Note from a fellow genealogist: Please note that Naman C. Radebaugh and Cheresa Addis 'Addie' Fancher had a daughter Ethelyn Grace 'Lynn' Radebaugh (not Leon) and a son Jay Garfield Radebaugh. Cindy
War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Radebaugh, Samuel, (page 1036 ~ deceased), son of Nicholas and Catherine Radebaugh, was born April 24, 1826, at Carroll, Fairfield county, Ohio. His youth was spent on the farm, and he received his education at the district schools. He married Catherine Brandt, and from this union sprang six children: Namon C. (who is sketched below); Emma, now Mrs. Clark, living in Minneapolis; Ethel (deceased), Jackson, Charles, and Kate, now Mrs. Post, residing in Moorhead. In the fall of 1856 he removed to Anamosa, Iowa for a year; thence to Marion, in the same state, remaining there a year, after which he came to this county, settling on section 19, Gillford township. In 1864 he enlisted in the 10th Minn., at Fort Snelling, but soon after was taken sick and died, seeing no active service. His politics were republican during the latter part of his life. Previous to this he was a "Know-nothing."* His religion may be said to be embraced in the command, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
*Know-nothing: a member of a 19th century secret American political organization hostile to the political influence of recent immigrants and Roman Catholics
Rahilly, Hon. Patrick Henry, (page 1286 ~ 1st of 2 biographies), the most extensive farmer and stock-raiser in Wabasha county, if not in southern Minnesota, resides in Mount Pleasant township, on his immense farm of twelve hundred acres. Mr. Rahilly was born on a farm near the city of Limerick, Ireland, March 8, 1834, and is perhaps the most successful man who ever came to Minnesota a youth and without means. His childhood, till the age of ten years, was spent on the farm, after which he was placed at school in the city of Limerick, where he received a classical education, though his collegiate course was but partially completed, as his father, Mathew Rahilly, decided on emigrating with his family to the United States, in the sixteenth year of our subject's age. They sailed from the city of Limerick on May 2, 1849, and landed in New York in the month of June. The family soon after settled in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, where the father still lives, at the advanced age of eighty-three years. In his eighteenth year young Rahilly left his parental roof with a determination that, if honest industry and faithful application to business had its reward, he would not only make a home for himself but a name among his fellowmen. His first two years was passed in Cayuga county, New York, as a farm hand, where he early acquired a thorough knowledge of handling and dealing in livestock. After serving his time, including the stipulated month's notice to his employer, he went west to Chicago, in 1854, whither he had been attracted by circulars scattered through the east by the Illinois Central Railroad Company. Not finding the desired opening there, he pushed on to Milwaukee, and from there by stage to Dunleith, where he boarded a river steamer bound for St. Paul. While on this his first trip up the Father of Waters, the uncivilized appearance of the country, the sight of numerous squads of half-dressed and less than half-civilized Indians, and the thoughts of the old eastern home, surrounded by its many blessings and advantages, caused unbidden tears to flow. On reaching Wabasha prairie (now Winona), he disembarked, and soon after made his way west to the new town site of Rochester, Olmsted county, Minnesota, where he at once found employment with the Hon. W. D. Lowery, who was then opening up a large farm, as well as conducting a mercantile interest, to which was soon after added a banking business. In time, Mr. Lowery saw in his employee the honor and ability that merited a better position than that of a common hand, and, for the mutual benefit of both parties, placed him in the bank as superintendent, and also made him an equal partner in the farm interests. In August, 1860, Mr. Rahilly severed his connection with Mr. Lowery, and on the 23d of the same month, at Winona, was united in marriage with Miss Catharine Norton, a native of County Galway, Ireland, and a daughter of James Norton, who came with his family to America in 1848. Mr. Rahilly's first and final move after marriage was to his quarter-section of land in Mount Pleasant township, on Sec. 22, T. 11, R. 13, pre-empted by him in 1858. Here he built a temporary residence, and, in the strict sense of the word, started according to his means, and from that day to the present writing has continued to prosper. Acre to acre, farm to farm has been added, till one unbroken farm now numbering twelve hundred acres surrounds his first purchase, on which now stands one of the finest and most substantial brick residences in the state, outside of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It was erected during the summer of 1880, on the site of an elegant one destroyed by fire in March of that year. His entire farming interests are all conducted by himself, with the aid of hired help, keeping a large number of hands during the summer season, and overseeing all branches of his extensive business the year round. It was not until late years that Mr. Rahilly allowed himself to be drawn into politics. The public had for some time seen in him the executive ability and independence to wisely direct state affairs, and in 1874 prevailed on him to accept a nomination to the state legislature. He was put on the ticket of the democratic party and elected by a flattering majority. He was three times subsequently elected to the same position, and once to the state senate. In 1875 he was placed in nomination and run by his party on the state ticket for auditor, but his party being in a hopeless minority, he was defeated, though in this and adjoining counties he ran ahead of his ticket. To Mr. Rahilly the young men of today may safely be pointed as an example to follow-a man who has made his way from incipiency to manhood's ripest years. In business, as in war, there are constant promotions of the successful operator, and each promotion is a victory won, for "Peace hath her victories no less than war." The smaller acts of life, the finer threads of principle, are the index to what life is or may be. Mr. Rahilly has an interesting family of five children, who are receiving the educational advantages of the St. Paul, Milwaukee and Massachusetts schools and colleges. Their names, in order of their birth, are: Jennie I., Mary A., James M., Catharine A., and Margaret. One son, John T., died very suddenly of cerebrospinal meningitis, caused by a fall while in attendance at the Lake City schools, in the twelfth year of his age.
Rahilly, Hon. P. H., (page 1082 ~ 2nd of 2 biographies), farmer, is a native of Limerick, where he was born, March 8, 1834. He was the eldest of three children born to Matthew and Mary (Lynch) Rahilly, natives of Limerick. The elder Rahilly was an extensive farmer, and the subject of our sketch passed his time between the city and farm until the age of fourteen. When he was five years of age he was called to mourn the death of his mother, and in 1848 his father emigrated to Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, where he yet lives. In 1849 he was followed by Patrick, who remained with his father a few months, and then went to New York, where he lived until 1854. In that year he located at Rochester, Minnesota, entering the employ of, and part of the time in partnership with, W. D. Leroy, at that time one of the leading men of the state. August 23, 1860, he wedded Catherine Norton, of Galway county, Ireland, and soon after he located on the farm in Mount Pleasant, where he has since resided. His marriage was blessed with seven children: Mary J., deceased, Jennie I., Mary A., James M., Agnes K., John T., deceased, and Margaret. Mr. and Mrs. Rahilly belong to the Catholic church. He is a democrat, a man of extended reputation, and has often been called to the public service as a legislator. The election to his first term was in 1874. In 1876 he was nominated on the democratic ticket for state auditor, but was defeated. In 1877 he was again sent to the legislative halls, and in 1879 he was elected to the state senate. In 1882 he was again sent to the legislature, of which he is now a member. Mr. Rahilly is one of the most extensive farmers in southern Minnesota, and his farm in Mount Pleasant comprises twelve hundred acres. In 1877 he purchased twenty-three thousand acres of land in Traverse county, most of which he has since sold. He now owns five thousand acres there, which is being rapidly improved. He makes a specialty of small grains, but has a good supply of stock.
