Biographical Sketches.
"B"

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

BRENTY BOOM.

Brenty Boom, widely known throughout Lake Valley township and vicinity as a prosperous farmer and worthy citizen, has been a resident of that locality for many years and has aided materially in its development. He owns a valuable estate and has gained the same by dint of his industry, supplemented by the strictest honesty and well merits his success and high standing.

Mr. Boom was born in Elsbergland, Sweden, in 1846. His father was a soldier in the Swedish army and died when our subject was a small boy. Of a family of twelve children Brenty was the tenth in order of birth. He was reared in his native land and received his education there in the common schools. When he was eighteen years of age he began for himself and followed farm work and also railroad work. He came to America in 1871, landing in Quebec, Canada. He came to Michigan and worked in the iron mines there for two years. In 1873 he came to Minnesota and worked in a lumber yard at Anoka. He settled in Traverse county in 1881 on railroad indemnity land. He built a shanty thereon and during his early residence there was his own housekeeper. He began the improvement of his farm and for several years he used oxen for the work. He follows grain raising and has a well improved farm. He has a good house, large barn, windmill, and all necessary machinery. A nice grove which he planted in the early days there is one of the features of the place. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of land and of this he has one hundred and thirty acres under high cultivation. He devotes his entire attention to the improvement of his farm and is a man of good business ability and good judgment.

Mr. Boom was married in 1890 to Miss Tillie Johnson. Mrs. Boom was born in Sweden and came to America in 1886. Her father died in Sweden, and her mother resides with Mr. and Mrs. Boom. Two children complete the family circle, namely: Le Roy and Winnie. Mr. Boom is a Republican and lends his influence for good government, but he does not take an active part in public affairs and does not seek public preferment.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 631.


CHARLES BOOM.

Charles Boom, one of the leading citizens of Lake Valley township, is an old settler of Traverse county. He is the owner of a well improved estate and has gained his possessions by his own efforts.

Mr. Boom was born in Dalsland, Sweden, in 1852. His father was a farmer and soldier in Sweden and passed away there. Of a family of twelve children our subject was the youngest. He was reared in his native land and early became used to farm work. When about sixteen years of age he began to make his own living at farm work. At the age of eighteen years he came to America and spent two years in the iron mines of Michigan. He then returned to his native land and remained in Sweden and Norway at railroading for about seven years. He came again to America in 1879 and spent two years in the iron mines of Michigan. In 1881 he went to Montana, where he worked four years in the silver and gold mines, and then traveled through the different states. He settled in Traverse county, Minnesota, in 1886 and took railroad indemnity land. He built a shanty thereon and lived there alone for two years. He broke the largest part of his farm with oxen and passed through the experiences of a pioneer. A fine grove on his farm is the result of his planting during his early residence there. He continued the improvement of his place otherwise and is now the owner of a fine estate covering one hundred and sixty acres. Of this he has one hundred and twenty-five acres under cultivation and engages profitably in grain and stock raising. He is also engaged in the threshing business and has an interest in a twenty horse-power steam rig. He has a good residence, barn, and all necessary farm buildings and is surrounded by all the comforts of a rural home. He has prospered and is classed among the substantial men of that locality.

Mr. Boom was married in 1889 to Miss Elizabeth Nelson. Mrs. Boom was born in Sweden and came to America in 1887. Her father died in April, 1903. Six children have been born of this union, namely: Evaline, Ewald, Ella, Nicholas, Edna and David. All were born on the home farm. Mr. Boom is a member of the school board and is a prominent citizen of his township. He is a Republican politically.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 633-34.


OLE O. BORSTAD.

Should the reader ask for a representative Norwegian-American farmer of Lake Shore township, Lac-qui-parle county, for the name of a man who embodies in himself the best elements of the old Norse character, and has quickly entered into the hopes and ambitions of modern America, the name that heads this sketch might well be given him.

Mr. Borstad was born in Norway in 1852, where his father, who was all his years a tiller of the soil, and whose name was Ole R. Borstad, died in 1900. He was the father of a large family, and gave them the heritage of a good name and a sound constitution. He is remembered alike for his honest character, his kindly spirit and his unwearied industry.

Ole O. Borstad was thirteenth in a family of fourteen children, and received his education in the local schools of his native community.

When he was eighteen years old, he began life for himself as a herder of cattle for neighboring farmers, and doing such other work as the times afforded. In 1880 he came to Goodhue county, Minnesota, entering the United States at New York and hastening to this state. Here he worked out, doing farm work for eight years, spending the winters in the woods. Prudent and careful, he saved his money, and in 1888, he bought a farm in Lac-qui-parle county. Here he built a small house or shanty, 12 by 14 feet, and also a frame barn. Without hesitation Mr. Borstad applied himself to the improvement of his place, and has now a well-cultivated farm of one hundred and sixty acres, the greater part being under cultivation, a small part only being reserved for pasture and meadow. On this farm he has put up good buildings, and takes a justifiable pride in the grove which was among the very first improvements effected by himself immediately following his location. He is a Republican, and is highly esteemed by his friends and neighbors. Mr. Borstad has never married, and has lived by himself ever since coming to the county.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 394-95.


FRANCIS BREEN.

Francis Breen, one of the most widely known and most highly respected citizens of Manannah township, Meeker county, resides on section 24, and with his eldest son, John H. Breen, owns three hundred and sixty acres of land.

Francis Breen was born in Ireland, June 11, 1829. His parents, Francis and Bridget (O'Neal) Breen, were also natives of Ireland. Our subject came to America at the age of twenty years and made his home at Lowell, Massachusetts, for sixteen years. He was employed on a farm five years of this time and worked in the cotton mill until he came to Minnesota in 1866. He located in Meeker county and took a homestead farm in section 24 of Manannah township. He now has one hundred and twenty acres in his own name and his son, John H., owns two hundred and forty acres. The home is an eight room substantial building and a large barn is one of the farm buildings. Mr. Breen has plenty of farm machinery and he has erected a windmill to facilitate the work. He has one hundred head of cattle and eight horses and has made a success of general farming and stock raising. He is thorough and systematic and is a man of good business judgment and by his industry and honesty has acquired a valuable property where he may enjoy his declining years surrounded by all the comforts of life.

