Mower County Obituaries
Part 008



Margaret Rose (Enright)


Austin, Minnesota
(Daily Herald?)


Mrs. Margaret Duffy

The funeral service of Mrs. Margaret Duffy who died at Los Angeles November 1 will be held at St. Augustine's Church in this city at 9:30 Monday morning.

Margaret Rose Enright was born April 30, 1872 near Rose Creek and was married to George Duffy October 23, 1893. To them were born ten children all of whom are living. She is also survived by nineteen grandchildren, three brothers; William Enright of this city, James and Patrick of Saskatchewan, Can. and three sisters, Nellie Werner, Barbara Unterleitner and Kate Potts of Los Angeles. Her husband George Duffy died May 3, 1913.

The ten children who survive their mother are Greggory (sic) of Colgan, N.D., George of Minneapolis, Margaret Biggs of Seattle, Livella (sic) Ellis of Strool, S.D., Vivian of this city, Irene McLean and Lewis of Seattle, Ernest of Spokane, Mary Wold of this city and Valeria McKinnon of Wadena.

Mrs. Duffy went out west in 1907 with her children and lived in the western part of South Dakota and about 1922 she moved back to this city where she resided until she went to California a few years ago for her health, making her home in Los Angeles. By a coincidence her death occurred upon the anniversary of her husband's birth.

Mrs. Duffy devoted her life time to her family. Patient and good natured she worked out her problems. What ever troubles came she met them with a faith that she could overcome them. Her large family of children are proud of her, proud to have called her mother, and they deeply mourn her passing.

(Transcribed from original by Susan Mocsny Baker (my great grandmother).

Note from transcriber: Gregory was only spelled with one "g" in the middle and the name spelled "Livella" was actually Louella. Also, Maggie died in Alhambra, Los Angeles County, not in the city of Los Angeles.)

Made available to The USGenWeb Archives by: Susan Mocsny Baker
Submitted: Jan 2002


Mary Ann (Enright) Duffy


On Tuesday, April 26 occurred one of the saddest deaths ever recorded in Austin. Mary Ann Duffy, 34, daughter of the late John Enright and wife of George Duffy, well to all appearance Monday evening, and the next morning at 9:30 was dead.

Attending physicians believe that the severe vomiting with which her sickness commenced resulted in internal hemorrhage, the death and premature birth of her child, and her own death a few hours later. So sudden a death is a great shock to her many friends who loved her with a sister's love and feel a sister's sorrow. The ladies of the Catholic Union, of which she was a member, decorated her casket with a cross of carnations and roses and the United Workmen placed on her coffin a floral cross and anchor.

A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of her soul was celebrated by Father Murphy of Blooming Prairie, assisted by Fathers Christie and O'Sullivan. Father Christie preached an eloquent sermon exhorting his hearers not to consider their duty to departed friends discharged by a tear of sorrow over their graves, but to remember them in their prayers, the only way they can now benefit them, quoting the scripture: "It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosened from their sins." A large concourse of friends attended the funeral and followed her to the grave.

She was born October 23, 1857 in Iowa county, Wis., moved to Austin with her parents in 1866, and married to George Duffy, by Father Hurly February 9, 1879. She endeared herself to all who knew her in life, and died in the Catholic faith. After receiving the last sacraments, she exclaimed, "O! I am so happy." She kissed her husband good-bye and expired without a sigh. She leaves motherless three girls and two boys, the oldest a girl of eleven.

Note from Submitter:

Obituary of Mary Ann ENRIGHT Duffy, my 2nd great aunt, sister of Margaret Rose ENRIGHT Duffy. She was the first wife of my great grandfather, George DUFFY, who later married his late wifes' sister. (Margaret Rose ENRIGHT)

Made available to The USGenWeb Archives by: Susan M. Baker
Submitted: Jan 2002


Elizabeth (Robertson) Dugan


Funeral services for Mrs. Elizabeth Dugan were held this afternoon at 2 o'clock from the home and at 2:30 from the Methodist church, Rev. Warner Johnson, her pastor, conducting the services. Six grandsons, Thomas Harrison of Dawson, N.D., Marlin and Melbourne Dugan of Seattle, Wash., and Harry, Leonard and George Dugan, Jr., of this city carried the loved grandparent to the last resting place.

Elizabeth (Robertson) Dugan, daughter of George and Margaret (Lang) Robertson, was born on a farm near Fulton, Wis., Nov.14, 1846. On April 1, 1865 she married Thomas Dugan and they resided in Janesville, Wis., until Oct.1866, when they emigrated to London, Freeborn Co., Minn. After two years they moved to Austin and for some more than sixty years the family home was on south Franklin Street, for more than fifty years on the same corner where stands the new home which Mr. and Mrs. Dugan built in recent years.

Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dugan, Kate, wife of W.L. Nichols of Great Falls, Mont., Mrs. Flora E. Harrison and Harry D. Dugan of Napoleon, N.D., Hazel, wife of R.E. Lang of Plentywood, Mont., George Dugan, Mrs. Minnie Crocker and Miss Jean Dugan of Austin, the latter two living in the home with the mother. Sheridan E. died April 18, 1926 in Mandan, N.D. Mary aged five and an infant daughter had gone on before. With those left to mourn are seventeen grandchildren and ten great grand children. Mr. Dugan died February 25, 1926. Mrs. Dugan was one of a family of ten children also, two of whom are living, sisters, Mrs. F.B. Hyland of Stoughton, Wis., and Mrs. Jean Lang, widow of the late Oscar Lane; who had made her home with Mrs. Dugan for some months past, the two sisters and all of the daughters came to the bedside of their mother when she was stricken ill on September 13th.

On September 13, 1929 she suffered the stroke which caused her to take to her bed and remain until the end, her life ending Monday morning at 3:15, sweetly and peacefully she closed her book of life. She knew the sacrifices of the mothers of the early day and she lived to see many of the changes that brought comfort to her retiring years; she took the bitter with the sweet, for the pioneer days had trials as well as happy days for the young people who came west to settle in this, then a new country. Mrs. Dugan was well read and a bright nature, passing cheer to those about her and she reaped the reward of her kindness.