Ray, Rev. John W., (page 1177): The subject of this sketch was born in Chester, now Auburn, New Hampshire. His father was Stark Ray, of Manchester, New Hampshire, and his mother was Hannah C. Wason, of Candia, New Hampshire. His grandfather Ray was from England, and was a soldier in the revolutionary war, under the renowned Gen. Stark, whose wife's sister he married. His mother was of Scotch-Irish descent. Her father was also in the revolutionary war. He spent his early life on a farm, enjoying the educational advantages of a common school, and of an academy. He fitted for college at Pinkerton Academy, in Derry, New Hampshire, and entered Dartmouth College in 1839, graduating in 1843. After graduation, he engaged in teaching, following this profession for about thirteen years. He spent one year at Atkinson, New Hampshire, in the academy in that town. He was then invited to the principal school in Manchester, New Hampshire. At the end of one year this was constituted the high school of the city. From Manchester he went to Eastport, in Maine, as principal of the high school. Sickness compelled him to resign before the end of one year. He returned to New Hampshire, and on recovery became associate principal with Prof. William Russell, in charge of the Merrimac Normal Institute of New Hampshire. On leaving this position, he was elected principal of Pembroke Academy, and soon after was elected principal of Pinkerton Academy, in Derry, New Hampshire, where he continued until he resigned to enter the ministry. Although finding the profession of teaching an agreeable work, he could not feel satisfied to relinquish the purpose he had in securing an education, and after taking a private course of theological study, he was licensed to preach in the autumn of 1856. While teaching he was active in temperance work, going through the long and laborious struggle for a prohibitory temperance law in his native state. This was finally secured in 1855. He was also somewhat active in political life, holding several offices, and representing the town of Derry in the state legislature. But on entering the ministry, he felt called upon to retire from active political life, and devote his energies to the one work on which he had entered. In April, 1857, he was called to the Congregational church in Goffstown, New Hampshire, and remained there till he came to Minnesota, in May, 1867. During this period he kept alive his interest in education by superintending schools, and in teaching in the institutes of the state. In 1867 he was called to the Presbyterian church in Hastings, Minnesota, and labored there till 1872, when he accepted a call to the Congregational church of Lake City, having felt obliged to decline a previous call to the same church in 1867. While at Hastings he kept alive his interest in education by superintending the schools of the city and in some other forms of education work. But on coming to Lake City, he felt that he ought to give up such work, and so held himself aloof from it. At Lake City he continued in the pastorate of the church, till December, 1866, when he resigned, and was dismissed by council in the spring of 1867. At the time of the resignation, he had a severe affection of the eyes, so that his physician assured him that he must abstain from all mental labor, or lose his sight. He yielded to this advice. About this time a foreign tour was decided upon, and he with his wife visited Europe, Egypt and the Holy Land. They were accompanied as far as Geneva by their daughter and her husband, E. P. Gates, Esq. This trip had the desired effect of restoring his eyes to about their former condition. On his return he supplied the Congregation church at Wabasha, continuing his residence in Lake City. He pursued this course until the last Sabbath in 1882, and then accepted an invitation to supply the pulpit of the Presbyterian church of Lake City, in which work he is still engaged. He grew up from childhood in the Presbyterian church, of which he became a member when about seventeen years of age. He was married in July, 1844, to Miss Lucy Lee Sargent, daughter of Rev. Benjamin Sargent, of Chester, New Hampshire. She died July 17, 1845. He was married again on December 28, 1848, to Miss Georgeanna Babb, daughter of Dr. James Babb, of Manchester, New Hampshire. His children were James Stark, Lucy Helen, and George Wason. Both boys died in childhood. Lucy Helen was married December 28, 1875, to E. P. Gates, Esq., of Lake City, formerly of Warsaw, New York. Mr. Ray is a faithful laborer in the cause he has espoused, and is content with the prospect that faith will reward, not only in this world, but more abundantly in that which is to come.
Raymond, Enos B., (page 1061), grain-buyer, was born in Orwell, Vermont, January 28, 1836. His grandfather, Joseph Raymond, was the first settler in the town of Warren, Vermont; was the son of a revolutionary soldier. Ira, son of Joseph Raymond, married Laura Martin and settled on a farm in Orwell. The subject of this sketch was reared here. His education was completed at Brandon Academy. At eighteen he set out for the boundless west. After spending a winter at Omro, Wisconsin, he started with some landowners for a trip through Iowa. After reaching the latter state he changed his mind and took the stage for St. Paul. Thence he made his way to Stillwater, and engaged as clerk in a store, remaining three years. He then spent two years at Lake City, buying wheat for Van Kirk & McGeogh. After traveling ten years for a Milwaukee wholesale grocery house, he returned to Minnesota, and dwelt at Lake City and Mazeppa. Since 1877 he has remained in the latter place, buying grain for P. Robinson. In August, 1866, he was married here to Miss Cornelia L., daughter of Frederick Ormsby. Mrs. Raymond was born in Long Grove, Cook county, Illinois. They have one son, Charles Eddy, born April 8, 1872. Mr. Raymond is an enthusiastic democrat. He has never taken any active part in public affairs, although he is active in fostering schools and the general welfare. While not a member of any sect, he is a believer in divine authority.
Canadian Rebellion of 1837-38
Read, Charles R., (page 938), the pioneer independent white settler of Wabasha county, if not of that portion of the northwest now included in the territorial limits of Minnesota, was born in the parish of Farnsborough, Somersetshire, England, March 20, 1821. In 1839 he came to Canada with his brother's family, spending his first winter in Little York (now Toronto), and the following season locating in the old Niagara district, near the forks of the Chippewa, some forty or fifty miles from its entrance into the Niagara river. From there at sixteen years of age young Read came into the United States. Returned to Canada the following year, 1838, in the army of invasion that crossed the frontiers during the Canadian rebellion of 1837-8. Was taken prisoner, and narrowly escaped hanging. Experiencing the queen's clemency (on account of his youth), he came to the United States; enlisted in the army for the defense of the southwestern frontier, and was in service in the Indian Territory and Texas until 1844, when he settled at Nelson's Landing, just opposite Read's Landing (named in his honor), and to which he came three years later, 1847. The after history of Mr. Read is closely interwoven with that of the locality named for him that it will be found incorporated. Mr. Read had a very early acquaintance with public affairs in this county. He was the first justice of the peace appointed in this section after the organization of the territory, receiving his commission from Gov. Ramsey in 1850. He was county commissioner upon the organization of the county in 1853, and held that position either by appointment or election until the year 1860, serving as the first chairman of the board of supervisors for Pepin township, and so by virtue of his office was county commissioner (virtually). He was major of the 6th Inf. Regt. From 1861-3, and in that capacity was temporarily in command of the defenses on the frontier for some weeks. He was also elected colonel of the 8th regt., state militia, May 3, 1863, but the regiment was soon legislated out of existence. He was married June 7, 1849, at Read's Landing, to Miss Sarah Williamson, by whom he had twelve children, eleven of whom are living. Mrs. Read died January 3, 1879, after a married life of thirty years, which Mr. Read declares to have been to him one of almost unalloyed happiness. The children now living are: Jane, born June 27, 1851; C. P. (the only one married), born November 7, 1853; Wm., born June 30, 1857; Geo. W., born March 12, 1859; Ed. M., born October 10, 1860; Emily O., born November 6, 1862; H. B., born April 26, 1864; Frank M., born October 14, 1865; Silas S., born April 13, 1867; Ralph R., born October 13, 1870; H. H., born June 20, 1872. Mr. Read resides on the old homestead, about one mile from the landing, on a beautiful elevation overlooking the entire prairie between the Minnesota bluffs and the Mississippi river, as far down as the Zumbrota river, taking in the swell of the bluffs on the Wisconsin shore, and affording a lovely view of Alma, twelve miles distant, at the foot of the twelve-mile bluffs, one of the grandest ranges of cliffs on the upper Mississippi river.
