Mower County, Minnesota

Group File 05


Frank D. Cronon

b: 1877

Frank D. Cronon, the genial and efficient city clerk of Austin, was born in this city August 25, 1877, son of James and Mary (Kelley) Cronon. He attended the public schools and worked for several years in his father's store, remaining there until the latter's death, after which Frank D. continued the business until 1909, when the business was sold out and he went on the road for Foley Bros. & Kelley, grocers.

In 1910 Mr. Cronon was elected to his present office and took up his duties in August. He belongs to the I. C. M. A., the Elks, the Knights of Columbus, the Foresters, and the South Dakota Traveling Men's Association. The subject of this sketch was married to Mary Quinlan, at Harvard, Ill., daughter of John Quinlan, of Lake Geneva, Wis. Mrs. Cronon was born at Elgin, Ill., and this union has been blessed with two children: Francis Warren and Robert Wendall.


, the genial and efficient city clerk of Austin, was born in this city August 25, 1877, son of James and Mary (Kelley) Cronon. He attended the public schools and worked for several years in his father's store, remaining there until the latter's death, after which Frank D. continued the business until 1909, when the business was sold out and he went on the road for Foley Bros. & Kelley, grocers.

In 1910 Mr. Cronon was elected to his present office and took up his duties in August. He belongs to the I. C. M. A., the Elks, the Knights of Columbus, the Foresters, and the South Dakota Traveling Men's Association. The subject of this sketch was married to Mary Quinlan, at Harvard, Ill., daughter of John Quinlan, of Lake Geneva, Wis. Mrs. Cronon was born at Elgin, Ill., and this union has been blessed with two children: Francis Warren and Robert Wendall.




James Cronon

James Cronon was born in Saratoga, N. Y., and married Mary Kelley, a native of Richmond, Virginia. He came to Austin in the seventies and opened a cigar and confectionery store, which he conducted until his death, January 12, 1907. Mr. and Mrs. Cronon had four children, Ida, Frank D., Angela and Agnes.




I. B. Christianson

b: 1876

I. B. Christianson, a well-known citizen of Udolpho, in which his parents were among the very earliest settlers, was born in that township October 31, 1876, son of Bennett and Barbro (Ingerbretson) Christianson. He was reared on the home farm, attended the schools of his neighborhood and supplemented this with a course at St. Ansgar, Iowa.

Five years ago he purchased his present farm, erected a home and other buildings, and has since carried on general farming. Ever since residing in his present location he has been a member of the school board, and he is active in the cause of education. He married Betsey Egtvet and they have four children, Leon, Berther, Ruby and Irene. The family faith is that of the Lutheran church.




T. F. Cummings

b: 1865

T. F. Cummings, Austin business man, proprietor of the T. F. Cummings bottling works, sole owner and general manager of the Cummings Brush Manufacturing Company, as well as co-partner in the Hub bottling works at Mason City, Iowa, was born in Berlin, Wis., October 15, 1865, son of Martin and Bridget (Smith) Cummings. He attended the schools of his neighborhood at Cedar Falls, Iowa, to which place he was taken by his parents in 1870.

Later he took a course in the State Normal school at the same place. After leaving school he entered into the grocery business at Allison, Butler county, Iowa, and after a few years embarked in a similar line in Iowa Falls, conducting both stores at the same time.

In February, 1894, he came to Austin and engaged in the manufacture and distribution of soda water and soft drinks, making a specialty of carbonated water and the Siloam Springs water. Mr. Cummings is an independent voter, and belongs to the C. O. F., the B. P. 0. E. and the U. C. T. He attends the Catholic church. The subject of this sketch was married in December, 1893, to Maud Hursey, and this union has been blessed with one son, Paul, born August 8, 1896.




William Cutter

b: 1873

William Cutter, Austin's modern tailor, was born in St. Peter, Minn., January 7, 1873, son of F. W. and Josephine Cutter. After his early schooling he clerked in a clothing store until twenty years of age, when he went to New York and underwent several years' training in the tailoring business, receiving a first-class diploma from Mitchell & Co., one of the finest establishments in New York City, known far and wide for excellent workmanship.

After completing his training in New York City, Mr. Cutter came to Austin in February, 1896, and entered the employ of the Modern Tailoring Company. A year later he started business on his own account, since which date he has enjoyed that full measure of prosperity that his excellent work so richly deserves.

Mr. Cutter's political affiliation is with the Socialist party and it is interesting to relate that he was placed on the ticket for alderman of Austin two years ago and with no effort on his part came within one vote of being elected. Mr. Cutter belongs to the Masonic order, and also to the M. W. A., the K. of P., the E. F. V., the B. P. O. E. and the F. O. E., being well liked in each. Mr. Cutter married Maude A. Patterson, daughter of William W. Patterson, of Austin, and they have two children: Rex C. and Brooks Dare.




Emil Dahmen

b: 1872

Emil Dahmen, representative of the Minneapolis Tribune, living in Austin, was born in Kalmer, Sweden, June 17, 1872, son of C. J. and Hanna (Peterson) Dahmen, the former of whom was a leather merchant in Sweden. Emil received his education in the public and private schools of Sweden, and then entered into the grocery business in his native land.

