BIOGRAPHIES: Surnames Beginning With "C"


From the book about Wabasha Co. Minnesota
"HISTORY OF WABASHA COUNTY"
Compiled by Dr. L. H. Bunnell
Published Chicago by H. H. Hill, Publishers, 1884
Republished Currently by Higginson Books


Cain, James (page 1039 ~ listed in index as David), farmer, is one of the old residents of Mount Pleasant, and was born May 8, 1832, in Wexford county, Ireland. He was the oldest of two children, born to James and Jane Wren-Cain, who died when our subject was a child. James was raised on a farm, and at the age of seventeen he went to Liverpool. After working here one year he emigrated to Illinois, and a few months later went to Mississippi. Four years he passed there, taking contracts on levees, and in 1857 he settled in Mount Pleasant township. October 22, 1857, he was united in marriage to Mary A. Burns, of Kildare county, Ireland. Six children have been the fruit of this union, viz: Thomas M. (deceased), James R., William W., Frank (deceased), John, A. Jane (deceased). Mr. Cain and wife adhere to the Catholic faith. His farm comprises three hundred and sixty acres of good land, all of which is the result of his own industry. In politics he is independent, and besides being a member of the board of supervisors several years, has held a number of minor offices.

Calhoun, Lawrence, (page 1296), lumberman, Wabasha, is a native of Ireland, born in Dublin, August 15, 1826. When he was a year old his parents, Thomas and Mary (Hackett) Calhoun, came to America, and soon settled at Shullsburg, Wisconsin, where the father engaged in mining. His youth was spent in the city of Galena, and in 1845 he came up the Mississippi and was employed during the summer on the Chippewa river survey. The following winter he was employed in lumbering by Allen & Boss at Chippewa Falls, and nearly all his life since has been spent in lumbering. In the early days he ran a keelboat on the Chippewa and Missippi, and often shared his supplies with the Indians, who, in turn, often shared their game with him and always remained friendly. In the winter of 1849-50 he carried the mail on his back between Chippewa Falls and Wabasha, making weekly trips. For the past twelve years he has been employed by the Mississippi Logging and Boon Co, and has dwelt in Wabasha, where he has a fine home on Second street. For nine years previously he lived at Read's Landing, and while here, one day, Mrs. Calhoun drove off a saucy Indian with her mop. Mr. Calhoun's marriage occurred in 1858, the bride being Mary, widow of Thomas Sullivan, who died in Highland in 1856. Mrs. Calhoun is a sister of Miles McDonough, elsewhere sketched in this book, and was born in the same place (Tiernay, County Galway, Ireland). She is the mother of ten living children, as follows: Anna (Mrs. M. A. Cummings), Minneapolis; Maria (born July 8, 1856, in Highland), Brainard, Minnesota; Mary E. (married John Gorman), Kellogg; the others are at home, viz: Sarah, Lydia, Minnie, Maggie, Katy, George, Aurelia and Clara. Rosella, the ninth child, is deceased.

Callohan, Michael (page 1266 ~ not listed in the index), telegraph operator, Weaver, was born at Sandy Creek, New York, in 1858. His parents, John and Mary Callohan, were natives of Ireland, and emigrated to America in 1837, settling where our subject was born. When a young man he tried living in several towns, among which were Rochester, in New York, and Niagara Falls, but finally concluded to visit St. Paul, which he did in 1880. Liking the west so well led him to locate in Winona for a year, and again he moved, this time to Weaver, where he now resides, being in the employ of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad, as agent and operator. Mr. Callohan is a member of the Catholic church, and also of the Winona State Military Guards. He married Eliza Hitchcock, of Weaver. They have one child, Mary Agnes.

Campbell, S. L., (page 977), attorney-at-law; office corner of Main and Alleghaney streets, Post-office building. Mr. Campbell established business in this city in the spring of 1856, and is the oldest practicing attorney in the county. He is a native of Chenango county, New York, was brought up on the old home farm, and followed farming until his removal to this state (then territory), in 1855. During his intervals of leisure from farm labor he pursued his legal studies, making himself familiar with the principles of law, leaving a knowledge of its practice to be acquired in the courts. He was admitted to practice at Red Wing, in this state, by the then chief justice of the territory (Welch), in the fall of 1855. When Wabasha county became organized for judicial purposes in the following spring, Mr. Campbell was appointed clerk of the United States district court for the first district, and held that office until the state was admitted to the union in 1858. From the date of the establishment of his law-office here, more than twenty-seven years since, Mr. Campbell has continued steadily in the practice of his profession. During these years his only law partner was E. M. Birdsey, Esq., with whom he was associated in business from 1867 to 1872, when Mr. Birdsey's health compelled him to relinquish practice, and he soon afterward died. Mr. Campbell has served the bar of the county as clerk of court and county attorney, the city as mayor, the representative district as representative in 1862, and again from 1875 to 1879.

Campbell, W. H., (page 1074), is a native of Mississippi, and resided there until he was eight years of age, when he came north with his father's family. He first came to Wabasha in 1857, and before the war broke out had returned to the south to visit his mother's people. He was there impressed into the rebel service, and was in the army of the confederates nearly a year, when he succeeded in effecting his escape to the north, and returned to Wabasha in 1863. He subsequently went into trade here, and has conducted business as a general merchant four years. In 1872 he was elected auditor of the county, and held that office until 1881, having been four times elected and once appointed to fill a vacancy. He is a member of the firm of Z. C. Goss & Co., but takes no active part in the management of business. In connection with J. J. Stone, M. D., he is farming on a tract of sixteen hundred acres, on the line of the Northern Pacific railway, forty miles above Crookston. They have now eight hundred acres under cultivation-seven hundred in wheat, and one hundred in oats. Last year's wheat crop of three hundred and fifty acres averaged a yield of twenty bushels to acre. Mr. Campbell has also a valuable tract of sixty acres on what is known as West Wabasha. Mr. Campbell was married October 12, 1869, to Miss Alma A. Downer, of this city. They have but one child living, Susie D., born September, 1870. Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. J. H. Mullen were the daughters and only children of John B. Downer, for many years a prominent business man of this city. Mr. Downer was born in Stowe, Vermont, July 8, 1811, and was married April 8, 1834, to Miss Caroline H. Tinker, who was born at Morristown, Vermont, April 7, 1815. The daughters were both born at Jay, New York, Marion B., January 29, 1849, and Alma A., March 11, 1851. Mr. and Mrs. Downer were very happy in their married life of forty-eight years and a half, and in their deaths they were not divided, Mr. Downer dying October 19, 1882, her husband surviving her only a few hours.

Card, Edward M., (page 1174), attorney-at-law, Lake City, was born in Newport county, in the State of Rhode Island, June 2, 1828. His parents, John L. and Catharine B. (Mott) Card, moved to Otsego county, New York, in 1835. The most of his early years were spent in the schoolroom, his leisure-time on the farm with his parents. In October, 1849, he entered the law office of Judge Thomas McIntosh, at Hartwick, New York, where he pursued the study of law till his accession to the bar in July, 1852. In the fall of the same year he opened an office in Portlandsville, in the same county, and there practiced his profession till 1855. He then removed to Hartwick, where he formed a law partnership with his old preceptor, Judge McIntosh. In 1857 this partnership was dissolved, Judge Card continuing here in practice till 1863. In the fall of this year he was elected judge of the surrogate court of Otsego county, which then contained a population of some fifty thousand. This was a sharp and closely contested election, and he was returned with a small majority over his democratic competitor, Judge McIntosh, and was the youngest man ever elected to that honorable and important trust in the county. The same fall he removed to Cooperstown, the county seat, and on January 1, 1864, entered upon the discharge of his official duties. During the four years of Judge Card's official career he creditably acquitted himself as a jurist eminently fitted to sustain the high honor of the bench and bar. In the fall of 1867 he declined a renomination and resumed the legal practice without change of residence till 1871, when he came west, settling in Lake City, where he now resides. The seaon of 1872 was mostly spent by him looking after his farming interests in Wisconsin. In March 1873, he opened a law office in this city, and actively entered on his professp C which has since been extended over five of six counties surrounding Lake City, on both sides of the Mississippi. Much of his time during the past year has been spent away from home, engaged in important trials, involving life, liberty and property. The result of these trials has established for Judge Card the reputation of being one of the leading lawyers of the state, and as such has been prominently referred to by the local and city papers. In March, 1853, E. M. Card and Miss Eliza Halstead were united in marriage at Westville, New York. Mrs. Card is the daughter of Rev. Henry Halstead, of New York. They have one child, christened Jessie E., who graduated from St. Mary's Academy, at Faribault, in June, 1882.

Carlson, Oliver, (page 1165), carpenter, Lake City, is a native of Sweden, born in Blikinge county, in the southern part of that kingdom, October 16, 1845. His early life was passed on a farm, and he received the common-school education of his native tongue. When sixteen years old he was apprenticed to the carpenter's trade, and this has ever since occupied his attention. In 1869 he set out for America, and came direct to Lake City. He at once entered the employ of E. Alexander, a contracting builder, and served this till 1880, when he became the partner of his employer. In 1883 this firm built the county poorhouse, and the handsome brick schoolhouse in the second ward of this city. Mr. Carlson is a member of the A.O.U.W., and an independent republican. In January, 1872, he was married to Hannah Johnson, who was born three years previous to her husband, near the same place. Their offspring are christened and aged as here noted: Caroline, thirteen; Ethan Elmer, seven, and Julia, five years.

Carpenter, George W., (page 967), farmer and thresher, was next to the oldest of a family of four boys and four girls, born to T. P. and Emeline (Webster) Carpenter. He was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania, May 16, 1832. While a small child he was adopted into the family of his grandfather Webster, and lived with him on a farm near Warrentown, Pennsylvania, where he attended country school winters till 1846. In the spring of this year he accompanied his grandfather to McHenry county, Illinois, and soon found a home, a well-to-do farmer by the name of Pliny Hayward, attending school winters and working on the farm summers. January 1, 1855, he espoused Miss Lucy J. Judd, a native of Connecticut. In the spring of 1856 he came to Wabasha county, and located on a quarter-section in Plainview; this farm he cleared and improved, and sold in 1866. He did not engage in business again until September, 1870, when he purchased eighty acres on section 35 in Highland, where he now has a comfortable home. He is widely known among the farmers as a thresher, being the first man who ran a threshing-machine in Greenwood prairie. He is a member of the Methodist church, and also of the Plainview lodge of Odd-Fellows. Mr. Carpenter has been twice married. By his first wife he had three children: Oscar E., a farmer in Big Stone county, Minnesota; Clara A. and Willie H., both living at home. His second wife was the relict of the late George Clark, of Highland, to whom he was married January 27, 1878. Mrs. Clark had at the time of her second marriage two children, namely, Willie F. Clark and Lucy A. Clark.

War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Carpenter, Russell W., (page 993), dealer in farming implements, Plainview, and brother of George W. Carpenter, of Highland township, was born in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, September 16, 1836. From 1847 till he came to Minnesota was with his father and brothers in McHenry county, Illinois. In 1855 the family came to Greenwood prairie, where Russell was among the unfortunates who selected a claim on the Indian reswhich he abandoned, the same now being known as the Pat Mahon farm. From the fall of 1857 to 1874 he resided in Dubuque, Iowa; since which time he has continued to reside in Wabasha county, engaging in agricultural pursuits until 1881, where he became interested in the farming implement trade, and has continued to follow it since. He enlisted in the 21st Iowa Vols., but owing to physical unsoundness was rejected by the surgeon. He is a member of Plainview Lodge, I.O.O.F. June 6, 1867, he espoused Susan, daughter of Jacob Brant, of Epworth, Iowa, by whom he has had two children, viz: Edward A. and Minnie E.

Carruth, O. P., (page 1062), farmer, was born in Jefferson county, New York, September 8, 1829. He was one of eight children born to William and Eleanor Patterson-Carruth, natives of Springfield, Massachusetts, and Fort Anne, New York, respectively. The subject of our sketch was raised in Jefferson county, and when twenty-one years of age he went to Auburn, New York, where he spent six years in a boot and shoe establishment. October 27, 1859, he was married to Mary Veeder, a native of that county, and a daughter to Dr. Veeder, one of the old residents of this township. Immediately after his marriage he located on his present farm in Mount Pleasant. His wife died March 19, 1879. She was the mother of four children, two of whom are living : Fred. H., who is running a flourishing newspaper at Estilline, Dakota, and Ellen B. January 3, 1880, he wedded Sarah L. Eastman-Gorton, of Athens, Vermont. Mr. Carruth is a member of Lake City lodge, No. 22, I.O.O.F. In politics he is republican, and since 1876 has been chairman of the board of supervisors.

Carroll, Arthur J., (page 1328), Assistant Postmaster of Plainview, was born in Mentor, Ohio, May 19, 1853. His father, Samuel D. Carroll, who was a cooper by trade, came to Mentor from New Jersey in 1830 and located on a farm there. He raised a family of twelve children, Arthur being the youngest. Four of this numerous family only survive, viz.: Miss Hattie E. Carroll, Postmistress at Plainview; Emily (Mrs. George W. Doeg) Huntley, Minnesota; Maronette (Mrs. S. F. Wicklow) of Owatonna, Minnesota; Lottie (Mrs. Wm. Lawton) of Plainview. At the age of eleven, Arthur came with the family to Wabasha county. His father's death occurred two years later. His education was obtained in the Plainview public school. He clerked in Oziah Wilcox's store for about eight months, and in 1873 was appointed assistant postmaster to Hon. H. H. Butts. Shortly thereafter Miss Hattie Carroll succeeded Mr. Butts as postmaster, and Mr. Carroll was retained as assistant, and has virtually had the entire management of the office since. He fitted up the postoffice at a cost of $700, and has one of the finest offices to be found in any western village. Mr. Carroll is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is secretary of the Wabasha County Sunday School Association. During the existence of the village government he served as recorder. He has been twice married, the first wife being Ida E. Williams, daughter of M. M. Williams, one of the pioneers of Plainview. After her death which occurred three months after the marriage, he married Lottie Reifkagel, daughter of J. W. Riefkagel, of Plainview, the wedding taking place October 4, 1880. Two children have been born to them, viz.: Elsie and Willie.

