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Histories:  Trempealeau County Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 15:


CALL, John A
CALL, John H
CANCE, James E
CARSLEY, George Asbury
CASEY, Maurice
CASEY, Maurice Sr
CILLEY, Darwin C
CLARK, Eugene F
CLARK, Isaac
CONRAD, William Henry
COWIE, George
COWIE, Robert S
COX, Albert G
COX, Henry A
COY, George A
CRAM, Almon Everett
CRIPPS, Frederick C
CROUCH, William


John A. Call
, an influential and prosperous business man of Strum, was born in Crawford County, Wisconsin, March 1, 1864, son of Andrew and Brita (Johanasdotter) Call.  Andrew Call was born in Sogan, Norway, in 1826, came to America in 1850, farmed in Crawford County, Wisconsin, until 1872, and then came to Unity Township, Trempealeau County, where he remained until his death in 1896, his widow now making her home in Strum.  John A. Call was reared in Crawford County and came to Unity Township when eight years old.  He attended district school and devoted his life to agricultural pursuits until 1896.  In that year he came to Strum and engaged in the hotel and livery business.  Subsequently he became a salesman of farm machinery.  In 1904 he engaged in the hardware and implement business.  In addition to this he handles harnesses and pianos and deals extensively in live stock.  He has been a director of the school board since 1915.  Mr. Call was married March 6, 1896, to Christine Johnson, of Unity Township, born in Gulbrandsdalen, Norway, in 1872, the daughter of Lars Johnson.  Mr. and Mrs. Call have had nine children: Birdella, William, Clarence, Lillian, Ruth, Esther, John and two who died in infancy.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 622 - 623


John H. Call has been a resident of Sumner Township since 1877, and assisted by his good wife has reared a large family of children, developed a good farm and established himself as one of the substantial men of the community.  He is doing the township good service as supervisor, to which position he was first elected in 1915.  Born near Bergen, in Norway, June 9, 1851, he is the oldest of the eight children born to Henry and Sophia (Eirum) Call.  The father, born April 21, 1824, and the mother, born Dec. 23, 1835, brought their children to America in 1853, reached Dane County, Wis., June 9, of that year, after a trip of six months, fourteen weeks of which were spent aboard a sailing vessel, and the next year located at West Prairie, Vernon County, Wis., where the father died in 1890 and the mother in 1910.  John H. Call was reared to farm pursuits and for a number of years was employed on various farms.  After his marriage in 1877 he purchased his present farm of 121 acres in section 27, Sumner township.  From a wilderness he brought the farm to its present high degree of cultivation.  On this place he now successfully carries on general farming, and makes a specialty of breeding Holstein cattle, of which he has a good-sized herd.  In this connection he has purchased a two-unit milking machine, which is proving a great saving of labor.  The farm throughout is equipped with the best of machinery and tools, and is fenced with woven wire.  The buildings are especially sightly.  The first house, a frame building, 12 by 18 feet, was erected in 1877.  The present home, a two-story frame structure of eight pleasant rooms, was erected in 1899.  The barn was constructed in 1912.  It is 40 by 64 by 14 feet, with a stone basement and cement floors.  Steel stanchions and other improvements add to the comfort of the stock.  The silo, 12 by 39 feet, is built of substantial cement blocks.  Mr. Call was married July 1, 1877, to Caroline Prestegaarden, born in Gulbrandsdalen, Norway, Feb. 4, 1855, daughter of Andrew and Martha (Eirum) Prestegaarden, who came to America in 1869, located in Dane County, Wis., and in 1871 took up their residence in Sumner Township, Trempealeau County, where they spent the remainder of their days.  Mr. and Mrs. Call are the parents of ten children:  Sophia, born Feb. 22, 1878; Albert, born Aug. 12, 1880; Helmer, born March 1, 1882; Charles, born April 24, 1884; Martha, who died in infancy; Julia, born Oct. 12, 1888; Martha, born July 29, 1890; Clara, born Dec. 2, 1892; James, born June 2, 1895, and Bernhard, born Feb. 6, 1897.  Albert and Helmer farm in Jackson County, Wis.  Julia graduated from the La Crosse State Normal School and taught three years.  She married, Nov. 27, 1916, Edwin Anderson, a farmer living in Unity Township.  The other members of the family are at home.  The family faith is that of the Hauge Norwegian Lutheran church, of which Mr. Call is the treasurer.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 599


Peter J. Callahan, a prosperous farmer in section 5 South, Ettrick Township, was born in Boston, Mass., Feb. 9, 1859, son of James and Katherine (O'Keefe) Callahan.  His parents were born in County Kerry, Ireland, the father in March, 1825, and the mother in 1839, their marriage taking place in Boston.  James Callahan was 30 years old when he came to the United States.  He was a carpenter and wheelwright by trade and was thus employed in Boston for a number of years.  In 1864 he came from that city to Wisconsin and homesteaded land in section 32, this township, which place he has since developed into a good farm with substantial buildings, and is still active in agricultural work.  During his early years in this vicinity he followed at times his trade of carpenter, and many of the old residences here were built by him.  His wife is also living.  Peter J. Callahan was the second born in a family of four children.  He was educated in the district school and remained at home until 20 years of age.  he then began working in the northern woods, and continued working for others until he was 25, when he bought his present farm.  He had some previous experience in farming, starting when a lad of eight or nine years, when he used to lead the oxen his father used in plowing and subsequently assisted his father in other branches of farm work.  After buying his farm Mr. Callahan resided on it for two and a half years and then went to La Crosse, where he entered the employ of a firm for whom he traveled for eight or nine years.  He then returned to his farm, which consists of 80 acres of valuable land.  He is carrying on general farming with some stock raising, breeding Duroc-Jersey hogs, and is also a stockholder in the Ettrick & Northern Railroad Company.  Mr. Callahan was married June 25, 1892, to Catherine Corcoran, who was born at Ettrick, this county, daughter of John and Catherine (McKay) Corcoran.  Her father, who was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1825, was a farmer all his active life, coming to Trempealeau County in 1864, and residing here until his death in 1875.  Mrs. Callahan's mother was born at Horseheads, Pa., Jan. 15, 1833, and in her younger days was a cook on the Erie canal, having 40 cooks under her supervision, her husband being employed on the canal at the same time.  They were thrifty and industrious people and a valuable addition to the farming community of their township.  Mr. and Mrs. Callahan are the parents of two children:  Catherine Mae and Arnold James.  Catherine Mae, who was born Aug. 27, 1893, is the wife of William Bishop, of Canadian birth, and they reside on the Callahan farm.  They have two children:  William Stanley and Catherine Fay.  Arnold James Callahan was born Aug. 2, 1896.  After graduating from the local schools he attended the La Crosse normal school and has taught school for four terms, making a creditable record.  Mr. Callahan is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters, he and his family being members of the Catholic church, in which he is serving as a trustee.  In politics he is independent, though usually voting the Democratic ticket.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 579 - 580


James E. Cance.  One of the prosperous merchants of the village of Ettrick is James E. Cance, who was born in Ettrick Township, Dec. 22, 1864, son of Robert and Christine (Edmond) Cance.  Scotland was the native land of his parents, the year of his father's birth being 1823 and that of his mother's 1830.  Coming to the United States in 1858, they settled at once in Trempealeau County, Robert Cance buying land in Ettrick Township, where, until 1884, he was engaged in agriculture.  From that time until his death in 1887 he carried on business as a merchant.  That he was a man of considerable force of character, and highly esteemed, may be gathered from the fact that he was at one time elected a member of the State Assembly and served in various township offices, including the school board, and also as a member of the county board.  His wife passed away March 19, 1917.  They had two children: Mary, who is now Mrs. C. N. Ashley of Chippewa Falls, Wis., and James E. of Ettrick.

James E. Cance acquired the elements of knowledge in the district school and afterwards attended Gale University, now known as Gale College.  On his father's farm he picked up a knowledge of agriculture, but in 1884, at the age of 20 years, he purchased, together with his father, his present hardware and drug business from Iver Pederson, it being conducted under the style of R. Cance & Son in the smaller store next door to his present location.  The building he now occupies -- a two-story brick structure, 28 by 60 feet, with basement -- he erected in 1895, and he and his family reside in the upper story.  He has conducted the business from the date of its organization in 1884 and is thoroughly familiar with it in all its details.  With the increase in population in the village and surrounding territory, it has gradually grown and for many years has been on a profitable basis.  Mr. Cance is also a stockholder in the Bank of Ettrick, of which he is a director; a stockholder in the Bank of Galesville, the Ettrick Lumber Company, organized Jan. 18, 1917, and in the Ettrick & Northern Railroad, now under construction.  He also owns business and residence property in Ettrick, of which place he is one of the substantial and well-to-do citizens.  His fraternal affiliations are with the Beavers, Yoemen and Modern Woodmen of America.  July 1, 1896, Mr. Cance was united in marriage with Verna Casey, who was born in Ettrick Township, daughter of Maurice and Helena (Daley) Casey.  Mr. and Mrs. Cance are the parents of one child, Gladys F., who was graduated at Galesville high school in the class of 1917.  Mr. Cance is now serving as president of the board of education of Ettrick.  He is a member of the Presbyterian church and in politics is an independent Republican.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 486 - 487


Samuel Cardinal dates his residence in Trempealeau County from 1897, when he came to Sumner Township and purchased 140 acres in sections 18 and 19, then owned by John Lovesey.  To the development of this place he has since devoted his attention.  In 1909 he built a barn, 38 by 60 feet, with cement floors; in 1910 he rebuilt his house, making a pleasant home of eleven rooms, and in 1911 he erected a stave silo, 14 by 35 feet.  He keeps a good herd of Durham cattle, four of which are registered, and a drove of Duroc-Jersey swine, eight of which are registered.  His public work has included service as township supervisor for three years and as clerk of the school board of his district for five years.  His financial holdings include stock in the Farmers Exchange Bank and the Farmers Products Company, both at Osseo.  Mr. Cardinal was born in Montreal, Canada, April 18, 1868, the son of Gideon and Rose Ann (Roberts) Cardinal, natives of Canada, the former of whom was born in 1836 and died in 1904, and the latter of whom was born in 1832 and died in 1908.  The family came to the United States in 1872, to a homestead in Chippewa County, Wisconsin, and there lived until 1892, when they moved to Tomahawk, in Lincoln County.  There Samuel Cardinal was employed at home and on various farms until coming to this country.  He was married Aug. 26, 1891, to Emma Olsen, who was born in La Crosse, July 20, 1870, and was reared at Strum, in this county, where her mother, Mary Anderson Olsen, now lives, the father, Christ Olsen, who was born in Christiania, Norway, in 1844, having died in 1896.  Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal have had nine children, of whom there are living seven:  Nora, a nurse at Eau Claire, Wis.; Goldie, the wife of M. P. Skogstad, the cashier of the Farmers Exchange Bank at Osseo, and Leo, who married Pearl Ring, daughter of  John Ring, postmaster at Osseo, March 28, 1917; Marshall, Lillie, Mabel and Juanita, who are at home.  Ethel died at the age of six years and Marian died in infancy.  The family faith is that of the Norwegian Lutheran Church.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 622


Nathan H. Carhart, who owns and operates an ideal farm of 156 acres section 36, township 19, range 10 west (Trempealeau Township), was born at Broome, Schoharie County, N. Y., Nov. 20, 1848.  His parents, Isaac D. and Nancy A. (Bangs) Carhart, were married at Kortright, Delaware County, N. Y., Sept. 14, 1830, which place was their home for a number of years.  In the fall of 1855 they came West to Milwaukee, by way of the Great Lakes.  From that city they proceeded by train to Fox Lake, Dodge County, Wis., where they lived until 1861, Mr. Carhart renting and working land there.  Leaving Dodge County in the year last mentioned, they set out for Fillmore County, Minn., but on reaching Trempealeau County, Wis., they camped one Sunday on the land now owned by Mr. Carhart.  The location and surroundings proved so fascinating to him that he went to La Crosse, met the owner, and closed a bargain for 156 acres, all of it being wild land.  On this, for a first residence he erected a board shanty, 12 by 12 feet in dimensions, and here he and his wife, and their family, then numbering eight children, lived for some years.  His first barn was a shed with hay roof.  He later enlarged the shanty, as it was too small a dwelling for so large a family, and it served as a residence until 1869, in which year he built the present house, a two-story with basement, built of lime and sand brick, with hollow walls.