In 1893 he came to America, and farmed near Jamestown, N. Y., for one year, after which he engaged in the life insurance business six years, serving in the meantime a term as private in the New York National Guard. In 1900 he went to New York and engaged in the life insurance business there. He followed the same line in Minneapolis, to which city he next moved, but later accepted a position in the circulating department of the Minneapolis Tribune.

In 1903 he came to Austin, and has since had charge of the circulation of that paper in Austin and southern Minnesota. He is a Republican and a member of the B. P. O. E. Mr. Dahmen was married October 2, 1899, at Jamestown, N. Y., to Emma Stranburg, daughter of F. O. Stranburg, a prominent undertaker of Jamestown, N. Y., now deceased. Mrs. Dahmen was born at Jamestown, November 22, 1874, and in that place her mother is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Dahmen have two children: Lloyd C., born September 9, 1900, and Grace H., born February 22; 1903.




Frank P. Dawes

b: 1864

Frank P. Dawes, a successful stock buyer of Austin, was born in Waushara county, Wisconsin, October 30, 1864, and came to Mower county in 1885 to marry Lania Chandler, after which he returned to Waushara county with his bride and remained five years.

Then he again came to Mower county and located in Udolpho township, farming there five years. Since 1902 he has been located in Austin, where he buys and sells live stock in large quantities. Mr. Dawes is a Republican in his political views, and the family faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church. I-e is a popular member of the Austin Commercial Club, and also affiliates with the Masonic order and with the M. W. A. Mr. and Mrs. Dawes have had one child, Chester Inman, who died at the age of four months.




Henry G. Dahl

b: 1871

Died: 1956

Henry G. Dahl, business man in Lyle more than 50 years, was born in 1871 at Rock County Wisconsin and died in 1956 at Lyle, Minn. He began his business career as a peddler traveling with a horse and buggy. He sold notions, handkerchiefs, and lace from door to door to raise money to finance his business education at St. Ansgar Seminary.

His first job in Lyle was in the drug store for $12.50 a month. After six and a half years working in the hardware store which he later purchased, he was earning $55 a month and was “the highest paid man in town”.

In 1898 he married Emma Volstad. They made their home in Lyle where they reared a family of four boys and two girls.

He went into his own hardware business in 1898. He is remembered for giving jack-knives to his customers when they paid their accounts.

[Lyle Centennial 1870-1970 Pg 34 ]

[Henry Gustav Dahl and his wife Emma (Volstad) Dahl are buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Mona Iowa]

Transcribed by K. Pike, April 2008



Warren H. Dean

b: 1876

Warren H. Dean, the capable cashier of the State bank, of Rose Creek, was born in Austin, Minn., February 7, 1876, son of Warren H. and Sophrona (Hubbard) Dean. He attended the Northfield public schools and then entered Carleton college, attending that institution two years. Later he entered the Riverview Military Academy at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and remained there two years, continuing his studies by taking a one year business course at the Eastman college, in the same city.

In 1903 he came to Mower county and located at Adams and entered the First National bank for the purpose of learning the banking business, later becoming the assistant cashier. In 1906 he came to Rose Creek and accepted his present position as cashier of the Rose Creek State bank, of which his mother is president.

In this capacity he has proven a capable business man, and has performed his duties to his own credit, and to the satisfaction of the public at large. He also deals in real estate and insurance, is a stockholder in the First National Bank of Adams and has other business holdings. He is a Republican in politics and belongs to the Masons, the B. P. 0. E. and the M. W. A.




Jacob S. Decker

b: 1831

Jacob S. Decker is one of the earliest pioneers still living in Mower county. He was born in Flatbrookville, Sussex county, New Jersey, October 14, 1831, where his younger days were spent in school and on the farm.

He was joined in marriage February 28, 1852, to Mary A. Smith, and on October 28, 1855, they started together for the West, where they hoped to establish their roof tree. They reached Colesburg, Iowa, later in the fall, and there spent the winter. In February, 1856, they started with oxen and teams for Minnesota, which was then a territory. At West Union the snow was so deep that he had to abandon the wagon and finish the journey with a sled. Arriving in Mower county February 25, 1856, he purchased a claim in township 102, range 18, now known as Austin. The purchase price of this claim was $275.

A log house, a well and three-fourths of an acre broken constituted all the improvements at that time. The family occupied the log house until 1860, then built a frame house, which was burned with all its contents in 1865. Then was erected the house which still stands, and which ranks with the best country homes in the county. To Mr. and Mrs. Decker have been born seven children: Arminda, Elizabeth, Calvin D., Chester H., Alonzo N., Silas D., and Edward W. Arminda and Silas D. are dead.

Edward W. is vice-president and general manager of the Northwestern National Bank, at Minneapolis, president of the Twin City Bankers' Club, and president of the Twin City clearing house. Calvin is secretary of the board of regents and purchasing agent for the University of Minnesota. Jacob Decker has had an honorable and successful career, and has fathered a family of which he can well be proud. He has held many positions of public and private trust and honor, and is now living in retirement, enjoying the fruits of a well-spent life.