Carroll, R. C.(page 1164), farmer, is a native of County Kilkenny, Ireland. His parents were Richard and Ellen Commerford-Carroll, to whom were born eight children. When sixteen years old he emigrated to St. Louis, where he passed two years in a wholesale grocery house. After spending one year in Memphis he located in Arkansas, and afterward returned to St. Louis. With the exception of the first two years, his attention while in the south was occupied in the nursery and green house business, and in landscape gardening, in all of which he was quite successful. The year 1864 found him at Fort Benton, Montana, and about four years were passed here in the mercantile business. In 1868 he located in Mount Pleasant, where he began the life of a farmer, and now owns two hundred and eighty acres of fine land. He was married December 2, 1871, to Mary A. Rahilly. They have five children: Richard M. (deceased), Ellen M., Winnifred C., Alice E., Margaret M. Mr. Carroll and wife belong to the Catholic church. In politics he is a democrat in priciple, though he generally votes for the best man regardless of party. He has held offices in the township, and is one of its prosperous farmers and substantial citizens.

War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Carson, Marcus, (page 1077), farmer, Lake City, was born in Wyoming county, New York, in 1836, and is the son of Stephen and Julina (Grover) Carson, natives of Otsego county, in the same state. His paternal grandfather was born in England, and his grandmother on the same side was a native of Germany, both having come to America in early childhood with their parents, who settled in the Mohawk valley. His grandparents on his mother's side were of New England stock, several generations back. Mr. Carson, like his father and grandfather, was reared and educated on a farm, and like his worthy progenitors, has made farming the business of life. In 1858 he came to Minnesota and pre-empted a piece of land, which he paid for, and the same season returned to his home in York State. This land was some years later traded for eastern property, and Mr. Carson remained east till 1872, when he came to Minnesota with his family, and permanently located in Lake City, where he now resides, though still engaged in farming. The care of his fine one hundred and sixty-acre farm in Gillford township furnishes him employment during summer, and his forty acres of timber in Wisconsin gives him ample employment through the winter months. He was married in 1863, to Miss Laura C. Humphrey, of this city, and they have two children living, Grace E. and Alice L. Mr. and Mrs. Carson are members of the Congregational church. At the outbreak of the war of the rebellion in 1861, Mr. Carson enlisted as a private in the 9th N. Y. Vol. Inf., and on organization was elected first lieutenant, which commission he held when discharged on account of disability.

Cassidy, Wilson W., (page 1237), lumberman, Read's Landing, is one of the self-made men of Wabasha county. John Cassidy, his father, was a native of Ireland, and his mother, Jane Blair, was born in Pennsylvania. Wilson W. Cassidy was born in March, 1832, at Bellfont, Center county, in his mother's native state. When he was ten years old his parents moved to Lee county, Iowa, where he was brought up on a farm, and received a common-school education. At eighteen he was apprenticed to a carpenter, and followed this trade two years. In the fall of 1854 he went to Menomonee, Wisconsin, and entered the employ of Knapp, Stout & Co., heavy lumber manufacturers of that state, and has ever since been engaged with them. His first two years were spent as a common hand in the woods and on the river, but his sterling character and executive ability were not long concealed from his employers. In the fall of 1857 he was placed in charge of their retail lumber-yard at Read's Landing, where his headquarters still remain. The lumber-yard was closed long ago, and Mr. Cassidy now has charge of the rafting on the Chippewa and Mississippi rivers of the immense lumber fleets of the "Knapp, Stout & Co. Company"; is also engaged in forwarding supplies up the rivers. By his industry and successful business management, Mr. Cassidy had made himself indispensable to the company's business, and has also secured for himself a fine home at Read's, beside one hundred and thirty acres of farming land in Pepin township. On December 8, 1857, he was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Kyle, a native of New Brunswick, of Irish descent. All save the eldest of their four children are now at home. They were christened: George K., Mabel and William. Jennie (now Mrs. Edward Bivins) resides at Stephen, Minnesota. While he has taken no part in the administration of public affairs, Mr. Cassidy has always been a faithful and consistent republican.

Casper, Anthony, (page 1214), merchant, was born near Strasbourg, in Alsace, April 6, 1841, and came with his parents to Buffalo, New York, when eleven years old. Here he attended the English common schools about six months in all, his early years being mostly devoted to toil. After reaching maturity he earned one hundred and fifty dollars, which he invested in cows, and started his parents in the dairy business, still conducted by his mother there, his father having died. In 1865 he opened a grocery store in Buffalo, with a capital of three hundred dollars. A year later he took in a partner. In 1870 he bought out his partner, and continued the business six years alone. He became a resident of Chester in the spring of 1877, at that time purchasing one hundred acres of land on the northwest quarter of section 4. On this he erected the large hotel and store that he occupies, with barns and other outbuildings. He sells over fifteen thousand dollars' worth of goods per year, and his trade is steadily increasing. He has added forty acres to his landed domain, and now tills the whole with the assistance of his sons. Through his efforts a postoffice was secured at Belle Chester, and he was appointed to its charge, his commission dating April 30, 1879. Up to July 1, 1881, he carried the mail from Lake City, and after that the government supplied the office. He has also served as justice of the peace for four years, and is still incumbent of the office. Mr. Casper visited this state in 1870, and was so pleased with it that he determined to remove thither as soon as possible. He is an enthusiastic democrat. Himself and family are communicants of Belle Chester Catholic church. He was married in 1865, to Eva Reding, born in Sheldon, New York. Their children were christened respectively, Anthony M., Joseph H., Edward Louis, Mary O., John T., Martha M., Eva Antoinette. Two beside the above named died in infancy.

Caswell, Cyrus L, (page 957 ~ listed as Saxwell in the index), farmer, is a brother of the above subject (Joseph Caswell). He was born April 4, 1831, while his parents dwelt in La Grange county, Indiana. His mother died when he was but seven years old, and he was brought up by Triplett, who was subsequently one of the pioneers of Chester. Messrs. Triplett and Caswell came here at the same time as those above mentioned, and made claims. Mr. Caswell's was partly on the Half-breed Tract. In 1861 he traded land for the eighty acres on section 27, where his home has been ever since. He still retains sixty acres on section 25, where he first settled. He was elected supervisor in 1868; he is a republican. In theological matters he agrees with the Methodists. He was married July 14, 1856, to Margaret Jenkins, a native of England. They have buried three daughters, and have one living, besides three sons. John married Carrie Lewis, and resides in the house with his parents. The others are William, Charles and Mary.

Caswell, Joseph, (page 956), carpenter, was the first postmaster at Bear Valley, having settled in the township, then known by that name (now Chester), in June, 1855. His father, who bore the same name, settled here at the same time. This family is of English descent. Mary Mabie, whom Joseph Caswell, Sr., married, was descended from the early Dutch settlers of New York. The elder Caswell died in Vernon county, Wisconsin, in 1868. The subject of this paragraph was born March 19, 1826, in Cayuga county, New York. By the time he was ten years old he had dwelt with his parents in four states besides his native one. All his early life was passed on a farm. On August 14, 1851, he married Mary Nicholson, a native of Wisconsin. In 1855 he made a claim on section 26, where he dwelt seven years. In 1864 he removed to Waukee, Iowa, where his home has ever since been. He is the father of nine children. Clarence, the eldest, is in Worth county, Missouri; Charles, in Otter Tail county, Minnesota. The rest are at Waukee. Their names are Belle, Jane, John, Herbert, Elsie, Lydia L. and Harriet. Mr. Caswell united successively, as circumstances made most convenient, with the Methodist Episcopal, Baptist and United Brethren churches. He has always been a democrat.

Chalmers, Gabriel, (page 1220), farmer, is a native of Dumfriesshire, Scotland, where he was born November 11, 1828. His parents were Gabriel and Margaret (Mundle) Chalmers, to whom were born twelve children, Gabriel being the eleventh. When he was ten years of age he accompanied his parents to Lanark county, Ontario, where he lived with his parents until twenty-one, when he went to Oswego county, New York. Here he learned the carpenter's trade, and followed it there eight years, returned to Canada and pursued his calling until his removal westward. In 1878 he located on the farm in West Albany, which he now occupies, being known since the early settlement of the township as the "Lone Tree" quarter-section. He was married July 4, 1853 to Mary Morris, of Somersetshire. Seven children have been the fruit of this union, four of whom are living: Edward J., John M., Charles H., William H. Mr. and Mrs. Chalmers are Presbyterians. In politics he is republican. He is a prosperous farmer and an intelligent citizen.

War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Chapman, Rhinaldo W., (page 1305), a Plainview farmer, was born in Lima, Jefferson county, New York, June 5, 1835. He was the youngest son of Asa Chapman, a farmer. His education was obtained in the district school. He continued to reside at home until he had nearly attained to his majority. In the meantime he had learned the carpenter trade, and being also of a speculative turn of mind, had profitably handled his small earnings, and was now enabled to purchase a fifty-acre farm in the southern part of his native county. Good luck attended him, and he engaged in buying stock and poultry for the New York market. He was drafted in 1863, but paid for a substitute and the following year volunteered his services to fight the Union battles, and was mustered into the 186th N. Y. Inf., and was in active service in the army of the Potomac until the close of the war, his regiment participating in all those hard-fought battles in which that army engaged immediately preceding the fall of Petersburgh. In consequence of impaired health, the result of exposure while in the service, he has been placed on Uncle Sam's pension rolls. He resumed business in Oswego, New York, where he ran a grocery store for a few months, and for the two years following he was in the stock and poultry business. In 1869 he came to Minnesota and bought from John Allen, of Elgin, a farm on section 21 in that township. This place he greatly improved, and erected thereon fine buildings. In 1882, ill health induced him to go to Elgin village to reside. At the time the cyclone visited that unfortunate town he was living with his family, consisting of a wife and two step-daughters, Edith and Hattie Dillon, in the second of one of the ill-fated houses. The family were at dinner when the tornado approached, and were all buried beneath the ruins of their home. They escaped, however, with only bruises, and esteem their good luck in this to providential interposition. Mrs. Helen Dillon nee Goodenough, of St. Lawrence, New York, the relict of Albert Dioon (a comrade in arms of Mr. Chapman), became Mrs. Chapman, November 23, 1868. Since the destruction of his Elgin home, Mr. Chapman has resided in Plainview village, where he has purchased several village lots in Thompson's addition, and on which he is erecting a fine house. Mr. Chapman and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church; has been steward and trustee.

Dear Ms. Timm,
    I am writing in regard to Rhinaldo W. Chapman (born June 5, 1835 in Lyme, Jefferson County, New York) who relocated to Wabasha County, Minnesota in 1869.
    He was attached to Co E of the 186th NYSV Infantry during the Civil War. I have been researching the 186th and one soldier in particular...Corporal Albert Dillin (also known as Dillon). Rhinaldo's wife Helen, was the widow of Albert Dillin. Out of complete curiosity I would like to learn more about Helen's fate and that of her 2 daughters Edith & Hattie (Hettie) Dillin. I am also looking for any ancestral descendants of soldiers of the 186th, that may be in possession of letters, pictures, or diaries from soldiers of the 186th. I know my chances are slim, but if there are local descendants of Helen and Albert Dillin, perhaps they have some family history to share?
    The Dillin family was a renowned pioneer family of Jefferson County, New York. Albert was the only son of Samuel & Rhoda Dillin. He died at Petersburg, Va on April 2, 1865, without a surviving male child. Another daughter, Jenyvieve, pre-deceased him at the age of 2 months. My curiosity arose when my children and I discovered a monument erected to his memory in an old cemetary near the home of my parents. Further research strongly indicates that my parents' home now stands where Albert and Helen had lived after their marriage. An old stone foundation still remains. I love history and I love mysteries. This has turned out to be the best of both. I recently received Albert Dillin's military pension records. That was how I was able to discover what had become of his widow Helen. A document informing the pension record dept. of her remarriage and relocation has led me to Minnesota.
    If there is any information you can share, or if you know of a direction in which to point me, please let me know. It would be greatly appreciated. Thank You ~ Karen S. Doney E-mail me!

Charley, Augustus, (page 1054), was born in Sweden, April 15, 1825. On October 5, 1853, he landed in Chicago. When on the sea between Liverpool and New York, the vessel in which he had taken passage was overtaken by a terrific storm, and all three of the masts were swept away, and was for several days without any propelling motive on board the vessel. The captain finally succeeded in rigging out a small sail by using some loose poles which happened to be on board the vessel for masts. They were four weeks and three days on the sea, and many suffered with hunger. As many as nineteen children died for want of something to eat. Mr. Charley staid in Chicago over three years, working asAbout one year of this time his wife was sick and in bed. He then worked in a sawmill for three years in Read's Landing; and from there he came to Glasgow township, where he now lives, in the fall of 1859. He homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land, and since then has bought eighty acres more. He and his daughter built the first house in which they lived, a small log house which was replaced by another log house and that by his present house, which he built in 1874. When Mr. Charley first came to his place, he found everything wild, and he has done all the improving on his place himself. He had no money when he came, and was without a team of any description for over two years. By working for his neighbors he finally managed to buy himself a team (a couple of two-year-old steers). Mr. Charley now has his second wife; he was married first time in Sweden, and his wife died before he came to this country. His second wife, Christine Erikson, he also married in Sweden. Of the nine children born to them, but four of them are now living. Matilda, the eldest, is the wife of John Peterson, and now lives in Wisconsin. John, Alfred, and Ida are the names of the other three. Mr. Charley enlisted in Co. D, of the 5th Minn. Inf., and was mustered in at Memphis, Tennessee. He was in the battles of Nashville, Spanish Fort, Mobile, Vicksburg and Columbia. He was mustered out at Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Charley lost his health while in the army, and has not be able to work a day since. He now draws a pension.

Chinberg, Ole, (page 1193), blacksmith and wagonmaker, Lake City, was born in Sweden in 1848, and was reared to the trade of blacksmith by his father, who was a skilled worker in iron. In 1871 he left his native home an sailed for America, having in view the bettering his condition in life and a better remuneration for his labor. His first work in this country was on a farm, where he readily learned the customs and language of the American people. Later he worked with a construction company on a Minnesota railroad. In 1874 he went to California, and worked at his trade nearly two years in the Sierra Nevada mountains, after which he returned to Minnesota and permanently located in Lake City, and opened up business for himself. In 1876, in this city, he was married to Miss Anna Coleman, also a native of Sweden. They have two children, Alfrida Axelin and Harry Sigfrid, living, and one deceased. Mr. Chinberg is a reliable, trustworthy businessman, and a credit to Lake City.

