Farrar, George, (page 1298), farmer, of the village of Elgin, resides in one of the handsomest and most substantial frame dwellings to be found in this section of the country, situated on the southwest quarter of section 27, where he conducts his farm. He is a son of Calvin and Almira H. Farrar, and was born in Moretown, Washington county, Vermont, May 31, 1833. In his early youth our subject worked on his father's farm in his native state, attending the common schools of the district during the winter. During the month of September, 1853, when twenty years of age, he determined to strike out on his own account, and went west as far as Beloit, Wisconsin, where he hired out by the month to a farmer in whose employ he remained for eleven months, when he pushed farther west to St. Charles, Minnesota. In the spring of 1855, in company with George and Curtis Bryant and Henry H. Atherton (the latter of whom had accompanied our subject from Vermont, and shared his fortunes with him), he left St. Charles to seek his home yet farther west, and about April 7, 1855, arrived in that part of Greenwood Prairie now known as Elgin, where he determined to locate. Mr. Farrar is therefore not only one of the original four pioneers of the town, but he is also "boss carpenter" of the first log house ever erected in Elgin, and afterward kept the first hotel started in the town. In the fall of 1855 he filed on the E. 1/2 of the S. W. 1/4 of Sec. 17 , in the timber-land. He had also previously taken a claim consisting of an eighty on section 26, and an eighty on section 27, about April 8 or 9, 1855, which was jumped by Leonard Laird, in the spring of 1856, during Mr. Farrar's absence in the east, where he went December 6, 1855, returning to the prairie from his native state during the month of May, 1856, his brother Waldo, who was afterward killed while serving his country as second lieutenant of Co. I, 1st regt. Minn. Inf., at the battle of Gettysburg, coming with him. The first marriage of residents of the new town of Elgin was that of George Farrar to Miss Emeline Bryant, daughter of John and Lavinia Bryant. The ceremony was performed at Winona, Minnesota, August 13, 1856. The issue of this union consists of two sons, Will E. and Frank F., both of whom assist their father on his farm in the summer, and teach school during the winter months. Mr. Farrar has frequently been called upon by the people to represent them in different political offices in his adopted town, having held the offices of supervisor, chairman of board of supervisors, town treasurer and constable, besides having received from the state the appointment of captain in the 9th regt. Minn. State Militia, on January 28, 1863. Besides being one of the pioneer settlers of the town, Mr. Farrar justly deserves mention as one of the pioneers in religious matters and temperance work. He was connected with the first religious society organized in the town, has always contributed largely to the cause of Christianity, and is now one of the influential members of the Methodist Church South, which he and his wife joined during the winter of 1877-8, while he has ever been a most active and effective worker in the great temperance cause, identified with and holding offices in the various societies formed in the town from early days to the present time. He is now P.W.C.T. of Elgin lodge, No. 76, I.O.G.T., besides being a member of the Masonic fraternity, and holding the office of J. D. in Elgin lodge, No. 115, A.F.A.M. Mr. Farrar suffered great damage by the destructive cyclone of July 21, 1883, his barn and outbuildings being completely demolished, and causing him a loss of fifteen hundred dollars.
War of 1812
War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Favrow, Joseph E., (page 1294), merchant, was born at Champlain, Clinton county, New York, in 1827. His father, Louis Favrow, came from France to join the American army in the war of 1812, and settled in this country. He married Josephine Duval, who became the mother of our subject. The latter's early life was passed in his native town, where he obtained the rudiments of an education. When fourteen he entered an iron foundry, and spent several years as a moulder. In 1854 he went to Rockford, Illinois, and engaged in the livery business. In the fall of 1856 he became a resident of Lake City, and at once opened the first hotel there. This was called the "Lake City House," and stood on the corner of Washington and Center streets, until destroyed by the great fire of April, 1882. He afterward kept a livery stable, and was five years in the butcher business. After this he engaged in merchandising, and removed his stock to Donnelly, this state, in 1880. For the past three years he has been postmaster of that thriving town. He was four years a member of the Lake City common council, and some time an active member of the school board. His political action has ever been with the republican party. He still holds his connection in all the degrees with the Masonic order in Lake City, and yet holds property here. In 1862 Mr. Favrow enlisted for three years in Co. G, 8th Minn. Vols., and served two years on the western frontier, participating in the battle of Stony Ridge, Dakota, and in several other slight engagements with the Indians. The remainder of his term was passed with the western army in fighting rebels, taking a hand in the battles of the Cedars (near Murphreesboro) and Kingston, North Carolina, and was discharged at the close of the war. In 1862 Mr. Favrow espoused Miss Ellen Conway, daughter of Michael Conway, one of the pioneers of Central Point. Mrs. Favrow is thirteen years her husband's junior, and was born near Ogdensburg, New York. Two children are included in Mrs. Favrow's family. The eldest, Franklin Fayette, is with his parents. Ida May is now in attendance at the Lake City schools.
