Benton County Historical Society and Museum
Sauk Rapids Minnesota
Preserving the Past and the Present for the Future....

County History




Sank Rapids lies in the southwestern part of Benton county, of which it is the county seat. It is situated on the east side of the Mississippi river, seventy-eight miles above St. Paul, and contains, according to the last census, 598 persons. The name is derived from the rapids in the Mississippi at this point, which are directly opposite the month of Sauk river.

These rapids form one of the finest water-powers in the State, and Sauk Rapids is fast becoming one of its most important manufacturing towns.

The village is unorganized, and is embraced in the township bearing the same name, which contains about 8,320 acres, 354 of which are under cultivation.

The first white man to locate in the present township was T. A. Holmes, who made a claim about one and a half miles above the village, in the spring of 1848. He was followed, the same fall, by James Beatty, now a resident of Sauk Rapids, who built a trading post near Holmes' claim. H. M. Rice, now of St. Paul, also built a trading post at the same place soon after. This passed into the hands of the American Fur Company, and Jeremiah Russell, now of Sauk Rapids, became its manager in 1849. He carried on the post for about three years, and then moved to the west side of the Mississippi, but soon returned, and has lived here ever since.

In 1851, William H. Wood built the first house on the village site, and named his place " Lynden Terrace." This building was destroyed by fire in 1855, but rebuilt soon afterwards. Others soon followed, and since the return of the county seat, in 1859, the growth has been steady, though, owing to causes already mentioned not so rapid as some other localities possessing fewer advantages. These hindrances, however, have been removed, and Sauk Rapids has entered upon an era of prosperity which is truly gratifying to its inhabitants.

Aside from the trading posts before mentioned, the first general store was opened by George W. Sweet, on what is now Broadway, not far from the corner of Broadway and Sweet streets. Among other early merchants were, S. Van Nest, Alexander Smith, and Daniel O. Oakes.

The first hotel was kept by a Mr. Roberts in a small log building on Broadway, not far from where the Davis House now stands. The next, a house of superior appointments, was kept by O. B. Day. The Russell House was built about 1853.

The first white child born was David O. Sweet, son of George W. and Eliza Sweet, on the 22d of August, 1852.

The first death of a white person was Albert Russell, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Russell, aged sixteen months, in September, 1850.

Rev. Sherman Hall, who is frequently spoken of .in these pages, held the first religious services in the village about 1850.

Rev. James Floyd Brech, an Episcopal clergyman, preached here as early as 1853.

Sauk Rapids was surveyed and platted in 1854, by R. B. Chapman. The proprietors were: S. Van Nest, Lafayette Crane, George W. Sweet, William C. Hurd, Jeremiah Russell, Charles W. Borup, Charles H. Oakes, and J. C. Warren.

A bridge was built across the Mississippi at this point in 1876, but was blown from the abutments into the river, in the spring of 1877. It was rebuilt in 1878-79, at an expense to the county of about 86,500.00. It is 807 feet long, and is of wood and iron. The first cost was $25,000,00 ; Benton county paying $10,000.00, and Sauk Rapids, the balance.

A flouring mill was erected in 1872, by the Northwestern Company, who sold it, in 1877, to J. A. Stanton. Mr. Stanton moved the structure about sixty feet south, and rebuilt and remodeled it, adding one story, and giving it a capacity of 250 barrels per day. The mill contains eight run of stones, six sets of corrugated rolls, three sets of smooth rolls, six purifiers, twenty reels, smutters, cockle machines, etc. In May, 1881, it was leased for four years to W. A. Newton & Co., who now operate it.

A Congregational Church was organized at Sauk Rapids in the fall of 1855, by Rev. Sherman Hall, assisted by Rev. Charles Secomb, of St. Anthony. The congregation consisted of about eight members, and a church was erected in 1857, at a cost of about $2,000.00. Mr. Hall continued to occupy the pulpit until his death, which occurred in 1879, and there has been no regular pastor since. The present officers are: Deacons, Jeremiah Russell and Justin Carpenter; Trustees, Justin Carpenter, William Hicks, and Jeremiah Russell.

