Umbreit, Christ F. (page 256), who belongs to that leisured class of retired agriculturists who help to swell the population of the villages of the county, is a man who has behind him an active and enterprising career. He was born in Coburg, Germany, September 29, 1839, son of Henry Jacob and Henrietta (Beck) Umbreit, and was in his thirteenth year when he accompanied his parents and their seven other children to America, his first home in this country being in Washington County, Wisconsin. From there the family came in 1863 to Wabasha County, Minnesota, settling on a farm of 160 acres in Glasgow Township, where the parents followed agriculture for many years. They finally retired to Wabasha, where both died. Christ F. Umbreit was educated in public and private schools in Germany, and remained with his parents until 1862, when he preceded them to Wabasha County and took a homestead of 160 acres in section 4, Highland Township. As the land was wild there was much hard work to be done, and he bent himself to the task with energy and resolution, grubbing and clearing, and erecting necessary buildings, including a small house. It was during the strenuous days of the Civil War; times were hard and money scarce, and the draft was a contingency which might affect any able-bodied man with little warning. Moreover, patriotic sentiment was strong in the community, and Mr. Umbreit, felling its impulses stirring in his own breast, resolved to take a voluntary part in the struggle for the perpetuation of the Union. On October 3, 1864, therefore, he enlisted for service in Company A, First Minnesota Heavy Artillery, was later transferred to Company M, and remained with the organization until his honorable discharge, September 27, 1865. He then returned to Wabasha County and resumed work on his farm, remaining on the place for a total period of twelve years. Then he bought 160 acres in section 25, Highland Township, to which farm he later added 20 acres more, increasing its area to 180 acres. There he followed general agriculture, during the early period enduring hardship and privation, but making gradual and steady progress, until in the course of time he found himself in possession of the competence, and with the standing of a representative farmer and citizen of the county. In 1915 Mr. Umbreit sold his farm and retired to Plainview, buying his present residence on Jefferson street, where he is now in the enjoyment of a sell earned leisure. During his active career for six years he rendered public service as treasurer of school District No. 40. Mr. Umbreit was married in October, 18643, to Eva Rheingans, who was born in Germany, October 28, 1844, and who came to America in 1847 with her parents, Jacob and Eva Rheingans. The children born of this union were as follows: Anna, born October 23, 1866, now Mrs. Fred Hansmeier, of Waukon, Iowa; Berths, born October 24, 1868, who is the wife of Philo Darling, of Greenwood Prairie; Laura, born August 28, 1870, who married John Plein, and died November 20, 1902; William, who died in infancy; Henry, born April 1, 1876, who is operating a farm of 240 acres bought by his father in 1901; Albert, born August 10, 1880, who has always resided at home; and Clara and Edward, who are deceased. Mr. Umbreit is a member of the Congregational church, and in politics is independent.
Umbreit, Henry (page 388), on of the leading farmers of Plainview Township, who is operating 240 acres in section 11, was born in Highland Township, Wabasha County, April 1, 1875, son of Mr. and Mrs. Christian Umbreit. His parents, who were also farmers, retired and moved to Plainview, where she died May 12, 1920. Henry Umbreit was educated in the district school in his native township. He was early trained to agriculture in all its branches, and remained on the home place until 30 years old. He then rented his present farm in section 11, Plainview Township, which he bought in 1916, after operating it ten or eleven years under rental. Since it came into his possession he has made some valuable improvements, having fenced the entire farm, remodeled and stuccoed the house, and erected a barn 32 by 48 feet, and also a machine-shed and silo. Industrious and enterprising, Mr. Umbreit is making the property pay. He breeds grade Shorthorn cattle for beef and dairy purposes, also Duroc-Jersey hogs, and has gained a recognized place as one of the successful and representative farmers of his township. He has been a member of the school board two years and is now chairman of the Board. On February 22, 1905, he was married to Ella Neiheisel, of Winona, who was born in Beaver Township, Winona County, Minn., March 5, 1880, daughter of John W. and Bertha (Becker) Neiheisel, natives of Wisconsin. He came to Winona, Minn. When a young man and engaged in the manufacture of wagons, which he followed till he retired in 1918. Both are still living in Winona, where they have spent most of their lives. Three children are the issue of this union: Evelyn, born December 11, 1907; George C. born February 22, 1915, and Edward P., born January 2, 1918.