Reding, Peter, (page 1203), Lake City, was born in Sheldon, Wyoming county, New York, April 6, 1845. His parents, Henry and Mary C. (Weber) Reding, were natives of Luxemburg, Germany. They came to Red Wing in 1867, and died there. The subject of this sketch passed his early life on his father's farm, and received a limited education in English and German. After spending two years in the Pennsylvania oil regions, he came to Minnesota in 1868. For six years he dwelt in Belvidere, Goodhue county, and then purchased the northeast quarter of section 8, Chester, which he still owns. This he dwelt on and tilled for nine years, and removed to Lake City in the fall of 1883; is now conducting a saloon on Washington street. On September 1, 1872, he was married to Miss Kate Glasner, who was born at Port Washington, Wisconsin, of German parents, and is ten years her husband's junior. Their children were born and christened: March 31, 1876, Isabel; April 5, 1880, Jacob Peter. All the members of the family are communicants in the Catholic church. Mr. Reding was elected by his democratic friends for three successive years as constable of Chester, and seven years as supervisor.
Reifkogel, John W., (page 1327), harness-maker and dealer, of Plainview, was born in Hamburg, Germany, September 28, 1828. His father, Cornelius Reifkogel, was a professional gardener in the city of Hamburg. Our subject received a common school education in Germany, and then spent four years acquiring a knowledge of his present trade, after which he set out on a tramping expedition lasting two years, during which he visited many important places in Germany, Holland, and Denmark, working at his trade a few months in Amsterdam. The Government next required his services in the army, and from 1848 to 1852 he was in the ranks, seeing a little active campaigning during the Denmark war then in progress. The excitement incident to active service was not distasteful to him, but with the dull life of the soldier in time of peace he was not content, and in 1852 deserted the army and came to New York. Here he resided for two years, and then went to Boston where he found employment for eleven years in the harness shop of D. L. McGregor, on Henley street' a potion of this time, however, he worked in the United States Navy Yard. In 1865 he came to Plainview, deciding to locate in that place, after a tour of the western country in search of a desirable opening for the establishment of a harness shop. His first shop stood where his present commodious place of business now is, and was a small and primitive affair. But he prospered in his business now is, and was a small and primitive affair. But he prospered in his business, and now owns a fine residence, and is accounted one of the forehanded men of Plainview. Mr. Reifkogel is a free-thinker and a Democrat. He was married to Charlotte Young, of Boston, in the year 1855. Seven children have been born to them, five of whom are living, viz.: Saphia (Mrs. Daniel Clough), of Elgin township; William, at home; Lottie (Mrs. A. J. Carroll,) of Plainview, and Ettie and Albert, at home.
Reiland, John, (page 1169), farmer, dwells on section 5, Chester, where he purchased land in 1869. His estate includes two hundred and forty acres of fine farming land, and he is prosperous and independent. Mr. Reiland is among the most exemplary men of the township. He is a member of Belle Chester Catholic church, and a democrat. In 1863 he married Mary Bartolmy, born in Kaalbach, Luxemburg. Mr. Reiland was born in the same duchy, in the village of Holtz, Christmas day, 1840. Eight children have been given to him, and christened: Nicholas, Dominick, John P., Peter, Joseph, Michael, Catharine and Anna.
Reusch, William E., (page 1220), merchant, Lake City, was born in Hanover, Germany, June 14, 1845. When he was but nine years old, his father, Joseph Reusch, died, leaving to be reared on a farm by his mother. He received a good common-school education in his native language, to which he has added, by reading and observation, a comprehensive knowledge of the English in this country. He was married February 6, 1870, to Miss Emma F. Miller, who was born in the city of Hamburg, September 8, 1837. She was also left an orphan at the age of four years, by the death of her father, and was raised in Lutheran Protestant hospital. On February 17, 1875, he sailed from the city of Hamburg on board the steamship Pomerania, commanded by Capt. Swenson, for New York, where they arrived on March 2. He came direct to Minnesota, and settled in Frontinac, where he engaged in trade till October, 1876, when he removed to Lake City. Here he opened a grocery store and conducted a successful business till the great fire of April, 1882, when his property was consumed, though partially insured. On the 22d of the same month he purchased a two-story brick store, in size 20x82 feet in block 25, fronting on Center street, and at once put in a stock of groceries and liquors, where he is now doing a fair business. Early in the spring of 1882 he sent to the old country for his brother, Joseph C. Reusch and family, who had arrived and took up quarters with him the night of the fire, thus losing all their household goods, and leaving them destitute of everything but friends in a strange land. Mr. Reusch is a fair dealing man and merits a fair share of the public patronage.
Richards, F. S., (page 939), postmaster. Mr. Richards was born in Weatherfield, Genesse county, April 21, 1822, and came west with her father's family, who settled at Prairie du Chien as early as 1836. In their journey to the Mississippi they passed the present site of Chicago, then a growing village, and Mr. Richards recalls earning some money picking up the roots and chips of those who were grubbing where the proudest city west of the Alleghenies now stands. In 1850 Mr. F. S. Richards, then twenty-eight years of age, came up the Mississippi river with a large stock of general merchandise, having a United States license to open trade with the Indians, and settled at Read's Landing. His store was on what is now railway property, very near the northeast corner of Water and Richards streets. Business was successfully conducted until the financial crash of 1858 swept him off his feet and ruined him financially. Since then Mr. Richards was variously employed until 1870 in business-from 1860 to 1868 at Downsville, Wisconsin-since 1870 principally farming, cutting grass on the bottom lands, taking out corkwood, etc., until he received his second appointment as postmaster at Read's Landing. (See article on postoffice). He was the first village president upon the incorporation of Read's Landing in 1868, and at all times, during his residence of over a third of a century, has taken an intelligent interest in public affairs. Mr. Richards married Miss C. A. Moses, November 5, 1850, in Grant county, Wisconsin. They have six children, five of whom are residents of Read's Landing: Ida, born March 15, 1856; Walter B., born June 22, 1858; Lloyd S., born October 23, 1860; Emma May, born October 4, 1864; Ruth D., born April 5, 1867; Grace, born April 3, 1869.
Richardson, James G., (page 1131), hardware dealer, Lake City, is a son of John and Selina Richardson, of Connecticut. The family dwelt for some generations in that commonwealth, and the subject of this paragraph was born in Berlin, in 1837. The family soon after removed to New Haven, where he was reared. At sixteen he began to learn carriage-making, which he followed several years. In 1861 he went to Hilton Head, South Carolina, and carried on a mercantile trade there three years. He returned to Connecticut, and was married there in 1864, to Miss Adeline Judd, a native of that state. This couple set out for Minnesota on a wedding trip. While visiting friends in Lake City, Mr. Richardson met a Mr. Perrigo, who made him an advantageous business proposition. The hardware and machinery firm of Perrigo & Richardson was then organized, and the wedding trip of the junior partner was prolonged to a period of five years. He was afterward associated with a brother in the same line of trade, which has been continued to the present. Mr. Richardson has been active in fostering the schools of Lake City, and served some time on its school board; was also mayor of the city three terms. He was baptized in the Episcopal church when six years old, but is now an unbeliever; was many years treasurer of the Episcopal Sunday school here. In political contests was always a supporter of republican principles.
War of 1812
Richardson, John Q., (page 1339 ~ not listed in the index) Elgin, is among the most substantial farmers of Wabasha county. His grandfather, Zachariah Richardson, was of English descent, and his father, Thomas S., was born in New Hampshire. Ruth J. Smith, who became the wife of the latter and the mother of this subject, was a daughter of John Smith-a soldier of the revolution and of the war of 1812-of Scotch descent, and was born in Vermont. John Q. Richardson was born in Topsham, Orange county, Vermont, May 11, 1828. Up to twenty years of age his life was spent on the home farm, attending the common school, and at this time he had taught one term. For some years he was engaged alternately-attending school and in teaching and other employments to earn money to educate himself. He was a student in the academies at East Orange, Corinth and Bradford, and was subsequently principal of a grammar school in Newark, New Jersey, for nine years. In the year 1858 he visited Elgin and purchased 180 acres of land on section thirty-four. He removed thither from New Jersey in 1862, and has made his home here ever since. His domain now includes 265 acres and is finely improved. Both stock-raising and grain-culture occupy his attention. The next year after settling here he planted a large number of soft maple seeds, with a view to sugar-production. Having been often assured by eastern friends that soft maples would not make sugar, he resolved to give the matter a test. In the spring when the seedlings were a year old, he cut off the top of one and tied it down where the sap would run into a tumbler; when the wind had evaporated the water from the tumbler, a very fine sugar remained, and he became satisfied that it was safe to plant out his trees. He now has two hundred rock maples and thrice as many trees of the soft variety growing and makes sugar from both. He finds that the latter make a lighter-colored and more pleasant flavored sugar than the former. October 2, 1853, occurred the nuptials of J. Q. Richardson and Cordella C. Colby, of East Orange, Vermont. Both are members of the Congregational Church. Mr. Richardson is a member of Elgin Masonic lodge, and an adherent of the Republican party. He has served his town several terms each as assessor and treasurer. He has one living child-Ralph W., born June 19, 1867. Frank, the first-born, died in infancy, and Emma C., the youngest, died January 12, 1884, aged fourteen.