Mr. and Mrs. Dugan were of the pioneer residents of the city of Austin, Mr. Dugan being one of the early business men. He conducted a blacksmith business on East Bridge street in the "Old Headquarters" building. He was an artist in his trade, for he was of the old school and his helpmate was of the good old school of home-makers, a dutiful wife and mother. The long period of residence, over half a century, in the one home and location, speaks of the thrift, the trust and loyalty of two of our older citizens now gone on, their work here finished.

Submitted to MNGenWeb by Kathy Pike, January 10, 2007


Sheridan Edward Dugan


Sheridan Edward Dugan, son of Mrs. Elizabeth (Robertson) Dugan and the late Thomas Dugan, passed away at Mandan, N.D., Sunday, April 18, at 4:15 of apoplexy. "Sherd" had not been feeling well for a week or so but due to his enthusiasm for baseball went to Bismarck the same day to umpire at a ball game, returning about 2 o'clock. His friends at once tried to secure medical aid. All that could be secured was directions from a former family physician at Bismarck over the telephone.

"Sherd" was born in Austin, Minn. on October 4, 1874. His early schooling was received in Austin Public Schools, later attending the university at Fayette, Iowa.

In the year of 1902 he went to North Dakota, working as a salesman and collector for various implement companies until the year of 1920 when his family moved to Seattle, Wa. Returning 2 years later to Mandan, N.D. where he accepted a position as credit man with the Bingenhimer Mercantile Co., with whom he was employed at the time of his death.

On May 14, 1907 he was married to Lauretta J. Casey who, with her two sons, Marlin and Melbourne, survive. He also leaves his mother of Austin, Minn. and the following brothers and sisters: Mrs. Minnie Crocker of Lincoln, Nebr., Mrs. Flora Harrison and Harry Dugan of Napoleon, N.D., Mrs. Kate Nichols of Great Falls, Mont., Mrs. Hazel Lang of Plentywood, Mont., George and Jean Dugan of Austin, Minn.

His remains were shipped to Seattle, Wash. accompanied by his sister, Jean. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery there.

Sheridan Dugan was one of Austin's most popular boys when he went to school and his young manhood found him more popular. He was known near and far because of his genial personality, his wit, and humor, his even temper, his love of outdoor sports, his happy way of meeting people, and making them his friends. People just had to like “Sherd” Dugan.

Submitted to MNGenWeb by Kathy Pike, January 2007


Thomas Dugan


"Death Takes Tom Dugan, Pioneer"

Thomas Dugan, a resident of the county (Mower) since 1866, died at his home on south Franklin street, Thursday, Feb.25. Had he lived until April he would have been 82 years old.

Mr. Dugan was born in Milwaukee, Wis., April 30, 1844, son of Cormick and Catherine (McNab) Dugan. He began his career as a workman fourteen years later on a farm near Milwaukee. In 1862 he went to Janesville, Wis. where he became apprentice in a blacksmith shop. Here he learned the business from the bottom up, acquiring knowledge of his trade in the same thorough manner that typified all his work. In 1865 he married Miss Elizabeth Robertson of Porter, Wisc., and they came to Mower Co. A log house on a 160 acre farm near London Township was their "estate". The Dugans moved to Austin and in 1869 "Tom" as he was familiarly known, opened his blacksmith shop.

Mr. Dugan was the owner of a famous "Headquarters" building. He purchased it in 1879, and moved it to its present location on Bridge Street, and here for thirty years was "the village smithy". The quality of his work, combined with his jovial personality and business ability made his shop one of the most popular in Austin.

Mr. Dugan was Austin's first fire chief and through his efforts Austin obtained its first volunteer fire department. Mr. Dugan retired from the shop in 1902.

Funeral services were held Sunday at the Methodist church. Mr. Dugan is survived by his wife and the following children: Mrs. Minnie Crocker of Lincoln, Neb.; George of this city; Mrs. Kate Nichols of Great Falls, Mont.; Mrs. Flora Harrison and Harry Dugan of Napoleon, N.D.; Sheridan of Seattle; Miss Jean Dugan, and Mrs. Hazel Lang of Plentywood, Mont. Two children died in early childhood.

Submitted to MNGenWeb by Kathy Pike, January 2007


Bessie Frieda (Dunham) Lennberg


Bessie Frieda Lennberg, age 90, of Austin, Minnesota, died Friday May 4, 2007, at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

Bessie Dunham was born Oct. 23, 1916, in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, the daughter of Morton Leslie and Ellanade (Provance) Dunham. As a child, she moved to Akeley, Minnesota where she received her education.

Bessie married Earl Lennberg on May 7, 1939, at Nevis, Minnesota. They made their home in Hibbing for a short time, before moving to Austin.

She was a charter member of Crane Community Chapel where she also taught the fifth grade girls Sunday school class for over twenty years.

Her husband, Earl died on December 29, 2000. After his death, Bessie moved to Pickett Place, and in October of 2006, she moved to the Adams Health Care Center.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, May 9, 2007, at Crane Community Chapel in Austin, Minnesota, with Rev. Mark Goossen officiating. Interment was in Grandview Cemetery, Austin.

Survivors include one son, Chuck (Suzanne) Lennberg of Austin; one daughter, Ellie (Mike) Jennings of Bloomington, Minnesota; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; by her husband, Earl Lennberg on Dec. 29, 2000; by two brothers, Merle and Louie Dunham, and by one sister, Violet Fenner.

