Mower County, Minnesota

Group File 07


George W. Grimshaw

b: 1833

George W. Grimshaw, now deceased, was a fine type of the early Minnesota pioneer. He was a prominent citizen of both Mower and Steele county, took a fervent interest in the agricultural development of this part of the state, and was a staunch advocate of everything that tended toward the betterment and progress of humanity.

He was born in Oneida county, New York, January 10, 1833, and at three years of age was taken by his parents to Jefferson county, New York, where he received his education in the district schools and in the academy there. He came west in 1856, located in Aurora township, Steele county, and then seven years later took up his residence in Lansing township, Mower county, where he engaged in farming until 1893, when he came to Austin, built a home at 610 West Winona street, and there lived until his death, April 16, 1904. Mr. Grimshaw served as town clerk of Aurora township, Steele county, and clerk and chairman of Lansing county, in Mower county.

He was instrumental in organizing the Mower County Agricultural Society, which is still in existence. He was a member of the Methodist church for over forty years, being a steward and serving on the board of trustees for many years.

He was married August 16, 1858, at Loraine, Jefferson county, New York, to Larena Hanson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Hanson, and this union was blessed with four children: Adelbert, who died at five years; Addie, his twin, who died at six weeks; Ida May, now Mrs. J. E. White, of St. Paul, and Rose E., now Mrs. C. L. Rice, of Austin. The Cedar River Grange, at Ramsey, Minn., was instrumental in organizing the Mower County Fair, and Mr. G. W. Grimshaw was president of the first Mower County Fair held in Austin and served several years in succession.




Moses D. Gue

Moses D. Gue, now deceased, one of the pioneers of Fillmore county, just over the eastern line of Mower county, was born in New York state and there spent his early days, being married March 20, 1848, at Boonville, Oneida county, New York, to Maria Hurlbert, daughter of John Hurlbert. Mr. Gue came west in 1850, and located in Wisconsin, where his family joined him some months later. From that time until 1856 he engaged in the manufacture of wagons at Portage, Wis. In the latter year he came to Minnesota and took up a government claim on the line between Iowa and Fillmore county, where he engaged in farming and other enterprises. He built his residence in the neighboring town of Lime Springs, and there resided until 1895, when he retired and came to Austin, where he lived until his death, May 28, 1904.

To Mr. and Mrs. Gue were born nine children: Charles M., Mrs. Cornelia Miles, Frank D., Mrs. Alice Addison, Inez Gue (deceased), Mrs. Grace Pugh, Mrs. Cora Le Coque, Horatio S. and Herbert E. Charles M. is at Hamilton; Horatio Seymour is in Michigan, and Herbert F. is an operator on the Milwaukee & Northern. Mrs. Gue was born in Boonville, Oneida county, New York. Her father was a constable and collector at Boonville for twenty years and was the father of fourteen children, seven of whom are living, Mrs. Minerva Reed being eighty-nine years of age. John Hurlbert helped to build the first schoolhouse and the first church in Boonville and was a good and loving man always.

He was at Sackett's Harbor in 1812 when the British and Indians were making their raids. His father, Josiah, was a coaster during the war of the Revolution. Maria Hurlbert, now Mrs. Gue, was reared in Boonville, and tells with relish of the whipping she received in 1830 when four years of age, from her first teacher, a Tory, Miss Willard, who thrashed her soundly for shouting "Hurrah for Jackson." Later Mrs. Gue taught school herself in New York State, starting at the age of seventeen. She was married March 20, 1848, to Moses D. Gue, who died May 28, 1904.

Mrs. Gue is very active for one of her advanced years. She is a capable business woman and looks after her own affairs. She is a member of the Christian church, and in these afternoon days of her life she reaps much benefit and sweet consolation from that faith, being a constant reader of all the published sermons pertaining to her church. She has always been a hard worker, and is still very industrious. She is eighty-four years of age, has raised a large family, for whom she acted as school teacher in the early days, has done much good and is highly esteemed and respected.




Daniel Guiney

Daniel Guiney, a pioneer of Red Rock township, was born in County Cork, Ireland, and there married Hanna Fitzgerald, a native of the same county. In 1853 he came to America with his brothers, and after a short stay in Boston, Mass., located in Illinois. In 1856 he came to Red Rock township, pre-empted a quarter section, erected a log cabin and carried on farming until the time of his death, June 30, 1900. He left twelve children: John, Timothy, Daniel, Patrick, Frank, Mary, Ellen, Anna, Julia, Lillie and Edward J.; Ellen is the wife of George Murphy. Julia is a sister in the Dominican order of nuns. James died in infancy. Edward J. Guiney is a native of this county, born in Red Rock township, where he still resides, February 18, 1869, son of Daniel and Hanna (Fitzgerald) Guiney.

Until recently Mr. Guiney has spent his entire life as a resident of the old homestead. He attended the schools of District 40, in Windom township, and was reared to agricultural pursuits. Since his father's death he and his brothers have managed the home place, which is one of the largest farms in the township. Edward J. Guiney is a respected citizen of the township and is a popular member of the Knights of Columbus. He and the other members of the family attend the Catholic church at Austin.




