Mower County, Minnesota

Group File 09


George A. Hormel

b: 1860

George A. Hormel, president of the pork packing plant of Geo. A. Hormel & Co., the leading industry in Austin, was born in Buffalo, N. Y., December 4, 1860, son of John G. and Susan (Decker) Hormel. He was educated in the public schools of Toledo, Ohio, and in early youth went to work for his father in the sheepskin tanning business.

In 1876 he went to Chicago and worked in the packing house market for a year, after which he returned home and worked in the Wabash shops. Subsequently he again returned to Chicago and re-entered the packing business. Soon after he became traveling agent for J. N. Dubois, Kansas City, purchasing hides, wool and the like. Next he engaged with Oberne, Hosick & Co., in the same line of business, traveling out of Des Moines for seven years.

At the end of this period he resigned, and entered the retail meat business in Austin, with a partner, under the firm name of Friedrich & Hormel. This partnership was dissolved in 1892 and the firm of George A. Hormel & Co. was formed. This plant has grown in importance, and is now one of the leading industries in southern Minnesota. It has been an important factor in insuring the prosperity and growth of the city.

The company maintains, aside from its plant, a retail store in Austin, and branches in several cities. Mr. Hormel is a Republican in politics, and a Mason of the Knights Templar degree. He has affiliated with a number of societies and organizations, and is a valued member of the Austin Commercial Club and the Union League Club of Chicago. The subject of this sketch was married in February, 1892, to Lillian B. Gleason.




Atkins Hotson

b: 1851

Atkins Hotson, who is acceptably filling the position of secretary for the Mower County Farmers' Fire and Lightning Mutual Insurance Company, was born in Norfolk, England, March 22, 1851, son of Thomas and Esther (Guttridge) Hotson, who brought him to Illinois in 1854 and to Mower county in 1862.

He received the larger part of his early education in the district schools of Lyle township, and farmed with his father until 1877, when he started farming for himself in section 14, Lyle township. He first purchased eighty acres, but by thrift and energy he managed to acquire 200 acres, all in Lyle township, which he still owns. On this place he successfully conducted farming operations until 1902, when he rented his land to his son, and moved to Austin to assume the position which he has since occupied. Mr. Hotson is at the present time serving with credit as a member of the city council of Austin.

While in Lyle he served twenty-two years as town clerk. He was also treasurer of school district No. 12 at one time and clerk of district No. 54 for many years. Mr. Hotson belongs to the A. F. & A. M. and to the Knights of Pythias.

He was married May 24, 1876, to Maria E. Gregg, of Nevada township, this county, who died January 3, 1900, leaving four children: Frank A., now farming in Nevada township; Fay G., who is on the old homestead in Lyle township; Mabel E., who is a graduate of the Austin high school and teaches school, and Nellie M., at the present time a student of the Austin high school. The family faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church.




William M. Howe

b: 1835

William M. Howe, now deceased, was a man of high moral character, and his uprightness of life gave him an enviable standing in the community, both as a public servant and as a private citizen. He was born in Canton, N. Y., June 19, 1835, son of Nathan and Lockwood Howe, received his education in the New York State College in his native place, and then took up clerical work in the court house in the same town, that being the seat of government of the county.

Mr. Howe came west in 1865, lived for a time in Lansing village, and engaged in farming for seven years. Later he moved to Austin, was elected county commissioner, and still later became register of deeds, serving six years with much credit. During his term of office he compiled a set of abstract books, and after retiring from public life opened an abstract and real estate office, remaining in this business the remainder of his life. Values of more than a million and a half dollars passed under his abstracts, and an abstract of title from him was considered as good as a guarantee from a bonding company. Mr. Howe was a Republican, affiliated with the A. O. U. W. and belonged to the Congregational church.

He was clerk of the latter for a number of years, and he, his wife and his daughter all sang in the choir at various times. Mr. Howe departed this life May 16, 1908.

He was married January 23, 1867, to Susan J. Soule, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Rensslaer Soule, the former a graduate of the Green Mountain University, of Burlington, Vt., and a physician of considerable note. Dr. and Mrs. Soule came west in 1865, located at Lansing, in Mower county, lived there a number of years and in 1872 came to Austin. The doctor died November 7, 1880, and his wife passed away March 10, of the same year. Mrs. Howe was born in Fairfax, Vt., February 21, 1842.

She and her husband were blessed with one daughter--Jessie Ellen, who was born November 9, 1867, married Winfield S. Pierce, died April 18, 1894, and left one daughter, Florence G., who now lives with her father at Seattle, Wash., having made her home with her grandmother until fifteen years of age.




