Biographical Sketches.

from Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota
(Chicago, Geo. A Ogle & Co., 1904).


John D. Weyhrauch, the genial and popular proprietor of the leading restaurant at Rothsay, Minnesota, is one of the old and leading settlers of Wilkin county. For many years he was engaged in the pursuit of agriculture in that county and did his full share toward the development of that region. He is a substantial citizen and well merits the success which has attended him in Minnesota.

Mr. Weyhrauch was born in Winona county, Minnesota, June 6, 1861. His father, Carl Weyhrauch, was a native of Germany. He came to America in 1851 and settled in Wisconsin, and in 1861 became a resident of Minnesota, locating in Winona county, and later moved to Fillmore county, where he followed farming until his death, which occurred in 1895.

Our subject was reared on the home farm and attended the common schools in Fillmore county, being five years of age when his parents moved to Fillmore county. At the age of sixteen years he took the place of his father's assistant on the home farm and remained employed with his father until he was twenty-five years of age. He came to Wilkin county and took a homestead claim in 1886, and built a claim shanty and a sod barn on his farm. He continued the improvement of the place and erected good buildings, and continued his residence there until 1900, when he sold the property. He then for some time was engaged in the hotel business in Rothsay, and prospered in his undertaking, and later he engaged in the restaurant business. He now owns about $4,000 worth of real estate in Rothsay.

Mr. Weyhrauch was married in 1888 to Miss Louise Grouse, who was born in Lake City, Minnesota, in 1867. Mr. and Mrs. Weyhrauch are the parents of seven children, namely: Reuben, Walter, Arthur, Martha, Louisa, Hattie and John. All were born in Wilkin county, Minnesota. Mr. Weyhrauch is one of the well known and leading citizens of his community and he has served in numerous local offices, including assessor, constable and justice of the peace. In his political views he is a Republican.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 572.


Charles W. Wheeler, one of the extensive land owners of Big Stone county, Minnesota, is a resident of Prior township, where he has built up a fine farm. He is a man of untiring energy and perseverance and by honest efforts has become one of the well-to-do men of that locality.

Mr. Wheeler was born in Indiana in 1863. His father, Charles A. Wheeler, was of old American blood and he was a cabinet maker by trade. He moved to Ramsey county, Minnesota, in 1872, and in 1878 took up his residence in Big Stone county. When he first became a resident there he built a claim shanty and a sod barn and he was obliged to do his first breaking of land with oxen.

Our subject was reared in Minnesota and received a good common school education. He came to Big Stone county with his father in 1878 and assisted the father in the improvement and cultivation of the homestead farm. He is now the owner of eight hundred acres of land and engages successfully in diversified farming. All his land is under cultivation and he has a complete set of substantial farm buildings on the place and is prepared to enjoy all the comforts of rural life. He has witnessed the development of that region into one of thrift and prosperity and has been one of the foremost men to bring about this pleasing condition. He is classed as one of the old settlers of that locality and has gained a wide acquaintance and is esteemed highly by all.

Mr. Wheeler was married in 1891 to Miss Minnetta Newell. Mrs. Wheeler was born in Goodhue county, Minnesota, in 1866. She received a good education and has been a teacher several terms in Big Stone county. Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler are the parents of one child, Maida, who was born in Prior township, Big Stone county, Minnesota, May 30, 1899. Mr. Wheeler has become one of the recognized leaders in public affairs of his township, and has served two years as assessor, and at present is justice of the peace and notary public of Big Stone county. Politically he is a Republican and is firm in his convictions.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 738-39.


Jerome W. Wheeler, cashier of the First National Bank of Crookston, is one of the leaders of financial and social interests of Polk county. He is a man of ability and executive force, and has prospered in all enterprises in which he has embarked. He has sound judgment, and whatever enlists his attention or meets with his approval is sure to result in a most gratifying manner. On another page of this volume will be found a portrait of this well-known gentleman.

