Biographical Sketches.

from Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota
(Chicago, Geo. A Ogle & Co., 1904).


John Abercrombie, the proficient and popular county surveyor of Douglas county, Minnesota, is a cultured gentleman and one of the leading citizens of the community in which he lives. He has a fine farm and comfortable home at Alexandria, where he has spent many years of his life.

Mr. Abercrombie was born at Bannockburn, Stirlingshire, Scotland, July 7, 1844. His parents were Archibald and Ann (McAlley) Abercrombie. His father was a descendant of the historic family of that name who were heroes in many a hard fought battle for the British crown. He was engaged in mining in Scotland. Our subject had the benefit of a good education, and with the love of knowledge, for which his countrymen are famous, he early acquired the rudiments of an education, and after mastering the studies of the local schools he was sent to Andersonian College, near Glasgow, and afterward to the schools of design in that city, and there became master of technical drawing. He soon afterward found employment with J. & G. Thompson, the extensive marine engineers of Glasgow, and then worked several months at the Hyde Park Locomotive Works, also in Glasgow, to gain practical ideas and qualify for his life work. His desire was to become thoroughly proficient as a civil engineer, which naturally embraced surveying and mechanical drawing, and in this he fully succeeded. At this time Great Britain was having an ordinance survey made throughout the country, and our subject tendered his services, which were accepted, after he had qualified himself by a studious attendance at the Governmental School of Military Engineering at Chatham, England. For eleven years thereafter he was employed in these duties, in the pursuit of which he traveled considerably over England and the northern part of Ireland. In 1871 he came to America, landing at New York, and upon crossing the North river he at once found employment at a salary of one hundred and fifty dollars per month, with Mr. McComb, at Newark, New Jersey, who was making surveys of the beautiful towns of East and West Orange, New Jersey, and he continued with this firm nearly five years. He came to Alexandria in 1875 and continued the line of work in which he was so proficient, making surveys for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, which occupied him for a year and a half, and he also made surveys for the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railroad, and the Little Falls & Dakota Railroad. He was elected county surveyor of Douglas county in 1868, and has filled that position in a most satisfactory manner to the present time, having been re-elected every successive term. He is the owner of sixty five acres of highly improved and valuable land within the city limits and has provided himself and his family a home of more than usual comfort.

Mr. Abercrombie was married at Windsor, England, within sight of the grand old palace, in 1866, to Delitia S. Bedman. Mrs. Abercrombie was a native of Hampshire, England, where our subject made her acquaintance, while traveling in the capacity of government surveyor in the "New Forest" in that country. Mr. and Mrs. Abercrombie are the parents of four children, as follows: Charles B., Wallace V., James A. D. and Delitia Ann, all of whom reside with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Abercrombie and family are members of the Episcopal church.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 222-223.


Carl Ackermann, deceased, was for many years prior to his death, a leading farmer and prosperous citizen of Yellow Bank township, Lac-qui-parle county, Minnesota. His family now reside in Odessa, and are well and favorably known throughout Big Stone county. The widow, her daughter, and son Charles F., have a pleasant home in Odessa.

Carl Ackermann was born in Germany in 1836. He was a farmer by occupation, and was also a member of a brass and string band and was an accomplished musician. He was married in his native land and later came to America, settling in Wisconsin, where he worked on the railroad. In the seventies he came to Lac-qui-parle county, Minnesota, making the trip with oxen from Wisconsin, and settled on a pre-emption in Yellow Bank township. His first building was a log shanty with a sod roof and he did all his farming in the early days with oxen, and hauled his lumber and supplies from Benson.

Mr. Ackermann died on the home farm in 1885. He was the father of nine children, four of whom survive, namely: Annie, August, Charles F., and Martin. Mr. Ackermann was a prominent citizen of his township and for several years served as township supervisor. He assisted in the organization of the township and always took an active and leading part in local public matters.

Charles F., second son of Carl Ackermann, was born on the farm, in the old log cabin home, in 1878, and here he was reared to the age of seventeen years, assisting with the work of the place, and attending the common schools of the neighborhood during the winter months. He came to Odessa at the age of seventeen years and worked for one year in a wagon shop with his brother-in-law, Otto Gerber. The family, consisting of his mother, sister and himself, moved to Odessa and built a residence where they have resided since 1896. Charles worked through the country around Odessa for some years and about three years since accepted a position with C. H. Borschardt, a liquor dealer of Odessa, with whom he has been associated since. He is a young man of good business ability and is a valued employee.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 587.


Charles Aigner, a well-to-do farmer and respected Citizen of Wilkin county, resides in Manston township, where he has succeeded in building up a fine home. He is one of the early settlers of that locality and he is one of the leading citizens.