The founder of Mr. Decker's family in America was Thomas Decker, who came from England, and was one of the first settlers of Port Jervis, N. Y., then known by its Indian name of Mackachamack. His son, Daniel Decker, opened up and settled the country still known as Decker's Ferry, New Jersey, and his son, Thomas, died when in his ninty-fourth year. His son, Calvin Decker, spent his life in New Jersey, and died in the latter state in 1895.

He married for his first wife, Christine Smith, who died in 1849, leaving eleven children-Jacob S., Jonas S., Susanna, Elizabeth, Sarah Ann, Mary, Paul, Silas, Cynthia J., Thomas and Amzey. Calvin Decker married for his second wife, Margaret Dupue, and they had two children, Margaret, deceased, and Amanda, now living at Newton, N. J. Christine Smith, wife of Calvin Decker and mother of Jacob S. Decker, was the daughter of Jacob Smith, the son of Jonas, the son of John, a German by birth, who in colonial days settled on the Delaware river, in Pennsylvania. The parents of Mary Ann H. Smith, the wife of Jacob S. Decker, were Philip and Elizabeth Smith.




John Thompson

b: 1841

Birth: Feb. 3, 1841
Death: June 6, 1926

John Thompson, a veteran of the Civil war, and retired farmer now living in Lansing village, was born in Yorkshire, England, in February, 1841.

When he was four years old he came with his parents to the United States and settled in McHenry county, Illinois, where his father entered government land and pursued farming.

John grew to manhood in McHenry county, and had barely attained his majority when he enlisted in Company H, Ninety-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, being mustered into the service in September, 1862.

He went south with his regiment and served under Grant and Logan. On account of superior merit as a soldier, he was transferred to a colored regiment and was appointed orderly sergeant. As such he participated in the massacre at Fort Pillow, April 12, 1864, and was there taken prisoner. He was first confined at Cahaba, Ala., from there taken to Andersonville, where he arrived May 2, 1864; then to Florence, S. C., September 16, 1864; to Wilmington, February 1, 1865, and to Goldsborough, N. C.

From there he was paroled, entering the Union lines February 28, 1865. He was sent to the Marine Hospital at Annapolis; then to the Camden Street Hospital at Baltimore, Md., and from there furloughed home. He afterward served at Ft. Federal Hill, Baltimore, at Richmond and at Memphis, Tenn. As he had never been mustered into the colored regiment, he received orders to report to his old regiment at Camp Butler, Springfield, Ill., where he was discharged.

Then he returned home to McHenry county and was there married in 1868 to Charlotte A. Roe, daughter of Orson and Maria (Armstrong) Roe, the former of whom came from Schoharie county, New York.

In the spring of 1868 Mr. Thompson came with his family to Mower county and purchased a farm in Udolpho township, where he lived until 1873, when he moved to the village of Lansing, where he now lives. He is a Republican in politics and has worthily filled many public offices.

The subject of this sketch has been a Mason since 1867 and is the present master of the Blue Lodge at Lansing. His wife has been the worthy matron of the Eastern Star Lodge in the same village. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have one son, Lee Ora, of Lansing, where he is engaged in the lumber and coal business.

The subject of this sketch served for thirty years as assessor of Lansing township and was assessor for Udolpho township two years. He was a constable and at one time was one of the village council of Lansing. He is now treasurer of school district 43, a position he has occupied for over fifteen years.




Chester H. Decker

b: 1861

Chester H. Decker, successful hardware merchant, is a native born son of this township, having first seen the light of day May 26, 1861, in the home of Jacob S. and Mary Ann (Smith) Decker, his parents. He was reared on the farm, and attended the schools of his neighborhood, working on the home place until 1882, when he started to learn the carpenters' trade, an occupation he followed for four years. In 1886 he saw the possibilities of a firstclass hardware store in the city of Austin, and he accordingly embarked in the business which he has since conducted.

Mr. Decker is a believer in education, and for fourteen years has done efficient service on the Austin school board, of which body he is now treasurer. He is also a member of the Austin Commercial Club and affiliates with the Modern Woodmen of America and the United Workmen.

He was married October 20, 1887, to Ada C. Douglad, and to this union have been born two children. The oldest, Leonard R., graduated from the Austin high school in 1908 and is now in charge of the manual training and blacksmithing department of the Southern Minnesota Normal College, of Austin. Fred R. is clerk in the hardware store for his father.

The subject of this sketch first purchased an interest in the hardware business with Col. A. W. Wright, and in 1896 formed a partnership with his brother, C. D. Decker, the firm name since that date having been Decker Brothers. Mr. Decker also has other business interests and is a director in the Austin Building and Loan Association. His residence is at 305 West Water street.




Henry F. Deming

b: 1825

Henry F. Deming, a well-known farmer of Nevada township, now living in Austin, was born in Antwerp, Jefferson county, New York, December 25, 1825, son of the Rev. Rufus and Julia M. (Porter) Deming. He received his education in the public schools of New York, and in a grammar school taught by his father. After his school days were over he farmed for a while and then taught school in New York state and Canada.