Clark, William,(page 1280), farmer, of Plainview township, was born in the Allegheny mountains, Hardy county, in the State of Virginia, April 23, 1825. His father, Hendricks Clark, owned a mill and distillery. In 1835 the family removed to Canton, Ohio, and engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1844, when in his twentieth year, our subject went to Indiana, where for eight years he did farm work summers and taught school winters near Goshen. In 1852 Mr. Clarke crossed the plains to California, performing the entire journey from Omaha to Sacramento on foot. He tarried in the mining-camps of Downieville, on the Yuba river, for one year, and spent another year farming near Benicia before returning to the states. On May 12, 1856, he located his claim on section 18 in Plainview. To his original quarter-section he has made additions and now owns four hundred acres of fine land just west of Plainview village. Mr. Clark's father was a Quaker, and sought to bring up his children in the way they should go, but his son William was not always the most tractable boy, and when ten or twelve years old used to devote more time to hunting, fishing and nutting than to Sunday schools; but notwithstanding his wildness there was no innate wickedness in his heart, while his mind was endowed with those literary tastes which rendered him a fine student.

Clear, Justin H.,(page 1207), shoemaker, son of Bavarian parents, Henry and Margaret Clear, was born in Buffalo, New York, on the last day of July, 1854. When he was three months old his parents moved to Jefferson, Wisconsin, where he was brought up. He attended the schools of that city till fifteen years old, when he began to learn the trade he has followed ever since. He was employed four years in a shoe factory at Jefferson. In November, 1875, he became a resident of Minnesota, working six months in Rochester. In May, 1876, he bought the business of J. S. Huntley and settled down in Mazeppa. Next year he moved into the building he now occupies as shop and residence, corner of First and Maple streets, and a year later purchased the property. On February 4, 1878, he was married to Mary Trout, born of German parents at Rio, Wisconsin. They have one child, born July 27, 1882, and christened Fannie. Mr. Clear was reared in the Roman Catholic church, to which he still adheres. He is a republican, and often has a voice in the councils of that party.

Cleaveland, William Lord,(page 967), was born in Royalton, Windsor county, Vermont, December 17, 1814. His father, Jedediah Cleaveland, was of English descent, and his mother, Harriet (Randall) Cleaveland, of Scotch parentage. He acquired a fair common-school education in Vermont by working for his board and attending school winters. He then taught a term or two of school in his native state; in 1837 came to Ohio and did carpenter work for a year, then went to Clinton, Michigan, where he continued to reside for sixteen years, working at his trade, that of a millwright, and teaching school. From 1854 to 1856 he followed his trade in Pittsburgh, Indiana. In the fall of 1856 came to Wabasha county, and the following spring pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres on section 17, in Highland, which land he still owns. He married Lucinda Hooper at Tecumseh, Michigan, in 1843; her death occurred November, 1877. Mr. Cleaveland now has a home with his eldest son, John D., of Highland. The following are his children now living, namely: John D., born in Michigan, June 22, 1875; Jennette C. (Mrs. W. H. Phillips), of Winona, September 1, 1847; William E., of Highland, a grocer, November 28, 1849. Mr. Cleaveland professes to be a Spiritualist. He has been a justice of the peace in Highland township continuously, with the exception of three years, since its organization. He was chairman of the first board of supervisors and held that place for three years. He is a charter member of Plainview Lodge, No. 16, I.O.O.F.

Clemens, Peter (page 1084 ~ deceased) was a veteran of the German army, having served eight years in the war against Napoleon. He was also a pioneer of the Roman Catholic church in Mazeppa, having thrown open his house for services some years before the erection of a church here. He practically built the first edifice, paying nearly all its cost from his own pocket. Mr. Clemens was born in Haster, Gruebenmacher, Germany, December 11, 1808, and died here July 3, 1871. At twenty-seven years of age he learned the mason's trade, and followed it nearly all the rest of his life. He was married November 18, 1854, to Mary Reuland. He landed in New York on January 1, 1855, and took up his residence in Westchester. Thence he removed to Minnesota, and bought a quarter-section of land in Pine Island township, near Mazeppa. Here he lived till 1865, when he moved to this village. He was the father of twelve children, four by his first marriage. All are living in this vicinity. Here are their names: Matthew, Nicholas, Peter, John, Mary (Mrs. George Hertzig), Matthew D., Catharine (Mrs. Nic. Hoffman), William, Anna (Mrs. J. B. Gregoire), Elizabeth; Barney, the youngest, is dead.

Cliff, Addin Johnson,(page 1035), farmer, resides on section 14, Chester, where he made claim in 1857. Mr. Cliff was born in Lancashire, England, February 9, 1834. His parents, James and Mary Cliff, were born there. In 1851 Mr. Cliff crossed the Atlantic, and dwelt six years in Connecticut, being employed in a bit and auger factory. His mother came here at the same time as himself, taking land in the south part of the town, where she died. After her death, Mr. Cliff built a house on his land (1879) and has lived there since. When he arrived here his pocket contained his whole capital of seventy-five cents, and he now owns a fine farm with comfortable and commodious buildings. He was married on the first day of the year 1867 to Huldah Converse, a native of Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. Her father, Samuel Converse, was for a time resident, and died, here. His wife Emeline, nee Taylor, is still living. Mrs. Cliff is a member of the Wesleyan church. Her husband has always supported the republican party, but never took any active part in politics. Their children were born as here noted: Carrie A., October 5, 1867; Minnie M., July 14, 1869; Samuel C., March 11, 1871; William Addin, February 2, 1873.

Note From Fellow Genealogist: I am researching the family of Samuel & Emeline (Taylor) Converse who lived in Wabasha county ~ at least Samuel died there, in 1880, and is buried in Bear Creek Cemetery, Chester Twp. I am very interested in finding an obituary, death notice of any kind, living descendants (a daughter, Huldah, married Addin Johnson Cliff) who might have some family information ~ anything that will help me trace who Samuel's parents were and where he might have lived before coming to Minnesota. His sister, Elizabeth, is my ancestor and I have no information about their parents. I will be happy to share anything I have with anyone interested in this line. Donna

Cliff, Joseph J.,(page 1036), farmer, is a nephew of the above (Addin Johnson Cliff), and was born in the same locality May 7, 1844 (Lancashire, England.) His parents were John and Mary Cliff. He was but seven years old when he came with the above uncle to the United States, and was reared by the latter. He has been a resident of Chester since thirteen years of age. His is now the owner of two hundred and eighty acres of land, and has resided since 1875 on section 23. Here was his first purchase of forty acres. By industry and perseverance he has been enabled to gradually increase his domain. In 1873 he married Melissa Merrill, who died May 7, 1881. He has one child, born May 12, 1876, and named after the month of her birth. In June, 1882, he married Mary, daughter of C. C. Robinson, of this town. He is a liberal in religion, and a republican in politics. In 1883 he was elected town supervisor.

Clifford Rev. Robert (page 988 ~ deceased) delivered the first sermon in Lake City in the fall of 1850. Born at Spoondon, Derbyshire, England, in 1801. He was early apprenticed to a dyer in the city of Derby. He soon became imbued with religious zeal, and began to preach the doctrine of the Disciples. He came to America in 1838, and settled at Philadelphia. For sixteen years he continued to preach in that neighborhood and in New York, and came to the site of this city in 1855. After coming to this country he joined the Wesleyan Methodist church. He died here in 1862, and his widow, nee Rebecka Wayne, passed away two years later. Of five children, but three are now alive. The eldest, a son, died in Philadelphia. The second, Robert, resides in Lake City, and also the youngest, Mrs. Jane W. Helt, a widow. The third, Mrs. John A. Jackson, dwells in Mount Pleasant. Mrs. John R. Graham died here.

Clifford, Robert (page 988), engineer, Lake City, son of above (Rev. Robert Clifford), was born in Winster, England, September 16, 1823, and came with his parents to the United States when fifteen years of age. He received but little schooling, and was apprenticed when seventeen to a blacksmith. On reaching his majority he came west and settled in the town of Porter, Rock county, Wisconsin. Here he built a smithy, and therein worked for ten years. He came to Minnesota in 1864, and bought a farm in Mount Pleasant, this county. His winters were spent in the wagon and carriage works, where he is now employed, and in 1867 he sold the farm and bought a home in the city, and has dwelt here steadily since. For the last five years he has had charge of the engine. Mr. Clifford is a full degree member of the I.O.O.F. He is a thorough republican, and in religious faith is found with the Methodists. In February, 1845, he was married at Philadelphia, the bride being Miss Margaret Helt, who died in July, 1875, leaving seven children. The eldest, Robert Wayne, served three years in the Union army before he was twenty years old, and is now in business in St. Paul. The others are resident as follows: Joseph D., Detroit, Michigan; Nettie (Mrs. Frank Devor), Minneapolis; Mary A. (married James Cliff, now deceased), Mazeppa; Maggie (Hiram Johnson), Minneapolis; Fannie (Jefferson Rosle), Mazeppa; Naomi T. (Frank Young), Sparta, Wisconsin. Mr. Clifford was married for the second time, to Miss Susan Mills, a native of Virginia, to whom a son was born six years ago.

Clifford, Vilroy E., (page 1326), for many years a grain dealer at Maiden Rock, is a native of Rutland county, Vermont, and was born in 1833. He passed his early youth on the farm and at school in the Green Mountain State. At about the age of twenty years he removed with his parents to the State of Michigan, where they purchased a large farm. Here he remained till about 1864, when he removed to Wisconsin and soon after engaged in the grain trade at Maiden Rock, on the shores of lovely Lake Pepin. Here he did a large and successful business for many years, not only in grain but in merchandising. In May, 1880, he removed to his pleasant and substantial home on East Oak street, in Lake City. Though he still continues to deal in wheat, he is giving more attention to real estate. His parents, Nathan D. and Daphne (Smith) Clifford, who were also natives of Vermont, now reside at Maiden Rock, Wisconsin. Mr. Clifford was married in 1866 to Miss Zoe A. Huestis, a daughter of Benjamin W. and Mary E. (Blackman) Huestis. She was born in Jackson county, Michigan, in 1846, where her parents settled in the heavy timber at an early day. They have three children, whose names are George W., Burt and Emer (sic) V. Mr. Clifford is Mason and holds his membership at Maiden Rock.

Note from fellow genealogist: I would like to thank you for putting the article from "History of Wasbasha County" concerning Vilroy E Clifford on the Wasbasha message board on Rootsweb. I have done research on Benjamin W Huestis and found only 2 references to Zoe A Huestis (wife of Vilroy E Clifford) as a young child. No living descendant had ever heard her mentioned in any family documents or conversation so I believed she must have died young (last reference I have she was 7). I was delighted to see she married and left Jackson County, MI where there are descendants of her brother's still living today on the old family homestead they have lived on for 156 years. Marie

Colby, Charles M. (page 1078), Lake City, is a son of Ford Colby, one of the pioneers of this state. This subject was born in Eaton, Compton county, Province of Quebec, June 29, 1844, and was therefore about fourteen years old when he came with his parents to this state. His youth was spent on a farm there and here, and his intellect trained in the common schools. Notwithstanding his limited educational opportunities, Mr. Colby is a gentleman of more than ordinary acquirements. For many years he owned and tilled a farm in the town of Lake, which he sold in 1883. For some time his winters were spent in mercantile pursuits in the city, and in 1881 he removed thither. For six years he was employed as drygoods salesman by C. F. Rogers, and subsequently by C. F. Young. He was two years clerk in the Merchant's Hotel. He has always been a republican, and is a member of the Odd-Fellows lodge and encampment here. January 19, 1881, he was united in marriage to Miss Alice, daughter of John Disney, one of the pioneers of Gillford township, this county. To this union has been given a daughter, now (March, 1884) one and one-half years of age.

For more information see web site for Colby Family and Others. E-mail the List Administrator at: COLBY- L@rootsweb.com or UTSEVIER- L@rootsweb.com

Colby, Loyal D. (page 1080), farmer, of Plainview, and son of Jonathan Colby, also a Plainview farmer, was born in Orange county, Vermont, on April 20, 1836. In 1855 he accompanied his father to California. They went thither via the isthmus of Panama, and spent two years in the mines known as Garrotte No. 2, near Big Oak Flats. In the spring of 1858 they started from Vermont with eight horses, which they drove nearly the entire distance to Wabasha county. In 1863 he bought eighty acres on section 16, in Plainview, but did not take up his residence thereon until after his marriage, which occurred January 1, 1867, the lady being the daughter of Smith P. Avery, a wealthy farmer of Orange county, Vermont; the ceremony took place at her Vermont home. The children of this marriage are: Lula B., Gardner A., Carl W., Esther J. and Rolla W. P. Mr. Colby is a member of the Plainview Methodist Episcopal church, the masonic fraternity and the grange, and is independent in politics. His home is still on section 16, just east of the village, where he has one hundred and sixty acres of fine land.

For more information see web site for Colby Family and Others. E-mail the List Administrator at: COLBY- L@rootsweb.com or UTSEVIER- L@rootsweb.com

Collier, F. J., (page 964), superintendent of the county poorhouse, is a native of New York. At six years of age he came into Lorain county, Ohio, with his father's family, and thirteen years later into Kane county, Illinois. He learned his trade as a cooper, and worked at it in Ohio, Illinois and Indiana, until 1855, when he came to Wabasha, and opened a hardware store here, which he carried on for two years. He then purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Cook's Valley, and farmed it there until 1865, when his health rendering farm work impossible, he returned to this city, was elected justice of the peace and city recorder, which latter office he held until 1878, when he was appointed superintendent of the county poorfarm. His office as justice of the peace he retained until the expiration of his term in 1879. Was nominated and elected to the state legislature in 1870, and was judge of probate for the term ending December 31, 1881. May 9, 1852, Mr. F. J. Collier married Miss Nancy Purcelle, a native of Prescott, Canada. They have five children. W. D. Collier, born July 28, 1854; Oliver F., born August 6, 1858; George O., born April 8, 1860; Elmer, born February 2, 1862; Charles H., born December 2, 1865. The boys are residents of the city, unmarried, and with the exception of the two eldest, at home. O. F., the second son, is proprietor of the Wabasha "Herald."