Mr. Wheeler was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, January 15, 1863, and he and an older brother in Chicago were the only children of Jerome B. and Katherine (Deming) Wheeler. The great-grandmother was a daughter of Israel Putnam. The Wheeler family in America dates back to the seventeenth century. Our subject's mother was a teacher by profession, and she was left a widow when our subject was but three years of age. By conducting a private school she supported and educated her sons.

Jerome Wheeler graduated from McMynn Academy in 1880, and he then secured a position in Dan Head & Company's Bank. In 1885 he went to Crookston as bookkeeper in the First National Bank, and in 1892 accepted the position as cashier of the Scandia Bank, which he held three years. In 1895 he and his brother purchased a controlling interest in the First National Bank. This institution was founded in 1881 by the members of the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company, with a capital stock of $50,000. This was increased about 1884 to $100,000, and the present capital stock is $75,000. The deposits in 1895 were $130,000, and in September, 1900, were $400,000, a remarkable increase of business. This is one of the recognized substantial banking institutions of the northwest, and the details of the business are carefully looked after by Mr. Wheeler. For the past twelve years he has also conducted an extensive real-estate and loan business. He is a member of the State Bankers' Association, with which he has been connected for the past five years, and is also secretary of the Workingmen's Building and Loan Association, having been connected with this association for fourteen Years.

Mr. Wheeler was married in 1887 to Miss Eva Hill. Two daughters have been born to bless this union, namely: Katherine and Marian. Mr. Wheeler is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and the following fraternal orders: Masonic fraternity, in blue lodge, chapter, commandery and shrine; Modern Woodmen of America, Knights of Pythias, and Order of Elks. He is a Republican politically. He has served the city of Crookston as a member of her board of aldermen, and has been chairman of the Republican county central committee.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 242-45.


James H. White, a prosperous agriculturist and one of the leading citizens of Douglas county, is one of the pioneers of Minnesota. His pleasant home is located on section 6 of Hudson township, where he has spent over thirty-four years of his life.

Mr. White was born near Clearfield, Clearfield county, Pennsylvania, September 20, 1839. His parents were James and Margaret (Eisleman) White, who were farmers by occupation. The former was a native of Wiltshire, England, and the mother was born in Vedenburg, Germany, and was brought to America by her parents when an infant. The parents of our subject were married at Clearfield, Pennsylvania, and their union was blessed with a family of eight children, five sons and three daughters, of whom our subject was the fourth in order of birth. The father, in addition to farming, was engaged in lumbering, when timber was plentiful in that part of Pennsylvania. He died in Pennsylvania in 1860, and the mother died in Douglas county, Minnesota, in 1893, she having resided there some eight years or more prior to her demise.

James H. White attended the public schools until he was sixteen years of age. He then found work on the farm, in the lumber camp and in the mines on his own account and was self-supporting. He came to Minnesota in 1866 and entered a homestead claim to eighty acres of land on what is now section 6 of Hudson township, Douglas county, and he later acquired two forty-acre tracts by purchase, and now has a fine and well-improved farm of 160 acres. He first built a poplar hewed house 14x20 feet, consisting of a single room, which served all purposes of living, sleeping, etc., for thirteen years. He pulled this building down in 1879 and replaced it the same year with a modern and well-constructed dwelling, which he equipped with all improvements and furnished comfortably and in excellent taste. He carries on diversified farming, and keeps sheep, cattle and other stock, and has met with unbounded success in the pursuit of agriculture.

Mr. White was married at Clearfield, Pennsylvania, August 7, 1861, to Sophia J. Rubly, a daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Hoover) Rubly. Mrs. White's parents still reside at Clearfield. Six children, two sons and four daughters, have been born to Mr. and Mrs. White, as follows: Sarah Lovina, now Mrs. William Smith; Marion W.; Ageline, now Mrs. Henry Hounsell; Clara, deceased; Charles; and Cecillian. Mr. White has always taken a commendable interest in local public affairs, and he was the first justice of the peace to hold office in Hudson township, having been elected in 1868. He served in that capacity two years, and was then elected supervisor and continued to fill this office seventeen years. He also held the office of school treasurer seven years. In 1890 he was elected county commissioner of Douglas county, and after serving a term of four years was re-elected in 1898, and is at present discharging the duties of that office with eminent satisfaction to all. He was chairman of the board two years during his first term and is the present chairman of that body. He is a Republican in political views, and is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 253-54.