In 1856 he removed to Wisconsin and farmed and taught school until 1863, when he came to Mower county and located in Nevada township, where he took a homestead of 100 acres in section 6. This was wild land, but he soon had it under cultivation and yielding abundantly. In 1883 he removed to Austin township, and in 1892 purchased forty acres of school land, where he remained until 1910, when he retired and moved to a pleasant home situated on five acres of land just outside of the city limits of Austin.

While in Nevada township Mr. Deming served assupervisor of Nevada township eight years, and as clerk and treasurer of the schobl board for many terms. He also represented his district in the lower house of the state legislature in 1876. Owing to his early experience as a teacher, Mr. Deming has continued through life as an ardent friend of all educational movements, and he helped to organize no less than two districts in Nevada township, the better to supply the school needs of the township.

The subject of this sketch was married April 12, 1853, at Cattaraugus, Franklin county, New York, to Mary E. Bennett, who died April 14, 1909, leaving four children: Charles F., of Canby, Yellow Medicine county, Minnesota; Jessie, who is with her father; Eva, now Mrs. William Clift, and Bertha, now Mrs. Harry Buck.

The family attends the Presbyterian church. Rev. Rufus Deming was born in New York state, graduated from Hamilton college, and was ordained a Presbyterian clergyman. This profession he followed in New York state all his life. He died April 12, 1868, his wife, Julia A. Porter, passing away February 24, 1873.




Henry Dennis

Henry Dennis, oldest son of Sylvester A. and Rebecka (Arnold) Dennis, was born in Allamakee county, Iowa, was reared on his father's farm, and at the age of twenty-three married Caroline Abrahamson, daughter of Augustus and Maria (Anderson) Abrahamson, the latter of whom was born in 1827, both parents being natives of Sweden.

After his marriage, Henry Dennis went to farming in Udolpho township and continued in this occupation for twenty-seven years before coming to the city of Austin. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dennis have one son, Alfred H., who now manages the home farm. He married Helen Kunotson, and they have two children, Ervin and Hazel C.




August Dettloff, Sr.

b: 1850

August Dettloff, Sr., for twelve years supervisor of the town of Pleasant Valley, is one of the substantial men of the community, and in addition to serving on the town board has been road overseer for a long period and member of the school board of district No. 48 for many years.

He was born in Germany, May 3, 1850, son of Carl and Mary Dettloff, the former of whom is dead. The family came to America in 1867, lived a time in Dane county, Wisconsin, and in 1871, came to Pleasant Valley township, where the parents purchased 160 acres in section 22.

August Dettloff, Sr., the subject of this sketch, remained at home with his parents and worked on the home farm until twenty-three years of age. Then he worked out as a farm hand for three years, and subsequently worked on the railroad three years. Later he purchased 120 acres in section 27, Pleasant Valley township. This tract he has increased to 320 acres, and on this he follows general farming, having tenNorman horses, thirty head of swine and about fifty cattle. He sells cream to the Grand Meadow creamery, in which he is a stockholder.

The subject of this sketch was married November 26, 1874, to Rekia Eilars, a native of Germany, who came to America with her parents and settled in Austin in 1868. This union has resulted in ten children: Gustie married William Grimm, of Swink, Colo.; Ida married August Badger, a farmer of Olmsted county; Frank married Musette Drake, and lives in Pleasant Valley; Carl married Ella Hatfield and lives in North Dakota; Lizzie married Charles Drake, of Pleasant Valley township; August married Manda Wagner, of Frankford township; Annie married William Beiderbick, of Racine township; Walter lives in Colorado; Otto and Albert are at home and the latter attends school. The family faith is that of the German Lutheran church.




George D. Detwiler

George D. Detwiler, of Austin, was born in Ontario, Canada, and there married Elizabeth (Kepkey) Detwiler, also a native of the same province. They came to Minnesota in 1879, located in Austin, and became well-to-do citizens. George D. was at first a mason contractor, but of late he has devoted the larger part of his time to house moving.

His wife died February 10, 1910. Their son, John E., is a prominent real estate dealer of Austin. Two daughters, Mary A., living at Austin, and Anna B., at Chicago.




John E. Detwiler

b: abt 1870

John E. Detwiler, the real estate, insurance and loan broker, was born in Port Elgin, Ontario, and as a boy was brought to Austin, where he has since spent the larger part of his time. He was educated in the public schools, and then in 1889 started out to see the world before settling down. Acting as a picture canvasser, he toured the Pacific coast for one year, visiting all the important towns and also many of the smaller ones all along the line from Victoria, B. C., to San Francisco.

After returning to Austin he went to Minneapolis, studied a short time in the law department of the University of Minnesota, and then in 1891 entered a law school at St. Louis, Mo. Again he returned to Austin and entered into the insurance business, later taking up railroad work, but still later again resuming the insurance line.

In 1900 he formed a partnership with his father in the housemoving business and continued thus until January 1, 1910, when he again took up real estate, farm loans and insurance, dealing extensively in Minnesota and Dakota lands. Mr. Detwiler served eight years as a member of Company G, Second Regiment, M. N. G., and in 1896 resigned, at that time having attained the rank of second lieutenant. During the Spanish-American war he recruited a volunteer company, but it was never called into service, and after the battle of Santiago, was disbanded.