Jeremiah Guinney

b: 1842

Jeremiah Guinney, now deceased, was one of the early merchants of Austin. He was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1842. His parents died when he was a child. When he was eleven years of age he landed in America with his brothers. In the spring of that year located in Boston, and in the fall Jeremiah moved to Illinois, where he remained three years.

It was in 1856 that he came to Red Rock township, in this county. He learned the harnessmaker's trade. In 1868 he formed a partnership in the same business with a Mr. Kaiser, and this partnership continued until the death of Jeremiah Guinney, December 13, 1890.

The subject of this sketch married Mary Welch, a native of County Cork, Ireland, daughter of John and Anora (Keefe) Welch. Mrs. Guinney is the mother of four children: Anna, living at home; Daniel, a harnessmaker by trade; Minnie E., a bookkeeper at the Albert Thon dry goods store in Austin, and Lauretta, a stenographer and bookkeeper.




Reuben Oscar Hall

b: 1829

Reuben Oscar Hall, a retired businessman of Austin, and one of the honored old residents of Mower county, was born in Rochester, Vt., January 10, 1829, son of Reuben and Marena (Brown) Hall. He received his early education in the district schools of his neighborhood, and took one year's course in the high school at Rutland, Vt. He came west in 1850, and located in Wisconsin, farming summers and teaching school winters for six years. In 1856 he went to Mendota, Ill., and there engaged in the grocery business until 1866, in which year he went to Wheaton, Ill., a short distance out of Chicago, in DuPage county, and purchased a farm.

Three years later, in 1869, he went to Dixon, Ill., and engaged in the flour business four years. The year 1873 dates his arrival in Austin. In that year he came here and opened a dry goods store in partnership with his son-in-law, Col. Charles L. West. After twenty-six years' constant attention to this business, he sold the business to Colonel West and retired. Then he spent nearly two years in California and one year traveling in the southern states. Mr. Hall is a Republican in politics, having been an Abolitionist and a Prohibitionist also; has served as sheriff of Mower county four years, from 1875 to 1879; has been alderman of Austin from the second ward, and has done excellent service to the city as chairman of the Austin board of education.

He is a high degree Mason, and has been a trustee of the Methodist church for over forty years. The subject of this sketch was married April 8, 1852, to Frances Annette Smith, a native of Schoharie county, New York, born April 8, 1834, and died July 25, 1896, leaving six living children. Eliza Marena, born May 4, 1856, in Mendota, Ill., is now Mrs. Lyman D. Baird. Charlotte Cerucia, born January 6, 1853, in Winnebago county, Wisconsin, married Col. C. L. West, and is now deceased. Frank O., born July 29, 1860, in Mendota, Ill., is a groceryman of Austin. Adelbert Eugene, born July 16, 1871, in Dixon, Ill., is agent for the Wells-Fargo Express Company, at Madison, S. D. Fred H., born September 12, 1869, in Dixon, Ill., lives in Kansas and travels for the Marshall Field Company, of Chicago. Jay Mason, born March 25, 1873, is a St. Paul dentist. Mr. Hall was married the second time August 31, 1897, to Alice Gertrude Harvey, of Woodstock, Vt., daughter of George W. and Caroline (Conant) Harvey, of Woodstock, Vt., the former being still living and the latter dead. To this union have been born two children: Louise Elizabeth, born February 18, 1899, and Reuben Harvey, born April 17, 1905.

It is worthy of note that the old Harvey homestead in Woodstock, Vt., has been in the family since the time of Mrs. Hall's great-great-grandfather in revolutionary times, and is now owned by Mrs. Hall's father, G. W. Harvey. Edmond Harvey, Mrs. Hall's great-great-grandfather, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war.




Reuben Hall

b: abt 1800

Reuben Hall, father of Reuben Oscar Hall, was born in Vermont and there married Marena Brown, a native of the same state. They came west in 1853 and located in Wisconsin, coming to Mower county in 1867. Here they took up their residence and farmed a few miles out of Austin all their lives.

Reuben Hall lived to be 80 years of age, and his wife reached the age of 93. Both now repose in Oakwood cemetery at Austin. John Brown, maternal grandfather of Reuben Oscar Hall, was one of the first settlers in the town of Rochester, Vt. He was a veteran of the War of 1812, and took part in the battle of Plattsburg.




H. S. Hammond

H. S. Hammond, retired farmer and president of the Lansing Co-operative Dairy Company, now living in Austin, was born in Boone county, Illinois, son of Henry B. and Hester (Butler) Hammond. He came to Mower county in February, 1874, and settled on section 16, in Lansing township. Previous to coming here he had served nine months in the Civil war, enlisting in Company B, One Hundred and Fifty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, at the last call for troops when eighteen years of age. He enlisted as a private, and was mustered out as a corporal, September 21, 1865, at Springfield, Ill.

