Biographical Sketches.

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


Frank P. McQuillin, of the McQuillin Land Company, of Aitkin, Minnesota, is a gentleman of thorough knowledge of the topography of the region in which he has made his home since his youth. He has made a success of the real-estate business, and handles extensive tracts for the railroad company and capitalists. He is one of the earliest settlers of Aitkin county, and became inured to the western hardships and frontier life, and can recount many exciting and interesting incidents of his early life there. He is widely known and is deservedly one of the influential and esteemed citizens of Aitkin county, and his portrait on another page of this volume will be highly appreciated by his friends.

Mr. McQuillin was born on a farm in Ohio in 1852. His father, Jacob McQuillin, was of Pennsylvania Dutch descent and was a farmer by occupation. The great-grandparents of our subject came from Holland, and the great-grandfather was of Holland and Scotch descent. The mother of our subject, Maria (Eddleman) McQuillin, was born in New Jersey, and was of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. Her father fought in the war of 1812.

Frank P. McQuillin was the sixth in a family of eight children, seven of whom are now living. He was raised on a farm, and went to Minnesota in 1854 and settled in Fillmore county. His early education was obtained in a country school held in a log school-house, and he was put to work on the home farm when a young boy and always assisted with the work of the place. The land upon which the family located was not surveyed until 1856. At the age of eighteen years Mr. McQuillin went to Aitkin, Minnesota, and entered the employ of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company and had charge of the land examiner's department. He remained with this company twelve years, and during this time he did much traveling over the country and camped out, spending many winters in the woods in camp. In 1884 he worked for the Wisconsin, Minnesota & Pacific Railroad, examining the state lands which were given to this company, over 265,000 acres. He was with this company nine years, a good share of the time until 1897. He was appointed county treasurer of Aitkin county in 1890 and served two years, and was then elected in 1894 to the office, serving two years. He has dealt in land more or less for many years, and in 1896 established a land office in Aitkin and has since devoted himself exclusively to the business. He handles all railroad lands and does a general real-estate business and sells a great share of the land handled in that locality. In June, 1900, Charles H. Warner became associated with Mr. McQuillin in the business, and they now conduct the same under the name of the McQuillin Land Company.

Mr. McQuillin was married in 1880 to Miss Catherine S. George. Mrs. McQuillin was born in Rockford, Wright county, Minnesota, and is of American descent. She is a lady of rare attainments, a graduate of the Boston high school, and prior to her marriage taught in Minnesota. Her father, Gilford D. George, was born in New England and was a carriage and sleigh manufacturer. Mr. and Mrs. McQuillin have been the parents of seven children, namely: Guy C., deceased; Grace K.; Arthur; Frank, deceased; Alice; Margaret, and Beulah, all of whom were born in Minnesota. Mr. McQuillin assisted in the organization of Aitkin town and was one of the early village officers, and has ever taken a prominent part in local government. He is a stanch Republican politically.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 176-79.


Charles Meahler, a prominent pioneer of Becker county, resides in section 20 of Spruce Grove township, and enjoys a comfortable home and the esteem and respect of his fellow men. He has endured many hardships to secure this fine property and can recount many thrilling experiences of pioneer days in Minnesota. He was born in the city of Langensalza, Germany, November 10, 1850, and was a son of Andrew and Annistein (Illhard) Meahler. His father was a mason by trade. The mother died when our subject was but fourteen years of age. Of a family of seven children, Mr. Meahler was the second in order of birth and he was reared in the city and received a liberal education. At the age of fifteen years he was apprenticed to the cabinetmaker's trade, and after four years began work for himself in Hamburg, Germany, and also worked at his trade in Berlin and Brunswick until 1873. He came to America and located in Wisconsin in March, 1874, and followed farm work the first summer near Madison, Wisconsin, and later worked at his trade in the villages of the county. He moved to Madison, Wisconsin, in 1878, and after following his trade there one year took up his residence in Chicago, where he spent three years at his trade. He located in Perham, Ottertail county, Minnesota, in 1882, and he and his brother worked at his trade one summer, our subject locating land in Becker county, on section 20, in township 138, range 37, in Spruce Grove township. The land was timber land and in the fall of that year Mr. Meahler and his brother cleared a road to the farm and built a log shanty on the land, but for some time they did very little farming, and worked at their trade to earn a living. Our subject moved his family to the farm and during one summer he worked in the city, while his wife conducted the farm. He and his brother followed farming together for some time and they had little with which to prosecute the work. Forest fire visited the locality in the spring of 1883, and Mr. Meahler and his wife fought fire three days. Through these pioneer days meat was always at hand, as wild game was plentiful, but other supplies and provisions were hard to get, owing to the distance from market, and the economy which was necessary. The farm now consists of one hundred and eighty acres, of which forty-five acres are devoted to cultivation of crops and twenty acres is meadow. This land was cleared by our subject, and he has worked persistently to improve his property and is now the fortunate possessor of a fine estate. His buildings are substantial and conveniently arranged, and with good water, fruits and other comforts of rural life he passes his years. He is progressive with his work and was the first to raise a crop of apples in his township. He engages in grain and cattle-raising, and has never had a total failure of crops, and has raised as high as thirty-eight bushels of wheat and one hundred bushels of oats per acre.

