Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 584-585.
Almer James Loberg. The name of Loberg is a very familiar one to residents of Portage County, for it has been honorably borne here for several generations, both in peace and war, and has been identified very prominently with the affairs of Nelsonville.
Almer James Loberg, merchant and postmaster of Nelsonville, and at present being still further distinguished as a gallant soldier in the United States Army, was born at Nelsonville, Wisconsin, April 29, 1890. His parents were Lars Larson and Oline (Rustad) Loberg, and his grandparents, Lars and Ingeborg Loberg and Simon and Sidsel (Land) Rustad, all of whom were born in Norway. The maternal grandmother died in her native land but the others came to Nelsonville and the aged ones died at the home of Lars Larson Loberg. They were among the early settlers in this section of the state, quiet, industrious, useful people.
Lars Larson Loberg was born in Norway in 1842 and was thirteen years of age when his parents came to Wisconsin and located on Pike Lake. They remained there only a few months and then, by team, came to Portage County and settled in New Hope Township, where they secured Government land, which they cleared and developed. When President Lincoln issued his call for soldiers to fight to preserve the Union, one of the first to respond in his section was Lars Larson Loberg, who enlisted in Company B, Forty-sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, in which he bravely served until the close of the struggle. He returned home practically unharmed and on September 27, 1867, was married to Oline Rustad, who was born in Norway in 1847 and accompanied her parents to Wisconsin when seven years old and they located at once in New Hope Township of Portage County. Mrs. Loberg survives and is one of Nelsonville's most highly respected residents and a faithful member of the Lutheran Church.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Loberg located on a farm in New Hope Township, where he owned 280 acres. He was a good business man and acquired a large amount of property, having a second farm, containing 150 acres, situated nearer Nelsonville, together with much village property. He built his store building and bought a meat market building and put up a number of other business structures in Nelsonville. He passed the last thirty-five years of his life in this village, for twenty-one years being its leading merchant. He was recognized as a man of sterling character and of superior judicial mind, and for many years he was on the board of jury commissioners. In the founding of the early business and other worthy enterprises at Nelsonville he was very helpful and was one of the organizers of the first church here. His death occurred April 14, 1917. His children, nine in number, all survive except two, as follows: Clara, who is deceased, was the wife of Carl Doxrude; Emma, who is the wife of George Larson, of Amherst Junction; Ida, who is the wife of Olaf Swenson, of Nelsonville; Anna; Lewis Oscar, who died at the age of three years; Effie, who is the wife of Charles Sorbye, of Nelsonville; and Oscar, Irving and Almer, all residents of Nelsonville. Irving is now in France with the Three Hundred and Eleventh Field Signal Battalion.
Almer James Loberg was educated in the public schools of Nelsonville and afterward gave his father assistance in the mercantile business and succeeding to his father's interests and continuing the business at the same location, had very favorably impressed his fellow citizens and received the appointment as postmaster. In the exigency of the times he was called for a time to a wider field and those who know him well predict further honor and promotion as his due and many there are who will take a deep interest in his future.
Mr. Loberg was married June 9, 1917, to Miss Ruth Keener, of Nelsonville.
Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 376-379.
GEORGE EDWARD McDILL
For many years the late George Edward McDill was one of Portage County's most prominent citizens, interested alike in large business enterprises and a leader in political life. He belonged to one of the pioneer families of the state and was born April 16, 1856, at Plover in Portage County, Wisconsin. His parents were Thomas Haseltine and Mary Ruth (Harris) McDill.
Thomas Haseltine McDill was a maker of history in Wisconsin. He was born in July, 1815, in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, and from there came to Wisconsin in 1840, settling in the hamlet of Mill Creek, Portage County, when there were not more than 300 white inhabitants north of Portage City to the frontier. This was eight years before Wisconsin became a member of the Union. For two years Mr. McDill followed lumbering, the forests at that time covering a large part of the entire country, and built the first sawmill on Eau Claire River, near Wausau. By 1844 many other lumber workers came to this section and Mr. McDill sold his sawmill in order to engage in a hotel business for their accommodation, largely, at that time and erected an inn at Plover. His business capacity and reliability received recognition in 1847 when Governor Dodge appointed him sheriff of Portage County and in 1848, when political organization was effected, he was elected to the office and served until 1856, when he became county treasurer. From then on until 1867, when he was first elected to the General Assembly, he served in responsible positions, was chairman of the town board of Plover, for eight years was chairman of the county board of supervisors and for several years was county judge. As a member of the State Legislature his statesmanship was appreciated, as was evidenced by his re-election in 1871-1879 and 1880.
From 1850 to 1870 Mr. McDill carried on a general mercantile business at Plover, in partnership with Alexander Stuart McDill, his brother, who represented that district in Congress in r873. In 1864 the brothers purchased a sawmill and water power on the Plover River, at the present site of the Village of McDill, and added lumbering to their other business ventures. In 1870 the brothers sold their store at Plover and Thomas H. McDill moved to the village that had been named in his honor and there continued to be interested in lumbering until his death, which occurred in 1889. During the Civil war he had been very useful to the government as an official with the rank of captain, attached to the quartermaster's department. He married Mary Ruth Harris, who was a daughter of Jonathan Harris and a grand-daughter of Col. John Harris, of Revolutionary fame. She was born near Mansfield, Ohio, February 29, 1826, and died at McDill, Wisconsin, in 1881.
