Mower County, Minnesota

Group File 03


Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson was born in Denmark, April 9, 1863, son of Hans and Anna (Christiansen) Anderson, both of whom died in the old country. Chris Anderson received his education in his native country and came to America in 1880, locating in Austin township, where he engaged in agricultural work.

In 1901 he became head foreman for the A. H. Davidson farm, of 264 acres, which position he still retains with much credit, being energetic and thoroughly capable. He is a Republican, attends the Lutheran church and belongs to the Danish Brotherhood.

The subject of this sketch was married in October, 1893, to Anna Prestegaard, and they have four children: Hans, Mabel, Helen and Elmer, all at school.




George E. Anderson

b: 1976

George E. Anderson, assistant postmaster of Austin, is a native born son of this county, having first seen the light of day August 23, 1876, on a farm in Marshall township, twelve miles east of Austin. His parents are Sven and Anna (Anderson) Anderson, the pioneers. George E. attended the district schools, came to Austin with his parents in 1881, and graduated from the Austin high school in 1893. Then he attended the University of Minnesota three years. Subsequently he entered the mail service as clerk in the Austin post office, and later took the first civil service examination which was held in Austin for the city carrier service, standing the highest in a class of forty-five.

He served as carrier for nine years, and in 1907 was appointed assistant postmaster. In December, 1910, he was placed in the civil service by an order affecting all the assistant postmasters in second class offices throughout the United States. Mr. Anderson is a member of the Masonic order, and is a past commander of St. Bernard Commandery, No. 13, Knights Templar, as well as past worthy patron of Unity Chapter, No. 29, 0. E. S. He is also a member of the M. W. A., the Austin Commercial Club, the Austin high school alumnae association and the Minnesota Association of Assistant Postmasters.

The subject of this sketch was married July 1, 1903, to Mollie Anderson, daughter of O. G. and Matilda (Nelson) Anderson, old settlers of Lansing township. To this union has been born one child, George E. Anderson, Jr., born November 15, 1910. The family faith is that of the Lutheran church. in spite of his busy life, Mr. Anderson has found time to make a hobby of collecting coins and Civil war relics. His collection of war relics is one of the finest in southern Minnesota and his coin collection contains many coins of rare value.




Ole G. Anderson

b: 1849

Ole G. Anderson is one of the well-known Norwegian-Americans of Mower county, and only his extreme modesty and reluctance to enter the field of politics has kept him from positions of high political preferment. He was born in Norway, October 11, 1849, and came to America alone, arriving in Austin in 1871. After making inquiries for work he continued on his way to Lansing, and started work by the month. In 1875 he purchased forty acres of land, where he has since resided, owning 160 acres of good land in Lansing township.

Mr. Anderson was married in June, 1876, to Telda Nelson, daughter of Ole Nelson, who was one of the pioneers of Lansing. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are as follows: Mollie, now Mrs. George E. Anderson, of Austin; Otto; Serena, now Mrs. A. Peterson; Emma, now Mrs. C. J. Johnson; Ernest and Clarence (twins), and Lawrence. Mr. Anderson and his family occupy a position of trust and honor in the community.




John H. Anderson

b: 1872

John H. Anderson was born in Windom, this county, July 29, 1872, son of Sven and Anna C. Anderson. He received his education in the Austin schools and on February 1, 1888, started to learn the marble business. In 1896 he became interested in business with his father. The concern now does a general implement, marble and automobile business, the story of the growth of the industry being told elsewhere.

Mr. Anderson is senior warden of the Episcopal Church at Austin. He is a high degree Mason and has served as worthy master of the blue lodge, worthy patron of the Eastern Star, high priest of the Chapter and general mission of the Commandery. He has also served as secretary of the Carnegie Library board since its organization. Mr. Anderson was married January 21, 1903, to Maude Morgan and they have one son, Rex.




James H. Aultfather

b: 1874

James H. Aultfather, a scientific farmer and prize stock breeder, of Austin township, was born on the farm where he now lives, September 16, 1874, son of David and Pamelia (Foster) Aultfather, the pioneers. He attended the schools which were in existence in his neighborhood, and also the Austin high school, supplementing this with a course in the Northwestern College of Commerce in the same city.

