Biographical Sketches.

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


Thomas S. Gannon, known and respected by all who live in the vicinity of Sedan, is the oldest business man of that village, where he opened up his blacksmith shop in the summer of 1888.

Born in the Province of Quebec, Canada, February 1, 1858, his parents were Martin and Mary (Egan) Gannon, both natives of Ireland. As a destitute emigrant from the Emerald Isle, the father had arrived in Canada in his young manhood, and pushing out towards the frontiers of civilization he cleared a farm in the midst of the heavy timber. There in a log house, in the middle of a hundred-and-fifty-acre clearing, Thomas S. opened his eyes to the light of day. There he grew to manhood working with such tasks as a forest farmer finds on the frontiers, grubbing stumps, and splitting rails. Quitting the farm when a young man, he served an apprenticeship of three years at blacksmith's trade, when as the youngest son of the family he returned to the home farm, and cared for his parents until their death.

In 1883 he came to Minneapolis, and during five winters worked his trade in the lumber camps of J. W. Day & Co., and in the summer of 1888 he established the first blacksmith shop in Sedan, where he has held his trade against all opposition.

From a capital of five cents, when he struck the state he has made his way without assistance, and Mr. Gannon is a self-made and thoroughly successful man. Prominent in school and village matters, he is treasurer of the village school, and takes a leading part in the affairs of the Modern Woodmen of America.

Mr. Gannon is a member of the Catholic church, and stands high in the community.

The shop over which he presides is well fitted for all kinds of wood and iron work, and as a horse shoer he has a splendid reputation.

Mr. Gannon was married in 1888, to Miss Margaret Higgins, by whom he has had six children: Mary Ann, Lawrence J., Agnes I., Leo M., Ambrose P., and Francis H.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 791-92.


Hugh Geagan, one of the enterprising and progressive farmers of Moonshine township, is the owner of a well improved farm and enjoys a comfortable competence. He is held in the highest esteem throughout Big Stone county as a citizen of sterling worth.

Mr. Geagan was born in the state of New York, in 1856. His father, Patrick Geagan, was a native of Ireland and was a farmer by occupation. The family lived in the state of New York until our subject was nine years of age and then removed to Illinois in November, 1864, and Hugh Geagan was there reared to manhood. He remained at home assisting his father until he was twenty-five years of age and he then rented land in Illinois. He occupied several farms at different times from 1881 to 1893 and engaged in raising corn, cattle and hogs. In 1893 he came to Big Stone county, Minnesota, arriving here March 23, and he bought land in section 35 of Moonshine township. Of this farm there was but sixty acres under plow and the place had no improvements in the way of buildings. He erected his present comfortable residence in 1893 and in April of that year moved to his new home. He did not pay expenses with the crops of the first year, and in 1894 he threshed one thousand eight hundred bushels of wheat, and in 1895 raised thirty bushels per acre. He is the owner of two hundred and eighty acres of land, and has this under cultivation, with the exception of forty acres. He follows diversified farming and raises grain, corn, cattle, and hogs, and has proven the advisibility of general farming. He has had to purchase his land and place the improvements thereon, and the present appearance of his farm evidences his prosperity. Until 1901 he was obliged to haul water a distance of three-quarters of a mile and at times four horses were required to haul two barrels on account of the heavy snows. He now has a tubular well on the place and has two hundred feet of water, of the best quality and in abundance. A fine windmill facilitates the work of the farm. Mr. Geagan has erected substantial buildings and has a good house, barns, granary, stock sheds, and all machinery necessary for conducting a model farm. He has nineteen head of horses, twenty-five head of cattle and forty hogs and has met with pronounced success in diversified farming.

Mr. Geagan was married in 1881 to Annie E. O'Heren. Mrs. Geagan was born in Menard county, Illinois, in 1857. Her parents were natives of Ireland and her father, William O'Heren, was a farmer in New York and later in Illinois. Her mother was reared in the state of New York. To Mr. and Mrs. Geagan six children have been born, namely: William P., born in Illinois in 1882, now attending school in Graceville; John T., born in Illinois in 1884; Margaret, born in Illinois in 1886; Mary Agnes, born in 1888; Annabelle, born in February, 1896; and Catherine, born in 1900. Mr. Geagan gives his attention to his farm work and does not take an active part in public affairs, but he keeps abreast of the times and lends his influence for good government. He is a Democrat in political sentiment.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 759.


Samuel Gibeau, register of deeds of Red Lake county, Minnesota, is one of the prominent young men of his locality, and justly so. He is a gentleman of good character, industrious and energetic, and is possessed of broad mind and good education, and labors for the interests of his community with faithfulness and public spirit. He has a pleasant home in Red Lake Falls, and is one of the substantial citizens.

Mr. Gibeau was born in Illinois April 3, 1868, and was the oldest of a family of eight children born to Israel and Elmira (Lerige) Gibeau. Four of the children now reside in Red Lake county, Minnesota. The parents were natives of Canada and were of French descent. The father died April 3, 1896, and the mother survives and makes her home in Red Lake county.

A few years of Mr. Gibeau's childhood were passed in Chicago, where the father worked as chief engineer on the lake steamers. In 1875 they removed to St. Boniface, Manitoba, and there the father opened a repair shop, and there our subject passed his early boyhood and attended St. Boniface College until he was eleven years of age, when the family removed to St. Jean Baptiste, remaining there until 1882, when they removed to Polk county. The father opened a country repair shop at Gentilly, and our subject assisted in the shop work, having no schooling after his eleventh year except what he obtained from night study. In 1890 he left home and went to Duluth, Minnesota, where he worked one summer as a machinist and engineer, and in the fall of 1890 returned to Lambert, located in what is now Red Lake county. As his first business venture he opened up a general store, and was also appointed postmaster. There he headed a progressive business movement, making quite a business center of the little inland hamlet. During his residence in Lambert he served as township clerk and was always the chosen delegate to county conventions of the People's party. While a resident of Polk county he served on the county central committee. Although from a business standpoint he opposed the organization of Red Lake county and favored the organization of Columbia, he was elected chairman of the first board of county commissioners, and in 1898 was elected register of deeds. He was reelected in 1900, and received an increased plurality against three other candidates. He is one of the strongest political workers of the county, and has a large acquaintance and many friends regardless of party affiliations. He has invested in residence property in Red Lake Falls, and is one of the influential citizens of that thriving town, being also a director of the Merchants' State Bank of Red Lake Falls.

Mr. Gibeau was married in 1893 to Miss Aletine LaBlanc. One son has been born to bless this union, who bears the name of George. Mr. Gibeau is a deep student and has pursued scientific studies. He is a member of the Catholic church, and the Modern Woodmen of America. A portrait of Mr. Gibeau appears on another page of this volume.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 194.


Owen Gibney, residing on section 15 of Manana township, is one of the prosperous and highly esteemed farmers of Meeker county.

