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A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement


Digitized for Microsoft Corporation by the Internet Archive in 2008. From New York Public Library.
May be used for non-commercial, personal, research, or education purposes, or any fair use.
May not be indexed in a commercial service.

Transcribed and donated by Vance Tigges & Kathy Weaver.

JOSEPH ANNEAR  *pages 34, 35 & 36*

Page 34 Joseph Annear

Page 35 Joseph Annear

Page 36 Joseph Annear

Joseph Annear Text File



One of the extensive landowners and substantial farmers of Carroll county, now living retired in Coon Rapids, is Joseph Annear, who for thirty-six years was engaged in agricultural pursuits in this county. His birth occurred in Yorkshire, England, his natal day being the 16th of October, 1845; his parents were Joseph and Jenifred (Blake) Annear, both natives of Cornwall, England, where the father was for many years employed in the mines, having begun working there when a mere child. He was an ambitious youth, however, and desiring to make more of himself than a miner he attended night school, thus acquiring a good education. Believing that America afforded better advantages for himself and family he emigrated to the United States in 1848 with his wife and family. Their first winter in this country the family spent in Detroit, Michigan. In the following spring they went to St. Mary's Island, Lake Superior, and from there to Dodgeville, Iowa county, Wisconsin. There the father died of cholera in 1850, at the age of forty-five years. Mrs. Annear attained the venerable age of seventy-six years before her demise. Determined to become a citizen and desirous of obtaining his full rights as such, Mr. Annear took out his naturalization papers upon his arrival in the city of New York. Both he and his wife were conformists and affiliated with the Episcopal church. The paternal grandparents spent their entire lives in the mother country and of their union there were born four children, three sons and one daughter. Samuel and Prudence (Blake) Blake, the maternal grandparents, were of yeoman stock and they, too, passed their entire lives in their native land. To them were born three sons and two daughters, as follows: Samuel, John, Richard, Jenifred and Betsy. By the union of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Annear were born six children, in the following order: Jane, the wife of Alfred Bailey, of Richland county, Wisconsin; Joseph, our subject; John, of Richland Center, Wisconsin; Samuel, also of Richland county, Wisconsin; Emily, the late wife of James Louis; and Annie, also deceased, the wife of Thomas Endicott.


Joseph Annear, who was but five years of age when his father passed away, was reared on a farm in both Richland and Iowa counties, Wisconsin, to the district schools of which state he is indebted for his early education, which was supplemented by further study in a select school in Newton. He remained at home with his mother until he was nineteen years of age. As he was a widow's son much responsibility devolved upon him from his earliest boyhood, and for seven years after leaving the maternal roof he worked as a farm hand by the day. In 1865 he sent his money to Carroll county to make the first payment on eighty acres of land in Pleasant Valley township. He completed the payment on his farm that year but did not remove on it until November, 1868. In the early spring of 1869 he broke forty acres of his homestead which he immediately placed under cultivation. He was able later to add another one hundred and twenty acres to his tract, making the aggregate of his holdings two hundred acres. In 1891 he sold his farm for thirty dollars per acre and invested his capital in two hundred and eighty acres elsewhere in the county. He so successfully administered his affairs that he eventually acquired six hundred and fourteen acres in Carroll county, in addition to which he had quite extensive holdings in Canada, but he has recently sold three hundred and twelve acres of the latter. Mr. Annear retired from active farming in 1904. renting his land to his sons at one and a half dollars per acre, cash rent. Coming to Coon Rapids he bought the residence where he and his wife are now living, enjoying in the evening of life the ease and comfort to which they are so fully entitled.

On the 7th of September, 1871, Mr. Annear was united in marriage to Miss Mary J. Bedford, a daughter of Charles and Betsey (Knoles) Bedford. Mrs. Annear was born in Yorkshire, England, emigrating from there to America with her parents in her early womanhood. They located on section 15, Pleasant Valley township, where the parents passed away, the father having attained the age of seventy-seven at the time of his demise. To them were born four sons and two daughters: Charles; Albert; Mary J.; Thomas; Anna, who died at the age of fourteen; and a son who was five years old when he passed away.


Mr. and Mrs. Annear became the parents of seven children, three of whom are deceased: Lilly, who passed away at the age of six; and two who died in infancy. Those surviving are: Olletha, the wife of Frank Hessler, of Pleasant Valley, who has two children, Mamie and Thomas; Charles A., also a resident of Pleasant Valley township, who married Lestie Byers and has three children: James Albert, who lives in Newton township with his brother John; and John, who married Delia Livingston and has two children.

To Mr. and Mrs. Annear belongs the distinction of having been the first to join the Methodist Episcopal church in Pleasant Valley township, and they were also the first couple married there. His political allegiance in state and national elections is usually given to the republican party, as his views more closely conform to its policy, but in local affairs he always casts an independent ballot, supporting the men and measures he deems best qualified to subserve the interests of the majority. Mr. Annear is one of the self-made men of Carroll county, who by diligence and intelligently directed effort overcame the many obstacles which he encountered, and forging ahead attained a position which places him among the foremost agriculturists of the county.

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