Mower County, Minnesota

Group File 06


John F. Fairbanks

b: 1857

John F. Fairbanks, for twenty-six years past a successful dealer in coal, fuel and lime, at Austin, was born in Mitchell county, Iowa, July-25, 1857, son of Alonzo Fairbanks, a war-time miller in Austin, and later a Mower county farmer.

John F. passed through the usual experiences of the average farmer boy, worked on the farm, attended the district schools and grew to healthy young manhood. He worked for a time in an elevator and then engaged in the business which he still conducts.

Mr. Fairbanks married Mary Vaughn, daughter of Albert Vaughn, a native of Virginia, and they have two sons, Harold V. and Rodney Dean. Mr. Fairbanks is an Odd Fellow, and for many years has served on the Austin school board. He is a member of the Methodist church and of the Republican party.




Alonzo Fairbanks

Alonzo Fairbanks was born in Vermont and married Ellen M. Backus. They came west in 1855 and located in Mitchell county, Iowa, remaining there until 1861, when Alonzo came to Austin, and after working for a time in a saw mill, became interested in the milling business with the Bemis brothers.

At that time the business was in but primitive shape and Mr. Fairbanks soon returned to his former occupation as a farmer. He now resides in Blooming Prairie, Minn. His wife died in 1887.




Henry D. Fairbanks

b: 1869

Henry D. Fairbanks, partner in the firm of Fairbanks Brothers, leading photographers of Austin, was born in Brandon, At., April 13, 1869, son of Luke B. and Caro (Bowen) Fairbanks. Henry was brought to Mower county by his parents at the age of three years, and was here reared to manhood, attending the district schools of Windom township.

At the age of 22 years he came to Austin, and took up the photographic art with E. H. Austin. Later he formed a partnership with G. S. Hildahl, but in 1894 Mr. Hildahl died and Guy L. Fairbanks took his place in the firm, the company assuming its present designation. They maintain branch studios at Adams, Blooming Prairie and Lyle. They have built up a large trade and do excellent work.

Henry D. Fairbanks belongs to the Royal Arcanum, and to the Austin and Mower County Automobile Clubs. He was married September 3, 1895, to Kate Beach, of this place, and their union has been blessed with two children: Katie Marie and Howell. The family residence is at 709 Lansing avenue.




Guy L. Fairbanks

b: 1873

Guy L. Fairbanks, of Austin, partner in the firm of Fairbanks Brothers, photographers, was born in Windom township, this county, July 1, 1873, son of Luke B. and Caro (Bowen) Fairbanks. He spent his youth on the farm, and in 1892 went to California with his parents, working one year on a fruit farm.

Then he took up photography in Redlands, Cal., and there remained until 1894, when he came back to Austin, and entered into partnership with his brother, Henry D. He was married April 5, 1909, to Ida M. Anshus, of Minneapolis, and they have one child, Grant G. The family residence is at 205 West Water street.




John Fairbanks

b: 1840

John Fairbanks, justice of the peace and for many years a prominent and respected citizen of Mower county, was born at Royalton, Vt., March 24, 1840. His boyhood was passed on his father's farm, near Bethel, Vt., to which the family moved shortly after his birth.

The district schools afforded him the education usual to those times, the outbreak of the Civil war calling him from his books. Enlisting in Co. F, 3rd Vermont Inf., May 10, 1861, he served with this company until May 3, 1863, being wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg and sent to an army hospital at Brattleboro, Vt., after his recovery being placed under detached service, from which he was honorably discharged January 27, 1864.

Returning to his family, he spent three years in Vermont, migrating west in 1869 and settling on a farm near Windom, Minn., on which he remained, carrying on general farming, until 1879, when he removed to Austin, where he engaged as carpenter and joiner. Mr. Fairbanks is a progressive in politics and is serving his fifth year as justice of the peace. The local post of the Grand Army of the Republic counts him an active member.

October 8, 1863, he was married to Marina M. Newman, by whom he has eight children: Maud, now Mrs. Barr; May, Mrs. Stimson, a widow; Susan, wife of Al. E. Peaslee; Mattie, married to Frank Brown; Esther, living at home; Charles, of Seattle; Luke, located in Los Angeles, and Lee, of Minneapolis. Lorenzo and Esther (Bowen) Fairbanks, parents of our subject, were natives of New England, the father being born in Barnard and the mother in Royalton, Vt.




Alfred D. Fairbanks

Alfred D. Fairbanks, now deceased, was born in Vermont, there grew to manhood, and at the outbreak of the Civil war enlisted in the United States Sharpshooters, serving in Company E. He married Belle A. Baker, and together they went to live in Bethel, Vt., where Mr. Fairbanks worked three years on a farm in hopes of regaining his health, which had been impaired by army life. Then they came west and located in Mower county, taking up their home in the historic spot long known as 'Saints' Rest." Seventeen years later ill health caused him to abandon farming, and in 1891 they moved to Austin, where Mr. Fairbanks died April 4, 1899.

Mrs. Fairbanks, nee Belle A. Baker, was born in Hollidaysberg, Pa., daughter of Abram P. and Elizabeth (Kidd) Baker. Mrs. Fairbanks passed her early life in her native town, attended school there, and later took courses at Philadelphia and at Altoona, Pa.

She was married at her home in Hollidaysberg. Three of her sisters are still living: Ann is now Mrs. William Kean, of Bedford, Pa.; Maria is now Mrs. Harry Campbell, of Chicago, Ill., and Jennie is now Mrs. James Lightcap, of Alleghany, Pa.




