Biographical Sketch of
John R. Vail
John R. Vail was born in the Province of Quebec, October 12, 1833. In 1848 his father, Portius Vail moved to Stephenson County, Illinois and died there in 1849. His mother Mrs. Harriet Vail afterwards married, and is now living in Minnesota City of this state. She is the widow of Julius Smith.
John R. Vail, in 1855, went to LaCrosse, Wisconsin and followed his trade as carpenter and joiner. He was married October 3rd, 1856 to Caroline E. Grosvenor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The same season he bought of Deacon S.T. Smith of LaCrosse 160 acres of land in section 17, town of Racine. He brought his family here May 14, 1857. He has made his residence here since, except during his service in the army. He has added 160 acres more to his land and now owns the north half of section 17. By his marriage he had four children; Frank C., S. May, Willie S., and Benjamin C. His wife died December 29, 1867 and he was again married October 4, 1868 to Mrs. Charlotte H. Wattles, the widow of Amos B. Wattles of Chain Lake, Minnesota. By this marriage there are six children; Charles H., John R., Herbert C., George N., Lucy B., and L. Maud. He also has four step-children of his second wife; Eugene D., Mary E., Clara M., and Isadore D. These four are married.
His second wife died July 5, 1882 and he was again married June 5, 1883 to Mrs. Helen Lathrop, the widow of S. Lathrop who died in Pleasant Valley. The present Mrs. Vail has two children by her former husband, Nellie A., and Willie H.
Mr. Vail enlisted in the Second Minnesota Volunteers February, 1864 and was in the Atlanta Campaign and followed old Wm. T. Sherman to the ocean, and through the Carolinas; was in line at the Grand Review at Washington in June 1865. Mr. Vail is a good straight, energetic, live citizen and a man that will do all in his power to advance the public good.
History of Mower County 1884
Submitted to MnGenWeb by Kathy Pike, Jan. 8, 2007