Isaac N. Howe

b: abt 1840

Isaac N. Howe, owner and proprietor of a prosperous rug manufactory in Austin, is an old-time resident of Mower county, and a veteran of the Civil war. He was born in New York State, his parents being Lyman S. and Mary Ann (Benham) Howe. The family migrated to Illinois, and lived in Cook county five years, afterward taking up their residence in Grundy county, in the same state. The subject of this sketch enlisted in the Union army at Joliet, and served in Company M, Twelfth Illinois Cavalry, being discharged at Madison, Ind., May 13, 1865.

In the fall of that year he came to Fillmore county, this state, and in 1880 to Mower county. In 1895 he went to Day county, but in the fall of 1900 came back to Mower county, where he has since lived. The rug manufactory of which Mr. Howe is the proprietor manufactures what is called the Fluff rug, and is the only concern of its kind in the county. Mr. Howe is a member of the G. A. R.

He was married December 7, 1865, to Augusta Jane Benham, and they lived together nineyears. To this union were born three children: Elias N., Albert and Etta. In 1880 he married Ellen Josephine Bailey, and to this union three children were born, William S., Cora A. and Etta M. Mrs. Ellen Howe died in 1888, and in 1892 Mr. Howe was married to Sarah L. Bailey, a native of Austin, daughter of Benjamin F. Bailey.




Horace H. Hubbard

b: 1832

Horace H. Hubbard has been a successful farmer in Austin township since the period immediately following the Civil war. He was born in Stark county, Ohio, February 14, 1832, son of H. S. and Margaret (Hanes) Hubbard, both descended from old and distinguished eastern families. Horace received his early education in Wayne county, Illinois, walking three miles to school.

In 1854 he started out in life for himself as a farmer and in June, 1866, came to Mower county and purchased a quarter section of land in section 8, Austin township. Here he built a house and necessary outbuildings, broke and developed the land, and has since continued to carry on general farming with much success. In 1898 he purchased eighty acres adjoining his original purchase.

Mr. Hubbard is a Republican in politics and a member of the Christian church. He was married, September 14, 1854, to Mary V. Hawk, of Ohio, and of the seven children who have blessed their happy union, five are living. They are: Laura, now Mrs. Homer Wood; Homer, a hotelkeeper and merchant in Fairmont, N. D.; Minnie, now Mrs. George Hines; Eunice, now living in Alberta, Canada, and Samuel, now on the old homestead. Cassius and Jennie are dead. H. S. Hubbard was born in Olmstead county, New York, and married Margaret Hanes, a native of Green county, Pennsylvania. H. S. was a carding machine operator and for fourteen winters also taught school. He operated the first threshing machine in Columbina county, Ohio. In 1843 he took his family to Wayne county, Illinois. and there engaged in farming until his death in 1855. His wife survived until 1873.




William M. Hynie

b: 1874

William M. Hynie, the capable manager of the Albun & White lime kiln, at LeRoy, was born in Blue Earth county, Minnesota, March 15, 1874. He received his education in Blue Earth county, and then worked three years with the C. M. & St. P. Then he took a position with Fowler & Pay, of Mankato, and has since been engaged in the lime business, working for a time in Austin, and now in LeRoy, his home being located in Austin.

He is a Republican in politics, a Lutheran, and a member of the M.W.A. and the F.O.E. In addition to being in the lime business, Mr. Hynie spent one season, that of 1906, in Montana, where he worked on railroad bridge construction. Nels and Carrie Hynie, parents of William M. Hynie, were born in Norway, and on coming to America located in Blue Earth county, Minnesota, where they took a homestead of 120 acres in Brilliant Valley.

In 1892 they retired and moved to Lake Crystal, in the same county, Nels dying there February 28, 1893, and his wife, January 8, 1895.




Thomas D. Iorms

Thomas D. Iorms was a respected resident of Mower County eight years, and it has been truly said that his community is the better for his life. He was born in Deddington, England, son of John and Mary (Bennett) Iorms, also natives of that country.

He came to Lansing, Iowa, in 1865, and later lived in Grant County, Wisconsin, where he farmed for a long period and in later life farmed eight years in Red Rock Township.

In 1909 he moved to Brownsdale village, and there died April 9, 1910.

