Lyon County Biographies
"An Illustrated History of Lyon County"


Below are biographies from the 1912 "An Illustrated History of Lyon County".
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*The date in parentheses following the name of each subject is the year of arrival to Lyon county.


A. C. CHITTENDEN (1878), a retired busi­ness man of Marshall and the owner of Opera House Block, has played an important part in the history of that city, of which he has been a resident thirty-four years.

Mr. Chittenden was born in the town of Westbrook, Middlesex county, Connecticut, July 29, 1845, a descendant of old colonial stock. His paternal grandfather, Cornelius Chittenden, was a veteran of the Revolution­ary War and died in Westbrook, Connecticut, about 1857, at the age of ninety-three years. The subject of this review attended the funeral. The parents of our subject, Albert C. and Patience L. (Jones) Chittenden, were also natives of Middlesex county, Connecti­cut. The father died at Boulder, Colorado, in 1878, at the age of sixty-seven years. The mother died in Brooklyn, New York, in 1900.

In the Chittenden family, besides our sub­ject, are the following: Richard H., an attor­ney of New York, and Albert J., both de­ceased; Newton H., a Civil War veteran and an explorer, of Brooklyn, New York; Adelaide (Mrs. James Turner), of Brooklyn; Rev. Ezra P., an Episcopal minister and a graduate of Yale, of Clinton, Missouri, who is the author of "Pleroma," a poem of the Christ, published in book form in 1889; and Carolin (Mrs. J. Turner), of Brooklyn.

When A. C. Chittenden was thirteen years of age he accompanied his parents from the old Connecticut home and located at Ripon, Wisconsin, where he resided until twenty-one years of age. There he spent the summer months working on his father's farm near Ripon and the winter months attending the Ripon High School. He completed his education in Ripon College. In the early seventies the family scattered, the parents moving to Boulder, Colorado. When he reached his majority our subject located at Milwaukee, where he was a. bookkeeper in a commission house two years. He then located at Atwater, Minnesota, and engaged in business for himself. He put up a little building, opened a store, and made his start in life. Seven years after locating in Atwater, Mr. Chittenden moved to Boulder, Colorado, where he engaged in the real estate business. By a bank failure Mr. Chittenden lost $4400. He then went to Minneapolis, remained there a short time, and in 1878 be­came a resident of Marshall.

The year after his arrival in Marshall Mr. Chittenden erected the Opera House Block (in which he still maintains an office) and opened a store which he conducted a quarter of a century. This old building has been used for many purposes—for a public hall, opera house and court house, the district court having been held therein before the new court house was erected. Mr. Chitten­den engaged in other business enterprises. He erected a hotel at Minnesota Junction, conducted a store at Watertown, South Da­kota, and a branch at Amiret. For a time he was also connected with the old Lyon County Bank. The double brick block now occupied by the Marshall Furniture Company and Durrenburger's harness shop was erected by Mr. Chittenden. After retiring from active busi­ness Mr. Chittenden spent two years in Redlands, California, where he put up a business block to rent. He is now the owner of about 1200 acres of farm land and devotes his ener­gies to their management and to real estate deals. Mr. Chittenden was the first no-license mayor of Marshall.

The subject of this review was married at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Agnes Hill. She is a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, and a daughter of John and Sarah Hill. The family came to the United States when Agnes Hill was about eight years of age and settled in Milwaukee. Mr. and Mrs. Chittenden have four children: Rodney, of Ritzville, Wash­ington: Walter, of Marshall; Florence (Mrs. Fred Shardlow), of Marshall; and Alice, a graduate nurse of St. Paul's Hospital, St. Paul. Mr. Chittenden is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

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LEWIS C. PETERSON (1874) has been a resident of Lucas township since his birth, November 27, 1874. He is a prominent farm­er of the township, is the owner of 360 acres of its best land, and has all but forty acres under cultivation.

Our subject's parents, Christopher and Bertha (Berret) Peterson, were pioneer set­tlers of Lyoii county, the father taking a homestead in Lucas township in 1872 and residing on the farm until 1909, when he and his wife moved to Cottonwood to live. He died one year later and Mrs. Peterson still lives in that village. Christopher Peterson prospered during the many years of his resi­dence in the township and at the time of his death was the owner of several hundred acres of land.

