Biographies Beginning With "W"


From the book
"HISTORY OF WABASHA COUNTY, MINNESOTA"
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge and Others
Published Winona, MN by H. C. Cooper, Jr., & Co., 1920
Republished Currently by Higginson Books

Wadley, Francis J. (page 434, transcribed by Cathy), the popular station agent at Millville, was born in this village, August 8, 1888, son of Michael and Catherine Wadley. The parents were natives of Germany who came to Wabasha County 45 years ago. The father was a mason by trade and so continued during his entire active career, retiring about 1915, since which time he has resided in Millville. There were four children in the family, John, Matt, Michael, and Francis J., all of whom are now living. Francis J. Wadley was educated in the Millville public school, and for some years subsequently worked both as carpenter and mason, having a good practical knowledge of both trades. In 1910 he became station agent at Millville for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, which position he still holds, and for the last three years he has also been manager for the Greenwood Prairie Telephone Co. Politically he is a Democrat. Mr. Wadley was married at Lake City, May 22, 1916 to Agnes Dickman, of Hammond, of which place her parents, John and Marie Dickman were early settlers. Mr. and Mrs. Wadley have two children, Catherine and Kenneth.

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Wadley, Jr., Michael H. (page 436 ~ transcribed by Cathy), assistant cashier of the Millville State Bank, and who is also serving as village recorder, was born in Millville, Minn.,September 24, 1883, son of Michael H. and Katherine (Wagner) Wadley. The parents were natives of Germany, the father being a stone mason. After coming to the United States many years ago, the resided for awhile in Chicago, where he followed his trade, also continuing to work at it in other places, and in Wabasha County after his arrival here, until he retired in 1912. He and his wife had six children, of whom the four now living are Michael, John, Matt, and Francis, John being a resident of Minneapolis and the others of Millville. Michael H. Wadley, Jr., acquired his education in the graded school of Millville, and subsequently worked at the mason's trade with his father for about 12 years. For the next five years he was occupied as rural route mail carrier, at the same time acting as assistant cashier of the Millville State Bank, and for the last four years he has worked full time in the bank, having shown good business capacity, and being popular with its patrons. In March 1919, he was elected village recorder of Millville. He belongs to the Order of Red Men, is independent in politics, and is a member of the Catholic church. Mr. Wadley was married May 21, 1908 to Tressa McCullough. She was born in Keegan, Minnesota, daughter of John and Mary Ann McCullough who came to Wabasha from New York State. Both are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Wadley have four children, Michael, Joseph, Frances and Norbert.

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Wagner, Gottlieb (page 459), a retired farmer residing in Kellogg, where he and his wife are well known and highly respected, was born in Saxony, Germany, October 28, 1842, son of Valentine and Elizabeth Wagner. The parents, who never left their native land, are now deceased. Of their five or six children, Gottleib was the only one to emigrate to the United States, accompanying the family of a neighbor to this country in 1867. A short time was spent with them in Wisconsin, where he worked on a ferry. Then, in the same year, he came to Minnesota, locating in Glasgow Township, Wabasha County, where for eight years he worked as a farm hand. Having by that time saved some money, he bought 160 acres of timber land in the same township, and began the work of clearing and developing a farm, which he ultimately accomplished in a very thorough manner. On that same place he resided for 45 years, or until 1908, when, finding himself in possession of an ample competence, he retired and took up his residence in Kellogg. The improvements on his farm include a nine-room house; a basement barn, 38 by 58 feet in ground dimensions; a hog house, chicken house, and other necessary buildings, and he always kept the farm well stocked with a good grade of cattle and swine. Mr. Wagner's education was obtained chiefly in Germany, but he attended English school two years after coming to this country. He long ago became a good American, and has rendered public service, having been a village trustee ever since coming to Kellogg, except during one year, and having formerly served one year as supervisor of Glasgow Township and many years as school clerk. He is a stockholder in the local Telephone Company and the Theilman State Bank. Politically he is a Republican and in religion a Catholic. Mr. Wagner was married January 30, 1871, to Mary Graff, daughter of Francis and Barbara (Graff) Graff, of Glasgow Township, who had come with her parents to this township at the age of six years. Of this union eleven children have been born, eight of whom are now living, namely: Bertha, wife of Robert Funk; Clara, wife of Joe Lachafel; Matilda, now Mrs. Walter Wolf, of Greenfield; Lillian, who married Francis Gilcreast of Kellogg; Lawrence, who married Mary Schierts; Lewis, who married Maggie Kling and lives in Montana; and Edward, who married Clara Merion of Wabasha. Those deceased are Albert, Celie and John. Francis and Barbara Graff, parents of Mrs. Gottleib Wagner, were born in Alsace-Lorraine, and came to the United States in 1856. They were among the pioneers of Glasgow Township, and in early days suffered many privations, having to grind meal in a coffee mill, and carry provisions on their backs from Wabasha, twelve miles away, there being few oxen then in the county. On their way to this county they had stopped for a while at Galena, Ill., where they remained until 1857, when they came to this county. After the passage of the homestead laws, Mr. Graff homesteaded his farm, but was not long spared to work on it, as he died in 1869. His wife survived him half a century, passing away at the venerable age of 92 years on April 8, 1919. They had nine children, five of whom are living: Susie, wife of John Schuweiler, residing on the home homestead; Mary, wife of Gottleib Wagner; Elizabeth, wife of George Strang of South Dakota; Garrett F., of the same state, and Joseph, of Kellogg, Minn.

Wagner, Lawrence (page 538), the present proprietor of the old Feddem farm on Sand Prairie, Greenfield Township, was born in Glasgow Township, Wabasha County, October 1, 1875, son of Gottleib and Mary (Graff) Wagner. His parents are now residents of Kellogg village. He was educated in the district school, and his early youth was spent on the home farm, where he resided until 1890. After that he worked for a while at the stone mason's trade, and subsequently for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, in whose employ he was for three years. He then went to Barron, Wis., in the vicinity of which place he worked at farm labor and at logging for three years. After that he spent three years in Oakwood Township for four years. His next move was to purchase a farm of 236 acres in section s 30 and 31, Greenfield Township, on which he erected buildings and made improvements; and from there he came to his present farm on Sand Prairie, which he is operating with profitable results. While a resident of Oakwood Township Mr. Wagner served one year as justice of the peace. He was married August 29, 1898 to Mary Shearts, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Shearts, who came to America, and to Wabasha County. Their children were Frank, Mary, Elizabeth, Katherine, John and Clara. Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Wagner have been the parents of seven children, who were born as follows: Anna, January 5, 1900; Martha, February 22, 1902; Edward, December 31, 1903; Clara, January 6, 1906; Ida, November 22, 1907; Marian, January 14, 1911; and Joseph, May 4, 1914. The last mentioned died in infancy, on June 18, 1916. Anna is now the wife of Carl Hilbert, of La Crosse, Wis. Mr. Wagner and his family are members of the Catholic church.

Wagner, Peter W. (page 721), a prominent farmer of Zumbro Township, now chairman of the town board of supervisors, was born in the Province of the Rhine (or Rhenish Prussia), Germany, June 22, 1867, son of Nicholas and Anna (Lichtendahl) Wagner. The parents came to America, and to Wabasha County, Minn., in 1893, settling in Hyde Park Township, where Nicholas Wagner was subsequently engaged in farming until his death on September 8, 1903. His wife died in October, 1913. They were Catholics in religion. Their children were Peter W., Helen (now deceased), Anna and Andrew. Peter W. Wagner came to this country before his parents, in 1889, locating at Hammond, Wabasha County, Minn. At first he engaged in farm labor, and then for eight years operated rented farms. In 1903, having through economy made some financial progress, he bought 267 acres in section 27, Zumbro Township, where he now resides. He has improved his place by the erection of a complete set of buildings, including a fine barn 36 by 80 feet in ground dimensions. His farm is equipped with an individual electric lighting plant. As a general farmer and stock raiser he has been very successful, and also feeds a large amount of stock in the winter time. He is a stockholder in the Farmers State Bank of Hammond; also in the Hammond Co-operative Creamery and the Hammond telephone Company. He has been a member of the town board for three years, now serving as chairman, and is a man of public spirit in all things concerning the welfare of the community in which he resides. A Catholic in religion, he is fraternally a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Wagner was married November 2, 1897, to Ida Mullen, born March 19, 1867, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Mullen, the parents being natives of Pennsylvania, in which state the mother still lives; the father died January 10, 1912. They had ten children: George, John, James, William, Frank, Anna, Bernice, Ida, Stella and June. James is now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Wagner are the parents of six children: Agnes, born September 12, 1898, now Mrs. Thomas McGrath of Highland Township; Ruth, born December 24, 1900, who is the wife of Leo Wiley of Plainview Village; Paul, born May 19, 1902; Arthur and William (twins), born February 24, 1905; and Carl, born April 6, 1912.