Feller, Ezra, (page 1221), the genial proprietor of the only hotel in Plainview, was born in Duchess county, New York, where he lived until at eleven years of age his parents removed with him to Wayne county, Indiana. In 1860 he went to Oconomowoc, Waukesha county, Wisconsin, and employed his time from 1869 to 1878 at farming. For two years next succeeding he started and ran successfully the Plainview Livery Stable, which he removed to its present site in the rear on assuming the position, for which he is so admirably adapted, as proprietor of the hotel, which he purchased of A. Y. Felton, March 1, 1881. The house is quadrangular in form, measures 100x300 feet, and is noted for its scrupulous cleanliness and painstaking, businesslike attention of all interested in its management. Uncle Ez., as Mr. Feller is familiarly called, has had two wives; the second still living proves an invaluable auxiliary in the inner working of the hotel, and is admired for her particular care in the welfare of her partner, and in his success in business.
War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Feller, Hon. William H., (page 1303), of the township of Elgin, who since the war of the rebellion has been prominently identified in the history of Wabasha county, was born in the town of Milan, Dutchess county, New York State, on October 25, 1821, being the son of David and Elizabeth Feller, who, like himself, were native born Americans. During the summer months of his early life he worked on his father's farm in Dutchess county, and in the winters he learned the rudiments of education at the common schools of the county. In 1841 he was offered and accepted the position of clerk for the firm of Tyler & Kent, freighters, at Barrytown, Dutchess county, New York. March 3, 1842, Mr. Feller married Miss Helen M. Best, of Pine Plains, in his native county, and was engaged in farming until the spring of 1844, when he started a country store at Red Hook, in the same county, which he conducted until the spring of 1852, and in the fall of 1853 he removed with his family to Manchester, Ontario county, New York, being engaged in farming from the time he gave up his store at Red Hook until the spring of 1860, when he again moved to Oconomowoe, Waukesha county, Wisconsin. In December, 1861, Mr. Feller received a commission from the war department at Washington, as sutler of the 28th regt. Wis. Vols., and served with his regiment during the war until it was mustered out of the service at Madison, Wisconsin, during September, 1865. In the spring of 1866 Mr. Feller and his family came to Elgin, where he purchased the farm on which he yet resides, consisting of the N. 1/2 of N.E. 1/4, and the S.E. 1/4 of N.E. 1/4 of Sec. 33, and the S. 1/2 of S.E. 1/4 of Sec. 28. Mr. Feller has frequently been called upon by the people to represent them in various positions of trust and responsibility, besides having also been sought for by the United States government to fill important offices. In the spring of 1845, when little over twenty-three years of age, he was elected justice of the peace of Dutchess county, New York, and in 1849 he was re-elected to that office. In the fall of 1850 he was elected member of assembly from the third assembly district of Dutchess county, New York, on the whig ticket, although the district was strongly democratic, taking his seat on January 1, 1851. In the spring of 1867 he was elected chairman of the board of supervisors of the town of Elgin, while at other times he has held the offices of assessor and supervisor of that town. In April, 1869, Mr. Feller was appointed receiver of the United States land office at Duluth, Minnesota, which office he held for the full term of four years, when he was immediately appointed register of the same office, which position he resigned after he had filled it for three years, the resignation, which was to take effect January 1, 1876, not being accepted by the department until the following month. At the fall election of 1878 Mr. Feller was elected a member of the house of representatives from the third district of Wabasha county, and he is now chairman of the board of supervisors of the town of Elgin. Mr. Feller is a member of Elgin lodge, No. 115, A.F.A.M., and a republican in politics.
Felton, A. Y., manager and sole owner of the creamery at the west end of the business center is one of the latest business enterprises of the wide awake town of Plainview. He started this venture with four teams and two inside factory hands in the spring of 1881, for the making of creamery butter; and in the fall of the same year added his additional interest as dealer in dairy butter and eggs. By careful management and liberal dealings in trade he has been able to increase his number of teams to six, which are employed in the daily hauling of cream from the neighboring farmers. From five to six hundred inches is the average daily collection, and even as high as seven hundred was the return of one single day. For the greater part of the butter here made a ready market is found at reasonably good prices in St. Paul, Minneapolis and the Northwest, the eastern markets receiving the balance. Mr. Felton originally came from Vermont, in 1861, and immediately on his arrival in Plainview clerked for Ozias Willcox, and continued in his employ until 1866. He subsequently succeeded Crowley & Co. in the drug business, which he retained until 1874. He was elected in the fall of 1867 county treasurer, in which capacity he faithfully served his fellow men until 1871. To the school board he was elected and returned a member until 1878, and among other posts of honor and business schemes he officiated as president of the telegraph company then operating a line between Plainview and Minneiska. The creamery success has been marked and acknowledged, not alone in this his native clime, but on the other side of the great deep. At the state fair, held at Rochester, besides other premiums, Mr. F. was awarded England's silver cup, contributed by Higgins & Co, of Liverpool, for the best creamery butter salted with their salt. In addition to the four acres of land which he purchased from S. W. Dac and on which he subsequently erected his homestead, and still later his factory in close proximity to his house, farms at Highland, Minnesota, Redwood county and Kingsbury county, Dakota, are his. For fifteen years in succession he served as trustee of the Congregational church, and now stands, as he is reputed to have always stood in the community, with the best; a man esteemed for industry, honor and respectability.