Collier, O. F., (page 965), senior member of the firm of O. H. Collier & Co., editors and proprietors of the Wabasha "Herald," is a native of Wabasha county, born on his father's farm in Cook's Valley, August 6, 1858. Young Collier received his education in the public schools of this city until he entered the printing-office of W. S. Walton in 1872, with whom he remained until 1866 (?), with the exception of a year at school. He then went to Lake City and for five years was foreman in the office of the Wabasha county "Sentinel," until 1881, when he purchased the Wabasha "Herald" from Messrs. Matteson and Lewark, which he conducted two years and sold a third interest to one of the old proprietors, W. Lewark, and by them the paper is now published. Mr. Collier is unmarried and quite an enthusiastic sportsman with rod and gun.

Conrad, Frank, (page 1167), Chester, farmer, was born near Arlow, Belgium, April 3, 1842. When he was fourteen years old his father, William Conrad, came to the United States and settled on a farm at Port Washington, Wisconsin. His mother, Barbara, died when he was five years old, and his father now resides with him. Mr. Conrad never attended an English school. In 1867 he came to this town and bought eighty acres of land on section 3, and he now has two hundred acres of beautiful farming land, and is independent. In 1883 on one hundred and fifty acres he produced thirteen hundred bushels of wheat, five hundred and fifty of barley, six hundred of oats and one hundred and fifty of potatoes. The corn crop of the whole region was a failure. Mr. Conrad was married in February, 1870, to Mary Gregoire, born in the same locality as he. Their children were given them and christened as below: July 19, 1871, Mary Josephine; November 5, 1872, John B.; November 20, 1874, Michael; April 20, 1877, Paul; April 11, 1880, Joseph. All the family are communicants in Belle Chester Catholic church.

Contact Fellow Genealogist: Larissa

Conrad, Paul, (page 1167), farmer, was born in the same place as his brother above (Frank Conrad), in April 1848. He was but eight years old when his father brought him to the United States, and his training has been the same as that of his brother, described above. In 1872 he bought a farm near Lake City, in Goodhue county, where he lived six years. He then sold out and purchased one-fourth of section 20, Chester, where he now resides. He began in this state with nothing but his hands, and is now independent. He was married in February, 1872, to Catharine Poncelet, a native of Luxemburg. Their children were born as follows, William, April 27, 1873; Frank, March 22, 1875; Mary, February 14, 1877; Annie, March 31, 1879; Rosa, December 13, 1880; Susie, January 21, 1882. All are baptized in the Roman Catholic church.

Contact Fellow Genealogist: Larissa

Cook, Elnathan, (page 1188), Chester, was born in the town of Maria, Essex county, New York, October 1, 1844. His father, Chester K., was born in New York, and married Harriet Dutton, of Vermont birth. Young Cook was taken at nine years of age to St. Lawrence county, where he was reared on a farm and received a common-school education. At twenty-two he settled in Minnesota, being employed three years to manage a stock-farm near Dodge Center. He subsequently rented land in that vicinity, and engaged in general farming. Mr. Cook is a good judge of horseflesh, and has raised some good horses. In 1878 he bought on hundred acres of land on section 31, about a mile from Mazeppa, and took up his residence thereon, in 1880. March 16, 1872, he was wedded to Miss Lovina Arnold, daughter of Charles and Lovina Arnold, all of New York. Mrs. Cook is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, while her husband's sympathies are with the faith of his parents, Baptist. He is an enthusiastic republican. Their children were given them at following dates: William, December 12, 1879; Maude, September 5, 1877; Mary, July 30, 1882.

Cook, Garret A. (page 998), postmaster at Cook's Valley, is a grandson of Garret Albertson, a continental soldier during the American revolution. In the town of Hardwick, Warren county, New Jersey, January 2, 1818, the subject of this sketch was born to Abram H. and Ann Galicia (Albertson) Cook, themselves natives of the same commonwealth. Until fifteen years old Garret A. Cook remained on his father's farm, receiving the limited benefits of the common school of the time. He was apprenticed to a saddler and harness-maker, and pursued such occupation for twelve years. He went to Virginia in 1852, and thence came to Minnesota in 1855, locating on section 30, Greenfield. His home has ever since remained there. By his thrift he has acquired three hundred and forty acres of real estate, and is passing his old age in peace and plenty. He was elected clerk of the first school district organized here, in November, 1857, and still fills the same position; has been postmaster for the past twenty-two years; was justice of the peace four years here, and eight years in New Jersey; affiliates with the republican party. Himself and wife are communicants in the Methodist Episcopal church, and were instrumental in the building of Cook's Valley church for that society. Mr. Cook was made a mason in Virginia and served as secretary of the same lodge in which George Washington was initiated. In 1841 Mr. Cook was united in marriage to Miss Mary, daughter of Jeremy and Lana Mackey, all of New Jersey. They have since become the parents of six children. Abram and Elizabeth (Mrs. Herman Graff) are resident at Hancock, Minnesota. Lytle O., Anneta, Irwin and Viola still dwell with their parents. Abram entered the United States army, and served till the close of the civil war in the 3d Minn. Regt. Lytle is now conducting the village school at Kellogg. While resident at Alexandria, Virginia, Mr. Cook fell into an unguarded railway cut, which caused a permanent injury of his left limb.

Cornwell, Elijah Roscoe, (page 1159), junior member of the Plainview hardware firm of C. C. Cornwell & Son, was born in Willoughby, Lake county, Ohio, September 17, 1847. His youth was chiefly spent on a farm in Lowell, Dodge county, Wisconsin, whither his father removed when E. R. was about six years old. He acquired the rudiments of an education in a district school, and in his seventeenth year, spring of 1864, he enlisted as a volunteer in the 39th Wis., and served about six months under Gen. C. C. Washburn at Memphis, being there at the time Forrest made his raid. From the spring of 1865 to the spring of 1867 he worked as a mill-hand in the Winnebago City Mills. He then came to Plainview, where his father was living, and the next year became a partner with Henry Horton in a wagon-shop. This copartnership was dissolved in 1873, when he found employment as a clerk in his father's hardware store, where he became a partner in 1876. In 1869, November 29, he married Emily Adell Burchard, daughter of the late R. Burchard, a prominent business man and pioneer of Plainview. To this worthy couple the following children have been born, namely: Florine, April 13, 1871; Charles, December 25, 1872; Nellie (deceased), October 16, 1876; Florence, July 17, 1878; Frankie, August 18, 1880; and Baby, April 27, 1883. Mr. Cornwell is a worthy member of Illustrious Lodge, No. 63, A.F.A.M., and Chapter, No. 36; also a Sir Knight, and bears a sword in Home Commandery, No. 5, of Rochester.

War of 1812
Cornwell, Chauncey C., (page 1129), senior member of the hardware firm of C. C. Cornwell & Son, Plainview, was born in Erie county, New York, April 13, 1812. His father, Elihu Cornwell, was a farmer. His youth was chiefly passed in Middletown, Connecticut, to which place his parents removed while he was but an infant. His education was received at the common school. He learned the trade of shoemaker, and soon after formed a copartnership with his brother, under the firm name of H. D. Cornwell & Co., and engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes. Two years later they dissolved this copartnership, and C. C. went to Willoughby, Ohio, and opened a similar factory there. Here he continued in the business until 1849, when, owing to ill health, which demanded a changed of climate, he disposed of his valuable property in Willoughby, and removed to Lovell township, Dodge county, Wisconsin, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits. Here his health improved, and he spent the next sixteen years of his life. He came to Plainview in 1865, and engaged in the hardware business with E. B. Eddy, afterward with E. Dodge, and finally with his son, E. R. Cornwell. Mr. Cornwell is living with his second wife (nee Elizabeth Welch, of Ohio). His first wife was a Mrs. Young, of Haddam, Connecticut, by whom he had four children, all living, as follows: Harvey, of Pine Island, Minnesota; Elizabeth (Mrs. Poole), of Winnebago; Alfred, in Castleton, and E. R., his present partner.

Cornwell, F. J., (page 1172), a leading drygoods and general merchant of Plainview, was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1836, where he remained until thirteen years of age, during which time he had the misfortune to lose both his parents. Nothing daunted, young Cornwell struck out for Burk county, in his native state, and five years clerked for his brother-in-law, when he returned to the scenes of his childhood, and continued to clerk in the place of his birth until 1856. Then, at the age of twenty, he moved northwest into Dodge county, Minnesota, and in a similar position in general merchandise served Porter & Lock, and others, until at the end of two years and a half he hired to L. E. Casey, at Cordova, Illinois. In 1861, still in Mr. Casey's employ, he removed with him to Winona, and continued until 1863. At this time he went to St. Charles, and engaged in business with J. Himsted & Co., still clerking, and for two and a half years longer, at which time he removed to Plainview, where he commenced operations as partner of the St. Charles firm. At the end of the next year Himsted sold his interest to one John Taylor, and the business continued as J. Taylor & Co. In 1872 Mr. Cornwell sold out to J. Taylor, and for two years and a half next succeeding acted in the capacity of bookkeeper for Ozias Wilcox, until the summer of 1875, when he went south. In December of the same year a telegram announcing the low condition of his late employer summoned him to return and take charge of the business. Wilcox died January 1, following, and January 12 Mr. Cornwell reopened the business, and ran it in the interest of the family of deceased until June of the same year, when he became sole proprietor. In 1876 he removed to and became the first occupant of the spacious brick building, the finest business building in the town, and built by A. Y. Felton, of creamery notoriety. In 1881- a self-made man- Mr. Cornwell purchased the building, this becoming the sole proprietor of both building and business. He is the owner of other real estate in Fargo. The subject of this sketch is reputed to be the most prosperous merchant in this vicinity, and generally liked for his business tact, impartial dealing and careful self-respect.

Corp, Sidney, (page 1166), farmer, is located on section 29, Zumbro, where he settled in 1860, and now has three hundred and eighty acres. He is a native of England, born February 15, 1832, in Wanstrow, Somersetshire. His early years were passed on a farm and in attendance at a rate school. In 1850 he crossed the Atlantic and settled at Brecksville, Ohio, where he learned the carpenter's trade, and continued at that occupation till he came here. In 1854 he went to Melrose, Illinois, from whence he removed to Minnesota. As soon as he was settled here he set about improving his land and setting out trees. He is now one of our model farmers, and was the first to ship fruit from this section. September 25, 1853, he married Elizabeth, sister of James Arnold, parentage elsewhere given. Both are among the earliest admitted to the Wesleyan Methodist church here. In politics Mr. Corp is independent of parties. Their only child, Annie, born June 4, 1854, is now the wife of Harry L. Rolph and resides near her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Rolph have two daughters.

Corwin, Daniel C., (page 1094), Lake City, is the eldest of ten brothers who never disagreed, is a native of Long Island, New York, and was born March 10, 1828. His father, Capt. Henry Corwin, was a seafaring man, and his son started on the water when but nine years old. He followed boating till the age of fifteen, when he left the sea to take a position in a wholesale store in Norwich, Connecticut. He held this position four years, when he turned his attention to art study, at the same time serving his teacher as clerk in his store. After pursuing his studies two years, he returned to Brooklyn, and continued this line of business in and about Long Island and New York till 1859. His time was principally employed in sign and display painting, though he produced some very fine specimens of landscapes and oil portraits. The action of chemicals used in his work had by this time so impaired his health that he was compelled to abandon a well-established business, and seek a more health-invigorating climate. The same year he came to Minnesota, and purchased a farm in Goodhue county, where, after two years' rural life, a portion of his former strength was regained. He then sold the farm and removed to Lake City, where he started in business, which he continued till 1879, when he met with a total loss by fire. He soon after started in a small way on Main street, where he keeps a restaurant and dining hall. Mr. Corwin was married in 1848 to Mary C. Smith, who died in 1862, leaving one child that has also passed away. His second marriage was in 1862 (Errata page reads "1861") to Diantha L. Rundle, by whom he has two children, Louis (Errata page reads "Lewis") A. and Mary E.

Note from Fellow Genealogist: I am second great granddaughter to Louis A Corwin, Daniel's son. I would be interested in sharing information with others who are researching this line. Thanks! Sue

Crane, Charles Elwood, (page 1133), was born February 22, 1850, and was, therefore, but fifteen years old when he came to Lake City. At eighteen he was apprenticed to George K. Saylor, jeweler, and served three years. In the spring of 1873 he opened a jewelry establishment, and soon found business growing so fast that he could not attend to it alone. Before the close of the year he took in his elder brother as a partner, and the business has steadily increased on their hands. In the fire of 1882 their store was destroyed by fire, but most of the stock was saved. They immediately proceeded to build the store now occupied by them, on the west side of Center street. It is a handsome brick structure, and contains a capacious fire-proof vault. The store and stock represent a capital of about fifteen thousand dollars. Mr. Crane is a member of the Jewelers' League, of New York city. Politically, he agrees with his father. December 26, 1878, he married Miss Cora, daughter of H. D. Wickham, one of the earliest business men of Lake City, and now a prominent resident.

Crane, Ira, (page 1132), Lake City, is one of the sixth generation of that name born in New Jersey, and first saw light at New Providence, in 1808, being a son of Joseph Crane. The family is of English origin, and dwelt for several generations at West Haven, Connecticut. The subject of this brief sketch was reared on a farm, and went to New York city to learn the tailor's trade when sixteen years old. Somewhere about 1830 he went to Crawfordsville, Indiana, where he pursued his occupation till his removal to Lake City in the spring of 1865. Here he kept a merchant tailor's shop eleven years, retiring from active life in 1876. His religion has always been the golden rule. Politically, has ever been a straightforward republican. At Crawfordsville he married Frances Matilda A. Wilhite, who was born in Kentucky, July 19, 1814, and died in 1861. There were eight children, of whom six are now living. The youngest son, Edward, is at Granite Falls, Minnesota, in jewelry business. Ann Elizabeth (Mrs. A. P. Watson) lives at Crawfordsville. Salena H. died here, aged thirty. Mary Isabel (Crawford), Crawfordsville. Sarah C. (Mrs. M. R. Merrill), home here. Julia (Mrs. F. H. Kellogg), San Francisco. The firstborn, a son, died in infancy.

