession of all her faculties. 
Her experience ranges over nearly sixty years' of Stearns county life. She 
is thoroughly informed in regard to the early history of the county, and is an 
interesting and instructive talker on that subject. Her stories of the early 
days would make a valuable volume in themselves. Mr. and Mrs. Schwarz had 
twelve children, of whom five are living. They are : Mary, Peter, Annie, Lid- 
wina and Andrew. Mary is now Mrs. Peter Irmiter, and has one child, Hubert. 
They live in Chicago. Peter married Susan Schindler. They have eight chil- 
dren : Celia, Leo, Rosa, Raymond, Ezelda, Lidwina, Arthur and Marcellus, and 
live in Watkins, Minn. Annie lives in St. Cloud, Lidwina lives home. Andrew 
lives in St. Paul. He married Mary Jackale and they have three children: 
Evelyn, Roman and Adeline. The deceased children were : Joseph, George, 
Rosa (first), Rosa (second), Sebastian, Mathias and Anton. Rosa (second) 
was married to Conrad Fuchs, and left five children : Catherine, Amelia, Peter, 
Lidwina and Clara. The oldest of these children, Catherine, married Michael 
Warnert, and they have a son, Herman. 

Henry Storkamp, dairyman of St. Cloud township, was born in West- 
phalia, Germany, February 2, 1848, son of Barney and Elizabeth (Corhoue) 
Storkamp. He brought his wife and four children to America, in 1881, landed 
at Baltimore, Md., and came directly to St. Augusta township, Stearns county, 
where he rented a farm for a year. Then they moved to Minden township, 
Benton county, purchased a farm of 180 acres, erected a fine brick residence 
and a good set of out buildings and became prosperous farmers. In 1908, Mr. 
Storkamp came to St. Cloud township, and purchased a farm of forty acres 



798 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

in section 23. He has dairy routes in St. Cloud, and although he has been 
here but five years, is already highly regarded in city and township. Mr. 
Storkamp served one year as a member of the board of supervisors of Minden 
township in Benton county. Mr. Storkamp married Elizabeth Eversmann, a 
native of Germany. They have nine children: Barney, Ferdinand, Henry, 
Fritz, Martin, George, Frances, Elizabeth, and John T. Barney married Mary 
Kiffmeyer, and they have nine children. Ferdinand married Otilia Neeser and 
lives in Sherburne county, this state. Henry married Anna Sand and lives 
in St. Cloud. Fritz married Julia Walz, and lives in St. Cloud. Martin lives 
in St. Cloud and is married to Frances Schmit. George lives in Minneapolis. 
He is married to Bertha Sand. Frances married Toby Gertken, and they live 
in St. Cloud. Elizabeth lives at home. 

John T. Storkamp, who is in partnership with his father in the dairy 
business, was born in Benton county, and received a good education in the 
public schools and in the business college at St. Cloud. He has charge of his 
father's dairy route in St. Cloud. He and his father are both intelligent and 
progressive men, and are rapidly forging to the front. 

Benedict Aschenbrenner, one of the leading citizens of St. Joseph village, 
was born on the home farm, sections 15 and 16, this township, September 1, 
1865, son of George and Leopaldina (Kost) Aschenbrenner. He attended the 
schools of his vicinity, and remained on the farm until he was twenty-one years 
of age. At that age he came to the village of St. Joseph, and operated the 
steam plant at the convent of St. Benedict for two years. Then, with Mass, 
Pallanch & Aschenbrenner, he operated the St. Joseph Rolling Mill at St. 
Joseph for some seven years. In May, 1897, in company with Martin Loso and 
Joseph M. Linneman, he started the St. Joseph Creamery. Later Louis Rom- 
denne was admitted to the firm, but his interests are now owned by Mr. Asch- 
brenner. The business of this creamery is constantly growing. During the 
six warm months of the year, the average weekly output is 4,160 pounds. Dur- 
ing the winter months it is 1,600 pounds. While Mr. Aschenbrenner has been 
unusually successful in his business, he has also found time for public service, 
and his work as president of the village of St. Joseph for many years past has 
been highly appreciated. He is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters. 
Benedict Aschenbrenner married Catherine Loso, and they have nine children. 

George Aschenbrenner was born in Munich, Bavaria, in August, 1818, 
and was reared by his grandfather and grandmother, his mother having died 
when he was very young. In 1840, shortly after he attained his majority, he 
came to America, and located at Johnstown, Penn,, and it was there that he 
was married. In 1854 he and his wife came to Minnesota. They selected a claim 
in sections 15 and 16, but did not then locate here. Instead they went on to 
Little Falls, where he worked as a lumberman. It was about a year later 
when they came back to Stearns county and took up their residence on their 
claim. They first lived in a log house, but a short time later replaced this 
with a larger structure of logs, which in turn gave way in 1869 to a commodi- 
ous frame structure. Mr. Aschenbrenner died in 1874. His widow survived 
until September 11, 1911. Mr. Aschenbrenner, by trade, was a bread maker 
and candle maker, and during his life time in St. Joseph, made all the candles 




A.S('llK\l'.l?KNM-;ii 



HISTORY OF STEAHNS COUNTY ^ 799 

used in the Catholic church here. By his wife, Leopaldina Kost, whom he 
married in 1849, Mr. Aschenbrenner has ten children, of whom eight are now 
living: Mary, Anthony, Susan, Theresa, Monica, Benedict, John and Anna. 
Mary is now Sister Mary Ida, of the Order of St. Benedict. She is located 
at St. Joseph. Anthony married Christina Burggraff. They have three sons, 
and have adopted two girls. Susan married Gerhard Ablen, and they have 
nine children living. Therese and Monica live on the home place. Benedict 
is one of the leading citizens of St. Joseph. John is a farmer of St. Joseph 
township. He married Anna Friederich, and they have seven children. Anna 
is the wife of Carl Remley, and they have five children. 

Frank X. Bechtold. a leading farmer, of St. Joseph township, was born in 
St. Paul, this state, on May 12, 1862, son of John George and Therese (Vogle) 
Bechtold. John G. and his parents came to America in 1852, making_the voy- 
age in company with a family friend, Franz Sigel, who afterward became the 
famous Civil War general, and the distinguished victor of Pea Ridge. The 
family settled in Ramsey county, near St. Paul, and secured 400 acres of land. 
In 1864 John George Bechtold, and his family, came to St. Joseph township, 
and secured land in section 22, part of which had previously been owned by 
John Payne and part by Moses Morrison. John George Bechtold died in 1901 
at the age of seventy-two. His wife died in 1911 at the age of seventy-nine. 
They were the parents of nine children, six of whom are living: Charles, 
Theresa, Rosa, Frank X., Ignatius, Anna (deceased), and Joseph. Charles 
married Mary Hoffman, of St. Joseph, and they have five children. Theresa 
married J. Barney Nilling, of St. Cloud, and they have four children. Rosa 
is Sister Mary Paul, of the Order of St. Benedict, and is stationed at New 
Munich. Ignatius married Kathrina Frederich, and they have five children. 
Anna married John Michalik, and has two sons. Joseph is married and a 
jeweler in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Frank X. was reared on the home 
farm and attended school in his neighborhood district. When he was nine- 
teen years he started to learn the carpenters' trade, and after he had mastered 
it he worked at this occupation for several years. In time he bought 269 acres 
in sections 22 and 23, and started farming. This tract he has since increased 
to 340 acres. His farm is one of the "show farms" of the township. His 
buildings are commodious and sightly and in a perfect condition of repair. 
Mr. Bechtold being a carpenter, has taken the deepest pride in his buildings 
and fences, and his skilful hand is at once apparent. In addition to carrying 
on diversified farming along the latest approved lines, Mr. Bechtold makes 
a specialty of Guernsey cattle, in the breeding of which he is an enthusiast. He 
is in every way an enterprising man, and is a leader in his community. Mr. 
Bechtold married Lena Lauermann, daughter of Nicholas Lauermann, an early 
resident of St. Joseph. They have twelve children: Rosa (a trained nurse), 
Abalonia, Peter, Albert, Kate, Cecelia, Joseph, Martin, Cornelia, Frank, John 
and Hildegaard. 

Ignatius Bechtold, a modern farmer of St. Joseph township, was born on 
the home farm in section 22, this township, October 5, 1865, son of John G. 
and Therese (Vogle) Bechtold, the pioneers. He attended the district schools 
and was reared to agricultural pursuits. He is one of the active men of the 



800 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

community, and has a comfortable home and commodious outbuildings. His 
farm is one of the best in the township. He married Katrina Frederich, and 
they have five children : Helena, Alois, Beno, Lawrence and Theresa. 

William T. Brinkman, a farmer of St. Joseph, was born in Rockville, 
Stearns conuty, January 11, 1864, son of George Henry and Susan L. (Taylor) 
Brinkman. George Henry Brinkman was born in Brunswick, Germany, Janu- 
ary 15, 1829, and came to America in 1849. He located at Hunter, New York, 
in the Catskill region, and there followed his trade as a cabinet maker. From 
there he went to Massachusetts, where he remained some five years. He was 
there married, April 15, 1855, to Susan L. Taylor, a native of South Worthing- 
ton, Hampden county, Mass. In the same month they came west and settled 
at St. Anthony, now a part of Minneapolis. In 1856 he came to Rockville, in 
Stearns county, and selected a claim. He left his wife, and his two brothers, 
to hold the claim, while he worked for another year in St. Anthony. Then 
he came to Rockville, and started his farming operations. In 1864 he served 
several months in Company A, First Minnesota Heavy Artillery. After his dis- 
charge he went to St. Cloud, where his family had previously moved. How- 
ever, about a year later he once more took up his residence on the farm. While 
in Rockville he served in several offices, including that of treasurer, a position 
he held for some fifteen years. In 1895 he moved to California, where he died 
April 6, 1910. His wife passed away February 10, 1912. Mr. and Mrs. George 
Henry Brinkman had five children. Elizabeth is the wife of Jacob Staples; 
George H. died in 1882 ; William T. is a farmer of St. Joseph ; Ida M. is the 
wife of H. E. Davis ; Minna S. is the wife of C. M. Templin. William T. Brink- 
man attended the district schools, and also received a part of his education 
at home. He has devoted his life to agricultural pursuits. It was in 1903 that 
he moved to his present place in section 34. He has erected a good house, 
roomy barns, and other suitable outbuildings. He is one of the progressive 
men of the township, and has been very successful in his life work. Mr. Brink- 
man married Ada A., daughter of Ivory and Rosetta (Alden) Staples, and a 
native of Maine. They have three promising children: Henry S., born Feb- 
ruary 9, 1902 ; Leslie T., born September 24, 1903 ; and Arthur W., born April 
1, 1906. 

Peter Loso was born in Prussia, Germany, February 24, 1824, and came 
to America as a young man. He worked in various places in the United States, 
and came to Stearns county in 1854. He took a claim in sections 9 and 10, 
St. Joseph township, and upon a part of his land, the village of St. Joseph 
was afterward platted. He took an active part in the growth of the village. 
He built a flouring mill and operated a saw mill, and after a time erected the 
Washington House, the first hotel in the village. This hotel he conducted 
until his death, October 27, 1877. His wife died in 1913. Peter Loso married 
Margaret Fiedler, whose parents were early settlers. Mr. and Mrs. Loso had 
ten children, of whom there are living seven : Margaret, Martin, Mary, Michael, 
Katherine, Frank and Peter. Margaret married W. J. Lewis. Martin is men- 
tioned elsewhere in this work. Mary is the wife of J. W. Koop. JVEichael 
married Madaline Kramer and they have six children : Leona, Clarence, Cor- 
nelia, Melba, Lewis and Peter. Katherine is the wife of Benjamin Aschen- 




MR. AND MRS. ADAxM YACiHR 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 801 

brenner, and they have nine children. Frank married Frances Gretsch. Peter 
married Mena Bernick, and they have six children. 

John Herzberger was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, January 18, 
1826, and was there married to Isabeth Dressier, a daughter of John Dressier, 
who became one of the early pioneers of Stearns county. Mr. and Mrs. Herz- 
berger came to America in 1855, and found their way westward to Minnesota, 
and eventually located in section 25, St. Joseph township, where they erected 
a log cabin, started breaking the land with the assistance of a pair of oxen, 
and lived true pioneer lives. As time passed they prospered. When they came 
here, they brought with them their oldest son, John, Jr., born in Germany. 
Three more children, Mary, Katherine and Margaret, were born here. Kather- 
ine is Mrs. Adam Yager. Mary is Mrs. Frederick Wendt. Margaret died at 
the age of six years. 

Katherine (Herzberger) Yager, who supplies the information for this 
family record, was born May 17, 1862, and was reared in St. Joseph town- 
ship. One of the teachers who made the greatest impression on her life was 
Fred Schilplin, Sr., now deceased. In 1883, she was married to Adam Yager. 
Theirs was a long and happy life together, and the fruit thereof was twelve 
splendid children. But their happiness was brought to a sudden close, March 
16, 1907, when Mr. Yager, and the daughter, Edith, were killed by a railroad 
train. While Mrs. Yager has never fully recovered from the shock of these 
sudden deaths, she feels that she still has much to be thankful for in the pos- 
session of her admirable family. She has borne up under her sorrow, keeping 
herself young in mind and heart, and has made an ideal companion for her 
children. The family lives on the well-improved farm of 360 acres, originally 
owned by Mrs. Yager's grandfather, John Dressier. The place is operated by 
Mrs. Yager's sons. This splendid farm, with its many comforts, its good crops, 
and its well-kept live stock, makes a home well worth having, and one of 
which the family is justly proud. The twelve children born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Yager are as follows : John is a veterinary surgeon. He is married, and has 
one daughter, Edna A. Edward married Beckey West. Edith, the twin sister 
of Edward, was killed at the age of twenty-one, in the sad accident above re- 
ferred to. George is a veterinary surgeon. Emma L. died at the age of three 
months. William, Robert and Arthur operate the home farm. Benjamin A. 
is dead. The three youngest are triplets. They are : Ethel Emma Josephine, 
Elma Michael Theodore, and Ellen Eva Luratie. Of these Elma Michael Theo- 
dore died at the age of two years and seven months. 

John Henry Linnemann, one of the first settlers in the vicinity of St. 
Joseph village, was born in Hanover, Germany, August 11, 1825, and was there 
reared. As a youth he learned the stone masons' trade. In 1852 he came to 
America, and found employment at his trade in Lafayette, Indiana. There his 
mother joined him. There also he was married. In 1854 he and his wife 
started for Stearns county. They drove to Rock Island, 111., and there took a 
boat to St. Paul. From that city they came by ox team to St. Joseph, arriv- 
ing in September, 1854, and settling in section 3. Quite a German colony ar- 
rived at about the same time. Mr. Linnemann erected first a log house and 
then a log store, which was a great convenience to the early settlers. This 



802 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

store was a primitive affair, with no flooring, and its supplies consisted only 
of the necessities. As time went on, he opened his log house as an inn for the 
accommodation of travelers. He also kept the barns at which the stage 
horses were accommodated. In 1862 Mr. Linnemann erected a mill on the 
present site of the village of St. Joseph. First he used a windmill for power, 
or when that failed a patient horse was used. Later he purchased an old 
engine, which was duly installed. The mill had three run of stones and a 
capacity of about thirty barrels daily. Mr. Linnemann conducted this mill 
for some twenty-two years. Mr. Linnemann was married about 1853 to Mar- 
garet DeHahan, who was bom December 23, 1833, and died May 7, 1883. There 
were eleven children born to this union : Anna C. (deceased), Jennie A., Mary 
M., Regena M. (deceased), Joseph M., Rebecca M., Henry W., Nicholas L., Her- 
man J., Margaret B., and Alphonse M. By her first husband, Charles J. De- 
Meules, now deceased, Jennie A. had two children, one of whom is now living. 
By her present husband, Herbert N. Richardson, she has three children. The 
family lives in Minneapolis. Lena M. married John Henry Koop, and they 
have three children. Regena M. died shortly after her marriage to Wiliam J. 
Koop. Joseph M. is a prominent business man of St. Joseph. Rebecca M. mar- 
ried Daniel E. Regan. They live in Twin Falls, Idaho. Henry W. married 
Emelie Murphy, and has four children. He lives in Brainerd, Minn. Nicholas 
L. is a practicing physician, in Duluth, Minn. Herman J. married Sarah Canan. 
Margaret B. teaches school in Minneapolis. Alphonse lives in Duluth. For 
his second wife, John Henry Linnemann married Angeline Kraemer, November 
7, 1885. She is still living, and is in the possession of knowledge such as few 
people command regarding the beginning and growth of this county. She is 
considered an authority on all subjects pertaining to the early history of this 
part of the state, and in all such matters she is deeply interested. 

Joseph M. Linnemann, a successful merchant of St. Joseph, was born in 
St. Joseph, this county, March 5, 1862, son of John Henry and Margaret (De- 
Hahan) Linnemann, the pioneers. He attended the schools of his neighbor- 
hood, and also had the advantages of the commercial course at St. John's 
University, Collegeville, this county. Even as a boy he had been interested 
in the mercantile business, and upon his return from college he gradually be- 
gan to assume the responsibilities of his father's store. Since his father's 
death he has been sole manager. He carries a good line of stock, and enjoys 
the confidence of the community. He is a popular man, and is a member of 
the St. Joseph Society. Joseph M. Linnemann was married May 20, 1884, to 
Elizabeth Blommer. Of their ten children, there are living, six: Martin, Ed- 
ward, Marguerite, Alois, Edmund and Herman. 

George Adam Marshall, one of the oldest living pioneers of St. Joseph 
township, was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, July 19, 1838, son of Conrad 
and Margaret (Sehmitt) Marshall, the former of whom was born in Hesse- 
Darmstadt, in 1808, and the latter on February 7, 1805. It was on November 
11, 1853, that the family set sail for America, arriving in February, 1854. The 
five, father and mother, George A., Kunigunda and Conrad, landed at New 
York, and then went to Utica, in the same state. Later they found their way 
to Galena, 111., there took a boat to St. Paul, and from thence came by team 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 803 

to St. Joseph, arriving June 19, 1855. They secured 160 acres in section 15, 
and built a shanty. This was later replaced with a frame house. Other build- 
ings were erected from time to time as necessity required, and the farm was 
gradually developed and improved. The father died May 10, 1881, at the 
age of seventy-three years, and the mother in 1888, at the age of eighty-three 
years. George A. has continued to live on the home farm, and has attained 
prominence in the community, as well as success in his personal endeavors. 
While he has not cared to mingle prominently in public affairs, he did good 
service for ten years as clerk of the township, also as clerk of School District 
No. 9, for many years. At the age of fifty he was considered one of the finest 
looking men in the county, and he. is still wonderfully well preserved. He 
keeps well abreast of the times, and is a member of the Stearns County Old 
Settlers' Association. 

Mr. Marshall was married on November 9, 1866, to Anna Mary Guck, a 
native of Bavaria, Germany. She died September 21, 1905. To this union were 
born ten children, of whom eight are living. Anna teaches school in Ottertail 
county. Mary married Carl Hearung, and they have thirteen children. Otilia 
married Richard Nathe, and they have eight children. Theresa, of Minneapo- 
lis. Josepha married Albert Litzinger, and they have five children. They live 
at Waite Park, this county. Rose lives at home. Cecelia married Frank Drea- 
woes, and they have four children. They also live at Waite Park. Joseph lives 
at home. He married Helena Schulte. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Carl 
Hearung are: Mary (deceased), Otilia (now Sister Verona, 0. S. B.), Anna 
(now Mrs. Joseph Hoesch), Bernadena (now Mrs. William Schoen), John, 
Aloysius, Romana, Rosa, Edelbert, Caroline, Angelbert, Fred and George. The 
children of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Nathe are : Emelia, Alma, Peter, Reinert, 
Stella, Evelyn, Otto and George. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Litz- 
inger are : Conrad, Fred, Helen, Isabel and James. The children of Mr. and 
Mrs. Frank Dreawoes are: Adolph (deceased), Loretta (deceased), Lorina 
and Cjrrill. 

John Rassier, a worthy, substantial and respected pioneer, was born in 
Losheim, Germany, in 1823, and was there reared and educated. It was in 
1854 that he came to America to try his fortune in the new world. For a year 
he lived in Chicago. In 1855 he came to Minnesota, and located in section 
35, St. Wendel township, this county, where he eventually secured 208 acres 
of rich land. He erected a small cabin, and started to break and cultivate the 
land. Starting under the most primitive conditions, he gradually worked his 
way to prosperity. He improved and developed his farm and in time replaced 
the original log structures with more modern frame buildings. After the coun- 
try was settled up he still remembered with pleasure the events of the frontier 
days, he enjoyed the company of his old friends, and when the Old Settlers' 
Association was organized he was one of the first to enroll. He was an ex- 
cellent husband and father, citizen and neighbor, a man of influence in his 
community and esteemed by all. 

John Rassier married Lena Warnert, also a native of Germany, and their 
children were : Elizabeth M., Nicholas B. 

Bernard Schmallen, now deceased, for many years a worthy citizen of 



804 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY ^' 

Stearns county, was born in Neidenbach, Kries, Bittburt, Trier, Germany. He 
grew up on liis father's farm, attended the neighborhood schools, and lived 
the usual life of boys of his time and station. As a young man he came to 
America. 

Mr. Sehmallen was married November 30, 1893, to Elizabeth M. Rassier, 
the daughter of John and Lena (Warnert) Rassier, the pioneers, and they have 
one son, Gerhard J., born October 9, 1896, a graduate of the St. Cloud Business 
College. Mr. Sehmallen died July 14, 1908. Mrs. Sehmallen was born in the 
old log cabin on her parents' homestead in St. Wendel township, and was there 
reared. She now lives in her comfortable home in St. Cloud, and is well re- 
garded by her neighbors. 

Nicholas B. Rassier, a farmer of St. Wendel township, was born in a log 
house on the farm in section 35, where he still resides, May 10, 1868, son of 
John and Lena (Warnert) Rassier. He was reared on the home farm and edu- 
cated in the district schools. He worked nine years for Kotschever & Timmers, 
at St. Joseph, but aside from that has always remained on his present place. 
He has a splendid farm of 448 acres and carries on general farming on an ex- 
tensive scale. He has been town clerk for ten years past, and has served for 
some time as a member of the school board of his district. In 1903 the house 
which his father had built was totally destroyed by fire, and in the fire his 
seven months old baby lost its life. Mr. Rassier at once erected a new and 
modern home. 

Mr. Rassier was married to Julia Lauerman, daughter of Nicholas L. 
Lauerman, and they have five children : Lena, Barney, Norbert, Fritz and 
Roman. 

Carl Yaeger was born in Baden, Germany, and came to America in 1848. 
After several years in Ohio, he came to Minnesota in 1855, and located in the 
town of St. Joseph, this county. Five years later he removed to Rockville, 
and took a homestead of 132 acres. Like all the early pioneers, he was at- 
tended by hardships and discouragements, but as time passed he prospered. 
He erected his home and other buildings, and became one of the leading men of 
his township, following general farming until about five years before his death, 
when he retired and moved to the city of St. Cloud. He died June 14, 1908. 
Mr. Yager married Rosa Enderlie, and to them there were born seven children, 
of whom there are still living five, John, Joseph, Rudolph and Rosa. Charles 
and Frank are dead. Mrs. Rosa (Enderle) Yaeger died September 14, 1910. 

John L. Streitz, quarryman of St. Cloud township, was born in the town- 
ship where he still resides, January 1, 1869, son of Nicholas and Mary (Wei- 
dert) Streitz. He first attended a log schoolhovise and later a frame one. He 
learned farming from his father, and in June, 1901, immediately after his mar- 
riage, moved onto a neighboring farm, where he now owns 147 acres, partly 
underlaid with valuable granite. He hires the farm work done, while he 
and his brother, Joseph, operate the quarry previously owned by their father. 
The quarry produces a very fine grade of gray monumental granite. John L. 
Streitz has taken an active part in current affairs. He has been on the board 
of supervisors of the township for seventeen years. He is vice-president of 




MI^ AM) MR8. NKJIIOLAH WTRKIT; 




MR. AND MRS. GAEL YAGP^R 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 805 

the Luxemburg Telephone Co. Mr. Streitz is also well known in St. Cloud, 
where he is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters. 

On June 4, 1901, Mr. Streitz was united in marriage to Rosa Yaeger, born 
in Rockville, August 15, 1866, daughter of Carl and Rosa (Enderle) Yaeger. To 
Mr. and Mrs. Streitz there have been born four children : Carl, born October 
11, 1902; George, born January 7, 1904, and died October 13, 1908; Frances, 
born December 21, 1904; and Gertrude, born March 4, 1906. 

Nicholas Streitz came to America at the age of fourteen and spent his 
young manhood in Illinois. In the middle fifties he came to Minnesota and 
located in St. Cloud township. He first built a shack. This was later replaced 
with a modern dwelling. He broke and developed the land, and became a 
prosperous citizen. After granite was discovered on his land, he leased the 
quarry rights, and in his latter years received a considerable royalty from 
this source. 

Nicholas Streitz married Mary Weidert, and they had nine children, of 
whom there are living eight ; John L., Margaret, William, Mary, Joseph, Lewis, 
Clara and Julius. John L. and Joseph are quarrymen. Lewis operates the 
home farm. Mary married John Yaeger and Clara married John Johannes. 
The members of the family attend the church of the Immaculate Conception. 
Nicholas Streitz died September 5, 1910. His widow still lives on the home 
farm with her son, Lewis. 

Mat. Blonigen, progressive farmer, of section 34, St. Martin township, was 
born in Calvary, Wis., March 10, 1859, son of John and Elizabeth (Heinen) 
Blonigen, who brought him to Zion township with the rest of the family in 
1860. He was reared on the home farm and at the age of twenty-six was mar- 
ried. Then he located on a farm of 160 acres in sections 6 and 7, Zion town- 
ship, where he remained six years. After selling this place, he located on his 
present farm in section 34, St. Martin township, where he now owns 240 acres 
of good land. On this farm he has erected a modern home and a good barn 
40 by 84 feet. In connection with his general farming he makes a specialty 
of raising good stock. He has been school treasurer, and has a share in the 
Farmers' Co-Operative Creamery, at St. Martin. 

Mr. Blonigen was married in 1885, to Katie Doll, daughter of John Doll. 
She died in 1900 at the age of thirty-nine, leaving eight children : John, Lizzie, 
Katie, Anna, Christof, Mattie, Mary and Lena. The present Mrs. Blonigen was 
Mary Niehaus. She has borne Mr. Blonigen six children, Nicholas, Peter, 
Teresa, Margaret, Sophia and Josie. 

Joseph Blonigan, merchant, blacksmith and good citizen of St. Martin 
village, was born in Zion township, this county, March 18, 1862, son of John 
and Elizabeth (Heinen) Blonigan. The parents were born in Germany, were 
married at Calvary, Wis., and in 1860 brought their three children, John, 
Nicholas and Mat., to Zion township, where they secured 160 acres in section 
2, and started farming under primitive conditions. They erected a lo[: build- 
ing, and with an ox team started to improve the place. In time they owned 
320 acres. They erected a splendid stone residence, and other buildings in 
keeping with this. They also helped to erect the Church of St. Martin, R. C. 
The father and mother died a year apart, each at the age of seventy-four. 



806 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

The children born in Stearns county were : Margaret, Joseph, Gotthard, Eliza- 
beth and Christ. 

Joseph Blonigan v/as educated in Zion township, and learned his trade 
in St. Joseph. For eleven years he worked in Villard, in Pope county. For 
many years past he has followed his trade in St. Martin village, where he 
owns in addition to his shop, a sightly nine-room house. He also owns a gen- 
eral store, where he does a good trade, and a tract of twenty acres of farm 
land which yields him some excellent crops. He has been president of the 
village for some time. 

Mr. Blonigan was married at Sauk Centre to Theresa Aydt, born in Wright 
county, the daughter of Frank Aydt. She died March 10, 1913, at the age of 
forty-nine, leaving eleven children: Elizabeth, Joseph, Amanda, Leo, Alma, 
Hilda, Raymond, Clara, Marcella, Lorenzo and Alnisia. 

Peter Haehn, a pioneer, was born in Germany, and came to Calvary, Wis., 
as a youth of nineteen. There he married Anna M. Schneider, also a native 
of Germany, who was brought to Wisconsin by her parents at the age of five 
years. In territorial days, Mr. Haehn assisted in surveying portions of Minne- 
sota. Later he brought his wife here, and settled in St. Martin township, on 
160 acres in section 36. He was a member of the small colony, which made up 
the list of the first settlers in the county. He erected a log building and started 
farming with an ox team. During the Indian troubles they lived in St. Cloud, 
but soon returned to the farm. As time passed his place assumed the appear- 
ance of a well-ordered, well-improved place, with suitable buildings, stock, 
crops, and equipment. He was a leader in politics, was town clerk thirty-five 
years and town assessor thirty-six years, and did good service for one term 
as county commissioner, during which term he assisted in distributing seed 
to those who had been impoverished by the grasshopper plague. Mr. Haehn 
died in 1893 at the age of sixty-eight. His widow now makes her home in the 
village of St. Martin. She has reached the age of seventy-four. In the family 
there were seventeen children. 

Valentine Haehn, merchant of St. Martin village, was born in St. Martin 
township, September 2, 1868, son of Peter and Anna M. (Schneider) Haehn. 
He received his early education in the district schools, and attended the St. 
Cloud State Normal School two years. Thus prepared, he taught school for 
ten years. Then he engaged in the mercantile business in St. Martin village. 
For ten years he was in partnership with John Braun, for two years he was 
with Chris. Braun, and since that time he has been in business alone. He car- 
ries a large stock, and enjoys an extensive trade. He has been president of the 
village for several years, and a leader of the St. Martin Cornet Band for over 
two decades. He is an active member of the St. Joseph Society. 

Mr. Haehn married Josephine Braun, the daughter of John Braun, and 
they have eight children: Edward (deceased). Alma, Rosa, Annie, Hilda, Lit- 
wina, Edmund and Ferdinand. 

Henry B. Haehn, educator, of St. Martin, was born in the township where 
he still resides, May 15, 1886, son of Peter and Anna M. (Schneider) Haehn, 
the pioneers. He passed through the district schools and the St. Cloud State 
Normal School, and then began teaching. For two years he had charge of the 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 807 

school in District No. 72, Munson township, and since then he has taught in 
District No. 22, St. Martin. He also has a photographic studio. In 1911 he 
was elected recorder of St. Martin village, and for some years he has been an 
efficient officer of the Society of St. Aloysius. 

Daniel Kuhl, an influential resident of St. Martin township, was born on 
the Kuhl homestead, in the township where he still resides, July 4, 1866, son 
of Peter, Sr., and Anna (Kirst) Kuhl. He received a good district school edu- 
cation and was reared to agricultural pursuits. For many years he was asso- 
ciated with his brother, Mathias. He and Mathias operated the home place 
together, and also owned a threshing machine outfit. Daniel later sold out 
his threshing machine interest to Nicholas Blonigan. Daniel and Mathias Kuhl 
purchased 240 acres in section 26, and for many years operated the property 
jointly. At that time there was an old residence on the place, but no barns. 
The brothers brought the farm to a high stage of cultivation and erected some 
excellent buildings. Daniel Kuhl bought out his brother's interest. He now 
owns 400 acres and has one of the best farms in the township, having been 
successful in every way. 

Mr. Kuhl married Emma Arceneau, born at Cold Spring, this county, 
daughter of John B, Arceneau, a native of Montreal, Canada. Mr. and Mrs. 
Kuhl have six children: Peter, John, Mary and Lucy (twins), Andrew and 
Anna, all at home. 

Peter Kuhl, Sr., was one of the earliest settlers of St. Martin township. 
He was born in Prussia, Germany, in September, 1831, and was reared in his 
native kingdom. In 1856 he and his wife started for America, the voyage 
occupying forty days. They came at once to Minnesota, and located on Jacob's 
prairie in Wakefield township, this county. A year later they secured a fine 
tract of land on section 26, St. Martin township, lying mostly on the right bank 
of the Sauk river. They were among the very first families to locate here. 
They erected a log cabin and a log barn, and started farming with one cow. 
They had no tools and no wagon, and their furniture was of the most 
primitive kind. Gradually they secured the various necessities of farm life. 
During the Indian troubles they fled several times to Cold Spring. Flour and 
other provisions were brought from St. Paul. But as time passed they became 
prosperous and successful. They were devout people, and helped to build the 
old original log building for St. Martin's church. Mr. Kuhl held all the princi- 
pal township offices, and his opinions were held in high respect. Peter Kuhl 
was married in 1856 to Anna Kirst, also of Prussia. They had seven children: 
Susan (deceased), Peter, Mathias, Valentine (deceased), Margaret (deceased), 
Catherine (deceased) and Daniel. Peter Kuhl died in November, 1865. His 
wife died in 1898 at the age of seventy. 

Mathias Kuhl, an extensive land-owner of St. Martin township, was born 
on the old Kuhl homestead, December 26, 1859, son of Peter, Sr., and Anna 
(Kirst) Kuhl. He attended the schools of his neighborhood and early became 
a farmer. For a time he was associated with his brother, Daniel, both in oper- 
ating the home place, and in managing the place now owned by his brother. 
For many years he was associated with Daniel in the threshing business, but 
now Nicholas Blonigan has taken Daniel's place as a partner in the outfit. 



808 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Mathias Kuhl now owns over 600 acres in sections 12, 18, 19, 22 and 26, which 
includes the old homestead where he was born. He has a full equipment of 
everything needed to successfully carry on general farming, and his operations 
have been most profitable. He has been town supervisor, town treasurer, and 
school officer, secretary of the Sauk Valley Farmers' Co-Operative Creamery, 
and a director in the Paynesville-Zion Mutual Fire Insurance Company. 

Mr. Kuhl was married in 1886 to Lucy Diedrich, of St. Martin township, 
daughter of Pankratz and Christana Diedrich, the former of whom came to 
Wisconsin as a young man in 1844, and the latter of whom was brought there 
by her parents at the age of nine. The Diedrichs were married in Wiscon- 
sin, and in 1856 came to Minnesota, locating on 160 acres in section 36, St. 
Martin township. They experienced all the hardships of pioneer life, and 
like the other settlers, drove first to St. Paul and later to St. Cloud, after pro- 
visions. In their latter years they retired and moved to Richmond village. 
In their family there were ten children. Mr. and Mrs. Kuhl have had thirteen 
children: Robert, Mathias, John, Susan, Bernard, Leo, Katie, Louisa, Lizzie, 
Matilda, Elenora, Joseph and Ida. 

Peter Kuhl, a substantial citizen of St. Martin township, was born in the 
township in which he still lives, September 4, 1858, son of Peter, Sr., and Anna 
(Kirst) Kuhl. He received a good English and German education, attending 
both the district schools and the St. Cloud State Normal School. For eight 
years he taught school in this part of the country. Since then he has assisted 
his brother, Mathias, on the farm. He is a popular man, and has been clerk 
of the township since 1894. He has also been assessor four years. While he 
is a Democrat in politics he is independent in thought, and votes for the man 
and the issue rather than for the party. 

Henry Loosbroek, pioneer merchant and woodworker, of St. Martin, was 
born in Holland, February 13, 1889. The original form -of the name was Van 
Loosbroek. The parents were John and Ella Loosbroek, and in the family 
there were three children, Heni^, John and Ella. At the age of twelve years 
he was apprenticed to a wood worker, and thoroughly learned the trades of 
carpentry and cabinet making. In 1859 he came to America, and located at 
Dubuque, Iowa. In the fall of 1867 he came to Stearns county, and after 
looking about for a while secured a lot in the suburbs of the village of St. 
Martin. He followed his trade as a woodworker, and also engaged in several 
other lines of business. In 1880 he erected a large building in the village, and 
here opened a general store, hotel and boarding house. He was appointed post- 
master by President Rutherford B. Hayes and served for twenty-five years. 
He has also been constable and has served on the school board. 

Mr. Loosbroek was married at Fair Play, Wisconsin, to Margaret Heisler, 
now deceased. There were twelve children born. For his second wife Mr. 
Loosbroek married Julia leeward. 

John Mondloch, merchant of St. Martin, was born in Belgium, Ozaukee 
county, Wisconsin, February 25, 1861, son of John B. and Magdalene Mond- 
loch, and grandson of Nicholas Mondloch. John B. came to America from 
Germany, and settled on the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, about 
thirty-five miles south of Milwaukee. He erected a log cabin, broke roads to 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 809 

his claim, and started farming with an ox team. He married in Wisconsin, and 
with his wife started to wrest a living from the wilderness. Success came 
to him, and he became a town official and a substantial citizen. A devout fol- 
lower of the Catholic faith, he was an officer and one of the builders of the 
Lake Church, at Belgium, Wis. He and his wife died several years apart, 
each at the age of seventy. They had eleven children : Katherine, Elizabeth, 
Peter, John, Paul, Nicholas, John B., Jr., Mary, Anna, Theodore and Michael. 
John Mondloch received his early education and training on the home farm 
in Wisconsin. At the age of twenty-one he came to Minnesota, and secured em- 
ployment in Albany, this county. After his marriage in 1887 he settled on a 
farm of 160 acres, which he rented in section 2, Zion township. Two years 
later, however, his health failed and he moved to the village of St. Martin, 
where he opened a small hardware store. From this beginning he has built 
up a large establishment and a large trade, handling a full line of general 
hardware and farm implements. He has been both member and president of 
the village council, and constable of the township. By his marriage to Mar- 
garet Haehn, Mr. Mondloch has had twelve children. 

Michael Murray, a typical Irish gentleman, and true Minnesota pioneer, 
was born in County Cork, Ireland, son of Patrick and Johanna (Ryan) Murray. 
The parents came to America in the early fifties, leaving their two children, 
Michael and Mary, in Ireland, and settled at Belleplaine, Scott county, Minne- 
sota. Michael joined his parents there at tlie age of twelve. Soon after that 
the father died, and the mother married Michael Mellett. In 1861, when the 
country was filled with the alarms of war, Michael attempted to enlist, but 
he was under age, and his mother would not give the necessary consent. How- 
ever, as a civilian, he gave his country material aid. During the troubled days 
of the Indian uprising he drove three yokes of oxen and three teams of mules 
over the Red River trail, carrying provisions, ammunition and relief to Ft. 
Abercrombie, Ft. Ripley and Ft. Ridgley. He was in the midst of the terrors 
of the massacre, and had many narrow escapes. After the war was over and 
the forts were abandoned, Mr. Murray became a riverman, working on steam- 
boats and rafts plying the upper Mississippi. In 1869 he secured a homestead 
in section 13, St. Martin township. The land was wild, no buildings had been 
erected on it, and no roads had been cut to it. He built a log cabin, and a log 
barn, and started farming with a yoke of oxen. He was given a cow as a wed- 
ding present. In the years that have passed since then he has become one of 
the leading men of the community. Of kindly instincts he makes many friends, 
and he and his wife delight in keeping open house, their hospitality being 
widely known and appreciated. He is a good farmer, a desirable citizen, and 
a considerate husband, as well as a loyal friend. 

Mr. Murray was married in 1872 to Margaret Sullivan, of Belleplaine, Minn. 
She died at the age of thirty, leaving seven children, Patrick, Mary, Daniel, 
Hannah, Elizabeth, Margaret and Michael. September 28, 1888, Mr. Murray 
married Rosanna McCaffery, daughter of Patrick McCaffery, and widow of 
another Patrick McCaffery. Patrick McCaffery, the husband, came to Amer- 
ica as a young man from County Tryon, Ireland, and settled in Lowell, Mass., 
where he was married. He was drowned in the Merrimac river, August 14, 



810 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

1881, leaving one child, Thomas P., born July 5, 1880. The widow and child 
came to Minnesota in 1883. Mr. and Mrs. Murray have adopted a little girl, 
Madaline, born July 22, 1898. She is bright and intelligent and gladdens the 
affectionate atmosphere of the home. 

Martin Noll was born on the home place, where he still resides in St. 
Martin township, July 17, 1863, son of John C. and Anna (Faust) Noll. John 
C. Noll was born in Bavaria, and came to America at the age of thirty-two. He 
was married at Fond du Lac, Wis., to Anna Faust, who came to America with 
her parents at the age of twenty-six. In 1857 they came to St. Martin town- 
ship with the first colony of settlers. They secured 160 acres and to this added 
by purchase forty acres of school land. They erected a log cabin and a log 
barn, and with an ox team began to clear the land. During the Indian trou- 
bles they went to Richmond for a while. John C. Noll was the first assessor of 
the township and later held other offices. In politics he was a Democrat. A 
devout Catholic in religion, he assisted in erecting several early churches. He 
died in 1899 at the age of seventy-six. His wife died in 1903 at the age of 
seventy. There were five children in the family : Joseph, Mary, Anna, Anna 
Marie, and Martin and Apollonia, twins. 

Martin Noll has always remained on the old homestead. He has 250 acres 
of good land, and has been very successful at general farming. He has held 
office in the village council, in the Sauk Valley Creamery and in the St. Mar- 
tins Church. He was married January 15, 1888, to Katie Baumhofer, a native 
of Scott county, Minnesota, daughter of Frank and Louisa (Starkenkemper) 
Baumhofer, natives of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Noll have ten children : John, 
Joseph, Peter, Frank, Norbert, Albert, Clara, Verena, Coletta and Hildegard. 

Martin Shay, a pioneer, was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, and as a 
young man went to Liverpool, England, from which city he found his way 
to the United States, landing at New York. Working westward he finally ac- 
quired a farm in Rosemont, Dakota county, this state. He there married Cath- 
erine Hayes, who was born in Ireland, and came to the United States with her 
parents. He started out with his wife and seven children, and with an ox team 
and a lumber wagon drove to Stearns county, where he secured a homestead 
of 160 acres in St. Martin township. He erected a log cabin and started farm- 
ing in what was then an undeveloped country. He experienced the usual vicis- 
situdes of pioneer life, driving to Paynesville and St. Cloud for provisions. 
Later they erected a larger cabin, and there ended their days. Two of their 
children, David and Hannah were born in St. Martin township. The family 
contributed toward building the church at New Munich. 

David Shay, a sucessful farmer of St. Martin township, was born on the 
place where he still lives, son of Martin and Catherine (Hayes) Shay, the 
pioneers. He has always remained at home. His excellent farm of 280 acres is 
highly improved, and his farm buildings are models of their kind. The barn is 
especially notable, 36 by 80 in dimensions, thoroughly modern in every way, 
equipped with a ventilator system, and possessing a basement lined through- 
out. The rafters are ten feet, and eight by eight timber was used in the con- 
struction. The mow is 36 by 80 feet, and extends to the roof, having a capacity 
of about 100 tons. A specialty is made of stock breeding. Mr. Shay is well 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 811 

known in the community and was one of the school officers of District No, 48. 
He was married in 1889 to Nora McGowan, and they have nine children. 

Daniel Spanier, for many years a farmer in Farming township, was born 
in Prussia, Germany, and there married Kate Eve. In 1852 they came to 
America, and settled in Fond du Lac, Wis. In 1857 they came to Stearns 
county and located in the north part of the township of Rockville, several 
miles from the village of St. Joseph. There they built a cabin, and started 
farming. During the Indian uprising Mr. Spanier helped to bury the dead, for 
having seen four years' service in the German army, he was well equipped 
to brave the dangers of the Indian country. In 1863 he moved to 100 acres 
in section 31, Farming township. He erected a log cabin, started farming with 
an ox team, prospered as time passed. In 1874 he bought 100 acres of school 
land in section 36, St. Martin township, now the village of St. Martin. Here 
he died January 25, 1893. His wife lived then with her son, Christopher, and 
died May 14, 1908. Both were buried at the St. Martin Cemetery. Daniel 
Spanier served on the town and school board, and took his part in public 
affairs. He also had his share in the building of the Church of St. Martin in 
St. Martin village. In the family there were ten children: Anna, Katie, a 
deceased infant, Mathias, Mary, Josephine, Veronica, Christopher, Susie and 
John. 

Christopher Spanier, the eighth child in this family, was born on the home 
farm in Farming township, October 29, 1870, and has always lived at home. 
He owns 360 acres in section 31, Farming township, and section 36, St. Martin 
village, and carries on general farming on an extensive scale. He has erected 
a barn and granary and takes particular pride in his good graded stock. He is 
clerk of School District No. 22, and president of the Sauk Valley Creamery Co. 
Christopher Spanier married Susie Mehr, who was born in Zion township, 
the daughter of Mathias Mehr. They have eight children: Mathias, James, 
John M., Hilda, Veronica, Michael, Leo and Aloise. 

Peter J. Terres, a leading farmer of section 14, St. Martin township, was 
born in the township where he now lives, February 2, 1861, son of John B. and 
Catherine Terres. The parents were born in Germany, where they were mar- 
ried, and there had two children, Mathias and Mary. In 1857 they came to 
America, and located for a while in Chicago, where one child, Bertie, was 
born. In 1858 they came to Stearns county and secured 160 acres of land in 
section 25, St. Martin township. They built a small log cabin, and with an 
ox team began to break the wild land. For the first six weeks they lived on 
corn ground into meal in the hand coffee mill. During the Indian uprising 
they lived a short time in St. Cloud, but soon returned to their farm. In 
1862 they erected a larger cabin. Though the father was a tailor by trade, 
he prospered as a farmer, and in time added to his possessions until he owned 
a half a section of land. He was treasurer of the township. He was a devout 
member of the Catholic Church, helped to build the old Church of St. Michael, 
and sang in the church choir. He died in 1903 at the age of seventy-two. His 
wife died at the age of seventy-six. The children born in St. Martin township 
were Veronica, Peter J., Elizabeth, Catherine and Susanna. Peter J. was edu- 
cated in the district schools of his neighborhood, learned farming from his 



812 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

father, and for a time rented the old homestead. Then he purchased 120 acres. 
To this he has added from time to time until he now owns 600 acres of good 
land, upon which he raises some excellent crops. He has ample buildings and 
a splendid farm equipment. Mr. Terres married March Lucy Doll, born on 
Jacob's Prairie, this county, daughter of John Doll. At her death she left 
five children : John D., Peter D., Michael M., Veronica and Anna. The pres- 
ent Mrs. Terres was Mary M. Schaffer, daughter of August Schaffer, a Chicago 
business man. To this marriage there have been born ten children : August 
(deceased), Catherine, Nicholas, Frank, Mathias, Marie, Elizabeth, Helen, Rosa 
and Barbara. 

Frank Reaser, Sr., was born on the boundary line between Luxemburg 
and France, September 28, 1825, son of Henry and Mary Reaser. The mother 
died in the old country, and the father came to America and settled in Read- 
ing, Penn., bringing his two children, Frank and Caroline. Frank became a 
farmer in Berks county, Pennsylvania. He married Barbara Grell, who was 
born in Alsace, Germany, December 10, 1825, daughter of Antoin and Anna 
(Buser) Grell. Antoin Grell came to America and after living here ten years 
died. Then his widow and three children, Barbara, Elizabeth and Lena came, 
and settled in Carbon county, Pennsylvania. Later the widow came to St. 
Cloud, and died at the age of eighty-four. Frank Reaser and his family came 
to Minnesota in 1878, and located on the farm of his uncle, Peter Brady. Fi- 
nally they rented a farm a short distance north of St. Martin township, and 
still later purchased one in Farming township. Then for some twenty years 
they lived in St. Cloud. In 1910 they took up their home with their son, Frank, 
Jr., in St. Martin township. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Reaser, Sr., were the par- 
ents of ten children. 

Frank Reaser, Jr., a prosperous farmer of St. Martin township, was born 
in Berks county, Pennsylvania. As a boy he worked in the coal mines of his 
native state. In 1878 he was brought to this county by his parents. He has 
had a busy life, and has been a farmer, a mechanic and a business man. He 
now lives in the village of St. Martin. He has been a member of the village 
board for several years past, and has served in other public capacities. 

Frank Reaser, Jr., married Katie Linster, who was born in Zion township, 
this county, daughter of Paul and Dora (Miller) Linster. Mr. and Mrs. Reaser, 
Jr., have six children: Edward, Tracie, Rosa, Clara, Alfonse and Frank. 

George A. Hanna, journalist, useful citizen and retired clergyman, was 
born in Corning, Iowa, August 30, 1875, son of Robert Wesley and Louise 
(Butterfield) Hanna. He attended the graded and high schools of Lu Verne, 
Iowa, and subsequently worked his own way through a college course, attend- 
ing Cornell College, Iowa, from 1895 to 1898, and Morningside College, at Sioux 
City, Iowa, from 1898 to 1900. He then started preaching, occupying pulpits 
in Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. After preaching several years he was 
ordained at Waseca, Minn., as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal faith. In 
1910 he became editor of the Annandale ''Advocate" in Wright county. May 
1, 1912, he purchased the Paynesville "Leader-Press," and the job and print- 
ing business of W. W. Holmes, and consolidated the two as the Paynesville 
"Press." The newspaper is an influential journal, and has a good circulation. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 813 

It always stands for progress and for the best interests of the community in 
every way, maintaining at all times the highest ideals of civic ethics. He has 
a large job printing establishment, fully equipped to turn out any kind of 
printing work except binding. The work is of the highest standard, and every 
detail is most carefully looked after with conscientious attention. Mr. Hanna 
still maintains his interest in Christian work, and has been superintendent of 
the Methodist Sunday school since coming to Paynesville. He was married at 
Lu Verne, Iowa, Nov. 23, 1900, to Regula Figi, of that place, and they have two 
bright sons, Paul R., born June 31, 1902, and Russell G., born December 12, 1907. 

Christian Adam, mason and contractor, was born in Saxony, Germany, 
May 4, 1856, a son of Christian and Mary (Schmitt) Adam, who spent the span 
of their years in Germany. Christian Adam, Sr., had seven children : three, 
Sophia, Marie and Christian, were by the first wife, and four, Gotfried, Teresa, 
Minnie and Anna, by his second wife. Christian Adam, the subject of this 
sketch, received a good education in Germany, and served three years, from 
1877 to 1880 in the Germany army. When scarcely more than a youth he was 
married in Germany to Anna Krambush, by whom he had two sons, Albert 
and Paul, the former of whom was born Jan. 2, 1882. In 1884, Christian Adam 
came to America, accompanied by his young son, Albert. He reached Colum- 
bus, Ohio, March 7, 1884, and there learned the trade of mason. In 1892 he 
came to Paynesville as a contracting mason. Since then he has been continu- 
ously engaged in this work. Among his more notable contracts may be men- 
tioned the Paynesville High school, and the plants of the North American Cold 
Storage Co., at Paynesville, and at Alexandria, Minn. In Paynesville, Mr. 
Adam married Wilhelmina Trappa, a native of Germany, daughter of Chris. 
Trappa, who came to America from Germany, and located in Columbus, Ohio. 
Mr. Adam's son, Albert, whom he brought from Germany, is also a mason. 
He is well known as a ball player, and in 1913 played on the team of the 
North Dakota league. Christian Adam, the subject of this sketch, is an influen- 
tial and popular man. He is an enthusiastic fraternity, and is the present 
grand master of Paynesville lodge, No. 131. 

Joseph C. Peters, general land agent and investor, with headquarters at 
Paynesville, was born in Swede Grove township. Meeker county, Minn., 1873, 
son of Alfred George and Fidelia (Pickle) Peters. Alfred was born in Eng- 
land, and was descended from the family that gave the British Empire, Lord 
John Russels, premier of England. Alfred came to Canada as a young man, 
and was a volunteer in Her Majesty's troops during the Fenian rebellion. 
His wife, Fidelia Pickle, was born in Vermont, the daughter of Church and 
Harriet (Harrington) Pickle. Church Pickle was of Holland descent. His 
wife, Harriet Harrington, was of Scotch and English descent. Her ancestors 
came over in the Mayflower, and their family name appears signed to the 
famous Mayflower compact. Mr. and Mrs. Peters lived for a time in Brome 
county. Province of Quebec, Canada, and there their oldest daughter. Rose, 
was born. About 1865, the family came to Meeker county, this state, and 
settled on eighty acres of land in Swede Grove township. This was eventually 
increased to 240 acres, lying in Swede Grove and Harvey townships. Joseph 
C, the subject of this sketch, was, as already mentioned, born in Swede Grove 



814 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

township, while the other brother, Henry, was born a short distance away in 
Harvey township. The family became very prominent in the affairs of the 
community. Alfred Peters was an enthusiastic church worker and became 
Sunday school superintendent in the Methodist Episcopal church at Union 
Grove. His wife was one of the pioneer teachers in Swede Grove township. 
The daughter, Rose, taught in Harvey township for a period of about fourteen 
years, and is one of the oldest teachers, in regard to years of service, in that 
vicinity. Alfred Peters died in 1905 at the age of 65. His wife died in 1896 
at the age of sixty. They had moved to Union Grove about 1883. In this 
family of exceptional ancestry, character, culture and refinement, Joseph C. 
Peters was reared. He attended the schools of Forest City, Litchfield and 
Union Grove, all in Meeker county, and also received considerable instruction 
at home. He engaged in farming on the home place in Union Grove township 
until the death of his father in 1905. Then he went to Ward county, now 
Moutrail county, North Dakota. There he proved up on 160 acres of land. 
Then he worked in the Twin Cities as an engineer. In this connection it is 
interesting to note that he had studied engineering while still a youth at home, 
and at one time was the youngest licensed engineer in Meeker county. After 
leaving the Twin Cities, he came to Stearns county as representative for the 
International Correspondence Schools. Later he traveled through Iowa, Wis- 
consin and Illinois as a representative of the Melby Real Estate Co., of Atwater, 
Minn. In 1900 he once more came to Stearns county. Here, with George J. 
Andrews as a partner, he organized the Paynesville Land Co. In this capacity, 
Mr. Peters enjoyed the distinction of selling the first piece of land ever sold 
by a land company in Paynesville. Elmer A. Schmitt became a partner, and 
later, Mr. Peters sold him his interest in the company. May 1, 1913, Joseph C. 
Peters and H. H. Holifer, cashier of the First State Bank, of Paynesville, be- 
came interested in selling lands in Kandiyohi, Stearns and Meeker counties. 
This concern gives promise of becoming one of the most important in this part 
of the county. Mr. Peters is one of the rising men of the county. Fraternally 
he associates with Paynesville lodge, No. 196, I. 0. 0. F, and with Unity 
Rebecca lodge, No. 129, I. 0. 0. F. 

Frank Brown, senior member of the firm of Frank Brown & Son, nursery- 
men, located in section 22, Paynesville township, was born in Wayland, Steuben 
county. New York, Sept. 27, 1857, son of Justus J. and Alisso (Trembley) 
Brown, who lived and died in Steuben county, New York, and grandson of the 
Methodist clergyman Stephen Trembley, and Ruth, his wife, who settled in 
Stearns county in 1863. From the days of his earliest boyhood, he was inter- 
ested in farm work. In 1879 he was married in Bolivar, New York, to Lavinda 
McCutcheon, daughter of Robert McCutcheon and widow of C. C. Wilson. 
In 1879, Mr. Brown came to Paynesville, and for a time rented land in this 
vicinity. It was about 1882 when he purchased the first eighty of his present 
farm. He now owns 220 acres in sections twenty-one and twenty-two. His 
present home, to which he moved some year ago is in section 22. From the 
early days of his farming to the present time, Mr. Brown has been much 
interested in all branches of nursery work. This branch of his work now takes 
fifty acres of his farm. He propagates fruit, shade and ornamental trees and 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 815 

shrubs from the seed, and also pays especial attention to flowers. He has 
shipped as many as 178,000 trees in one spring, and the Elmwood Farm and 
Nursery are widely known, A general nursery business is now carried on and 
the appreciation of the public is shown by an ever increasing list of patrons, 

Mr, Brown is superintendent of the Minnesota State Experiment Station, 
located at Paynesville, Mr, and Mrs, Brown have four children: Jennie, 
Edwin, Charles and Inez, In the family is also Mrs. Brown's son, Robert 
Wilson, 

Aaron Nehring, a prominent agricultural implement dealer in Paynesville, 
was born March 18, 1870, in Zion township, this county, in the home of his 
parents, L, F, and Lena (Helmer) Nehring, He received his preliminary educa- 
tion in the district schools of his neighborhood, and then entered the St, Cloud 
State Normal school, from which he was graduated in 1893, Subsequently 
he taught school for six years. Then he worked as a clerk in a mercantile 
establishment in Paynesville, After this he again entered the St. Cloud State 
Normal school, and took a post-graduate course. Later he taught school again 
for two years. With Edward Kruger, he entered the agricultural implement 
business in Paynesville. Later he bought out Mr. Kruger, and is now the sole 
owner and proprietor. Mr. Nehring carries a full line of farm implements, 
engines, power machinery and the like, and has been very successful in building 
up a large trade. He is a member of the board of education. The family faith 
is that of the Evangelical church. Mr. Nehring was married June 14, 1898, 
to Lizzie Behr, and they have four children, Millard, Kenneth, Elsworth and 
Arnold. 

George J. Andrews, president of the Paynesville Land Co., was born in 
Burbank township, Kandiyohi county, this state, Jan. 24, 1885, son of John S. 
and Emma (Dougherty) Andrews, and grandson of John Q. Andrews. John 
Q. Andrews came to Minnesota from Defiance, Ohio, in 1865, bringing his family 
with him. With four other families they located in Burbank township, and 
there established a neighborhood settlement. Like so many pioneers they 
started with an ox team, and with but crude equipment. John Q. Andrews 
was a deep thinker, and took an active part in the various granger and people 's 
movements in this state. At one time he was a candidate for a seat in the 
legislature on the People's ticket. His wife was an able helper and sympathizer 
in all his undertakings. In such a family, John S. Andrews was reared. He was 
a man of broad and liberal thought, very progressive in his ideas. In educa- 
tion, religion, politics and fraternal life he was both useful and prominent. 
For two terms he was county superintendent of schools in Kandiyohi county, 
for some years he was a justice of the peace, and his membership in the 
Modern Woodmen of America was highly valued. His wife, Emma Dougherty 
was born in Ohio, her parents who were born in Pennsylvania being of English 
and German origin. Possessed of ancestors who had lived nobly and thought 
deeply, it was natural that George J. Andrews should be given the best educa- 
tion within his reach. He attended the district schools of Burbank township, 
the graded schools of New London, and the High school of Glenwood. Then 
he graduated from the Paynesville high school. With this preparation he 
entered the University of Minnesota, completing the course in the law depart- 



816 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

ment of that institution in the spring of 1911. The Paynesville Land Co. was 
at once organized with Mr. Andrews as president, an office which he has since 
retained, and in which he has been very successful. He is a member of the 
Woodmen and the Yoemen. 

Albert E. Bugbee, closely identified with the history of Paynesville for 
nearly fifty years, has lived on the site of Old Paynesville for some thirty-seven 
years on lots which he purchased from Clarke & McClure, which were formerly 
owned by Edwin E. Payne, the founder of the village. He was born in Hol- 
yoke, Mass., Oct. 6, 1849, a son of Elbridge Gerry and Amanda (Bumstead) 
Bugbee, and grandson of Calvin Bugbee. As a boy of seventeen, Alfred E. 
came to Paynesville, and was joined soon thereafter by his widowed mother. 
For some time he made his home with his uncle and aunt. Dr. and Mrs. Robert 
Hoover. In 1867 he acquired a farm of 160 acres. On this farm, ten acres of 
land had been broken. He continued the work of breaking until he had 
twenty-five acres under cultivation. After he sold this farm, he devoted 
several years to teaching, part of the time in Paynesville, and part of the time 
in Roseville. Then he again turned his attention to farming, and purchased 
eighty acres, on a part of which stands the new Paynesville High school. He 
has also two other farms, one in Lyon county and one in Kandiyohi county, 
in this state. Mr. Bugbee has been clerk of Paynesville township for forty- 
three years. Probably this record has not been exceeded in Minnesota. He is 
thoroughly conversant with the workings of township government and has 
been a most valuable man in the position. For a time he was treasurer of the 
school board of his district. He has been secretary of Paynesville lodge, No. 71, 
A. F. & A. M., for twenty-eight years. His wife is active in the Eastern Star. 
Mr. Bugbee was married at Paynesville, October, 1873, to Janet Haines, who 
came to Paynesville in 1867. Mr. and Mrs. Bugbee have six children: William 
G., of Paynesville ; Bertha J., wife of R. F. Schwartz, of Paynesville ; Frank E., 
New York City; Everett (deceased), Guy C, of Paynesville; and Lura, who 
lives at home. 

Julius Behr, deceased, was born in Saxony, Germany, July 1, 1829, and 
was there reared. He came to the United States as a young man, and located 
in Wisconsin. October 20, 1864, he enlisted from Green county. Wis., in Co. 
H., Eighth Wis. Vol. Inf. With the exception of nine months following the 
Battle of Memphis, during which he was in a hospital as the result of a bullet 
wound in the right knee, he followed the fortunes of that regiment until 
honorably discharged at Demopolis, La., September 5, 1865. This was the 
regiment which was accompanied by "Old Abe," the famous war-eagle. To 
mention the campaigns, skirmishes, marches, sieges and battles in which Mr. 
Behr participated would be to reproduce a part of the history of the Civil War. 
It is sufficient to say that he showed his valor on many a bloody battlefield, 
and with the exception noted above participated in all the engagements of his 
regiment during his period of service. Like all soldiers he had many narrow 
escapes from death. At one time a bullet passed through the brim of his hat, 
but left him unscathed. After the war he returned to Wisconsin, but almost 
immediately came to Stearns county, and secured a homestead of 160 acres in 
Zion township. Here he built a log cabin. In addition to his yoke of oxen, he 




'is. 

^ Pi 

Q 

P 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 817 

had a team of horses, one of a very few at that time in the whole county. After 
his marriage he brought his bride to this farm. From time to time they made 
improvements ; and the development of the farm, and the erection of modern 
buildings, kept pace with the progress of the years. Mr. Behr was a school 
officer. Being of devout religious faith, he assisted in erecting the Evangelical 
church at Salem, Zion township. He died June 17, 1898. Mr. Behr was married 
October 17, 1873, to Wilhelmina Kruger. This union has been blessed with 
seven children. Lizzie was born July 24, 1875, and married Aaron Nehring. 
Charles was born March 6, 1877. Agnes was born January 12, 1879, and 
married W. G. Schroeder. Frank was born January 11, 1881. Lydia was born 
April 1, 1887, and married W. H. Weber. Harry was born April 5, 1889. 
Arleigh was born October 3, 1891. Wilhelmina Kruger was born in Germany, 
July 8, 1851, daughter of August and Augusta (Schultz) Kruger. The mother 
died in Germany, and in 1874, August Kruger, the father, started for America 
with his four children: Ferdinand, Robert, Amelia and Wilhelmina. After 
three years in Wisconsin, they came to Stearns county, and located in Zion 
township, where Mr. Kruger farmed and followed his trade as a blacksmith. 
He is still living at the good old age of ninety-three. 

Harry Behr was born in Zion township, this county, and attended the 
district schools and the Vaths Commercial College at St. Cloud. For a time 
he engaged in business in Paynesville with Fred Parker as a partner. He is 
now the proprietor of a delivery system which delivers goods for all the con- 
cerns in town which handle groceries. He is a member of the Modern Wood- 
men of America. Arleigh Behr received his educatin in the district schools 
and in the Paynesville high school. For a time he worked in the general store 
of E. E. Finger, at Paynesville. Since May 1, 1913, he has been employed in 
the clothing store of W. S. Johnson, at Paynesville. He is a member of the 
B. A. Y. 

Hugh Blakely, the pioneer, was born in eastern Canada, son of John 
Blakely, a well-known Canadian surveyor. John Blakely came from a Scotch 
family which had moved from Scotland to Ireland, and from Ireland to Canada. 
By his wife, Mary, he had a large family of children. Only one of the children 
is living. She bears her mother's name, Mary, and lives in eastern Canada. 
Hugh Blakely was reared in the vicinity in which he was born. As a young 
man he came to America and found his way to St. Cloud, this county, where, 
on July 4, 1861, he was married by the Rev. William Phillips, to Justina Wil- 
helmina Schmidt. After their marriage the young couple took up their resi- 
dence on 160 acres in Roseville township, Kandiyohi county, which he had 
previously preempted. The young people had a frame house, and the prospects 
were of the brightest when the Indian troubles came on. Just at the beginning 
of these troubles four Indians called at their house one day. They did no 
harm, but seemed to be ascertaining the resources of the white people. When 
Hugh Blakely and his wife heard the reports of the massacre, they remembered 
the fact that there were Indians in the vicinity, and immediately loading their 
provisions and most valuable goods onto a wagon, they started for the home 
of John Blakely in Roseville township, Kandiyohi county. There a number 
of settlers gathered, and the men built a sort of a stockade or fort. A few 



818 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

days later, they made their way to the stockade at Paynesville. During their 
stay there, their experiences were many and thrilling. On one occasion when 
the men were out threshing grain in an endeavor to save some of the crops, 
the Indians spied them, and in the pursuit which followed chased them nearly 
to the walls of the fort itself. On another occasion when John Blakely and 
John Boylan went out to investigate a fire which had been started, the Indians 
surprised them, and Mr. Bojdan was wounded. From the fort at Paynesville, 
Hugh Blakely and his wife went to Richmond, and still later to St. Joseph. 
In the latter township they rented a farm two years. Then they returned to 
their home in Kandiyohi county. Some years later they took up their resi- 
dence on the farm of August Schmidt, the father of Mrs. Blakely. This farm 
lies on the line between Roseville township, Kandiyohi, and Paynesville town- 
ship, Stearns county. Mr. Blakely was an influential man in his community 
and served as justice of the peace for about a quarter of a century. He was 
a charter member of Paynesville Lodge, No. 71, A. F. & A. M., and served as 
its first Master. He died January 1, 1908. The date of his birth was September 
26, 1838. Mr. and Mrs. Blakely had ten children : Caroline A., born May 9, 
1862 ; Justina M., November 3, 1863 ; Charles H., June 26, 1867 (died November 
16, 1897); Mary Jane, June 16, 1869; August Francis, April 12, 1871; Ella 
Katharine, January 13, 1873 ; John William, February 11, 1876 ; Eliza Emma, 
January 16, 1878; Canna Estella, May 25, 1880; and George Robert, January 
13, 1884. Justina Wilhelmina Schmidt was born in Germany, September 20, 
1840, daughter of August and Caroline (Nehring) Schmidt. Caroline (Neh- 
ring) Schmidt was born February 20, 1815 and died in 1850. A few years 
later, August Schmidt, his two children, Carl and Justina Schmidt, and a 
relative, Amelia Kruger, came to the United States, and found a home in 
Hoboken, N. Y. Later August Schmidt and his daughter Justina, came to 
Minnesota. It is interesting to note that they thus lost track of Amelia Kruger. 
When they finally heard of her, many years afterward, she was living in 
Racine, Wis. Upon reaching Minnesota, August Schmidt located on a farm in 
Kandiyohi county, near the line of Paynesville township, in Stearns county. 
In addition to the 160 acres in Kandiyohi county, he also secured eighty acres 
across the road in Stearns county. He first erected log buildings, which he 
later replaced with more modern structures. He married Catherine Lynch, 
and the two spent a long and happy life together. He died December 17, 1885. 
His daughter, Justina, when a young lady, found employment with the Rev. 
William Phillips. This clergyman performed the ceremony when she married, 
just as he had performed the ceremony for her father before her. 

August Francis Blakely, a prosperous farmer living in Paynesville Village, 
was born in Roseville township, Kandiyohi county, April 12, 1870, son of Hugh 
and Justina Wilhelmina (Schmidt) Blakely, the pioneers. He received a good 
education and has devoted his life to agricultural pursuits. In addition to the 
usual stock and crops, he makes a specialty of Shorthorn cattle, and a good 
grade of swine. Mr, Blakely is a Democrat and a member of Paynesville Lodge, 
No. 71, A. F. & A. M., Paynesville. He married Carrie Burr, a native of this 
part of the state. They have three children : Beatrice Lillian, Bernice Min- 
nie and Margaret B. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 819 

Jacob Brick, one of Paynesville 's leading business men, was born in 
Minneapolis, August 2, 1867, son of Adam and Barbara Brick. Adam and 
Barbara Brick were born in Germany, and were there married. They came to 
America with their one child, Catherine, and located in what is now Minneapo- 
lis. There Adam cut heavy wood, in localities which have become the busiest 
sections of Minneapolis. For a while he worked in a sawmill. During the 
Indian outbreak he was forced to take his pay in flour. At times even that 
was not forthcoming, and the family lived on corn meal, washed down with 
coffee made from roasted barley. About the time of these troubles, the family 
started out for Stearns county, having sold their small property for a wagon, a 
pair of oxen, and a cow. By that time, six more children, Jacob, Mary, Anna, 
Margaret, Gertrude and Sever, had been born. Upon reaching Stearns county, 
the family settled in section 1, Lake Henry township. There they erected a log 
cabin of poplar logs, with a roof of rough hewn boards. In after years they 
added forty acres to their original farm, and also erected modern buildings. 
Adam Brick helped to build the church at Spring Hill. The church is now 
burned. Adam Brick died at the age of eighty-seven, and his wife at the age 
of seventy -two. The children born in Lake Henry township were Emma, Peter, 
Christian and Nicholas. Jacob Brick was brought to Lake Henry township 
by his parents, and was here reared. His first venture away from home was 
with a threshing machine outfit. Then for some years he was in the refresh- 
ment business in Spring Hill, and later in Sauk Centre. For some years past 
he has been in business in Paynesville. Jacob Brick was married June 21, 
1897, to Catherine Hogan, and this union has been blessed with three children : 
Archibald (deceased), Esther and Elmer. Catherine Hogan was born in Spring 
Hill, this county, daughter of Capt. Michael James and Johannah (Meyer) 
Hogan. Capt. Hogan was born in Prince Edward Island, son of James Hogan, 
also a native of that island. Capt. Hogan went to sea at the age of seventeen, 
and followed a sea-faring life until forty years of age, working his way up 
from cabin-boy to captain. Four times he sailed around the globe. Finally 
his ship, loaded with tea, was sunk in New York harbor. After abandoning 
a sailor's career he traveled for a while. Then he came to Sauk Centre and 
married, after which he went to Spring Hill, where he opened a store, and 
became postmaster and justice of the peace. He was also town clerk. He died 
at Spring Hill at the age of sixty-eight. His wife is still living at the age of 
sixty-nine. The children are : Edward, Anna, Catherine, John, Mary, Joseph- 
ine (deceased), Henry and James D. 

John White Darby, early merchant, postmaster and official of Paynesville, 
and veteran of the Civil war, was born at White Creek, New York, August 18, 
1835, youngest of the seven children of Leonard and Elizabeth (Weir) Darby. 
He attended the schools of his native town and later took courses at Poultney, 
Vermont. He learned the trade of machinist from his father, and worked at 
his trade in Lawrence, Worcester and Pittsfield, Mass., before entering the 
works of the Woods Mowing-Machine Co., at Hoosick Falls, New York. On 
July 11, 1863, he enlisted in Co. K, 22nd Mass. Vol. Inf., was transferred later 
to Co. M, 32nd Mass. Vol. Inf., and followed the fortunes of that company 
until after the surrender of Lee, April 9, 1865. Later he was taken ill, sent 



820 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

to the Campbell hospital at Washington, D. C, and honorably discharged for 
disability May 3, 1865. He had taken part in many an important battle, 
skirmish and campaign, and his health never fully recovered from the ex- 
posures and hardships which he underwent. In 1867 he came to Paynesville, 
and in 1868 engaged in the general mercantile business on the old townsite. 
For some years he also conducted the only drug store in the village. He was 
appointed postmaster by President U. S. Grant, and though a Republican was 
not deposed by President Grover Cleveland, his term continuing some twenty 
years. He was also a justice of the peace and a notary public. In the Eugene 
M. Wilson Post, No. 188, G. A. R., he was a prominent member, and served for 
a time as its commander. The G. A. R. lot at Paynesville, which in time is to 
descend to the Sons of Veterans, was his gift. His wife was a member of the 
Relief Corps. He was a charter member of Paynesville lodge. No. 71, A. F. 
& A. M., organized February 6, 1869, and his wife was a charter member of the 
Eastern Star here. Both were active workers in the Methodist Episcopal 
church. He died February 2, 1908. Mr. Darby was married January 25, 1870, 
to Emma Elliott, born in Pennsylvania January 26, 1851, daughter of C. S. 
and Marie Elliott, natives of that state who came to Paynesville in 1868. Mr. 
and Mrs. Darby have two sons. Bennett L. is a photographer of St. Louis, Mo. 
Thomas L. lives in Paynesville. He married Josephine Hoiseth, who was born 
in Stearns county, the daughter of Peter Hoiseth. 

Ferdinand Frank, a farmer of Paynesville township, was born in Prussia, 
Germany, November 3, 1860, son of Christ and Anna (Nehring) Frank. The 
parents came to the United States from Germany in 1871, bringing their chil- 
dren, William, Charles, Ferdinand and Augusta, the last named of whom is 
now Mrs. Frank Heitke. Upon reaching Stearns county they located on 120 
acres in Zion township. There were no buildings on the property, so they 
erected a log shanty, 16 by 24, with a straw roof. There was little to eat 
and soon the winter set in upon them. At one period, when a blizzard was 
raging, they kept their cow and calf in the cabin for three days, to save the 
animals from freezing in the intense cold. When the next spring came, the 
cijops were started in a primitive way, the wheat being sown by hand. Both 
Christ Frank and his good wife, Anna, lived long lives. He died in 1900 at 
the age of seventy-six. She died in 1908 at the age of eighty-three. At the 
age of eleven years, Ferdinand started his career by securing employment with 
a neighbor. The brother, Charles, remained at home and eventually came into 
possession of the home farm. Ferdinand worked out until about twenty-one 
years of age, when he acquired 160 acres of wild land in Zion township. He 
erected thereon a frame house, and made many other improvements. Later, 
however, he and his wife engaged in the creamery business for about two years. 
After that he returned to farming in Zion township. Some fifteen years later, 
he sold out and acquired a farm in section 5, Paynesville township. He has 
since sold twenty-five acres of this, but retains 160 acres, and, assisted by his 
oldest son, carries on general farming. He raises thoroughbred Holstein cattle, 
pure blooded Poland China hogs, and high grade Norman and Belgian horses. 
Mr. Frank is a member of the Evangelical church located in Paynesville Vil- 
lage. He has in the past, done good service as its trustee and Sunday school 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY " 821 

superintendent. In the early eighties, Mr. Frank married Augusta Heitke, 
daughter of Gotfried Heitke. She died at the age of thirty-two, leaving two 
children, Laurence and Daisy. For his second wife he married Elizabeth 
Werner, a native of Germany. Two children have been born, Elsie and Samuel. 

Ernest E. Finger, proprietor of the "Big Store," Paynesville, was born in 
Juneau, Dodge county, Wis., June 22, 1876, son of Ernest Henry and Amelia 
(Koehler) Finger. He lost his father in 1878, and his mother brought him to 
Popular Grove, Lake Henry township, this county. Here he was reared to 
farm pursuits. In 1900 he and his brothers, J. H. and A. H. Finger, engaged 
in the general mercantile business at Paynesville. A few years ago, A. H. 
Finger withdrew from the concern, and on January 1, 1911, J. H. likewise 
retired. Ernest E. Finger, the subject of this mention, is now the sole proprie- 
tor. He conducts the establishment under the name of "The Big Store, E. E. 
Finger." The store carries a full line of clothing, shoes, dry goods and 
groceries. The service is courteous and considerate, and the customers feel 
that their interests are being fully looked after. It is this well-founded feeling 
of confidence that has built up the store to its present proportions. Aside from 
his admirable work in his business he is doing good service as a member of 
the school board. Mr. Finger was married July 5, 1905, to Helen Nehring, 
born in Lake Henry township, daughter of William Nehring, a pioneer. They 
have one child : Earl Ernest. The family faith is that of the Evangelical church. 

Ernest Henry Finger, now deceased, was born in Germany, the son of 
Michael and Elizabeth Finger. The parents spent the span of their years in 
the old country. In the family were seven children. Ernest Henry Finger 
came to the United States in 1865, and located in Lomira, Wis., where he 
worked as a farm hand for a while, and later rented land on his own responsi- 
bility. Mr. Finger died in Wisconsin in 1878 at the age of thirty-seven. He 
was a devout member of the Evangelical Methodist church. He and his good 
wife, Amelia Koehler, whom he married in 1867, had five children : J. H. ; 
Elizabeth, now Mrs. Charles Sclick; Helen, who first married Jacob Haglen, 
and then Charles Quinn ; August H., and Ernest. Amelia Koehler was born in 
Germany, February 28, 1843, daughter of Carl and Mary (Schoeneman) 
Koehler. The Koehler family, consisting then of the father and mother, Amelia, 
Fred and August, came from Germany to Wisconsin in 1865. It was in Wiscon- 
sin that Amelia married Ernest Henry Finger, whom she had previously known 
in Germany. 

Rev. Theodore C. Hudson, rector of St. Stephens' church, Protestant Epis- 
copal, at Paynesville, was born in Janesville, Wis., July 28, 1852, son of San- 
ford A. and Sarah D. (Canfield) Hudson. He received his early training in 
Janesville, Wis., and took theology at the Seabury School, Faribault, Minn., 
then under the immediate supervision of its founder, Right Rev. Henry B. 
Whipple, Bishop of Minnesota. He was ordained in 1877 by Bishop Whipple 
at Faribault, Minn. His first parish was at Sauk Centre, in this county. Subse- 
quently he had parishes at Mankato and at Fairmont in this state. He came 
to Paynesville in 1895. He has been prominent in mission work, and is an 
ideal village rector. Kindly in precept, diligent in work, faithful in piety, he 
is an influence for good in the community in which he works. In 1880, he was 



822 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

married at Sauk Centre, to Evelyn Boobar, daughter of Henry A. Boobar, of 
Sauk Centre. She died in 1899 at the age of forty-three. There were five 
children : Sanford, Mary, Phoebe, Theodore and Charles (deceased) . In 1902 
he married Helen Henke, of Wisconsin. There are two children: William 
Canfield and Robert Durlin. Sanford A. Hudson was born in New York state, 
son of Amos Hudson, of Oxford, Mass. He became a prominent attorney of 
Janesville, Wis. He was later judge of the Supreme court, of Dakota territory, 
with residence at Fargo. He died in 1905 at the age of eighty-seven years. His 
wife died in 1877 at the age of fifty-five years. They had five children : Francis 
L., Rev. Theodore C, Hattie J., and Henry and Sarah (twins). 

