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in 1854 he removed to Minnesota, locating near Spring Grove, Houston County, where he engaged in farming. He was elected to represent the county in the legislative assembly of 1861-2, and in 1866 he was appointed enrolling clerk of the senate, which position he filled one term. In 1869 Mr. A. was again called upon to serve the people, and at this time was elected county treasurer of Houston county. At the expiration of his second term of office he came to Winneshiek County and settled on a farm near Trout Run. In 1880 he removed to his present residence in the east and southern portion of Decorah, and engaged in business as before mentioned. He is a son of Samuel and Nancy Farewell Aiken, who were born in Vermont, but who are of Scotch descent. He was inarried to Elizabeth Burt, a native of Ohio; they have four children, Effie E., now Mrs. E. W. Holway; Wm. E., Ida A. and Grace A.
E. T. Allen, justice of the peace and farmer, was born in Montgomery County, N. Y., in 1832, and is a son of Robert B. and Lydia Thayer Allen. In 1855 he came to Rock Co., Wisconsin, where he remained four years; he then went to California, remaining a short time, and returned east as far as Virginia City, Nevada; from there he went to Idaho and Oregon, and followed teaming and mining until 1867, when he returned to N.Y. He soon after again moved to Wisconsin and engaged in the lumber business; thence to Dubuque in the same business, and in 1868 came to this county and located at Ridgeway. He married Mary E. Griffith, also a native of N. Y., and they have three children, Nellie E., Robt. E. and Cora A. Mr. Allen was elected justice of the peace in 1868, and has held the position ever since.
Hon. D. 0. Aaker, dealer in general merchandise grain and stock; also proprietor of Ridgeway Creamery; was born in Norway in 1839, and is a son of Ole Aaker. In 1848 he came with his parents to America, and located in Waukesha County, Wis., remaining there until 1854, when they removed to this county, locating near Burr Oak Springs. In 1868 the subject of this sketch came to Ridgeway, and entered the lumber and grain trade. He subsequently sold his lumber yard, and has since increased his business to its present dimensions. In 1881 he was elected member of the legislative assembly, which position he still holds. He married Christena Ellefson, also a native of Norway, and their children are Lena, John, Theo., and Adolph Oscar. In 1862 Mr. A. enlisted in Company G, 12th Iowa Infantry, and served until 1866.
Hon. Theodore W. Burdick, cashier First National bank, is a native of Penn., and was born at Evansburg, Crawford county, on the 7th day of Oct., 1836, his parents being Nelson and Almira Mason Burdick. His grandfather was Sheffield Burdick, of Wyoming Co., N. Y. and his great-grandfather was Adam Burdick, third son of Nathan Burdick, of Rhode Island, whose two sons
bore a conspicuous part in the struggle for our national independence. Nelson Burdick was born in the State of New York; removed from his native State to Crawford Co., Penn., and in 1852 immigrated to Iowa, and located at Freeport, on the site now occupied by the paper mill, but did not bring his family west until 1853. At that time the journey was made by railroad to Rockford, Ill., thence by stage to Dubuque; thence by river to Lansing, and again by wagons to Freeport. Burdick soon became a popular citizen, and in the spring of 1854 was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Treasurer's and Recorder's office, caused by the death of Thomas J. Hazlett, and was twice re-elected to the same. When the civil war broke out, he had five sons who were elligible to serve their country, all of whom enlisted, but only two returned from service, as three filled soldier's graves. Theodore W. is the oldest of the three living children. He early applied himself to his studies, so that at the age of 17 he was prepared to enter Oberlin College, Ohio, but came with his parents to Freeport in the spring of 1853. During the summer of that year a school house was completed at Decorah, and the following winter the subject of this sketch became the first teacher. In the spring of 1854 he entered the Treasurer's and Recorder's office as deputy, under his father, having charge of the books as such until 1857, when he became of age, and as his father's term of office expired, the son, in compliance with the votes of the people, succeeded him, holding it until he resigned to enter the military service. In 1862 Mr. Burdick recruited Co. D, 6th Io. Cav., and in October was commissioned Captain of the same. Its field of operation was on the western frontier, and he participated in three battles with the Indians: White Stone Hills, Dakota, Tah-kah-o-kuta, near the line of Dakota and Montana; and Bad Lands, on the Little Missouri river. He served three years, when the regiment was mustered out. In the official reports Captain Burdict is honorably mentioned for gallant services on the field, and was recommended for promotion. In February, 1865, Mr. Burdick purchased an interest in the First National Bank of Decorah, and has since been its cashier. He is also an extensive dealer in real estate, in which business he has been quite successful. On the 6th of September, 1876, he received at the hands of the Republican party its unanimous and unsolicited nomination for Congress to represent the third district, and was elected by more than thirteen hundred majority in a district which two years before had elected the Democratic nominee, and in 1875 had given a larger majority for the Democratic candidate for Governor than the Democratic Congressman had received. His opponent was Hon. J. M. Griffith, of Dubuque. Mr. Burdick's services in Congress were entirely acceptable to the people who elected him, and he again received assurance of the nomination, which, however, he declined, as his private business require all his care and attention. Mr.