Sept. 2, 1885, Isaac D. Carhart died on the homestead.  His wife survived him until May 7, 1889, when she, too, passed away.  They were quiet, industrious and worthy people who had worked hard to obtain what few comforts they possessed, and who were held in esteem by their neighbors for their sterling qualities.  They are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, which Mr. Carhart had platted on the farm, and of which for many years he was treasurer.  He and his wife were active members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Centerville, which he served for many years as treasurer.  Their family, in addition to the subject of this sketch, consisted of four sons and five daughters, or five sons and five daughters in all, the other sons being Lewis Henry, John McKendree, Andrew R. and Isaac W., and the daughters Mary L., Delia Elizabeth, Emma Frances, Charlotte Ophelia and Clara Josephine.  All but Clara Josephine were born in New York, Clara being born in Dodge County, Wis.,

Nathan H. Carhart was trained to farm work at an early age, attending school as he had opportunity, and he has been engaged in agricultural pursuits ever since.  His farm is one of the best in this part of the county, 120 acres of the land being under the plow and 36 acres in timber and pasture.  Through the farm flows Big Tamarack Creek, furnishing an abundant supply of running spring water all seasons of the year.  He is a stockholder in the Western Wisconsin Telephone Company and the Citizens' State Bank, of Trempealeau, Wis., and for years has been president of the Farmers' Trempealeau County Mutual Insurance Company.  In politics he is a Republican and for a long time has been more or less active in local government matters, having served many years as supervisor of Trempealeau Township, and for some years as a member of the school board, both as clerk and treasurer.  Oct. 24, 1883, Mr. Carhart was married at the home of his bride to Mary Ellen, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Rhodes) Brownsell, of Fond du Lac, Wis., the Rev. John P. Hale officiating.  She became the mother of three children:  Thomas Brownsell, born Oct. 2, 1884, who is engaged in railroad business at San Antonio, Tex.; Clarence Nathan, born April 1, 1886, who died Oct 1, 1886; and Clara Ellen, born Aug. 18, 1888, who is now Mrs. Franklin Dickman, of Pine Island, Minn.

Mr. Carhart was married, secondly, April 12, 1893, to Emma Towner, daughter of John and Margaret Towner, of Caledonia Township, this county, their marriage taking place at his bride's home, and being presided over by the Rev. W. A. Allen, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church.  The children of this second marriage were:  Mildred, born Jan. 26, 1894, who is a graduate of the high school and the Winona Normal School and is now a teacher, residing at home; Emma, born April 29, 1895, who died Aug. 2, the same year; Nathan Towner, born Dec. 6, 1897, and now residing at home; Lawrence Harvey, born Aug. 1, 1901, who is a high school student living at home, and Carroll Curtis, born Jan. 17, 1903.  Mr. Carhart and his wife are members of Centerville Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is a trustee.  His children, Mildred, Lawrence and Carroll, are also members of the church, and Mrs. Carhart is active in the Ladies' Aid Society connected with it, and is president of the Harmony Circle of King's Daughters, of West Prairie.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 393 - 395


Carl T. Carlson, who is successfully engaged in farming in section 19, Gale Township, was born in Esther Getland, Sweden, Nov. 9, 1870, son of Carl John and Johana M. (Flood) Carlson.  His parents were born in the same province, the father in 1844, and the mother in 1846.  Carl J. Carlson learned the trade of shoemaker in Sweden.  He served in the regular army but otherwise followed his trade there until he came to America with his parents' family in 1880, they locating at Galesville.  Here he continued at his trade for about seven years longer, at the end of which time he homesteaded the farm where his son Carl T. now lives.  This place remained his home until his death, which occurred Nov. 3, 1905.  His wife died July 3, 1911.  Their children were:  Carl T., now on the homestead; August M., residing in New York City; Ellen Elizabeth, who died at the age of 24 years in 1898; Oscar Robert of Wild Rose, N. D., who married Stilla Lindberg and has three children, Earl, Oscar and Eugene E., and John M., Marie and Alfred J.

Carl T. Carlson was the eldest of six children.  He attended district school in Gale Township and worked out as a farm hand from the time he was 14 years of age, at times also working in the pine woods.  His first employment was by Hiram Butman in Gale Township.  About 1896 he purchased land in Polk County, of which he later sold a part, but still owns 80 acres of farm land there.  Since the death of his parents Mr. Carlson has been a part owner of the old Carlson homestead, his brother, Alfred J., and his sister, Marie W., having an equal share with himself in it.  The farm contains 200 acres, some of which is timbered land.  It is operated as a stock and dairy farm and about 100 head of sheep are kept.  Carl T. Carlson is a stockholder in the La Crosse Packing Company and a member of the Farmers' Shipping Association of Trempealeau County.  He is a member of the Lutheran Church and in politics is independent.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 477 - 478


George Asbury Carsley, veteran and pioneer, was born in Springfield, Maine, April 21, 1840, and subsequently was taken by his parents to Portland, and then to Westbrook, in the same state.  He attended school in all three places.  He also had the advantages of study in the Westbrook Seminary, for though he was not far enough advanced for this institution, the friendship of the principal of the institution with his family made possible his taking courses there.  From Westbrook the family moved to New Gloucester, in the same state, where they remained for five years.  Then they decided to seek their fortunes in the West.  Making their way by steamboat to Boston they went to Dubuque, Iowa, by way of Chicago, and then took a boat up the Mississippi.  The scenes along the trip are ones never to be forgotten.  At Boston they noted the ships of the world's trade lying at anchor, and from the Boston Monument a vast expanse of land and sea spread before them.  In New York state they saw the old Erie canal, with its picturesque tow boats.  At Niagara they crossed the suspension bridge and viewed the falls.  It was April when they reached the Mississippi, which was then full of floating ice.  But the boats were running, and, in due time, the family reached Winona County, Minnesota, where the father took government land on the ridge three miles directly south of Pickwick.  George A. helped construct the large log house, and assisted his family in meeting the new conditions of pioneer life.  Of those far distant days he has many an interesting tale to tell. He attended a few winter terms of school near Pickwick, and received a teacher's certificate, but never cared to take up the teaching profession.  In 1862 he enlisted int he Civil War, served through the conflict and was mustered out at the close of the war at Ft. Snelling.  In 1870 he moved from Pickwick to the Big Tamarack Valley in Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, where he built a mill and remained eight years.  Then he built a mill at Pine Creek, in the same county, but this was washed out by the high water two years later.  For a while he was employed in the car shops at Winona, and in 1880 he moved to St. Paul, where he became a general contractor and builder, in which capacity he was assistant superintendent during the building of the old State Capitol.  In 1887 he went to Helena, Mont., where he assisted in erecting many beautiful residences, and where he lived until about 1900, when he moved to Portland, Ore., where he and  his wife are still living.  Mr. Carsley was married Aug. 27, 1865, to Samaria M. Grant of Trempealeau, and this union was blessed with seven children:  Ella A., now Mrs. C. W. Clark of Portland, Ore.; Benjamin F., who died at the age of eighteen months; G. Hollis of Helena, Mont.; Hettie M., wife of Dr. F. D. Pierce, of Trempealeau; Glen W. of Zion City, Ill.; Myrtle A., wife of George Lewis of Hoquiam, Wash., and Ruth S., wife of W. A. Hicks of Portland, Ore.  Mrs. Carsley was the daughter of G. W. T. Grant, the first settler in Pickwick, Minn., coming from Dubuque, Iowa, in 1853, chosing the site for the mill, then returning home, and the next year bringing his family and building the first house in the village, afterward building the mill with Webster Davis.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 763 - 764


John Carson, of Osseo, was born in Winneshiek County, Iowa, Dec. 24, 1867, oldest of the thirteen children of Ole and Jennie Carson.  Ole Carson was born in Norway, came to America in 1865, and farmed near Decorah, Iowa, until his death in 1898, since which time his second wife, Julia Green, has made her home in Osseo.  John Carson was reared in his native county, and started out on his own responsibility at the age of 13 years.  When he was about 15 he came to Osseo.  After working on various farms for a number of years he opened a general store in Osseo in 1900.  For a time he had J. N. Lee as a partner, but for some 15 years he conducted the business alone, selling out to M. I. Gilbert in 1916.  In 1908 he erected a cement block building, with two full stories and a basement, thus giving him ample room for his rapidly growing trade.  As justice of the peace for six years Mr. Carson won the respect of the community.  He is especially interested in church work in the Hauge Norwegian Lutheran congregation, and has been superintendent of the Sunday school for nearly twenty years.  Mr. Carson was married June 5, 1899, to Anna Nelson, daughter of Eric and Betsy (Robertson) Nelson.  Eric Nelson was born in Norway, came to America as a boy of nine years, has lived in Osseo 35 years, and now makes his home with the Carson family, his wife having died in 1914.  With the family also lives Lottie Nelson, an Osseo milliner, who was reared by Mr. and Mrs. Carson.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 620


Maurice Casey, a prominent resident of Ettrick Village, where he is profitably engaged in the implement and automobile business, was born in Ettrick, this county, April 14, 1880, son of Maurice, Sr., and Helena (Daley) Casey.  He attended school in Ettrick and at an early age was obliged to make himself useful on the home farm, speedily acquiring a knowledge of agricultural methods, stock raising, dairying and all branches of farming science.  Up to the age of 19 years he assisted his father and then rented the latter's farm, which he operated for two years with his brother William as partner.  At the end of that time he entered the employ of J. E. Cance, of Ettrick, in whose store he learned the tinsmith and plumbing business, continuing with Mr. Cance until 1912, at which time he engaged in his present business.  he has a thoroughly up-to-date establishment, enjoys a good patronage, and his trade is steadily increasing.  Mr. Casey is the owner of a good residence in Ettrick, besides three village lots, and is a stockholder in the Bank of Ettrick, the Ettrick & Northern Railroad Company, and in Ettrick Hall.  His fraternal affiliations are with the Beavers and the Modern Woodmen of America, he having been secretary of his camp in the latter order for the last 12 years.  On March 16, 1911, Mr. Casey was united in marriage with Bertha Runnestrand, who was born in Ettrick, Wis., daughter of Knudt E. and Anna (Larson) Runnestrand, natives of Norway, her father coming to Ettrick in 1877.  Further mention of the family may be found in this volume.  Mr. and Mrs. Casey have one child, Helen Anna.  In politics Mr. Casey is practically independent, though usually voting the Democratic ticket.  He reserves the right, however, to judge of the fitness of candidates for public office, not being bound by strict party ties.  As a citizen of Ettrick he has the interests of the general community at heart, and is quick to support any practical measure with that end in view.  He and his family are well known and popular residents of the village.