John Gotlieb Knable was born in Pomerania, Germany, August 3, 1849, 
the son of John Gotlieb Knable, Sr., and Fredericka Knable, his wife. In 1859 
he was one of a party which set sail from Germany, bound for the new country. 
The party consisted of the Knables and the Schroeders. John Gotlieb, Sr., and 
Fredericka Knable brought their four children, John, Gustave, Amelia and 
Matilda. Two of their sons, Herman, and August, the latter of whom became 
an Evangelical preacher, were already in America. Frederick and Sophia 
Schroeder brought their children, William, Amelia, Augustina, Herman and 
Wilhelmina. Two more Schroeder children : Lena and Albert, who was killed 
by the falling of a tree, were born in America. After a voyage of eight weeks, 
they reached America. All of them eventually settled in Paynesville and Zion 
townships, this county, and experienced the usual discomforts of pioneer life. 
A short time after their arrival, John Gotlieb Knable, the subject of this men- 
tion, married Augusta Schroeder, born in Pomerania, Germany, February 11, 
1851, daughter of Frederick and Sophia (Neuman) Schroeder, the former of 
whom was born in 1819 and died in 1905, and the latter of whom was born in 
1821 and died in 1874. The Schroeders were members of the party of pioneers 
just mentioned. An interesting part of their pioneer experiences was a drive 
from Green county, Wisconsin. The subject of this sketch and his young 
bride took up their residence in Munson township, on the same place where 
their son, Adolph, now lives. The farming operations prospered. The original 
log cabin was replaced with modern farm buildings, and the wild land became 
a well-cultivated farm. Mr. Knable was made president of the Farmers' Insur- 
ance Co., and became a substantial man in the community. He was an active 
member of the Evangelical church. After his death, September 19, 1902, his 
widow moved to the village of Paynesvile, where she still resides. There 
were four children: Adolph Otto, who lives on the home farm; William, 
Avho is dead ; Helen, who lives with her mother ; and Herman, who died as an 
infant. 

Tidman T. Lund, a general merchant at Paynesville for the past quarter 
of a century, was born in Rock county, Wisconsin, June 4, 1853, son of Torkel 
and Crete (Berg) Lund, who brought him to Fillmore county this state in 1855 
and to Waseca county in 1858. Tidman T. spent his youth with his parents. 
In 1887 he came to Paynesville,. and with John M. Malmin as a partner, engaged 
in the general mercantile business under the firm name of Malmin & Lund. 
Four years later, the partnership was dissolved. Since that time Mr. Lund 
has built up a successful business by honest dealings and commercial ability. 




'l\ T. LUND 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY ^ 823 

In addition to this he is associated with his brother, Martin Lund, in the lumber 
business at Barrett, Grant county, Minn. Mr. Lund is one of the leading men 
of the village. He has served on the village council, and has been village 
treasurer for many years. He attends the Lutheran church. 

William McKinstry was born in Vermont, June 15, 1795, and died in 
Becker county in 1882. He was of Scotch blood, and one of his grandfathers 
was a brave soldier in the War of 1812. After attaining the years of manhood 
he became, first a class leader, and then a local preacher, in the Methodist 
Episcopal church. He was married in New York state, to Sallie Marie Cole, 
a native of that state. She was born January 15, 1813, the daughter of David 
Cole, and died in Becker county in 1899. After their marriage they lived in 
Allegheny county. New York, where Mr. McKinstry occupied various pulpits in 
the absence of the regular preachers. It was in 1867 that he came to Paynes- 
ville, where he made his home for about two years, moving thence to Minne- 
apolis and thence to Becker county. In the family there were six children : 
Mary E. (deceased), Amelia D. (deceased), Hannah M., of Pasadena, Cal., 
Harriet A., "William P. (deceased), and Lester C, of Detroit, Minn. 

Horace Fuller Sheldon was born in Canada, and came to Minnesota in the 
spring of 1868. Being a blacksmith by trade he worked for a while in Paynes- 
ville village. Then he purchased eighty acres that is a part of his present place 
in Paynesville township. He and his wife now own 200 acres of good land. 
The land is well developed, and improved with a splendid house and modern 
outbuildings. The family stands well in the community and is noted for its 
hospitality and progressiveness. Mr. Sheldon was married in 1870 to Harriet 
A. McKinstry, daughter of William and Sallie Marie (Cole) McKinstry. She 
was born in Allegheny county, New York, October 7, 1842. Mr. and Mrs. 
Sheldon have seven children: Edith, Cora, William A., Merton L., James L., 
Horace F. and Lester H. Edith M. was for some years a school teacher. She 
was born May 10, 1871, married A. E. Nunn, and lives on a farm in the state 
of Delaware. They have had five children : Dorathea, Horace, Margaret and 
Mildred (twins), and Edith. Mildred is dead. Cora A, was also a teacher for 
several years. She was born July 22, 1873, and is now the wife of R. W. 
Deichen, of Newport, near St. Paul. They have two children, Howard and 
Ruth. William A. was born July 8, 1872, and married Fannie Herter. They 
live in Woburn, North Dakota, and have four children : Arthur, Marie, 
Herbert and Dorothea Fern. Merton L. was born September 23, 1876, and 
lives in Grandin, North Dakota. He married Anna Parsey, and they have three 
children, Dorothea, Merton and Florence. James L. was born July 9, 1878, 
and resides in Waseca, Minn. He married Augusta Wood and they have four 
children : Hazel, Alice, Helen and Lois. Horace F. was born April 23, 1880, 
and lives on the home farm. Lester H. was born July 22, 1883, and lives in 
Nashua, Montana. He married Edith Fetter and they had one son, Warren 
(deceased). 

Herman Ludwick Manz, a pioneer, was born June 9, 1838, and died March 
28, 1904, He came to Stearns county shortly after the close of the Civil war, 
and secured a homestead of 160 acres of wild land in section 30, Zion township. 
He built a log cabin and started his life here under primitive conditions. For 



324 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

the shelter of his ox team, and his one cow, he erected a log barn, and roofed 
it over with straw. He broke the land, put in the seeds, and waited his first 
crop. From year to year his hard work brought him success, and he became 
one of the most prosperous men in the community. Progressive in every way, 
he early foresaw the necessity of some of the movements which today are of so 
much benefit to the farmers. For one thing he helped organize the Farmers' 
Insurance Co., of Zion and Paynesville townships. He was one of the advocates 
of diversified farming, at a time when most of the farmers were raising but one 
principal crop. His Shorthorn and Holstein cattle, his Clydesdale horses, and 
his good sheep and hogs were his especial pride. Realizing that his sons, as 
they grew older, would desire land to live on, he purchased land in section 35, 
Lake Henry township, and also developed that. He put up, on this Lake Henry 
property, a log house 14 by 12 feet, with shingled roof, and the building is 
still standing. Around his Lake Henry property he also set out a splendid 
evergreen hedge, from seed that came from Germany. The hedge is now one of 
the sights of that township, and all the trees of that variety in the county have 
sprung from this one hedge. Aside from his farms in Lake Henry and Zion 
townships, Mr. Manz had real estate holdings in Paynesville. Herman Ludwick 
Manz was married in Wisconsin, Fon du Lac county, July 23, 1865, to Amelia 
Ludwig. The ceremony was performed by Rev. William Horn, now the Rt. Rey. 
Bishop Horn, of the Evangelical church. There were six children. Emma 
Amelia was born September 12, 1866, and married Robert Helmer. Ida Marie 
was born May 31, 1870, and married August Bohland. Anna Sophia was born 
February 11, 1872, and married W. F. Moede. Frederick William was born 
February 17, 1874, and resides on the place which the father developed in Lake 
Henry township. Herman J. was born July 22, 1876, and lives on the home 
place in Zion township. Matilda Helena was born March 15, 1879, and was a 
teacher in the Haskell College, the Indian school at Lawrence, Kansas. She 
now teaches at Paynesville. For his second wife, Herman Ludwick Manz was 
married on January 22, 1880, to Louise Rien, the daughter of Christ and Caro- 
line (Sunder) Rein. By this union there were three children. Wilhelmina 
Augusta, the oldest of the three, is now Mrs. Herman Kanable, and has two 
sons, Lorin and Kermit. She was born December 1, 1880. Bertha Elvina was 
born June 7, 1884. She married Max Nagel and they live in Paynesville with 
her mother, Lydia is dead. 

Christ Rien, an early settler, was born in Germany, and there married 
Caroline Sunder. In the fifties they brought their family to Canada, where 
they lived several years. Later they came to Paynesville, and took up 160 acres 
of wild land. They were true pioneers. Their log cabin was a substantial 
structure, 14 by 18 feet, with floor and roofing made of split logs. To assist 
them in their farm work, they had an ox team. Their wagon was a primitive 
affair, with wheels made of slices of logs. In this vehicle, and drawn by the 
oxen, Mr. Rien was accustomed to drive to St. Cloud for supplies. Times were 
very hard. In the evening after a hard day's work in the forest or the field, 
Mr. Rien would grind corn in the coffee mill, in order that the family might 
have corn bread in the morning. Often their only ration at noon was a soup, 
made by mixing flour and water with certain weeds plucked in the garden. 




ME. AND MRS. JOHN G. NEHRINC; 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 825 

Pivtatoes were so scarce, that instead of planting the tubers themselves, the 
family planted the parings, and thus obtained their first potato crop. The 
children were playmates of the Indians. They also had a deer which they 
trained as a household pet, but the deer finally wandered off and was killed. 
During the Indian troubles, the family took refuge at Richmond. Prosperity 
came with the years, and the family obtained success. Christ Rien died in 
1868 at the age of 45. His wife died in 1905 at the age of eighty-two. The 
information for this sketch is furnished by one of the daughters, Louisa, now 
the widow of Herman Ludwick Manz. She was born in Canada, January 30, 
1856, and came to Paynesville with her parents. Mrs. Manz has many interest- 
ing stories to tell of the early years. She remembers clearly all the incidents 
of pioneer life, and enjoys talking of those times. Sometimes as she watches 
a large shipment of flour come to some Paynesville store, she tells of the days 
when grain was threshed with flails or tramped out by oxen, and then spread to 
dry on sheets which also did service on the beds. 

John G. Nehring, mayor of Paynesville, was born in Oniki, Stevens county, 
111., December 23, 1863, a son of Samuel and Anna Dorathea (Butt) Nehring, 
who in 1865 brought him from Illinois to a homestead of 160 acres in Zion 
township, this county. He attended the district schools and at the age of 
seventeen started to learn the trade of painting and decorating. For a time 
he worked in Wisconsin. In 1882 he took up his residence in Paynesville. 
Here he operated a paint and wall-paper store. He now gives his attention to 
high class painting, and interior and exterior decoration. In this capacity he 
has done excellent work on the principal public and private buildings in 
Paynesville and vicinity. He has been a member of the Paynesville council 
for nine years, and is now mayor. He is also court officer and deputy sheriff 
under B. E. Schoener. Like his father before him, he is an energetic worker 
in the Evangelical church. 

Mr. Nehring was married June 25, 1893, to Wilhelmina Henneman, of 
Trevor, Wis. In 1907, Mr. and Mrs. Nehring took a trip to Europe, and visited 
the land of their parentage. From New York, they made the trip on the 
steamer, "President Lincoln." They visited such places as London, England, 
and Amsterdam, Holland, but spent the larger part of their time in Germany. 
They were much surprised to find that the roads and streets were in better 
condition than those of America. The intensive farming in Germany attracted 
their particular attention. They found that under this method, though their 
machinery is not so good as that in the United States, nevertheless they secure 
much better results in quantity and quality of crops. In returning they took 
the steamer, "President Grant," and made the trip in eleven days. It had 
taken his grandmother thirty days to make the same trip. Wilhelmina Henne- 
man, now Mrs. John C. Nehring, was born in Germany, the daughter of Christ 
and Augusta (Luck) Henneman. The father died in the old country and the 
mother, with her eight children, came from Germany to Wisconsin, where she 
married Gotfried Henneman, a brother of her deceased husband. 

Erwin Herman Nehring was born on the family homestead in Paynesville 
township. May 16, 1888, son of Julius and Augusta (Plantikow) Nehring. He 
attended the district schools of his neighborhood and the Paynesville High 



826 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

school. Then he entered the Northwestern Commercial College, graduating in 
1907. For two years he worked in the office of the North American Cold 
Storage Co., at Paynesville. Then for some years he was employed by Samuel 
Kroonblawd, and by his successor, W. S. Johnson, October 1, 1912, Mr. Neh- 
ring became identified with F. R. Naftalin, as a partner in a line of clothing 
establishments known as the Model Clothing Stores, and conducted under the 
name of the Model Clothing Co. For a time Mr. Nehring assisted at Elbow 
Lake, Minn. Now he has charge of the store at Pajmesville. He has been very 
successful, and carries a full line of clothing, furnishings, hats and shoes. Mr. 
Nehring is a member of Paynesville Ijodge, No. 4174, Brotherhood of American 
Yeomen. 

Julius Nehring was born in Monroe county, Wis., May 18, 1860, son of 
Samuel Nehring. He was brought to Stearns county at the age of seven years, 
and was reared on a farm in Zion township. As a youth he attended the 
district schools, and remained at home until his marriage in June, 1885, to 
Augusta Plantikow. After their marriage they settled on 160 acres of land 
in Paynesville township. By frugal lives and hard work, they achieved suc- 
cess, and in time increased their holdings to 240 acres. Both are active 
workers. In 1904, Mr. and Mrs. Nehring retired and moved to Paynesville 
village where they now reside. In the family are four children: Erwin 
Herman, Rhoda and Liliah (twins), and Orlando. Rhoda is a teacher. 

Michael F. Plantikow was born in Blumberg, Germany, and was married 
in that country. The oldest child, August, died there. Thus bereaved, Mr. 
and Mrs. Plantikow came to America alone.. For a time they lived on a farm 
in Monroe county, "Wis., and there two more children, Frank and Wilhelmina, 
were born. With this family of two children, Mr. and Mrs. Plantikow came to 
Stearns county, and secured 160 acres in Zion township. They put up a log 
shanty, and like many of the pioneers, used an ox team for work and for 
transportation. They arrived just before the Indian outbreak, and like the 
other settlers, sought refuge at one time in the stockade at Paynesville. For 
many years Mr. Plantikow lived on the farm in Zion township. To his original 
tract he added eighty acres of tillable land and eighty acres of timberland. 
He also in time erected modern buildings to take the place of the log struc- 
tures. When the Salem Evangelical Church was erected he was one of those 
who helped in its construction. In his latter years he retired, and moved to 
Paynesville, where he died. 

The Paynesville Hospital. Representing the enthusiasm and altruism of 
its able founder and reflecting the public spirit of the leading citizens of this 
vicinity the Paynesville Hospital has become a most decided asset to the pros- 
perity of the city and has spread wide its gospel of health and healing. The 
hospital began with a vacation of Dr. P. C. Pilon, then a physician at Rockville. 
Spending an outing at Lake Koronis in June, 1897, he became so impressed 
with the surroundings of Paynesville that he moved here and opened an office 
the following month. In September of the same year he purchased a small 
house and opened a small hospital for the more thorough care of his patients. 
This house has for several years past been used as quarters for the employes. 
In the summer of 1898 he purchased another building, enlarged and remodeled 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY - 827 

it to be used as a hospital. It was formally opened under his management in 
the fall of 1898, Since that date over 6,000 operations including the clinic 
operations have been performed in that hospital, covering the entire field of 
surgery. As time passed, the facilities of the old hospital became inadequate 
to accommodate all those who came seeking help. Consequently a new build- 
ing was planned. Ground was broken, August 18, 1913, and a structure was 
erected at a cost of $25,000. The hospital was formally opened August 16, 17 
and 18, 1914. On the afternoon of Sunday, August 16, a religious service was 
held at the hospital attended by 250 people, at which the various clergymen 
of the city delivered addresses. On the following evening a banquet was given 
at the high school building, the guests being the business men, and the speakers 
those distinguished in local affairs. Susannah Benton, of Harwich, was the 
first superintendent-nurse and held that position for four years, after which 
Florence Thompson, the present superintendent, took charge. For three years 
she was away, and during that time, Charlotte Smith, now nurse in the Philip- 
pine Islands, and Hulda Conrad, now superintendent of a hospital in Portland, 
Oregon, were in charge of the hospital. 

The hospital records show that there have been patients from Iowa, Wis- 
consin, North Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, "Washington, Oregon, Mon- 
tana and Minnesota, in the United States, and from Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta 
and Saskatchewan, in Canada. In the early history of the hospital. Dr. J. J. 
Donavan, then of Eden Valley, now of Litchfield, was the assistant surgeon. 
In 1906, Dr. Harry E. Sutton, now of Cold Spring, came to Paynesville, and 
became associated with the hospital until 1908, in which year. Dr. George E. 
Putney took his place. In 1911 came Dr. Theodore Sattersmoen, now of Park 
Rapids, who was associated with the hospital one year. In December, 1912, 
Dr. George D. Rice came here from Pipestone, and became associated with 
Doctors Pilon and Putney, in the work of the hospital. The hospital has an 
ideal location in the city of Paynesville. Its grounds are spacious and sightly, 
and spreading lawns, shaded with trees and graced with shrubbery, inter- 
spersed with picturesque walks, give ample opportunity for outdoor recreation. 
The building itself is of stucco, 36 by 70 feet, four stories high. The latest 
modern equipment has been installed throughout. The heat is furnished by a 
hot water plant, with an evaporation attachment which insures correct humid- 
ity, while absolute purity of air is secured by admirable ventilating apparatus. 
A duel lighting system of gas and electricity has been installed, and the con- 
struction of the building with its sun parlors on every floor, its ample halls, 
and its large windows, gives plenty of natural sunshine and brightness during 
the hours of the day. The fire protection is much more ample than is required 
by law. A special feature is the fact that the beds are of the latest approved 
chair pattern, and the doors in the building are all wide enough so that the 
patients may be taken to any part of the building without being removed 
from bed. Upon entering the main portal, one is at once ushered into an 
atmosphere of quiet, rest and healing. One of the features of the main floor 
is the recreation room, which is fitted with billiard tables and other forms of 
amusement. On this floor is the dining room. Here are also found the 
kitchen, the laundry, and various store rooms, work rooms, and power rooms. 



828 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

necessary to the routine up-keep of the institution. On the second floor are the 
offices, the reception rooms, the laboratory and X-ray roms, and the baths for 
massage and clinical work. On this floor there are also a number of private 
rooms, with baths, for patients. The third floor contains private rooms of a 
similar nature. Here by various contrivances of construction, the walls have 
been rendered sound proof. Here also is the operating room, equipped with an 
auxiliary heating plant, and with large ceiling lights in addition to the splen- 
did provision that is made for the admission of the sunlight. On this floor 
too are the linen closets, the dressing rooms, and the sterilizing rooms, where 
the sterilizing is done by gas and electricity. The wards, likewise located 
on this floor, are each equipped with two beds. The fourth floor is devoted 
to the use of the employes. The hospital staff is composed as follows : Chief 
surgeon, P. C. Pileon, M. D. (E. M. C. M., Montreal, 1886), for two years 
a student of post-graduate work in Europe ; surgeon and laboratory supervisor, 
6. E. Putney, M. D. (Medical College of Harvard University, Cambridge, 
1876) ; surgeon, G. D. Rice, M. D. (Medical College, University of Minnesota, 
Minneapolis, 1903) ; head nurse, Florence M. Thompson (graduated from St. 
Barnabas Hospital at Minneapolis) assistant head nurse, Amy Anderson. 

Robert Hoover, physician and clergyman, was born in Pennsylvania, in 
1828, son of Jonas and Hetty (Zimmerman) Hoover. He received his advanced 
education at Allegheny College, Meadville, Penn., and was ordained to the min- 
istry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Subsequently he occupied various 
pulpits in Illinois and Minnesota, finally reaching Paynesville. Here he 
preached and farmed and practiced medicine. He died at California, July 
6, 1891. For his first wife. Dr. Hoover married Sarah Bumstad. For his sec- 
ond wife he married Fannie Montgomery. This union was blessed with two 
children: Lulu, wife of Robert Sherill, of California; and Hattie, wife of 
Mr. Beck, of California. Jonas Hoover was born in the Allegheny mountains, 
in 1800, and in early youth became foreman of the ore mines in Pennsylvania. 
For about four years he lived near Peru, 111. In the fifties he located in Fari- 
bault, Minnesota. Near that village he obtained 160 acres of wild land, and 
there resided until his death at the age of sixty-nine. His widow died at the 
age of eighty-six. He was the father of fifteen children. By his first wife, 
Mary Peters, he had two children, John and Mary. The thirteen children by 
his second wife, Esther Zimmerman, were : Robert, Henry, Joseph, Eliza, Mar- 
jory, Ezekiel, Catherine, Rebecca, Susan, William, Esther, Isabella and Mel- 
vin H. 

Samuel P. Roach was born in St. Ives, Cornwall, April 14, 1836, son of 
John Roach. The father and mother and five children : John, Mary, Samuel, 
Bridget and Thomas, came to America in 1842, and located in Dodge county, 
Wisconsin. The father, John, turned his attention to carpenter work, while 
the boys engaged in farming. Samuel P. was reared in Wisconsin. In 1861 he 
came to Minnesota and secured 160 acres of land on the line between Kandiyohi 
and Stearns county. About a year later he was married. During the Indian 
uprising the family had many thrilling adventures. Part of the time the fam- 
ily lived in the stockade at Paynesville, while Mr, Roach went each day to 
his work on the farm. There was also a period when Mrs. Roach stood guard 




SAMUEL P. ROACH 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 829 

with a gun, while Mr. Roach worked in the field. For one year Mr. Roach 
served as a private in the Third Minnesota Voluntary Infantry. But the years 
of the war and of the Indian troubles passed, a period of settled peace en- 
sued. As the years passed, Mr. Roach became successful and prosperous. After 
nineteen years he moved to the village of Paynesville, still, however, retaining 
his interest in the farm. Mr. Roach was a strong influence for righteousness 
in the community. He was a staunch Methodist, and though he had obtained 
no theological training except that received from reading, he nevertheless 
often occupied Methodist pulpits, and frequently preached funeral sermons. 
He was a Democrat in politics, and by that party was elected to be justice of 
the peace and a member of the school board. Often urged to accept higher 
offices, he always pleaded his home and religious duties as an excuse, and re- 
fused to become a candidate. He died August 10, 1913. Mr. Roach was mar- 
ried January 25, 1862, to Susan Hoover, born in Clarion county, Pennsylvania, 
November 7, 1840, daughter of Janas and Hettie (Zimmerman) Hoover. Mr. 
and Mrs. Roach had nine children : Albert Edson was born January 8, 1865 ; 
John Adelbert Was born September 22, 1866 ; Charles Henry was born May 
26, 1868, and died April 4, 1897 ; Mary Alice was born September 11, 1869 ; 
William Robert was born September 26, 1871 ; Esther Blanche was born April 
14, 1873; Eva Estella was born December 10, 1880; Susan Sophia was born 
March 2, 1882 ; Samuel Z. was born December 19, 1883. 

Elmer A. Schmitt, secretary and treasurer of the Paynesville Land Co., 
was born July 3, 1887, at Roscoe, in Stearns county, a son of Anton and Anna 
M. (Logman) Schmitt. He was the eldest of seven children. As a youth he 
attended school at Roscoe. Later he studied at the St. Cloud State Normal 
School, and still later, in 1904, completed a course in the Vaths Business Col- 
lege, at St. Cloud. After graduating from this institution he devoted himself 
to assisting his father in farming and in the grain business. His first experi- 
ence in the banking business was with Boylan & Carlock, as assistant cashier. 
When this firm was incorporated as the Security State Bank he remained in the 
same position until he became treasurer of the Paynesville Land Co., then 
composed of himself, Joseph C. Peters and George Andrews. March 1, 1913, 
Mr. Schmitt purchased Mr. Peters' interest, and became secretary and treas- 
urer. The company deals in land in Kandiyohi, Meeker and Stearns counties, 
and also has interests in more remote localities. Mr. Schmitt is an independent 
thinker, and consequently has allied himself with no political party. He thor- 
oughly studies the issues and principles of each campaign, and votes for ideas 
in government and management, rather than for the platform of any par- 
ticular organization. He is a member of the Paynesville lodges of the B. A. Y., 
and the M. W. A., being clerk of the latter order. He married Anna L. Apple- 
gren, daughter of John Applegren. 

Michael F. SchiUtz was born in Germany, October 24, 1847, a son of 
Michael and Minnie Schultz, who brought the family of four, August F., Min- 
nie, Michael F., and Lena to America in 1856, the voyage on the sailing vessel 
occupying five weeks and three days. After living a while in Green county, 
Wisconsin, they drove to Minnesota with an ox team, and located on eighty 
acres of wild land in section 35, Zion township, this county. Later they 



830 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

added eighty acres more. A log cabin which was erected, later gave place to 
a ^odern dwelling, and the farm became one of the best in the neighborhood. 
The parents died in 1891, six weeks apart, the mother first at the age of sev- 
enty-three, and the father at the age of seventy-eight. Michael F. grew to 
manhood on his father's place, and finally purchased a farm of 100 acres in 
Zion township. He lived there something like twelve or fifteen years. Then 
he secured a tract of 160 acres in sections 11 and 12, Paynesville township. 
There he lived about thirty years. He became a prominent man, served on the 
town and school boards for many years, and was an active worker in the 
Evangelical church. In 1905 he retired and moved to Paynesville, where he 
and his wife still reside. He has many interesting stories to tell of the early 
days, especially of the time of the Indian troubles, when he and his wife fled 
first to the fort at Paynesville and then to Richmond, where they remained 
until the coming of the troops. Mr. Schultz was married June 17, 1870, to 
Augusta Gedosch, who was born in Germany, August 10, 1850, daughter of 
August and Christina Gedosch, who came to America in 1860, landing after a 
voyage of seven weeks, with their three children, Augusta, Fred and Louisa. 
They spent seven weeks in Green county, Wisconsin, and then drove with an 
ox team and a horse team to Stearns county, where they secured a tract of 
198 acres in section 1, Paynesville. They first built a log cabin and then pros- 
pered with the country. August Gedosch died in 1898 at the age of seventy- 
five and his wife in 1891 at the age of sixty-three. They were members of the 
Evangelical church. Mr. and Mrs. Schultz have eight children : William E., 
who is in the bank at Paynesville ; Matilda, deceased ; Otelia, Caroline, Michael, 
Mandy, Aloina (deceased), and Fred. 

Fred Schultz, who resides on the old homestead of 160 acres in section 12, 
Paynesville township, was born on the place where he still resides, March 11, 
1890, son of Michael Schultz, the pioneer. He attended first the district schools, 
and then the Paynesville High School. In 1912 he took charge of the home 
farm. He has an excellent stock farm, understands his business thoroughly, 
and in addition to the usual crops he raises a fine grade of Holstein cattle. One 
of the features of the farm is a barn 38 by 100 feet. Mr. Schultz was married 
in August, 1911, to Carrie Buckman, of Dodge county, Minnesota. 

Antoin Wartenberg, deceased, was born in Prussia, Germany, May 4, 1832, 
son of David and Anna Wartenberg. There were three older children in the 
family, Dorethea, Minnie, and Christian. For a second wife, David Warten- 
berg married Elizabeth Yust, and brought her to America. Antoin Wartenberg 
came to America from Germany in 1854, and lived for a while in Illinois. Next 
he settled in Monroe, Green county, Wisconsin. He was there married. After 
the marriage, he and his wife went to Stevenson county, Illinois. Although 
he was a cobbler by trade he devoted a portion of his time to farming. In 
1860 he determined to devote his time entirely to farming. Accordingly he 
and his wife joined a party in which there were also six other families and on 
May 7, started for Minnesota. Thus riding in covered wagons drawn by ox 
teams, and leading their cows, the party reached Stearns county, and were wel- 
comed by John Baitinger, who had a cabin in section 6, Eden Lake township. 
The date of this arrival was June 3, 1860. After looking about for a while. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 831 

Mr. Wartenberg took a claim of 160 acres in section 14, Paynesville township. 
Here he erected a cabin 14 by 20 feet. He had more ready funds than some 
of his neighbors, he owned two pairs of oxen, and three cows. He started in 
with vigor and courage and the prospects seemed of the brightest. But then 
the Indian troubles came on. One day, John Boylan, severely wounded by the 
Indians, came to their cabin, and had his wounds bound with curtains torn 
from the windows. Then they all fled, taking their cattle, but leaving every- 
thing else. The Indians came along on a raid, and finding Mr. Boylan 's blood 
on the floor, reached the conclusion that an Indian had been slain there. Con- 
sequently, in revenge, they burned the cabin, and also set fire to four stacks 
of grain upon which the family was depending for winter food. Shortly after 
this Antoin Wartenberg enlisted in Company D, First Minnesota Mounted 
Rangers, October 20, 1862, and served until November 3, 1863. He entered the 
service as a private and was promoted to corporal. During his absence his 
wife lived in St. Cloud. After the war was over they returned to their claim. 
This time they erected a cabin in section 11. To this he added until at the time 
of his death, in 1879, he owned 600 acres of land. He was a prominent worker 
in the Evangelical church, and acted for some years as a Sunday school teacher. 
After her husband's death, Mrs. Wartenberg successfully operated the farm. 
She erected a modern house and made many other improvements. She still 
lives on the home place with her son, Antoin, Jr. Antoin Wartenberg and 
Amelia Heim were married in 1859. She was born in Prussia, Germany, Octo- 
ber 15, 1838, daughter of Martin and Louisa (Lest) Heim. The children in 
the Heim family were : Augustine, William, Berndt, Herman, Albert, Amelia, 
Florentine and Caroline. Of this family, Florentine, and Amelia who was after- 
ward Mrs. Wartenberg, came to America in 1857. Mr. and Mrs. Wartenberg 
have nine children living : Flora, born November 3, 1859 ; Augusta, born Octo- 
ber 5, 1864 ; Amelia, February 20, 1867 ; Antoin, December 19, 1869 ; Matilda, 
February 13, 1872; Helena, January 19, 1876; Anna, August 29, 1879. One 
son, Albert, died at the age of four years. Antoin Wartenberg, Jr., is one 
of the leading farmers of Paynesville township. He was born on the home 
farm, attended the district schools, and now owns the homestead of 370 acres. 
He is president of the Co-operative Creamery, president of the Zion-Paynes- 
ville Fire Insurance Co., and supervisor of Paynesville township. He was mar- 
ried June 14, 1892, to Helena Koepp, daughter of Ludwig Koepp, and they have 
six children. 

Conrad P. Winther, leading dentist and representative citizen of Paynes- 
ville, was born in the township of Paynesville, March 26, 1885, son of 0. N. 
and Johanna (Paulson) Winther, natives of Norway, and grandson of Hans 
Paulson, the early pioneer. 0. N. Winther and his wife came to America in 
June, 1883, and located on a farm in section 31, Paynesville, owned by Hans 
Paulson, the father of Mrs. Wintlier. Mrs. Winther died October 4, 1913, and 
Mr. Winther still lives on the place. 

Conrad P. Winther received his preliminary education in the district 
schools of his neighborhood, in the Minneapolis High School, and in the Augs- 
burg Seminary at Minneapolis. In 1903 he entered the dental department of 
the University of Minnesota, and was graduated in 1906. Immediately after 



832 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

his graduation he opened an office at Paynesville, where he has built up a 
large practice. His reputation for skill has extended wide, and his patients 
come from many miles in the country as well as from the village. He is well 
liked, and is a splendid type of an honorable young man. January 2, 1912, his 
well-equipped office was totally destroyed by fire, but, undaunted, he at once 
purchased new and modern machinery and equipment, and fitted up a suite 
of splendidly furnished offices in the First State Bank Building. He is a 
member of Paynesville Lodge, No. 71, A. F. & A. M., of Minneapolis Consistory, 
No. 2, Scottish Rites, and Zurah Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S., of Minneapolis. 
Dr. Winther was married July 5, 1910, to Elsie Hand, who was born in Aurora, 
111., in 1886. Mrs. Winther is a graduate of the Iowa State University at Iowa 
City, and before her marriage was a successful educator. She came to Paynes- 
ville as instructor in Latin in the Paynesville High School. 

Ferdinand Heimerdinger, miller of Paynesville, was born in Wurtemberg, 
Germany, September 30, 1850, son of John and Regina Heimerdinger, who were 
married in Germany in 1840, and in 1854 brought their six children to the 
United States. From Baltimore, Maryland, they went to Cleveland, and from 
there in 1856 they came to Minnesota. John Heimerdinger assisted C. Turner 
in erecting the first steam flour mill in New Ulm. He erected the first flour 
mill in Home, Minn. During the Indian uprising of 1862 he served among the 
volunteers. Ferdinand Heimerdinger, prior to coming to Paynesville, was in 
the milling business at Redwood Falls, Minn., and at Golden Gate, Minn. He 
came to Paynesville in May, 1903, and purchased the flour mill at this place 
and has operated same ever since. Ferdinand Heimerdinger was married in 
1879 to Anna Hoffman, who was born in New Ulm, Minn., February 8, 1861, 
daughter of those substantial German people, Henry and Margaret Hoffman, 
the former of whom was born in Germany, May 9, 1830, came to the United 
States at the age of seventeen, and devoted his adult years to his work as 
a blacksmith. Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand Heimerdinger have six children : 
Agonia, Harold, Walter, Maro and Marion (twins), and Willard. 

Harold Heimerdinger, joint partner with his father, Ferdinand, in the 
Paynesville Flour Mills, was born at Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, November 12, 
1887, son of Ferdinand and Anna (Hoffman) Heimerdinger. He received a 
district school and business college education and learned the milling business 
from his father. The present firm was established in the fall of 1910. It turns 
out a good product, and has an excellent reputation. The two best known 
brands are the "White Lily" and "Korona." Mr. Heimerdinger is a member 
of Paynesville Lodge, No. 196, I. 0. 0. F., and of Paynesville Lodge, No. 71, 
A. F. & A. M. On May 15, 1912, Mr. Heimerdinger married Florence Phipps, 
a native of Paynesville. One child, Audrey May Heimerdinger, was born to 
them in May, 1913. 

Edward D. Gale was born December 28, 1844, in Skaneatles, Onondaga 
county, New York, son of Gillis V. and Fannie (Darby) Gale. Gillis V. was 
born in Dutchess county. New York, of colonial English blood. He had five 
children : John, James, Frank, Charles and Edward D. Edward D. remained 
at home until after reaching his majority. In 1868 he started out for Minne- 
sota. Upon reaching Stearns county, he located on forty acres which included 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY ^. 833 

the present site of the Paynesville High School. This land was then entirely 
wild. Mr. Gale erected a log cabin about half a block from the present site 
of the schoolhonse, and started farming with an ox-team and a second hand 
wagon. A short time after locating on this land he was married. Later he 
sold the forty acres and purchased the southwest quarter of section 9, Paynes- 
ville township. On this farm was a log cabin, and some fifteen or twenty acres 
of the land had been improved. On this farm Mr. Gale lived for forty years. 
He made many improvements, erected comfortable buildings, raised good crops 
and kept some high grade cattle. In 1913 he built a home on a part of the 
farm which he had platted into lots, and resides there at present. He was 
treasurer of his township in the early days, and served on the school board for 
some thirty years. He and his family worship at the Presbyterian Church. 
In 1870, Mr. Gale married Mary E. Boylan, and this union has been blessed 
with four children : Fannie died at the age of one year ; Victoria has been a 
school teacher and now lives at home ; Edward travels from the North American 
Storage Co., and makes his headquarters in Paynesville. Frank is on the home 
farm in Paynesville township. 

William Henry Blasdell, the pioneer, was born at Stanstead Plains, Upper 
Canada, October 18, 1814, son of William Blasdell, a native of France, who 
reached America from his native land, after a hazardous trip during which 
his beloved brother was lost off the island of Jamaica, and never afterward 
heard from. William Henry was reared on the home farm in Canada. In 
1833 he went to Ohio, where for one year he served as store clerk in a country 
village. Then he became purchasing agent for the Huron Iron Works, at 
Vermillion, Ohio. He later went South for a time, but in 1838 returned to 
Ohio and settled on a farm near Brownsville. In 1842 he moved to Frank- 
fort, Illinois, where he resided for twenty years and for four years was 
sheriff of Will county. During this time, he was engaged in the farming, lum- 
bering and hotel business. In 1862 he started for Minnesota in a covered 
wagon of the type known as "prairie schooners." After a trip of six weeks 
he reached Paynesville, in this county. He found that the Indians had risen 
against the whites, and that the people of Paynesville were in a constant state 
of apprehension. Accordingly he went to St. Cloud for a year. Then he 
returned to Paynesville, and located on 150 acres of land. He erected a log 
building 18 by 24 feet, with a shed 12 by 12 feet, and in this edifice opened 
a tavern which he called the "Western Hotel." Later the building was re- 
modeled and rebuilt, and new conveniences installed. Mr. Blasdell kept 
the "Western Hotel" open to the public for twenty-five years. In the mean- 
time he devoted much attention to general farming and stock raising. He 
increased his original claim of wild prairie to 420 acres of well cultivated 
land, and on this farm he erected a barn 36 by 40 feet, the first frame barn 
in the county. He also in time constructed other buildings, and the farm 
became a model place in every way. For thirty years, Mr. Blasdell was a 
justice of the peace. He was an honored man in the community, and his 
death, April 24, 1888, was sincerely mourned. William Henry Blasdell was 
married November 16, 1838, to Harriet Beardsley, who was born October 24, 
1818, and died September 19, 1842. To this union three children were born. 



834 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Mary Jane was born November 2, 1839, was married November 6, 1859, and 
died in June, 1879. Sarah Ellen was born October 16, 1841, and died Sep- 
tember 2, 1842. Harriet E. was born September 11, 1842, and died. For his 
second wife, Mr. Blasdell married Sarah Abby, who was born in Clinton 
county, New York, July 2, 1831, and died November 6, 1911. She was the 
daughter of Samuel and Anna Abby, who spent nearly all their lives in Can- 
ada. By this union, Mr. Blasdell had seven children : Irene, born November 
23, 1851; Anna L., born October 14, 1853; Geneva, born November 11, 1855; 
Theda, born November 1, 1857; Ida M., born January 30, 1860; William P., 
April 23, 1862; and George A., born January 11, 1865. 

George A. Blasdell, a well-known agriculturist of Paynesville township, 
was born on the homestead where he still resides, January 11, 1865, son of 
William Henry and Sarah (Abby) Blasdell, the pioneers. He was reared to 
agricultural pursuits by his father, received good training in the schools of 
the neighborhood, and has attained great success. Throughout the county his 
name is well known as that of a skilled stock breeder. He is also highly es- 
teemed in Paynesville Lodge, No. 196, I. 0. 0. F. The modern residence in 
which Mr. Blasdell makes his home, still contains the timbers out of which 
his father's original cabin was made, and is thus the oldest building in the 
township. Mr. Blasdell was married November 17, 1908, to Mrs. Mary Scales 
Braden. The ceremony was performed by Father Leo M. Winter, 0. S. B. 
Mary Scales was born in Ontario, Canada, April 9, 1881, daughter of John and 
Bridget (Mullen) Scales, and granddaughter of Joseph and Mary (Lynch) 
Scales, and Peter and Mary (Welsch) Mullen. Bridget Mullen was born in 
Toronto, Canada; Mary Welsch was born in England; the others mentioned 
were born in Ireland. John Scales came with his parents from Ireland to 
Canada, at the age of three years. It was about 1888 when he came to Stearns 
county and secured a farm of eighty acres in Eden Lake township. Subse- 
quently he returned to Western Canada, where he died at the age of sixty- 
four, in 1902. His widow is still living at the age of fifty-eight. The Scale 
children were: William, Glen, John, Peter, Mary and Patrick (twins), James, 
Rosella (deceased), and Michael and Sarah (twins). Mary Scales came to 
the United States with her parents. She married Henry Braden, a native of 
Luxemburg, Germany. He was smothered in a grain chute, in Eden Valley, 
June 1, 1903. Henry Braden and his wife had three children. Edward was 
born December 16, 1900, and was drowned in the Crow river, June 18, 1907 ; 
William was born April 19, 1901 ; Henrietta was born May 30, 1903. 

William Page Blasdell, a successful farmer of Paynesville township, was 
born in Kankakee, 111., April 23, 1862, son of William Henry and Sarah 
(Abby) Blasdell, the pioneers. He worked on the home farm until attaining 
his majority, and then became baggage master for the Northern Pacific rail- 
road at Miles City, Mont. He was there married, and subsequently returned 
to Paynesville township, where he located on 160 acres of his father's farm. 
He has now lived on the place some twenty years. He has been prosperous 
in his undertakings, and is well liked throughout the community. He is affili- 
ated with the Masons and the Woodmen at Paynesville. Mr. Blasdell was mar- 
ried, July 23, 1888, at Miles City, Montana, to Nora Holloran, a native of Eng- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY .^ 835 

land, and the daughter of Daniel Holloran, She was brought to America by 
her family at the age of one year, and as a young lady went to Montana with 
her two sisters. Mr. and Mrs. Blasdell have had two children. Daniel was 
born in 1896 and died six months later. Earl was born in 1898, and is now 
attending the public schools. 

Charles Pemble, one of the respected and honored citizens of Roseville 
township, was born in West Milton, Saratoga county, New York, August 25, 
1886, son of Stephen and Philadelphia (Whitney) Pemble, who had been 
born in England, and had come to the United States with their two oldest 
children, John and William. The other three children, Stephen, Charles and 
David, were born in this country. The family lived for a while in Saratoga 
county, New York, then moved to Illinois, and from there went to Green 
county, Iowa, where the parents died. It was about 1872 when Charles Pem- 
ble came to Stearns county from his home in Illinois. He worked for a time 
as a farm hand, and met, wooed and won Geneva Blasdell, a daughter of 
William Henry Blasdell. They were married September 1, 1875. For five 
years they lived on a rented tract of land, and then moved onto sixty acres, 
their present place, which he had acquired sometime previous. On this farm 
they have attained a splendid prosperity and success. The old log school- 
house, 16 by 18 feet, then known as the Blakely schoolhouse, in which they 
first lived when they purchased the place, has been replaced by a modern 
home, furnished with all the comforts of modern life. The old log stable 
built by Robert Blakely has been replaced with a large barn, and a full com- 
plement of farm buildings. The ox-team with which they started farming 
has been replaced with a fine stable of horses and stock, and a complete equip- 
ment of farm implements and machinery. The farm now embraces 215 acres, 
and includes a large orchard which yields good results. Mrs. Pemble has 
been her husband's able helpmeet in all his undertakings. Especially she 
has been interested in education, and has been treasurer of the school district 
for some thirty years. The children in the family are Adelphia, Mabel, Ray, 
Chester, Maude, Lee, Elsie, Milton (deceased), Bertha, Blanche, Hazel and 
Edith. 

Michael F. Plantikow was born in Blumberg, G«|rmany, and was married 
in that country. The oldest child, August, died there. Thus bereaved, Mr. 
and Mrs. Plantikow came to America alone. For a time they lived on a farm 
in Monroe county. Wis., and there two more children, Frank and Wilhelmina, 
were born. With this family of two children, Mr. and Mrs. Plantikow came 
to Stearns county, and secured 160 acres in Zion township. They put up a 
log shanty, and like many of the pioneers, used an ox-team for work for trans- 
portation. They arrived just before the Indian outbreak, and like the other 
settlers, sought refuge at one time in the stockade at Paynesville. For many 
years Mr. Plantikow lived on the farm in Zion township. To his original 
tract he added eighty acres of tillable land and eighty acres of timberland. 
He also in time erected modern buildings to take the place of the log structures. 
When the Salem Evangelical Church was erected he was one of those who 
helped in its construction. In his latter years he retired, and moved to Paynes- 
ville where he died. 



836 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Dennis F. Kelly, a prominent farmer of section 30, Paynesville township, 
was born in Illinois, November 2, 1855, son of John and Mary (Nooman) Kelly, 
who brought him to Paynesville in 1865. He remained with his parents until 
1877, when he went to North Dakota, and took a claim. In 1883 he brought 
his wife back to Stearns county, and for two years lived on a rented farm. 
Subsequently they lived in Green Lake, until 1892, and then in Burbank, 
until 1896. It was in that year that he settled on the old homestead where 
he still resides. He operates 240 acres, and makes a specialty of raising Duroc- 
Jersey hogs, Hamilton Clyde and Percheron horses, and grade Holstein 
cattle. Mr. Kelly was married, November 13, 1882, to Catherine Tucker, 
daughter of Hugh Tucker. Hugh Tucker was born in Ireland, settled in 
Newburgh, New York, went from there to Whitewater, Wis., and from there 
came to Melrose, in this county, where he spent the remainder of his days. 
His widow makes her home with Mr. and Mrs. Dennis F. Kelly. Mr. and 
Mrs. Kelly have six children : John B., Hugh F., Catherine, Edward (de- 
ceased), Margaret and Ethel V. 

John Kelly, a pioneer, was born in County Gallaway, Ireland, and was 
there reared. As a young man he went to England, where he entered the 
employ of a breeder of fast horses. His thoughts, however, turned toward 
America, and finally he secured permission from his employer to accompany 
a shipment of stock to this country and remain here. He did railroad and 
canal work in New York for a while, and then moved to Ohio. There he was 
employed in building stone fences which are still standing. From Ohio he 
went to Will county, Illinois, where he farmed for about ten years. In the 
early sixties, when the Civil War broke out, he determined to come to Minne- 
sota. He was deterred for some years, however, by the reports of the Indian 
troubles. Consequently he did not locate in Stearns county until the spring 
of 1865. Then with his wife, Mary Nooman, and his children, Edward, Dennis 
F., Paul, Henry, Thomas and Anna, he drove to Minnesota. Upon reaching 
Paynesville, he stopped at the tavern of his old friend, William H. Blasdell. 
To live once more within four walls was a great pleasure after having been on 
the road for four weeks. Mr. Blasdell drove Mr. Kelly about the township, and 
finally helped him select a claim of 160 acres in Paynesville township. Here Mr. 
Kelly erected a log cabin, 16 by 24 feet, and into it the family moved. This 
original cabin stood a few rods east of the present location of the splendid 
new barn which now adorns the place. As time passed a log house, 16 by 40 was 
built, and other log buildings were also constructed. A serious setback was 
encountered when the log barn burned, with all the valuable farm implements 
and machinery. After this mishap, Mr. Kelly sold his horses, and for some 
time carried on his farming with oxen. Hard work, however, soon resulted 
in prosperity. In 1878 a brick house was built, and from time to time other 
buildings were erected. Eighty acres were added to the original farm. John 
Kelly was a Democrat of the old school, and never ran for office. He was an 
active worker in the Catholic church. He died November 2, 1900, at the age 
of ninety-four. His next birthday would have been on June 24. His wife died 
August 2, 1896, at the age of seventy-eight. In addition to the children al- 
ready mentioned, two, Joseph and Margaret, were born in Stearns county. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 837 

William P. Haines was born in Canada, March 2, 1845, son of William and 
Jane Haines and grandson of Philip and Ann Haines. Philip Haines was born 
in Canada, and served in the American Revolution. At one time he held a 
claim of 400 acres, a part of which is now included in the present city of 
Toronto, Canada. He and his wife, Ann, who was born in Scotland, had five 
children: James, William, George, Robert and Ann, William Haines re- 
mained in Canada until 1863. He was a cabinet maker and painter by trade, 
but in addition to this he was versed in general woodworking. For a time he 
was the owner of a sawmill at Darlington. From that place he came to the 
United States, and located in Kankakee, 111., where the family lived from 
1863 to 1869. In the latter year they came to Paynesville, and located across 
the river from what was then the village, in what is now known as the North 
town. Some time later, they purchased eighty acres of land in the same 
township. William Haines died in 1899, his wife having passed away in 1871. 
They had eight children : James, Angus, William P., John, George, Jeannette, 
Maria and Ellen. The latter died at the age of four years. William P. has 
continued to live on the old homestead, now owning the eighty acres pur- 
chased by his parents, in addition to 200 acres which he has himself acquired. 
He is well known in the township, and has been road overseer for thirty 
years. William P. Haines was married December 18, 1882, to Clara E. Pipps, 
daughter of John Pipps. She was born in Illinois in 1858 and died in Cali- 
fornia, December 9, 1905. She left two children, Frank Philip and Edith. 
Frank Philip married Nellie Agnes Barrie, the daughter of Thomas J. and 
Nellie (Kingsley) Barrie. Their son, Philip Thomas, was born September 18, 
1912. Edith, the second child of William P. and Clara E. (Pipps) Haines, died 
in California. 

Thomas J. Barrie was born in Canada, July 20, 1860, son of Thomas and 
Agnes (Lett) Barrie, the former of whom was brought to Canada from Scot- 
land as a boy, and the latter of whom was born in Canada. In the family 
there were four children, Agnes, James, Thomas J. and Anna. After the death 
of Thomas Barrie, his wife married James Nichols, and this union resulted in 
one son, John. Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas brought the five children to the United 
States and located in Union Grove, Meeker county, this state. Later they 
moved to Paynesville, and still later to California. Thomas J. Barrie devoted 
his early years to farming. At about the age of thirty he became a barber. 
First he worked at Bird Island, Renville county, this state, and later at Paynes- 
ville. He has done good service as a member of the school board, and be- 
longs to the Masonic Order, the Woodmen and the Modern Brotherhood. 
Mr. Barrie married Nellie Kingsley, daughter of Quartus Kingsley, and their 
children are Fred, Nellie, Alice, Howard and Etta. Quartus Kingsley was 
born at Staten Island, New York, December 6, 1828, son of Quartus and Sally 
Mary (Miller) Kingsley, and grandson of Seth and Sarah Kingsley. Seth 
Kingsley came either from Ireland or England. He was a soldier in the Revo- 
lutionary War. His wife Sarah was of Scottish birth. Quartus, the elder, was 
born in Hatfield, Mass. He and his good wift; both died in Williamsburg, Mass. 
Two of the seven children were older than Quartus, the younger, who had a 
twin sister, Mary. Quartus, the younger, became an iron and brass moulder. 



838 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

For his first wife he married Almira Shippey, of Massachusetts, who died in 
1894, leaving three children, Effie, Walter and Nellie. For his second wife 
he married Jane Van Etten, a native of Pennsylvania. 

Max W. Nagel was born in Germany, June 30, 1881, a son of William and 
Wilhelmina Nagel, who brought him to Stearns county in 1883. He was reared 
on a farm in Lake Henry township, and received his education in the district 
schools and in a business college at St. Cloud. He learned the barber busi- 
ness at Belgrade, in Stearns county, and operated a shop for a while. Then 
he opened a place in Paynesville, where, with the exception of four years 
spent in North and South Dakota, he has since been in business. Mr. Nagel 
was married in June, 1913, to Bertha Manz, daughter of Herman Manz, pioneer 
of this county. William Nagel was born in Brandenburg, March 19, 1835, 
son of Gotlieb and Louise Nagel, and descended from a long line of shep- 
herds. He was married November 14, 1867, to Wilhelmina Oilbrey, born Oc- 
tober 12, 1850, daughter of Christian and Wilhelmina Dora Oilbrey. William 
and his wife with their two children, Paul and Max, came to America in 1883. 
After living for a while at Roscoe, in Zion township, they moved to a farm 
in Lake Henry township, where they established their family home. William 
Nagel died in Lake Henry township, January 20, 1910. In the family there 
were four children: Max was born June 30, 1881; Paul was born May 20, 
1878 and died August 9, 1884; Otto was born November 5, 1885; and Marga- 
ret was born January 13, 1889. 

John R. Theel, an energetic business man of Paynesville, was born in Ger- 
many, June 22, 1878, son of Carl F. and Minnie (Frank) Theel, who brought 
him to Stearns county in 1882. At the age of sixteen he left home and became 
a harness maker, a business which he followed for some fourteen years. He 
was frugal and shrewd, and acquired more property than is usually possessed 
by a man of his age. Being thoroughly abreast of the times, he early foresaw 
that the farmer was to become one of the heaviest purchasers of automobiles, 
but that the machines must be both strong and cheap. Accordingly he became 
agent for the Ford machine, and opened a local office and garage under the 
firm name of John Theel Co. Mr. Theel is a member of Minneapolis Lodge, 
No. 4, K. P. 

Carl F. Theel was born in Pomerania, Germany, September 7, 1840, son 
of Fred and Mary (Black) Theel, who spent the span of their years in Ger- 
many. The children in the family were : Caroline, Christina, Carl F., Augusta 
and Marie. Of these Carl F. was the only one to come to America. He was 
married in 1872 in Germany, to Minnie Frank, and in 1882 brought his wife 
and four children Eliza, Anna, Otto and John, to this country, coming at 
once to Stearns county. He had been a wagon maker by trade, but upon 
coming here he became a farmer. For a while he rented land. In 1892 he 
purchased 160 acres, twenty acres of it being timber land. Later he bought 
an additional twenty acres of meadow land. He now carries on general farm- 
ing, and is highly regarded in his community. The children born in Stearns 
county are Martin and Rheuben. 

John Baitinger, one of the pioneers of Stearns county, was born in Fauer- 
bach, o]a Wuertemberg, Germany, son of Tobias and Dorethea (Lang) Bait- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 839 

inger. The mother died in Germany. In the latter part of November, 1854, 
John Baitinger, the subject of this sketch, set sail for America. After a long 
voyage on a sailing vessel, he reached New York city, January 7, 1854. From 
there he found his way to Wayne county. New York, where he was joined by 
his father, in 1855, and where, also, he was married. On March 17, 1856, John 
Baitinger and his wife started for Iowa. At Galena, 111., however, they en- 
countered a party of people bound for Minnesota, and they induced the young 
people to change their destination. Many glowing stories were told of the 
Northwest, it even being said that St. Cloud was in such a flourishing condi- 
tion that it had two postoffices. As soon as news came that the ice was out 
of Lake Pepin, the party started up the Mississippi river in boats. They 
landed at St. Paul, took wagons to St. Anthony, now a part of Minneapolis, 
and at St. Anthony took another boat for St. Cloud, in which hamlet they 
arrived the latter part of April. A few scattering cabins of rather squalid 
aspect were all that marked the present site of the city. Mr. and Mrs. Bait- 
inger bought two lots, and secured a span of mules, then the only means of 
transportation in the hamlet, to cart their goods to their new location. After 
looking about for a farm, they finally located on 160 acres in section 6, Eden 
Lake township. To this another 160 was afterward added. Mr. Baitinger 
erected a log cabin, and started to live a pioneer life in the wilderness. Bear 
and deer were plentiful and sometimes dangerous. Mr. and Mrs. Baitinger 
suffiered many discomforts and privations, especially the first winter. Flour 
was high and scarce. Pancakes which for a time were their only food, were 
made by grinding buckwheat in a cofi'ee mill, mixing the meal with a little 
water, and cooking it over the hot coals. During the Indian outbreak, all 
their buildings were burned and their crops destroyed. The family fled to 
St. Cloud. After the danger had passed, they returned to their farm. They 
made the trip from St. Cloud to Cold Spring, a distance of over seventeen 
miles, on foot, he carrying the provisions and she the baby. Starting in life 
anew they attained success and prosperity. They developed with the coun- 
try, and as the years passed their farm became an excellent place, well culti- 
vated, and ornamented with sightly modern buildings. Ever alive to the best 
interests of the community, he early became a conspicuous figure in its afl^airs. 
He served as member and as chairman of the board of supervisors, and for 
some time was town assessor. He was instrumental in securing the estab- 
lishment of a post office at Zions, now discontinued, and was its postmaster 
from December 9, 1869, to the latter part of 1885. About 1890, he retired from 
active life, since which time he has made his residence in Paynesville village. 
In the family there were fourteen children. Of these there were seven, Jennie, 
Caroline, Kate, George, John, Mary and Henry, who lived to adult years. 
Jennie married Adam Stanger and they live in Paynesville. Caroline married 
Henry Ulrick, and they live in McLead county. Kate is the wife of Benjamin 
Bardson, of St. Cloud. Her first husband was Christ Stanger, now deceased. 
George lives in Hutchinson. John lives in St. Paul. Mary is the wife of 
Ferdinand Schultz, of Paynesville township. Henry lives in Seattle, Wash- 
ington. The family faith is that of the Evangelical Association. Fredericka 
Jaeger, to whom John Baitinger was married at Wayne county. New York, 



840 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

August 28, 1855, was born in Germany, January 28, 1836, and reached Wayne 
county, April 2, 1854, after a journey of thirty-seven days. She was the 
daughter of Andrew and Barbara (Weber) Jaeger, both of whom spent the 
span of their years in Germany. 

Charles Holifer, an early pioneer of Munson township, now a retired resi- 
dent of Paynesville, was born in Germany, February 11, 1834, son of Gottlieb 
and Mena Holifer, who in 1853 brought their eight children, Minnie, Gotlieb, 
Grace, Fredericka, Charles, Johanna, Ernst and Amelia, from Germany to 
Illinois. In 1856, Charles came to Stearns county, and located in Munson 
and Eden Lake townships. The rest of the family came a year later. They 
erected a log cabin, broke the wild land, and for some time subsisted on 
wild game, and crude flour made from flour which they manufactured by 
grinding wheat in a coffee mill. During the Indian troubles the family home 
was burned. In 1874, Charles Holifer moved to Eden Lake township, where 
he lived until June, 1912, when he retired and moved to the village of Paynes- 
ville where he has lived since. He is a prominent man, and while in Eden 
Lake served as town supervisor and as a member of the school board. 

Charles Holifer was married in 1862 to Minnie Schultz, who died April 
25, 1904, at the age of sixty-one. In the family there were seven children: 
Charles, Ernslena, Hulda, Henry, August, Minnie and Amelia (deceased). 
Charles lives in Munson township. Ernslena is the wife of Henry Koeler, of 
Lake Henry township. Hulda is the wife of Henry Stanger, of St. Joseph 
township. Henry is a banker. August lives in Zion township. Minnie is the 
wife of Herman Wendt, of Alberta, Canada. The family faith is that of the 
Evangelical Church. 

James H. Boylan, retired farmer and banker, was born in Allegany 
county. New York, May 13, 1834, son of Firman and Laura (Hulbert) Boylan, 
the former a native of New York, and the latter of Massachusetts. In the 
family there were eight children : Vandervent, James H., Edwin Hulbert, 
Samuel, Alonzo, Lenora and Victoria (twins) and Mary. James H. received 
his early training on a farm in New York. At the age of twenty-one he left 
his native state, and located in Morris, 111. Then he came to Minnesota, lived 
a short time at Anoka, and freighted on the road with an ox-team. He came to 
Paynesville in the fall of 1857, and secured 160 acres of land in section 16, a 
part of which tract is included within the present limits of the village of 
Paynesville. After abandoning this tract, he located on a farm of 320 acres, 
one mile east of Paynesville. He built a log cabin, and lived the usual life 
of the pioneers of this neighborhood. In 1859 he was married. In 1861 he 
took his family back to New York state, where they remained through the 
years of the Civil War. Thus they avoided the disasters of the Indian up- 
rising. In 1866 they returned to the farm in Paynesville township. By hard 
work they prospered. From time to time they erected buildings as necessity 
required, and also added to their real estate holdings until they owned 580 
acres. In 1890 the family moved to the village of Paynesville. In 1888, Mr. 
Boylan became interested in the banking firm of Boylan, Brackett & Co., of 
which he became president. After about fourteen years Mr. Boylan disposed 
of his interest to the Security State Bank. Mr. Boylan has given many years 




J. H. BOYLAN 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 841 

of his life to public service. For thirty-two years he was supervisor of Paynes- 
ville township, serving thirty of these years as chairman. He was also mem- 
ber of the schoolboarcl in his district. Since moving to Paynesville he has 
been a member of the schoolboarcl of the village for twenty-one years. He 
has also been postmaster of Paynesville at two different times. Being of a 
fraternal nature he has allied himself with Paynesville Lodge, No. 71, A. F. 
& A. M., of which he has been treasurer for over twenty-five years. He is also 
Past Worshipful Master of this lodge. Mr. Boylan was married at Paynesville, 
in 1859, to Canarissa Richardson, the daughter of William Richardson. She 
was born in Wisconsin, August 31, 1838, and died in Paynesville, Minn., March 
2, 1906. Mr. and Mrs. Boylan have had eight children: Arthur (deceased) ; 
Firman, of Carrington, North Dakota, engaged in the implement business; 
James H., Jr., auditor of the Midland Lumber Co., of Minneapolis; Reuben 
Richardson (deceased) ; John, accountant for a wholesale grocery company in 
Seattle, Wash.; Dana, who is in the grain business in Weyburn, Canada; 
Minnie, wife of Edgar Phipps, of Paynesville; and Anna, wife of Charles L. 
Cushing, of Kendallvalle, Ind. 

John Peter Appelgren, a pioneer miller of Paynesville, was born in 
Sweden, December 18, 1812, and there learned the miller's trade under com- 
petent masters. In 1869 he came to America, and after working in mills in 
various places, he came to Paynesville, and purchased a grist mill. He con- 
verted this into a flour mill, and manufactured the well-known "Paynesville 
Roller Flour," which was a great favorite with housewives. In 1893 Mr. 
Appelgren suffered a stroke of paralysis, and retired from the mill. It is 
now a crumbling mass of ruins. Although from the time of his earliest ar- 
rival, he continued to make his home in Paynesville, he nevertheless took great 
interest in his farm of 160 acres in Kandiyohi county, just across the line 
from Stearns county. He broke and improved the wild land and brought it 
to a high stage of cultivation. Mr. Appelgren died in 1900. He was a mem- 
ber of the Masonic order. 

Ina Nelson was born in Sweden, May 28, 1844. She was one of a family 
of twelve children, who, with three other sisters came to America in the year 
1870. In 1872 she was married to John Peter Appelgren. Six children were 
born to Mr. and Mrs. Applegren : Josephine, a teacher ; Hilda, who was mar- 
ried to Mason Evans; Henry, who manages the home farm; Anna, who mar- 
ried Elmer Schmitt ; Iva, who is at home; and one who died in infancy. 

Ferdinand F. Schultz, a prominent and progressive farmer of Paynesville 
township, was born in Brandenburg, Germany, son of Ludwig John and Chris- 
tina Schultz. Of the children born to this family, Henrietta, now Mrs. Charles 
Knadel, was the first to come to America. A year later, in June, 1888, the par- 
ents came, with three more of the children, Ferdinand, Augusta and Wil- 
helmina. Another son, August, came in 1890, and still another son, Herman, 
came in 1898. Three more sons, William, Ludwig, Jr., and Carl are still in 
Germany. Ludwig Schultz, the father, came to Stearns county, and farmed 
in Zion and Munson townships. He spent his last days with his son, Ferdi- 
nand F., in Paynesville township. He died in 1912 at the age of eighty-two 
years and five days. His wife is still living at the age of seventy-nine. Fer- 



842 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

dinand F. worked out as a farm hand in Lake Henry township for several 
summers. Then he rented a farm in Munson township. Since his marriage 
he has lived on the Baitinger homestead in section 1, Paynesville township. 
He has increased the original 200 acres to 260 acres, and is in every way a 
successful man. He has large crops, owns a good grade of Shorthorn cattle, 
and takes particular pride in his fine drove of full blooded Poland-China swine. 
His hobby has been the raising of poultry, and his chicken house is built along 
the most modern lines. With all of his busy life, Mr. Schultz has found time 
to take an active interest in religious affairs. He is a trustee of the Zion 
Evangelical Church, and his services as Sunday school superintendent in that 
body for the past seven or eight years have been highly valued. Mr. Schultz 
married Mary Baitinger, daughter of John Baitinger, the sturdy old pioneer 
who settled in Eden Lake township in 1856. Mr. and Mrs. Schultz have four 
children : Florence, Harvey, Caroline and Malinda. 

James Linley Gray, an early settler, was born in Maine, and was reared 
to farm pursuits. As a youth he also learned the trade of a cooper. In 1867 
he brought his family to Minnesota, and located on 160 acres of land which 
he had purchased from Captain Asa Libby in Brockway, Stearns county. 
On this place he carried on general farming, and was also extensively engaged 
in bee culture, few bee keepers in the state at that time exceeding him in the 
number of colonies kept. About 1880 he disposed of the farm to his sons, 
Charles H. and Frank "W. and moved to St. Cloud, where he died October 11, 
1909. Mr. Gray was married October 28, 1857, in Maine, to Ann M. Smart, 
who died September 29, 1877, leaving two sons, Charles H. and Frank W. 
Charles H. is a prominent resident of Sartell. Frank "W. lives in Superior, 
Wis. He married Hattie Fletcher, and they have two daughters, Olive and 
Hattie. James L. Gray was married October 29, 1881, to Randina C. Moren, a 
native of Norway, and to this union have been born two children, Mary Emma 
and Herbert L. Mary Emma is dead. Herbert L. is engaged in the electrical 
business. 

Charles H. Gray, a well-known citizen, living in the village of Sartell, 
was born November 6, 1858, in Dixmont, Penobscot county, Maine, son of 
James L. and Anna (Smart) Gray. He attended the district school of No. 7, 
and the Union School in St. Cloud, and spent his boyhood on his father's 
farm, in Brockway township. In 1880 he and his brother, Frank W., pur- 
chased the home farm from their father. Two years later, Charles H, pur- 
chased his brother's interest, and has since been the sole owner. He remained 
on the farm about thirty years thereafter, becoming one of the most prosperous 
and progressive men in the township. For twenty years he was clerk of his 
school district, and also served in other positions of public trust and private 
responsibility. It was in March, 1913, when he retired and moved to the vil- 
lage of Sartell, where he has a pleasant home, and just enough land to keep 
him pleasantly occupied. He has been a successful man, has raised a good fam- 
ily and is highly respected by all who know him. In 1878, Mr. Gray married 
Sarah K. Anderson, born January 7, 1861, in Pittsburgh, Penn,, daughter of 
George Anderson. Mr. and Mrs. Gray have had six children : Edith A., Frank 
H., Robert J., Lillian E., Blanche E. and Eunice I. (deceased). Edith A. mar- 




MR. AND MRS. GKORGE W. SMITTEN 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 843 

ried Samuel Hiscock, and they have five children. Lillian E. married John 
Haaland, and they have one son, Allen J. 

Samuel Cox Johnston was born in Onondaga county, New York, March 
23, 1826, and was reared on the farm, receiving such education as the schools 
of his neighborhood afforded. As a boy he was employed on the Erie canal, 
and as he grew older he was given charge of a barge operating on that canal 
and the Hudson river. In 1855 he came to Stearns county and settled on sec- 
tion 5, Le Sauk township, where he spent the remainder of his life. In August, 
1862, he enlisted as sergeant in Company I, Seventh Minnesota Volunteer In- 
fantry, and followed the fortunes of that company against the Indians in 
the Northwest and against the Confederates in the South. He was discharged 
at Ft. Snelling, in August, 1865. Upon his return he resumed his labors on 
his farm. He became one of the leading men of the community and served in 
such offices as chairman, treasurer and justice of the peace. Mr. Johnston was 
married in April, 1847, to Fatima M. Hay, who was born in New York State, 
and there received an academic education. Mr. Johnston died in 1890, his 
wife having passed away the year previous. 

John S. Johnston, a pioneer and leading man of Le Sauk, was born in 
Jackson, Will county, Illinois, January 25, 1839, son of Smith and Harriet 
(Palmer) Johnston. He came to Le Sauk in 1855, with his father's half 
brother, Samuel Cox Johnston, and settled on a piece of land which he secured 
through the assistance of Joel Bailey, the pioneer. In 1869 he came into pos- 
session of the property where he now resides. He now owns in all 381 acres, 
including a large tract in section 5, and a pretty piece of property in Lake 
Watab in section 8. He has a pleasant home and good outbuildings, and has 
been very successful in his operations. He is a progressive, deep-thinking man, 
highly esteemed and respected by his neighbors. 

Ralph Winslow Perry, a prosperous merchant of Sartell, was born on the 
old homestead in section 32, town of Brockway, March 7, 1880, son of John 
Nelson and Mary Elizabeth (Getchell) Perry, the pioneers. He received a 
good education in the district schools. For many years he and his brother, 
Melvin N., operated the old homestead most successfully. In 1913 he sold out 
to his brother and purchased his present store in Sartell. He carries a full 
line of cigars confectionery and general merchandise, and does a flourishing 
business. His affable manners, his square dealing, and his ability as a busi- 
ness man have won him the esteem and confidence of the entire community. 
He is a member of the Masonic Lodge at Sauk Rapids and of the M. W. A. 
at Rice, in which latter organization he held the office of escort for three 
years. He is connected with the New York Life Insurance Company, and the 
Continental Casualty Company. The family are members of the Presbyterian 
Church. Mr. Perry was married October 13, 1901, to May E. Lambert, of 
Royalton, Minn., and they are the proud and happy parents of two sons and 
two daughters. They are : Ina, Lloyd, Grace and Leonard. 

George W. Smitten was born in England, descended from an ancient yeo- 
men family the original rendering of whose name was Smeaton. George W. 
was but seven years old when his parents brought him to America. The 



844 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

father, a stone mason by trade, found it a difficult task to support his large 
family, and young George W. was "put out" as it was called, with a family 
named Miller, in New York state. In 1855 he started for Minnesota, and after 
stopping at various river points, finally reached Sauk Eapids. There he was 
employed for several years, part of the time as an assistant in the Day House, 
one of the primitive taverns of the time. Subsequently he secured a farm 
in St. George township, Nicollet county, this state. Later he exchanged it for 
a farm in Le Sauk township, this county, where he spent the remainder of his 
days. They had two children, Abraham L. and George A. Abraham L. lives 
on the Collins farm in Le Sauk township. George A. died in 1903, leaving a 
wife and three chlidren, John W., Nellie and Ralph. 

Philip Miner Woodward, official reporter for the District Court, Seventh 
Judicial District, was born at Portland, Oregon, January 1, 1880, son of 
Charles Henry and Martha Carolina (Officer) Woodward, both of distinguished 
Colonial ancestry. After attending the Bishop Scott Academy and the pub- 
lic schools at Portland, Oregon, Philip Miner Woodward graduated from 
the classical course at Portland Academy, in June, 1896. For a year he was 
in the office of the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company, under President 
E. McNeill. In the fall of 1897 he came to St. Paul, and after studying short- 
hand, was in the employ of the West Publishing Company for eighteen months. 
Then, after a short period in a railroad office in Fargo, he took up his pres- 
ent duties in St. Cloud, November 1, 1899. He has done good service under 
Judges D. B. Searle, M. D. Tajdor and John A. Roeser. On January 1, 1903, 
Mr. Woodward married Daisy Maude SarteU, granddaughter of Joseph B. 
Sartell, an early settler in Le Sauk township, from whom the present village 
of Sartell is named. On her mother's side Mrs. Woodward's grandfather was 
David Oilman, keeper of the hospitable inn at Watab, in the days of the fam- 
ous Red River ox carts. Mr. and Mrs. Wodward have seven children : Vir- 
ginia Louise, born January 1, 1904 ; Philip Miner, Jr., born May 3, 1905 ; Mar- 
tha Carolina, born December 16, 1906; Helen Frances, born August 24, 1908; 
Harvey Officer, born March 22, 1910; Gail Lucinda, born February 23, 1912; 
and Marjorie Izatys, born September 5, 1913. 

Charles Henry Woodward was born in Seneca Falls, N. Y., June 6, 1854, 
son of Rev. Charles Woodward, an Episcopal clergyman, and a direct descend- 
ant of Major Benjamin Woodward, who commanded a division in Cromwell's 
army at the time the English King, Charles I, was deposed. In 1857 Rev. 
Charles Woodward moved with his family to Rochester, Minn., where he found- 
ed the first Episcopal Church, and later on account of ill health retired to a 
nearby farm, Charles Henry worked on the farm until sixteen years of age 
when he entered Shattuck Military School, at Faribault, and after completing 
the course there, he studied law at St. Paul, in the office of Harvey Officer, 
whose daughter he afterwards married. At the age of twenty-one he was ad- 
mitted to the Bar of Minnesota, and then removed to Portland, Oregon, where 
he practiced law from 1875 to 1896, a period of twenty-one years. Since his 
death, which occurred December 31, 1896, his widow has joined the Episcopal 
sisterhood, located at Peekskill, N, Y. They had two children, Philip Miner 
and Ruth. On September 1, 1910, Ruth .married Edward A, Macdonald; they 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY ^ 845 

now reside in Marquette, Michigan, and have three children, Colin C, Jean, 
and David. 

Harvey Officer, maternal grandfather of Philip Miner Woodward, was 
born in Natchez, Miss., February 18, 1834, of old German and Pennsylvania 
Dutch ancestry. He was admitted to the Bar, and in 1855 located in St, 
Paul, where he was continuously a resident until his death in 1913. He was 
reporter of the Supreme Court from 1857 to 1865, and as a captain of artiller;y 
served in the closing months of the Civil War. In 1859 Mr. Officer married 
Louise Gorman, daughter of ex-territorial Governor Willis A. Gorman, who at 
the outbreak of the Civil War, was the first colonel of the famous First Min- 
nesota. They had one daughter, Martha Carolina, who was the wife of Charles 
Henry and mother of Philip Miner Woodward. 

John W. Wolter, for many years a respected resident of St. Cloud, was 
born in Guttenburg, Iowa, December 17, 1855, son of John Wolter, who was 
born in Baiern, Bavaria, Germany, came to America as a boy, lived for a 
time in Illinois, and finally located in Guttenburg, Iowa, where he married 
reared his family, and earned his livelihood as a custom maker of boots and 
shoes. John W. attended school in his native town, and took college courses 
in Dubuque, Iowa. In his early life he was engaged in various undertakings. 
He finally joined with John Lambert in conducting a general store at Rice 
Station, Llinn., where he was made postmaster, and held various town offices. 
Before there was a church, services of the Catholic faith were held at his home. 
After a time the partnership between him and Mr. Lambert was dissolved, 
and Mr. Wolter erected a new store in which he carried on business until 
1892. In that year, he came to St. Cloud, bought out Tony Pfeefer, and car- 
ried on a boot and shoe business until May, 1901, when he opened a real 
estate and loan office. In the meantime he engaged in the manufacture of bob 
sleds. He died March 25, 1905. Mr. Walter married Elizabeth M. Berns, born 
in Clayton county, Iowa, daughter of Henry and Mary (Knufer) Berns, the 
former of whom was a farmer by occupation, but who served for some years 
as a soldier and sailor in the service of the Emperor of Germany. Mr. and 
Mrs. Wolter were the parents of nine children : John, Edward, Arthur, 
Sophia, Philippine, Estella, Amadious, Lucile and Delphine. John is engaged 
in the real estate and insurance business in St. Cloud. He married Mary 
Goedker and they have two children, Rene and Loren. Edward married 
Mary Hollenhorst and they have two children. Marguerite and Zeril. Arthur 
is dead. Sophia married Edward Lentz, and they have one child, Elizabeth. 
Philippine and Estella are teachers of vocal music, Philippine in Baker, 
Montana, and Estella in Woonsocket, S. D. 

Charles L. West, engaged in the real estate and loan business in St, Cloud, 
was born in Kankakee, 111., January 1, 1879, son of John W. P. and Terressa 
(Edwards) West. The father was born in England in 1829, learned the print- 
ers' trade, was one of the founders of the New York Observer, and is now 
a venerable citizen of Kankakee, 111. Charles L. was reared on the home farm, 
and attended the district schools. At the age of nineteen he was filled with 
a desire to see the world. He came to Little Falls, Minn., for the purpose of 
taking up land, and then found his way westward to Wellington, Cascade 



846 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Tunnel and Seattle, In the latter city lie worked in the lumber camps, as he 
did at Olequa, Washington. Next he went to Alaska, visiting places of in- 
terest, and looking about for a location. But finding nothing to his liking, he 
returned, and went to Arizona, where he lived in Yuma for a time. After 
making short stays in California and Nebraska, he went to Idaho, and secured 
employment on the railroad then being constructed from Bonner's Ferry to 
Port Hill, the former in Idaho and the latter in British Columbia. Subse- 
quently he visited his old home in Kankakee, and then went to Iowa, where 
he rented a farm for two years. On November 23, 1902, he reached Stearns 
county, and located on a farm in section 22, Fair Haven township. Since 
1904 he has been engaged in his present business in St. Cloud, Mr, West is 
one of the active, progressive young business men of the city, and is serving 
well his day and generation, his wide experience with humanity in many 
places being a valuable factor in his success. He belongs to the Elks and 
the Modern Woodmen, He married Alta McDowell, born in Illinois, the 
daughter of John McDowell, They have three children: Irene, Mirth and 
Lloyd, 

Frank M. Wright, manufacturer, was born in Middlefield, Ohio, April 14, 
1861, son of Dewitte C, and Almira (Newman) Wright; grandson of William 
Wright, who came from England ; and great grandson of William Wright, one 
of Washington's aids, at the time of the Revolution. Frank M. Wright was 
reared on the home farm, attended the district schools, and took courses in 
the Western Reserve Seminary at Farmington, Ohio. After finishing his 
education, he learned the carpenters' trade. In 1881 he came to St, Cloud and 
became interested in the building business, working at different times for 
various contractors, and for a period being employed in building stations for 
the Minneapolis & Pacific Railway. Then he became a building contractor. 
Such structures as the Episcopal Church and parsonage, and the Troutman, 
R. L, Gale, George Reynolds, C. L. Atwood, and other residences, stand to his 
credit. After a few years of the contracting business, in the year of 1896 he 
engaged in the manufacture of sashes, doors and inside finishings. For a time 
horse-power was used, then steam-power and now electricity. From a small 
beginning the business has grown in importance until it is now a large and 
prosperous concern, known as the F. M. Wright Sash & Door Factory. It is 
situated on Seventh avenue. North, Mr, Wright is a member of the city coun- 
cil and of the school board. He is a director of the Commercial Club, Frank 
M. Wright was married in 1887, to Julia A., daughter of Daniel and Catherine 
(Breen) Delaney, and they have two children: Albert D., born September 2, 
1888, and Myra, born October 31, 1894. Mr. Delaney, an old soldier, makes his 
home in St. Cloud. Mrs. Delaney died April 10, 1889. Mrs. Wright, as Julia 
A. Delaney, was born and reared in St. Cloud, and attended the graded schools 
and the St. Cloud State Normal School. She had charge of the intermediate 
schools at Princeton, Minn., three years, and was later employed by R. C. 
Junk, of St. Cloud. She is interested in her husband's manufacturing busi- 
ness, and makes a great success of dealing in real estate, being one of St, 
Cloud's most capable women, 

Frederick C. Lindt, superintendent of the Great Northern shops, at Waite 




n 



^ 



\ 



#^ 




F. ('. LI NOT 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 847 

Park, was born in Plainview, Wabasha county, Minn., June 12, 1862, son of 
Henry and Caroline (Knute) Lindt. He lived in several places in southeastern 
Minnesota, attended country and village schools, and also took a course in 
Winona. As a young man he worked on farms in Winona county. It was 
in 1888 that he became interested in railroad work. For a time he was in 
the rail mill of the Chicago Northwestern at Winona, Minn. After this be 
became a machinist's helper. Then for a time he was with the Duluth & 
Iron Range Co. Later he was in the employ of the Minneapolis Trust Co., at 
Minneapolis. In March, 1890, he entered the employ of the Great Northern. 
He came to St. Cloud for that company September 11, 1891, was stationary 
fireman two years, air-brake foreman for a while, and then became assistant 
car foreman. In August, 1906, he was promoted to his present position, the 
highest in the shops. He has six hundred men under him and shoulders heavy 
responsibilities. He is a born leader, and having been promoted from a humble 
position has a full understanding of the needs and conditions of the men under 
him. Faithful always to the interests of his company, he at the same time 
has the esteem of the men in the shops, and has proved an ideal man for the 
place. In the Masonic order he belongs to the Blue Lodge, the Chapter, the 
Commandery and the Shrine. He also belongs to the United Workmen and 
the Commercial Club. On October 25, 1899, Mr. Lindt married Rosa B. 
Christian, daughter of James and Martha (Lea) Christian. 

