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Histories:  Trempealeau County Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 15:


BAALRUD, Gilbert
BABBITT, Marvin T.
BARR, Irwin R.
BARR, Samuel
BARTLE, William
BAUTCH, Albert
BAUTCH, Albert J.
BEACH, Charles Grant
BEACH, Joseph Barnes
BECK, Andrew A.
BECK, John
BECK, Roy R.
BECKER, Peter V.
BEIRNE, Andrew J.
BEIRNE, James C.
BELL, Willis A.
BERG, Iver A.
BERG, John A.
BESTUL, Christian Brandt
BESWICK, Chester Jr.
BIBBY, John M.
BIBBY, Richard
BIBBY, Thomas
BIBBY, Thomas W.
BIGHAM, Daniel
BIGHAM, Ellis G.
BISHOP, Collins
BISHOP, Winfred W.
BLUE, John Jacob
BOLENG, Christ L.
BREKKE, Andrew A.
BRENENGEN, Christian N.
BRIGHT, Robert
BRIGHT, William A.
BROM, Frank
BROM, John F.
BROM, Martin
BROM, Mathias
BROM, Wheat
BROPHY, Richard
BROVOLD, Archie J.
BUE, Odell S.
BUSBY, Oliver
BUTMAN, Ernest H.
BUTMAN, Frank Melton


Gilbert Baalrud
, proprietor of a well equipped photographic studio in Whitehall, Wis., was born in Winona, Minn., May 6, 1893.  He is son of Eric and Hannah (Hanson) Baalrud.  The father, born in Norway, came to America in 1886, locating in Winona, Minn., where he resided four years, subsequently settling in Pigeon Township, Trempealeau County, Wis.  In April, 1915, he moved to Chippewa County, where he is now living at the age of 55 years, and is engaged in farming.  By his wife Hannah, who is ten years younger than himself, he has had 11 children, of whom all are living but three.  Gilbert Baalrud, who was the eldest child of his parents, remained at home until November, 1914, when he began to learn the trade of photographer.  In January, 1916, he bought his present studio from C. J. Van Tassel.  It is located in a two-story frame building on Main street and is well equipped with everything necessary for artistic work.  Although he has been here but a short time, he has begun to make a reputation for himself and his future prospects are promising.  Mr. Baalrud was married May 9, 1917, to Agnes Hansen of Preston Township, this county.  He is a member of the United Norwegian Lutheran Church and of the Modern Woodmen of America.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 451


Albert J. Baardseth, proprietor of a general store and feed mill at Hardie's Creek, Gale Township, was born at Hardie's Creek, this township and county, July 4, 1879.  His parents were Andrew and Mary (Hemma) Baardseth, both of whom were born in Ringsaker, Norway.  Andrew Baardseth came to the United States when 30 years of age, and about 50 years ago, locating in Lewis Valley, La Crosse County.  For 13 winters he worked in the pineries and in the summers on farms.  He then bought land near North Bend, Jackson County, and was engaged in farming there for seven or eight years.  At the end of that time he located on the farm on which his son Albert J. was born, and where he is still living, though it is now the property of his son.  His wife, to whom he was married in this state, died in 1885, at Hardie Creek.  Mr. Baardseth was the fourth born of his parents' six children.  He acquired his elementary education at the Glasgow school in Gale Township and was later graduated from the La Crosse Business College, March 27, 1902.  At the age of 17 years he began working for others and so continued at intervals until 1902.  He then began clerking in a general store at Ettrick and was thus occupied for four years.  He then became associated with D. H. Strand in the firm of D. H. Strand & Co., general merchants at Galesville, where he carried on business for three years and a half.  At the end of that time he came to his present location and opened the store he is now conducting, which has a floor space of 30 by 42 feet and basement.  He carries a general line of groceries, dry goods, ready-to-wear furnishings, hardware, crockery, boots and shoes, and such other articles as make up the stock of a first class general store.  He also owns 126 acres of land, on which his store is located, which he also operates in connection with his mercantile business.  Mr. Baardseth keeps a number of cows and is engaged in dairying, but gives his personal attention chiefly to his mercantile business.  Aside from these interests, he is a stockholder and director in the Farmers and Merchants State Bank at Galesville, the Independent Harvester Company of Plano, Ill., and the Waseca Milling Company at Waseca, Minn.  Mr. Baardseth was married, Sept. 10, 1903, to Laura Evenson, who was born at Hardie's Creek, Gale Township, this county, daughter of Bernt and Lena (Ekern) Evenson.  Her parents were natives of Biri, Norway, but were married in Wisconsin.  Her father, coming to this vicinity when a young man, worked out for a number of years, but later became a land owner and farmer in Trempealeau County.  Subsequently he moved to La Crosse, where he was employed for a number of years in the lumber mills.  Afterwards he returned to the farm, then occupied by his parents, and resided on it until about 1904, when he took up his residence with Mr. and Mrs. Baardseth, who were then living at Ettrick.  Upon Mr. Baardseth's removal to Galesville in 1910 he took up his residence with another daughter at Ettrick, where he is still living.  His wife died in 1908.  Their daughter Laura, who was the youngest of four children, attended school at Beaver Creek.  Mr. and Mrs. Baardseth are the parents of three children:  Archie Burton, who was born Oct. 7, 1904; Lucille Marian, born March 8, 1906, and Vilas Layton, born April 8, 1912.  The family are members of the Synod Lutheran Church.  In politics Mr. Baardseth is independent, with Republican leanings.  He has served as Clerk of the school board six years and is a man who takes a good citizen's interest in the progress and development of the community in which he lives.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 335 - 336


Marvin T. Babbitt, who operates a 75-acre farm close to Trempealeau Village, and is also the owner of other agricultural property, was born in Colerain, Mass., Nov. 27, 1848.  His parents, Adoniram and Sarah (Riddle) Babbitt, were American born and of Scotch, Irish and German ancestry.  In 1855 the family came west, Adoniram Babbitt settling on 160 acres of school land near Eyota, Minn., from which place they came to Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, in 1873.  Here Mr. Babbitt bought the George Perkins farm, of 90 acres in Caledonia Township, now known as the George Hess farm, it being situated about five miles from Trempealeau Village on the Galesville road.  On the farm at the time the Babbits [sic] moved onto it there were a clapboarded log house and a log barn, the said house being still standing.  Here the family lived for two or three years, at the end of which time Mr. Babbitt moved to West Prairie, Trempealeau Township, taking up 120 acres of wild land on which there was but little timber.  On this farm he built a one-story frame house.  In 1878 Adoniram Babbitt sold his place and moved to Lincoln County, Minn., where he homesteaded 160 acres of wild prairie land and took up his residence on it.  In the meanwhile Marvin T. has grown to man's estate.  His education was somewhat limited, but he acquired the elements of knowledge in the district school and learned agriculture and stock raising from his father, whom he assisted on the farm.  When the family removed to Lincoln County, he went with them, accompanied by his wife, whom he had recently married, and after arriving in the county he homesteaded 160 acres of land there, also taking a tree claim of 160 acres adjoining.  There he resided until 1880, in which year he went to Grant County, S. D., and pre-empted 120 acres of land on what had lately been the Sioux Indian reservation.  This land he improved, building a frame house, 24 by 28 feet, a barn 16 by 34 feet, and a granary of the same size as the barn.  In 1884 his health broke down and he rented his Minnesota farm to a tenant and returning to Trempealeau County took up his residence in Trempealeau Village.  For five years after settling in the village Mr. Babbitt did little or nothing, but in 1889, tired of inactivity, and his health being improved, he bought the Rudolph place of 44 acres, situated on the edge of the village, and moved to it with his family.  Since then he has purchased some adjoining land so that now his farm contains 75 acres.  The farm was improved at the time he bought it, there being a three-story house on it, 20 by 34 feet, with stone basement.  Mr. Babbitt in 1901 added to the house a frame wing, 14 by 30 feet, and has since erected a tool shed, 16 by 28, and a woodshed, 14 by 20 feet, with shop attached having also other substantial outbuildings.

January 23, 1878, Mr. Babbitt was married to Helen, daughter of Edward A. and Margaret C. Barnard of Caledonia Township, Trempealeau County, the wedding taking place at the home of the bride's parents.  He and his wife have had a family of 12 children:  Edward A., Elbert J., Frank T., William H., Grace M., Ella R., Louis M., Ruth C., George R., Harry R., John C. and Virgil A.  All of these children are living, except Harry R., who was born May 16 1898, and died May 22, 1911, at the age of 13 years.  William H., born October 7, 1884, is married and resides near Trempealeau Village.  Grace M., born December 8, 1889, is unmarried and is a telegraph operator, residing at home.  Ella R., born March 20, 1892, follows the same occupation as her sister Grace and also resides at home.  Louis M., born Oct. 15, 1893, is a plumber, unmarried, and resides at Seymour, Wis.  Ruth C., born Jan. 25, 1896, is unmarried, a high school graduate residing at home.  George R., born Jan. 30, 1897, spent two years in the high school and is now engaged as a section hand.  John C., born April 9, 1899, also studied two years in the high school.  Virgil A., born June 9, 1903, resides at home and is attending school in Trempealeau.  Mr. Babbitt is independent in politics, but has not been active politically and has held no public offices.  He belongs to Lodge No. 117, A. F. & A. M. of Trempealeau.  Though reared a Baptist he belongs to no church, but supports the cause of religion without regard to denominational affiliations.  In addition to his property already mentioned, he owns 100 acres one mile north of the village, and 80 acres of "bottom land" four miles southeast in La Crosse County, Wisconsin.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 445 - 446


Irwin R. Barr, who operates one of the best farms in Trempealeau Township - the Barr homestead, in sections 28, 29 and 32 - was born on this farm Sept. 11, 1864, son of Samuel and Caroline (Lilly) Barr, his parents having settled here in 1856, the year of their marriage.  He attended district school regularly until he was 15 years old, and from that time until he was 17 he was a pupil during the winter in the grade school in Trempealeau Village, being employed on the farm in summer.  Afterwards he spent two winters at Gale College.  In 1886 he became attached to the carpenter crew of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway and was engaged in building depots and in other similar work for two years.  During the three following years he, with his brother Adelbert, followed similar work for the Santa Fe road, after which, for three years, he was with the Northwestern Construction Company of Chicago.  He also took part in the construction of the World's Fair buildings in that city in 1893.  In the spring of the following year he went to Alaska, in which country he spent about five years.  Going first to Edmonton, Alberta, he was employed there in building river boats, but the firm failing, he, with the other workmen, had to take an outfit boat and tug for the wages due them.  With that he, with the others of the party, went down Athabaska River, thorough Athabaska Lake into Big Slave River, through Slave Lake into the McKenzie River, and down that river to Fort McPherson, the last post of the Hudson Bay Company, situated north of the Arctic circle.  Then they went up Rat River 65 miles to McDougal Pass through the "Rockies," then through Porcupine River to Yukon.  In December, 1902, Mr. Barr returned from Alaska and took the management of the old Barr homestead in Trempealeau Township.  He carries on diversified farming and dairying, keeping a good herd of Shorthorn cows of the dairy type, a large flock of sheep and a good sty of graded swine.  He has built a large and commodious barn, the basement being constructed of reinforced concrete, with cement floors.  It is equipped with the "James" outfit, including "B. L. K." milkers.  The horse and cow apartments are divided by a 16-foot driveway.  On the floor of the barn are four grain bins, each of 500 bushels capacity.  In connection with the barn there is also a large silo, and in the basement of the barn a milk separator run by gasoline power.  Both house and barn are provided with running water.  Mr. Barr has also built a machine shed and other necessary buildings.  In short, it would be hard to find a better equipped farm anywhere in this vicinity.  Although a very busy man, Mr. Barr has found time to assist in local government affairs, having held the office of town chairman for several terms and chairman of the county road and bridge committee.  He is always willing to aid in promoting the general interests of the community, knowing that its advancement along either moral or material lines benefits each member of it.  In politics he is a Republican.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 348 - 349


Samuel Barr, formerly a leading citizen in Trempealeau Township, of which he was a pioneer settler, was born in Madison county, N. Y., March 28, 1818.  While still a single man he came with his brother James, via the Great Lakes, to Wisconsin.  They had intended to land at Milwaukee, but owing to heavy weather had to go on to Chicago.  There they procured ox teams and proceeded to Fort Atkinson, Wis., overland.  James Barr subsequently went to Eau Claire County, Wis., while Samuel bought land in Walworth County, this State, and then removed to Dodge County, all this territory lying in the southeastern part of the State.  He improved his land and at the same time worked at his trade of cooper.  April 2, 1856, he was married in Dodge County to Caroline Lilly, who was born Jan. 13, 1830, in Binghamton, N. Y., daughter of Henry and Anna (Robinson) Lilly.  In the same year they came to Trempealeau County, Mr. Barr buying 160 acres of wild land, which now forms a part of the present homestead in Trempealeau Township, sections 28 and 29.  To this he later added that part of the farm now contained in section 32.  there were no buildings on the land at first, and they spent their first winter in a log house with Thomas Sutcliff, whose place lay just east of their farm, but as soon as possible Mr. Barr built a frame house of studding, with brick between, sheeted inside and boarded up and down outside with boards and batten.  This house contained three rooms and an attic, and was superior in construction to most of the neighboring residences.  A barn was also erected by Mr. Barr, he and Daniel Bonumn rafting the lumber down Black River for both buildings.  He cleared and fenced his land and in time brought it to a high state of cultivation.  He built other buildings as needed, also the present residence, a two-story house of 11 rooms, which is a commodious and comfortable dwelling.  Here he died Oct. 19, 1902, after an active and successful career, during which he had risen to a prominent place in the community, serving as supervisor of the township many years, chairman of the board and clerk of School District No. 9.  His wife did not long survive him, passing away Oct. 24, 1902.  They were prominent members of the Trempealeau Baptist church, of which Mr. Barr was a trustee for years, and every Sunday the family might have been seen driving to and from church in a lumber wagon - a distance of seven miles.  they had a family of eight children, whose record in brief is as follows:  Eliza Idella, born May 10, 1857, who died, an artist of some distinction, March 26, 1901; Emma Jane, born July 13, 1858, who died in Trempealeau Village, Nov. 6, 1868; Ira Adelbert, born May 27, 1860, who is superintendent of construction for the General Chemical Company of New York; Clara Lilly, born Aug. 4, 1861, who died Feb. 19, 1896; Irwin Roscoe, born Sept. 11, 1864; Bessie Elsie, born March 12, 1868, and Ella Lelia, born Sept. 24, 1869, both of whom are living on the homestead, and Rose May, born Oct. 30, 1871, who died Jan. 25, 1886.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 347 - 348


William E. Bartholomew, a well-known citizen of Galesville, who has resided in Trempealeau County for 47 years, was born in Atwater Township, Portage County, Ohio, Sept. 4, 1846.  His parents, Albert and Minerva (Potter) Bartholomew, were both of Welsh descent, but born in Eastern States.  The father in early life was a farmer, but in later life engaged in business as a wagon maker.  He came to Elkhorn, Walworth County, Wis., in 1850, and he and his wife both died there some years later.  William E. Bartholomew was the youngest of five children.  When left an orphan he was still a young child and for some years his home was with his older sisters and other relations, who cared for him until 1859.  He then found employment on a dairy farm at $5 a month, and in five months, having saved enough money to pay his fare to Chicago, he went to that city, arriving there without a cent.  He succeeded, however, in making his way to Elkhorn, Wis., where he had a sister living, with whom he took up his residence.  For a number of years he worked for others, at first having charge of a horse-power used for threshing.  In the summer of 1864 Mr. Bartholomew, not yet 18 years of age, enlisted at Spring Prairie Center, near Elkhorn, in Company I, Thirty-ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served with the organization as a private for about four months.  On his return to Spring Prairie he again worked out for others and continued to do so until his marriage in January, 1867, to Alice Bell, who was born in Geneva Township, Walworth County, Wis., daughter of Anson and Eliza (Chapman) Bell, who were early settlers in that county, but are both now deceased.  After his marriage Mr. Bartholomew took his wife to Chickesaw County, Iowa, where he farmed for three years.  He then sold his farm and came to Trempealeau County.  Here he was engaged in farming until 1903, when, on account of impaired health he took up his residence in Galesville, and entered the employ of Dr. Jegi, having the care of his stable and other parts of his estate.  His health improving, in the spring of 1914 he entered the employ of the Illinois Oil Company and has since continued with them.  He is the owner of several lots in Galesville in addition to his own residence.  In politics Mr. Bartholomew is a Republican, and in earlier years was a member of the village board.  He and his wife have six children:  Albert, who is a marble cutter and drafter in Madison, Wis.; Walter, a butter maker by trade, who is now engaged in the grocery business in Seattle, Wash.; Mary, wife of N. P. Jensen, of Galesville, a deputy of the Order of Beavers; Belle, wife of Julius Keholer, a barber of Galesville; Edith, wife of Mert Jensen, form maker in a printing plant at Bobells, N. D.; and Ida, wife of Lee Merrill, of St. Paul, who is bookkeeper in the purchasing department of the Omaha division of the North Western Railway.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 306 - 307


William Bartle, an early settler of Trempealeau County, was born in Devonshire, England, Jan. 12, 1823, and came to America as a young man.  He was married in Cleveland, Ohio, May 16, 1856, to Ellen Seary, who was born in Inniskillian, Ireland, in May, 1830, and came to America in 1849, locating in Cleveland, Ohio.  In 1862 Mr. Bartle and wife, with three children, came to Trempealeau County and settled on a farm in Ettrick Township, where he followed farming until 1876.  He then moved to Trempealeau and for the two years following worked at burning lime.  In 1878 he received a stroke of paralysis, which rendered him unable to perform heavy labor during the balance of his life.  He passed away May 29, 1888.  Just seven years to the day his good wife followed him, dying May 29, 1895.  They were the parents of nine children, as follows:  Sarah, born May 19, 1857, who is now Mrs. George Tibbitts of Keddleston, Canada; Emma, born in June, 1859, who died at the age of eleven years; Ellen, born in November, 1860, who died in 1904; Mary, born in 1863, and now Mrs. Thomas S. Bramwell of La Crosse, Wis.; William, born June 10, 1885, now a resident of Trempealeau; Charlotte, born April 1, 1868, now Mrs. Ed Huttenhow of Trempealeau Village; Margaret, born April 12, 1870, now Mrs. John C. Towner of Trempealeau Township; John, born Nov. 19, 1872, who is living at Keddleston, Canada, and Harriett, who was born Dec. 17, 1874, and died Sept. 1, 1913.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 401


Albert Bautch, a pioneer miller and millwright, was born in Germany, was there educated and reared, and became an adept in various lines of mechanics and woodworking.  In 1854 he and his wife Josephine set out for the United States aboard a sailing vessel, the long and tedious voyage taking nearly three months, and entailing many hardships.  Landing at Quebec, strangers in a strange land, and with their trunk lost, containing not only a part of their baggage, but also a letter of directions from their cousin Joseph Bautch, who had preceded them, they made their way down the lakes to Milwaukee, and thence to Watertown, landing at New Lisbon, in Juneau County, this state, Dec. 24, 1854.  There Mr. Bautch opened a farm, also working as a mechanic, as a broad-axe hewer and as a logger on the Wisconsin River.  Later he located in Trempealeau County.  Here in 1862 he helped to build the mill at New City, near what is now Independence.  Later he moved to Arcadia.  In 1869 he moved to a farm in section 26, Burnside Township, which has since been the family home.  There he built a flour mill, which is still in existence, having been owned for some fifteen years by a son, Albert J., and now by another son, John L.  Mr. Bautch was a pioneer in the true sense, a public spirited man, and a most estimable and useful citizen.  He was a member of the Catholic church and one of the organizers of the North Creek Congregation.  He and his wife both died in Trempealeau.  They had a family of eight children:  John L., Peter, Albert J., Anna, Mary, Julia, Kasper and Thomas, of whom the three last mentioned are now deceased.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 759 - 760