Mr. Breen was married May 10, 1858, to Mary McQuid. Mrs. Breen was born in Ireland, June 10, 1835. Six children have been born to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Breen, namely: John H., Anna M., Catherine J., Francis L., Roslyn, and Marcus A. Mr. Breen is a gentleman of sterling character and he is a communicant of the Catholic church of Manannah.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 509.


NILS BRENBERG.

Nils Brenberg, an agriculturist of prominence in Kittson county, resides on his farm in Teien township. He is one of those substantial citizens whose integrity and industry, thrift and economy have added so much to the material wealth and growth of Minnesota. Agriculture forms the basis of wealth in the northwest, and indeed in most sections of the United States. It is, therefore, of great importance that the class of people who inhabit the great farming regions of the country should represent those elements of sterling worth so prominently displayed by the sons of Scandinavia and their descendants.

Nils Brenberg was born in Sweden, September 22, 1857. His parents, Jonas and Anna (Person) Brenberg, were blessed with but two children, of whom our subject was the elder. His childhood days were spent in his native land, but when he was about eleven years old his father came to America in the spring of 1868, and prepared to make a new home for his family. The following fall they joined him in Goodhue county, Minnesota. In Goodhue county Nils Brenberg grew to manhood, attending the public schools and working on the farm. He obtained a practical education and became a thorough farmer, and his success in later life he ascribes to the early training received on the home farm as much as to all other elements combined.

In 1881 Mr. Brenberg came to Kittson county, arriving in the month of March. There he entered the employ of the Kennedy Land & Townsite Company. He formed a partnership with John Nelson Sjoholm, and the two farmed together for several years. A sketch of Mr. Sjoholm appears elsewhere in this volume. The partnership business prospered, and our subject accumulated considerable property, which he managed with good judgment and practical ability. In 1891 the partnership was dissolved, and a division of the property made, and Mr. Brenberg continued to farm on his own account. He farmed for two years, 1893 and 1894, in Goodhue county, but soon decided that Kittson county offered superior advantages for agriculture, and returning to that county, made a permanent settlement and established his present comfortable home. He is now the owner of 680 acres of valuable land, enhanced by many valuable improvements. He has made a success of his ventures in every way, and is regarded as one of the substantial men of the county. He has already under way extensive plans of further improvement upon his large estate, and every period of his career gives evidence of a progressive and enterprising nature.

Mr. Brenberg was married in 1891 to Miss Matilda Morsen, a lady esteemed for her many womanly virtues. To Mr. and Mrs. Brenberg two children have been born, Alma and Misnia. Mr. Brenberg has taken an active interest in all matters of a public nature, and in his political affiliations is a Populist, and has always discharged his duty as a citizen and as a worthy member of his community. He is held in the highest esteem by all who know him. He was the first assessor for the township of Svea and held the office five years, and has been a member of the school board of the township of Teien for three years in School District No. 19.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 287.


FREDERICK T. BRENDEMUHL.

Frederick T. Brendemuhl, whose handsome and well kept farm home is in section 22, Kragnes township, Clay county, where he owns two hundred and forty acres on the Buffalo river, is one of the young men who were reared in the Red river valley, and have made homes for themselves in this fertile and productive section of the state.

Mr. Brendemuhl was born in Olmstead county, Minnesota, and there he first saw the light October 1, 1870. When he was nine years old he was brought to Clay county by his parents, and here he grew to manhood, having his education in the public schools and spending one winter in the school at Fargo.

In 1896 Mr. Brendemuhl began farming for himself, and has improved his land until he has made for himself a very comfortable home. In 1897 he was married to Miss Laura Peohls, a native of Iowa, and a daughter of Christopher and Lizzie (Krabbenhoft) Peohls, who came into Clay county in 1883. To this union were born three children, Christian, Mabel and Sadie.

Mr. Brandemuhl [sic] is a Democrat, and is making his influence felt as one of the solid and substantial younger farmers of the county. He is a bright and ambitious young farmer, and is devoting much attention to shorthorn and Durham cattle, having some fine specimens of that blood, and means to make a place for himself among the enterprising and successful members of his calling.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 301.


JOHN BRIX.

John Brix, who conducts a fine farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Manston township, is a farmer of experience, who has devoted his entire attention to agricultural pursuits and has met with success. He has improved a good farm and is one of the worthy citizens of Wilkin county.

Mr. Brix was born in Bohemia, in 1879. His father, John Brix, was born in Bohemia and died there when our subject was a boy. He was a farmer by occupation.

John Brix has made his own way in the world since he was a young boy and in 1890, upon attaining his majority, he decided to try his fortunes in the new world and accordingly came to America. He came from Baltimore to South Dakota and located in Brule county. He remained there five years, working for others and gaining a knowledge of the customs of this country and the art of farming and in 1895 came to Wilkin county. He bought a farm in section 29 of Manston township, and has since devoted his attention to the improvement of this place. He has good buildings and has placed all of the land under cultivation. He owns one hundred and twenty acres and is counted among the substantial farmers of his community.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 820.


THEODORE BROCKHOFF.

Theodore Brockhoff, a prosperous merchant and extensive land owner of Wadena county, is an old settler of that region and has gained a host of friends during his life there. He is engaged in the hardware business in Wadena and Fergus Falls, and does an extensive business in this line.

