Mower County, Minnesota

Group File 14


Robert O. Richards

b: 1870

Robert O. Richards, a successful farmer of Lyle township, carries on agricultural operations in a scientific manner, and has been very successful, especially as a breeder of registered Poll Angus cattle and registered Poland-China hogs.

He was born in Lewis county, New York state, April 17, 1870, son of Richard R. and Mary (Salisbury) Richards, natives of Wales.

He received his primary education in the schools of his neighborhood, coming to Otranto, Iowa, with his parents in 1880. There he also attended the schools, and then remained on the Otrando Stock Farm, working for his father until the latter's death, when he continued to conduct the same farm until 1901, when he and his mother came to Mower county, where his mother purchased 120 acres of land in section 32, Lyle township. To this Mr. Richards has added a few acres of his own. They have erected some fine buildings, brought the land to a high state of cultivation, and now have a model place in every respect.

Mr. Richards is single, a Republican, a Presbyterian, and a member of the Masonic order and the M. W. A.




Richard R. Richards

b: 1833

Richard R. Richards was born at Bala, North Wales, January 1, 1833, son of Richard Richards and Susanah Richards, Welsh farmers.

He was married November 22, 1856, to Mary Salisbury.

Mary Salisbury was born in North Wales, July 2, 1838, daughter of Ebenezer and Margret Salisbury, Welsh farmers. Margret Salisbury died in 1840, and in 1842 Ebenezer Salisbury came to this country. In 1846 he married Elizabeth Jones, of Deerfield, N. Y.

In 1849 he was ordained to the Methodist ministry and preached until his death in 1874.

Mr. and Mrs. Richard R. Richards engaged in farming until coming westward in 1880, locating in Otranto, Mitchell county, Iowa, where Richard R. took up farming and stock raising on the Otranto Stock Farm, until his death in 1898.

In 1901 Mrs. Richards came to Lyle and purchased land, as stated above.




Colonel Charles L. West

b: 1846

Col. Charles L. West, one of Austin's leading citizens, is known far beyond the limits of the county where he has made his home, and his service on the military staff of the chief executives of the state has done him much credit.

Colonel West was born in Chautauqua county, New York, March 30, 1846, and was brought west by his parents in 1855, and spent the winter of that year in Indiana, living for a time in Lyle township, this county, and then at Otranto, just across the line in Iowa.

His boyhood education was received in the schools of the latter village, after which he entered the Cedar Valley Seminary at Osage, Iowa, in 1863. After a three years' course in that school he entered the employ of a general store in the same place, and remained another three years.

In 1869 he came to Austin, and clerked three months for Johnson Bros. in their drug store. Then until 1871 he worked in the general store of Austin & Richardson. In the latter year he embarked in business for himself by opening at crockery store. In June, 1873, he and R. O. Hall opened a general store, which was gradually specialized until it became a first class dry goods emporium.

In July, 1901, Colonel West purchased the interest of Mr. Hall, and has since been the sole proprietor, the firm being known as the C. L. West Dry Goods Company. The store is modern in every particular, and carries a fine line of dry goods, cloaks and suits.

Colonel West is a Republican in politics. He served the city of Austin one term as mayor, two terms as alderman from the second ward, and two terms as city treasurer.

In Masonic circles he also ranks high. He has been grand commander of Minnesota, Knights Templars, and has also served as grand high priest and deputy grand master of the state grand lodge, A. F. & A. M.

In 1891 Charles L. West was appointed major on the staff of Governor William R. Merriam for two years. During this period he was appointed lieutenant colonel. He served in a similar capacity on the staffs of Governors Knute Nelson and David Al. Clough, but in 1897 retired from military life to serve as a member of the legislature, being re-elected in 1899. In 1901, when Governor Samuel R. Van Sant came into office, he appointed Charles L. West colonel on his staff. Governor John A. Johnson retained him in a similar capacity, and as Governor Adolph O. Eberhart retained all the members of the old staff he is still serving.

In business life Colonel West has not confined himself to his dry goods line, but has interested himself in a number of other enterprises, including the Tri State Telephone Company, of which he was one of the organizers.