Mr. Aigner was born near Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in 1871. His father, Ferdinand Aigner, became on of the early settlers of Mower county, Minnesota. Our subject was the second of a family of ten children and he came with his parents to Mower county when he was six years of age. The family settled on rented land in Wilkin county and resided thereon for about three years. Our subject was given the advantages of but about two months schooling when a boy, and he remained with his parents and assisted on the home farm until he was twenty-two years of age, when he began working for others. He was engaged with his grandfather in farming for about three years prior to his death, and in 1896 he secured control of the farm in the northeastern part of the county, in Manston township. He resided on this farm three more years, and he then moved to a tract of one hundred and sixty acres which he owned in section 18 of the same township. He is now the owner of three hundred and sixteen acres in this section and one hundred and sixty acres in section 6, his entire holdings of four hundred and seventy-six acres lying in Manston township. On his home farm he has a large barn built in 1902, and a commodious residence, built in the summer of 1903. He plans to erect other farm buildings in the near future. He has all necessary machinery and conducts his farm systematically and successfully. He engages in grain and stock raising and has never experienced a loss of crops. In February, 1902, his residence was burglarized and a valuable horse was taken from the barn. Our subject for the past seven years has followed the well digging business and he has sunk many wells in that neighborhood and has a good business in that line.

Mr. Aigner was married in 1893 to Miss Bertha Buth. Mrs. Aigner was born in Germany, and her father, Herman Buth is an old settler of Wilkin county. Mr. and Mrs. Aigner are the parents of four children, namely: Vina, born in 1894; Albert, born in 1896; Willie, born in 1898; and Hulda, born in 1902. Mr. Aigner is prominent in local affairs, and has served his township as assessor, chairman of the board of supervisors and justice of the peace. He is at present treasurer of his township, and he enjoys the confidence of his associates. He is an independent voter and lends his influence for good government, local and national.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 464-65.


Ferdinand Aigner, one of the leading pioneers of Wilkin county, Minnesota, resides on his well improved and valuable estate in Manston township, where he is well and favorably known.

Mr. Aigner was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1842. His father, Karl Aigner, was a furniture maker and lived and died in Germany. Our subject was the second of a family of seven children and he was reared in his native land and followed the carpenter's trade there from the time he was fourteen years of age until he reached the age of twenty-five years. He came to America in the spring of 1868 and followed his trade in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for two years. In 1870 he went to Waushara county, Wisconsin, where he resided six years, working at his trade and also following farming. He then came to Mower county, Minnesota, where he farmed for four years. He and family came to Wilkin county in the winter of 1880 and moved to a rented farm, where they lived three years. He took his present home farm as a homestead and tree claim in 1881 and built a shanty, where the children of his family were born.

Mr. Aigner now owns a farm of over four hundred and fifty acres, three hundred and fifty of which is under cultivation and he has a complete set of good buildings thereon, including house, barn, granary and windmill and tank and has a thoroughly equipped farm. In the early days provisions and clothing were extremely high priced and as he had nothing to sell it was a hard struggle to keep want away, but he has steadily pushed forward, and now enjoys a good income from his farm and a home of great comfort.

Mr. Aigner was married in April, 1869, to Miss Emma Steinke, a native of Germany. Ten children have been born of this union, namely: Charles, Mary, Ida, Emma, Fred, Bertha, Delia, Sophia, Henry and Edward. Four were born in Wisconsin and six in Wilkin county, Minnesota. Mr. Aigner has served as supervisor and school clerk and takes an active interest in local affairs. Politically he is a Democrat.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 519.


Charles E. Aiken, assistant cashier of the Lumbermen's Bank, of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, enjoys the confidence of his fellowmen to an unusual degree. He is a man of excellent character and marked business ability and is widely known as a citizen of sterling worth.

Mr. Aiken was born in Decorah, Winneshiek county, Iowa, November 23, 1863. His father, Asher A. Aiken, was a manufacturer of woolen goods in Decorah and was proprietor of the Trout Run Woolen Mills. He was from old American stock and was born in Ohio. The mother of our subject, Mary (McCollouch) Aiken, was born in Wisconsin and was of Scotch descent. Of a family of six children, Charles E. Aiken was the fourth in order of birth. He was raised in the city and attended the public schools, and at the age of twelve years started for himself as a chore boy in a lively barn in Decorah. The family had moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but he remained in Decorah about three years thereafter and then went to Brookings, South Dakota, where he worked about two years at the tinner's trade. He then did railroad work on the Chicago & North Western Railroad as a trainman about seven years. About 1884 he engaged in the grocery business in Brookings and continued there about a year and a half, when he was appointed assistant postmaster under Cleveland and after two years in that capacity was appointed postmaster, to succeed C. W. Hastings, resigned. He held the position until 1893 and then served until 1895 as assistant postmaster. Owing to political preferences his successor was talked of in 1892, but a petition begging his nonremoval was circulated and received the signature of every voter in the city. This was presented to President Harrison by Hon. G. A. Matthews and he was not removed at the time, but finally political power prevailed and his successor was appointed. He removed to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, in 1895, and was appointed assistant cashier of the Lumbermen's Bank of that city, with C. W. Hastings, president, and F. P. Sheldon, cashier, which office he now fills in a most satisfactory manner.

