Search billions of records on

BIOGRAPHIES: Surnames Beginning With "W"

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

War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Wabasha Foundry and Machine-Shop: (Chapter 37 of the 1884 book) This industry is located on the west half of block 17, original town site of Wabasha, the east half being occupied by the mill of the Wabasha Milling Co. The entire block is traversed by the spur tracks of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway, which afford ample facilities for shipping purposes. The business was established in 1869 by M. F. Lowth & Co., who erected the buildings that year and started their machinery the following spring. These buildings are: a two and one-half story machine-shop, 40x50 feet; a foundry, 40x50 feet; a paint shop, 36x40 feet, and a blacksmith-shop with two forges. Lowth & Co. were succeeded, in 1874, by Dayton, McDougall & Co., and they in turn by the Wabasha Manufacturing Co., who gave place to the firm of Downer & Porter, and this latter, on the death of the senior member, John B. Downer, in October 1882, to the firm of Campbell & Porter, the present proprietors. During all these changes Mr. Porter has stood by the concern, having been a member of the original firm of Lowth & Co. The business consists in the manufacture and repair of portable and stationary engines and steamboat-work, as well as general foundry and machinery business. The shops are equipped with two lathes (fifteen-foot bed), an iron planer, an engine of fourteen-horsepower, and all the other necessary machinery for their line of work, which is largely for the lumbermen of the Chippewa and Beef Slough logging companies. Their cupola has a capacity of from two and one-half to three tons of metal, and they are well equipped for filling all orders. Their present working force is from six to eight hands. The present members of the firm are W. H. Campbell and O. H. Porter. O. H. Porter is a native of Pennsylvania, a moulder by trade, and has been a resident of this city about fourteen years. He was born in 1833; came into Michigan at nineteen years of age; learned his trade in Tecumseh, in that state, and in 1856 removed to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and was there until the breaking out of the war of the rebellion, July 13, 1861. He enlisted as a musician; was afterward promoted fife-major, and was mustered out of service in 1863, returning to Wisconsin. December 6, of that year, he married Barbara Yambor. One daughter was born to them on October 3, 1864, Miss Nellie J., who graduated from the high school of this city in class of 1882; is now pursuing her studies at the State Normal School, Winona, from which she will graduate in the class of 1884.

Wadleigh, T. J., (page 1191), the furniture man of Plainview, Wabasha county, was born in Unity, New Hampshire, March 4, 1821, of Henry T. and Hannah S., of old English stock. His father served in the war of 1812, through which his constitution was irreparably undermined. One of nine children, T. J., at the age of sixteen, was bound apprentice to learn the cabinet and joiner trade for three years, at Croydon, New Hampshire. His opportunities for early education were meager, and at nineteen years he commenced as a jobber for others, in which line he continued until the fall of 1840. At this time, December 13, he was married to Fatima S. Powers, of Orange, Vermont, and for one year successfully ran a gristmill, returning to his trade until, in 1846, he built the hotel at Northfield, and for three years next succeeding worked as car builder for the Vermont Central railroad. In 1850, with his family, consisting of wife and three daughters, he emigrated to Hamilton, Canada West, and continued in the same line for the Great Western Railroad Company for four years. In 1855 he settled in Greenville, took a claim of one hundred and sixty acres, and changed, selling to T. A. Thompson, in 1856, and buying that now owned by David Messer. Selling this he bought and worked one of eighty acres, which he exchanged for another adjoining, Thos. Todd's, on the east. In the spring of 1865 he went to Rochester, Minnesota, where he remained until 1874; then to Eyota, where he commenced the furniture business and continued till 1877, when he removed to Plainview, and occupied what is now known as the old Wilcox store, and in 1878 built and removed to present site. Arthur, the only son, and now partner in the firm of T. J. Wadleigh & Son, was born April 4, 1857. To the subject of this sketch, known universally as a good man, six children were born, all but one of whom are now living and married.

Wagner, John P., (page 1226), merchant, was born in Sheldon, Wyoming county, New York, March 8, 1853. His parents, John and Mary Wagner, were born in Belgium and Luxemburg respectively. They settled in Goodhue county, this state, when this subject was but five years old. He was reared on a farm and attended the common schools. In 1880 he engaged as clerk in a general store at Lake City. In the summer of 1883, in partnership with John Weimar, he built and stocked a store at Belle Chester. He is a member of Belle Chester Catholic church, and a democrat. May 22, 1883, he was married to Maggie Tuck, born in New York.

Wahler, Frederick B., (page 1117), farmer, residing in Plainview village, was born in Saratoga, Germany, March 31, 1831. His father, John F. Wahler, was a farmer, and his mother's maiden name was Dorothea Rohrbach. Mr. Wahler came to America in the year 1853. He spent the first three years after his arrival on a farm near Juno, Dodge county, Wisconsin. In 1856 he came to Minnesota, and located near Centerville, Winona county, on school lands. Seven years of his pioneer life were spent here, accompanied by many of the privations and trials that characterized frontier life in those days. The autumn of 1863 he disposed of his Winona county farm, and removed to Plainview township in Wabasha County, where he purchased the Churchill place-a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on sections 19 and 30. Four years later he purchased the village property, and erected thereon the residence which he has since occupied as his family residence. His landed possessions now aggregate three hundred acres of fine arable land. Mr. Wahler is a member of the Plainview Methodist Episcopal church, and the brotherhood of Masons. He was married to Miss Neiheeser, a native of his own country, in Dodge county, Wisconsin, on July 6, 1856. Their matrimonial life has been blessed with four children, three of them now living, viz: Addie (Mrs. Stadon), of Big Stone county, and Susie and Inez at home.

Walker, David, (page 1228), liveryman, Lake City, was born in Montgomery county, New York, May 1, 1825. His father, Simon Walker, was a farmer and reared his son to the same industry, affording him the advantages of a few months each winter in a subscription school. Mr. Walker occupied his time in farming in the old Empire State till 1865, when he came to Minnesota and settled on a farm in Goodhue county, which he improved and occupied till 1880, when he sold out and removed to Lake City, and embarked in the livery business in V. R. Lee's, on stand on Washington street. Mr. Walker was married in 1856 to Miss Julia Herrington, of Madison county, New York, and has two children, Hattie, who still resides with her parents, and Nettie, now Mrs. D. H. Williams, residing at Crookston, Minnesota. Mr. Walker is a member of the I.O.O.F., the Encampment and of the Equitable Aid Union. He is one of Lake City's worthy though unassuming citizens.

