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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
Padden, Palmer, Parnell,  Perrin, Peterson, Phillips, Phipps, Pickett, Pitts, Plumb, Pott, Pryor


D. L. Padden was born November 13, 1866, in Erin Prairie, this county, son of Dennis and Katherine Padden, natives of Ireland, born in Counties Dublin and Mayo, respectively. The parents came to America in the fifties and located first at Hudson, this state, and then in Erin township. They bought forty acres of land, which they broke, developed, improved and cultivated. In 1876 they came to Emerald and bought 240 acres of land, upon which they performed the same operations, also erecting a large house and ample outbuildings. They carried on a general farming until the time of their deaths; the mother died in 1895 and the father February 5, 1905. D. L. received a good education in the common schools and was brought up on the farm, which, with the assistance of his brothers, Frank and James, he now runs, the old homestead holdings being still kept in the estate and undivided. The farm is a fertile one, and the brothers have brought it to a high degree of perfection, raising both crops and live stockin fact, doing the usual diversified farming. Mr. Padden was married June 19, 1907, to Ann Neary, daughter of James and Bridget (Hopkins) Neary, early settlers of Erin, where the mother still lives. This union has been blessed with two twin daughtersCatherine and Elizabeth, born May 21, 1908. Mr. Padden is an independent voter, voting at each election, as the contingencies of each campaign seem in his judgment to demand. He is a member of the A. O. H. at Cylon and a communicant of the Catholic Church. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)


A.L. Palmer is a native of Easton, Wis., born August 28, 1858, son of S. C. and Emily Palmer. The father was born in London and remained there until fourteen years old, when he came to Ohio, and after attaining a suitable age, farmed and ran a meat wagon to the city of Cleveland, in that state. He moved to Illinois during the war and shortly afterward came to Dunn County, Wisconsin, and located. This was before the days of the railroad. After farming in that place three years he removed to Rumseys Landing, Dunn County, and clerked five years, subsequently going to his farm in Weston, Dunn County, where he now lives at the age of over seventy years. His wife also still survives. A. L. received a good common school education, afterward working as a cook fifteen years and then as a carpenter for some time. In 1895 he became interested in bees and started in the apiary business. Today he owns 200 swarms, all of which are heavy producers. He is also manager for the St. Croix Valley Honey Producers Association, which does business in ten states and in 1907 had a membership list of over 300 apiarists. Mr. Palmer travels considerably and is acquainted with all the leading beekeepers in the United States. He declares that after long observation he has come to the belief that the honey of the St. Croix region is superior in quality to any honey in the country, and states, furthermore, that it is the great favorite in all the large cities of the United States. He estimates the annual output of this valley at about four carloads. Mr. Palmer is the owner of four acres of land in Hersey and has a pleasant residence. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America, having been an officer in the latter lodge for several terms. He was married in 1897 to Della Minter and has four children: Wesley, Frances May, Harold and Lawrence.

Mr. Palmer is a progressive man and a deep student of his chosen business. His name is widely known and he is quite generally regarded by the bee culturists as an authority upon all matters relating to the production of honey. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


Lawrence Parnell was born in Somerset township, St. Croix County, in 1855. His parents, Thomas and Angeline (Parent) Parnell, came to this section from Canada in 1851. They were farmers and lived, until the time of their death in Somerset Township. They had a family of seven children, six of whom are now alive. Lawrence received a good education in the public schools, after which he took up farming, which he has followed practically all his life. His farm, which consists of 210 acres in the township and 46 acres in the village of Somerset, is now leased to his son, Lewis, who carries it on along the same general lines that his father conducted it, raising general crops and breeding fine stock. The farm is well improved and is justly the pride of both father and son. In the month of July 1880, Mr. Parnell was married to Eliez Belisle, daughter of one of the old families of the county. By this union there are twelve children, all but the oldest being still living. Edward is deceased. The others are Angella, Lewis, Odna, Rosie, Narcis, Albert, Laura, Edwedge, Andy, Raymond, Clarence and Edmond. Mr. Parnell has now retired and removed to the village. He does a little work on his garden in the village, but leaves most of the labor to his son. He has been a hard working man all his life and has won success by his own efforts. He is a Democrat in politics and has served as school clerk, assessor and chairman of Somerset Township. He is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters. Mr. Parnell is a good citizen and a hard working, industrious man, owing all that he has to his own efforts.