Richardson, Joseph, (page 1340), farmer, Elgin, is a brother of the last subject (John Q. Richardson), and was born in Topham, July 1, 1832. His early life was the same as that of his elder brother, and he has always been a farmer. He became possessed of a piece of land in Vermont, but sold out in order to try his fortune in the great northwest. In 1856 he came to this town and pre-empted land on sections twenty-two and twenty-three. Returning to Vermont, he remained there two years and settled here permanently with his family in September, 1858. On the 24th of March, this year, he married Miss Ursula E., daughter of Stephen and Susan Miles. Mrs. Richardson was born in Stowe and her parents in Bickford, Vermont. On his arrival here, after paying all debts, Mr. Richardson had just six dollars left. Himself and his brave young bride set up housekeeping in the pioneer log cabin of the township, built by the Bryants, and elsewhere spoken of in this book. Here they remained three years, before moving on to their own domain. For seven years Mr. Richardson conducted farming operations in common with his brother, to whom he sold an undivided half of his land and thus gained a capital to work on. No books were kept, and at the end of seven years they divided land, (then embracing 280 acres), stock and tools in half a day's time, without words or disagreement of any kind. Our subject is now the possessor of 485 acres of land in this township, sixty in Olmsted county and twenty in Winona. He is a shrewd and successful farmer and combines grain-culture with stock raising. His stock includes thirty horses, a like number of cattle and eighty sheep. Among his horses are an Imported Norman stallion that cost $2,000 and a fine grade American horse. While on the way from Rochester with a grist in the winter of 1858-9, Mr. Richardson had a very narrow escape from wolves. He was driving a span of colts attached to a low pung, on which were placed the sacks containing meal and flour for the family. For over two miles the ferocious brutes surrounded the sleigh and made sundry snaps at Mr. R., who sat on the sacks. As he had neither sled stake nor whip to protect himself with, and dare not let the horses out to their utmost speed lest he be thrown off, his feeling can be realized only by those who have passed through a similar experience. On nearing the cabin of a settler, the pursuers slunk away and their prey escaped. When Mr. R. reached home his friends wondered what made him so white, and it was some time before they could draw from him an account of its cause. Our subject is a member of the Elgin Masonic lodge, and a lifelong Democrat. He has served six years as constable and two years as supervisor of the town. The first-born child of this family, Thomas S., ruptured a blood-vessel by striking a hay-rack in trying to mount it, when about fourteen years old, and died from the effects within twenty-four hours. Susan S., the eldest living, is now the wife of D. W. Searles, and resides in the adjoining town of Farmington. The rest, christened in order of age as follows, are at home: Lenora M., Clara C., William H., Frank J. and Walter E.
War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Richmond, George C., (page 1328), farmer and horse breeder of Plainview, is of Yankee parentage. His father was Barzilla Richmond, of Orleans county, New York, where George was born August 16, 1837. His youth was spent chiefly on a farm near Lima Center, Roth county, Wisconsin, which became the family home in 1846. He engaged in work on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway in 1857 and spent two years, most of the time as section boss. In 1859 he joined a company of gold diggers and went to Pike's Peak, where he tarried ten months. Returning without wealth, he solicited a position from the railway company, and was appointed yard master at Milwaukee. He served his old employers in this capacity until August, 1862, when he enlisted under Uncle Sam's banner in the Twenty-fourth Wisconsin Infantry, and served with this regiment to the close of the rebellion, with the exception of ten months that he was detailed to service in the First Kentucky Battery. He was with Sherman until he reached Atlanta, and from that place returned with Thomas to Nashville, and participated in many of the severest and most closely contested engagements of the war. Very soon after the was closed he found his way to Minnesota, and at once engaged in farming. He now owns 330 acres of fine lands in Plainview township, and a half section in Martin county. He makes a specialty of rearing Norman horses. He resides in Plainview village. His politics are Republican, and he has passed the chair in Plainview Lodge, I.O.O.F. Fidelia Colby, daughter of George Colby, of Plainview, became his wife September, 1867. They have two children, viz.: Charles, born July, 1868, and Frank, February, 1875. Mr. Richmond while west in 1859 at one time claimed by squatter sovereignty title to 160 acres of what is now the site of Denver City, Colorado.
Robbins, Joseph Parker, (page 1025), in the early spring of 1857, with his wife and one child, arrived in Wabasha county with a small store of household goods and eighty dollars in cash, seeking a salubrious climate for their child, whose life had been despaired of in their old home in Lowell, Massachusetts, where Mr. Robbins had been engaged in the fruit and produce business. After enduring many hardships, the family finally found a claim which they were successful in holding despite the efforts of the land-sharks, who pursued with dogged persistence the poor pioneer who sought to honestly acquire by his labors a home in this new country. This claim, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres on section 29, in Highland township, Mr. Robbins still owns, although he resides in the village of Plainview, where he has a very pleasant home. Mr. Robbins was born at Acton, Massachusetts, on January 14, 1826. His parents were Joseph and Charlotte (Parker) Robbins. His education was limited to such as he was able to acquire in a common country school, before he reached his twelfth year. The death of his mother at this time left him homeless, and he went from one place to another for several years. At the age of twenty-one he was possessed of a trade which he had learned in the shoeshop of George W. Burt, in Concord, Massachusetts, but abandoned it to engage in the milk business. He afterward purchased and run a livery stable for a few years, which he exchanged for the fruit and produce business, having a store on Central street, in Lowell Massachusetts, which he sold in order to come west and make a new home. He was married March 21, 1850, to Elizabeth Rebecca Smith, daughter of Samuel Smith, a millwright, of Nashua, New Hampshire. This lady was born in Barton, Vermont, December 28, 1825, where she received a good education prior to the removal of her family to New Hampshire. Mr. and Mrs. Robbins have but one child living, viz, Charles E. Robbins, cashier of the First National Bank, of Fargo, Dakota, the sickly baby, whose life was saved by the timely removal of his parents to Minnesota.
Robinson, John H., (page 1041), was born in Shoreham, Addison county, Vermont, October 30, 1830. His parents were Samuel and Amanda (Phelps) Robinson. Young Robinson was brought up on a farm and received a fair common school education. He remained at home until the year 1854. During two years of this time he worked his father's farm. February 28, 1854, he married Cynthia Day, a native of New York State, and the following season came to Wisconsin, and worked at the carpenter's trade in Oshkosh and Waupun for two years. Not feeling fully satisfied with western life, he returned to the east in 1856, and tried his hand at farming in St. Lawrence county, New York; but not finding as large a degree of prosperity there as his fancy had pictured it while he was pounding nails in Oshkosh, he again set his face westward, and continued to journey in that direction until he had crossed the mighty Mississippi and reached the beautiful promised land of Greenwood prairie. His first claim, however, he took in the grub-land of Highland township on section 30. He continued to reside on this claim until the spring of 1866, when he bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres just west of Plainview village, and removed his family thereto. Mr. Robinson has been a member of the Plainview board of supervisors, and is a member of the Plainview lodge of Odd-Fellows. His first wife died August 8, 1871, leaving two sons, viz: Merrill A. (Prof. Robinson), of Plainview, and Orrin L. (Prof. Robinson) of Mantorville. July 3, 1874, Mr. Robinson married a second time, to Mattie Day, of Plainview, by whom he has two children, viz: Frederick J. and Orie E.