Mr. Hammond has spent the larger part of his life as a farmer, and is now practically retired. He kept a store in Lansing four years and was one of the promoters in company with H. B. Roe, Harvey McIntyre and 0. C. LaBar of the Lansing Co-operative Creamery Company. This concern is the largest of its kind in Mower county, does an extensive and profitable business, and produces 3,000 pounds of butter a week, the product being shipped to New York. Mr. Hammond married Jennie E. Hunt, daughter of Robert and Jane Hunt, both natives of England, Robert Hunt being a paper maker by trade. Mr. and Mirs. Hammond have had five children. Nina A., of Lansing village, married Alexander McLean, now deceased. Frederick T. is dead. Charles S. lives in California. Arthur O. lives in Eagle Bend, Todd county, Minnesota. Esther E. is now Mrs. Ernest Carll, of Lansing village. Mr. Hammond is a staunch Republican. He has been supervisor of Lansing township, and has served as clerk of his school district at Lansing. The family faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Henry B. Hammond was born in Pennsylvania, and went to Boone county, Illinois, when fourteen years of age. He married Hester Butler and had four children: Lydia C. died in infancy; Henry S. lives in Lansing township, Minnesota; Wealthea E. married Samuel Illingworth, and is now dead; Francis T. died in 1865.




Jonas Haney

b: 1828

Jonas Haney, the pioneer, was born in Sussex county, New Jersey, August 1, 1828. He grew to manhood in his native county, receiving his education in the common schools. His parents were John and Sarah (Berk) Haney, the former a native of Pennsylvania, of German descent and the latter a native of New Jersey, of English extraction.

This couple reared a family of nine children, and continued to reside in New Jersey the remainder of their days. In 1851 Jonas Haney went to Port Jervis, Orange county, N. Y., and was there married to Sophia Miller, born in Orange county, New York, January 15, 1831. He worked at the carpenter and joiner's trade three years after his marriage and in the spring of 1856 came to Minnesota, landing at Winona the first day of May. He remained there until September of the same year, when he came to Mower county and settled in section 30, Lansing township, where he remained until the time of his death, in 1892, with the exception of two years which he spent in Austin.

Mr. Haney was a Republican in politics, and filled various offices of trust in the township. He was county commissioner two terms, assessor of his township for some time, and chairman of the board of supervisors. He had four sons--John W., now living in Oregon; Myron C., now deceased; Charles and Frank. His wife died in 1909.




Frank Haney

b: 1859

Frank Haney, for many years a supervisor of the town of Lansing, was born in Lansing township, January 24, 1859, son of Jonas and Sophia (Miller) Haney. He was reared on the home farm, attended the district schools, and later took up farming for himself, being now one of the substantial men of the township. Like his father before him he is a Republican in politics, and his term as supervisor has extended over a period of fourteen years.

He is a, member of the Modern Woodmen, the Eagles and the Court of Honor. The subject of this sketch was married many years ago to Lillie A. Lacy, born in the old Lacy house, in Austin, daughter of John S. Lacy. Mr. and Mrs. Haney are the happy parents of six children-Sophia, Robert L., Orma, Leonard, Aaron and Everett.




Hans J. Hansen

b: 1846

Hans J. Hansen, a progressive and popular farmer of Adams township, was born in Norway, August 30, 1846, and there received his early education. At the age of fourteen he became an apprentice in one of the largest machine shops in the city of Bergen, for four years.

At the age of eighteen he, with his parents, sister and brother, immigrated to America, and left Bergen Harbor June 5, 1864. After a voyage of six weeks and two days they entered the harbor of Quebec, Canada, and from there went up the St. Lawrence river and via Montreal to Chicago and Mc- Gregor. He came to Calmar, Iowa, August 13, 1864.

During the fall and winter he worked at his trade in Decorah and Calmar. In the spring of 1865 he went to Chicago and from there to Muskegon, Mich., where he worked for two months in Foster's mill on Black river. From there he went back to Chicago, where he located and worked at his trade in the Union wagon works, corner of Canal and Adams Street.

In November, 1867, he came to Adams, Minnesota, and worked at his trade in partnership with his father, who built the first shop on the southwest corner of Main and Fourth streets, and was the first blacksmith in tle village of Adams in the fall and winter of 1867-68. In the spring of 1868 he filed on the north half of the northeast quarter of section 19 and built the first little frame house on that prairie in the fall of that year.

He purchased this eighty acres at $9 per acre from the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad company, then called the Minnesota Central. May 8, 1868, he hired to Wagonmaker William I. Brown, of Austin, and was the first blacksmith that worked in his new built shop at the corner of Bridge and St. Paul street, where the new federal building is now located, opposite the Lutheran church. While working for Mr. Brown, he ironed the wagon that took the first premium at the first county fair held in Mower county.

He was married December 27, 1869, to Emma Petersen, a native of Norway, in the Little Cedar log church, by Pastor C. L. Clausen, "the first minister who preached the gospel for the pioneers. This union has been blessed with nine children, four girls and five boys, of whom eight, three girls and five boys, survive. They are: Minnie B., Oscar B., Kathinka S., Peter C., Herman A., George E., Nellie R., and Gustav W. The four oldest are married. The husband of Minnie Bertha is a merchant tailor of Wahpeton, North Dakota; Oscar B. is a blacksmith at Hartford, South Dakota; Kathinka Sophie is the wife of Nels N. Bergheim, an attorney at law of Little Falls, Minnesota. Peter Cornelius is a merchant in Carver, Minnesota. In 1911 the rest of the children are unmarried. Mr. Hanson worked at his trade in Austin, besides for Brown, for Bates Bros., and G. K. Hanson, builders of wagons and carriages. In the spring of 1874 he sold his property, house and lot, to Solner & Morgan, of Austin, and moved on the farm, where he still resides.