Albert J. Bautch, municipal expert, promoter, contractor, geologist and linguist, is widely known in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and has extensive interests in Canada and Texas.  As a well driller and waterworks expert he has bored wells along the right of way of the Green Bay & Western from Green Bay to Winona, he has installed the extensive waterworks systems of Winona, Minn., Independence, Wis., and Spring Valley, Wis., as well as in smaller places scattered throughout Western Wisconsin.  As a telephone promoter he has installed telephones in Western Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota, and founded several leading systems in these regions.  As an auctioneer he has been successful and popular, and has served more years than any other man in the county.  As a business man he established the first Independence jewelry store.  As a man of scholarly attainments he is well versed in mathematics, science, geology, general history and the classics, and is the master of three languages:  English, German and Polish. As a lecturer he has addressed audiences in all three of these languages, one of his favorite topics being "Natural Experiences."  As a musician he has a deep appreciation of harmony and has done considerable musical teaching. With all of these broad experiences he is genial and approachable, a pleasant, courteous, deep thinking man in every respect.  At the present time, though he makes his home in Independence, much of his attention is given to his holdings in Canada.  Albert J. Bautch was born in New Lisbon, Juneau County, Wis., Jan. 13, 1859, son of Albert and Josephine Bautch, and was brought to this county by his parents.  He attended the public schools of this county and the Northwestern Business College at Winona, and remained for a number of years with his father.  For a while he operated the mill on his father's place, but in 1895 disposed of it to his brother, John L., and bought the mill at Independence.  Mr. Bautch was married in Winona, Minn., to Paulina Rozek, who is now deceased.  They became the parents of seven children:  Carl F., Thomas, Della, Albert, Esther, Josephine and Sylvester, the last mentioned of whom was drowned.  All the children were well educated by their father and are well qualified to make their own way in the world.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 760 - 761


Charles Grant Beach, an early settler, was born in Vermont, Aug. 15, 1815, son of Aaron L. Beach and descended on both sides of his house from a long line of Colonial ancestry.  He was reared on a farm and in his adult years became interested in railroad work.  As a young man he married Caroline Barnes, who was born in Vermont March 24, 1817, and was likewise descended from the colonists of that state.  In Vermont eight children were born, of whom one, a girl four years of age, died there.  In 1866 the family came to Trempealeau County and settled on a farm in Ettrick.  There the mother died in 1887,a nd the father, two years later, moved to Whitehall, and took up his home with his daughter, Mrs. John O. Melby, with whom he remained until his death, May 13, 1906.  Of the seven children who came to this county with their parents, Charles, who became a railroad man, remained in Vermont, where he died in 1903; Edgar S., who came west some years before the others, died in Mankato in 1874; Henry, a railroad man, died in Whitehall in 1904; Jennie L. is now Mrs. J. O. Melby of Whitehall; Zachary T. and Frederick E. are newspaper men in Whitehall; Joseph B., who died May 3, 1916, was also a newspaper man for many years.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 295


Joseph Barnes Beach, for some 35 years a distinguished figure in Western Wisconsin journalism, was born in Charlotte, Chittenden County, Vt., May 12, 1853, son of Charles G and Caroline (Barnes) Beach.  He spent his early boyhood in his native state, came to Trempealeau County with the rest of the family at the age of 13, and was reared to farm pursuits in Ettrick Township.  At the age of 21 he entered the office of the Galesville Journal, then conducted by George Luce, and spent two years learning the printers' trade.  When Mr. Luce sold to B. E. Clark in 1876 Mr. Beach established the Galesville Independent, under the auspices of the Galesville Printing Association.  In 1877 he and E. H. Lowe established the North La Crosse Star.  Selling this a short time later he returned to his father's farm.  Frederick E. Beach, a brother, established the Whitehall Times in January, 1880, and in December, of the same year, Joseph B. Beach bought a half interest, buying the other half and assuming full ownership and control five years later.  He conducted this paper until March 20, 1915, when, owing to failing health, he leased the plant to his brothers, Frederick E. and Zachary T., and retired.  He died May 3, 1916.  Entering political life as a young man, he took a deep interest in public affairs.  For 14 years he was chairman of the Republican County Committee.  He also served on numerous other committees and delegations, and was a member of many political conventions.  In 1897 he did his district good service as a member of the  assembly.  A Republican of the old type for many years, he later espoused the cause of the progressive wing of that party,a nd labored zealously in its ranks.  His great joy was in his newspaper work.  At the time of his death it was written of him:  "His was a busy life.  Possibly he thus overtaxed himself, for it was his delight to be constantly accomplishing some worthy object.  Where others found enjoyment in society and travel, work at his desk, or at the case, afforded him all the pleasure his nature seemed to crave.  When the day's labor was over he found recreation, in the summer months, in his well-tilled garden, in which he took great pride; during the winter months he found life's greatest joy with his family, in his comfortable home.  He was pre-eminently a home man, a devoted husband, a sympathetic and loving father, and the training of his children was one of the vital things in his life.  Mr. Beach was married Sept. t, 1889, to Hattie M. Olds, born in Pigeon Township, March 27, 1869, daughter of George H. and Nancy J. (Oliver) Olds, the pioneers.  This union has been blessed with four children:  Kathryn Florence, Joseph Barnes, Jr. (first), Joseph Barnes, Jr., and George Harrison.  K. Florence was born Nov. 9, 1893, and is now a high school English teacher.  She graduated from the Whitehall high school in 1911 and received the degree of B. A. from Lawrence College at Appleton, Wis., in 1915.  While at that institution her scholarship won for her the honor of membership in the Phi Beta Kappa.  Joseph Barnes, Jr. (first), was born May 3, 1895, and died April 29, 1896.  Joseph Barnes, Jr., was born Nov. 10, 1897, was graduated from the Whitehall high school in 1915 and is now a student at the University of Wisconsin.  George Harrison was born July 27, 1901, and is a junior in the Whitehall high school.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 294 - 295


Bostwick Beardsley, a pioneer settler of Caledonia Township, now passed away, was born in Delaware County, N. Y., July 11, 1813.  On Dec. 7, 1841, he married Mary Fowler, who was born in East, Pa., Oct. 8, 1820, their marriage taking place in Racine County, Wis., Dec. 7, 1841.  In 1853 they moved to Burlington, Racine County, Wis., and in 1854 came to Trempealeau County, reaching here June 13.  Locating in section 29, Caledonia Township (then Montoville) Mr. Beardsley purchased 300 acres of government land, consisting of prairie and "burr oak openings," and two years later he increased his holdings by buying 200 acres termed by the government "swamp land," making 500 acres, all in Caledonia Township.  This land, of course, was wild and without improvements, and the first residence of the family here was a one-room log cabin, which he built and in which they lived until the fall of 1854, when he erected a frame house of one story, with three rooms.  During their brief log cabin days the members of the family, except the father and mother, slept in a covered wagon drawn up near the shanty. They had at this time six children, who were born in Racine County:  Henry D. and Benjamin D., both of whom died in hospital while serving as soldiers in the Civil War; Oscar E.; Narcissa, who is deceased; Lyra Alice, also deceased; Elam, who is a resident of Caledonia Township.  Their subsequent children, who were all born in Caledonia Township, were:  Huldah, who is the wife of J. O. Wing (he died in 1915 and she now resides in the State of Washington); Otto, who resides on the old homestead; Rebecca May, and Mary, who are deceased.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 350 - 351


Oscar E. Beardsley, who is operating a good farm in section 29, Caledonia Township, was born in Burlington Township, Racine County, Wis., June 28, 1845, son of Bostwick and Mary (Fowler) Beardsley.  He was in his ninth year when he came to Trempealeau County, and was brought up on the homestead, where he acquired a knowledge of farming under pioneer conditions.  When he reached his majority his father gave him 120 acres of land, 80 acres of which belonged to the original homestead, the other 40 adjoining it.  From that time up to the present he has carried on general farming here and has made great improvements in his property.  In 1876, about ten years after he started agriculutral operations on his own account, he erected his present residence, a brick veneer structure, with brick wing, the house being one and a half stories high, with seven rooms below and four above.  The other buildings he has put up include a barn, a stone granary, a stone hog house, with poultry hosue adjoining, a wood house, a corn crib, attached to the barn, and a machine shed, all being painted and in good condition.  For the last 15 years Mr. Beardsley's son Ora has managed the farm for him and built in 1903 in the same yard with his father's house a substantial brick veneer dwelling of seven rooms.  The farm is well stocked with horses, cows and hogs of good breeds.  His cream is shipped to Winona, Minn.  Mr. Beardsley was first married, Dec. 8, 1876, to Lena Olson, of Trempealeau Township, by whom he had two children, Ora, born April 1, 1878, and Clara, born July 4, 1880.  Ora, who married Mary Voss, of Caledonia Township, has one child, Mildred Lena.  Clara is the wife of M. E. Risinger, of Winona, Minn., and has two living children, Florence and Harold.  Mrs. Lena Beardsley died July 22, 1892, and on Dec. 9, 1895, Mr. Beardsley married for his second wife Betsey Lewis, of Caledonia Township.  Of this marriage there have been no children.  Mr. Beardsley has served on term as a member of the school board in District 3, but has otherwise taken no active part in public affairs.  He is a stockholder in the Western Wisconsin Telephone Company and has been a member of the Trempealeau Lodge, No. 117, A. F. & A. M., of Trempealeau, since about 1868.  As a good citizen he takes a keen interest in the progress and development of his townshp and county.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 351


Otto Beardsley, a prominent farmer of Caledonia Townshp, son of Bostwick and Mary (Fowler) Beardsley, was born in this township, Feb. 13, 1860.  Otto Beardsley was educated int he District School No. 3, Caledonia Township, which he attended regularly up to the age of 12 years, and after that during the winters until he was 18.  He assisted his father on the farm until reaching the age of 18.  From that time until his father's death he rented the farm.  It became his property at that time, with the exception of a tract of 80 acres which the father gave to his son Oscar E.  Later Otto purchased 40 acres from his mother that had been given her by his father, now 280 acres.  The buildings on Mr. Beardsley's farm include a 14-room frame house of one and a half stories; a frame barn, 36 by 100 feet, with basement and modern equipment; the other outbuildings include a granary, poultry house attached to the granary, a corn crib and hog house, with basement, and a machine shed.  Mr. Beardsley and his sons are engaged in general farming, having a herd of good grade cattle and horses and Poland-China swine.  Mr. Beardsley is a stockholder in the Western Wisconsin Telephone Company.  For many years he has been a member of the Independent Order of Foresters at Trempealeau, also of Trempealeau Lodge, No. 117, A. F. & A. M., of Trempealeau, and since 1910 of the Mystic Workers, of Trempealeau.  In politics he is a Republican; though not especially active in local affairs, he has served four years as treasurer of Caledonia Township and as treasurer of School District No. 3 for six years.  Mr. Beardsley's farm is fenced and cross-fenced inito 40-acre lots, and includes 120 acres of plow land, 100 acres of pasture land, and 80 acres of timber.  It is watered by two spring brooks and a well 120 feet deep.  Oct. 4, 1886, Mr. Beardsley was united in marriage with Jennie, daughter of August and Dena (Ehlert) Wagner, of Caledonia Township.  He and his wife have five children:  Lester Olna, Henry O., Una May, Archie Lee and Cordella D.  Lester O., born April 16, 1888, is now living on the north 80-acre tract of the old farm, which he owns.  He married Elizabeth L. McCartney, of Caledonia Township, and has two children - Bertha Catherine and Raymond Otto.  Henry O., born July 9, 1889, resides ont he home farm, which he is renting.  Una May, born April 14, 1891, who was graduated from the district school, Trempealeau High School and, in 1912, from Winona Business College, is now employed as stenographer in Koch's Vegetable Tea Company, of Winona, Minn.  Archie L., born July 18, 1893, lives on the home farm, being associated with his father and brother Henry in its operation.  Cordella D., born June 14, 1899, is residing at home.  Mr. Beardsley and his family attend the Congregational church at Trempealeau, though he is not a member.  As a farmer he has been successful, and the Beardsley family in general have contributed their full share to the agricultural development of Caledonia Township.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 353 - 354


Andrew A. Beck, ice dealer of Galesville, was born in Ekeby, Sweden, Aug. 2, 1843, son of John and Christina (Anderson) Beck, the pioneers.  He was brought to Chicago in 1853, attended school there for a while, came to Gale Township in 1857, and attended school here, later taking a course in Gale College.  As a boy he was employed by Captain Alex A. Arnold, and when the Civil War broke out, enlisted in August, 1862, in Company C, Thirtieth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, which Captain Arnold organized at Galesville.  Going in as a private, he was soon promoted to corporal.  His company served about a year in enforcing the draft in Wisconsin, a similar period in fighting the Indians on the western plains, and a like interval in doing police duty in Louisville, Ky.  For a time, because of a scalded foot, Mr. Beck was confined to a hospital.  Mustered out at Madison, he returned to the home farm.  After his marriage he moved to another farm near by.  In 1879 he moved to the village, and a short time later established the present ice business.  He has an ice house, 40 by 40 by 20, and during the summer months disposes of about 100 cakes of ice daily.  He also continues his farming operations.  By reason of his war service he has joined the G. A. R. and his wife is a member of the Relief Corps, and was a charter member of the O. E. S. of Galesville.  He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias of Galesville.  Mr. Beck was married April 29, 1871, to Hannah B. Ladd, born in Unity, N. H., April 29, 1847, daughter of Lorenzo D. and Laura (Bunnell) Ladd.  This union has been blessed with one son, Roy Russell, born May 21, 1878.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 308


John Beck, the pioneer, was born in Ekeby, Sweden, in 1815, and was there reared.  Apprenticed to a carpenter as a youth, he learned the carpenter, furniture-making and cabinet-making trades, and in following his occupation wandered about the Scandinavian countries for a while.  Thus he met Christina Anderson, who was born in Kumla, Sweden, in 1815.  Taking his bride to his home in Ekeby, he was there permanently employed for a considerable period.  While there he was called to service int he Swedish regular army during the time when Denmark was disputing with Prussia and the Germanic Federation, the ownership of Schleswig-Holstein.  Although participating in a number of bloody engagements, he escape injury and wounds.  Soon after, he determined to loate in the United States.  Reaching Chicago in 1853, he found employment at his trade, and there remained until June 15, 1857, when he came to Trempealeau County and located on a farm in Gale Township, three miles from Galesville.  He died there in 1878, and his wife moved to Grand Meadow, Minn.  She died in 1896 at Northfield, Minn.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 307 - 308


Roy R. Beck, chicken fancier, and owner of the Marinuka Poultry Yards, the home of the Mammoth Light Brahmas, Galesville, was born in the village where he now resides, May 21, 1878, son of Andrew A. and Hannah B. (Ladd) Beck.  He attended the schools of the village, and is now engaged with his father in the ice business, in addition to his poultry work.  In this line he has won wide recognition, having been awarded prizes at Minneapolis, St. Paul, Omaha, Lincoln, St. Louis and Chicago, and receiving orders for his birds and eggs from all over the United States.  The high repute in which his work is held is shown by the fact that he is now the first vice-president of the Wisconsin branch of the National Brahma Club.  He keeps about 500 fowls annually, and issued an attractive booklet describing his stock.  Mr. Beck is a member of Decorah Lodge, No. 177, A. F. & A. M., at Galesville, having served his lodge as Worshipful Master.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 308 - 309


Peter V. Becker, who is successfully operating a farm of 173 acres in the vicinity of Galesville, was born at Glasgow, Trempealeau County, Wis., Dec. 29, 1873, son of Philip and Sophia (Bey) Becker.  His parents were born near the River Rhine, in Germany, but were married in Wisconsin.  Philip Becker coming to the United States in 1846 and locating first in Washington County, Wis., where he settled on a farm with his parents and remained there until he married.  He then moved to La Crosse, Wis., and worked as a carpenter in the shipyards, which at that time were one of the industrial enterprises of the place.  His first wife died in La Crosse and he subsequently contracted a second marriage.  After this he moved to Glasgow and settled on a farm, which was his home until 1902.  At that time he went back to La Crosse.  A few years later he retired and removed to Trempealeau, this county, residing there a number of years.  His last home was at the residence of his daughter at Crystal Valley, where he lived for about two years, when his death occurred.  He was a respected citizen and at different times held local office.  His wife Sophia survives him and is now living at the home of her daughter in Galesville.

Peter V. Becker was the fourth born child of his father's second marriage, there having been five children by the first.  He attended school at Glasgow in his boyhood and afterwards was a student at Gale University one term.  His literary education was suppliemented by two terms at the State Agricultural College, at Madison.  When he was 24 years old he became manager of the parental farm and continued to live at home until he was 27.  Jan. 29, 1901, he was married to Meta Arpke, who was born in Sheboygan County, Wis., daughter of Simon and Fredericka (Martin) Arpke, both parents being natives of Lippe, Germany, who came to America in 1847, locating near Franklin, Wis., where Mr. Arpke was engaged in agriculture until his death.  His wife is also now deceased.  After his marriage Mr. Becker moved to Sheboygan,near which place he operated a farm for nine years.  Then selling the farm, he became associated with the Fruit Box company, of Sheboygan City, and was engaged in that business for 18 months.  At the end of that time he came to Galesville and purchased his present farm of 173 acres, seven acres of which are within the corporation limits.  His farm is fully equipped with all necessary buildings and implements, and he has brought the land into a high state of cultivation.  He produces fine seed grains, for which he finds a ready sale.  Aside from this, he is a stockholder in the Farmers' Packing Company, of La Crosse, a member of the Wisconsin Live Stock Breeders' Association, of the Wisconsin Experimental Association and the American Society of Equity, and the Alfalfa Order.  Mr. and Mrs. Becker have a family of six children:  Harvey Lawrence, Leslie Valentine, Alice Lorena, Ezra Philip, Eleanore Meta and Ella Arpke, all residing at home.  Mr. Becker is independent in politics, and is a member of the Presbyterian church, with which his family are also affiliated.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 436 - 437


Andrew J. Beirne, who has a good farm of 160 acres in section 13, Gales Township, was born in the neighboring town of Ettrick, this county, Feb. 2, 1869, son of Thomas and Catherine (Smith) Beirne.  Both parents were natives of Ireland, the father born in County Roscommon, Dec. 22, 1821, and the mtoher in County Cavan, April 1, 1831.  Coming to America in 1847, Thomas Beirne spent several eyars in the eastern states, and then, in the fifties, came to Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, homesteading a farm in Ettrick Township, on which he lived for half a century.  Finally retiring, he took up his residence in the village of Ettrick, where he died Nov. 22, 1905.  His wife did not long survive him, passing from this life in 1907.  Their family numbered nine children, of whom Andrew J. was the eighth born.  Andrew J. Beirne was educated in the district school of his neighborhood and while still young picked up a good knowledge of agriculture on his father's farm, of which he had the practical charge after reaching the age of 16 years.  He was married to Alice Crogan, who was born in Ettrick Township, daughter of Hugh and Mary (Monahan) Crogan.  Mrs. Beirne's father, Hugh Crogan, was born in County Roscommon, Ireland, June 27, 1829, and had a somewhat adventurous career.  When a young man he went to California, then the Mecca of gold seekers from all parts of the world, where men of every station in life mingled together in a wild scramble for sudden wealth, most of them, however, meeting only with disappointment, and not a few with speedy death, accidental or otherwise.  Mr. Crogan was a man well able to take care of himself, and he remained in the state for a number of years, engaged in mining with moderate success.  In 1866 he came to Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, and purchased land, becoming a farmer in Ettrick Township, in which occupation he contintued until he was killed in a runaway accident on his farm in 1876.  His wife, Mary, who was born in County Roscommon, Ireland, May 18, 1839, died Feb. 15, 1913, having survived him 36 years or more.  Their daughter Alice was the fourth born in a family of five children.  Mr. Beirne after his marriage continued on his father's farm for four years longer, and then settled on his present property, on which he has made all the improvements.  He is engaged in general farming and is a stockholder in the Farmers Exchange of Galesville, the creamery at Galesville and the La Crosse Packing Company.  He and his wife have seven children, born as follows:  Lester Stephen, Dec. 7, 1895; Gerald Francis, April 19, 1900; Edward Joseph, Aug. 15, 1902; Myrtle Elizabeth, Aug. 7, 1904; Donald Andrew, April 12, 1906; Mary Katherine, May 31, 1907; and Smith Raymond, Jan. 17, 1914.  The family are members of the Catholic church, and in politics Mr. Beirne is a Democrat, voting generally his party's ticket, but taking no active part in local government. 