Wahler, Frederick B.

Walch, John

Wampach, Anton

Washburn, Frank D. (p. 308), president of the Old Settlers' Association of Greenwood Prairie from 1894 to 1897, and from 1910 to 1920 inclusive, was born in Elba, Dodge County, Wis., January 17, 1853, son of Lyman and Esther Amaret (Doan) Washburn. In June, 1855, at the age of two years he accompanied his parents to Wabasha County, Minn., the journey being made by ox-team, and for a number of years thereafter his life was spent on their farm in section 3, Plainview Township. As a boy he attended the district school whenever he had opportunity, but his hours of work were longer than those of study, and if he never reached the classics, he at least acquired a very good knowledge of the practical part of farming. After remaining on the home farm until 1878 he moved to Renville County, this state, and for four years operated a rented farm there. Then returning to Wabasha County he rented a farm here which he operated for an equal length of time. After that he bought the old home farm from his brother's widow, 40 acres of which had been lost on a $50 mortgage given to pay expenses of the illness and burial of his father, and this he bought back in 1893 for $2000, again completing the quarter. He continued to operate and develop the farm until 1907, when he rented it to other parties, and though no longer engaged in general agriculture, he now follows truck farming to some extent. His fraternal affiliations are with Illustrious Lodge, A. F. & A. M. and with the I. O. O. F. Mr. Washburn was married June 30, 1882, to Lillian Josephine Welles, who was born at Manlius, Onondaga County, N. Y., May 14, 1859, daughter of Franklin Adams and Sarah Elizabeth (Alexander) Welles. The only child of this union is Dwight Welles, who was born April 19, 1886, and is now engaged in truck farming. He married Leoma G. Verhaag, and has three children, Franklin Jacob, Faith Mary and Gladys Elizabeth. Mrs. Washburn, who was formerly a teacher in the schools of the town and county, is active in social life, being a member of the Travelers' Club, the Ladies' Circle, the W.C.T.U., and the D.A.R. She was born in Pompey, Onondaga County, N.Y., May 14, 1859. Her widowed mother has a place in the home. Mr. And Mrs. Washburn are affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal church.



Mr. and Mrs. Frank D. Washburn

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Washburn, Henry T. (p. 310), who in former years carried on farming near Plainview, Wabasha County, but has long been a resident of Goodwin, S. D., where he is highly respected, was born at Columbus, Wis., April 3, 1851, son of Lyman Gardner and Esther (Doane) Washburn. The parents came from Wisconsin to Minnesota with their family and an ox team and wagon in the spring of 1855. The father was in poor health and two years later died, leaving his wife with seven children, the eldest, Selden, a lad of eighteen. Amid the hardships and discouragements of those early days the family struggled on to prosperity, led by the brave and energetic mother. Henry Theodore's education was obtained in a country school, which he had to leave early to help at home on the farm. However, he has never ceased to be a students, and from the perusal of the best books and magazines has obtained that higher education that schools alone, however good, could not afford. On May 30, 1877, he married Emma L. Crittendon of Dover, Minnesota, and settled on a farm of his own near Plainview. His wife's parents were William M. and Harriet (Alexander) Crittendon, and, like his own, were descended from the early Puritans. They came from Massachusetts to Wisconsin, and thence to Minnesota, at an early day. In the spring of 1881, Mr. Washburn removed with his family to Goodwin, S. D., and settled on the homestead, where he still resides. In his own words, he thus sums up his active career:
          "I, Henry Theordore Washburn, came from that large and growing family of Massachusetts Washburns, and was born at Columbus, Columbia County, Wis., April 3, 1851. At four years of age I came with my family to Plainview, Minn., where I lived twenty-five years. From there I moved to Goodwin, Deuel County, S.D., where I have resided ever since. My father's name was Lyman Gardner Washburn and my mother's, Esther Amerette Doane. My education was common school and very common. I am and always have been a farmer. For the past twenty years I have been farming about one thousand acres and have been raising many horses, cattle and hogs. I have held no offices except on boards of directors in business institutions. I am tied to no political party, voting sometimes with one and agin with another. My religion is of no recognized variety. I was married to Emma Louis Crittendon May 30, 1877, at Dover, Minn. My wife's father was William Howley Crittendon, and her mother, Harriett Newel Alexander. Seven children were born to us, two of whom died in infancy. Hattie Ruth was born April 21, 1878. She still lives with her parents and is a writer of some note. Emma Amerette was born September 4, 1880. She married Henry Sandland March 8, 1916, and now lives on a ranch near Selfridge, N.D. Selden Gardner was born March 22, 1883. He still lives with his parents and is a farmer and an expert mechanic of widespread reputation. Marietta was born April 11, 1886. She married Charles Thomas November 15, 1911. They have four children: Theodore, Roy, Pearl and Wallace. They now live on a farm near Dysart, Iowa. Rose Alice was born April 27, 1894. She married Charles DeVine March 15, 1916. They have one child, Stanley. They live on a farm near Goodwin, S.D.
          "I have remembrances of Plainview and vicinity that are interesting to me but that is no sign that they would be to others. When we settled on the old homestead there were no houses from Hall's little log hotel in St. Charles to Cook's Valley, a few miles out of Wabasha. St. Paul was a small Indian trading post and Minneapolis had not been heard of. Of one thing I feel sure and that is that Greenwood Prairie, as it was then called, was the most beautiful land, before it was touched by the hand of man, that my eyes have ever rested upon. With its beautiful island-like groves, its emerald green prairies and sparkling streams, it made a picture that has never been surpassed in the temperate climate, in my opinion. The early settlers in that country certainly 'burner their brides behind them' when they came there. There was not much show of 'going back to live on the wife's folks,' when it had perhaps taken a month of hard struggle to get there with the slow moving ox teams. As I look back to those old days, I realize that those early settlers were sterling stuff. My father died three years after we came to the country, leaving my mother with seven children, the oldest eighteen. One would have to know the situation to realize the magnitude of her task. It was a slow, hard job to clear up and get it in a condition to raise crops, the land on our old homestead, as we were in what was termed, 'oak opening' that is, trees too scattering to be termed groves. So at the time of my father's death we had but a small field under cultivation. We were in debt, too, as my father had died of a long and lingering illness. We had a very meager outfit of tools and stock and prices were low and markets far away. Did our mother sit back and complain of the hardness of her lot? She did not. But steadily, day after day, and year after year, she worked and slaved for us, apparently with no though that she was doing anything out of the regular program. And on top of all her other burdens she helped take care of all sick for miles around. There were no trained nurses in those days and so the women of the neighborhood acted in that capacity and mother and Mrs. Bootman were noted far and wide as expert and willing, so they had frequent calls for their services nor was there any thought of pay. She made straw hats for all the men in that part of the country, braiding them of oat straw, sewing and shaping them and making as good looking and a much better wearing hat than one can buy today. She made overalls and shirts for all the bachelors around, patched socks for O. Wilcox and did any other job that anyone wanted done. And she won out and raised all of us to be good citizens and we had as good an education as any of the children around us. One of the Bryants of Elgin used to frequently tell his boy about us, what a fine man our father was and what good boys we were, and he told it so many times that it made the boy sore. So one day Dr. Tefft was at Bryants and the old man was telling the boy all about it again, as we old men will, and it got too much for the boy and he said, 'Father, the difference between the Washburn boys and me is that their father died and mine didn't.'
          "In those old days whiskey was a part of the daily fare. Every grocery store had a barrel of it in the back end of the building with a glass upturned on top of it and the regular customers were supposed to help themselves as they do to tobacco now days. At our place there was no whiskey jug nor would mother drink it or allow any of we children to, but most of the women did drink. A man by the name of Field used to live a mile north of us and one day as a neighbor was going by on his way to town, Field came out with a two-gallon jug for the neighbor to get filled with whiskey. He apologized for bothering him by saying, 'The old cow has gone dry and it takes a mort of whiskey to keep the family going.' Most of the men used to carry their whiskey in a flask covered with wicker to keep it from getting broken. One day two neighbors, Crawford and Goss were on their way to the river market with wheat when they met another neighbor, who of course had a bottle with something in it. Of course he had to 'shoat' Crawford and Goss, as they used to say in those days. Orr got the flask first and long and earnestly studied the heavens while Goss stood by waiting his turn. At last Orr passed over the flask and Goss expectantly tipped it higher and higher till it stood straight up and still no gurgle came from its lips. At last Crawford said with a wink to the other man, 'Is there much in it, Mr. Goss?' I hear that expression used once in a while when I go back to Plainview though the incident happened sixty years ago."