He was married in 1883 to Frances Palmer, and this union has resulted in four children: Ormal B., Clarissa O. (deceased), Krete L. (deceased) and Lepha P. Mrs. lorms was born in Brodtville, Grant county, Wisconsin, daughter of Philip and Angeline (Brodt) Palmer, farmers of that place. She was reared in her native place, and like her mother before her, taught school for a number of years, her work being performed in her native county.




Henry Jacobs

b: 1830

Henry Jacobs, who opened the first regular clothing and tailoring establishment in Austin, was born in Saxony, Germany, March 23, 1830. He received his early education in the German schools and came to America in 1848, after learning the tailoring trade.

Upon his arrival in New York, he went up the Hudson by boat to Albany, thence to Buffalo by rail, and thence to Cleveland, Ohio, by boat. From then until 1855 he was engaged in the tailoring business in various places in Ohio, and in that year located in Oshkosh, Wis., where he engaged, as before, in the clothing and tailoring business.

In 1861 he came to Austin and opened a similar establishment, the first in the place. This he conducted until 1898, when he closed out his clothing business, although he still continues to do tailoring. Mr. Jacobs has been a deacon in the Austin Baptist church since 1877.

He was first converted in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1849, and was baptized in Lake Winnebago, at Oshkosh, in 1855. He is the oldest living member of the local church. A Republican in politics, he first voted for John C. Fremont in 1856. He has been a member of the I.O.O.F. since 1876, was a charter member of the W.W.A. in 1877 and joined the Good Templars at the organization in 1863.

The subject of this sketch was married, December 24, 1856, at Oshkosh, Wis., to Frances E. Lord, who died April 8, 1897, leaving four children, Eugene, Mamie, G. Edwin and Mabel.




Robert L. Johnson

b: 1863

Robert L. Johnson, prominent in the business and political life of Austin, is a native son of Mower county, being born at Waltham, Minn., September 14, 1863. He received his education in the district schools of this county, concluding with a course in the Rochester business college of Rochester, Minn. After teaching school for a few terms near home, he gave his attention to the operation of the old home farm until 1889, when he moved onto a 360-acre farm of his own in section 13, Waltham township, on which he followed general farming for the next three years.

In the Fall of 1892 he was elected auditor of Mower county, succeeding himself for the ensuing ten years, and then, refusing another term, he engaged in the insurance business at Austin, enjoying a large patronage throughout this section of the state. Mr. Johnson is secretary of the Austin Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Minnesota, has served as secretary and bookkeeper of the Minnesota Farmers' Elevator Association since 1908, and was instrumental in the organization of the Farmers' Brick and Tile Company, December, 1909, now acting as treasurer and director.

His politics are Republican, his long service as auditor attesting to his popularity throughout the county. He is associated with the Masonic order as a Knight Templar, and is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

January 14, 1889, he was married to Lizzie V. Lyons, at Lansing, Minn. They have two children: Louise L., born September 29, 1898, and Hazel I., born March 1, 1901. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are loyal members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Their home is at 104 South St. Paul Street. George and Dorothy (Bailey) Johnson, parents of our subject, were natives of Leicestershire, England. After coming to the United States they first located at Buffalo, N. Y., subsequently removing to Marquette county, Wisconsin, and engaging in farming for a time. They were among the pioneers of Mower county, the father carrying on farming in Red Rock township for two years, and then purchasing a quarter section in Waltham township, gradually adding to this until he owned a section of wild land.

With true pioneer courage he took up the immense task of clearing and rendering the land fit for farming purposes, erecting a house and farm buildings, and adding improvements from year to year, successfully following general farming up to the time of his death, which occurred July 2, 1872. His wife died in October, 1892.




Nathaniel T. Johnson

b: 1856

Nathaniel T. Johnson, one of the extensive land-owners of Mower county, now resides at 110 South Kenwood avenue, in the city of Austin, and rents his rich acres to several capable parties. He was born in Marquette county, Wisconsin, April 20, 1856, son of George and Dorothy (Bailey) Johnson, who brought him to Mower county at the age of six years. He was reared on the family farm in Waltham township, and at an early age took charge of the place, continuing general farming and making a specialty of raising hogs, sheep and cattle, until his retirement from farm life in the fall of 1909.

He now owns the home farm of 360 acres and an additional forty acres which he purchased in Waltham township, as well as another farm of 400 acres in the same township, making in all 800 acres which he owns in this county. Mr. Johnson is a Republican in politics, served as county commissioner four years, was chairman, supervisor and treasurer of his township at various times, and clerk and director of school district No. 61.