War of 1812
War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Crary, Dr. Charles W., (page 1208), is a native of northern New York, and is descended from a line of Scotch-English ancestors, who settled in the Empire State early in the present century. The doctor's paternal grandfather, Nathan Crary, was born in Scotland, came to America in 1779, being then fifteen (Errata page reads "twenty") years of age, and settled in Connecticut, where he remained for more than a quarter of a century. A few years before the war of 1812-14, Mr. Nathan Crary removed to St. Lawrence county, New York, locating in Pierpoint, where he died in 1851, at the advanced age of ninety-two years. Nathan Crary married Lydia Arnold, aunt of the late Stephen A. Douglas. She was a native of Brandon, Vermont, and survived her husband about five years. To them were born a large family of children. Of these, John Wesley Crary, father of Dr. Crary, was one. He was bred a millwright, settled in Potsdam, New York, and carried on a very extensive business along the borders, building the first mills ever erected at Ottawa, then By-town, the capital of the Dominion of Canada. Dr. Crary's lineage on his mother's side was purely English. The family had long been residents of the Empire State, when John Wesley Crary married into it. His wife's name was Mindwell P., daughter of Judge Lemuel Holmes, of Franklin county, New York, and a captain in the war of 1812-14. Mr. J. W. Crary is still living at St. Paul, Minnesota, with his youngest son, Dr. W. H. Crary, of that city, and is in the enjoyment of perfect health. His wife died in Redwing, this state, February 24, 1877, at sixty-six years of age, leaving to her husband and children the memory of a life than which no nobler or more unselfish has been lived among women. To J. W. Crary and his wife were born three sons and one daughter. The eldest of these children was Charles Wesley Crary, the subject of this sketch, who was born at Potsdam, New York, May 6, 1835, and shortly afterward removed with his parents to the old farm on which he was raised, one and half miles southeast of town. Charles W. Crary received a thorough academic training in the old St. Lawrence Academy, in his native town, from which he graduated in 1855. That same year he entered upon the study of medicine in the office of Carrol C. Bates, M.D., one of the most celebrated surgeons of northern New York. In the fall of 1858, young Crary, having completed his studies at the Albany Medical College, graduated M. D., and receiving his parchments from that institution, located for practice at Fort Covington, New York. The following year, May 4, 1859, Dr. C. W. Crary married Miss Mary P. Porter, also a native of Potsdam, New York, born January 4, 1837, and a graduate of the academy, class of 1856. Miss Porter's father, Orlin Porter, was a prominent clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal church; her mother, Pamelia Porter (nee Allen), was a direct descendant of the old Ethan Allen stock of Vermont. The doctor and his wife number a long line of clergymen among their ancestors on both sides of the house. Dr. Crary having married, continued in practice at Fort Covington, until the call came for additional troops in the fall of 1861, when within twenty-four hours' time he enlisted a full company of one hundred men, and tendered his services to the government. These enlistments were upon the express condition that Dr. Crary would remain with the company during its term of service. The company was accepted by the governor of the state, Dr. Crary was commissioned captain, and his command became Co. H, 98 regt. N. Y. Vols. The regiment was ordered to Washington, and in the following spring took the field under McClellan. Capt. Crary was with his regiment until May 31, 1862, when he was wounded at the battle of Fair Oaks, and sent to Annapolis, Maryland. Was in hospital there thirty days and then sent north on sick leave. Returned to his regiment at the expiration of sixty days, and being incapacitated for marching by the injury he had received, was released from his promise to remain with his company, and tendered his resignation as captain of Co. H, to accept the assistant-surgeoncy of the 114th regt. N. Y. Vols. He was soon afterward ordered to the department of the Gulf, under Banks, and reported at Port Hudson. He was in all the engagements fought by that command, ten in number, and served as medical purveyer of the corps (the 19th) until it was ordered to the Shenandoah valley in the summer of 1864. That same fall he was promoted surgeon, and assigned to duty with the 185th regt. N. Y. Vols., then before Petersburg. The doctor was subsequently breveted lieutenant-colonel in the medical department, for honorable and meritorious services in the field, and during the last six months of his service was acting brigade-surgeon of the 1st brigade, 1st division, 5th Army Corps. The war having closed, Dr. Crary was mustered out of the service at Syracuse, New York, July, 1865, after having been on active duty for nearly four years. During this time he was present in seventeen hotly-contested general engagements, besides numerous skirmishes. The chief of these actions were the battles of Fair Oaks, Port Hudson, Pleasant Hill, both of the Winchester fights, Hatcher's Run, Gravely Run and Southside Railroad. The same year that he left the army, Dr. Crary settled in Malone, New York, where he was enjoying a very considerable practice, which he relinquished to accept the post of contract-surgeon U. S. A., at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, his brother-in-law, Maj. A. S. Kimball, being quartermaster of that department. He had been in Fort Gibson about eighteen months, when, in the spring of 1868, the smallpox broke out among the Indians at Cabin creek, some sixty miles up the Grand river from Fort Gibson. Having been recommended for that work by the agents of the Creek, Cherokee and Seminole Indians, Dr. Crary threw up his contract at Fort Gibson, and made special terms with Gen. Parker, commissioner for Indian affairs, to vaccinate all the Indians in the Creek, Cherokee and Seminole nations. Receiving due authority from Washington, and having made all arrangements with the medical department to forward him a fresh supply of non-humanized vaccine- virus every seven days, Dr. Crary entered upon his work. All the details of this service were thoroughly mastered and reduced to a system before it was commenced, and once entered upon it was not relinquished until under his own hand thirty thousand Indians had been vaccinated. The doctor was accompanied for weeks together while upon this duty with Mrs. Crary, camping out as they journeyed from station to station, at which the Indian runners had assembled detachments of the tribes in readiness for the doctor's coming. During the five months spent upon this service, the doctor and his wife only received the kindest and most hospitable treatment at the hands of the tribes among whom they sojourned. In 1869 Dr. Crary removed with his family to Philadelphia, remained thirteen months attending clinical lectures at the Blocksley and Pennsylvania hospitals, received his parchments from Jefferson Medical College in the spring of 1871, and shortly afterward located for practice in the city of St. Louis. The five years spent in this city were very prosperous ones, and during their continuance the doctor built up a lucrative practice, and enjoyed the confidence of the profession, as was evidenced by his being made a permanent member of the American Medical Association, at its session in St. Louis, in 1873. Having become a pronounced homoeopathist in 1875, the doctor formerly relinquished his relations to the old school of practice, and entered upon the newer and more progressive one, in which he has been signally successful. Owing to pecuniary reverses, the result of unsuccessful political aspirations, Dr. Crary resolved to remove from St. Louis, and being charmed with the scenery of this lake region, located here in 1876. During the eight years of his eminently successful practice in this city, Dr. Crary has won for himself hosts of friends, and four years since (1880) received the compliment of an election to the presidency of the Minnesota State Homoeopathic Institute, which position he filled with acceptability. A perfect gentleman in manners, genial in nature, generous to a fault, a fine horseman, a true friend, and a man among men, Dr. Crary-with his smiling face, and his two hundred and thirty pounds avoirdupois-is justly considered the heavyweight of the medical fraternity of Lake City. To Dr. Crary and wife have been born four children, of whom only one survives, the eldest, Minnie P., born at Potsdam, New York, May 21, 1860.

Cratte, David, (page 937), city marshal since 1878. David Cratte is the son of Oliver Cratte and the grandson of Duncan Graham, both of whom were residents in this part of the northwest during the first quarter of the present century, and of whom frequent mention will be found in the earlier chapters of this history. David Cratte was born near Minnehaha Falls, in this state, March 15, 1837, and came with his father to Cratte's Landing (now Wabasha) when he was between two and three years of age, and this place has been virtually his home for the past forty-four years. He was frequently absent from Wabasha when a child, there being no opportunities for instruction here, and spent some of his childhood years with the Prescotts at Fort Snelling, and also with Alex. Faribault, an uncle by marriage, at Mendota. He was also with James Wells, another uncle, at what is now Frontenac. During these years until 1845, he was sent to school as opportunity offered. In 1846 he returned to Wabasha, and the same fall was sent to Knox College, at Galesburg, Illinois, where he remained four years, and then came home. In 1853 Mr. Cratte went upon the river as a raft pilot, which occupation he followed for twenty-six years: until 1870 as pilot of floating rafts, from 1870 to 1877 piloting raftboats, his first steamer down the Mississippi being the L. W. Bardin. He retired from the river in the fall of 1877, and the following spring was made marshal of the city, and so continues. Mr. Cratte's prowess in all athletic sports, and his unusual fleetness of foot and great powers of physical endurance, were frequently evidenced in the early days of Wabasha, and mention of them will be found elsewhere. David Cratte married Eliza J. Harrell, February 5, 1858, at Hannibal, Missouri. Their children are: Ed. D., born January 29, 1859; Alfred H., born February 28, 1861; Oliver P., born February 17, 1863; Wm. T., March 29, 1865; Elizabeth F., born August 29, 1868; Nancy J., born September 30, 1873; Harry D., born March 7, 1877.

From the historical notes: David Cratte has been a man of great activity and swiftness of foot, figuring largely in the early annals of Wabasha. In 1854 he was sent by H. S. Allen's agent at this place with dispatches to Chippewa Falls, where Mr. Allen resided. Young Cratte carried them on foot, and upon his return, just after leaving Eau Claire, he noticed a party of Chippewas lurking around in ambush for a party of Sioux, who were on their way to St. Paul. The Chippewas, knowing the surroundings far better than the Sioux, waited for and surrounded them, capturing and killing every one of them. Cratte, learning what was going on, and fearing for his own life, took to his heels and ran all the way to Wabasha, arriving at nine o'clock in the evening, a distance of fifty miles in nine hours.

Cratte, Oliver, (biography gathered from pages 593 & 937), was one of the original proprietors of the town of Wabasha. He was the first white man to build on the present site of Wabasha. He came here from Fort Snelling in 1838. Mr. Cratte was sent to this place by the government and located as blacksmith for the Wapashaw band. He was born in Liverpool, England in 1801. He was early left an orphan, and he and his sister came to Canada when he was a mere boy. He learned the blacksmith's trade at Montreal, and after completing it he came west as far as Mackinaw, where he remained about a year. He then went to Prairie du Chien in company with some traders, and was there employed by the United States government. In 1828 he was sent to Fort Snelling, where he remained until he came to Wabasha in 1838. Mr. Cratte has been married three times. His first wife was a daughter of Alexander Graham, by whom he had five children, and his present wife is a daughter of Scott Campbell, who acted as interpreter for the chiefs and braves who visited Washington in 1837 for the purpose of ceding their lands east of the Mississippi to the United States. Mr. Cratte is still living and is the oldest living white man of his time. He is entirely blind, yet his memory is good, and it is like reading history to hear him recount the scenes of this long and varied experience. The old man is poor, which renders his blindness still more pitiable. He has, in his day, been far beyond want; but loaning gold and, in his own honesty of purpose and heart, trusting the word of those who came to him in need, taking no proper security, he has thus, in his old age, become reduced to poverty and sorrow. Coming here in the fall of 1838, he built a shop of logs on the levee, chinking it with mud and sand, and occupying it that winter for shop and dwelling. In the spring following he added a "lean- to" and sent for his family, they having remained at Fort Snelling during the winter. This dwelling was the first ever built by white man at this place.



Notes from fellow genealogist: James Wells married Jane Graham, daughter of Duncan Graham and Suzanne Pennishon and the sister of Oliver Cratte's wife, Sarah Marie Graham. I am James Wells’ GGGrandson. I would be happy to hear from any who are researching this family. Mark

Notes from fellow genealogist: I would like to submit you a correction about Oliver Cratte's birthplace. Oliver Cratte was born Olivier Crete, in Pointe-du-Lac, a little village near the city of Three Rivers, in the province of Quebec. I have 1801-11-19 as his birthdate, but it could be the date of his baptism. His father was Etienne Crete, and his mother was Brigitte Labbe. His mother died 1805-11-22; with his sister Brigitte, Olivier was brought up by an uncle, one of his mother's brothers. He was trained in Montreal as a blacksmith. He left the province of Quebec at the age of 23, heading to the West.

My sources:
1. In 1871, a traveler named Meinier met him in his farm outside Wabashaw; Meinier was introduced by Rev. Trobec. Meinier wrote notes about his meetings with Oliver Cratte, and those notes were published in a Montreal newspaper in 1872. It is a kind of Cratte's biography. Written in French, these notes fill three 8½ x 11 pages in Times New Roman 10.
2. Parish registers of Pointe-du-Lac.
Yvon Crête



A summary and translation follow the original article.

UN CANADIEN DE L'OUEST
Meinier: Notes de Voyage
Crête, Olivier x Sarah Graham
1872-11-28, L'Opinion Publique, Bio

Vers le 5 juin, l'an dernier, je partais de Montréal pour faire une excursion dans les États de l'Ouest. L'Ouest, voilà un nom qui sonne à l'oreille du Canadien comme le nom de la patrie elle-même; le quart de nos traditions se trouvent là, nos pères y ont tant vécu! Ce n'est pas sans émotions que je me sentis emporté par la vapeur, au-delà de Kingston et de Toronto, vers ces régions irlandaises et allemandes aujourd'hui, mais dont les noms français rappellent sans cesse les hardis voyageurs canadiens.

Un vaisseau à la marche sournoise et aux formes insolites nous ayant portés de Sarnia au port Huron, et un certain employé nous ayant chanté sur un ton dolent tout ce qu'il lui faut chanter aux passagers à propos de la douane, nous nous élançames sur les chars américains.

La route se faisait avec une rapidité vertigineuse; nous passâmes au Détroit pendant les ténèbres de la nuit, et Sarnia, avec ses rues bordées d'arbres, ses jolies maisons en bois et ses scieries retentissantes se fit admirer sous les rayons d'un beau soleil levant. Le nom et l'aspect de la ville exhalaient un même parfum de poésie. Les passagers exprimèrent tour à tour un mot de surprise ou d'admiration, puis nous repartîmes avec l'espoir d'arriver bientôt sur les bords du lac Michigan à Grand-Haven, l'un de nos points de relais.

Grand-Haven est une jolie petite ville bâtie sur un terrain sablonneux, absolument comme notre ville de Sorel. Une chose nous a frappés en la visitant; c'est que le catholicisme ne semble pas y avoir pénétré, et qu'on n'y entend pas un seul mot de français. Après avoir passé une demi-journée à Grand-Haven, nous prenions passage, à neuf heures du soir, sur un magnifique bateau à vapeur, pour traverser le Michigan. Le grand lac, cette nuit-là, se conduisit en enfant sage, il dormit aussi paisiblement que nous, et le matin, à notre réveil, nous étions en face de Milwaukee.