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 584 - 585


James C. Beirne, a well-known agriculturist in section 31, east, Ettrick Township, where he has a farm of 120 acres, is a native of Wisconsin, having been born at St. Mary's Ridge, La Crosse County, March 25, 1855.  His parents were Thomas and Catherine Beirne, both natives of Ireland.  Thomas Beirne came to the United States when a mere lad, residing for some years in Albany, N. Y., where he began industrial life.  In later years, after attaining maturity, he came to Wisconsin, locating at Watertown, in the vicinity of which place he bought land and became a farmer.  From there he removed to La Crosse, and subsequently, about 1857, to Galesville, here continuing his farming operations.  After residing in Galesville for two years he bought land in what is now the northern part of Ettrick Township, on which he built a small house and started to develop a homestead.  He improved about 160 acres of land and resided there until 1898, when he moved to Ettrick, where he subsequently died.  His wife is also deceased.  They had a family of nine children.  James C. Beirne was the fourth-born child of his parents.  He acquired the elements of knowledge in a primitive log schoolhouse in Ettrick Township and remained at home assisting his parents until he was 30 years old, having the practical management of the farm at an early age.  About 1886 he purchased his present farm, which he has since lived on and improved.  Mr. Beirne was married May 10, 1897, to Ellen Cleary, daughter of John and Ellen Cleary.  Mrs. Beirne, who was one of seven children, being the sixth-born, was educated in the schools of Crawford County.  Mr. and Mrs. Beirne have two children:  Vincent, born Oct. 21, 1898, and Mildred, born Aug. 28, 1902.  Mr. Beirne is independent in politics.  He is an industrious and substantial citizen.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 523


Willis A. Bell, who is successfully engaged in farming and dairying in section 3, Trempealeau Township, was born in Holland, La Crosse County, Wis., March 6, 1860, son of Anson D. and Eliza (Chapman) Bell.  The father was born in Guilford, Ohio, April 9, 1818, and the mother at Harrisville, Ohio, Aug. 23, 1820.  They were married in Ohio Feb. 2, 1842, and in the same year came West, locating at Geneva, Walworth County, Wis., in which vicinity they began farming.  In making the journey overland, they passed through Chicago, which was then a small place.  In 1855 Mr. Bell with his family removed to Holland, La Crosse County, where he bought 200 acres of wild land on which there were no buildings.  He built a farme house and a small stable and here the family lived until 1863.  Then they came to Trempealeau County, renting 80 acres of land in section 2, Trempealeau Township, the property being a part of what is now the O. A. Critzman farm.  After residing here until 1865 Anson D. Bell bought 60 acres in section 3, the same township, which land now forms part of the farm of the subject of this sketch.  On it at the time stood a three-room log house and a frame barn.  This house was the family residence until 1875, which year Mr. Bell built a better one, the later being an upright, story and a half, brick veneer building, which now forms part of his present residence. Later he added a wing of the same material, with ten rooms, a front porch and side porch.  In addition to looking after his property, Mr. Bell worked at his trade - that of mason.  Anson D. Bell died Dec. 13, 1892, and his wife Jan. 10, 1899, both on the old homestead, and are buried in Evergreen Cemetery.  They were people much respected for their sterling qualities, and were among the founders of the Centerville Methodist Episcopal Church.  Their family consisted of seven children:  LeRoy, Alice M., Sarah E., Harrison B., Ida E., Orville P. and Willis A., whose record in brief is as follows:  LeRoy W., born at Geneva, Wis., Aug. 9, 1843, died Feb. 30 [sic], 1911, at La Crosse.  Alice M., born Nov. 18, 1845, is now Mrs. William Bartholomew, of Galesville, Wis.  Sarah E., born Jan. 27, 1847, at Geneva, died Aug 27, 1863, at Holland, Wis.  Harrison B., born March 11, 1849, at Geneva, died Oct. 11, 1863, at Holland, Wis.  Ida E., born July 4, 1852, at Geneva, is the wife of William Rich, of Washougal, Wash.  Orville P., born Oct. 3, 1855, at Holland, Wis., is a mason residing in Trempealeau Township.

Willis A. Bell in his boyhood attended the district school fromt he age of 3 to that of 13 years regularly, and afterwards during the winters up to the age of 18 years.  At 13 he began working on his parents' farm - the present homestead - and has remained on it up to the present time.  He has enlarged the estate somewhat and it now contains a little over 94 acres.  Feb. 19, 1896, he was married to Anna F., daughter of Henry and Sophia Bockenhauer, of Trempealeau Township, the ceremony, which took place at the home of W. H. Gibson, being presided over by Rev. Mr. Witherbee.  Mr. Bell is engaged in general farming and dairying, marketing his butter in Galesville.  He keeps a herd of grade Shorthorn cattle and a large sty of Poland-China swine.  His farm is thoroughly up to date in buildings and equipment, some of the most important improvements having been put in by him.  Among these is a large barn, which furnishes stable room for 25 head of cattle and eight horses.  Attached to the barn is a granary and buggy shed.  There is also a sheep barn attached.  There are two silos, with a capacity of 110 tons, and 85 tons.  In addition there is a poultry house, a corn crib, a hog house, a combined milk and ice house, and a tank house.  All the buildings except the granary and corn crib have cement floors and are neatly painted and kept in first-class condition.  Indeed, the whole farm presents a thriving appearance, highly creditable to its proprietor.  Like most prosperous and up-to-date farmers, Mr. Bell keeps an automobile.  He is a stockholder in the Exchange Elevator Company, of Galesville, Wis.  In politics he is a Republican, and has been director of the school board three terms, and clerk of the board two terms.  he and his wife have one child, Robert W., who was born Aug. 13, 1903, and resides at home.  The family are members of the Centerville Methodist Episcopal church.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 439 - 440


Iver A. Berg, garage owner at Blair, Trempealeau County, Wis., was born in Preston Township, this county, Aug. 24, 1886, son of Arne I. and Eli (Arneson) Berg.  He attended the district schools, was reared to farm pursuits by his father, and remained at home until February, 1916, when he engaged in his present business.  His garage occupies a suitable two-story building, 44 by 72 feet, on the corner of Broadway and Dover streets.  He has a well-equipped plant, including a machine shop, with a steam vulcanizer and tools suitable for all kinds of repairing.  A full line of supplies are always on hand.  He has the agency for the Studebaker cars and does livery work at reasonable prices.  He was married, July 29, 1916, to Emma Briggs, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Briggs.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 538


John A. Berg, a well-known banker and business man of Galesville, was born in La Crosse County, Wis., Nov. 16, 1873.  His parents were Benjamin and Petrina (Aas) Holman, both natives of the northern part of Norway, but who were married in Wisconsin.  The father came to the United States at an early date, stayed here awhile and then returned to Norway.  Later he came again to this country, about 1871, and remained.  Both he and his wife died when the subject of this sketch was a mere child and the latter was adopted and reared by a man named Berg, whose surname he has since borne.  John A. Berg was educated in a grammar school at Halfway Creek, Wis., and in a business university at La Crosse.  When 23 years old he opened a general store in Vernon County, Wis., and carried it on for two years.  He then returned to La Crosse County and conducted a store at Holmen for about nine years.  In 1908 he came to Galesville and organzied the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank, of which he became cashier.  This position he has since retained, having an interest in the bank as stockholder, besides a similar interest in other banks in La Crosse County.  He is also interested in the Galesville Building and Realty Company and served as chairman of the building committee in the erection of several different public buildings, including the one above mentioned, of which he is president.  He has served as treasurer of the Holmen Milling Company for several years, also treasurer of the Holmen Creamery for five years, and for four years served as president of the La Crosse County Fiar Association.  In 1916 he was elected president of the board of trustees of Gale College, succeeding the Hon. K. K. Hagestad in that office, which he still retains.  He has been an active member of the board since the college was transferred to the Lutherans,a nd was its unanimous choice as Mr. Hagestad's successor.  As a member of the executive committee he devoted his time unstintedly to the interests of the school.  he was at the head of the movment [sic] to erect the new dormitory and gymnasium and successfully conducted the campaign for funds for that building, as well as giving the closest attention to the work of construction.  Mr. Berg is an extensive land holder in North Dakota, having holdings in Burk and Morton counties, besides having land in Ettrick Township, Trempealeau County, which he rents out to tenants.  As an enterprising business man and public-spirited citizen he has been a storn factor for advancement in every community in which he has lived, or with which he has had anything to do, and his aid and influence have greatly aided in their development.  In politics he has been a Prohibitionist since he cast his first ballot, and has been a candidate for different offices representing his party.  July 7, 1898, Mr. Berg was united in marriage with Matilda Molstad, a native of La Crosse County, Wis., and daughter of Ole and Martha (Hough) Molstad.  She has been a faithful worker in the Lutheran church, as well as Mr. Berg.  Her parents, who were both born in Norway, settled in Wisconsin many years ago, the father being a farmer.  Both are now deceased.  Mr. and Mrs. Berg have one adopted child, Mildred E., who is now a student at St. Olaf College, of Northfield, Minn.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 431 - 432


Tolef Bergeson, a well-known resident of Arcadia Township, where he settled at an early date, was born in Telemarken, Norway, Nov. 24, 1847, son of Bjorgub and his wife Anna Sigerson.  When he was 2½ years old his parents decided upon emigrating to the United States, Bjorgub having a brother residing in Dane County, Wis.  The father came first, being followed soon after by his wife and their five children, Tolef, Sigor, Jack, Charles and Jennie.  After a ten weeks' voyage on the ocean in a sailing vessel the party landed and came onto Dane County.  Here, a few weeks later the chidren were bereaved by the death of their mother, who had been taken sick on the vessel and never recovered.  She died without havng seen her husband in America, as before she and the children arrived he had gone on further west seeking a good place in which to locate.  He found a temporary place in Vernon County, not far from La Crosse.  There he was rejoined by his children, who, in the meanwhile, had been taken care of by friends, some of whom, coming West, brought them to him.  While residing in Vernon County Bjorgub heard favorable reports of Whitehall, Trempealeau County, and set out to investigate the prospect.  With Ole Gottornson he left home with an ox team and on arriving in Trempealeau County halted for a short time at Francis Creek.  There a Norwegian blacksmith advised them to leave the ox team there and proceed on foot in search of land, which they did, the blacksmith accompanying them eastward and taking them up on a bluff where they were able to obtain a good view of the surrounding country.  Looking down Tamarac Valley, they saw good opportunities for raising hay, with plenty of timber, and decided on that locality as their future home, giving up the idea of Whitehall.  Then returning to La Crosse they made arrangements for settlement.  Mr. Bergeson liked a quarter of Section 28 better than any other claim he had seen, but this had previously been selected by Sigor  Chastelson.  The latter, however, gave up his right to Mr. Bergeson and this place accordingly became the home of the family and has remained so to this day.  Mr. Bergeson cut hay there during the summer of 1863 and built a pole shanty, to which he brought his children in the fall.  He never remarried, his daughter Jennie keeping house for him.  Later he built a hewn log house of one and a half stories, 14 by 16 feet in dimensions, a hewn log barn, 20 by 32 feet, and other necessary buildings.  With the help of his sons he developed about 85 acres, the balance of the quarter section remaining in timber.  When he settled on the place there were no roads and easy access to his farm was barred by Big Tamarac Swamp.  There were settlements at Trempealeau and Galesville, but his nearest neighbor was K. L. Strand, who was also a native of Norway, coming from the same locality as himself.  Bjorgub Bergeson died in 1888, being cared for in his latter years by his son Tolef and daughter Jennie, into whose possession the homestead came.  There was a heavy indebtedness on the place at the time of the father's death, but this in time they cleared away, Tolef continuing to improve the place and to engage in general farming and dairying, to which latter branch of agriculture he has in recent years given special attention with profitable results.  By the purchase of 40 acres more land he increased the size of the farm to 200 acres.  He also built a comfortable frame house consisting of upright and wing, one and a half stories in height.  The farm is watered by fine springs.  In his early years he had little opportunity for obtaining an education, as there was no school here until he had reached working age.  He acquired as much book knowledge as he needed, however, and when a boy and young man learned much about nature from the Indians, who were then numerous in this vicinity.  His sister Jennie, who always remained with him, died in June, 1916, and he and his brother Charles, who is living near Leonard, are now the only surviving members of the family.  Mr. Bergeson is a Republican in politics, but has taken no active part in public affairs.  He is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church at Norway Coulie, and is a well-to-do and prosperous citizen, having a wide acquaintance.  The memory of his father is well preserved int he neighborhood as that of a kind, helpful and honest man, universally respected.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 318 - 319


Rev. Christian Brandt Bestul, pastor of several Lutheran congregations in Trempealeau County, and a member of the official board of Gale College, was born near Morrisville, Wis., Nov. 13, 1870.  His parents were John E. and Ingeborg (Brandt) Bestul, both natives of Norway, the father born in Telemarken in 1828, and the mother in Valders in 1826.  They were married in Wisconsin in 1855, John E. Bestul coming to the United States in 1844, in which year came also his father, Ellef J. Bestul.  Later John located in the Rock River settlement near Milwaukee, the father also locating in that vicinity, and was there for several years engaged in farming.  In 1853 John T. Bestul, father of Ellef J. and great-grandfather of the subject of this memoir, came to America.  He was then an aged man of 90 years and died in the same year.  In 1860 John E. Bestul removed to Columbia County, Wisconsin, and there continued his agricultural operations until his death, which occurred in 1878, when the subject of this sketch was eight years old.  His widow, after living there a year longer, rmoved with her family to Shawano County, Wisconsin, which place was her home for six years.  The last thirty-seven years of her life she lived with her children in this and adjoining states.  She die dMay 20, 1917, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Rev. E. Berrum, Holmen, Wis.

Christian Brandt Bestul was the youngest and the only boy of his parents' eight children.  He attended school at Wittenberg, Wis., and subsequently became a student at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, being graduated from that institution with the class in 1893.  His theological education was obtained at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., where he spent three years, finishing there in 1896.  After graduating in theology he became pastor of a Lutheran church at Marshfield, Wis., where he remained one year.  His next charge was at Viroqua, as assistant to the president of the Eastern District of the Norwegian Synod, and covered a period of four years.  In 1901 he became pastor of the Lutheran congregation at French Creek, Trempealeau County, and has since held that position, also serving the congregations at Hardie's Creek, South Branch of Beaver Creek, Tamarac and Fagerness.  There are 130 families in the French Creek congregation, and in that of Hardie's Creek, which is the smallest, 44 families.  Since the transfer of Gale College to the Lutherans, Mr. Bestul has served as secretary of the board and assisted in establishing the college on a Lutheran basis.  He was secretary of the Church Extension Board nine years and for a similar period of time was a member of the Board of Home Missions.  His whole time is devoted to church and educational work, in which he has shown an ability that has made him a power for good in his denomination.  On June 27, 1900, Mr. Bestul was united in marriage with Harriet Halvorsen, who was born at Westby, Vernon County, Wis., daughter of Halvor and Marie (Olson) Halvorsen.  Her parents were both born in Norway, the father in Stavanger in 1845, and the mother in Christiania in 1846.  Married in their native land in 1871, they came to the United States in the following year, locating at Westby, Wis., where Mr. Halvorsen became pastor of the Lutheran Synod Church, a position which he still retains.  The entire period of his residence in this country has been spent in church work.  The family of Mr. and Mrs. Halvorsen consisted of eight children, of whom Harriet was the fourth in order of birth.  She was educated at the Ladies' Lutheran Seminary at Red Wing, Minn., and the high school at Viroqua, Wis., and is a lady of culture and refinement and an able assistant to her husband in parish work.  Mr. and Mrs. Bestul are the parents of eight children:  Marie Ingeborg, Harold Brandt, Valborg Elizabeth, Erling Johan, Harriet Ragna, Christian Wilhelm, Signe Emelie and Anna Matilda.  The family residence is in section 27, Ettrick Township.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 540 - 541


Chester Beswick, Jr., a retired farmer residing in section 17, Preston Township, was born at Bolton, Warren County, N. Y., Dec. 24, 1834, son of Chester Beswick, Sr., and Polly Ann (Rice) Beswick.  The father was born in Warren County, New York, Sept. 22, 1810, and in 1849 migrated west to Beaver Dam, Wis., residing there six years.  He then came to Trempealeau County and pre-empted 120 acres of land in section 17, Preston Township.  The rest of his life was spent in the cultivation and improvement of his farm, his death occurring Feb. 13, 1895.  His wife, Polly Ann Rice, was born in Warren County, New York, June 3, 1815, and died Nov. 29, 1905.  Her parents, with their family, removed from New York state to Kenosha, Wis., where the father died at the age of 95 years.  Mrs. Rice, with her son Simon, came to Trempealeau County so as to be near her daughter, Mrs. Chester Beswick, Sr., and with whom she made her home until her death, March 31, 1888.  She was born in New York state Feb. 25, 1796.  Her son Simon was afterwards a well known farmer of Preston Township.  Chester Beswick, Jr., came to Wisconsin with his parents, but in the spring of 1859 he went to Texas and engaged in sheep herding in the valley of the Brazos River.  At the oubreak of the Civil war he and four companions started home on horseback.  While on the way they were arrested by Confederate troops as spies and were thrown into prison, where they remained for a month.  Then, in order to gain their freedom, they enlisted in the Confederate army, but soon afterward deserted.  They were retaken, however, by a band of Osage Indians, who were in the Confederate service, and were again imprisoned and sentenced to be shot.  The day before the date set for their execution they again escaped, but were once more recaptured.  In an effort to learn the truth from them their captors put ropes around their necks and made ready to hang them, but were finally dissuaded from doing so by some members of their own band.  At another time the Indians had them lined up to be shot, and on still another occasion had prepared a fire to burn them, but this time they were saved by their interpreter.  It was in December, 1862, when Mr. Beswick finally made his way in safety to his Wisconsin home, and resumed industrial life in a safer locality.  He was married July 4, 1877, to Anjenette Thurston, of Blair, whose father, Ebenezer Thurston, was the first postmaster of that village, which was then called South Bend.  He kept the postoffice in his old home in section 16, on the farm now owned by Paul Thompson.  Mr. Thurston was born Dec. 30, 1805, and died May 13, 1880.  He married Mary Eveline Haywood, who was born June 10, 1811, and died Dec. 15, 1881.  Chester Beswick, Jr., lived most of his life on the old farm taken by his father in 1855, except for a period of 20 years, when he was engaged in farming four miles north of Independence.  He is now healthy and active at 82 years of age, being able to read without glasses.  He resides with his son-in-law, Henry M. Hanson.  His wife, Anjenette Thurston Beswick, who was born April 28, 1844, died Sept. 10, 1901.  Their children were:  Alice, born May 17, 1870, who married Palmer Back, a farmer of Preston Township; Harriet, born Nov. 23, 1872, who died Oct. 10, 1873; Charles, born April 3, 1874, who died Aug 20, 1877, and Susan E., born Jan. 9, 1876, and now wife of Henry M. Hanson, the owner of Mr. Beswick's old farm.  Alice (Mrs. Palmer Back) has had seven children, whose names, with dates of birth and death, are as follows:  Hazel Charlotte, born Aug. 4, 1892; Willis Irvin, May 18, 1894, died Sept. 26, 1909; Charles Chester, Aug. 10, 1901; Myrtle Adine, July 1, 1903; Dorris Evelyn, April 23, 1906; Florence Irene, Feb. 25, 1911, and Wyllis Margarite, Aug. 30, 1912.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 609 - 610