He was married December 18, 1872, at Dixon, Ill., to Charlotte C. Hall, daughter of R. O. Hall. She was the mother of four children: Katie, who died at fourteen years; Harry L. and Veta A., who are with their father, and Leon H., who has a clerical position in the bank at Missoula, Mont.

July 7, 1893, Colonel West married Minnie Van Blarcum, at Madison Lake, Minn. The family faith is that of the Congregational church.

David West and Harriett Woodworth, his wife, early pioneers and parents of Col. Charles L. West, were natives of New York state. They came west in 1855 and spent the winter of that year in Indiana, and later they came to Mower county and pre-empted 160 acres of wild land, built a log cabin and remained until 1862.

Then they moved across the line into Iowa, and there the father opened a hotel at Otranto, which he conducted until about 1869, when he disposed of the hotel business and became a merchant and postmaster in Otranto station.

He and his wife were sturdy old early settlers, and had their share of the hardships incident to pioneer days.

David West died in 1902, his wife having passed away in the fall of 1868.




Hugh D. Mills

b: 1831

Hugh D. Mills, pioneer, was born in Delaware county, New York, February 12, 1831, and was reared to manhood in his native state, attending school and working for his parents. At the age of seventeen he purchased his time and left home, but returned to the parental roof in 1851, at the request of his mother after the death of his sister. In the fall of that year he started west, and after farming in Defiance, Ohio, for a while, worked in Fayette county, Iowa.

He visited Mower county in 1855, went back to Iowa and clerked in a hotel in West Union that winter, and in March, 1856, came to Mower county and pre-empted the northwest quarter of section twenty-nine, in Windom township. He proved up his claim, worked about for a time, and in March, 1860, married Abbie A. Sargent, born in Marshfield, Washington county, Vermont.

At the time of his marriage he located in section sixteen, Lansing township, but about four years later took up his residence on his claim in Windom. He built a log cabin, and therein resided until 1882, when he erected a brick veneer house, at that time the only one of its kind in the township. This was his home at the time of his death, in June, 1884. His wife is now living in Austin. They had eight children, three of whom are dead. Edwin G. lives in Austin; Eliza A. married Elijah Bosserman, of Wallace county, Kansas; Hugh R. lives in Windom township; Jeanette is the wife of T. G. Bailey, of Seattle, Wash. Charles farms in Windom township.

The members of the family are well regarded in the various communities wherein they have taken up their residences.




Lynds S. Mitchell

Lynds S. Mitchell, for many years a blacksmith in Austin, came here after the war, and was married in 1870 to Minnie Fitzsimmons, daughter of Patrick and Huldy (Hoffman) Fitzsimmons, and to this union were born three children: Elizabeth, Ida and Lulu.

Elizabeth is now Mrs. Aultfather, and they have one child, David H. Ida is the widow of T. Myatt and has one child, Lela D. Lulu is now Mrs. Walter Hill.   Mr. Mitchell died in December, 1901.

It is worthy of note that Mrs. Mitchell has lived in the same pleasant home where she now resides for forty-one years.




Joseph L. Mitchell

b: 1865

Joseph L. Mitchell, a prominent banker of Austin, is actively identified with a number of the city's leading enterprises and organizations. He was born in Aurora township, Steele county, June 21, 1865; received his education in the public schools of Aurora township, and graduated from the Owatonna high school in 1882. As a youth he worked in his father's furniture store a year, and later entered the First National Bank of Owatonna as clerk and bookkeeper for a period of four years.

Then he was bookkeeper for the National Bank of Commerce, at Minneapolis, for nearly three years. In 1890 he came to Austin, and was made director an assistant cashier of the Austin National Bank. He continued in this position with much efficiency for a short time, and was then promoted to cashier. In this capacity he proved no less capable, and in January, 1909, he was chosen to his present position as vice president of the institution.

Mr. Mitchell is a Republican in politics; treasurer of city of Austin; director and treasurer of the Austin Weed Exterminator Manufacturing Company; secretary of the Austin Cement Stone & Tile Company; treasurer of the Mower County Abstract Company; director in the Waltham State Bank, of Waltham, Minn.; secretary of the Austin and Mower County Automobile Club; member of the Austin Commercial Club, of the Maccabees and the A. O. U. W., and a thirty-second degree Mason.