The first Methodist Episcopal class was organized in 1858, by Rev. J. L. Thompson, with twelve members. Mr. Thompson was serving as a supply under Rev. D. Brooks, of the Protestant Episcopal Church at the time.

The first minister appointed by the Conference, was Rev. Levi Gleason, who was succeeded by Rev. J. R Creighton, and he, by W. W. Satterlee.

Rev. O. McNiff, of St. Cloud, has held meetings here during his residence at the latter place. The present Trustees are: Erasmus Cross, Louis Mayo, John Jones, B. K. Knowlton, J. Q. A. Wood, and J. 1). Hugh. The Stewards are: John Jones, J. Q. A. Wood, and Erasmus Cross. They have a neat little church, erected in 1870, at a cost of about $2,200.00

A missionary station was established here in 1856, by the Protestant Episcopal denomination, and through the instrumentality of Revs. Chambarlin, Brech, and Manny, the three pioneer Episcopal missionaries in Northern Minnesota, a church was soon after erected. The membership steadily increased, and in 1869, was organized under the provisions of the general statutes, with the name of " Grace Church." The officers were: Senior Warden, James B. Hoit, and Junior Warden, Geo. W. Sweet; Vestrymen, Rudolphus Burgit, J. W. Watson, B. H. Spencer, James Beatty, F. Carlton, H. McMahon, and George L. Fisk The Rev. Samuel K. Stewart was installed as Rector, who has been superseded by Revs. Chambers and Davis.

The present officers are: Senior Warden, J. B. Hoit, and Junior Wardep, C. G. Wood; Vestrymen, Rudolphus Burgit, James Beatty, J. W. Watson, W. F. Street, James A. Jones, M. W. Elthorp, Samuel Ellis, and P. G. Skeate.

The Roman Catholics have a church here, but no services are held, the members attending the church of the Immaculate Conception at St. Cloud.

The Freemasons are represented by Unity Lodge No. 93, which commenced working under dispensation in the spring of 1871. The first officers were: 8. N. Wright, W. M., W. H. Fletcher, S. W., Justin Carpenter, J. W., S. P. Carpenter, Sec., E. S. Hall, Treas., G. W. Benedict, S. D., D.

B. Barstow, J. D., and S. S. Sweetland, Tyler. A charter was granted on the 10th of January, 1872, with twelve members, which has been increased to twenty-five. The present officers are: S. N. Wright, W. M., S. Chrysler, S. W., F. A. Fogg, J. W., W. H. Fletcher, Sec., G. S. Reader, Treas., W. Miller, S. D., C. B. Chrysler, J. D., and Theo. Berg, Tyler.

A good graded school is maintained, with three departments, and an average attendance of 168 scholars.

Newspapers.—The first newspaper published hi the State, outside of St. Paul and St. Anthony, was at this place. It was named the " Sauk Rapids Frontiersman," and started by Jeremiah Russell, in October, 1854, who took as associate editor, George W. Benedict. This paper was discontinued after a few years, and in its stead appeared " The New Era," edited by W. H. Wood and Mrs. Julia A. A. Wood. The " Sauk Rapids Sentinel" was established by George W. Benedict in 1868, but in 1872, the material was sold and removed to St. Cloud, and on the 25th of March, 1873, the present " Sauk Rapids Sentinel " came into existence, also under the proprietorship of Mr. Benedict. He continued the publication until December, 1875, when it passed into the hands of W. L. Nieman, the present proprietor. A. De Lacey Wood also conducted a paper here a short time, but removed to Breckenridge about 1879.

There is a granite quarry, possessing a very fine quality of stone, located within the city limits. It is owned by Collins & Searle, of St Cloud, and given, in connection with similar formations in this section of the State, a full notice in the chapter devoted to Geology.

The agricultural products of Sauk Rapids township in 1880, were: wheat, 4.087 bushels; oats, 1,446 bushels; corn, 288 bushels; rye, 160 bushels; potatoes, 640 bushels; wild hay, 204 tons; tobacco, 20 pounds; wool, 777 pounds; butter, 8,665 pounds; and honey, 2,600 pounds.


