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St. Croix County Biographies and Historical Sketches


St. Croix County Townships Map | St. Croix County (1909) | Early History of St. Croix County | Villages, Townships & Municipalities | St. Joseph, Troy & Warren Townships | Stanton & Star Prairie Townships | Rush River, Somerset & Springfield Townships | Richmond Township, City of New Richmond | Kinnickinnic & Pleasant Valley Townships | Hudson Township & City of Hudson | Forest, Glenwood & Hammond Townships | Eau Galle, Emerald and Erin Townships | Baldwin, Cady & Cylon Townships
Labarge, La Granduer, LaPointe, Larson, Law, Lee, Leith, Lindefield, Linehan, Lovell, Luce, Lundy


David Labarge has achieved success in life by hard labor, which he still continues, although he has reached the age of seventy-one years. His parents, Francis and Katherine (Quarie) Labarge, lived and died in Canada. They had five children, two boys and three girls. David worked in a sawmill at Fond du Lac, Wis., in 1856, and then took up logging on the river and resided at Stillwater, Minn., for fifteen years. To eight acres of land at Burkhardt, purchased in 1873, he quickly added 152 more. Later he bought 160 acres at East Grand Forks, Polk County, Minn. His farm land has been well improved and cultivated. Aside from general farming, he raises Short Horn cattle and Poland China hogs. In 1857 he married Katherine Johnson. By this union he has eight children: Alice, Lucy, Lizzie, wife of Will Harrison, of Duluth; Edward and Earnest, Minnesota farmers; Frank and Pullin, North Dakota farmers, and Harry, who lives at home. Mr. Labarge owns a large house and takes much interest in the affairs of the county and its early history. During the years he has been in the valley he has watched its wonderful growth and has seen to it that the improvements on his property have kept pace with those of his neighbors. The family are communicants of the Catholic church. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)

La Granduer

H. A. La Granduer was born in Somerset Township, St. Croix County, Wisconsin, June 4, 1860, son of Edward and Lenora (Rock) La Granduer, natives of Sorel and Montreal, Canada. The father was an orphan and settled in Somerset in 1856, becoming a farmer. In earlier life he had worked at logging in and about Stillwater, Minn., and was captain of a Mississippi boat for two years. He died at Somerset in 1898. Of his family of four children three are now dead. They are Edward W., Alfred and Josephine. H. A. La Granduer was the youngest of the family. He was educated first in the public schools of this county and then at Northfield, Minn. Entering the University of Wisconsin in Madison, with the intention of taking a full course he was compelled to leave on account of ill health after remaining two years. For a time he clerked at a store in Stillwater, afterward taking a vacation, traveling through Canada and the eastern states. Upon his return he bought out Sam Harrimans general store at Somerset. Mr. Harriman, as mentioned in another place in this volume, was an old settler and a man active in public affairs. Since 1884 Mr. La Granduer has run his store with great success. He carries a general line of goods and commands custom for many miles around. The establishment is a large one, and carries about $25,000 worth of hardware, mens furnishings, dry goods, meats, etc. In this store the village postoffice is located. In 1907 he took H. J. Hensen as his partner. In addition to the store, the firm owns four cheese factories in various parts of the county. The business is now conducted under the name of the La Granduer Mercantile Company, incorporated. In 1885, Mr. La Granduer was married to Donattie Derouin, from Three Rivers, Canada. The union has been blessed with six children. H. J. is now attending the State university at Madison; A. J. is a student at St. Johns university, Collegeville, Minn. Rose is engaged as bookkeeper and stenographer in her fathers store. She is a graduate of St. Catherines at St. Paul. Donald is a student at the St. Benedict academy, St. Joseph, Minn. Cora and Alice are still at home. Mr. La Granduer votes the Republican ticket. He was seven years treasurer of the township of Somerset and twenty years postmaster in the village. He is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters, and the family worships at the Catholic Church. Being a man of wide education and learning himself, he is a thorough believer in education, and he is expending a fortune in giving his children educational advantages. The children are all bright and gifted, and are a credit to their parents. As a businessman he has been most successful, and few men in the township are better known, better liked or more highly regarded than he. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