Mr. Gibney was born in Canada, December 26, 1858. His parents, John and Anna (Heaney) Gibney, were natives of Ireland. Our subject came to Minnesota with his parents when he was six years of age, and the family settled in Meeker county. He attended the common schools and worked with his father until he was twenty-four years of age, when he bought a farm on section 15 of Manana township. He now owns eighty acres of land, all of which he has under cultivation, and the farm yields a good income. He has a good seven-room house on the place and two log barns and has placed valuable improvements on the farm. He has all machinery necessary and keeps considerable stock, and follows general farming successfully.

Mr. Gibney was married April 2, 1888, to Mary Cassidy, who was born in Canada, September 10, 1868. To Mr. and Mrs. Gibney five children have been born, namely: Johanna, Anna E., Maggie B., Mary E., and Sarah J. Mr. Gibney is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Catholic church.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 815.


Eben W. Giddings, a representative agriculturist of Wilkin county, is a resident of Campbell. He has recently retired from active business pursuits, but has extensive interests in this region, and is an energetic and prosperous citizen. He has followed farming as his vocation since his boyhood, and he has a wide knowledge of this business and has made a success of the same in Minnesota. His farming interests now lie in North Dakota.

Mr. Giddings was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1837. His father, Moses C. Giddings, was a farmer and dairyman. He was born in Vermont and served as a messenger boy in the war of 1812. He was of old American stock.

Our subject was the third of a family of twelve children. He was reared in his native county and at the age of nineteen years he came to Warren county, Illinois, where he followed farm work. He spent three years there and in 1860 went to Colorado, spending the next two years in prospecting and mining. He returned then to Illinois and began farming and stock raising and shipping, and continued in partnership with his brother in Illinois for several years. He came to Wilkin county in 1881 and purchased land and began farming and became the fortunate possessor of three hundred and twenty acres of cultivated land. He continued the improvement of this farm and his home was continued on this place until 1902, when he disposed of his entire farming interests and has since resided in Campbell. He has a homestead farm in North Dakota.

Mr. Giddings was married in Barry county, Michigan, in 1868 to Miss Mary Flower. Mrs. Giddings was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, and is of Yankee stock. She was reared in Pennsylvania and lived with her parents two years in Michigan prior to settling in Illinois with them. Her father, Marvin Flower, was born near Springfield, Massachusetts. Mr. and Mrs. Giddings are the parents of six children, as follows: Marvin, now engaged in farming; Moses, a railroad conductor; Clark, residing at home; Kellogg, engaged in railroading; Jessie, and Agnes. Mr. Giddings has done his full share as an early settler of that locality and is widely and favorably known. He is affiliated with the Republican party politically.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 675.


Thomas W. Giddings, one of the foremost farmers and stockmen of Wilkin county, has a thoroughly improved farm in Brandrup township. He is a man of systematic labors and excellent executive ability, and has one of the best farms of this part of Minnesota.

Mr. Giddings was born in Pennsylvania in 1843. His father, Moses C. Giddings, was born in Vermont and his paternal grandfather was born in England and became an early settler of Connecticut. Our subject was the fifth of a family of eleven children, and he moved with his parents to Illinois at the age of fourteen years. He was there reared to manhood and early became used to farm work. After attaining his majority he enlisted in 1865, in Company C, One hundred and Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry, and saw service in Missouri and Kansas. He was wounded at Pilot Knob, Missouri, and at the close of the war received his honorable discharge from the service.

Mr. Giddings followed farming and stock raising in Illinois until 1889 and also bought grain. He took a partially improved farm of three hundred and twenty acres and at the time he left it he had one of the finest farms of the locality. He came to Wilkin county, Minnesota, in the fall of 1889 and bought a farm in sections 4 and 9, of Champion township, and lived in this township for nine years. Most of this tract was wild prairie and he built up a fine farm there of seven hundred and twenty acres. Meanwhile he dealt extensively in real estate in Wilkin county, Minnesota, and Richland county, North Dakota, and in 1889 he bought his present farm in section 25, of Brandrup township. He now has six hundred acres in his home farm, the south half of section 25 and the north half of section 36, of Brandrup township. He has remodeled all the buildings on the place, and has put in drainage, being the first farmer of that locality to use tile draining. His farm is situated a mile and a half from the village of Campbell and is well located for stock raising. He deals in fine horses and thoroughbred cattle. He fed and shipped the first cattle shipped this year and topped the South St. Paul market. He also engages in grain raising and in 1902 threshed 37,000 bushels of grain. He is well known throughout that region as a progressive and intelligent agriculturist. His farm is frequently visited by prospective land buyers.

Mr. Giddings was married in 1869 to Miss Lena Wiggins. Mrs. Giddings was born in Illinois, and was a daughter of B. Francis Wiggins, a farmer and stockman. He was born in Orange county, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Giddings are the parents of six children, all of whom were born in Illinois. They are as follows: Warren L., Archie, Cornelia, Orlo, Irene and Josephine. Cornelia is married. Mr. Giddings has served on the township board of supervisors in Campbell township and takes an active part in public affairs. He voted for Abraham Lincoln in 1864 and has always been a stanch Republican, and has attended numerous county conventions as a delegate.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 697.


Carl Edward Gilbert, one of the prominent business men of the thriving town of Foley, Benton county, Minnesota, is a young man of good education and is a worthy citizen. He is engaged in the drug business in Foley and conducts the exclusive business of this nature in the town. He has built up a good trade and has also acquired a pleasant and comfortable home there.

Mr. Gilbert was born in Blair, Wisconsin, April 14, 1876. His father, G. O. Gilbert, was born in Norway, and his mother, whose maiden name was Gusta Thurston, was a native of Pennsylvania. Our subject was reared in Blair until he was fourteen years of age. He attended the high school of his native town and later the Business College at Winona, Minnesota. (Graduate from both.) He entered the Chicago College of Pharmacy in 1895 and graduated in 1897. He resided in Chicago six years and followed his profession. In the fall of 1897 he established a drug store in Big Lake, Minnesota and conducted the same three years. He then moved his stock to Foley in 1901 and established the first store in the town and now is proprietor of the sole drug store there. He carries a stock of $3,500, and has his store fully equipped for the growing business which he enjoys. His residence property in Foley is valued at $2,000 and he has gained his possessions by his own industry and good management.

Mr. Gilbert was married August 31, 1898, to Margaret J. Shephard, who was born in Blair, Wisconsin, August 16, 1877. To Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert one child has been born, a son, who bears the name of Llewellyn. He was born in Big Lake, Minnesota, August 28, 1899. Mr. Gilbert is classed among the self-made men of his community and he enjoys the confidence and esteem of all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 634.

J. T. GILL, M. D.

Dr. J. T. Gill, a reliable and capable physician, now settled in the village of Echo, Yellow Medicine county, was born in Monroeville, Ohio, in 1860. His father, Edward Gill, owned and operated a quarry. The father was a native of the Isle of Man, and the mother was born of a family long settled in this country.