The subject of this sketch was married September 15, 1891, at Austin, to Ethel M. Davidson, daughter of Charles H. Davidson, of this place. This union has been blessed with one daughter, Margaret, born September 8, 1893, and now a student in the Austin high school. The family religion is that of the Methodist church. Henry H. and Mary L. (Goodnow) Mitchell, parents of Joseph L. Mitchell, were natives respectively of Indiana and Ohio. They located in Aurora township, Steele county, this state, about 1863, and engaged in farming until 1873, when they moved to Owatonna, where Henry H. opened a furniture store. Later he removed to Aldrich, Mo., where he still lives, engaged in farming.




Andrew Moonan

b: 1840

Andrew Moonan, the genial and courteous proprietor of the American House, Austin, was born in Drougheda, County Loud, Ireland, in 1840. He came to America in 1862, and after staying four months in New York City he moved to Providence, R. I., where he conducted a livery and sales stable.

In 1865 he came west and purchased a claim at Sauk Rapids, Minn., which he still retains. He also purchased a farm at Waseca county, which he conducted for two years, after which he sold out, came to Austin and for four years was engaged with Colonel Mansfield. Then he purchased the American House, where he still resides.

The subject of this sketch was married to Bridget Twill, February 2, 1875, at Chatfield, Minn. To them were born ten children, seven of whom are living.




Dr. Eliza Morrison

Dr. Eliza Morrison has erected a sanitarium which she conducts at Stuttgart, Ark.; Jayne married John Anderson and died in November, 1892, leaving a son, Robert I., who has been adopted by his grandparents; Andrew farms in Austin township; Blanche died January 23, 1896, and Almira married Albert Watkins.




Samuel E. Morse

b: 1843

Samuel E. Morse, a pioneer, was born in Camden, Oneida county, New York, April, 1843, youngest son of Elihue and Mary (Stoddard) Morse, well known settlers of the early days. He was brought by his parents to Indiana in 1848, and was but thirteen years of age when he came to Mower county with his parents.

He attended school as a boy, and assisted his father on the farm until December 16, 1861, when he enlisted in Company K, Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and went south and participated in the many important battles in which the regiment was engaged. He reenlisted in January, 1863, and served in the same company until July 16, 1865, being mustered out at Louisville, Ky., and discharged with his regiment at Ft. Snelling.

Then he returned home and farmed with his father until 1876, when he purchased the old homestead of 160 acres in LeRoy township. This he has increased until he now owns 320 acres in LeRoy township, as well as a half interest in a 400-acre tract in Wisconsin. He now carries on general farming in LeRoy township. He is a director in the State Bank of LeRoy, in which he has served sixteen years, and he also has other business holdings. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. and of the G. A. R., has served on the school board for many terms and has been clerk of his district for over sixteen years.

The subject of this sketch was married at Austin, by Elder Parker, April 8, 1875, to Julia A. Bacon, born in Wisconsin, December 6, 1850, daughter of Samuel P. and Elizabeth Bowen Bacon, who settled in LeRoy township in 1857. Mr. and Mrs. Morse were blessed with seven children: Mabel E., Marion B., Milton A., Melvin E., Morton P., Minnie R. and Milo D. Samuel P. Bacon served in the legislature of Minnesota at an early day. In 1874 he and his wife moved to Texas and in 1875 to Kansas, where they both died.




August Mulbrad

August Mulbrad, a retired farmer now living in Austin, was born in Germany, and came to this country in 1859, settling in Dodge county, Wisconsin. In 1864 he went to Geneva, in Freeborn county, and after about three years there returned to Dodge county, Wisconsin.

In 1871 he came to Mower county, and settled in Windom township. He there became a substantial resident and served a number of years on the school board of his district. In 1897 he retired and moved to Austin, where he has since resided.

Mr. Mulbrad married Mary Jane Williams, a native of Connecticut, and to this union have been born four children: Alice A., Jay E., George A. and Herbert V. Alice A. married Lee Lewis and they have one child, Marion. Jay E. married Amelia Stern and has four children, Ethel M. Helen A., Everette Jay and Herbert W. George married Frances Newton and has two children, Genevieve A. and Myrtle R. Herbert V. married Maude J. Beckwith.