Milwaukee est l'un de ces miracles d'accroissement qui sont devenus communs dans l'Ouest; son fondateur, M. Juneau, vient de mourir, et cependant elle compte parmi les plus populeuses cités de l'Union Américaine. Si elle n'avait pas une rivale comme Chicago, elle pourrait prétendre au titre de reine de l'Ouest.

Je passai une journée dans Milwaukee, à la parcourir en tous sens, puis je montai dans les chars pour me rendre à Lacrosse. Je ne visitai pas Lacrosse, j'avais trop hâte de prendre le bateau pour me rendre à Wabashaw, terme de mon voyage. Nous laissions Lacrosse vers huit heures et demie du matin.

J'étais enfin sur ce grand fleuve dont j'avais si souvent entendu parler; mais comme c'était loin d'être le Meschacébé [ autre nom du Mississipi, jugé plus exotique par les auteurs français_YC 2004 ] dont Chateaubriand m'avait fait rêver! Le Mississippi, dans toute la distance que j'ai parcourue, est un véritable défilé.

Je ne puis exprimer les sensations de tristesse que j'éprouvais en remontant ce fleuve enchâssé par deux hautes montagnes; tant de mes compatriotes étaient passés ici pour aller mener sur la terre étrangère une vie de misère et de chagrins! Moi-même n'étais-je pas en voyage sur des plages lointaines pour consoler et ramener au pays, s'il était possible, un père que l'exil nous a ravi depuis des années! J'étais triste et j'avais quelque raison de l'être.

Chaque fois que le fleuve ne battait pas immédiatement le pied de la montagne, et à chaque anfractuosité de rocher, on voyait, comme par enchantement, surgir les toits d'une ville. Il faut que le commerce soit bien actif pour que l'homme dispute ainsi chaque pied de terre à la nature; mais je dirai sans crainte que je n'aimais pas voir ces villes accrochées aux flancs dénudés d'un rocher, ou blotties comme des oiseaux nocturnes à l'abri des rayons du soleil. J'aime la grande et belle nature, je veux des villes bâties sur des hauteurs poétiques. L'homme du progrès moderne est matérialiste; il ne recherche pas les hauteurs qui le rapprochent du ciel, il va sous terre pour se rapprocher des mines d'or, l'or est son Dieu.

Tandis que j'entretenais ces sombres pensées dans mon esprit, le vaisseau marchait toujours, mais assez lentement, il faut l'avouer. La navigation du Mississippi est extrêmement difficile, car le fleuve est parsemé d'îles (formées par les débris des rochers qui surplombent ses rives) et de bancs de sable à fleur d'eau sur lesquels le vaisseau menace à tout instant de s'échouer. Il fallait souvent jeter la sonde, arrêter et reculer pour prendre un autre chenal.

Aux dernières clartés du jour, nous aperçûmes que, d'un côté du Mississippi, la montagne s'éloignait jusqu'à une certaine distance, et laissait ainsi une perspective plus attrayante aux regards du touriste. Naguère encore, ces terrains appartenaient aux Sioux, et l'on n'y voyait que les ondulations d'une uniforme verdure, c'était une des prairies de l'Ouest. Mais aujourd'hui les Sioux vaincus ont été relégués dans le Missouri, la plaine où ils dressaient leurs tentes est parsemée d'élégantes demeures et couverte de magnifiques champs de blé, et sur le bord du fleuve s'élève une ville qui a pris et gardé le nom de leur chef Wabashaw.

Nous arrivâmes à Wabashaw sur les neuf heures du soir, au milieu d'un orage formidable; je fus contraint de me fier à la parole d'un jeune américain qui prétendait connaître l'endroit. Nous partîmes tous deux, marchant sans doute un peu au hasard; mais fort heureusement nous fîmes rencontre d'un serviteur nègre qui nous conduisit vers un hôtel très confortable nommé "Riverside House", où nous fûmes heureux de passer la nuit.

Le lendemain matin, lorsque je m'occupais à regarder l'ameublement de la grande pièce où j'avais pris mon sommeil, j'aperçus un nom écrit sur le coin d'une serviette. Comme je ne savais pas encore chez qui je me trouvais, je m'empressai de satisfaire ma curiosité et je lus, non sans surprise, le nom canadien [ partout dans le texte, canadien veut dire canadien-français_YC 2004 ] de Bailly [ prononcé en français_YC 2004 ]. J'étais presque chez une connaissance; combien de fois n'avais-je pas entendu parler du Vieux Bailly de Wabashaw! Son nom m'était familier.

Ce Canadien a joué un rôle important dans sa localité, surtout pour obtenir des terres aux Métis. Nous le signalons à M. Joseph Tassé qui recueille avec tant d'amour et de succès nos fleurs nationales éparses dans les solitudes de l'Ouest, afin d'en faire une couronne à la gloire de son pays. M. Bailly est mort maintenant, et c'est sa veuve qui tient sur un bon pied le "Riverside House" dont nous parlions il n'y a qu'un instant. Dès le matin de mon arrivée, j'allai rendre visite au curé de l'endroit, monsieur l'abbé Jacques Trobec; je reçus une hospitalité des plus cordiales et des plus touchantes. M. Trobec est un excellent jeune prêtre venu du fond de l'Esclavonie [ Slavonie, aujourd'hui partie de la Croatie_YC 2004 ], pour faire du bien dans la population américaine. J'entretiens une correspondance avec lui; c'était un ami du cœur, je ne l'oublierai pas de ma vie.

Je me rendis ensuite chez mon père, et notre rencontre fut d'autant plus douce qu'elle était plus inattendue.

Je passai quinze jours à Wabashaw, et je voulus voir autant que possible, tous les canadiens qui s'y sont établis. Ils ne sont pas très nombreux, mais je puis dire, du moins, que j'ai trouvé partout parmi eux le culte de la patrie absente.

Comme je m'informais des commencements de la ville, j'appris bientôt que ses premiers habitants avaient été des canadiens. Quelle est la ville de l'Ouest qui, en remontant la chaîne de ses traditions, ne trouvera pas un nom canadien parmi les noms de ses fondateurs ou de ses premiers habitants? Le premier qui se soit fixé à Wabashaw est un nommé Olivier Crête; il est vigoureux encore et j'ai eu plus d'une fois le plaisir de jouir de ses intéressantes conversations.

Il naquit à la Pointe-du-Lac le 4 octobre 1801 [ 19 novembre 1801_YC 2004, registre paroissial ], et fut élevé, croyons-nous, chez un oncle Labbé, avec [ voisin de_YC 2004 ] la famille Cooke qui a fourni le premier évêque de la ville des Trois-Rivières. De bonne heure il entra en apprentissage à Montréal, il devint un habile forgeron, je dirais peut-être mieux un quincaillier.

Chacun sait le singulier esprit d'aventures qui se trouvait alors répandu chez le peuple canadien. On n'aurait pas voulu aller s'engloutir, comme tant de jeunes gens le font aujourd'hui, dans les manufactures de Worcester ou de Lowell; on voulait voir du pays; mais comme on était doué d'une énergie extraordinaire, il fallait des excursions lointaines et périlleuses, des voyages pénibles et des aventures qu'on put conter avec orgueil quand on reviendrait au foyer. Le Nord-Ouest offrait tous ces avantages, aussi le courant se dirigeait-il de ce côté-là.

À ses vingt-trois ans, Olivier Crête était un jeune homme plein d'agilité, de force et d'ardeur; il rêva aux aventures du Nord-Ouest et porta ses pas de ce côté.

Il s'arrêta d'abord à la Prairie du Chien, parmi les Winnebagos et les Néominis, et fut employé par la célèbre compagnie qu'on appelait American Fur Company. Il confectionnait les pièges et les différents ustensiles dont la compagnie pouvait avoir besoin, et préparait les armes de guerre des sauvages. Il avait un salaire de sept-cent piastres, et était logé et nourri gratuitement.

Il travailla ainsi pendant quatre années, puis le gouvernement américain, appréciant les services qu'il pouvait rendre, l'engagea pour travailler uniquement au compte des sauvages.

Il eut dès lors sept villages indiens sous ses charges, savoir: Wabashaw, Red Wing, Little Crow, le Vieux Chien Noir, le Vieux Pinichon, Sikz, le Lac Purcelin et le Lac Calvon. Pendant quatorze ans il alla d'un village à l'autre, à la façon des missionnaires, réparant les fusils, couteaux, etc., faisant des pièges et autres outils dont les sauvages avaient besoin. Il avait alors affaire à la tribu des Sioux, et il eut plus d'une fois des troubles et des difficultés considérables, vu que ces sauvages étaient sans cesse en guerre avec les Chippawais.

M. Crête travailla pour le gouvernement pendant 21 années consécutives, son salaire étant de 900 piastres outre le logement et la nourriture. Vivant au milieu des Sioux, de la vie la plus simple que l'on puisse imaginer, il faisait peu de dépenses; et comme il n'avait aucun des défauts qui ont fait trop souvent le déshonneur des voyageurs de l'Ouest, il se trouva ainsi en état de s'amasser une jolie fortune.

En 1832, il épousa Saly Graime [ Graham_YC 2004 ], tout en continuant sa vie nomade au milieu des sept villages déjà mentionnés. Mais il commença dès lors, sans doute, à comprendre les désagréments de cette vie instable, et au bout de six ans, c'est-à-dire en 1838, il se fixa définitivement à Wabashaw. L'émigration ne se portait pas alors de ce côté, et il fut encore dix années sans voir un seul blanc.

Notre compatriote conservait au fond de son cœur une foi aussi vive qu'au jour même de son départ; l'isolement où il se trouvait, l'absence complète de tout secours religieux vinrent à le fatiguer sérieusement, et vers 1837, il prit la résolution d'aller se fixer dans quelque village français, pour se rapprocher des missionnaires. Il faut pour le bonheur du vrai canadien la vue du clocher d'une église et les saintes cérémonies de l'office divin, le dimanche, loin de ces objets il se sentira toujours dans un douloureux exil, et vivra dans une instabilité continuelle. Cependant les excellentes qualités de M. Olivier Crête lui avaient singulièrement attaché la puissante tribu des Sioux; dans un traité qu'ils firent, cette année-là même avec le gouvernement, ils mirent comme condition expresse qu'ils garderaient Crête au milieu d'eux. Un employé du gouvernement vint donc le solliciter, et il le décida à demeurer dans ce village où sa présence semblait devenir nécessaire.

Je ne dois pas oublier de dire qu'il fabriquait des tomahawks ou casse-tête pour les sauvages. J'ai pu voir un échantillon de son ouvrage, un tomahawk inachevé auquel il n'a pu mettre la dernière main à cause d'un grand mal d'yeux dont il souffre encore aujourd'hui. C'est vraiment quelque chose de magnifique; la façon en est gentille, l'acier en est d'un beau poli et porte de jolis dessins en cuivre. Ces tomahawks se vendaient jusqu'à 15 piastres, et cependant celui qu'il garde en souvenir du passé ne lui est resté en main que parce qu'il est inachevé, autrement il n'en eut pas été le maître. M. Olivier Crête est demeuré 10 ans seul au milieu des sauvages à Wabashaw; on voit que son titre de premier habitant est absolument incontestable.

Vers 1848, un nommé Bisson vint comme second habitant, se fixer à Wabashaw. Depuis lors, les choses marchèrent vite; il se forma un petit noyau de population qui s'accrut continuellement. La prairie environnante commença à se peupler, de sorte que bientôt il fut sérieusement question d'établir une paroisse catholique. M. Crête était alors dans le temps de sa prospérité; il forma le projet de bâtir lui-même l'église et de demander un prêtre canadien pour desservir la ville; mais des pertes considérables vinrent l'arrêter dans ses pieux projets. Cependant la chapelle se bâtit bientôt par souscription, on eut un charmant prêtre, et les offices se faisaient à la française ou mieux, à la canadienne.

Mais l'émigration allemande et irlandaise s'est portée de ce côté-là; et aujourd'hui les canadiens ne comptent pas même pour un quart de la population. Ils se sentent noyés par les nationalités étrangères, et ils se plaignent de n'être que comme des étrangers dans la chapelle qu'ils ont bâtie. Braves canadiens et français de Wabashaw, croyez du moins que Dieu n'a pas oublié ce que vous avez fait pour lui. Maintenant rappelez vos sentiments de foi, souvenez-vous qu'il sait vous entendre comme autrefois bien que vous soyez aujourd'hui le petit nombre; souvenez-vous surtout qu'Allemands et Irlandais sont bien réellement vos frères dès lors qu'ils sont catholiques. Pourquoi donc n'aimeriez-vous pas à prier à leurs côtés? Compensez par votre ferveur ce qui manque à votre nombre. Votre foi est tout votre honneur, ô canadiens, conservez-la précieusement, et venez vous réjouir quelque jour par un fortuné retour dans la patrie!

Je m'empresse d'ajouter que M. Crête n'est pas du nombre de ceux qui s'éloignent aujourd'hui de leur église. M. Trobec, en me le présentant, lui rendit un excellent témoignage: "Voici, me dit-il, un de vos compatriotes; c'est un des meilleurs catholiques de ma paroisse."

M. Crête a toujours été l'un des citoyens les plus marquants et les plus respectés de tout Wabashaw. Sa maison, naguère encore, était tenue sur un haut pied, il avait la richesse et l'honnêteté, il pouvait marcher le front haut. Ses richesses sont bien diminuées aujourd'hui, mais il a gardé ce qui élève le plus un homme, l'honneur et la religion.

J'ai déjà parlé des pertes qu'il a essuyées; voici quelques détails:

Il avait de grandes possessions à Wabasaw et dans les environs; pour faire valoir ces biens, il les mit entre les mains d'une société appelés Land Association, comptant bien avoir une part des profits de la société, en raison de sa mise.

Mais il était trop honnête pour trouver des avantages dans une pareille société; il fut tout simplement exclu du partage, et comme il n'y avait pas alors de cours régulières, il lui fallut se résigner à tout perdre. L'Ouest a été en proie, on le sait, à une nuée de spéculateurs sans conscience et sans vergogne; que de fortunes laborieusement acquises sont passées entre les mains de ces brigands du commerce! M. O. Crête avait perdu des terres pour la valeur de $30 000; il perdit une somme à peu près égale en prêtant à des personnes qui se déclaraient ensuite insolvables.