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


H. E. Perrin was born in St. Croix county May 20, 1869, son of William Louis and Julia (Loring) Perrin. The father was born in Malone, Franklin County, N.Y., in 1825. In 1851 he came to what is now the township of Kinnickinnic, St. Croix County and at once started developing land. In 1858 he was married to Julia F. Loring, who died in 1894. By this union four children still survive: Solon L., of Superior, Wis.; Frank L., of St. Louis, Mo.; Dr. Harry E. Perrin, the subject of this sketch, and Mrs. Mabel S. Titus, of Los Angeles, Cal. During the 70s and 80s Mr. Perrin, Sr., was one of the Democratic leaders of the county. He was twice elected county clerk and his advice and counsel were often sought in the conduct of the political campaigns of the district. He took up his residence in River Falls in 1887, and served that village as mayor for one term. He was a man of principle, whose word in all the affairs of life was as good as his bond. Just to all men, he was honored and respected. Affectionate, unselfish and upright, he was loved and revered by those who bear his name and knew best the depth and warmth of his heart. Harry E. Perrin received a good education in the public schools and then took a course in the State Normal school at River Falls, Wis., afterward attending the Northwestern University, at Chicago, from which he was graduated in 1894. He located at once in Star Prairie, where he has since continued practice. His skill, his personality and his knowledge of medicine have built him up a large practice, and he is now one of the leading physicians and surgeons of this section of the state. September 8, 1896, in Ashland, Wis., he was married to Mary Hallett, daughter of John Paul and Nancy L. (Strangeway) Hallett. Her parents were natives of New York State and came to the St. Croix valley in the 50s. The father was roadmaster on the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha railway. He died in 1895. Dr. and Mrs. Perrin have three children: Elizabeth, Stuart and Eugene. Dr. Perrin owns a fine property in Star Prairie, Wis. He is a Democrat in politics, but has not sought public office, choosing rather to devote all his time to his profession. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Modern Woodmen of America, the knights of Pythias and the Maccabees. He and his wife are member of the Eastern Star. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


Chris Peterson was born in Denmark, December 17, 1846, where he was educated and remained until twenty -one years of age, when he came to America, first settling in Jefferson, Wis., where he remained two years before coming to St. Croix county. In 1872 Mr. Peterson purchased his present farm in section 10 of Kinnickinnic Township. In April 1873, Mr. Peterson was married to Miss Christina Benson, of Pleasant Valley, who died in 1884. They were the parents of two sons, Ben and Henry Peterson. Ben Peterson is now a resident of McKenzie County, North Dakota, where he owns a farm. Henry Peterson was born June 12, 1882, and received his education in the public schools of Kinnickinnic township. He has assisted his father in conducting the farm since leaving school. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)