John L. Neller

b: 1841

John L. Neller was born in Baden, Germany, December 25, 1841. He came to America in 1852, and was married April 22, 1869, to Emma M. Stokes, born in Winnebago county, Wisconsin, April 27, 1850. He came with his parents to Udolpho township, where they settled in 1856. Mr. Neller enlisted August 9, 1862, in Company C, Ninth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, until August, 1865; was taken sick at Mobile about the time Lee surrendered, from the effects of sunstroke, and remained there until the last days of February, 1866, from the effects of which he draws a pension.

John L. Neller is the son of Francis A. and Magdalena (Miller) Neller, who came to America, bringing a family of seven children, viz.: Margaret, Sebastian, Johanna, John L., Martin, Sophia and August. The mother died in Udolpho in 1862. The father moved to Blue Earth county, where he died December 13, 1883.

Sebastian lived in the township until the summer of 1864, when he sold out and went to the town of Medo, Blue Earth county, Minnesota, where he died January 29, 1878. John L. Neller was on the town board from 1885 to 1893 and was assessor in 1879. He now lives in Austin.




Theodore E. Nelson

b: 1868

Theodore E. Nelson, the modern and progressive merchant of Corning village, was born in Austin township, March 1, 1868, on the farm known as the old Wallace place. Theodore E. was three years old when his family moved to Lansing township. He attended school in district 72, and remained at home until twenty- four years of age, at which time he went to North Dakota, spent a time on a farm, and one winter in the woods. He then moved to South Dakota, and was there nine years.

In 1892 he came back to Lansing, and opened a store in the village of Corning, which he is now successfully conducting. Mr. Nelson is a Republican in politics, and at the time of leaving Blooming Valley, S. D., had served four years as township treasurer. He is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran church. The subject of this sketch married Irene Egtvet, and they have one bright son, Lester, now seven years of age.




Nicholi Nicholsen

Nicholi Nicholsen, now deceased, was born in Norway, and came to America in 1868, locating in Austin, where he was employed at various labor, until his marriage, after which he engaged in the pump business, continuing until the time of his death in 1895. He was a consistent Christian, and a member of St. Olaf Lutheran church.




Nicholas Nicholsen

b: 1868

Nicholas Nicholsen, the plucky and faithful sheriff of Mower county, was born in New York city, February 25, 1868, son of Nicholas and Johanna M. (Olson) Nicholsen. He was brought to Austin by his parents in 1870, and here received his education. After leaving school he farmed for a while, clerked in a store, and then was appointed deputy sheriff, serving seven years.

In 1904 he was elected sheriff, and has since been successively reelected. He also has the honor of being the senior major in the Second Regiment, Minnesota National Guards, and has won for himself the praise of the business men of Austin for his work as chairman of the membership committee of the Austin Commercial Club. The Germania-Harmonica Society claims him as an energetic member and he is as well a high degree Mason and Odd Fellow, in addition to being a member of the B. P. 0. E., the K. of P., the F. O. E., the M. W. A. and the Sons of Norway.

He is a past president of the State National Guard Association and member of the Spanish-American War Veterans. Nicholas Nicholsen, Sr., and Johanna Olson, his wife, parents of Sheriff Nicholas Nicholsen, were natives of Norway. They came to America in 1866, lived in New York until 1870, and then came to Austin, where Nicholas, Sr., was for many years a furniture dealer. He died in 1876, and his widow passed away many years afterward, in 1908.




Nicholai Nicholaisen


Nicholas Nicholsen

b: abt 1850

Nicholai Nicholaisen, whose name was afterward anglicized into Nicholas Nicholsen, was an early merchant of Austin. He was born in Norway, and came to America in 1867, locating in New York City, where he was married to Johanna Maria Vestlien, who had preceded him to America by one year.

In 1870 they came to Austin and here Nicholas engaged with Fernald & Kimball. Later he became a partner with S. C. Olson in the furniture business, thus continuing until his death in 1876. His wife passed away in 1908. Of their five children four are living. They are: Nicholas Nicholsen, sheriff of Mower county; Lena C., wife of S. M. Peterson, of Blooming Prairie, Minn.; Jacob N., an attorney of Austin, and Nora A., wife of George Brandner, of Newell. S. D.