Ferris, F., (page 1227), train dispatcher, and A. A. S. for Chippewa Valley and Wabasha divisions of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company's lines. Mr. Ferris is a native of Elmira, New York, and commenced his work as a railway telegraph operator and agent on the line of the Northern Central, between Baltimore and Elmira, in 1867. He came west in 1870, and was on the line of the North Missouri, now known as the Wabash road. In 1882 he came into Wisconsin, for the purpose of farming on lands owned by him a short distance from the city of Eau Claire, but finding his health insufficient for such work he accepted a situation as assistant in the office of W. R. Sill, of Eau Claire, chief engineer of the Chippewah Valley branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway, then in process of construction. Upon the completion of the road Mr. Ferris came to this city, November, 1882, to accept the position now occupied in the general office of this division of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway. Mr. Ferris was married September 15, 1876, to Miss Van Buskirk, of Chicago. They have one child, William Emil Ferris, born in this city July 28, 1883.
Fifield, Ira A., (page 997), farmer and fruit-grower, Mazeppa. Among the earliest residents of Mazeppa was the father of this subject, Joseph Fifield, now residing in Lyon county, this state. Mary Nicholls married Joseph Fifield, and gave birth to a son on November 4, 1835, and that son grew to be the substantial citizen of whom this page shall now speak. Ira A. Fifield became a citizen of Mazeppa in June, 1856, coming here with his father. He made claim to one hundred and twenty acres of land on section 29, where he now dwells. His estate at present includes over two hundred acres, to which he has cleared and tills eighty. He pays a good deal of attention to the growth of small fruits, and does considerable trade in supplying others with choice plants. He had never taken any part in public affairs, but has always adhered to the republican party. Has no faith in religion. Beginning with nothing save his hands, he has become independent by his own labor and the faithful assistance of his helpmeet. The latter, Emma, born Ruber, was espoused by Mr. Fifield in 1867. Her father is among the foremost citizens of the adjoining town of Oronoco, Olmsted county. Mr. Fifield served from January 28 to September, 1865, in Co. G, 1st Minn. Heavy Art., being stationed at Chattanooga, Tennessee. Children have been given to him and christened as follows: Nellie L., October 18, 1868; Clara May, April 25, 1870; Ella Grace, December 11, 1871; Celia Ann, December 17, 1873; George F., October 10, 1875; James S., June 30, 1877; Charles E., June 27, 1879; Abram W., June 3, 1883.
Finch, Clarence E., (page 1203), Lake City, born at Darien, Connecticut, commenced business life as clerk in town clerk's office, postoffice and country store of that town at an early age, for John S. Waterbury, who still conducts the same offices and business. Afterward engaged as clerk in a New York city retail drygoods store, with John S. Lane, a brother-in-law of his Connecticut employer, and remained in this position about two years. Later was salesman in the shawl and cloak department of the wholesale drygoods house of Lathrop, Luddington & Co., of New York city, for one year, and from there engaged with H. B. Claflin & Co. (the largest wholesale drygoods house in New York) as general salesman. After remaining with this house about one year, went to St. Paul in pursuit of health. Being greatly benefitted by the climate, concluded to make a residence in St. Paul. He cast his first vote there in the interests of the republican party, and has adhered closely to the same doctrine ever since. After a short residence in St. Paul, engaged as salesman with the old and well known drygoods house of D. W. Ingersoll & Co., of that city, this firm being customers of the New York houses that Mr. Finch was previously engaged with. After a term of about three years with this firm, he engaged in the wholesale tea, coffee and spice business as traveling salesman for the firm of Granger & Hodge, of St. Paul, this change of business being made in pursuit of better health; two years later was admitted as partner in this concern, and remained another year in the business. During the last year's connection with the tea and coffee house, Mr. Finch was offered a partnership in a new wholesale drygoods house of St. Paul, just commencing business. At the same time was tendered a large salary for a term of years by Auerbach, Finch & Scheffer, wholesale drygoods, of St. Paul, which offer was accepted, and engagement fulfilled. In 1876 he returned to New York and re-entered the old house of H. B. Claflin & Co., as general salesman. In the spring of 1877, while connected with the New York house, Mr. Finch brought a general stock of drygoods and groceries from New York to Lake City, and established his present business, bringing Mr. E. R. Cartwright, of New York, to conduct the business until he concluded his arrangements with H. B. Claflin & Co. In the fall of 1877 Mr. Finch came to Lake City to personally superintend his business, which has steadily increased in keeping with his previous successes, and has since been known as the "New York cash store." The store building Mr. Finch bought in 1875, on speculation from H. B. Claflin & Co., therefore his establishing a business in Lake City could be considered accidental. The building is the only white or cream brick structure in Lake City, and the first brick building built in the town. The brick were brought from Chaska, on the Minnesota river, and it was built by Mr. James C. Stout in 1866. It is one of the very best built buildings in the town, having been only slightly scorched by the two destructive fires of Lake City. The building, 25x80, is two stories and basement, and usually crammed full of goods from roof to cellar, with a general stock of drygoods, carpets, oilcloths, house furnishing goods, crockery, glassware, groceries, etc. Mr. Finch buys his goods mostly in New York, from first hands, and strictly for cash. Having received his business education with the best business houses in this country, he enjoys the reputation of being one of the best judges of goods and closest buyers west of Chicago. He believes in the "one price cash system, small profits and quick sales." His forefathers were of the revolutionary stock, English origin, and he still retains an interest in the two old homesteads in Connecticut, descending from both his father's and mother's side, one of which has been in the family about one hundred and fifty years, deeded to them from the government, and within an hour's ride of New York city. He was reared in the Episcopal church, commencing his business life at his home in Connecticut. Worked for a whole year, according to the custom of that country, for one dollar a week, and at about the age of thirty, before entering business on his own account, was paid a salary of five thousand dollars a year. He still has the identical first week's salary, in the shape of a gold dollar, in his safe. Besides Mr. Finch's interests in Lake City and Connecticut, he is extensively interested in St. Paul and Minneapolis real estate, and seems to have been successful in all of his undertakings, excepting the taking of a wife, being still a bachelor.