George Edward McDill was a student in the public schools at Plover until 1871, in which year he received an appointment as messenger on the floor the House at Madison, of which at that time his father was a member and when the late Governor Smith was speaker. In the fall of 1872 he entered Lawrence University, at Appleton, Wisconsin, and while there was a schoolmate of Hon. W. S. Stroud, formerly mayor of Portage City, and of Attorney General Mylrea. In a competitive examination for appointment as a cadet to the West Point Military Academy, made at Stevens Point in 1873, Mr. McDill came off with flying colors and received the government appointment and in June, 1873, entered the academy. He remained there until 1876 and then resigned in order to enter business life, for which he felt himself better fitted than the military.
After a short course in a business college Mr. McDill in 1877 was appointed steward and purchasing agent of the State Hospital for the Insane at Madison, Wisconsin, which position he filled exceptionally well and remained until 1880. In that year he became associated with his father in the sawmill and lumber business at McDill. In 1885 he erected a flouring mill there, which was operated continuously until it was destroyed by fire some years later. In 1893, with other capitalists, he organized the Citizens National Bank at Stevens Point, with a paid up capital of $100,000, and he continued cashier of that bank continuously until his death on February 19, 1905. He was also president of the State Bank of Wild Rose, Wisconsin, and one of its directors, and additionally, was manager of the Racine Knitting Mills, of Stevens Point.
In the environment in which he was reared it could not be otherwise than that Mr. McDill should become early interested in politics and from early manhood until his decease he was a loyal and zealous republican. He served successively as chairman of the town board of Plover and of the county board of supervisors, and the confidence reposed in him by his party was illustrated by his appointment as chairman of the Republican County Committee and subsequently of the Republican State Central Committee. Many public offices were tendered him and on April 20, 1897, he was appointed resident regent of the Normal School Board by Governor Schofield, and this appointment was considered of so much importance that the Senate, then in session at Madison, suspended rules to confirm him and he took his seat on the same day. He was one of the most useful members of the library board at Stevens Point and was ever interested in forward movements in city, county and state, freely contributing time, influence and capital to worthy enterprises. He was a member of the vestry of the Episcopal Church at Stevens Point. All his life, he took pride in the fact that he could claim membership in the Patriotic Order of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Mr. McDill was married in October, 1879, to Miss Alice Babcock, who survives and is one of the best known and most highly esteemed residents of Stevens Point, a leader in social activities and club movements, and one of the organizers of the State Federation of Women's Clubs, and was vice president of the same in her congressional district for two years. Mrs. McDill was born at Faribault, Minnesota, and was graduated from Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, in the class of 1877.
There are few residents of Wisconsin who can claim a more distinguished ancestry than Mrs. McDill. On the paternal side the line reaches to and includes names familiar to every student of English history: John Dryden, poet, dramatist and translator; Sir John Cope, whose military exploits in 1745 as a British officer have been the basis for song and story, and still farther back, even to Anne Hutchinson, the famous woman religious enthusiast, who was a leader and teacher at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1634 and in 1643 suffered death from savage Indians in Northern New York.
On the maternal side her ancestry includes such names as the Howlands, the
Kirbys and the Allens, of New Bedford, Massachusetts. She is a lineal descendant
of William White and his wife, Susannah Fuller, who came to the Plymouth
colony on the Mayflower. Susannah Fuller was a sister of Dr. Samuel Fuller,
who was the first physician in Plymouth harbor, and she was the first widow,
the first bride and the first mother of a native born governor of Massachusetts.
To her first marriage one son, Peregrine White, was born in Plymouth harbor.
William White died in the "first sickness," and shortly afterward
she became the bride of Governor Edward Winslow, and their son, Josiah Winslow,
also became governor. Mrs. McDill therefore has very just
claims to membership in the organizations of a patriotic character that preserve the invaluable old records, with much of the spirit of the noble men and women who were the real founders of America. She is a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, of the Massachusetts Society of Colonial Dames of America, and of the Daughters of the American Revolution. On February 20, 1897, she was appointed regent at large of this organization, and later was regent of the Stevens Point chapter of the order, which she mainly organized. She was one of the founders of the Woman's Club at Stevens Point and has always been active in its work as a local organization and as a factor in the State Federation. She represented her congressional district on a correspondence bureau which was formed to create sentiment for the state federation of women, and when the State Federation of Women's Clubs became a fact she was elected vice president of her district and served faithfully for two years. In numerous other ways Mrs. McDill has labored for the general good and for the emancipation of her sex. She was one of a committee of six from her club who collected approximately the sum of $5,000, which was expended in purchasing the site on which the beautiful public library of Stevens Point now stands. During the fourteen months of its existence she has been president of the Portage County Traveling Library Board. With all these numerous outside duties Mrs. McDill has been active in everything pertaining to the Episcopal Church, of which she is a member, and has dispensed charity and offered hospitality for years as her position in society may demand. Above all she has been the careful, loving and sympathetic mother of children.
To Mr. and Mrs. McDill three children were born: Genevieve Stilson, Caryl Emma and Allan Conover. The second daughter, Caryl Emma, was born at McDill in 1883 and died there in 1885.
Genevieve Stilson McDill was born at Madison, Wisconsin, in 1880. She was first graduated from the Oakland Grammar School, Chicago, and afterward from the high school of Stevens Point. A full course in the State Normal School here followed, when she entered the University of Wisconsin and subsequently Columbia University, New York City, from which she was graduated with the M.A. degree, and she retains membership in the Delta Gamma Sorority. A period of European travel still further broadened her mind and added to her accomplishments. Miss McDill has been a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota, for some years, devoting her self to work in the educational field and is teacher of English and room principal in the East High School in that city.