After completing his schooling he returned to the farm where he has since carried on farming operations. He owns 160 acres, highly cultivated, and some comfortable out-buildings for the housing of stock. In 1901 he built a fine new residence for himself. He has a herd of some fifty thoroughbred Red Poll cattle, and for four years has taken prizes on this herd at the Minnesota State fair, his awards in 1910 aggregating $500. He also breeds some fine Percheron horses and has a large herd of pure bred Poland China swine. Mr. Aultfather is an independent voter, has been town supervisor for several years, and associates with the Masonic order.

The subject of this sketch was married December 4, 1901, to C. Mabel Varco, and' they have one bright son, Myron C., born December 26, 1907.




David Aultfather

b: c1830

David Aultfather, a pioneer, was born in Ohio, and came to Austin township in 1856. Here he married Pamelia Foster, who was born in New Jersey, and came to Mower county with the earliest settlers of what is now known as Lyle township in 1854: her father, James Foster, being one of the earliest arrivals in this county. David Aultfather, upon his arrival in Austin township, took 120 acres of government land for which he paid $1.25 an acre. This land he broke and improved, built a house, and had the usual experiences of a pioneer in a wild country.

In time he added to his possessions until he owned 1,560 acres, all in Mower county, his original house was replaced with a comfortable residence, his stock which once was sheltered by a few boughs hastily cut was placed in modern barns, and what had been wild land blossomed under the toil of the laborers. Desiring to see his nine children well started in life, he gave to each, as each attained his or her majority, a quarter section of land. But a greater heritage still was the record of unswerving honor with which he left his name connected for all time.

He died, ripe in years and character and knowledge, November 19, 1899. His wife is still living at the good old age of 70 years.




Theodore Austenson

b: 1879

Theodore Austenson is a Mower county product, having been born on the farm where he now lives, in section 24, Lyle township, August 30, 1879, son of Gunder and Helga (Emmonson) Austenson. He received his education in the district schools and then took up farming with his father until 1905, when he rented the home farm, now carrying on general farming and making a specialty of fine poultry breeding, his pride being barred Rocks, with which breed he has won many prizes at county and state fairs, having attained some prominence as a poultry fancier.

He is a member of the Austin and Mower County Poultry Association. Mr. Austenson is single, a Republican in politics and a member of the Lutheran church.




Coyt Amos Avery

b: 1856

Coyt A. Avery, a leading dentist of Austin, was born in Ripon, Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, August 20, 1856, son of Alonzo and Elizabeth (Gleason) Avery. He was brought by his parents to Mower county in 1859, and went with them to Rochester, in Olmsted county, in 1863. There he spent his boyhood and attended the public schools.

In 1876 and 1877 he attended the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, taking a dental course. Afterward he came to Austin, where he had previously worked a few months, and purchased the dental office appliances and business of Dr. John Rabe. Since then he has successfully practiced his profession here, winning wide favor by his skill and geniality.

Dr. Avery has served as alderman of the city of Austin from the second ward two different terms, and has just started on his fifth term as a member of the Austin board of education, of which body he has been president for several years.

The subject of this sketch was married December 29, 1881, to Florence N. Judson, and this union has been blessed with four children: Everett J. lives it Chicago. Margaret R. lives at home and teaches art in the Austin schools. She graduated from the Austin high school, studied under a private tutor two years, and then attended the School of Applied Art for Women at New York City. Elizabeth S. lives at home, and Kenneth R. lives in Argentine Republic, South America. The family faith is that of the Congregational church. Dr. Avery owns a stock farm of 480 acres in Oakland and London townships, which he personally supervises, although he has a local manager. On this place he makes a specialty of raising thoroughbred registered Percheron horses for the market.




G. Fred Baird

b: 1859

G. Fred Baird, undertaker, was born in Austin, December 25, 1859, son of George Baird. After engaging in business in Austin for a time he went to South Dakota. In 1889 he came back to Austin and became interested in the furniture business. He is now Austin's leading undertaker and funeral director.