Finchi, J. B., (page 1203), grocer, east side Pembroke. This business was established here in 1877, in a small wooden building on the site of the present brick structure, which was erected this present season and occupied by the proprietor about September 1. It is a solid two-story brick, stone basement, and sills 20x50, the upper story fitted for dwelling, and stands on the lot adjoining the alley between Second and Pembroke streets. Mr. Finchi employs one clerk in his business. Mr. Finchi is a native of Canton Grisons, Switzerland, from which country he came to America in 1870, and the year following to Wabasha. While clerking in this city for Lucas Kuehn and John Duke (deceased) until 1877, when he started trade on his own account. He was married to Miss Barbara Meyer, of this city, in 1876. They have three children, one of them in attendance at the public schools of this city.
Fletcher, John(page 1005), Lake City, was born in Madison county,
February 18, 1831, and is the ninth child of Isaac and Nancy (Brown) Fletcher,
who reared a
family of ten to manhood and womanhood, save the first child, a daughter, who
died at the age of
sixteen years. They were natives of Vermont and York State respectively, and
died in Madison
county, New York. John's early years were spent on the farm, and his education
with three terms at Hamilton Academy. For seven years his time was principally
teaching school. In 1856 he made a trip to Minnesota, having been employed to
machinery in a mill at Mazeppa. At this time he placed the buhrs* in the first
flouring-mill in this
county. The same season he made a claim to a quarter-section of government
land in Goodhue
county. In 1860 he became a permanent resident of this county, settling with
his family on a farm
in Mazeppa, and three years later removed to Lake City where he for several
years conducted a
hotel. In 1870 he engaged in the grain trade and in 1880 removed his
headquarters to Cass
county, Dakota, though he continued to reside here. January 6, 1858, Mr.
Fletcher was united in
marriage to Sallie B. Hawks, who was born in Georgetown, Madison county, New
her parents-Horace and Hannah (Bardwell) Hawks-removed from Massachusetts in
period of Georgetown's settlement. To Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher two children were
given, one of
whom, Phila L., is now in attendance at the city schools. The other died in
*Buhrstone: a siliceous stone used for millstones or a millstone cut from buhrstone.
Fletcher, Lorin J., (page 1005), grain-dealer, Lake City, is a brother of John Fletcher above mentioned. He was born December 11, 1833 in Madison county, New York; enjoyed the advantages of a common school through youth, to which was added one year's academic training. The eight years previous to 1856 were spent in a store, and in this year he came to Mazeppa, this county, and embarked in a mercantile business. After conducting a pioneer store one year he returned east, where he remained until 1859, when he again came to this county. Then followed a two years' residence in Mazeppa, after which he permanently located in Lake City, and at once engaged in the grain and commission business as a member of the firm of Amsbry & Fletcher. This firm conducted a prosperous business in this city up till the time of the construction of railroads through the interior, which materially cut off their trade from the rural towns. This firm also were agents for the St. Louis and St. Paul line of steamboats on the Mississippi river, and was for many years agent for the Northwestern Express Company, as well as for the American Express Company after it had absorbed the former. After the completion of the railroad to this city, they built an elevator near the company's depot, where Mr. Fletcher is still engaged in the grain trade. He was married at Lake City, April 26, 1859, to Miss Mate E. Amsbry, the only daughter of his business partner, Mr. William H. Amsbry. She is a native of Shenango county, New York. To them were born two children, but one of whom is living, a daughter, Jessie C., now eight years of age.
Florer, Bruce, (page 1185), cashier of the First National Bank of Wabasha, is a native of Newport, Indiana; came to Wabasha in 1872, at which time his brother, W. J. Florer, who died in this city August 18, 1881, was engaged in banking here in connection with A. D. Southworth. Mr. Bruce Florer spent the first year of his residence here attending school, was then one year in a grain and commission house, and clerking in the county offices until 1874, when he entered the banking office of A. D. Southworth & Co., and was their bookkeeper for five years, when he was promoted to the post of cashier. He has retained that position during all the subsequent changes in the bank management, and is practically its business head. January 1, 1878, he married Miss Mary S. Robinson, of this city.