Washburn, Lyman (p. 308), a pioneer of Plainview Township, long since passed away, was a native of Jefferson County, N. Y., born May 9, 1820. He married Esther Amaret Doan, who was born in the same county May 15, 1820. Emigrating to the Northwest, they made their home for a while in Dodge County, Wis. In 1855 they set out for Wabasha County, Minn., with six children under 14 years of age, traveling with an ox-team, ferrying the Mississippi river at La Crescent, and arriving in the county June 14 as members of a party, some of whom did not remain here. Those who did were Zack Williams, Ben Pickett, Mr. Miner, with his family, and the Washburns. Mr. Washburn took the southwest quarter of section 3, Plainview Township, preempting the land. After he had proved up the property he found that it was on the Half Breed Tract, and in order not to lose it, he had to buy scrip. He had not been long in the new country, when, needing flour, he took his ox-team and wagon, and went across the prairie, through valleys, fording streams, and surveying his own route to Winona. He was gone four days and brought back two barrels of flour, for which he gave $20 a barrel; also other supplies. His route became practically the same valley road used today. One of Mr. Washburn's first tasks was to build a house, for which he used hewed rafters and hand-shaved shingles, which he himself prepared. He was not long permitted to enjoy the fruits of his labor, as in September, 1859, he was called away by death, leaving his wife and seven children, the eldest of whom, Gardner Selden, was then 17 years old. Mrs. Washburn continued to reside on the farm until 1889, when she moved to Plainview. There she subsequently died in her eighty-sixth year. Their children were: Gardner Selden, who died in 1889; Esther A. (Mrs. T. Parr), who died in 1883; Helena C. (Mrs. E. L. Burtin), of Dodge Center; H. T. Washburn, of South Dakota; F. D. Washburn, of Plainview, Minn., and James B. Washburn, who went to Wagon Mound, N. M., and died in 1919.

Waste, John Pratt

Waterman, Clarence L.

Watson, James T. (page 637), a retired farmer residing in Lake City, was born in Perthshire, Scotland, October 29, 1840, son of Thomas and Margaret Watson. His parents, who lived and died in their native land, had a large family of 15 children, namely: Jeanette, Thomas, David, James, Alexander, George, William, Margaret, Helen, Elizabeth, James T., Grace, Isabella, John and Elizabeth (second). Of these children four are now living: James T., of Lake City, Minn.; John, who is in Scotland; Elizabeth in New Zealand, and Isabella in Bellingham, Wash. James T. Watson in his boyhood attended common school in his native land. His parents being poor, at an early age he had to help support himself and when seven years old was accustomed to herd cattle. In 1869 he emigrated to America with his sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. George Penny, the party coming directly to Lake City, Minn. Mr. Penny and wife soon moved to Redwood County, where Mrs. Penny died; her husband is now living in California. During his first year in Wabasha County James T. Watson worked as a farm hand for his brother George at $20 a month. With a view to future independence he saved his money and at the end of a year bought a horse team. He then rented 50 acres of Andrew Boss of Gillford Township, broke his land, put in his crop, and then went to Redwood County, locating near Redwood Falls. In the fall he returned to Wabasha County and harvested his crop on the Boss farm, after which he went back to Redwood County. Two years later Mr. Watson located on a homestead of 160 acres ten miles southeast of Redwood Falls, where he remained until 1884, when grasshoppers and drought drove him out and he returned to Wabasha County and settled on his Gillford Township farm. Here he was more successful and remained until 1900. His farm consisted of 160 acres in section 23, the land being good. When he left he turned it over to his two sons, John W. and Arlo J., and moved to a farm which he had bought in Belvidere Township, Goodhue County, which also contained 160 acres of good land. In 1911 Mr. Watson found himself in comfortable circumstances and accordingly retired and took up his residence in Lake City, leaving his sons Earl and Walter to operate his farm. He owns a comfortable home at the corner of Adams and N. Sixth streets. Politically he has always been a Republican, though not a strong party man. In Redwood County he served as chairman of Three Lakes Township, also as town clerk and as assessor for different terms. Mr. Watson was married May 18, 1874, to Mary, daughter of John and Elizabeth McPhee, of New Avon Township, Redwood County, Minn., and both he and his wife are still strong and in good health for people of their years. They have had 11 children, as follows: Margaret, born February 25, 1876; John W., April 26, 1877; Arlo J., January 4, 1879; Elizabeth, December 28, 1881; Minnie, April 24, 1883; Mabel, April 23, 1885; Cora, January 25, 1887; Grace, February 3, 1889; Irl, January 15, 18 ; Roy, July 22, 1893, and Walter, January 27, 1897. Several of these children are now deceased. Elizabeth died in her fifth year May 13, 1886, and Grace while still a babe, on March 7, 1890. Mabel, who married Henry Cordes, resides in Hay Creek Township, Goodhue County, Minn. Cora, who married Charles Cordes, died December 20, 1915, leaving a son, Ray Watson Cordes, who since his mother's death has been reared and cared for by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. James T. Watson. Irl and Walter are living on their father's farm in Belvidere township, Goodhue County. Mr. and Mrs. Watson are affiliated religiously with the First congregational Church of Lake City and are highly respected members of the community. They have been fortunate in many things, but their life has not been all sunshine, and as devoted parents they have felt sorrow at the affliction of their two children Margaret A. and Arlo J., both of whom are deaf, and who graduated from the Faribault School for the Deaf in 1896 after being there for ten years.



The James Watson Family

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Watson, John W. & Arlo J. (page 638), proprietors of Sunnyside Farm in section 23, Gillford Township, have owned and operated this farm since the spring of 1900, and are prominent among the successful farmers of the township. The original area of the farm was 160 acres, but 80 acres have since been added to it by the two brothers, giving the farm an area of 240 acres, nearly all of which is suitable for the plow. The Watson brothers are engaged in diversified farming and are giving considerable attention to stock raising, having 90 head of Shorthorn and Durham cattle of pure blood, and 40 to 50 head of Poland-China swine, together with a flock of Shropshire sheep. They have built a good two-story frame house, and a frame barn, 38 by 78 by 14 feet, with a full tile basement of 8 feet, and steel equipment. Their equipment is modern and complete, including two double-unit milking-machines, a Ford truck and a Chevrolet car, and through industry and good management they have made the farm a paying enterprise. Neither is married, their two sisters, Margaret A. and Minnie M., keeping house for them. John W., the elder, in addition to attending common school for the usual period, was a pupil for some time in the Lake City Commercial College. He began teaching at the age of 17 and followed that occupation for several years in the schools of Wabasha and Goodhue Counties.

Webb, W. B.

Wedge, Ernest Arthur (page 234), a representative citizen of Plainview Township, profitably engaged in its leading industry, agriculture, was born in Dodge County, Wis., November 12, 1872, son of James and Isabelle (Cheseboro) Wedge. At the age of four years he accompanied his parents to Wabasha County, and a few years later took his place among the pupils in the district school. In 1892 he was graduated from the Plainview high school, after which he spent a year at Carleton College, Northfield, Minn. Thus mentally equipped for the business of life, he rented his father's farm of 100 acres in section 29, Plainview Township, where he has since been engaged in general agriculture, including truck farming, giving special attention at present to the raising of cabbage and onions, and keeping Jersey cattle, dairying being an important part of his business. He is a member of the Plainview Co-operative Creamery Association, and his operations are being conducted with profitable results. As a live citizen, interested in the affairs of the community, Mr. Wedge has given a part of his time to public affairs, having served as town treasurer three years, and for the past ten years as treasurer of School District No. 61. He was married September 29, 1897, to Jennie B. Reich, who was born March 7, 1875, daughter of Herman and Anna (Mathews) Reich of Plainview. The home circle of Mr. and Mrs. Wedge has been broadened and brightened by the birth of three children: Josephine L., born June 16, 1903, who is a student in the Plainview High School; Ellen M., born 16, 1903, who is a student in the grade school; and Harry J., born April 3, who is attending the district school. [Webmaster's note: There is no birth year given for Harry.]