Mr. Brockhoff was born on a farm in Manitowoc county, Wisconsin, August 29, 1855, and was a son of Henry Brockhoff. His father was a native of Germany and came to America in the spring of 1853 with his wife. This was the only move he made throughout his career and he followed farming successfully throughout his life. The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Gertrude Baumgardner, was a native of the same place as our subject's father. Of a family of thirteen children born to this worthy couple our subject was the second in order of birth. He was raised on the farm in Wisconsin and aided in transforming a pioneer farm into a well cultivated farm. He attended the country school four miles from his home a few weeks, and altogether had but a limited schooling, but by study and observation has since acquired a good education. When he was nine years of age he and his mother had the care of the farm, owing to the father being drafted into the army. He did not serve, being rejected, and returned to his home, but during his absence our subject passed through many experiences. Driving oxen to harrow he was too small to take their yokes off at nooning and had to go to a neighbor's to assist him. When about the house he was a great help to his mother with the housework and the care of his younger brothers and sisters. At the age of sixteen years he went to Manitowoc and there spent three years learning the blacksmith's trade. During two years of this time he had but fifty cents spending money. After completing his apprenticeship he went to Milwaukee and there worked at his trade two years and then established a shop near his home at Clark's Mills. He conducted the business there one year; and then through the crookedness of a wagon-maker he lost his tools and an investment of $100. Being short of capital he traveled westward to Albert Lea, Minnesota, and secured work on a gravel train. On reaching Jordan he wished to quit his position, where he had endured many hardships, and finally was compelled to walk forty miles to Minneapolis to secure his wages, starting at night and securing a few hours rest in a box car at Chaska on his way. He then returned to Jordan and worked five months on a farm. He then followed his trade a year and a half in St. Paul and vicinity, and, in the spring of 1880, went to Wadena and established a blacksmith shop there. This was the second shop of the kind in the town and he and his partner manufactured the first wagon in the county. In one year and nine months he bought his partner out and conducted the business alone. The country was new and business prospered for Mr. Brockhoff and during the winter months he worked long hours doing a general blacksmithing and repairing business. He had the largest shop in the county and did an extensive business, employing four men, the business keeping himself and all the employes busy. He continued in the blacksmith business until 1891, when he disposed of the same for a farm and the same year started in the hardware business, purchasing the stock of George H. Green in Wadena. This store was established by Mr. Green and John Weeks about 1887 and Mr. Brockhoff continued business at the old place until 1894, when he and William King built the present brick store building. In 1894 Harry Holler became a partner with Mr. Brockhoff and they conducted the business together four years, when they sold the stock and retired temporarily from the business in Wadena. Mr. Brockhoff owned a stock which he had purchased in Staples and this he removed to Deer Creek, Ottertail county, where he had erected a building for the purpose and he conducted business there until January, 1900. In the meantime he and A. H. Holzer purchased the stock which Mr. Brockhoff had sold about eight months previous. They now have a store 99x25 feet, including a tinshop, and they carry a complete line of hardware, etc. Mr. Brockhoff owned some Minneapolis property, which he turned toward a hardware business in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. This business was established in 1895 with $1,500 stock and this has been increased to a $5,000 stock and occupies a 50-foot-front store building. The store is owned by Mr. Brockhoff and A. H. Spiekerman. Mr. Brockhoff has engaged in buying and selling real estate in Wadena county since his residence there and has owned at different times no less than twenty-two different farms in Wadena and Ottertail counties. He is now the owner of a fine tract of 320 acres, which is partly improved, and upon which he engages successfully in agriculture. He also has property in Duluth. During the summer of 1900 he erected a modern and comfortable residence, and now enjoys a pleasant home and successful business.

Mr. Brockhoff was married in the fall of 1882 to Miss Susanna Peffer. Mrs. Brockhoff was born in Stearns county, Minnesota, and was a daughter of Lawrence Peffer. Her father was a native of Germany, and came to America about 1850, and settled in Wisconsin. He later moved to Minnesota, where Mrs. Brockhoff was reared and educated. Mr. and Mrs. Brockhoff are the parents of one daughter, Mary, who was born in 1885. She is an accomplished musician and is attending school in Wadena, and is one of the promising young ladies of that community. Mr. Brockhoff is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters and St. Joseph's Society, and is also a member of the Catholic church. He has taken an active part in church work and was one of the promoters of the establishment of a church at Wadena and the erection of a house of worship. He was trustee of the church eight years. This denomination now owns the largest church in this part of the county. Mr. Brockhoff was a member of the first city council of Wadena.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 180-81.


HENRY C. BROECKER.

The life of the gentleman here named furnishes an example worthy the emulation of the rising generation. Through good management, persistent effort, strict honesty, and painstaking care in the details of farming Mr. Broecker has acquired a valuable estate and is known throughout that locality as one of the leading old settlers. His home is in Franconia township, Chisago county.

Our subject was born in Prussia, Germany, August 29, 1848. His father, Fred Broecker, came to America with his family in 1854 and settled in St. Louis. After residing there six months they removed to Iowa and engaged in farming in that state three and a half years. In the fall of 1858 they settled in Minnesota and became early settlers of Franconia township, Chisago, county. The family lived in a log house until after the father's death in 1879. At the age of sixteen years our subject began working in the saw mills and the lumber woods and spent several summers on the river at Stillwater. His earnings until he reached his majority were used toward the support of the family. In 1871 he purchased his present farm in section 36. This was mostly timber and every acre of it now in cultivation required grubbing. Mr. Broecker has devoted his entire attention to farming since 1874. He is now the owner of two hundred acres of land, lying in two tracts, and has over one hundred acres in cultivation. He has erected a compelte [sic] set of substantial farm buildings and has all the equipments for conducting a modern farm. He and his two brothers engaged in threshing for eight years and owned one of the first steam rigs operated in that part of the country.