Mr. Detwiler is a member of the Masonic order and of the M. W. A. He also belongs to the Austin Commercial club, is a Republican in politics, and a member of the Baptist church. The subject of this sketch was married January 30, 1906, at Austin, to Grace E. Baird, daughter of Mrs. George Baird, and this union has been blessed with one child, Baird E., born April 11, 1908. The family residence is at 302 South St. Paul.




C. B. Dibble

b: 1856

C.B. Dibble, of Austin, sanitary dairyman and owner of the North Star Dairy Company, was born in Michigan in May, 1856, the son of D. K. Dibble. He came to Minnesota with his parents at one year of age, and lived with them in Dodge county, where the father pursued his occupation as a farmer, being also employed in the county treasurer's office.

The subject of this sketch remained in Dodge county until 1891, when he came to Austin. Since then, with the exception of about two years, he has been in the dairy business. The North Star Dairy Company, of which he is the owner, does a general dairy business, retailing milk, cream, butter and ice cream.

Mr. Dibble commenced in this line by selling milk from his farm, two miles out of Austin, and gradually drifted into his present large business, increasing the number of his customers by hard work and honest dealing. Mr. Dibble is well liked socially, being a member of the Modern Woodmen and the Eagles.

He pays his religious duties at the Methodist church. In early life he married Idell Getman, daughter of Conrad and Mary Getman, and this union has been blessed with four sons, Daniel K., Roy G., Bert E. and Ralph, all of whom are employed with their father in the North Star Dairy Company. Daniel K. married Lettie Dungaw, and they have three children: Irene, Esther and Charles. Roy G. married Ada Storey. Bert E. married Alta Minto.




Colman E. Dickens

b: 1861

Colman E. Dickens, cement manufacturer of Austin, was born in Tioga county, Pennsylvania, February 8, 1861, son of Robert and Sarah. (Babcock) Dickens. He came to Mower county with his parents, was reared on farms in Red Rock and Grand Meadow townships, and at the age of sixteen entered the employ of the C., M. & St. P. as a section hand.

In 1893 he came to Austin and engaged in the cement business, which he has since successfully followed, doing all kinds of cement contracting and manufacturing all kinds of cement building material as well as cement hitching and fence posts. It is worthy of note that nearly all the cement sidewalks for which Austin is justly noted were laid by Mr. Dickens. The subject of this sketch belongs to the E. F. U. and the Maccabees and attends the Seventh Day Advent church.

He was married October 25, 1884, to Lucy Gould, who was born near Preston, in Fillmore county. This union has been blessed with two children, Claude E. and Edith F. Claude E. was born at Dexter, November 15, 1887, and is engaged in business with his father. He married Mabel Henderson, of Brownsdale. Edith F. was born November 5, 1891, and married William Coogan. The family residence-is pleasantly located at 409 Oakwood street




Edward W. Dorr

b: 1877

Edward W. Dorr, postmaster and druggist at Dexter, was born in Austin, Minn., May 17, 1877, youngest son of E. C. Dorr. He received his education in the public schools and in the Austin high school, afterward entering the Minnesota Institute of Pharmacy at Minneapolis, graduating in 1893.

He was then matriculated in the Northwestern University, of Chicago, and graduated in 1896 with the degree of P. H. G. Thus equipped, he clerked in Minneapolis about three years, and in 1900 came to Dexter and started in the drug business for himself. A year later he was appointed postmaster and has since continued in this position, being ably assisted by his father. He is a Republican in politics, and has served as village recorder of Dexter, being at the present time the secretary of the Dexter Commercial Club. He is worshipful master of Dexter Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and also affiliates with the B. P. O. E., the M. 'W. A., the B. A. Y., the Eastern Star and the Pilgrim Knights.

The subject of this sketch was married November 29, 1899, to Lulu Frase, of Dexter, and two children have blessed this union: Edward M. and Velva C. The family faith is that of the Methodist church.




E.C. Dorr

b: 1835

E. C. Dorr, for six years mayor of the city of Austin, now living in retirement with his son in the village of Dexter, Minn., was born in Columbia county, New York, November 4, 1835, and received an academy education.

At the age of twenty-two years, in 1857, he came west to Minnesota, and was located in Olmsted county at the outbreak of the Civil war, during which conflict he served two and one-half years in the medical department of the provost marshal of the first district of Minnesota. In 1866 he came to Austin, and engaged in the drug business until 1898, when he sold out his interests to K. O. Wold, who had been his partner for many years. He still calls Austin his home, however, and owns two residences and a store building in the city.

After selling out his store he served two years as deputy revenue collector and three years as internal revenue agent. While at Austin he served on the board of education eight years. He is a Mason and a member ofthe G. A. R. The subject of this sketch was married to Emma L. Smith, who died December 12, 1907. They were the parents of three children: Marie E., now deceased; Marjorie E., now Mrs. Hans E. Enes, of Henderson, Minn., and Edward W., druggist and postmaster of Dexter.