Wedge, Eugene C. (page 320), whose active career was spent chiefly in agricultural pursuits, and who is now enjoying the fruits of his labors as a retired citizen of the village of Plainview, was born in Waupon, Dodge County, Wis., January 3, 1864, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Wedge. When six months old his mother brought him to Wabasha County, where they joined the husband and father, who had preceded them here in the year 1861. When old enough he attended the rural schools of his district in Plainview Township, and remained on his parents' farm until 19 years of age. He then left home and began working out on farms in the neighborhood, for his uncles and the neighbors, being thus occupied for about a year. At the end of that time he resumed his studies, being a pupil for one year in the Plainview high school. Then for 16 months he was employed in a milling business at New Castle, Wis., at the end of that time returning to Plainview. The next ten years of his life were spent in farm labor. He now branched out for himself, buying an 80-acre farm, known as the Reitinghouse Farm, in Plainview Township; after operating same four years he sold it and bought a creamery at Plainview. The destruction of the creamery by fire put an end to this enterprise within a year, and Mr. Wedge then rented his father's farm, which he subsequently carried on for seven years. His next venture was the purchase of a 90-acre farm in Whitewater Valley, in the Town of Beaver, Winona County, of which he was proprietor for two years, during that time also serving as school clerk. After that he rented a larger farm for two years, and still another for three years, both in the Whitewater Valley, and in the meanwhile sold his 90-acre farm. Having spent seven years in Winona county, he again returned to his father's old home in Plainview Township. There he farmed until April 1, 1919, when he retired and bought his present residence on Jefferson street in Plainview. Mr. Wedge was married, October 15, 1891, to Elizabeth C. Christison, who was born in Wisconsin, November 9, 1862, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Allison) Christison. Three children have blessed their union: Esther M., born December 31, 1895; Arthur, November 10, 1897; and Clarence E., November 30, 1899. Esther M. is now the wife of George A. Amidon, a farmer of Stockton, Winona County, and has three children, Clyde K., Winnifred E. and Donald E. Arthur, who is now operating the old H. D. Wedge farm, being of the third generation to occupy it, married Grace Mills. Clarence E. is a student in Carlton College at Northfield, Minn. Mr. and Mrs. Eugene C. Wedge are active members of the Congregational church in Plainview, of which he is also clerk. He belongs to the Independent Order of Foresters, the I.O.O.F., and Royal Neighbors. The Eastern Star, Rebeccas, D.A.R. Circle and Royal Neighbors count Mrs. Wedge as a worthy member.

Wedge, Henry D. (page 304), for many years one of the leading agriculturists of Greenwood Prairie, was a man whose life is inseparably woven into the warp and woof of the story of the material progress of the southern part of Wabasha County. Descended from sturdy stock, possessed of an excellent education, and endowed with a capacity for hard work coupled with a full measure of good judgment and shrewdness, he easily took a commanding position among his fellow men, and richly deserved the full measure of success that fell to his lot. Agricultural pursuits were to him a labor of love as well as a means of livelihood. He loved his broad acres, he gave understanding care to his stock, he took delight in growing things, his home was his pride, and the streams and forests, with their fish and wild life, had for him a never-diminishing attraction. He was rich in friendships and in the respect of his associates, and his loss to the community was one that will not readily be filled. Henry Dwight Wedge was born in Warren, Litchfield County, Conn., June 21, 1839, a son of Horatio and Lovisa (Smalley) Wedge. He was but five years of age when his parents came to Wisconsin, locating in the Town of Chester, in Dodge County. There he was reared to agricultural pursuits. After passing through the rural schools, he took advanced courses in the Waupon high school, thus preparing himself for the occupation of teacher which he followed successfully for several terms. Soon after reaching his majority he spent several years in Missouri. In the meantime his father had acquired considerable land on Greenwood Prairie, in this county. Upon a portion of this land, in section 19, Plainview Township, Mr. Wedge took up his permanent home in 1861. Here he lived and labored and wrought for many years, acquiring in time 700 acres of some of the best land on the Prairie. In 1879 he erected a beautiful brick residence, which has since remained as one of the landmarks of the township. In 1892 after a worthy life of hard work, he retired from the more arduous duties of farm labor, and moved to the City of Plainview, there to spend the afternoon of life surrounded by the comforts which his decades of strenuous effort so richly deserved. Here he was able to indulge to the full his enjoyment of the companionship of friends and his love for the out of doors, spending much of his time in the open amid the scenes of nature which he loved so well. He died May 12, 1918, and his death was sincerely mourned as a distinct loss to the community. In public, as well as in private life, he had done his full duty as a man and as a citizen. For many years he had given freely of his time and ability as a public official of the township, and in the session of 1879 he did good service to the state as a member of the Minnesota Legislature. He had also served on numerous delegations and committees, and throughout his life here stood for everything that was for intelligent progress and the public welfare. Mr. Wedge was married January 23, 1863, to Helen L. Loveland, daughter of C. L. Loveland, of Dodge County, Wis. Of the children of this union, there are now living three: Eugene, Herbert and Minnie. Eugene lives in Plainview; Herbert lives in Wessington, S. D.; and Minnie is the wife of M. E. Callender, of Seattle, Wash. Mrs. Helen L. Wedge died April 20, 1892. March 11, 1894, Mr. Wedge married Mrs. Effie (Freer) Hibner, who was born at Plainview, June 21, 1857, daughter of Warner Whitney and Lucy Maria (Bowman) Freer. She makes her home in the family residence in Plainview. Mr. Wedge was a Past Master of the Masonic lodge and was buried with the rites of that body.



Mr. & Mrs. Henry Wedge

Wedge, Horatio (page 313), was born in Litchfield County, Conn., September 26, 1818, son of Silas Wedge, and grandson of Isaac Wedge, a veteran of the Revolutionary War. As a young man, he taught school during the winter terms, and in the open season worked as a charcoal burner. He came to Waterford, Racine County, Wis., in 1884, and later started farming in Dodge County. He started with 160 acres and a log house, and gradually added to his possessions. At one time he was a land owner in Wabasha County, but never actually lived here, although a number of his family became leading citizens in the vicinity of Plainview. In Waupon, Wis., he served in various local offices, including those of assessor and member of the school board. After a long and useful life he died May 16, 1886. Mr. Wedge was married in 1838 to Lovisa Smalley, of New York State, and this union was blessed with eleven children: Henry D., born June 21, 1839, who died May 12, 1918; Ellen, born February 19, 1841, who died in infancy; Ellen (second), born March 18, 1842, who married Julius W. Mallory, and died September 30, 1918; George N., born February 15, 1844, who married Emogene Fuller, and died May 24, 1914; Jane, born September 25, 1845, who died January 27, 1852; Almira A., born August 7, 1847, who died September 3, 1849; Rosetta M., born May 20, 1849, who died June 28, 1872; James, born June 24, 1851, married to Isabella F. Chesebro; Seymour, born October 14, 1853, and died May 31, 1855; Eva, born October 1, 1855, widow of Charles Colvin; and Charles, born January 15, 1858.

Wedge, James R. (page 313), a retired farmer and justice of the peace, is one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of Plainview Township. He was born in Dodge County, Wisconsin, June 24, 1851, son of Horatio and Lovisa (Smalley) Wedge, his parents having been natives of Litchfield County, Connecticut, who removed to Wisconsin in October, 1843, and finally died at Waupon, that state. James R. Wedge was educated in the district schools of Wisconsin, and after laying down his school books took up the business of farming. In 1878 he came to Wabasha County, Minnesota, and bought a tract of 100 acres two and a half miles southeast of Plainview village. The tract was unimproved, and it devolved upon him to develop it into a profitable farm, a task that took many years of hard labor; but it was finally accomplished, and in September, 1897, Mr. Wedge retired from active work, turning over the management of the place, which he still owns, to his son, Ernest A. It is now equipped with good buildings, fences and modern machinery, and is one of the best among the small farms of the township. Five years ago Mr. Wedge was elected justice of the peace, and has since continued to serve, his incumbency of the office having proved highly satisfactory to his fellow citizens. He was formerly a member of the board of supervisors, serving as chairman for several years, and has also been treasurer of his school district. The First National Bank of Plainview numbers him among its stockholders. His religious affiliations are with the Congregational church. On January 2, 1873, Mr. Wedge was married to Isabelle F. Chesebro, at Waupon, Wis. She was born in Otsego County, New York, September 16, 1853, daughter of William D. and Mary Jane Chase. The family had migrated to Walworth County, Wisconsin, from which locality they removed to Dodge county, where they spent 18 years. The parents afterward resided in Fond du Lac and in Waupon, in which latter place they finally died. Mr. and Mrs. Wedge are the parents of three children: Ernest A., Paul J. and Margaret I. Ernest A., who was born at Waupon, Wis., November 12, 1873, and is now operating his father's farm, married Jennie Bell Reich, and has three children, Josephine B., Ellen M. and Harry James. Paul J., who is now cashier of the First National Bank at Miles City, Mont., married Catherine I. Buchanan, and has three children, June E., Cathryn F. and Joan Isabelle. Margaret I. Is now receiving a nurse's training at Eitel Hospital, Minneapolis.