He has from time to time added to his farm until he now owns 280 acres, which constitute one of the excellent farms in southern Minnesota. On this tract which he acquired as prairie land, he has erected a good dwelling house, fine barn, sheds, and in fact all necessary buildings. for housing of his stock, crops, and abundant equipment of tools and machinery. His house is supplied with telephone and other conveniences, which go to make up the comforts of a modern dwelling. Being a public-spirited man, Mr. Hanson has felt the necessity of making use of the facilities, which keep him abreast of the times, and in touch with the business world.

He is a staunch Republican and of the progressive type. He has been repeatedly honored by public office. For six years he was town supervisor, eighteen years justice of the peace, nine years town clerk, and for several years has held his present office of town treasurer. He has been secretary of the Nevada Co-operative Creamery Association since its organization and commencement of business, April 6, 1894, and still holds the office.

He is a member of the Lutheran church, and joined the Little Cedar congregation in May, 1874, and with characteristic energy has assisted in the advancement of the congregation, as being a hard worker in the church, holding the following offices of trust in continuance: trustee and treasurer. He was first elected superintendent of the Sunday school, and since 1884 has been the secretary and still holds that office. For the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the organization of the Little Cedar Lutheran congregation, which took place November 26, 1909, he wrote the history of the Little Cedar Settlement, and the congregation, and had it printed and bound in book form, out of gratitude to the settlement and church that he loved.




Peter Hanson

b: 1850

Peter Hanson, a retired farmer of Austin, is a native of Denmark, his natal date being January 24, 1850. His education has been largely self-acquired, though he attended the public schools of his native land for a time.

In 1869 he crossed the Atlantic to America, locating at Milton Junction, Rock county, Wisconsin, working on a farm a while and then going to Milwaukee, where he remained four years. In 1876 he came to Minnesota, settling at Rose Creek, Mower county, and purchasing some land, started farming operations on his own account, continuing in this line of work until his removal to Austin nine years ago, where he has since lived retired, enjoying a well-earned rest after his years of toil.

His politics are Republican, and he has always borne his part in local affairs, serving as supervisor during his fifteen years' residence in Nevada township, and in the same office in Brownsdale, where he lived eleven years. He is identified with the Masons, belonging to the Blue Lodge, Chapter, Commnandery, and the Eastern Star Lodge. He was master of the lodge two years.

In 1876 he was married to Hannah Hanson, by whom he has two children: Albert H. and Elizabeth D. Peter and Katharine Hanson, parents of our subject, lived all their lives in Denmark, the father working as a mechanic.




Silas Burton Hart

b: 1855

Silas Burton Hart, a substantial and well-liked farmer of Windom township, was born July 19, 1855, in Clayton, N. Y., son of Benjamin and Mary (Bachelder) Hart. He was reared in Iowa, and educated in the public schools of that state, after which he took up farming with his friends for a time and then started out in life for himself. He now owns 120 acres of good land in section 32, Windom, and successfully conducts farming operations, his home being comfortable, his barns adequate, and his machinery modern and well kept.

Mr. Hart is a Republican in politics and being of a sociable nature he has allied himself with the Woodmen and the Workmen, in both of which he is a popular member.

He married Jennie Varco, daughter of Thomas and Emeline Varco, of Austin township, this county. The ceremony was performed March 12, 1882, at the bride's home, and their union has been blessed with eight children. There are three dead, Delilah A., born August 25, 1888; Grace V., born August 28, 1894, and one unnamed infant born November 22, 1896. The living are: Benjamin Thomas, born December 30, 1882, now living in Austin; S. Emeline, born September 20, 1884, now living at home; Paul B., born August 28, 1886, now living in Austin; Gladys I., born March 21, 1890, now wife of Arthur De Remer, of Nevada township; and Ada J., born May 13, 1892, now living at home. Emeline and Ada are both successful teachers. Benjamin Hart and Mary Batchelder, his wife, were born respectively in New York state and Vermont. The former was a shipbuilder and died June 26, 1861, at the age of 53. The latter died February 22, 1873. By their marriage, which occurred June 8, 1828, they had twelve children. Of these Silas B. is the youngest. Four of the family are now living. It is worthy of note that three of the brothers were in the Civil war. One, now living in Plymouth, Mich, was severely wounded and one, Benjamin, was born September 3, 1841, enlisted in Company K, Twenty-ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and died January 3, 1863, at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Mo., while in' the United States service.




Eugene V. Hart

b: 1870

Eugene V. Hart was born December 16, 1870, at Owatonna, Minn., son of J. Allen and Amy (Varco) Hart. In the fall of 1879 the family moved to Mower county, purchasing the northeast quarter of section 25, Austin township. He received his education in the district schools of Austin township, but at an early age was forced to leave school and take up the responsibilities of the farm, this move being made necessary by the death of his father.

With courage and ability he set at work and his efforts have been crowned with success. He is honored in the community and has been treasurer of the township several years. He is also steward of the Grange. Mr. Hart has a fine farm of 228 acres, on which he conducts general farming and stock raising.

He was married December 10, 1902, to Rachael Brooks, and two daughters, Irene and Bernice O., have blessed their union. The family faith is that of the Baptist church.