Follett, Marville M., (page 1324), retired jeweler, Lake City, is a native of Smithfield, Rhode Island, born in 1812. His father, Leonard Follett, was of French extraction and a native of the same state. He died in early life, leaving this his only child to the care of the mother, who soon after married again. Her maiden name was Lavina Jefferson, also a native of Rhode Island, and of English parentage. The later years of her life were passed in the state of Massachusetts, where she died in the 80th year of her age. The orphan boy whose name heads this sketch was forced out of school into a woolen factory, to earn his own bread and clothes, at an early age. At the age of twenty-one years he went to Lowell, Massachusetts, where he became a jeweler's apprentice. After completing his trade he entered in business for himself, remaining two years in the same city. While here he married Miss Martha Berry, on June 1, 1837. She was the daughter of Peleg Berry, a wealthy farmer of West Fairley, Orange county, Vermont, whither they soon after removed. In West Fairley he established himself in the business of his trade, and there remained till 1854, when he sold out and went to Canton, New York, where he devoted twelve years to the same business. Failing health by this time induced him to make a change, and accordingly he, through the advice of a friend, went to Upton, Massachusetts, bought a farm and followed agricultural pursuits till the spring of 1868, when he sold again, and in June of the same year removed to Minnesota and permanently located in Lake City. Here he invested in a stock of merchandise, which he placed in charge of a son-in-law, and in this way lost a large amount of his hard-earned money, after which he was obliged to go back to his trade, and thus continued till 1860. Their children are Susan V., wife of J. W. Champlin, Clara M., now Mrs. H. F. Tanner, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Jennie L., died in Vermont, Luther M., a jeweler in Appleton, Wis., and Leonard P. at Wahpaton, D. T.
Ford, E. L., (page 947), of the firm of E. L. Ford & Co., general merchants, was born in Madison county, State of New York, in 1851. When four years of age he came with his parents to Mazeppa, where he grew to manhood, meantime obtaining the rudiments of an education in the school of the village. From here he went to the State University of Minnesota for two or three years, after which he took a course at the Commercial College of Minneapolis, from which he graduated. On returning home in 1873 he and his father established a boot and shoe store under the firm name of E. L. Ford & Co. At first the trade was small, but, being handled with skill and executive ability, it has grown to large proportions; additions in space and also in variety of goods have been added from time to time till it is now large and comprises a full line of dry goods, boots and shoes, hats and caps, clothing, crockery, queensware, etc. Mr. E. L. Ford is still a young man, but nevertheless has exhibited in his business career capacity and the elements of success, which do him great credit.
Ford, Joseph, (page 946), the father of O. D. Ford, was born in Delaware county, New York. His father was a cloth-dresser, of whom he learned the business, and afterward moved to Madison county, New York, where he established and carried on the same business for a number of years, when he turned his attention to farming, at which he continued till 1855, when he came to Mazeppa, arriving in the fall of 1855. He at once pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land in the north half of section 6, which he improved and for a number of years carried on farming operations, supervising in person his entire business till he was about eighty years of age, when his son, O. D. Ford, attended to his business up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1882, he being at the time about eighty-three years old. As a friend and neighbor he was greatly esteemed by all who knew him; in intercourse he was urbane and genial; his convictions were strong but sincere, and his reputation for probity and fair-dealing was above reproach; his daily line of conduct did honor to his community, his country and his Creator, and is well worthy the emulation of all mankind.
Ford, Orville D., (page 945), was born in the town of Lebanon, Madison county, New York, where he received a common school education and lived till September, 1855, when he came to Mazeppa; here he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land in section 30; subsequently he bought three eighties and settled on the south half of section 6, where he still lives. He and his father Joseph platted the village of Mazeppa, including the water-power, which is furnished by the north branch of the Zumbro. This land was bought by the Fords of Judge Welch, of Redwing, who owned it under original patent. O. D. Ford sold a number of town lots from his purchase of three eighties, and now has about three hundred acres left of valuable lands. In 1873, in connection with his son Edward L., he established a boot and shoe store under the firm name of E. L. Ford & Co., and which name still continues. At first the trade was small, but increased from year to year, and in order to keep pace with the growth of business and the demands of their customers they have enlarged their space and added to their stock till it now comprises a full line of dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, hats and caps, and clothing, etc., and are doing a good business. Mr. Ford has always taken a lively interest in the growth and welfare of his town and has had much to do toward shaping its destiny. He was at one time engaged in milling, he and his associate having built and operated the first merchant mill in Mazeppa. In 1880 he sold his interest in the mill and retired from the business. He was the first president of the village council after its organization in 1856, and held the office of register of deeds for Wabasha county for five years. In 1858 he was elected to represent his district in the legislature of Minnesota and served till 1861, when his services were alike creditable to himself and acceptable to his constituents.
Foreman, William, (page 1090), son of Charles and Elizabeth (Fisher) Foreman, was born in Ireland. He was married to Maggie G. Robertson, June 13, 1872. Mrs. Foreman is a native of Canada, of Scotch descent. She came to Wabasha county in company with her father's family and settled in West Albany township. She is the eldest of eight children and has a brother, James, now living in Lyon county, Minnesota. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Foreman, the eldest of which is Harry H., and Ethel Maud and Roy Elmer are the names of the other two. Mr. Foreman is well known all over the township; has been a stanch republican all his life; been town clerk for a number of years. He is a member of Wapahasa Lodge, A.F.A.M., No. 14, of Wabasha city. Also Relief Chapter, No. 6, of the Knight Templars of Lake City. Mr. Foreman has a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in home place, and two hundred and forty acres in Lyon county, Minnesota. He carries on threshing during the threshing season quite extensively, running three steam threshers; has also a wood-saw. He has had charge of the Wabasha Elevator.