Henry Lindt, the father of Frederick C. Lindt, married Caroline Knute, 
and came to this country in 1853. His original name was Lint, but like many 
of his countrymen, his name became modified after he reached America. For 
a time he worked as a brewmeister in Milwaukee. In 1855 he located in Plain- 
view, Wabasha county, this state. In 1870 he moved to St. Charles, in Winona 
county, this state. In 1887 he again took up life on a farm. He died in 1889. 
His wife died in 1865. 

Joseph E. Wing was born in Vassalboro, Maine, in 1808; his ancestors 
came from England in 1632 and settled near the place now known as Sand- 
wich, Mass., on Cape Cod. While in Maine he was engaged in the hotel busi- 
ness, and afterward in the shoe business. He came west in 1863, bought land 
in the town of Brockway, this county, on what was then called Winnebago 
Prairie. He lived there with his sons, James E. and Henry C, and daughter. 
Alma, for about three years, then came to St. Cloud with his son, James E. 
He was toll collector at the St. Germain street bridge for many years. He 
was a member of the Masonic Order, being past master of Vassalboro Lodge, 
No. 54, of North Vassalboro, Maine, and was tyler of North Star Lodge, No. 
23, of St. Cloud, for several years. He died in June, 1889. 

James Edwin Wing, son of Joseph E. Wing, was born in Vassalboro, 
Maine, May 15, 1832. He was married in November, 1855, to Susan E. Carey, 
who was born at Northport, Maine, October 12, 1835. In June, 1863, he came 
west with his family, lived with his father in Brockway township, this county, 
where they operated a large farm for about three years, then moved to St. 
Cloud. In 1870 he went to Ottertail City, a place in Ottertail county, this 
state, located on the lake of the same name, and operated a saw mill there 
in company with R. L. Frazee. About one year later he returned to St. Cloud, 



848 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and with Lewis Clark as a partner, engaged in the flour and feed business. 
In 1874 he started to sell agricultural implements and deal in grain. In 1885 
he disposed of his business to his son, Theodore C. Wing, and Alexander 
Smart. He was for many years a member of the board of education of St. 
Cloud. He was a member, and past master of North Star Lodge, No. 23, 
A. F. & A. M. He died September 20, 1898. 

Theodore Carey Wing, engaged in the life insurance business in St. Cloud, 
was born in Vassalboro, Kennebec county, Maine, September 14, 1858, son of 
James Edwin and Susan (Carey) Wing. He was brought to this county by 
his parents in June, 1863. He attended school at Winnebago Prairie, in 
Brockway township. After moving to St. Cloud he attended the Episcopal 
Parish School, the private school conducted by the Rev. E. V. Campbell, 
the Union School, and the first term of the St. Cloud State Normal School, 
under the first president, Ira Moore. After leaving school he worked for his 
father and Lewis Clark in their feed store, afterward in the United States 
Land Office; in 1880 and 1881 was deputy county auditor under Barney 
Vossberg. He then associated himself with his father in the agricultural im- 
plement business. In 1885 he, in company with Alexander Smart, bought 
the business of his father, which they conducted under the firm name of Wing 
& Smart, until November, 1890, when he disposed of his interests in the busi- 
ness to Mr. Smart, and engaged in the life insurance business, and continues 
in that occupation at the present time ; having as an associate in the busi- 
ness, his son, Russell T. He is a member of the Masonic order, being a past 
master of North Star Lodge, No. 23, of St. Cloud. Mr. Wing married Ara- 
bella G. Dodge, of Week's Mills, Kennebec county, Maine, on February 17, 
1881. Mrs. Wing was a graduate of the St. Cloud State Normal School. They 
have seven children: Theobel A., Alma J., Edwin P., Helen F., Russell T., 
Dorothy C. and Marguerite A. Theobel A. was engaged in teaching school 
for a while, is now the wife of Rev. Thomas R. AUeeson, of Chehalis, Wash. 
They have a son, Donald ; Alma J. is now teaching in the St. Cloud city schools ; 
Helen F. is teaching in the state of Washington ; Russell T. is in the life 
insurance business with his father ; Dorothy C. and Marguerite A. are still in 
school. The mother of this family passed away October 25, 1910. In October, 
1912, Mr. Wing married Mrs. Harriet C. McPike, a native of Streator, 111. 

Andrew A. Wright, secretary and treasurer of The Farmers' Loan & In- 
vestment Co., St. Cloud, was born March 12, 1860, in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, son of 
William and Elizabeth (Harriman) Wright. Being one of thirteen children, 
he early in life, started out for himself, and found employment in the stone 
mill of Fish & Sons, in Columbus, Ohio, where he worked for some time. In 
the interim his family moved to Iowa. Learning of his father's illness, he 
joined them there. Then he went to Faribault, in this state, and worked for 
George Tileston, in a flouring mill. In 1889 he came to St. Cloud in the same 
employ. Since 1899 he has been successfully engaged in the real estate, in- 
surance and loan business. He is also secretary and manager of the Granite 
City Tablet Co. Mr. Wright is of that type of a man that is known as a "live 
wire," and he takes an active interest in the things which have a tendency to 
upbuild his adopted city and county. In the Masonic order, Mr. Wright is as- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 849 

sociated with North Star Lodge, No. 23, A. F. & A. M.; St. Cloud Chapter, No. 
46 R A. M.; Nazerine Commandery, No. 24, Knights Templar; and Osman 
Temple, A. A. O'., N. M. S., of St. Paul. He is also a member of St Cloud 
Lodge No 516 B. P. 0. E., and of the St. Cloud Commercial Club. Mr. 
Wright was married November 24, 1887, to Mary A. Parsnau, of River Falls 
Wis and to this union there were born two daughters. Magnolia E. and 
Florence E. Magnolia E. was born February 1, 1890, and died August 10, 
1891 Florence E. was born November 9, 1893. After attending the public 
schools she entered the St. Cloud State Normal School, and was graduated 
from a five-years' advanced English course, at the age of nineteen. She is 
now teaching in the city schools of Bemidji, Minn. Mrs. Mary A. (Parsnau) 
Wright died May 21, 1895. On June 29, 1898, Mr. Wright was united m mar- 
riage to Harriet Cole Smith, of Rochester, Minn. The family residence is 
located at 501 Second avenue. South, St. Cloud. 

Frank X. Wegler, Sr., was born in Gelding, Freising, Bavaria, Germany, 
in 1841 and came to America in 1870, with Joseph Overmeyer, and his daugh- 
ter Johanna Overmeyer, who afterward became his wife. After living m 
Alexandria, Mo., for three months, they came to St. Paul, where the young 
people were married. Mr. Wegler worked for brewing companies m St. Paul, 
Faribault, Red Wing and Caledonia, Minn., and Milwaukee, Wis. He came 
to St Cloud in 1883, worked for several breweries here, manufactured cigars 
for a while, and finally engaged in the refreshment business about seven years. 
In his later days he looked after Central Park for the city. He died May 7, 
1912 Mr. Wegler was a member of the Red Men. In the family were three 
children : Frank X., Jr., and Joseph are engaged in the manufacture of cigars ; 
Jennie A. married William Jahn, February 5, 1914. 

Joseph Wegler, cigar manufacturer, of St. Cloud, was born m Minneapo- 
lis December 4, 1874, son of Frank X., Sr., and Johanna (Overmeyer) Weg- 
ler He obtained a good public and parochial school education. He learned 
the cigar making trade from Marks & Wire, in St. Cloud, and then went with 
his father, whose place was located at 829 Ninth avenue. North. Later the 
establishment was moved to 815 St. Germain street, and in 1900 the subject 
of this mention became sole proprietor. His brands are Le Flora, De Wegler, 
the Eagle, City Cousin, La Vina, Comrade, El Domar, Town Boast, Purity 
Seal and Rose Bud. Mr. Wegler takes an active interest in the political and 
educational afl'airs of St. Cloud. He has been on the city council and the 
school board. He is well known as a musician. He has played a cornet for 
the past twenty-five years, and was the cornetist at the Davidson Opera House 
from the time it was built until it was burned in February, 1913. He directed 
the St Cloud City Band for fifteen years and also had charge of the Sauk 
Rapids Band, of Sauk Rapids, and the Ronneby Band, of Ronneby. He is 
now director of the Waite Park Band. He belongs to the Catholic Order of 
Foresters the Red Men, the United Commercial Travelers and the Cigar 
Makers' Union. Mr. Wegler married Mary V. Thienes, and they have two chil- 
dren, Loraine and Juletta. ^ ^or,^ e 
Frank X. Wegler, Jr., was born in Red Wing, November 5, 1872, son of 
Frank X., Sr., and Johanna (Overmeyer) Wegler. He attended the public 



850 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and parochial schools of St. Cloud, and worked for a time as a physician's 
assistant. He learned the cigarmaking trade from Marks & Wire, later 
worked for his father, and is now with his brother, Joseph, in the same busi- 
ness. He is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters and the Cigar Mak- 
ers' Union. Mr. Wegler married Tressa Frey, a native of Bavaria, and they 
have five children : Lucetta, Adelaide, Edward, Herbert and Lawrence. 

Philip Waldorf, one of the pioneers, was born in Ines, Germany, March 
27, 1833, son of John and Margaret (Guihecker) Waldorf. In 1851 he came 
to America with his brother, Peter, and located in Detroit, Mich,, where he 
worked at his trade as a tailor for four years. Then he moved to St. Paul. 
He there entered the employ of J, W. Metzroth, who brought him to St. Cloud 
in 1857. In all he worked for Mr. Metzroth twenty years. Later he was in 
the refreshment business for some years. For nineteen years he was switch- 
light tender for the Great Northern road. At the present writing in 1913 he 
is in his eighty-first year. He has led an active life, and is wonderfully well 
preserved. His memory is clear and he has many interesting stories to tell 
of life in the early days, Philip Waldorf married Theresa, the daughter of 
Nathaniel and Anna Rotter, She was born in Bavaria, came to America with 
her parents in 1852, lived in Milwaukee for a while, and in 1858 came to St. 
Cloud and became a member of the household of General Lowry, Mr, and Mrs, 
Waldorf have had ten children, of whom six are living : Mary, Elvena, Frank, 
Henry, Elizabeth and Paul. Mary married Philip McDonald. Elvena married 
Joseph Smith and they have three children, Leonard, Francis and Helen. 
Frank is in the lumber business in Montana. Henry lives at home. Eliza- 
beth lives in Portland, Oregon. Paul P. is foreman for the Great Northern, 
is married and has four children. The saddest event in the lives of Mr. and 
Mrs. Waldorf was the loss of their son John, who was six years old when he 
was killed, at the time their house was destroyed by the cyclone, 

Michael Theisen, one of the early pioneers, was born in Luxemburg, 
Europe, in May, 1835, In 1852 he and his brother, Nicholas, came to Amer- 
ica, and lived for a time in Iowa and Ohio, In 1855 they came to College- 
ville, in this county, and secured two claims near each other in St. Wendel 
township. Later their parents came and took up their residence with Michael. 
In 1881, Michael Theisen moved his family from St. Wendel township to Le 
Sauk township. He died January 24, 1912. His agricultural operations were 
successful, and he became a substantial citizen. His widow now makes her 
home in St. Cloud. Mr. Theisen was married, April 23, 1861, to Elizabeth 
Reinhert, the daughter of John and Annie (Elents) Reinhert, who brought 
her from Germany and settled on land near Collegeville, where they farmed 
for many years. Mr. and Mrs, Theisen have had thirteen children, of whom 
there are living nine: Annie, John, Michael, Angeline, Joseph, Louise, Peter 
J,, Henry and Valentine, Nicholas died at the age of 20, Annie married 
Garrett Doetkopp. They live at New Munich, in this county, and have six 
children. John and Joseph are living on the home farm in Le Sauk, where 
their father spent his latter years, Michael also lives in Le Sauk, He mar- 
ried Mary Firschweiler, and they have three children. Angeline is the wife 
of Henry P, Weyrauch, They have four children one of whom is adopted 




FEED SCHROEDER 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY - 851 

and live in St. Cloud. Joseph married Mary Hirschfeld and they have two 
children. Louise married Mathias Lahr, town treasurer of Le Sauk, and they 
have seven children. Peter J. is a cigar merchant of St. Cloud. He married 
Sophia Schwartz, and they have two sons. Henry N. is engaged in the manu- 
facture of brooms in St. Cloud. He was born in 1880 in St. Wendel township, 
went with his parents to Le Sauk, and about four years ago engaged in 
the broom business in St. Cloud. Valentine was born in Le Sauk, married 
Sophia C. Dahintan and has two children. He keeps a confectionery store and 
amusement parlor on Fifth avenue, St. Cloud. Mrs. Elizabeth Theisen has 
recently adopted an interesting little boy whose name is Henry O'Neill. 

Josepha Marshall Litzinger, of Waite Park, was born in Brockway, Jan- 
uary 17, 1878, daughter of George A. and Annie Mary (Guck) Marshall. Her 
father was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, July 19, 1838, and her mother 
was born in Bavaria. They were married November 9, 1866. Her grand- 
father, Conrad, was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, in 1808, and her 
grandmother, Margaret Smith Marshall, was born February 7, 1805. The 
grandparents immigrated to America in February, 1854, with their children, 
George A., Kunigunda and Conrad. After landing they went to Utica, N. Y., 
where they lived fourteen months. Then they came west to Galena, 111., and 
in the spring of 1855 came by boat to St. Paul, making the trip to St. Joseph 
by team, and arriving June 19, 1855. The grandfather, Conrad, preempted 
160 acres in section 15, St. Joseph, built a log shanty and later a frame house, 
where he lived until his death. May 10, 1881, at the age of seventy-three 
years. His wife, Margaret, died in 1888 at the age of eighty-three years. 
George A., the father of Mrs. Litzinger, has always lived on the homle farm 
with the exception of a few years spent in Brockway township. He is the 
father of ten children, eight of whom are living. One of these eight is Jo- 
sepha who married Albert Litzinger. Mr. and Mrs. Litzinger have five chil- 
dren : Conrad, Frederick, Helen, Isabel and James. Albert Litzinger was 
born in Somerset, Perry county, Ohio, September 10, 1852, and came to St. 
Paul at the age of twenty-one. There he did various work, being employed 
for some years by the Great Northern Railroad. In 1891 he came to Waite 
Park, and entered the employ of the shops here. He has been continuously 
in the employ of the same company for the past thirty-four years. Mr. Lit- 
zinger 's first wife was Maggie Qviill, who died in 1896, leaving four chil- 
dren. Charlotte is the wife of Joseph Eller and they have three children. 
Thomas E. married Frances E. Brennan, and they have four children. Mary 
is the wife of Lewis L. Johnson, a wholesale merchant of Devil's Lake, North 
Dakota, and they have three children. Joseph Raymond lives in Waite Park. 
William is in the employ of the Great Northern Railway at Minneapolis. 

Fred Schroeder, a retired farmer living in the village of St. Joseph, was 
born in Heusweiler, Prussia, Germany, March 15, 1839, son of Fred and Bar- 
bara (Kramer) Schroeder, who brought their family to Newark, N. J., in 1854, 
and to St. Joseph township in 1856. The subject of this mention was raised 
on the home farm in section 20, St. Joseph township, and in 1870 became the 
owner of the homestead. He was a good farmer, and a successful man, and 
a leader in his community. He served in various school and town offices, was 



852 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

county commissioner six years, and a member of the lower house of the Min- 
nesota Legislature for two terms. In 1899 he moved to the village. For a 
time he was interested in the milling business, but in 1910 he sold out to his 
sons, and practically retired. He resides in a comfortable home which he 
erected in 1902, and still retains enough land to occupy his attention and give 
him exercise during the summer months. 

On May 30, 1865, Fred Schroeder married Agatha Mutschler, and they 
have four children: Fred J., John, Martin and Barbara. Fred J. married 
Julia Blommer and has four children. In addition to managing the flouring 
mill, he imports Percheron and Belgian stallions and colts. John married 
Elizabeth Stahlboerger and they have five children. Martin married Annie 
Wernert and they have nine children. Barbara is the wife of Michael Gans. 
and they have two children. The family are members of the Catholic Church. 

Nicholas Rassier, a pioneer of Stearns county, and one of the first settlers 
of St. Joseph, was born in Losheim, Germany, January 19, 1828. He spent 
his youth on his father's farm, and then came to America in 1852. After 
two years in Detroit, Michigan, he journeyed through Indiana and finally 
reached Chicago. He arrived in what is now Stearns county, November 9, 
1854, and settled on section 14, St. Joseph township, among a colony of Ger- 
mans that arrived about the same time. With this beginning he grew up 
with the country, prospering exceedingly as the years passed by. When the 
township was organized he became the first tax collector, and as time passed 
he was elected to other positions until he had served in nearly all the im- 
portant offices in the township. In whatever place to which he was called, 
he unfailingly discharged his duties with much native ability. He died in 
March, 1906. 

Mr. Rassier was married, June 4, 1857, to Susan Flesch, of Wisconsin. 
This union resulted in eight children, four of whom are living. Those living 
are Joseph, John, Catherine and Susan, Those deceased are Mary, Robert, 
Lena and Johanna. For his second wife, Mr. Rassier married Rosina Street, 
by whom he had two children : Edward and Amelia. Joseph married Anna 
Willing, and they have four children. Mary married Edward Hoffman, 
and at her death left one child, Susan. Catherine is the wife of Charles Kel- 
ley, of Minneapolis. Susan, the widow of Joseph Muller, a native of North- 
field, Minn., was born on the home farm, in St. Joseph township, and was 
educated in the parochial schools. In 1897 she was appointed assistant to F. 
E. Davis, postmaster, at St. Joseph, and since 1902 she has been postmistress. 
Her daughter, Esther C, is a graduate of St. Benedict's College and of the 
department of music. 

Milton E. Merrill, a well-known farmer of St. Joseph township, was born 
in Troy, Waldo county, Maine, April 15, 1856, son of Amaziah and Susan 
(Sprague) Merrill. Amaziah Merrill married for his first wife Susan Sprague, 
and they had four children. For his second wife, he married Jane Bartlett, 
and they had two children. In 1861 he enlisted in Company A, Twenty-sixth 
Maine Volunteer Infantry, and served about a year. He first came to Rock- 
ville, in Stearns county, in 1874. Milton E. attended the schools of his native 
town, and v/as brought to Roekville township, this county. Here he also ob- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 853 

tained a part of his schooling. In 1874 he came to St. Joseph township, and 
stayed a few days with James Staples. It was then arranged that Mr. Merrill 
should go to Meeker county and look after the farm of Charles Staples, while 
Charles came to St. Joseph township and built an addition on James Staples' 
house. After this work was completed, Mr. Merrill returned to Rockville, and 
spent that winter attending school. Then for a while he was employed by va- 
rious farmers. Subsecpiently he and his brother, Charles A. Merrill, purchased 
a tract of land in Meeker county which they worked for a while. His next 
venture was in Goodhue county, where he worked three years. After selling 
his interest in Meeker county, Minn., to his brother, he came back to Rock- 
ville, and worked about two years for John Davis, one of the men with whom 
he had previously been employed. At this period he married. He and his 
wife lived on a rented farm for two years, and then bought a farm in Rock- 
ville township. In 1899, Mr. Merrill moved his family to section 34, St. Joseph 
township, where he now owns 124 acres. He raises the usual crops, and 
makes a specialty of Guernsey cattle and Jersey swine. He sends his milk 
and cream to the Rockville Farmers' Creamery. The school board of his dis- 
trict has found him a valued member, and he is also popular in the Modern 
Woodmen of America. 

For his first wife, Mr. Merrill married Mary W. Longley, daughter of 
James and Emma (Davis) Longley. This union was blessed with four chil- 
dren : Olive G., Alverna C, Murvele and James. Mrs. Mary W. Merrill died 
December 14, 1905. Olive G., one of the daughters mentioned above, mar- 
ried Guy Cotter. They live in Kellogg, Idaho, and have one child. Alverna, 
now deceased, was the wife of Michael Lorenz. The present Mrs. Merrill was 
Mrs. Emma Larsen, who was born in Norway in 1881, came to the United 
States in 1907. She has one son, Thorbjorn Larsen, born in Norway in 1901, 

Frank C. Payne, a progressive young farmer of St. Joseph township, was 
born in Buckman township, Morrison county, February 26, 1884, son of Julius 
and Phoebe (Bosworth) Payne, grandson of John and Mary E. (Staples) 
Payne, and great-grandson of Benjamin Payne. He was brought to St. Joseph 
township by his parents and has since spent his life here. His education was 
received in the district schools of St. Joseph, the graded schools of AVaite 
Park, the High School of St. Cloud, and the Vath Business College, of St. 
Cloud. Under his care the home farm in section 24, St. Joseph township, 
is in a flourishing condition, and Mr. Payne is one of the coming men of 
this vicinity. From his New England ancestors on both sides of his house, 
he has inherited the sturdy intelligence which has given to the sons of the 
puritans so prominent a place in the world's affairs. Frank C. Payne mar- 
ried Olga M. Laerwer, a native of St. Cloud, and they have two bright boys, 
Donald C. and Wesley F. 

Julius Payne, president of the Old Settlers ' Association of Stearns county, 
was born on the old Payne homestead in section 22, St. Joseph township, 
this county, son of John and Mary E. (Staples) Payne. In 1879, Julius Payne 
married Phoebe Bosworth, a native of Michigan. That year they went to 
Buckman, in Morrison county, where they remained for several years, a 
greater part of which time he was clerk of the township. Subsequently he 



854 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

returned to liis farm in section 24, St. Joseph township, where he lived until 
1913, when he moved to Waite Park, Mr. Payne is now engaged in the real 
estate business for A. G. Whitney of St Cloud. Mr. and Mrs. Payne have three 
children : Alice E., born February 3, 1882, and died January 29, 1911 ; Frank 
C, born February 26, 1884 ; and Ira C, born July 13, 1886, and died December 
11, 1891. 

John Payne, a pioneer, was born in Hartford county, Maryland, Decem- 
ber 22, 1826, and died in Stearns county, Minn., August 22, 1899. The span 
of his life thus briefly indicated was filled with successful endeavor and widest 
helpfulness. In 1846, at the age of twenty years he moved with his parents 
to Daviess county, Kentucky, and upon attaining his majority he engaged in 
the wood and iron working business, conducting a foundry and a mill, and 
turning out castings, sash, doors, blinds, and interior finishings. In 1855 
his health began to fail, and he came north to Minnesota, hoping that the 
climatic change might work a change for the better in his physical con- 
dition. After spending the summer in Sauk Rapids, in what is now Benton 
county, he took a claim on the Sauk river in section 22, St. Joseph township, 
Stearns county, the farm now being the property of Ignatius Bechtold. He 
was married in 1856, and shortly after the close of the Civil war, he moved to 
St. Cloud, where he engaged in the manufacture of sash, doors and blinds. 
Later he moved his family to a farm of 160 acres, located near the line between 
Rockville and St. Joseph townships. He prospered in his endeavors, and was 
enabled in time to increase his holdings to 400 acres, the property lying in 
both townships. He was esteemed by his fellow men, and was elected to 
many prominent positions, including that of the chairman of the board of 
supervisors of Rockville township. He was one of the organizers of the Old 
Settlers' Association of Stearns country and its first president. 

Mary E. Staples, who in 1856, became Mrs. John Payne, was the daughter 
of Jacob C. and Elizabeth (Small) Staples, the pioneers of St. Joseph town- 
ship, this county. Mrs. Payne was a pioneer teacher, and for two years 
before her marriage kept school in one end of an old bakery at Watab vil- 
lage in what is now Benton county. Watab was an important point in the 
early days, and at the time Mrs. Payne taught there it was a flourishing pioneer 
village. Through all the years that have passed since then, Mrs. Payne has 
kept her keen interest in education. Descended from proud New England 
stock, possessed of inherited intelligence and inate refinement, broadened with 
culture of a splendid education, wide experience, close observation and much 
reading, she has been a powerful influence in this part of the state, and has left 
the impress of her character on the worthy lives of her children. She is a 
writer of much ability, and especially in the Stearns County Old Settlers' As- 
sociation, have her services been highly valued. As she looks back over her 
past life, she remembers with much pleasure the fact that most of her edu- 
cation in Maine was secured under the tuition of Thomas C. McClure, who 
afterward became one of the leading men of St. Cloud. Mr. and Mrs. Payne 
had seven children : Julius, Mary E., Frank S., Martha E., Henry H., Edwin 
L. and John E. Julius, man of affairs, and president of the Stearns County 
Old Settlers' Association, now living in St. Cloud, married Phoebe Bosworth, 




.^^VL %J^ * ^. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 855 

and they have had three children: Frank C, Alice E. and Ira C. The last 
two named are deceased. Mary E. is the wife of William E. Bosworth of 
St. Cloud. They have three children : Edna M., Ella L. and Otis W. Frank 
S. married Nora B. Hadden. They live at Wood Lake, Yellow Medicine 
county, Minn., and have seven children. Inez M., Harry F., John H., Frank O., 
Alma, Millard E. and Leah M. Martha E. is now Mrs. Freeman Davis, of St. 
Cloud. Henry H. married Hannah Docken. They live in Idaho and have 
four children: Elmer, Ethel, Leslie B. and Henry John. Edwin L. married 
Mary Alice O'Ryan. They live in Omaha, Nebraska, and have seven children: 
Inez M., Theresa E., John Stuart, Dean S., Lee S., Lillian E. and Neil F. John 
E. died February 9, 1911. He was twice married. First he married Amelia 
Minde, who died March 14, 1899, leaving one child. Myrtle L. Mr. Payne 
then married Ovedia Minde, a sister of his first wife, and by this marriage 
four children were born : Mildred A., Erwin C, Harold M. and Howard E. 
Harold and Howard are twins. 

Jacob C. Staples, the pioneer, was born in Limmington, York county, 
Maine, March 6, 1801. As a young man he was connected with the clothing 
trade. He found indoor work detrimental to his health, however, and for 
several years he devoted his time to work as a farmer and carpenter. In 1839 
he moved to Waldo county, in the same state. There he divided his time be- 
tween farming and ship carpentering at Belfast. In 1854 his sons, James and 
Ivory, came to the West, locating in Wisconsin. James was accompanied by 
his wife. In October, of that year, the three were joined at Janesville by 
Jacob C, and the four came on to St. Joseph, Stearns county, where they 
secured claims in sections 26 and 27. They built a log cabin for themselves, 
and a log stable for their cattle, and started pioneer life in the wilderness. 
In the spring of 1855, the wife of Jacob C, the daughter, and the rest of the 
boys came. Thus there was established in this township one of the leading 
families in the county. Mr. Staples became a well-known citizen, and was 
respected by all who kncM'' him. He died November 29, 1879. Jacob C. Staples 
was married March 30, 1828, to Elizabeth Small, and they had nine sons and 
a daughter: James, Edwin H., Ivory S., William B., Benjamin F., Mary E., 
Jacob, Charles A., John H. and Nelson P. Those still living in 1913 are as 
follows. James is now eighty-five years of age. He married Frances A. Mer- 
rill, and lives in Litchfield, Meeker county, Minn. Charles A. lives in St. 
Paul, He married Anna Hinds, and they have three children. Nelson P. 
lives in Portland, Oregon. He married Sophronia Lovelace, and they have 
three children. Mary E. married John Payne, and had seven children. Jacob 
is a leading citizen of St. Joseph township. 

Jacob Staples, farmer and writer, was born in the town of Brooks, Waldo 
county, Maine, December 6, 1841, the son of Jacob C. and Elizabeth (Small) 
Staples. He received a good education in his native state, and was brought to 
St. Joseph township in 1855. He remained on his father's farm until 1864, 
when he enlisted in the Second Minnesota Battery, Light Artillery. August 
16, 1865, he located on a farm in Paynesville, and there became a prominent 
man. In 1881, however, he returned to the old homestead, where he has since 
continued to reside. Since his early youth he has been active in public affairs, 



856 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and has served in numerous town and school offices. Mr. Staples is a man of 
broad information, and a most interesting conversationalist. His contribu- 
tions to this present history are important. Mr. Staples married Elizabeth 
Brinkman, daughter of George Henry and Susan L. (Taylor) Brinkman, and 
they have had two children. George J. died August 22, 1912. Helen teaches 
in Appleton, Minn. 

Benjamin F. Staples, farmer, warrior and patriot, was born in Cornish, 
Maine, January 17, 1836, son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Small) Staples. He 
received his education in Maine, one of his teachers being Thomas C. McClure, 
who afterward became a prominent citizen of St. Cloud, this county. In 1855, 
Benjamin F. Staples came to Stearns county with the rest of the family. For 
a while he lived on the home farm in St. Joseph township. In the meantime 
he took up a claim of 160 acres in section 23, and built a log shanty thereon. 
At the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted. May 30, 1861, in Company E, 
First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. The history of this regiment and its 
heroic charge at Gettysburg is a part of the story of the nation. Mr. Staples 
took part in nineteen of its twenty important battles, and was wounded at 
Gettysburg. He was promoted first to corporal and then to sergeant, and 
throughout his service did his duty as a patriot and soldier, nobly, cheerfully, 
capably and bravely. He was honorably discharged with the regiment at 
Fort Snelling, May 5, 1864, and returned to his farm. In 1865 he sold this 
farm, and took a claim in Union Grove township. Meeker county. He was 
married the next year, and he and his wife continued to live in Meeker county 
until 1881, when they sold out there and came back to St. Joseph, where Mr. 
Staples purchased the farm which he had sold in 1865. In 1891, he disposed of 
this place, and purchased the James Staples place in the same township. In 
1897 he divided the farm between his children. He died December 17, 1907. 
Benjamin F. Staples was married in May, 1866, to Mary Bosworth, born in 
Marion, Wayne county. New York, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Col- 
vin) Bosworth, who came to Minnesota in 1857 and took an important part 
in the development of St. Martin township, in this county. They had three 
children. One died in infancy. L. D. Staples married Grace Champlin, and 
they have three children : Eva M., Myra E. and Lois I. John P. Staples, 
who supplied the information for this family record, was born in Union 
Grove, Meeker county, April 21, 1878, and received a good education. When 
the father divided his property, he assisted John P. in erecting the house, 
and here the father lived until his death. Here the mother still lives, John 
P. Staples owns 145 acres and carries on general farming, making a specialty 
of Guernsey cattle and Jersey hogs. He married Marie Wittich, and they 
have two children. Evelyn A., born August 13, 1908, and Esther I., born 
November 18, 1913. 

After the death of Benjamin F. Staples his friend, H. C. Waite, of St. 
Cloud, prepared a noteworthy memoir in his honor. The article, in part, 
follows : "In the death of B. F. Staples this community has suffered a severe 
loss. In many respects he was a rare man. He was a man of strong and sin- 
cere convictions, and pursued them with a distinction of purpose which it 
was difficult to resist. He unselfishly sacrificed his own personal interests to 




1 ^ ^ . k 

BENJAMIN F. STAPLES AND FAMILY 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 857 

what he regarded the public welfare, when at the first call to arms in the late 
Civil war he left his farm implements in the field and fought as long as his 
services were required. Such men as he, for courage and persistence of pur- 
pose, have made the American soldier famous the world over. When the war 
was over he returned home. His gun was stored away, and the implements of 
husbandry took its place. He was a hard-working, industrious citizen who 
did not shun hardships, but met and overcame to the last. He was from stern 
ancestral stock, such as lasts well, and grows in public appreciation, the longer 
it is known and the closer observed. The members of Mr. Staples' family 
were among the first settlers of this county and have always deserved high 
and honorable mention. They have won respect as the reward of merit and 
meritorious living. They have never sought official preferment, but have been 
content to illustrate by their own manner of living the efficiency of our system 
of government. The pioneers of our western civilization are speedily passing 
away, and will not return this way again. What they have accomplished 
through much suffering and long persistence, should not be held in light re- 
membrance. Mr. Staples was one of these, who in a marked manner bore well 
his part in the difficulties which confronted him. Few men have encountered 
the vicissitudes of life and overcome them with greater manly courage. He 
was a hero of that nobler sort who having fully accomplished his mission 
here on earth, has retired to the fulfillment of still higher designs in the life 
that has no ending. He was one of those who are known to be worthy of the 
highest commendation and still have occupied the background of public senti- 
ment to a certain extent, because they did not care to exploit their services 
for purposes of publicity and self-gratification. Mr. Staples belonged to a 
class rapidly diminishing in numbers who bore his patriotism and integrity 
of purpose at the forefront of his daily life, honored and respected by all who 
knew him." 

Menne Stock was born in Holland and came to America with his three 
brothers in 1848. The trip was made in a sailing vessel, the cholera broke 
out, and nearly half the passengers died. One brother died after reaching 
Indiana. From Indiana, Menne Stock came to St. Joseph township, bring- 
ing with him his two children by his first wife. For a while he worked in a 
flouring and feed mill. After his second marriage, he moved onto a farm 
in section 25, St. Wendel township. Mrs. Stock (Mrs. Galama by her first 
marriage) came to America with her husband in 1870. They immediately 
moved to their farm in section 25, St. Wendel township. Six children were 
born to them when Mr. Galama died, the youngest child being two years old, 
and the oldest twelve years of age. They remained on the farm, Mrs. Stock 
herself tilling the soil for two years, at which time she was married to Menne 
Stock. The names of the Galama children are Mary K., Dominick, Johanna, 
Gertrude, Theodore P. and Katie A. Of these children, Mary Galama, hav- 
ing been married to Jake Stock, died, leaving five children, Maggie, now Mrs. 
Joseph Rau ; Lena, now Mrs. Frank Simon ; Joseph and Bertha. Gertrude 
Galama, now Mrs. Jake Stock, living in section 25, St. Wendel township. 
Dominick Galama, having been a teacher for eighteen years, now owns a 
farm in section 19, Le Sauk township. Johanna Galama is single and is a 



858 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

dressmaker in the village of St. Joseph. Theodore and Katie are at home in 
section 25 on the old Galama stock farm. 

John Undersander, a substantial farmer of St. Joseph, was born on the 
old homestead, section 24, in the township where he still resides, November 
14, 1857, son of Michael and Gretchen Undersander. Michael Undersander 
was a pioneer, coming to St. Joseph from Delaware, in 1855, and settling in 
sections 23 and 26. He died in April, 1910, and his wife in September, 1910. 
They were the parents of five children. Of these, John, the subject of this 
mention, and Gertrude, the wife of F. Bisenious, of St. Cloud, are the only- 
ones living. 

John Undersander was reared on the farm in St. Joseph, and spent his 
boyhood in much the same manner as do other boys in a pioneer community. 
As a young man he purchased the farm where he now resides, and where he 
has reared his family. He owns 370 acres, nearly all of which are under 
cultivation. In 1891 he erected a sightly residence of brick. His barns and 
other buildings for the accommodation of stock, crops and implements are 
suitable and commodious. Mr. Undersander has been a school director for 
thirteen years. He is one of the active men of the community and is highly 
regarded. The family faith is that of the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Under- 
sander married Josephine, the daughter of Henry Schildler, and they have 
two children, Henry and Joseph. 

Andrew Walz, a successful farmer of St. Joseph township, was born in 
Lee county, 111., September 30, 1856, son of John M. and Eva (Rothlein) Walz. 
John M. Walz was born in the village of Ratzstadt, Underfranken, Bavaria, 
Germany, November 22, 1819. He was married April 4, 1848, to Eva Rothlein, 
and then came to America. For a while he farmed in Lee county. 111., some 
eighty miles from Chicago. July 4, 1859, the family arrived in St. Joseph 
township, and bought 147 acres in section 9, previously owned by Martin 
Feidler. There they lived for many years, John M. Walz dying April 10, 
1908, and his wife, December 1, 1871. Andrew Walz has continued to live 
on the home farm. The original home was burned and Mr. Walz then erected 
the home where he now lives. He owns 143 acres and is in every way a pro- 
gressive man. He has been assessor and school director. 

Mr. Walz married Sophia Merz, the daughter of Wendelin and Agatha 
(Witz) Merz. They have eleven children : Caroline teaches at Pearl Lake ; 
Bertha is now Sister Mary Honoria, O. S. B., and teaches in St. Paul; Theresa 
married John N. Herter, a merchant of Dent, Ottertail county, Minn., and 
they have three children ; Katie died at the age of sixteen ; Frances and Eliza- 
beth died in infancy. Ida and Agatha are novices in the St. Benedict Con- 
vent at St. Joseph, Minn.; Eugene is a student at St. John's College, College- 
ville ; Evelyn is at home ; Rosa attends the St. Benedict Academy at St. Jo- 
seph. There is one adopted son, James, who was four years of age August 
1, 1914. Mr. Walz has served in the village council of St. Joseph village. 
Christian Speiser, a genial farmer of St. Joseph township was born in 
Philadelphia, Penn., September 30, 1855, son of Henry and Elizabeth (Rum- 
mer) Speiser. Henry Speiser was born in Germany, located in Philadelphia 
in 1848 and came to St. Joseph township in 1859. He died here in 1860. The 




ME. AND MRS. MICHAEL TM >i;i;^^A XDER 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY ^ 859 

widow later married Frank Speiser, a brother of her first husband, who died 
in 1883. She died in 1903. By the first marriage there were four children: 
Christian, of St. Joseph; Charles, of Wahpeton, North Dakota; Kate, of 
Douglas county, Minn., and Elizabeth, who is deceased. She was married to 
Charles Bollman. Christian was reared in St. Joseph township, and has always 
remained on the home farm. He owns 207 acres, where he conducts general 
farming on a successful scale. He is a genial man, pleasant to meet, and 
popular with his neighbors and friends. Especially is he well informed on the 
events of the early days, and his stories of those far distant times are most 
interesting. He has served on the town board of supervisors. The family 
are members of the Catholic Church. • 

Christian Speiser m^arried Mary Fruth, daughter of M. and Mary (Shean) 
Fruth. They have had ten children: Frank (deceased); John and Joseph 
at home ; Rose, wife of Martin Iten, of St. Cloud, and the mother of two 
children ; Anna, of Breckenridge, Minn. ; Elizabeth and Ida, teachers ; Martin, 
Peter and Secunda, at home. 

Joseph Rassier, a progressive farmer of St. Joseph township, was born 
August 15, 1860, in section 14, of the township where he still resides, son of 
Stephen and Margaret (Schneider) Rassier. The father, Stephen, came to 
America in 1855, and after stopping awhile in Chicago, came to St. Joseph 
township, where his brother Nicholas had settled the previous year. He 
secured a homestead of 160 acres, and then went back to Chicago, where he 
followed his trade as a cabinet maker for two years. In 1857, when he re- 
turned to St. Joseph, he found that owing to the fact that he had not re- 
mained on his hometead the prescribed time he was entitled to but eighty 
acres of land. On this eighty acres he erected a log cabin, and lived 
therein until 1871, when he built the frame house in which now resides his son, 
Joseph. Stephen Rassier died January 8, 1890; his wife, January 29, 1891. 
They had ten children : Joseph, who lives on the home farm ; John of Little 
Falls, Minn. ; Nicholas, who lives in the village of St. Joseph ; Frank, who lives 
in Minneapolis ; Jennie, the wife of Joseph Boos, of St. Cloud ; Elizabeth, who 
became Sister Mary Rachael, of the Order of St. Benedict, and is now de- 
ceased ; Mary, the wife of Peter Scheuer ; Stephen, living in Wahpeton, 
N. D. ; and Mathew and Henry, who live in Breckenridge, N. D. Joseph Ras- 
sier, the oldest of this family, received his education in the schools of his 
neighborhood. After his marriage in 1888, he went to Rice, Minn., and there 
remained ten years. Then he returned to the home farm in St. Joseph, where 
they have since resided. Mr. Rassier has one of the finest farms in Stearns 
county. He has a comfortable home, commodious barns, and other suitable 
buildings for the housing of his stock, produce and farm equipment. He has 
been very successful in his farm operations, and makes a specialty of Hol- 
stein cattle. His character and work have won the respect and confidence of 
his fellow men, and he has been elected a member of the town board of St. 
Joseph some six years. He is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters. 
Mr. Rassier married Mary, the daughter of Joseph and Susan (Mummch) 
Long, and they have ten children. Margaret and Leander, are at home ; Susan 
and Stella teach in Morrison county; Joseph, Lucia, Dorothy, Bernard, John 



860 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and Lorain are at home. The family are members of the St. Joseph Catholic 
Church. 

Abraham Lincoln Smitten was born in St. George, Nicollet county, this 
state, September 29, 1860, son of George W. Smitten. He received his early 
schooling in Le Sauk township, under William Trout, and later attended the 
Union School at St. Cloud. At the age of twenty-two he went to South Da- 
kota, where he worked for about six years. Then he returned home, and 
operated the home farm in Le Sauk township until his mother died. In 1900 
he felt that farm life was too strenuous for the good of his health, and ac- 
cordingly he went to St. Paul and took a course in optical work, in which 
he received a diploma. He found, however, that the work was too confining, 
so he returned to agricultural pursuits. In March, 1905, he purchased the 
Collins farm in section 27, where he now lives. He is decidedly a prosperous 
man, and a country gentleman in its truest sense. He is well regarded and has 
held a number of local offices. In addition to his farm interests, he is vice 
president of the Sartell Lumber Co. Mr. Smitten was married March 1, 1905, 
to Mrs. Dora Lindsey Sartell, widow of Winslow L. Sartell, and they have 
four children : Clarence, Louis, Morris and Eugene. 

Henry E. Collins, a pioneer of Le Sauk, was born in Springfield, Mass., in 
May, 1824, son of Elihu and Mary Collins, the former of whom was a Massa- 
chusetts farmer. Henry E. Collins came to Minnesota in the spring of 1853, 
and located in St. Paul. In May, 1855, he came to St. Cloud. He declares that 
he made the trip in the first steamboat that ever reached this place, and that 
St. Cloud at that time consisted of one or two stores, and a hotel built of tam- 
arack logs, of which Anton Edelbrock was the proprietor. Mr. Collins was 
a carpenter and joiner, but upon reaching this county he started farming 
on 160 acres of land which he obtained in Le Sauk township. He also secured 
some land in Morrison county. The Red River trail crossed the river at his 
home, and on the opposite side of the river was located the hotel of the North- 
western Fur Co. Thus under primitive conditions Mr. Collins began the life 
of a pioneer in a new country. Though he has lived in the state sixty years 
he is still a well preserved man, of unusual memory, and his stories regarding 
the early days of Minnesota are most interesting. He makes his home with 
Abraham L. Smitten, who now owns his place. 

William Wallace Conner was born in Illinois, son of Moses Conner, of 
Holland-Dutch extraction. He was reared in Illinois, and there enlisted in the 
Civil War. His service, however, was cut short by illness, and he was honor- 
ably discharged. In 1865 he came to Stearns county, and purchased the un- 
fulfilled homestead rights to a tract of 120 acres in section 34. He proved up 
on this claim, and started to live a pioneer life. On the place there stood a 
log cabin into which he moved. He brought some horses here with him, but 
was obliged to sell them and purchase oxen. He also had one or two cows. In 
time he added twenty acres, and erected necessary buildings. A Republican in 
politics, he served as supervisor and school officer for many years. He was a 
member of the Christian (Disciple) Church. He died at the age of fifty-one 
years. Mr. Conner was married in Illinois, to Winnie Swisher, a native of that 
state, daughter of Samuel Swisher, who afterward settled in Eden Lake town- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 861 

ship, this county. Their children were : Joseph M., Ida E., Drucena, Mary 
(deceased), William (deceased), Charles (deceased), and Bertha. 

Joseph M. Conner was reared on the home farm which he now owns. He 
follows general farming along the latest approved methods, and makes a 
specialty of full blooded Shorthorn cattle and pure blooded Duroc-Jersey 
swine. His barn is a model, with a splendid ventilator system, and patent 
metal stanchions. Mr. Conner has been a school officer. He belongs to the 
Modern Woodmen of America. He married Mattie E. Mason, a daughter 
of Joseph Mason, and they have had three children: an infant (deceased), 
William Mason and Winnie. 

Joseph Mason was born in Ireland, November 21, 1834, son of Andrew and 
Sarah Mason. He came to America in 1854, found his way from New York 
to Illinois, where he took up farming. During the Civil War he enlisted in 
Company K, 139th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and there saw considerable 
hospital service. In 1865 he came to Minnesota and settled in Plainview, 
Olmsted county, where he farmed until 1870, when he came to Stearns county, 
and located in Maine Prairie township. A few years ago he located in Kimball 
village, where he now resides. He was married in 1869 to Athalia H. Shoe- 
maker and they have two children : Mattie E. and Vernon H. 

Isaac A. Coleman, veteran of the Civil War, now a respected farmer of 
Maine Prairie township, was born in Shelby county, Indiana, May 28, 1841, 
son of William and Sarah (Tinell) Coleman, and grandson of Richard Coleman 
and Isaac Tinell. The two families came from Kentucky to Indiana, and there 
William Coleman and Sarah Tinell were married. They farmed in Shelby 
county, Indiana, for many years. William Coleman died there, but his widow 
came to Minnesota. They had six children: Isaac A., Mary (deceased), Nancy 
(deceased), Sarah, Armenta, and Georgetta (deceased). Isaac A. Coleman 
remained in Indiana until 1866, when he brought his bride to Stearns county, 
and located on their present farm of 120 acres in Maine Prairie township. 
They erected a log house and broke twenty acres of land. They also erected a 
log barn, covered with straw. They were a little more fortunate than some 
of their neighbors, as they had four horses instead of the usual ox team. 
There was a store at Fair Haven, but St. Cloud was the nearest town of any 
importance. Mr. Coleman has increased his farm to 200 acres, and has for 
many years carried on diversified farming. He is an independent thinker, 
and while in general he calls himself a Democrat, he nevertheless votes for the 
best man rather than for political parties. He has filled local offices and has 
done good service on the school board. 

Mr. Coleman's war service dates from 1864 until the close of the hostili- 
ties. He was a private in Company D, 148th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and 
sustained a good reputation as a brave soldier. Mr. Coleman married Lucinda 
Colee, who died in 1909 at the age of sixty-two. They had six children : Flor- 
ence, wife of W. H. French ; William, living in Maine Prairie ; Viola, wife of 
M. F. Greely ; Maude, wife of Edward Newell ; Louis, now on the home farm ; 
and Elsie, who lives with her father. 

Eugene Henry Day, proprietor of the ' ' Pioneer Farm, ' ' in Maine Prairie 
township, was born in Fair Haven township, this county, June 20, 1857, son 



862 HISTORY OP STEARNS COUNTY 

of William Henry and Lucy Marie (Scribner) Day. He has the distinction 
of having been the first white child born in Fair Haven township. William 
Henry Day was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, and as a young man crossed the 
international boundary into Maine. There he met Lucy Marie Scribner, of 
Bangor, whom he wed. For several years he worked as a lumberman, a sail- 
ing mate, and a farmer. In 1856 the family set out for Minnesota. It was a 
long, tedious trip, and two children, Henry and Hannah, died on the way. 
They finally reached Clearwater, in this county, and with their two children, 
Didaraa and Cordelia W., started to walk to Fair Haven. With them Avere 
Aaron Scribner and wife. William Henry Day secured eighty acres of wild 
land about a mile north of the village of Fair Haven, and built thereon a log 
cabin. It is interesting to note that a bob-sled, still used by members of the 
family, was manufactured from the original logs of this old cabin. William 
Henry Day was a true pioneer, and endured many hardships. Corn meal was 
the principal article of food, and the only neighbor who had a milch cow was 
Alvinus Abell. When supplies were needed, Mr. Day was compelled to go to 
St. Paul, with his ox team. Shortly before the Indian outbreak, the family 
moved to eighty acres in Maine Prairie township. Two of the successive log 
cabins they built there were burned to the ground. Here two more children. 
Freeman and Mary Lucy, were born. William H. Day was a Republican in 
politics, and was elected town constable for many years. He also served 
many years on the town board. He belonged to the Christian Church and was 
active in its affairs. Mr. Day died at the age of seventy-five, his wife at the 
age of seventy-nine. 

Eugene Henry Day was reared on the home farm in Maine Prairie town- 
ship, and learned farming as a boy. At the age of seven he was proficient as 
a driver of a pair of oxen. As a young man he secured 40 acres of railroad 
land in section 1, township 121, range 29, where he still resides. He calls the 
place the ''Pioneer Farm." He has erected some good buildings, and brought 
the farm to a high stage of cultivation. Mr. Day practices intensive farming, 
and has been very successful. In 1905 he secured 320 acres in Saskatchewan, 
Canada, but this he later disposed of. Mr. Day has never aspired to office. 
He is a member of the Christian Church. Eugene Henry Day was married 
October 26, 1876, to Mary Waite, and they have had five children: Elsie, 
Didama, the wife of Ralph Buctrell, is dead. Clara Louise is the wife of W. 
H. Metcalf. Frank Henry is in Canada. Justin Luther, is a student in the 
University of Minnesota. Fannie Hazel is a teacher. 

Mary Waite, now Mrs. Eugene Henry Day, was born in Richland county, 
Wis., January 20, 1856, the daughter of Edward Franklin and Helen Waite, 
natives of New York. The family reached Stearns county in 1865 and set- 
tled on the banks of Lake Koronis, near Paynesville. A year later they secured 
a homestead in Rockville township. Mr. Waite was a veteran of the Civil War, 
having served three years in Company B, 18th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. 
He also served in the Mexican War of 1847. He died at the age of 65 years 
and his wife died at the age of 68 years. 

William H. French, who farms in sections 12 and 13, Maine Prairie town- 
ship, in the neighborhood of the settlement known as Maine Prairie village, 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 863 

was born in the township where he still resides, July 25, 1863, son of John 
Hiro and Ellen (Young) French, and grandson of John and Bersheba (French) 
French. John Hiro French was born in New York, and as a young man oper- 
ated a saw mill there. His next residence was in Illinois. Then he found his 
way to Maine Prairie, in this county. He was one of the first to come through 
the swamp, and the first to bring a yoke of oxen onto the prairie. This was 
in 1856. He located on forty acres in section 6, Maine Prairie, built a log 
cabin, and started breaking the land. For a time he lived alone, but in 1861 
he was married. During the Indian outbreak, the family spent their nights 
in the stockade in section 13, attending to their regular duties in the day 
time. In 1872 the family moved to section 13. Here John Hiro French died 
at the age of seventy-two. His widow now lives in Seattle. In the family 
there are six children : William H., Charles E., Wheeler D., Joseph D., Ellen 
(deceased), and Orrin H. William H. grew up on the home farm, and has 
devoted his life to agricultural pursuits. With the exception of a short time 
when he was in the pump and windmill business, he has lived on his present 
farm since early youth. He calls his place the "Fair View Farm," and has 
taken great pride in its development. He raises Percheron horses, Poland- 
China hogs, and a good grade of cattle. His farming operations have been 
profitable, and he has acquired stock in the. State Bank of Kimball. In poli- 
tics he is independent. For some twelve years he has been assessor. Mr. 
French was married January 19, 1887, to Florence Coleman, daughter of 
Isaac Coleman, and they have three children: Clara, Edgar C, and Maicie. 
The daughters are both teachers, and Edgar C. is associated in farming with 
his father. 

Nicholas Gasser, pioneer and Civil War veteran, was born in Switzerland, 
and there received his schooling. In 1854 he came to this country accompanied 
by his promised wife, Anna Ernst, and her father Xavier Ernst, and located 
on a homestead of 160 acres in St. Augusta township, this county. They 
erected a log cabin, and constructed a dugout covered with hay. During the 
first year they used a sled for a wagon, attaching it to their yoke of oxen. 
The next year they cut wheels from oak logs and this manufactured a wagon. 
The family drove to Clearwater for supplies. Nicholas Gasser was a watch- 
maker by trade, and did a great deal of repair work for the pioneers and also 
for the Indians, At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted in Company G, 
Ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the con- 
flict. While he was away his wife and her father operated the farm. After 
the war he returned. By hard work he added to his farm until he owned 640 
acres. He erected modern buildings and became one of the leading farmers 
of his neighborhood. Mr. Gasser spent his declining years with his son, Frank, 
in Maine Prairie township, and died in March, 1907, at the age of eighty-four. 
In the family there were five children : Frank, born May, 1860, is a member 
of the firm of Gasser Bros., stock breeders, Kimball Prairie ; Rudolph, born in 
1863, lives in St. Cloud; Julius, born in January, 1876, owns the Plum Grove 
farm in Maine Prairie township ; Adolph, born in 1878, is associated with his 
brother, Frank, in the firm of Gasser Bros., stock breeders ; Lawrence, born in 
1880, lives at Kimball Prairie. 



864 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Mrs. Nicholas Gasser, whose name as a girl was Annie Ernst, was born 
in Switzerland, March 29, 1839, and died on the seventy-fifth anniversary of 
her birth, in 1914, at St. Mary's Hospital, in Minneapolis. She came to this 
country in 1854 and was married to Nicholas Gasser in 1856. After her hus- 
band's death, she took up her home with her son, Frank, at Kimball. She en- 
joyed good health until within a short time of her death. 

The Gasser Brothers. These young men are among the most active stock 
raisers in Stearns county, and their efforts have done much toward awakening 
interest in better breeds and larger production. The father, Nicholas, was 
an extensive farmer and stock breeder in St. Augusta township. Three of his 
sons, Frank, Adolph and Julius, purchased a tract in Maine Prairie town- 
ship, comprising 640 acres. This was formerly known as the Britchman place. 
They named it the ' ' Prairie View Farm, ' ' and started breeding Shorthorn cat- 
tle, Percheron horses and Poland China hogs on an extensive scale. In 1905, 
one of the brothers, Julius, withdrew, and established the "Plum Grove Stock 
Farm," in Maine Prairie township. In 1910, Frank and Adolph also sold their 
interests, and moved to Kimball, where they established the firm of Gasser 
Brothers, stock breeders. 

Joseph J. Kunkel, proprietor of the ' ' Pearl Lake Farm, ' ' of Maine Prairie 
township, was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, May 1, 1868, son of Killian and 
Elizabeth (Ehmer) Kunkel, natives of Bavaria, who came to this country be- 
fore they were married, lived for a time in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio, 
and ended their days in Haverhill, Iowa. Joseph J. was the sixth of seven 
children. He attended the common schools, worked on the home farm several 
years, and then started for himself by renting land in Iowa. March 1, 1900, he 
brought his family to Stearns county, and purchased the old D. E. Meyer farm 
in the northern part of Maine Prairie township. He has since added to this 
until he owns 340 acres in one tract, in sections 3, 4, 9, and 10, on the west 
shore of Pearl lake, eighty acres in section 16, forty acres in section 21, 160 
acres in section 9, and 24 acres in section 2, knovsm as Pearl Lake Park, as well 
as 200 acres in Millwood township. His especial pride is his sightly resi- 
dence built from cement brick which he manufactured with his own machine 
on his own premises. The house is modern throughout, equipped with gas 
light, hot air furnace, bath, sewerage system, and other improvements. The 
outbuildings and farm equipment are fully in keeping with the beautiful home. 
Mr. Kunkel has made great strides since coming to Stearns county, and is 
a splendid type of a modern farmer. He raises a good grade of Hereford cat- 
tle, pure bred chickens, and bronze turkeys. His orchard of 200 apple trees 
and 200 plum trees with his fine apiary add beauty to the landscape and profit 
to the owner. While Mr. Kunkel has not cared to mingle in political life he 
has served as justice of the peace in the township for some ten years. Mr. 
Kunkel was married May 3, 1892, in Haverhill, Iowa, to Mary E. Mayer, who 
was born in Johnson county, Iowa, only daughter of John and Walburga 
Mayer. Mr. and Mrs. Kunkel have had nine children : Leo, John, Joseph, Paul, 
Albert, Elizabeth (deceased), Ludwig, Marie and George (deceased). There 
is also an adopted daughter, Anna. Mrs. Kunkel's mother, Walburga Mayer, 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 865 

makes her home with her daughter. She was eighty years old in December, 
1913, and still in good health. 

Nicholas Klein, a prominent farmer of Maine Prairie township, was born 
in Uu Page county, Illinois, April 4, 1862, son of George and Theresa (Henchis) 
Klein, who came from Germany as children and were married in Chicago. 
George was a shoemaker by trade, but devoted the later years of his life to 
farming. He died at the age of seventy-two. His wife still lives at the age of 
eighty-three. In their family there were six children. Nicholas Klein was 
reared in Du Page county, and secured a good education. About 1885 he went 
to St. Joseph, Kossuth county, Iowa, and in 1896 opened a general merchandise 
and implement establishment there. In 1900 he came to Maine Prairie and 
purchased a farm of 240 acres. This he has since increased to 400 acres. He 
has made many improvements, has installed a complete equipment of modern 
implements and machinery, and has one of the show places of the township. 
Mr. Klein married Margaret Heinz and they have seven children : Mary, 
Peter, Frank, Aphalonia, Louisa, Jacob and Alvina. 

William Loudon, of the "Oak Grove Farm," Maine Prairie, was born in 
Jefferson township, Washington county, Indiana, November 19, 1839, son of 
John and Lavina (Lee) Loudon. John Loudon was born in Ireland of Scotch- 
Irish descent. He came to this country, located in New York state, and there 
married Lavina Lee, who was a native of Washington county, in that state. 
There four children, Joseph, Robert, Jane and Alexander, were born. The 
family came to Washington county, Indiana, and there four more children, 
James, Sarah, John and William, were born. John Loudon was a progressive 
farmer, and a prominent man. 

In such a home of education and intelligence, William Loudon was reared. 
Coming of an agricultural family it was natural that he should early turn his 
attention to farm pursuits. From his native county he moved to Whiteside 
county, Illinois. He married Mary Nance, daughter of Dr. Clement Nance, a 
physician. In 1870, Mr. and Mrs. Loudon came to Stearns county, with their 
two children, Elmer and Clinton. They lived the first winter in St. Cloud. 
Then they located on a farm one mile west of that city. There the wife died 
at the early age of thirty-six. Mr. Loudon later married Kate Smith, a daugh- 
ter of Albert Smith, a pioneer of Stearns county. A few years later they 
moved onto the present farm in section 6, in the northwestern part of Maine 
Prairie township. The original farm has been increased to 240 acres, and the 
place has been wonderfully improved. The farm has been noted for many 
years for its successful activities. From Illinois, Mr. Loudon brought three 
famous horses, "Jack," "Gray Eagle," and "Messenger,' and from these 
horses have been bred some splendid offspring. A specialty has also been 
made of full blood Shorthorn cattle, Shropshire sheep, and Poland-China swine. 
In the early days, Mr. Loudon and his wife were members of the Grange at 
St. Cloud. Mr. Loudon was also one of the owners of the cheese factory and 
creamery at Maine Prairie, now discontinued. In addition to his many other 
interests he has also become a skilled veterinary surgeon. In politics a Demo- 
crat, he has been justice of the peace and a school official. Mr. Loudon's wife 



866 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

died on the farm at the age of forty-six. By this marriage there were four chil- 
dren : Charles, Carrie, Sadie and Chester. The family faith is that of the Pres- 
byterian Church. Mr. Loudon is an affable gentleman of the old school, and 
his neighborhood has been bettered by his kindly presence. 

Michael C. Loesch, a well-known farmer of section 11, in the vicinity of 
Pearl lake, Maine Prairie township, was born in section 3, across the lake from 
where he now resides, November 22, 1863, son of Nicholas and Anna Loesch, 
and grandson of Michael Loesch, all natives of Luxemburg. Nicholas set out 
for America in 1854. In 1855 he started for the "West with a party of eight 
young men. They were among the first to pass through the canal at Sault 
Ste. Marie. Through swamps and woods they pursued their course and finally 
reached St. Paul. From there Nicholas came to St. Cloud. He first took a 
homestead in Rockville township, but allowed his right to lapse. His par- 
ents obtained a homestead in Rockville township, where they ended their days. 
Nicholas finally secured a location in section 3, near Pearl lake in Maine 
Prairie township. Here he erected a log cabin, and with a yoke of oxen and a 
cow started farming operations. He marketed his produce in St. Paul, making 
the journey with an ox team, taking six days to complete the round trip. He 
became a leading man in the community. His particular interest was taken in 
churches and schools. He helped to build the Catholic Church on Jacob's 
prairie, and also the church at Luxemburg Postofflce in St. Augusta township. 
Later he assisted in building the church at Pearl Lake. Nicholas Loesch died 
March 17, 1913, at eighty years of age. His widow is still living at the good 
age of seventy-six. Of their fourteen children, Michael C. is the oldest. 
The others are: Margaret, Kate (deceased), Lena, Nicholas, Henry, Peter 
(deceased), Casper, Peter, Anna, Mary, Elizabeth, John and an unnamed in- 
fant (deceased). 

Michael C. Loesch was reared on the home farm, and received a splendid 
education. For eleven years he taught school in Stearns county. For a while 
he was clerk for Joseph Walch, at New Paynesville, this county, then for a 
time he was in the bindery department of the Pioneer Press at St. Paul. "When 
he was about thirty years of age he located on eighty acres which are included 
in his present farm. At that time the tract was heavily wooded. Mr. Loesch 
erected a frame house and other buildings, the lumber of which was secured 
from timber growing on the land. He has added to the original purchase 
and now owns 120 acres of good land. He has erected a modern, ventilated 
barn, and a brick residence, as well as other improved buildings. At first he 
raised Hereford cattle. Recently, however, he has changed to Holsteins. He 
has a good grade of horses and red swine. He has also raised some excellent 
fruit. He has been secretary of the Pearl Lake Creamery since it was or- 
ganized in 1897, and is the Maine Prairie director for the Mutual Fire Insur- 
ance Co., Incorporated, of "Wakefield, as well as a director in the State Bank 
of Kimball. He has been treasurer of the school district for many years, 
and has served both as chairman and as a member of the town board. Mr. 
Loesch was married August 1, 1893, to Margaret Geideman, and they have 
eight children: Celia, Rose, Frank, Mary, Clara, George, Elma and Law- 
rence. Margaret Geideman, who became Mrs. Michael C. Loesch, was born 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY ' 867 

in Rockville township, this county, June 12, 1868, daughter of Joseph and 
Catherine (Grien) Geideman. Joseph Geideman was born in Baaden, and 
came to America in 1854. He was married in St. Cloud to Catherine Grien, 
who was born in Belgium, and was brought to Ohio by her parents in 1857. 
After their marriage, they located on some wild land in Rockville township, 
erected a log cabin, and started farming with a yoke of oxen. Mrs. Geide- 
man died in 1893 at the age of fifty-five, and after that her husband moved 
to Maine Prairie township, where he died in 1906 at the age of seventy- 
three. There were nine children in the family: Mary (deceased), Kate, 
Anna, Margaret, John, Barbara (deceased), Aloysius (deceased), Josephine 
and Elizabeth. 

Rutledge Moss, a progressive farmer of Maine Prairie township, was born 
in Dearborn county, Indiana, March 24, 1855, son of Thomas and Rachael 
(Donahue) Moss. The parents were born in Pennsylvania, and were mar- 
ried in Indiana. Thomas Moss was a cooper by trade, but he also devoted 
many years of his life to farming. At the close of the war he brought his 
family to Stearns county and secured a homestead of 160 acres in Fair Haven 
township. In the family were seven children, six of whom came with the 
parents, and one of whom came soon afterward. They were : John W., Elias 
D., Thomas, Jennie, Theodore, Rutledge and Anna. Upon their arrival here 
they erected a log cabin for a residence. They also constructed a log barn 
covered with hay, for their ox team, their horse and their two cows. The 
parents ended their days on this farm. 

Rutledge Moss received his early education in the district schools of 
Fair Haven township. At the age of nineteen he started for himself on ninety 
acres of wild land in Fair Haven township. Here he erected a frame build- 
ing, and started farming wdth an ox team. About this time he married Cora 
Dormas, a native of Meeker county. About two years after his marriage he 
moved to a farm of forty acres in section 35 in Maine Prairie township, where 
he still resides. When he moved on the place no buildings had been erected, 
and only five acres had been broken. He built a log house and a board barn, 
and started in to carve his fortune. He now has a fine home, a model small 
barn with patent stanchions, and excellent farm equipment. He carries on 
diversified farming and raises a good grade of stock. He is a member of 
the Modern Woodmen of America at Kimball. Mr. and Mrs. Moss were mar- 
ried in 1879 and have six children : Guy, William, Florence, Cecil, Charles 
and John. 

Ferdinand Mlelke, a prominent farmer of Maine Prairie township, was 
born in Pomer, Germany, December 13, 1843, son of Frederick and Marie 
(Lodewick) Mielke, who spent the span of their years on a farm in Ger- 
many. Ferdinand, the subject of this sketch, was reared in his native coun- 
try, and was there married, July 20, 1864, to Amelia Bretzke, who was born 
in Karlsthal, Germany, October 27, 1844. In 1868 the family came to America. 
In the party were : Ferdinand Mielke and wife, their two children, William, 
aged two years, and Emilie, aged seven weeks, as well as Ferdinand Bretzke 
and family. Twenty-eight days were spent on the water, the trip being 
made in the sailing vessel, "Schmitt," which was named from its captain. 



868 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

The party landed at New York, and started for St. Paul. They became sepa- 
rated, and endured many hardships before reaching their destination, ina- 
bility to speak the English language often making it difficult for them to 
obtain food and attention. At last they were all united at Carver, in this 
state. On May 13, 1869, Mr. Mielke came to Stearns county, and was taken 
through Maine Prairie township by a pioneer. However a trip he had taken 
through the wild country while living at Carver, when he and his companions 
suffered severely from cold, rain, snow, weariness and hunger, discouraged 
him from making another attempt to establish a homestead, so he secured a 
position on a steamboat at $50.00 a month. In the meantime, the father-in- 
law, Frederick Bretzke, had secured a claim in section 14, Maine Prairie, and 
he induced Frederick Mielke to locate in that vicinity. So with his family 
and an ox team, Mr. Mielke took up his residence on section 14, Maine Prairie 
township. There were no buildings on the tract and no roads leading to it. 
The first home consisted of a hole dug in the ground, with the wagon box 
for a cover. Later a small log cabin was erected. One pane of glass for 
the only window, purchased for thirty-five cents, represented the only money 
expenditure. After living on this place five years the family moved to a tract 
of 160 acres in section 3, which Mr. Mielke purchased at $6 an acre. Here 
he erected a story and a half log cabin, with a kitchen in the rear. This 
was a very substantial structure for those days. Mr. Mielke had no money 
and went to St. Cloud for the purpose of securing lumber from N. P. Clark 
on credit. He there met John Zapp, now a leading banker, with whom he 
established a confidential financial relation which has since continued. Mr. 
Mielke has continued to reside on the farm in section 3. He has a good place 
with excellent buildings and well-tilled soil. He has been school treasurer for 
ten years and has served in other local positions. He and his family are 
adherents of the Evangelical Church. Mr. and Mrs. Mielke have had twelve 
children: Otilia (deceased), William, Emil, Helena, Matilda, Theodore, Her- 
man, Ferdinand, Amelia, Julius (deceased), Clara and Arthur. 

Sylvanous J. Phillips was born in Rock county, Wisconsin, December 22, 
1857, son of A. J. and Nancy (Livingston) Phillips, who were born in Alle- 
gany county. New York ; came to Minnesota in 1861, lived a while in Dakota 
county, and then established their home in Meeker county. Sylvanous J. 
Phillips was educated in Dakota county, farmed there with his parents, and was 
also a mail carrier five years in Meeker county. In 1908 he came to Maine 
Prairie, and purchased a farm of 120 acres near Kimball in section 11. Later 
he sold that and purchased eighty acres adjoining. There he follows diversi- 
fied farming. In 1911 he purchased a store at Kimball, which he still conducts. 

Mr. Phillips married Lizzie Shoutz, a native of Illinois, daughter of John 
Shoutz, now of McCloud county, this state, a veteran of the Civil War. Mr. 
and Mrs. Phillips have six children: A. J., Anna Maude, Frank, Nannie, 
Sylvanous J., Jr., and Walter. Stella is dead. 

Eliel Peck, postmaster at Kimball Prairie, was born in Lebanon, New 
Hampshire, February 26, 1867, son of Solan A. and Sarah (Hubbard) Peck, 
natives also of Lebanon, where the sixth generation occupies the Peck home 
which was built in 1780. Eliel Peck received his education in the graded 



HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY S89 

and high school of Lebanon, and in the agricultural department of Dartmouth 
College, Hanover, New Hampshire. After his graduation in 1875 he became 
steward in the large hotel, the "Twin Mountain House," in the White Moun- 
tains, for five years. In 1880 he came to Minnesota and opened a general store 
at Kingston, Meeker county. When the "Soo" line came through in 1889, 
he came to Kimball Prairie, and erected the first store, which has now de- 
veloped into a large mercantile establishment which he still owns. In the 
spring of 1890 he was appointed postmaster, and this position he has since 
occupied with the exception of two years under Grover Cleveland's second 
administration. He is interested in the progress of the village, and main- 
tains his home here though for the past twenty-five years he has spent his 
winters in Florida. He is a mem.ber of Plumb Line Lodge, No. 173, A. F. & 
A. M. Mr. Peck was married February 14, 1881, to Emma A. McLane. 

Peter Roth, a farmer of Maine Prairie, was born in St. Charles county, 
Missouri, June 28, 1855, son of Mathias and Lucy Roth, who were born in 
Prussia, Germany, came to America, located in Missouri, were married in St. 
Louis, came to Stearns county in 1867, located in section 6, Maine Prairie 
township, and lived a pioneer life, erecting a log cabin, breaking the land, 
prospering with the years, and finally erecting modern buildings, and adding 
eighty acres to the original farm. The father died in 1906 at the age of 
eighty-three and the mother in 1905 at the age of seventy-three. Peter Roth 
came here with his parents, and spent his boyhood amid frontier conditions. 
He has always remained on the home farm. His place now consists of 240 
acres of good land, upon which he successfully conducts general farming, 
making a specialty of pure blooded Herefords. He is a leading man in the 
community and has ocupied school office nearly a quarter of a century. Mr. 
Roth married Katharina Volz, and they have nine children : Leo, Joseph, 
Elizabeth, Henry, Anne, Mathew, John, Albert and Andrew. 

David Bright Stanley, for many years postmaster and storekeeper in 
Maine Prairie village, was born in Edinburg, Penn., February 23, 1845, son of 
Thomas and Mary Stanley, the former a native of Germany and the latter of 
Ireland. The original rendering of the name was Standley. From Pennsyl- 
vania the family went to Ohio, where the father worked at his trade as a 
machinist. In 1858 they came to Stearns county, and located on a farm in 
section 11, near Pearl lake, in Maine Prairie township. Here they erected 
a log cabin and started farming with an ox team. Later the father sold this 
place, and went to Dunkirk, Indiana, where he spent his last days. In the 
family there were six children : David B., Joseph, Plum, Frank, Roger and 
Bird. David B. Stanley attended the district schools of Maine Prairie, the 
St. Cloud High School, and the Bryant & Stratton Business College, of Minne- 
apolis. In 1867 he and his brother, Roger, erected a store building in Maine 
Prairie village, and opened a general merchandise establishment. In 1868 
Mr. Stanley was appointed postmaster. A few years later he bought his 
partner's interest, and then continued in business alone. He served as super- 
visor and as a member of the school board. He was town clerk for nearly 
two decades. His fraternal affiliation was with the Masonic Lodge at Kimball. 
He died March 17, 1911. Mr. Stanley was married August 22, 1868, to Emma 



870 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Gene Allen, born in Maine, December 2, 1850, daughter of Barney and Hannah 
(Wakefield) Allen, who, in 1855, brought their twin children, Alden and 
Emma Gene to Anoka county, Minnesota; came to Maine Prairie in 1867, and 
spent their declining years at Kimball village. Mr. and Mrs. Stanley have 
twelve children : Grace A., born October 26, 1869 ; Ida M., born November 22, 
1870 ; Milton P., born February 16, 1872 ; Henry M., born April 14, 1878 ; Kate 
A., born May 8, 1874; Inez, born January 5, 1882; David B., born April 11, 
1887 ; Mary H., born August 27, 1883, and died October 29, 1887 ; George W., 
born December 31, 1888; Barney A., born September 15, 1890. 

Corydon David Shoemaker, a farmer of Maine Prairie township, was born 
in Lake county, Ohio, April 17, 1854, son of Abram and Ashsah (Waite) Shoe- 
maker. Abram Shoemaker was born March 10, 1816, and died April 29, 
1886. His wife, Ashsah Waite, was born January 23, 1823, and died December 
28, 1900. They were married June 8, 1846. Their children were : Athalie, 
born May 4, 1847; Helen, born August 17, 1849; Almon, born April 1, 1853; 
Corydon, born April 17, 1854; Merritt E., born October 15, 1856; and Waite 
A., born March 24, 1860. Of these Athalie, Corydon, Merritt E. and Waite 
A. lived to adult years. In 1863, while the Civil War was raging, Abram Shoe- 
maker and his wife set out for Minnesota. They located in Plainview, in 
Wabasha county, and there lived until 1871, when they came to Stearns 
county, and located on the shores of Day's lake, in section 22, Maine Prairie 
township. Here they spent the remainder of their lives. Abram Shoemaker 
was a farmer-preacher, being one of the pioneer clergymen of the Christian 
Church. Corydon D. was but seventeen years of age when the family came 
to Stearns county. He has devoted his mature years to agricultural pursuits. 
At the age of twenty-one he started out for himself. His first place embraced 
eighty acres, forty being a homestead in section 35, Maine Prairie township, 
and forty being school land in section 36. With the passage of the years, 
Mr. Shoemaker has became an influential and prosperous man. He has been 
chairman and director of his school district, has been constable about fifteen 
years, and assessor for some four or five years. He is also president of the 
Kimball Creamery Company, at Kimball. Mr. Shoemaker was married in 
1875 to Elizabeth Greeley, daughter of Augustus Greeley. She died in May, 
1897, at the age of forty. To this union have been born five children : Ernest 
H., Alvin Leslie, Clara Elizabeth, Edna Myrtle and Ashsah Helen. Mr. Shoe- 
maker was married the second time, in July, 1898, to Anna West, born in 
Stearns county, October 7, 1869, daughter of William Preston West and 
Martha Jane Moore West, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of 
Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Shoemaker have two children : Abram W. and Ward 
Almon. 

Henry Steichen, a prosperous farmer of Maine Prairie township, was born 
in Luxemburg, January 20, 1860, son of John and Angelica (Roller) Steichen, 
who brought their three children, Henry, Susan and John from Germany in 
1865, and settled on 160 acres in section 34, Rockville township. At this time 
about forty acres were under cultivation, and a log cabin had been erected. 
They began farming with an ox team and as the years passed were unusually 
successful. The farm buildings showed the evidences of their increasing pros- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 871 

perity, and in time a modern home was built. John Steiehen was a member of 
the school board for many years. He was also an active member of the 
church at Luxemburg, which he assisted in erecting. He died in 1882 at the 
age of seventy-one. His wife died in 1898 at the age of sixty. Four chil- 
dren were born in Stearns county: Mary, Nicholas, Anna (deceased), and 
Katie. Henry Steiehen has devoted his life to agricultural pursuits. He was 
reared on the home farm, and attended the district schools. In 1889 he moved 
onto a farm in section 10, Maine Prairie township, which his parents had pur- 
chased from D. E. Meyers. At the time of the purchase there was nothing 
on the place in the way of improvement except a small shack. Mr. Steiehen 
has erected a brick residence and other sightly buildings. He has made a 
marked success of general farming, and has added 160 acres to his original 
place. His specialty is Aberdeen-Angus cattle and Poland-China swine. A 
Democrat in politics he has served as chairman of the town board for many 
years, and for four years as town clerk. He is a stockholder in the State 
Bank of Kimball, and a member of the board of directors of the Cold Spring 
Co-Operative Insurance Co. Mr. Steiehen was married February 25, 1884, to 
Anna Kremmer, a native of Luxemburg, and they have ten children : Angelica, 
Nicholas, Anna, Susan, John N., Katie, Henry, Aloysius, Margaret and Paul. 

Freed Scheelar, who carries on general farming in Maine Prairie town- 
ship, was born in Ohio, January 10, 1853, son of Sacheries Scheelar. The 
mother died when Freed was but three days old, and the father brought the 
eight children, five of whom had been born to a former marriage, to Minne- 
sota, and located on 160 acres in section 20. He built a log cabin and started 
farming with an ox team. Later he sold out. He died when Freed was but 
eight years old. Thus left an orphan in his tenderest years. Freed Scheelar 
secured a living as best he could, living with whatever families would supply 
him with board and lodging in return for such services as he could render. 
He was still a boy when he secured eighty acres and moved into a log cabin 
where he lived alone. He married Mary Held and the two started life together. 
By hard work and frugality they secured a competence. They have erected a 
modern home and barn and their farm of 120 acres is in a high state of culti- 
vation and improvement. It is a matter of gratification with them that they 
were among those who assisted in building the Church of St. Holy Cross, R. C, 
at Maetz. Mr. and Mrs. Scheelar have three children: Julia, Fridolin and 
Agnes. 

Andrew Alstrom, deceased, was born in Sweden, April 18, 1850, descended 
from a sturdy line of peasant farmers. After learning the carpenters' trade 
he came to the United States at the age of twenty-one, settled in Illinois, and 
secured employment at his chosen occupation. He later removed to Hast- 
ings, Minnesota, where he was employed at bridge construction on the Chi- 
cago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. He was married at Hastings, in 1880, 
to Emma Fredeen, a native of Sweden, who came to America in 1878 and 
located in Cannon Falls, Goodhue county, this state. Mr. and Mrs. Alstrom 
had two children. Charles A. married Helen Berger, and lives at Haliday, 
North Dakota. Nettie F. married Ira L. "Williams, and lives in Snohomish, 
Wash. In 1914, while spending the summer with her mother at her summer 



872 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

home on Lake Linneman, she furnished the material upon which this sketch 
is based. In 1886, Mr. and Mrs. Alstrom came to St. Cloud, where Mr. Alstrom 
opened the Bodega Restaurant at 606 St. Germain street, a business he con- 
ducted until his retirement in 1910. During the years that Mr. Alstrom lived 
in St. Cloud he was elected to the city council from the Fourth Ward for sev- 
eral terms, and was at one time vice-president of that body. He was consid- 
ered one of the substantial citizens of St. Cloud and took a great interest in 
its development. He had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, and 
was a member of the Masonic order, the Red Men, the Eagles, the Sons of 
Herman and the Gustavus Alolphus Society. He died July 22, 1910, and was 
buried at Hastings, Minnesota, with Masonic orders. 