Col. George W. La Pointe is a native of Monroe, Mich., born March 14, 1842, son of Joseph and Ellen (Trumbley) La Pointe. The father was a boat builder and mechanic. George W. received a good education in the public schools and remained in his native state until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted in the month of April, 1861, in Company D., Seventh Michigan Volunteer Infantry, which was assigned to the Army of the Potomac under General McClellan. At the battle of Antietam, where half the regiment was disabled, he received his first commission, that of second lieutenant. He was then commissioned first lieutenant, then captain, and later for distinguished valor was made colonel of the regiment. Among the important engagements in which the regiment participated were the following: Fair Oaks, Va.; York Town, Va.; Antietam, Md.; Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, Peterburgh, Gettysburg and Fredericksburg, where the regiment led the forlorn hope across the river in pontoon boats. He took part in the grand review at Washington and was discharged in July, 1865. He then returned to Michigan and served in the express department of the customs office at Detroit for many years. In 1874 he settled in Wilson, Wis., and for five years engaged in the manufacture of staves and barrelheads. He then consolidated with the Western Wisconsin Manufacturing Company, combining his original industry with their general lumber manufacturing operations; also running a limekiln for about twelve years. In 1890, owing to the rapid diminution of the lumber supply, the company ceased business. He then purchased the general store in Wilson, and added a wholesale and retail lumberyard, having ever since continued to run it with the assistance of his two sons. At Various periods of its existence he has made additions to the business until he now carries a large stock and has a very large patronage, commanding trade for many miles around. The stock includes groceries, dry goods, implements, hardware, clothing, lumber, sash and doors and all kinds of building material, and, in fact, everything that is usually carried in a first class store of this kind. In 1906 he added a lime kiln to burn lime for local trade. His goods are of the finest quality, and farmers and housewives know from long experience that anything purchased from the La Pointe store will be exactly as represented. Colonel La Pointe was married in 1872 to Jane H. Wilson, daughter of Captain William Wilson, of Menomonie, Wis., a very prominent lumberman. By this union there are two children, George W., Jr., and William W. George W., Jr., was educated in the common schools and attended Shattuck school at Faribault, Minn., where he was graduated in 1892. He subsequently entered the Law College of Cornell University, at Ithica, N.Y., and was graduated in the class of 1897, being shortly afterward admitted to the Wisconsin bar. Owing to his fathers rapidly increasing business at Wilson, he never took up the practice of law, but engaged with his father in the management of the lumber department. William H. also attended common school and the academy at Faribault, and entered Cornell, but did not graduate. He is assisting in the lumberyard. Father and sons are staunch Republicans, but have never aspired to public office, having their hands full with the details of their extensive enterprises. Aside from the store, Colonel La Pointe owns about 1,000 acres of land in Dunn and St. Croix counties and has dealt extensively in real estate for the past twenty-five years. He also owns a handsome home in the village of Wilson. The La Points are well thought of and are interested in every movement that tends to the betterment of the community.  (Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley, vol. 2, published in 1909)


August Larson is a native of Norway, born December 1, 1862. His parents came to the United States in 1869, settling first in Polk county, Wisconsin, where they took up farming and remained for two years, afterward coming to this county, where the father died in 1878. There were five children in the family, all of whom are still alive. August has lived in St. Croix county twenty-five years. He received his education in the public schools and worked on the farm with his father. He now owns eighty acres of well-improved land in Star Prairie Township, which he broke and developed himself. Mr. Larson was married in 1886 to Jennie Setterlund, a daughter of Lewis and Christina Setterlund, old settlers of this county. This union has been blessed with seven children: Elbin L., Reuben E., Elmer R., Grace, Ruth, Evelyn and Lucille, all of whom are at home. Mr. Larsin is a Republican in politics and has always been a faithful adherent of that party. For five years he was chairman of Star Prairie Township and for eight years he was a member of the school board. At the present time he is a candidate for the office of sheriff, a position which he is well qualified to fill. He affiliates with the Modern Woodmen of America. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