James Beatty, one of the pioneers of Minnesota, is a native of Fairfield county, Ohio, born on the 27th of April, 1816. When James was fourteen years old, the family removed to Cass county, Michigan, where he remained until twenty-one years of age. He then settled on a claim in Iowa, where he resided until 1840, after which, he managed the farms of the Winnebago Indians at Fort Atkinson, until coming to Minnesota hi 1848. After a short stay in St. Paul, he accompanied a party to Crow Wing, and soon after located an Indian Agency at Long Prairie, Todd county. In December of the same year, he bought a trading post at Sank Rapids, which he conducted till the fall of 1849, when, in company with T. A. Holmes, he opened a trading post at Itasca, about seven miles above Anoka. In 1855, he left Itasca and took charge of a trading post in Blue Earth county, for Mr. Myrick, which he continued until 1860. He then returned to Itasca, but soon after, engaged in the mercantile business, in Dayton, Hennepin county, which he disposed of in 1869, and came to Sauk Rapids, where he has since been engaged in the hotel business. He was a member of the territorial legislature in 1851, 1853 and 1854; was County Commissioner of Benton county, from 1849 to 1855, and again in 1878. Mr. Beatty was united in marriage with Eliza Foscett, of New York City, in 1854. Of six children born to them, but three are living; James B., Margaret U., and Ella L.

Philip Beapre, also one of the pioneers of Minnesota, is a native of Lower Canada, born on the 6th of July, 1823. He came to the United States in 1840, and was employed on a canal in Chicago, one year, after which he went to Green Bay, Wisconsin, and spent one year and a half. Then, after a trip to St. Louis and New Orleans, he went into the Yellowstone country, and was one year in the employ of the American Fur Company. In the summer of 1844, he came to Minnesota and located at Crow Wing, in the employ of the Indian traders, Morrison and McDonald, with whom he remained four years, and was then in the employ of Henry M. Rice, one year. In 1849, he established a trading post in Morrison county, but after conducting it a year, came to Sauk Rapids, where, some time after, he pre-empted some land, and was engaged in farming and trading until 1852, when he went to Pembina, D. T., and was employed in the United States Custom office at that point for three years. He then carried on a trading post at Sank City, Stearns county, for a short time, but in 1856, took a contract from the Government for the transportation of goods from St. Cloud to Fort Abercrombie. He retained his residence in Sauk City, and in the fall of 1859. was elected Sheriff of Stearns county, and served two years. He then made a trip to Montana, and after his return, located at St. Cloud, and was engaged in freighting for several years, after which, he was employed two years, by Nathan Myrick, in the construction of Fort Pembina. He held the office of County Commissioner of Benton county, hi 1849, and was Justice of the Peace at Sauk Rapids, in 1851. After this busy life of earnest toil in the development of the frontier, Mr. Beapre retired to his old homestead in Benton county, where he still lives, in the enjoyment of his quiet country home. He was married in 1852, to Theresa Desnoyer, of St. Louis. Of their sixteen children, thirteen are yet living; William P., Louis G., Emma E., Henrie., Mary L., Eulalie, Jeauette, Theresa, Frank, John B., Elizabeth, Alphonse L., and Andrew, the last two being twins.

Geo. W. Benedict, a resident of Minnesota for the last twenty-seven years, dates his birth in Rochester, New York, on the 20th of March, 1825. When the subject of our sketch was five years of age, the family removed to Lower Canada, where he was reared and received his early education. In early life he acquired the printer's trade, at which he was employed in Hamilton and other portions of Canada, and in New York State, until 1851, when he went to Tecumseh, Michigan, and commenced the publication of the " Tecumseh Herald," continuing it till 1854. While a resident of the latter place, he was a delegate to the Presidential convention which nominated General Scott. In 1854, he came to Sauk Rapids, under an engagement to manage the "Sauk Rapids Frontiersman," for Jeremiah Russell, which position he held about four years, after which he started the " New Era," which was afterwards discontinued. In 1860, he was working in the "Tunes" office at St. Paul, and was afterwards foreman on the " Press." In 1864, he took charge of the printing department of the " Pioneer," and remained until 1868, when he started the " Sauk Rapids Sentinel," at Sauk Rapids. He also commenced the publication of the "Alexandria Post," but soon sold his interest in it. He continued the "Sauk Rapids Sentinel" until 1872, when, in company with some others, he started the " St. Cloud Press;" disposed of his interest at the end of the first year, and reestablished the " Sauk Rapids Sentinel," which, in 1875, he sold to the present proprietor, W. L. Nieman. Mr. Benedict was Clerk of the District Court of Benton County, in 1856, was a member of the State Senate, hi 1874, and was appointed Deputy Revenue Collector, hi 1876, which latter position he still holds. He was married hi 1851, to Anna Cronk, of Canada.