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


Maurice Casey, Sr., in former years a well known farmer and stock dealer in Ettrick Township, but now deceased, was born at Fort Covington, N. Y., near the Canadian line, and was in early business life a stock dealer exclusively.  He resided in the state of New York until 21 years of age, coming to Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, in 1858, to take advantage of the opportunity for buying cheap land in this section, then but partially developed.  Homesteading land in Ettrick Township, he farmed there for many years, also at times dealing in stock.  Finally he retired to Ettrick Village, where, after for some time in quiet and easy circumstances, he died July 29, 1909.  While not particularly active in public affairs, in early days he served as constable and was a member of the school board for a number of years.  Mr. Casey married Helena Daley, a native of New York City, their marriage taking place in La Crosse, Wis.  They were the parents of six children.  Mrs. Helena Casey died in Ettrick some 18 months previous to her husband, on Dec. 4, 1907.  They were highly respected people and had a multitude of friends.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 583 - 584


Darius D. Chappell, a pioneer of Trempealeau County, who for the past 18 years or more has resided in Galesville, was born in Warren County, Pa., Dec. 8, 1833, son of Chubil D. and Mary Ann (Palmeter) Chappell.  The father, Shubil [sic], son of a Revolutionary soldier, was a native of Herkimer County, N. Y., and a carpenter and joiner by occupation.  With his wife, who was born near New York, he removed to Walworth County, Wis., in 1854, and engaged in contracting and building and also in farming.  He remained in that locality until 1862, in which year, with his family, he came to Trempealeau County, locating in Caledonia Township, where the rest of his life was spent.

Darius D. Chappell, who was the eldest of ten children, in his boyhood attended school in Warren, Pa.  He resided at home until he was 19 years of age, and then, with but little money, he came West to Wisconsin, locating in Walworth County.  After working through the harvest season, he returned home for the rest of the family, and brought them to Walworth County.  Here he worked for others and for his father, assisting the latter as carpenter, and in the winter worked int he Eau Claire woods.  At the time of his marriage in 1857 he came to Trempealeau County, settling in Caledonia and entering into business as carpenter and builder, in which occupation he continued until the summer of 1862, when, on Aug. 15, he enlisted in Company C, Thirtieth Wisconsin Regiment, as a private.  He was appointed first lieutenant and was later promoted to the rank of captain of Company E in the same regiment, and served as such until the close of the war.  Though never wounded, he was seized with sickness and confined to his bed for several weeks at Fort Rice, where Bismarck, N. D., now stands.  At the close of the war he was mustered out at Louisville, Ky., and returned to Caledonia Township, where he engaged in farming.  This occupation he followed without intermission until 1898, when he purchased his present residence in Galesville and retired from active life.  Previous to settling in the village, however, he, accompanied by his wife, took a trip to his old home in Pennsylvania, from which they made trips, visiting the battle grounds of Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga, Chickamauga and others, subsequently taking a far western trip to Tacoma, Wash., and California.

Mr. Chappell was married June 21, 1857, to Caroline F. Fowler, who was born in Racine, Wis., before that town was named.  Her parents were Benjamin and Martha (Kocher) Fowler, both natives of Pennsylvania, the father born in Harrisburg and the mother in Philadelphia.  The former was a farmer, capitalist and real estate dealer who came to Wisconsin in or about 1833, settling on the site of the present city of Racine.   Subsequently he sold his last business holdings to the J. I. Case Company and moved to Walworth County, where he died Dec. 26, 1874.  His wife died at Hart Prairie, Wis., in 1876.  Mr. Fowler was a busy man during his active career and never sought to mix largely in politics, but at different times he held local office.  He and his wife had a family of 13 children, of whom Caroline F. was the eleventh in order of birth.  Mr. and Mrs. Chappell have three children:  Elmer Elsworth, Ella Swartling (an adopted daughter), and Daniel Earl.  Elmer Elsworth, born July 8, 1861, died March 21, 1916, at Lawton, Okla., where he was engaged in business as a contractor and builder.  He married Jennie Dunlap and left two children, Carrie E. and Carl D.  Ella (Swartling) Chappell is now Mrs. Henry Marsh, of Caledonia Township, and has three children, Glenn, Ray and Ethel.  Daniel Earl, born May 29, 1869, resides on the old home farm in Caledonia.  He married Nellie Gilbert, and they have two children, Alice Myrl, a teacher at Kewaunee, Wis., and Giles Earl, residing at home.  Mr. Chappell is the owner of considerable land in Trempealeau County.  He belongs to Charles H. Ford Post, No. 258, G. A. R., of which he has been commander several times, and is a member of the county commission for the soldiers' indigent fund, which he has served as secretary since its organization.  He and his wife have many warm friends throughout this part of the county.  On the twenty-fifth anniversary of their wedding they were given a surprise party by about 200 of their friends, who presented them with many beautiful and costly gifts, and a similar event took place on their fiftieth anniversary.  On the latter occasion Mrs. Chappell was presented with a gold-headed umbrella and Mr. Chappell with a gold-headed cane, a golden clock and other beautiful gifts.  In thanking their friends Mr. and Mrs. Chappell said that they might have accumulated more of this world's goods, had they tried to do so, but they doubted if they would have seen so much real happiness and would not exchange the high esteem of their friends for all the gold in Alaska.  Mr. Chappell is a Republican in politics and when a resident of Caledonia Township served as town treasurer for a number of years.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 383 - 384


George Christiansen, M. D., a popular physician of Galesville, was born in La Crosse, Wis., May 14, 1886, son of Peter and Anna (Iverson) Christiansen.  The father was born in Norway, Aug. 7, 1844, and came to the United States when about 18 or 20 years of age, locating in La Crosse, Wis., where he worked for some time in a store.  Subsequently he engaged in rafting on the river between St. Louis and New Orleans and continued in this occupation until the Southern Minnesota Railroad was built, when he found work on it at building telegraph lines.  Later he became inspector of a telegraph line, holding this position for a number of years.  His next employment was in the Kline dry goods store in La Crosse, and he remained there until he was appointed substitute mail carrier in that city, later becoming a member of the regular force.  In 1911 he ceased industrial activity and is now living retired in La Crosse.  His father died October 22, 1916.  his wife Anna, who was born in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1860, died Feb. 6, 1900.  Their family numbered four children, of whom George is the third in order of birth.

George Christiansen acquired the main part of his literary education in the grammar school at La Crosse.  Then, after two years of preparatory medical work in Milwaukee, he entered Northwestern University Medical School, at Chicago, where he was graduated M. D. in 1911, after a four years' course.  Returning to La Crosse, he became resident physician to the Lutheran Hospital there, which position he held for three years.  He then went to Holman, Wis., where he practiced for about 18 months, at the end of which time he came to Galesville as successor to Dr. G. H. Laurence in general medical practice.  Though here but a short time, Dr. Christiansen has already made a favorable impression on the community, and, being thoroughly well qualified in his profession, has the best prospects of a successful career as long as he chooses to remain here.  He is a member of the County, State and American Medical Associations.  His other society affiliations are with the Masonic Lodge, No. 177, of Galesville, the Elks' Lodge, No. 300, and the Phi Chi Medical Fraternity.  In politics he is a Republican.  The Doctor was married, May 25, 1917, to Miss Dena Edna Myhre, of Galesville.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 525 - 526


Hans Christianson, proprietor of a shoemaking and repairing establishment, and also a dealer in saddlery and harness, in Ettrick, Wis., was born in Ringsaker, Haedmarken, Norway, Oct. 17, 1843, son of Christian Hanson and Roufe (Johnson) Hanson.  His parents were natives of the same place or province, where they lived many years, the mother dying in her native land.  In 1866 Christian Hanson came to the United States, and locating at North Bend, Jackson County, there engaged in farming, which he carried on industriously up to his later years, his death taking place about 1892.

Hans Christianson was his parents' only child.  He had somewhat limited opportunities for attending school, but acquired the rudiments of knowledge, and at the age of 14 years began an apprenticeship to the shoemaker's trade, at which he became an expert workman.  In 1868 he followed his father to America, and on arriving here at first settled on a farm at South Beaver Creek, about four miles from Ettrick.  Until the fall of 1871 he worked out for others, and then, deciding to return to his trade, he came to Ettrick, and, opening a shop, engaged in shoemaking and repair work, in which business he has since continued, having also added a complete line of harness and saddlery supplies.  When Mr. Christianson first came to Ettrick there were only four buildings int he village and he has since witnessed its growth to a flourishing village of 300 people or more.  He built his present store about 1905, a substantial building, conveniently located, and giving him plenty of room.

Mr. Christianson was married in November, 1868, to Caroline Olson, who was born in his own native province in Norway, and who came to America at the same time he did.  Her parents, who died in Norway, were Ole Larson and Margaret Gunderson.  Mr. and Mrs. Christianson are the parents of nine children:  Helena, now Mrs. L. M. Larson, an attorney residing in Regina, Canada, where he is collection man for the International Harvester Company; Ole (deceased), at the time of his death he was interested in a large creamery at Long Prairie, Minn.; Robert (deceased), who was a prominent young lawyer of the county; in the spring of 1914 he was appointed by Governor LaFollette as district attorney of Trempealeau County and in August that year he died, leaving a wife and two children; Martha, now Mrs. Andrew C. Hagestad of Ettrick Township; Clara, wife of Rev. P. A. Hendrickson of Roanwood, Mont.; Melvin (deceased), who was assisting his father in business; Helmer, who is now associated with his father in business at Ettrick; Octavia, a stenographer at Fargo, N. D.; Anna Amelia, a graduate nurse from the Cook County Hospital, Chicago, is now Mrs. E. J. Burke.  They reside at LaSalle, Ill., where Mr. Burke is a practicing physician.  Mr. Christianson has built up a good trade and is one of the prosperous citizens of the village of Ettrick.  He and his family are members of the Lutheran church.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 484


Malner P. Christianson is the proprietor of the Strum Mill, one of the most important enterprises in the village.  Born on the home farm three miles from Strum, Jan. 7, 1881, he remained with his parents, Ole P. and Paulina (Olson) Christianson, until 1910.  Then, after a year in the West, he bought the mill which he now conducts.  The mill is a substantial structure, 24 by 46 feet, erected in 1901 by Henry Ruseling, now of Eleva.  Power is furnished by a 38-horsepower gasoline engine, and the equipment includes a 20-inch grinder and a cob cracker.  The capacity is about 30 tons a day.  In addition to doing a general grist-mill business, Mr. Christianson handles Pillsbury, White Rose and Wingold flour, stock feed, flax meal, calf meal, middlings, shorts and bran.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 706 - 707


Ole P. Christianson was born in Norway, Dec. 29, 1846, and was there reared.  At the age of 21 he came to America, and located in Dane County, this State.   Five years later he came to Trempealeau County and acquired 120 acres in Unity Township.  This he successfully worked for a while, but in 1879 sold out and went to North Dakota.  A year later, in 1880, he returned, married and secured a farm of 120 acres three miles north of Strum.  There he lived until 1911, when he moved to Strum.  His wife, Paulina Olson, was born in Norway, March 20, 1865, and was brought to America by her parents at the age of 7 years.  Mr. and Mrs. Christianson have five children:  Malner P., the Strum miller; Johanna, who died in infancy; Josephine, the wife of Peter Smengson, of North Dakota; Otelja, who died in childhood, and Olga, a telephone operator.