Andrew H. Wick, the postmaster at Sedan, Pope county, where he has established a very good business in confectionery and general notions, was born in the northern part of Norway, July 17, 1868, the youngest son of Ole and Petrine (Peterson) Oleson, residents of the farm "Wick," from which comes the name of the subject of this writing. The father was a fisherman; and Andrew H., following in his footsteps, grew up to the same vocation. When he was sixteen years old he went near Lofoten, to fish for cod and herring, and for eight years continued in this line. Through the influence of a friend he came to America, crossing the ocean in the "Bothnia," and arriving in New York after a voyage of twelve days, May 29, 1891. He came straight through to Sedan, and at once hired out as a farm hand, a work he followed until 1898, when he married Miss Berthine Vindedahl, by whom he has had three children: Nora A., Borghild M., and Alma B. After his marriage Mr. Wick was in the employ of the "Soo" Railroad for some two years at Glenwood, and in 1900 started a candy and cigar store at Sedan, where he was appointed postmaster February 8, 1901, a position he still retains.

As a self-made business man, it is an interesting fact that Mr. Wick had to borrow money with which to come to this country, but it was by his own energy and business sagacity that he was able to accomplish so much and such creditable results. The language had to be learned, the ways and customs of the country mastered, and all this has been done thoroughly. Mr. Wick is a member of the Lutheran church, and a leading man of the community.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 785.


John Wilke, residing in Champion township, is one of the leading farmers of Wilkin county. He has prospered and now enjoys a comfortable competence and an enviable reputation as a citizen.

Mr. Wilke was born in the eastern part of Pommeran, Germany, in 1849. His father, Mike Wilke, was a game keeper. He came to America and died on the farm of our subject in Wilkin county. Our subject was reared in Germany and came to America at the age of eighteen years. He came to St. Paul in 1868 and worked on the city water works and lived in St. Paul for the first six months. He then began farming on rented land four miles from the city, and after two years rented a farm twelve miles further southwest and remained thereon three years. He came to Wilkin county in 1881 and settled on a pre-emption in section 34. He lived in the depot at Tintah the first year and built a sod barn and shanty where he lived one year. In the spring of 1881 lightning destroyed his barn, horses, cow, and harnesses and he was obliged to work for others to earn a living. He raised enough potatoes and corn from the sod land the first season to carry him through the winter, and the next crop in 1883 was flooded out and the entire family worked out to make a living. They were obliged to live in a shanty until 1893, when they moved to his present farm in section 33. Here Mr. Wilke erected a complete set of good buildings and a plentiful supply of water is one of the features of the farm. He now has all improvements and machinery for conducting a model farm. For the past three years he has followed the threshing business and owns a twenty-four horse power steam outfit. He engages in grain and stock raising and has four hundred and eighty acres of land, all but forty acres of which is under cultivation.

Mr. Wilke was married in 1874 to Miss Anna Anderson. Mrs. Wilke was born in Sweden and came to America with her parents in 1867. Her father, Peter Anderson, resided in St. Paul. Mr. and Mrs. Wilke are the parents of the following children: Fred, Charlie, Anna, Henry, Edith, Minnie, Emma, Hulda and Paulina. Mr. Wilke has served his township as constable and aa member of the school board and is a leading citizen of Champion township.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 700.


Bethel Willoughby, who enjoys his declining years in retirement on his pleasant farm in Amador township, is widely known as an old settler and worthy citizen of Chisago county. He has developed a fine farm there and has passed an active life and well merits his peaceful rest from labor.