Un dernier malheur vint assaillir notre bon compatriote, et, celui-là, sous des circonstances particulièrement douloureuses. Bien qu'il eut quitté le Canada dès l'âge de 23 ans, l'amour de la patrie était encore bien vif dans son âme, et l'un des ses rêves favoris était un grand projet de voyage dans sa paroisse natale. Une année, il se crut en état d'accomplir les désirs de son cœur; il fit ses préparatifs, et bientôt il s'embarquait avec $10 000 bien comptés dans sa poche. Il voulait s'en venir en Canada par le chemin le plus court, mais un ami l'ayant sollicité de passer par New York, il y consentit. Cela lui donnerait quelque chose de plus à raconter à ses parents du Canada.

Ils étaient depuis deux jours dans la grande capitale de l'Est lorsque cet ami s'approcha de lui d'un air tout pensif et tout préoccupé: "Si tu veux, lui dit-il, tu peux me rendre bien riche aujourd'hui. – Comment cela? – Voici: On m'offre un beau fond de magasin à si bas prix que je puis faire plus de deux cents pour cent de profit en l'achetant. Mais pour cela, il me faudrait $8 000 sous la main; si tu veux me les prêter, tu fais ma fortune."

M. Crête voulait placer son argent en Canada, peut-être rendre service ainsi à quelqu'un de ses parents, mais il était trop bon, il ne sut pas refuser à son ami qui, hélas! n'était réellement qu'un escroc. En effet, lorsque celui-ci eut l'argent en main, il alla faire tous ses achats au nom d'un marchand de St. Paul, et le malheureux prêteur s'aperçut, mais trop tard, qu'il avait jeté ses $8 000 à la mer. C'est un fait reconnu que les larrons s'entendent facilement entre eux pour piller un honnête homme. M. Crête avait encore assez d'argent pour continuer son voyage, mais il avait le cœur trop navré pour aller faire une promenade d'agrément, il retourna dans l'Ouest gagner de nouveau par bien des sueurs et des journées de travail, ce qu'un misérable venait de lui faire perdre en quelques minutes. Ces souvenirs viennent quelquefois assombrir le front du bon vieillard; sans ces pertes énormes, il aurait pu préparer un si bel avenir à ses enfants! Il lui reste cependant de quoi se consoler encore, car il est retiré aujourd'hui sur une ferme magnifique estimée à plus de $20 000.

Il eut trouvé bien des fois à la vendre, mais il préfère la propriété foncière à l'argent monnayé qui s'échappe trop facilement des mains de l'honnête homme pour passer entre les mains du filou. Il veut avoir la certitude que ses enfants hériteront de ce dernier lambeau de sa fortune. [Note: Il est une chose que nous ne pouvons nous empêcher de déplorer, c'est que ces enfants soient des Cratt, et non des Crête, comme leurs cousins du Canada]

Par un bel après-midi de juin, je suis allé visiter cette ferme, qui méritait à plus d'un titre l'attention que je lui donnais. La maison de M. Crête n'est pas somptueuse, mais elle annonce cette aisance, cette richesse sans faste, qui semble l'idéal du bonheur ici-bas. Elle est isolée, et l'on y respirait cet arôme des moissons, et l'on y goûtait cette tranquillité champêtre que les poètes ont chantée tant de fois. Au loin, on apercevait de charmantes demeures placées au penchant des coteaux, et la ville de Wabashaw nous apparaissait elle-même avec ses trois églises et sa belle académie. Mais c'est en arrière de la maison, dans un beau jardin cultivé avec beaucoup d'intelligence, que le spectacle me parut plus enchanteur. À quelques arpents seulement, on voit une montagne dont le front s'élève à une hauteur considérable, et dont les flancs sont couverts d'un beau tapis de gazon. Des troupeaux passaient sur ces pentes, ou plutôt s'y trouvaient suspendus, selon l'expression de Virgile. J'ai vu quelquefois des tableaux de fantaisie qui représentent des scènes comme celle-là, mais je n'avais pas encore vu une aussi belle réalité. C'est au pied de cette montagne que notre vieil ami devra s'endormir du suprême sommeil, car la patrie ne pourra plus le revoir; il rêve encore, il est vrai, aux bords du St-Laurent, mais les infirmités de la vieillesse le retiennent forcément aux bords du Mississippi. Ah! Qu'il sache bien que la patrie ne peut oublier ceux qui l'honorent par leurs vertus, sur la terre étrangère.

Je vis plusieurs autres canadiens à Wabashaw, entr'autres un M. Miller de St-Hyacinthe, véritable gentilhomme, l'un des citoyens les mieux posés de l'endroit. Je fis aussi la connaissance de quelques bonnes familles irlandaises et allemandes, puis je partis, non sans quelque regret, de cette terre hospitalière.

Et maintenant ce que je souhaite, c'est que L'Opinion Publique aille porter l'expression de mon respect et de ma reconnaissance à ces amis de Wabashaw.

Meinier.
Source: Meinier. Dans: L'Opinion Publique, 28 novembre 1872, pages 564-6. Référence BNQ: A-209.
Transcription: Yvon Crête


SUMMARY OF THIS TEXT
Published in L'Opinion Publique, 1872-11-28, pages 564-6.
Note: L'Opinion Publique was a Montreal French newspaper.

In 1871, Mr Meinier from Montreal went to Wabasha to visit his father. Mr Meinier stayed 15 days in Wabasha, in a hotel called "Riverside House." During his stay, he was told that the first settler of Wabasha was a French-Canadian: Olivier Crête. They met many times and talked together. Crête described his life, and Meinier reported those talks in a Montreal newspaper.

Olivier Crête told he was born on 1801-10-04 [correction YC: 1801-11-19, from church registers], in Pointe-du-Lac, province of Quebec. He was brought up by an uncle Labbé, was trained in Montreal as a blacksmith and left Montreal when he was 23 (ca 1824), heading west.

His first stop was Prairie du Chien. There, he worked for American Fur Company, making traps and tools for the company, and making weapons for Indians (Winnebagos and Neominis). His wages were $700 a year, plus bed and meals. He worked there about four years.

In 1828, the American government offered him work exclusively for Sioux tribes living in the following villages: Wabasha, Red Wing, Little Crow, le Vieux Chien Noir, le Vieux Pinichon, Sikz, Lac Purcelin and Lac Calvon. During 14 years he went from one village to the other, doing repairs of rifles, knives, and making traps; during 7 more years, he settled in Wabasha. During those 21 years that he worked for the government, he earned $900 a year, plus bed and meals. Living with the Sioux, he did not have much opportunity to spend money, so he amassed quite a fortune.

In 1832, he married Sally Graime [Correction YC: Graham] while still moving from one village to the other. In 1837, he decided to establish himself, and planned to leave his job and go to live in a real town with a church, but Sioux tribes asked, in a treaty passed that year with the government, to keep him with them. In 1838, Mr Crête settled in Wabasha as the first white settler.

Years later, many French-speaking families came and established in Wabasha. A church was built, where services were held in French, but German and Irish immigration quickly changed the composition of the population. In 1871, French-speaking families represented less than 25% of the population.

Concerning the loss of his wealth, Mr Crête related that he once owned large portions of land in Wabasha. In order to develop them, he committed himself with a society named "Land Association" who made good profits; but he was excluded from sharing of the profits, losing then some $30,000.00 He lost another $30,000.00 by lending money to insolvent people.

In 1871, Mr Crête was staying on his farm, valued at $20,000.00. He had troubles with his eyes. [From 1870 US Census: he was living there with his wife Jane Campbell, and 9 children.]

Yvon Crête


A FRENCH-CANADIAN LIVING IN THE WEST
By Meinier: Notes from his voyage to Wabashaw
Crête, Olivier x Sarah Graham
1872-11-28, L'Opinion Publique, Bio. in English

About June 5 of last year, I left Montreal to make an excursion to the Western United States. The West, there’s a name that rings in the ear of a French-Canadian like the name of his homeland. A fourth of our traditions are found there, since our forefathers spent so much time there! It was not without emotion that I found myself riding on a train, past Kingston and Toronto, toward those regions that are Irish and German today, but whose French names constantly recall the hardy Canadian voyageurs.

A vessel of unusual configuration took us at a stealthy pace from Sarnia to Port Huron, where one of the employees chanted to us in a doleful tone all of those things that must be sung to passengers about customs, and we again departed, this time on American railroad cars.

We traveled at a dizzying pace, reaching Detroit in the dark of night. Sarnia, with its tree-lined streets, its attractive wood frame houses, and its noisy sawmills appeared admirably as the sun arose. Both the name and the look of the town exude the perfume of poesy. The passengers expressed their surprise or their admiration, and we departed once again, with the hope of soon arriving on the shores of Lake Michigan at Grand Haven, one of our transfer points.

Grand Haven is a pleasant little town built on sandy ground, much like our town of Sorel. As we arrived, one fact became quite evident: Catholicism seems not to have penetrated this place, and not a word of French is heard here. After spending half a day in Grand Haven, at nine o’clock in the evening we boarded a magnificent steamboat to cross Lake Michigan. The great lake was well behaved that night, sleeping like a baby, and in the morning, we arrived in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee is one of those marvels of development so common in the West. Its founder, Mr. Juneau, died recently, but it is already numbered among the most populous cities of the United States. It might have been “the Queen City of the West”, were it not for Chicago.

I spent a day in Milwaukee, visiting every corner of the city, and boarded the train for Lacrosse. I did not visit Lacrosse, being too eager to board the boat that would bring me to Wabashaw, my destination. We left Lacrosse about eight thirty in the morning.

I had finally reached that great river I had heard so much about, but it was nothing like the Mechacébé [another spelling of Mississippi, considered more exotic by the French authors], that I dreamt about while reading Chateaubriand. The Mississippi, over the length I traveled, resembles a mountain pass.

I cannot express the sadness I felt traveling up this river flanked by two high mountains; so many of my compatriots had come this way to spend a life full of misery and sorrow in a strange land! Was I not, like them, treading on distant shores in order to console, and to bring home, if I could, a father who had been exiled, taken from us years ago! I was saddened, and I had reason to feel the way I did.

At every spot where the mountains did not rise straightaway from the river bank, at every outcropping of rock, we saw the roofs of houses arise, as if by magic. When men struggle like that against nature for every foot of land, it means that commerce must be very active; but I am not ashamed to admit that I was unhappy to see cities attached to the naked side of a hill, or hidden like a nocturnal bird away from the rays of the sun. I have the heart of a poet: I admire great and beautiful nature; I long to see cities built on a hill. Man’s modern notion of progress is materialistic; he does not seek out the heights that bring him close to heaven; instead, he burrows underground to reach the gold mines, for his god is gold.

While I was pondering these somber thoughts, the steamboat moved on, however slowly. Travel on the Mississippi is not easy, since the river is dotted with islets formed by the debris of the rocks that line its banks, and with sandy shoals that threaten to run the vessel aground. We often had to drop the sound, measure the depth, stop, back up, and find another channel.

In the last light of evening, we observed on one bank of the Mississippi, the mountains receding into the distance, and a more attractive landscape appearing before the tourist’s eyes. Not long ago, these lands were occupied by the Sioux, and one could see only the undulating green vistas of the western prairie. But today, the Sioux have been defeated and relegated to Missouri, and the plains where once they raised their tent villages are now covered with elegant houses, blanketed with magnificent fields of wheat, and on the river bank a town has arisen that took and kept the name of the Sioux chief Wabashaw.

We arrived in Wabashaw about nine o’clock in the evening, during a terrible storm. I had to place my trust in a young American who insisted that he knew the territory. We left together, with some hesitation. Soon we had the good luck to meet a Negro servant who led us to a very comfortable hotel, “Riverside House”, where we spent the night.

The next morning, admiring the furnishings of the comfortable room where I had slept, I noticed a name written on the corner of a towel. Since I did not know exactly where I was, I hastened to satisfy my curiosity, and I read, not surprisingly, the French-Canadian name Bailly. I immediately felt at home. I had often heard tell of "Le vieux Bailly de Wabashaw"! It was a familiar name!

This French-Canadian played an important part in the town, especially in obtaining lands for the Metis. I mention my discovery to Joseph Tassé, who lovingly and successfully gathers the names of the French-Canadians who distinguish themselves in the vast empty spaces of the West, and form from them a crown of glory for our people. Bailly has died, and it is his widow who maintains the “Riverside House” we mentioned earlier. On that first morning, I paid a visit to the parish priest, Father James Trobec, who received me with cordial and heartfelt hospitality. Fr. Trobec is a wonderful young priest, who came here from Slavonia, to minister to the needs of the American people. I have continued to correspond with him. He is a true friend, whom I will never forget.

I then went to my father’s house, and our meeting proved to be as pleasant as it was unexpected.

I spent two weeks in Wabashaw; while I was there, I wanted to meet with the French-Canadians who had settled there. There are not very many of them, but I can say that I found among them the love of their distant homeland.

Inquiring about the origins of the town, I learned that the first residents were French-Canadians. But, what western city is there that does not include a French-Canadian among its founders or its early residents? The first who settled in Wabashaw was named Olivier Crête. He is still a hardy soul, and I had several interesting conversations with him.

He was born at Pointe-du-Lac on 4 October 1801, [Correction: from parish registers, he was born 1801-11-19] and was raised, we believe, by an uncle named Labbé, near the Cooke family who gave the city of Trois-Rivières its first bishop. At an early age, he went to Montreal where he was hired as an apprentice, and became a skilled blacksmith, or, more precisely, a toolmaker.

Everyone knows of the unique spirit of adventure which then animated the French-Canadian people. In those days, no one wanted to do what so many young people do today, get confined in the factories of Worcester or Lowell. The young people of that time were endowed with formidable energy that brought them on long and perilous excursions, on painful voyages, adventures that they could boast about when they came home again. The Northwest was the magnet that held all of these attractions, and drew the young men of those times in that direction.

At twenty-three, Olivier Crête was a young man full of energy, agility, enthusiasm, who dreamt of adventure in the Northwest, and went there to find his fortune.