Samuel A. Chase, a native of New Hampshire, was born on the 1st of January, 1832. He came to Minnesota in an early day, and for two years was employed at his trade, (carpentering) in St. Paul. Then went to St. Louis, Missouri, remained two years, was in Florida eighteen months, and returned to the North, after which, until 1861, he was in Grant county, Wisconsin. He then went to Chicago, and after the fire in 1872, came to St. Cloud, and to Sauk Rapids in 1874. For several years he was in the wheat business in connection with his trade, and is now employed as a millwright in the flouring mill at this place.

Joseph Coates, for nearly twenty years a resident of Sauk Rapids, and at present Judge of Probate of Benton county, is a native of Lincolnshire, England, born on the 30th of November, 1849. When the subject of our sketch was about five years old, the family came to America, locating at Davenport, Iowa, and thence, in 1857, to Fillmore county, Minnesota, and in April, 1861, to Sauk Rapids, where Joseph grew to manhood, receiving his education here and at St. Paul. With the exception of about two years' absence in Arkansas, he has been a resident of Sauk Rapids ever since. He was Sheriff of Benton county from 1872 to 1874, and Deputy Sheriff the next four years, after which he was again elected Sheriff, serving until 1880, when he was elected Judge of Probate. Mr. Coates was united in marriage, in 1878, with Miss Mary E.' Cross of England.

S. P. Carpenter dates his birth in Washtenaw county, Michigan, on the 1st of June, 1835. When four years old, he removed with his parents to Jefferson county, Wisconsin, where he was reared on a farm, and occasionally clerking in a store, until 1855, when he went to Milwaukee, and was employed as clerk until 1858, when he returned to Jefferson county. In 1859, he went to California and was engaged in the clothing business until 1865, when he removed to Chicago, and was in the same business until coming to Sank Rapids in 1871. Here he took charge of the Russell House, which he managed nine years; he is now bookkeeper for A. J. Demeules. Mr. Carpenter was Sheriff of Benton county, from 1874 to 1878, and in the fall of the latter year, was elected Clerk of the District Court, which office he still holds. He was married in 1872, to Eva E. Coburn, of Galena, Illinois. Their children are, Ora L., Horace B., and Olive M.

Erasmus Cross is a native of Yorkshire, England, born on the 4th of November, 1833. He came to America in 1851, settling in Jacksonville, Illinois, where he was engaged in farming and also kept a meat market, until 1860, when he came to St. Cloud, Minnesota. Mr. Cross brought five hundred sheep with him, which he sold, returning to Illinois the following spring. In 1864, he removed his family to St. Cloud, and was in the cattle trade and meat business there until 1876, when he came to Sauk Rapids, where he has since resided. He was married in 1853, to Jane Willoughby, of Yorkshire, England. Of ten children, the result of this union, but five are living; Mary E., Emma, Annie C., James S., and Robert E.

Richard Cronk was born in Upper Canada, on the 30th of January, 1838. His life was spent in the vicinity of his early home until 1856, when he came to Minnesota and settled in Minden township, Benton county, and was engaged in farming until 1867, when he sold his farm and has since resided in Sank Rapids. For the last seventeen years, Mr. Cronk has been widely known as a practical land surveyor, having surveyed for the Government, six townships in Crow Whig county, and also spent several years in Nebraska and the Red River of the North, following his profession. He was County Surveyor of Benton county, fifteen years, and County Treasurer -two years. Mr. Cronk was united in marriage with Miss Sarah E. Hall, daughter of the late Rev. Sherman Hall, of Sauk Rapids, in 1870. Of three children born to them, two are living, Charles G. and Edwin S.