Harvey Law comes of old Connecticut parentage, but was born in Freedom, Cattaraugus County, N.Y, March 23, 1838. His father, Harvey, Sr., was born in Connecticut and married Eleanor Spear. In western New York he worked at blacksmithing and saw milling until he came to Wisconsin and built the first blacksmith shop in New Richmond. J. Cook purchased this shop in 1860, but Mr. Law, St., continued to occupy a part of it for the purpose of making guns. He was closely identified with the early life of the town, serving on the town and school boards and as councilman a number of years. He helped to build the first school house in New Richmond. In common with other boys of his age, Harvey, Jr., attended school and worked on the farm. Then he bought and improved forty acres of land, upon which he raised wheat and oats. After eighteen months he sold his tract to his brother and started work as a millwright and carpenter. He continued this for twelve years. Since then he has been a contractor and builder of the city. Some years ago he bought a house and ten acres of land at the corner of Star and Third streets, where he now resides. In 1861 he enlisted in Company E, Twelfth Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, and served under Grant and Sherman. For two years he was commissary sergeant and saw service not only at the sieges of Vicksburg and Atlanta, but also in the famous march from Chattanooga to Atlanta. Upon his honorable discharge in July 1865, he returned to New Richmond. His civil record since then has been equally as noteworthy and includes service as marshal and school supervisor. Mr. and Mrs. Law have two childrenEdith married W. W. Benham, superintendent of schools at Farmington, Minn. Both Mr. and Mrs. Benham are graduates of the Methodist University at Hammond, Wis. They have three children. Before her marriage Mrs. Benham was a schoolteacher. The other daughter, Aurelia, is married to Charles M. Todd, a railroad operator in Chicago. Mr. Law is a staunch Republican and a Methodist. He is the oldest past commander of the B. I. Humphrey Post, G. A. R., No. 103, and has also served all the junior offices of the post. B. I. Humphrey, in whose honor the post is named, was a brother-in-law of the subject of this sketch.

Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


Thomas B. Lee has spent his entire life in Stanton, St. Croix county, Wis. He is the son of James and Catherine (Brighton) Lee, natives of Tipperary and Kings counties, Ireland. His father located in Connecticut in 1844 and worked in the woods where Gen. Israel Putnam, a Revolutionary hero, was wont to kill wolves. In 1852 he moved to Milwaukee, Wis., and bought forty acres, upon which he worked ten years until the outbreak of the Civil war. Responding to Lincolns call for volunteers, he joined the 100th New York and served under Gen. U. S. Grant. He was present at the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee. At the close of the war in 1866 he came to Stanton, settled on 300 acres, broke the land and erected buildings. His farming consisted largely of raising wheat and other small grains. He served as chairman of the school board and was clerk of that body when he died, December 13, 1894. Thomas passed through the common schools, graduated from the New Richmond, Wis., high school, and then took a course at Prairie du Chien, Wis., Business College. Using the excellent education thus obtained, he taught school with great success in Stanton for five years. Work on his fathers farm then demanded his attention, and he gradually assumed entire charge and later the ownership. The farm produces general crops, but is largely devoted to dairying. Mr. Lee has been town chairman six years and town clerk three years. He votes the Democratic ticket, attends the Catholic Church and belongs to the Modern Woodmen, Deer Park Camp, No. 5,951. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


L. Leith is another man of eastern parentage who has won success in this part of the country. He was born in Gallia County, Ohio, on the 18th day of April 1855. His parents, Theodick and Julia (Hull) Leith died in the east, having spent the greater part of their lives in farming. L. Leith was educated in the common schools of Ohio. He went to Illinois in 1865 and worked on a farm two years. Three years were spent in Black River Falls, Wis., and three years at Rochester, Minn. Then he worked three years in the woods of St. Croix County and finally located in New Richmond, where he engaged in the pump, windmill, bicycle and farm implement business. He afterward established the hotel National, which he now conducts. It has the reputation of being the leading hotel in New Richmond. Mr. Leith was married in 1903 to Ella Geddas, daughter of Edwars Geddas. Two children have blessed this unioin, Lemuel E. and Gladys J. The Democratic platform embodies his political belief and he fraternizes with the Knights of Pythias and the I. O. O. F. Mr. Leith is one of those genial landlords who make everyone feel at home in their hostelries, and his guests received the best of accommodations in every particular. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


