The Early Settlers of St. John's Parish at Union Hill in
By Victorin J. Ruhland June 1967
Little is known about the John Unzens prior to their arrival in thei area in the early 1860's. It is believed he was a brother to Joseph and William Unzen who also located here. It is also possible that Nicholas Unzen who was buried in the St. John's cemetary in 1872 at the age of 84 was the father of the Unzen brothers. In December of 1864, John was drafted and served in the Second Minnesota Infantry Regiment until the following July. He returned to his farm located in the immediate area around Union Hill. Early in 1867, he and his neighbor gave some of their land for the site of the new church. The church was built on the land given by John. He later opened a saloon, the Unzen House in Union Hill in addition to his farming operations.
John's family included his wife Josephine (Sophia), his son J. Peter of Ellsworth and later of Kenosha, and his daughter Mary (Mrs. Michael Eischens) of St. Leo.
John died at the age of 50 in 1877 from erisipelas and Sophia died in
1895 at the age of 74. It is believed they were buried in St. John's cemetary,
even though Mr. Unzen's grave cannot be located for lack of a gravestone.