He was married in 1889 and has two children: Lyman S. and Stanton. He belongs to a number of fraternities and organizations.




George Baird

b: 1833

George Baird, deceased, was born July 28, 1833, in New Hampshire, of Scotch ancestry, and a direct descendant of Andrew Baird, who came over in the second voyage of the. Mayflower. His father was a piano maker and tuner and the boy early went to work in his father's shop.

At fifteen he was bound out to work in a cabinet shop until he was twenty-one. Ere that time he bought his time and went to work in a carriage shop. In 1854 he, with John Wright, went to Chicago, and became engaged in carriage building, turning out the first light buggy made in the city. June 18, 1855, was his wedding day, Charlotte Brown being the bride. Soon they came to Racine, Wis., and the next spring Mr. Baird came to Mower county to look for land.

He preempted a quarter section in Lansing and built a log house. With ten dollars all of her worldly possessions, Mrs. Baird came in December. He camped in a sheet tent on the Cedar with the mercury thirty degrees below. He split rails to earn a few groceries for his family. After awhile he sold his claim and did carpenter work. In 1861 he moved his family to Austin and a pleasant home was begun. War interrupted the building, for he enlisted in October, 1861, in the Fourth Minnesota Infantry. His war record was as honorable at it was brave, and when discharged he held the rank of lieutenant. On his return to Austin he was appointed postmaster, but soon resigned. He was sheriff of the county for a time. Later he again became postmaster, but died in 1895 while still in office.




Lyman D. Baird

b: circa 1870

Lyman D. Baird has long been considered Austin's most helpful citizen and his interests reach far beyond the boundaries of the city and county. In the city he has been mayor and city attorney; in the county he has been secretary of the Mower County Old Settlers' Association and an officer of the Mower County Fair Association; in the state he has been postmaster of the house of representatives, and a member of the board of managers of the Minnesota State Agricultural Association for more than eight years, and in that society has been chairman of the committee on amusements and privileges for the Minnesota state fair.

He is at present superintendent of gates of this, the greatest fair in the United States. He is a member of the Loyal Legion, a high degree Mason, and an ardent friend of all G. A. R. projects, his father having been a distinguished and popular officer during the Civil war. However the mere mention of Mr. Baird's offices does not do justice to his activities.

He has advocated the improvement of Austin in various ways, offering his purse as well as his influence and the advantage of his support. He has tendered a considerable sum for the beautifying of the mill pond and the transformation of it into a lake, providing that certain conditions were met. He proffered valuable land for the building of the city hall. He gave the beautiful lamp which adorns the humane fountain; he has been active in getting business houses to locate here; he was the first of the heavy taxpayers to advocate street paving, and the real father of the cement walks of which Austin is so proud; he has erected more houses than any other man in Austin, and in many other ways has proven a valuable citizen.

With all this he has not neglected his own business, and his real estate operations in this and other states cover many hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the present time he is making a hobby of farm lands, and has acquired several tracts of land on which he will conduct agricultural operations along the most modern and scientific lines.

He believes in tree planting and the general beautifying of the farm, is a free user of paint on farm buildings and a great believer in the use of drain tile. He insists that Minnesota 'will inside of five years raise more corn than Iowa. He is building several silos on his farms this summer, and some idea of his farming operations in the vicinity of Austin can be had from the fact that this season, 1911, he is sowing over 1,000 acres to flax, 200 acres to corn, and 200 acres to wheat, besides 100 acres to oats, 300 acres to timothy, ten acres to roots and fifteen acres to alfalfa.

He is using a gasoline engine to plow seed and drag one tract of 700 acres. The farm is twelve miles west of Austin and Mr. Baird has two shifts of men working night and day. For many years he has devoted considerable attention to live stock breeding, with special attention to the beef-producing qualities of the animals. Of late, however, he is turning his interest to milk breeds. Lyman D. Baird was born in Mower county October 17, 1857, his natal place being on the farm in Lansing township, on the outskirts of Austin, which his father, George Baird, preempted in 1856.