Allan Conover McDill was born at McDill, Wisconsin, in 1888, and after the
family removal to Stevens Point, entered the kindergarten department of the
State Normal School here, of which institution his father was made regent
on the day of opening. He continued in that school until he completed the
entire course and also finished the Latin-German courses, then for two years
afterward taught school, and during one summer was assistant to Rev. G. F.
Nason, of New York City, who was a director of the American Travel Club,
and he put in three months of travel in Europe for this enterprise. Mr. McDill
spent one year at Chicago University in the School of Commerce, and then
entered the wholesale hardware firm of Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Company,
of Chicago. After a year he went to Columbia University graduating from there
in 1916. He was a member of the Theta Delta Chi Fraternity, and of the Glee
and Mandolin clubs.
Mr. McDill was an instructor for some time after graduation, and then became connected with the Chase National Bank of New York City. On May 20, 1918, Mr. McDill entered the services of the United States Army and later was recommended for the Central Officers' Training Camp, Atlanta, Georgia, where he now is. Of sound education and good understanding that enables him to view things with a clear and proper perspective, Mr. McDill possesses many of the essential qualities which belonged to his long line of notable ancestors.
Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 407-408.
(See also his obituary)JOHN R. McDoNALD for forty years or more has been one of the staid and responsible citizens of Stevens Point. His name is associated with all around substantial character and efficiency and ability in the prosecution of his affairs, and he is a respected as well as the best known citizen of Portage County. But few residents of the county have seen and lived in more diverse parts of the world during their early lives than Mr. McDonald.
His birthplace is of itself a place of special interest. He was born on the Island of St. Helena, where Napoleon was a prisoner. His birth occurred in that outlying part of the British possessions July 16, 1838. His parents were George and Sarah McDonald. His father was a British soldier and spent twenty-five years in the service. When John was a small child his parents were transferred to Grahamstown, Africa, where the mother died in 1845. The next place of service to which the soldier was called was Colesburg, Africa, and it was there that John R. McDonald received his first schooling. Later he returned to Grahamstown and continued his education there. George McDonald served as a non-commissioned officer throughout the Kaffir war in Africa. After that war he returned to England and received his discharge, and then went back to his native City of Edinburgh, Scotland. He died at the Village of Lasswade, Scotland, August 20, 1881. He was born December 17, 1809. For his second wife he married Ruth Stewart, who survived him many years and passed away in 1915 at the age of eighty-eight. By the first marriage there were three children: John R.; George, who died in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1903, at the age of sixty-three, after having served twenty-one years in the British Army; and Eleanor, who married and went to Australia to live. By his second wife the father had three children: Ruth Stewart, Clarence and Ronald.
After his father returned to Edinburgh, John R. McDonald continued his education until he finished the course of the Normal School. The influences of his early boyhood were well calculated to inspire in him a desire for adventure and seeing the world, and at the age of twenty he left home and came to Canada. He lived in Canada about eighteen years and while there laid the foundation of his business experience. For nine years he was employed in the registrar's office, and after that took up abstracting and conveyancing.
Mr. McDonald came to Stevens Point in 1876 and that city has been his home ever since except one year spent on a farm at Auburndale. In 1871 he had returned to Scotland for a visit. At Stevens Point he assisted Judge Almanson Eaton for three years in preparing abstracts. Then, in 1879, he became a clerk in several of the county offices and in 1880 was appointed deputy county clerk and in the fall of the same year was elected chief of that office and was re-elected county clerk in 1882. In 1884, on retiring from office, he set up in business as an abstractor and conveyancor and continued that work on a very successful scale until 1915, when failing health compelled him to withdraw and he was succeeded by his son. He owns a beautiful residence on St. Louis Avenue, where he has lived for about thirty years.
On December 25, 1867, he married Miss Annie Kay. Mrs. McDonald, who has been a kind and faithful wife and a greatly beloved member of the Stevens Point community for many years, was born at Stratford, Ontario, Canada, September 18, 1846. Mr. and Mrs. McDonald have enjoyed a marriage companionship for over half a century, having celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on Christmas of 1917. Her parents, Robert and Barbara (McEwen) Kay, were natives of Scotland and came to Canada, where her mother died in 1856. The last years of her father were spent in Stevens Point with Mrs. McDonald, and Mr. Kay died here in 1897, at the age of eighty-seven. He was survived by five children: Mrs. McDonald; Robert K., now deceased; Mrs. Gibson, of Port Huron, Michigan; James, who died at Stratford, Canada, in 1917; and William of Port Huron, Michigan.
Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 389-391.
Both the publishers and the patrons of this work have many years to be grateful to Edward McGlachlin for the service he has rendered and the interest he has shown in the compilation of the "History of Portage County" in his capacity as one of the supervising editors. For the benefit of the present generation it is probably superfluous to tell who Mr. McGlachlin is, and yet in expressing this appreciation for his helpfulness it is appropriate that some brief outline of his career should be set dawn as a permanent record.
Mr. McGlachlin is a Wisconsin man of sixty years residence, and his experience as a printer, newspaper editor and publisher has been almost continuous through this period. He was born at Watsan in Lewis County, New York, December 19, 1840. His grandfather was a native of Scotland, but left that country and settled in America in time to participate as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He was drowned in the St. Lawrence River. Ephraim McGlachlin, father of the Stevens Point editor, was a native of Montgomery County, New York, and married Eunice Fenton, a native of Lewis County. Her ancestors came from Massachusetts, and she was a distant relative of Reuben Fenton, one of the Civil war governors of New York.