Cornelius Downey

b: 1855

Cornelius Downey, a substantial farmer of Windom township, was born in Ontario, Canada, May 11, 1855, son of Thomas and Bridget (Mangen) Downey, natives of Ireland who came to Canada in 1847, and to Chippewa county, Wisconsin, in 1877, the father dying there April 28, 1882, and the mother, June 28, 1889, leaving nine children: Ellen, Johannah (deceased), Michael, Mary, Thomas (deceased), Maggie, Cornelius, John (deceased) and Bridget. Cornelius remained with his parents until twentysix years of age, and came to Minnesota in 1885. At once upon his arrival here he located on the 176 acres in section 31, Windom township, where he still resides, carrying on farming in a modern manner.

He was married July 12, 1881, to Catherine McCauley, daughter of James and Nancy McCauley, natives of Vermont, who came to America in 1847, lived a time in Vermont, came to Houston county, Minnesota, in 1854, and there ended their days, the father dying September 4, 1886, and the mother November 1, 1894. To Mr. and Mrs. Downey have been born eight children: Mary is the wife of M. B. Perkins, of Windom township; Margaret (deceased); John, Thomas and Elmer are in Austin; Alice and Thresa live at home; Catherine (deceased).




F. M. Dufty

b: 1847

F. M. Dufty is one of those men who possess what Shakespeare so aptly called the "Milk of human kindness," and for a generation to come the people of his neighborhood will recall his big souled hospitality and kindliness which has given joy to so many people. His home has been the stopping place for ministers preaching in the vicinity for the past three decades, and every child in the neighborhood, as well as many a child now grown to manhood and womanhood, recalls with pleasure the delightful hours spent in the Dufty home, where they are always made welcome, and where much has been done for their comfort and happiness. His fondness for children is one of Mr. Dufty's most delightful characteristics, and his hand is ever ready to assist all young people.

Mr. Dufty was born in Canada, October 15, 1847, son of John and Sarah (Keeley) Dufty. His father died in 1853, and at the age of seven years F. M. was brought to the United States by his mother. He grew to manhood in Wisconsin, and in 1875 came to Mower county, purchasing sixty acres in section 3, Lyle township. To this he added until at one time he owned 480 acres. He now possesses 360 acres in sections 3 and 4. Since 1907 he has left the management of his farm largely to his sons.

Aside from his property in Lyle township he owns building lots in Austin, and 800 acres in Burleigh county, North Dakota, as well as half a section in Rosseau county, and a quarter section in Beltrami county, in Minnesota. Mr. Dufty is a temperance Republican. He has served on the town board, and he and his wife have both been members of the school board. He was married in 1878 to Fannie J. Powers, who died in 1895, leaving seven children: Avery J., proprietor and manager of the Normal restaurant; Alma, married to Claude Howard, a banker, of Freeborn, Minn.; Della, who is now the wife of Joseph Lewis, of Grand Meadow; Mary, wife of H. L. Dawson, express mail clerk, of Albert Lea; George, of Beltrami county, married to Selma Johnson; Jay, who lives on the old homestead, and Jesse, who is a student in the Southern Minnesota Normal college. John and Sarah (Keeley) Dufty were natives of Nottinghamshire, England, and as young people came to Canada, where they were married. The former, who was a watchmaker and gunsmith by trade, died in 1853, and the latter came to southern Wisconsin, where she remained until 1902, when she came to Minnesota, and died in Austin in 1904.




Thomas Dugan

b: 1844

Thomas Dugan, a retired blacksmith, now living in Austin, was born in Milwaukee, Wis., April 30, 1844, son of Cormick and Catherine (McNab) Dugan. At the age of fourteen Thomas started out in life for himself by hiring out to a farmer in Rock county, Wisconsin.

In 1861 he went to Janesville, in the same state, and learned the blacksmith trade. There he remained until 1866, when he came to Minnesota and purchased 160 acres of wild land in London township, Freeborn county. On this tract he built a log house and farmed for two years, but after that left his wife to manage the farm and took up work at his trade in Austin. After three years of the arrangement'he sold his farm and moved his family to Austin.

In 1871 he engaged in business for himself in this city and was very successful in all his undertakings, doing general smithy work and manufacturing vehicles of various kinds. In 1902 he sold out this business, and also a farm of 160 acres which he had purchased in Lansing township, and retired.

For seventeen years Mr. Dugan was chief of the Austin fire department, was president of the State Firemen's Association in 1899, and in 1898 was elected fifth president of the National Firemen's Association, at the convention held in Chicago. He has also been through the chairs of the local I. O. O. F.