Caswell Fairbanks

b: 1835

, a retired farmer, now living in Austin, was born July 25, 1835, in the town of Antwerp, Jefferson county, state of New York, son of Hiram and Effie Fairbanks. Caswell Fairbanks lived at home until of age, working on the farm, and attending school in winter. In 1856 he married Miranda Tyler, daughter of John and Huldah (Warren) Tyler, and this union has been blessed with three children, Charles E., Jennie B. and Burton, the latter being dead.

In 1857 Caswell Fairbanks came west and located in the town of Springfield, Dane county, Wisconsin; worked the farm until the war of the rebellion broke but in 1861 he enlisted in Company G, First Regiment of Berdan's sharpshooters, and is now a member of the McIntire Post, No. 66, C. G. A. R. In 1864 he drove a team across the plains to the gold fields of Montana, remaining two years.

Then he came back to Davis county, lived there some years, and then moved to Mower county, Minnesota, in 1876, purchasing a farm of 240 acres, which he still owns. While at Dexter he was town treasurer and school treasurer, and assessor for a long period. His son now manages the farm in Dexter township.




Luke B. Fairbanks

b: 1838

Luke B. Fairbanks was born in Vermont, March 26, 1838. When he was seventeen years of age he went to Iowa to join his brother in Mitchell county, and spent three years with him in Mitchell and Howard counties, then came to Austin with him. His brother purchased an interest in a steam saw mill, and later added a flour mill.

He assisted his brother in the mill there until 1860, when he sold out and bought a farm in Windom. He spent the summer with his brother here; then in the fall returned to Vermont. He enlisted there, in May, 1861, in Company F, Third Vermont Volunteer Infantry, and with the regiment joined the Army of the Potomac. The first battle in which he participated was the battle of Lee's Mill, in which he was wounded. As soon as he was able to make the trip he was granted a furlough and visited home. He joined the regiment after an absence of three months. His health was not good at the time, and he was detached for the recruiting service in Vermont. He again joined the regiment in December, and was with them until after the close of the war, having veteranized in 1863.

Among the many battles in which he participated, we mention the following: Second battle of Fredericksburg, Wilderness, Petersburg, Cold Harbor, Spottsylvania, was with Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, and participated in the battle of Winchester, was in New York City at the time of the riot, and in the battles of Gettysburg and Cedar Creek. He was mustered into the service as a private.

He was promoted for gallant and meritorious conduct, May, 1864, to first lieutenant, and soon after to captain. He was discharged from the service with the regiment, July. 1865, and returned to Vermont and bought a farm. In 1869 he sold out there and emigrated to Kansas. He took a homestead and bought some wild land in Washington county.

He built a stone house and improved a portion of the land, living there until 1872, when he sold and came to Mower county and bought wild land in the northeast quarter of section 29, Windom township. He was joined in marriage in 1863 to Caro Bowen, also a native of Vermont. They had seven children, named Samuel, Henry, Eugene, Guy, Dan, Leila and Florence. In 1893 Mr. Fairbanks'sold his farm in Mower county and removed to southern California, where he remained two years. He then returned to Austin, where he resided until his death, October 24, 1907.




M.S. Fisch

b: 1862

M. S. Fisch, a leading merchant of Austin, has been a resident of this city since 1900, and immediately upon his locating here became a prominent citizen, taking an active part in many public movements that tended to the progress of the business interests of the city.

He was born in Caledonia, Houston county, Minnesota, October 5, 1862, son of Theodore and Eva (Manders) Fisch, the former of whom now lives in Minnesota Lake, Minn., the latter dying in November, 1907. Mr. Fisch was reared on a farm in Houston county, attended the schools of Caledonia and Freeberg, and remained at home until 19 years of age.

After two years of railroad work on a section gang for the C., M. & St. P. he began clerical work in a store at Minnesota Lake. Four years later he opened a store of his own, and was appointed postmaster, continuing the store business there fourteen years. His postmastership continued eight years, the two terms of Cleveland's administration. While in Minnesota Lake he served on the school board six years and on the city council for a similar period.

He also became vice president of the First National Bank, of Minnesota Lake, a position he still retains. In 1900 Mr. Fisch came to Austin and engaged in the general merchandise business. He has built up a large trade, and enjoys the confidence of the entire community, his goods recommending themselves to a large number of customers, who are drawn to the store by its reputation for honest dealing and fair treatment. The store carries all the goods usually found in such a place, and has special dry goods, cloak and suits, and grocery departments. The store at Minnesota Lake is conducted under the same ownership, with a local manager in charge.

Mr. Fisch is president of the Security State Bank, of Waldorf, Waseca county, Minnesota. He belongs to the Elks, the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Foresters, and votes the Democratic ticket. The subject of this sketch was married February 10, 1887, at Freeberg, Houston county, Minnesota, to Mary Dauwen, and this union has been blessed with five children. George T. and Edward N. are clerks in their father's store. Alta K., Herbert M. and Bernice A. are at school.




Patrick Fitzsimmons

Patrick Fitzsimmons was born in Ireland, and after coming to this country married Huldy Hoffman, who was born in Utica, N. Y. He farmed for many years in Woodstock, Ill., and then came to Freeborn county, where he took up a claim and remained until his death in 1863.

He and his wife had six children: Charles (deceased), Lorilla, Katherine, Richard (deceased), Helen and Minnie. The latter, who is now Mrs. Lynds S. Mitchell, of Austin, was born in Woodstock, Ill., came with her parents to Freeborn county when six years of age, and was married in 1870.




Samuel Olson Forthun

b: 1830

Samuel Olson Forthun, now deceased, lived in Mower county from the closing year of the Civil war until the time of his death, and his example and influence were ever for the good.