Mr. Aiken was married in December, 1884, to Miss Luella Hastings. Mrs. Aiken was born at Owatonna, Minnesota, and her father, Charles W. Hastings, was a money loaner and real estate dealer, and a man of wealth and prominent in financial circles. Her parents were from New York state. Mrs. Aiken was raised in Owatonna, Minnesota, and attended the public schools there. Mr. and Mrs. Aiken are the parents of the following children: Edith, Jesse, Leilea, Marie, Wallace M. and Walter. Mr. Aiken was elected village treasurer in 1899 and re-elected in 1900, and in 1901 was re-elected without opposition, receiving every vote cast for village treasurer, attesting his popularity and faithful discharge of his duties. Politically he is a Republican. He is a musician of some note and at the age of sixteen years became a member of Brookings Cornet Band. He was soon given the leading cornet part and played with that organization for some years and was the mainstay of the band, and with the organization visited the World's Fair at Chicago, in 1893. They also went to the Yellowstone National Park with the editors of the South Dakota Editorial Association.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 223.


Todd county, Minnesota, has no more worthy representative among her professional men than Dr. Frank H. Allen. He is a young man of excellent education and intellect and is rapidly taking his deserved station among the medical fraternity of Minnesota. He is popular and influential as a citizen and physician and enjoys a large patronage in Staples and surrounding country.

Dr. Allen was born in Wisconsin, January 29, 1871, and was a son of Houston B. and Nettie (Shoe) Allen, the former a native of Iowa and the latter of Wisconsin. He attended the common schools of Richland Center, Wisconsin, until he was seventeen years of age, when he went to Beloit College, and later took a three years' course in the University of Wisconsin. He then began the study of medicine and graduated from Rush Medical College in 1894. He at once established his office in Staples, Minnesota, and has rapidly gained a lucrative and increasing patronage. His office is located over the City Drug Store in the Mooreland Block at First avenue and Fourth street, and he has a large office practice as well as outside practice. He is the Association Substitute Physician for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, and is chairman of the board of health at Staples. Dr. Allen owns a valuable residence and lot in Staples, and also has a fine driving team, and being a lover of hunting dogs has two blooded setters.

Dr. Allen was married in 1900 to Jennie Wilson. Mrs. Allen is a native of Minnesota, and and was born May 22, 1881. Her parents, George and Mary Wilson, reside at Staples, and Mr. Wilson is an engineer for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. Dr. and Mrs. Allen are members of the Episcopal church at Staples. Dr. Allen is very prominent in secret society circles and holds membership in the following orders, the local lodges of the same being located in Staples; Masonic fraternity, Elks, Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen of America, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Degree of Honor, Eastern Star, Shieks of Damascus. Politically Dr. Allen is a Republican.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 176.


William W. Allen, one of the pioneer settlers of Duluth, and a prominent business man of that city, is a gentleman of wide experience and a sketch of his career will be of interest.

Mr. Allen was born in the state of New York and his birthplace was Buffalo. His father was a native of Scotland, and he came to the United States in 1830 and settled in the state of New York. He lived in Buffalo during the last years of his life.

Of a family of seven children our subject was the eldest. He was raised and educated in his native city, and when he was fourteen years of age his mother died, after which time he entered the United States navy, although a mere boy. He served three years, during which time he visited most of the principal ports of the world. After his return home he began ship carpentering and followed that trade until 1852. He then entered the United States navy a second time and was carpenter's mate four years. He saw service in Chinese waters, in the East Indies, and South America, and spent three years on the coast of Africa in the suppression of the slave trade. He was in Chinese waters when Perry opened the Japanese ports. Later Mr. Allen returned to Buffalo and followed ship carpentering, building many tugs and small crafts, such as canal boats and scows. In 1869 he went to Minnesota and soon after his arrival there opened a sash and door factory at Duluth. He established a small ship yard in 1871, the first ship yard at the head of the lakes. He built a floating dock and constructed many scows and small craft and did a large amount of repairing, his being the only ship yard on that end of Lake Superior for many years. He received a good offer in 1877 to go to Fargo and Moorhead and construct a steamer to carry grain to the Red river from the Grandin farm, and he was employed by Mr. Dalrymple, the manager of the estate, for two and a half years. Among the many works he did there was the construction of a steamer for them, with four barges, the Grandin elevator at Fargo, and a large warehouse two hundred feet long by fifty feet wide to accommodate the Grandin business. He erected a sash and door factory in Fargo in 1880 and operated the same seven years. He resided in Moorhead and witnessed the rapid growth of both cities with which he was connected, and became one of the well-known business men of Fargo. He returned to Duluth in 1887, since which time he has been a resident of that city. He has an office in the business portion of the city and is superintendent of two brick blocks and also handles the rental of property for many eastern business people.