Before he was fourteen years of age he had saved $300 by raising and selling vegetables. He also earned money in other ways while at school. After leaving school he clerked for a while in a store, but later went back to the farm. Next he received an appointment as county jailer and thus began his connection with one of the incidents of the famous Page conflicts. Judge Brill fixed young Baird's compensation at $2 per day. Judge Sherman Page, on his return from his impeachment trial, ignored this action and ordered the pay to be nothing.

Mr. Baird thereupon went to the courts and won his case. At the age of twenty-one years he began to study law with G. N. Baxter at Faribault and was admitted to the bar three years later, thus practically beginning his successful career. He has never practiced law, but has devoted his whole life to real estate and banking. In 1901 he was appointed national bank examiner and had charge of the national banks of Wisconsin and the large cities of Minnesota for five years. He then served as receiver of the First National Bank of Faribault for two years. In addition to the offices mentioned above Mr. Baird for twenty-four years has been secretary of the Austin Building and Loan Association.

He married Lila M. Hall and has two daughters, Helen and Frances. The former is a graduate of St. Mary's Hall, Faribault.




Nathan F. Banfield

b: 1860

Nathan F. Banfield, vice-president and cashier of the First National Bank, of Austin, was born in West Roxbury, Mass., November 15, 1860. He is one of a family of six children. His parents, Everett C. and Anne S. (Fiske) Banfield, both descended from early New England families.

He received his early education in the schools of his native place, in Adelphia Academy, Brooklyn, N. Y., in a private school in Washington, D. C., in Bates school, San Francisco and in Wolfeboro Academy, at Wolfeboro, N. II. Later he attended Phillips Academy, at Andover, Mass., and was a member of the class of 1879. He came to Austin to enter the employ of the First National Bank in March, 1879, at the age of eighteen years.

To him promotions came with the passing years: In 1882 he became assistant cashier, a director in January, 1884, in 1885 cashier and in 1903 was elected vice-president. He served for some years as treasurer of the city of Austin and as a member of the board of education.

He was married July 5, 1882, to Nellie Sterling, daughter of James M. Sterling, one of the early settlers of Austin. To them were born seven children: Nathan F., Jr., Helen S., Annie F., Everett C., Richard S., Gertrude S. and Arthur F. Nathan F., Jr., received his education at the Austin high school and the University of Minnesota. He entered the employ of the First National Bank of Austin in August, 1904, and became a director of that bank in January, 1909.

Helen S. was graduated from Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., in the class of 1908. Annie F. died in January, 1891, at the age of three years. Everett C. is at Amherst College, Amherst, Mass., a member of the class of 1912. The three younger children are in the Austin schools, Richard graduating in the class of 1911.




Herbert L. Banfield

b: 1868

Herbert L. Banfield, assistant cashier and director of the First National Bank of Austin, was born in Medford, Massachusetts, August 28, 1868, son of Francis Loring and Sarah Elizabeth Banfield. He was educated in Wolfsborough, New Hampshire, and Worcester, Massachusetts, completing his early education in the high school of the latter city.

February 27, 1886, he came from Worcester to Austin, and at once took up work with the First National Bank, with which institution he has now served for twenty-five years. Mr. Banford also served as treasurer of the city of Austin three terms. He was married June 15, 1894, to Addie Marie Cook, who died June 13, 1903.

He has three children: Adelaide Cook Banfield, aged nine years; Herbert Loring Banfield, Jr., aged seven years, and Edward Sanborn Banfield, aged four years. Francis Loring Banfield is a physician and surgeon of Worcester, Massachusetts. Ira Banfield, father of Francis L., and grandfather of Herbert L., is now living at Wolfsborough, New Hampshire, at the age of ninety-two years, having retired some years ago, owing to advancing years, from the position of treasurer of the Wolfsborough Savings Bank.

Herbert L. Banfield, the subject of this sketch, has made a hobby of dairying, and owns a model dairy farm near the city of Austin.




Robert A. Barnitz

b: 1882

Robert A. Barnitz, one of the rising young dentists of Austin, has a well equipped office at 233 North Main street, and enjoys the confidence of a large clientele, his skillful work being its own highest recommendation. Dr. Barnitz was born in Austin township, February 4, 1882, son of Charles and Josephine (Baudler) Barnitz, and attended the graded schools of his neighborhood, graduating from the Austin high school in 1902.

