John M. Dahlby, the capable and efficient secretary of the Wheeler Land Company, at Moorhead, Minnesota, was born in Dalsland, Sweden, April 7, 1855, and was the oldest member of a family of six children born to Jan and Britta M. (Andreasdatter) Janson, both of whom are now dead. All their children are living in St. Paul, with the exception of the subject of this article.
John M. Dahlby was only fifteen years of age when his father died, leaving the family but poorly provided with the necessities of life, and young John took upon himself the burden of caring for his younger brothers and sisters so far as his ability extended in that direction. When he was eighteen years of age he went to Norway, where he worked on the railroad, and learned the blacksmith trade. It was in Norway that he was married to Miss Marie Hendriksen, and in 1883 they left the Scandinavian lands for a home in the new world, whither so many of their race had gone to their most decided advantage. Mr. Dahlby located in St. Paul, where he secured a position in a grocery store. After about a year of this work he went into business himself as a member of the firm of Olson & Dahlby, doing a general grocery trade, in which they were engaged some two years. At the expiration of that period Mr. Dahlby began dealing in real estate, as the junior member of the firm of Knutson & Company. In 1893 he was made land emigration agent for the firm of A. E. Johnson & Company, of St. Paul, and was sent to the northwest to handle the lands of the Northern Pacific Railroad. In 1896 he formed the real estate firm of Dahlby & Grondahl, with its principal office at St. Paul, and a branch at Moorhead. In 1899 he connected himself with the Wheeler Land Company, and is regarded as one of the most capable and energetic members of that noted concern. The career of Mr. Dahlby, thus briefly sketched, is a most creditable one, and is well worthy of a conspicuous place on these pages devoted to the men whose courage and ability have made the great northwest possible and a fact.
Mr. Dahlby has recently made an extended trip to Sweden and Norway, and was impressed by the vast changes that even a few years have wrought in the conditions of life in the old country.
Mr. and Mrs. Dahlby have five children: Bertha, Oscar, Hilma L., Henry G. and Jennie. He is a Democrat, and is a man of character and standing. A portrait of Mr. Dahlby will be found upon another page of this volume.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 260.
Jacob Dahlgren, whose portrait appears on another page, is one of the old homesteaders whose nerve, endurance and hard work did so much to reclaim western Minnesota, and make it seem what it is, a noble part of a splendid state. For almost thirty years he has been a resident of Lac-qui-parle county, and his push and persistence as a tiller of the soil won for him a well earned competence, and put him well in advance of the farmers in this section.
Mr. Dahlgren was born in Sweden in 1847, on a farm in the province of Dolsland. His father was a farmer who came to this country in 1868, and his family followed him the next year. He was an old settler in Lac-qui-parle county, and died in 1899 in the home of his son Jacob.
Jacob Dahlgren was the third member in a family of nine children, and was reared to manhood in the home of his parents. He learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed for a time in Minneapolis and at Red Wing. In 1877 he took a homestead in section 24, of the township of Providence, and immediately began its improvement. His first home was a claim shanty 10 by 12 feet, and for several years he did all his work with oxen. In the winter of 1880-81 he ground wheat for flour in a coffee mill, and used burnt wheat for coffee. For fuel he burned hay, and has vivid memories of the trials and hardships of terrible cold and long continued snow.
Mr. Dahlgren was married in 1879 to Miss Emily Johnson, a Swedish compatriot, her father having been a farmer in Sweden where she was born. To this singularly fortunate union have come seven children: Carl August, Oscar, Selma, Minnie, Arthur, Hannah and Annie. The Dahlgrens lost their house and all its contents by fire in 1885. The grain crops have been destroyed by hail, and the misfortunes incident to pioneer days in Minnesota have all been experienced by them. But their courage was unshaken, and they now reap the reward of industry and endurance in a farm consisting of a half section of the best farming land in the world, with over two hundred acres under the plow. Lac-qui-parle river runs across this farm and furnishes abundant water privileges of every kind. The buildings are noticeably good, the grove is neat and attractive, and the entire plant well worthy of high commendation.
Mr. Dahlgren has done quite a good deal of carpenter work since coming into this county, and has ever been ready to turn his trade to the accommodation of his friends and neighbors. In politics he is a Republican, and took an active interest in the organization of Providence township.
The remoteness of the market in pioneer days may be illustrated by the fact that Mr. Dahlgren had to haul his first lumber from Benson, fifty miles away. Then the pioneer went ahead of the railroad; of late years the railroad has gone ahead of the pioneers, and called for the coming of the settler. Compare the "American invasion of Canada" with the settlement of Minnesota and note how vast the change.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 438-41.
Among the younger members of the farming community of Parnell township, Traverse county, a prominent place is accorded the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this review. He is energetic and progressive and has built for himself a comfortable home and a valuable property and has gained the confidence and esteem of his associates.
Mr. Dahlin was born in Carver county, Minnesota, in 1870. His father was a native of Sweden, and he came to America and was married in 1869, his wife being also a native of Sweden. He settled in Carver county about 1866 and followed the carpenter's trade. He lived in various places in the country and spent five years in Minneapolis and the family settled in Traverse county in 1890, making a home in section 23 of Parnell township. Our subject received most of his education in Carver county and after settling in Traverse county he and his brothers, Herman and Andrew, worked together. They conducted the threshing business in partnership for eleven years and in 1899 they sold their interests and each bought a rig and they also divided the farm and each started for himself. Our subject now has a thirty horse power steam threshing rig, and has a farm of four hundred and eighty acres, about four hundred acres of which is under cultivation. He engages extensively in grain raising and has met with marked success. He has a good house and other buildings on his farm and has comfortable surroundings. For some years he was engaged in the well boring business and sunk many wells in his neighborhood.