The Worlein Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


©2007 MNGenWeb


Diane Catherine Durben-Peterson



LANESBORO, MINNESOTA -- The funeral for Diane Catherine Durben-Peterson will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Lanesboro with the Rev. Thomas Loomis officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Mrs. Durben-Peterson, 34, of Lanesboro, a registered nurse, died Sunday (July 23, 2000) at her home following a 31/2-year illness with cancer. Diane Catherine Durben was born May 14, 1966, in Osage, Iowa, lived in Stacyville, Iowa, as a child and attended St. Ansgar, Iowa, schools. She moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa, with her family in 1979 and attended school in the Fort Dodge School District until 1982 when the family moved to Austin. She graduated from Austin High School in 1984, received an associate degree in nursing from Rochester Community College in 1986, and after receiving a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Winona State University in 1991, worked at University Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa, for a year. From 1987 until the time of her death, she was a registered nurse with Mayo Foundation.

On July 7, 1990, she married John E. Peterson and they made their home in Lanesboro. Her husband is employed by Jerome Foods in Rochester. A member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, she served on the Pastoral Council, was a past president of the Council of Catholic Women, taught first communion for faith formation and was a member of the choir. She was active in the American Cancer Society, specifically the Relay for Life event, a member of the Society of Urologic Nurses Association, and enjoyed playing tennis, shopping, listening to music and watching movies.

Survivors include her husband; a daughter, Katlyn Rose, and a son, Erik Gilbert, both at home; her parents, Norman and Mary (Carroll) Durben of Austin; three sisters, Pat Levorson of St. Ansgar, Rose (Keith) Hemann of Iowa City and Judy (Michael) Starr of Rochester, and two brothers, Mike Durben of Stacyville and Jerry (Lara) Durben of Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Friends may call at the church from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and an hour before the service Wednesday. There will be a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. today at the church.

Johnson-Riley Funeral Home in Lanesboro is in charge of arrangements.


Diane Catherine Durben-Peterson, 34 of Lanesboro, died Sunday, July 23, 2000, after a 3 1/2 year illness with cancer.

Diane Catherine Durben was born May 14, 1966, to Norman and Mary (Carroll) Durben at Osage, Iowa. She grew up at Stacyville, Iowa and attended St. Ansgar Community School District classes.

She and her family moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa in 1979, where she attended Fort Dodge Community School District classes. They moved to Austin in 1982, where she graduated Austin High School in 1984.

She earned an associate degree in nursing from Rochester Community College in November 1986 and obtained her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Winona State University in 1991.

She was employed at University Hospitals, Iowa City, Iowa, for one year following graduated and was employed by Mayo Foundation since 1987 as a registered nurse until her death.

She married John E. Peterson July 7, 1990, and they made their home at Lanesboro.

She was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church and served on the pastoral council and was president of CCW, taught First Communion for Faith Formation classes and sang in the church choir.

She was active in the American Cancer Society, including the Relay for Life event and was a member of the Urologic Nurses Association.

She enjoyed tennis, shopping, music, movies and being a wife and mother.

Survivors include her husband, John E. Peterson; a daughter, Katlyn Rose, 8; a son, Erik Gilbert, 5; parents, Norman and Mary Durben, Austin; spouse's parents, Percy and Lois Peterson, Lanesboro; three sisters, Pat Levorson, St. Ansgar, Iowa, Rose (Keith) Hemann, Iowa City, Iowa, and Judy (Michael) Starr, Rochester; two brothers, Mike Durben, Stacyville, Iowa, and Jerry (Lara) Durben, Brooklyn Park; and 28 nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her paternal and maternal grandmothers.

Service: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Lanesboro, with the Rev. Thomas Loomis officiating.

Interment: St. Patrick's Catholic Church Cemetery.

Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. today, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Lanesboro with a 7:30 p.m. prayer service also tonight and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday also at the church, according to Johnson-Riley Funeral Home of Lanesboro.

Austin Daily Herald - July 25, 2000



Donna M. (Eastlee) (Mrs. Sky) Hovda


Donna M. (Mrs. Sky) Hovda, age 70, of Wabasha, formerly of Austin, died Tuesday, May 13, 2003, at her home. Her death was due to cancer.

She was born Sept. 9, 1932, in Hayfield, Minn., the daughter of Orlando and Olga (Loomis) Eastlee. She was a graduate of Hayfield High School and later attended beauty school in Minneapolis.

She married Sky Hovda June 23, 1950, in West St. Olaf Lutheran Church at Rock Dell, Minn. The family lived in Grand Meadow until moving to Austin in 1957. She owned Donna's Beauty Salon in Austin and also was a real estate agent there. Her husband was a lineman for Freeborn-Mower Electrical Co-op. He retired in 1987. The couple moved to Sand Prairie, rural Wabasha in 1991.

She was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church in Wabasha. She enjoyed gardening, sewing and baking. She had an unconditional love and support for her family and always put them and others ahead of herself. She lived by the golden rule as well.

Donna is survived by her husband, Sky Hovda, Wabasha, Minn.; son and daughter-in-law, Todd and Cathy Hovda, Kasson, Minn.; daughters and son-in-law, Teri Jo Hay, Dallas, Texas; Camille and Jeff Lechnir, Kasson, Minn.; four grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Tully Hovda, and Bradley and Jessica Lechnir; brother and sister-in-law, Dale and Marilee Eastlee, Merced, Calif.; sisters, Kathleen Munger, Escondido, Calif.; Charlotte Jenson, Grand Meadow, Minn.; nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, May 16, 2003, at 10:30 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church with the Rev. Barbara Knutson officiating. Interment will be in Bear Creek Lutheran Cemetery, near Grand Meadow. Casket bearers will be Ted Hovda, James Anderson, Kevin Kelley, Allen Eastlee, Eric Jensen and Hans Hovda. Friends may call at the Abbott Funeral Home in Wabasha on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. and at the church on Friday one hour before the service. The Abbott Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Submitted to Mower MNGenWeb by K. Pike.


Hazel Leola Larson Eastlick


The funeral for Hazel Eastlick will be 2 p.m. Monday at Vine Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Linda Helberg of Bethel Lutheran Church officiating. Burial will be in Bennington Cemetery in Mower County.