W. S. Bartholomew, postmaster at Avon, was born September 5, 1860, 
in Monroe, Butler county, Ohio, son of Samuel K. and Mary (Mellor) Bar- 
tholomew. Samuel K. Bartholomew was born in Strasburg, a few miles from 
Lancaster, Penn., about the year 1827. In the forties he was engaged in trans- 
porting freight on the government road over the mountains in that vicinity. 
In 1879 he brought the family to Waverly, Wright county, and later bought 
land near Annandale, that county, where he spent the remainder of his days. 
He died in 1890. His wife died in 1888. Of the ten children in the family, 
six are living. W. S. Bartholomew obtained his early education at College 
Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio. He came to Minnesota with his father, and alter- 
nated teaching school with work on the farm. In 1885 he went to Dassel, 
Minn., was there married, and there lived four years. In 1889 he came to St. 
Cloud. It was in 1890 that he moved to Avon, and became a sawmill operator. 
In 1899 he was appointed postmaster, a position he still retains, giving gen- 
eral satisfaction to the patrons of the office. He was chairman of the town 
board for six years, and town clerk eleven years. Being of a fraternal nature 
he has allied himself with the B. P. 0. E. and the M. W. A., at St. Cloud. Mr. 
Bartholomew was married in 1885, to Nellie Mann, born in Vermont, daughter 
of Willard and Elvira (Dudley) Mann. There are two daughters: Nellie A. 
and Ethel M., both teachers. 

Rudolph Grunloh, a retired farmer living in the village of Avon, was 
born in the grand duchy of Oldenburg, Germany, November 1, 1834, son of 
Lambert and Elizabeth (Ludica) Grunloh. He was reared in his native land 
and in 1858 came to America. He spent the winter in New Orleans, and then 
secured employment with a farmer living near Cincinnati, Ohio. In the fall 
he went to work for another farmer in the same vicinity, and remained with 
him for three years. He and his brother, Lambert, then lived in Indianapolis, 
Ind., for a short period. He was married in 1863, and two years later brought 
his family to St. Paul. In 1868 he came to Avon, and took a homestead in 
the northwest quarter of section 6, where he erected a log cabin, broke 
the land, and started raising grain. Here he reared his family, and here 
he successfully farmed until 1910, when he and his wife moved to Avon vil- 
lage. For eighteen years he was school treasurer in his district. His wife, 
whom he married in Cincinnati, in 1863, was the daughter of William and 
Margaretha (Kramer) Grus. Five of their children are still living. They are : 
Mary is now Mrs. Lucon, and lives in Albany; Rudolph J., married Augusta 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 873 

Von Walilde, and lives on the home farm; Hannah married Adam Keppers; 
Elizabeth married Barney Terwey; Katherina married Frank Meyer. 

Rudolph J. Gmnloh, a successful farmer, living on the old homestead in 
section 6, Avon township, was born on the farm, where he still resides, April 
25, 1872, son of Rudolph and Margaretha (Grus) Grunloh. As a youth he 
attended the school of District No. 72, of which his father was the first treas- 
urer, and of which his children are now pupils. He has one of the finest 
farms in the township, his home is attractive with commodious outbuildings, 
he is progressive and modern in all his methods, and a true gentleman in 
every respect. Mr. Grunloh married Augusta Von Wahlde, of Cincinnati, 
Ohio, and they have six children : Marie, Gertrude, Rudolph, Lonora, Regina 
and Loretta. 

Nicholas Keppers, one of the earliest pioneers of Stearns county, was born 
in Prussia, Germany, August 31, 1836, son of Adam and Margaret (Kramer) 
Keppers. Adam Keppers was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1810, was there 
married, and in 1852 came to America and located in Lafayette, Indiana, 
where he lost his wife. In 1854 he brought the children to Stearns county, 
and settled on a claim of 160 acres in St. Joseph township, where he died in 
1884. In 1863, Nicholas Keppers was married to Mary Terwey, and they 
secured 160 acres of land in Avon township. The home was a combination of 
log cabin and dug-out, covered with bass-wood bark. In 1880 they erected 
a frame house. There he died in 1897. He was prominent in local affairs, and 
served for a time as county commissioner. In his family there were sixteen 
children : Adam, a farmer of Avon ; John, living in Collegeville, this county ; 
Annie, the wife of Frank Whitman, of Avon ; Joseph, of St. Wendel ; Susie, 
now Sister Mary Jerome, in the convent at Little Falls ; Elizabeth, the wife of 
William Roch, of Avon ; Michael, of Avon village ; Bernard J., the principal 
of the schools at Holdingford, this county. 

Adam Keppers, one of these sons, was born on the farm in Avon, Septem- 
ber 12, 1865. He attended school in District No. 60, one of his teachers being 
Mary Scotup. As a young man he was himself a teacher for a short time, 
and then as a bachelor took up his residence on his farm in section 22, Avon 
township, where he built a log cabin. Two years later he married and brought 
his wife to the place. Mr. Keppers carries on general farming and has a 
splendid place of 200 acres. In 1908 he erected a sightly brick residence, sup- 
plied with steam heat and other modern conveniences. Mr. Keppers was the 
first white child born in the township, has taken a part in its progress, and few 
men are better informed as to its history. He has been town clerk and asses- 
sor, and in 1912 was defeated for the ofiice of county commissioner by only 
a small majority. He was married in 1894 to Johanna Grunloh, daughter of 
Rudolph and Margaret (Grus) Grunloh. In the family there are nine chil- 
dren, four boys and five girls. Rudolf, Stella, Philip, Martha, Mari, Nicho- 
laus, Ursella, Margaret and Francis. 

Thomas F. Roche, a well-known resident of Avon village, was born in 
Illinois, October 14, 1858, son of Thomas and Bridget (Collnan) Roche. 
Thomas Roche was born in County Limerick, Ireland, and in time came to 
America and located in Illinois. At the beginning of the Civil War he brought 



874 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

his family to St. Paul, and about 1868 he came to Avon, and homesteaded 160 
acres in section 10. He died in 1908 and his wife in 1913. Of their eleven 
children seven are now living. Thomas F. attended school in the neighbor- 
hood of his home, and remained for some time with his parents. Then he 
worked on the railroad for five years. After he married, he rented a farm a 
year, and then moved to the village of Avon, where he conducted a general 
mercantile store for a quarter of a century. Under Grover Cleveland he 
served as postmaster of the village. Since his retirement from the store he 
has engaged in various lines of endeavor, and now spends his time looking 
after his numerous interests. He owns 284 acres in the township, stocked with 
Hereford cattle and Duroc-Jersey swine, well supplied with buildings, and 
also 110 lots and numerous buildings in the village. He has one of the best 
residences in the vicinity. Mr. Roche is an active energetic man, and has long 
labored for the upbuilding of the township and village. He has occupied 
various offices and is now president of the village. He has been a member of 
the school board for thirteen years. In 1894 he assisted in organizing the 
Avon Literary Society, which during its existence of one season had a most 
beneficial influence upon the life of the community. Mr. Roche married Rose 
Ellen Randolph, of Anoka, this state, and they have six children living. They 
are: Alice, Edward, Frank, Dora, Lillian and Grace. Alice married Fred 
Belleu, of Royalton, Minn., and they have one child, Elvina. Edward married 
Katie Merkling and lives in Avon. They have one child, Lester. 

John Obermiller was born in Germany, and was one of a family of three 
boys and three girls. Five of them came to America, and located at Aurora, 
New York, leaving the youngest brother in Germany. The two boys made 
shingles by hand, and thus supported the family. During the winter, John 
worked in the pine woods. One day while thus employed he heard the sound 
of a horn in the distance. He recognized the sound as belonging to a horn 
which the members of the family had used in Germany, and at once remarked 
to a companion that he believed his youngest brother was approaching, though 
at that time he did not know that the brother had reached America, His 
intuition proved to be true, and thus the six members of the family were re- 
united. John and one of his brothers came to Wisconsin, and after working 
a while as farm hands developing forty acres of land, which they broke, 
cleared, fenced and planted to wheat. The farmer for whom they did this 
work paid them $100, a sum of money which they greatly needed. Each of 
the two brothers then bought forty arces of land. About this time his sister 
married a man named Rass. A few weeks afterward he went away to look for 
work, and never returned. John Obermiller then cared for her, and became 
foster father to her son Frank when he was born. Later they sold out and 
drove to Minnesota with an ox-team, the trip lasting about six weeks. This 
was in 1858. They secured a homestead in section 2, Collegeville, and were 
among the very earliest settlers in that vicinity. When they arrived they 
had seven dollars. Four of this was spent for lumber and three for flour. 
They started farming in the wilderness and gradually became prosperous. 
There were a number of maple trees on the place and sometimes the family 
got as much as one hundred dollars' worth of sugar and syrup in a season. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 875 

As circumstances permitted they erected a frame dwelling and a good barn. 
During all this time John Obermiller made a home for his nephew, Frank 
Rass, and gave him a father's love and care. This brief mention of his 
career has been prepared from his own notes. He was an upright, generous 
man, and true gentleman in every sense, and his life-long example of kindl- 
ness will long be remembered in the community he helped to establish. 

Frank Rass was born in Wisconsin. His father disappeared a short time 
before he was born, and he was reared by his mother and by his uncle, John 
Obermiller. He came to Collegeville, this county, with his mother and uncle 
in 1858, and lived with them until his marriage. After his marriage he farmed 
in Collegeville for twenty-nine years. In 1911 he exchanged the farm for a 
hotel and livery barn in Avon village. He was married in May, 1882, to Mar- 
garet Gasperlin, who was born in Germany July 1, 1863. Her parents brought 
her to America in 1868 and located at St. Anthony, this state, where they ended 
their days, he at the age of eighty-three and she at the age of sixty. Frank 
Rass and his wife had a large family of children, twelve of whom are living. 
Joseph lives in Melrose. Mary married John B. Schmidt, who died in St. Cloud, 
in 1913. Amelia is the wife of Mr. Roering, who lives near New Munich. 
Frank lives in St. Cloud. Sebastian and John are in Avon. Elizabeth is the 
wife of Mr, Mertes, of Bowbells, North Dakota. Anna, Alfred, Leo, Emmanuel 
and Agatha H. are all at home. John Rass was born in Collegeville town- 
ship, March 25, 1888. He attended the district schools of his neighborhood, 
and in 1911, when his parents purchased the hotel and livery at Avon village, 
he and his brother Sebastian took charge of the livery. He married Flora 
Emerfall, and they have two children : Genevieve, born May 17, 1912, and 
Gazella, born October 5, 1913. 

Nicholas Schirmers, a respected farmer of Avon township, was born in 
Sefferweich, district of Trier (Treves), Rhine province, Germany, son of Nich- 
olas, Sr., and Mary (Roths) Schirmers, farmers, who spent the span of their 
years in the old country. The subject of this mention was reared in his native 
district, became a farmer, and married. In 1884 they came to America, and 
after living a short time in St. Michael township, Wright county, this state, 
purchased a farm in Avon township, where he still lives. The farm consists 
of 120 acres of fertile land in a high stage of cultivation. By his wife, Kath- 
erine Zeimetz, Mr. Schirmers has had nine children : Mary ; Nicholas who mar- 
ried Johanna Blenkush and has two adopted children ; Stephen, of Buckman, 
who married Mary Schmidt ; Martin of Buckman who married Margaret Smith 
and has two children ; Jacob who lives at home ; John and Lucy, who died in 
infancy ; Sebastian a reverend father of the Catholic Church ; and Aloysius 
M., at home. 

John P. Schneider, who is connected with the business interests of Avon, 
was born December 3, 1880, in section 27, Avon township, son of John and 
Anna (Baur) Schneider. John Schneider was born in Luxemburg, March 
12, 1824, and came to America about 1846, settling in Ohio. In 1849 he fol- 
lowed the gold rush to California. In the middle fifties he arrived in St. 
Joseph, where he worked as a farm hand for several years. In 1867 he came 
to Avon, secured a place in section 27, and engaged in general farming. He 



876 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

there reared his family. "With his active interest in public events it was nat- 
ural that he should take a prominent part in town affairs. For some time he 
served as town clerk. He died in September, 1907, in his eighty-fourth year. 
He and his good wife were parents of nine children, of whom there are living 
five. Barbara married Michael Bach. They live in Grand Forks, N. D., and 
have nine children. Andrew married Clara Maehren. They live in Cold 
Spring, and have five children. Margaret married Henry Smith, and they have 
six children, John P. is a clerk in Avon village. Lena married Michael 
Lutgen, and they have four children. John P. Schneider received his early 
education in the school of district 60, and at the age of twenty-three engaged 
in the stock business. Five years later he entered the employ of J. Borgerding 
& Co., engaged in the general mercantile, hardware and lumber business in 
Avon. In this concern he has since remained. He is interested in the general 
welfare of Avon, and is serving as clerk of the township. He belongs to the 
St. Joseph Society. John P. Schneider married Anna Brandtner, born in 
Meire Grove, this county. They have three children, Ida M., Adaline A. and 
Margaret L. 

Barney M. Terwey, a successful farmer of Avon, was born in Burlington, 
Wis., April 2, 1858, son of John and Gertrude (Liether) Terwey. John Terwey 
was born in Westphalia, Germany, and there married, and in the early forties 
brought his family to America. They lived many years in Burlington, Wis., 
and in May, 1860, came to Stearns county, Minn., and located in Meire Grove. 
John Terwey died a short time after his arrival here. The family, however, 
retained the claim. The widow afterward married Henry Kreager, John 
Terwey and his wife had eight children: Gertrude, Mary, John, Henry, 
Susan, Christine, Barney M. and Anna. Gertrude married Anton Miller, and 
they live in Menomonie, Wis. John married Antonette Schweiters, now de- 
ceased. Henry lives in White Earth, Becker county, Minn. He married Ada- 
line Terhaar. Susan married Gregger Guck, and lives in Rice, Benton county, 
this state. Christine married Matthew Rietter, and they live in Chokio, 
Minn, Barney M. is a farmer of Avon township. Mary was married to Nick 
Keppers and after her death Nick Keppers was married to Anna. 

Barney M. Terwey attended schools in Meire Grove, St. Joseph and Avon. 
At the age of nine years he went to St. Joseph to live with Nicholas Keppers. 
Two years later he took up his home with his uncle, Barney Terwey. After 
a short time with him he again went to Mr. Keppers, with whom he remained 
until twenty-one years of age. Then for several years he worked for various 
farmers. His first piece of land was forty acres in section 15, Avon township. 
Later he sold this and acquired 234 acres in section 8, Avon township, on which 
he still resides. He built a log house, broke and improved the land, and has 
since continued to carry on general farming. He married Elizabeth Grunloh, 
daughter of Rudolph and Margaret (Grues) Grunloh, and they have six chil- 
dren living: Rudolph J., Julian M., George A., Bernard B,, Henry M and 
Roman J. 

Frank Monroe Whitman, successful creamery man of Avon village, was 
born near Owatonna, Steele county, Minn,, July 29, 1875, son of Monroe D. 
and Anna (Bryant) Whitman. Monroe D. Whitman was born in Newbury 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 877 

Center, Vermont, and devoted his life to agricultural pursuits. During the 
war he was a private in the Thirteenth Vermont Volunteer Infantry, and 
among other engagements, took part in the Battle of Gettysburg. After the 
war he came to Steele county, Minn., and farmed until 1910, when he retired 
and moved to the city of Owatonna. The seven children are : Clarence, a mis- 
sionary in South Africa ; George M., living in Minneapolis ; Frank M., living 
in Avon ; Arthur J., living in Good Thunder, Minn. ; Hattie, now wife of Gary 
Felton, who farms near Owatonna; Charles E., who lives on the home farm 
near Owatonna; and Lynn who works for Charles. Frank M. received his 
early education in the district schools of his neighborhood and in the Owa- 
tonna High School. Then he attended at St. Anthony Park, the Dairy School, 
Department of Agriculture, University of Minnesota, and after the customary 
practical experience, received his diploma. He worked for a while in the 
Crown Creamery, near Owatonna, Minn. ; the following year went to Rush- 
more, Minn., and operated a creamery, then went to Amherst, South Dakota, 
where he put in a creamery and remained four months ; from there going to 
Kidder, South Dakota for a month ; and from thence to Holdingford, this 
county, where he put in a creamery for Mathias Wardran, and remained a 
little over three years. In 1900 he came to Avon, and in company with Frank 
Schmid, established the creamery which they are still successfully conducting. 
Mr. Whitman belongs to the Minnesota State Buttermakers' Association, to 
the Catholic Order of Foresters and to the St. Joseph Society. He is one of 
the progressive young men of Avon, and is much interested in the prosperity 
of the village. For ten successive years he served as village recorder. He 
married Annie G. Keppers, daughter of Nicholas Keppers, one of the pioneers 
of Avon. They have three children : Ethel A., Irene M. and Lucile E. 

Philip Beaupre was one of the early pioneers of Minnesota, and his career 
constitutes a story of thrilling adventures in a wild country inhabited by 
Indians, with here and there a trading post of the whites. He was born in 
Two Rivers, Lower Canada, July 6, 1823, and at the age of seventeen years 
started out on his incursion into pioneer regions. He was employed in 1840 
on the Chicago canal, after which he went to Green Bay, Wis., and spent a 
year and a half. Then, after a trip to St. Louis and New Orleans, he went into 
the Yellowstone country, and was for one year in the employ of the American 
Fur Company. In the summer of 1844 he came to Minnesota, and located 
at Crow Wing, in the employ of the Indian traders, Morrison and McDonald, 
with whom he remained one year. Then he worked for Henry M. Rice a year. 
In 1849 he established a trading post in what is now Morrison county, and 
was elected one of the county commissioners of Benton county which then 
took in a large district in this part of Minnesota. In 1850 he came to what is 
now Sauk Rapids, took a claim, and combined farming with trading. He 
was made a justice of the peace, and had a number of cases tried before him. 
In 1852, having married, he went Pembina, then in Dakota territory, and was 
employed in the United States Custom Ofifice. In 1855 he opened a trading 
post in Sauk Centre, in Stearns county, and in 1856 he took the contract for 
transporting government supplies from St. Cloud to Fort Abercrombie. In 
1859 he was elected sheriff of Stearns county and served two years. Then he 



878 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

made a trip to Montana, and after his return took up his residence in St. Cloud 
where he engaged in draying. For two years he was employed by Nathan 
Myriek, in the construction of Fort Pembina. After this he returned to the 
old homestead in Sauk Rapids, where he spent the remainder of his days. He 
died Nov. 7, 1906, at the age of eighty-five years. 

Philip Beaupre was married May 6, 1852, in the old log church at St. Paul, 
to Theresa Denoyer, born in St. Louis, Mo., September 8, 1835, daughter of 
Louis and Marie (Robert) Denoyer. Mr. and Mrs. Beaupre had sixteen chil- 
dren, thirteen of whom have lived to adult years. They are : William P., 
Louis G., Emma E., Henry, Mary L., Eulalie, Jeanette, Theresa, Frank, John 
B., Elizabeth, and Alphonse L. and Andrew (twins). William P. is married 
and has ten children. He lives in Alberta. Louis G. is on a ranch in Sweet 
Grass. Emma E. is a painter of more than usual ability. Henry is a dentist 
in Sweet Grass. He married Josephine Homan, and they have two children. 
Mary L. is the wife of John H. Homan, a St. Cloud patrolman, and they have 
five children. Eulalie is a nurse and lives at home. Jeanette married Arthur 
Hill, and they have four children. They live in Butte, Mont. Theresa mar- 
ried C. Nelson, and they have two children. Frank is married, has four chil- 
dren and lives in Minneapolis. John B. is married, has three children and 
lives in Butte, Montana. Elizabeth married Albert Dorsh and they have four 
children. Mrs. Beaupre is now living in Montana. One of her prized posses- 
sions is a painting on china of the historic log church in which she was mar- 
ried. She also has many beautiful paintings executed by her daughter 
Emma E. 

Charles E. Bell, now a resident of Sauk Rapids, was born in Pittsburg, 
Penn., August 11, 1843, son of Roger and Margaret (Scott) Bell. In 1845, the 
family moved from Deer Creek, a little settlement at which the father had a 
blacksmith shop, twelve miles from Pittsburg, and located in Port Byron, Rock 
Island county, Illinois. Charles E. Bell enlisted, July 23, 1861, in Company D, 
Twelfth Illinois Vounteer Infantry. He re-enlisted January 1, 1864, and 
served until he received his honorable discharge, July 24, 1865. He saw stren- 
uous active service, and followed the fortunes of his regiment in its historic 
campaign. To recount the list of his engagements would be to write a history 
of the regiment. After his return to Port Byron, he worked in his father's 
store for a while. Later he engaged in railroading on the Northwestern with 
Clinton, Iowa, as his headquarters. In 1879 he came to Sauk Rapids, where 
he has since resided. Mr. Bell now conducts an ice cream parlor in Sauk 
Rapids. He is the manufacturer of Bell's "Wonder Ointment and Liniment," 
a remedy for all skin disorders which is sold under a guarantee and has met 
with much favor. Mr. Bell has taken an active interest in the affairs of Sauk 
Rapids and Benton county. At one time he was county commissioner. He has 
been president of the village, and for some twenty years has been the justice 
of the peace. He is also a notary public. He belongs to the Sauk Rapids 
Lodge, No. 84, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and to McKelvey Post, 
G. A. R. Mr. Bell married Sophia Bricket, and they have one daughter, Ida. 

Joseph A. Coates, for over half a century a resident of Sauk Rapids, was 
born in Lincolnshire, England, November 30, 1849, and was brought by his 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 879 

parents to America in 1854. After living in Davenport, Iowa, for a while, the 
family moved to Harmony, Fillmore county, Minn. In the spring of 1861 
the family came to Sauk Rapids, and here with the exception of two years in 
Arkansas, he has since spent his life. 

Mr. Coates has taken an active part in the affairs of Sauk Rapids and 
Benton county. He was sheriff from 1872 to 1874, served as deputy the suc- 
ceeding four years, was again elected sheriff and served from 1878 to 1880. 
Then he became judge of probate. He now represents his district in the lower 
house of the Minnesota Legislature, and has made an excellent record. 

Joseph A. Coates was married in 1878 to Mary E., daughter of Erasmus 
and Jane Cross. To this union four children have been born: Henry, Ada, 
Frederick and Emma. Henry married Mary Roth, and they have one son, 
Wilbur. They live on the father's farm. Ada married Jacob Jackson and 
they have three children, Florence E., Mary and Warren. They live in Al- 
berta, Canada. Frederick is living with his sister in Alberta. Emma is the 
wife of Walter Mansfield, of Hamilton county, Mont., and they have two chil- 
dren, Mildred and Benard. Mrs. Mary E. (Cross) Coates died and, in 1897, 
Mr, Coates married Julia, the daughter of Jeremiah and Sophia Russell. 

Julia A. has furnished the information for this historical information. She 
was born in the township of Le Sauk, in Stearns county. She attended the dis- 
trict schools, the St. Cloud State Normal School, and Carleton College, at 
Northfield, Minn., as well as the Conservatory of Music in Boston, Mass. She 
taught school in Sauk Rapids, Little Falls, Alberta and Santiago and she also 
was a proficient music teacher. In 1897 she married Joseph H. Coates, a prom- 
inent Benton county official. 

Jeremiah Russell, a member of the first territorial legislature of Minne- 
sota, was born in Eaton, Madison county. New York, Feb. 2, 1809, After at- 
tending the district schools he entered the Academy at Fredonia. When 
quite young he learned to set type in the office of the Fredonia Gazette, the 
first newspaper established in Chautauqua, N. Y. He followed this trade in 
Geneva, and other places, and clerked in a general store in Palmyra, Mayue 
county, in the same state for several years. In 1835 he started out on his trav- 
els and after wandering about Michigan and Indiana, he reached Chicago, 
went from there to Milwaukee, and then found his way to the Lake Superior 
country, where he worked as a mine foreman. In 1837, he associated himself 
with Franklin Steele and others, and took a claim at St. Croix, Wis. In 1839 
he became government blacksmith and farmer, and went among the Indians 
about Lake Pokegama, and at La Pointe. In 1848 he located in Crow Wing, 
Minn., as agent for C, N, W, Borup and C. H. Oakes, the fur traders. In the 
fall of 1849 he was placed in charge of the post of the American Fur Co., about 
two miles above Sauk Rapids, on the east side of the river. About 1853 he 
settled in Le Sauk township, in what is now Stearns county. In 1869 he moved 
across the river to what is now Sauk Rapids in Benton county. There for a 
while he kept a tavern. He took a deep interest in educational matters and 
one of the schools at that place now bears his name. His membership in the first 
law-making body ever assembled in Minnesota has been mentioned. He died 
in 1888. Mr. Russell was married, September 20, 1843, to Sophia Oakes, the 



880 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

daughter of Charles H. and Sophia Oakes. They had seven children : Albert, 
Stanley, Mary M., Jeremiah, Julia A., Harriet and Fannie. Albert died in 
September, 1850, the first white person that passed away in Sauk Rapids. 
Stanley married Martha A, Hooper, and they have three children : Minnesota, 
commonly called Minnie, Edward, and Sophia who married Mr. Loucks and 
died in 1912. Mary M. is the wife of W. M. Newman, and they have two 
children, Lewis and Ethel. Jeremiah married Charlotte "Ware. Harriet died 
at the age of seven years and Fannie at the age of five. 

David Gilman, a distinguished pioneer, was born April 29, 1812, son of 
John Gilman, who took the family to Orange county, Vermont, when David 
was but six months old. In that county David Gilman grew to manhood. 
In 1836 he went to Kalamazoo, Mich., where he kept a stable and dealt in 
horses. He was the first city marshal of Kalamazoo, holding that office for six 
years. He was also one of the original members of the first fire department. 
In 1848 he entered the employ of the American Fur Company, and in that 
capacity located with his family at Mendota, Minn. In 1849 he came to Watab, 
in what is now Benton county, and from Asa White bought out the rights to 
some 240 acres in what is now section 27. This same year he was appointed 
sheriff of Benton county by Governor Alexander Ramsey, and soon thereafter 
was elected to this office. He was county commissioner for a number of years, 
and chairman of the board a part of that time. In 1850 he represented his 
district in the Territorial Legislature, and in 1857 he sat in the Constitutional 
Convention. In the latter body he was noted for his strong advocacy of a 
proper recognition of the school interests of Minnesota. His home at Watab 
was the old Watab trading post, and at this place the postoffice was also kept. 
He was first appointed postmaster in 1853, and he held that office at different 
times for many years. David Gilman died in 1885 at the age of seventy-three. 
His wife died at the age of eight-five. Mr. Gilman was married in September, 
1844, to Nancy W. Lamb, of Woodstock, Vermont, and of their five children, 
four grew to adult years. They were Ellen R., Sarah B., John D. L. and 
Frances E. 

John David Lowry Gilman, a farmer of Watab township, Benton county, 
was born May 26, 1854, in section 27, of the township where he still resides, 
son of David and Nancy (Lamb) Gilman, the pioneers. He received his early 
education in Watab and St. Cloud, and was reared on the home farm where 
he has since continued to reside. Mr. Gilman is known far and wide. He has 
held all the important offices in his township and is still on the school board. 
He is a member of the Masons, the Yeomen, the Old Settlers Association and 
the Pioneer Association. His comfortable home and commodious out build- 
ings are located directly on the bank of the Mississippi river, while his farm 
consists of 200 acres of the best land. Mr. Gilman married Adelaide F. Mc- 
Neal, who lived on a farm in Benton county. In the Gilman family there are 
six children: Minnie M., Ervine D., Alton, LeRoy, Cyren C. and John W. 
Minnie M. married Robert Burton and they have three children. Ervine D. 
married Pearl Moore. 

Rev. Sherman Hall, a pioneer missionary, was born in Weatherfield, Ver- 
mont, April 30, 1800. He attended Exeter Academy at Exeter, N. H., gradu- 




JIICHAKD CEONK 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 881 

ated from the academic course at Dartmouth College, Dartmouth, Maine, and 
completed a three years' course in theology at the Andover Theological Sem- 
inary, Andover, Mass. He entered the service of the American Board of For- 
eign Missions, and for twenty-two years labored among the Chippewa Indians, 
at La Pointe, on Lake Superior, in Wisconsin. Then he came to Minnesota to 
take charge of the government schools at Crow Wing. He translated the New 
Testament into the Chippewa tongue, and had the translation published in 
New York in the winter of 1843-44, revising it in 1856. He wrote a grammar 
in the same tongue, but the manuscript disappeared. Next he wrote a Chip- 
pewa hymn book, and later two small booklets, "The Peep of Day" and "Les- 
sons from the New Testament." When the government removed the schools 
to Gull Lake, and took them out of the control of the Congregational denom- 
ination. Rev. Hall came to Sauk Rapids, held the first religious services here, 
and established the Congregational Church. For forty-eight years he labored 
in the Northwest, and won the respect of the whites and the Indians alike. He 
was judge of probate of Benton county and served also as county superin- 
tendent of schools for a considerable period. He died August 31, 1879, as 
the result of injuries received in falling from a wagon. 

Sherman Hall was married in Cambridgeport, Mass., -June 15, 1831, to 
Betsey P. Parker, of that place. Three of their children, Edwin S., Harriet P. 
and Sarah E. lived to adult years. Edwin S. farms in Benton county, and has 
occupied a number of public positions including that of clerk of the district 
court. Harriet P. married Calvin Hicks, now deceased, a lawyer who served 
for a time as treasurer of Benton county. Sarah E. married Richard Cronk, 
the surveyor. 

Richard Cronk, widely known as a practical surveyor, died at his home 
in Sauk Rapids, in 1897. He was born in upper Canada, January 30, 1838, and 
spent his early life in the vicinity of his birth place. In 1856 he settled on a 
farm in Minden township, Benton county, Minnesota, and in 1867 located in 
Sauk Rapids where he built the home in which his family still resides. For 
thirty-three years he was a surveyor. During fifteen years he was county 
surveyor. He surveyed six townships in Crow Wing county, Minn., and also 
worked in Nebraska, and along the Red River of the North. For two years 
he was treasurer of Benton county. Mr. Cronk married Sarah E. Hall, who 
was born in La Pointe, Wis., in 1839. They had two sons, Charles G. (deceased) 
and Edwin S. 

James K. Miller, now living in Sauk Rapids, is the last surviving charter 
member of North Star Lodge, No. 23, A. F. & A. M. He was born in Ireland, 
October 16, 1828, son of Alexander and Jennie (King) Miller, who died within 
a week of each other, when James K. was a small boy. He accordingly went 
to live with an uncle in New Brunswick, Canada, where he was reared. As he 
grew, however, he found his uncle's home uncongenial, and therefore started 
out in life for himself. He learned the blacksmith trade at Oak Bay, New 
Brunswick, Can., and worked in various towns in that vicinity. In 1857 he 
came to Watab, this state, established his home and a shop, and for a time 
did work for the government troops stationed at Fort Ripley. In 1861 he 
came to St. Cloud and opened a shop on the levee. During a period Thomas 



882 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Jones was his partner, the shop then being located on the corner of Fifth 
avenue and Fourth street. For eighteen months, Mr. Miller served in Com- 
pany I, Seventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, participated in the Indian 
campaign, and was discharged for disability, having been taken ill on the 
plains. For a time after his return he was again associated with Mr. Jones. 
Later he built a shop on Seventh street, and continued in business there until 
1875, when he opened an establishment in Sauk Rapids. April 14, 1886, his 
shop was destroyed by a cyclone. Then he engaged in sharpening quarry tools 
for some eleven years. Later he lived on his farm in Sauk Rapids, which he 
had acquired in 1867. In 1900 he retired from active life. Mr. Miller is a 
splendidly preserved man for his years and is in the full possession of his fac- 
ulties. His memory is excellent and his description of the early days is in- 
teresting and instructive. James K. Miller married Sarah Ann Stevenson, 
daughter of Hugh and Nancy (Leach) Stevenson, and of their six children 
there are now living five: Jennie, Annie M. (deceased), Frederick C, Edward 
A., Harrison K. and Belle W. Jennie is the wife of George Bloxon, of Spokane. 
Annie M. was married, November 22, 1883, to Charles Westlake, of St. Cloud, 
and died November 22, 1884, on the first anniversary of their wedding. Fred- 
erick C. married Anna M. Palmer, has nine children, and lives in Sauk Rapids. 
Edward A. married Lillian I. Dowsland, lives in Sauk Rapids and has two chil- 
dren. Harrison K. married Emma Stanton, and they have one child. Belle 
W. lives at home and teaches. 

WiUiam Fletcher, a pioneer miller, was born in England, and came to 
America as a young man. After working in a mill at Genesee Falls, New 
York, he went to Ohio. From there he moved to Chicago, and thence to Beloit, 
Wis., still following his trade. It was in 1855 that he came to Minnesota. 
For two years he rented a mill there, and then, upon being joined by his 
family, he went to Little Falls, in Morrison county. In 1858 he built a mill 
there, but after eighteen months the water-power there failed and he moved 
the machinery to Sauk Rapids, where he opened the Sauk River mill. He 
died in 1860, but his wife conducted the mill for many years thereafter. Mr. 
and Mrs. Fletcher had five children. 

William H. Fletcher, for many years a leading citizen of Sauk Rapids, and 
noted far and wide for the interest he has taken in aparian pursuits, was born 
in Zanesville, Muskingum county, Ohio, February 27, 1842. At an early age 
he was taken to Chicago, and from there to Beloit, Wis. In 1855 he came with 
his parents to St. Anthony, Minn., went from there with them to Little Falls, 
and from there, in 1859, to Sauk Rapids, where he still resides. As a boy he 
worked in his father's mill for a while. As a young man he learned the trade 
of wagon maker and in 1868 he and Weslie Carter opened a factory in St. 
Cloud for the manufacture of vehicles. His business since 1878 has been 
real estate and insurance. Mr. Fletcher is a prominent man in Benton county. 
He has been county auditor and county treasurer, and is now county commis- 
sioner, having served in the latter capacity for the past fourteen years. He is 
a member of North Star Lodge, No. 23, A. F. & A. M., at St. Cloud, and also of 
Sauk Rapids Lodge, No. 84, A. 0. U. W., at Sauk Rapids. He is an active vig- 
orous man to whom the advancing years have brought increasing powers. 




I\IR. AND MRS. W. H. FLETCHER AND MRS. MARTHA EVEREST 



I 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 883 

Mr. Fletcher was married, in 1879, to Alda M. Everest, daughter of Marshall 
D. and Martha (Aull) Everest, Mrs. Everest makes her home with Mr. and 
Mrs. Fletcher. In spite of her ninety three years she is a woman of unusual 
abilities. In the full possession of all her faculties, and blessed with a won- 
derful memory, she is a most entertaining conversationalist, and a most agree- 
able companion. 

Ludwig Robbers, a resident of Sauk Rapids, Benton county, was one of 
the pioneers of St. Cloud, in Stearns county. He was born in Westphalia, 
Germany, April 14, 1832, son of John and Mary Robbers, the former of whom 
lived to be ninety-three and the latter ninety-seven. The family originated in 
France, the grandfather having gone to Westphalia during Napoleon's time. 
In France the name was spelled Roberts and pronounced Robear, but the 
French pronunciation was beyond the German tongue of the Westphalians, 
and it was modified to its American form. In 1844 the famliy, consisting of 
John and Mary Robbers, four daughters, and two sons, John and Ludwig, 
the latter then twelve years of age, came to America, the trip on the ocean 
taking forty days. After living in New Orleans, the family moved to Evans- 
ville, Indiana, where the father secured forty acres of land. Ludwig, how- 
ever, became dissatisfied with farming, and having in the meantime married 
he brought his wife and three children to St. Cloud, in 1856, and engaged in 
the general store business with J. W. Tenvoorde as a partner, on the present 
site of the First National Bank. Later the two had a place of refreshment, and 
entertainment on St. Germain street. In 1861 Mr. Robbers erected a business 
house on Fifth avenue, north, where he likewise engaged in the refreshment 
business. He also erected a brick residence on the same street. Later he 
farmed for a while in Benton and Sherburne counties, returned to St. Cloud 
for a while, went to Little Falls, Minn., and bought a harness shop, and later 
moved to Royalston, Minn., where he carried on the harness business for four 
years. Since 1905 he has lived in Sauk Rapids. 

Mr. Robbers is one of the best informed men in this part of the state 
regarding the early days of Stearns and Benton counties, and is often inter- 
viewed when such information is desired. At the time of the Indian outbreak, 
he and Chris. Grandelmeyer carried dispatches by the orders of the governor 
to the people of Paynesville and Forest City. Henry Z. Mitchell was at that 
time commissary general of the state. Mr. Robbers was one of those who as- 
sisted in superintending the building of the stockade at St. Cloud, and Henry 
Z. Mitchell performed a similar duty in the Lower-Town, now the southern 
part of the city of St. Cloud. For a time, Mr. Robbers was deputy sheriff 
of Stearns county. When the city of St. Cloud was incorporated, he was elected 
alderman, and is the only member of the original board now living. He served 
one term in the lower house of the state legislature and was assessor of the city 
of St. Cloud at different terms. Mr. Robbers married Mary Lansing, a native 
of Prussia, and of their nine children, there are living three, Henry, William 
and Frank. For his second wife, he married Esther McAvay by whom he had 
six children: Louis, Joseph, George, Meinulf C, George A, and Gertrude. 
Louis married Annie Liilin and has four children, Esther, Gertrude, Ludwig 
and Meinulf, the latter of whom lives at Index, state of Washington. Meinulf 



884 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

C, Robbers lives at home with his father. He was born in St. Cloud, October 
16, 1869, attended the Union School, at St. Cloud, learned the trade of harness 
making with his father, and is now the justice of the peace in Sauk Rapids. 
Joseph is a stone cutter. He married Annie Tenvoorde, and they have three 
children living, Eugene J., Blanche and Clifford. Gertrude married Jeremiah 
Sullivan, now of Waburn, Minn., and they have two children, Robea and 
Hubert. 

Thomas Van Etten, soldier and county official, was born in Deer Park, 
near Port Jervis, Orange county. New York, September 20, 1836, son of Thomas 
Van Etten, also a native of Deer Park, and Sarah Van Auken, a native of Mon- 
tague, Sussex county. New York. The founder of the family in America was 
Jacob Jansen, a native of Etten, Holland, who settled in Kingston, N. Y., and 
styled himself Jacob Jansen Van Etten. Thomas Van Etten was reared in the 
home of his parents, and completed his preparatory school work in his native 
village. Upon coming to Minnesota, he located in St. Paul, and began the 
study of law with his brother, Isaac Van Etten. At the outbreak of the Civil 
"War, he enlisted in Company A, First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and 
served three months. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, Ninth Min- 
nesota Volunteer Infantry, received a commission as second lieutenant, was 
promoted to first lieutenant, and on January 16, 1865, became captain. During 
his service in the army, he took part in the battles of Nashville, Tenn., Price's 
Cross Roads, Jefferson City, Vicksburg, Memphis and Montgomery, aside from 
minor skirmishes and engagements, and narrowly escaped imprisonment in 
Andersonville. He was also an active participant in the campaign against the 
Indians in the Northwest, was at the siege of Fort Ridgley, and was present 
when the thirty-eight Indians were executed at Mankato. He was released 
from army service in May, 1865. For several years thereafter he was in poor 
health as the result of the strenuous campaigns in which he had engaged. 
These years were spent in visiting his widowed mother in New York state, 
in completing his law studies, and in taking a trip to the West. Part of the 
time he was incapacitated from duties of any kind. A particularly interest- 
ing feature of these years was his trip with 300 others, overland to the moun- 
tains of Montana. For some years he farmed on a claim near Bismarck, North 
Dakota, where, having been admitted to the bar, he also practiced law. In 
the fall of 1882, Mr. Van Etten came to Sauk Rapids, where he opened a law 
office. About a year after his arrival he was elected auditor of Benton county. 
Later he served as county attorney. For fifteen years he was assessor of 
Sauk Rapids. Mr. Van Etten was made a Mason in St. Paul in 1862. He was 
an active member of the G. A. R. and was also prominent in the Benton County 
Bar Association. He died November 20, 1913. His life was a useful one, his 
circle of riends was large, he had more than average man's share in the devel- 
opment of Sauk Rapids and Benton county, and his death left a genuine 
vacancy in the community. 

For his first wife, Mr. Van Etten married Georgianna Hughes, whose 
grandfather was at one time publisher of the Niles Register, in Baltimore. 
Five of the children born to Mr. Van Etten by this marriage are still living. 
Blanche married George S. Parker, and they have one child. Burleigh married 




THOMAS VAN ETTEN 







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.IUD80N A. STANTON 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 885 

C. W. Wood, now deceased, and has three children. Katherine lives in the state 
of Washington, Melron is living in Duluth. Hughes is in the lumber business 
in International Falls, Minn. Mrs. Georgianna (Hughes) Van Etten died about 
1882. In 1885, Mr. Van Etten married Tillie R. Krueger, a native of Germany. 
This union has resulted in five children : Paul who is married and lives in 
International Falls ; William, who lives in Lima, Minn. ; Otto, who lives in De- 
troit, Mich. ; Elsie B., living at home ; George, a teacher, living at home ; and 
Jane, who is still a public school pupil. 

Judson A. Stanton, of Sauk Rapids, is a prominent figure in the early 
history of this state, and his name is intimately associated with the story of 
the building of the railroads. He was born in Hampden, Mass., November 5, 
1834, son of James and Lucia (Stebbins) Stanton, well-known agricultural 
people of that region. He attended the district schools and the academy of 
his native place, and prepared himself for college at Carlisle, N. Y. In 1852 
he entered Brown University, at Providence, Rhode Island, from which he ;;ffi.as 
graduated September 5, 1855. In the fall of 1856, the country was engaged in 
one of its bitterest political conflicts, James Buchanan and John C. Fremont 
were the candidates for the presidency. Mr. Stanton and his friends worked 
hard for Fremont, and Mr. Stanton cast his first vote for him. The day after 
the election the subject of this mention started out for Chicago. In the spring 
he secured employment with a group of men who were laying out the Racine 
& Mississippi Railroad, now a part of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul sys- 
tem. In addition to surveying for the road bed, the men had to secure the 
right of way, and also to induce the farmers to mortgage their farms and pur- 
chase stock in order that the project might be financed. But when they had 
reached Turtle Creek bottoms, a point east of Beloit, Wis., the young men 
were stricken with malaria. Minnesota was then regarded as possessing an 
ideal climate for people afflicted with such ailments, and accordingly Mr. 
Stanton came to this state and located at St. Anthony, now a part of Minne- 
apolis, where for a year he was nursed by friends until he completely recovered. 
For a while he was employed at his profession in Minneapolis. Then he went 
to Forest City in Meeker county, this state. He was connected with the United 
States Land office there and assisted in locating pioneer settlers. He also took 
a claim for himself, became a citizen of that county, served as first clerk of 
the district court. Court in that county under state organization. He opened 
stores at Forest City and Greenleaf, and transported goods by ox-team to 
the Indian Agency at Yellow Medicine. In 1862 he returned to his native town 
and married. Upon again reaching Meeker county, however, he found tliat 
the Indians had risen. Accordingly he sold his goods, and located in Clear- 
water, in Wright county, where he carried on business for several years. 
Later he became a member of the firm of Arnold & Stanton, and assisted in 
operating a mill at the mouth of Sauk river. The partnership was finally dis- 
solved, and Mr. Stanton erected a mill at Sauk Rapids on the Mississippi river. 
This mill, with an interval when he leased it, he conducted until April 14, 1886, 
when it was destroyed by cyclone, causing him a loss of $40,000. Thus at 
middle age, with the earnings of a life-time swept away, he resumed his youth- 
ful profession. In this capacity he worked for the Northern Pacific, on the 



886 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Yellowstone Division and the Great Northern as construction engineer; the 
Sauk Centre & Northern, the Duluth, Huron & Denver, and the Chicago, Port- 
age & Superior. In the meantime he became interested in farming in Benton 
county, and finally he settled down. He is county surveyor of Benton county, 
and spends his time between his professional duties, his farm in Sauk Rapids 
township, and his stone residence in Sauk Rapids village. 

Mr. Stanton was married, June 24, 1862, to Maria Emeline Smith, daugh- 
ter of Levi Smith. This union has resulted in three children. John Howard 
was born April 1, 1863, and died March 30, 1882, at nineteen years of age. 
Edward S. was born August 10, 1865, and is now head miller for the Russell 
Miller Milling Co. at Dickinson, N. D. He married Eliza Geer and they have 
seven children. Ella M. was born August 31, 1867. She married F. M. Lorin 
of Mandan, North Dakota, and they have one daughter. Mrs. Maria Emeline 
(Smith) Stanton was born October 1, 1836, and died November 7, 1869. On 
July 4, 1870, Mr. Stanton married her sister, Lucy 0., who was born January 
2, 1839, and died August 8, 1904. This union resulted in four children. Emma 
L. was born September 13, 1871. She married Harry B. Miller, of Sauk Rapids, 
and they have one daughter. Ida M. was born Mary 15, 1874. She is a teacher 
in Minneapolis. Charles J. was born May 19, 1877, and also lives in Minne- 
apolis. May Ethel was born July 14, 1880, and died December 16, 1883. 

James Y. Demeritt, the pioneer, was born in Woodstock, New Hampshire, 
February 16, 1822, and died in Brockway township, Stearns county, December 
22, 1902. He was reared as a farmer and devoted his life to that pursuit. It 
was in 1855, the year of the first settlement of Brockway township, that he 
located here. His brother Hiram B. Demeritt had been through here the pre- 
vious year as one of the construction crew on the old state road north from 
St. Cloud. This brother, Hiram, a splendid type of the pathfinders in the new 
country, was born in 1834 and died June 11, 1911. James Y., the subject of 
this sketch, settled in section 36, on the river. He soon found that he was on 
school land, but as he secured government script he was enabled to remain in 
possession. Mr. Demeritt and his friend, William McNeal, who arrived at the 
same time, crossed the Mississippi to Brockway township, in a canoe, making 
their stock swim. Thus, isolated from civilization, Mr. Demeritt began his 
life in a new country. He was one of the organizers of the town. The first 
postmaster of the North Prairie office was Stephen A. McNeal and Mrs. De- 
meritt was his assistant. Mr. Demeritt was one of the leading men in public 
affairs, and occupied many town offices. Mr. Demeritt was married in 1851, at 
Woodstock, N. H., to Laura J. Gray, born in that place, Dec. 9, 1825, one 
of the five children of John and Hannah (Dearborn) Gray. Mr. and Mrs. 
Demeritt had two children : Hannah Isabel, who married Robert L. Russell, 
and Eva E., who lives at home with her mother. Mr. Demeritt attended the 
Baptist Church. Mrs. Demeritt and Miss Eva E. are Methodists. 

Robert S. Russell, one of the pioneers, was born near Glasgow, Scotland, 
May 24, 1844, son of Robert Russell. Robert L. and the mother came to Amer- 
ica in the fifties, the father, Robert, having arrived some three years previous. 
The family settled in Benton county. But as the country began to be settled, 
Robert craved for new adventures, though he was attaining success and 




MR. AND MRS. JAMES Y. DEMERITT AND DALM4HTER 



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WILLIAM GORDON 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 887 

achieving honors in Minnesota. So in 1860, he went to Pike's Peak, where he 
was killed in the mines by a blast. His wife, the mother of Robert L., died in 
1877. It was in 1873 that Robert L, moved to Brockway township, where he 
became a successful farmer. 

Mr. Russell was married in 1874 to Hannah Isabel Demeritt, born in New 
Hampshire in 1856, daughter of James Y. Demeritt, the pioneer. Of their 
five children two are living. Laura A. married Oscar A. McGee, at present 
stationed at Ft. Sheridan, near Chicago, 111. He is the grandson of John Mc- 
Gee, another early pioneer of Brockway township. John A. Russell married 
Sadie Clepper and has five children : Loren R., born July 11, 1899 ; Erwin A., 
born May 31, 1901 ; John A., born May 18, 1903 ; Ruth L., born May 21, 1905, 
and Raymond J., the youngest. 

William Gordon, deceased, was one of the oldest settlers in this county and 
one of the best known. He was one of the prominent men of the town of 
Brockway, and the earnest stand that he took on a number of public ques- 
tions won for him wide commendation. He was born at El Creek, Pictau, 
Nova Scotia, Canada, September 27, 1828, son of Alexander and Margaret 
(Scott) Gordon, sturdy Scotch people who were married in Glasgow, and 
subsequently came to Nova Scotia. The father, like most of the residents of 
Pictau, divided his time between farming and fishing, the income derived 
from these sources meeting the modest needs of the family. William Gordon 
was reared in Pictau, and at the age of sixteen came alone to Bangor, Maine, 
where, as he grew to manhood, he engaged in lumbering. It was in 1854 
that he arrived in St. Anthony Falls, in Minnesota. In September, 1855, he 
came to Stearns county, and settled in Brockway township, where he secured 
eighty acres in section 29. He cleared this tract, erected primitive buildings 
which he later replaced with modern structures, and improved and developed 
the place until it became one of the best known on Winnebago Prairie. Mr. 
Gordon took a deep interest in the afi^airs of his township. When the town 
was organized Mr. Gordon was one of the first supervisors, and at the next 
election he was chosen town clerk, a position he filled for thirty-two years 
continuously until 1900, when on account of ill health he declined to serve 
further. The records of his office were regarded as among the various best 
that were sent to the courthouse, and were displayed as models of what such 
records should be. He was a school officer for twenty years, and postmaster 
for a long period. In fact it was said that it seemed as if Mr. Gordon had only 
to express his willingness to accept any office which was in the gift of the 
people of the town or under their influence, and it was his so long as he would 
keep it. While his early educational opportunities were limited, yet by virtue 
of natural aptitude and general reading he qualified himself for the satis- 
factory discharge of such business duties and affairs as came to him, and for 
the intelligent performance of his duties as a citizen. Mr. Gordon was known 
in Benton and Morrison counties as well as in Stearns. Aside from his farm- 
ing operations he was employed for a time in carrying supplies to the forts 
of the Northwest, and during his latter years he spent several winters in the 
lumber woods. In the early days when Brockway was included in the St. 
Cloud circuit, Mr. Gordon was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 



888 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and while not active in membership during his latter years he lived a con- 
sistent Christian life. At the time of the organization of the church in 1855, 
a Sunday school was organized, and of this he was chosen superintendent. 
This work he kept up until his last sickness, maintaining the school under 
circumstances which at times were very discouraging. For twelve or fifteen 
years before his death he had practically given up work on the farm, and for 
years before his death he was an invalid. When the end came the people felt 
that they had lost one of their best citizens. Few men in the county were so 
favorably known, and he died beloved by all who knew him. Mr. Gordon 
was married in January, 1854, at Bangor, Maine, to Phoebe E. Getchell, who 
died January 1, 1878, at Broekway. The children were : Adelbert W., Anna- 
bel (now Mrs. James W. Porter, of Crow Wing), Hanna May (now deceased, 
the first wife of James D. Boyd, formerly of St. Cloud), and Lora E. (who 
was drowned in the Mississippi river at the age of sixteen). September 11, 
1881, Mr. Gordon married Mrs. Caroline Hiscock, by whom he had one daugh- 
ter. Alma M. Mrs. Gordon, who survives her husband, is living with her 
daughter on the old homestead. 

Adelbert W. Gordon, a farmer in Watab, Benton county, was born at St. 
Anthony Falls, in what is now Minneapolis, December 29, 1854, son of William 
and Phoebe E. (Getchell) Gordon. He came with his parents to Broekway 
in 1855, his boyhood was spent on the farm, and his schooling was obtained 
in the district schools, part of the time under the tuition of Asa Abbott. As a 
youth he worked on one of the construction crews of the Great Northern 
between St. Cloud and Sauk Centre, and since then, though he has devoted 
his time largely to farming he has done considerable railroad work and lum- 
bering. It was in 1880 that he started farming at Watab. He owns 250 acres 
of good land, nearly all under cultivation. His new modern home which faces 
the Mississippi river which is but a short distance away, and plainly in view. 
His former home was struck by lightning and completely destroyed May 25, 
1914. Mr. Gordon was school clerk for many years while living in Broekway, 
and for nearly a quarter of a century he has been school officer in Watab. 
He is also an active member of the Old Settlers' Association. Mr. Gordon is 
widely known as a pleasing gentleman to meet, affable and courteous, and is 
highly respected in the community in which he lives. In 1878, Mr. Gordon 
married Elizabeth Wyatt, a native of Illinois, and they have four children : 
Earl I., Warren W., Lois and Ray W. (deceased). Lois is a teacher. Warren 
W. married Elizabeth Burton, and has two children, Alice T. and Lester R. 

Clifton B. Gregory was born in Essex county, Vermont, October 30, 1843, 
son of Ephraim L. and Abigail (Young) Gregory. In 1856 he came to Minne- 
sota with his mother and settled in Le Sauk township. In 1861 he joined the 
army, serving three years and one day, after which receiving an honorable dis- 
charge. After being married he settled on a farm in Stearns county. Upon 
the death of his wife the farm was conferred to the eldest son, Daniel C, 
with whom he still lives at the hale and hearty age of 71 years. 

Clifton B. Gregory married Lena 0. Anderson, who was born February 3, 
1850, and died June 7, 1910. They had eight children. Daniel C, Benjamin 
Y., Isabel, May and Lucinda are living, while John A., LeRoy and Eunice are 




.JoaKi'lI l.UNi; AND FOUR GKNEKATIUXtS 

Elizabeth (Long) Hirschfelt, Mary (Hirschfelt) Bidinger, Clara (Bid- 

inger) Eau, Louis Kau 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 889 

dead. Daniel C. married Lucy Lindsay, who was born in Carroll, Maine, in 
1880. They have three children : Fay B., Maybelle and Viola I. Isabel mar- 
ried John A. West, November 7, 1905, living in Hillyard, Wash. They 
have two children: Gladys G. and Helen. Lncinda was married in August, 
1908, to Louis Koch, living in St. Cloud, and they have two children, Donald G. 
and Evelyn L. May was married May 16, 1914, to Joseph M. Fall, and they 
live in Brockway. 

Ephraim L. Gregory was born in Vermont, Marcli 17, 1797, and died Jan- 
uary 16, 1853. He spent the span of his years in Vermont. He was married, 
July 16, 1828, to Abigail Young, who was born November 25, 1808. They had 
five children : Charles F., Elizabeth B., Ephraim L., Clifton B. and Abigail A. 
All except Clifton B. are dead. After the death of Ephraim L. Gregory, his 
widow came to Minnesota, with her son, Clifton B., and was here married, dur- 
ing the war, to Appleton Webb, who was born January 8, 1798, and died 
October 25, 1883. 

Charles M. Hiscock was born in Wilton, Maine, September 6, 1833, and 
came to Brockway township, this county, in the early fifties, but did not locate 
there permanently until after the Civil War. He farmed until he died Feb- 
ruary 23, 1875. He was married November, 1866, to Caroline E. McGee, daugh- 
ter of John and Mary (Gallop) McGee. Mr. and Mrs. Hiscock had three chil- 
dren : Mary E. is the wife of John H. Gazett, a merchant in Rice, Benton 
county, Minn. ; Samuel, a farmer of Brockway township ; and Jennie Leonora, 
wife of Everett O. Perry, also a farmer of Brockway township. Caroline E. 
McGee was born near St. John province of New Brunswick, Canada, Febru- 
ary 8, 1846, and lived in Canada until brought to Morrison county, Minn., by 
her parents. She came to Stearns county in 1860. After the death of Mr. 
Hiscock, she married William Gordon, who died July 15, 1905, in Brockway 
township. By this union there was one child. Alma M., born September 22, 
1885, who is a teacher. 

Samuel Hiscock, a well-to-do and substantial farmer of Brockway town- 
ship, was born in Brockway August 5, 1869, son of Charles M. and Caroline 
E. (McGee) Hiscock. He was reared on the old homestead, and still makes 
his residence there. He owns 200 acres in sections 16 and 17, and has brought 
the place to a high degree of cultivation. Mr. Hiscock was married February 
28, 1900, to Edith Gray, who was born January 1, 1879, daughter of Charles 
H. and Sadie K. (Anderson) Gray. Mr. and Mrs. Hiscock have six children : 
Charles S., born April 25, 1901 ; Robert F., born May 16, 1902 ; Elmer C, June 
17, 1904 ; Leonard L., November 12, 1905 ; Sadie C, June 10, 1909 ; and Gordon 
J., August 13, 1913. 

John N. Long, a progressive farmer of Brockway township, was born in 
Columbia, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, March 3, 1862, son of Joseph A. 
and Susan Long, with whom he came to Stearns county in the summer of 
1880, and settled in St. Wendel. Mr. Long has devoted nearly all his life to 
farming. He keeps well abreast of the latest developments in agriculture and 
is one of the leaders in his community. It was in 1902 that he purchased his 
present farm. He has a good farm, excellent equipment, pleasant home and 
suitable outbuildings, all of which he built himself. He is serving his third 



890 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

term as clerk of the township. John N. Long was married November 29, 1892, 
to Annie Miller, daughter of Frank and Sevilla (Wolf) Miller. The children 
of Mr. and Mrs. Long are: Esther, Lucy, Frank, Edward, Helen (deceased), 
Walter (deceased), Mary and John. Lucy married Frank Blaciek, and they 
live in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Joseph A. Long was born in Baden, Ger- 
many, March 28, 1830, and died in St. Cloud, April, 1913. He was married 
in 1853 to his good wife, Susan, who was born in Lancaster county, Penn., 
and died April 30, 1901, at the age of seventy-three years. The family came 
to Stearns county in the summer of 1880, and settled on a farm in St. Wendel, 
where they remained until 1893, moving that year to St. Cloud, where they 
made their permanent home. The children were : Elizabeth, John N., Mary, 
Catherine and Bertha, who are alive; and Frank, Joseph and Fred, who are 
dead. Elizabeth married Jacob Hirschfelt, of Waite Park, this county. Mary 
married Joseph Rassier, of St. Joseph, Minn. Catherine married Peter Smith, 
of Sprague, Washington. Bertha married Frank Boos, of St. Cloud. It is 
worthy of note that Joseph A. Long lived to see eight children, five grandchil- 
dren, eighteen great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild. Frank 
Miller was born in January, 1827, and died April 13, 1900. His wife, Sevilla 
Wolf, died November 28, 1912, at the age of seventy-nine years. They had ten 
children: Frances, Carrie, Lizzie, Mary, Peter (deceased), Barbara, Annie, 
William (deceased), Esther and Agnes. Frances married M. Wischnewski; 
had twelve children, and died June 17, 1894. Carrie married John Russell. 
Both are dead. They had four children. Lizzie married Andrew Kimble. They 
live at Grand Forks, South Dakota, and have five children. Barbara married 
Herman Berman. They live at Grand Forks, South Dakota, and have eight 
children. Annie is the wife of John N. Long, the subject of this sketch. 
Esther is the wife of Joseph Nierengarten. Agnes married John Pohl, and 
they live in St. Paul. They have one child. 

John Nelson Perry was born in Penobscot county, Maine, March 29, 1836, 
and was there reared. In 1860 he came to Minnesota. During the Civil War 
he had charge of one of N. P. Clarke's ox trains, carting goods between Ft. 
Snelling and Ft. Ripley. He spent the greater part of his life in operating a 
farm in section 32, Brockway township. He and his family had many thrill- 
ing adventures, and endured many hardships. In 1861, they were eye wit- 
nesses of the crossing of the prairie by a band of 1,400 Indians. This, how- 
ever, was before the outbreak, and the Indians were then, outwardly at least, 
tolerant of the whites. Mr. Perry died February 26, 1910, at the age of sev- 
enty-four years. John Nelson Perry married Mary Elizabeth Getchell, who 
was born April 4, 1840, daughter of Nathaniel and Alma M. (Wing) Getchell. 
She died in March, 1913, at the age of seventy-three years. They had eight 
children : Fannie, now Mrs. William Anderson, of Benton county, Minn. ; 
Everett O., Albert 0., of North Dakota ; Melvin K. and Ralph W., who are liv- 
ing; and Laura Etta, who married Andrew Carter, Nettie, and an unnamed 
infant, all three of whom are dead. 

Melvin N. Perry, a substantial agriculturalist of Brockway, was born on 
the old homestead in section 32, where he still resides, March 7, 1878, son of 
John Nelson and Mary Elizabeth (Getchell) Perry. He was thoroughly edu- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 891 

cated in the public schools, and learned farming from his father. He has a 
well-kept farm of 180 acres, with good buildings, and all the machinery and 
implements that are necessary to successful farming. He is a member of the 
Woodmen, and he and his family worship at the Presbyterian Church. Mr. 
Perry married Hannah Peterson, May 16, 1898. They have had six children : 
Floyd E., born August 13, 1899 (deceased) ; Leonard N., November 26, 1900 
(deceased) ; Flossie M., born September 15, 1901; Willard N., March 5, 1903; 
Julia E., June 12, 1904; Cecil lE., born May 15, 1910. 

Nathaniel Getchell, the pioneer, was born in Wesley, Maine, November 
9, 1828, son of Winslow Getchell, who was also a pioneer. Winslow Getchell 
and his son, Nathaniel, came to Minnesota prospecting in 1852, and being 
greatly impressed with the country he returned home after the rest of the 
family and settled at St. Anthony in 1854. In 1855 they joined a party of 
pioneers, and settled in Brockway township, on the stretch of land then known 
as Winnebago Prairie, now called Brockway Prairie. The place where they 
located is now owned and operated by E. 0. Perry. They and the party with 
them were the first settlers in the township. In their cabin in section 33, 
the first school in the township was opened and the first religious services 
held. When the township was organized Nathaniel Getchell was elected tax 
collector. In 1857 when the Brockway postoffice was established, he was 
the first postmaster. Later in life he served in various other offices. In 1862- 
63 he served thirteen months against the Indians as a private in the Minne- 
sota Mounted Rangers. Nathaniel Getchell was married May 21, 1864, to 
Alma M. Wing, of Vasselborough, Kennebec county, Maine. Their children 
were : Annie M., Carrie A., Ernest A., Herbert W. and Alma M. Mr. Getchell 
died in September, 1910; his wife died in March, 1883. 

Everett 0. Perry, who successfully operates 185 acres in sections 29 and 
33, Brockway township, was born in Brockway township, on the old Perry 
homestead, November 12, 1868, son of John Nelson and Mary Elizabeth 
(Getchell) Perry. He received a good district school education and has de- 
voted his life to farming. The homestead where he now lives constitutes the 
original claim taken in 1855 by his grandfather, Winslow Getchell. He is 
chiefly interested in his home and farm, but being of a fraternal disposition, 
he has allied himself with the Modern Woodmen of America. He is now 
serving his twelfth year as director of School District No. 7. Everett 0. 
Perry was married October 31, 1893, to Jennie Lenora Hiscock, daughter of 
Charles M. and Caroline E. (McGee) Hiscock. Mr. and Mrs. Perry have 
seven children living : Samuel E., Harvey Nelson, Mamie L., Nettie A., Laura 
C, Irma L. and Edna E. Two died in infancy, Charles and one unnamed. 

William McNeal (deceased) was born in New Brunswick, on the first 
day of May, 1830, and came to the United States in 1851, spending several 
years in the state of Maine, and two or three years in Michigan, from which 
place he removed to Minnesota. After spending nearly four years in St. 
Paul and the adjacent country, came to this town with Mr. Demeritt, in 1855, 
in whose family he lived till his marriage, in 1858, to Harriet Crumb, of Sher- 
burne, New York. Mr. McNeal was with Northrup and Brown at the hang- 
ing of the three Indian murderers, near Little Falls, in 1857. He died Sep- 



892 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

tember 11, 1879, leaving his widow a fine rural home. During the Indian 
excitement of 1862, when all the people fled to St. Cloud for safety, Mrs. 
McNeal remained at home, and was the only woman in the settlement for 
two weeks. Bravery usually wins, though it may seem presuming to risk 
so much. 

James L. Gray was born in Whitefield, Maine, elanuary 17, 1829. The 
family soon after moved to Dexmont, that state, and James L. was disciplined 
in the hardships of that country and time. He obtained the best education 
possible in the country schools. He was married in 1851 to Ann M. Smart, 
sister of H. B. and Edward Smart. They came to Brockway township in 1867, 
where he was a successful farmer, taking great interest in the schools and 
public affairs, and served many years in town and school offices. His wife 
died in 1877, and in October, 1881, he married Randina Moen and they moved 
to St. Cloud. 

Julius Wesler, a scientific and modern farmer of Brockway, was born 
in Pomerania, Germany, November 18, 1876, son of Julius and Augusta 
(Teske) Wesler, His parents died when he was eight years of age, and in 
1888 he was brought to America by his aunt, Martha Teske, landing in New 
York, September 13, They came to Minnesota and lived for a while in Silver 
Creek, "Wright county, where Julius received his early English education. He 
was still a young boy when he worked a summer in the brickyard at Hasty, 
near Clearwater. Then for a time he worked for J. H. Baldwin, on his farm 
in Fair Haven township, this county. A few months after his marriage he 
came to Brockway, where Mr. Wesler entered the employ of N. P. Clark. 
With him and with his estate, he has still remained. For seven years he 
was a teamster. Then Mr, Clark placed him in charge of the "Clyde Maine" 
farm in Brockway. With the exception of four years when he was manager 
of the Meadow Lawn Farm, in Le Sauk township, also owned by Mr, Clark, 
he has remained as manager of "Clyde Maine." He is one of the active 
and energetic young farmers of the township, and has more than made good 
with the Clark estate. Some three years ago he purchased eighty acres of the 
Meadow Lawn Farm, which he is operating for himself. Mr. Wesler is re- 
garded as a useful and substantial citizen. He is a member of Sauk Rapids 
Lodge, No, 93, A. F. & A. M. Mr. Wesler was married October 5, 1898, to 
Ida, the daughter of Henry and Emma May Stueck, and they have one daugh- 
ter, Laura. 

Jacob Wolhart, a veteran of the Civil War, now deceased, was born in 
New York state, April 6, 1818, and being left motherless at an early age, he 
traveled a great deal, and as a boy saw much of the world. Being of a loyal 
and adventurous disposition, it was natural that when the war broke out 
he should enlist in the service of the Union, It was after the war that he 
came to Sauk Rapids, where, for a while, he was employed by former Lieuten- 
ant-Governor C, A, Oilman. After he left the Gilman place he operated his 
own farm on Rice Prairie for many years. A few years before his death he 
moved to the village of Rice, where he spent the remainder of his days. He 
died in 1893. His widow now lives in Paynesville, this county, with her 
daughter, Mrs. John Adelbert Roach. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 893 

Mr, Wolhart was married three times. By his second wife he had two 
children : Elisha and Almira. Elisha was killed in the battle of Gettysburg. 
Alniira lives in New York state. It was in 1852, that Mr. Wolhart married 
the present Mrs. Wolhart. Her maiden name was Mary M. Buell. She was 
born July 24, 1832. Mr. and Mrs. Wolhart had ten children. Celeste is dead ; 
Henry lives in Oregon ; Emma married C. E. Smart ; Jane married Clarence 
Crosby ; George E. farms in Brockway township ; Millie married 0. M. Smart ; 
Eva married Henry Picking ; Anna married John Adelbert Roach ; Elsie mar- 
ried George Rathburn; Nettie is dead. 

George E. Wolhart, a leading farmer of Brockway township, was born in 
Otego, New York, November 1, 1863, son of Jacob and Mary M. (Buell) Wol- 
hart. He came to Sauk Rapids with his parents in 1865, and to Stearns 
county in 1893. He was reared on a farm in Benton county. He has become 
one of the most successful men in the community. He owns the old Webster 
farm, so called, of 200 acres in section 28. He has a well stocked place, fitted 
with all the latest improvements which he needs, and provided with a pleas- 
ant home and comfortable barns. In addition to this farm, he has several 
other good farms in the "ounty. Mr. Wolhart was married, July 28, 1883, to 
Emma R. Smart, who was born June 21, 1863. The children are: Vernice 
(deceased), Effie, Effie's unnamed twin sister (deceased), Alta R., Raymond 
J., Willard H., George E., Lee A., Reuben L., Estella A., and Leta V. E. H. B. 
Smart, the father of Mrs. Wolhart, made his home with Mr. and Mrs. Wol- 
hart, after his wife's death. He was born October 14, 1819; died March 7, 
1914. His wife was born March 6, 1826, and died May 4, 1906. The children 
in the Smart family were: Cora E., Charles H. (deceased), Gary E., Ora 
M,, Emma R. and Edward R. 

Edward J. Smart, a veteran of the Civil War, now living in Brockway 
township, this county, is a typical New England gentleman of the old school. 
Descended from a long line of New Englanders, he has transplanted their 
sturdiness and worth to the new environment of this western country. He 
was born in Plymouth, Maine, May 10, 1841, son of Edward and Meriam 
(Parsons) Smart, and grandson of Joshua and Hannah (Nickerson) Smart. 
Edward J. was reared on the home farm in Maine, and there remained until 
the outbreak of the Civil War. Then he enlisted in Company H, Twenty- 
second Maine Volunteer Infantry; went into camp at Bangor, and followed 
the fortunes of his regiment until his discharge at Bangor. In December, 
1863, he enlisted in the Second Maine Cavalry, went into camp at Augusta, 
and from there went south. To detail the fortunes of these two regiments 
while Mr. Smart was with them would be to tell a portion of the history of 
the war. It is sufficient to say that he saw active service along the lower Mis- 
issippi and the Gulf, and was never found wanting when called upon to prove 
his valor and his loyalty. His services won his promotion from sergeant to 
commissary sergeant. He received his final discharge in Florida, in Decem- 
ber, 1865. After the war, Mr. Smart came north to Stearns county and visited 
in Brockway township. After three months spent with his brother, Henry, 
he returned to Maine. However, a short time later, he located permanently 
in Brockway township, and secured a homestead in section 20, where he has 



894 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

since engaged in farming. He is a prominent man in the community, and a 
popular member of the G. A. R. Mr. Smart is a deep reader, and is especially 
interested in history, both national and local. He has been chairman of 
Brockway township for about thirty years, and school clerk for about the 
same time. In 1878, when the Brockway Cemetery Association was organized, 
he was elected secretary, a position he still holds. He is the only one left of 
the original members. Edward J. Smart married Agnes, the daughter of 
Robert and Agnes (Leach) Russell, who was born in Scotland, and was 
brought to America at the age of three years by her parents. Mr. and Mrs. 
Smart have eight children living: Marian, John Frank, Wallace E., Jennie, 
Edith, Hattie, Robert, and Mildred. Marian married William P. Fifield and 
lives in Canada. They have five children. John Frank married Myrtle Gates. 
They have three children, and live in Brainerd, Minn. Wallace E. married 
Ethel Finlason. They live in Crow Wing county, Minn., and have nine chil- 
dren. Jennie is the wife of John Gillespe, living in Illinois. Edith married 
Elwin Ellithorpe. They live in North Dakota, and have three children. Hat- 
tie lives in Salem, Oregon. She is the wife of Christian Christiansen, and the 
mother of two children. Robert manages and operates the home farm. Mil- 
dred lives at home and attends the St. Cloud High School. 

H. B. Smart was born about 1818, at Plymouth, Maine, and in 1855 re- 
moved to Minnesota, settling in the town of Langola, Benton county. He 
soon afterwards moved to Brockway township, Stearns county, where he re- 
sided up to the time of his death, the oldest resident of Brockway. 

Alphonso Barto, at one time lieutenant-governor of the state of Minne- 
sota, was born at Hinesburgh, Chittenden county, Vermont, May 27, 1834, 
son of William R. and Mary (Gage) Barto. The Barto family is of French 
descent, the American founder of the family, who spelled his name Barteau, 
having come to this country before the Revolution, in which contest he par- 
ticipated. The Gage family is of English descent. At the age of three years, 
Alphonso Barto was taken by his parents to Ferrisburgh, Addison county, 
Vermont, and there, upon attaining a suitable age, he attended the select 
school taught by Prof. B. B. Allen. After three or four years under this able 
instructor, he became a teacher at the age of fifteen, and had charge of win- 
ter schools some six years. In 1855 he came west and located at Elgin, in 
Kane county. 111., and after farming for a while, read law with Mayborne 
& Brown, of Geneva, in the same state. In August, 1862, Mr. Barto enlisted 
as a private in Company K, Fifty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and by 
gradual promotions for valor, became captain of that company. He served a 
little more than three years, participated in sixteen or eighteen engagements, 
and yet never received a wound. After being mustered out, October 25, 1865, 
at Rome, Georgia, Captain Barto returned to Elgin, and was soon thereafter 
elected treasurer of Kane county, for a term of two years. In December, 
1869, he settled in Sauk Centre, and took up the practice of law. For some 
time he was a member of the firm of Miner & Barto ; later of Barto & Cal- 
houn (D. T.), and subsequently of Barto & Barto. Later, his son having 
been made municipal judge, Mr. Barto formed a partnership with E. M. 
Keisey, which continued until his removal to St. Cloud. Captain Barto was 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 895 

a member of the lower house of the Minnesota legislature in 1872 and 1873, 
and in the autumn of 1873 he was elected lieutenant-governor on the ticket 
with Cushman K. Davis. In this office he presided with dignity over the 
upper house of the legislature. In 1890 he was appointed register of the 
land office at St. Cloud, and thereafter made his home there until the time 
of his death. He was appointed a regent of the University of Minnesota by 
Gov. David M. Clough, and held that position the remainder of his life. While 
living in Sauk Centre he held several local positions of trust and honor, such 
as member of the city council and- of the board of education. In 1894 he 
was chairman of the Republican state convention which nominated Knute 
Nelson as governor. He was also a delegate to the National Convention at 
Chicago, which nominated James G. Blaine for the presidency. He was a 
friend and associate of all the men, who in his time, were prominent in the 
history of Minnesota, and he was a man of public spirit. In the days of his 
vigor, he was active in political affairs, and was one of the most popular cam- 
paigners in the Northwest. He filled a large place in the progress of the 
state, and his decease was mourned by the people in all sections of the North- 
west. He was grand commander of the G. A, R., grand master of the Minne- 
sota Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and a prominent member in the local organ- 
izations of these bodies. At the time of his death he was vice-president of 
the Merchants' National Bank, of St. Cloud, and until within a few weeks of 
that time he was vice-president of the Journal-Press Co., of St. Cloud, He was 
also a member of the Board of Hospital Trustees, and was for two years its 
president. He died November 4, 1899. During his public career there was 
never a suspicion of corruption or malfeasance in office, of any sort, breathed 
against him even by his fiercest political enemies, and he filled every position, 
great and small, with fidelity and zeal. 

At the time of his death the Sauk Centre Herald said of him : ' ' The quiver- 
ing voice and the moistened eye tell how deeply he was loved in this com- 
munity, where the greater part of his life has been spent. His was one of 
the kindliest of natures, and that sympathy which he ever manifested was re- 
flected back on his dear ones after his death left them so great a sorrow. The 
story of his life is briefly told, so far as the salient facts are concerned, but 
that certain other something, intangible and yet permeating his existence 
and exhaled by his genial nature always and ever, to be felt rather than ex- 
pressed, no one may adequately describe. His unbounded good will went out 
to all, high or low, rich or poor, without reserve and without distinction. 
He was a model husband and father, a true friend, a kind neighbor, a good 
citizen, and an honest man, and the richest legacy he leaves to his wife and 
children is an unsullied name." 

Mr. Barto was married Octf)ber 13, 1854, to Harriet E. Hitchcock, of 
Shoreham, Vermont, who died October 11, 1865, Of the three children whom 
she left, only one, Lyman R. Barto, of Thompson Falls, Montana, is living. 
October 17, 1866, Mr. Barto married Charlotte A. Allen, of Elgin, 111. This 
union has been blessed with one son, William Allen Barto, of Thomspon Falls, 
Montana. 

Samuel Milton Bruce was born in Ladoga, Montgomery county, Indiana, 



896 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

September 9, 1828, son of Charles P. and Angeline (Wright) Bruce. The fam- 
ily history is a most interesting one. The grandfather, William Bruce, came 
from Scotland, with three brothers and settled in Virginia, afterward locat- 
ing in Bruceville, Indiana. The father, Charles Bruce, was twice married. 
By his first wife, Angeline Wright, he had four children, and by his second 
wife, Nancy Harrison, he had ten children. Samuel Milton Bruce was reared 
in Indiana, and obtained a good education in the public schools. In 1850 he 
went to California, but three years later he was called home by the death 
of his parents. For some years he engaged in the mercantile business, but 
failing health caused him to seek a home in the Northwest. Accordingly he 
came to Minnesota in 1857. From Minneapolis he came to Stearns county 
with an ox team. He took a claim of 160 acres of government land five and 
a half miles from what is now Sauk Centre, on the Melrose road. He built 
a small shanty in order to conform with the legal requirements for holding 
a claim, but his interests were centered in the village of Sauk Centre. On 
the present site of the town, the Sauk Centre Townsite Co. had platted the 
outlines of a town, and had made a squatter's shanty by digging a hole in 
the bluff near the river and propping up the opening with poles. A dam 
was being built by Alexander Moore and Edward K. Jacques. Mr. Bruce 
bought an interest in the townsite company, and he and William T. Dingley 
erected a log cabin, located on Main street, just across the river from the 
present business sections. This building served as a hotel for many years. 
At the first meeting of the Sauk Valley Claim Association, held July 16, 1857, 
Mr. Bruce was elected president. In the summer of 1858, Mr. Bruce succeeded 
in getting a postoffice established with Moses W. Adley as postmaster. In the 
fall of 1858 he went back to Indiana, but returned in the following spring. 
April 28, 1861, at the first school meeting ever held in Sauk Centre, he was 
elected clerk. In September, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Third Minnesota 
Volunteer Infantry, and by gradual promotions he became lieutenant. To 
give his war record, in the South, as a prisoner, on parole, and in the Indian 
campaign in the Northwest, would be to recapitulate the history of the regi- 
ment up to the early part of 1863. In that year he was sent up to the Red 
River and Arkansas country, to recruit among the colored people. The re- 
cruits were mustered in as Company A, 112th U. S. Colored Infantry, with 
Mr. Bruce as captain. After a short service with his company, he spent nine 
months in the hospital, and was subsequently discharged for disability. Then 
he returned to his farm near Sauk Centre. It was in 1872 that he became a 
clerk in the store of C. M. Sprague, in the village. September 22, 1874, he 
opened a grocery store on the site still occupied by his buildings. Gradually 
the business increased, until it became the largest general store in this vicinity. 
In 1878 he erected a two story brick building, and in 1882 he built two more. 
The triple building is still standing as a monument to his faith in Sauk Centre. 
Mr. Bruce was a charter member of the local lodge of Odd Fellows, at various 
times a commander of the B. R. Palmer Post, G. A. R., and also a member of 
the Masonic body. He was one of the organizers of the First National Bank, 
and was its vice-president until his death. Mr. Bruce died August 1, 1897, 
being at that time one of the leading citizens in this part of the county. A 




MRS. 8AKAH K. HRTK'E 



9'., 




^^^^^^^^^<^^i>t^^^^^^ 



/ 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 897 

man of broad experience, he combined the dignity of the old school with the 
jovial spirits of the modern business man. He was beloved, trusted and hon- 
ored, and his death was a distinct loss to the community. 