Jacob N. Nicholsen

b: 1871

Jacob N. Nicholsen, attorney of Austin, was born in Austin, December 19, 1871, son of Nicholas and Johanna Maria (Vestlien) Nicholsen. He was reared in his native city, and in 1889 graduated from the Austin high school. Then after eight years in the First National Bank, of Austin, he entered the law office of Kingsley & Shepherd, in 1897, as student and clerk.

Subsequently he took two summer courses in the law department of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. In 1908 he went south as first sergeant of Company G, Twelfth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. October 1, 1901, he was admitted to the bar, and a year later formed a partnership with Senator F. E. Putnam, of Blue Earth, Minn.

This firm served for some time as city attorneys of Blue Earth. September 1, 1909, Mr. Nicholsen returned to Austin, and became a partner of S. D. Catherwood in the firm of Catherwood & Nicholsen. In October, 1910, he was appointed city attorney. He is a member of the Masonic body, the Commercial Club and other organizations.

The subject of this sketch was married September 29, 1903, at Austin, to Annie B. McBride, daughter of E. P. McBride, the pioneer grocer, and Esther Baldwin McBride, his wife. Attorney and Mrs. Nicholsen are the parents of three children: Margaret Esther, born December 7, 1904; Frank Vestlien, born October 5, 1909, and Richard- McBride, born January 22, 1911.




John Norris, (sr.)

b: abt 1850

John Norris was born in the north of Ireland of Scotch parentage, and came to America at the age of nine years. He located in Wisconsin, married Marie E. Spears, and there remained until 1868, when he came to Mower county and purchased 160 acres, also acquiring a similar tract in Freeborn county.

From 1883 to 1890 he conducted the flouring mill at Old Otranto, Iowa, and then sold and went to North Dakota. About six years later he came to Lyle once more, his wife passing away in 1905.




Ole T. Odden

b: 1835

Ole T. Odden, retired farmer of Grand Meadow, was born in Norway, October 10, 1835, son of Torgrim Anderson and Segrie Halverson, his wife, who came from Norway to America in 1870, and located in Lansing township, this county, later moving over the line into Moscow, Freeborn county, remaining there until their death. Ole T. received his education in Norway, and came to America in 1867, locating in Frankford township, this county, where he purchased eighty acres of land, which he improved and developed.

In 1906 he sold this farm, then bought it back again, and then disposed of it permanently. In the fall of 1910 he took up his abode in Grand Meadow. He still owns 160 acres in Frankford township, which he rents. While living on his farm Mr. Odden served seven years as justice of the peace.

He was married in September, 1859, to Ingeberg Severson, and this union has been 'brightened with seven children: Torgrim lives in Wadena county, Minnesota; Sever lives in Staples, Todd county, Minnesota; Halvor is a furniture dealer in Grand Meadow; Anton is janitor of Grand Meadow high school; John and Simon died of diphtheria in 1877; Emma C. is at home.

The family faith is that of the Lutheran church. The brothers and sisters of Ole T. Odden are as follows, he being the oldest: Anders, killed at Murfreesboro, January 1, 1864; Carolina, of Norway; Halvor, farmer of Freeborn county, town of Mosco; Sarah, the wife of Lewis Quam, of Elmore, Minn.; Simon, of Freeborn county; Bertha, wife of George Baudler, of Austin, and Christopher, deceased.




Abe Olson

b: 1859

Abe Olson, of Lansing township, one of the progressive farmers of Mower county, was born in Neury, Freeborn county, Minnesota, April 9, 1859, son of Helge and Kari Olson, the former of whom, coming to America in 1855, was one of the first settlers in Freeborn county. Abe Olson was one of ten brothers and three sisters. He passed his early life on the farm, and came to Mower county about twenty years ago (1890).

He now owns 180 acres of land, and has made his place one of the model farms of the township, his fine house, commodious and modern barns, and well-tilled acres being hard to excel. Besides carrying on general agricultural pursuits, Mr. Olson is a breeder of Belgian horses and owns some of the most valuable pieces of horse flesh in the state, having taken many prizes. He also makes a specialty of breeding fine Jersey hogs.

The subject of this sketch was married many years ago to Carrie Nelson, a daughter of Iver and Chersty Nelson.