Dr. Gill, the fifth child in his parents' family, grew to manhood in Ohio, where he secured his literary and general education in the public schools and the Western Reserve College. In 1883 he began his professional training in the New York Medical College, New York, from which he was graduated in 1886, and admitted to practice under the laws of that state. For four years he practiced in Monroeville, and opened an office in Kansas City in 1890. He was there two years, spending a year of that time in the Cherry Street Hospital. He followed this with a year in Chicago, and came to Echo in February, 1894, at once entering upon a general and growing practice, which now is widely extended in Yellow Medicine, Redwood and Renville counties.

Dr. Gill was married in October, 1894, to Miss Blanche McClure, a native of Canada, where her parents still live. They have a family of four children, Edward, James, Almena and one unmarried.

Dr. Gill is a Republican, and has acted as health officer of the village. He has been active in promoting the welfare of the town, and is regarded as one of the leading men of the community.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 384-85.


Eben F. Gillispie, a young business man of Cambridge, Isanti county, has already won more than a local reputation for his character and ability, and is widely known as a pushing and energetic character, well worthy of confidence and respect.

Mr. Gillispie was born in Anoka, Minnesota, May 21, 1868, and was reared on a farm after the fashion that obtained in Minnesota at that early day. His parents were of Scotch descent, coming to this country from the North of Ireland, and exhibiting the best traits of their sturdy race and blood. George C. Gillispie, the father of Eben F., was a farmer, and came to this country shortly after his marriage, making the outward voyage from his native land in 1854, and settling in St. Paul. He made his advent in Anoka county when it was a wilderness, and is remembered among the very early settlers of that rich and populous county.

Eben F. Gillispie was the third member of a family of six children born to his parents, and was reared on the farm, obtaining his education in the log cabin school houses common to the time. There was no lack of farm work for him to do at a very early age. The ox-teams were to be driven, and his was a busy youth. When he reached the age of seventeen years young Gillispie left home to care for himself, first becoming a clerk in a store in Anoka, and then a railroad hand. For five years he followed lumbering, spending the winter season in the woods, and taking a full share in the hard work of a lumber camp.

In the spring of 1900 Mr. Gillispie, then a stout and nervy lad of twenty-two years, took the contract for carrying the mail from Anoka to Cambridge, and he carried the first daily mail between those two points. He also ran a stage line on his mail route, and made many friends among the traveling public, a fact that stood him in good hand when he opened up a hotel a little later. In 1893 he started a livery barn in Cambridge, being the first to be established there, but meeting a considerable patronage from the first, showing that the need of it had already been felt before its establishment. In the spring of 1901 he sold out this livery interest.

In the spring of 1889 Mr. Gillispie had built a large brick hotel, forty-four by ninety-four feet, three stories high. It was the best building in the town and contained accommodations for some seventy-five guests. It was known on the road as the best hotel between Minneapolis and Duluth, and was provided with all the modern improvements. It was totally destroyed by fire on the night of July 18, 1901, the flames bursting out at two o'clock in the morning. In the spring of 1901 Mr. Gillispie, in company with J. A. Stoneberg, bought the harness shop in Cambridge, of which they are the present proprietors, and in which they are doing a very successful business.

Mr. Gillispie was married in 1894 to Carrie Rathjens. She was born at Valparaiso, Indiana, and comes of German blood, her parents having both been born in Germany. Her father was a farmer. In the Gillispie family are three children: Maggie, who is six years old; George, who is three years, and Helen, who is six months.

Mr. Gillispie is a Republican, and was elected county sheriff in 1900. He takes an active interest in county politics, and his influence is a powerful factor in the results of the election. He is highly thought of throughout the county, and what he wishes has great weight.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 150.


The Glenwood Academy was founded in 1894 by an incorporated company. The shareholders of this company elected a board of trustees, the charter members of this board being as follows: The Rev. M. G. Skaar, president; Hon. M. A. Wollan, vice-president; Eliert Koefod, secretary; C. T. Wollan, treasurer; Rev. C. Pederson, P. I. Ronning, Iver J. Lee, Benjamin Troen, and T. T. Ofsthun.

Ten acres of land was donated to the corporation by Mr. Ofsthun, as a building spot, ideal in every respect for an academy building, situated as it was about one mile from the center of town, and but a short distance from the beautiful lake Minnewaska. The school was opened January 13, 1894, in a down-town hall pending the completion of the academy building, which was not dedicated until January 8, 1895.

The first faculty of the academy consisted of the following instructors: Rev. M. C. Tufte, C. T. Wollan, L. M. Landing, E. B. Wollan, O. A. Ferring and Clara Whittemore. The aim of the academy, as announced by its founders, is to build up a training school that will complete and advance the work of the common schools. Four courses of study are offered the public: The Normal course, the College Preparatory course, the Commercial course, and the Art course. The present enrollment is one hundred and fifty-nine.

The present officers of the board are Rev. G. T. Lee, president; Rev. Nils Forde, vice-president; T. T. Ofsthun, secretary; and M. A. Wollan, treasurer.

The present faculty is as follows: Prof. A. O. Aaberg, principal; Rev. G. T. Lee, Latin, Norwegian and religion; W. D. Frederickson, mathematics and the sciences; G. T. Torguson, United States history and arithmetic; N. P. Norling, penmanship, algebra and the commercial branches; Christina Larson, drawing, painting and German; Thalia Thorson, the piano and organ.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 796.


Fred D. Glover, a prominent business man of Campbell, Minnesota, has spent most of his life in this locality, and has aided materially in the development of the commercial and social interests. He is engaged in the hardware and furniture business and enjoys prosperity and an enviable reputation as a business man and citizen.

Mr. Glover was born in Dodge county, Wisconsin, June 4, 1866. He was the second child in the family and was reared in his native county and removed with his parents to Campbell, Minnesota, when thirteen years of age. He remained on the home farm until he reached the age of twenty years and in 1886 began railroad work on the Great Northern at Campbell, learning telegraphy. His first position was as relief at Campbell and he was agent and operator at other points later and remained as agent as Ashby two years. He returned to his father's farm in 1892 and conducted the farm until the death of his father in 1898. The father was a leading citizen of his county and held county office from 1892 until his death. Our subject came to Campbell in 1898 and built the Windsor Hotel. He conducted this business about six months and then disposed of the hotel to the present owner. In the spring of 1901 he went into the hardware business, in partnership with J. Cassady. The business was established by C. C. Pineo in 1899 as a small hardware store. In 1902 the present firm added a line of furniture and they carry the only line of furniture in Campbell and conduct the only exclusive hardware store. The building has a double front and is 50 by 60 feet. They have built up a good trade and have prospered.

Mr. Glover was married in 1899 to Miss Selma M. Anderson. Mrs. Glover was born in Wisconsin and is of Scandinavian descent, but her parents are of American birth. Her father, Henry M. Anderson, is a carpenter by trade. Mr. Glover is serving his third term as president of the village council of Campbell and he has been a trustee and assessor in Campbell township. He is a Democrat politically.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 796-97.