Forrest, Charles, ((page 1066 ~ deceased) was among those who came to Wabasha in an early day. He was born at Peter Head, a city in the north of Scotland, April 24, 1835. In early life he entered upon an apprenticeship to the trade of boot and shoe maker, serving the usual time. In 1856 he left the land of his birth and the home of his childhood, with all the ties of kindred and friends, and the dearest of all, the one who was to be his bosom friend and companion through life, and after a few uneventful weeks on the ocean, and a year spent at his trade in Montreal, Canada, he landed from a river steamer at Wabasha, Minnesota, late in the summer of 1857. There he decided to stay and make a strike for a home, entering at once upon the business of his trade, which he prosecuted with vigor nearly four years, when, notwithstanding the financial embarrassment following the crisis of 1857, and the prevailing diseases incident to those who were then living on the Mississippi bottoms, in both of which Mr. Forrest suffered severely, he had secured the means not only to send for the one above referred to, but also to provide for her on her arrival, a rude, though happy home. She reached Wabasha on the evening of April 22, 1861, and the next day Charles Forrest and Margaret Tough were united in marriage. She is a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, and was born May 31, 1834. They at once repaired to a farm he had previously bought in West Albany township, and built a small frame house, the first erected in that settlement. Mrs. Forrest now declares that the succeeding years were the happiest of her life. The pioneers had but little, and, being all on an equality, shared cheerfully with each other, even to a cup of salt. Some years later Mr. Forrest came to Lake City, and, after selling his farm, built a store and embarked in merchandising in the boot and shoe line, conducting the business till the time of his death, May 21, 1879. Though he left no fortune to his family, he left them with a home and the heritage of an unsullied name. He was a deacon in the Baptist church, and consistent, pious Christian gentleman. His widow and one son are also members of the Baptist church. His children, who are all residing with their mother in Lake City, are James, Charles G., Jennette H., Maggie J., Jennie E., William W. and Katie E., and enjoy the esteem and respect of their fellow citizens.
Foss, R. H., (page 1194), stock-dealer, Lake City, was born at Rye Beach, near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, January 29, 1849. His father, Joel N. Foss, is of Scotch descent, and was born in the same state, as was his wife, Adeline Locke, of Puritan stock. In July, 1857, our subject came to Minnesota with his parents, and was reared on a farm in West Florence, Goodhue county. His education was furnished by a limited course in the log schoolhouse of that region. He became a resident of Lake City in 1874, and has ever since been engaged in the purchase and sale of horses and other stock. Has real estate in Minneapolis and Moorhead and in Pepin county, Wisconsin. In July, 1874, he was united in marriage to Miss Ellen A., daughter of Robert Gray, elsewhere sketched in this book. They have three children Christened respectively, Bernard, Clarence and Viginia. Mr. Foss is a thorough and consistent republican. He was five successive times elected constable of the town of West Florence.
Foster, Hon. Alonzo P., (page 992), son of a Vermont farmer of Scotch descent, was born in Orange, Orange county, Vermont, May 5, 1816. Lemuel Foster, his father, died when the subject of the present sketch was but four years old, and the cares incident to the rearing of a family of ten children were devolved upon the mother, Cloe (Powers) Foster, a member of the Leland family of this country, which has extant a genealogical record. The mother was very much attached to the old Orange county farm and continued to reside thereon until her death, keeping her large family together as best she could. The education of young Foster would have been sadly neglected had he not been studiously inclined, and taken, undirected, upon himself the task of mastering not only the common branches of study, but also those usually taught in high schools. He remained at home in charge of the old farm for several years, and until after the death of both mother and wife. He was married to Miss Harriet Thompson, of Orange county, in 1844, by whom he had one child, the present Mrs. T. G. Bolton, of Plainview. The death of his wife occurred in 1851, and his mother departed this life in 1854. He next became manager for one year of the Troy Conference Academy, of West Poultney, Vermont, over which his cousin, Rev. Jason F. Watkins, presided. The following spring he came to Minnesota, arriving on Greenwood prairie a few days after the Eddy party came. He located on the S. E. 1/4 Sec. 11 in Plainview. Despite vigorous efforts put forth to drive him from this claim, which was a portion of the Half-breed Tract, he continued to hold it until enabled to perfect his title. He disposed of this farm in 1864. In 1866 he gathered together a considerable fund and removed to Winona, investing in real estate, which afterward he platted as an addition to the city of Winona under the name of Foster's addition. He re-established his home in Plainview in 1878, and now owns a large farm on section 36, in Oakwood, besides the small place in Foster's addition to Plainview village. He makes a specialty of Jersey cattle and Norman-Percheron horses. Mr. Foster was a member of the state legislature in 1857.