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


Einar Bjorn Christophersen was born in Pigeon Falls, Aug. 16, 1885.  His parents were Rev. Emanuel Christophersen and Inger Christophersen.  In the fall of 1900 he entered the preparatory department of Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, graduated from the preparatory department and continued in the collegiate department in 1902.  He was graduated from the collegiate department, comprising a classical course, in 1906, with the degree B. A.  The following year he taught school and in 1907 he admitted as a student at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.  Upon completing the theological course at this institution in 1910 he was called to be his father's successor as pastor of Pigeon Creek and affiliated congregations of the Lutheran church at Pigeon Falls.  On June 18, 1912, he was married to Myrtle Birdine Peterson, born Nov. 8, 1888, daughter of Bent and Anne Peterson, Trempealeau Valley.  Three children have been born to them:  Emanuel Bjorn, born May 9, 1913; Rolf Erling, born Aug 19, 1915; Paul Gerhard, born May 22, 1917.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 715 - 716


Rev. Emanuel Christophersen was born in Lyngor, Norway, June 23, 1849.  Parents:  Christopher J. and Margrete Christophersen.  At the age of 13 years he entered Drammen's Latin School and six years later matriculated at the University of Christiania.  In 1873 he concluded his theological studies and after making a tour of Scotland, England, Germany and Denmark assumed the position of high school director in Gjerstad.  Here he received information regarding the spiritual want among his fellow countrymen residing in America, and expressed his willingness to enter ministerial work among them.  Through Bishop Hench he received a call from Pigeon Falls and affiliated congregations.  He was ordained in Vor Frelser's church in Christiania in 1876.  The 23rd of March, the same year, he married Inger Nilson, also from Lyngor, Norway, born Oct. 3, 1849, of parents Knut and Helene Nilson.  Immediately afterward they emigrated to America and arrived at Whitehall May 30, 1876.  Here they lived a few months until the parsonage which was being built half a mile north of Pigeon Falls was ready for occupancy.  His call consisted of five congregations and a number of missionary stations.  For 33 years he performed his arduous labors in this large field with rare fidelity, traveling about in rain and sunshine, summer and winter, preaching the word of Christ's gospel, administering the sacraments, comforting the sorrowful, and instructing the young.  During these many years of continued pastorate in Pigeon Falls he became widely known and respected in this and neighboring counties.  His manly bearing, his clean-cut character and his integrity, together with his considerable learning commanded universal recognition and esteem.  In his lifework he was ably assisted by his faithful and self-sacrificing wife, whose crowning work it has been to make a home rich with joy, peace and contentment.  Their married life was very happy.  Eleven children were born to them.  The three oldest boys, Christopher, Knut and Gotlob, all died young.  The other eight living are:  Anna, married to Olaf Mosbo and living at Rembrandt, Iowa; Johannes Bjorn, married to Eva Brevig and living at Roanwood, Mont.; Einar Bjorn, successor in his father's call and living at Pigeon Falls, married to Myrtle Peterson, of Trempealeau Valley; Gerhard Bjorn, married to Addie Dale and living in Superior, Wis.; Johanne Marie, married to Rev. J. C. Johnson and living in Frankfort, Mich.; Knut Johan, at Pigeon Falls; Ragnhild Margrete, graduate nurse of Augustana Hospital, Chicago, living in Fargo, N. D.; Valborg, teacher in North Dakota.  On the 23rd of March, 1909, the anniversary of his wedding day, he suffered a paralytic stroke while seated at the dinner table and died a few hours later.  The funeral took place on the 29th of March.  Right Reverend J. Nordby, the president of the Eastern District of the Norwegian Lutheran Synod, spoke on 1 Peter 5:10, 11.  The Revs. Ramberg, Gimmestad, Urburg, Bestul, Hovde, Berrum, Vik and Kvaase delivered brief addresses.  The funeral services were attended by a great host of mourners.  Floral offerings were sent by many societies and individuals.  A number of old parishioners served as pall-bearers from the residence of the deceased to the church.  Six brother ministers carried his remains to the grave.  Members of his congregations and his family have erected a beautiful monument upon his grave.  At the time of his death his call consisted of three congregations:  Pigeon Creek congregation, at Pigeon Creek; South Beef River, Jackson County, and Upper Pigeon Creek, Jackson County.  During his pastorate at Pigeon Falls he had preached approximately 3,150 sermons, baptized 3,079, confirmed 2,029, married 480 couples and officiated at 1,002 funerals.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 714 - 715


Darwin C. Cilley, who is successfully engaged in operating the old Cilley farm of 200 acres in section 4, Burnside Township, was born in Houston, Minn., March 12, 1861, son of David C. and Anna E. (Wright) Cilley.  He was reared partly in Houston and then on his parents' farm in Burnside Township, this county, and began to assist his father at an early age.  He has always resided on the homestead since coming here in childhood, and since taking its management in hand has operated it with profitable results.  The property is well improved and is kept in good shape by Mr. Cilley, whose knowledge of practical farming is thorough and extensive.  June 18, 1890, Mr. Cilley was united in marriage with Clara Boesden, who was born in Arcadia, this county, April 15, 1872.  Her father, Stephen Boesden, who was born in Kent, England, in 1830, came to Arcadia, Wis., in 1860, and died April 2, 1910.  His wife, whose maiden name was Eliza Leonard, died in 1912, at the age of 54 years.  Mr. and Mrs. Cilley have been the parents of nine children:  Josephine, born Nov. 11, 1891, who married Fred Sieh, a farmer of Minong, Wis.; James, born July 13, 1893; David L., born April 3, 1895; Susan, born Feb. 23, 1897; Clara, born March 13, 1899, now wife of Herbert Coardes; Henry, born March 26, 1901; Margaret N., born July 23, 1906; Estella N., born Oct. 6, 1908, and Dorothy M., born June 25, 1904.  David L. is in the United States service, having gone south with the Sixth Wisconsin.  Susan is a graduate of the Eau Claire Training school and is now teaching.  With the Cilley family lives the venerable and gracious mother, Mrs. David C. Cilley.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 653 - 654


David C. Cilley, who was for many years one of the enterprising farmers of Burnside Township, of which he became a resident at an early day, was born in Franklin County, New York, May 22, 1833, a son of David and Abigail (Church) Cilley.  He was reared in his native county and was there married, Jan. 17, 1853, to Anna E. Wright, whose home was on the shores of Lake Champlain, her birth taking place there Dec. 28, 1833.  Her parents were Isaac and Rhoda (Barlow) Wright, her father being a sailor in the days when American merchant vessels visited all the ports of the world, many of them being everywhere admired for their beautiful build and fast sailing qualities.  In 1855 Mr. and Mrs. Cilley came west to La Crosse, Wis., going from there to Houston, Minn., where they were engaged in farming for nine years.  They then came to Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, settling in section 4, Burnside Township, and here Mr. Cilley resided, engaged in agricultural operations, until his death, April 11, 1911.  His wife still resides on the old homestead, which is now operated by their son Darwin C.  They had in all four children:  William O., a farmer at Concrete, N. D.; Charles L., who is a carpenter living at Herman, Minn.; John H., formerly an engineer in Chicago, who died May 5, 1913, and Darwin C.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 653


Eugene F. Clark, legislator, financier and man of affairs, is one of the leading citizens of Galesville, where his interests and influence extend to almost every phase of village and rural life.  As president of the bank of Galesville he has been an important factor in the standing which that institution has maintained in the community, and as secretary of the Trempealeau County Insurance Company his able administration of affairs has made that organization a model of its kind in every particular.  For twenty-two years his work as clerk of the board of education assisted in shaping the careers of several generations of Galesville youth,a nd his voice was ever raised in behalf of progress and efficiency in educational and administrative methods.  For twenty-three years he helped to guide the destinies of the county as a member of the board of supervisors.  In 1916, with a splendid previous record in the assembly, he was elected to the state senate from this district, and has by his notable work in that body not only increased his popularity in his district, but also won the admiration and applause of his colleagues, and the people of the state at large.  His stand on every public question has been on the side of stauncher patriotism, and for a wider helpfulness and benefit to the people in state affairs.  Desiring to do his share toward every business proposition that has for its object the upbuilding of Galesville and vicinity, he has become a stockholder in the Davis Mill Company, the Maxwell-Davis Lumber Company and the Western Wisconsin Telephone Company.  With all his busy public activities he has been regularly faithful to his church duties, and has been a valued member of the Methodist Episcopal choir for a period of some forty years.

The career that has brought Mr. Clark to these varied activities has been a most interesting one.  Descended from distinguished New England ancestry, he first saw the light of day in the home of his parents, Isaac and Emily (French) Clark, at the quaint old hamlet of Kingfield, Maine, Aug. 14, 1850.  As a small boy he was brought to Wisconsin, living a year in Monroe, Green County, before coming to Galesville, Trempealeau County.  Here he was reared to manhood, learning farming from his father and receiving a good education first in the public schools and later at Gale College, and at the La Crosse Business College.  After his marriage in 1876 he took up his home on a farm of 100 acres, one mile from Galesville, which he had purchased in 1871.  In 1895, a few months after his father's death, he succeeded him as president of the Bank of Galesville, and disposing of his own place moved back to the parental farm.  That same year he began his first term in the assembly.  In 1902, while serving a second term in the assembly, he sold the family farm and moved to Galesville.  There he has since resided, spending, however, some of his winters in the South or West.