Mr. Meahler was married, in the spring of 1875, to Miss Minnie Prockmeyer, a native of Wisconsin. Mrs. Meahler's father, Fred Prockmeyer, was a native of Germany and was a farmer by occupation. Mr. and Mrs. Meahler adopted a daughter, Bessie, who is now married. Mr. Meahler has always been actively interested in township affairs, and has served as township treasurer since the organization of his township, and was assessor two years and a member of the school board several terms. He is an independent voter, and has a large circle of friends.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 240.


Benno Menzel, of the firm of Menzel Brothers, is one of the substantial business men of Odessa, Minnesota. He is a young man of sterling citizenship and has met with deserved success in his business ventures, and commands the respect and confidence of all with whom he comes in contact.

Mr. Menzel was born in Hirschberg, Silesia, Germany, in 1864, when that city was a small village. His mother was also born in the same place. Our subject was reared in his native country and became a book-keeper for an extensive business establishment in Berlin, continuing thus engaged for three years. He then served in the German army for three years, and in 1888 came to America, arriving in New York City in October of that year. He came direct to Big Stone county, Minnesota, and after a three months' stay in Odessa he went to St. Paul and was employed in a factory for Gorden & Ferguson three months. In May, 1889, he and brother, Hugo Menzel, bought a general merchandise establishment and the business has since been conducted under the firm name of Menzel Brothers. They carry a complete line of general goods and their business has steadily increased and they have a large patronage from Odessa and surrounding country, and have become well known and popular business men.

Benno Menzel was married July 14, 1892, to Miss Charlotte Widl. Mrs. Menzel was born in Germany and came to America in 1882 at the age of eighteen years. Her father, Henry Widl, was a German officer and still resides in that country. To Mr. and Mrs. Menzel four children have been born, namely: Matilda, born May 16, 1893; Hugo, born June 10, 1895; Herbert, born October 22, 1897; and Richard, born January 24, 1903. Mr. Menzel takes an active interest in the affairs of his community and served one year as township treasurer, and enjoys the esteem of his associates to a marked degree.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 594.


Hugo Menzel, one of the leading business men of Odessa, has been identified with the commercial interests of that region for many years and has built up a good business and acquired the confidence and esteem of his fellowmen.

Mr. Menzel was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1865. His father, Ernest Menzel, was a government officer in Germany. He came to America in 1885 and died in 1886. The parents of our subject were both of German blood.

Hugo Menzel was the third of a family of six children. He was reared in his native land and at the age of fifteen years came to America, landing in New York City, and from that place came to Minnesota. He spent two years in McLeod county at farm work and clerked one year and then came to Big Stone county, locating at Odessa, where he worked as a clerk in the store of F. Wilding. In 1885 his employer made a partner of our subject and he has since continued his interest in the business. The store was established in 1880, and is now one of the leading establishments of the town. The building is 24 by 90 feet and the firm carries a complete line of dry goods, groceries and general merchandise and is prepared to meet the demands of the trade of that locality. In 1889 our subject's brother, Benno Menzel, became interested in the business and the two brothers are now proprietors of the store. They are successful business men and well merit the patronage which they have.