Foster, Scott A., (page 1026), was born in Washington county, New York, June 2, 1856. His father, Albert Foster, is an old settler in West Albany, Wabasha county, and it was here on a farm that young Foster's early life was spent. He attended the Lake City high school for a few terms. In 1875 he entered the State University, and kept up with his classes for three years, although obliged to do the requisite studying while also engaged in teaching district school to earn the means with which to defray his college expenses. The fall of 1880 he was elected principal of the Elgin union school, and taught therein acceptably for two years; then filled a similar position in the Plainview union school until elected county superintendent of schools in the fall of 1883. Prof. Foster was elected by a majority of one hundred and twenty-eight, running six hundred ahead of his ticket, and being the only man therein elected.
Fowler, Andrew J., (page 1083), Lake City, is a direct descendant of Capt. William Fowler, who came from England to New Haven, Connecticut, in 1664. Amos Fowler, grandfather of this subject, was a captain in the revolutionary war. In Lebanon, New London county, Connecticut, June 13, 1835, Andrew J. Fowler was born to Amos and Lydia (Backus) Fowler, who were also born in that state. Up to seventeen years of age his life was passed on a farm, his education being supplied by the common schools. His habits were, however, studious, and he contrived to fit himself for the responsible positions he was afterward called to fill. He was employed as clerk in a store in Hartford for some time, and afterward engaged in the grocery trade there. In 1856 he took a life-partner in domestic concerns in the person of Miss Ida E., daughter of Horace Grant, both born in Connecticut, the former at South Windsor, and she has proved a valuable helpmeet. In 1860 Mr. Fowler visited Lake City, and being pleased with the locality, brought his family here the following spring. He purchased land in Mount Pleasant township, where he engaged in farming for a short time, subsequently selling the land. For four years he kept books for a mercantile firm in Lake City, and served the American Express Company as agent one year. In December, 1871, he entered the First National Bank, where he served successively as bookkeeper, teller and cashier. In March, 1876, he entered upon the duties of county treasurer, to which post he was elected in the November previous. He was twice re-elected, and retired from the office in 1882. Mr. Fowler has always been a democrat. He has always taken an active part in fostering schools, and served some time as president of the Lake City school board; was justice of the peace; two years alderman; in 1869 was elected to the state legislature, and re-elected next year, serving in the sessions of 1870-71. The first two children given to Mr. and Mrs. Fowler were christened Andrew and Florence Augusta, and died in Connecticut. Five are now living, namely, Arthur G., Lake City Bank; Amos S., engineer, Lake City mills; Alice M., Annie R. and Adelaide, at home.
Fowler, Edward P. C., (page 1020), farmer, is one of the oldest settlers left in the township. He was born November 5, 1818, in New London county, Connecticut, and is of remote English ancestry. His parents were Amos and Lydia Backus-Fowler, both natives of Connecticut. Edward was raised on the farm, and on attaining his majority learned the carpenter's trade, following it there until 1856, when he located in Mount Pleasant, on the farm he now occupies. He was married September 9. 1842, in New London county, Connecticut, to Betsy Thomas of that county. To his union has been born six children, viz: John C.., Nelson L. (deceased), William T. (deceased), Mrs. Lydia E. Robinson, of Lyon county, Charles S. and Edward P. C. During his residence here Mr. Fowler has divided his time between his land and his trade, and has a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres. Mrs. Fowler departed this life May 30, 1883. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, as is Mr. Fowler, and he belonged to the Grange and the Good Templar lodge, when those societies were in existence in the township. He is a republican, and was the first clerk of the township. He since has been called to the public service at different times, having filled the offices of justice of the peace, treasurer, assessor, etc.
Fox, Ansel T., (page 1049), son of Reuben and Frances Fox, was born in Trenton, New York, January 6, 1836. His parents were natives of the same state. Being raised on the farm, he attended the district schools. At the age of nineteen he removed to Belvidere, Illinois. After trying it for two years he came to this county, settling in Mazeppa township, section 10. His farm consists of one hundred and sixty acres, a large portion being untillable. He raises considerable stock, and carries on quite a dairying business. He was the first town clerk and has also been chairman of the board several times. In politics he is a stanch republican; in religion tends toward the Universalist faith. He married Roxana, daughter of Eben Boughton, who was a native of New York State. They have three children, as follows: Sarah F., Alfred R. and Charlotte A., all at home.
Fox, Aaron, (page 1246), postmaster at Minneiska, the subject of our sketch, is a son of Abner and Delana Fox, and was born at Mentor, Ohio, in 1833. After receiving a common- school education he removed to Lake county, Illinois. At the end of four years he felt a hungering and thirsting for a better education. Acting upon his impulses, he took a three years' course at Kirtland Seminary, one of the best seminaries in Ohio at that time. After this we find him on the farm in Lake county again till 1856, when he came to Minneiska. For some time he traded with the Indians, dealing principally in furs, but tiring of this, he dealt in wheat, and at present is postmaster, and also deals in groceries; has served as assessor and constable several terms. He is a member of the Masonic order. His politics are republican. Married Mary Jane Hawkins, of Illinois, and have two children: Jessie F., now Mrs. George H. Bagley, living in Missouri, and Ernest, living at Ojata, Minnesota.