Mr. Willoughby was born in Chautauqua county, New York, in 1828. His father, Hiram B. Willoughby, was a farmer and spent his life in New York. The grandfather of our subject, Bethel Willoughby, came from England and settled in the state of New York in 1801. Of a family of four children our subject was the eldest. He was raised and educated in his native state and early became acquainted with farm work. At the age of twenty-two years he left home and began farming. He also did railroad work on the New York & Erie Railway. He went to Minnesota in 1855 and in March of the year following he settled on his present farm. He built a log house 21 by 25 feet on his farm where he lived until after the close of the war. This building was unroofed in 1865. He now resides in a comfortable house 30 by 16, and 14 by 18 feet, built in two parts, and also has a large woodshed. His barn is a substantial and commodious structure 40 by 50 feet with basement. All the improvements have been placed on the farm by our subject and he has met with pronounced success in farming, and is classed among the substantial men of his community. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of land in his home farm, but does not operate the same owing to his advanced age. He has a good income and is enabled to enjoy retirement from active labor.

Mr. Willoughby enlisted in the First Minnesota Light Artillery in 1863, and saw service in all the southern states with the exception of Texas and Florida, spending a year and a half in active service. He was in the Vicksburg campaign, and at Big Shanty June 10, 1864, was through the campaign around Atlanta, through Georgia and the Carolinas to Raleigh, and at the surrender of Johnston. He participated in the grand review at Washington and was discharged at St. Paul, July 3, 1865.

Mr. Willoughby was married in 1850 to Miss Mary A. Hall. Mrs. Willoughby was born in the state of New York, her birthplace being in Monroe county, twelve miles from the city of Rochester. Her father, W. A. Hall, was a farmer and millwright. He died when she was a child five years of age. She is descended from old Acadian stock. During the absence of Mr. Willoughby while a soldier in the Civil war, she proved an able helpmeet, and by her labors kept the farm in operation, and succeeded in conducting it until the return of her husband. She and a neighbor's wife had an ox team and they hauled wood, hay, etc., and cared for the stock and the farm, and endured many hardships during those troublous times. To Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby two children have been born, one of whom is now living, William W. The son is the owner of land in Pine and Chisago counties, and deals extensively in land. He has taught school in Chicago county, and has also filled the position of telegraph operator in Burlington, Iowa.

Bethel Willoughby is a gentleman of active public spirit, and he has held township offices for many years, including town clerk, treasurer, and is the present school treasurer. He is a stanch Republican politically and has attended numerous county conventions as a delegate for his party. He attended the first convention in Chisago county after Minnesota was admitted as a state. Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby will be found on another page of this volume.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 552-55.


Among the vast acreage that has been opened up to cultivation during the past few years in Wilkin county, Minnesota, a tract of three hundred and twenty acres is owned and operated by the gentleman above named. This well improved and highly cultivated farm is in section 1 of Mitchell township, and he has met with marked success and has a valuable estate. All his work on this place has been accomplished within the past two years or so, and he is recognized as one of the enterprising and progressive citizens of that locality.

Mr. Wilson was born in Des Moines county, Iowa, in 1852. His father, John C. Wilson, was born in Scotland, and was a farmer of Iowa. Of a family of eleven children our subject was the fourth in order of birth. He remained in his native county and assisted his father at farming until he was fourteen years of age, when the family moved to Washington county, Iowa, and later to Madison county. He resided here until he was twenty-six years of age and then went to Cherokee county, where he bought a farm of eighty acres and remained there at farming until 1902. During this twenty-three years he built up a good farm, and prospered. He made a trip to Minnesota in December, 1901, and bought his present farm in section 1, of Mitchell township, consisting of three hundred and twenty acres of unimproved prairie land. He has put a complete set of farm buildings thereon and has a valuable farm. He has an abundance of good water taken from a depth of one hundred and one feet and has all necessary implements and machinery for conducting a model farm. He has opened up two hundred and forty acres to cultivation.

Mr. Wilson was married in 1879 to Miss Lydia I. Menefee. Mrs. Wilson was born in West Virginia, and her father, Robert Menefee, was a farmer and stone cutter. He served in the Civil war and at the close of the Rebellion settled in Ohio and later, in 1871, moved to Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are the parents of four children, namely: Ethel, Bert, Austin and John. All were born in Iowa. Mr. Wilson always takes a commendable interest in local public affairs and while a resident of Iowa he served two terms as township clerk. In his political views he is a Republican.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 318-19.