Mr. Allen was married in 1862 to Miss Jennie A. Tagget. Mrs. Allen was born in Vermont of old Yankee stock. Her father was a farmer by occupation. Mrs. Allen and her three sisters have all engaged in teaching. To Mr. and Mrs. Allen six children have been born, two of whom are now deceased. Those still living are as follows: Hattie H., stenographer and bookkeeper; Charles W., foreman for the Scott Graff Lumber Company; Joseph W., state factory inspector; and Minnie E., stenographer. Mr. Allen has always taken a commendable interest in public affairs of local importance, and he has always aided in the upbuilding of the better interests of his community. He is affiliated with the Republican party in politics and expects to see Theodore Roosevelt nominated and triumphantly elected.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 548-49.


Edon A. Amundson, one of the younger business men of Felton, Clay county, who has made for himself a very creditable position in the community in which he lives, was born in Worth county, Iowa, in 1875, and is a son of Anton L. Amundson, a farmer, who came to the United States from Norway his native land, in 1865. The father was on the police force in Christiania previous to his coming to this country. His wife was born in Norway, and her father lived and died in "the land of the midnight sun." His name was Nels Nelson Honsedalen, and he held a position corresponding to that of a sheriff in America. At the time of his death he had become a very prominent official.

Edon A. Amundson was the only son in a family of three children born to his parents, and was educated in the public schools of Worth county. He was a student also at the Albert Lea Lutheran Academy, and was graduated from the Volder College, at Decorah, Iowa, in 1892, where he had taken a business and normal course. After leaving school he was a bookkeeper in the bank at Kensett, Iowa, for about six months, and was assistant cashier of the State Bank at Buffalo Center, Iowa, for some three years. There he was also assistant deputy postmaster for a year and a half under E. E. Secore, the president of the Clay County Bank. In 1897 he made a journey to Circle City, Alaska, and prospected for gold some eleven months with excellent results. While there he acquired an interest in two gold mines, which he still retains.

Mr. Amundson came to Felton, Clay county, in 1898, and established the Clay County Bank, with himself as vice-president. E. E. Secore is president and W. E. Stephens, cashier. The E. A. Amundson Land Company was also organized by him, and it has done a large business as one of the pioneer land companies of Clay county. A large settlement has been effected by it, and it has for sale lands in every part of this section of the state.

Mr. Amundson also started the Felton Courier, of which Amundson & Stevens are the publishers. The paper was established in 1898, and has already made a large place for itself in the local world. Mr. Amundson has a branch of his bank at Borup, Minnesota, of which he is president, and E. L. Bergy, formerly of Brodhead, Wisconsin, the cashier. The Clay County Bank, noted above, is connected with a syndicate of five national and state banks in Iowa, and is by far the largest interest of the kind in Clay county.

E. A. Amundson and Miss Nora C. Errickson were married in 1899. She was born in Moorhead, where her father, John Errickson, was the proprietor and builder of the Columbia Hotel of that city. This property now belongs to Mrs. Amundson. Her father was also the owner of the Fargo Opera House at one time, and was one of the leading business men of that city in his day. Mrs. Amundson taught school in Clay county before her marriage, and was also a music teacher. Mr. Amundson is a Republican, and is regarded as one of the leading men of his party.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 198-99.


Adam Anderson, one of the leading settlers of Traverse county, Minnesota, resides on his well improved farm in Tara township. He is a man of good business ability and has met with pronounced success in his farming operations.

Mr. Anderson was born in Elfspersland, Sweden, in 1862. His father, Andrew Anderson, was born in Sweden, and came to America in 1883, landing in New York. He settled in Wright county, Minnesota, and died in 1900. Our subject was reared in his native land and attended the common schools there and at the age of thirteen years began farm work. He came to America in 1880, landing in New York, and went direct to Minneapolis, where he worked at lumbering for a year. He went to Day county, South Dakota, in 1881, and worked on the railroad for four years. He rented a farm in Carver county, Minnesota, on which he resided for five years, and in 1890 removed to Traverse county, purchasing his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres. He now has a well improved estate, his farm buildings being substantial and convenient, and he also has all machinery for use on a modern farm. He owns two hundred and sixty acres in all, and operates four hundred and eighty acres annually.

Mr. Anderson was married in 1885 to Miss Sophia Damstrom. Mrs. Anderson was born in Carver county, Minnesota, and is the daughter of John Damstrom, a prosperous farmer of Carver county, Minnesota. To Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, five children have been born, namely: George C., Oscar, Leonard, Fredolph, and Hilda W., all of whom were born in Minnesota. Mr. Anderson is a Republican politically and lends his influence for the better interests of his community, but does not seek public favor. He is a substantial citizen and is esteemed by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 714.