Edward Peterson, postmaster and general merchant at Emerald, is a native of Sweden, born May 31, 1861, son of Peter and Mary (Nelson) Peterson, natives of that country, where they spent all their lives, the father passing away in 1904 and the mother in 1905. Edward received an excellent education in the schools of Sweden and then took up coaching and railroading. In 1882 he came to America and located first at North Branch, Minn. For the next few years he followed railroading, farming and lumbering in various places in Wisconsin and Minnesota. In 1885 he located in Emerald, and after lumbering for three years engaged in shipping stock and wood to the city dealers. During that time his business integrity won the hearts of the people, and in 1897, when he was appointed postmaster, he was easily the most popular man that could have been chosen for that position. Upon receiving his appointment he engaged in the mercantile business, opening a general store. Under his regime the office has grown in importance and it now is the headquarters for two rural free delivery routes. The business also prospered, and buying two acres of village land, Mr. Peterson built a large store, which houses both his business and the postoffice. He also erected a fine brick dwelling at a cost exceeding $3,500, and his real estate holdings include 120 acres in Emerald Township and 80 acres in Glenwood Township. Mr. Peterson was married December 8, 1885, to Matilda Johnson, of Sweden, daughter of Swen and Christine (Lawrence) Johnson, now deceased. The subject of this sketch is a Republican in politics and has served as supervisor and juror and as a delegate several times to the Republican county convention. He fraternized with Glenwood Lodge, No. 148, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Greewood Camp, No. 7,001, Modern Woodmen of America. He is also a member of the Methosdist Episcopal Church. Edward Peterson is a hard worker and is highly esteemed and respected by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. His administration of the postoffice has been most satisfactory in every particular to all its patrons. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)

Swan Peterson was born in Sweden March 27, 1860, his parents being Peter Hokeson and Ellen Nelson Hokeson. Mr. Peterson received his education in the public schools of his native land and emigrated to America when nineteen years of age, coming direct to Clifton township, in Pierce county, Wisconsin. He soon secured employment on a farm there. He remained in Clifton Township for several years and then removed to Stillwater, Minn., where he remained for two years working in the woods during the winters. Having saved the greater part of his earnings during the years he had been in this country Mr. Peterson now decided to establish himself as a farmer, and purchased his present farm in Troy township, St. Croix county, Wisconisn, where he has since resided. In 1884 Mr. Peterson married Ellen Nelson, of Troy Township. By an unusual coincidence Mrs. Peterson possessed the same name as his mother before her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson are the parents of six children, all of whom are living and the eldest, a daughter, is the mistress of a home of her own, having married Oswald Solhime, of Hudson, Wis. The other children are: Esther and Laura, who are twins; Hattie, George and Mildred. Our subject was reared in the Swedish Lutheran faith and with his family are still members of that denomination. In politics Mr. Peterson has always been a consistent Republican, but has never cared for public office. He has devoted most of his time to the management of his fine farm, 140 acres of which he maintains in a high state of cultivation.

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



Thomas P. Phillips is one of those men to whom the term substantial citizen may well be applied. He was born in Richmond Township, December 9, 1872, his parents being Thomas and Bridget (Mulrooney) Phillips, who came to St. Croix county from Ireland in 1868. Thomas, Sr., was a carpenter by trade, but in coming to New Richmond he became a farmer. He died in 1905. His wife still survives and makes her home with her children. Thomas P. Phillips has spent the larger part of his life on his farm of 100 acres, which is well improved and where a well-kept home and neat buildings testify to his progressiveness and prosperity. He carries on a general farming business. On the fifth day of June, 1906, he was married to Nora McCabe, daughter of George and Mary (Donahue) McCabe. He has no children. Mr. Phillips is a Democrat and in 1908 was elected chairman of the town board. He also served on the school board for nine years and is a popular member of the Catholic Order of Foresters. All public movements have a warm supporter in Mr. Phillips. He and his family occupy an enviable place in the life of the community, where they are regarded as leaders in all efforts for the elevation of their fellow beings. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909

P. Phillips was born in Sligo county, Ireland, in March 1828, a son of John and Mary (Byrne) Phillips. His father died in the old country in 1842. His mother came to America with the family in 1846. The father was a carpenter. P. Phillips received his education in the schools of his native country. After leaving school he learned the carpenters trade, which he followed in Ireland until 1846, when he came to Canada and took up similar work for fourteen years more. In 1865 he located in Erin Prairie, St. Croix County, Wis., and a year later in Richmond, same county. He purchased 160 acres from Dave Fulton, one of the early pioneers. He broke the land to grain and erected a house and other farm buildings. After nineteen years on the farm he moved to New Richmond City, Wis., and built a brick structure known as the Phillips Block, which was entirely swept away by the cyclone of 1899. After this disaster he built a solid fireproof brick structure that now bears his name. In 1883 he erected a handsome brick residence on Second Street, New Richmond City, Wis., where the family now resides. Mr. Phillips was married in the month of November 1871, to Bridget M. McConaghy, of Belleville, Ontario, Canada. She was the daughter of Sarah and Francis McConaghy, of County Hasings, Canada. By this union there were three children. The two living sons are Francis and Charles. The oldest, John P., died in 1900. Francis learned his fathers trade of carpentering and is now engaged in farming in North Dakota. Charles was formerly editor of the St. Paul, Minn., "Chronicle." He is now editor of the "monitor," San Francisco, Cal. He was also formerly editor of the "New Century" at Washington, D. C.