Lewis received his education in the com­mon schools of the district and completed his schooling at the age of seventeen, after which he worked for his father until 1897; then he started farming for himself on the land which he now owns and where he has since resided. He engages in grade stock raising to a con­siderable extent and has succeeded in his undertaking's. He is a stockholder of the Home Telephone Company of Cottonwood.

The subject of this sketch married Inga Slaan at Fergus Falls, Minnesota, February 15, 1906. She was born in Norway October 11, 1884, and her parents reside in Norway. By her marriage to Mr. Peterson she became the mother of three children, as follows: Alvena, born July 16, 1907; Betsey, born September 17, 1908; and Thorfin, born May 12, 1911. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson belong to Silo Norwegian Lutheran Church of Cottonwood. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GEORGE A. TATE (1889) is the former president of the First National Bank of Bala­ton, the proprietor of an elevator in that village, and a man prominently identified with the business interests of Lyon county. He has been a resident of Balaton a quarter of a century and has spent his entire life in Minnesota.

George A. Tate was born at Elba, Winona county, Minnesota, November 7, 1862, the second eldest of a family of five children born to George W. and Augusta (Day) Tate. The father, who was a native of Virginia, died April 17, 1890. The mother, a New Yorker by birth, is living. The other chil­dren of the family are Frank D., Fred, Nellie F. and Lelia A.

At Elba and St. Charles, Minnesota, young Tate spent his boyhood days and grew to manhood. He located in Balaton in May. 1889, bought grain for a few years, and then erected an elevator and engaged in business for himself, which lie has since followed in addition to his banking interests. Mr. Tate was one of the organizers of the Citizens State Bank of Balaton in 1892 and was presi­dent of the bank. When the reorganization into the First National Bank was brought about in 1903 he was chosen president of the new concern and served as such until Febru­ary 1, 1912. He deals quite extensively in real estate.

Mr. Tate was a member of the Board of Education of Balaton six years, was village trustee one year and president of the Council one year. He is a member of the Maccabee and Workmen lodges.

Lillian M. Dickinson became the wife of George A. Tate at St. Charles, Minnesota. They have two children living, Harry A. and Lillian Georgia.

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ANDREW A. CHRISTENSON (1872) is a former sheriff of Lyon county and one of its pioneer settlers. He served the county in the capacity of sheriff twelve years and was on the police force at Tracy five years. He is assistant sergeant at arms of the Minne­sota State Senate, having received the ap­pointment in January, 1911. He is a native of Norway, born October 19. 1863, and came to the United States when one and one-half years of age. He located in Allamakee coun­ty, Iowa, where he resided until 1872.

In the latter year our subject came to Lyon county and located in Monroe township, where his father homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 28, and resided there sev­eral years. He then started the struggle of life for himself, working at farm labor, on the section, and for two years was a fireman on the Northwestern railroad. He later served five years on the Tracy police force and was elected sheriff of Lyon in 1894 and served twelve years. He then spent four years on his farm in Monroe township and in 1910 moved to Tracy, where he has since resided.

Our subject is a son of Andrew and Annie (Thorson) Christenson, the former of whom resides in Tracy at the age of eighty-two years, and the latter is deceased. They were the parents of six children: C. A., of Roseau county, Minnesota; Andrew of this sketch; Christina, of Omaha; and Thomas, Ole and Martin, all deceased.

The subject of this review is a member of the Blue Lodge, Chapter, Commandery, Shrine and Eastern Star of the Masonic order. He also holds membership in the K. P. lodge of Tracy.

On December 23, 1890, occurred the mar­riage of Mr. Christenson to Mattie Hanson, who was born in Fillmore county, Minnesota, May 22, 1863.

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LAWRENCE H. FREESE (1878) is a farmer of Lynd township. He is a native of Sibley county, Minnesota, and was born July 23, 1876. The parents of our subject were Henry and Sarah Freese, the latter of whom died in May, 1911. The father is one of the early settlers in Lyon county and still re­sides in Lake Marshall township.