Andrew J. Anderson, who occupies a foremost place among the pioneer settlers of Big Stone county, is one of the most extensive land owners of Otrey township. He has passed a quarter of a century here and during this time has not only witnessed a wonderful transformation in this region, but has been a potent factor in producing the same. He is known throughout the county as a citizen of sterling worth and a farmer of intelligence and enterprise.

Mr. Anderson was born on a farm in Skona, Sweden, in 1855. His father, Jens Anderson, was a farmer by occupation. He came to America with his family in 1869 and settled in Sherburne county, Minnesota, and here our subject was reared to manhood. He assisted on the home farm and also worked for others and in 1878 came to Big Stone county, and the same year took a homestead claim in section 2, township 122, range 45. The nearest trading points at this time were Morris and Montevideo. He built a claim shanty and lived there alone and continued his farm work, using oxen for his team. His first crop was in 1879 and this he lost by hail. He passed through many privations and pioneer experiences, but remained determined and he is now owner of eight hundred and eighty acres of valuable land. Of this he has placed six hundred and fifty acres under plow. He has a complete set of good farm buildings, including a comfortable and convenient residence. He also has a windmill on the place and all necessary farm machinery. He has small fruits, an apple orchard, and a fine grove of shade trees on the place. He engages in grain and stock raising and keeps about seventy head of cattle, seventeen head of horses, and sixty hogs. He has one of the best kept and most prosperous appearing farms of the locality and he enjoys a good competence as a result of his many years of labor here.

Mr. Anderson was married June 5, 1884, to Miss Mary Enger. Mrs. Anderson was born in Norway, and her father, Lars Enger, is a cabinet maker by trade, but is now retired. He was one of the early settlers of Sherburne county, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are the parents of seven children, namely: Mable, Fred, Elmer, Serena, George, Ella, and Lillian. Mr. Anderson was a resident of this locality when the township and county were organized and he has always taken an active part in local affairs. He is serving as township clerk, and also as county commissioner, having been elected to the latter office in 1896 and again in 1900, his second election proving his popularity and faithful services. He is a Republican in political faith.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 682-83.


C. H. Anderson, county superintendent of schools of Wilkin county, Minnesota, is one of the able instructors of the state. He is a gentleman of wide experience and thorough training, and is an efficient and popular official. He resides at Breckenridge, and is one of the influential citizens of his community.

Mr. Anderson was born in Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada, in 1849. He attended the township and graded schools and graduated from the high school in 1863. In the interval, between 1863 and '67 he was engaged on his father's farm, clerking in a store and learning telegraphy. He later took a course in the Eaton Commercial College at St. John, N. B., receiving a diploma from that institution in 1868. Immediately thereafter he accepted a position as bookkeeper in a wholesale grocery house and was engaged in this capacity for several business houses from 1868 to '80. In June of the latter year he came to Minnesota and worked for several years for the St. P. M. & M. R. R Company, now the Great Northern, as a carpenter. While thus engaged he moved to Breckenridge, Wilkin county, in March, 1882, where he has since resided and for many years engaged in contracting and building. When the people of this county were looking about for a competent superintendent of schools they chose Mr. Anderson and in November, 1902, he was elected to this office, being the candidate of the Republican party. He is faithfully discharging the duties of his office and enjoys the confidence of the people among whom he labors.

Mr. Anderson was married in December, 1872, to Frances D. Bleakny, of Albert county, N. B., Canada. Twelve children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, four sons and eight daughters, of whom nine are now living.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 333.


Gustaf Anderson Beck one of the leading farmers of Traverse county, has built up a valuable estate in Redpath township. He is a gentleman of untiring energy and during the early years of his residence here endured many hardships and privations. Despite these he remained on his farm, confident of better days, and he has been rewarded for his labors and is now owner of one of the fine farms of this township, and has gained the confidence and esteem of his fellowmen.

Gustaf Anderson Beck was born in Dalsland, Sweden, in 1834. His father was a farmer of Sweden. Of a family of five children our subject was the third in order of birth. He was reared in his native land and received a liberal education there. He came to America in 1865, landing at Quebec, Canada, and from thence came to Chicago and then to Red Wing, Minnesota. He there learned the stone mason's trade and followed the same for some years there. He came to Traverse county in 1881 and settled in Redpath township on section 32 taking the land as a homestead. He had no means with which to start his farming and he worked at his trade to earn money to buy oxen, and did his farming with them for several years. He lived in a shanty built of sod and boards for two years and burned hay for fuel. His first crop was in 1883 and this was ten acres of wheat, which yielded about forty-five bushels. Hail has destroyed his crops three times and in 1893 the loss was total. He has persevered, however, and is now owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land, on which he has placed a set of good farm buildings and he has a pleasant home and derives a good income from his farm.

Our subject was married in Red Wing, Minnesota, to Olivia Holmquist. He was first married in Sweden and his first wife died at Red Wing, Minnesota. He has a family of eight children, namely: Matilda, Hilma, Carrie, Henry, Ellen, Axel, Minnie and William, the last named being now deceased. Our subject has served his township two terms as a member of the township board of supervisors and he is a public-spirited and influential citizen, and his success and good name are well merited.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 710-11.