S. E. Lindefield is a native of Norway, born May 17, 1859, son of Salve and Ellen (Sophia) Lindefield, both of whom died in the old country. S. E. received his education in the common schools and in the Seminary of Egersund, Norway, being trained for a teacher. In 1882 he came to the United States and located in Ada, Minn., where he farmed for one year, afterward going to North Dakota and working on the railroad. He attended the English school at Sand Creek, Dunn County, Wis., two months, and then spent a year at Emerald, Wis., working on a farm for Elias Grimes. Subsequently he clerked for G. F. Hurd in the same village seven months. Leaving Emerald for eleven months, he worked at Downing, Wis., afterward returning and taking up the mercantile business with Elias Grimes in 1886. In 1888 he purchased his partners share and has since conducted the business for himself. He carries a large stock of goods, and during all the years that he has been in business has never been charged with a dishonest act. His goods are of the best and he makes it a special aim to please his customers. He was appointed postmaster at Emerald, October 23, 1889, and held that office until March 12, 1895. He is also a notary public and as a side line handles the agency for the Phoenix Insurance Company, of Brooklyn, N.Y. He has been very successful and as the result of many years of hard labor now owns 175 acres of rich farm land near the village, in addition to valuable village property. In 1887 he married Mrs. Emma Snyder, by whom he has one daughter, Ella C., who assists in the store and is already a valuable aid to her father in his business. Mr. Lindefield is a Republican in politics and is well informed on all current events. He affiliates with the Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a most affable gentleman and his friendship is highly prized by a wide circle of fellow townspeople. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)


Michael J. Linehan is a native of Prince Edwards Island, Canada, born in 1845, son of John and Mary (Dewyer) Linehan, who were residents of Ireland, and on their way to Boston when their son was born. They settled in Boston, attained success there, and were carried to their last resting-place in one of its beautiful cemeteries. Michael came to this section of the United States in 1870 and located first in Minneapolis, spending eight years in the Niccolet house. In 1878 he moved to Richmond Township, this county, and bought a farm, carrying on a general farm business until 1901, when he retired to his present fine residence in New Richmond City. Mr. Linehan was married the first time to Mary Wells, the ceremony being performed November 4, 1872. By this union there were three children by the first wife. For the second time he married Elizabeth Lee, of Boston, in the month of October 1889, her parents having come from the old country in the same ship that his parents came in. By this union there were no children. Sarah is a trained nurse and dressmaker. She served in the postoffice four years, now residing at home. Mary has been in the telephone office six years as night operator. John lives at Staples, Minn., and is a locomotive engineer.

During the Civil war Mr. Linehan served in the navy. He ran away from home and enlisted at Philadelphia, in 1862 serving under the noble Admiral Farragut in the Western Gulf Squadron until the month of July, 1864, when he was honorably discharged at the Brooklyn navy yard, Brooklyn N. Y. He participated in the battle of Port Hudson, in which six were killed and forty wounded, and in the battle of Donaldsville, in which fourteen were wounded and two killed, including the gallant Captain Reade. Mr. Linehan also took part in all the skirmishes of the campaign along the Mississippi. His knowledge of naval affairs made him the general information bureau on matters of water warfare during the Spanish-American war, and he was never too busy to explain some little understood detail to all of the citizens of New Richmond who might make inquiries of him. His naval experiences have also given him the title of "Commodore," by which he is known among his friends and associates. Mr. Linehan has filled all the offices in the B. I. Humphrey Post, No. 114, G. A. R., and has also held public offices in the township. The family worships at the Catholic Church.

Mr. Linehan is a man of courage and bravery and is noted for his interest in public affairs. He is honored for his naval record and respected as a citizen, a friend and a man.

Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


Francis Lovell has been a resident of the state of Wisconsin ever since his arrival in America. He was born in Elmswell, Yorkshire, England, November 26, 1833. His parents were Richard and Sarah (Pickering) Lovell. Francis attended the schools of the eastern part of Yorkshire during his youth, and while not thus engaged, shared with his father the vigil and watch of the shepherd. Francis Lovell emigrated to America in 1851, coming directly from Castle Garden to Beloit, Rock county, Wis., where he remained until the following year, when he made a visit of inspection of the St. Croix valley, visiting all parts of it, but returned to Rock county, where he lived until 1855, when he removed to Pierce county. He settled on the south fork of the Kinnickinnic river and resided there until 1863, when he removed to his present farm, where he still resides. He was married in 1856 to Mary I. Lord, of Greenfield, Me., born August 3, 1831, the daughter of Tobias and Mary Fowler Lord. They are the parents of eight children, all of whom are living. The names are: Alvin Henry Lovell, of River Falls; Edwin Herbert Lovell, of Grand Forks, N. Dak.; George Arthur Lovell, of Eddy county, North Dakota; Mrs. Kate Ida Wilcox, of Gilby, North Dak.; Mrs. Mary A. Wilcox, of Clayton, Wis.; Mrs. Melinda Elliott, of River Falls, Wis.; Mrs. Frances Maud Harlen, of River Falls, Wis., and Charles R. Lovell, of Currinsville, Ore.

Mr. Lovell is not a communicant of any religious denomination, and is also independent in political matters. He has never cared for public preferment, but as the father of a large family of children, has always been interested in educational affairs, and held the office of school director for upwards of twenty years. He owns a farm of 240 acres, of which 100 acres is devoted to the raising of small grain. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)


R. S. Luce was born in Virgil, Cortland County, N.Y., in the month of March, 1828, a son of Stedman and Polly (Barnum) Luce, who lived and died in the East. He received a common school education in the schools of Potter County, Pennsylvania, and learned the trades of mason and carpenter. He also worked on the farm with is father. In 1866 he came to Barodman, St. Croix County, Wis., and stayed for a time. The he went to St. Joseph township, same county, in 1874, and bought eighty acres, which he broke and upon which he made all improvements, and erected houses and barns. He carries on general farming. Mr. Luce was married November 15, 1856, to Orrilla, daughter of Orlando and Lucy Farrand, the former of whom was a mason in New York state. This union has been blessed with twelve children. Alice S. died in infancy. Nellie R. married Amos Fetterly, of Kansas. Nettie E. died at three years; George B. died at thirteen years, and Meretta died at eight years. Webb R. married Minnie Spence, and is a farmer in Somerset Township, Wisconsin. Estella O. married John Dorgan, of New Richmond, Wis. Laura E. died at six months. Maude E. married Ernst Krevinghaus, a carpenter. Linnie Maud married Norris Annis, a photographer; Warren M. married Maggie Kane and Ronald S., named for his father, is at home. Mr. Luce himself is one of five children. He is a member of the school board, and his services in that capacity have always been worthy of praise. Mr. Luce is a Seventh Day Baptist and votes the Republican ticket. He has been a hard worker all his life and both he and his family have the respect of all who know them. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


John Lundy's life has been one of hard work well done, and successful results honestly accomplished. He was born in Cresgen, County Dunn, Ireland, son of James and Elizabeth (Murphy) Lundy. James, Sr., was a cattle dealer, who came from Ireland to Canada, then to the United States, where he died in New Richmond at the home of his son. John attended common school in Ireland and went to Hudson at the age of fifteen years. After working there six years, he came to New Richmond with his brother James, Jr. Here they bought 160 acres of land, generously deeding forty acres back to their parents. Together they broke the land and built a house and barns. Their principal crop is oats, but they also raise wheat and breed Durham cattle, Poland China hogs and barred Plymouth Rock fowls. John Lundy was married November 17, 1866, to Mary McNamara, who died December 22, 1906. Her parents, James and Mary (Slagen) McNamara, were prominent farmers of Richmond. Mr. Lundy is a staunch Democrat and a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters. The family faith is that of the Catholic Church. There are five children living: Lizzie, after teaching at Emerald and Glenwood, now has a fine position at Warren; Mamie gave up the millinery business to keep house for her father; Alice attends the Normal school at River Falls, and John H. and Nellie are at home. Three died in infancy. It has been Mr. Lundy's aim to give all of his children a good education, and in this he has succeeded. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909