He was born at Sogn, Norway, March 3, 1830, son of Ole and Annie Forthun, natives of Sogn, Norway, where they both lived and died. Samuel O. received his education in his native country and in 1855, at the age of twenty-five he came to America, living the first seven years in Wisconsin, where he worked on farms in Dane and Iowa counties. Then he went to South Dakota for a time. In 1865 he came to Mower county and located in LeRoy township.

A few years later he purchased eighty acres of wild land, which he broke and improved, carrying on general farming and increasing his holdings until he owned 240 acres in the home farm, and other tracts of land which he divided among his children. In 1899 he retired from active life, and purchased a lot in the village of LeRoy, on which he built a pleasant home where he lived until his death, May 5, 1903.

Samuel O. Forthun was married May 23, 1863, to Anna Thompson, who was born in Norway, August 14, 1846. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thorsten Thompson, were natives of Norway, came to America in 1860, lived in Wisconsin for a while, and still later went to Grand Forks, N. D., where the father died in 1895, and the mother in 1907.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Forthun has been blessed with thirteen children: Ole lives in Thick River Falls, Minn.; Thomas is in California for his health; Anna is wife of H. H. Bither, of LeRoy village; Samuel is dead; Christian is at Cresco, Iowa, and is deputy county auditor of Howard county; Elias lives in the state of Washington; Rachel, a milliner by trade, is home with her mother; John lives in Barnesville, Minn.; Martin, a carpenter, lives in Minneapolis; Serena is dead; Christina teaches in South Dakota; Gena teaches in Iowa; Peter is a student at the Southern Minnesota Normal College, Austin. The family faith is that of the Norwegian Lutheran church. When Mr. Forthun and family moved from Wisconsin to South Dakota they with six other families made the move in covered wagons drawn by oxen, driving through the wilderness.

There were very few roads. Bridges also were very scarce and often they had to ford rivers. They made the journey in about thirty days and settled near Yankton, which was then only a very small town. During the summer the grasshoppers came and destroyed completely all the crops in that locality in two or three hours. After that the settlers had to drive ninety miles for provisions. In the spring the danger from hostile Indians drove them out.

They then migrated to the vicinity of LeRoy, Minn. Here Mr. Forthun bought eighty acres of land. As money was very scarce at that time they lived in a cellar four years. Then they built a small frame house, in which they had lived only two days when it was burned to the ground and everything destroyed. When their three children saw the outcome of their play they ran to a corn field near by for safety.

Then they were compelled to set up housekeeping to the best of their ability in the old cellar again until another house could be erected. When he came to America Mr. Forthun had just money enough to buy his ticket.




John Frank

b: 1834

Hon. John Frank -- Few men in southern Minnesota, now alive, have accorded them a greater need of love and appreciation than has been earned by John Frank, of LeRoy township. Possessing, as he does, one of those rare characters which instinctively attract sterling friendships, he has unostentatiously pursued his way, radiating encouragement and cheer, and instilling new ambitions and happiness in the hearts of all with whom he comes in contact.

Already well past the allotted three score years and ten, he is now one of the patriarchal figures of the county, respected and held in highest regard by the older people, and venerated and held in affection by the younger. Such a life as his, standing as it does for industry, progress and decency, cannot fail to have a lasting and salutary effect upon the character of the county.

The youngest of the seven children of Jacob F. and Frederika (Geds) Frank, well-to-do middle-class German farmers, he was born February 13, 1834, in Wurtemberg, Germany, and in that kingdom was reared to manhood, losing his mother when he was twelve years of age, and his father three years later.

June 4, 1854, he landed in New York City, and thus began his honorable career as a resident of this country. After spending several months in New York, he resolved to seek a newer country, and accordingly came westward, spending the summer of 1855 as a clerk in a store at Rockford, Illinois.

In September, 1855, he continued his westward journey, and located for the winter in Howard county, Iowa. In the spring of 1856 he came to Mower county, and pre-empted a quarter section of wild land in section 30, LeRoy township. Since that date, he has continued to reside in this county, gaining increasing honors with increasing years. Upon his arrival here, he erected a log cabin, and for a time kept house for himself. The country so strongly appealed to his sense of beauty and utility that he resolved here to establish his rooftree.

Accordingly he returned to Rockford, Illinois, and was there married to Catherine E. Lachele, thus consummating a most delightful romance. Catherine E. Lachele was born in Geisingen, Wurtemberg, Germany, October 30, 1833, in a home of wealth and comfort.

In 1854, after her mother's death and the coming of a step-mother to the home, Catherine E. and her sister left the old country, came to America, and located in Forest City, Ohio. In Cleveland she met the young countryman of hers who was designed afterward to become the life-long companion of her joys and sorrows.

After their marriage, the young people set up housekeeping in the wilderness. Mrs. Frank proved herself a true and noble helpmeet, ever a loving, sympathetic and faithful wife and mother, and a shrewd, frugal, capable and hardworking housewife. These two souls were well mated. Their quarter section has been enlarged until they now own 1,580 acres, and their log cabin has been replaced by a modern home, known far and wide for its hospitality. While accumulating so goodly a store of this world's goods, the Franks have not forgotten the needy, and have distributed to the poor and deserving with liberal hand.

In October, 1861, the peace of the home was shattered by the call for soldiers to defend the Union, and for many years these loving souls were apart. Mr. Frank enlisted in Company K, Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, for three years, and at the close of that period re-enlisted until the close of the war, serving until the summer of 1865, when he was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, and discharged at Fort Snelling, having in the meantime followed all the fortunes of his regiment.

After his discharge he served as Sutler's clerk for two years, and was then appointed Sutler, serving in this capacity until 1877, when he returned to the farm, where he has since resided. In 1899 he retired from active life, but still lives on the old homestead. Mr. Frank has always been a Democrat. He is a member of the German Lutheran Church, a Knight Templar and a member of the G. A. R.