Mr. Phillips is a Democrat in politics. In religion, he was Catholic. He has served on the town and school boards several terms and has always been known as a public spirited and enterprising citizen.   Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


William H. Phipps is a native of Leamington, England, born January 26, 1846, a son of William and Elizabeth (Tappan) Phipps, both natives of England. The father brought his family to America in 1855, locating first in Milwaukee, Wis. The same year he went to Manitowoc, Wis., where the family resided until the time of the fathers death. William H. Phipps remained in that place until 1871, when he received an appointment in the state treasurers office at Madison. Here he remained three years. In 1875 he was placed in charge of the land grant and subsequently was appointed land commissioner for the North Wisconsin Railroad Company. In April of this year Mr. Phipps came to Hudson to reside. When that company was consolidated with other railroad companies he was appointed land commissioner over the combined land grants. He held this position until May 1, 1894, when he resigned to accept the position of land commissioner of the Northern Pacific Railway Company, with which company he remained ten years. In 1904 he severed his connection with the company and engaged in business for himself, dealing in land and engaging in the manufacture and sale of lumber. In January 1907, he was elected president of the First National Bank of Hudson, in which institution he had been a director since 1890. June 26, 1873, Mr. Phipps was married to Frances E. Van Bergen, born in Madison, Wis. They have one son, Stephen C., born November 25, 1878, at present engaged in the lumber business. William H. Phipps served as president of the city council of Hudson three years, as mayor three years and as state senator from this district, four years. He is a Republican in politics and has always been foremost in every interest that has tended toward the upbuilding and advancement of the state, county and town. He is a member of St. Croix Lodge no. 56, F. & A. M. and St. Croix Chapter No. 44, Royal Arch Masons. The family are members of the Presbyterian church of Hudson. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)


S. L. Pickett, M. D., is a native of Wisconsin, born in Harford, December 24, 1861, son of Samuel H. and Eliza (Multer) Pickett. The father was a native of Cattaraugus County, New York, and was a carpenter by trade. He came westward to Wisconsin in the early days and settled in Milwaukee County, and later in Hartford, Washington County, remaining there until 1872. In that year he came to Clark county, Wisconsin, and took up land, which he broke and improved. Samuel H. Pickett still continues to live on the old homestead. Samuel L. attended the common schools of Wisconsin, receiving his education in the winter months and assisting his father to clear land during the summer. He remained with his father until attaining his majority and then started teaching school. During his first year of teaching he took up the study of medicine, and after teaching two years he attended the Minnesota Hospital College for one year, afterward teaching again for a similar period. He then went to the Keokuk College of Physicians and Surgeons two years, graduating with honors in 1888. He at once started the practice of his profession in Wilson. His skill, his personality and his social qualities rapidly obtained recognition, and he now has a very large practice, owning a well-equipped office a beautiful home, being a fine type of a well-to-do country physician. He also makes a hobby of an artificial lake near Wilson, which he keeps supplied with spring water and stocked with game fish. The villages of Wison and Hersey are supplied with ice taken from this lake. Dr. Pickett was married in November, 1888, to Mary Hatch, daughter of Edwin and Eliza (Foster) Hatch, early settlers of Waukesha county and later of Dunn county, who later came to Wislon and passed away. This union has been blessed with three children: Edwin, Alta and Marion. Dr. Pickett belongs to the Hudson Lodge, Independent Order of Foresters; Hersey Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Wilson Lodge, Modern Woodmen of America. He is also a member of the county, state and American medical societies. A Democrat in politics he has served as chairman of the township of Springfield. His large practice necessitates the keeping of two teams and an auto, and he is regarded as one of the leading physicians of the county. Socially, Dr. and Mrs. Pickett occupy an enviable position in the community, and they are always leaders in every effort for the betterment of the neighborhood. They are worshipers at the Methodist church at Wilson. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