R. Pierre Glover, one of the pioneer residents of Wilkin county, has gained a high station as a citizen. He is the present county auditor and resides in Breckenridge. He is serving his second term in this office and his popularity is best evidenced by the fact that he was chosen for the second term without opposition, and was supported by all, irrespective of party affiliations.

Mr. Glover vas born in Dodge county, Wisconsin, in 1862. His father, Robert Glover is of old American stock and the family traces in America to the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620. Robert Glover was born in Hudson, New York. He served five years in the Civil war, entering the army with the Thirteenth Wisconsin and leaving the service as a member of an Illinois regiment of Veterans. He was a farmer by occupation and was one of the early settlers of Minnesota, and was a prominent citizen of Wilkin county, serving as county treasurer from 1890 to '94. In 1896, he was elected judge of probate court of Wilkin county.

R. Pierre Glover was the elder of two children and he was reared and educated in Wisconsin, and removed with his parents to Wilkin county at the age of seventeen years. They settled at Campbell and lived in a shanty the first year, being pioneers of that locality. Our subject remained at home until he was about twenty-six years of age, conducting the home farm. In 1888 he went to Oregon and engaged in the shingle business with his uncle and spent two years lumbering in Oregon. He began railroad work on the Great Northern Railroad at Breckenridge in 1890 as a locomotive fireman, and followed this line of work two years, and then spent three years with the Western Union Telegraph Company as lineman, and in this capacity went over the entire route of the Great Northern Railroad. After three years with this company he assumed the care of the affairs of his father's office, who was then probate judge, and in 1898 and '99 our subject served as deputy register of deeds of Wilkin county. In 1900 he was elected county auditor and his faithful services won him a second election without an opposing candidate.

Mr. Glover was married in 1899 to Miss Swift. Mrs. Glover was born in Nova Scotia, Canada. Mr. and Mrs. Glover are the parents of one daughter, Edna, who was born at Willmar. Mr. Glover has always taken an active and commendable interest in local public affairs, and has served as village recorder and justice of the peace. He is a stanch Democrat politically, and has attended numerous conventions of his party as a delegate and is a firm supporter of party principles.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 437-38.


This is a name that would certainly appear in any list of the more prominent business men of western Minnesota. He is energetic and pushing, popular with the people, and is in every way honorable and upright.

Mr. Glynn was born on a farm near Mankato, Minnesota, in 1862, and is a son of James Glynn, who was born in Ireland, and settled in Minnesota in 1856. The son was reared on the homestead farm, and never lacked for work to develop his muscles and make a man of him. His education was secured in the district schools and the Mankato State Normal school. Remaining on the farm until he was twenty-one he attended college later. For one year he worked in the bank at Ortonville, and came to Canby in 1888, where he remained one year. In 1890 he was elected sheriff of Blue Earth county, Minnesota, on the Democratic ticket, and re-elected in 1892. Prior to this he had served as deputy sheriff two years, and had been prominent in politics some six or eight years, being well known all over the county.

Mr. Glynn was engaged in traveling as a salesman for the McCormick Machine Company for some two years after completing his four years in the sheriff's office, making his headquarters at Mankato. For the two years following he was engaged with the Citizen's Bank of Canby, and in 1900 he bought his present business. This is a general machinery establishment, which was begun by Chris. Anderson about 1893, and under the capable management of Mr. Glynn it is taking on large proportions.

Mr. Glynn has been a member of the village council for two years, and for a year past has been president of that body. He takes a leading part in village affairs, and his business standing and personal character add weight to his advice.

Mr. Glynn was married January 30, 1894, to Miss Maud Stannard, and to their union has come one child, James S.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 785.


Edward Goerger, residing in St. Cloud township, is one of the prominent citizens of Stearns county. He has devoted his life to agricultural pursuits and has gained valuable property and the esteem and respect of his fellow men.

Mr. Goerger was born in Clinton county, Illinois, in 1844. His father was a farmer and was a native of Germany. He came to America in 1831, prior to his marriage, and settled at St. Louis, Missouri. He became a resident of Minnesota when our subject was eleven years of age, in 1856, and settled on the farm now owned by our subject in section 23, township 124, range 28. This was timber and prairie and the father at once began the improvement of the farm. He built a log cabin and this served as the home for several years. He farmed with oxen for many years and did his marketing at St. Cloud. The first two years grasshoppers destroyed the entire crops. Our subject assisted his father and drove oxen in his early youth. He enlisted August 15, 1862, in Company I, Seventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, campaigned with the regiment and was discharged from the service on account of disability caused by injuries. After receiving his honorable discharge Mr. Georger [sic] returned to the home farm and has resided there continuously since that date. He has met with success and enjoys prosperity in his pleasant home, surrounded by all the comforts of country life.

Mr. Goerger was married in 1868 to Catherine Richter. Mrs. Goerger died April 10, 1900, leaving nine children, who are as follows: Barbara, born May 7, 1869; Elizabeth, born April 20, 1870; Bernard J., born August 29, 1871; Gerhard, born January 28, 1873; Edward, born September 11, 1874; Nicholas, born December 10, 1875; Philip, born March 7, 1877; Kathrina, born June 26, 1878; and Maria, born April 11, 1886. During the many years that Mr. Goerger has resided in St. Cloud township he has become recognized as one of the public-spirited citizens and he has been called upon to serve in numerous offices of trust. He has been assessor twenty years, clerk six or seven years, supervisor at different times and about thirty years has served as school clerk in his district. Politically he is a Democrat.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 528.


As an old settler of Chisago county, and an agriculturist of untiring energy and perseverance, and worthy citizen, the gentleman here named needs no introduction to the people of his locality. He has spent over thirty-seven years of his life in their midst and has gained a host of stanch friends, and incidentally gained a comfortable home and placed himself in position to enjoy his declining years in peace and quiet. He is a resident of Shafer township.