Senator Clark was married Dec. 24, 1876, to Emily Crouch, who was born Jan. 13, 1851, in Green Lake County, Wisconsin, daughter of William and Susan (Frizzelle) Crouch.  This union has been blessed with three children:  Emily Blanche, Susan Mildred and Ethel Grace.  Emily Blanche passed through the graded and high schools of Galesville, was graduated from the University of Wisconsin with the class of 1901, and for two years was assistant principal of the Galesville high school.  She was married on Oct. 21, 1903, to Earl E. Hunner, a mining man of Duluth, Minn.  Susan Mildred passed through the graded and high schools of Galesville, took a course in the Columbia College of Music at Chicago became supervisor of music at Hibbing, Minn., for two years, also at Marinette, Wis., for two years, and then became a music supervisor at Missoula, Mont., having ten schools under her supervision.  She was married on Aug. 29, 1916, to Leonard Larson, assistant cashier of the Trust and Savings Bank of Missoula, Mont.  Ethel Grace passed through the graded and high schools of Galesville and attended Milwaukee Downer College for two years.  She then went to Appleton, Wis., where she graduated from both the Conservatory of Music and Lawrence University.  After this she taught English and music for three years in the schools of Evansville, Wis., and a private school near Milwaukee, Wis.  She was married on Aug 29, 1916, to George C. Nixon, a business man of Milwaukee.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 288 - 289


Isaac Clark, one of the early settler sin this region, and one of the sturdy group of men who had in their hands the shaping of the early history of Galesville, was born in Maine, of Englishs descent, Jan. 21, 1826, and was there reared, receiving such educational training as the neighborhood afforded.  Growing to manhood's years, he was married, and settled down to quiet New England farm life.  But the blood of pioneers was in his veins, and in 1854 he brought his family to Wisconsin, to seek the wider opportunities of a newer country.   For a year they lived at Monroe, in Green County.  Then leaving his family there he came to Galesville, and secured a farm within what are now the corporate limits of the village.  On this place a small frame dwelling was standing, and to this house he brought his family.  Here he made his home for the remainder of his days, and followed the occupation of a farmer, taking an interest also in many other ventures.  In 1883 he organized the Bank of Galesville and was its first president.  He also organized the creamery company and was largely instrumental in having the railroad constructed to Galesville.  Another important enterprise which he helped to found was the Trempealeau Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company, of which he was secretary and general superintendent.  In short, Isaac Clark was one of those men of far-sighted enterprise and energy who are the leading factors in advancing any community in which they may cast their lot.  He saw opportunities where other men passed them by and having once started in any enterprise he worked hard until it was established upon a sure footing.  He was a member of the town board in 1861, 1862 and 1863, and served in the state assembly in 1870.  After a long and useful life he died Sept. 24, 1894, widely honored, beloved and mourned.  His name will live in the story of the institutions he helped to found, and in the hearts of the friends whom his sterling worth drew to his side.  In 1893 he built the M. E. Church and presented it to the M. E. Society.

Mr. Clark was married in Maine, July 9, 1848, to Emily French, a native of that state.  She died in 1865, leaving Eugene F., Florence M. and Genevieve.  By his second marriage, Mr. Clark had two children, Wilford and Leslie, and by his third marriage he had one child, who died in infancy.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 289 - 290


Hans F. Claussen, one of the most prominent business men in the southeastern part of Trempealeau County, and a resident of the village of Ettrick, was born in Heide, Germany, Dec. 1, 1865, son of Peter H. and Anna (Messer) Claussen.  His parents came to the United States with their family when he was five years old, in 1870, first locating in Chicago, where Peter H. Claussen worked one summer.  Desiring better opportunities for advancement than he could find at once in the crowded city, he then came to Trempealeau County, Wis., and located on a farm near Frenchville, which is still known as the Claussen homestead and which is one of the best farms to be found in this part of the county, its development and improvement having been effected by him.  There he and his wife are still living, though he is now retired from active work.  Of their eight children, the subject of this sketch was the second in order of birth.

Hans F. Claussen was educated in the district school at Frenchville, Gale Township, and at Gale University, now known as Gale College.  He resided on his parents' farm until he was 22 years old and then became a clerk in the general store of Gilbertson & Myhre at Galesville, remaining in their employ for three years.  At the end of that time, resolving to go into business for himself, he selected Elk Creek, in this county, as a suitable location and there conducted a store for four years.  An opportunity then occurred for him to purchase the business of John Gilbertson at Frenchville, and he accordingly did so, improving  the store by the erection of new buildings, his store building being 42 by 60 feet, two stories in height, with basement.  A house for residence is connected with it.  Here Mr. Claussen is doing a good business as general merchant, keeping a large and varied stock of goods to suit both village and country trade and ensuring a gradual increase of patronage by prompt service and honest dealing.  This enterprise, however, prosperous though it is, is but one of those with which he is connected.  He was one of the founders of the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Galesville and its first vice-president.  In 1911 he organized the Bank of Ettrick, of which he is at the present time president, devoting to this institution the greater part of his time; and he is besides secretary and treasurer and a director of the Ettrick & Northern Railroad, now building; acting treasurer of the Ettrick Creamery Company and treasurer of the Ettrick Telephone Company, also secretary and treasurer of the Ettrick Lumber Company, organized in 1917.  Aside from his interests in these various enterprises he is the owner of real estate in Frenchville and land in Ettrick Township close to the corporation line of Ettrick Village.  An independent Republican in politics, Mr. Claussen, while having no political aspirations, has at different times responded when called upon to serve in local office, and thus has served four years as treasurer of Gale Township and a similar length of time as chairman of the township board.  He was married in June, 1892, to Anna Olson, who was born in Trempealeau County, daughter of Louis and Mary (Olson) Olson.  Her parents, who are now deceased, were early settlers in Trempealeau County, coming here from Coon Valley, La Crosse County, where they lived for a short time.  Mr. Olson's occupation was that of farmer, and he and his wife were worthy, reliable people, much respected in their vicinity.  They had four children, their daughter Anna, now Mrs. Claussen, being the third born.  Mr. and Mrs. Claussen's family circle has been enlarged by the birth of five children:  Lucile P., who was educated in the  local schools and at Red Wing Seminary and is now assistant cashier in the Bank of Ettrick; Vesta M., Freda M., Peter H. and Ruth M., all of whom are residing at home.  The Claussen family are members of the Lutheran church.  They stand high in the community as people of sterling character and their circle of friends and acquaintances is a wide one.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 485 - 486


Noah D. Comstock, a pioneer settler of Arcadia, long passed away, but whose memory will remain green for many years to come, was born in Lowville, Lewis County, N. Y., Nov. 22, 1832.  In his native town he received a common school and partially academic education.  When 18 years of age he moved to Calhoun County, Mich., and one year later to Indiana, where he taught school until 1853.  In that year he crossed overland the great plains and mountains to the gold mines of California.  After working in the gold mines for two years, he returned east as far as Wisconsin and in 1855 became one of the first settlers of Arcadia.  He was town assessor in 1858, county treasurer in 1860, and re-elected in 1862 and 1864, was a member of the county board in 1868, and a member of the assembly from Trempealeau County in 1872, 1874, 1875 and 1876; he also held other local offices and was elected state senator in 1882.  In 1868 Mr. Comstock was united in marriage to Ellen Comstock, a union of the happiest and brightest order, lasting for more than 20 years.  But in time came the inevitable end, and after a long, patient and resolute struggle against the messenger of death, Noah Durham Comstock passed away on the morning of the 6th of June, 1890.  His death was regretted by all who knew him, for he possessed all the characteristics of a true and noble gentleman.  A man of great independence of character and stern integrity, united with rare ability, he had a warm heart and a remarkably unselfish and self-sacrificing disposition, being ever ready to lend his counsel and assistance to those in need.  In manner he was modest and retiring.  Void of all superstitious fear of death, his main study was to learn how to live -- how to utilize his narrow span of time here in the faithful performance of life's daily and hourly duties, indulging in no vain speculations as to the shadowy future.  Like the Hebrew sage, of whom Longfellow speaks in one of his shorter poems, he sought to be remembered "as one who loved his fellow man."  During his last sickness he was gentle and patient, and greatly appreciated all that was done for him.  He suffered much, but never complained, though he was conscious to the last, and when death came it was as a peaceful sleep.  At his own request, his funeral services were conducted by Judge A.W. Newman, of Trempealeau, and his remains were followed from his residence to the village cemetery by a large concourse of friends and neighbors who had come from nearly every part of the county to pay a last sad tribute of respect to one whom in life they had learned to honor and esteem.  To his wife and children he left the fragrance of an exemplary life and the honor of a stainless name.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 672 - 673


William Henry Conrad, proprietor of a fine farm of 280 acres, 225 of which is in section 26, Gale Township and the balance across Black River in La Crosse County, was born on this farm Sept. 26, 1886, son of Frank and Allemania (Genske) Conrad.  The father, a native of this township, was always a farmer, and moved onto this farm with his parents when about six or seven years of age.  When he grew up it came into his possession and he developed it and made many improvements on it.  Though not now operating the farm, he resides on it and is still very active.  For five years he was a member of the township board, and also served some time as school director.  His wife, who was born on shipboard while on the passage from Germany to the United States, is also living.  Their only child was the subject of this sketch.

William Henry Conrad was educated in the district school of his neighborhood.  He worked for his father until he was 21 years old and then rented the farm and has since operated it on his own account, having done a profitable business.  He was married Dec. 18, 1908, to Julia Ravnum, who was born in Gale Township, this county, daughter of Anton and Martha (Gilboe) Ravnum, both of whom were natives of Norway.  her father, who was a farmer, is now deceased, but her mother still resides on the old homestead in Gale Township.  Anton Ravnum was born in Biri, Norway, and his wife in Gubrendal, that country, the former coming to this country when a young man and working out in this township until he settled on his own farm, which he developed and improved.  He and his wife were married in Hardie's Creek Valley, Trempealeau County.  He was a prominent man in the township, both he and his wife being highly esteemed.  His death occurred Nov. 6, 1898.  Mr. and Mrs. Conrad have been the parents of five children:  Laura Irene, Harvey William, Helen Margaret, Hazel Marie and Francis Alfred, Harvey W. and Helen M. being twins.  Hazel M. died in infancy, but the others are still living and are residing at home.  The family are members of the Lutheran church.  Mr. Conrad is independent in politics, voting for the man rather than for the party.  He is now serving in his sixth year as clerk of the school board of his district, and he served three years as township treasurer.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 483


John B. Corcoran, a well known and popular citizen of Ettrick Village, engaged in the mail service as carrier, has lived in Trempealeau County all his life, having been born a quarter of a mile from the site of Ettrick, May 15, 1858.  His parents were James and Hannah (Callahan) Corcoran.  James Corcoran was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1830, and his wife, in Ireland in 1831.  The former was a young man when he came to the United States, settling in New York State.  For two years he was employed as clerk in the old Van Dusen Hotel at Elmira, N. Y., and then, about 1855, came west to Wisconsin, locating in Galesville, Trempealeau County.  Here he entered the employ of Judge Gale, his wife -- for he had married in New York State -- boarding the men who were engaged in building the judge's residence, which now stands on the Gale farm.  After being thus occupied for awhile James Corcoran, anxious to become independent, availed himself of the opportunity to homestead a farm on the East Branch, near Ettrick, and having secured his property, settled down to develop and improve it.  There he resided until his death, which occurred about 1890.  His wife survived him many years, dying in 1913.  They had a family of seven children, of whom John B. was the first born.  John B. Corcoran first attended school in the Ettrick district and distinctly remembers the small log shanty in which he mastered his A, B, Cs.  Afterwards he went to school at Frenchville, where he gained some further knowledge.  He had to make himself useful at an early age, however, especially as being the eldest child and son he was the best able to assist his father.  At that time he frequently drove cows over the site of the present village of Ettrick.  Wild game was abundant and he has counted as many as 15 or 20 deer at one time, while there were also many beaver.  When 12 years old he often used to haul wheat from Ettrick to Trempealeau with an ox team.  Later he became a regular farm hand and also tried other industrial lines, working some four or five years as a machinist in Ettrick, following the same trade for awhile in Galesville and later at Eau Claire, in which place he continued at it three years.  Then returning to Ettrick he built a hotel and feed barn, and has continued in that business since, being now engaged in erecting a new hotel of 16 sleeping rooms, office, dining room, parlor and kitchen.  The building is of brick veneer two fulls stories, with ground dimensions of 65 by 34 feet, and will be operated as a commercial hotel.  Mr. Corcoran is now serving in his thirteenth year as railroad mail carrier from the Ettrick office and will continue in that occupation, his son, Edwin J., operating the hotel.  He is also the owner of a farm of 160 acres, situated a mile and a quarter east of Ettrick on the south branch of Beaver Creek, and is a stockholder in the Ettrick and Northern Railroad.  At times he has held office as a member of the township and school boards, his political principles being those of the Democratic party.  He is a member of the Catholic church at Ettrick.  June 1884, Mr. Corcoran was married to Margaret Lane, who was born in La Crescent, Minn., daughter of Timothy and Mary (Buckley) Lane, her parents, like his own father, being natives of County Kerry, Ireland, though coming to America seven years later.  They settled six miles east of Ettrick, on the Willie Mack farm, where they resided practically for the rest of their lives, though they finally retired and removed to Ettrick Village, where they died.  Mr. and Mrs. Corcoran are the parents of three children:  Edwin J., who resides in Ettrick and has charge of his father's hotel and barn; Florence, wife of Ray Trunbar, proprietor of a European hotel in Sioux City, Iowa, and Perry, who lives with his parents.  Mr. Corcoran's fraternal affiliations are with the Order of Beavers.  He is noted throughout this region as a skillful hunter, never missing a season of deer hunting in the north woods.  Among his trophies of the chase are a jacket, gloves and mittens of buckskin, made from the hides of deer which he killed.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 582 - 583