John C. Hawkins

b: 1833

John C. Hawkins, horticulturist, agriculturist, and lecturer, is one of the most prominent of Mower county citizens. For years he has gone up and down the county and state preaching the planting of apples and plums, and his efforts have seen fruition in the many successful orchards that have been cultivated throughout southern Minnesota.

John C. Hawkins was born in Center county, Pennsylvania, June 2, 1833, son of Vincent and Annie (Crowell) Hawkins. He learned the trade of carpenter and joiner, served an apprenticeship of three years, and after his marriage followed this vocation for several years. He enlisted August 5, 1861, in the Second Ohio Light Artillery, under Captain Carlton, and served in the Southwest under John C. Freemont. In 1862 he was discharged for disability and reenlisted in the Second Ohio Heavy Artillery, thus seeing service in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. He was discharged in August, 1865, and was mustered out at Nashville.

Then he came directly to Mower county, reaching here September 5, 1865. He settled on a farm in Windom township and there continued to reside for many years. He built a fine home and suitable barns and also erected two schoolhouses. Throughout the period of his residence on the farm, Mr. Hawkins continued to carry on horticultural and agricultural operations in a scientific manner, thus gaining the valuable experience which makes him in such demand as a speaker at all farmers' meetings. Mr. Hawkins is a member of various horticultural and agricultural societies and has served as an officer in many of them. He is at present secretary of the Mower County Old Settlers' Association.

While in Windom he served in various offices from supervisor down. He is a member of McIntire Post, No. 66, G. A. R. and of other organizations. The subject of this sketch was married June 18, 1854, to Sarah C. Woodward, of Richmond, Ohio, daughter of John and Cornelia (Turner) Woodward. Five children have blessed this union: V. J. Hawkins, M. D., of St. Paul; Anna, wife of M. J. Gregg, a farmer of Windom township; Susan, wife of James Philbrick, a farmer of Windom township; Millie, wife of Norman Gregg, of Austin; Joy, on the old homestead. Vincent Hawkins was a native of England. He came to the United States in 1818 and located in Phillipsburg, Pa., where he was a master miner, an occupation he followed until his death.

He married Annie Crowell and of their children five are living: John C. lives in Austin; Ellen is the widow of John Burris; Mary L. is the wife of Charles Skinner, of Ludlow, Mo.; I. N. lives in Washington, D. C., and J. K. lives in Canon City, Col. In 1900 John C. Hawkins retired from active life and moved to Austin, where he has since resided. Aside from his city property he owns 160 acres of highly improved land in Windom township.




Wentworth Hayes

b: 1831

Wentworth Hayes, a retired business man of LeRoy, has taken an active interest in the affairs of the community, and his sterling integrity and uprightness have won for him an enviable place in the esteem of his fellow citizens. Of him it has often been said that his life has been an exemplification of the theory that absolute honesty in business brings the highest meed of success, even in these days when dishonesty seems so rampant in public and private life.

Wentworth Hayes was born in Alton, Belknap county, New Hampshire, May 23, 1831, son of Joseph and Betsy (Brewster) Hayes, natives of New York, and prominent farmers in that state. The subject of this sketch received his early education in the district schools of Alton, and then entered the Wolfsborough Academy, at Wolfsborough, N. H.

After graduation from this academy he entered the employ of a shoe factory, and became so expert a cutter that he saved his employer from one to one and a half cents on every pair of shoes made. Mr. Hayes continued in this line until 1854, when he came to LeRoy and located in the old village. He preempted 160 acres of timber land and later purchased two other quarter sections, making at that time 480 acres.

In 1862 he entered into contract with the United States government for carrying mail, and for nearly four years conducted the stage routes from Decorah to Osage and from Decorah to Preston and Chatfield. Eleven months before his four years' contract had expired, he sold out, making $1,000 bonus on the contract aside from clearing thirty-five per cent on his equipment.

It is worthy of note that while in this business he had a stage coach imported from Concord, N. H., at a cost of $1,000. After selling his stage route he opened a store in the old village of LeRoy, and when LeRoy station was opened he moved his place of business to the new location.

On January 19 a year and a half later his store was burned, entailing a loss of $13,000, with only $2,000 insurance. This caused him to sell some of his land for the purpose of rebuilding at once. He successfully continued in this business until 1898, when he retired from active life.

He has since spent his time in retirement, making his home in a beautiful residence in LeRoy which he erected. Aside from his mercantile business he dealt largely in farms and real estate, and also did a large stock and grain business. He was instrumental in the organization of the First State Bank, of LeRoy, and later became its president, holding that position until failing health caused his retirement from same.

The subject of this sketch was married August 18, 1858 to Eliza A. Bishop, who was born May 16, 1839, at Conneaut, Ashtabula county, Ohio, daughter of William and Lucy Bishop, natives of Vermont. Mr. and Mrs. Hayes have seven children: Carrie M. is now Mrs. Charles Webber, of Austin; Hattie E. is now Mrs. Horace Dubendorff, of California; Lillie B. is wife of John Stephan, merchant and postmaster at Waltham; Alice A. is now Mrs. Fred Hall, of Parsons, Kan.; Albert J. is cashier of the First State Bank, of LeRoy; Iva A. is now Mrs. Frank Thornhill, of Spring Valley; Bessie is now Mrs. Robert Woodburn, of Hampton, Iowa. The members of the family are* highly thought of in the respective communities wherein they have made their homes.