A. J. Demeules is a native of Minnesota, born in St. Paul, on the 28th of February, 1854. He received his early education in his native city, but afterwards attended the Terra Bonne Commercial College, of Canada, graduating therefrom in 1874. He then returned to St. Paul, and was Clerk of the Probate Court until September, 1875, when he formed a partnership with Mr. Linnemann, and engaged in mercantile business at Sauk Rapids, under the firm name of Linnemann & Demeules. In February, 1881, Mr. Linnemann withdrew from the firm, leaving Mr. Demeules sole proprietor. He was married in June, 1875, to Miss Anna C. Linnemann, of La Fayette, Indiana. They have had three children, two of whom are living, Bertha S., and Edgar A. Mr. Demeules is also Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, and discharges the duties of the office in a creditable manner.

William H. Fletcher is a native of Muskingam county, Ohio, born on the 27th of February, 1842. At an early age, he removed with his parents, to Chicago, thence, to Beloit, Wisconsin, and in 1857, to St. Anthony, Minnesota, where his father had located two years before and engaged in the milling business. In 1858, the family removed to Little Falls, Minnesota, but only remained one year, coming to Sauk Rapids, where the subject of our sketch has since resided. When a young man, he learned the trade of wagonmaking, and since 1868, has been engaged in their manufacture. During the last few years, Mr. Fletcher has devoted much time to b*3 culture. Commencing in 1872, with one swarm of bees, he has gradually increased his stock, until at the present time he has upwards of one hundred colonies. He also manufactures hives and all kinds of apiary material, and is rapidly extending his business in this line. Miss Ada M. Everest, of Ohio, became the wife of Mr. Fletcher, in 1879.

John B. Homan is a native of Prussia, born on on the 1st of January, 1828. He was reared in his native country, learning the shoemaker's trade. In 1853, he came to America, and settled in Lake county, Indiana, where he worked at his trade and was engaged in other pursuits, until coming to Minnesota, in May, 1860. After a few weeks stay in St. Cloud and St. Joseph, he came to Sauk Rapids, and worked at his trade and kept saloon until 1864, when he removed to St. Cloud, but after remaining thirteen months, he again returned to Sauk Rapids, and has resided here ever since. In 1866-67, he built the City Hotel, of which he is still the proprietor. This hotel contains fourteen rooms, and is one of the neatest in the town. Mr. Homan was married in 1854, to Theresa Ulenbrock, of Germany. They have had twelve children, ten of whom are living. Their names are, John, Mary, Josephine, Annie, Theresa, Kate, Frank, Margaret, George, and Joseph.

Rev. Sherman Hall, (deceased) one of the most useful of the pioneer missionaries of Minnesota, was a native of Wethersfield, Vermont, born on the 30th of April, 1800. He early began his preparation for the ministry, and after a preparatory course at Exeter Academy, entered Dartmouth College, graduated at the end of a four years' course, and finished his theological studies with three years more of study, at Andover Theological Seminary. Early in his ministry, he was located at La Pointe, on Lake Superior, where he remained twenty-two years. Then he was sent to the Chippewa Agency, near the present site of Crow Whig, to take charge of the government schools at that point. Here he took up and completed a work, great enough in itself to be his lasting memorial. He, in substance, created the Chippewa language. He first translated the New Testament into that tongue, and had it published in New York City in 1843-44, and revised it in 1856. He next prepared a grammar of that tongue, but this was stolen from him. His next work was a hymn book in the same language, and afterwards followed " Peep of Day" and " Lessons in the New Testament." But just when he was becoming of greatest use to this people, the Government removed the schools to Gull Lake, and changed their denominational control, which would seem to have been a great mistake, as he had become thoroughly acquainted with the Indian life and mode of thought, and so the better prepared to advance their civilization. After this, Father Hall, as he was familiarly called, removed to Sauk Rapids, where for many years, he was pastor of the Congregational church. In addition to his ministerial labors, he was, for many years, Judge of Probate of Benton county, and also County Superintendent of Schools. He was a missionary in the Northwest forty-eight years, and won the warm affection of the people everywhere, the savage as well as the civilized, and died beloved and respected by all. He died on the 31st of August, 1879, from injuries received in falling from his wagon and striking on the back of his head. Mr. Hall was married in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, on the 15th of June, 1831, to Miss Betsey P. Parker, of Pepperell, Massachusetts. Of five children born to them, but three are living; Edwin S., Harriet P., and Sarah E.