Mr. Broecker was married in 1871 to Mary Rentz. Mrs. Broecker died in the spring of 1872. Mr. Broecker was married to Minnie Succo in 1874. Mrs. Broecker was born in Germany and came to America with her parents at the age of four years. Her father was a farmer by occupation and was one of the early settlers of Chisago county. Eleven children were born to this worthy couple, ten of whom are now living, and are named as follows: Emil, professor in charge of the commercial department in St. Paul Business College; Margaret, married and residing on a farm; Theresa, also married; Walter, deceased; Henry, Lena, Arthur, George, Annie, Sophia, and Clara. All were born on the farm in Chisago county. The children are given the best educational advantages available, and Mr. Broecker has provided every comfort for the family within his power. He is actively interested in the educational advancement of the youth of his community and served seventeen years as clerk of the school district. He has also filled the office of township supervisor for several years. He is a director and stockholder of the Lindstrom Creamery. In political faith he is a Republican 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), page 524.


CHARLES F. BROOBERG.

Charles F. Brooberg, widely known as a prosperous agriculturist and worthy citizen of Chicago county, is an early settler of that region, and has a pleasant home in Franconia township.

Mr. Brooberg was born in Smoland, Sweden, in 1865. His father, Samuel M. Brooberg, was a native of Sweden and was a farmer by occupation and also learned the carpenter's trade in his native land. He was married in Sweden and brought his family to America in 1869. He settled in Chisago county in section 23 of Franconia township on the farm now owned by our subject. This first dwelling was a three room log house, and this was their home for many years and stood until 1897. His first team were oxen, and he and our subject drove them in early days. The farm was covered with heavy timber and his father and sons cleared the land for cultivation, our subject early becoming used to lumbering. He and his mother and father have many times carried provisions afoot from their nearest market in exchange for the products carried there.

Charles F. Brooberg was the fifth in order of birth in a family of eight children who were reared to maturity. He assisted his father on the home farm and at the age of sixteen years went into the lumber woods and spent four winters thus. He was also on the log drives on the river at Stillwater two seasons, and worked in Dakota at least six seasons. While in the latter place he took land as a preemption, and proved up on the same. During 1887-88 he engaged in farming in Marshall county, South Dakota. He returned to his father's farm in Chisago county in 1894, and has resided thereon and conducted the same since that date. He controls one hundred and twenty acres of land of which eighty acres is cleared for cultivation. He has a good residence, barn, granary, and all buildings and machinery necessary for conducting a modern farm. Mr. Brooberg has a sister, Annie, who is now married and resides in Brown county, South Dakota. His brother, Frank Brooberg, was among the old settlers of South Dakota, and is one of the most extensive farmers of the state, possessing one thousand seven hundred and sixty acres of land in one tract and other tracts in different parts of South Dakota. He is also the owner of a general merchandise store and brick business block in Groton, South Dakota, and is one of the influential citizens of his community. He has been elected state senator.

Mr. Brooberg was married July 1, 1899, to Charlotte Marie Lidholm, who was born in Chisago county. Her father, John Lidholm, is among the old settlers of Chisago county. The parents of our subject and Mrs. Brooberg's parents came from Sweden in the same ship, and are natives of the same part of Sweden. Mrs. Brooberg taught school in Chisago county until her marriage. Of this union two children have been born, Bert W., deceased, and Corrin M. Mr. Brooberg has been a director of the Lindstrom Creamery for the past four years and is interested in that enterprise. Politically he is a Republican and stands firmly for his convictions.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 531-32.


ASA D. BROOKS.

Asa D. Brooks, who enjoys the distinction of being the pioneer merchant of Deer River, Minnesota, is also an early settler of Itasca county, and during his many years' residence there he has gained a good property and an enviable reputation as a business man and citizen. His portrait, which will be appreciated by his many friends, is shown on another page of this volume.

Mr. Brooks was born on a farm in New Brunswick, Canada, January 8, 1838. His father, Daniel Brooks, was born in Canada, and was of German descent. He was a farmer by occupation. The paternal grandfather of our subject brought the family to New York during colonial days. The mother of our subject, Mary (Watson) Brooks, was a native of Canada. Her father, Peter Watson, was an engineer and sea captain. The family has been in America for many generations.

Of a family of seven children, Asa D. Brooks was the eldest. He was raised on the farm and attended the country schools and remained at his home until he attained his majority. He then clerked in a mercantile establishment in Canada until 1883 and was then employed nine years in Minnesota by J. W. Day Lumber Company. He had his headquarters at Aitkin, Minnesota, and was over Itasca and St. Louis counties, cruising and locating camps, and he located all the camps of the company during that time. In 1892 he located at Deer River and built his present store building and opened a general merchandise establishment, this being the first general merchandise store of the town. He and his son-in-law, C. H. Marr, were in partnership and continued together until March, 1899, when Mr. Brooks bought the interest owned by Mr. Marr, and his son, P. R. Brooks, became a partner in the business. The firm name is now A. D. & P. R. Brooks. P. R. Brooks went to Minnesota with his father and was raised on the frontier. The business has been successful to a marked degree and they now command a good share of the trade of the town and meet all demands of their customers by carrying a complete line of goods and giving the business personal attention. Mr. Brooks also owns one hundred and sixty acres of land and his son a tract of the same number of acres adjoining. This is improved property and the buildings are good and the farms well stocked.

Asa D. Brooks was married in Canada in 1864 to Miss Ann Ingraham. Mrs. Brooks was of old Canadian stock and the family was originally from the New England states and the state of New York. Her father was a lumberman. Mr. and Mrs. Brooks are the parents of two children, namely: P. R., engaged in business with his father; and Winnie E., now Mrs. Charles Marr, residing at Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Mr. Brooks is a man of active public spirit and has held numerous official positions. He was elected county commissioner in the fall of 1900 and is chairman of the board. He received the appointment in 1899 of chairman of the township board. He assisted in the organization of the town and village and was the first village treasurer and held the office continuously until 1900. In political sentiment he is a Democrat and is an earnest worker for party principles.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 308.