Mr. Dahlin was married in 1900 to Miss Ida Johnson, who was born in Kandiyohi county, Minnesota. Her parents were born in Sweden. Mr. and Mrs. Dahlin are the parents of two children, namely: Clarence W., and Francis. Mr. Dahlin takes a commendable and active interest in local public affairs, and for the past three or four years has held the office of chairman of the board of supervisors of his township and has been a member of the board since 1894. He has also served as assessor. He is a stanch Republican and has been chosen delegate to numerous conventions of his party.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 424.
In compiling a list of the successful and highly respected farmers of Wolverton township, Wilkin county, a foremost place is accorded the name of Daniel Danielson, who has followed farming here for many years and is thoroughly versed in his chosen calling and has met with marked success.
Mr. Danielson was born in Sweden, in 1862, His father, also named Daniel, followed farming in Sweden, and later came to America, locating in Wilkin County. His death occurred here several years ago.
Our subject was the eldest of a family of six children, and he was reared in his native land and received a good common school education there. He began to earn his own living by wood chopping when twelve years of age. In 1884 he came to America, landing in New York City and from thence came to Wilkin county, Minnesota. For six years after his arrival in this country he worked for others, and in 1890 decided to build up a farm for himself. He purchased land in Wolverton township, and lived alone on his farm for about nine years. He steadily improved the farm and is now the owner of two hundred and thirty-seven acres of land, nearly all of which is under cultivation. He has a set of good buildings on the place and has comfortable and pleasant surroundings. Every appointment of his farm evidences painstaking care in its operation and his energetic labors have brought good results.
Mr. Danielson was married in 1899 to Miss Lena Soland. Mrs. Danielson was born in Sweden, where she was reared and educated. She came to America in 1895. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Danielson, namely: Harold, Mable and Esther. All were born on the farm in Wilkin county. Mr. Danielson lends his influence for the upbuilding of the better interests of his community and is a man of broad mind and good judgment, but he does not enter into public affairs. He stands for Republicanism, politically.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 763.
Josiah Darling was born in Cattaraugus county, New York, in 1838, and was reared to a farming life. In Maxwell township, where he has resided for many years, he has taken a prominent place in agricultural affairs, and his years, honest disposition and unflagging industry have united to make him one of the strong characters of the community. A portrait of Mr. Darling will be found on another page of this volume.
William R. Darling, the father of Josiah, was a farmer in New Hampshire, and he came west to Minnesota in 1872. The Darling family belongs to the old American stock, and for many generations has had a name in the annals of old New England.
Josiah Darling came west in the fall of 1856, and his family followed the following year. For a time he lived in Janesville, Wisconsin, and had been two years on a farm near by, when the Civil war broke out, calling him to the front. An August, 1862, he enlisted in the Twenty-second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and went south September 17, of that year. He saw service in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, the two Carolinas, and accompanied General Sherman on his "march to the sea." He participated in the "Grand Review" in Washington, and returned to peaceful pursuits with the consciousness of three years spent in the noblest war that men ever fought.
Returning home he was married September 17, 1865, to Miss Permelia E. Griffith, who came of American parentage, and was a native of Wisconsin. Three of the four children born to this union are now living: Luna O.; Esther M., now dead; Morna E., and Myrtie C. [George O., and Myrtle E., are adopted.]
Mr. Darling brought his family to Lac-qui-parle county in June, 1872, driving across the country in a covered wagon. He settled on a homestead claim in section 10 of Maxwell township, and for eight years made a home for the family in the familiar dug-out construction of the frontier. He broke his first land with oxen, and for several years lost heavily from grasshoppers and hail. The year of the first invasion of the grasshoppers he was sick, and utterly unable to work. Perseverance brought its own reward, and today he owns a fine well tilled farm of one hundred and sixty acres, of which all but about twenty acres is under a high cultivation. The farm buildings satisfy the critical eye, and the grove is growing well. There are many apple and plum trees, and an abundance of small fruit. The universal judgment is that he is a thoroughly successful farmer.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 524-27.
Among the progressive and energetic farmers of Brown's Valley township, who have contributed to the wealth of Big Stone county, by their farming operations, a high station is accorded the gentleman above named. For many years he has been engaged in the improvement of his farm and he has acquired a valuable property and an enviable reputation.
Mr. Davidson was born in La Salle county, Illinois, in 1860. His father, James S. Davidson, was born in Scotland, and was married in his native land. He came to America and followed farming. He was one of the earliest settlers of Big Stone county, Minnesota, where he located in 1878.
Our subject was reared in Illinois and attended the common schools there. He assisted with the work of the home farm and remained at home until he attained his majority, when he started for himself. He followed farm work from time to time, and in 1878 came to Minnesota with his father. He built a claim shanty, part dugout, where he lived for the first two years. His first crop was totally destroyed by hail. This was an extremely severe storm and after its abatement he picked up hailstones seven inches in diameter. The father died on the home farm June 10, 1892, and the mother July 24, 1894.