John M. Bibby, who has a highly improved farm of 160 acres in section 20, Gale township, where he is successfully carrying on dairying and stock raising, was born in the locality now known as Glasgow, May 8, 1860, son of John and Mary (McMillan) Bibby.  His parents were natives of Scotland, the father coming to the United States in 1853, when 21 years of age, and settling in Maryland, where he was married.  Subsequently he and his wife removed to Kentucky and from there to Ohio, after returning to Maryland. They settled in Trempealeau County in 1856, locating nine miles northeast of Galesville.  Here John Bibby died in February, 1912.  His wife died in September, 1898.  John M. Bibby in his boyhood attended the school at Glasgow, this county.  He remained at home until he was 22 years of age. He was married Nov. 24, 1884, to Louise Emerson, who was born at French Creek, Trempealeau County, Wis., daughter of Henry and Mary (Gilbertson) Emerson.  Her parents were natives of Norway, who came to this country in the early fifties, locating at Lewis Valley, La Crosse County.  In 1868 Henry Emerson engaged in farming at North Bend, Jackson County, until his death, March 13, 1911.  His wife died May 2, 1917, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. J. M. Bibby.  They had six children, of whom their daughter Louise was the eldest.  When he was 22 years old Mr. Bibby began working for his future father-in-law, Mr. Emerson, and was thus engaged for 18 months.  Subsequently for two years he was employed in hauling cream to the creamery at Galesville.  He then went into the creamery as a butter maker, and was a manager of the establishment, now known as the Artic Springs Creamery, until Jan. 15, 1915, his period of service being little short of 25 years.  Subsequently to 1902 his family resided on his present farm, which he had previously purchased.  Here he is now engaged in breeding Holstein cattle, milking 18 cows and having 20 head of young Holsteins.  He is also stockholder in the creamery and in the Farmers Co-operative Packing Company at La Crosse.  Mr. Bibby was so long in the creamery that, since going back to his land, he says he has had to learn farming over again.  He has made some important improvements on his place, one of the most recent being a fine barn, 72 by 40 feet in dimensions. He has also a good residence and other necessary buildings, all in good condition.  While residing in Galesville he served on the village board. The family are members of the Presbyterian Church.  In politics Mr. Bibby is a Republican.  His fraternal affiliations are with the Beavers and Yeomen.  Mr. and Mrs. Bibby are the parents of six children:  Dwight H., residing at home; Irwin J., who married Ruth Erwin of South Dakota, and four years was a teacher in the State Agricultural Colege of Pennsylvania. He is now in the employ of the government, manufacturing cheese from the byproducts of the creamery, such as whey and buttermilk.  Harold F., who married Ida Alstrom and is employed in the creamery at Centerville; Joseph W., Mary V. and Mildred L., who are residing at home.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 361 - 362.


Richard Bibby, one of the sturdy farmers who is engaged in developing the agricultural resources of Gale Township, was born on his present farm in section 27, July 10, 1868.  His parents, Richard and Mary (Faulds) Bibby, natives of Scotland, were married in the State of Maryland, in 1852, after they had been in this country some four or five years.  In 1854 Richard Bibby, the elder, purchased from the Government the land which now constitutes the farm of his son and namesake, but it was not until October, 1856, that he and his family moved onto it.  At that time it could hardly be called a farm, as it was destitute of improvements of any kind, so Mr. Bibby found plenty of hard work ahead of him.  He went at his task with vigor, at first putting up only the most essential buildings, and those of a primitive kind, giving his main attention to raising crops for the support of himself and family.  As time went on, however, he improved the place, and cultivated a larger area of land.  Satisfied with his choice, he tried no experiments with other locations, but remained here until his death, which occurred in July, 1894.  For 18 years, beginning with the organization of the district, he served as a member of the school board.  His wife did not long survive him, passing away in March, 1895. They belonged to that sturdy pioneer class who conquered the wilderness, and to whom the present generation owes much for the better conditions now enjoyed.  Moreover, they took part in the religious life of the community, Mr. Bibby being a charter member and for some years an elder of the Presbyterian church at Galesville, and later assisting to organize the church of that denomination at North Bend.  Their family was a large one, numbering 15 children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the ninth in order of birth.  Richard Bibby, the second of the name, acquired the elements of knowledge in the district school.  As may be supposed, he was not allowed to grow up in idleness, but at an early age began to assist his father, there being always something to do on the farm. He resided at home, with the exception of two or three winters, until 1894, when, being now in his twenty-sixth year, he rented the farm from his father for one year.  The latter dying soon after, however, he then became the owner of the property and has resided on it ever since.  It contains 158 acres, and Mr. Bibby carries on general farming, including dairying and the raising of hogs, besides keeping more or less other stock.  The chief improvements now standing were made by him, and include a circular barn, 64 feet in diameter, with a 9-foot basement and 20 feet overhead, the erection of which shows him to be enterprising and up-to-date.  He is also a stockholder in the Farmers' Exchange at Galesville, the La Crosse Packing Company and the Independent Harvester Company, of Plano, Ill., and is a member of the American Society of Equity.  In politics Mr. Bibby is an independent Republican.  He has served on the board of supervisors three terms and as a member of the school board nine years.  Sept. 23, 1896, he was married to Ina Jones, who was born in Gale Township, daughter of John and Lucy (Miller) Jones.  Her parents were both natives of England, but were married in Columbia County, Wis., in which State Mr. Jones settled when he came to this country, being then about 22 years old, subsequently locating in Columbia County.  In the early '50s of the last century he removed with his family to Trempealeau County, and was a pioneer of Gale Township, taking a farm on the Jackson County line.  That place was his subsequent home until his death in 1887.  His wife is still living on the old homestead, being now well advanced in years.  They had five children, of whom Mrs. Bibby was the youngest.  Mr. and Mrs. Bibby have been the parents of six children:  Richard A., Arthur, who died at the age of 2 years, Allen L., William Hollis, Mary E. and Alice M.  The surviving children are all residing at home.  Mr. and Mrs. Bibby are members of the North Bend Presbyterian church, and have many friends throughout this part of the county.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 648 - 649.


Thomas Bibby, a prosperous citizen of Galesville, who is engaged in market gardening and chicken raising, is a native son of this county, born at Glasgow, Oct. 10, 1858.  His parents were John and Mary (McMillan) Bibby, both born in Scotland, the father Aug. 15, 1832, the mother a year or two previously.  John Bibby came to the United States in 1853, settling in Maryland.  Later he removed to Kentucky and from there to Ohio, subsequently returning to Maryland, and was there married.  In 1856 they came to Trempealeau County, where Mr. Bibby was engaged in farming until his death in February, 1912, his farm being located nine miles northeast of Galesville. He had been a widower for some 14 years, his wife having died in September, 1898.  He was a man of prominence in the township, and at different times held local office.  Thomas Bibby was the second born in a family of six children.  His education was begun in the old Glasgow schoolhouse of his father's farm and he subsequently was a student for three terms in Gale University.  He began assisting his father on the farm when 14 years of age, and the management came into his hands a few years later, on account of the father's health failing.  When 30 years old he and his brother James rented the farm and operated it on their account for three years.  He then purchased a farm adjoining the old home on the north, which he operated eight years.  Then selling this farm, he moved to Galesville and two years later -- 1904 -- purchased the place where he now resides, although he did not move onto it until 1909.  This is a tract consisting of 12 lots, all inside the city limits, and here Mr. Bibby devotes his time to truck farming, raising vegetables and similar produce, finding a ready market in Galesville.  He also keeps about 60 White Leghorn chickens, to which he devotes most of his time in the winter.  In politics Mr. Bibby is a Prohibitionist.  He has served as village treasurer two years and in 1916 was a candidate for county treasurer.  He is a member of the Presbyterian Church and of the order of Beavers.  Mr. Bibby was married June 16, 1893, to Anna Pryse, who was born in New London, Ohio, daughter of James M. and Mary (Morgan) Pryse, who were natives of Wales.  Her father came to America when a child, his family settling near Palmyra, Ohio.  He became a Presbyterian minister and came to Wisconsin about the time the Civil War broke out, or previously.  From this state he went to Lawrence, Kansas, where he was living at the time that place was attacked and raided by the notorious rebel guerrilla Quantrel.  Later he returned to Wisconsin and made his home at North Bend, where his death occurred, he having been active in church work until the last.  His wife, who subsequently made her home with her son-in-law, Thomas Bibby, died Nov. 7, 1903.  Mr. and Mrs. Bibby became the parents of two children:  Gwynifred Jane and Mary Edna, both of whom are students at Carroll College, Waukesha, Wis.  Mrs. Thomas Bibby died July 14, 1900.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 360 - 361


Thomas W. Bibby, who is engaged in agriculture in sections 22 and 26, Gale Township, was born on his present farm, Nov. 7, 1869, son of Joshua and Jane (Allan) Bibby, who were natives of Scotland.  Joshua Bibby was born at Airdrie, Scotland, Aug. 5, 1838, and his wife in Lanarkshire, Jan. 22, 1840. After marrying in their native land, they came to America in 1859, settling in Gale Township, this county, and soon afterwards locating on the farm now owned by their son Thomas, which, however, then contained but 100 acres of land.  Here Joshua Bibby died May 15, 1889, having made fair progress in the development and cultivation of his farm.  His wife survived him nearly nine years, passing away Jan. 9, 1898.  They had a family of 11 children, born in the following order:  Janet (1), Janet (2), Margaret Allan, Jemima, Thomas W., Alexander, Mary Fauls, Agnes Janet, Ruth Ora, Joshua and Ross.  All are now deceased except Thomas W., and his sister Jemima, who resides with him. Thomas W. Bibby attended school at Glasgow, Gale Township.  When he was 20 years old his father died and he took charge of the estate and has since resided on it, carrying on general farming and dairying.  The farm now contains 240 acres, and is well prived with good buildings and all necessary equipment, Mr. Bibby having made many improvements on it since his father's death.  He is also a stockholder in the Arctic Springs Creamery and the Independent Harvester Company of Plano, Ill., also in a company operating a threshing machine.  In politics he is an independent Democrat, but has not participated in local government affairs.  He and his sister Jemima attend North Bend Presbyterian Church.  The latter was also educated in the Glasgow school, and afterwards attended Trempealeau high school and Gale University. She presides over the domestic arrangements of the farm and she and her brother are popular members of the community of Gale Township, and for ten years was a proficient teacher in the rural schools in Trempealeau County, teaching mostly in her own district, where she attended when a girl.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 360


Daniel Bigham is one of the earliest pioneers of Trempealeau County.  Making his first trip to this State with his parents as a boy from his home in New York State in 1856, he became acquainted with some of the leaders among the first settlers in this region, and one of his greatest delights is in recalling incidents and events in the lives of the sturdy frontiersmen of those now far-distant days.  His experiences also embraced pioneer lumbering when the great forest wealth of Wisconsin was first being developed, and when the La Crosse sawmills in which he was employed were the rendezvous of many of the early lumbermen since prominent in the industrial history of the State.  He was born in Putnam County, New York, Nov. 25, 1843, the son of James and Catherine (McVoy) Bigham, and of Scotch-Irish ancestry.  He entered the schools of his native county as a youth, and at the age of 13, in 1856, was brought by his parents to Glencoe Township, Buffalo County, this State, where he assisted in developing a pioneer farm, and at times attended such schools as the time and place afforded.  Although he left school at a comparatively early age, he has been a deep reader, and has thus acquired a substantial education.  As a young man he worked during the lumbering seasons in the sawmills of La Crosse for ten years.  In the meantime he purchased 117 acres in section 1 and section 6, range 9, in Arcadia Township, and in 1864 he took up his home thereon.  This was entirely a wild tract, but he set to work with a will, firm in the purpose of developing as good a place as could be found in the community.  His first house was a small frame structure, 16 by 22 feet.  In 1875 he erected a more modern home, with an upright, 18 by 26 feet, and an ell, 16 by 22 feet, a 12 by 12 kitchen being added later, so that now it is a sightly, comfortable structure of 11 rooms.  As prosperity increased he erected a fine barn, 30 by 74 feet, with 16-foot posts, and a full basement with 9-foot posts.  he also erected a granary 16 by 24 by 12 feet, and other buildings of various descriptions.  With the progress of years he developed an excellent farm, and for many years successfully carried on general farming, making a specialty of the dairy type of grade Shorthorns, and Shropshire sheep.  In 1875 he rented his farm and moved to Arcadia.  Three years later he returned to the place, but in 1909 he retired permanently.  He has a beautiful home and two extra lots on the hill in Arcadia, and here he and his good wife are enjoying the fruits of their many hard years of incessant toil.  His public service has been extensive.  For six years he was chairman of Arcadia Township, and as such did most efficient service as a member of the county board.  For seven years he gave satisfaction as township assessor.  For many terms he was clerk of his school district.  Now he is justice of the peace, in which position he has served for some time.  His business holdings include stock in the Trout Run Farms, of which he is president, in the Trempealeau County Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company, in which he is a director, and in the Farmers' Shipping Association of Arcadia.  Mr. Bigham was married March 24, 1868, to Florence Caldwell, born in Clinton County, N. Y., Feb. 22, 1849, daughter of James and Jane (Stark) Caldwell, the former of whom, a carpenter, brought the family to Foutain City from New York State in 1855.  Mrs. Bigham has been her husband's inspiration in all his undertakings, a splendid housewife, a loving wife and devoted mother.  Mr. and Mrs. Bigham have three children:  Orrie May, Alice Myrtle and Roy E.  Orrie May was born March 12, 1869, graduated from the Arcadia High School and the River Falls Normal School, and is now a proficient teacher in the public schools of La Crosse.  Alice Myrtle was born July 21, 1871, graduated from the Arcadia High School and taught int he Arcadia schools for several years.  Her special interest has been in the public library work in Arcadia.  Her husband, Dr. J. A. Palmer, now a first lieutenant in the United States Medical Corps, is one of the county's most distinguished citizens.  Roy E. was born May 30, 1879, graduated from the Arcadia High School and from the law department of the University of Wisconsin, and is now practicing successfully his profession near Portland, Ore.  He married Tennie Talbot and has two daughters:  Florence and Frances.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 705 - 706


Ellis G. Bigham, manager and secretary of the Farmers Co-operative Creamery of Arcadia, was born Nov. 11, 1878, in Arcadia Township, son of John and Grace (Gardner) Bigham, his parents being farmers in that township.  He was educated in the graded school and high school of Arcadia Village, graduating from the latter in June, 1898.  During the following winter he taught district school in the Smith district, Arcadia Township.  In the fall of 1899 he began teaching in the Galesville school, having charge of the seventh and eighth grades and also taught for a while in the Galesville high school.  The next summer, 1900, he went back to his father's farm and remained there for ten years.  While living on the farm, in 1904, he was made manager and secretary of the Farmers Co-operative Creamery of Arcadia, but remained on the farm until the fall of 1913, when, with his family, he moved into the village, and has since given his undivided attention to the creamery.  Under his management the business has steadily increased until in 1916 a new and larger plant became necessary, and accordingly a new building, with full modern equipment, was put up on a site adjoining the old one.  Mr. Bigham is a stockholder int he creamery and also in the Western Wisconsin Telephone Company.  He is one of the enterprising young business men of the village, and is a member of the village board, though he has held no other public offices.  In politics he is independent.  Mr. Bigham was married Oct. 18, 1902, to Alice, the daughter of George and Katherine Kindchy of Montana Township, Buffalo County, Wis., and he and his wife have three children:  Katherine, born Nov. 10, 1903; Mona, born Feb. 28, 1907, and Margaret, born July 27, 1911.  All the children were born on the Bigham farm and all are attending school.  Mr. Bigham was reared in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church, and his wife in that of the German Evangelical church.  In 1908 he joined the Masonic order, in which he has advanced as far as the Chapter, and in 1916 was junior deacon of the lodge.  Since 1901 he has belonged to the Independent Order of Foresters, and since 1906 to the Beavers.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 739


John Bigham, for many years one of the stury farmers who helped to develop the agricultural resources of Trempealeau County, but who now resides in the village of Arcadia, was born in Putnam County, New York, Aug. 27, 1838, son of James and Catherine (McVoy) Bigham.  Both his parents were born in Ireland, the father being of Scotch descent.  He was reared in his native state, attending district school there until the age of 14 years, and subsequently learned the mason's trade.  At the age of 19 he began working away from home, and in June, 1855, he came west alone, traveling by rail to Dunleith, Ill., and from there by boat to Fountain City, Wis.  His father was already located in Glencoe, Buffalo County, having arrived there in the preceding April.  John Bigham remained with his father about a month and then went to La Crosse, Wis., where he worked in a mill until 1859.  While thus employed, however, he was making plans for future independence and took the surest way of doing this by investing, in 1857, in a small tract of land in Buffalo County.  In the following year he bought 80 acres in Arcadia township, two and a half miles south of the village.  The Buffalo County tract he held for some years.  All this land was wild and there were plenty of Winnebago Indians in the vicinity.  In the fall of 1859 Mr. Bigham began breaking his land, using ox teams.  Two years later he purchased 80 acres more and from time to time added to the size of his farm, continually improving it, until it now contains 253 acres in a high state of cultivation, and well equipped with good buildings and all needed accessories.  In 1902 Mr. Bigham quit the farm and moved into Arcadia Village, where he and his wife are enjoying the fruits of their industry and thrift in days gone by.  Mr. Bigham was married, Jan. 9, 1867, to Grace K., daughter of Henry and Miranda (Shelby) Gardner, wo died Sept. 8, 1917.  Their children, five in number, are:  Bertha, born April 16, 1868, who is the widow of Clifford Baumbach, and is now engaged in teaching school at Whitehall; Minnie, born Sept. 9, 1870, now the wife of John McKivergin, of Whitehall, Wis.; Elmer, born March 6, 1873, living on the old farm; Ellis G., manager and secretary of the Farmers' Co-Operative Creamery in Arcadia Village, and Byrd, born Nov. 27, 1879, who is a druggist in Chicago, Ill.  Mr. Bigham is a staunch Republican in politics and cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860.  Religiously he was brought up in the faith of the Scotch Presbyterian church.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 769 - 770


Walter Birchard, a stock dealer, now partially retired, who resides on a farm of 57 acres almost adjoining the city limits of Galesville, was born at Black River Falls, Wis., Aug. 13, 1854, son of Harrison and Elizabeth (Heinick) Birchard.  Harrison Birchard was born in Detroit County, New York, in 1827, and came to Wisconsin about 1848.  After a short stay here he returned to New York state, but came back to Wisconsin in 1851, when he married and engaged in the lumber business at Black River Falls, which place was his home until 1878.  At times he followed the occupation of river pilot on the Mississippi, his services being so much in demand that he was paid at the rate of $10 a day.  In 1878 he came to Galesville and conducted a lumber yard here for a number of years subsequently.  He also engaged in the butcher business for awhile, and later became a farmer.  He died Aug. 31, 1905, after having been some years retired.  A man of ability and force of character, he was prominent in every community in which he lived, while a resident of Black River Falls serving on the township board, and later as assessor of Gale Township, besides holding other office at various times.  He was twice married, his first wife, Elizabeth, dying in 1866.  She was the mother of five children, including the subject of this sketch.  Of Harrison Birchard's second marriage one child was born.