He belongs to the Blue Lodge and the Commandery, in the Masonic order, and attends the Methodist church. The subject of this sketch was married March 28, 1894, to Louisa Duff, and this union has been blessed with two children: Glenn I., born December 8, 1895, and Robert C., born January 5, 1899.




John O. Johnson

b: 1859

John O. Johnson, farmer of Lyle township, just on the outskirts of the village, was born in Winnebago county, Wisconsin, July 16, 1859, son of Ole A. and Isabelle (Fossey) Johnson, natives of Norway. These worthy people came to America in 1859, located in Winnebago county, Wisconsin, and in 1868 came to Freeborn county, Minnesota, locating in Albert Lea township, where they own 320 acres of highly improved land. John 0. received his education in the public schools and after leaving school took up farming in Hayward township, in Freeborn county, working 162 acres until 1891, when he rented his farm and moved to the village of Hayward and engaged in the mercantile business for nearly eight years.

During this period he was also interested in a general store in Lyle, for which he hired a local manager. In 1899 he sold his mercantile interests, and in the following spring purchased the "City View" farm of 140 acres, on which he now conducts general farming, having made many improvements on the place. He raises diversified crops, but makes a specialty of Shorthorn cattle and high-grade Percheron horses.

Mr. Johnson is also interested in many other places, and has a large tract of land in Cuba. He owns stock in the cement plants at Mason City, Towa, and at Dallas, Tex. He also holds stock in the Farmers' Brick and Tile Company at Austin, Minn., and in a box factory at Denver, Colo.

He was married September 25, 1888, to Matilda Arneson, and their union has been blessed with two sons: Odin J., who is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and Chester W., who is a student there. The family faith is that of the Norwegian Lutheran church. Mr. Johnson is a Republican in politics and has served as a member of the school board of Lyle.




Charles H. Johnson

b: 1860

Charles H. Johnson, M. D., for six years mayor of Austin and the present county physician, was born in Canada, in the province of Ontario, January 16, 1860, son of Samuel and Amelia E. (McNish) Johnson. He received his early education in the public schools of his neighborhood and when properly prepared entered the medical department of McGill University, at Montreal, Canada, in 1879, graduating with honors in 1884, having received in the meantime the necessary hospital and dispensary practice.

After graduating, he came directly to Austin, where he has since been actively engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in all its branches, having a large clientele in city and county and enjoying the respect and confidence of the community, both as a man and as a practitioner.

He was elected to his present position as county physician in 1907 and has also been connected more or less with the state militia. Dr. Johnson is a high degree Mason and belongs to the M.W.A., the A.O.U.W., the K. of P., the F.O.E. and the Owls. He votes the Democratic ticket and attends the Episcopal Church. Samuel Johnson and Amelia E. McNish, his wife, parents of Dr. Charles H. Johnson, of Austin, spent their lives in Canada, Samuel dying in 1863 and his wife in 1907.




Carl E. Johnson

b: 1871

Carl E. Johnson, a modern farmer of Bennington township, has performed work which will have its effect for countless generations to come. He has set out a thousand apple trees which are beginning to bear fruit; he is about to plant 200 Duchess apple trees, and is well under way with the planting of 4,000 hardy trees, which will beautify the landscape for decades, if not for a century, to come.

He was born in Sweden, April 12, 1871, son of Nick Larson and Christina L. Peterson, his wife, both of whom died in Sweden. Carl received a good education in Sweden, and was there reared to manhood, coming to America in 1891, and locating in Illinois. After working as a farm hand three years he rented a farm for four years, and then purchased 130 acres in Victor township, DeKalb county, Illinois.

There he remained until 1902, when he sold and came to this county. Here he purchased 240 acres in section 20 and eighty acres in section 19. Bennington township, remodeling the buildings, and making many improvements, including the putting up of 900 rods of woven wire fencing.

Mr. Johnson now carries on general farming and breeds Durham grade cattle and Chester White hogs. He is a Republican in politics, and has done jury duty in Austin. The subject of this sketch was married February 26, 1896, to Anna M. Marcus, a native of Norway, and they have six children: Christina, Esther, Albert, Clara, Julia and Emma.




Albert A. Johnson

b: 1874

Albert A. Johnson, the talented editor of the Grand Meadow Record, has established an excellent business and issues a paper which is a credit to the village and surrounding country. He was born in Brownsdale, this county, December 4, 1874, and there received his earlier education.