Our subject has continued the improvement and cultivation of the farm, and is now the owner of one hundred and sixty acres, of which one hundred and twenty acres are under plow, and the rest is pasture and meadow. He engages in stock raising to a considerable extent and has thirteen head of cattle and a good drove of hogs. He has suffered the loss of crops four times, three of which were total losses, but he has prospered withal, and is one of the well-to-do men of that locality.
In political sentiment Mr. Davidson is a Republican, but he devotes his entire attention to operating his farm and does not enter actively into public affairs. He keeps abreast of the times, and lends his influence for the upbuilding of his community, but does not seek public preferment.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 396.
William M. Davidson, a representative farmer of Wilkin county, has a pleasant and comfortable farm in Brandrup township, but resides in Campbell village. He is a man of untiring energy and perseverance and has prospered through his excellent management and industry, supplemented by honest dealings, and enjoys an enviable reputation as a farmer and citizen.
Mr. Davidson was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1843. His father, John Davidson, was a native of England and he became a settler of Wisconsin in 1857, where he followed farming. Our subject was the eldest of a family of children, namely: Elizabeth, Alexander, William M., John, Henry, Blanch, Ann, David and Henry. Of these children our subject and one brother, John, are the only surviving ones.
William M. Davidson was reared in Wisconsin, where the family moved after the mother's death, and from the age of fourteen years our subject earned his own way. He worked at farm labor and later entered a flouring mill in the fall of 1865 and followed milling for twenty years and is thoroughly conversant with this business. In July, 1861, Mr. Davidson enlisted in the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He saw service in Virginia and Maryland and with the Army of the Potomac. He was with this branch of the army at the battle of Antietam and was there wounded and discharged. He re-enlisted in 1864 in the First Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, and was in service in Virginia at the time of Lincoln's assassination. After the close of the war in 1865 Mr. Davidson returned to his home. He began farming in Wisconsin in 1885 and followed farming in Dane county for eleven years and built up a good farm. In 1895 he came to southern Minnesota and settled on a farm in Mower county, where he resided for three years and in the fall of 1898 became a resident of Wilkin county, purchasing a farm in section 23 of Brandrup township. This farm was but partially improved and has but one hundred acres broken for cultivation. He has engaged successfully in grain and stock raising, and now owns a thoroughly improved farm of three hundred and twenty acres, all under cultivation, and a set of good buildings thereon.
Mr. Davidson was married in Wisconsin in 1873 to Miss Mary E. Riley. Mrs. Davidson was born in Wisconsin and her father, James Riley, was a merchant. Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Davidson, seven of whom are now living. They are named as follows: Percy, now in Nebraska; Alexander, residing at home; John H.; Henry, deceased; Clair, Cecil, Vere and Ethel. All were born in Wisconsin. Mr. Davidson keeps pace with the times in public affairs, and votes with the Republican party, but does not take an active part in political affairs.
In 1903 he erected a fine house in Campbell village at a cost of $2,500 and now makes his home there. The son works the farm.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 694-95.
Among the younger members of the farming community of Harris township, Chisago county, Minnesota, none are better known or command a higher place as a progressive farmer and worthy citizen than the gentleman above named. Mr. Daw has been identified with the commercial interests of his locality since his birth, and he has been a potent factor in bringing about the prosperity enjoyed there at the present day. He has a well developed farm near Harris, and has met with marked success in his farming operations.
Our subject was born on the home farm in a log house in Rush Seba township, Chisago county, Minnesota, in 1866, and was a son of William Daw, an early settler of that county. His father was born in Cornwall, England, and came to America as a single man at the age of twenty-seven years. He lived in Wisconsin and later became a pioneer of Minnesota. He served one year in the Civil war. He died of heart disease when our subject was eleven years of age, and the mother of our subject died some three months previous of the same disease.
Alonzo Daw was the youngest in a family of six children, and he was reared and educated in the common schools of Chisago county. The first school he attended was four miles from his home and the way was through woods and marshes. After being left an orphan at the age of eleven years he began earning his own way, and worked with relatives. He spent ten winters in the lumber woods of Minnesota, and two summers in Washington, and was also employed on the log drives. He purchased his present farm in section 6 of Harris township, in 1892, and built a board shanty 12 by 14 feet thereon, and there lived alone for three years. This was a heavy timber tract of eighty acres and he has succeeded in clearing about half of it for cultivation, and the balance is pasture and timber land. He engages in mixed farming and has a good income.
Mr. Daw was married in 1899 to Miss Elma Swanson. Mrs. Daw was born in Sweden and came to the United States in 1888. Mr. and Mrs. Daw are the parents of one child, Charles Alonzo.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 319.
Edwin S. Daw, residing in Rushseba township, is one of the early settlers of Chisago county. He has developed three farms in this county and is one of the progressive and successful farmers of his community.