Contact Fellow Genealogist: Kathryn

Wehrenberg, Charles (page 544), who in partnership with his brother, Edward, is conducting a considerable farming business in Greenfield Township, was born in this township October 5, 1877, son of John H. and Anna (Frye) Wehrenberg. He acquired his education in the district school and worked for his father until 1905, when he became his brother's partner in the purchase and operation of the home farm of 320 acres in sections 20 and 29. In 1910 they bought an additional 80 acres in section 29, where Charles is now residing. As general farmers and stock raisers the two brothers are meeting with much success, due to industry and a practical knowledge of the business. Their swine are of the Poland-China breed, and to improve their stock they keep full-blooded sires. In 1919 Mr. Wehrenberg built a new round barn 68 feet in diameter, and has made general repairs on other buildings. For several years he has engaged in operating a threshing outfit. Prominent as a citizen of his township, he held the office of town assessor for three years, and was a member of the town board of supervisors for an equal length of time. Charles Wehrenberg was married October 18, 1910 to Lucy Graner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Graner, of Glasgow Township. He and his wife are the parents of two children: Stanley, born January 1, 1912, and Beatrice G., born November 5, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Wehrenberg are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he belongs also to the Modern Woodmen of America and the Modern Samaritans.



Charles Wehrenberg and Family



Example of a round barn
By permission of Paul Vreugdenhil
from his photograph album

Wehrenberg, Edward (page 539), a prominent farmer and citizen of Greenfield Township, was born in this township, May 18, 1874. His parents, John H. and Anna (Frye) Wehrenberg, were natives of Hanover, Germany, who came to the United States in 1855, locating first at St. Louis, where they remained for a year. In 1856 they came to Minnesota and settled in Greenfield Township, Wabasha County, John H. Wehrenberg taking a claim of 320 acres in sections 20 and 29. In time he cleared most of the land and erected a fine set of buildings, converting his place into a model farm. There he resided, engaged in general farming, until his death, September 25, 1905. His widow is now residing with her son, Edward. Edward Wehrenberg was brought up on the parental farm and educated in the district school. Until 1905 he worked for his father, and then he and his brother Charles bought the home property, purchasing the interests of the other heirs. Here he and his brother are engaged in general farming, feeding a large number of cattle and hogs, the latter of the Duroc breed, with a full blooded sire at the head of the herd. Edward Wehrenberg was married November 21, 1911, to Elizabeth Asher, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Asher of Mondovia, Wis., who were farmers in that locality. Both parents are now deceased, Mrs. Asher dying April 31, 1906, and Mr. Asher June 9, 1917. They were members of the Catholic church. Their children were George, Jr., John, May and Elizabeth. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Wehrenberg have one child, Charles W., born November 5, 1917. Their religious affiliations are with the German Lutheran church, and Mr. Wehrenberg belongs also to the Modern Woodmen of America, being head Council of his camp, and to the Modern Samaritans.



Edward Wehrenberg and Family

Wehrs, Jr., Henry

Weir, Marshall C.

Welch, Samuel D. (p. 587), a Wabasha County pioneer, residing in Zumbro Falls, was born in the Province of Quebec, Lower Canada, May 22, 1837, son of Samuel D., Sr., and Lizzie (Waite) Welch, the mother being a daughter of Enoch Waite. The paternal grandfather, Welch, was from Wales, while Enoch Waite, of the maternal line, was from Holland. The Welch family settled at an early date in Concord, N. H., where Samuel D. Welch, Sr., was born, and where he lived until he reached maturity. He then moved to Canada, locating close to the New York line. Though Samuel D. Welch, Jr., was born in Canada, he was reared in New York state on a farm. There his father died in 1845. The mother survived her husband, dying in 1873 at the home of her son, Edward, in Iowa. They had a family of ten children, evenly divided as to the sexes. All of them are now deceased, except Samuel D. and his sister, Mrs. Catharine Fountain, who is living at Fremont, Ohio, with a daughter. Samuel D. Welch, Jr., remained on the farm in New York state until 22 years of age, attending school during the winters. In 1859 he came to Wabasha County, Minn., locating on a farm in the town of Hyde Park, on which he followed agriculture for 14 years. He then sold his farm and opened a hardware store and implement business at Millville, remaining there 10 years. At the end of that time, or about 1883, he came to Zumbro Falls, and bought a half interest in the general store of E. J. Stegner, of whom he later purchased the entire business. Subsequently he sold a half interest to his son-in-law, L. E. Scruby, and the business has since been carried on under the style of L. E. Scruby & Co. The concern occupies three buildings for store and warehouses, and deals in general merchandise, including wall paper and paints, with Mr. Scruby as the active manager. Samuel D. Welch, in addition to being one of the surviving pioneers of this county, is a Civil War veteran. He enlisted in August, 1862, in the Eighth Minnesota Infantry, and served two years and nine months. His early service was against the Sioux Indians, then in revolt, and his regiment being subsequently sent to the South, he took part in the battle of Murphreesboro. After being mustered out he returned to Minnesota and has been a respected citizen of Zumbro Falls. He was first president of the village council, holding that office for two years, and for 16 years served as justice of the peace at Millville. While living on the farm he served efficiently in various town offices, including that of treasurer. Mr. Welch was married in 1865 in the town of Gillford to Elizabeth Oliver, daughter of O. L. and Martha Oliver, her parents being natives of New York state and early settlers in Wabasha County. They are both now deceased. Of this union a daughter, Mary, was born, who is now the wife of L. E. Scruby, of Zumbro Falls. Mrs. Elizabeth Welch died in 1908, since which time Mr. Welch has made his home with his daughter.

Welles, Franklin A.

Welti, Henry (page 263), now residing in Plainview village on a competence acquired in the farming industry, was born in Oakwood Township, this county, March 4, 1865. He acquired his education in District School No. 85, and was brought up to agricultural pursuits on the parental homestead, where he remained until he was 30 years of age, for a number of years being associated with his father in the management of the place. In 1895 he bought a farm in Elgin Township, consisting of 160 acres, or the northwest quarter of section 3, and this he operated on his own account, making extensive improvements on the place, including the erection of a large, modern nine-room house, a barn, 28 by 50 feet, and other outbuildings. His residence there lasted 19 years, or until 1914, when he sold the farm and bought one of 160 acres in section 16. In the spring of 1919 he added to it 80 acres more, thus increasing its area to 240 acres. Previous to this, however, he had erected on the original tract of this farm a fine barn, 36 by 60 feet in size. His own residence on the place was terminated in 1918, when he retired from active work and moved to Plainview Village. During the latter part of his active career he made a specialty of dairying, keeping a good herd of milch cows. As a farmer he was successful, while his character as a good neighbor and reliable citizen was thoroughly established in the community. For some time he rendered efficient service as clerk of School District No. 85. His present ease and independent circumstances were won by hard work and therefore are the better enjoyed. He is a member of the Catholic church, and politically a Democrat. Mr. Welti was married July 19, 1904, to Catherine Keough, who has proved a faithful wife and wise and loving mother. They have had seven children: Marion, born June 5, 1905, who died December 25, 1916; Helen, born May 28, 1907; Elizabeth, June 2, 1909; John, June 20, 1911; Edith, March 13, 1913; Eugene, May 12, 1915, and Catherine, June 28, 1917.



Henry Welti & Family, Mr. & Mrs. John Welti, Mr. & Mrs. John Keough

Welti, John (page 331), pioneer farmer, came to this county in 1855 and spent nearly all of the remainder of his years in Oakwood Township. He was an honest, industrious man, a good neighbor and true friend. His word was as good as his bond and he was respected by all who knew him. By hard and persistent effort he opened a large farm, and had his part in the upbuilding of the community in which he lived. A native of Switzerland, he was born December 9, 1826. In 1855 he came to Minnesota, and engaged in business at Wabasha. From there he moved to a farm in Snake Valley, Watopa Township, this county. About 1858 he secured 120 acres in Oakwood Township, this county, and here spent the remainder of his life. To the original track he added 80 acres, making a good farm of 200 acres, which he developed and improved, and where he attained a competence, bringing it from a wild stretch of prairie to a well-cultivated, well-fenced place, with substantial buildings and good equipment of tools, implements and machinery. After a long and useful life, he died July 12, 1903. Mr. Welti was married at Wabasha, May 28, 1856, to Mary Frank, who was born in Germany in 1830, came to America as a young woman, with her parents Mr. And Mrs. Philip Frank, and lived with them in Watopa Township until her marriage. Mr. And Mrs. Welti had ten children: John, of Oakwood Township; Mary, wife of John Schumann, of Elgin; Christina, now Mrs. Ernest Stoll, of Elgin; Fred, of Winona; Elizabeth, wife of Herman Schmelling, of Winona; Philip and Henry, twins, of Plainview; Emma, living on the home farm; William of Rochester, and Jacob, living on the home farm.