While a boy he started his newspaper career by printing and publishing the Brownsdale Leaflet. In 1893 he sold this to L. L. Quimby, and went to Morton, Renville county, this state, where he engaged in newspaper work for eight months. Then he worked on the Austin Register, in Austin, this county, for a while, until failing health interfered with his work.

In 1894 he came to Grand Meadow and purchased his present business, which he has since continued with the exception of a year and a half, when he leased it and went to Amherst, Wis., and took charge of the Amherst Advocate. Then he returned to Grand Meadow. Under his management and guidance the paper has become one of the most influential in the county.

He also does commercial and job work, and deals extensively in books and stationery. Aside from owning his own business and building, Mr. Johnson holds stock in several local enterprises. He is a Republican in politics, belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, and attends the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The subject of this sketch was married February 23, 1898, to Lulu E. Bieman, of Brownsdale, and they have an adopted son, Maynard C., born May 1, 1905.




Julius W. Johnson

b: 1858

Julius W. Johnson, the industrious and hard-working head miller for A.S. Campbell at the Peerless Roller Mills, Austin, was born in Watertown, Wis., February 28, 1858, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ole Johnson, both natives of Norway. The parents came to this country about 1847 or 1848, and located in Watertown, Wis., where Ole Johnson was a merchant and conducted a general store.

The family came to Austin in the spring of 1870, and farmed for several years. Ole died in 1891, his wife having passed away many years previous at Watertown, Wis., when Julius was a small boy. Julius attended the common schools, worked on a farm and clerked in a store. In the fall of 1880, he entered the employ of Mathew Gregson, the miller, and remained with him until 1886, when he entered the employ of the Engle Company.

When the Campbell brothers purchased the mill in 1890 he continued to work there, and when that firm was divided he still remained with the mill, his excellent work having had much to do with its success.

Mr. Johnson married Louise Scholl, and to this union has been born one son, Arthur P. Mrs. Scholl was born in Stratford, Ontario, September 10, 1868, being one of a family of eight daughters and one son born to Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Scholl, who for many years, until the former's death, in 1909, conducted the German Hotel in Austin. The place is now managed by Mrs. Scholl and her son.




Seymour Johnson

b: 1841

Seymour Johnson, retired manufacturer and patentee of the well known Johnson harrows and breaking plows, has taken an active part in the upbuilding of the city. While he is a man of keen business intelligence, nevertheless a broad charity of thought and action has permeated his life, and often has he followed the line of upright and unselfish conduct when acts which the business world does not look upon as entirely dishonest might have resulted in his financial profit.

In business life and in politics his influence has been for good, and it may truly be said that his life has been of real benefit to the world.

He was born in Ringerike, Norway, December 29, 1841, and was but a year old when his father, Hans Johnson, died. His mother, Ingeborg Andersen, a woman of courage and pluck, came to America with her fatherless boys in 1855 and located in Waupun, Wis., living there until 1892, when she came to Austin, lived with Seymour Johnson, and ended her days in December, 1893.

The subject of this sketch came to America with his mother in 1855. He received his early education in the/public schools, and by self study and attentive reading acquired a good education both in English and Norwegian. He also worked in a newspaper office in Wisconsin for a time, and this assisted in his English education. At an early age he learned the blacksmith trade.

In 1862 he enlisted in the Union army, serving in Company A, Thirty-second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, until mustered out at the close of the war, May 10, 1865. He fought with Sherman in the Army of the Tennessee, and was with that army on its famous march to the sea, participating in all the battles of the Atlanta campaign. After being discharged at Prairie du Chien, May 10, 1865, he remained in Wisconsin and followed his trade as a blacksmith for a time.

He came to Austin March 27, 1867, and started in the manufacture of farm implements, forming a co-partnership with R. O. Hunt in the fall of 1867. In 1870 Mr. Hunt went to California and Mr. Johnson formed a co-partnership with L. S. Mitchell for one year, after which he bought out Mr. Mitchell and formed a partnership with H. S. Smith.

After Mr. Smith's death in 1893 the firm was continued under the name of Johnson & Smith and under the management of Mr. Johnson until November 1, 1900, when Mr. Johnson sold out to the heirs of H. S. Smith, and retired from business owing to ill health. Mr. Johnson served his city as recorder for one term, and as an alderman for several years, being elected on the Republican ticket, in the principles of which party Mr. Johnson is a firm believer. He was also a member of the charter commission of Austin.