Mr. Daw was born in St. Ive, Cornwall, England, in April, 1838. His father, William Daw, came to America with his family in August, 1848, and settled near Cleveland, Ohio. Here our subject was reared and when fourteen years of age began earning his own way. The father died when Edwin was but thirteen years of age and he became the sole support of his widowed mother. The family moved to Illinois when he was nineteen years of age and he worked there for five years, supporting the family and paying for a home. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers. He was sent to Corinth, Mississippi, where he was in his first engagement in October. He was in the campaign around Atlanta, and was in the siege of Vicksburg, and at Savannah, Ft. Buford, Columbia, and went through North Carolina to Petersburg. He marched through the old Wilderness battle field, and while at Mt. Vernon guarded the grave of Martha Washington during the night. He drank from an old brass ladle that was used by Washington. He remained in the army until 1865 and then returned home. In March, 1866, he came to Chisago county, Minnesota, and the first year here worked at odd jobs, and then spent three years in the woods and on the log drives. He took a homestead and lived thereon fifteen years. This tract was in section 25 of Rushseba township. He has owned other land and is now living on his third farm in this county. The present home farm he purchased in October, 1888. It contains seventy acres, and he has succeeded in clearing half of it for cultivation. He has placed excellent improvements on the place and has met with marked success in his endeavors here.
Mr. Daw was married in 1875 to Miss E. H. Chase, who was born in New Hampshire of old Yankee stock. One daughter has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Daw, who is married and has one child. She is now Mrs. Emma C. Nelson. Mr. Daw is one of the leading citizens of his township and has served as treasurer and supervisor. He is a stanch Republican in political faith and attends conventions of his party as a delegate.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 812.
Daniel Day, one of the leading old settlers of Big Stone county, Minnesota, resides in Graceville, where he has a comfortable home and one acre of land. He owns valuable farm lands in this county and is widely and favorably known.
Mr. Day was born in England in 1828. His father, William Day, was a laboring man in England, and died in 1850. Our subject attended the common schools of his native place until he attained his majority and in 1849 he came to America, landing in New York May 1. He went to Iowa, where he worked on a farm for eight years. In 1857 he went to Winona county, Minnesota, and took a pre-emption claim to one hundred and sixty acres of land and followed farming thereon for ten years, when he lost the property through mortgage. He came to Big Stone county in 1877 and took a homestead and tree claim and built a claim shanty. He also built a log barn and covered it with straw and dirt. He added to his possessions and owned two hundred acres of land until recently. In 1901 he disposed of all but forty acres and he now makes his home in Graceville, where he has a good home. He spends a portion of his time with his son, Richard, in Tara township, Traverse county, this son being one of the leading old settlers of Traverse county.
Mr. Day was married in 1858 to Miss Catherine Barron. Mrs. Day was born in Ireland and was a daughter of Richard Barron, a farmer of that country. She came to America in 1851. Ten children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Day, all of whom were born in Minnesota. They are named as follows: Mary, William, Richard, Nellie, John, Emma, Millie, Edward, Arthur and Maggie. Mr. Day has served as supervisor of Graceville township and is a public-spirited citizen.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 815.
Charles Degroy, one of the younger members of the farming community of Swift county, is a man of energetic spirit and good business management. He rents the valuable farm of his father-in-law, Aslack Anesen, consisting of two hundred and forty acres on section 8 of West Bank township, and has met with pronounced success in his operation of this estate.
Mr. Degroy was born in Norway, January 18, 1869, and was a son of Johann Oleson and Hannah (Severson) Degroy. His father is a police officer in Norway. Our subject was the eldest of a family of eight children and he received his education in Norway. He came to America in 1888, landing at New York, and went direct to Watonwon county, Minnesota, where he worked three years for farmers. He came to Swift county in 1891, and worked in and out of that county along the line of farming since that time. He now rents his father-in-law's estate and he and Mr. Anesen have on the farm eighteen head of cattle, seventy-five hogs and five horses and our subject is rapidly placing himself above want and acquiring good property interests. A new residence is now in course of erection on the place, and other improvements are added as needed.
Mr. Degroy was married October 25, 1901, to Matilda Anesen, daughter of Aslack and Berne Anesen. Mrs. Degroy's father resides with Mr. and Mrs. Degroy. He cannot speak the English language, and is retired from active labors, but assists some on his farm. He owns two hundred and forty acres where he lives and also one hundred and sixty acres of land near Hagen, Chippewa county. Mr. Anesen was born in Norway, in December, 1839. His parents, Arne and Carrie Jergesen, had a family of four children, two sons and two daughters and Aslack was the youngest in the family, and he worked at farming and lumbering in Norway. He was married in Norway in 1865 to Tone Berne, and came to America in 1870, via Quebec, for Dane county, Wisconsin. He remained there a year and a half and then went to Hagen, Chippewa county, and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land. This farm he still owns and it is now a well improved property. His son-in-law, Peter Bordeson, lives on the place. Mr. and Mrs. Anesen became the parents of five children, the first of whom was born in Norway and died there. Those living are Ben, farmer of North Dakota; Carrie, wife of Peter Bordeson; Arna, farming; and Matilda, wife of our subject, Charles Degroy. The family are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church. Mr. Anesen is one of the respected and esteemed citizens of Swift county and has many friends. Mr. Degroy is an energetic and prosperous farmer and has gained his high station as an agriculturist and citizen by his own industry and integrity. He is a Democrat in political faith.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 602.
Montreville Deming, deceased, was for many years prior to his death, one of the leading old settlers of Chisago county. He was a man of wide experience, good business judgment, active public spirit, and was energetic and persevering and commanded the respect and esteem of all with whom he came in contact. His home at the time of his demise was in Rush City.