Morris Anderson, one of the leading agriculturists of Traverse county, has been a citizen there for many years, and has done his full share toward the development of the farming interests of that region. He has a fine farm in Lake Valley township, and is widely and favorably known.

Mr. Anderson was born in Elfapirkland, Sweden, in 1851. His father was also a native of that country, and was a farmer by occupation. Of a family of eight children our subject was the fifth in order of birth. He began work on a farm to earn his own way when he was fourteen years of age, and in 1880 came to America. After landing at New York City he went direct to Michigan and worked in the iron mines in Marquette county for eleven years. He then removed to Traverse county, Minnesota, and selected land there upon which he entered a homestead claim and has since resided thereon. He built a small house where he lived alone for the first few months, and was then joined by his sister who became his established housekeeper. The first team Mr. Anderson used in his farm work was oxen, and he worked industriously to cultivate and improve his property. He is now the fortunate possessor of a fine estate comprising one hundred and sixty acres. Upon his farm he has erected a complete set of substantial farm buildings and is supplied with all machinery for the operation of a model farm. He has most of his land under high cultivation, and devoted the balance to grass and pasture. The land bears good crops and in 1895 the wheat averaged thirty bushels per acre.

Mr. Anderson is awake to the best interests of the community in which he resides, and lends his influence for the upbuilding of every enterprise which tends to the betterment of his fellowmen, and is regarded by all as a substantial citizen. He is a Republican politically and stands firmly for his convictions.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 371.


The history of America has been one of startling successes. From the landing of Columbus up till the present day, unheard of success has attended the efforts of ambitious men. The great northwest has furnished some splendid examples, among the number, the man whose name heads this article. Born in Sweden, January 17, 1858. His father, a farmer, attracted by the greater opportunities of the new world, came to America in 1868, his family following the next year. The elder Anderson had arranged for the reception of his family and they settled on the banks of the Yellow Medicine river in Yellow Medicine county. The family drove through from Mankato to Yellow Medicine county with an ox team. While this method of transportation was slow and tedious, requiring many days to make the trip, yet it was the best to be had at that early date. At this time western Minnesota was thinly settled; the nearest trading places for the elder Anderson at the time he settled on the Yellow Medicine were Redwood Falls and New London, mills being located at both points. Later Wilmar was the nearest market. While the family lived on the original homestead, it was necessary for our subject to make frequent trips to market. These trips were long and tiresome and it was necessary for the driver to camp out over night with nothing to cover his head but the blue sky. In pleasant weather, such trips, while not pleasant, could be endured, but in bad weather they were dangerous. The family lived at this time in a dugout; it was while living here in this dugout, that the northwest was visited by the memorable grasshopper plague, which has gone down in history and is quite familiar to old settlers in the northwest. It was surrounded by such scenes and living such a life that our subject grew up.

At the age of nineteen, he started in life for himself, going to Black Hills, South Dakota, making the trip overland and spending three weeks on the road. While in the Black Hills country he visited the scene of the Custer massacre, one of the most infamous and bloodiest of all the Indian butcheries. From the Black Hills he went into the Big Horn Mountains, in Montana, where he followed teaming, spending the whole summer in the west. The next year, or in 1878, he secured work on a farm. At the age of twenty-one, he took a homestead claim in section 14, Friendship township, being one of the first settlers in the township. In 1882 our subject went to Manitoba, where he followed railroading on the Canadian Pacific Railway. He afterwards worked as a grading or construction contractor, following this line for three or four years, working in the Northwest territory, close to the Rocky Mountains. In the fall of 1884, he settled at Clarkfield, Minnesota, where he spent the greater part of his time in farming. Mr. Anderson had faith in the future of Yellow Medicine county and now owns a large amount of fine farm land and part of the town site of Clarkfield. He has been engaged in various and many enterprises, all of them being successful. In 1898 he established his present business, and erected a building 24 by 40 feet in size for the purpose of carrying agricultural implements. Since that time he has purchased another building 50 by 122. He now owns the largest machine sheds and storage room in the county. The business started in a modest way, has grown into the largest implement business in Yellow Medicine county. Straightforward business methods and square dealing have won the confidence of the people in the vicinity of Clarkfield and under this method of conducting the business, it has grown to enormous proportions.

In 1902 Mr. Anderson helped to organize the First National Bank of Clarkfield and is one of the directors at this time. Mr. Anderson was united in marriage to Miss Belle Monson in 1885 being the first couple married in Clarkfield. She was born in Dodge county, Minnesota, her father being one of the old settlers in Dodge county. Eight children have blessed the union: Henriette Augusta, Alfred Bennie, Henry Augustine, Lewis Palmer, Pearl Anneta, Prudence Ruth, Isabelle, Herold Morris and Ruben Earl.