George Cowie, an early settler of Buffalo County, Glencoe Township, was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, Aug. 25, 1828, son of George Cowie, Sr., and Janet (McDonald) Cowie, both of ancient Scotch Highland ancestry.  George Cowie was reared to the occupation of iron and coal mining in his native land, and in 1848, at the age of nineteen years, came to America.  Landing in Nova Scotia, he engaged in mining there for a time, and then went to Pottsville, Pa., where he engaged in the same occupation.  Going thence to the city of New York, he left that port on Jan. 5, 1850, for California.  Going via the Isthmus, he landed at Aspinwall, and thence went across the Isthmus on foot to Panama on the Pacific side.  At that place he took the steamer Winfield Scott for San Francisco. this proved a most eventful voyage.  The vessel was an old one, and both yellow fever and cholera broke out on board.  the vessel was crowded with 1,000 passengers, 300 of whom were sick, and seventy-five died before the vessel reached the port of San Francisco, and were buried in the sea.  On reaching California Mr. Cowie went to Nevada County, where he engaged in gold mining, and remained on the Pacific coast for about one year, when he returned to his home in Pottsville via the Nicaragua route.  Soon after his return home he removed to Lonaconing, Alleghany County, Md., where he engaged in mining.  In the spring of 1855 he started for Wisconsin, going by rail to West Virginia, thence by the Ohio River to Cairo, and thence by steamer to Fountain City (then known as Holmes' Landing), an Indian trading post.  That, it will be remembered, was 62 years ago.  La Crosse at that time was but a village, and the existence of Winona had scarcely begun.  Mr. Cowie made his present settlement at once, purchasing government land at $1.25 per acre.  Mr. Cowie was prominently identified with the growth and development of Buffalo County, and was called upon to serve in many public positions.  He was the first postmaster of Glencoe, filling that office very efficiently for twenty-seven successive years, and gave the name to the office, which was established in 1862.  He gave the name Glencoe to his town in honor of a valley in the highlands of Scotland called Glencoe, which was the home of the McDonalds, from which clan he is descended.  He also served as chairman of the town for six years, and held nearly all other local offices, and was largely instrumental in the organization of the town of Glencoe.  He served in the legislature in the sessions of 1871-72, and has the honor of being the first Democrat elected to the legislature from Buffalo County.  In November, 1894, Mr. Cowie reluctantly retired from the old farm home and with his wife moved to Arcadia, Trempealeau County, where they resided until his death.  He died on Feb. 17, 1904, while visiting his daughter, Mrs. F. P. Taft, at Longmont, Cal.  His wife died May 29, 1913, at her old home in the town of Glencoe.  Mr. Cowie was married at Pottsville, Pa., to Margaret Faulds, daughter of James Faulds, who, with his son and daughter, John and Elizabeth Faulds, came to Wisconsin with the Cowie family.  Mr. and Mrs. Cowie had twelve children:  David, Frank, Nettie, Anna, George and Louis (deceased), and James F., George M., Allan J., Albert E., Robert S. and Margaret M.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 287 - 288


Robert S. Cowie, attorney of Whitehall, is one of the best known citizens in Western Wisconsin, and for many years has taken an active and influential part in public affairs.  He has held national, state and county appointments, and as an attorney has participated in many of the most important cases that have been tried in the courts of the Sixth Judicial Circuit.  He was born in Glencoe, Buffalo County, this state, April 18, 1872, son of George and Margaret (Faulds) Cowie, was educated in the public schools, and while still a youth became a teacher.  By this means he was enabled to enter the law department of the University of Wisconsin, from which he was graduated with the degree of LL.B. in 1894.  While in the university he took a deep interest in all student activities, and was especially prominent in the Columbia Literary Society.  In the fall of 1894 he located at Arcadia, as a partner of Attorney John C. Gaveney.  There he successfully practiced until Jan. 1, 1898, when he became district attorney, a position in which he did the county most efficient service.  While serving his second term he resigned to accept an appointment by President Theodore Roosevelt as deputy auditor in the United states Navy Department, in which position he served from 1903 to 1905, when he resigned.  In the spring of 1905 he was elected county judge, and served with much distinction from Jan. 1, 1906, to July, 1909, when he was appointed a member of the State Board of Control by Gov. James O. Davidson.  At the expiration of his term he established himself at Whitehall, where he has since been in practice.  His business holdings include stock in the John O. Melby & Co. Bank at Whitehall, the Central Trading Association of Whitehall and the Farmers & Merchants Bank of Independence.  His fraternal associations are with the Masonic, Elk and Odd Fellow lodges.  Judge Cowie was married Dec. 25, 1897, to Kathryn F. Melby, born in Arcadia, April 1, 1878, daughter of John O. and Jennie (Beach) Melby.  This union has been blessed with one daughter, Janice M., born Dec. 31, 1900.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 286 - 287


Albert G. Cox, proprietor of the Linderman Mills, one mile west of Osseo, and of a 300-acre farm in sections 8 and 9, Sumner Township, was born in Milford, Wis., March 28, 1856, son of Samuel and Sarah (Dickenson) Cox.  Samuel Cox was born in London, England, came to America in 1841, located in Philadelphia, where he lived until 1856, and then came to Wisconsin.  He farmed two miles south of Osseo from 1866 to 1880 and then retired to Osseo Village, where he resided until his death, his wife dying in 1893.  Albert G. Cox was reared to farm pursuits by his father, and as a young man learned the tinner's trade.  In 1876 he opened a hardware and machinery establishment in Osseo, which he conducted until 1887.  Then he became general agent for the Van Brunt & Wilkins Manufacturing Company, implement makers, traveling for them in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.  Upon entering the employ of this concern he moved to Augusta, Wis.  From 1894 to 1900 he conducted a hardware store in that place.  In 1900 he returned to Osseo and took charge of the Linderman Mills, which on the death of Mr. Linderman were willed to the Cox family.  These mills, Mr. Cox, who moved his family here six years later, in 1906, has since successfully conducted.  Mr. Cox is a well-known man in the community, and is regarded as a leading citizen.  He is a member of the Blue Lodge and of the Chapter and Commandery in the Masonic order, and at Augusta passed through the chairs of the Knights of Pythias Lodge.  In addition to his milling and agricultural interests he is president of the Northern Wisconsin State Fair Association and president of the Osseo Telephone Company.  Mr. Cox was married, Aug. 17, 1878, to Emma Linderman, daughter of James L. and Abigail (Williams) Linderman, and this union has been blessed with three children:  Laura, Clarissa and Winnifred S.  Laura married C. A. Williams, who owns creameries at Augusta, Osseo and Fairchild.  They live at Augusta and have two children:  Albert Cox and Mary Jane.  Clarissa married A. E. Bradford, a banker of Augusta, and they have three children: Elizabeth, Clarissa and Barbara.  Winnifred S. married George Livesey, an attorney of Bellingham, Wash., and has one child: Kathryn.

The Linderman Mills, located on Beef River one mile west of Osseo, were first erected by E. Scott Hotchkiss and James L. Linderman in 1872, and except for having been burned and rebuilt in 1880 has been in continual existence since that time.  The original building is of white pine and is still standing in as good condition as it was when first erected.  The original machinery, however, was all replaced with new and modern equipment by A. G. Cox in 1901.  This original building is 36 by 50 feet, four stories high, with a basement.  The elevator building is 32 by 32 feet, and 35 feet high to the eaves, and with still another story above, used for elevator heads.  This building was erected by A. G. Cox in 1901.  The mill is run by water power by a flume of the Beef River, and the engine is about 100 feet distant from the mill, power being furnished from the engine, when needed, by a transmission rope.  The machinery consists of four double strand of rolls for wheat, the same with corrugated rolls for rye, and a separate mill three double strand of rolls for buckwheat.  A plansifter system is used for each mill, and dust collectors throughout.  A 22-inch ball-bearing Foos attrition mill is used for feed grinding.  A 45 horsepower Atlas engine auxiliary power is installed, to be used when needed, but this need is only in the very cold weather, and at the busiest time of the year should the water run low.  Situated on the C., St. P., M. & O. Ry., it is the center of a rich farming community, and aside from turning out excellent grades of wheat and buckwheat flour does an extensive grist-mill business.  A new dam with concrete piers has been installed to replace a wooden one after its 30 years or more of service.  The pond extends a mile above the dam.  With the exception of the big flood of 1876 there has never been a washout.  The property was operated by its founder and owner, James L. Linderman, until 1900, when Albert G. Cox took over the mill, paying Mr. Linderman a rental.  The new machinery was all installed by Mr. Cox with the understanding that the mill was to be willed to his family, which was done by Mr. Linderman, the business being conducted by Mr. Cox, and the title of the property now resting in his and his wife's names.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 651 - 652


Henry A. Cox, a retired farmer residing on his old farm in section 11, Trempealeau Township, was born at Whitewater, Walworth County, Wis., Dec. 12, 1845, son of Jeffry and Elizabeth (Cox) Cox.  His parents were natives of Somersetshire, England, and came to the United States in 1844, located at Whitewater, Wis., where the mother died about a year after the birth of her son Henry.  The father, who was born in 1798, survived his wife many years, dying in 1882 at the advanced age of 84.