Mrs. Eastlick, 90, of Rochester, a longtime Saint Marys Hospital employee, died Tuesday (Oct. 13, 1998) at Samaritan Bethany Home on Eighth where she had resided since 1976.

Hazel Larson was born June 14, 1908, in Bennington Township, Mower County, attended area country schools and Grand Meadow schools, and then worked in housekeeping at Saint Marys Hospital until her marriage. On Sept. 5, 1927, she married Kenneth Alton Eastlick in Kasson and they made their home in Kalispell, Mont. After her husband's death in 1931 she moved to Rochester and returned to Saint Marys where she was employed in housekeeping for many years.

Survivors include a daughter, Kathleen (Mrs. Lyle) Manley of Tucson, Ariz.; six grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren, and a sister, Olga Wright of Byron. She was preceded in death by a son, a daughter, a grandson, two sisters and two brothers.

Friends may call an hour before the service Monday at the funeral home.

Memorials are suggested to a charity of the donor's choice.

Submitted to Mower MNGenWeb by K. Pike.



Harlan Jerome Easton

Oct. 10, 1918 - May 4, 2003

Harlan Jerome Easton, age 84, of Blooming Prairie, died at Prairie Manor on Sunday, May 4, 2003.

He was born Oct. 10, 1918, in rural Freeborn County to Carl Edwin and Nellie (Peterson) Easton. He was baptized in the Lutheran faith and confirmed at Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church.

Harlan married Ethel Anderson on Aug. 27, 1940. To this marriage two children were born, Carole and Robert. Ethel passed away on May 3, 1955. In 1960, Harlan married Marjorie Koster, and they were divorced in 1967. One child, Scott, was born to this marriage. On Dec. 14, 1968, he married Ruby Jeanne Anderson. Jeanne died Feb. 10, 1995.

Harlan spent his entire life working in Freeborn County. He farmed in Newry Township and worked at Queen Stove in Albert Lea for a short time. However, his lifelong passion was inventing. He started a company called Easton Manufacturing, which eventually evolved into Easton Products, where he enjoyed designing and making new farm products.

Harlan is survived by two sons and spouses, Robert and Jane Easton and Scott and Julie Easton of Blooming Prairie; step-daughters and spouses, Barbara and William Harken of Shell Rock, Iowa; Beverly and Dwane Hull of Austin; and Julia and Duane Masching of Hayfield; sister, Eunice Harris of Austin; seven grandchildren; eight step-grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; several great-great-grandchildren; nieces and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Ethel; their daughter, Carole Stish; his third wife, Jeanne; and one grandson, Derek Easton.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, May 8, 2003, at First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie. Interment is at Red Oak Grove Cemetery, south of Blooming Prairie. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Worlein Blooming Prairie Funeral Home and at the church one hour before the service on Thursday. Memorials are preferred to First Lutheran Church.

©2007 MNGenWeb


Etta V. (Eckert) Goodew


AUSTIN, MINN. -- Etta V. Goodew, 86, of St. Ansgar, Iowa, and formerly of Austin, died Sunday afternoon at the home of her daughter in St. Ansgar.

Born Etta V. Eckert on Feb. 22, 1906, in the Windom, Minn., area., she married Edward Goodew on Aug. 3, 1926, in Northwood, Iowa. They made their home in Austin until moving to St. Ansgar after her husband's retirement from Geo. A. Hormel & Co. Survivors include her husband; two sons, Carroll of Raleigh, N.C., and Ray of Austin; two daughters, Evelyn (Mrs. Edgar) Fox Jr. of St. Ansgar and Valyda (Mrs. Ron) Shada of Walker, Iowa; 17 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Willis Eckert of Florida and Jason Eckert of Austin; and two sisters, Stella Wambeam of Austin and Lillian Johnson of St. Ansgar. Three children, several grandchildren, a sister and two brothers preceded her in death.

The funeral will be 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Grace Baptist Church in Austin, with the Revs. Jack Dowden and Gary Gonnerman co-officiating. Burial will be in Woodbury Cemetery in Lyle. Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday at Mayer Funeral Home in Austin and an hour before the service at the church.


Gladys Ione (Crane) Eddy


STEWARTVILLE -- There will be a memorial service for Gladys Ione Eddy at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the United Methodist Church in Stewartville with the Rev. Jack Haddorff officiating. Burial will be in Frankford Cemetery in rural Spring Valley.

Mrs. Eddy, 85, a homemaker formerly of Stewartville and Racine, died Sunday (Jan. 18, 1998) at Meadow Manor Nursing Home in Grand Meadow where she had resided five years.

Gladys Ione Crane was born Oct. 10, 1912, in Grand Meadow, grew up on the family farm and graduated from Grand Meadow High School. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in home economics and taught for a year before her marriage. On Dec. 19, 1936, she married Maurice Eddy in Charles City Iowa, and they lived in Montevideo and Renville, Minn., before moving to Racine in 1956. They moved to Stewartville in 1961. Her husband was a heavy equipment opprator for Leon Joyce Construction Co. of Rochester. He died in 1979. Mrs. Eddy lived in Apache Junction, Ariz., from 1980 until returning to Minnesota in 1992. She was a member of Stewartville United Methodist Church.

Survivors include four sons, Eldon of St. Paul, Earl of Clancy, Mont., Eugene of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and Kenneth of Rochester; a daughter, Ruth (Mrs. Jeff) Schroeder of Vancouver, Wash.; 13 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; three brothers, Ralph Crane of Racine, Wesley Crane of Tulsa, Okla., and Donald Crane of Round Lake, Ill.; and two sisters, Florence Howard of Huntington Beach, Fla., and Dorothy Beltz of Palmdale, Calif. A grandson preceded her in death.

Friends may call an hour before the service Wednesday at the church.

Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville is in charge of arrangements.

Submitted to Mower MNGenWeb by K. Pike.