Our subject was married in 1891 to Miss Clara Sellior, and of this union two children have been born. They bear the names Ernest and Ida. Mr. Menzel devotes his entire time and attention to the building up of his business and is a man of thorough and systematic business methods, and has brought success to himself by persistent industry and good management and may well be classed among the self-made business men of this region.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 575.


Richard Menzel, proprietor of a prosperous lumber business in Odessa, Minnesota, is one of the well known business men of Big Stone county. He has been a resident of Odessa for many years and has successfully managed a lumber yard for thirteen years and is one of the enterprising citizens of the town.

Mr. Menzel was born in Silesia, Germany, January 10, 1869. He came with his parents to America in 1885, and settled in Odessa, Big Stone county, Minnesota. He worked one year for C. K. Boyington, lumberman of Odessa, and then followed the carpenter's trade in the vicinity of Odessa for two years. He then became manager for the Charles Betcher Lumber Company in Odessa, the same yard in which he had formerly been employed, and he continued the manager of the business while this firm owned the yard, for thirteen years. In 1902 Mr. Menzel opened a lumber yard for himself in Odessa, and erected an office building, lumber sheds, etc., and carries as complete a lumber stock as can be found in the county. He has prospered in this line of business and has a large and growing patronage throughout the county.

Mr. Menzel has been interested in farm lands for some years, purchasing land in 1891 and adding thereto as circumstances justified, and he is now the fortunate owner of two hundred and forty acres of valuable land. This is all under cultivation and comprises one of the finest farms of the township, having a complete set of farm buildings and other valuable improvements thereon.

Our subject was married in the fall of 1891 to Miss Ernestina Schwandt. Her father, August Schwandt, is a farmer and old settler in Big Stone county. To Mr. and Mrs. Menzel three children have been born, namely: Benno, Gertie and Edwin. Mr. Menzel is a wide-awake and public-spirited citizen and he has served as a member of the village and township boards and as a member of the school board, and is at present township clerk. He is politically a Republican and stands firmly for his convictions. He has done his full share as an old settler in the building up of the country, and well merits his high standing as a citizen and the success which has attended him as a business man.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 583.


A. E. Merrill, for the past quarter of a century a prominent representative of the farming community of Ramsey township, has a pleasant home on section 28. He is one of the worthy citizens of Anoka county, and his success and good name are well merited.

Mr. Merrill was born in Maine, September 25, 1835. His parents John and Electa (Finney) Merrill, were natives of Vermont. Our subject remained in his native state until 1856, when he went to Boston, Massachusetts. He remained there one year and then went to New York, where he resided until 1862. He then enlisted in Company F, Eleventh New York Cavalry. He spent the first year of his service in Washington, D. C., and in 1863 went to New Orleans. He was engaged up and down the Mississippi River during the summer at picket duty, and in the fall of 1865 went to Memphis. He participated in the battle of Ft. Hudson and in several minor engagements and skirmishes, and also guarded the railroads and plantations and fought bushwhacker. In the battle of Fort Hudson he was wounded in the shoulder and was confined to the hospital for a short time. He was mustered out of the service at Memphis, Tennessee, September 15, 1865, and returned to New York. He resided there until 1868 and was foreman in a livery barn. He came to Minnesota in the spring of 1868 stopping in Brown county, where he intended taking a claim, but he failed to do so, and in the fall of the same year he returned to Boston. The following spring he again came to Minnesota, and made his home in St. Paul for six months. He came to Anoka county in the fall of 1869, and followed the painting and lathing trades there for seven years. In 1875 he purchased a farm of one hundred acres on section 28 of Ramsey township, and has made his home thereon since that date. He has now a thoroughly improved farm and enjoys the comforts of a good home. He has supplied himself with all machinery for conducting a good farm, and has a good well and wind mill to pump the water. He looks carefully after all the details of his farm work, and his systematic labors and good judgment have brought him a valuable estate.