Robinson, Samuel, (page 1060), son of John and Jane Robinson, was born in Ballymana, Ireland, in 1828. He was raised on the farm, and received a common school education. In 1847 he came to Sullivan county, New York, where he remained till 1857, when he removed to Will county, Illinois, and in 1859 he came to this township, settling on section 36. He owns ninety acres of land. In politics he is a thorough democrat. He married Elizabeth Bailey, her parents being natives of Ireland. They have five children: Andrew, Thomas, John, Robert and Phebe.
Roff, Henry, (page 1063), farmer, Lake City, was born May 26, 1828, in Yates county, New York, and is the ninth child of Henry and Clementine (Brown) Roff, who became the parents of eleven children. In 1837 they removed to Crawford county, Pennsylvania, where the father died in 1841 and the mother in 1845. The early youth of our subject was spent on the farm, where he enjoyed but a limited means of gaining an education. He was married in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, September 28, 1852, to Miss Clarrisa Hotchkiss, a native of Crawford county, Pennsylvania, born January 28, 1837. Early in the spring of 1856 Mr. Roff decided to seek on the fertile prairies of Minnesota a better reward for his labor and investment than the sterile soil of the east then yielded, and at the same time secure for himself a home in a state where land in value was within his reach. He came by railroad to Chicago, bringing with him his team and wagon; at that point he loaded his effects, with his wife and two children, in the wagon and drove through to Olmstead county, Minnesota, three hundred and fifty miles, arriving there in May. He at once pre-empted a quarter-section of government land in Eyota township, on which he made final proof and paid for the same fall. Fearing the severity of a Minnesota winter on the prairie, he removed to Winona late in the fall, where he put in a profitable winter in the wood business, notwithstanding the deep snow and intense cold witnessed here during the winter of 1857. The next spring he concluded not to return to his farm, but came to Lake City, landing here on May 1. The next day he began to build a house, into which he moved six days later. That spring he started in the butcher business, opening the first meat-market in Lake City. In 1864 he sold out the market, and with his family went to Montana, where he engaged in mining two years, and again returned to Lake City a wiser if not a richer man. Butchering was again resumed and followed till 1876, when, on account of his own and his daughter's ill health, he sold out his entire business and took his family to New Mexico. On his return to Lake City he purchased a small farm near the city limits and engaged in farming. In the spring of 1880 he bought a farm of two hundred and forty acres in Gilford township, on which his son now resides. He is a member of the three Masonic orders of this city. His children's names in the order of their birth are: Ellen, now Mrs. Frank Bouton; Henry L., on the farm; Mary L., wife of Henry Nelson, of Red Wing; Clara B., Minnie C. and Julia.
Rogers, Charles Frederick, (page 1278), mayor of Lake City, is descended from an English family that settled in Virginia about two hundred years ago. He was born at Barnstead Parade, New Hampshire, November 17, 1831. Charles Harris Rogers, the father of this subject, was a native of New Jersey, and married Abigail S., daughter of Robert Copp, of New Hampshire. The father was two terms a member of the New Hampshire state senate. In 1849 Charles F. Rogers set out to carve his fortune, having been fitted for the battle of life by a common-school education. After seven years spent as clerk and bookkeeper at Lowell, Massachusetts, he went into the clothing trade in Boston. Subsequently he spent two years in business in Nashua, New Hampshire. In the spring of 1857 he came west and occupied three years as a clerk in Columbus, Wisconsin. On November 1, 1860, at the latter point, he was united in matrimony to Miss Alice R., daughter of Horace C. and Julia A. Cooper. In August of that year he opened a drygoods store in Lake City, in partnership with Mrs. Rogers father. In the year 1862 he went into the agricultural implement business in connection with the drygoods business. He conducted a successful business here in this line for thirteen years, but kept the implement business up until 1880, and retired to engage in other and lucrative pursuits. He is at present a stockholder and director of the First National Bank, and is well known for business integrity and acumen. Also stockholder in the First National Bank of Wabasha, and vice-president. He was elected mayor of the city in 1883; was the candidate of the republican party for state legislator in 1878. He was one of the original members of the Masonic lodge here, having become connected with that order in Columbus, Wisconsin; is a regular supporter of the Congregational church, of which Mrs. Rogers is a member. The latter is an accomplished lady, and a leader in social and church affairs. Three daughters have been given to grace the handsome home of Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, and christened Helen Julia, Alice Josie and Etta May. They are all becoming musicians.
Rogers, James F., (page 1112), of the firm of J. Dobner & Co., dealers in agricultural implements, Lake City, was born in New London, New Hampshire, December 28, 1829. He is the first son and second child of Charles H. Rogers, who is a lineal descendant from an English family of that name, who settled in Virginia toward the close of the sixteenth century. He received a classical education, to which was added a theological course, with a view to entering the ministry. His tastes, however, inclining more to commercial pursuits, he made the manufacture and dressing of cloth his principal business. He was also what might be termed a public-spirited man, having been twice chosen to a seat in the New Hampshire state senate, and for several years occupied the responsible position of high sheriff. His wife and our subject's mother was Miss Abigail S. Copp, daughter of Robert Copp. They died and are buried in Grafton county, New Hampshire. In 1863 Mr. Rogers came to Minnesota and permanently located in Lake City, and soon after engaged as salesman in the store of Cooper & Rogers, and four years later embarked in a general merchandise business on the corner of Washington and Center streets. After conducting business in that line six years he turned his attention to the sale of reliable and improved farm machinery. He was married May 1, 1860, to Miss Mary M. Waterman, of Norwich, Vermont, who died in February, 1868. His second marriage was on May 31, 1870, to Miss Margery E. Carson, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their children's names are Charles W., Azzy F. and Fred E. Mr. Rogers has served this county several years as deputy sheriff, and this city for the last twelve years as constable.
Rollins, Edgar T., (page 1297), of the Town of Elgin, is the son of Orvis V. and Mary O. Rollins, who were among the early settlers of the town, and was born in this town on October 27, 1860. In his early years he received a common-school education, and at the age of nineteen he obtained the appointment of teacher of a school in the town of Salem, county of Olmsted. Here he "wielded the birch" for one term, afterward teaching for one term in the Evans district of his native town, working on his father's farm during the summer season. During the spring of 1880 Mr. Rollins was appointed station agent and telegraph operator at Elgin station, from the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company, which position he held for two years and a half, when he resigned, and since that time he has not been actively engaged in any business. While acting as operator at Elgin station, the disastrous cyclone of July 21, 1883, occurred, and it was Mr. Rollins who sent the first telegram that conveyed the news of this terrible event to the outer world. On September 23, 1883, Mr. Rollins was united in marriage with Miss Rose M. Bentley, of the town of Viola, Olmsted county. Mr. Rollins is noted as an excellent telegraph operator, and a young man of much promise and ability. He is a member of Elgin Lodge, No. 115, A.F.A.M., in which lodge he was made a Master Mason about one year ago.