Walter Birchard when a boy attended school at Black River Falls.  When 15 years old he became his father's assistant and so continued until he married.  At that time - 1882 - he settled on the farm where he now resides, and engaged in buying cattle for the market.  He also for awhile operated a butcher business in Galesville.  Though now practically retired, his son operating the farm, he still buys stock at intervals.  Mr. Birchard is an independent Republican in politics, and served as assessor of Gale Township for a number of years.  Fraternally he is connected with the Red Men, Beavers and Guardians of Liberty.  Dec. 27, 1882, Mr. Birchard was united in marriage with Leah Thomas, who was born at Mineral Point, Iowa County, Wis., daughter of Peter and Leah (Ayer) Thomas, who settled in Trempealeau County in 1881.  Mr. and Mrs. Birchard are the parents of two children:  Mildred G., who is the wife of Ingvald Nelson, a merchant of Stoughton, Wis., and Warren E., who is engaged in working the home farm.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 339 - 340


Collins Bishop was a type of the noblest ideal of the American pioneer. Lofty of purpose, keen of mind, kindly of heart, rugged of body, strong of personality, resourceful of disposition, he represented those noble traditions which are infused into the very soul of our national life, and in defense of which so many a noble patriot has given his all. His contemporaries whom he met in the stress and toil of every-day life delighted to do him reverence and honor, they regarded him as the possessor of every moral and manly excellence, with character and life that were well nigh flawless.

The spirit of the whole community which took his name, also took on something of the aspect of his high worth, and his excellencies and influence were woven into the very warp and woof of the community's growth. Citizen, friend, patriot, pioneer, soldier, farmer, official, husband and father, in every capacity of life he did his highest duty, and nobly fulfilled his loftiest destinies. The halo and heritage of honor which he left has been passed on not only to his family, but also to the entire population of that prosperous county in whose founding he had so important a part. Collins Bishop was born in Nelson Township, Portage County, Ohio, January 9, 1822, one of a family of four sons and three daughters born to Ebenezer and Annie Bishop, all of whom lived to adult years, and all but two of whom became residents of the Trempealeau Valley. He was reared in his native state, and as a young man came to Wisconsin and located in Dodge County. From there, in 1855, accompanied by James Broughton, George Shelley and George Dewey, he came up the river from La Crosse to Fountain City, and found his way over the ridge to the present site of Old Arcadia, where he founded the colony long known as Bishop's Settlement. Thus located, he devoted his life to agricultural pursuits, living upon the same place for some fifty-five years. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he assisted in the raising of Co. C, 30th Wis. Vol. Inf., that famous company commanded by Captain Alex. A. Arnold, and recruited from the flower of fearless and heroic young manhood of Trempealeau County. Owing to disability, Mr. Bishop was soon transferred to Co. A, Veteran Reserve Corps, but he was as lion hearted in his patriotism and fealty to the Union as though baptized in fire like his comrades in the gallant Company C. As the years passed he was blessed with prosperity and success. He changed a wild tract of land into a rich, fertile, modern farm, he passed through the strenuous endeavor and hardships of pioneer life and lived to see his little settlement the metropolis of a great county. After a long and useful life he died Jan. 19, 1911, surrounded by the love and care of his large family. At that time it was said of him: "He died as he lived, with a clear mind, a clean conscience and without a fear of going into the Great Mystery. In his death his children lost a worthy parent, his friends lost a genial, kind-hearted and companionable fellow, his community and county lost an upright citizen and a soldier-patriot. His character and repute may be commended as most worthy of emulation. The virtue and excellence of such a man deserve to be recorded in the archives of history. Mr. Bishop was married July 24, 1844, at Cherry Valley,. Ohio, to Emily A., daughter of Obed and Delight Warren, and this union was blessed with eight children: Florence, Rose, Emily, Blanche, May, Hiram, Howard W., and Winfred E. Florence married George W. Webb, and is now deceased. Rose married Arthur A. Markham, of Independence. Emily died in infancy. Blanche is the widow of Martin Woodhull. May is the wife of Frank Warren, of Black River Falls, Wis. Hiram died in 1868. Howard W. lives in Whitehall. Winfred E. lives in Arcadia. A book might be written of the life of Collins Bishop, and it would be replete with interest from cover to cover. A few stories of his experiences are still preserved in the traditions of the county. In the early days there were no physicians in the vicinity. A new family moved into the adjoining town of Glencoe. Soon after that a visit of the stork was expected. Having received a medical education through a two years' course in a medical college in the East, Mr. Bishop had acquired, through pioneer necessity, considerable skill and reputation as an obstetrician. On this occasion, after a hard day's work on the farm, he walked several miles to the sick woman's house, performed his duties as an obstetrician, and cared for the mother and child until the next day, when he was relieved by a neighbor woman. He never asked nor took pay for such errands of mercy. His resourcefulness in the most trying circumstances is shown in the story of his dead ox. One hot summer day he was on his way to obtain provisions at Fountain City, twenty or more miles away, with an empty wagon drawn by a pair of oxen. Over on the ridge, four or five miles from Fountain City, one of the oxen became over-heated. Mr. Bishop unyoked him and went down in the valley afoot and brought a pail of water. But on his return the ox was dead. So Mr. Bishop rolled him aside and gave the water to the other ox. By means of ropes and chains he harnessed up this remaining ox so that he could pull the wagon to town, while Mr. Bishop himself put his own head through the other bow, and thus held up the yoke as he walked beside the ox and continued his journey.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, 1917," pages 733 - 734


Winfred E. Bishop, one of the leading agriculturists and seed-corn growers of this county, is known far and wide for his character as a man, his usefulness as a citizen, and his worthy efforts in the cause of rural betterment.  The son of the county's most distinguished pioneer, he lives on Arcadia's pioneer farm, and is worthily following the high traditions of his family, combining an intensely modern spirit of progress with the stability of the foundation upon which his career is based.  Born on the historic place where he now lives, Jan. 25, 1869, the son of Collins and Emily Bishop, he was reared in an atmosphere of piety and culture, and received his education in the district, graded and High schools of Arcadia, supplementing this with a course in the Lambert Business College at Winona. Trained throughout his boyhood as an agriculturist, he became his father's partner at the age of 20, and this arrangement continued until his father's death, when he bought the interests of the other heirs and became sole owner and proprietor of the farm which he had assisted so materially in developing and improving.  this development and improvement has since continued.  The character of this farm, and the care with which it has been conserved during the sixty years that it has borne crops, is shown by the fact that it contains the first piece of land broken in Arcadia, which bore its first crop in 1857, and in 1917 yielded 85 bushels of oats to the acre.  The two houses on the lace are surrounded with a beautiful wooded lawn, the barns and outbuildings are commodious and modern, the farm is well fenced, and the tools and equipment are in every way adequate to the demands made upon them.  Mr. Bishop makes a specialty of raising seed corn of the Golden Glow Yellow Dent Wisconsin No. 12 variety, with which he has won many prizes at the county and state exhibitions, and for which the demand is so great that it is only by refusing many orders that Mr. Bishop is able to keep enough for his own use.  The industry was inaugurated several years ago on a small scale, when Mr. Bishop started the preparation of his first seed by drying and ripening it by the fire.  Now he has a hot-air fan system, and raises some twenty acres each year, sixteen acres being for seed purposes exclusively.  The pride of the neighborhood is Mr. Bishop's fine herd of Holstein-Friesian cattle, all high grade.  While not the largest herd in the county, these creatures are acknowledged to be the sleekest and best cared for in every particular.  Farming, as he does along such modern lines, it is natural that Mr. Bishop should take an active part in the work of the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Association, and that he should have been chosen to his present position as president of the Farmers' Co-operative Creamery of Arcadia.  He has not cared for public office, but has listened to the call of duty and for two terms has done most excellent service as town treasurer.  His fraternal relations are with the Masonic and Independent Forester orders.  Mr. Bishop was married Jan. 25, 1890, to Hattie E. Wheeler, who died in March, 1891, leaving one son, Glenn, who is now a telegraphy operator for the Northwestern Railroad in South Dakota.  Nov. 30, 1893, Mr. Bishop married Ruth Weeks, and they have one child, Florence M., who is soon to graduate from the Arcadia High School.  The family faith is that of the Christian Science Church.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 734 - 735


John Jacob Blue, a representative of the manufacturing interests of Trempealeau County as proprietor of the woolen mill at Ettrick, was born at Mechanicsburg, Champaign County, Ohio, Feb. 4, 1844.  His parents were John and Sarah (Baldwin) Blue, the father being a native of Pennsylvania, from which State he emigrated to Ohio, where he died in 1847.  Mrs. Sarah Blue was born in Scotland and was granddaughter of Richard Baldwin, who served as a soldier in the War of 1812-15 between Great Britain and the United States.  She died about 1881.  John Jacob Blue was one of the younger members of a family of ten children.  He began industrial life in Ohio at the age of 16 years, at intervals working as clerk or as an employe in the woolen mills.  After a service of four months in the army during the latter part of the Civil War, he moved in 1864 to Lincoln, Ill., where he was clerk in a hotel for about six months, and also dealt in stock.  His residence in Lincoln lasted three years and he then went to La Crescent, Minn., having been hired to set up the machinery of a woolen mill there.  After this job was accomplished he became an employee of the mill and continued to be so for three years.  The end of this period found him on the road as a traveling salesman, in which occupation he was engaged continuously for 14 years, or until 1884.  That year witnessed the establishment of the present woolen mill in Ettrick, a work accomplished by Mr. Blue, who came here, put in the machinery and began the operating of the mill, which is a one-set mill with three looms.  He has since been engaged continuously in its operation, disposing of his product in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and other States.  The concern has been a success and is an important factor in the industrial life of Trempealeau County.  Mr. Blue is also a stockholder in the Bank of Ettrick and the Ettrick & Northern Railroad now being constructed, and is the owner of business and residence property in the village.  He belongs to the Masonic lodge in Galesville and to Camp No. 2940, Modern Woodmen of America.  Since taking up his residence in Ettrick he has taken a good citizen's interest in the general advancement and prosperity of the community, and has not hesitated, when called upon, to serve in local office.  Thus he was township clerk for eight years, township treasurer two years and clerk of the school board 12 years, justice of the peace four years, notary public for 12 years.  In politics he is a Republican.

September 26, 1870, Mr. Blue was united in marriage with Dora B. Ketchum, who was born in the State of New York, daughter of Ambrose and Harriet (Burr) Ketchum, both her parents being natives of that State.  The father, who was a farmer, emigrated about 1853 or 1854 to Houston, Minn., during the latter part of his journey having to follow a blazed trail.  Arriving in Houston County, he took a tract of government land and engaged in farming there, which was his occupation until his death in 1881.  His wife is still living and now resides at Lisbon, N. D., having attained the advanced age of 88 years.  They had five children, of whom Dora B. was the second born.  the children of Mr. and Mrs. Blue have been eight in number, their record in brief being as follows:  Effie, now deceased; Harry, who married Minnie Coocher, and resides in Ettrick, being in business with his father; Herby, deceased; Inez, residing at home and engaged in the millinery business in Galesville; Guy B., engaged in the drug business in Roanoke, Ill.; Frank, engaged in the drug business in Tremont, Ill.; Anetta, wife of Frank Hewett, who reside in Ettrick Village, and Amy, who lives in Tremont, Ill., where she is employed in her brother Frank's drug store.  Mr. Blue is a member of the Presbyterian church and he and the members of his family residing here are prominent in the social circles of Ettrick and the vicinity.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 320 - 321


John Bohrnstedt, formerly a well-known and esteemed citizen of Galesville, Wis., was born near Stateen, Germany, April 24, 1833.  When a youth he accompanied his parents to the United States, the family first settling in Milwaukee.  About 1859 they settled on a farm near Trempealeau, this county, and John Bohrnstedt worked for some time on the Ben Healey farm for Mr. Healey, and in that locality, until he was able to purchase land and engaged in farming for himself.  It was after he had thus made an independent start in life that, in August, 1862, he enlisted in Company C, Thirtieth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, with which regiment he served until he was mustered out in December, 1865.  While in the army, he was married, Sept. 10, 1863, to Mary Frohmader, who was born in Syracuse, N. Y., March 9, 1843, daughter of Lawrence and Margaret Frohmader.  Her parents were natives of Biron, Germany, in which country they were married, coming to America in the third decade of the Nineteenth Century.  After their arrival here they lived for three years in New York, migrating thence to Jefferson, Wis., and from that place to New Lisbon, Juneau County, Wis., where they both died.  Mr. Frohmader was a farmer by occupation.

When Mr. Bohrnstedt concluded his military service, his health was somewhat imparied.  On returning to Wisconsin he located at New Lisbon, but a short time later with his wife joined the Bohrnstedt family at the old two-mile house on the Trempealeau road.  Later they settled on the farm in the town of Trempealeau, which was their home for so many years.  Mr. Bohrnstedt continued on this farm until 1902, when he retired and moved to Galesville.  In 1908 he bought several lots on Clark street in Galesville and erected a comfortable home, which was one of the best residences in town.  Mr. Bohrnstedt was a man of thrift, and whatever he did, he did thoroughly, and his farm, after he had spent a few years on it, was one of the best pieces of agricultural property in the county.  He was a stockholder in the Bank of Galesville and at one time was a land owner in North Dakota; this land, however, he disposed of.  That he was highly esteemed by a wide acquaintance was evidence by the multitude that gathered on the occasion of his funeral, to pay tribute to his memory.  He died June 4, 1909, and his funeral services were in charge of the Masonic fraternity.  He was ex-senior warden and tyler in his lodge and was also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Grand Army of the Republic, in which he had held minor offices.  He and his wife were the parents of four children:  George Frederick, Henry Lawrence, William Charles and Albert C.  George Frederick, who is proprietor of the Arcadia Wagon Shop, married Naomi Rathburn, and has four children:  Russell, Gale, Catherine and Lucia.  Henry Lawrence married Naomi Langley, and resides on the old homestead.  He and his wife have on child, Leo.  William Charles, who is a hardware dealer in Arcadia, married Elsie Muir.  Albert C., who is a real estate dealer and insurance man in Oregon, married Elizabeth Trestel.  He has an adopted daughter, Alberta.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 434 - 435


William C. Bohrnstedt, who is engaged in the hardware business in Arcadia, was born at Trempealeau Prairie, in Trempealeau Township, Oct. 2, 1870.  A memoir of his parents, John and Mary (Frohmader) Bohrnstedt, may be found elsewhere in this volume.  William C. in his boyhood attended the district school and the graded school in Galesville.  Completed his literary education at the age of 15, he then took a business course in the old Winona Business College under Professor Lambert.  For two or three years after this he resided at home.  In 1893 he came to Arcadia and entered the employ of N. Lehrbach, a hardware merchant, for whom he worked until 1896.  In the latter year he entered the employ of R. D. Cone Hardware Company of Winona, Minn., and was traveling salesman for them until 1903.  Then, leaving the employ of that company, he returned to Arcadia and in 1905, with William E. Muir, purchased the hardware business of N. Lehrbach, his former employer, Mr. Muir retaining an interest in the firm for about a year, when Mr. Bohrnstedt bought him out and has since been sole proprietor and manager of the concern.  The latter is also a stockholder in Arcadia Bank and the Bank of Galesville.  One of the progressive and enterprising young business men of the village, he is always willing to lend his aid and influence to any practical movement for advancing the public welfare.  In politics he is independent.  He has never had any strong desire to mingle in politics, but for the last seven years has been clerk of the board of education.  Mr. Bohrnstedt is a member of several fraternal orders.  he has belonged to the Blue Lodge of Masons in Arcadia (No. 201) for many years, and to the Chapter, No. 76, Arcadia, since 1895; also to the Knights of Pythias since 1892, and to the Independent Order of Foresters for many years.  Although reared a Lutheran, he is not a member of any church.  Aug. 12, 1898, Mr. Bohrnstadt was married to Elspeth Muir, daughter of John and Ann Muir of Arcadia.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 688


Christ L. Boleng, proprietor of a grocery store at Tamarac, Arcadia Township, was born in Norway, Sept. 1851, son of Lars and Martha (Iverson) Boleng.  As a youth his attention had been drawn to America as a land of opportunity and he resolved, as soon as he was able, to seek his fortune in the New World.  This resulve he made good at an early age, for he was only 18 years old, when in 1870, he sailed from his native shores, landing in New york June 6, that year.  In the same year he came to Wisconsin, locating first at La Crosse, where he lived for six years, in the summers working in the sawmills and at the log booms of Black River, and in the winters in the pine woods of Clark County, Wisconsin.  During all this time he was looking forward to being his own master, and as a first step to this, in 1874 he bought 80 acres of wild land in Trempealeau County, four miles west of Independence.  This land was situated in Traverse Valley, its previous owner being Abe Bugee, who had built a log house or shanty on it.  During the winter of 1875-76 Mr. Boleng again worked in the Clark County pineries, living economically and saving as much as he could.  In the summer of 1876 he sent to Norway for his parents, and on their arrival settled them on the Traverse Valley land, where they lived until 1882.  During the years from 1876 to 1882 he went to the woods every fall and worked there until the next haying season, when he would return to the farm for the balance of the summer.  Mr. Boleng's father died in Unity Township, this county, Dec. 24, 1915.  His wife, surviving him, is still living in that township and is now 87 years old.  June 6, 1879, the subject of this sketch was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Halvor and Melinda (Lee) Kettleson, of La Crosse County.  Her brother Nels Lee was the first settler near Lee, Ill.  She was born on the site of Midway, between Trempealeau and La Crosse Counties, Wisconsin.  After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Boleng took up their residence on the Traverse Valley farm, where they lived until 1892.  They then rented the farm and moved into Independence Village, making their home there until the summer of 1898.  At that time they moved to Tamarac, half way between Centerville and Arcadia, where Mr. Boleng purchased the stock of a country grocery store, also the store building a year later, and where he has since carried on business.  For eight years he was postmaster at Tamarack until the rural delivery came into operation.  The first mail he recieved was on Oct. 10, 1898, and the last mail arried at 12:24 Tuesday, July 31, 1906, and departed at 12:40 the same day.  On Sept. 7, 1916, Mr. Boleng was assaulted and robbed in his store and left for dead, but fortunately recovered.  He is a stockholder in the State Bank of Trempealeau, in Savage's factories at Minneapolis and in Savage's Electric Railway.  In politics he is a staunch Republican.  He and his wife have had five children:  Lee H., Lilly (first), Lilly (second), Milton and Milton G., of whom the first named Lilly is deceased, and the first Milton died in infancy.  Lee H., who was a graduate of Wisconsin University, went to China as an instructor in English, and was drowned in that country while on a vacation July 3, 1910.  Lilly (second) is keeping house for her father, and Milton G., who graduated from Gale College in the class of 1917, is now with the John Latsch wholesale house, Winona, Minn.  Mr. Boleng and his surviving family are members of Norway Coulie Lutheran Congregation.  He is a popular citizen in this part of the county and the brutal attack upon him last September caused great indignation in the neighborhood.  Mrs. Boleng passed away May 19, 1902, at Galesville Hospital.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 611 - 613