Our subject received his early education in Marshall, where he attended school until sixteen years of age. He then worked out for a while before he started farming for himself.

Mr. Freese is a member of the M. W. A. lodge. Besides farming, he engages in stock raising,- including Duroc-Jersey hogs and Shorthorn cattle. He operates the southeast quarter of section 12. Lynd township. Our subject has five brothers and three sisters: Will, of Meadows, Idaho; Arthur, Noah, Ed­ward and Roland, of Lyon county; Elsie, of Lyon county; Lydia, of Seattle, Washington; and Mary, of Meadows, Idaho.

On June 1, 1900, Mr. Freese was united in marriage to Ada Orr, a daughter of Surnner and Celia Orr, of Marshall. Mr. and Mrs. Orr are pioneer residents of Lyon county and Mrs. Freese is a native of the county. They are the parents of the following chil­dren: Allie, Helen, Gertie, Ada, Eleanor.

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LEWIS L. ROWELL (1878) came with his parents to Lyon county when one year old, and with the exception of about one and one-half years he has been a continuous resident of Amiret township since that time.

Lewis was born in Waukesha county, Wis­consin, November 5, 1877. The next year he was brought by his parents, Lewis and Pa­tience (Brooman) Rowell, to Lyon county, and the family settled on a farm in Amiret township which the father had purchased. The elder Rowell resided on the farm until his death. Lewis as a lad received the edu­cation afforded by the schools of the district and was kept busy at home helping with the farm work. At the age of twenty the boy went to South Dakota and made his home about one year near Huron, being employed as a farm laborer. Returning to Lyon county, he remained here one year before again making a trip, this time to North Dakota and Montana, where he spent several months.

After his return to Lyon county in 1899, Mr. Rowell took up farming for himself and is today the proprietor of the southeast quar­ter of section 10, Amiret township, which is the farm taken by his father as a tree claim. Besides his own farm Mr. Rowell operates the O. M. Covey half section in the same township, and he engages in stock raising in addition to his general farming. He raises Durham cattle and Poland China hogs. He is also a shareholder of the Farmers Co­operative Creamery Company of Tracy.

The ceremony which united Lewis Rowell and Maggie Montgomery in the holy bonds of matrimony was performed at Redwood Falls, Minnesota, December 18, 1902. To this union have been born the following children: Harold, born April 2, 1904; Lucile, born June 15, 1906; Donald, born April 6, 1908; and Mark, born February 24, 1910. Mr. Rowell's mother is still living and resides with her daughter, Mrs. William Berry, of Amiret. Mr. Rowell is a member of the Modern Woodmen and I. O. O. F. lodges.

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HUGH H. JONES (1874) has been a farmer in Custer township since 1888 and has been on his present farm, the south half of sec­tion 13, the past two years.

Mr. Jones was born in Racine, Wisconsin, May 10, 1858. His parents, Richard R. Jones and Margaret (Hughes) Jones, were both na­tives of Wales. The former died thirty-six years ago in Lake Crystal, Minnesota, and Mr. Jones' mother is a resident of Garvin, Hugh lived in Racine until nine years old, and then the family moved to Lake Crystal, where they lived until 1874, coming then to Lyon county and making their home on sec­tion 10 in Custer township. Hugh received his education in the public schools of Lake Crystal and in the district school of Custer. He remained on the home farm until his marriage in 1888.

Our subject was married February 13, 1888, in Custer, to Elenor Price, a native of Blue Earth county. Four children have been born to the union: Ruth, born April 18, 1890; Mabel, born August 16, 1902; Richard and Reese, twins, born May 7, 1894.

After his marriage Mr. Jones began farm­ing for himself in Custer township, and has been a continuous resident there since that time.

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M. SULLIVAN (1879), of Marshall, was one of the town's early business men and is a leading spirit in many local enterprises. He has been president of the Marshall Board of Education for the last twenty-eight years and was mayor of the city eight successive years. He is a Democrat and served four years as postmaster of Marshall during President Cleveland's first administration.

Mr. Sullivan has been a resident of Minne­sota since 1868. He spent two years in Winona, and in the spring of 1870 he opened a lumber yard in St. Charles, where he re­mained until he became a resident of Mar­shall in 1879. Upon his arrival here he engaged in the lumber business in which he has ever since been interested.