He then worked at home two years and at the end of that period entered the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, graduating June 1, 1907. Two weeks later, in July, he opened an office in Austin, which he has since successfully conducted. Dr. Barnitz is a member of the Masonic order, and while at college was admitted to the fellowship of the Delta Sigma Delta. He is an independent voter.




Charles Barnitz

b: circa 1850

Charles Barnitz, a market gardener, living in Austin township, was born in Gratz, Austria, and came to America in 1869, arriving in Mower county two years later. Subsequently he spent three years in what was then Washington territory on a claim. He then came back to Austin, where he took up the work which he has since continued. His wife, whose maiden name was Josephine Baudler, was a native of Austin township.




Henry O. Basford

b: 1838

Henry O. Basford was born at Guilford, Me., April 22, 1838. At the age of fourteen he commenced learning the printing business in the Jeffersonian office of W. E. Quiner. After learning the business he entered the Watertown academical and preparatory school, and there studied two years. Soon after he became connected with the Argus and Democrat office at Madison, Wis.

He then went to St. Paul in 1836 and was engaged on the Minnesotian. From there he went to St. Joseph, Mo. He was engaged on the Daily West, and just before the breaking out of the war he was one of the pioneers who carried the art of printing across the plains of the West, and was connected with the Rocky Mountain News, of Denver, Colo.

He was one of the large number who lost their accumulation of years when that office was destroyed by floods. For eight years afterward he was a miner of gold, and a claim holder in the famous California gulch, where Leadville, Colo., now stands. After leaving Colorado, he was employed upon the Chicago Tribune, where he remained until he came to Austin in 1867, and soon thereafter became connected with the Austin Register, which he conducted for many years.

Mr. Basford was married, September 28, 1876, to Mary E. Miller, of Winona, Minn. He was appointed postmaster at Austin July 2, 1884. Mr. Basford has now retired from active life and devotes his time to general literary work. He was the most conspicuous figure in the publication of a former history of this county.




William D. Bassler

b: 1872

William D. Bassler, Austin's popular haberdasher and clothier, is of eastern birth, having first seen the light of day in Central Bridge, N. Y., August 13, 1872, sixth child of Benjamin F. and Gertrude (Baker) Bassler, natives of New York state.

His father was a farmer in the early days and later became a glove manufacturer at Gloversville, N. Y. This business he continued until the time of his death, in April, 1900. Mrs. Gertrude Bassler, mother of William D. and wife of Benjamin F., is still living in Gloversville, N. Y. Benjamin F. Bassler and his wife were the parents of nine children. Nellie is Mrs. H. L. Smith, of Gloversville, N. Y. M. I. lives in Austin, and travels for Lets, Spencer, Smith Company, of Mason City, Iowa.

Eva is now Mrs. William Starr, of Albany, N. Y. B. F., Jr., is in the grocery business in Gloversville, N. Y. Cyrus is dead. W. D. lives in Austin. Minnie, now Mrs. William Sternberg, lives in Gloversville, N. Y. Peter is dead. Lottie is now Mrs. Edison Pratt, of Gloversville, N. Y. William D. Bassler, the subject of this sketch, received his early schooling in Central Bridge, N. Y., and afterward worked in Gouverneur, N. Y., at the glove business until 1894, at which time, looking for a wider opportunity, he left Gloversville and came west, locating in Austin.

For six years he clerked in various stores. Among those with whom he was employed were: Loucks & Hollister, general store; F. H. Palmer, grocery store, and George Hirsch, clothing store. In 1900 he went on the road for Lanpher, Skinner & Co., selling hats and furs. He remained with this company two years, his territory covering portions of the Pacific coast.

In 1902 he engaged in the retail cigar business at Austin, and managed this line with much success for four years until 1906. In that year he established his present business. He has built up a large trade, represents some of the best firms in the men's furnishing line, and carries a large stock of all the things men need in the clothing and haberdasher line.