Mr. Deming was born in Niagara county, New York, in 1827, and was of old Yankee stock. His father, Azel Deming, was born in Massachusetts. Our subject was reared in New York and in 1856 went to Minnesota, locating in Chisago county. The first few years he resided in Sunrise, and engaged in farming and in several business enterprises. He then moved to a farm six miles west of Rush City in 1868, and he took the first homestead entered west of Rush Lake, and his was the first family to settle in that locality. His claim was in the pine timber country, and his first house was 24 by 16 feet and was constructed of logs. Timber wolves were there in numbers. His first farming was done with oxen and his first crop consisted of corn and a few potatoes which he grew near his house. He took $16 worth of young fruit trees and started the only orchard for many years in that locality. He was the only farmer to make a success of fruit raising in the early days there, and he grew plums, grapes, apples, raspberries and strawberries, and was one of the first to successfully grow raspberries. He built up a good farm and continued his residence thereon until 1898, when on account of failing health, he removed to the village of Rush City, and he there lived in retirement until his death, which occurred October 3, 1900.
Mr. Deming had a host of friends who mourned their loss at his death, and his memory is cherished in his home community. He was a man of active public spirit and served as township treasurer for several years. He helped to build the first school established in that part of the country, and did his full share as a pioneer. He was familiar with the topography and aided many of the early settlers in locating farms. He took great interest in the Chisago Agricultural Society, and secured many premiums at the county fairs for fruit, grain and vegetable exhibits. He built chimneys, plastered houses, did shoe repairing, and in fact turned his hand to all kinds of work to assist those around him. Sunrise was the nearest trading point and he made shingles and hauled them there to market, thus securing provisions and supplies, and for many years manufactured brooms. He was a usual delegate to conventions and was a deservedly popular citizen.
Mr. Deming was married in 1852, in the state of New York, to Miss Phoebe Brown. Mrs. Deming was born in Genessee county, New York, and her father was of old Yankee stock. To Mr. and Mrs. Deming eleven children were born, who are as follows: Frank, deceased; Milton; Serepta, deceased; William; Maud, deceased; May, now married and residing in Wright county, Minnesota; Andrew; Edith; Guy; and Minnie and Martha, twins. Mr. Deming gave his children good educational advantages and reared a family to usefulness and good citizenship.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 556.
Henry A. Dickerson, one of the first settlers of Shivlin, Minnesota, is the popular druggist of that town and is identified with the early history of that locality. He is the owner of valuable real estate and enjoys a large patronage in the drug business.
Mr. Dickerson was born in Mower county, Minnesota, April 11, 1865. His father, Joseph Dickerson, was born in the state of New York, and the mother of our subject, Mary (Stalkdale) Dickerson, was a native of Michigan. Henry A. Dickerson lived on the farm in Mower county until he was fourteen years of age, and in 1879 removed with his parents to Ottertail county, Minnesota. The father took a homestead there and our subject, at the age of twenty-one, bought land and followed farming the same until he was twenty-eight years of age. He attended the common schools of Ottertail county, and received a good education. He was appointed postmaster at Underwood, Ottertail county, and served in that capacity two and a half years. He disposed of his farm in 1898 and was one of the first to erect a building on the town site of Shivlin, in Beltrami county. He carried the first mail from Copley to Shivlin afoot. Through his efforts the township of Shivlin was organized, and Mr. Dickerson was chosen its first clerk. He worked for the Blakslee Lumber Company eighteen months, and in March, 1900, erected a building and stocked it with drugs. The building, fixtures and stock are valued at $3,000, and Mr. Dickerson has built up a good trade in his line. He is the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of land, a mile and a half from Shivlin, in township 147, range 36, and this is valuable timber and meadow land. He enjoys prosperity as a result of industrious efforts and good management, and is one of the substantial citizens of Beltrami county.
Mr. Dickerson was married, May 23, 1894, to Anna C. Gallant. Mrs. Dickerson was born in Sweden, April 8, 1876. Mr. Dickerson is a gentleman of excellent character, and is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and Knights of the Maccabees. He is a Republican in political sentiment, but does not seek public office, and lends his influence for good government, local and national. He is always awake to the interests of his community and is a firm supporter of every good public enterprise.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 194-97.
Among the younger members of the farming community of Mitchell township a prominent place is accorded the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this review. For some years he has been engaged in farming and is well known and highly respected throughout Wilkin county.
Mr. Doege was born on a farm in Faribault county, Minnesota, in 1869. His father, Leopold Doege, was born in Germany and came to America about 1855, and was married in this country. Of a family of nine children our subject was the fifth in order of birth. He was reared and educated in his native county and at an early age assisted with the work on the home farm. He learned the carpenter's trade and at the age of nineteen years started for himself, working at farm labor for some years. He came to Wilkin county in 1889 and spent a year at his trade in Mitchell township and then went to Day county, South Dakota. He spent five years in that state working at farming and carpentering and in 1895 returned to Wilkin county, following his trade for about a year thereafter. He bought eighty acres of land in section 9 of Mitchell township in 1896 and about 1899 began farming thereon. He now owns two hundred and forty acres, two hundred of which is under cultivation and the rest is pasture and meadow. This was unimproved land, but he has placed a valuable set of buildings thereon and has provided a comfortable home for himself and family, and is now one of the well-to-do men of his township.