Harry W. Wilson, the young and efficient editor of the Olivia "Times," takes a leading position in western Minnesota journalism, and wields a potent influence in Renville county affairs. He was born in Sparta, Wisconsin, in 1876, and is a son of A. W. Wilson, the local agent for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway at that stirring point, where he was reared and educated for active life in the city schools and Wisconsin Business College.

Mr. Wilson came to Olivia in 1899, where he purchased the Olivia "Times," a paper that was established in 1872 at Beaver Falls, Minnesota, by H. Kelsey, and called the "Renville County Times." It was moved to Olivia in 1890. Mr. Wilson bought the plant in 1900, and the following year consolidated it with the Olivia "Press," the circulation of the combined sheets exceeding a thousand copies, and commanding marked attention as an exceedingly well edited Republican sheet.

Mr. Wilson was married in 1902, when Miss Lina Silvernale became his bride. She is a very attractive and charming young lady, and is proving a capable helpmeet to her husband. Her father is an old settler in Chippewa county.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 453.


James A. Wilson, the popular postmaster of Correll, Minnesota, and a prominent business man of that town, is well known throughout Big Stone county as a worthy citizen. He is also interested in farming and has met with success in every business venture through perseverance and strict integrity.

Mr. Wilson was born on a farm in the state of New York, in St. Lawrence county, in 1863. His father, Andrew P. Wilson, came with his family to Minnesota in 1875 and is an old settler and prosperous farmer of Waseca county. He was born in Canada of Scotch blood, the grandparents of our subject on both sides being of Scotch descent.

James A. Wilson was the fourth in a family of nine children, and he was reared in Waseca county and assisted on the home farm. After attaining his majority he started for himself and followed farming in Waseca county eight years. He came to Big Stone county in 1892 and settled on a farm in section 26 of Akron township, purchasing this land and followed farming there for seven years. He still retains one hundred and sixty acres of land in Akron township. He removed to Correll in 1899, and engaged in the lumber and machine business in the spring of 1900 and continued in this line one year, and the following year became interested in a store, but the same year became grain buyer for the Empire Elevator Company and has held this position since. He was appointed postmaster at Correll July 1, 1901, and is an efficient and popular official. In April, 1902, he built a store 20 by 44 feet and established a general merchandise store and during the past year he has built up a good business and enjoys an increasing patronage. He also manages his farm in Akron township and has eighty acres of this under cultivation. He is also owner of one hundred and sixty acres of wild land in Pine county, Minnesota. He built a comfortable residence in Correll in the fall of 1899.

Mr. Wilson was married in Waseca county, Minnesota, October 6, 1887, to Miss Jennie R. Farnum. Mrs. Wilson was born in Plainview, Minnesota. Her father, Ruben Farnum, is a blacksmith by trade and is a resident of Correll. He served in the Civil war. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are the parents of four children, who they have named as follows: Vera L., Ruben R., Lillian M., and James R. Mr. Wilson is a wide-awake and public-spirited citizen and he has served his township as treasurer for several years and in 1900 was census enumerator of Akron township. He is a Republican politically and stands firmly for the principles of his party.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 613-14.


Mathias G. Winge, although a comparatively recent settler of Lac-qui-parle county, is held in high esteem as one of the substantial citizens of Madison township. He has a pleasant home here where he may enjoy his declining years and he is a man of integrity and good citizenship and well merits his good name.

Mr. Winge was born on a farm in Norway in 1844. His father was a farmer by occupation and came to America in 1868, locating in Goodhue county, Minnesota. Our subject was reared in his native land and in 1866 landed at Quebec, Canada, from which place he came to Chicago, thence to Winona, Rochester, and finally to Red Wing, and in the latter place resided for two years. He became a permanent resident of Goodhue county and remained there for many years, purchasing land and becoming a prosperous farmer. He owned a tract of eighty acres and engaged in farming this land until 1892 when he disposed of his interests in Goodhue county and purchased his present farm in Lac-qui-parle county. This consists of one hundred and sixty acres and is a well improved estate. He has all necessary farm buildings and all machinery for conducting his farm and has a fine grove and other valuable features on the place which combine to furnish him a home of great comfort. He has devoted his entire time and attention to farming and is well versed in his chosen calling.