Christian A. Hegge

b: 1866

Christian A. Hegge, M. D., skilled practitioner of Austin, one of the members of the firm of Hegge & Hegge, physicians and surgeons, was born in Biri, Norway, April 23, 1866. He attended school in Norway, and came to America in 1887. He at once entered the Augsberg Seminary, at Minneapolis, and after two years entered the scientific department of the University of Minnesota.

In 1890 he entered the medical department of the University of Illinois, graduating in 1893. After a year spent as an interne in the city hospital at Minneapolis, he came to Austin in 1894, and in partnership with his brother, Olav H., started the practice of medicine. In 1900 he took a post-graduate course at the Chicago Clinical School, in 1903 attended clinics in Germany, England and the Scandinavian countries, in 1906 attended the Chicago Policlinic, and in 1908 at the Chicago Post-Graduate School.

For twelve years he has been one of the physicians and surgeons at St. Olav's hospital, in Austin, which he and his brother founded. Dr. Christian A. Hegge belongs to the American, state and county medical associations, and has been secretary of the latter two years. He belongs to the Masons and the Maccabees and votes the Democratic ticket.

The subject of this sketch was married May 14, 1895, and to this union have been born two children, Nina, July 31, 1896, and Agnes, February 9, 1899, the wife's name being Isabella Dalager. The family residence is at 916 Lansing avenue.




Olav H. Hegge

b: 1872

Olav H. Hegge, A. B., M. D., a well-known doctor of Austin, one of the members of the firm of Hegge & Hegge, physicians and surgeons, was born in Biri, Norway, March 20, 1872, and there received his earlier education. He came to America in 1889, entered the University of Minnesota, and then the medical department of the University of Illinois, graduating in 1893. Then he spent one year as an intern in the Bethesda Hospital, St. Paul, and in 1894 came to Austin, where he joined his brother, C. A.

For twelve years Dr. Olav H. Hegge has been one of the physicians and surgeons at St. Olav's Hospital, of which he was the real founder. In 1903 Dr. O. H. Hegge spent a year attending clinics in Germany, England and the Scandinavian countries. He has also taken a number of post-graduate courses in the leading post-graduate schools of New York, Chicago and New Orleans.

He belongs to the American, state and county medical associations, and was secretary of the latter organization one year. He is a Mason, a Republican in politics, and a member of the Lutheran church.

The subject of this sketch was married April 20, 1898, to Stella L. Johnson, and this union has been blessed with three children-Milda, Rolv and Valfrid. The family home is at 811 High Street in Austin.




Aaron E. Henslin

b: 1865

Aaron E. Henslin, M. D., C. M., who has taken a deep interest in the business and social progress of Mower county, as well as in its hygiene and sanitation, was born in Racine, in this county, June 20, 1865, son of Frederic and Ernstine (Weckwerth) Henslin. He was reared on a farm in his native township, attended the Spring Valley high school, and in 1888 entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Keokuk, Iowa, graduating with a medical degree in 1891.

Then he took two courses in the Chicago Polyclinic, and in the fall of 1894 entered the Milwaukee Medical College, graduating with honors in surgery in 1895.

In the summer of 1891 Dr. Henslin practiced a short time in Adams. After completing his special studies he came to LeRoy, where he has been since that date in active practice, having an extensive clientele, and enjoying that full measure of confidence and regard which is the skillful physician's reward.

Dr. Henslin is a member of the American, state and county medical associations, as well as of the Austin, Flint and Cedar Valley association, of Iowa, the Anti-Tubercular Congress, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served as president of the Mower county association. He is also county coroner and county health officer.

His civic interest is shown by his membership in the LeRoy Improvement Association, and he is also a member of the 1. O. 0. F., the Degree of Rebekah, tie B. P. 0. E. and the M. W. A. He was one of the chief promoters and one of the organizers of the LeRoy Telephone Company, of which he is now the treasurer.

Dr. Henslin was married June 1, 1905, at Racine, this county, to May L. Pinckney, and their son, Robert F., died at the age of two years.




George H. Herzog

b: 1873

George H. Herzog, of the firm of Lovell & Herzog, auctioneers, was born in Austin, August 24, 1873, son of Henry and Agathie (Fischer) Herzog, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Germany. Henry Herzog located in Austin about 1865 and engaged in the carpenter department of the C., M. & St. P. Ry., with which company he still remains, having the unusual record of forty-six years' continuous service in one employ.

George H. received his education in the public schools of Austin, and after reaching manhood's estate engaged in farming. In 1893 he took up the machinery business and was on the road as a traveling salesman three years. Then he became a salesman for the Parsons Self-feeding and Band Cutter Company, of Neibo, Iowa. and continued in this employ until 1902, when he again went on the road as a traveling salesman for three years. Then after farming in South Dakota for two years he returned to Austin and engaged in the retail and jobbing business with A. B. Lovell.

He is a member of the I.O.O.F. and the M.W.A., votes the Republican ticket and attends the Catholic church. The subject of this sketch was married November 16, 1898, to Fannie B. Guthrie, and two children have blessed this union: Vern D., born May 2, 1909, and Ruth, who died in infancy.