Mr. Doege was married in 1899 to Miss Emma Stach. Mrs. Doege was born in Mower county, Minnesota, and was a daughter of John Stach, a native of Germany. To Mr. and Mrs. Doege two children have been born, namely, Francis and Mable. Both were born on the farm in Mitchell township. Mr. Doege is actively interested in the welfare of his community and has served in numerous offices and is the present township clerk. He is affiliated with the Republican party politically. He is now a county commissioner, elected in the fall of 1902.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 529.
John T. Dolan, a prominent farmer of Swift county, Minnesota, has his residence on section 3 of West Bank township. His home farm consists of one hundred and sixty acres and he also owns one hundred and sixty acres on section 36 of Marysland township. In addition he farms three hundred and twenty acres of rented land, and altogether places an entire section of rich land under cultivation annually. He is a gentleman of good business judgment and strict integrity and is thoroughly practical and uses modern and scientific methods. He follows mixed farming and has considerable stock, his farm work requiring sixteen horses.
Mr. Dolan was born in Boston, Massachusetts, June 19, 1864, and was a son of the late Thomas and Cecelia (Dolan) Dolan. The review of the lives of his parents will be found on another page of this work. They were natives of county Cavan, Ireland, and came to America in 1861, settling in Boston, Massachusetts, where they lived until 1877, when the entire family came to Swift county, Minnesota. They settled on a homestead on section 2 of West Bank township, where the father died. The mother survives and makes her home on the old homestead place.
John T. Dolan was the eldest of a family of ten children. He attended the schools of Boston and later the public schools of Swift county and secured his business education on his father's farm. At the age of twenty-eight years he bought eighty acres of school land, and in the same year (1892) he secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres. In 1899 Mr. Dolan added another eighty acre tract to his possessions, and this completes his fine farm of a half section. He has two men regularly employed to assist in his extensive farming operations. He owns a threshing outfit, which finds full employment in season, his own immediate relatives having two thousand acres of small grain to thresh.
Mr. Dolan was married in 1892 to Mary Ann Wood, daughter of John and Bridget Wood, who were early settlers in Swift county. Mr. and Mrs. Dolan have no children, but are rearing a boy who came to them from the Orphan Asylum, and who bears the name of James Clancy. Mr. Dolan has served his township in offices of trust and was three years chairman of the township board. He was justice of the peace for many years in both districts No. 34 and No. 77. He is a member of the Odd Fellows and is a member of the Catholic church. Politically he is a Republican. He is popular with his associates and is a genial and highly esteemed citizen.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 541-42.
The estimable lady who bears the above name is well known and greatly esteemed by many citizens of Swift county. She is now the head of a large family of sons and daughters associated with the agricultural interests of West Bank and neighboring townships. She is a resident of section 2 of West Bank township, and makes her home on the old homestead farm there, and is the fortunate possessor of four hundred and eighty acres of valuable farming land. She has been a resident there for the past quarter of a century.
Thomas Dolan, deceased, was born in county Cavan, Ireland, June 24, 1837, and was a son of John and Susan (McGovern) Dolan. His parents spent their lives in Ireland and died in their native land many years ago. They followed farming pursuits and Thomas attended school in his native land, and assisted with the work on his father's farm. He remained in Ireland until the early part of 1861, and then emigrated to America, landing at Boston, Massachusetts. He lived there for sixteen years and worked for the municipal authorities in various capacities. He was married by the Rev. James Fitton, in Boston, Massachusetts, August 16, 1863, to Cecelia Dolan, now his widow. To Mr. and Mrs. Dolan ten children were born, the first seven natives of Boston, and the younger children born on the home farm in Swift county, Minnesota. They are as follows: John T., born June 19, 1864; Michael, born February 3, 1866, died May 14, 1869; Elizabeth, born February 22, 1868, died May 6, 1869; Charles M., born March 10, 1870; Mary, born December 29, 1871, died March 14, 1874; Thomas, born February 21, 1874; Terrance P., born February 17, 1876; Frank E., born October 22, 1878; Annie M., born November 23, 1880, died July 4, 1887; and Cecelia A., born July 5, 1884. The six surviving children received a good common school education and are respected members of society.
When Mr. Dolan went to Swift county in 1877 he secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of good land on section 2 in West Bank township, where Mrs. Dolan now lives. He later bought the right to a tree claim of one hundred and sixty acres adjoining, and after the death of her husband, Mrs. Dolan secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in her own right. These three quarter sections are still in the possession of Mrs. Dolan, and she is assisted by her sons in the management and cultivation of the estate. Their first home was a 12 by 16 foot shanty, and in 1899, Mrs. Dolan completed a large and comfortable farm residence and enjoys life and good health in her pleasant, well furnished home, with her daughter, Cecelia, and several sons. In addition to her own large family she took two children to raise from the Catholic Orphan Aslyum [sic], and reared them as her own.
Thomas Dolan died February 23, 1887. He was an industrious, God-fearing man, kind to wife and family, and his loss was deeply felt at his demise. He served his township as a director of the school board, and in religious matters was a member of the Catholic church. In political faith he was a Democrat.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 555.
Dr. John J. Donovan, a rising physician and surgeon of Meeker county, has established himself in an office in Eden Valley, and although his residence numbers comparatively few years in this locality, he has placed himself among the foremost of his profession and is a successful and popular practitioner.