Mr. Merrill was married in 1858 to Harriet A. Ingles, a native of Maine, who was born December 21, 1838. To Mr. and Mrs. Merrill five children have been born, two of whom are now living, and are named as follows; Frederick O., and Arthur I. Mr. Merrill takes a commendable interest in all local public affairs, and for many years has served, as chairman of the board of supervisors of his township and town clerk. He is a member of the Grand Amy of the Republic. He is a man of sterling character and is universally esteemed by his fellowmen.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 413-14.


Ole Monson, a popular and esteemed citizen of Stony Run township, Yellow Medicine county, was born in Bergensteft, Norway, in 1853, and is the son of a farmer who lived and died in Norway. He is the second in order of the six children born to his parents, and was reared to a life of toil and abstemious habits. At the age of sixteen he made his own way in the world, and could do the work of a man on the farm, and in 1873, when he was twenty years old, he sought a home in this country landing in New York, and coming to Goodhue county, Minnesota, where he worked on railway construction some three years, and then spent a year at farm work in Stevens county. In 1874 he came to Swift county and settled on a homestead in Camp Lake township, where he built a house and lived nine years. In those years he and his family suffered much from grasshoppers, deprivations and trials common to the frontier life. They used oxen for nine years.

Mr. Monson was married in 1874 to Miss Eliza Thompson. She died in 1883. He was married a second time to Bertha Hanson, and is the father of the following children: Mary, Melvin, Henry, Crist, Oscar, Bennie, Emma and Mabel. Two children were born in Swift county, and the others in Yellow Medicine county.

In 1883 Mr. Monson bought a farm in Yellow Medicine county, and moved on it in the spring of that year. This was wild prairie land and Monson and his family began at the very bottom of the ladder. They adopted the most primitive habits, and were determined on success. He built a dug-out, in which his family was housed until 1891. He lost his stable and granary by fire, but gradually he has made his way to a better condition of things, owning two hundred and eighty acres, with all but forty acres under active cultivation, abundant pasture and meadow, good farm buildings, and all needed farm machinery, and a fine grove which he planted with his own hands. He started with one hundred and sixty acres but has bought more from time to time, until he now owns this fine estate.

Mr. Monson is a Republican, but spends all his time on his farm, and gives but little attention to party working. He is among the old settlers of the county, and well deserves a place among its makers and builders.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 366.


John J. Mooney is a well-to-do farmer who has made an abundant success in farming and stock raising in the township of Stony Run, Yellow Medicine county. He was born in West Virginia in 1853, and is a son of Charles C. Mooney, who was born in Ireland, and coming to the United States in 1848, settled in Virginia. In 1866 Charles C. brought his family to Minnesota and settled at Fort Ridgely. He was a prominent pioneer and in 1869 removed to Yellow Medicine county, where he and his brother John and two sons Cornelius and John J., became the first permanent settlers of the town of Stony Run, where he died in November, 1900. He took a prominent part in the organization of the county and township and school districts. In pioneer circles he was very prominent and will long be remembered for his hospitable home and ready hand in the old days.

John J. Mooney was second in the family of his parents' children, and lived at home until 1885, helping his father open his farm. Willmar was the nearest market town, and there he used often drive his father's ox team. The first home was a log house, and this was their only habitation for many years. Although the opportunities to obtain an education in the early days on the frontier were very meager he, with little assistance, qualified himself to obtain a good teacher's certificate and taught school winters from 1874 to 1897. He bore with others the hardships of the grasshopper plague from 1875 to 1878.

On November 23, 1885, he married Miss Agnes Aitchinson, whose parents were of Scotch and English blood, and were among the early pioneers of Chippewa county, Minnesota. He and his bride settled on his pre-emption on the southeast quarter of section 14, town of Stony Run, where they established a comfortable and beautiful home surrounded by one of the finest groves in the county. It was here that their six children were born: Mary J., John F., Agnes M., George H., Charles and James A.

In 1899 they sold the old place and purchased the present home in section 24, lying along the Minnesota River, comprising three hundred and eighty-five acres, on which he has made extensive improvements. Mr. Mooney is principally engaged in stock raising and dairying for which his farm is well adapted. In 1886 he was elected county commissioner and served four years during which time he was instrumental in securing the erection of the court house in Granite Falls. He has taken an active part in the organization, building and maintenance of the church, in the organization of school districts, the establishment and opening of public roads, and the organization of co-operative creameries. He has held some of the town offices ever since he was of age, and has nearly always been a member of the local school board, and has always been found ready to help along any public enterprise. He is now the oldest settler living in the township.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 786.