Alden A. Hickok

b: 1856

Alden A. Hickok was born in Green county, Wisconsin, December 23, 1856, son of John H. and Christy S. (Bennett) Hickok. He was brought to Mower county by his parents in 1863 and attended the district schools and the Austin high school. He taught school winters and worked on the farm at home summers until twenty-six years of age, and then went to Minneapolis, where, after working in the shipping room and offices of a wholesale furniture manufacturing company for a time, he went on the road as a traveling salesman for the same concern for six years.

After this he again returned to Mower county, and after three years of teaching purchased the old home farm of eighty acres, on which he now conducts general farming. He was elected assessor in 1904, and with the exception of the year 1905 has held that position continuously.

Mr. Hickok was married March 30, 1892, to Lillie M. Bishop, of LeRoy village, and to this union have been born ten children-Otto B., Mina Belle, Christea May, Helen C., Adson M., Lillian L., Lou Thorne, Etta E., Alice A. and Nathan J., all of whom, with the exception of Mina Belle, who is attending high school in LeRoy, are still at home.




John H. Hickok

b: 1830

John H. Hickok, who came to Austin township in early war times, was born in Ohio in 1830 and came to Green county, Wisconsin, in 1846, his people coming some time later. He married Christy S. Bennett, who came with her parents about the same time, in 1853. In 1863 John H. Hickok and his family came to Mower county, and here he preempted eighty acres of land in Lyle township, selling out his claim a year later.

In the early days he helped to build the historic old Gregson-Officer mill. Mr. Hickok followed general farming on his farm in section 25, Austin township, which he bought in 1865, until 1891, when he retired and moved to Austin, where his wife died in August, 1905, and where he passed away in November, 1908. Mr. Hickok was assessor of Austin, with the exception of one year, from 1872 to 1891.

Of his children, Alden A. is assessor of Austin township; Mrs. W. W. Hommel lives in Austin and has two children, Harry and Meda; Mrs. H. R. Campbell also lives in Austin, and E. H. died in November, 1909, leaving his widow, Elizabeth, and three children- Beatrice, Ray and Walter, likewise living in Austin.




Benjamin Hilker

b: 1843

Benjamin Hilker, a veteran of the Civil war, now deceased, and for many years a well-liked resident of Austin, was born in Preston, Ontario, November 22, 1843, and as a boy moved with his parents to Fort Elgin, Ontario, where he grew to manhood. He was married there January 22, 1869, to Abigail Detwiler, daughter of John R. Detwiler. Mr. and Mrs. Hilker came west in 1873, and settled in Lansing, where they lived on a farm for twelve years.

In 1885 they moved to Austin, where the family has since resided. For three years Mr. Hilker was in the meat business with Fiehn & McMann. Later he worked at the trade of mason and house mover. During the Civil war, while at work in the Michigan woods, he enlisted at Flint, Mich., in Co. I, 30th Mich. Vol. Inf., in 1864, serving until the close of the war.

He died September 10, 1905. Mr. and Mrs. Hilker had five children: Mrs. Dell Roberts, John Hilker, Mrs. Eugene Fairbanks, Albert Hilker and Mrs. Charles Pitcher. Abigail Detwiler Hilker, widow of Benjamin Hilker, now makes her home at 400 Water street, Austin. She was born in Roseville, Ontario, Canada, and is the daughter of John R. and Nancy (Dodge) Detwiler, the former a hotel keeper in Canada. John R. Detwiler and his father were both from Pennsylvania, and of Dutch (Holland) ancestry, the latter for many years conducting a grist mill on the Schuylkill river in that state.




O. J. Hill

b: 1835

O. J. Hill, a retired farmer now living in Austin, dates his residence in Mower county from 1857. He was born in Carroll county, New Hampshire, March 8, 1835, son of James and Sally (Brown) Hill, both natives of New Hampshire, the former dying in that state and the latter coming to Red Rock township in 1857, and there ending her days. O. J. received his education in the district schools, moved to Oshkosh in 1853 and then in 1857 came to Mower county, making the trip by ox team, which took four weeks, locating in Red Rock township.

He purchased 160 acres of government land at $2.50 an acre and later acquired 200 acres of railroad land. Still later he purchased 220 acres, owning at the present time 480 acres, all of which he developed and improved, and nearly all of which he broke. Here he built a beautiful home and followed general farming successfully until 1898, when he retired and moved to Austin, where he now resides.

While on the farm he made a specialty of breeding fine stock, especially Red Polls and Shorthorns. He sold four different teams which he raised for $400 a pair. For six years Mr. Hill was chairman of Red Rock township, and he also served various terms on the school board and as pathmaster. He is a Republican in politics.

The subject of this sketch was married March 6, 1862, to Frances Ransom, of Ripon, Wis., whose father erected the first house in Oshkosh. To this union have been born seven children: Walter J., of Oregon; Arthur H., of Oelwein, Iowa; Eliza G., wife of C. P. Lewis; Edmund T., who occupies the old farm in Red Rock township; Laura J., James O. and Sallie E. The family faith is that of the Episcopal Church.




F. L. Hill

F. L. Hill, now deceased, was a substantial farmer of Red Rock township, and his death was a distinct loss to the community. He came to Mower county in the middle eighties, and farmed until his death, May 29, 1909, at the age of forty-nine years.