Dr. Donovan was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 17, 1878. His father, Thomas W. Donovan, was born in Maine, and the mother of our subject, Mary A. (Hayes) Donovan, was a native of Canada.
Dr. Donovan was reared in Minneapolis and attended the Sisters' School and the North Side High School, graduating from that institution in 1897. He then attended the University of Minnesota and took a course in the medical and surgical department, graduating with the class of 1901. He went to Duluth, Minnesota, and was House Physician and Surgeon for one year at St. Mary's hospital of Duluth. He met with success here, but desired a country practice, and after a few months search for a location established his office in Eden Valley, August 15, 1902. His office is above the Williams Pharmacy. He has the greater share of the practice of the village and the country surrounding and enjoys the confidence of his patrons.
Dr. Donovan is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters of Minneapolis, and also of the Eagle Lodge of that city. He is a communicant of the Catholic church.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 802.
Peter Dougherty, deceased, for many years one of the leading railroad construction men of Minnesota and the Dakotas, became a prominent and highly esteemed citizen of Big Stone county, where at the time of his demise he was engaged in the hotel business in Odessa. He was a gentleman of sterling worth and is deeply mourned by a large circle of relatives and friends. His family reside in Odessa and Mrs. Dougherty continues to operate the hotel and livery business and has a growing patronage in this line. She is ably managing the business and is a woman of good judgment and honest dealings.
Mr. Dougherty was born in Whitewater, Wisconsin, in 1860. His father, J. Dougherty, was a native of Ireland. When our subject was fifteen years of age he started for himself and he came to Minnesota and afterward made his own way. He began railroad work at Wahpeton and followed the business on construction work for the next twenty-three years of his career. He was appointed section boss in 1895 at Odessa and for the following eight years made this town his home. He purchased the home now occupied by the family in 1902 and remodeled it for a hotel. This is now the leading hotel of Odessa and is one of the best conducted hotels in the county.
Mr. Dougherty was married in Minneapolis in 1895 to Mrs. Gootzman. Mrs. Dougherty bore the maiden name of Louisa Clabunder. She was born in Germany and her father, Carl Clabunder, was a stone cutter of that country and spent his life there. Mrs. Dougherty was married to Julius Gootzman in her native land, and her husband was serving in the German army when he was accidentally shot four weeks after their marriage. He died in 1884. One daughter was born of this marriage, namely Emma, who was born in Germany in 1884 and is now married and resides in Odessa, Minnesota. For eleven years Mrs. Dougherty had the support of her mother and daughter to earn and she kept boarders in Appleton, Minnesota. She was left to earn her own way at the age of eleven years by the death of her father and she was employed as cook for a wealthy family of Germany for seven years prior to her marriage to Mr. Gootzman. She came with her daughter to America in 1888. She has one grandchild, named Alice.
Mr. Dougherty died of consumption at his home March 28, 1903. He was an exemplary citizen and one whom the people looked upon as possessed of integrity and indomitable will. He always stood bravely for the right and never shirked a duty, and his death is deeply felt in his home community. He was a Democrat politically and stood staunchly for the principles of his party.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 599-600.
Edward Downs, one of the well-to-do and practically retired farmers of Big Stone county, has accumulated a fine estate since locating in this county in the early days of its settlement. He has labored persistently, and with indomitable will and has met with deserved success. He has a home of great comfort in Tokua township, and in the near future plans to occupy one of the residences now owned by him in Graceville and will be one of the highly esteemed an influential citizens of that town.
Mr. Downs was born in Ireland, and he spent his boyhood and early youth in his native land. His father was a stone mason and bricklayer and also followed farming in Ireland, where he spent his life. Our subject learned the trade followed by his father and also worked at railroad construction. He lived in Ireland until 1861, when he came to America and spent one year in the vicinity of Cincinnati. He returned to Ireland in 1862, and during his stay at his old home his marriage occurred. He and wife came to America and lived in Spring Valley, Ohio, for about four years, and in 1867 came to Minneapolis, where Mr. Downs was engaged at his trade for five years. He followed farming near that city for four years, and in 1878 came to the Big Stone county, there being but three settlers in the locality at that time. He built a claim shanty and he had horses for his first farm work. His nearest town was Ortonville and he hauled lumber and supplies from Morris. The family lived on the homestead farm seven years and then moved to a farm adjoining Graceville and Mr. Downs purchased land in sections 3 and 11. They resided thereon seventeen years and thoroughly improved the place and sold the farm in 1900 for $10,000. Mr. Downs still possesses his farm in Tokua township and also owns residence property in Graceville and in the fall of 1903 moved to his home in Graceville. He has opened almost six hundred acres of land for cultivation in Big Stone county and has aided materially in the development of that region. He has done no work at his trade as mason for several years, but many of the buildings of that locality he has worked upon. He had the supervision of the mason work on the Catholic church at Graceville, one of the finest buildings in that region.