Mr. Anderson is an independent, politically, taking an active part in public and political affairs as he sees the right. He has held several offices-constable, supervisor and village trustee. At present he is secretary of the Farmers Produce Company, an organization which controls an elevator for handling grain. He is one of the pioneers in Yellow Medicine county, has worked hard to bring the county up to its present high place, and in doing so he has met with deserved success.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 339-40.


Frank Andres, who is rapidly developing a fine farm in Roberts township, is one of the enterprising and progressive farmers of Wilkin county. He has lived on his present estate comparatively few seasons, but lie has a comfortable home and derives a good income from the property. He is well known and commands the respect and esteem of his associates.

Mr. Andres was born on a farm in Winneshiek county, Iowa, in 1869. His father, Peter Andres, was born in Indiana, of German blood, and was a farmer by occupation. He died in Wilkin county, Minnesota.

Of a family of eight children our subject was the fourth in order of birth. He has two half-brothers and two half-sisters. He was reared on a farm in Iowa, and when sixteen years of age came to Wilkin county, Minnesota, in the spring of 1885, where relatives were living. He worked at farm labor and in the spring of 1896 he rented, land and began farming for himself in McCauleyville township. In 1899 he bought a farm in section 11 of Roberts township, and of this but thirty acres were under cultivation. He erected buildings on the place and resided there four seasons, and in the spring of 1902 he sold his farm and bought his present farm in the southeast quarter of section 36 of the same township. He removed to his new home in September of that year and built a residence and has a set of good buildings. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of land in his home farm and has one hundred and fifty-two, acres under plow, the rest being pasture land. He has met with marked success in his farming operations and is classed among the substantial farmers of his township.

Mr. Andres was married in the spring of 1896 to Miss Annie Banhaus. Mrs. Andres was born in Winnishiek county, Iowa, and her father, Barney Banhaus, is a farmer of Chickasaw county, Iowa. He was born in Germany and came to America prior to his marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Andres are the parents of three children, namely: Ernest, born July 12, 1898; Edward, born November 3, 1901, and died the same year; and Frank, born March 16, 1903. Mr. Andres is a gentleman of intelligence and enterprise and stands firmly for the right. He keeps pace with the times and politically is identified with the Democratic party.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 768-769.


Faithfulness in public service is one of the attributes possessed by the sheriff of Chisago County, Charles Andrews. He has been re-elected six times, proving his bravery, good citizenship, and the confidence the people have in him as a man and official. Mr. Andrews was born in Chisago county, Minnesota, on a farm, in 1857. His father was a native of Sweden, and came to America in 1852. He bought land and settled in Chisago county in 1853. This was in the days of the pioneer of that region, when a visit to the cabin from a bear and other wild game was not an infrequent occurrence. The father, Andrew Peter Anderson, was a veteran of the Civil war, and served in the Seventh Minnesota Volunteers. He fought the Indians in Minnesota, and had many narrow escapes. On one occasion he had a gun shot from his hand, and this gun is now in possession of our subject, the marks still on the weapon. The father died in 1889 on his old homestead.

Our subject was the eldest in his mother's family. He has one half-sister, who was engaged in teaching in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Andrews received his early education in the country schools of his neighborhood, and he early began farm work. He began in this employment and also in saw mill work at the age of fourteen years. His first business enterprise was the threshing business. He followed this for thirteen years, and he was also interested in saw mills, and spent some of his time clerking in Lindstrom. He opened a general store in partnership with John Kroonblawd at Lindstrom in 1890, and the firm continued to operate until 1895, when our subject purchased the entire business and continued sole proprietor until 1899.

Mr. Andrews was elected sheriff of Chisago county, in 1886. He held the office eight years in succession, and then retired to private life for six years. In 1900 he was again elected sheriff of the county, and he is now filling the office with credit to himself and his supporters. He has served as assessor in Chisago Lake township for five years. He is a Republican in politics, and has always displayed an active public spirit and attended numerous conventions of his party. He was chairman of the county committee for six years. Mr. Andrews was married in 1892 to Miss Ellen Swenson. Mrs. Andrews was born in Sweden, and came to America about 1874. Her parents both died in Chisago county, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Andrews are the parents of one son, Raymond, who is now aged eight years. Mr. Andrews has spent his life in Chisago county and watched its development, and has assisted materially in the same, and justly merits his success in a business way, and his enviable reputation as a man.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 394.