The subject of this sketch was married April 1, 1864, at Porter, Rock county, Wisconsin, to Elizabeth Robertson, daughter of George and Margaret (Lang) Robertson, and this union has been blessed with ten children: Minnie M., George W., Catherine, Flora E., Harry, Sheridan E., Mary, an infant, M. Jean, and Hazel Isabel. Minnie was born July 19, 1865, and is now Mrs. Charles Crocker, of Lincoln, Neb. George W. was born February 9, 1867, and lives in Austin. Catherine was born September 26, 1868, and is now Mrs. William Nichols, of Fargo, N. D. Flora E., born October 15, 1870, lives on a farm near Napoleon, N. D., and is now Mrs. W. O. Harrison. Harry was born September 17, 1872, and also lives near Napoleon, N. D. Sheridan E., born October 4, 1874, now lives in Bismarck, N. D. Mary was born September 27, 1876. The unnamed infant was born February 22, 1884. M. Jean was born March 1, 1886. She graduated from the Austin high school and from the Winona State Normal school with high honors, and is now a successful teacher. Hazel Isabel was born September 15, 1887, graduated from the Lincoln new high school, and is now a successful teacher. Cormick Dugan came to America from Tyrone county, Ireland, in 1836, and two years later brought over his family, his wife, Catherine McNab, being a native of the same county. After living a while in Taunton, Mass., they came west in 1842 and located in Milwaukee, Wis. There Cormick was a stock buyer and was meeting with much success in this line, when in 1846 he met an untimely end, being killed by a savage kick from a horse. His wife followed him to the Great Beyond, April 13, 1855.




J. B. Dunham

b: c1843

J. B. Dunham came to Mower county with his parents, but shortly afterward went to Decorah, Iowa, where he worked out by the month, three years. Then he returned to Bennington township and purchased 120 acres in section 2. To this he later added forty acres, making in all 160 acres in the northeast quarter of section 2. Here he built his home and the necessary outbuildings, and engaged in general farming. As the years passed, he flourished and prospered, and in time added another eighty just over the line in Frankford township, making in all 240 acres of land.

In 1911 he sold his farm and retired. It is worthy of note that in the early days Mr. Dunham planted a grove of cottonwoods, and the trunks of some have already reached a circumference of nine feet. Mr. Dunham has always been an active worker in his township and county, holding many offices of trust and honor, greatly to his own credit and to the satisfaction of his fellow citizens.

He served his township as chairman for a good many years, and was on the school board for many terms. At the time of his father's death, Mr. Dunham purchased a home for his mother in the village of Spring Valley, and in this home he now lives. The subject of this sketch married Ann E. Williams, born in New York state, April 1, 1844, daughter of Apollos and Betsy (Adams) Williams, who came west in 1861 and located in Pleasant Valley, this county, and engaged in farming the remainder of their days.

Mr. and Mrs. Dunham are the parents of nine children: Ella is now Mrs. Charles Taylor, of Michigan; Minnie is now Mrs. Ralph Davis, of Breckenridge, Minn.; Edith is a school teacher in Spring Valley; Myrtle is Mrs. L. G. Haasrud, of Whalen, Minn.; Bertha, now Mrs. Clyde Edgerton, of Spring Valley; Roy married Bessie Smith, of Minneapolis; Emma is now Mrs. J. C. Olson, of Spring Valley; Ray is now living in Seattle, Washington; Ernest also lives in Seattle, Washington. Edith and Minnie are both graduates from the normal department of the Northern Indiana Normal College at Valparaiso, Ind., and Myrtle and Roy graduated from the Southern Minnesota Normal College at Austin. All the daughters have taught school.




John Eagen

b: 1843

John Eagen, who has resided on his present farm in Red Rock township since 1868, was born in Canada, May 1, 1843, and as a small boy was taken first to Illinois and later to Brookfield, Waukesha county, Wisconsin, where his parents died. John Eagan came to Mower county in July, 1865, and rented land in Red Rock township until 1868, when he took up his residence in a log cabin which he built on section 25. This log cabin was replaced with a modern dwelling in 1898, but the old cabin is still standing, carefully preserved as a valued relic of the past. The farm consists of 160 well tilled acres of land.

Mr. Eagen has not cared to engage actively in politics, but has consented at various times to serve as treasurer and pathmaster of the town. John Eagen was married August 28, 1859, to Ellen M. McGovern, daughter of Terrance and Bridget (Carson) McGovern, born in Monroe county, New York, January 13, 1849. Mr. and Mrs. Eagen are the parents of six children: Francis M., Margaret A., Charles A., William J., Philip Howard and Joseph. Francis M. died in infancy. Margaret A. married M. J. Keenan, and they have three children: Helen (deceased), Geraldine and Eleanor. Charles A. lives in Austin. William J. has a farm near his parents' farm and operates both places. He married Maude Rector, of Lansing, and they have three children: Myron P. (deceased), Arnold E. and Walter P. Philip Howard married Margaret, now deceased, a daughter of W. H. Lawrence, and they had four children: Elwin, Harry, Francis L. (deceased), and Donald J. P. H. owns a farm in Red Rock township. Joseph, the youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. Eagen, is dead. Charles A. was married to Marie Nipstad, of Austin. They have three children; John B., Alyious F. and Margaret E.




Allen Valois Ellis

b: 1834

Allen Valois Ellis was born in Potsdam, St. Lawrence county, New York, February 8, 1834. He attended district school until his fifteenth year, when he entered St. Lawrence Academy. After a year in study here, he taught school for two years and at the age of eighteen, on April 6, 1852, he started for the gold fields of California.