The memories of Mr. McGlachlin's boyhood center around a typical rural community in Western New York. He could attend the district schools only during the winter sessions and his formal education was completed at the age of sixteen. In June, 1857, he came to Wisconsin and his first experience here was working by the month on the farm of Hiram Smith in the town of Sheboygan Falls. Later, in order to acquire a better education, he worked for his board, taking care of a span of horses and some cows, and walked 2½ miles night and morning to the nearest school.
In the spring of 1859 he entered the office of the Fond du Lac Commonwealth to learn the printer's trade. He learned how to set type and all the other complexities of the printing art as found in a country print shop, and was adjudged a faithful and capable worker. Then, in September, 1861, he dropped his printing stick to enlist in Company K, First Wisconsin Infantry. With that regiment he saw service during the Kentucky campaign of 1862, the campaign in Tennessee and Northern Alabama, and was with the first troops to throw a shell across the Tennessee River at Chattanooga. He was with his regiment up to and including the battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20, 1863. Between sundown and dark of the second day of the battle of Chickamauga he was taken prisoner, and was successively confined on Belle Isle and in Smith's Building at Richmond, at Danville, Virginia, at Andersonville, Georgia, and at Charleston and Florence, South Carolina. He endured all the hardships of prison life for nearly fifteen months. During his active service he held the noncommissioned offices of corporal and sergeant. His exchange was effected in January, 1865, and his term having expired in the meantime he was at once mustered out. Mr. McGlachlin became a charter member of the local Grand Army Post, has filled all its important offices, and in 1896-97 was quartermaster general of the Department of Wisconsin, Grand Army of the Republic.
Having resumed the printing business immediately after his return from the army, Mr. McGlachlin in 1868 became associated with J. A. Watrous and T. B. Reid in the publication of the Fond du Lac Commonwealth. After a year he sold his interest in that paper and for a time was foreman of the Daily Herald at Clinton, Iowa, and subsequently was foreman of the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern.
The majority of Portage County people hardly remember a time when Mr. McGlachlin was not connected with the Stevens Point Journal. He bought this paper in 1873, forty-five years ago. Two years later he sold a half interest to T. J. Simons, and their partnership continued nearly eighteen years, until terminated by the death of Mr. Simons in January, 1893. Then for twenty-four years, until March 1, 1917, Mr. McGlachlin was sole owner and editor. In 1917 the Stevens Point Journal Company was organized, with Mr. McGlachlin as president. In 1897 he established the first daily paper in Stevens Point.
His political experience is an interesting one and now almost unique among living Wisconsin citizens. The first political meeting he attended was one in support of Fremont for president, back in 1856, when republicans first had their national organization. The first ballot he cast and every succeeding one in presidential elections has borne the name of the republican nominees. Mr. McGlachlin was elected a member of the Legislature in 1888, as a republican, serving one term. In March, 1889, he was appointed postmaster of Stevens Point by President Harrison, and held that office four years. During that term, and largely due to his influence, the free delivery system was established in Stevens Point. He has also been a member and treasurer of the board of education of the city, was a member of the first board of jury commissioners organized in Portage County, and has held a number of other honorary positions.
In 1904 he was chosen a presidential elector and cast one of Wisconsin's thirteen votes for Theodore Roosevelt. It may properly be said that these positions have been mere incidents in a career of undeviating service rendered as editor and publisher of the Stevens Point Journal.
Mr. McGlachlin has lived long, usefully and well, and his own character has been transmitted to children in whom his pride is now centered. Mr. McGlachlin married at Fond du Lac August 21, 1867, Mary E. Lawrence. Their three children are Edward Fenton, Lucy K. and Thomas Lawrence. The highest star in Portage County's honorary roll represents the older son, Major General Edward Fenton McGlachlin, to whom a special sketch is devoted. The other son, Thomas L., is vice president and treasurer of the Stevens Point Journal Company. The daughter, Mrs. B. D. Berry, is a resident of Springfield, Ohio.
Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 391-392.
General Edward Fenton McGlachlin, now with the American Expeditionary Forces in France with the rank of major general, is a son of the veteran editor and publisher of the Stevens Point Journal, and spent his boyhood in Portage County.
He was born at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, June 9, 1868, and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1889. Besides the practical experience of thirty years of army life, he received special training by a course in submarine mining at the Engineers School of Application in 1893; Artillery School in 1896; School of Fire for Field Artillery, 1912; Field Officers' Course Army Service Schools in 1916; and was a graduate of the Army War College in 1917.
His record of promotion and service is briefly stated as follows: additional second lieutenant, Third Artillery, June 12, 1889; second lieutenant, Fifth Artillery, October 4, 1889; first lieutenant, First Artillery, June 1, 1897, transferred to Fifth Artillery, July 9, 1897; captain, Artillery Corps, February 2, 1901; assigned to Fourth Field Artillery June 6, 1907; major, August 12, 1907; transferred to Second Field Artillery September 16, 1911; lieutenant colonel, December 27, 1912; transferred to Third Field Artillery March 1, 1914; to Fifth Field Artillery September 8, 1914; commissioned colonel July 1, 1916, of the Eighth and Tenth Field Artillery; and was made brigadier general of the National Army August 5, 1917, and in 1918 was one of the brigadier generals gazetted for promotion to major general.