He was married in 1883 to Julia Bain, born in Marquette county, Wisconsin, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Safford) Bain. Five children were born to this marriage, Elizabeth, Ida, Maude, Howard and Lester B. Elizabeth is the wife of George Retting and Ida is the wife of James Leslie. Mr. Hill was a member of the A. O. U. W. at Austin.




Thomas W. Hines

b: 1871

Thomas W. Hines, a former farmer of Windom township, was born in Janesville, Wis., September 15, 1871, son of Walter and Mary (Joyce) Hines, both natives of England. The family moved to McGregor, Iowa, when Thomas W. was an infant, and here Walter Hines, the father, conducted a grocery and dry goods store a short time.

In 1874 the family came to Windom township and here Walter Hines, the father, farmed until 1901, when he died at the age of seventy-five years, his wife dying at the age of sixty-nine. Thomas W. was reared on the farm, attended the district schools, and carried on agricultural operations until 1907, in which year he came to Austin, where he still resides, the farm in Windom township being rented.

His sisters, Margaret and Charlotte, are dead. His brother, George, lives in Rose Creek and his sister, Mary, is the wife of N. H. Garrison. Mr. and Mrs. Garrison have one child, Lillian. The subject of this sketch is a member of the M.W.A.




George Hirsh

b: 1856

George Hirsh, one of the leading merchants of Austin, has been engaged in the retail trade since early manhood. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, March 19, 1856, son of Isaiah and Rosa (Stern) Hirsh, the former of whom was a grain dealer. The father died in 1882 and the mother one year later.

George received his education in the schools of Germany and then came to America in 1873. He took up peddling of dry goods and notions in New York state and Vermont for seven years. In 1880 he went west and opened a meat market and grocery store in Chicago, conducting same for four years. The clothing business then occupied his attention in Council Grove, Kansas.

In 1887 he came to Austin, where he has since remained. Opening with a stock of clothing and men's shoes, he gradually increased his business, until it reached the proportions which justified the erection of a fine block in 1900. This block is located on the corner of Main and Water streets, and is two stories in height, 95x100 feet. The ground floor is devoted to his store and auditorium, while the upper floor contains lodge rooms and offices.

Mr. Hirsh is a member of the board of education of Austin, and has served as chairman of the County Republican Central Committee. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and also belongs to the Austin Commercial Club. Mr. Hirsh was married February 12, 1895, at Neenah, Wis., to Eva Billstein, and this union has been blessed with three children--Rephah B., Elizabeth F. and Alexander I., all at home.

Aside from his business block, Mr. Hirsh owns a pleasant home at the corner of Courtland and Greenwich streets.




Patrick Hoban

b: 1847

Patrick Hoban, retired farmer, was born in Kilkenny county, Ireland, August 15, 1847, son of Martin and (Purcell) Hoban. He was brought by his parents to America at the age of five years, lived in New York two years, and then came with his parents to Wisconsin, where he spent his boyhood.

In 1862 he came with them to Rochester, Minnesota, and remained there until the following summer, when he came to Oakland township, Freeborn county, helped his father break land, and then went back to Rochester.

In 1868 he located in Oakland township, Freeborn county, took up eighty acres of railroad land, made the usual improvements, and added to his land until he owned 500 acres, all in Freeborn county. In the meantime he bought half a section in South Dakota, sold this tract, and purchased a whole section in North Dakota, and later disposed of this tract also.

In 1909 he purchased a fine property on College Street in Austin, where he has since resided. Mr. Hoban is an independent Democrat and attends the Catholic Church. He has worked his way upward in life by his own efforts entirely.

Mr. Hoban was married November 1, 1874, to Mary McGuire, a native of Berlin, Wisconsin. This union has been blessed with eight children: Mary, now Mrs. James Quinn, of Bowman county, N. D.; Julia, now Mrs. Gus Kenevan, of Freeborn county; Martin, who is on the home farm; James, who is also on the home farm; Nana, who is a school teacher; William, who is in North Dakota; Arthur and Katherine, who are at home. Martin and Julia (Purcell) Hoban were born in Ireland and came to America in 1852, remaining in New Jersey two years. Then they located in Berlin, Green county, Wisconsin, and remained until 1862, when they came overland to Freeborn county, remaining one summer, on the way, in Rochester. Martin homesteaded eighty acres in section 14, Oakland township, but the first year lived on what was known as the Johnson place. He improved his land and increased his acreage to 240. Mrs. Hoban died in 1881 and her husband in 1886.




Andrew T. Hobson

b: 1877

Andrew T. Hobson was born in Spring Valley, Fillmore county, this state, April 14, 1877, and received his education in the district schools of Clayton township and in the Austin graded schools. He began life for himself as a clerk in the store of C. M. Rice, in Austin, for a year, and then formed a partnership with L. G. Billings in a general store at Oakland village in Fillmore county, a few miles from Austin.

In 1898 he sold his interest, and purchased his father's farm of 150 acres in Austin township, on which tract he has since conducted general farming. He has been road overseer four years, was school clerk for six years, and has taken an active interest in public affairs. He attends the Christian church, and belongs to the Modern Samaritans and the Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Hobson was married June 28, 1899, to Emma Rosenthal, and their home is brightened by one child, Mildred.




Webization by Kermit Kittleson
©2008 MnGenWeb