Mr. Sullivan was married at Fort Plain, Montgomery county, New York, in 1865 to Sarah M. Frink. She died in January, 1901. The second marriage of Mr. Sullivan oc­curred in 1903, when he wedded Mary Voss. He has two sons, Earl Y. and Emmet M.

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ROBERT CUMMINGS (1876) lives on the northwest quarter of section 32, Lucas town­ship, land he took as a homestead thirty-six years ago. He is a pioneer of that precinct and one of the few men there who still live on a homestead.

Scotland is the native land of Robert Cummings. He was born January 6, 1855, and when one and one-half years of age was brought by his parents to America. The family home was made in Wabasha county, Minnesota Territory, and there our subject grew to manhood. Upon reaching his major­ity in 1876 he came to Lyon county and took his homestead in Lucas township. About the same time his parents located in Redwood county, and during the next ten years Mr. Cummings divided his time between his claim and his parents' home. During that decade he farmed his land part of the time and the rest of the time worked out in Red­wood county.

Mr. Cummings took up his permanent abode on the farm in 1887 and has ever since resided there, engaged in its cultiva­tion. He is not married and keeps a Bache­lor's Hall. On numerous occasions Mr. Cum­mings has been called upon to serve in an official capacity. He was a member of the township board one year and was treasurer of his precinct seventeen years. For the past sixteen years he has been a member of the board of school district No. 41. Equity Lodge No. 220, A. F. & A. M., numbers Mr. Cummings among its members.

The parents of our subject are John and Isabelle (Steward) Cummings, now residents of Redwood county. Mr. Cummings is eighty-seven years old and his wife is eighty-two. Nine children were born to them, as follows: Annie, of Redwood county: Hugh, of Spokane, Washington; John A., deceased; Bar­bara (Mrs. William Burr), of Pueblo, Colo­rado: Donald, of Redwood county; Isabelle, Kate, deceased; Margaret and Robert.

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JOSEPH H. CATLIN (1892) is president of the First National Bank of Cottonwood and is one of that village's leading citizens. He was born in New York State but has been a resident of Minnesota for more than fifty years. His parents were William and Sarah E. Catlin, also natives of New York State and pioneers of Goodhue county, Minnesota, in which county they both died. There were eleven children in the family, of whom the following named five are living: Joseph H., James, Nelson, Charles and Ellen.

In the county of Orleans, New York, on the eleventh of August, 1846, Joseph H. Cat­lin was born. When he was five or six years of age he accompanied the family to Green Lake, Wisconsin, and in 1861 located with them in Goodhue county, Minnesota. There the father bought government land, and on the farm Joseph remained until he attained his majority. Our subject then located in the little village of Cherrygrove, Goodhue county, where he conducted a general store four years. The next thirteen years of his life were passed as a merchant in the village of Roscoe, of the same county.

Mr. Catlin disposed of his interests in Ros­coe and in 1892 became a resident of Cottonwood, where he has ever since resided. Upon his arrival he erected a building and estab­lished Cottonwood's first financial institution, the Bank of Cottonwood, a private bank. The name of the institution was changed to Se­curity Bank in 1901, and two years later it became the First National Bank. In addition to being president of the bank at Cottonwood Mr. Catlin has other interests. He is presi­dent of the Wood Lake State Bank and is a stockholder of the North Star Implement Company of Cottonwood. He owns 560 acres of farming land in the vicinity of Cottonwood, to the management of which he gives his personal attention. For several years Mr. Catlin served as president of the Cot­tonwood Village Council and has taken an active interest in local affairs. He is a mem­ber of the Blue Lodge, Chapter and Eastern Star of the Masonic orders.

In Goodhue county, Minnesota, on the sec­ond day of April, 1872, Mr. Catlin was united in marriage to Catherine Miller, a native of Oak Grove, Dodge county, Wisconsin. They have two children: Charles, who is vice president of his father’s bank, and Belle, who is now Mrs. L. McKechnie, of Cottonwood.