Utigard, Henning E. (page 342), who is numbered among the prosperous farmers of Oakwood Township, was born in Romdalen, Norway, March 15, 1860, son of Eric and Marit Utigard. The parents, also natives of Norway, both died in their native land, the father in 1887, and the mother in 1911 at the age of 91 years. Their son Henning attended school in Norway and remained there until 1873, when at the age of 13 years he came to the United States with a party and relatives bound for the West. His first stopping-place was Omaha, thence he went to Wyoming, and after that to Utah, in which state he remained three years. Then returning east as far as Wabasha county, Minn., he went to work for his uncle, K. k. Utigard, of Oakwood, remaining in his employ for a year. After that he worked two years on the railroad. Being now a well grown and ambitious young man, he turned his attention to farming, and for several years operated a rented farm. On September 13, 1891, he bought his present farm of 76 acres, on which he has erected all the buildings. Here he continued actively engaged as a general farmer until 1910, when he retired from active work, renting the farm to William Blattner, thought he still continues to reside on it. In his early agricultural experience prices for grain and farm products were low, and he remembers selling barley for twenty cents a bushel. He formerly rendered service as school director, and was road overseer for several years. When he first came to Omaha he was sixty dollars in debt, but from that inauspicious beginning he has risen through hard work to a position of ease and prosperity. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Utigard, Knute E. (page 342), engaged in agricultural pursuits in the townships of West Albany and Oakwood, was born in Trondhjem, Norway, September 24, 1858, son of Erie and Mary (Therstein) Utigard. The parents were farmers by occupation, and died in their native land, never having come to America. Their son, who is the subject of this sketch, remained with them until arriving at his majority. In 1880 he emigrated to the United States, coming directly to Wabasha county, Minn. Here he entered the employ of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, and remained with that company for fifteen years., being foreman of a section gang. In 1895 Mr. Utigard resolved to take up farming, and accordingly bought 80 acres of land in Oakwood Township, adjoining West Albany, and has since added 100 acres to his farm, which lies partly in section 35, West Albany Township, where he has his residence. The property was partly improved when he purchased it, having fair buildings. Mr. Utigard keeps grade Red Poll cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs, having full-blooded sires for his herds. He also raises Shropshire sheep, keeping a herd of about 100. He has a good equipment, and 140 acres of his land is under cultivation, the rest being in timber and pasture. The soil is fertile and produces good crops, and Mr. Utigard through industry has brought his place into good condition and is doing a prosperous business as a general farmer. He is a Republican politically, though not a strong party man. On November 26, 1893, he was united in marriage with Minnie McCracken, who was born in Glasgow Township, May 27, 1862, daughter of William and Johanna McCracken. He and his wife are affiliated religiously with the German Lutheran church of Theilman.
Utter, Alex M. (page 660), educator, farmer and Civil War veteran, was born in Washington County, N. Y., and came to Wisconsin in 1857, and to Minnesota in 1861, locating in Elgin Township. He was a man of good education and broad reading, and became an early teacher. From this county he moved to Swift County, this state, where, after teaching a while, he became county superintendent, a position he retained for some 17 years. He was a man of highest ideals as to conduct and education, and the educational system of Swift County still bears the impress of his influence, personality and untiring work. In the nineties he returned to Wabasha County and here spent his declining years at Plainview, where he died in September, 1896. He was a veteran of the Civil War, having served in Company G, Third Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. He was also an early member of the Masonic order. Mr. Utter married Alida M. Putman, a native of Montgomery County, N. Y. She died in June, 1906.