Mr. Winge was married in Chicago in 1866 to Miss Johannah P. Vollam, a native of Norway. Of this union twelve children have been born, ten of whom are now living. They are named as follows: Henry M., Martin M., Semen, Gustav, Marvin, Mary, now married; Lena, also married; Julia, married; Clara and Alma. Mr. and Mrs. Winge have twenty grandchildren. Mr. Winge is a consistent member of the Norwegian Lutheran church and has held numerous church offices. He is a Republican in political faith and stands firmly for the principles of his party, lending his influence for good government, but he does not seek public preferment.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 710.


James M. Witherow, the present city attorney of Moorhead, Minnesota, has already made himself a reputation throughout the Red river valley as a capable lawyer of legal temperament and equipped with a thorough legal training. He is regarded as a man not only deeply versed in the fundamental principles of law and equity, but quick in their application to the ordinary details of legal practice.

Mr. Witherow was born near the city of Londonderry, Ireland, December 19, 1869, and was the youngest of the four children that constituted the family born to James and Sarah (McSparron) Witherow. Mrs. Witherow died when young James was but six years of age, and eight years later the motherless lad left home to come to the new world in search of that opportunity for industry and ambition he felt was impossible in his native island. For some two years he was a resident of Griggs county, North Dakota, where he found employment in the family of his brother, who was engaged in farming at that place, but as there were very few public schools in that neighborhood, and being determined upon obtaining an education, he went to Hendrum, Minnesota, where he attended the public school for a time, and later attended Carleton College at Northfield for two terms in the year 1887-8. When the State Normal School at Moorhead was opened Mr. Witherow became a student of that institution, from which he was graduated in 1892. For a time he taught country school, and about two years later turned his attention to the study of the law, associating himself with A. Ross in a semi-professional partnership, an arrangement that was terminated at the end of eight months. In 1895 Mr. Witherow entered the office of W. B. Douglas, who is now attorney-general for the state of Minnesota, and read law for two years, being admitted to the Minnesota bar in June, 1898, and afterwards established himself in a general practice.

The following year Mr. Witherow was elected as city attorney of Moorhead, by the city council, a decided compliment to one so young in the profession, and afterwards was again elected by the people in 1901, and is still holding that position with credit to himself and satisfaction to the public. For five years he has been court commissioner in Clay county, and is regarded as a young man of much ability and promise.

Mr. Witherow has had many serious difficulties to overcome in his upward course, but he has made himself what he is, and may well take a just pride in his honorable and successful career. He is a man of studious habits, and has acquired much valuable information on literary and professional subjects, by means of a wide course of reading and study. As a young lawyer he has developed much ability in the practice of his profession and is noted for his power of logical analysis, accompanied by an extensive vocabulary and knowledge of human nature and laws of expression, which have gained him a high degree of success with both court and jury.

In his politics Mr. Witherow is a Democrat, and is a member of the lodges of the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and several other fraternities, where his genial spirits and ready courtesy have made him many friends.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 228-29.


Frederick H. Wolf, one of the foremost business men of Harris, Minnesota, and widely known as one of the pioneers of Chisago county, is a gentleman of integrity and excellent executive ability, and has gained for himself an enviable reputation.