Walker, Capt. John Samuel, (page 1277), was born in New Albany, Indiana, January 4, 1832, of American parents. He left Indiana in the fall of 1844, and went to St. Louis, Missouri, and remained about ten years, engaged in various employments. He then came direct to Wabasha, and engaged in the lumber business as a laborer first, then, in the year of 1856, commenced piloting on the Mississippi and Chippewa rivers, and has continued in same business ever since with good success. His education was obtained mostly after he came to Wabasha, from a private teacher, J. McKee. He was elected constable, and has served as deputy sheriff of the county. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. in his own town, and also of the Orient Encampment in Wabasha. He was married in the spring of 1855, first to Miss Therice Campbell, second to Elizabeth Birtch, May 6, 1856. They are the parents of twelve children, seven of whom are living. Mr. Walker is one of the oldest, if not the oldest pioneer in Read's Landing, and if his biography was thoroughly written up, including his travels and experiences while "roughing it" on the Chippewa and Mississippi rivers, from the almost uncivilized times of 1856 to the present day, it would fill a large volume indeed, and we regret that we are compelled to condense it into this brief space.

Contact Fellow Genealogist: Beth

War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Walton, W. S., (page 1189), formerly proprietor and editor of the Wabasha "Herald," and during his seven years' conduct of that journal, largely instrumental in securing the construction of the Midland railroad, which has done so much to further the interests of Wabasha. Mr. Walton is a native of Ohio, received his academical training at Fairfield Seminary, Fairfield, Herkimer county, New York, and had completed one year of his course at Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, when the war of the rebellion broke out. He enlisted that same month, April, 1861, at Little Falls, Herkimer county, New York, in Co. K, 34th regt. N. Y. Vol. Inf., which was mustered into the United States service for the term of two years. Mr. Walton was made orderly sergeant of his company, was subsequently promoted second lieutenant, then first lieutenant of his company, then captain of Co. H, same regiment, and was mustered out as such at the close of the term for which the regiment took service. The regiment was in active duty upon the peninsula until just before the battle of Gettysburg, and during those years of active struggle Capt. Walton saw his share of hard fighting. He was wounded in the right side at Fair Oaks, and in the left thigh at the battle of Nelson's Farm, at which latter place he was taken prisoner and sent to Libby Prison Hospital, from which he was exchanged after weeks' confinement, and came north, recovering from his wounds so as to rejoin his command at Harper's Ferry. Returning home at the expiration of his two years' term of service, Capt. Walton entered Wesley University, Middletown, Connecticut, completed a special course there, and subsequently as agent for Appleton's publishing house, visited the middle and western states, making his home for a season in Davenport, Iowa. The climate of that place not agreeing with the health of his wife, Anna nee Loyd, of Gloversville, New York, whom he married, November 27, 1863, she came into Minnesota in 1870, and took up a temporary residence in this city. Two years later Mr. Walton removed to this city, and in September of that year, 1872, purchased the Wabasha "Herald," which he conducted for seven years and then sold. Since disposing of his newspaper property, Mr. Walton has been connected with permanent publishing houses east and west, visiting the Pacific slope, from lower California to Washington Territory, and making the voyage to the Sandwich Islands and Australia. He has a pleasant home on the bank of the river in the eastern part of the city, where he has a very unique and valuable collection of engravings, autographs, rare historical documents, letters form celebrated authors and statesmen, both of America and England, and some rare old editions of books that would delight the eye and arouse the envy of any bibliomaniac.

War of 1812
War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Warring, William H., (page 1085), farmer, has made his home on section 13, Chester, since 1860. At that time he bought the claim of another man to one-fourth of this section, and entered it as a homestead. He has since added eighty acres more to his domain. He is an active member of th Methodist Episcopal church, and is now recording steward of Gillford circuit. He has been seven years treasurer of his town, and eleven of his school district; has also been school director, and was town supervisor in 1866-7. That he is an ardent republican is testified by his three years' service in the Union army. He enlisted in the fall of 1861 in Co. G, 3d Minn. Inf., and served in the Western army. Was taken prisoner at Murphreesboro, and spent six months in prison. At Vicksburg was taken sick and suffered much through disease. Mr. Warring was born in Albany, New York, September 18, 1830. His life up to eighteen was passed in the city of his birth, and his father then removed with his family to Sauk county, Wisconsin. As above related, Mr. Warring became a citizen of Wabasha county in 1860. He was married June 19, 1852, to Maria Carpenter, a native of Pennsylvania; her parents, Jonathan and Cynthia Carpenter, were natives respectively of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Six children have been given to Mr. and Mrs. Warring, christened thus: Nathan A., Thomas B., Mary E. (Mrs. H. McLeoud, Beardsley, Minnesota); Annie (died at eighteen), Hannah V. and Eva, at home. The family now includes the two children of the eldest son, their mother having died, named Bertha Z. and Mark A. Mr. Warring's grandfather, John Warring, was a soldier in the war of 1812. Thomas B., son of the latter, and father of William H., was one of the pioneers of Wabasha county. He was born in Connecticut in July, 1803, and married Susannah Woodsworth of the same nativity; the latter was born December 31, 1804, and is still able to travel alone, going to and fro between her children in different states. Four of her sons were in the army, and still survive. With her husband she took up residence in Gillford in 1856, and dwelt there till after his death, April 3, 1870. Mr. Warring served as supervisor of that town. He was an ardent democrat, but voted for Lincoln at his second election.

Waskey, Alexander, (page 955), the fourth living son of the above subject, was born within one mile of the natural bridge, in Virginia, August 8, 1843, and was therefore but twelve years old when he arrived in Wabasha county. He was reared on the home farm, and on reaching his majority traveled over many different states. Tiring of a wandering life, he returned, June, 1877, to this locality. May 19, 1878, he was united in marriage to Miss Almira Harrison, daughter of Henry and Maggie Harrison, of Zumbro township. Two children have been given to Mr. And Mrs. Waskey, thus: Edward Alexander, June 6, 1881; Gussie, July 17, 1883. Mr. Waskey is now settled on a farm in Zumbro and is prospering.

Waskey, William, (page 955 ~ deceased) was among the pioneers of Chester township, where he died in 1872. In May, 1855, he located on section 32, on which the remainder of his life was passed. The youngest of his living children, Margaret V. (now Mrs. James Bennett), resides on the latter farm, which she received by inheritance. Mr. Waskey was a native of Maryland, and married Harriet Goodwin, of Virginia. While on an Ohio river steamer, moving west, Mrs. Waskey died, and was buried at Covington, Kentucky. The eldest daughter, Mary J., died in Illinois. Two sons, Joseph and William, died here. The eldest living, Sarah, dwells in Missouri. George S. is at Sioux Falls, Dakota, and James M. in Dixon county, Tennessee.

War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Waste M.D., J. P., (page 1225), came to Plainview in September, 1865, from Ohio. Previous to this he served as assistant surgeon in the 193d Ohio Inf. for eight months. After attending two full courses of lectures from 1860-4 at the Michigan University, he graduated at the Cleveland Medical College. Dr. Waste was born at Greenwich, Washington county, New York, February 17, 1837. He received the advantage of an early public school and academic education. He is a Freemason of high standing, and is also a member of the I.O.O.F., having held the position of noble grand for one term, and financial secretary for two years. During the year 1871-2 he was elected state senator on the republican ticket. He is a member of both state and county medical societies. In 1867 he was married to Miss Helen S. Higgins, of Mayfield, Ohio, who subsequently presented him with two sons and two daughters. One son, Willie, is deceased and buried in Plainview Cemetery. The doctor is a gentleman high in the esteem of the community, having for several years officiated as trustee of the Methodist church.