He made the journey overland from Erie, Pa., where railroad traffic ended, and at St. Joseph, Mo., joined the Beeman-Pugh overland party to California, under the personal leadership of Pugh. The journey ended at Eldorado, Cal., September 11, 1852. For the next three years Mr. Ellis worked in the gold mines of California. He made the homeward journey via Isthmus of Panama, minted his gold in Philadelphia and returned to his old home in Potsdam, where he married Belle McGill, February 13, 1856.

Three months later he came west, preempted 160 acres of land thirty miles west of Red Wing and also bought a quarter section. Later he sold his land and returned east. His wife died January 1, 1857, leaving an infant daughter. In May of that year he again came west and located at Austin, and was employed as civil engineer of the Minnesota Central railway.

On April 24, 1859, he married Helen Quain and the next day they moved out to what is now known as the Evergreen Farm, where he lived for more than fifty years, dying there August 3, 1909. He left a widow, two sons, Charles F., of Mandan, N. D., and Dr. Sidney A., of Boston, Mass., also four daughters, MSrs. W. W. Keyser, of St.. Louis, Mo.; Mrs. J. H. Skinner, Austin; Mrs. K. C. Ingmundson, St. Paul, and Mattie C. Ellis, Peru, Neb. Mr. Ellis was one of the builders of the county. He was a man of tireless energy and indomitable will. When other men were satisfied to sow their wheat among the stumps, he cleared his fields by grubbing.

He is credited with being the first man to bring the evergreen trees to this county and from his nursery rows thousands of these trees were transplanted to beautify southern Minnesota. He counted these as his best monuments.




A. M. Elmer

b: 1889

A. M. Elmer, a successful young farmer of Austin township, has charge of 265 acres owned by his parents, and has demonstrated his fitness for the responsibility. IHe was born in Green county, Wisconsin, December 13, 1889, son of J. P. and Fannie Elmer, coming to Mower county with them in 1900 at the age of eleven years.

He attended the district schools of his native county and Austin township, taking courses in the Austin high school and the Southern Minnesota Normal college, graduating from the latter in 1907. He at once upon graduation entered the Union National Bank, at Minot, N. D., in a clerical position, and was later employed by the First National Bank, of Aberdeen, S. D., returning to his home in the spring of 1910. September 19 of that year he married Mary Miller, of Prentice, Wis. He is a Republican in politics and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.




J. P. Elmer

J. P. Elmer was born in Green county, Wisconsin, and there married Fannie Elmer, a native of the same county. In 1900 they came to Austin township and purchased 265 acres of land in section 16, where they took up their home.

At the present time they are in North Dakota, and their son has charge of the farm. Aside from this son, A. M., there are five other children: Mrs. Lucinda Paulson, of Crosby, N. D.; Samuel, of the United States navy; Adam, cashier of a dairy lunch at Minneapolis; Walter, who is at home on the farm, and Floretta, of Crosby, N. D.




Edward H. Elward

Edward H. Elward, who is connected with the Austin fire department, was born in Benson, Vt., September 25, 1861, son of Michael and Elizabeth Elward, both natives of Ireland. In early life Edward H. attended the district schools of Vermont and then in 1880 came to Austin, in which vicinity he farmed from that date until 1892, when he accepted his present position with the city.

He affiliates with the Elks, the Woodmen, the Workmen and the Odd Fellows. Mr. Elward was married for the first time to Mary Prouty, by whom he had five children; Lee, who married Mary Woodward; Lynn, William, Walter and Rathl. Mr. Elward married for his second wife Inize Prouty, and to this union have been born two children, John and Paul.




Clarence M. Emmons

b: 1860

Clarence M. Emmons, a business man of Austin and manager of the Eclipse Lumber Yards, was born on his father's farm in Delaware county, New York, February 25, 1860. After receiving a district school education, he moved to Waverly, Iowa, clerking for two years, later being employed in a lumber yard at Sumner, Iowa, for a short time.

In 1881 he went to Salem, S. D., operating a stage line from that city to Sioux Falls during the next six months; later engaging in the livery business at Salem, in which he remained but a short while. Returning to Sumner, Iowa, in 1893, he spent two years in a lumber yard. He then removed to Manley Junction, Iowa, where he conducted a restaurant for a year, previous to his removal in November, 1897, to Austin, where he engaged in the ice business, remaining in this line two years.

He then sold out and accepted his present position as manager for the Eclipse Lumber Company, in which capacity he has been very successful in building up and holding a large patronage. He is also a stockholder in the Farmers' Brick and Tile Company, of Austin. His political convictions are Republican, and he has served as alderman of the second ward two years. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the local commercial club number him among their active members.

April 30, 1895, he married Julia Cummings, by whom he has two children: Alice, born at Sumner, Iowa, September 27, 1898, and Morton, born August 6, 1900. Mrs. Emmons passed away December 8, 1909. The family worships at the Methodist Episcopal church. The residence is at 108 South St. Paul street. Morton and Elizabeth (Michael) Emmons, parents of our subject, were natives of New York state, where the father followed farming until his death, which occurred in November of 1865. 'The mother passed away during the same month and year.




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