Mr. Wolf was born in Holstein, Germany, in 1847. His father, Fred. Wolf, was a laborer and became a resident of America in 1857. He went to Stillwater, Minnesota, in the fall of that year and the first night of his stay he spent on the banks of the St. Croix Lake without a covering, and the following day found shelter for himself and family. He worked in the sawmills and remained in Stillwater until the spring of 1858, when he settled on a homestead in Rush Seba township, Chisago county. The family lived in a log house which was built entirely of wood, no hardware being used in its construction. The father died in 1882 and the mother of our subject passed away about 1879. To this worthy couple two sons were born, William and Fred H. At the breaking out of the Civil war both sons presented themselves for enlistment in the Union army, but owing to his youth our subject was rejected. His brother served during the war, while Frederick remained to assist with the farm work. Experiences were of common occurrence with the Indians during those times and many hardships were endured. After the close of the war our subject went into the lumber woods in Pine county. He also attended school at the first educational institution established in that section of the country and was the only white child in attendance. Three years later he began teaming and lumbering and also worked on the river drives. His first investment was in Rush Seba township, and later he entered into partnership with his brother-in-law for whom he had clerked. He purchased the store in 1875 and since that date has been proprietor. The store was established in 1869 by John G. Mold. The country was wild and the principal commodities handled were ties, cord wood, furs and berries. The railroad was completed through there about 1870 and Mr. Wolf was the first railroad agent at Harris. He was the second postmaster of the town and held the office since that date with the exception of the time of President Cleveland's administration. Mr. Wolf is interested in the real estate business and also deals in live stock. He is a man of good business management and has met with success in every business venture.

Our subject was married in 1877 to Alice A. Wilkes, daughter of D. J. Wilkes. Mrs. Wolf was born at Sunrise, Chisago county, and is of American stock. To Mr. and Mrs. Wolf six children have been born, two sons who are now deceased, and four daughters, namely: Mary M., Minnie, Emma and Alice. Mr. Wolf was at Harris when the village was incorporated and was a member of the first village council. He assisted in organizing the first school district and served as a member of the first school board. He is a Republican politically and for the past twelve years has served on the central committee for the fourth congressional district. Mrs. Wolf's father, Mr. Wilkes served in the Civil war. He is a resident of Milaca and is one of the old settlers of Chisago county.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 589-90.


William Wolf, an ex-soldier of the Civil war and one of the prominent farmers and pioneers of Chisago county, is comfortably situated in Rush Seba township. He is a gentleman of good business management, and well merits his high standing as a citizen and farmer.

Mr. Wolf, was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in 1840. His father, Frederick Wolf, was a laborer and farmer by occupation. He came with his family to America in 1857 and located in Chisago county, Minnesota. They went to Galena, Illinois, by rail and thence by boat to Stillwater, and upon their arrival there the father found himself without money for the support of his family. Our subject worked for a dollar a day and boarded himself to earn his own way. He went afoot through the woods from Stillwater to Sunrise, where he worked two years for relatives, and during the winters was engaged in the woods and on the log drives during the spring. He went through Chisago and Pine counties and many nights slept out of doors. He assisted in the construction of the Lake Superior government road in 1860. October 16, 1861, Mr. Wolf enlisted in the First Minnesota Battery, and in December was sent to St. Louis, where he remained on guard and drill until March, and then vent up the Tennessee river, arriving at Pittsburg Landing in time to participate in that contest. He was in the battles of Corinth and Iuka and spent the winter at Memphis, Tennessee. During the spring of '63 he was through parts of Tennessee and Mississippi and went through the Vicksburg campaign, and from thence into Louisiana. He returned home on a furlough in February, 1864, and as he had re-enlisted in February, '63, as a veteran, he rejoined his regiment and went up the Tennessee river a second time. He was in the battles around Atlanta, followed Hood up to Chattanooga, and returned to go with Sherman to the sea. Thence he went up through the Carolinas and participated in the Grand Review.

After bravely defending the Union from '61 to '65 Mr. Wolf returned to the farm he now occupies in sections 22 and 23 in Rush Seba township. He passed through many pioneer experiences and hardships and gradually and steadily brought about the improvement of his estate. He is now the owner of two hundred and forty acres of land, upon which he has two sets of farm buildings, and he has prospered as an agriculturist.