John Welti (above)

Welti, John (page 368), the enterprising proprietor of a good farm of 151 acres, lying partly in Oakwood and partly in Elgin Township, was born in Wabasha City, Minn., May 5, 1857, son of Mr. And Mrs. John Welti. He was educated in the Oakwood rural schools, and until 1898 worked with his father. He then moved onto that part of his present farm consisting of 80 acres in section 34, Oakwood Township, which he had purchased, and to which, in 1913, he added 71 acres that he bought in section 3, Elgin Township, thus acquiring a farm with an area of 151 acres. He has erected all the present buildings, including a good eight-room house, and a barn 30 by 42 feet in size, and in various ways has improved the property. Mr. Welti, besides raising the usual crops, is a successful breeder of grade cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs. He is a member of the Elgin Shipping Association and of the local creamery association, and is making rapid strides on the road to affluence. He has served as school treasurer of District 85, Elgin Township, for 18 or 20 years, and is a man who takes a lively interest in all matters connected with the good of the general community. For 22 years Mr. Welti has enjoyed the comforts and shouldered the responsibilities of domestic life, having been united in marriage, June 15, 1898, with Pauline E. Rother, who was born in Highland Township, this county, June 29, 1874, daughter of Gottlieb and Catherine (Saueressig) Rother. The children of this marriage are as follows: Philip A., born January 30, 1900, who is assisting his father on the farm; Lucy K., born March 7, 1902, now a student in the Elgin high school; Emma M. and Anna L. (twins), born October 28, 1903, and Walter J., born January 30, 1910. Mr. Welti and his family are members of the Lutheran church.

Welti, Phillip (page 331), a well-known resident of Plainview, was born in Oakwood Township, this county, March 4, 1865, son of John and Mary (Frank) Welti. He attended the schools of his neighborhood and assisted on the home farm. As a young man he purchased 80 acres in section 29, Highland Township, this county, and to this he later added another 80 acres not far away. In addition to operating his own place he rented from time to time so that each year he farmed extensively. He carried on general farming successfully, but made a specialty of stock raising. He was a breeder and dealer, rasing, buying and selling. He was especially well known for his fine Percheron horses and for his excellent drove of sheep. In the summer of 1919, he sold one farm and moved to Plainview, where he has a beautiful modern home. Mr. Welti is a member of the M. W. A. and the K. of C. He is a prominent member of St. Joachim's Catholic church. Mr. Welti is a man who is always ready and willing to give comfort and aid to those in less fortunate circumstances. He is well known and liked by old and young, for his kindness, possessing a sterling character and excellent reputation. Mr. Welti was married October 7, 1901, to Mary Shields, born September 29, 1867, daughter of Patrick and Margaret (Beegan) shields, and this union has been blessed with two children: Mary Evelyn, born December 24, 1902, and Patrick James, born August 24, 1905, both attending school.

Contact Fellow Genealogist: Michele

Wempner, Henry E.

Wentworth, Aretus M.

Wentworth, Clinton D.

Wentworth, David

Wentworth, Judson T.

Whipple, Wallace M.

Whitcomb, Walter H.

White, Robert

Wilde, August J. (page 357), a well known farmer residing in section 20, West Albany Township, was born in Oben-Schleisswig, Germany, December 11, 1851, son of Johann and Bertha Wilde. The father was a carpenter and contractor, and neither he nor his wife ever came to America. August received his schooling in Germany. It was in the year 1880 that he came to Wabasha County, Minnesota, locating in West Albany Township. For four years he worked as a farm hand. Later he spent 13 years in railroad work, being nine years on the Millville Division of the C. M. & St. P., as foreman of the steel gang, and four years on the Chippewa line as foreman of a section gang. In 1893 he bought 120 acres in section 20, West Albany Township, the property being little improved, but having a log house and some other buildings. It was not until 1893, however, that he took up his residence on this farm, on which he built a frame house. He has now 61 acres of the land under cultivation, the rest being in pasture. He is carrying on general farming, and making substantial progress. The farm is eleven miles from Lake City. Mr. Wilde was married December 28, 1884, to Rose Rother, of West Albany Township. He and his wife have been the parents of eleven children: Mary, now Mrs. John Prebe of West Albany Township; Clara, wife of Arthur Herbst of the same township; Elizabeth, wife of Otto Sander, of Glasgow Township; Carrie, residing at home; Elsie, now Mrs. Fred Murray of Minneapolis; Bertha, now Mrs. Ed Schwartz of Highland Township; Frank, a worker, residing at home; William, Margaret and Louisa, who are at home; and Ella, who is deceased. Politically Mr. Wilde is a Non-Partisan. He and his family are Catholics in religion, belonging to the West Albany congregation.

Wimmer, Max C.

Winters, Chester J. (page 748), a prominent young farmer of Chester Township, owning 240 acres in sections 1 and 12, who has various financial interests in addition to agriculture, was born in this township, August 22, 1887, son of Frederick and Fredericka (Issensee) Winters. The father was a native of Germany who came to America when eleven years old, the family settling in Pittsburgh, where he later worked for several years in a glass factory. In 1863 he came to Minnesota, locating in Chester Township, Wabasha County. Here he devoted himself to farming, and from time to time bought land until he owned 400 acres in sections 1, 11 and 12, as well as 40 acres in Mazeppa Township. He was actively engaged in agricultural work until 1914, and died May 14, 1918. His wife died in June, 1907. They had six children, Henry C., Fred W., Lawrence M., Christina H., Chester J. and Caroline Edith, the last mentioned of whom died at the age of 18 years. Chester J. Winters was educated in the district school and subsequently attended the agricultural school at St. Paul. For several years he worked for his father and in 1909 rented the home farm, where he has successfully followed general farming and stock raising, including the breeding of sheep. He is the president and a stockholder of the Oak Center Creamery; a director in the Gillford Mutual Fire Insurance Company; a stockholder in the Minnesota Daily Star, published by the Northwest Publishing Company of St. Paul; stockholder in the Farmers' Terminal Packing Plant of Newport, Minn.; also in the Farmers' Terminal Tannery of the same place; the Farmers' Co-operative Store at Belle Chester, and the Wabasha County Leader, and is a member of the Zumbro Falls Shipping Association. Mr. Winters has also given some time to public affairs in his locality. For six years he served as supervisor on the town board, being chairman part of the time, and in the spring of 1920 was elected town clerk. He is also clerk of school district No. 65. Politically he is independent, voting for the man rather than with any particular party. On October 24, 1912, Mr. Winters was united in marriage with Mame Caspari, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Caspari of Gillford Township, Wabasha County. Two children have been born to them: Helen A., on May 1, 1915, and Barbara E., July 1, 1919. Mr. and Mrs. Winters are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Lake City.



Mr. & Mrs. Chester J. Winters and Family

Winters, John E. (page 671), who is engaged in agriculture in the town of Watopa, of which he is town clerk, was born in Whitewater Township, Winona County, Minn., February 25, 1881, son of Adam and Christina (Peterson) Winters. The parents came to Minnesota from Indiana and settled in Winona, County, where they were engaged in farming until 1895. They then moved to Wabasha County, where they farmed until 1912. In that year they moved to Minneiska village, where Mr. Winters conducted a general store until his death on June 4, 1918, and where his wife, who was born in Sweden, is now living. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Of their ten children, five are now living, the full list being as follows: Lester, Nellie, Etta, Jennie, May, John, Nora, Jessie, Arthur and Walter. Those dceased are Lester, Nellie, Etta, May and Nora. John E. Winters was educated in the town of Whitewater, Winona County. Until 1903 he worked for his father and then took up telegraphy, which occupation, however, he followed for only one year, at the end of that time going to work at the carpenter's trade, at which he worked two years. After that for seven years he followed the occupation of cream buyer. He then rented the farm on which he now resides, containing 200 acres in sections 21 and 22, Watopa Township, which he has since carried on successfully. He has become a prominent citizen of his township, and in addition to being town clerk, a position which he has held for three years, he is serving as treasurer of school district No. 93. Mr. Winters was married, November 22, 1905, to Matilda Johnson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Johnson. Her parents were natives of Sweden who came to America in the early fifties, settling on East Indian Creek, in Watopa Township, this county, where they did general farming and stock raising until Mr. Johnson's death March 15, 1887. Mrs. Johnson subsequently married Ole Chelgren, with whom she is now living in the village of Weaver, where they operate a hotel. Mr. and Mrs. John E. Winters are the parents of four children: Clarence A., born January 20, 1907; Harold A., September 7, 1909; Eugene E., March 10, 1912; and an infant born May 13, 1920.