General McGlachlin received special mention in orders for services in the battle of Bud Dajolo in the Philippine Islands in 1906. He commanded the Recruit Depot at Fort McDowell in California from 1909 to 1911. He was commandant of the School of Fire for Field Artillery from 1914 to 1916, and during August to December, 1917, was commander of the One Hundred and Sixty-Fifth Field Artillery Brigade. He was appointed commander of the Sixty-Seventh Field Artillery Brigade December 14, 1917.
General McGlachlin is a member of the Field Artillery Association, the Military Service Institution, the Army and Navy Club of Washington, and has long been a recognized technical expert in the artillery branch of service. He is a member of the Episcopal Church. General McGlachlin married, November 26, 1892, Louisa Harrison Chew, of Washington.
Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 553-555.
Not only is one of the old pioneer families of Portage County, Wisconsin recalled in the name of Kankrud, but it belongs to a prominent and representative citizen of today, Halbert Julius Kankrud, who is serving for the second time, most efficiently and acceptably, as superintendent of the county farm of Portage County. The family's history from the time it embarked on a vessel commanded by Captain Jacobson, in a port of Norway, sixty-eight years ago, to the present offers much to interest the general reader and in Portage County must stir memories of one now passed away whose public usefulness and personal character made him a man of mark here, the late Johannes I. Kankrud.
Halbert Julius Kankrud was born in New Hope Township, Portage County, Wisconsin, January 3, 1873. His parents were Johannes I. and Bertha (Peterson) Kankrud, both natives of Norway. The paternal grandfather was Iver Kankrud and he and his wife and four children came to the United States on a sailing vessel that consumed thirteen weeks in making the passage from Norway across the Atlantic Ocean and down the lakes until Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was reached. It had a difficult voyage, running on a dangerous sand bar at one time, and on another occasion, in a fog, collided with another vessel. The passengers were so worn out from exposure and lack of rest that they spent their first night in Wisconsin asleep on a Milwaukee wharf. On the following day Iver Kankrud and his family (this being in 1849), went on their way until they reached Jefferson County, where they proposed to settle permanently, but before their plans came to anything Mr. Kankrud and his wife both died. There were four children to be considered and it was very fortunate for them that their father's sister, a good woman, Mrs. Ingeborg Kankrud, wife of Hans Kankrud, took them to her heart and home and they were well cared for. Hans Kankrud was no known relative of his wife's people, the name being not an unusual one in Norway, but he was a fine man and later became one well known in Portage County.
In 1856 Hans Kankrud and wife and their three nieces and one nephew, came to Portage County, traveling from Jefferson County, and settled in New Hope Township. There he bought wild land which he cleared and improved and he and wife occupied it until they died. The names of the children to whom they gave a good home and kind treatment were as follows: Bertha, who married Mr. Hole, still lives in New Hope Township; Mrs. Pauline Rustad, who also lives in New Hope Township; Mrs. J. O. Moen, who lives at Rhinelander, in Oneida County, Wisconsin; and Johannes I., who died on his farm in Portage County in 1914.
Johannes I. Kankrud was young when his aunt and uncle settled in New Hope Township and he remained on the farm on which he was reared all his life. In Portage County he was married to Bertha Peterson, who was born in Norway, where her father, Peter Peterson, died. She came to Wisconsin when young and later her widowed mother came also and located with some of her children in Cameron, Barron County, and died there.
Johannes I. Kankrud was a very successful farmer for many years, a man of great industry and energy. In 1912 he built a comfortable, modern residence on a part of his farm, but lived but two years afterward to enjoy it. His widow still occupies the old homestead and is a lady well known in this neighborhood and very highly esteemed. Of their nine children seven reached maturity, namely: Halbert Julius, the only son; Lena, who became the wife of Oscar Abrahmson; Hannah, who died unmarried in 1901; Ida, who became the wife of M. O. Dobl; Emma, who married N. Abrahmson; Jennie, who died in 1916, was Mrs. A. O. Stolterberg; and Lillie, who is Mrs. George Lee.
For many years Mr. Kankrud was a leader in public affairs in New Hope Township and through his business capacity and his public spirit became known all over the country. He not only encouraged many worthy enterprises but assisted in their organization, and where his advice was taken or his active management came into play they proved successful. He was one of the organizers of the New Hope Fire Insurance Company, of which he was an official for fifteen years. He was also one of the organizers of the creamery at Garfield, and from the time of the organization of the company until his death he served as treasurer. For years he was a justice of the peace and the reliance placed in his judgment was many times evidenced. All township offices were open to him and he served as assessor for some years, for twelve years was township treasurer and at the time of his death was school treasurer. His talents were natural, for he had had comparatively little opportunity to develop them by education, and his virtues were those of a conscientious, kind, generous and Christian man. In early days, when no particular effort had yet been made to organize a Lutheran Church, Mr. Kankrud offered his home and on stated occasions a pastor would come from Scandinavia and hold services. Later he helped to organize the New Hope Lutheran Church and donated the first cemetery from his farm, in which thirty of the early settlers were laid to rest.