John E. Enright


Obituary of John E. ENRIGHT
Austin Democrat, October 1891

Lines Upon the Death of John Enright of Austin

John Enright, mention of whose illness was made in the Democrat, died at his home on Bridge street, Wednesday morning, Sept. 30th, 1891. He had been a sufferer for several months from consumption, and his death was not unexpected. The funeral was held from the Catholic church Friday, at 10 o'clock a.m. John Enright was born in Ireland, June 24, 1814. In 1836 he came to America and located at Milwaukee, Wis., where he was married to Miss Margaret Frings, Oct. 7, 1844. In 1866 they came to Austin.

The largely attended funeral of John Enright, which occurred on last Friday from the Catholic church, was a mark of the esteem in which the deceased was held, by all who knew him. He was a quiet, inoffensive person, who attended to his own business, and was in every respect loyal to his principles. A little sketch or outline of his life may be of interest.

In 1849 Mr. and Mrs. Enright moved to Highland, Wis., where they made entry of government land, in the then wild western country. He took up mining of lead ore, which was then one of the principal industries there. In 1858 the deceased with others made an exploring expedition over a part of Kansas, but finding no attractive country to locate on, he returned home, only to be seized with the California and Idaho gold fever, which at that time raged throughout the country. In 1860 with a large party of neighbors, he bid adieu to friends and family and started westward. The wend their way toward the setting sun with determination to find the golden treasure they sought.

After a long and tedious trip over plains, mountains and deserts, they arrived in the gold mining regions of Idaho. After three years of trial and privations in the pursuit of the precious dust, the subject of the sketch returned home via San Francisco and New York City. The writer of this short biography has listened for hours at a time to him as he related his wonderful experiences during those three years. Some of the party who started were separated from each other, and have never been heard from since, and their fate is unknown. Some narrowly escaped being killed by Indians, while others met their doom in some way or another.

Mr. Enright was blessed with good health and good luck, however, and brought home a comfortable little fortune. Finding his place in Wisconsin not suitable for his aspirations, now that his family was growing up, he decided to emigrate to the broad, fertile prairies of Minnesota, which he did in 1866, and purchased a farm in Windom township. He settled at Austin, and built a house at Bridge street, with lumber hauled by team from Winona. This was then a large house for Austin and he has resided in it till the time of his death, with the exception of a few years spent with his family on his farm in Windom township. The farm at present is as nice an improved farm as the county affords.

He leaves a wife and twelve children to mourn his loss, six boys and six girls. Joseph, Thomas and Patrick are living on nice farms of their own, near Brookings, S.D. William Enright of Windom township, a successful, well-to-do farmer, is now and has been for a number of terms, chairman of the board of supervisors of that township and a son of the deceased. John and James, the other two sons, own and occupy nice farms in Windom township.

Three of his daughters who are married live in Austin, being the wives of Samuel Requa, Geo. Potts and Geo. Duffy and another married and living in St. Paul, the wife of Joseph Unterleitner, and two daughters unmarried, Maggie and Nettie, who are living at home and will be a source of comfort to their widowed mother.

John Enright, though not immensely rich in worldly effects, nor never honored with any of the high public positions of this life, for to those he never aspired, yet one more content with his station in life, and apparently rich in spiritual matters than he, could not be found. And thus his life was ended as he had always lived, wholly resigned to the will of God.

Made available to The USGenWeb by: Susan Mocsny Baker

Submitted: Jan 2002



Eleanor Emily (McAlister) Erickson


Eleanor E. Erickson, 87, of Austin, died Friday, Nov. 28, 2003, at Sacred Heart Care Center, Austin.

She was born May 29, 1916, in Pleasant Grove to Charles and Mary (Brown) McAlister. She married Lloyd (Whitey) Erickson on April 28, 1939, in Austin. She was a member of the Church of Christ and a homemaker who enjoyed spending time with her family. Her hobbies included fishing, traveling, camping and reading.

Survivors include daughters and sons-in-law, Jeanne and Garth Seavey of Austin and Sharon and David Hall of Savage; sons and daughters-in-law, James and Connie Erickson of Rochester and Gary and Mary Erickson of Owatonna; nine grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren; brothers, R.W. (Bill) McAlister of Austin and Guy McAlister of Austin; sisters-in-law, Eileen Keist of Austin, Donna Earl of Edina and Ardelle Erickson of Austin; brother-in-law, Gene Rutledge of Austin; nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, two brothers, one sister and a granddaughter.

Visitation: 4 to 6 p.m. today at the funeral home and on Monday at the church for one hour before the service.

Service: 11 a.m. Monday at Church of Christ with Pastor David DeFor officiating.

Interment: Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.

Funeral Home: Clasen-Jordan Mortuary of Austin.


Floyd Ellsworth Erickson


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Floyd Ellsworth Erickson, 89, of Taopi, Minn. died Oct. 15, 2005 at his home. Mr. Erickson was born Oct. 12, 1916 in Clayton Township, Mower County, Minn. to Iver Erickson and Anna (Severson) Erickson. He attended District #74 school through the eighth grade and had his older sister Blanche as one of his teachers. When Floyd was young he raised turkeys and drove a grain truck.

In 1952, he started teaching himself how to repair radios and televisions and even had his own telegraph machine. He operated his own TV and radio repair business for the majority of his life, fixing TVs and radios for many people in the area. Floyd also taught himself how to play the violin, piano, guitar and banjo. He was an avid reader, was proud of his Norwegian heritage and had many friends in the area.

Floyd is survived by one brother, Irwin Erickson of Minneapolis, Minn. and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Elva and Blanche; and brother, Sherwin.

Visitation: No review but friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, 2005 and one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Tuesday

Service: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Hindt Funeral Home in LeRoy with the Rev. Neal Solomanson officiating Interment: Woodlawn Cemetery near Taopi, Minn.