BENJAMIN F. BROWN.

Benjamin F. Brown, United States commissioner for the district of Minnesota, at Bagley, Beltrami county, is one of the influential early settlers of that region. The history of Beltrami county is in great measure centered around the name of Benjamin F. Brown, who has identified himself with every commendable public enterprise of his community and labored for the advancement and development of that part of Minnesota.

Mr. Brown was born in Wisconsin April 29, 1858. His father, Russell G. Brown, was born in the state of New York and was one of the first volunteers in the Civil war. The mother of our subject, Mary A. (Freeland) Brown, was a native of Wisconsin.

Benjamin F. Brown was raised on a farm near Menomonie, in Dunn county, Wisconsin, and received his early education in the common country schools there, his mother dying of brain fever while he was only thirteen years old, leaving him and his sister Alice, five years younger, to fight their own battles. At the age of sixteen years he went to Minneapolis and worked in a commission house and also at carpenter work for two years, after which he returned to Wisconsin and was engaged in the lumber woods seven years. He then became a resident of Minneapolis a second time, remaining there until 1888. He followed farming in Clay county a short time, and then removed to Maple Lake, Minnesota. He resided there until March 4, 1889, when he went to Fosston, Minnesota, and worked in a sawmill until fall of that year, and then took land as a homestead in section 18, in township 147, range 38, Beltrami county, which township he was the organizer of, it being called "Popple." His homestead consisted of one hundred and sixty acres and was heavy timber land. Mr. Brown passed pioneer days there and experienced many hardships and discouragements. He labored industriously, cutting cord-wood and logs, and cleared his farm for cultivation and became the possessor of a highly cultivated and improved tract. He served as postmaster of Popple from 1896 to 1898, and in May of the latter year removed to Bagley, Minnesota, where the grading of the Fosston extension of the Great Northern Railway was in operation to the Great Lakes.

He was appointed United States commissioner in 1899 and is ably filling that office. He was the owner of two residence lots and two business lots and store buildings in Bagley until May 9, 1901, when fire swept him out of house and home.

Courage not failing him, he is now the possessor of four residence lots with a comfortable cottage and three hundred and twenty acres of land, and has rebuilt a fine office on his business lots. Mr. Brown was married, in 1884, to Caroline Johnson. Mrs. Brown was born in Norway January 8, 1855, where her parents died in 1863, when she came to Fillmore county, Minnesota, with her brother.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown have one adopted son, Raymond W. Brown.

Mr. Brown has always taken an active interest in local affairs of public character, and was the second notary public of Beltrami county, being appointed by Governor Knute Nelson. He was one of the organizers of Beltrami county, and in 1899 and 1900 served as coroner. He organized the first school district in the county in 1890, and was the first assessor of the whole of the county from 1891 to 1893, traveling over the country on foot and horseback, sleeping at night wherever darkness overtook him by a campfire, with his assessor's book for a pillow and the sky for a mantle.

Since taking up his residence in Bagley he has taken a prominent place in village and school affairs, organized a new school district there, and was the first justice of the peace, which position he still holds.

Politically he is a Republican. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and Independent Order of Odd Fellows, recently organizing a lodge of the latter kind in Bagley.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 157.


SAMUEL J. BROWN.

Samuel J. Brown, whose life history forms an interesting page on the early annals of Minnesota, is a prominent business man of Brown's Valley. He is engaged in the real estate business there, and conducts an extensive business and is widely and favorably known. His portrait appears on another page of this work.

Mr. Brown was born in South Dakota, and the date of his birth is under dispute. The family claim March 7, 1845, as the correct date, but the Indians of that region, who are familiar with the family history and their early settlement there, claim his birth date as 1844. His father, Major Joseph R. Brown, was a native of Maryland, and served in the United States Fifth Regular Infantry. He sounded the first reveille at Ft. Snelling in 1819. He was the first Indian trader in that region and lived in Minnesota from 1819 until his death in 1870. He served as a member of the legislature in Wisconsin and Minnesota and was the second editor of the "St. Paul Pioneer Press." He was the inventor of a steam wagon, built for hauling supplies across the frontier, and was building the third wagon of this kind at his death. The mother of our subject, Susan (Treniere) Brown, was of French and Sioux Indian blood. She was born six miles from Brown's Valley, at old Fort Traverse.

When our subject was an infant the family moved into Minnesota, where he was reared and educated. He was reared by Bishop Whipple and attended the equivalent of the common schools. Most of his early life was spent on the frontier. At the age of twenty-one years he engaged in Indian trading at Brown's Valley, and he and his father built a log building at Ft. Wadsworth, South Dakota, following the Indian outbreak of 1862. Later this building was taken apart and rebuilt on its present site, where it has stood since 1866. When he was twenty-one years of age our subject was severely injured and he spent one year at Henderson under the care of physicians. He went into partnership with his father in 1867 as Indian trader and on account of his ill health he could not follow an active business career. His injuries were received while in the military government service as inspector of scouts. He now draws a pension for total disability, of $30 per month. His father and family were held captives by the Indians until the close of the war. Mr. Brown was missionary among the Indians from 1878 to '81 in Dakota. He had previously engaged in the real estate business and for the past thirty-five years has made his home in Brown's Valley and has built up a good real estate business there.

Mr. Brown was married in 1877 to Phoebe Robinson. Mrs. Brown was born in St. Paul, where her father was an old settler, and she is of English descent. To Mr. and Mrs. Brown three children have been born, namely, Samuel J., Jr., born at Brown's Valley; Phbe, born at St. Paul; and Lillian, born at Brown's Valley.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 486-89.


HENRY S. BRYAN.