S. M. Bruce was married in December, 1862, while still a Confederate 
prisoner on parole, to Sarah E. Layman, born in Newfield, Thompkins county, 
New York, August 11, 1840, one of the thirteen children of Martin and Eliza- 
beth Layman, who came from New York state to Peoria county, 111., in 1845, 
and located in 1854 in Minneapolis, where they both died in 1886, the father 
at the age of seventy-eight and the mother at the age of seventy-five. Mr. and 
Mrs. Bruce have two children : Minnehaha A. and Florence B. Minnehaha A. 
married J. L. Mullen, now deceased. They have two children, Bruce H. 
and Arab Elizabeth. Bruce H. married Ethel Finney, of Waverly, Iowa, and 
they have one son, George Letmond. Arab Elizabeth married Earl Rose, of 
Sauk Centre, and they have two children, Letmond Lavina and Alice Angeline. 
Florence Belle Bruce married George Fish, of Sauk Centre, and they have four 
children : Paul Bruce, and George Milton, and Clarence and Harry, deceased, 
twins. 

John Jerome Getty, the first permanent settler in the township that bears 
his name, was born in Onondaga county. New York, September 15, 1821. 
When very young he lost his mother, and at the age of eight years he secured 
employment driving mules on the Erie canal tow path. In 1843 he opened a 
farm in Peoria county, Illinois, where he remained until 1853, when he came 
to Minnesota. For a year he worked on the farm of Martin Layman, near 
Minneapolis. Then he went back to Illinois, and remained there until 1857, 
when he again came to Minnesota. He and John H. Layman came to what is 
now Getty township, July 6, 1857. Mr. Layman took land in sections 18, 19 
and 20, but did not long remain here. Mr. Getty took land in section 19, in 
the vicinity since known as Getty's Grove. Through his efforts, the first school 
in the township was established. He increased his original claim of 160 
acres to 320 acres and became a successful farmer. Except for the four years 
of the Civil "War, the family home was in Getty's Grove until 1891, when Mr. 
Getty retired and moved to the city of Sauk Centre. While living on the 
farm he served in numerous town and school offices, and was also a member 
of the county board for a while. He died in Sauk Centre, November 12, 1895. 
Mr. Getty married Permelia Jane Layman, in October, 1854. She was 
born in Bethel, New York, January 23, 1831, and died in Sauk Centre, June 
1, 1912. There were three children. Fannie E. is now Mrs. George Duncan, 
of St. Paul, Minn. Margaret A. is the wife of Dr. C. H. Babcock, of New Rock- 
ford, North Dakota. Charles T. died in infancy. 

Henry Boobar was born in Maine, and there spent the early years of his 
life. In the summer of 1855 he came to Minnesota. In 1858, his wife, and his 
children, Oliver B., Emma, Charles and Evelyn, joined him. In August, 1860, 
he brought his family from Minneapolis in an ox-cart, and located in Sauk 
Centre township, on the Sauk river, a mile from what is now the city of 
Sauk Centre, Another son, John J., was born in the family home on Main 
street, in Sauk Centre. He has become prominent in the political history of 
the county. Henry Boobar spent the remainder of his life in this vicinity. 



898 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

At the time of the Indian uprising, he assisted in building the stockade at 
Sauk Centre. For many years he was on the school board. He was a worthy 
man, and a friend of every good cause. 

Oliver B. Boobar, postmaster at Sauk Centre, was born in Lee township, 
Penobscott county, Maine, March 22, 1849, son of Henry and Phoebe (Kent- 
Bolton) Boobar, the pioneers. He was brought to Minnesota by his mother in 
1858, and to Stearns county by his parents in 1860. He received his early 
education in the schools of his neighborhood, and as a youth clerked in 
various stores, working also for a time in the express department of the old 
Burbank Stage Co. For some years he conducted a market, part of the time 
with Jahue Vicory and later with his father. As manager of the general 
store of H. G. Harrison he did excellent service. It was in 1895 that he 
became deputy postmaster under Cleveland for W. 0. P. Hillsdale. Septem- 
ber 15, 1900 he was appointed rural carrier, and was carrier for three years. 
September 3, 1903, he was placed in charge of the Sauk Centre postoffice by 
the bondsmen of Postmaster C. F. Hendryx, to fill out that gentleman's 
unexpired term. Mr. Boobar was regularly appointed to the office by Presi- 
dent Theodore Roosevelt, December 13, 1903; was reappointed by Roosevelt, 
January 9, 1908; and by President William Howard Taft, January 15, 1912. 
He was town clerk of Sauk Centre two years, following Dean Statler, and in 
1900 took the United States census in this locality. He has been chaplain of 
Sauk Centre Lodge, No. 34, I. 0. O. F., for a considerable period. Mr. Boobar 
was married December 22, 1874, to Ellen M. Fuller, who was born in Stowe, 
Vermont, December 26, 1842, daughter of James Madison and Altha T. 
Fuller. The parents brought her to Minneapolis when she was thirteen years 
of age, making the journey from Dubuque to St. Paul by boat, and from 
St. Paul to Minneapolis by team. A year and a half later, the Fuller family 
settled on a claim across the Clearwater river from the village of Clearwater. 
There they endured all the hardships incident to pioneer life. Opportunities 
for education were limited, but Ellen M. Fuller, as she was then called, 
studied first with a clergyman who had settled in the neighborhood, later 
entered a private academy at Monticello, in "Wright county, and finally, in 
1863, became a student at Hamline University, then located in Red Wing, 
Goodhue county, this state. After seven months there, she and a companion 
went to Ft. Pickens, Memphis, Tenn., where they were employed in a Freed- 
men's school. There her experiences were varied and thrilling, and she often 
had to seek safety on the gunboats. Physically frail, she was compelled to 
move further north after several months, and taught school at Atlanta, 111. 
Subsequently she visited relatives in Illinois, and then in 1865 returned to 
the home of her parents. For some time she alternately taught school and 
attended the St. Cloud State Normal school. In 1872 she became a teacher 
in the old two-room school in Sauk Centre as principal of the primary depart- 
ment. It was with pride that in the following years she watched the progress 
of this school. At the time of her marriage in 1874 she retired from teach- 
ing but she never lost her interest in education. In religious matters she was 
also an active worker. Uniting with the Congregational Church at Clearwater 
at the age of eighteen, she later transferred her membership to Sauk Centre, 



I 



f^ 




HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 899 

where for many years she was a beloved Sunday school teacher. In January, 
1893, she was made a life member of the Woman's Board of Missions of the 
Interior, In this branch of work she never faltered until compelled by fail- 
ing health to retire from active service. Mrs. Boobar was one of the charter 
members of the Gradatim club, and was its moving spirit for many years. 
Although she had no children, there lived with her for many years the wife 
of L. J. Irish, and the feeling between the two was that of mother and 
daughter. After a long period of failing health, and four weeks of intense 
suffering, Mrs. Boobar passed away, December 7, 1913. The newspapers in 
this vicinity vied with each other in paying respect to her life, character and 
work. One of the touching tributes offered was as follows: "In her married 
and home-making life, Mrs. Boobar was particularly happy. No woman ever 
had a more devoted, unselfish and attentive husband. Although deprived in 
after life of the privilege of active social intercourse because of frailty and ill 
health, she never lost interest in all that was going on. Widely read and 
observant, she always proved a wise counselor and a firm friend to all things 
pertaining to the advancement of the common good." 

George Blaksley is one of the foremost patriots of Stearns county. Him- 
self a veteran of the Civil war, he laid the lives of his three sons upon his 
country's altar. George Blaksley was born July 16, 1826, in Goram town- 
ship, Ontario county, New York, a son of William and Maria (De Grau) 
Blaksley; and grandson of Eben Blaksley. William Blaksley was born in 
Vermont. He was a cooper and farmer. His wife was a native of New York 
state. William Blaksley died in Ontario county, New York. Eben Blaksley 
was born in Vermont, and served in the Colonial navy during the Revolu- 
tionary war. He died in Steuben county, New York, and is buried at Platts- 
burg, in that state. George Blaksley was educated in a log schoolhouse, and 
became a farmer and lumberman. August 23, 1862, he enlisted in Co. D, 
161st New York Vol. Inf. His sons, Abram and George F., had enlisted the 
day before, and he had them assigned to his company. Mr. Blaksley followed 
the fortunes of his regiment until sent to the hospital, from which he was 
discharged for disability, January 23, 1863. September 3, 1864, he enlisted 
in Co. A, 189th New York Vol. Inf., and served with that regiment until 
mustered out, May 30, 1865. To give his war record would be to recapitulate 
the history of his companies during the periods of his enlistment. The son, 
Abram, was killed aboard the gunboat "Saxon" while his company was 
being transported. The son, George F., died in a hospital in New Orleans. 
Another son, Venus P., who enlisted later than the others, in the 161st New 
York Vol. Inf., also died in a hospital in New Orleans. After the war George 
Blaksley returned to his home in New York state. In 1877 he came to Minne- 
sota and took a homestead of 80 acres in Raymond township, where he 
followed farming until 1881, then he sold the farm and retired to Sauk Centre 
village. 

By his first wife, Martha Brown, George Blaksley had five children: 
Abram, George F., Venus, Sylvester and William. By his second wife, 
Charlotte Dyken, he had two children: Hattie, the wife of Charles Mellen, 
of Portland, Oregon; and John, a resident of Jerusalem, Yates county. New 



900 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

York. By his third wife, George Blaksley had four children: Alice, wife 
of Frank Hensley, of North Dakota; Bess, widow of David Marshall and 
wife of George Ferris; Etta, wife of Ed. Bain, of Minneapolis; and Lottie, 
deceased. 

September 4, 1901, George Blaksley married Hanna M. Jones, who was 
born July 2, 1849, and was married May 19, 1864 to Sidney Neal, who died 
February 13, 1901. 

Sidney Neal and Hanna M. (Jones) Neal had six sons: Frank W., who 
was born April 30, 1865, was married to Maude A. Newell, September 30, 
1891, and was killed in Missouri January 27, 1914 ; Charles A., who was born 
February 21, 1870, and was married November 24, 1898, to Edna B. Staples; 
Vernon J., who was born September 5, 1871, and was married September 26, 
1897, to Clementine M. Roarman; Bert D., who was born June 25, 1876; 
Allen G., who was born May 7, 1885; and Sidney, who was born October 5, 
1888 and died December 1, 1891. By his marriage with Eliza Stanton, Sidney 
Neal had one son, James W., born September 13, 1859. 

Charles Brown, a substantial citizen of Sauk Centre, was born in Canada, 
October 11, 1843, and there spent his boyhood. As a young man he came to 
Minnesota and cast his fortunes with the people of this state. February 27, 
1864, he enlisted in Co. I, Ninth Minn. Vol. Inf., and went south with the 
regiment. He showed his valor as a soldier in several engagements, and on 
June 12, 1864, was captured at the Battle of Guntown. Then began a period 
of nine months' imprisonment. From Andersonville he was transferred to 
Mellen's Station, from there to Florence, South Carolina, and thence to Wil- 
mington, North Carolina, where he was paroled. He was discharged at St. 
Paul, July 12, 1865. Some thirty years ago Mr. Brown came to Sauk Centre, 
and devoted some fourteen years to farming. Later he moved to Sauk Centre, 
where he and his good wife are now engaged in the restaurant and hotel 
business. 

Mr. Brown was married May 28, 1875, to Matilda Moore, of Henderson, 
Minn., born December 4, 1857. They have five children. Charles A., of 
Mandan, North Dakota, was born September 8, 1876, and is now in the rail- 
road business; Annie L. was born September 18, 1877, and is now the wife 
of Harry Hamilton, a railroad engineer located at Melrose. Edward R. 
was born October 28, 1879. He is a plumber and steamfitter located at Grand 
Rapids, Michigan. Edna I. was born May 28, 1882. She is the wife of George 
Butler, of Sauk Centre. Leslie J. was born March 8, 1885. He is a plumber 
and lives at home. 

Joseph Capser, one of the pioneers of Stearns county, was born in 
Bavaria, March 5, 1831, and came to America in 1846 with his father, who 
was engaged as a land agent and surveyor. Joseph spent his youth in St. 
Mary's, Pennsylvania. In 1858 he located on a farm near St. Cloud, in 
Stearns county, Minnesota, and in 1864 came to Sauk Centre, being the first 
German settler in the township. He found here a small cluster of houses, 
protected by the stockade which the settlers had erected as a barricade against 
the Indians. Solomon Pendergast was selling a little merchandise inside of 
the stockade but had nothing which could be dignified by the name of a 




MR. AND MRS. JOSEPH CAPSER 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 901 

real store, Mr. Capser erected a log building outside of the stockade, and 
started the first store proper in Sauk Centre. The store was located at about 
what is now the corner of Birch and Eighth street. About a year and a half 
later he moved the store to a building which he had erected on the present 
site of the Merchants' National Bank. Altogether Mr. Capser was in business 
twenty-eight years. With him was associated C. M. Sprague, first as a clerk 
and later as a partner. Even as early as January 28, 1869, the Sauk Centre 
"Herald" contained the following item: "At first Mr. Capser 's sales were 
small, but by a strict attention of business and a straightforward and honor- 
able course in all his dealings with everyone, rich or poor, he has brought his 
trade up to a point that is second to none in the same line in this county, his 
sales the past year having amounted to $59,334.58. In this connection we 
cannot refrain from saying that Mr. Capser has been prominent in bringing 
the trade at Sauk Centre to its present high reputation for fair dealing," 
Commencing $4,000 in debt, he soon found himself with balanced books and 
in time acquired a competence. 

Mr. Capser was prominent in the community along various lines. He 
served his district in the legislative halls of the state for a number of years. 
In 1875-76 he was a member of the senate presided over by Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor Alonzo Barto. He was elected to the lower house of the legislature in 
1878 and again in 1891. A Democrat in politics he was seven years chair- 
man of the State Central Committee of that party. He was county commis- 
sioner two terms and a member of the Sauk Centre board of health for 
thirty-three years and was a member of the city council two terms. Mr. 
Capser and his excellent wife have always been highly respected residents of 
the community. They have ever stood for everything that was right and 
honorable and good, and the members of their large family are worthily 
following in their footsteps. In 1876 Mr. Capser was placed on the Demo- 
cratic ticket as presidential elector for Samnel P. Tilden. He was one of 
the original members of the Church of St. Paul at Sauk Centre. The first 
Catholic meeting in this vicinity was held at his home by Father Mathias, 
and when the church was built he contributed toward buying the site and 
was always a heavy donator and contributor toward its support. 

Mr. Capser was married May 31, 1864, to Mary E. Ley, daughter of 
Henry J. Ley, an early settler. She was born in Madison, Wis., and the 
marriage took place in St. Joseph, Stearns county. In all his undertakings, 
Mrs. Capser has been her husband's capable helpmeet, a true wife and loyal 
mother. In the family there are seven children: Henry C, Josephina, 
Sufronica C, Albert J., Edward A., George W., and Joseph L. Henry C. was 
born in a snow covered shed in the rear of his father's first store, just outside 
of the stockade at Sauk Centre, he being the first male child born in Sauk 
Centre. The present family home was completed in 1881. 

On January 1, 1914, Mr. and Mrs. Capser celebrated the Golden 
Anniversary of their wedding, which was to fall several months later. The 
early celebration was for the sake of one of the daughters who was to leave 
for the west. Around the family table gathered the seven children and the 
numerous grandchildren. In all the family there has never been a death 



902 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

for over half a century, A massed Bavarian band discoursed music, many- 
songs were sung, and the happy couple received congratulations from all 
over the state. Among the gifts was a bag of gold coins presented by the 
children and grandchildren. Henry C. Capser presided as toastmaster and 
related many incidents of the early days, while Mr. Capser himself also spoke 
with much feeling of the happiness that his wife and family have meant to 
him. In writing of the event the Sauk Rapids "Herald" said: "Not many 
people are privileged to live together for fifty years as man and wife. Still 
less rear a family of seven, and they in turn rear families, without a single 
death in half a century. A most remarkable achievement. In talking with 
the 'Herald' man following the event, Hon. Joseph Capser stated that he 
and his aged wife fully appreciate the blessings which had been bestowed 
upon them all these long years. They are proud of their children and thank- 
ful for their achievements. The people of Sauk Centre rejoice with Mr. and 
Mrs. Capser in their having practically reached the half century mark of 
their married life. That they may be spared to enjoy the society of each 
other and their children is the wish of the entire community." 

John H. Canfield, of Sauk Centre, county commissioner, was born in 
St. Lawrence county. New York, October 10, 1846, son of Abram and Caroline 
Canfield, with whom he came to Sauk Centre. At the age of eighteen he 
enlisted in the Civil War and participated in the Indian campaign. He was 
mustered out July 11, 1865. For many years he devoted his life to farm 
work. He did good service as town and school officer, and so won the respect 
of his fellow men that they elected him one of the county commissioners, a 
position he has now held for some eleven years. He votes the Republican 
ticket, and belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Mr. Canfield married Rosetta Richards in 1870, and they have two 
children: Llewellyn and Iris P. Llewellyn is married and has four children. 
Iris P. lives at home and teaches music. 

Abram Canfield, an early physician, was born in New Jersey, came to 
Sauk Centre and practiced medicine for many years. He died in 1909 at the 
age of eighty-six years. " Abram Canfield married for his first wife, Caroline 
Van Linder, of New York, by whom he had four children : Manning F., John 
H., Phoebe A., and James M. For his second wife, Abram Canfield married 
Rosetta Truax, also a native of New York, and to this union there were bom 
seven children : Dillon, Louisa, Rosetta, Florence, Charles, Hattie and 
William. 

Albert Edwin Erwin, secretary and general manager of the Erwin 
Elevator Co., was born in St. Lawrence county. New York, May 1, 1849, son 
of Franklin and Aurilla (Walbridge) Erwin, also natives of the same county. 
The parents came to Walworth county, Wisconsin, in the fall of 1854. There 
the father dealt in stock. In 1861 the family came to Minnesota and located 
in Dakota county, where the - father engaged in agricultural pursuits the 
remainder of his life. The father died in February, 1890. The mother died 
in October, 1895. In the family there were nine children: Charlotte, now 
Mrs. William Church, of Dakota county; Lucia, now Mrs. Elias Scott, of 
Renville; Cecelia, now Mrs. Nelson Whipple, of Duluth ; Albert E., of Sauk 




ALP'.EBT EDWIN ERWIN 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 903 

Centre ; Eliza, now Mrs. D. S. Hassen, of Duluth ; Temperance (deceased) ; 
O. W., of Little Falls, Minn. ; Mary, now Mrs. Alexander Jamieson, of Sauk 
Centre, and Cora, now Mrs. J. L. Whitson, of Sauk Centre. Albert Edwin 
Erwin was brought from New York state to Walworth county. Wis., by 
his parents in 1854. He there attended the schools of his neighborhood, and 
also the schools of Milwaukee. In 1861 he came to Dakota county, Minn., 
with his parents. He remained at home until twenty-one years of age, 
attending schools winters and working about the farm in the summer time. 
After he was twenty-one he worked out for various farmers. In 1874 he came 
to Sauk Centre, and engaged in the grain and elevator business. With this 
beginning he has achieved a splendid success. He now has elevators located 
at Sauk Centre, West Union, Long Prairie, Browerville, Round Prairie, Little 
Sauk, Gray Eagle, Burham and Ward Springs, most of which he erected him- 
self. He is a master of all the details of his business, is highly respected by 
everybody, and is in every way a straight-forward, strictly honorable busi- 
ness man. For two terms he served on the village council. Fraternally he 
has passed through the chairs of Sauk Centre Lodge, No. 34, I. 0. 0. F. Mr. 
Erwin was married June 21, 1882, to Emily Jamieson, of Canton, New York, 
daughter of Andrew and Annabelle (Cooper) Jamieson. Mr. and Mrs. Erwin 
have two children, Annabelle and Harriet. Annabelle graduated from the 
Sauk Centre High School, and attended Carleton College at Northfield. Har- 
riet also graduated from the Sauk Centre High School, received her splendid 
musical education under private instructors, and is now a proficient teacher 
of instrumental music. 

L. W. Gingery, successful real estate dealer of Sauk Centre, was born 
in Summit county, Ohio, August 25, 1869, son of Curtiss C. and Valma E. 
(Wise) Gingery, who took him to Nebraska when he was nine years of age. 
He was reared and educated in Nebraska, and there remained until 1899. 
Then he came to Mason City, Iowa, and engaged in the grain and lumber 
business. In 1901 he came to Sauk Centre, and in company with M. W. Lee, 
engaged in the grain and elevator business. In 1905 they incorporated with 
a capital stock of $100,000. Their elevators and lumber yards were at West 
Union and Sauk Centre. In July, 1914, the company disposed of its inter- 
ests, and Mr. Gingery is now successfully engaged in the real estate busi- 
ness. He is a public spirited citizen and has served as president of the vil- 
lage council for years. He is a member of the Commercial Club and of Sauk 
Centre Lodge, No. 34, I. 0. O. F. Mr, Gingery was married August 24, 1893, 
to Minnie Lee, and they have three children : Carleton, born March 4, 1905 ; 
Maudie, born November 18, 1906, and Dorris, born October 12, 1901. 

Conrad George Herberger, one of the well-known old settlers of the 
county, and a respected resident of Sauk Centre has prepared for this work 
the following statement concerning his career : 

"I, Conrad George Herberger, was born in Rheinesheim, Baden, June 23, 
1834. My father was Michael Herberger, my mother was Catharina Whit- 
mann. To them Avas born twelve children, ten boys and two girls. I was 
the youngest of the family. Six of the younger boys came to this country; 
Ignaz and Max came in 1849 ; Carl, Fred and Theobold, in the spring of 1853. 



904 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

I came to New York, January 6, 1854, went to Buffalo, N. Y., remained there 
until May, 1854, and then went to Detroit, Mich. I left there in 1855 and 
went to Waukegan, Lake county, Illinois, and on July 1, 1856, I came to St. 
Cloud, Minnesota. On October 1, 1857, I was married to Catharine Schurmann. 
My wife was born in Hoglar, West Falen, November 12, 1837 ; her father was 
Nicholas Schurmann, and her mother was Leusill Becker. They were the 
parents of twelve children. My wife and her parents came to this country 
in 1855 and located at Guttenberg, Iowa, my wife coming to St. Cloud in 
1856. To us were born twelve children, of whom only four are now living: 
Frank J., George F., Edward Herberger, and Rose (Herberger) Johnson. 
My brothers and sisters are all dead except Theobald who is living in Los 
Angeles, Cal., eighty-two years of age. My wife has three brothers and two 
sisters living. When I came to St. Cloud in 1856 I started a blacksmith shop. 
In 1859 the first stage run from St. Cloud to Georgetown, a distance of 200 
miles, and Burbank & Co. hired me to do their horse shoeing. In 1860 my 
wife and self were stationed at Pomme de Terre to keep the night station 
on the stage line. I was to shoe the horses used. on the line from Sauk Centre 
to Georgetown. Pomme de Terre is twenty-two miles this way from Fergus 
Falls and twelve beyond Evansville. We got along there fairly well until 
the Indian outbreak, on August 22, 1862. At that time we were forced to 
return to St. Cloud, where I resumed blacksmithing until 1869 when my 
brother Fred and myself organized and operated a brewery, known as the Her- 
berger Brothers Brewing Co. We sold out in 1875, and in 1877 I went 
on a farm in Todd and Douglas counties, three miles from Osakis. I re- 
mained on the farm until 1901, when in September of that year I came to 
Sauk Centre where I have resided ever since." 

The Irish Family. The Irish family is one of the old American families, 
dating back considerable over a century. The original Irish forebear came 
from England, and settled in New York state. One of the sons in this family 
was Jonathan Irish, born at Lake George, N. Y., April 9, 1807. His wife, 
Eliza, was born July 17, 1813. They had seven children. Sydney, born Jan- 
uary 22, 1833; Mercy, June 29, 1835; Abner, February 28, 1837; Matthew, 
February 25, 1839 ; Eber, May 5, 1842 ; Matilda, October 29, 1844 ; Caroline, 
April 24, 1848. The deaths recorded in the family Bible are as follows : Eber, 
October 26, 1862; Jonathan (the father), March 24, 1884; Eliza (the mother) 
ten years later ; Matthew, November 26, 1907 ; Abner, February 8, 1909 ; Syd- 
ney, April 2, 1912. 

Abner Irish, the third child in this family, was born, as noted, February 
28, 1837, in Warren county. New York. As a young man he served through 
the Civil War. He reached Minnesota May 24, 1864. He lived for many 
years in Sauk Centre, where he was a prominent citizen. A farmer, carpenter 
and contractor, he nevertheless found time to devote to public affairs. He 
was one of the supervisors of. the town, and a justice of the peace. As a 
member of the board of education he was one of those who were responsible 
for the establishing of the High School in Sauk Centre, and also freely gave 
of his time and labor to help establish the First Presbyterian Church of Sauk 
Centre by hewing the timbers used in its construction. This church later 




MICHAEL HOG AN 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 905 

became the home of the First Congregational Church of Sauk Centre, of 
which Mr. Irish was a faithful member at the time of his death. In politics 
he was a Republican. He died February 8, 1909, highly respected by all 
who knew him. 

Abner Irish married Rose Spencer, and they had five children : Louis 
J., Carrie (died May 2, 1905), Hattie E. (died September 8, 1875), Margaret 
and Carl A. Margaret is a graduate nurse and lives with her mother. Louis 
J. is a member of the city council of Sauk Centre. He conducts a 'bus and 
transfer business. He was married June 25, 1902, to Myra E. Clifford, and 
they have a daughter, Edna Elizabeth. Carl A. is a prosperous rancher in 
North Dakota, was married to Jennie M. Gray, December 26, 1900, and has 
four children; Margaret M., Carleton G., Arelyn D. and Marvin S. and be- 
sides, two adopted children, Harry M. Shepard, nephew of Mrs. Irish, at the 
age of 13 months, and Helen R., adopted March 8, 1895, at the age of three 
months. 

Alexander Jainieson, president of the Erwin Elevator Co., with head- 
quarters at Sauk Centre, was born in New York state, December 25, 1846, 
son of Andrew and Annabelle (Cooper) Jamieson. He came to Minnesota 
at the age of twenty-one, and for about twenty-five years farmed in Dakota 
county. In 1896 he purchased an interest in the Erwin Elevator Co., of 
which he is now the president. Mr. Jamieson is a vestryman and treasurer 
of the Church of the Good Samaritan, Episcopal, and has taken an active 
interest in the welfare of that body. He is doing the village good service 
as an alderman. Alexander Jamieson married Mary Erwin, and they have 
three children : Gladys J., Edward E. and Vera. Gladys J. married Ray Car- 
penter, and they have three children: Maxwell, Louisa and Fannie. They 
live in Alberta, Canada. Andrew Jamieson and Annabelle Cooper, his wife, 
spent the span of their years in New York state, and are laid to rest in 
Canton, New York, the former djdng at the age of eighty-two and the latter 
at the age of seventy-seven. There were nine children in the family : Alex- 
ander, George E., John, Emily, Hattie, Sarah, Nettie and Elizabeth. 

Michael Hogan. To some villages comes the good fortune to number 
among their citizens, men of ability, probity, intelligence and worth, who are 
willing to devote their time, energy, influence and money for the upbuilding 
of the part of the country in which they have cast their lot. Such a man 
was Michael Hogan. Coming to Sauk Centre in the prime of life he at once 
became identified with its progress, attained business success and worthy 
reputation, served in the most responsible political, social, educational and 
financial positions, and as a fitting climax to his life secured for the village a 
permanent literary institution whose influence will be felt for many genera- 
tions to come. 

Michael Hogan was born in Prince Edward Island Province, Canada, was 
there reared, studied law, and was admitted to the bar. He came to Sauk 
Centre in 1882 and became clerk in the real estate office of Moore & Bennett. 
Later he engaged in the real estate business for himself, then had Charles 
Hendryx for a partner for a while, and subsequently continued alone. As 
a real estate lawyer he had few if any equals in this part of the state. During 



906 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

his long residence in the village he took an active interest in the city's prog- 
ress, and in matters of public importance his excellent judgment and though- 
ful energy had much to do with the substantial upbuilding of Sauk Centre. 
For four terms he served as mayor and at various other times might have 
held the office had he not refused to accept the honor. He was also a mem- 
ber of the Sauk Centre board of education and was vice-president of the 
Merchants' National Bank. He started a correspondence with Andrew Car- 
negie, as the result of which the Carnegie Library was here erected. No one 
knew of the matter until Mr. Carnegie's offer had been formally made and 
the terms of the acceptance stipulated. Mr. Hogan died at St. Luke's Hos- 
pital, September 30, 1904. At the hour of his funeral every business house 
and public school in Sauk Centre was closed. The whole village joined in 
mourning, for his excellent qualities had endeared him to all. In business 
as well as in a social way, he was of an unassuming nature, a plain, scholarly 
gentleman, whose friendship was as high an honor as one could care to win. 
His place in the community will not soon be filled. Mr. Hogan was married 
April 19, 1887, to Mary Donahue, of Sauk Centre, daughter of Patrick and 
Ann Donahue, early settlers of Stearns county. There are two children, Edna, 
born in 1889, and Archie, born in 1894. 

Theron W. Mann was born in Schoharie county. New York, August 11, 
1854, attended the excellent public schools of his neighborhood, and obtained 
a diploma from the State Normal School at Albany, N. Y., and taught two 
years. For a time he worked as a railroad man with headquarters at Platts- 
burg, N. Y. Then he came west, and was employed as an operator at the Ply- 
mouth, Wis., station for the Wisconsin Central. From there he came to Min- 
nesota, where he worked for the Northern Pacific for a quarter of a century, 
being operator at Wadena and Clitherall, and agent at Royalton, Sauk Centre 
and Little Falls. After leaving the railroad business he engaged in business 
in Minneapolis, and later in South Dakota. Then he came once more to 
Sauk Centre, where he conducted a music store until his death in December, 
1912. The store is now conducted by his sons. His wife is still living. She 
makes her home in New York state. Mr. Mann was a prominent man in many 
ways. In addition to his store in Sauk Centre, he owned farms in Pope and 
Becker counties. He was one of the founders of the Knights of Pythias 
Lodge at Sauk Centre. Confirmed as a communicant of the Episcopal Church, 
he was ever an ardent worker in that denomination. At Sauk Centre he 
was one of the most active members. Mr. Mann had three children : Mrs. 
L. 0. Kerby, of Hibbing, Minn. ; and Sydney T. and Henry A., merchants 
of Sauk Centre. 

Sidney T. Merryman, manager of the Central Minnesota Power and Mill- 
ing Co., of Sauk Centre, was born in Milwaukee, Wis., January 15, 1890, son 
of Egbert S. and Barbara W. (Davidson) Merryman. He received his edu- 
cation in the graded and high .schools of Milwaukee. His first employment 
was in a clerical capacity. His ambition was to become a sea captain, and 
with this end in view he secured a situation as watchman and wheelman on 
a Great Lakes boat. January 1, 1909, he came to Sauk Centre as accountant 
for the Central Minnesota Power and Milling Co. In February, 1911, he was 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 907 

promoted to his present position. He is a rising young man, is a thorough 
master of his line of work, and is highly regarded throughout the community. 
Mr. Merryman is a member of Star in the West Lodge, No. 60, A. F. & A. M., 
and of Sauk Centre Chapter, No. 49, R. A. M. He was married February 11, 
1914, to Marguerite Booth, of Chicago. 

David Caughren, of honored memory, was one of that sturdy band of 
pioneers whose work resulted in the opening up and development of the 
Northwest. Whether as a youth in Canada, diligently working on the home 
farm ; as a pioneer in Wright county, bringing the wild land under cultiva- 
tion and working for the advance of civilization ; or as a freighter in the 
Black Hills, carrying still further the vanguard of development and settle- 
ment ; he ever did his duty as he saw it. He was an influential citizen, and 
lived long enough to see the early fruits of success crown his privations and 
toil. David Caughren was born in Fredington, on the St. John's river. Prov- 
ince of New Brunswick, Canada, and married Matilda Ervin, a native of the 
same place. In 1859 they came to Minnesota, and located on a farm in Brock- 
way township, Stearns county, where they lived for several years. In 1864 
they moved to Getty township, where Mr. Caughren purchased 160 acres. 
He broke and grubbed the land, brought it to a high stage of cultivation, and 
erected a fine set of buildings. He was a power for good in the community 
and was apparently permanently settled. But the pioneer strain was in his 
blood and unwilling to enjoy the established peace of a settled community 
while others were braving the rigors of pioneer endeavor, he left the com- 
munity which he had assisted in making, and removed to Bismarck, North 
Dakota, where he engaged in freighting between Bismarck and the Black 
Hills. He died at Bismarck, in January, 1881, His widow now lives in 
Merriam Park, St. Paul, at the advanced age of eighty-eight years. Mr. and 
Mrs. Caughren had seven children: J. A., a leading citizen of Sauk Centre, 
Stearns county ; Carrie, now Mrs. George Case, of Black Hills ; William, of 
White Fish, Montana ; Samuel, of Havre, Montana ; Sarah, the deceased wife 
of E. G. Bloomfield, and Frank and Hattie, who died in infancy. 

Henry SpragTie was born in Chenango county, New York, September 22, 
1808, and in 1823 was taken by his parents to Oakland county, Michigan. As 
a youth he learned the trade of a carpenter, and subsequently followed this 
trade for many years. In 1838 he moved to Will county, Illinois, from which 
county in 1854, he brought his family to Dakota county, Minn., and settled 
in Nininger township. While in Dakota county he was county commissioner 
and justice of the peace for several years. In 1865 he came to Stearns county, 
and settled on a farm in Sauk Centre township. He married Louise C. Walker, 
a native of Maine, March 14, 1883, and they had four children : Addison, Cas- 
sius, Millard C. and Esther Sprague. 

John N. McGibbon, man of affairs, and one of Sauk Centre's most useful 
citizens, has wide interests and varied accomplishments. He is president of 
the Stearns County Agricultural Society, is serving his fourth consecutive 
term as mayor of Sauk Centre, is president of the board of education of 
Sauk Centre, president of the Sauk Centre Fire Relief Association, and 
superintendent of the city electric light plant. In addition to this he is 



908 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

successfully engaged in milling and farming. Thus busily engaged he has 
nevertheless found time for the development of the literary and ethical side 
of his nature, and his verse is published in many papers throughout the 
state. He is a member of Star in the West Lodge, No. 60, A. F. & A. M., 
and Sauk Centre Chapter, No. 49, R. A. M. His wife and he are both members 
of the Order of the Eastern Star. He is a Democrat in politics, and the 
members of the family belong to the Presbyterian Church. In whatever move- 
ment he takes a part, Mr. McGibbon is at once found at the head. He is 
genial, affable, unassuming, a hard worker, and a born leader of men. He 
preaches the doctrine of good fellowship and the brotherhood of man, and he 
is as agreeable as he is prominent. He and his wife are especially interested 
in the cause of education, and in the move for better schools throughout 
the country. Their untiring efforts and encouragement were an important 
factor in the building of the present sightly school edifice at Sauk Centre. 
John N. McGibbon was born in Canada, December 21, 1859, there attended 
the public schools and grew to manhood. He learned the trade of miller from 
his father and devoted much of his youth to that line of work. He reached 
Minneapolis at the age of twenty-one and entered the employ of the Minne- 
apolis Flouring Mill. Six months later he came to Sauk Centre and became 
head miller for T. C. McClure. Later he and Dr. J. D. DuBois bought out 
the mill which he conducted for three years. Mr. McGibbon was united in 
marriage, June 9, 1881, to Louise A. E. Crozier, who was born in Canada, 
February 23, 1862, daughter of Robert and Margaret (Walker) Crozier, 
natives of Scotland who came to Canada in their 'teens and were there mar- 
ried. Mr, Crozier was a farmer and was very successful in his chosen line 
of endeavor. He and his good wife both died in Canada. Mr. and Mrs. 
McGibbon have four children: Lillian L. married Tollef Jacobson, now a 
prominent banker of Alexandria, Minn.; John R. is secretary of the North- 
western Mortgage and Security Co. at Fargo, North Dakota; Robina H. mar- 
ried Henry Halverson, one of St. Cloud's representative merchants; Everette 
E. is a rising young dentist of Minneapolis ; James R. is a student in the Sauk 
Centre High school and lives at home. Alexander McGibbon and Jane (Brow) 
McGibbon, the parents of John N. McGibbon were of Scottish descent. Alex- 
ander McGibbon was a prominent miller in Canada, and owned and conducted 
a flouring mill for many years. The same mill is now operated by the son, 
Duncan D. McGibbon. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Gibbon both died in Canada 
and are buried there. 

Joseph Parker, retired farmer of Sauk Centre, was born in Erie county. 
New York, September 4, 1842, son of William and Ann (Fullam) Parker who 
brought their family first to Wisconsin and then to Minnesota. As a youth 
Joseph Parker devoted considerable attention to farming. In 1863, he en- 
listed in Company A, Ninth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry and served two 
years and four months. This started a series of adventures which extended 
over many years. After leaving the army, he started work on the old over- 
land freight route between St. Paul and Winnipeg. It was in this employ that 
he first came to Sauk Centre. Later he accompanied many expeditions to the 
Northwest, sometimes as a soldier, and sometimes in charge of wagon trains. 




ME. AND MRS. DAVID PANGBURN 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 909 

It was in 1873 that Mr. Parker gave up his life as a frontiersman, married, 
and settled down as a pioneer in Ashley township, this county. Starting 
with a wild tract of eighty acres, he erected a small log shanty, and began 
his career as a prosperous farmer. He increased his holdings, until he now 
owns 240 acres, equipped with modern buildings, and suitable equipment. He 
was chairman of the board of supervisors sixteen years, and also served 
in other town positions as well as in school office. He has been a Democrat 
nearly all his life but for a time was associated with the farmers' move- 
ments which flourished under such names as the Grange, the Anti-Monopo- 
lists, the Greenbackers and the Populists. He has ably filled the chair as 
commander of the B. R. Palmer Post, No. 4, G. A. R., of Sauk Centre. Mr. 
Parker married Ella Stewart, a native of Wisconsin, and a daughter of George 
Stewart, an early settler of Stearns county. Mr. and Mrs. Parker have five 
children: Henry, Roscoe, Joseph, Bessie and Orick. Henry is a representa- 
tive farmer of Sauk Centre township; Roscoe lives in Minneapolis; Bessie is 
now Mrs. Arthur W. Bierman, of Northfield, Minn. ; Orick is in the Coast Ar- 
tillery at California, as a soldier in the regular army. 

William Parker was born in New Jersey, of English descent. He mar- 
ried Ann Fullam, of Irish blood. After their marriage they settled in New 
York. Later they went to Florida, where Mr. Parker was engaged in the 
campaign against the Indians for two years. After the Indian troubles there 
were over, they returned to New York. In 1861 the family came to Minnesota 
and located in Rochester, making the trip from the Mississippi by means of 
a team of horses. William Parker died in 1865, outliving his wife about a 
year. William Parker was the father of Henrietta, born in Florida; James, 
Catherine, Henry, Mary and Joseph, born in Wisconsin; and Emma, Harriet, 
Sylvia and Abslom, born in Minnesota. Henrietta married Henry Home, of 
Wisconsin, now deceased. She makes her home in Sauk Centre, with her 
brother, Joseph. James served during the Civil War, in the First Wisconsin 
Cavalry and in Hancock's Veteran Corps. He is now in the Soldiers' Home, 
at Milwaukee, Wis. Catherine and her husband, William Barry, both of 
Sauk Centre, are dead. Henry was killed by a threshing machine. Mary 
Ann and her husband, Andrew Whitehead, are both dead. Joseph lives in 
Sauk Centre. Emma is the wife of Lorenzo Bennett, and lives in Rochester, 
Minn. Harriett is the wife of Clark Case, of Sauk Centre. Sylvia is the wife of 
James Smith, of Rochester, Minn. Absolom was killed at Spokane Falls, 
Wash. 

David Pangburn, retired brick manufacturer, living in Sauk Centre, was 
born in Scotland, New York, August 27, 1832, son of James D. and Polly 
(Houck) Pangburn. He received his education in his native state, and there 
grew to manhood. It was in 1856 that he came to Minnesota, and located at 
Nininger, in Dakota county. In 1861 he came to Stearns county, and took a 
claim in Sauk Centre township. In 1864 he located here permanently, and 
engaged in farming. Soon afterward, he went into making brick. Later he 
bought the large farm on which the present plant is located. It is on the 
shore of Sauk Lake, just over the line in Todd county. Here he has carried 
on general farming and done a large business in brickmaking. Being on 



910 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

the shore of the lake he has been able to raft his bricks, and then tow the 
rafts to Sauk Centre with his barge. The bricks, both red and gray are in 
wide favor, and nearly all the buildings in Sauk Centre and Melrose are 
constructed from them. Since dividing his farm among his sons, Mr. Pang- 
burn has purchased a home in Sauk Centre, where he will spend his declining 
years in well deserved rest after a busy life filled with successful endeavor. 
He has been an active man in everything that had for its object the progress 
and betterment of the community, and for several years he served as super- 
visor of Sauk Centre township. Although eight-two years of age he is still 
hale and hearty. Every fall he goes on hunting expeditions to the pine woods, 
and never fails to bring home a good bag of game. 

David Pangburn was married May 9, 1854, to Hattie P. Davenport, born 
in Saratoga county, New York, January 25, 1835. They have had eleven 
children: George N., born December 3, 1856; Hattie A., February 22, 1858; 
Fred L., August 4. 1859; William E., March 31, 1861; Frances A., September 
30, 1862; Arthur M., September 10, 1864; Reginald H., May 4, 1866; James 
B., November 17, 1867; David A., June 16, 1869; Elmer F., March 20, 1871 
(died June 18, 1873) ; and Edwin F., born May 15, 1874. 

James D, Pangburn came to Sauk Centre in 1866 and took a homestead. 
He lived to see himself the founder of one of the largest families in this vicin- 
ity. In 1882, after a long life, filled with useful accomplishments, he died at 
the good old age of eighty years. 

Mr. Pangburn married Polly Houck, a native of New York state. She 
died in 1898 at the age of ninety years. In the family there are ten children : 
Margaret, Nicholas, David, Magdalena, Julia, Paulina, Hiram, "William, Henry 
and Frank S. It is a fact worthy of note that Margaret, the oldest of these 
children, is still living, at the age of ninety years. 

Arthur M. Pangburn was born September 10, 1864, son of David and 
Hattie P. (Davenport) Pangburn. He is engaged in farming in Todd county, 
just over the line from Sauk Centre township. Arthur M. Pangburn was first 
married to Delia Fredinburg. After her death he married Lizzie Knudson. 

D. A. Pangburn was born in Sauk Centre township, June 16, 1869, son 
of David and Hattie P. (Davenport) Pangburn. He is a mason by trade and 
does general conti'acting and building. Mr. Pangburn married Agnes Diebel, 
and they have five children : Hazel H., May, Earl, Edith and Marie, all born 
in Sauk Centre. The family faith is that of the Congregational Church. 

William Pangburn, one of the respected citizens of Sauk Centre, was 
born in New York state. May 12, 1836, and was there reared to young man- 
hood. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted, and was in the service 
throughout that bloody conflict, being confined in a southern prison fourteen 
months of that time. He was discharged at Madison, Wisconsin, after which 
he came West, reaching Sauk Centre May 12, 1865. He took up a homestead 
in Sauk Centre township, broke the land, erected suitable buildings, and car- 
ried on general farming until 1879, when he moved to the city. He has been 
a member of the city council for sixteen years, and is now serving another 
two-year term. For one term he was president of the council. He is treasurer 
of Palmer Post, No. 40, G. A. R., and a member of the I. 0. O. F. William 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY ' 911 

Pangburn married Ella Barnard, and they have seven children: Minnie, 
Frank T., Josie, Maude, Jessie, Ralph and Leon. The parents of William 
Pangburn were James D. and Polly (Houck) Pangburn. 

Georg-e Pangburn was born in St. Paul, December 3, 1856, son of David 
and Hattie P. (Davenport) Pangburn. He is engaged in farming and brick- 
making with his father. George Pangburn married Julia Henderson, of 
Eagle Bend, Minn. They have five children: Ray, Lucy, Eva, Lester and 
Alice. 

Ray C. Pangburn was born in Sauk Centre, July 24, 1884. After at- 
tending school he learned the trade of mason, which he has since followed. 
He lives over the line in Todd county. Ray C. Pangburn married Mary 
Knott, and they have three children : Howard, Lawrence and Irene. 

Frank T. Pangburn was born in Sauk Centre township, December 14, 
1871, son of William and Ella (Barnard) Pangburn. He attended the public 
schools and also had the advantages of courses in the Pioneer Business School, 
of Sauk Centre. For some years after attaining the years of maturity, he 
devoted his life to farming. For a time he was identified with the L. S. Bishop 
Co. of Sauk Centre. Mr. Pangburn is a great believer in education, and 
served for a time on the school board (5f one of the rural districts. He is a 
member of the Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen. Frank T. Pangburn 
married Margaret E. Johnson, of Grove Lake, Minnesota. They have two 
children. 

J. B. Schoenhoff was born in Germany, October 8, 1868, and came to 
America in the middle of 1885. He lived in Spring Hill township, Meier Grove 
and Melrose, all in this state, before coming to Sauk Centre. A mason by 
trade, he has also done considerable farming for seven years. For about 
five years he was in the restaurant business, and for something like a similar 
period conducted a laundry. He is at present running a first-class saloon, 
the best in the state. He belongs to the Catholic Order of Foresters, and to 
the G. R. K. Benevolent Society of Minnesota ; also, for the last ten years 
local agent for the National Casualty Co., the best sick and accident company 
in the state of Minnesota. Has lived in the city of Sauk Centre 22 years. 
He is a live member of the Commercial Club and Stearns County Fair Asso- 
ciation. 

Mr. Schoenhoff first married Catherine Wulfekuhle, now deceased. No 
children by first wife. His present wife is Annie Walcher. In the family are 
five children : Leo, Anthony, Bernard, Richard and Robert. Two girls are 
dead. 

J. A. Schoenhoff was born in Germany in 1875, and has lived in Sauk 
Centre about twenty-one years. He is a popular man in the community, is 
secretary of the local lodge of the Catholic Order of Foresters, and is active 
in the St. Joseph Benevolent Society. 

Mr. Schoenhoff married Magdalena Schaefer, of Albany, Minn., and they 
have three children : Valarian B. and Julia E. and Mary Magdalene. Mrs. 
Schoenhoff comes of an old Stearns county family. Her father was born in 
St. Cloud, and is now living in Albany, in this county. By his first wife, 
Julia Schultz, he had twelve children : Magdaline, Julia, Carl, Thomas, Henry, 



912 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

Leo, Anton, Otto, Joseph, George, Eoman and Genevieve. By his second wife, 
Magdaline Marshall, he had six children: Eichard, Celestine, Carl, Edmond, 
Gertrude and Margaret. 

Harry Allen, mason, of Sauk Centre, was born here December 9, 1886. 
He belongs to the Bricklayers' Union and the Ancient Order of United "Work- 
men. John Allen, also a mason, the father of Harry Allen, was born in Penn- 
sylvania, July 12, 1851, and came to Minnesota in 1887. He married Maria 
Sehaefer, and they had five children: Harry, Howard, Kate, Benjamin and 
Alice. 

Isaac Allen, grandfather of Harry Allen, was a mason by trade, and 
lived in Pennsylvania. He married Hannah Clemmons, and they had eleven 
children, of whom there are still living four: Garrett, Eebecca, Anna and 
John. 

John Boutell, proprietor of the Palmer House Buffet, Sauk Centre, was 
born in Woodstock, Canada, December 18, 1862, and came to Sauk Centre 
from Wapington, North Dakota, in 1890. He is one of the clean-cut, intelli- 
gent men of the city, has served on the city council for some time, and be- 
longs to the Eagles, the Eed Men, and the Sauk Centre Commercial Club. 

John Boutell married Mary McCarthy, of Benson, Swift county, Minne- 
sota, and they have one son, who graduated from the University of Minne- 
sota in 1913. 

Alice C. Cawley, who with her two daughters, Marie and Eveline, is con- 
ducting the millinery establishment long owned by Mrs. Swift, came to Sauk 
Centre from Big Stone county, Minnesota, where her husband, Mr. Cawley, 
died in 1906. Mrs. Cawley 's father was Matthew Smith, and her mother 
was Marie Loubier. In the family were eight children: May, Lucy, Alice C, 
Ellen, John, Jean, George and Gilbert. 

J. H. Simonton, pioneer journalist, agriculturist and business man, was 
born in Perry county, Penn., Nov. 15, 1840, son of Dr. Thomas and Elizabeth 
(Baxter) Simonton. He attended school in his native county, and at the age 
of twelve years moved with his parents to Wilmington, 111,, where he com- 
pleted his education. He came to Minnesota in 1857, and learned the printer's 
trade. He was interested in newspaper work in Sauk Eapids and St. Cloud. 
In 1866 he sold his interest in the St. Cloud ''Times," to N. F. Barnes and 
went to St. Paul where he worked in the office of the "Pioneer." In the 
spring of 1867 he came to Sauk Centre. On June 6, 1867, J. H. Simonton 
started the Sauk Centre "Herald." This paper was printed on the first 
press ever brought to Minnesota, formerly the property of James M. Goodhue, 
who on April 28, 1849, printed, at St. Paul, the "Minnesota Pioneer," the 
first paper ever printed in the territory. Mr. Simonton was soon joined by 
his brother, Samuel Simonton, and the paper was published by them jointly 
until August, 1879, when it was sold to Charles F. Hendryx. When J. H. 
Simonton retired from newspaper work, he took up farming for a few years. 
Then he became a groceryman in Sauk Centre, continuing this business for 
over two decades. The members of the younger generations who were not 
alive during his newspaper career, remember him best as the genial grocer. 
Some nine years ago he sold out to McCracken & Burgess and retired. Mr. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 913 

Simonton is a prominent man in the community, and for some time was secre- 
tary of the Sauk Centre Business Men's Association which is not now in 
existence. He is a charter member of the Star in the West Lodge, No. 60, 
A. F. & A. M., of Sauk Centre. A Republican in politics, he was assessor 
for twenty years. At various time he has also served in other positions of 
public trust and private honor. 

Mr. Simonton was married in 1870 to Jennie M. Stabler, and they have 
had six children. Benjamin P. lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Frank 
E. lives in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada ; Mildred E. resides at home ; Wil- 
liam A., Alfred and an unnamed infant are deceased. 

Alfred Talbot Watson, of the Central Minnesota Power and Milling Co., 
was born in England, April 25, 1859, son of Richard and Louisa (Talbot) 
Watson, the former of whom traced his ancestry back to 1580, and the latter 
of whom was of traditional Norman blood. Alfred T. came to America in 
1881, and from Owatonna, Minn., went to Waseca, a few miles away. Then 
he located in Paynesville, in Stearns county. He became a prominent man 
and was elected the first recorder of New Paynesville. He assisted in organiz- 
ing the Protestant Episcopal Church, he and his wife being two of the original 
five members. In 1899 he came to Sauk Centre. He has been identified with 
the Northwestern Radiator Co., and with the Keller Manufacturing Co. His 
present position dates back some three or four years. Mr. Watson is a 
member of the Odd Fellows, the M. B. A. and the A. 0. U. W. He is senior 
warden of the Sauk Centre Protestant Episcopal Church. Mr. Watson was 
married August 8, 1883, to Mary Lee, a native of New Jersey, a daughter of 
the Englishman, James Lee, who brought his family to Owatonna in 1863. 
Mr. and Mrs. Watson have two children. Mary C. graduated from the Illinois 
Women's College at Jacksonville, 111., in 1914, receiving the degree of B. S. 
in domestic science. Marguerita L. is a student at the same school. 

Mathias Wanish, a retired farmer of Sauk Centre, was born in Bohemia, 
February 24, 1840, second son of Frank and Mary Wanish, who in 1854, set- 
tled in Manitowoc, Wis., with four children, Frank, Mathias, Anna and 
Rachael. In 1862, Mathias enlisted in Company F, Twenty-sixth Wisconsin 
Volunteer Infantry, and served three years, following the fortunes of that 
regiment throughout the Civil War. After the war he returned to the home 
of his parents. In 1868, he came to Sauk Centre, and secured a farm on the 
southern line of the township. At first he built a log cabin, and cultivated 
a small piece of land. Prosperity came with the years, and in time he be- 
came the owner of 400 acres of valuable land. About twenty-five years ago 
he and his wife retired and moved to the village of Sauk Centre, where they 
now make their home. Mr. Wanish is a member of Palmer Post, No. 40, 
G. A. R., of Sauk Centre. Mr. Wanish was married June 28, 1867, to Mary 
Yench, born in Bohemia, February 20, 1850. To them have been born nine 
children: Libbie, Mary, Rose, Joseph, Anna, Mary, Mathias, Emma and 
Hattie. Libbie is dead. She was born April 28, 1868, married Joseph Ring- 
smith, and left five children : Mabel, Leo, Pearl, Pauline and Mathias. Mary 
died in infancy. Rose was born April 1, 1873, married Herman Donart, and is 
the mother of four children: Carl, Paul, Helene and Anna Virginia. Joseph 



914 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

was born February 22, 1875, and is now farming at Great Falls, Montana. He 
married Mary Appel and they have three children : Harry, Lillian and Olive. 
Anna was born April 16, 1877. She married Harry Leisen, and they live in 
Chicago. Mary was born July 3, 1880. She married Samuel Kendrick, and 
they live in San Diego, California. Mathias was born June 1, 1882, and lives 
in Seattle, Wash. Emma was born August 15, 1884, and married James 
Mathies. They live in Sauk Centre and have four children : James, Elvira, 
Leonard and Pearl. Hattie died in infancy. 

Josiah Wood, a retired farmer of Sauk Centre, and a veteran of the Civil 
War, was born in Ephrata, Montgomery county. New York, September 2, 
1828, son of Gardner and Fannie (Cook) Wood, who moved in 1840 to Dodge 
county. Wis., where they spent the remainder of their days. Josiah was 
brought to Wisconsin by his parents, but at the age of fifteen started out to 
see the world, going first to Illinois, and then back to New York. Later 
he again came to Wisconsin. He spent his early life as a teacher. In 1861 he 
located with his wife's people in Blue Earth county, Minn., and on December 
24, 1863, he enlisted in Company E, Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. 
He followed the career of that regiment, and was mustered out, November 
22, 1865. In March, 1866, he brought his family to Sauk Centre. For a time, 
they lived in a stockade which had been erected for the protection of the 
settlers against the Indians. He acquired a farm of 160 acres, one mile and 
a half west of Sauk Centre, and combined farming with school teaching. 
By hauling lumber from Sauk Centre with an ox-team, he was enabled to 
build a large frame house which was one of the show places of the early days. 
His hard work won success and in time he added eighty more acres to his 
place. In the late eighties he retired and moved to Sauk Centre village, 
where he has since resided. Mr. and Mrs. Wood are members of the Seventh 
Day Adventist Church. 

Mr. Wood was married in 1861, to Naomi S. Cooper, who was born in 
Cataraugus county, New York, July 21, 1842, a daughter of Ezra and Theresa 
(Armes) Cooper, who came to Wisconsin in 1829, and to Blue Earth county, 
Minn., in 1861. Mr. and Mrs. Wood had three children : C. A., Amy T. and 
Grace. Amy T. is the wife of H. J. Hagen, a banker of Fargo ; Grace died at 
the age of six years. C. A. Wood lives on a farm near Grey Eagle and Josiah 
Wood and wife are now living near him on the same farm. 

William Carl Woodruff was born in Spencer township, Tioga county. 
New York, December 5, 1836, son of John S. and Nancy (Cowell) Woodruff. 
He lost his father when he was twelve years of age, at which time the family 
was living in Illinois. When the Civil War was raging, the subject of this 
sketch enlisted, in 1864, in Company C, 146th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, 
and served until the close of the conflict. Upon his return from the army 
he was employed in engineering and construction work in the vicinity of 
Pecatonica, Illinois. In 1869 he came to Minnesota, and secured 160 acres of 
land in Faribault county. Later he came to Sauk Centre, where he continued 
to engage in construction work. He has a pleasant home on the outskirts of 
the village, and is highly regarded in the community. Mr. Woodruff is an 
enthusiastic member of B. R. Palmer Post, G. A. R., of Sauk Centre. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY ' 915 

William Carl Woodruff was married at Freeport, 111., October 3, 1859, to 
Huldah Jones, born October 22, 1840, daughter of Livingston and Hannah 
(Woodward) Jones. Mr. and Mrs. William Carl Woodruff have had nine 
children. Isaac was born November 8, 1862, and died June 23, 1903 ; Niles 
was born December 12, 1863, and died January 20, 1864; Jay was born April 
3, 1865, and died March 2, 1894; Ralph was born March 18, 1867, and died 
April 1, 1869 ; Harry was born November 20, 1869, and now lives in Mil- 
waukee ; William was born March 28, 1872, and died December 6, 1893 ; 
Alta was born June 14, 1874; Belle was born August 3, 1876; Joey was born 
June 17, 1878, and died September 15, 1878. Alta married Hugh Watson of 
Minneapolis. They have two children : Harry, born December 10, 1897 ; and 
Robert, born December 21, 1902. Belle married R. W. Borland, of Sauk 
Centre, and they have two daughters, Alta, born December 8, 1905; Alberta, 
born January 23, 1913. 

John S. Woodruff was born in Connecticut about 1802, the son of Isaac 
Woodruff. He was married in New York state in 1827 to Nancy Cowell, 
the daughter of Abram and Elizabeth Cowell. Some years after their mar- 
riage, Mr. and Mrs. John S. Woodruff located in Illinois, and took up land 
one and a half miles west of Rockford, on the state road. He died suddenly 
in 1848 in Chicago, to which city he had gone to sell some wheat and pur- 
chase some lumber. His wnfe was left with six children. Later in life she 
married Henry Mease. At the time of her death, January 16, 1890, she had 
reached the good old age of eighty years. The children of Mr. and Mrs. John 
S. Woodruff are as follows. An unnamed child was born May 13, 1828, and 
died in infancy. Lewis was born November 20, 1830, and died October 22, 
1840. Harvey was born August 4, 1833, and was killed in a well on the farm, 
August 12, 1849. William Carl, the subject of this mention, was born De- 
cember 5, 1836, and lives in Sauk Centre. Lydia was born July 22, 1840. She 
married George LaFollette, and died December 29, 1877. Isaac was born 
June 21, 1843, and died December 25, 1883. He was a veteran of the Civil 
War. John was born February 15, 1847, enlisted in the Twelfth Illinois Cav- 
alry, and died in service, April 1, 1865. 

Abram Cowell was born May 4, 1781, and Elizabeth, his wife, was born 
April 16, 1783. Their children were : John, born January 10, 1803 ; Deborah, 
January 30, 1805 ; Diana, March 13, 1807 ; Nancy, July 23, 1809 ; Anna, Feb- 
ruary 8, 1812; Joseph, October 7, 1814; Lorena, February 23, 1817; Mary, 
July 18, 1820; Chauncey, June 24, 1822. 

Livingston Jones was born in Rockland county. New York, son of Ben- 
jamin and Mary Jones, February 2, 1812. He died February 19, 1894. He 
was married February 2, 1835, to Hannah Woodward (later shortened to 
Woodard), the daughter of Joseph and Rachael (Towner) Woodward. Han- 
nah (Woodward) Jones was born in Bath, Steuben county, New York, April 
22, 1818, and died November 27, 1912. Livingston and Hannah (Woodward) 
Jones had the following children : Mary, born December 15, 1836 ; Rachael, 
July 23, 1838; Huldah, October 22, 1840; Rosetta, February 8, 1842; Win- 
field Scott, January 30, 1845; Patience, July 3, 1848; Hannah, July 2, 1849. 



916 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Benjamin Jones, the son of Isaac Jones, was born September 5, 1786, and 
died March 26, 1872. His wife Mary was born in 1790 and died May 18, 1853. 
They were the parents of nine children : Absalom, born March 3, 1910 ; 
Livingston, February 2, 1812; Erastus, born December 14, 1814; Erantus, 
born August 22, 1817; Wakefield, born May 2, 1821; Pierson, July 12, 1824; 
Ralph, September 8, 1826; Benjamin and Mary. Isaac Jones had the follow- 
ing children: Joseph, born December 12, 1775; John, born April 24, 1777; 
Abraham, born November 14, 1781; Timothy, born January 11, 1784; Benja- 
min, born September 5, 1786; Sarah, born March 31, 1792; and Isaac, bom 
November 3, 1798. Joseph Woodward married Rachael Towner, the daugh- 
ter of John Towner. Their children were as follows : Lovisa, December 2, 
1793; Esther, April 29, 1795; Eunice, September 28, 1796; Rachael, July 17, 
1798 ; Sarah, August 20, 1800 ; Joseph, April 29, 1802 ; Abram, April 13, 1804 ; 
Anna, December 25, 1806; William, October 9, 1807; Alva, July 28, 1809; 
Susan, December 25, 1811 ; Tamar, June 8, 1813 ; John, May 7, 1815 ; Hannah, 
April 22, 1818. 

Uriel Montague Tobey, formerly a prominent resident of Sauk Centre, was 
born at Sullivan, N. Y., on May 21, 1826, and was married to Mary Scougell 
at Fayetteville, N. Y., January 15, 1851. Five years later they removed to 
Riverside, Illinois, and in 1862 came to Stearns county, settling in St. Cloud, 
where they lived fourteen years. In 1876 he came to Sauk Centre, where 
he engaged in the flour and feed business. The family followed in 1877. Later 
he added a fine stock of groceries to his line of business, and was the first one 
in Sauk Centre to establish the system of delivering goods to the homes of the 
customers. In 1893, Mr. Tobey was elected mayor of Sauk Centre. He was 
appointed postmaster by Grover Cleveland. He was an influential member 
of the Democratic party, and was keenly interested in local, state and national 
affairs. He died March 12, 1901, leaving two daughters, Alice F., wife of 
W. I. Henshaw, and Mary L., wife of Howard E. Wilcox. Mrs. Tobey died 
June 12, 1894. 

Ven G. Wedge, vice-president and treasurer of the Wedge Hardware 
Co., of Sauk Centre, and one of the rising young men of the village, was born 
in Zumbrota, Goodhue county, this state, January 25, 1890, son of N. T. and 
Nannie E. (Grover) Wedge. He attended the public schools of Zumbrota, 
and the Business College at Minneapolis. He taught school for a year, and 
then worked in Minneapolis, doing accounting and making a few sales of land. 
November 1, 1911, he and A. H. Grover bought the hardware business of 
Schleusener Hardware Co., of Sauk Centre. The firm continued as the 
Grover & Wedge Co. until February, 1914, when N. T. Wedge, the father of 
Ven G. Wedge bought Mr. Grover 's interests, and established the Wedge 
Hardware Co., with Ven G. Wedge as vice-president and treasurer. Mr. 
Wedge is a capable business man, and his methods have won substantial re- 
ward in constantly increasing business. The company installs heating plants, 
does general plumbing, and has a full equipment and stock of everything usu- 
ally found in a hardware store. Mr. Wedge has taken an active part in 
business matters and is popular with his associates. He is secretary of the 
Central Minnesota Credit Association and belongs to the Blue Lodge, Chapter 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 917 

and Council of the Masonic body. Mr. "Wedge was married August 17, 1912, 
to Genevieve E. Kaiserlik, of Chatfield, Minn. 

John J. Moormann was born in Germany, January 26, 1872, and at the 
age of 16 came to America alone, and worked for his relatives in Meire 
Grove, in Grove township. His father having died in Germany at the age of 
fifty, his mother came three years later to Grove township, Stearns county. 
Now he has a good farm of 100 acres in Sauk Centre township. He attends 
the Roman Catholic Church. John J. Moormann married Annie Teuber, and 
they have eight children: Henry, Katie, Clara, Herman, Frank, John, Lewis 
and George. Henry was born in Ashley township, Stearns county, Kate, 
Clara, Herman, Frank, John and Lewis were born in Westport township, 
Pope county, and George was born in Sauk Centre township, Stearns county. 

W. S. Pesheck, a successful young farmer of Sauk Centre township, was 
born in Getty township, this county, July 22, 1884, son of John Pesheck. He 
is assisting in operating his father's land in this county. W. S. Pesheck 
married Eva Van Vleck, of Todd county, and they have two children. Fern 
and Francis. John Pesheck, now living in Williston, North Dakota, is en- 
gaged in the investment and loan business. He owns 640 acres in Stearns 
county, and lived here some forty-five years. His five children are : Annie, 
Joseph, Charles, Frank and Wilfield S. 

Henry Anderson was born in Benson, Minn., December 28, 1886, son of 
Nels and Annie (Munson) Anderson, with whom he came to Sauk Centre on 
October 1, 1901. Henry Anderson is one of the successful young farmers of 
the township, and is engaged in operating one of his father's three farms. 
The other children in his parents ' family are : Alfred, Godfrey, Gus, Sigried, 
Hulda and Annie, all born in Benson, Minn. 

Reinhold Gamradt was born in Germany, February 20, 1853, and spent his 
early life as a sailor. He came to America in 1878, worked in the mines of 
Michigan a number of years, and in 1893 came to Sauk Centre. He has a 
good farm of 160 acres, and is one of the substantial men of the community. 
He has done good service on the school board of his district and has been 
road commissioner for a period. He votes the Republican ticket and attends 
the Lutheran Church. Reinhold Gamradt was first married to Henrietta 
Stork. By his second wife, Henrietta Foss, he had ten children: Arthur, 
Amiel, Albert, George, Macks, Edward, Emma, Rose and Edith, and one who 
died in infancy. 

Frank Tank was born in Germany, July 23, 1849, and came to America 
in 1881, living in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, for many years before coming 
to Sauk Centre. He has a well-stocked place of 180 acres and carries on 
general farming. Mr. Tank is married, and has seven children : Anna, Otto, 
Elmer, Frank, George, Clara, and Dorothy. 

Otto J. Hedin was born in Sweden, June 7, 1878, and in 1891 came to 
Sauk Centre township where he has a farm of eighty-two acres. Otto J. 
Hedin married Dena Holmberg, and they have two children: Herman and 
Hilma. The parents of Otto J. Hedin were John and Mary (Pierson) Hedin, 
the former of whom is dead, and the latter of whom makes his home with 
the subject of this mention. They had eight children : Minnie, Lewis, Peter, 



918 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Martin, John, Simon, Eric and Otto J. All these children were born in Sweden. 
The family faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

C. W. Hutchison was born in Stearns county, Minnesota, November 13, 
1854, and has lived on a farm in Sauk Centre township since October 15, 1912. 
He is the only son of Lawrence and Amelia (Johnson) Hutchison, the former 
of whom was a merchant. Mr. Hutchison married Anna Easterly, of Monte- 
video, Minn., and they have two children, Nona and Roger. 

David M. Smith, of Sauk Centre township, was born in Van Buren county, 
Iowa, October 10, 1840. From 1883 to 1902 he farmed in North Dakota. By 
his first wife he had six children: William L., John G., Isaac W., Henry M., 
Milton and Margaret E. His second wife was Mrs. Isabella Osborn. She had 
by her first husband, three children, Henry H., Aylette and Annie E. 

John Smith was born in Jefferson county, Iowa, July 18, 1865, and as 
a young man went to South Dakota. There he became a prominent citizen, 
serving in such offices as justice of the peace, deputy county sheriff, and 
deputy United States marshal. Since 1906 he has lived on a farm in Sauk 
Centre township. He is an active member of the Modern Woodmen. Mr. 
Smith married Ida Philley, a native of Iowa. They have four children: 
Hazel, Vera, Clara, and Edna, all born in South Dakota. 

Frank Quade was born August 15, 1880, and came to Sauk Centre in 1896. 
He is a successful farmer and owns 120 acres of good land. Mr. Quade mar- 
ried Annie Kind, of Sauk Centre, and they have two children: Elnora and 
Alfred 

The father of Frank Quade bore the same name and was a Wisconsin 
farmer. He died October 26, 1908, He married Minnie Olleman, and had fif- 
teen children: Minnie, Anna, William, Fred, Lena, Henry, Frank, Robert, 
Gus, Martha, Richard, Fred, Amelia, Albert and Tina. 

Charles Ross Lamb, a retired farmer of Sauk Centre, was born in Iowa 
county, Wisconsin, September 2, 1858, son of Abner M. and Rachael E. (Van- 
horn) Lamb, who brought him to Minnesota in 1865. He was reared on the 
home farm in section 11, Getty township, and in his mature years came into 
possession of the place. His experience has not been limited to this locality, 
however, for he has spent several years in Montana, and also in Crookston, 
Minn. He has now disposed of his real estate interests, and makes his home 
in the village of Sauk Centre. He was married, October 19, 1904, to Clara 
Shaw. 

Abner M. Lamb was born in Bucks county, Penn., April 28, 1833, and 
was reared in that county. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to a 
stone-mason. In 1857 he moved to Maryland, and in 1858 to Iowa county. 
Wis. California was the center of his activities from 1863 to 1865, after 
which he came to Minnesota and took a homestead in section 11, Getty town- 
ship. The warrant, signed by Andrew Jackson and his secretary, is still in 
the possession of the family. Abner M. Lamb married Rachael E. Vanhorn, 
January 18, 1855, and this union resulted in two sons. 

John J. Hickman, a retired farmer living in Sauk Centre, was born in 
Cape May, New Jersey, August 16, 1855, son of Peter S. and Deborah (Inger- 
soll) Hickman, the pioneers. As a child he was brought to Minnesota. He 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 919 

worked on the home farm north of Sauk Centre for a while, then learned 
the harness-making trade, and finally became a barber, an occupation which 
he followed for twenty years. Afterward he turned his attention to farming 
and stock raising, paying especial attention to agricultural and live stock 
exhibitions. He is highly honored in this vicinity and has occupied many 
township offices. He is a popular member of the I. 0. 0. F. Mr. Hickman 
was married in 1881, to Irene Harris, who was born in Steuben county. New 
York, in 1857, and died in Stearns county in 1899. She was a daughter of 
Andrew Harris, who came to Minnesota in 1879 and located in Grove Lake 
township. 

Peter S. Hickman was the son of John Hickman, and descended from 
Puritan ancestors. In 1857 he brought his family from New Jersey, with the 
intention of settling near what is now Sauk Centre. Upon coming up the Mis- 
issippi river, however, he was favorably impressed with the location of Ninin- 
ger, three miles from Hastings in Dakota county. Accordingly he and his fam- 
ily left the boat there, and took up their residence on a farm. In 1861, Mr. Hick- 
man came to Sauk Centre and located two miles north of the village at the 
mouth of Ashley creek, where he secured 160 acres of government land. The 
family joined him there September 18, 1862. During the Sioux outbreak they 
felt perfectly secure, and unlike their neighbors they did not feel the necessity 
of taking refuge in the stockade at Sauk Centre. They always considered the 
Indians as their friends; a daughter, Sarah, taught Indian school at Long 
Prairie when Bad Boy was chief there, the family was in constant touch with 
the Winnebagoes and the Chippewas, and they felt sure that if there was any 
danger from the Sioux bands that they would be warned. Mr. Hickman was 
a prominent man in his township, and served in a number of town and school 
offices. He had been made an Odd Fellow before coming to Minnesota. In 
1874, Mr. and Mrs. Hickman moved to Sauk Centre village, where they ended 
their days. They were the parents of ten children: Denelia, Eliza, Sarah, 
Henrietta, Richard, John, Marietta, Emma, Addie, Minnie, the last three 
being born in Minnesota. 

H. T. Austin, who is operating a farm purchased by his father in Sauk 
Centre township, was born in Glencoe, Minn., October 10, 1892, son of A. "W. 
Austin, a retired banker of Sauk Centre. H. T. Austin married Mary Mar- 
shall, of Sauk Centre. He is one of the rising young men of the community. 

Joseph Jenc, a leading farmer of Raymond township, was born in Cold 
Spring, Minnesota, May 24, 1868. He has a farm of 386 acres, and carries 
on modern farming on an extensive scale. A friend of education, he has served 
as school treasurer for twenty years. He has served as a member of the board 
of supervisors and has also been chairman of that body. "While of independent 
thought and action in local affairs, in national politics he is a Republican. 
He and his family, as is befitting the substantial people of the community, 
attend the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and contribute to its support. Mr. 
Jenc married Anna "Wehrhahn, a native of Raymond township, and they have 
four children: Idela M., Edwin A., Arthur J. and Inez. 

John Jenc, a farmer, was born in Bohemia, and came to America in 1854. 
For a number of years he lived in Manitowoc county, Wisconsin, and then 



920 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

came to Sauk Centre township where he purchased 200 acres of land. He 
married Anna Schenmak, and they had four- children : Antonie, Joseph, John 
and Anna. August Wehrhahn, a farmer of Getty township, and also a land- 
owner in Saskatchewan, Ca»ada, was born in Germany and settled in Stearns 
county in 1875. He married Marie Pinkernella, and this union has been 
blessed with nine children : Marie, Anna, Minnie, August, Albert, Ernestine, 
William, Andrew and Etta. 

John Ceynar, the elder, lived, for a part of his life in Getty township, 
Stearns county. He married Verna Heble, and had two children, John and 
Verna. By his second wife, he had two more children, Frank and Joseph. 
John Ceynar, Sr., the son of the above, was born in Bohemia, came to America 
in 1864, located in Steele county, Minn., and in 1871 came to Sauk Centre, 
where he now has a splendid farm of 240 acres. He married Mary Tarish, 
and they have nine children : Martha, Lewis, Andrew, Vernie, John, "William, 
Winfield, Blanche and George. 

John Ceynar, Jr., was born on the home farm in Sauk township, Febru- 
ary 16, 1889, and now lives on the Veeder farm in Getty township. He mar- 
ried Ethel Veeder, and they have one son, Wesley M. 

Thomas R. Lamb is a successful man of Getty township. He was born in 
the township where he still resides, September 13, 1867, and makes his home 
with his brother, Alvin. Winfield S. Lamb died in 1908 at the age of sixty- 
seven years. He married Caroline Nelson, of Denmark, and they were the 
parents of four children: Thomas R., Winfield S., Jr., Orville E. and Alvin E. 

James Fergus Crossen, deceased, for many years a prominent miller in 
Melrose, was born in Belfast, Ireland, August 9, 1843, son of William and 
Charlotte (Walker) Crossen, who spent the span of their years in Ireland, 
being the owners of a large farm some eight miles from Belfast. In the fam- 
ily there were ten children, eight daughters and two sons. James received 
a splendid education in Ireland, and came to Toronto, Canada, at the age of 
seventeen. By trade he was a wheelwright and miller. In time he acquired 
a mill at Smith's Falls, Province of Ontario, Canada. Finally he came to Min- 
neapolis, and started work in the Washburn mills. It was in 1870 that he 
came to Melrose as head miller in the Clark mills. Here he erected the first 
two-story house in the village. Its site is now occupied by the City Hall. In 
the meantime, Henry Crossen, a brother of James, had been sent to Vienna, 
to study the mills there, and had drawn the plans for the present Washburn 
mills at Minneapolis. He used his influence for his brother, and in due time, 
James Crossen was installed as head miller at Minneapolis. Some five or 
six years later, however, he returned to Melrose, where he operated the Clark 
mills for some twelve or fifteen years. In 1892 he retired from active life. 
For many years he was justice of the peace and thus won the title of Judge 
Crossen, by which he was popularly known. For a time he was assessor. In 
addition to his milling interests he had farm lands and property in the city. 
He died April 9, 1907, at the age of sixty-six years. It is an interesting mat- 
ter of history that after his retirement, Mr. Crossen was in two wrecks while 
returning from a trip to the Pacific coast to see his son. The first was at Hot 
Springs, Green River, Wash., near the summit of the Cascade tunnel. The 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 921 

otlier was near the Missoula Mountains on September 20, 1902. In this wreck, 
Mr. Crossen's body was hurt, and his head was cut by broken glass, but he 
never attempted to recover damages from the company. 

Mr. Crossen was married in Toronto, Canada, to Hannah Tierney, in 1866. 
She died March 23, 1893, at the age of fifty-one. She was a good wife and a 
loving mother, and her memory is deeply revered by her descendants. In 
the family there were eleven children. Mary is the wife of E. H. Pushor, 
grain merchant for the St. Anthony Elevator Co., Minneapolis, at Kempton, 
D. D. Henry was drowned at the age of nine years in Minneapolis. Char- 
lotte lives in Melrose. She married D. E. Ercanbrack, for many years a loco- 
motive engineer on the Northern Pacific. They lived at Livingston, Mont., 
until 1909, and then retired and moved to Melrose, where he died May 23, 
1911. Edward is in the dray business in Indianapolis, Ind. Amelia is now 
Mrs. George West, and they have a large ranch near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 
Canada. Theresa is dead. Felix is train dispatcher at New Rockford, North 
Dakota. Hannah, named for her mother, is dead. Marriet is wife of A. J. 
Riley, manager of the Puget Sound Machinery Depot, at Seattle, "Wash. Henry 
is a train dispatcher at Livingston, Mont., at the entrance of the Yellowstone 
National Park. James is a conductor on the Canadian Pacific out of Winni- 
peg, Canada. 

John J. Kraker, who in the few years of his life, achieved as much as 
many men who are alloted twice his portion of days, was born in Albany, 
this county, June 29, 1875, son of Joseph and Maria M. (Bohmer) Kraker. 
He came with his parents to Melrose, when he was ten years of age, and made 
this his home, with the exception of his years in college, until his death. He 
attended the common schools, and during the years 1888, 1889 and 1890 he 
took courses at St. John's College, in Collegeville, this county. During the 
following year he was a student at Mt. Angel College, Mt. Angel, Oregon, 
In 1893 he entered into business. In company with his father, he bought the 
Dowes Hardware store, then the only store of its kind in Melrose. The new 
firm was known by the name of Kraker & Son. In 1895 they sold out to 
Wardian & Dederick, but in about six or eight months that firm sold the 
store back to Kraker & Son, who conducted the place until 1898. In that 
year, Joseph Kraker sold his interest to W. J. Bohmer, and Mr. Bohmer and 
John J. Kraker carried on the business under the firm name of Kraker & 
Bohmer. In addition they became proprietors of the Farmers' Lumber Co. 
This they sold in 1900. It was in 1900 that they opened "The Big Store" the 
first real department store in the city. In January, 1902, the partnership 
was dissolved, and John J. Kraker became sole owner of the hardware store, 
which he moved across the street to the Kraker block. He continued in the 
hardware business until June, 1908, when on account of ill health he sold out 
to his brothers, Joseph and Anthony Kraker. Outside of his immediate 
interest in the store he had many other activities. In 1903 he was cashier of 
the Bank of North America, at Melrose. For a time he was stockholder in 
the Scandinavian State Bank, of Brooten. He was secretary of the Commer- 
cial Club of Melrose, from the time it was organized until 1908. In 1897, when 
he was but twenty-two years of age, he was elected city treasurer. This 



922 . HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

position he held continuously until 1907, when he declined to serve further. 
He died November 29, 1908. Mr. Kraker was married October 30, 1906, to 
Margaret Slavin, of St. Paul, who survives him. At the time of Mr. Kraker 's 
death, it was said of him: "He was for a number of years one of Melrose's 
most trusted and enterprising business men. He was a practical matter-of- 
fact man, but ever ready to extract merriment from life as he went along. 
He numbered his friends by his acquaintances and was generous to a fault. For 
years to come, kind memories will endure in the hearts of his friends. 