Andrew M. Olson

b: 1861

Andrew M. Olson, whose farm is in the immediate vicinity of the village of Brownsdale, was born in Sweden, April 16, 1861, son of Olaf and Kyersten (Anderson) Larson. He came to America in 1888, and in the same year located in Austin, remaining five months.

After this he worked six years in Brownsdale, and then farmed a similar period for Charles Gage. In 1899 he purchased a farm in Red Rock township near Brownsdale and in 1900 moved onto the place. He has the 160 acres under good cultivation, has a substantial home and large outbuildings in which the cattle and crops are well housed.

Mr. Olson was on the school board in 1903 and he has allied himself with the MI. W. A. and the B. A. Y. He married Hilda M. Sodergren, daughter of Charles and Lena (Peterson) Sodergren, and this union has resulted in five children: Alvin A., Walter S., Edna M., Russell F. and Helen C.




Manley Ousley

b: 1858

Manley Ousley, of the Southern Minnesota Land Company, is one of the most successful real estate dealers in this portion of the state. He was born in Grant county, Wisconsin, April 28, 1858, son of M. B. and Amanda S. (Day) Ousley. He received his early education in the public schools of Boscobel, Wis., and then learned the woolen manufacturing business from start to finish in the mills there.

In 1876 he removed with his parents to Decorah, Iowa, and worked at the woolen business two years more. After this he opened a restaurant in that place, continuing the same for seventeen years. His restaurant, which bore the name of "Ousley Restaurant," was one of the finest eating houses in the state of Iowa.

After selling out this place, Mr. Ousley came to Austin and purchased the Grand Hotel, which he maintained as the leading family hotel of Austin. After about fourteen years in this business, Mr. Ousley sold out and with Herbert St. Ledger entered into the real estate business under the name of the Southern Minnesota Land Company, a company which during the past year has done over a million dollars' business. While in Decorah Mr. Ousley served on the school board, but he has always voted independently and has never cared to enter actively into politics.

He is a member of the Christian Science church. The subject of this sketch was married April 13, 1879, at Decorah, Iowa, to Etta M. Kimball, a native of New York State, now the first reader of the Christian Science church at Austin. To this union two children have been born. Flora May, who was born May 30, 1886, died at the age of ten months. Walter D., born June 29, 1893, is a student in the Austin high school.




M. B. Ousley

M. B. Ousley, a veteran of the Civil War, was born in Missouri, and married Amanda S. Day, of Kentucky. They located in Boscobel, Wis., and there lived for some years, going in 1876 to Decorah, Iowa, where they are now living a retired life.




William G. Pace

b: 1881

William G. Pace, treasurer of Lyle township as was his father before him, comes of an old pioneer family, his father and mother both having come to Lyle with the earliest settlers. He is a native of this county, born on the farm in Lyle, where he now lives, March 19, 1881, son of Charles M. and Emma (Gekler) Pace.

William G. received his education in the school district of which he is now treasurer, namely, district 57, and then entered the Southern Minnesota Normal College, graduating in 1902. Thus equipped with an excellent education he returned to the home farm, and purchased the homestead of 120 acres in section 22, to which he has since added eighty acres more, making a fine farm of 200 acres, on which he now conducts general farming.

Mr. Pace has made extensive improvements on his land and buildings, and has taken an active interest in the welfare of the town. He is a Prohibitionist in politics, and is now serving his fourth term as town treasurer. He is a member of the M. W. A. The subject of this sketch was married December 31, 1904, to Elma A. Varco, of Austin township, and to this union have been born two children, Glenn E., born June 3, 1906, and Clarence N., born September 6, 1909.




Alfred C. Page

b: 1865

Alfred C. Page, a progressive real estate and insurance man, of Austin, is well known throughout the county and state. During the Spanish-American war he served as first lieutenant in Co. G, 12th'Regt., Minn. Vol., and at the present time he is serving as regimental adjutant of the Second Regiment, Minnesota National Guards. He has been grand master of Fidelity Lodge, No. 39, A. F. and A. M.; has been eminent commander of St. Bernard Commandery, No. 13, Knights Templar, and has also been prominently identified with the B. P. O. E.

His interest in the commercial progress of Austin is shown by the fact that he has joined the Commercial Club, and the confidence of his fellow citizens is well exemplified by the fact that he is now the alderman at large in the city council of Austin.