Henry S. Bryan, master mechanic of the Duluth & Iron Range Railway, with his office at Two Harbors, Minnesota, is an experienced railroad machinist, and has devoted his life to that work. He was born at Cazenovia, Madison county, New York, September 7, 1836, and was a son of Luther S. and Caroline Bryan. He was educated at the O. C. Seminary, at Cazenovia, New York. He entered the railroad service in 1859 as machinist on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and has served in that capacity at various times for the C. M. & St. P., the C. & N. W., the C. R. I. & P., the P. Ft. W. & C., the L. S. & M. S., foreman round house and as foreman machine shop at Chicago, and as master mechanic of the Chicago & Iowa, the Chicago & Paducah, the Chicago, Pekin & Southwestern and the Chicago, Burlington & Northern Railways, these positions occupying his time until 1899. He then became engaged in the mercantile business in St. Paul, Minnesota, as a member of the firm of Bryan & Elmer, dealers in railway supplies, and was a member of this firm and engaged successfully in the business until April, 1890, since which date he has been master mechanic of the Duluth & Iron Range Railway.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 300.


THEO K. BRYE.

Theo K. Brye, whose portrait appears on another page, is a prosperous merchant of Rothsay, Minnesota, and is one of the leading citizens of Wilkin county. He has large financial interests in that locality and is a gentleman of excellent business judgment and has gained a high station as a citizen.

Mr. Brye was born in Coon Valley, Vernon county, Wisconsin, September 28, 1861. His father was born in Hallingdal, Norway, and came to America in 1847. He settled in Wisconsin and was one of the pioneer farmers of that state.

Our subject attended school in a log cabin when a boy and at an early age became used to farm work. He entered the Lutheran College at Decorah, Iowa, in 1877, and studied five years in the classical course in that institution, receiving a liberal education. He taught school in Wisconsin and later came to Minnesota and followed the same profession in different parts of Minnesota for six years. In 1888 he began clerking in Rothsay for A. B. Pedersen, general merchant, and was in his employ three years and received a practical knowledge of the business. In 1891 Mr. Brye purchased the business of Mr. Pedersen and he has since conducted the establishment as proprietor. He has enlarged the stock and remodeled the building, and now carries a complete line of general merchandise, and has a large trade extending through Wilkin county and into Ottertail county. He is interested largely in farm lands. He is a stockholder in the Rothsay Elevator Company and is one of the directors of the company.

Mr. Brye was married in 1891 to Miss Anna Evensen. Mrs. Brye was born near the childhood home of our subject in Wisconsin, March 10, 1866. Her father was born in Ringsak, Norway, and was a farmer by occupation. Mr. and Mrs. Brye are the parents of two children, both daughters: Agnes, born April 19, 1892; and Esther, born April 11, 1895. Mr. Brye takes a commendable interest in local public affairs and has served four years on the village council, and was president of the board for two years. He is also school director and takes an earnest interest in educational affairs. In political sentiment he is a Republican.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 456.


J. D. BUDD, M. D.

The medical fraternity of Lake county, Minnesota, has no more able representative than Dr. J. D. Budd, who was an early settler of that locality, and has extended his acquaintance through his skillful labors in his profession, and his integrity of word and deed. Dr. Budd is a practicing physician of Two Harbors, where he has also founded a hospital, and his extensive work there necessitates the assistance of several nurses and the help of two assistants, Drs. W. Goldsworthy and E. L. Cheney.

Dr. J. D. Budd was born in the village of Lancaster, Wisconsin, in 1848. His father, Daniel H. Budd, was a carriage maker by trade. The Budd family fled from France to England to escape religious persecution, and there one of the family was married to a subsequent occupant of the English throne. In 1632 John and Joseph Budd, sons of royalty, came to America, and settled in New England, and our subject is a descendant of Joseph Budd. This family took part in all the wars in the early establishment of the government.

Of a family of five children, Dr. Budd was the second in order of birth. He was reared in his native town, where he has relatives still residing. After completing the public school course, and graduating from the high school, at the age of sixteen years he entered the United States army as a member of the Fiftieth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served fifteen months in 1864 and 1865. Upon his return from the service he entered Lawrence University at Appleton, Wisconsin, and graduated therefrom in 1872 with the degree of M. S. He then attended medical colleges at St. Paul and Chicago, and in 1887 received the degree of M. D. He had spent ten years previous to this in Michigan as an assistant physician. He went to Two Harbors, Minnesota, in 1889, as chief surgeon for the Duluth & Iron Range Railway, and has held that position for the past twelve years. He built the Budd Hospital in 1895, and opened the building for patients in February, 1896. This is a commodious structure, and accommodates fifty patients. It is modern in every respect, and is well equipped with all appliances for the treatment of various ills. A matron and several trained nurses assist the doctors. Dr. Budd completed his handsome residence in Two Harbors in the summer of 1901. He has devoted his entire attention to his professional work, and his success as a result is well deserved.

Dr. Budd was married, in 1881, to Miss Margaret Carence, a native of Canada. Dr. and Mrs. Budd are the parents of one child, Leila Marguerite, who was born in Two Harbors, Minn. Dr. Budd has served as health officer twelve years, coroner ten years, and county physician twelve years, and stands at the head of his profession in Lake county. He is very prominently connected with various social organizations, and is post-surgeon of Culver Post, G. A. R., at Duluth. He is a thirty-second-degree Mason, and belongs to all auxiliary lodges. He takes an active part in the social affairs of his community. Politically he is a Republican and firm in his convictions.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 187.


WILLIAM BUETHE.

William Buethe, one of the industrious and thrifty farmers of Renville county, whose honest and manly career has been highly successful, was born in Germany in 1848, a son of Henry Buethe. The father came to America in 1861, and settled in Will county, Illinois, where young William grew to manhood. He was the third member of a family of six children, and was reared on the farm. His was a busy and hardworking youth, in which he was able to secure some schooling in Illinois. There he was married in 1872 to Miss Sophia Homeier, also German born, and the daughter of a farmer. They have a family of eight children: William, Henry, Minnie, August, Tilly, Rikie, Ida and George.