Fred L. Pitts was born October 20, 1875, in Hammond Township, son of J. L. and Sarah (Holt) Pitts, natives of Maine and early pioneers of this county, living now in River Falls, this state. Fred received his elementary education in the Hammond public schools, afterward taking a course in the River Falls Normal school. His first work was with his father on the old homestead, which, in 1905, he purchased from his parents. He now carries on general farming on a large scale, owning, aside from his 160 acres in Hammond, 120 acres in Baldwin township. Since acquiring possession of the home place Mr. Pitts has made many improvements. Mr. Pitts was married June 27, 1901, to Edna, daughter of A. B. and Mary L. (Smith) Chapin, of River Falls, formerly of Albany, N. Y. They were early Wisconsin pioneers and now live at Libby, Minn., where the father took up a large lumber claim. Mr. and Mrs. Pitts have two sons, Earl and Lyman.

The subject of this sketch is an independent voter, a communicant of the Congregational church and a member of several fraternities. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)


Festus N. Plumb was born in Canada, November 8, 1835, son of Festus and Martha (Huntley) Plumb, natives of the United States, who moved to Canada in early life. The father was a shoemaker by trade, and remained in Canada until his death, August 4, 1844. The mother went to Kenosha county, Wisconsin, in 1857 and remained there until 1860, when she came to live with her son at Hammond. She passed away November 25, 1868, greatly mourned by all who knew her. Festus N. received a good common school education in Canada. After leaving school he followed farming in his native country until 1856, when he went to Kenosha county, this state, and rented a farm which he conducted until 1860, when he came to Hammond and bought eighty acres of land, which he broke and improved. He erected a fine house and outbuildings and has since continued to occupy the place, bringing the farm to a high state of perfection. He raises the usual crops, grade cattle and Cotswold sheep. His wife is a great fancier of fowls and makes a specialty of white Wyandottes. Mr. Plumb was married first to Elizabeth Trickey, of Canada, whose parents were natives of that country. By this union there were two children. Ella married Alexander Gamble, a printer. Mr. and Mrs. Gamble are now deceased. Charles S. is an engineer, now living at Mukwauago, Wis. He married Minnie Stack. Mr. Plumb was married the second time to Francelia Peck, born in Baraboo, Wis., a daughter of Catherine and Jonathan (Burbank) Peck, natives of New York State,. Two children blessed this union. Caroline M. died January 31, 1880, and Mearle is a farmer in Hammond, married to Ida Tweit, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Plumb are members of the Methodist church, in which both are active workers, Mrs. Plumb, in particular, being noted for her charity, hospitality and good works. Mr. Plumb has been supervisor of the township of Hammond for several terms and has also served as town assessor and president of the village. He also has an honorable war record. He joined the Union army at Hudson in 1864, serving in Company A, Forty-fourth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, under Colonel Symes and Captain Brown, taking part in the Battle of Nashville, Tenn. He was discharged at the close of the war at Paducah, Ky., July 2, 1865. Mr. Plumb is a good citizen and a true gentleman, who has never descended to any act that was mean or unworthy. He occupies an enviable position in the village of Hammond. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)