Mr. Wolf was married in 1869 to Miss Johannah Winges. Mrs. Wolf was born in Germany and came to America in 1855 at the age of two years. She was reared in St. Paul, and her father was a mason by trade. To Mr. and Mrs. Wolf six children have been born, namely: Frederick J., Minnie, deceased, Lena, Lizzie, Henry W. and William E. All were born on the home farm in Chisago county. Mr. Wolf has served as township supervisor, assessor, treasurer and school clerk, and takes an active and leading part in public affairs. He was one of the organizers of the Lutheran church in Rush City. He casts his vote with the Republicans and is a stanch member of that party.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 566-67.


William Workman, widely known as an intelligent farmer of Eden Lake township, resides on section 36, where he has rented a fine farm. He is one of the pioneers of that locality, and can recount many experiences of the early settlers there. He is energetic and progressive and well merits his success as a farmer and enviable reputation as a citizen.

Mr. Workman was born in West Virginia, February 27, 1860. His father, Spencer Workman, was also a native of West Virginia, and the mother, Sarah (Webb) Workman, was born in Ohio.

Our subject came to Minnesota with his father in 1865. The father took a homestead in Wright county and after proving up on his claim he disposed of the property and moved to McLeod county. He lived there until 1886, when he removed with his family to Stearns county. He purchased land in section 35, of Eden Lake township. In 1867 on his old homestead he built a log house and barn. The house had a bark roof and no floor and the barn had a hay roof. Our subject and father used oxen for some years, but they worked persistently to place the farm under cultivation and passed through many hardships and privations in the early days there. The father moved west some years ago.

Mr. Workman was married in December, 1888, to Anna Reeves. Mrs. Workman was born in Olmsted county, Minnesota, October 19, 1861. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Workman, who are named as follows: James M., Ina M, Lila A., Verna and May Spencer. Mr. Workman is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Eden Valley. The family are communicants of the Christian church of Eden Valley, and are highly esteemed and respected in the locality in which they make their home.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 623.


The gentleman whose life history is here presented, is widely known as an influential citizen of Traverse county. He is extensively engaged in farming, his home being situated in Leonardsville township. He cultivates one thousand two hundred acres of land and is prosperous and progressive and well merits his success as a farmer and enviable reputation as a citizen.

Mr. Wulf was born in Germany in 1864. His father, Casper Wulf, was of old German stock. He came to America in 1867 and settled in Minnesota. He followed farming and is now a resident of Traverse county. The grandfather of our subject, John Wulf, was also of old German stock and spent his life in Germany. Our subject's father saw some service in the Danish war. He came to America in 1867, bringing our subject with him, who was then two and a half years of age. Here John H. Wulf attended the common schools in Ramsey county, Minnesota. At the age of fourteen years he began making his own way on the farm. He located in Traverse county in 1878 with his father and took a homestead and built a claim shanty. He lived alone the first year while breaking the land, and he went east for the winter of '78-79, and when he returned in the spring he found the claim shanty had been burned. He and his father then built a good house and barn. During the first years there he hauled grain to Morris, a distance of twenty miles. He has added to his possessions as finances justified and he is now owner of one thousand two hundred acres of land, all of which is in cultivating condition. He has good buildings on his home place and has all machinery for conducting an extensive estate. In 1887 he bought a twelve-horse-power threshing rig. In 1890 he replaced this with a sixteen-horse-power rig and in 1895 he purchased a twenty-horse-power rig. These have all been discarded for a latest improved thirty-horse-power rig, which he purchased in 1901. He is an experienced threshing machine operator, and he has done an extensive business in this line for the last fifteen years.

Mr. Wulf was married in 1885 to Miss Helena Modrow. Mrs. Wulf was born in Minnesota, and is of German descent. Her father, August Modrow, came to America and settled in Hennepin county, Minnesota, and there followed farming. He died in 1897. Mr. and Mrs. Wulf are the parents of five children, who are named as follows: Casper A., Amanda E., Peter F., William, and John. All were born in Traverse county, Minnesota. Mr. Wulf takes a commendable interest in all public affairs of his township and has served as chairman of the board of supervisors, clerk and treasurer of the school district. He votes independent of political party.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 739-40.

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