Wear, John, (page 1248), proprietor of Trout Glen Farm, Mount Pleasant, is a son of English parents, Robert and Mary (Lawton) Wear, and was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 6, 1837. When he was seven years old his father moved to Schellsburg, Wisconsin, and engaged in mining. In 1850 he bought a farm in Jo Davies county, Illinois, and from that time the life of our subject has been passed on a farm. His only educational facilities outside of self-culture were supplied by six months in the common school after he was thirteen years old. On reaching the age of fifteen he left the home farm, where his parents still reside, and has ever since cared for himself. In 1854 he came to Wacouta, on Lake Pepin, and soon after took up land on section 32, in the town of Florence, about four miles west of his present home. This claim was tilled by him until 1868, when he went to Lake City. For two years he engaged in the flour and feed trade there. He settled on his present farm (the northwest quarter of section 1) in 1877. Until quite recently he has engaged almost exclusively in grain-raising, but is now turning his attention to breeding Jersey cattle and sheep. At this writing (March, 1884) he is preparing to erect a private creamery on the large spring near his door. This spring supplies abundant water for driving churn, grindstone, etc., and is inhabited by trout. In the summer of 1883 the butter-producing powers of a three-fourths grade Jersey cow on Mr. Wear's farm was tested by a committee consisting of the editor of the Lake City "Sentinel;" and the county superintendent of schools. For a week these gentlemen visited Trout Glen Farm each day, and weighed the milk, cream and butter from this animal. At the end of that period the butter produced at fourteen sittings on the milking-stool was found to weigh twenty-seven and one-fourth pounds. The weight of the milk was two hundred and ninety-three pounds. This is related as an example of the results easily attainable in Minnesota, with good water, pasturage and the right kind of cows. Mr. Wear is a member of the Masonic lodge and chapter at Lake City; is a consistent republican, and both himself and wife joined a Presbyterian church in Goodhue county, and still cherish the faith of that sect. During his residence in Florence Mr. Wear served as town supervisor. His marriage occurred in 1857, the bride being Miss Emily, daughter of Joseph Saunders and Eliza (Owen) Pingrey, of Vermont and New York. Mrs. Wear was born near Madison, Indiana, in 1838. No children having been given this couple, they adopted a daughter, christened Minnie.

Webster, William Sydney, (page 1309), one of the leading farmers of Lake township, received his birth near Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1845. His father (William) was a native of that state, while his mother (Christiana) was a German by birth, emigrating to this country in 1830. Our subject was a natural-born farmer, so after receiving a common-school education, worked on his father's farm till he became thoroughly acquainted with what was to be his lifework. During the winter months, when work was not pressing, he got out lumber from the woods near by, which he sold to Scranton mines. At length, in 1870, he came to this county and bought eighty acres of land, where he now resides; but by economy and thrift he now is the possessor of four hundred and eighty acres of land situated on sections 32 and 33. He married Mary Shaw, daughter of George and Jennie Shaw, of this township. They have one child, Jennie Ann. Mr. Webster and wife are members of the Methodist church at Lake City.

Wedge, Hon., Henry D. (page 1141), was born in Warren, Litchfield county, Connecticut, June 21, 1840. His father is Horatio Wedge, of Waupun, Wisconsin. The family removed from Connecticut to Wisconsin when Henry was in his fifth year, locating in the town of Chester, Dodge county. His education was obtained at a country school and at the Waupun high school. He has taught school four terms, three of them in Minnesota. Soon after reaching his majority he went to Missouri, where he spent two years, but being still anxious to roam, he returned home and took a fresh start, this second time coming to Minnesota, where his father owned considerable real estate, situate on the rich and fertile Greenwood prairie. It was in the spring of 1866 that he took up his permanent residence on a portion of these paternal acres, on section 19, in the township of Plainview. He has been prospered in his chosen calling, and is now one of the wealthiest farmers in Wabasha county, owning about seven hundred acres of land, besides village property. Mr. Wedge resides on his farm in a fine brick house, erected in 1879, at a cost of three thousand dollars. Near him are located two brothers, George and James, and a sister, wife of Mr. Mallory. Mr. Wedge is at present chairman of the township board of supervisors, is a republican in politics, and represented the people of the southern part of his county in the state legislature, in the session of 1879. He was married to Miss Helen L. Loveland, daughter of C. L. Loveland, of Dodge county, Wisconsin, January 23, 1863. Five children have been born to them: Eugene, Eddy, Herbert, Winnie and Minnie.

War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Wehrenberg, John Henry, (page 999), farmer, Greenfield, was born in Hanover, Germany, April 10, 1835. Up to fourteen years of age he attended school and assisted his parents in their farm labors. He was then apprenticed to a cabinetmaker and soon became master of the trade. When seventeen years old he left his native land and made his way to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was employed at cabinetwork. In 1856 he came to Minnesota and took up one-fourth of section 20, Greenfield, which he still retains. He now has half a section and resides on 29 in a handsome brick house. His wedding was the first celebrated in the township and occurred March 28, 1858, the bride being Miss Anna Frye, daughter of another pioneer mentioned elsewhere. Mr. Wehrenberg has always been a republican, and all the family were baptized in the Lutheran church. The children, in the order of their age, were christened Herman G., Lena L., Emma C., Augusta M., Henry J., Edward, Minnie, Charles and Eliza. Mr. Wehrenberg joined the Union army in February, 1865, and served nine months in the 1st Minn. Heavy Art., stationed at Chattanooga. He is now quite extensively engaged in stock raising, and has, among other animals, forty head of cattle.

Weimar, John M., (page 1226), merchant, has been a resident of Minnesota since he was two years old. His parents, John and Lucy Weimar, now reside at Red Wing, where they located at that time. He was born near Coblentz, Germany, December 4, 1854. His early life was spent on a farm near Red Wing, his education being completed by a year at College in Milwaukee. In 1875 he opened a general store, with a partner, at Red Wing; subsequently spent three years on a farm. In 1883 built a store at Belle Chester in partnership with J. P. Wagner. He was married December 20, 1879, to Josephine Tuck, native of New York, of French descent. They have two sons, born as follows: John N., March 2, 1882; Albert, June 15, 1883. All are communicants in Belle Chester Catholic church. Mr. Weimar is a democrat; was six years clerk of his school district while a resident of Belvidere.