He has personally supervised the wholesale buying and the retail selling in his store, and his own personality, together with his hard work and industry, has had an important bearing on the success with which he has met. Mr. Bassler is a popular Elk, and also belongs to the Knights of Pythias and the Commercial Club.

He attends the Episcopal church and votes the Republican ticket. Mr. Bassler was married August 20, 1903, to Irene Frank, born at historic old Ft. Snelling, June, 1875, while her father, Hon. John Frank, of LeRoy, was a settler there. The Bassler residence is located at 609 Kenwood avenue, North. Mrs. Bassler is an active worker in women's circles, and is interested in the various movements which the ladies have inaugurated for the improvement of the city.




William Baudler

b: 1834

William Baudler, a sturdy old pioneer of Mower county, was born in Germany, April 5, 1834. After receiving a good education in the public schools of his native land, he learned the baker's trade, followed this line in Germany and after his emigration to America in 1853. Arriving in this country, he first located in the state of New York, thence removing to Mississippi, and from there to New Orleans and then to St. Louis, all the time plying his vocation of baker.

May 8, 1855, he came to Austin, Minn., and acquired 160 acres of wild land bordering on the city limits. This tract he immediately commenced working into a productive farm, clearing and improving it from year to year, and adding a home, buildings and new machinery in keeping with the times. In spite of his 77 years, he still takes an active interest in the management of the farm, which he has developed out of the wilderness.

In political matters he votes for what he believes conducive. to the best welfare of the community, being uninfluenced by party. July 5, 1876, he was united in marriage with Barbara Faber, by whom he has four children: Herman, who is engaged in farming in Lansing township; Carl and Otto, comprising the firm of Baudler Brothers, attorneys of Austin, and Alvin, living at home.




Carl and Otto Baudler

B: circa 1880

Baudler Brothers, one of the leading law firms of Austin, is composed of two live and energetic attorneys, Carl and Otto Baudler. They are both natives of this county, Carl being born March 6, 1879, and Otto, December 16, 1881. Their education was largely received in the public schools of Austin, Carl being graduated from the local high school in 1899, and Otto receiving his diploma two years later from the same institution.

In 1901 Carl entered the law department of the state university, receiving his degree in 1904. Otto commenced the same course the year his brother graduated, and was admitted to the bar in 1907. The following year the brothers opened offices in Austin and have since met with much success in the practice of their profession, being thoroughly conversant with all branches of law.

The Democratic party claims their allegiance. At the November election, 1910, Otto was elected county attorney by the largest majority ever given a candidate in this county at a general election, notwithstanding the fact that the Democratic Party is greatly in the minority. He is the youngest county official in Mower county, and one of the youngest in the state. The brothers are loyal members of the Austin Commercial Club.

Their home is located at 1206 North Kenwood. William and Barbara (Faber) Baudler, parents of our subjects, are among the pioneers of this county, now residing on their farm in section thirty-four, Lansing township. Their sketch appears elsewhere in this volume.




Frank M. Beach

b: 1866

Frank M. Beach, the well-known president of the First National Bank, of Lyle, was born in Lyle township, May 21, 1866, son of John and Catherine M. (Morrison) Beach. He received his education in the district schools of his neighborhood and in the public schools of Austin.

In 1885 he started out in life for himself by going to Omaha, Neb., and entering the United States National Bank, as collector. There he remained until 1901, when he resigned the position of paying teller, to which he had been promoted, and came to Lyle. He assisted in the organization of the First National Bank, of Lyle, became, its cashier, and in January, 1911, was elected to the office of president, which he fills to the great satisfaction of his patrons and the community at large.

A few years ago he, with Augustus Vaux, established the Bank of Rose Creek, Mr. Beach becoming its president. Later the institution was sold to the Dean interests. Mr. Beach has been active in public and business affairs. He has been mayor three terms, a member of the executive committee of the Minnesota State Bankers' Association three years; a member of the executive council of the First district group of bankers, being president of the same in 1909-10, and secretary and treasurer of the Lyle Corrugated Culvert Company, of Lyle and Minneapolis, in which capacity he is still serving.