Ole B. Borsheim, president and cashier of "The Home Bank" of Blair, Wis., was born in Mitchell County, Iowa, May 5, 1869, son of Thorkel N. and Brita (Hylden) Borsheim.  The father, born in Norway, came to America in 1865, locating in Mitchell County, Iowa, where he engaged in farming and where he died Feb. 6, 1915.  He was nearly 81 years old, having been born in April, 1834.  His wife Brita still resides ont he old farm, having passed her 77th birthday.  Ole B. Borsheim was the sixth born of his parents' seven children.  After acquiring the elements of knowledge in the local schools, he became clerk in a store at Cresco, Iowa, where he worked four years - from March 3, 1891 to 1895.  He then went to Dubuque, where he was employed in the office of John T. Hancock & Sons until September, 1899.  At that time he came to Blair and, with H. C. Hjerleid of Decorah, Iowa, started the Home Bank of Blair.  Of this institution he was the cashier till July 27, 1912; then president till the fall of 1915, since which time he has been both cashier and president.  He is also president of the Trempealeau Valley State Bank of Taylor, Wis., a director of the State Bank of Bowman, N. D., and a director in the Home Lumber Company of Bowman.  All these are flourishing concerns conducted by enterprising business men, with whom Mr. Borsheim is pleasantly and profitably associated.  Mr. Borsheim has been active in local affairs, having sered as village treasurer eight years and school clerk three years.  He is a member of several fraternal orders, beloning to the Blue Lodge and Chapter in the Masons, having passed all the chairs in the Blue Lodge; the Independent Order of Foresters; the Modern Woodmen of America, and the B. R. F. F.  He was married, Feb. 22, 1905, to Delilah Johnson of Anamosa, Iowa, who was born in Kansas, a daughter of R. W. and Sarah (Burwell) Johnson.  Her father followed the mercantile business in Anamosa for many years.  Her mother died in 1910 at the age of 56.  Mr. and Mrs. Borsheim have no children.  They are social people and have many friends in Blair and the vicinity.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 453 - 454


Theodore A. Breitenfield, proprietor of a blacksmith establishment and planing mill at Blair, was born in Portland Township, Monroe County, this state, May 2, 1890, youngest of the eight children of William and Annie (Oswald) Breitenfield, the former of whom still lives in that township, and the latter of whom died in 1906, at the age of 58 years.  Theodore A. remained at home until nineteen years of age.  It was then that he started in the blacksmith trade.  After a year at Lyndon Station in Juneau County, and eight months at Mauston, in the same county, he rented a shop near the old home for a year.  Subsequently he rented a shop at Augusta, in Eau Claire County, for nine months.  June 10, 1914, he rented his present place.  Here he does all kinds of blacksmith work, horseshoeing and wagon work.  The establishment is well equipped with drill press, trip-hammer and other conveniences, and turns out some excellent work.  In connection with it is operated the planing mill, which does sawing, turning, planing and other woodwork.  As already mentioned, Mr. Breitenfield comes of a large family.  Albert, the oldest, and Barbara, the fifth, now Mrs. Even Everson, a widow, live in La Crosse.  The others, all of whom live on farms in Monroe County, are:  Clara, wife of Albert Erickson; Herman; Emma, wife of Thomas Jones; Laura, wife of Carl Moody, and Otto.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 559 - 560


Andrew A. Brekke, an early settler, was born in Norway, and there grew to manhood.  In 1868 he came to America and found employment in Racine, Wis.  His residence in Trempealeau County dates from 1870, when he located on the old Trumpf farm, in west side of Preston Township.  Two years later he homesteaded 160 acres a little more than a mile west of the present village of Blair.  He was a mason by trade, as well as a farmer, and he assisted in laying the foundation of many of the early houses in this vicinity.  When the village of Blair was started, he not only laid the foundations for the first two houses, but also assisted in building the houses themselves.  He remained on his farm until his death, Sept. 30, 1905.  He did not seek public office, but devoted himself to his work and his family.  He was, however, an active laborer in the Norwegian Lutheran church, and contributed liberally to its support.  He married Berget Groeness, who died in 1907, and they had nine children:  Tove, Ingeborg, Burgue, Torger, Olav, Tollef, Lesa, Johan and Hage (deceased).

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 647


Olav A. Brekke, real estate dealer of Blair, and formerly an expert butter-maker, was born at Mosele, in Telemarken, Norway, April 11, 1868, son of Andrew A. and Berget (Groeness) Brekke.  He was brought to Preston Township, this county, as a child, and devoted his early manhood to working as a farm hand, both at home and elsewhere.  In 1891 he started creamery work in Blair, where he learned his trade.  For some 18 years he was employed in creameries in Blair and Westby, in the meantime spending three years on the road as an agent for creamery supplies.  In 1893 he was awarded a medal and a diploma from the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago for his excellent butter, and in 1905, in the same city, he won the diamond medal in the Diamond Medal Contest.  He has also won other awards and prizes.  Since 1913 Mr. Brekke has devoted his attention to the real estate business, with an office in the Home Bank Building.  He has passed through the chairs of the Odd Fellows' lodge at Cashton, Wis., and was the second member to join the Beaver Lodge at Blair.  Mr. Brekke was married March 20, 1890, to Lena G. Fognrud, born in Blair, Dec. 12, 1869, daughter of Gunarius G. Rognrud.  (Transcriber's note:  Surnames "Fognrud" and "Rognrud" appear as they are in the book.  It is unknown which surname spelling is correct.)

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 647 - 648


Charles L. Brenengan, who is profitably operating a farm of 120 acres in sections 8 and 6, Gale Township, was born on this farm, Jan. 29, 1869, son of Christian and Mary (Jorde) Brenengan.  Both parents were natives of Norway, the mother born in Berie.  Christian Brenengan came to this county in 1862, locating near Stoddard, in Vernon County.  He was employed by others at threshing and other labor until he came to the farm now owned by his son Charles, which he developed and improved.  This was not his only property, as he owed altogether 370 acres.  Besides carrying on general farming, he dealt in stock for a number of years.  About 1905 he retired from the farm and went to Galesville, where he is now living.  For a number of years during his active period he was a member of the school board.  Their family consisted of three children, of whom Charles L. was the first-born.  The others were:  Alfred J., who resides ont he old home farm, and Elma Stella, wife of Alex Toppen, residing on an adjoining farm.  In Septebmer, 1896, Mr. Brenengan was married to Julia Skundberg, who was born on French Creek, Trempealeau County, daughter of Andrew and Bertha Skundberg.  He and his wife have one child, Katheryn Margaret, who is now attending school.  Mr. Brenengan is a member of the Order of Scandinavian Workmen, a beneficial insurance society of Oshkosh, Wis.  He has always resided on the parental homestead, which he purchased in 1900 from his father, and is engaged in general farming, including dairying and stock raising, being also a stockholder in the Galesville Creamery.  His education, besides the usual district school course, included two years in the La Crosse High School, and he has since increased his general knowledge by reading and acquaintance with the practical things of life.  In politics he is independent, as a rule voting for the man rather than for the party, and though interested in good government, he has not been politically active, either in town or county affairs.  As a reliable citizen and good neighbor he commands general respect.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 523 - 524


Christian N. Brenengen, proprietor of an excellent farm of 274 acres in section 11, Gale Township, was born near the city of Christiania, Norway, Oct. 31, 1861, son of Nels and Nettie (Johnson) Brenengen, who came with their family to Gale Township, Trempealeau County, Wis., in June 1880.  Further mention of the parents may be found in biographies of other members of the family.  Christian N. Brenengen was 18 years of age when he arrived in America and was unable to speak English.  He had begun industrial life at the age of 14 or 15 years in Norway, where he had worked in a livery stable for three years.  After coming here he found work as a farm hand at $16 a month, and was thus occupied for years.  He then began working in the woods in the winter time, at logging, and in the summer was employed on the farm of John McKeeth, his logging operations being on the Mississippi River.  When 26 years of age he married, and at that time entered the employ of the Iver-Pederson Company, at Ettrick, driving a four-horse team for nine years.  During all these years he was saving his money until at least he found himself able to purchase his present farm.  Some time after this he gave up his position with the Iver-Pederson Company, and, moving onto his farm, began agricultural operations.  He has since made a number of valuable improvements on his place, having a fine modern residence and two separate water systems, and his barns and other buildings are substantial and equipped with all necessary appliances.  Mr. Brenengen started farming with about $500 capital and has since made steady strides in prosperity until he is now one of the well-to-do men of his township.  He has given his whole attention to his farm and is not an office holder.  In politics he is independent.  Oct. 26, 1887, he was married to Julia Olson, who was born in Norway, near Christiania, daughter of Ole and Johanna (Johnson) Estby, who were natives of the same place.  Her father dying in Norway, her mother came to this country in 1886, residing first in Galesville and afterwards in Ettrick, in which village she died in 1906.  Their daughter Julia was the youngest of three children, and attended school in Norway.  Mr. and Mrs. Brenengan are the parents of 12 children, all born in Trempealeau County, and all of whom are living, namely:  Orron, who married Johanna Paulson and is a farmer residing near the Brenengen homestead; Guy, single and residing at home; Nels, who married Lillian Madolin and lives in Blair; George, single and living at home; Arthur, who married Selma Osley and lives near Ettrick; and Lottie, Amelia, Anna, Norah, Alice, Christ and Joseph, all living at home.  Mr. Brenengen is a stockholder in the Ettrick Creamery.  He and his family are members of the Lutheran Synod church.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 344 - 345


Johanas N. Brenengen, who is engaged in farming a tract of 40 acres in section 33 west, Ettrick Township, was born near Christiania, Norway.  July 12, 1864, son of Nels C. and Nettie (Johnson) Brenengen.  The family came to Trempealeau County in June, 1880, locating in Gale Township and in Ettrick Township.  Nels C. Brenengen worked for awhile at the carpenter's trade, which he had learned in his native land.  Afterwards he engaged in farming and was thus occupied for the most part until his death in October, 1904.  His wife survived him only ten days.  They had a family of seven children.  Johanas N. Brenengen attended school in Norway and also the Smith school in Gale Township, being 13 years of age when he came to this country.  He began industrial life as a farm hand in Abraham's Cooley, Trempealeau County, and worked for others until 20 years of age.  For ten years longer he resided with his father on the homestead, and then, when 30 years old, bought the farm, which then contained 160 acres, of which he has since sold 120 acres.  He carries on general farming and is a stockholder in the Ettrick Telephone Company.  June 14, 1902, Mr. Brenengen was married to Anna Nelson, who was born in Preston Township, Trempealeau County, Wis., at Plumb Creek Cooley, daughter of Knut Field and Mattie (Learing) Field.  Her parents, born in Biri, Norway, came to America about 1884, locating in Preston Township, this county, where her father at first worked out for others, but afterwards bought a farm in that township, on which he still resides.  He and his wife had nine children, of whom their daughter Anna was the fifth in order of birth.  Mr. and Mrs. Brenengen have a famly of two children:  Clarence Norman, born Feb. 1, 1906, and Alfred Meier, born June 25, 1910.  The family are members of the Lutheran church.  Mr. Brenengen is an independent voter and is not politically active, preferring to devote his attention to his private business.  He is in good circumstances and is counted among the reliable citizens of his neighborhood.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 540


John N. Brenengen is a member of a family of Norwegian origin that has had much to do with developing the agricultural resources of Gale and Ettrick Townships.  He was born near Christiania, Norway, Dec. 8, 1873, son of Nels and Nettie (Johnson) Brenengen.  The father was born in the same locality Dec. 27, 1833,a nd the mother Jan. 10, 1834.  They arrived in Trempealeau County from Norway, June 10, 1880, locating in Gale Township.  Nels Brenengen, who was a carpenter, soon found work at his trade, which he followed for awhile in Gale and Ettrick Townships, resolving, however, to obtain land as soon as possible and seek prosperity through the cultivation of the soil.  Being industrious and economical, it was not long before he found himself in a position to achieve his ambition, and accordingly bought a farm in section 8, Ettrick Township, whichc place became the home of the family, and here he resided until his death, Oct. 30, 1904.  Ten days later his faithful and loving wife followed him to the grave.  Their family numbered in all seven chidren, of whom the sixth born was the subject of this sketch.  John N. Brenengen was less than seven years old when he arrived with the Brenengen family in Trempealeau County, an dhis schooling, therefore, was only just begun.  He became a pupil at the Smith school in Gale Township, and there and from his playmates picked up a knowledge of the English language.  He had no opportunity for pursuing advanced studies, for his services were early needed on the farm, where he soon acquired a good knowledge of agriculture, stock raising, dairying and everything that goes to make up the life of the modern farmer.  Before he was 20 years old he had saved enough money to begin farming on his own account, and with his brother Johannas, he purchased the old home farm, which they conducted together for seven years.  He then sold his share to his brother and bought his present farm, containing now 196 acres of valuable land, he having recently sold 40 acres to his neighbor, John Erickson.  Mr. Brenengen has added materially to the improvements on his property, having erected a good barn, a hog-house, put up fencing, anddid other useful or necessary work.  Besides raising the usual crops, he is engaged in dairying, having good animals for milking purposes; and he is also a member of and stockholder in the La Crosse Packing Company and the Farmers Telephone Company.  Success has attended his operations and he is numbered among the enterprising and prosperous agriculturists of Gale Township.  For 14 years Mr. Brenengen has been a married man, having been united, Jan. 24, 1903, to Laura Thompson, who was born in Ettrick Township, daughter of Lars and Mary (Peterson) Thompson.  Her parents, who came from near Christiania, Norway, settled near Trempealeau, this county, where Mr. Thompson took a farm.  He was born April 13, 1842, and died in July, 1909.  His wife, born in 1848, died in 1888.  They had six chldren, of whom Laura was one of the youngest.  The family of Mr. and Mrs. Brenengen also numbers six children:  Minnie Amanda, Neil Ludwick, Lillian Josephine, Gerald Millard, John Leonard and Bernice Vernell, all residing at home.  Mr. Brenengen and family are member of the Lutheran church.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 327 - 328


Robert Bright, a retired farmer now living in Trempealeau Village, was born in Geulph, Ontario, April 8, 1837, son of William and Mary Ann (King) Bright.  The parents were both natives of Hampshire, England, the father born may 31, 1798, and the mother October 3, the same year.  Married in their native land, they emigrated to Canada in 1836, settling at Geulph, where William Bright worked at his trade of carpenter until 1843.  In that year he brought his family to Wisconsin, settling on a farm near Beloit.  The subject of this sketch was at that time six years old and a year later he began his struggle with the "three R's" in the typical log school house of the district.  Most of his schooling was acquired int he winters, and his zest for learning was doubtless stimulated by the two-mile walk he had to take in covering the distance from his home to the rural temple of knowledge.  This primitive building being unprovided with steam pipes or furnace, the elder boys, in accordance with a time-honored, pioneer custom, were obliged to cut and haul the wood used for fuel, and in this work, after he was ten years old, he had to take a part.  After he was old enough to be of use on the farm, however, he attended school only during the winters, and at 16 he had to lay aside his class books to take up the heavier burdens of life.  At 17 he was the mainstay of the family, and was the one upon whom his parents chiefly depended during the rest of their lives.  In June, 1855, the family came to Trempealeau County, William Bright locating on a tract of 160 acres of school land in section 16, Caledonia Township, near McGilvray's Ferry.  This land was without any buiding that could be used as a residence, so that summer Mr. Bright built a frame house of five rooms, with upright and wings.  The subsequent work of the family was similar to that of all pioneer farmers, and was sufficiently arduous to make them all enjoy their nightly rest.  In 1859 Robert Bright purchased the farm from his father and began operating it on account, his parents residing with him.  in November, 1864, occurred antoher important event of his life, when he took to wife Christiana, daughter of Alexander and Helen (Matthews) Campbell of Guelph, Ontario.  Bringing his bride to his parents' home, they resided there for about two years, but in 1866, desiring to establish a separate household, andfinding a house for sale in the vicinity, he bought it and moved it onto the farm, he and his wife taking up their residence in it.  From time to time he also bought other land until he finally owned 560 acres.  Mr. Bright continued his farming operations until the fall of 1873, when, having acquired a competence, he sold half his land and moved to Trempealeau Village with his family, which also included his father and mother.  The rest of his land he sold later.  In 1891, however, he purchased an improved farm of 160 acres near Black River Falls, which he still owns.  In the following year he made a trip to California, but was away but two and a half months.  Mr. Bright's present residence is a comfortable brick house on East Third street, where he and his wife are frequently visited by those of their children who live not too far away.  His family consists of six in all:  William A., Jennie E., Ella May, Ernest A., Frank C. and Eleanor E.  William A. was born Nov. 23, 1865, and married Letta Shepheard of Blair, Wis.  he has two children, Vera and Jennie.  Jennie E., born Jan. 22, 1868, is the only one of the family who lives out of the state.  She married Almon Holden of South Dakota and now resides in Los Angeles, Calf.  Ella May, born March 29, 1872, is the wife of Bert Wakefield of West Salem, Wis., and has two children:  Majorie and Robert.  Ernest A., born Sept. 25, 1874, married Ella Hoberton of Trempealeau, Wis. and has two children:  Laura and Ernest, Jr.  Frank C., born Aug. 31, 1876, married Metta Miles of Hixon, Wis.  He lives on his father's farm near Black River Falls, and has four children:  Donald, Marion, Douglas and Majorie.  Elmer E., born Aug. 18, 1878, is unmarried and lives with his brother Frank.  Mr. Bright's parents have been dead many years.  The mother was the first to go, passing away in October, 1875, when 77 years old.  The father was 83 when he died, Aug. 21, 1881.  There were ten children in their family, including the subject of this sketch - five sons and five daughters, and all except Robert and one of the daughters were born in England.  The sons are all living, and there are three of the daughters surviving - two in Wisconsin and one in Sioux City, Iowa.  In his youth Robert Bright attended the Methodist Episcopal Church, but after his marriage he and his wife united with the Trempealeau Congregational Church and still maintain their membership.  In politics Mr. Bright is a Republican, but has held no public office, except that of postmaster, in which he served in Jackson County, 1896 to 1901, during the time he lived on his farm at Black River Falls.  He is now in his 81st year, one of the few survivors of pioneer days in this county, and his memory brings back to his many interesting scenes of that the younger generation, accustomed to all the modern conveniences, would find it hard to realize.  He can recall the hard physical labor that was necessary to break the new land, the lack of almost every convenience, the frequent scarcity of provisions, the long journey to the mill, and how he once crossed Black River on foot on the ice, hauling a wagon across, and then, laying down planks, went back and led his oxen across (this was Oct. 1, 1855), together with many other incidents of his boyhood and youthful days, when his blood coursed swiftly through is veins and hardships were little minded.  Of those of his own age whom he then knew, most have passed away and a new generation has taken up the work which the old hands have laid down.  In the succcess and advancement of his children, and his increasing family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren he takes a keen interest, the more so that one and all give fair promise of doing honor to the family name.

(Transcriber's note:  Names are typed as found in the book [Majorie & Hixon, for example].  Also note that the list of children born to the Bright's include the name "Eleanor E." while when elaborating on birthdates and other information, this child is listed as "Elmer E."  It is unknown which name is correct.)