He has been through the chairs of the I.O.O.F., of which he is now a past noble grand and he is also a charter member and past commander of the G. A. R. The subject of this sketch was married December 22, 1866, to Lena Johnson, of Waupun. This union has been blessed with two children: A.E. Johnson, who is cashier of the Farmers' and Merchants' State Bank, of Blooming Prairie, and Stella L., who is the wife of Dr. O. H. Hegge, and a prominent club woman of Austin.

The family faith is that of the United Norwegian Lutheran Church, of which Mr. Johnson is the only surviving charter member. The family residence is at 402 Mankato street and was erected in 1868, a large addition being constructed in 1880. Mr. Johnson has been a successful business man and owns considerable property in and around Austin. He was closely connected with the organization of the Citizens' National Bank, but sold out his interest in 1903.

He is at present the president of the Austin Building and Loan Association and a director in the Farmers' and Merchants' State Bank, of Blooming Prairie. The daughter, Stella L., now Mrs. O. H. Hegge, is greatly interested in music and at various times has sung in all the leading choirs of Austin, being at present leader of the Lutheran church choir. She was born in Austin, graduated from the Austin high school, and being of a musical turn of mind studied music at home. She has taken considerable interest in club work, and is ex-president of the Art and Travel Club.

She is at present president of the Floral Club, the third oldest women's club in the United States. Mrs. Hegge has taken great interest in church and benevolent work, and is president of the Lutheran Ladies' Aid Society, secretary of the Ladies' Auxiliary to St. Olav's Hospital, and one of the directors of the Austin Y. W. C. A.




James Joyce

b: 1858

James Joyce, who has been town clerk of Grand Meadow since 1892, except the years 1897 and 1903, has taken his share in the upbuilding of the community, and has shown his interest in education by his service as clerk of his school district. Being of a sociable nature, he has allied himself with the M.W.A. and with the B.P.O.E. at Austin.

The subject of this sketch was born in St. Catherine's, Canada, November 12, 1858, son of John and Ann Joyce. He came to the United States with his parents in 1865 and located in Eyota, Olmstead county, this state. After a short time there, the family moved on a farm in Dover township, in the same county, living in that vicinity from 1865 to 1878.

In the latter year they came to Grand Meadow, and settled in the southeast quarter of section 10. James spent the greater part of the time from 1880 to 1885 in Chicago and was married in 1892, when he moved to his present residence, where he has since resided, with the exception of one year, 1903, which he spent in Minneapolis as deputy state weigh master.

He married Catherine McDonough, and has eight children: Victor J., Raphael, Madaline, Daniel, Maude, Clarice, Dewart and Everette.




Granville Kearns

b: 1835

Granville Kearns, now living in retirement in Austin, is one of the few early pioneers still living in the county, he having the honor of dating his residence in this part of the state from April 28, 1856, on which day he arrived in Austin for the first time. He was born in Ontario, Canada, May 26, 1835, his parents being Robert and Nancy (Purdy) Kearns.

After arriving at Austin, he went to Moscow, Freeborn county, and pre-empted land there, farming until 1900, when he retired and moved to the city of Austin, where he now resides in a comfortable home at 400 Vine street.

Mr. Kearns married Julia Lamping, daughter of Peter and Julia (Goodore) Lamping, her father being a farmer by occupation. To this union have been born four children: William F., Alice B., Charles E. and Burton G. William F. married Daisy Newell and they have five children: Ruth, Clifford, Arnold, Dorothy and Alice. Charles E. married Minnie Green, of Rockford, Ill., and they have one son, Frank. Burton G. married Carrie Branum and they have two children: Roy and Grace.




Lewis G. Church

Lewis G. Church, one of the successful farmers of Waltham township, is a native of this county, having been born in the township, where he still resides, September 14, 1868, son of George and Susan Church. George came from Ulster county, New York, when a child and lived there until 1866, when the family came to Waltham township. Lewis G. was reared on his father's farm and received his education in district 61.

When a young man he purchased the home farm and his father moved in to the village of Waltham, where he still resides. The farm now consists of 120 acres and on this Lewis Church carries on general farming and raises the usual crops. He is well liked among his fellow citizens and is a popular member of the M. W. A.




Martin B. Johnson

b: 1837

Martin B. Johnson, a respected and substantial resident of Grand Meadow was born in Chittenden county, Vermont, October 28, 1837, son of William and Mary (Keefe) Johnson, natives respectively of England and Wales. Martin came to Mower. county with his parents and brother, John L., in 1855, and settled in Brownsdale.

On August 19, 1862 he enlisted in the Union army, and served in Company C, Ninth Volunteer Infantry, became corporal and was bass drummer for the regiment, serving until the close of the war, when he was discharged at St. Paul, in August, 1865. He then returned to Mower county and took up land in Udolpho township, where he engaged in farming for five years. Then he removed to Brownsdale.