He served in the legislature of 1882, has been school clerk twenty-five years, and has given his services to the town in various other capacities, such as those of supervisor and road overseer. He was candidate for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota in 1886, and for presidential elector in 1884. In the Frank family are three children: Louisa, wife of John LeBorius, a farmer of Hennepin county; William Monroe, cashier of the First National Bank of LeRoy; and Irene M., wife of W. D. Bassler, a leading Austin haberdasher and clothier. The parents of Mrs. Frank were Christopher and Barbara (Graff) Lachele.




George A. Franklin

b: about 1860

George A. Franklin, superintendent of schools in Austin, was born in Rockford, Illinois, son of Stephen R. and Ann E. (Gillis) Franklin. He received a public school education and later attended the Illinois Normal University. He worked at the printing business a while, and served as superintendent of public schools in Delevan, Illinois, from 1888 to 1894.

Then he came to Minnesota, and from 1894 to 1906 was superintendent of schools in Faribault. Since 1906 he has served in Austin, and his work has given general satisfaction. Professor Franklin ranks high as an educator. He has been justice of the peace and county superintendent in Winnebago county, Iowa. In 1904 he served as president of the State Teachers' Association of Minnesota.

At one time he served as president of the Southeastern Association and he was also president of the Southern Association one term. For the past six years he has done summer school work and is a member of the faculty of the State Normal School at Mankato. He is a chapter Mason and also belongs to other societies. For one year he was vice president of the Austin Commercial Club, of which he is still a member.

Professor Franklin was married February 28, 1884, to Emma Jenkins. She died June 26, 1896, leaving three children. Professor Franklin was married the second time, August 15, 1900, to Annie M. Willson, of Rochester, Minnesota. The children of the Franklin family are as follows: Joy E., was born September 13, 1888, and is a graduate of the University of Chicago; Camilla, is a student at Menominee, Wisconsin; G. Fred, was born August 31, 1892, and is a graduate of the Austin high school; Charles Willson was born August 15, 1900, and attends the public schools of Austin.




Philip H. Friend

b: 1859

Philip H. Friend, one of the leading business men of Austin, where he has resided since 1888, has a flourishing trade, and both in a social and business way enjoys the confidence and trust of his fellow citizens. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, February 25, 1859, son of Abraham and Fannie (Strauss) Friend, who when he was still a young boy took him to Mendota, Illinois, where he received his education in the graded and high school.

He then started in life for himself as a clothing clerk at Aurora, Ill., remaining one year. From there he engaged in the clothing business for himself in Clarinda, Ill., and in 1888 came to Austin, where he engaged in his present business. He ha-; built up a large patronage, his "Golden Eagle" clothing house being known far and near as a desirable place to secure men's and boys' clothing, bags and trunks, and all sorts of haberdashery.

In 1899 Mr. Friend erected a fine home on North Kenwood Avenue, where he still resides. He is a prominent member of the Masonic order and of the Knights of Pythias, as well as an active worker in the Austin Commercial Club. Philip H. Friend was married February 22, 1898, to Amy Ran, and this union has been blessed with two bright children, Edith and Philip R.




Hon. John J. Furlong

b: 1849

Hon. John J. Furlong -- John J. Furlong, son of William and Sarah (Carter) Furlong, was born in Tipperary county, Ireland, February 2, 1849, and came to America with his parents in 1852. (See life of William Furlong.) 'He attended the public school in Austin, and like all the boys of those early days, spent most of his vacation and spare time in hard work on the farm.

On May 25, 1880, he was married to Agnes Ryan, daughter of John and Johanna Ryan, of Albert Lea. She died October 23, 1897, leaving four children, May V., Loretta D., William A. and Charles, the latter of whom died at the age of sixteen. There are few men in the state with a wider acquaintanceship than Mr. Furlong. His success in agriculture, his natural aptitude in politics, his genial nature, combined with hard common sense, won him friends in all walks of life. A man of great will power and tireless energy, he was a good fighter in politics and a good loser when the battle went against him, which was seldom. For ten years he represented his district in the legislature.

He was the state treasurer of the World's Fair Commission in 1893. His success in thoroughbred stock raising won him prominent positions in the various stock breeders' associations, a few of which we mention: President of the Swine Breeders' Association of Minnesota, president of the Minnesota Live Stock Breeders' Association, member of the executive board of the Sheep Breeders' Association of Minnesota, president of the First Congressional Live Stock Breeders' Association, president of the Live Stock Sanitary Board of Minnesota. He has also taken a great interest in agricultural fairs, and is a life member of the Mower County Agricultural Society, of which he was president for fifteen years. He has been connected with the Minnesota State Fair Association and for two years was its vice-president and came within a few votes of being elected president in 1910.

He is now president of the Federation of County Fairs of Minnesota. Mr. Furlong is a strong believer in mutual insurance and he has been president of the Mower County Farmers' Mutual Fire & Lightning Company for many years. This company ranks first of all the mutual insurance companies of the state. He has also been vice-president of the National Association of Insurance Companies. He is a life member of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society and was a member of the board of managers five years. He is also a member of the State Horticultural Society.

In township affairs he has been chairman for a number of years and is now a justice of the peace. While Mr. Furlong has been prominent in these various roles of life, his greatest work for Mower county was on his 320-acre farm, "Columbian" stock farm, which is located three and one-half miles east of Austin. This beautiful and well-kept farm won the $1,000 prize offered by James J. Hill for the best farm in the First Congressional district. Mr. Furlong is a breeder of registered Shorthorn cattle, Cotswold sheep, Poland-China swine and highgrade Percheron horses.