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 441 - 443


William A. Bright, a well known business man residing in Trmepealeau Village, of which he is the present mayor, was born in Caledonia Township, Trempealeau County, Wis., Nov. 22, 1865, son of Robert and Christiana (Campbell) Bright.  His early education was obtained in the district school in his native township, and later he attended school in the village of Trempealeau, to which place his parents had moved in the fall of 1873.  For some five or six years he assisted his father in the latter's store and then went into business for himself at North Bend, Jackson County, Wis., opening a general store there.  A year and a half later he sold out to Patterson Brothers of North Bend, and came back to Trempealeau Village, where about 1890 or 1891 he opened a grocery store, which he carried on for two years.  He then sold out and became traveling salesman for G. W. Marston, a wholesale grocer of La Crosse, Wis.  This experience also lasted two years, at the end of which time Mr. Marston went out of business, and Mr. Bright formed a new connection with Ranson Brothers of Albert Lea, wholesale grocers, for whom he traveled three years, in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.  In 1898 Mr. Bright entered the employ of J. J. Hogan of La Crosse, engaged in the same line of business, and has remained with him, traveling in western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota, the territory adjacent to Trempealeau.  He was one of the organizers of the Citizens State Bank of Trempealeau, and is now a director and stockholder in it, being also a stockholder in the Western Wisconsin Telephone Company and the Trempealeau Lime Products Company.  Mr. Bright was married, at the home of his bride's parents, Aug. 25, 1886, to Lettie C., daughter of Henry C. Shephard, a farmer living near Blair, Wis.  He and his wife began housekeeping in the house in which they now reside.  He is also the owner of a house and lot next door, which he rents, and of the Trempealeau Hotel on Main street.  He and his wife have two children:  Vera M. and Jennie O.  Vera M., who was born in Trempealeau, May 22, 1887, was married here, Sept. 29, 1909, to E. B. Elkins, now agent for the Chicago & Northwestern Railway.  They reside in Trempeleau [sic] and have two sons:  Winston Alexander and Arnold, aged six and four years respectively.  Jennie O., born in Trempealeau, Jan. 7, 1891, is unmarried, and is a stenographer in the employ of the Sheboygan Falls Machinery Company, of Sheboygan, Wis.  Mr. Bright is a stalwart Republican in politics, but has held no political office.  His fraternal society affiliations are with Lodge No. 117, A. F. & A. M. of Trempeleau [sic], which he joined in 1890; the Eastern Star Lodge of Trempealeau, of which he and his wife are charter members, and Lodge No. 96, U. C. T., to which he has belonged since 1898.  He is also a member of the B. P. O. E., No. 300, of La Crosse.  His wife and daughter are active members of the Congregational church of Trempealeau, which he helps to support, though not a member.  Mr. Bright is one of the active and enterprising men of his village, of which he has been mayor for the last eight years, and never loses an opportunity to advance its interests.  He and his family have a wide acquaintance and are highly esteemed throughout this part of the county.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 440 - 441


Anton P. Brohelden, who is engaged in farming 160 acres of land in sections 24-25, Ettrick Township, with prosperous results, was born in Sunderland, Norway, Oct. 25, 1871, son of Andrew Peterson and Bertha Svenson, his wife, both natives of the same district, and neither of whom ever came to America.  Anton P. emigrated to this country in 1892 and after arriving in Trempealeau County, found employment with Christ Brenengen, of Abraham's Cooley, for whom he worked two years, afterwards working two years for Chris Skunberg and later for others.  About 1899 he bought his present farm, which is a good piece of agricultural property and where he is carrying on general farming successfully, being a stockholder in the Ettrick Creamery.  Mr. Brohelden was married at French Creek, in 1899, to Anna Brenengen, who was born in Norway, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nils Brenengen, her family being one well known in this part of the county.  He and his wife have four children:  Sanford Amandus, Esther Alvena, Bernice Lenora and Stella Lillian.  The family are members of the Lutheran church.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 521 - 522


Frank Brom came to America with other members of his family, reaching Winona, Minn., Aug. 15, 1868.  The following day Frank Brom and his wife, whom he married in the old Bohemian home early in July, started on foot to Pine Creek under the guidance of Mathias Brom, Jr., a son of Mathias Brom, to the home of his father, where they arrived and partook of dinner, and then on foot crossed the hills into the Tamarack Valley, which they crossed and journed to the home of the brother, "Big Wenzel," where they made their home during the remainder of the summer, thus their settlement in Holcomb Cooley dates from the 16th day of August, 1868.  Frank Brom was born Oct. 27, 1841, at No. 14, Todne, Bohemia, grew to manhood there and married Eliza Tasick, who immigrated with him as a member of the family of Wheat Brom.  Frank Brom and his wife lived with Wenzel, who in the course of a month aided him in making a homestead claim on 160 acres of lands on section 26, township 20 north, range 9 west, upon which he made final proof and cultivated.  Mr. Brom purchased other lands from time to time until he owned a few years ago 784 acres in the cooley.  When Frank Brom and his wife reached Holcomb Cooley they had $3 in money, no team and a scant amount of clothing.  They were not daunted, nor often weary and discouraged, but worked and saved and reared a family of five daughters and four sons, so that at the time his wife died, Oct. 30, 1903, they had a comfortable home, a valuable farm with barns and outbuildings.  Their first house was a rough unbarked log house with a single room, made from the forest about them.  For many years Frank Brom has enjoyed good health and prosperity, and has always been respected by his neighbors and acquaintances as a man of great industry and thrift, of integrity and fine neighborly qualities, and he is in good health at 76 years, weighing 220 pounds and standing 6 feet 2 inches in his stocking feet.  Mr. Brom has been and is a man of good habits, a kind father and was a good husband, thoroughly American in his notions.  He and his wife had a family of 10 children:  Kathrine, now Mrs. John Kruger, residing in Winona County, Minn.; Thomas, who resides in Arcadia Village; John, who also lives in Arcadia; Martin, the subject of this sketch; Elizabeth; Estella, who is now Mrs. August Tonditzke, of Holcomb Cooley; Rose, the wife of Michael Herrick, of Arcadia; Mary; and Frank, now deceased.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 778 & 779


John F. Brom, one of the successful farmers of Dodge Township, residing in Section 6, was born in Pine Creek Valley, this township, May 23, 1875, a son of Frank and Kathrine (Pribyl) Brom.  Both parents were born in Bohemia, the father in 1850.  Frank Brom came to America in 1861 or 1862, with his parents, they settling first in Winona, Minn., but soon the father of Frank homesteaded 160 acres of wild land in Section 6, Range 9, Township 19 (Dodge), and Frank was brought up on this farm, having abundant opportunites to make acquaintance with hard work.  In course of time he succeeded to the property.  He cleared and developed the land, adding 49 acres to the farm, which increased its size to 209 acres.  He also built a two-story frame house, two large barns, a granary, machine shed and poultry house.  All the buildings are painted and in good shape, while the land, 125 acres are under the plow, the balance being in pasture and timber land.  Frank Brom was engaged in general farming and dairying, keeping grade cows and selling cream at Arcadia and later at Dodge. He died at Winona, Minn., in 1911.  His wife died in Pine Creek Valley, Dodge Township, in 1887, and is buried at Winona.  John F. Brom remained on the farm with his father until his marriage, his education having been acquired in the district and parochial schools.  January 24, 1899, he was married to Frances, daughter of Joseph and Susan (Weir) Brizinski, and took his wife to his father's home, where they resided until the fall of that year. They then moved to the Pribyl farm, adjoining the Brom homestead on the northeast, which farm had been bought by Frank Brom, who gave it to his son. On this place the present residence had been built in the summer of 1899.  The house is a two-story upright with two wings and is modern in its furnishings, having bath, hot and cold water and everything desireable except electric lights.  The barn is a frame building with hip roof, 36 by 60 by 20 feet; the granary is 20 by 28 feet, with a lean-to, 20 by 28 feet; the other buildings being a wood shed, 14 by 20; buggy shed, 14 by 24, with shop lean-to, 10 by 20; poultry house, 12 by 24; machine shed, 24 by 60, and a cement block silo, 12 by 26 feet, all painted and in good condition.  Mr. Brom has 120 acres of land under the plow, the balance of 242 acres being in pasture and timber land. In 1912 he bought the old homestead of 120 acres from his brother, Martin, who had inherited it at the father's death.  He is engaged in general farming and dairying, keeping 18 grade Shorthorn cows, 25 grade Duroc Jersey hogs and 160 Shropshire sheep.  He also has a small orchard of three acres.  His farm is 16 miles from Winona, 15 from Galesville and 9 from Arcadia.  In politics Mr. Brom is a Democrat.  He has taken part in the government of his township, having served as supervisor two terms, being chairman of the board one term, and clerk of School District No. 2 for nine years.  Aside from his farming interests, he is a stockholder in the First State Bank of Dodge, in the Western Wisconsin Telephone Company and in the Dodge Shipping Association.  He and his wife have had eight children:  Benjamin, born March 24, 1900, who is assisting his father on the farm; Theodore, born August 24, 1902, who died October 15, 1908; Richard, born September 2, 1906; Florence, August 7, 1908; Cyril, May 25, 1910; Clarence, April 14, 1912; Alvin, January 23, 1914, and Isadore, October 17, 1915.  Mr. Brom, with his wife and family, are members of the Catholic Church, attending Sacred Heart Church at Pine Creek.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 735 & 736


Martin Brom, one of the prosperous agriculturists of Trempealeau County, whose well-cultivated farm lies in section 26, Arcadia Township, was born in Holcomb Valley, this township, Nov. 12, 1884, son of Frank and Eliza (Tasick) Brom. In his boyhood he attended the district school up to the age of 12 years.  He then assisted his father on the farm and remained with him subsequently until the latter's retirement, with the exception of a short period of four months in 1909, which he passed in Jamestown, N. D.  In 1913 he purchased the home farm of 260 acres from his father, and in the following year, Feb. 17, 1914, he married Mary, daughter of Paul and Elizabeth Ressel, of Lewis Valley, Arcadia Township.  Beginning housekeeping in the old log house on the farm, he and his wife lived there until 1916, in which year he built a modern, cement block residence, also erecting a frame barn, 30 by 60 by 12 feet in dimensions, with full basement.  The homestead lies 13 miles southeast of Arcadia Village, and the noticeable improvements attract attention and give evidence of industry and thrift.  Mr. Brom is a Democrat in politics, but has held no public office.  He and his wife are members of the German Catholic church of Arcadia, and have many friends throughout this vicinity.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 779


Mathias Brom, for many years a resident of Pine Creek, in Dodge Township, was born in September, 1828, in the village of Todne, near the city of Budweis, in Swegnie, Bohemia, his father, Wheat Brom, being a farmer in that locality. Mat Brom was the oldest child of his father's family, and was married in his native village to Elizabeth Marisech prior to his immigrating to America in 1861.  His brother, Wenzel Brom,  known as "Big Wenzel," and a cousin, Wenzel Brom, known as "Little Wenzel," immigrated with him.  They landed in New York and immediately journeyed to Winona, Minn., where they had Bohemian acquaintances.  Mat Brom settled in Winona and for nearly two years worked in a grain warehouse.  In the latter part of 1862 he purchased 80 acres of land from the United States Government at $1.25 an acre, and moved onto these lands in 1863, improving and cultivating them.  In 1869 he deeded these lands to his son, Frank Brom, and purchased 120 acres in section 11, town 19, range 10 west, from John Shonat, who had for several years resided upon them and who upon a sale of them removed to Decorah Prairie, where he long was a prominent and prosperous citizen.  This 120 acres, with additions, constituted the Mat Brom farm at Pine Creek.  Mr. and Mrs. Brom retired from farming and for years lived quietly in a small home on a tract of land near the Pine Creek church.  They reared a family of two daughters - Eva and Mary - both of whom married, Eva dying some years ago and three sons - Frank, Martin and John.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 778


Wheat Brom.  In 1868 a farmer of the dorf or village of Todne, near the city of Budweis, in the county of Swegnie, Bohemia, Wheat Brom, the father of Mathias and "Big Wenzel" Brom, sold his lands of nearly 100 acres there and with his wife and family, married son Frank; unmarried son John and unmarried daughter Mary, immigrated to America, leaving Bohemia July 21, 1868, and arriving at Bremen Haven took passage to New York, where they arrived Aug. 7 and immediately left for Winona, Minn., where they arrived Aug. 15, 1868. Wheat Brom settled in Pine Creek, in Trempealeau County, purchasing of John Pehler the farm later owned by Joe Eichman, on which farm Wheat Brom died, and is buried in the cemetery at Pine Creek.  Mrs. Brom survived her husband and for many years made her home with her son, Frank Brom, and where she died. At the end of the first year in the cooley Mr. Brom had about five acres of lands under cultivation, but continued to make improvements from year to year, as did his neighbors, until many excellent farms are in the cooley.  John Brom, the youngest son of Wheat Brom, married in Winona, and later than 1868 homesteaded lands in the cooley, which he sold in 1881 and went to Kansas, where he still resides.  Big Wenzel sold his farm in the cooley and moved to Kansas in 1885, where he died a few years ago.  Frank Brom purchased the farm of Little Wenzel in 1904, Wenzel removing to Winona, Minn., where he died in 1908.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 777 - 778


Richard Brophy, who is conducting a farm of 108 acres in section 31, Gale Township, Trempealeau County, was born in this township in October, 1865, son of John and Honora (Colliday) Brophy.  His parents were both natives of Ireland, but were married in this country, the father coming here when a lad under 20 years of age.  After working for others for a number of years John Brophy became a land owner and engaged in farming for himself, continuing in this occupation until his death in March, 1913.  His farm consisted of 100 acres of good land in Gale Township, a part of which is still owned by the subject of this sketch, the latter's mother living with him.  Richard Brophy was the eldest in a family of six children.  He attended school at Galesville and resided on the homestead with his parents until he was married, except during the winters for eight years, when he worked in the timber woods.  Jan. 23, 1893, he married Margaret Cantlin, who was born in Ettrick, this county, daughter of Owen and Margaret (Shay) Cantlin, her parents being natives of Ireland, who came to this country and were married  in La Crosse.  Owen Cantlin was a farmer, settling at an early date in Ettrick Township, where he resided until his death in 1886.  His wife died in June, 1896.  Richard Brophy at the time of his marriage rented the farm and operated it on his own account for several years until he finally became its owner, and, as already mentioned, he still owns a part of it.  He carries on general farming, raising grain, keeping hogs ad cattle, some of the latter being pure-bred Durham, to which breed he is devoting special attention, with the view of raising them almost exclusively.  Aside from these immediate interests he is a stockholder in the Farmers Shipping Association and in the Farmers Co-Operative Packing Company, of La Crosse, while fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America.  He and his wife are the parents of seven children: Hazel Ann, LaVerne Eugene, Dorothy, Margaret Esther, Blanche Mary, May Ellen and Katherine Evelyn, all residing at home.  Mr. Brophy and family are members of the Catholic church.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 587 - 588


Archie J. Brovold, proprietor of the old Brovold homestead in Ettrick Township, was born March 2, 1894, son of Sever J. Brovold and his wife, Martha, whose surname was Gunderson.  In his boyhood he attended the Beach District School and subsequently entered the Scandinavia Academy at Scandinavia, Wis., where he completed the four years' academic course.  In 1915 he was graduated from the agricultural department of the State University at Madison, after completing the short course.  He is now the owner of the parental homestead and intends to engage more extensively in the dairy business.  He breed Guernsey cattle, owning a pure-bred sire, and is a stockholder in the First National Bank of Blair, the Ettrick Creamery Company, the Ettrick Telephone Company, the Scandinavian Insurance Company and a member of the Wisconsin Agricultural Experimental Association and the Alfalfa Order.

Archie J. Brovold was married Oct. 12, 1915, to Senie Sexie, daughter of Lars O. and Carrie (Bue) Sexie.  Her father, who was a native of Hardanger, Norway, came to America at the age of 17 years, located at Beaver Creek Valley and engaged in farming, which occupation he still follows.  His wife was born in America.  They werre the parents of ten children, of whom Senie was the second in order of birth.  She was educated at the Hegg High School and always remained at home until her marriage.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 347


Sever J. Brovold, who carried on agriculture successfully for a number of years in Ettrick Township, and is now living retired on his farm in section 20, was born in Hardanger, Norway, Feb. 14, 1852.  His parents were John and Christie (Twite) Brovold, natives of the same place, who came to America in 1866, locating in Beaver Creek Valley, Trempealeau County, Wis., where John Brovold purchased a tract of unimproved land.  This he cleared and developed into a good far, on which he spent the balance of his life, dying in September, 1890.  His wife died in March, 1911.  He was a good neighbor and well liked, but was a man who attended to his won business and took no part in public affairs.

Sever J. Brovold was the second born of five children.  He attended school in Beaver Creek Valley, and assisted his family until he was 21 years old, when the management of the farm came into his hands.  Two years later he bought it and has since operated it on his own account.  He has made many improvements on the place, having put up modern buildings, and has a full equipment of first-class machinery and implements.  The farm contains 205 acres of highly improved land, and here, though now retired, Mr. Brovold expects to reside in the future.  He is a stockholder in the Ettrick Creamery Company, in the Bank of Ettrick and in the First National Bank of Blair.  In politics, though not a strict party man, he usually votes the Republican ticket.  For about 16 years he has served as a member of the school board of his district.  July 2, 1875, Mr. Brovold was united in marriage with Mrs. Martha (Gunderson) Hagestad, daughter of Torkel and Anna (Rasmussen) Gunderson, natives of Norway, from which country they came with their family to the United States in 1854, settling in Lodi, Dane County, where Mr. Gunderson farmed for about five years.  The family then removed to Jackson County, driving overland with an ox team and settling just across the county line, where Mr. Gunderson resumed his farming operations.  There both he and his wife died in 1891.  They left three children, of whom their daughter Martha was the youngest.  She was first married to Ole Hagestad, by whom she had one child, Anna, now the wife of John Knutson, of Ettrick Township.  From her marriage with Mr. Brovold four children have been born:  Josephine, Amelia, Theodore, born Aug.25, 1885, and Archie J., born March 2, 1894.  Josephine and Amelia are deceased.  Theodore resides at home.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 346 - 347


John Brownlee, an enterprising and successful farmer, whose homestead is located in section 30, Arcadia Township, was born at Court Bridge, Scotland, May 28, 1841, son of William and Isabella (Cummings) Brownlee.  He had to aid in supporting himself at the early age of nine years, as his parents were people of little means, but he was made of the right stuff and got along, so that when he was only 20 years old he found himself able to marry, taking as his wife Margaret, daughter of John and Sarah (Lindsay) Robertson.  By this marriage he had seven children, the first four of whom were born in Scotland.  These six children were:  John, whose whereabouts is unknown; William, residing in Mondovi, Buffalo County, Wis.; Thomas, an attorney who died in Boulder, Colo., in 1907; James, a merchant living in East Arcadia, who is now clerk of Arcadia Township; Isabella, who was born in Chicago, married Helmer Smart of Hillsdale, Wis., and died in 1913, and Robena, born in Arcadia, who was a teacher, but who died in 1906.  In April, 1871, Mr. Brownlee, with his wife and four eldest children, left their native land for America.  Landing at Philadelphia, they proceeded to Chicago, Ill., where they had the misfortune to be burned out in the great fire of October, 1871, which destroyed the greater part of the city.  In 1872, having found Chicago too hot a place for them, they came overland in a canvas-covered wagon to Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, locating on a homestead of 160 acres in Lewis Valley.  It was all new land and on it Mr. Brownlee built a log house.  The fire fiend still pursued him, however, as this first residence burned down, but, not discouraged, he erected a frame house, together with a small barn and granary, and went on with his agricultural operations.  Here on this farm his wife died in 1880, and three years later he sold the property and for the next two years rented a farm on the "bottoms."  In 1885 he purchased his present homestead, which then consisted of 308 acres.  This property is situated at the head of Trout Run Valley and the land is fertile and well adapted to the plow.  Since buying it Mr. Brownlee has increased its size by adding 40 more acres.  When he bought it it was slightly improved, and he erected on it a comfortable log house, hewn inside and out, which is still standing, and in which he lived until 1900.  He then built his present residence, a two-story, 11-room frame house, also erecting a frame barn, 36 by 60 by 16 feet above full basement, a granary 18 by 26 by 14 feet and a machine shed 18 by 24 feet.  he is engaged in general farming and four years has been a breeder of fine grade horses and cattle.  In 1885 he married for his second wife Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Margaret Harvey Broehead.  She died in 1907, having been the mother of six children:  Robert, no living at Sentinel Butte, N. D.; Alexander, a resident of the same place; Minnie, now Mrs. Frank Hess of Livingston, Mont.; Florence, wife of Edward Hess of American Valley, Arcadia Township; Margarite, a graduate of Arcadia high school, who is unmarried and is keeping house for her father; and Raymond, living at home with his father and working on the farm.  Mr. Brownlee is independent in politics, voting for the man rather than for the party.  He is a stockholder in the Western Wisconsin Telephone Company.  Religiously he was reared in the faith of the Scottish Presbyterian church.  His success in life has been well earned and he and his family are both widely known and respected.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 764 - 765