First, he sojourned at Prairie du Chien, with the Winnebago and the Neominee, where he was hired by the American Fur Company. He built traps and other tools the company needed, and made weapons for the Indians. He was paid seven hundred dollars, beyond his food and lodging.

He worked there for four years, before the American government, recognizing the services he could provide, hired him to work exclusively for the Indians.

From that time, there were seven Indian villages under his supervision: Wabashaw, Red Wing, Little Crow, Old Black Dog, Old Pinishon, Sikz, Purcelin Lake, and Calvon Lake. For fourteen years he went from village to village, like the missionaries, repairing rifles, knives, and the like; making traps and other tools the natives needed. He worked for Sioux tribes, which caused him frequent problems and difficulties with the Chippewa, since the Sioux were constantly at war with the Chippewa.

Crête worked 21 years for the government, at a salary of 900 dollars, not including food and lodging. Living among the Sioux, in the simplest manner imaginable, he had few expenses; and, since he had none of the defects of character that are so often the cause of dishonor among the voyageurs in the West, he was able to put aside a considerable fortune.

In 1832, he married Sally Graime (Graham) but continued his nomadic existence among the seven villages. But it was no doubt at this time that he began to perceive the disadvantages of an unstable life, and after six years, in 1838, he settled definitively in Wabashaw. People had not yet begun to migrate to this territory, and it would be years before he saw another white person.

Our fellow countryman kept in his heart of hearts a faith as vibrant as the day of his departure, and in the isolation of the place, the total absence of religious assistance began to wear on his conscience; by 1837, he resolved to settle in some French village served by missionaries.

For a true French-Canadian to be happy, he needs to be within sight of the belfry of a church where the holy rite of the Mass is celebrated. To spend Sunday after Sunday in a place far removed from this liturgy is the cause of painful exile, and constant uneasiness. However, the excellent qualities of Olivier Crête had forged a unique bond between him and the Sioux; in a treaty they entered with the American government in that year, 1837, this powerful tribe included a provision that Crête would remain among them. A government agent came to solicit his cooperation, and persuaded him to settle in the village where his continued presence was considered necessary.

I must not gloss over the fact that Crête made tomahawks and hatchets for the Indians. I saw a sample of his work, an unfinished tomahawk which he was unable to finish because of the vision problems he now suffers even to this day. It is a wonderful piece of work. The design is subtle, the steel is polished to a mirror finish; it is decorated with copper engravings. These tomahawks are sold for as much as 15 dollars, but the only one which remains as a remembrance of the past is one he has kept because it was left unfinished. If he had been able to master the work, he would not have remained its owner. Olivier Crête remained for another 10 years alone among the Indians of Wabashaw. His title of “first settler” is absolutely indisputable.

About 1848, a second settler, named Bisson, came to Wabashaw. From that time on, events moved more quickly, as the number of settlers continued to grow. The surrounding countryside began to be developed, and soon, the question was raised of establishing a Catholic parish. Crête was now at the height of his prosperity. He proposed to build the church himself, and to ask that a French-speaking priest be assigned to serve the city; however, some financial losses forced him to abandon his ambitious project. Nonetheless, the chapel was soon built, financed by the contributions of the faithful, and soon, religious services were offered “à la française” or, more appropriately “à la canadienne”.

New settlers came in this area; they were Irish and Germans. Today, French-Canadians account for no more than a quarter of the population. They feel submerged in the flood of other nationalities, and they complain that they are considered strangers in the chapel they had built. Brave French-Canadians of Wabashaw, continue to have confidence that God has not forgotten what you have done for him. Remember your sentiments of faith. Remember that God still hears your prayers, even though you are no longer in the majority. Remember that the Germans and the Irish are truly your brothers, since they share your Catholic faith. Why would you not worship side by side with them? Let your fervor compensate for your lack of numbers. Your faith is your honor, French-Canadians; guard it carefully, and rejoice when one of your fellow countrymen is fortunate enough to return to his native country!

I must confirm that Crête is not among those who have distanced themselves from their church. Fr. Trobec, in introducing me to him, gave him this compliment: “This is one of your compatriots, one of the best Catholics in my parish.”

Crête is one of the most remarkable citizens of Wabashaw. Once, his home was one of the finest in the town; he possessed both wealth and honesty; he could walk with his head held high. Today, his wealth is reduced, but he has retained those qualities that truly mark a great man: honor and religion.

I have made reference to the losses he has experienced; here are some details:

He owned a great deal of land in and near Wabashaw. To sell his properties, he put them in the hands of a society named Land Association, hoping to have a share in the profits of the society, because of his contribution.

But, he was too honest to enjoy the profits of such an association; he was simply excluded from the distribution, and since there were at the time no established courts, he was obliged to resign himself to a total loss. The West was, at the time, prey to a swarm of speculators who possessed neither conscience nor shame. Fortunes that had been accumulated by the sweat of the brow were given into the hands of brigands! Olivier Crête had lost lands valued at $30,000, and about an equal amount in loans to persons who afterwards declared themselves insolvent.

One last misfortune befell our compatriot, under the most difficult of circumstances. Although he had left Canada at the age of 23, his love for his native land remained alive in his heart, and one of his dreams was to return to his native parish. Once, he believed he was in a position to fulfill his heartfelt dream. He made his preparations, and embarked on his journey with $10,000 in his pocket. He wanted to return to Canada by the shortest route, but a friend persuaded him to travel through New York. He agreed, since that would be yet another adventure to relate to his family in Canada.

They had spent two days in the great eastern metropolis when his friend came to him, looking pensive and preoccupied: “If you want to, you can make me rich today.” -- “How might I do that?” – “Here’s the story: I’ve been offered remnants at such a low price that I can make 200% profit by buying them. But to do that, I need $8,000 in hand; if you lend me that amount, you will help me make my fortune.”

Crête wanted to invest his money in Canada, perhaps to help some of his family members; but he was too good a man, and could not refuse his friend who, unfortunately, was a swindler. As soon as he had the money in hand, the so-called friend made his deal in the name of a merchant in Saint Paul, and the lender learned too late that he had thrown away his $8,000. It is a well-known fact that brigands are always willing to form alliances in order to bilk an honest man.

Crête had enough funds to complete his voyage, but he was too sick at heart to fulfill his original purpose. He returned to the West to earn, by the sweat of his brow and long days of work, what it took a thug only minutes to take from him. These memories sometimes darkened the face of the old pioneer; without these losses, he would have left an enormous fortune for his children's future! But he was able to find consolation in the fact that he is now retired on a magnificent farm worth more than $20,000.

There were many times he could have sold the property, but he had long since learned that real property was more valuable than cash money, which slips too easily through the hands of an honest man into the hands of a brigand. He was determined that his children would inherit this last shred of his fortune. [Note: There is one fact that we cannot avoid deploring: these children are named Cratt, not Crête, like their French-Canadian cousins.]

One fine afternoon in June, I went to see that farm, which deserves more attention that I have given it thus far. The home of Olivier Crête is not sumptuous, but it reflects a certain comfort, wealth without pretence, which seems to be the norm of happiness here on earth. It is situated at some distance from the neighboring homes. The air is filled with the aromas of the harvest. One can taste the peaceful tranquility of the countryside so vaunted by the poets of yore. In the distance are seen charming residences built on the nearby hillsides, and the city of Wabashaw, with its three churches and its school. Behind the house, there is a well-designed and attractive garden. A few acres further away, a mountain arises to a great height, its flanks carpeted in grass. Flocks of sheep graze in these meadows; they appear suspended from the mountainside, as Virgil wrote. I have seen some romantic paintings that represent similar scenes, but I had never seen such a picturesque landscape in reality. It is at the foot of this mountain that our old friend will enter his final rest; his homeland will never see him again. He dreams, of course, about the banks of the Saint-Laurent, but the infirmities of old age bind him to the banks of the Mississippi. Ah! He must know that the homeland will never forget those who honor her by their virtues, in other lands.

I saw several other French-Canadians in Wabashaw, including a man named Miller from St-Hyacinthe, a real gentleman, one of the most prosperous residents. I also made the acquaintance of a number of Irish and German families, and I departed, with some regret, from this hospitable locality.

And now, my wish is that L’Opinion Publique might extend the expression of my respect and my gratitude to these friends from Wabashaw.

Meinier

Source: Meinier. In: L’Opinion Publique, 28 November 1872, pp. 564-6.
Transcription: Yvon Crête (y.crete@videotron.ca)
Translation: Owen Taggart.

Crawford Joseph, (page 1337 ~ not listed in the index), third child of O. P. Crawford, resides on section 21, Elgin, where he settled in 1864. He was born in Putnam county, Indiana, February 10, 1842, and was therefore fifteen years old when he came here. He received only about twelve months schooling in all, but being of studious mind acquired a fair education. He is now the owner of the quarter-section on which he lives, and which he broke up and improved, besides half a section near Brookings, Dakota. Is now recovering from a stroke of paralysis, which destroyed his memory for two years. He has been connected with the M. E. church twenty-nine years, and is a member of the society at Elgin. In politics is a Republican. On the 17th of March, 1881, he married Orrel D., daughter of Robert Tuttle, of Linn county, Iowa. They have a son, born May 17, 1882, and named Joseph Lloyd.


Joseph L. Crawford
Contributed by Anita


Joseph Crawford as a Baby
Contributed by Anita
(In those days baby boys first wore dresses, then graduated to knee pants,
and finally, when old enough, began wearing long pants. This was a rite of passage.)

Crawford, Rev. Oliver Perry, (page 1336), one of Elgin's pioneers, was born in Indiana, December 17, 1818. He is a son of Joseph Crawford, who ran a flatboat on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. O. P. Crawford was reared in Indiana, and married Mary Ann Gibson, February 27, 1838. Mrs. Crawford was born in Brandywine Hundred, Delaware, January 29, 1817, and her parents, Joseph and Nancy Gibson, were also natives of that state. Mr. Crawford was the owner of a farm in Indiana, built and operated a mill, and practiced medicine. He arrived in Elgin on the 30th of June, 1857, and settled on section 8. At this time he was a local preacher of the M. E. faith, and often conducted religious services at his house and at various points in the vicinity. Besides giving his own services gratuitously he was a liberal supporter of the itinerancy. He was an Abolition Republican, and served several years as town supervisor, and also as county commissioner. He enlisted in the third Minnesota regiment, but was rejected from service on account of physical disability. His present home is in Iowa, where he is an itinerant preacher of the Free Methodist church. Of his thirteen children, all but four are living, as follows: Russell Martin, Brookings, Dakota; Andrew G., Atlantic, Iowa; Sarah J. (Mrs. William Quigley), Big Lake, Wisconsin; Nancy T. (Morrison), Monroe, Iowa; Henry B., New Sharon, Iowa; Oliver P., Kansas; Mary A., with parents; Francis Edward, New Sharon, Iowa.


Rev. Oliver Perry Crawford
Contributed by Anita

Crawshaw, Charles, (page 1332), farmer, was born in Iowa in 1855. His parents, Thomas and Hannah Crawshaw, were natives of England. They came to this country in 1856, settling in West Albany township, where our subject was reared, spending his time on the farm and at the district school. He is now the possessor of 150 acres of choice land in Lake township, where he took up his abode in 1878. In 1883 Mr. Crawshaw was united in the bonds of matrimony to Lucy Watson, daughter of George and Margaret Watson, of Mt. Pleasant township. Mrs. C. is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Indian Wars
Cronin, David (page 1006 ~ deceased), was one of the early settlers of Lake City, having come here about 1856. He was born in Ireland, and there married Miss Margaret Walsh in 1843. In 1846 they emigrated to the United States, and for the following ten years was engaged in railroading in various states both east and west. By this time they had succeeded in saving a little money, and a small family had come to be cared for, hence their removal so far northwest. Here he purchased a small farm of one hundred and twenty acres in the town of Lake. Soon after he had got started at farming came the outbreak of the late war, in which a spirit of patriotism and love of his adopted country caused him to enlist. He became a member of the 8th Minn. Vol. Inf., and was engaged in border warfare with the Indians, when he died at Fort Abercrombie, where his remains now rest. Mrs. Cronin, though aged and feeble, still resides in this city with her four children, whose names in the order of their birth are: Daniel, Mary, Margaret and David. One son, Michael, a promising young man, died (it is supposed) from injuries received by being struck violently on the breast with a plow handle. The mother and children are faithful members of the Catholic church.

War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Cutter, Isaac J., (page 966), was born in Pennsylvania, November 2, 1829. His parents were both natives of Pennsylvania. Mr. Cutter is a butcher by trade. He moved to Glasgow township in July, 1856, and settled where he now lives. He has a farm of two hundred acres, well improved. A fine wind-engine furnishes him power enough to pump all water for his stock, besides running a small feedmill. Mr. Cutter also has a steam thresher. He was married, in 1853, to Mary Stowman. Mrs. Cutter has quite an extensive creamery. She sells about three hundred and fifty dollars' worth of butter per annum, besides what they use on the table. Mr. Cutter enlisted in the 2d Minn. Sharpshooters, and was mustered in at St. Paul, in February, 1862. From St. Paul he went first to Washington City, and then down the Potomac river. He was in the battles of Williamsburg, second Bull Run and Antietam; was in the battles in front of Richmond, and was in the seven days' retreat. In the battle of second Bull Run a ball passed through the sleeve of his blouse, and in the battle of Antietam his gun was struck by a ball and broken in two, but he never received a scratch. He was discharged March 5, 1865, at Petersburgh, Virginia. He belongs to the Wapahasa Lodge, No. 14, A.F.A.M., of Wabasha City, of which lodge he has been a member for twelve years. Mr. Cutter has been county commissioner three years.

Note From Fellow Genealogist: I read the bio you have on Isaac Cutter and that is not the same Isaac Cutter who is related to me. The Isaac I'm related to was born at Elmwood, Peoria Co., Ill on Jan. 24,1854. His parents were Vachel Metcalf and Elizabeth (McRill) Cutter. His family is descended from the Crusaders and from ancestors who landed at Plymouth Rock with the Pilgrim Fathers. My great-grandfather, William Arthur Cutter was born in Camp Point, Ill. Dec. 10, 1885. He was the only son of William Arthur Cutter, Sr. birth date unknown. I was told that one of my ggrandfather's brother’s name was Isaac. I'll be happy to correspond with anyone who has information on my particular line. Linda


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