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Biographies beginning with "B"

Scott County, Minnesota


Bornath, Charles, born in 1830, is a native of Prussia,  Enlisted at fifteen years of age, and served until 1851.  In the spring of 1854 he moved to Canada, and the next fall came to Minnesota.  He resided in St. Paul until the spring of 1857, when he went to Sibley county and worked at farming.  In 1862, August 13th, he enlisted in Company H, Seventh Minnesota infantry; served in that company until promoted to lieutenant of Company F, Sixty-seventh United States infantry.  Upon being mustered out, in 1865, he returned to his farm and remained until 1866, when for three years he taught the parish school of Marystown, Scott county.  In October, 1869, he came to Shakopee and engaged in mercantile pursuits until entering his present line of business, civil engineering; also fire insurance, and is notary public.  September 17th, 1856, he married Ellen O'Neil.  They have three children:  August carries on stone and marble works at Mankato, Michael D. is a fireman on the St. Paul & Sioux City railroad, and Mary E. resides with her parents.

From the book, History of the Minnesota Valley,


Brown, Hon. Luther M. born February 18th, 1823, is a native of Rutland county, Vermont.  When he was five years of age his father was drowned and he moved with his mother to her native town Newburg, New Hampshire.  He was educated in the district schools and in the New Boston Academy, teaching winters, from the age of eighteen, to defray expenses; also read law three years.  In July, 1853 he came to Shakopee.  At that time there were but four dwellings in town and less than on hundred white people in the county.  On the 9th day of September, 1853 he was admitted to the bar of the supreme court of the territory and immediately began practice here.  Judge Brown is considered on of the ablest lawyers of the state.  On the organization of Scott county in 1853 Mr. Brown was appointed the first county attorney.  He was a member of the first territorial legislature in 1857, was the first judge of the eight judicial district and was a member of the state legislature in 1874.  On the death of Judge Chatfield in October 1875, Judge Brown was again appointed to the district bench.  In February 1850 he married Eliza Woodbury a native of New Hampshire.  They have four daughters;  Ora M. the oldest is now the wife of H.J. Peck attorney at Shakopee, Carrie W. now Mrs. O.S. Brown, Eva E. and Hattie H.

From the book, History of the Minnesota Valley,

Busse, Christian E., a native of Prussia, was born March 20th, 1882.  Until 15 years of age he lived with his parents, then was employed about two years as clerk for a railroad contractor.  From that time until 22 years old he was in merchandise work at Berlin.  In 1854 he came to America; stayed in Chicago the first summer, and spent the following winter in the pineries of Michigan.  He settle in Shakopee, but soon after returned to Chicago, and from there went to Muskegon, Michigan.  In 1857 he returned to Shakopee, then passed three years in St. Paul.  In 1861 he went to Chaska and established a general merchandise store in company with H. Yung, but sold his interest to his partner in the spring of 1862; came to Shakopee and established a sample room and general variety store; in 1870 he added to his trade tobacco, cigars, fruits and confectionery.  Mrs. Busse was Susana Snell, of St. Paul; married in 1859.  They have seven living children.

From the book, History of the Minnesota Valley,

The Early Settlers of St. John's Parish at Union Hill in 1867
By Victorin J. Ruhland June 1967

Caspar Barten

Caspar Barten came from Waxweiler, Germany to the Union Hill area in the late 1850's. He first settled on a tract of land in Section 14 of Derrynane Township. Around 1863 he married Mrs. Franz Giesen, a widow with five children. Caspar bought 80 acres across the road from the Giesen farm in Scott Co. and here the Bartens made their home.

Mrs Barten nee Elizabeth Schmitz was born at Schmittheim, Germany, and came to America in the early 1850's. She was married to Franz Giesen in Calumet Co, Wisconsin. It is believed Mr. Giesen also came from the Schmittheim area in Germany. Around 1857 the Giesens came to the Union Hill area and settled on a farm a half mile north of the community. It is believed that Mr. Giesen's brother John also came at this time and settled on the neighboring farm. Several years later Mrs. Franz Giesen was widowed. Later Mrs Giesen and Caspar Barten were married.