Halbert Julius Kankrud obtained his education in the public schools in New Hope Township. His early manhood was spent in helping his father on the farm and also he engaged in the business of installing pumps and windmills. Later he bought eighty acres that adjoined his father's farm and afterward operated both properties until the close of 1906. Proving a careful and successful farmer and in the meanwhile building up a reputation for integrity as a business man, his fellow citizens decided that he was admirably fitted for the office of superintendent of the county farm and elected him to this office, the duties of which he assumed on January 1, 1907. Mr. Kankrud continued on the county farm until 1912, introducing many improvements that benefitted the inmates without materially adding to the county's taxes. In that year he bought his father's farm and retired from office and operated the farm that year, but was again elected superintendent of the county farm and on January 1, 1913, once more took charge for the county of its dependents, but still owns his own farm of 160 acres. In every way Mr. Kankrud is well placed. He is an intelligent, practical, experienced farmer and understands the methods by which the county farm may be made to yield abundant crops. At the same time he is a wise and just executive, and it is doubtful if the inmates of the Portage County Farm were ever more comfortable or better nourished than under its present administration. Mr. Kankrud is popular with his charges, as he is with people generally. He is liberal in his support of the Lutheran Church.
Mr. Kankrud married Clara (Jorgensen) Waller, October 7, 1899. Of their family, Clarence is now a corporal in the 127th Infantry, Company O, in France, and has been twice wounded in service; and Carla is a nurse in General Hospital at Amery, Wisconsin. These two are named Waller and are Mrs. Kankrud's children by a former marriage. Jessie Benora married Corporal Herbert Weinman of Company C, 107th Field Signal Bureau, and she is now a teacher in the grade school at Amherst Junction. Florence Evelyn is now attending the State Normal at Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Hanna Louella is a student at the Amherst High School. Mrs. Kankrud is active in the operation of the county farm and in other benevolent work.
Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 408-409.
While not a native of Portage County, practically the entire career of August Milius has been passed within its borders, and here he has received his education and training and secured his success. His life has been devoted to the pursuits of agriculture and his well-directed and industrious labors have resulted in the accumulation of a valuable property and in the gaining and retaining of a place in the esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens.
August Milius was born on a farm in Franklin Township, Milford County, Wisconsin, March 10, 1852, and is a son of Michael and Barbara (Ferber) Milius, the former a native of Alsace-Lorraine and the latter of Baden, Germany. After the death of his wife, the paternal grandfather of Mr. Milius brought his family to the United States and located in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, where he passed the rest of his life as a pioneer farmer, experiencing many of the hardships of participation in the events of his day and locality, but working energetically toward the establishment of a home for his family. The maternal grandfather of Mr. Milius, Philip Ferber, came to America in 1850, locating with his family in Almond Township, near the Village of Almond, where he passed the remaining years of his life in the pursuits of the soil. Michael Milius and Barbara Ferber grew up and were educated in their respective communities, and were married in Milwaukee County, shortly after which they moved to Milford County, and for a time resided in Franklin Township. That community they left in 1854 to come to Portage County, Mr. Milius preempting land in Almond Township, the same property now owned by his son. Like the other early farmers, he was compelled to overcome many obstacles during the early years and to do without any of the conveniences and comforts of life, as well as many of the things that are considered necessities, but his hard and persistent labors won success for him in the end, and he not only cleared and cultivated his original property, upon which he erected good buildings and made other improvements, but also added considerably to his holdings and at the time of his death was the owner of 400 acres of valuable land. He became one of the well known and influential men of his community, serving for some years on the township board, and was active in the various affairs of his locality, particularly in church matters, he and his father-in-law having been largely instrumental in the establishment of the early church at Almond. When he died his community lost a valuable and highly respected citizen.
August Milius, the only child of his parents, was educated in the district schools of Almond Township, whence he was brought as a child for two years, and has always made his home on the old place. He was thoroughly trained in all the arts and devices of the farmer, and early in life began to look upon his vocation as something to be studied, so that he has always endeavored to keep himself fully abreast of the advancements made in agriculture and has been a devotee of modern methods and improved machinery. His finely developed 360 acres are devoted to general farming principally, although Mr. Milius has had much success as a specializer in the growing of potatoes, the soil of his farm being particularly and peculiarly adapted for the cultivation of tubers.
Mr. Milius was married in 1877 to Miss Minnie Edler, who was born on a farm in Plymouth Township, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, a daughter of Henry Edler, an agriculturist of that locality. To this union there have been born seven children, all of whom are living: Henry, George, Marie, William, Alfred, Wesley and Alice. The members of this family belong to the German Methodist Episcopal Church. Fraternally, Mr. Milius is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and takes an interest in the meetings or the local lodge. As a citizen he has taken an active part in township affairs, having served as a member of the board for some time, and the capable manner in which he has discharged his duties as treasurer of the school board, which position he occupies at this time, has retained him in office for many years. He is known as a progressive, thorough going citizen, reliable in business and loyal in his friendships, and as an agriculturist whose modern methods exemplify the awakened spirit of this fertile agricultural region.
Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 416-417.
When William Moll became one of the leading merchants at Stevens Point he brought to his own business the deep knowledge of mercantile affairs that he had gained through a continuous experience of fifteen years in this line. Mr. Moll, who is president of the well known firm of Moll & Glennon, and at the head of the largest mercantile establishment in this city, has really been a merchant since he was eleven years old, and this commercial talent, developed through exercise, has made him in spite of early handicaps one of the big merchants and prominent men of this part of Portage County.
William Moll was born at West Bend in Washington County, Wisconsin, October 4, 1873. His parents were Jacob and Anna (Abberderies) Moll, the former of whom was born in Austria in 1830, and the latter in Germany in 1834. They were married in the latter country, and in 1863 came to the United States to better their condition and lived for a number of years an a farm near West Bend, Wisconsin. In 1874 the family came to Stevens Point and here the father died in 1875, leaving a tract of land, unproductive at that time, that he had acquired in Portage County. The mother was left with six children. Although she had to contend with many hardships in those early days, she was a strong and resourceful woman and her children remember her with the deepest affection and appreciation. Her death occurred in 1909. The children were: Luke, Catherine, Mary, Lizzie, Carl and William, Luke, Lizzie and William being the only survivors.