Mr. Goranson was born in Smoland, Sweden, in 1834. His father was a farmer and spent his life in Sweden. Of a family of four children our subject was the second in order of birth. He was reared on the home farm and at the age of twenty-four years came to America. He spent seven weeks on the ocean voyage, landing at Quebec, Canada, in July, 1859. He went direct at Red Wing, Minnesota, where he secured employment, and later went to Stillwater and worked in the sawmill, receiving twelve dollars per month for his labor. He then went to Superior, Wisconsin, and worked on the government road. He went to Taylor's Falls in 1861, and in September of that year enlisted in Company D, Third Minnesota Regiment. He drilled at Ft. Snelling and in November was sent south to Kentucky, where he guarded the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. In March, 1862, he was sent to Ft. Donaldson and Ft. Henry, and then to Nashville. He was in the battle of Murfreesborough and he and eight others of his company were taken prisoners. He was later paroled and sent to Benton Barracks, Missouri. He then was sent to Minnesota and was in the Indian campaign and was in the battle of Wood Lake, when 1,200 Indians were captured. He was also in South Dakota, and in January, 1863, was again sent south. He was over the greater portion of western Tennessee fighting guerrillas, and was later in the campaign around Vicksburg. From there he went to Helena, Arkansas, and from thence to Memphis, Tennessee, where he was sent to the hospital and was confined there two months. He was placed in the Veteran Reserve and sent to Washington, then to Virginia, and to Maryland, where they guarded 20,000 rebel prisoners. Mr. Goranson served four years and two months. He was mustered out at Concord, New Hampshire, and after his faithful, brave and loyal service he returned to Chisago county, Minnesota, in 1865. He bought wild timber land in section 32 in Shafer township and built a log house thereon. He continued clearing and cultivating the place, and is now the owner of a well improved estate of one hundred and sixty acres. He has erected a complete set of substantial farm buildings and has met with success as an agriculturist, his farm bespeaking thrift and pains-taking care in its operation. He has been an extensive traveler, having traveled over twenty-three different states since coming to the United States.

Mr. Goranson is the father of eleven children, who are named as follows: Frank, William, Ida, Ellen, Hulda, Mary, Arthur, Selma, Annie, Walter and Mable. Mr. Goranson has served as township treasurer for seven years and as school director for seventeen years, and is one of the public-spirited men of his community. He is a Republican in political sentiment.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 719.


Joseph W. Gray, owner of one of the most extensive farms of Wilkin county, Minnesota, is a pioneer of that region and during his many years residence there he has acquired a fortune by his industry and keen business foresight, supplemented by honest dealings. He is engaged in the real estate business in Campbell, and is the owner of farm lands in Minnesota and Canada. He is widely known and is universally esteemed and respected as a business man and citizen.

Mr. Gray was born in Crawfordsville, Montgomery county, Indiana, in 1858. His father, R. R. Gray, was a wholesale harness dealer in Crawfordsville, and the family came to Minnesota in 1865, locating at Lake City, where the father engaged in gardening and farming. The family is of American stock.

Our subject was the fourth child and oldest son and he was reared in Lake City and was educated in the common schools. He came to Campbell, Minnesota, in the spring of 1879 and took a homestead in section 20, township 131, range 45, He lived in a claim shanty the first season and in 1880 a larger residence was erected. One end of the building was used for the shelter of three horses and the other end was used as a living room. Our subject lived there alone and also part of the time boarded with neighbors. He had but a small start in stock and machinery and these he owed for, but he persevered and his first crop was good and gave him encouragement. After spending some years on this farm he sold the homestead and became the owner of other property and now conducts a farm of one thousand three hundred acres. This is situated two miles north of Campbell and is a valuable estate. He owns other farms in Wilkin county and operates one thousand eight hundred acres annually. He engages principally in grain raising, but keeps some stock and now has about one hundred head. On his home farm he has a complete set of buildings, costing about $10,000. His residence is equipped with all modern improvements, including furnace heat and gas for lighting purposes and he has one of the finest homes of the township. He has all farm machinery, including a steam threshing outfit for use on his own estate. His farm is one of the best in the county. In the early part of 1902 Mr. Gray opened a real estate office in Campbell and he handles real estate extensively. He is interested in Canadian lands and has twenty-four sections of land in Canada worth from six to forty dollars per acre. He also has three improved farms within from seven to thirty miles of Winnipeg. For twenty-three years he has spent the winter lumbering in the woods of Minnesota with teams. He has engaged in the lumbering business extensively. He also engaged in the stock business, raising, buying, selling and shipping stock. He has prospered in all his business ventures, and is a man of wide experience and honest dealings.

Mr. Gray was married in 1889 to Miss Hattie Fitch. Mrs. Gray was born in Quincy, Illinois. Her father, who was a railroad man, is dead, and her mother resides in Minneapolis. Mrs. Gray taught school in Wilkin county. To Mr. and Mrs. Gray a family of three children have been born, who are named as follows: Marian, Robert M., and Norman. Mr. Gray is a wide-awake and active citizen and in the early days he served in numerous local offices, but he does not take an active part of late years in public affairs. He votes independent of party.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 376-77.


Morris W. Greene is one of the prominent business men and leading citizens of Brown's Valley. He is a pioneer settler of Traverse county, Minnesota, and a gentleman of exceptional business ability, enjoying the confidence of all with whom he has to do.

Mr. Greene was born in Chenango county, New York, in 1851. His father, William Greene, was a hotel keeper. He was of Massachusetts stock and the mother of our subject, Densie (Arnold) Greene, was of Connecticut birth. Of a family of three children born to this worthy couple our subject was the youngest and is the only surviving child. He lived in his native state until he was sixteen years of age, and then came with his older married brother-in-law to Blue Earth county, Minnesota, in 1868, and settled at Lake Crystal, near Mankato. He there received a good education, attending the high school. After attaining his majority he went to Murray county in 1871 and took a preemption and remained there during the summer. He then visited his native state and was there married. He returned to his Murray county farm and resided there two years and then lived one year in the state of New York. He came to Lake Crystal in the fall of 1876 and spent the winter and in the spring of 1877 he and wife and child, in company with R. A. Tuckey and Walter Howard, drove by ox team from Lake Crystal to Brown's Valley, spending sixteen days enroute. They arrived there in May, and our subject took a homestead. The first year he worked for others and the following year began the improvement of his farm. In 1879 he began carrying mail from Morris to Sisseton Agency and drove this stage route for a year and a half. He sold his claim in 1880 and at that time settled in Brown's Valley and in 1887 entered into the grain business, buying for Becker & Chadbourne, H. W. Dozotel, Westfall & Durvin, and a Duluth elevator company. In the fall of 1902 he formed the Greene Elevator Company, which was recently sold to the Gillette Elevator Company, of Minneapolis. Mr. Greene is now connected with the Duluth Elevator Company.

Mr. Greene was married in New York, in March, 1872, to Frances Van Cise, who was born in New York state in the same locality as Mr. Greene. Her parents were of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. Mr. and Mrs. Greene are the parents of one son, Clinton W., who was born in Murray county, Minnesota, in 1873. Mr. Greene passed the severe winter of 1880-81 in Brown's Valley and he was obliged to tear a board partition out of his house and burn it for fuel. His second residence there was built on what is known as the Plateau, and this place is now owned and occupied by W. H. Palm. He and family were one of the first seven families to settle in Traverse county, and during his many years' residence there he has gained a host of acquaintances and is held in the highest esteem by all.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 550-51.


Nelson Grenier, one of the leading old-time residents of Wilkin county, Minnesota, is a respected farmer of Roberts township. He has acquired a fine farm and enjoys all the comforts of rural life. There is a post office called Grenier Post Office, located on his place, of which he is postmaster--established in 1903.