Odell S. Bue, a farmer and land owner of Ettrick Township, well known and respected, who resides in Section 15, east, was born on his parents' farm in this section, the same place on which he now resides, July 11, 1877, son of Sever and Catherina (Rice) Bue.  The parents were natives of Hardanger, Norway, but were married in Trempealeau County, Sever Bue coming to the United States in 1866 and settling here immediately on his arrival.  After working for others a short time, he homesteaded his farm, which was his home practically for the rest of his life, though it had become the property of his son, Odell, five years before he, the father, died.  The date of his death was June 11, 1913, and that of his wife June 3, 1910.  Sever Bue was a prominent citizen of his locality, serving on the school board for a number of years and also as one of the board of directors of his church. He and his wife had five children.  Odell S. Bue, was the fourth born child of his parents.  His education was acquired in the district school at Hegg and he early received practical instruction in agriculture on his father's farm, of which he became the manager about 1900, when twenty-three years old.  In 1905 he bought the farm, consisting of 120 acres, and in addition to this property, has 160 acres one-half mile distant, and 20 acres more situated near Hegg Schoolhouse, making 300 acres in all.  On this land he is engaged in general farming and dairying, keeping a number of good cattle, and is doing a prosperous business.  He also owns stock in the Ettrick Creamery, the Farmers' Exchange at Blair and the Ettrick Telephone Company. Mr. Bue was married March 31, 1902, to Sarah Underheim, who was born in Norway, daughter of Knut L. and Margaretha (Sunde) Underheim, the family coming to the United States in 1882 and settling in Jackson County.  Mr. and Mrs. Bue's family circle has been enlarged by the birth of three children:  Sigvart Kenneth, born July 20, 1903; Orrin Sanford, Oct. 1, 1905, and Melvin Clarence, Nov. 3, 1907.  Mr. Bue, with his wife and children, are members of the United Lutheran Church.  Though not active in town affairs, he is recognized as a good citizen, always willing to support any practical movement for the good of the community.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 323


John Busby, a well known and successful farmer of Arcadia Township, was born in Waukegan, Lake County, Ill., Sept. 27, 1857, son of Thomas and Mary (Knight) Busby.  His parents were born and married in England and came to America in 1854, later settling on a farm one mile north of Arcadia Village, on the east side of Trempealeau River.  They are no living retired at Wakefield, Neb., their unmarried daughter, Florence, keeping house for them.  Thomas Busby was 89 years old, Aug. 24, 1917, and his wife 80 years Jan. 1, 1917.  John Busby was less than a year old when he accompanied his parents to Wisconsin.  He was brought up on the home farm and remained with his father until he was 30 years old.  At the age of 22 he bought a threshing outfit with which he threshed for the neighboring farmers every fall.  In 1888 he bought a farm in Korpal Valley, six miles north of Arcadia and four south of Independence.  It consisted of 120 acres and was partly improved, having a small house but no barn.  That same year he was married to Gertrude Lewis, daughter of John D. and Charlotte (Maybury) Lewis of Lewis Valley, Arcadia Township, and they settled on the Korpal Valley farm, where they resided until 1903.  Mr. Busby then traded his farm for the Lewis homestead of 240 acres, a well improved piece of property, with frame house, a full basement barn, 30 by 66 feet and 16 feet above basement.  He has since built a granary, machine shed and garage building and has put every part of the property into excellent condition.  One hundred and seventy-five acres of his land is under the plow.  Mr. Busby caries on general farming and dairying, keeping 25 grade "Red Poll" cattle, all young cows.  He has a full equipment of machinery, teams and everything necessary to carry on a modern farm.  The land in this valley is extremely fertile and is among the best farming section in the county. Mr. Busby is a stockholder in the Glencoe Co-operative Creamery of Arcadia Village.  In politics he is independent, voting for the man rather than for the party.  He has served for a number of years as treasurer and clerk of the school district.  He and his wife have two children -- Benjamin and Irene.  Benjamin, born Feb. 2, 1890, who is unmarried and lives at home, was graduated from the district school and the Arcadia high school, and attended for one year the department of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin.  Irene, born March 24, 1897, resides at home with her parents.  Mr. Busby has had four sisters and six brothers:  Emma, Thomas, Florence, Charles, Andrew, Oliver, Mary, Lilly, Mark and William.  Of these Emma, Andrew, Lilly and Mark are deceased.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, 1917" page 740


Oliver Busby, who is now living retired in Arcadia Village, after a life of activity in several different avocations, was born in Section 21, Range 9, Arcadia Township, this county, Jan. 29, 1866.  His parents, Thomas and Mary (Knight) Busby, were natives of England, both born at Stowe, near Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire, England, the father Aug. 24, 1828, the mother Feb. 8, 1837.  Thomas Busby and wife came to America in 1855, landing in New York and proceeding at once to Waukegan, Ill., in the vicinity of which place Mr. Busby rented a farm.  After remaining there about two years they came overland by ox team to Arcadia Township, Trempealeau County, and settled on 160 acres of land he acquired while in Illinois, to which he later added 20 acres, built a log cabin and began to develop a farm.  Here he lived until 1893, in which year he sold the farm to Louie Wojsczik, the latter subsequently selling it to John Wojsczik. In 1879 Thomas Busby had bought 160 acres of wild prairie land near Wakefield, Neb., to which he moved on selling his farm in Arcadia.  On this land he built a house and other frame buildings, and remained there 19 years, engaged in developing a farm.  He then retired and moved into Wakefield, where he and his wife are still living, in good health and prosperous circumstance.  Their children were:  Emma, born in Waukegan, Ill., who married W. H. Smith, a farmer of Bakersfield, Cal., and died Aug. 4, 1904; John, also born in Waukegan, and now a farmer in Arcadia Township; Thomas, born in Arcadia, Wis., who is farming at Wakefield, Neb.; Florence, born in Arcadia, who is unmarried and keeps house for her parents in Wakefield, Neb.; Charles, born in Arcadia, also residing in Wakefield, where he is engaged in buying grain and managing an elevator; Andy, born in Arcadia, and now deceased; Mary, born in Arcadia, who is the wife of H. H. Child, proprietor of the electric lighting plant at Wakefield, Neb.; Lilly, born in Arcadia, who married Benjamin Davis, a farmer, and died at Wakefield, Neb.; Mark, born in Arcadia, who is now deceased; William, born in Arcadia, who is now living retired at Wakefield, Neb.; and Oliver, the subject of this sketch.

Oliver Busby began his school life in Arcadia and was graduated from the high school in the class of 1886.  In the meanwhile, however, he made a trip to Nebraska, going there in 1882 and returning in 1884.  He now spent a number of years in teaching school, beginning this occupation in Arcadia, where he taught for three years, later teaching three years in the graded schools of Chimney Rock, Wis., where he also served one year as principal, one year in Strum and three years in Nebraska, to which state he returned when his parents moved there in 1893.  In 1896 he returned to Arcadia, and on September 1 bought an interest in the hardware business of Mr. Christ of Arcadia, the style of the firm becoming Christ & Busby.  This partnership was continued until 1904.  In 1902 Christ & Busby bought a farm of 509 acres, two and a half miles north of Arcadia, 225 acres of it being under the plow and the rest in timber and pasture land.  Mr. Busby bought Mr. Christ's interest in this farm in 1904 and managed it subsequently while residing in the village until 1914, when he sold it and retired.  The buildings on the farm were a two-story frame house, a frame barn, 36 by 80 feet; a granary, 16 by 40 feet; a sheep shed,  12 by 64 feet, all painted and in good condition.  Here Mr. Busby did general farming and dairying, keeping from 25 to 30 graded cows.  Sept. 8, 1896, Mr. Busby married Mary, Daughter of John Philip and Barbara (Uhl) Hartman of Arcadia Township.  He and his wife had six children: William O., born Nov. 26, 1897, who is a student at Lawrence College, Appleton, Wis.; Fern E., born May 11, 1899, now attending the Arcadia high school; Lynn J., born July 29, 1902, who is also attending the high school; Hazel M., born May 12, 1904, who is residing at home, a student; Florence G., born March 26, 1906, who died Aug. 23, 1914; and one that died in infancy.  Mr. Busby in political matters holds by the principles of the Democratic party, but reserves the right to vote for the best man regardless of party lines, when he sees occasion. He has held no strictly political office, but has been a member of the village board for three years.  He attends and supports the Methodist Episcopal church, though not a member of it.  He belongs to Lodge No. 201, A. F. & A. M. of Arcadia, and to Camp No. 769, Modern Woodmen of America, which he joined in 1896.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, 1917" pages 688 - 690


Ernest H. Butman, who is engaged in farming in section 36, Gale Township, was born at Decorah Prairie, on the farm on which his father is now residing, son of Stark and Mary Jane (Lynn) Butman. Ernest H. Butman was the sixth born of nine children.  He was educated in the district school at Decorah Prairie and was brought up to agricultural pursuits.  He resided with his parents until his marriage and then rented a farm in Gale Township, on which he lived for about two years.  At the end of that time he purchased the farm, in company with his brother Milton, and operated it for a number of years, after which he exchanged his interest in the place with his father for a part of his present farm and has since resided here.  He has now 100 acres of highly improved land on Decorah Prairie, and carries on general farming.  He has made all the improvements on the place and has modern and convenient buildings.  His outside interest include the ownership of stock in the Farmers Exchange, the La Crosse Packing Company and the Independent Harvester Company at Plano, Ill. March 15, 1899, Mr. Butman was married to Elizabeth M. Burt, who was born in Cross Township, Buffalo County, Wis., daughter of Robert and Jeanette (Davidson) Burt.  Her parents were natives of Scotland, who came to the United States about 1855, before their marriage, the latter event taking place in Wisconsin.  Robert Burt is now a resident of Winona, Minn.  His wife, who was a daughter of John and Mary (Young) Davidson, is deceased.  Mr. and Mrs. Butman have three children:  Lloyd Ernest, Burel Stark and Mary Jane, all residing at home.  Mr. Butman is independent in politics.  He has served on the school board for a number of years and is the present clerk of the board of education of his district.  His fraternal affiliations are with the Order of Beavers.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 344


Frank Melton Butman, an enterprising and successful stock farmer of Section 35, Gale Township, was born in Buckeye County, Ohio, Feb. 25, 1880, son of Stark and Jane (Lynn) Butman.  Frank Melton Butman lived at home until 1908, two years after his marriage.  When only a lad of fourteen years he commenced buying, selling and trading in stock. Later he took charge of his father's farm and is now the owner of 80 acres, having also a half interest in 170 acres adjacent.  He carries on general farming, as well as raising horses and cattle, and is now numbered among the substantial citizens of his township.  Nov. 12, 1906, Mr. Butman was united in marriage with Janet M. Smith, born Jan. 10, 1882, a native of Melrose, Wis., and daughter of Adam and Jean (Love) Smith.  Her parents were born in Glasgow, Scotland, the father Oct. 16, 1843, and the mother July 29, 1846.  Adam Smith was a boy of ten years when he accompanied his parents' family to the United States.  They first settled in the State of Maryland, a few years later coming to Melrose, Wis., where Adam Smith became a land owner.  He is now retired and is living with his wife in Galesville. Their daughter, Janet M., was one of eight children, and was educated in Melrose, Wis., and in Trempealeau County.  Mr. and Mrs. Butman have had four children born:  Dora Vesta, Nov. 22, 1907; Stark Douglas, Oct. 25, 1909; Gerald Henry, Nov. 5, 1912, and Arra Agnes, June 7, 1915.  Mr. Butman is a member of the Order of Beavers, and the Modern Woodmen of America, while Mrs. Butman is a member of the Beavers and the Yeomen and the Presbyterian Church.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 323 - 324


Stark Butman, one of the oldest living citizens of Trempealeau County, having resided continuously for 60 years in Gale Township, was born in Huron County (now Erie County), Ohio, March 28, 1832.  He was educated and grew to manhood in his native State.  In 1852 he came West to La Crosse County, Wis., where he located 160 acres of land, returning to Ohio that same year.  In 1853 he and his brother Hiram came to La Crosse County and settled on this land, which was situated near Stevenstown.  In 1857 he exchanged 80 acres of his land for 40 acres of land on this side of Black River, in Gale Township, Trempealeau County, and there he laid the foundations for his future prosperity, building a house, with the proper accompaniment of outbuildings, and breaking and developing his land.  Later he acquired other land by purchase and by homesteading until he owned at one time several hundred acres, becoming one of the leading and representative men of Trempealeau County.  He has followed diversified farming all his life, and has given away and sold land to his children, at the present time having only 160 acres in his own name.  For about 28 years Mr. Butman served as postmaster at Decorah Prairie, the office being in his own home, and for his services he received the large recompense of 1 per cent of the cancellations.  He has also rendered efficient service in various town offices.  In 1855 Mr. Butman was married at La Crosse, Wis., to Mary Jane Lynn, who was born in New York State, July 22, 1836.  After 56 years of wedded life, she passed away, March 19, 1911, sincerely mourned.  Mr. and Mrs. Butman were the parents of 10 children, whose record in brief is as follows:  Eugene S., born Oct. 4, 1856, was married Jan. 22, 1882, to Lizzie Stellpflug, and they reside at Pipestone, Minn.  Emma J., born Nov. 3, 1858, was married, July, 1885, to David Lonie, and they now reside at Pullman, Wash.  Eva I., born Aug. 11, 1861, was married Feb. 17, 1884, to Ally Bartlett, and they reside at Alexandria, Minn. Erie H., born May 28, 1863, married, May 15, 1904, Charles E. Potter. Nancy M., born May 8, 1865, was married Oct. 20, 1883, to Clinton V. Lovell.  Nettie L., born March 17, 1867, on May 4, 1888, became the wife of W. E. McKown.  She died May 25, 1897.  Ernest H., born Aug. 31, 1873, was married March 15, 1899, to Lizzie M. Burt, and they reside in Gale Township.  An infant daughter, born May 9, 1876, died May 14, 1876.  Frank M., born Feb. 25, 1880, was married Nov. 12, 1906, to Janet M. Smith.  They reside in Gale Township.  Since her mother's death Mary Edna McKown has always lived with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Butman, and since her grandmother's death in 1911 has been the sole housekeeper for her grandfather.  Mr. Butman, although over 85 years old, is still hale and hearty and in full possession of all his faculties, enjoying an opportunity to relate the many hardships and trials incident to pioneer life, and above all, proud to boast that he has 27 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 524 - 525


J. C. Button, for many years a distinguished figure in the legal procedure of western Wisconsin, is now living in retirement in the village of Trempealeau, at the ripe old age of 84 years.  He has known varied experiences, has seen the world in many lands and climes, has taken an active part in the formation of the policies of several Mississippi valley counties, and has lived to see his fondest hopes and ambitions realized.  High thinking and clean living have given him a store of vitality which is still unimpaired, and the world has brought him a full measure of joy and contentment, his only sorrow being the passing away of his friends and relatives whom the changing years have taken one by one.  His ruggedness of health and staunchness of character are inherited from a long line of worthy forebears.  The father, Charles Button, was of Colonial English stock.  As a young man he studied medicine, but never engaged in extensive practice, choosing rather to spend his life in agricultural pursuits.  He was married in New York State to Cynthia Watson, who was likewise descended from Colonial stock.  From New York they went to Lorain County, Ohio, and there J. C., the subject of this sketch, was born, June 3, 1830.  When he was an infant they went to Oakland County, Mich., and settled on the Stony Creek  road, not far from Pontiac.  In 1836 they moved to Illinois, and settled on a farm 12 miles south of Ottawa.  From there in 1843 they came to Green County, Wis., and took up their home eight miles east of Monroe, the county seat.  The father died in 1844 and the mother in 1878.  Living in pioneer communities, and left fatherless at the age of 14 years, young J. C. had but meager opportunities for schooling, most of his early education being obtained in a little log schoolhouse.  In 1848 he entered the Academic Department of Beloit College, and was graduated from the Collegiate Department in 1852.  Then he started out for California in search of gold.  The parting with his mother was a pathetic one.  Standing hat in hand, and with his mother's arms about his neck, he promised never to use profanity, never to indulge in any game of chance, and never to taste or handle intoxicating drinks of any sort.  This promise he has kept to this day, and to it he attributes his health and happiness.  His farewells said, he joined his party and continued with them as far west as Salt Lake City, Utah.  There he and a friend struck out alone, and located in Salem, Ore., for a time.  From there young Button went to Portland, and from there by ship to San Francisco.  After a trip to Sacramento and neighboring mines, he embarked on a ship which carried him to the west coast of Panama, where he secured a team which took him to Graytown, on the Gulf coast.  Then, touching at points in Florida and Cuba, he reached New York, and returned to his home.  Desiring to further perfect his education, he went to Janesville, Wis., and entered the offices of Sleeper & Norton, where he studied law, and was admitted to the bar.  It was in 1858 that he opened an office in St. Croix Falls, Polk County, Wis., and started housekeeping in a home which he erected with his own hands.  In the fall of 1859 he was elected to the office of district attorney and moved to Osceola, the county seat.  At the expiration of his term, he moved to Prescott, and entered into partnership with J. S. White, a partnership which lasted until 1876.  Soon after his arrival in Prescott he was elected district attorney of Pierce county, a position in which he ably served for a term of two years.  Having been in continuous practice of his profession for 20 years, part of the time as a public official, Mr. Button determined, in 1877, to take a well-deserved vacation, traveling in Europe and Asia Minor.  Accordingly he set out and visited in turn England, Scotland, France, Spain, Egypt, the Holy Land, Turkey, Albania, Greece, Italy, Alsace-Loraine, Germany, Russia, Holland, Belgium, France, England, Wales and Ireland.  Among the many notables whom he saw may be mentioned Queen Victoria, and it is remarkable that he attended the funeral of King Victor Emanuel, of Italy, who died Jan. 9, 1878, and of Pope Pius IX, who died in February of the same year.  Upon his return to America, Mr. Button came to Trempealeau County in the fall of 1878, for the purpose of assisting his brother, S. W. Button.  S. W. Button had been in partnership with Judge Newman, and upon the elevation of Judge Newman to the district bench found the work too strenuous for his failing health, and so called his brother J. C. to his assistance, going himself to the Panhandle country, in Texas, where his health was restored, after which he took up the practice of his profession in Sparta, Wis.,  Accordingly, J. C. Button took up his home permanently in Trempealeau Village, where he has since resided.  For one term he was district attorney and respected throughout the community.  Mr. Button was married, June 16, 1858, to Charlotte Wheaton, daughter of Cyrus Wheaton, of Green County, Wis.  Mrs. Button died in December, 1890.  Their only child, Charles, died at the age of 4 years and 10 months of age.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 349 - 350

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