War of 1812
Rollins, Irvin W., (page 1333), eldest son of Laban C. and Nancy (Colby) Rollins, and one of the pioneer settlers of Greenwood Prairie, was born January 18, 1829, in the town of Orange, Orange county, Vermont. His grandfather, David Rollins, was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and was a soldier in the war of 1812. Laban C. Rollins was born and reared as a farmer, in Corinth, Vermont. He became a tanner and shoemaker, and when our subject was eight years of age bought a farm in the town of Topsham, Orange county, Vermont. It was here that Mr. Rollins spent his early days, and on arriving at maturity was employed in teaching during the winter. On the fourth of October, 1855, he landed at Minneiska, and proceeded to Greenwood Prairie. His first claim was three miles east of the present village of Plainview, but in the next March he left it and located on the north-east quarter of section 27, Elgin. His present handsome residence stands within fifty rods of the old claim shanty. Proceeding to Wisconsin, he purchased three yokes of oxen with which to break up the prairie. For two years himself and a brother "kept bach" together and farmed in common. The first thing they planted was six quarts of apple seeds. Our subject has been an active fruit-raiser, and took the first premium ever paid on fruit at both state and county fairs. Is now extensively engaged in bee-culture. He built the first stone, and also the first brick, chimney on the prairie; and also the first cellar-wall. Mr. Rollins was one of the first justices elected in the township; has also served as treasurer, and for many years as town clerk. He has ever been a staunch temperance man, both in word and deed. In 1859 our subject returned to his native state, and was married at Montpelier, on the 4th of April, to Miss Ellen Keith, daughter of Francis Keith, of Barre, Vermont, at which place Mrs. Rollins was born, June 19, 1833. Their children were all born in Elgin, as follows: Ida Almira (now Mrs. Alex. Scott), March 20, 1860; Flora Adeline, February 8, 1862; Francis Laban, March 25, 1865; Mary Ellen, October 10, 1867.
Rollins, Orvis V., (page 1333), is the brother alluded to in the above sketch (Irvin W. Rollins), and was born in East Orange, April 23, 1835. He was but twenty years of age when he came here. His claim was made on section 22, where he now lives. He has largely engaged in stock raising. His herd has been for many years graded with shorthorns, and he is now raising some Jerseys. Norman horses are also reared on this farm. As high as 1,300 bushels of wheat have been produced by Mr. Rollins on the home farm, and he has probably fruited more seedling apples than any other man in the state of Minnesota. He is a member of the Elgin Masonic lodge, and a supporter of the Methodist Church. His theological preferences are with those of his wife's church - Congregational - and in political affairs with the Republican party. He has been town supervisor three terms and has also served as assessor. His marriage occurred in March, 1860, the bride being Miss Mary O., daughter of Erastus Dodge, one of the pioneers of Elgin township. The eldest son, Edgar T., is elsewhere sketched in this work. Fred E. eighteen years old, and Grace Minerva, not yet two, reside at home.
Rose, John F. (Fordyce), (page 1241), farmer, was among the early settlers of Glasgow
township, having settled on the eastern border, in Cooks valley, in 1857. He
was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, November 12, 1823, and was reared there.
His parents were George and Nancy Rose. He assisted his father on the farm and
as clerk in a store till he reached maturity. January 8, 1843, he was united
in marriage to Miss Mary, daughter of Edmund and Mary (Moser) Johnson. Mrs.
Rose was born July 16, 1823. Both are members of the Methodist Episcopal
church. Mr. Rose served some years as a member of the Glasgow town board, and
was elected county treasurer by the republicans in 1862, and re-elected in
1864, serving four successive years. There are five children of this family;
mention of the eldest is given below; Nannie M., the second, dwells in San
Francisco, California; Clara J., at Kellogg.
William J. was born June 12, 1853, in the same locality as his father; attended school at Wabasha, and has taught three terms; is now engaged in farming; married Sarah A. Metzgar, May 5, 1874, and has five children, christened Mary Jane, Edith May, Floyd, Minnesota and Alice. Mary Alice, the youngest, is the wife of Horace Higgins, whose home is at Tower City, Dakota.
War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Rose, Justus G., (page 1242), eldest son of above subject (John F. Rose), was born at Senecaville, Guernsey county, Ohio, February 7, 1846. Since eleven years of age most of his life has been passed on Minnesota farms. Besides a fair common-school training here, he spent six months in Eastman's business colleges at Poughkeepsie and Chicago. August 27, 1864, he entered the Union army, being then in his nineteenth year, and served till the close of the civil war, as a recruit in Co. C., 4th Minn. Vols. He bore a part in Sherman's march to the sea and to Richmond, but was in no heavy engagements. He participated in several skirmishes, and witnessed the burning of Columbia, South Carolina. He was discharged in June, 1865, and returned to Minnesota. September 23, 1873, he married Mary A., daughter of Daniel Metzgar, whose history is elsewhere given in this work. Two sons and a like number of daughters have blessed this union, and are called Clifford Homer, William Clyde, Mattie May and Nannie Maud. Mr. Rose has always upheld the principles of the republican party, and subscribes to the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Roundy, Capt. Pearl, (page 1322), boat-builder, Wabasha, is a grandson of John Roundy, one of the heroes of Lexington and the Revolution. One of two brothers of the latter, who were also in the battle of Lexington, was killed there. John and Mary Roundy, the parents of this subject, were natives of Massachusetts. They settled at Blue Hill, Maine, where Pearl Roundy was born December 30, 1812. He was reared there, attending the common school and academies there and at Waterville. Blue Hill was noted for ship-building, and when sixteen years old young Roundy found employment in a ship-yard. When about twenty-four he went to Pennsylvania and dwelt at Brooksville twenty years. For twelve years he was engaged in mill-building in that vicinity. In 1856 he located in Pepin, Wisconsin, and has ever since been engaged in building river craft on the Upper Mississippi. He came to Wabasha in the spring of 1876, and went into partnership with W. T. Dugan in operating a boat-yard. Captain Roundy was made an Odd Fellow in Pennsylvania, and has just taken a demit from a Wisconsin lodge. He is now president of the Mutual Engineers' Association here. In religion he is a Universalist, and an old-line Democrat in politics. He has commanded two different militia companies in the East, and was also adjutant. In 1838 he was united in marriage to Miss Ann Hastings, a native of Bellfont, Pennsylvania. Of eight children given them, six are now living. All save the third (now Mrs. Willis Parker, at Sioux Falls, Dakota,) are at home. Their names are: Thomas H., Robert M., Annie, Pearl, Orin, and Milton. (Demit means to withdraw from office or membership)
Rueckert, Frederick W., (page 1186), hardware dealer, Lake City, was born in the German province of Bavaria, in 1843. His parents, Melchior and Eve (Stegmeier) Rueckert were also natives of the same province, and former by trade and occupation a regimental gunsmith. During his early youth Frederick mastered the trade and followed the same till 1870, when on June 22 he left his native home with a view of reaping a greater reward for his skill and labor. After a short stay in New York he came to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he remained till May, 1872, when he came to Lake City and engaged in his business. In November, 1879, his property was destroyed by fire, though fully covered by insurance. He next built a brick store on Washington street which was burnt in 1882, and only partially insured. Soon after he bought his present brick store, a good and substantial building, corner of Washington and Marion streets, where he carries a full line of hardware and guns. He was married December 17, 1878, to Miss Mary Vogl, a native of New York, born of German parents. His two children are Clara and Fred. M.