Mr. Grenier was born in Sorel, Quebec, Canada, in 1855. His father, also Nelson Grenier, was a baker in Sorel, Canada. He was of French blood and the family are of old French-Canadian stock, and have been in America for many generations back.

Of a family of five children our subject was the eldest. He was reared in Canada and learend [sic] the machinist's trade there and followed this trade for eleven years. His parents moved to Massachusetts in 1874 and in 1878 he went to that state to visit and was there married. He later came to Minnesota, leaving his family in Massachusetts, and took a homestead in section 34 of Deerhorn township where he lived for seven years. His wife joined him in his new found home in 1880. He used oxen for his first farm work and Breckenridge was the nearest market place. He chopped cord wood on the Red river and sold it in Breckenridge to make his living. His first crop was wheat from eleven acres in 1879. In 1884 he bought land in section 16 of Roberts township and lived there seventeen years and built up a good home on the banks of Red river. In 1888 he bought land in the northwest quarter of section 22 of Roberts township and in 1901 erected a set of farm buildings thereon, and has since made his home here. He has a comfortable dwelling, good barn, granary, and all necessary farm buildings. In 1901 he bought the northwest quarter of section 23 in Roberts township and has now three hundred and twenty acres of valuable land, with two hundred and fifty under cultivation and the rest meadow and pasture. He has disposed of his homestead farm. He engages in grain raising almost exclusively and has met with success in his farming.

Mr. Grenier was married in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Miss Elmer Lamer, who was born in the same place in Canada as Mr. Grenier, and is of French descent. Of this union eleven children have been born, namely: Donar, Armedos, Albert, John, Edmund, Edward, Franklin, Elmer, Annie, Belzimer, and Alice. Mr. Grenier is a Republican in political sentiment and wields much influence in his community.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 523-24.


Squire W. Griffith, who is now deceased, was born in New York in 1834, and was a farmer all his life. He was married October 25, 1857, to Mary A. Darling, the wedding occurring in Wisconsin. The fruits of this marriage were four children: Amy L., born August 29, 1858, and died March 11, 1878; Myra I., born September 1, 1859; Etta L., born March 2, 1867; and Barnie R., born December 31, 1869. Her people were of old American stock, her father being born in New Hampshire, and her mother in New York.

S. W. Griffith farmed in Wisconsin in 1873. He arrived in Lac-qui-parle county on June 16, of that year, and in the following fall effected a settlement where his family still reside. In coming from Wisconsin he drove across by team, and was some four weeks or more on the road. The first home for the family was a sod house, and the first crops were garnered in 1874. The following year hail was very destructive and swept away about everything they had raised. After this destructive hail storm in 1875, Mr. Griffith moved to Montevideo about twenty miles east of his farm and went to work in Ketchel & Frink's flouring mill for one year. He rented a farm at Montevideo one year, then moved back to his farm where his family still reside. Mr. Griffith passed to his rest November 10, 1880, and is remembered as an honest, industrious and God-fearing man and citizen. He was a kind friend, and faithful and devoted to all domestic cares and interests. He was here at the organization of the township, and while his health admitted, actively interested in all local and public affairs. From his death the widow has managed the farm after a most effective fashion. She has a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, all of which is practically under cultivation, with good buildings, and a fine grove planted in 1880. She has over one hundred apple trees, plum trees and an abundance of small fruits. She is regarded with veneration by a wide circle of friends, relatives and dear ones, all of whom are very tender of her years, and devoted to her comfort.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 427-28.


Sigward H. Grinkelsrud, an intelligent and progressive member of the farming community of Madison township, is an old settler of Lac-qui-parle county. He has built up a good home and is one of the prosperous men of his locality and has gained the respect of his associates through his integrity and worthy citizenship.

Mr. Grinkelsrud was born near Christiana, Norway, in 1855. His father, Hans I. Grinkelsrud, was a shoemaker by trade. He came to America with his family in 1882, our subject having resided in this country for some years prior to this date, and the parents made their home on the farm of Sigward H. in Madison township.

Of a family of six children our subject was the third in order of birth. He was reared in his native land and at the age of eighteen years, in 1874, he came to seek his fortune in the new world. He located at Red Wing, Minnesota, and spent three years at farm work and in the city and about 1877 came to Minneapolis. He spent five years in this city and there attended school, receiving a good education. In the spring of 1882 he came to Lac-qui-parle county and followed teaching for several years in the county. In the fall of the same year he purchased his present farm in sections 22 and 27 of Madison township. He had but a limited start, but perseverance and good management have placed him among the substantial farmers of the township. He has a complete set of good buildings on the farm and has many of the home comforts and a well improved estate. He has a fine grove, and has planted plums, apples, and small fruits, and has an abundant supply. He is the owner of one hundred and fifty-four acres of land, all of which he has placed under cultivation and this is made to yield a good income.

Mr. Grinkelsrud is actively interested in local public affairs and has served many years as township clerk of Madison township. He is a stanch Republican and has attended numerous county 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 693.


Charles P. Griswold, a wealthy and influential farmer and land-owner of the township of Minnesota Falls, Yellow Medicine county, has found a way to a large success, and his career shows what is repeated again and again in the lives of the settlers of the northwest that character and integrity, industry and thrift are indeed the dominant elements of every successful career.

Mr. Griswold was born in Oswego county, New York, in 1831, and his father, Daniel, was a farmer and lumberman of old Yankee blood. His mother, Mary (Genet) Griswold, also came of good American stock. Charles P. Griswold was the youngest in a family of ten children. In 1832 the removal of his parents carried him to Pennsylvania, where he lived until he was thirty-one years old. There he married Jane Braughton, who came of Dutch descent on her mother's side, and was Yankee by her father's people. To this marriage were born ten children, eight of whom are now living: Bert; Jessie, a widow; Sadie, a widow; Pennie, married; Elmer, dead; Eland, Herbert; Mattie, who is a widow, and Estella, a widow.

While in Pennsylvania Mr. Griswold was farming and lumbering, and when he came to Caadonia, in March, 1862, he followed farming. Late in 1865 he settled in Redwood Falls, and was one of the earliest pioneers of that city. In 1887 he came to Yellow Medicine county, making his home for three years at Minnesota Falls, where he owned a lumber yard. For a year and a half he owned and carried on a drug store in Granite Falls, having already owned a drug store in Minnesota Falls. About 1883 he settled on a farm in section 10, Minnesota Falls township, the land being entirely unimproved at that time. He put up a board shanty, and gradually improved year by year, until he now owns a magnificent estate of eight hundred acres. Here he devotes much attention to stock, having one hundred and seventy-five head on the place now. His buildings are banked on the banks of the Minnesota River, and the place is very sightly. Last year he sold about seventy-five dollars' worth of apples, and he has plums, strawberries, currents, etc., coming right along, and the place will soon be as noted for its fruit as it now is for its stock.