Mr. Furlong is past exalted ruler of the Austin Lodge, 414, B. P. 0. E., a member of the Austin Lodge, A. O. U. W., Knights of Columbus, St. Augustine's Abstinence Society and was for a time a prominent member of Austin Lodge, I. O. O. F., and Austin Lodge, Knights of Pythias. He has held township offices and is interested in all movements for the upbuilding of Mower county and the state of Minnesota; is president of the Catholic Cemetery Association, which perpetuates continual care, and was secretary of St. Augustine's parish of Austin for a good many years, both during and for many years after its organization.




William Furlong

b: 1798

William Furlong was born in Tiperary county, Ireland, January 6, 1798, and there grew to manhood, reared to agricultural pursuits, and was joined in marriage to Sarah Carter, also a native of the same county. In 1852 they left their native land for America, landed in New York, and located in Delaware county, Pennsylvania, and engaged in farming, remaining there until 1854, then emigrated to Galena, Illinois, where he rented a farm until the spring of 1857, when he came to Mower county and entered the northeast quarter of Section 8, town of Windom, as it is now known.

He erected a log house and improved a great portion of the land. This was his home until the time of his death, which occured March 24th, 1879.

Mrs. Furlong died July 27th, 1872. They were the parents of seven children, six of whom are still living: Thomas, Mary, Patrick James, William T., John J., and Ellen.

From "History of Mower county," page 581
Contributed by Rich Morrison, Sept. 2009



Joseph H. Furtney

b: 1875

Joseph H. Furtney, a successful liveryman of Austin, was born August 24, 1875, son of Josiah S. and Sarah (Hibbard) Furtney. He attended the schools of his neighborhood, and then took up mason work with his father, remaining at this work until he gradually became interested in the livery business.

For the past six years he has been a member of the firm of Furtney & Bassett. Mr. Furtney married Ida Nelson, and they have three children: Florence, Herbert J. and Donald. Mr. Furtney belongs to the F. O. E. and the M. W. A.




Josiah S. Furtney

Josiah S. Furtney, for many years a farmer and mason in Mower county, was born in Canada, his father being a native of Pennsylvania, and his grandfather of Germany.

Josiah S. married. Sarah Hibbard, and after a period spent in Decorah, Iowa, came to Austin, in which vicinity he lived until his death in 1902. He had seven children: Minnie, Joseph H., Harry M., Lottie M., Lottie, Roy, Ada and Vera.




Albert Galloway

b: 1822

Albert Galloway, now deceased, will long be remembered in the community for his public spirited generosity, and the interest he took in educational progress. He was born in Newburg, Orange county, New York, October 6, 1822. His early manhood was spent on the farm, and at the age of twenty-four he went to Corning, Steuben county, in the same state, where he was engaged in the lumber business six years. Later he went to Port Burwell, in Canada, and lived there until 1856, when he came west, intending to locate in Minneapolis.

On the way, however, he met friends, who induced him to go to Chatfield instead. He therefore traveled with them on foot, from Winona, and after reaching Chatfield proceeded on to Frankford, walking all the way. Mr. Galloway then rode to Austin, arriving in the fall. Here he preempted a claim in section 17, township 102, range 18, clerking that winter in the store of Hanchett & Sprague. He proved up his claim the following November, and about the same time (1857) formed a partnership with D. B. Johnson, Jr.. in the mercantile business. For this store a building was erected from logs that he had sawed, the edifice standing east of the present site of the postoffice.

After a year the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Galloway continuing the business alone until 1868. Previous to this he had purchased sixty acres of land in section 3, now included in the city limits of Austin, and here he lived, owning also 320 acres in section 24, Austin township, besides considerable other property. He was married in November, 1860, to Rosetta Carter, of Shefford county, Quebec, Canada, and to this union were born two children: William A. and Ellen R., the latter now being Mrs. C. W. Tyler.

Mrs. Rosetta Galloway died January 1, 1865, and for his second wife, Mr. Galloway married, June 8, 1868, Amy M. Carter, widow of James Darrah, and daughter of John and Charlotte (Phelps) Carter, the former being a native of Vermont, and the latter of Canada. To Albert and Amy Galloway were born two children: Charles D. and John Elbert. Mrs. Galloway also has a daughter, Minnie Darrah, by her first marriage.

Mr. Galloway died on October 6, 1907. He gave the land for the Southern Minnesota Normal college at Austin, and was deeply interested in it. He was also a charter member of the Masonic lodge at Austin, and at the time of his death was the last surviving charter member. William A. Galloway was married in 1883 to Rose Miller and they have three children: Ethel, Elmer and Ralph.

Ellen Rose Galloway was married in 1888 to Winfield S. Stockman, and they have two children: Estelle M. and Amy G. Charles D. Galloway married Laura Slocum, daughter of Wesley Slocum, of Sibley, Iowa. The marriage took place January 1, 1897, and they made their home in Minneapolis until her death in May, 1902. Estelle M. Darrah, now Mrs. Charles B. Dyke, is the daughter of Mrs. Galloway by her first marriage. Mrs. Dyke has been quite prominent in educational matters. She was principal of the teachers' training school at St. Paul, has taught in the Normal school at Mankato, and has done institute work in California, in which state she graduated from the Leland Stanford University. Mrs. Dyke is now sojourning in Seville, Spain.




John Elbert Galloway

John Elbert Galloway, the well-known Austin fruit grower, was born in Austin township, son of Albert and Amy Galloway, and grew to manhood on his father's farm, which he still conducts. Aside from carrying on general farming, he has over a thousand trees in his orchard, mostly apples. He is an enthusiast in the art of raising apples, and has been very successful.