The Bartens had one son, Joseph, who stayed in the Union Hill area. Five children were born in Mrs. Barten's first marriage. They were Mrs. Henry Walerius, Mrs. Hubert Schoenecker, and John Giesen of Union Hill; Mrs Michael Walerius of New Prague; and Sister Augustine of Marysville, Missouri.

The Giesen brothers both met their deaths shortly after their arrival in Union Hill. It must have been around 1862 that Franz was found by his brother under a fallen tree. He had been clearing the woods to increase his cultivated land. Fright drove his brother to lift the tree from the body but Franz was already dead. Later, as the story goes, several men couldn't lift the same heavy tree from the ground. It was believed that shock or the overexertion caused John's death for he died shortly afterwards. This accident ended the hopes and dreams of two young brothers for life in the new land.

Both widows were remarried in 1867 so that the first parish directory included both of the Giesen families under their stepfather's name. The family name, however, did survive in the community as is very evident today. The son of each brother grew to manhood and had families in the Union Hill area. An interesting sequence of names occurred in the two family descendants. Franz had a son named John and his brother John had a son named Frank. In the second generation, John's family had a son named Frank and Frank's family a son named John. However, in the third generation this sequence came to an end for both Frank and John remained single and only recently passed away.

Jacob Barten

The Jacob Bartens came with their family to Minnesota in 1857. They came from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they had moved to from Galena, Illinois. They had a son born to them at both locations. Their travels before 1854 are not known. They must have come to this country in the early 1850's. It is not known where they were married. Upon arrival in Minnesota they settled on a farm south of Union Hill where they made their home and raised their family.

Mr Barten was born in Waxweiler, Germany. His wife was Barbara Botzet Barten. Her brothers also came to the Union Hill area several years later. The birth place of the Botzet family is not known. Jacob died in 1886, Barbara died from dropsy in 1881.

The children of the Bartens included Peter of Belle Plaine; John, Jacob and Henry of Union Hill; Nicholas of Carlos, Minn; Mrs Joe Koenig of Jordan; and Sister Rosina in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

he Early Settlers of St. John's Parish at Union Hill in 1867
By Victorin J. Ruhland June 1967

Hubert Bonzelet

Hubert Bonzelet was a most dedicated parishioner of St. John's. He served as trustee for many years. He was also selected to the committee by the members of the committee in 1867 to seek a location for the new church. He wrote in the "Old Parish Chronicle" later in life which gives a detailed account of the early years of the parish. His style of writing clearly reflects the thinking and speech of that day.

Hubert came to America in 1855 from Trier, Germany. In that same year, he was married to Catherine Rosenplanter in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She was also born in Trier. Mrs Nicholas Lenz (Gertrude) was a sister to Mrs. Bonzelet. The Bonzelets lived in Wisconsin until 1858 when they left and came to this area settling on a farm two miles north of Union Hill. Here they raised their family and farmed their 120 acres of land.

On July 2, 1905, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary which also was the day that their son, Father Honoratus, celebrated his First Holy Mass at St. John's. Both died within seven months of each other in 1907.

The Bonzelet family consisted of thirteen children. They included Mrs. William Schneider (Mary), Mrs. Nick Eppers (Gertrude), and Mrs. Joseph Hansen of Adrian; Matt of Browns Valley; Peter of Kranzburg, South Dakota; John, Mrs. Peter Roerig (Josephine), Hubert and Valentine of Browns Valley; Father Honoratus (Joseph); and Thomas of Union Hill. Two children died in their youth.

he Early Settlers of St. John's Parish at Union Hill in 1867
By Victorin J. Ruhland June 1967

John Botzet

John Botzet came from Germany in 1861 (?) to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Five years later he came to the Union Hill area. He was a brother to Mrs. Jacob Barten, it is believed. Two brothers, Henry and Nicholas, also came to the Union Hill area before they moved to Carlos, Minnesota, a couple of years later. John's ventures were very successful and later in life he was able to live a contented retirement in Jordan.

John was born in 1832 and died in 1895. He was buried in Jordan. He was survived by his wife (Anna) and a daughter Mrs. William Maurer (Mary) of St. Paul. Mrs. Botzet later also moved to St. Paul and lived with her daughter. She died about twenty years later. 

he Early Settlers of St. John's Parish at Union Hill in 1867
By Victorin J. Ruhland June 1967

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Union Hill History


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