For nearly a quarter of a century the gentleman above named has been identified with the history of the development of Lac-qui-parle county, and his valuable estate in Arena township evidences his earnest labors during these many years. He has succeeded in building up a good home and is one of the highly respected citizens of his township.

Mr. Mooney was born on a farm in West Virginia in 1859. His father was a native of Ireland and was a farmer by occupation. He settled in Renville county, Minnesota, with his family in 1867 and in 1870 removed to Yellow Medicine county. Our subject was reared on the home farm and at an early age began to assist with the farm work. He came to Lac-qui-parle county and settled on a homestead claim in Arena township in 1880. He built a shanty and a sod barn and began the improvement of his farm. He had horses for his farm work. He and his brother came to this locality together and they continued in partnership for some time. Mr. Mooney has accumulated a fine property consisting of three hundred and twenty acres of highly cultivated land. On this he has a complete set of substantial and convenient buildings, a windmill, all necessary machinery and a fine grove. In the early days he hauled his supplies and lumber from Appleton, but he has witnessed a wonderful transformation from the conditions then existing and his labors have aided materially in bringing much of this about.

Mr. Mooney was married in 1888 to Miss Mary Swift, who was born in Wisconsin of Irish parentage. The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Mooney, namely: James C., Francis, Eddie, Leo, and Albert, and two deceased, Alice J. and William H. All were born on the home farm in Arena township. Mr. Mooney is always actively interested in the affairs of his township and he has served as assessor and has filled this office for the past seven years. He also served one term as supervisor. In political views he is a Democrat, and stands firmly for his convictions.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 713.


John E. Moore, well known to any one familiar with the business personnel of Milaca, Minnesota, was born in Hennepin county, Minnesota, on a farm, in 1861, and came of an Irish parentage. Thomas Moore, his father, who was born in Ireland, was a life-long farmer, and came to the United States as early as 1840. Mrs. Thomas Moore was born in Ireland, and became the mother of a numerous family. John E. was the seventh child born to them, and was reared and educated in his native county. There was much hard work to do, as many mouths had to be filled, and times were not easy. They were pioneers and the Indians had not yet left the country.

When John E. Moore was thirteen years old he put himself on his own resources, and worked out in Hennepin county for a year and a half, going into the woods when he was fifteen, making his way on foot with a lumbering outfit into Mille Lacs county. From that time until he was twenty years old he was engaged in the woods lumbering and river driving, when he went to Minneapolis, and spent some two years learning the blacksmith trade. In 1883 he journeyed to Fargo, where he worked at his trade until Christmas of that year, when he returned to Minneapolis to open a shop at the corner of Second street and Eighteenth avenue north, which he maintained for about a year, then removed to Anoka, where he followed the same line another year.

While he was living in Minneapolis Mr. Moore was married to Miss Judith Kennedy, a native of Nova Scotia, and of mixed Irish and Scotch blood. Her parents came to the United States in 1883, and her later girlhood was spent in Hennepin county, Minnesota. To this union have come the following children: Alice M., John E., Leo, Eugene, Kate, Hugh and Orphia, all of whom were born in Minnesota.

After working several years at different places at his trade Mr. Moore took up land in Mille Lacs county previous to its being opened for settlement, and spent some three years around Mille Lacs lake. In 1892 Mr. Moore came to Milaca, where he began work as a blacksmith, and about six months later opened a shop of his own, which was the first in the village to be kept open the entire year. This business continued for about three years, when Mr. Moore was compelled to give it up on account of injuries received in an accident. In 1895 he established a livery, having started in with one horse in 1893, and made such progress that in 1897 he was compelled to put up a barn 40x60 feet, provided with a complete outfit of single and double rigs, and prepared to meet all demands. Mr. Moore owns a farm three and a half miles out of Milaca, which he is rapidly improving.