Funeral Home: Hindt Funeral Home in LeRoy

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Taopi remembers friend killed in weekend fire

By Lee Bonorden/Austin Daily Herald

TAOPI, MINN. -- It took a house fire to stop the indomitable Floyd E. Erickson.

Nothing else could.

At the age of 89, he remained an original. Neither age nor infirmities could halt his daily trek from his house to the post office. Winter included.

Last week (Oct. 12), he celebrated his birthday and was in good spirits.

When they found his body in the rubble of a house fire early Saturday morning, even the firefighters shed tears.

Neighbors in the tiny, close-knit community have lost someone who was more than just the old man who lived along in the house at the end of the street.

The loss is part-neighbor, part-friend, part-extended family in Taopi.

He was a very nice man,” said Lucille Kiefer, a neighbor. “He wouldn’t hurt anybody.”

“It’s just such a shame,” she concluded.

For those who didn’t know him, Erickson was “Floyd, the TV repairman.”

A life-long bachelor, he made his living repairing radios and televisions.

“He never took any schooling that I know of,” said Lucille Kiefer, “but he could repair anything electronic.”

When the village of Taopi — Mower County’s smallest incorporated community — observed its 150th birthday in 2001, Mr. Erickson and Mrs. Kiefer were honored as the town’s oldest living residents.

Erickson’s television repair business lasted until tubes were replaced by circuit boards, but his legend endured.

“Floyd Erickson died last night,” is how Harlan Boe, a Taopi native son, who knows more about the area than anyone,announced the death of his friend. “He was a good, old boy. A really nice man. We’re going to miss him.”

On Saturday and again Sunday, the curious drove down the street to see the ruins of Mr. Erickson’s home. Lucille Kiefer fielded several telephone calls. “They all want to know about Floyd,” she said.

Peter Schmitz, the Adams fire chief, said firefighters were dispatched at 12:03 a.m. Saturday. Adams firefighters were assisted by the LeRoy Volunteer Fire Department in bringing the blaze under control. “There were flames coming out of the house when we got there,” Fire Chief Schmitz said.

It was the first fatal house fire for the Adams firefighters in recent history.

“My dad, Joe (deceased) and Floyd were in the same business,” said the fire chief. “They liked to talk and tell stories.”

“There are very few TVs around here that Floyd didn’t fix in his lifetime,” Schmitz said.

Adams firefighter Mark Osmundson shared the fire chief’s comments. “He had a style all his own,” said Osmundson. “When he would come to your house to fix a TV, he might lay on the living room floor for a while afterwards ‘just to be sure it worked,’ he said.”

"When farmers would have some kind of electronics problem that they couldn’t fix and they needed help right away, they still called Floyd,” Schmitz said.

Allan and Mary Huntley and their children lived near Erickson’s residence. Mary (Kiefer) Huntley grew up in Taopi.

“He was just so friendly and liked to go out an talk to his neighbors and he would walk down to the post office to get his mail,” said Mrs. Huntley. “He was just the nicest neighbor you could have in a small town.”

Taopi’s mayor, Jim Kiefer, also a native son of the town, said, “Everybody liked him.”

Kiefer remembers, when Mr. Erickson would come to his family’s home to repair a television only to stay “an hour or so playing the banjo until he was sure the TV worked.”

Not only did Mr. Erickson teach himself about electronics, but he also taught himself to play the piano, violin, banjo and guitar. For the fun of it, he would also play the saw.

Harold Eischens joined the chorus of Taopi residents who mourn the loss of their friend and neighbor.

“I’m sure he worked on every TV from LeRoy to Austin in his day,” said Eischens. “He was just a one-of-a-kind character.”


Lloyd "Whitey" Erickson


AUSTIN, MINN. -- Lloyd "Whitey" Erickson, 77, of Route 5, Austin, a retired Geo. A. Hormel & Co. employee, died Saturday, Dec. 7, 1991 at St. Olaf Hospital of cancer after a long illness.

Born Dec. 8, 1913, in Chatfield, he married Eleanor McAlister on April 28, 1939, in Austin.

Survivors include his wife; two sons, James of Rochester and Gary of Owatonna; two daughters, Sharon (Mrs. David) Hall of St. Louis Park, Minn., and Jeanne (Mrs. Garth) Seavey of Austin; nine grandchildren; seven greatgrandchildren; and three sisters, Mary (Mrs. Gene) Rutledge and Mrs. Eileen Keist, both of Austin, and Mrs. Donna Earl of Edina, Minn. Three brothers and a grandchild preceded him in death.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Austin, with the Rev. Rick Colletti officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.

Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at Mayer Funeral Home in Austin, where there will be a wake service at 7:30 p.m. today.

Son of Anton and Kathryn (Brogan) Erickson.


Willis C. Erie, 88


Mr. Willis C. Erie, 88, of Dexter, Minnesota, died at his home, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007, of natural causes.

Mr. Erie was born Oct. 26, 1918, in Mitchell County, Iowa, and spent his childhood in rural LeRoy, Minn.

He married Nona Boe on December 12, 1941, at Marshall Lutheran Church in rural Adams, Minnesota. They lived in Big Spring, Texas for three years, while Bill served in the Army Air Corp before moving to Dexter, where they raised their family. They moved to a hobby farm in LeRoy and lived there from 1978-2001, then spent their final years in Dexter.

Bill was an independent milk hauler for the Dexter Creamery for many years, then as a trucker for Osmundsen Bros. Mr. Erie was a 62-year veteran with the American Legion. He was able to enjoy his independence until the time of his death.

Survivors include his son, Vance Erie (Deb), of Dexter, Minnesota; his four daughters: Janice Torres, Sharon Erie, Jean Erie, Ann Erie (Bruce Buchardt), all of Rochester, Minnesota; his eight grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two brothers-in-law, Harlan (Maggie) Boe, of LeRoy, and Donald (Bonnie) Boe of Austin; and two sisters- in-law, Gladys Boe, of LeRoy, and Martha Boe, of Taopi, Minnesota.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Nona.