Franklin, George B., (page 1022), carpenter, is a native of New York, as were his parents, B. B. and Maria (Glynn) Franklin. The subject of this sketch was born in the town of Georgetown, Madison county, January 22, 1832. When seven years old he was taken with the family to Vermont, where he attended the common schools till fourteen, after which he cared for himself. When sixteen he began carpenter work and followed it till thirty-three. In 1857 he located at Mazeppa and built most of the early buildings in that village. Twelve years after settling in this county he purchased the farm on which he now resides. For some years he dealt largely in horses and also bought and sold some real estate. His domain now includes one hundred acres lying on section 31, Chester, and is graced with handsome and well-planned buildings. Mr. Franklin is a member of the Masonic order, his lodge being located at Mazeppa. He is a thorough republican partisan and never voted for a democrat for any office. In 1876 he married Miss Allie, daughter of Elam Black, of Mazeppa. Their children were born and christened as below: July 31, 1877, Berenice; November 22, 1878, Lottie; September 28, 1880, Lottie; August 22, 1882, Jessie. (There are two named Lottie)
Freiheit, Ferdinand, (page 1148), farmer, is a brother of the last subject (Louis Freiheit), and was born in the same place (Worsetz, Prussia) in April, 1845. In 1865 he emigrated to Wisconsin, and came thence to Chester four years later. He was engaged in farm labor till 1873, when he bought one-fourth of section 2. This was wild at that time, and he proceeded to subdue it. He has built a comfortable house and large barn at the cost of fourteen hundred dollars, and a granary that cost three hundred dollars more. January 1, 1877, he married Minnie Knaap, whose birthplace is within two miles of his own. He is a republican, and all his family has been baptized in the Lutheran church. There are four children, given as below: Clara, May 14, 1879; William, August 5, 1880; Theodore, July 5, 1881; Emily, April 12, 1883.
Freiheit, Louis, (page 1148), farmer, was born in Worsetz, Prussia, December 1, 1835. He remained there on a farm till twenty-five years old, when he came to America, and engaged in farm labor in Green Lake county, Wisconsin. He came to Chester in 1866, and bought one- fourth of section 11, which he has handsomely improved. It was unbroken when it fell into his hands, but is now under the plow, and graced with large and handsome buildings. At one time Mr. Freiheit was three thousand dollars in debt, but is now independent. He was a charter member of St. John's Lutheran church, and is now treasurer of that body. Politically, has always been a republican. He was married in June, 1871, to Angell Stemmenn, who was born in Hanover, Germany. Their children were born and christened as follows: June 16, 1874, Henry; May 9, 1876, Emma; June 5, 1883, Lena.
French, Jacob M., (page 1183), farmer, and prominent citizen of Wabasha county, came to Highland township from Erie county, Pennsylvania, in 1871, soon after purchasing the farm on sections 20 and 21 on which he has since resided. He was born July 8, 1826, at Mount Holly, Rutland county, Vermont. His parents, David and Susa (Marsh) French, were natives of the same state, his father being born in Reading, March 15, 1779, and his mother at Halifax, November 27, 1802. When Jacob was eleven years old, his parents removed from Vermont to Warren county, Pennsylvania. This removal was the result of business reverses, Mr. French, senior, being a manufacturer. The family not having retrieved its fortunes in Pennsylvania, we find the subject of this sketch in 1852 an inmate of a mining camp at Oroville, California. Four years later he returned to Pennsylvania, and engaged in agricultural pursuits there until his removal to Wabasha county. Miss Eveline G. Cook, a native of Warren county, Pennsylvania, then in her twentieth year, became his wife. Her parents were Asa Cook, a native of Massachusetts, and Fannie (Elmer) Cook, a native of Vermont. Mrs. French received an education at the Fredonia, New York, Academy. Four children have blessed this union, viz: Fannie G., born in Pennsylvania, August 9, 1859, a graduate of the Minnesota State Normal School at Winona, and first assistant teacher in the Wabasha graded schools; D'Etta A. (Mrs. C. E. Robbins, of Fargo, Dakota, born October 18, 1861); Alden M., born July 12, 1867; Ernest A., born March 13, 1878. Mr. French is a republican in politics; has been township clerk several terms, and county commissioner for three years. He is also a member of the Plainview Grange.
Fricke, Julius, (page 1086), a native the Elbe, near Hamburg, Germany, emigrated to America in 1852, landing at New York city, where he was married to Miss Annetta Tebbens, October 5, 1853, by whom he had seven children, three boys and four girls. Two boys now sleep in the Plainview cemetery, and Alfred, born February 22, 1864, the remaining son, works with his father, who in the year 1860 established the first harness-shop in Plainview, close to the site of his present place of business. Mr. Fricke resides in a handsome brick dwelling, which he erected in 1877 on his village farm of eighty acres, in close proximity to residence of Dr. Tefft. Besides this he is the owner of a farm of one hundred and two acres, which he bought of Hiram Schlacht, and is recorded under warrant 74,708. He is recognized as perfect master of the harness business in all its branches.
Frye, Henry, (page 999), retired farmer, is one of the pioneers of Greenfield, having located in 1856 on section 29, where he now dwells with his daughter. He was born in Hanover in 1799, and emigrated direct to Minnesota in the spring of 1856. In 1827 he married Mary Koenig, now deceased. The family includes two daughters, the eldest, Mrs. Henry Graner, residing near by; the other, Mrs. J. H. Wehrenberg, is spoken of above. All are Lutherans.