Wells, Frank A., (page 1114), was born in Pompey, Onondaga county, New York, December 3, 1831. His parents were Russell and Sophronia (Adams) Wells. Mr. Wells' early life was spent on a farm. His education was obtained at the Pompey Hill Academy. He spent several years teaching in New York State, a portion of the time holding the position of principal in the Manlius graded school. December 23, 1855, he married Miss Sarah Alexander, of Fabius, Onondaga county, and in the spring of 1861 removed to Sparta, Wisconsin, where he engaged in teaching and agricultural pursuits for two years. In 1863 he came to Wabasha county and purchased the Sprague place on section 29, in Highland. In the autumn of 1873 he disposed of this place and bought the Betsey Hall place, just northeast of Plainview village, where he has since continued to reside. Mr. Wells is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, which he joined March 21, 1853, at Manlius, New York, the lodge at that place, Military Lodge, No. 92, being one of the oldest in that state. He was one of the charter members of Illustrious Lodge, No. 63, of Plainview, and was its first master. He is at present High Priest of the chapter, and a Knight Templar. He is independent in politics, but has held several offices of trust in the township. His family consists of four children, namely, Lilliam (Mrs. F. D. Washburn), of Buffalo Lake, Renville county, Minnesota; Florence A., Isabell Winona, and Maud all at home.

Whaley, Uriah, (page 1089), was born in New York in 1826. At the age of nineteen he left his home in the east and has spent his whole life in the west. He was two years in the service of the government, with the 8th Minn., and was in some of the principal battles of the war. Mr. Whaley has a family of eight children. He has always been a hard-working and industrious man, being engaged in farming in early days, but now an employee of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company.

Note From Fellow Genealogist: Uriah Stone WHALEY b 2 Oct 1825 Oneida County, NY, d 1915 Zumbro Falls, MN, m c 1849 Mariah SOULES b 1 Apr 1836 Onondaga, NY, d 20 Feb 1896 Zumbro Falls, MN. Uriah was son of David WHALEY and Sarah KILBOURNE. David WHALEY b c 1797 NY d 18 Mar 1868 Wabasha County, MN, m c 1820 Sarah KILBOURNE b 1797 Oswego, NY d 19 Feb 1880 Waukon, Allamakee, IA. Sarah KILBOURNE was dau of Aruna KILBOURNE and Sarah STONE. Would like to correspond with anyone having links to these families. Kathie

Note From Fellow Genealogist: I am interested in trading information about Uriah's brother, Cyrenus Holmes Whaley. Phyllis

White, Charles O., (page 1307), who was born in McHenry county, Illinois, October 3, 1851. His parents removed to Minnesota when Charles was in his fifth year. He has led the usual life of the farmer boy. He received a common school education. He learned the carpenter's trade, and for several years followed it in Plainview, and two years in Florida. He married Avalin Melendy, of Plainview, for his first wife. Four years later her death occurred, and on March 1, he was married a second time, Miss Nettie Melendy being his choice, by whom he has one child, Effie. Mr. White resides on the old homestead.

Revolutionary War
White, Robert, (page 1115), builder, Lake City, is descended from a long line of Connecticut ancestors, of English origin. His maternal grandfather, Van Vorns, was banished to Nova Scotia during the revolution for toryism. James White, the father of this subject was a native of Connecticut. He married Sarah Van Vorns, of New York, and located in Brooklyn, where Robert White was born, September 7, 1824. When the latter was five years old the family moved to Delaware county, and afterwards to Rockaway, Long Island. His elder brothers were prominent builders in Brooklyn, and he learned his trade with them, being foreman of their shops several years. In 1848 he went to Bloomington, Illinois, in 1849 to St. Louis, Missouri, and returned to New York, to escape the cholera that was raging there. He visited Lake City in the fall of 1856, and built several residences here during the following year. In 1858 he went to California, and returned to New York next year. July 13, 1861, he was married in New Jersey, to Miss Mary L. Morris, a native of that state. Her parents, Samuel and Rhoda A. (Van Marter) Morris, were born in Monmouth county, New Jersey, and New York city respectively. Robert Morris, of revolutionary fame, was an ancestor of this family. Mr. White permanently located in Lake City in 1863, landing here May 6. Very many of the city's finest buildings are monuments of his thoroughness and skill. As a citizen Mr. White stands well in the estimation of his neighbors, as is evidenced by his election for seven years as a member of the city council. For over thirty years he was a patron of Horace Greeley's paper, and when the great leader was a candidate for president he received Mr. White's vote, and the latter has since adhered in general elections to the party whose ticket bore Greeley's name. He was formerly a republican. In matters of religion he is a Freethinker. Four sons are included in his family, resident as below: Samuel Morris, pursuing a business course at Minneapolis; William Edgar, mechanic, Plano, Illinois; Robert Melvin, clerk in store at latter point; Horace Greeley, at home.

White, Rosewell Newton, (page 1306), late farmer of Plainview, was born in Westchester county, New York, January 24, 1809. When fourteen years old he was apprenticed to a carpenter at New Rochelle, New York. This trade occupied his life for the next nine years, and served to assist in the development of a fine artistic talent which he possessed. At the age of twenty-three he turned his attention to engraving, and without any previous training he solicited a job at wood engraving from a New York house, which was reluctantly given him. His work was promptly done and well. It was approved, and from that time on he found plenty to do in this line. The New York Bible Concern and Harper Brothers employed him during the eight years that he continued to reside in the metropolis, and he was esteemed one of the best wood engravers of his day. In 1839 he established a home in McHenry county, Illinois, and opened an office in Chicago, where he obtained work from McCormick, H. P. Murray, and others. Seventeen years he resided in Illinois, but in the spring of 1856 he caught the western fever, and also further induced to seek a change by ill health, he came to Greenwood prairie and pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres on section 11. Here he established his home, and spent the remainder of his life in agricultural pursuits. He died April 3, 1883, leaving a wife and four children surviving. Mrs. White was Jane Osborn, the daughter of John Osborn, of New York city. The children are: Annie (Mrs. Furlong), of Cass county, Dakota; Jane (Mrs. Griffing), of Boston, Massachusetts; Emelie E. White, of Crescent City, Florida; and a son, Charles O. White born October 3, 1851.

Whitmore, H. J., (page 1044), postmaster of Wabasha, is a native of New York State, came to Wabasha in 1858, and was engaged in trade in this city, principally in grocery business, until appointed postmaster, February 6, 1882. He married Miss Sarah Wickham, of this city, in 1861.

Whitmore, L. H., (page 1142), grocer, corner of Second and Pembroke streets. This business was established by the firm of F. Stuelzel & Co., a little over three years since, and was only purchased by Mr. Whitmore last spring (1883). The stock is quite complete, and includes staple and fancy groceries, fruits, vegetables, flour and feed. Business employs two clerks, and one delivery-wagon. Sales of flour are one hundred and fifty sacks per month, and fifteen tons of feed; grocery sales lead all others in city. L. H. Whitmore is a native of New York; came to Wabasha in September, 1865, and in the following year, in connection with his brother, H. J. Whitmore, opened a flour, feed and grocery store on the corner of Second and Pembroke, now occupied by Drury. Business was continued until 1878, when H. J. Whitmore retired (to become postmaster of the city), and L. H. continued business one year and sold out; was then engaged clerking in the postoffice and in the county offices until he resumed business at the present stand, which he subsequently bought. He fronts thirty-five feet on Second street, and has his storeroom in the rear on Pembroke. Mr. Whitmore was married in 1861,in Chenango county, New York, to Miss E. A. Holt. They have four children: Linn Whitmore, born July 15, 1863, at present assistant cashier in the Wabasha Bank; C. H., clerking in his father's store; Gertie E., born July 15, 1874; Harry, born October 17, 1876.