After his marriage Mr. Buethe lived in Chicago a year, and in 1873 settled in Renville county. New Ulm was his nearest railroad point. He bought a farm in Birch Cooley township, on which he lived four years, enduring all the privations of pioneer and frontier life, when he left it, and in 1877, came to Winfield township, where he opened a second farm, and for a second time went through pioneer hardships and experiences. This was all prairie land, and for four years in succession the grasshoppers destroyed part of the crop. Here Mr. Buethe lived for twenty years and built up a good home and owns a farm that commands admiration. It comprises seven hundred acres, and every part is in fine order. He owns two sets of farm buildings, and has engaged in general grain growing and stock raising.

Mr. Buethe moved to Olivia in 1897, where he built his present residence and has acquired considerable other town property. He takes an active interest in public affairs, and has held several township and school offices, being now a member of the board of trustees for the village of Olivia, to which he was first elected in 1898. He is a good citizen, and is highly respected in the community in which his modest and peaceful life is passing.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 486.


RT. REV. JOSEPH FRANCIS BUH.

Rt. Rev. Joseph Francis Buh, the pioneer priest on the Iron Range, is now located at Ely, Minnesota, as priest of the St. Anthony church. He was born in the village of Lucne, Austria, March 17, 1833.

Our subject's father, Mathias Buh, was a farmer by occupation, and our subject was reared on the home farm. He attended the government schools at Potane, and later attended the public schools of Loka, and then the high school at Laibach, all the above named in the province of Krain. He was ordained priest July 25, 1858, in Laibach, and was first pastor at Laserbach, where he labored three years. He was then appointed pastor at Ratece and remained there three years. He emigrated to America in 1864, and went direct to St. Paul on invitation of Francis Pirz, the first Catholic missionary in northern Minnesota. He spent the first six months at the bishop's house in St. Paul, and had charge as prefect of several students, instructing them for the priesthood. He went to Crow Wing, Minnesota, in November, 1864, to the residence of Rev. Francis Pirz. In January, 1865, he went to Lake Winnebegosh, and did missionary work among the Indians for some months, learning their language and customs. He then went to Belle Prairie, Morrison county, and assumed charge of the churches of Little Falls and Belle Prairie and adjoining missions, and also attended numerous other missions and churches in that part of the state, and spent about eighteen years in this work. He established missions at Red Lake Indian reservation, Leech Lake, Cass Lake, Sandy Lake, White Earth, and numerous others. He moved to Perham, in Ottertail county, in 1882, and was appointed pastor of the church there, and also attended surrounding missions, among them Moorhead, Detroit City and Brainerd. After spending two years at Little Falls, he was sent to Tower in 1888, and was the first priest appointed in charge of St. Martin's church. He labored in that locality until January, 1901, and established missions at Two Harbors in 1888, Ely the same year, and Biwabik about 1890, and the same year at Virginia, Hibbing and Mountain Iron. These missions have increased steadily in membership, and the first church building at Ely was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1890. The second edifice for this congregation was dedicated the Sunday before Thanksgiving, 1900. The building is 60x120 feet, and is the largest and finest church on the Range. The priest's residence was built about 1896. By special grant of the Holy See the title of monsignor was conferred upon the pioneer priest, Father Buh, December 28, 1899, at Duluth, Minnesota, by the Most Rev. Archbishop Ireland, in the presence of the Rt. Rev. James McGolrick, of Duluth, and several other bishops and priests and a large concourse of the laity. A life-like portrait of Father Buh is shown upon one of the pages of this volume.

Rev. Buh and Francis Pirz were the first priests north of St. Cloud, in Minnesota, and during the past thirty-seven years Rev. Buh has expended his labors for the upbuilding of the religious and social interests of the Iron Range.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 212-15.


AUGUST H. BURAU.

August H. Burau, one of the prominent young business men of Wilkin county, Minnesota, represents one of the oldest families of the county. He was reared in this county from his early boyhood and has become well known and universally esteemed. He is proprietor of a flourishing general merchandise business in Akron township and is postmaster of Burau post office.

Mr. Burau was born at Elizabeth, Otter Tail county, Minnesota, in 1872. His father, August Burau, is of old German descent. He located at Elizabeth, Otter Tail county, and followed farming and later became a resident of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, in which city he now lives.

Our subject was reared to the age of twelve years in his native town and then moved to Wilkin county and received the balance of his schooling there. At the age of fourteen years he began work on a farm and in 1896 purchased land and began farming for himself. He continued thus for four years and in 1900 sold his farm and established a general merchandise store in Akron township, Wilkin county. He carries a complete line of goods and is a wide-awake business man and endeavors to please his patrons in every particular. He has built up a good trade and his success is safely predicted. He was instrumental in establishing the postoffice in his store, and the same is named for his father, Mr. August Burau.

Our subject was married in 1898 to Miss Mary Robertson. Mrs. Burau was born in Canada in 1871 and came to the United States with her parents, in 1885, and became a resident of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Burau are the parents of two sons, Harry and Willis, both of whom were born in Wilkin county, Minnesota.

Mr. Burau has gained a deservedly high station as a citizen and he has been called upon to serve as chairman of the board of supervisors of his township and also as treasurer and school director. He has discharged his duties faithfully and well and enjoys the confidence of his fellowmen.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 623.


GOTTLIEB F. BURAU.

Gottlieb F. Burau, county sheriff of Wilkin county, is one of the leading old residents of that region. His public record is beyond question and the number of his friends is limited only by the number of his acquaintances. He has served his county faithfully and well and his services are appreciated by the entire population to the extent that he was last elected to this office without opposition, now serving his eleventh year as county sheriff. He has made his home in Breckenridge for many years.