The funeral for Willis Erie was held on Saturday February 17, 2007, at United Methodist Church in Dexter, with the Rev. Karen Ashton officiating. Military rites were provided by the Adams American Legion Post #146. Burial will be at the Dexter Cemetery with military rites.

Arrangements were by the Hindt Funeral Home in Grand Meadow, Minnesota.

©2007 MNGenWeb


Arthur H. Ernst, 88


Arthur Harold "Art" Ernst, 88, of Austin, Minnesota, died on Monday, June 4, 2007 at Austin Medical Center.

Arthur was born January 7, 1919 in Cresco, Iowa to Herman and Mary (Panek) Ernst. He grew up and attended schools in southern Minnesota and was married to Agnes Danielson on April 10, 1937 in Cresco, Iowa by Pastor Norman.

They made their home in Austin where Art worked for Geo. A. Hormel & Company. He joined the Army in 1942, serving in World War II. Stationed in Europe, he was awarded the Bronze Star and honorably discharged as a corporal in 1946. He returned to work at Hormels until his retirement in 1977.

An avid rock hunter, he opened Art's Rock Shop in Austin and was a member of the Gem and Mineral Society, as well as St. Olaf Lutheran Church.

Survivors include his wife, Agnes Ernst, Austin, Minnesota; a daughter, Jean (James) Zeimet, Kingston, Illinois; two grandchildren, Pamela (Thomas) Creasbaum, Des Plaines, Illinois, and Edward (Dolly) Tabor, Elk Grove Village, Illinois; six great-grandchildren; one brother: Clarence (Catie) Ernst, South St. Paul, Minnesota; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, and six brothers.

Funeral services were held on Thursday, June 7, 2007 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin, with the Rev. Ron Barnett officiating. and at the church one hour prior to the service on Thursday. Interment was in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.

The Worlein Funeral Home in Austin was in charge of arrangements.

©2007 MNGenWeb


Doris Julianne (Hansen) Erwin


Doris J. Erwin, 76, of Rochester died Tuesday, Feb.1, 2005, at Rochester Health Care and Rehab West.

She was born Aug. 23, 1928, in Austin, to Axel and Meta (Mickelson) Hansen.

She graduated from Austin High School and the Hamilton School of Business in Mason City, Iowa.

She was married to Robert D. Erwin on Oct. 30, 1948, at St. Olaf Lutheran Church.

They owned and operated Kinsman's Floral in Austin for many years and later divorced.

She was a secretary at Geo A. Hormel, Weyerhauser and Gauthier Industries. She retired from the Goddard Library at Rochester Community College.

She was a member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church and enjoyed golfing, knitting, playing the piano and singing.

Survivors include a daughter, Suzanne (Richard) Bure, Austin; sons, Jack Erwin, Austin; Robert (Teal) Erwin, Rochester; David (Sally Sipple) Erwin, Albert Lea; eight grandchildren; five great grandchildren; a brother, Alan (Anna Mae Nic) Hansen, Austin; sister, Mary (Victor) Voss, Chula Vista, Calif.; nieces and nephews.

Visitation: 5-8 p.m. today at the Clasen-Jordan Mortuary and one hour before the service on Friday.

Funeral services: 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 4, 2005, at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary Chapel with the Rev. Karen Behling officiating.

Interment: Oakwood Cemetery, Austin.


Sally Ann (Erwin) Holmquist


The funeral for Sally Erwin Holmquist will be 2 p.m. Tuesday in Clasen-Jordan Mortuary Chapel in Austin, with the Rev. Curtis Johnson officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.

Mrs. Holmquist, 33, of 2016 Seventh Ave. N.E., an Austin-area waitress, died Friday (May 29, 1992) in St. Marys Hospital in Rochester of injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident Thursday in Austin.

Born Sally Erwin on May 20, 1959, in Austin, she attended Austin public schools and was a graduate of Oakridge High School in Orlando, Fla.

She married Brian Holmquist, and they were later divorced. Mrs. Holmquist had been a waitress at several restaurants in the Austin area.

Survivors include her mother, Doris Erwin of Austin; a sister, Suzanne Standinger of Two Rivers, Wisconsin; and three brothers, Jack Erwin of Austin, Robert Erwin of Kasson and David Erwin of Albert Lea. Her father preceded her in death.

Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and 9 a.m. until time of the service Tuesday at the funeral home.


Bethyl (d'Etienne) Esse George


Bethyl "Bette" d'Etienne Esse George, age 79 of Austin, Minnesota, died Saturday, April 14, 2007 at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

She was born May 4, 1927 to Archie and Ethyl (Morgan) d'Etienne in Austin, where she grew up and attended school. She married Robert Esse on May 2, 1947. Mr. Esse died in 1981.

A member of Trondhjem Lutheran Church, rural Oakland.

She owned a craft shop where she sold her handmade jewelry and crafts.

She married Ralph George on Sept. 1, 1983 in Austin.

Survivors include her husband, Ralph George, of Austin; her children, Robert (Patti) Esse, of Little Falls, Minnesota; David (Paulette) Esse, of Austin; Susan (Richard) George, of Holmen, Wisconsin; Gary (Maggie) George, of Red Wing, Minnesota; Richard (Susan) George, of Holmen, Wisconsin; Craig (Jennifer) George, of New London, Wisconsin; 15 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; brother, Morgan (Mary) d'Etienne, of Dallas, Texas.

She was preceded in death by her father, Archie d'Etienne, and mother, Ethyl Moen; stepfather, John S. Moen; first husband, Robert A. Esse; nieces, and nephews.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at Worlein Funeral Home Chapel in Austin, Minnesota with Rev. John Malm officiating. Interment was at Grandview Cemetery, Austin.

©2007 MNGenWeb


Lorraine (Evenson) McCaffrey


Lorraine Evenson McCaffrey, age 82, of Lawrenceville, Georgia. (and formerly of Austin, Minnesota), died on May 13, 2007.