Wilcox, H. C., (page 972), captain and joint owner with W. P. Dugan of the steamer Lion, carrying passengers, freight and mails between this port and Alma, Wisconsin. The Lion was built here by Capt. Wilcox, in the winter of 1876-7, and started running upon the opening of navigation in the spring of 1877. She is a small, trimbuilt sternwheeler, 110 feet over all, 16 feet beam and three feet hold. Her wheel is 13 1/2 feet in diameter, with 11 feet buckets; her engines, 52 inch stroke, 8 1/2 diameter, and she easily attains a speed of ten to twelve miles an hour against the ordinary Mississippi current, and can make from fifteen to eighteen miles an hour down stream. She cost complete about five thousand dollars, and is under regular contract with the United States government to carry mails from this city to Alma, Wisconsin, and also delivers a special mail at the offices of the Mississippi and Beef Slough Logging Company, at the mouth of the Beef Slough, across the river, and a few miles down stream from this point. She makes three round trips daily, Sundays excepted, between this place and Alma, and triweekly night trips to the mouth of the Chippewa river, towing rafts. her crew consists of Capt. Wilcox, Henry Lashpell, pilot; Wm. Worthington, engineer, and two hands. Capt. H. C. Wilcox is a native of Jefferson county, New York, a practical engineer and miller by trade, having acquired his knowledge of these industries under his father's direction, who was engaged in the milling business at the old home in Jefferson county. Leaving home Mr. Wilcox came west, and was employed as a railroad engineer on the line of the Illinois Central, before coming to this place in 1856. From 1860-3 he was in charge of the milling establishment of W. W. Prindle at this place. Since 1863 the captain has been principally engaged in river business; as engineer until 1876, when he put the little steamer Comet into the carrying trade between this port and Alma, to be followed by the larger and better Lion, which he built the following winter, as before noted. Capt. Wilcox married Adelaide Goodell, December 11, 1855, at Lawrence, Michigan. They have six children, all living at home. Helen, July 20, 1858; Hattie, June 4, 1864; Francis M., September 10, 1871; Carrie, August 15, 1873; Harrie, July 24, 1878; Albert, December 29, 1880. The captain resides at the corner of Second and Lafayette streets, on the same property purchased by him in 1862, and which has been the family residence for over twenty-one years. He has just completed and taken possession of his new house, a very comfortable and substantial frame dwelling, two stories in height, the main building 24x32 feet, with a wing 16x20, and a one-story addition, 16x20.

Wilcox, Ozias, (page 1278), born in 1824, died January 1, 1876. Mr. Wilcox' father was a harnessmaker, and resided at Crown Point, New York, where our subject was born and spent his earlier years. When he was about fifteen he went to Perry, Lake county, Ohio, and became a sailor on the lakes. From 1852 to 1854 he was in California, from which country he returned with a small capital, which he invested in the forwarding business, with headquarters at Fairport, in copartnership with his brother, B. O. Wilcox. Owing to ill health, he soon resumed the life of a sailor, in charge of one of his own ships. After a year of lake life he found his health still greatly impaired, and pursuant to the advice of his physician came to Minnesota. This was in the spring of 1856. He bought forty acres of Hugh Wiley, along the eastern side of the southest quarter of section 8, in Plainview, and erected a store and dwelling in one building (the same is now used by the Plainview Bank), and also took up a homestead-claim south of the village. Mr. Wilcox at once assumed a leadership in the affairs of the new town, and up to the time of his death exerted a beneficial influence in all public matters touching the interests of Plainview, where he engaged successfully in the mercantile business until the close of his life. In his early life Mr. Wilcox had few educational advantages, and acquired but a poor common-school education; he, however, had studious tastes, and aspired to gain a broader knowledge of literature and science than the masses find sufficient. All the leading literary periodicals and journals of the day were his constant reading. He was married to Martha Stearns, daughter of Asaph Sterns (sp?), of northern Ohio, December 15, 1854. This lady, who survives her husband, was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, February 18, 1828, and now resides in Minneapolis. Four children are now living: Helen J. (wife of Dr. G. E. Ricker), Northfield; Asa F., medical student in Philadelphia; Cassius C., Aberdeen, Dakota Territory, and Frances L., attending school in Boston, Massachusetts.

War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Indian Wars
Wildes, Andrew J., (page 1236), was born in Bath, Maine, July 23, 1840. He was very early taken upon summer voyages by his father, and received most of his education in the schools of Greenfield and Wabasha after coming here. On January 4, 1862, he entered the United States army, in Co. G, 5th Minn. Vols., and served in the western army; was a participator in the battles at second Corinth and Iuka. Was discharged on account of illness in September, 1863, and returned home. Having recovered his health in the northern climate, he re-enlisted in December of the latter year as a recruit in the 1st Minn. Regt., and served in garrison duty on the Potomac till the close of the war. Since his return home he has been employed as a carpenter and laborer. He is a member of the O.O.G.T., and in religious faith is inclined toward the Episcopals. Republicanism represents his political ideas. August 22, 1872, A. J. Wildes and Miss Hattie Swift were made one in the bonds of wedlock. They have three children, christened Katy May, Charles Francis and William Henry. Mrs. Wildes was born in Burrville, Jefferson county, New York.

Wildes, Ephraim, (page 1236 ~ deceased) was one of the earliest settlers in Greenfield. He was born in Phippsburg, Maine, in 1794, and died in Cook's Valley in April, 1860. Judith Blaisdell, to whom he was married at Bath, was born in the same state in 1800. For many years they dwelt in Bath, and Mr. Wildes commanded a schooner engaged in the coasting trade. In 1854 he came to Greenfield, and took up the northeast quarter of section 34. Next year he moved to section 30, where he put up the first framed house in the township. He was the father of nine children, the eldest, Ephraim Madison, being fatally shot here in a claim dispute. Esther (Norton) resides in Maine. Zina died in New Orleans, and Silas in California. Asa was shot in some border trouble in Nevada. Annie (Mrs. S. A. Kempe) dwells in Red Wing, and Francis H. in Aurora county, Nevada; Merinda (Steele), at Maiden Rock, Wisconsin. A sketch of the youngest is hereunto appended (Andrew J. Wildes).