Harris C. Pott, real estate and insurance man, has achieved success at various lines of business, and is now located in Emerald, where he is enjoying a large measure a pleasant flow of prosperity. He was born in Sparta, Monroe County, Wis., January 18, 1865, son of Charles W. and Margaret (Hogue) Pott, of Lycoming county, Pennsylvania. The father was born January 1o, 1819. After acquiring an education he took up harnessmaking, which he followed for sixty years. In 1897 he retired and was elected justice-of-the-peace, which office he held for ten years. In October 1907, he came to live at Emerald, where he has since resided, making his home with his son. He is still in the possession of all his faculties, a bright and active old gentleman. The mother was born August 9, 1829, and is still living. Harris C. received his common school education in his native town and at fourteen years of age entered the employ of George D. Dunn, the leading mercantile man of Sparta. At the end of five years he entered the shoe store of J. C. Muller, where he stayed six years. The stories of the growing prosperity of the great Northwest then attracted his attention, and he went to northern Wisconsin, where he remained a short time as overseer for the Bradley Mercantile & Lumber Company. His next location was at Washburn, Wis., where he succeeded the Wood & Holgren Company in the grocery business, continuing for five years. Selling out to George Posey, he took charge of the general store of the Iron Belt Mining Company at Iron Belt, Wis., which he managed for several years. His next employment was with the Duluth Shoe Company, with whom he remained one year, afterward traveling for the Jordan & Jordan Shoe Company, of Stillwater, Minn. While working for this company he covered the Northwest, selling prison shoes to the general trade. In 1903 he settled at Emerald and with B. D. Lauer and H. C. Peters, his brothers-in-law, engaged in a general store business, which they conducted until 1906, when the place was destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of over $5,000. Mr. Pott then took up the real estate and insurance business, confining his operations entirely to St. Croix county. He is general agent for North Association, of Wisconsin. Mr. Pott was married December 12, 1896, to Miss Elizabeth Peters, of Emerald, at Hudson, Wis., by the Rev. Burnley, of that city. She was the daughter of F. F. and Minnie (Miller) Peters, natives of Germany. The parents came to America in the early fifties and located in Waukesha, Wis., where they farmed until 1873, when they came to Emerald and settled on a farm which they broke and improved, remaining until 1905, when the father built a beautiful home in the village of Emerald, in which he now lives with his daughter, Mrs. B. C. Lauer. Mr. Pott is a staunch Republican. In 1904 he was elected justice of the peace and has served creditably since that time. He is also a member of the Republican town committee, and a Mason of high degree, being a Knights Templar. One of the evidences of his prosperity is his beautiful home and forty-five acres of surrounding land in the heart of the city. He has recently improved this place, moving and enlarging the house and making some beautiful drives. At the present time the place is as beautiful a home as one would care to see. Mr. Pott is well-to-do financially and his word is as good as his bond. He combines sterling integrity with good business sense, and is both a true gentleman and a good citizen. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)


James Pryor lives on his well-developed farm in the town of Richmond, about seven miles from the city of New Richmond. Here he breeds shorthorn cattle and does diversified farming, raising oats, hay, barley and potatoes. His public record includes eight years as treasurer, nine yeas as postmaster and thirteen years as chiarman of the town. Mr. Pryor was born in Ireland, 1840. His parents, John B. and Alice (Costello) Pryor, who were well known farmers of County Lathrop, lived and died in Ireland. As a boy, James received a common school education and assisted his father until 1863, when he came to New York and secured employment in a malt house. The he worked in the woods of Erin, St. Croix County, for three years. After this he bought 120 acres of land in Richmond Township. This he cultivated and built a house, barns and outbuildings. Later he bought forty acres of timberland. In 1873 he was married to Lizzie, daughter of Patrick Ward. He has had nine children: John, who was killed in the cyclone of 1899; James, Jr., who is at home on the farm; Francis, who is a collector for a Chicago laundry; Mary Alice; Josephine, a trained nurse at St. Josephs hospital, New Richmond; Anna, at home; George, who runs a cigar store in Canada; Leo Walter, who lives in Richmond, and a son who died in infancy. Mr. Pryor is a member of the Society of Equity. He has been a hard worker all his life and his rise from a poor boy to his present prosperity and position has been entirely due to his own honest energies. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909

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