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OLE PETERSON(1878) is a Westerheim township farmer and a pioneer of Lyon county. He owns and farms the northwest quarter of section 9. Mr. Peterson was born in Iceland April 27, 1S63. When he was fifteen years old, in 1878, he accompanied the family to America and to Lyon county. They resided on section 16, Westerheim township, one year and then the father took a homestead in Limestone town­ship, Lincoln county. There young Peterson worked for neighboring farmers until the spring of 188.6. At that time he bought his present farm, and he has ever since been engaged in farming it. The first three years he made his home with Joseph Josephson, who resides across the road from his place; then he built on the place.

Ole Peterson has three half-brothers, Frank, Joseph and Sigrud. He also has two step­brothers, Hal and George Benson. His par­ents are Segfinn and Segurborg (Segertson) Peterson, now residents of Minneota.

The marriage of Mr. Peterson to Mrs. Aimie Johnson occurred in Winnipeg, Can­ada, October 27, 1907. She also was born in Iceland, came to America in 1896, and prior to her marriage lived in Winnipeg. By a former marriage she is the mother of two daughters, Mabel and Lizzie. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson have had two children, Seg, who was born February 17, 1910, and died August 28, 1911, and Joseph S., born May 29, 1912. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson are members of the Icelandic Lutheran church of Westerheim township.

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LEWIS B. LELAND (1879) is a farmer of Nordland township who has a thirty-three year residence in Lyon county to his credit. He lives upon the farm he took as a home­stead in the early days, the southeast quarter of section 28.

Mr. Leland was born in Vos, Norway, De­cember 11, 1847, a son of Bernard and Maglina (Grimestad) Leland. The family came to the United States in 1849, in company with Knute Nelson, now United States sen­ator from Minnesota, and landed in New York on the nation's birthday. The Lelands made settlement in Dane county, Wisconsin, and in 1873 moved to Buffalo county of the same state.

It was in 1879 that Lewis B. Leland left Wisconsin and came to Lyon county. He purchased a pre-emption claim to his present farm, changed the filing to a homestead, proved up on it, and engaged in its cultivation until 1894. That year he moved to Minneota and for the next fifteen years he worked at the carpenter's trade and con­ducted a wagon shop there. In 1909 Mr. Leland returned to the farm. For seven or eight years he was clerk of school district No. 25 and for four years he was a justice of the peace. He is a member of the Nor­wegian Lutheran church.

Mr. Leland is a man of family, having been married in Stoughton, Wisconsin, May 9, 1872, to Martha Gilderhus. She is a native of Dane county, Wisconsin, and was born October 1, 1850. Her parents. Ole and Mar­tha (Overland) Gilderhus, were born in Vos, Norway. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Le­land are Luella, Josie, Lillian, Beatrice, Marvin, Mabel and Winnifred.

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ALLEN BATES (1875). Of the few people who were living in the little village of Tracy when Allen Bates and his family located there in 1875, not one is now a resident of the city and they are the oldest settlers. Mr. Bates was engaged in business for many years but during the past eight years has been retired from active pursuits.

The gentleman whose name heads this re­view was born July 15, 1845, at Dudley, Massachusetts, the son of John and Mary Ann (Jacobs) Bates. The former died April 15, 1873, and the latter in January, 1871. Allen Bates spent his boyhood days attend­ing school and made his home in his native town until nineteen years of age.

At that age, in October, 1864, he enlisted as a member of Company M, First Massa­chusetts Heavy Artillery, and fought for the Union cause during the closing days of the Civil War. He participated in the battle of Petersburg and several skirmishes. At the time of the assassination of President Lincoln he was in Washington, and he was on the detail that paraded at the president's funeral. Mr. Bates was mustered out at Philadelphia June 16, 1865.

After the war Mr. Bates returned to his old home and in the fall of 1866 he was married. After engaging in the shoe manu­facturing business for a short time, he moved to Ames, Iowa, where for eight months he was employed at the Northwest­ern Railroad Company's depot; then he re­turned to the Bay State and engaged in his former occupation until moving to Lyon county.