Burdick was one of the incorporators of the Savings Bank of Decorah, and is now, and has been since its organization, its cashier and the custodian of its funds. He is a partner in the banking firm of Graves, Burdick & Co., of Estherville, Emmet Co., Io. In December, 1858, he married Miss Nancy Graves, youngest daughter of Hon. Gaylord Graves, of Whitewater, Wis. She has had six children, five of whom are now living, Mary A., Emma, Harriet, Nelson A., and Weld T. Mr. Burdick is a conscientious, reliable man, agreeable in manner, and does everything well that he undertakes. He is a member of the Congregational church.
Henry C. Bulis, M. D., the oldest practicing physician of Decorah, was born at Chazy, Clinton County, N. Y., November 14, 1830. In Oct., 1854, Dr. Bulis immigrated to Decorah, and has practiced here since, except when discharging official duties outside of his profession. When the law creating the office of county superintendent of public schools went into force, Dr. Bulis was the first man to assume its duties, and served three years. He subsequently was a member of the county board of supervisors, serving as the first president of the board, under what was then termed the new system. In 1865 he was elected state senator, and by re-elections served six years, resigning in the middle of his second term to take the office of lieutenant-governor, to which the people had called him. While in the upper branch of the general assembly he was at one time chairman of the committee on claims, and at another, of the committee on state university. He did especially good work on the latter committee; a warm friend of education, and being generous and broad in his views on the subject, he earnestly advocated the appropriation bills, and every measure calculated to adrance the interests of the university. Part of the time, while in the senate, he served as president pro tem., and was in that position when placed in the chair of lieutenant-governor. He has been a trustee and regent of the university; he was examining surgeon for pensions from 1865 to 1876, and subsequently president of the Iowa State Medical Society. Dr. Bulis has always been a republican, and as can be seen by this sketch much of the time since he has been in Iowa. he has been a favorite of the party. He has been very serviceable, not to his party or state alone. On the 25th of August, 1876, he was appointed a member of the Sioux Indian Commission, and aided essentially in forming, a few weeks later, the treaty with them by which they ceded the Black Hills, and granted the right of way to the same of three different routes. The services which the doctor rendered in securing this treaty can hardly be over-estimated, and is regarded as the crowning act of his life. On the 11th of September, 1854, he married ‘Miss Laura A. Adams, of Champlain, New York. She died in 1861, leaving two children, Frank H. and Ada A. On the 17th of June, 1863,
he married Miss Harriet S. Adams, a sister of his first wife. The services which Dr. Bulis has rendered to the county, the state and the country will long keep his name in remembrance. In July, 1878, he was appointed special United States Indian Agent. but resigned the same after nine months.
Chas. P. Brown, attorney, one of Winneshiek Co.'s prominent lawyers, is a native of Lynn, Mass. His father, Dr. W. B. Brown, was a brother of Gould Brown, the grammarian. The subject of this sketch was born in 1833. After completing his education at the Quaker school of Providence, he returned to Lynn, and being surrounded by boot and shoe manufacturers, he learned the shoemaker's trade, but in the fall of 1857 he went to Buffalo, N. Y., and commenced the study of law, with Hon. Eli Cook as preceptor, and in 1860 was admitted to the bar. He then went to Bellevue, Mich., and entered into a law partnership with M. S. Bracket, with whom he remained until 1865, in which year he came to Io., and located at Cedar Falls. In 1869 he came to Decorah. Here he was first associated as partner with J.G. Morse, subsequently with C. Wellington, and since 1881 with R. F. B. Portman. He was married in 1861 to Miss Vera Bracket, daughter of M. S. Bracket. Mr. Brown is a democrat, but has no political aspirations. The children are Martin W. and Jennie L.