Wirtz, Nicholas

Wise, Charles

Wise, Edward

Witte, Joseph

Witte, Leo (page 737, transcribed by Cathy), who is identified with the agricultural interests of Glasgow Township as a farmer and stock raiser, was born in this township August 23, 1888, son of Theodore and Margaret (Weber) Witte. He acquired his elementary education in the common and parochial schools and subsequently attended St. John's University in Stearns County, Minn. Brought up to agricultural pursuits, he naturally became his father's assistant, and after his father died, in 1904, he remained on the home farm with his mother, operating it for her up to the fall of 1914, when she took up her residence in Wabasha. He then leased the farm from her and has since conducted it on his own account. It contains 160 acres and is nicely situated in Trout Brook Valley, section 5 and 8, Glasgow Township. Of the total area 70 acres are under cultivation and the buildings and equipment are good. Mr. Witte is engaged in diversified farming and gives special attention to stock raising, being a breeder of pure blooded Shorthorn cattle, Shropshire sheep and Red Duroc hogs. He is doing a paying business and is a man well known and respected throughout this part of Wabasha County. On October 21, 1913, he was married to Gladys Borst, who was born in Lake City April 22, 1891, daughter of Horace and Lucinda (Schmidt) Borst of Pepin Township. Mr. and Mrs. Witte are the parents of three children: Dorothy Margaret, born July 23, 1914; Robert Emery, March 31, 1916, and Florence Marie, December 3, 1918. Mr. Witte and his family are of the Catholic faith and are members of St. Felix parish, Wabasha. He belongs also to the Knights of Columbus, and in politics is independent.

Witte, Theodore

Wodele, Henry (page 657), a progressive farmer of Greenfield Township, operating a farm of 293 acres, of which he is the owner, was born in this township July 30, 1880, son of John and Clara (Beiver) Wodele. He was educated in the district school and until 1905 was engaged in working for his father. He then rented 293 acres, 160 acres lying in Greenfield and the rest in Glasgow and Wabasha Townships, and engaged in agriculture on his own account. In 1910 he bought the farm, which is the one on which he still resides, and where he is successfully carrying on mixed farming, including the raising of garden truck and high grade stock. He has improved his buildings by the erection of additions and has installed a Delco lighting plant, bringing the entire place into good condition, with modern equipment. In addition Mr. Wodele has given some time to public affairs, having formerly served one year as assessor of his township, and six years on the school board of District No. 5. He is a member of the Catholic church, also of the Knights of Columbus, St. Joseph’s Society and the Equitable Fraternal Union. Mr. Wodele was united in marriage October 4, 1904, with Sophia Bootz, daughter of Ambroise and Sophia (Berkeley) Bootz. Her parents came to Minnesota from Germany in the fifties, settling in Wabasha County. Mrs. Bootz died when her daughter Sophia was only two weeks old, and the father in 1915. They had three children, Bertha, Joseph and Sophia, of whom Joseph is no longer living. Mr. and Mrs. Wodele have had 11 children, born as follows: Clara E., July 8, 1905; Clarence C., December 24, 1906; Mabel R., April 23, 1908; Ethel A., June 8, 1909; Harriet T., September 26, 1911; Mary V., January 7, 1913; John H., April 30, 1915; Ralph R., March 26, 1916; Helen M., May 29, 1917; Bernice L., February 27, 1919; and Harold M., May 5, 1920. Harriet T. died in infancy, April 4, 1912.

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Wohlers, Albert Richard R. (page 360), who is successfully engaged in general farming in section 8, Mt. Pleasant Township, was born in section 7, this township, April 6, 1883, son of Henry and Dorothy Wohlers. His parents were pioneer farmers in this region, and there was plenty of work for all their children to do, so Albert attended school only until the age of twelve years. Then, as the money he could earn was more useful than the labor he could perform on the home farm, he began working out, his wages going to his father until he was 21. He earned his own living as a farm hand and in handling horses, both here and elsewhere, traveling about from place to place. In 1916 he began farming for himself buying 160 acres in section 8, Mt. Pleasant Township. The land was good and all broken, but there were very poor buildings. This defect he has since remedied, rebuilding the barn, and making other substantial improvements, including the erection, in 1919, of a modern, ten-room frame house, equipped with furnace, bath-room and electric lights. He has good herds of cattle and swine, breeding registered Hampshire hogs, and improving his stock with full-blooded sires, and is doing an excellent business as a general farmer and stock raiser. He is a Republican in politics and a Lutheran in religion. Mr. Wohlers was married, March 8, 1919, to Bertha G. Witterstetter, daughter of Adam and Janet (Hoffman) Witterstetter. She was born at Ackerville, Washington County, Wis., January 28, 1887, was educated in the public schools and at a Milwaukee business college, and for 15 years was clerk with the Eastman Kodak Company of Rochester, N. Y., serving in their Milwaukee office. Mr. and Mrs. Wohlers are well known and popular members of society in Mt. Pleasant Township and the vicinity.

Wohlers, Henry (page 360), a Minnesota pioneer, several of whose children are now residents in Wabasha County, well known and respected, was born in Hanover, Germany, January 7, 1835. He had a common school education and remained in his native land until 1854, when he joined the tide of emigration to the United States. At Castle Garden, N.Y., the landing-place of immigrants, he paid out the last dollar in his possession, but fortunately he had a ticket to Buffalo, N. Y.,where he had a brother living, who was a wagon-maker, and who gave him employment. There he remained until the spring of 1860, when he came west to Hay Creek Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota, accompanied by his wife, for he had been married at Williamsville, Erie County, N. Y., to Dorothy Frederick. In the township above mentioned Mr. Wohlers bought 160 acres of land, of which but three acres had been broken, and set to work to develop a farm, building a log shack and starting work on the land with an ox team in the ususal pioneer style. The country was very thinly settled and Red Wing was his nearest market. After making some improvements on that farm, Mr. Wohlers sold it for $872, and bought 160 acres in section 7, Mt. Pleasant Township, Wabasha County. There were no buildings, but ten acres of the land had been broken. Here Mr. Wohlers made his permanent home, developed the land and erected a good set of buildings, and here he is still living, having now passed his eighty-fifth birthday. He long ago retired from active work, selling the farm to his son, William John. His wife died October 1, 1896, and his unmarried daughter, Christine, now keeps house for him. The children born to him were as follows: Mary, now Mrs. James Baker of Ellsworth, Wis.; John, of Mt. Pleasant Township; Louisa, wife of Harvey Roper of Frontenac, Goodhue County; Henry of Mt. Pleasant Township; William John, who now owns and operates the old home farm; Fred of Goodhue County; Catherine, now Mrs. John Breuer, of Goodhue County; Christine, living on the old home farm; Charles, of Dumont, Minn.; Albert, of Mt. Pleasant Township; Becka, now Mrs. August Plote of the same township, and two other daughters now deceased. While the Civil War was in progress Mr. Wohlers was twice drafted, and on the first occasion paid for a substitute; on the second occasion he was excluded on account of being one beyond the number called for, so he saw no military service. He has always been a Republican in politics, and during his active career served his township in various offices. He was for some years a member of the school board. He is a member of the Lutheran congregation at Belvidere, Goodhue County.

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Wolf, Henry

Wood, David J.

Wood, John H.

Wood, Orren

Wood, Peter C. (page 679), a summer resident of Plainview village, who was formerly engaged in agricultural pursuits in Whitewater Township, Winona County, was born in Schoharie County, N. Y., July 5, 1839, son of Arnold and Christine (Rorick) Wood. The parents were natives of New York state, where they were engaged in farming. The father died in the fall of 1863 and was survived 34 years by his wife, who passed away in 1897. They were worthy people and members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Of their children those now living are Catherine, Orin and Peter. The deceased are William, Eliza J., Elizabeth, David, Alanson, Abraham, Charles and Louis. Peter C. Wood in his boyhood attended district school in New York state. Until 1857 he worked for his father, and then came to Minnesota, locating in Plainview Township, Wabasha County, where until 1863 he worked at farm labor. After that he rented a farm in the same township for a year, and the next year rented one in Whitewater Township, Winona County. In 1865 he bought 80 acres in Whitewater Township and began the development of a farm, erecting all the buildings. There he was engaged in general farming and stock raising until 1892, and by that time had been so successful that he owned 633 acres in Whitewater Township, and had acquired a competence. In 1892 Mr. Wood retired and moved to Plainview village, where he resided continuously until 1909. Since then he has spent most of his time in the states of California and Oregon, but spends his summers in Plainview, Minn. During his active career as a farmer in Whitewater Township, he served two years as a member of his district school board; and he subsequently served six years on the Plainview school board as treasurer, and five years as a member of the village council, being recognized by his fellow citizens as a man of ability and public spirit. In his religious affiliations he has followed the example of his parents, being connected with the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Wood was married July 3, 1863, to Cevilla Leininger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Leininger of Woodland, Plainview Township. Her parents came to this locality from Pennsylvania in 1857, and were engaged in farming until 1892, after which they lived retired in Plainview village, where Mr. Leninger died in December, 1892, and Mrs. Leininger in 1910. They had seven children, three of whom are living, Elizabeth, Isaac and Catherine. The others, Lucy, Sarah, Margaret and Cevilla (Mrs. Peter C. Wood) have passed away. Mrs. Wood died February 12, 1909, and was tenderly laid to rest in Greenwood cemetery, Plainview village. She had been a loving wife and mother and was a woman whose loss was deeply felt. Mr. and Mrs. Wood had two children: John E., born July 18, 1864, who died September 17 the same year; and Alice M., born March 1, 1866, now Mrs. George W. French of Carleton, Oregon.