Mr. Beach is a Republican in politics and his religious faith is that of the Congregational church. He was married September 28, 1897, to Zetta Churchill, of Omaha, Neb., daughter of A. S. Churchill, former attorney general of the state of Nebraska, and Lena Murphy Churchill.' Mrs. Beach was born in Iowa, November 16, 1873, and to her union with Mr. Beach have been born three children: John C., August 6, 1900; Catherine M., July 6, 1905; and Marjorie, August 14, 1907.




John Beach

b: 1833

John Beach, now deceased, was born in Rensselaerville, Albany county, New York, May 16, 1833, son of the Rev. Alanson Beach, and Sinai Tanner Beach, his wife. John moved with his parents to Schoharie county, in his native state, and after seven years again returned to Albany county, where he grew to manhood. At twenty-one years of age he went to Green county, in the same state, and took charge of his grandfather's farm there.

In 1855 he made a trip to Iowa, but returned to New York State, remaining until the fall of 1856, when he came with his father's family to Mower county, Minnesota. Here he purchased land in sections 32 and 33, Lyle township, a portion of which tract he improved. Two years later he moved to his parents' homestead, where he lived until 1890, when he retired and moved to the city of Austin, where he died January 21, 1906.

His wife. Catherine M. Morrison, whom he married September 3, 1856, died in November, 1896. Mr. Beach was a man of sterling qualities and was always interested in everything that was for the good of the community. His services for eight years as county commissioner gave general satisfaction. In the family were two daughters and one son: Mary A., Frank M. and Katie M.




Wilson Beach

b: 1836

Wilson Beach, a rugged old pioneer of Mower county, was born in Fulton township, Schoharie county, New York, May 17, 1836. The public schools of Albany county, New York, afforded him his education, after which he engaged in farming in that county until 1856, when he took the westward trail for Minnesota, pre-empting a quarter section of wild land in section 26, Lyle township, Mower county.

With the crude tools and implements of those early days he cleared and improved his land, valiantly overcoming the obstacles and enduring the privations inseparable from the life of a pioneer. Together with his father and brother he purchased 280 acres more in sections 36 and 37, Lyle township. Mr. Beach made other additions until he was the sole owner of about 400 acres, all in Lyle township, on which he successfully followed general farming until poor health compelled his retirement in 1880, removing to Austin the same year.

Five years later he operated a feed store for a time, but since then he has not been actively engaged in business, now living retired at 209 West Maple Street. His political convictions are Republican, and while in Lyle he served as town treasurer and supervisor, and was alderman from the first ward of Austin for a term since his removal to this city. His fraternal affiliations are with the Masonic order and the Modern Woodmen of America.

On March 18, 1869, he was united in marriage with Mary E. Sabin, who died November 17, 1894. He was married a second time, June 18, 1898, to Henrietta Hazard. Mr. and Mrs. Beach are loyal attendants of the Baptist church.




Thomas Beattie

b: 1847

Thomas Beattie is said to be the oldest builder in active work in Austin and over 200 buildings standing in Austin and vicinity at the present time testify to the skill and fidelity with which he has labored. He was born in Ireland, March 17, 1847, and came to America in 1868, locating at once in Madison, Wis., where he remained three years, afterward spending a similar period in Chicago, pursuing his trade as carpenter, contractor and builder.

In May, 1874 he came to Austin and since that time has been employed here at his trade, having erected since his first coming here, an average of six buildings a year. In 1910 he erected twelve buildings during the year. Mr. Beattie married Elizabeth H. Teeter, and they have one child, Elizabeth.




Joseph M. Beck

b: 1868

Joseph M. Beck, Austin bookbinder, was born in New York city, January 27, 1868, son of Robert and Emma (Canfield) Beck, natives respectively of Ireland and England. They located in New York city, and there Robert Beck engaged in the retail meat trade for many years, dying in 1890, several years earlier than his wife, who survived him until 1906.

Joseph M. received his education in the public schools, and then learned the bookbinding trade. In 1887 he worked in Chicago a short period and then took up his abode in St. Paul for six years, still working at his trade. In 1894 he came to Austin and opened a small bindery in the office of the Register.