Soon afterward he was appointed deputy sheriff, and served for fourteen consecutive years under R. O. Hall, H. B. Cory, Allan Mollison and Nicholas Nicholsen. He also engaged in the land and collection business with E. J. Stimson for fifteen years at about the same time. In March, 1908, he moved to Grand Meadow.

Mr. Johnson was married September 19, 1861, to Mary A. Hines, of Red Rock township, who died April 3, 1909, leaving two children: Albert, of Grand Meadow, and May, who keeps house for her father. Mr. Johnson is a Republican in politics and a member of the G. A. R. post. He served continuously as marshal of Brownsdale from 1875 to 1908, with the exception of five years.

He is now justice of the peace. For five years he served in the lower house of the Minnesota legislature in an appointive position. He has also served in many other positions of public and private trust and honor.




Frank Johnson

b: 1842

Frank Johnson, of Marshall township, is one of the prominent Swedish-Americans of Mower county and is highly regarded among his friends and neighbors. He has taken an active interest in township and educational affairs and has served on the town board for ten years and on the school board of district 82 for fifteen years, his services in both capacities meeting with the favor and approbation of his fellow citizens.

He was born in 1842, son of John Daniel Johnson, and came from Sweden to the United States in 1869, first finding work as a railroad bridge carpenter, in which work he was engaged for thirty years, working at different times for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, the Northern Pacific, the Great Northern and the Canadian Pacific. During this period he traveled extensively, saw much of the country and gained a wide knowledge of men and events. In 1893 he came to Mower county and purchased eighty acres in section 7, Marshall township, where he now has 240 acres.

Mr. Johnson has brought his scientific knowledge and long experience to bear on farm problems and has planned and erected every building on the place himself. He farms on an extensive scale, raises general crops and makes a specialty of grain raising and the breeding of Black Polls.

In 1894 Mr. Johnson married Mary Peterson, a native of Sweden, and they have three children.




W. F. Jordan

b: 1865

W. F. Jordan, elevator man at Taopi, was born in Mitchell county Iowa, December 24, 1865, son of William and Mary (Burns) Jordan, both natives of Ireland. W. F. passed his early manhood on the farm and received his early education in the district schools. At the death of his father, in 1892, W. F. and his brothers took charge of the home farm.

In 1901, the subject of this sketch came to Mower county and farmed near Elkton three years. After this he traded his farm for an elevator in Elkton, which he operated for one year. Subsequently he came to Taopi, where he has since been located. He is a man of affairs, energetic, keen and alert, and has achieved success in life by his own efforts. He has a pleasant residence, which he himself erected, and is regarded as one of the active men of the village.




Nels Julsen

Nels Julsen was born in Norway, and married Betsy Hansen, also a native of that country, the ceremony being performed in Grand Meadow, this county.

After their marriage they purchased eighty acres in section 18, Frankford township, and later forty more, until they owned 120 acres, on which they conducted general farming. Nels died August 1, 1909, and since then his wife has erected a new home in Grand Meadow village, where she now resides. Mr. and Mrs. Julsen were the parents of ten children: Lena is dead; Christine is the wife of Julius Finhart, of Grand Meadow; Julia is the wife of Edward Hovda, of Plaza, North Dakota; Gunwald and Casper also live in Plaza; Nellie is Mrs. Edward Erickson, of Frankford; Hannah is Mrs. Elvin Florand, of Grand Meadow village; Oscar lives in Plaza, North Dakota; Alma is the wife of John Higgins, also of Plaza; Ella is at home with her mother.




Herman T. Julson

b: 1872

Herman T. Julson, an industrious farmer of Grand Meadow township, was born in Wisconsin, July 5, 1872, son of Ulrick and Rachel Julson. He lived with them in Wisconsin and Iowa, and came to Grand Meadow township with them in 1876 as a boy of four years. Here he was reared to agricultural pursuits and attended the public schools. He now owns the old homestead of eighty acres in section 36, and also eighty acres adjoining in section 35.

Here he successfully carries on general farming in a scientific manner. He married Ida Olson, daughter of Nels Olson.




Ulrick Julson

b: 1821

Ulrick Julson, now deceased, was born in Norway, December 8, 1821, and was married there. In 1848 he came to America, being eighteen weeks crossing the ocean, and here took up the trade of farmer, although he had been a tailor in the old country. After living in Wisconsin about twenty-five years he went to Iowa, and after staying there three years came to Mower county in 1876, and settled in section 36.