He married Myra Warren, daughter of N. W. Warren, and they have one son, Cedric E.




Andrew Gemmel

b: 1819

Andrew Gemmel, one of the pioneers of Mower county, was a native of Scotland, born in Renfrewshire, town of Paisley, October 25, 1819. His father was a postmaster in the city of Glasgow, where Andrew received his education and grew to manhood, after which he was employed as clerk in his father's warehouse, remaining in this position until 1842, when he left the bonny shores of Scotland and sailed for America.

After spending one year at Montreal, Canada, he went to St. Hyacinth, where he engaged in the general mercantile trade for a period of nine years, after which he came to the United States, where he was engaged in business at Burlington, Racine. county, Wisconsin. After two years he sold out, returned to Canada and engaged in similar business for a. period of three years until 1857.

He then started for Minnesota with his family, coming by train to Dunlieth, Ill., thence up the river to St. Paul, where he hired teams to bring them to Cedar City, Mower county. They stopped until fall with a brother-in-law, and during that time Mr. Gemmel erected a log cabin on the land he had pre-empted in section 30, Austin township, where the family lived until 1876, their house being burned May 29, of that year.

After this he erected a fine frame house, where he lived and followed general farming the balance of his days. He died December 16, 1898, and his wife passed away September 4, 1909. He was married March 8, 1845, to Phoebe Phelps, who was born in Raughmont, near Montreal, October 5, 1821. Seven children blessed this union: Andrew, Alexander E., Margaret, Victoria, Arthur, Isabella P. and Agnes D. Mr. Gemmel was the first collector in the town of Austin.




Patrick Geraghty

b: 1822

Patrick Geraghty, now deceased, was one of the substantial residents of this county. He watched Austin grow from a village of 400 inhabitants, and lived to enjoy the ripe old age of eighty-eight years. He was street commissioner eleven years, and treasurer of St. Augustine church many terms, digging the cellar, grading the grounds and carting the stone for the new edifice now occupied by the people of that parish as a house of worship.

The subject of this sketch was born in Ireland, in November, 1822, and came to this country in 1851, landing at Castle Garden, New York, in 1851. He went at once to Fairmont, W. Va., and was employed there one year by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Then he went to Janesville, Ill., in 1855, and was there married to Ellen Barrett, daughter of Edward and Rose (Gibbons) Barrett. They went together to Freeport, Ill., and lived there six years.

Their next stopping place was McGregor, Ia., where Patrick Geraghty resumed his occupation of railroad work by becoming a contractor, and assisting in the construction of the C., M. & St. Paul road from McGregor to Austin, this work taking about three years. Mr. Geraghty then settled in Austin, and a year later, in 1868, purchased a farm of eighty acres, which he retained until 1905, when he retired. To Mr. and Mrs. Geraghty were born nine children: Lawrence, who married Alice Shannon; Elizabeth, deceased; Ellen, now Mrs. Jacob Shook; Mary; Rose; Charles E., who married Jennie Hattlestead; Sarah P., now Mrs. F. Tichein; John P.; and Thomas F., married to Flossie Wagner. Mr. Geraghty died in the fall of 1910.




John J. Gilbertson

b: 1855

John J. Gilbertson was born on a farm near LaCrosse, Wis., in 1855. When a young man he was employed for a number of years as a clerk in the large wholesale dry goods house of Mons Anderson in LaCrosse. He then entered the general store business for himself at Grand Meadow, Minn., at the same time editing the Grand Meadow Record, in partnership with a Mr. Jurgens. After remaining at Grand Meadow for ten years, he came to Austin, Minn., and in partnership with George Edgerton, engaged in the machine business, selling threshing machines, buggies, cutters and general farm machinery, in which business he remained to the time of his death, which occurred June 9, 1892.

Mr. Gilbertson was married in 1878 at Grand Meadow, Minn., to Martha Marian Hestad, and to this union were born six children: Elvira S., Walter I., Frances M., Lilian F., Lucile H. and Esther M. Walter I. married Emily Rieckhoff and they have one child, John. Frances M. married William Masteller and they have two children, Marian and William.

Mrs. John Gilbertson was born April 14, 1861, at Stavanger, Norway, and came to LaCrosse, Wis., with her parents in 1871, where she lived to the time of her marriage. Benjamin Uleland Hestad and Ellen, his wife, parents of Mrs. John Gilbertson, were both natives of Norway, where the wife inherited a large estate and where the husband held a state office.

Mr. Hestad came to America shortly before the Civil war and fought in the union army two years. Being called home, he procured a leave of absence and then furnished a substitute to finish his enlistment in his place. On his return to Norway he managed his wife's large estate near Christiania, the estate containing many acres and being occupied by many tenants.

After remaining there some years he sold the estate and again came to America, locating in LaCrosse, Wis., where he engaged in the real estate business. Later he went to South Dakota and was one of the founders of Bryant, in that state, where he built several stores and assisted in establishing a bank. He also purchased 1,800 acres of land in that vicinity near Lake Norden, which lake he named.

Benjamin Uleland Hestad and his wife were the parents of nine children: Martha Marian, Guy, Theodore, Michael, Edward, Augustus, John, Benjamin and Emma Josephine. Mr. Hestad died at Bryant, S. D., in 1904, and his widow still resides there. Mr. Hestad was the nephew of the statesman Uleland, who figured prominently in Norwegian politics and served his country in that capacity for forty years.

It is interesting to note in this connection that the great-grandfather of Mrs. John Gilbertson was General Gunder Hestad, one of the distinguished generals during the war between Norway and Sweden. He was greatly honored by his countrymen and lived to the great age of 103 years. Mrs. Gilbertson well remembers him, as when she was a child he frequently told her stories of the battles in which he had taken part.