Henry Joseph Emmel, a leading citizen of Melrose, was born in Cumber- 
land, Maryland, March 17, 1844, son of Joseph and Kunigunda (Fischer) 
Emmel, natives of Germany. Joseph Emmel was a painter and decorator. 
He came from Germany to Cumberland, Maryland, and was there married. 
On May 6, 1856, he brought his family to Minnesota. They reached St. Cloud 
on a steamboat, and found here a few scattering log houses and shanties. 
Joseph Emmel erected a crude dwelling, and took up work at his trade. His 
work was always good, and some of his more notable contracts included the 
decoration of several of the early churches of St. Cloud. Joseph Emmel was 
born March 31, 1812, and died in 1887; his wife was born October 14, 1820, 
and died in 1898. 

Henry J. came to St. Cloud with his parents, at the age of twelve years. 
On November 10, 1857, he was the first of the six boys who entered St. John's 
Seminary, then located a mile below St. Cloud, on the river, and now known 
as St. John's University and located at Collegeville, in this county. His 
teacher was the Benedictine, Rev. Father Cornelius Wittman. After he had 
finished his schooling Mr. Emmel became a clerk for the J. C. Burbank Co., 
which operated a series of stage routes through the Northwest. Later he be- 
came assistant to J. E. West, at that time the postmaster at St. Cloud. Sub- 
sequently he taught school for two years, one year at Richmond and one 
year at St. Augusta. At the completion of this time he became a clerk in 
the general store of J. Schoenborn, at Spring Hill. Mr. Schoenborn was 
killed by lightning, and Mr. Emmel married the widow. He took over the 
management of the store, and conducted it for many years. In connection 
with this he also engaged in farming in a small way on eighty acres of land. 
So prosperous did he in time become that at one time he owned and operated 
1,100 acres of good land. He was a very prominent man. His services as post- 
master at Spring Hill, and at various times as notary public, town clerk and 
justice of the peace of Spring Hill township were greatly appreciated. In 
1878 he was elected to the legislature. This was during the grasshopper raids, 
and Mr. Emmel was successful in getting an act passed by the legislature, 
authorizing the residents of Lake Henry, Lake George and Spring Hill town- 
ships to raise money to buy their own seed wheat. The plan was so admirable 
that it was finally applied to all the devastated districts. For many years 
Mr. Emmel lived in Spring Hill. In 1907 he retired and moved to Melrose, 
where he now lives. In 1908 he was again elected to the lower house of the 
state legislature. The newspapers spoke of him as Rip Van Winkle, for, after 
thirty years absence, he had returned still strong and vigorous, and still 
ready to take an active part in the state's affairs. Mr. Emmel is the father 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 923 

of seven children: Henry (deceased), Elizabeth (deceased), Joseph, John H., 
Gertrude, Margaret and Mary. The family church is the Catholic. 

Anton Luckemeyer, president of the Melrose Granite Co., was born July 
4, 1867, a son of Anton, Sr., and Bernardina Luckemeyer. Of the five children 
born to this family, three died, and two, John and Anton, came to America 
in 1896, and found their way to Melrose, where they inaugurated on a small 
scale the concern now so widely known as the Melrose Granite Co. Anton 
Luckemeyer married Anna Huhne, born in Oldenburg, Germany, daughter of 
Henry Huhne, who brought his family to the United States and settled in 
Melrose. Mr. and Mrs. Luckemeyer have three children : John, Dina and 
Rosa. 

The Melrose Granite Co., an enterprise that has attained nation-wide 
recognition, was organized by the Luckemeyer Brothers, Anton and John, 
in 1896. The founders now relate with amusement the fact that on the day 
they opened business their entire cash capital consisted of thirty cents which 
they had borrowed. The little shop in which they started measured but 
twelve by ten feet, and here the brothers who could then speak but a few 
words of English, began their work of dressing and selling monuments for 
the retail trade. Their hard work and persistent attention to business 
brought rich reward, and it was not many years before they had a large 
manufacturing and wholesale department. In 1904, when H. Kalkman came 
into the business, its volume was still further increased. Finally the retail 
department was sold, and the firm devoted its attention exclusively to the 
larger aspects of the business. February 2, 1911, the firm was incorporated 
with Anton Luckemeyer, as president ; John Luckemeyer, as vice-president ; 
and H. Kalkman, as secretary and treasurer. The growth from the little ten 
by twelve shop has been phenomenal. The present plant in Melrose covers 
about six acres, and includes the main plant, the office building, the black- 
smith shop and the storage building. The engine room is equipped with 145 
horsepower engines, three air compressors, and a dynamo. The surfacing and 
polishing departments are especially interesting. From 160 to 170 men are 
employed, and the output in 1913 was valued at $175,000. The plant at Mel- 
rose is one of the best equipped in the state, and has the distinction of be- 
ing the first of its kind to introduce electricity as a motive power for the op- 
eration of machinery and the moving of cranes. The great trip-hammers rep- 
resent a wonderful advantage over the days when all such work was done by 
hand. It is interesting to note that labor trouble is unknown to this concern. 
The plant is steam heated, comfort and safety are the watchwords, and em- 
ployers and employees maintain the pleasantest of personal relations. After 
the Melrose venture became an assured success, the firm branched out, and 
secured land in the St. Cloud granite district, where they now own 300 acres. 
In this district they have three red stone quarries and one gray stone quarry. 
They also own and operate the Dublin Green Quarry at St. Cloud, and the 
Gray Quarry at St. Cloud. Their field of operations covers the United States. 
At the present time the concern is planning to erect at St. Cloud, a plant 700 
by 42 feet, fully supplied with engine rooms, finishing rooms, blacksmith 
shops and offices. 



924 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

H. Kalkman, secretary and treasurer of the Melrose Granite Co., was born 
in Richmond, Minn., December 19, 1859, son of Henry and Margaret (Holt- 
man) Kalkman, the pioneers. The subject of this mention attended the dis- 
trict schools and also St. John's University, at Collegeville. As a young man 
he entered the mercantile business as a clerk. In 1881 he became the propri- 
etor of a mercantile concern in Melrose, after which he sold out in 1886, and 
in 1887 moved to Duluth, Minn., where he resided. In 1904 he became identi- 
fied with what is now the Melrose Granite Co. 

Mr. Kalkman married Minnie Pogatchnick, a native of Austria, and a 
daughter of Mathias Pogatchnick, who settled in Minnesota. There are seven 
children in the Kalkman family: Joseph, Margaret, Albert, Millie, Edward, 
Norbert and Cyril. 

Henry Kalkman and Margaret Holtman, the parents of H. Kalkman, 
were born in Germany, and in the early fifties started for America, being mar- 
ried at St. Louis, Mo., after the arrival of the boat, which brought them over. 
They came at once to Richmond, in Stearns county, and preempted 160 acres 
in Munson township. They built a log cabin and started farming with 
a team of oxen. They lived on the farm during the stirring days of the Sioux 
massacre. They were true pioneers and often the father walked to St. Cloud 
for provisions. From Munson township, the family moved to Meire Grove, 
in Grove township. In 1866 they went to Sauk Centre and opened the Min- 
nesota Hotel. Two years later they sold out and entered into the hotel busi- 
ness at New Munich. In 1881 he retired and moved to Melrose. Henry Kalk- 
man died in 1897. He was born in 1824. His wife is still living. She was 
born February 10, 1828. 

Arthur Lloyd was born in Sauk Centre, December 16, 1874. He has re- 
sided in Melrose township for over twenty years and now has a farm of 120 
acres. He married Anna Tank, the daughter of Frank Tank, and they have 
a son, Henry. Mr. Lloyd has two sisters, Ada and Amy. His parents live in 
Sauk Centre. 

Frank M. Morehouse, Sr., veteran of the Civil War, and retired farmer, 
living in Melrose, was born on a farm in Herkimer county, New York, Decem- 
ber 16, 1839, son of John and Olive Morehouse, the former of whom was a 
carpenter by trade and died in Melrose. Frank M. spent his boyhood in New 
York state. In 1861 he enlisted in Company A, Second Michigan Volunteer 
Infantry, was mustered in at Detroit, Michigan, and followed the fortunes 
of that regiment until mustered out at Alexander, Virginia, with the excep- 
tion of a short time after the first Battle of Bull Run, when he was in the 
camp hospital suffering from typhoid fever. To recount the numerous bat- 
tles and skirmishes in which he participated would be to give the history of 
his regiment. Mr. Morehouse had been married April 9, 1861, to Julia 
Lowngsbury. After the war he joined her once more, and they set out for 
Michigan. In 1866 they came to New Ulm, Minn., and after a short time 
there, arrived in Melrose. He was a mason by trade, and did some work 
in this line in connection with operating his farm in Melrose township, one 
mile from the village. It is worthy of note that he worked on the first house 
erected within the village limits of Melrose. In 1893 he retired and took 




MR. AND MRS. FRAXOIS M. MORKHOUSK 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 925 

up his home in the village. While he has never cared to seek public life, he 
nevertheless served thirteen years as constable. As a veteran of the war he 
has allied himself with the Van Ransler Post, No. 140, G. A. E., and has been 
its commander for two years. He also belongs to Melrose Lodge, A. F. & A. M., 
while his wife is a member of the Eastern Star. Of the eleven children born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Moorehouse there are living five : Sovelen, John, Frank M., 
Jr., Laura and Mary. Mr. and Mrs. Morehouse on April 9, 1911, celebrated 
their golden wedding anniversary; over five hundred friends and relatives 
were present. Mr. Morehouse had four brothers in the Civil War. They were : 
Omar, Eichard, Elam and William. Mr. and Mrs. Morehouse, at this date. 
May 5, 1914, are occupying a claim of 160 acres in Eoseau county. 

Simon Pfau, a retired farmer, living in Melrose, was born in Germany, 
July 10, 1840, son of Ferdinand and Mary (Blank) Pfau. Ferdinand Pfau 
brought his family, then consisting of his wife, and three children, Simon, 
Anna and Joseph, to America, in 1852. The voyage was made on a sailing 
vessel, the trip consuming thirty-five days. The family settled in Ozaukee 
county, Wisconsin, There two more children, Louise and Ferdinand, were 
born. In 1865 the family came to Stearns county, and secured a homestead 
in Oak township, near New Munich. In the meantime, Simon Pfau had fol- 
lowed the fortunes of his family. December 7, 1863, he enlisted in Company 
C, 35th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He was a good soldier, and received 
an honorable discharge at New Orleans, May 30, 1865, Upon his return from 
the war he returned to the home of his parents, in Stearns county, and secured 
a homestead in Oak township. He then took up farming, which he success- 
fully followed for many years. In 1901 he retired and moved with his wife 
to the village of Melrose. Mr. Pfau was married January 5, 1867, to Catharine 
Metzger, who was born in Germany, October 18, 1842, daughter of Leonard 
and Eva (Hiltner) Metzger, the pioneers. Mr, and Mrs. Pfau have two chil- 
dren. Philomena, now deceased, married George Knobloch. Mary married 
Joseph Temmer, and they have one son, Simon, born November 28, 1913. 

Leonard Metzger and his wife were born in Germany, and came to Amer- 
ica in 1854, and located in Ohio. With them were their five children : Cath- 
erine, John, George, Joseph and Barbara. In the sixties they came to Stearns 
county, and located in Oak township. They built a log cabin, partitioned 
only by curtains, and there started pioneer life. With an ox team they began 
farming operations. Many years later he was enabled to build a modern home, 
and he added to his land until he owned 400 acres. He also assisted in erect- 
ing the two successive churches of the Catholic faith at New Munich. 

Charles M. C. Pennison, Melrose, street commissioner, retired farmer, 
and veteran of the Civil War, was born in England, October 25, 1845, son of 
Daniel and Eliza (Holmes) Pennison, who brought him to St. Louis, Mo,, in 
1847, Shortly afterward they moved to Lafayette county. Wis., where he 
grew to manhood on a farm, receiving his education in a log schoolhouse. He 
was a mere youth when he enlisted in Company E, 31st Wisconsin Volunteer 
Infantry, which was assigned to the first division, third brigade, of the twen- 
tieth army corps. He served two years and eight months, and participated in 
all the engagements, skirmishes and campaigns for which that regiment 



926 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

is noted, inarching with Sherman through Georgia, and taking part in the 
Grand Review at Washington. He was mustered out at Madison, Wis., in 
July, 1865, and returned to his home. Some two years later he took a trip 
to Iowa for a short time. In 1869 he came to Melrose in this county, and spent 
some twenty-one years as a grader of wheat for the Clark interests. In the 
meantime he had acquired eighty acres adjoining the village of Melrose. This 
he worked for several years. He now lives in the village, where he is re- 
spected and honored as a leading citizen. For a number of years he was a 
member of Van Rensselaer Post, No. 245, G. A. R., of Melrose, now defunct 
owing to the dwindling ranks of the veterans. Mr. Pennison has served con- 
tinually as street commissioner for the past ten years. Mr. Pennison was mar- 
ried in 1874 to Amelia Witcho, born in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, daughter 
of William and Mary (Gorr) Witcho, the pioneers. Mr. and Mrs. Pennison 
have four children : George, employed on the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault 
Ste. Marie, with headquarters at Kenmar, North Dakota; Charles (deceased) ; 
William, of St. Paul, and Laura, at home. George married Susan Steidl, and 
they have five children : George, Jr., Ruth, Heartly, Emma and Frank. He 
also has two children by a former marriage : Ray and Georgena. William 
Witcho brought his wife and daughter, Augusta, from Germany in the fifties 
and located in Wisconsin, where three more chilren, Amelia, Emma and Lena, 
were born. Mr. Witcho enlisted in the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteer In- 
fantry, and died in a hospital in Missouri at the age of thirty-three. His 
widow married Joseph Platts, now deceased. She now lives at Melrose at the 
age of eighty-six. Daniel and Eliza (Holmes) Pennison Avere born in Eng- 
land, and brought their family to America in 1847. She died shortly after- 
ward and he married Sarah Ann Jenks. He is dead and she makes her home 
in Wisconsin. By the first marriage there were two children : Charles M. C. 
of Sauk Centre, and Mary Ann (deceased). By the second marriage there 
were five children : Joseph, Thomas, Byron, William and George. 

Joseph Primus, machinist and implement dealer, Melrose, was born in 
Wisconsin, March 18, 1857, son of John and Catherine Primus. The parents 
were born in Germany, and were there married. In 1855 they started for 
America with their two children, Elizabeth and Anna, and finally landed in 
the new country after a voyage of nine weeks. In 1862 they came to Grove 
township, this county, and settled near Meire Grove, then known as Myer's 
Grove. Here they secured 160 acres of land, and erected a log cabin. The 
cabin was a primitive affair, with no floors and no windows, and only the 
kitchen stove for light. They had an ox team for farming, but they had no 
suitable winter shelter for them, so often on a winter night, the oxen and the 
members of the family slept in a row on the hard floor, with nothing in the 
way of a bed but some coarse grass cut from the river bottoms. During that 
first winter the family had absolutely nothing in the way of purchased pro- 
visions except 100 pounds of flour. Their principal fare was deer and rabbit 
meat cooked in various fashions, and eaten without any vegetables, even 
potatoes being unknown during the whole winter. After having braved the 
first winter, circumstances improved,, and the Primus family became one of 
the first in the community. John Primus served several terms as supervisor 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 927 

of Grove township. He was an active man, and assisted in erecting the three 
successive churches at Meire Grove. The buildings on his own farm were im- 
proved and rebuilt as circumstances permitted. In 1891, John Primus and 
his wife moved to Melrose, where they ended their days, John at the age of 
eighty-eight, and his wife at the age of seventy-four. The parents of John 
Primus were John, Sr., and Elizabeth Primus, who came to Meire Grove with 
the rest of the family, and there ended their days. 

Joseph Primus was reared on the home farm. As a young man he mar- 
ried Christiana Michaels, born on a farm in Wisconsin, daughter of Henry 
Michaels. The young couple continued farming for several years. While 
still living in the country they had four children: Henry, Michael, Elizabeth 
and Mary. Upon leaving the farm, Mr. Primus went to West Union, in Todd 
county, this state, where he conducted a general store. A son, Joseph, Jr., 
was born there. After disposing of the store in West Union, Mr. Primus came 
to Melrose, where he engaged in a varied line of business. The children born 
here are : Paul, Frank, Anthony, Hubert, Christian, Kate, Benjamin, Mar- 
garet (deceased), and John (deceased). Mr. Primus has one of the best 
implement concerns in this part of the country, and carries a full line of 
agricultural machinery, tools and equipment. He is well known in the com- 
munity and has served on the city council eight years. Previous to this he 
had been chairman of Grove township. 

Gerhard Richter, for many years a blacksmith in Melrose, was born in 
Germany, on the Rhine, May 1, 1843, son of John and Elizabeth (Schreiner) 
Richter. He came to America in 1865, having at that time thoroughly mas- 
tered the trade of a blacksmith. Upon landing he came directly to St. Cloud, 
where he followed his trade as a helper to Peter Shedler, one of the first 
blacksmiths in that place. A year later, Mr. Richter established a shop for 
himself in Richmond, also in this county. In 1872 he moved to Melrose, where 
he conducted a shop until 1912, when he retired. He was one of the earliest 
councilmen of Melrose, a school director nine years, and census enumerator 
two different times, once for the state of Minnesota, and once for the United 
States government. Mr. Richter was married at St. Cloud in 1868, to Mar- 
garet Grun, born in Germany, on the Rhine, July 4, 1845, daughter of Jacob 
and Appalonia (Lohskiel) Grun. Mr, and Mrs. Richter have had nine chil- 
dren, of whom there are living, seven: Claudius (deceased), Jacob, John, 
Frederick (deceased), Catherine, Theresa, Joseph, Barbara, and Elizabeth. 
John Richter and his wife, the parents of Gerhard Richter, came to St. Cloud 
in 1866, and spent the remainder of their days on a farm on the St. Augusta 
road, south of St. Cloud. They had seven children: Catherine (deceased), 
Barbara, Catherine, Elizabeth, Bernard and Mary. Jacob and Appalonia 
(Lohskiel) Grun were born in Germany. Jacob was a cabinet maker by 
trade. He lost his wife when the daughter, Margaret, was but eight months 
of age. Thus bereft, Jacob never remarried, but remained a widower until 
his death at the age of seventy. In the family there were four children : 
Francis, Margaret (deceased), Susan and Margaret. Margaret, now the wife 
of Gerhard Richter, is the only one living. She came to St. Cloud in 1867 
with a small colony of people seeking homes in the new country. 



928 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Peter P. Stalboerger, secretary and treasurer of the Melrose Brewing 
Co., was born in Spring Hill township, June 6, 1891, son of Andrew and Anna 
Stalboerger. He received his education in the district schools of his neigh- 
borhood, in the Melrose High School, and in the Melrose Commercial School. 
"When the Melrose Brewing Co. was organized in 1911 he assumed his present 
position, and is distinctly "making good." 

The Melrose Brewing Co. is an important institution and is yearly in- 
creasing in volume of output. It was organized in 1911, with Andrew Stal- 
boerger as president, Peter P. Stalboerger as secretary and treasurer, and 
John F. "Winter as manager. The Melrose keg beer, made by this company, 
has a large sale, and the "Old Bohemian Style," bottle beer, is in wide favor. 
When the present company was organized the annual output had been about 
1,200 barrels or less. Now it is over 3,000 barrels annually. The cold stor- 
age vaults have a capacity of 1,000 barrels. The dimensions of the plant are 
as follows: Brewing house, 48 by 27; salt house, 15 by 16; boiler house, 18 
by 32 ; wash house, 20 by 26 ; engine house, 18 by 19 ; pitching house, 16 by 
18; lager cellar, 26 by 48; fermenting cellar, 19 by 20; malt cellar, 19 by 26. 
Bottling house, 24 by 36. 

Andrew Stalboerger, retired farmer, and president of the Melrose Brew- 
ing Co., was born in Prussia, Germany, May 29, 1844, son of Gerhard Henry 
and Elizabeth (Klipper) Stalboerger. Gerhard H. Stalboerger was born in 
Germany, and was married in early manhood. His first wife died, leaving him 
two children, Gerhard and Henry. Later he married Elizabeth Klipper, and 
the son, Andrew, was born. Gerhard H., the father, and Henry, one of the 
sons, died in Germany. The mother, Elizabeth Klipper Stalboerger, brought 
the two boys, Gerhard and Andrew, to America in 1852, the voyage aboard the 
sailing vessel occupying four weeks. For four years they lived in Iowa. In 
1856 they came to Stearns county, and settled in Spring Hill township, where 
the mother and each of the tAvo sons, obtained claims. They erected a cabin, 
with the ground for floor, and "shakes" for shingles, and here started pioneer 
life. The good mother passed away in 1877 at the age of seventy-eight. An- 
drew Stalboerger lived on his homestead in Spring Hill township, for many 
years. He increased the farm to 320 acres, and erected modern buildings. 
He was assessor of Spring Hill township for several terms, and was also 
chairman of the board of supervisors. He helped build the Church of St. 
Michaels, in Spring Hill. Mr. Stalboerger was married June 28, 1876, to 
Anna Loehr, of St. Joseph, daughter of John Loehr. They have nine children : 
Elizabeth, Gertrude, Mary, Anna, John, Kate, Henry, Peter P. and Edward. 

Horace Stratton, a retired farmer of Melrose, was born in Ohio, February 
1, 1846, one of the three children of Theodore and Susan (Berdge) Stratton, 
who took their family first to Michigan, then to Mankato, Minn., in 1865, and 
in 1866 to Melrose. The father was a cooper by trade and Horace was trained 
in that pursuit, but upon reaching Melrose, both became farmers. Horace 
Stratton has been a prominent man in the community and has served his 
town in such offices as clerk and supervisor. His farm is located in section 
10, IMelrose township. Mr. Stratton was married April 14, 1878, to Annett 
(Johnson) Wedge, widow of John Wedge. Mr. and Mrs. Stratton have one 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY ' 929 

son, Ray Stratton. Ray Stratton married Maude Murphy, and they have a 
daughter. Myrtle. By her previous marriage, Mrs. Stratton had one son, 
Fred Wedge. He married Viola Coe, and they also have a daughter, Myrle. 

John H. Spieker, leading hardware merchant of Melrose, was born in 
Todd county, Minn., October 25, 1881, son of Henry and Mary (Hermes) 
Spieker. He attended the district schools of his neighborhood, and then se- 
cured employment as a clerk in a store in Long Prairie, Todd county. Later 
he and J. C. Buss opened a grocery store there, which they conducted some 
two and a half years. In 1907 Mr. Spieker opened his hardware store on 
Third street, in Melrose. He carries a full line of hardware equipment, and 
has a large trade. Mr. Spieker was married June 21, 1905, to Catherine 
Bogarding, daughter of Henry Bogarding. They have two children: Helen 
and Charles. 

Joseph F. Thiers, manufacturer of soft drinks, in Melrose, was born in 
Jasper county, 111., December 15, 1875, son of Joseph and Margaret (Schul- 
thise) Thiers, and grandson of John and Catherine Thiers. The grandparents 
came to America, when the father, Joseph, was three years of age, and settled 
in Gibson, Indiana. Later they went to Illinois. The grandfather, John, and 
the father, Joseph, came to Minnesota, and located at Brockway. When the 
Indian troubles came on, they returned to Illinois. Joseph, however, later 
in life again came to Stearns county, and engaged in the implement busi- 
ness in Sauk Centre. He now lives in St. Paul. His wife died many years 
ago. The children in the family were John, Antoinette, Antoin, Mary and 
Joseph F. Joseph F. received his early education in Illinois. Finally he came 
to St. Paul and was in the market business two years. In 1898 he enlisted 
in Company M, and saw service from July 15, 1898, to March 27, 1899. After 
his discharge he went to Sauk Centre, Minn., and engaged in the manufac- 
ture of soft drinks, under the firm name of Robschon & Thiers. In 1900 he 
came to Melrose and established the Melrose Bottling Works, of which he 
is the sole owner and proprietor. His goods include a wide variety of flavors 
and names, are made from the purest of materials, are in high favor and have 
a wide sale. He is a splendid business man, and has well deserved the suc- 
cess with which he has met. He started in a 12 by 12 room, and did all the 
work by hand. Now he has a place 24 by 30, equipped with a five-horsepower 
engine. Fraternally, Mr. Thiers belongs to the Catholic Order of Foresters 
and the Knights of Columbus. He has served ten years as a member of the 
Melrose Volunteer Fire Department, and is now a member of the Firemen's 
Relief Association. Mr. Thiers married Mary Deters, born in Meire Grove, 
this county, daughter of Fred Deters. Mr. and Mrs. Thiers have two children : 
Evelyn and Irene. 

John Fred Winter, manager of the Melrose Brewing Co., was born in 
Spring Hill township, this county, November 9, 1883, son of Joseph and Anna 
Winter, farmers of that township. He received his education in the district 
schools of Spring Hill, and at St. John's University. He engaged in business 
in Richmond, Roscoe and Belgrade, all in this county, and at the organization 
of the Melrose Brewing Co., in 1911, became its manager and part owner. He 
married Mary Stalboerger, daughter of Andrew Stalboerger. 



930 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

Peter Winter, a retired farmer of Lake Henry township, was born in Prus- 
sia, Germany, January 6, 1831, son of John and Catherine (Thielen) Winter. 
The father died in Germany, and the mother with her nine children, came to 
America. Peter Winter arrived in this country in 1852, and from New York 
came to Detroit, Mich., where he did railroad work for a while. From there 
he went to the Lake Superior copper regions, where he was employed several 
years as a miner. In 1857 he came to Jacob's Prairie, taking a claim of 160 
acres in St. Joseph township. There he built a log shanty with a basswood 
roof, and cleared a few acres of land. In 1865 he came to Lake Henry, secured 
160 acres, erected a log cabin and started to improve the land. He had an 
ox team, and in the early days had to drive as far as Minneapolis for mill mate- 
rial. As time passed he added to his holdings until he owned 420 acres. He also 
erected modern buildings. He assisted in building the church at Spring Hill. 
Mr. Winter is highly esteemed, has been chairman and treasurer of Lake 
Henry township, and has done good service on the school board. At the good 
old age of eighty-three he is still hale and hearty, and though retired from the 
more strenuous activities of life, still takes a keen interest in the progress 
of events. Mr. Winter was married in the Lake Superior region, in 1863, to 
Anna Miller, born in Aldenburg, Germany, in 1850. She died in 1885 at the age 
of thirty-five. Seven children are living. They are : Catherine, Anna, George, 
Peter, John, Matt and Rosa. Four died in infancy. For his second wife, Mr. 
Winter married Elizabeth Schoenhoff, who was born in Germany, in 1850, 
and died February 9, 1904. 

Matthew J. Winter, a leading merchant of Melrose, was born in Lake 
Henry township, this county, February 24, 1882, son of Peter and Anna 
(Miller) Winter. He attended the district schools and the Sauk Centre Busi- 
ness College. Then he worked in a hardware store at Sauk Centre for two 
years. Subsequently he was employed a similar period by the Gund Brewery 
Co., at Sauk Centre. Then he came to Melrose. He worked two years for 
C. J. Hoeschen and was in the general mercantile business four years at Mel- 
rose. In 1911 he engaged in the furniture business in Melrose. He does a 
large business, carries a large line of goods, and has one of the best stores of 
its kind in the county. In addition to the furniture store he also conducts 
an undertaking establishment. He is a member of the C. O. F. and the K. of 
C, both of Melrose. Mr. Winter was married April 14, 1906, to Helen Osten- 
dorf, a daughter of August Ostendorf, of Melrose township. They have two 
children, Ernest and Viola. 

Joseph Van Havermoet was born in Belgium, and there spent his early 
years. He came to America some twenty years ago, and before locating in 
Minnesota, worked for a time in the mines of Michigan. He now owns forty 
acres in Melrose township, and carries on general farming. Mr. Van Haver- 
moet has considerable linguistic ability, reading and speaking several lan- 
guages. Mr. Van Havermoet was married in Belgium, and has three chil- 
dren: Bernard, Henry and Lena. 

Alfred J. Zuercher, leading druggist of Melrose, was born at Stillwater, 
Minn., November 11, 1877, son of Dr. Alfred L. Zuercher and Mary Broker 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 931 

Zuercher, his wife. In 1882, Alfred J. Zuereher was brought to Melrose by 
his parents. He spent about seven years in the parochial schools, and two 
years in St. John's University at Collegeville. Then he worked several months 
with the Richmond Drug Co., Melrose, Minn., and four years with Reichert & 
Schenk, at Long Prairie, Todd county, Minnesota. Subsequently he entered 
the College of Pharmacy, of the University of Minnesota, and after a six 
months' course succeeded in the spring of 1899 in passing the examination 
prescribed by the State Board of Pharmacy. Then for seven years he became 
manager of the Helsper Drug Co., at Melrose. In 1906 he purchased the store 
and goods of "W. J. Stock. Since that date he has built up a splendid line of 
business, and has made for himself an enviable name in the community. It 
is said that he carries one of the most complete stocks of drugs and sundries 
in this portion of the Northwest. He has not, however, confined his activities 
to the drug trade, as he has taken a part in many movements that have tended 
toward the interests of the city. He owns the Opera House block and the 
Lyric Theatre, and has recently installed in his theater an expensive moving- 
picture equipment. Mr. Zuercher is a member of the Knights of Columbus 
and of the Catholic Order of Foresters. 

Alfred L. Zuercher, M. D., for many years a beloved physician of Mel- 
rose, was born in Zug, Switzerland, September 5, 1850. He studied in the 
University of Wurzburg and the University of Paris, and was duly qualified 
for the practice of his profession. In 1873 he came to America, and located in 
New Munich, in this county, where he married Mary Broker. Soon after 
his marriage they removed to Stillwater, where he practiced his profession. 
In that town his five children, Marie, Alfred J., Anna (deceased), Oscar and 
Alexius (deceased), were born. In 1882 the family moved to Melrose, and 
there he practiced until his death, November 29, 1892. In his death the county 
lost a sincere and useful citizen. He was an able scholar, was a master of 
seven different languages, and possessed a thorough medical and scientific 
knowledge. He was noted for his manly and kindly bearing, and was a 
friend of all. He was a practical Christian of the Catholic faith. Mary Broker, 
the wife of Dr. Alfred L. Zuercher, was born in Richmond, Munson township, 
Stearns county, July 24, 1859, daughter of Henry and Mary (Edelbrock) 
Broker, both natives of Germany. Henry Broker was an accomplished musi- 
cian, and was highly educated in the commercial line. He came to America, 
and reached Stearns county, after passing through St, Louis and Iowa. Upon 
arriving in St. Cloud he opened a general store, being one of the early mer- 
chants of that city. After some two years there, he moved to Richmond, 
where he conducted a similar store some five years. Subsequently he taught 
school several years, first at Jacob's Prairie and then at New Munich, both in 
this county. Then he moved to Collegeville, this county, where he was store- 
keeper, postmaster and station agent for some quarter of a century. He died 
in 1906. He had then reached the age of eighty-three years, the date of his 
birth being September 13, 1823. His wife is still living at the age of seventy- 
six. She was born September 19, 1841. They had ten children: William, 
Mary, Elizabeth, Anna, Walberga, Cresence, Henry, Alexius, Gertrude and 
Scholastica. Mary Edelbrock, the mother of Mrs. Alfred L. Zeurcher, was 



932 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

the daughter of Anton Edelbrock, who settled in St. Cloud at an early day, 
owned considerable prairie land, and operated the ferry. She was a sister 
of Abbot Alexius Edelbrock, president of St. John's College. Dr. Alfred L. 
Zuercher was the son of Dr. Johan and Mary (Deschwanden) Zuercher. Both 
names are well known in Europe, the Zuerchers as physicians and the Desch- 
wandens as artists. 

Samuel Young, Jr., one of the earliest pioneers of Stearns county, was one 
of the remarkable men of this part of the state. He settled on Maine Prairie 
in 1856, and at the age of eighty-eight was still hale and hearty, could read 
without glasses, always kept well abreast of the times, and had one of the 
largest libraries to be found in the rural districts of the county. He was born 
in Newport, on the picturesque and historic banks of Newport lake in 
Penobscot county, Maine, December 25, 1825, a son of Samuel Young, Sr., 
and Hannah Judkins Young, and grandson of Samuel Young. The grand- 
father, Samuel Young, owned sixty acres in the city of Manchester, New 
Hampshire, fought in the Revolutionary War, and was the father of twenty 
sons and two daughters. The father, Samuel, Sr., was a strong Baptist in 
religion. He was one of the pioneers of Newport, Maine, and had eleven chil- 
dren : Mary, William, Johannah, Samuel, Jr., Augusta, Hannah, Orrin, Oliver, 
Helen, and two who died in infancy. All are dead except Augusta and Helen. 
The latter lives in Seattle, Washington. Samuel Young, Jr., attended the 
schools of his neighborhood, and began life as a farmer. In 1851 he went to 
Pennsylvania, and lived there two years. In 1853 he started for the West. 
By rail and coach he reached Galena, 111., and from there took a boat to St. 
Paul, from which place he went to St. Anthony, now a part of Minneapolis, 
arriving October 15, 1853. For three years he was a lumberman. July 8, 
1856, he landed on Maine Prairie. The prairie was then the resort of Indians, 
the first settlers having arrived a few months earlier than Mr. Young. He 
secured a claim of 120 acres, where Isaac Coleman now lives, and erected a 
log cabin, barn and shed, thatched with hay. He began farming with an ox 
team. He and his brother, Joseph Young, and Josiah E. Hayward, had eight 
oxen together, and they pooled their interests in breaking the land. Mr. 
Young, in his latter years, often told of the trip which they took to St. Paul 
when they spent but thirty-five cents, the journey being made in ox wagons, 
which were used at night to shelter them from the elements. In 1862, Mr. 
Young located on the place in section 18, which he owned for more than 
fifty years. At that time there was a log cabin standing on the place. Mr. 
Young tore down this cabin, and from his former location moved a board 
granary for a residence. This granary is a part of the present home. He 
took an active interest in the early affairs of the township. During the 
Indian uprising he assisted in building the stockade in section 13. This stock- 
ade was built of logs standing on end, sixteen feet high, and covering a space 
30 by 40. Twenty families were sheltered. The Indians, however, were never 
nearer than two miles. Mr. Young was one of the early supervisors of the 
township. It is interesting to note that in 1867, Mr. Young was one of those 
who contributed $500 of the $10,000 capital required for starting the private 
institution that is now the First National Bank, of St. Cloud. He never 




MR. AND MRS. KLIAS I). MO '; 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 933 

drew any of the income from this investment, but allowed it to accumulate. 
At the time of his death, March 22, 1914, he was the oldest stockholder in the 
institution. Mr. Young was a man of sterling integrity and lived up to the 
traditions of his Puritan ancestors. He was an excellent citizen, a kind and 
helpful neighbor, and a man of strong convictions, according to the opinions 
of others the same respect which he demanded for his own. The Old Settlers' 
Association found him a faithful and active member. Though he was ninety 
years of age, nearly, he retained a wonderful hold on life to the very end. 
Mr. Young was first married in October, 1861, to Marilla B. French, who 
died in August, 1883. On July 21, 1884, he married Susanna Golden, who was 
born in England, January 15, 1848, daughter of Thomas and Anna Golden, 
the former a native of Ireland and the latter of England, who came to America 
in 1849 with their daughters, Elizabeth, Susanna and Mary, and settled in 
Pennsylvania, the father dying in that state and the mother in Kentucky. 
Mrs. Young survives her husband. Their companionship was an ideal one, 
and Mrs. Young has sincere sympathy in being bereft of her life-companion 
whose love has meant so much to her. They were often pointed out as a 
model couple, and they were tender lovers to the end. 

Elias D. Moss, for many years a respected farmer of Kimball, was born 
in Dearborn county, Indiana, November 6, 1836, son of Thomas and Rachael 
(Donahue) Moss, natives of Pennsylvania, who were married in Indiana and 
came to Maine Prairie, Stearns county, in 1865. Elias D. was reared on the 
home farm, and there spent his early manhood. On September 4, 1862, he 
enlisted in Company H, 83rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry, as coi'poral, and 
served thirty-two months until the close of the war. He followed the for- 
tunes of that company and showed his valor in many battles and skirmishes. 
By an explosion of a cap on his gun he eventually lost the sight of his right 
eye. At the close of his service he participated in the Grand Review at Wash- 
ington. After he was discharged and mustered out June 2, 1865, he returned 
to his old home in Indiana, and then came to Stearns county. He secured 160 
acres in section 28, Maine Prairie township, where he built a log cabin and 
started farming with an ox-team. After he had proved up on the claim he 
went back to Indiana, and upon his return brought his wife here. The young 
couple faced life together, and their efforts were crowned with success. They 
became leading members of the community, and their home was noted for its 
hospitality. Mr. Moss served as a school officer and was one of the members 
of the J. Whitney Post, G. A. R., at Kimball. In 1907, Mr. and Mrs. Moss 
retired and moved to the village of Kimball, where they happily resided u:ntil 
the sad event which cut short his life. On July 4, 1914, Mr. and Mrs. Moss 
started out with relatives, to hold a family reunion at Lake Betsy. In going 
down a hill by the lake, the horse became very frightened, and ran down the 
road, throwing both out of the buggy. This was about 11 o'clock in the 
forenoon. Mr. Moss was taken home, and every attention was given him, but 
in spite of skilled medical aid he passed away at three in the afternoon, thus 
ending a noble life, well spent, and filled with kindly deeds. Mr. and Mrs. 
Moss both joined the Methodist Episcopal Church many years ago. Elias 
D. Moss was married in Indiana, August 14, 1873, to Emma Brinkman, who 



934 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

was born in Dearborn county, Indiana, daughter of Frederick and Sarah 
(Myers) Brinkman, both of whom died in Ohio. 

Fred Meyer, Sr., farmer and elevator man at Kimball, was born in Han- 
over, Germany, September 1, 1860, son of Henry and Eliza Meyer. He left 
Germany in 1880, and found employment in Iowa county, Iowa, where he was 
joined the following year by his parents. Later he secured a farm in Fayette 
county, in the same state. In 1898 he brought his family to Stearns county, 
and secured 160 acres adjoining the village of Kimball, in Maine Prairie town- 
ship. Later he added forty acres more. Here he carries on general farming. 
In 1906 he was made manager of the Osborn, McMillan Elevator Co., at Kim- 
ball. Mr. Meyer was married in 1884 to Louise Silschott, a native of Han- 
over, Germany, who came to Fayette county, Iowa, with her parents in 1881. 
Mr. and Mrs. Meyer have eight children. Mary, Henry, Fred, Jr., William, 
August and Louise were born in Fayette county, Iowa ; while Albert and 
Walter were born in Stearns county, Minnesota. 

Alexander Spaulding, a retired farmer of Kimball, was born in Hodgson, 
Rusty county, Maine, son of Daniel and Margaret (Coldwell) Kimball. He 
received such meagre education as his neighborhood afforded by attending 
school three months a year during his earlier boyhood. In 1857 he came to 
Minnesota with his parents, his six brothers and sisters, his wife and his 
baby. With his brother, Willard, he drove an ox team from Clearwater, on 
the Mississippi river, to Maine Prairie. He took up a claim of 160 acres in 
the southwest quarter of section 9, and there built a bark cabin. Later he 
purchased forty acres in section 7. There he built a board shanty, which he 
shingled, and made comfortable. But while he was living in this place, news 
came of the Indian uprising, and he then moved to what was called Maine 
Prairie Corners. Then, after living in other parts of Maine Prairie, he moved 
to eighty acres in sections 18 and 19, Fair Haven township. There he lived 
until 1902, when, upon the death of his wife at the age of sixty-eight, he 
sold out. He tried life in the Dakotas for a while, but after about a year 
there, he came to Kimball, where he has since lived with his son, Charles L. 
Mr. Spaulding has been one of the leading men in this part of the county. 
For three years he was postmaster at Maine Prairie Corners. He worked 
hard to get the office established, was the first to be placed in charge of it, 
and often expended his own funds for the purpose of getting the mail con- 
veyed from Fair Haven. For many years he was a member of the school 
board of District No. 30. He has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church for forty-five years. During the Indian uprising, when the Maine 
Prairie Guards were organized, Mr. Spaulding was one of the members and 
was assigned to the duties of orderly sergeant. He was married November 
28, 1855, to Mary McCoulm. This union has resulted in ten children : Daniel 
Milton, who died in Maine ; Cordelia, who was born in Maine, was brought 
to Minnesota with her parents, and is now Mrs. A. B. Hicks, of Coeur d'Alene, 
Idaho; Gilbert (deceased); Nellie, now Mrs. J. H. Lyon, of Maine Prairie; 
Eva (deceased) ; Annetta, of Tacoma, Wash. ; Charles L., of Kimball village, 
who married Hattie B. Bowen ; Ernest George, who died at the age of eighteen 
months; Margaret, who married William Bowen, of Butte, Wash, (deceased), 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 935 

and Edith Jane, now Mrs. Ernest Quinn, of Monroe, Wash. The Spauldings 
are an old New England family, noted for their staunch Methodism. Men 
of the family figured in the early French and Indian Wars. The grandfather, 
Willard Spaulding, came from England, located in Massachusetts, and finally 
found his way to Kennebec county, Maine. The son of Willard, and father 
of Alexander, Daniel by name, was born in that county, and married Mar- 
garet Coldwell, a native of Ireland, but of Scotch descent. Daniel Spaulding 
had seven children: Alexander, Willard, Daniel, Jr., Alonzo, Mary Jane, 
David, Thomas and George. Daniel, Jr., died in Maine. The rest of the family 
came to Stearns county, with the parents. 

Frank E. A. Wolff was born in Carver county, Minnesota, December 6, 
1862, son of Henry and Anna Wolf. He received a good education in the 
district and graded schools, and as a young man became a carpenter. He was 
about thirty when he turned his attention to milling. For many years he 
was employed in this capacity in Appleton, Swift county, this state. In 1901 
he went to Royalton, Minn., and was there head miller in a large mill for 
five years. In 1906 he came to Kimball, and purchased the Kimball Flour 
Mill. This mill, under his ownership, has been very successful. His leading 
brands, "Wolff's Best," and ''Our Leader," are very popular with house- 
wives throughout the territory which he supplies. The mill has a capacity of 
100 barrels. He and his wife are both interested in Masonry, he being a 
member of the Blue Lodge and she of the Eastern Star, at Kimball. He also 
belongs to the United Workmen at Royalton. For two years he did good 
service as a member of the village council of Kimball. Mr. Wolff was married 
March, 1889, to Ada Rhadigan, of Cascade, Iowa, daughter of Patrick Rhadi- 
gan. They have three children : Henry Douglas, a medical student ; Charles 
Franklin (deceased) and James Clark, at home. 

Henry E. Wolff was born in Pennsylvania, and in 1852 located in Chaska, 
in Carver county, Minnesota, He was one of the true pioneers, and his experi- 
ences would, if recorded, make a most interesting volume. He started out 
from St. Paul, with an ox team, a few household supplies and provisions, and 
with fifty cents in his pocket. There was no road, and often he had to cut 
his way through the dense undergrowth. When he finally reached Chaska, 
he homesteaded 160 acres of land. Later he took forty acres of school land. 
Food was scarce and provisions must be brought from St. Paul. Corn was 
ground in a hand "coffee mill." Before a roof was put on the cabin, a child 
was born, with a rudely stretched sheet as the only shelter from the skies. 
But the years passed, the family prospered, and became well-to-do members 
of the community. During the Indian uprising, the family was many times 
frightened, and at one period went down to St, Paul on a flat boat and stayed 
for several days, fearing that the community in Carver county was to be 
wiped out by the Sioux. In 1878 the family moved to Bird Island, in Renville 
county, where the father and mother ended their days. There were eleven 
children in the family, all now living. They are : Clara, Caroline, Sarah, 
Henry, Charles, Otto, Samuel, Frank, David, Edward and Albert, 

Benjamin H. Winslow, for many years a respected citizen of Maine 
Prairie township, was born in Waldo county, Maine, March 30, 1834, son of 



936 HISTORY OP STEAENS COUNTY 

John N. Winslow, a Maine farmer and a veteran of the Civil War. In the 
family there were seven boys and one girl. Benjamin H. Winslow received his 
early education in Maine. In 1858 he set out with his wife, Betsey Goss, and 
their daughter, Ann (Mrs. Joseph Whitney), then seven months of age, now 
deceased. By rail, by boat and by stage, they at last reached Stearns county 
in May, and located in Fair Haven township. In the spring of 1859 they 
moved to Maine Prairie township. Subsequently they lived in various places, 
and finally in 1865 purchased 100 acres in section 22. On this land there were 
then no buildings. Mr. Winslow erected a log house and a log barn, and with 
an ox team and a pair of black mares, which he later purchased, he estab- 
lished the foundations of his agricultural operations. On this farm he lived 
from 1865 to 1896. Then he moved to a forty acre tract east of the original 
farm, where he built a modern residence, and there spent the remainder of his 
days. He died April 18, 1913, having survived his wife, who died April 25, 
1901. He was a well known man, and one whose opinions were of consi'd- 
erable weight. He served on the town and school boards, and was an active 
factor in many public movements. Mr. and Mrs. Winslow had seven children : 
Ann, Addie, Ulysses S., Laura, Celestia C, Viola and Newman. Ann mar- 
ried Joseph Whitney, and they had seven children: Ava A., Benjamin F., 
Estella, John (deceased), Ray, Jessie, and Myrno. Mrs. Joseph Whitney died 
May 24, 1907. Addie J. is now Mrs. Samuel G. Stickney. Ulysses S. is men- 
tioned elsewhere. Laura Emma is now Mrs. A. H. Houghton; she has ten 
children : Jesse, Florence, Myrtle, Gertrude, John, Harriet, Vesta, Ruby, Pearl, 
and James. Celestia C. married Simon P. Cassairt, who died August 15, 
1906. Their children are: Florence H., Howard A., LeRoy, Henry, George 
Dewey, Olive and Edgar. Viola is now Mrs. Howard 0. Tull, of Minneapolis. 
Newman died at the age of eighteen days. 

Ulysses S. Winslow, stock raiser, of Maine Prairie, was born in Maine 
Prairie township, February 24, 1863, son of Benjamin H. and Betsey (Goss) 
Winslow. He attended district school, and remained at home until twenty- 
nine years of age. Then he located on 240 acres in section 34, Maine Prairie 
township, where he remained until 1905, when he sold out, and purchased 
eighty acres in section 11, near the village of Kimball. He now makes a 
specialty of dairying and raising swine, and his stock is of a good grade. 
Mr. Winslow belongs to the Royal Neighbors, the Brotherhood of American 
Yeomen, and the M. W. of A., of which he is a charter member. In politics 
a Republican, he has served two years as a member of the board of super- 
visors. For fourteen years he was manager of the Kimball Creamery Com- 
pany, of Kimball. 

Mr. Winslow married Hettie E. Cossiart, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel 
Cassairt. She died September 1, 1892, and on October 17, 1893, Mr. Winslow 
married Laura E. Goodner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jackson Goodner. They 
have five children: Hettie, Conde, Clara, Lois and Helen. 

Frank Henry Beumer, now deceased, pioneer, and for many years a 
leading business man in St. Augusta, was, born in Germany, November 5, 1836, 
and there received a good education. In 1854 he came to America and lo- 
cated in Pittsburg, Penn., where he followed his trade as a shoemaker until 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 937 

1857 when he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he spent a year. In the spring 
of 1858 he came to Stearns county and settled in St. Augusta township. In 
the fall of 1858 he went to St. Louis, Mo., but in the spring of 1859 he re- 
turned to St. Augusta, and pre-empted 160 acres of land. He built a good 
home and other necessary buildings, and increased his holdings until he was 
the proud owner of 220 acres. In 1873 he sold his farm on account of poor 
health, and opened a small store in the village of St. Augusta. In time this 
store developed into a flourishing general mercantile business. In time he 
purchased the ''Neenah Mills," located a mile south of St. Augusta village, 
and conducted this establishment iii connection with his store. Aside from 
giving close attention to his business, Mr. Beumer was active in township 
affairs. For several years he was chairman of the town board, and for a 
long period he did excellent service on the school board. After a long and use- 
ful life, he died January 22, 1900. It is interesting to note that in the years 
when St. Augusta had a postoflice, Mr. and Mrs. Beumer served at different 
times as postmaster and postmistress. Mr. Beumer was united in marriage, 
February 11, 1860, to Marie Filers, who was born in Germany, February 16, 
1837, came to America in 1858. Mrs. Beumer has proved a faithful wife 
and mother. After the death of her worthy husband she carried on the 
business until 1911, when she retired. After her busy and useful life, she is 
now enjoying a well-earned rest. To Mr. and Mrs. Beumer there have been 
born eleven children. Of these six are living. Mary is the wife of Joseph 
Kiersteins, of Phoenix, Arizona. Theresa is the wife of William F. Mess- 
mann, of St. Augusta township, this county; Frank H. lives in St. Augusta 
township. Herman lives in St. Cloud. Joseph and Henry J. live in St. Au- 
gusta township. Anna, Henry, Katrina, Casper H. and Katie are dead. 

Frederick Beumer, pioneer and veteran of the Civil War, has had much 
to do with the development of the township of St. Augusta, where he has 
lived for so many years. He was born in Germany, February 27, 1841, and 
received a good education in the land of his birth. At the age of sixteen he 
set sail for America with his father and mother, Henry Casper and Louise 
(Rotman) Beumer. The family lived in Cincinnati for about six months, and 
then came directly west to St. Augusta township, where they took a homestead 
in sections 10 and 15. Father and son worked together, became influential 
farmers and erected a fine home. In 1864, Frederick Beumer enlisted in 
Company F, Eleventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, saw active service at 
Nashville, Tenn., and was mustered out at Ft. Snelling at the close of the 
war. Even before his service in the South he had demonstrated his courage 
and bravery in the face of danger. During the Indian uprising he was the 
only one in the neighborhood who remained at home, and it devolved upon 
him to look after the affairs of his neighbors, take care of the stock, and 
carry provisions for those who had sought shelter in the stockade. Often 
suspicious looking Indians came around, and he was frequently aroused 
by their presence, but none of them ever harmed him. Upon his return from 
the Civil War, Mr, Beumer resumed his work on the farm, and after his 
father's death started in for himself. He has prospered exceedingly, and at 
one time owned several hundred acres in St. Augusta township. He now 



938 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

makes his home with his son, Fred. During his years of active farm work 
he erected a sightly residence, and a splendid brick barn said to be the largest 
of its kind in the county. His honesty and his willingness to lend a helping 
hand to the needy has won for him the respect and esteem of a large com- 
munity. A devout Catholic, his ideals and life have been in keeping with 
the high standards set by that church, and his children are worthily following 
in his footsteps. Mr. Beumer was married in May, 1866, to Gesina Eilers, 
an estimable woman in every sense of that noble word. She was born in 
Germany, March 9, 1846, and died in St. Augusta township, April 14, 1905. 
The children are as follows: C. H., of St. Augusta; John, of St. Augusta; 
Katherine, now wife of Nicholas Pesh, of Luxemburg township; Anna, now 
wife of Joseph Thole, of St. Cloud; Mary, now wife of John Schlagheck, of 
St. Augusta township ; Louise, now wife of John Trestka, of St. Cloud town- 
ship ; Fred, of St. Augusta township ; Theresa, now wife of George Reishel, 
of St. Cloud; and Moritz, of St. Augusta township. 

Fred Beumer, one of St. Augusta's younger farmers, was born on the 
place where he still resides. May 11, 1881, son of Frederick and Gesina (Eilers) 
Beumer. He received his education in the district schools and has devoted 
his adult years to working on his fine farm of 385 acres. Mr. Beumer is an 
enterprising young man and follows closely in the path of his father. In ad- 
dition to managing his farm, he has two threshing outfits, and handles two 
large crews of men. One of his outfits is for hulling clover and the other for 
threshing small grains, and the territory which he serves is large. Mr. Beumer 
was married May 22, 1907, to Emma Baidice, who died May 9, 1910, leaving 
one child, Bridget. On November 22, 1910, he married Mary Toenyes, of St. 
Augusta, and they have two children, Luella and Florentine. The family 
faith is that of the Roman Catholic church. 

Henry J. Beumer, horse dealer, cattle fancier and farmer, of St. Augusta, 
was born in the township where he still resides, June 6, 1880, a son of Frank 
Henry and Marie (Eilers) Beumer. He received a good education in the 
schools of his neighborhood, after which he engaged in the farming and 
mercantile business at St. Augusta, with his mother and brother. In 1909 
he engaged in business for himself. He farms, breeds fancy Belgian draft 
horses, and buys, breeds, kills and sells cattle for beef. He has been very 
successful. His blooded stock is widely known and commands the highest 
prices. Mr. Beumer is a genial active man, highly esteemed for his busi- 
ness sagacity and his personal worth. 

Mr. Beumer was married, July 6, 1909, to Frances Reischl, and they have 
two children, Masada and Herbert. 

Joseph Beumer, treasurer of St. Augusta township, was born in the town- 
ship where he still resides, January 18, 1878, son of Frank Henry and Marie 
(Eilers) Beumer. He attended the public schools, and supplemented this 
with one year's course in St. John's University at CoUegeville, this county. 
Thus equipped with a good education he entered the mercantile business, being 
associated with his father until his father's death in 1900 and with his mother 
until his retirement in 1907. Then he became associated with his brother, 
Henry J., in the live stock business, breeding thoroughbred Belgian horses. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 939 

and buying, killing and selling beef cattle. In March, 1913, he dissolved part- 
nership with his brother, and has since devoted his time to looking after the 
interests of the old home. Mr. Beumer was elected treasurer of St. Augusta 
township in the spring of 1911, and by reelection has since served continu- 
ously, giving the best of satisfaction. January 1, 1913, he was elected secre- 
tary and treasurer of the St. Augusta Telephone Co. Mr. Beumer was mar- 
ried June 30, 1903, to Sophia Mayer, a daughter of John Mayer, of St. Au- 
gusta township. This union has been blessed with four children : Siegfried, 
Frank, Adeline and an unnamed infant deceased. 

Frank H. Beumer, a progressive farmer of St. Augusta, was born in the 
township where he still resides, March 31, 1873, son of Frank Henry and 
Marie (Filers) Beumer. He attended the public schools of his native place, 
and in 1887 entered the St. Cloud State Normal School. After completing 
his studies he remained at home, working in the mill and the store and on the 
farm. In 1895 he and his brother-in-law, William F. Messmann, purchased 
the ''Neenah Mill." After successfully conducting this establishment for 
five years, they exchanged the mill for a farm in Benton county, in this state. 
Later Mr. Beumer purchased his partner's interest, and farmed there for 
eight years. Then he exchanged that farm for his present farm of 212 acres in 
sections 1 and 2, St. Augusta township, and sections 35 and 36, St. Cloud 
township. The place is well kept and fully demonstrates the thrift and enter- 
prise of its owner. The success that has attended all his ventures has in- 
creased in his present undertaking and his hard work has been fully re- 
warded. Mr. Beumer was united in the bonds of matrimony, February 11, 
1896, to Anna Messmann, and they have five children : Harry, George, Mary, 
Frances and Verena. The family faith is that of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Herman Beumer, proprietor of the St. Cloud Dairy, was born in St. Au- 
gusta township, September 29, 1875, son of Frank Henry and Marie (Filers) 
Beumer, the pioneers. He received his education in the public schools, and 
worked in his father's store until twenty-three years of age, in the mean- 
time serving four years as postmaster during the first administration of William 
McKinley. In 1898 Mr. Beumer went to St. Cloud, where he was engaged 
in business for two years. Then he and his wife occupied nearly a year in 
a vacation spent at Denver, Colorado, and other western points. Upon his 
return he became engineer for the Northwestern Granite Co. Three years 
later he secured a similar position at the St. Cloud pumping station, where 
he likewise remained about three years. Then he purchased the business 
now known as the St. Cloud Dairy. He has an extensive and growing retail 
trade which has necessitated his increasing the number of his cows from six 
to twenty-two. Mr. Beumer is a well-known man. He was appointed by 
the governor as district census enumerator for the township of St. Augusta. 
He is a member of St. Cloud Camp, No. 744, C. 0. F. 

Mr. Beumer was married May 5, 1898, to Theresa Messmann, and they 
have had five children: Frank B. (died August, 1907), Rosa, Florence, 
Eleanor and Clarence. The family faith is that of the Roman Catholic 
Church. 

Nick Becker, a prosperous farmer of St. Augusta township, was born in 



940 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Munson township, this county, December 30, 1873, son of John and Susanna 
(Garding) Becker, natives of Prussia, Germany, John Becker came to Amer- 
ica in 1859 and located in Richmond, this county. Susanna Garding came 
to Cold Spring, this county, in the summer of 1860. They were married at 
Jacob's Prairie. They at once took up their residence on the old Becker 
homestead in Munson township, which had been preempted in 1859 by the 
father of John Becker, and grandfather of Nick Becker. The home- 
stead originally consisted of 160 acres. John Becker added 160 acres more, 
erected a fine set of buildings, and became one of the leading farmers of Mun- 
son township. He operated the place successfully until 1901, when he retired 
and moved to Richmond village, where he spent the remainder of his days. 
He died February 26, 1910. His widow resides with her daughter, Margaret, 
wife of Anton S. Braegelmann, of Eden Lake township, this county. John 
Becker and his wife had seven children. Gertrude died in infancy. 
Margaret, as already mentioned, is the wife of Anton S. Braegelmann, of 
Eden Lake township. Valentine lives in Roscoe, this county. Louise is the 
wife of John Thelen, of Minneapolis. Barbara and Mary are twins. Barbara 
is the wife of M. B. Theisen, of Eden Valley village, this county; and Mary 
is the wife of John Ganzer, of Roscoe, this county. Nick lives in St. Au- 
gusta township. 

Nick received his education in the district schools of Munson township, 
and engaged in farming with his father until twenty-six years of age. In 
1900 he purchased the home farm, and successfully operated it until 1907. 
Then he sold that place, and purchased his present farm in sections 30-31, 
St. Augusta township, and section 36, Rockville township, where he is main- 
taining his prosperity as a general farmer. He is a good farmer, a good citi- 
zen, a good friend and agreeable companion. He has been a member of school 
district 36 since 1910. 

Mr. Becker was married May 28, 1901, to Katie Lemm, who was born on 
the farm where she now resides, January 6, 1879. Mr. and Mrs. Becker 
have five children : Marcella, born August 9, 1902 ; Arthur, born November 14, 
1904; Dorothy, born January 8, 1908; Alvina, born September 21, 1909, and 
Laura, born January 29, 1911. 

Mrs. Becker is the daughter of Jacob and Margaret (Zenner) Lemm. The 
Lemm family settled in St. Augusta township in 1859, purchased land in sec- 
tions 30 and 31, and successfully carried on general farming until 1907, when 
they sold to Nick Becker and moved to Luxemburg. There Jacob Lemm 
died June 15, 1913. His widow still lives in Luxemburg village. Jacob Lemm 
was a veteran of the Civil War, having served three years in the Second 
Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. In the family there were fifteen children: 
Henry, Philip, Joseph, Jacob, Mathias, Katie, Nick, Anna, William, Wende- 
lin, Ignatius, Domonick, Leo, Adelaide (deceased), Mathias (deceased). 

Yasent A. Barthelemy, a leading farmer of St. Augusta township, was 
born in France, November 30, 1848, son of John N. and Mary Barthelemy, 
who brought him to America in 1853, lived in New Jersey for a while, then 
went to Reading, Penn., came from there to Sauk Rapids in this state, then to 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 941 

St. Cloud, and finally, in 1857, to St. Augusta township, where they took a 
claim of 160 acres in section 8. Of this they had to surrender eighty acres to 
pay for the land warrant, but later they repurchased the eighty acres. In 
time they were enabled to erect a sightly brick house. This was destroyed 
by fire in 1891, but was rebuilt the following year. On this place the parents 
followed farming the remainder of their lives, the father dying July 29, 1898, 
and the mother, March 18, 1900. The children in the family were : Edward 
N., of St. Cloud; Yasent A., of St. Augusta; Sarah who died in 1892; and 
Mary, who lives in St. Cloud, widow of "William Goedker. Yasent A. Barthel- 
emy attended school in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. He farmed 
with his parents until 1898 when he came into possession of the home place, 
on which he has lived since 1857. The farm consists of 160 acres in section 8, 
40 acres in section 17 and 120 acres in section 7, St. Augusta township. He 
also owns forty acres of farm land in St. Cloud township, and 20 acres of 
timberland in section 33, St. Augusta. The home farm is well kept, and has 
every evidence of prosperity due to the hard work and never-tiring efforts of 
its amiable owner. Mr. Barthelemy was married July 8, 1884, to Emilia 
Greven, who was born in Berlin, Ohio, November 8, 1861, daughter of Mr. and 
Mrs. Peter Greven. The children are : Eleanor, born August 9, 1886, is now 
Mrs. Louis Kraus, of St. Cloud township, John Nicholas, born March 20, 1888, 
is associated with his father on the home farm; Mary, born May 30, 1890, 
is the wife of Joseph Steichen, of St. Cloud; Andrew, born April 14, 1893, 
and George, born November 25, 1896 ; both at home ; and Alfred, born May 
2, 1899, and died April 27, 1901. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Greven 
are Ignatz, of St. Cloud ; Mary Ann, who died at the age of twenty-one years ; 
Molly, who died in infancy; Catherine, of Walla Walla, Wash., widow of 
Aloysius Lommel ; and Emelia, wife of Yasent A. Barthelemy, of St. Augusta. 
Paid Bach, general merchant at Luxemburg, in St. Augusta township, 
was born in Germany, January 1, 1860, son of Jacob and Barbara (Laur) Bach, 
the former of whom died in Germany in 1863, and the latter of whom came 
to America in 1884, settled in Murray county, Minnesota, engaged in farm- 
ing, and died in 1903. Paul Bach received a thorough education in the land 
of his birth. In the fall of 1883 he came to America, and for six months 
lived in Pennsylvania. The next spring he located in Murray coiuity, Min- 
nesota, where he remained until 1886. Then he went to Miner county, 
South Dakota. First he proved up on a claim in Rock Creek township, then 
bought another 160 acres, and on these tracts successfully conducted general 
farming until 1906, when he sold out and returned to Minnesota. In the 
meantime he had been prominent in public affairs and had served as super- 
visor and assessor of Rock Creek township. From that township he came 
at once to St. Augusta township, and opened a general store at Luxemburg, 
better known as Luxemburg postoffice. He carries a full line of goods, and 
keeps a tavern and a feed barn for the traveling public, and has a seventy- 
four acre farm which he conducts in connection therewith. He is a good busi- 
ness man, thrifty and honest, and has achieved a well-deserved success. Mr. 
Bach is a member of the St. Wendel Catholic Church and of the German 
Catholic Benevolent Society of Minnesota. Paul Bach was married in South 



942 HISTOKY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Dakota, February 13, 1890, to Christina Bernady, and they have four chil- 
dren: Christina, Gertrude, William and Mary. 

Michael D. Dries, proprietor of the old "Neenah Mill," was born at 
Port Washington, Ozaukee county, a short distance north of Milwaukee, Wis., 
October 27, 1866, son of M. D, and Anna (Baurmieh) Dries, natives of Lux- 
emburg, who came to America about 1855, were married in this country, and 
died, each at about the age of forty-five, at Holy Cross, Wis. Michael D. 
Dries received his early education in the public and parochial schools of his 
native place. In 1886 he came to Minnesota and located at Minneapolis, where 
he secured employment for three years with the Pettit Milling Co. Then 
he came to St. Cloud, and for some twelve j^ears was employed with the Tiles- 
ton Milling Co. In August, 1903, he purchased the mill of which he has 
since been the proprietor. In addition to this he owns 304 acres of good farm 
land, part of which he operates, and part of which he rents. In 1907 he 
was elected town clerk, and has since held that position continuously. He 
belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Dries was married Febru- 
ary 7, 1893, to Tracy Ruhland, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, April 14, 
1870 and came to America in 1889. Their children are Ursula T., Olga J., 
Alice E., Thelma, Daniel T., Silvea and Donald (deceased). The family faith 
is that of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Frank Hurrle, one of the leading farmers of St. Augusta, was born in 
the township where he still resides, January 16, 1866, son of Francis and 
Mary (Shoemaker) Hurrle, natives of Germany who came to America about 
1850, located at St. Anthony where the father worked in a sawmill, came to 
St. Augusta in 1856, took a claim in section 17, went through all the rigors of 
pioneer life, and became representative citizens of the community. The father 
died November 15, 1900, and the mother died December 8, 1913. The children 
in the family are: Elizabeth (deceased), Henry, of St. Cloud; Kate, of Min- 
neapolis; Agnes, now Mrs. Emil Grams, of Minneapolis; Frank, of St. Au- 
gusta ; Anna, now Sister Mary Annastatia, O. S. B., of Duluth ; Mary, now 
Sister Mary Theresa, 0. S. B., of Little Falls, Minn.; John, of St. Cloud; 
Xavier, of Buckman, Minn., and Theresa, now Mrs. George Krebs, of St. 
Augusta. Frank Hurrle received his edvication in the schools of St. Augusta, 
and remained at home until twenty-two years of age. Then he branched out 
for himself, and rented the Fred Goenner farm of 320 acres. In 1897 he pur- 
chased this farm, and to it he has since added eighty acres, making 400 acres 
in all. Mr. Hurrle represents the best and highest type of the modern farmer. 
He gives careful attention to every detail of the place, and believes thoroughly 
in the best comforts for himself, his family and his livestock. In 1910 he 
built a modern home which is a model of its kind, with hardwood finish on the 
interior, hot water heat, bath, running hot and cold water, individual illum- 
inating gas plant, and many other conveniences. His fine large barn, his 
towering silo, and his set of outbuildings, all connected with the house and 
the park-like lawns with cement walks, are also models of their kind. He 
makes a specialty of Shorthorn cattle and Percheron horses. In the latter 
line he has high grade Percheron brood mare, and an imported Percheron 
stallion of 1,940 pounds, for which he paid $1,700. His poultry and swine 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 943 

are also of good strains. Mr. Hurrle was married September 27, 1892, to Philo- 
mena Goenner, born June 3, 1873, daughter of Fred and Mary Goenner, the 
pioneers. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Hurrle are : Rosa, Leo, Siegfred, 
Edward, Philip, Adeline, Alma and Cresentia. The family faith is that of 
the Roman Catholic Church. Fred and Mary Goenner, parents of Mrs. Frank 
Hurrle, were born in Germany, came to America, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, 
and from there came in the middle fifties to St. Augusta where they took a 
claim in section 10, on which Frank Hurrle now lives. They became leading 
members of the community. Mr. Goenner died October 18, 1907, and his 
wife September 27, 1897. Their children are as follows : Two died in infancy 
in Cincinnati, Ohio; Anna (deceased) ; Joseph, of Clear Lake, Minn.; Henry, 
of Clear Lake, Minn.; Theresa (deceased); Elizabeth (first), who died in 
infancy ; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Nicholas Weis, of Clear Lake, Minn. ; Frank, of 
Clear Lake, Minn.; and Philomena, wife of Frank Hurrle, of St. Augusta. 

John Sebastian Held, one of the substantial farmers and land owners of 
St. Augusta township, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, October 27, 1857, son of 
John and Barbara (Uenbeck) Heid, natives of Germany, who came to America 
as young people about 1855, were married in Cleveland, Ohio ; about 1859 
moved to the copper region of Michigan, where he followed his trade as a 
cooper until 1869, then came to Minnesota and settled on a farm in St. Au- 
gusta township which he had purchased two years previous in section 32 ; 
broke and improved the land, erected his home and a set of outbuildings, 
and there lived until 1900 when they moved to Browerville, Todd county, 
Minn., where he died in June, 1909, after which she moved to St. Cloud, where 
she now resides. In the family there were eight children : John Sebastian, 
of St. Augusta township ; Thomas and Charles, of Browerville, Minn. ; Father 
Kilian, a teacher in the commercial department of St. John's University at 
Collegeville, this county ; Mary, now Mrs. Fred Shelar, of Maine Prairie town- 
ship; Julia (deceased), Elizabeth, now Mrs. Henry Lommel, of St. Cloud; 
and Mollie, now Mrs. Joseph Eaton, of Browerville, Minn. John Sebastian 
Heid received a good education in the public schools of Michigan, and came 
with his parents to St. Augusta township in 1869. He worked with his father 
in agricultural pursuits until twenty-six years of age, when he purchased 170 
acres in sections 31, 32 and 33, and engaged in farming on his own responsi- 
bility. He has brought his land to a good state of cultivation, has erected a 
suitable residence, and a substantial complement of other buildings. Aside 
from his original place he owns 133 acres in section 6, Fair Haven township, 
which he also operates. Mr. Heid is broad minded, a deep thinker, and a good 
farmer. He is a Democrat in politics, has done valuable service on the town 
board, and for the past six years has been treasurer of School District No. 36. 
He and his family are members of the Church of St. Wendelin, to which he is 
a liberal contributor. Mr. Heid was married September 26, 1885, to Ger- 
trude Harren, born March 4, 1865, daughter of Joseph and Marthalena (Bauer) 
Harren, mention of whom appears elsewhere in this work. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Heid, eleven children have been born : Lena, now Sister Mary Adeline, 0. S. 
B., of Watkins, Minn. ; Barbara, who resides at home ; Christine, of St. Cloud ; 
Marie, bookkeeper at Rush City, Minn. ; Elizabeth, a student at St. Joseph 



944 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Seminary, St. Joseph, this county; Dora, a student at the St. Cloud State 
Normal School; and Mathilda, Angela, Bertha, John B., and Kilian, at home. 

Henry Imholte, a prosperous farmer of St. Augusta township, was born on 
the farm where he still resides, January 11, 1864, son of Anton and Mary 
(Kemker) Imholte. The parents were born in Oldenburg, Germany, came 
to America in 1854, located in Cincinnati, Ohio ; came with the first German 
colony to Stearns county in 1856, took a homestead in the old town of St. 
Augusta, and two years later purchased eighty acres in section 3, St. Augusta 
township, where they erected a log cabin and outbuildings, and engaged in 
general farming, sharing with their neighbors the hardships of early pioneer 
life. They prospered with the years and added to their possessions until they 
had a good farm of 120 acres. In 1888 they retired and moved to the village 
of St. Augusta, where he passed away July 2, 1900 and she May 24, 1906. In 
this family there were eleven children, of whom seven are still living : Mary 
(deceased); Anton J., of Clear Lake, Minn.; Elizabeth, now Mrs. William 
Sheitz, of St Cloud ; John, of Clear Lake, Minn. ; Barney (deceased) ; Joseph, 
of Clear Lake, Minn.; Henry, of St. Augusta; Minnie, now Mrs. Casper Meah- 
rens, of St. Cloud; Theresa (deceased) ; Annie (deceased) ; and Valentine, of 
Clear Lake, Minn. Henry Imholte received a good public school education 
and was reared to agricultural pursuits. For nine years he farmed in Sher- 
burne county, this state. In 1888 he went to Colorado, but returned to St. 
Augusta in 1889, and purchased the old home farm of 120 acres in section 3. 
By hard work and a progressive spirit he has prospered greatly, having much 
improved the farm and buildings. In 1900 he erected a splendid brick resi- 
dence, and he has also built a roomy barn. In addition to carrying on gen- 
eral farming he specializes in dairying, and raises some fine Guernsey cattle. 
Mr. Imholte has served six years as town treasurer. He is now treasurer of 
school district 34. He is a director in the St. Joseph Farmers' Mutual In- 
surance Co. Mr. Imholte was married October 1, 1895, to Annie Moeller, who 
was born May 28, 1873, and died January 7, 1908. She was a fine type of 
woman, a true and loyal wife and a loving mother. The children are : Mag- 
nus, born September 27, 1896; Frances, June 10, 1898; Norbert, June 20, 1900; 
Linus, November 17, 1902; Veronica, April 22, 1905; and Hilda, January 3, 
1908. The family faith is that of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Joseph Kronenberg, an early settler of St. Augusta township, was born 
in Germany, and there received a good education. Early in life he married 
Margaret Zuth, who throughout the years of their marriage proved a true 
wife and loving mother. Upon coming to America, they first located on a 
farm in section 25, St. Augusta, but a little later took up a homestead of 160 
acres in section 22. He erected a comfortable home, and all necessary out- 
buildings for the housing of his crops, cattle and machinery, and became 
one of St. Augusta's representative farmers. He died September 8, 1888, and 
the good wife and mother died" July 20, 1898. Six children were born : Agnes, 
now Mrs. Henry A. Block, of St. Augusta; Margaret, now Mrs. Henry Pra- 
mann, of Fair Haven township ; Joseph; now of Fair Haven township ; John 
J., of St. Augusta township ; Johanna, now Mrs. Barney Meyer, of St. Cloud, 
and Ursus, now of St. Augusta township. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 945 

Ursus Kronenberg, a substantial farmer of St. Augusta, was born on his 
father's farm in section 22, this township, August 6, 1870, son of Joseph and 
Margaret (Zuth) Kronenberg. He received his education in the school in 
district 35, and farmed with his father until the latter 's death, when by the 
purchase of the various interests in the estate, he came into possession of the 
home place. He erected a good residence, barn, and outbuildings, and car- 
ried on general farming there until 1911, when he sold out and purchased his 
present farm of 160 acres in sections 29 and 30, to which he moved in the 
spring of 1912. One of the improvements he has m^de on this place has been 
the erection of a modern residence, equipped with a hot water heating system, 
and other conveniences. He is regarded as one of the most progressive men 
in his community. He has been supervisor for three years, and a member 
of the school board for two years. Mr. Kronenberg was married September 
22, 1891, to Mary Weiler, who was born in the township of St. Augusta, July 
13, 1869. They have six children: Mary M., born August 18, 1892; Arthur 
B., June 19, 1894; Clara A., December 16, 1896; Andrew J., July 27, 1898; 
Agnes F., September 9, 1904; Amelia M., April 9, 1906. Mrs. Kronenberg is the 
daughter of Jacob and Mary (Klein) "Weiler, who came to St. Augusta in an 
early day, settled in section 29, and took up general farming. Mr. Weiler 
died October 30, 1910. Mrs. Weiler lives in St. Cloud. They were the par- 
ents of thirteen children: Margaret (deceased) ; Elizabeth, now Mrs. William 
Schafer, of Santa Cruz, California; Cresentia, now Mrs. Henry Branch, of 
Rockville township ; Frances, now Mrs. John Schafer, of St. Cloud ; Anna, 
now Mrs. Stephen Schafer, of St. Augusta township; Agnes (deceased) ; Lucy, 
now Mrs. Peter Warner, of North Dakota; Katie, now Mrs. Christ Harren, 
of North Dakota; Nicholas, of Bellfield, North Dakota; Mary, now Mrs. 
Christ Kramer, of North Dakota; and Frank and Jacob, twins, of St. Cloud. 

John Kloeppner, deceased, for many years a hard-working and respected 
farmer of St. Augusta township, was born in Ikesville, Germany, March 7, 
1849, attended the public schools, was reared to agricultural pursuits, and 
grew to manhood. In 1880 he came to America, and shortly afterward found 
his way to Stearns county, where he purchased 160 acres of land in section 
26, St. Augusta township. By industry and close application to business, he 
prospered and became one of the leading and representative farmers of the 
vicinity. He erected a good home and a substantial set of outbuildings, and 
in time increased his holdings to 240 acres. On this farm he toiled until he 
found rest in death, March 13, 1907. In politics he was a Democrat. The family 
faith is that of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Mr. Kloeppner was married May 18, 1881, to Theresa Kilian, who was 
born in St. Cloud township, December 2, 1859, daughter of Henry Kilian, the 
pioneer, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Kloeppner were born ten children: Elizabeth, now Mrs. Ferdinand Weber, 
of St. Cloud; Henry, of St. Augusta, married to Agnes Wolters; Theresa, 
now Mrs. David Borch, of Faribault, Minn. ; Helena, now Mrs. John Reischl, 
of St. Cloud ; Rose, now Mrs. Theodore Wolters, of St. Augusta, and Edward, 
Alphonse, Agnes, Hilda, and Martha who are on the home farm with their 
mother. Since the death of Mr. Kloeppner, Mrs. Kloeppner has continued to 



946 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

operate the home farm. She is a capable manager, a good business woman, 
and a kind and loving mother. Under her care with the help of the children 
many improvements have been made, and general farming operations are suc- 
cessfully conducted. 

Bernard Kenning, one of the oldest living settlers of Stearns county, 
was born at Hanover, Germany, December 1, 1821, son of Arnold and Elizabeth 
(Heiker) Kenning, the former of whom died in 1835 and the latter in 1830. 
Bernard Kenning received his education in his native country, and there grew 
to manhood. In 1852 he came to America, and located in Cincinnati, Ohio, 
where he spent some three years and a half. Then after spending a summer 
in Iowa, he came to Minnesota in 1856, and located in the town of St. Augusta, 
where he purchased 160 acres of railroad land in section 9. Here he erected a 
rude log cabin, and underwent all the hardships of early pioneer days. By 
hard work he prospered. As means permitted he built a good residence and 
outbuildings, and added to his original possessions until he owned 600 acres 
of excellent land. He carried on general farming until 1908, when he retired 
and purchased a home in the village of St. Augusta, where he is now enjoy- 
ing a well-earned rest after so many years of honest toil. At the age of ninety- 
two years he is still hale and hearty, and at the time of this writing was 
found working in his garden patch digging potatoes. In his younger days 
he was active in public affairs, and served both as supervisor and as school 
treasurer. Mr. Kenning was married in the summer of 1859, to Margaret 
Schweiters, who was born in Germany, May 14, 1836, and died in St. Augusta, 
December 14, 1887. In the family there are ten children : Joseph and Henry, 
farmers in St. Augusta; Anna, now Mrs. Ferdinand Flory, of Princeton, 
Minn. ; Mary, now Sister Mary Benigna, C. P. P. S., of Bellevue, Ohio ; Eliza- 
beth, who since the death of her mother has taken full charge of the home 
and looks after the needs and wishes of her aged father ; Barney, of St. Cloud ; 
Herman, who lives on the old home farm in St. Augusta, Philomena who is 
at home ; Bernadine, twin sister of Philomena, who is now Mrs. George Kiff- 
meyer, of St. Augusta ; John, of St. Paul ; and Bernard, who died in infancy. 
The family faith is that of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Joseph Kenning, a well-known farmer of St. Augusta, was born in the 
township where he still resides, July 12, 1860, son of Bernard Kenning, the 
pioneer. He received his education in the public schools of his neighborhood, 
and remained at home until twenty-five years of age. Then he purchased a 
farm of 120 acres in section 9, St. Augusta. To this he later added 60 acres, 
so that he now has a splendid farm of 180 acres. He has built a fine resi- 
dence, and a good set of barns and outbuildings, and his operations have been 
very successful. His interest in the advancement and development of the 
township and county has been many times demonstrated. He is a good farmer 
and a desirable citizen, and is well regarded in his community. On May 23, 
1910, Mr. Kenning met with an unfortunate accident. He was grubbing land 
with an engine when the cable broke, crushing the lower half of his leg. 
November 24, he had the limb amputated. Undaunted by this disaster he 
purchased an artificial leg constructed along the latest approved lines, and 
he is now able to do as much work as ever. Mr. Kenning was married April 30, 




JKHXAKl) KKXXIXC 




JOSEPH J. KLAVERKAMP 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 947 

1889, to Bernidena Bruns, who was born, April 15, 1867, in St. Augusta town- 
ship, daughter of Henry and Lena (Eyles) Bruns, natives of Germany, who 
settled in St. Augusta township in 1860, the former dying in February, 1908, 
and the latter in May, 1906. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Kenning are : 
Anna, now Mrs. Barney Voigt, of St. Augusta; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Fred 
Meyer, of South Haven, Minn.; Frank (deceased), Leo (deceased), and Ed- 
ward and Norbert, both at home. The family faith is that of the Roman 
Catholic Church. 