Lorraine was born on November 3, 1924 in Austin. She worked for Hormel Foods in Austin and retired after working for Hormel for many years out in Los Angeles, California. After a short retirement, she worked for several years for White King Soap Co. She was a member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin and Faith Lutheran in Sun City.

Lorraine is survived by her son, Bill McCaffrey and his wife, Mary Miles; by grandsons, Andy and Ty McCaffrey, all of Lawrenceville, Georgia; by a sister, Elaine Cue of Webster City, Iowa; by another sister, Dorothy Stephenson of Dexter, Minnesota; and by a brother, Melvin Evenson of Michigan;

She was preceded in death by her parents, Even and Olga Evenson; by brothers: Pearly, Barney and Donald; and by her sister, Evelyn McCawley.

A Memorial Service was held on Friday, May 18, 2007, at Christ the Lord Lutheran Church, Lawrenceville, Georgia.

©2007 MNGenWeb


Melvin Evenson, 89


Melvin Evenson, age 89, years of Hudson, Michigan, died on Saturday, May 26, 2007 at Provincial House in Adrian, Michigan.

He was born on November 26, 1917 in Austin, Minnesota, the son of Even and Olga Evenson. Melvin married Rosa Egolf on Jan. 2, 1943 in Oxnard, California. She survives him.

Melvin was an outstanding student and athlete while attending Austin High School. He was quarterback, played guard on a state championship basketball team, captained the golf team and won the state championship in Future Farmers of America as a cattle and hog judger. In college at Iowa State, Mel played football and golf, as well as being on the intramural champion basketball team twice.

After earning his degree in the dairy industry, Mel worked for a small cheese making company in Nauvoo, Illinois, until the United States entered World War II. Mel chose to enter the Army Air Corp where he qualified as a First Lieutenant. Mel also qualified as a fighter pilot and as a navigator. He chose to remain a navigator and flew B-24s in Europe during 1944, until his plane was shot down over Bucharest, Romania. He spent about eight months in a German prison camp until he, along with other prisoners were able to escape toward the end of 1944.

After the War, he returned to Nauvoo, Illinois, to be with his wife, Rosa and small son, Brian. They then moved to Hudson after Mel secured a job with the Pet Milk Company and eventually at Producer's Dairy in Adrian.

Mel and Rosa raised four children: Brian (Marsha) Evenson of Hudson, David (Debbie) Evenson of Battle Creek, Linda ( Larry) Richards of Newport, Virginia, and William (Elaine) Evenson of Holland. Their guidance and support allowed each child to reach their potential and Mel followed their careers with great pride. Mel's ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren also brought him much joy.

Mel was also a member of the Hudson Congregational Church where he had been a trustee and moderator. In recent years he and Rosa attended the Hudson First Methodist Church. On three occasions Melvin and Rosa returned to Switzerland to visit Rosa's home and enjoy the Swiss and German cultures. Mel was a very loving and supportive husband and father.

Two sisters, Dorothy and Elaine, also survive Mel. His parents; four brothers: Barney, Pearly, Donald, and LaVerne; two sisters, Lorraine and Evelyn, preceded him in death.

Funeral Services were held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 31, 2007 at the Brown-Van Hemert Funeral Home in Hudson, with Rev. Mark Johnston officiating. Interment followed at Maple Grove Cemetery in Hudson. Full Military Honors were conducted by American Legion Hannan-Colvin Post #180 of Hudson.

Memorials are suggested to Hospice of Lenawee County or The Evenson/Karp Scholarship through Hudson Area Schools or your favorite charity. View this obituary and send condolences to the family at: (The Brown-Van Hemert Funeral Home in Hudson).

©2007 MNGenWeb


Helen Caroline
(Braaten)(Williamson) Fahje


Helen Caroline Fahje, 88, of Austin, Minnesota, died on Friday, May 25, 2007 at the Austin Medical Center.

Helen was born on May 9, 1919 in Udolpho Township, Mower County, Minnesota, to Henry and Olga (Klemestad) Braaten.

She was baptized, confirmed and married at the Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church. Helen attended the District #72 Country School near Corning, Minn. She did housework in Austin and also worked as a nurses aid before going to work at the Geo. A. Hormel Company in 1941.

She was married to Jens Williamson on Sept. 29, 1943 and they farmed in Mower County until his death on July 31, 1945. After selling the farm she moved home with her parents. Her son Jens was born Feb. 27, 1946.

She returned to work doing various housekeeping jobs and grading potatoes at Hollandale, Minn. before returning to work at the Hormel Foods Corporation in 1950, where she worked until her retirement. She met Martin Fahje and they were married on Dec. 8, 1957 at the Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church, and they had two daughters, Susan and Carol. Martin preceded her in death in 1990. Helen was a member of Grace Lutheran Church.

Helen is survived by a son, Jens (Bonnie) Williamson, Fremont, Nebraska; by daughters: Susan Fahje, Omaha, Nebraska, Carol Fahje, Rochester, Minnesota; by grandchildren: Neal Williamson, Fremont, Nebraska, Spencer and Michele Williamson, Gretna, Nebraska, Jenna and Marty Gifford, Fremont, Nebraska, by great-grandchildren, Lauren and Sam Gifford; and other relatives.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Jens and Martin, and by four brothers: Harmon, Nordahl, Kenneth and Orlean Braaten.

Funeral services were held on Monday, May 28, 2007 at Grace Lutheran Church, with the Rev. Russ Wangen officiating. A graveside service was held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29th, at the Red Oak Grove Lutheran Cemetery.

The organist was Linda Anderson. The soloist was David Wiedemann. Casket bearers included: David Braaten, Richard Braaten, Dean Braaten, Mark Braaten, Roger Nelson, and Martin Fahje.

The Clasen-Jordan Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.

©2007 MNGenWeb



©2007 MNGenWeb
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