Clarence G. Gillam

b: 1884

Clarence G. Gillam, a popular young dentist of Austin, was born in Frankfort, Spink county, South Dakota, February 27, 1884, attended the public schools of Windom, Minn., and graduated from the Windom high school in 1902. Then he entered the University of Minnesota, and after graduating from the dental department of that institution, in 1905, took up the practice of dentistry in Mountain Lake, Cottonwood county, Minnesota, remaining there until December, 1907, when he came to Austin, and associated himself with Dr. J. W. Phillips.

In 1909 he bought out his partner, and has since conducted the business alone, having a suite of finely equipped offices at 231 North Main street. Dr. Gillam is an insurgent Republican. He has affiliated himself with the state and county dental associations, and is a well-liked member of the Austin Commercial Club and the Austin Tennis Club. He is also a Master Mason.

William S. and Ida May (Loomis) Gillam, parents of Dr. Clarence G. Gillam, were natives respectively of Wisconsin and Minnesota. They went to South Dakota in 1881, and took a claim in Spink county, on which they lived until 1889, when they moved to Windom, Cottonwood county, Minnesota, where W. S. engaged in grist milling until 1904, when he engaged in the nursery business at Redfield, S. D., where he and his wife now reside.




L. C. Gillett

b: 1833

L. C. Gillett, a retired farmer now living in the village of Brownsdale, has taken his part in the life of the community, having served at various times as township supervisor, village councilman and district school clerk. He was born in Putnam county, New York, November 4, 1833, and with his parents went to Berkhannen county, Missouri, where the family remained nine years. Then they went to Vernon county, in the same state, and there the father died, after a residence of twenty-three years.

In 1867 L. C. Gillett, with his wife and mother, came to Austin, and remained four years, afterward taking up their residence in Red Rock township, where Mr. Gillett farmed twenty-five years, after which he retired. He has occupied his present comfortable residence in Brownsdale since 1904, his wife being now deceased.

Mr. and Mrs. Gillett were blessed with six children: Hattie, deceased; Delia, wife of C. A. Sleeper; Edna, deceased'; Ulysses S.; Gordon L., deceased, and Nora, wife of Henry Woodward. John Gilligan, a well known and popular citizen of Adams, was born in Ireland, son of Patrick and Mary (Hart) Gilligan. He came to this country with his parents, lived with them in New York and New Jersey. He came with them to Adams township, and grew to manhood on section 16.

In 1872 Mr. Gilligan purchased the north half of the southeast quarter of section 36, erected some excellent buildings and there carried on general farming until 1898, when he retired from active farm life and moved to Adams village. Mr. Gilligan is a gentleman of the old school, courteous in his bearing, and charitable toward all.

He married Mary Madden in April, 1871, her parents being William and Bridget Madden. In the family there are three children: John J., Walter H. and Mary C. The subject of this sketch has filled various positions of trust and honor in township and village, and has also served with credit as county commissioner.




Edward Goebel, Jr.

b: 1883

Edward Goebel, Jr., who conducts a farm at 1200 Freeborn Street, just inside the city limits of Austin, was born in Claremont, Minn., July 21, 1883, son of Edward and Amelia (La Sage) Goebel, natives of Wisconsin. He received his education in the public schools of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, his first venture for himself being as a papermaker at Appleton, Wis. Then he learned the machinist's trade, and worked in the shops at Eagle Grove, Iowa, until 1902, when he became chauffeur at Kansas City, Mo., for five years. From June to November, 1908, he had a similar position at Callander, Iowa.

Late in the fall of that year he came to Austin, where he has since been engaged in agricultural pursuits. Mr. Goebel was married November 2, 1904, at Ft. Dodge, Iowa, to Louise Peterson, of Callander, Iowa, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Peterson.

To this union have been born three children: Marvin E., born October 22, 1905; Harold P., born April 12, 1906, and an infant, born August 16, 1910. Edward Goebel, Sr., and Amelia La Sage, his wife, were natives of Wisconsin. Edward, Sr., was in the livery business in Eagle Grove, Iowa, for about eighteen years, and in 1893 came to Austin and engaged in the livery business. He is now retired and lives in La Crosse, Wis.




Winfield H. Goodsell

b: 1861

Winfield H. Goodsell was born on the farm where he is now located in Frankford township, March 13, 1861, son of Naaman and Jane A. (Goodrich) Goodsell. Here he was reared, received a liberal district school education, and continued farming with his father until the latter's death in 1888, at which time he took entire charge.

To the home place he has added other land until he now has 536 acres, all adjoining. Mr. Goodsell is a prominent Mason, belongs to the Blue Lodge at Grand Meadow, the Chapter at Le Roy, the Commandery at Austin, and the Mystic Shrine at St. Paul, and is as well a member of the M. W. A. at Grand Meadow.

Winfield H. Goodsell was married in the old village of Frankford, December 25, 1889, to Lizzie Parker, daughter of William H. and Hannah (Wiseman) Parker, at one time prominent farmers of Frankford, where William H. Parker died in 1886. The Goodsell home has been blessed with eight children.




J. B. Graves

b: 1829

J. B. Graves, a respected citizen of Brownsdale, and at one time county commissioner of Mower county, was born May 21, 1829, in Fowler, St. Lawrence county, New York, son of Gaylord and Nancy (Tuckerman) Graves.

In 1838 the entire family came west to Walworth county, Wisconsin, where the father had two years previous made a claim. J. B. spent his early life in Walworth county, and later went to Fox River, where, being a carpenter by trade, he built a number of houses. In the spring of 1861 he came to Brownsdale, and continued at his trade in addition to carrying on general farming.