William Moll attended the parish school until he was ten years old and then ended his book education. In his older brother, Luke, he had an industrious example and as soon as an opportunity came he went to work with a will, not only to provide for his own necessities but to assist his brother in taking care of the family. Both he and Luke became clerks in the mercantile house of the late Gustav Ferdinand Andrae, where they had methodical training. Through provident saving William Moll accumulated capital and in 1902 entered into a partnership under the firm name of Moll & Rothman, which was conducted as a general store for one year, when Frank M. Glennon bought Mr. Rothman's interest and since that time the style has been Moll & Glennon, and since the incorporation Mr. Moll has been president of the company.
The Moll & Glennon dry goods house is located at Nos. 436-438 Main Street, Stevens Point, in a commodious building with dimensions of 30 by 180 feet, fitted up in modern style, and the firm carries the most complete as well as the largest stocks of ladies' ready to wear garments and fine dry goods in the city. Their trade extends all over the county and their reputation for reliability, seasonable goods and honorable business methods cannot be excelled. Mr. Moll has additional interests and is a stockholder in the Citizens National Bank of Stevens Point.
William Moll was married in 1902, to Miss Florence Booth, of Stevens Point. Mrs. Moll died in the following year.
In politics Mr. Moll is a democrat. He has never served in any public office because he has no taste for political life, but is loyal in his support of others who come up to the measure of his judgment. He was reared a Catholic and is a faithful member of St. Stephen's Catholic Church at this place. He is a member of the fraternal order of Catholic Knights and belongs also to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In addition to his Stevens Point residence Mr. Moll has a beautiful summer home, situated on the bank of the Wisconsin River in Carson Township, three and one half miles from this city, where he has made improvements and has two cottages. He stands high in general esteem as an honorable as well as successful business man and loyal and trustworthy citizen.
Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 418-420.
When the Nelson family set sail from Port Porsgrund, Norway, April 20, 1857, the seas were comparatively safe even for a slow-going sailing vessel, and their friends at home had no fears as to their safe arrival, after thirty-eight days on the water, in their port of destination, the Harbor of Quebec. This little party was made up of Andrew Magnus Nelson, then a youth
of fourteen years and now one of Portage County's capitalists, and his father and brother, James J. Nelson.
Andrew Magnus Nelson was born April 14, 1843, near Porsgrund, Norway. His parents were Nels A. and Ingeborg (Toldnes) Nelson. His mother died when he was three years old. He had a brother, Isaac N., who was born in Norway in 1827, became a sailor and in 1849 immigrated to Wisconsin and became a farmer near Scandanavia in Waupaca County, where he died at the age of eighty-eight years. The Nelsons landed safely at Quebec after a voyage of about five weeks, and there took a boat to Montreal and Toronto, from there went by rail to Detroit and from there to Chicago, reaching that place June 10, 1857. They were bound for Scandanavia to join their kindred in Waupaca County, Wisconsin, and from Chicago they yet had a long journey before they ended their travels. The contrast between transportation facilities in the old days and now is interesting. By boat from Chicago they reached Milwaukee, where they again took a railroad train, on the newly built Northwestern, to Fond du Lac, which was then the terminus, and then reached Oshkosh by boat and on another boat reached North Port on June 13,1857, when they found themselves within thirty miles of Scandanavia, Waupaca County, which distance they covered on foot.
The father of Mr. Nelson subsequently bought a farm in the vicinity of Scandanavia and built a substantial log house, a very comfortable dwelling, and here he spent the rest of his life engaged in cultivating and improving his land.
Before leaving Norway Andrew Magnus Nelson had attended school and for his age was well informed, and after coming to Wisconsin he took advantage of every opportunity to improve. He remembers attending a school kept by a Mrs. Inwerson, between Scandanavia and Iola, later attended in New Hope Township in Portage County and other schools, and in the meantime, in 1858 taught school and one of his pupils was Judge Murat, a well known citizen of Portage County. He was very ambitious and in spite of difficulties managed to attend the Waupaca High School in 1862 and 1863, when Duncan McGregor was his teacher.
In the spring of 1860 Mr. Nelson carne to Amherst and entered the store of John C. Crawford as a clerk, the owner of the store being Abram Gorden, of Waupaca, and in a short time Mr. Nelson became a clerk in Mr. Gorden's establishment in that city, and later was a clerk for Sorenson & Stetson. On May 28, 1866, Mr. Nelson came back to Amherst and bought the Gorden store there that was situated on the present site of the International Bank, and was associated in business with his brother, James J., until 1870 under the firm style of A. M. & J. J. Nelson, when the partnership was dissolved. A. M. retaining the old store and J. J. having bought a store of his own. Mr. Nelson continued in the mercantile business until 1880, when he rented his store property and embarked in the real estate business, having his offices in the store building. In 1893 Mr. Nelson, with Benjamin and Emmons Burr, organized the International Bank of Amherst and served as vice president until the death of Mr. Burr, after which he served as president for the ten succeeding year, when he resigned, as he had removed his residence to Stevens Point in the meanwhile.
On August 1, 1895, Mr. Nelson came to Stevens Point and bought his fine residence at No. 912 Clark Street. He then transferred his real estate office to this place and has continued to handle realty ever since and now owns about 3,000 acres in Portage County, 150 being in the vicinity of Stevens Point, and he estimates that he has bought and sold during his business years from 30,000 to 40,000 acres of land and in many sales has brought a large amount of capital into the county.