Mr. Moore is a Democrat, and has been a trustee of the village for three years. He has watched the growth of Milaca from the beginning, and was here before ever there was a thought of a town at this point. He is one of the leading business men of the village, is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and takes a leading part in local and county affairs.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 311.


Charles Mullen, Sr., an intelligent and progressive farmer of Campbell township, has been a resident of Wilkin county for nearly a quarter of a century. During this time he has built up a good home, and has gained the esteem of his fellowmen.

Mr. Mullen was born in Rock county, Wisconsin, in 1853. His father, John Mullen, was a farmer by occupation. He was born in Ireland and came to America and spent his last days in Wisconsin. Our subject was the youngest in a family of five children and he was reared and educated in Wisconsin and attended the common schools. He started for himself at the age of nineteen years and followed lumbering one year in Wisconsin and ran rafts as far as St. Louis. He conducted the home farm for six years. He came to Wilkin county, Minnesota, in April, 1880, and his family joined him here in the spring of 1881. He settled on section 21, of Campbell township and in September, 1884, removed to section 22, taking this land as a homestead. He has engaged in grain and stock raising and has met with comparatively few losses and has prospered to a marked degree. He now has a farm of three hundred and twenty acres, all of which is under cultivation. He has a fine grove surrounding his house and has a small orchard. His buildings are his own handiwork with the exception of his barn, and he has a home of great comfort and every convenience in the way of machinery is supplied. He has a residence, barn, granary, hen house, ice house and blacksmith shop. During the early years of his residence there the scarcity of water was a great drawback and he sunk twenty different wells from 150 to 430 feet deep. In July, 1900, he struck an abundant supply of water at a depth of 245 feet and now has fine soft water for all domestic and farm purposes. He has operated a well machine for the past twelve years and has put down many wells in that part of the country.

Mr. Mullen was married in Chicago in 1874, to Jennie Campbell. Mrs. Mullen was born in the city of New York. Her father, Thomas Campbell, was born in Liverpool, England, and came to America in 1847. Mr. and Mrs. Mullen are the parents of six children, who are as follows: Julia, born in Wisconsin, has taught school, is now married; Hattie, born in Wisconsin, is now clerking in Tenney; Charles, Jr., born in Chicago, is a blacksmith of Tenney; Florence, born in Minnesota, is teaching in Tenney; Jennie, born in Minnesota; and Lauren, born in Minnesota. Mr. Mullen is a Republican in political faith and advocates free silver.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 707-08.


Edward J. Murphy, a prominent and much respected resident of Felton, Minnesota, was born in New York, and was a son of John Murphy, also born in New York, but of Irish parentage.

Edward J. Murphy was reared in his native state, where he had his education in the common schools. He remained at home until he was twenty-one, when he came west to Iowa, where he settled in Cerro Gordo county, on land which he bought from his father. He remained in that section three years, and then removed to Wisconsin, where he spent one season in the lumber woods. For some time he was quite unsettled, living again in Iowa, and also in Canada, where he was employed on the Canadian Pacific Railroad for some months. In 1882, he effected a homestead settlement in Clay county, put up a shanty, 12x16 feet, and kept house alone for years. For a few years he did his farm work with oxen, and gradually made his way to comfort and ease.

Mr. Murphy was married, in 1891, to Miss Agnes Burke, of Jackson county, Iowa, a lady of pure Irish blood. Her father was a farmer and a merchant, and she was educated to become a school teacher. Mr. and Mrs. Murphy have five children all born in Clay county: Annie L., Mary E., Joseph B., Edward A. and Leo J.

Mr. Murphy has been on his farm some nineteen years, and now owns a magnificent estate of seven hundred and twenty acres, all lying in Felton township. It has good buildings, ample farm machinery and is being more largely devoted to stock with each passing year, although at the present time it makes a fine showing as a grain farm. It has three flowing wells, and affords every convenience for profitable and successful farming.