Some years ago he became treasurer of the creamery at Brownsdale. In fraternal affiliations he is a Mason, having been raised to that dignity at Austin, but being now a member of Lafayette Lodge, No. 116, of Brownsdale. He married Margaret Clark, daughter of Owen and Mary (Condon) Clark, born at Utica, New York, September 20, 1835, and they had four children. Three are dead: Edwin, Mary and Howard. Alice is the wife of W. H. Lawrence.




John M. Greenman

b: 1837

John M. Greenman, for several years judge of probate of Mower county, was born in Steuben county, New York, April 15, 1837, son of Henry G. and Mary B. (Maxson) Greenman. He graduated from the Allegany College, at Alfred, Allegany county, New York, the institution being at that time known as the Alfred Academy.

After graduating, he came west in 1852, and taught school two years in Milton, Wis. In 1856 he located in Olmsted county, this state, and combined farming with the practice of law, having in the meantime been admitted to the bar. In 1863 he went back to Milton, owing to failing health. In 1870 he came to Austin, in which town 4he has since lived. He at once took up the practice of law, served as city attorney several terms at different times, and from 1880 to 1884 was county attorney. In 1902 he was elected judge of probate and served from January, 1903, to January, 1911. Judge Greenman is a Republican, a Mason, and a member of the B. P. O. E. and the M. W. A.

He was married October 24, 1858, to Elizabeth Sturdivant, daughter of Peleg Sturdivant. This union has been blessed with three children. Henry and George are dead. Fay W., who was born in May, 1878, is a prominent attorney in Austin, now associated with his father in the practice of law, the firm being styled Greenman & Greenman. Henry G. Greenman was born in New York state, and married Mary B. Maxson, who was born in a lighthouse off from Long Island. They came to Wisconsin in 1852 and spent the remainder of their lives in Milton, in that state, Henry G. dying in 1863, and Mary B. in 1886.




Matthew Gregson

b: 1838

Matthew Gregson, now deceased, for many years a prominent miller of Mower county, was a man of upright and honest dealing, one in whose integrity and honor his fellow citizens had the most implicit trust. He was born in Lancashire, England, in November, 1838. In 1856, accompanied by his sister, he crossed the ocean and located for a few years in Illinois with a sister, who had previously taken up her residence there.

He next went to Minnesota, and lived for a short time in Freeborn county, but having reached the county during a rainy season he was unfavorably impressed with the weather, and returned to Illinois. Later he went to Kansas, to Pike's Peak and to Missouri. Then he went south, and enlisted at Vicksburg in the Confederate army, serving under Bragg, Beauregard, Johnson and others. When Rosecrans was advancing on Tellehoma, Tenn., Mr. Gregson refused to retreat with his regiment, and was captured by Union troops belonging to McCook's corps.

He remained a prisoner four months, and was then paroled in November, 1863. In the spring of 1864 lie returned to Mower county and engaged with his brother in the milling business south of Austin. He remained in this concern until 1869 or 1870, when he engaged for a short time in the mercantile business in Austin.

The next spring he leased the Austin mill and operated it until his removal to Ramsey. In 1872 he erected the Ramsey mill and remained its owner and proprietor until the time of his death, in October, 1900. The subject of this sketch was married January 3, 1866, to Sarah G. Otter, who was born in Madison, Ind., in 1839. This marriage resulted in eight children: Louisa, Anna, George, Wallace, Clara and William. Mary and Frank are deceased. The mother of this family died September 15, 1882.




Wallace Gregson

b: 1871

Wallace Gregson, of Austin, who makes a business of electrical construction and supplies, was born in Austin on September 23, 1871, fourth child of Matthew and Sarah Gregson. After his father's death he continued to operate the Ramsey mill for a time and then disposed of his interests to J. H. Meyer & Brother, the former being now the sole proprietor and owner of the mill which now has a capacity of seventy barrels a day.

Mr. Gregson then took up his present-business. He married Edna G. Carll, daughter of Freeman A. and Eliza E. Carll, and they have two children, Doris and Wallace C. Mr. Gregson is a member of the Masonic order, belonging to the Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery and Eastern Star. Mrs. Gregson is a member of the Eastern Star.




Luther N. Griffith

b: 1824

Luther N. Griffith, better known as “Squire Griffith,” is one of the venerable figures of Mower county. He came here with the early settlers and has lived through the greater part of the stirring events which have gone to make up Mower county history. Although well past the four score mark, he is still hale and hearty and venerated alike by old and young.

He was born in Pike, Allegany county, New York, November 18, 1824, son of Ebenezer Griffith, a pioneer, sheriff and hotel keeper of Ohio. L. N. received a good education in public and select schools, farmed a while and then engaged in the hotel business in Elyria, Ohio.

In 1856 he came west to Chatfield, Minnesota, and on July 1, 1856, came to Austin, and with J. L. Davidson and L. S. Morgan, purchased eighty acres, a part of which was laid out. Mr. Griffith was successively saw mill man, postmaster and justice of the peace in the pioneer years. From 1872 to 1882 he was again justice of the peace. He was also a councilman, and city recorder in the early days.

The most of his time, however, has been spent on his 200- acre farm in Lansing township, which he now rents, his home being in the city. Mr. Griffith was married July 13, 1849, at Grass Lake, Michigan, to Triphena Austin, daughter of James Austin and Tamer Chapin, both now deceased.

This union has been blessed with two children: Edward James, who was born in Austin, August 31, 1861, and Ella L., who was born May 31, 1850, and died June 25, 1869. Edward J. conducts the home farm. He married Jessie Simpson, and has two children: Lloyd N., and Leah Triphena. Squire Griffith has been a life-long Democrat.




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