Willson, Hon. Hugh P., (page 1276), of Grand Forks, Dakota Territory, was one of the first settlers in Wabasha county, whither he came in the fall of 1854, from Crawford county, Pennsylvania. Mr. Willson was born December 3, 1819. His parents were Hugh and Hannah (Allen) Willson. His educational advantages were very limited; he attended school but about fourteen months all told, but being of a studious disposition he early began the self-imposed task of educating himself without the assistance of teachers. In this he was remarkably successful as gaining a fair knowledge not only of the common branches, but also of the high sciences, history and literature. He engaged in farming in his native county until 1854, when, in the fall of that year, he came to Wabasha county and took a claim near Kellogg. here he remained until the spring of 1857, when he came to Greenwood prairie, and located a pre-emption claim on section 11, in Elgin township, the place now owned by Russell Marshall. The next fall he bought land in Plainview village, which he afterward platted, as an addition to the village, as East Plainview. Mr. Willson was justice of the peace for six years, during which time he acquired a taste for legal studies; in 1866 was admitted to the bar, opened a law office in Plainview, and continued the practice of law here until February, 1881, when he left Plainview, and went to Grand Forks, Dakota Territory, where he engaged in the real-estate and loaning business. Judge Willson was the first judge of probate for Wabasha county. In politics is a democrat. He was married, May 22, 1851, to Sarah E. Cole, in Pennsylvania, who died January 23, 1873, leaving two children, namely, Frank A., of Pembina county, Dakota Territory, and Mary, of Grand Forks. Frank Willson was the first white child born in Wabasha county, south of the Zumbro river.

Wilson, George, (page 1053), farmer, is one of the early settlers of West Albany, and was born in Banffshire March 6, 1833. His parents were James and Ann (Ballock) Wilson, to whom were born seven children, George being fifth. The subject of our sketch lived at home until the age of twenty-two, when he left his native land and settled in Racine county, Wisconsin. Here he lived until 1858, when he located on the farm in West Albany township where he now lives. In 1861 he returned to Scotland and six years later again came to West Albany, bringing with him from Banffshire several families, all of whom located in this neighborhood. Indeed the establishment of the Scotch settlement in West Albany was largely due to the influence of Mr. Wilson, for besides those who accompanied him on his return, many afterward came from the old country and from Racine county, Wisconsin. Ever since 1867 Mr. Wilson has resided here, and now has one of the finest farms on the prairie, consisting of three hundred and twenty acres of rich land all improved. He has given considerable attention to the raising of fine Durham stock, and is one of the most extensive stock-raisers on the prairie. He was married April 24, 1869, to Ellen Phillips, of Banffshire. This union has been blessed with five children: Ella A., James A., George A., Nellie B., Willie P. He and wife belong to the United Presbyterian church. Is a republican. He has occasionally been called to the public service, and is a respected and influential citizen.

Wilson, William, (page 1325), Lake City, became a citizen of this county in 1858, and has since acquired a good estate in land and city property. He was born in Banffshire, Scotland, November 26, 1829, is the son of James and Ann (Ballack) Wilson, and is a brother of George Wilson, of West Albany, whose biography appears on another page. Me. Wilson, like his ancestors, was reared a farmer, and like them has followed principally agricultural pursuits. He was married in his native shire March 24, 1853, and on April 11 sailed from the city of Banff for Quebec on the sailing vessel Empress, where they safely landed in the month of May. Their journey westward was continued up the St. Lawrence to Queenstown, via stage to Buffalo, where they again embarked for Racine, Wisconsin. The next five years found him engaged in farming on rented land. He then came to Minnesota, and settled in West Albany township on a farm of his own. From that time till 1876 his entire attention was given to the tilling of the soil and stock raising, which he made decidedly successful. Since his removal to Lake City he has been engaged in the warehouse business and the sale of agricultural machinery, at the same time looking after his real estate interests, which comprise a half-section in Lake township and a quarter-section in the town of Glasgow. Mr. Wilson and wife are members of the United Presbyterian Church, and politically, he affiliates with the Republican party. Their children's names, in the order of their birth, are Margaret A., now Mrs. George Bussell, of Lyon county, this state, Isabella, Jennie, and Maria at home, all having received a good education.

Winter, Benjamin, (page 1336), a pioneer farmer of Elgin, was born near Cincinnati, Ohio, April 15, 1824. His parents, James and Jane Winter, were natives of Pennsylvania. When our subject was a small boy, his people moved to Ripley county, Indiana, where he was brought up on a farm. He married Margaret Powell, who was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, March 15, 1826. Mr. Winter became possessed of a farm in Indiana, which he sold when he came west, in 1856. In the fall of this year he settled on Section 10, where he still dwells. He has 240 acres, of which every foot has been subdued, and is engaged in mixed farming, with signal success. His prosperity has been earned by his own labor, seconded by that of his faithful helpmeet. His religious faith is that of the Christian Church, his politics democratic. John Henry, his second child, died here at the age of twenty-four. The rest, in order of birth, reside as follows: Eliza Jane (Mrs. John Ross), Plainview; Ann Maria (Mrs. John Allison), Brookings, Dakota; Phoebe Frances (Mrs. Charles Wright), Plainview; Daniel Orison, Laura, Minnie F., and Benjamin Franklin, at home with parents. 1336

Winters, F. W., (page 1144), farmer, was born in Hanover, June 11, 1840. He was one of eight children born to Frederick W. And Christina (Hupp) Winters, the latter of whom is still living in this state. In 1852 the family emigrated to America, locating at Wheeling, West Virginia. Two years later they moved to Pike county, Illinois, and afterward to McDonald county. In 1865 they again sought a new home, this time locating in Chester township, on the farm our subject now occupies. Here the elder Winters died in 1873. Mr. Winters was married December 16, 1873, to Fredrika Isensee, a native of Goodhue county. They have three children: Christina H., Henry C., Caroline E. He is a member of Lake City Chapter, No. 12, F.A.M. In politics, he is a republican. He now owns four hundred and forty acres of fine land, four hundred of which is improved. He also owns a business room in Winona.

Wise, Charles, (page 1233), dealer in farm machinery, Lake City, was born in Baden, Germany, January 28, 1843, and is the son of Charles and Magdalena (Lehman) Wise, who were also natives of Baden. In 1851 he, with his mother and other members of the family, came to America, and joined his father, who had preceded them in 1847. One year was spent in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, after which they removed to Tioga (Errata page reads "Orange") county, New York, and thence to Minnesota, disembarking at Read's Landing, on April 26, 1856. The family at this time consisted of father, mother, five brothers and one married sister. After prospecting a short time a location was made on government land in the town of West Albany, where they entered upon the arduous task of making a farm under all the disadvantages of a new and unsettled country. As the work "failure" is rarely ever written on the page of a German's history, so it was in this case, and the words "abundant success" may be used to signify what was accomplished in eleven years' faithful labor by this industrious family; a farm of nearly six hundred acres was paid for, and thoroughly improved. In 1867 this farm was sold, and they removed to Lake township, where a large amount of land was bought, and where some of the family now live. The father died in 1877, and the mother in 1869. Charles, with two of his brothers, removed to Lake City, and purchased a brewery of John Minges in 1870, and in 1876 became the sole owner; sold out a few years later, and with his brother Ed, in the spring of 1884 embarked in the sale of farm machinery. For the purpose of carrying on this business they built a two-story brick-veneered store and salesroom, with iron front, in size 20x60 feet, on Center, between Main and High streets, and opened up to the farmers a first-class stock of the best implements made. Besides his interest in Lake City, Mr. Wise owns in the town of Lake two hundred and eighty acres of land, eighty acres in West Albany, and three quarter-sections in this state, out of the county. He was married November 28, 1869, to Miss Katie Kaspere, also a native of Germany. In 1873 he visited the Baden, and spent several months reviewing the scenes of his childhood. He has a family of five children, whose names, in the order of their birth, are: Ferdinand, Joseph, Charles, Katie and Martin.