Henry Kenning, a representative farmer of St. Augusta, was born in the 
township where he still resides, February 3, 1862, son of Bernard Kenning, 
the pioneer. Like the other youths of his time and location, he grew up on 
the farm, acquired a sturdy body by doing the chores usually allotted to farm 
boys, and secured a good education in the district schools. He learned farm- 
ing from his father and remained at home until twenty-seven years of age. 
In 1889 he branched out for himself and purchased a farm in section 4, St. 
Augusta. He has prospered year by year, and now has a fine farm of 200 
acres, constituting a place which in its houses, barns and other buildings, its 
crops and stock, its fences, equipment and tools, its meadows, fields and wood- 
lands, speaks of his thrift, shrewdness, hard work, good taste and prosperity. 
In every way, Mr. Kenning is a good citizen, and his opinions are often sought 
and are highly valued by his neighbors. Mr. Kenning was married December 
22, 1892, to Katrina Messraann, and they have five children, all living at home. 
They are Paulena, Minnie, George, Emeline and Frances. The family faith 
is that of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Joseph Klaverkamp, an estimable citizen of St. Augusta, was born in 
Germany, September 30, 1849, son of Joseph and Sibilla (Knappmoeller) Klav- 
erkamp, who spent the span of their years in the old country. Joseph re- 
ceived his education in Germany. As a youth he served in the German army, 
and also learned the carpenter trade. In the spring of 1875 he came to Amer- 
ica, and after one month's sojourn in Wisconsin he came to Minnesota and 
located on section 13, St. Augusta. He worked hard, erected a good home 
and other buildings, and increased his holdings to 250 acres. Mr. Klaverkamp 
was married October 7, 1875, to Frances Schulte, who was born in Germany 
the same day that he was, and came to St. Augusta in the fall of 1875. They 
have had ten children : Barney, Joseph J., Mary, Fred, Hubert, Anna, Frances, 
Leo, Felix and Lena. Barney lives in St. Augusta. He married Clara Rosha, 
and they have five children: Olive, Irene, Edwin, Alvina and Lucile. Jo- 
seph J. is appropriately mentioned elsewhere. Mary is the wife of Zeno 
Moser, of Richmond, and they have three children : Aloysius, Lawrence and 
Loretta. Fred married Theresa Winkelraan. They live in Benton county, 
Minn., and have three children : Rosa, Adella and Anna. Anna is the wife of 
Andrew Voigt, of St. Augusta township. Hubert, Frances, Leo and Felix 
are at home. Lena died in infancy. The family faith is that of the Roman 
Catholic Church. 

Joseph J. Klaverkamp, proprietor of the Hedge Grove Stock farm, one 
of the show places of St. Augusta, was born in the township where he still 



948 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

resides, September 26, 1877, son of Joseph and Frances (Sehulte) Klaver- 
kamp, natives of Germany, who are appropriately mentioned elsewhere. Joseph 
J. attended the schools of St. Augusta, completing his education with courses 
in the St. Cloud State Normal School and in a business college in Sauk Centre. 
For several years he engaged in different occupations such as brick making, 
threshing and carpenter work. In 1905 he rented, and in 1907 purchased, 
120 acres of his father's farm in sections 13 and 24. This farm he has greatly 
improved in every way. He has fenced nearly all of it anew, and has made 
the most of all its acres. In 1902 he erected a modern barn, and in 1913 a 
new silo, and from time to time he has put up smaller buildings as necessity 
required. The farm is prettily located, and is as well-kept as any in the 
township. Mr. Klaverkamp is a scientific farmer, a deep thinker, and a close 
student of his chosen calling. He takes great pride in his herd of Red Poll 
cattle in which he specializes both for beef and dairy purposes. He also 
specializes in Poland China hogs and they always command the best prices. 
Mr. Klaverkamp was married, June 6, 1906, to Gertrude Landwehr, daughter 
of Mr. and Mrs. Landwehr, of St. Augusta. This union has resulted in three 
children : Veronica, born July 22, 1906 ; Alma, born February 22, 1911 ; and 
Magdaline, born April 23, 1913. The family faith is that of the Roman Cath- 
olic Church. 

Joseph Loehrer, dairyman and agriculturist, now of St. Augusta town- 
ship, was born in Fair Haven township, this county, July 27, 1875, son of 
Anton and Adeline (Benoit) Loehrer, the former a native of Switzerland and 
the latter of France. Anton Loehrer was by trade a millwright, a carpenter 
and a powder manufacturer. Upon coming to America, he located in St. Louis, 
Mo., where he followed his trades. In 1861 he enlisted in the Union Army, 
and served three years. It was in 1867 that he came to Stearns county, mar- 
ried, and took a homestead of eighty acres in the township of Fair Haven. 
Later he added eighty acres by purchase. In 1880 he purchased a farm in 
St. Augusta township, where he farmed until 1912, when he retired and moved 
to St. Cloud, where he died in November, 1913. Of their nine children, five 
are still living. They are: Adeline, now Mrs. Frank Mund, of Fair Haven 
township ; Joseph, of St. Augusta township ; Edward, of St. Cloud ; Anton, of 
St. Augusta township; and Lena, of St. Cloud. Joseph Loehrer received his 
education at home from his father, who was a school teacher in Stearns 
county for some twenty years. He remained at home until 1902, when he 
went to Pearl Lake, Rockville township, and there farmed until 1909, when 
he purchased his present farm of 120 acres in section 28. He was married, 
September 9, 1902 to Margaret Lemm, who was born in Rockville, this county, 
June 19, 1880, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Lemm, the former 
of whom was a school teacher and merchant in Ohio, came to Rockville town- 
ship in 1860, and was here a school teacher and farmer. Mr. Lemm sang in 
church choirs in Ohio and Minnesota for over fifty years. He died on his 
farm in Rockville township, April 10, 1910, and his wife still resides on the 
home place. They were the parents of twenty-one children. Mr. and Mrs. 
Joseph Loehrer have five children : Anton, born June 3, 1903 ; Joseph, born 
May 23, 1904; Arthur, October 6, 1907; Paulena, July 13, 1909; and Law- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 949 

renee who was born in 1910 and died in 1912. The family faith is that of 
the Roman Catholic Church. 

August Landwehr, an active farmer of St. Augusta, was bom in the 
township where he still resides, December 4, 1885, son of Barney and Barbara 
(Weyrauch) Landwehr. He attended the district schools of his native town, 
and took a course in the Vath Business College, at St. Cloud, as well as one 
year in the St. Cloud State Normal School. Then he engaged in agricultural 
pursuits with his father until 1910. At that time he rented from his father 
the farm on which he now resides, consisting of eighty acres in section 7, St, 
Augusta township, and forty acres in section 12, Rockville township. In 
1913 he was enabled to purchase this farm. He is a progressive man, and a 
close student of his work. In addition to general farming he makes a spe- 
cialty of stock breeding, raising Red Poll cattle and Poland-China hogs. He 
has not sought public office, but has done good service as road overseer. Mr. 
Landwehr was married May 3, 1910, to Henrietta Kloeppner, and they have 
two children, Paul and Norbert. The family faith is that of the Catholic 
Church. 

Henry Weyrauch, one of the early settlers of Stearns county, was born 
in Germany, and there married Mary Brester. They came to America at an 
early day, and reached Stearns county with one of the first German colonies. 
They located in St. Cloud township, and became successful and influential 
farmers. Mr. Weyrauch died in December, 1880. Mrs. Weyrauch remained 
on the farm until 1901, when she moved to St. Cloud where she now lives. 
Of their thirteen children, twelve lived to adult years. They are : William, 
of Lynden township, this county; Barbara, now Mrs. Barney Landwehr, of 
St. Augusta ; Anna, now Mrs. Barney Goerger, of St. Colud ; John, of Ray- 
mond, Minn.; Henry, of St. Cloud; Mary (deceased) ; Barney of Minneapolis; 
Joseph, of St. Cloud; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Herman Kiffmeyer; of St. Cloud; 
Josephine, now Mrs. W. H. Landwehr, of St. Cloud ; Frances, now Mrs. Theo- 
dore Fischer, of St. Cloud; Lena, now Mrs. Joseph Berger; and Theresa, now 
Mrs. George Deering. The family faith is that of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Henry Landwehr was born in German}^, served in the German army, and 
came to America at the age of twenty-four years. He married Gertrude Kiff- 
meyer, who was born in Germany, and came to America at the age of twenty 
years. In 1859 they came from Clinton county, Illinois, to St. Augusta town- 
ship, where they purchased 160 acres in section 2, on which they engaged in 
agricultural pursuits until the death of Mr. Landwehr in 1881. The widow now 
lives in Oregon with her son, Henry. Mr. and Mrs. Landwehr had the fol- 
lowing children : Henry, of Portland, Oregon ; Barney, of St. Augusta town- 
ship ; August H., of North Dakota ; John who died December 12, 1893 ; Frank, 
of Sedan, Minn. ; William H., of St. Cloud ; and Mary, wife of William Goerger, 
of Jordan, Oregon. 

Barney Landwehr, one of the solid representative farmers of St. Augusta 
township, was born in Germantown, now Carlyle, Clinton county, Illinois, 
August 31, 1858, a son of Henry and Gertrude (Kiffmeyer) Landwehr, by 
whom he was brought to St. Augusta in 1859. He attended the schools of 
his neighborhood, and early in life engaged in agricultural pursuits. He 



950 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

made a study of the soil, and by dint of hard work and close application to 
business he has made a success and is now one of the leading farmers of St. 
Augusta. Some years ago he purchased the home farm in section 2, consist- 
ing of 200 acres. He has made many improvements thereon, and the whole 
place shows thrift and foresight. Aside from the home farm, Mr. Landwehr 
owns a farm of 120 acres in Rockville township, this county. He makes a 
specialty of stock raising and dairy farming. His active interest in the affairs 
of the town has resulted in substantial progress, and he has held many town- 
ship offices with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his fellowmen. 
He has been a member of the board of supervisors seven years; assessor five 
years; clerk of school district No. 34, twelve years; and at various times the 
occupant of minor offices. In politics he is a Democrat. His fraternal affilia- 
tion is with the Catholic Order of Foresters. June 1, 1880, Mr. Landwehr 
married Barbara Weyrauch, who was born in St. Cloud township, October 16, 
1857. She has proven a capable wife and a loving mother. The children are 
as follows: Mary, wife of George Goettle, of Ward county. North Dakota; 
Gertrude, wife of J. J. Klaverkamp, of St. Augusta township ; Anna, at home ; 
August, of St. Augusta township ; Barbara, John, Clemens and Lorenz, at 
home. 

Fred Meyer, proprietor of the Trout Brook Dairy farm, St. Augusta town- 
ship, is a splendid example of the type of men who start life with no financial 
resources and by sheer pluck and hard work secured for themselves a lead- 
ing place in the community. He was born in Germany, April 30, 1859, son of 
Fred and Adelaide (Moeller) Meyer, natives of Germany who came to Amer- 
ica in 1885, located on a farm in St. Augusta township, and there became sub- 
stantial citizens. The father still lives in St, Augusta township. The mother 
died in 1911. Fred Meyer received a good education in Germany, came to 
America in 1882, located in St. Augusta township, worked out three years, 
and then bought eighty acres in section 27. With this small beginning he in- 
creased in property and influence. His place consists of 360 good acres, on 
which the buildings have all been erected by himself. The brick residence 
and the array of barns and outbuildings are well arranged and sightly. In 
addition to the home farm, he owns twenty six acres in Fair Haven town- 
ship. Mr, Meyer has given the town good service for over two decades as 
a member of the town board, part of the time as chairman. In the spring 
of 1914 he was elected town treasurer. He is also treasurer of school dis- 
trict 35. He belongs to the Farmers' Shipping Association of which he is one 
of the directors. Mr. Meyer was married September 16, 1886, to Theresa 
Kieke, born in St. Augusta township, December 22, 1861, and their children 
are John F., a farmer of Fair Haven township, married to Lizzie Kenning; 
Frank, Mary, Barney, Henry, Lena and Edward, The family faith is that of 
the Roman Catholic Church. 

John Mayer, the oldest living merchant in St. Augusta, was born in Mer- 
cer county, Ohio, March 25, 1846, son of Balser and Elizabeth (Hagerdorn) 
Mayer, who came to St. Augusta township on October 7, 1865, purchased 160 
acres in sections 13 and 24, and there followed farming the remainder of their 
days, the father dying in 1890 and the mother in 1905. John Mayer received 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 951 

a good public school education in the state of his birth, there grew to manhood, 
came to St. Augusta with his parents in the fall of 1865, and remained with 
his parents until 1882, when he opened a general store in the village of St. 
Augusta. For many years he carried a large stock of groceries, hardware, 
drygoods and clothing. Now his stock is somewhat smaller. He has been an 
active figure in the events of the neighborhood, and his voice and influence 
have ever favored those moves which had for their object the betterment of 
the town and county. He has consistently voted the Democratic ticket. Mr. 
Mayer was married January 25, 1881, to Ida Fietsam, and to this union there 
have been born seven children : John, who is at home with his father ; Sophia, 
now Mrs. Joseph Beumer; Amelia, who lives at home; Hermena, now Mrs. 
Andrew Woeste, of Arago, Minn. ; Pauline, now Mrs. John Hayes, of St. Cloud ; 
Flora, of St. Cloud; and Arthur, at home. The family faith is that of the 
Eoman Catholic Church. 

George Messmann, one of the early substantial farmers of St. Augusta, 
was born in Germany, May 31, 1829, and as a youth became a cabinet maker, 
mastering all the details of that trade with an exactness and skill unknown 
in the present day. After coming to America he located in Cincinnati, Ohio, 
from which city he came to Stearns county in 1856. He was among the first 
of the large number of Germans who later populated the county and con- 
tributed to its importance. He spent his life in this county in St. Augusta, 
and died May 17, 1910. His wife, Theresa Wolters, died April 19, 1906. They 
had no children. 

William F. Messmann, dairy farmer of St. Augusta, was born in Cincin- 
nati, Ohio, September 23, 1869, son of Fred and Mary (Rieman) Messmann. 
He lost his father when he was three years old and his mother when he was 
nine years old. In 1879 he was brought to St. Augusta by his uncle, George 
Messmann. When he was thirteen years old, he started out in life for him- 
self. For five years he worked for farmers. At the age of eighteen he went 
to St. Cloud, and learned his trade as an engineer in the old city pumping 
station. Then he returned to St. Augusta township, and became engineer for 
the old "Neenah Mills." This also gave him an opportunity for learning the 
milling trade. At the end of seven years, he and his brother-in-law, Frank 
H. Beumer, purchased the mill. They conducted the mill together for five 
years. Then they traded the mill for farm property in Benton county, this 
state. Later Mr. Messmann sold out his interests to his partner. " He spent 
a vacation of six months in Denver and other Western points. Upon his 
return he entered the employ of Henry Hess, as an engineer, first for two 
years in the ''Neenah Mills," and then for two seasons in the brick yards. 
Subsequently he again became engineer at the St. Cloud pumping station. 
But he was after fifteen months called to St. Augusta by the illness of his 
iincle. At the time of his uncle's death. May 17, 1910, he came into possession 
of his uncle's property, and there he now carries on general farming, in 
connection with dairying of which he makes a specialty. Mr. Messmann was 
married April 28, 1891, to Theresa Beumer, and they have three children, 
Mary, Frank and Clara. The family faith is that of the Roman Catholic 
Church. 



952 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

William H. Schabel, one of St. Augusta's leading farmers, was born in 
the city of St. Cloud, August 7, 1865, son of Ignatz and Mary (Fueh) Schabel, 
natives of Germany, who came to America, settled in Ohio, were there married, 
kept a store, boarding house and place of refreshment, came to St. Cloud in 
1865, purchased 107 acres in sections 19 and 20, St, Augusta township, and 
there followed farming the remainder of their days, the father dying January 
8, 1884, and the mother October 1, 1898. In the family there were nine chil- 
dren: Mary, who died October 17, 1898; Joseph, of Holding, Minn., who 
has seven children, Mary, John, Katie, Gertrude, Nicholas, Lena and Edward ; 
Katie, now Mrs. Nicholas Hubarty, of Watkins, Meeker county, Minn., who 
has three children, Mary, William and John ; Louise, now Mrs. Mathias Schei- 
fer, of Holding, Minn., who has two adopted children, Henry and Agnes ; 
John, of Graceville, Minn., who has eleven children, Annie, William, Joseph, 
Julia, Otelia, Frank, Johanna, Catherine, Theresa, John and Clara; William 
H., of St. Augusta; Wendelin (deceased); Valentine (deceased); and an 
unnamed infant (deceased). William H. received his early education in 
the schools of Luxemburg village. He then engaged in farming with his 
father. After his father's death he managed the home place for his mother. 
At the time of her death in 1898 he came into possession of the home place. He 
has added ten acres so that he now has 117 acres, on which he has made ex- 
tended improvements, including a new house, barn, and outbuildings. He 
has made a success of general farming, and is progressive and well liked. 
He and his wife belong to the Central Insurance Co. Mr. Schabel was married 
January 29, 1895, to Anna Plachta, who was born in Germany, September 6, 
1875. They have nine children: Wendelin (deceased), Valentine M., Oswald 
J., Clothilda C, Philomena M., Pauline A., Leonard W., Alma K. and Lucilla. 
The family faith is that of the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Schabel belongs 
to St. Wendelin 's Society, while his wife belongs to the Margueritta Society 
of St. Cloud, and the Christian Mothers' Society. Mrs. Schabel is the daugh- 
ter of Casper and Theresa (Vesper) Plachta, natives of Germany who came 
to America in 1892, located at St. Cloud, soon moved to Collegeville, and 
there made their home for a few years while the father worked in St. John's 
University. He died August 1, 1903. The mother lives in St. Cloud. In their 
family there are seven children : Anna, now Mrs. William H. Schabel, of 
St. Augusta; Julia, now Mrs. Hubert Hansen, of Garrison, North Dakota; 
August, now Rev. Father August Plachta, of Royalton, Minn. ; Paulina, now 
Sister Mary Degnati, 0. S. B., Melrose, Minn. ; Frank, of Breckenridge, Minn. ; 
Theresa, now Sister Mary Cordelia, 0. S. B., at Richmond, Minn.; and John 
(deceased). 

John Schlagheck, supervisor of St, Augusta township, was born in Ohio, 
February 9, 1865, son of Henry and Mary (Meyer) Schlagheek. The father 
was born in Germany and the mother in Ohio. They came to Stearns county 
in 1867, and engaged in agricultural pursuits. By toiling early and late they 
in due time became prosperous farmers and representative citizens. Of this 
family there are living four children : John, of St. Augusta ; Henry, of Wis- 
consin; Herman, of St. Cloud; and Minnie, now Mrs. Fred Michaels, of St. 
Cloud. Henry Schlagheek died in 1902 and his wife in 1913. John came to 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 953 

br. Augusta with his parents in 1867. He attended the district schools, was 
reared to farm pursuits, and for some years engaged in brick making on 
his father's farm. He next went to St. Cloud, and after working one year 
there purchased an ice business which he conducted for a year. After selling 
out there, he returned to St. Augusta, followed blacksmithing for a time, 
and then bought eighty acres of land, on which he successfully followed gen- 
eral farming. He built a good barn and other buildings, and improved the 
place in various other ways. In the spring of 1914 he sold his farm and pur- 
chased the old Beumer place at St. Augusta village where he now resides. 
In 1911 he was elected a member of the board of supervisors, a position which 
he still retains. Mr. Schlagheck was married, November 10, 1891, to Mary 
Beumer, born January 10, 1873, a daughter of Frederick Beumer. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Beumer four children have been born, Albert, Theresa, Martha and 
Masada. The family faith is that of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Stephen J. Schafer, chairman of the board of supervisors of St. Augusta 
township, was born in Maine Prairie township, June 28, 1873, son of John 
and Margaret (Hoffmann) Schafer. John Schafer was born in Germany, and 
there attended the public schools. He came to America in 1860, lived in Min- 
neapolis for a while, and came to Stearns county about 1864. He was married 
in St. Cloud, took up land in Maine Prairie township, and engaged in farm- 
ing. He died October 18, 1904. His wife still lives in that township. In 
the family there were ten children : John, of Rockville township ; William, of 
Santa Cruz, California; Joseph, of Rockville township; Stephen J., of St. 
Augusta township ; Susan, now Mrs. Peter Meas, of Meeker county, Minne- 
sota ; Peter of Cold Spring ; Mary, now Mrs. Anton Bauer, of Kenmare, North 
Dakota ; Katie, now Mrs. Bonaiice Hiltner, of Dresden, North Dakota ; Marga- 
ret, now Mrs. John Hiltner, of Dresden, North Dakota ; and Cecelia, who lives 
at home with her mother in Maine Prairie. Stephen J. Schafer received his 
education in the district schools of Maine Prairie. As a young man he went 
to Rolette county, North Dakota, where he proved up on a claim, and farmed 
five years. He was called home by his father's failing health, and took charge 
of the home place in Maine Prairie until 1907, when he purchased the old 
Weiler homestead of 160 acres in section 29, and sixty acres in section 19, St. 
Augusta township. He has erected a large barn, and made other improve- 
ments. In addition to carrying on general farming, he makes a specialty of 
raising Black Poll cattle, principally for beef purposes. He is one of the 
enterprising farmers of the community, and has been a member of the town 
board since 1908. Mr. Schafer was married November 23, 1897, to Anna 
Weiler, born June 10, 1877, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Weiler, a notice 
of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Schafer have three 
children living and one dead. Elenora was born in North Dakota, November 
23, 1898 ; Valentine was born in North Dakota, March 7, 1902 ; Alphonse was 
born in Maine Prairie, Minn,, September 3, 1905; Frances was born May 15, 
1910, and died the same day. The family worships at St. Wendel's Church. 

Adolph Voigl;, one of the influential farmers of St. Augusta to^vnship, was 
born in Germany, February 21, 1869, a son of William and Theresa (Meyer) 
Voigt. The family came to America in 1879, located in St. Augusta township, 



954 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

purchased 200 acres in sections 11 and 12, and there established their home. 
William Voigt died December 27, 1881, and his wife and children conducted 
the farm until 1892, when the oldest son was given possession. Theresa (Meyer) 
Voigt died February 19, 1911. Adolph Voigt attended the schools of his 
. native town and of St. Cloud, and remained on the home farm until 1891, when 
he purchased 200 acres in sections 11 and 12. Six years later he added forty 
acres more, so that he now has a splendid place of 240 acres. He carries on 
general farming, has been successful in his operations, and has improved the 
place in various ways. He has not cared to mingle in public affairs, but con- 
sistently votes the Democratic ticket. 

Mr. Voigt was married November 17, 1891, to Elizabeth Dorenkemper, a 
daughter of Fred and Gertrude (Plake) Dorenkemper. Mr. and Mrs. Voigt 
have two children, Hubert and Angeline. The family faith is that of the 
Roman Catholic Church. 

Fred Dorenkemper was born in Germany and there married Gertrude 
Plake. They came to America, and reached Stearns county with an early 
German colony in 1856. They settled in sections 11 and 12, St. Augusta, 
and as the years passed became prosperous and progressive farmers. Mr, 
Dorenkemper died November 19, 1905, and his wife January 6, 1894. Their 
farm is now occupied by their son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Adolph 
Voigt. 

William Voigt, a progressive farmer of St. Augusta, was born in Saxony, 
Germany, May 7, 1853, son of Ignatz and Mary K. (Glorious) Voigt. He 
received a thorough education in the land of his birth and there grew to 
manhood. In 1880 he came to America, located in the township of St. Au- 
gusta, and purchased the old Henry Messmann farm of 250 acres in section 
11. Later he sold forty acres, leaving him a fine farm of 210 acres. Mr. 
Voigt 's untiring industry has resulted in success and prosperity. He broke 
the land, erected a suitable residence and a good set of outbuildings, and 
today is registered among the leading farmers of his community. Every 
acre of his farm shows his thrift, care and foresight. Mr. Voigt was married 
October 19, 1881, to Mary K. Messmann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry 
Messmann, the pioneers. Mrs. Voigt died November 23, 1905. The children 
are: John, Barney, Paul, Anna, Mary, Elizabeth, August, Tobey, Vincent 
and Alphonse. The family faith is that of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Gerhard Wolters, for many years a respected farmer of St. Augusta, was 
born in Germany, in October, 1845, and there received a good education. In 
1867 he came to America, and located in St. Augusta township. In time he 
purchased the Henry Fibbe farm of 200 acres in sections 7, 8 and 18, and be- 
came one of the solid men of the community. He died May 2, 1897. He was 
married November 22, 1869, to Philemina Fibbe, born April 9, 1855, daughter 
of Henry and Mary A. Fibbe, yyho settled near the mouth of Johnson's creek 
with a colony in 1854. Mrs. Wolters was the first white child born in St. 
Augusta township, and with the exception of short visits, has spent her life 
on the farm where she first saw the light of day. Mr. and Mrs. Wolters have 
had seventeen children : Gerhard, Jr., on the home farm ; Theresa, of St. 
Augusta; Ann (deceased); Mary (deceased); Henry (deceased); Clara, now 




MR. AX J) MRS. WILLIAM VOIGT 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 955 

Mrs. Thomas Marsh, of St. Paul; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Arnold B. Ergen, of 
St. Augusta ; Dora, now Mrs. Henry Toenys, of Buckman, Minn. ; Theodore, 
of St. Augusta, twin brother to Dora ; Lena, now Mrs. John Toenys, of Buck- 
man, Minn. ; Henry, John and Frank, of St. Augusta ; Agnes, now Mrs. Henry 
Kloeppner, of St. Augusta, twin sister of Frank ; Joseph and Josephine, twins, 
deceased; one not named (deceased). Gerhard Wolters, Jr., who conducts 
the home farm was born October 7, 1870, received a good education, and has 
devoted his life to farm work. 

Rev. Father James Walcher, pastor of the Church of St. Mary, R. C, in 
St. Augusta, was born in Bavaria, Germany, December 14, 1867, son of John 
and Anna Walcher, who brought him to Stearns county in 1872. The boy, 
who afterward became Father "Walcher, received his early education in the 
district schools. In 1881 at Meire Grove the family joined the Catholic Church. 
In 1884 he entered St. John's University at Collegeville, in this county, and 
remained there until 1887. From 1888 to 1890 he taught school. From 1890 
to 1896 he was a student at the Mt. Angel Seminary, at Mt. Angel, Oregon. 
In 1896 he again entered St. John's University to study theology, and in 
June, 1899, he was ordained priest by the Right Rev. Bishop James Trobec. 
For three years he was curate at Melrose. Then he was transferred to Alex- 
andria, Minn., for two and a half years, later to Tintah, Minn., for four and 
a half years. In 1909, returning to Melrose he was given charge of St. Pat- 
rick's Parish at that place. October 18, 1911, he became pastor of his present 
parish. 

Witschen Brothers are among the most modern and progressive farmers 
in St. Augusta township. Reared as they were to agricultural pursuits they 
have taken their deepest pleasure in watching the growing of stock and of 
crops, and few young men are better versed in all the science of farm life 
than are they. The founder of the family was Bernard Witschen, Sr. He came 
to America as a young man and for a time did railroad work in St. Louis. 
In 1856 he came to Minnesota, and found his way to Stearns county. Here 
he met and married Clara Berger, whose parents were also pioneers of this 
county. Mr. and Mrs. Witschen settled on a preemption claim of 160 acres 
in section 24, St. Augusta township. He erected a log cabin and started 
farming with one yoke of oxen. When the railroad came through from St. 
Paul to St. Cloud he assisted in its construction. Most of his life, however, 
was passed on the farm. To his original tract he added forty acres in sec- 
tion 23, and still another forty acres in section 34, making in all a splendid 
farm, on which he successfully carried on farming operations the remainder 
of his life. He erected a good house and commodious barns, and in time be- 
came one of the leading farmers in the community. He retained all of his 
farm except five acres; when he died in 1896 he left his children a comfort- 
able competence as well as the heritage of a good life and a spotless name. 
His wife died in 1892. In the family there were five children : Bernard, Joseph, 
August, Henry and Elizabeth. Henry lives in St. Cloud, and Elizabeth is the 
wife of Frank Schindt, of Lynden township. Bernard, Joseph and August 
constitute the partnership known as the Witschen Brothers. Bernard was 
born November 8, 1871 ; Joseph was born November 14, 1875 ; and August 



956 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

was born July 14, 1877. When the father died he left his property to his 
children in five equal shares. Bernard bought out the shares of Henry and 
Elizabeth, so that he now owns three-fifths of the property, and Joseph and 
August each one-fifth. The three brothers work the farm together except 
during the summer seasons, when August is employed as a bricklayer. They 
have greatly improved their farm in every way and their stock and equip- 
ment are of the best. They believe in modern methods and they are hard work- 
ers, and their splendid place with its sightly buildings, its well-kept fences, 
its spreading and well-tilled acres, its sleek stock, its supply of implements 
and tools, and its automobile is in striking contrast to the early days when 
their father lived in a log cabin and worked with a yoke of oxen. The three 
young men have never married. They keep house for themselves, and it 
would be hard to find anywhere three more contented men, or better fellows, 
or more progressive farmers, than these same Witschen brothers. 

Stephen Zenner, one of the representative men of St, Augusta township, 
was born in Germany, in 1856, son of Philip and Mary (Rausch) Zenner, also 
natives of Germany. The mother died in the old country. The father came 
to America in 1861, and located in St. Augusta township, where he acquired 
eighty acres of land in section 30. Later he added eighty acres more and 
became a substantial land owner. He died in 1889. The children are : Henry, 
a retired farmer of St. Cloud; Stephen, of St. Augusta township; Mathias, 
of Buckman, Minn.; Margaret, of St. Augusta, widow of Jacob Lemm; and 
Barbara (deceased). Stephen received his education in the district schools, 
and farmed with his father for several years. He first started farming for 
himself on eighty acres, which he purchased from his father in Rockville 
township. Later he sold that tract and purchased 158 acres in Maine Prairie 
township. There he followed farming until 1910, when he sold out and pur- 
chased 39I/4 acres in section 19, St. Augusta township, where he still resides. 
He also owns a good farm of 153 acres in the same township, which is now 
operated by his son, Mathias. Mr. Zenner is a worthy citizen in every way. 
He served for some time as school treasurer. Mr. Zenner was married Febru- 
ary 27, 1878, to Margaret Scheifer, born May 17, 1859, and they have had 
seven children: Mathias, a farmer of St. Augusta; Paul, at home; Clara, now 
Mrs. Joseph Pohl; Barbara, now Mrs. Henry Henz; Gertrude (deceased); 
Susan, now Mrs. Thomas Finnemann ; and Pauline, at home. The family faith 
is that of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Henry Scheifer was born in Germany and there married. In 1860 he 
and his wife, Clara, came to America, and located in St. Augusta township, 
this county, and engaged in farming. At the outbreak of the Civil War he 
enlisted. During that conflict he M^as taken prisoner and died in a southern 
prison. His wife died in 1900. Their children were : Mary (deceased) ; 
Gertrude, wife of Peter Mohs, .of St. Martin township; Mathias, of Holding- 
ford; Katie (deceased); Margaret, wife of Stephen Zenner, of St. Augusta; 
and Susan, wife of Paul Rausch, of St. Cloud. 

John Weber, a capable farmer of St. Augusta township, was born in Lux- 
emburg, May 10, 1844, son of Peter and Anna Katrina (Schurahan) Weber, 
also natives of Luxemburg. The parents came to America in 1855, took a 




MR. AND MRS. STETHEX Z PINNER 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 957 

claim of 160 acres in St. Augusta township, erected a log cabin, started life 
in the wilderness, and later became prosperous and successful, erecting a 
good house and outbuildings, and increasing their holdings to 320 acres. The 
father died in March, 1889, and the mother in January, 1883. In the family 
there were five children: John, of St. Augusta township; Nicholas (deceased) ; 
Anna, now the widow of John Plattes, of St. Cloud; Katherine, now Mrs. 
John Hammerel, of St. Cloud; and John Nicholas (deceased). John Weber 
received his education in Germany, was brought to St. Augusta township by 
his parents in 1855, and has since lived continuously on the same farm. He 
and his father farmed in partnership for many years. He bought the home 
farm a short time before the father's death. He now has 417 acres located 
in sections 5, 6 and 28, and has made many improvements of various kinds, 
in lands and buildings. He is far sighted, a hard worker, and a real leader 
among the people. The march of human affairs, whether ancient or modern, 
has been the subject of his special thought and observation, and he is a pleas- 
ant conversationalist on all subjects of historic and modern significance. He 
was chairman of the town for two years, and treasurer of School District No. 
37, for some thirty-three years. Mr. Weber was married, June 26, 1875, to 
Cuniguta Hartmann, who was born in St. Cloud township, July 26, 1855. Mr. 
and Mrs. Weber have fifteen children : Peter, of St. Cloud ; Ferdinand, of 
St. Cloud, who married Lizzie Kloepner, and has three children : Loretta, 
Louise and Alfred ; Anne, now Mrs. Robert Ford, of Washington ; Susan, who 
married Michael Hammerel, of St. Cloud, and has two children: Marcella and 
Clarence ; Michael, of St. Cloud ; John, twin brother of Nicholas, killed by a 
dynamite explosion near Fargo, North Dakota; Nicholas, now of Flaxville, 
Montana, who married Anna Lemm, and has one son, Harold ; Rosa, now Mrs. 
Louis Heimans, of St. Cloud township ; Margaret, who married Ignatius Lemm, 
of Duluth, and has one son. Homer Francis ; Amelia, of Duluth ; Charles, of 
Farmington, Minn. ; Arthur, of Washington ; Leo, of St. Cloud ; Paul, who 
died at nine years of age, and Margaret (first), who died in infancy. The 
family faith is that of the Roman Catholic Church. Mrs. John Weber is the 
daughter of Ferdinand and Margaret (Schlerer) Hartmann, natives of Ger- 
many, who came to the United States, located in Buffalo, New York; and in 
1854, came to St. Cloud township with the earliest settlers. The mother died 
in 1888. The father was killed in a runaway accident in 1894. The five 
children living are : Cuniguta, Philip, Susan, Katie and Charles. 

Christ Walkley was born in Maryland in January, 1834, came to St. 
Augusta township in 1856, and since that time has been engaged continuously 
in farming in section 31. He married Emma Roach, in December, 1861. She 
died January 15, 1895. They had twelve children : Ida, Alice, Nettie, Carrie, 
Rose, Martha, Mary, Grace, Eugene, George, James and Oscar. 

John Schenk was born in Germany in 1830, came to America in 1853, lived 
five years in Louisville, Kentucky, came to St. Augusta township, in 1858, 
engaged in farming until 1912, and then sold to his daughter with whom he 
now lives, on the old homestead. He was married in 1855 to Helena Braun, 
and of their seven children two are living. Mr. Schenk served both on the 
town and school boards. 



958 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Peter Maus was born in Prussia, Germany, December 24, 1832, and came 
to America in 1854, being 163 days on the ocean. He lived in Henry county, 
Ohio, for two years and in 1856 came to Stearns county and located on a farm 
in St. Augusta township in 1858, since which time he has devoted his life to 
farming. In the early days he was a school teacher. He served as chairman, 
supervisor, road overseer and school clerk. In February, 1863, he married 
Margaret Diedrick, who was born in Prussia, December 6, 1840. Their ten 
children are : Anna, John, Elizabeth, Susan, Kate, Nicholas, Peter, Mary, 
Margaret and Henry C. 

Stephen Strack was born in Germany, October 16, 1859, and came to 
America in 1868, with his parents, Philip and Gertrude (Diedrick) Strack. 
He attended the district schools and became one of the leading farmers. He 
is secretary and treasurer of the Luxemburg Creamery Co., of which he was 
one of the organizers. For three years he was chairman of the town board. 
Mr Strack was married February 8, 1882, to Kate Theilen, and they have fif- 
teen children: Anna, Anton, Joseph, John, Mary and Nicholas (twins), Chris- 
tina, Gertrude, Matilda, Alphonse, Andrew, Sylvester, Veronica, Thomas (de- 
ceased), and Katie (deceased). 

Wilbur F. Fisk, an estimable citizen and worthy pioneer, now deceased, 
was born in Lunanberg, Vermont, September 10, 1830, son of Henry and 
Lucinda (Keys) Fisk, who came of a distinguished family prominent in the 
annals of the Methodist Episcopal Church. About 1835 the family moved 
to Whitefield, N. Y., where the father died in 1858, and the mother in 1847. 
In 1851, Wilbur F. Fisk went to Peterboro, N. H. Later he returned to his 
birthplace. It was in 1857 that he came to Minnesota. He reached Clear- 
water June 10, and soon after that took in that vicinity the claim that there- 
after continued to be his home. February 14, 1865, he enlisted in Company 
E, First Minnesota Heavy Artillery, and was assigned to garrison duty at 
Nashville, Tenn., where he was mustered out, September 21, 1865. He then 
returned to his farm, took up the round of daily duty, and became a leading 
and substantial citizen. He died December 23, 1904. Mr. Fisk belonged to 
that class of men who honestly, faithfully and quietly meet the everyday 
duties of life, and who make up the solid and safe element of citizenship upon 
which the nation's prosperity mainly rests. He was a prominent member of 
the Old Settlers' Association. Mr. Fisk was married May 9, 1867, to Sarah 
M. Townsend, and they had two daughters: Lillian Estella and Sarah Emily. 
Lillian Estella married Azro Darling and they have four children : Sarah E., 
Howard F., Edith E. and Ira A. Sarah Emily married Willard Dakin, and 
died in 1909, leaving two children, Willard F. and Marguerite E. 

Sarah M. Townsend, noAV Mrs. Wilbur F. Fisk, is the daughter of Alvin 
and Harriet (Patrick) Townsend, natives of Pennsylvania. Alvin Townsend 
was a carpenter by trade. In 1855 he came to Minnesota, and settled in 
Lynden township, where he secured a part of what is now the Clifford place. 
The following year his wife and his daughter, Sarah M., came, making the 
trip from St. Paul in a wagon. Mrs. Fisk is an estimable woman, a good wife 
and mother, and a good housewife, noted for her hospitality and cheerful 
temperament, as well as for her abilities as a home maker. She is a member 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 959 

of the Old Settlers' Association, also a member of the Charles Gibbs Circle, 
No. 11, G. A. E-., Clearwater, Minn, She is a communicant of the Congrega- 
tional Church. Recently she has taken a homestead claim in North Dakota. 

Henry Kiffmeyer, a leading citizen residing on his splendid farm in 
Lynden township, was born in Richmond, Stearns county. May 10, 1862, son 
of Bernard and Elizabeth (Landwehr) Kiffmeyer. Bernard Kiffmeyer was 
born in Westphalia, Germany, October 3, 1834. In the early fifties he came 
to America and came west to Illinois. It was about 1854 or 1855 when he 
started for Minnesota. He drove an ox team all the way, leading his cattle. 
He first took a homestead in Richm.ond, in "Wakefield township, this county. 
There they lived for several years. It was in 1865 when they moved to St. 
Augusta, and purchased a tract in sections 1 and 2. In his latter years, Ber- 
nard Kiffmeyer sold this farm and moved to the village of St. Augusta, where 
he died September 1, 1906. In the family there were twelve children : Henry, 
Barney (deceased), Herman, Gertrude, Elizabeth, Mary, John, Theresa, Annie, 
George, Lena and Rose. Henry Kiffmeyer was reared on the home farm, and 
was educated in the old log house where Henry Krebs kept school. When he 
was twenty-four years of age he bought 160 acres of wild land in sections 28 
and 29, Lynden township, and on it built a shack in which he lived for about 
a year. Then he erected his present sightly residence. He has also erected 
a good barn, and other sheds and outbuildings. The farm embraces 200 
acres and in addition to this Mr. Kiffmeyer owns another farm of 160 
acres. He is a prosperous, progressive man, a desirable citizen in every re- 
spect, one who has assisted materially in the development of the community. 
Mr. Kiffmeyer married Mary Ergen, daughter of Arnold and Frances (Daub) 
Ergen, and they have seven children: Joseph (deceased), Arnold, William, 
Pauline, Sophia, Balbina and Edwin. Pauline married Earl Storm. Sophia 
married George Thole. 

Benjamin F. Lyons, a leading and influential farmer of Lynden town- 
ship, was born in St. Paul, September 12, 1856, son of Benjamin T. and Lydia 
(Wince) Lyons. He came to Lynden township with his parents shortly after 
his birth, was reared on the home farm, and attended school in District No. 
53, one of his teachers being D. D. Storms. As he reached manhood, his 
father presented him with a farm of ninety-seven acres. To this he has 
added from time to time, and has at intervals erected suitable buildings, until 
he now has a splendid place, well improved in every way. He has the best 
of equipment and successfully carries on general farming and dairying. Mr. 
Lyons is one of the progressive farmers of Lynden. He is particularly inter- 
ested in the welfare of his community and has done good service on the town 
board. For many years he has been a prominent member of the Old Settlers' 
Association. Benjamin F. Lyons married Ann Mitchell, daughter of William 
and Elizabeth (Deacon) Mitchell, and they have five children: Maria J. 
(wife of Waite Hoskins), James L., W. Hamline, A. Elizabeth and Esther M. 
The family faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Clearwater, in 
which Mr. Lyons has been an official for many years. 

Benjamin T. Lyons, one of the earliest settlers of Lynden township, is 
remembered as one of the founders of the countj^. His memory is honored and 



960 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

revered throughout the community in which he lived, and his kindly influence 
still lives in his descendants. He was born on a southern plantation in War- 
rentown, Virginia, and as a youth found his way to Ohio. He was there 
married, October 15, 1839, to Lydia Wince, also of Virginia, and settled down 
to farm life in Newark, Licking county, Ohio. In 1854 they moved to Illinois, 
and located in Champaign county. It was in 1856 that they set out for Minne- 
sota with two yoke of oxen, one pair of horses, one cow and a colt. They 
reached St. Paul September 10, and camped for a month on the present site 
of that city. In October they drove to Clearwater, and secured 160 acres in 
section 17, Lynden township. The family took up their home in two log 
cabins, equipped with an old fashioned fire place. They had lost their freight, 
and had to make the best of such home made furniture as they could manu- 
facture. The beds were made by boring holes in the walls and driving in 
stout poles for a frame. About three years after their arrival the family 
moved to section 6, in the same township, where they secured 160 acres of 
wild land. Here they also lived in a log house, and stabled their stock in a 
log barn. Later other buildings were erected. Benjamin T. Lyons died 
November 27, 1888. He was born December 11, 1814. His wife died July 27, 
1877. She was born January 16, 1816. He was a staunch Democrat in poli- 
tics and held many offices. He was an official in the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. Benjamin T. Lyons was the son of Robert and Sarah (Tolson) Lyons. 
Robert Lyons was a native of Virginia, a southern planter, and a soldier of the 
War of 1812. The Tolsons were also well-to-do Virginia planters. Lydia 
Wince was the daughter of Jacob and Ann (Hittle) Wince. Jacob Wince 
was a Virginia farmer. In 1840 he moved his family to Ohio, and settled in 
Licking county. It is interesting to note that when Benjamin T. Lyons came 
North, three of his brothers, Henry, Robert and John, remained in the South. 
Henry became a Baptist clergyman. Robert and John joined the Confederate 
army. Robert was killed at the Battle of Winchester. John, who served as 
lieutenant, was wounded and taken prisoner. Lieutenant John Lyons also 
had a son, who served in the Confederate army. On the Union side, Benja- 
min T. Lyons had two sons, John and James Lyons, who did valiant service 
for the Stars and Stripes. They fought on the Union side at the battle in 
which their Uncle Robert was killed. 

William Henry Lyons, for many years a conspicuous figure in the life 
and progress of Lynden township, was born in Licking county, Ohio, June 2, 
1840, son of Benjamin T. and Lydia (Wince) Lyons. He received a good edu- 
cation in Ohio, and was taken by his parents to Champaign county. 111., in 
1854. He came to Stearns county with his parents in 1856, underwent with 
them the rigors of pioneer life, and under the tuition of his father became 
a proficient farmer. In October, 1862, at the age of twenty-two years, he 
enlisted in Company D, First Minnesota Mounted Rangers, and was sent to 
the Northwestern frontier aganist the Indians. In November, 1863, he was 
honorably discharged for disability. Then he returned to Lynden, and worked 
on the home farm until 1882. In the meantime he had taken a homestead in 
section 6, Lynden township. In 1882 he was married, and he and his good 
wife moved onto this farm and started life together. In 1885 the home and 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 961 

other buildings were destroyed by fire, but undaunted by this disaster, they 
erected a new home, and barns, and continued their work. Prosperity crowned 
their efforts and they were numbered among the most honored and respected 
members of the community. The farm was increased to 193 acres, and the 
thrift, energy and good taste of the owners was everywhere apparent. In the 
Old Settlers' Association they took deep pleasure, and were very active at 
all of its meetings. After a life filled with good deeds, he died April 1, 1906, 
as the result of being injured while working about a circular saw. His re- 
mains are laid at rest in the Acacia Cemetery, in Lynden township. A man 
of quiet habits, of upright character, and for more than thirty years a con- 
sistent and faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he was held 
in high esteem by his friends and neighbors. William Henry Lyons was 
married October 26, 1882, to Susanna M. Mitchell, born in County Leitrem, 
Ireland, June 28, 1853, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Deacon) Mitchell. 
To Mr. and Mrs. Lyons have been born six children : Lydia E., Samuel W., 
John A., Henry B., Susanna Jane and George R. Lydia E. is a graduate 
of the St. Cloud High School, and is a proficient teacher. Samuel W. and 
John A. conduct the home farm. Henry B. graduated from the Clearwater 
High School, took a special course in engineering at the Southern Minnesota 
Normal College at Austin, Minn., and is now a successful teacher. Susan 
Jane is a graduate of the Clearwater High School and is likewise a competent 
teacher. George R. is a student in the Clearwater High School. 

James M. Lyons, a most estimable citizen of Clearwater village, has had 
his share in the progress and development of the community, and is highly 
regarded by all with whom he comes in contact. He was born in Licking 
county, Ohio, August 19, 1846, son of Benjamin T. and Lydia (Wince) Lyons, 
the pioneers. With them he went to Champaign county, 111., in 1854, and with 
them came to Lynden township, this county, in 1856. He was reared amid 
pioneer conditions, and learned agricultural pursuits from his father. On 
February 26, 1864, he enlisted in Company E, Eighth Minnesota Volunteer 
Infantry, and served until July 1, 1865, being discharged at Charlotte, N. C, 
and mustered out at Ft. Snelling. For several years thereafter he devoted 
his time to various pursuits, including logging and rafting. Later he took 
a homestead in Fair Haven township, and bought 120 acres in section 5, 
Lynden township. He there erected a shack and engaged in farming about 
ten years. He then purchased 160 acres in section 9, Lynden township. This 
farm he improved and developed, adding forty more acres, and bringing the 
place to a high degree of cultivation. In 1900 he rented the farm, and pur- 
chased a residence in the village of Clearwater. For several years he was the 
village marshal. On August 24, 1913, he purchased his present establishment. 
He sells ice cream, confectionery, canned goods, cigars and tobacco, and con- 
ducts a restaurant and lunch room. He has built up a good business, and has 
proven himself the right man for the place. Mr. Lyons has been interested 
in many movements and organizations, and is senior vice commander of the 
A. C. Collins Post, No. 112, G. A. R., of Clearwater. 

Mr. Lyons was married September 19, 1878, to Mary F. Ridley, who was 
born in Silver Creek, Wright county, September 17, 1862. Mrs. Lyons has 



962 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

proven a most capable helpmeet throughout their married life. She is an 
energetic manager, a keen business woman, and a good wife and understanding 
mother. Mr. and Mrs. Lyons have two children: Frank D. and Elsie May. 
Frank D. lives in Minot, North Dakota. He married Jennie Simley and they 

have six children: Bessie, James, Harry, Mildred, Howard and 

Elsie May lives on the old homestead. She married Charles Lumley, and they 
have five children : Lucile, Margaret, Charles, George and Vernon. 

Mrs. James M. Lyons is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. Ridley, 
natives of Maine. They came to Minnesota in the early days, lived for a 
while in Minneapolis, and then came to Silver Creek township, Wright county, 
where they engaged in agricultural pursuits. Mr. Ridley died in 1865 and his 
wife in 1868. Aside from Mrs. Lyons there was in the family one son, Victor 
E. Ridley, of Sand Point, Idaho. 

Homer T. Heaton, a successful farmer of Lynden township, was born in 
Waterbury, Green county, Vermont, July 16, 1851, son of Tertius and Fatima 
(Perkins) Heaton, natives of Vermont, who came west to Wisconsin in 
1857, and in 1859 to Stearns county, where they located in Lynden township, 
and here spent the remainder of their lives. Homer T. Heaton came to Lynden 
township with his parents, attended school here, and has devoted his life to 
farming. He has been a successful farmer and has a good place of 175 acres, 
which he has improved and developed in various ways, erecting all the build- 
ings himself. Mr. Heaton was married April 3, 1880, to Ida M. Slattery, and 
they have seven children: Mollie, now Mrs. Clarence Bentley; Kate Pearl, 
now Mrs. Willard Clayton ; James ; Fay A. ; Jennie, now Mrs. Clarence A. 
Miller; Hollis E. and Blanche. 

Clarence A. Miller, a splendid example of the modern type of farmer, was 
born in Lynden township, July 23, 1883, on the homestead where he still re- 
sides. His parents were Daniel D, and Harriet (Dawson) Miller. He attended 
the district schools and learned farming from his father. While still a young 
man living with his parents, he bought eighty acres in section 20, adjoining 
the homestead, and by hard work and untiring effort cleared and grubbed it, 
and brought it to a high stage of cultivation. On his father's death he also 
came into possession of the homestead, so that he now has a fertile farm of 
160 acres, where he successfully carries on general farming. He is of the 
progressive type, and aims to follow the most modern methods of agricultural 
science. He has erected a new barn and outbuildings, and is now planning 
a modern residence. He is especially interested in good stock, and he is well 
started toward a full blooded herd of cattle and drove of swine. Mr, Miller is 
constable of the township. He and his wife are justly popular among their 
many friends and neighbors, and their home is one of the most hospitable to 
be found in Lynden. Mr. Miller was married, December 5, 1911, to Jennie 
Heaton, daughter of Homer T. and Ida M. (Slattery) Heaton. 

Daniel D. Miller, now deceased, one of the early settlers of Lynden town- 
ship, was born in Ohio, April 6, 1843, and was there married April 9, 1867, to 
Harriet Dawson, who was born in the same state, May 16, 1845. It was in 
1867 that they came to Minnesota and settled in Lynden township, where he 
purchased the rights of a homesteader who had settled in section 20. He 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 963 

opened up a good farm, broke and grubbed the land, and erected a splendid 
set of buildings. In course of time it was discovered that the farm con- 
tained an excellent quality of lime stone, and for several years Mr. Miller suc- 
cessfully engaged in lime burning. His latter years, however, were devoted 
to farming. He was always loyal to the town, held many town and school of- 
fices, and was highly respected by all who knew him. He died June 1, 1908. 
His wife died July 16, 1911. Mr. and Mrs. Miller had ten children : E. C, Car- 
rie L., Lee N., Ella, Edna, William B., Clarence A., Lottie L., Olive and Hattie. 
E, C. is a prominent citizen of Lynden. Carrie L. married Samuel Stokes, of 
Lynden township. Lee N. lives in Clearwater, He married Laura Livingston, 
who died in October, 1912, after being terribly burned, leaving three children. 
Ella lives in Annandale. She married F. N. Nugent, and they have four chil- 
dren. Edna lives in Clearwater, Wright county. She married Orville A. 
Smith, and they have three children. William B. lives in Canada. Clarence 
A. lives on the home farm. He married Jennie Elizabeth Heaton, Lottie 
L. lives in Clearwater, Wright covinty. She married Fred Dixon. Olive lives 
in Clearwater. She married Hughgene Dixon, and they have two children. 
Hattie, twin sister to Edna, died at the age of two months. 

Ernest C. Miller, a prosperous and scientific farmer of Lynden, was born 
in Fair Haven township, February 4, 1868, son of Daniel D. and Harriet (Daw- 
son) Miller. He was brought to Lj^nden township when only a few months 
old and has since continued to reside here. He attended the public schools, 
learned farming from his father, and remained on the home farm until 1886. 
Then he purchased 40 acres in section 16. Later he purchased eighty acres 
more. All this land was wild. He cleared, grubbed and broke it himself, 
and has brought it to a high degree of cultivation. He also erected a good 
house and sightly barns, doing nearly all the carpenter work himself. Year 
by year he has achieved prosperity until now he is one of the leading men 
of his community. He is a hard worker, a deep thinker, a wide reader and a 
good business man. His farming is conducted along the lines of the latest 
discoveries. His herd of mixed Jerseys have brought him a large income, 
producing the best of milk and cream. His Poland-China swine are also the 
pride of the neighborhood. He has also achieved good results with the usual 
crops, Mr. Miller, with all his busy life, finds time to devote to public affairs, 
and he has been director for some years of School District No. 169, as was his 
father before him. He was one of the members that aided in incorporating 
the Clearwater Co-operative Creamery, and is also a member to the Farmers' 
Club, Mr. Miller was married March 30, 1895, to Mary S. Meacham, who was 
born in Osseo, Minn., June 5, 1877. This union has been blessed with five 
children : Morris Alvin, born April 12, 1896 ; Theodore Willis, born April 
9, 1900, and died two months later; Julia Olive, born September 14, 1906; 
Floyd Clifford, born April 30, 1908; and Effie Adelia, born April 15, 1910. 
Mary S. Meacham, now wife of Ernest C. Miller, is the daughter of William 
M. and Julia (Chinver) Meacham. William H. Meacham was descended from 
the Meacham family, which dates in America from 1613, and figures promi- 
nently in the Colonial annals. He was the father of six children: John N. 
of Long Beach, California; Mary S., wife of Ernest C, Miller; Agnes, wife of 



964 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Henry Jones, of Minneapolis; Adelia, wife of William Delaney, of St. Paul; 
Rachael, wife of Alva Newman, of Fair Haven township; and Nettie, a half 
sister to the others. 

William Mitchell and his good wife, Elizabeth Deacon, were born in 
County Leitren, Ireland, there received their education, grew to adult years, 
and were married. After being married for some years, William Mitchell de- 
termined to seek for himself and family the wider opportunities and greater 
freedom of the new world. Consequently in February, 1865, he set sail for 
America. On reaching New York he at once enlisted in a New York regiment, 
and was sent south. He was honorably discharged at the close of the conflict 
at Cloud's Mills, Virginia. Upon his return to civil life he came at once to 
Stearns county, and took a homestead in Fair Haven township. In July, 
1866, his wife and children joined him. After proving up on the homestead 
he moved to Lynden township, and purchased eighty acres in section 5, Lyn- 
den township, where he built up a place which, for that time, was an unusually 
good one. He became one of the leading men in the community, and died in 
1872. To Mr. and Mrs. William Mitchell were born seven children : Susanna 
M., now Mrs. William Lyons, of Lynden; Eliza Jane (deceased) ; Alexander, 
of Lynden ; Ann, now Mrs. B. F. Lyons, of Lynden ; John, of Lynden ; Samuel 
(deceased) ; and W. L. P., of Montana. The youngest son was born in Fair 
Haven, and the rest in Ireland. 

Mitchell Brothers. That the farmer is the backbone of the nation is an 
expression often used, and as the years pass by it is increasing in meaning. 
The man who develops a farm, and by toiling early and late thereon, pro- 
vides food for the use of the human race, is taking an important part as a 
producer, and is helping to solve one of the greatest problems of mankind. 
Among those who have devoted their lives to the advancement of agricul- 
tural conditions in this county may be mentioned Alexander and John Mitchell, 
widely known as the efficient proprietors of the Lake Maria Stock & Grain 
Farm, formerly known as the Poplar Grove Stock & Grain Farm. The place 
is located in sections 5 and 32, Lynden township, and its many natural advan- 
tages have been brought to the highest stage of perfection by cultivation, in- 
telligence and care. 

Alexander Mitchell was born in 1858 and John Mitchell in 1862. They 
were born in County Leitren, Ireland, sons of William and Elizabeth (Deacon) 
Mitchell. The parents came to America in 1866 and located for a short time 
in Fair Haven township, this county. Then they came to Lynden township, 
and here the father farmed until his death in 1872. For several years there- 
after the mother, and the sons and daughters operated the place. Then John 
and Alexander bought out the interests of the other heirs, and became the 
sole owners and proprietors. They are of the most progressive type of farm- 
ers, and their success is due to their hard work, their intelligent enthusiasm, 
and their strictly honest business principles. Their farm, which consists of 
350 acres, is one of the best in Lynden. They have erected a modern dwell- 
ing, and some splendid barns and other outbuildings. John Mitchell has 
served as supervisor of the township of Lynden for ten years. He was mar- 
ried June 24, 1908, to Mary E. Ross, who was born in Ontario, Canada, April 




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ALP:XAXDP]R MITCH P:LL 




MR. AND MRS. JOHN MITCHELL 




D. D. STORMS 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 965 

22, 1877. She moved to St. Cloud in early childhood, with her parents, where 
she grew to womanhood. She is a graduate of the St. Cloud High School, also 
of the advanced course of the St. Cloud Normal. She taught successfully 
in the public schools of Minnesota for a period of ten years previous to her 
marriage. 

Frederick J. Ponsford, a well-known resident of Lynden township, was 
born in Herkimer county, New York, December 22, 1856, and there spent the 
first four years of his life. It was in 1860 that he came to Clearwater, in 
Wright county, with his parents, Joseph and Sarah (Vaur) Ponsford. Joseph 
Ponsford, the father, took a claim of 160 acres, lying partly in Clearwater 
township, Wright county, and partly in Lynden township, Stearns county. 
There he successfully farmed for many years, and there his wife died. He 
died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Orin Dorsey, in Lynden. Frederick 
J. Ponsford was reared on the home farm. In 1885 he purchased 160 acres of 
railroad land in section 29, Lynden township, and on this tract he still lives. 
He has developed an excellent place, erected a comfortable home and suit- 
able outbuildings, and successfully carries on general farming. Mr. Ponsford 
married Minnie Beilstein, a native of New York state, and they have four 
children: Walter, Leroy, Mabel and Archie. Walter married Maude Smith 
and they have had three children : Ruth and Vernon living, and Glenn, who 
died at two years of age. Leroy married Blanche Phillips, and they have 
had four children : Vivian and Wendell, living, and Arnold and Stanley, who 
died at the age of about one year. The family faith is that of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. 

D. D. Storms, educator, agriculturist and man-of-affairs, was born in 
Hannibal, Oswego county. New York, August 17, 1839, son of John Post and 
Elizabeth (Dady) Storms, natives respectively of New Jersey and Massa- 
chusetts. The father was a hatter by trade, but also carried on agricultural 
operations. He and his wife lived for several years in Oswego county. New 
York, and in 1860 moved to Paterson, New Jersey, where they spent the re- 
mainder of their days, D. D. Storms received his early education in the pub- 
lic and select schools of Hannibal, and completed his studies at the Academy, 
at Rome, New York. With this preparation he became a teacher, surveyor 
and farmer. When he first taught he received $14 a month, and boarded 
around at the different homes. In 1860 he came west to Onarga, Iroquois 
county, Illinois, to visit his brother, and there he taught school for a short 
period. But the Civil War broke out and he enlisted in the Band of the 
Twenty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. About eight months afterward 
the band was abolished and Mr. Storms returned to New York state. For some 
years he taught school winters and farmed summers. In 1867 he started for 
Denver, Colorado, but on the way stopped to visit his uncle, the Rev. William 
Dady, who was then preaching at Clearwater. Mr. Storms was so impressed 
with the advantages of this locality that he abandoned his trip to Denver, 
partly on account of the Indian outbreak on the plains, and purchased 160 
acres of land in section 30, Lynden township, this county. For this tract he 
paid $700. The land was wild and covered with brush. He broke and grubbed 
the land, built his home and a set of buildings, and engaged in farming. He 



966 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

also became one of the leading school teachers of the county. Thus teaching 
and farming, his industry, his strong will and his ability won him success 
and he became an important factor in Stearns county life. His first house 
was rebuilt from an old wagon shop which he moved from Clearwater. This, 
however, soon gave way to more commodious structures. In addition to his 
original purchase he bought forty acres of railroad land and homesteaded 
eighty acres of government land. On his large farm, thus acquired, he lived 
for many years. In 1904 he retired from the more strenuous duties of farm 
life and turned the home place over to his son, Frank F. In 1907-08 he was 
at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, in North Dakota, with headquarters 
at Fort Yates, as industrial teacher to the Indians. In the spring of 1914 
Frank F. Storms built a cottage home next to the old home, and D. D. 
Storms now resides with him. D. D. Storms has taken a deep interest in the 
affairs of his township, and his opinions are eagerly sought and looked upon 
with the utmost respect. He has served for a long period as clerk of the 
school board. For some twenty years, at different periods, he has been asses- 
sor. He has also been justice of the peace and town supervisor. He is a mem- 
ber of Clearwater Lodge, No. 28, A. F. & A. M., and has been especially active 
in the G, A. R. For six years he was commander of A. C. Collins Post, No. 
112, G. A. R., and is now senior vice commander. He has been a delegate from 
the G. A. R. posts in the Sixth Congressional District to National Grand En- 
campments at Salt Lake City, Utah ; Los Angeles, California ; Atlantic City, 
New Jersey, and Rochester, New York, and Detroit, Mich. Mr. Storms was 
married, April 18, 1863, to Mary Ann Ketcham, who died December 12, 1884, 
leaving one son, Frank F., who was born March 9, 1866. Frank F. Storms 
is one of the prominent men of the township. He conducts the old home farm, 
and is regarded as a substantial and successful man in every way. He was 
married April 9, 1886, to Laura Foster, and they have two sons, Lewis D. and 
Earl F. Lewis D. was born April 5, 1885, and married Regina Thole. They 
live in Lynden township. Earl F. was born December 19, 1890, and married 
Pauline Kiffmeyer. They occupy the old home residence, making the third 
generation that has lived there. D. D. Storms came from a patriotic family, 
his grandfather having served in the War of 1812, and he, with four brothers, 
having served in the Civil "War, no two being in the same regiment. The four 
brothers were : L. P., J. C, H. and E. C. There would have been two more, 
H. C. and E. G., but they were too young. 

Samuel Stokes, an influential farmer of Lynden township, was born in 
Herkimer county. New York, June 5, 1859, son of Luke Hillis and Mary 
(Weilding) Stokes, who brought him to Lynden township, this county, in 
1867. He obtained a good education in the district schools, and was reared 
to agricultural pursuits. After his father's death he purchased the old 
homestead of 120 acres, in sections 19 and 20, and by hard work and close 
application to business he has become one of the leading and representative 
farmers of his county. To the original place he has added eighty acres in 
section 16. The whole place is an unusually attractive farm property, and 
is in a high state of cultivation. He has remodelled the residence and has 
erected a large and roomy barn, together with a good set of outbuildings. He 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 967 

has a full equipment of farm machinery, and follows general farming and 
stockraising. 

Mr. Stokes was married, December 23, 1886, to Carrie L. Miller, who was 
born in Lynden township, August 9, 1869, daughter of Daniel D. Miller. Mr. 
and Mrs, Stokes have two children : Jennie Olive, born December 20, 1887, 
and Arthur D., born January 16, 1891, 

Luke Hillis Stokes, a pioneer, was born in England, and was there edu- 
cated and reared. He there married Mary Weilding, a native of the same 
country. In 1849 they came to America, and located in the Bronx, West- 
chester county. New York, now one of the boroughs of New York city. Later 
they moved to the northern part of the state and a year later moved to the 
westward and settled in Herkimer county, in the same state. His trade 
was that of carpenter and joiner, and this is the line of work he followed 
until 1866. In that year he came to Stearns county, Minn,, and secured a 
farm of eighty acres in section 20, Lynden township. He erected a pleasant 
home and a good barn and outbuildings, and developed the farm. His char- 
acter and worth soon caused him to be regarded as one of the substantial and 
representative men of the community. He died in 1886. His good wife died 
in 1888. In the family there were four children : George W., a retired farmer 
of Lynden township, now living in Clearwater; Mary (deceased); Mattie 
(deceased), wife of Isaac Philo (deceased) ; and Samuel, who owns and oper- 
ates the old home farm in Lynden township. 

George W. Stokes, a prominent citizen of Lynden township, was born 
in the Bronx, Westchester county. New York, August 26, 1850, son of Luke 
Hillis and Mary (Weilding) Stokes. He was reared in New York state and 
there received his early education. At the age of sixteen he was brought to 
Stearns county by his parents, and here he completed his schooling. He was 
taught pioneer farming by his father, and was still a youth when he pur- 
chased a farm of eighty acres in section 16, Lynden township. To this he has 
later added eighty acres in section 17, and forty acres in section 9, making 
a good farm of 200 acres. He also erected a complete set of sightly and com- 
modious buildings. He broke the land and brought it to a high degree of cul- 
tivation. He was a prosperous and active farmer, and well deserved the suc- 
cess which rewarded his strenuous efforts. He continued farming until 
April, 1913, when he purchased his present home in the village of Clearwater, 
where he is now reaping the fruits of his years of toil. He has ever taken 
an active interest in town affairs. For twenty years he was a member of the 
town board and for ten years of that time he was chairman. For eight years 
he was clerk of School District No. 78. When his property was placed in Dis- 
trict No. 169 he became treasurer and so remained until he retired in 1913. 
He still owns the home farm. It is operated by his sons, David and Roscoe. 
The family faith is that of the Methodist Church. George W. Stokes was 
married April 24, 1881, to Mrs. Eliza Beilstein Carlile, and to them have been 
born four children : Hattie, Roscoe, David and Gertrude. Hattie took a 
course in the St. Cloud State Normal School, and is now a proficient teacher. 
Roscoe and David, as noted, live on the home farm. David married Annie 
Hansen. Gertrude is a student in the St. Cloud State Normal School, Eliza 



968 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Beilstein, now Mrs. George W. Stokes, was born in New York state, Febru- 
ary 6, 1857, daughter of Adam and Catherine (Fetters) Beilstein. Mr. and 
Mrs. Beilstein were born in Germany, and came to America in 1856. They 
lived in New York state until 1866, and then came to Minnesota and located 
in Wright county, where they took a homestead. In 1867, Mrs. Beilstein died. 
Soon afterward Mr. Beilstein took a farm in Clearwater township, in Wright 
county. Four years later he traded this farm for one in section 8, Lynden 
township, on which he lived for a short time, after which he took up his 
home with Mr. and Mrs. George W. Stokes, with whom he lived for over 
twenty-five years. He died February 8, 1906. To Mr. and Mrs. Beilstein 
were born two children: Eliza and Minnie. Eliza is now Mrs. George W. 
Stokes, of Clearwater. Minnie is now Mrs. Fred Ponsford, of section 27, 
Lynden township. Eliza was first married, October 11, 1875, to H. G. Carlile, 
who died November 4, 1876, leaving one child, Frederick Edwin Carlile, a 
farmer of Wright county. Frederick Edwin Carlile married Louise Lyons 
and they have two children. Lulu and Floyd. 

William Stewart, an active and progressive farmer of Lynden township, 
was born in County Leitrem, Ireland, August 19, 1866, son of Arthur and 
Elizabeth (Mitchell) Stewart, who brought him to Lynden township in 1880. 
In 1894 he purchased the home farm from his father and here he has since 
continued to live. He has greatly improved the place in many ways, has 
remodeled and rebuilt the dwelling, and in 1910 erected a large modern barn, 
which is a model of its kind. At the same time other outbuildings were 
erected. To his original tract of land he has added until he now owns 240 
acres, well stocked and improved. He is engaged in scientific farming and 
keeps thoroughly abreast of his times by reading, observation and experi- 
ments. He is a valuable citizen in every way. Mr. Stewart was married 
December 28, 1897, to Elizabeth Eickmeyer, who was born in Fair Haven 
township, June 8, 1873, daughter of Christ and Caroline (Bodierson) Eick- 
meyer. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart have three children: Emily E., born Novem- 
ber 22, 1898 ; Blanche E., born January 13, 1901 ; and Jessie A. W., born Feb- 
ruary 22, 1907. The family faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
Christ Eickmeyer and his wife, Caroline, were natives of Germany. They 
came to America in 1867, and located in Fair Haven township, this county, 
and became representative farmers. First they took a homestead of eighty 
acres, and later they bought eighty acres. Here he farmed the remainder 
of his life. He died in 1894 and his wife in 1903. 

Arthur Stewart, for many years a worthy resident of Lynden township, 
was born in County Leitrem, Ireland, and there became a farmer. He mar- 
ried Elizabeth Mitchell, a native of the same neighborhood. It was in 1880 
that they came to the United States, found their way to Minnesota, and 
located in Lynden township. Here he purchased 160 acres of land, and en- 
gaged in farming. He erected a comfortable home and suitable outbuildings, 
and successfully conducted agricultural operations until 1894, when he turned 
the farm over to his son, William, with whom he continued to make his home 
for many years. In 1906 he took up his home with his daughter. He died on 
October 3, 1906. His wife died in March, 1908. In the family there were six 




MR. AND MRS. ARTHUR STEWART 




MR. AND MRS. HENRY SCHMIDT 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 969 

children : Alexander, now of England ; James, who died in Australia ; George 
who lives in Australia ; Ellen, now Mrs. Wallace Bowers, of Clear Lake, Minn. ; 
William, of Lynden; and Elizabeth, now Mrs. Gustave Eickmeyer, of Fair 
Haven. In the Eickmeyer family there were eight children: Augusta, now 
Mrs. Henry Trunow, of Fair Haven; Lena (deceased); Minnie (deceased): 
Gustave, who conducts the home farm in Fair Haven township ; Anna, now 
Mrs. William Maurrer, of New Rockford, North Dakota; Elizabeth, now Mrs. 
William Stewart, of Lynden township; Mary, now Mrs. William Rode, of 
South Haven ; Ida, now Mrs. Julius Gasser, of Kimball. 

Frank Schmidt, an industrious farmer of Lynden township, was born iu 
Mercer county, Ohio, September 24, 1856, son of Henry and Elizabeth (Dirks) 
Schmidt, and grandson of Gerhart Schmidt. Gerhard Schmidt was born, 
reared and married in Germany. In an early day he brought his family to 
America and settled in Mercer county, Ohio. Henry was but five years old 
when his family came to Ohio. He was there reared and educated, and was 
there married. But he desired to be a pioneer as had his father before him, 
so with his family he set out for Minnesota. October 12, 1874, he arrived 
in Lynden township, and purchased a farm in section 19, from his brother- 
in-law, Henry Dirks. This farm he developed and cultivated and success- 
fully conducted. He and his wife both died in 1904. Frank Schmidt received 
his early education in Ohio, and was seventeen years of age when his par- 
ents came to Minnesota. He has since then devoted his life to agricultural 
pursuits on the home farm. He has 120 acres of cultivated land, and twenty 
acres of heavily timbered land. He is one of the progressive farmers of Lyn- 
den and is interested in everything that pertains to the advancement of the 
town and county. Mr. Schmidt married Elizabeth Witschen, a native of Lyn- 
den township, daughter of Barney and Clara (Berger) Witschen, and they 
have six children: Frances, Annie, Edna, Lawrence, Albert and Marie. 
Frances married Martin Storkamp, and they have two children. Emma mar- 
ried Edward Kuhn, and they have one child. 

C. B. Whitney, a pioneer of Stearns county, was born in Vermont, near 
the Canadian line, August 24, 1850, son of Abijah and Altha Jane (Ingalls) 
Whitney, natives of Vermont. It was in 1863 that they came to Clearwater 
and purchased a farm of forty-three acres in Lynden township, this county. 
Abijah Whitney was a model man in every respect, a loving husband and a 
good father. He died in 1894. His wife died in 1911. C. B. Whitney at- 
tended the public schools of Buffalo, N. Y., and in 1863, at the age of thirteen, 
he came with his parents to Lynden township, and engaged in agricultural 
pursuits under the tuition of his father. In 1872 he bought 120 acres in 
Lynden township, and there successfully conducted general farming for 
twelve years. Then he sold out and purchased a farm in Rockville township, 
this county. He was there three years; on a farm in New London township, 
Kandiyohi county, three years, and on a farm in Fair Haven five years. Then 
he returned to Lynden and purchased a farm of 140 acres. In 1898 he sold 
this property, but still retains his parents' homestead of forty-three acres, 
•where he now lives. Aside from carrying on farming, he has taught school for 
many years. He is a man of sterling qualities of the old New England type, 



970 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

just and upright, and has won the respect of his community. He has been 
school clerk and town supervisor for several years. He has taken a keen in- 
terest in public affairs, and is ever ready to lend aid to any move that has for 
its object the betterment of the community. Fraternally he is a member of 
Clearwater Lodge, No. 3686, M. W. A. The family worships at the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. 

Mr. Whitney was married November 20, 1873, to Mary F. Heaton, who was 
born in Waterbury, Green county, Vermont, May 25, 1853, daughter of 
Tertius and Fatima (Perkins) Heaton, who brought her in 1857 to Wisconsin 
and in 1859 to Stearns county where they both died. Mrs. Whitney is a 
most affable lady, and has been a devoted wife and mother. She owns the 
beautiful home in which they now reside and several lots adjoining. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Whitney have been born two sons, Daniel E. and Hugh A., both of 
whom received good educations and are now engaged in business. Daniel 
E. was born October 20, 1878, and is now in the undertaking business at Brain- 
ard, Minn. Hugh A. was born September 8, 1880, and is now engaged in the 
furniture business at Bermidji, Minn. He was married, September, 1901, to 
Stella Bentley, who died in 1912, leaving two children, Sumner and Altha. 
Since their mother died they have lived with their grandparents, Mr. and 
Mrs. C. B. Whitney. On June 17, 1914, Hugh A. was married to Hazelle 
Phillips. Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Whitney also had a daughter, Elsie, now de- 
ceased. She was born March 16, 1875, and died August 15, 1896. She was 
married October 22, 1893, to Frank West, who died 1896. 

William J. Weyrauch, a well-to-do farmer of Lynden township, was bom 
in St. Cloud township, December 2, 1855, being thus one of the first white 
children born in this county. His parents were Henry and Anna May (Bras- 
ter) Weyrauch. Henry Weyrauch was brought to America by his parents and 
located with them at Goose Creek, Missouri. There he lived for some four- 
teen years. In 1855 he came with his wife to St. Cloud, and took up his home 
in a shack which stood in the rear of the residence of Mr. Beutler, St. Cloud 
township. By trade Henry Weyrauch was a cooper as was his father before 
him. For many years he made flour barrels for the early millers. He also 
became a carpenter, and assisted in building many homes in this vicinity. 
At odd times he also worked his farm. He died in December, 1913, after a long 
and useful life. William J. Weyrauch received his early schooling in St. 
Augusta, one of his teachers being Henry Krebs. He was reared to farm pur- 
suits, and even at an early age took charge of the farm while his father was 
attending to the duties of his trade. He bought a tract of land in section 29, 
Lynden township. Here he erected a log cabin, and started to wrest a farm 
from the wilderness. In this historic old cabin, four of his children were 
born. In 1892 he erected his present home. It is a pretentious structure, 
and the other buildings are well in keeping with it. The Weyrauch farm now 
consists of 240 acres, and is a model place in every particular, showing in 
every acre the thrift, industry and progressiveness of the owner, as well as 
his excellent taste and modern spirit. He carries on general farming and 
makes a specialty of raising Shorthorn cattle. Fraternally he belongs to the 
Catholic Order of Foresters and to St. Mary's Society. 




(ii-:oRGi': K. ^VAU^"l-:H 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 971 

Mr, Weyrauch married Annie Schmidt, who was born in Ohio, and they 
have six children : Mary, Elizabeth, Frank, John, Henry and Alvin. Mary 
married Joseph Falke, and they have three children, Alphonse, Alice and 
Marsder. Elizabeth married Mr. Higgermeyer, and they have one child, Floren- 
tine. Frank married Lena Thall and they have one child, Olga. The fam- 
ily faith is that of the Catholic Church. 

George E. Warner, for many years a respected and substantial farmer of 
Lynden township, now living in retirement in Clearwater, was born in Quebec, 
Canada, November 16, 1826, son of Joseph and Martha (Cole) Warner, the 
former of whom was a native of Vermont, and devoted his life to farming 
and harness making. George E. Warner was reared and educated in Canada. 
In 1860 he left that Dominion, and located in Derbyline, Vermont, where he 
worked as a blacksmith for four years. It was in 1864 that he came to Minne- 
sota and took a claim in sections 19 and 20, Lynden township. He developed 
and improved this place, and brought it to a high stage of cultivation. After 
nearly four decades of busy endeavor, he sold his farm in 1902 and moved 
to St. Cloud. There he remained until 1914, when he took up his residence 
in Clearwater. He has been an active and progressive man during his entire 
adult years, and is now enjoying that rest, peace and contentment which he 
so richly deserves. He has taken a deep interest in the affairs of Lynden and 
St. Cloud, and is an active worker in the Old Settlers' Association. The 
Masonic body has also found in him a valuable member. He joined originally 
at Clearwater, but was later demitted to St. Cloud. Mr. Warner married 
Sarah Ann Wilcox, who died in 1894, and they had two children, Edward G. 
and Minnie, both now deceased. Edward G. married Fannie Lock and they 
have four children. Two are dead. Charles H. and George H. are married, 
and live at Great Falls, Montana. Minnie married John Boynton, and they 
had one child, Edna. She is now Mrs. Dickson, of Coon Rapids. 