Mr. Griswold is a Republican, has been assessor, and has also held various school offices, taking a leading part in local affairs, and it is worthy of note that he was assessor when Lyons, Lincoln, Lac-qui-parle, Redwood and Yellow Medicine counties, were all included in Redwood county. He was also sheriff of Redwood county before it was divided, also deputy sheriff one term.

Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Griswold will be found on another page of this volume.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 636-39.


Tollif O. Gronseth, prominent as an old settler of Akron township, Wilkin county, and a well-to-do farmer, enjoying the highest esteem of his fellowmen, is an energetic man of integrity and progressiveness.

Mr. Gronseth was born in Norway, May 18, 1838. His father, Ole Gronseth, followed farming in Norway and in 1869 came to America locating in Olmsted county, Minnesota. His death occurred in 1873.

Our subject was reared in his native country and attended the common schools there. He took the place of his father's assistant on the home farm at the age of fifteen years and later his father's farm came into his possession. This he sold in 1869 and came to America, landing in New York city. He came direct to Olmsted county, Minnesota, where he conducted a farm on shares for three years. He came to Wilkin County in 1872 and took land as a homestead, driving the entire distance from Dodge county with oxen. He built a dugout in the side of a hill, 12 by 14 feet, and this served him as a dwelling place for the first few years. He also built a sod barn, and began the improvement of his farm, doing his first breaking of land with cattle. He passed through the usual hardships, privations, and discouragements of the pioneer, but worked with untiring perseverance and is now the fortunate owner of six hundred acres of valuable land, about four hundred of which is under cultivation. The rest is grass and pasture land. He has erected good buildings, and in the early years of his residence there he planted trees, which now furnish shelter and add to the beauty of the landscape and the value of his property. He has all necessary farm machinery and has prospered in his chosen vocation.

Mr. Gronseth was married in 1870 to Miss Weil Ellingson, a native of Norway. Mrs. Gronseth was taken insane in 1879 and died in St. Peter's Hospital in St. Paul, leaving four small children, who were named as follows: Bertha, Ole, Ellen and Caroline. Ole, Ellen and Caroline died of that dread disease, diphtheria, a short time before the death of their mother. Mr. Gronseth was married to Miss Engaborg Huslerud in 1895. Mrs. Gronseth is a native of Norway. Mr. Gronseth is one of the most prominent citizens of his township and county and he has been called upon to serve in various official capacities, including county commissioner for ten years, assessor for twelve years, justice of the peace, chairman of the township board of supervisors, and as township clerk. He is independent in politics and lends his influence for the upbuilding of the better interests of his community, and casts his vote for officers, who in his opinion will labor for the welfare of the people of the community and its upbuilding.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 625-26.


    Galen A. Grout, an old settler and progressive farmer of section 29, Appleton township, has an extensive farm of two hundred acres, and has met with success in the operation of the same. He is a gentleman of broad mind and is passing his declining years in peace and plenty.

    Mr. Grout was born at Acworth, New Hampshire, in June, 1838. He was a son of John and Hannah (Allen) Grout, both of whom were born in Acworth, New Hampshire. His father was a farmer and our subject spent his youth on the farm and at the district school. He learned the blacksmith's trade and followed it in his early manhood. In April, 1861, he enlisted in Claremont Company, State Militia, and later re-enlisted in Company H, Second Regiment New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry. In June of that year he was sent to Washington after being drilled in his native state. He stayed there for a short time and then entered the thickest of the war and was at the first battle of Bull Run. He was wounded in that battle, was captured and taken a prisoner to Libby prison, and was taken later with five hundred others and put in the convict prison at New Orleans and from thence to Saulsbury, North Carolina. He was paroled the latter part of May, in 1862, and was exchanged the latter part of the year. In 1863 he enlisted in Company M, Second Massachusetts Cavalry, and was on skirmish duty back and forth over the Blue Ridge Mountains. He was in a number of engagements, mostly skirmishes, and was in the six days fight at Opequan creek, where he was shot through the leg, in 1864. He was sent to the hospital at Baltimore, Maryland, and in November returned to his regiment and was at the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, and later at the surrender of General Johnston in North Carolina. He participated in the grand review at Washington. He now draws a pension as a partial reward for his brave and loyal services for his country. He moved his family to Washington City after the close of the war and bought a blacksmith shop there and conducted the same four years. He and wife and three children came to Garden City, Minnesota, in 1870. He rented land and worked at his trade in the winter. He stayed there a year and a half and in 1872 homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land near the town of Appleton. He eventually sold this tract and took a tree claim of one hundred and sixty acres southeast of town. He later sold this and purchased his present farm. This property formerly was owned by Mrs. Grout's father. The house in which they live was the first one erected in Appleton township.

    Mr. Grout was married November 26, 1862, to Helen Robinson, a native of the same town in New Hampshire as her husband. To Mr. and Mrs. Grout twelve children have been born, seven of whom are now living, and are named as follows: Angeline, now the wife of Wallace Harper, a jeweler of Renville, Minnesota; John, residing in Appleton; Galen; Hattie, wife of Glen Kinsley, a farmer; Amy, Pearl and Fred. The last three named are at home with their parents. Mr. Grout is supervisor of his township and was assessor for four years. He is also a member of the school board. In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Levi Whitney Post, at Appleton. His ancestors on both sides were in the Revolutionary war, and his maternal great-grandfather was a brother of Ethan Allen. In the spring of 1903 Mr. and Mrs. Grout moved from the farm to a place adjoining the town of Appleton and the farm is now operated by their daughter Amy and her husband, Rino Myer, and the parents are living retired.

    Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Grout will be found on another page of this volume.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 704-07.


Among those who have contributed to the prosperity of Wadena county, Minnesota, and whose patient industry and well-directed energy have brought individual competence may be mentioned Orville N. Grow, whose valuable estate lies in section 13 of Wadena township.

Mr. Grow is a native of the state of Iowa, and the date of his birth is November 19, 1860. His father, Aldace Grow, was a native of Vermont, and his mother, whose maiden name was Candace Norton, was born in Ohio. Our subject received the advantages of a good common-school education in Iowa, and began work on the farm at the age of sixteen years. He then, in his seventeenth year, went to Minnesota, locating in Wadena county with his parents, and taught school the following year in Wadena county. They came to Wadena county in 1878, and selected a homestead claim in section 12 of Wadena township. The trip from Iowa was made by team. He erected a log house and barn and set to work vigorously to develop his lands. The fruits of his labors are evidenced by one of the finest farms in Minnesota, consisting of three hundred and sixty acres of well-selected lands, two hundred and forty acres of which is devoted to crops, the remainder furnishing excellent pasture and timber land. He has erected a fine residence, with good barn and outbuildings, and has supplied his farm with the best machinery of modern agriculture. His farm is well watered, and a grove of trees provides shelter from the severity of winter. He has plenty of stock, and is prepared for any adversity that may now visit him and his family.