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Wood, Richard L.

Woodcock, A. C.

Woodruff, Edward A.

Woodward, William D.

Woodward, William H.

Wright, James H.

Wurst, Henry J. (page 331), whose farm of 190 acres lies partly in Oakwood and partly in Elgin Township, was born in Oakwood Township, Wabasha County, April 27, 1862. His parents, Vincent and Amalia (Gregor) Wurst, were born in Austria, but married in Wisconsin, and came to Wabasha County, Minn., in 1860, locating on the northwest quarter of section 33, Oakwood Township. The land was wild and years of pioneer work and hardship lay before them, but in time they developed a farm, Mr. Wurst erecting a house and outbuildings, and breaking and cultivating his land. His wife died in 1882, and he survived her many years, passing away in 1905. They had five children: Henry J., subject of this sketch; Alvena, now Mrs. Herman Plattner of Elgin Township; Matilda, who is deceased; Joseph L., o Rochester, Minn., and Rosa, who married Edward Meiser and lives in Missouri. Henry J. @Wurst as a boy attended District School No. 85, Elgin Township. He remained on the home farm until 29 years old, after which for three years he operated a rented farm in Elgin Township. He then returned to the home farm, which he conducted for eleven years. About 1905 he bought his present farm, or rather, 110 acres of it, 70 acres lying in section 2, Elgin, and 40 in section 35, Oakwood. Later he bought 80 acres adjoining in section 35, Oakwood, thus bringing the area of his farm to 190 acres. His residence and buildings are in Elgin Township. He has remodeled the house, erected a good barn and outbuildings, and made other improvements, adding mush to the value of his property, and is following general farming with profitable results. He raises Poll Angus cattle, mostly for beef purposes, also Duroc-Jersey hogs, and white leghorn poultry, and is a member of the Farmers' Shipping Association. His fraternal affiliations are with the Modern Woodsmen of America, while in politics he is a Republican. Mr. Wurst was united in marriage, April 9, 1890, with Dora Springer, who was born in Oakwood Township, this county, June 23, 1870, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. William Springer. Of this union there are three children, namely: Clarence L., born January 7, 1892, now a farmer in Oakwood Township, who married Vivian La Rocque, and has two children, one son, Maurice O., and daughter, Bertha; Josephine B., born January 16, 1894, wife of Ole Olson of Oakwood, has one daughter, Helen Dorothy; and Carold J., born January 19, 1900, who is assisting his father on the home farm. Mr. Wurst and his family are members of the Lutheran church and are socially popular.

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World War
Wurst, Joe L. (page 495), a former resident of Oakwood Township, Wabasha County, now living retired in Rochester, Minn., is a man who has acquired a competence through w3ell directed industry in agricultural and other pursuits. He was born in Oakwood Township, this county, October 17, 1868, son of Vincent and Mary (Gregor) Wurst, and was educated in the district school, remaining at home until 25 years of age. In 1893 he rented his father's farm, which he operated subsequently until 1899. During this time he bought 160 acres in Oakwood township from George Richmond, and erected on it a house, barn and out-buildings. This farm he sold in 1899, buying 160 acres in Renville County, where he was engaged in farming until 1904. Then selling that farm also, he worked for two years in the flour mills. Having acquired a good knowledge of the milling industry, he bought a flour mill in Lyon County, Minn., which he operated very successfully until 1911. At the end of that time Mr. Wurst resumed farming, buying 174 acres in sections 31 and 32, Brown County, where he made his home for four years, selling the farm in 1915. Then he purchased 180 acres in section 33, Olmsted County, Minn., which he farmed until 1917. Having by that time acquired sufficient wealth to provide him with a reasonable income, he sold his farm for the last time, and took up his residence in Rochester, where he owns and conducts and apartment house of eight apartments, reserving two for himself and family. Mr. Wurst was united in marriage November 16, 1893, with Esther Geim, daughter of Valentine and Mellisa (Dull) Geim, well known farming people of Elgin Township. Mr. And Mrs. Wurst have bee the parents of nine children: Ervin V., born January 8, 1895; Ida M., August 14, 1896; Gladys M., March 11, 1898; Florence G., August 27; Hazel L., July 11, 1902; Willis V., March 21, 1903; June M., June a9, 1905; Alice M., November 22, 1907; and Virgil W., December 25, 1912. Ervin V., who was drafted into the army May 25, 1918, was in the service nine months, seven months of which he spent in France, taking part in the bloody fighting in the Argonne Forest, where he was gassed. He is now residing at home. Ida M. and her sister Hazel, after residing at El Paso, Tex., for eight months, are now at home with their parents. Gladys M., Florence G., June M., Alice M. and Virgil W. are residing at home in Rochester, the three youngest attending school. Willis V. died September 22, 1914.


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World War
Wyatt, Charles L. (page 758), an enterprising and successful farmer of Zumbro Township, was born in Zumbro Township April 30, 1869, son of Daniel and Anna (Stevens) Wyatt. The father was a native of New Hampshire and the mother of Maine. They came to Minnesota in the late fifties, first settling in Mazeppa Township, Wabasha County, and later in Zumbro, where Daniel Wyatt took a claim of 80 acres in section 13. He subsequently increased the size of his farm to 200 acres and built a house, barn and outbuildings. After remaining in the same location until 1905, he removed to a place a mile and a half east, but later took up his residence in Zumbro Falls, where he died May 4, 1908. His wife died February 6, 1913. They were members of the Congregational church and were widely known and respected. Their family numbered nine children, Frank, Minnie, Henry, Lillie, Eugene, Laura, Ella, Anna and Charles. Henry, Laura and Ella are now deceased. Charles L. Wyatt acquired his education in the district school and was trained to agriculture on the home farm. He worked for his father until 1898, in which year he rented a farm in Bear Valley, Chester Township. After operating that farm for three years, he removed in 1898 to Gillford Township, where he bought 80 acres, which also he operated three years, or until 1901, after which he spent a year on a dairy farm in Atkins County. In 1902, returning to Wabasha county, he bought 240 acres in sections 12 and 13, Zumbro Township. On this place, where he resided 15 years, he built a barn and outbuildings. Selling it in 1917, he bought 156 acres in section 24, Zumbro Township, which is the farm he is now living on, though he has since increased its area to 236 acres, and has built a garage and made other improvements. His operations as a general farmer and stock raiser have been successfully conducted and he is now numbered among the well to do citizens of his township. Mr. Wyatt was married February 6, 1894, to Nannie Cliff, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Addene Cliff. Her parents were natives respectively of England and New York State, the father coming to this country in the early sixties. After their marriage they resided in Connecticut for two years, and then came to Wabasha county, Minn., and engaged in farming in Chester Township. Mr. Cliff died April 7, 1898, and Mrs. Cliff July 8, 1912. They were members of the Wesleyan Methodist church. Their children were Carrie, Nannie, Samuel and William. To Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wyatt eight children have been born, as follows: Carl J., May 19, 1895; Lela M., November 29, 1897; Norman E., August 16, 1898; Theodore R., July 1, 1900; Beth A., October 23, 1902; Frank D., December 25, 1904; Myrtle J., June 17, 1907, and Lawrence C., October 20, 1910. The eldest son, Carl J., was one of those noble American youths, who, when this country was drawn into the maelstrom of the great World War, without waiting to be called on, enlisted in its service, the date of his enlistment being December 17, 1917. At first a member of the H. M. O. R. S. (meaning unknown), he subsequently transferred to the 2d Battalion, First Divisions, and went over seas to France. Though he was not called on to serve at the front, he gave up his life, falling a victim to influenza, and his body is still in France. Lela M. is now the wife of Percy Anderson. Norman E. is employed in the garage at Hammond. The other children are residing other home farm. Mr. Wyatt and his family are affiliated religiously with the Congregational church, and he also belongs to the fraternal order of Modern Woodmen of America.





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