Albert J. Arneson, who is still in the prime of life, has attained a very substantial success in farming and in business enterprises in which he has been engaged from time to time, is one of the leading farmers of Stony Run township, Yellow Medicine county, and is greatly esteemed by all who know him alike for his manly qualities and genial disposition. His portrait appears on another page of this work. He was born in 1861 in the timbered country north of Quebec, Canada. His father, Knute Arneson, was born in Norway in 1834, came to Canada in 1859, and in 1863 removed to Minnesota. In 1867 the family made their home in Chippewa county, where they were among the very earliest pioneers in that section. They came by oxen from Fillmore county, and were located so far in the wilderness that their nearest market town was New Ulm, taking a week or more for them to make the round trip to that point for supplies. Their first house was a log structure in which the family lived for many years. In this frontier home was nourished the subject of this sketch, and here he grew to manhood with plenty of hard work, and experience to quicken the wit and toughen the muscles.

Mr. Arneson started for himself in 1884, though he worked with his father until 1890. He had land in Yellow Medicine and Chippewa counties and also carried on his father's farm.

Mr. Arneson was married in 1892 to Miss Bergita Forces, born in Bergen, Norway, after her family had started for America in 1868. Her parents were pioneers in Faribault county, Minnesota. To this marriage were born four children: Alma, Mabel, Clara and Kenneth. The same year he was married Mr. Arneson settled on the farm in section 8, Stony Run township, and putting up a tent house and barn, has made it one of the best grade farms in the county. As a farmer he has been a thorough success.

For the past three years Mr. Arneson has been interested as a partner with his brother Simon in the machine business at Montevideo. One year he was in business at Maynard, and also owned a threshing machine outfit in Chippewa county. He is a Republican, is now town treasurer, and has always taken an active part in local affairs. He is a Mason, and an Odd Fellow, and is very popular in the social affairs of these orders.

The Arneson family is about the only family left in this part of Minnesota who settled here as early as 1867.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 476-79.


To the pioneer settlers of Stearns county, Minnesota, much credit is due, for their faithful and energetic labors to upbuild the social and commercial interests of the locality in which they chose their homes. To them is due the credit for the development of each line of business, and perhaps the leading line is agriculture. The farmers have added to the wealth of the county and to this source is due much of the prosperity now enjoyed. The early settlers of Luxemburgh township have developed fine farms and aided in every possible manner in the development of that locality and in listing those who have been foremost in this we mention the subject of this review, Henry Arnold. For many years he has devoted his attention to the development and improvement of his home farm, and he is now the owner of a valuable estate. His home is on section 30, and he is surrounded by all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.

Mr. Arnold was born in Switzerland, June 11, 1845. His father, John Martin Arnold, was a native of Germany, and his mother, Anna M. Arnold, was born in Switzerland. Our subject left his native country and came to Minnesota when he was seventeen years of age. He came from Stillwater to Stearns county in 1866 and took a homestead on section 30, of Luxemburgh township, where he has since resided. He made the trip to his new home with an ox team and built a log house and was one of the first settlers of that region. He is now the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land. On this tract he has erected a comfortable eight-room residence and a large barn and he engages in general farming successfully. He keeps about twenty-five head of cattle and several horses for his farm work and has all conveniences and machinery for his farming operations. He is thorough and systematic and has a valuable estate.

Mr. Arnold was married in November, 1887 to Eva Brunold, who was born in Switzerland, August 14, 1860. Two children have been born of this marriage, namely: Christian and Lucius. Mr. Arnold and family are members of the German Evangelical church.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 661-62.


Stephen Ashburner, a respected citizen of Wadena county, resides on section 28, Wadena township. He is a successful agriculturist, and his estate bears evidence of good management, thrift and prosperity.

Mr. Ashburner was born at Barrow in Furness, in England, November 13, 1859. His father was Thomas Ashburner, a native of England, and his mother, also born in England, bore the maiden name of Elinor Lishman. The boyhood days of our subject were spent in his native land, where he received his early education. When he was fourteen years of age he came to America with his parents. He attended school in Wadena county and worked on his father's farm until he was twenty-six years old. He received a good practical education and learned with thoroughness all the details of farming in the northwest. He is now the owner of two hundred acres of valuable land, well adapted to general farming and stock-raising, and he cultivates annually one hundred and forty acres. The value of his estate is enhanced by an abundant supply of the best water, rendering the business of stock-raising a profitable department. The farm is already well stocked and Mr. Ashburner purposes entering more extensively into this branch of agriculture. He has his farm well equipped with modern machinery and is in all respects an up-to-date farmer. His present competence grew up from small beginnings. He lived in a log house for many years, and for ten years used ox teams in breaking and cultivating his lands. However, his industry, good management and enterprise have brought him deserved success, and he is regarded as one of Wadena county's most substantial citizens.

Mr. Ashburner was married, in 1886, to Altin Glasse. Mrs. Ashburner was born in Fillmore county, Minnesota, July 13, 1864. Her parents were John and Mary Glasse, the former of Irish and the latter of English descent. Mr. and Mrs. Ashburner are the parents of three children, namely: Date, Willian [sic] and Mary E. The family are members of the M. E. church. Mr. Ashburner is a Republican in political views, and takes a commendable interest in all matters of a public nature. He is one of the pioneers of the county and is well known throughout the entire locality.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 251.

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