Ben Bear, Centennial Clothing House. This enterprising young merchant is a native of Europe, born in 1853; emigrated to the U. S. in 1867, and located in the city of New York, where he served as clerk (without change of employers) until 1876. He then concluded to seek his fortune in the "great west," and accordingly came to Decorah, and at once commenced his present business, in a comparatively small way, however. In 1877 he sustained losses by fire, but immediately resumed business, and being a man of excellent business qualifications, and at the same time dealing squarely and honestly with his customers, his trade increased from time to time, so that he not only carries the largest stock of clothing, gent's furnishing goods, hats, caps, boots and shoes, but also does more business than any other clothing house within a radius of many miles of the city of Decorah.
J. H. Baker was born in Oswego Co., N. Y., in 1838; removed to Walworth Co., Wis., in 1844. In 1865 he came to Io., and first opened a meat market at Conover, and ran the same about three years. He then came to Decorah, and in 1869 commenced dealing in grain, live stock, etc., and has since continued the same. He has also run a meat market since 1881. Mr. Baker was married at Prairie du Chien, Wis., in Sept., 1865, to Miss Elizabeth Flanders. They have three children living.
N. A. Brekke is the only son of Andrew N. Brekke, who is a farmer on Sec. 23, Madison tp. He was born in Winneshiek Co. in 1857; was educated in the common schools and the Norwegian college of Decorah; followed farming until 1880, then entered
into partnership with E. T. Weeks, engaged in groceries and provisions, and continued a member of the firm of Weeks & Brekke until March, 1882, when he withdrew from business,
Michael J. Bolland was born in Irongiem, Norway, in 1829; came to this county in 1858, and settled in Hesper tp.; bought 160 acres of land southeast of the village of Hesper, whick he still owns; lived there twenty years; then bought 258 acres where he now resides. It is principally fine prairie land, with a little brush land and forty acres of timber, and is well improved and well stocked. He has a fine residence and every arrangement for comfort, and is within two miles of town. He was married in Norway in 1850 to Miss Marit Johnson. They have seven children, four deceased.
Albert A. Benedict, P. 0. Decorah, firm of Benedict & Mott, proprietors of Trout Run Mills; son of Aden S. and Sarah Benedict; was born July 22, 1838, in Delaware Co., Ohio; his father died when he was about 4 years old. His mother was again married to Jonah Hole, in 1819, who was killed in 1862 by being thrown from a buggy by a frightened team. At the age of fifteen he engaged in a grist mill with a brother-in-law to learn the trade of a miller, in which he continued most of the time till in the fall of 1856, when he came to Winneshiek Co., Ia. He first engaged in a grist mill in Canoe tp., known as the Spring Water mill for about a year, after which he went to Hesper tp. and engaged in farming for two years, and then engaged in the assistance of a Mr. Tabor to start a steam grist mill in the town of Hesper; after which he was engaged in milling, carpenter work and attending school, till July 4, 1860, when he was married to a Miss Abbie A. Mott. He then came on to a farm in Canoe tp., which he had previously purchased, and continued farming in connection with milling till in 1869, when he went to Clay Co., Io., taking a homestead near where Spencer now is, and the following year built a grist mill at Spencer in company with G. D. Marcellus. In the spring of 1872, he returned to this county and purchased an interest in the Bluffton mills, which he subsequently sold and came to Decorah and engaged in the stone mill of Ammon Scott. In 1877, in company with his brother-in-law, J. W. Mott, he purchased the Trout Run mills, and in the spring of 1882 they purchased a farm of 440 acres above the mills three-fourths of a mile, upon which Mr. B. lives, superintending the farm, and his partner the mill. His children are: Oscar C., Allard E., Florence A., Fred. E., Grace M. and Willard. Mr. B.'s mother, after the death of her second husband, came to this Co. to live with her children. She died in 1866. Mr. B.'s religion is that of the Friends.
Henry I, Brichner, P. 0. Decorah, farmer; son of Henry and Elizabeth Brichner; was born Jan. 17, 1832, in York Co., Pa. When quite young his parents moved to Berkley Co., W. Va.