Edwin S. Hall, only son of the late Rev. Sherman Hall, of Sauk Rapids, was born at La Pointe, Wisconsin, on the 8th of July, 1833, his father being a missionary at that point, in the employ of the American Board of Foreign Missions. When Edwin was eighteen years of age, he removed with his parents to the vicinity of Crow Wing, and thence, after two years, to Clear Lake, but only remained there a short time, going to Wisconsin, where he was engaged in various pursuits until 1861, when he returned to Sauk Rapids, and has remained here ever since. In 1866, he bought an addition to the property in the town of Minden which his father had pre-empted many years ago, and which he has converted into a fine farm. Mr. Hall was for eight years Clerk of the District Court of Benton county. He was married in 1871, to Sarah A. Truitt, of Illinois. Their children are, William H. and Hattie.

John Jones, one of the old settlers of Sauk Rapids, is a native of Boss county, Ohio, born on the 13th of August, 1822. His parents died when he was six years old, and he was raised in Scioto county until eighteen years of age, when he went to Indiana and was engaged in fanning two years. He then returned to Ohio, and in May, 1846, enlisted in Company D, of the Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served in the Mexican war one year. Returning to his native State, he spent several years there, and in Iowa and Illinois, and came to Sauk Rapids in the fall of 1856. After remaining a couple of years, he settled hi St. Cloud, Stearns county, and at the breaking out of the civil war, returned to Illinois arid enlisted in Company F, of the Twenty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served in that and other regiments until May, 1865, when he was mustered out at Indianapolis, Indiana, In May of the same year, he took a homestead in Glendorado township, Benton county, where he lived until the fall of 1876, and moved to his present residence at Sauk Rapids, giving the farm to his son. Mr. Jones was one of the organizers of Glendorado township; was the first town treasurer, and also held the offices of Assessor and Clerk, while living there. He was married in 1851, to Christiana Littlefield, of Illinois, who died hi the fall of 1867, leaving one son, named Willis, who is still living. Mr. Jones was again married hi 1867, to Rebecca 4. Bonham, of Illinois.

B. K. Knowlton, for twenty-four years a resident of Sauk Rapids, was born on the 10th of July, 1825, in Stockholm, New York. While he was quite young his father died, and the family removed to Sudbury, Vermont, where the subject of our sketch was brought up. In 1852, he came west, and was engaged in the construction of railway bridges in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri, to which business he had been accustomed in early life, in New England. On account of rapidly failing health, he was obliged to give up active business, and in search of a healthier climate, he came to Sauk Rapids in 1857, and has resided here ever since, enjoying comparatively good health under the influence of Minnesota's bracing atmosphere. During his first three years residence he wag engaged in the grocery business, but was then elected County Treasurer, and served five years. Since then, the greater portion of his time has been devoted to real estate and insurance business, although he has held the office of County Commissioner four years, and Register of Deeds, by appointment, one year. He has represented the St Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company at this place for fifteen years. Mr. Knowlton was married in 1851, to Amanda Phillips, of Ohio. Of five children born to them, but three are living; Frank F., Edwin S. and Fred. B.

Fred. L. Kino dates his birth in Broome county, New York, on the 17th of August, 1858. At an early age he removed with his parents to Mexico, Oswego county, where he was reared and received his early education. In December, 1876, he came to Sauk Rapids, as telegraph operator for the railroad company, and ten months later, was placed in charge of the station, which position he still fills, discharging the duties in an able and business like manner.

Gustav Kern is a native of Germany, born in the year 1856. He came to America in 1869, and for two years was employed by his father on a farm near St. Cloud. He then went to St. Paul, and after a two years stay, to Stillwater, where he learned the shoemakers trade, at which he was employed until coming to Sauk Rapids, in the spring of 1881. He soon opened a boot and shoe store at the latter place, and is doing a prospering business.