As there was no building of any kind on the land at that time, he lived six weeks with a neighbor named Harley Peck while he built a shack for his family. Before the winter set in he had a frame house completed.

Ulrick Julson died July 25, 1902, and his wife, October 2, 1902.




John T. Keefe

John T. Keefe, now deceased, was known in both Mower and Freeborn counties. He was born in Ireland and came to America with his parents at the age of eight years. They settled in New York state and there he grew to manhood.

He married Maryann Kerby, and continued to live in New York state until 1877, when he brought his family west and settled in Newry, Freeborn county, this state. A year later they came to Udolpho township, this county, and lived on the old Field farm. In latter years he took up his home with his daughter, Mrs. John Dennis, and died December 11, 1909.




Albert Keefe

b: 1871

Albert Keefe, an industrious farmer of Waltham township, was born in Bombay, N. Y., May 20, 1871, son of John T. and Maryann (Kerby) Keefe. He came to Minnesota with his parents, attended school in district 50, Udolpho, and assisted his father on the farm. When twenty-seven years of age he married Mary Driscoll, daughter of Michael and Catherine (Pendergast) Driscoll, the former of whom was born in Ireland, came to America, located in Chicago, came to Udolpho, lived eighteen years on the George B. Hayes farm, and afterward lived twenty years in Red Rock township, subsequently going to Virginia, in this state, where he now lives.

Albert Keefe and wife lived five years in Newry, Freeborn county, and then came to Udolpho and located on the Stimson place. They are now on the Budahn farm in Waltham township.

They are the parents of three bright children: William H., aged ten; Irene S., aged nine, and Margaret, aged one. Mr. Keefe owns 160 acres in the township of Badger, Roseau county, Minn. le is a modern farmer and his wife has proven an intelligent and sympathetic helpmeet.




Alvin T. Kezar

b: 1845

Alvin T. Kezar, Marshal of Waltham village, was born in Macenia, St. Lawrence county, New York, May 18, 1845, son of Hiram and Catharine (Nesdel) Kezar. The father was born in the same house as his son, and was a genuine Connecticut Yankee. The mother was a native of Ireland. The father and his family came west in 1854, and settled at Beaver Dam, Wis., where he farmed for eighteen years. Mrs. Catherine Kezar died in Beaver Dam, and in 1872 the father, Hiram, and the son, Alvin, started farming in Waltham township, near the village.

In 1896 Alvin T., the subject of this sketch, received his appointment as marshal, a position he has since held with discretion, courage and integrity. He is a Republican and a member of the Modern Woodmen.

Mr. Kezar was married some years ago to Ellen Markham, daughter of Walter Markham, and to this union have been born two children, Hiram and Myrtle. Hiram lives in Sargeant. Myrtle married George Nichols and they have one daughter, Bessie.




Albert Knight

b: 1858

Albert Knight, now deceased, was for many years an esteemed and respected citizen of Howard county, Iowa. He was born in Dane county, Wisconsin, December 3, 1858, son of Joseph Knight, a native of England, who came to America and settled in Dane county. Albert attended the district schools, and grew to manhood on the farm, remaining there until 1889, when he removed to Howard county, Iowa, and successfully farmed until 1901, when failing health caused his retirement to LeRoy village, where he died, October 9, 1901.

Mr. Knight served as a member of the school and township board in Howard county, and was a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He was a firm believer and an active worker in the Presbyterian church at LeRoy.

The subject of this sketch was married February 27, 1883, to Hattie E. Billington, daughter of Lorenzo D. and Hannah (Mabbott) Billington. Mrs. Hattie E. Knight died December 18, 1897, after bearing to Mr. Knight six children: Albert Leonard was born November 23, 1883; Alice L. was born January 19, 1885, and died March 7, 1902; Jennie M. was born January 19, 1887, and died June 14, 1889; Lura E. was born October 20, 1890; Edith I. was born July 3, 1894, and Robert H. was born December 18, 1897.

February 22, 1900, Mr. Knight married Lizzie M. Billington, a sister of his first wife. Mrs. Knight is an active worker in church and social circles. She is a member of the Women's Relief Corps at LeRoy, and color-bearer for James George Post, 56, G.A.R. She is vice president of the W.C.T.U., has been president of the Ladies' Guild of the Presbyterian Church, is a Sunday school teacher in the same church, and is a member of the LeRoy Library association.




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