Henry A. Cox was educated in the district school at Whitewater, Wis., which he left at the age of 15 years.  At the age of 17 he enlisted in Company D, Twenty-eighth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.  He took part in several battles and his regiment was with the Union troops when they took possession of Little Rock, Ark., but Mr. Cox was in the hospital at that time.  After serving three years and two months, he was mustered out at Brownsville, Tex., and returned to his home in Whitewater.  In 1866 he came to Trempealeau Township, locating near Centerville, on a farm of 80 acres which he had bought of Hollister Wright, where he remained for five or six years, after which he sold that farm and bought his present home of 120 acres in section 11, on which he built a one and a half story frame house, together with a barn, silo and other necessary buildings.  All the land is under the plow.  In 1909 Mr. Cox turned over the farm to his son Frank, who now operates it.  In the summers he resides on the farm and in the winters he lives with his son Clarence at La Crosse.  In politics Mr. Cox has always been a Republican.  He formerly served two terms as clerk of School District No. 13.  His religious affiliations are with Centerville Methodist Episcopal church, of which he has been an active member for a number of years.  He is a man highly respected throughout this part of the county as a reliable citizen and good neighbor.  He was united in holy bonds of matrimony to Jennie Ladd, who proved a loyal wife and loving mother.  She passed away Jan. 16, 1895, leaving the following children:  George H., born in 1876, who is married and is engaged in farming in Iowa; Frank, born in 1879, who is also married and is operating the home farm, and Clarence, born in 1883, who is married and lives in La Crosse, Wis., where he is engaged in the hardware business.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 387 - 388


George A. Coy, an energetic young business man, was born in Independence, Jan. 11, 1892, the son of Elmer and Barbara (Cook) Coy, the former of whom has been a rural carrier on Route 1, out of Independence, since 1902.  George A. acquired a good education, passing through the graded schools and graduating from the Independence High School in 1910.  Thus prepared he entered the rural mail service as carrier on Route 3, from Independence.  Two years later he went to Montevideo, Minn., learned the trade of linotype operator, and followed that line of work for a year and a half, then returning, and becoming a mail carrier on Route 3, out of Independence.  In 1916 he entered into partnership with John A. Rumpel in the firm of Rumpel & Coy, and bought out the meat market of Peter Filla at Independence and built up a substantial business in meats, groceries and baked goods, and also renting the building, a substantial two-story brick building with full basement.  He was married, June 8, 1915, to Katherine McClone, of Stevens Point, a graduate of Stevens Point Normal School, who was a teacher in the seventh and eighth grades of the public schools for seven years.  Her parents were Edward and Sarah (Timlin) McClone, the father being now a retired farmer living at Stevens Point.  Mr. and Mrs. Coy have one child, Katherine Loraine, who was born July 29, 1916.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 713


Almon Everett Cram, who is engaged in raising fruit and nursery stock on his farm of 72 acres in section 34, Gale Township, was born near Belfast, Maine, March 27, 1856.  His parents, Nathan and Esther (Bucklin) Cram, were also natives of that State.  The family came to Wisconsin in 1860, locating about three miles west of Galesville.  While the Civil War was in progress Nathan Cram enlisted in Company J, Thirty-sixth Wisconsin Regiment, and was killed in the battle of Cold Harbor.  He had followed the occupations of miner and farmer.  His wife survived him nearly half a century, dying about 1910.  They had four children, of whom Almon E. was the eldest.

Almon Everett Cram was a child of 4 years when he accompanied his parents to Trempealeau County, and his earliest boyhood recollections are associated with pioneer conditions.  The Indians were numerous, but never gave them any trouble, and when he grew older he kept on good terms with them, avoiding them as much as possible without the appearance of doing so, but always treating them in a just and friendly manner when he had occasion to meet them.  The woods in those days were full of game.  Deer could be shot at almost any time on the bluffs, and bears were not uncommon.  As for pigeons, they were so numerous as to be a serious pest to the farmers, eating the grain as fast as it could be sown.  When 16 years old young Almon began to work out for others and continued to do so until he was 22, when he bought land and began farming for himself in Stearns Valley, Trempealeau County.  About 1879 he took up his residence in Galesville, where he resided for 12 years, engaged in teaming.  He then, in 1891, began operations on his present farm, which he had previously purchased, making a specialty of the fruit and nursery business, in which he has been successful.  He was a charter member of the first fire company in Galesville and for three years has served as president of the Burns Curling Association.  Mr. Cram was married in 1876 to Isabelle Gunderson, who was born in Norway, daughter of Michael and Betsy Gunderson.  She came to America with her parents when a child of 7 or 8 years, they settling in Bear Creek Valley on a homestead five miles north of Ettrick.  After residing there a number of years they moved across the river into Minnesota, near Bear Park, where Mrs. Gunderson is now living, her husband being deceased.  Mr. and Mrs. Cram have had seven children, one of them died in infancy.  The others are:  Blanche, wife of Thomas Hunter, a hardware merchant of Galesville; Lela, wife of Harry Bennett, a farmer of Centerville, Wis.; Ray, who married Eunice Tucker, and resides in Galesville; Mabel, wife of Milton Merwin, a farmer of Centerville; and John and Vilas, who reside at home and are assisting their father in operating the farm.  Mr. Cram is a Democrat in politics, but has taken no active part in local government affairs.  He is warmly interested, however, in the progress and development of the community in which he lives, and always read to aid in advancing its interests.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 358 - 359


Frederick C. Cripps, a well-known and respected citizen of Burnside Township, operating a farm of 240 acres in Section 1, was the first white child born in this township, the date of his nativity being Nov. 23, 1858, and his parents being Giles and Harriet (Wood) Cripps, the pioneers.  He was reared to agricultural pursuits.  After his marriage in 1883 he moved into his farm in Section 11, Burnside.  It was on Oct. 25, 1891, that he sold out and moved to his present place.  It is a well-developed piece of property and is being constantly improved.  Its fertile acres are devoted to general farming, a specialty being made of a fine herd of graded Holstein cattle.  The residence is a two-story frame house with a full basement.  It has been substantially rebuilt, and a furnace and other modern conveniences installed.  In 1897 the barn was erected.  It is a commodious structure of frame, 40 by 64 by 20 feet above the basement, the basement being of stone, with cement floors.  In 1917 a large silo was built of Natco imperishable hollow glazed black tile, the dimensions being 12 by 40 feet, and the capacity 96 tons.  Mr. Cripps was married Feb. 25, 1883, to Lillian Dale, of Galesville, who was born in Caledonia Township, this county, May 9, 1863, daughter of Joseph and Albina (Fowler) Dale.  This union has been blessed with two children:  Arthur L., born June 19, 1888, who is residing at home, and Josephine A., born July 24, 1890, now a wife of Paul Van Horn, the merchant at Elk Creek, Hale Township, this county.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 703


Giles Cripps was one of the earliest pioneers of Burnside Township, being preceded only by the members of the John Markham household.  He opened a pioneer farm, kept the pioneer postoffice, was an early justice of the peace, and served his township as chairman for several years.  Giles Cripps was born in Oxfordshire, England, Nov. 5, 1833, and was but three years of age when he was brought to New York State by his parents.  From there, in 1843, the family came to Waukesha County, this state, where, though a youth of but nine years, Giles Cripps assisted his father with his herd of 1,500 sheep.  The next move of the family was to Dane County where they acquired a farm of 200 acres.  There on June 9, 1853, he married Harriet Wood.  For four years they continued to farm in Dane County.  In 1857 they came to Trempealeau County and selected a homestead a few miles up Elk Creek, being the first settlers in the Elk Creek valley.  At their home the Elk Creek postoffice was established, and the place became a pioneer center.  They developed a good farm and took a part in every cause which had for its object the betterment of the community.  Mr. Cripps continued to devote his life largely to agricultural interests and for some years he and Noah D. Comstock were interested in the grain and elevator business in Independence.  A man of broad sympathies and genial temperament, he early became interested in the leading fraternal societies, and in time joined the Masonic, Pythian and United Workmen orders.  After a busy and useful life, he died March 21, 1885, and the entire community joined in its regret, the funeral being conducted under Masonic auspices by Rev. T. Grafton Owen and attended by the members of the orders of which he was a member as well as by hundreds of other friends.  An obituary notice in the Republican-Leader said:  "Mr. Cripps was a man of unimpeachable integrity, honesty and uprightness in every phase of his daily life.  In society he was a truly valuable citizen, and in his family a kind and loving husband and father.  His agreeable disposition, pleasing manner, and clearly defined principles gave him a wide circle of friends as well as many personal admirers.  The death of no man in the community could be more genuinely or profoundly mourned, his premature decease was the cause of universal regret."  He was survived by his widow, his five children, and his aged father.  The children are:  E. A., of Medford, Ore; Charles A., of Iroquois, S. D.; G. E. and Frederick E., of Independence, and Mrs. Emma Nicols.  Harriet Wood, whom Mr. Cripps married June 9, 1853, was born in Cattaraugus County, New York, June 15, 1836, and was the inspiration and help of her husband in all his undertakings.  After the death of Mr. Cripps, she remained on the home farm until Oct. 28, 1898, when she married J. W. Summers, and subsequently moved to Whitehall, where she died July 21, 1915.  She was universally beloved and respected, and her gracious hospitality was an important feature of pioneer life in Burnside.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 702 - 703


Giles E. Cripps, an enterprising and successful agriculturist, who is engaged in operating a farm of 280 acres in sections 13 and 14, Burnside Township, was born in section 11, this township, Oct. 19, 1861, son of Giles and Harriet (Wood) Cripps.  A memoir of his parents may be found in the biography of Fred C. Cripps, elsewhere published in this volume.  He was reared on his parents' farm and resided on it until reaching the age of 22 years, during this period being engaged in assisting his father.  Dec. 30, 1883, Mr. Cripps married Eliza Zimmer, who was born at New Lisbon, Wis., Dec. 16, 1863, her parents being John J. and Margaret (Wunderlich) Zimmer.  The father, usually known as Jacob Zimmer, was born in Erie County, N. Y., Jan. 7, 1836, and came West with his parents to Racine, Wis., in 1845, residing there one year. He then removed to Jefferson County, where he lived until 1865.  His marriage to Margaret Wunderlich took place March 12, 1856.  She was a native of Germany, born March 12, 1834, and died Nov. 15, 1912.  John J. Zimmer in 1862 enlisted in the Twelfth Wisconsin Battery and was wounded in the right leg at the battle of Corinth.  In the spring of 1865 he came to Trempealeau County and rented a farm in Hale Township, but after a two years' residence there, he moved to Traverse Valley, section 17, Burnside Township, where he bought a farm on which he lived until 1892.  The remainder of his life was spent in the village of Independence, where his death finally occurred, Feb. 6, 1909, about three years and nine months before that of his wife.  On beginning agricultural work for himself Giles E. Cripps purchased the farm on which he has since resided, and which is now well improved, the land being well tilled, the buildings ample and of good, substantial construction, and the equipment of tools and machinery being fully adequate to all the needs of modern farming.  An all-woven wire fence surrounds the entire farm.  Mr. Cripps and wife had been the parents of three children, the first of whom died at birth.  The others are:  Ralph, born Nov. 6, 1890, and Mildred, born Sept. 12, 1894.  Ralph Cripps, who is engaged in operating the farm for his wife's mother, was married Oct. 3, 1916, to Jennie Cooke, of Independence, who was born Aug. 9, 1897, daughter of Samuel and Martha (Arnold) Cooke.  They have one child, Willis Ralph, born Sept. 10, 1917.  Mildred resides at home.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 624