Mr. Grow was married in 1882 to Rhoda Clark, who was born in Wisconsin August 4, 1863. Of this marriage there are three living children: John A., Stephen L. and Ralph. Mrs. Grow died July 17, 1894. Mr. Grow was married in 1897 to Susan Gores. Mrs. Grow is a native of Minnesota, born February 26, 1872. Of this marriage one child has been born, Sarah. By her marriage to C. H. Gores Mrs. Grow has three children, who make their home with Mr. Grow. Their names are John J., Verona and Frank C. Gores. The mother and these three children are members of the Roman Catholic church. Mr. Grow is a Republican in political faith, and has filled the office of road overseer of his township for a number of years. He is a member in good standing of the I. O. O. F. lodge of Verndale, Wadena county. A portrait of Mr. Grow appears upon another page of this volume.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 200.


Rev. William Marie Gumper, pastor of St. Mary's church at Breckenridge, is a gentleman of high attainments and is popular with his people and beloved by them. He has accomplished much while in charge of the congregation, and has devoted himself zealously to his life work.

Rev. Father Gumper was born in Baden, Germany, in 1866. He is descended from an aristocratic and wealthy family of Germany. His father bore the name of Joseph Gumper. Of a family of six children our subject was the fourth in order of birth. He received three years education in Germany and at the age of fourteen years came to America, and at that time began his studies for the priesthood in Ohio, attending St. Charles Seminary for ten years. He was ordained priest at St. Cloud in 1890, and began as pastor of St. Mary's church at Long Prairie, Minnesota, in 1891. He continued there three years and then became pastor of St. Patrick's church at Collis, Minnesota, and was in charge of this church six and a half years. He came to Breckenridge in 1900 as pastor of St. Mary's church and under his pastorate the church has prospered and now owns a half block of land, on which are substantial buildings. A fine parsonage was erected in 1900 and the church edifice is at present undergoing extensive repairs and remodeling, the work being done by a St. Paul firm. Rev. Father Gumper has planted trees and greatly improved the grounds, and has lent a hand on every occasion for building up the church. He has the support of the people and the ladies' society, under the leadership of Mrs. Donald, have given him hearty aid and support, and every member of his congregation displays a loyal and ambitious spirit. St. Mary's church was established in 1897 and the house of worship was erected in 1898 by Father Lemmel. Father Gunderman was the first resident priest.

During Rev. Father Gumper's career he has built six churches, and has repaired as many more and has established many prosperous missions. He is intelligent and energetic and enters into his labors with the zeal which insures success in every undertaking.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 549.


Bendek Gunderson, a prominent citizen of Clay county, now living in retirement on his farm in Moland township, is known as one of the earliest pioneers of the region.

Mr. Gunderson was born in Telemarken, Christiansandstift, Norway, September 6, 1822. His father, Gunder, owned the farm Gjedestad, and our subject being the eldest son of the family, inherited the home farm at his father's death. Farming his native land, however, did not prove a success, and in 1861 he sold out, and after clearing up his debts had about $200 in money and with this he brought his family to America, June 15, 1861. He settled in Houston county, and farmed for ten years, operating a forty-acre farm. Acting upon the advice of his brother, Ole Gunderson Thortvedt, the pioneer of the Buffalo river region, our subject went to Clay county in June, 1871, journeying by team from Houston county. He reached Clay county after a trying journey and purchased the relinquishment to the farm which he now owns. He lived in his wagon until a log house could be erected, 14x16 feet, with elm bark roof. His first crop in 1872 was destroyed by grasshoppers, and he got no returns from his farm until the following year, when he raised three hundred bushels of wheat. He was compelled in the meantime to get his supplies at Alexandria, one hundred and forty miles distant, the trip consuming twelve days. Those trying times caused many of the settlers to leave their lands, but our subject persevered, and as times grew better he purchased railroad land and began to succeed. He now owns one hundred and seventy-eight acres of land on the Buffalo river, and has retired from active labors, turning the farm over to his son.

Mr. Gunderson has been active in public affairs in the county. He had no English education, but in the early days he drew up a petition in his own language and had it translated into English, and it was owing to the circulation of this petition that his township was organized. He is an active church worker, and was instrumental in the building of the Norwegian Lutheran church in Moland township, and has been a liberal contributor to church work. In politics Mr. Gunderson is a Republican.

In 1853 our subject was married to Annie Aavaldsen. To this marriage eleven children have been born, namely: Gunder; Jennie, deceased; Sina, deceased; Oval; Andreas; Ole, deceased; Hilbert, deceased; Andrew, deceased; Olaus; Sina; and Olaf.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 266.


Gunder B. Gunderson, a prosperous and progressive farmer of Clay county, is the owner of a valuable estate in Moland township. By his thrift and energy, aided by a natural business capacity, he has gathered about him an ample sufficiency of this world's goods to guarantee immunity from want in his old age.

Mr. Gunderson was the eldest son of Bendik and Annie (Aavaldsen) Gunderson, and was born on the farm Gjedestad in Moland, Prestegjeld, Christiansandstift, Norway, July 5, 1854. The family emigrated to America in 1861 and settled in Houston county, Minnesota. They removed to Clay county June 15, 1871. Our subject, then a youth of seventeen summers, performed the work of a mature man and conducted the farm with great efficiency. They had brought with them some stock, and as the railroad construction made a great demand for milk, butter and beef, they were able to obtain high prices for these products. Our subject engaged in breaking land at $4.50 to $5.00 per acre, and in this way they tided over the trying times which followed their settlement there. For two successive years crops were destroyed by grasshoppers, but the family was kept from want through the activity largely of our subject. He managed the old home farm until 1884, when he took charge of his own land in section 20, which he had purchased in 1877, and which he still owned. He purchased more land in 1892, securing the farm in section 19 on which he now resides. He is the owner of five hundred acres of excellent farm land, and has a comfortable residence with many modern improvements and conveniences.

Mr. Gunderson married, in 1884, Anna Tveten, a native of Norway. Of this marriage eight children have been born, namely: Bennie, Allen, Agnes, Clarence, Andrew, William, Henry, and an infant unnamed. In politics our subject is a Populist. He has served in various public offices and has been an active worker in the interest of education. He became township clerk in 1876, and with the exception of one year has held that office continuously to the present time. He has also been school clerk for the past fifteen years. He is thus intimately acquainted with the public affairs of his locality, to which he has given much attention, to the great benefit of his community.

January 7, 1873, is memorable as the date of the most remarkable blizzard in the annals of the county. The storm began about 11 A. M., lasting three days. Also the year 1873 is known as the year of high water, and held the record until 1897, when all records were broken and the water stood three feet deep on the prairie along Buffalo river. 1887 is noted as the year of the severe wind storm which destroyed the school buildings and several farm residences and buildings in the locality. In 1890 this experience was repeated, severe storms passing through the township. In 1880 and 1884 hail laid waste the crops throughout the region, and in 1887 and 1890 hail and wind storms again devastated the township. For more than twenty-five years Mr. Gunderson has been clerk of Moland township.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 258-59.

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