Alfred C. Page was born in Whiteside county, Illinois, October 6, 1865, son of Thomas S. and Caroline M' (Abbott) Page, who between then and 1888 lived in Mitchell county, Iowa, and in Howard county, in the same state, in both of which counties Alfred C. attended school, completing his scholastic days with a course in the Cedar Valley Seminary, in Osage, Iowa, from which institution he graduated in 1886.

After arriving in Austin he entered the office of Lyman D. Baird, with whom he has since been engaged. In 1890 he was admitted to the bar by examination, but he has never taken up the practice of this profession.




Joseph Palmer

b: 1830

Joseph Palmer, of Austin, now retired, a veteran of the Civil war, was born in Chittenden county, Vermont, September 25, 1830, and received his early education in the public schools of his native state. In 1856 he came to Illinois and in 1860 to Fillmore county, locating in Austin in 1875. He followed various vocations from that time until his retirement in 1908.

In July, 1864, Mr. Palmer was drafted into the Union army and served in Company B, Third Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, six months, being discharged at Duval Bluff, Arkansas, in December, 1864, on account of illness. For one term he served with credit as county treasurer of Fillmore county.

He is a Republican in politics, a member of the Congregational church, and a good citizen in every respect. He affiliates with the G. A. R. and has the unusual record of having been a member of the I. O. O. F. for forty-four years. Mr. Palmer was married February 15, 1854, to Katherine Coleman, who died July 1, 1897, leaving four children: Fred L., now of Iowa, born December 14, 1855; Clara B., born November 25, 1863, now Mrs. George Miller, of Minneapolis; Albert, born August 28, 1867, now of Chicago; and Eunice, born December 29, 1869, and widow of Thomas Floyd, who died November 14, 1889.




William W. Patterson

b: 1832

William W. Patterson, for many years an honest and respected blacksmith of Austin, was born in Chautauqua county, New York, April 15, 1832. There he was reared on a farm and lived there until fourteen years of age, at which time he was taken by his parents to Beaver Dam, Wis., where he completed his education in the public schools. He then learned the blacksmith trade. In 1866 he came to Austin, erected a shop and here followed general blacksmithing until his death, February 20, 1892.

He prospered as time passed and accumulated property, so that at the time of his decease he owned a block of land within the city limits as well as a fine brick residence, where Mrs. Patterson now resides. He was married April 15, 1853, at Beaver Dam, Wis., to Ardelia Hudson. She was born May 5, 1836, at Waterbury, Washington county, Vermont. There she attended the public schools until thirteen years of age, at which time she was brought by her parents to Wisconsin, where she completed her education; grew to womanhood and married.

Mr. and Mrs. Patterson are the parents of six children. Two, William W., Jr., and Mrs. Martin, are dead. 0. D. lives in Grand Forks, N. D. Mrs. Mabel Sterling lives in Minneapolis. Charles C. lives in San Francisco. Mrs. Maude Cutter lives in Austin. Mr. Patterson was a member of the Universalist church and of the Legion of Honor. Mrs. Patterson is a kindly old lady, greatly esteemed for her many excellent traits. Her husband was a substantial God-fearing citizen, of upright character, honorable and straightforward in every way.




Charles Peachey

b: 1849

Charles Peachey has a fine farm in Lyle township, well cultivated and well set with fruit and shade trees. He was born in England, in Cambridgeshire, April 20, 1849, son of James and Charlotte (Marsh) Peachey, natives of England, who came to America in 1851 and located in Milwaukee, Wis., remaining there about two years, after which they moved to Waupun, Wis., where they remained for about four years, subsequently removing to Rice lake, Dodge county, remaining there about twenty years, still later coming to Owatonna, Steele county. Here the father died, December 28, 1908, the mother still making her home in Owatonna.

Charles crossed the ocean with his parents at one and a half years of age, and received his education in the public schools of Rice Lake, Minn. After this he worked out by the month for a period of five years, and in 1876 went to Waupun, Dodge county, Wisconsin, and engaged with Raymond brothers on a farm for one year. In 1877 he came to Mower county, and located in section 7, Lyle township, where he purchased forty acres of wild land and built a home and other buildings, breaking and developing the land.