Mr. Murphy moved to the village of Felton in the spring of 1901, where he is filling the position of deputy sheriff, which he has held since 1891, with the exception of about a year. In 1898 he was appointed game warden for the state, and has done some very effective work in different parts of the state. He was the warden at the capture of twelve hundred dollars worth of game in Marshall county, near Thief River Falls. This was a thrilling experience. Mr. Murphy had to face the guns of a special policeman and his two assistants, who tried to interfere with his operations. He captured them and took them to prison, and then secured the poachers in whose interests they were working. This is known in the history of the criminal proceedings of the state as the Thief River Raid, and was the most successful ever accomplished in the confines of Minnesota.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 235-36.


James H. Murphy, member of the Eden Valley Hardware and Implement Company, is a well known business man of Stearns county. He has prospered and his success and good name are well merited.

Mr. Murphy was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, November 21, 1860. His parents, John and Susan (Breen) Murphy, were natives of Ireland. The family came to Minnesota in 1866 and the father took a homestead claim on section 24 of Manana township, Meeker county. Here our subject was reared to manhood, receiving his education in the common schools and assisting his father on the home farm. In 1882 he went to Minneapolis, where he worked for the Phelps Well and Windmill Company for ten years. In 1892 he entered the employ of the North Western Wind Engine Company and was with this firm two years. He then began farming in Sherburne county, in 1894, but after a short stay he removed to Eden Valley, and in the fall of the same year started in the well and windmill business. He added farm machinery and implements to his stock in 1896 and in 1900 added a stock of hardware, in the fall of the same year selling out the well and windmill business. In the spring of 1902 he sold a half interest of his business to W. L. Hutcheson and the firm is now known as the Eden Valley Hardware and Implement Company. They carry a stock of hardware, light and heavy, valued at $10,000.

Mr. Murphy was married in January, 1890, to Fredericka Huckred, who was born in Germany, February 24, 1865. Mr. Murphy served as township clerk of Mariana township for five years and is a public-spirited citizen. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and the Degree of Honor at Eden Valley, and 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 814.


It is unusual for the management of extensive business affairs to fall upon a woman, but this has been the lot of the lady here named. For some years Mrs. Murray has held the responsible position of postmistress at Collis, Minnesota, and she is owner of much of the property within the limits of that thriving town and is widely known as a business woman of excellent judgment. By the death of her husband, the late Edward Murray, she has been placed at the head of extensive financial affairs and has proven her executive ability and is favorably known throughout Traverse county.

Mrs. Murray was born in Ohio, in 1860. Her father, Dennis O'Brien, was born in Ireland and came to America later in life and settled in Ohio. Mrs. Murray, whose maiden more was Johannah O'Brien, was married to Edward Murray in 1885. Mr. Murray was born in Pennsylvania in 1854. He took railroad land in Traverse county, Minnesota, in 1887, and built up and improved it. The same year he was influential in the establishment of the postoffice at Collis, and he was appointed postmaster. He also conducted a general merchandise store in the town. In 1898, through his efforts a railroad station was established at Collis on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Mr. Murray died November 25, 1901. For some five years prior to his demise he was in ill health and was unable to conduct his business or personally take an active part in his business operations. Mrs. Murray resides in Collis and aside from being postmistress there runs the only feed and livery business of the town and the only hotel there. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Murray, namely: John J. and Mary J., both of whom were born in Traverse county, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Murray were the second couple to be married in the Catholic church at Collis, and Mrs. Murray's brother, Dennis W. O'Brien, deeded five acres of land to the church there, and their father, Dennis O'Brien, deeded the same amount of land to the church to be used as a cemetery.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 723-24.


M. O. Myhre, who is one of the leading business men of Watson, Minnesota, and has taken a very active part in its development, was born in Gran Hadeland, Norway, in 1866. His father, who was a farmer, died when he was four years old, and he grew up in his native land, learning the painter's trade, which he has followed many years both in Norway, and in the United States.

M. O. Myhre came to this country in 1884, landing in the city of New York, and making his way west to Watson, Minnesota. Here he followed his trade as a painter up to 1902, wen he was appointed postmaster by President Roosevelt, taking possession of the office in September of that year. In 1890 he had established a notion store, which he had carried on in connection with his trade. For three years he has been a member of the village council, and is taking a very active part in local affairs. He is a Republican, and is rapidly coming to a leading position in the community.

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

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