Witte, William, (page 1161), general merchandise, store on north side water street, on which it fronts twenty-five feet, running forty feet to the levee in the rear. Business established in this city in 1879. Mr. Witte is a native of Hanover; received his education in the college of St. John, at Hazlake, and came to America in 1865. Two years later he removed to Wabasha, and was for a time clerk in general store of Lucas Kuehn, at that place, and was for eleven years in the store of H. Duerre, who died here on April 20, 1879. April 20, 1872 Mr. Witte married Miss C. Brass, of this city. Their children, four in number, are all in attendance upon the public schools of this city. They are: Herman, born January 15, 1872; Helen, April 30, 1874; William, February 24, 1986; Bernard, January 7, 1878.

Wood, David J., (page 1336), farmer, Elgin, is a grandson of Uriah Wood, a native of New York. David Wood, the father of this subject, married Marla, daughter of Tobias Vader, also of New York. This couple settled in Middlebury, Wyoming county, New York, where was born David J. Wood on the 10th of March, 1833. When the latter was twelve years old, his parents moved to Brandon, Wisconsin, where he grew up on a farm. On reaching manhood he engaged in farming in Marquette county, that State, from whence he came to this town in 1864. His farm includes 120 acres on section 24, and he is engaged in mixed farming. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge and Chapter in Plainview, and was a Patron of Husbandry while a grange existed here. His religion is the Golden Rule, and his politics Republican. During the Civil War he served as a recruiting officer, and is now in his fourth term as town supervisor. In January, 1857, he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah J., daughter of Horace and Lucinda (Barton) Holt, of Connecticut. Mrs. Wood was born in Greene county, New York, in 1835. Two stalwart sons have been given to Mr. And Mrs. Wood, viz.: Jared Deloid, now twenty-five years old, and Richard Lewis, twenty-two. 1336

Wood, Matthias, (page 1336), brother of the above last subject (David J. Wood), was born May 19, 1835, at the same place, and received the same early training. He came to this county with no capital, and has made himself independent by industry and good management. His integrity is unimpeachable, and he enjoys the confidence and good will of all his colleagues. He arrived in Plainview in 1862, and secured 100 acres of land on section 31, where his home has been ever since. His domain has been increased by purchase to 200 acres, partly lying in Elgin township. A fine frame dwelling and barns and outbuildings, neat and commodious, mark the good sense and successful management of the owner of these acres. Considerable attention is given to stock-raising. His sheep are grade and full blood merinos; his horses are graded with Norman blood, and his cattle mirror the general thrift of their owner. Mr. Wood has been many years each director and treasurer of his school district, and has served two years as town supervisor. He is a steadfast Republican, and in religious faith most nearly conforms to Methodism. On the first day of the year 1858, he was wedded to Miss Clarissa J. Moore, who was born near Kenosha, Wis., January 22, 1840. One daughter is the only offspring of this union, born August 28, 1861, and christened Ida May. Mr. Wood's mother resides with him, and has been bedridden for many months.

Wood, Thomas, (page 1296), farmer, is one of the most intelligent and progressive of Watopa's farmers, and is prosperous accordingly. He came into Indian Creek valley, a comparatively poor man, in 1865, and is now the proprietor of five hundred and twenty acres, of which one hundred and fifty are under cultivation. The rearing of stock occupies a part of his attention, and considerable grain is also produced. Mr. Wood was born June 25, 1819, in Disser-Surges, County Cork, Ireland. He was reared after the manner of Irish farmers' sons, and educated in the national schools. When he had reached the age of twenty-nine he set out from Liverpool for America on the sail-vessel Hartley Boston, landing in New Orleans after a voyage of two months. Thence he came up the Mississippi to Galena, and spent some time in farming in Illinois. In the spring of 1864 he came to this county and bought a farm in Mount Pleasant, which he sold as soon as the crop was removed. After spending a winter in Iowa, he returned and settled on Indian Creek, on section 27, where he continues to reside. In all his travels and labors he has been attended by a most worthy and faithful helpmeet. Eliza Buttermore was born in the same parish three years later than Mr. Wood, and was married to him in 1840. Both are members of the Methodist church, and Mr. Wood is a temperate man in both precept and example. He has always supported the republican party, and his only public service has been that of school treasurer. Five children were given to Mr. And Mrs. Wood, of whom only two are living. The first and second born, Mary Jane and John died at one and two years of age respectively. Robert H., the third, died at the age of twenty-six, while serving his third term as town clerk. The living are Thomas Edwin and William Joseph, at home. The former was elected town treasurer in the spring of 1884.

Woodruff, Henry C., (page 1052), was born in Hartford, Connecticut, March 31, 1835. His parents were Eli and Mary (Leonard) Woodruff, the former a native of Connecticut and the latter of Massachusetts. There were four children born to them, Henry being the eldest of three now surviving. Mr. Woodruff, Sr., was a moulder by trade. While Henry was yet an infant his parents removed to Quincy, Illinois, and engaged in farming. Nine years the family resided here; three years in Milwaukee, where Mr. Woodruff was proprietor of a livery-stable and boarding-house, and eight years in a hotel at S. Marie, Wisconsin. In 1858 the family came to Elgin township, Wabasha county. In 1863 Henry purchased withy acres of land on section 30, in Elgin, which he still owns, together with one hundred and sixty adjacent thereto. Me. Woodruff and his brother-in-law, Ethan Whiting, erected the first elevator in Plainview, at a cost of eighty-five hundred dollars, in August, 1878, and had it ready for business by the time the Plainview railroad was completed. Mr. Woodruff is at present local agent for the great produce firm of Geo. W. Van Dusen & Co., at Plainview, and resides in town. He is a member of Plainview Lodge, F. and A.M., and in politics republican. He was married at St. Marie, Wisconsin, November 25, 1859, to Polly R. Whiting, a native of that state, and daughter of E. F. And Laura (Rice) Whiting. They have five children: Edward, married and residing in Plainview, and Clara, Nora, Claud and Charles, living at home. His father and mother resided with him at the time of their death; the former departed this life July 15, 1879, and the latter June 30, 1883, at Andover, Dakota, where she was visiting a daughter, Mrs. D. W. Buck.