Joseph Moody, one of the old settlers of Minnesota, was born in Waterbury, Vermont, on the 27th of July, 1816. He remained on his fathers farm until twenty-one years of age, when he engaged in the cattle trade between Vermont and Brighton, Massachusetts, which he continued about seventeen years. In 1854, he came to St. Anthony. Minnesota, and commenced dealing in real estate and loaning money; he was also engaged in mercantile pursuits and hotel business. During the civil war, he had large contracts with the government, and was in traffic in the South about two years. Since the war, he has been engaged in various speculations. In 1874, he came to Sank Rapids, built a store, and carried on an extensive farm; the latter pursuit he still continues. A fine granite quarry is located on Mr. Moody's farm, covering an extent of about forty acres. He has been twice married. His present wife was Amanda Sherman, of Waterbury, Vermont, the marriage taking place in 1855. He has four children, Joseph H., Martha A., Cora C., and Frank T. Mr. Moody is a type of our western men, possessing the necessary ingredients, energy and enterprise.

Wayland Miller was born in Ashtabula county, Ohio, on the 20th of April, 1844. He received his early education in his native county, and afterwards attended Hillsdale College, Michigan. After leaving college, he took a trip across the plains, but on account of ill health, he returned, and settled at Sauk Rapids in 1861. Here he followed the business of painting until 1877. In 1879, he was elected Register of Deeds, and has since discharged the duties required of him, with marked ability. Mr. Miller was united in marriage with Maria J. Truitt, in 1868. Their children are, Elmira and Marian Lee.

John Renard is a native of Champagne, France, born on the 12th of August, 1838. He came to America in 1854, with his parents, they settling in La Salle county, Illinois, where the subject of our sketch was engaged in farming until 1866, when he came to Benton county. He conducted a farm until the fall of 1873, when he was elected Register of Deeds, and removed to Sauk Rapids, which has been his home ever since. He occupied the Register's office until 1879, when he was elected County Auditor, and is the present incumbent. He has always been found faithful to his trust, and enjoys the fullest confidence of his constituency. Mr. Renard was married in 1866, to Leoncie Simoneau, of Canada. They have had seven children, but four of whom are living; Mary J., John J., Mary L., and Ferdinand P.

Jeremiah Russell, one of the frontiersmen of what is now the state of Minnesota, was born in Eaton, Madison county, New York, on the 2d of February, 1809. He was educated in the district school, and Academy at Fredonia, learning also, •when quite young, to set type, in the office of the u Fredonia Gazette," the first paper published in Chautauqua county. After being employed for some time in a printing office at Geneva, and other places, and clerk in a store at Palmyra, Wayne county, several years, he, in 1835, came west, and traveled over the Territory of Michigan, and the state of Indiana; visited Chicago and Milwaukee in the latter part of the same year; then went into the Lake Superior country, and for two years, was superintendent of a mining company. In 1837, he went to St. Croix, Wisconsin, and made a claim with Franklin Steele and others; in 1839, had a contract for doing the blacksmithing for the Indians at Lake Pokegama, and "still later, at La Pointe, on Lake Superior. In 1848, Mr. Russell came to Crow Wing, Minnesota, acting as agent for C. N. W. Borup and C. H. Oakes, Indian agents and fur dealers, and in the fall of 1849, he was placed in charge of the American Fur Company's post, about two miles above Sauk Rapids. About four years later, he moved down the river, and settled on the west side, opposite the present site of Sauk Rapids, and in 1857, removed to the village of Sank Rapids, which has been his home ever since. Mr. Russell was Treasurer of Benton county in an early day, and has also held the of-, flees of Auditor and Justice of the Peace. He was a member of the first Territorial Legislature, in 1849. The wife of Mr. Russell was Miss Sophia Oakes, daughter of Charles H. Oakes. They were married on the 20th of September, 1843, and have had seven children, three of whom are deceased.