Six years later he added an adjoining forty acres, his farm now consisting of eighty acres of good land. He has set out an abundance of shade trees, giving his residence a pretty appearance, and also has over 100 apple trees. Mr. Peachey is a Republican in politics and attends the Presbyterian church.

Although interested in public affairs, he has never consented to run for public office. The subject of this sketch was married March 27, 1877, to Eliza A. Marsh, who has proved an able helpmeet. She is the daughter of James and Christina (Nolden) Marsh, the former a native of Cambridgeshire, England, and the mother of Bonn, Germany.

The father came to America at nineteen years of age and the mother at ten, the former locating in Milwaukee, Wis., and the latter at Waupun, in the same state. They came to Minnesota in 1888, from Dodge county, Wisconsin. Both are now living in Austin. Mrs. Peachey has served as treasurer of her school district, No. 14, for eight years, and has taken a deep interest in local, civic, literary and educational subjects.




George D. Pearce

b: 1844

George D. Pearce, an early merchant of Dexter, and a veteran of the Civil war, now retired, was born in Gloucestershire, England, June 24, 1844, son of Daniel G. and Ann (Smith) Pearce. When he was nine years of age, he and his mother came to America, following his father who had come the year previous.

They joined the father in Albany, N. Y., and there remained one year, after which they went to Chicago. After a year in Chicago, the family went to Windsor, Dane county, Wisconsin, and lived on a farm. There George D. remained until 1863, when he enlisted in the 35th Wis. Vol. Inf. and served in Co. H until mustered out at Brownsdale, Texas, in March, 1866.

Mr. Pearce has many interesting stories to tell of his experiences in the Red River and Marmaduke campaigns in Arkansas, of raids up Chafilie river in Louisiana, of the capture of Mobile, Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely, of the trip up the Tombigbee River and the capture of a rebel fleet, on one of the boats of which, named the Jeff Davis, Mr. Pearce returned to Mobile, and of the enforced departure from the Rio Grande of a French fleet which was there for the purpose of operating against Mexico. After his honorable discharge, Mr. Pearce returned to his father's farm in Wisconsin. and in the fall of 1868 came to Austin.

In time he purchased a farm near Otranto, Iowa, and there lived until 1876, when he came to Dexter, where his father had engaged in the mercantile business two years earlier. In 1877 he purchased two stores of his father. One of these stores, which was devoted to the sale of hardware, Mr. Pearce rented to David M. Vermilea as his father had done, and in the other store he carries on business himself, selling drugs, dry goods and groceries. In May, 1897, the stores were wiped out by fire, and since then Mr. Pearce has led a retired life.

He is a member of the G. A. R. and has belonged to both the Grand Meadow and the Brownsdale posts. The subject of this sketch married Henrietta Beach, in March, 1873, and to this union was born Charles D., June 13, 1874, and Iva Myrtle, October 11, 1888. Mrs. Pearce was born in East Troy, Walworth county, Wisconsin.




Homer F. Peirson, M. D.

b: 1867

Homer F. Peirson, M. D., one of the physicians and surgeons of Austin, was born on the "Mile Strip," so called, in High Forest, September 11, 1867. He attended school at Grand Meadow, and later took a course in the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1891. Then he entered the Rush Medical College, ih Chicago, and after graduating from that institution received the necessary hospital practice as an interne in St. Mary's Hospital, Minneapolis. He commenced the practice of medicine in Austin in 1906 and has since been actively engaged in this city, building up a large practice. He belongs to the national, state and county medical associations, and is affiliated with various Austin fraternities.

Dr. Peirson was married in 1898 to Jessie E. Allen, daughter of G. H. Allen, who for a number of years was surveyor of Mower county. Dr. and Mrs. Peirson have two children: Helen and Marion. F. M. Peirson was born in Chittenden county, Vermont, in 1834.

He moved to Illinois with his parents in 1841, and later moved to Columbus, Wis. In 1854 he came to High Forest, Minn., and followed farming till 1874. Since that date until his retirement in 1895 he was engaged in the hotel business for a period of three years in Rochester, Minn., and the remainder of the time in Grand Meadow, Minn. He was married in 1860 to Catherine Keyes. Two children were born to them: Alonzo, dying in infancy, and Dr. Homer F. Peirson.




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