War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Russell, Morris C., (page 1195), editor "Sentinel," Lake City. After repeated solicitation on our part, Mr. Russell kindly consented to furnish us the following brief though very interesting account of his experience on the northwestern frontier, or early days in Minnesota, which at the same time illustrates the experience of very many of our worthy pioneers, both living and dead, and is given as a sample of the brave spirits who redeemed this grand commonwealth from a state of nature, and spread out its fields of golden grain, bred cattle on its thousand hills, and reared its numerous cities, towns and villages with their prosperous churches, colleges and schools. He says:
"I was born in Venango county, Pennsylvania, February 22, 1840. My father was Samuel Russell, and my mother was a Miss Matilda Raymond, whose brother, A. W. Raymond, owned large iron mines and blast furnaces, over which my father, although owning a large farm in the vicinity, was, most of the years I was at home, the manager for my uncle Raymond. The Raymonds were from Connecticut stock, although the branch which were within my knowledge came from New York State into Western Pennsylvania; and my uncle A. W. Raymond, and his large family of sons and daughters and their descendants, are all alive at this writing, and all live near each other in Venango county, the old gentleman at Franklin, the county seat. My father was one of a family of seven sons, all born in this country, although my grandparents on my father's side came from the north of Ireland. My father married twice, his second wife being a Miss Susan Smith, from Bangor, Maine, who came into western Pennsylvania as a school teacher. I am the youngest child of the first family, being the twelfth child and seventh son. My mother died when I was an infant, and I do not recollect her. I was raised, up to the time I left home at fourteen, by my stepmother, who is one of God's noble women, and who still lives in Jefferson, Iowa, with her youngest daughter, though very feeble and aged. By his second marriage my father had nine children-twenty-one in all. Up to my fourteenth year I went to the old log schoolhouse three months each winter, where I learned to read in the New Testament, and could spell most of the easy words in Cobb's spelling-book; also gained a trifle of knowledge about geography, and could 'cipher' a little before leaving home, but never 'learned grammar' any. This comprised all the book-learning I ever had in school, and constituted my collegiate course, if I except a year spent in the Franklin 'Spectator' office as a 'printer's devil.' From ten to fourteen I worked on the farm, in the ore mines, and about the iron furnace, one year as 'under clerk' in my uncle's large supply store, where the hundreds of miners, furnace men, woodchoppers, teamsters and charcoal artists, who carried on the colliery department, bought all the supplies of every kind for themselves and families. All labor was employed by my uncle for half cash and half out of the furnace store. I never knew, however, of very much cash changing hands, but the 'furnace store' was a big thing as a mart of trade; men who had large families, as nearly all of them had, to support by chopping white oakwood-as an illustration-for forty cents per cord, never had much "cash" due them on settlement day. My business capacity and my education fitted me admirably for my part of the duties-i.e., drawing the endless jugs of molasses, fish-oil, measuring out tar, sweeping the store, replacing broken glass in the gristmill and the many other buildings about the ironworks, and doing ten thousand things which the higher operators about the place could not do without smearing their hands or their linen. About March 1, 1854, I succeeded in getting father's consent to go to Minnesota Territory, at that time a remote region, difficult of access, and of which but little was known in the east. Four years before, in 1850, my two eldest brothers, Aaron and Edward, had gone to that territory, and in 1852 were followed by my brother Samuel, and brother-in-law, F. M. Ward. After two months of untold hardships, privations, suffering and adventure, a green and used-up youth landed in St. Paul from the steamer Hamburg, the boat having, during all her voyage, been but little less than a floating palace of death. She had several hundred passengers, who died off by scores with cholera, their remains being buried in greater or less numbers at every wood-pile and landing. Those not sick spent their time in gambling and carousing night and day. We buried half-a-dozen one dark rainy night in the lonely wilderness where we took on wood, placing them all in one shallow hole in the wet ground, by the weird light of tar torches. At another landing, I remember, among the dead carried ashore were eight members of one family. This was at LaCrosse landing, where they were laid side by side on the ground, seven boys and their father, and we left the only surviving member, the wife and mother, sitting among the dead, wringing her hands in agony and despair. Most of the principal towns now on the river were located about this time, or not long previously, but were composed of only a few wooden structures, scattered about over their respective sites, with not enough in a line to indicate which way the street ran. There were "prairie-seas" spread out on every hand, which, with the wild Indians and their numerous villages, were sights emphatically new and picturesque in the eyes of a boy who had never seen either before, nor even a railroad nor steamboat before starting on this long, tedious and eventful journey, which alone would make an interesting volume if faithfully written, with all its incidents, sights and experiences.
"St. Paul was a singular-looking, rough and tumble sort of a town. The central portion was reached by a set of rough, wooden stairs, leading from the steamboat landing up the side of the hill, upon reaching the summit of which one landed almost in the front yard of the Central House, one of the leading hotels of the town. The Merchant's was a frame affair, on its present site. The amusement center was the old People's Theatre, a square, ugly-looking structure, made of slabs set up endwise. The autocrats of the territory were the government officials first, the steamboat officers next, and the Indian traders and 'sample-room' proprietors third. In those days all the rivers were navigable. The Minnesota river was navigable for large boats some three or four hundred miles above its mouth most of the season, and as the Minnesota valley was just beginning to attract immigration, the steamboat business boomed for several years, when, about the time it began to permanently 'dry up" railroads came into the country and relieved the exhausted streams of the traffic they no longer could discharge by reason of the absorption and evaporation caused by settling and opening up the country and its surface. The first legal execution in the territory took place that year. The 'subject' was a Sioux Indian, who was hanged for shooting at a white man, and killing the woman who was seated beside him in the wagon. The murder took place in the woods in the Sand Creek bottom, Scott county, near where Jordan is now located. The man shot at by the Indian was a German named Jacob Schroder, but the name of the woman who was killed, I do not remebmer. I knew Schroder personally many years after, and the last I knew of him he resided in Shakopee, where he probably still lives, if he lives at all. This and the two following seasons I ran on the Minnesota (then called St. Peter) river, on different ones of the early steamboats, the Montello and the Iola (which belonged to my two elder brothers), the Globe, the Time and Tide (which belonged to Capt. Louis Roberts, an early settler of St. Paul, who died only six or seven years ago, and was a noted character), on the Black Hawk, Greek Slave, Clarion and others. These first boats carried up into the great valley of the Minnesota the early settlers and their goods, the government supplies to Fort Ridgely, and the annuity goods to the Indian agencies at Red Wood and Yellow Medicine. At times the water was too low for the steamboats to run above the rapids, when the freight and passengers would be transferred to flatboats, which were 'polled' up the river, a distance of two hundred miles, by French 'pollers,' at a speed of about twenty miles a day. This portion of my early-day experiences-my flatboat experience for three years through a country swarming with the wildest of wild Indians, the Sioux, eight years before the terrible outbreak and massacre of 1862-was the most romantic and eventful time in my frontier life, its stirring incidents, if properly recorded, being sufficient in number and thrilling enough in character to constitute a volume. The most noted men of that time whom I can now recall were: Gov. Alex Ramsey, Gen. Sibley, Maj. Joseph R. Brown (Sioux Indian agent), Willis A. Gorman, Samuel Pond (the venerable missionary), Maj. Murphy, Messrs. Borup and Oaks, Wm. Constance, and the prominent 'river men,' while the greyhaired old Col. Abercrombie, of the regular army, was in command of Fort Ridgely. Of course there were men in all the scattering communities along the Mississippi river, further south in the territory, who were then, and since have been, prominent men, but of whom I knew but little in those early times, save by reputation. I and my brothers flatboated the first piano into the Minnesota valley that ever found its way up that river above Shakopee. It belonged to Col. Stoever, now of Henderson, and it was consigned and 'delivered in good order and condition' to a new landing called Kasota, not far above St. Peter. The boat crew, after the strange instrument had been landed safely, all drew an extra pint of whiskey from the government barrels of that article were on board, and drank to 'the health of the first piano and its jolly, rollicking owner.' This reminds me that the crews always used to levy upon the government whiskey, which always constituted a fair proportion of every cargo, for their supply of 'firewater.' They would