Woodward, William Dennison, (page 1335 ~ deceased) son of William Woodward, was born in Swanzey, New Hampshire, in 1826. He grew up on a farm, and received a limited education. The deceased was among the pioneer settlers of this State, having settled in Quincy, Olmsted county, in 1854. His eldest son, William Henry, was the first child born in that township. In company with another party Mr. Woodward erected a saw mill on the Whitewater, and sold out his interest in 1856. He then settled on section 33, Elgin, where he remained till his death, which occurred in April, 1872, with the exception of one year's residence in Rochester. He acquired an estate of 480 acres, and was a successful farmer. He was a member of the Masonic order, and voted the Republican ticker. In the spring of 1854, he was married at Trenton, Wisconsin, to Martha, daughter of David and Abigail (Marsh) Houghton, all of Vermont birth. In the spring of 1883, Mrs. Woodward became the wife of Leonard Knapp, with whom she lives in Dover township, Olmsted county. Our subject left five children, christened as follows: William Henry, now residing on homestead; David Orlo, Elgin; Mary Ellen (Mrs. S. A. Foster), deceased; Everett Ellsworth and Albert Elvin, Elgin.

Wording, Hon. William Edward, (page 1225) banker, Plainview, Minnesota, was born in Castine, Maine, January 21, 1812. In 1836 he graduated from Colby University, and the same year became professor of Greek and Latin in the Hampton Literary and Theological Institute, which position he occupied toll 1841, when he went to South Carolina and accepted the principalship of the Chersaw high school. While residing in Chersaw he read law and was admitted to the bar in 1845, and practiced there for two years. In 1847 he removed to Racine, Wisconsin, and opened a law office. From 1850 to 1863 he was judge of the Racine county court. From 1862 to 1870 Judge Wording was one of the commissioners appointed under the act of congress, approved June 7, 1862, entitled "An act for the collection of direct taxes in insurrectionary districts within the United States, and for other purposes;" and under its provisions and the instructions of President Lincoln, dated September 16, 1863, besides selling to soldiers and sailors in the army and navy of the United States, as well as civilians, many tracts and parcels of land, bid in by the United States for the non-payment of the direct taxes assessed upon them under said act, in conjunction with his colleagues, assigned homesteads at the nominal price of one dollar and a half per acre, to twenty-five hundred heads of families of the African race, and set apart a large number of plantations to be rented for the support of schools; which last-named lands, under a subsequent act of congress, were sold and the proceeds invested in government bonds for the same purpose. The title of the government under the original tax sales of course was contested after the war by the former owners, but the same was finally confirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States. (See case of De Keville vs. Small, 98 U.S. Reports, page 517.) Of course it is not the place here to discuss the policy of these acts, but it may be remarked, nevertheless, that upon the abolition of serfdom in Russia not only was provision made for schools among the serfs, but homestead lands were also assigned them at a low price, and the wisdom of such policy is now apparent in the results: vagrancy is almost actually unknown there. Since July, 1880, Judge Wording has been connected with the Plainview Bank, and has made Plainview his home. His matrimonial life dates from July 17, 1839, when he espoused Catharine Lawrence, of Laconia, New Hampshire.

War of Rebellion (Civil War)
Wright, Rufus C. (page 1307) was born in Bakersfield, Franklin county, Vermont, February 3, 1836. His father, David Wright, and mother, Clara Hodgkins, were natives of New England, and sprang from New England stock. His early life up to sixteen years of age was spent upon his father's farm, with such advantages as the usual country schools of that day offered. At that time, being ambitious of obtaining a better education than had thus far been offered, he gained the consent of his father to work and obtain the means of attending the academy of his native town, where he attended several terms, also a similar institution in a neighboring village, working and teaching meantime to defray expenses. Now, being about twenty-one years of age, and desirous of seeing more of the world, he came west, and traveled about one year with a brother, who was lecturing at this time; but not being satisfied with this, he purchased an outfit himself, giving descriptive lectures upon the science of astronomy, traveling most of the time in the southern states, which was during those excitable times just preceding the war of the rebellion. But as the approach of the coming storm came near, the south grew too warm for him, and he came north - not leaving, however, until after Lincoln had been elected president. The breaking out of the rebellion found him in Ohio, and soon after the first battle of Bull Run he was on his way to New York with a company of Ohio boys to join the Union army; was there mustered into the 65th N. Y. Vol. Inf., commanded by Col. John Cochrane. He was with McClellan in his Peninsular campaign, participated in the battles of Williamsburgh, Fair Oaks and Malvern Hill, being wounded in the two last battles - at Malvern Hill severely in right shoulder and lung, - taken prisoner, had a month's experience in the prisons of Richmond; from there paroled and taken to hospital at Chester, Pennsylvania; was from there discharged from the service in December, 1862, and remained out about one year, when he re-enlisted in the 10th Mass. Battery, and served under Grant in the army of the Potomac until the close of the war, having been in most of the leading battles from the Wilderness to final surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox Court House. He was a second time discharged from the service at Boston Harbor in June, 1865, having served in all about three years in the army. After a rest of a few months he again came west, remaining most of the time in Wisconsin, variously employed, usually teaching during the winter months, until July, 1869, he came to Minnesota. His last year in Wisconsin was spent in St. Croix county. Arriving in Plainview the last days of July, 1869, with its bountiful crops almost ready for the reaper, he decided to remain here awhile, assisting in securing crops during the fall, and in the winter teaching the school in the district in which he now resides. Being so well pleased at this time with the beauty and natural fertility of the soil of Greenwood Prairie and surrounding country, he decided to remain longer and turn his attention to farming, which he did. He was married March 26, 1871, to Miss Ettie Wood, who had but recently come from Schoharie county, New York, from where several of her family had come before her, and become early settlers of Plainview and vicinity. In 1874 he bought his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres of Stephen Struble, situated about three miles northeast from the village of Plainview, and is now engaged in diversified agriculture. He is in politics republican, liberal in religious views. Belongs to Masonic fraternity and the Grange. Has been assessor of the town since 1881.

Wright, William C. (page 965) farmer, is a native of Norfolk county, England, where he was born March 25, 1827, being the second of six children born to William and Ann Wright, the former of whom is still living in England. When our subject was ten years of age he lost his mother, and shortly after took to the sea. So efficient did he prove, that at the age of fourteen he was second mate. His experience as a sailor was mainly in the British coasting trade and the trade with France, though he also made voyages to America. While lying in the harbor of Quebec he sustained a severe injury, which confined him to the hospital six months and ended his career as a sailor. The next few years were spent farming in different places in Canada, and in the spring of 1856 he located in West Albany, where he yet lives, being one of its earliest settlers. He was married in Canada October, 1846, to Christina Smith, a native of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland, who died September 12, 1869. She was the mother of eleven children, eight of whom are living: Mrs. Elizabeth Jennings, of Sack City, Iowa, William H., George L., of Cass county, Wisconsin, Mrs. Susanna O'Conner, of Polk county, Wisconsin, Mrs. Harriet I. Burke, Christina, Jeanette and David. In politics Mr. Wright is independent. He has a well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres, and is a prosperous farmer and a reliable citizen.

Return to List of Names