In 1907 he moved to his present quarters in the Revord block, where his business has grown and prospered. Mr. Beck is a Republican in politics, belongs to the C. of H. and the R. A. and attends the Catholic church.

He was married October 29, 1889, at Inver Grove, Dakota county, this state, to Anna Brown, and this union has been blessed with four children: Agnes, Joseph, Jr., Anna M. and Florence M., all at home and attending school.




C. Perry Bell

C. Perry Bell, now deceased, was one of the venerable pioneers of Mower county, and his influence was ever exerted in behalf of that which was righteous and just. He was born November 24, 1828, on a farm in Garrettsville, Otsego county, New York, where he was reared. His father was a native of Yorkshire, England, who came to America in 1802, married Abigail Perry, and ended his days in Albany, N. Y. The son was named from the famous commodore of the war of 1812.

In 1856, N. G. Perry, a cousin of C. Perry Bell, came to Mower county with a party of settlers who located in Lansing township, about three miles north of Austin. In the spring of 1857 came the subject of this sketch. He preempted land in Udolpho township, but soon after purchased eighty acres in Lansing township from N. G. Perry.

On this place he settled, and there he successfully conducted general farming, adding to his place from time to time until he owned 338 acres. During the fall and winter of 1858 he lived in Wisconsin, but in the spring again returned to his farm. In 1863 he enlisted in Company B, Second Minnesota Cavalry, and engaged in the famous Indian expedition to Fort Sully and through the "bad lands." He was mustered out in the winter of 1865, and again returned to Mower county.

In the early days Mr. Bell was the good Samaritan of his neighborhood, supplying flour to his starving neighbors. Often upon his return from a thirty-mile trip he found his floor covered with sleeping men, waiting for a share of his flour, some of them coming from as far away as Moscow. Mr. Bell was a member of McIntire Post, G. A. R., and the members of that order attended his funeral in a body.

His death, June 6, 1906, was a distinct loss to the community in which for so many years he had been an honored factor. The subject of this sketch was married December 18, 1875, to Rebecca Garred, and to this union were born two children, Cora and William. Cora is now Mrs. Maurice Case. William married Ada Carll, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Bartlett) Carll. The father of Mr. Bell was Christopher Bell.




George W. Benton

b: 1832

George W. Benton was born in Utica, N. Y., February 16, 1832. His father, Royal Benton, was a native of Connecticut, and was a merchant in Utica at the time George W. was born. The family migrated to Ohio, and settled in the town of Vienna, where the father opened a tailor shop, and spent the remainder of his days. The family remained at Vienna, and when George W. was 16 years of age he started with a team to Logan county, and worked on a railroad one season. Then he went to Bellefontaine and engaged in teaming.

He was married there in 1852 to Caroline J. Royer, after which he rented a small place and commenced burning lime and selling building stone. After a year or so, he began buying and selling horses, taking them to Galena and Kentucky. In 1854 he made his first trip to Minnesota, engaging his time in buying a drove of horses which he sold in St. Paul. He first visited Mower county in December, 1854, and he and his family spent the winter here with his brother, Elon, 1856, on section seven, town of Windom.

He teamed for a while and in 1857 claimed the southwest quarter of section nine. The following winter he built a log house, and in the spring of 1858 moved into it. With true pioneer zeal he started in farming, and in 1883 he had increased his land to 720 acres. He had also erected a fine house and outbuildings. Mr. Benton's wife died in October, 1880, leaving four children: Royal, Winfield, Charles and Alfred.

In November, 1881, Mr. Benton married Sarah C., daughter of Barnabus and Maria (Fitch) Johnson and widow of George Bennett. Two children have been born to this union: Ormanzo J. Benton, who is engaged in the boot and shoe business in Austin, and Herbert W., who clerks in Fargo, N. D. Mr. Bennett, Mrs. Benton's first husband, was born in Schatigee, N. Y., and died at Mona, Iowa, in 1881, leaving one child, George A.

George W. Benton died in April, 1902, as the result of an accident occasioned by his team of young horses running away. He was greatly esteemed and his demise caused a widefelt sorrow.




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