In the spring of 1875 Mr. Bates became a resident of the village of Tracy, then being founded, and until the fall of 1880 he was engaged in business there. During the next seven years he lived at Orange, Massachu­setts, employed as an engineer by the New-Home Sewing Machine Company. Returning to Tracy in the spring of 1887, Mr. Bates engaged in the restaurant, confectionery and notion business. He discontinued the res­taurant the following year, but conducted the store until 1904, when he retired. In the fire of 1893 he was burned out, but he rebuilt and continued the business.

At Dudley, Massachusetts, en September 30, 1866, Mr. Bates was united in marriage to Mary C. Wheelock, who was born in Mendon, Massachusetts, July 28, 1851. Her parents were Henry and Mary (Thornton) Wheelock. Her mother died January 9, 1861; her father December 8. 1882. Mr. and Mrs. Bates have two children, both residents of Tracy. They are Esther M., the wife of Charles G. Porter, and Clara I., the wife of O. J. Rea. Mr. and Mrs. Bates are members of the Methodist church of Tracy and he holds membership in Joe Hooker Post, G. A. R., and the Modern Woodmen lodge.

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MAXWELL J. AURANDT (1878), one of the early settlers of Shelburne township, is one of the well-to-do farmers of that com­munity.

Mr. Aurandt was born in Blair county, Pennsylvania, April 29, 1862. In 1878 he came to Lyon county with his parents and settled on the northwest quarter of section 26, Shelburne, his father taking it as a homestead. The father died October 23, 1885, and since that time Maxwell Aurandt has had charge of the old home place, be­sides farming the east half of the south­west quarter of section 23, which he bought in 1900.

The parents of Maxwell Aurandt were Da­vid and Susan (Rossom) Aurandt, both de­scended from good old German stock. David Aurandt was born in Pennsylvania January 10, 1824. His wife was born May 16, 1824, in Maryland, and still lives with her son, Maxwell, on the old homestead. To the Aurandts have been born the following named children: George W., William A., Daniel W., Samuel C., Melinda C. (Mrs. George Westbrook), all of Blair county, Penn­sylvania; David E., of Carlton, Minnesota; and Maxwell, of this sketch. Two other children, Margaret E. and Jacob B., are dead.

Maxwell Aurandt was married in Balaton December 13, 1893, to Jennie V. Crouch, daughter of James Crouch, a homesteader of Rock Lake. His wife died May 1, 1895, since which time his aged mother and his niece, Anna M: Aurandt, have kept house for him.

Mr. Aurandt has held various offices in the county. He was elected treasurer of school district No. 68 at the first annual election and held the office thirteen years. He is at present clerk of the district and has held the office for the past seven years. He has served on the township board con­tinuously for seventeen years and is the present chairman, an office he has held for six years.

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ROY W. WILLIAMS (1879) is a young farmer and stock raiser residing in Lake Marshall township and owns considerable land in that township. Roy is a native of Lyon county and was born at Marshall April 28, 1879, a son of James W. and Ada F. (Webster) Williams, pioneer residents of the county. The father is a native of Con­necticut and was born in 1847; the mother is a native of Ohio and was born in 1858.

Roy received his early schooling at Mar­shall, where he was a student until eighteen years of age. Then he took a course in the Minnesota School of Business at Minne­apolis. After completing his work there he purchased the farm he now operates, the southwest quarter of section 20, Lake Mar­shall township. He engages in stock rais­ing, including Durham cattle, Duroc-Jersey hogs and Shropshire sheep. He holds mem­bership in the Masonic and Modern Wood­men lodges. Mr. Williams has been treas­urer of school district No. 7 for the past six years and was road overseer in Lake Marshall township three years. He holds stock in the Lyon County Agricultural As­sociation. Our subject has been a very successful farmer and stock raiser.

On April 24, 1901, Mr. Williams was united in marriage to Martha Bellingham, a daugh­ter of Charles and Louise (Durst) Belling­ham, pioneer residents of Marshall. Mr. Bellingham was born in England and Mrs. Bellingham in Maryland. Mrs. Williams was born in Lake Marshall township September 13, 1879. Mr. and Mrs. Williams are the parents of two children, Margaret, born August 20, 1904, and James Roy, born June 7, 1911.