Mr. Downs was married in Ireland in 1862 to Mary Meehan, a native of Ireland. To Mr. and Mrs. Downs ten children have been born, who are as follows: Pat Henry, now land locater in Idaho; Mary, a milliner in Graceville; Kate, residing at home; Annie, a trained nurse and a Catholic Sister of St. Joseph's Hospital; Maggie, who is married; Nellie, clerking in Minneapolis; Bridget, a dressmaker of St. Paul; Sarah, a trained nurse in St. Joseph's Hospital; Edward Joseph, at home; and Thomas Henry, also residing with his parents. The eldest daughters are married. The family are members of the Catholic church, and Mr. Downs served as treasurer of the Graceville parish for about seven years. He is a gentleman of active public spirit and has served on the township board three terms and has held almost every school office. Politically he is identified with the Democratic party.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 541.
Angus K. Doyle, whose name and face are familiar to all the people of Nassau, and vicinity, as station agent, as well as to the traveling public as a genial and accommodating railroad man, was born in Renville county, Minnesota, August 3, 1872, where his father, Samuel H., who had come from Scotland, had located and engaged in farming.
Angus K. Doyle, was the older member of a family of two children, was reared to manhood under the parental roof, and secured such education as the common schools of the community were able to afford. When he was eighteen years old he left home and started as a student of telegraphy, and has made that art his business to the present time. Speedily becoming efficient he was entrusted with important positions and October 1, 1892, was appointed station agent at Nassau, Minnesota. Here he has remained to the present time, and has greatly aided in the development of the railroad business in this part of the state.
Mr. Doyle was married August 9, 1895, to Miss May J. Longworth, a native of Wisconsin, where she was born January 28, 1876. She was reared to young womanhood in her native state, and profited well by the advantages the local schools were able to afford her. To Mr. and Mrs. Doyle have come three children, Raymond, Walter and Margaretta, all being native to the little village of Nassau.
In matters relating to politics, Mr. Doyle inclines to socialistic theories. For two years past he has served on the village board, and is generally regarded as one of the leading citizens of Nassau.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 529.
Morgan Driver, who enjoys the distinction of being the oldest resident settler of Eden Lake township, Stearns county, has a valuable farm in section 14. He has done his full share toward the development of the commercial and social interests of the community where he has made his home for so many years and has a wide acquaintance. He is a highly esteemed and worthy citizen.
Mr. Driver was born in Randolph county, Indiana, February 18, 1828. His father, James Driver, was a native of Pennsylvania, and his mother, Sarah (Rhodey) Driver, was born in North Carolina. Our subject was reared on a farm in his native state and there received his education in the public schools. At the age of twenty years he began farming and also worked at shoemaking. In August, 1862 he enlisted in Company A, Eighty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He went to Kentucky and later to Georgia and was in the battle of Chickamauga. He was in the Army of the Cumberland, and was at Missionary Ridge, Buzzard's Roost, Tunnel Hill and Dalton, and marched with Sherman to the sea. After nearly three years of active and loyal service for the Union he was mustered out in May, 1865, and he then returned to his home in Indiana. He took his family and removed to Minnesota in the fall of the same year, stopping in Stearns county. He took land as a homestead on section 14 of Eden Lake township and built the first shanty in this part of the country. He passed through the experiences and hardships of pioneer life, but remained to develop a good farm. He now owns forty acres of land which is well improved and from which he derives a good income.
Mr. Driver was married May 21, 1856, to Mary J. Hedrick, who was born in Ohio, September 7, 1831. To Mr. and Mrs. Driver seven children have been born, namely: John W., Morgan F., Mary A., Flora A., Jacob S., Thomas M., and Delila E. Mr. Driver is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and he is also associated with the Church of God of Eden Valley. He is a gentleman of excellent character and well merits his high standing as a farmer and citizen of Stearns county.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 777.
Martin G. Dunnom, a well-to-do and energetic farmer of Madison township, is one of the early settlers of Lac-qui-parle county. He has built up a fine farm by his own labors and good management, and is highly respected as a representative farmer and worthy citizen.
Mr. Dunnom was born near Christiana, Norway, in 1864. His father, Paul G. Dunnom, came to America in 1871 with his family and settled in Pierce county, Wisconsin. He lived there until 1878 when the family became residents of Lac-qui-parle county, the father taking land as a homestead in section 23, township 118, range 44. They lived the first summer in a sod shanty and used oxen for the farm work. All the early lumber and supplies were hauled from Montevideo, then the nearest railroad town, but later Appleton was started, which made a nearer market.
Our subject remained on the home farm until 1889, when he started for himself. He had purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land in 1887 and he afterward took a pre-emption to an additional tract and in 1889 purchased other land. He now has a farm of three hundred and twenty acres, which he has accumulated from time to time and is one of the extensive farmers of his township. He has erected fine buildings in the way of a comfortable and commodious house, large, substantial barn, granary, chicken house and all necessary farm buildings. He has some apple trees and shade trees on the place and has surrounded himself with the comforts of a rural home. He began farming without means and has managed his farm well and in consequence has prospered.
Mr. Dunnom was married in 1889 to Miss Mary Olson. Mrs. Dunnom was born in Norway and her father, who was also a native of Norway died in that country. Mr. and Mrs. Dunnom are the parents of the following children: Mable, Effie, Rachel, and Palmer. The last named is an adopted son. Mr. Dunnom takes an active and commendable interest in the affairs of his township, and he has served as township treasurer for the past eight or ten years and enjoys the confidence of his fellowmen. He is a stanch Republican and has attended numerous conventions as a delegate. He is a leading member of the United Lutheran church and is one of the church hospital directors, and is chairman of the church congregation.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 698-99.
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