Peter Crogan, a general farmer residing in section 4, Gale Township, was born in County Roscommon, Ireland, Dec. 24, 1845, son of Patrick and Mary (Bropsom) Crogan.  His parents were natives of the same county.  The father was a farmer, who died in Ireland about 1859, and his wife subsequently came to the United States, settling in New Jersey, where her death took place about 1893.  Peter Crogan was the fourth born in a family of 13 children.  He attended school in his native land and resided on the home farm until he came to America in 1864.  For five years he lived in New Jersey, working for others and then, hearing of opportunities to acquire land in the great Northwest, he came to Trempealeau County, Wisconsin.  He did not immediately acquire land, however, but for some years worked in Trempealeau and La Crosse Counties until 1878, at which time he bought his present farm of 160 acres.  Here he has since made a number of improvements, having cultivated and developed the land and put up good buildings of substantial and modern construction.  Mr. Crogan was married in 1877 to Mary Jane McCormick, who was born in La Crosse County, daughter of Patrick and Mary (Finon) McCormick.  Her parents were born in Ireland and came to the United States, being early settlers in La Crosse County, where Mr. McCormick engaged in farming.  Both are now deceased.  Mr. and Mrs. Crogan are the parents of six children:  Joseph, who is a railroad man and resides in Reedsburg, Wis.; Lucy, who was educated in the schools of Trempealeau County and La Crosse, also at the Winona Normal School, and is now a teacher in Ettrick; Peter Benedick, who was drowned April 10, 1916, opposite Winona while automobile riding on a flooded roadway; Winnie, a stenographer at Grafton, N. D.; Clement, who resides with his father, and one who died in infancy.  The death of Peter Benedick during the flood of 1916 was a very sad event, his wife and two children perishing with him.  It occurred at a spot where several others were drowned the same season.  He was at the time operating his father's farm, the latter having retired and taken up his residence in Winona.  Owing to this accident Peter Crogan, having no other tenant, returned to the farm, where he has since remained.  He and his wife are members of the Catholic church.  In politics he is independent.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 482 - 483


John H. Crosen, an elderly resident of Trempealeau Village, one of the surviving veterans of the Civil War, was born in Wheeling, Va., Aug. 22, 1833.  His parents were William and Adelaide (Israel) Crosen.  The father, born in Virginia about 1790, learned the cooper's trade, which he followed in Wheeling for a number of years, and afterwards in Pittsburgh, Pa.  He was of Dutch descent.  His wife, Adelaide (Israel) Crosen, was born in Pennsylvania of Scotch descent, and was nearly 90 years of age at the time of her death.

John H. Crosen had but limited educational opportunities in his boyhood, attending the common schools during the winters from the age of 7 to that of 16 years.  He remained at home until he was 18 years old, assisting his father in coopering, and then worked out to some extent on farms, though still assisting his father at times.  It was his desire to learn the machinist's trade, but could find no one to take him as an apprentice on account of his slight build.  Through the influence of an uncle, however, he found an opportunity to learn boot and shoe making, which he started to do at the age of 22 years, and he continued his apprenticeship until he could make any kind of footwear, pegged or sewed.  Then he went to Allegheny, Pa., where he entered the employ of James Spratley, a manufacturer and dealer, for whom he worked four years.

In 1856 Mr. Crosen came West to Wisconsin, traveling by rail by way of Chicago to Dubuque, Iowa, and from there by boat up the river to Trempealeau, then known as Montoville, arriving the 13th of November, 1856.  Here he went to work as clerk for J. P. Israel, who had come West with him and established a grocery and dry goods business.  Israel had bought goods in St. Louis, which were delivered to the Packet Company at Dubuque, Iowa, but as the river was frozen over so as to prevent navigation, they were not delivered at Trempealeau until the spring of 1857.  After working for Mr. Israel a few months, Mr. Crosen bought him out.  Not long after doing so he discovered that the goods bought in St. Louis had not been paid for, and as he was unable to pay for them, the St. Louis people closed him out.  He then opened a boot and shoe shop, there being at this time only three business houses in Trempealeau, and resided at the hotel kept by D. W. Gilfillan.  There was plenty of work to be had and he was kept busy in his shop, but business was done largely on credit and there was plenty of "wildcat" money in circulation, sound money being scarce.  Mr. Crosen often had as much as $250 of this more than doubtful currency in his pocket, but couldn't pay a week's board with it.  There were scores of banks organized and existing on an unsound financial condition and failures were frequent.  These conditions lasted until the Civil War, by which time Mr. Crosen found himself in bad financial condition, and with prospects no better.  There was one thing every able-bodied young man could do, however - serve his country; so on June 20, 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Sixth Regiment Volunteer Infantry, better known as the "Iron Brigade."  He was mustered in at Madison, Wis., July 17, 1861, with rank of sergeant.  Three days later the command arrived in Washington, D. C., and was stationed at Kalorama Heights, D. C., near the capital.  Early in the following March they took part in McClelland's advance on bull Run, subsequently returning to Alexandria, Va., where they were held for the protection of Washington.  They, however, cleared the State of the rebels as far down as Fredericksburg, the enemy burning all bridges and shipping.  After the bridges had been rebuilt the command crossed the Rappahannock in the night, going to the vicinity of Orange County Courthouse.  From there they marched on Spottsylvania Courthouse, and on to Waller's Tavern and Frederickhall Station on the Richmond Railroad.  On this raid they destroyed "Stonewall" Jackson's commissary supplies and the station at Frederickhall, together with three miles of the railroad track.  Making use of a "ground wire," they telegraphed General Jackson (the message purporting to come from Richmond):  "Send troops to protect railroad."  Jackson's reply was:  "Pope giving me enough to do here; railroad must take care of itself."  Having accomplished this work, the command returned to camp at Fredericksburg.  The next movement was a feint attack made to deceive the enemy, so that the troops at Fredericksburg could rejoin the main army.  This movement was successful, but in making it a New York regiment lost their entire supply train, and sent back a courier with an order demanding horses - everyone that could be picked up.  This order was delivered to Colonel Cutler, of the Wisconsin troops, and was very thoroughly obeyed, the command gathering in a large number of horses.  This was one of the biggest infantry raids during the war, and was accomplished by Wisconsin troops.  It lasted four days, and as the men had but three days' rations, the last 24 hours they were without food.  On their return they were complimented by General Gibbons, who issued to Sergeant Crosen the following orders:  "Find two rows of tents at right.  Occupy these.  Cook and eat to your heart's content.  Pay no attention to taps, and I'll send up a present."  The present was four buckets of whiskey, of which the last drop was drunk, though there was not an intoxicated man.  They then turned in and were just asleep when an order came to Sergeant Crosen to notify the colonel to prepare three days' rations and make an immediate advance to Cedar Mountain, 50 miles distant, to the Rapidan River.  Accordingly rest had to be postponed to a future occasion, the troops took up their march and in 48 hours were at Cedar Mountain ready for battle.  On this occasion the subject of this sketch was a messmate with Major Charles Ford, they sharing half rations together, as he had none.  The battle was a hard contest and the field was so piled with the bodies of men and horses that it could not be passed over.  It was suspended by a truce.  Two days afterward outriders came in reporting that the Confederate army of different divisions of 40,000 each were "advancing from every direction."  The troops were immediately drawn up in line of battle  on the Rappahannock River to prevent the rebels from crossing, and they held this position from 4 o'clock p. m. on one day to 10 o'clock a. m. the next.  As the enemy did not appear, they took up the line of march back through Culpepper to the Rappahannock railroad station, and then up the river.  this four days' march was made from Aug. 20 to 23, 1862, inclusive.  Aug. 26 the "Iron Brigade" went to White Sulphur springs, where they defeated  a flank movement of the enemy.  They then took up their march for Bull Run, on a report that the Confederates had got around their right.  Reaching Gainesville, Aug. 28, 1862, they marched through the town.  About a mile beyond the enemy suddenly opened fire on them, the attack being quite unexpected.  Quickly forming line, they fought for three hours, the brigade losing 800 killed and wounded.  Among the latter was Mr. Crosen, who was shot in the left thigh.  Left on the field, he lay there nine days and on the tenth day was taken to Gainesville and laid beside the road to be parolled with others.  The second battle of Bull Run took place as he lay on the field between the opposing forces, unable to get away.  By the terms of an armistice the wounded were released, the Union wounded being conveyed to Washington, 39 miles distant, in 700 ambulances, holding from two to twenty-five people each.  Mr. Crosen remained in the hospital until the spring of 1863 and was then transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, as being disabled for active service, and he continued as a member of this corps until his discharge, July 13, 1864.  He took part in the battle of Fort Stevens, July 8, 1864, and at this time was brevetted first lieutenant of the Second Battalion of Veteran Reserves.

In the fall of 1864 Mr. Crosen returned to Trempealeau and reopened his shop.  He was in bad physical condition, but his health slowly improved and he continued in the shoe business until about 1881.  He then engaged in raising small fruits on a five-acre tract adjoining the village, erecting on it a settler's shanty to avoid having to pay rent.  Here he lived six years, at the end of which time he took up his abode in his present residence, which he had built, a six-room house, with upright and wing.  Mr. Crosen was married, November, 1866, to Cornelia F. Melhorn, at Washington, D. C.  She was born at Harper's Ferry, Va., April 26,1 836, her father being Francis Melhorn, an old-time Virginian, who was for years an inspector at the Harpers Ferry arsenal, his connection with the arsenal being severed when the war broke out, owing to his sympathy with the South.  He then took up his residence in Washington, where he engaged in the meat business, never taking up arms.  Immediately after his marriage Mr. Crosen brought his wife to Trempealeau, where she is still living, though in somewhat feeble health, as she is now in her eighty-first year.  Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Crosen:  Luella, who married James B. McManus, of Trempealeau, and died leaving two children; Francis, who is married and engaged in the auto livery business in Trempealeau; Cornelia, wife of Edward Carpenter, a farmer of Hope, N. D., who has six children - four sons and two daughters; William, married, who is a barber in Trempealeau Village; Warren, who was drowned several years ago in the Mississippi River, near Trempealeau, and Harry, who died when young.  Mr. Crosen has never been active in politics or held any public office.  Religiously he is in accord with the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal church, though not a member of any church.  Still at one time he was a class leader of the Methodist  church and has professed Christianity for 32 years, during which time he has been a Bible student.  He has been a member of the Masonic order since 1866, being connected with Lodge No. 117, of Trempealeau, of which he was secretary for several years.  Although in his eighty-fourth year, he is still strong and fairly vigorous, enjoying good health.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 389 - 392


William Crouch, a pioneer, spent his interesting life in four states and was a useful and substantial citizen of every locality in which he made his home.  He was born near Lockport, N. Y., May 3, 1828, of English descent, spent his boyhood in much the same manner as other boys of his age and period, and as a young man became a miner.  Later he came to Wisconsin and took up farming at Big Creek, near Sparta, in Monroe County.  Subsequently he moved to South Dakota and later made his home at Ballaton, Minn.   He died there Sept. 24, 1908.  His wife was Susan Frizzelle, of English and French descent, who was born Dec. 31, 1828, and died March 7, 1883, on the farm at Sparta, Monroe County, this state.

-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," page 290

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