Marcus Maurin, one of Cold Spring's leading citizens, now deceased, was 
born April 11, 1836, at Unterwald, Unterkrain, Austria, son of Marcus, Sr., 
and Anna Maurin. Marcus, Sr., was a wine dealer, a farmer and a dealer in 
tools for goldsmiths and watchmakers, a man who traveled widely through 
Europe, and was extensively known. The children in the family were Marie, 
Marcus, Peter, Joseph, Margaretha, George, Katherina, Margreth, Martin and 
John. Marcus, the subject of this mention received a splendid education. 
Obtaining a taste for learning in the schools of his native town, he entered 
the Gymnasium at Altenmarkt, and from there went to the German school of 
Koprevnike, where he spent two years. These studies made him ambitious 
for further learning, so he entered the school of Neustad, in Steiermark. 
Subsequently he spent six months in study in Paris, France. At the age of 
nineteen he started for America, landing in New York, October 1, 1855. He 
found employment as a general trader in furs, with Chicago as his headquar- 
ters. Soon thereafter, however, he determined to enter business for himself. 
Accordingly, with St. Paul as his headquarters he became a full-fledged fur 
trader. By energy, unceasing work and thrift he built up the business and 
thus laid the foundation for his future notable success. From St. Paul, with 
his own team, he made extensive trips through Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, 



972 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and even into the Dakotas and Canada. The undaunted courage he possessed 
gave impetus to his work as he drove to the log cabins, the Indian camps, 
the hamlets, the Missions and the forts. At Ft. Ripley and Ft. Abercrombie 
he was an especially welcome guest, and the Chippewa Indians whose lan- 
guage he spoke trusted him fully and gave him their loyal friendship. Thus 
over almost trackless wilds, through the snow and intense cold of winter, 
and the sweltering heat of summer, he covered his territory from 1855 to 
18G3. He had a genial manner and a never-ruffled temper, and made many 
warm friends. Especially was he honored with the friendship of many a 
Mission Father of the Northwest. Among these may be mentioned the Right 
Rev. Bishop James Trobec, then a mission priest ; also Mission Father Francis 
Pierz, at whose Indian missions he many times stopped ; as well as the Jesuit 
Father Wenniger, whom he often assisted in erecting Mission crosses where 
they might be seen by weary travelers of the Catholic faith. During these 
years, Marcus Maurin had some most thrilling adventures, and in later times, 
when he could be induced to talk of them, he related incident after incident 
in the most dramatic and vivid manner. The story of his life published in 
detail would make a most interesting and valuable contribution to the early 
history of the Northwest. In 1863, Mr. Maurin, having married, gave up his 
career of adventure, and settled in Cold Spring. With his brother, Peter, 
he organized the firm of Maurin Brothers, which became the strongest in 
the Sauk valley. It was the original intention of the brothers to open a mill, 
and in 1863 they purchased the water power rights at Cold Spring. A year 
later, however, they sold the privilege to T. P. Thompson. At Cold Spring 
they had a large mercantile establishment, a splendid hardware store, and a 
large grain elevator. They also had branches at St. Joseph, Little Falls and 
Elizabeth, all in this state. In 1872, the brother Peter went to Elizabeth to 
attend to the business there, and Marcus devoted the remainder of his life to 
building up the interests of Cold Spring. Throughout his life he was a de- 
vout member of the Catholic Church. In the early days he and his wife were 
forced to go to Jacob 's Prairie or Richmond to attend religious service. Later 
he assisted in erecting the first Catholic Church in Cold Spring village. Thor- 
oughly interested in the affairs of the village, he was, in 1904, elected presi- 
dent of the village council. In 1891 he erected the residence which is still 
one of the show-places in this part of the county. It is said that at one time 
he owned over five thousand acres of land. Mr. Maurin died November 6, 1905, 
after a long and severely painful illness which he bore with Christian forti- 
tude and patience. Marcus Maurin was married, June 9, 1863, to Mary A. 
Lauer, of Chicago. To this union were born seven children : Marie Frances, 
born December 16, 1864 ; Marie Louisa, born August 23, 1866 ; Anna Matilda, 
April 15, 1868 ; Peter Paul, June 29, 1870 ; Anna Rose, June 20, 1875 ; Agatha 
(deceased), born February 1, 1882; and Joseph Marcus, November 9, 1885. 
Marcus J. Maurin, one of Cold Spring's rising young business men, was 
born in the village where he still resides, November 9, 1885, son of Marcus 
Maurin, one of the county's most prominent men. Marcus J. attended the 
public schools of his native place, and in the fall of 1902 entered St. John's 
University at CoUegeville, this county, from the commercial course of which 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 973 

institution he graduated in 1905. With this preparation he at once returned 
to his home and entered the mercantile business with his father. In this 
line he has since continued. He has brought energy, new blood, and modern 
ideas into the business, and is numbered among the native sons of the state 
who have "made good." He is deeply interested in the advancement of every 
movement that has for its object the good and betterment of his village, 
township and county. He is a director in the First State Bank, of Cold Spring, 
and an enthusiastic worker and loyal member in the Cold Spring Commer- 
cial Club. Mr. Maurin was married, June 17, 1908, to Mayme Feiden, a native 
of Richmond, Minn, 

Anton Muggli, St., was born in Switzerland, May 21, 1819. He received 
a good education in his native land, and was there married to Barbara Monn, 
who was born in Switzerland, March 28, 1824. In 1854 they came to America, 
and located in Stillwater, from which place in 1858 they came to Stearns 
county and settled in Munson township. They broke and cleared the land, 
erected buildings, and experienced all the vicissitudes of pioneer life. He died 
August 5, 1888, and she January 13, 1900. In their family there were ten 
children: Joseph (deceased) ; Anton, of Cold Spring; Virgilus, of Cold Spring; 
Edward (deceased); Mary, of Madelia, Minn.; Louise, of Tacoma, Wash.; 
Anna, of Roseoe, Minn.; Elizabeth, of Portland, Oregon; and Margaret and 
Barbara of the same city. 

Daniel Friedman, a well-known resident of Cold Spring, was born in 
Little Falls, Minn,, February 7, 1860, a son of Nicholas and Mary A. (Young) 
Friedman. He came to Cold Spring with his parents, and here received his 
education. At the age of twenty-three he opened a market in Cold Spring. 
Later he engaged in the same business at Wilmot, South Dakota. Subse- 
quently, for five years, he lived on a ranch in the ''Bad Lands," North Da- 
kota, where he had Theodore Roosevelt for his near neighbor. It was at the 
end of this five years that Mr. Friedman encountered a serious misfortune. 
An unusually hard winter found his stock without feed or shelter, and he 
lost his entire herd. Consequently he returned to Cold Spring and engaged 
in the refreshment business. Before he sold out this business he had started 
his career as a capitalist by making a number of investments. One of his 
ventures subsequent to selling out was in a mercantile enterprise in Glenullin, 
North Dakota, where he bought out a half interest in the establishment con- 
ducted by his former employee, William Lutgen, and established the firm of 
Lutgen & Co., with a capital stock of $30,000. This company still carries on 
a successful business. Daniel Friedman is president and William Lutgen is 
secretary and treasurer. In 1900, Mr. Friedman associated himself with an 
old schoolmate, Joseph Arceneau, in the firm of Friedman & Arceneau, and 
opened a grocery and produce house in Alloueze, a suburb of Superior, Wis. 
In addition to these ventures, Mr. Friedman is an extensive owner of real 
estate in Minnesota and the Dakotas. In spite of his many holdings elsewhere, 
Mr. Friedman has taken a deep interest in the affairs of Cold Spring. He 
has here a splendid residence built of rich pressed brick, manufactured in 
North Dakota, and here maintains his home. For a time he was treasurer of 
the village. He is a loyal member of the Knights of Columbus. For his first 



974 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

wife, Mr. Friedman married Elizabeth Hussman. She died May 8, 1889. 
In 1891, Mr. Friedman married Elizabeth Tamble, a native of St. Joseph, 
Minn., daughter of M. J. Tamble. This union has been blessed with two chil- 
dren : Rufina, born April 27, 1902, and Evelyn M., born March 11, 1909. 

Nicholas Friedman, a pioneer of Stearns county who laid down his life 
in the Union cause, was born in Baden, Germany, and came to America in the 
early forties with his parents. After living a few years in Ohio, he took up 
his residence in Illinois. From there he came with an ox team to Little Falls, 
Morrison county, this state, in 1856. He farmed in Morrison county a few 
years, and then came to Stearns county, where he secured land three miles 
south of Cold Spring. He built a log cabin and a log stable, and farmed 
with the aid of his oxen, until driven out by the Indians. Leaving the ripened 
harvest upon which he had set all his hopes, he and his wife and children fled 
to St. Cloud. After two weeks, he and the family returned with their neigh- 
bors to Cold Spring, There the women and children of the neighborhood 
remained, while the men went each day to the fields. In this way about half 
of the crop was saved. In 1864, Mr. Friedman was drafted to Company K, 
Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. Shortly after entering the serv- 
ice he was taken ill. Lying in a rude tent among the trees, surrounded 
by unsanitary conditions, and without adequate personal or medical atten- 
tion, he died September 1, 1864, and was buried at Marietta, Tenn. He was 
then but thirty-four years of age, having been born April 7, 1830. His un- 
timely death left his widow with four children, the oldest was six years old, 
the youngest was an infant. They were Magdalena, Daniel, Jacob L. and 
Mary. The widow worked at whatever she could find to do, and thus kept the 
family together. Later in life she married her brother-in-law, Jacob Fried- 
man, and by this union had three children, Joseph, Rosa, Anna. Mrs. Fried- 
man was born September 8, 1832, and died October 19, 1907. 

Eugene Hermanutz, brewmeister and vice-president of the Cold Spring 
Brewing Co., was born in Wurtenberg, Germany, May 14, 1870, son of Dr. 
Rupert and Varina (Sauter) Hermanutz, both of whom died in their native 
city of Wurtenberg. At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to a brew- 
meister and thoroughly mastered that trade. When he reached the proper 
age he followed the customs of the Fatherland by entering the German army 
for a term of three years. It was November 1, 1896, when he landed in Amer- 
ica. After working as a brewmeister in Wadena, Wadena county, Minn, for 
two years, he went to Walla Walla, Wash., where he followed a similar em- 
ployment for a year. He then came to Cold Spring, in 1900, and at the organ- 
ization of the brewery here, he assumed the duties of his present position. 
He has been an important factor in the building up of the success of the com- 
pany, and looks after the numerous details of the business with splendid 
ability. He has one of the handsomest residences in the village. 

Mr. Hermanutz was married in April, 1903, to Mary Roedl, of Watkins, 
Meeker county, Minn., and they have five children: Alvin, Raymond, Aloy- 
sius, Ferdinand and Erwin. Mary (Roedl) Hermanutz was the daughter of 
John and Margaret (Ripple) Roedl, natives of Bavaria, Germany, who came 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 975 

to America in 1871, and located in Cold Spring, later going to Watkins, Minn., 
where the father died. Mrs. Roedl now lives in St. Cloud. 

John Kray, for many years proprietor of the Central House, at Cold Spring, 
was born in Germany, March 22, 1833. He came to America in 1849, and 
before reaching St. Paul in 1853, he worked in cities of Milwaukee and Ra- 
cine, Wis., and Peoria, 111. After staying in St. Paul for a while, he located in 
Scott county, near Shakopee and Marystown. Some years later he rented his 
farm, and became a driver on the old stage express route between St. Paul 
and Shakopee. Four mules were necessary to propel the stage, and it took 
two days to make the round trip, thus enabling him to be in each city alternate 
nights. Minneapolis and St. Paul were scarcely more than hamlets at that 
time, and Mr. Kray used to shoot ducks in portions of what is now the busi- 
ness center of Minneapolis. During the Indian troubles he was driver of a 
provision wagon on the route between St. Cloud and Ft. Snelling. Often the 
wagon was used to transport soldiers or volunteers. At one time he was 
carting provisions along the route, when the train was attacked by Indians. 
He was cut off from the others, and it was only by fleeing on the backs of his 
mules that he was enabled to regain the rest of the train. During these ex- 
periences, Mr. Kray acquired a great love for outdoor life, and at one period 
when he was recouperating from a siege of sickness, he was enabled to build up 
his strength by living in the open. He and his Indian companion. Blue Stone, 
spent much time in the woods and along the streams, hunting, trapping and 
fishing. It was on August 2, 1872, that he settled in Cold Spring and opened 
the Central House. The hotel was burned January 17, 1880, but was at once 
rebuilt on a larger scale, and reopened June 22, of the same year. In the 
spring of 1890, the business was taken over by the three sons, Philip, Joseph 
and Valentine. After a while, Philip became sole owner. For a time he 
rented the place to Otto Wolf. In February, 1904, the hotel was sold to 
John Meyer. John Kray was married in 1855 to Katrina Hartmann, a native 
of Germany. They had nine children, of whom five, Mary, Philip, Kate, Val- 
entine and Joseph H., lived to adult years. 

Philip H. Kray, miller and elevator owner of Cold Spring, Minn., was 
born in Marystown, Minn., December 14, 1860, a son of John and Katrina 
(Hartmann), the pioneers. He was reared in the hotel business by his father, 
and received a good education in the public schools. In the spring of 1890, 
he and his two brothers took over the management of the Central House at 
Cold Spring, which their father had owned for so many years. Later the 
subject of this sketch assumed the entire ownership. For a short time he 
rented it to Otto Wolf. In February, 1904, he sold it to John Meyer. He 
has been more or less interested in grain buying for many years, and in 1909, 
he bought a part interest in the Farmers Milling Co., of Cold Spring. The 
enterprise is an important one, and has the liberal patronage of the public. 
Mr. Kray is one of the prominent men of his community, and has served either 
as treasurer of the village or as president of the village council for many 
years. Philip H. Kray was married, November 4, 1885, to Laura Whitford, 
of Cold Spring, daughter of John Whitford, an early settler. Laura Whit- 
ford Kray died in 1888. She had two children : Clarence, and an unnamed 



976 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

infant. On April 26, 1892, Mr. Kray married Angeline Schafer, the widow of 
William Messersmith, by whom she had three children : George, Henry B., 
and Evelyn Margaret, and their union has been blessed with five children: 
Emeline M., Frank Arthur, Estella M., Leona Emma (deceased), and Alma 
Caroline. Clarence Kray lives in Joplin, Mo. He married Martha Shelver. 
George Messersmith lives in Minneapolis, Minn. He married Angeline Schri- 
ber. Henry B. Messersmith lives in Decatur, 111. He married Maude Dalzell. 
Evelyn Margaret Messersmith is the wife of Dr. M. F. Cook, of St. Cloud. Eme- 
line M. Kray, formerly secretary and treasurer of the Cold Spring Milling 
Co., is now wife of Joseph H. Peters, of Cold Spring. Frank Arthur Kray 
lives in Cold Spring. Estella Marie Kray succeeded her sister as secretary 
and treasurer of the Cold Spring Milling Co. Alma Caroline attends the 
public schools. 

Joseph H. Kray, the genial postmaster of Cold Spring, was born in Shak- 
opee, Minn., February 22, 1869, a son of John and Katrina (Hartmann) Kray. 
He was reared to hotel life by his father, and in 1890 he and his brothers took 
over the hotel business. In 1895 he opened a barber shop and confectionery 
store. In 1906 he disposed of this business. Since about that time he has had 
charge of the Cold Spring telephone exchange. Since 1897 he has been the 
postmaster, and has given most excellent service. Mr. Kray is a member of 
North Star Lodge, No. 23, A. F. & A. M. He was married October 3, 1893, 
to Barbara Stang, a native of Cold Spring, daughter of George Stang, who 
came to this vicinity about 1865. Mr. and Mrs. Kray have twelve children: 
Florence, born May 10, 1894; Elmer, born November 6, 1895; Rosa, born 
September 30, 1897 ; Milda, born February 13, 1899 ; Bertha, born September 
24, 1900; Edna, born March 4, 1902, and died September 2, 1906; Edward, 
born December 12, 1903 ; Raymond, born October 30, 1905 ; Isabel, born De- 
cember 26, 1907; Arthur, born October, 25, 1909; Madeline, born March 21, 
1911; Norbert, July 26, 1913. 

Michael Mienz, educator, now teaching in the public schools of Cold 
Spring village, was born on the home farm in Rockville township, February 
22, 1873, son of Peter Mienz, the pioneer. Michael Mienz received his educa- 
tion in the common schools, of his neighborhood; the St. Cloud State Normal 
School, at St. Cloud; and St. John's University, at Collegeville. He started 
his career as a teacher in 1895, and has taught every year since then. He 
is a wide reader, an excellent instructor, and a prudent disciplinarian, re- 
spected alike by pupils and parents. Mr. Mienz was married to Mary Hansen, 
August 29, 1897, daughter of Nicholas Hansen, Sr., the pioneer There are two 
children, Olivia, and Marcella 

John Oster, Sr., a pioneer, was born in Bassenheim, near the banks of 
the Rhine river, Germany, and there married Catherine Loecher, who was born 
in the same village. In 1849 they started for America with their two children, 
Catherine and Joseph. Their. journey was a pleasant one, the sailboat which 
they were aboard making the trip across the ocean in the unusually short 
time of twenty-six days. Upon landing, they came at once to St. Louis, Mo., 
thence to Wisconsin, and from that state to Stillwater, Minn. After remain- 
ing there a few years they came to Cold Spring, in Stearns county, and fin- 




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HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 977 

ally located a farm in Wakefield township, Mr. Oster alternately worked at 
his trade of carpenter and joiner and labored on his farm. After settling 
here, he left for a while, and lived two years in Iowa, and two years in St. 
Cloud. Subsequently he returned to Cold Spring and here farmed for the 
remainder of his life. He died in 1908 at the age of eighty-six. His wife died 
in 1892 at the age of seventy-two. The children born in Stearns county were : 
Anton. Christina and John. 

John Oster, the genial president of the Cold Spring Brewing Co., was born 
in Stearns county, August 5, 1863, a son of John, Sr,, and Catherine (Loecher) 
Oster, the pioneers. He was reared on the farm, and devoted his life to agri- 
cultural pursuits until twenty-five years of age, since which time he has de- 
voted his attention to the brewery business. He is a prominent man in the 
community, and served as president of the village for two years. He belongs 
to the Catholic Order of Foresters. His home is one of the most beautiful in 
this part of the country, and his brick garage has a full equipment of cars and 
fixtures. Mr. Oster was married, November 16, 1890, to Rosa Friedman, daugh- 
ter of Jacob Friedman, who is appropriately mentioned elsewhere, and they 
have five children: Daniel, Alice, Edward, Irene and Ferdinand. 

In 1876 when John Oster was but thirteen years of age, Michael Seigel 
started a small brewery in Cold Spring. He sold to John Ladner, and he in 
turn to Jacob Heamen. In 1890, Jacob Heamen and John Oster established 
the firm of Heamen & Oster. Their brewery had a capacity of about 1,000 
barrels yearly, in addition to a small building which was devoted exclusively 
to turning out keg beer. Mr. Heamen sold out to Henry Hill, and the firm 
became Oster & Hill. Mr. Hill sold out to Ferdinand Peters, and the firm 
became Oster & Peters. In 1900 the Cold Spring Brewing Co., was incorpo- 
rated, with John Oster as president; Eugene Hermanutz as vice-president; 
and Ferdinand Peters as secretary and treasurer. 

The property of this company forms almost a small village, and amounts 
in value to nearly a half million of dollars. Absolute cleanliness and purity 
is their slogan. The widely known Cold Spring mineral water is used ex- 
clusively in the manufacture of their beers and soft drinks. The annual busi- 
ness of the corporation for 1913 was about $192,000. The well-known "Red 
Star" mineral water is shipped very extensively and its demands cover a 
radius of over a thousand miles from its home, ''Cold Spring." 

Anton Oster was born in Cold Spring, January 16, 1865, son of John 
Oster, Sr., and Catherine (Loecher) Oster, the pioneers. He farmed on the 
old homestead in "Wakefield township a number of years, and in 1902 moved 
to the village of Cold Spring, where he engaged in the refreshment busi- 
ness for six months. He then rented the place and entered the employ of 
the Cold Spring Brewing Company. In 1906 he again became proprietor of 
his business and has since continued in that line. In 1889, Mr. Oster married 
Katie Nierenhausen, daughter of Peter Nierenhausen, a pioneer. In the 
family there are ten children: Margaret, Peter, Kate, Susan, Hilda, Estella, 
Albert, Nicholas, Marcus and Viola. The family are members of the Roman 
Catholic Church. 

Christian Dreis was born in Prussia, Germany, November 27, 1848, son 



978 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

of Peter Joseph and Barbara (Michaels) Dreis. He left his home in Germany 
in 1868 and upon reaching this country, came to Wisconsin, and located at 
Cavalry Station, where he learned the blacksmith's trade. After three years 
there he came to Cold Spring, this county, and secured employment with the 
Northern Pacific. In 1874, after his marriage, he located on a farm of eighty 
acres in section 16, Wakefield township. A log cabin had been built, and five 
acres were under cultivation. About 1884 he moved to his present place in 
Cold Spring, where his house occupies the site of one of the early claim shanties. 
Mr. Dreis has held such offices as supervisor, and has been marshal of Cold 
Spring for the past twenty-five years. Mr. Dries married Mary Bruner in 
1874, and they have five children : Anna and Elizabeth, of St. Cloud ; Mary, 
wife of Gustave Peters; Catherine (deceased) ; and Margaret, who died at the 
age of three years. Having no boys in the family, Mr. and Mrs. Dries adopted 
a son, James, to whom they have given parental care and affection. He is 
now in St. Cloud. Mary Bruner, now Mrs. Christian Dries, was the daughter 
of George and Anna (Uleman) Bruner, the pioneers. She was born in the 
Bavarian settlement three miles north of Cold Spring, in a covered wagon, 
August 2, 1856, no houses having at that time been erected there. She was 
the first white girl born in that vicinity, and the first child to be baptized 
in the Church of St. James on Jacob's Prairie. Her parents came from Ba- 
varia to America, lived for a while on a farm north of Milwaukee, and then 
came to Wakefield township. 

Gustave Peters was born on the old family homestead, near Cavalry Sta- 
tion, Wis., April 21, 1879, son of John Peters. He left home at the age of four- 
teen and became interested in the live stock and market business. By native 
ability and strict attention to business he has achieved success. In 1900 he 
opened a market in Cold Spring, and in 1908 he opened a branch at Rockville. 
It was in 1913 that he rented 200 acres of good land joining the village of 
Cold Spring. Here he has established the Cold Spring Stock farm. He raises 
good crops which are used for feeding purposes on his own farm. His cattle 
are of the best. The place is well kept, and the handsome residence and com- 
modious barns make it one of the most sightly places in the community. 
Mr. Peters was married in 1901, to Mary Dries, and they have five children: 
Eldred, Albert, Adaline, Emma and Adwenia, who died at the age of three 
years. 

Ferdinand Peters, secretary and treasurer of the Cold Spring Brewing 
Co., was born on a farm, one mile north of Calvary Station, Wis., May 1, 1874, 
son of John and Theresa Mary (Hilt) Peters, and grandson of Nicholas and 
Margaretha (Lentz) Peters. The grandfather, Nicholas, was a true pioneer. 
He brought his wife and oldest child from Germany, and secured a homestead 
of 160 acres one mile north of Calvary Station, Wis. There he built a cabin, 
and started farming, carrying on at the same time his trade as a blacksmith. 
His genial character, bravery and honesty, made him a great friend of the 
Indians. In times of Indian troubles when other settlers fled for protection 
to Fond du Lac, he remained quietly and untroubled on his farm. He died 
at the age of forty-seven. The children in the family were : Nicholas, John, 
Hubert, Mary, Christian and Charles. John Peters, the father, still remains 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 979 

on the homestead of his father, Nicholas. John Peters was born in 1844, 
and is one of the leading men of the community. His first wife, Theresa 
Mary Hilt died in 1886, at the age of thirty-one, leaving the following chil- 
dren : Ferdinand, Nicholas, Henry, Gustave, Albert, John and Johanna. The 
present wife of John Peters was Anna Marie Wagner. She has borne him 
eight children : Joseph, Mary, Emma, Hubert, Edwin, Edmond, Leonard and 
Irene. Ferdinand Peters was reared on the home farm, and received his 
education in the public schools and at Mt. Calvary University, at Mt. Calvary, 
Wisconsin. As a youth he thoroughly mastered the business of dairying in 
all its branches, including the care of live stock, and cheese and butter mak- 
ing. Upon coming to Stearns county, he located at Melrose, where he was 
engaged in the general mercantile business for one year. Subsequently he 
entered the employ of what is now the Cold Spring Brewing Co. After keep- 
ing books for this concern for two years, he spent some six months as general 
agent for the Minneapolis Brewing Co., with headquarters at Brainerd, Minn. 
January 15, 1899, he bought a half interest in what is now the Cold Spring 
Brewing Co., and with that institution he has since been connected. He has 
other extensive interests. Among them might be mentioned the Oak Park 
(Benton county, Minn.) State Bank, which has a capital of $12,000. Ferdi- 
nand Peters is the president, his wife is the vice-president, and Frank J. Pal- 
lanch is the cashier. Mr. Peters is a prominent man in the community. He has 
been an efficient member of the village council, and has served continuously 
since 1908 as village president. Mr. Peters is the father of the project of 
bottling the Red Star Mineral Water, that has made Cold Spring famous. 
The water, the first to be shipped from Stearns county, was put on the market 
in 1906, and is today used in thousands of homes, bufi'ets, and hospitals all 
through the Northwest. Mr. Peters was united in marriage, November 10, 
1897, at Watkins, Minn., to Margaret Hontheim, born in Chicago, April 10, 
1880, only child of Mathias and Gertrude (Bishop) Hontheim. Mr. and Mrs. 
Peters have four children : Marie, Isabel, Johanna and Lucile. Mathias Hon- 
theim and Gertrude (Bishop) Hontheim, his wife, parents of Mrs. Ferdinand 
Peters, were born in Murlenbach, Germany. They came to America in 1870, 
and located in Chicago. In 1885 they came to Watkins, Minn., where Mr. 
Hontheim is engaged in the mercantile business. 

Albert John Peters, merchant of Cold Spring, was born January 16, 1881, 
on the old Peters homestead, near Calvary Station, Wis., the son of John 
Peters. He received his preparatory education in the district schools and 
has supplemented this with wide reading and observation. For a short time 
he was employed by the Cold Spring Brewing Co. Then he was manager 
of the Maurin Brothers' Mercantile Co. for several years. In 1905 he became a 
partner in that concern. In addition to this he is vice-president of the State 
Bank, of Cold Spring. Mr. Peters was married June 26, 1907, to Rosa Maurin. 

George Schaefer, an early hotel keeper of St. Cloud, was born in Kirschof 
by Heusweiler, Kreis Saarbrueken, Germany, and as a youth learned the 
trade of carpenter. He also served in the German army. As a young man 
of twenty-one, when his native land was rent with war, he became entangled 
in political matters, and as a result was forced to flee for his life. He found 



980 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

refuge in America, where he started in to carve a new career for himself. For 
a time he conducted a hotel at Crown Point, Ind. It was in 1860 that he came 
to Stearns county and opened a hotel in St. Cloud. It was located on the 
corner of Sixth avenue and First street, opposite what is now the St. Cloud 
Hotel. Mr. Schaefer conducted the Schaefer House until 1879, when he turned 
it over to his son, George M. Schaefer. He died at the home of his daughter, 
Mrs. H. P. Craig, in Cold Spring, this county. His wife died at the home of 
her daughter, Mrs. Charles Metzroth, of St. Cloud. Mrs. Schaefer, whose 
maiden name was Margaret Klein, was born near Trear, Prussia, Germany. 

Michael EUenbecker was born on November 1, 1859, in Sheboygan county. 
Wis., son of Nicholas and Catherine EUenbecker, both natives of the grand 
dutchy of Luxemburg. They came to America in 1848, and lived in Sheboygan 
county, "Wis., until 1867 when they moved to Stearns county and located on 
150 acres of wild land in Luxemburg township. They erected a log house 
and a log cabin, and brought the wild land under cultivation. There they 
spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying in 1891 at the age of sev- 
enty-eight, and the mother in the same year at the age of seventy-six. Michael 
was reared on the home farm, and at the age of nineteen he entered the sa- 
loon business at what is now known as Old St. Nicholas in 1878. Two years 
later he returned to and operated the old farm. In 1883 he engaged in the 
saloon and grocery business at Cold Spring, in which he continued until 1886, 
when he again returned to the old farm where he remained until the spring 
of 1898, after which he re-entered the saloon business at Cold Spring in 
which he continued until 1904, when he engaged in the livery business and 
also held a position as rural mail carrier until 1906, after which he engaged 
in the mercantile business in which he continued for five years, and after 
disposing of his interests in that business in 1911 he again entered the saloon 
business in which he is now engaged in Cold Spring. Mr. EUenbecker married 
Emma Theisen on May 20, 1884, and they have had seven children : Margaret, 
Peter I., Anna, Emma, John, Matilda and John F. (deceased). 

John Wocken, principal of the Cold Spring schools, was born in Hanover, 
Germany, August, 26, 1855, son of Bernhard and Elizabeth (Schumacher) 
"Wocken, who spent the span of their years in Germany. There were two 
daughters, Margaret, living in Germany, wife of Henry Ahlers, and Cath- 
erina (deceased). John Wocken attended the graded schools of his native 
place, and in 1874 graduated from the teachers' seminary at Osnabrueck. 
With this preparation, he taught school for several years in Germany. In 
1881 he came to America, and after a short stay at Shakopee, Minn., came to 
St. John's University, at Collegeville, this county, to perfect himself in Eng- 
lish. Then he resumed his profession as a teacher. He was the first teacher 
in the parochial school at Melrose. For a while he taught in district 33, this 
county. It was in 1887 that he became the teacher of the school in Cold 
Spring. The second year of his service here he was made principal, a position 
he has since retained. The school now has four teachers and has made won- 
derful progress under his capable charge. Mr. Wocken is a deep reader and 
keeps well abreast of the latest developments in the world's events as well 
as in the most modern aspects of pedagogy. As a hobby he has taken a 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 981 

deep interest in bees, and his apiary has been very successful. Fraternally 
he affiliates with the Society of St. Joseph. Mr. Wocken married Kate Schlick, 
and their living children are : Bernard, Joseph, Paul, Marcus, Raymond, 
Mary, Amanda and Hortense. Aloysius, Alphonse and Louise are dead. 

Otto Wolf was born in Bavaria, Germany, February 22, 1865, son of 
John and Eva (Salzman) Wolf, who spent the span of their years in Ger- 
many. John and Eva Wolf had four children, Leopold, Otto, Henry and 
Theodore. After the death of his first wife, John Wolf married Margarethe 
Oechsner, by whom he had three children, John, George and Gretchen. Otto, 
the subject of this sketch, learned the vintner's and cooper's trades as a youth, 
and later became interested in the wine business. In 1888, he came to Amer- 
ica as a single man. For fourteen years he was identified with the wholesale 
wine business in New York and San Francisco. In 1899 he gave up his loca- 
tion at 41-45 Broadway, New York, and came to Cold Spring, reaching here 
April 26. For two years he conducted the old Central Hotel. Then he built 
the Merchant's Hotel, a sightly modern brick structure, two stories high. He 
has built up a good trade and is well liked by the traveling public. In addi- 
tion to the hotel, he has a flourishing wholesale wine business, his cellars con- 
taining one of the finest stocks of domestic and imported wines in the North- 
west. Mr. Wold has taken an active interest in the development of the village 
and is one of the stockholders in the Cold Spring State Bank. He is also an 
extensive land owner. In 1914 Mr. and Mrs. Wolf were in Europe for three 
months at the time the war broke out. Mr. Wolf was married in New York 
city to Minnie Wiesner, who was born in his native town. Their only son, 
the light of their home, was born in New York April 21, 1895, and died at 
the age of five years. 

Joseph P. Benolken, of the firm of Benolken & Rose, general merchants 
of New Munich, was born in Oak township, this county, June 8, 1876, son of 
Frank Benolken, early county commissioner and member of the state legisla- 
ture. Joseph P. was educated in the district schools of his neighborhood, in 
the St. Cloud State Normal School, and in the Sauk Centre Business School, 
at Sauk Centre. Thus prepared he taught school four years in district 167, 
Spring Hill township, and two years in district 102, Freeport village, both 
in this county. In 1906 he entered the mercantile business at Freeport. In 
May, 1912, he purchased an interest in the general store of C. A. Brown, in 
New Munich, and associated himself with Joseph G. Rose, under the present 
firm name. The company does an excellent business, carries a good stock, 
and has a splendid building, 72 by 32. Mr. Benolken is a member of the St. 
Joseph Society and of the German Aid Society. He was married in November, 
1900, to Elizabeth Bockhold, of New Munich, Minn. They have had six chil- 
dren: Alfred, Hugo (deceased), Ludwina, Robert, Valeria and Beatrice. 

John Frevel, for some years a merchant in New Munich, was born in 
Prussia, Germany, May 30, 1838, and died October 30, 1909. He was the son 
of Bartholomus and Anna Elizabeth (Heeresbach) Frevel, who brought the 
family to America and located on section 18, Oak township, this county. 
They erected a log cabin, and lived much the same kind of life as their neigh- 
bors. John Frevel came with the rest of the family, and lived on the home 



982 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

farm in Oak township until 1885, when he moved to New Munich and opened 
a store. Twelve years later he moved to Melrose. After conducting a store 
there for four years, he returned to New Munich, and again took up the 
mercantile business here. For some years he was postmaster at that point. 
He also served in various town offices. For his first wife he married Agnes 
Kessing. The children were: Bartholomus, Elizabeth (deceased), John (de- 
ceased), Anna, Henry (deceased), Henry (deceased), Mary and a deceased 
infant. For his second wife he married Anna Meisen, whose parents settled 
in the early days on a farm two and a half miles north of New Munich, in 
Oak township. In the family there are thirteen children by this marriage: 
George, Elizabeth, Peter, Agnes, Timothy, Mathew, Appelonia, Francis, Lena 
(deceased), Rosa (deceased), Marcus, Magdalena (deceased) and Evelyn. 

George Frevel was born in Oak township, this county, April 15, 1885, 
son of John and Anna (Meisen) Frevel. He attended the district schools and 
the Melrose High school. In 1908 he entered into the mercantile business 
with his father at New Munich. At the time of his father's death in the 
fall of 1909 he took over the business, which is now in a flourishing condition. 
He carries a good stock and enjoys a large trade. He is a leader in the com- 
munity and an active worker for its progress. He has been postmaster since 
October 31, 1907, and village recorder since 1910. Mr. Frevel married Minnie 
Zimmerman, of Freeport, August 17, 1909. 

John Herbes, hardware and furniture merchant, of New Munich, was 
born in New Munich, June 30, 1890, son of Henry and Cecelia (Rieland) 
Herbes. He attended the district schools of his neighborhood, and studied 
two years in St. John's University, Collegeville, and four terms at the St. Cloud 
State Normal School. Subsequently he worked on the farm for a while, and 
in 1911 engaged in the hardware and furniture business at New Munich. His 
is an unusually complete stock, and the attractive appearance of his store 
does much to give New Munich the aspect of a flourishing village. He mar- 
ried Mary Guenter, daughter of Theodore Guenter. Henry Herbes was born 
in Germany, and as a young man came to McHenry county, Illinois, where 
he worked for a time. In 1869 he came to Stearns county, and homesteaded 
160 acres in section 32, Oak township. The claim was in the woods and had 
no improvements. He erected a log cabin and started to clear the land. His 
log cabin was burned, but, undaunted, he at once started to build another. 
Gradually he attained success and prosperity. To his pioneer cabin he brought 
his bride and the two faced life's battles together. As time passed they 
erected modern buildings, and their holdings were increased to 440 acres. 
Henry Herbes was school director for a time, and contributed toward build- 
ing the three successive Catholic churches at New Munich. He died in 1908 
at the age of seventy-two. His wife still makes her home on the farm. They 
had eight children: Frank, Benedine, Eliza, Lena, Joseph, Herman, John 
and Christina. Mary, Theresa and Benjamin are dead. 

Conrad W. Young-, New Munich, one of the modern creamery men of 
Minnesota, was born in Holding township, this county, November 30, 1888, 
son of Henry Young. He received his early education in the district schools 
of the township and in the village school of Holdingford. At the age of six- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 983 

teen he left the farm to learn the trade of buttermaker at Albany, in this 
county. In 1906 he entered the Dairy School, Department of Agriculture, of 
the University of Minnesota, and after the necessary experience received his 
diploma therefrom in 1907. Subsequently he was employed as buttermaker 
at Flensburg, Morrison county, Minn. ; Minneapolis, Minn. ; Duluth, Minn. ; 
Boyden, low^a, and Crookston, Minn. In 1910 he became general manager 
of the Bridgeman-Russell Creamery at Holdingford. August 1, 1911, he and 
A. H. Wester, of Albany, this state, became owners of the New Munich Cream- 
ery. Under the capable management of Mr. Young the creamery is con- 
stantly growing in popularity and output, and its standing in the community 
is high, both among the farmers and the dealers. Mr. Young is of that type 
of young man which counts so much for the growth of a village, and his friends 
predict for him a brilliant future. On August 20, 1912, he married Theresa, 
daughter of Mathias Pitzel, of New Munich. 

Jacob Men, a retired farmer of Oak township, now living in New Munich 
village, was born in Switzerland, March 27, 1854, son of Antoin and Dorethea 
(De Florin) Mon, who in 1867 came to Minnesota and settled on 160 acres in 
Oak Grove. He and his family began in a small cabin, and started farming 
with the aid of a yoke of oxen. Success came, and Antoin Mon was enabled 
to erect modern buildings and add to his farm holdings. Two years before 
his death he retired and moved to New Munich, where he died at the age 
of seventy-eight. His wife had died at the age of seventy-three. In the 
family there were seven children : Barbara, Jacob, Joseph, Louis, Antoin, 
Mary and Margaret. Margaret was born in Minnesota. The rest were brought 
here by their parents. Jacob Mon was a sturdy youngster of thirteen when 
his parents reached America. Even at that early day he did his share of the 
work, and finally came into the possession of the home place. He devoted 
his life to farming operations for many years and met with excellent success. 
He retired and moved to his present home in New Munich. Mr. Mon married 
Regina Caub, daughter of Mathias Caub, a native of Hesse-Darmstadt, and 
an early settler of Stearns county. Mr. and Mrs. Mon have had ten children. 
Six are living: Conogonda, Margaret, Hubert, John, Lawrence and Barney. 
Benedict, Antoin, Dorethea and Henry are dead. 

Joseph G. Rose, successful merchant of New Munich, of the firm of Benol- 
ken & Rose, is the son of John and Antoinette Rose. He attended the district 
schools and as a young man engaged in farming on 280 acres of land in Oak 
toAvnship. Later he conducted a hotel at New Munich for eleven years and 
then he formed his present partnership with Joseph P. Benolken. They do a 
large business and have taken a prominent part in the mercantile development 
of the village. Mr. Rose has been a member of the village council for six years 
and president of the council two years. Mr. Rose married for his first wife, 
Anna Roering, who died in March, 1900, leaving two children, Kate, who died 
at the age of fourteen and Elenora. The present Mrs. Rose was Emma Zim- 
merman, of Freeport, this county. They have had five children : Clarence, 
Anna, John, Rolia and Edmund. 

John Rose was born in Germany, and after coming to the United States 
located at Cincinnati, Ohio. Later he came to Stearns county, and settled 



984 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

on a claim in section 8, Oak township. With him was his wife, Antoinette 
(Vormvrock), and his two children, John and Kate. The vicinity was wild, 
no roads had been built, they lived in a log cabin, farmed with an ox team, 
and went to St. Cloud for provisions. During the Indian uprising they 
sought refuge in St. Cloud. In after life he owned 340 acres of land, and a suit- 
able number of buildings. He was a town and school officer and took his part 
in church affairs. He died at about seventy-two years of age. His wife died 
at the age of fifty-nine. The children in the family were John, Kate, Henry, 
Mary, Joseph G., Herman, Benjamin. 

Edward Meagher homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 6, in the 
township of North Fork and located there in 1868, coming with his wife (Ho- 
norah) and six children from Sibley county, Minn. He taught the first school 
in the township, in district 66, in the year 1868. The school district then 
comprised the east half of the township. This school was taught in the log 
cabin of Aslag Guldbrandson (Maelen). Mr. Meagher took an active part in 
the public affairs of the township in the early days. In 1869 he was elected 
to the office of assessor and reelected annually up to 1880. He also held the 
office of justice of the peace for about the same length of time or until he 
moved and settled on a farm across the line into Pope county. In the cam- 
paign of 1876 he was elected to the legislature, his opponent being A. Barto of 
Sauk Centre, formerly lieutenant governor, prominent not only in the district 
but also in the state. Mr. Barto was the Republican candidate and Mr. 
Meagher the Democratic candidate; the legislative district was strongly Re- 
publican. The family has been prominent; three daughters, Katie, Hannah 
and Margaret were teachers ; Mary, now Sister Scholastica, 0. S. B., has been 
a member of this Order for the past 25 years ; Nellie resides in St. Paul ; the 
oldest son, Samuel, was a teacher in the western part of the county for sev- 
eral years ; another son, James, is a prominent farmer across the line in Pope 
county, and lives in the old home. Mr. Meagher was born in Ireland in 1828, 
came to America when a young man. He died at the old home where his 
son James now resides, on April 10, 1893. 

Edward W. Nugent, real estate man of Brooten, was born in Dixon, Lee 
county, Illinois, June 10, 1859, son of John and Margaret (Keefe) Nugent, 
natives of Ireland. John Nugent came to America in 1849, and his wife a few 
years later. They were married in Illinois. For some years he operated a 
lumber yard and elevator at Dixon. May 13, 1873, he arrived in Minnesota, 
with his wife and six children, Edward W., M. F., Ellen, "William, Margaret 
and John. Mary was born in Minnesota. The family located on 160 acres in 
section 18, North Fork township. They erected a frame house and started 
farming with three horses and two cows. The nearest mill was at Chippewa 
Falls, now Terrace, in Pope county. By hard work and frugal life, John 
Nugent secured 320 acres of land. He was chairman of the town at one time, 
served many years as school treasurer, and did his party good service as chair- 
man of the Democratic town committee. He died April 14, 1905. His wife 
died September 4, 1913. They were devout Catholics and assisted in erecting 
the church in Raymond township. Edward W. Nugent was educated in the 
schools of his neighborhood and in St. John's University, Collegeville, this. 




E. W. NUGENT 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 985 

county. For some years he traveled for the McCormick and Deering Har- 
vester companies, as salesman, auditor and adjuster. About 1900 he took 
up his abode in Brooten, and in partnership with M. F. Rein formed the M. F. 
Rein Land Co. He is president of the Lancaster Land Co., Inc., of Lancaster, 
Minn. In 1905 he was a candidate for a seat in the lower house of the Min- 
nesota State Legislature. 

Nels Olson, who after a life of many and varied experiences is now spend- 
ing his years in retirement in Brooten, was born in Norway, November 17, 
1834. He came to America with his parents in 1854 and located in Rock 
county, Wis. In 1857 he moved to a claim in Spring Grove, Houston county, 
this state, which he had secured during a previous visit. He lived the life of 
the true pioneer, erected a log cabin, broke the land, and lived under the most 
primitive conditions. He was a recruiting officer during the Civil War. At the 
outbreak of the Indian troubles he showed his valor by urging his neighbors 
to stay on their homesteads and not to flee until there were indications that 
the Indians were to visit that part of the country. Some of the settlers were 
induced to return, and Mr. Olson was justified, for the Indians did no damage 
in that part of the state. In 1865 he came to Stearns county and settled in 
North Fork township, on 160 acres in section 27, near the Big Grove. To this 
he added from time to time. Here once more he started as a pioneer, living 
first in the wagon, and then erecting a building, part frame and partly of 
logs. Three years later he moved to Wheeling, in Rice county, where he 
farmed on 200 acres for twelve years. Then he moved to Getty, in Stearns 
county, and farmed on 240 acres in the southeastern part until 1887, when he 
moved to Brooten village where he now lives. He owns forty acres inside 
the village limits and eighty acres on the edge. Mr. Olson has been very 
active in locating settlers in the mining districts. At one time he selected 
a claim in the Mesaba district now worth millions, but was forced to relin- 
quish it as he had already used up his preemption and homestead rights. He 
still owns mining lands. Mr. Olson was married in 1868 to Segre Olson, born 
in Norway. She died in 1900 at the age of seventy-six. There are seven 
children living, Engeborg, Christina, Louis, Elana, Elizabeth, Sarah and Sam- 
uel. Two, Ole and Lee, are dead. 

Ellen Baalson, the first pioneer of North Fork township, was born in 
Hallingdahl, Norway, November 1, 1834, was there married, March 3, 1861, and 
on June 21, 1861, arrived in Spring Grove, Houston county, this state, July 
4, 1865, he reached North Fork township with Hans Peterson. They were the 
first to settle in the township. Mr. Baalson secured 160 acres, and started 
to establish a household in the wilderness. When he first arrived he and his 
family camped under their wagons. On the same site he erected a log house, 
and with a team of oxen he started breaking the land. There was great diffi- 
culty in getting to market, and money was scarce, his entire cash resources 
at the time of his arrival consisting of but fifteen cents. Being far-sighted 
in business, and a hard worker, he managed in time to acquire 800 acres. As 
the years passed he erected buildings in keeping with his increasing pros- 
perity. For many terms he was town treasurer and school officer. He was 
a devout member of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of North 



986 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Fork township, and assisted in building its first log structure, Ellen Baalson 
was married March 3, 1861, to Karl Ostensen, born July 23, 1837. Their chil- 
dren are : Bjorn, born October 9, 1861, died January 18, 1874 ; Austen, born 
May 12, 1864 ; Jorgine, born June 26, 1865 ; Edward, born July 20, 1867 ; An- 
drine, born March 26, 1869 (dead) ; Olava, born January 21, 1871, died July 
28, 1912 ; Henry, born September 23, 1872 ; Bernhard, born February 24, 1875, 
died December 20, 1903, and Herman, born May 29, 1878. 

Henry Baalson, a successful farmer of North Fork township, was born on 
the home place in this township, September 23, 1872, and has devoted his life 
to agricultural pursuits. He was married July 6, 1898, to Ida Regina Bente, 
and they have six children: Clara Elenora, born April 11, 1900, died at the 
age of two years, two months and two days ; Clara Jenet, born March 10, 1903, 
died at the age of four months ; Elmo Orrin, born August 6, 1904 ; Oliver Bern- 
hard, born December 1, 1906, Clarance Johan, born October 13, 1909 ; Her- 
man Ingvold, born October 4, 1912. 

Gustav Levorson was born February 22, 1869, in the town of North Fork, 
Minnesota. When the Willmar Seminary was opened he was one of the six- 
teen students who enrolled in that institution. After getting a thorough edu- 
cation he became a teacher and taught school for several years, eleven terms 
in all. Later he secured a homestead in Itasca county and lived there four- 
teen months. Mr. Levorson is an active worker in the town of North Fork 
and has held many prominent positions. He has been the chairman of the 
town and also held the position of justice of peace for several years. Being 
a farmer he is much interested in their needs and was one of the organizers 
of the Brooten Farmers' Co-operative Creamery Association and became its 
first secretary and manager. He still holds the position of treasurer of that 
association. Since 1903 he has been the secretary of the Farmers' Mutual 
Fire Insurance Company of North Fork, In 1895 he was married to Andrina 
Baalson, who died in 1908. He has five children, Leonard, Clara, Elmo, Gilma 
and Arnold. 

Kittel Halverson, member of the Fifty-second United States Congress, dis- 
tinguished citizen of North Fork township, was born in Norway, December 
15, 1846, son of Halvor and Anne Halverson, the estate name of the family 
being Kjeldal, In 1848, the family, then consisting of the father and mother 
and eight children, Ole, Liv, Margaret, Soren, Hans, Halvor, Nels and Kittel, 
came to America, and located near Whitewater, Wis. From there they moved 
to Lodi, on the Wisconsin river in Columbia county. Wis. Still later they 
moved to Winchester, Winnebago county, Wis. The father died April 14, 
1861, at the age of sixty and the mother died in 1856 at the age of fifty-five. 
In addition to the children they brought to this country, there were two, Anne 
and Thora, born in this country. Four of the sons, Soren, Hans, Halvor and 
Kittel, served in the Civil War. Kittel Halverson followed the fortunes of 
his family until September 1, 1863, when, lacking a few months of seventeen 
years of age, he enlisted as a private in Battery C, First Wisconsin Heavy 
Artillery. He followed the campaigns of that regiment until the close of the 
war, doing good service in the Battle of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Moun- 
tain, and the second battle of Chattanooga. He was mustered in at Milwau- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 987 

kee, Wis., and mustered out at Madison; received his honorable discharge, 
and returned to the home farm in Winnebago, Wis., in October, 1865. The 
same year he started out with some other boys for the Northwest. In the 
party were the brothers, Halvor, Hans and Kittel Halverson, a cousin, Hans 
Swenson, and two other boys named Hans Kittleson and Syvert C. Larson. 
They made the trip, by foot, by boat, by rail, and by team, until they reached 
Renville county, Minn. The next day an election took place in Birch Cooley 
in that county, all being urged to vote. From this point they drove 
around the country looking for land. In November, 1865, he stopped one 
night in the tavern kept by William H. Blasdell, a pioneer of Paynesville. 
November 27, 1865, he filed on 160 acres of land in sections 26 and 27, North 
Fork township. He worked on the railroad for a few weeks and then re- 
turned to the claim of Hans Kittleson, where they built a log cabin in which 
the six boys spent the winter. As time passed, Mr. Halverson improved this 
land, erected the necessary buildings, purchased a complete supply of tools 
and machinery, and became one of the farmers of the community. In 1899 
he went to Sargent county. North Dakota, where he farmed ten years. In 
1909 he returned to North Fork and took up his residence on 200 acres of 
land in sections 32 and 33, the property constituting the homestead of his 
father-in-law, John U. Anderson. Mr. Halverson has been active in public 
affairs. As a veteran of the Civil War, he was for many years interested in 
the Republican party. In the early eighties he was nominated by his party 
as a candidate for the office of county commissioner, but declined to accept 
the nomination. Later he embraced the cause of the Farmers' Alliance. In 
1886 he was elected to the lower house of the Minnesota legislature, being 
nominated by a mass convention, and endorsed by the Republican party. He 
served in the session of 1887, being a member of the railroad and educa- 
tional committees. In 1900, at a mass convention of the Farmers' Alliance 
held at Fergus Falls, Minn., he was nominated as a candidate for Congress 
from the Fifth Minnesota District. He was also endorsed by the Prohibition 
party. His opponents were : Comstock, Republican, and Whitten, Democrat. 
He was elected and served one term, from March 4, 1891, to March 4, 1893. 
With the exception of Haldor F. Boen, who served from the Ninth Minnesota 
District, from March 4, 1893, to March 4, 1895, Mr. Halverson is the only man 
that the Farmers' Alliance movement ever sent to Congress from Minnesota. 
Four years later, Mr. Halverson was again nominated for the same office, but 
was defeated. In local politics, Mr. Halverson has been a prominent man, 
and has served many years, at different times, as chairman and clerk of North 
Fork township. He is now a member of the board of supervisors ; was a mem- 
ber of the school board for many years. Kittel Halverson was married Novem- 
ber, 1870, to Geoline Anderson, daughter of John U. and Aulen Julia (Lar- 
son) Anderson. They have had thirteen children. Eight are living. They 
are: Henry, Josephine, Anna, Alfred, Clara, David, Lenora and Appeline. 
Those dead are : Nels, Nora, Abel, Noel and Anna. 

K. Halverson was active in the organization of the Peoples' party, which 
he followed until its death in 1900, and has since affiliated himself with the 
Socialist party. 



988 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Frederick Peterson, a retired farmer living in North Fork township, was 
born in Norway, December 13, 1848, son of Peter and Inger Peterson. The 
mother died in Norway in 1851; leaving five children: Frederick, Lauritz, 
Margaret, Christina and Paulina. The father married for his second wife, 
Catherine Peterson, and to this union were born two children, Ingine and 
Olena. In 1861 the family came to America and located on a farm of forty 
acres in Bloomfield, Fillmore county, this state. They erected a log cabin 
and started farming with an ox team. During the Indian troubles they were 
often frightened, but no Indians came within many miles of the place. The 
father lived on that faiin until his death at the age of seventy-one. Fred- 
erick was reared in Fillmore county, and was there married. As a young 
man he purchased 100 acres in Bloomfield township, in that county and 
farmed there four years. Then he moved across the line into Mower county, 
and farmed there three years. In 1881 he moved to North Fork township, 
Stearns county, and secured forty acres of school land. No buildings had 
at that time been erected on the tract. Later he increased his holdings to 160 
acres, erected modern buildings, and successfully carried on general farming 
for many years. He was clerk and assessor of North Fork township for many 
terms, and also served for a considerable period as school officer. Mr. Peter- 
son was married in 1872 to Petronille Bjerke, born May 6, 1851, in Norway, 
daughter of Nels and Kjerstine Bjerke, who came to America in 1861 and 
settled in Spring Grove township, Houston county. In their family there 
were ten children. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson have three children : Ida, Ingine 
and Nora, Ida died in infancy. Nora married Henry Johnson, who operates 
the Peterson farm in addition to eighty acres of his own. 

Andres Moen, a retired farmer living on his old homestead in North Fork 
township, was bom in Norway, February 8, 1844, son of Nels and Ingerborg 
Moen. In the family there were four children: Halvor, Ole, Andrew and 
Ingerborg. By another marriage Nels Moen had three children : Thoren, 
Kittel, and Barbara. Nels Moen died in Norway, and in 1867 the mother and 
her four children came to America, and located in Spring Grove, Houston 
county, this state. As a young man Andres Moen had learned the carpenter 
trade. In 1869 he came to Stearns county, and secured a homestead of 120 
acres in section 25, North Fork township. He built a log house, and with an 
ox team began clearing and improving the place. His hard work brought 
him prosperity, as time passed he erected modern buildings, and now owns 
575 acres of land, on which for many years he successfully carried on farm- 
ing operations. As a carpenter he erected the first building of the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran Church, in North Fork township. For several years he 
was treasurer of his school district. Mr. Moen was married in 1871 to Thorga 
Vig, who died in 1910 at the age of sixty-one years. In their family there 
were eight children: Nels, Custa, Albert, Emma (deceased), Betsey, Anna 
and Carl. 

Nels Moen, one of the most prominent and enterprising farmers of North 
Fork township, was born in the township where he still resides, April 24, 
1872, son of Andres and Thorga (Vig) Moen, the pioneers. He operates 280 
acres of rich land, and has modern barns and outbuildings, and an unusually 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 989 

sightly home, his farm being equipped with the latest and best farm imple- 
ments and tools, and everything else that helps to make farm life comfort- 
able and profitable. He has a fine herd of Shorthorn cattle, bred from full- 
blooded sires, and some excellent Poland-China hogs and Percheron horses. 
At one time he was a successful breeder of Shropshire sheep, and in this line 
was widely known. For about fourteen years he operated a threshing outfit 
in the neighborhood. Mr. Moen married Mary Heieie, daughter of Ole Heieie. 
They have five children: Tillie, Elmo, Evelyn, Odila and Theodore. 

Joshua H. Bruce, now deceased, for many years a leading man in the 
western part of Stearns county, was born at Ladoga, Indiana, March 22, 
1833, and there spent the first thirty years of his life. In October, 1863, Mr. 
Bruce removed to Sauk Centre, in this county, and purchased a quarter sec- 
tion of land on the Melrose road. Ten years later he exchanged with S. M. 
Beidleman, for the farm in Getty Grove, on which he lived for many years. 
Embracing 400 acres, the farm was one of the best in Central Minnesota, and 
the acres were as well known for fertility as the home was for hospitality. 
Modest and unassuming, a thorough farmer in theory and practice, he had 
little time for anything that would divide his attention. Aside from holding 
school district and township offices, he shrank from anything that savored of 
publicity. Nevertheless, in 1886, wholly unsought, he received the nomina- 
tion for a seat in the lower house of the state legislature from a people's con- 
vention, and was elected without opposition. He served the state and his 
constituency faithfully, and conscientiously, but declined renomination. He 
preferred home to the turmoil of legislative life. His death in 1894 came 
after a brief illness. He had known of his approaching end, and had gone 
to his long rest with courage and fortitude. At the time of his death it was 
said of him: "The death of an upright man and an enterprising citizen is a 
public calamity. When, in addition thereto, the deceased is possessed of a 
warm heart, sympathetic nature, liberality of action, purity of life, nobility 
of character and disinterestedness of motive, it strikes deeper, it becomes 
a personal bereavement to all who knew him. Such a man was Joshua H. 
Bruce. To him flowed out the esteem and admiration of all who knew him, 
and his memory will be revered long after his mortal frame shall have crum- 
bled to dust." Mr. Bruce was married in 1855, to Sarah E. La Follette, and 
to this union were born four sons and four daughters. Joshua H., Jr., is de- 
ceased; Mary P., married David Love; Sarah M., married Edward L. Mantor; 
Ella E., married John H. Love; Mabel L., married Charles L. Gray; Charles 
R. is a farmer of Ashley ; "Wallace is deceased ; James M., lives in Elrosa, Minn. 

Charles R. Bruce, one of the leading citizens of Ashley township, and 
prominently identified with business interests of this part of the state, was 
born November 13, 1865, son of Joshua H. Bruce. He has taken an active 
interest in public affairs, and has served his township in various capacities 
on the town and school boards. He is president of the Co-operative Creamery 
Co., of Westport, Minn., treasurer of the Farmers' Mutual Insurance Society, 
of North Fork, this county; and a director in the Merchants' National Bank, 
of Sauk Centre. Mr. Bruce was married June 5, 1897, to Mary Koterba, and 
their home is one of the most hospitable in the community. 



990 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Gilford D. Cass, a successful farmer of Ashley township, was born in 
Ohio, October 9, 1859, son of Judge Samuel and Martha A. (Story) Cass. 
In 1881 he came to Sauk Centre, and purchased 160 acres of land in Ashley 
township. To this he later added eighty acres. He has served in various 
offices of different sorts, and is a member of the Modern Woodmen of West- 
port, Minn. Mr. Cass married Ella Wilcox, of Mankato, Minn. Samuel Cass 
was born in Ohio, the son of Julius Cass. Samuel Cass died September 13, 
1912, at the age of ninety-three years. His wife is still living in Ohio at the 
age of eighty years. They had seven children : Eugene, Webster, Paul, Clif- 
ford, Freemont, Vienna and Clifford D. Julius Cass engaged in farming 
and stock buying in New York state. His children were : Joseph, Campbell, 
Wellington and Samuel. 

0. 0. Roen, a prominent citizen of Ashley township, was born in Norway, 
October 6, 1846, and came to America at the age of twenty-one years. For 
many years he lived in Wisconsin, from which state he came to Ashley town- 
ship in 1902. He owns a splendid farm of 350 acres, and has been very suc- 
cessful in his farming operations. His son, John, also owns a large farm in 
the same neighborhood. Mr. Roen married Mary Jansen, and they have six 
children : John, Emma, Henry, Robert, Frank, Oliver and Rudolph. Frank 
died in infancy. 

James Swift, a substantial and honored citizen of Ashley township, was 
born in Canada, September 21, 1849, and in 1885 came to Minnesota and ac- 
quired eighty acres of land. Conditions when they arrived were primitive 
indeed. No buildings had been erected on the tract, no road led to it, and 
there were no church or school advantages in the neighborhood. But they 
set at work with a will, and by hard work, courage and frugality, they have 
attained success and are numbered among the best people in the community. 
They have a pleasant home with the necessary barns, they have a telephone in 
the home and are served by a rural mail route, while the neat place is beau- 
tified by a grove, and equipped with the necessary tools for the successful 
carrying on of the farm work. 

Mr. Swift married Elizabeth Herbert, also a native of Canada. This union 
has resulted in eight children : William S., Frederick, Annie R., Charles W., 
James C, Nathaniel E., Charlotte E., and George H. Mr. and Mrs. Swift 
are members of the Episcopal Church of Ashley, of which church Mr. Swift 
has been secretary for twenty years. 

A. M. Stiles, one of the leading exponents of agricultural supremacy, in 
Stearns county, was born in Steuben county, New York, April 10, 1838, son of 
David and Clarinda (Shaw) Stiles, who took up a homestead in this county, 
in 1862. A. M. Stiles was taken by the family to Indiana in 1853 and to 
Adams county, Wisconsin, in 1858. When the parents came to Stearns county, 
he went to Rochester, Minn. In 1864 he made a trip overland to the Rocky 
Mountains, and there rained in Idaho for about two years. In 1866 he re- 
turned to Minnesota, joined his parents, and located on a farm in section 
11, Ashley township, where he still resides. He has prospered with the years 
and is now the owner of several large farms. Mr. Stiles was elected chairman 
of the board of supervisors when the town was organized, and has served in 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 991 

an official capacity on the board for about thirty years, part of the time as 
supervisor and part of the time as clerk. He has also held school office for a 
considerable period. In 1879 he sat in the lower house of the Minnesota 
legislature. He is honored in Odd Fellowship as one of the founders, and the 
first Noble Grand of Sauk Centre Lodge, No. 34, I. 0. 0. F. In the Methodist 
Church he has been an efficient and active worker. All-in-all, he is a useful 
citizen, one whose life has meant something in the community where he has 
for so long made his home. A. M. Stiles married Mary W. Teeters, and they 
have four children : Offie, Clara, Bertha and Emma. David and Clarinda 
(Shaw) Stiles had nine children : Philena, Albert M., Lafayette, Mirah, Orrel, 
Ellen, Frances, Theodore and Orlando. 

Lovinas Abell, one of the earliest settlers of Fair Haven, was born in 
Manlius, New York, and as a young man went to Ohio, where he married 
Harriet Coats, also a native of New York state. For a number of years he 
lived in Ohio and Indiana. In 1856 he left Mecca, in Trumbull county, Ohio, 
with five other gentlemen, George G. Root, Henry Root, John L. Dean, J. G. 
Smith and A. Smith. In the sumer of 1856 they reached Stearns county and 
after due investigation they discovered the beautiful location to which they 
gave the name of Fair Haven, owing to its plentiful water and its pleasant 
prospect. The name was suggested by Thomas C. Partridge, who had pre- 
ceded the party here, and who laid out the village of Fair Haven. The 
members of the party cast lots for their locations. Lovinas Abell secured 
160 acres in section 33, just north of the village. He put up a log building 
and started farming. In the fall the wife of Lovinas Abell arrived with the 
six children: Jane, Newton (a veteran of the Fourth Minnesota Volunteer 
Infantry), Wesley, Laura, John D. (a veteran of the First Minnesota Volun- 
teer Infantry), and Milton. They reached Fair Haven by driving from St. 
Anthony, accompanied by several other families. Mr. and Mrs. Abell spent 
the remainder of their days in this township. He died at the age of seventy- 
five and she at the age of ninety-four. John D. and Milton, sons of this 
family, are the oldest settlers living in Fair Haven township. John D. was 
born December 1, 1845, came here with the family, enlisted in Company C, 
First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, served three years, and was wounded at 
Petersburg. He is a member of the G. A. R., and for about a year was post- 
master at Fair Haven. He was married August 16, 1875, to Henrietta Dean, 
and they have one son, Horace E. Milton is a wagon-maker by trade. He 
now farms on twenty acres in the suburbs of Fair Haven. He has been con- 
stable for several years. 

Elmer J. Baldwin, a substantial farmer of Fair- Haven, was born in Eden 
township, Erie county. New York, April 26, 1852, son of Joseph Barber and 
Elmira (Dunham) Baldwin, and grandson of Joseph Barber Baldwin, the 
elder, and of William Dunham. Both grandfathers were soldiers in the war 
of 1812. One of the paternal ancestors was in the Revolutionary War in 
1776. A hickory whetstone, a wooden canteen, a pistol and other relics of 
that conflict are still in the possession of the subject of this mention. Joseph 
Barber Baldwin, the younger, spent most of his life in Erie county, New York, 
and in latter years came to Stearns county, where he died in 1898, at the age 



992 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

of eighty-four. His wife died in 1893. They had ten children. Of these, 
Joseph Henry was the first to come to Minnesota. He came in 1871. In 
September, 1872, the other boys, Elmer J., Giles and Egbert S. From Clear 
Lake, Minn., they came to Clearwater, at the edge of this county, by stage, 
and then walked to Fair Haven. The landscape looked strange indeed to 
them, for all their previous life had been spent in a country of rugged hills 
and picturesque vales, with farms perched on the hillsides. Elmer J., after 
a few years, was presented by his father with forty acres in section 35, all 
wild land. He cleared and broke the land, and then sold it. Then he secured 
120 acres in section 3. On this land near the village of Fair Haven, he has 
since continued to carry on farming operations. He has been justice of the 
peace for many terms, and has been town clerk for the past eighteen years, 
a position in which he is still serving. In politics he is a Republican. He 
belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, and his wife to the Royal 
Neighbors. Mr. Baldwin was married August 6, 1877, to Hattie C. Leavitt, 
the first white child born on Maine Prairie. She was born December 25, 
1859, and became a proficient school teacher. Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin have one 
daughter, Eva L., born November 6, 1891. She was married August 28, 1912, 
to August May, and they live in Fair Haven village. 

Sumner Leavitt came to Stearns county at an early day, and settled in 
Maine Prairie,, where he engaged in farming on the place known as the Sam- 
uel Young Farm. In 1863 he came to Fair Haven. He was engaged at vari- 
ous times as a teamster, stage driver, blacksmith and wagon maker. He was 
especially well known as a stage driver, having driven for many years on 
the route from St. Cloud to Fair Haven, also to Litchfield, Monticello, Kings- 
ton and Cokato. He was a successful man and was highly esteemed in the 
community. He died February 3, 1904, at the age of seventy-nine. Mr. 
Leavitt was married in 1852 to Alvira Blake, who died October 24, 1871, 
at the age of thirty-nine. In 1873 he married Lottie Boolan, who died in 
November, 1913. By his first wife, he had one daughter, Hattie C. Leavitt. 
After his second marriage he adopted a boy named Walter J. Walter J. 
served three years in the Philippines, and after being honorably discharged, 
remained for two years longer in the service of the government. He is now 
living on a homestead near Chugwater, Wyoming, with his wife and young 
daughter. His wife is the oldest daughter of Roscoe Boobar, also an old 
settler of Fair Haven. 

Joseph Henry Baldwin, a respected farmer of Fair Haven township, was 
born in Erie county. New York, October 24, 1843, son of Joseph Barber and 
Elmira (Dunham) Baldwin, and grandson of Joseph Barber Baldwin, Sr., 
and of William Dunham. He spent his early life in his native county, and 
in August, 1862, enlisted at North Evans, N. Y., in Company K, One Hundred 
and Sixteenth New York Volunteer Infantry. He saw active service as a 
valiant soldier under Sheridan in the Red River campaign, and took part 
in the Grand Review in Washington. In 1869 he came to Stearns county, 
looked around for a while, and then returned to New York state. In 1871 
he came to remain permanently. In 1872 he purchased a farm in Fair Haven 
township. This farm he increased to about 1,000 acres, and for many years 




MK. AM) MRS. JOSEPH H. BALDWIN 




HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 993 

conducted general farming, making a specialty of Black Poll-Angus cattle. 
In 1911 he and his wife retired and moved to the village of Fair Haven. At 
various times, Mr. Baldwin has held town office, having been treasurer and 
assessor of Fair Haven. Mr. Baldwin was married October 8, 1881, to Mary 
Lawton, born in Erie county. New York, December 8, 1838, daughter of 
George and Jane (Bartlet) Lawton, and granddaughter of John Lawton. 
John Lawton moved into western New York from New Bedford, Mass. 
George Lawton was born in Collins, Erie county, New York. The Bartlets 
lived in Rhode Island, in Colonial times. Mr. Baldwin is a member of the 
Christian church. 

Calvin J. Boobar, a pioneer, was born in Milo, Maine, December 27, 1811, 
and was married November 6, 1836, to Eliza H. Merrill, who was born in 
Auburn, Maine, March 1, 1816, In April, 1858, they came to Fair Haven, 
and thence to Maine Prairie. In March, 1862, they moved to Sauk Centre, 
where they lived in a rude cabin on the bank of the Sauk river. In August, 
1862, the family came back to Maine Prairie. They left Sauk Centre on the 
day of the New Ulm massacre, but did not know of that event until after- 
ward. For six weeks they lived in the Maine Prairie stockade. The Indians 
were unfriendly, though in this vicinity not actually murderous, and the 
homes and farms were the scenes of looting and pillage until the soldiers 
arrived. About this time the family went to Minneapolis, and remained 
some one and a half years before returning to Fair Haven, After the war 
there came a period of tranquillity, and the family prospered with the years. 
Calvin J. Boobar was a prominent man, and held a number of local offices. 
At the time of his death, December 6, 1872, he was town clerk and justice 
of the peace, both of which positions he had held for many years, 

Mrs, Boobar lived to be the oldest woman in Minnesota. She died March 
23, 1914, at the age of ninety-eight years. She was one of the mothers of 
Minnesota, and her long and useful life embraced experiences which fall to 
the lot of but few women. She bore hardships and happiness with the same 
undaunted spirit, and was a staunch figure in the life of the county. At the 
time of her death it was said of her: "The greater part of Mrs. Boobar 's 
later life was spent in Fair Haven, where she was surrounded by an army of 
admiring friends who loved her for her many deeds of kindness and her 
charitable spirit. In her active days she was ever willing and eager to aid 
in times of sickness and distress, so in her own declining years, the welfare 
of 'Grandma' Boobar was foremost in the minds of all." In her latter years 
her eyesight failed her, but her wonderful memory remained clear, and her 
spirit grew stronger and brighter, 

Mr, and Mrs. Boobar had twelve children : Anna, born June 19, 1840, is 
the widow of Aaron Nason, and lives in Thief River Falls, Minn, ; Drusilla 
was born January 2, 1842, was married February 5, 1859, to Aaron Nason, and 
died July 10, 1859 ; Lucy J., was born October 15, 1843, married John Bliler, 
November 14, 1870, and died September — , 1896 ; Henry C, was born Novem- 
ber 25, 1844, enlisted in Company D, Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry,, 
and died August 18, 1862 ; Althea was born January 14, 1847, was married 
January 14, 1866, to Payson Partridge, and they live at Berryville, Arkan- 



994 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

sas ; George R. was born September 30, 1848, was married December 28, 1877, 
to Maggie Larson, and they live in Fair Haven; Charlotte was born January 
18, 1851, was married January 17, 1872, to Sumner Leavitt, and died Novem- 
ber 15, 1913; Hattie C. was born April 26, 1853, was married April 16, 1872, 
to A. C. Easton; and since his death lives in Minneapolis; Hannah W. was 
born April 26, 1853, was married October 4, 1874, to Charles Fralick, and 
since his death continues to live in Fair Haven; James Elmer was born Au- 
gust 14, 1855, and was married December 8, 1884, to Annie Bayless, and they 
five at Nary, Minn.; Clara E. was born July 13, 1859, was married in 1889, 
to John Deane, and they live in Girard, Ohio; Frank H. was born July 1, 
1862, and was married January 15, 1885, to Jennie Stevens. 

Frank H. Boobar was born in Sauk Valley, Sauk Centre township, July 
1, 1862, son of Calvin J. and Eliza H. (Merrill) Boobar. Soon after his birth 
he was taken to the old stockade in Maine Prairie, and shortly afterward to 
Minneapolis. While still less than two years of age, he was brought to Fair 
Haven. He attended the public schools, was raised to farm pursuits, and at 
the age of fourteen started farming with his brothers, George R. (better 
known as Ross), and Elmer. They purchased 160 acres in section 34, broke 
the land, erected the buildings, added forty acres, and farmed for about ten 
years. Then Frank H. sold out and engaged in the meat business in Fair 
Haven, at the same time buying young cattle for the Montana ranges. At 
the expiration of four years he engaged in general farming. In 1895 he erected 
a blacksmith shop and became the village blacksmith, which occupation he 
successfully followed until 1909 : In the meantime from 1903 to 1905 he had 
purchased the old store building and engaged in general merchandising, but 
in the latter year he disposed of this business. In 1909 his blacksmith busi- 
ness reached such proportions that he erected a large shop at South Haven, 
equipped with two fires and all the latest improved machinery. There he 
carried on general blacksmithing and practical horseshoeing, and had one of 
the finest shops on the ''Soo" line. December 14, 1913, he sold out, and in 
1914 erected a new shop in Fair Haven. He has maintained his home in Fair 
Haven, going back and forth to his work at South Haven, missing in all that 
time but four days. He has served as supervisor of Fair Haven, has been town 
clerk for four years, has ibeen justice of the peace since 1902, and has been 
both director and clerk of the school district. 

Mr. Boobar was married January 15, 1885, to Jennie Stevens, and they 
have had three children. Ivy, born November 27, 1885, was married June 
29, 1909, to Jasper Gray, and they have two children, Alice and Marian. They 
live on a homestead at Scranton, North Dakota. Edith May was born Febru- 
ary 14, 1893, and is an educator by profession. Amy Elizabeth was born Jan- 
uary 4, 1895. 

Benjamin Grinds, one of the best known men in the county, was born 
in West Otto, Cattaraugus county. New York, November 3, 1833, son of 
Daniel and Elsie (Tripp) Grinols. Daniel was born in Scotland, came to 
America, and for many years farmed in Cattaraugus county. New York. He 
was an old fashioned Whig in politics, and took an active part in the "up- 
state" New York movements of that party. Daniel Grinols died at the age 




I 




HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 995 

of sixty-six, his wife at the age of eighty-three. In the family there were 
eight children : Amos, Phoebe, Desire, Benjamin, Ruth, Harvey, David and 
Esther. Benjamin Grinols came to Minnesota in 1856, landing in St, Paul, 
April 19. He took a claim in Oak Grove, Anoka county, and for a time 
before his marriage lived alone. In 1858 he was married, and the young 
people started life in what was practically the wilderness. They had many 
interesting experiences. In the family the story is still told of one exciting 
day when the babies, Clinton D. and Ernest, were left in the yard while the 
mother milked the cow. A flock of sand cranes alighted around the babies, 
and it was with some difficulty that the birds were frightened away and the 
boys saved. In 1865 the family located in Fair Haven. Here Benjamin 
Grinols erected a store in partnership with his brother-in-law, William Cooper. 
Mr. Grinols and Mr. Cooper secured a stock of general merchandise and 
started business together. Goods had to be brought in from Anoka by team. 
In 1878, Mr. Cooper died. Later Clinton D. and Ernest Grinols were taken 
into the store as partners, and the firm name became B. Grinols & Sons. The 
place was sold out in the spring of 1893. In addition to conducting this store 
Mr. Grinols was also a farmer. He operated the farm of 160 acres where his 
son, Ernest, now lives, erected a splendid house, and good barn, and outbuild- 
ings, and made the place one of the model farms of the neighborhood. He 
has held many township offices, and has been an important factor in shaping 
the thought of the community. He has contributed liberally of his time, 
means and property toward the upbuilding of the county. The site of the 
Star Hotel, conducted by C. R. Thorn, is his gift. He has also been open 
handed in regard to church matters. His own finances have suffered through 
his lenient and kindly nature, and throughout the many years when he was 
in business he gave credit extensively when there was no possibility of the 
payment of the obligations. Throughout the county he is lovingly known as 
"Uncle Ben," and few people are held in higher esteem. He is a useful citi- 
zen and is one of those men of whom it may truly be said that the world is 
the happier for his being in it. Mr. Grinols was married in 1858 to Isabella 
Cooper, daughter of James Cooper, who came to this country from Pennsyl- 
vania in 1857. She died in Fair Haven, in 1899, at the age of sixty-nine. 
There were three children in the family : Clinton D., Ernest and Elsie (de- 
ceased). Mr. Grinols was again married, December 24, 1912, to Sarah Jane 
Norton, born in New York, the daughter of Reuben and Anna (Ladd) Nor- 
ton, the former being a native of Connecticut and the latter of New York. 
Sarah Jane Norton married for her first husband, John G. Tyler, a carpenter, 
of Grant county. Wis., who died after one month's service in Company C, 
Twentieth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, leaving one son, John Franklin 
Tyler, now of Minneapolis. For second husband she married Enoch Y. Ousley, 
a veteran of the Civil War, and a farmer of Grant county, Wisconsin. He 
died in August, 1910, at the age of eighty years, leaving five children, Wil- 
liam Eugene, Marrietta, Sherman T., Hannah Adelia and Minnie. 

Ernest E. Grinols was born in Oak Grove, Minn., November 15, 1861, son 
of Benjamin Grinols, who brought him to Fair Haven township, this county, 
in 1865. He attended the public schools of his neighborhood and had the ad- 



996 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

vantages of one year's training in the St. Cloud State Normal School. For a 
time he and his brother, Clinton D., and their father, Benjamin, were in part- 
nership, the father and brother operating a store in Fair Haven village, while 
he conducted the farm. In 1899 he bought the home place, and on this he 
now successfully conducts general farming and stock raising. He has a place 
of 130 acres, well cultivated and well improved, and has become one of the 
substantial men of the community. 

Mr. Grinols was married July 18, 1884, to Etta Gould, and they have 
three children: Earl L., Mildred lola, and Elsie Jessamine. Earl L. lives at 
Bemidji, and is general manager of the Great Northern Timber Co. He mar- 
ried Julie Hillie, of Fergus Falls. Mildred lola is the wife of Rev. H. P. 
Archerd, a Methodist Episcopal missionary in Peru, South America. They 
have two children, lola and Harvard. Elsie is attending Annandale High 
School. 

Grant Graham, proprietor of the Fair Haven Flour Mills, was born in 
Springville, Vernon county. Wis., April 16, 1864, son of Jefferson and Maria 
(Schell) Graham, and grandson of John Graham. The family originated in 
Scotland. John Graham was born in Virginia. He was a millwright and 
miller by trade, and a true frontiersman. He was one of the first settlers of 
Vernon county, Wisconsin. His wife was Miss Reasoner. Jefferson Graham 
was born in Indiana. He married Maria Schell, a native of Ohio. Like his 
father he was a miller. For a time he operated a mill at Springville, Wis. 
It was about 1871 that he came to Minnesota. He lived successively in 
Mower, Freeborn and Swift counties. He and his wife now reside in California, 
both at the age of seventy-six. In the family there were three children: 
Marietta, Grant and Sherman. The family is a patriotic one, and has claims 
to Colonial, Revolutionary and 1812 honors. Grant Graham learned the mill- 
ing trade from his father. For a time he operated a mill at Big Bend, Chip- 
pewa county, this state, and later one in Milan, in the same county. It was in 
1899 that he came to Stearns county and located in Fair Haven. He turns 
out a good product and his ''XXXX" brand is widely known. He belongs to 
the I. O. O. F. and the M. W. A., of Fair Haven. Mr. Graham was married 
November, 1894, to Alma Olson, of Watson, Minn., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
John Olson, natives of Sweden. They have four children: Viola, Hazel, 
Daisy and Ethel. 

Henry C. Rickmeyer, a leading and useful citizen of Fair Haven, now de- 
ceased, was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1842, and came to America as a 
young man in his early twenties. He located in Manitowoc, Wis., where he 
acquired farm land, and where he also owned and operated a brickyard. 
While there he married Jane Cortens, who was born in Brunswick, Germany, 
in 1849; came to America in 1855. In 1878 he brought his family to Stearns 
county, and purchased the old Sturdevant farm in section 22, Fair Haven 
township. They moved into the log cabin that stood on the place, and here 
they resided until the present home was erected in 1901. Mr. Rickmeyer was 
a progressive intelligent farmer. He took an active part in the affairs of the 
neighborhood and served in various town offices. He was also a staunch Luth- 
eran, and became one of the founders of the Concordia Lutheran Church of 




VIOLA, HAZEL, DAISY AND KTHEL GRAHAM 
(Daughters of Grant Graliain) 




MR. A