In politics Mr. Nelson has always been a republican. In 1883 he was elected chairman of Amherst Township, and was made treasurer of the Portage County Fair Association. He was serving as clerk of the Amherst School Board when the new schoolhouse was built that
subsequently was destroyed by fire. In 1884 he represented the Town of Amherst as chairman and a member of the County Board of Supervisors at the annual meeting in November. He was appointed chairman of the committee on illegal assessments and also a member of the committee on equalization. He still owns property at Amherst.
Mr. Nelson was married in January, 1865, to Miss Isophene H. Smith, who died on the birth of their son, Henry I., July 20, 1866. The mother was reared at Buffalo, New York and her mother was a sister of Victor M. Rice, who was once superintendent of public instruction in the State of New York. Henry I. Nelson attended the public schools of Harvard, Illinois, while living with his maternal, grandmother, and afterward the Amherst High School. He then entered his father's real estate office and remained for a time and then had charge of the job office of the Vermilion Iron Journal, a newspaper published at Tower, Minnesota. Later he became associate editor in name but editor in fact. He then went to New Orleans and in January, 1894, accepted the superintendency of the Bradstreet Agency at Mobile, Alabama. He was a young man of brilliant parts and succeeded in everything he undertook, but illness fell upon him in the South which compelled him to return home and his lamented death occurred in February, 1895.
Mr. Nelson's second marriage was to Miss Agnes Boss, of Lanark, Wisconsin. Her father was a native of Boston and it is claimed that that great city was named in honor of his forefathers. Mrs. Nelson died March 14, 1875, having been the mother of three children, namely: Elizabeth Maud, who married Christian Houff, of Seattle, Washington, and they have one son, Harold Allen; Nellie Ernestine, who married W. L. Bullock, of Valier, Teton County, Montana, has one daughter, Marjorie; Agnes, who was reared by her aunt, Mrs. Fenton, died at Amherst in early womanhood. In 1882 Mr. Nelson was married to Julia Nelson, and the children born to this marriage are as follows: Beulah G., who died November 17, 1918, was the wife of Benjamin Hughes, and left two sons, Donald Loomis and David A.; Minnie E., who is the wife of F. H. Hughes, and they have three children, Eleanor, Nelson Edgerton and Robert Francis; and Winnifred Rosamond, who is a teacher in the State Normal School at Stevens Point.
For several years Mr. Nelson was manager and vice president of the Arkansas Land Company of Wisconsin, a syndicate that controlled 90,000 acres of land in Arkansas. In his large realty dealings Mr. Nelson has shown great business ability. His transactions have resulted in many changes of ownership but in no case have questionable methods ever been employed and as a general proposition Portage County has greatly profited through his enterprise and business activity. While Mr. Nelson is thus widely known and deemed trustworthy, he also is held in esteem as a good citizen, one who has always lent his influence to promote worthy enterprises in the county and has given hearty support to all measures designed to assist the public schools.
Reprinted from "A Standard History of Portage County, Wisconsin" Volume II, pages 738-739.
While Portage County is not an old district as compared with many sections of the east it contains a number of families that have been here for several generations, and these families make up the bone and sinew of the social and industrial fabric. A splendid representative of the earlier pioneer class who has now gone to his reward was the late Edward McHugh.
A native of Ireland where he was born in 1830 he came to the United States and settled in Kentucky in early manhood. In Kentucky he married Margaret Sinnot, who was also born in Ireland. It was in 1860 that this pioneer couple arrived at Stevens Point. In the fall of that year they located on land in Dewey Township, and that land has now been in the continuous ownership and occupation of the family for over half a century. Edward McHugh did some of the first work in clearing away the woods and planting the crops. Beginning with 160 acres, he acquired another eighty acres, and was prospered, an intelligent and highly thought of citizen the rest of his years. He died in 1897 his widow surviving him until 1910, when she passed away at the age of sixty-seven.
Edward McHugh was a stalwart democrat in politics. For thirty years he occupied the office of township clerk. He and his family were members of the Catholic Church.
They had ten children. Mary, the oldest, is the wife of Ever Iversen, and they live in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. A number of the children are still on the old farm, the oldest of them being James. Thomas, the third child, married Kate Welch, and they live at Sand Point, Idaho, and have seven children, the three oldest being John, Margaret and Frank. John and Edward are still living in Portage County, the former at Stevens Point and the latter on the homestead. Matthew is employed at Blackwell, Wisconsin. Martin, Frank, Kate and Richard are all at home.
The children who have remained at home have taken up the work which was laid down by their honored father and have carried it forward to notable proportions. They bought 120 acres of land, making the farm comprise 360 acres. It is a big farm, productive soil, well managed and is contributing its share to the high standard of Portage County as an agricultural area. Furthermore it is a fine home. The house is surrounded by beautiful trees and every traveler along the highway remarks upon its homelike and attractive atmosphere. It is the center of some very progressive farming. In 1907 the McHughs erected a large barn 36 by 74 feet, and they have one of the finest silos encountered anywhere in Portage County. This silo, 14 by 32 feet, is constructed of brick and is one of the few silos of that material in the county. The McHugh brothers handle high-grade Holstein cattle with a thoroughbred sire at the head. The son Thomas has served as supervisor of the township one term and Edward McHugh, Jr., is now clerk of the school district. Miss Kate McHugh keeps house for her brothers on the farm.