John A. Senn, Superintendent of Schools of Benton county, is a native of Switzerland, born on the 14th of March, 1850. In 1853, he came with his parents to America, they settling in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, where the subject of our sketch was reared to farming pursaits, and received his primary education. In 1869, he went to Ohio, and the next five years were spent in receiving instruction in Baldwin University and Wallace College. In 1874, he removed to Olmsted county, Minnesota, where he taught school and read law; he also studied law for a time with S. R. Thayer, of Minneapolis, and was admitted to the bar in 1876. He practiced his profession a short time in Olmsted county, but in the spring of 1877, came to Sauk Rapids, where he has since resided, in the active practice of his profession, and has held the office of County Attorney two years. Mr. Senn was married in March, 1877, to Bertha Kilroy, of Olmsted county. Their children are, William K. and Lee A.

Arneh St. Cyr, a pioneer of Minnesota, was born in Crawford county, Wisconsin, on the 17th of March, 1837. In the spring of 1849, he came to Sauk Rapids, and the following year, went to Swan river in the employ of Brown & Stewart, engaged in general merchandise and hotel business. In 1853, he removed to Big Lake, still in the employ of Brown & Stewart, and resided there till 1857, when he went to St. Paul. He was then employed on the river four years, the last two of which, he was pilot on a steamboat on the Minnesota river. In October, 1861, he was commissioned First Lieutenant of Company G, of the Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, but resigned his commission at Huntsville, Alabama, in April, 1863. He then returned to Big Lake and kept a hotel one year, thence to St. Cloud, and kept a billiard hall and saloon until 1875, when he came to Sauk Rapids and still continues in the same business. Mr. St. Cyr was married in 1865, to Ellen Monagan, of New" York State. They have six children, Eugenie M., Lafayette A., Camille E., Ubaasy C., Maurice, and Hortense H.

E W. Truesdell is a native of Binghamton, New York, born on the 16th of August, 1854. At an early age, he removed with his parents, to Cattaraugus county, where he was brought up, and received his early education. In 1872, he came to Minnesota, and was engaged for two years, in the dry goods and grocery business, at Cannon Falls, Goodhue county, after which he took a course at Carleton College, Northfleld. He was then in the dry goods business, frmr years, and kept a hardware store one and a half years. After a short term of rest, he, in the spring of 1881, became a partner in the firm of W. A. Newton & Co., proprietors of the Eagle Flour Mills, at Sauk Bapids. Mr. Truesdell was united in marriage with Katie Newton, of Minneapolis, hi 1878. They have one son, William E.

S. N. Wright daks his birth hi Addison county, Vermont, on the 27th of April, 1820. When quite young, he removed with his parents, to Essex county, New York, where he remained until fifteen years of age, when he commenced the life of a sailor by going as a cabin boy on Lake Champlain. He followed a sea-faring life until 1850, when he went to New York City and was in the transportation business until 1852.- He then returned to Lake Chaniplain, and was a steamboat Captain until 1857, when he came to Minnesota, locating in Wabasha county. He was in.mercantile business there two years, and also conducted a hotel, had a mail route, and was Postmaster at Plainview. In 1870, he came to Sauk Rapids, and was in charge of the railroad station, until elected County Treasurer, in the fall of 1877. Mr. Wright still guards with jealous care, the funds of Benton county. He was married in 1855, to Elizabeth Fletcher, of Essex county, New York.

Chables G. Wood was born in Franklin county, Vermont, on the 22d of April, 1840. He was reared and received his early education in his native county. In October, 1861, Le enlisted in Company A, of the Eighth Vermont Volunteer Infantry, and served until mustered out at New Orlt ans, in July, 1865. He was promoted to First Lieutenant, for meritorious conduct during the year 1862. After a short time spent as sutler, in Louisiana, he returned to his home in Vermont. In May, 1866, he came to St. Cloud, Minnesota, where he was engaged in mercantile business until 1871, when he changed his place of residence to Sauk Rapids. Mr. Wood is one of the prominent menchants of Sauk Rapids, and takes quite a lively interest in local political affairs, having held the office of Supervisor and also Treasurer of the School Board. He was married in September, 1869. to Elizabeth Greenlee, of North Carolina. Their children are, Charles W., Frederick D., and Anna E.

Benton County Historical Society and Museum
218 1st Street North
P.O. Box 426
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379

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