Mr. Burau was born in West Prussia, Germany, in 1865. His father, August Burau, served in the German army during the war in 1866. He was a farmer by occupation. He came to America in May, 1867, and in 1868 became an early settler of Ottertail county, Minnesota. The family moved to Wilkin county in 1886, and in this county our subject was reared and educated. He was the oldest of a family of eight children. He followed farm work and in 1887 took a homestead and continued farming until 1892. He was then elected sheriff of Wilkin county and has been re-elected five times, now serving his eleventh year in this office. He was supported by all parties at the last election, there being no opposing candidate. He added one hundred and sixty acres to his original farm of the same amount and after bringing the land to a high state of cultivation and placing valuable improvements on his farm he disposed of the same in 1897, and has since devoted his entire time and attention to the duties of his office as county sheriff. He is a man of undaunted courage and has good judgment in all matters, and performs his duties with promptness and care.

Mr. Burau was married in December, 1892, to Miss Annie Manske. Mrs. Burau was born in Germany, and her father, Ludwig Manske, is one of the prosperous farmers and old settlers of Wilkin county, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Burau are the parents of three children, namely: Edna, Helen and Esther. Mr. Burau is a stanch Democrat and takes a leading part in party affairs.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 436.


M. ALPHEUS BURNS, M. D.

Dr. M. Alpheus Burns, a leading young physician of Milan, Chippewa county, was born in Guthrie county, Iowa, a son of W. H. Burns, who was a lumber dealer, and a veteran of the Civil war. The father was a native of New York.

Dr. Burns was third in a family of six boys, and when he was fourteen the family removed to St. Paul, where he finished his school days, graduating from the high school in 1893, and from the medical department of the University of Minnesota in 1896. He received the appointment of house surgeon in the city hospital of Minneapolis, where he served for one year and in 1898 he came to Milan. Here he opened an office, and has steadily grown in popular favor and general esteem. His practice now extends far into Chippewa, Swift and Lac-qui-parle counties, and shows a marked increase. The Doctor is a Republican, and is now serving his second term as president of the village board. His professional skill, thorough scholarship, and fine personal bearing combine to win and retain friends.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 483.


HERMAN BUTH.

Herman Ruth [sic], to whom is accorded a foremost place among the leading old timers of Wilkin county, has acquired a valuable estate in Manston township. He has successfully followed farming here for many years and enjoys the comforts of rural life and an enviable reputation as an agriculturist and citizen.

Mr. Buth was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1849. His father, Frederick Buth, was a shepherd. Our subject was the eldest son, and he was reared in his native land and after attaining his majority he entered the army. He served two years in the infantry and participated in the last war with France. He then spent two years working out and in 1874 came to America, landing in New York City. He came to Red Wing, Goodhue county, Minnesota, and lived on a farm about eleven miles from the city for three years. He came to Moore county in 1877, and followed farming there four years and in 1881 located in Wilkin county on a homestead in section 6, of Manston township. He came by team from Moore county, the team being the property of Mr. J. C. Criegor. He worked out the first year and lived in the box of the wagon during the summer and in the fall of that year built a shanty, and this building served for a home for the family for the first eighteen years on the farm. His first crop was raised in 1882, and consisted of four acres of oats. Floods destroyed the crop of 1884 and hail caused a partial loss of crops in 1892. Mr. Buth now has a farm of six hundred acres, and of this he has given his son a tract of one hundred and sixty acres. He cultivates all but eighty acres of his land annually, and realizes a good income from his farming operations. He has a large and convenient residence, good barn, granary and all necessary buildings and the entire estate evidences careful and systematic labors.

Mr. Buth was married in Germany in 1872 to Miss Minnie Temerick. Eight children have been born of this union, namely: Bertha, born September 16, 1874, is now married; Fritz, born January 14, 1875; Theo, born May 18, 1879; Ida, born April 27, 1881; Martha, born April 19, 1883; Mathalie, born August 5, 1886; Minnie, born April 28, 1889; and Francis, born October 6, 1897. Mr. Buth takes a commendable interest in local public affairs and has served as supervisor for five years and as school treasurer for about fourteen years.

[birth dates are as in the book, though the first two can't be are right]

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 473.


AARON R. BUTLER.

Aaron R. Butler, founder and present proprietor of the Bagley Independent, published at Bagley, Minnesota, is one of the early settlers of that locality and has become widely known and is universally respected and esteemed. He is a business man of marked ability, and has made a success of newspaper work in Beltrami county and conducts one of the best papers of the county.

Mr. Butler was born in Chippewa county, Wisconsin, March 4, 1877. His father, Aaron R. Butler, was born in Maine, and the mother of our subject, Adriana (Edwards) Butler, was also born in Maine.

Mr. Butler passed his boyhood on a farm in his native county and received his early education in the common schools, graduating from the high school at Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, at the age of sixteen years. He soon afterward located at Detroit, Minnesota, and worked in the office of the Detroit Free Press. He remained there three and a half years, and then took up his residence in Fisher, Minnesota. He was engaged in the printing office there and remained two years, after which he removed to Climax, Minnesota. There he conducted the Climax Chronicle two years, and then disposed of the same and removed to Bemidji. He was employed on the Bemidji Pioneer for a short time and then removed to his present location in Bagley, Minnesota, in 1899. He established the Bagley Independent, and has since conducted the publication of the same. He now has a circulation of five hundred, and issues the paper weekly. He has a good plant, valued at seven hundred dollars, and has made a success of newspaper work in Minnesota. He is a man of broad mind, good education, and keeps pace with the times and has made for himself and his paper a good name in the locality. The Bagley Independent, although not of many years growth, takes a prominent place among the newsy papers and bright exchanges of the northwest, and it is safe to say that it has but begun its successful course and prosperity is assured Mr. Butler.

Our subject was married, in September, 1898, to Maude Brewster. Mrs. Butler was born in Fisher, Minnesota, October 3, 1879. Mr. Butler is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America at Bagley, and he is a Republican in political sentiment and takes a leading part in local affairs.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 174.


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