tap a barrel whenever they ran short, draw out two or three buckets full of whiskey, and replace it by similar quantity of river water. We used to deliver at the fort and at the agencies a good many barrels of tolerably weak whiskey; some of it wouldn't have hurt the nerves of a child. At the close of the third year I returned home and spent the winter, returning to the northwestern frontier again early in the spring, this time all the way by river, making probably one of the longest continuous river journeys ever made in the country; nearly the whole length of the Alleghaney river, to Pittsburgh, thence the length of the Ohio river to Cairo, up the Mississippi to St. Paul, thence ascending the Minnesota river to Redwood agency, in all between three and four thousand miles. During the years intervening between my return and the outbreak of the war of the rebellion, save one summer spent in Iowa, and one year in the newspaper business at Belle Plaine, Minnesota, I ran on the upper Mississippi, St. Croix and Minnesota rivers, clerking, piloting, etc.; spending the winters in the heart of the big woods, on the Minnesota river, where my brothers had a settlement, engaged in cutting steamboat wood and getting out various kinds of timber, among the rest the timber for the St. Paul bridge, which we four brothers cut and banked in the winter and rafted to St. Paul in the spring. We were to take our pay in city bonds, which our St. Paul agent, after considerable trouble, collected for us; but before he had turned them over to us he became involved in some scandal, and when about to be arrested he, having our bonds in his pocket, ran to the new bridge and jumped into the river far below, from the highest span, and neither he nor our money was ever heard of again, excepting a skeleton found a few years afterward in the river above Hastings, which was supposed to be that of the rascally suicide, Gray. On one of the long, tedious rafting trips with this timber from the Big Woods to St. Paul, the raft became windbound on the lower Minnesota river, by strong headwinds common in the spring, and the crew, of which the writer was a member, came near starving to death. We subsisted for a week or over on nothing more than roots, bark, etc., gathered along the shores, and small box of spoiled herring. Parties who had gone to St. Paul by land at last came to our relief up the river in canoes, bringing provisions. The first meal consisted of cheese, bread, etc., and a pint of whiskey each. The repast had a very revivifying effect, and the hilarity that followed we attributed to the cheese. I was personally and thoroughly acquainted with all the leading as well as subordinate chiefs of the Sioux nation, including Little Crow-the leading spirit in the massacre of 1862-Standing Buffalo, Blue Blanket, Old Shakopee, Cut Nose, Other Day (the friendly Indian who saved sixty-two whites during the massacre), Little Dog and many others; also all the thirty-eight who were hanged on one scaffold at Mankato. All these chiefs have often spent a night beneath the friendly roof of our Big Woods cabin in those early days, and partaken at our rude table with us. I also know Hole-in-the-Day, the great chief of the Chippewa nation, and many of the principal chiefs of the Winnebago nation, Big Bear being a particular friend of the writer. Of the latter tribe I saw, at one time, four hundred canoe loads, with an average of five to the canoe, all in one body. I also witnessed the last great and bloody battle that took place between the Sioux and Chippewa nations, who have been the bitterest enemies from time immemorial. It occurred in the open river bottom of the north side of the Minnesota river, not far below Shakopee, and was attended by all the shameless and nameless atrocities common in Indian warfare. The Chippewas, after a most determined battle of several hours, were cut to pieces and put to flight.
"For aught I have ever known to the contrary, I was the first white that became a permanent resident of the territory and state who had neither parent or guardian with him. The summer before referred to as having been spent in Iowa, I again entered upon an apprenticeship at the printing business, in the office of the 'Tipton Advertiser,' Judge Spicer, editor. The summer was pretty badly broken up, however, owing to the fact that I became a member of a militia company, the Tipton Guards, commanded by that old Mexican veteran Capt. Hammond, in which, owing to my 'main strength and awkwardness,' I presume, I was made a sergeant. During the summer we served through what was known as the 'Iowa Horse Thief War,' immediately following the conclusion of which we were ordered to the frontier to quell the Indians who had broken out in what passed into history as the 'Spirit Lake Massacre.' Before reaching the bloody ground, however, the order was countermanded, much to our relief. After this, I resigned from the company, and also threw up my position of 'printer's devil' in the 'Advertiser' office, and returned to Minnesota-two wars in one summer being more than I had contracted for, even 'in my mind.' At eighteen, in company with Horace Baxter, another boy about my own age, and the only brother of Col. L. L. Baxter, now of Fergus Falls, I leased the 'Enquirer' office at Belle Plaine, and after conducting it a year sold our lease to Judge J. L. Macdonald, now of Shakopee, and Baxter and myself went to Portage City, Wisconsin, with a view of buying out the 'Badger State' office at that place. Before negotiations were closed, however, my gallant and gifted young partner was killed near Kilbourn City by falling between the cars. After this I traveled several months through various western states, in order to perfect myself in the art of printing, by 'getting the sytles' in various localities, when I returned to Minnesota and was employed in the old 'Pioneer' office most of the time until the war of the rebellion broke out. I walked to Fort Snelling from Belle Plaine, at which latter place I resigned my position of first lieutenant in what soon afterward became Co. A., 4th Minn. Inf., because the company voted not to join in any regiment that was likely to be ordered south. When the vote was announced, in my boyish and enthusiastic rage I tore my sword from its scabbard and flung it through the air; it fell point first, and I turned impetuously away, leaving it sticking in the prairie, and, as before stated, walked without stopping fifty miles to the fort, arriving just in time to get into Co. K, 2d Minn. Inf., with which I served nearly a year in Kentucky and Tennessee, and was finally discharged on account of disability received in the line of duty, and from being over-zealous in seeking out and performing hard duty, and consequent exposure in the inclement weather of a southern winter in the field. I would say here, however, that the 4th Minn. Inf. soon followed the Second south, and no braver men nor better soldiers ever wore the blue of patriotism than the members of the Fourth, and the members of Co. A afterward had the privilege of seeing and doing far more for their country than did their pettish lieutenant who threw his sword away at Belle Plaine. Upon my return to Minnesota, although in feeble health, I was just in time to go as a volunteer scout for Gen. Sibley in the Sioux war, consequent upon the awful massacre that deluged the Minnesota valley with blood, and during which probably two thousand helpless men, women and children were put to the scalping-knife and tomahawk along our western border. Five of us, mounted on powerful horses, Sheriff Frank McGrade, of Scott county, Garry Du Co's (recently returned from the 1st Minn. Inf., disabled, like myself) two farmer brothers, named Kearney and myself, were ordered to go all through the county north of the valley and ascertain the true conditions of things, and join Sibley and his army at St. Peter and report, he moving up the south side of the river, hastening to the relief of Fort Ridgely, New Ulm and other points. This scouting expedition was a memorable experience, and braver and nobler men never lived that the four who accompanied me. When we started from Carver, on this expedition, we numbered forty horsemen, but in that first terrible night's ride through the dark woods all had turned back save we five before midnight. We, however, kept on, and scoured the whole country through to Hutchinson, swinging around through the prairie country, and reporting to the general as directed. We met no hostile body of Indians, fortunately for us, but saw much of their devilish work. Very much worn out, with five ruined horses, we returned home in safety. Since that time I have followed the printing and publishing business continuously, three years in Nashville, Tennessee, the remainder of the time in Minnesota. I established and conducted for five years the first newspaper on the Northern Pacific railroad, east of teh Rocky Mountains, the 'Brainerd Tribune.' I am now, and expect to be, a resident of one of the prettiest little cities, richest counties and proudest states in all the sisterhood, Lake City, Wabasha county, Minnesota.
Ryan, Patrick Francis, (page 1293), teacher, was born near Elmira, New York,
October 18, 1856. His parents, Patrick C. and Johanna Ryan, were born in
Limerick, Ireland, and came to America in 1848. For several years the father
was employed in railroad construction, and settled in Greenfield township,
where he now resides, in 1857. The subject of this sketch received his
education in the common school in Greenfield and in the Wabasha city schools.
He has been employed on a steamboat, on river lumber fleets, and on the
railroad. During the winter of 1883-4 he had charge of the Minneiska school,
the term completing his thirty-sixth month of teaching. He is highly regarded
by school superintendents, and his services are in great demand. For some
time his home has been in Wabasha. He is a member of the Catholic Total
Abstinence Union, and has represented this county in the state and national
conventions of 1880. Mr. Ryan is a young man of more than ordinary ability,
and the writer is glad to note that his talents are likely to be fully
appreciated by his fellow-citizens.